Blog posts

Experience the Spring!

screech owl

Okay, it is time to admit to the world that L and I are birders. When I think of people who bird watch, the stereotype that enters my head is of an old retired couple in khakis with their binoculars. Just another reason why stereotypes are so silly. The truth is bird watching is probably one of our favorite hobbies to do together. We get excited to see new birds on our travels and often talk about what birds we saw throughout our day. While we haven't quite got to the point of keeping a bird journal, I am not putting the idea past us in the future. We dream of the day that we have a yard of our own and can put up bird feeders to attract them. For now though, we are so happy that we stumbled upon Beleef de Lente or Experience the Spring! 

Beleef de Lente has been going on since 2007 and is brought to you by Vogelbescherming Nederland an independent conservation society that was founded in 1899. Beleef de Lente sets up webcams in the habitats of wild birds here in the Netherlands and you can watch them 24 hours a day (as long as they are at home). Currently, they have pairs of barn owls, tawny owls, and screech owls. As well as some tiny birds, kestrels and peregrine falcons, oh and storks are coming next week!  Our favorites are the barn and screech owls. They have been mating a lot and we are really looking forward to having eggs in some of the houses. 

If you want to experience that joy and peace for yourself please visit the site and pick a bird to watch. What do you think about birding? Have you ever had a unique experience with birds? 


*Photo is from Rotterdam Zoo not Beleef de Lente. 

Until next time,



Goal Setting for 2015

You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream C.S Lewis

"You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream" -C.S Lewis

It's that time of year again where people start reflecting on the person they are and make plans to change into the person they want to be. I was never really one for New Year's Resolutions, but I am thinking about setting one or more and really making 2015 my year. 

Having dreams and goals is something I have really been struggling with lately. I am blessed in that so many of my lifelong dreams have come true in the past few years. I have been struggling to set new dreams and goals because it has been awhile since I have had to make new ones and for that I am thankful, but I have been a girl without a dream for quite sometime. 

This has got to change, so I am setting some long and short term goals for myself.

Goal One: Be fluent in Dutch. So much of my life here is in English and it is super easy to get by without learning Dutch, but I feel like I am missing out in so much as well. I live here, I love it here, I need to be fluent. 

How I'll get there: 

  • Practice for at least an hour every day, be it duolingo or from one of the many books I have purchased.
  • Have more Dutch nights at home. Once a week, speak nothing but Dutch and watch Dutch programs from the moment we wake up.
  • Make an effort to have more one on one time with some of my Dutch friends so I can practice. Bake them lots of cake in return for their immense amount of patience.

Goal Two: Write a novel and have people read it. I've been saying I'm going to for years, and now that I finally have it mapped out in my head, I can put pen to paper or hands to keyboard. 

How I'll get there: 

  • Set a goal to write every day. Add it into my daily schedule and hold myself accountable. I know that although I love staying up late and consider myself a night owl, I am actually most productive early in the morning from about 8am to 10am. First thing I am going to do when I get up in the morning is write. 
  • Self-editing will happen, but maybe only once a week. Editing often gets in the way of the writing process and while I do love editing (other's people work) it can slow down the writing process. 
  • Attend my writing group meetings, although this will have to wait until Feb. I love and miss my writing group and it is so great to have a community that encourages you.

Goal Three: Start my own business and become financially independent. I'm not ready to disclose the information yet, but this is something that I have always wanted to do and I feel like I am finally ready. 

How I'll get there:

  • Have a clear plan. This includes a business plan, how to find investors, how to market it.
  • Educate myself. I want to be an expert and in doing that I need to learn as much as I can.
  • Register at the gemeente so I will be legal, I can't do this until I no longer am employed at my current company, but it is coming soon!

These are really my big 3. Of course, there are some smaller ones in there, like I am dreaming of Prague and Dubrovnik and I want to learn to sew.

Do you set new year's resolutions? Do you keep them? What are your goals for the new year? 



Until next time,




Georgia Peach Abroad Kaitlin Selfie

Hey Loves,

It’s been a bit, I wanted to check in. I was super dramatic in the last post and I wanted to let you know that I am doing better, looking forward to what the new year will bring. There are some big changes in the upcoming months, but I want to wait until everything is final before I discuss on here. Don’t worry, not leaving Holland.

So what has been going on with me since we last spoke eh? Well, I’ve been to America! It was an interesting trip home and I plan to share a lot more in a later post.

I’ve also decided that I hate everything I own and most of it was either not flattering or  had holes. So I gave away 5 ikea bags worth of clothes and had to throw out about 3 bags worth of just rubbish. It feels so freeing to have a limited wardrobe actually, to restart from the basics and really build a closet around my style now. Maybe a post about this too, yeah?

