May 27, 2009


Hello my dears - I just wanted to let you know I'm gonna lay low for a couple of days since I have to wrap up my internship which ends this Friday and then MrBee is coming to Lyon so I'll be much too busy to write something that might actually be mildly interesting for you. Next week I'll be back full force though because by then I have returned to my natural habitat back home!!!! Can't wait! xo

May 25, 2009

Pretty freaking awesome

Boy oh boy did I have a good weekend...

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

End-of-the-week cheers

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.

* Contests and giveaways. I cannot believe my luck lately. After winning the art giveaway over at The English Muse last week, I won 1000 euros this week! I can't wait to see what next week brings....

* 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!)

* Which seems to be a worthy replacement of pandora - which doesn't work anymore in Europe and which I have been missing terribly - and - which I never really liked. If you are on 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

Ok. They're pretty cute too...


Guess who Phoenix singer Thomas Mars' girlfriend is...
It's Sofia Coppola.
They have a daughter called Romy together.


Aren't they the cutest couple ever.

Almost as cute as MrBee and I....

Ready for the next 5

Just a little over five years ago...

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.

(This is easily one of the sweetest videos of all time)

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

Light up light up

On the 8th of December 1862 a statue of the Virgin Mary was erected in Lyon as a way to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for having kept the plague out of the city gates. To honor the event, the people of Lyon put candles in their windows for the first time to honor the new statue of the Virgin Mary. It became an annual tradition.

This tradition has been extended into an annual festival in December, Fete des Lumieres, and appearantly during that three day festival the city is like a fairytale with candles, illumniated buildings, fireworks and light signals.

Unfortunately I wasn't here yet in December (well, I was in South America then, so that's hardly unfortunate...) but it turns out that the city has cool light projects year round.

The most important buildings and bridges are illuminated at night in various colors. It is really quite cool....

(As you can see Lyon has its own tiny "Eifel Tower")

May 19, 2009

Good day sunshine!

This morning I had to give a presentation for about 60 people and my supervisor wanted all kinds of last-minute alterations so I had to stay at work till 10 yesterday evening and got up at 6 this morning.....

(After a very horrible night of sleep. A mosquito from hell paid me a visit.)

But the presentation went really well and everyone was happy. I am now more confident about being able to complete this internship successfully. Yay!

My supervisor just came to bring me some orangette, chocolate covered strings of orange. He is a good man.

It is a good day.

I just received a phone call. Months ago I entered a career game for students who are about to graduate. Even though I was through to the third round, I could not compete for the title "best graduate" because I was abroad. But now they called me to tell me my name came out of the lottery for a 1000 euro extra prize, which is really really cool (1000EU is roughly $1360 or 880GBP). That really came as a surprise! It's just weird to be here by myself at work without really being able to share the news with anyone. But I'm happy I can share it with you.

Hello MrMac. Nice to meet you.

I think that MrMac would be a great destination for my prize money.... After some of you recommended getting a Mac I have been thinking about buying one.....

Or do you have a really good suggestion? A trip? More dresses?

What would you do with a suprise prize like this?

May 18, 2009

Dress up!

Look at this cute dress.
I got it at Promod this weekend.
I am always drawn to dresses when I go shopping. It's so much more fun than shopping for basics. I hate having to spend money on boring shirts, tops and socks. As a result I own A Lot Of dresses (I'm guessing more than 30 - is that really really bad?) while I can never find two matching socks in my drawer...
Anyone else have that problem? And the solution?
I had a wonderful weekend with my friends.

I'll tell you more about it in later posts.

May 15, 2009

I admit: La France can be quite douce

After yesterday's Bee-is-miserable-abroad-post, I thought I'd share some of the benefits of living in France.

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!

May 14, 2009

From Boo to Boost

I am really grateful that Joanna over at A Cup of Jo posted about this website with very very very awkward family photo's. Because the pictures on this website have been giving me laughing fits for two days already now.

Go check it out.

It's hysterical.
I just wonder where they get these pictures from. Who would send in such pictures??

Pictures from Awkwardfamilyphotos


I don't feel very positive today.
I feel the need to hand out some boo's.

