Nutrition Tips, Story Time

My First Special Candy Occasion | Candy Free

Boy oh boy was it hard to wait eighteen days to finally tear open a packet of candy and stuff my face. By day twelve the cravings started to kick in but I was going strong. The northern lights is one juicy carrot. As my birthday neared, my first special occasion since the challenge started, the excitement grew and grew. I carefully considered what candy I would enjoy on the day but eventually after some time I decided on soft wine gum candy and chocolate. Compared to the normal I would say it’s on the more side of things but it’s definitely not the most candy I’ve eaten in one day.

I however was surprised by my lack of appetite after a few bites. I quickly became nauseous as the candy was almost too sweet for me. It just goes to show how quickly your taste can change. Half way through the packet of gums I was done. Sick to my stomach. Not even five bites into my chocolate I was done. Sick to my stomach. Too much sugar. This would’ve have happened eighteen days ago. Heck the night before new years I inhaled the same chocolate and I had no problem with the sugary goodness.

This is not the first time this happened. Every time I go candy free for longer than two weeks my first candy is always to sweet and always makes me nauseous. The second candy is a little better but by the third and fourth candy its back to the normal taste. I’m not really finding any research paper or reliable source on the matter but I do remember my high school biology teacher explained it as your taste buds adapt to your low sugar diet so when you suddenly eat a product with a high sugar content the difference in taste stands out more than usual. So basically when your taste buds are used to high sugar products eating more of it won’t make a difference to you. Heck you won’t really taste all of the sugar but once you go without, well then it’s completely different. Is this even making sense to anyone?

I do want to add that I didn’t go sugar free. Not completely. I’m making conscious choices to choose the sugar free option but I’m not being over serious about it. Being gluten free is enough for me. My main goal is just to stay candy free so basically I avoid candy, chocolate, soft drinks and more.

My next special occasion is on Valentine’s day and this time around I will only eat one type of candy, chocolate. I will definitely buy a small chocolate as I don’t think I will be able to stomach more. It’s interesting how things work. Other than that I haven’t really noticed a big difference since going candy free but I’m sure with more time I will definitely see a difference. I will tell you all about it when the time comes.

I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

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Story Time

The Time My Boss Accused Me Of Stealing

I will be honest. I kind of forgot that this happened or well it didn’t cross my mind to write a story time blog about it…but when I wrote the Christmas blog and I briefly touched ground about horrible Christmas’s…this came to mind. This happened in 2014 so it’s been a long time since then but it’s an entertaining read. I figured why not write it?

I’ve never stolen in my entire life. Something I’m very proud of and intend to keep for the rest of my life. Although if I’m 100% honest when I was young (7-9) I always took coins from my mother’s purse in the morning for candy at school but I don’t really see it as stealing (in a technical sense it would’ve been)…I just see it as lunch money. It’s not like I got a lunchbox for school. I have to eat somehow. It was never bank notes, I always took coins. If you translate the amount into Euros it was never more than 1 euro. Directly translated though it was probably 50 cents. Just enough to buy a cheap packet of chips and candy. Obviously my mom knew, as all her silver coins (ZAR 1, ZAR 2, ZAR 5) was always missing. When I got older I took the silver coins out of the glove basket in the car in the mornings (in front of my mom). Eventually I was old enough to receive the maintenance money from my father and started to work. I now had my own money. I paid for my own cosmetics (shampoo, soap, etc.), phone internet and my half of the house internet, filled up the car and bought the basics every now and again (milk, bread). I however did waste a lot of money on candy and going to the mall with friends. I do want to add that I did pay for my own drivers license and all of my lessons. I also bought anything I might need for school and etc. Oh and I bought treats and toys for my dog.

So back when I was still in high school I would work as a baby sitter in the year and in December I would travel to my aunt who worked for a restaurant. December is the summer holiday and that’s when people really spend money. You want to work in the service industry so you can get tips. She always organized a job for me. It was my second year of working there and in this time the restaurant got new owners. I arrived in the beginning of the month and it started off the same as the year before. I slipped in the schedule with the other waiters and started to work my ass off. Every tip would count as this money would be used in the Netherlands a few months later. I was working there for two weeks, it was two days after Christmas when it happened.

I’m going to have to give a little back story though otherwise this won’t make sense. In front of the kitchen, in the mini kitchen where they make the beverages and where the food get placed for final touches before it goes to the tables, stood the register. It was chaos at the time so tables would be closing every 30 minutes. There must have been 9 waiters on the floor. Each of us balancing three tables at a time. So when the customer has paid, card or check, we will put it on the right side of the till for the manager or owner to close the table. If they pay cash, the manager/owner will put the change (your tip as indicated) in the empty bill case for you to pick up when you have a moment) and if they pay card they will staple the closed bill slip to the proof of payment from the card machine. Something your also supposed to pick up if you have moment. You need all of your tables bill slips at the end of your shift. After all those tables closing, the left side of the till would stack up really quickly. Now the outside of the bill case all looks the same so the only way of knowing that it’s your table and your money is to open the case and check. Everyone does it, looking or theirs and putting the empty cases where they belong (so we don’t run out).

