Christmas Dinner in details...

>> Monday, December 28, 2009

Starter was a salad of fresh greens with vinegrette, walnuts and grapes. The ham rolls had yummy apple salad inside. The sweet and salty combo was just the thing to get our apetite going!










Next came my Tom Ka Kai soup. I was really glad with how it turned out, I'll put up the recipe later. It was a bit spicier then perhaps expected by the 'general public' as to my horror I heard some people totally started caughing. But I think once they realized that it's stuff for a serious palette they toughened up whiped their tears and ate it.








Main course was done by the hosts. Duck brest with fluffy potatoes, green beens and marinated zucchini, with a chutney of mango, pinaple and peach. Delishious enough to lick your little fingers!













Miele, Vito's lovely cousin, made the desert. Crumble apple pie with cinnamon ice cream!! Yes indeed it was that exciting. I for one, never seen cinnamon ice cream in the US. Perhaps PR/Marketing people have decided that Americans associate cinnamon with warmth and would not like it in an ice cream. Those PR/Marketing people, how dare them decide our lives!?
















Anyway and there you have it, our Christmas Dinner on the farm.

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Once upon a christmas.

>> Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lovely Christmas at Vito's Aunt's and Uncle's house. There was snow, cute babies with chubby cheeks, many course dinner, and heated board game competition...

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a Dutch farm house...

>> Friday, December 25, 2009


Vito's aunt and uncle live on a typical Dutch farm. I love going there and trying to imagine what time must have been like back in the day. There is something so quietly happy about it, I don't know how to explain it.
We got a surprise this morning when we woke up, the snow that has just about all melted yesterday was back again! It snowed overnight and was all white again!
Above is a shot of the farm and here is Vito with Shakira.

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Merry Christmas!

>> Thursday, December 24, 2009

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Hmm...

>> Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How bad was your 2009?

Well ours was so bad that people are sending us "Good Luck" cards instead of "Merry Christmas/Happy new year". That's how bad. Oiii.

And it's true, I absolutely can't wait for 2010!

*veel geluk-good luck in Dutch
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Introductions

Hi!

I love reading blogs, it's like walking by a house in the evening and the light is on and the curtains are opened. You get to look in, see what the people are doing, see what they've done with the decor, etc, etc. Blogs are even better! It's like the people inside the house saw you walk by and ran out to invite you in for some tea and cookies and pretty much answer any question you want to pose them. I love it. I'm nosy, yes, and so what. I love to see what others are doing in their lives, what decisions they make and why, and perhaps learn a thing or two.

When I find a new blog that I like, I always look for the 'about me' section or find the very beginning to see who the person is and why they started the blog. So it's only fair that I make such a post for my blog.

So, who am I? I'm from the US and have moved to the Netherlands in 2007 because I met my darling Vito and he thought living in his small town Netherlands would be better then New York City (where I lived). He whisked me away exactly 1 year from the day we first laid eyes on each other. After a year living here we bough a cute little house, and 6 months ago we got married!

I love living here, I actually always dreamed of living in a small town America, and come to think of it, I basically have the same set up here, just a couple of windmills here and there throwing you off! This brings me to one of the reasons I started this blog. It's so easy to fall into the everyday flow of things and forget that you're living a real life fairy tale!!! I want to be sure and remind myself of the beautiful things around me.

Reason two.. having a husband (eeh! I still feel funny when I say that!), one must feed the husband. Yes I know it's the modern world and men cook, but STILL, I think every woman must know how to entice her man with good cooking. Anyway, reason two for this blog is to write down the recipes of things I cook so I can make them again. I tend to variate recipes I find on the internet and some times they come out especially wonderfully but gollygee I can't remember what the heck I did next time I try to make the dish!!! Like the absolutely yummy chilly soup I made out of remaining bolognese sauce... Can't remember what it was I did to make it so yum that first time.

