maandag 30 april 2012

Bachelorette & Queens day weekend...

What a weekend I had... Last Saturday my friends and family surprised me with a bachelorette party! I already had a suspicion that it would take place this weekend. But when the morning passed and S. and I went to the gym and came back, there was nobody there so I thought that I had it all wrong. and then the doorbell rang and there they were! I don't have any pictures yet, only these two that we made after we were finished with wild water rafting.... I am not kidding you! The whole day was wonderful: first a lunch at restaurant Het Heden, then wild water rafting and we ended the day at the nice restaurant in Schevening nearby the beach. It was wonderful and I was totally tired when I got back home. But I'm sure that I will never forget the lovely day!

This is me with my niece Ruby, look how tired we were after our water rafting experience! They made me wear a tiara and a sash that said "The world most beautiful bride". The sash kept falling of my shoulders so this proves that I would have been a terrible beauty queen, haha. On Friday, my friend Paula and I baked cupcakes for her and a banana cake for me. Luckily, when the girls arrived to get me, I could give them all a slice. they loved it!

Today we all had the day off in the Netherlands to celebrate the birthday of our queen Beatrix. And that means that you start the day with orange pastry and tea!

We celebrated the day with S.'s family in a small village named Wateringen. The weather was nice, the temperature was nice and we all had a great time!

Well, I'm totally worn out and ready for bed. Have a great week and talk to you soon!

zaterdag 28 april 2012

Favourite blog: Wood Wool stool

Good morning everyone! Hope you had a great week and are ready to start the weekend, I know I am! I had a busy week, filled with work, finishing my project for school, exercising, baking and cooking!

Yesterday I had another baking friday and this time with my dear friend and neighbour Paula. We made cupcakes and banana cake, I made pictures and will show you later this weekend!

In the Netherlands, people are having a three day weekend because on Monday we're celebrating the birthday of the queen, also known as Queens day! In almost every city or town there's festivities, markets and people are dressed in orange. S. and I will spend the day with family and I'll be sure to make lot's of pictures! The rest of the weekend remains to be seen but it looks like it's going to be a calm one!

To start the weekend with some inspirations, I want to share a great blog with you: Wood & Wool Stool. I've been reading this blog for a while now and am loving it! The lady of the blog, Ingrid, runs a small company Wood & Wood Stool and sells stools, frames, signs, christmas trees that are made of old wood and wool. furtermore, you can find the most beautiful pictures of her home, it's really inspiring! I have bought a christmas tree of her last year and loved it! I would also love a stool but we already have so many stools around here. But then again, what is wrong with another stool around the house, ha ha!

zondag 22 april 2012

Coffee & quiche

Today turned out to be a great day, both weather as activity wise.

I went to the gym, did some weigth training and then took a spinning lesson. I don't take spinning lessons often but I really enjoyed myself and got a great work out. I think I'll take a few more classes starting today as it is a change of the cardio training I normally do which is the treadmill or running.

When I got home, I ate another bowl of oatmeal because I was really in the mood for it, got showered and changed and met my friend Paula to go to the city centre of The Hague. We walked around and went to Eko Plaza, another organic supermarket and bought sugar free licorice and a jar of almond/hazelnut butter.

Then we went to the Coffee Company to sit down and have a coffee. The Coffee Company is like a Starbucks and every big city in the Netherlands has one. Now I'm a relatively new coffee drinker and like to experiment to taste the coffee in various coffee places.

I ordered a latte macciato which is warm milk, 3/4 of a cup and than add espresso coffee. It was delicious! Paula had the same but added coconut syrup and I had a plain one. The atmosphere was really good and we sat at a large tables with different people next to us. It all looked very trendy! You could also buy all sorts of pastry but we passed on those because before we left, we ate a few of the oatmeal cookies I made.

When I got home, I baked a quiche. I made a vegetarian one with zucchini, red pepper, eggs, non fat French yoghurt, tomato sauce, goat cheese and salt & pepper. I put it in the over for 45 and this is the result!

The sides were a bit burned but other than that I tasted really good! I had a simple salad on the side which made it a nice dish for dinner.

Well, I'm going to start my tv evening and wait till S. comes home. I expect it will be a short evening and be in bed soon! This week is going to be a busy one!

Have a great evening and talk to you soon!

Oatmeal sunday

Hi Everyone,
And good morning on a dreary sunday here. The weather forecast says that it remains rainy and greyish all day. But yesterday it started rainy and grey but ended with sunshine and blue skies! So I have my fingers crossed!

