Autumn Apple Picking

As the seasons shift, we're heading into a cozier time of year here in Amsterdam. The cooler temperatures (and drizzly rain) make it a real challenge to get necessary sunshine and fresh air that I crave. Although we're constantly chasing the sunshine here in Amsterdam, autumn definitely feels like a frantic, last-minute dash to get outside and enjoy a bit of nature before the heavy winter settles in. Looking back at the golden rays and plush leaves in these photos, I don't even want to think about winter coming, yikes! 

You don't need to head far out of the city center before you're out in the Dutch countryside, an area filled with quaint little towns and endless farming land growing everything from tulips to onions, strawberries, pumpkins and more. It had been about five years since I last visited the Olmenhorst Orchard and it was time to go back for another round of apple and pear picking. So, my friend Oceane and I headed out to the countryside and lucky for us, autumn sunshine was just right...

As a freelance creative, I often spend a lot of time creating content for other people and while I'm fortunate to be busy, it's easy for me to get lost in the hustle and flow of work, work work. So, I've been attempting to make little adventures for myself to try different activities like, apple picking. In this case, our apple picking afternoon inspired us to invite a few friends to cook up a big autumn dinner! It was a delicious meal that perfectly fit the coziness of this new season. You can read more about creative challenges here in my article for the Creative Women Collective.

Curious for more? Visit this post on Instagram.

Autumn Sun Flares in Amsterdam

Amsterdam's canal district is a magical wonderland to explore - no matter what season - but something extra special happens when golden, autumn sunshine pours over the city. On a recent sunny afternoon, I took my chance to wander the canals and experimented with the aperture settings to capture the perfect sun flare. 

What do you love most about autumn? The cooler weather or magically changing leaves, perhaps? One of my favorite visual textures, watching sunlight gleam through the leaves, is made even more lovely with the spectrum of golden yellow and rusty reds. Here are a few to sunflare photos to enjoy...

To join the conversation visit this post on Instagram.

Golden Hour Boatride in Amsterdam

Earlier in November we had a few lucky, warm days and headed out to explore the city by boat, my favorite way to enjoy Amsterdam's uniquely charming scenery.

With changing seasons and winter quickly approaching, the sun sets much earlier so, we tried to make it home before dark. We had perfect timing along the Prinsengracht, one of Amsterdam's most famous scenic canals, as the sun began to lower. Giving me the perfect chance to capture a few pictures during the golden hour (or magic hour) right before the sun completely sank away. Amsterdam is gorgeous all the time and the warm, orange glow that drenched the streets, houses, and trees, was an ideal hue for autumn. What perfect timing!

PS. Speaking of the golden hour, have you ever heard of the 

Manhattanhenge

phenomena?

It's amazing! 

Weekend Wanderings: Autumn Apple Picking

Autumn's arrival means it's apple picking season once again!

This time around, my good friend Annelies was an enthusiastic companion, so we set off on a misty Friday morning and headed to

De Olmenhorst orchard

. Apples and pears for miles! Thanks to the foggy weather, we practically had the entire apple orchard to ourselves for 

appel plukken,

what fun!

This family orchard has been around for 150 years and now has more than 40,000 apple trees all grown organically. If you're in Holland, keep an eye out for De Olmenhorst apple or pear juice at a cafe or grocery store, it is so delicious!

This afternoon was a fun wall to officially welcome fall! A change in seasons always stirs up a bit of restlessness in my spirit. Autumn is a cosy break from summer's buzz but just the thought of a dark, cold winter approaching shivers my spine.

Actually, this apple picking afternoon with Annelies also reminded me how much changes in a year. Last year, our lovely group of American expat friends

visited the orchard together

on a clear, sunny day. This season, nearly all of them have since then returned to the States. This expat life is a weird world, an endless cycle of intriguing 'hellos' and such bitter sweet 'goodbyes.' You build strong bonds quickly but also learn how to detach as well. There's a strong need for acceptance, that life never stops moving and friendships and memories are woven in-between two randomly crossing paths. It's an emotional roller coaster from time to time, filled with so many lucky adventures in between.

After successfully bagging more than enough Elstar apples, we headed back home to do what other than bake some muffins. As expected, they were tasty and about two dozen of them have already disappeared thanks to my Dutchman. We used

this muffin recipe

and simply switched blueberries for apples while also adding an extra dose of Dutch speculaas spices.

So, let's simply call these Apple Speculaas Muffins, ok?

In fact, I think I'll make another batch for this weekend. Or maybe some apple crumble?

Baking is best way to warm up a grey, drizzly morning in Holland... yum!