Friday, June 28, 2013

five


1. I have new found respect and awe for single parents. I had to miss my main man for two nights due to a school camping trip. It went pretty well, but man, the evenings get pretty lonely. I'm so excited to see him this afternoon.

 ^ ^ ^ ^

2. I pinned this the other day, went out and bought a glue gun shortly after and crafted this necklace last night.


^ ^ ^ ^

3. We recently bought a new Canon DSLR, and I find it so intimidating. 
All those buttons and switches and rules. I just want to figure it out soon! Any tips?

^ ^ ^ ^

4. My son is scared of goats, especially when they bleat at him. 
It makes for good photo's though, haha!
Sorry little guy. :)

 





^ ^ ^ ^

5. I made my husband go back to the store and get the correct flavor of Ben&Jerry's this week. 
In my defense I asked for a specific flavor and he came back with one with pecans in it, 
while I'm allergic to pecans.
But yeah... I'm that person.



Happy Weekend!

Love, Maria

linking up with High Five for Friday and Blair @ Wild&Precious today


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dressing the boy


Buying clothes for boys is hard, and because I'm pretty picky when it come to dressing Micha, it's even harder.
Step in to any given store and there are always rows and rows of pretty little girls clothing 
and then one rack for the boys.  

The usual choices are: cars, characters, or 'cool' slogans. 

Yeah, that's just not my thing.

There are very few prints of cars that I like, 
I don't feel like sponsoring Disney or Pixar, 
and my boy doesn't need a shirt to tell him he's 'mommy's little heart breaker' 
or whatever other cheesy* (and sometimes misspelled) phrase a Chinese factory prints on a shirt.
(* in my humble opinion, if it is your thing, I say 'go for it')

^ ^ ^ ^
Luckily there are a few stores that actually understand that boys need cute clothes too.
H&M, Zara Kids and HEMA (a dutch department store) are my favorites.

These are some of my favorite outfits for Micha, you'll notice they have a theme :)

some Italian brand, second hand
H&M sailor suit
Zara Kids romper
Matching sweaters, both H&M
Breton stripe sweater, girls section H&M

the only slogan shirt M has, a cute play on the well known posters
Preppy little lad, all H&M

Little man, shirt: HEMA

Did you figure out what the theme was? haha..

I'm Maria and I have a stripe addiction.

So while it is a bit more difficult to find cute clothing for boys, it is possible 
and I think I've done a pretty good job so far.


Love, Maria





Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My mama uniform





Before I became a mama I loved to stand in front of my closet every morning and try to figure out what to wear that day. 
I would take my sweet time trying on different outfits until I found the one I wanted to wear.

Nowadays I can't permit such a luxury. 
I need all the time I can in the morning to get my little guy fed, dressed, entertained and then down for his morning nap. 
And in between I need to feed, shower and dress myself as well.

^ ^ ^ ^

So I figured out a little something to make my life a bit easier in the morning and still look put together:

My mama uniform, or 'momiform'.

I know, it sounds so cheesy, and the first thing I think of when I hear that phrase is:
high-waisted mom jeans, a white baggy t-shirt and sensible shoes. 
I know that's what you're thinking too!

But it doesn't have to be like that at all.

^ ^ ^ ^
Mine usually consists of a pair of skinny jeans, 
a comfortable, yet fashionable, t-shirt, sweater or blouse, 
a cute necklace, 
and some fun sneakers, ballerina flats or wedges.

I always have a few different choices of these basics in my closet, 
so in the morning I just grab whatever's clean and BAM! I'm dressed for the day.

^ ^ ^ ^

Of course I still like dressing up in pretty dresses, maxi skirts and whatnot and I do regularly, 
but for a busy, baby filled day my mama uniform is such a life saver.





Do you have a 'momiform' or a go-to outfit?

