Insiders Abroad French Road Trip Through Eastern France

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Insiders Abroad, Paris road trip, Julie Willard

Looking for a unique road trip route through France? I took a 2-week road trip through France for the second year in a row this past September and talk all about it in the FREE online magazine Insiders Abroad! I share some of my favorite locations, as well as some tips and tricks for surviving the French road trip (look out for those tolls!). Check it out by clicking on the magazine cover above.

Photos shared in the article are available in my Etsy shop, here.

Waterlogue Wednesdays: Amsterdam Girls Day


bicycle, amsterdam, bike, netherlands, holland, fiets, falling-off-bicycles, watercolor, julia-willard, waterlogue, tin rocket, Julie Willard, Cottoncake, Amsterdam hotspot
bicycle, amsterdam, bike, netherlands, holland, fiets, falling-off-bicycles, watercolor, julia-willard, waterlogue, tin rocket, Julie Willard
amsterdam, yay amsterdam, eat clean, vegan eating, vegan food amsterdam, falling-off-bicycles, watercolor, julia-willard, waterlogue, tin rocket, Julie Willard

Last week, I finally got back to Amsterdam for some girl time and some photo taking. 🙂 I have it with Paris, and I have it with Amsterdam… that giddy, butterfly-in-my-stomach feeling of excitement that I feel when I just love a place so much. My friend Davina and I met first thing at Cottoncake for a meal and a good chat. After lots of giggles and lots of photos various places throughout the concept store, we moved on to have a look at the other concept stores in de Pijp neighborhood. We found the cutest place as we wandered, a place I had heard of but not yet been to. Yay Amsterdam is a darling concept store with lots of fresh-ingredient dishes and juices. We had to have fresh coconut, though, for a refreshing boost on a super windy day.

As always, we had a grand old time wandering around together, laughing, chatting, and shooting.

Enjoy today’s Waterlogue Wednesday!

Insiders Abroad Brittany Camping + Amsterdam Getaway

Insider's Abroad, travel abroad, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles

Haven’t secured your European holiday yet for the summer? Looking for someplace great to go? I have two great ideas for you, and both of my articles are featured in the above FREE, gratuitgratis online magazine Insiders Abroad! Need a weekend away? How about making the rounds for some beer and great eats in Amsterdam? Want to get a little more outdoorsy with your vacation? Maybe even… CAMP?! Brittany, France is your spot. Check out both articles by clicking the image above.

The Holland Times Raw Food Article Interview

the holland times

Raw food more popular than a burger? is one of the latest articles in Dutch press to discuss the up and coming health food movement in the Netherlands, and it represents quite a big movement indeed. When I first moved to Amsterdam in 2010, there was a single juice bar that popped up in a google search, with one vegetarian and one vegan restaurant occupying the city center. It was my first time living together with my Dutchman, so we were quite happy to eat at home with our canal view (it still seems like a dream), but now when I return to the capital city I’m surprised (and thrilled) with each new spot that opens up.

Since we’re on the topic, a few of my favorite plant-based (or plant-based friendly) spots in Amsterdam include: Lite/Dark, Tarwegraskoning, Pluk, Vinnie’s (get the black bean hummus sandwich!), Golden TempleAlchemist’s Garden, de Waaghals, Lavinia GoodFood, Dr. Blend. There are, of course, others, but I don’t recommend them all. Even a couple of the above have a few kinks to work out, but they are still great options for healthy eating in this progressive city.

Check out the Holland Times article and weigh in in the comments. Does your city have a “clean eating” movement? I love to hear about how food consciousness is changing around the world.

wheatgrass, tarwegrass, Amsterdam

Thankful Thursdays – Raw Vegan Catching on in the Netherlands

“Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.”
~ Hippocrates


Walking to a meeting a couple of years ago with the head of the fantastic organization (which I must name-drop here because I so love this woman’s mission) Girl Gone International, I paused somewhere near De Pijp, surprised at what was in front of me… Stacked high in front of a sleek green and white storefront were trays and trays of tarwegras, or wheatgrass. Having lived here before – and probably having mentioned it on the blog before – I was rather frustrated during my time living full-time in Amsterdam, as saying there were few to no health food restaurants/ lunch rooms/ shops was an understatement. And don’t even get me started on the small village in Brabant where I had spent so much time prior to our big city move. I had the impression that asking for a wheatgrass shot would more likely get me some marijuana cocktail than a superfood boost. Sure, there are organic markets and chain grocery stores selling “health food”, but as many of those of us who eat clean know, these types of establishments foster their own communities of people who enjoy swapping stories, recipes, and anecdotes about recent reads on the topic. I longed for a place to sip matcha lattés and spirulina smoothies.

