Tuesday, April 30, 2013

39 weeks and Queens Day!

our new King and Queen

Micha, today is a special day.
Not only are you 39 weeks, but today it's also 'Koninginnedag' or 'Queens Day'.

Every April 30th we celebrate Queens Day here in Holland.
Everybody dresses up in orange, our national color
(don't ask me why, out of all the pretty colors, they had to pick orange)
or in red, white and blue, the colors of our flag.
Every city and every town has a big flea market and there's food and music and fun everywhere.
It's been a fun day for the Dutch for years and years.

But this year it's even more special.
Our Queen Beatrix is giving up the throne to her son Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima.
After about a hundred years of only Queens, our country will now have a King.

^ ^ ^ ^

So today we celebrate our new King.
We'll dress up in orange,
dance to all the music,
go hunting for treasures at the flea market
and end the day with a barbecue with friends.
It's going to be a great day!

Happy first Queens Day, baby boy!

Love, Mama

Friday, April 26, 2013

Baby Friendly Oatmeal Muffins - a new favorite recipe

We've been using the Baby-Led Weaning/Feeding method with Micha for three months now and we're the biggest fans, especially Micha.
Meals are a relaxing and fun family time in our house.
Micha eats and plays with his food while B. and I enjoy our meal without having to spoon-feed Micha constantly or having him eat his meal before we have ours.

Usually Micha eats a baby-fied version of what we eat: bigger pieces, no salt and less spices.
To be honest, it sometimes is a bit of a challenge to find recipes that can accommodate our way of eating.

I've learned to be creative and modify recipes so that Micha can enjoy eating alongside us.

^ ^ ^ ^

This morning I made a baby friendly version of one of my favorite breakfast foods: Oatmeal muffins.

My usual recipe includes an egg, vegetable oil and brown sugar, next to the other ingredients of course.
But to make baby friendly muffins I'd rather not use them.
I substituted the oil and the egg for apple sauce. And to make them a bit sweeter I added a smashed up banana.

While I still prefer my regular Oatmeal muffins, these ones turned out pretty well, 
if I may say so myself.

^ ^ ^ ^

Baby Friendly Oatmeal Muffins (makes 10-12 medium sized muffins):

1 cup oats
1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup regular milk mixed with a splash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup apple sauce (I used organic unsweetened)
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 banana, smashed with a fork (you can use grated apple or pear instead)

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius or 400 Fahrenheit.
Soak oats and buttermilk (or milk mixture) for fifteen minutes in a medium sized bowl.
After the fifteen minutes add the apple sauce, smashed banana and vanilla extract.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
Stir dry ingredients into the oat mixture.
Fill a lined muffin tin with the batter ( I use an ice cream scoop)
Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

Let the muffins cool before digging in!

Micha loved them.

Can't wait to hear your (or your baby's) opinion.

Have a great weekend!

Love, Maria

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A beautiful day

Over the last few days I've been reading 'Veronica decides to die' by Paolo Coelho

It's a beautiful, uplifting and crazy story about a girl who decides life isn't worth living anymore and tries to overdose on sleeping pills. But she wakes up in a mental hospital where she's told she has done so much damage to her heart that she'll only have a few days left to live. 
And there she learns what it truly means to live.

It's quite an interesting read and it left me reflecting on my life, I love when books do that to me. 

My very favorite line in the book, the one that still has me thinking,  is found on the last page:

"She would consider each day a miracle, which indeed it is, when you consider the number of unexpected things that could happen in each second of our fragile existences. "

I just love this sentiment and the truth behind it. 

Every day really is a miracle, 
and if you're lucky you'll notice it once in a while. 

^ ^ ^ ^

Yesterday was such a day, and at the end of it I felt so alive and blessed and happy.

It was my mama's birthday and I decided to take the train to visit my her and my dad.

The trip was little over an hour and lucky for me Micha fell asleep. Instead of driving I was able to put my feet up and read a book, and just let the train transport me from one train station to the other.

When we arrived at my parents house, my Oma (grandmother) and my Aunts were there as well, 
Micha was so smiley and happy and wrapping all those ladies around his little finger.

four generations

The sun was shining and it was warm so we sat outside and had some wine while we soaked up the rays.

Micha played with his toys in the shade of a tree and I was able to finally chat with my parents face-to-face, instead of Skyping or though a phone call.

We walked out back to the big grassy backyard and looked at the chickens, 
felt the grass between our toes and swung on the swings.