It’s completely normal to check every moment you have a chance if you know one of your tables finished to see if your bill slip is between the stack. That’s was what I was doing when the owner found me. I was going through the cases, looking for mine (I had three tables that would be mine between everything) when I picked up one bill case and money fell out. It was really a small coin, worth 1 euro. I picked it up and put it back in the case. She saw this and thought I was stealing money. She immediately screamed at me IN FRONT of the entire restaurant, staff and customers included. Accusing me of stealing money and calling me every dirty name she could think off. She didn’t give me one second to defend my honor or explain what was happening. My aunt stepped in, seeing what happened and explained the situation. The owner simply said ‘oh’ and then walked off. I was in tears. Absolutely humiliated and so hurt. Everyone gathered to watch the show and after a few moments, I had to calm myself because I still had work. But I had enough. I didn’t want to work at this place for the rest of my holiday. Heck I could be spending this time with family and friends and instead I’m being treated like some common criminal. A thief. I finished my last bit of tables, asked my aunt to cash me up (so I can leave) before I grabbed my bag and said my goodbyes. The owner never even bothered to apologize and I never bothered to go back.

The funny thing is in that same bill case the 1 Euro fell and I picked up, laid 10 Euros. If I really was going to steal, would I really have taken the 1 euro? Maybe I overacted, by immediately quitting, the pure exhaustion from the 12 hours shifts surely didn’t help, but I never regretted my decision. Yes I lost out on a lot of money but it just wasn’t worth it.

Story Time

I Wore My Husband’s Clothes For A Day

This is anything but an original idea but damn was it fun! I got the idea from Sofiya Nygaard on YouTube. So basically as the title says I attacked my husband’s closet. Now how to start this blog. Let me think. Why don’t I just start with what I picked up first? Pants was surprisingly not that easy. My thighs and booty is considerably bigger than my husbands. Only one of his jeans, his biggest pair, could stretch over my thighs and booty. I rocked it. It made my butt look amazing and can I just say how amazingly life changing the big pockets are. Front pockets that can actually hold something. A whole other world just opened.

Shirt and underwear was nothing new. I wear his all the time. It is beyond comfortable. I did rock his favorite sweater which I always have to fight Onno about. The man refuses to let it go when it needs a wash. It takes too long. Don’t get me started on his favorite chill pants. He holds onto those puppies with the jaw of life.

As you can see it definitely looked like I was wearing my husband clothes.

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There was two things I was self conscious about in my attire. The d!ck bubble and the weird boob thing I had going on. I should probably explain. D!ck bubble is what it sounds like. There was a bubble, a space meant to be filled by the usual pen!s in the crotch area. It wasn’t a good look. My weird boob thing was just how my breasts looked like with the massive oversized sweater. It just didn’t flatter my body.

But let’s get back to all the fun I had. I was channeling my inner dude. Doing a little swagger and chilling on a bench with my stuff hanging out and about. I don’t think anyone noticed my men’s outfit and if they did they sure as hell didn’t say anything. We roamed the city for two hours, getting the stuff we needed before heading home. I can’t really think of anything else to say so I’m going to switch the microphone or laptop over to my husband.

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Here is his thoughts.

It was very interesting to see Cassy in my clothes, my main observation was that she really rocked it, definitely better than I ever did. It’s what I always tell her, she can pull anything off. I am also worried that I now will have to fight her over those jeans, or buy another pair. We had a lot of fun touring the city for the day and taking some pictures in the park. I however don’t think we will ever do this the other way around, I would be to embarrassed for that one.

 

Story Time

The Time I Quit My Job After Only Two Working Days

This happened around the time I just came back from the Netherlands after my three month visit. I stayed with my dad for a month before going back to Cape Town to live with my mother. There I started to job search. I knew I was going to be in South Africa for a few months and I could finally get a well paying job. Most employers wouldn’t want to employ me after hearing I’m only available for six to nine months at most. So finding the right job that paid well was difficult. Eventually I looked for something temporary and that’s when I found the position. Receptionist at a car repair shop. It was a three month position and they didn’t require any experience as all the training you would need could be done in one day. The salary was good and the work day wasn’t too out of the ordinary. It was the normal 8am – 6pm job. It also required two Saturdays per month (9am – 3pm) and it seemed like a good fit. The interview went well and I felt hopeful. They called me the Friday afternoon and said I got the job. They wanted me to come in for a few hours the next day for some training. I was excited. The lady I was replacing would help me will all my training and it felt like a good fit. I felt like I hit the jackpot. I found a good paying job and the work seemed like something I could easily do. I just had to greet new customers, make some calls and do some quotes and that was about it.