Reason three. As there should be a three! I'm 31, (eeh! I still feel funny when I say that!) and I believe it's really time to accomplish the things that we had in mind when we were 21 graduating college and thinking arrogantly that we will conquer the world and all the people before us that said they would but did not were all idiots. Anyway, it's REALLY time to get on top of that. Like now. So I'd like to document my road here towards becoming a billionair-ess, or something just as appropriately ambitious. You think I'm kidding, I'm so not. I do have a few ideas about some interesting projects, neither of which has billions written on it, but that's not the point. I'm the type of person who is motivated by a goal rather then the actual achievement of it. The moment I achieve my goal however bogus, I need to immediately set another one or else I start moping around like an abandoned puppy outside of the supermarket. I say, if you shoot for the sun then you'll at least hit a star and that's perfectly fine with me! (As long as I hit something, yeah, I know I'm a bit violent).

A bit more about me... I love to travel, eat well, dress well, and party with family and friends. I've always loved to surprise people around me, now I think I'm at a point where I'd like to inspire them, and surprise myself instead. Oh yeah, and I LOVE coffee! (It must be the ex-new yorker in me.)

Hope you've enjoyed my little 'about me' section. This is probably the most 'normal' you'll ever see me acting. Seriously.
Ta! Air kisses on both cheeks daaaling!

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The "Holiday Program"

This year's christmas line up:

1. Dinner on a farm with the aunt, uncle and the cousins. All of us are bringing a course, I'm making Tom Ka Kai soup.

2. Christmas concert in a beautiful old church in which Vito's dad will sing.

3. Annual Christmas dinner with "Sea wolf". Sea wolf is Vito's dad's friend who just has a look of an old sailor, though he has absolutely nothing to do with sailing...

4. My friend Kaya is coming to visit with her brand new husband! (Brand new because I have never met him. They met AND got married all within the last 2 and a half years that I was already in the Netherlands). I'm super excited.

I love holidays!

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Don't melt till Christmas!

>> Monday, December 21, 2009

View from our window.
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Happy days!

Now let's see if email posting via mobile works...
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Weather diaries

>> Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Last night we heard the fist thunder of the season here in Amsterdam!  Spring is really on the way.  What does this mean to the good citizens (and residents) of Holland?  It means sitting outside the cafes on the terraces and drinking their beverage of choice while commenting on how good the sun rays feel agains the skin. 
 
Global warming also reared it's ugly head and after the thunder there came a bit of sleet.
 
I still have not decided which direction to take the blog, which I'm sure is making you all extremely sad and disoriented.  It's ok.  You need to learn self sufficiency at some point.
 
 

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looming doome...continued

>> Monday, March 2, 2009

Big Vito and I were in NY last week visiting the family.  It was extremely lovely!  We received TONS of love from all of my family members, the chosen format was food.  Ahhhhh love is YUMMY!
 
We also took a chance to do some quicky shopping though the dollar is not that weak against the euro anymore... (or at least it wasn't last week?).
 
Maybe it was my imagination but the 'vibe' on the 'street' was sort of blue.  Everyone seemed to be sedated in a way.  Even walking up Broadway in SOHO which is usually stacked with slightly crazed people shopping, seemed desolate!  It was scary.  I'm sorry, if people can't afford Zara, then what's next?  Wearing a TRASH BAG???
 
 
If this ain't the signs of the 'end of days' then I don't know what is!
 
 

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Paris! Hand me that dog!

>> Friday, February 13, 2009

I am publically protesting this economic downturn depressing bullcrap! 
 
I have decided to take a STAND and NOT change the way I live!
 
To demonstrate my protest I have prominently desplayed the Financial Times "how to spend it" magazine on my desk all day today!
 
Like I said, I'm refuse to change the way I live and behave just because there is a boo-hoo crisis going on.  I'm going to CONTINUE to leaf through such magazines and to droool over 5,000 dollar shoes, dimond encrusted mercedees's, and 80,000 dollar super lux vacations, in teh VERY SAME way I've been doing before the crisis. 
 
That's right!  I refuse to let this affect me!
 
ps: I get the magazine for free since my job subscribes to FT. 

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>> Thursday, February 12, 2009

If I hear yet another person mention yet another one of the following words: recession, I can't afford this, crisis, job cuts, no money for vacation, can't go shoping... I WILL SCREAM!!!
 
 

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if i was a rich girl... la la la la la la....