My parents home has never been my house, but still, it feels so much like home. I love it. 

When it was time to go, we took the train back and after a little delay, 
we arrived at the station where B. was waiting for us. 

It was almost bedtime for Micha, his cheeks were flushed and I could tell by his eyes that he was exhausted. 
I felt tired too, but the good kind of tired, the tiredness you feel after a sun filled and fun day.

After Micha was bathed and put to bed, 
B. and I curled up on the couch and ate some pizza, 
the lazy, easy, store bought kind, a perfect meal after a busy day. 

I could feel that this day in the sun had slightly burned my skin as I felt it itch and tingle. 
But I had no regrets.

It had been a beautiful day, filled with adventures, loved ones and warm sunshine.

A day that reminded me of how each day we get to live on this earth is a miracle.

I hope for more days like this one.

Love, Maria

linking up with Marissa today

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Happy birthday, mama!

Today this beautiful lady turns 28...
 or is it 58? Who knows? :)

me, mama and my sister Alice on the day I was baptized. May 1985

me & mama

finishing touches to my wedding dress that SHE MADE, so proud!

my mama with my baby = LOVE

My mama is one of the most beautiful, strongest, and loving women I know. 

At the age of nineteen she left all she knew behind in Holland and followed my dad to Canada.
She became a mother of three boys and four girls.
She made sure that all of us were happy, healthy and, even though money was tight, nicely dressed.
She and my dad set a beautiful example for us in their love for each other and their love for God.
While growing a family with my dad she emigrated not only once, from Holland to Canada, but three times, moving back and forth between Canada and Australia and finally ending up back in Holland.
And all the while she held our family together and made sure that every place we lived felt like home.
And it did, because she was there.

^ ^ ^ ^

She taught me how to make something out of nothing and be creative with what I have.

She taught me to see the bright side of life.

She taught me that it's never to late to make life changes.

She taught me what it means to love unconditionally.

^ ^ ^ ^

I hope that I'll be a mama to Micha like she is to me.

I'm so proud of her. And I love her so much!

Happy Birthday, Mama!

Love, Maria

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

38 weeks

Today this happened...

You did NOT want your picture taken today. 
I had you dressed all dapper and handsome in your new trousers, 
and with a belt I made out of an old belt of mine.
But you were not having it!

I am sorry if I laughed at you, 
but you just look so darn cute when you're mad.

I will treasure these photos for the rest of my life. 
Yes, you are mostly a happy, smiley baby, 
but sometimes you can get so mad and that's reality too.
If I only had smiling photos of you it wouldn't reflect this first year of yours truthfully.

^ ^ ^ ^

I think you were a bit too tired to sit through a photo shoot.
We had just come back from your check up 
and the pediatrician had made you do all sorts of things you didn't really feel like doing. 
I could almost hear you thinking 'Woman, leave me be already, you got your smile, now let me play!'

But the check ups are necessary, we need to know how you're doing. 
And, baby boy, you are doing awesome! 

At 38 weeks/ nine months you are:

- 11 kg / 24.25 pounds
- 72 cm / 28 inches
- walking around your play pen and crib by holding on to the edges
- still loving broccoli and fish
- discovering new foods, like blueberries and oatmeal porridge 
- able to understand us when we ask you to look for a certain toy, 
and usually you find it
- using so many different sounds while 'talking'
- trying to crawl, not quite there yet, but I'm sure you'll learn

Do you feel how proud I am of you?
I love you Micha boy!

Love, Mama

Friday, April 19, 2013

Lately Loving - vol. 5

Lately loving I'm loving:

This cookbook:


Literally every recipe I've tried so far was really good. I love the step by step instructions and the photo's are finger licking good! 
The author has recently published a new cookbook; 
I think I'm getting it for my birthday. Yay!

^ ^ ^ ^

This new drama series:


I've only seen the first episode, but I love it already. The story is about a group of midwives working in East London in the 1950's. So good!

^ ^ ^ ^

Baking this:

I adapted this recipe from thekitchen.com and made Meringue Macaroons with a Dark Chocolate drizzle and a sprinkle of crunchy Sea Salt. Yum!

^ ^ ^ ^

This outfit:


I just love the mixing of the patterns and colors. Cute look for the Spring.

^ ^ ^ ^

This commercial:

We don't even have a Kmart in Holland, but I saw this over at Motley Mama, and needed to share it!
I shipped my pants. Hilarious!

