December 31, 2009

Bonne Année!

Starting it off with a BANG!!!

Bonne Année!
Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!
Feliz Año Nuevo!
Happy New Year!

Here's to 2010, a new decade, a new chapter.

Besos y ambrazoz a todos.


December 25, 2009

The Last of the Advent Boxes

M e R r Y c H r I s T m A s !

A photo of Mr. Wonderful opening up the last of his advent boxes:

He really is so fantastically wonderful. I am so lucky to be his.

What I feel every day since we've met...

Where he is taking me tomorrow:
He has changed my world, given me the world, and
continues to rock my world!

Note: The rest of the advent boxes will be up on my Flickr page as soon as I return. I'll be back in the new year with new projects, pics from my adventure and a fresh start. Sometimes we just need a new page to begin again.

H a P p Y n E w Y e A r !

December 23, 2009

New App and Our Christmas Tree

There is a missing camera cord somewhere in this house, so more pics and updating will take place as soon as I find it...
In the meantime, here is a photo from my iPhone using the App ShakeIt!

ShakeIt turns your iPhone pictures into Polaroid replicas. You even get to shake your phone to see the picture reveal itself. Hence the name ShakeIt. I found this app via FreckleWonder and would definitely have to agree that it's the best .99 you will ever spend.

Our Christmas tree was made with a few odds and ends in the house. I happened to have moss green yarn and tacks, so I followed some inspiration I have seen on a few blogs. It was very easy, I used one tack at the top and seven at the bottom. Starting from the top and center, I wound the yarn around each tack and voilà! You have a Christmas tree.

The ornaments are paper cranes from packages that I have opened since I have lived here in Leuven. More on that here, and they are affixed with small wooden clothespins that I picked up at De Banier, a craft store here in Leuven. The have come in so handy!

I also used them to display sweet cards from my little friends.

Check out that precious handwriting!

December 22, 2009

Het spijt me...

I have been neglecting this little project, but have lots to update later today and tomorrow.

I have been enjoying this European winter wonderland.

December 14, 2009

Advent Origami Boxes: Day 14

That's supposed to be a coffee bean inside the box:

If you unfold it says:
It's December fourteen.
You're close to finals,
And need more

December 13, 2009

Advent Origami Boxes: Day 13 & Santa Lucia

Today is a special day in the Nordic countries, Santa Lucia.
Let's see if my poem explains it well enough...

A Swedish tradition,
Here is the short edition:
During this darkest time of year,
Lucia with light would appear.
A crown of candles she would carry,
Bringing hope to the tired and wary.

It's a beautiful tradition, where a special girl is selected to portray Lucia.
This photo is from a special Santa Lucia presentation I saw last week. Read more about Santa Lucia and this holiday tradition here.

Back to the Advent Origami Box:
I picked up this little something at a gorgeous flower store in Leuven called Young Amadeus. There are always rose petals strewn outside the shop doors, but I learned this weekend is that they also carry special decorative items for the home.

Mr. Wonderful received a set of votive holders. They are so elegant and classic, just like he is.

December 12, 2009

Advent Origami Boxes: Day 12

This one was something fun...
Something different:

Not really a limmerick, but I tried...

You'll never believe what I bought.
A food you cook in a pot.
Delectable and a delight,
It will win you with just one bite

Maybe you've had it before?
Maybe you've not.

It's what's for dinner.

Yup, you heard me right - chocolate pasta.

Mr. Wonderful has such an unusual taste for food. He'll eat just about anything!

I cooked the pasta as usual and made a sauce:
Sliced strawberries, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar.

Chocolate pasta and strawberry sauce...
Only in Belgium.

December 11, 2009

Advent Origami Boxes: Day 11

Recently, Mr. Wonderful had his power strip taken from his studio at school. It's time for finals so this is not the most convenient thing that could happen...

Can you see the number eleven?

Can you see the power switch in the note?
It said:
It's the day with two ones.
Because I love you tons,
A place for your cords,
Has just been restored.


December 10, 2009

Advent Origami Boxes: Day 10

On this December 10,
An alternative to a pen.

Mr. Wonderful uses my date stamp on some of his notes, and loves a certain shade of blue. I saw this Colorbox ink pad in colonial blue and thought of him immediately.

I think it's neat that he likes what I like.

December 9, 2009

Advent Origami Boxes: Day 9

The scroll said:
You make my heart go pitter-putter,
You are the French bread, and I am the French butter.

December 8, 2009

Advent Origami Boxes: Day 8

Last night you shared your orange with me,
We need vitamin C to stay healthy and happy.

So, I've selected a few
to make a glorious dew

The perfect way to start your day
And say

Thank you

December 7, 2009

Advent Origami Boxes: Day 7

A teeny-tiny note, that was so much fun to make!

It said,
Today's treats are colorful and light.
You'll taste a different flavor with every bite.

It's a sweet dessert, and you don't need a spoon.
I hope you enjoy these Parisian Macaroons.

Flavors in the box:
Caramel Sale

One of the best things about Mr. Wonderful is that he shares with me.


Not a bad way to start a Monday morning.

December 6, 2009

Brussel's Christmas Market

Last Friday, Mr. Wonderful and I ventured to the Christmas Market Brussels. The Christmas Market is a wonderful, festive holiday tradition that has been around since the middle ages. These days the Christmas Market is a great place to find local arts and handicrafts for holiday gifts and a great way to experience local culture - food, vin chaud (mulled wine) and holiday spirit.

The grand Christmas tree in Grand Place, all decked out in blue:Of course we had to stop in some chocolate shops to admire the artistry.

Chocolate Santa:

Giant Chocolate baby!


Marzipan pigs and chocolate Euro coins.

These were goodie sacks for Sinterklaas. I am still trying to find out the significance of the little piggies...

In the famous Dandoy shop. This biscuterie has been in the same spot since 1839!

Dandoy has the most beautiful and delicious holiday cookies, also known as speculaas. Speculaas is a kind of short bread cookie made with a special blend of spices.
This is a giant Sinterklaas speculaas.
It was probably stamped with a large wooden mold like this. These molds are gorgeous just as decoration, and would make a great holiday souvenier ...

The Christmas Market!

The Christmas Market in Brussels takes place in Plaza Saint Catherine close to the St. Catherine Church and the old wall of the city.

Let's go check out the ferris wheel!

And the ice skating rink!

Skirt and skates:
The best part about the Christmas Market is the food, and you have to try the Vin Chaud (mulled wine). It's delicious!

photos by Mr. Wonderful

The brats are AMAZINGLY good!

There are plenty of other foods to eat too.


Chocolate covered strawberries

And savory Sausages!

But that's not all, the handicrafts are a feast for your eyes!

Colorful puzzles from Romania

French soaps

Christmas Matroshka dolls

Cute wooden animals

Recycled tin toys:

Storybook dolls with a different character under the skirts!

Ooooh! I wish I had a million Euros!