the new hood

IMG_20130905_233826

Let me introduce you – this is Utrecht, my soon-to-be neighborhood as of December 2014. Now that I’m a bit accustomed to the Dutch way of life, I’m more than excited to venture into the big city, where daily explorations (& shopping) are obviously a must.

I hope you enjoy my little sneak peek, compliments of Instagram (be sure to follow me @whitneynixon17!) – I guarantee you’ll be seeing lots more of these jaw dropping sights in the upcoming months.

IMG_20130915_143630

IMG_20130915_163653

IMG_20130915_144007

IMG_20130915_143522

IMG_20130915_143845

IMG_20130915_141935

IMG_20130915_144350

IMG_20130915_144434

Until next time – tot ziens!

XX – Whitney

a tale as old as time : caught red-handed

DSC_0001

Welcome to the small, quaint city of Hilversum, where to my amusement, you’ll find 98% of homes, shops, churches and buildings with the exact same (or appears to be) roofing. As you drive through (or bike, or walk – I often forget about those two options), you can immediately feel the coziness and small town vibe. Hilversum’s literal translation is ‘houses between the hills’ and if you’ve ever been to Holland, you know the entire country is as flat as a pancake, so I would assume its name is in reference to the location. Hilversum is conveniently located just south of Amsterdam and just north of Utrecht (two of Holland’s largest cities). I’m sure the residents agree it’s nice to have the perks of neighboring city life, alongside the small town peace and quiet on any given day – sounds like the best of both worlds to me. Hilversum is also referred to as Media City, since most of the broadcasting for television and radio happens here (speaking of radio stations, can country and hip hop please be introduced?!).

DSC_0009

Beware: the roads are smaller than small in this cute, cozy city (see below). The colored, outside lanes are for bicyclists, whereas the middle lane… wait for it… is for two lanes of traffic! Would love to see an Escalade take on a Suburban in this scenario – Dutch monster truck derby, anyone?

DSC_0053

DSC_0011

DSC_0022

DSC_0050

Sorry in advance for bursting your bubble, but the photographed building below is not the castle from Beauty and the Beast (please tell me I wasn’t the only one who put the two together), but in fact, the St. Vitus. This beautiful (which has nothing to do with Beauty – or ok, everything) church was built-in 1892 by P.J.H. Cuypers and is the second tallest church in Holland, as the tower reaches a sky-high 93 meters (279 feet). Sadly, the church was closed for touring, but never fear, I will be back (Terminator voice), as I’m sure the inside is nothing less of magnificent.

DSC_0076

DSC_0083

DSC_0087

DSC_0088

DSC_0091

DSC_0100

DSC_0102

Across the street from the church, I spied a gelato shop (if you ever need to find ice cream or Starbucks, I’m your girl – anything else, my navigation skills are quite possibly the worst in existence). Of course Joost and I were able to say no to all of these delicious, scrumptious, worth-every-calorie flavors…

DSC_0105

Until next time – tot ziens!

XX – Whitney

:: caught red-handed with a scoop of stroopwafel (yes, it exists and is divine) and pistachio gelato ::

DSC_0106

DSC_0110

calling all camels

Expensive lesson learned: My first time visiting the Netherlands (Europe in general), I didn’t think twice about things I was so accustomed to being different in other countries – call me a ditz, that’s fine. During my vaca, Joost being the gentleman that he is, took me to a nice restaurant so I could experience ‘European fine dining’ (and yes, the rumors are true – dinner will last hour(S)). Of course, I assumed (always a mistake) refills were complimentary as they are in the US. As I kept ordering drink after drink, I noticed the ‘do you know what you’re doing’ look on his face, but of course I did! I was thirsty and taking advantage of the refills. How could you not? Especially since they came in the fancy old school glass bottles with the cool pop off tops. Well, long story (remember the dinner was almost 3 hours) short – many, many euros were spent on water and Cola Light (aka Diet Coke) and yes, I said water. Oops. Thanks babe for the nice dinner… and multiple orders of H2O!

Moral of the story – if you’re a camel like me, hydrate before dining (fast food joints included), as there are no such things as refills. OR you can take advantage of this wonderful, wonderful place in Utrecht that offers not only, all you can drink (wine and beer included – WHAT?!), but all you can eat sushi! You can imagine my astonishment as Joost told me about this place and then my excitement as we planned a night out in the city, which included Sushi Today.

DSC_0022

We had a great night out with two of Joost’s closest friends – indulging in neverending sushi and Cola Lights (Heineken for the boys). I even tried caviar and ostrich for the first time. Ostrich was surprisingly delicious, whereas caviar… eh, not so much.

DSC_0023 DSC_0027 DSC_0028 DSC_0030

Isn’t my boyfriend a babe? Geez, love him. Little background – we’ve been dating for nearly two years, which have been long distance (lots of plane tickets were purchased – Delta, thank us later). So when I finally made the move to Holland – I got a closer look at a lot of things – closet included. Many of his ‘presents from Whitney’ still had tags on them. I simply can’t comprehend this as tags last no time in my closet. Anywho, reason for the tags, he just didn’t know how to wear these pieces. So, while us ladies dress to the nines, we can’t forget our guys. One of my favorite winter looks for men is a v-neck + button-up – great for work or date night or anything really. For our night in Utrecht, I used this combo as a basis. The end result – absolutely love this contrast shawl collar sweater, layered with a complimentative button-up and paired with slim fit (flannel-lined) dark denim. While some guys might be intimidated by trying something new, with a little encouragement and leadway, they’ll learn to love it and work it. And my oh my, Joost worked it (he’s going to kill me for this).

DSC_0032

Until next time – tot ziens!

XX – Whitney