Lifestyle: Living, Leisure, Work and Wellness

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My top 10 terraces in Haarlem for the summer

In the Netherlands, people are so anxious to sunbath that when the sun is showing up you can find everywhere in the streets improvised terraces in front of the doors. This is the Dutch way! In the Netherlands, let's be really clear, sun…
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Sharing Photos Of Children Online: Eight Ways You Can Do It

I’ve been very open about sharing my children’s pictures on the Internet, to go with various blog posts, memes and pinnable images. But recently, something terrible has happened to fellow blogger Vanessa at De Su Mama. Her children’s pictures…
Culture Shock
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Beyond Culture Shock

Moving to a foreign country has an emotional impact which can be more or less strong according to our own way of reacting to it. Some people are immediately enthusiastic about the country they moved to and adapt to it smoothly. Others, after…
English native speaker

Six Reasons I Wish I Was An English Native Speaker

I love English! It is so great to be able to communicate with a large number of people from all over the world and hear all the different accents! And while I know I speak it really well, and even blog in this language- and my mother speaks…
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Vijfhoekkunstroute 2015

This weekend the 10th edition of the Vijfhoekkunstroute (Vijfhoek Art Walk) will be held in "the 'Jordaan' of Haarlem".  More information about this edition of the Vijfhoekkunstroute... This year the ‘Vijfhoekkunstroute’ is emerging…
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Luilak Day

Saturday before Pentecost: little wagons and a lot of noise? Sunday of Pentecost: dirty windows? LUILAK DAY! Luilak, or Lazybones Day, is a youth festival celebrated in Zaandam, Haarlem, Amsterdam and other towns in the western Netherlands.…
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¡Olé! Cantina023 is Real Tex-Mex in Haarlem

Finally Haarlem has good and authentic Tex-Mex! Cantina023 opened its doors in February and it's amazing. I've been there twice so far and am always looking for an excuse to go back. All of the standards are there, burritos, tacos (authentic…
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Who knew there could BE such a thing as a “Miracle Morning”?

To set the record straight, I am not a naturally born morning person. In fact, my partner and children have long given me a very wide berth each and every morning, not expecting me to show up for breakfast or have a single conversation…
A lot of tick bites in our dunes
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A lot of tick bites in our woods and dunes

The amount of tick bites is increasing in the Netherlands. In the last 2 years Tekenradar (the Ticks Monitor) has announced a record amount of ticks in the country. There is a relative big chance to be bitten. Below what to do if you, your family…
Rollende keukens
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The Rolling Kitchens weekend

Every spring The Rolling Kitchens Weekend comes back to Amsterdam's Westergasfabriek. Mobile food sellers and gourmets are gathering  together again from 13 -17 May, 2015 for the eighth edition of the mobile food festival! Taste the flavours…
4 & 5 May: Remembrance Day and Liberation Day (Photo: Melanie Caitlin)
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4 & 5 May: Remembrance Day and Liberation Day 2015

The Netherlands is unique among the other European countries in having two national ceremony days originating from the Second World War: Remembrance Day – ‘Dodenherdenking’ and Liberation Day – ‘Bevrijdingsdag’. On 4 May there…
Thrill Grill
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Thrill Grill opens its doors in Haarlem

My friend Lizzy of Haarlem Foodies tipped me: Thrill Grill opens its doors in Haarlem. Thrill Grill is THE place to be for people who like real burgers. The charcoal grilled hamburgers are made of 100% Dutch beef and served with fries from…
King's Day

King's Day in Haarlem

King's Day (formerly Queen's Day) festivities invite locals and visitors alike to celebrate the King's birthday.  In the streets, squares, canals, parks and everywhere in between, the city is bursting with orange. King's Day is the biggest…
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Happy Anniversary! EXPATSHAARLEM TURNS 1! It has been a year of challenges, of new experiences, old and new friendships, lots of wonderful articles, many great events, the start of services and our first partnerships. 10000 visitors…
Flower Parade
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Flower Parade Bollenstreek 2015

