Applesauce, Eggplant and Salsa

10 09 2012

Applesauce, Eggplant and Salsa.

Just a mish mash

18 02 2011

Well I’ve decided on the name of my new blog…  My life in a diaper bag.  The reason being is that I feel that the new blog will just be a variety of things with surprises on the occasion.  A little like when you clean out a diaper bag.  Also because I’ve gone from oohing and aahing about purses to getting excited when I see a cute little girl’s outfit or a new gadget for kids.  

I loved the name “kicking off the clogs”  but really, I will always have a tie to the Netherlands and I’m sure a post will happen on occasion about it, so I haven’t kicked the clogs off competely. 

So on that note… this is the final entry.  If you want to continue to follow me you can do so at  I hope to see you there!!!

Need a name

6 02 2011

Well I’ve decided to start another blog.  It may not be as interesting as the one I had before, but I enjoy writing and posting on here so with the encouragement of fellow bloggers I’ll give it a go.  But now the hard part… I need a new name for my blog.   I’m totally drawing a blank here.  I have nothing…. NOTHING I TELL YOU NOTHING!!!  Ok…sorry about that, I think the fact it’s 12:50am might be getting to me.

I can’t think of anything to start a new blog with….I would like something that includes Isabella in the name and the only thing I got was “My life in a diaper bag”  sad … pathetic… ya I know.

So here is a public plea……..HELP ME!!

So long for now….

1 02 2011

Well a change in events has prompted me to end the blog… for now.  I am no longer a Canadian in clogs, but a Canadian on Canadian soil once again.  End of December Isabella and I moved back to Canada to stay.   It wasn’t an easy decision but it was something that needed to be done to save sanity. 

I’m not going to post the details of why we came back…I would rather just keep that in the family. 

I am however going to say that people will be missed and I hope to see them very very soon. 

Now as for a new blog, I’m debating this.  I really enjoyed writing and would love to continue doing so.  I think that I’ll probably sit and think about this for a bit and then decide in a couple of days.  When I do finally make the decision I’ll post on this site with the link to the new site if people are still interesting in reading what I have to write.

If any one is interested in contacting me privately, my email address is in2treble at gmail dot com.  I’m not sure if they’ll let me put the email there or not…

Thanks for all the faithful followers!!!  Thanks for all the comments!!!  I had a wonderful time blogging and I’m going to keep on reading and following everyone’s.

All the best,


Formally “Canadian in Clogs”

Crazy year – the final part!

21 12 2010

Well now that we are on our way back to Croatia, the weather has turned on us.  After a week of amazing sunny skies and hot temps, a massive – scarethepoopoutofyou- thunderstorm hit the night before we left.  Thankfully Isabella slept through it all, me on the other hand not so much!  The lighting was so bright that one flash turned off the street lights!  But with the storm going through the temperature must have dropped a good 10 degrees.  It was actually cold out.  But with the rain, also came the clouds and fog so our view of the sea wasn’t the best.   So the drive seemed longer then what it probably was. 

But soon we were back in Gospic and at my grandmother’s.  My grandfather was there pacing the street waiting for his Isabella to come home.  I don’t think I got her out of the car seat before he was grabbing her.   She of course just lapped up the attention!

During our last days there we did one more big trip to Plitvice National Park/Plitvička Jezera.   After a bit of a round about trip thanks to Penelope the GPS we arrived.  Now at first it didn’t seem like much, lots of trees, people, air, the sound of water… but then once we got through the main gate and on to the other side, this is what I saw…

The sight of the falls was just spectacular!!  But the climb down would be interesting.  Isabella in her wobbly little stroller, me with crap knees,  unstable ground beneath, lots of people, oh never mind… DAD!!!!   Here you do it!   So my dad took Isabella and he went for a stroll down the opposite path so Leigh Ann and I could go to the big falls and get some pictures.   I’m not going to say much more… I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.  Oh and yes the water really is that colour!

The park is just amazing and I guess we only went to one side.  The other side is much prettier but the trails are rougher and it’s too hard with Isabella in a stroller.  So I’m going to have to wait until she can walk on her own and take her back there.  I think this is one place everyone should put on their “to do” list.  Just remember, it’s a lot of walking and bring a snack and water.   And don’t forget your camera!  The cost seemed to be reasonable and the best part is outside the gates back on the streets, you have people selling their homemade goods.  Nothing like fresh honey, or strudel, or cheese.  The goat’s cheese was fantastic!  It was drier then most cheeses I’ve had and the seasoning was top.   I would just go back for the cheese!   I did bring back some honey from there, sadly it is all gone, but I enjoyed every last wonderful drop!  Since the war did hit that area we were again hit with destroyed houses and churches, fields where they are now unkept and you can’t venture in them for the fear of mines.    Towns where the buildings are still pockmarked from the bullets,  and some that should just be torn down but yet they still somehow manage to stand. 

