Me Time


It’s that time of year again. TEFAF is back in town and this year I promised myself that I would make it there. Saturday was day full of art, culture, and inspiration. Paintings, design, jewellery, antiquities, to name a few. Thank you Jaap for watching the kids all day while I got to float about TEFAF with my friends.

These are just some of my favourites that we saw that day.

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And if the day couldn’t get any better, Jaap and I booked our babysitter to come for date night. No fancy dinners (in fact we ate pancakes with the kids). Just drinks, some live music, and some alone time. The perfect day.



Weekend Fun: Leuven, Belgium


It’s really winter here! Temperatures have dropped and it’s been pretty cold here the last week. We even got a little bit of snow on Monday morning. Sunday was our family activity day and set off to explore Leuven, Belgium. What cute little university city.

It wasn’t a day full of activities, just walking, coffee and beer drinking, and admiring the old architecture. The gothic city hall in the city center is quite impressive. Very ornate and stunning. Set against that blue sky—ahhhh! We had lunch in a tavern, drank some beer, saw the church, and walked to the Grote Begijnhof. Leuven’s university is the oldest in Belgium (15th century) and has so many beautiful buildings throughout the city.

Panic set in at one point when Flora realized we weren’t going to a playground. This seems to be her definition of fun, whether it be indoors or outdoors. But, she is such a happy little traveler, we knew she would come around and find the fun or beauty in something we were seeing. She can still be redirected with a game of tag or “I Spy”. This seems to be her new favorite walking game. I love it. We both take the time to see the things around us and really look at what is in front of us.


And a bonus— we scored some free drinks at the university because they were hosting an open day. I’m happy we took a little adventure out of our region. Spring feels so far away. We’ll see how we keep warm this weekend!


Rainy day fun


Flora is now a proud Museumkaart holder. I didn’t realize kids could also get museum cards in NL and after calculating in my head how many museums she went to last year, it was worth it for her to get a card this year.


We made a trip to Hoensbroek castle and it was a family hit. Flora loved (and Jaap) loved completing the scavenger hunt the castle provides for it’s young visitors. It was a fun way to get us to explore all the rooms. She loved climbing the tower, playing the old games in the cellar, and thinking about all the princesses who have lived here before. It was a great day. A little history, a little culture—happy kids and parents!

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Family Day Trip to the Eifel


Yesterday was the perfect winter day. We traveled to the Eifel National Park for a day trip in nature. It was picturesque. Walking in the woods, snow covered trail, building tiny snowmen, throwing snowballs, and breathing in the fresh winter air. It was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Thibault and Flora loved walking around in the snow. Little T is such an active little boy. I’m sure he wishes he could run and jump around all day, but it’s still so little and he can barely move in all of his snow gear! But, he still got to walk a decent portion of the trail.


It’s strange that we have lived near Maastricht for seven years and this was our first time exploring nature in the Eifel. It’s so close. In just a little over an hour, we were in a totally different landscape. Snow was an added bonus. We didn’t expect that when we left our home, so that was a nice surprise.

This family day trip was much needed following another Carnival season. Carnival is very hard for me with two small children. I used to love Carnival in Maastricht, but things change drastically when you add a child or two to the mix. Getting out of the daily routine was a refreshing break this week.


Our trip ended with some coffee and cake in Monschau. One of the cutest German town’s I’ve ever been to. What a fab day!


Weekend Fun: Family walks & Babychinos


Our weekend was off to a good start! Flora and I enjoyed some coffee and a babychino at Confetti in Maastricht, while Thibault played in the “speelhoek.” We ended with a quick stroll around the Friday market and our morning was complete. Flora was impressed by the market. “Wow. This place is pretty cool. Look at all the different things here!.” It made me realize I should take the kids there more often. There are a lot of cool things to see at the Friday market. She’s also at the stage where she talks loudly about something she sees even if it is about another person. She saw a man at the market and practically shouted, “He’s not wearing a coat! And he’s smoking!” Luckily the guy didn’t even notice and I had a little laugh. So–this is something that we are working on.


The sun was shining on Saturday and we took advantage of the day. Some outdoor play in the backyard and a nice stroll near Valkenburg. Thibault had some fun at the playground thanks to his new outdoor winter pants! He’s growing up so fast.


Weekend fun: Eijsden castle



We headed out for a quick walk around Eijsden castle last weekend. Flora loves castles and we had a chatty stroll round the grounds while Jaap tried to give Thibault a nap. I only wish the walk around the castle was a little bit longer. It’s such a beautiful little place. It’s still January and I’m already thinking about spring!


Girls Weekend


Not a bad view!

I have fallen off the blog bandwagon again. My intentions to consistently blog throughout the holidays did not happen. Life was too much fun, busy, sick, and exhausted to blog! I want to upload a “snapshots” post soon, just so I have the photo memories of our Christmas season somewhere. We had such a great holiday season complete with the cookie baking days, Christmas and NYE with friends, Christmas with the Jansens, a day trip to the Spoorweg Museum in Utrecht with friends, and the flu! Overall, a fantastic holiday! Flora has fallen in love with Christmas and there’s just not much more you can ask for.

Back to normal life and I was lucky that my friends and I had something fun to look forward after the back to work/end of Christmas slump. The Mamas had a weekend getaway planned! We planned a “spa” weekend in the Ardennes (Malmedy) at a house in the countryside complete with a relaxing sauna. 48 hours, no children, no mess to clean up, nobody to take care of in the middle of the night, late dinners, lots of coffee and wine, and hours of girl chat! Not to mention a couple of hours drinking beer in the sauna, hopping in and out of the cold in our towels and reheating again in the sauna. Thank you to my Swedish friends who taught us how to properly “sauna”. I am converted and a big fan now!

It was a fantastic weekend and I have nobody but my amazing husband to thank. Thank you for letting me recharge, regroup, and mostly RELAX! After 48 hours I actually missed my family. That’s a good sign! And I feel grateful for this life. Cheers to friends and family  in 2018!