Thursday, April 17, 2014

13/52

Project 52: a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014

Ooh, I'm soooo behind on these posts! Oh, well, that's life I guess!

//

Micha:
Every day before dinner you allowed to watch a five minute 'Miffy' video.
I think it's your favorite part of the day. 
You especially love the 'Learn along with Miffy' clips, 
in which you learn about colors, numbers, the alphabet and different countries. 
I just love hearing your little voice talk and sing along with the videos. 
You are so mesmerized by Miffy and her little friends, it's absoluetly adorable!

//


Little baby boy:
You just keep on growing little babe! 
I love all the movements you make, you are such a strong little dude! 
I just can't wait to find out who you are. Will you be like your brother, or the complete opposite? 
Who will you look like? What does your voice sound like? 
So many questions, and still about ten weeks away from theirs answers! 
But this I do know: you are so loved!!

Love, Mama

p.s. My hair looks so different from that bump photo, now!

Check it out:

I still need to get used to it a bit, but I love the change!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

the big chop

Today is the day. 
It's time for the big chop. 

I've never been the person to always have the same hair style, I like change and sometimes I need it.
I've never gone super short(like pixie short), and I don't think I ever will, 
but I've had long straight hair down to my lower back, shoulder length, layered hair, a short blunt bob. 
And now, after sometimes enjoying and other times hating my long hair, it's time to say goodbye.

I'm going back to short.

I've been debating this decision for so long, 
thinking that if I chop it off there will be so much less I can do with my hair. 

Long hair can be worn down, or in top knot, braided or curled. 
Short hair is just short.

But, you see, even though I love all the possibilities long hair gives me, 
in reality I've been wearing my hair exactly the same for days, weeks, months! 
I just don't have the time or desire to style my hair differently every morning, so up in a top knot it's gone.

Until 4 p.m. today. No more top knots for a while on this head!

//

So, I've been scouring Pinterest, looking for inspiration, and this is what I found:

source: top ,bottom, middle, right

I'm not sure if I'll dare to go as short as the shortest hair style in the collage
(although that look is so pretty on her- p.s. don't you just love her on 'The Walking Dead'?),
and of course I'm no where near as photogenic as the models you see, but you get the idea. 

It's going to be a big, but very welcome change!

Can't wait to show you the results.

Wish me luck!

Love, Maria


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

my favorite cookbooks: the hummingbird bakery cookbook

It's been almost four months since my last 'Favorite Cookbooks' post, 
and I do have a lot of favorites, so let's go to the next one!




//

This is an (kind of) oldie, but a goodie! 
I always have a chuckle when I see the promotion quote by Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover, she hasn't always been the clean eater/ health freak that she is now.

The Hummingbird Bakery is a popular bakery in London which sells American inspired baked goods.
The cookbook shares the recipes of quite a few of their favorite and most popular items, and since the bakery isn't around the corner, I'm glad they're so generous!
Key lime pie, carrot cake, marshmallow cupcakes, pumpkin pie, cookies, brownies, New York cheesecake, you name it, there's a recipe for it.




I especially love their cupcake recipes. 
They're simple to follow, but also adventurous with the flavors.
Think of: lavender(surprisingly delicious), green tea, coconut and pineapple, peaches and cream or ginger.
But my favorite cupcake recipes has to be the lemon cupcake.

And because I like my readers (yes, you!) I thought I'd share the recipe here!

//

Make sure to use organic lemons as you'll be using the zest in the batter and in the frosting.

If you love lemon just like me, you won't be sorry if you hollow out a bit of the baked cupcake and fill the hole with lemon curd. Cover your tracks with the frosting! Do it!



Hummingbird Bakery Lemon Cupcakes

1 cup plain flour

3/4 cup white sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 tbsp grated lemon zest , plus extra to decorate

3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp

1/2 cup milk

1 egg


Lemon Frosting

2 cups icing sugar

5 tbsp butter, room temp

2 tbsp lemon zest

a couple drops of yellow food coloring (optional)

1 1/2 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to to 170C (325F).

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and butter in a large bowl and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Gradually pour in the milk and beat until just incorporated.

Add the egg to the flour mixture and continue beating util just incorporated (scrape the side of the bowl) and continue mixing for a couple minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.

Spoon the mix into paper cases in a 12 hole muffin tin until 2/3 full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. If you’ve got a fan assisted oven, check the cupcakes at 12-15 minutes. Check to make sure the cupcakes are fully baked by inserting a wooden skewer into the center – it should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Lemon frosting: 
Beat together the icing sugar, butter, lemon zest and food coloring. Slowly pour in the milk and beat on slow until the milk is incorporated fully. Turn the mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Frost the cool cupcakes and top with lemon zest.



//

Enjoy!


Love, Maria

to see my first 'Favorite Cookbooks' post click here

Thursday, April 3, 2014

refreshed

source

I never knew having an hour to myself would be so refreshing and so good for my soul.

Yesterday Micha spent the morning at a friends house, while I had the morning to myself.
I biked into town and strolled around, popping into stores and boutiques I normally don't go to when I have M. along. 

The weather was beautiful so I looked for a place with seats outside, to have a cup of tea. 
I found the perfect spot at the bookstore cafe and while I sat there in the sun, drinking my Jasmine tea and nibbling on a fresh croissant, I took a deep breath and felt a sense of peace wash over me.

