I got the sweetest little book from my work the other day. It is an etiquette book based on the wisdom of the Winnie the Pooh characters. At first I thought it was a children’s book, but upon flipping through the pages I realized that it is actually full of some very valuable advice. A few quotes struck a particular chord in my heart, and really resonated with me. Whether for humorous or serious reasons, I think there are some very valuable messages. Below is a couple of my favourite passages.
The Netherlands is currently enjoying a burst of warm weather. Im sure this will be short lived, so I have been doing my best to get outside as much as possible. Today, my dad, stepmom and I took the loveliest bike ride through an old village along the Amstel river. The village we visited is called Ouderkerk, and it has homes that date back to the 17th century. It might be one of my favourite spots in Holland. It is echt gezellig – a common Dutch term, which is not easily translated, but can mean something like cozy, beautiful and charming. From there, we continued along the Amstel until we stumbled upon a pumpkin farm! The woman who owned it was giving out samples of fresh pumpkin soup, so we had to stop. Not only was the soup amazing, but we took home some little pumpkins so we could experiment with our own recipes. Today was perfect. Family, food and adventure.
I met so many wonderful people during my studies. I was truly blessed to have met one of my best friends, Michele. We went through the ups and downs of the International Relations program together, travelled throughout Italy, and spent many nights drinking wine and laughing about ridiculous things. He graduated just a few days before me, so he came to Amsterdam and stayed with me for a bit. This also meant that he was there for my graduation ceremony, which made it extra special 🙂 Being surrounded by my friends and family during my Masters degree ceremony was more than I could ask for. I finally feel like I have come to an end with my journey in Amsterdam. I am already filled with sadness at the thought of leaving this city and the wonderful people I have met. I truly don’t believe that it will be the end of my experience in Europe. I have just over a week left in Amsterdam, and I feel the days speeding by. Saying goodbye will break my heart, but I have to believe that better things are in my future. Who knows where the world will take me! Im going out with an open mind, and an open heart.
Hidden within the Amsterdamse Bos, is what I personally believe to be the best pancake restaurant in Amsterdam. The restaurant is called Boerderij Meerzicht. They have a pretty big variety of both sweet and savoury pancakes. The ingredients are very simplified, usually no more than three toppings per pancake. However, don’t mistake the limited toppings for a lack of flavour, these pancakes are perfection. I always go for the savoury style, and I order ham, cheese and pineapple. The cheese is very crispy, making a nice crust on the outside, and the inside is still fluffy and evenly cooked. Seriously, these guys have the art of pancake making down to a tee. Most of the restaurant seating is outside, since its a great place to visit during the warmer months. While dining outdoors you have the added benefit of a peacock farm that is adjacent to the restaurant, and they just stroll around the grounds while you are eating. Be careful though, they are sometimes hunting for scraps and can get quite friendly with your plate. Amsterdamse Bos is one of my favourite parks. If you are visiting, do yourself a favour and rent a bike and explore the park. It is a truly remarkable place. And really, there is no better way to end a nice bike ride than some fresh pancakes 😉
” I tried to beat the devil too many times. Im in love and she is tragic magic.”
Thank goodness for YouTube. I swear, if it wasn’t for all of the good hair tutorials that are posted I would have NO idea what to do with myself. I recently scanned through some videos on doing a braided crown and realized that it is actually super easy! I was able to complete the look on my first try, which is not something I can say about most hairstyle attempts. I used this Video in order to get the perfect crown. I found her video really straight forward and easy to follow along with. I love the bohemian vibe that comes off with this hairstyle. It always reminds me of fairytales. Check out her video if you want an explanation of how to achieve this style!
Emotional stress can be a real killer. Its very easy to let it take over your life, and become entirely consumed by negative feelings. I find myself particularly vulnerable to emotional stress. So, when I start feeling down, I try to be proactive about the situation. One of the ways that I combat incoming stress is with baking. The healing powers of baking are not to be scoffed at. Not only does it force you to focus, which distracts you away from your problems, but it also leaves you with a sweet treat to indulge in that is sure to put a smile on your face. Make sure you don’t embark on something too difficult. Make some cookies, or rice krispy squares, or chocolate covered pretzels or marshmallows. Just something easy to give your mind a rest from whatever problems you might be having. It is some fantastic therapy, and it doesn’t cost very much 🙂 Next time you feel blue, take out some chocolate and start whipping up something fantastic. Sometimes, you just need to bake the stress out of your life!
I used to do yoga fairly often. However, once I moved to Amsterdam I had to scrap yoga from the budget. I still like to challenge myself with new poses. So, I creep the yogi’s on Instagram and get some inspiration for moves I can learn. I am pretty strong, so I like to try out all of the arm balance poses. Also, I am constantly working on the flexibility in my back, so I also gravitate towards the hollow back poses. Recently, I saw a cool hollow back position on Insta that I thought I would give a try. Its basically a traditional hollow back, but you cross your leg over top of your other one and it adds extra pressure allowing you to go deeper into the pose. After a few tries I could definitely feel myself getting a deeper stretch. I need to make a more conscious effort to practice yoga. I have lost most of my flexibility, and I would like to work on getting it back. Hopefully I can start adding some late night yoga sessions into my routine before bed!
Yesterday, Vogue hosted their third edition of Fashion Night Out In Amsterdam. Four different shopping districts in the city came alive with photo sessions, champagne, music, and of course, exclusive product features. Unfortunately, my friend that joined me for the event was bike less, and the streets are pretty spread out around the city, not too walking friendly. So, we ended up staying in the Bijenkorf, The Netherlands largest upscale department store. Luckily, the Bijenkorf was jam packed with different things to check out. Most stores were featuring some sort of photo both session. There were servers walking around handing out snacks and champagne, and all different types of models strolling around the store dressed up in costumes. Of course, it was a strictly window shopping session, but it was nice to see whats coming out for fall/winter. I ended up with some cream samples from Kiehls, and a couple perfume samples from Hermes. Nothing too special, but you can’t complain about anything free. It was really nice to walk around and see so many people dressed up in Amsterdam’s normally super casual atmosphere. I wish I had gotten to see more, but I still had a great night! It was the perfect way to roll in the weekend.