30 September 2012

Meesterlijk 2012

homemade ravioli
Yesterday the mister and I booked our sitter for seven hours and hopped on the train to Amsterdam for Meesterlijk, an annual design/food/craft/fashion festival. Situated in the Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek, it was an ideal excuse to get out for a heathy dose of sunshine, lekker eten, and inspiration.

Sunday Snippets: the week, in retrospect

27 September 2012

(German) Chocolade (Cake) Therapie

German Chocolate Cake
To say I've been feeling a little ill the last few days is a vast understatement. Even my favorite foods have been about as appealing as a pile of wood shavings... or dog vomit, depending on the day.

Apparently, though, chocolate heals all. Last night, I crawled to bed with a cup of fennel tea, unable to believe I'd ever see another day. This morning, I pulled on my rain boots and splashed over to a friend's house to help her with a German chocolate she was making for her birthday celebration in the afternoon. Within minutes of arriving and getting elbow-deep in chocolate, I was cured.

24 September 2012

Brighter Choices

Last Thursday, I shared with you a friend's decorating (or, rather, dyeing) conundrum. After some thought, she was liking the Pebble Beige and the Terracotta Brown best (which were also the two favorites picked out by YOU on various social platforms) but was curious as to how the sofa would look with the rest of the original cream (on the base and arms) nixed.

22 September 2012

DIY: Blackboard Table + Two-Toned Chalk

I've been wanting to make a blackboard and fun-shaped chalk for a while, both for myself to scrawl my endless lists and brainstorming on, and also for the kid to try out. Apparently, it's a bit too early in his development for crayons, or he has a refined taste for tinted wax. Either way, I hypothesized that chalk might be a friendlier medium for little hands (read=I just want a blackboard but feel funny saying it without blaming my child).

21 September 2012

Being Adult, and Fresh Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt

My oven is still gebroken; but instead of despairing and being tempted into another adult temper tantrum, I've chosen to go the soup and ice cream route, or any other culinary path that leads me away from the oven (and subsequently subjecting it to acts of physical violence).

20 September 2012

Bright Choices

Last week, I picked up a giant cardboard box, i.e. a toddler apartment, at another Den Haag mama's house; soon into our chat she revealed that she'd begun to dye her sofa cushions but hit a wall of indecision after tinging the rear cushions a cheery pink. I offered a couple suggestions but felt equally indeterminate. Sitting at home later and feeling grateful for the gifted box, I made her an offer: I'd digitally try out some different color options so she'd have an easier time deciding. 

19 September 2012

Homespun Necessities: Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

hot chocolate
I have a deeply woven desire to know what's in my food, and to make conscious decisions about what I consume. Mass-produced foods have one main purpose: shelf life. And in many parts of the world, kids grow up on products that are 1. made to last in a package, and 2. can be so easily replicated in a more wholesome manner if product longevity is no longer an issue. 

18 September 2012


baby photography
Our little bunny, always growing, growing, growing. Sometimes I am speechless in wonder at this magnificent little boy who blossomed from a baby. This was one of those days.

17 September 2012

Letting Go of the Reins, via Bokeh

One of my favorite regular reads is the ever-talented Sandi Devenny's blog, AdaLou. Being a bit inexperienced with my camera's full functionality, I find her Point & Click series (tutorial guest posts by the lovely Anna Zimmerman) informative, simple, and fun. Her most recent series post on bokeh photography was especially uncomplicated and meditative; it was nice to veer off the path of in-focus, to let go a bit.

16 September 2012

Sunday Snippets: the week, in retrospect

My faithful and weekly series, Sunday Snippets, has been defunct for three months. I was so exhausted by our travels and by recent developments (pun intended) that some days, I didn't even touch my camera, which automatically derailed Sunday Snippets; it relies on me taking a photo of something, anything, every single day. 

Once I got out of the habit of uncapping my lens daily, it was difficult to automatically do. Until this week, for some reason. Normally the fun of this series is that there's no text, only one image from each day. 

Thus, I'll shut up now.

red fox

15 September 2012

You Say "Tomato", I Say "Pour Me a Bowl."

Bail Tomato Soup
Den Haag is sidling up next to soup season. And there's nothing more I love for a lazy weekend lunch than grilled cheese served next to a steaming bowl of tomato soup. The real kind, not the stuff from a can.

14 September 2012

A Family Affair

Sunday was, indeed, Sun Day. It was genuinely hot (so unusual for Holland), and barely a cloud sailed the sky. I spent the afternoon with a friend and her beautiful little family, capturing them on virtual film.