On Saturday however I quickly saw that this might be a little more difficult. I figured the bad feeling I was getting was just nerves and it was because they were busy and it would be all ay okay. While there, I met the other staff member who I would share the office with. I also met the boss who…in the best way I can describe him…is a cocky man who thinks he is the king of the town. The way he carries himself and the way he treats women. He was constantly making comments on where the women belongs (the kitchen, what a surprise) and if I could handle all the men around the office. He also said I should brush aside all sexual and sexist comments from him and his men or I won’t make it. I didn’t think too much about it. I didn’t like it but I also figured well how many times would I leave the office and if I tell the guys personally what they could do with that comment it would be fine…They were also making fun of other temps they’ve had these last few weeks (apparently they all quit within a week because they’re weak and JUST girls) and just over all making the office a very hostile environment. They were treating me like a dumb little girl that is just looks and no brains. They constantly brought up my appearance, what I should wear the next day, how I should do my hair and makeup etc. They also couldn’t let go of the fact that I was engaged and preparing to leave my country to move abroad for my fiancé. They couldn’t help themselves with their snide comments and how dumb I was being. I should go have fun. Play the field. I’m still young. The men in the office was disgusting (the boss and the other admin guy). The short work day finally ended and I went home feeling annoyed and unsure what I should. The lady I was replacing was leaving on Wednesday and I got shivers just thinking of being alone with those two men (mainly the boss though) for three months. I was also really worried as I haven’t received any training and only had three days to know enough to do it all by myself for three months.

On Monday, I started my work day ready to face whatever they throw at me and boy did they throw a lot of shit to me. I got minimal training and was just trying to figure what I was supposed to do while talking to the supplier, finding out prices and making quotes for customers. Around lunch time the boss came up to me and asked me to drop a car off for him. I had no right to refuse so I climbed into the strange car and followed him as we drove to the customers place. It was only when I dropped it off that it clicked that I was driving the customers car and he was driving his own personal car. The bastard wanted me to take the risk of anything going wrong on the road. If I crashed or something broke it would’ve been on me. My wallet. He didn’t even care enough to explain this to me. I unwillingly took that risk and he would’ve left me on the side of the road if anything went South. I was livid but went back to work all the while listening to his snide comments. He also said he expected me to work through lunch (take no break) and work every Saturday. He demanded this of me. Once back at the office, I continued with my training (by myself getting minimal guidance as I go) all the while the boss, admin guy and receptionist I was replacing, couldn’t stop talking on how much work I will have to do when she is gone and how much will be on my head. I won’t lie. At this moment I got scared. How the hell was I going to survive three months in the toxic environment. Around the afternoon I had to take customer to the shopping mall nearby with my own car (at least they gave me petrol money) and by then I started to feel that maybe this job wasn’t meant for me and I should get the fuck out to say it nicely. Once back at the office I got some more nasty comments, sexual jokes and eventually my work day came to an end. I grabbed my stuff, ignored the last snide comment from big boss man and left.

Once my mom heard everything I went through the day and I informed my husband of the real story (I felt hesitant to share about the sexual harassment as the salary was good and it would help us). I wanted to stick it through and just get through these next three months. It would be anything but pleasant but I could do it. I was prepared to but my mother and husband (fiancé back then) just said quit that shop. So I did. I emailed my resignation (I haven’t signed any contract nor have they received any person information of mine) at this point. The next morning I got a few calls from them, one snide message from the boss and from that point I never heard from them again.

I don’t regret quitting before giving the place a proper try. It was the right decision to make in the long run. Two weeks later I got a new job that was a lot of fun and a new experience. Although the company went bankrupt after a month. What I learned while working for them served to help me even today so it was definitely worth it.

Story Time

Why I’m No Longer Going To England In January

Stupid VISA place. In case that didn’t give anything away…I didn’t receive my passport  back in time which in return means I can no longer go to England in January. It’s definitely disappointing as England has been a country I’ve wanted to visit for years now but it’s not like England is completely out of the bag. I’m still getting the VISA and it’s valid for six months so…I guess somewhere in the year we will visit England? I have no idea when but I’m sure it will work out somehow. Everything will fall into place.

Wait let me try that again. It’s not like I can post a 111 word blog online and think that’s okay. Let’s scratch out what I just said even though it’s basically the same thing I’m about to say. Sit back and enjoy the over dramatic tale why I’m no longer going to England in January. Stupid VISA place.

I’m going to fast forward you to the part where I just applied for the VISA and now we’re waiting…and waiting… and waiting…Christmas comes up and goes and we enter the shit it’s a week before you’re supposed to arrive and you haven’t heard anything from the VISA place yet. What should we do? We decided it would be best if I just go to Amsterdam, to the VISA place, myself and ask them what’s up. The said VISA place has no contact number, yes you read that right. There is no way to get into contact with them. If you want something done you need to go in. It was a Thursday and I woke up so sick but I had no choice. I HAD TO GO. So I willed myself to get dressed, ran to the train, nearly vomited at the station but I caught my train so yay. There was some train complications but I got to the place eventually. That’s when my phone started to act out and went from 70% to 35% in battery. I swore, put battery saving mode on as I might have to call my cousin in England at the last minute and rushed to the VISA place. The weather was absolutely miserable. Cold and windy. The fact that I was fighting the urge to puke and sometimes I would get dizzy didn’t help. Once at the place, the security guard ask me to come back in 30 minutes. It wouldn’t be worth it for me to walk back to the station and wait inside where it’s warm because it would literally be a ten minute wait at most before I have to walk back. I couldn’t just stand still in the cold so I walked up and down, around the block. Walking kept me warm and the cold wind was slowly blowing life back into me.

