“No fuss” Mothers day

A cup of tea, an apple and a banana, served as ‘breakfast in bed’ at 7 am.

Handmade little gifts and  a crushed chocolate heart we shared together.

Sweet notes found at random places throughout the house.

Sisterly quarrels, as usual. Today is just another day.

Sunshine, kids playing out in the park.

Two bruised knees, one torn pair of pants. Red cheeks and shiny eyes.

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Time to read a while, Dave Eggers “Heroes of the Frontier” it is.

Daydreaming a little of packing up my bunch and travelling through Alaska in a Camper too.

Early dinner, kids helped to clean up and ran off to play some more in the evening sun.

Not so bad, not so bad at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terschelling

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?

The single parent’s survival guide to dinner

Do you know the feeling…it’s been a long day and yet you’ve tried to make the most of dinner. Some vitamins, some colour, nothing extraordinary, just, you know something healthy…

The food isn’t even on the table yet before number one claims she has a headache and therefore…no appetite…number two is tired and iritated, and number three starts screaming as if you try to feed her poison:  ‘what’s this?! Oh no, I can’t eat that!’

All you can think is ‘why did I even bother? ‘ and….. ‘Now why isn’t there another adult at this table to  tell me ‘well, honey this is just delicious, kids, don’t fuss, eat your dinner!’? ‘

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Some nights, you’ve just got to do what makes everybody happy: feed ‘m pancakes and ice cream…………… with hidden vitamins….

For your pancakes, just make your usual batter, then add a grated zucchini (use these light green ones if you can, they’re perfect camouflage. If you use the darker green ones, be prepared to answer questions  such as ‘Mom, what are these green spots in my pancake?!?’…now try to answer that without using the V-word!

Bake and serve as you normally would…..then sit and watch them eat their veggies and smile…..

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Since we’re in a good mood, why not add some ice cream? Blend 2 chopped banana’s (frozen) and a large mango (cut into small pieces)  with the juice of one lemon. Serve, watch ‘m eat, enjoy……

Don’t feel like eating pancakes? Make yourself some soup! Chop another zucchini, boil in a little vegetable stock, throw in a handful of kale, add some cumin, coriander and black pepper, blend. Serve with some (vegan) cream, and a good swirl of ground red pepper. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

New years resolutions

A new year, time for some resolutions!

What is it with January that it makes one want to start all over, do things differently…and better?

While I write this post, my two youngest kids are cleaning out their bedrooms, spontaneously and all by themselves. Must be those January vibes, because this is so unique!

I sit quietly, afraid of spoiling the magic, thoroughly enjoying the sight of those little kids walking through the house with the vacuumcleaner, and a smile on their faces.

A clean slate, a fresh start……….. So, why don’t I share some of my resolutions with you?

In 2016, I want to:

  • Reduce the amount of plastic used in our household. I’ll try to keep you posted on my successes and failures. Any suggestions on how to go about are welcome!
  • Craft more. It is hard to find the time in between work, kids and household, but it’s such a necesary thing for me to do. I just feel better when the creativity is flowing. So why are my crafty moments always on the bottom of my to do list?
  • Read more. More even than crafting, reading is a life necessity. I can’t be happier than when I’m lost in a book. To keep me reading, I will keep track on this blog of the books I’ve read. I’d appreciate it if you’d share the most beautiful and inspiring books you’ve read in the comments below to give me some reading inspiration.
  • Blog more frequently.
  • Take further steps to reduce our ecological footstep and live a greener life.
  • Discover new recipes

And in 2016, I will go to bed on time, keep up with the laundry, be a patient mom, start running again, spend more time with the kids, read them all those nice childrens books that are still waiting for them, participate in their school activities, sew their carnaval costumes, plan their birthday parties on time, and cook them wholesome meals they’ll eat with a smile……………Ok, wait….let’s not set the aims too high, let’s go with the flow, see how we roll?

Either way, let’s have fun in 2016!

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What are your resolutions?

 

The single parent’s survival guide to Mother’s Day

As a single parent, holidays can be quite a challenge. It’s during holidays that you can be confronted pretty roughly with the fact that your family is just not an ordinary one.

It has happened to me several times over the past few years that I just wished a holiday could pass unnoticed, and I could only really enjoy myself once it was over. One of those days is Mother’s day, which is celebrated tomorrow in The Netherlands and probably elsewhere too.

Personally, I think Mother’s day isn’t worth the fuss. We should appreciate our mothers everyday, and if you have kids, you know they won’t love you more just for that one day.

For the kids however, Mother’s day is quite an issue. It all starts at school where they have to craft something every year. And then they come home…feelin’ all inspired! For the past few days, my daughters have been buzzing about the house, making drawings and presents, keeping the door to their bedroom closed and yelling; ‘Now you saw what I was doing!’ when I enter their room.

They even went shopping together to get some stuff for a surprise breakfast tomorrow. This year, I decided to quietly enjoy the pre-Mother’s day fuss to the max; listening to those little voices discussing their plans, pretending not to see all the drawings and letters they forgot to hide. I know from experience that  ‘the big day’ itself can be quite stressful. For me, because I am once again confronted with the fact that we’re not the picture perfect ordinary family, and  because I feel presure to make it a great day anyway. And for the kids, who, filled with anticipation, will probably end up quarelling before breakfast is over. I expect at least a tantrum or two tomorrow, knowing how full of temperament they are….

It’ll hardly catch me by surprise! So, after the traditional Mother’s day breakfast fuss is over, I intend to make it a nice Sunday ‘my way’. No stress, and hopefully an afternoon at the beach, enjoying the family that we are.

Lessons I learned:

– Don’t feel the pressure to make it a perfect day ‘because today is a holiday/Mothersday’. You will be stressed by this, and disappointed if in reality your kids are quarreling, calling you a ‘stupid mother’, and yelling ‘I want my present back’.  Yes, a true story!

– If you feel stressed, so will your kids. Relax.

– Do whatever makes you feel good: watching movies in pyama’s, spending time at the beach together, or putting the kids in front of a movie so you have a little ‘free’ time. Do it!

– If things get rough, remember, tomorrow is a new day, and things will be back to normal.

– Take good care of yourself. Which is why I am going to enjoy a good cup of tea, a slice of home made cake (recipe will follow) and go to bed on time!

Good Luck tomorrow!

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