Wednesday, May 28, 2014

BBQ in the park

A couple weekends ago my husband arranged a bbq in the park.  For some reason the moms panicked, it sounded like more effort than it was worth.  Were we really going to drag our charcoal grill to the park?  Is a bbq in the public park allowed?  What happens when the kids need to pee?  Can we really keep the food and drinks cold that long?  What about dishes, blankets, etc?  We came up with an immediate lists of why not to have a bbq.

But then as the week passed and the weekend neared, I started to change my mind.  I realized how ridiculous we were being, and even if it was a huge effort it would be worth it.  Hey, we only live once (trying to think about this more often). 

And you know what, it turned out to be great.  The kids played and played.  The Dads cooked, the Moms relaxed on the blankets & soaked up the sun.  And we even spoiled ourselves by bringing along music, between the Surface & a guitar we were set!  After all was said and done, one family walked home & the other biked.  And us, we loaded all the bbq supplies in our SUV, left it for the night, and walked home ourselves.  It was a great day!

The point of this post - enjoy life & stop making everything such a big deal!

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Morning Drive

Nothing like an early morning drive on the empty streets of the city... that is unless you're driving yourself to the hospital.  I stupidly cut my leg open just before midnight and it was still bleeding this morning so off to the hospital I went.

See, when the dish washing cycle ends I always open the door, pull the racks partially out, and let them air dry.  My husband is always complaining that it's dangerous and someone might hurt themselves on it.  Well, it happened... luckily to me and not my daughter or husband.  Guess I learned my lesson!

It was the middle of the night and I didn't bother to turn the kitchen light on.  Next thing I know I tripped over the open dishwasher.  I tried my best not to fall on top of it, didn't want to break the door or myself, but my left leg didn't quite make it.  I ended up on top of the silverware holder.  Not really sure what cut my leg (a lovely jelly bean shaped gash), could have been the silverware holder itself or the two knives lying on the ground next to a small puddle of blood, yuck!  Nice discovery when I turned the light on!!!

My husband was out on the town with friends, so of course I called him home to help.  I don't handle these situations well and panicked, I could barely breath and was shaking.  He rushed home, wrapped me up, and sent me to bed.  Of course the pain and concern made it difficult to sleep.  And every time I checked the wound it was still bleeding.  And when daylight rolled around I knew I had to do something about it, the bleeding wasn't going to stop on its own.  Not wanting to wake up my daughter, I left the family in bed and drove myself to the hospital to get it checked out.  Turns out I needed 3 stitches, and probably should have gone a lot sooner.  And according to the doctor I'm going to have a nice little reminder, a "L" shaped scar on my thigh.

Needless to say I will not be leaving the dishwasher wide open for extended periods of time anymore.  I was also worried about it affecting my jogging, jeez I just started again, but the doctor said I can jog with stitches... not sure if I feel the same, we'll see. 

Like I mentioned I'm a complete wuss when it comes to this kind of stuff and almost puked while they were stitching me up.  Some how I managed to visit the hospital when there were no other patients in the waiting room, luckily because I can't handle that stuff either.  By the time I was supposed to leave I was light headed and shaky, and the nurse was afraid I was going to faint.  They let me gather myself in the waiting room with a cup of water before driving back home.  Did I mention the parking lot of this portion of the hospital is slanted, who's idea was that, let's make patients walk up and down a hill just to get treated!!!

Anyways, I'm back home but I wouldn't say I've had any time to rest yet... the beauty of being a parent!

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Friday, May 23, 2014


A few months ago I was trying to get myself motivated to jog (even wrote a post about it).  Seems like everyone around me these days jog, even old friends back in The States.  I figure if they (other mothers) can squeeze it into their schedules, so can I.  Well, it takes more than just time, it takes a lot of will too.  And somehow since I wrote the post back in March I haven't really kept it up like I had intended.  And since then I have even put on a couple extra pounds, oops.

It's time to get back to it, so today I started the process again.  But this time with extra help!  First off I downloaded a podcast that helps me build up to a 5km run.  This is great, it tells me when to jog & when to walk, and in between provides music.  This is better than just winging it and jogging based on how I feel instead of an actual rhythm.  Maybe if I was a seasoned jogger it would all be more natural, but I'm not there yet.  Besides the lovely guide encouraging me through the iPhone attached to my arm, there is the company.  This time instead of just me & my dog, a friend & her dog also joined.  Joined, well, I should say I joined her, because she's been jogging for a couple weeks now (hope I didn't slow her down).  O.k., now there was a guide & company, both added benefits... what else?

