Category Archives: Thoughts

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.” ūüôā

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. ūüôā

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Birthday wishes for the bestie <3

I’ve taken quite a long blogging hiatus… With a busy work schedule (at a job where I spend most of my day writing) it turned out I needed to take a little break from screen time in my off time.

BUT, what better reason to get back on the blogging train than to celebrate the birth of my best friend in the world/ partner in crime/sister from another mister?!

Sarah,

Thank you for always being the person I can lean on, laugh with, cry with and of course shop with (even thousands of miles away). You’re the best friend I could ever ask for and I couldn’t imagine my life with out you. Can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us! Here’s to many many more fabulous years!! xoxo¬†

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“The only reason god didn’t make us sisters is because one mom couldn’t handle us both.”

Happy Birthday!! ūüôā Love you always and forever…

Spring? Are you out there?

Complaining about the weather is a common pastime in Holland, but I have to say, this latest ruse played by the weather gods is just plain cruel. It’s Easter weekend and it was flurrying last night. (?!) With temperatures well below freezing ¬†through the week, it’s definitely time for a little pick me up.

Inspired by this blog post written by my best friend, I’ve decided to share some of my favorite spots across Amsterdam that I just¬†can’t wait to visit if¬†once this lovely Dutch weather decides to cooperate…¬†

        Sipping cocktails at the floating swimming pool on the Amstel river

                                                 A BBQ in the beautiful Oosterpark

                                            A day of sand and sun Zandvoort beach

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                                  My first trip to the famous Wadden Area of the Netherlands

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                                                 Dining al fresco at Pata Negra

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                                    Our annual trip to the beautiful Keukenhof gardens

I’m not sure if that made me feel better or worse… Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that Spring will show its¬†gorgeous¬†face soon! ūüôā

Searching for Sugarman

Last weekend Sebastiaan and I went to see the multi-award winning documentary film,  Searching for Sugarman, at a little independent movie theatre, De Ballie, in Amsterdam. I had only heard a little bit about to movie before we went, but as soon as the film started, we were absolutely transfixed by the powerful story of Sixto Rodriguez.

Without¬†giving too much away…

The movie is about an American musician¬†in the early 1970’s, Sixto Rodriguez, who, despite his obvious talent, was unable to achieve any musical success in the States. However, thanks to a bootleg copy of his record that made its way across the Atlantic, Rodriguez’s music reached incredible popularity in South Africa where his songs became almost an anthem for the anti-apartheid movement. The film documents a literal ‘search’ for the mysterious Rodriguez who despite the odds, remains unaware of his fame across the world.¬†

It was one of the best and most moving documentaries I’ve seen in a long time and definitely the type of movie you just can’t stop talking about. If you get a chance to check it out, I highly¬†recommend¬†it! ūüôā

Clearing out the cobwebs

I’m officially over winter. I just can’t take it any longer. Ok, to be honest, this kind of happens every year around this time. I refer to it as a kind of post-Valentine’s Day slump. The thing is, after Valentine’s Day I really don’t see any point to winter. Christmas is long gone, we’ve rung in the New Year and done the whole cute and cuddly Valentine’s thing… its enough. I’m cold. I’m ready for spring. It’s not just the bright colors, floral prints and open toed shoes that are getting me antsy, it’s more than that. It’s those longer sunny days and that extra bit of energy that I always get entering the warmer months.

The truth is, my tendency to spend colder days hibernating in our apartment has led to some pretty bad habits… ¬†While I’ve been able to nip a few in the bud with a new work-out routine and someone healthy changes to the diet, unfortunately, it’s taken a bit more to effort in other areas.

While we make our way through these next few chilly winter weeks, and before it’s warm enough to dine outside on the balcony, I’ve gone ahead and picked out a few must have spring items to keep me going¬†in the meantime¬†(also serves as a good motivator to save a little money, not exactly my forte..). Here are a few items on my spring wish list! ūüôā¬†

To my valentine

As cheesy as Valentine’s Day can sometimes be, I have to admit, I actually love it. OK, let’s be honest… I didn’t exactly feel this same level of enthusiasm for this heart filled holiday when I was single… In fact, not so long ago I could be found at the nearest movie theater with my best friend dressed all in black holding each other while we watched the Notebook or any other depression¬†inducing¬†romantic tale.vday

This year however, I’m playing for the other team. For weeks I’ve been giddy to paint my nails red and get dressed up for a special, often overdue, date night with my someone special.

The thing is, lately Sebastiaan and I have been so busy and overwhelmed with the stresses of tackling our first “grown up” jobs, paying bills and finishing school that there’s been little time for the romantic gestures that often filled the beginning of our relationship.

We, well especially me I’m afraid, haven’t taken the time to tell or more importantly show one another how much we value our relationship. This is one of the reason I love this holiday. It’s a nice reminder to send out a little extra love into the world (the flowers and chocolates don’t hurt either!).

While we may argue, we may say things we don’t mean, we may drive each other absolutely crazy and push each other’s buttons just a tad too much, when push comes to shove, there’s no one else I’d rather fall asleep with and wake up next to every single day. The past three years has had its ups and downs but I know I never would have been able to face the storms and enjoy the sunshine without Sebastiaan by my side.

Happy Valentine’s Day to my partner and love of my life. A little glance back over the last few years… ūüôā

Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that
sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give
thanks for another day of loving. ~Kahlil Gibran