About Me

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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several at Spectrenoir: http://ebay.to/2xI69uc, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy. I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

Friday, May 31, 2013

{Healthy & Quick Vegetarian Supper}

We all have days that we actually don't have much time for cooking and still want to enjoy a healthy supper.

  • It is the time of new red Russet potatoes so I did boil them in the skin and let them cool. 
  • Meanwhile I did slice up an entire English cucumber (bought with 3 in a pack at Costco Wholesale) and made a dressing using part reduced fat mayonnaise from Trader Joe's (picture is below) with some brown natural Dutch vinegar (use any type you will have) and Italian seasoning
  • If you do have some grape or cherry tomatoes on hand; slice some in half and add them too.
Toss the salad and let the ingredients blend in.
Cubing the cold boiled potatoes and with olive oil, to which I added some real unsalted butter, I did fry them.
Adding some shredded rice cheese at the last minute.

  • This is what your fried potatoes look like with the shredded rice cheese kind of melted over them.

  • This is how the English cucumber salad with some cherry tomatoes looks like... A very healthy and quick but tasty vegetarian supper!

  • These are the Whole Foods Market Rice shreds with Mozarella flavor as a shredded cheese alternative.

  • Contains 0% Cholesterol and is thus a healthy cheese. 
  • The Sodium is 15% but when you don't add salt to the potatoes when boiling, you balance that out.
  • Eat green - for body & earth...

  • Again this comes with 0% Cholesterol and Sodium only 3%.
This way we will stay healthy and still enjoy a hearty meal with such an eating routine.
Have a great day!

Related link:
Sauteed baby spinach with garlic for egg beaters omelette | posted on FB Page about my Eating Routine
{Fighting the Water + Scanning Slides} | previous post where I mentioned the Sauteed baby spinach with garlic...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

{Our Queen Elizabeth AARS Rose}

Along with singer Lynn Anderson who sang: I never promised you a rose garden we can say:
I beg your pardon,
I never promised you a rose garden.
Along with the sunshine,
There's gotta be a little rain sometimes.
Link above is from YouTube and below this post you will find a link for the full lyrics.
Husband Pieter did bring in some beautiful roses the other day; with rain drops on them. One was our Queen Elizabeth AARS Rose that I like to share here with you.
LOVE those rain drops on this Queen Elizabeth Rose.
Don't you like it too?
Husband Pieter took these photos...
Fresh from our garden...
This photo I took later with my iPhone after I'd placed it inside this silver rose vase...
Crocheted pineapple doily is done by my sister-in-law Elly.

Related link:

{Our New Roses from Costco} | previous post by me
Lyrics for Song: Rose Garden

Monday, May 27, 2013

{Margraten - Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial in my Province of Limburg}

For Memorial Day 2013, I like to show you some special photos, taken by my brother Martin Van den Munckhof at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial in Margraten, Limburg; my Province of birth. My brother did search for a grave from a soldier that came from Georgia since we now are living in his state. It is ironical to view this... An American who liberated my country and is buried in Dutch soil, in the Province where I was born and now we live as American Citizens in HIS State of Georgia... 
Most graves have been adopted by Dutch Citizens.
CUTTER WILLIAM H JR - Second Lieutenant from Bibbs County, Georgia...
Found this information at the site of: National WWII Memorial and by typing his (or any) name in Search the Registry I found his info.
It is because of these brave men and women that we can live in PEACE!
For Memorial Day 1987 Pieter and I did write this for our local newspaper.
Excerpt: 'Under them we have seen the names of several Georgians, which moved us deeply, realizing that we are living now on the soil where they were born. Thanks for their tremendous deeds! Georgia can be proud of their sons. (Of course, that also includes all other States that served!).
'In our hearts we don't need Memorial Day — we will never forget!'
The American flag on Dutch soil...
At the time these soldiers got buried in the little town of Margraten, only about 1,200 people were living there. Hard to imagine that over 23,000 soldiers were buried there in the best soil of the village.
More than 11,000 soldiers were brought back to the United States and 8,300 stayed in Margraten.
You can read all info from the link at the top, just click on CEMETERY.
The mourning figure, representing the grieving Mother of her lost son, the doves, the new shoot from the war destroyed tree (seen to the left) make for a great grouping and speaks for itself.
Striking art work in bronze and the raw emotions are very well worked out by Joseph Kiselewski, of New York City and cast in Milan by the Battaglia foundries.
On Sunday May 8 of 2005, Queen Beatrix received President George W. Bush who did visit Margraten in memory of the 60th Liberation anniversary.
Covering 65.5 acres (or 26.5 hectares) with row after row of crosses and Jewish stars.
It makes one quiet; very quiet that is...
Like in husband Pieter's personal story: FREEDOM HAS ITS PRICE (link is below post), this becomes very obvious.
So glad I have scanned these old slides! Now they are digital; finally I could share them with you...
Thanks for visiting!

