Friday, August 30, 2013


Today I want to share one of my very favorite recipes for dinner. 
It's seriously the easiest recipe known to mankind, well, at least to me.
It's a go-to recipe for picnics and birthdays. It's definitely a crowd-pleaser.
I love to bring it to new moms, because it's healthy and tasty and easy for them to grab a bowlful whenever they feel hungry.
It's good by itself for lunch or as dinner with some flat-bread and chicken wings.
I love to make it and I love to eat it!

^ ^ ^ ^

So here goes my own recipe for 'Tabouleh' or 'Couscous Salad' as I usually call it.

2 cups or 300 gr couscous
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1 small bunch of mint, finely chopped (leave some pretty leaves for garnishing)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
handful of raisins
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/3 or 300 ml water
1 cup crumbled feta cheese


Mix everything together, except the feta cheese, in a large bowl 
(you'll want a big one as the couscous swells and grows in volume), 
cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. 
Mix the crumbled feta through the salad and sprinkle some on top with some extra mint leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.

Bam. Dinner's ready. Enjoy!
So easy. So good.

^ ^ ^ ^

Happy Friday! Are you stoked for the weekend? I am! 
We're going to visit my parents who are in back Holland currently. Yay!

Love, Maria

Thursday, August 29, 2013

bundling up for fall

It's not even September yet and the weather is still pretty nice, but something inside of me is stirring. 
Something that's looking forward to cooler weather and bundling up. 
It's so strange, I've never in my life looked forward to fall, but this year I do.

It might be all the fall outfits I've seen floating around on Pinterest 
or the fact that candy for Sinterklaas ( a holiday similar to secular Christmas, you know with Santa Claus and all) is already lining shelves in some stores. 
It might be the knowledge that my parents will be living here in Holland again in November(yay!),  or maybe it's just the excitement to show Micha a new season. 
I mean, he obviously has experienced fall before, but only as a wee little baby. 
I can't wait to show him the fun of running though a pile of crunchy leaves and maybe letting him have his first sip of hot chocolate.

So, what does one do when yearning for fall?
Look for fall outfits for the whole family of course!

Here are some of my fall faves from my favorite store H&M:

For her:





For him:





For the little 'him':





^ ^ ^ ^

So, tell me. Is it just me, or are you looking forward to fall as well? 
What are you looking forward to most?

Love, Maria

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

little buddies

One of my best friends had a baby boy just a week after Micha was born, 
and of course they were destined to be best friends. 
They really just don't have a choice in this particular matter, haha. Sorry boys!

They other day my friend needed to go to the hairdresser and I offered to babysit her boy. 
While Micha and Ben were playing I snapped some photos and watched them play together.

It was so fun seeing them interact with each other instead of just playing side by side like they used to. 
Micha is a bit rougher and louder than his little buddy Ben, but they really enjoy each others company even though their personalities are so different.

I can't wait to see where this little friendship will take them, hopefully they'll stay buddies for a long time.

But whether they stay friends or not, my hope is that as Micha grows up he will have friends that are encouraging, kind and love him for who he is. And I hope he'll be such a friend too.

Those are the best friends to have, don't you think?

Love, Maria

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Micha's favorites - books edition

When Micha was born, some of our favorite gifts we received were books. 
For Christmas or my birthday, a book is the perfect way to make me happy.
And whenever a new baby is born my go-to gift is a book. 
Of course, it can't just be any book, but one you know the recipient will love and is picked out thoughtfully.

In my opinion, books are just the perfect gift.

Imagine how happy I am that Micha is just as much as a book lover as his mama.
Whenever he's sad or just plain cranky all I have to do to see that smile on his face is offer to read him a story. 
I always give him at least two choices, and he's getting pretty opinionated, 
I know exactly which books are his favorite and which not so much.

^ ^ ^ ^

These books are currently his very favorite:

This one is about a small crocodile who is tired of eating bananas and decides he wants to eat a child today. Micha absolutely LOVES it, and it's so much fun to read.

A hilarious story about a mole on a quest to find out who pooped on his head.

Any Miffy book is a favorite with Micha. Cute and simple drawings in primary, bright colors and always a sweet story.

I've mentioned 'Oh No, George' on the blog before as one of Micha's favorite books, and it still is a regular in our household. It's about a dog that gets into all kinds of trouble when his boss is away. 
New for us is 'A Bit Lost',  in which a little owl who falls out of his nest goes looking for his mama. A very sweet story with beautiful illustrations.

^ ^ ^ ^

What are the favorite books in your household currently?
Please share!