Oh and I am on week 2 of no caffeine. It started as part of a week-long detox my friend Anna and I were doing and I decided to continue the no caffeine thing. I actually feel great about it, it was hard for the first two days, but after that so far has been smooth sailing. Anna is actually currently studying to be a nutritionist and we are working on launching her blog in January. I’ll link up so you guys can see it when it launches.

Lastly, Loek and I decided two weeks ago that we would commit to watching a documentary at least once a week. You’ve got to learn about the world you know. I’d like to recommend the ones I like to you.

Therefore, I think you should check out the Internet’s Own Boy. It is a documentary about the life and persecution of Aaron Swartz. If you don’t know Aaron was a computer programmer and founder of reddit, he also helped develop RSS feeds which allows you to read this blog in your reader, and helped allow people to copyright on the internet with the creation of Creative Commons. He did a lot for the modern computer era and the internet as we know it, but the US government decided to make an example out of him. You can watch the whole thing on Youtube and you will be amazed at how the government felt the need to use our tax dollars. Just watch it.

Oh and I am blonde again, not sure how that happened, but I love it! I want to go even lighter!

What about you loves? What has been going on with you?

Until next time,



It's a New Dawn, It's a New Day

Dearest blog, 

I abandoned you for 6 months, believe me when I say it wasn't intentional. But, I can't make myself write when I am sad. You see, I have been struggling with depression since I was 14 and after 14 years of being manageable, it suddenly wasn't anymore. I was naive enough to think that even though I love living here, and live with my other half it wouldn't find me, I could escape its clutches, that my brain chemistry would somehow re-write itself and I could get better on my own. 

 For me, my depression manifests itself as sleeping all the time, reneging on my responsibilities, and being a complete slob and bum who won't do anything to help herself. Loek is incredibly patient, and I do not envy him for having to live with me at my worse. May was the hardest, but when I thankfully decided it was time to admit that something was wrong.I went to the doctor and have been taking anti-depressants since, and I am finally starting to feel like myself again. It's still a struggle, but one that I feel like I am finally getting on top of again. I want to get back to you dear blog, I miss writing, I miss my readers, and I miss the interactions and friendships that came from this space. While I can't promise I won't abandon you again, it is my intention to continue to take care of myself and to do the things that make me happy.


Until next time,




In Memoriam of the Victims of MH17

It is National Mourning Day here in the Netherlands. Words are failing me as I try to describe the shock, heartbreak, rage, fear, loathing, and finally the microscope ping of relief now that some of the bodies have been brought home to Holland. My beloved adoptive country is small, only roughly the size of Maryland, almost everyone I know here has some sort of connection to at least one of the 193 Dutch victims on MH17. I am so proud of how the country has responded to this unthinkable tragedy. If you have a spare moment today please think some positive thoughts to all those affected by this horrible event. Thank you.




Open Your Legs, Darling or My First Time Skiing!

Sestriere Skiing

I have always been a little bit terrified of skiing. I think it stems from my godmother having a wicked looking scar on her knee from a ski accident. When you combine that with news stories of celebrities (including a Dutch prince) dying or being seriously injured skiing which come every ski season, and skiing was on my top 10 never try list. However, when an opportunity came up to learn to ski in the Italian Alps, you know I jumped on it. 

We went to the Grand Hotel Sestriere, the town where some of the downhill races of the 2006 Torino races took part. For those of you who have never been skiing here are some of the things you should know.

  • Ski boots are the most uncomfortable shoes you will ever have to walk in. Don't kid yourself, you will have to walk in them. My tip is to dance in them instead, you might look totally crazy but your feet will thank you later.
  • Skis are a lot heavier than you thought they would be, and you have to carry them. In our case all the way from the hotel, which was not that far but with skis felt like miles. 
  • It is perfectly acceptable for grown men to yell at women to open their legs further, provided that they are your ski instructor.

In the end, I realized that skiing is super fun. While it is not something that I would go out and actively pursue myself, if given the chance again I would totally go. Oh and word to the wise, if you are staying at the Grand Hotel Sestriere, stay clear of the dining area. Everything I ate had a soapy aftertaste! 

Now for what you really want, pictures!

Oh Mountains, I have dreams of you. 

My view

Have you ever been skiing?I'd love to hear about it. 

Until next time,




Weekly Wishes Vol 7: Don't Call it a Comeback

Weekly Wishes Georgia Peach Abroad

You guys, let's just agree not to talk about my 2 month unplanned hiatus? Captie? That's the plural of capisce. There I taught you something. Speaking of Italian, one of the 3,000 things I need to update you on is my first time ever skiing. In the Italian Alps. But I'll save that for its own post.

