Ibiza: More Than You Think

by farrah on September 2, 2014 · 2 comments

When my husband suggested that we go to Ibiza for our 8th anniversary trip I thought he was nuts. I had not heard of Ibiza before moving to the Netherlands, but somewhere along the line I learned about this island known for its wild parties, beautiful people and club scene. Knowing full well that this was something so out of my reality- I kept it in the background noise. My husband had a friend at work who along with his bachelor buddies rented a yacht and lived like rock stars for several days. Aquamarine waters, soft sand and blue skies. Sounds like a beautiful place, but party-wise not for someone like me. Definitely not.

FormenteraBeach on Formentera

I had to remind him that hello! I was 38- and a mom. The famous all-night club scene typically started long after I would go to bed. We were old. We were tired. We just didn’t  do that sort of thing. But he seemed to really be excited about it- and who was I to say no? He picked the hotel and we waited anxiously for the weeks to tick by and our imminent child-free freedom would be won.

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Expat Returns: Moving Home

by farrah on August 29, 2014 · 16 comments

For a while I’ve had an idea brewing in my head regarding a recurring guest post series by expats who have returned home. Maybe because this is a morbid fascination that I have for the idea- for I am constantly catching myself counting. Counting down how much time we have left, scheduling possible adventures and hoping we squeeze as much into this ride as possible. This is a big transition for many people- and if I can offer them an outlet to share their story, I’m all the happier. So I begin with my ongoing series: Expat Returns.

Expat returns [click to continue…]

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Review: Emob4Toys & the Coppa Goal

by farrah on August 27, 2014 · 0 comments

emob4toys

I’ve been struggling lately with finding my way with online stores in the NL. Some sites aren’t very user friendly and to be honest- I don’t know where to look. I don’t like to rely on AmazonUK and pay crazy shipping. Thus, can you imagine my happiness when I was contacted by Emob4toys and their Netherlands webshop?

EMOB made a selection of durable and modern toys you will not find just anywhere. The Royal dollhouses, detailed kitchenettes or the stylish dressing tables, … The toys that you find at EMOB, is just a little more fun than the toys out of the ordinary toy store. Enrich the creativity of your child with challenging toys EMOB. –translated from Dutch.

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Don’t mistake ‘unsentimental’ with not being a little bit misty. Because well, I am. But just a little bit. For the most part we’re starting this school year off exactly the same as last year: in the same school, same classes, same teachers and mostly the same kids. That indeed made it one easy morning for me and probably for them too. How is this possible? Well, as part of the whole expat gig there are pros and cons and you might consider today a con.

Image for Mash-Up Project

With the twins

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Products I Love: Berba Bags & Limango

by farrah on August 23, 2014 · 2 comments

A while ago I posted an Instagram of a bag that I bought from a local shop in Oisterwijk. This shop’s owner told me the story of how her father used to work for the man who started the company that made these bags, and now it’s run by his two sons. I liked that story, loved the bag, and went on my merry little way.

The first Berba products were created in 1974 at a location near the city of Maastricht in South Limburg in the Netherlands. The name Berba soon became synonymous with unique, characteristic designs and outstanding quality. Since 2010, brothers Berry and Tim Kuckelkorn have formed the second generation in this family-run company, bringing together traditions and the very latest developments in the field of fashion and types of leather. The fact that all samples are still produced by hand demonstrates that traditional craftsmanship is a priority within the Limburg family business.

bag

Last week I told you about Limango, which is similar to Zulily here in the NL. The site is easy to use, THEY TAKE PAYPAL! and have great offers. **I do not work for them, I am not being compensated by them, I do not have a relationship with them!* BUT….. I just noticed that they’re offering Berba bags today! Holy cats. Jump on these. Great prices (no, really), and the quality is exceptional. Besides- it’s really nice to have something locally made, right?

And as stated, I have absolutely no relationship with either company, but I do have a link since you need to join Limango to buy something. You can use mine, or not. My feelings will not be hurt. I get €10 or something with anyone who signs up using my link is all. Their shipping was quick, and I see stuff on there all the time that I want. This may or may not be a good thing.

So that’s it. Happy shopping!

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I wrote several weeks ago how my fiets was kaput (bike was broken). I hit something and totally messed up part of a gear and had to get it to the shop. Well, of course one of the pitfalls having a foreign bike is that you have to specially request a needed part and have it shipped over. My bike sat and waited until the part arrived (via the awesome Jared Madsen himself) and yesterday I picked my bike up. JOY! BUT…. There was something else wrong. And that led me to Nicolas Müller Jabusch- the ‘lasser’.

welHis studio. Photo source: Google maps. [click to continue…]

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Expat Tourists

by farrah on August 21, 2014 · 2 comments

In my mind, there’s nothing wrong with using the term ‘expat’ and there’s nothing wrong with the term ‘tourist’. For some reason there are those out there in the world that feel both of these terms are derogatory in nature. How, I have no idea. Who really freaking cares what you are? I consider myself an expat here in the NL (it’s the easiest descriptor) and when we travel, we’re tourists. Do I go around telling people we’re tourists? Uh, no. But I clearly am while walking around a city for the first time- in awe of its’ beauty.

So anyhow, I wanted to start this off a little more positively than I did- so I’ll try it again.

I love expats and I love tourists. Anyone who travels in my opinion and wants to see, experience, and BE more of the world is a-ok with me. I have two quick stories for you about both. Sort of.

umL was really excited to hold an open umbrella in the house.  [click to continue…]

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Fish Feet: Updates of the Random Nature

by farrah on August 20, 2014 · 0 comments

I’m currently in a state of limbo- waiting for something to happen, trying to enjoy the present, and worrying about the future. We’ve got a lot on the horizon right now, and it’s starting to eat at me in little bits. Like those fish spas people go to to stick their feet in tanks and the little fish nibble off the dead skin. I’m the feet. Ok, that’s a really gross analogy- but I think you get what I’m saying.

feetI do not suggest you scour the internet for ‘fish spa’ images. Do. Not.  [click to continue…]

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Back To School Shopping Expat Style

by farrah on August 18, 2014 · 7 comments

One of the few things I seem to share with my US parental counterparts is that this exact moment is back to school shopping time. I feel like so much of the school year we’re off a little bit with holidays and other events (bus riding, kinder roundup etc) that this is the one time that I can truly relate to a rather expensive endeavor. Well, almost. We don’t get the obscene school supply requirements- thankfully. But, we all still do the ritual of back to school shopping- which as expats puts a bit of a spin on the experience. Can you imagine BTS without Target?!

photo 1-92My ragamuffins in Antwerp.  [click to continue…]

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Last night I went to bed very early. Like 8:00 early. I was a little nervous, as when I’ve done this in the past I ended up waking around midnight unable to fall back asleep. My fears came true and I did wake up, but it was due to an awful nightmare. It bothered me so much that in the dark I fumbled around, found my phone and typed into the notes what it was about. Unable to fall back asleep, I tried to figure out what the nightmare meant. And then I circled it all the way back around to my 20th high school reunion.

reuThis is one happy group of people. 

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