Another trip we took was to go back to the sea so Isabella could dip her toes in again.   The day had turned right back to beautiful so the drive it’s self was amazing.  Such a drastic change from my dad’s side of the mountain to the coast side.  We also stopped at a little bar/restaurant/apartment place so we could grab a drink and a bite to eat.  Dad and I shared a grilled fish platter – ok… YUM!  Isabella sat quietly in her stroller/on my lap/on grandpa’s lap looking around and being nosy as usual.  Leigh Ann had headed down to the little beach on the other side of the street to try and get some sun.  The drive back was great as usual, since the sun was out the sea looked a brilliant blue.  We did stop to get some pictures along the way as we went up the mountain again.  

But sadly it was nearly time to head back and leave this beautiful country, the mountains and sea, the rolling hills and awesome pig roasts.  Oh did I forget to mention that?  It seems that every little bar and restaurant has a pig roasting or a lamb.  Growing up in a meat-eating family (PETA people I don’t need to hear it), pig roasts were always a great treat.  So the last night I was at my grandmother’s we had lamb and pig with the family and some of the neighbours.   My grandmother made an excess of coleslaw because she knows that I love it.  So it was a meat, slaw and bread meal…how perfect is that?  We did family pictures, and I made sure to get a bunch with the three of them.  Plus all of us together.   But in true style it was time to go to bed (around 9pm).

The next day we took more pictures and I had to get all my stuff together since we were heading to the airport for my 3:45 flight.  Isabella was a good girl all the way to the airport, at the restaurant in the airport and right up until we got to the waiting room…then she fussed.  But on the plane she slept the whole way again and was the perfect passenger.    We had such a great time, it was sad to leave especially since they loved having Isabella there with them.   I don’t know if/when I’ll get back to see my grandparents, but I do hope that it is in the near future. 

The final picture I took before leaving Croatia,  it was hard trying to take pictures and hold her at the same time.    

So all said and done, Isabella has managed to travel to 7 countries, travel on 2 plane trips, countless train rides, car rides, boat rides all before the age of one.   Her passport says it all!  Netherlands, Germany, Canada, The United States, Slovenia, Italy and Croatia.  I hope she gets the travel bug when she’s older!!

Crazy Year – Part 3

17 12 2010

So after a few days in Gospic with my grandmother and grandfather, we head to my mom’s home town of Morsano al Tagliamento, to visit my great-aunt and her family.  Isabella and I stayed with my Zia Eda (My great-aunt), Zio Ettore – not pictured (My great-uncle), Nino (their son), Mariatheresa (Nino’s wife), Stefania (daughter), Lady ( the dog) and two cats.  Their son Marco lives in another town about 30 minutes away.

When I first arrived, I couldn’t believe how bloody HOT it was!! OH MY GOD!!!!!  Coming from the cool side of the mountains in Croatia to this was a slap in the face.  I know Windsor gets hot but this was just incredible.  It was the slap you in the face kind of heat.  I was glad I had a lot of short and summer outfits for Isabella, but I was lacking in that department.  So it as going to be a hot week for me in my jeans.  But I’ll have to make do with what I have.  As long as Isabella is cool then I’m happy. 

After the initial ooohs and awwws of Isabella, I’m no longer important,  we had to get some groceries for the house.   We piled in to the non air-conditioned car (Lord help me) and headed to Lidl of all places!!!!  I swear this grocery store has the market on Europe.  But I managed to get Isabella more diapers, and some veggies since at the time she was just starting her solids.  The Lidl is in San Vito al Tagliamento,  another town about 20 minutes away.  I’ll put some pictures up of that later.  

