Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Goodbye our dear friends!

Goodbyes are not forever.
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I'll miss you,
Until we meet again!

Well, today the last day I have my computer. It is finally there, we are almost gone. We will miss our friends dearly here in Ridgefield, Redding, Stamford, Norwalk, Rye, NYC, DeWitt, Eugene and other cities here in the States. There are so many friends, aquintances, teachers, moms from other children at school who have touched our lives. These are memories we won't forget, and we hope you don't forget us and keep in touch with us! Please do so, since we have to start over in SA and we won't have any friends in the beginning, so we need your emails to keep us sane!!

You can stay in touch by visiting this blog and sending us some comments, or direct an email to the addresses here on the right hand side. We are looking forward and are very interested in your lives here on this side of the ocean.

Thank You for being our friends, we had 5 great years here in Ridgefield! We love you all, and will miss you very very much!!

Mireille, Dirk, JJ & Jezz

the movers are here!

Our house is full of boxes, tape, unpacked suitcases, stacks of clothing that has to be either packed in the container or for our 8 weeks that we are without our stuff.
It is hectic, messy and I don't know where to begin. This is the part that isn't that great! I can tell you, we've done it before, but it seems that we get more stuff every time. And you know doesn't only seem, it is the truth!! We have more stuff every time we move, especially now with 2 children who have a room full of stuff.

And the next coming 8 weeks we are living out of 8 suitcases, and you know what? That goes fine. I've done it before; living without my stuff for over 1 year, and I did just fine. So why are we collecting all this stuff? Can you tell me, why do we think we need all this stuff to make us happy?

At the moment we don't have a TV anymore, only 1 car, and the computer will be out of here tomorrow as is getting critical now. Because if I think of 1 thing that I will miss the most; that is my computer. How did people live 10 or 20 years ago, with no computer??

Tonight is the last night we are sleeping here in our house, 2 more nights in a hotel nearby and then we are off to Holland (who is winning at EK soccer big time!!..YEAH!) for a 2 week vacation. Then one more week in France and then we fly to Joburg.

Have a good week y'all, tomorrow is my last entry for a while...
ciao, Mireille

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day papa!

Happy Father's Day Dicky D!
Dirk got surprised with handmade photo frames, cards, shirts and an 'amazing dad' DVD, where he plays the lead role. This DVD was the hit of the day!! The girls had so much fun to see their dad as a super hero in a movie!
An action filled super hero adventure where your favorite Dad defeats the villainous Professor Nasty. Dad's face appears again and again as “Amazing Dad” saves the universe from all of Professor Nasty’s dastardly deeds time and again. “Amazing Dad” flies at mach speed, is a martial arts master and journeys to distant planets to protect all. The world is a safer place now that your “Amazing Dad” is on the case. Great for all action – adventure fans!

The morning we spent with our dear friend Espen, he came from the City last night to be with us one more time before we move and the afternoon we spent with our good friends Marion and Blake at their house and then we all went to dinner. We had fun, but it was also a bit sad, since we are saying goodbye these days to all our good and dear friends! Luckily it is not the last time this week I will see Marion, but the ending is coming soon ;-(

And of course we called our own dads in the Netherlands, we miss them but we will see them next weekend, since we are going on vacation to Holland and France next week before we fly off to South Africa!

Here the girls are looking at an interesting bug on the tree, while we were waiting outside for Amazing Dad!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Friday afternoon, 2 parties planned for JJ and Jezz. First a pool party at Logan's house, a class mate from Jezz. That was fun, all the kids from his class were invited plus JJ, although she is from another class, he likes her a lot and so she was invited as well.

After that a Beach Birthday party for Emmy and Ella. JJ and Jezz's best friends!

The rest of the weekend is not much different. Only parties, parties, parties, each day 2. Pool, Beach, BBQ and Goodbye Parties. So not much else to do, except between and before the parties we are cleaning out the last items before the movers come on Tuesday.
Ella, Emmy & Jezz Emmy & Jezz as monkeys

These pictures are from Emmy & Ella's monkey beach party that JJ and Jezz attended yesterday. They had so much fun! All sort of activities, swimming, crafts and other fun things they did. It was a blast!