Free use of Pandora is restricted to the US. It has been already for a long time and I had moved on but right now I just really need to listen to a good mix of music and just told me I finished my trial period and Pandora was always so much better and AAH..

I'm just so frustrated with being here in Lyon in my crappy appartment without my friends, without MrBee. MrBee and I just moved in together a month before I started my internship and our house is so lovely and I feel like I am in a cocoon here, like life passes me by. I am lonely. Is that overly dramatic?

I read all these great blog posts about making your own notepads, sewing and great cooking and baking. I do some very basic baking here to feed my (very Dutch) egg cakes addiction (which I will post on later), but anything more challenging is virtually impossible. The kitchen in my crappy French appartment only contains about three knives and a whisk. Also, cooking is so much more fun when you can share. I'm inspired to try all these things but I get so frustrated because I can't here. I am making lists of things I wanna try and do as soon as I get home and I am so impatient and I just want this internship to be OVER. I've been abroad for pretty long periods of time before, but this time I'm not so excited about it as previous times...

I guess you could say I'm homesick.

May 13, 2009

I heart Regina

Thought I would just spend another post on my love for Regina Spektor.

I love Regina Spektor
But I am also a total groupie of John Lennon.

I love the Regina version of Real Love by John Lennon. I think it's magical.

Also, don't you just love this video by Ben Folds featuring Regina? It's an unofficial vid but I think it's fun and the song is just great.

Midweek cheers: tag & art

image from etsy/sascalia

I was tagged by the lovely Michelle from ohmishka to name six things that mae me happy today so I thought that coincided nicely with my midweek cheers.

*My growing blog: I’ve received a blog award, I’ve been tagged and visitor numbers are going up every day. Sooo cool
*My killer heels. I wasn’t feeling all too happy this morning but strutting down the streets in these babies on my way to work gave me the boost I needed
*Regina Spektor. I’ve been listening to her Begin to Hope album a lot again lately and she is glorious!
* Thinking of my two friends visiting Lyon next weekend
* The feedback my supervisor gave me for the first draft of the presentation I am giving next week
* I won an art giveaway at The English Muse! This news totally made my day. Check this out! I can't wait to see what the piece looks like in my living room. It's gonna be awesome!

I am tagging the following six lovely ladies to name six things that made them happy today: Kle Helen, Giselle, Olivia, Money Funk and that unreliable girl.
Have a great day!

May 12, 2009


I am SO annoyed with Blogger because it doesn't do what I want (add some hard returns to last post)


May 11, 2009


Image from etsy/VROOOOOM

I am contemplating writing a life list. I sorta feel the need to. I guess it fits in with my whole content living thing.
Let's write a list with pro's and cons...

* Writing a life list will make me think about what I really want
* It will make it easier to reach goals and make the most of my life
* Writing lists is fun!

* Since I am pretty competitive, making goals into a list has the risk of adding too much pressure to the whole thing, if you know what I mean...
* Making it into a list with goals might also take the fun and spontaneity out of it
Maybe these two things are sort of the same. I don't know...
I have been reading this article which was pretty useful.
But there are also some practical difficulties.
* Should it only include long term goals or also more practical short term goals?
* How long should it be?
* Should it be definite or can it be continuosly evolving?
What are your thoughts on this?
Does anyone of you have experience with writing life lists?

A bite of cheek

I have returned to normal life after finishing Twilight in a single day. Let me be clear about this: it's not a "good" book. But it is very addictive. Very entertaining. I can't wait to read the sequels.

I have to tell you about this really weird thing that happened to me while reading Twilight on the street though. This guy came up to me. He was maybe 45 years old, had a ponytail and was eating pistachio nuts.

- start -

Guy: Bonjour blablablabalabllaa

Bee: Parlez-vous Anglais?

Guy: Yessss... I was just saying you have beautiful eehh... cheeks! Cheeks! One like a tomate.. ehh a tomato... the other like a flower...

Bee: ????

Guy: Yesss... beautiful... where are you from?

Bee: Holland

Guy: Ah beautiful. I know Rotterdam. And Amsterdam. You know my friend told me I should act on my instinct and so I thought this girl has nice cheeks and I thought I must tell her!

