under a tree, looking up.

Apr 27, 2012
One thing I've learned from living in Amsterdam: When it stops raining and the sun is out, you go out too. Even if it's just to the garden for a bit. Possibly, settle under a tree in full bloom and enjoy the warm rays of light shining through the leaves. 
And maybe, just maybe, you'll see a snail and a lady bug dancing* together on the rainy branches.

*on that note, I am off to a festival on an island in the north sea. hui. happy weekend everyone!

brownie mushrooms.

Apr 24, 2012
I accidentally just turned around the title and typed "mushroom brownies"... hm, that does not sound too appealing.
"Brownie Mushrooms" however, is a totally different story. Not only does it sound tasty, they also are tasty and possible the cutest things you've ever seen.
I was in search of a chocolate themed recipe for a fun little project called "Post aus meiner Küche", which basically translates to "Mail from my kitchen". Three German bloggers created a platform, where people with a crazy passion for baking, and who's friends cannot stand the sight of yet another cake, can find partners in crime. Everyone gets assigned one person they bake/make something sweet for. Then, within a specific week, all the goodies are sent out and people are waiting for pretty packages with even prettier content. Really fun!
This month's assignment, you guessed it, was chocolate. I basically went with a simple Chocolate Tart recipe and used a mini muffin pan instead. So easy and delicious.

Brownie Mushrooms

100 g bittersweet chocolate
100g butter
100g sugar
2-3 eggs
40 g cocoa powder
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat or in a double broiler. After removing from heat whisk in sugar and eggs. Add vanilla extract. Sift in cocoa, flour and salt and mix until smooth.
Bake at 190°C for 8-10 minutes, depending on how soft you like them to be. I like really soft centers, so I took them out after 8 minutes.
Serve right out of the oven with vanilla ice cream and banana slices or send by post in an empty egg carton lined with parchment paper. Totally up to you.
In any case, enjoy!

*just FYI, the pics are from my first batch, that I left in the oven slightly too long, about 12 minutes. I sent out the second, unpictured batch, don't you worry "PostausmeinerKüche" partner.

the two faces of amsterdam.

Apr 23, 2012
Honestly, the weather here in Amsterdam makes me grumpy sometimes. But, when it stops raining and the sun does come out, oh is it ever beautiful.
I mean, how can you not fall in love with a place that has views like this?

quick and dirty DIY: ball jar candle holders

Apr 20, 2012
Ok, so I hope no one is taking that title too literally. We are not THAT kind of blog...(hm, who is we?)
No, it actually is a quote of one of the designers, my boyfriend was sharing an office with. Whenever he was on a deadline for a design project and time was running out, he would tell his coworkers: "Stop fussing over details, people. Quick and dirty! Quick and dirty!" 

Anyway, I had to think of that line yesterday, while prepping for a night of playing some serious UNO, with friends. As a natural hoarder and collector of things (exhibit I), I hold on to all sorts of empty jars. Think jam, salsa, mustard, pickles... 
So finally yesterday, it was time to use them. 
In a matter of minutes, you have cosy, whimsical candle holders, to light up even the most serious of card game tournaments. Quick and dirty style.

 You need:
\ empty, clean jars
\ twine
\ scissors

Basically, just wrap the twine around the jars to your liking. Secure with knots, or some glue. Done!

What do you think?

a chair makeover.

Apr 16, 2012
In Amsterdam, people just seem to put things they don't want anymore on the streets. Right on the sidewalk. Next to the streetlamps. Then, the city comes to pick it up and throws it away.
I have seen clothing items, lamps, chairs, sofas, bed frames... You name it, you can find it somewhere in my neighbourhood.
The other day, I saw a chair. It was not pretty, but in good condition. My boyfriend was rather skeptical when I came home with it, but I had grand plans. After some fabric and paint shopping, I went to work on it last weekend.

I especially love the fabric with its cute olive and radish print.

What do you guys think?

glow sticks and hula hoops

Apr 13, 2012

What will happen, if you give a bunch of  people a few drinks, a set of hula hoops and some glow sticks?
The most ridiculously fun dance party you'll ever have. That's what.

easter weekend in a farmhouse.

Apr 11, 2012
We spent Easter in the countryside, somewhere in the Netherlands. The place was called Waarland, which literally means "where land". The farmhouse we stayed in was beautiful and days were spent cooking, baking, eating, playing games, walking on the beach, cycling and dancing. Mostly eating, though.

a fun DIY idea: upcycling old book covers

Apr 6, 2012
For my mom's and brother's birthday two weeks ago, we went to a new to me restaurant.
It is located on a hill, a bit outside the city. From their garden, you have the best views of the surrounding forest and river.
The restaurant "Am Schloßberg" is family owned and serves local, organic food. Nothing fancy or crazy. Simple, amazingly tasty dishes. They also did a great job decorating the place. In every corner you saw unique little details, pretty flowers and furniture with history. It made me feel right at home.
One of my favorite things, were these old book covers, serving as menus. As much as it pains me, thinking about actually breaking the back of a book, this is such a cool idea. Especially for flea market finds, or old books that have fallen to pieces around the house.
So, this isn't technically a DIY post, since I don't have any instructions for you. But, as far as I can see, it goes a little something like this:

1) Take old hardcover book.
2) Tear out pages and use them for crafts, sketching or writing notes on them.
3) Break back of the book.
4) Insert your own pages.
5) Secure everything with little screws.

I would love to see, if any of you've done something similar. Maybe, also with better instructions...
Can't wait to try, making a photo album like this.

sunday walk along the amstel.

Apr 3, 2012
Last weekend, while my crazy boyfriend went surfing in the freezing North Sea ( 7°C !!!), I opted out of the fun and went for a walk along the Amstel instead.
It is interesting to see, how much life revolves around water here in Amsterdam. People go boating, rowing,walking, running or living at the riverbanks. In houseboats. Not sure what it is, but I have this idea in my head, how living on a houseboat would be so romantic and cozy. With a little boat instead of a car in your "backyard", to just take off and head out for an adventure at any given time. 
They come in all shapes and sizes. Some look like solid houses, while others are reconstructed real boats. What they all have in common though, is the love and attention to detail that went into styling, furnishing and decorating.

Who knows. Maybe one day, I'll get to live in my own houseboat.
With chickens in the front yard, naturally.