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Living in North Holland

Living in North Holland

An inside look at the Dutch Flower Auctions

The Dutch are a huge exporter of flowers. Most of this trade happens in the Dutch Flower auctions and take place in only two towns, Aalsmeer and Eelde. Millions of flowers pass through the doors everyday! And I was lucky enough to get a look at the surface of what goes on. This time around I didn’t learn everything about the Dutch Flower auctions. But I do have a better understanding of what happens! A few weeks ago I went with…

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Lifestyle Living in North Holland

Dutch Flowers: Behind the Scenes

We all know that The Netherlands supplies much of the world with beautiful flowers. But how much do we know about what goes on? According to the Royal Flora Holland website, they do about 4.6 billion euros in transactions and deal with 12.1 billion plants. There are over 30,000 species of Dutch flowers and plants involved. Those are huge numbers! I had no idea those statistics would be so high! It’s no secret that I enjoy plants. I can care…

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Living in North Holland The Netherlands

My experience with the Dutch ONA

The Dutch ONA is, in theory, simple. It’s the Orientation on the Dutch Labor Market. Meaning you understand how the Dutch job system works. You can also apply for a job, understand what schooling would is important and how to be a competent worker. Easy right? Especially for someone who had held a job. Ah well.. If only it was that simple. I was nervous about it so I bought the workbook to help me. I understand that they want…

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Lifestyle Living in North Holland

January’s first snow

It snowed yesterday and it was magical. I was sitting on the couch enjoying a cup of tea when the flakes started to fall. The dogs immediately went to the window to watch. It’s been a year since the dogs have last seen snow.   There’s something indescribable about the first snowfall of the year. It’s a soft way to transition into something new. The first snow will melt and help provide for the spring. But that’s all common knowledge. But…

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Lifestyle Living in North Holland

Second Christmas

Christmas time in The Netherlands is unique. They have not one but two Christmas days. There’s the first day of Christmas. And then there’s the second day of Christmas. Both are public holidays and most stores are closed. So what exactly is second Christmas and how did we celebrate ours? An extension of Christmas While the 26th has significance for Christians, many people spend the second day like they do the first. It’s a time for family and friends. Many…

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Lifestyle Living in North Holland

Spending Christmas Eve in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a bit mysterious in the middle of winter. People from all walks of live come to it in droves but it’s like witnessing a secret meeting. There are people everywhere but the conversations are private. People bundle up to stay warm or pack into coffee shops where patrons mumble quiet conversations by candle light. Those that are outside are only there because the city is so beautiful even in the stillness of December. So why is Amsterdam the…

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Lifestyle Living in North Holland Tourism

Christmas Market at Assumburg Castle

Our first Christmas Market was located in North Holland in the town of Heemskerk. The castle was built in the 15th century but now serves as a hostel. The castle had been a standalone, it’s a large empty field behind. Now the garden is cultivated and well groomed. It would be lovely to come back in the spring to see it in full bloom. The Dutch and the Germans are very passionate about their Christmas markets. While Sander’s sisters off…

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Lifestyle Living in North Holland

Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving is a time of family reunions. It’s the perfect time to look back on what’s important in life. I’ve grown up with Thanksgivings (big and small) so I can’t just let that tradition go. Once again I decided to throw a small Thanksgiving meal and put it together myself. I love that our Thanksgivings are small but gezellig. Our menu consisted of buttered Turkey (crisped to perfection), green beans, wedding rice, mashed potatoes and a homemade pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream…

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Lifestyle Living in North Holland Personal

How we celebrate our Shiba Inus’ birthdays

Our ladies celebrated their birthdays last month! Booker is now 2 years old and Haru is 1. It’s been a rollercoaster with these two Shiba Inus but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. These two mean so much to us that we celebrate their existence in our lives everyday. It’s only once a year that these little ladies get older so we take the time to go the extra mile. Baked goodies Last year I baked a…

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