Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas mood!

Kids are in bed, kitchen is clean and finally I have the time off to relax, turn on the christmas lights in my room and enjoy the peace and quiet! I have come to really appreciate these moments of  being by myself in my room reading a book or just listening to music. Even though I have started to enjoy this "job" even more and more, I must admit that I am exhausted afterwards! Respect to all energetic parents out there!

As for my time here in Amsterdam it seems to be flying, but I am really excited to go back home for the holidays in two days! I just really miss everything that has to do with Greece and I am so glad I have my Greek friend Nicole here and we can be the weird little Greek salsa dancing chicas (salsa is very Greek...yeah, yeah I know). I was so surprised a couple of weeks ago when I went to the park with Nicole and the little one and suddenly we heard someone playing bouzouki, which is a Greek instrument. It turned out that the guy who was playing wasn't even Greek, but it was a nice little wake up song in the early morning!

Whenever I start writing my blog I feel like I should have lot's of exciting new things to write, the truth is though that I have been enjoying having a routine again in my life . Believe it or not, but I love routines...especially after two years of just travelling around and having a not-so-stable-schedule.

My routine has been quite full with taking care of the kiddos at home, but I've also become more passionate about salsa and it's been nice to meet even more people through dancing! I haven't travelled much around Holland, but to be honest I am kind of tired of travelling. I am sure some of you are thinking "Finally, after all this time she says she is tired of travelling!". The truth is I found it really exciting and liberating in the beginning, but I really miss being in one place and having real friendships with a deep meaning. I don't regret though any of the travelling I have done so far, I have just come to realize that it's not something that I want to do for a while, besides I am pretty broke anyways. No money, no honey!

Last, but not least...I couldn't finish this post without any pictures! We made these today with the kiddos and they really loved making them! I guess you can tell from the picture bellow which are the ones I decorated...kids got too excited with the sprinkles!


That is all for now!
 
Merry Christmas to you all!
Enjoy your holidays and eat as much as you can ( I know I will)!
 
Karoliina

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sinter Klaas en mijn verjaardag!


Hello amigos!
 
In Holland we are in full christmas mood and everybody is just eating pepernoots and chocolate letters! The kids have been really excited about Sintar Klaas and his helpers whom they call here zwarte piets (black pete). Apparently it has been a huge discussion whether zwarte piet should be black or not because it's racist. In my opinion if that's the biggest issue they have here then they are doing pretty well as a country!
 
Also instead of putting the presents under the christmas tree here they put their shoes in front of the fireplace with a carrot in it and they sing christmas songs before children go to bed. I even got to put my shoe in front of the fireplace last time and the next morning I got a chocoladeletter! To be honest I am a bit confused with the whole Christmas rituals here, but I try to keep up! On the fifth of December (as they told me) they have the pakjesavond and that's when Sintar Klaas comes and brings the presents.

My chocolate letter! :)
 
A month ago I remember I had this whole conversation about Sintar Klaas with my hostmom and I just couldn't stop laughing! Our conversation was more or less like this:
 
Me: When does Santa Claus come to Holland?
Hostmom: We call him Sintar Klaas and he comes on the fifth of December from Madrid
Me: So he is Spanish?
Hostmom: No he is Turkish!
Me: What?! Does he come flying from Madrid or with something else?
Hostmom: No, he comes by boat!
Me: But Madrid has no port or water!
Hostmom: Shhh....don't tell the kids!
....
 
Yeah I still don't really get how he comes by boat from Madrid but I guess it's the same with our Santa Claus who comes flying from the north pople...doesn't make much sense now that I think about it!
 
Other than Sintar Klaas, me and Laura went last Sunday on a trip to Utrecht and gladly this time the weather was just perfect! We took many pictures and I ate lots of french fries with mayonese (the Dutch way), yum! :D
Now I know that I should never tell Laura to smile when I take a picture of her because this is more or less the result.
Me and the fat Dutch lady with her chicken
A bike next to a no bike sign, what can I say!

I think after that day I don't feel like eating french fries in a while!
 
Let's not forget though the most important thing of the week which was my birthday of course!! I wasn't really looking forward to it because it was on a Tuesday and I had to stay home all day with the little one who happened to be also sick (yey!). Can't say it was great...also my tiramisu that I made for my birthday looked like more of a tiramisoup. Either way the taste was still good so we ate it! Gladly my two chicas from salsa Nicole and Laura saved my night! We had cocktails and a very relaxing and fun time in a mexican restaurant! I also got a surprise cake and I was extremelly happy :D
Birthday card from Nicole :) 
I had a great time and thank you very very much girls for making it a fun night!! :)
 
That's all for now!
Stay tuned ;)
 
Karoliina
 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Coffee and well...more coffee!

