Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How I Met My Husband

This week my husband and I are coming up on 16 years of marriage. 16!!! I am only 34, going on 35 later this year..hard to believe that in a few years I will have lived with him longer than I lived with my own parents! Shocking right?!

Well, in honour of this momentous occasion I thought I would do a series of posts detailing our story.

Today, the first day...I will tell you how we met.

It is a bit of a funny story actually. 

I went to one high school, my boyfriend at the time went to a rival high school.

My boyfriend at the time had been a very good friend previous to us deciding to date. After deciding to date he at some point asked me to his school's prom and of course said I would go. Well, prior to prom we actually broke up-it was totally mutual-and being good friends and a mutual break up we still went to his prom together.

Upon arriving at dinner after trying not to stab him with a pin for the corsage there was a guy in the corner in a baby blue, oh yes, you heard me right baby blue suit. All I could think of was "who the hell is the nerd in the terrible '70's-esque wedding tux." I mean I really cannot tell you how terrible this thing was. I wish I had a photo of him in it...seriously. 

As we were all finishing up dinner getting ready to head to the prom I discovered he had a top hat and cane..wtf. I looked at my date and was like you know the wierdest freaking people.

Moving on...summer arrives and blue tux weirdo is working the same summer camp as me. ...and being the lucky girl I was he followed me around most of the summer asking me out. He wasn't as lucky as I was {insert sarcastic eye roll here}.

Move on to that winter he is home from college and I am Christmas shopping at our local mall and see him. Seriously everywhere I freaking turned he was there...I didn't realize who he was at the time though because so many months had gone by and honestly I'd sort of forgotten I just knew his face was super familiar.

Fast forward to the following August I am at college, he shows up. I am like holy crud, I cannot escape this guy! He asked me out-again-and I said sure, because ya know, why not? It was the worst.date.ever. Seriously awful. I didn't see him again for months.

Until Christmas. I picked up one of my friends that was still in high school to take her Christmas shopping, I'm at the ATM and I hear a whistle. Being slightly annoyed I turn around and all I said was "YOU!" ...yeah, he asked me out AGAIN. I have no idea why, I mean our first date was horrific...and I have no idea why I actually agreed to try again, but I did...and well, the rest is on the books ;)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Our first dance as husband and wife...

Ahhh, first dance as husband and wife. I wrote a couple of months ago about an experience I had when I was first married, so I thought this week I would share with you a little something about our wedding. When we got married, I was 18, the hubby was 20; It was 1999, there was a lot of good music to choose from. We knew we wanted something from our decade as I was a music junkie enjoying our local station that often played rap/hiphop AND alternative rock. So, I had a varied music taste, hubby listened to Jim Rome...his favorite songs at the time were No Scrubs and No Pigeons. You see what I was up against here.

We knew we wanted something that would be easy to dance to as we didn't have the extra cash for dance lessons and I wasn't up for teaching him ballroom, I mostly only knew Swing at the time, so an easy to move to song was a necessity. We also wanted it to be something that really felt like us and that we would be proud to have our children listen to.

So...this was our song...
At the time, being only 18 and 20 I don't think we realized how true this would wind up being to our relationship. Our lives hadn't been that long. We are coming up on celebrating 16 years in June, 3 years away from being together longer than we ever were apart for me, 5 years for him. 
We will often turn the song on and just dance to reconnect if we've had a particularly busy week or month. Our daughter loves to listen to it because it is quiet and comforting. 
All my life I waited for someone to go on an adventure with and I found him. I was one of the lucky few who found that person early in life and grew with him, and we grow closer all the time. Love truly is a powerful thing that I am so lucky to have found, and have had it for so long.
As a funny, here are a few pictures from my wedding day...

A few grey hairs and dye jobs later here we are thousands of miles from where we started. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Perfect Day, filled with Perfect Eats

Last Friday we had a very busy day, well, I did at the very least. It was probably the only summer day we are going to have this year in Amsterdam so I made sure to enjoy it, too bad the kids had to be in school!

I somewhat kid...it was 33C out, now we are back in the 50s and climbing into the 60s..we are supposed to have one more day this week where it reaches the 30s but it is supposed to thunderstorm all day. I love living here but the weather is really hard to deal with, but everywhere has a down side, right?! So, I will just go on and tell y'all about the most awesomest summer day ever!