^ ^ ^ ^

These blogs:

^ ^ ^ ^

And last but not least this sweet baby:

playing is hard work :)

^ ^ ^ ^

Have a great weekend. Hope you have a fun one!

Love, Maria

linking up with:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Girl Behind the Blog - a vlog

Today I'm posting my first ever vlog, eek!
I feel so awkward in front of the camera.

I'm linking up with The Girl Behind the Blog hosted by Mackenzie and Ashley.
They've asked us to share a bit about our passions other than blogging.
So I thought I'd join in and share a bit about myself.

While I love blogging, there is so much more I love to do. 
And even though I sometimes feel like I don't have any legitimate passions, see this post,  I actually do.

This is a little piece of myself.

^ ^ ^ ^

I could have done the video over and over again to make sure I had the perfect vlog, but you'll just have to do with the normal, stammering, imperfect me. And I'm okay with that!


Well-p, that was me :)!

Hope you enjoyed my vlog about my passions, I'd love to hear about yours!

Love, Maria


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Yellow pants and short hairs

I have a problem... (totally a first-world problem, but still, a problem)

I addressed it a bit in this post.

My hair is growing back after having postpartum hair loss and it's looking pretty crazy.

^ ^ ^ ^

When I was pregnant with Micha, my already thick hair, grew even thicker and I loved it. 
I was able to make top knots that actually looked like something, 
I could wear my hair down and it looked pretty and smooth, 
and when I pulled it back into a ponytail all my hair would lie down perfectly flat on my head.

Then about four months after Micha was born and all the pregnancy hormones slowly went away 
and so did all that hair that had stayed put during my pregnancy. 
I thought I was going bald.

And now it's all growing back again, 
giving me short little hairs that stick out of my scalp and ruin any hairdo I try. 
My topknot has hair sticking out all over, 
when I wear my hair down it looks frizzy and weird, 
and when I pull my hair back I have these not so cute, sticking straight up, way to short, bangs. 


^ ^ ^ ^

I try to slick those little hairs down with hair spray and gel but they just won't lie down. 
Nothing works.

I know I just have to be patient, those stubborn fly-aways will eventually grow long enough to lie down, 
but for now it's quite annoying. 

Have any of you experienced this? How did you manage your hair? 
Or do you have any hairdo's I could try to camouflage my fun little spikey hairs?

^ ^ ^ ^

Oh well, I guess I'll just have to wear these bright yellow pants and hope they'll divert the attention away from my head.

the boy is a pretty good attention diversion,  he's my favorite accessory 

Love,  Maria

linking up with:


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

37 weeks


What I had feared would happen some day, did this morning.

While making your weekly photos you fell off the chair and bumped your head. 
You were not happy at all!
And I felt so guilty and such a bad mama.

In my defense, this is the first time you've fallen from a height. 
You've only fallen over from a sitting position before and that doesn't even faze you anymore.

I guess this is just the first of many falls and bumps you will experience in your life. 
You're a boy after all.

right before the tumble

Micha with a bump on his head, poor baby

^ ^ ^ ^

Micha, I won't be able to keep you safe from all harm but this I do promise: 

when you fall I will be there to pick you up,
when you cry I will be there to dry your tears,
when you are scared I will be there to comfort you,
when you face hardships I will be your prayer warrior,
As long as I'm living I will be there for you, 
because I love you.

...but you really need to stop climbing everything. :)

Love , Mama

Friday, April 12, 2013

favorite scenes around the house

Today I'll be taking you on a little tour of my home, at least my favorite/tidiest parts in my home. 

> I'm not showing you my dirty bathroom or my messy laundry room, 
you'll have to come over for a visit to see those. <

Enjoy the tour!

^ ^ ^ ^


Every time when I walk in through the front door, 
this Katie Daisy print catches my eye. 
B. and I purchased it when we were going through a particularly difficult time in our infertility journey. 
It gave us hope and light in a dark time.

^ ^ ^ ^


My first baby, before the real one arrived, on the counter in our kitchen. 

If you want to see more of our kitchen, hop over to thekitchn.com. 
I won first place in the international division of their Small Cool Kitchens contest 2012. 
Too bad my entry was international, I didn't win anything other than the honor of winning.

^ ^ ^ ^

Living/dining room. 

Knickknacks I collected over time, a print gifted by a friend, wedding picture, and my beloved cookbooks 

^ ^ ^ ^

Some of many books in this household, wedding photo's, 
 frame collection on the wall above our dining room table

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A sign of a happy home on the living room rug.