Love, Maria


linking up with wiww and dress for the day today

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

47 weeks



Micha, 

Lately you have been loving your little animal collection.  
You usually have at least one in your hand, even when you're crawling around.
I always hear you crawling towards me: THUMP- WHACK- THUMP- WHACK.
You love to hide them in any nook and cranny you can find. 
It's your favorite game.
Last night I found one in the TV cabinet and was about to throw it in with your toys, when your papa stopped me and told me to leave it there for you, so you'd find it again the next day.
Isn't that the sweetest thing?
I think he just loved seeing that little reminder of you and the fun stage you are going through. 
And he's so right, I  love those little reminders too, they make me feel like the luckiest lady alive.


Love, Mama







Friday, June 21, 2013

A toy story (cheesy title, I know..)



Last week I had an epiphany.
I'll tell you what it was, but first a background story leading to said epiphany.

^ ^ ^ ^
When I was pregnant with Micha, B. and I swore up and down that our living room would not be taken over by baby paraphernalia and toys. 

We live in a small apartment and we like our living room to be as clear of clutter as it can be.

I had reserved two baskets in the living room for him, one for his books and one for his toys. 
And the toys that we would have would be wooden, aesthetically pleasing, quality toys. 
No plastic, battery needing, noise making junk. 

Yep, that was the plan. (can you tell where this story is heading?)

We had received some plastic toys as gifts, 
but we thought we'd teach Micha to love the wooden ones more. 
I know, we're crazy, hippie, cruel parents, us. Ha!

Then Micha came around, and guess which toys he preferred: the noisy, plastic, battery powered ones. 

Of course...

And as he grew older the more toys (wooden and plastic) we received and bought for him. 

The two baskets just weren't cutting it anymore.  
His toys and books were flowing over and our living room was looking cluttered and messy. 

Not that I mind it that much during the day. It's not like I clean up after Micha constantly. 
That would just be crazy.

But after the little guy goes to bed it's nice to be able to clean up the baby stuff 
and not see it until the next day. 
It just helps me relax a bit more.

So, the baskets weren't cutting it, and I needed something bigger and better to put his toys in. 
I didn't feel like spending a ton of money on a big toy chest and additionally sacrificing precious floor space.

And then I remembered something I had seen on one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love
they had used their ottoman to store all the toys. 

And it hit me; we have an ottoman that can be used as storage too! 

^ ^ ^ ^

And so their epiphany had become mine. 

It's been such a perfect solution for the clutter problem, 
it stores all of Micha's toys, it doesn't take up any extra space and Micha seems to love it too:




Now, how to keep the ottoman organized?

Haha...


Happy Weekend!

Love, Maria

Thursday, June 20, 2013

One Piece Summer

1, 2, 3 and the rest

It's finally beach weather here in Holland (or swimming pool weather for me, as the beach is a two hour drive, and that's far according to Dutch standards) and I'm on the hunt for a cute bathing suit.

^ ^ ^ ^

I used to buy a new bikini at H&M every year, but I'm kind of over them. 
There are so many cute choices for one piece bathing suits nowadays, and I'm a fan.
I especially LOVE bathing suits with a nod to the 50's, my favorite era!

After watching this video clip I'm even more convinced one pieces are the way to go for me!

^ ^ ^ ^

What do you prefer? A one-piece or a bikini?


Love, Maria






Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lavender Cupcakes with Lemon Curd, a winner!

So last week I entered in a cupcake baking competition for a local shop. 
I love to bake and I thought it would be fun to participate. 
On Saturday I handed in my baked goods and the waiting game began. 
I wasn't to hopeful of winning, there were quite a lot of participants, why would my humble cupcake win?

But then the biggest miracle of my life happened (well okay, the runner-up, this was the biggest).
I won the contest.
Yes, you heard that right. I actually won something. 

^ ^ ^ ^
Just a little inside information about me: 
I have never in my life won anything, 
not a coloring contest, 
or a spelling bee, 
or a blog give-away, 
or a lottery 
(now my luck has changed I'd like to win a million euros, please and thank you).

