As I contemplate money this month, I have of course reflected on the truth that money does not buy happiness. But I have also considered more deeply how money can contribute to happiness when spent wisely or in a meaningful way. Being generous, for example, is often just as rewarding to the giver as it is to the receiver. Also, investing in the things you use often or the things that further hobbies and activities that you enjoy can be a key contributor. And as Ilya Pozin wrote for Forbes, although we think that we enjoying buying things, we may tend underestimate the pleasure that we get from spending money on experiences, especially when it includes the company of friends or family. Research consistently shows that we do better to buy experiences, as opposed to things and that social interactions and connections provide one of the greatest “bangs for the buck” when it comes to life satisfaction. I personally can attest to the veracity of this argument as I reflect on this time exactly one year ago, when I had one of my favorite experiences of living abroad to date – my sister and her boyfriend’s #europefall2016 visit.
My sister is my best friend and I haven’t lived near to her in many years now, so sadly it is only once or twice a year that we get to spend time together. But her trip to visit me last year was for two full weeks (the longest we have been together since I moved to Boston after school) and we had too much fun gallivanting all over Ireland, London and Amsterdam. Now, of everywhere in Europe, the place I have spent the most time in (aside from where I live in Cork) is Amsterdam. I travel there for work nearly once per month, but unfortunately it is definitely for work with very little time to enjoy the beautiful city. Generally, I spend the entire time in my company’s office, in a client’s meeting room, or in my hotel. However, the very first time I traveled there I was excited and went early to allow for some sightseeing. Which was fine, but truthfully I really didn’t enjoy it all that much alone. On the other hand, when accompanied by my husband, sister, and her boyfriend, I had an absolute blast. We explored the canals by foot and by boat, we spent hours in the Vondelpark, went to the Rijksmuseum, and posed in front of the famed “I AMsterdam” sign. The experience was immeasurably more enjoyable with their company.
In my work travels, I have also not had much opportunity to experience dining in Amsterdam. Most of the time, I bring my own food because although a nice gesture, I don’t really like the “typical Dutch foods” which are offered by my company or clients including assorted sandwich platters, bitterballen, and melk (milk in Dutch, which is interestingly served in a pitcher alongside every lunch). But when we spent the weekend there last year, we had time, freedom, and flexibility to find more appealing options. While I still preferred not to partake in the pannenkoeken or stroopwafels, I did really like a popular brunch place we went to called the Omlegg which had a fun vibe and was aesthetically pleasing with a menu full of local and healthy options. I could easily eat eggs for breakfast everyday for the rest of my life and I have always loved a good veggie omelette.
However, the experience of making an omelette can often be one fraught with frustration. I have seen memes depicting the “failed flip” almost as many times as I have dealt with such a setback in real life. But even when I do succeed in my omelette endeavors, I don’t usually make them during the week since they don’t hold up or heat up all that well on the go. That is until now. In my quest to “spend out and use up what I have on hand” (another October Resolution), I have discovered yet another useful purpose for my waffle maker – Veggie Omelette Waffles. All the deliciousness of a normal omelette without the drama of flipping or falling apart even if you opt to take it with you on the way to work. Easy to make, easy to customize with your favorite ingredients, and easy to enjoy in the company of others. #happinessbooster
- Coconut Oil 1 TBSP
- Minced Garlic Cloves 2 Each
- Diced Onion .25 cup (38 g)
- Diced Bell Peppers .25 cup (38 g)
- Diced Mushrooms .25 cup (20 g)
- Roughly Chopped Baby Spinach 2 cup (60 g)
- Eggs 6 Each
- Coconut Milk 2 TBSP
- Sea Salt .25 TSP
- Black Pepper .25 TSP
- Oregano .25 TSP
- Preheat your waffle iron to a medium or medium/high setting.
- Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and melt the coconut oil.
- Add the diced onions and peppers and sauté about 5 minutes until softened and slightly translucent.
- Add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté another 3-4 minutes until fragrant and softened slightly.
- In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs and coconut milk together with all the spices.
- Add the cooked veggies and spinach to the bowl and stir to combine.
- Add a small amount to the waffle iron, being careful not to overfill as the eggs will become fluffier as they cook.
- Allow to cook on desired setting, remove and enjoy.