I spent the day at my computer, as promised, and actually finished the whole assignment! I send it to my teacher for a last check before I hand it in and then that's done! And maybe start with another course but what, I don't know!

So today will be a more relaxing day, but still enough to do around the house. But first... breakfast!

I made oatmeal along with a tablespoon of chiaseeds, a little bit of vanilla extract, a bit of cinnamon and topped it of with Turkish yoghurt, almond butter and coconut. it was, as always, delicious! Along with my dear friend, sliced apple, it was a great start to the day.

I bought Turkish yoghurt for the first time. I saw it at the supermarket and read on the label that it only had three percent of fat and Greek yoghurt normally has ten percent of fat. I have to say that it was nice but I need to try some more to give it a real opinion.

S. had a great time at the bachelor's party but has to go to work today so he'll be gone soon and I'm going to the gym. Haven't been there in a week and I need to get back there! Have eaten a lot of good, good food but still a lot, and I need to get in bridal shape! Still five more weeks to go! It's going really fast all of a sudden and we're ready for it!

Have a great sunday!

zaterdag 21 april 2012

Donny Graves

Last week I read a post on Facebook that there was an introduction of Donny Graves cookies, a new cookie at Marqt, a new organic supermarket in The Hague which quickly became a new to go supermarket for me!

S. and I went together en we were able to taste all the flavours. There are three flavours but we just bought two: Chewy chocolate chip cookie and the Chewy homestyle oatmeal raisin cookie. I have only tried the chocolate chip version and it's wonderful! I've been trying to cut back on my sugar intake and this cookie is not that sweet but sweet enought, it's really good! Yesterday I went back to Marqt and bought another Donny Graves!

If you're in the neighbourhood, you should really stop by Marqt, they have all kind of special organic products: an impressive bakery, cheese and fish department! I'll blog about that another time. They are located in the middel of the city centre so you can make a day of it, while you can!

Weekend baking

To start the weekend well, I baked the whole evening yesterday! This is a way for me to relax and let the world fall off my shoulders. Now I especially love to bake different kind of cookies and cakes but because I'm living a healthy lifestyle, so that doesn't really go anymore.

The whole week I was thinking of what to make and looked all over the internet. S. and I went to Marqt and saw a slice of currant bread and realised that I could also make this! Currant bread is a typically Dutch recipe; it's bread with raisins in them. Normally you use white flour but I used whole what one, it's a bit heavier but that just means that it takes longer for the bread to finish.

I tries it yesterday for the first time and this is the result!

The ingredients are:

500 gram of whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
a half teaspoon of salt
a cup of milk (I used almond milk)
500 grams of raisins
1 bag of yeast
a tablespoon of cinnamon
3 tablespoons of olive oil
about a cup of water

You heat the oven to 50 degrees Celsius. You put the raisins in a bowl with warm water, not hot! you stir the flour, yeast, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. In the middle you make a little hole and sprankle the salt along the side of the hole. You put the milk and the olive oil in it and stir until it becomes dry. Add bit by bit the water until the dough because sticky. You add the raisins and stir again. Put everything in a cake form and let it rise in the over for 60 minutes. After that bake it for 45 minutes on 2000 degrees Celsius. (

This morning I had two slices, one with plain butter and the other one with butter and light strawberry jam, delicious!

Ofcourse served with a cup of Rooisbos tea!

Last night, I also made a batch of oatmeal cookies. I also used whole wheat flour in this recipe. The cookies were nice but i like them more doughier and these are a bit hard. I've tried several recipes but can't seem to have found the perfect one. Oh well, just keep on trying! I also have a great banana cake recipe that I dying to try but let's do that next week before I'm groing back to my old size!
Speaking of which, I'm hitting the gym this afternoon but first study and try to do as much as possible.

Enjoy your morning!

Start of a 'computer' weekend

Good morning everyone and let this be a great weekend for all of you!

you won't believe how early I got up this morning! S. is away with friends for a bachelor party (not his yet) and he's coming home tonight. And because I'm not used to him not being here, I didn't sleep very well. Now, I'm usually a morning person anyway so I might as well start the day and enjoy it!

I will be glued to the computer this weekend because I want to finish my project for school and then I'm done! It will take a few hours but that's ok. I'm also planning to do a little bit of blogging and baking in between! So I'll be mixing business with pleasure, ha ha!

I want to finish this post with a lovely picture, made by Eline Pellinkhof. She's on my list of favourite interior blogs and I love here pictures! You should really take a look!

woensdag 18 april 2012

Oatmeal & bare bottoms in the grass

Yesterday evening I was looking on the internet to try to find several recipes for oatmeal. For the last few months, I have grown to love oatmeal. It's very tasty and it's great for feeling full and no snacking in the morning! There’s seems to be a lot more choice in the USA than in the Netherlands when it comes to oatmeal brands, possibilities, etc. I would like to do something about that!