The following day I wanted to go for a little walk in Morsano, The best part about this town… one main road you can’t get lost!  I’ll just put up a few of the town that I took.  Notice the blue sky!!  It was like this the entire week I was there.  Morsano has some beautiful new and old buildings in the town.  The centre has a grocery store, doctor, pharmacy, a few bars and cafes (of course), church, and some smaller stores.  There really isn’t a lot in this town which is why I think my family does their shopping in San Vito.  But regardless, it is like stepping into another world when you walk through, and I swear every person that I walked past said hello!!  Of course all the nonnas had to stop and give Isabella the little tap on the cheek and say she was bella.  Isabella soaked up every adoring minute!

The next day we went to San Daniele, where they make prosciutto, that’s right…PROSCIUTTO!!!  Cue Angels and harps.  I love the stuff!!  San Daniele is a beautiful town located a little up the mountains so the landscape started to get hilly compared to the farmland of Morsano.  The building were gorgeous and the prosciutto dinner we ate was  just yummy!!  Who thought you could get excited about a couple of pieces of paper-thin meat with bread, but the stuff is just amazing.  The weather again was perfect, and since we were in the mountains a bit, it was MUCH cooler.  I think I would have rather of stayed there!  Not that I don’t love my family, but  that heat is horrid especially when there isn’t any air-conditioning in the house.   San Daniele was a nice little side trip for me, and since I had never been there a new experience. 

The week was filled with trips back to San Vito to walk around town and lazy days at the house.  I wasn’t really in Italy to play tourist I was there to bring Isabella so she could meet her great-great aunt and uncle and her cousins.  The traveling part was just an added bonus.  I remember some of San Vito and Morsano from when I was there last, but it was great to see it all again with fresh (older and more appreciative) eyes.   San Vito has a wonderful city centre, the building are old and well taken care of.  There is a cute little park we wandered through and strolled up the street to the stores and cafes.  I was content with wandering and of course a little shopping doesn’t hurt anyone either.  I’ve put some pictures of  San Vito down below, I think I took the most pictures from this town then any other. 


 With the clock ticking down on my visit to Italy, I had to make sure I spent time with my aunt and uncle who live in the bottom part of the house.   Nino and Co. live upstairs and a beautiful apartment addition they built years ago.   I loved spending time in Italy, and it was too short of a visit.  I’m going to have to make it back there again with Isabella as soon as possible!  

But alas… I had to return to the gorgeous mountains of Gospic.  I also needed to spend more time with my grandmother and grandfather since I didn’t know if I’d ever make it back to Croatia again.  So before I knew it my dad and Leigh Ann were there to pick us up and after a wonderful week in Italy it was time to say ciao.  


18 11 2010

TO CANADA!!! 5 wonderful weeks!!!

My mom and family really want to see Isabella, so we are heading there the day after her first birthday!!

I don’t care that it’s in January, or that there is a good chance of snow, or it being super cold… I’M GOING TO CANADA!!!!

Just two minutes.

10 11 2010

Two minutes isn’t a lot to ask.  Please stop and remember.  

Crazy Year – Part 2

1 11 2010

After returning from Canada, we were going to have a slew of visitors in the next few months.  Starting with my brother and his now fiancée Mary.  They came over to stay with us for a weekend before heading out to explore Europe.  We went to Maastricht, on I swear the most humid day possible.  I was drenched after walking for 5 minutes, it was Windsor in Holland.   We also spent time in Amersfoort taking a boat ride on the canal, unfortunately Isabella wasn’t into it and started to fuss.  Luckily she did hold out until near the end of the ride.  It was a nice ride and a different view of the city.  I wish they could have stayed longer, but they were on a schedule and my brother had a plan.  He proposed to Mary in Paris (let’s all say it together now… awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww).   They did however return back to NL for a quick visit before leaving to go home to Canada.  So we headed down to Amsterdam and did the “must-see-tourist-traps”.   Oh and of course the Red Light District.  Granted it was during the day but they got the idea of what goes on at night.   It was a good day and it was nice to spend it with the two of them.  Plus they also got to spend time with Isabella before leaving. 

The day my brother and Mary left,  Frank’s parents and Aunt arrived from the U.S.  It has been a few years since they were over to visit.  Frank hadn’t seen his father in nearly 10 years before they came this summer.  Of course this was the first time they met Isabella and at first she was a bit… “Um and you would be??”  but quickly warmed up when she realized, “HEY!!!  I’m getting MORE attention!!”   It was nice for them to see all the grandkids and one great-grandchild on this side of the ocean at one time.  With day trips around the Netherlands, it was a busy few weeks.    His aunt was with us for about a week and a bit, she then left for Italy for a tour and returned the day before they left to go back to the States. 

