I met a girlfriend for mani/pedi’s last weekend and we walked around the Ballard Farmer’s Market afterward. It was a beautiful sunny day here in Seattle. Spring is (or was) in the air. It is cold (we’ve had snow the past few days); but seeing tulips and daffodils at the Market gives me hope that Spring is on the way. This is what we wade through 8 months of cold/rain for. Spring and Summer in the PNW is glorious. I am really looking forward to it.

Ballard Farmers Market Tulips

Ballard Farmers Market

Honoring my Dutch roots with Tulips

Tulips at the Market

Tulips at the Ballard Market






































hori hori dig dig!


I often refer to myself as a Scandinavian (a.k.a. Scando), which is strictly defined as Denmark, Sweden and Norway. I identify with the simple design aesthetic of almost everything in their culture (architecture, furniture, art etc…). The truth is, I’m Dutch which makes me Benelux (and, well, Benelux doesn’t seem as hip as Scandinavia). Which means, those of us that are Benelux, need to do a better job hippin’ it up. Damn my own arguments! 

Anyway, back to my point (which is that Holland should be included in Scandinavia). Denmark is included in Scandinavia. Really? Just because they jut out into where the North Sea meets the Baltic Sea a little more? Holland can practically reach out and hold hands with Denmark. I bet if that pesky little portion of Germany wasn’t in the way, they’d let us into the party. No offense to Germany. I have a bit of German heritage as well…

So why isn’t Holland included in what Wikipedia considers the “extended usage” of the term Scandinavian? Since it’s clear the definition of Scandinavia has gotten looser over the years (now that Finland and sometimes even Iceland are considered part of Scandinavia), I’m going to keep calling myself a Scando.

What do you think?

This isn’t to say I don’t love the Dutch culture and aesthetic. I do. I love that Holland was ahead of the game with wind power (windmills are cool), and I love the fiercely strong bike culture. Tulips are one of my favorite flowers and I used to have wooden shoes as a kid. I also love that they have Amsterdam. I think we all want a little piece of Amsterdam.

I’m sure you are wondering what brought on this conversation. Some friends of mine have started a Scandinavian-mod brand called Sur Flicka and they are now offering a line of clothing and accessories. We’ve had the “what it means to be Scandinavian” conversation at many a happy hour and they have agreed to let me be an honorary Scando… at least in their eyes. Thanks M & E!

Check out their new line of products at Sur Flicka.  I have no doubt they will be super successful in their new venture. Come join the fun at the launch party this Friday, June 4th at the Swedish Cultural Center here in Seattle. I will see you there!

This is Jaime Broersma, a proud Dutch girl AND Scandinavian, signing off.

hori hori dig dig!

Volunteer Park Conservatory

October 13, 2009

Even if you don’t care for gardening or plants, you have to admit this is kind of cool:

There are plenty of plants at the Volunteer Park Conservatory that are obviously not native to our climate here in the Pacific Northwest. I found out that the Conservatory is a US Fish and Wildlife Rescue Center and when the US Customs seizes illegally imported plants some are given to the Conservatory to display. Which explains why all of the orchids were behind locked screens. Cool, right?

If you haven’t been to Volunteer Park Conservatory in Capital Hill, you need to go. Especially now, because the trees in the park are lit up in their Fall colors. It’s a really nice place to take a stroll. I recommend donating some money if you go, because the Friends of the Conservatory and the Seattle Parks and Recreation department do such a nice job maintaining the plants and the property. On my recent visit to Olympia I was disappointed that the conservatory at the Capital had been closed permanently. I love to see the variety of plants; their colors, texture and climate. Since I am always cold, I’m particularly fond of the fern house since they keep it kinda toasty in there. Go check it out!






What is Olympia

September 23, 2009

That would be the Jeopardy answer to “The Capital of the State of Washington.” I have to say, I’m not captivated by politics (but I have big place in my heart for Mr. O) or history in general. So when driving back from Lake Quinault recently my boyfriend asked how I felt about touring the Capital, and I (while distracted) said, “sure, why not?” we dove across 4 lanes of traffic to make the exit and landed smack in the middle of factoid land. I was nervous.

My family could tell you never ending stories about how much I despise tourist traps and crowds. That is my least favorite part of traveling. All those people with fanny packs, stopping to stare at nothing in particular in the middle of pedestrian walkways… don’t get me started. Luckily we went on a Monday so the place was pretty empty.



Sean is a bit of a nerd (an adorable nerd) and he absolutely loves factoids. So at the capital when we walked in the legislative building and a sweet little lady asked if we wanted to join the tour that was just starting, he was grinning ear to ear. I was scared we wouldn’t be able to leave or that they were going to put some sort of tracking device on us (this stems from a tour of the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City with my family when I was a teenager… a funny story that I can tell you some other time).

The interior of these buildings is very grand. I became the tourist stopping to stare with my mouth agape. Things I heard: 35 tons of marble from Italy , Germany, France and Alaska. The largest collection of Tiffany lamps in the world. Sean telling the sweet little tour guide that George Washington’s bronze bust had a shiny nose because he was in fact Ruldolph. Par for the course…


I saw conservatory buildings in the distance and as we closed in, I saw a sign saying they were closed indefinitely. My mood soured. How can the Capital not have a conservatory or formal garden? I think we need to get that added to the next ballot.

Did you know you are allowed to sit in on Supreme Court hearings? Did you also know that when you open the door during a hearing and every head in the room (attached to a body in a suit) turns to look at you when you are dressed every bit the part of a tourist (sans fanny pack) that it is kind of embarrassing? I ran away and left Sean standing there and he, of course, smiled and waved. He’s so nice.


All in all, it was fun to walk around the Capital. I picked up a few facts to throw around at dinner parties and a better understanding of how the people I help elect work. They have assigned seats like in grade school with slightly more formal desks. Cute.

hori hori dig dig!

The Frye Museum is Free

August 23, 2009

Yesterday I finally made it to the Frye Museum! I had no idea it was free. It was the perfect thing to do on a nice Saturday afternoon. They currently have a puppet exhibit; now, there are a few things that creep me out, and puppets/clowns/spiders pretty much sum it up. I really enjoyed the exhibit, but there was one room that had about 7 puppets on strings. I think every 20 minutes or so the show would play automatically, but I was not about to stick around. I just knew the minute those things started moving on their own, I would be caught off guard and run screaming from the room!

They had another exhibit called Bringing Munich Home that I liked as well. There was an oil painting by Alexander Max Koester called Moulting Ducks that was my favorite. It had beautiful lighting and soft tones.

If you get a chance, you should check it out. Don’t forget to donate on your way out! The Frye is definitely worth the trip. The Seattle Art Museum is also a must see. Enjoy!