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Mom Story: Lenneke Kooijman

Tuesday, 29 September 2015 by Irene Hoofs

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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