Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #72

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Our curious camera compilation can also be found here...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Vicious Vitamin

Besides eating healthy and exercising, we all know vitamins are extremely important.  I myself take quite a few, and I have my daughter also taking vitamins (an old post delves more in to the vitamin topic).  When it comes to myself, I'm generally not picky when it comes to the brand, I tend to buy store brand purely because of the price difference.  The last time I was in The States I was sure to hit up Walmart to buy things we can get here, but are just cheaper there.  One of which being Centrum, I was a huge fan of this particular brand when I lived in Florida.  But as I stood at Walmart my frugal side took over and said, why not just buy Walmart brand, I used to use Equate products regularly.  And since the purchase I have regretted buying their multi-vitamin.  (Equate Women's One Daily, to be exact.)  Why, it makes me puke if I don't have a full stomach!  I know taking aspirin or ibuprofen on a empty stomach can make you sick, but also a vitamin?  I had to find out the hard way while on vacation, and sadly enough it took multiple times before I put 2 & 2 together.  I guess I pinned the restless stomach on food in The States and even travel anxiety (was travelling internationally with just my toddler)... turned out to be the vitamin.  Since making the realization I do my best to take my vitamins right after lunch (this is recommended for a lot of vitamins).  But there are still times when I didn't eat enough or remembered the multi-vitamin just a bit too late and it hits me.  I feel the warmth sweep over me and the nausea coming on (similar to low blood sugar) and there is nothing I can do but wait it out.  My husband thinks I'm crazy and said I should just throw the bottle out and buy something that suites me better, but I'm stubborn and want my money's worth.  (I'm shaking my head at my own trait, right now.)  Out of curiosity, do any of you have problems with certain multi-vitamins?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Driving Decisions #2

Way back in 2011, I wrote a post about the stupid things I had seen cars do while on the road or in a parking lot.  At that time I didn't have my Dutch license and was always on foot, so I saw my fair share of crazy driving decisions and had the easy access of my camera to snap pics.  Nowadays, I have a license and a car, so taking pictures isn't as easy but I still see a lot of craziness on the road.  One thing you see often at Dutch stop lights are pushy motorcycles.  When there is a double row of traffic stopped at a red light, a motorcyclist will often squeeze between traffic, riding down the middle line, making his (or her) way to the front of the row.  They wait in between the cars until the light changes, then speed off before the cars even get started.  (Keep in mind, this is against the law in The Netherlands but often overlooked by police.)  Personally, I think the motorcyclists are crazy to do this, how do they know no one is going to switch lanes or toss their door open.  Why should they get privileges because their vehicles are smaller?  On one hand I understand, it speeds things up for them... but at such a stupid risk.  And it's not only at traffic lights you'll see them squeezing between cars, I've also seen this on the highway during traffic jams!  My mother used to ride a motorcycle, and my step-dad still does, and in a million years they would never make this decision (plus in The States you'd be pulled over right away!)  Have you seen any crazy motorcyclists in your area?
(Sorry for the quality of the pic, but that's what you get with your phone at a stoplight!)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #71

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Adopting US Kids

Did you know that many American kids are now being adopted by foreign parents?  In years past I had often heard of children being adopted from poor countries or countries with an abundance of unwanted children... but I never pictured it being the US.  The first time I heard a Dutch family adopted an American child I was speechless.  Should I have really been so shocked?  I guess I naively thought adopted American kids stayed in the US.  When I saw an article on CNN online this morning it brought back those first memories and realizations, and it made me want to share the article with my readers:

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Cake

Yesterday was our daughter's 4th birthday, and this big celebration called for a special cake.  The past couple years we've skipped cake, the large party at a pancake house in the middle of farmland was more than enough.  But this past year I exposed my daughter to the Cake Boss.  (For those of you unfamiliar, it is a tv show about a bakery that makes elaborate cakes.)  Well, this obviously inspired my daughter and there was no getting around a cake for her party.  It took us a while to decide on one, we searched ideas online and hoped we could actually find a bakery here that would make one.  In The States these colorful fondant cakes are quite common, here, they're harder to find and way more expensive.  An American friend of mine had a fun dinosaur cake made for her sons birthday, but when I asked the price I couldn't help but cringe.  I went in search of something cheaper, but inevitably ended up at the bakery she originally found.  Boy am I glad I did!  And as a huge thank you to Irene for such a special cake I am writing this post, hoping to drum up some business for her in and around Eindhoven.  All I did was send 2 pics we found of cake ideas and a copy of the gift bags and voila, she made exactly the cake we imagined.  Our daughter was over the moon, and it was a big race between the kids to eat all of the little animals she created.  And top it off, the vanilla cake with chocolate crème between the layers was delicious. 
So, if any of you have any events coming up and you need a cake, be sure to visit Irene at Irene's Suikercreaties!


