Friday, May 31, 2013

'the Kitchn' love

One of my all time favorite food blogs is the Kitchn
It's actually the blog that got me reading blogs.
And reading other blogs encouraged me to start writing my own,
so y'all should be really grateful that I discovered the Kitchn all those years ago,
or you wouldn't be reading my awesome blog,
haha, JUST KIDDING! :)

Okay, about the Kitchn,
I love the mix of recipes and articles about food, cookbook reviews and kitchens design. 
And of course my favorite moment with the Kitchn was when I won first place in the international division of their Small Cool Kitchen contest.

Many of my favorite go-to recipes originate from the Kitchn, and today I'm sharing my top 5.

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This Salted Butter Caramel Tart is one of the best things I've ever tasted. 
I've made this one for birthdays, weddings or just because, and it blows my mind every. single. time.


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Sometimes I just want to eat two cookies and no more, this recipe is perfect for moments like those.


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I've eaten this cake for breakfast. So delicious with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. 
I love the savory note the olive oil gives to the cake. And it's so simple to make.


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Growing up my dad would always bake raisin bread on Saturday evening and on Sunday morning we would all sit around the table and eat slices of it, thickly slathered with butter. 

I've always loved that tradition and now I try to pass it on by baking my own raisin bread for Sunday morning whenever I can. This recipe is my favorite.


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I love making my food from scratch and this recipe for homemade hamburger buns is right up my alley. 


So tell me, what is your go-to food blog?

Happy Friday!

Love, Maria

linking up with Falling for Friday today

Thursday, May 30, 2013

a boy and his papa

^^Oh, these two handsome guys. They make my heart so very happy.^^

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There is something so special about seeing your husband as a papa. 
And let me tell you, B. is an exceptionally good one. 
Every day when he comes home from work he picks Micha up, gives him a big hug and plays with him, or reads him a book. 
Every single day, no matter how busy or hard it was, it's his time with his son, and it's beautiful.

I usually use that time to prepare dinner or do something for myself, 
but once in a while I just quietly sit a corner and watch my two men interact. 
And during those moments I think to myself: 
'How did I get to be so lucky?'

Love, Maria

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Brothers and Sisters

Every year during Pentecost weekend there is an enormous revival festival here in Holland for anyone who wants to praise God and meet other Christians from all over the country. 

It's a three day festival and about ten thousand people attended this year.
We had never been before, but because my parents were attending and camping close by the festival we decided to head on over and check it out on Pentecost Sunday.

I had never seen anything like it and was overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. 
So many Christians from so many different denominations, all together for one reason:

to praise our God.

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We sat in the grass in front of the big tent and listened to the thousands of people singing songs of worship, and sang with them. 
Micha crawled around and charmed the people around us. 
I didn't feel uncomfortable like I usually do when surrounded by so many people, I felt safe.
It didn't feel as though I was surrounded by strangers but by my brothers and sisters. 

All so different but with one beautiful thing in common. 

It was such a beautiful and powerful day.

Next year we'll definitely be attending again.

Have you ever experienced anything like this?

Love, Maria

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

43 weeks

Some fun facts about you at 43 weeks:

-  for the last two nights you've been sleeping from 7 p.m. to about 6.30 a.m. with one feeding at 11 p.m.. We are in sleep heaven. Keep it up buddy!

- you enjoy munching on books, it's not the healthiest meal, baby.

- I still breastfeed you four times a day, once in the morning, at lunch, before you go to bed and before I go to bed. 
I've been enjoying it so much more than before
There's no more power struggle and it's usually just so relaxing for the both of us. 

- you've enjoyed your first few bike rides on my new bike with a bike seat for you. 
It's so much fun and so liberating. 
Today we went for a ride to papa's work and you showed of in front of his students. 
You LOVED the attention.

- you are really practicing to say words, I feel that it won't be long before you say them.

- I really love you at this age. 
I've said that at every age you've been so far, but right now you are so much fun. 
I love seeing you develop into a more independent individual. 
You are growing up so fast. >>sniffle<<

You are the best!

Love, Mama

Friday, May 24, 2013

Oh, hello weekend


Just a short little blog today. 

I have very important stuff* to do instead of blogging.

*That would be, watching an episode of 'Call the Midwife' during M's nap. Priorities people!!

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Today I just want to share some blog posts I've read this week that really made me think:

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Happy reading and have a great weekend!

Love, Maria

Thursday, May 23, 2013

D.I.Y. Arrow Onesie

Arrow prints have been all the rage lately and I just love it!

I especially love the print on onesies and t-shirts sold at Etsy stores like this one, or this one, or this one.

But with all the expensive shipping fees attached to overseas orders I thought I'd try my hand at D.I.Y.-ing an arrow onesie. 

Note: I bet for you folks in the US it might be cheaper to go the Etsy route. 
And you'd be supporting a small business too!