And winning a contest doing the thing I love most, that's a big deal. 
It feels like such a validation for me. 
I might actually be good at this!

^ ^ ^ ^

So what did you bake, one might ask.

Well, ladies and gentlemen(the only men reading are probably my dad and the hubs hi!),

I won with these delicious beauties:
>I wasn't smart enough to make photos of them, so these awesome (insert sarcasm) illustrations will have to do.<


I'm not sharing the whole recipe here yet (too lazy to translate it from Dutch today), 
but I'll show you some of the steps in making them.

First soak dried lavender in whole milk over night:

Mix in the vanilla and egg.

^ ^ ^ ^
In a bowl mix together flour, sugar, a teaspoon of baking powder and butter. 
Stir in the lavender infused milk mixture and pour the batter into a lined cupcake pan.
Bake in the oven.

^ ^ ^ ^

To make the curd, combine butter, cream and lemon juice in a saucepan and heat to just under a boil.



In stand mixer whisk together an egg, an egg yolk and sugar. 

Slowly whisk in the lemon mixture, pour back into sauce pan and cook until the curd thickens.

Let it cool, fill the cooled and hollowed out cupcakes with the cooled curd and frost the cupcakes with lavender colored (and flavored, if you use some left over infused milk) frosting.

Enjoy!!

^ ^ ^ ^

I'm so excited and elated that I won! Doing a happy dance over here! 
Oh and the prize? A fifty euro gift certificate to the shop that hosted the contest, yay!

Have you ever won anything?



Love, Maria


p.s. If you're interested in the complete recipe feel free to email me or leave a comment.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

46 weeks






Micha, forty-six weeks ago today we held you for the first time, 
and in six short weeks you'll be a one-year old.

It seems like yesterday that you were that tiny, squishy, helpless new born 
and now you're practically a toddler, 
climbing on everything, 
crawling all over the place, 
making twinkle motions with your little hands when we sing 'twinkle, twinkle, little star', 
and cracking up your parents up with the funniest sounds and faces you make.

Every day we tell each other how lucky we are to have you! 
We're crazy about you, can you tell?

Love, Mama


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's day to the best to papa's in the world, 
my own papa and my baby's papa!

Papa and me in 1985



Opa and his newest grandson last summer



brand new papa&baby

He's a natural!


Love you both so much!!



Love, Maria

Friday, June 14, 2013

a little bit of grace



I want to share some grace with you today. Because I know we all need it sometimes.

I don't know about you, but quite often I feel guilty for not spending more time reading the bible or praying, or just taking a minute to have some quiet time with God. 

I know I need to do it more often, but somehow, during my busy, baby-filled day, I just forget. 
And if I do remember it's usually a quick verse and a short prayer, and then it's back to doing dishes or laundry or blogging.
My life has become a lot busier than it was and when I have some alone time praying and reading the bible aren't the first things that comes to mind.

And I feel guilty about that.

But then I read this sentence in a post on Jami's blog: 
(go read her blog, she's such a genuine and godly woman, and one with a sense of humor too)

"there will be other seasons in life i'll get to study more deeply, but now is not that time."
There is just so much grace in this sentence, and I needed to read it. 
Not to ease my conscience, but to remind me that in this season of life there might be other priorities than studying the bible in-depth. 

And it's okay. 

Of course I want to live focused on God and quite frankly I need to, to be a good mama for Micha. 

But I need to give myself some grace too, and not beat myself up for not reading enough or praying enough.

Because right now my God-given priority in life is being a mama, with all the busyness and exhaustion (and all the fun stuff, of course..)  it brings. 

There will be other seasons...


Happy weekend!

Love, Maria

Thursday, June 13, 2013

He looks like us

One of the hardest parts during our infertility journey was the realization that we might never have a baby that  resembled us. 
My blue eyes and defined chin or B.'s dark hair and olive skin, 
my stubbornness or his precision, 
it would never be combined in a little human being we could call our own.

