Sep 29, 2010

be very wary...

... of all things hairy.  
Especially 6'6" hairy things with a headache. 
I remember the days when I would spend and hour, at the very least, on my hairdo on a daily basis. That's after the hour I had already spent (wasted?) putting on makeup. I lived for make-overs and even put my little brother through quite a few of them (sorry about the lipstick and frilly frock Mike... oh and sorry about the pictures, don't worry I wouldn't post them here. Not today anway.) and 3-hour makeup experiments were a must at every pajama party.

I'm so glad the experimental days are (mostly) over ::a 29yo girl can still have her fun once in a while and pretend she can get away with metallic blue eye shadow, right?::, and that what they say about getting older and becoming more efficient is turning out to be completely true. It's a good thing I've become efficient too, otherwise I have no idea how I would be able to make things like this happen in the morning:

She wants makeup for her Birthday in December. Her 7th Birthday...
I give it exactly 2 more years before I will be the one receiving the make-overs.

Sep 27, 2010

music monday V2.3

Can you believe it's Fall again already? Time has flown by at ludicrous speed and I can't seem to make it slow down. It's most apparent in little Elliot, who is quickly becoming not so little. It's breaking my heart!! We're not sure we'll ever have another baby so to think this might be last time he wears those too-adorable little 3-month PJ's, or that the time is soon coming where he'll have outgrown his bassinet, is just killing me. To make matters worse he's losing ALL of that adorable full mop of dark, dark hair he had when he was first born. I guess he'll go blonde like the others, sigh. Nothing wrong with blonde, of course, but I was kind of hoping for a little boy with brown locks. 

We've had the most amazing time in Venice, but nothing makes you appreciate your home and your family like being away from them. It was nice to come back home and to feel excited about getting back into my routine and and about being able to cuddle Lara, Julia and Max again. We're so grateful to Loek, Emily, Marianne and Ada for looking after them while we were away! They did a great job at being surrogate parents for a few days and the kids hardly even noticed we were gone.

Last Friday Sander's brother Maarten had a birthday and when I asked the girls what they wanted to do for their uncle their immediate reply was 'bake a rainbow cake'. So bake a rainbow cake is exactly what we did!
Warning: you might need some ritalin after viewing these pictures.

Can you think of a better cake for a 5 and a 6 year old to bake?
And how can anybody say no when 2 adorable little girls want you to taste their creation? We were all bouncing off the walls by then end of the afternoon, and my right eye is still twitching.

What's that? You want to know what music we listened to while baking the  
Clown Vomit Cake?
I'll tell you what we listened to. We listened to every single song that makes a little girl jump up and down and do silly dances, that's what we listened to.

1. Spice Girls - Wannabe
You thought you'd never have to listen to it again? You were WRONG. You shouldn't have gone ahead and had yourself a couple of daughters.

2. Reel 2 Real - I Like To Move It

3. The Beatles - Twist and Shout

4.The Soggy Bottom Boys - I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow

5. Jackie Wilson - Higher and Higher
Unfortunately I couldn't find a good version on Youtube so I went with this one instead, which is also pretty amazing. BBC has the best music shows and competitions!

Go on, jiggle around, you know you want to.

Sep 22, 2010

what I learned...

...while in Venice.

1. There is only one thing that Italian men adore more than women, and that is babies. We were a hit everywhere we went, or I should say, Elliot was a hit everywhere we took him.
2. I could easily eat nothing but Italian ice cream for the rest of my life. It comes in flavours like 'ricotta, fig & caramel', it blew my mind!

3. I detest tourists and being a tourist. We are an annoying bunch who do not take the time to properly read the instructions for surviving a beautiful city like Venice. Actually it's more about having the city survive us.
4. The greatest sin one can commit while in Italy is to order butter with one's bread.
5. The best restaurants are hidden in the tiniest streets.

6. If someone approaches you on the street whispering 'Hermès?' in your ear, you have exactly 2 minutes before the police arrive and try to arrest you.
7. When utterly lost in the winding streets and alleyways of Venice, don't try to follow a Française with a map and a suitcase. She will shake you.

Please feel free to use this knowledge to your benefit should you ever find yourself somewhere in beautiful Italia!

See all that gunk on the floor of the train? Totally our fault.

Sep 16, 2010

who do you think you are kidding, mr. Hitler?

For 5 minutes I was married to Adolf here.
Then the last bit of bristle came off and things are back to normal.
Now we are getting ready to leave for Venice for 5 days.
Venice! I'm excited.

I'll be back with pictures :)

Sep 15, 2010

music monday V2.2....

.... on Wednesday, with more food than music.

And also the recipes from the previous post, quickly before you knock my door down. You're not a patient bunch when it comes to a good recipe are ya! I don't blame you. I must warn those of you on diets though, since the previous post I have baked Peach Shortbread and I'm afraid I have yummy pictures.



And now without further ado, the recipes:

Apple Crisp
For the filling:
5 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 tbsp sugar
For the crisp:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold butter (or 85 grams), cut into smallish squares
1/3 cup oats

Set your oven to 190 Celcius to preheat and get your food processor out. Begin with throwing the ingredients for the filling together in a bowl, stirring well to coat the apples with lemon and sugar. Set aside.
Then you simply throw all of the ingredients for the crisp into the food processor and pulse them till it comes together a bit. It will be very crumbly!
Then you grease a pan, throw in the apples, cover them with the crisp mixture and bake them in the center of the oven for about 30-40 minutes, until the crisp is a nice golden brown and the sides are bubbling. I recommend you eat it hot with vanilla ice cream.

Banana Bread
3 big or 4 small ripe bananas
1/3 cup melted butter (or 75 grams)
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups flour

Set you oven to 170 Celcius and grab a bowl. Mash the bananas and throw in all the ingredients but leave the flour. Stir well. Then add the flour and stir again until incorporated. Grease a pan, put mixture in the pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until brown and a tooth pick comes out clean (I had to bake one for 60 minutes the other day).

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup shortening or melted butter/margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla (or a bit more if you really love a rich vanilla taste)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups flour
about 2 cups of chocolate chips/chunks (I can't buy chips over here so I just cut up dark chocolate bars) 

Preheat the oven to 175 Celcius and melt the butter/margarine if you're going to use that. Then again you mix everything together, except the flour. Add the flour until incorporated and don't be scared if your dough seems runny. This is because you melted the butter, the cookies will still turn out amazing. Then stir in the chocolate (and nuts, if you like them in your cookies!) and line a cookie sheet with some parchment paper. I put 12 blobs of dough approx. 3/4 inch in diameter on my sheet and that gives me about 36 medium cookies from this recipe. Bake them for 8 minutes if you like them extra chewy, bake them for 10 if you prefer crispier. I find that 9 minutes gives them the perfect crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside texture. Oh, can I just say, these are even better if you wrap the dough in cling film and let it sit in your fridge for a few hours (that will also take care of the 'runniness'!).

As for the Peach Shortbread, allow me to just link you to this amazing website I was referred to not too long ago by someone who can only be described as, like, totally awesome for knowing this website.

Now run along quickly while I add some more pics of the kiddo's, before you notice that besides it not being Monday, I also actually add any music to this post...

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