I’m planning to try several oatmeal recipes and try several brands. The two most well known brands of oatmeal in the Netherlands are Brinta and Quaker. These are instant oatmeal which means that you only need to heat up milk, when it’s warm add the oatmeal, stir it for about 30 seconds and eat it. That’s the kind I’m eating in the morning. In fact, I have quite a lot oatmeal at home so I’m not planning to buy anything else like steel cut oats for the time being. But I think it’s fun to see what I can create each morning. I have to tell you that I’m very loyal to a taste/ flavour if I like it so there’s a change that you will see the same recipes for several days in a row.
With that being said, this morning I tries something new. This morning I used the following ingredients:

250 ml skimmed milk
35 gram instant oatmeal
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
2 tablespoons of raisins
2 tablespoons of non fat yoghurt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

I let the chia seeds and raisins well overnight and in the morning put the milk, oatmeal, chia seeds and the raisins in a pan and cook it for about five minutes. Normally I heat up the milk, put it in a bowl and add the oatmeal. But now, once it was all in a pan and it started to cook, it started to get think and more fluffy than I’m used to. I pored everthing in a bowl and added the yoghurt and cinnamon. When I took my first bite, I was hooked! I loved it! Just make sure that you stir the chia seeds through the oatmeal because otherwise the seeds will stick together! I had my sliced apple and a cup of rooibos tea, as usual, and it was perfect. A great start to the day!

I had planned to eat nothing till lunch to try and see if this meal would get me through lunch. Sadly (or not!) my manager bought me and my colleagues coffee and something sweet. So I chose a cappuccino and a bar of Tony Chocolonely chocolate and ate a few pieces. Later in the day I gave the rest to my colleagues and they loved it!
Lunch was, again, nothing special: 3 sandwiches with chicken filet, mustard and veggies. I never make photo’s of my lunch because, I’m sure, my colleagues will have a big lough!
In the afternoon I snacked on an apple, a small kiwi and a few radishes. I cleaned them in the morning.

Dinner tonight was grilled chicken, french beans with cannelonni beans, herbs and sweet potatoe fries. The french beans with cannelonni and herbs are called “bare bottoms in the grass” in the Netherlands which I got from the new Allerhande. Can you tell why? I also added a tablespoon of hummus for the veggies and the fries. It kinda made like a sauce which was good!

Dessert was simple: rooibos tea with two whole wheat cookies in front of the TV watching DC cupcakes.

This week has been low in terms of exercising. After Sunday, my feet and knees hurted a bit and I wanted to rest before any injuries would accure. I feel much better know and am planning on going to the gym tomorrow and slowly start to get back to my fitness regime; 30 minutes of weigth training and 40 minutes of (interval) cardio. On May 5, my wedding dress is being altered and I need to look good!

Speaking of the wedding: the important preparations has been done and it is now down to the details. I’m thinking of a nice thank you presents for the guests when the wedding is over. Do you have any ideas, I would love to hear them!

I’m going to study now, have to hand in my school assignment before April 30 and I still have a lot to do.

Enjoy your day, wherever you are!

maandag 16 april 2012

Thank You Thank You Thank You

Wow, thank you very much for your kind comments about me patricipating the 10 km at the marathon of Rotterdam! I really appreciate it, thank you, thank you , thank you!

Today was back to reality! I started in the morning with oatmeal. It contained 250 ml of low fat milk, 35 grams of oatmeal, a tablespoon of granola and a teaspoon of chia seeds. Along with a sliced apple and a cup of green tea. The oatmeal was a bit bland. I used to like it like that but ever since I added almond butter and yoghurt to it, it’s much better. I’ll try again tomorrow!
I couldn’t go on my bike to work today because the bicycle chain is broken. So I took the tram but halfway went out and walked to work. This way I thought that I would do some exercise. The only thing was that my feet and knees hurted a bit from yesterday so walking wasn’t going really easy but I managed.
Lunch was pretty basic with a cup of vegetable soup, three dark whole wheat sandwiched with chicken filet, mustard and salad on top of it. Around 3 pm I had an Apple and a small kiwi. This was enough to get me through to dinner!
Dinner tonight was a healthy pasta bolognaise. I got this recipe from Dutch weigth loss queen Sonja Bakker. Gradually I changed the recipe and made it more mine. I make the pasta sauce with what I have at home, which usually is:
Low fat minced beef, about 350 gram
Beef spices
2 cans of sliced tomatoes
An onion
Vegetable broth
Sliced vegetables, about 350 gram
Several herbs like fresh basil and Italian spices
A tablespoon of capers
Salt and pepper
Cayenne powder
I don’t add any fat but bake the meat in it’s own fat, then add the onion and garlic. Then add the tomatoes, vegetables, broth, herbs and cook it for about 10 minutes. For the pasta I used whole wheat penne and I added extra French beans to be sure that it was a healthy meal! It tasted great and I made enough to put it in the freezer so we can eat it another time. Dessert was nothing special. S. had low fat lemon yoghurt and I had non fat yoghurt with a little bit of cinnamon in it.
It is now time to sit on the sofa and watch a little bit of tv. Tonight I’m going to bed early because I need to be up early to go on the road for work. I’ll take a few healthy food options with me, just not sure what. I’ll let you know tomorrow.
Talk to you soon!

