new year’s day ((dutch)) tradition

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**HAPPY TWENTY-FOURTEEN**

If I could be anywhere in the world on New Year’s Day… it would probably be The Netherlands. Why? One word: oliebollen – followed by four words: most delicious treat ever.

This scrumptious dutch sweet makes its debut every year in December and can easily be found at all Kerstmarkten (Christmas Markets) and grocery stores. However, after the New Year, the oliebollen goes back into hibernation until the next Christmas. So, lucky me, during my December NL visit, arrived during prime time oliebollen season and was able to indulge in my first ever OB. I’m a bit thankful they’re only available for a month out of the year, or else I would soon resemble one of these doughy round balls.

I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again – I have no idea how the Dutch are so skinny… but really.

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Want to add a little sweetness to your American New Year’s Day black-eyed pea tradition? Whip up your own OBs via http://dutchfood.about.com/od/breadspastriescookies/r/Oliebollen.htm – you’re welcome in advance.

WARNING – if you’re actually trying to stick to your New Year’s Resolution of losing weight, I’ll let you in on a little secret – the literal translation of oliebollen is oil balls. If you can somehow justify oil balls into being healthy, then eet smakelijk!

On a completely non-OB-related side note, I plan on keeping my blogging resolution and getting back into the grove! I guess you could say things have been somewhat of a whirlwind being back in The States, wedding planning, helping mom at the boutique, etc, etc, etc. But such is life and lets face it, whirlwinds are best documented (you know, for the memories). I do have to admit, I’m pretty excited to share the latest news, memories and picturesque moments with you, so stay tuned!

Until next time – I wish all of my S&B readers a happy, healthy and blessed 2014!

XX – Whitney

‘merica

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Happy birthday, America! Oh how I wish I was there to celebrate, but lucky me will have a 4th of July party on the 6th of July with my favorite Dutchies – wonder if they’re ready for all of the very American shenanigans I have planned… Anywho, I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful day filled with family, friends and delicious BBQ! As you might have guessed, I will be representing from across the pond in my Americana apparel (while trying to ignore the fact I have to wear a long sleeve button-up and jacket over my flag bikini… in July).

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the holiday, July 4th is in fact, America’s birthday. During the American Revolution, on July 2, 1776, the original 13 colonies separated and declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. It is then believed, the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th, 1776 by America’s founding fathers (John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and George Washington). Fast forward to 2013 and America continues to enjoy their freedom due to the sacrifice and commitment of the US Military (home of the free, because of the brave). Obviously, that’s the meaning in a small nutshell, but the significance and importance of this day is far beyond words. Independence Day is commonly celebrated with family/friend parties, parades, barbeques, festive décor and apparel, beating the heat at the beach, river or pool, and of course, once nightfall hits, FIREWORKS! One of my fondest childhood memories is, year after year, going to watch the fireworks by boat.

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Like my DIY Jacket? So simple, yet so special – all you need is a camo jacket (mine is J.Crew from a while back) and SOS’s patches. Sew them on and wah-lah! I actually have a few more to add and look forward to showcasing until there’s, literally, no more room. Out of every single thing in my closet, I receive the most compliments and questions when I wear this jacket – truly a conversation piece.

Until next time – tot ziens!

XX – Whitney