September 4, 2009
August 11, 2009
I'm sorry for posting so irregularly lately... I've got a week planned full with job interviews and presentations and at the same time I'm organizing a party for my graduation.
Here at my university it is tradition to have a dinner with family after the graduation ceremony followed by a "party" for everyone - friends family professors students etc- who played a part during your time at university. I say "party" because it's really a particular kind of party. Everyone is dressed up and in many occasions there is no music played, except for the songs that the graduate's sorority friends or roommates or other friends have composed and will sing very loudly. These songs generally cover every embarrassing episode during your time at university: drunken episodes, every guy you've ever been mildly interested in, bloopers...
My graduation and party will be in 2,5 weeks time and yesterday I've sent out the invites. MrBee and I have been testing a couple of bars here in town (which resulted in our own little pub crawl) and I've finally decided where it will take place. It's a really nice bar in an old factory building at a canal here in town. That location is certainly not the cheapest option - which is not unimportant when about 75 people come to drink to your graduation and you have a student budget - but in the end I decided I should celebrate this special moment at a place I feel very comfortable and where I'm sure everything will be great.
I'm really excited about seeing everyone who has contributed to my amazing time as a student together in one bar to celebrate my graduation, but I'm not sure whether I should be too excited about the songs..... I've been a pretty good girl but I trust my friends will come up with lyrics that'll turn my head into a tomato...
August 5, 2009
You might already have seen this clip on A Cup of Jo but I just had to post it here, as it is unbelievably cute. This guy Jake proposes to his girlfriend through a 59 people whisper chain.... I love looking at everyone's faces when they hear the message and whisper it on.
August 3, 2009
Writing about my bookclub reminded me of being more active about my list again so I wanted to show you today how I've been doing with my resolution to have more fresh flowers around the house lately...
Fresh flowers can be quite expensive but I've found that I can get really good deals at my local market on Saturday afternoon when the vendors need to get rid of their stock. The other week I got 60 (!!) long stemmed Dutch red roses for only EU5 (which is about $7,50)!! Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of them but believe me, they were absolutely stunning. I had them all around the house and gave some away. I'm sure neighbors thought MrBee had either proposed or something to make up to me!
July 31, 2009
July 30, 2009
July 29, 2009
I wanted to show you two places that I visit pretty much every Saturday: my local market and library. Both are in the historic city centre of my Dutch town. I just love walking around all the different stalls at the market. I usually buy a lot of cheap fruit and vegetables, but I’m also a huge fan of all the Mediterranean products that are sold here. I don’t mind that it’s busy at the market, I actually enjoy seeing so many people together and I absolutely love how the vendors shout out their best offers as loud as they can (“Pineapples! Two for 1,50! Delicious juicy Piiiiineapples!!”).
The local market, right next to the canals. In the background you can see our city hall.
It’s much more quiet at my local library. I can just spend hours there browsing through the novels, cookbooks and glossy travel books. My perfect Saturday afternoon I enjoy on our sunny balcony with new books, a glass of wine and garlic olives, almonds and fresh feta cheese from the market….
July 28, 2009
Still, if any of you has a good idea on how to structure a book club meeting and how to really accellerate the discussion, I would be very grateful if you could leave a comment!
For next time we are reading One Day by David Nicholls. The cover looks great so I can't wait to dig in.
(if you haven't read the Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger yet and you're contemplating doing so (you should! you should!), DON'T read on!)
Besides the logistics of time travel, I think the most important theme we talked about regarding the book was predestination. I think I would become so frustrated if I knew it didn't matter what I would decide to do, the effect was already decided. Another friend of mine felt it would be quite comforting to know that it wouldn't matter. Like when Clare and Henry go house hunting, Clare doesn't even get the chance to form an opinion about any of the places because Henry already knows. I wouldn't have it. I'm a bit of a smarty pants and I would be sure to check it out myself and maybe even push it. Just because. But then, even if I would push it, I would know that it wouldn't work. It wouldn't make a difference. How frustrating. Like you're in a really fast current and you just have to go along...
Another thing we discussed about a lot, was the end. Some of my friends felt a happy ending would have been much more satisfying, while I feel that a book doesn't always have to have a happy ending. It can make a book so much more interesting, so much more thought provoking. The book left me sad and confused but I think that's also a beautiful thing a book can do for you.
What did you guys think about these issues?
July 27, 2009
July 22, 2009
Paper Heart seems to be half documentary half fiction and it features some great people from Juno (which I adored), Knocked Up and How I Met Your Mother. I'm expecting a very funny, cute and original film....