>> Friday, January 23, 2009

Have you ever thought of the possibility of a 'parallel universe'.  You know, the whole phenomenon of time travel and how just perhaps if you would have gotten an "A" in that blasted Finance class, it might have propelled you to be accepted at an Ivy league university which intern would have given you the opportunity to make friends with rich people, who would offer you that cushy highly over paid job at their fathers company? That job that would have sent you on a delicious spiral of champagne drinks in the morning and midnight soirees on your YACHT!????
 
Just saying...
 
I would like to be sitting on a white leather arm chair on a rooftop patio of Copacabana Palace, sipping a sweet, pink and packed with alcohol to a lethal consistency, drink from a martini glass.  The sun is setting... and I'm trying to decide which party to go to later.
 
Now I understand that Copacabana Palace is just the pure vulgar luxury that is just in your face.  Guess what, I'm so down with that right about now!
 
Enjoy the eye candy:
 
 

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>> Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Excuse me.. Is it Friday yet??

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I'm way too glamourous

>> Monday, January 19, 2009

Fabulously Glamorous Weekend, why... it's just so very normal daaaling!
 
Ok, so Friday after a fit of workaholicism that lasted precisely 5 days, I could not wait to run out in to the green pastures and get myself quickly to the nearest 'watering' facility.  Drinks were definitely in order and a few of my very fabulous friends and I met at the college hotel for some cocktails.
 
As I arrived I was welcomed with a shot of hot chocolate with brandy.  Yum.  I proceeded to the bar and immediately ordered a Kir Royal since I knew my fabulous friends will be running fashionably late. I on the other hand could not wait around for propriety's sake.
 
Sadly Friday was a bit of a goodbye thing for the lovely and talented "Andina', her and her brand new husband are moving to Cyprus to live in the sunshine.  Ahh... I just can't wait to visit and see what she'll do to the penthouse. I'm sure it'll look like eye candy. 
 
Everyone finally arrived and we settled into some plush chairs by the fireplace and got started with rounds.  I had a Martini (shaken not stirred) and a royal something or other, it was lovely, champagne topped with blue berries bouncing in the glass.
 
By the end of the evening we ended up in a tiny Greek restaurant chucking ouzo and singing to the owner sitting on the bar playing the guitar.  Fun times.
 
What is mind boggling is that Andina was completely difficult to get to go out, but now that she knows she is leaving she's become a bit of a party animal.  It does look like she is a lot happier and maybe it is what's triggering this shot of party energy.
 
Saturday Vito and I spent buying more stuff for the house.  Note to self: when I'm a billionaire I will hire a TEAM who will do all these things for us.  But never mind that for now.  In the evening our very glamorous friends came over for a nice relaxed dinner.  Seriously, they jetting of to LAPLAND in a while.  I'm so jealous.  Apparently it's currently dark for 24 hours and I imagine that just makes everything feel like a candle lit dinner!  They're staying at a cabin with fireplace and you can just imagine what they'll be doing the whole time.  Ahhh... while I'll be at work.
 
Anyway, Vito and I cooked up:
 
Gambas al ajillo for starters
Pork stakes with wild almond rice
and a spinach salad with lots of fun things in it like mandarins and cranberries...
Desert!? Don't even ask, limoncello granitas!
 
Sunday... Well I needed to detox from all the cocktails over the weekend.  It was Green tea and major exfoliation.  In the evening we were at the 'in-laws' having a completely Dutch meal.  Dutch food is super yummy.  Stompots or "mashes" are very popular.  I think it's heaven food for kids!  When i was little i used to LOVE mashing together everything on my plate, but my parents yelled at me saying not to play with my food.  Now if only I can somehow get everyone to eat with their hands, it'll be perfection!!!
 

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the game

>> Friday, January 16, 2009

Ok, I have a new fun game for us to play!
 
My life is pretty normal now, it's fabulous and very cosy in fact.  That however does not make for a very exciting blog I'm afraid.  And I don't really want to go on and on about how everything is peachy because unfortunately it's not fun to read about. 
 
So we're going to get into a bit of a alter ego type set up.
 
Ok ready? Here we go.
 
Who should I be:
 
1. Billionaire heiress
 
2. Super duper entrepreneur extravaganza chick
 
3. ? open for suggestions?
 
