Still Nothing! Winner and a Giveaway

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Sandra

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Hey there dear APJ readers! If you are in the US, how was your Thanksgiving?

The winner of last week’s giveaway is crikey. Congratulations! Please contact Portia (portia _ turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) so that I can get in touch with you.

Still Nothing! Winner and a Giveaway

So….. I have a whole lot of nothing for you!! The good news on my side is that the facial pain is gone and my sinuses are clear. The bad news is that I only have a faint sense of smell. Just to give you an example of not smelling – I made a batch of kimchi this past weekend and normally I would cringe whenever I open the refrigerator door. Not this time. It’s as if I have a fridge full of fruit smoothies in there.

We had a normal work day and school day on Thanksgiving so we had to make dinner on the Sunday. It was the only day where we would all be home in the Netherlands together. Surprisingly, I was able to find a turkey breast to roast. Truth be told, I am not sure if an entire bird would fit into my small oven. After weeks of travel which included the past six weekends, my husband was finally in town. We are so grateful to have him home for a while as it was a grueling year where he was gone approximately 200 nights. Ouch!

On a side note, perhaps you are wondering if I am wearing any perfume at all. As a matter of fact, I am. As I walk around Rotterdam, I am wearing Mona di Orio’s Ambre. Even though I cannot smell it, many of those around me have commented of how comforting the scent is.

One of my students told me the Scandinavian Seamen’s churches hold Christmas markets on a couple of the weekends leading up to Christmas. Imagine the thrill when I heard about Christmas markets in Rotterdam!! That is something I missed terribly last Christmas. So, off I went with friends to the Norwegian market and it was fabulous, not only for the Julenisse which I adore, but also because I was able to find my husband’s favorite raspberry jam (yes, it really is that good), gingersnaps and the famous brown goat cheese (which is slightly sweet).

The following week I went to the Danish and Finnish markets with a couple of the English students. We had a lovely lunch at the Danish market of shrimp on lettuce and lightly smoked salmon with caviar. Perhaps I enjoyed the smoked salmon simply because I could not taste of how smokey it actually was. Hmmmmm.

I introduced the ladies to Scandinavian mulled wine – Glögg and they promptly bought bottles to make for their husbands. I will forever be grateful to the one student who introduced me to the Seamen’s churches and their Christmas markets.

The German church will be holding its annual Christmas market on Saturday, 1 December. I no longer need any ornaments, but I would like to see if I can buy some food goodies from Germany.

During all of our roamings we walked by canals and I was able to take pictures of some gorgeous trees and moody fog. I especially love the tree which has not been forgotten and left to die but instead propped up and kept alive.

This week I would like to do another giveaway of perfume samples as well as some Dutch goodies. Did you celebrate Thanksgiving or are you looking forward to the holidays? Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, perhaps you are excited about some much needed R&R at the end of the year. I would love to hear about it.

Until next time. Fragrant kisses,

Sandra xoxo

52 thoughts on “Still Nothing! Winner and a Giveaway

  1. Not exactly fair for a perfumista to lose her sense of smell, is it? I experienced this earlier this fall when the flu and other assorted maladies all converged at once. Not only was my sense of smell almost absent, the ability I did have was completely twisted. For that reason I avoided wearing perfume.
    Is Thanksgiving celebrated in Holland now? I lived in Amsterdam only in my younger years and do not recall. Even when we came to Canada, we only started to celebrate Thanksgiving when I was much older and had absorbed some North American culture. I remember my mother telling me that it was impossible to find turkeys in Holland anyhow.
    I’ll be baking Krentenbrood soon and it looks like I will be forced into making my own Speculaas. I used to be able to get them at a store that carried imported Dutch goods, but they are no longer. I did order some Kriutnoten from Amazon. I will sorely miss scarfing Oliebollen on New Year’s Day. I suppose I could make them like my mother did, but I remember that whole operation being very time-consuming and requiring an enormous clean-up operation afterwards. One of these years I’ll have to visit Amsterdam during Christmas, if only to indulge in all those delicious treats.
    As always, thanks for including pictures with your post. I hope your ability to smell returns sooner, rather than later.

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  2. You holiday marketing sounds wonderful! My Mom is from Stadskanaal in Groningen. I envy the beautiful sights and delicious food! I hope your sense of taste is ok as you’re waiting for smell to return.
    Amber fragrances are so delicious this time of year! I’m wearing Ambre Russe a lot.
    Enjoy your Speculaas and Krentenbrood marrcellavmiller! I’ve asked my sister to bring some Dutch treats when they drive down from Canada this month.

