Tuesday February 25, 2014: Where is my voice?

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Can I brag one more time? Yesterday our Olympic athletes arrived home, 25 medals we have won, never have we been better at the Olympics. Everyone is so proud of them. When they arrived yesterday, they were honored immediately. Today they went to see the prime minister and the minister of sports and health. The gold medal winners all got one of the highest decorations in our country, so did 2 of the coaches. After that they visited our King and Queen. Most of them will be honored tomorrow in the town where they live and most of them will have a tournament already next Friday.

Back to the title: I have lost my voice for almost 2 weeks now. It’s weird because I don’t have a sore throath or do I have a cold, it’s just my voice. It’s also annoying because the more I talk, the worse it gets and when people hear my voice, they all ask what’s the matter with it. After 2 weeks I’m really tired of explaining what it is. I sure hope I get my normal voice back soon because it’s really annoying me by now.

Photo a day challenge:

February 19: Feet.
No way I’m going to show my ugly running/walking feet. Instead this is one of Bella’s feet.

February 20: Peace …
during a walk on a beautiful early Sunday morning (taken last Summer).

February 21: Funny …
shaped tree.

February 22: An act of kindness.
Shelley knitted this hat for me as a surprise gift. I was touched by it when I received it in November, especially about the time she put into it.

February 23: This is where I relax.
Well we both do …

February 24: Half.
Trees cut in half waiting to be transported.

February 25: Cut.
Vegetables for soup.


Friday February 21

Potato-Jerusalem artichoke soup: delicious!

Saturday February 22

Flower sprout marinated in honey and olive oil with bacon and pear -> delicious!

Sunday February 23

Entrecote with mangochutney, roasted parsnip.

Monday February 24

“Zürcher geschnetzeltes” (pork, mushrooms, onion, cream), baked potatoes and the last of the flower sprout.

Tuesday February 25


I made little pies filled with minced meat and parsnip. I had plans to eat a salad with it but we had more than enough and weren’t very hungry so we both ate 2 of these for dinner.

Tuesday October 15, 2013: I don’t have to do that (anymore)

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We have so much rain on Sunday, it started raining Saturday night till Monday morning. There was never a dry moment yesterday and it wasn’t the drizzling kind of rain. No, it was raining hard! There were a lot of troubles in the country because of the heavy rain. I couldn’t even go out for a walk with Bella, it was raining too hard.

Today I got another cook book in the mail:

The new Jamie Oliver. Jamie’s cook books are my favorite by far. This one is all about cooking cheap delicious meals. I took a short look and the meals look very good.

I don’t have to do that (anymore) is a mantra my dear friend Shelley uses and she suggested I use that more often for myself too. I often feel guilty when I skip a run, workout, walk with Bella but why? Because I don’t have to do that. I do it because I enjoy it most of the times and days I don’t feel like it. Well those days happen, no need to feel guilty about it.

I don’t have to run races and I don’t have to run in the rain early in the morning when it’s dark. So when I checked the weather forecast yesterday for today’s run it wasn’t clear if it would be dry. But where I usually stay in bed when it rains and do nothing, today I had two sets of workout clothes ready: 1 for running and 1 for a home workout. I decided yesterday that if it would rain I would put in a DVD and workout in my living room. Because I can do that and I wanted to do that. But when I got up this morning it was dry and I went for that run. But it felt good to make that decision and had created a choice for myself this morning.

I did figure out something though the past days: I need daily exercise. Because till Monday I didn’t workout and didn’t walk with Bella much and my body protested: my lower back started hurting and I got headaches. Both things I had a lot when I didn’t get much exercise a couple of years. Exercising is good for my body, I feel better by doing that. And feeling good is something I definitely want for myself.


Monday: Chalean Extreme

Push Circuit 3, 32 minutes.
Weights workout, chest and leg exercises. Great workout!

Tuesday: Running

I went for a dry run this morning and it was a good one. Felt good when I got home. Pace I had in mind for this run was 6:40

Distance: 4.5 K / 2.8 miles
Time: 00:32:11
Running: 2-3-6-6-7 minutes.
Paces: 6:24 – 6:18 – 6:20 – 6:39 – 6:38
Weather: dry, not much wind, 9C (48 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Robbie Williams – Please don’t die


Sunday October 15

Time to try the cavolo nero: I made a package of it with red pepper and radish, some garlic and red onion. I put some butter on top and added white wine and put in in the oven for 25 minutes. In the meantime I grilled a small steak to go with it. It was good, cavolo tastes a bit like kale.

Monday October 14


I made a Greek salad by Nigella, using the lettuce and half of the fennel root from the Beebox. It was the first time I made this salad and it was very good. I cooked the potatoes from the Beebox yesterday and baked them today. We had a thin slice of pork meat with this.

