Visiting the Tulip Fields in Holland

If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you might have noticed that my travel schedule has been (for lack of a better a phrase) pretty f*cking hectic lately. In April I had guests or work travel every week, with the exception of one stunning long weekend, right at the end of the month. My boyfriend, who I had been neglecting due to work obligations and guests, sweetly suggested that we enjoy the long weekend together. And so I took a red eye back from NYC, napped for a few short morning hours, and packed yet another bag. Thankfully, we had decided to forgo planes and enjoy a mini-European road trip, with an overnight in Antwerp, Belgium and some spontaneous pit stops along the way. Road trippppp! :)IMG_5592Springtime is my favorite season in Holland. In the spring, the weather is often warmer and more reliably sunny than in the summer, and!! you have the tulips. Miles and miles of endless colors paint the horizon, as Holland’s flagship crop begins to bloom. As Kai had never seen the Dutch tulips in all their vivid glory (which I’ve done before, many times! here and here) I suggested that we take our first road trip pit stop in Lisse, where the rainbow-colored tulip fields are both abundant and magnificent.

If you are also interested in visiting the tulips in Holland, here are some tips on when to visit, what to do, and how to get there (along with some photos from our adventure!) Continue reading

The Keukenhof, Holland

I’m sorry for going quiet these past few days. There are ebbs and flows in blogging, and this past week has definitely been a photo-taking, e-mail-answering, event-attending week. So I neglected the blog space slightly, for which I am sorry! To make it up to you, I would like to share the most colorful post of all time :) One of the reasons I’ve been preoccupied lately is because I’ve had a slew of guests visiting over the past few weeks. First my two best friends, Katie and Amie, came to town. Then my Mom. And then two good friends from college. So now springtime is coming to a close, and I truly feel like the past month has flown by in a blur. I took two weeks off from work, and there have been numerous long holiday weekends this month as well. As you can imagine, with so many guests, I’ve been constantly on the go, super social, and doing tons of cool things in and around Amsterdam! One sunny day while my Mom was here, we headed over to the stunning Keukenhof to admire the endless flower gardens (I’ve mentioned the Keukenhof before here, in my Amsterdam city guide!)
IMG_7168I really have no words that could compare to the beauty of the Keukenhof . . .  Continue reading

Sunshine Weekends

After what felt like months and months of gloomy weather, spring has finally sprung in Amsterdam. There are colorful tulips and crowded parks, late night sunshine and balmy bike rides. This past weekend, B and I went for a sunny stroll, and set ourselves down on a dock in the center of town. We watched the tourists buzz about, and the long canal boats float by, all while soaking up as much sun as humanly possible. IMG_0301IMG_0323IMG_0319IMG_0313IMG_0308IMG_0311

IMG_0300 copyEveryone else seemed to have the same idea, and the pier was filled with people reading, relaxing, and lapping at the sun.IMG_0300After an hour or two of sun basking, we hit the farmer’s market for some fresh dinner ingredients. When we got home, we opened all the windows, put on some happy tunes, and sipped a bit of bubbly.IMG_6925 IMG_6927Ben Champagne To freshen things up a bit, we added a few sprigs of mint to our champagne. Super easy to do and makes for a bright and cheery spring cocktail.

IMG_6944IMG_6967pass the drink Warning: these go down all too easy.IMG_6957IMG_6964IMG_6978IMG_6970Throughly bubbly hydrated, it was time to get cooking. For dinner, we called on some seasoning advice from one of my favorite cookbooks, Jerusalem. We had bought a pork tenderloin, and surprise-surprise, there are no pork recipes in Jerusalem. So we improvised and were a bit unorthodox . . . and used a lamb shawarma recipe as a spice rub for the pork lion.
IMG_6984Peppercorns, cloves, cardamom pods, fennel seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, paprika, lemon juice, coriander – this recipe calls for a million and one spices, but is amazingly good.IMG_6986We topped everything off with a healthy dose of mint. IMG_6991 IMG_6995B was an awesome prep chef and peeled / chopped parsnips and red onions. Which we then seasoned mildly, happy to let them roast in the loin’s hot juices. (lol loin’s hot juices)IMG_7007 IMG_7010To accompany our meal, we made a light yogurt dip – olive oil, a bit of paprika, black pepper, shaved cucumbers, and mint sprinkled on top of some cool yogurt.
IMG_7017The result was absolutely amazing – I’m a huge fan of buying fresh produce from the farmer’s market and cooking a great meal right there and then. IMG_7056We devoured every last bite, delighted yet again with Jerusalem’s awesome recipes. IMG_7047Now it’s Sunday night and I’m already weekend dreaming again. Here’s to some more sunshine and happy times next weekend! x

 

Kicking off Queen’s Day

Today I woke up to my beautiful tulips, fully bloomed, wishing me a cheerful ‘good morning!’ They were a happy sight, so I took a quick snap to share with you all.

FlowersTheir colors are quite timely, considering  the Queen’s Day festivities kick off today. Every year on April 30th, the Dutch get sloshed and raise a glass to the Queen. Amsterdam tuns into a giant block party, with awesome stages in all of the main squares, drinking and dancing in the streets, and hundreds of party boats all trying to navigate through the crowded canals. It’s an incredible sight – everyone wears orange and comes outside to enjoy the festivities. This year is extra special, as it’s the last Queen’s Day for a long time. Beatrix, the Queen, will be handing the throne over to her son on Tuesday, so next year we will be celebrating Kings Day! The coronation will take place in Amsterdam, so it’s a big day for the city!

Tonight, 180 has their annual Queen’s Day party with music, dancing and drinks – the start of an awesome weekend, packed with celebrations, and hopefully the sun will be out as well!

Hope you all have a lovely one! x

Delft

I live in the land of Delft. Tourist shops are littered with royal blue and white trinkets, and upscale china boutiques sell beautiful, authentic handmade Delft pieces. I’ve been craving a bit of Delft in my life. In fact, I’ve had these sheets on my spring wish list for the past three weeks. They’re beautiful and airy and incredibly Dutch.

They’re also from Ikea, which means they’re super affordable. But kind of a pain in the butt to obtain, as this means taking a train trip outside of town, winding through a museum-like, industrial sized retail store, and eating a nasty Ikea hotdog that I will inevitably be unable to resist. . . because it takes so damn long to get through the store, and I’m always starving by the end!

Anyways, this post isn’t about Ikea, or hotdogs. It’s about beautiful Delft colors, which have been trending on my personal Pinterest page. So kick up your feet, relax your mind, and feast your eyes on some Delft. Bon appetit!

Smiles

The month of March is almost upon us, and I have a confession. I’m absolutely dreading it. March is my least favorite month of the year. While I crave flowers and sunshine, March insists on frost and slush. March is an absolute tease. After a long winter of waiting, in March, the sun finally peeks through the clouds. The weather gets warmer, the birds start to chirp, and the flowers begin to bud. And then all of a sudden it’s snowing again and the flowers die and you’re stuck wearing a light weight coat because you foolishly packed away your cozy winter jacket a bit too soon. Damn you, March, every year! My March blues are already setting in, so I’ve come up with a list of home and self improvement projects to keep busy with over the next month. I’ve also booked a trip to London which I am sure will also help considerably. But in the meantime, for a few smiles, I’ve put together a random library of adorable animals for those bitter March moments. So without further adieu, here are some of my favorite cuties from around the web. Feel free to come back over the next month whenever you need a smile! x