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12 posts categorized "..mom in the Netherlands"

Mom Story: Lenneke Kooijman

Bloesem kids | Mom in The Netherlands:Lenneke Kooijman

Bloesem kids | Mom in The Netherlands:Lenneke Kooijman

Based in The Netherlands, Lenneke Kooijman is a mom and founder of the jewellery brand Lennebelle where she makes beautiful dainty jewellery for both adults and kids.


Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, blogs? 
At this moment I mainly get my inspiration from Pinterest. For the nursery of Lore I definitely got inspired by the blog Le dans La by stylist Aurelie-lecuyer. And I really like the online shop Les Petites Bohemes.

When I buy a magazine it is either Elle Decoration or VT Wonen, Never fashion magazines. And I love Kinfolk, simple fresh, less is more and keep it simple.. But I just like too many things so it’s all a lot more colurful and messy. In the end it’s all a mix of picked-up treasures, travel souvenirs, gifts, second hand items, pieces made from my own designs (luckily we have a friend who is a carpenter who has done many a table, dresser, door, dinner table couch, kitchenbar) Looking at my house there is not many items which have been bought from a showroom.

What are your children's favorite items in your house? 
For Mette our bed, the couch and the Zila Lila bean bag to jump on. If we would have enough space we would definitely have a trampoline.

Bloesem kids | Mom in The Netherlands:Lenneke Kooijman

How do you like to celebrate birthdays and other special days in your house? 
I like to bake cakes, get the house all decorated and dress up! At this moment I am really looking forward to a collaboration I am doing with Frankeys Playground and Lennebelle Petites which is about the theme ‘celebrating’ Stay tuned ;-)

What are your all time favorite books for children? 
Mette always chooses two books for her bedtime stories.. favorites at this moment are The Duck on the potty (this book is also one of my childhood memories), Woezel & Pip and her counting book. 

What movies do your children like to watch, is there one from your childhood you would love to show them? 
She does not really watch movies yet. When she is old enough I guess I will show her The Never ending story. It made such an impression on me, I had a crush on the little boy and wanted to fly on Falkor.

How do your children prefer to spend their leisure time? 

Playing outside in the playground and with other kids. When the weather is bad we go to an indoor playground. Not my favourite pass time but Mette loves to jump on the trampoline. We also have a subscription for the zoo and like to go there and we love to go to the beach!

Where would you like to go to on vacation - with or without your children? 
I would love to go to Thailand with the family for a tropical holiday. But for now we first go to Oudorp (the Dutch beach) in my parents in law caravan and at the end of the summer Ibiza in a cute little house in the tiniest bay of the island. I also have a trip planned with a friend to Istanbul. I am really excited about visiting this city but also scared I will miss my kids too much. Plus I also really can’t wait to spend a weekend together with my love by the end of the year when I am ready to quit breastfeeding, hopefully New York.

Bloesem kids | Mom in The Netherlands:Lenneke Kooijman

Are you a 'cook' or 'food lover' or both?
I am a foodlover and not a cook per se. I like to cook but lately I don’t take the time to try new things. Before, we lived close to the market and I would take out my cookbooks and go shopping for fresh fruit, fish and vegetables. I also like to bake, cake, pie, bread. I love this book The Bread Exchange with stories and recipes.

Mette is for sure a foodlover! She loves to help me out in the kitchen. She gets her little stool and I give her a pan, spoon, water, onion peeler, herbs and other things I have for her to ‘play’ with and she comes up with the best ‘soups’ ;-)

Bloesem kids | Mom in The Netherlands:Lenneke Kooijman

Books, websites, local shops you would recommend for tips and ideas about kids crafting?
Pinterest of course, I collect all kinds of DIY for when they are a little bit older. Local shop would be craftshop Harolds in Rotterdam for all DIY ingredients.

Are you a crafter or DIY person? 
Yes, for sure. I am brought up with a lot of crafting. When I can’t buy it I like to make it, like the music mobile for Lore. I thought they were all ugly so I bought a second hand one on Dutch Ebay, painted cotton fabric with curry, blueberry, and red union peel and sew clouds, stars and a moon.

What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?
This morning we made a ladybug from paperplates. But most of the time I let her mess around with glitter, stickers, paint and pencils. No real plan or project yet.

