You want a bag with that?

If only people would start asking this question here, I bet there would be less waste. It’s ridiculous how many plastic bags you get when you go shopping for groceries. I’m just now starting to realize how much stuff I actually waste myself. And that’s mostly so unnecessary. Which is also why in my resolutions there is one that says that I want to be more eco-conscious.

It doesn’t really seem to stick around here yet. My resolution. Because when I ask about what has to happen with that one thing we don’t really use anymore, the answer is usually: just pitch it. I’d show all the documentaries I watched, but then again I don’t think that my hubby would really enjoy watching them. Anyway, I am convinced that if I keep living consciously that it might stick or catch on in this household.

So how do I live more consciously then? Well for one, I don’t throw away clothes (unless they are really not wearable anymore, but even then the fabric might still be useful in other clothes or whatever). If I have clothes that we don’t wear anymore, I donate them to Goodwill. Same for toys that don’t get played with anymore (WE HAVE SO MANY TOYS!)

Also I will try to buy less stuff with plastic packaging. The other day the husband came home with already sliced apples in tiny plastic packages in a bigger plastic package. Maybe it’s just me being Dutch but for me that’s just for lazy people. When the husband saw me get worked up about it he said: but it’s organic?! Yes honey, it’s organic and I know that I rambled about that a lot too, but now it’s about the packaging. Sorry, it’s not easy living with me as a wife. JK, I’m a delight.

Thirdly (is that a word?) I use products from Lush. I wanted to get their Naked Christingle body conditioner but I was too late so I had to get the one with packaging. The thing I like though, whenever you bring back 5 empty containers you get a fresh face mask! Spread the word if you didn’t know already.

DSC07935 (2)

4. More in a socially conscious concept; when I buy shoes, I want to start buying shoes from TOMS. Every time you buy shoes, they give a pair of shoes to someone in need. I think that’s a great concept. They don’t just give shoes, they do more, but I can’t explain all that, it’s all on their site.

I also want to buy beeswax wrap so I don’t have to use plastic wrap anymore. It might be an investment at first, but it is for the better and I am sure it will save money in the end.

Anyhow, I have a lot of plans for this coming year and I hope I can keep it up. I will let you know how everything goes and how green I will get!




Planning my life in 2018…

TBH, planning is not my strongest suit. I tend to procrastinate and do everything at the last moment. I also have never really been someone to make new years resolutions before the next year begins. I wouldn’t make resolutions at all, or I would make them on january 1st. This year, I am doing it differently. That’s why I am writing this blog now, and PLANNING for it to go online on the 1st.

That is already one of my resolutions. Become better at planning, but this one I actually start before January 1st. I hate to do everything at the last minute, while that was completely unnecessary. If I start doing things in advance, it will get me further and give less stress. Also, it will create more perspective, which would be nice in that messy head of mine.

Another resolution is getting Ava potty trained. She is 2 and a half now, and she knows when she has to go. We already got her a potty for Christmas in 2016, but she only used that a couple times. Also, with Cara on the way then, it was kind of hard to stick to the potty training. I know, I know, excuses, excuses. It is time now to get Ava trained, and we’re going to do that with a reward-chart. Every time Ava goes potty, she gets a sticker. When she is completely potty trained, she’ll get a gift.

Spend less money and create less waste. We often buy a lot of stuff that we don’t really need. Especially here in the States, you get sooooo much packaging with everything you buy. You go to Walmart? For every 2 or 3 items you buy, you get a separate, plastic bag. Those bags usually don’t get re-used, people just toss them. That is not helping the plastic soup in the ocean. Also, it is just very unnecessary. With spending so much money, and buying so much stuff we start to forget what we actually have. I’d love to be more appreciative of what I already have, and not what I think I need.

Less screentime. For me, and for the girls. I’ve come to realize that since I’ve started spending so much time on my phone my vision has become worse. That is one thing, and I also realize that I miss out on a lot, while being on my phone. Funny, because you’re on your phone because of your fear of missing out. What’s happening is not in your phone, it is in the world around you. It will also boost creativity in me and my kids if we get less screentime and it will be better for bonding. I don’t want to wake up one day and basically have missed the whole youth of my kids because I was on my phone so much.

More God-time. I am trying to find a church here in which I will feel like home. Also, I want my focus to be on Him and not on me. I’ve lived my life a lot with me in the spotlight and not God. I keep making plans and I basically need God’s permission. That’s not the way it should work. HIS plan. Not mine. And that’s hard for me because I will need to let go.

