Meet Mariko, the person behind our most festive handbag

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Meet Mariko, highschool friend and the person behind our festive yet practical handbag. Mariko and Lies go way back and have been friends since highschool. Both went their separate ways to study in different cities, but they always stayed in touch. 
Her love for healthy cooking and a conscious lifestyle has become more apparent than ever before. Mariko launched the No Leftovers Club, a catering formula that creates the most delicious meals for you to make at home.

Our Mariko bag took it’s cues from Mariko’s practical mindset yet timeless and conscious style. From day to night, there’s no occasion that isn’t suitable for our Mariko bag.

What's the most valuable advice you've ever received (and would like to give your younger self)?  
I've realised that I mostly make rational decisions and think too much about the possible consequences. Leave room for impulsive decisions or even an 'I don't give a fuck-mentality', is something I would advise my younger self. Looking back at the things that have made me most happy, many are based on emotional choices: going to boarding school (this is also where I met Lies), my trip to Australia after my studies or my boyfriend.

Where do you go to escape? 
At the moment, I don't have a need to escape and prefer to cuddle up with my newly expanded family bubble. 

Otherwise, relaxing happens mostly in places where I can let loose creatively. 
In the kitchen or behind the turning wheel of my ceramic classes, I fully relax.  

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What are you looking forward to in the next few years? 
As a new mom, I mostly look forward to seeing our son Monti grow up. I'm also looking forward to finding the perfect balance between being a mom, work and personal growth. 

Over the past years, my interest in eco-friendly and conscious lifestyle grew exceedingly. Fast fashion is almost entirely cleared from my closet, but the biggest change happened in my nutrition. I always try to eat seasonally and am really good at using everything, leaving no piece to waste. I'm also very keen on developing this mindset further in the future. 

What kind of bag person are you? 
I don't like to head outside with an overloaded bag and limit myself to the bare necessities such as my phone, wallet and keys. I do like to have extra space in my bag for a book or something that I've received on the way, so I don't need to carry an extra bag with me. Always as practical as possible ;) 

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What is your favourite essential clothing item? 
An oversized white blouse, there are more than 8 hanging in my closet. With every occasion, I feel good wearing them.

 What are some of your go-to cooking tips to minimize waste?
- Look up recipes based on the ingredients in your fridge that need to be eaten first. Usually, I will then make my own version of the recipe I found.

- Freeze everything that you cannot use, but that does have to be eaten right away. For example, cut your veggies that would otherwise go off into pieces and freeze them. I even freeze parsley stems for my bouquet garni. Of course, I participate in the banana bread hype, but I will freeze the brown bananas if I don't have the time or desire to make banana bread.

- Make sure that you always have lots of essential ingredients (herbs, diced tomatoes, coconut milk, garlic and onion, ...) so that you can make a wholesome dish at any time.

- I honestly do follow the no-waste policy; when I buy shrimp, I make a bisque with the heads, but I even use the silly green of radishes in a soup. Even if I can't use the broccoli stem in a meal, I'll eat it raw :).

- Bread, potatoes and old fruit are at the top of the most thrown-away products. I do, for example, prefer my pears to be super hard. Not the dirty older pears with juice dripping from your hands and chin. However, you can really make a delicious cake with those - dirty - older pears and apples by grating them in with your batter.


Follow Mariko’s cooking journey on @noleftoversclub