The best thing we did in the kids bedroom is to have a long desk with a chest of drawers on both ends for their little belongings and enough desk space to draw, cut, make collages and other things. Ophelia and Lucien love spending hours on their desk after their come back from school.
The desk and chest of drawers are both from Ikea.
The star garland from Engelpunt
Rabbit print and House box from Famille Summerbelle :-)
This is a belated announcement on the blog (sorry my dear blog followers!), we had a new addition to our family at the beginning of March: a little baby boy named Téo!
We are so happy and excited to finally meet him, especially Ophelia and Lucien who were very eager to see him after this long 9 months wait...
Téo was born in Amsterdam, not at home which is very common here, but in a very nice birth center, in a room with a large bath. I was able to relax in warm water during the whole labour. It's wonderful how the warmth of the water can ease the pain of contractions. My amazing midwife Paloma who was there Lucien's birth 5 years ago came especially from Paris to Amsterdam for the birth of Téo. This made a huge difference as I was so relaxed to have her with me.
Téo was born at 1am and I was back home in my bed by 4pm. This is the Dutch way! If you have a natural birth (with no epidural, cesarian or any complications) you don't stay in hospital, you go straight home after the birth. I was actually really pleased to go home. I felt good after the birth and I just wanted to go home to sleep in my own bed.
The amazing thing here in the Netherlands is the care after birth. The day after you give birth, a nurse - called a kraamzorg - comes to your house for 8 days to look after you and the baby. She will assist you with breastfeeding, look after the children, make you lunch. She will make sure you get enough rest. You stay in bed with your baby while she looks after the house. I had a lovely lady looking after me.
This was the best recovery I had so far after the birth of my children (Ophelia was born in London and Lucien in Paris).
Téo is doing very well. He is feeding a lot and keeps me awake most nights so far but surprisingly I feel very good! Here are some photos I wanted to share with you...
I love the excitement we all have every year when the time comes of choosing and buying the Christmas tree; bringing it home and getting the boxes from the basement with all the Christmas decorations nicely folded in tissue paper from the previous year!
This is what we did this weekend.
It was so cold outside (below zero) here in Amsterdam that the only thing we wanted is to put the fire on, sit by the Christmas tree while watching Miracle on 34th Street!
A couple of years ago I made these stars to decorate our tree.
They are very simple to make and it is a nice activity to do with the children (Lucien painted the stars while Ophelia did the glitter).
Buy some clay (the one I used was just plain/normal clay), cut about 20 shaped stars, let them dry.
Paint the stars with a paint primer to protect the clay (ie:Gesso) and then use your favourite colour (acrylic paint) and lots of glitter!
Sorry for the lack of blog posts over the past weeks. We have been away in the South West of France, in Cahors where we go every Summer in August to spend time with my family. We don't have internet connection in our country house and I have to say it is really nice to be disconnected! Twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays the most amazing food market is taking place in front of the Cathedral in Cahors. I love going there to buy saucisson, garlic, olives, Cabécou (the local fresh goat cheese) and large juicy tomatoes that taste so good! I wish we could have this kind of fresh and tasty food all year round!
We are spending some family time on the beautiful île de Ré on the West coast of France. Lazy mornings, long bike rides, late lunches and lounging by the pool. We are loving it! Check here for more photos from last year and here for the interview I did about all the things we like to do on l'île de Ré on Bozaround.
There are so many little flower shops here in Amsterdam so on my way back home I spotted these beauties. I just love the colours. In the background you can see some of my paper cut houses.
This is Lucien in the bath, lucky boy he has a good view from there!
I'm happy to be back! How was your Easter weekend? I'm in Paris with the children after spending the weekend visiting my grand mother in the South West of France. It was so nice to spend time with my brother, sisters and all the family.
Here are some of my Instagram photos of the week in Amsterdam before we left for France:
After school activity, Ophelia's painting Mount Fuji!
From top left to bottom right:Snapshot of Starch café in Amsterdam, children drawing with thick chalks on the pavement in front of our house, Lucien helping me taking photographs and a very pretty flower shop in Amsterdam.
We're planning to build a new kitchen in the old barn of our family home in the south west of France over the next month or so. The house is very old and used to be over the years the village school, a barber (!) and an auberge where the men would meet for a drink after a day working in the fields (in the 1920's). My great grand father lived there, my grand father was born in the annex (where they used to dry tobacco!).
Every year at the end of August we all meet there to spend some time together. That's my brother, his wife and their 4 children, my 3 sisters and their boyfriends, my dad, his wife and the 4 of us. It's a happy and rather chaotic place when we're all together. I love it! This year we're going to build a new kitchen in the renovated barn as the actual kitchen is more than 20 years old and start to be very small when we all cook together.