Can you mention some of your 'how-to-raise-your-kid' advice?
I learned that Mette and Lore both really responds to my behaviour. They will reflect how I feel. I am very expressive in my non verbal communication and I have to be more aware of this.

Bloesem kids | Mom in The Netherlands:Lenneke Kooijman

Bloesem kids | Mom in The Netherlands:Lenneke Kooijman

What is a normal day with your children? What do you do on the weekends?
On a normal day, like today, we hang out at home played with Duplo and made the ladybyg. Together with Mette I prepared scrambled eggs for lunch. After their nap we went to a friend on the cargo bike, who also has two girls, one a week older then Mette. Girls playing, mothers chatting and the babies sleeping. This weekend we will go to the zoo in Amsterdam on Saturday and then a birthday in a park and on Sunday we go to my grandmother and we go walk in the forest and dunes and have a picnic.

What is your idea of a perfect day with your children?
Cuddling in bed with the four of us, late breakfast, to the beach as a family, bbq on the roof terrace, early to bed.

Do you keep your children's play areas separate, or do you believe they should have a space in every part of the house?

We have a corner in the living room with her own desk and her own big drawer with toys. I like to clean up the mess in the evening. We also have a playcorner in my workspace. I am still planning to put in a swing. In the future I would love to have the girls share the attic and they will have a bedroom and a playroom.

Bloesem kids | Mom in The Netherlands:Lenneke Kooijman

All images courtesy of Lenneke.

.. Lennebelle Jewelry
.. Lenebelle Petites

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Mom Story: Janneke from Hikjes in Huis

MS1

Hi, I am Janneke, I live in Groningen, a city in the north of The Netherlands with Guido and our (almost) two year old son Abel. I am the owner and designer of my labels Hikje and Plaksels and I run an online store called Hikjes in Huis where I sell products for kids and home accessories. 

What kind of house do you live in - are you and the kids happy here, or is there anything you find lacking, or would like to change?

We recently moved from a one-bedroom apartment to a ‘real’ family home with three bedrooms and a large attic. After almost two years Abel finally has his own little boys bedroom and we have our own bedroom instead of sleeping in the living room area. Guido and I both have our work studios at home, so it is nice to have a separate living area now.

MS2

What do you like best about living there?

We live in a very child friendly neighborhood, kids are playing in the streets and we have an amazing playground just around the corner of our house. I love living on the outskirts of the city, surrounded by trees, grasslands, silence and peace, but still being only a ten-minute bike ride away from the city centre.

MS3

Do you like to spend time decorating your home, and your child’s room?

Since we just moved, decorating our house is still a work in progress. One of the first things I finished was Abel’s bedroom. I like leaving his room simple but playful.  Having an online store with beautiful items means being my own best customer. I like to combine modern and new products with some vintage toys for Abel to play with (which he loves).

MS4

Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, or blogs?

I absolutely love Pinterest, it’s a place where you can get lost by looking for new ideas. 

What places in your neighborhood do you like to shop at? 

HEMA! This is a famous department store in the Netherlands, they are known for good quality, but also for great design. I love that they often work with young talented designers/illustrators to design everyday products and clothes. I’m not a big fan of shopping for clothes, but I do enjoy visiting thrift stores. Searching for toys, furniture and books there makes me very happy. For small presents to myself I often visit Een Nieuw Avontuur a beautiful online store with paper goods owned by my friend Martine. I love buying myself some new masking tape (there’s always room for another roll :) Pompoms or stationery.

MS5

What is your idea of a perfect day with your child?

The days I like best are the days we can spend outside. Getting up early, meeting friends for coffee and go outdoors to the woods or a playground. Seeing your child with a big smile on his face and bright red cheeks from playing outside all day makes me feel very blessed. Most times, the simplest activities with your child like just being outdoors together as a family makes him and us the happiest.

MS6

What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your child?

At the moment it’s mostly drawing and painting. I often look on Pinterest for craft ideas. I found some great recipes for homemade play dough and puffy paint. Also, we love to make castles out of cardboard boxes (or should I say I like to make them, since Abel can’t hold scissors yet…) It’s a perfect activity on rainy days!

MS7

Any tips for keeping the house clean when crafting?

Do you really want to keep your house clean when crafting? Maybe you should only craft outdoors then. I don’t mind the mess, just try to keep your kids in one room so the mess won’t spread to the entire house. : )

MS8

Are there musical instruments in your house?