Finally 30 minutes passed, guard made me wait another 10 minutes outside. At this point my phone was on 11% even though I didn’t even touch the device. By now my mood was quite low. I go in, try to see if there is anything I could do…nothing. The most frustrating thing is if they told me when I went in for appointment there will be a delay because of the holiday season I would’ve paid for the express option and my VISA would’ve arrived in time. It was so disappointing and I knew my cousin is in quite a pinch because of this…

My phone died just after I told him about the situation and with train delays it was a good two hours later before I returned home. Sick to my stomach and just sad. We had a long conversation trying to figure out if there was anything we could do but alas there was nothing. We just had to accept that I can’t go to England like we planned. Luckily my cousin found someone who would look after his dogs last minute so his vacation wasn’t ruined. Mine however was. No more donut. No more free ticket out of Star Wars either. Sigh. England I will come for you…eventually. Wait for me, okay?

Story Time

The Big Year Review Of 2017

There is this trend going around. The end of the year challenge. The challenge basically consist of sharing a photo of yourself from the beginning of the year and a picture of now to see how much you’ve changed. I haven’t made an amazing transformation on the outside. My hair is longer and in a different shade. I have new glasses. My nails are longer and healthier. I have new scars and a new tattoo. Some of my teeth are finally fixed although I still have constant toothache. It wasn’t a massive transformation on the outside. The best I would say is I grew older and wiser. The transformation I made on the inside however…is massive. A LOT happened this year. Damn isn’t that an understatement.

January

The beginning of the year was such an exciting time. Onno was going to arrive in South Africa. It would be the first time we see each other after six months and it was also his first time meeting my family and friends. His stay in South Africa was three weeks and every moment was so exciting and wonderful that it kicked off the perfect busy year that was 2017. It was also the month where we celebrated our pre wedding and my 21st birthday.

February

In the beginning of February, Onno headed back to the Netherlands and we embarked the last stretch to get my partner VISA and in essence get me back in the Netherlands so our lives together can finally start. Before we could hand in the application I had to write a Dutch test in South Africa and once we receive the results we can take the next step. The appointment was for the 23rd of February and in Pretoria. I studied my sweet little ass off and Dutch was practically coming out of my ears! I learned so much of their history and language that it made my head spin. The test arrived and I flew to Pretoria or well inside South Africa for the very first time. I was on my own with no family or friends in the area and damn did it made me feel like a real independent adult. It was the first time I had that feeling in South Africa. I relied on Uber to get me to and from every destination and my three day stay was a success. The test was easy breezy and now we just had to wait six weeks for the results. Yay!

March

In the beginning of March I headed to Knysna, the town my father lives in. There I concentrated on my health, started my fitness again all the while balancing an online nutrition course that was truly so informative and changed the way I thought about a lot of things. I also cared for my father which was quite an interesting time. This is also the time where I burned myself with hot water and I feared that half of my side would turn into a scar. Luckily I walked away with a thumb sized scar on my hip. It was also the month where we worked none stop on getting everything ready for our partner VISA application so when the results arrive (early April) we can immediately send it and wait it out (another six to eight weeks). The process was quite brutal as we had to PROVE our relationship from the day of meeting to the day off applying. It was a lot of screenshots and old receipts.

April

April was a sad month. My Grandmother was diagnosed with inner ear cancer and had to be flown to Cape Town in an emergency flight for her treatment. My father and I drove through last minute (6 hour drive) to be with the family and to see her after she comes out of surgery. It was difficult to see such a strong women so weak and paranoid. It broke my heart. In this time I lost a friendship and started to really miss my precious Dutch boy. I however kept going, finishing my course with great results and my health and fitness was finally at a great place. I was running weekly again. It felt good to be working on myself but I was mostly just distracting myself. I tried my best not to think of how much I miss my fiancé and how much I wanted to press play on my life and start my life in the Netherlands.