More blogs. Supercliche and might sound like a way to keep my readers, but I really want to blog more. I forget how much I actually like writing and just get lost in day by day life. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with ideas and inspiration but I know I’ll just have to keep pushing.

So for now, I have 6 resolutions. Who knows, it might become more, we don’t need a beginning of the year for that. It’s just a good start.

I will keep you posted on my resolutions.



Ride along, baby

I’m feeling like a real have-it-all-together mom, while I am writing this blogpost at the kitchen island. The only thing missing is a cup of coffee, but my kids are either sleeping or playing and all is calm in the house. I’ve been awake since around 5.00 a.m. and got a lot of energy. No one needs to know that I was up that early with that much energy because I have a bad jet-lag though.

Yeah, I’ve been back in the States for about 3 days now, and me and my kids all have jet-lags. The good thing though, is that we made it! I traveled by myself with 2 kids and we survived! But boy, did that traveling take a lot of energy and patience. I’ll tell you about my experience and all the stuff that helped me through the voyage.

I started preparing about 2 weeks before we actually went. I knew that it was going to be hard to entertain Ava, because she is 2 and probably would not sleep on the flights. On the internet I saw a couple kids’ suitcases, that were ride-along suitcases and since Ava didn’t do the best walking the last time, I decided to get one. A Trunki. Ladybug style. When it arrived, Ava loved it immediately and I explained that she could sit on it and ride on it, so she didn’t want to do anything else.


I also got a backpack for Ava with pencils, a couple Woezel & Pip toys, some cookies, a bottle, a coloring-book, Nijntje (Miffy) toys, her baby (favorite stuffed animal) and a talking airplane toy that I never would’ve gotten otherwise because the sounds are just so annoying. I gave the things to Ava as presents but told her that she could play with them once we got on the airplane.

So there we went, off to Schiphol. I had a big suitcase, Ava’s Trunki, a diaperbag and Ava’s backpack as luggage. It was nice that Ava could sit on the Trunki, but it was kind of hard to steer. I had a leash attached to her backpack because Ava is of the running-away kind. The people at the airport were very helpful and nice, since I also had Cara wrapped around me in the sling.

IMG-20171215-WA0004 (2)

On the plane Ava played with the window ”curtain” and the table in front of her more than she actually played with her toys. The first flight wasn’t too bad, but when we were at Keflavik Airport we only had an hour to get on the other flight to Chicago. Luckily there were people who helped (again! Faith in humanity: Restored), but then we got picked for the random search. Of course with 2 kids, I was worried not to catch the flight to Chicago but the customs-people assured me that the plane wasn’t even allowed to take off without me. I felt so important.

We made it to the second flight, and the attendants told me that if me or the kids needed anything they’d provide. So nice! Especially when Ava wouldn’t listen to me anymore because she was tired and started screaming. Moms and dads, if you ever travel with a toddler: BRING ENOUGH SNACKS! I’m usually not a bribing mom, but I didn’t want to be annoying to anyone else so I might’ve used some snacks to bribe my kid.


The good thing of traveling with kids though, people let you go in front of everything! I was happy when we made it to Chicago and finally landed (Ava’s ears hurt a lot, poor girl), and then we got help again from various people. By the way, the reason I’m not mentioning Cara a lot is because she was happy for almost the whole flight.

Anyway, in conclusion: Parents, if you travel with kids, bring enough snacks, toys and maybe download some movies on your phone for them, and I could recommend a Trunki or any ride-along suitcase in case they get tired or they don’t walk fast enough (because that can happen to, ya know). I’m happy to be back in the States again and hope to keep you posted on my adventures here.




disclaimer: I was not in any way sponsored by Trunki or any other brand. I just really liked the suitcase.


I see the car coming, but I think to myself: that person will probably slam his breaks at the line. I have the right away and it’s too late to stop now anyway. The car doesn’t stop, and I feel my bike falling from underneath me. The car wasn’t going fast but I fall pretty fast and it hits me quite hard. I see the ground coming towards me and I think that the driver is probably one of those macho business guys, I don’t remember hitting the ground but I got there somehow.

I heard the driver slam his or her breaks. I am down on the ground and the only thing I can say is: ‘au.’ I see tiny wounds on my hands and I get up. My right hip hurts a lot. The driver gets out of her car and the first thing I say is: ‘sorry.’ She tells me that I don’t need to say sorry and that it’s her fault. It was. I had the right away, but I feel bad for her. ‘Are you okay, are you hurt?’ I tell her I’m okay and that my hip just hurts a lot. Am I supposed to sit down? Stand up? Call the police? What should I do? Am I one of those people whose adrenaline carries them far and then an hour later they appear to be severly injured? Several people stop to see if I’m okay. One girl puts her arm around me. I am standing there. Shaking. What just happened? The driver asks for my number and if she needs to take me somewhere. She says she’ll call later today to see how I’m doing. ‘I think I am just going to go to work’ I say, like nothing happened. ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Yes, I’ll be fine.’

