Back to Terschelling

So, last month we went back to Terschelling for a two week holiday. Just can’t get enough of this island….

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If you ever have the chance to visit, go to the Wrakkenmuseum ( shipwreckmuseum) in Formerum, a small village in the centre of the island. It’s a magical place where you can spend hours and hours, looking at all those treasures big ans small, new and old, that have been found in the sea, or that have washed up on the shore.

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In the backyard there’s a great playground for the kids that really triggers their imagination, all made of found and recycled materials.

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Indoors you can have your coffee or hot chocolate surrounded by treasures from the sea; bones, shells, ancient diving costumes, pictures and funny stories. Just keep an eye on your kids ……..no, honestly, it’s a very, very relaxed place to visit with kids. So much to explore, see and do

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We spent halve a day here and still haven’t seen and experienced everything. A good reason to go back….again…..

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Who needs overcrowded airports, traffic jams and endless flights to find that perfect holiday, when all this is just a train – and ferry ride away?

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*An evening beach, that is all yours*

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*A boat, to take you to the seals*

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*Seals, actually, on a sandbank in the Waddenzee*

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*A place to roam*

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*A deserted forrest to cycle through*

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*cycling trips under a grey sky, seawind in your  hair, open space all around*

And that, really, isn’t even half of it……….

Why travel far when happiness really lies just around that corner?

Reduce plastic waste #2

Slowly slowly we are getting used to a different way of consuming. And slowly slowly the plastic pile is decreasing.

More and more I try to buy in bulk and make my own.

Really, once you’ve remembered to pour some water on your beans or chickpeas the night before and let ‘m soak, making your own burgers or falafel is hardly any more difficult than tearing open a package of ‘vegan burgers’.

And, promising the kids to make them popcorn once we get home after a trip sounds ( and probably is) a lot more cosy than proposing to open up a bag of crisps. And no, I don’t mean plastic wrapped microwave popcorn. I mean actual corn, bought in big packages, sprinkeled in a pan, and popped. Do you know a little handful of corn easily makes four servings? And a jar filled with corn, means about ten cosy snackmoments, popping corn?

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I’m  a happy person since I’ve discovered our local Turkish supermarket sells big big bags of basic products such as corn, rice and flour.

And I’m an even happier person since we’ve got our own pop up package free store in town. Here, you bring your own bags and jars, and fill ‘m up with mostly organic products. My daughter and I went here for the first time this week and filled up our jar with organic chickpeas and had a nice chat with the guy running this place. Hopefully this fall Leiden will finally have it’s own big, real, permanent package free store! So, lets start saving up our jars, and sew our own cotton bags ( to be continued!)

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Lately I’ve been experimenting with falafel and hummus recipes. Pinterest, and ‘blush’ videos on Youtube have been my rescue! why not give it a try too?

And if you have any succes recipes that include amaranth, let me know. That jar in the picture just doesn’t get emptier since I don’t really know what to do with it …..’blush’, again…..

 

 

A walk in the woods

No fall holiday is complete without a good walk in the woods.

I’s a 20 minute bike ride out of town, to a forest on the edge of the dunes, where magical wooden creatures live…..

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A good walk, a good ride, hot chocolate and apple pie in the middle of the forrest, rosy cheeks, bright eyes and early to bed! A walk through  Panbos is very, very good way of spending your Fall Sunday!

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A green adventure: wwoofing with kids

This summer we spent a couple of weeks wwoofing in Denmark. Wwoofing? Yes.

It’s an interesting concept, wwoofing.  The term stands for World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms, and the initiative finds its origins in the UK, 1971, when opportunities were created for city people to go into the country side and work and learn on organic farms.

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Today there are vast networks of hosts and volunteers (wwoofers) in many countries around the world. You sign up on a wwoofing site such as wwoof.dk, contact hosts and make arrangements to spend a period learning, and working voluntarily on their farms.

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Now that my daughters are old enough to stand on their own feed and carry their own backpack, I felt it was time to introduce them to a way of spending the holidays that I have liked very much in my pre-motherhood days; travelling by train and doing volunteer work. I very much wanted the kids to have the opportunity to spend a lot of time outside in nature, and I hoped that wwoofing  would provide an opportunity to combine all this.

And so, after a lot of emailing back and forth with a friendly Danish host, we embarked on a 10 hour trainride from The Netherlands all the way up to the North of Denmark, where we ended up in a small, small village on the edge of a fjord.