13 September 2012

Our Drie Honden

I've mentioned our dogs every once in a while, that we have three, that we moved them overseas with us, that they're good-humored about being terrorized by an growingly active toddler. But what I haven't told you is that I love these dogs with my whole heart, even if I now have to share that heart a bit more. That before we had a child, they were my complete universe. That I worked at a doggie daycare and dog food store throughout college to feed them the best food possible and ridiculously spoil them on a student budget. That I was terrified to have children because I thought none of them would tolerate pinching fingers, pattering feet, or sharing. Specifically, sharing the two people they'd known as their own for a very long time.

That, if this scenario unfolded, I'd choose the dogs over any kid.

12 September 2012

Parmesan, Celery, and Chickpea Salad

Parmesan Celery Salad
I just realized that, from my posts, it looks like my diet is almost entirely comprised of sweets. Funny! The truth is, I'm enamored with fresh, healthful ingredients and love creatively composed salads (see Exhibit A and B). I just get really excited about making and photographing desserts because they're exquisite, a bit vulgar in their decadence, and fun to share with a crowd. But although they get less public attention, salads brimming with texture, color, and flavor are regular and welcome guests in our home.

11 September 2012

Urban Fauna

Being able to scratch a well-cared for cow, pig, goat, sheep, or pony every once in a while is essential to a kid's (and my) wellbeing; you can imagine my joy at being introduced yesterday to yet another city farm to do just that. I got in some adult conversation with a dear friend, and our newly-christened toddlers waddled around and made negotiations we can only guess at.

10 September 2012

An ambulatory education: Seven things I wish I'd known before traveling the world with a child

ein: Humor is universal, even when there exists an absolute language barrier. Be surprised at it, roll its sweetness around on your tongue, then pass it on.

deux: In every locale, there has been at least one kind stranger who opens a door, helps lift a stroller, offers to give up a seat on the bus, or entertains my wailing child with a silly face. It doesn't happen every time I need it but definitely more often than I expect it to.

tre: People in all the places we've been raise their children with diapers, formula, baby food, and other basic necessities, which makes forgetting a staple less upsetting, more fixable. 

neljä: Even if you're pregnant and/or nauseated, or the pickiest eater in town, don't let the local cuisine stop you from going somewhere. Get to a supermarket; most people in the world eat crackers, dried fruit, or whatever else is on your not-so-big "consumables" list. I'm a huge supporter of eating locally when in a new place, but some situations just call for crackers and seltzer water.

09 September 2012

Notebook of Revelation

So, there it is. The reason I've avoided outfit posts. In case you've never had your own, until a bump is truly a bump, it just looks like one's had the cookie jar perpetually full and the lid permanently propped open.

Our three will become four sometime around February fifth, which we couldn't be more pleased about.

07 September 2012


For a while, I've been painfully aware that my blog needed a makeover. When I first set it up, I had no idea what I was doing. I still don't. But I have a handle on the lingo, and a clearer idea of what appeals to me aesthetically. It was kind of one of those in the near future kind of updates; I definitely wasn't planning on redesigning the blog tonight. But it sort of happened, and I'm purdy darn happy with the result (except for the fact that Blogger won't let me change this annoying curly text on the main page and in posts... don't worry; it will go away soon.).

Hate it? Love it? Sort of eh about it? I'm open to suggestions, or shameless praise. But first, I'm off to bed. See you in de morgen!


06 September 2012

Dip-Dyed Smoothies

We're big time smoothie people; they're a quick way to cram in a lot of nutrients early on in the day without any gagging or taste-sacrificing. Here were our particularly pretty ones from this past weekend: strawberry-mango-banana, with added boosts from spinach (vitamin A, C, and iron), nonfat Greek yogurt (protein) and chia seeds (fiber, and more omega-3s than salmon). Yields two generously-sized smoothies (recipe below). 


05 September 2012

Den Haag Goes Handcrafted (Volume II), and Warfare against Disappointment

On Sunday, we meandered over a few blocks to the Home Made Market. I had solid intentions to do what I did last time: take photos, peruse the vendors' offerings at a leisurely pace, network a bit, and nosh on cakes. (Do you feel the impending however?)

04 September 2012

Oven Malfunction, and A Foray Into Microwave Cuisine

 bake |bāk|verb [ with obj. ]
1. cook (food) by dry heat without direct exposure to a flame, typically in an oven or on a hot surface. (thanks, Apple dictionary.)

So, microwaving counts as baking? Ok, great.

01 September 2012

An Antiquated Mosey, Hello, and Farewell

Last Saturday our friends arrived as house guests at our home, on the tail end of their 111-day, 15,000-mile (or 24,000-km) road trip in an RV that took them through two engines and 33 countries. They came back with some hilarious stories, found themselves in more than a couple predicaments (thankfully, all solve-able), and were understandably excited to get back to their kitties and to normalcy.