Since Guido is a composer, our house is full of musical instruments. The piano is the most prominent instrument in the house, Abel loves to press all the keys and make ‘music’ I’m not a big fan of playing children’s songs all day long, it drives me crazy! Luckily Abel loves my kind of music too and starts dancing and singing whenever I turn it on. 

What are your all time favorite books for children?

Definitely Eric Carle books, but also Jip and Janneke by Annie M.G. Schmidt and all books by Roald Dahl.

MS10

How do you buy your books? Bookstores? Online? 

I love to buy children’s books in thrift stores. It’s much cheaper and I like the dirty spots and torn pages in second hand books.

Are you a ‘cook’ or ‘food lover’ or both?

Both! I grow my own vegetables and herbs in my garden and love to use them in my cooking. Abel sometimes helps me by watering the plants and picking the herbs. I let him taste everything. I’m very lucky to have a kid who’s very easy when it comes to food.

MS9

What a lovely Mom Story Janneke, thank you for sharing it with us!

..Hikje

..Plaksels

..Hikjes in Huis 

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Mom Story: Maike Keuben from MoodKids

M1

Hi, I'm Maike Keuben and I am a mom of two little girls, Marli Anne (3) and Bobbi Roos (6months). I have loved design all my life and started developing an eye for children's design ever since I became a Mom. However, I noticed that there wasn’t much attention for that subject in the Netherlands. I’m a big fan of online magazines such as Babiekins, LMNOP, La Petit, Small, and Papier Mache. Free online magazines where you can find fun DIY, great fashion for kids, art and a lot of design of course. I really missed a stylish Dutch Online Magazine that would perfectly fit in my reading list.

So I decided to create my own play yard. Together with graphic designer Eefje Kleijweg I founded MoodKids, an online publishing company for stylish and creative parents. We blog at least everyday (with a lot of help from our guest bloggers!), send out online magazine’s, specials, and collect the best webshop sites for kids. One day we hope that people will add MoodKids to the list of their favorite magazines! You can find me at: MoodKids, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

What kind of house do you live in - are you and the kids happy here, or is there anything you find lacking, or would like to change? What do you like best about living there?

We live in a very old (1805) little farmhouse in the Royal Forest. There are only 20 houses in the whole little town, deer, wild boars, foxes and other forest animals live around our house. Although our house is located in the middle of the forest, the center of Apeldoorn is not that far away. It's definitely a amazing place and we feel very privileged to live here. We are surrounded by deer and wild pigs. During the day you experience the seasons and in at night it is pitch dark (we have no streetlights) and you can hear owls, and other forest animals. Summer is buzzing with many cyclists who enjoy the surroundings, and the ice cream shop a little further down the road. In the winter we close the shutters to keep the house warm. Outside you can smell the burning wood from all chimneys. I absolute love our place.

M2

Do you keep your children’s play area separate, or do you believe they should have a space in every part of the house?

We have a small children's playroom. Definitely a great luxury not to have all the toys in the living room. Some of the wooden toys are beautiful to play with and look at, so they may stay in the living room, but other toys are doing better in the playroom. All the toys have been distributed in a number of boxes. Every month I replace all the toys in the playroom for a new toy from another box. This keeps the girl's still enthusiastic about their own toys.

M3

Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, or blogs?

I’m a big fan of online magazines such as BabiekinsLMNOPLa PetitSmall, and Papier Mache. The dutch paper magazines are a bit outdated, but 101woonideen I still buy every month. My latest obsession is Pinterest!

M4

What are your children’s favorite items in your house? 

Bobbi Rose is still too small to really play, but Marli Anne loves her rocking horse circus play tent that I made for her and books, many books. Bobbi Rose is a typical second child and can be extremely happy with all the attention she gets from her big sister. I think her big sister is her favorite toy :-) But of all toys they have, they just love to be outside and play with leaves, wood and sand.

M5

Some tidying tips?  Do your children tidy up after themselves?

Cleaning up is still a bit hard for my little three year old girl. I try to teach her to clean up before we move on to something else. Often we do it together, but it happens frequently that I, lik a whirlwind, go through the house when the kids go to bed to get everything back in place. 

What places in your neighborhood do you like to shop at? 

In my neighborhood there are no shops, I shop online.

M6

Photograph by DHR. Huttinga

What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?

We usually love the quick and easy rapid diy and craft things. Like drawing, painting, cutting and pasting that’s what we love. We do it every day.