^ ^ ^ ^

I know that motherhood has little to do with genetics and DNA, 
it's not defined by that,
all there is really needed to become a family is LOVE. 
I truly believe that.
And to be honest, my vision of our future family changed over the course of time. 
I dreamed of holding a beautiful brown skinned baby, 
and I knew I would love him just as much as a baby with my own DNA, 
and I knew he would be mine and I would be his. 
We would be family, no matter if our genetics matched or not.

But still, there were moments when yet another treatment hadn't worked and the dream of pregnancy and motherhood seemed farther away than ever. 
In those moments I would feel a sense of loss and sadness that I would maybe never hold a baby that looked like me or his papa.

^ ^ ^ ^

But then our miracle happened, I got pregnant and gave birth to the most precious baby boy in the world.
And, boy, did he look like us. 
In the beginning he looked so much like his papa and now he's starting to resemble me more and more.

And his personality, I recognize so much of myself in him,  
his curiosity and mischievousness and his happy, (and yes) impatient demeanor. 
But also his papa's eye for detail (like being able to play with the wheels of his cars for quite a while)  and outgoing personality. 

It's all rolled into one perfect little package.

B. at 8 weeks, and Micha at 10 weeks

One year old me, and almost one year old Micha




It's just one of those things that makes me feel so, so blessed and grateful to be able to experience.

I can't believe my luck!



Love, Maria




linking up again with Casey today




Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Yet another reason why summer is the best




If I could, and if the weather permitted it, I would eat outside all the time. 
There is just something about eating 'al fresco', 
whether it's a picnic in the park with friends, 
dining outside at a restaurant with B., 
or a barbecue on the balcony, it's my very favorite way to enjoy a meal. 

I don't know why, but I always think food tastes better outside. Why is that?

My love for eating outside probably has something to do with the whole vibe around it. 
The feeling of freedom and relaxation, 
light and tasty meals,
a glass of cold RosĂ© wine in my hand, 
the sun beaming down on my head,  
paper plates and picnic baskets, 
no worries about messy eating babies. 
Give me that, any time, all the time!






I can't wait for all the meals we'll be enjoying under the sun this summer. 


How about you, do you share my love for 'al fresco' meals too?



Love, Maria




Tuesday, June 11, 2013

45 weeks and a wheel obsession







Micha,

We've been noticing lately that you have an OBSESSION with anything with wheels on it. 
You love to inspect your toy cars, 
flip them over and start turning the wheels with your chubby little index finger. 

But your fascination doesn't only stop at your little toy cars, you love turning over your Wheely Bug and playing with the wheels, 
and I always have to stop you from crawling to your stroller and touching its wheels (eew, gross).

I love that your little (big) personality is really showing and we get glimpses of your interests (other than ma b-o-o-b-i-e-s) and talents. 


Love, Mama

Friday, June 7, 2013

Happy Friday

source

I found this one on Pinterest, and it made me laugh because it's kind of how I feel about writing a post today.
So much white space, but so little to write.

So, I'll just leave you with a 'Happy Friday' , enjoy your weekend,
and I'll see you all next week.



Love, Maria



p.s. I just wanted to let you (my readers and followers) know how much I appreciate you all. 
Thanks for all the funny, sweet and encouraging comments you leave and thank you for reading this little blog of mine. 
Without you all it would be a  lot less fun to blog!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

On Cloth Diapering




As I have mentioned before on the blog we're cloth diapering Micha.
(I don't have any links for you because I can't find the posts that I wrote on cloth diapering) 
We're big fans of them and I thought I'd share my experience so far with them.

^ ^ ^ ^

- We started with cloth diapering when Micha was about three months old. 
His little bum was to small for them before that, and I thought I had enough on my plate in regards to all the new things I was experiencing.
I'm so glad we chose to do it like this, because when we finally started I was super pumped and had enough energy to really make it work. 

^ ^ ^ ^

- We use secondhand BumGenius 4.0, with velcro closures, and new Flip diapers with snap closures.

