Monday, 28 January 2013

Queen Beatrix abdicates

Queen Beatrix will abdicate next April 30 (Queen's day), 33 years after her coronation.
The Prince of Orange, Willem Alexander, who will turn 46 on April 27, will be the future King of the Netherlands.

Queen Beatrix, who turns 75 years next Thursday, January 31, said today, on her message to the nation, that ‘I have been thinking about it for some time. I am not standing down because the role is too heavy for me, but in the conviction that responsibility for our country should now lie with a new generation.’

Willem Alexander will be the first king of the Netherlands since the death of his great-great-grandfather Willem III in 1890.

Love you, Beatrix! :-)

Veel Succes, Willem-Alexander en Máxima!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Amazing Oostvaardersplassen

As usual, in January, we went  to Oostvaardersplassen, a nature reserve located between the cities of Almere and Lelystad. The outstanding  Markermeer lake Winter views - a mix of water, ice and snow - never stop to amazing me. I love Oostvaardersplassen!

From Neve 2013

Each year, the landscape offers breathtaking views and incredible snapshots opportunities.

From Neve 2013

In spite of the cold - and yesterday was freezing because of the wind -, here and there, photography lovers try to take their best snapshots. Not always easy. Yesterday, I felt my hands burning with the cold - I had forgotten my gloves without tips in another jacket.

From Neve 2013

I had to stop shooting once in a while, to put on my fleece gloves to warm up a bit and then, again, take them off, so I could try another shot. Looking at the peer, I took my chance - in spite of the wind - and went there for a walk. For some moments, when I was trying to shoot, I felt like if I was in a shaking boat.

From Neve 2013

We really needed to warm up by then and we drove afterwards to Almere Poort, looking for a cafe. We spotted the Cafetaria De Heerlijkeid and we stopped there to enjoy a coffee and a toast. Delicious! It felt so good!

From Neve 2013

I would have liked to take more pictures yesterday,

From Neve 2013
but I decided to warm my hands up, instead, as you may understand ;-)

From Neve 2013

I hope you have enjoyed this visit and I wish you all a wonderful week ahead!

From Neve 2013

Stay well and warm!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Para a Ana

To Ana. :-)

Tinha-te prometido, num comentário, há uns posts atrás, que te mostraria os meus novos bonequinhos do jardim... :-) Aqui estão eles! :-) Beijinhos!!!

From Neve 2013

From Neve 2013

And for you all: Have a nice weekend! :-)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Flow Winterboek 2012

Flow Winterboek 2012: brieven & kaarten special

An Address Book (adressenboekje)

From Flow

Stationary (briefpapier)

From Flow


From Flow

A typical Dutch Birthday Calendar (verjaardagskalender)

From Flow

From Flow

Stamps (sluitzegels)

From Flow

Envelopes (vouwenveloppen)

From Flow

Postcards (ansichtkaarten)

From Flow

More stationary...

From Flow

Sunday, 20 January 2013

A Happy End in Piccolino

I had some annoyances this last week, but in the end of it, I had a pleasant time with my friend R. in Amsterdam.


Last week, I  had an appointment with my dental hygienist - 30 minutes of hard cleaning and to find out that I have a tooth cavity, confirmed by the dentist 15 minutes later. I got a bit upset with this. I had removed a tooth this month already. I didn't need one more thing to annoy me.


Last Thursday, I didn't sleep very well. Fofinho had nausea, he wasn't feeling well, cried a lot and just wanted me to hold him. I gave him the proper medicine, he vomited and then he felt a bit more relieved. Then I nursed him until he fell asleep.

Return of our beloved friends M. and P. to Poland

During last week I became a bit sad too, when I learnt that my friends M. and P. decided to come back to Poland. We like them very much - very polite and respectful people - and we will miss them terribly. But I understand that expat life is sometimes difficult to cope with, specially in the first years and when kids are involved - a baby and a child of 3 years old. We tried to convince them to come to Almere - it would be easier for us to give them some support and the city is very family friendly - but they really want to return to Poland and, of course, we respect their decision.

Going to Piccolino with dear R.

Luckily, my friend R. invited me to dine with her this Friday in the Italian Restaurant Piccolino in Leidseplein, Amsterdam. We had a lovely time together and I ended up the week in a very pleasant way. Piccolino is one of the oldest Italian restaurants in A'dam.
I  also enjoyed very much the break dance show given by a young male group, minutes before, in that famous A'dam square. A good way to close the week. ;-)

A photo from Piccolino, to you.... :-)

From Neve 2013

Stay well and have a nice week!

PS: The snow and the cold have come back today. Time for poffertjes, tea and TV. ;-)

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Beautiful Snow also means work, work, work...

This week, it has snowed a lot and the landscape turned really, really gorgeous.

From Neve 2013

However, snow also means a lot of work. It's the other side of the story when everything is so white, beautiful, peaceful and quiet around us.

From Neve 2013

I face these chores as necessary rituals, since I'm not the kind of person who likes or has time for unnecessary complaints. This has to be done, right? So let's do it and take it in the best possible way. ;-)

From Neve 2013

Wednesday was a hard working day outside for me.