Today I'm linking up with Jenn over at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday.

Our day started with a lovely sunrise bike ride and picnic...

If you are curious, in the Netherlands to achieve this perfect sunrise...you must be awake at 4:45 to pack your picnic and be out the door by 5:05 to cycle to where you want to watch the sunrise at 5:20..on this day, now it is almost rising at 5:15.

Was so worth the early wake up to have some early morning eats with this girl in the calm morning light.

Our spread...Pofferjtes (I warmed them and put them in foil to keep them warm), banana, peanut butter, whipped cream, nutella, and strawberries.

It was delicious and such a tasty treat!

A view from behind the dune area.

After getting everyone off to work and school I said screw the nap and decided it was a great idea to bike 16km one way with my good friend and her 2 year old to a medieval castle that was built in the 1200's...Muiderslot
You can tell I am tired.

Along this route there were free roaming sheep! They belonged to farm as they were tagged, but they just grazed along the bike path and down near the water. It was so amazing. The path is only open from March to October.

We arrived at the castle and it was a gorgeous day to let my friends son run around.

I drank this awesome Lemonade from there tavern...

With the lemonade in the pink cup I also had a bottle of water and a boterham sandwich...which you would think has ham...no matter how many times I see this here I don't think it will ever sink in that "boterham" is just the tradition Dutch sandwich: butter (yes, like real butter), cheese, and this one also had lettuce and honey mustard. They are very good, don't knock 'em 'til ya try 'em!

This is a shot I think of the Ijslameer on our ride home, we rode over a giant huge bridge. Was so fun!

After that I raced home to pack our beach bag and meet the teenager. On my bike ride to her school I snacked on a nectarine. It was so delicious!

We were trying to smile through the heafty clouds we saw rolling in when we pulled in to the Haarlem train station which is two stops from the beach. The doors opened and it was very chilly.

...because it had started raining when we stepped off the train it wasn't easy to find a place that had seating...but we found a quiet place with a nice menu about a half mile from the train station, thank goodness it was only drizzling.

After this photo it started pouring and was lightening! ha!

This was after the heavens opened and the storm started to move away. The chairs are facing away from the water as they were trying to clean up and bring everything in. Here you can rent beach chairs by the hour or day.

The kiddo and I both decided on fish and chips because of the cooler, rainy weather. It was amazing.

This was our excited, yup we deserve some appletaart!

Mmmm...appeltaart and slagroom!

After dinner we went for a walk on the beach. We were doing our best to not be incredibly sad we didn't get to surf.

The sunset made it worth going out there even though we didn't get to play in the water...

...but we did...we weren't leaving without putting our feet in the North Sea. It was chilly, but actually warmer than the air outside! ha!

By the time all was said and done I'd drank a total of 5 of these bottles and could have gone for more! This bottle is one of my top travel essentials and I never go anywhere without it since it is self filtering.

I hope you enjoyed my eats with a little recap of our one summer day. To learn more about going to the beach in the Netherlands check out these posts: A day at the beach part 1, part 2, part 3.

Has summer arrived where you live? How do you remember to stay hydrated?

Monday, June 8, 2015

King's Day in the Netherlands

King's Day is a new name for this celebration...a short summary is King's Day came about after last year (2014) when Queen Beatrix abdicated the throne and her son, Willem-Alexander, took over. Previous to this it was Queen's Day. It stayed the same for two Queen's in a row, being held on 30 April, despite Queen Beatrix's birthday being in January.

So, this new celebration is held on the 27th of April now, know this people because inevitably people were showing up on the 30th and the celebration had come and gone. So, get with the program and know if you are planning a late April visit to the Netherlands (which I 100% recommend) be here for Kings Day on the 27th, 26th if the 27th is a Sunday.

So...moving on. We had a great time. I know I am writing about this late, but ya know, better late than never.

