An Alexander day…

When I was a kid one of my favorite books was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. At the time, I remember giggling from start to finish as my mom read through all of the funny little disaster poor little Alexander experienced on that fateful day (woke up with gum in his hair, no dessert in his lunch bag, lima beans for dinner and tragedies of that sort, the type of disasters my 6-year-old self could really empathize with).

It’s been quite a few years since I’ve read that book or even thought about it to be honest but yesterday, on my cycle home from work, all I could think was “wow, that was an Alexander day…”

It was one of those days where you sleep through your alarm, rush to get ready, the button on your shirt breaks on the way down the stairs, you change into a new shirt only to realize it has a stain on it but it’s too late to turn back, rush to work, show up sweaty and frazzled only to realize it’s Friday and no one is in the office anyway. Let’s just say the day got progressively worse from there…

After tackling a disaster of my own in the office (with the support of my absolutely amazing colleagues) I just couldn’t seem to shake the anxiety of the incredibly stressful day. I have a tendency to worry too much, especially about what others think, and this day was no exception. As my mind raced with “what ifs” and “if i only did this..” and “now they think this..” I realized I’d totally lost perspective on the situation. As easy as it is to get wrapped up in your own drama, sometimes it really helps to remember, in the words of my fabulous friend and colleague, “you’re only the star of your own night.” And, you know what? It’s true. I highly doubt anyone else was going home obsessing about the day’s events to the degree I was, or at all for that matter.

So, after a not so restful sleep I’ve woken up feeling slightly less stressed, determined to shake it off and enjoy this fleeting sunny Amsterdam summer weekend.

After all, in the words of Alexander’s Mom, everybody has bad days, “even in Australia.” 🙂

Amsterdam’s NeighbourFood Market

In an attempt to lift us out of our post holiday slump, we ditched our usual lazy Sunday routine and headed out for a long cross town bike ride to the NeighbourFood Market in Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek. The lovely weather, delicious food and cozy atmosphere definitely helped boot out our end of summer blues. 😉

First stop, burgers and beer :)

First stop, burgers and beer – with some stuffed Greek grape leaves on the side 🙂

Hazelnut, Limoncello & Honey and Thyme truffles for dessert :)

Hazelnut, Limoncello & Honey and Thyme truffles for dessert 🙂


The market is open one Sunday per month and offers enough sweet and savory treats to please almost any palate.

photo 5

Post food stroll through Westerpark

photo 2

photo 4

To keep the spirits lifted as the cooler weather undoubtedly approaches, we’re determined to fill the calendar with as many fun activities as possible for the next few weeks. This weekend we’ll be heading to the popular Grachten Festival (canal festival) in Amsterdam.  With boat filled canals, live music and a fabulously festive feel- it’s quickly become one of our favorite summer send offs. 🙂 

Discovering Paros

When Sebastiaan and I were trying to decide which of the Greek Islands to visit I’d actually never heard of Paros and was instead considering more well-known islands like Crete, Mykonos and Santorini. As I began my research I noticed that many of these popular Greek destinations turned into the Greek equivalent of Cancun spring break in August (crowds of obnoxious drunk high school and college students)- No thanks…

So, aside from this making me feel reallyy really old (I mean it wasn’t THAT long ago that I went to Cancun after high school was it??) we both decided for our first real extended holiday together this wasn’t exactly what we had in mind. Luckily, a friend at work recommended Paros- we could not have been more pleasantly surprised. 🙂

We spent the first few days in Paros exploring the island, laying by the pool and lounging at the beach. (sounds rough right?)

On our third day the manager of the hotel recommended an all day island cruise- absolutely unforgettable…


Beautiful views from the boat


Jumping off the boat into the water!


Going for a swim 🙂

The next day we decided to rent a scooter so that we could explore a bit more of the island. We stopped off at a few beaches, enjoyed spectacular views and wandered around a small fishing village along the way.


Don’t worry Sebastiaan did most of the driving 😉


Pounda Beach



Village of Naoussa


Taking it all in 🙂

If you ever decide to take a trip over to Paros (which I highlyyy recommend) our hotel was absolutely fabulous. The friendly staff, amazing views, and spotless rooms made for one of the most relaxed and enjoyable stays we’ve ever had.

For a place to eat in Paros I’d recommend herehere, and here! – definitely less touristy than some places but absolutely delicious!

This is the company that arranged our boat trip- a must do in Paros!

More pictures from Paros below!

Dream holiday part 2: Paros

After three wonderful days in Athens Sebastiaan and I boarded the ferry and headed off to the beautiful island of Paros. I’ll admit I was somewhat dreading the 5 hour journey ahead but as soon as we made our way through the crowds of travelers, found a cozy (and sunny) spot on the deck and settled in with my book, the ride just flew by.