While I adore being a mama, and love (almost) every minute I spend with my littlest man, 
I forgot how good it is to just be me, by myself,  for a bit.
For an hour I wasn't a mama passing out snacks or wiping a snotty nose, running after M. or telling him 'no, you can't get out of your stroller'. 
I wasn't doing laundry or unpacking the dishwasher.

I was just another lady, sitting in the sun, reading my magazine and drinking my tea. 
And it was good.

And while I headed back to pick up my little boy, I felt happy and excited to see him again.
I realized I don't need 'me' time to escape being his mama, 
but to be a more relaxed, happy and refreshed version of the mama who dropped him off in the morning.

I think I'll be doing this more often.

Love, Maria






Wednesday, April 2, 2014

20 months

Micha boy, you are twenty months old.
Only four more months and you'll be a two-year-old!
I can't believe it!





Here are some of the things I want to remember about you at twenty months:

*Your love for music, especially for 'the Beatles' or 'beetus' as you call them.
You sing along phonetically to some of their songs, and it's the cutest thing ever.

*The way you greet me with your cute little voice: 'hey mama'

*Your big vocabulary, you surprise everyone with all the words you know. 
There's never a quiet moment when you're around.

*The fact that bedtime isn't a problem for you lately, you love your crib, monkey and pacifier.
I guess all of our hard work in making sure your bed feels like a safe place is paying off!

*Your mischievousness, you are definitely entering the 'terrible two's'.
You know exactly when you're doing something wrong, and even if I warn you, you go right ahead with it with the naughtiest little grin on your face.

*Your obsession with your Duplo, you're actually getting pretty good at building your own little creations. But your favorite thing to do is asking me to build a tower with windows and then stuffing all the little blocks through the windows into the tower.

*Eating most of my 'zoute haring' ( 'salted herring', a typical dutch food), and loving it!
 I haven't met many toddlers who like 'zoute haring'.
Speaking of non typical food that you love, you would gladly eat a bowl of olives!

*Your daring personality. You love climbing and sliding off the highest slides.
You always have a bump or a bruise somewhere, but almost never tears.

*The way you shout out 'Canada' whenever you see an airplane.
You have no idea what 'Canada' is yet, but in two weeks you will!
I can't wait to introduce you to my favorite country in the world and to some of my favorite people in the world who live there!

Micha, you are my favorite little buddy! I love you so much!

Love, Mama


Saturday, March 29, 2014

12/52

Project 52: a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014


 Micha:
Almost every day after breakfast we sit down on the living room rug and play with Duplo. 
It's become one of my favorite things to do with you. 
I have an excuse to build the coolest things and you just love breaking them down or adding on to them.
You love doing things 'samen' (dutch: together). And so do I!

//

Baby Boy:
You are such a busy bee in there, just like your big brother was, and I love it!
Yesterday I had a check up and you are doing so well in there, and I'm perfectly fine too.
Sometimes I forget just how lucky I am to be experiencing such a healthy and care free pregnancy. 
It's not something to take for granted.
God is good!

Love, Mama

Thursday, March 27, 2014

a happy list

Making me happy lately:

1.Morning coffee and left over 'poffertjes'.
I've been giving in to all kinds of (pregnancy)cravings lately and poffertjes is definitely one of them.
The tiny little pancakes are a typical Dutch treat, which traditionally are made by street vendors. (I got mine at the grocery store, almost as good)
They're usually served hot on a paper plate with a knob of butter and a sprinkle of icing sugar.
Especially delicious on a cold winter day.


//

2. Morning play time/ me time.
Instead of his usual morning nap, I've been letting Micha have some quiet/ play time in his room lately and it's been going really well. 
He's usually up there for forty-five minutes to an hour, and keeps himself busy with rearranging(read: messing up) his room, reading books or playing with his Duplo. 
During this time I have time to take a shower, make myself some coffee and read my blogroll.
Now instead of two 1 hour naps, he takes a long 2 to 2 1/2 hour nap in the afternoon, 
and that means I have time to nap too! Yay!

//

3. This cute tee I found on Pinterest. It would be perfect for Micha.
source

//

4. Our new 'ouchie' plant.
Before Micha was born I was one of those people that said I would never 'un'decorate (you know: empty the window sills, put away house plants, etc.) my home for our child. 
He'd just have to learn what he could and couldn't touch. 

And then, Micha was born. 
The sweetest, happiest, but also the most curious little lad I ever did meet.
And as consistent as we tried to be at telling him 'no, not for Micha', 
it just seemed easier for us and more fair to Micha to get rid of some of the 'no touch' items.

And slowly but surely things disappeared from our living room, 
candles on the window sills, books from the lowest shelves 
and a house plant who didn't survive all the tugs and touches by curious baby hands. 

But now that Micha understands more and knows why he can't touch certain things, 
these items are making a come back. 

I'm particularly happy with the come back of the plant. 
We, on purposely, bought one with spiky leaves and told M. it was an ouchie plant, 
which it actually is a bit (not as bad as a cactus, but it still gives a mean little sting). 
So, even though he's a lot better at not touching everything, he especially stays away from the 'ouchie plant'.
We are so mean, haha!

//

5. Baking yummy treats for friends and dreaming of the day I won't just be baking for friends but for customers of my future baking business.

//

6. This funny little dude looking like a 90's rapper


//

What's making you happy lately?

Love, Maria