Sunday, December 20, 2009


The best snow I've ever seen! And the first time I've seen yellow snow for real! Three pairs of socks and wellies, and my feet were warm. Thankfully I seemed to have grabbed the last two pairs of snow boots for the boys in the entire country.

Snow Angels!

K-monster doing his thing

Family Craft Time

Nelly Belly, just edible in his snow pants!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nice :)

Winter's not so bad if it's snowing!

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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Sinterklaas Season

This year we celebrated Sinterklaas for the first time, for real. A true sign of my 'it's happening, there's-no-denying-it' integration into Dutch culture, I didn't evening bat an eye-lid and lacked the incredulity of previous years of seeing the back-faced Zwarte Piets prancing about everywhere in the lead-up to 5 December.

Kaemon and Paula baking pepernoten

What to do on a rainy day ideas #101 Make a paper skirt and dance and #102 Wear underwear on your head and go gooliegooliegoo. I recommend both!

Our International Playgroup had a Sinterklaas party and the kids performed a selection of their greatest hits.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Baby Elise

The Vellingas paid a visit to the Brands: Mama Fleur & Papa Koen, with their brand new baby Elise. The proud parents were very deft with their baby. Looking back, I was such a klutz with my baby for the first time...

She is a little angel, crying only when absolutely necessary! Like being poked by pudgy boy fingers...

The boys were very intruiged and charmed by this girl...
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Friday, November 06, 2009

Head, Toes, Nose nose nose

Nelson's nasally orientated version....

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Halloween was celebrated with Irish, German & Australians, and dutch games (and, oh, two Dutch husbands): koekjehap (bite the cake:). Nelson found it amusing that he's been working so hard with hand-eye coordination, and now he's not allowed to use his hands to eat!

A really good meal at a fish restaurant in Leiden: 't Crabbetje. Great service AND food, sometimes a rarity in these parts...entree was a tartar of crayfish and cold lobster bisque, mains was red snapper, devil fish and mash. Mmmmm.
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Babe, pig in my kitchen

All of a sudden, my local supermarket has started selling REAL meat. None of this chicken filet, schnitzel, slavinken, pre-sliced stir-fry beef nonsense. Meat where you actually can see where it came from! This was one cut I was delighted to see- the lower leg: not much meat but all skin and bone, and you know what this means...crrrRACKling!

I opened up the shank and rubbed him in with sea salt and popped him in a hot oven sitting atop halved onions. Onions went into the gravy, and I would say that crackling is the perfect accompaniment to any meal, but it really did go well with the Boerenkool & worst (Traditional Dutch Bangers & Mash).

Also happy that I worked out how to photograph steam!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Huys te Warmond

My lovely kaemon.
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Autumn

Second week of the holidays just passed...Instead of lamenting the onset of winter, we do Autumny things.

Kaemon's good friend Paula. They just giggle a lot together!
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Picking apples @ an organic farm
Wassenaar, in the forest property where Prince Wil & Princess Maxi live- they have three daughters, we'll probably end up with three sons- why not?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I ♥ NY

Douwe and I jetted across the Atlantic to discover NY city.

We walked and walked and walked and when my feet felt broken, we took a cab. I ♥ NY. The typical NY scenes:

Then the NY that we discovered:

We only had 6 meals and planned snacking times (not including breakfasts) to spend in NY, so we had to make wise decisions. With some good advice in hand and some shrewd thinking, we did well. We had classic elegant American cuisine: O.m.g. how some chefs can produce a dish with meat and veggies so amazingly tasty it seems magical. We stayed in little Korea and discovered the wonderland that is Korean food. From left to right:
  • Battered oysters & cold cucumber soup, Fig pudding with pear sorbet, D&K on top of the empire;
  • Kim chee hot pot, barley risotto with mushroom and autumn vegetables (so out of the ordinary), gorgeous platters for serving sausages;
  • The numerous dishes of various pickles and other suprises that magically appear before each (korean restaurant) meal, udon soup, doggy dresses, steak and beans with style

I ♥ NY!
Next stop: Boston: home of historical things but here's the food tour: We had Italian, mexican, and traditional New England delicacies; all with the specialties of the region: shellfish and seafood. So little time, but we made the most of it. If you ever had to sacrifice home and other belongings for a dipping sauce, the innocent-looking green one at the bottom-left of the picture would be it. Searching for a recipe as we speak.

