Tuesday, April 29, 2014

29 April in Holland

one of the few windmills left in my area

these hostas were little 2 inch sticks when I arrived here a week and a half ago - how gorgeous is this green

new Dutch Vogue for May - beautiful Doutzen is pregnant again

I love this half sleeve denim jacket - it is Levi's

as much as I love Elin Kling's plain style, I always get seduced by a bit of color and a print - this is a favorite old JDCamicetta top - I am still obsessively making Rainbow Loom bracelets to match all my outfits - feeling very young at heart this holiday

Elin Kling's new line Totême

Swedish blogger Elin looking gorgeous in the very best basics.

Elin Kling's new lifestyle brand Totême looks exactly like Elin does. From what I have seen so far the collection is full of those perfect basics Elin wears so well every day. Check it out HERE from May 5.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

About Marc Jacobs mouse flats and a bit more Holland nostalgia

Last night my gorgeous friend Anneke and her parents came for dinner. We had champs in my dad's mancave in the garden and when I looked around the room at everyone laughing and catching up I suddenly felt really fond of my fellow Dutchmen and their straightforward friendships. My dad loves having people round - he grew up in a huge family and last night he recalled how his house was always full of people when he was a boy. There would be neighbors, cousins, poor and wealthy people, learned people, footballers, business associates, girlfriends and boyfriends, and many others around the clock. My grandmother's housekeeper always had something cooking on the stove, often hare or pheasant from the hunt.

Last night when he was proudly pouring some of his best wine, I was reminded that every guest is a treasured guest in his house, regardless of their bank balance or social status or whether they can add value to his gathering. I have been a big city girl for twenty years now and I often miss these simple get-togethers with all kinds of different people. I love being part of a bustling big city like Hong Kong but (and I will use a bit of Dutch frankness here) generosity, loyalty, and inclusiveness are not exactly the pillars affluent big city social life is built on.

Nostalgia is always deceptive of course and I am sure the Dutch countryside is not all rozengeur and maneschijn (the scent of roses and the light of the moon - or in grammatically correct English: a bed of roses). But yesterday's lovely simple dinner made me think a little bit more about where I came from and where I am going, about values important to me and things I want to convey to my children. Thank you mum and dad, Anneke, Henriëtte and Joep for a lovely dinner.

Anneke shares my love of shoes and was a very willing participant when I asked for a blog picture of her Marc Jacobs mouse flats.

She wore them with skinny waxed jeans and a white blouse with pleating around the collar.

These may be my favorites of her extensive collection...

Some of Anneke's mouse flats - it's a good thing she has a part-time job at a shoe shop!
(the shop is Marjon Snieders)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pastel Colors for Grown Ups?

Burberry Prorsum

I had totally dismissed the pastel spring trend - I just don't like pastel colors on grown ups. When I still lived here a style tribe called kakkers (who wore Lacoste pale pink/yellow/blue polo shirts with everything) ruined pastels for me forever. But this picture has made me obsess over mint green and pink. It helps that she has dark brown hair and in my imagination she is wearing super dark raw denim on the bottom with some really old grey or silver flats. I think when you are an adult it's wise to always avoid pastel bottoms.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

23 April 2014 in Holland

We spent some time in the nearby market town of Weert today. I have been here so many times looking around the somewhat lackluster shops but have never paid much attention to the buildings. They are actually rather beautiful.

The church clock tower

We bought the children some presents and subsequently spent the whole afternoon obsessively making Rainbow Loom bracelets. How amazing is the iphone 5S camera by the way? I miss my Blackberry for everything else, but the camera is fab.

Holland is getting ready for Koningsdag on April 26, a national celebration on the birthday of the King. Holland's cheap and cheerful home store HEMA has boas in national colors to show our support for the King (or more likely for his popular Argentinian wife Queen Maxima).

After dinner we paid a visit to the award winning ice cream shop in the town next door. 

This is what the best banana and melon ice cream in Holland looks like.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The art of packing

JCrew jacket and jumper
Mother jeans
Marc Jacobs bag
Oliver Peoples sunglasses
Prada shoes

The art of packing is totally lost on me. I tried to wear something fun today - but this is the most cheerful outfit in my suitcase. Must go raid my mum's wardrobe.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Music Memory Lane: Suzi Quatro

When I was eleven I wanted to be Suzi Quatro. I remembered that today when my mum showed me an old classroom picture from around that time. Thanks to YouTube we were listening to Stumblin' In within minutes. Such a sweet nostalgic song. Listen to it HERE (you will find it hard not to sing along to the chorus even if you didn't know the song... our love is alive, and so we begin, foolishly laying our hearts on the table, stumblin' in...)

thru Google Images

Easter at my brother's new house

traditional paasbrood - Easter bread with raisins and marzipan

you can't see the forest for the trees until you turn on the lights in the evening

my shoes for last night's pre-easter party

bunnies in a basket

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Villa des Beaux Arts in Heeze, Noord Brabant

JCrew Collection Cape Trench

We decided to take a drive today to visit an art gallery in a beautiful old villa right across from the church in Heeze. I panicked a bit since I had packed rather haphazardly on Thursday (my house had been full of children all afternoon, playing dress up, singing Let it Go into fake microphones) and when I did my customary last check in front of the mirror just before the stairs I couldn't quite decide whether my coat was chic or Sherlock Holmes.

Funny when you get ready in the morning in your old bedroom and bathroom, checking your face and outfit in those same old mirrors... I wish I had had the benefit of selfie technology when I was a teenager - might have saved myself a whole lot of anxiety.

the church in Heeze

Inside the gallery the curator was preparing for a new exhibition opening on April 21: The Great Exotic Bird Show featuring Dutch artist O.C. Hooymeyer. Really worth a look if you are a reader from around  the area.

Sculptor Tom Seerden's works were on display as well. His Italian towns perched on slabs of marble are fascinating.

 Also right across from the church and next door to Villa des Beaux Arts is a little restaurant, so we stopped in for a glass of wine and some bitterballen, which is pretty much breaded and deep fried beef gravy, but so much more delicious than that sounds. I am lazying around my parents' house now while they have taken my children to the Circus. I could get used to this.

Friday, April 18, 2014

18 April 2014 in Holland

For this post I was inspired by simple pleasures, a glass of white bordeaux wine from Graves, a plate of white asparagus fresh from our local farm shop, tulips from the garden, the beautiful composition of a crowd of hosta plants, and the moss still thriving on my father's fire wood. Click on pictures to enlarge.

Easter in Holland

I'm leaving on a jet plane - loving my new blue presents while waiting for my midnight flight

It's very cold but the sun is out and the garden is abundant with spring.  Happy Easter everyone!