28 Mar 2015

internet stuff for reading enjoyment

Happy Saturday friends! I'm spending all of today packing because I'm moving tomorrow. Oh my god I'm not stressed-you're stressed. It will be fine, things are just reaching peak overwhelm! Ah! Okay, here's some internet stuff for you like spring cleaning, the Netherlands, cocktails, Amy Poheler and how to motivate yourself. Enjoy! 

things I wish I could do

spring clean your mind and life 

42 reasons the Netherlands is just the worst

hi I would like one of these please

5 ways to simplify your life

mmmm yes please rosemary gimlets

accurate Harry Potter sass

questions for when you are decluttering

helpful websites for learning and other cool things you should do with your brain

there can never be enough Amy Poheler goodness

File under: reason #392 to move to any of the Scandinavian countries: what happens when dads get paid paternity leave

but wait there's more! interesting maternity info from abroad: having babies in Norway

look at this actually very useful product

6 quick ways to motivate yourself to get shit done

interesting: leave yourself wanting more

these books sound like they are worth checking out

Have a great weekend xo

23 Mar 2015

Life Update and Travel Photos

Oh hi.
Remember me? The person who writes this blog? 
Despite recent (lack of) appearances I am alive and well. I returned from my amazing (seriously amazing) trip to the Netherlands and had quite a few Feelings about it. That's for later. Or probably not since I don't think people actually care quite that much about my life. Which, for the record, I totally understand and it's completely a two way street. So, we're cool there. *blogfistbump*
Since I've been back I have succumbed to a disgusting cold virus #airplanetravel and have had myself a bit of a pity party that involved moping, chicken soup and finishing a novel at an alarming rate. In addition to being a mucus factory I am also packing to move to Guelph this weekend and I have two exams this week. HOORAY FOR ME! 
Please accept these travel photos as a stand in for actual, nice, real blogging, and also read Sophie's blog for chronicling of adventures and such. You guys rock. See you in Guelph! 

Until next time, xo

10 Mar 2015

Travel // The Netherlands

Hello from the Netherlands! How does everyone fare? After being here for just about a week I think it's high time for a proper blog update. 
Important items first: Sophie is an excellent host! She is very generous, always has great ideas for places to go and things to do, and we have had a lot of fun exploring and cooking together. She really gets me
The first few days I was here, I stayed with Sophie and we poked around Utrecht a bit. Utrecht has all of the wonderful European charm you would expect in a Dutch city: deep set canals, endless mazes of cobblestone streets, cyclists ignoring the value of your life. Utrecht is reminiscent of Amsterdam, but blessedly much less touristy. Sophie has shown me some excellent spots. One afternoon we stopped for a delicious cappuccino and croissant at Sector 3. With it's impressive windows backing onto a canal and comfy chairs it's an ideal place to "accidentally" spend an entire afternoon. In addition to their delicious pastries and coffee, we admired the rather impressive displays of easter treats including gigantic chocolate eggs and festively decorated cupcakes. It's well worth a stop if you're strolling the Oude Gracht (Old Canal). 

Sophie and I also spent a day wandering the seemingly endless cobblestone streets and canals of Amsterdam. I read somewhere there are 165 canals and over 1200 bridges! While we certainly did not see all of them, we covered a ton of ground and almost exclusively on foot. We walked from the train station to the floating flower market. Then from there we walked through the Jordaan and the famous Negen Straatjes (Nine Streets) to the Oud-West neighbourhood to an amazing brunch spot, after that we hit up Vondelpark and had some wine and cheese outside, unheard of in the -30 degree weather I left behind. We also made it to De Pijp and the famous Albert Cuy street market for hot stroopwafels.  Let's see: wine, cheese, canal, stroopwafel, Sophie...check! An excellent day spent in Amsterdam. 

Over the weekend I went to visit my friend Stuart in Delft (where Sophie and I spent a memorable rainy afternoon last summer.) Stuart borrowed a bike from a friend of his and we hit the bike paths. I have say, I was pretty nervous to cycle in the Netherlands. Every guidebook and city guide you can find recommends renting a bike as a cheap and efficient way to get around, but be ye warned: cycling in this country is not for the faint of heart! Cyclists rein supreme and take no prisoners! Luckily for me Delft is a quieter city and March is not peak tourist season, plus Stuart knew his way around and was very patient with my attempts at cycling like a local. On Saturday we rode the bikes until I felt like my bottom simply gave up on life. We rode through the city, the university campus and then all the way to the outskirts of Rotterdam past beautiful, and typical Dutch, farmer's fields. The sun put on a pretty good show of springtime and the temperature reached thirteen degrees! The trip across the Atlantic was worth that alone.We also made it to the Saturday market in Delft (more hot stroopwafels!) and had lunch on a sunny terrace accompanied by a refreshing Belgian beer. What more could one ask for on a spring day in the Netherlands? 

On Sunday we spent the day exploring Rotterdam, which is totally rad! It's only a 15 minute train ride from Delft but feels like a completely different world. Rotterdam is so unlike it's Dutch sister cities, owing largely to the massive bombing that it endured during the second world war. It's full of great architecture and, much to my own surprise, lots of hipsters. We stumbled across an excellent little market: Fenix Food Factory where one could purchase charcuterie boards and fresh cut fries along with bottles of wine and beers from the local Brouwer. All of which were eaten on the edge of the pier just outside the market doors.  Much like all the other cities I've been visiting, Rotterdam was easy to navigate by foot and proved to be full of beautiful buildings, parks and delicious food.  The "main" bridge, Erasmusbrug, was particularly beautiful. I think I'm going to try and convince Sophie to spend another day exploring Rotterdam before I head back home!

When I got back to Sophie's after spending the weekend in Delft and Rotterdam I was in a sour, introspective mood. Sophie let me sleep for a few hours and then took me out for beers at Ledig Erf, a traditional Dutch bar just off the Oude Gracht. Sharing your woes with an old friend over Belgian beer is something I highly recommend everyone partake in at their earliest convenience. The good conversation, yummy beers and walk home through the warm, misty night totally turned my mood around. 
Today I contemplated going to Amsterdam on a solo venture (mostly to spend as much time as I would like with an audio guide at the Rijksmuseum...) but the weather was so lovely that Sophie and I decided we would take a day trip to Haarlem! We had lunch on the terrace, we explored churches, we ate chocolate, we ate fries, we had a very strange and unusual "museum" tour and all in all had a most wonderful day. Haarlem! Who knew? 

(Sophie did, obviously) 
Up next? Amsterdam, probably. Maybe more Rotterdam. Definitely Munich this weekend with Hipster Dad! Thanks for reading, you guys are the best :)
Until next time, xo 

7 Mar 2015

Travel // Amsterdam

Happy weekend friends! In lieu of my normal weekend links post, here are a few photos that I took on my trip to Amsterdam this week. Enjoy!