Books, websites, or local shops you would recommend for tips and ideas about kids crafting?

I love the easy ideas from Made by Joel. Easy, fun, fast and beautiful. His book is great too!

M7

What do you do with all the projects your children make at home or in school?

First I keep them for a while. The most special one’s get a place in the living room (we have a clean fridge policy) and before I throw them away I take a picture of them. I plan to preserve each year a few nice diy/drawings by my girls. My mother did it with my own arts and drawings, and it is very nice after 30 years to see what you created as a 4 year old child.

M8

Photograph by DHR. Huttinga

Any decoration ideas on how to hang, keep, or use your children's projects as presents?

Beautiful drawings are often used as wrapping paper, or we cut them into little pieces and tie them up in a bunting to celebrate someones birthday, that daddy is coming home after a business trip, or just that it's monday.

M9

How do you buy your books? Bookstores?  Online? 

I am extremely fond of children's books, we get them every three weeks from the library. The finest books I buy to keep and read over and over again. I also have many children's books from my own childhood, such a treat! Especially picture books that are richly illustrated are our favorite. Wild animals of Rop van Mierlo, and I love the books by Oliver Jeffers. They are incredible, magnificent, and are as a parent fun to read.

M10

Do you cook together with your children?

We have a vegetable garden, so I try to cook with the seasons. For children it is super fun to see how vegetables grow. They love to choose, pick, and eat themselves out of the garden. Marli Anne was not even two when she helped me all along in the garden, and you saw scattered small teeth in the zucchini. I love to cook. Marli Anne often helps me cooking, she’s really enjoying it. Cupcakes and cakes are our favorite. Because we are not able to eat cakes every day, but like to bake them as often as we can, we make healthier savory pies, or pizzas that we can eat for dinner or as a snack.

M11

What a gorgeous Mom Story Maike, thank you for sharing it with us!

{MoodKids}

{Maike's Blog}

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Mom Story: Joscha from the Netherlands

Joscha_0052

My name is Joscha (36), designer from the south of the Netherlands.
I studied ballet in Den Haag and Rotterdam. I lived in the city last mentioned, where I also met my husband. After this period I worked 1 year at the NAi, a Dutch architecture museum.  I went back to school and followed audio-visual education in Antwerp, Belgium. Today I work in a psychiatric hospital two days a week. 2,5 years ago I started a blog called MUShandmade about things that catches my eyes in daily life, and about my passions photography, fabric- and paper printing, making stamps, illustrating, designing logo’s etc.

Joscha_1

Soon I will launch my new shop: ontwerplab MUSwerk with my products and ideas (house style-design, logos, handmade personified stamps etcetera). The website will be called
MUSwerk is cooperating with t-a-k  for a very lovely project. It is called jaszakschatten (Dutch for jacket pocket treasures. Schatten has a double meaning... it is also: sweethearts). You can find more information about the project at 'jaszak schatten". We also give workshops at festivals, kid nursery’s and last year October at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.

Industrielamp_snoerboer

What kind of house do you live in - are you and the kids happy here or is there anything you find lacking or would like to change?
We live in Volckerdorp, a village situated in the polder close to the Belgium border. 
VÖlckerdorp was a village of 18 houses founded in 1904. The villagers worked in the surrounding polders. 
The village was separated in catholic and protestant people each going to churches and schools in Woensdrecht or Rilland. Today only 7 families are living in this little street. The view from the main street is still the view people had one hundred years ago, while some of the houses are modernized on the non-visible side. Our house contains lots of glass and brings the natural light inside.
Although we are very happy living here I sometimes wish we lived in a city: our children’s school is in the city and it’s about 15 km/10 miles driving by car. A city also has got more social possibilities (kids’ clubs/ kids’ ateliers etc).

Roemer_4250

What is it you like best about living here?
Living out in the open fields makes you more aware of the changes of the seasons. Driving home also makes you feel like you’re going on a vacation, especially in summer.

Lola_kamer

Do you like to spend time on decorating your home and the children’s rooms?
We often change rooms. I like reading (online) magazines about house and garden design. So every time I see something I really like, something in the rooms will change to. The growing quantity of our children also forced us to be very creative in room dividing and decorating.

