About a Discodipped and starry night

Last week I celebrated my birthday. I turned 31 but celebrated like I hadn’t even reached 13 yet. Growing up is something I’ll save for later.
I celebrated my birthday with a group of lovely people that I feel blessed to have in my life and call my friends. The theme was DiscoDip, after my favourite ice cream decoration.

Ice cream1

This accidental Discodip picture I took a couple of years ago. Copyrights by me, 2014.

I bet all my friends stressed out at the thought of a theme. That was the only true reason I decided to go with a theme – to make them feel a little awkward. And also the fact that Discodip is just too good and colourful to be true. It really makes me happy!

We met up at the TonTonClub in Amsterdam’s Red Light district. No red ears or under-age warnings needed; TonTon Club is kind of a modern game arcade where you can play Jenga or get lost in a car race (never ending if you keep on feeding the machine coins) and dive in a ball pit. You can also watch the prostitutes from a safe distance if visiting them is too much for you, guys.

Like any 13 or 31 year old probably wouldn’t… I made party bags for my friends. The kind my mother used to make for my birthday parties when I really was young. With a candy heart, confetti, a weird-shaped eraser and a lucky star. Because I love my friends, I love to give and I love to show my gratitude. The lucky stars I made myself and I added a little message to them before I folded them. Unless they’ve all unfolded their stars, they still don’t know what’s written on it.

So here it is, my message to you ‘unfolded’:

“Be the DiscoDip to someone’s icecream”. That’s the loveliest thing you can be: colourful, happy and full of love. And to share that is spreading it, like a colourful love-virus. So I won’t stop you from spreading. Enjoy!

If you want to fold Lucky Stars – it’s pretty easy! I just don’t like to write out the instructions so here’s a link to someone else who already did write the instructions down for you.

The colour-hunter

Today I received a card from a friend, and some words she’d wrote down for me coincided with a little day-challenge I gave myself. She wrote “…no matter how dark the days can be sometimes, you always manage to see light and make your life so colourful!” Her timing was perfect and her words touched me with all their might: after a couple of dark days – or more, weeks – this morning I’d given myself the challenge to go colour-hunting. As I felt I needed to see more light and colour again.

I sometimes give myself a single colour at the beginning of the day, with the simple challenge to notice that colour during that day. Where ever I go. It’s amazing how the whole day seems to burst with that given colour. You should try it! Today was multi-colour day and the colour-hunt brought me lots of colour, which was marvellous on a very grey-gloomy day.


These are some of the treasures I discovered today. Blue stood out somehow. Maybe as a tribute to my “little blue lately” ;-)

Which colour will you be hunting tomorrow?

Something old, something new

A New Year. Like any proper New Year, 2015 demands some changes from me. Or better, I decided on some changes… have you noticed the two new pages I added to my blog? Starting 2015 I’ve decided to make life a bit more logic and easy for myself. I’m determined to continue writing this blog and developing my own little business, but I can use a bit more focus and funnelling instead of drifting. And here’s my first step.

If I were in London right now
You could say London is a project of mine. Or at least, writing about it. It’s a place on the planet that stole my heart and after having lived there in 2011 I started my first blog If I were in London right now, sharing my favourite places and hidden gems.

As of January 2015 If I were in London right now will be part of Tessie’s Projects. It makes sense to me. I love writing, I love going to London as often as I can. But right now, writing and maintaining two separate blogs is not what my body and mind need. The old blog will keep on existing. However, when I feel the urge to share some London-related stuff I will do so at Tessie’s Projects. It will be neatly categorised under If I were in London right now.

Expat meet Local
Moving on to the other new page. A page that might be interesting for you if you a) live in The Netherlands, b) are a local Dutchy living in The Netherlands who likes to meet other people or c) are an expat living in The Netherlands who likes to meet other (Dutch) people.

Expat meet Local was set up by me in June 2014. You may have guessed: it’s my intention to bring expats and locals together by organising little events. During Summer these events may be picnics, in Winter we go indoors. No sane Dutch person picnics during Winter.
Expats hang out with expats, locals hang out with locals. When you’re an expat you seek like-minded souls, when you’re a local you may just love your life as it is. Being a dreamer, I dreamed of changing this… wouldn’t it be just great to meet people with different backgrounds, from other countries and cultures? Then, from dreaming I moved on to realisation!
In 2015 I will continue bringing expats and locals together by organising little meet-ups. Knowing that people go home after an event with a new friend or squash-buddy, having learned and tasted something new. It brightens up my life. Simple as that!

So all you expats and Dutchies, all people dreaming of moving to The Netherlands or wanting to meet new (Dutch) people? Have a look at the new page for more information on Expat meet Local and be welcome to join us at our New Years reception Sunday the 11th of January.

Proost! E-flyer


Yes, a New Year. I hope you all will have a good one! And remember; most of the time you yourself can make your year as good as you want it to be. It’s in your hands, you are in charge. Most of the time…that is.


2014 – tick!

Yesterday I told you about my “2014 in a jar”. Today I opened the jar and read all the pieces of paper. Even though 2014 seemed to be the toughest year to have tackled in a while, I can happily say it was quite a fulfilling year and I  managed to notice and collect a lot of beautiful moments.

