amsterdam, anniversary, date night, husband, love, marriage, outfits, restaurant, wine

{Our Two Year Wedding Anniversary}

Happy Monday everyone! How are you all doing? It’s been snowing buckets in Amsterdam and it’s been causing all sorts of chaos – with trains and planes – and worst of all.. with me! I guess biking in 23-degree weather was a bit ambitious for me, because this weekend I came down with a nasty bug that has me bed-ridden today. Husband is taking great care of me and it’s not so bad having a beautiful snowy view out the window. I just wish I could go outside and enjoy the wintery white weather!
Speaking of the huz… Corey and I are creeping up on two and a half years of marriage! Now, I know that’s not a super long time, but what I will say is boy does time fly!! I feel like we just celebrated our two-year anniversary, which I realized I never blogged about!
While I wish we could’ve done something extravagant and luxurious to celebrate our wedding anniversary, I was flying out to Portland the next day and work was crazy busy at the time, so we settled on a romantic dinner at a gorgeous restaurant. We got dressed up and headed to De Kas. This place is so awesome. It sits on the edge of a lush city park in Amsterdam and is probably the coolest looking restaurant we’ve ever eaten in. It also happens to be one of those super fancy restaurants that doesn’t really have a menu. Each day the chef has a three-course dinner planned that consists of three small starters, a main course and dessert. The best part is everything is made with local, fresh ingredients grown in the restaurant’s very own nursery.  We decided to fancy things up even more and get the wine pairings with dinner. The whole things was a fun and special experience and the perfect way to celebrate two years of wedded bliss. Here are a few photos from the occasion.
And P.S. Yes, our wedding anniversary was in August and yes I am wearing tights and a blazer… Why? Because there is no summer in Amsterdam. Yeah, I guess you could say I’m bitter about it 🙂

 {Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}
amsterdam, date night, marriage, outfits, restaurant, weekend

{Fancy Up Date Night!}

Corey and I love dinner and a movie as much as the next couple, but we’re always looking for fun ways to change up date nights. A couple weekends ago we decided to buy tickets for a beautiful cello show that was playing at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam – it’s a stunning venue known for it’s great acoustics. We thought it’d be a fun excuse to get dressed up and do something different. We had a delicious dinner and shared a bottle of red at this cute italian place just blocks from the concert hall. Once arriving for the show, we realized a free glass of wine came with our tickets – score! The fun continued! We finally sat down to enjoy the beautiful music of Amber Doctors on the cello. It was a night to remember! Here are a couple tips for classin’ up your next date night – enjoy!

 {Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}
amsterdam, date night, expat life, happiness, marriage, outfits, weekend, wine

{Amsterdam Date Night: Pomp Station}

Last week when I was sick I was all sorts of high maintenance.  I was whiny and pathetic and probably a bit demanding of my oh-so-sweet husband. Of course Corey, being the saint that he is, waited on me hand and foot without complaining a bit. To say that I was thankful for all of his help and love is an understatement. When I was feeling better, I decided to show my gratitude by taking him out for a delicious steak dinner. So, Saturday night we got fancied up a bit and headed out for a night on the town.

We started with cocktails at Freddy’s – the old-timey bar in the super luxe Hotel De L’Europe. I had a mint julep, he had an old fashioned. Then we made our way to Pomp Station, a fun restaurant in the east part of the city known for their steaks. I don’t eat beef, but Corey has told me it’s really hard to find a good steak in Amsterdam, so I thought I’d give him the opportunity to give this one a try. We shared a bottle of wine, started our meal with some oysters (fancy!) and even topped it all off with dessert. It was a decadent meal accompanied by a live jazz band (isn’t live music the best?!).

