My positivity diary (#18)

view of Amsterdam canal from bridge, October 2018

And just like that it’s November! Half-term is almost over but we had such a good time on holiday in the Netherlands that I feel spoilt for choice as to what to put in this fortnight’s post. It has to be one of my new favourite places so if you’re heading there anytime soon let me know so I can hit you up with lots of lush foodie spots. I hope you’ve also had a lovely couple of weeks, whether it’s been spent at home or away!

1. A note from school

The day after breaking up for half-term, I received a lovely note in the post from my school’s trust, thanking me for my contribution to the role in my first term. For an organisation to show how much they value their employees like that really blew me away. I wish more companies would realise that simple gestures of appreciation go such a long way!

2. Pumpkins, pizza and prosecco

Last weekend I met up with some girlfriends for a cosy evening in of Strictly, lots of carbs, prosecco and pumpkin carving. We had a really good night and I’ve got to say, I was pretty chuffed with my efforts! Micky and Minnie pictured below.

pumpkin carvings

3. Blogging chats over coffee

My lovely friend Ellen has been wanting to start a blog for a while and asked if she could pick my brain for some advice. I didn’t think I’d be of much help but we met up for a coffee and I was surprised by how much I’ve learnt over the last year. I guess we tend to focus on all the things we don’t know and what we’ve still got to learn, so it was really encouraging to realise I know some things! Ellen’s now launched her blog which is all about food and travel – she’s a great writer with a lovely, chatty style – go check her out here!

4. A new coat

I’m not very good at buying new clothes; I tend to get attached to the ones I have (and hang on to them until they’re falling to pieces!) The zip broke on my coat a while ago so being me I obviously carried on regardless, but the change in weather and the prospect of holiday finally prompted me to go shopping. And I’m so glad I did because I love my new puffa jacket! It was a bargain from New Look and kept me really cosy in Holland’s blustery weather.

girl in puffa jacket on holiday in Amsterdam

5. Exploring Amsterdam

I quickly fell in love with Amsterdam and its cobbled streets, myriad of canals and houseboats, bikes parked on every corner and tall Dutch buildings rising several stories high. I had high expectations from everything I’d heard and it really didn’t disappoint – it’s such a beautiful, historic city and I’d recommend it to anyone!

girl sat on houseboat in Amsterdam, October 2018

On board The Houseboat Museum

6. Holiday breakfasts

I think breakfast/brunch might be my favourite meal of the day. I’d done some research before we went (with help in particular from Pack Your Passport and The Anna Edit‘s blogs) and everywhere we went had the most delicious food. In Amsterdam we visited Bakers & Roasters where we had gorgeous, fluffy pancakes and the next day Coffee & Coconuts where I had the best French Toast I’ve ever eaten. Below was some ‘vegan cookie dough’ I had at Baker & Moore in Rotterdam, served on granola with berries – yum! You can tell I’ve got a sweet tooth.

brunch food, vegan cookie dough

7. Anne Frank’s house

Anne Frank’s house had been on my list to go to for some time, before we even booked the trip. Thanks to a friend I found out we needed to book tickets ahead online (definitely do this rather than just turn up as you probably won’t get in) and I’m so glad we did because it was fascinating, whilst also very sad and moving. I think it’s so, so important that we never forget what happened less than a hundred years ago, and to remember what can happen when we see persecution and do nothing about it. Sadly the Holocaust feels more poignant and relevant than ever with what’s going on in the world, and it’s really made me think.

8. A seafood boil

After our two nights in Amsterdam we took the train over to Rotterdam where we met up with friends. That night they took us to a pub/restaurant they love called Kaapse Maria, where every Wednesday they cook up a big seafood boil. Our table was covered in newspaper and strewn with samphire, before the chef brought over a huge pan of seafood that he started ladling directly onto the table, along with a mountain of chips, broth and of course mayo (always in Holland). The seafood consisted of king prawns and mussels, and honestly my mouth is watering just thinking about it. We ate with our hands and by the end my fingers stung like mad, but I felt very full and happy; it was a meal I’ll remember for a long time to come.

seafood boil, Kaapse Maria October 2018

9. A trip up the Euromast

The Euromast is an observation tower in Rotterdam, stretching 185m into the sky. Luckily we had a really clear day when we went up and the views out of the city were incredible.

view of Rotterdam from the Euromast, November 2018

10. Quality time

My favourite thing about the whole trip was spending quality time with Aaron and our friends. Although we live together, it’s so easy to get caught up in all the busyness of life and I love that on holiday, we get to take some time just to sit and enjoy each other’s company. I also loved seeing my friend Lucie – who lives out in Rotterdam – and spending some proper time with her. The whole week felt like such a treat and I’m just coming back down to earth now.

Have you gone away recently? What’s been making you happy? I’d love to hear from you.

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