I grab my bike and put it in the bikeracks. Then I lock it and walk towards the trainstation. I’m starting to feel that my hip hurts quite a lot and I call my mum. She comes to pick me up and takes me to the doctor. Luckily nothing’s wrong and my hip will probably just hurt for a couple days. I am not going to work.

The realization comes that I’ve been protected. Everything could’ve gone so much worse. Yes, I’ve been hit by a car but I know that God was with me at that moment and nothing worse happened. I didn’t break anything and I didn’t land in a weird way.

” For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.” 

– Psalm 91: 11-12



Being a cool mom…

Boy do I like the movie ‘Mean Girls’. I’ve seen it about a dozen times and I love the quotes on there. When I became a mom I wanted to be a cool mom. Maybe not try as hard as Regina George’s mom, but I’d love the confidence!


All jokes aside, I do want my kids to look up to me and have a youth to remember (in an amazing way). This means spending time with them and having as much fun with them as possible, but also taking me-time so I can be the best mom possible. I do have the advantage that I am still young myself so I can relate more to my children (this isn’t meant in an offensive way towards older moms).

In the end I think every mom wants to be a cool mom. At least to their kids, but also to the world around her. She wants the world around her to see how great she is doing it and how she is extraordinary because she takes her kids on far away holidays or takes a trip to the museum a couple times a week, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about loving your child and being there for them when they need you. It’s about wanting the best for them. It’s about reading that book for them that they like so much even though you are tired of it and would rather have done something else. It’s about comforting them when they are hurt, whether it is physically or emotionally.

I know that in their teenage years my kids are probably going to hate me and be embarrassed of me from time to time, but as long as they generally love me and know they have someone they can count on, I think I did my job well. And then maybe later, when they’re all grown up, they will say: I have a cool mom.

Love from this cool mom,



Museumfun! #1

Sometimes I have no idea what to do with my 2-year-old. She is a very busy girl who loves to explore. I have this picture in my head that I want to be that mom who takes her kids to museums, and that the kids enjoy it just as much as the mom, in that case: me. Now yesterday me, Austin and my sister in law volunteered to babysit my little nephew, and my SIL proposed to go to the Children’s bookmuseum in Den Haag (or The Hague, if you will).

So off we went, babies on our stomachs in the slings and with 3 toddlers in strollers. If you would’ve seen us at the time, you would’ve thought we were the dad’s going for a walk in ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’. We looked like we were in a movie. After looking for a proper door to get our strollers through, we found the exposition on the second floor.

We went and saw ‘I am Frog!’ (Ik ben kikker!) first. Kids could wear Kikker pants (red/white striped swimtrunks) and have loads of fun. When you walked into the room it was designed to look like you were outside in nature. There was a tiny tent, sanddunes, a boat in ”water”, and you could go into a room to read or listen to the Kikker stories.

Next to the ‘I am Frog!’ exposition there was a different exposition called ‘ABC met de dieren mee’ (ABC along with the animals). The exposition had a lot of different books and characters in it (e.g. Nijntje, The very hungry caterpillar, The little polarbear etcetera).

Ava and her cousins had a lot of fun, because next to educational it was fun. You could dress up, go down the slide, draw, go through secret pathways and just run around. We had the advantage that it wasn’t very busy at the time, else the secret pathways might have been a little annoying/helpful towards losing your kid.


I would definitely go to the museum again with my kids, and I put some more info in the blog if you ever want to go visit.

prices are:

up till the age of 1: free
ages 2 – 6: 6,00
ages 7-18: 7,00
adults: 8,50

visit the site here



P.S. At first I didn’t know if it was the best to write this post in Dutch, but then I decided it wasn’t. I am used to writing in English and I realized that even if people aren’t Dutch-speaking, the exposition would still be a lot of fun for kids.

When other people’s success slows you down

Sometimes I start writing or doing something and I want to become good at it, maybe do something professional with it but I stop. I stop because I will see the ‘competition’ and think; I will never be as good/funny/inspiring as that person. It’s not the right mindset of doing things and I know it’s not, because the reason I started doing something in the first place was because I enjoyed it, and thought it was fun. So I let seeing others being succesful in something I like doing as well bring me down.

