Honeymoon at the Oregon coast


Wil and I got married on the 21st of September in a little clearing in the forest near our home. We had a beautiful, intimate ceremony with no pictures and no guests. Exactly the way we wanted it. Eccentric as it may be, we have never considered throwing a huge party, and so for the reception we only invited a handful of people over: close friends of Wil’s family. In all honesty, the only thing that could have made this day more beautiful would have been my parents and brothers attending. However, due to the timing and the immense distance that was unfortunately not possible.

The day after we got married, Wil and I packed our stuff (two bags full of clothing, a cooler and half a dozen other bags with first aid stuff, groceries, snacks, a tabletop burner, silverware, a pot and a pan and some other things I cannot remember and which we probably ended up not needing) for our honeymoon and we left. We spent our week long honeymoon at the Oregon coast in Florence and Newport – the same two cities that we visited last year during my first stay in the United States with him. During this trip, I realised a number of things:

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

So despite the conversation I had with Nate over the weekend, I really do love Valentine’s Day.  Every year, I dress in something pink or red.  I make sure to actually put in some effort that morning to look cute.  This year, I got to dress Laura up for school.  She went off in cupcake leggings, a pink undershirt, and a darker pink dress.  She looked super festive (even with the remnants of sleep creased across her little face).  When I get home this evening, I’ll try to cook a nice meal for Nate and I to enjoy when he gets home from work.

For me though, the best part of Valentine’s Day is making handmade Valentines for the people I love.  This year, Laura “made” them for everyone.  I cut out heart shapes from construction paper, glued on a picture of Laura, decorated with stickers and stampers, and wrote “BE MINE!” on each.  Ok, so Laura didn’t actually make any of them.  But each time I sat down at the table to work on them, Laura tried her best to grab the scissors, glue, stickers, photos, paper, and markers.  She did whatever she could to interfere!


Which is why I wound up making them during naptime.  Maybe Laura will be a better helper next year


A Conversation

Hubby: Um, you didn’t want to do anything on Monday for Valentine’s Day, did you?
Me: God no!  Sit in a crowded restaurant and pay too much for a crappy prix-fixe menu?  No way.
Hubby: Good.  Oh, and no flowers either.
Me: Of course not!  Remember 2005 when you had flowers sent to me and they arrived dead, three days late?
Hubby: Yeah, and they were expensive!
Me: I do like those holiday color M&M’s…
Hubby: I’ll keep that in mind.
Me: But NO RUSSEL STOVER!  I hate those!
Hubby: Not a problem.
Me: I’m glad we are on the same page.  Love you!
Hubby: Love you too!

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Tiny Prints! For You!

I adore stationery.  I write thank-you notes like it’s my business.  I have a huge stash of stationery at the ready.  Thank you cards, blank cards, bridal shower cards (yep, those exist), cards of a somber nature, cards of a cheery nature, postcards, baby cards, plain cards, fancy cards.  I love them all.  Sometimes I actually hesitate to use my stationery because it’s so pretty.  The more worthy the recipient, the nicer the card.

So when I am shopping for cards of a specifically personalized nature, like invitations, I take my time and shop around.  Lately, I haven’t had to search too long before finding a card or invitation I love and can afford.  Thank you,Tiny Prints!

I think I have mentioned my love of Tiny Prints before.  Like when I ordered ourChristmas cards from Shutterfly, but really wanted to get them from Tiny Prints, but just couldn’t find something Nate liked well enough (he likes goofier cards).  Or like the gorgeous cards I ordered for Laura’s baptism, except, oh wait – I was still cagey back in July and didn’t share those invitations (trust me, they were beautiful). Or like Like yesterday, when I suddenly realized that I was a few weeks behind in planning Laura’s 1st birthday.

How sweet is this card?!

Imagine how pleased I was this morning when I received an email and phone call from my personal Tiny Prints designer with a suggestion on a better way to word the invitations I had ordered.  Bryan sent me two proofs to review: one proof of what I had originally ordered, and a second with his suggestions.  Of course I went with the revised proof, and was just so impressed with the personal service!  So I emailed Bryan back to let him know how much I appreciated the time he had put into my order and asked if I could share my appreciation with my loyal readers.

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I Hate Funerals, But I Go

I hate funerals.  Granted, I think I have been to three in my life, and two of those were for Nate’s family.  So I am not very experienced in the ways of the funeral.  But I hate them.  I hate thinking of death.  I am terrified to think of what’s next.

Heaven?  Hell?  Reincarnation?  Nothing??

Nothing is the scariest of all.  Scarier than hell, to me, is the thought that there is nothing past this life.  If this is it, then what is the point?  What happens to the life force energy that flows within each of us?  Does it just *poof!* disappear into the atmosphere?  I’d like to think not.

I don’t know that I believe in heaven, or that I’ll be reunited with my great-grandmother or Nate’s aunts and uncles.  I don’t know that I’ll see my childhood dog running toward me with his big ears flopping in the sun.  These things sound sort of nice, but it still doesn’t tell me what happens to that energy.

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Romaine-Apple salad with home made salad dressing

One of my favourite dishes to make is the salad. It’s a fairly simple concept consisting of a number of usually raw ingredients and a sauce. The greens by itself are pretty healthy, but if you want to go a little more overboard, you could put your daily dose of protein, iron, minerals and vitamins in this kind of meal!

Even when summer is long over, I can still enjoy a good salad when I can. Because Wil and I had had a pretty hectic day yesterday, I didn’t feel like cooking, and so I decided to tumble a salad together instead with my normal everyday ingredients when I figured that “Hey, apples would taste pretty darn good with a salad!”. That’s how I ended up discarding my normal ingredients of choice, and went with something a little more unconventional instead.