To help monitor my progress, and provide a fun visual of my progress I downloaded the app, Endomondo.  It's great, it gives you updates of your progress along the way, tracks you via GPS so you can see your route, and at the end gives a great overview of your accomplishment.  Since I love gadgets (and stats) this app is perfect and will hopefully motivate me even more.  Plus I can see if there has been improvement, or even just see the last time I jogged hoping to make more of a schedule (or shame myself into going more often, ha-ha).

Our results weren't bad, considering the last 10 minutes was just strolling back to the car, because the podcast was only 25 minutes!!!

Any of you use podcasts or apps to keep your fitness on track?

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Vacation - Underwater Grill

Back to blogging... and still covering our vacation in March!

Have you ever eaten dinner surrounded by a shark tank?

We had the awesome opportunity while in Orlando to eat at the Sharks Underwater Grill!  (It's an exclusive restaurant located inside Sea World.)  We weren't sure what to expect when we made the reservations and I must admit it was an experience of a lifetime.  It's not a large restaurant and the way the tables are arranged on 3 different levels everyone can view the sharks & large fish swimming around in the massive tank the entire meal.  There was something serene & very relaxing about it - made me understand why people actually enjoy fish tanks (and ponds).  I was little concerned our 4 yr old might be afraid but luckily we sat in the middle of the restaurant just far enough away from the aquarium she could admire them with ease.  Besides the incredible close up view of unique beasts the food was good, really good.  But to be honest I wasn't there for the food alone, so it was an added plus.  The servers also knew quite a lot about the animals which I found important, and trust me a 4 yr old can come up with a lot of questions!

Other fun things about the evening/restaurant...
- at one point a shark crept up behind one of the servers, looking like it was ready to attack, probably happens often!
- the way the sharks slowly swim up to the glass makes you wonder if they can see you but I doubt it, and seeing them up so close shows just how truly frightening they are
- you can watch people viewing the aquarium through the thick glass because the tunnel at the end of Shark Encounter uses the same tank as the restaurant
- the bar is also a fish tank, how cool!  And of course there are many other tanks in and around the restaurant, with everything from neon tetras to sting rays!

The lighting wasn't optimal for our cameras, and actually our movies turned out much better, but I can at least give you an idea of our incredible evening!


Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Kids' Breakfast

I'm in need of some suggestions so I thought I would turn to all of you for tips.  Here in The Netherlands the kids eat sandwiches for breakfast & lunch.  I never wanted to subject my daughter to two meals of sandwiches a day, so I stuck to the toddler breakfast oatmeal mixed with fresh fruit.  But now my daughter is no longer a toddler, she's 4 going on 5 yrs old and she is getting tired of oatmeal for breakfast.  The problem is she refuses to eat cereal & milk and we don't have time for bacon & eggs before school.

Lot's of things have popped in mind, pancakes are easy but not nutritious... fruit is yummy but not filling enough... toast is basically a sandwich.  And keep in mind we're Americans living in The Netherlands, a lot of the convenient American breakfast food like Pop-Tarts aren't readily available here (and not exactly healthy either).

I'm curious what do you feed your kids before school?

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Friday, May 9, 2014

Polyvore - Outfits #1

For anyone out there interested in fashion, you have to check out Polyvore!  Maybe you are great at coming up with stylish combinations and want to share your ideas with the world or maybe you're like me and desperately need help coming up with stylish outfits.  Either way, Polyvore has something for everyone... they even have home decorating tips.

I mentioned Polyvore way-way-way-way back in March 2012, in a post about my clothing style.  There are a couple members that were brought to my attention via Pinterest (love the combos they create), and then there was the original one that even drew me to Polyvore, dixi3chik.  I have no idea how I even stumbled upon this site, probably during a Google Image search!  Anyway, it's definitely helped me to come up with fresh ideas or even just to learn how to combine clothes I already own.

So today I wanted to highlight one of the other Polyvore members I follow, steffiestaffie.

Here are 4 different combos she came up with that I can actually apply to my closet.  No I don't own the exact clothes she is presenting but I do have comparable items.  Thanks for helping me layer and adding pops of color!  Not to mention finding a reason to pull the white pants out of the back of my closet!  (After a scroll through Polyvore yesterday I realized it's time to get myself tan or gold spring/summer shoes!!!)

Any of you check out Polyvore for ideas?  Any of you adding outfit combos to Polyvore?

