Happy Spring! The earth laughs in flowers!

Since it’s the first day of spring today, I thought it’d be the perfect occasion to have a blog post with tons of flower photos.  Last Easter my mum came to visit me in The Netherlands and Keukenhof was on the top of the places-to-visit list.

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Keukenhof basically translates to kitchen (keuken) and “garden” (hof), and in 15C it used to be countess Jacoba van Beiren’s garden for growing herbs, while her nearby castle was used as a hunt lodge.  Today Keukenhof is a grand flower exhibition full of tulips, hyacinths and narcissi, etc.  Just imagine flower galore.

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You might be thinking that it’s bit touristy to visit a tulip garden in Holland, but being there twice myself I must say I really enjoyed it both times.  The first time I was there I visited as a tourist and I was just so blown away – Picture-perfect Holland with windmills overlooking stretches of colourful flower fields in full bloom.  Indeed, I loved it as a tourist.  The second time I was there I was more of a local expat, still loved it.  But this time besides enjoying the sheer beauty of the flowers, what I enjoyed even more was the variety.  Young tourist-me just found all the flowers beautiful, but “seasoned” local expat me realized that some of the tulips were “artisan” tulips that were quite rare and were not everyday tulips that you’d come across at the local supermarket or Saturday flower market.

More photos below the cut.

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It’s not a Sunday until you waste it completely then start feeling really sad around 8pm

Well, thank goodness we changed the clocks this weekend to go back an hour so now it’s actually only 7pm.  I took these photos in my neighbourhood just 2 weekends ago, and already there’s a quite a change… the trees are pretty much naked now!

It’s been very busy since I came back from Paris last weekend, and this week I’m going to Marrakech!  Lots of exciting things going on, and I hope to sort out all my pictures asap, so do check back for updates!

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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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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