The combination of the sweet and savoury tastes in this salad is absolutely delicious (in my estimation), and I strongly suggest you try making the home-made dressing too, because it’ll blow your mind. Especially if your lactose-intolerant (like my husband), finding a salad dressing can be super difficult, and putting plain vegan mayonaise isn’t really all that either.

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Indonesian-Dutch Peanut Sauce

There’s many things that are different here in the United States than they are in my home country, The Netherlands. Food is one of the many things that are different. Being Dutch, we have a very strong cultural connection with Indonesia, one of our former colonies, and that rings through – especially in our kitchen. The Indonesian cuisine has had a huge influence on ours, and the one thing that is eaten to some degree in pretty much every Dutch household is the Satay sauce.

Satay sauce is a creamy, right and slightly sweet peanut sauce that goes perfectly with any rice dish and is absolutely delicious over chicken, shrimps and other kinds of meat or fish. Our Satay sauce (which is different from Chinese and Thai satay sauce) is a blend of Dutch and Indonesian ingredients. Some of which are hard to find in the USA. That’s why I set out to make my own Satay sauce. I had three goals: I wanted it to be organic, I wanted it to be lactose free, because my fiancé is lactose-intolerant and I wanted it to be delicious.

I ended up being successful: I came up with this recipe for a delicious, creamy Satay sauce. It is entirely organic, lactose- and glutenfree and it can even be vegan if you pick the right ingredients (mine was). Please don’t mind the bad quality pictures, I only had my iPhone on me, and the lighting in our kitchen is very weak.

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Have A Headache? I May Have A Way To Help

If you have been following my medical mystery tour in Behind The Cape, you know I have had a headache everyday ALL day since June 2009. I know a thing or two about getting some type of relief…If you suffer from a stress-type of headache, this idea may help.

In India they use ginger to heal almost everything, including a painful headache. Packed with gingerols, plant compounds that amp up the production of pain-numbing endorphins that dampening inflammation and relax scalp muscles to prevent a painful spasms.  To prevent head pain try two to three slices of candied ginger.


Wear This Scent To Improve His Memory

We can all agree that most men are not the most detail-oriented.  If you are about to embark on a first date, or need your long time sweetie to recall some crucial information, make sure you wear a perfume that has rose in it.

Ones to try are : Prada Infusion de Rose, Ralph Lauren Romance, Jennifer Lopez Still, Jennifer Lopez Glow, Juicy Couture  and Eva Longoria EVAmour.

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Beauty Straight From Your Kitchen

Did you know that the path to beautiful skin is as close as your kitchen?  It is worth arranging your cupboards to make these face and figure-enhancing products easier find..

Tomatoes are all over the news lately, and it is no wonder why. Whether raw or in naturally processed ketchup or tomato sauces, they are an excellent source of the natural hydrator and antioxidant, lycopene. By eating a tomato a day, you will exponentially help with hydrating and brightening your skin.

Oatmeal helps regulate your skin’s pH balance soothing and locking in moisture. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory agent. So eat up, or turn into a facial scrub, with a little bit of honey, or add to your regular cleanser to reveal brighter skin.

Pudding and fruit cups have moisture absorbing gelatin or pectin bases that help your body hold moisture and nutrients.

Green or berry-flavored teas contain polyphenols (anti-oxidants) that help skin look younger. They also help the body breakdown collgen in skin production.

Olive oil is nutrient rich and helpful for digestion, and helps your skin glow from the inside out.

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An Ode to Work (and Electricity)

Oh, to be back at work,
Where there is the loveliest little toaster for bagels,
Where lightbulbs fill whole rooms with light,
Where computers connect to internet, 
Where vacuums TURN ON when plugged into the wall.
Oh work! Oh blessed work with the electricity therein!

As you might have guessed, we are still without power.  BGE estimates that power will be restored by Friday at the latest… or maybe Saturday morning.  I can’t make this shit up.  They actually said in their message, “Definitely Friday!  But maybe Saturday.”  So I’m planning on spending the long weekend gutting my fridge, cleaning every surface, and spending hundreds of dollars to fill it again.  Yay!

But on a positive note?  Aside from the loss of my refrigerator, I am actually really enjoying the loss of electricity.  My house is amazingly calm and quiet.  Nothing is whirring.  Nothing is buzzing.  The TV is continually silent.  Nate was talking about how much he missed TV (not me!).  Laura looked over at it and said, “Oh yeah!”  She had completely forgotten about her friends Dora, Diego, Elmo and Cookie.  The quiet is music to my ears.  I swear, I have even enjoyed being a mom more since the power went out.  I have spent more time on the floor, reading, playing, gobbling that little sweet baby neck spot than ever before.  I almost don’t want the power back, except that I’d like my fridge.

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A Window into Addiction

I’m sure you have heard the news about Amy Winehouse.  If you haven’t, well, she died of a drug overdose this weekend.  It’s truly sad, but not surprising.  Which might be the saddest part of it all.  She died from addiction, and no one is surprised because we all saw that one coming just around the bend.

I wasn’t overly phased by the news on Saturday.  I’m not a huge fan of her music, and I’m certainly not a fan of the public persona she had adopted.  But more importantly, I was preoccupied on Saturday with more important, better things.  My husband’s cousin was getting married.  I was adding another in-law to my little club of outsiders, of which I was the sole member for the longest time (four years on Thursday!!).  My club added it’s second member a mere eight weeks ago, and now here we are a club of three!  I love my cousin-in-law, and am so excited for his new wife – a wonderful young woman, who obviously adores her new husband and puts up with all the rest of us.

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