First Pool Party Of The Summer

Last Tuesday it was finally the perfect weather for a pool party! With temperatures of 95F (35C) and a heat index 100F (37C) and the warm sun beaming down on us, we headed out to Jayme’s family to enjoy their pool!

We came bearing snacks, lots of them!

When we arrived Jason, Cheryl and the twins were already there!

Ari!

Addy!

I love these monkeys!

We had a great time!

Coming up soon without doubt, pool party 2.0!

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Sweet Frog Froyo!

I have made a new friend! He’s a frog, and very sweet!

Winchester has its very own Sweet Frog Frozen Yoghurt shop and boy is it awesome!

This place came straight from my inner 5-years old’s dreams! ;)

You grab a cup in a size that suits your froyo needs, although I find that the smallest blue “regular” size is more than enough and the bigger sizes are better for sharing.

You fill your cup with the flavor(s) frozen yoghurt you want. The flavors tend to vary from week to week, but so far we’ve seen original tart, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, cake batter (!), cotton candy, cookies ‘n’ cream, NY cheesecake, strawberry, sugar-free raspberry, peanut butter, orange and watermelon.

Then you move on to the toppings bar and pick your favorite toppings! So far we’ve seen strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, fruit poppers, coconut, assorted nuts, cookie dough, pound cake, M&M’s, Reese’s pieces, York peppermint patty pieces, marshmallows, white, chocolate, crushed up KitKat bars, chocolate caramel bites and so, so much more… After that you can choose to top your creation with whipped cream or a variety of sauces such as Nutella, marshmallow creme, caramel sauce, peanut butter sauce and more… To top it off, of course they have sprinkles!

When you’re done, you weigh your cup and pay for your froyo according to how much it weighs.

Mouth-watering right? :P I could hardly contain myself!

My delicious creation consisted out of cake batter and raspberry frozen yoghurt, topped with strawberries, white chocolate, coconut, marshmallows, marshmallow creme and of course rainbow sprinkles! ….and it was delicious!

Jayme’s concoction was inspired by Neapolitan ice cream, consisting out of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate froyo with strawberries, pineapple, M&M’s and hot fudge.

This place is truly awesome! A couple of days after the first time we went, we made another trip because we had to introduce Carlos to this little piece of heaven on earth!

I love that it’s self-serve and that there are so many options to choose from! Also, frozen yoghurt is generally less bad for you than ice cream! Although obviously this doesn’t apply when you top it off with candy and chocolate… :P

We are trying our best to limit our trips there, but it is seriously testing my strength and willpower! ;)

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Summer 2012: I Made It!

Greetings from the U. S. of A!

It took about 26 horribly exhausting hours to get here, but I made it!

I had a 6 and a half hour layover at JFK New York, which was extended to about 8 hours because my flight was delayed. Trust me, 8 hours is a long, long time to spend stuck in an airport…

Starbucks saved my life…

It feels great to be back! I’ve been spending this past week just adjusting to the time zone, catching up on Z’s and relaxing, and just spending time with my boyfriend! It really feels like coming home… :D

I will try to blog about the things that are going on here, to keep you all in the loop! Although I’m afraid this summer is going to be a very laid-back and easy going one, after the busy year I’ve had and considering the insanely busy year I have ahead of me! We are planning some good hikes and fun activities though and I’m sure I’ll find something to blog about!

For now, everyone enjoy their summer! I know I am! :D

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Cooking Curry!

Last week my friend Monique and I made plans to cook Indian food together. I really love Indian food but it seems so difficult to cook it yourself. Monique had done it before, she owns a big cookbook full of great Indian recipes and she had a lot of the spices that you need, so together we picked a recipe and headed to the grocery store!

First we made a Pineapple Raita using soy yoghurt, crushed pineapple, roasted cumin seeds, fresh cilantro, sugar, salt and pepper. We also got some naan bread to dip in it! It was very yummy!

The curry we made had mushrooms, peas, cashews, coconut, an onion, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, salt and pepper, and a mixture of traditional Indian spices such as kurkuma, cumin seeds, turmeric and more that I’m probably forgetting. It took some adjusting the spices to get the flavors to really be represented properly, but I think in the end we got it right!

Even though it might not look so appealing, it was very very delicious!

It was fun to try something new and surprisingly it wasn’t that hard to do at all! It’s just a little bit different, but not rocket science. Indian cuisine is definitely something I will be trying more often!

After dinner we went to see ‘Intouchables’ in the cutest little movie theater in the center of Maastricht, Lumiere. They usually show foreign movies or movies of the more alternative genre.

If you have a chance to go see this movie, do it! It is absolutely amazing! So incredibly funny but also very touching and beautiful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsPHXVnt27g

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Father’s Day

For father’s day my brother Thomas and I prepared a big lunch as a gift to my dad!

We made a huge pile of finger sandwiches. On with cream cheese, smoked salmon, arugula and cucumber (sans salmon especially for me) and the other with salami, arugula, cucumber and orange pepper.

We had scone-type things with strawberry preserves and whipped cream.

I made these awesome mini quiches mad tout of puff pastry dough cups filled with a broccoli, red bell paper, crispy bacon and American cheddar cheese mixture! Yes.. I even cooked with meat! :O That is a rare exception… For myself I made two without the bacon, and they were very very delicious!

Thomas prepared a great, fresh caprese salad! My gosh does it get any bette than this?

We had a good time with family and great food!

Lucky dog Jamie got to enjoy leftover salmon sandwiches, courtesy of my mom…

She is a fancy dog indeed..

Breakfast In Bread

I never find the time for breakfast when I have got to get to school. If I get up earlier I only take longer getting ready and I still don’t have time. Also, I don’t like breakfast early in the morning. When I wake up at a time of my own choosing, I can usually eat breakfast just fine. But when it’s that horrid alarm clock telling me it’s time to get up, the thought of eating anything makes me nauseous. Yes, I am weird like that! ;)

Anyway! In comes delicious, made from scratch, nutritional bread that’s easy to grab and go while on the run, but still a complete, healthy breakfast!

I adapted this recipe from Daily Garnish.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Walnut Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup macchiato soy milk
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

Directions:

Preheat the oven at 375F (190C) and grease a baking pan. In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, sugar). In another bowl mash the bananas and add the wet ingredients (eggs, soy milk, vanilla). Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix it up by hand until it’s all mixed together. Fold in the walnuts and blueberries, et voilà!

Pour the mixture in the baking pan and place your pan in the preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, until the top is golden brown! You can test the bread with a knife.

I desperately need a real bread pan!

I like that this bread isn’t really a dough but more like a batter. Because I absolutely hate working with dough. I hate the way it gets all over your hands, yuck!

Of course you can add in different fruits and nuts instead of the blueberries and walnuts. You can also use normal milk or different flavors. You can definitely play around with this recipe! Something I plan in doing a lot in the near future! The recipe is originally vegan, but I was out of flax-seed (note to self: add flax-seed to shopping list) so I couldn’t make a flax egg and had to substitute with normal eggs.

Another plus is that while this bread is in the oven, it will fill your house with the most delicious smell ever!

But the best part is when it’s done and you can cut off the first warm piece and devour it…

It really is very easy to make and so very delicious… It has everything you could need in the morning! Carbs, antioxidants and vitamins, your omega 3, and of course a little hint of coffee flavor. Because let’s face it, who doesn’t need coffee in the morning? ;)

Good morning to you too!

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Hard Work Pays Off!

I did it!

Today I finally passed the class that has been causing sleepless nights and taking up hours upon hours of my time… Statistics? Pfft! ;)

About a year and a half ago I wrote this post on my old-old blog, about how much I hate math. Namely about how it’s never been my strong suit and how over the years I have come to absolutely loathe it to the core! Failing me statistics class three times even caused me to wonder if maybe I am in over my head at the university level…

But today I proved to myself that I CAN do it! I aced the test with a 7 as a result! 