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To make your own, all you need is:

- a white onesie (or any other light color, ooh, mint!)
- a fabric marker(I used black, but you can use any color you want, or a mix, fun!)
- a large book to stretch the fabric tight enough to draw on 
and to avoid the marker seeping through to the back
- a cute baby to model your D.I.Y onesie (optional)

I think the model approves!

I must say, I like the result. 
I think I might need to make some more. :)

Hope you enjoyed it, let me know if you give it a try, I'd love to see it!

Love, Maria

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What I Wore - Pinterest Fashion

Don't you love it when that happens?

You pin a cute outfit on Pinterest only to find out you have almost every item of said outfit in your own closet.

Love, love that! 

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Well, the other day that happened to me with this pin
Go ahead, check it out, I'll wait........

Cute huh?

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This is the outfit I managed to throw together with pieces I already owned.


Yay, a new outfit, without having to purchase a single thing!

I'm a happy girl.

Have you had any Pinterest successes lately?
Tell me!

Love, Maria

linking up with:

Dear Abby Leigh
The Pleated Poppy

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

42 weeks

Micha, last year around this time I was getting big and round with you in my belly. 
We were busy fixing up the room which would become your nursery. 

I remember standing in that room, 
crib ready, 
drawers full with tiny little clothes, 
toys waiting to be loved on, 
and looking down at my belly and wondering how life would be with you.

I thought I knew what it would be like, 
but baby boy, life with you in it exceeds all of our hopes and dreams and expectations.

Being your mama is so much more beautiful, fun, challenging, exciting, exhausting, gratifying, difficult and wonderful then I ever thought or imagined it to be.

I love you more than you will ever know!

Love, Mama

Friday, May 17, 2013

Lately Loving - vol 6. // Pinterest Edition

I've really been getting into Pinterest lately (my account), I have had an account for years but I didn't use it that much.
But lately I've been pinnin' like a crazy woman. 
Here are some of my favorite pins as of late:

This recipe:

Avocado and egg bake

I've eaten it TWICE this week for lunch. It's that good! And so easy.

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This D.I.Y:

I have two of those Ikea stools at home, I'll just have to get one more to make this. 
I'm planning on painting some more things in my living room mint, can't wait!

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This style:

I love this look so much. A simple t-shirt paired with a beautiful flowy pleated skirt and a cute belt to tie it all together. 
I just have no idea where to get a skirt like that. 
I've searched high and low, on the websites of H&M, Zara, Mango and at other stores but so far no dice. 
So frustrating! Help me?

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This super cute photo shoot:

I can't wait to try it out with my man!

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These chairs:

These would look so good in my home. 
They would match perfectly with the Eames-style rocker in the living room. 
One day they will be mine!

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This birthday party inspiration:


Only two-and-a-half months to go and my baby will be one year old (how did that happen??), 
and I'm planning on celebrating it BIG!
 A vintage circus theme sounds perfect to me. (minus the clowns, I despise clowns). 
We'll probably celebrate Micha's birthday at my parents house where we will be spending our summer (they'll be in Benin, so we have the house to ourselves), 
their big back yard will be the perfect scene for the little guys birthday bash.

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You won't find this nine-and-a-half month old on my pinterest board but he's definitely my favorite inspiration:

So, there you have it, my loves as of late. 

I'm off to have nice weekend with my two favorite guys.
Hope your weekend is fun too!

Love, Maria

linking up with:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A day in my life

A lot of the bloggers I follow are participating in the 'Blog everyday in May' challenge. 
I'm not participating as the whole 'blogging-every-day' part seems a little overwhelming to me, 
but I thought it would be fun to join in a few times.
Yesterday (I think) the topic was what a day in our life looks like, and that is what I'm going to share with you today.

I'm recycling a guest post I did for 'The Domestic Wannabe'. 
Some of you may have read it already, but because I didn't post it on my blog at the time I thought I'd share it now for those of you who haven't.

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This is what a typical day in our life looks like:

6.00 a.m. 

I wake up and hear Micha yelling from his room and go get him.
I nurse him and we both fall asleep for a little bit.

6.50 a.m.

The alarm clock goes off, it's time to get out of bed.
Micha and I cuddle a bit in bed while B. hops in the shower and gets ready for a day in front of the classroom. 

7.15 a.m.

We head downstairs and have breakfast together.
Granola, yogurt and orange juice for the adults and a rice cracker, a pear and yogurt for Micha.
We're Baby-Led weaning him and he just loves it.
He loves being in charge of what goes in his mouth and I love that it's so easy,
no puréees or spoon feeding here!
We do help him eat his yogurt by filling his spoon, but he brings it to his mouth by himself,
and he's getting better and better at it!

8.00 a.m.

B. leaves for work and we stand at the window and wave while we watch him bike away.
I then plop Micha down on the living room rug with some toys.
While he plays I clean off the table, check my email and vacuum the living room and the kitchen.

9.00 am.