Rules of the 'game' -
I will write about my life as if I'm my alter ego.  There must be at least ONE truthful element in every post.  All personas mentioned have to be actual people from real life, though they can also be embellished to such an extent that they do nor resemble any reality what so ever.
 
Theme - James Bond meets Paris Hilton meets Alwilda!
 
 
 

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wrong answer

>> Thursday, January 15, 2009


OK fine, I can do some cultural commentary as well. Here is what went on last weekend in the wilderness of Holland! They froze the field and skated on it. I got a bit nostalgic over my childhood in Kiev... we did the same thing. As a proper little girl I had my cute white skates and was skating around pretending to be a Snegurachka, or sometimes Snezjinka... sometimes even a little white furry bunny... that's probably because I had a white rabbit fur hat.
Anyway, funny thing is that the Dutch think they're the only ones that do this. Maybe they should not feel blind confidence that just because they travel a lot they understand the world. Understanding the world involves making friends with the people from those lands.
Let's take the USA for example. The Dutch think that they know everything about the US and Americans. When I ask them how many actual Americans they have met - most of them reply: Joey, Chandler, Monica, Rachel, Ross and Phoebe. Wow, like omg, that's SO crazy! I totally know a TV SHOW with the same exact people! How cool!

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R u taking notes hollywood?

>> Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thank you Sara for explaining that Casino Royal and Quantum of Solace are actually pre-quels of James Bond.
 
NOW it makes a lot more sense!!!
 
So last night I saw Quantum of Solace, good.... very pretty movie too.  Like!
 
I think in general pre-quels have better chance of being 'good' rather then sequels.  Star Wars did it right.  I like the James Bond ones.  Now lets look at Indiana Jones, they did a sequel and it just didn't work. They're just a lot harder to pull off!  I mean we already have our own expectations and ideas of where we wished the story would go, and most importantly we are ATTACHED to the character! we dont want to see them age or be replaced by a son or whoever.  
 
I'm still annoyed at how he fell in love with that chick in exactly THREE days!?????  Whatever.
 
And M!?  what a TEASE!  She started out both movies by pretty much trying to bring Bond back 'in' and ended each movie with "I'm going to need you back".  Love it, kinda I hate you go away, no wait, I need you come hold me.
 
On the other note, I'm part of the expat blogs (as you see on the side bar) but I can't seem to find anything 'expaty' to write about!   I just don't find Netherlands to be all that different from the US.  Which is GOOD in terms of working and living here, but NOT good in terms of finding expaty things to blog about.  But here we go:  alexisinamsterdam.blogspot.com had a post about why dutch people are deathly afraid of sticking out.
 
Now you can't say I never tell you anything relevant...
 

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>> Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday's totally SUCK!
 
I have seen Casino Royal for the first time on Friday. Am I the only one who is completely disgusted with James Bond being all in LOVE??? That's so wrong!  EWW!  Sean Connery stays number 1 James Bond ever of all times!!!!
 
Seriously, WHY mess with a formula that works.
 
This new James Bond breaks every rule in the book, falls in love with ONE girl.  Orders some funky martinis (Shaken not stirred!!!! JUST SAY THAT and don't be making up other nonsense.)
 
I hear in Quantum of Solace a Russian chick plays a Bolivian.  WHY??? WHYYY????? You finally got a real Russian actress, LET her be RUSSIAN!  OH... and I hear he doesn't even do her!?!?  Seriously!???? What!?
 
Mr. Connery, can you PLEASE DO SOMETHING!!!??

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Clickady click click show me the money!

>> Friday, January 9, 2009

This fun..
 
Have you ever wanted to know how much your co-workers are making?  Have you ever wanted to know how much you manager is making?
 
Well here you go: http://www.glassdoor.com
 
This is pretty much something you can take to the negotiating table at your next salary review.  Get your HR department back for scoping you out on facebook.
 
I'm thinking that will all these resources available on the internet there's very little anyone can hide weather employer or an employee. 
 
That being said; we can also manipulate these resources to work for our benefit... like say, a gold digger can photoshop herself on an expensive yacht and upload these pictures on facebook in order to attract rich boyfriends and fool them into thinking she is also rich.  You know... just as an example.... like totally random... you know... or say, that same said gold digger wanted to know if the guy she just met at a bar underneath the law firm really IS making as much money as he was hinting at.  ...Again... totally random example...
 