Tuesday October 15


I made a pasta dish from my new cook book. I used carrot, fennel root, blanced celery, onion, garlic tomatoes and the meat from two pork sausages for the sauce. It was delicious.

Friday June 14, 2013: Walking plans

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I don’t have much to say this week, it’s just a normal week where nothing much happens. The weekend should be fun because Sunday morning Bella and I are going to do a walking event again. This time we are going for 10K. Of course I’m going to take pictures of the walk and share it with you.

Sunday evening I have a dinner date with R. We have another Groupon deal for a 5 course dinner.

This walking thing with Bella has got me interested and I looked more into this. There are a couple of long distance walking paths through Holland and there are paths that are called region trails. I found 3 that I find interesting and I ordered the books with the routes. You can’t do a path in one day because the total length varies from 160K (100 miles) to 400K (250 miles) but you can do a part of it every time. Daily routes are 10K to 25K (but I think you can break them up too). I want to do 1 trail every month or so and switch between the 3 routes. Of course if I do this I will make lots of pictures which gives you more impressions of my country. But first we are going to do next Sunday’s walk.

Here are some pics of our walks from Monday till Thursday. Have a great weekend!


Strength Monday

Chalean Extreme Push Circuit 2, 35 minutes. Trained mostly arms and legs today. Every exercise was done 8 times at a very slow lifting pace. Tough one!

Cardio Wednesday

Insanity Pure Cardio & Cardio ABS, 57 minutes. Insanity is tough! I can’t keep up with the pace (yet) so I do the exercises in my own pace. I do like the program though, it gives a good sweat. I skipped the warm up for the ABS workout because at that point I was still warm and sweaty. Great workout!

You might wonder what happened to my running. Well once again I am having a hard time to get motivated to run. But I’m going to suck it up and just go tomorrow for a long run. 


Monday June 10


Three recipes from this book: pork chops with pesto (also made myself), grilled green asparagus with olive oil and sea salt. We had baked potatoes with it. Delicious meal.

Tuesday June 11


The pics of the next 3 meals are not sharp. Need to work on that. Sorry.

A stew of chicken with mushrooms, bacon, leek and garlic cooked in wine and bouillon and some cream. We ate basmati rice as a side dish. This was a new recipe and it was delicious.

Wednesday June 12


Burrito’s with beef, chorizo, yellow pepper, onion and tomatoes with a topping of sour cream and guacamole.


Thursday June 13


First recipe of this book and a classic: spaghetti carbonara.

Because there are so many recipes in this book, I am going to try to make at least 1 recipe every week from this book. That’s no punishment for us because we love Italian food.


Wednesday April 17, 2013: Mishmash

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Finally the perfect weather on Sunday: 21 C (69 degrees). That meant flip flops, t-shirt instead of longsleeve and this:


@Shelley: the butter cake we ate as pastry with coffee. No fruits, cream or ice cream is added. Come on over and I’ll make it for you and anyone else who wants to try it.

Next Friday evening we are going to the theatre to see and listen to Boudewijn de Groot. He’s a Dutch singer/songwriter and has made beautiful songs over the years. This will be his last tour and our last opportunity to see him live.

Going to watch the interview tonight with our King and Queen to be: Willem-Alexander and Maxima. Our block in the street is ready for the abdication/Queen’s Day. R. put up flags and lights with our neighbours last night. The lights are on at night which gives a nice view.



Strength Monday

Insanity Cardio Recovery. First time I did this workout and I thought it would be a cardio workout but it turned out to be a strength/stretch workout which was perfect although the squads and lunges were felt later in the day. Total time: 32 minutes.

Tempo Tuesday

The tempo run that wasn’t. Shaun T. kicked my legs on Monday’s workout and I was extremely sore, it’s been a long time since that happened. Instead of the planned 30 minutes, I only ran 17 because my legs couldn’t move forward. I took a rest day today because I have another run planned tomorrow and running is my priority the next 6 months.


Distance: 2.5 K / 1.5 miles
Time: 00:17:13

Speed per km: 8.71 km/hour (5.4 miles/hour)

Time per km: 06:53
Weather: dry, little bit of wind, 9C (48 degrees)

Last song on Ipod before finish: Glee Cast – Run Joey Run



 New recipe: steak tartare spice with sea salt and chili pepper and rolled through pistache nuts. After the steak was finished I added some ginger and garlic and put in some mango to heat up. It was delicious. We had baked potatoes and a salad with it.


Chili con carne with a topping of tortilla chips and cheese.




 New recipe by Jamie: spicy Cajun chicken with mashed sweet potatoes with sweet chili sauce. Side dish was a salsa of corn, spring onions, tomatoes and coriander. Jum jum!

Movies I’ve seen lately

The Descendants

This movie has been on my recorder for a while now and I finally watched it. I liked it, no action just a good story. It does help that I love George Clooney and almost every movie he is in.

