happy new year!

Dec 31, 2013

Man, 2013 you've been grand..and chaotic. Isn't it crazy what can happen in a year's time? My boyfriend and I lived our New York adventure for 3 months and made friends for life. I packed all my belongings and permanently moved to Amsterdam in the spring. I finished school and started working as a graphic designer. I became an aunt to the most scrumptious baby boy in October. We went on trips to Belgium, France, Singapore and Bali. And of course my favourite time of year: spending the Holidays with my Family, stuffing ourselves with Paella on Christmas.

Reminiscing about the past year and dreaming up this post, I realised one sad thing: I have very little photographs to show for it. This year was so fast paced and crazy, that the small things and the everyday kind of magic were often left behind. There is a lot I still have to learn when it comes to balancing it all. One of my little resolutions for next year is to take out my camera more often and make the time to use it.

I am wishing you all a happy new year with lots of love, time and health!

Do you have any resolutions for 2014?

how to roast your own chestnuts.

Oct 24, 2013
On the weekend we usually go on a nice morning walk towards the east of the city. We have a semi-regular route to one of our favourite cafes, coffee bru. It's the perfect distance. You know, far enough from the house so you feel like you got in a good walk, but not so far that you are famishing and getting cranky halfway. And it's a pretty walk, too, along the water and with lots of trees and all. It was on this walk, that we spotted chestnut trees for the first time a few weeks back. The chestnuts were still hanging on the tree in their green and spiky shell, but we vowed to be back when they were ready to be collected. Last Sunday was the day and we filled our bag to the brim with little brown chestnuts. It was so much fun and reminded me of my childhood, collecting herbs and mushrooms and such with my Mama. That night we munched our chestnuts while watching Sleepless in Seattle. So, so nice.

Roast your own chestnuts

1. Collect only pretty looking chestnuts, without mold or little holes.
2. Rinse your chestnuts with warm water and pat dry.
3. With scissors or a small knife, cut off the wispy ends on the top.
4. From the top, carve a cross-shaped cut in the skin.
5. Put chestnuts on a baking sheet and roast them at 200°C for about 20-25 minutes.
6. Once the cut is nice and open and the shell is a dark colour it's time to take them out.

They're best enjoyed warm, fresh from the oven. Peel away!

living room inspiration.

Oct 18, 2013

When I moved into M’s apartment back in April, we were on a mission. Within a month, most of the rooms were freshly painted and redecorated. Fast forward six months and the living room still remains in its original, male-student-apartment, state. A work-in-progress reminding me of my procrastination skills whenever I sit on the unseemly couch or look at the stuffy curtains, which unfortunately is everyday.
So it’s time to buckle down and tackle tasks like painting the walls (ugh), finding a new couch, lamps, plants and a new rug. We are going for a neutral colour palette with lots of natural textures like wood, linen and some indoor flora. I feel like bringing in some kind of accent colour, too. What do you guys think? I feel like a fish out of water here, so I am grateful for any tips! 

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adventures in city gardening.

Oct 15, 2013

Hard to believe that these pictures were taken only a few weeks back, before the autumn gloom and rainy days took over the land. This little jungle of a garden has been such a treasure to us all summer long. My Mama gave it a complete overhaul back in May and every month, whenever new blooms showed up in an undiscovered corner, I wondered whether she planted and placed it all deliberately or just had pure luck. In any case, this green haven provided us such pleasures; early morning coffees in the sun, late afternoon wine and snacks on the grass, homegrown cherry tomatoes, fresh peppermint for tea and five (!) apples of our own. And would you look at that rose! We had fun playing gardeners, taking care of our little tomato plants like we knew what we were doing (They ended up growing into the tree, pretty sure that's not how it's supposed to be). With hot chocolate season fast approaching and months of cold ahead though, it's time to put away the garden shovel and scissors. Until next spring sweet garden. 

salted caramel popcorn.

Sep 4, 2013

Lately, I've been on a popcorn kick. I went through a kilo bucket of dry popcorn kernels faster than I want to admit. Next to my no-fuss, go-to seasoning of olive oil and sea salt, I found a new favourite: salted caramel. I really wish I'd have jutted down exact measurements, but alas I forgot and afterwards I was too busy stuffing my mouth with warm popcorn while watching You’ve got mail.

However the "recipe" is super simple: more or less a 1/2 cup each of brown sugar, agave syrup and salted butter. In a small pot, stir everything over low heat until the sugar dissolves and becomes liquid. In the meantime, prepare your popcorn according to the instructions. (In my experience, a 1/2  cup of dry kernels makes a hefty one man portion, once popped. Whichever size of pot you use though, only use so much kernels that the bottom of the pot is covered with a single layer, not more.) Put popped corn in a big bowl and pour your caramel sauce over it, mixing well. Let it dry on parchment paper.
I didn’t wait until the sauce completely set, so it was still warm and slightly gooey. (read: Utterly delicious and highly recommended!) Let me know if you give it a whirl.

raw honey in normandie.

Sep 2, 2013

On our last weekend in Normandy, we went to the local market in Dieppe. From questionable clothing items to perfect panama hats, from antique books and games to all of the vegetables and cheese and charcuterie there is, you can get it all. In between the busy stands, a Moroccan couple stood selling their beautiful raw honey. The onlookers, us included, huddled close to see the man cut out pieces of honeycomb. We took a big piece home with us and still can’t get over the amazing smell and taste. What a treasure. I love bees.


Aug 29, 2013

France is just always a good idea it seems. Our week in Normandy was nothing but absolute unwinding; reading fiction, eating amazing food, swimming in the ocean, walking, sleeping. I loved exploring the area, with its enchanted, castle like houses and massive cliffs stretching along the coast. For the first time in so long, time seemed to pass at a much slower rate. You know how as a kid the week before Christmas felt like a lifetime? Kind of like that, this week in France felt, but in a good way. Like, go on vacation for a week but it feels like two. The best. I really wish for more of this slowness, although I am not quite sure how to find it in day-to-day life.