Tarwegraskoning, Amsterdam

Being on my way to the meeting, I couldn’t very well pop in to this place claiming to be the Netherlands’ first slow juice bar and give it the attention I wanted, so I returned to  Tarwegraskoning for lunch a bit later on. The inside was filled with more trays of sprouting wheatgrass and the bright green worked well against those typically-Dutch stark white walls. I discovered a back room with seating for those who wished to linger over a superfood shot or healthy meal. Naturally, I had to try a “house special” wheatgrass shot accompanied by a sort of slaw salad. Both were appropriately flavorful and energy boosting, and I left looking forward to my next visit and wondering if this was the beginning of a new wave of food spots in NL. I’m happy to report in 2015 that indeed eating fresh and raw ingredients rather than frietjes or god-knows-what from a wall is becoming more the norm and is now widely accepted and accommodated.

juice bar Amsterdam, Tarwegras, Falling Off Bicycles


For the overall health of the planet, for the innocent animals killed thoughtlessly every day, and for my own selfish desires for a long and healthy life, I am super thankful that attention to health through food is catching on so strongly in one of my adopted countries.

Stay tuned for information about health food in the Netherlands coming soon…

Roelof Hartstraat 10
1071VH Amsterdam
Tel: +31 (0)20 820 03 76

Thankful Thursdays – A Spot with a View

Amsterdam Café de Jaren

Something I’ve always giggled to myself about a little, as I’ve become more familiar with the Dutch culture and the sometimes unpleasant low dark sky and frequent rainy days, is how the first moment the sun pops out and sheds enough of a sun beam out (whether it’s in February or May), the Dutch are there to grab a seat on the nearest terrasse. I tease my Dutch friends about this, but the truth is, I too love the opportunity to go plant my bum someplace and people watch for hours. One of my favorite places to stop a have a drink and borreltjes is Café de Jaren on Nieuwe Doelenstraat, with its back terrace on the Amstel. It’s a fun place to be upstairs, downstairs, inside or outside, but in the Springtime when the golden chair trees are at their best it is heavenly on the back terrace.Julia Willard, Cafe de Jaren, terras Amsterdam

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.”

~ Tom Peters

Friday Next Amsterdam for lunch

Living in Paris, I have become more familiar with concept stores than I ever had been before. I’ve always enjoyed stopping by them, but haven’t been quite as awestruck as some of my friends over Colette and Merci. During a recent visit to Amsterdam, I decided to grab lunch at a place I have passed countless times over the years but never entered, let alone dined at: concept store Friday Next.

It was a bit chilly that day, so I opted to find a spot inside to sit. There are many different options for seating – outdoor, just inside at a community table, up a few stairs for a view out the large picture windows, and further into the store itself. I went for a cozy candle-lit spot more in the rear, which gave me both a quiet place to eat as well as more opportunity to look at some of the goodies around.

I already love Dutch lunch rooms, as there is almost always some new creative touch on sandwiches I already love. I’ve always giggled about how these sandwiches served in restaurants differ from what I’ve seen Dutch people make at home. More creative and more… substantial, to say the least. Herbs and nuts, figs and apples, the sandwiches get more and more interesting all the time – especially the meat-free ones!

Unfortunately, I was in a hurry to meet a friend the day I dined at Friday Next, so I wasn’t able to explore the store much more, but it is definitely on the list now as cute and reliable lunch spots in Amsterdam and certainly looks promising for unique home and office accessories.

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Overtoom 31
1054 HB Amsterdam
+31 (0) 20 612 32 92