Cheers to the most amazing Dutch summer of the last five years! I am fully enjoying the warm weather in the Netherlands and have worn all of my shorts and dresses. In the last two months, I traveled twice to the UK, hosted guests and experienced my first Dutch heatwave. My cell phone also died and left me partly disconnected during three weeks – I still had my work phone and iPad for emergencies. To my surprise, it was a pleasant break. I also upgraded to a rose gold iPhone that takes amazing pictures. The only downside: I lost some photos, but they remain forever engraved in my memory.
What-A-Melon Ice Cream
If you follow my Facebook page you might have noticed that I posted last year a video from Dessert Insider about this special ice cream created by pastry Chef Dominique Ansel. It was only available in Japan until he launched it this year in his London bakery. I had to try it (watermelon is my favorite fruit), and although it is costly (around 7£), it is worth E.V.E.R.Y. cent! The taste is full and fresh, the texture is perfectly smooth and silky. It is made with fresh watermelon and served in the fruit with some chocolate seeds. If you are curious about the recipe, this is how it is made:
Weekend in Bristol: We paid a visit to our friends Ana and Rod. It was our last get-together in Europe before their move to Canada. They took us to beautiful Bath and Oxford. We also went punting. I lost all of my pictures from my broken iPhone, luckily I had posted some highlights on my Instagram Stories.
London stop: I returned to London for a baking masterclass and did my usual routine: catch-up with my friend Femke over dinner, spend time at Foyle's, eat lunch at Thomas Cubitt. I also visited my brother's home for the first time and we had dinner at the King's court.
Upside down: Maria and Anders stopped in the Netherlands on their way to Canada. We hosted them for a few days and even spent a day at Walibi. It was on my wishlist for almost two years and we chose the perfect day: Monday. The park was quiet with barely any queues, we managed to ride all rollercoasters!
Francophone slumber party: my friend Lauraine invited me and other girlfriends over for dinner, a movie and a sleepover. There was also some chatting, singing and dancing. I missed being in a French atmosphere!
Girls' dinner, we had tapas with Laura and Marine, and a couples' dinner at our friends' new home.
Opening up to strangers: it must be law of attraction, this month I had some random conversations, smiles and eye contact with strangers.
I have been working on creating more flow in my everyday life and I also started paying attention to manifestation. I have a recent example of manifestation: I submitted a question to the Lively Show podcast and Jess Lively answered it during her last Q&A episode. My question got picked up just on time because she announced on the next episode she was going on a hiatus.
World Cup Fever
It was a great year for the French team! Les Bleus brought the cup home, I am very proud of this hard-working team. To celebrate, I even went into the Coolsingel fountain (note: this is the biggest roundabout of Rotterdam) to sing the anthem and wave the French flag with my fellow countrymen until the police kicked us out. #FiersDEtreBleus
Back in 2016, B gave me a Bongo luxe spa gift card for my birthday. I finally booked our spa weekend this summer. We first did a detour via Brussels, except that everything was closed due to the National Belgium Day (FYI it's July 21st). We stayed at Martin's Rentmeesterij in Bilzen. It was the perfect location because:
Bilzen is a quiet village with gorgeous homes in the Belgian countryside.
The hotel was only a few weeks old (open since June) with modern design (we are big fans of Scandinavian interiors), a pool and a spa.
We were only 20 minutes away from lively Maastricht. We had lunch and dinner there and even caught a glimpse of the live André Rieu concert at the Vrijthof.
I can't help it, pretty bags make me happy! I saw this piece last year for the first time and found it on sale this month.
This adorable ginger cat is our guest until the end of August. Her parents are traveling to Australia and we are happy to host this bundle of joy in their absence. She is still young and very playful! She occasionally has her crazy wild moments (feline attitude) but she also loves to cuddle, and she accepts to be held and kissed. I love cats and always wanted one but B is allergic to some of them, not to her thankfully! Which gives us the opportunity to take care of a pet. We joke around that Charlie is the "Queen of Nesselande" (area where she lives full-time) but right now, she is the queen of our home and hearts. She even has the entire guest room to herself!