My Little Jazz Man

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Jeker Jazz was back again this weekend in Maastricht. It’s a tradition that Jaap and I have maintained over the years, dating back before kids! Exposing our kids to music is important. Will they be musicians? Who knows? But, it’s important for us to be exposed to good quality music. The good thing is— they enjoy it. This time there was an added bonus. Some fun swing dancers added to the mood at Tapijn Kazerne yesterday. Flora loved the dancing, Thibault actually sat still for 5 minutes to hear a tune, and Jaap and I enjoyed some good music. Sunday fun day!

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Flora’s Taste Test Kitchen

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carrot muffins

This summer I read Bringing up Bébé that was given to me by a friend of mine. I loved this book. It’s a memoir of an American writer and mother of three living and raising their kids in Paris. I found a lot of similarities between French and Dutch cultures and their approaches to child rearing. The author writes a lot about food in France, food culture, and raising children that are food lovers. It’s one of the biggest focuses in the book. She writes about French friends who bake often with their kids. I love this.

I love being with Flora in the kitchen. She loves it too. She will choose cooking in the kitchen over watching Netflix. I call this a win!

We recently made carrot muffins. Super easy and delicious! She’s a good little helper in the kitchen. Grating carrots, beating the eggs, whisking the dry ingredients. The cutest part is her narrating her own cooking show. We setup my phone on a tripod and make videos. It’s hilarious.

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Going through these photos I was able to see how much Flora and I look alike. My skinny little blonde girl looks very different to me at times, but looking at these photos with dark brown eyes, I see how much we have in common.

Here is a link to the recipe we used and Youtube channel for inspiration.

Carrot Muffins from The Joy of Baking

Charlie’s Crafty Kitchen

Pompoen Parade

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What a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Pumpkins!!!!! Autumn is officially here. There is a nursery in Aalbeek (Nuth) called Kwekerij Bastin that hosts a “Pumpkin Parade” every year. This is the second time we have gone and I think we have solidified it as a family tradition.

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This place is just stunning. I find the entire experience to be aesthetically pleasing. That can be tricky when looking for a fun family activity. Of course for Flora, the best part was the tiny playground, but for myself I love these brightly coloured pumpkins. It reminds me of home. The nursery specialises in lavender and the entire kwekerij gives off this aroma anywhere you stand. It’s just perfect.

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Both kids had a great time, Flora got to pick out a big pumpkin, Thibault climbed around a pile of pumpkins, we had pumpkin cake and tea, and the sun was shining. XOXO

Appelplukdag

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What a beautiful weekend. The sun came out and we were able to enjoy some Autumn outdoor activities. Saturday was Landelijke Appelplukdag in the Netherlands. We visited an orchard in Puth and picked some delicious apples.

It’s not exactly the upstate New York apple experience I remember. I realize now that my outdoor and nature experiences as a child have completely spoiled me as an adult. Let’s just say apple picking in the Hudson Valley is a lot more rustic, less crowded, and vast. I still have vivid memories of the smell of apples and apple cider at Smith’s Farm. It’s something I will never forget. Nonetheless, we are making our own apple picking memories as a family now. Still beautiful, delicious, and fun.

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And in other news—we have a swing set! Yay! I love that we have this right in our backyard now. Thibault loves his little baby swing and the swing and slide are enough o entertain Flora. It’s so great just to pop outside for a few minutes of fun. Even if it’s a rainy day–there’s always a pocket of sunshine to hop on!

Family Fun at Landmarkt Mesch

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Yesterday was our fourth time visiting Limburgs Landmarkt Mesch and I think we have solidified it as a family tradition. We have gone the last two years with Flora and once the first year we lived in Maastricht (before children), but this was the first time that she will remember it. It was a day full of sunshine and joy.

Who knew sitting on a stationary tractor could be so much fun? Thibault loved it and I didn’t think Flora would be that into, but she was. A nice change of pace from our normal fun of playing dress up with princess dresses and Disney Princess Barbies.

Landmarkt Mesch brings back memories of visiting the Dutchess County Fair and it really reminds me that I am a country girl at heart. I loved seeing Flora fascinated by bulldozers and old farm equipment, petting the animals at the kinderboerderij, and watching the equestrian horse shows. It was super fun and at the end of the day she didn’t want to leave.

It also signals that summer is officially over. I was clinging to the warm weather and we officially had to break out the fall vests and jackets this week. Summer is over and we’re moving on. Sometimes I wish I could just freeze this moment in time. Flora is so in love with everything we do as a family and it’s even more fun with a four year old! And then I remember how much we miss sleep. 🙂

Mindful Moment: Flora’s Tree

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Trimming the tree is always one of my favorite activities. Now with little Thibault here, I had to accept the fact that I couldn’t come and pick out our Christmas tree this year. A combination of scheduling around breastfeeding a newborn, a toddler’s nap schedule, and the fact that our car is so tiny that we can barely fit in it as a family of four. It made me realize it was probably best if Jaap and Flora picked out the tree without us. I have to hand it to my husband. They picked out a great tree.

Here is a shot of Flora completely enamoured with her tree. She spent the entire day hanging up ornaments and then moving them around the tree. I love this shot of her.