The Holiday Diet

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Sep 222014
 

Because we booked our plane tickets almost a year in advance (you have to grab a bargain when you can!) we had plenty of time to dream, plan and put together the perfect holiday. Visiting family and friends, shopping at my favourite shops and going to the weekly market, a little holiday-inside-the-holiday, fun days out, trips to the forest and beach, exploring different countries and much, much more, we were definitely not short of things to do.

Dutch market

Call me crazy but I also made a separate list for all the foods I really wanted to eat, something you probably won’t understand unless you have moved countries too. A yummy ‘Hollands Nieuwe’ (raw herring) with chopped onion from the markets, rookworst from the Hema, stroopwafels and gevulde koeken, a frikadel speciaal and a kroket from the wall, freshly baked dark brown bread, suikerbrood and eierkoeken, the list goes on and on.

Dutch tompouce

With four of us celebrating our birthday while in The Netherlands we also enjoyed our fair share of baked treats. We ate way too much apple pie, tompouce, Bosche bol, bolus than we should have and that’s only what I can remember, no doubt there was more! Hubby said the heartburn and indigestion were totally worth it (nothing some Gaviscon couldn’t fix) and I hope in time the scales will forgive me too. We only go on a holiday once every 2-3 years so that makes it OK right?

Dutch cheese supermarket

While you can find them in Australia Dutch cheese and licorice are simply too expensive, yet in The Netherlands it’s all so cheap and widely available so I made sure to eat plenty of it. I even stuffed every spare cm² of our 6 suitcases with more cheese and licorice to help me through my next bout of homesickness once we returned home. It’s fair to say that I am going through it very quickly, let’s hope I start feeling better before I run out…

What foods from your home country or childhood do you miss most?

Jun 152014
 

ByKay Carry Your Love

With only 6 weeks to go until our holiday I am getting rather nervous. As if 21 hours on a plane (plus a 7 hour stopover) is not exhausting enough we have 4 young children to keep happy on this long journey. I’m not particularly concerned about the oldest three as they can be entertained with books, games, toys and movies, my big worry is miss Sybbie, our 17-month old troublemaker.

ByKay range

If you are a long term reader of Hip Little One you have probably read about our battles with reflux, food allergies, sleep and poor growth and as a result of these ongoing issues our little monkey struggles with severe separation anxiety. A new environment, a look from a stranger (and even family!), someone coming too close, they are simple things that upset her a lot and I am expecting our plane trip to cause a lot of tears.

ByKay Essential PinkOver time baby wearing has become one of our biggest sanity savers, making Sybil feel more comfortable, happy and safe when out and about. Carrying her close to me offers her a feeling of security, she clearly feels protected and safe and she loves snuggling into my chest when we go out, it also keeps her upright which helps with her reflux problems. I can not imagine going on a holiday without our ByKay Baby Carrier, it is an absolute travel must-have.

ByKay Design GreenDesigned in my home country The Netherlands the ByKay range of baby carriers are the ultimate combination of comfort, ergonomics, practicality and style, allowing all parents to wear their children in a carrier that suits their personal taste and lifestyle. There are currently six different ByKay carriers, and a rainbow of colours, to choose from. From newborn to toddler, from boy to girl, from mum to dad, from ring sling to Mei Tai and from classic and neutral to bright and cheerful, there is a perfect ByKay carrier for everyone.

ByKay Essential BlueThe ByKay Essential Baby Carrier ($89.95) is made from soft, stretchy cotton jersey making it an ideal choice for your precious bundle from birth up to 10-12 kg. The snug, wrap around design is very popular with new mums because it is comfortable for baby and for mum and has a nice natural feel to it, it’s like a second pair of arms to hug your baby while you keep your hands free for other things. There are 7 great Essential colours to choose from and a free storage bag is included.

ByKay Design CarrierIf you love the features of the Essential Carrier but are looking for a more eye catching print and a larger weight limit you’ll find the ByKay Design Baby Carrier ($129.95) ticks all your boxes. The star and flower design are a real stand-out and with a weight limit of 18kg you are guaranteed to get lots of wear out of it. The breathable, 100% natural cotton fabric is a great choice for our warmer Australian climates, making sure mum and bub are comfortable all year around.

To find out more about ByKay, to browse the range and to order online visit www.bykay.com.au.

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Joolz Day Earth

 Baby, Mum, Out & About  Comments Off on Joolz Day Earth
May 082014
 

Joolz

After a few months of pushing our Joolz Day Earth around town, beach and bush I think we can safely say I am ready to share my experiences with you. As you may remember from my Joolz introduction post Joolz is all about innovative design and I have had a fabulous time checking out all the clever features of my Joolz ride. There are just so many plusses about this pram, these are some of my favourites:

A striking look that's hard to miss

A striking look that’s hard to miss

The look!
The first thing people (including myself) look at when selecting a pram is the overall look and the Joolz Day Earth is a real eye catcher. The combination of the sleek silver frame, the vibrant Parrot Blue fabric and the leatherette handle bar and bumper bar is simply stunning, I can not count the number of times I have seen (expecting) mamas turn around to closely inspect my Joolz and peek at the brand name. It is beautiful, classy, luxurious, modern, unique, simple and definitely has the wow factor.

The pram seat has the same height as most other seats

The pram seat has the same height as most other seats

Height
Compared to other prams Joolz prams are designed with as a higher seat that brings your baby nearer to you, this means you don’t have to bend down as much to handle your baby in the seat or bassinet (great for your back!) and baby will feel safe and close to the parent. It is also very handy when you sit down in a restaurant or eg. the cinema as your baby will sit at the same height as you instead of lower, hidden under the table. The adjustable handle bar pulls out at the touch of a button so whether you are a little mama or a tall dads like my hubby you can walk up straight and maintain correct posture, after all your comfort is important too!

You can always see what baby is up to through the handy 'control window'

You can always see what baby is up to through the handy ‘control window’

Seat
The seat of the Joolz pram is one of the tallest seats available (plus it features an extendable foot rest) and the carry cot is very spacious so you get to enjoy your pram for longer making it a great investment for young families. You can use the ergonomic seat forward or backward facing which I love as my daughter likes being able to see me while we walk. At the same time, when she does face forward the handy Air Top allows me to take a peek at my baby from behind. The safety harness feel very sturdy and strong, it is simple to put on and it has a big, chunky buckle that is always easy to find (no digging under your baby for a teeny little buckle).

A smooth ride on every terrain

A smooth ride on every terrain

Wheels
The Joolz Day Earth guarantees a comfortable ride thanks to the luxury four wheel suspension; the back wheels of the Joolz Day Earth are fitted with heavy duty pneumatic tyres for a smooth, relaxing stroll even on bumpy terrain, the smaller front wheels allow for quick manoeuvring and easy steering which is particularly handy in supermarkets and busy shopping centres.

Miss 3 hitching a ride

Miss 3 hitching a ride on the Footboard

Accessories
There are lots of handy Joolz accessories available to make your life easier when out and about. We have added the Joolz Cupholder and the XL Shopping Bag so we can run our little errands by foot instead of having to take the car. We are also using the Joolz Footboard when we go out for longer walks or day trips, that way our 3-year old daughter can ‘hitch a ride’ when her little legs get tired. It simply clips on to the frame and when not in use you can fold it upright and attach it to the back of your pram. You can even fold the pram with the Footboard attached!

The Footboard just folds upright, out of the way

The Footboard just folds upright, out of the way

Storage
On the one hand the seat and carry cot are generous in length and width to be comfortable for your growing child, on the other hand the pram folds up nice and compact and can stand up unsupported so it can be stored neatly in your hallway, garage or under stairs storage space without being in the way.

Upright storage, great for small spaces!

Upright storage, great for small spaces!

Good to know: A two year warranty period applies to all Joolz products, starting on the purchase date.

To find out more about Joolz, to take a closer look at the Joolz range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.my-joolz.com.au.