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Together with another volunteer from Japan, we spent our time working on a large vegetable garden, weeding, planting and harvesting, picking all kinds of berries and using these to make tasty cakes and lemonade. We ventured out on our bikes to discover the beautiful surroundings together aswell. The kids enjoyed themselves too: building a treehouse, roaming around the garden, picking strawberries, and painting rocks.

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We had a very interesting time, and I personnally feel I learned a lot about organic gardening, about wwoofing in general, and about myself too.

I think we might do this again another year, and I would totally recommend it as a way of spending your family holiday, but there are few things to keep in mind.

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Allthough I think most people go wwoofing without kids, it’s quite possible to do so as a family. It is practical when your kids are old enough to look after themselves a bit; they can help out a bit but also play by themselves while you work. It helps when there are other kids around to play with too! It is also important I think to be very clear about your needs and expectations both as a host and as a wwoofer; not every place is suitable to accomodate families, and even when they are it helps to have an open conversation about mutual expectations and wishes.

Well, all in all we had a wonderful time in  a beautiful place !

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Kromkommer Pop-up store

Do you know how much food is being wasted due to overproduction or because it simply doesn’t look right? Odly shaped carrots, potatoes and other vegetables are a natural thing, but not something you often see at the supermarket. A shame really because these wonky vegetables taste just as good as their ‘perfect looking’ brothers and sisters. Kromkommer is a Dutch initiative that strives to reduce foodwaste and to make these discarded fruits and vegetables as common as their counterparts. I think it’s a great initiative and I’ve been following the ladies behind Kromkommer on social media for a while now. So you can imagine how happy  was to find out that they would be opening a Pop-up shop in Utrecht, right next to the trainstation, and right on my way to work. Hurray!

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Today, after a long and busy week I treated myself to a visit to their store, and I really liked it. I traveled home with my bags filled with purple and yellow carrots, two legged carrots and heart shaped red potatoes. Yellow tomatoes and not-so-round-but-oh-so-tasty apples.

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Allthough the shop will be open for only two weeks, a lot of effort has been put into making it look great. Apart from  vegetables that would otherwise go to waste, there are a lot of events in the shop these days, you can find the entire program on their website. The shop is open ’till May 31st, so hurry over to Utrecht to pay them a visit!

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weet jij hoeveel groente en fruit er verspild wordt? Door overproductie, en doordat niet elk stuk groente of fruit de ‘perfecte vorm’ heeft wordt er heel veel verspild! Kromkommer is een initiatief dat voedselverspilling tegen wil gaan, en kromme groentes op de kaart wil zetten. Dit doen ze op verschillende manieren. Je leest er alles over op hun site. Ik vind het een super initiatief, en ik volg Kromkommer dan ook al een tijdje via sociale media. Kun je je voorstellen dat ik erg, erg blij was toen ik hoorde dat hun Pop-op winkel deze maand in Utrecht zou openen? In Hoog Catherijne, vlakbij het station, praktisch op de route naar mijn werk.

Vandaag, na een lange drukke week ging ik even langs, en reisde daarna naar huis met mijn tassen vol gele tomaten, paarse wortels, wortels met twee benen en rode aardappels in uiteenlopende vormen. En oh ja, niet perfect rond maar vast even lekker appels!

Hoewel de winkel maar twee weken open is, is er alles aan gedaan om er echt een toffe winkel van te maken. De ruimte ziet er erg leuk uit, en er worden allerlei activiteiten georganiseerd. Het hele programma vind je hier. Haast je wel een beetje want de winkel is open tot 31 mei!

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Kromkommer boodschappen

Little Free Library

There’s a Little Free Library in our neighbourhood. Every now and then we take walk over there, play for a while on the playground next to the Little Free Library, bring some books from home and leave them in te ‘Library’ for neighbours to read. I also like to browse through the books available and pick something new to read. It’s always a surprise, the Library is full of unexpected treasures!

It’s a great way to give your books a new destination. After all there are only so many books we read twice, right?

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Bij ons in de wijk staat een ruil-boekenkastje. Af en toe ruimen we thuis onze boekenkast uit, en brengen een stapeltje boeken naar het boekenkastje. Even spelen in het speeltuintje, boeken wegzetten, en even neuzen wat er allemaal voor moois in het kastje staat. Fijn! Vaak gaat er ook weer een mooi boek me naar huis.

Best een toffe bestemming voor je boeken, toch? Want zeg nou zelf, hoeveel boeken lees je nou echt meer dan eens?

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