May

I headed in May knowing I should bid my goodbyes now. I knew it was close now. The time I will leave. In the beginning of May, I said goodbye to my dogs at my dad’s house and moved back to Cape Town to spend a few weeks with my mom before I leave. In this time I spend a lot of time with family and friends in the area and even looked after my three year old nephew for two weeks. Middle of May we entered the six weeks since handing in our application period and we felt it…in every cell of our bodies. Soon. SOON. On the 18th of May Onno came home to the letter. I was driving to the shop to get stuff for dinner (still at my cousins house looking after my nephew) when he came home. I was in the shop when I finally looked at my phone and that’s when I found out. I immediately started to cry. The wait was over. Our application was accepted! I called my parents who started to cry and immediately we jumped in and started to plan everything. I was going to leave as soon as I possibly could. I wanted to arrive before Onno’s Birthday. It took some fighting as somewhere in the chain of the immigration office it didn’t show my VISA was accepted but my bags were packed and my father was ready to make the drive at one phone call. I was saying goodbye to friends and even got my South African inspired tattoo. On the 31st of May I got my VISA and before I even left the parking lot Onno booked my flight for the next day. My dad drove through that night. The next morning I split up my time, saying goodbye to the family and friends in the area, having a lovely breakfast with my dad before picking up my mum up at Lunch time to finally open the bottle of champagne patiently waiting since January. The last day of May ended up to be my last day in South Africa as a resident.

June

I flew on the first of June. The flight was long and emotional and I landed on Onno’s birthday. The perfect birthday present if you ask me. The first few days after landing was so emotional that I can’t even begin to put them into words. Just as I was settling in, I got news of a ugly forest fire in the little town my father lives. He works for the government and was inside of the chaos and he went dark. No one could reach him for hours. It was the worst feeling in the world but I eventually heard he was okay and I could breathe again. It was a true reminder on how difficult it was going to get sometimes. Life was changing and our family was growing. Speculoos joined our two human family on the 10th and he quickly stole the heart of everyone around him. Life quickly stepped up as we enjoyed the summer weather and started house hunting. Eventually we decided to wait a few months as the perfect house was nowhere to be seen. We ended the month with the start of something big, bicycling.

July

July was just a month of constant bicycling. We were planning the bicycle tour for the first time and started the training. So much time was spend in a bicycle seat my butt did a little clench just remembering it. By the end of the July I also started working on my blog. I wanted to release it at the first of August. I was working daily on creating content for the release and designing the website. July was also the month of meeting a fellow fitness friend from Instagram! How exciting!

August

The beginning of August was an exciting one. We arranged our marriage appointment in the court and I released my blog. I went dress shopping with my soon to be mother in law, we continued our bicycling although we were slowing down at this point. By the middle of the month I reached a big goal of mine. 1000km of LISS in only 216 days! It was my yearly goal and I completely smashed it! I feel so damn proud of myself because I finally turned things around. I was turning an active lifestyle into a habit. I was moving away from following a 12 week guide or doing 8 week training of this and that and more into a lifestyle change. The bicycling continued and then the day arrived. The big wedding day. We finally tied the knot. Husband and wife. For as long as we live. Forever and a day.

September

September was a great month for making content, bicycling and experiencing new things. It was also the month of getting more of my teeth fixed (I did a few in the month before but some appointments I’ve blocked from my memory) and going to the doctor for the first time here in the Netherlands. He confirmed my test results from January 2016 and officially diagnosed me with the celiac disease. September was a good month. I experienced a lot of new things, Onno chose my look for the day and I shared experiences and stories online.

October

I entered October and studied my ass off. I had the big language test coming up in November and I had to be ready. Onno’s mom stepped in and saved the day by giving me Dutch lessons twice a week for the month. In between Onno and I tried to bicycle when we can but it was becoming difficult to bicycle outside or to get to the gym on time so we purchased our stationary bicycle for the house. And boy has this machine seen his fare share of butt hours by now. October was another good month for content on here and I was getting a reaction from you all. I really love writing these blogs. As you may have noticed with the large amount of content that I pump out. I’m giving myself a high five.

November

November I noticed just how much my body has changed since arriving in the Netherlands. I was topping the highest weigh I’ve ever been and I didn’t allow it to bring me down. I took a step back, started to concentrate on my mental health and just let the pressure go. November was also the month my father had his operation. It was a difficult time. I got through it somehow. I wrote the test and I just took day by day. My father had some complications in the recovery period and eventually the pressure was too much and I stepped away from social media. I didn’t know how long I would stay offline but after a week my dad was back home, settled in and things started to look up again. I finally took a deep breath. I got back in the swing of things by pumping a large amount of content and restarting my bicycle training. The time offline did me wonders and I definitely want to make it a habit. I just want to take a step back and sign off for a week every few months. Planned without any parent in the hospital of course. When this happens I will make sure to have blogs schedule and ready to fill my radio silence.

December

December came with many great memories and gifts. Sinterklaas (Dutch Santa) brought me chocolate. The Netherlands brought me snow for the very first time. My mother brought me an amazing package from home. Speculoos brought me many new memories and one vet scare. My cousin brought me my England trip. Annd Christmas brought me the most perfect memory with my husband and his family.

2017. What a year you were. Thank you for everything. You gave me my husband and for that I will never forget you…

 

 

 

Story Time

What To Expect From Me In 2018

Well hello there! First of all…HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! May this year be a truly wonderful time! Let’s make it a great one. If I can give you one tip it is always try to stay positive. A positive mindset attracts positivity. Same goes for a negative mindset. It attracts negativity.