I prefer using the Flip diapers, because of the snaps and because it's not a pocket diaper like the BumGenius, that needs changing of the whole diaper every time baby so much as pees.

The Flip has fleece lined inserts that just sit inside the waterproof cover and therefore the whole diaper only needs changing if the cover gets dirty or wet.
But usually the insert absorbs all the pee and the cover is still perfectly clean. 

This way I usually only need about two cover changes a day(whenever there's a poop in it) and all the other times I just change the insert. 

This makes cloth diapering with Flip diapers cheaper than with BumGenius diapers. I need less of the expensive covers and the inserts for the flip aren't that expensive. 
If I'd go all BumGenius, I would need more diapers, and that would make it a bigger investment.

^ ^ ^ ^

- For nights and weekends away we use disposable diapers.
 I don't feel like changing M's diaper in the middle of the night, which would be necessary with cloth diapers because they are a bit less absorbent the disposables.
And when we're a weekend away I don't want to stress out about taking all the necessities I need for cloth diapering, like wet bags and special detergent etc.

^ ^ ^ ^

- It doesn't seem like I'm doing more laundry because of cloth diapering. 
I'm doing a lot more than before baby anyway, so an extra load of laundry every three days isn't a biggie.

^ ^ ^ ^

- Speaking of washing the diapers, this is how I do it:
*I wash them every three to four days(depending on how fast they go)
 *Before I put them in the diaper pail I make sure there's no solid bits (sorry TMI) on them anymore. 
I just shake out the soiled diapers above the toilet and flush the stinky's down. (so much better than a smelly diaper in the garbage pail)
* I put them in the washer and put them on a rinsing cylcle.
* Then I wash them in a cold cycle with a tiny little bit of special cloth diaper detergent,
* then a warm cycle with some more detergent (again, only about a tbsp),
* then another rinse,
*and they're done!
This way they always come out smelling fresh and clean. 
Whenever I can I lay them out in the sun to dry, that way any lingering stains get sun bleached away.

...and some more reasons why I love cloth diapering:

- It's not that much more work than using disposables. 
I'm so happy that I don't have to haul smelly bags of diapers to the garbage area in our apartment building.

- It's so much better for the environment.

- It's much cheaper than disposables in the long run. 
Yes, it is an investment, but a really good one!

- Micha has never had diaper rash issues, and I'm positive it has to do with cloth diapering.

- I just love the look of his fluffy bum in his diapers. 



All in all, we're pretty happy with cloth diapering and I would recommend it to everyone!


Hope this was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions.




Love, Maria




Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Out and about

It looks like summer has finally arrived here in Holland. 
The temperatures are reaching the heights they should be for this time of year, 
and the sun has been showing her pretty face more often.

^ ^ ^ ^

Of course warm weather calls for warm weather activities, like splashing with water on the balcony. 
Micha couldn't believe his luck when I hauled his bathtub onto the balcony and filled it up with water. 

 
 

He was drenched by the time he was done playing.

^ ^ ^ ^

While I love our apartment with it´s little balcony, nothing beats enjoying summer weather on the go.
And now that I finally have a bike we venture out further than we have before.

On Sunday we went for a bike ride to a nearby pond/ lake and B. did a little photo shoot of me and Micha with our new camera.





^ ^ ^ ^

Yesterday, after we went out for some ice cream with friends, Micha and I visited a local petting zoo. 
Micha bonded with a curious little baby goat, I overcame my germophobia and let him pet the goat. 
It was just too cute. I had to take some pictures with my phone.
(when we got home I washed his hands reeaaal good)

in awe of the goat

too much cuteness

^ ^ ^ ^

This afternoon we´re heading over to friends for a BBQ and some lounging in the sun.

All these summer activities are making me so excited for the summer holidays, I can´t wait!
B. still has four more weeks of teaching to go, hope they´ll fly by.


How are you filling your summer days?


Love, Maria