January 31, 2013

January Books

It's no secret, I've accumulated some books during the 6 months that I have lived here. I love books. I grew up surrounded by books. It's something that I remember clearly - books crammed in every shelf, every which way. It wasn't until I began teaching that I realized how lucky I was to grow up with books in my home. Books make a home. Books make my home. J'adore les livres.

January 29, 2013

Mon cours de français

Do you know what these are?
These are grades in mon cours de français, my French course. 

Obviously, you don't want to see the guy on the left appear on quizzes. You really want the guy on the right. He's so happy! He's so proud. 

But I tried...
 And I tried...
And I tried...

In the end that guy in the middle was my friend. Hey, at least I was consistent!

60 is passing. I made 72 of 100. 
I passed!
I'm average!
I'm Disappointed emoticon.
 I'm ecstatic. 
On to the next level, viva la France!

January 27, 2013

365 Photos: Day 21 - 27

Jan 21
This photo was taken around 5 pm. I was in a hurry to get to the student center to pick up this weeks groentezak, or veggie bag so I could get home to stream the inauguration. The sun is setting later and later. The dark days are *almost* over. 
Jan 22
I spent the majority of the day PLAYING. It was awesome. 
Jan 23
A good mail day! Handmade card from Texas.
Jan 24
Jon and I were walking to get friets, when we stumbled upon this church - now used as a performance space. They were serving drinks inside, so we stopped to imbibe. 
Jan 25
I've got my tools, and I'm ready to make bistro chairs!
Jan 26
Narrow steps and lines in Belgium.
Jan 27
I did a little tidying up around "my" studio space today. It's not much,  but I like it. 
It's like Harry Potter's room, underneath the stairs.  

January 26, 2013

Make 52: Week 1

I guess I was busy this week. I can't promise I'll always make so many things, but I hope I do. 

1.A. My One Little Word cards.
I blurred the writing because these are raw ideas. I'm not totally ready to share with the world yet, but all will be revealed each month.

1. B. My To Do list.
Really, this is all I *have* to do this week? Life is good. 

1. C. Quick thank you note to mom. 

1.D. Pumpkin Carrot Fennel Soup
Making good use of this week's veggie bag and crème fraîche.

1.E. Champagne Cage Bistro Chairs.
Full tutorial here. 

1.F. Champagne Cork Toadstool.

1.G. Champagne Cork Toadstool Heart Stamp
Finally, my set is complete!

1.H. Grilled Gruyère with Sautéed Spinach Sandwiches.
Delicious with left over soup. 

January 25, 2013

One Little Word and a Few Projects

Take the first step in Faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. 
~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

What a great quote from MLK. I saw it on Design Sponge via this etsy store earlier this week. 

I hadn't planned to let so much time go between posts, but that's life, eh? I'm trying to post more than three times a week, but so far that's all I have been able to accomplish. 

I am so blessed right now: I am married to a wonderful man. I live in a beautiful city in Europe, and I have time - lots of time. For the first time since age 16, I am not working. This bothered me at first, but I'm getting used to it, and I know that this won't always be the case. Whether I like it or not, this is where I am in life. So, I am taking this time to do the things that I want to do - learning French, learning Dutch, cooking more, developing healthy habits, and creative habits. In the new year I resolved to take on a few projects and one little word

Another long post... continues...

January 21, 2013

One Man Come in the Name of Love

I have the same birthday as Martin Luther King, Jr., and that's pretty special. Not just because I usually get a long weekend around my birthday, but because of the person he was - what he stood for, what he worked for, what he believed, what he believed 'we' as nation could achieve.

I learned more about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement last year on my honeymoon. Jon and I took a whirlwind road-trip through the Eastern and North-Eastern United States for 4 weeks. We didn't have a destination in mind, just hoped to make it as far as we could, which ended up being Niagara Falls, New York. Anyway, it was a great experience and I like to say that the honeymoon continues today - just in Europe! There were many highlights, and I hope I can share them here and there on the blog. Today, in honor of the inauguration of President Barack Obama and the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I'd like to share a tiny bit of this trip that made a profound impact on me. A visit to some important historical sights during our honeymoon really changed history for me, and the way I look at the United States.