Dec 302012
 

A few weeks ago I shared with you some of our Dutch Sinterklaas traditions and as we are nearing the end of the year I thought it would be nice to tell you about a typical Dutch New Year’s tradition too. When my husband came to The Netherlands for the very first time in December 2005 he was introduced to a special Dutch treat called ‘oliebollen’ (Oil balls) which people traditionally eat around New Year’s Eve as well as at fancy fairs etc. I myself am not a big fan but in my husband’s memory they are delicious so this year we made our first attempt at making them here in Australia.

Target Essentials Deep FryerTo make oliebollen you need a deep fryer and as we didn’t have one yet we popped into our local Target store and picked up this Target Essentials Deep Fryer for $30. Obviously we don’t use a deep fryer that often and this one is simple, affordable and does the job really well, a wise choice I think. I am sure you can guess that being a deep fried food oliebollen are not overly healthy, it is good you only eat them once a year!

Koopmans Oliebollen MixNow I’ll be honest here, to make it easy for ourselves (you could call it lazy) we just used a prepacked mix from the Dutch shop called Koopmans Oliebollen Mix. You only need to add water and you can also add sultanas/raisins if you like but they are not a must. One packet is enough to make 20-25 oliebollen depending on what size you make them. I’ll share a proper recipe later too for those who are keen to give it a go and prefer to make them from start to finish.

Real Dutch Oliebollen

Real Dutch Oliebollen

The preparation process is easy: Add water to the powder, whisk or use a kitchen machine to mix, cover and let it all rise for 45 minutes. In the meanwhile you preheat the deep fryer to 190 degrees celsius and then it is time to make your oliebollen. Use two tablespoons to make your mixture into balls, drop them in the hot oil and deep fry until cooked and golden brown (3-4 minutes). Take them out, let them rest on kitchen towel to remove the excess oil and they’re ready to be served!

Target Vintage Blue PlateOliebollen are generally served with a good sprinkle of powder sugar (preferably the real Dutch stuff as it does taste different). I wish you could all have a try, I think they look really yummy! We served our oliebollen on these gorgeous light blue Target Vintage Dinner Plates ($5 each) and the striped paper napkins ($3.99 per 25) are from Target as well. If you love those cute plates too you should pop into the Target Homewares section, they even have matching bowls!

To locate your nearest Target store or to order online visit www.target.com.au.

Fancy oliebollen from scratch:

1 big apple (soft and slightly sour) cut into very small pieces

225 gram sultanas/raisins

500 gram plain flour

1 sachet yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg (beaten)

300ml beer at room temperature

200ml milk at room temperature

1. Mix the apple, sultanas, salt and a few tablespoons of the flour in a bowl.

2. In a separate bowl mix the remainder of the flour, sugar and yeast.

3. Add to this the egg, beer and milk and use the hand mixer to combine until smooth. Gently fold in the sultana mixture.

4. Cover with a damp cloth in leave it to raise for about 2 hours in a warm spot until the mixture has doubled in size.

5. Heat the deep fryer to 185 degreese celsius.

6. Use an ice cream scoop or two table spoons to make the mixture into balls, drop them in the oil and cook for ca. 5 minutes until golden brown (turn them at halfway point). You can cook 5 oliebollen at the same time.

7. Once cooked remove them from the oil, place on paper towel to rest and serve with a good serving of powder sugar.

Enjoy!

Sep 202012
 

On one of our trips in Holland (well actually we were in Belgium that day, got to love the distances over there) we stopped at a small road side cafe for a drink. Our beautiful miss 4 had just had a little meltdown and the lady from the cafe spotted the last remaining tears on her face. To cheer her up she gave all the kids a candy necklace, you can imagine the smiles. I think we all know them, those children’s necklaces made of little round lollies, beaded onto elastic. They are still talking about this yummy necklace so I knew they would love this gorgeous creation from Dutch label 2 Cute 2 Be True.

The DIY Candy Necklace (€17.95) looks just as colourful as the real treat, only supersized! Each DIY kit contains 14 ready-to-use crochet beads in a selection of colours, all you need is a ribbon or piece of string and your little one can make a fabulous necklace they can really wear. Kids will love this and so will parents, there is no need to worry about articifical colours and a high sugar content.