Even though we don’t have kids and most nights could be considered “date nights” – when we go out for a fancy meal together it really is a special occasion and feels like those first dates we had way back when. Nothing refreshes a relationship like good conversation over a good meal. If you’re in Amsterdam looking for a great steak and a great atmosphere – I’d give Pomp Station a try!
{Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}
date night, family, weekend

{Happy Friday!}

Happy, happy Friday! I am so excited it’s the weekend! It’s supposed to be a rainy one here in Amsterdam, but that’s okay because I’ve got lots to do inside in anticipation for my Mom’s arrival on MONDAY. I can hardly believe I’ll be greeting her at the airport so soon! We are going to have such an amazing time. She’ll be here for two weeks, and next weekend we’re jetting off to Barcelona for the long Easter weekend.
Hopefully I can find some time for something other than cleaning. If I had it my way this weekend I would…
+stay in for friday date night. make this cocktail and watch The Descendants .
+buy fresh flowers from our neighborhood market
+check out the COS store in the 9 Streets 
+browse all the colorful goodies at Kitsch Kitchen 
+make something yummy for breakfast. Maybe this
amsterdam, date night, expat life, happiness, love, marriage, weekend

{A Mexican Dinner Date in Amsterdam}

Do you want to know what makes me reallyyy happy? New shoes + big hair + margaritas + date night, that’s what. Saturday night the huz and I decided we were in the mood for some chips and salsa and lime margaritas. We’d been hearing a lot about Los Pilones, a Mexican restaurant in Amsterdam. Supposedly it was good Mexican, just like home. Now, I can’t say I was blown away by the food (still on the hunt for an incredible Mexican restaurant here!), but the margaritas. Oh, the margaritas!! Seriously rivaled my favorite Portland margarita (which can be found at Casa del Matador on NW 23rd), which is saying a lot. We had such a fun time on Saturday night. It was just one of those dinners where we didn’t run out of things to talk about, or get tempted by the pull of the iPhone (come on, admit it, it happens to you too!). It felt like date nights back in the day, before we were married and lived together and knew everything about each other. After a few margs the laughter just wouldn’t stop – and yes we got stared at (it was a tiny restaurant), and yes we were totally “those Americans”. But I was having way too much fun to care about any of that. It’s nights like Saturday (and Friday) that I never want to forget. 
And a couple iPhone snaps!
{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

P.S. My shoes are from Zara and I used Katie’s tutorial to do my hair!
amsterdam, date night, dining al fresco, love, outfits, weekend

{A Perfect Little Friday Night}

Well, things haven’t slowed down around here, but I still managed to find some time to enjoy a few amazing moments this weekend. We’ve been having some incredible weather the last couple weeks and one of my favorite things about Amsterdam is how when the sun comes out everyone swarms the city to find and enjoy their sliver of it. It might be a big sunny terrace, it might be sitting at a tiny set of table and chairs on your stoop, or many times it’s just grabbing a beer or a bottle of wine and sitting along the edge of the water and soaking up the rare, blissful rays of sun. It has taken us a little while to get used to this whole consuming-alcohol-anywhere-you-want thing, but we decided to embrace it on Friday. I picked up a special bottle of Dutch IPA and we headed to a bench situated right on the Amstel River. Between Corey studying for finals and me having a busier than usual work schedule we haven’t had a lot of time to just sit and catch up, so that’s exactly what we did. Then we grabbed portobello burgers around the corner at Burger Bar and ended the night seeing The Hunger Games.  Friday night was all kinds of perfect, and I never want to forget it.
{blazer: necessary objects (similar), scarf: nordstrom, skinnies: J. Brand, striped top: lucca couture from urban outfitters, shoes: river island, bag: cole haan, sunglasses: D&G}

{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}
cooking, date night, weekend

{Our Instagram Weekend}

Didn’t break out my camera, but I did break out the Instagram. Descriptions below!