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  3. I had never heard of a Julenisse. I looked it up and now I want one!!! I didn’t see anything decent on eBay or etsy that was reasonable. How cute! For Thanksgiving, it was just me and my mom. We went to a restaurant and to see The Grinch at the theater. It was a relaxing afternoon.

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    • Hey Gina,
      Aren’t they just the cutest? Your Thanksgiving with your mom sounds perfect. I hope you enjoyed the performance of the Grinch.
      Sandra xo

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    • Hi Matty,
      They sure do love their trees and flowers here. I was so touched to see it propped up. When we lost several trees at the beginning of the year due to a heavy wind storm, I was surprised of how upset we were at the change of scenery in the park across the street.
      Sandra xo

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  4. I’m rather surprised at the lack of turkey in Holland. But glad you managed to snag a breast anyway to have dinner with your family. That’s the only part of a turkey I eat, as I don’t like the brown meat. You’re getting better in the schnozz department which must come as some relief. Nothing so annoying as a nose that doesn’t know what it’s supposed to do!

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    • Hiya Cassieflower,
      I do think that turkey is becoming more available here. The breast meat is our favorite as well. Getting better slowly but surely thankfully. 😊
      Sandra xo

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        • Interesting… the butcher once told me that The Netherlands is currently one of the largest exporters of chicken in the EU. Chicken is certainly widely available here. However, I pay an arm and a leg for good quality chicken breast and they are small. Perhaps they export the good chickens?!

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          • I would rather have a small chicken any time. I suspect the abnormally large ones are injected/fed with all sorts of junk to speed up growth and weight gain. I’ve been buying organic/free-range and they are smaller than the supermarket chickens. And yes, my mother also complained that they were wildly expensive. Thanks for the news from home, Sandra! Very kind of you.

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    • I remember my mother telling me that not only was turkey and it’s component parts unavailable, but chicken used to be a rarity. And, even if you could find one, they were likely to be scrawny, miserable little things.

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  5. I would love to visit the Christmas markets in Europe, just for all the interesting food items! We don’t have anything like that where I spend the winter, in southern California.

    I had a nice Thanksgiving at my SIL’s, I made the dinner rolls and pecan pies (I am a baker, not a cooker). A glass of champagne made it festive and relaxing. 🙂

    It’s still 22C here in San Diego so no heavy hitter orientals, but I pretty much wear everything regardless. Yesterday was Memo’s Tiger’s Nest.

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    • Hi Tara,
      I do hope you can get to Europe once to see some of the Christmas markets. There is something so magical about them. Your Thanksgiving meal sounds wonderful. That is one thing I miss dearly since going gluten free – pie! I have not mastered a good gluten free pie crust yet. 🤨 22c is much closer to my favorite temperature. It has been painfully cold here and I have a hard time warming up once I get home. How do you like Tiger’s Nest? I have not tried any Memo perfumes.
      Sandra xo

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  6. Your adventures sound like fun, except the part about little sense of smell! We did celebrate Thanksgiving and it was great — just my immediate family, but TONS of food. I loved your mention of glogg — I make that every year for the holidays, and it is great stuff. Highly fragrant, too!

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    • Having your family over for Thanksgiving must have been wonderful Old Herbaceous! I love glogg – with slivers of almonds and a couple of raisins for some sweetness. Delicious.
      Sandra xo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. oh, thank you! (I’ve emailed Portia)
    Loving those misty Rotterdam tree photos.

    Your Christmas markets sound *so* much nicer than the madness of the ever-increasing Edinburgh Christmas stuff… it takes over about half of the centre for about six weeks. The lights are pretty, but there’s just so MUCH with stalls, food stalls, ice rink, fairground rides, etc etc etc, all crammed in. Just a big commercial squish. (bah, humbug!)

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    • Congratulations Crikey!
      I loved Ediburgh so much and tried to get tickets for us to visit the Christmas Market there or to celebrate New Years Eve. I was far too late as the hotel costs were astronomical. I am enjoying Instagram pictures of the Edinburgh market. But coming from Vienna with its stunning Christmas decorations and markets, I understand your concern that it is just too much and far too crowded. When I visited Vienna last year in December I was overwhelmed and could not wait to come home to a quieter Christmas.
      Sandra xo

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  8. First, I do hope your sense of smell returns really soon.

    I would have told you of the traditional activities of The Norwegian Church Abroad, had I known your husband had not looked into it. My cousin with family lived in Wassenaar for two years and would frequent the church in Rotterdam for special occasions, both for religious services and to meet other Norwegians, so I had heard about markets and Constitution Day celebrations.

    I enjoy the Christmas lights in the shopping street near where I live, so nice with the shiny decorations.At the same time I’m content that we will have another week before any serious snowfall! And when advent starts, it’s the right time to drink gløgg!