Here’s another one of designer Judith’s clever DIY kits, a colourful garland that you can put together in a flash. Each crochet piece closes with velcro so kids can easily do this themselves, they will love helping with the decorations for their own birthday party or special occasion. The 16-piece DIY Garland Kit (€17.95) is available in bright and pastel colours. If you are talented with your hands you can create more crochet pieces yourself and make your garland even longer.

But there is more to 2 Cute 2 Be True than the DIY collection, in store you’ll find lots of lovely crochet goodness in a range of sizes from big huggable animal friends to tiny little playsets. The 2 Cute 2 Be True dolls (€17.50) are absolutely adorable, each character measures ca. 25 cm tall and they love getting cuddles. Which one is your favourite, is it Lulu Lamb or maybe Barbara Bunny?

To find out more about 2 Cute 2 Be True, to browse the range and to order online visit www.2cute2betrue.com, flat rate postage to Australia is AUD $20.

For your chance to win a 2 Cute 2 Be True DIY Candy Necklace visit www.2cute2betrue.com and answer the following question: Which 2 Cute 2 Be True design is your favourite and why?

Submit your answer by leaving a comment below, your email address will not be published.

If you really want to win you can earn up to ten additional entries, please leave separate comments for each entry:

Competition ends October 20, 2012. Sorry, Australian entries only. By entering you agree to our Terms & Conditions.

Oct 232011
 

Earlier this week I received my latest Budburst Kids order and everything was beautiful as always. I have been lucky enough to meet owner Lou twice now and it makes the shopping even better knowing who is behind this great store. Lou is always looking for exciting new products for Budburst Kids and recently she became the very first retailer in Australia to stock Dutch label Streep & Co.

Streep & Co. has picked up on everything mums like, love and need starting with a stylish, timeless design: classic stripes and uni coloured garments in traditional colours that do not date or go out of fashion, they are super easy to mix and match. Then there is durability and ease: each style is designed to be comfortable, easy to put on and off and the fabric and fit stay beautiful and soft wash after wash.

Speaking of the fabric, Streep & Co. garments are made of high quality, organic cotton so it is an ideal choice for the environment, children and mums. Yes, mums, because the Streep & Co. range even caters for ladies! Aside from the babies and children’s designs Budburst Kids also sells the Streep & Co. Ladies Tunic ($39.95) and Tops ($34.95). Currently available in navy, red and taupe stripe these are great items to wear with a nice pair of jeans for a simple and stylish look.

The Streep & Co. Kids collection consists of long and short sleeve bodysuits, tees, dresses, pants and a kimono suit as well as matching accessories like scarves, bandana’s, baby blankets and comforters. There are more than 10 colour options to choose from and sizes range from newborn to 4-5 years old. The look and feel might be expensive but unlike most organic products this label is very affordable, prices start at just $12.95.

If your preferred style, size or colour is not in stock simply let Lou know and she can put your name down for a preorder. As half Dutchies my children started wearing Streep & Co. in 2009 and the clothing still looks fantastic, even after three children and plenty of washes. Of course several more pieces have been added to their wardrobes since then and I always get the loveliest comments when they wear their stripes.

To browse the Streep & Co. range at Budburst Kids and to order online visit www.budburstkids.com. Shipping within Australia is $7.95 no matter how much you order.

For your chance to win TWO Streep & Co. pieces of your choice (subject to availability) visit www.budburstkids.com and answer the following question: Which two Streep & Co. items (style and colour) would you choose if you won?

Submit your answer by leaving a comment below, your email address will not be published.

If you really want to win you can earn up to ten additional entries, please leave separate comments for each entry:

  • Like Budburst Kids on Facebook
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  • Follow Hip little one with Google Friend Connect (click ‘Join this site’ in the right sidebar)
  • Subscribe to the Hip little one newsletter here http://hiplittleone.com/newsletter
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  • Write about this giveaway on your blog or Facebook page and leave the URL
  • Visit up to four of my sponsors on the left and right and tell me your favourite item (1 entry per sponsor)

Competition ends November 23, 2011. Sorry, Australian entries only.