donderdag, september 28, 2006

Weighing life

Amy has started a very cool new blog a while ago. I completely missed it at first because I was happily consuming during my vacation. I was completely intrigued by the buy nothing for a month challenge she set herself. It seemed impossible to do. I love to buy and shop though I know the tendency to overshop ;-). I sure can indulge in some retailtherapy too and it isn't always pretty. But not shopping didn't feel right for me either. So I pondered about it all for a while. The subject mixed up with living greener somehow. It became a big mess in my head and I didn't post about it because I hadn't got a clue on how to entangle it.

I still haven't but sometimes writing helps so here comes:

I love the tendency towards living greener and living more simple. I had so much fun seeing it's not easy being green. (Probably because I have loved militaryman strawbridge from his scrapheap days and it was so much fun to find out he has a hippywife).

But watching it I was again wondering why being green and selfsufficieny are so often confused. It might make you greener (although according to the husbandphysisist woodburningstoves are quite a environmental disaster) . Anyway. It doesn't change the earth because it is simply impossible (at least in this country) for everybody to be selfsufficient. We dutch would probably starve to death..And that in itself would be an answer but it would made me sad because well we humans have nice sides too..

And then I realized I love the idea of specializing. I love the fact that we humans developed a way of living that allows us to live from what we love doing . I know this is the ideal situation and not everybody is fortunate enough to love his way of earning his bread but it is possible in the system. Instead of working seriously hard every moment of the day doing everything. We do what we are best at and in the end exchange our services or products with others who have done the same. It is a great way of sharing. And money makes it easier. In our economic model however some have decided making money is what they love best and the collecting and spending became something that wasn't thought about that much.

But I love the fact that I can buy something that enables somebody else to live the life they want and in the meantime what I have bought makes my life better. So I need to shop better. I have thought of it before .
It was much harder then I thought to support independent businesses. They often wanted me to have cash or charged for paying with debitcard. I don't have cash around ever and I don't like it and going to 5 shops with two children takes forever. O ften their is no bike parking and it is on dangerous streets (Quite critical if you lift a 1,5 year old from your bike on the street. In the time you lock the bike she can be dead 5 times..if the road is near and busy)
And quality wasn't there sometimes either. I have however found a couple of people worthy of my support and I try to cherish them. I do find the need to step out of the supermarket more often..

Because I am also trying to loose a few kilo's my grocerieshopping at the moment tend to be a bit more thought out. I like this. In fact the whole dieting process this time round is fun. I started with the new weight watchers cd-rom and I love it. I can basically eat what ever I want but I can't eat everything I want. It forces me to focus on what I need to stay healthy what I would absoutely love to eat now and then and be willing to sacrifice for (so far wine (beer is more points ;-), a croquet (a dutch staplefood) and today bit of pizza..) It is a brilliant way of dieting because it forces me to think about what I put in my mouth without knowing and what really matters to me.

And then it hit me I need to weight watch my life! What do I buy? Do I need it. Does it make my life better? And how was it made? Did it make the life of others happier, better? Does it harm the planet.. I have a great book lying around here somewhere called. Houden van je spullen (Love your stuff) and that is about the fact that if you buy something it needs to fit your life. And it makes it easier to get rid of stuff. I think I am heading in the right direction.

As for the real environmental stuff. I'll sign up for a ecological fruit and vegpacket. Lots of stuff is is arranged already for us. Our house is mightily economical. We use the car very little, we don't fly. All garbage is collected separated and will be reused if possible..

We could be way better but I think we will go one step at the time..

The picture above? Two of my recent purchases that hopefully will be a little contribution to keep fellowbloggers Manda en Elianne in bussines. The cat is bought from manda a while ago. The hearts is bought in a small shop that happened to sell goods of Elianne! Bet she is suprised to see it show up here ;-)

Check them out! And don't hesitate to buy it are lovely goods. Zus is a dutch sites but the pictures are great ;-)

ANd mine isn't blogger refused to load the picture over 10 times and now I find I have uploaded the nonecropped one. But hey you'll have to live with it..

woensdag, september 27, 2006

Hello my name is Mijk and I am a coat addict (Lot's of pictures!)edited a link!