I will be very hard on myself, because when I make something public it has to be perfect. I don’t want to write a blog that is not that good or funny, but I know that if I keep blogging, that will happen. It’s a process of allowing myself to fail and not be perfect.

I am not perfect, nor are those people who are succesful in blogland, or the creative field or whatever. I set too high bars for myself. Let me show you what I mean:

  1. I want to be succesful in blogging but I have to have the perfect blog, it has to look good and be easy to read. It has to have a high quality picture in it and the layout has to be perfect
  2. I want to show the world that I am a great mom (despite of getting pregnant at 17, since there seems to be such a big stereotype about teenmothers), have my whole life planned out and know what I am doing 99 % of the time.
  3. I want everyone to like me so I will go out of my own way to make everyone like me.

It is tiring. I am not perfect, nor can I expect everyone to like me. I want to be able to show what my opinion is and not have to think about: oh no, what will the others think of me? Some people are not going to like me, and that is okay, the focus shouldn’t be on them. I need to have my focus on what I have and am able to do. Which is a lot.

I will find my way, don’t you worry about me.



P.s. (notice, no picture? I mean, I had to start somewhere with the selfacceptance)

Why I traded my kidney for a babywrap

She doesn’t want to sleep. Or at least she fights it and she is not someone who gives up easy. At least that shows she has a lot of willpower, but right now, while she is crying her lungs off in my arms, it’s not helping her. I know that she has to learn to fall asleep by herself. Eventually. Right now, I love it that she loves to be so close to me, and you know what, there is nothing wrong with that. And if she keeps screaming I put her in the sling, close to me, and it has not once failed to calm her down.

I am a big fan of bonding with my child (Duh), but I will try to do that in various ways. Like babywearing, breastfeeding and just taking the time to talk to her and see how she responds to me. I want to give her a solid foundation for later on in life. I want her to know that she can come to me no matter what and that I am always there for a hug or a cuddle. That feels natural to me. And if that is spoiling my child, I want my child to be spoiled rotten. Of course, I would love for her to be a strong independent individual later in life, but I am sure that starts with a good foundation. And also, later. Right now, she is a baby, she does not need to be independent yet. She CAN’T be independent yet. She needs people to love her, cuddle her and feed her.

So I wear my baby, kind of like an accessory, with my luxurious wraps that cost me a kidney. Okay no, of course my baby isn’t an accessory, but I might only have one kidney left.

DSC02590 (2)

Yes, she has red hair and I love it.



wrap: Kokoro Falko Sage. It’s the softest cotton I have ever felt and it could carry a toddler easily.
The picture was made by myself


Maybe you should cover up.

He threw a swaddle at me. ‘This is just to cover up for when the people start coming, else they might look at you weird’. Too perplex to react I just accepted and kept feeding with the swaddle over my boob and my daughter’s face, but it didn’t feel right.

I know he was trying to be nice and trying to protect me from getting bad reactions (at least I hope so), but it felt like I was doing something obscene. Whipping my boob out to feed my baby. While it is perfectly natural to feed your baby. I wasn’t looking for attention or yelling at people: ‘HEY, LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT MY BOOBS, I AM FEEDING MY BABY.’ No, I have the right to feed my baby uncovered if I want to.

When I was at a restaurant, feeding my baby and my husband told me that I could cover up a little, cause people could see my whole boob (they couldn’t btw), I had the urge to punch him. I didn’t though. I have explained to him so many times that breastfeeding is natural and that breasts aren’t even supposed to be sex-objects in the first place. He is fine with me breastfeeding in public, but to a certain extent. The problem is that people (especially here in the U.S.A.) see breastfeeding as something ‘gross’ or something you just do at home. That’s also the reason why I will try to keep breastfeeding in public. Not to provoke, but to show that it is normal and natural.

And if you are not comfortable with breastfeeding in public, that is fine! But don’t shame me for it



The birth of another princess.

I can’t do this anymore. ‘I really need medicine, I’m gonna ask for that medicine next’ I say to Austin in the middle of a contraction. It already took so long, and I am worried that if these contractions keep getting worse I won’t be able to handle the pain. Breathe, breathe. I try to focus, but it’s difficult. The contraction wears off, and Austin reassures me that I wrote in my birthplan that I didn’t want pain meds and that I will probably be disappointed afterwards if I did give in. He is right.

Every day for the last week I had been waking up disappointed. Why wasn’t I having contractions yet? I was getting frustrated, so whenever I woke up around 2.30 on the 19th of april I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I felt like I was having contractions, but I assumed they were just Braxton-Hix contractions which would go away.

