Monday, September 15, 2014

Pretty in Print: Gone Reading

For my September article on the 
I wrote about Gone Reading, the most 
wonderful site to find all sorts of 
beautiful and unique book related gifts.

While I adore many of their products, such
as the charming book shaped dishware 
pictured above, that is not the main reason 
I chose to spread awareness about this site. 

Gone Reading's mission is not only to bring
you fun, beautiful and unique book related products,
their mission is much bigger then that, their purpose is:

 "To spread the magic of reading in the developing world.  That’s why we’ve pledged 100% of after-tax profits to fund reading related charities, 
especially the work of our good friends at READ Global, and Ethiopia Reads"

Head over to the Delicious Reads Blog
to read the full article and learn more about this amazing organization,
as well as receive a special coupon code to get 20% off 
all purchases from now until the end of October!

Thanks for reading 
and happy shopping!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Amsterdam Continued

The next morning we said goodbye to all the new friends 
we had made aboard the MS treasure and disembarked the ship.  Luckily for us 
our vacation wasn't over quite yet, we had added on a couple 
of extra days to enjoy all the fun that Amsterdam had to offer.

After moving out of our dreamy river boat home
we moved into this beauty of a hotel, The Amstel.
It is a gorgeous hotel and has the most wonderful views 
of the Amstel canal.

This was my room, isn't it adorable?!

And this was the view of of my window

On our first day on our own,
we headed straight for the floating flower market!
This set of floating stalls is located in the heart 
of the city, we would learn that pretty much everything
and anything we wanted to do was right next to this market.

The very last shop we went to 
had the most stunning flower canopy
I could not take enough pictures of it

The Royal Delft experience is located right 
at the end of the flower market.  We went 
there to learn about how this traditional art form is 
made and to find a piece of Holland to take home 
with us. 

I thought this vase was the 
prettiest thing in the shop the minute 
we walked in, so I got it 
as my keepsake from our visit to Amsterdam.
As we were checking out, the cute lady checking us 
out, who happened to be one of their world renowned artists,
exclaimed that this was one of the pieces that she had hand painted!
what a special coincidence, I had to snap a photo with her 
and her one-of-a-kind artwork.

We stopped to get lunch at the exquisite American Cafe.
Some mischievous person had filled the fountain right in front
with bubbles, so we had an endless show of thrilled children and 
curious adults who all stopped to play with the mountains of bubbles
while we dined on the patio.

Another museum that is a must see in Amsterdam
is the Vincent Van Gogh museum.  Vincent and I have a very special
relationship, I spent hours reading his letters for a research paper
in college, and through his letters this sweet, tender yet tortured soul found his way 
into my heart.  The Christmas after I did all the research, my mom gave me 
the complete collection of Van Gogh's letters, and I am in love with them.

This picture of almond blossoms is, hands down, my favorite 
of all his works.  I love it so much because it is mentioned in many of the letters that Vincent wrote to different members of his family.  He painted this gorgeous painting for his nephew, who had been named after him.  Theo and Jo, Vincent's brother and sister in law, hung it above their baby boy's crib.  Jo later wrote that her son looks at his uncle's paintings with a great deal of interest, especially this one.  So precious!

Pictures weren't allowed in the museum but I just couldn't resist sneaking just a few.

There happened to be a special exhibit of pictures of Van Gogh's world.
A photographer had traveled to all the places of Vincent's life and 
documented the world he lived in decades after his death.  It was fascinating.
There were example's of Vincent's paintings next to some of the photographs.
I attempted to take more photos but none of them turned out, but you can kind of get the idea.

I thought this was hilarious and I was surprised that I had 
never seen it before during all of my studies.  Van Gogh painted this 
during an art class that was teaching anatomy, he added the cigarette 
as a way to stick it to the teacher.

Vincent Van Gogh: The Original Hipster

For our last dinner in Amsterdam, and in Europe for that matter,
we decided to go with an Indonesian rice table.  These are crazy popular
in Amsterdam, if you ever find yourself visiting this city, you have to 
try one of these!

You order a set rice table, and it includes about 15 different 
dishes.  It's like tapas to the max. They bring table top stoves to your table 
to keep everything warm while you enjoy
all the fun and exotic flavors

The one and only picture from this whole trip of all of us together

This was the second best meal of the trip,
right after the lunch we enjoyed in Regensberg.

After dinner we walked along the canals 
and enjoyed the warm summer air
and the beautiful views of the canals
all lit up

The next morning 
we boarded a flight back 
to reality