My friend from the States is moving to Den Hague and is asking me all the questions. One of the reasons I love her is that I woke up to a question about pepper this morning. See, we’re not dealing with major heavy questions (although, those do exist) but since she’s lived abroad before she knows that the nitty-gritty details are also just as important. So, while I’m answering her questions- I thought it might be good to document her questions for anyone else who is getting ready to move to the Netherlands.

keukenhof (1) [click to continue…]

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A Weekend in Vught & Eindhoven’s Strijp

by farrah on September 15, 2014 · 4 comments

We had a great weekend with even better weather. I don’t know what’s happening, but this September has been to die for. Good thing, since August was pretty miserable and we needed this little pick me up. When the sun cooperates, I feel an immense sense of guilt whenever we’re inside, so it was a good thing that we had lots to do Saturday and Sunday. We ended up sticking close to home and enjoying little community pockets via the train to Vught & Eindhoven’s Strijp.

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Moving on the Mind: Dutch Decor

by farrah on September 11, 2014 · 11 comments

For the past few days I’ve had nothing but the ‘new’ old house on my mind. I am getting really excited to move in, but of course nervous at the same time. I mean, it’s MOVING after all. But- I do so solemnly swear that I am not going to whine or complain about a THING- since I have it fairly easy this time around., which is great since it allows me to focus on what to do with the Dutch decor.

First, why am I expecting this to be easy? Well, we have a moving company coming in on a Thursday to box everything up. The following day they will come and whisk everything away to the new house (down the street) and the rest is up to us. I like the idea of a clean slate, starting over, and no piles. The kitchen will be new, as will a few of the details in my coffee nook.

Silly person that I am, I am most excited about this coffee area. I really have a hard time thinking beyond this front room since it’s just so awkward and strange. It’s funny when you’re renting because although you’re living there, you’re not living there forever. So any changes or additions I want are temporary. That makes it a little difficult.

But the other day I noticed the absolutely gorgeous chairs for sale at a shop down the street. I love them. I went home and did some research to learn that they were a) affordable, b) Dutch design from a Dutch company, and c) available from several online and brick and mortar shops. I want two (€159 ea):

Eleven ChairEleven chair – Zuiver – patchwork photo from Robin Design [click to continue…]

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Updates From the Nether-Lands

by farrah on September 8, 2014 · 15 comments

A bunch of good stuff has been going on as of late. Additionally, we’re enjoying the nicest September in years weather wise. This makes up for a rather dismal August when it comes to rain, so the blue skies, warm temps and falling leaves have been most spectacular. Without much ado- I’m going to jump right in to what’s happening over the pond in our beloved Oisterwijk.

SONY DSC [click to continue…]

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Out of the Weeds

by farrah on September 4, 2014 · 9 comments

As I start to type this it’s 4pm on a Wednesday and I am almost finished making dinner. I am about to serve it to the boys so that the kitchen is cleaned and everyone is fed in time for soccer by 6. However, the really bizarre thing here is how I got to this place. No, it’s not because I am some kind of super awesome time management guru- I’m not. I’m currently kind of sitting here going ‘what the hell just happened?’.

Housewife

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Ibiza: More Than You Think

by farrah on September 2, 2014 · 3 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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