Related links:
{A Heart of Gold - Great Memorial Day Story} | previous post by me
{MEMORIAL DAY - FREEDOM HAS ITS PRICE} | previous post by me about husband Pieter's personal story
12½ jaar L1 - Amerikaanse president in Limburg | President George W. Bush visits Margraten on May, 8 in 2005. He did stay at the Château Hotel, St. Gerlach and was very complimentary towards the Staff. Proud of my Province of birth; Limburg!
President Honors and Commemorates Veterans in the Netherlands - Margraten, The Netherlands | From White House Archives May 8, 2005

Saturday, May 25, 2013

{Our DEEPER Reach In Bedroom Closet}

As promised in my previous post: {Less Office Space in Return for Our DEEPER Reach In Closet...}, today I like to show you the finished DEEPER Reach In Bedroom Closet. Finally got the photos done with good enough light. 
That's our Reach In Closet as seen from the corner of this bedroom...
You can see from the wall depth that this one was not deep at all, the way it got initially build.
That's the reason we did open up the wall  and went inside the office, happily sacrificing 16" or 41 cm of office space.
The wood inlay horse is a gift from our Consulting period for Pond's India Ltd.
You can see the sun is shining, even in late afternoon...
Even with the indoor shutters partially closed, still some glare on those bi-fold closet doors.
The wool rug on the oak chest is also a gift from Pond's India Ltd. in appreciation of our Consulting work.
We treasure those things. Below this post you find a link to a previous post I did about it.
All done in wool embroidered chain stitch!
The white Teddy Bear has been hand stitched by Pieter's Mother when she was already in her early 90s. She made incredible handwork all her life. For many a trousseau she embroidered table cloths and napkins!
The tiny Teddy bear I found in the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines' business class after someone left it in a seat...
I was quick to pick it up to add it to this Mama bear; giving them the same matching pink ribbon bow and voilà!
The other side where you see two of my cross stitch embroidery works, done on velvet.
The light weight summer down duvets and duvet covers and pillow cases are from the Yves Delorme Outlet. If you sign in for newsletters you get notified when they have special sales like on the French Bastille Day in July.
View from behind the bed now and you see the twin silk chain stitch embroidered wall hangings that each of us got as a gift from Pond's India Ltd. for our Consulting work.
It was 16:38 o'clock when I took these photos...
I had to wait this long for not having the painters with their ladders in front of the window!
Womby the wombat from Australia is sitting on the oak chest. He came home with us after our Consulting work in Australia for Campbell's Soup.
By the way, the oak chest used to be a planter box but my brother Harry crafted a solid lid for it and brought it over on their flight to the USA in 1986. Talking about pre-9/11 times. Everything would fly back then! No problem, you just checked it in. Now you are so limited...
In the corner you see two oak Barrister book cases where I keep my stationery and books for classes etc.
Japan is represented here as well. A gift from some Japanese visitors as we had one as our house guest.
The paint color for walls and ceiling is Benjamin Moore Early Sunset.
We have that upstairs for our bedrooms and bathrooms.
What is that dangling down from the ceiling you ask...
That's one of our many Energy Star Ceiling Fans from WAYFAIR.
We always try for 'Going Green'!
You can find a link below my post...
The Madonna cross stitch embroidery is done by Pieter's Mother when she was in her early 90s!
On the children's stool is Boomer, a gift from a Dutch business man who was a good friend of us and my youngest brother Jan also used to work for him.
So many people have stayed in these beds as a guest over those 30 years...
I could write a book about it!
Voilà our DEEPER Reach In Bedroom Closet!
Husband Pieter did install me those white Shelf & Rod shelving.
We had them already since 1990 but of course now we changed height and certain lengths.
Our ceilings are high enough for having two layers PLUS a top shelf.
Home Depot has all you need; at least that's our source for the USA...
For reaching that top shelf, I use this little step.
You can see the additional (not quite matching) solid oak planks from Bruce.
To the side, extra long items can be hung now and to the back my belts are all hanging.
Since we have our Rose Suite now downstairs (added after living in this house for 14 years) guests seldom need to use this room, only if there are e.g. children with their Parents.
My purses are on the shelves in their dust bags. Room for everything.
Box with recipes to sort through one day...
Hats on the top shelf and extra peluw pillows or as they are called here: bolsters.
Scarves for winter...
Seasonal things like woolen stoles, capes, ear muffs etc. are all on top. Even Pieter's heart that he got when he had his open heart surgery in September of 2010.
Considering that, we both are blessed that he is able to do all this again!
Nice light from the ceiling and one more long light just above the bi-fold doors against the wall.
Stay tuned for our 'Office with Less Space,' which I will show soon...
So what you say?