Here comes another exciting post of my life in Amsterdam! When I come to think about it though  I haven't really done that much, but I still enjoy my life the way it is. Besides I don't need much to be happy! During the week I don't have much time (or energy) to do anything so I try to take advantage of my weekends. Also I have been trying to dance salsa as much as possible but this stupid flu has been pissing me off!
 
Despite the little cold I have been constantly having, me and Laura have been just going crazy discovering different cool places to have coffee...mmmmm coffee! I just love cool and artsy places where you can just sit down and relax! One of the things that I love here in Amsterdam is that there are just so so so many cafes you can go to...sometimes it's a bit overwhelming!
FINOP (Finnish oven pancake). Made this a couple of weeks ago with the kids and they absolutely loved it!
 One of the coolest cafes I have been to in the Albert Cuyp street. Mara had taken me there for the first time and it's kind of funny how they work. Basically, you just go there and you can order whatever you want and you pay as much as you want. That's probably why it's called Trust! If they had something like this in Greece everybody would go there just to have "free" coffee.
 I also loved this wall and the whole decoration inside! Felt so cozy :)
 Marble's vintage
 Another cool cafe we went to with Laura. Felt really vintage with lot's of old armchairs and fun atmosphere. Definitely going there again!
 Laura enjoying her mint tea for a change!
 Albert Cuyp market by night!
 
 I also went to my friends hat exhibition yesterday and I got to try some of them on!
The crazy hatmaker!
I loved them all but that was one of my favourites!
 
As I was coming back from my Dutch class today I saw this on the way and of course I had to take a picture! I guess they were having a Ancient Greece theme going on...or at least I hope they did! haha
 
Now my head is full of new Dutch words and I really need to start putting more effort into learning this weird language! Ugh!
 
Time for bed now!
 
Hasta la vista!
 
Karoliina
 
 
 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

My life

Hallo! Once again I have no idea how this week went by so fast! On the other hand I was sick all week almost so I was more like sitting in bed and being miserable most of the time...nah.

Last Saturday I had to stay in to babysit and since I had put all the kids in bed, I decided to learn how to crochet watching videos on youtube. I must admit that it wasn't a big success but at least I tried! I always get very enthusiastic about knitting and other handwork, but always when I try something for the first time (I guess that's how it is when you try something for the first time in general) they turn out to look like crap and then my enthusiasm fades away for a little while, till I start again and for some reason then things tend to work out somehow...or at least that's what I think happens.
That was supposed to be square...maybe it will work out next time.

Other than the very exciting fact that I learned how to crochet this week I took things easy...maybe too easy now that I think about it. Whenever I'm sick I tend to sleep a lot and this week wasn't any different. I tried to rest, but sometimes it's hard to do that when you have a huge pile of laundry that needs to be done. 

Either way I did go out on Wednesday which is supposed to be my salsa night, but as I was kind of sick I just went out with my salsa buddies and watched them dance. You can't imagine how difficult it was for a salsa lover not to dance. Never doing that again! It's either stay home or dance salsa.
Before salsa we tend to go out for a drink and this time we went to this really nice cafe/bar that had an amazing view to the canal. Unfortunately you can't really tell from the picture, it was great anyway!
Thursday I went to the Albert Cuyp market close to my house and it's something that I usually do once a week. It has lot's of fun and silly things you can spend your money on. Unfortunately I was pretty broke since it was the end of the month so I just went for a fast walk through and went back home to rest...ugh, for the millionth time I hate being sick!
 On Friday it was Mara's birthday so with the magic of make
up I turned myself into a human being again (I should have taken a before picture). We went to this nice oriental restaurant Mara had chosen and we had a lovely dinner with the other aupairs :)
 Yesterday at last I was feeling better and as the weather was super warm and nice, I went out to the park with Mara and two other aupairs to have a picnic. It felt like a miracle to have so good weather in Amsterdam in November!

Last night it was also museum night which means that all the museums were open till 2:00 in the morning and they had parties and different events. We started visiting museums at 7 pm with Laura and did as much as we could till the museums closed. I must say that going to museums is quite tiring and there is always soooo much stuff to see, it was overwhelming! We started in Anna Frank huis, then we went to Rijks museum, Van Gogh and Nemo. For one night we did quite good and imagine that there were more than 50 museums on the list that we could visit.
 Finally I did it! No people standing in front of the Iamsterdam sign!
 Party, party in Rijks museum
 Rembrandt
 
  video
 This was actually the most fun thing in Rijks museum. There was just something so magical about it I couldn't stop staring at it.
 
 A break before continuing with the museums
 Last but not least Nemo! They had so many cool things in there. Could have stayed longer if we had had time.
You could say we are literally HOT!

And that was my week ladies and gentleman! It was a fun and exciting and now my feet hurt from all the walking.
Tonight is salsa night and tomorrow back to my busy schedule with the kiddos! Bring on the challenge again!


Karoliina