Sunday April 14, 2013: I’m still here

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Lori asked if I got a nice raise with all the extra activities I’m doing at work right now. The answer is no. First my salary is at the top of the salary scale I’m in so I haven’t got a big raise in years. Besides that there is a salary stop in our company. Our country is in a recession and construction and DIY are the businesses that are hit the hardest. There are already some people that have lost their job at our company and I’m just happy to have a job. Besides that I have no complains about my salary, it’s good.

I started working for the manager Communication last Wednesday and Thursday he brought me flowers because he is so happy I am going to help him out. These little things make your day.


You know I have a cook book addiction. My favorites are Jamie Oliver, Tana Ramsey (yes the wife of), Ainsley Harriott, Annabel Langbein, Bill Granger and Nigella Lawson.

We have a TV show called College Tour. Every week they have a different guest and the audience exists of students that can ask questions. Last Friday Nigella was the guest.

I love Nigella because she’s a lot like me: she likes to cook but she gains weight easily too. She recently lost weight and they asked how she did it because she loves to cook and eat and her recipes aren’t diet proof. She lost a little weight by eating a little bit less but overall she hasn’t lost that much weight she said. She exercised a lot and her body got stronger and more toned so it looked she lost a lot. This sounded like music to my ears because it’s my way to lose weight right now too.

She also said that being a good cook doesn’t make you a better person. Her experience is that some people think they do and that being a good cook defines you. Cooking is for pleasure and it’s allright if something doesn’t taste as good as you expect, it happens to her too.

Overall I loved the show because I learned about her childhood, things I didn’t know and how she became a writer of cook books.


Cardio Monday

A Turbofire workout: Fire 45. Three rounds of cardio/boxing/plyometric exercises of which I skipped the last one and 3 HITT sessions inbetween. Total time: 33 minutes.

Long run Sunday

Long run is a big word for my run today. My cold did last longer than I expected. I tried running twice last week but had to stop after 5 minutes because I had no lung capacity. I decided to try again today and take it really slow. Goal was to run 5K and finish, time didn’t matter. I took a walk break after 2K and at 3 and 4K. It was hard but I also knew after I finished that I’m almost recovered from my cold.

Positive note: I wear my Summer running outfit for the first time this year!

Distance: 5 K / 3.1 miles
Time: 00:36:13

Speed per km: 8.28 km/hour (5.1 miles/hour)

Time per km: 07:15
Weather: drizzling rain, cloudy, little bit of wind, 13C (55 degrees)

Last song on Ipod before finish: Lady Gaga – Born this way




New recipe from a Jamie Oliver book: lamb chops with honey and balsamico and a lasagnette with green asparagus and cherry tomatoes. Very tasty, a keeper.


I have been cooking some new recipes the rest of the week but the photo’s didn’t turn out very well.

Yesterday I baked “boterkoek”, the main ingredient is butter. It’s not diet proof or very healthy and I don’t make it very often but it’s so delicious. Both R. and I love it.

Friday November 9, 2012: Kitchen edition

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Daily stuff:
Yesterday I had a workshop with the secretaries and other ladies in support functions at my work. It was held in a hotel in the next town. I have mixed feelings about it. The subjects would be “Effective influence” and “Quality of the communication at work”. But both subjects weren’t discussed. I also missed the interaction with my colleagues. It was more a one woman show by the lady who gave the workshop. She was talking almost the entire day and mostly about the differences between man and woman. We did laugh a lot however, she had a lot of anecdotes to tell but I think the workshop totally missed what it was supposed to be about. I haven’t learned anything.

In 2 weeks we have another one, this is just the afternoon and only for the 5 management assistants at our company. Subject should be “how close is our team” but I have doubts if we will talk about that after yesterday.

The cook book addict has got herself a new toy: the new Jamie Oliver cookbook “Jamie’s 15 minute meals”. And another one is on the way: the new cook book by Nigella Lawson.

Shelley asked if I could give a tour through my kitchen. Well your wish is my command. Our kitchen isn’t very big but I’m very proud and happy with it. We renovated it, I think, about 10 years ago but I’m still happy with it every day. My favorite things in it are my stove and our espresso machine.

View from outside (Shelley, noticed that Bella is copying Paco’s behaviour by wanting to get in the picture)

View from the living room (R. placed the en suite doors himself):


In the corner we have a kitchen table and on the right is the fridge. The “painting” on the wall is a cross-stitch I made myself.


Stove and espresso machine on the right:


Middle of the kitchen:


Yesterday: black pants, black/beige blouse, black jacket and black suede boots.




Yesterday morning I did the hardcore workout. An entire workout focussed on the core. Pretty hard but enough variation in the exercises.
Total time: 53 minutes.