{Snow Day!}

Well, remember last week when I said “Hopefully I won’t have anymore snow photos to share with you anytime soon”… I clearly spoke to soon because Sunday morning we woke up to a beautiful blanket of fresh white powder! But seeing as it was Sunday and I didn’t have anywhere to be (more specifically, a train to be on headed towards the office…) I was giddy with excitement. I practically jumped out of bed, threw on 17 layers of clothes and took off for a snowy morning walk with my boys. It was early enough that most of the city was still sleeping, so we had the fresh snow all to ourselves. I loved every minute of it! Now that it’s back to work for the week I am back to hoping it doesn’t snow again… At least until the weekend 🙂
 {Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Our Swiss Chalet}

Staying in a Swiss chalet was very much like my dream of staying in a Tuscan villa. So clichĂ©, yet so necessary. When Corey and I realized we wouldn’t be making it home for Christmas we knew we had to go somewhere super awesome to help temper the sting. And we couldn’t have picked a better place to spend a week relaxing. We were in the most beautiful, tiny Swiss Alp town of Val d’illiez. There’s not much to do there except stare at the gorgeous mountains and cuddle up by the fire. Exactly what we had in mind! I started every day with a bubble bath (pure heaven!) and ended each one with a glass of wine, a cozy fire and a Christmas movie. The only thing missing was our little Henry. There will be many more posts about our trip to Switzerland to come… For now, here are a few photos from our dream Swiss chalet. 
 {Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

Oh Christmas Tree

Getting a Christmas tree in Amsterdam was an experience we didn’t want to miss out on. We knew we’d only have it up for less than two weeks so we didn’t want to get a big tree, or spend a lot of money, so the plan was to go down the street to Nieuwmarkt (conveniently located about three blocks away) where they had a stand set up and pick up a cute mini tree.

We walked up to the stand excited and ready to get our Christmas festivities started and I immediately spotted the one. It was an adorable, perfect tree. A noble fir, I think. “This is easy!” I thought to myself. We quickly flagged down the young man who was running the stand and showed him the tree we wanted and asked him the price. 42 Euros. What?! That’s about 60 US dollars. And that would be more than we had ever spent on a tree, let alone a 3 footer. I tried to hold back my shock and quickly let go of my dream of my perfect little Fir tree. He explained to us that this type of tree is the best because it doesn’t shed as many needles and it smells the best (well duh, we already knew that, that’s why we picked it!). He then showed us the cheaper trees. One of the types didn’t smell at all. Clearly that wasn’t an option. The last type of tree, he explained, still smelled nice but would shed many needles. He told us it was actually the “original” christmas tree and the one we had picked out initially was actually the modern Christmas tree popularized by Western Culture. And lastly, and most importantly, this “original” Christmas tree was the cheapest and would only set us back 15 Euros. Sold! We picked one out and as we were paying asked the kind fellow if they sold stands for a tree this small. He literally told us to not even bother because it would die just as soon with no water. He assured us it would look pretty for the two weeks we’d be in Amsterdam, so we went on our merry way and carried our tree home.

Finding decorations was an adventure in itself. We’d walked by a year-round Christmas shop, the Christmas Palace, in the nearby floating Flower Market many times before so we figured we’d give that a try. To no surprise it was crowded with tourists and when we finally located the lights we found a box that would set us back 20 Euros. Insane! As much as we wanted to decorate our tree and as much we had no idea where else we would find Christmas lights, we could not bear to fork out that kind of cash for a box of lights we could buy for $5 at home. Thankfully as we walked home my genius husband remembered this store he’d been in a couple times that he assured me sold a little bit of “everything” and would surely have some Christmas goodies. Luckily, he was right! We walked out of the store Xenos with lights, ornaments ribbon and garland all for 20 Euros! Success! These are the moments I feel so proud of ourselves for navigating the city and finding things without any help at all. We then went home, lit some candles and cozied up with some Charlie Brown Christmas tunes and decorated our little tree. It was the perfect festive Sunday, indeed.


 {Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Weekend Snaps}


I interrupt this regularly scheduled post to bring to your attention that I have a new blog URL!

www.exploredreamdiscoverblog.com

If you have a link to my blog on your blog or site would you mind updating the link? I’d love you forever and ever! Thank you!

Now on to the post…

The entire weekend wasn’t spent celebrating Dutch holidays… 

We cooked breakfast Saturday morning. Fried eggs. Hashbrowns. Toast. Avocado. Orange Juice. It was good. And then we took a nap.
I met up with this little lady for tea in Vondelpark. Can I tell you how incredibly comforting it is to meet other American bloggers in Amsterdam? Who are really, really nice and cool? Oh, it’s amazing!

Have a I told you lately how happy our new Nespresso machine makes me? When I feel like a decaf cappuccino – poof! – I get one!