Cute bonus: the website for the movie also features an awesomely cute Mash Game, which I am sure you've all played when you were little....
July 20, 2009
July 16, 2009
July 15, 2009
It was the perfect setting for the concert. Regina was angelic. I can't believe her voice, she was so good. I'll be listening to her new album non stop for the next couple of days I think...
July 10, 2009
How amazing is this?? Isn't it just the best tribute possible?
This vid reminds me of the massive dance off in the Antwerpen central station I posted last month.
This sort of stuff just makes my day.
I wanna dance tonight!
July 9, 2009
Exciting news! I am featured on this month's Through Her Eyes series over at Layers of Meaning. I love this blog and the THE series especially. I strongly advise you to check it out! The first edition came online just today and this week you can check out what's in my purse....
July 7, 2009
July 6, 2009
June 26, 2009
June 24, 2009
June 22, 2009
But I have a solution to this problem.
I make my own.
You wanna know how? It's really easy actually.
The secret is getting cheap cherry tomatoes.
At my local market, the deals get better during the day. When you go there say around 3pm, many of the sellers will have pans which contents they sell for one euro ($1.40). These products are often on the verge of going bad but for some recipes - like this one - that is really no problem.
So last week one of the things I picked up at the market wasva pan with a bunch of cherry tomatoes (I'm guessing about 50 of these beauties). After washing them and generously sprinkling them with olive oil, salt and black pepper, all I had to do was pop them in the oven for a couple of hours and I had a batch of half-dried tomatoes to last me for a while. They go great in salads but I've also used them in an avocado soup I made the other day.
Half-dried cherry tomatoes
June 19, 2009
My Philips food processor arrived and after enjoying unpacking the giant box and installing the processor and all its zillion accessories in my kitchen, the first thing I made... was a good old drink for myself.
I mixed gin, tonic water mint, and ice in the blender and voila!
I promise more ambitious projects will follow soon...
June 17, 2009
Yesterday I ordered both a 24" iMac and a Philips food processor online.
I know it's a bit extravagant, but I felt I deserved it because of my 1000Eu prize and almost graduating and having had my previous laptop for 6 years and finishing the internship and my time abroad! (Of course the 1000E does not cover this all. Sadly.)
I know I told you I wanted to buy a laptop and I did but then I realized I mostly use the computer at home and also since I have been suffering from back, neck and shoulder problems from stress and using the computer too much I felt a desktop computer would be the better choice for me. And of course, I admit, I swooned over the iMac design. It is gorgeous.
I ordered the iMac through the special Apple education store, which gave me a discount on the purchase but more importantly, the kind Apple people offered me an iPod touch. I only have to pay taxes for it.
Both the iMac and the iPod touch should be delivered here in 3 or 4 days I think. I can't wait.
But I'll have another toy to ease the waiting. Because I also bought a Philips foodprocessor which also functions as a blender and a juicemaker and it is supposed to be delivered already today! I've been eyeing it for a couple of weeks now and yesterday I just went for it. Maybe because its price tag wasn't so impressive anymore after just buying an iMac.... Check it out here (Oh and I got it a lot cheaper than it is selled for on this website... Yay!)
Isn't it a beauty?
I'll report to you as soon as my new loves arrive!
June 16, 2009
Well, hold on, here is my first recipe. I made these muffins last week and they were an instant hit.
They are not too sweet.
adapted from Epicurious
June 13, 2009
Oh MrBee knows me so well.... It totally made my day.
It was done by a Belgian TV channel as a promotion stunt for a new program to find a new musical star.
June 12, 2009
I am sure Michael Moore uses all kinds of editing tricks and strong rhetorics, but still I was so amazed by what is going on in the States. I feel lucky here in the Netherlands.
I especially liked the things British politician Tony Benn said.
MrBee and I cried, laughed and talked during the movie. I'm just so happy I'm back and able to share these things together.
June 11, 2009
June 9, 2009
Just the other day I asked your advice on writing life lists. You recommended me to be realistic and to be careful with big lofty goals and also to be accepting that my taste, my feelings and thus my goals can change.
After careful consiferation I still think writing a life list could be good for me. If only as an opportunity to contemplate what I really want and to discuss those things, for example with MrBee.
Have a look at the list here!
Your comments did lead me to take some precautions:
* I started with a list of 50 goals
* One of the goals in my list is to keep reviewing the list
I'm just gonna see how it goes. See how I get on. I'll also make a button on the blog somewhere some time soon so it is easily accessible and I'll post about how it's working for me regularly I hope.
Any advice and comments are of course very welcome!
