From giving gifts, to sending packages, to decorating for a party – I like everything to be personalized and to tell a story. So, of course, the same goes with my new apartment in Breda! Below are just a few of my favorites (and once the sailboat makes it across the ocean with my decor, I’ll be sure to share more).
[[i love you because frame]]
One of my favorite things to do is update our, “I love you because…” frame. When I know Joost is coming to visit, I make sure to jot down yet another reason why I love him so. It’s a small effort and nothing extravagant, but Joost has said time and time again how much he enjoys the thought. I mean, who doesn’t love to be told why they’re so great?!
Of course you can write sentimental phrases, as I often do, or have a little fun and write something totally off the wall (I decided to share fun phrases and spare you of our ooey gooey details – you’re welcome).
This little craft is super simple – all you need is a picture frame (purchased mine at V&D for one euro), piece of paper with “I love you because” written on it, dry erase marker and an eraser (cotton rounds work just fine).
What does a girlfriend give her boyfriend that’s graduating from flight school and getting his wings (sidenote: we had only been dating three months)? Of course, slightly over-the-top options crossed my mind, but decided to shower him with personalized gifts instead. So glad I did. The signed frame is one of Joost’s (and my) favs. Almost two years later, I still enjoy looking at it everyday, as it brings back warm memories (and nervous ones – first time meeting his family and BFFs).
We were super lucky to find an affordable, furnished apartment in the city center of Breda, but as with most things, there was a small catch. And ours – we aren’t allowed to paint or hang anything on the walls (so, unless there was already a picture or mirror hanging, there’s no room for fun). Bummer.
With that being said, yes, below you will find a lavender wall! While I would love to change it, at least it adds a little color to the room (trying to focus on positives). And since we can’t hang anything, I was happy to find these six picture frames at the top of the stairs and decided to showcase all of our ‘firsts’.
From left to right –
Frame 1 – first time ever meeting (Uncle’s farm in Citronelle, Alabama!) + first time seeing each other post farm (randomly ran into each other in New Orleans during Mardi Gras the next weekend… crazy, I know)
Frame 2 – first date (Joost rented a hotel at Pensacola Beach, so we could see each other multiple times during the weekend – he was stationed in Alabama and I was living 2 hours away in Florida) – McGuire’s Irish Pub, jet skiing and a night out at Flounder’s
Frame 3 – first weekend getaway – Destin, Florida
Frame 4 – first time visiting the Netherlands!
Frame 5 – first vaca together – Paris
Frame 6 – first vaca together pt. 2 – Venice
When I arrived back in Texas after our first vacation (sad day – hate when vacas end), I had accumulated so much ‘stuff’ in those two weeks. So, it only seemed right to make a Memory Box! Inside you’ll find our receipts, pictures, brochures from places we toured, tickets, trinkets we purchased and small pieces of paper that list individual memories, quotes, places, new foods we tried – literally any and all memories we made during our trip.
Yes, American Dream and My Dutchie are our nicknames for each other – let the jokes begin. This is one of the first crafts I made for Joost – so no matter how ‘kid-like’ this frame appears, it will always have a place in our home, as it brings back great memories – oh, the power of pictures.
[[where we’ve been]]
Confession: I might have gotten Joost addicted to Starbucks. Oops. No matter where we go, Joost’s iPad is searching for the closest SBUX, so it only felt right to begin a mug collection of all the places we’ve been together. Again, another easy way to tell our story and rekindle memories.
Hope you enjoyed the read and hope a few ideas were sparked to showcase your own personal story as well.
Until next time – tot ziens!
XX – Whitney