DSC_1800

What are your children’s favorite items in your house?
Floyd (27-01-04) just started to learn to play the guitar.
Lola Elvis (16-07-06) loves to dance, clay modeling, but most of all she likes her books. Her bed often looks like a horizontal bookcase.
Roemer (05-08-08) is the second big musician in the house (he’s always making music or singing) 
loves clay modeling to and he likes playing with his barbapapas. He watches Pippi Longstocking and Sinterklaas on You Tube. Pippa Rose is just born a few weeks ago (3-04-11) and I think food is her favorite item.

Villa_augustus_lolly-copy

Some tidying tips?  Do your children tidy up after themselves?
I try to make them do so...and try and try and try........…
What places in your new neighborhood do you like to go to for shopping?
Antwerp (Belgium) for its shops and museums.
Middelburg for the atmosphere and we like to combine this with a walk at the beach afterwards.
And I also like to go to shops where they sell secondhand stuff.
Pippa_rose_roemer_bed-copy
What is your idea of a perfect day with your children?
No serious, going to the beach very early in the morning or late in the afternoon for a diner pick nick and let them having fun with sand and waves. 

Kamer_0441

What is a normal day with your children?  What do you do on weekends?
…at this time I gave birth 5 weeks ago. The oldest children are going to school while I am enjoying time at home with Roemer and Pippa Rose. I go out of bed at six o’clock during the week. When Floyd en Lola Elvis return from school they most of the time play with other kids in our neighborhood. In the weekend we visit family and friends or go for a walk.

Books
Any books you can recommend for parents and how to raise your children?

No… just follow your heart. 
But Uitgeverij Snor (one of my favorite book editors) makes some fresh very lovely designed practical, funny books for parents. (In the attachment you will find some English info about them).

Floyd
Can you mention some of your ‘how-to-raise-your-kid’ values?
Give lots of love, listen to them and explain why you are doing things the way you do them. Taking things easy and humor will help as well.

Joscha-en-pippa_1295

What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?
I like to make new things out of recycled materials with them. Or give them drawing assignments.

Any tips for keeping the house clean when crafting?
No. Don’t think about the mess just be creative.

Are you a crafter or DIY person?
I think both. I like to design…. But also like to get inspired by others and try to make it more in my one way

Drawingbook

What do you do with all the projects your children make at home or in school?
Frame it and hang it on the wall. We can change their works on the wall easily and save the best ones in boxes.
Sometimes they give their work away as a present.
It is also nice to make leporello books with their drawings. Leporello’s are some sort of harmonica books. (Irene I have send you some pictures)
Vogel_koekoek

How do you like to celebrate birthdays and other special days in your house?
Cozy and social with family and friends and some nice food and drinks… lots of balloons.

Stamps

What are some favorite games in your home?
Hide and seek, dress-up (pirates and princesses etc.), board and card games. The (French) Djeco games are wonderfully designed and beautifully illustrated.

Lamp_muur

What kind of sports do your children like to do and are you very involved?
Floyd, Lola Elvis and Roemer love to play soccer. And the oldest 2 like racing with their bikes around our house… as of next month they will take swimming lessons.

Muur_0479

Are there musical instruments in your house?
Most of the instruments are guitars. We do have 2 saxophones a mouth harp and a box full of kid’s instruments. My husband graduated conservatory in Rotterdam. His is teaching Floyd to play the guitar. For his seventh birthday he got a new little amplifier and an electric guitar.
I think at this moment Roemer is the most musically active child at home. He is singing and swinging everywhere. But I will stimulate them all to play an instrument and hope that they will have fun with it in the future.
Boom_fiets_mus_zeefdruk

What are all time favorite books for the children?
They like the illustrated books of Charlotte Dematons, especially Sinterklaas (2007) and de Gele Ballon (the yellow balloon) (2003), pop-up books (nice ones are ABC3D, pop-up stad). You can find some very nice pop-up books at YouTube.
We (not only for toddlers) love the Dingen boekjes. (Read more info in the UK here  and some pics here) They do have an English version too from the Amsterdam book.
And of course you will find at their bookshelves some books written by the legendary dutch writer Annie M.G. Schmidt and illustrated by Fiep Westendorp (f.e.: Jip and Janneke). Some funny and creepy storybooks by Roald Dahl and some books written by Astrid Lindgren famous for her Pippi Longstocking books. I like by the way the Pippi book that has been illustrated by Lauren Child.