The one sure thing you can expect from me this year is A LOT of content. I’m not kidding. I love writing these blogs and as long as I have one person reading them and I’m helping them in some shape or form I will continue to write them. It will be the normal categories on the most part. Fitness. Nutrition. General Life. Story Time. Self Love. I do plan to eventually share some stuff related to creativity as it’s something I do quite often and I like to think I’m original but let’s not jump the gun. DIY, cool stuff to do and etc. I’m getting so excited!

The update schedule is the normal twice a week. Monday and Friday. I haven’t been consistent with these updates every week but I will definitely try for the new year. I want my readers here to know that every Monday and every Friday there will be a blog post. Fun fact. If I keep it up the entire year and this is not counting the extra blogs that appear every now and again I will publish over a 100 blogs in 2018. I hope you will stick around for all of it. Flutters eyes suggestively while trying to win you over with words. How am I doing so far? Wait will this help…I want to update everyday for a month somewhere this year. I might even do this in January as I have my England vacation and that’s a lot of content to write about…or well after the vacation is behind me. I will see how it goes. I don’t want to milk one story too much. There is only so much I can say about a day at home and the gluten free donut I’m dying to inhale in London. My mouth is already watering. I haven’t had a donut in over two years. It’s time!

That is pretty much what you can expect from me this year. Some very well structured blogs with facts and graphs and then other content where I sometimes go of track. My mommy says it add character okay. Alright. That’s not true. She does read almost every blog I post but I bet if I asked her she would say that. I hope to see you around! Don’t be a stranger now. Introduce yourself in the comments below or not. Just say hey every now and again so I can know your still reading. Hint. Hint.

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Story Time

My Worst New Years Experience

Oh how much has changed these last few years. Every new year is a new experience and most of all how I’ve celebrated new years has been changing every year as long as I can remember. We have yet to find a tradition we are happy with and I’m curious to see how 2017 will end and how 2018 will start. As your reading this, the celebrations just started and I’m about to experience something new. Something I’m definitely going to write about. The post will be up in the first week of January. Which I might add is already a marvellous time for my blog! So much content! So much positivity as I plan for the new year! All my goals and plans right here on the internet! I’m truly so excited for 2018.

2018 IS GOING TO BE AN AMAZING YEAR!!

sparkler-677774.jpgI can just feel it in my bones.

I’m getting slightly head of myself. So I’m going to take one step back and look back into the past. Here is the journal entry of my first new years here in the Netherlands with Onno. Also just a little side note. At the time I was an au pair. The children made a brief appearance in the entry so I will be changing their names for their privacy. I will also explain one or two things in brackets and cursive writing. Happy reading!

31 December 2015 – 3 January 2016

It’s the last night of 2015. I finished my exciting day with the kids by finally finishing Hanna’s horse. (We’re making an arts and crafts horse made out of cardboard. We’re working on it for few weeks by then. It was quite a nice project.) It was quite a busy day and quite a new experience. New years in the Netherlands is completely different than what I’m used to. Normal people are allowed to set off fireworks and they would do this in the streets, in their backyard and basically everywhere. It was quite scary to be honest. I have never been so close and personal with fireworks and I tried my best to pay it no mind. Onno arrived at the house around 5pm and there we entertained the kids while we waited for Linda to arrive. Nick is quite smitten with Onno and while I prepared food for Linda, the three of them ran around. Finally Linda arrived and my au pair day came to an end. As we drove to Rotterdam I constantly had to remind Onno to concentrate on the road and ignore all the fireworks but that’s easier said than done. Okay. I’m joking. Okay. Not really. Once we arrived in Rotterdam it was a completely different atmosphere then little old Zoetermeer. The fireworks was bigger and closer and I was becoming a little freaked out. in the apartment I relaxed at last and enjoyed my romantic night with Onno. We prepared a lovely pasta meal while drinking some wine. We played around in bed (whoops I should probably not add the details that followed this) and before we knew it, it was a hour before midnight. We moved to the roof and the first 15 minutes was nice. Onno set his own firework off and it was cool and scary at the same time. But then it went bad. All hell went loose. The Chinese came in and they went big. They set of big fireworks in our direction and because they were standing in the middle of the street…we were closer to the fireworks than what I would like. It was TOO close. It didn’t stop and I was scared shitless. Finally Onno half forced me off the roof because I was too damn scared to move and back in the apartment I started to cry. I became even more upset when I saw it was about 10 minutes away from midnight. With a rush we tried to prepare the broken curtain railing for privacy. (You have to climb out a window to get to the roof and in our haste the curtain railing fell. It opened a window that faces our neighbours balcony and they were outside and could look into our entire house. No fun.) Onno opened the champagne but time was not in our favour so that last few seconds we just dropped everything we were doing, as the clock hit 00:00 and the fireworks went off…our lips were locked in a passionate kiss. I finally started to calm down as we just embraced for a few moments watching the fireworks from our window. Afterwards we restarted our own countdown and drank our glass of champagne. We talked about our goals for the new year. The main thing was to stay strong and be together whenever we can. We climbed in bed, watched Mythbusters and just enjoyed being together. The next day we cleaned the house (we tracked mud in from the roof) and jut spend the rest of the day together, watching TV and walking around the city. We just enjoyed every second we had together as we both knew soon I will be leaving…and our relationship will be tested for the first time. Long distance is anything but easy.

