Tag Archives: expats in Amsterdam

Craft Crazy Sunday

29 Jan

Phew, what a productive Sunday I had today. I finally finished Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot (good, but nowhere near as memorable as Middlesex), baked a loaf of English muffin bread (it is gooooood), cleaned the flat, made cover for my new Kindle:

Handmade Kindle cover

Kindle all snug inside

I followed the instructions on Instructables and then added a few more bits and pieces to make it a bit prettier. I was admiring theseĀ  upcycled book covers on Etsy and thought I could save myself a bit of money by making one myself. So, instead of EUR 40+ for a cover, I spent EUR 15 and spent an hour making it.

Then I made a colourful display my vintage sunglasses:

A canvas, a ruler, paint, clothes pegs and a hot glue gun, voila!

We have a few canvases in the back of the closet collecting dust, so I took one out, measured off some rectangles, painted them and then hot-glued some clothes pegs to it. Voila, now I can take my vintage/oddball sunglasses collected over the years out of the shoebox.

And finally…I did something with all of those passport photos we’ve collected off our friends over the years:

The Wall of Fame

I used another canvas, painted it, covered it with a textured medium, stuck the photos on, and then nailed the canvas to the back of a frame that we bought on Queen’s Day four years ago (yes, it’s been sitting in the closet that long).

Voila, a great way to spend a freezing cold Sunday in Amsterdam.

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Celebrating Baby Axel with a Baby Brunch!

5 Apr

Two of our very dear friends and fellow Canadian expats here in Amsterdam recently had a beautiful baby boy. I wanted to host a little brunch for them while her lovely mother was in town, and luckily the weather last weekend cooperated.

On the brunch menu:

The Almighty Canadian Caesar (the ultimate brunch cocktail)
Roasted vegetable tart
Roasted and sugared grapefruit
Nikki’s awesome fruit salad (thanks Nikki!)
Homemade English muffins
Rhubarb and apple compote
Toasted rye with lemon creme fraiche and smoked salmon
Bacon and sausage
Torta Mimosa
Rotolo alle Nocciole


For those Amsterdam-dwelling expats that miss a freshly toasted English muffin slathered with butter, I implore you to make your own. It’s really easy and so satisfying. The recipe I used uses a food processor, but you can do this perfectly well without one. Instead of pulsing the yeast/sugar/water, just mix it and let it rest and just use a good ol’ wooden spoon to do the rest. Everything else stays the same. Check out: 2 Stews: English Muffins recipe


(I stupidly did not take any photos of my beautiful Italian cakes – duh.)

The brunch was really lovely and it was small enough (11 of us) to make for a very relaxed afternoon. Luckily the grey skies cleared and we were able to sit outside and eat. Oh, and did I mention the fantastic onesies we made for baby Axel?

One of us (oh, me) made a onesie dedicated to the greatest fake band on the planet, Surprise! Snow Leopard? Truck Stop.

Grant did a particularly well-crafted onesie:

It was a lovely afternoon, and boy do we love baby Axel!


Congratulations to Axel’s lovely parents, Rochelle and Maarten!