My how I have missed you loves! In order to ease myself back into this whole blogging thing, I have decided to start slow and link up with Melyssa from Nectar Collective for Weekly Wishes. I highly recommend it. My goal this week is really simple.

Write some damn blog posts. Seriously, I have two countries, some amazing discoveries in Amsterdam and Utrecht, a new haircut and a story about vomit, to update you on! 

For those of you who are still subscribing and/or reading, I owe you a huge THANK YOU!

So, how have you been?

Until next time,


The Nectar Collective


Be Thankful Wherever You Are

Thanksgiving Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends! You guys are making me so jealous on facebook with all your yummy goodness! Around here, Loek and I hosted a group of friends for a "Friendsgiving" on Saturday. I was the only American in attendance, but it still turned out great, and I loved bringing Thanksgiving to other cultures. While I don't particularly love the historical reasoning for Thanksgiving,I do think a day sharing what you are thankful for surrounded by people you love is always a good idea. I love my friends so much for not scoffing when I told them that we had to go around the table and say what we were thankful for. 

Here are just a few things I am thankful for this year:

  • Technology: Sometimes being away from friends and family is really hard, but having the technology to talk to them whenever I wish helps enormously. Plus without technology I wouldn't know my love.
  • My love: Seriously, I have a really good one. He never loses his temper, he makes me laugh, he thinks I am hilarious which is just as important. I love you babe and our life here.
  • My mom: I'm not saying that my mom is better than your mom, but she is pretty awesome. My mom is my best friend and is always supportive of me no matter what.
  • My friends: It is really humbling when you go back to where you grew up and people come from all around to see you because they miss you. You guys are the best. And I don't want to forget my new friends either, you guys have shown me so much about how different the world can be, thank you for teaching me.


What are you thankful for this year?


Until next time,




11 Ways to Have a Better Day When Life Hands You Sleazeballs.

Yesterday, was the worst day at work I have had in a really long time. A client I have been working on for DAYS is actually not eligible for our service which means that none of the work I did counts and there is no way I can catch up on my target for the month. And then I ugly cried. I have these really annoying ticks, where I laugh when I am scared or nervous and I cry when I am mad or frustrated. Kelly Cuthrone would be so ashamed of me. To top it all off, I then went on to make sales calls and was told by one man that I had a really sexy voice and that the business had been turned into a brothel. It hasn't of course, this was his way of getting rid of me. So very professional. 

Needless to say, I was in quite the mood yesterday. Which was the inspiration for this post. So, I present to you 11 ways to have a better day when life hands you sleazeballs.

  1. Hug your cat or dog, or borrow one to hug. Lulu does a lot to improve my mood, she is so pretty and has been really loving lately. Spend some time with an animal and be instantly cheered up.
  2. Plan your future. If your job has got you down, start thinking of an escape plan. Do you want to travel the world, start your own business, or go back to school? Start planning now and remember that your situation can be temporary. 
  3. Learn a new skill. Take a few minutes and completely focus on learning a new thing. Anything will do. 
  4. Go for a walk. Just escape the situation and unplug for a bit in the fresh air. 
  5. Talk it out. Sometimes you just need to vent you know. 
  6. Clean. Just really work out your frustrations with a little elbow grease. 
  7. Obliterate the offender in fiction. Turn your bad day into inspiration for a story or blog post. 
  8. Start a budget. I personally get a thrill seeing how much money I spend and how much money I could be saving. Plus keeping on top of your fiances will go a long way towards less stress in your life.
  9. Move some money into savings. Even if it is just five dollars, you will feel better.
  10. Watch this video of a side by side comparison of Kanye's Bound 2 you video (can we all agree this is the worst song ever made?) with Seth Rogan and James Franco's spoof. 
  11. Tell yourself that tomorrow will be a better day and believe it. 

What do you do to get over a bad day?

Until next time,




Weekly Wishes vol 7

Weekly Wishes Georgia Peach Abroad

We celebrated Thanksgiving a little early around here, because of course you don't get Thanksgiving off when you live abroad. It was such an awesome night. All the food was really good, and my friends were so sweet to try and make side dishes that in their opinion were very American, so I wouldn't feel homesick. This years, very expensive turkey was amazing, I adapted this recipe from a beautiful mess. I am proud to say that I accomplished all but one of my wishes last week, and I learned that I love having people over, something I have never really done before. 

This week, my goals are really simple. 

  1. Meet my sales quota, it is the end of the month and behind is not where you want to be.
  2. Make an editorial calendar and think about how to start the new year off fresh. 
  3. Go to Amsterdam to pick up my bike. 

What do you want to do this week? Happy Thanksgiving! 

Until next time,