 

Story Time

Our First Christmas As Husband And Wife

I hope you all had a wonderful and joyous time with family and friends this Christmas. I don’t know about you but I LOVE Christmas. I haven’t always had a great Christmas so I really cherish the good ones. This Christmas was our first Christmas together as a married couple and I can honestly say it was the best Christmas I’ve ever had.

The celebration started the day before, on Christmas eve. We spend the day watching movies under the blankets. After dinner we started preparing food for Christmas. We made the dessert, a milktart. For those who don’t know milktart is creamy cinnamon dessert from South Africa. Annndd no I will never share the recipe. I’m taking my recipe to the grave. You can find many recipes online and if you are ever interested to try it, just Google it. It is a delicious light dessert that makes my soul happy. While the milktart was doing it’s thing on the oven top I boiled potatoes and eventually added eggs. It was for the cold potato salad. It tastes best to make it the night before and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. After everything was prepared, it was close to midnight. As a child I begged to open my presents and Onno easily gave in. He was just as curious for his Christmas present as I was for mine.

Presents this year was easy. Onno knew what I wanted and I had to think about his. He wants to buy a laptop next year so technically that will be his Christmas present but I couldn’t be the only one receiving something on Christmas so I bought him funny underwear. He loves it. I wanted a FitBit for the new year. Or well a fitness watch. Before deciding on the FitBit Charge 2, I did a ton of research. I even discovered a new part of YouTube. I’m very pleased with the watch so far even though I have yet to wear it for an actual workout but so far so good. The only thing that is a little blow to my ego is their rating on my cardio fitness. I like to think that because I have yet to do a workout wearing the device, so they don’t know my maximum heart rate, the result is unreliable. I’m hoping. Otherwise I have some work cut out for me in the new year. Other than that, I saw a great deal on a makeup gift box which definitely peaked my interested and my husband never misses a beat and surprised me with the five cosmetic pallets. Speculoos happily enjoyed his Christmas present as well, a can of tuna.

Some people always preach how Christmas is not about the presents and instead of the memories you make with family and friends and in a way I completely agree. However I’m not ashamed to admit that I love receiving presents. I don’t expect big things that cost someone an arm or a leg. It can be something homemade or something small. I just like having something physical to connect a memory too. The feeling I get when I open a present without knowing its contents. It makes me happy. You can wrap a pair of socks and I would be so excited to receive them. As long as the person gave some thought to it, I can’t be happier. Although while I’m honest I find creams and soaps always a weird gift. I have specific brands and types I want and I always have these things at home so it is always a gift that makes me go…uhm okay. Thank you? I didn’t know I stank. It just feels impersonal and almost lazy? Perfume is okay though. I don’t always wear them and they will probably stay around for years. I’m a little weird. Just give me socks.

Anyway I’m getting slightly off track. After opening presents, we watched a movie, danced around a little and finally went to bed around 1am. We slept in, snoozing the 9am alarm. Eventually I woke up with a start and when I checked the time I hastily got up. The ham had to go into the oven as it will take a few hours to cook to perfection. Oh boy was the food delicious. I made ham, lamb, carrot, pumpkin and sweet potatoes and the sauce was perfect. It was a full blown meal that just reminds me of home. We ate around 3pm and after dinner we entered the food coma stadium. Only to wake up two hours later for dessert and a Skype session with my parents. We watched one movie, fell asleep on the couch and snoozed till way later. Around 10pm we finally digested enough food to have the ability to move so we played card games. I completely humiliated Onno with Uno. It was the perfect Christmas. I loved every second of it.

Here is a picture of our Christmas table:

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The second day of Christmas, so the 26th, we travelled to Onno’s parents house where the fun and good food continued. I brought 8 cups and paint for a great family activity with. So here in the Netherlands, the Dutch don’t typically exchange gifts on Christmas so I wanted to do get a present that everyone can enjoy and everyone can take home and thus the 8 cups and paint idea. Everyone got a cup, drew a name and painted whatever they wanted on the cup. It was a lot of fun and it was quite a success. Another great day with my in laws!

It truly showed me how grateful and blessed I am to have such a great and happy home here in the Netherlands. I really love Christmas and the happiness it brings. It was the perfect end to 2017.

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Story Time

My First (Real) Snow Day

I don’t know about you but seeing snow falls relaxes me. I’ve always loved the purity that is snow. No matter on what it falls, snow looks the same. A clear white blanket on all the ugly. I really can’t get over on how beautiful snow is. So imagine my happiness when I saw snow fall for the first time in person. When I heard that there will be snow over the weekend I thought a few snowflakes will fall but nothing massive but instead the snow came with a surprise with big and heavy snowflakes. I’m so happy right now because not only did I get one snow day, I got two right after each other. It was beautiful and so much fun!