Our friends have an apartment down in the Jordaan, so we went there and our kids got to hang out and we got to hang out. It was a blast. There are a few things to remember for King's Day though:

  1. If you want a night time party with lots of music on stage go the night of the 26th...music plays until about 3am, but know it will be crowded.
  2. The morning of the 27th everyone sets out their stalls to sell pretty much everything they've saved up for the past year. This is the only day in the Netherlands where you can sell stuff without a vendor permit.
  3. Be patient. Kids will be in your face to buy stuff and they will try to get to you buy access. Be firm but nice and they back off pretty quick. But, if they want to put a Dutch flag tattoo on your face for €2, just pay them and let them do it, it will totally make their day.
  4. Be ready for a crowd. You know how I said the night before is crowded. The day of is too. You have to know you will be shoulder to shoulder, back to back, and you will get pushed. Keep your cool and just go with the flow...most of the time it gets you to the bar anyway so life is good.
  5. Finally, above all...be patient and always have a smile. Will make for a wonderful day.

There was an oyster and caviar bar, it was right next to the champagne bar...coincidence...I think not!

Look at that crowd. It was really crazy..and all down the sides of those streets were people selling stuff!

So many people were on the canals. Personal boats and rented boats. They don't do any canal tours that day, they are only to rent a seat on for King's Day. You can also buy a ticket for a space on a party barge and they will have a DJ, drinks, etc.

We got the opportunity to walk among the vendors and talk to so many interesting people. For a lot of them this is a favorite day of the year. It is a wild party and you really get a good feel for the community of Amsterdam.

This was something someone was "selling". €2 and you could swing on the swing that had you swinging out over the canal! I tell you, the cultural experience you get here is an eye opener. I love it. But, hubby wouldn't let me swing sadly...can't say I really blame him.

Hubby and I checking out some architecture.

We ended the day with a look out from the rooftop of our friends building. They took this awesome photo of us.

If you decide to plan a trip to the Netherlands, I do feel the best time is the last weekend in April. You'll get to celebrate King's Day, see the tulips in bloom at Keukenhof Gardens, and you can enjoy a bike ride through the countryside.  

Spring truly is the best time of year for a visit...tell me, where do you live and when do you feel is the best time to visit? 

P.S, Linking up to: Tater Tots and Jello and Nap Time Creations.

Currently, Vol. 11

Once again I am linking up with Becky over at Choose Happy for her weekly Currently link-up!

We had a crazy busy week last week and that will only be a bit crazier this week since the husband is gearing up to go to a big conference in Los Angeles as the end of this week. I am sad, but it will give the kiddo and I some good one on one time and I can hopefully drag her around to see a few sights...I'm thinking even a few day trips might be in order on the weekends!

Well, I could get really off track here so let's get back to currently...

Eating...Pofferjtes-or "fancy foreign pancakes" as my brother calls them (haha)-with nutella and whipped cream. Friday morning we got up for a sunrise bike ride and picnic...was so peaceful. But I will warn you-sunrise bike ride in Amsterdam means getting up at 4:45 as the sun is above the horizon by 5:15-5:20!

Wondering...why The Netherlands can't have more gorgeous clear blue 30C degree days like this one last Friday....

Loving....that I have great friends to sight see with and they can take awesome pictures like this of me-with their cute toddlers hanging out in the background giving me rocks hehe

Riding...my bike EVERYWHERE! I can't stress this enough-everywhere! The weather has been so nice, meaning not raining, so I haven't been on public transport once and it has been so nice...but my thighs are screaming! haha

Crying...well, I'm not but the teenager will be when she see's this! haha We were having milk from the Melktap last week before riding home and she didn't want me to take her photo..but I did anyway, I still think it is pretty darn cute!


Weekly Menu, #21 +T25/P90X3 Schedule Week 3

Before I get on to business I feel like this weekend's epic-ness deserves a little recap..

Friday I wasn't at home all day. I started it off with a 5 a.m. bike ride picnic with the teenager. It was the best. Next time we do this we are going to bike all the way downtown to see it over the Ij. The teenager thinks I'm a little insane but deep down I know she loves it. 

Then, I rode a total of 36km +/- with my friend to Muiderslot Castle. 

After that the teenager and I headed to the beach. Still pretty epic, but as soon as we got there the skies opened up on us. We still enjoyed the opportunity to sit in the ocean-front restaurant and enjoyed watching the storm. 

We did manage to put our feet in the ocean before we left though!