My evil genius is really boundless...
You're welcome, let auntie Ale teach you everything...
 
Have a great weekend!!!!!!
 
end#
 
 

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How to beat seasonal blues. 7 step super program. You're welcome.

>> Thursday, January 8, 2009

The winter season. If you're in the northern leaning regions I'm sure that many of you are experiencing some form of the seasonal blues. Depression is such a yukky word so let's not use it, I prefer saying the 'blues' because it makes me think of Louisiana and fun old men singing while people are chowing down jambalaya.

Anyway, I thought I would be nice and share my infinite wisdom with all you mare mortals. I will outline here exactly how to beat the seasonal blues OR even worse the D word.

As you start feeling the symptoms which could include: low energy, constant munching on the couch in front of TV, mood swings, not being in the mood for your favorite sweater... etc.. you should immediately start executing the official "Sunny all the time Super System for anti Blues".

1. Get a PEDICURE. Or if you're in the Netherlands where it's impossible to get a decent pedi, you can do it yourself. The most important thing is the color. These are the approved color list:
a. Fire engine RED
b. The Dutch Royal ORANGE
c. Little mermaid on a CORAL reef
d. The only blues on me are on my toes ELECTRIC BLUE
e. I'm a lady that gets paid for her affections in South Beach HOT PINK

2. Next you get yourself to the nearest lingerie shop and buy something completely inappropriate for the cold winter weather. Silk and lace!? Bring it ON!

3. Change your hair. A slightly different cut? Maybe more highlights then usual?

4. Get a new eye shadow or a new lip gloss, new perfume even!!

5. In the morning dress as if you're meeting prince Harry for drinks after work. (Why prince Harry and not prince William? Well because we like young thangs! And we looooove red heads.)

6. Extra exercise. (Hmm this should be number 1 actually).

7. Take good multi vitamins - they so totally work I so promise you! For real!

Now here comes the most important thing*******

This program must be continually followed for 6 WEEKS.

I must add however that what worked VERY well for me last year was a 3 week trip to Argentina last February!!!! Ah... oh well... this year inappropriate undies and red toes will just have to do I guess.... ;)

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Learning life lessons and how Laundry can be utilized as the vehicle with which to learn those lessons.

>> Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wow it works!
 
email blogging works!!! and i was 'afraid to learn it'.
 
This is yet another the classic case of blondness. 
 
Do you know that I was able to hold off learning how to do laundry till about 26.  What's even MORE amusing is that people seemed to be OK with doing the laundry for me.
 
Here is how I did it:
 
birth - 11 - mommy did my laundry
11-14 - summer camp - the younger kids managed the washing machine and drier for me and thought it a privilege
College years - my roommate did my laundry or I would take it home on the weekends
1 year in Italy - my roommate did it... AND since we didn't have a dryer she'd hang it outside on the balcony
about 1 year living in California - my roommates did it and when I moved to my own apartment, I'd bring the laundry to my cousin down the street to do it.
1 year living in Manhattan - took it home on weekends
 
THEN I finally decided to learn how to do it and it was EASY!!!!!!!!!!!!  SO easy!!!!!
 
Anyway, the brief moment of nirvana ended when I moved to the Netherlands and the washing machine was in dutch... and had a whole lot of more settings....
 
1st year in Holland - Vito did the laundry
 
2nd year in Holland - I learned some Dutch now I can speak to the washing machine... it is harder though then the american machine.  You have to read the clothing labels to see the suggested temperature then select matching one on the dile, then decide weather or not the clothes are black, white or mixed, rough, delicate or synthetic..?? WTF? THEN.... not to mention the same story repeats itself when it comes to drying... do you want it: dry? very dry? or extremely dry?
 
So my point was that I refrained from learning how to email blog for SUCH a long time, but it turned out to be EASY.
 
Homework kids, go try something you've never tried because you thought it was too complicated, come back and report.
 

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testing?

just testing the gmail blogging... this way i can post everyday without a sweat.

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About This Blog

A blog about finding something beautiful in everyday. Lots of time we forget to do that.



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