Friday, April 24, 2015

Royal Style

 This post is going to be silly, so beware. I like to pretend I am really smart and intellectual and do not care about things like fashion (too much).

 I live in a uniform of corduroys or jeans, patterned shirts and sweaters in bright colors. I mismatch everything because when I get dressed in the morning my eyes are still closed. I color clash in a non-deliberate way.

I do enjoy glossy magazines and gossip particularly when waiting at airports and I have to confess I am quite the fan of Taylor Swift and Lily Allen (other celebrities I wish I could be friends with are Emma Stone, Jessica Alba, Mandy Moore and Anna Kendrick).

Anyhow, that is how I found out that, on occasion, I have dressed like my favorite royals, Kate Middleton and Charlotte Casiraghi. 

 Last June we baptized baby Y and after watching too many chapters of Suits I decided to be adventurous and wear a pencil skirt for the first time in my life. It was a very light minty green and covered in lace. I wore it with a white top and my wedding shoes, which I had sworn I would re-wear. Well, Charlotte of Monaco baptized her son on the same weekend as we did (!) and when I saw the photos I couldn't believe we chose quite the similar outfit. 

Last summer, my mom-outfit of jeans and a striped gray and blue t-shirt was something Kate Middleton chose as well.

So I guess I am not as fashion-ignorant as I sometimes think I am.

It was a good summer... enjoying the warm summer warmth by the lake, and a baby on the bewb.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Living by the Sea

Spring is (finally) here and we have had a couple of truly warm days. I have really become a sun-worshipper, as soon as the first rays of warm sunlight hit us I bring out my summer outfits and run to the nearest terrace, garden, park, playground, outside location.

Last Friday we went to a beach with a close friend of mine (and Yu) and it hit me. I live by the Sea. I was one of those girls who grew up in the 90's dreaming of becoming a Marine biologist. I actually wanted to work at the Sea World. That place really impressed me in all the good ways as a child and I thought it was doing a great job at taking care of animals in a humane, scientific, state-of-the-art way. (Then I saw Blackfish and all those ideas were shattered.)

Ever since then I fantasized with the idea of living by the water, one of those dreams that you have there on a shelf and never really actively pursue. But then, there are those dreams that you do pursue and I did go live and study in Barcelona, first as an Erasmus (Biology) student, and later to go to Vet School.

After which I moved to The Netherlands. If I start counting, that makes it almost 10 years of living by the ocean and I did not even notice. Did I assimilate it? Was it so much a part of me that I did not stop to think about it at all?

It makes me really happy and grateful to realize that maybe unconsciously, seamlessly some of the things I thought I'd do when "I grew up" I'm actually doing.

Do you have any dreams or places that have pulled you once and again?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Reading, Finding, Doing.

Yesterday I finally finished the book I was reading (Moranthology, by Caitlin Moran). It took me almost a year. Finding the time for reading is becoming harder and harder, but leaving books unfinished gives me an unsettling feeling. I really liked some of her essays, and some others I found very entertaining. I particularly loved the one where she referst to libraries "cathedrals of the soul". So right. To quote her:

“A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life-raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen instead”
A couple of weeks ago I participated at the 'Writers unblocked' event organized by Catarina and Tamkera (Portuguese and Nigerian expats who write at 'CraftieMum' at 'Naija Expat in Holland'respectively). I do not really think of myself as a writer, I have no formal education in anything creative and mostly I just use this space to share and vent and as a sort of personal journal.

However, it was really nice to meet other bloggers going through somewhat similar life experiences (living outside your home country, assimilating a new language and culture, raising a family in a new setting, feelings of homesickness, adapting) and sharing our writing. I had to overcome my shyness, go on the stage and read out loud. (I did not fully overcome it I guess, because apparently I read very, very fast, but then again, that's also the way in which I normally talk).

 I continue to take a lot of walks with the kid, I love it because of the things I discover, like little free libraries, magnolias in bloom and nice places. Speaking of which, just 2 weeks ago a baby-friendly caf√©, complete with toys and playground opened in The Hague.

 I was so happy I went immediately... I had just written about the need for these kind of spaces and there it was. Bij Mijs, (Laan van Nieuw Oost Einde 100) is a small gift/toy shop with a place for the babies to play and for the parents to relax. And it is also open on Saturday's. I love serendipitous finds like this one.

Last Saturday the boy and I went on a real, formal date probably for the 1st time since our girl was born. We had been out together without the kid to run errands, or for lunch with friends, but not like this. For the girl's birthday some friends gave us tickets to the movies and we decided it was about time. We first stuffed our faces in chocolate (hot-chocolate, mini-chocolate mousse and a tasting of different bon-bons) at Hop en Stork. It was really nice to spend time with each other, it reminded me of those first months of our relationship, when we first started going out.

To celebrate Easter we took the kid to a petting farm for the first time, I made zucchini and goat-cheese quiche, we went for a long walk to a park. How was your long-weekend?

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