I couldn’t be happier…

Now I’ll have to start looking forward again and plan my future education! But first: weekend!

Have a good one everyone! I know I will! ;)

My New Home-Trainer

I just got back home in Maastricht from spending Easter weekend at home in Schiedam with my parents! But more on that later…

Last year I visited my gym at least 3 times a week, and also went to a yoga class. Since we’ve moved to a different apartment (in a different part of town), the gym is just too far away from my home! I looked at gyms closer to my home, but I couldn’t find one I like and frankly, I didn’t mind the extra 40 euros I saved monthly by not belonging to a gym!

However, I did miss the regular work-out! So I have been looking for ways to do my workouts at home.. This weekend I finally found something I have been looking for for a long time!

Meet my newest workout buddy! 

I got my very own home-trainer! Yah! :D I bought this baby secondhand for just €30 ($40)!

It’s got wheels in the front so I can wheel it through the house easily and set it up in a comfortable place. Like say, in front of the TV or in my room so I can listen to music.

It’s a pretty simple model, but it’s got some nice features. It’s got different resistance settings and the display tells me my time, distance and even my heart rate!

It’s comfortable enough, although the stride is a bit short.

I can definitely work up a good sweat on my new bike! and all in the comfort of my own home, with water and a shower nearby! ;) I’m sure I’ll get great use out of it. And all that for just a €30 investment! Between the bike and my yoga mat, I do believe I’ve got a pretty good home gym set up! ;)

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Study Time!

There are two things Blond Amsterdam and my best friend Fenne have recently taught me…

Fenne sent me this card in the snail mail! Loved it! :D

So true…

But today I also learned: “Wine Tea flies when you’re having fun studying!”

Yep, it’s time for final exams! Luckily, this big pot of apple cinnamon tea is helping me get through all the preparations!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to seemingly disappear from the face of the earth for the next week or so! ;)

Wish me luck! 

Sephora Sale!

Oh yes.. It’s that time of year…

That time of year, that Sephora holds their annual 3 for €10 sale!

It’s rare to find a deal as good as this one! :D And it makes me very happy!

Sephora is one of my favorite brands for makeup, coming second only to M.A.C. So needless to say, this sale rocks my world! Any 3 makeup products for just €10 (about $13). As I do every year, I went all out and stocked up for the rest of the year! :D

My purchases:

  • 2 hydrating & smoothing foundation in my winter color
  • 1 hydrating & smoothing foundation in my summer color
  • 2 matifying compact powder in my winter color
  • 1 matifying compact powder in my summer color
  • atomic volume maximum volume mascara in black
  • le waterproof extreme resistance mascara in black (great for the hot Virginia weather run summer, and swimming of course!)
  • kohl expert black kohl eyeliner pencil
  • doe eyed long lasting felt eyeliner in moss green
  • nano eye pencil in iced brown
  • golden khaki duo eyeshadow
  • nail hardening & strengthening serum
  • cream lip stain in a bright deep red color

I went ahead and stocked up on my winter color (a bit lighter) and my summer color for when I built up a bit more of a tan!

I really love the eyeshadow and the dark green felt eyeliner! The colors mix up really great together and allow you to make a smokey eye of medium intensity to go with pretty much any outfit, whether it’s daytime or party-time! ;)

This is the first time I bought the atomic volume maximum volume mascara and so far I am not too crazy about it. It does its job well, but it does it by creating clumps :( We do not like clumps! I am hoping it just needs to be broken in, as the case often is with mascara! Or maybe I’ll figure out a better way to apply it to prevent clumping..

All are great additions to my Sephora stash, which is actually rather complete and awesome now! :P

Now for the most fun part: the receipt! :D You might want to sit down for this one! ;)

I purchased €161,60 ($250) worth of makeup, for just €40 ($53), which means I got a €121,60 ($162) discount! :O

I am framing these receipts…

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