Saturday we went to a polish-style housewarming. I brought my typical Dutch treat housewarming gift/what I lay out for guests when they come to our house the first time and are new to The Netherlands. It consists of Vla, these s'more's -ish waffles, and stroopwafels, usually I put some haggelslag in there as well, but I forgot sadly.

Sunday was Amstelanndag which was a festival highlighting all the fun stuff to do near my house. This is the same area as I take you through in my post from last week, a Spring Bike Ride through the Dutch Countryside.

It was a packed weekend, I am hoping to make this next week a little more low key, but since quite a bit of sun is predicted I doubt that will happen! haha

One more thing before moving on..if you haven't linked up your travel posts with our #Reasons2travel link-up please to so here!

Last week was very successful. I joined a group of ladies who are determined to work out everyday this month, even if it is just an easy walk or stretching. Just doing something everyday to keep in the fitness groove and remind us why we aren't hogging down on hot dogs and m and m's! haha So, even though my workout schedule wasn't exactly like I had planned here is what I did do...
Sunday: Rest/Stretch-Yoga
Monday: T25 Alpha Cardio/P90X3 The Warrior-Piyo Sweat (late, late, late at night) plus 10km biking running errands
Tuesday: T25 Lower Focus/P90X 3 MMX
Wednesday: T25 Ab Intervals/P90X3 Agility X + 50km biking and sight seeing-I was exhausted
Thursday: T25 Speed 1.0/P90X3 Pilates-Workout with the teenager-HIIT Run and a half hour stair workout
Friday: T25 Total Body Circuit/P90X3 Dynamix-36+km bike ride sightseeing...I decided to sleep when I got home to recover after being in the hot, hot, hot sun all day.
Saturday: Blogilates 100 Burpee Burnout/T25 Cardio-Yoga. I was really sore and my hips were all out of whack.

I've learned a bit about myself this past week. I am going to keep up the double workouts as I've been completing a lot, but I do need to focus and start getting up earlier to get my workouts completed before I start going for the day. I hate working out late in the evening, so getting up with the sun will be helpful for me I think. 

This week's workouts:
Sunday: P90X Stretch
Monday: Dynamic core/MMX
Tuesday: Speed 2.0/Accelerator
Wednesday: Core Cardio/Decelerator
Thursday: Pilates X/Cardio
Friday: Total Body Circuit/Agility X
Saturday: X3 Yoga-then we are sight seeing so keeping it short :)

Last week: 
  • Get gifts mailed out (one is really belated, so I really have to get to the post office)-Done!
  • Stick to workouts and menu-Done!
  • Get the courage to list a few items I've made in my Etsy store-Still not done :(
  • Visit two more museums on my list-Done! I managed the Hermitage and Amsterdam Museum
  • Take two bike rides-Done! One to Amsterdam Noord, the other to Muiderslot.
This week:
  • Visit two more museums on my list
  • Sight seeing trip to Enkhuizen
  • Stick to menu and workouts
  • Increase unique page views by 100 this week
  • Actually list the items in my Etsy shop
  • Find at least 3 link parties to link up to each day
  • Post more content on my Facebook page, increase interaction

  • Sunday: Granola with banana slices
  • Strawberries and cream oatmeal x2
  • Acai Bowl x2
  • Friday: Egg scramble with toast
  • Saturday: French toast with berries


  • Sunday: Omelettes, toast (homemade bread), nectarine slices
  • Monday: Half a baked potato topped with mixed veggies
  • Tuesday: Sandwiches
  • Wednesday: Leftovers
  • Thursday: Sandwiches
  • Friday: Leftovers
  • Saturday: Picnic of hard boiled eggs, bread and butter, fruit, cheese
  • Sunday: Tacos/taco salad
  • Monday: BBQ chicken breasts with sugar snap peas and brown rice
  • Tuesday: Lentils topped with BBQ chicken (leftover), and mixed veggies
  • Wednesday: Hubby's last night here so we will eat out
  • Thursday: Coconut crusted fish with mango rice
  • Friday: Veggie pad thai with any leftovers
  • Saturday: Eat out...will be doing a lot of sight seeing so hope to find some where scenic and unique to eat dinner.

That is it for me this week! Tell me, what makes for the perfect weekend for you?

P.S. Linking up with Mommy Run Fast, Jill Conyers, and I'm an Organizing Junkie and Single Mother Ahoy.