Joscha_0431

Do your children read books online?  Do they go to the library?
The kids like books. Floyd and Lola Elvis are beginning readers...
We did go to the library but I have to confess that I’m negligent in bringing back the books and besides that I love children books and some books I just want to have myself.

Lente_4644

Do you cook together with your children? Does Dad cook?
I am a food lover, not a cook. Kids want to help with chopping (and eat halve of the meal in the mean time)
Dad is the kitchen princess in the house. He is also a good cleaner…;-)
I am happy with our vegetable garden. It is enjoyable and tasty, the kids learn about seeding and growing, and it helps them to be more open in trying new food.

Erwin-lola-kleur

Do you keep some sort of travel journal with the children?
We keep a journal about each child from the time that I was pregnant. Erwin  and I do make lots of photos, so nowadays we save our every day live in pictures. And we keep the best memories in our mind, just like we make the best pictures in our mind ;).

..MUShandmade..

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Meet Mom Hylkia from the Netherlands...

Lamps&me-new

My name is Hylkia de Jong (46) and I live in Wassenaar, the Netherlands with my patchwork family: husband Perry (49), my step-son Elwin (10) and daughter Demi(13) who live with us one week on, one week off (with their mum) and my daughter Dafne(15) and our two pets-a fluffy dog (Eevee) and a furry cat.(Dropje) I'm originally a fashion designer with a passion for illustration, and I love to do trendwatching,  illustrating and some photography on the side. I have my own business 'Hartendief", I'm designing and manufacturing lampshades, mainly for kids rooms.

What kind of house do you live in - are you and the kids happy here or is there anything you find lacking or would like to change?
We live in a corner house of a row of houses, built in 1995, so relatively new. It's a kid-friendly area, low traffic, lots of bike trails and walking space.  It's not a big house, but it really has its charm. It’s a bit quirky with lots of strange corners and angles.

Living

What is it you like best about living here?
We practically live at the edge of the town, right behind the gate of our back yard is a nice park. From there on it's an open landscape with meadows, sheep and cows, we can hear the seasons coming and going with the birds around us. In winter there are lots of geese, in summer loads of singing and chirping kinds. I love to take a walk each morning with the dog. And at night it can be so enchanting when the full moon is out.

Do you like to spend time on decorating your home and the children’s room?
We changed almost everything in the house since we moved in together. We moved the kitchen from the middle to the back of the house, and made three huge skylights in the living room and kitchen, so we would have more light in. We created a small office space for my business-which sometimes is so stuffed with lamps that I think I need to find a separate storage for it. On the other hand, working at home is really ideal with kids around. We rebuilt the two upper floors last year, the big balcony on the second floor which we didn't use, plus the attic, were transformed into two girls rooms. We created bi-level rooms for both the girls. One room has the attic as a lounge and chill -out place, the other has a bed there. There's a small door between the two rooms, when the girls want to hang out together they can open it. It's like a big dolls house. They love sleepover parties with friends.

Demis-roomgirl-hangout

On the first floor we made two bigger bedrooms out of three smaller ones, and completely rebuilt the bathroom. It was a huge job, and because we did a lot ourselves, took us over a year to finish. We're really happy with the results. We rebuilt practically every corner of our house except for the tile floor and toilet downstairs. We'd really like to change that. And there's some little tweaks that still need doing.

Do you keep your children’s play areas very separate or do you believe they should have a space in every part of the house?
They all have their own space, but we share the living room and the kitchen. They all got to choose what kind of room they wanted, so we have a soccer room, a bling-girlie room and a Hawaii-room, all with a separate bar so they can hang out, play music and drink lemonade with friends. Having a bar appealed greatly to them all, so we can now do a bar run in our house ;-) There's just one tv in the house- in our living room-don't like them to have their own tv. Society individualized so much already, we feel it's good for them to watch tv together. Besides that it's a good way of questioning all that you see. Although the kids don't always agree on that ;-) They'd rather all have a tv in their rooms.

Demi's-room-set

Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, blogs?
Anywhere. I always keep my eyes open. Whether it's books, stores, movies,  internet or exhibits, I love to visit cities to look for inspiration, big or small, close or far. Whenever there's an opportunity, I'll go.
On the internet I love Pinterest, which is a big pool of inspiration and a stepping stone to thousands of wonderful blogs and websites. I can spend a dangerous amount of time in the virtual world….
I read all kinds of mags- Wallpaper, Elle Decoration, EH&I, Milk magazine, Flow, Delicious, etc.etc. and I love to visit all kinds of stores. I read many blogs, first of all Bloesem (of course!), but also Kids Stylefile, SFgirl, Etsykids and many, many others. But I have to limit myself, I tend to go overboard with my time….
I really like the "Wereldwinkel"in Holland, I recently bought beautiful wooden plates there, and a beautiful straw basket for the cat to sleep in.

