Paris, someday is TODAY!

I’ve never been to Paris. I know… I’ve travelled to Europe numerous times before ‘settling’ down, and during the last five years I’ve been living in Europe, I’ve never been to Paris.

I’ve always avoided going to Paris because I worried about not having enough time and money to go, see, do, eat everything. And if I don’t have a good experience, then the pristine image of the French capital would be forever ruined for me… I don’t want that!

Well, I’m going to Paris for work, so now I have to go.

I’m going to Paris, not

but really today!

Thursday and Friday will be for work. Then I have the weekend off for myself and my boyfriend. I think I’ve done enough homework for this trip. I’ve taken notes from the pages of my Eyewitness Paris Top 10, I’ve interviewed 3 different friends who have lived in Paris for insider tips, I’ve quickly reviewed how to conjugate verbs in my Easy French Grammar handbook, and I’ve watched Midnight in Paris and Paris Je t’aime respectively 3 times.

I think I’m prepared. I’m feeling both nervous and excited. Will return after the weekend and looking forward to sharing my Parisian adventures!

Au-revoir!

Thanksgiving Bliss in The Netherlands with Easy Turkey Recipe

First of, Happy Thanksgiving to all Canadians home and abroad!  Although this year is my fifth Thanksgiving away from home and I am very thankful that I still had a proper poultry feast with my second family this weekend.  Actually, three years ago I introduced the Thanksgiving dinner to my boyfriend’s family and they loved it so much it is properly a thing now.  So every October, we have an event called kalkoen (which is Dutch for turkey), not Thanksgiving, just turkey… haha.

Anyway, in The Netherlands usually you would only come across turkey in the sandwich meat section in the supermarket, and if you want a proper full turkey for roasting you have to pre-order it at the special poultry shop.  Before cooking for my in-laws I’ve never roasted a turkey before, so you can imagine the pressure… but I followed the can-do attitude and I’m definitely thankful that I have found a

super easy, manageable recipe that comes with smashing results 🙂   !!!

I found this recipe on the internet a few years back and again I am super thankful that I have scribbled it down (because it doesn’t come up in my google results anymore even with the search terms from the recipe?!).  What I love about this recipe is that it has

no complicated steps and the turkey really does not dry out.

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Spice up your life!

You really cannot deny summer is over when you have the official mandate for fall – Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spiced Lattes are back in season.  I’ve been living in The Netherlands for the last 3 years and I’m pretty sure they did not have Pumpkin Spiced Lattes until this year, so I was naturally thrilled and raving about my favourite autumn drink to my colleagues.  I guess my colleagues do listen to my half nonsense after all, because I got this in the email today:

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How sweet!  Well, maybe some of these recipes are actually too sweet.  I’d like to perhaps substitute the whole milk with soy milk or even coconut milk… cut down the amount of chocolate.  But I guess there’s no point in watching your weight until after the Thanksgiving dinner right?  Anyway,  I hope you like this & enjoy!

Confessions #1a of an Expat

A few nights ago I was catching up with an old childhood friend.  Facebook has kept us somewhat in the loop about each other’s lives but we really have not had a proper chat since 2006 (that’s 9 years ago!).  My friend Crystal told me about expat life as an accountant in the US, and I told her about my expat life working as an academic the Netherlands.  And while sharing stories with Crystal, I realized that it has definitely been a journey with ups-and-downs since moving abroad 5 years ago.  So today I share a few personal confessions about the things I found, and to some degree still find challenging, about being an expat in the Netherlands.

The beautiful city of Utrecht, where I have been living for the last 3 years.

The beautiful city of Utrecht, where I have been living for the last 3 years.

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S is for Succulents & Sunday

Hello lovelies, Happy Monday!  What did you get up to this weekend?  I visited the garden center, came home and made a proper mess on my dinning table.  You like the end product?!

I think my little DIY succulent terrariums are looking pretty cute.  They are not “floating” just yet… still have to buy some twine to hang them.  Stay tuned for tips on how to make them & more photos of all the different designs I made from my green finger outburst!

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Easy Serrano Ham and Melon Salad

A bit ironic, but being lazy is sometimes actually lead to being productive. After getting off work on Monday, I went straight to the supermarket without a clue of what to buy for dinner, and simply asked myself what I can make that requires absolutely no effort. I was at the sandwich meat section at the time and I spotted Serrano ham.  I remember the last time I had Serrano ham it was with honeydew melon as an appetizer.  Bingo!

I quickly grabbed a pack of Serrano ham, a bag of arugula salad, a pack of mixed melon salad on-the-go (already diced, genius!) and some pine nuts.   And there you have it ladies and gentlemen – Melon Serrano Ham Salad.  Prep time – 0 minutes!

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Finding the last crumb in Amsterdam

Want to know where you can spend less than €20 for three sandwiches, and drinks in Amsterdam? Then keep reading 🙂

Every time I have friends or family visiting me in the Netherlands we would spend a day in Amsterdam.  As a good host, besides taking my guests sightseeing I also need to feed them.  Of course, I’m sure anyone would appreciate chips with mayonaise, a slice of pizza or even a raw herring sandwich, but sometimes it just doesn’t hit the spot.  Sometimes you just want to go somewhere where you can have a proper filling lunch that doesn’t charge you tourist prices.  Super lekker (tasty) food with reasonable prices, does such a place exist?  YES!  🙂

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Ladies and gentleman, you are looking at the window display of De Laatste Kruimel (literally translates to “The Last Crumb”) in the city center of Amsterdam.  I mean, just look at all the cakes, pies, and pastries!  Wait, there’s more!

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Espresso Cup Terrariums

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Hello lovelies, I’m finally home after a week in sunny Cyprus where I’ve soaked up a full year’s worth of Vitamin D.  Before my trip I bought a few different baby succulents and today I finally have time to pot them.  Everyone is raving about succulents these days because they are very low-maintenance and easy to look after.  I travel quite a lot and succulents are just perfect since they do not require frequent watering.  Finally, plants that I won’t kill 😉

The expresso cups make a perfect-sized home for my plant babies.  See more pictures and simple instructions after the cut. Continue reading

Travel brings power and love back into your life – Rumi

Johnston Canyon in Calgary, Canada [taken in November 2014]

Greetings from sunny Limassol, Cyprus!

I'm getting my year's worth of Vitamin D in Limossol, Cyprus.

I’m getting my year’s worth of Vitamin D here.

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