Bee: Right

Guy: I am a poet. [Breaks out into French poetry rants] Would you like some pistachio nuts?

Bee: No thanks, I should go

Guy: I go to movies a lot. I get tickets because I am a poet. [Some more French poetry rants] Do you want my phone number so we can go to the cinema?

Bee: I don't think that's such a great idea, but thanks

Guy: Or my email?

Bee: No that's ok. I really have to go. Bye!

Guy: You know in French it is normal to give kisses on the cheek. But with you I would like to do something different.

Bee: ??

Guy: You know Transylvania? You know Dracula? Because you have cheeks like tomatoes and flowers, I would like to bite your cheeks. Let's do that.

Bente: ?!?!?!? No.

Guy: Oh but I am not crazy. I am not weird. It is not just because I want to bite your cheeks. But it rhymes with the poem I write about meeting you. [Another couple of lines of French poetry]. Only if I bite your cheeks it will rhyme. So can I?

Bee: ?!?! No!

Guy: Oooooh... Really? No bite? [Sees my face] Oh but then next time we meet, if destiny allows us, if fate allows us, then next time I can bite your cheeks right? [while grabbing my hand]

Bee: Um. I don't think so. Byeeeeeeeeee!

- end scene -


Well he sure wasn't the vampire boyfriend I was longing for while reading the book. Pff.
I'll stick with MrBee.

May 10, 2009


Lovely miss Kle from the great blog accidentally, kle has awarded me with my very first blog award. I feel so honored! Thanks so much Kle!

I just did a bit of a Google search on this award and found different requirements all over. But many Bloggers mention having to list a number of things that make them happy. And hey, I'm all for the lists.

7 Things that make me happy in no particular order:

1. Fresh flowers. They brighten up a room and make a perfect gift.
2. Dresses. I have many many dresses. You could say I have too many dresses. I love dresses. Wearing dresses makes me happy.
3. Dipping cookies (preferably homemade of course) in my tea.
4. Music. I'm a music freak. MrBee used to work in a record store, has a degree in audio engineering, likes to DJ and has about 4000 CDs. So I don't really have a choice... We go to concerts and festivals and we love browsing through CDs and vinyl at stores and fleamarkets together. Yes, I STILL BUY CDs.
5. Food & Wine & Friends. Hands down best combo in the world.
6. Doing the MC Hammer dance. I'm serious. If you ever feel down, put on the CD (OK, I confess I have the MC Hammer Greatest Hits CD but I swear it was the result of a bet and I only ever play the first two tracks!) and dance and you'll feel better instantly!
7. Board and card games. Yes I am a nerd. A highly competitive nerd that is.

Also, I would like to pass this award on to a couple of my favorite bloggers. I'm pretty sure they all must've had an award or two before, but I can't help it, they are my faves.
7 Blogs I love:

- Rachel at Heart of Light writes one of my favorite blogs. She's crafty, she shares great recipes AND she takes beautiful pictures.
- Melanie at You Are My Fave is funny, has six sisters and posts oh so many lovely things.
- Olivia at Everyday Musings has a very witty style and works in a cup cake bakery.
- Helen at The Museum Cupboard is original and sweet.
- Meg is amazing and writes an honest blog that I love. And I LOVE the picture of her mom in the header.
- My dear friend Megan at Saverqueen writes a blog on frugality. She's incredibly smart and her posts are always very insightful.
- Layers of Meaning is a lovely blog with great etsy finds, design ideas and the wonderful Through Her Eyes series.

So there you go. It doesn't really get any better so check 'em out!

May 8, 2009

Bike Love

As a Dutchie, I am very used to cycling. To me a bike is the perfect way of transport: it’s flexible, quick and it gives me at least some daily exercise. But then flat Dutchland is perfect for it. We take our bikes everywhere. (I found this website of an American commenting on Dutch bike customs. It's pretty funny - but also pretty ignorant...)

Abroad it is usually a bit more challenging to ride a bike through busy cities; challenges being hills and motorists that are not used to cyclists and therefore try to run you over more frequently.