What are your children’s favorite items in your house?
When they were smaller Perry built them a bus from cardboard and tape. It looked exactly like the real thing. With a sliding door and all! They played a lot in that. When they grew out of it he donated it to daycare.
I myself love the "Plint" poster-collection. I have a lot of their art in our house. They have a great collection of Dutch poetry posters with great lyrics and images on them. I would love to design one for them one time.

Salontable

Some tidying tips? Do your children tidy up after themselves?
We really want our kids to help around the house. They clean up the kitchen after dinner, it took three months for them to stop complaining. Now they even sing while cleaning! And we have them vacuum and clean their rooms. It should be a team thing, not just parents cleaning up the mess and kids being the kings and queens. To keep your head organized as a WAHM I recommend the site of Flylady or books of "de Huishoudcoach" Els Jacobs.  They are very useful!

What's it like to raise a child in your town?

It's a great town to raise children, in-between cities but relaxed and with a lot of space around- the beach is nearby, and we have a fair share of woods and land around us, a thing you need when living in this crowded land.


Kitchen-set

What is your idea of a perfect day with your children?
I never really picture a perfect day. I like that every day is different with them and bless that.

What is a normal day with your children? 
They go to school by bike, and when they get home they first relax a bit and then do homework routines. In the evening after supper they have time for themselves- usually they spend time on the computer or just go outside and play with friends. Especially in summer they love to stay out and play in the neighborhood.

What do you do on weekends?
In the weekends we usually just relax and enjoy our free time.The kids like to hang out with friends, our oldest has her musical classes. I like to bake bread or cook something nice.

Ticket-set

Tell us a funny story, quote or remark one of your children recently made.
The kids make hilarious remarks sometimes and develop a great sense of humor. I love the little notes Perry's son made: like the fake police ticket he made for "throwing snowballs and soaping with snow without permission".
And he gave all the neighbors tickets too. Our next door neighbor got one for cycling on the sidewalk. He got fined for 210 euro's. And paid it in full! He rang the door with a pack of real Dutch 'centendrop'- coin shaped licorice. Hihi.

Can you mention some of your ‘how-to-raise-your-kid’ values?
We hold honesty and integrity very high. And we emphasize sharing, which is very difficult in this individualizing society, and with three growing teenagers who feel they already own the world. They need to learn that they are responsible for their actions. We just count our blessings and try to teach them to appreciate even the smallest things- life has many surprises-pleasant and unpleasant.

Elwins-roomstairway

What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?
I used to like drawing and doodling a lot with them. Or do paper maché. Perry's son had a phase where he used to draw miles and miles of roads with supermarkets, police stations, hospitals and fire-stations. His whole room was decorated with it like wallpaper.

Any tips for keeping the house clean when crafting?
haha, no, just enjoy it and worry about the mess afterwards...

Are you a crafter or DIY person?
I don't know really. I think both a bit. In our last building project I even learned how to drywall. My hub can make anything from tape and cardboard. I used to do a lot of paper maché and like to pick that up again, it's a great way of shaping things although it takes ages to dry. Paper cutting is great too. I made an enormous amount of clothing in my life but hate to spend time behind a sewing machine now. Just give me paper and ink and I'll be happy. I like designing on the computer too but still need to learn a lot. And last year I tried etching.

Work-space

Books, websites, local shops you can recommend to get tips and ideas for kids crafting?
Second hand stores have piles of 70ties craft books. Wait until macramé knotting shows up again!

What do you do with all the projects your children make at home or in school?
We keep some of the best, either as decoration around the house or in containers in the attic. The rest we throw away. You can't keep it all.

Any decoration ideas on how to hang, keep or use them as presents?
I just try to fit them in somewhere. There's always a corner.

How do you like to celebrate birthdays and other special days in your house?
We always like to cook lots of different foods and have family and friends over. We have a table full of snacks and cake and just enjoy the company.

