Craving Amsterdam

speaking at the new business school/amsterdam
10/27/09, 10:06 pm
Filed under: business

another perk from attending the expatica fair last weekend was i met Suzy Oge! the brains behind Womens Business Initiative in the hague.  she teaches at the new business school amsterdam on entrepreneurship.  when we met up she immediately asked me to speak to her class about my business experience.  i jumped at the opportunity.

so this morning we jumped on the bikes and headed over to the school.  i gotta tell you i am still not used to this bike thing for normal daily life, but i LOVE it!!  we got there in less than 15 minutes and parked at the front door.  whisked hair, patted off cheeks and applied lip gloss and i was ready to rock.

what a fun bunch of very savvy, trendy students.  i just launched into my life story of starting several businesses and not always succeeding, but one thing always lead into another. and then came CRAVE.   it was so much fun talking about the fact i am bringing the CRAVE company to amsterdam now!!!!  it felt surreal after talking about it for 8 years.

i was surprised that no-one in the room was on twitter, so we had a discussion about social media (what else is new?)  seems like the conversation always turns to social media no matter what subject we start with wherever i go.

one student asked me if i considered moving into Shanghai because the asian market is wanting to be like americans.  i thanked him for the awesome idea!

overall no one went to sleep and no one was on their laptops or texting while i was talking so i figured i somewhat interested them.

IMG_5295 IMG_5298 IMG_5286-2 IMG_5184


I am not a tourist!
10/26/09, 11:51 pm
Filed under: business, out and about

I had a fun time at the Expatica “I am not a Tourist” fair, and met so many cool people that my friend Stephanie Ward (Firefly Coaching) introduced me to.  One in particular was the lovely inspiring Jo Parfitt, author of 20-some books, speaker and coach to help people write their life story.
Jo says. “No matter what you are writing, think of your life story. Bring the personal element into your writings.” no matter if it is a book, blog, newsletter or non-fiction.

Here is the order of composing your piece:
1. Compose
2. Review
3. Shitty first draft
4. Review
5. Edit
6. Review
7. Edit

This is the recipe for writing. (make sure you include all of these things into your piece)
1. Character (s)
2. Dialogue
3. Narrative
4. Emotions
5. Description
6. Scene setting
7. Resonance

This was a huge eye-epener for me.  I told Jo “I never write with a dialogue”, and she bopped me on the head and said “start doing it.”  Not really sure how to incorporate all of this into my lower case style of writing?  Sometimes i have characters, never a dialogue or narrative, emotion?? Yeah, OK on description, got to really think about setting the scene and hopefully people resonate with me…
Whew, I have a lot to learn here.  I keep getting tripped up on when to insert quotes on “he said, she said”.

Do I need to take a writing class or a basic English lesson?

Thank you Jo for the work you do to inspire all of us to get out there and just start writing or making our current content more interesting.

joandmel stephanieandjo

Jo and Melody                                     Stephanie and Jo

Random shots and thoughts
10/26/09, 1:28 am
Filed under: out and about


Melody and Cristina under some really big end tables…a canal house…a canal boat (also a house) …a store mannequin…the view  from our bedroom window on a foggy night.


The 15 minute/one hour rule…by bike we can go wherever we want in Amsterdam in 15 minutes and by train, most anywhere in the Netherlands in about an hour.

The value of the $ is at all time low…trying to teach Melody to live on a budget.

The Dutch don’t close their curtains…their domestic life is on view at all hours.

“Central Station” is a much used, and useful term for location and destinations.

The Dutch grow up on wheels and never stop.  For us, bikes as the main means of transportation feels like a regression to junior high.

The whole country is flat…the only view is across the street.

There’s a lot of graffiti, but its considered art…there’s no gangs marking territory.

After about 8:30 pm a bunch of  U.S. TV shows and movies come on in English…even Letterman.

New sounds: church bells and bike bells

People everywhere have spoken Dutch to us from day 1…We don’t look like tourists!!!

the average day
10/23/09, 10:01 pm
Filed under: out and about

our buddy cristina captured our average day on her iPhone out and about on the bikes.  tricky business but we are getting much better at it.  typical pic of paul stopping to consult his map for our next turn.  we use le cool amsterdam for some of our advice and on this day we stopped in for a killer brownie and paul had to show them they were famous for them.


united nude
10/22/09, 11:12 pm
Filed under: amsterdam street fashion, out and about

no it is not what you are thinking.  it is a shoe store opening. a really cool one owned half by Rem Koolhaas’s nephew (that is him in the pic with me)  also named Rem Koolhaas.  the architect who designed the seattle library.  this is their first company owned store so everyone came out for it.  when you walk in the stairs reminded me of the NYC Prada store in SoHo.  lots of famous dutch designers, rock stars, media and the “IN” crowd.  now of course i need a pair!

p.s. (paul wants me to tell you these are not his pics..they are from my iPhone)


country carnival in middle of city
10/18/09, 10:27 pm
Filed under: out and about

went to near Dam Square for breakfast with @fashiontweet  and met her awesome hubby. stopped by and played at the pop up carnival.   we brainstormed how we can house swap.  they want Seattle and we want Amsterdam!


from the hip at albert cuyp markt
10/15/09, 11:56 pm
Filed under: amsterdam street fashion, out and about

paul doesn’t think he can blatantly take photos of people’s stands at the market so he invented a new style of photography…   from the hip… so they don’t know!  they turned out kinda cool.