Micha goes down for his nap, usually I sing him a lullaby and lay him down and that's that, but today it takes a bit more effort. I turn on his music box and he falls asleep.
I take a shower, get dressed, and put on some make-up. Then I go downstairs, make some coffee, and while it's brewing I load the dishwasher and wash some bottles.
My coffee's ready, I take it to the living room and read some blogs and do some blogging of my own.

10.45 a.m.

Micha wakes up from his nap, happy and chatting. I love when that happens, there's nothing better than a baby greeting you with smiles after a nap. I dress him and then we head downstairs to eat some fruit.  Some more pear and a slice of avocado for Micha and a kiwi for me.

11.45 a.m. 

We put on our coats, I put Micha in his stroller and we head out to do some groceries. We go for a walk at least once day. The grocery store is about a fifteen minute walk from our apartment and we usually walk through a park with a petting zoo on the way back. Micha loves animals and gets all excited when he sees the goats and chickens. For some reason the animals are inside today, I don't know why, it's beautiful outside!

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12.50 p.m.

We're back from our walk, we have lunch together, Micha has a slice of bread with tahini and margarine on it and I make myself a tomato and avocado sandwich.

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1.30 p.m.

After lunch we play together and I read him some books.
Lately I let him pick which book he wants to read,
I give him two choices and he grabs the one he wants to read.
He definitely has a favorite: 'Oh no, George', by Chris Haughton.

2.00 p.m.

Micha is rubbing his eyes and is getting a bit fussy, so it's nap time again. He goes down a bit easier than this morning. While he naps I blog.

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3.30 p.m.

I hear Micha chatting through the baby monitor and find him playing with his stuffed monkey in his crib.
It's beautiful and sunny outside so I decide to take us out for a walk again.
We walk to another petting zoo close by, and here all the animals are outside, Micha is so excited!

4.30 p.m. 

We're home again. I put Micha in his walker while I start up dinner.
We're having Shepherds Pie tonight, one B.'s favorites.
For Micha I make a little meatball and steam some carrots and potatoes.

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5.15 p.m.

B. is home from work and plays with Micha while I finish cooking dinner.

6.00 p.m.

We eat together. We make an effort to eat together at the table every night. We really believe that it's such a good thing for our family, and we want Micha to grow up to see meal time as family time.

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6.45 p.m.

Micha goes in bath every evening, and tonight's no different.
After he's done splashing all of the water out of playing in the tub
I dry him off and put on his Pajama's and sleep sack.
We cuddle up on the pouf in his room where I read some books, pray with him and sing some lullabies.
I turn of the lights and nurse him.
When he's done I put him in bed, give him a kiss and sneak out of his room.

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7.00 p.m.

We hear some sleepy noises through the monitor, but he quickly falls asleep.

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7.30 p.m.

B. leaves for bible study, too bad it's not at our house this time because now I'm missing out.
I make myself some tea (I recently stopped drinking coffee in the evenings) and curl up on the couch to watch some episodes of 'Call the Midwife' on the laptop (such a great series!!).

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9.00 p.m.

B. comes home.  He has a beer and I have a little glass of wine and we chat about our day and watch some of our series on the laptop.

11.00 p.m.

We hear Micha crying, I nurse him back to sleep and put him back in his crib.
 B. and I are pretty exhausted so we both go to bed soon after.
Good night!

We'll do this whole thing over tomorrow!

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Exciting stuff huh? :)

Yesterday my blog friend Darlene posted her 'day in the life' and she ended by saying how grateful she is to be spending her days as a stay-at-home mama.
She is so right!
I feel so blessed and lucky to be home with my baby in this season of life.
I wouldn't want it any other way!

Love, Maria

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Scenes from last week

Warning: photo overload in this post!

If you've been reading my blog for a while now (or if you're family) you might know that my parents are temporarily living and working in Benin, Africa. 
Far, far away...
Luckily for us they come and visit at least twice a year and at the moment they're back here in Holland.

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Last week was B.'s last week of his May vacation and we decided to visit my parents for a few days. 

While we were there,

B. and my dad fixed up the swing set, so it's safe for Micha to swing in. 

We went for a long bike ride, and got a little lost. 

I went on a shopping trip with my mom.

Micha played in the grass for the first time and loved it, and tried to eat it.

I sat in the sun and soaked up the rays.

We had my dads famous pancake breakfast, of course with bacon and eggs.

I took long, warm baths. (we don't have a bath in our apartment, so it's a treat for us to use theirs)

We spent the evenings in front of the fire and watched TV together or chatted about life.

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It was such a nice little get-away, and I loved spending time with my parents again. 

That's the thing I love most about visiting my parents, they really take time for us and spend time with us, I appreciate that so much.

And I adore their little cottage with the enormous yard, I wish we lived there!

Hopefully we'll get to spend some more time with them before they leave for Africa again in a few weeks. But they'll be back again in September, can't wait!

Love, Maria