2014 felt to me as though I stood still. Even took steps back. But no. Turns out I’ve achieved a lot. For instance, I flew a kite on Parliament Hill with my beloved friend M. and painted my bedroom door. I gave my egg&bacon sandwich to a guy sleeping rough. Two little boys had trouble getting the chain back on their bike and so I decided to get my hands dirty to help them.

The Kite. Parliament Hill.

The Kite. Parliament Hill.

I had my first cards printed and yet another bunch are ready to be printed in the new year. Friends have been a huge part of 2014 too: helping, listening, being there for them. Appreciation, support, trust and true friendship in return. One friend even hid money at several spots in my house. Ha!

It seems I’ve overcome a few self-confidence thresholds too, which has led to taking steps I never believed I could and results I never believed would be mine to enjoy.

A friend knew I needed this.

A friend knew I needed this.

All together, 2014 may have been a tough one to tackle. But I did, I ticked this year off my to-do-list. And going through all these moments gives me confidence for yet another year.

Sending you all confidence for 2015 too. Happy New, dear readers!


When the day is filled with small pleasures

Today was a good day.
Filled with small pleasures.
Scattered over the day.
Put them all together and it becomes one big happy mess!
See for yourself.

IMG_6064 (2)

It started with a delicious brunch with one of my sweet-mazing friends.
Followed by a stroll.
Meanwhile we sneaked in and out of the most lovely shops we stumbled upon.
And admired the shopfloors, accidentally decorated with Autumn leaves.


We then found a beautiful passion flower.
Because Summer isn’t all that long ago.
The sun even showed.

All this linked together with lots of laughter.

Today was a good day.



Jordy is in London.

Jordy sometimes works for the opera in London.
Spending a couple of weeks or months there.
Part of the stage managers team.
London being my most favourite city on planet Earth, I wish I could be Jordy at these moments.
Jordy has just left for London again.
For a month and a half.
And he asked me if I had any tips for him.
Well of course!

Lieve Jordy!

You’re well aware of the saying be careful what you wish for, right? Asking me to write down some tips is such a situation. These are things you really should do in your spare time – if you have any:

You are not too far away from Kew Palace and Gardens I believe? Get a bike and cycle there! Check out the palace and gardens – I’ve never been, but it looks beautiful. Check the opening times as well, though; I believe Kew Palace closes end of September. The gardens don’t.

As a medium rare bookworm I would go to The Chiswick Book Festival and as you’re now officially a Chiswick dandy, so should you.

The Old Cinema. Need your favourite antiques-freak say more? Don’t think so. And yes, absolutely, feel free to buy me a souvenir there. Souvenir hints in your mailbox.

Another place where you are absolutely advised to buy me a souvenir is LASSCO. I’m gonna get married at LASSCO. One day. At LASSCO, you should also go for lunch.

After LASSCO you can go for dinner at the hidden Bonnington Café. You know I love hidden. This one is in my top 10. Bring cash, buy your alcohol beforehand, expect delicious veggie and vegan food for a bargain and a lovely atmosphere. Also cross the road to check out the Italian shop Italo – such a sweet little corner shop.

To stay in the antique-mood a bit longer go and get lost at Alfie’s.

In case you cannot stand anymore opera I advise you to go to my favourite hangout, the Jamboree
and make sure the voice of Whiskey Moon Face singer Louisa sweeps you off your feet. You could also go and enjoy some fine Jazz tunes at the Vortex.

Another must is Nana’s: good food and super Grannies guaranteed!

If you’re really homesick, go hide on this Dutch barge The Tamesis Dock, and sip a Dutch Grolsch (for only £4,00… but thank goodness they’re far more original than just Heineken!). Their website is funny so I have high hopes for the bar.

For a nice little wine you can stay in the hood by the way. Pickwick’s wine bar is said to be exceptionally friendly and according to londontown.com the “live music is of reminiscent of the seventies and eighties – as is the decor.” LOVE!
The address is 13 Devonshire Road, London W4 2EU.

What the Dickens are a set of amazing fellas who prep breakfasts that reach beyond The Breakfast Club. You will find them at my once very local Chatsworth Road market. If you’d go there you’d be killing two birds with one stone. Awesome!

Eat a Dirty Burger! They have more locations but this one near Hampstead Heath is my favourite… I’ve been making Dirty-Burger-Detours for more than a year now – it’s a 15 minute walk from the Heath and even after a day of flying your kite on the Heath or going for a long walk, it’s more than worth the detour. Hidden, which makes it even more fun (well, to me it does…childish mind set, you know I have) and the burgers are a delight! You’re gonna thank me for this one. I know it.

Okay, I’m gonna love you and leave you with this insane list for now. It might be wise to consider a sabbatical! But you asked for it. Promise to come back to us when you’ve ticked off the list. And in case you tick it off within two weeks, check out my other blog about London.
I haven’t posted any new posts up there for a while, but still…you may find some nice finds!


Friendly Files

On my computer is a folder. It’s called Friendly Files.
In here I collect the best moments and pictures of my friends, I note down things they said that are worth more than gold and ideas I have for their birthday presents. There’s even a drunk video in one of those folders. My friend now knows it still exists and will quite probably try and hijack my laptop.

Friendly Files

I like to see it as a kind of diary. Nothing obsessive.
Sometimes I scroll through the pages and read back funny moments and special conversations.
It always reminds me of how blessed I am to have these people in my life.
How special it is that they allow me into their lives.




And always, always I giggle at the thought of what I could do with those pictures on their Wedding Days…