Now, just before Frank’s parents and aunt leave to go back to the US, my dad and his girlfriend  Leigh Ann, show up for a visit!  They ended up staying here in NL for about a week before heading out on the road to drive to Croatia to visit my grandmother and grandfather.  

We headed out to some places in NL, like Giethoorn, Blokzijl, Zandvoort, and Haarlem.  We didn’t have much time to do a lot of touring, so we just picked a few “touristy” places to visit.  But before they left to go back to Canada, Isabella and I headed over to Croatia and Italy for 2 weeks.  I was able to see my grandparents again, it has been over 10 years since I saw them last. 

Isabella and I flew to Zagreb and then it was an hour and a bit drive to Gospic (for an English site click here).  We stayed with my grandmother and grandfather in their house and had a great time.  It was so nice to have Isabella meet both her great grandparents.  Especially since we never knew if she would get the chance to meet the ones in Croatia.   My grandmother’s house is small and only two bedrooms so we tried to spend as much time as we could touring the area and my dad showing me some of his old stomping grounds.  Unfortunately because of the war, there are a ton of blown out houses and areas that are unsafe because of landmines.  So there was no way we could just “go for a walk” out in the land by the mountains.  Two of the villiages my dad once lived in are completely abandoned and all around the area are the landmine signs.  The street my grandmother lives on still has houses that have been blown up and the former owners have not claimed them so they can’t be “touched” according to the government.  So everyday you wake up the a sick reminder of what happened.   Some of these houses were huge and they looked to be quite grand, now they are just a pile of rubble.   The city shows scars also of the war, bullet riddled buildings, destroyed churches, empty pieces of land where something once stood.   Regardless of what the reason was for this war and I’m not going to argue who was right or wrong (and don’t make a comment on here either about it – this isn’t a debate), people suffered, they died and they lost years of their life.   I just wish they’d clean up the houses that have been destroyed so people can get on with it and not have to look at it all the time. 

Since I was on that side of Europe my dad drove Isabella and I to Italy.  We took the seaside drive up to Italy, it was a beautiful day and the Adriatic had a gorgeous blue hue to it.  The drive along the coast of Croatia is just amazing, the seaside towns, the landscape, the water, the sun, really it was just amazing to see it all.  Isabella only got a few glimpses since she slept most of the way.  You just want to jump out of the car and run into the water.  That is of course until you feel the temperature of the water!   Talk about chilly!!  Isabella and I braved it for a short period when we took her to the beach for her first dip in the Adriatic.   Once we arrived in Slovania, the landscape changed drastically.  I felt like we were driving up north, rolling hills, lush forests and grasslands.  It was still beautiful.  

Soon we were arriving at the Italian/Slovanian border and only an hour or so until I reached my mom’s hometown Morsano al Tagliamento.  The last time I was in Morsano, I was 17!   We were only going to be here for a week, but it was going to be a busy one!

More to come in Part 3 of this crazy busy year!


1 11 2010

As many of my family and friends know, I’m a huge Winnie the Pooh fan.  I love Pooh and all his friends with Tigger ranking right up at number 2, behind Pooh of course.   So when it came to the limited choice of Hallowe’en costumes for Isabella, Frank decided that Tigger would be the best one.  I wanted her as a lady bug or a cute little animal, but I didn’t have the great selection here like I would in Canada. 

Now back to Tigger,  these are actually pajama’s but they are still adorable, and the hat just makes the outfit.  The only thing I didn’t do was sing the Tigger song to her like I use to do with my cousins Jamie and Adam.  Isabella had just eaten and she wasn’t feeling too good yesterday so I thought it was better to cut out the bouncing.  

Hallowe’en isn’t a big deal here in the Netherlands like it is in N. America.  So we have to make the best of it and we carved some pumpkins, Isabella’s is the one in the middle.  Brianna’s is on the left and Ashley’s on the right.  I dressed Isabella up in her costume and then when she was in bed I watched the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Very anti-climatic. 

The kids that normally went trick or treating are too old now, so not one kid came to our door.  I miss seeing the little munchkins in costume and handing out candy.  I also want the same for Isabella when she is old enough to go door to door.  I want to see her get excited because someone gave her free candy!!  So I’m feeling a tad homesick right now.

Ok, enough whining…

Isabella looked adorable, the pumpkins were great and I now have 3 bags of candy in the closet that needs to be eaten.