Gorgeous sunset from our juliette balcony
Oh hi, I’m Henry. I’m the cutest ever, hence why my mom is obsessed with me! 
{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

Henry Takes a Bath

Now that Corey has started working full time, that means he can no longer spend his entire day with Henry. He is thrilled. I, on the other hand, was devastated. I hate the idea of him sitting at home alone all day. But Corey assures me all he did at home was sleep anyways. Nevertheless, we had to find a way to get the little guy out of the house while we were an hour commute away from home each day. 
In comes this little company that comes to pick Henry up around noon, takes him out to the forrest with a bunch of other dogs, where he proceeds to run around like a mad man for an hour or so. Then he gets dropped back off at our place. 
This is all well and good (and Henry seems to love it) except that when he gets home he stinks! I need my puppy cuddles, but his stench is unbearable. Lucky for us, he is super easy to bathe. Takes 10 minutes and he is such a good boy in the tub. I gave him a bath when I got home from work tonight (Corey’s in class) and I couldn’t help but snap a couple pictures. 
Now before you go looking at these and feeling sorry for him and his pathetic little face, please know that I took these all in a span of 30 seconds and I would never, ever do anything to upset my pup (ask Corey, he thinks I’m borderline cray-cray for the way I’m uh-b-sessed with this dog!!!). He’s now happily snoozing away (and snoring loudly, might I add) next to me on the couch. Bliss.
{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Last} Weekend Snaps

I’m a bit behind on posting photos because I lost my camera charger (think I left it in London, actually) and getting a new one here was not an easy task! I finally got to upload these photos from last weekend. We had just gotten back from the U.S., still a little jet lagged, but completely ecstatic that it was so sunny and beautiful in Amsterdam. It was certainly chilly, but that didn’t stop us from soaking up the blue sky with a nice long walk with Henry, followed by brunch outside. It was one of my favorite weekends in Amsterdam so far.


And p.s., for those of you that have asked for photos of my bike: here you go! It’s nothing super special, but that’s because if you buy a nice, expensive bike it will just get stolen. The bike I have is a traditional Dutch bike (bought it second-hand), very common around these parts!

{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Weekend Snaps}

Spending a relaxing weekend in Amsterdam always feels like a treat. The weather was temperamental, sunny one second, torrential downpour the next, but it was still nice to walk around, pop into a little restaurant for brunch and catch up with friends. We randomly caught a rowing race that was passing right by us as we walked along a canal. Pretty fun! Overall, a great weekend, a little more laid back than productive, but I was okay with that 🙂


Also, you may notice Henry was my little model this weekend. I just couldn’t stop taking photos of his sweet face. I am going to miss him so much when we are home for a week. But he will be in good hands, so I will try not to worry too much (this is very hard for me – I worry about everything). 


Oh, and one last thing. If you’ve never tried fresh mint tea (just pour hot water over fresh mint leaves & add a little honey), you’re reallyyy missing out. Trust me, try it out! 


{Photos © Liz Denfeld}

Puppy Portraits

I have an insane love for all dogs. It’s kinda outta control. I think pups are the cuuutest things ever in the world – especially my own 🙂 A couple weekends back we got to have a couple extra doggies around the apartment and I snapped a couple puppy portraits. Meet Dora and Lucy (and of course, don’t forget Henry!!!).


{Photos © Liz Denfeld}

Weekend in Broek en Waterlaand: Part I

You guys… This weekend was so amazing! It went far beyond my expectations. The B&B was GORGEOUS, and despite a minor snafu of them putting us in the wrong room the first night (long story), we still had such a special time. I have so many pictures I have to split them up into a couple posts! 


So, Broek en Waterlaand is about 20 minute north of Amsterdam. We took a cheap (ok, relatively cheap – everything here is SO expensive) bus ride and were there before we knew it! It was an absolutely gorgeous day. We checked in and then headed out to explore the grounds. The views didn’t disappoint! 



A couple hours later we headed out for dinner. The walk wasn’t far as we were staying in a tiny little town. And the place was packed. Almost thought we weren’t going to get a table without “a reservation”! But luckily, they found a spot for us and ohhh my gosh the food was out of this world good. So good that we went back the next night! Then, as we walked back after our delicious meal we were greeted by this incredible sunset. Straight out of the camera, folks! Absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t stop staring. The weekend was off to a phenomenal start.


{Photos © Liz Denfeld}

{Weekend Snaps}

Before I get into our weekend.. Let me just say this.. My first week back at work has been absolutely exhausting. And amazing and exciting. All at the same time! So, sorry for being a bit lazy on posting these last couple of days. I’ve been working late, out for great dinners and generally just being super busy and getting home around 10 PM and falling into bed, only to wake up and do it all over again… 

So.. Here’s what we were up to last weekend:
+date night, complete with sangria & tapas at Pata Negra
+enjoyed a sweet outdoor music performance – the street was packed and people were picknicking along the canal!
+a walk to Oosterpark with our pup (we stopped for fresh croissants along the way)
+exploring our new neighborhood (I admit we walked by our new place more than a few times! SO excited to move in on the first!!!)
+enjoyed a great view and dinner at Cafe de Jaren 
+brunch (turned early afternoon beers) with this lady and her sweet man, Marcus. So happy to be making such awesome new friends here!

And some photos… of course 🙂

*may I remind you that this is our street!!!

Wow- that was a lot of pictures! Guess I had to make up for lost blogging days 🙂