It started around 2.30 a.m. I felt I was having contractions, but I didn’t really want to get my hopes up because it was one contraction every 10 minutes, and they didn’t seem to get worse. So I took a bath, to help speed things up, but it didn’t work. Whenever I told Austin I thought I was having contractions he just gave me a thumbs up and fell asleep again. So I went to sleep again too.

Around 6 I wake up again. ‘I assume you’re not having contractions anymore?’ Austin asks, but I am not sure. Nope, they’re still there. I think we’ll be having the baby today. Austin takes the day off and Ava goes to Springfield with family. I take a walk, another bath, lay down, but nothing really seems to speed up the contractions. It frustrates me. I look in the mirror and I see that my belly really has dropped in comparison to the day before.

20170418_212524 (2)20170419_091348 (2)

great quality pictures, I know. Left is April 18th, right is April 19th.

Around 3 I finally have the feeling that the contractions are every 5 minutes and around 4 Austin calls the hospital because I also lost blood. We are welcome, and whenever Austin’s dad is there to babysit Ava we go to  the hospital.

‘How long since your last contraction?’ I am not really sure… ’10 minutes maybe?’. Austin looks at me and goes: ‘Oh’. I know what he’s thinking, maybe we will be out of the hospital in an hour because no, labor didn’t really start. When we get to the hospital Austin tells me I look ratchet (thanks honey, I am here to give birth, not for a photoshoot for some fashion magazine) and that I was acting a little different when we got to the hospital for the birth of Ava. Uh yeah, then my water already broke and I was dilated at like 4 cm.

We walk in and a nurse leads us to a room. She explains to me that they’re going to track my contractions for a while and then they will decide if I will get admitted or not. I breathe away another contraction and put on a hospital gown. Once I am attached to the machine that tracks my contractions and baby’s heartrate I ask the nurse if I am still allowed to eat. She brings me some crackers, a popsicle, water and applejuice.


Don’t I look lovely in a hospital gown? Ava and my father in law come over to check how it’s going. Apparently that is a thing in America, as long as you’re not pushing the baby out yet, people still come to see you. I already made clear that when I get admitted and go to a different room, I don’t want any visitors. They stay for a little while and then they leave again.


The monitor for my contractions and baby’s heartbeat.

Around 7 p.m. the nurse comes to check to see how much I am dilated. 2.5 cm. Dang… I really wished I was a little further already. The nurse calls the doctor (who is in a different hospital at that moment) and she decides that I get admitted. Yeey, it is really going to happen!

The contractions are getting worse and when the nurse wants to escort us to a different room, we have to wait a littlebit because I am getting another contraction. The next room we are in is a lot bigger. There is a big bath which I would love to plunge in right away. Okay, or try to sit in slowly. I don’t stay in the tub super long because I have a feeling like it’s not helping a lot. I try the birthing ball too but that just gives me more pressure. I almost pop Austin’s back out of place when I lean on him during a contraction. The nurse has been monitoring my contractions and the next time she checks I am at 4 cm’s. I don’t know if I can do this much longer.

I claw my nails in Austin’s hand. He was just about to check on Ava and his dad but I yelled at him to come back. I really need him. Between the contractions I tend to almost fall asleep, but the contractions are getting so bad that I am considering medication. After the contraction Austin tells me that I will just be disappointed after if I do that and he is right. ‘AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUU’ I yell because this contraction is unbearable. I can’t breathe this one away. The nurse comes in with another nurse because they’re quite sure that I am getting close to pushing this baby out. I feel a lot of pressure and I ask the nurse if she really can’t break my water. She checks me and I am 7 cm’s dilated. ‘Sorry hun, I tried but your water is like bulging’ she explains to me. She called the midwife to come because the doctor is still with another patient.

‘I am peeing, HELP, I am peeing!’ ‘No, that’s just your water breaking’ I try to breathe with the contractions but they are too heavy. This isn’t going to end. ‘Is it too late for an epidural?’ I ask the nurse. ‘Yes, it is’ she tells me. I want to cry. ‘You’re doing great!’ another nurse tells me in the middle of a contraction. ‘Shut up!’ I yell at her because I need to focus on my pain. When the contraction wears off I apologize. She tells me she’s heard worse. Finally the midwife comes in and checks how far I am dilated. 9 cm’s. But I feel like I have to push. After what seems like an eternity I finally get to push. ‘Do what your body tells you to do.’ the midwife tells me. I push and push and push. ‘Look down!’ Oh my gosh, I can see the baby’s head! Another push and they lay her on me. She is so precious.

Cara Mae is born and I am so in love with her.