Thursday, 30 October 2014

Across The Atlantic

We have arrived! New York. Wow. Who'd have thought it? The image above is a view from our temporary housing off Times Square. Well, it's been a whirlwind since we arrived a week ago today; running around Manhattan and Brooklyn looking at apartments; getting new phone numbers, bank accounts, utilities hooked up, furniture essentials, etc. All takes a while and is a little painful at times, but we're getting there.

After a pretty extensive search we finally found a beautiful house in Brooklyn, in an area called Clinton Hill. Seems to be in the middle of a lot of nice areas, a 10 minute walk to Fort Greene Park, which we visited last Saturday after a second viewing of the house and which was jam-packed with Halloween goers of both the little kiddie and dog variety. Very sweet. Also just around the corner from a flea market! Wonderful. We have a nice space, roof terrace and garden for Oscar, so I'm thrilled. We collect the keys on the 1st of November, then just have to see how long our stuff takes to clear customs before it can be delivered. fingers and toes it's soon! We'd love to be in by Nov 6 (Oscar's first Birthday), but that might be pushing it a bit.

So far the city has been fantastic. Not overwhelming as I feared it might be. Though it helps knowing in a little bit we'll be in a quieter neighbourhood without sirens blaring every other minute.
Between all our running about we've taken a trip to the High Line, Chelsea Market, Central Park, and Soho; where Edu spied Meg Ryan entering Dean and Deluca as we were exiting. First celeb sighting! I never would have noticed, never do.

Not sure what the plan is for today, I think we're having a down day to rest a bit. And tomorrow is Halloween! Have to get Oscar sorted! We have an outfit... just need to get a few other bits. It's 7am here (couldn't sleep), the others will be up soon, so might be time for a quiet coffee before the day gets going.

Friday, 17 October 2014

It's Actually Happening

This is IT! Radio silence has been due to the massive task of sorting and packing all our stuff up in preparation for The Big Move. I only finished work a week ago, and it's been pretty hectic unravelling a life here in Amsterdam. The last few weeks have been a constant rotating chore list; unsubscribe, de-register, re-direct, sort, purge, recycle, give away, clean, pack, and trash. Though I have quite enjoyed the big purge. Nice to de-clutter a bit. Now the movers are packing as I type. They've been just lovely and have told us some fantastic stories of the houses they've seen. Quite an eye opener. I'm still in denial that we're actually leaving this city and moving. It's just too hard to believe. The thrill of buying a one-way ticket to NYC and starting a new life there is only just starting to seep in as the stress and brain-space needed for wrapping up things here slowly winds down. Well, best get back to it...wish me luck!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

New York La La La


New York La La La
Getting me in the mood for the big move... this stunning film by Aaron Rose and AndrĂ© Saraiva features Hollywood skaters prowling a NYC set for L'Officiel Hommes. I've watched it about 5 times in a row. Love the soundtrack; epic pop song 'The Chauffeur' by Duran Duran. Which in this context feels incredibly modern, and I though it had been remixed, but completely not at all. Just sublime.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Sabine Timm

Something fun today via Tiny Showcase; these photographic prints by Sabine Timm called Lemon Queen and Heralds of Spring. 10" x 7". Available individually or as a set.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Up, Up, And Away...

This is it! After 13+ years I'm leaving Amsterdam. Wow. We're packing up, renting out our house, and heading to NYC!! Yep. Trading in Old Amsterdam for New Amsterdam. I can hardly believe I'm leaving after spending bout a third of my life here. And I never thought I'd return to the States, let alone live in The Big Apple. It's going to be quite a shock to the system after village life of Amsterdam but I'm sure we'll adapt. We didn't have plans to leave, but after quitting his job at Wieden+Kennedy to look for a fresh start and new challenges, the States then came knocking on our door and things moved fast. Super fast. So now I've quit my job at Sid Lee and we're off at the end of the October. Eeek!
I'm a mixture of anxious, excited, overwhelmed at the amount of work I have do do between now and the end of October to actually pack up three lives and move, and so curious and eager to see what life might be like for us over there. Of course, now with Oscar I look at such a move through very different eyes. But I think we'll have lots of fun. We'll probably be living in Brooklyn somewhere, and are blessed with many friends already living in Brooklyn and Manhattan so that should make the transition much easier.
Benefits of living in NYC; amazing service, amazing Mexican food that I miss, so much to do. We're taking the bikes, so hopefully we can bike around DUMBO and other areas of Brooklyn safely. Work wise, I'm not sure what I'll be doing just yet. Our plan is to land, find an apartment, set up our home, and then probably look for something in the New Year. Amazingly my parents are able to join us over there for a bit when we land, so that will make the transition way easier. So. A new adventure awaits. Super exciting. The blog will continue, of course, as I try to fulfil my need for vintage treasure hunting and flea marketing over the other side of the pond. Also I'm trying to see if there are any last things I should do in Amsterdam before leaving; suggestions welcome! 