A while back Alicia start showing her coats and invited people to play along. I had to jump in because I have a thing with coats. I love them. Unfortunately I am always going for the impractical ones but that just makes me want to have more..
A couple of my priced possessions.. This little black coat was supposed to be my grandmothers weddingcoat. She hated marrying in black but it was 1946 fabric was still rationed. So my great grandmother sew this from a pre war blanket an aunt has saved. It has a little fur like collar and pockets. It fits me like it was made for me and is extremely 40's elegant. In the end one of the nurses in the hospital got hold of a white fur coat and all the nurses were wedded in that one.. (Hey the war had ended marriage was the thing to do.) There is a little hat coming with the coat as well. I haven't dared to wear that too maybe this year with the 40's and 50's revival so strong.. (I imagine a black and white polkadot circleskirt peeking under that coat..)

This one we called the teddybear coat is also from Oma it is fifties I believe and incredible warm.It is just feels like your walking around wrapped up in a blanket. My head looks incredible small in this one.. It has a cute pomponlike closure and A big collar.

This one is my MIL's she used to wear it on the backseat of fil's motorcycle in the early 60'sIt misses a button but is still a nice little suede coat..

A newly bought about 8 years ago in London. London is horrible for my coataddiction (as is Paris) People who use subways instead of bikes can wear such beautiful coats. This one has faux pockets which makes it very sleek and quite useless for everyday life.. And here a little forrestgreen gothic number. I have taken up the ends of the sleeves to make it more practical but it just isn't practical so I'll change it back in to impractical but stunningly pretty . The back is like an English huntsman ridercoat. Really great. Here is a shot of it's lovely back. Isn't this so Tolkien? Here is the odd one out. As you can see I am forever drawn to the browns and greens with a bit of grey and black but this one was hanging in the thriftstore for 12 euro's and I so loved the marimekko like fabric I just had to have it. It is a beautiful fit too. I only fear I need sunglasses with it.. I don't know If I wear it in spring but I love it anyway.. It's got a hotpink lining. And here is one of spring/autumncoats.. Same label as the gothic one. I've actually worn this to threads. The lining is gone the zipper is going..Here we have a Hennes and Maurits bargain. I love about 70 percent of their coats so I have restricted myself with a no buyingpolicy. This one however was down from 70 to 10 euro's and then I just bought it. It has so much zippers and other hardware on it they alone are worth the 10 euro's it is a woolen not to thick coat. So perfect for autumn again. This is one grannies again it is n't tailored the way I like it and it is really granny-ish. But I love the decadence of the fur and the whimsical buttons.I really can't believe I 've got this many coats but as you can see they are not that practical if you live a live biking everywhere you need to go mostly through the rain. So I was seriously happy when my husband found this one for me. The corduroy is fabric but it has a goretex backing. So it is wind and weatherproof but It has an impractical furcollar (I would think it is fake but it is from a frenchlabel that makes a lot of huntinggear so I am not a 100 % sure.) The lining is bright purple! I love to have a goretex coat that doesn't make me look like a sailinglady.

maandag, september 25, 2006


Shellwreaths weren't the only thing I have done this vacation. There was stitching too. Al little stichette doll for my son who adores it.. And a little needlebook for myself (I realized I needed one when starting to embroider on vacation with a toddler running around..) I love this green felt and I immediately remembered it when my father returned from the US with this. (Isn't he great? My father can spoil a girl like no-one can..). I think I like this only white and yellow version better a bit more simple. I don't know what I like most about the Ipod the music or the fact that it has as much dressingup potential as my barbies (and so much easier without the arms and legs)...

We have buried grandma last week and it was a beautiful and comforting occasion but it was tiringaswell. It made me miss my first sewingclass and I have realized I have my first now on wednesday but haven't chosen fabric or pattern. I have a number of patterns lying around now. And if I would be sewing on my own I would go for a vintage American pattern with vintage/thriofted or swappeds fabric. But maybe it's wiser to start with a common Dutch pattern to learn the Dutch sewinglingo (it is double dutch to me sometimes ;-) . And I might go with storebought fabric too until I know how the rest of the group is..
What would you do..? And all my dutch lurkers doi you have any recoomendations for a magazine paterrn. I have got nice knipie ones and ottobre too..

woensdag, september 20, 2006

Some pics, an apologie and a how to make a shellwreath

Working on the laptop and that has all the vacationpictures so here are some of our wonderful days at the beach...

I can't believe all the typo's I left in yesterdays post. It was my workday and I had been at the laptop for 8 hours or so. Constantly spellchecking. (I am a good writer but not a great speller. I can spell it is just that my spellingcontrol is not automaticly on.) So yesterday I kind of thought I can't be bothered but in the light of a fresh day I am bothered. Sorry...

