Brace yourself, this will be a long one! You might have noticed how quiet it has been on the blog in the last two months… July turned out to be a busy month at the office and I was in the UK for the first half of August. I took a break to enjoy the season and my two holidays (more about it in future posts), but I am happy to be back with this new gratitude post.
Dutch Partner Day
My language school hosted a workshop for students and their Dutch partners. The objective of the meeting was to share tips on how to support us in learning Dutch. It was reassuring to see that other foreigners experienced the same struggles as me. B accepted to accompany me and we played some grammar and conversation games, discussed with the other couples and the teachers. The entire session was in Dutch and I understood approximately 85% of the content… victory!
New Rain Gear
Although I love warm weather, I cultivate an obsession for rain fashion. July was a rainy month so it felt appropriate to purchase a rain coat – which turned out to be extremely useful during my vacation, and a pair of rain boots. Both are pastel / old pink so I'm a happy lady!
Quick background on the boots: I have been looking for this shade for nearly five years (no jokes! I am patient girl) and Hunter finally introduced a similar color in their S/S ’17 collection. I waited 2-3 months to snatch these boots on sale. This inspiration photo has been with me since 2011 and I even used it as my Facebook profile picture.
I found this delicate straw bag at Dille & Kamille and wore it a couple of times in between rainy days.
Public breastfeeding is not common in many Western countries. One day, a mother breastfed her 6-week old daughter in our cafeteria during lunch break. This scene was particularly unexpected in our fast-paced office but it was a good reminder of what is important in life. I was a bit stressed that day but it all faded away as soon as I witnessed this peaceful scene.
Our Danish-Dutch friends visited us for brunch and offered us gifts for our new home, thank you Guys!
We also have this new scent in our living room.
My First Kirtan Experience
I signed-up, with curiosity, to a kirtan event (mantra chanting) at my yoga studio. When I researched about it on YouTube, I found some strange videos with humming sounds. I was a bit worried that I had gotten myself into some weird hippie activity, but I was proven wrong. When the teacher started singing, I was positively surprised by how beautiful the melody and her voice were. Throughout the evening, we sang as a group with live instruments. The vibrations brought me calmness for the rest of the night.
I encountered a few professional challenges but opening up during one-on-one conversations has really improved the situation. Transparent communication and honesty brought me some peace of mind.
Our friend Ger helped us hang our television on the wall. Our TV is so heavy that I would have never been able to help B lift it. It's a job for two men! Our living room is now improved.
Orange Is the New Black
Season 5 of OTNB is my favorite season of the show by far. I laughed pretty hard in the first episodes; and some interesting relationships are developing among the characters.
Discovering Voorburg Archives
B found online this old photo of Voorburg in 1941. Some areas were bombarded during the war but our home is there standing. It makes me want to dig into the history of our house. I am grateful to live in an “old” and solid place.
We avoided, by a split-second, a terrible car accident on the highway. Sadly, the other car did not get out of this situation safely. The driver drove through a barricade and his car flipped upside down. Thankfully, he was alive and conscious but he was transported to the hospital, and the highway was closed for several hours. I observed this scene live from our car’s rear view mirror and B saw it through his side mirror. It felt like an action movie in slow motion… except that it was real and we were present. I cried from trauma while B was giving his statement to the police officer. We were under shock for the rest of day because we realized that this driver could have taken us with him... but fortunately, that day was not our day.
Holiday and Time with friends
Earlier in the month, I went on vacation to London. Several friends of mine live in the UK and I usually try to catch-up with them during business trips, but we are often rushed. For once, I was able to spend proper quality time with them.
Stars & Stripes
I met my friends’ son for the first time. This cutie was already 8.5 months old. For our “first date” we randomly wore matching nautical clothing: navy stripes and stars!
Sadly, bookstores are becoming rare and smaller. I was excited to browse through the gigantic bookstore Foyle’s in downtown London. Getting lost in a bookstore is one of my favorite things to do. I bought a few reads including this useful baking guide.
We went to IKEA to look for some frames and found these cute plants.
Family Brunch and Night at the Louvre
We spent a long weekend with my family in France. My brother hosted a fun family brunch for us. One of his roommates also gave us a tour of the Louvre by night. I’ve visited a few times this museum before, but this was the first time that I was able to enjoy it without the usual crowds and camera flashes. We could view from up close the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa.
Endless Risk Battles
My brother stayed home with us for a week. Playing Risk (the board game) for HOURS was part of our daily agenda. We were quite serious about it and a little competitive. Luck was on B’s side, he won almost every game!
I’m always impressed by Alicia Vikander’s work, she plays strong and complex roles. This drama takes place during the Dutch Golden Age, in the middle of the tulip craze. Nowadays, tulips are affordable and accessible in the Netherlands; I never knew that they once used to cost a fortune.
Until next time!