This post rambles, but stay with me.

January 20, 2013

365 Photos: Day 14 - 20

It wasn't a super exciting week in photos, though a lot did happen.
Jan 14
We write our grocery list on a chalk-up sticker on our kitchen cupboard. I take a picture of it and refer to it at the store. Obviously, this day I went to the grocery store. I think it's worth noting that my language classes are started to inhibit my English. Notice the way I spelled coffee:  coffie - a Dutch-English (Dutchlish) hybrid of sorts. By the way, our koffie is Italian. We celebrate many cultures in our household.
Jan 15
I was too busy studying to go out and take pictures. It was my birthday, as well as EXAM day.
P.S. I will never, NEVER take an exam on my birthday again. It was awful!
Jan 16
The Flemish love their candy, snope, if you will. I stopped in this fun store with a friend on a very grey day. It was so happy and colorful on the inside and it smelled so good!
Jan 17
Hello pink polka-dot paper! 
I had another fun day shopping for craft and art supplies in Leuven. Things aren't as hard to come by as I used to think they were... Either that, or I am not as picky.
Jan 18
Laundry Day. 
Jan 19
A beautiful day in the neighborhood.
Groot Begijnhof, Leuven
Jan 20
Home Sweet Home
More snow, and the warmth within. 

January 16, 2013

A Blessed Birthday

In typical Lydia fashion, I started celebrating last weekend and ended the festivities the day after my birthday. What can I say? I love birthdays!

Last Saturday Jon and I went to Antwerp. Antwerp is one of my favorite cities in Belgium, and I like it for shopping!
The train station in Antwerp... It never gets old, it's gorgeous!
The skies were a beautiful Belgian blue, but it was heel koud! (very cold)
(This post is pretty long, so I'm adding a jump.)

January 15, 2013

37 Times Around the Sun

I wonder what's in store (behind the door) this year?

January 14, 2013

How to Study for French, Level 1

1. Je vais au cours de français tous les jours.
2. J'étudie à la maison.
3. J'écris les verbes français.
4. Je acheter des livres d'études françaises.
5. Je mange la cuisine française.

6. Je voyage à Paris.
7. Je vais au café d'Amélie, et je regarde le film.

January 13, 2013

365 Photos: Day 7 -13

Jan 7
This weeks delicious fruits and veggies from the Groentas - or student veggie bag.

Jan 8
I always wanted to arrange my books by colors. I cannot believe I have this many books in just 6 months time. There are more in another shelf in the woonkamer. How in the heck am I going to get these back home?

Jan 9
Lovely detail, despite the ugly yellow masking tape on the  edges. I get to enjoy this beauty every morning. 

Jan 10
A beautiful sunny day in Leuven! I was a few minutes late to French class so that I could take advantage of the glorious blue Belgian sky. This is the top of Belgian artist Jan Fabre's sculpture in the Ladeuzeplein. 

Jan 11
I spent the majority of the day studying French. My exam is in 4 days!
Eeek! Thank goodness for Rosetta Stone. 

Jan 12
Bicycle parking for the fiets. Riding or walking in here never gets old. We went to Antwerp that day for some shopping and an early birthday celebration.  More on that later. 

Jan 13
A white pigeon. Perhaps a messenger? 

January 7, 2013

365 Photos: Day 1 - 6

Jan 1
Here we are on the eastern tip of l'Île de la Cité under the weeping willow. Just taking in a sunny day, talking about 2012 and 2013.

Jan 2
Rodin's The Thinker. Seeing this made me think of last year's art students and their 'Thinking Chairs.'

Jan 3
 View from our 3rd floor window in Metz, France at l'Hôtel Foch.

Jan 4
Surprise stop in Luxembourg on the way home. 

Jan 5
Unpacking my books from my trip. I still have to unpack my suitcase.

Jan 6
Saturday night antics by students back from the break.