^ ^ ^ ^


A cute baby in the cutest bedroom in the house. 
We worked so hard to make his nursery perfect.
We painted the chevron strips on the wall, 
I made the crane bird mobile hanging over his bed, 
and we searched high and low for the perfect toys and accessories to decorate his room.  

yes, we need to lower his crib asap!

my favorite craft I made for the nursery

My old holly hobbie doll, a Beninese doll my parents gifted Micha.
Print gifted by a friend.
^ ^ ^ ^

Well, that's all folks.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour.

Have a great weekend.

Love, Maria

linking up with Falling For Friday

Thursday, April 11, 2013


reading: The Lovers' Bedside Book. I found it at a thrift store yesterday and despite the odd, or slightly questionable title it's the most adorable book. It's from 1956 (I have a 1959 copy) and it's filled with the cutest and funniest illustrations by Raymond Peynet, who's work in the time was supposed to be a bit naughty. But for a jaded 21st century girl, it's just plain cute.

for a 1950's illustration this one is pretty up to date

the obscenity! :)

watching: Not much special, just waiting for all the good series to start up again. Did someone say 'Dexter'?

freaking out about: The awesome weather we're supposed to be getting this weekend. Sunny and 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) , Spring is finally showing her beautiful face. 
Frea. king. out. - in a good way!

loving about my kid: His friendliness towards others. He is so generous with his smiles and it just makes me so happy to see him make others happy. Love him!

playing when papa comes home

loving about my husband: His handsomeness :). And the fact that he loves coming home to Micha and me at the end of the day and starts playing with Micha straight away.

eating: Homemade hummus. So good, and so easy to make. I don't understand why I ever bought the store made stuff.

struggling with: Finding my passion, besides motherhood. I wish I was that kind of person that knew exactly what they wanted with their lives and worked towards it. There are so many things I would love to do: start up a baking business,  work on my photography skills, write a childrens' book with B., really learn how to sew. I just don't know where to start and I'm scared of failure. I really wish I could figure this out.

looking forward too: Seeing my parents in 6(!!) days, after not seeing them since Christmas. They live in Benin, Africa, and they're coming home for six weeks. I can't wait to spend time with them again and celebrate my moms birthday on April 24th. And, lucky me, they'll be here for my birthday on May 2nd, yay!

annoyed with: Our internet, which is horribly slow at the moment. We pay good money for it, so I'm frustrated it isn't working right.  Grr...

^ ^ ^ ^

So, what's up with you currently? 
Leave your link in the comments if you have a similar post, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for the blog post idea Colleen!

Love, Maria

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

D.I.Y. mint jeans

So, last Friday I shared with you that I was going to try out this tutorial I found on Pinterest (psst find me here)


I had a pair of stained white jeans in my closet, and they were the perfect victims for my experiment.

^ ^ ^ ^

Like the the tutorial advised I bought two packets of dye (in the tutorial it says to use liquid dye, but here in Holland I could only find the dry powder),  green and blue. 
I was hoping to find an Apple Green, but the only color I could find was Olive. The blue was Royal Blue.

To get a nice minty color I mixed the two dyes together and used a scrap piece of white fabric to test the color. I only used half of each packet. I was worried that the olive color would give strange results but it didn't give any problems whatsoever.

When I was satisfied with the color I dunked my still wet from the washer jeans in the bucket of dye and swished them around until they we're the perfect color, and evenly dyed. (no tie dye effects for me!)

> a tip from me to you: when the instructions on the packet of dye say to use rubber gloves, use rubber gloves, unless you want nice blueish hands for the next couple of days, like yours truly... <

After I dyed the jeans I rinsed them in the washing machine for a few cycles, and them I washed them with detergent and half a cup of vinegar to make sure the color wouldn't fade to much. Then I let them hang to dry. 

Once they were dry they had become a perfect shade of light mint. 
They were a bit darker before the rinsing and washing steps, but this color is perfect for spring and summer.
At H&M they're selling white jeggings for 10 euros, so I might grab a pair and dye those a darker mint. 
(I still have some dye left and I'll just add a bit more blue to the mix.)

^ ^ ^ ^

All in all, it was really easy to do and now I have a pair of super trendy mint jeans too!

note: they look a bit more blue on the photo's than they are in real life

 I kind of love them, especially paired with this light pink/peach top and my new favorite necklace with my baby boys initial on it.

^ ^ ^ ^

Have you tried any good Pinterest tutorials lately?

Love, Maria

linking up with: