Starting my own vegetable garden

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There’s something about getting your hands dirty that makes me feel good. Just by digging in and preparing the earth to be at its best to produce.

Planting a seed with the expectation or hope for growth. Is there a mindfulness exercise that can beat this? Putting all your hopes, wants, needs in the ground and giving it all to grow to its potential best?

Weird, never thought of gardening to be so rewarding. There have been theories that if you walk bear foot through the soil and occasionally spit on it (yes sorry about that!) the produce and soil will in return give you exactly what you need at that point in time. Wouldn’t that be a small miracle?

Wonder if all things work that way. So if you show your true colors, ask for what you need (not want?) it will come to you?

Jumping way ahead, back to start, I am off weeding!

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Ibiza…

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Ibiza, you have to admit, it still is fun!

The scorpio island has changed so much over the past few years and gotten very busy but it still has the magic that once made it a hippie, bohemien hangout for creatives from all over the world.

So where do we go now? Here are some of my tips & tricks to survive, even with kids! Ibiza is a great destination with friends or as a family vacation.

Breakfast:

  • Cappuccino in the marina with a great view of the old town
  • Can Guimo; small hippie place with homemade breakfast, lunch etc. It is next to the road in San Lorenzo
  • Passion Cafe has various restaurants all over the island. The place for healthy juices and great food.
  • Croissant Show in the old town for a french breakfast
  • Jockey Club only if you are very early

Lunch:

  • Aqua Blanca for the best sandwhiches ever
  • Es Torrent for excellent service and fresh fish
  • Los Enamorados in the North of the island
  • Paloma Cafe the lunch in the campo
  • Il Giardinetto, Italian food in the Botafoch harbor. Simple but very consistently good Italian food!
  • Babylon beach in St. Eulalia
  • Cala Bonita at s’Estanyol; new, great staff and food

Diner favorites:

  • La Luna del Orto
  • Cicale the other great Italian
  • Es Caliu for the meat lover
  • Macao in busy St. Gertrudis
  • Les Terasses for a special Moroccan or Thai night

Feel like doing something different? Catch the ferry (or rent a boot) to Formentera and rent an old fashioned Mehari or a bike! Lunch options are numerous but make sure to book ahead as some are quite popular. Here are some great places:

  • Chezz Gerdi
  • Beso
  • Tiburon
  • 10.7

Don’t forget to try the local drink, hierbas but drink it on the rocks🙂

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Coconut Sambol

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Being a ‘spicy’ food addict this version of a Sambol (hot spicy sauce) or as the Dutch would call it ‘Sambal’ was a devine surprise to me. At it everyday on my trip in Sri Lanka and had to get the recipe!

It well with just about anything; from my omelet or eggs in the morning to a relish with a cheese sandwich, a roast chicken or a curry of course.

There is something about adding spicy ingredients to your food… Makes you feel alive especially when you need that extra kick, wake-up call or rush:-)

Here is a list of what you need:

  • grated fresh (firm) coconut meat
  • 1 fresh green or red chili peper
  • pinch of salt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • thinly sliced medium sjalot
  • 1 tea spoon of chili powder
  • 1 tea spoon of chili flakes

Grate the coconut, slice the sjallot and mix in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients according to taste. I personally like it with alot of lime and chili. Be careful with the quantities, you can always add more later.

Once made promise you it will be finished in no time, otherwise you can keep it a couple of days in the fridge.

 

 

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Sri Lanka time

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For a while this had been on my Bucket list. A country with a rich past, gorgeous beaches and beach taking inland nature.

Our family trip started off in Galle. A cute little town with a rich history of the Portugees, Dutch and English settlers. Now it is being renovated and has numerous cafe’s, boutique hotels, shops and great restaurants.

Here is a short list!

Where to stay:

  • Fort Bazaar Hotel
  • Galle Fort Hotel
  • Amangalle
  • Mango House

Where to eat:

  • Tuk Tuk
  • Amangalle
  • Tuna & Crab
  • Poonie’s Kitchen
  • Fortaleza

One more thing, I know Sri Lanka is known for its tea. Not so strange that coffee is not a priority but for me with a slight coffee addiction, it is hard waking up! In Galle, after a little trial and error exercise the Fort Bazaar has my vote!

To do tips:

Go surfing! Just outside of the fort is Devata beach. Grab a tuk tuk to the Shack where you can rent a board, book a lesson and have a bite to eat. Open for breakfast.

Go to the beach and have lunch:

  • Wijaya Beach
  • WB beachclub
  • Talpe Beach Restaurant

If you have more time and want to really get Some waves drive down to Arugam Bay. It is quite a drive (4,5 hours) but well worth it. Book a room at Hideaway and enjoy the laid back surfers paradise.

 

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Everything is going to be alright…?

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John Lennon was a wise man with many talents that I could only dream of. Here’s one of his many quotes:

Everything is going to be okay in the end,

If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

But is this really true? If so all the worrying, sleepless nights etc. are all useless? Can we really trust that things will work out is the end? Yes, of course, looking back it is easy to see why certain things happened and other didn’t. We learn from our mistakes, if we don’t, they will reoccur to until we do. But does the universe, or whatever you want to call it, have a plan for each of us, to make the ‘ends’ meet so to speak?

If we want to live with a bit of peace of mind I guess we have no choice but to have a certain level of trust in things and the course of our lives. Mmmmm probably the hardest thing to do, even harder than going to the gym:-) just sit back, breathe and accept what is.