The Bloemencorso Bollenstreek, or Flower Parade of the Bollenstreek (Bulbs Area) is one of the most famous parades in the world. More than a million people come to see the beautiful flower praalwagens (floats). The Flower Parade Bollenstreek…

Natural DIY Toothpaste

Today I share the benefits of making & using your own Natural Toothpaste. Why should we not use the commercial toothpaste? Most commercial toothpaste contain these harmful ingredients: 1. artificial sweeteners: highly toxic 2.…

Choosing between complaining, giving gratitude, or empathy

Hopefully, by now you’ve seen the (in my opinion) wonderful satirical “42 reasons The  Netherlands is the Worst Place on Earth.” I found it super refreshing, needed reminders of things I appreciate about my adopted country, yet sometimes…
Fresh and authentic Indian food: India Corner in Haarlem (Photo: Stephi)
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Fresh and authentic Indian food: India Corner in Haarlem

One of my great girlfriends, Carla brought me to her favorite restaurant some years ago. Her hair salon is located next door and she is used to coming for dinner to India Corner. I felt like being at home as soon as we sat down. Miriam,…
sexual culture shock
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Sexual Cultural Shock

“Is he good in bed?” Oh my Lord, did he just say that?? How dare he! The question shocks me and nearly knocks me off my feet. And then he follows, “how does he compare with black men?” I was astounded. This comes from a random Dutch…
income tax

Deadline for filing personal income tax May 1st!

Normally the deadline for filing your personal taxes in the Netherlands is April 1st. This year it has been extended to May 1st. Around the first week of February the tax authorities start sending invitations to submit your income tax return. Extensions If…
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Spring in the Netherlands is: kids as pavement artists

Walking out the door this morning I played hopscotch, with askew numbers, drawn by childish hand, in pink and green chalk. Right – Pink, Left – Green.... Right – Pink, Left – Green. My bag was jumping on my hip, a lady with…

5 heerlijke Paasrecepten

Dit jaar kun je met Pasen genieten van je eigengemaakte lekkernijen. Wij hebben namelijk 5 recepten voor je op een rij gezet, waar je gelijk mee aan de slag kunt! PAASSTOL   Benodigdheden: 250 gr krenten en rozijnen - 250 gr…

'Preservation' by Blake Little

Portrait photographer Blake Little covered models in honey for his series entitled "Preservation."  Caught in movement, but trapped in the viscose honey, the models in "Preservation" begin to look like sculptures in motion. The…
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Are you looking for a nice gift for Easter? We have a tip: the Easter Fokke & Sukke Podium Cadeaukaart (Easter Fokke & Sukke Stage Gift Card) with the most popular ducks of the Netherlands. Surprise your friends, family or acquaintances…
spring photo contest

Join our Spring photo contest and win!

Finally it’s spring! It's getting warmer, lambs run in the fields, trees and plants are in bloom…. Enough subjects for wonderful pics! Do you have nice Dutch Spring photos? Join our Spring photo contest, be published and win! How…

Spring Photography tips

Now the good weather has arrived, it is time to go outside again! Haarlem and surroundings has some beautiful spots where you can take great pictures, think of the canals, Elswout and the Dunes. Here are some tips for improving your photography.…
Body scrubs

Body scrubs

Body scrubs feel luxurious, smell delicious and leave the skin smooth and moisturized. Honestly, a washcloth and a soap do just as well at exfoliating and cleansing. Often body scrubs contain both mechanical and chemical defoliants. They…

Serial will make you wish your commute was longer

“For the last year, I have spent every working day trying to figure out where a high school kid was for an hour after school one day in 1999.”
Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts plans to open first Dutch store in 2016

The American donut company and coffee chain, Dunkin’ Donuts expects to open its first store in The Netherlands in 2016. According to, Jeremy Vitaro, Vice President of Development at parent company Dunkin’ Brands, claimed, said:…
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Teen sex in Holland

Would You Allow Your Teen to Have Sex at Home? One of the most challenging and satisfying aspects of expat life is discovering and considering new traditions and ideas about life that are perhaps different from what you’re used to.…