zondag 15 april 2012

Today was the day: 10 km marathon of Rotterdam

Today was the day!

Today was the day that I finally participated in a race in the marathon of Rotterdam! I was born and raised in Maassluis, a small town nearby Rotterdam and this annual marathon was a big thing for me as a child. I watched it on tv and always dreamed of participating, even it that meant giving out cups of waters to the runners! But I thought that something as a marathon would be impossible for me and that it only  was for the real athletes. Then life happened and I forgot about the dream, had different interests and gained weigth in my twenties. I would lose the weigth, gain it again, lose it and then gain it again.
When I turned 31, I thought 'No more'! I started going regurlary to the gym and watched what I ate. Then last summer I went on holiday to Spain. There was a small gym at the appartmentcomplex and hotels where we stayed but it wasn't very professional. Then we were in Valencia where there was a large park in front of our hotel, I had my running shoes with me and thought that running would be a good option instead of going to the hotel gym. So during the holiday, I ran regurlary. And when we got back home, I continued running, joined a running team for a short time and learned techniques how to run the best way that suits me.  By now I learned that besides the whole marathon I could also run a 5, 10 or 21 km. In that time I was fit enough to run a 10 km. Then life happened again, I stopped exercising and gained some weigth again. But then it happened that I thought about that dream I had as an child about running in Rotterdam.
So at the beginning of this year, I decided that I mattered too and to life a healthy life, I needed to go back to the gym and I started exercising again. In January I decided to run my very first 10 km in The Hague. I ran the 10 km in March and set a personal record of 1h03m and realised that I could just as well enter myself in the 10 km in Rotterdam and so I did. And today was the day!
This morning I made a breakfast suitable for champions: oatmeal with a banana, a teaspoon of almond butter, a tablespoon of yoghurt, a tablespoon of granola, chia seeds and coconut seeds. I felt full immediatly but I ate it 2 1/2 hours before the start so I knew it would be digested enough by the time I would start.

S. went with me which was very nice because he's starting to become my personal coach/manager! Really nice to have, ha ha! Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of pictures of the event because there wasn't enough time and because I was too focused before the start.
S. did make a small film as soon as he saw me. You can only see me in the first second!

I eventually ran a new personal record of 58minutes and 46 secondes! While running, I felt good and had a feeling that I could finish within the hour. When I finished and saw the time, I nearly cried of happiness! Look how beautiful this medal is!

I made a special playlist for this race:

Genesis                             Turn it on again

Gavin DeGraw                  Not over you

Ik dans, dus ik besta      Het Goede Doel

Nooduitgang                     Het Goede Doel

Forever                              Chris Brown

Eye of the Tiger                Rocky IV

Dance in the Dark           Lady Gaga

The Flood                           Take That

Music Inferno                   Madonna

Dancing in the dark        Bruce Springsteen

Crazy                                    Seal

Makes me wonder         Maroon 5

Binnen                                 Marco Borsato 

* For the Dutchies who are reading this blog, if you know these songs of Het Goeden Doel you probably know that these song have a great beat and this is nice while running! For those who don't know, Het Goeden Doel is a Dutch band and had their glory days in the 80's! My sister loved their music and for me this is nostalgia!

What about you, have you realised a childhood dream/ And do you have a song you love that is so bad but you love it anyway?

Talk to you soon!

zaterdag 14 april 2012

Chicken Cashew

We just came home from having dinner at our fiends. They introduced us to the fenomenon Chicken Cashew!

