Blossoming beauties

Sometimes you need to stop and smell the cherry blossoms. Amsterdam has a fairly large Japanese Diaspora. In 2000, the Japanese Womens Club donated 400 cherry blossom trees to the city of Amstelveen. Half of the trees were named after Japanese women, and the other half was given Dutch women’s names. A portion of these trees make up the large garden in Amsterdamse Bos. I went with my family to go visit the garden this weekend, and unfortunately we had caught the tail end of the cherry blossoms blooming. Cherry blossoms have an incredibly short season, so by the time we visited, they were already white and on the end of their life. But alas, it was nonetheless beautiful. Amsterdam hasn’t really experienced any sort of winter this year, so the blossoms came out much earlier than normal. Usually, the blossoms only begin to start coming out around this time. If you are ever in Amsterdam during March or April, I would recommend heading over to Amsterdamse Bos to enjoy the trees, it is an experience you won’t regret!Ā ImageImage

 

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Chocolate and Coconut

Im not sure why, but I used to loathe coconut. The second it was in any dessert, I immediately shunned it. I guess its true what they say about your taste buds changing as you get older, because now I am on team coconut! I have an extreme sweet tooth, and I am constantly craving a treat after I eat. So, I decided to whip up a batch of my healthy banana cookies, and spoil myself with a chocolate topping. I realize adding a tidal wave of chocolate somewhat downgrades the health element of the cookie, but it was necessary šŸ™‚ I have posted the recipe for my healthy banana bites in my blog, so you can go check it out in my older posts. This time, I added in some coconut, that I toasted for extra flavour. After rolling the cookies in chocolate, I also garnished them with some toasted coconut. They turned out fantastic. To be honest, they are closer to mini muffins in texture than they are cookies, but I’m not complaining. My one miscalculation was how much chocolate I should melt for the cookies, I ended up with lots of extra chocolate, and a bit of extra toasted coconut. I knew it would be such a shame to waste, so I got out some pretzels and dipped them in the chocolate and sprinkled them with the remainder of the coconut. Now I have two sweet treats to alternate between. I am a happy girl!

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Fresh mint lemonade

Fresh mint lemonade

As the good weather and sunshine rolls into Amsterdam, as does my desire for a fresh cocktail and a nice patio. Recently, the builders added a really nice backyard to our building. It looks over a small river, and has big wooden benches to sprawl out and enjoy the sun. It only seemed appropriate that I start celebrating the spring season with a big batch of mint lemonade. I started with a simple syrup and then added the fresh mint leaves and fresh lemons to taste. I realize I’m using my coffee bodom as a pitcher, but as a university student I don’t have all the kitchen gadgets I normally use at home. It definitively gets the job done though. On the next sunny day I plan on adding a little gin to the mix, and sitting outside and soaking in the rays. This drink is great with or without alcohol though, super fresh and tasty!

Better than eggspected.

Better than eggspected.

I know, puntastic title, but I couldn’t resist. Whenever I am running low on groceries, I make meals that can easily incorporate all of my leftover ingredients. In this case, I was left with some eggs, mushrooms and broccoli. I decided I would go for something fancier than scrambled eggs with a side of broccoli, and ended up with this pretty frittata. While it isn’t exactly a traditional frittata, it is close enough! I sautĆ©ed my mushrooms, and boiled my broccoli until it was just a little bit soft. I cut the broccoli into little pieces, seasoned it and put a little olive oil and soy sauce on it. After scrambling my eggs with a little garlic and hot sauce, I threw them in the pan over top of the mushrooms. Tossed the broccoli on top, covered the pan, and let it cook. Usually I would let the bottom cook, and then throw it in the oven to finish off the job, but my apartment doesn’t have a stove, so I had to improvise a bit. I ended up with a delicious, healthy, low fat meal. I felt happy and satisfied after, and by after I mean once I had some cookies and nutella for dessert šŸ˜‰ Life is all about balance. For me, that includes a substantial dose of chocolate, at least once a day.

Scandinavian Embassy

Few places sweep me off my feet from the moment that I walk in, but Scandinavian Embassy is most certainly one of them. This restaurant boasts an open design with rustic charm. The perfect place to take someone visiting Amsterdam. It is like a mini vacation to a scandinavian country, without every leaving A’dam. The food is eccentric and delicious; and their coffee is made under the guidance of Nicholas Castagno, an avid Coffee competitor, participating in events such as the World Brewers Cup. I went for a filtered coffee, which is served on a wooden slab with a beautiful carafe, which I paired with a pulled beef sandwich. The coffee was sweet, with a nice aftertaste, and went surprisingly well with the sandwich. The sandwich wasn’t even on the menu, but the chef was happy to make use of the slow cooked brisket from the night before, and served it on top of fresh sourdough bread, red cabbage coleslaw and topped it with some thinly sliced apples and fresh herbs. My friend chose a classic breakfast with a twist, poached egg on top of sourdough bread, accompanied by reindeer sausage. She told me it was equally divine. I would count this as a must visit while in Amsterdam! The staff are wonderful, and are committed to an amazing dining experience. Check it out, you are guaranteed a lovely time.

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Darkness envelo…

Darkness enveloped her body. Seeking sweet reprieve, she gazed into the sky to find the glow of the stars. Yet, her tears did not shine as they fell to the ground. Silent and invisible they ran down her face. For she had given away the moon, and would forever mourn its light.

Menswear Inspo.

Menswear Inspo.

Lately, I’ve been trying to experiment a bit more with my style. Of course I don’t mean with colour, that would be crazy! More so, with trying to restyle the classics. In this case, classic menswear. I absolutely love the blazer that I have on. I got it at BCBG, and I honestly don’t have enough opportunities to wear it. It is so flattering, and I always feel chic when I put it on. It is already a boyfriend style blazer, so I thought I would run with the theme of menswear and take a feminine twist. Overall, I was pretty happy with the look. I felt dapper and sexy at the same time. Im going to keep pushing my fashion limits, I think this is the only way to find my own style. But so far, I’m happy with my style evolution, and I will keep looking for new pieces to add to the mix!

Grey’d out.

Grey'd out.

The weather in Amsterdam has been bliss. With that being said, I definitely did not bring the right outerwear from home. As much as I love my leather jacket, it doesn’t pair with every outfit. I wanted something more casual and comfy to throw on when it gets chilly. Once again, I struck gold in a vintage store. I found this bulky sweater hidden in a pile of jackets, and I knew it was the one. I am such a sucker for the colour grey, and this sweater has all the right tones. It is warm and soft, and is the perfect accompaniment for a more laid back look. I am very happy with my purchase, and I think it will keep me just warm enough in Amsterdam’s pretend winter.

Twice the fun?

Twice the fun?

Can the double side bun make a comeback? I have always been of the mentality that pig tails are fairly weird on adults, yet I have always loved the look of two side buns. I don’t know what it is, but I just think the hairstyle is fun, easy, and cute! I really love changing up my hair, and I am always on the hunt for new styles to work into my repertoire. Adding some nice earrings and the right makeup can really make this hairstyle go from juvenile to chic, at least in my opinion. Maybe I’m totally off base with this one. What do you guys think?