We will surely miss Emmy, Ella, Mia, Bob and Val! We always had great times with them ;-) And Emmy and Ella are JJ and Jezz's first and best friends here in Ridgefield. We just have to start emailing, skyping to keep in touch with the Liu's! I already set up JJ and Jezz's own email address, so if you like to drop them a line send it to! We are waiting for the first email ;-)

Have a good weekend y'all!

Friday, June 13, 2008

good stuff from the USA

Next week we're moving!! Now it is going fast and we are just buying a few more items that will remind us of the USA, when we are in our house in South Africa. So what are the items that reminds us of the US or more specific of the North East? A grill and some cozy chairs. And that is exactly what we will take. Just to keep on partying when we are there, with top of the notch stuff from good ol'USA. We have to keep the name high here!! ;-)
Dirk is totally in love with his new Weber Genesis EP-320, with side-burner and stainless steel grill. I was really in love with this new color; copper. So we are both happy, he with the grill, I with the color ;-) well we work together as a team (LOL).
We bought 2 weathered wineblush red adirondacks with side table at Walpole woodworks on route 7 here in Ridgefield. They will look just great in our new yard in SA. Very comfy and beautiful! This reminds me so much of the North East, you won't see these in SA.

And on top of that another shipment from IKEA is arriving today, so that 40-foot high top container will be filled till the brim for the 6-8 weeks shipment...I hope it won't sink! We are ready for the move! Although it is funny we haven't even packed one box and we only sleep in this house another 4 days. You wouldn't think we are moving. But the packers don't want us to do anything! So we won't ;-)

Have a great day y'all!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Shopping spree

I am a bit on a shopping spree before we are leaving. Since the $ is so low compared to the €, I believe I will go in shock when I see the prices in Europe. Clothing and most other items are more expensive anyway, and then the comparison € against $ it must be huge.

So these are just a few items I just purchased; of course all for the girls…what is new!
These are mirrors from Pottery barn kids, aren’t these cute? A set of three, each with a pattern of art deco-style leaves in classic white. I am actually not even sure if I will use these for the girls, they fit anywhere in the house.

(By the way: isn't this wallpaper darling? I just love that as well, too bad they are not selling that.)
Then this clothes tree I ordered online at
I wanted a fun way to encourage the girls to hang up their clothes. I thought this ingenious tree is a real beauty and functional. They can hang shirts, jackets, hats -- you name it -- from the slanted branches and rounded "fruits." Cool or not? Even when it is not in use it looks funky!
And then at; one of my favorite Dutch online clothing stores. They sell retro groovy kids wear. Made from vintage fabrics found at markets, so they make only unique pieces. I wanted something orange, since the ORANGE CRAZE is raging through Europe and Africa, because of the Euro cup soccer. And when the girls go with daddy to a football match they at least can wear a orange skirt to support the team ;-)
But of course we can't have something ordinairy, the girls have to have something unique, groovy, sassy, swanky, hip, bright, bold & funky that gives you the wiggles & giggles! I thought of sloppop, and I ordered 2 cute skirts like these. Sloppop will custom make them for me in the size and color I want. Isn’t that cool?? Check out Liesbeth's website, you will LOVE it!!

Happy shopping, if you are into it ;-)

…… I am not finished yet!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

surprise goodbye party...

Almost the whole group.
My friends Patsy, Suzy and Marion organised a surprise goodbye party for us. And it was indeed a complete surprise! I know why Marion diddn't want to do the Brunch at the Waldorf, instead she opted for breakfast...we had to be back in Ridgefield ;-)
Valerie, Tanya, me, Suzy, Edwana & Lea.
Most of our friends were there with their children, it was a steamy hot day (95F/35C with humidity in the 90's as well!) but it was so much fun!! Very emotional for me, fun and sad at the same time! Everybody there had given a photo of their family, with their address details and a small anecdote about how we met. Suzy collected all these photos and text and put it together in a binded book for us to have. Such a great gift!!

Patsy lives on rainbow lake and all the children were swimming and kayaking in the lake, they had a great time! Everybody brought some food and drinks and we chatted, had fun and enjoyed our last party together with this group of people.

Goodbyes are not forever.
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I'll miss you
until we meet again!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hup, Holland Hup!! ~ GO HOLLAND GO!!

It's crazy right now in Holland, they won from Italy in the Euro soccer games. And they are estatic, the country is celebrating and as usual everything and everybody is wearing ORANGE. And strangers are kissing each other, sometimes in weird places ;-)
The Dutch are crazy when it comes to soccer, actually everywhere in the world, except the US, they call it football!
The soccer fans were in extacy when Ruud van Nistelrooy made the first goal. You could see hope sparkled everywhere! Wesley Sneijder makes the second goal and Giovanni van Bronckhorst makes the third. 3-0 against Italy. Holland made history again!! The world champion Italy has failed against the Orange team....and everybody is beyond themselves...
I am not really a soccer fans, but during these times you can't go anywhere without feeling the enthousiasme from the country and the color orange just makes you so happy!!

I know Dirk is as happy as can be, now we still have a chance to see some of the soccer scene and games when we are in Holland in 2 weeks!!


Monday, June 9, 2008

Fun, fun, fun at Waldorf=Astoria

So the weekend is over, but we had so much fun!! It started already when we checked in, the guy was really funny and joking with us. He upgraded us with a free breakfast for 2...thanks to our Gold VIP membership of the Hilton Hotels. He wanted to give us an even nicer room, but since the hotel was fully booked he couldn't do more for us...he really tried. When I asked him for a free bottle of wine, he told me he could'n do that...well, you never know till you try ;-)

The plan was to shop till we drop....but it was SOO HOT in the city...94F, so after a few attempts we gave up. Too hot, so we just went back to the hotel, freshened up and went for an early dinner at a funky Mexican restaurant; Dos Caminos on West Broadway where we had their signature guacamole, sangria and delicious taco's with chicken and steak. Then we went to the movies: Sex & the City...not many people can say they saw this movie in the City, so that is kind of fun. And it kept us cool!! Really funny movie and quite some sex in it, we were surprised! ;-0 (that was probably also the reason why there were so many guys in the theatre!!)

After that we had a bottle of champagne waiting for us in the we didn't want to let that go to waste. We added a georgous looking and delicious tasting chocolate mousse to that bottle of sparkles and we called it a night. (later we were shocked about the price...but hey, you don't eat too often chocolate with real gold leaf). Drank, talked, laughed about all the 'poor' wifes in suburbia, while we were enjoying city life without kids and hubbies...just having a grand time!

We slept like babies ourselves (what else do you expect after sangria and crying babies or children who wake you up in the middle of the night) and had a super duper breakfast in the morning and went back to Ridgefield having enjoyed a girls weekend out in the City.

...we need to do this more girls...all of you out there in suburbia....take your girlfriend and book a night in a luxurious hotel and enjoy! It is good for the soul!!

After that we had to rush to another friend's house where they had arranged a surprise goodbye party for us... but I tell you more about that tomorrow!

I just wanted to let you know, that I had a grand weekend! (pictures will follow)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Weekend at the Waldorf=Astoria

Because I am moving pretty soon to South Africa, and I will miss hanging out with my friend Marion, we have planned a girl’s weekend out. Just the two of us, to have fun, chat and get treated like a queen. Where else in NYC than the Waldorf=Astoria can you do that?! So we booked a room in the classic and art-deco hotel. It is situated on Park Avenue, right in the middle of a lot of fun stuff to do, and the best shopping on 5th Avenue. The hotel reminds me of old New York money and I am sure we will be feeling like celebrities this weekend ;-)

I am hoping to have the most succulent meals, fantastic drinks and just enjoy the opulence atmosphere that permeates throughout the lobby. I heard the rooms are spacy and comfy, and the wait staff is impeccable. So I will let you know how our weekend went on Monday. Prepare yourself for some amazing pics or stories.

Have a great weekend y’all!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Field Day at Barlow Mountain

Today, Jasmine and Juliet had field day at school. They were so excited, and had so much fun! Pictures say more than words!
Sofie, Abby & JJ
JJ's class
Caitlyn, Gina, JJ & Jillian

Lea, Emma & Jezz
Jezz's class
Emily, Jezz, Lily & LoganJJ & Jezz

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Our garden in bloom

Our garden in bloom, I just love flowers!! And I will miss these beauties. Hopefully we can grow some indigenous flowers in South Africa soon.

Have a good week y'all!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Campaign against binge drinking

I saw this article this morning in the Daily Mail from the UK. And like to share it with you. In Europe you see graphic campaigns against smoking and alcohol abuse. I don't see these here in the US as much and definitely not as graphic as in Europe. Do you think it effects people?

Women are being warned that binge-drinking will destroy their looks for good.
A new poster campaign launched today on London's Underground depicts a woman with saggy skin and a blotchy nose.
It carries the message: 'If you drink like a man you might end up looking like one.'
The aim is to appeal to women through their vanity by showing they risk bad skin, premature ageing and weight gain if they drink excessively. The campaign has been devised by the Drug and Alcohol Service for London.

Research by the charity revealed that two out of five women are worried about the physical impact of drink and only a third about health risks.
The Government has already launched its own £10million campaign to increase awareness about excessive drinking, which includes warnings to young women about the link between alcohol abuse and breast cancer.
But alcohol service campaign spokesman Harrinder Dhillon said: 'Women are clearly not reacting to the health warnings and drinking among females is getting worse year on year.
'Despite understanding the health dangers related to drinking, liver or heart disease seems a long way off. Our campaign strikes a chord with every woman around the country.'
The service's research found that two out of five women felt getting fat would stop them from drinking too much compared with a third concerned about heart disease.
Official figures show the number of women dying from alcohol abuse has nearly doubled over a decade.

What do you think, would this campaign have an effect here in the USA?
Let me know, I am curious!

Relatively new trend in N. Amerca; Fooding

When we were in Montreal, we noticed that 'Fooding' is a trend in a lot of fusion and newer restaurants.

For those not in the know, "Fooding" is a term coined in 1999 by two French journalists, Emmanuel Rubin of FigaroScope and Alexandre Cammas of Nova Magazine. They wanted to stir things up in the world of gastronomy, and put the "feeling" (with a French accent, it's important) back into food. With the pleasure that many of the younger French generation take in English, the neologism combines “food” and “feeling”. And the motto on their website reads, “taste of the époque.” Indeed for these young French food lovers, great food is not just technical execution, but the spirit of the meal, the chef, and the place in which it is eaten. Amongst other things, they organize events in trendy locations all through the year, during which you can eat food prepared by up-and-coming chefs, taste excellent wine, listen to good music -- all of this for free or a nominal fee. This was not the case in Montreal, but in Paris. But we have that city on our list for July, so we will tell you later more about that! ;-)

Well, this is up our alley! We love food, but more the feeling the restaurant embodies, so the trend is rather to eat a few smaller dishes and taste as many cuisines as possible, drink some delicious wine with it and enjoy your company and surroundings!
That's exactly what we did on our trip to Montreal, Burlington and Boston!...and soon Paris where we will experience the real deal.

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Back from vacation

We did a road trip to Mont Tremblant, Quebec. It was our first trip with the girls to Canada, and since we are moving soon, we thought we just do a quick vacation to Montreal, since it is such a beautiful area. Mont Tremblant is about 2 hours north of Montreal and it took us about 7 hours to drive. Beautiful drive up there, we saw so many trees! It was so green and lush, really georgous!We stayed 4 nights at Intrawest a club resort with tennis, pools, spa & jacuzzi, movie theater and all the other amenities you wish for. We had a 2 bedroom appartment with a hot tub with bubbles, which the girls of course adore. They spent every evening about an hour in that! We also rented the private movie theater at the resort and saw A bridge to Terabithia. It was fun to have the whole mini theater for ourselves!

We did a day trip to Montreal, had dinner there and strolled around the city. The girls discovered the carriage with horses across the street from the Notre Dame, so we had to do a trip with the horse with the pink hair, that was their favorite. So much fun!
Mont Tremblant itself was a beautiful ski resort and now in spring so lush and green really nice! We had some great food and strolled down into the city center, saw some guys smoking a hookah pipe and had some fun sitting in a huge adirondack chair on the market square.

On the way back home we stopped for a day in Burlington, Vermont. Which is a quaint student town. We had some wine and cheese on the terasses while the girls were cracking a dinosaur egg they bought at the aquariam that day. It took them a few hours to find the small dinosaur inside, which was an excellent way to spend $5... it kept them busy for hours! ;-)

What else did we do on this trip, we went to the Ben & Jerry's Ice cream factory, we saw the Aqaurium in Burlington and the Witch museum in Salem, after that we met some friends for lunch in Salem and on the way back home we went to Ikea and spent a fortune on new bedroom furniture for the girls for their new rooms in South Africa.
All in all, a very productive and fun week! Now back to school for the last 3 weeks before summer break, and our huge move across the world to another continent! We still have loads to do....
Enjoy your week, y'all!


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