It is fried chicken with a sweet ginger sauce and cashew nuts, served with brown rice. It has a lot of carbs but I condered it has a good meal, in preparing for tomorrow! We ended the meal with a lovely latte macchiato with a little bit of Starbucks vanilla syrup. We went for a walk around the neighborhoud to walk off a few of the calories, ha ha. It is going to be a short evening because we're leaving early to Rotterdam tomorrow. Have a great evening and wish me luck for tomorrow!

Love this lunchroom!

Ahhh, just saw this picture on Facebook: Cake Hole Cafe at Vintage Heaven. I would love to go here, have a coffee and a piece of pie and be in heaven!

In the meantime, I'm at home, looking at great pictures like that!

Eggplant for dinner

Happy weekend everyone! Hope you have great plans!

Yesterday I didn't blog because it was a busy day at work and after that I did grocery shopping, made dinner and then went straigth for the couch and my Ipad! I did however made a few pictures of my day.

To start with breakfast: a easy version of granola. I had some yoghurt left and paired that with five tablespoons with granola, a sliced apple and some cinnamon. Since I'm living a healthier lifestyle, cinnamon has because a reliable and great friend! Like every morning, I had a cup of rooibos tea.

And made lunch to go: three pumpkin yeast sandwiches with chicken breast and a tomato. For later in the day, I'll have a whole wheat sandwich with apple syrup and a banana because I'll be starving and I'll be eating late in the evening.

Which was a good thing that I did because halfway on the way home there was something wrong with my bike, I guess the bycicle chain fell off and I had to walk... Then I had to do groceries, come back and have dinner at 7.30 pm, so to cut a long story short, I needed those carbs!

Dinner tonight was a grilled eggplant with low fat mozzarella cheese, a little bit of Parmesan, tomato and basil. With that I had wokked spinach with onion.

I got this recipe of the blog of Kath eats real food,. This has been one of my favourite meals lately! It really fills me up and you don't need cards like pasta of brown rice with that.

So I saved that for the dessert!

Low fat yoghurt with a little bit of granola, cinnamon and a whole wheat cracker!

Well, I'm about to go to the bakery. I try not to buy bread at a supermarket because the taste is just not the same as from a good bakery, and I'm very picky with bread. Here in the Netherlands, you have so much choice in the different types of bread, from whitter than white to the darkest whole wheat bread. I'm going for that last one but S. likes it a bit more light but still whole wheat. I wondering how it is going to be like when we go to the USA and buy bread over there. I'm guessing that there's more lighter bread but we'll see.

Today I'm relaxing, doing some homework (i have to finish my assignment for school before April 30) and tonight we're going to friends and have dinner at their house. Tomorrow is the big 10 km in Rotterdam, really looking forward to it!

donderdag 12 april 2012

An ordinary day

If I'm working during the week, I have a fulltime job, I leave the the house at around 07.30 am and get on my bike and ride to work. It's about an twenty minute ride so that's easy to do.

Before I leave, I make breakfast and make and pack my lunch. Today I had three pumpkin yeast sandwiches with grilled chicken. I also pack a tomato and at the restaurant at work, I usually have a small salad from the salad bar. I also pack a sandwich with apple syrup for later in the day because I'm going to the gym straight after work and if I don't have anything to eat at around three pm, then I'm for sure going to eat something bad!

So lunch is packed and off to work!

At my desk I have a rolling cabinet with my 'goodie' draw. I mostly have healthy stuff in there: green energy tea from Yogi tea, Matze crackers, rye bread which I usually have a piece of in the morning and some fruit. There's a candy jar in our office but I have hidden it so I'm not tempted to have any!

After lunch, I had a wonderful cappuccino from the coffee place in our office building. the milk is not skimmed but I allow myself one per week and it really helps me feeling full.

I had the sandwich at four but, unfortunately, also a few pieces of chocolate... I was so embarrassed that I didn't take any pictures of it!

I left the office at five, went straigth home, got changed and went to the gym. First I did strength training for half an hour and worked on my legs, arms, back and belly. After that I did some cardio training for 50 minutes but not very intense this time because I'm running a 10 km on sunday and I really don't want any injuries! But is was still good because I burned 700 calories in total!

I was done at 7.30 pm and went home, took a quick shower and had dinner which were leftovers from earlier this week: grilled chicken breast with green beans and brown rice. I gave it a bit more taste with soya sauce and lemon juice.

For dessert, I had a few bites of this:

This is yoghurt with no fat and hardly any sugar. I bought it for S. because I usually never eat this. I mean, no fat and hardly any sugar in it, what is in it then? Although I have to say that I like their coconut flavoured drinking yoghurt...!

So, that's my day for today. I'm working on a grocery list because I'm doing groceries tomorrow after work.

Have a great evening and talk to you soon!