Sunday, June 29, 2014

School Sleepover

What do you think is an appropriate age for kids to have a sleepover at school?  Is a sleepover at school even appropriate?  As a parent to a young child these are new questions for me to face.  And to be honest I didn't like that I even had to consider it. 

Two weeks ago the Pre-K & Kindergarten classes at my daughters Dutch elementary school had a sleepover at the school.  I didn't mind all of the activities around it - the bbq dinner, the games outside, the morning calisthenics, or the breakfast in the gym - I just didn't like the idea of my 4 yr old sleeping at the school without us.

Picture it, 5 classrooms, 25-29 kids per room, 2 teachers per room, and the kids range from 4-6 years old.  The teachers had to request permits from the city & fire department, and they were asked to stay awake all night to make sure things went well.  Not one thing about it sat right.  We have no problem with our daughter spending the night away, but this situation just seemed weird.  I felt it was such a strange request, why would this event even be organized?

Our daughter handled the news well when we told her she would be sleeping at home that night and would return to the school early in the morning.  But the comments from the parents and teachers were unneeded, as if we were being fearful and making our kid suffer because of it.  Trust me, the only suffering I saw was the way the kids looked the next morning after the sleepover.  (Just imagine a bunch of small children with hangovers, if you need a visual.)

I have no regrets about picking her up at 8PM that night and returning her at 7:30AM the next morning.  I'm glad we stood our ground and didn't give into peer pressure.  Funnily enough, the majority of the parents picking their kids up at 8PM were foreign like ourselves.  I helped clean up the next day and to be honest I only heard good stories, there were no disasters and things went fairly smooth but still, I just don't agree with it.

What do you think, were we being overprotective or is it just weird to have young kids spend the night at the school with just teachers?

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wordless Wednesday #87

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, June 24, 2014

Fitness Update

I figured it was about time for a fitness update, especially considering I haven't been quite doing what I had originally planned (big frown).

How are the smoothies going?
Well, I'm definitely still drinking at least 3 a week.  I'd like to work more into my schedule, but it seems like lately I just haven't had the time.  Smoothies take a bit of effort, and I don't always have time to chop up the fruit, make the smoothie, and then clean the blender.  Occasionally time wasn't the problem, it was the fact I was already full and even though a smoothie is a drink, well, it's still quite filling.  Think my last smoothie was in the weekend, not too bad.

How is the arm & ab challenge going?
The first week went great!  But after that it started becoming harder and more time consuming.  There were so many exercises I was having to split them up into reps and then split that up into a morning & evening exercise just to be able to squeeze it into my schedule.  At some point I actually just forgot about the challenge, oops.  I did see results in my arms even after just a week, so maybe I can use a toned down version of the challenge & create something more realistic for my life.

How is the jogging going?
This is the most frustrating part!  I love jogging, besides immediate results, the strange trance of endorphins was quite addicting.  Unfortunately within 3-4 jogging sessions I developed ridiculously painful shin splints, ouch!  Meanwhile, jogging has been cut back to once a week, and I'm working on my stance.  Besides that I've adjusted the surface I run on and plan on new shoes for my b-day.  Hopefully these adjustments and rest will get me back out jogging 2-3 times a week!

How is cutting back on energy drinks going?
I went a week without any, which was great considering I had been drinking 1 a day.  And now I've allotted myself 1-2 in the weekend as a treat.  This seems to be working out.  Who knows, maybe once I get fit again, I will not even want the energy drinks.  (Kind of like the McDonald's I ate last night, which made me feel gross, I didn't even finish my burger.)  Perks of starting to get fit - the unhealthy stuff is more yuck than yum!

The beauty of getting fit & healthy is you can start immediately!  With that said, I'm hoping to get to water aerobics tonight and if not, there's an elliptical machine with my name on it!

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Perks of Downtown

Downtown, the center, anyway you want to call it, it's where we live in Eindhoven.  Right smack in the middle of things, and we love it.  (If only we had a house & yard, but hey, can't have it all!)  This past weekend besides all of the World Cup action in town, there was the Guus Meeuwis concert.  He is an insanely popular Dutch singer/songwriter.  For three days parts of town were impossible to get to due to the roads around the PSV stadium being closed off for the concert.

Apparently my husband had tickets but decided to give them to a couple he knew would appreciate them more.  And he's right, it would have been fun but I know all of one song.  And the other couple had the night of their lives.  Even though we didn't go we were still able to enjoy the concert at home.  How?  I mentioned we lived in the center of town right... well the sound from the stadium echoed through town all the way to the terrace of our apartment.  We didn't spend long outside listening, but we did enjoy a couple numbers.  It was amazing, not because of the lone man singing on stage, it was the thousands of people singing along that made it so incredible.  It was a interesting moment, closing our eyes and taking in the sounds just ten minutes away.  These are some of the things we will miss once we sell our apartment, so it was nice taking in the moment.

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Monday, June 16, 2014

Feel Good Market

Yesterday we stumbled upon a fun new market here in Eindhoven.  It's called the Feel Good Market.  And honestly, the name is perfect.  As soon as we entered we felt it was right for us.  The music, the food, the people - we fit right in! 

(It's located in a renovated part of Eindhoven not far from the center, called Strijp-S.  Instead tearing down an old factory and industrial area, they have converted it to apartments, shops, restaurants, bars, skate park, and concert area.  Nice knowing they didn't just let it go to waste, considering all the years it sat abandoned.)

There were people spread all over a field, eating, drinking relaxing.  There was a great band playing, Rock 'n Roll Circus (Rolling Stones tribute band).  There was great food, ranging from organic everything to Middle Eastern, Argentinean, & Greek.  There was also lots of stands with vintage or hand made clothing, accessories, bags, pillows, you name it.  There was a bouncy house and huge pile of sand for the kids, and even our dog was welcome.

It was a great find and a great way to round off Father's Day.

The Feel Good Market is every 3rd Sunday of the month, so I'll be sure to put the next one on our calendar!  If you live in the area you really should check it out!

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Friday, June 13, 2014

National Pride?

I was a little disappointed in the Dutch today.  See tonight The Netherlands plays against Spain in the World Cup (soccer) and the lack of support I saw in town this morning came as quite a surprise.  The Dutch are known for being great sports fans, dressing up in orange and coming out in herds to support their national team.  But today, I think only 1 in 10 people even had on orange (or the national colors - red, white, & blue).  Maybe they're all waiting for the game tonight?  Maybe they're just waiting to see how Holland plays and then dress up next time?  You know, if this were The States, everyone would have been decked out all day to support the national team.  Where's the team spirit guys?

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Thanks Pinterest :)

Like many people I skim through Pinterest, pin a few things, but never actually attempt to recreate any of it.  (Except for the failed terrariums.)

Anyway, I finally tried one of the interesting, cost saving ideas.  What did I try?  The foot treatment for dry heels.  (Instructions are on the picture.)

Did  it work?  Well, sort of!  No, I didn't get the same results as when my husband treated me to a pedicure during vacation but it did help.  Some of the cracks are still there but a lot of the white dry skin around the cracks is gone.
I did have some thoughts about where it went wrong.
-used store brand mouthwash instead of Listerine (sometimes frugal is not useful).
-possibly didn't  make enough  for the container (because my heels should have been more submerged).
Will I try it again?  Definitely for what little it cost and the fact I did get some results, I would be crazy not to periodically do this.  Especially considering it's summer and I almost never spend money on pedicures.  (We're a one income family and it's just another way to save money!)
Let me know if you end up trying this out!

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ab & Arm Challenge

After seeing these challenges floating around online I've decided to give it a shot.

My original plan was to participate in the ab challenge but then when looking for the right calendar online I stumbled across the arm challenge and decided to add that in as well.  I might have to drop the arm challenge after a couple weeks, we'll just see how much time I have.

Today was the 1st day and obviously the easiest of them all, finished in less than 5 minutes and didn't break a sweat.  But looking ahead on the calendar I see there will be some painful days to come.  Besides the 2 challenges I will also keep up pilates (use a dvd at home), occasional jogging & crosstrainer (depends on what my leg allows after the stitches), and hopefully water aerobics if I can ever find a day when my friends can join.

Wow, I sound kind of like a fitness freak, but it's not true.  I exercise so that I can eat and drink what I like, and in the end hopefully just look normal and healthy.  (See, I have a soft spot for beer, and chocolate chip cookies, of course!)

Any of you feel like joining in the challenge?  I'm trying to get the husband on board, unfortunately his schedule is just a bit too busy to keep up the challenge consistently.

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sour Smoothies

Been going smoothie crazy again! Due to my allergies it limits what I put into the smoothie but I have still been able to come up with tasty combos.  And for some reason, I have been into sour smoothies this week, there's just something refreshing and cleansing about them.

Check out some of the combos I've thrown together!

Kiwi, Orange, Red Grapefruit, & Spinach

Apple Juice, Banana, Kiwi, Lime & Orange

Banana, Kiwi, & Red Grapefruit

Grape, Lime, Orange, Tomato 
Kiwi, Lime, & Red Grapefruit

Here are links to other smoothies I've posted (1 & 2)

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Draft Time

I get the pleasure of blogging from the car garage this morning!  Can't really complain... free coffee, free snack, & free WiFi.  Between my phone and the Surface, I'm set with entertainment for the next hour or so.  Seems like a perfect time to start writing some draft posts, always good to have something waiting on the back burner for the days I want to post content to my blog but just don't have the time to write!

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Monday, June 2, 2014

Energy Drinks

I admit, I like energy drinks.  Not really sure why, can't say they even work once you get used to drinking them regularly.  But somehow they slid right into my weekly routine.  And not only that, they helped slide a few extra pounds around my waistline!

So... I've decided to take a break from the energy drinks and see what happens.  Oh how I'll miss you Red Bull, and SPAM, and Golden Power, and Power Booster, and Bullit, & of course store brands!  (You know me, I buy what's on sale.)

I'll try and give you an update soon to see if it's helped me kick any of the extra weight.  And since I also like smoothies, I'm hoping the natural energy will start taking over soon.  (There should be a smoothie post this week.)

Wish me luck!

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica