Nesting

Something is seriously wrong with me.

I went back to work and I’m now trying to merge my stay at home mom lifestyle and expectations with my new part-time, working mom time commitments. Wednesdays are my “day off” and feel like my Sunday, like my day to catch up and to exercise and see friends and make appointments and to run errands and to supposedly cook like a wild woman!

Yesterday, I had to leave the house early and was gone and in and out all day and night. I had no time to cook and this bothered me. I like to have food readily available for my family when they come home. They’re all busy too, and providing food feels like I’m providing comfort and energy so that everyone survives. So dramatic, I know. But seriously. They can cook on their own and make their own food, but I still want to do it and feel like I’m doing my job. I want to take care of them this way and show them my love this way. I love that they enjoy my cooking and I feel connected to them through food. So when I literally couldn’t fit in the cooking time any time during the day yesterday, I felt like a failure. Not really, but really I’m feeling dramatic today, so let’s just go with an F- in the food department.

So today I made up for it because I had time.  I also had pounds of chicken and beef and veggies that I had planned to use yesterday, so I got busy. I had leftovers to repurpose and new recipes to try and a dish that Juliana asked me to make, plus 2 dishes I wanted to recreate from the Indonesian restaurant we visited this past weekend. I had big dreams to fill today and I made 6 different things, plus washed all the dishes and put them away. All in a day and now I feel happy with my full fridge.

In case you’re curious about what I made, I made a spicy Indonesian beef rendang, Indonesian sayur lodeh, gluten free/light/baked coconut chicken, some sort of mediterranean chicken and cauliflower in a tomato and onion sauce, chicken marsala, and Julie’s spaghetti pizza bake recipe. Oh, and Thai jasmine rice to soak up all the sauces.

So no one should go hungry for the rest of the week. Phew. I feel so much better now with food in the nest, ready to feed my flock.

How do you nest?

nAMaste BeLoveRs

Day 255: Zaans Schaans and Alkmaar

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I like coming home from vacation with still an extra day or two of vacation time left before we have to get back into our routine again. I love having a routine and then shaking it up and recreating it again. We came back from Dubai on Thursday and still have another day to play before Monday returns.

Today we enjoyed a lazy morning. Juliana and I got out our Smash books and started organizing all of our postcards and receipts and entrance tickets and bus tickets etc to smash into our scrapbooks. The boys soon joined us and we spent several hours gluing and writing and remembering where we’ve been so far. It’ll be interesting to compare our books to see what made an impression on each of us and how we chose to represent and document our journey. I opened up my blog pages to recall the details and order of events. Looking at all the posts made me really happy that I’ve taken the time to write a written log each night, otherwise there is no way I’d remember it all. We sure have been busy!

After sitting for a long while and doing several loads of laundry, we ventured out to see something new. We went to Zaans Schaans, an old, Dutch, 18th century working village. The highlights were the working windmills we got to go inside and the wooden clog factory.

We wandered through the museum and learned about the 100+ year old bisquit baking and chocolate factory, Verkade. This company was very successful and one of the first companies to successfully create and market their brand name. They had art contests and created collector cards and albums that people could collect and create. They also used tins with the company name on them, that people would collect and reuse.

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Outside, we walked through the cheese factory,

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pigment windmill,

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spice windmill, and baking museum.

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We also watched wooden shoes being made and played outside with old fashioned toys like stilts.

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The museum closed at 5 pm, so we decided to venture into a nearby town called Alkmaar.

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I love the quaint feel of the small Dutch villages with locals out and about, enjoying each other. The shops were all closed by the time we arrived, and the weather started to become very cold as the sun went down and the wind came up. The cold is now officially old! It was hard for us to even want to go out today, but I didn’t think it would be fun staying inside with stir crazy kids either! We were going to go for a bike ride but were afraid we’d freeze.

We walked through the streets and past old churches. There must have been a farmers market today as vendors were cleaning up and taking down their stalls by the time we arrived.

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We found an Indonesian place called Cafe Bali for dinner. The food was delicious and the service great too. My favorite dish was the sayur lodeh. It tasted like the one my Opa used to make when I was a little girl. I am part Indonesian, part Dutch and part Italian. Did you know that? 🙂

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At dinner, Charlie was so cute. He said, lets play the I love You game. You have to swirl your finger around and point to someone and then say what you love about that person. It was very heartwarming to hear all the nice things we had to say about one another. I felt proud that everyone actually likes each other. I knew that and see that every day, but it was nice to hear. And to keep it real and funny, afterwards he said, “lets play the what I don’t like about you game!” That little rascal! He is so funny, and we all cracked up. Luckily nothing was said. Phew! Keep focusing on the positive and hopefully that’s what we’ll keep creating, right?

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I hope you’re having a good weekend!
Love, Adriana

Day 205: The Night Lights

Finally the weather warmed up a bit to above freezing and walking around town was more enjoyable. I knew it was going to be cold in Holland, but it has been colder than I expected this week. The good news is my definition of cold has changed, and I think I’ve acquired a higher tolerance level to the cold weather!!

On our way up to the flower market area for dinner, we spontaneously decided to get off the tram so that we could start the evening with a quick viewing of the Night Watch at the Rijksmuseum. It was 5:30 pm and our reservation was for 6:30 pm. I checked the hours for the museum and we had 30 minutes before closing and no kids with us. We could do it! The security guard thought we were crazy, but I told him we only needed 10 minutes to see Rembrandt’s work with our museum passes. And we did just that…headed straight upstairs and through the gift shop to see the magical masterpiece from 371 years ago! It was great going there at the end of the day when there was no one else really there. It was like our own private party!

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We still had five minutes to see my favorite exhibit, the simplest of all and one that makes me smile.

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It’s this cool clock with a video projection of a man inside who controls the minute hands with a dry erase marker and eraser, literally changing the clock minute by minute. It makes you aware of time passing and I absolutely love it, because it looks like nothing but makes you think.

We were out of the museum and back on a tram exploring more of the city before dinner.

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Coming into Amsterdam before dusk was beautiful. I loved watching the changing night sky and bright lights.

We were on our way to enjoy an Indonesian rijstaafel, or rice table in English. Indonesian food is my favorite type of cuisine. A rice table is an assortment of several different small dishes, that everyone at the table shares. We probably tried 15 different types of food, including chili eggs, shrimp and tofu, red curry green beans, rendang, gado gado, mango salad, satay skewers, cucumber salad and a couple chicken dishes.

The dinner was delicious and fun to share, although hard to tell from these dimly lit pictures.

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Hope you have a great, light filled weekend!

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