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Stolen Bike

Huge bummer, someone stole my bike last night!!!  I am a mixture of sad & angry, and it has totally ruined my day!  See, here in The Netherlands bikes are very important, not to mention very expensive!  Besides often popping to the stores on the bike, one of my favorite things to do is go on a family bike ride.  My daughter rides with my husband, I bike next to them, and we go all over town visiting playgrounds.  Now that winter is passed, I was really looking forward to those outings.  And now some @#?! ruined it by stealing my bike!  It was there last night when my husband returned home, he even parked his bike behind it.  Then this morning, the second time I let the dog out, I realized there was only 1 bike and not 2!  So somewhere in a 12hr period, someone walked up to the back of our terrace and stole a LOCKED bike.  Why my bike?  I really liked it, it was really nice, and it was expensive - still €150 second hand!  I guess we're lucky they didn't take my husbands bike because that's the one with the child seat attached... my daughter would have been heart broken if she couldn't go on bike rides with dad anymore.  There were lots of other bikes in the parking lot, even on the street in front of our apartment there are at least 50, why mine!  (Even more upsetting, we were just 10 feet away, asleep in our beds.)  Just a month ago I wrote about the rise of crime in our town, and now we're victims again!  (In July 2012 someone tried to steal our scooter, which ended up costing us money because insurance wouldn't cover the damage and the apartment committee said even though it was their property they're not responsible, nice!) 

Hope you are all having a better day than mine!

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wordless Wednesday #86

Been a while, thought I'd throw this one out there!
Check my blog hop page for WW link-ups! 
Our curious camera compilation can also be found here...

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Terrarium Fail

Ok, back in February I was stoked that I had set out to make terrariums.  And to be honest they didn't turn out exactly how I expected but still made for a nice decoration in the living room.  But inevitably the process of creating the terrariums was a lot more fun than maintaining them.  Between overwatering (or possibly under watering), not enough sunlight, and a general lack of knowledge when it comes to moss, the terrariums weren't looking great month or so down the road.

It was time for a spruce up - especially considering we have people viewing our apartment and it was far from appealing.  Some of the plants seemed to fair better than others, this meant I needed smaller sturdier succulents.  Back to the garden shop we went, and together we picked out 5 new plants.  Not all were intended for the terrariums, I planned to shift some of the plants and use a couple other pots lying around.  (Pots left over from the basil I managed to kill by forgetting it outside one night in the cold - maybe I don't have such a green thumb after all.)

The moss died every time, so I just yanked it out.  Some of the other plants had rotted and were removed a while ago.  Then surprisingly a couple of the plants had actually grown and started to spread, like the Torch plant.  The firsts terrariums I built were over crowded, this time I went for less is more, obviously hoping round two goes better, fingers crossed.  Oh yeah, there was also the Spider plant that was on the brink of death, which I repotted and put outside in a last ditch effort.  And I decided to throw in a cactus this time, getting it home and planting it proved to be a painful experience despite how small it is, ha-ha!

Probably should have pulled out a camera other the iPhone, but here are some pics of finished round 2.

And I was hoping you could help me with one thing... any tips on how to clean the soil off the plants once they been potted?  Seems every time I ended up tossing soil over part of the plant and it just ends up looking messy!  You would think water would do the trick, but then it would be over watered?!

I'll be sure to give you another update in a month or so!

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Loving Spinach

This week I've been loving spinach!  I bought a huge bag (only because they don't really sell small bags) and it's been going into everything!  There are so many things you can do with spinach, especially if you have a knack for cooking.  Me, I'm not the best cook, so I try and keep it simple.
-There's the spinach smoothie, which no matter what I seem to combine it turns out tasty.  I basically grab whatever fruit or veggies are lying around, toss them in the blender and voila, a healthy smoothie.

-There's the fresh salad, also quite simple.  I combine lettuce, spinach, shredded cheese, and again whatever veggies are in the house (usually mushrooms & tomatoes), and ta-da, a healthy meal (or side).

-There's also the omelet, yum-yum!  I toss some onion and garlic in a pan, add a couple more veggies including the spinach and I have a hearty breakfast.  Usually I just don't have the time for this most mornings.

Unfortunately no one else in the house shares my love of spinach, so I have a huge bag to get through alone.  I doubt I'll be able to finish it off, but I'm trying.  -Just had a quick thought, I CAN get my husband to eat it tonight if I put the spinach on the fresh pizza we're going to make, ha!-

Any of you love spinach?  Have any ideas for quick spinach use?

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica