Yes, once again it was time for Carnaval or Carnival. Carnival is originally a Catholic celebration in the three days preceding Ash Wednesday. This celebration traditionally lasts from Sunday to Tuesday also known as the Shrove Tuesday. At midnight a fast of 40 days follows up to Easter. As the years went by Carnival has become a tradition on its own. In the Netherlands it is widely celebrated in Limburg, among other parts of the Netherlands, and to most people Carnival equals several days of partying non-stop. The Carnival season officially starts on November 11th at 11:11 am. Why the number 11 you wonder? This is the number of the madmen and the fools.  

To give you an idea, Carnival is celebrated these days by drinking, eating, dancing, and a lot of music whilst wearing a costume. It still symbolizes the feasts and serves as an outlet from ordinary life which used to be followed up by 40 days of fasting. I do not know how many people in the Netherlands still consider it this way, and I also do not know anyone personally who actually goes through fast after Carnival. However, a good friend of mine once did give it her own twist by not drinking any Coca-Cola for 40 days. And, yes, she succeeded.

Another big thing that belongs to Carnival, at least as far as it is celebrated in Limburg, are the parades. The parades include different groups as well as individuals who walk in the parade followed by the big parade car of the Carnival Prince of that particular town.

This year, I only celebrated Carnival for two days because I had to work. Saturday, February 9 I went to cafe Bolero with a couple of my friends:

Sunday, February 10 I went to Merkelbeek (a small town near where I live) to see the parade there with some of my friends. Here some pictures of the colourful parade out in the cold:

click the image to view larger

 I had to leave a seperate space for what's up next because...
Yes! Even 50 Shades of Grey had its own place in the parade (which I thought was quite funny):

 In the evening we headed back to Heerlen to celebrate Carnival even more before heading off home which for me meant a couple hours of sleep and off to work the next morning.

Another group picture! :3


Outing: High Tea

My boss finally managed to put the pictures on the computer at work. Thus, after a long wait I could manage to score more pictures of the high tea.
Yes I had another outing. The weekend of January 12 and 13 was a full weekend of work outings. On Sunday I met up with my co-workers at 11:00 am on the parking lot for a boat trip and a high tea. Once everyone that could come was there, in total 10, it was off to Maastricht. The boat trip was scheduled at noon. Thankfully, we didn't have to stand on the boat in the cold because, let me tell you, it was freaking cold. It was a nice boat trip. The sun was coming through the clouds which instantly lifted the whole mood of the scenery.

After the boat trip we were expected to be at Tea Zone at 1:15 pm for our High Tea/ Afternoon Tea. Here some pictures from the official website:

This cute shop and cafetaria was nicely decorated . We took seats at two long tables with on each side benches with lots of comfy pillows. Our menu existed of an array of sweet and savory goods accompanied with different flavours of tea.

the tea pot where the different kinds of tea were served in

Our tea cups or mugs, plates, and little bowls of sugar etc.

Different kinds of sandwhiches


and even more scones!

We had an array of delicious food including scones with clotted cream and jam, brownies, truffels, pecan pie with walnuts,  lemon pie, meringues, sandwhiches, quiche etc. I even had carrot cake which, surprisingly, was so good. I bet I made you hungry now? I'm sorry...

As I mentioned before, it is also a shop where next to buying tea and some of the food, you could also buy some of the interior decorations. The shop-part of Tea Zone sells handmade products from different parts of the world such as Brazil, Equador, Marocco, Tibet, Italy, India, Egypt, Indonesia, Syria. One of the items in the shop that stood out was a bag  made of pull tabs.

All in all, I had a great day. I learned a lot about some important local spots near the Maas and had a delicious afternoon filled with food and tea. Just the perfect way to spend a cold day in January.


Haul of Sales: NewYorker

After a week of stressing and working on my paper which was due on Friday, it is time to relax. Even though I had about a month to start working on my paper, I still managed to actually start on it on Tuesday. So late! I guess I work best under stress?

On Friday I had to hand it in and my mom and brother went along with me to do some shopping in Maastricht. The weather still sucks. We have gone from snow and coldness to heavy rain, wind and coldness. This didn't stop us! We were up for going out and have a fun day :)

We ended our day with a visit to Amazing Oriental which is an Asian Supermarket in Maastricht. I love buying food, drinks and snacks there. It's all delicious. Next to Asian products, they also sell some American and British products such as cream soda.

Next to this I also ended up with buying a few items at NewYorker which is a German clothing store that opened its first store in 1971. I didn't buy any clothes, which I usually do, but bought accessoires etc. I always find something here that I like. All the items that I bought were from the sale, which was really cheap because half of the products that I bought were €1,- Crazy, right?

The first item is this infinity scarf. It is a lot longer than the infinity scarves I already have. I already had a black one and a loosely knitted grey one, but this one is a mix of black and white. Since it is a lot longer I can wrap it even more around my neck which will keep me cozy and warm. It'll probably be my everyday scarf for the next couple of weeks. I'm wearing it right now.

Next up are these belts I bought. One of them is a waist belt and the other a normal one. At first I thought I bought two waist belts, because the "normal" belt is so thin but apparently it is not. However, I do think I will also wear it as a waist belt, because I like it so  much.

 I also bought a bag and a envelope clutch. And as you can see, I remained in the black-and-studs style. Bags that I usually carry with me are quite big, even though I could probably fit my stuff in a smaller one. I also do not own a bag that I would use a lot that has a zipper. This bag has a zipper AND is smaller than my usual-size-bag.

The last two items are a purse and a watch. Both remain in the same style. I have had a little squared size black purse with a purple skull on it for a couple of years. However, as I enrolled at University in 2010 and with jobs and public transport I realize I need more space for cards. Not only for these kind of cards, but also stamp cards and discount cards from stores and places to get a coffee etc. So, I opted for a new larger purse with more room for my cards.

with a cute little mirror

The watch is a wrap-around watch, meaning you can wrap it around your wrist more than once. It thus serves more as a bracelet. A cousin of mine had a similar watch, also from NewYorker, and I really liked it.

Aaannnd... that's all I bought. Do you like black and studs as much as I do?