Monday, 22 September 2014

My New Roots Cookbook

Back in February I was asked to partake in some recipe testing for My New Roots cookbook. Hells yes! So off I trotted to the grocery store and then recipe test I did. The result; delish! What did I make? Well, you'll just have to get the book and see for yourself.
Sarah Britton, the author of the book says it's "Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every Season features over 100 vegetarian dishes, most of which are vegan, many are gluten-free and some are totally raw. The book includes a wide range of meals from the very easy, to those that are more fun food “projects” that require fermentation and such. There are fancy things to impress your best guests, and tasty basics for weeknight family-style meals. Snacks, desserts, and sweet treats are also a very welcome part of this collection of vibrant and inspiring new recipes." 
If you don't follow Sarah's blog already, check it out here. And if you'd like to join a class with the lady herself (I've don this – it was fantastic) you can check out up coming dates here via Healthy Happy

Friday, 19 September 2014

Merino Kids

Look at the beautiful items the folks at Merino Kids sent for Oscar! What a lucky boy. If you haven't heard of Merino Kids they're an award-winning baby and infant sleepwear and clothing company from New Zealand. I have to say I was curious, to say the least about how the clothes would be when I was first contacted. Wool's not always the fabric you think of when you're thinking of soft and gorgeous clothes for your precious little one. How wrong could I be? I was very pleasantly surprised to unwrap a pair of gorgeously silky soft pyjama's for my little grub, that fit beautifully and have lots of room for moving in their wrap-top design. My little one has been plagued by eczema since a few months after birth and so I'm very careful about what I put him in, especially at night. That, coupled with with the fact that finding a decent pair of Pj's to begin with has been nigh-on impossible in Holland. 
Merino wool is a fab fabric, as it turns out; not only does it breath and control moisture, and regulates temperature well (a concern with eczema is overheating the skin), but being a natural fibre it also reduces irritations and allergies. Naturally fire resistant, and quality that lasts. These PJ's won't be the last pair Oscar has, for sure.
As well as the beautiful PJ set, Oscar received this lovely stripy Go Go sleeping bag. For safety Oscar's been only using sleeping bags since he learned to wiggle out of his swaddles at 3 months. They're conveinient, safe as there's no risk of him getting caught up and smothered by sheets (and this kid moves a lot during the night), as well as being a great signifier of 'bedtime' in the routine. The design is smart and will fit babies from 2-3 months through to 2 years. So you'll surely get your money's worth out of it. A mix of superfine merino wool and 100% organic cotton, and again; beautiful designs and colourways. Very tasteful, and classic. These would make gorgeous gifts, too. Thank you, Merino Kids, for the introduction to these lovely products, I have one happy (spoiled!) little boy.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Braderie Treasure

This year we didn't bring home very much treasure. I think it was a combination of having been a few times so the novelty of some items wears off, and being conscious of having to carry things back on the train with the baby, and that we're moving house soon (more on that next week).  What I did pick up was. This very handsome black crow whisky bottle. Sporting very dapper attire complete with top hat, I couldn't resist him. And below, over the course of the day I picked up another 10 bunting flags for my collection. Aside from these, I bought a lovely plastic tree for Oscar's room decoration off a little French boy, and an orange 70s set of cooking scales. Fab. And that was it!!Very reserved, but I'm very happy with it all. Less was more, this time.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Braderie, continued

Saturday and Sunday were great also. Sunday was actually the best day I think. We honestly didn't buy much this year compared to previous trips (see tomorrow's post). But I just love the atmosphere and seeing the beautiful antiques.
Lots of lovely collections of items. Scissors, knives and the like above. And wonderful trinket boxes, tins, and coin purses below. It's really like spending 3 days at a museum.
And then, just like that, it was time to make it back to the hotel, grab our stuff and head to the train station for a very long train ride home. Tough going at times with a 10 month old, but he was a real trooper. Tomorrow, the treasure show.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Braderie de Lille 2014

Friday. We arrive. Braderie de Lille! I love this so so much! It's similar to King's Day in Holland, but without the drunks. This year we took Friday off and headed down by train with the Grub. Prepared for our shopping spree we had an extra empty suitcase and just a change of undies and t-shirts! Oh, and a tonne of crap for the baby. First things first, we checked into out hotel and made a bee line for the canal. It's one of my favourite places of the Braderie. Walking down the tree-lined canal people are already set up and selling on Friday. We wandered down and spied lots of beautiful vintage pieces. Rocking horses seemed to be very popular this year. We saw loads! If only we'd had a way to carry one home...
Other top items; 50s kids drum kit. And pinball machine.
Lovely old cashier and 'roo.
Fantastic mid century tuck. But, THE item of the weekend had to be this –
An incredible mid-century spaceship penny arcade ride in working order. OMG. We actually thought about it. Though it was huge. And expensive, but I think actually worth it... for €1,000 this beauty could have been yours. But not ours. Our heads over ruled our hearts and we sadly walked away...
Other delights included some of the usual suspects; old school posters.
I saw two fab tee-pees. But they were expensive and I knew Oscar would suck the decades of dust our of them so passed.
More lovely horses.
Beautiful ornate heaters.
And some pictures of the streets of Lille in full Lille swing! Though I have to say it was much more sedate than previous years. And for this I was very happy, given we were with a pram and all.