 

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My favorite restaurants in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, my home town… Love this city! With all it’s different neighbourhoods, farmers’ markets, the beautiful canals which never bore you and not to forget dozens of great restaurants. Here’s a little short list with my favorites:

  • Toscanini… the famous Italiaan
  • George Bistro for the best burger (yep sorry, they won!)
  • Gebroeders Hartering for a ‘old Amsterdam’ surrounding and simply amazing food
  • Buffet van Odette the not to miss lunch (breakfast, dinner too!)
  • Hotel Goudfazant good food in a huge and cool old garage
  • Choux near central station is a precious little gem
  • Krua Thai for authentic Thai food
  • Marius is more intimate yet simple, and not to forget Worst next door
  • Restaurant Breda delicate tastes and great decor
  • Ku Kitchen’s Asian food and cocktails
  • De Klepel always has a great set menu
  • Brut de Mer oysters yeah!!!!
  • The Seafood Bar for your classic ‘fish dish’
  • Sama Cebo the Indonesian oldtimer, get a spot in the brasserie!

More to follow… Enoy!!!

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Best tuna salad

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Best tuna salad

The tastes combined in this salad are refreshing and quite different. Super healthy and easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh tuna chopped in dices
  • watermelon chopped in dices
  • mayonaise
  • wasabi
  • lime juice
  • spoon of musterd seeds
  • bit of virgin olive oil
  • thinly sliced cabbage
  • green sprouts of any kind
  • some cherry tomatoes
  • avocado chopped in dices
  • a handful of green salad leaves

Start with preparing the dressing. Add olive oil, lime juice, mayonnaise and a tea spoon of wasabi and mix. Then carefully add the rest of the ingredients. Serve immediately and dig in!

 

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First time for everything?

Remember that thrill you got when you were young doing something for the first time? Logical that as we get older we have ‘done’ most of the regular things. We have grown cultivated as to how to contain the excitement of feeling, seeing, tasting or having something for the first time.

Maybe as we get older and hopefully being a bit more conscious of what it is you are actually doing etc also makes a difference?

Whatever it is you really enjoy, try to ‘do it’ in an other way so you can experience that ‘excitement’ of the first time again? Set yourself goals or save for that trip… They saying that ‘life begins at the end of your comfort zone’ is definately true. Do something that scares you and you will feel your heartbeat going up:-)

Feeling this buzz will make you feel alive like nothing else wil.

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Tulum


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Took me years to get there and damn why did I not pick up my gear and go earlier? Something about the way Cancun has been in de media, the stereotypes of Mexicans, the drug traffic problems and the unhealthy Mexican food eaten in the West that have kept me from travelling to this huge and beautiful country.

Boy I was wrong. Even though it is a country with yes huge drug problems these areas can easily be avoided as an informed and intellegent traveller and yes big parts have been ruined by toerism and have nothing to do with the real beauty of Mexico.

Being quite ignorant of the diversity of the culture we were immediately intriged by this ancient culture. Flew into Cancun and left as soon as possible, ok ok one Starebucks coffee to go… Even just writing that can give you a hint as to how fast you should leave that place:-) We drove to Merida, visited Progresso at the coast. And drove through Izamal where all the houses are painted yellow! Then stopped at a hacienda along the way to have lunch. The natural resources and handycrafts blew me away. I think Nicolas and his wife of Coqui Coqui did a great job at using indiginous handycrafts to show in simply jaw dropping jewels, clothing, fabrics, handmade hats, leather good and perfumes what they are capable of making.

Vallalolid is a great stop to get a better feel of the Yucatan cuture. Travel down to Coba for Mayan ruins. Chitchen Itza is great but the hords of toerists make it feel less special. Somehow even though you know you are probably the zillionst toerist visiting you still have this ‘adventurous’ feeling that you want to persuade yourself of. Trust me, when you see those buses arriving that feeling is nowhere to be found, so if you go make it a quicky…!

And then precious Tulum; the new place to be. Go off season and still find the peacefull side of this little peace of paradise. Having seen quite a bit of beautiful places this place did strike me as special. Why? Well I have this theory that every spot first dicovered by hippies are the best. The nature is unusually  breathtaking, the energie is good, fertile grounds which consequently leads to fresh produce and great food.

So go, relaxe, breathe, take a yoga class or two and enjoy. Don’t plan, let go, sleep, eat, swim and have a mojito or two..!

Tips:

Yaan Wellness

Yaan Wellness for the best treatments ever, extremely pricey but out of this world. You can actually feel that the therapist is loving and giving her or himself in the treatment. Tuning in to you as a individual person. Try the ‘egg’ reading treatment, old mexican tradition and mind blowing. Or just go for a daily yoga class, beautiful.

Uno AstroLodge

An old hippie ‘community’ and lodge on the beach. Join Bobby Klein here for weekly meditaion session on Thursday at 16:00. Donation of 100 pesos. Truelly a special experience and not to be missed.

Cenotes

Do not miss out on the Cenotes. This made our family vacation! Kids loved it and were intrigued by the underwater tunnels. Even though it might seem like a touristic thing to do, the beauty of these ‘caves’ will blow you away. Or just use it to really cool down as the fresh water is super cold!

Restaurants:

Hartwood: get in line or reseve a table for 8 online

Posada Margerita allthough the chef didn’t have his best day when we visited. Great shop though!

El Galeon: best taco’s from an old streamliner next to the road

Casa Jaguar

Arca

Gitano has good food and great live music

Pasha for kebab, humus and falafel

Places to stay:

There are actually endless possibilities and different options in luxury, atmosphere and price. The choice is yours!

Nomade

Papaya Playa Project

Uno Astrolodge

Ahua Tulum with surfkiteschool on the beach

BeTulum (no kids allowed)

 

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