In Rockport, a picturesque fishing village where my heart was content...

My cousin Gerald, I'm not sure if I love him because he's family or because he brought me to lobster. Oh lobster how I adore thee. Hence the pictures of lobster in various poses. Aren't they gorgeous, nursing their bath of melted butter belly-up, a definitely provocative pose screaming, 'rip my tail off and eat my juicy flesh'. I did. FYI twist the tail off, don't bend.Clam chowda, and whole-belly clams: little juicy and plump morsels in a KFC syle batter. Mmm om nom nom. Be still my cholesterol-laden heart!

My Best Friend's Wedding

And then, the real reason for the trip: Rachael & Shane's Wedding. It was a 4-day event, generating enough stress to be measured on a pressure scale!
The first day: The bride and groom look relatively carefree. A duck boat tour of boston where we caught up with the family and wedding party. The highlight of the tour was Marshalls, a store where you can get last season's designer everything (perfume, clothes, shoes, bags) at a snippet of the original price. The squeals could be heard a block away as Marshalls was spotted from the tour vehicle.

And there they are: Mr & Mrs/Dr Shane & Rachael Allen! Rachy already had so much poise, grace and warmth- combined with Shane, they are a supremely handsome couple with an unfairly excellent gene pool :) Seriously, Rachael was SO gorgeous, she had a 'famous-person-aura' about her. I've done 4 stints as flower girl and this is the 3rd as bridesmaid. Apart from my own wedding, I've never walked down the aisle grinning like an idiot before.

One of 5 bridesmaids, it was a fantastic experience being one of the girls again!! It was a revisit to the early years when I actually had time/attention for makeup hair and nails and that sort of thing.

The reception highlight: dancing the forbidden dance led by a 7 year old: not the lambada, it was the can't stop the music!

Saturday, September 05, 2009


't Was just a week, short but sweet. Good beginnings: espresso, capuccino & babycino!

It's strange (Dutch?) version of a holiday: to a bungalow/small house in a compound/estate with others next to it. A little truman show-like. Popular theory is that this is a popular form of holiday as most houses here are attached, and here you have 'all the space in the world'. It's kind of like playing with a dolls house but bigger. You have extra comforts that are not found in your everyday home; for us, that was grass in the garden. Bliss, i say!

Be still my heart...

That's amore!
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happy Day!

It was the highlight of Kaemon's 2.5 years- the Katwijkse Truck-Run! A parade of trucks of all sorts and sizes, police vehicles, fire engines organised for handicapped kids (they were in the trucks waving to everyone). It was a serious Good Time!

A good start to the week's holiday coming up....

Sorry, another video, we use the blog like a photo album because I'm too lazy to make a real one.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Child Prodigy

He takes requests and improvises with the best of them. (thanks again to Ingrid for taking care of his musical career!)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's been 2+ weeks of perfect weather: sweaty and hot! I can't express enough how GREAT it is to live close to the beach. There is endless entertainment for the kids, there is something so magical of the perpetual waves breaking. A few hours at the beach is a holiday in itself!!

The kids (and Sophie) love the tent- it means lunch is served...
Kaemon 'Baywatch' Vellinga to the rescue

With the Meijer Family, picture perfect!

The day we swam in the toxic lake....retrospectively, it seems strange that we were the only ones in the water.

After work, a quick picnic on the beach- everyone has already gone home and we're the only ones....bliss!

Sugar replenishment to last the day

Me & the boyz