{left to right, top to bottom}
1. All dolled up for a hot date night with the huz
2. Dinner at Mazzo, a delicious Italian restaurant in the Jordaan neighborhood in Amsterdam
3. Movie at this gorgeous theater in the center of the city. We saw J. Edgar and we’re still not sure what to think about it. It wasn’t really what we expected – a little slow/boring, but interesting at times..
4. Post-date cocktails: Organic Ginger Beer + Bourbon (plus we got to use the cool new iceballs I got Corey for Christmas!)
5. A lazy Saturday morning in bed, sipping coffee out of my boston terrier mug (gifted to me by a good friend – thanks, Libby!)
6. Thisincredible crate of fresh veggies, fruit, bread and fish was delivered to our door Saturday morning. We made this Potato-Pumpkin Gnocchi with Fresh TomatoSage Sauce. It took a long time to make, but it was plate-licking good!
7. I finally got around to organizing this little nook in our bedroom. I was inspired by this image. What do you think?
8. Ended our weekend with a giant White Truffle Pizza from MangiAncora, the best pizzeria in the city. By the way, we finished that entire thing 🙂

amsterdam, autumn, bikes, date night, dining al fresco, fall, outfits, weekend

{Weekend Snaps}

This weekend was incredible. We had two rare, sunny Amsterdam days in a row!! Here’s a bit about what we were up to:

+Friday night date night – we went out for Chinese 🙂
+Saturday we grabbed a coffee and walked to Museumplein and people watched
+Admired the leaves that have started to fall and the trees changing colors
+Enjoyed a relaxing al fresco lunch while we soaked up the sun
+Finally bought bikes – we’re officially Dutchies!
+Tried a new pizza joint (it was yummmy)
+Rode to the windmill brewery for a couple beers (more on that in another post!)
+Counted our blessings as we marveled at the fact that we live in Amsterdam (holy crap)!
amsterdam, date night, outfits, Portland, restaurant

Date Night at Irving Street Kitchen

This date night was one of our last in Portland. I have to say, I am really going to miss living in a city where I know every street, store and restaurant. I’m sure we’ll find our new favorite places in Amsterdam, but Portland will always be home to us. I truly do miss it already. 

I have so much going on right now, I wish I could tell you all about it, but won’t for two reasons: One, I’m afraid I’ll bore you to death and two, I am just so exhausted and can’t find the time. Maybe someday I will tell you all about the chaos we’re experiencing, but for now you’ll just have to trust me that things are absolutely nuts! We fly out Thursday, yet this whole thing still doesn’t seem real. I suppose that’s normal? Anyhow, wanted to pop in and say hello, sorry I’ve been such a bad blogger, and I promise I’ll be back soon. Hope this little post will tide you over!

{dress: bb dakota, necklace: j.crew via ebay, shoes: cole haan, belt: h&m, bag: cole haan, sunglasses: d&g}

{Photos © Liz Denfeld}
date night, outfits, restaurant

Dinner Date at Nostrana

Normally our favorite thing to do on a Friday night is to order take out and have a relaxing night in. After exhausting work weeks we often don’t feel up for a night out. But lucky for us, our company celebrates a little something we like to call “Half-Day Friday” during the summer months. You work a couple extra hours during the week, and then come noon on Friday, you can start your weekend early! It’s kind of the most amazing thing ever. So these days, after vegging out for a little and taking the pup out for a nice long walk, we feel energized and ready to try new restaurants. Which is exactly what we did Friday.

Nostrana is an Italian restaurant located in southeast Portland. It’s not small, but it somehow still feels very cozy. We got to sit at the pizza counter, where we watched the chefs toss the pizza dough and slather it with delicious tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella. Yummm. I can’t say enough about how incredible our food was. Just thinking about it is making my mouth water! I also enjoyed a fun trio of sparkling wines, all which I loved. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic date night if you’re ever in the area.

P.S. Just a fun little memory. Half way through our dinner another customer stood up and clinked his glass and asked if everyone in the restaurant would help him sing happy birthday to his friend, who was celebrating her 60th birthday. Everyone in the restaurant bursted out into song, it was so fun! 
{Photos © Liz Denfeld}