Love, Maria

Friday, August 23, 2013

seven years

Seven years ago I woke up at my parents house with butterflies in my stomach. 
I had breakfast with my family but could hardly eat a bite.
I went to the hair salon and got a simple, beautiful updo and had my make up done.
When I got home my sister helped me into a beautiful white dress, made by my mama.
I put on my brand new, white strappy heels, 
wiped some make up off my face,( it was a tad overdone)
and then I waited.

The backyard was filling up with family and friends all dressed up in their Sunday best.
Everyone had arrived, but there was one person missing.
I stared out of the bedroom window and then I saw him,
my future husband.

I slowly made my way downstairs, opened the front door and there he was. 
He was so handsome in his dark brown suit and he looked at me with eyes full of wonder and excitement.

Today was our day.

We would head to the town hall and get married, 
have a service at church 
and that evening we would dance under the stars as husband and wife.

That day was so beautiful. 

But our life together,
with all the hard times and times of joy
has been more beautiful than we could have ever expected on that warm day in August seven years ago.

Love you, B.!


our love story: part 1, part 2, part 3

Thursday, August 22, 2013


It's been awhile since I've done a post like this so here goes a list of what's happening lately.

Lately I am...

I found it the other day at a second hand bookstore and could hardly put it down. 
It's a good read and leaves you in suspense until the very end.

Breaking Bad. 
I can't believe it took me so long to finally start watching it. 
B. has been asking me too for ages so we can watch together, and I finally caved.
It's so good!
I'm almost finished with season 1 and can't wait to watch the next few seasons.


loving about Micha: 
His proud face after walking a few steps. 
His open mouthed kisses. 
His hugs. 
His happy personality. 
His chubby little hands.

loving about my husband: 
His joy in his job. 
He just started started working again after the summer holidays and he just jumped right in. 
His students are lucky kids!

Lots of pasta dishes. I love me some carbs! 
And it is Micha's favorite food.

this one is so good

Warm and cozy outfits for the fall, I can't believe I'm actually looking forward to fall. 


struggling with: 
Finding a new job. 
Currently I'm working as a Barista, and it's fine, but I'm ready for something new. 
Something a little more 'grown up'. 
I hope I'll come across something soon, but in the meantime I feel blessed to have job in the first place.

looking forward to: 
Going out for dinner tomorrow evening to celebrate seven (!) years of married bliss.
No itch here yet! :)
waiting for my husband to be on the morning of our wedding

^ ^ ^ ^

What floats your boat currently, my lovely reader?
Tell me!

Love, Maria

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

this kid is made for walking a.k.a. Micha's first steps

This kid started walking this week.

He's still wobbly and prefers crawling for the time being, 
but he's walking!

He doesn't seem to mind all the tripping and falling down and just goes for it!
Such a little man. 
I see many bumps and bruises in his future.

^ ^ ^ ^

I made a little video of his attempts.

Whenever he walks a few steps he's just so proud of himself and can't stop giggling.
And I couldn't be more proud too!

Love, Maria

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Our summer

Summer vacation is over here in Holland. 
Things are slowly getting back to normal.

The sizzling hot summer days are past us and all that remain are a few warm days trying to compete with the days that hold the promise of fall.

The end of the summer vacation always makes me feel a little sad as it always seems like the summer months fly past so much quicker than the ones of winter.

But luckily so many beautiful memories remain of the summer past.

We had a great one.

first train trip (that he was aware of)
my two handsome fellows

visiting my Oma
he's her favorite ;)

crazy poses while hiking, doesn't everyone do that?

micha's favorite past time 

hip, hip, hurray!

Yes, it definitely was a great one.

Hikes, train trips, birthdays and all!

How was your summer?

Love, Maria

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Birthday Boy

On July 31st 2013, Micha turned one!

 We started off the day with Micha's favorite breakfast foods:
pancakes, blueberries, and a raspberry smoothie.

After his morning nap we had cake. 

I made a healthy whole wheat banana cake with a Greek yogurt and honey frosting.
(from pinterest)

He loved digging into it!

Then it was time for his birthday present.

His little face just lit up when he ripped off the wrapping paper,
Gah! So adorable!

Afterwards we headed to the pool and splashed around a bit. 
Micha loved going on the little water slide with me.

In the afternoon, B's parents and sister and her boyfriend came over for a bit to celebrate with us.

It was a perfect day!

^ ^ ^ ^

On Saturday we celebrated all over again with a party at the park with all of his little and big friends.

The weather was perfect, the food was enjoyed and Micha loved all the attention.

I kept the party simple, it was picnic style, with some easy decorations like his week-by-week photo's pinned to the flag bunting, colorful balloons, and a kiddie pool filled with water and toys for the littles to splash around in.

Simple, but perfect!

I can't believe our little guy is one year old already!

We are so blessed!

Love, Maria