And then the wreaths. They are only shells. I know it looks like pebbles but there aren't any. I started with the brown then the blue and then the white and they got better every try so maybe you can learn form me..

I used a straw wreath from a gardencenter but a cloth covered one should work fine too. I indeed gluegunned all the shells on and the big secret is to pack them very thight and indeed overlapping. It is not about the individual shell it is about their impact together. If you have some very special ones lay them aside so you can ad them on top. I glued the shells and put them on the wreath It is a fidley job and will leave you with the occasional burn. Practice makes perfect because the white one was painless..Take your time now and then to step away to see if you have enough variety in terms of size, colour and texture..

Well it is as simple as that. Good luck if you try..And don't hesitate to ask if you think I left crucial information untold.

Oh You need a lot of shells. An awfull lot. So do as I did include the whole family and tell them what colours to find. It isn't a job to finish in one sitting anyway..

dinsdag, september 19, 2006


Last post was written yesterday and today (yeah i know and i still didn't manage to spellcheck it. I have jjust a fear for blogsilence of late because I know it just gets harder to post..

Anyway daughter is quite well again. So no need for worries!

maandag, september 18, 2006

things that made me happy this week

Life is a bit insame here again. Daughter is sick yet again . She woke with a temperature of over 40 c. this morning ( that is 104 f) I do not like that in the mornings.. Also my grandma -in-law has passed away. And though this is not really unexpected at 97 it is still sad and takes a lot calling and thinking.. and planning for the funeral and the childcare then..

And still I am feeling so much better. I am really quite happy. We had a bit of sun maybe that is it I don't know. It might be granny who was such a fantastic person. She was a special stubborn lady who was very good at doing things her way (yeah exactly like my own gran!)

Since the insane week is far from over and I'm in the middle of work I thougt I'd make a list of things that made me happy this last week..For a quick blog entry

*The frog. It makes for such a fantastic story especcially because I had 3 20 month olds walking around when I discovered him..

*a perfect day spend eating raspeberry white chocolat muffins and shopping with a friend (and Only one of her children and me childfree the bless)

*the sun. Oh I love sun...

*My sons teacher telling me he is wel loved in class because of his good ideas..

*Son asking me who his mil is. Me laughing telling me he hasn't one. He I want to think about her already.. Two days later I want to marry you and then you can be my grandma in law I don't want another one..

* My new shoes. I've got new shoes and I love them (Picture will come ( when battery is charged sigh!!)

-[All the living simple ideas going aroun in blogs. I just love it when things I think about are being written down by other people . It makes me think so much clearer..

-My dad calling from New York on a bussinesstrip asking kme if I allready own a I-pod. As good as the call I got wehn he was in milan asking form my dressize ;-) He didn't tell me yet if the thing is bought but he did tell me he raided the magazinerack at the airport for me. My dafdis a fantastic shopper.. So I secretely hope I will be sewing I-podbags next week but will be so content with mags..

So links and pictures will come back one day but for now there are deadlines my friends

donderdag, september 14, 2006

Some crafting form the beach

This was so lovely to do. It took hours. It burned my fingers but it was great. I must admit I love shells. I love the colours the texture the shapes and making these separating the colours was so much fun. I immediately wanted to repaint my house in all the amazing muted colours the sea offers..

The brown one is a bit oval so I might redo that one a next time (and put htis one upstairs on it's own it wont be as annoying I think.

I also want to mention that the mirror was not bought by me or any member of my family..

dinsdag, september 12, 2006

I think I might be back

lets not be as sure as last week. I really thought I would blog all week but well work was crazy flue was nasty (both me and the girl) Boy was wired from the back to school week and I had to go door to door begging for money for the dutch cancer fighting organisation.. So no blogging.

And yeah there was some grass to cut...

And then there is another thing. Vacation was great but it was then that I discovered I really am stressed more than normal Husband even used the D word. I think I know what the deal is. I really need to change some things in my life and I 'm scared so I don't do anything yet. And that is depressing.

So you know when I finally thought it a bit scary? When I read Susan tagged me for a 5 weird things about me meme and I could only found sad and lowselfesteemthingies..

I have so many quirky things and I couldn't come up with one funny one that didn't make feel lousy!

So I called the therapist.... I have refound myself a little since then so here we go:
some weird things about Mijk...

