Francesco's groupies

N wanted to see her violin teacher play and we found a nice opportunity to see him in the afternoon Christmas concert in the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam. Sinfonia Rotterdam played there with adios-nonino-for-Maxima-with-bandoneon Carel Kraayenhof. A lovely concert, also for kids, although they were the only ones present. Prior to the concert we had a delicious lunch at 'uit je eigen stad'. We can recommend both the Sinfonia orchestra (nice family concert in january) and the restaurant, when you plan a trip to Rotterdam. For us it was a great start of the holidays.

For Lillemor

A birth card fell in our mailbox last week. It let us know that little baby Lillemor came into this world, into our neigbourhood. We're not that close to her parents, just a card back would have been enough, but yesterday I felt like making this softie for the baby. Inpired by the lovely reindeer card in pastels. Our girls will bring it to the new born soon, because they're anxious to see the little one. Now we just have to decide on a nice name for this softy.

Paying it forward

About seven years ago an artist invited all the kids in the neighbourhood to come and make Christmas angels from waste material. We just came to live here and this activity accentuated the feeling that we had made the right decission to move to this wonderful neigbourhood. The angel we made is still in the top of our christmas tree every year. For last wednesday I organized the same thing. Our daughters both invited some friends to make recycle angels with us. A table full of paper and chips bags, onion nets, plastic containers, fabric scraps and 10 girls creating the most beautiful creatures. We started with this tutorial, but soon their fantasty took over. That's how it should go.

Stash buster

This was a welcome tutorial. I have a box full of straws that was waiting for a destination and on the almost-want-to-throw-away-list. With 25 straws in each star the box gets empty quickly. And the stars look great. Bigger than I thought they would be. If we hadn't had a handmade angel in the top of our Christmas tree, this star burst would make a nice topper.

Reprise

The girls have Christmas dinners at school. J yesterday and N today. On special request of their classmates we baked monkey bread again. It's not the prettiest dish but certainly tasteful. Just balls of bread dough (mix from a package) rolled in butter and a sugar cinnamon mix. Slightly similar to this recipe. I promised our daughters that we will have these for Christmas lunch too. You can vary easily with this recipe. We also tasted a pizza bread, parmesan and herbs, delicious.

Tasty snowmen

I'm preparing for next wednesday, when we're going to make upcycle angels. The girls invited some friends to come to our place to have a creative afternoon. Of course we'll try to create a warm cosy atmosphere inside with christmas music, decorations and snacks. Today I made these marshmallow snowmen in advance. Three white marshmallows on a stick, wrapped in plastic, faces with permanent markers and a felt scarf. Simple and cute.

Wolf in sheep's clothing

When you're turning four and will be going to school in the new year, you'll need a schoolbag. A bag to fit your lunchbox and bottle. Cousin Wies got this messenger bag for her birthday yesterday. Squirrel on the flap and a fox underneath it. This tutorial results in exactly the right size bag for a child. I just added piping around the flap, for extra detail and professional look. This week W will be taking the bag when she has to practise at the big school. We're wishing her a good time over there!

Tree of love

Today we're going to bring our christmas tree inside. It has been waiting outside for some days. But our busy schedules prevented us from decorating it till now. Last night I whipped up these felt hearts. Very simple. A new addition to our, already not so small, collection of tree decorations.

Yes for carrot cake

Carrot cake never seemed too attractive to me. But Coconut makes everything good. So when I saw this cake in my new Rachel Khoo cookbook and all ingredients happened to be in the house, I had to try. And I must say, carrot-coconut cake is not bad at all. Very tasty actually. The neighbours, who got a piece because we can't eat every cake we bake completely, agreed and asked for the recipe. I thought to share it with you too. You can find it here (scroll down, it's the second recipe).

Random fabrics

More presents from this production assistant. Scrappy cold (two hours in the freezer) or hot (15 sec in the microwave) packs. Made out of small fabric scraps and a piece of flannel for the back. These ones are filled with flaxseed and lavender. But rice would also do the trick. I tried to recover the tutorial I used, found many, but not the one I was looking for.