On Sunday morning I woke up with a message from my cousin, the one who lives in England. It was snowing in England and he asked if we had any snow. I jumped up and ran to the window. There was light snow but nothing that exciting. I felt very disappointed. Where was my thick snow? So I begrudgingly went back to bed and spend two hours watching series. Eventually I got up for a bathroom pit stop and that’s when it caught my eye. Big heavy snow flakes falling. White covered everything. It was snowing! Real movie ready snow! I squealed and jumped up and down in front of the window in excitement. I immediately took photos for my parents and before they could reply I was calling them. First my mom whom then decided right there and then that instead of visiting me here in the Netherlands in the summer she is going to come in the winter. I chuckled a little because my mom is not known for her tolerance against the cold. I really can’t wait for the day my mom comes over to see my new home. I can only wish it will snow during her visit. After the two minute call, I dialed my dad who was just as pleased with the snow. Although he was very adamant that I should go outside and really enjoy it. I didn’t have to be told twice. I never dressed so quickly in my life.

The cold air that blew over my face when I opened my front door brought me more joy that I could ever imagine. I’m not exactly a cold blooded person. I’m the person who constantly complains that it’s cold and would rather stay inside and soak up the warmth. I basically embrace the hobbit inside of me. But this time around I didn’t want to turn around and go back in. I wanted to play around in the snow and that’s what I did. I danced. I made snow balls. I made a snow angel although, in the moment and the shock of how cold the snow was all over my body, I forgot to do my feet. I laughed so much. I destroyed Onno’s snowman because running through it was so much fun. It truly was so much fun. I love the snow. I even came to the conclusion that even though I was cold, I couldn’t care less because of how beautiful the snow is. I dare to even say that I wouldn’t mind living in a snowy country. Yes, the person who complains about a cold wind and loves being in the sun actually uttered those words. I even told Onno that one day I want to spend a week in a snow cabin with no internet connection. Oh that sounds so romantic. I really love the snow!

Day two in my snow experience I was out and about. My experience wasn’t unpleasant in any means but it could’ve gone wrong for me quite easily. So here in the Netherlands there was chaos. We made a new record for the longest time stuck in the traffic in years. I’m so happy I don’t drive here. There was trains delays basically left and right. If a train was running like it was supposed to you would consider yourself lucky. Now most people, those who could, decided to work from home that day. Onno was one of them and it is good that he did otherwise his day would’ve sucked. I will get back to that one in a minute. I had an appointment in Amsterdam that I couldn’t get out of, my visa appointment for England. It’s quite critical that I make the appointment otherwise there is no England trip for me. So Onno spend the morning constantly checking the trains. I left home just before one. My appointment is at three. It took me nearly two hours to get there. Once I got to the final station, I had a five minute walk to the agency. Maps of course didn’t know if I should go left or right and couldn’t understand the concept of a few bridges. It took me a few tries and wrong turns, but I found the place.

There I spend nearly two hours, just waiting. Oh I have to tell you this. It was so cool and impressive. I’m still giving my ninja self a pat on the back. I’m not kidding. The second I could, I told my husband about this because it’s that cool. So there is two rooms at the visa place. The right hand side is the entryway and the left hand side is the desks where they help you. Separating these two rooms is a knee length glass door that swings open into the entryway. So when your appointment is finished, you click on a button and the door swings open and off you go. The entire two hours I sat there the door always opened into the entryway. When it was my turn to leave the door swung the other way around. Before I could hit me, heck before my brain could even process what was happening. I sidestepped it and it missed me. I just casually sidestepped the swinging door before it could hit me. The guard was like wow and another customer was like wow impressive. I felt like a ninja. So fabulous with the reflexes of a cat. I’m seriously still patting myself on the back. I really needed that confidence boost because I’m still blushing from embarrassment at my little Starbucks Dutch blunder. I can’t even get myself to retell that story. Eeeeppppp! Hide me!

When I arrived at the Amsterdam station it was close 5pm, the snow was still going very strong and train delays were everywhere. I’ve never seen so many train delays in my life. Chaos I tell you. There was three possible trains I could take that would take me home, all delayed and it wasn’t clear which one would actually get me home. I took a risk and it paid off. I found a train that will take me straight to Rotterdam Central Station. It’s a long ride, over a hour but I won’t have to transfer anywhere and stand I chance to get stranded. Nope. None of that. Straight sailing for me. Once I got home however Onno informed me on how close I got to being stranded in Amsterdam for the night. The train I took…yeah it was the last one out. If I missed that one I would’ve had a very cold night at the station. I’m counting my lucky stars. If Onno went to work, he also would’ve been stranded.

So although I love the snow, I like being able to go home and enjoy warmth while I watch the snow fall. It’s melting as I’m writing this and I miss it already. Snow is still so beautiful especially if I can share it with my husband.