Related link:
{Silk and Wool Birds as Gift from Pond's India} | previous post by me about our consulting work
{Cuddle up to stay warm} | previous post by me about Yves Delorme Outlet
{Our Energy Star ceiling fans from Wayfair + Superior Customer Service} | previous post by me

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Sorry but I have had no time to finish the follow up post about our DEEPER Reach In Closet in the Guest Bedroom. That will come next; promise!
BUT it is also VERY important for taking the time to say a HEARTFELT THANK YOU to all of my 500 FOLLOWERS!
On February 20, my blog's TRUE Presence was 1840 in my post: {How is YOUR Blog's TRUE Presence on the WEB?} so that is a steady increase since than.
Stay tuned for several exciting updates!
At least you will get to know what we've been up to lately...
Wishing all US Citizens a meaningful Memorial Weekend!

Related links:
{HEARTFELT THANK YOU to ALL NEW FOLLOWERS!} | previous post from September, 2012

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

{Less Office Space in Return for Our DEEPER Reach In Closet...}

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On February 19, we did start with the renovation of our office and guest bed room, where we created a deeper reach in closet. One can easily do with less office space in return for a deeper reach in closet... What do you say?
Standing in the door opening, the closet from the guest bedroom is visible...
Built into the office, but we happily sacrificed this loss of floor space!
Husband Pieter used broomsticks and whatever, for hanging my clothes temporarily over the tub in the guest bathroom and over its bi-fold closet doors.
Out of the way and out of the DUST...
No need to use that bathroom anyway.
I did host a dinner on the 23rd of February and we had our dinner guests use the master bathroom instead.
This is the office before the wall got opened up.
Floor stripped bare before adding also a solid oak plank floor from Bruce.
Pieter had done all the preparation before the contractor took over.
Out came the wall and the carpenter is already putting the solid oak planks in place inside the deepened closet.
Looking into the closet from the office...
New light also will be placed from the ceiling and from above the inside of those bi-fold doors.
I never could find anything before and things were too tight inside.
February 20, the new walls are now closed up and the solid oak plank flooring is already laid.
New double outlet in wall.
Not done yet... sanding and caulking before the painter could finish up. 
View from the office into the hallway. Smokey our feline boy is sleeping in his pet bed...
New crown molding added at the top...
Photo from inside closet. You can tell how much has been added...
Yep, that much has been added. The exact same solid oak plank floor, which we had in the other rooms was no longer available. But when the white wire Shelf & Rod shelving is installed again, no one will see the difference!
Do you also love deep enough closets with plenty of light?
This narrow reach in closet almost became a walk in closet because we gained 16" or 41 cm!
Will show you the finished rooms next!

Monday, May 20, 2013

{Happy 2013 Pentecost Weekend!}

May this 2013 Pentecost Weekend be a very sunny and happy one for everyone. In Europe most people enjoy also a so-called Second Pentecost Day as an official holiday. Not so here in the USA. But whatever your region and lifestyle is; may it be a sunny and happy weekend. 
Just like to show you these photos that got taken last Sunday after Church, wearing another Escada outfit. This time a jacket with a beautiful rose corsage in silk and wool on a white Escada jeans. 
Shoes are Charles Jourdan in a taupe color, matching my taupe Chanel bag.
Silk top is by I. Magnin, San Francisco.
Sunny Sunday...
Alongside driveway in front of our Italian cypress.
In front of our garage door... 
Okay, let´s get inside for our coffee and chat with Mom & Dad in The Netherlands, on the iPhone... Our Sunday routine!
Tiggy-Tiger girl had to be cuddled first. She is our tiny feline...
This photo I had to make lighter due to the harsh sunlight through the curtain...

Have a Happy Weekend worldwide!

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