Feeling Good

It’s been a feel good time for me lately. I spent the second half of Carnival break (two nights) in Amsterdam. One with Erika and the first night alone. I feel like Amsterdam always rejuvenates me. We walked into this beautiful little courtyard Begijnhof in the center. It was an oasis right in the middle of the city. Drank pisco sours outside on a chilly terras and enjoyed the views of happy Amsterdam life on the canal. It was heavenly. I ventured to the Stedelijk museum the next day for a quick peak at one exhibit. Art imitating current life with war in Ukraine.

The kids had a studie dag last week and we went to the Efteling. It was perfect weather and hardly any crowds. My kids are so brave. Python and Baron roller coasters for this bunch. I didn’t have the guts at that age. They really impress me. I was mostly impressed by Fata Morgana. It just gives me that cozy Disney feeling.

Meanwhile, my exercise and eating has gotten better. Working out four days a week (for almost a month) and I’m down to 68,5 kilos again. It feels great to be in control of my health again. I want to keep it going. Good books, good hockey games, lots of sunshine, and happy family times this March.

Chilling in Amsterdam

Three days and nights in a quiet Amsterdam. We spent six nights away for a week of the May break. The original camping plan got canceled due to crappy weather. We opted for a little city time in my favorite place in the Netherlands. Amsterdam did not feel the same. There was this relaxed, chill, quiet vibe throughout the neighborhoods and parks we explored. No tourists, no crowds, museums are closed, and not much to do, but sit on a terras and enjoy a good lunch or a beer. We had a fabulous time.

Flora is a strong biker. Thibault the artist who creates these amazing works while we sit at a terras. It was heavenly. I hope that business life, financial success, arts and culture return to this beautiful place. For now, I will cherish these quiet moments with my family exploring the Haarlemmerdijk neighborhood (my new favorite place to stay), Westerpark, scones at the Bakkerswinkel, morning runs, towering canal houses, beers on tap in the sunshine, and relaxed parks. What a great three nights together.

Beach days on the Opatija Riviera


Medveja beach

For the grand finale of this holiday, we ended with beach days on the Opatija Riviera. It was the best way to end this trip. No sights to see, no hikes or nature trails, just lying on the beach and swimming every day.


I really wanted to bring back as many Croatian memories from our honeymoon as possible. Things like this are always difficult now that we have two kids traveling with us. Our trip to Croatia seven years ago is still my favorite holiday and it’s when I fell in love with this region. That being said, I think we succeeded in recreating these memories that made me fall in love with Croatia. Lots of swimming, an apartment with a beautiful view of the Adriatic sea, and some relaxed time.


It was the perfect ending to our Slovenia & Croatian adventure. Til next time! The Balkans are amazing and we will be returning again and again to the this region to explore and fall in love with it all over again.




Me Time


It’s that time of year again. TEFAF is back in town and this year I promised myself that I would make it there. Saturday was day full of art, culture, and inspiration. Paintings, design, jewellery, antiquities, to name a few. Thank you Jaap for watching the kids all day while I got to float about TEFAF with my friends.

These are just some of my favourites that we saw that day.

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And if the day couldn’t get any better, Jaap and I booked our babysitter to come for date night. No fancy dinners (in fact we ate pancakes with the kids). Just drinks, some live music, and some alone time. The perfect day.


Family Day Trip to the Eifel


Yesterday was the perfect winter day. We traveled to the Eifel National Park for a day trip in nature. It was picturesque. Walking in the woods, snow covered trail, building tiny snowmen, throwing snowballs, and breathing in the fresh winter air. It was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Thibault and Flora loved walking around in the snow. Little T is such an active little boy. I’m sure he wishes he could run and jump around all day, but it’s still so little and he can barely move in all of his snow gear! But, he still got to walk a decent portion of the trail.


It’s strange that we have lived near Maastricht for seven years and this was our first time exploring nature in the Eifel. It’s so close. In just a little over an hour, we were in a totally different landscape. Snow was an added bonus. We didn’t expect that when we left our home, so that was a nice surprise.

This family day trip was much needed following another Carnival season. Carnival is very hard for me with two small children. I used to love Carnival in Maastricht, but things change drastically when you add a child or two to the mix. Getting out of the daily routine was a refreshing break this week.


Our trip ended with some coffee and cake in Monschau. One of the cutest German town’s I’ve ever been to. What a fab day!

Famliy Trip: Lecce, Italy


This photo pretty much sums up our last day in Italy. Taking advantage of the good life and delicious Italian food. We drove to Lecce for the day—famous for it’s (Lecce baroque) architecture. We had a great day strolling the city’s centre and enjoying the cuisine!

Flora and Jaap always make a donation to churches we visit and light the candles. A little tradition that Oma and Opa have taught her. 🙂


Some of our best eats of the trip were at casual eateries. We ate lunch outside this Italian deli-like place and had a delicious meal. Good pizza and delicious orecchiette with this amazing burrata cheese. It was fantastic! Flora was eating a ham and cheese sandwich (!!??) and all were merry. After a stroll through a local park and a short nap for Thibault, we treated ourselves to the last (and best!) gelato of the trip. This shop is to die for. If you’re ever in Lecce, stop at Natale! This place is heavenly and has so many delicious treats! Thibault approved. Our first family trip to Italy ended on a high note! Grazie, Salento!