Mar 31, 2011

A bit of Holland!

Last week my dad came home from a trip to Kenya. On the way there and back, he stopped in the Netherlands (aka Holland) to visit his family. And he brought back a bunch of Dutch goodies for us!
I just love Holland, even though I was only there once when I was so little I can hardly remember it. I want to go back really bad. But since I can't just now, it's so wonderful to be able to taste a little bit of Holland!
Some of their food is so ... Dutch, it just has its very own flavor. I thought I'd introduce you to some of our favorites!

1. Dropjes, or Drop

Oh. My. Goodness. Yum.
But such an acquired taste! Basically they are little black licorice candies ... that are salty.
Yeah, you just winced, didn't you? Whenever we give these to friends they always gag and usually end up spitting them out. Which we, of course, think is hilarious. :)
But we love them. Mmmm.

More candies:

Oh, and beware of the DZ's. That's Double Zout (Double Salt). Mmm-hmmm.
They are so salty they pretty much literally make your tongue numb.

2. Kruidenzout.
If you were paying attention you will have noticed that "zout" means "salt." And since "Kruiden" means "herbs", this is "herb salt"! It's very yummy, even to American taste-buds. I love it on string beans.

3. Hagel.
Basically chocolate sprinkles to put on toast. :) Ooooh, yeah.

4. Gestampte Muisjes.
Basically powdered anise. Also to put on toast. Also ah-maze-ing (!).

5. Kokosbrood.
Literally "Coconut bread". It's thin slices of coconutty goodness to put on toast. Go figure. :)

6. Stroopwafels
"Stroop" means "Syrup". These little cookies look like waffles and have a special thick syrup inside. They are very thin and perfect with tea!

7. Kaas.
That's cheese. And it is the best (!). Ack! I love it so! It's so much cheesier than anything you can get here, plus it just has it's very own flavor. It's so creamy and rich and wonderful!

That "Extra" is from the words "Extra belegen" which basically means Extra aged. Which in turn means extra cheesy and extra good. :)

As you can see, it has a kind of wax rind, which you have to take off before eating.

A picture of a hole in the cheese. Just cuz. :)

One of my friends tried a few of these things, and she said they were good. (Which they are) However, to me it's much more than just "good" food. It's kinda hard to explain, but it's sort of nostalgic. It's like eating a piece of a different culture. It's like going on a mini adventure/vacation when I eat it.
I know, cheesy sounding (heh. Cheese. Mmmm. :), but it's kinda true.
Do you have any foods that do this to you?

Mar 26, 2011


This week I finished my stuffed monster!

Meet Orville:

And this is Clyde:

And no, it's not two monsters. It's one, that's reversible. Pretty fancy, huh? :)

Clyde gets cranky if you don't share your cookies.
"Where's my cookie??"

And this is Orville's "strolling through the park" look. :)


Close up:

So, waddya think?

Mar 21, 2011

Oma: crazy hat lady

This weekend we visited Oma, my grandma. She loves hats! Over her lifetime she has gotten tons of hats, and she's kept most of them. She has hats from the 40's and up, pretty much. I had a blast trying them on, listening to the stories behind them, seeing what was in style way back when! Not to mention, I kinda enjoyed laughing at all the weird styles. :)

[quick note: the only camera we had was a stupid point and shoot that makes me mad, so excuse the poor quality pics! Arg.]

So without further ado, I bring you Oma's crazy hats! (There are waaay more, but I didn't want to kill you with a major hat overload. :)
Keep in mind that these are all real hats that she really wore. o_O

Check out this ribbon hat! Oma said it came from the late 40's. They made ribbon hats and ribbon dresses at that time. She said, "You were considered the Belle of the Ball if you had one or the other." She said a major plus was that they could not wrinkle. I think it looks like a swimming cap. ;)

Feathers!! When asked what type of feathers, Oma jokingly said "Probably turkey" and then started giggling. :)
This one is so strange, you just gotta love it! ;)

This was an Easter hat, which Oma wore with a lavender dress.

I think this one (below) is one of my actual faves. 
 Oma bought it in Fairbanks at a French boutique in 1956. She wore it with a gold dress that was polyester woven with white and gold and a matching full length coat over top. She wore it to "command performance dinners" and cocktail hours. The command performance was a party called for by the commander of the base. If you were invited, you were not allowed to say no, and they were always formal. My grandpa would wear his army dress suit, not his regular army suit.

Yes, *blinkblink* that feathery pink pouf on top of my head is a hat.

This is Bear, one of Oma's poodles. :)

Check out the amusement and confusement on my face below! What a wacky hat. :)
Oma would wear this hat with a navy style dress. It was navy blue with gold buttons down the front. It had short sleeves with white around the bottom of them.
This was one of Oma's favorite hats, because it was "pretty, different and comfortable. Some of the hats we wore were not very comfortable!" And then she laughed. :)

Here's Oma styling the hats for me. It's weird, but I kept wanting to wear them on the back of my head a bit, cocked to one side. I guess that's the modern way to wear hats or something. But Oma kept telling me not to cock them, and to wear them down on my forehead. It's strange how even how you wear a hat can go out of style.

Oma also has some new hats that are quite snazzy and Oma-ish. :)

Red hat lady, Glamor shot:

Red hat lady, un-glamor shot. ;)

Oh yeah, and Oma also has some wigs!

One Christmas Oma's beauty operator called Opa and said, "I think Betty will really like this for a Christmas present," so he bought it.
The first wigs were real hair. And when they got messed up, you had to bring them to the beauty shop! Oma liked wigs because you could carry them in a wig box while traveling, and then put them on and your hair would look nice and neat.
(I think I needed a comb. :)

Oma actually wore a wig to my moms wedding. I think it might be the same one I'm wearing, but combed a little better. :)

Curly top wig:

And here we are, the two snazzy hat ladies. :)

Oma also told me lots of stories from WWII. It was really great. If any of your grandparents are still alive, I suggest getting some good story time in. It's crazy some of the things they have to tell.

Mar 15, 2011


Have you ever seen the clocks in an airport? They often show what time it is in different countries. And we decided to do that in our basement, just for fun! :)

                      Amsterdam                                   Kalabo                                    Pondok Gajah
                     Netherlands                                   Zambia                                       Indonesia

We chose these places for special reasons.
My dad grew up in the Netherlands, so that's why we chose to include that. And my family lived in Kalabo, Zambia before I was born. After that they lived in Pondok Gajah, Indonesia for three years. Also before I was born.
And just in case you're wondering, after I came into the world my parents decided to stop moving around, so I've only lived in the USA. ;)

Mar 13, 2011

Dino necklace

Today I made a dinosaur necklace!

Here's how:
First I got some mini plastic dinosaurs. I got them at a party store ("party favors") for a couple bucks. The package had about a dozen dinos.

Then I picked the one I wanted to use for this particular necklace:

I spray painted it silver, and then covered it in Polycrylic. Polyurethane would work too.

Then I screwed an eye-hook into the dino and attached it to a chain with a little metal circle you can get at craft stores. It's the kind of circle that has a split in it so you can bend it open and then closed again.

Once the dino and pine cone charm were attached, it was done!

I'd love to know if you make one! You could use other plastic critters too ... whales, bunnies, horses. Any plastic toy, really. :)

[Linking up here]