1 I fall a lot. But as my husband puts it: "It is not a worry because she is really good at falling, she exerxcises it so much". I have the bruises on my knees and elbows you expect of 6 year olds... I have never broking anything in my life though...

2 I am very grateful for the existence of bluetooth thingies on mobile phones. I don't own such a thing but I talk to myself a lot. Mostly on the bike So I got looks sometimes but now never. Everybody just asumes I'm having a phone conversation and in fact I just have a nice chat with Mijk. My grandmother would say she thought herself a great chatpartner 'she always agrees'.

3 I suffer immensely from substitute shame. It makes it hard to watch comedies. You know when someone is going to be laughed at. I just want to not see it so I start singing or something . As a kid I would always hide behind the curtains.

4 I Somehow find myself having conversations with totally strangers all the time. It is funny and weird. Like I walk through the streets and find myself talking about math in highschool with a homeless guy. My granny used to start conversations typically like: "I was sitting on a bench and I talked to this guy and he thought of marrying his boyfriend.."She also talked to her house aswell as her self. Hello house it's me I'm back again.. Oh did I love granny..

5 I have a hard time hiding sceptisicm and have been trown out of lots of classrooms because of my 'look'. It felt very unfair at the time, but the look is genetic. My father has it, my brother has it and my son starts showing it. And I know now why it earned me a trip to the principal.. Well I learned lots of poems and french words ( they were favourite punishment of my favourite principal ;-)

I don't think these are things for the therapist though. They are me and I am a tiny bit weird (I could ad another 5 easily ;-)

I thought it was fitting to end this post with a weird thing I encountered today..

OKay maybe a frog isn't that weird but I just didn't expect it in my dogs waterbowl that was inside the house and I had filled an hour before with water from the tap...

maandag, september 11, 2006

Five years ago today

we put our house on the market. We had bought a newly build with a big garden in a kind of compensation way. We had been trying to have a baby for a year at that time. Were quite frustrated and slowly getting scared. The appointment with the real estate lady was at 3 in the afternoon. Around that time she called to tell she was caught in traffic. I went to the kitchen to make coffee anyway and husband turned on the tv for a bit of daytime television..

I remember him saying my name and me looking towards him. The oak floor shined beautifully as we had oiled in that weekend and on the low cherry coffeetable I had a big bunch of red velvety roses. I noticed husband sitting on the edge of the coach looking real pale. He said:
"They say a plane has crashed in the worldtrade center and it looks quite major."

Walking towards him I tried to think of which wtc since we have some buildings by that name in Europe. Looking at the television we suddenly saw a second plane. I kept looking as it hit the building. Still holding on to the coffeetin.

We watched until the doorbell rang and the real estate lady was there. She hadn't had the radio on in the cart so I filled her in. She got white and scared and I rember I said you might want to watch. She couldn't speak nor did we. After half an hour she said I guess you still need to sell the house. We talked curtains and kitchens and floors from then on

It was completely surreal. I was so floored by the horror of it all. And wooden floors were so utterly unimported but well we bought a house and we couldn't get out of that contract at that point so we worried about the house too and felt guilty for that..

Two weeks later we sold the house and I found out I was pregnant... The real estate lady was tearing with joy for us. She said she would never forget us..
Apparently she didn't. She called a couple of months later to ask if the pregnancy was goping well. She told me: "I was so sad those weeks and your baby was such a sign of hope and happiness. When he was born I called her office here secretary heard my name and asked if all was well with the baby..

It was He is four now and doesn't know a world before 9/11. I am sad for that but I am also greatful and hopeful..

maandag, september 04, 2006


I so planned a neat thought out post with lovely pictures and interesting content. But unfortunately I need to make a magazine that is all that and more and there is only so much neatness I can muster because well holiday is over (as in the honeymoon is over) . I've still got sand in my shoes from the beach but that's about all thats left from the lovely days there (NO it is not really true it just feels that way. It was just a loud bang when I landed on planet earth again.. )

The nice pictures and good stories and craftsharing will come in a while promise!

P.S. Tried to internet on holiday for insane amount of money. I checked my blog only to find that the familyfriendly surfingpilar blocked my blog because I once used the terms over 18.! I couldn't get to most of my dailey reads and everytime it blocked something he took 10 seconds to tell me why it was blocked (This blog uses the term masochistic! Well damn sure she does she is on ivf numer 356 or there abouts) . So for my dear money i got a lesson on foul language.. ;-=) It didn't even open gmail..( I probably sweared there )