About Me

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Antwerp, Belgium
Welcome to the new, and improved version of Heaven in Belgium. I am Jientje. "Jientje", like the boys name Gene, followed by "chu"? "Gene-chu", that's how you pronounce my name. Yes!!!!That's it!! So now you know huh? I am an addicted blogger. I was born and raised and am still living in Belgium. Yeah, the "this-is- Tuesday-so-this-must-be-Brussels" kind of Belgium .. There, you see? Maybe you couldn't find it on the map, but at least I'm trying to change that a little by sharing lots of pictures. I really love to cook and create new things, like this blog for instance. I am a mother, not a grandmother,I don't know if I'll ever be, but I'll let you know in due time! Oh and um ... I am a wife too! They say I'm a traveler, and a photographer. Well that's just what they say, I love to make pictures, but I am far from professional ... If my English is not perfect, that would be because it's my second language. I do hope you'll forgive me any possible misspellings or strange vocabulary ... Now, as a result of all of the above, I get way too little sleep and my days are always much too short!

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Heaven is in Belgium

Friday, January 29, 2010

Five Favorite Things

 

Five things I’m going to enjoy this weekend:

- The good company of my husband
- Beautiful scenery, some snow maybe? 
- Good food
- Taking lots of pictures
- Two nights in a lovely hotel 
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We’re off to the Ardennes, a region in the Southern part of Belgium near the French border. We’ve got our cameras and we’re planning to take a lot of pictures.  
Hopefully we’ll get snow instead of rain. We’ll see.

I won’t be spending time online though.
I hope you’ll all have a great weekend, I’ll see you all again on Monday!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

You Capture … Color

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I found a new photo challenge through Colleen at “As is proper”. Click on the button to read the rules of the You Capture photo challenge and join us if you’re interested. There is a new theme each week. “Color” is this week’s assignment and it sounded like fun. 

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I know it’s not a GREAT picture, but I could not help but including this brave little pansy. At temperatures below zero, the poor flowers hang their little heads, but that does not mean they’re giving up on me. As soon as the sun is out and the temperatures are up again, they rise from their coma. This plant is the only splash of color I have on my patio right now aside from the mini Daffodil living right next to it.

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As I said, it’s very very cold in Belgium right now, so I preferred to stay inside and look for color in the cozy warmth of my home.  My favorite Laura Ashley tea set for instance. It was a gift from my colleagues when we moved into our previous house years ago and I treasure it dearly. I’ll never get bored of it’s pretty pastel colors.

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The warm sunlight playing with the bottles on my kitchen counter, that’s color too isn’t it? I told you yesterday I love to play with the sun, didn’t I ?

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How about this? Brightness brightness! Ohh okay, one more.
There’s something missing.

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There. I think this pretty much covers it. Cool and warm, soft, bright and natural …
I had fun!

Want more? More color on Heavenin365

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Midweek Blues in the Kitchen

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I was looking for something blue to photograph for Midweek Blues, a new ( to me ) meme hosted by Rebecca at the Dusty Cellar. Blue is not that hard to find in my apartment, I like blue, my whole kitchen has blue accents. Despite that, I did not really find what I was looking for until I noticed that little ray of sunshine on my open kitchen drawer. I love to play with (sun-)light when I take photographs and this little sparkle of sunshine was all it took to chase my photography blues away. 

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Maybe it’s funny, but I kind of like my kitchen towels. As you can see, some of them have a very distinct “vintage” look about them, but these are the ones I love the best. The one in the middle is one of my favorites and I can even remember where I bought the one on the left. It was on the Saturday market in Antwerp and it was twenty five plus years ago! Can you imagine this? That was a lot of dishes ago!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ruby Tuesday Waiting …

 

 

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These garden gloves lay on my table in my patio.
They’re waiting, just like I am.
Waiting for Spring. Waiting for flowers to be planted and weeds to be removed.
It’s not going to happen just yet I’m afraid.
We had -7° this morning. Celcius that is.
The Primulas are going to have to wait just a little while longer…


More Ruby Tuesday posts at Work of the Poet.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Macro Monday Postage Stamps from Australia

 

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The package I received from Kim a couple of weeks ago had a series of very colorful postage stamps on it, and I thought they would make a great Macro Monday subject.

 

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More Macro Monday posts at Lisa’s Chaos.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Weekly Winners

 

 

 

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Don’t complain about a rainy day.

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I grabbed my camera and tried to capture the gloominess.
 

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Instead …

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I discovered beauty.  

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There is beauty in every day. Even in Winter.

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Although I have to admit that this little splash of color made my heart jump. I discovered very early blooms on the wild strawberries in my patio garden. Do they really think it’s Spring yet?

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While inside …

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Home baked bread …

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and a cup of hot tea bring comfort on a wintery day.

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While anticipating…

 

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the next meal.

 

More Weekly Winners at Sarcastic Mom’s.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Weekend Reflections

 

 

Time for James’ Weekend Reflections, a fun photo challenge where we try to capture reflections. Reflections are everywhere, even on a foggy gloomy day. This canal is just around the corner from where I live. I love how moody my photos turn out on a day like this, but that was exactly what I was looking for.

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PS: There was a request in the comments by Moneythoughts. I quote:
“I, like all the comments before me, like the photo too. But, I would like to see the same photo cropped at the bottom along a line equal to that running across the top of the picture so the reflection of the trees would be in perfect balance. It was just a thought. Enlarged to the size of a wall, I bet it would be exciting to stand before it.”