When I was in Geneva for the first part of my internship, biking was not really an option for, Geneva being a town in between the Jura mountains and the Alps. I HATE cycling uphill. So I used my car to drive around town and from work to my house. Better than public transport in this case, but it was far from perfect: heavy traffic during rush hour, problematic parking and f course environmentally unfriendly. The only really good thing is being able to sing along very loudly to my iPod. (Although they probably do saw me passionately mouthing the words…). That would be slightly less comfortable in a packed bus.

But here in Lyon they have a really cool system. They have ‘stations’ with bikes, electronically locked, on 250 places around the city, which basically means on every other street corner. After you’ve subscribed to this system – which is ridiculously cheap – you can unlock a bike at any station and return it again to any other station. And the bikes are generally quite good: they have working lights and cute little baskets for your coat/purse/shopping bags.

However, even though you see quite a few people riding these (and other bikes) around town, most Lyonese drivers are not yet entirely used to them. So I’ve found it’s safest to cycle over the tram tracks. Mind you, you have to use the tracks of the tram coming from the opposite tracks from you. You don’t want to be surprised by a tram ambushing you from behind…

So now this Dutchie gets to bike again! I love it. It makes me miss my own bike a little less….

I love my bike.

May 7, 2009


Ok so I finished reading The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. An entertaining book. Lots of mystery, bits of romance... It's a good read, but not incredibly special I felt. If you're looking for a nice book to entertain you, sure read it. If you're looking for something to turn your world upside down, this is not your book.

Still I finished the last bit of the book incredibly fast. Not because I was so curious to find out how the mystery would unravel, but because my friend had brought a copy of Twilight by Stephanie Meyer with her for me.

Somehow I completely missed the whole Twilight mania. I know I know... it's a whole series and they're making movies of it and millions of kids are dedicated fans and everything. I know now. But I didn't know anything about Twilight until my friend told me she had read all the books in the series so far and that she was embarassed to admit that she loved them all.

And I trust her opinion.

I knew it was sort of a teenager romance book and far from the most intelligent read around, but also that I was going to love it.

And I do.

After finishing The Forgotten Garden in a hurry I dived straight into Twilight. And I'm hooked.

I read while having breakfast. I decided to walk to work today so I could run into streetlights. No. So I could read. And accidentally run into streetlights and other obstacles along the way. I find it hard to focus on work. I just want to finish the book!

Anyone else read the book?

By the way, this morning walking down the street, I passed by two elderly French men, discussing politics (I think... les allemagnes blablabalabla) while both having a baguette clutched under their arms.

I wish I had a camera with me.

But then again I'm not sure what they would think of me if I asked them whether I could take their picture...

May 6, 2009

Midweek cheers: shoes and mail

This week my cheers go to:
  • My cute new shoes! All three pairs!

  • Only having another 3,5 weeks to go at my internship in France! Then MrBee is coming to France to reclaim me. He's coming by train and then we'll be driving back to Holland together in my car. After a romantic weekend in Lyon of course... I'm so looking forward to being back home again.

  • Mail. The non-electronic kind. It's just awesome to receive handwritten postcards, letters, notes. I love the stamps, the handwriting, the excitement to find something in the mailbox, thinking of the trip that envelope must have made before it reached its destination... So that's why I am sending out a couple of cards myself today, knowing the receivers will appreciate it just as much as I do. And then karma will do the rest right?

Shopping carte blanche?

For two weekends in a row I had girlfriends staying with me in Lyon.
That means drinking wine out in the sun.

Eating crepes. (They tasted better than they looked).

But it also meant serious shopping.

My friends felt like they were on vacation and therefore had no reservations on spending and I.. well I didn’t want to spoil the fun.

So I bought a couple of things. Just to join in.

Some things I truly truly love.
Like these shoes. Aren’t these the cutest??

I thought they were so cute, I bought them in three colors.

(You can see I already started wearing the blue ones...)

I think that purchase is totally legit: they were really really cheap, just looking at them makes me smile and I wear ballerina flats all the time. All. the. time. So no regrets here.

