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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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…..

 

 

Reduce plastic waste #1

Remember my new years resolutions? The plan for 2016 was to reduce the amount of plastic used in this household of ours.

If you are not collecting your plastic seperately, I recommend you start doing so. It really is an eye opener to see how much plastic one collects during a week, a month…..

we collect our plastic seperately and at the moment it’s enought to fill a plastic bag a week. I take this to the shopping centre to throw it away in a special container. But, collecting our plastics seperately so they can be recycled is one thing…. now it’s time to start reducing the amount of plastic that enters our household (and that wille leave it again eventually). But let’s do this step by step.

Step 1: try to avoid replacing plastics (and make your own stuff)

If I run out of something that’s packed in plastic..let’s see if there’s an alternative to replace it. Like, for example, deodorant. I ran out of my storebought, chemical, packed in plastic deodorant, and decided it was the perfect occasion to try and make my own, rather than running to the store to get myself a new one, in a new plastic container that would sooner or later be discarded.

I have heard many positive stories of home made deodorant, so, why not?

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I used a recipe I found on the blog Leven zonder afval ( living without waste).

All you need is a (re-used) glass container coconut oil, baking soda and corn starch (optional: glycerine and scented oil). I understood the glycerine helps to make it smoother, but since I didn’t have any, I skipped it.

All you need to do now is mix 4 table spoons of (soft) coconut oil with 3 table spoons of baking soda and 2 table spoons of corn starch, plus a few drops of your favorite scent if you wish. Stirr, well, store in your container and make sure you have clean hands, or a clean teaspoon every time you take some of this mixture out of the jar. You just need a small amount per armpit, so this little jar should get you quite far.

You can keep your deodorant in the bathroom, but on hot days,  it can turn quite liquid so you might want to store it in the fridge.

And PS: it works! It works really, really well.

now, let’s see which other steps we can take…….

 

 

Christmas decorations

It’s that time of the year again; time to bring out the Christmas decorations!

Not the most fashionable ones perhaps, just the ones that make us happy, and that make our home a comfy colourful welcoming place.

 

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Our Christmas decorations are thrifted:

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Fairtrade:

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Made by the kids, throughout the years:

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And handmade by me:

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That Christmas tree is hard to photograph, but you get the idea I  guess: branches collected in the woods, dried, and tied together, hung on the wall and decorated.

 

…and it ain’t Christmas ’till I’ve had time to crochet some stars!

Pass it on…pass it on (or what happens on Kingsday)

when you have kids you know they grow out of their toys almost as quickly as they grow out of their clothes.

A second hand market is the best place to be when you are looking for some ‘new’ clothes and toys, or when you are looking for a fun and friendly way to give your old clothes and toys a new home.

On Kingsday we went to a local vrijmarkt ‘freemarket’ where neighbours come to buy and sell their stuff, and where kids turn into true merchants; making money by advertising their salesware, by making music, painting nails and faces, or simply by showing off their tricks.

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we set out in the morning, our bikes loaded with stuff , and returned in the afternoon, with a little less stuff; sold a lot and bought some ‘new’ toys too! The rest of the afternoon the kids enjoyed their new toys together with their friends.

Let’s do this again next year.

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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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vintage fabric baby dress

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This is a cute little babydress I made last summer. The floral fabric comes from a vintage sheet that I thrifted a while ago. I fell in love with it right away and  I have used it for several projects already. The buttons too are a thrifted find, and although ‘baby clothes’ are probably not the first things that come to mind when you first see these buttons, I do think they suit just fine on this little dress.

The pattern is from Ottobre 1/2012 and over the years it has become one of my favorite patterns. I like to crochet around the edges in a slightly different design every time. That’s not part of the pattern though, it’s just something I like. I use thin cotton yarn and a 1.75 mm crochet hook.  I always start with crochetting along the edge of the dress ( yes!) with a special hook that has a very sharp point on top. I bought it once online, but have forgotten where. I’m using it quite often though.

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The dress I gave to my little niece, and I love they way it looks on her….. they’re sooo cute when their that young…kids…..oh my…..

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Dit jurkje naaide ik afgelopen zomer, van een lief gekringloopt lakentje en idem knopen. Bij de grote stoere knopen denk je waarschijnlijk niet gelijk aan babykleertjes, maar ik vind ze hier wel op hun plek!

Het patroon komt uit Ottobre 1/2012 en is een van mijn favoriete patroontjes voor babykleding. Het randje er omheen bedacht ik er zelf bij. Ik heb eerst een ketting van lossen en hier en daar een vaste aan het jurkje vastgehaakt. Daarvoor gebruik ik een speciale haaknaald met scherpe punt die ik ooit online kocht, maar vraag me niet meer waar…… ik heb er wel veel plezier van, dat wel!

Het jurkje gaf ik aan mijn pasgeboren nichtje, en ohohoh wat staat het haar lief. en wat zijn pasgeboren kindjes toch lief…och…och..och

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