- Learn how to make sushi
- Start a book club
- Ride a limousine
- Go to a ‘blind restaurant’
- Buy ‘real’ art
- Become a mom
- Learn ballroom dancing
- Visit the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee
- Give a really, really great honest toast
- Never show up empty-handed
- Do something romantically cheesy
- Throw a cocktail party
- Always have a bottle of bubbles ready in the fridge and create reasons to celebrate
- Learn how to work with Photoshop properly
- Scuba Dive
- Get married
- Organize digital photos archive
- Print selections of photos and put them in albums
- Document my life
- Say more I love you’s
- Dance more
- Be kind to others
- Make pasta from scratch
- Try sculpting
- Accentuate the positive
- Buy a 1930s house
- Buy stocks
- Have more often fresh flowers in the house
- Bring old clothes to 2nd hand stores
- Show my children the world
- Learn how to sail properly
- Teach my children to be open-minded, tolerant and kind to others
- Open up about what’s really on my mind
- Stop dieting
- Grow roses in my future garden
- Send out postcards and handwritten notes besides birthday cards
- Never be embarrassed when it comes to my health
- Trust my instincts
- Go to a drive in movie
- Keep having date nights with MrBee
- Name my child after my mom
- Buy more organic food
- Truly accept and love my own body
- Get a proper manicure and pedicure
- Learn how to sew
- Talk to MrBee about our dreams and hopes
- Visit Japan
- Learn basic HTML
- Review this list actively
June 7, 2009
On my way back home I passed a boat with tourists enjoying a tour over the canals and then they started taking pictures of me cycling by!
I guess I did look like the prototype Dutch girl: long blond hair, Dutch bike, flowers under my arm, cycling on the bridge over the canal...
June 5, 2009
Remember how I told you MrBee and I went to see Phoenix play before we got together and I was still with someone else?
Well Phoenix just released a new album, their 4th, which hasn't left my CD player since I got it (yes I still buy CDs).
You can imagine how bummed I was when I found out a couple of weeks ago that Phoenix was coming to play in Amsterdam but that the show had already been sold out.
But I put up an ad on marktplaats.nl, which is I think the Dutch version of Craigslist, saying that whoever could sell me two tickets to the Phoenix show was gonna make me a very very very happy girl.
And then on Wednesday night I got a call. Someone offered me his tickets for the normal price. I was so excited! He even sent me the tickets before the money was booked onto his account. I love it when people just trust each other... I love this guy. He made my week.
The show was at a relatively new club in Amsterdam in a building that is going to be torn down in a while. It looked really industrial. Very cool. They had all kinds of art projects going on and we actually saw the Phoenix guys hanging out there before the show. Had to contain myself not to go ask them for an autograph. Or a picture. Or a drumstick (I have a small collection of drum sticks from bands I've been to see. MrBee plays the drums...).
And the show was just awesome. Just awesome. MrBee and I were right in front of the stage and we danced and sang along and just enjoyed the music. MrBee later told me I was just beaming all night long. I probably was...
And our way back home we remembered how different everything was on our first Phoenix concert...
June 3, 2009
MrBee came to pick me up in Lyon and we had a really romantic last weekend there.
Driving back to Holland went really well. Fortunately it wasn´t too hot. I don´t have AC in my car and when I drove back from Geneva a week earlier I felt like I was before a reallyh arm blow dryer all the way. Not very comfortable. When we drove through Belgium we had a really really bad rain storm. Somehow it always rains when MrBee and I drive through Belgium... I wonder what that is....
I am enjoying spending time in our home, I´m getting used to being back. Somehow the idea that I don't have to leave again in a couple of days hasn't really sunk in yet....
Even though it has only been my second day back home, already I've noticed I should be careful not too waste too much time doing nothing, resorting again to the "cheap entertainment" I referred to in my very first blogpost. And although I feel like I deserved a bit of off time, I feel I need to make sure I get into some sort of ¨rythm¨ or routine.
In the next couple of weeks I don´t really have work or classes but I do have tons of stuff to do. I have reports to write before I can graduate. I need to start applying for jobs. We still have a lot of stuff to do around the house. I feel like structure in my days is essential for getting things crossed off my to-do-lists.
Tell me, do you have suggestions on how to make most of your days?
PS The artwork I won in a Blog Giveaway a couple of weeks ago has arrived! It´s tiny but really really pretty. I´ll post about it later when we decided where to put it.