Thanks Fred, I had been wondering which one would be better too, so I’m going to publish the other version. That way the other visitors can tell me what they think too.
So here is the original version before I cropped it: 

 

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So what do you think, which one do you like best?

 

More Weekend Reflections at James’ Newton Area Photo.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday’s Fave Five, Of Gloomy Days and a Pink Sunrise …

 

It’s Friday again, time to share some of the favorite things of the week that has passed. Looking back, I find there is always so much to be grateful for, one of the reasons I love participating in this meme so much!
Don’t forget to visit Susanne at Living to Tell the Story to find more Fave Five posts.

 

 

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1. My husband’s 65th birthday was the main event of the week. Thanks for all the Birthday wishes in the comments, that was a real treat too.
Friday we went shopping at Ikea. I always enjoy it there, there is always something new to be found, or something that tickles your fancy. We did not get too carried away though, we bought the bed sheets we needed and went for a meal in the restaurant. Somehow shopping at Ikea involves having Swedish meatballs!
2. After that we went shopping at the Horeca Center. Pots and pans and kitchen utensils and all kinds of restaurant supplies for sale there. That place is heaven for me but for obvious reasons I’m not allowed in all too often! ROFL! It usually adds up to way too much money and I’ve got so much kitchen stuff as it is! Among other things I bought a new knife sharpener. I did not understand why I could not sharpen my kitchen knives anymore until I figured out the sharpener was probably seven years old! Time for a new one. I have to say, it makes all the difference in the world!  
3. That’s where we bought the lobster. A special treat from my husband. I was a little bit nervous because I was going to have to be the lobster killer, but all went well. There is this little trick I use, I stroke the lobster from his head down to his tail a couple of times. This puts him in some kind of sleep, and that’s when I go for the kill.  A huge pot of boiling stock, dip him in head first … I’m not sure if I want to try this myself but I think this procedure is pretty quick and relatively painless for the lobster.
The lobster tasted delicious I have to say. I let it cool down and served it with home made mayonnaise and crusty French baguette. The simplest of recipes.

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4. Gloomy days and sunny days have been alternating each other all week. Tuesday was terribly foggy and misty almost all day. I took my camera and went for a walk and managed to get some moody yet beautiful photos. I lit some candles when I got home, sipped some tea and snuggled up on the couch with a magazine. I think this is a good recipe not to let dark days like this one was get you all sad and depressed.
5. The next morning we woke up to a stunning pink sunrise. As if Mother Nature wanted to make up for the dreariness of the day before …

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sepia Scenes A White Dusting of Snow …

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These were taken early December when we had our first snow. There is nothing prettier than that first dusting of snow …
It’s raining again now. Good old rainy Belgium. DUH!

Find more Sepia Scenes at Mary the Teach's Sepia Scenes

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

( Almost) Wordless Wednesday

 

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How wonderful to wake up to this gorgeous pink sunrise after a gloomy day like yesterday! What a difference a day makes!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gloomy …??

 

Today is a terribly dreary day. An ever so slight foggy drizzle makes it look gloomy and sad. Melancholy is out to get me, and I’m not about to let that happen. 
On a day like this  I want to think positive thoughts and do things to try and make my world look a little shinier and brighter. 
I went for a walk with the Big Guy and tried to capture some of that gloominess. 
I discovered it actually looks pretty.  It helped.

 

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Music. I need music to lighten my spirit. It took three CD’s before I found the right one but Sweet Caroline and the warm voice of Neil Diamond seems to do the trick.
Even when the next son is Song Song Blue … And Cracklin’ Rosie made me hum along and sing out loud. Before I knew it I found myself clapping my hands! 
Light. I lit some candles. Flickering flames and sweet aromas of scented candles to chase a way the darkness. 
Emptying and cleaning a drawer always makes me feel a happier person because I always tend to find some forgotten things and the memories that go with it. 
I’m going to make myself a nice cup of Lapsang Souchong and enjoy it’s smoky flavor.

… Bake a bread - I want something sweet with lots of cinnamon in it and smell the aromas spreading through the house, mingling with the perfume of the candles. 
Hmmm, yes, good plan!  
… Go out and buy a birthday card for my niece. Take the empty bottles to the glass container. Smashing the bottles into the container can be very therapeutic!
… Buy a magazine while I’m out anyway and snuggle up on the couch with it afterwards.
 

All of a sudden the day does not feel so somber anymore.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Macro Monday, Lobster Killer …

 

 

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I killed a lobster. Awww!
I know.
Well, I HAD to. I could not just leave him there, could I?  
I had a song going through my head. If you’ve seen Julie and Julia, you’ll know what I mean. If not … have a look at this clip and then you’ll know EXACTLY how I felt.




Okay…
His destiny could have been a lot worse. 
He ended up deliciously prepared …  ( not all lobsters do ! )

AND …

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I am giving him his share of Internet fame!

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While alive

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AND post mortem. 

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Not all lobsters get such a tribute, do they?


More Macro Monday posts at Lisa’s Chaos.

Oh and please check out Heavenin365?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekly Winners, Opening Presents

 

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The highlight of the week was undoubtedly my husband’s 65th birthday.
I think I’ll just let the photos tell the story …

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More Weekly Winners at Sarcastic Mom’s.

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