Once we pulled into the port at Paros I immediately fell in love with the island. The hills filled with little white cottages, crystal clear water and picture perfect blue sky were unlike anything I’d ever seen.

We caught a taxi to our amazinggg hotel and were immediately welcomed with drinks on the balcony– not a bad start! Our time in Paros was that perfect  balance between doing everything and nothing at all. Although we’re devastated a bit sad to be back in cloudy Amsterdam, I have to say it was one of the most relaxing and romantic holidays we’ve ever had. 🙂

A few pictures of our first days in Paros paradise 🙂


Mayhem boarding the ferry

A fellow traveler let me borrow her hammock for a quick mid-trip snooze 🙂


View from the ferry


View from our hotel room


Wandering the little streets of Parikia, Paros


During a nice stroll along the harbour


Ah, the island mentality 😉


I’ll take you up on that cold beer!


Delicious grilled sardines


Barbecued octopus


Enjoying a delicious meal on the water


Beautiful Paros sunset 🙂

More to come on our adventures in Paros! 🙂

Dream holiday part 1: Athens

Sebastiaan and I just returned from an absolutely amazing holiday in Greece. We spent 3 days in Athens exploring the city and visiting the sights and then ventured off to Paros for 5 days of sunshine, rest and relaxation. The trip was more incredible than I could have even imagined…

As soon as we arrived in Athens I was struck by the city’s fast pace, narrow streets and old town charm. Although, given the financial crisis now overwhelming this part of the world, it was hard not to also notice the boarded up shops, staggering homelessness and the abandoned pets (dogs and cats) on nearly every street corner. 

Wandering the streets of this iconic city, visiting the Acropolis, enjoying epic views and even better food was definitely an unforgettable experience.


Our first (of many) Greek salads!


Yummy Gyro!


First bite of Mousaka!


Beginning our LONG hike up Lycabetus Hill!


We made it to the top!

photo 1

First dinner out in Plakka area of Athens


In front of the Parthenon!


Taking a break on our way down from the Acropolis – incredible view

Although there were definitely some spots we didn’t get a chance to visit, and we had an absolutely amazing time, I have to admit after 3 days in the hot, busy (and sometimes dirty) ancient city we were more than ready to catch the ferry for our Island escape!

If you’re planning a trip to Athens and looking for a great place to grab a bite I highly recommend here, here and here!

(I wasn’t crazy about our hotel in Athens so I won’t be recommending that one…)

More pictures from our trip below!

My first Dutch soccer game

This weekend I crossed a BIG “must do” off my ‘Things I must do while living in Holland’ list. Yes folks, I attended my very first Dutch soccer game. It was aaamaazzingg!


The Dutch certainly don’t mess around when it comes to soccer (voetbal)- fans from 6 to 60 were dressed head to toe in Ajax gear and screamed, chanted and booed as appropriate throughout the nail-biting match. Thankfully, I was appropriately warned of potential hooligan behavior and earnestly practiced my Dutch cursing  beforehand– let’s just say I fit right in! 😉 photo 1photo 5

The stadium was packed with 90,000 die-hard fans and literally shook as the game went into overtime. Luckily Ajax came out on top winning 3-2 (against the other guys…) 

photo 3

It was definitely an evening I’ll never forget! In fact, it was even fun being a bit of a soccer hooligan for a night! 🙂

photo 2I’m already looking forward to our next game! 🙂


Why I love summer

There are about a million reasons why I love summer, actually why I’ve always loved summer, but now that I live in Amsterdam (a city notorious for its lack of warmth and sunshine), I’ve grown really thankful for the few days a year where “we” Dutchies can shed the layers, dust off the sunnies and cycle off to the nearest terrace to soak up the good ol’ Vitamin D.

Date night downtown :)

The warm weather isn’t likely to stick around too long, but while it’s here, Sebastiaan and I are determined to enjoy it as much as possible. We’ve had picnics in the park, dined alfresco here, here, and here and enjoyed a few too many cocktails outside with friends. Basically, we’ve remembered what it is we love so much about this city. Although a common expression among expats in Amsterdam is, “No one moves to Amsterdam for the weather” 4-5 months of rain and clouds can get even the peppiest of travelers down.  balcony bbq!

Luckily, we’re jetting off to Greece next week just as the weather is expected to turn. We’ve both been working like crazy over the past few months so we’re really looking forward to 8 days of much deserved rest and relaxation (accompanied by fabulous food, drinks and views!).  Happy feet :)

Wherever you are, I hope you’re enjoying the warmer days, after all,  before we know it we’ll be bundling up for fall. 🙂

photo (5)