Friday, September 13, 2013

Jazz Dance

Well, I've done something I never expected... I joined a jazz dance class.  For someone with no rhythm or grace this is a huge step.  Sure, when I was 3yrs old I took ballet, and somewhere in my 20's I participated in a solo salsa class with coworkers, but this, this is different.  Salsa I understood, besides tripping over myself or forgetting the steps, my body knew how to make the moves.  Even street dance or hip-hop would be understandable for me, I like rap, and since my teenage years I've found myself trying to copy the videos (I should be ashamed but I'm not).  But jazz dance, border line modern dance, what the hell have I done!  A small speck of a conversation has spiraled out of control and now four moms have signed up for the 30yr + dance class.  Fitness wise, moving around for 45 minutes is great.  Social wise, meeting these moms from my daughters new school only makes integrating into the school easier.  But confidence wise, wow, what a blow!  Flat out, I am really bad at jazz dance.  I'm used to exercise classes, water aerobics or pilates, but this is way out of my comfort zone.  Someone has to be the worst in the class, I guess.  My body build doesn't agree with the moves, and my lack of gracefulness is startling obvious.  When my friend said, oh it's 30 +, I guess I didn't take the class serious.  Turns out all of the women in their 40-50's have been dancing for over 20 yrs and all of us newbies in our 30's have 0 experience, and they're putting us to shame.  As I performed the chasse or jazz walk, I felt more like an elephant charging through the room.  I am a confident woman, but this is really bothering me.  I know it will make me stronger in the end, blah-blah-blah.  It also doesn't help that the other moms just seem to get it, the teacher even called one elegant.  Then there is me.  You hear all of these talks about body image, that a lot of women don't truly see themselves as they are...and well, I'm going through this.  Looking in the mirror during class I feel twice the size of everyone else, and my bulky frame doesn't resemble their slim physiques at all.  I keep reminding myself we're all different, and that I've only attended class twice.  I know I shouldn't snack at night, but I do, we only have one life, and it's understandable I have some extra weight.  I keep reminding myself, these women also have their insecurities and all I can do is keep trying.  I've signed up for 6 months, and if I haven't progressed by then I'll go back to my comfort zones.  I keep telling myself new experiences are good, and that stepping out of my comfort zone will only make me a better person.  But it's not helping yet.  It also doesn't help that I am competitive, and I'm failing as of yet.  I don't usually write these kind of posts, but it's really been playing on my mind.  I'll do my best to keep you updated over the next 6 months of classes, one thing is for sure though, I AM NOT A QUITTER!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #70

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Christmas is Coming

I was at my favorite bargain store the other day and I noticed they already have a small section of Christmas supplies on display!!!  Now I know in The States they start a couple months before the holidays with sale items, but I'm across the pond in The Netherlands.  They aren't even into commercial holidays like Valentine's, Halloween, & Christmas (delved into this in a post last year).  To be honest I was a little confused when I first saw the half full racks of cards and decorations, I actually had to question which month we're in.  I am so busy right now planning my daughter's b-day celebrations and transfers of schools & hobbies I can't even think that far ahead.  I really felt like the store had jumped the gun until I was at my in-laws and they started talking about where to put the Christmas tree!  Maybe I'm behind in planning???  Didn't summer just past?  Even the weather decided to jump on board, last week it was hot, shorts & tank tops kind of hot, and this morning it was 50F on our walk to school! 

We barely decorate for the holidays, and only thanks to our kid do we put up a tree at Christmas.  How many of you have started pulling out the boxes of autumn decorations?  Anyone started stocking up on Christmas decorations yet?

Sorry for the short posts this week, but like I mentioned I am slammed busy, hopefully once my daughter starts kindergarten full time I can get back to decent posts (even though I did promise you this a month ago)!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Skull Boots

I need your help deciding on which winter boots to buy... this isn't the first time I've turned to my readers when it comes to shoes.  I've narrowed the choice down to two boots, both biker style & both with skulls.  I don't usually dress this way, but I wouldn't mind expanding my wardrobe with some unique pieces.

Do I dare go with the large rhinestone skull on the side or the inconspicuous small studs that are shaped liked skulls?  Keep in mind, standing out is not an issue for me but I don't want to scare off the moms & kids at my daughters' new elementary school. 

Which ones should I order? 

(I need replies today, because the boots have to be ordered by tomorrow - they're running out of stock!)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #69

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Tabloids

It's no secret, I love tabloids!  Growing up I picked up the bad habit from my grandma & great-grandma.  The magazines were so hard to resist in the store, c'mon, ALIEN BABY sells!  There were always tabloids lying around to read so I didn't need to buy them.  And in my teenage/young adult years I would get caught up on the tabloids at the hair salon.  Now times have changed and everything is online, sure you could still buy the magazines at the store, but why bother.  Now, I have my favorites, the Daily Mail (UK based so I get US & European gossip) & Perez Hilton (he always covers US celebrity gossip).  I know not to believe most of the stories, but that doesn't make them less interesting.  (My husband is absolutely appalled that I like tabloids!)
There is the least trustworthy one of them all, Huffington Post, but I must say I do pop over to their site occasionally.  Yesterday I just so happened to read a very heartfelt story they published.  Again, I have no idea if it's true or not, but it was still touching and worth passing on.  The article is called, The Most Beautiful Ruined Moment.  It's about the kindness of one man that saved an autistic boys' family vacation.  It just goes to show not all is meets the eye, and that one small gesture can mean the world to someone else.  I hope you take the time to follow the link and read the article.
I also hope you do at least one nice thing for a stranger today! (I stopped and talked with an elderly lady while walking my dog this morning.)
And you can be rest assured I will come back to the tabloid topic in the future.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Vocabulary Challenge #3

It's been a while, but here is round 3 of the vocabulary challenge!  Here are the following 10 words that everyone should have learned in high school, according to the list :

21) Equinox
22) Euro
23) Evanescent
24) Expurgate
25) Facetious
26) Fatuous
27) Feckless
28) Fiduciary
29) Filibuster
30) Gamete

Well, as usual, there were a couple words that I know I've heard but personally have never used (I'm blushing a little).  But I must say, at least these words look familiar, unlike many of the ones from round 1!  How did you do?  Did you know the meaning of the words?