Do your children have friends over very often? If yes, what activities would they do?
Our kids have friends over all the time. They take them home after school or in the weekends to play or hang out. They love to go to the supermarket by bike and buy things (mainly sweets!) from their pocket money. And they play outside a lot, soccer or with a skateboard or skelter, and with their bikes at the skatepark nearby. Our oldest spends most of her time inside, playing piano, singing or chatting.

Hallway-set

What are some favorite games in your home?
We love to do word-games. Pick a word from the dictionary and everybody writes down a fake explanation. Only one person knows the right explanation. And then we guess what is the right answer. Or put a sticky on a persons forehead with a silly character on it-for instance mr. Bean. The person has to guess who he or she is by the hints the others give him. Or we play card games- lying, cheating, 21...

What kind of sports do your children like to do and are you very involved?
They mainly play outside. They did many sports over the years though: volleyball, scouting, gymnastics, judo, street dance….

Are there musical instruments in your house?
We used to have a pianola, one where you would have these scrolls like a street organ. The mechanism didn't work, which was a pity. But it got out of tune all the time because of the floor heating. It's ended up in a church. Our oldest daughter now has an electric piano in her room. She loves making music and plays piano and sings.

Dafnes-room

What are all time favorite books for the children?
ooh, where to start. I have a weakness for children's books, especially when illustrated well. I'd love to illustrate a children's book one time, and it might even happen….a friend wrote some great kids poems and we already have a few poems with drawings on the shelf. We just need to find time to take that project to a finish line!
My favorite? Vos en Haas, By Sylvia Weve, illustrated by Thé Tjong King.

How do you get your books? Bookstores?  Online?
Either way. Mostly from the bookstore, even now the kids are bigger I still tend to fall for books all the time. I really have to keep track of time when in a bookstore. I recently bought a old time favorite on eBay, a book by Bouke van der Jagt called "de Pozzebokken" Great story. Hard to find though.

Do your children read books online? Do they go to the library?
They're more do' ers than readers. They need to read books in school, I doubt if they would be reading if they hadn't. Although one of them recently read the whole Twilight series. In English. ;-)

What are nice activities you can do with children in your place and what could you recommend when people are visiting?
Take the bike. Go for the beach and just bike around. It's the best way of discovering the nice surroundings. And when visiting Holland, try to visit the Waddeneilanden. I love their atmosphere.

Master-bedroom-set
What movies do your children like to watch, is there one from your childhood you would love to show them too?

We always loved the series of "Buurman en Buurman" the clumsy DIY neighbors, a great animated series. And the "verhalen van de Boze Heks" by Hanna Kraan that Didi Hoving animated so brilliantly with moving silhouette puppets and lights. VPRO.

Are you a ‘cook’ or ‘food lover’ or both?
Both, I love to cook-I'm infatuated with baking Artisan sourdough bread at the moment, when I have time. It's a family thing, my sisters and brother can really talk about food for days. No dinner anywhere without making a picture of it. Foodies, definitely.  We have a thing for great cookbooks too.

Do you cook together with your children? Does Dad cook?
Sometimes. They like to make pancakes or bake brownies with friends. Dad cooks most when I'm really busy. He jumps in with everything when times are really hectic. Cooking, cleaning, kid-control ;-) you name it- he's the man.

Portugal-family-set
What kind of place do you like to go to on vacation with and without the children?

The place we most often go is Portugal. Our sister in law lives there and it's such a wonderful place. When the kids are with us we love to go to the beach and climb rocks together and swim. It's so beautiful. When just the two of us we just enjoy being together, talking and breathing the atmosphere. And discovering new places.

Do you keep some sort of travel journal with the children?
I don't but I love to make pictures.

What kind of souvenirs can they bring back home?
They always bring some stones and shells. In Portugal you find these rocks with holes in them. The Portugese place them in every house: for good fortune.

How do you prepare for a trip, any useful tips?
www.flylady.net- she has a great packing and preparing list!

Beautiful-set

What place do your children love to go to?
When they are young they love to go wherever you go and are happy with somewhere to swim and sleep and a book to read or some crayons. When older, they like to be more active: climb, canoe, swim, shop. And best together with friends.

Tips for traveling in a plane or a long road trip with children?
Be inventive! One of the best things is a book on tape. They can hear a story while traveling. Older kids like having their ipods or game- thingies. But pens and paper go for any age. They're the absolute all-time must.

..Hartendief..
..Hartendief webshop..

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