Cleaning the car

I started by cleaning our car and I took more time than usual to do it. No big surprise, though, since Tuesday had snowed all day long and the car was completely covered up.

Cleaning the paths in the gardens

After cleaning the car, I started working on the gardens, . I grabbed the heavy and big snow shovel and I began to clean the path between the front door and the frontyard entrance. Something that needs to be done, if we want to avoid damaging the floor downstairs with the snow we bring in. For the same reason, and, specially, because the garbage containers are in the backyard, I also cleaned the path between the living -room door and the backyard's door.

From Neve 2013

Still, there were more tasks to fulfill.

Taking care of the garbage

One of the things I don't like to do when it snows is to bring back the garbage container from the street because our house is at the end of  the backyards corridor. Also very unpleasant is to place the garbage in the proper containers (the plastic, the paper and the overall garbage) when it's very cold outside.

Going to the supermarket or to the vet clinic

In our neighborhood, we don't have convenience stores. I do my shopping at the nearest Albert Heijn supermarket -15 minutes walking distance when the weather is nice. With the snow, I take more time, of course. Generally, I  prepare myself on advance for the snowing days to come, but this time I forgot to buy a couple of things and I needed to go there in spite of the snow. I only did the way to go and then I returned home by bus. However, I also needed to go to the vet clinic to buy Fofinho's medicine and this means half hour walking -  to go and to come back.

At the end of the day

In the evening, I felt that I went through a lot of exercise. My arms were sore with all the work and the left side of my face was burning because of the cold, but I put again my facial protector cream and now I'm ok.

This week I didn't have the opportunity to take a walk just for fun, so the pictures of this post are from our gardens. Nevertheless, in my bus travels to the city center, I could appreciate the frozen lakes and canals.

Have a nice weekend!!!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Daphne's Diary

DAPHNE'S DIARY, my favorite Dutch magazine

From Daphne's Diary

Daphne's is not the kind of magazine that we discard after a while and put in the paper container to recycle.Not at all!! For me, it is something more precious that I like to keep for its beauty, quality and interesting and useful articles.

The photos are from the last Christmas/December edition.

From Daphne's Diary

Daphnes' Diary is about wonen (living/decoration), tuinen (gardening), brocante (flea markets), workshops, recepten (recipes), uitjes en reizen (outings and travels), shopping and also creativity and crafting. Daphne's includes in each edition crafting material to make simple things to use in our everyday life.

From Daphne's Diary

This Christmas edition included:

the material to make our own 2013 desk calender...

From Daphne's Diary
From Daphne's Diary

as well as these pretty images to hang on the Christmas tree...

From Daphne's Diary

 these Christmas presents tags...

From Daphne's Diary

and these postcards to send to family and friends...

From Daphne's Diary
Lovely this magazine, don't you think? :-)

From Daphne's Diary

If you are staying at home during these cold and snowing days, enjoy your Daphne's. Prepare a nice cup of tea, cover yourself with your most comfortable blanket, put your favorite music on and relax. Take some quality time for yourself! :-)

Stay well and warm! Have fun!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Amor Electro wins EBBA's 2013 in Groningen

The Portuguese band Amor Electro has won, yesterday, in Groningen (Netherlands), the European Border Breakers Awards 2013!!


Saturday, 5 January 2013

Goodbye 2012 / Hello 2013!

December, 31 st

Goodbye, 2012!

From New Year 2013

Hello, 2013!!! :-))

From New Year 2013

We enjoyed a superb night in S. and R.'s company. Laughs, photos of York and Barcelona, Portuguese red wine, delicious Bulgarian food (loved the Princesses!!), happy colors around -specially the red of the pretty Bulgarian tablecloths -, Portuguese Caldo Verde, 12 raisins for each one of us, sparkling fireworks...

From New Year 2013

We arrived home around 4 am. Fofinho looked fine and relaxed. I guess that after listening to the fireworks all day long on the 31st, he didn't care about it anymore and got used to it.
Everybody in the Netherlands is allowed to buy fireworks and fire them all day long on the last day of the year. Sometimes it looks like we are in a war zone...

From New Year 2013
We woke up late on the first day of the year - a bright sunny day 1, I am happy to say.
At 4 pm, we were again in Amsterdam, this time, in the house of our Polish friends M. and P. and their two lovely sons. I lost all the shame I could still have and I repeated several times a traditional dish from their homeland: Pierogi (dumplings of unleavened dough, first boiled and then fried, usually in butter with onions, and traditionally stuffed with potato and cheese filling).  
Absolutely delicious!!!

From New Year 2013

 M. and P. also offered us beautiful gifts.

This pretty Chinese box was bought in the famous Dutch site of second hand sales, Marktplaats. I like this site too. We can find there many interesting things and I have already used it to sell a table and two kitchen chairs.

From New Year 2013

The other gift was this beautiful bottle of Polish mead (hidromel). ;-)

From New Year 2013

A great time we enjoyed with our friends, don't you think? ;-)

Happy weekend!