Craving Amsterdam

i have died and gone to COS
11/04/09, 3:02 pm
Filed under: business, out and about

all i can say is anytime i land in europe again i will find the nearest COS. (H&M’s sister company) it was suggested i check it out by my very fashionable friend Isrid.  the only COS in the netherlands is in the Hague.  i was going to the Hague anyway to hang out with my other uber business guru  friend Suzie from so i told her COS was my mission.  i kinda spent most of my time in COS and had to do a quick drive by to see the beach in the dark.  REALLY got to get back to the Hague and spend much more time there.  it was great to see the Women’s business initiative HQ, if i lived there i would be hanging out there daily.  ended my evening at the meeting even more fabulous peeps.  the famous Jo Parfitt is the leader and it was fun to see her in action.

p.s.  the orange juice in the netherlands is the best i have tasted.  everywhere we go we order one!

haag 1haag 2haag 3haag 4haag 5haag 6


found the best pancake!
11/01/09, 9:38 pm
Filed under: out and about

i googled best pancakes in amsterdam and this is what i found.  Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis they are only open 3 days a week and we had to try it out before our friend Bridget gets here next week.  i promised her i would find the best place to take her!  i guess this guy lives upstairs and comes down 3 times a week to whip up his famous pancakes to only 15 people at a time.  we can see it was an easy place to name, straight up stairs!  we will be back next sunday…


they say it’s the shopping mecca of the netherlands…Haarlem
11/01/09, 9:20 pm
Filed under: out and about

when i met athalie at the women in red party several weeks ago, she invited me to her hood….Haarlem.  thank you athalie for being tour guide and talking me into buying that Marlies Dekkers bra. (most expensive and interesting bra i now own)  we had a great day slowly walking around the main shopping areas.  i say slowly because i sprained my ankle a few days ago and should be home, with it raised and on ice i am told.  oops….Haarlem is a very upscale vibe and people watching was very fashionable.

the real highlight was going to her house, meeting her family and sharing bread in a real Dutch home.


Woman you need to know!
11/01/09, 8:54 pm
Filed under: Photos

i am having the best time getting to know Andrea Martins from  first met her at the expatica fair, then heard her speak at the European Women’s Association, went out to breakfast at the American hotel and we are meeting up one more time before she heads back to Kuala Lumpur.  check out her website and subscribe to her newsletter.  even if you are not an expat.  i love that she supports and features Women!  the coolest peeps from around the world.

i wonder if i can call myself an international now?  does 2 months living somewhere else count??

of course we are VERY like-minded so it is so fun to talk shop.  now we just got to get her hooked on twitter!


affordable art fair
11/01/09, 8:34 pm
Filed under: out and about

i wished i could have afforded something at the affordable art fair but we had a fun time perusing through all the diverse talent. if these weren’t over 4000 euros they would be mine. now i can look at them in this blog…

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.

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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