    I’ve only once celebrated Thanksgiving, back in the 80s. It was hosted by American exchange students and was just wonderful.

    The Mona di Orio amber is a good one, you smell great!

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    • Thanks Ingeborg, you are far too kind. Thank you for telling me about the Constitution Celebration at the Norwegian church. I will make sure to go there with my son next year. You are lucky that you can enjoy another snow free week. I love snow but only on the day it falls. As soon as there is a sheet of ice or it turns black I am done with it. Do you like any other Mona di Orio perfumes? I used to wear Musc in the winter months when I had a decant.
      Sandra xo

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      • Of the Mona du Orio perfumes I tried I didn’ care for the ones in the Signature Collection, while I loved Ambre (have only had samples) and liked Cuir. I still want to test more of the earlier perfumes! Suède de Suède was a disappointment just because I found no cloudberry note!

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  9. Hi Ingeborg,
    Thank you so much – I hope it returns soon as well. You are far too sweet! Thank you for telling me about the Constitution Day celebrations – I will make sure to go next year. Oh I cannot wait for the warmer temperatures over the next week. I am tired of being so cold. Snow is gorgeous but only if it stays white and fluffy. As soon as there is a sheet of ice covering it I am done with it! Do you like any other Mona di Orio perfumes? I used to wear Musc in the colder months, but Ambre is probably warmer.
    Sandra xo

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  10. Celebrated Thanksgiving in my bathrobe. The eldest Marzipan went to her boyfriend’s house and so it was just two mini Marzipans home and Mr. Marzipan and I. Saw my parents the next day for brunch and they brought up from Aldi’s in NYC packages of stollen, speckulataas and liebkuchen (yes, I know I am butchering the spelling)…I have been on a sugar high since!

    Food goodies from Germany sounds delightful. Please do not enter me in the draw as it would be too costly to send to the States.

    I am crossing my fingers for a snow free winter but considering that we have already received over a foot of snow before Thanksgiving I highly doubt that will happen!

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    • Hi Brigitte, A bathrobe Thanksgiving is perfect. Sounds like you hit the jackpot with goodies. Enjoy each and every bite. I can’t believe that you have a foot of snow already! It would be my worst nightmare what with all of the walking we do here. I will keep my fingers crossed that we both have a snow free winter!
      Sandra xo

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  11. Sandra, still wishing you a speedy recovery! Anosmia sucks 😦

    I’m not really feeling the holiday mood, not yet, at least but I hope it’ll appear eventuallu.

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  12. I really like your pictures, Sandra. They depict the better, colorful part of the cold season. Normally I don’t like this part of the year but through the years I have found a few things that I’ve started to enjoy in wintertime: pre Advent time when I’m doing Christmas wreaths for friends and family, the parties every weekend and all over the holiday season when I can dress up, the Christmas market in my hometown where I meet my friends for hot wine or rum punch and a couple of laughs…
    I can’t imagine how hard it would be to lose my sense of smell for such a long time. I hope you’ll get it back soon and you’ll be able to smell perfumes and taste food properly. Btw, your kimchi looks yummy.

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    • Hi Neva, I love that you make wreaths for family and friends. That surely puts you in the spirit. In fact your Advent season sounds wonderful. Thank you for your kind words. This batch of kimchi was my best so far. The Korean women in my English class gave me a few tips. It was devoured in record time! 😆
      Sandra xo

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  13. I hate it when I loose my sense of smell, it makes me cranky and makes everything taste like stale bubble gum 😦 We are definitely a cookie family during the holidays. My husband loves cooking Pfeffernüsse cookies from his grandmothers old recipe. I enjoy making Basler Brunsli cookies!! There is a local bar that is making a Stroopwafel infused Vieux Carre cocktail (it is amazing!!!). Happy holidays indeed! No need to enter me in the give away

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    • Hi Elizabeth, your cookies sound divine! I have had to learn how to make egg, nut and gluten free cookies and most of the time they taste like cardboard. Luckily I finally figured out how to make delicious mini alfajores and will make them over the next couple of weekends as gifts.
      Sandra xo

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  14. Hey Sandra,
    Jin’s favourite thing about Europe is the Xmas Markets. I’m so glad he’s not reading all this because he would be sullen and morose about missing out.
    It sounds like you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving sunday.
    Hug your men from us.
    Portia xx

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    • Hi Portia,
      Jin knows what he is talking about. The markets are defintely high on my list of favorites here in Europe. The turkey was delicious and Seán had a field day eating huge portions. Sandra xo

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    • Come for a visit! 😊 We would love it. We are definitely missing the Austrian Christmas markets. Sean and I are
      doing much better now that Carl is finally home.
      Sandra xo

      Liked by 1 person

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