May 27, 2009
May 25, 2009
Yesterday I drove to Geneva. I had to be there today to give a presentation at HQ of the organization that I am working for. But I went a day early because friends of mine live there. I had the best time. We spent the entire day in their garden with view on Lake Geneva and the Alps. It has to be one of the best views in the world.
Best thing about these friends? They sure know how to spoil a girl who loves good food and drinks... We started off early with a pre-lunch aperitive - rose wine and bruschetta. Well that was a first for me. Pre-lunch aperitive? I don't complain. We had a fabulous lunch with white wine. We drank gin-tonics on the pool side. We had dinner with swiss cheeses and salad from their own garden. Have you ever heard of Himalaya salt? They had it. I never expected to say this of salt, but it was delicious. They served espresso accompanied by the meringues I had brought from Lyon. We sat outside until well after 1am, playing cards, drinking limoncello. Do I sound like an alcoholic yet?! I must have gained 10 pounds in one day...
I love these people. Not just because their well stocked fridge. They always make me feel so welcome and relaxed. I'm sad that when my internship is over I won't be able to visit them so easily anymore....
Even though I didn't sleep so much last night my presentation at HQ went really well. My supervisor even hinted there would be job opportunities for me in the organization or other international organization...
Couldn't ask for a better start to my last week in Lyon...
May 22, 2009
I just realized I completely forgot posting my weekly dose of positivity. (Which I really need right now because Windows Explorer just crashed on me leading me to lose a nearly-finished blogpost... Argument to buy a Mac?!)
Here we go. this week cheers go to:
* Family. My uncle and aunt are in Lyon for a couple of days on their way to the South of France. Spending time with them yesterday reminded me how amazing it is to have loving family and how strong family ties are. They won't "break up" with me and while that may cause panic attacks in some people, I find it very comforting.
* Cute couples videos. I saw this on A Cup of Jo. I've found it on a number of other blogs since then as well, but I couldn't resits posting. Guaranteed smiles. And can you believe the awesomeness of their wedding guests?!
This other cute video Amelie-style was posted over at rockstar diaries.
* Having a boyfriend who has been so incredibly supportive both times I went abroad for a long period but who also tells me now he would like me to stay in the Netherlands from now on.. (I'm sorry I have been gushing about MrBee so much lately. You must be quite curious about him by now.... I promise to limit my MrBee-gushing as soon as we are reunited. I'm just a little obsessed at the moment. Just bear with me for a week en plus!)
*Blip.fm. Which seems to be a worthy replacement of pandora - which doesn't work anymore in Europe and which I have been missing terribly - and last.fm - which I never really liked. If you are on blip.fm as well, come and find me and check out my DJing superstylin'. Username is MsBee!
* Writing my cheer posts. I've found writing these posts make me feel so lucky and happy! I can recommend it!I hope you're all having a wonderful day as well! xo Bee
May 21, 2009
I met Mr Bee in a record store.
We talked about music.
I bought many CDs.
He gave me discounts.
We went for a drink.
We talked and laughed and talked.
We kept on talking until we had been kicked out of three bars who closed before we were ready to say goodbye.
Small complication. I had a boyfriend.
We saw each other as much as we could.
I introduced him to my friends. We all danced together in one of my favorite clubs.
We laughed and talked.
I told him things not many people know.
We went to a concert together. The concert of Phoenix.
It was amazing.
I wanted him so bad.
It was electric.
Phoenix quickly became one of my favorite bands.
We stayed out until 7 in the morning. I didn't want to say goodbye.
We bought tickets to go see Air play.
I had to break up with my boyfriend. I was in love. With MrBee.
By the time that Air concert came around, MrBee held me. We had been together for a month.
Today MrBee and I celebrate our 5 year anniversary.
Well we have to celebrate it separately, with me here in France and him being at home in the Netherlands.
I'm sure we'll make up for it when we see each other again (in 8 days!!!! wooooot!)
I can't wait for the next five years....
May 20, 2009
(As you can see Lyon has its own tiny "Eifel Tower")
May 19, 2009
May 18, 2009
I'll tell you more about it in later posts.
May 15, 2009
Last weekend my dad and my brother were visiting and we had the perfect French day on Saturday.
We had breakfast with Pain au Chocolate
We drove into the beautiful French country side of the Beaujolais with many vinyards, hills and forests
We visited medieval villages, churches and boroughs
We had really really incredible macarons (mine was raspberry-pistachio, with poppy seed)
The sun was shining all day
We had baguettes for lunch
We did some vin degustation in the afternoon and of course made a little purchase too
We had dinner at a very cute little Italian restaurant.
... Ok so that's not typically French. But it was the perfect ending to a glorious day!