But I also got two tops at NAF NAF which were sort of cool and on sale. Which is of course a big plus. But after I tried them on a couple of times at home, I wasn’t too sure anymore. They weren’t very flattering and I didn’t feel comfortable in them, which is usually a sign for me I won’t be wearing them much. And already my closet is too full with items I rarely wear. (I'm in desperate need of a major closet clean out). So I decided to take those back.

When I got to the store yesterday, it turned out I was too late to return them. Because they were sale items, I apparently had only 8 days to return them.

The girls at the store were so nice and felt really bad for me. They told me the computer wouldn’t let them take it back. I couldn’t understand everything they said in French and I think they were sorry for me, as a foreigner, not understanding it, confused…

In the end they graciously offered to take back the clothes and let me shop for the worth of those clothes. I didn’t know whether I should feel disappointed about not getting my money back or thrilled about having a shopping carte blanche, financed by myself.

Anyway, in the end I was really content because I got two rather basic pieces that I know I will wear a lot which is so much better than having to keep the other two pieces that would definitely have ended up somewhere in the back of my closet. And the girls at the shop were so sweet, I left the store a happy customer...

Creature Comforts Giveaway

Just wanted to let you guys know Creature Comforts is doing a really nice Annie and Imogene giveaway. Wouldn't this necklace be great to jazz up a simple outfit?

May 5, 2009

4th and 5th of May

On the 4th of May the Dutch commemorate all those that have suffered and died in wartime since World War II. Jews, soldiers defending the Dutch borders, communists, soldiers in the allied forces, civilians who died in air raids, people who tried to help others, people who resisted, people who died of hunger and cold, but also those who participated in peacekeeping missions in Bosnia, in Africa…

It is tradition that at eight o’clock at night everyone is silent for two minutes. Everyone is. Public transport stops, cars halt at the side of the road, all TV stations are silent, streets are empty and flags are half mast. Everyone takes two minutes to pay tribute to all those lost. People gather at war monuments. The largest gathering is at the national monument at the Dam square in Amsterdam, which is also attended by the Royal family. After two minutes the flags are hoisted again to the national anthem.

(If you’re interested, watch the video in the link here. The guy giving the speech in the end is the Mayor of Amsterdam, he is thanking the Queen for being there this year especially, since there was an attack on her and the Royal Family only last Thursday, on Queensday (see link). Some maniac drove through the crowd, killing 6 people on the way, trying to ram the bus with the Royal family.)

When I was a little I would think of Anne Frank for two minutes. For me, she was the symbol of all that suffered in that time. My mom had taken me to the house where Anne Frank was hiding during the war when I was maybe only 10 and that together with reading her diary really had a huge impact on me.

Even now, being abroad, I take two minutes to think about the cruelties that happened then and to remember those whose fight and resistance make that I live in a free country now. I am grateful for that.

I think it is beautiful when people come together to do something good, the way I feel all Dutch come together on the 4th of May. I feel the same – although it is something completely different – when an ambulance with sirens on comes hurrying down the road and all cars make way. There is a silent code that that’s what you do in a situation like that, because that helps others, because it’s good, so we all do it. I think it’s so cool.

On the fifth of May the Dutch come together again. We come together to celebrate our liberation in 1945 by the Canadians, English and Americans and we celebrate our freedom today. And that’s done a little differently: no silence, but a lot of music. Festivals are organized all around the country and we celebrate, sing, dance and drink beer to celebrate our freedom.

(the banner reads "celebrate freedom", photo from

(I know this has been my second sort of war post on this blog, which is not something I specifically want for this blog (I really wanted to do something a lot more lighthearted), I guess I am just more aware of stuff like this being abroad and writing this blog... But I'll be more cheerful in my next posts.)

May 4, 2009

Laptop love

My old Dell laptop is really really finished. It has lost a couple of buttons. The screen is almost detached from the bottom. It won't recognize my external hard disk. It's over....

Female (25), slightly impatient and demanding, looking for new laptop love; has to be powerful and versatile.

Any suggestions? Should I go for Mac or not? What brands are good, which aren’t? HELP!

May 1, 2009

Enjoy the weekend

"An optimist is the human personification of spring"

Susan J. Bissonette

Have a good weekend!
I'll be enjoying sunny Lyon and surrounding with my visiting friend this weekend so I'll check in again on Monday