At the moment my sister is drawing the plans while I'm researching ideas and pin them on Pinterest. I love this part of research! The hard bit is to make this happened in a tight budget and on time before the Summer!
Oh! and today we've been featured in the (free) issue 4 of Enfants Terribles, a really nice Danish online magazine! Check out my interview here. Aurélie Lecuyer our stylist and photographer is also featured with beautiful photos of her house in France.
Enjoy the weekend!
The sun is shinning here in Amsterdam. I have the window open in my studio and I can hear the birds singing. Here are some random touches of yellow from our home, a colour that put a smile on my face :-)
On saturday morning Ophelia and I went to the Stedelijk Museum to see the Kazimir Malevich and the Russian avant-garde exhibition.
It was an excuse to have some (quiet) time together to do some drawings.
Ophelia is such an easy going and curious child. She would just sit in front of a painting a draw it carefully without missing to write down the name of the artist and the title of the artwork. She really encouraged me to be less shy to draw in public!
We both love drawing but it is a rare moment as when her little brother is around he hasn't got the patience to sit and look at paintings. Fair enough, he is only 4 and he couldn't care less about an abstract art exhibition! He was very excited to go instead cycling sitting at the back of his daddy's bike.
Ivan Klyun. Suprematist study of color and form. 1917.
This weekend we decide to explore the villages around Amsterdam so we took the car and drove off for about 20mn to Volendam on the East coast. We had a delicious fish and chips in a typical fish restaurant on the harbour. After lunch we went to the picturesque village of Edam. Yep this is where the famous Edam cheese comes from. It was cold but it didn't stop us to have a lovely walk. On the way back home we bought an apple cake with cinnamon and watched The Sound of Music cuddled up on the sofa in front of the fireplace. It was so nice!
Huge apologies for not posting for a while…moving house to a new country has been a rather busy and time consuming experience.
We are now so happy and enjoying every minute of our our new life in the Netherlands!
To give you a bit of background on our move…..a couple of months ago, just at the end of Summer, Simon got an amazing job offer with a company based in Amsterdam.
We always thought of Amsterdam as a great city to raise children and a creative place to work, so when the opportunity came we jumped at the chance to try a new adventure!
After nearly 5 years in France we were happy to try a new experience even though we could have happily settled in Paris as we really love it there.
The past few weeks prior to moving here have been very intense. First of we had to find a school for the children. We were very lucky to find a place for both of them in the French school so that they can continue in both French and English - also making a transition back to France easier in the longterm.
Finding a home was pretty easy. We just love the architecture here and we were so excited to live again in the city centre (our previous home was located in a quiet suburb in the outskirts of Paris). We've found our home in an area just to the South West of Amsterdam called Willemspark. It's an absolutely lovely and cosy two level Dutch apartment with a little garden on a quiet leafy street. We have everything we could hope in less than a minute walk from our home: cafés, food shops, flower shop, fishmonger, bank, trams and a beautiful children's toy boutique called Imagine. We even have the Vondelpark 5mn away from home and Le Pain Quotidien for weekend breakfasts. It's a fabulous new city lifestyle.
Finding the right bike (of course our main mode of transport now!) was actually rather more difficult. Simon (THE bike specialist) spent days visiting bike shops in Amsterdam, checking blogs and doing research on the best family bike to have in Amsterdam. On this we can really recommend the blog and bikes from Workcycle. They give the best advice on all types of bikes to have in Amsterdam. After almost endless discussions, we finally decided that the best option for us was to get one of the famous Bakfiets to be able to take the children on school runs and around town and keep them dry under cover during rainy and cold autumn/winter months.
I'm really looking forward to the next week. The children will start school again, which means I can start looking for a studio to rent and start working and blogging properly again.
I am looking for a shared studio to rent in the De Pijp area so if you have any suggestion I would really appreciate help!
Famille Summerbelle will still be run from our studio in London and soon from Amsterdam! I am so happy about this new move!
There will be plenty more on Amsterdam over the coming weeks and months as we settle into our new life….
I'm typing this post sitting on the floor of our empty house, with only 10% of battery left on my laptop I have to be brief.
We are moving...to Amsterdam! Big news and so little time to think about it as we had to make the quick decision at the beginning of September to start a new life over there. More on this crazy move in a few days with pictures. The removals guys have just left the house, and on Thursday I'm driving with the children to our new home, next to the Vondelpark in Amsterdam.
We are so excited.