Somewhere in-between

by Waltrui


With the leaves crunching under our feet, it seems like a million years ago, but somewhere between having a baby brother and going to nursery school, Mon wanted to test his new green spade. So there we went, in our fully packed oldtimer, to the Belgian coast. We walked along the dike, we bought some ice-cream and Mon had the time of his life. Is it summer yet again?

Mon's clothes are from ZARA. In the photos, he's proudly wearing his Havaianas flip flops.

All pictures are taken by me.


Life is Better with Arthur's Mix

by Waltrui


After that hectic back to school month, we're slowly getting into the autumn rhythm of going to bed early, taking long baths (or is that just me?) and sipping pumpkin soup. The man of the house doesn't get enough credit for putting together daily fresh and tasty meals (world's finest fish stew, hands down) – but I don't need to tell you it can be quite a challenge to persuade a perky two-year-old to not eat ice-cream for breakfast.

That's why I didn't hesitate when I was asked to test the muffin kit of Arthur's Mix. Mon is no big bread fan, so muffin shaped grains sounded pretty genius to me. And the fact that he could bake them himself really sealed the deal. Not only did we spend a fun (and messy) Wednesday afternoon, we also stocked up twelve delicious spelt raisin muffins, representing twelve happy Mons. And however I still prefer a cupcake made from scratch, it's safe to say that Arthur's Mix offers the perfect quick fix when you're looking for a healthy snack during a busy workweek.

The ladies behind the company lost their brother Arthur a few years ago and decided to turn their grief into girlpower and entrepreneurship. They still compose the mixes for muffins, granola and banana bread in their own kitchen with nothing but pure ingredients, helping people in Belgium and beyond to make the right choices whenever they're feeling hungry. Is there a better way to grab life by the balls?

You can buy the products at the Arthur's Mix webshop or at one of the selected stores.

For the photos I used an IKEA dishcloth and Flying Tiger Copenhagen paper baking molds.

All pictures are taken by me.


Welcome, Daan

by Waltrui


Let's be honest: there's nothing like the excitement that comes with a first pregnancy. The blue plus sign. The whole new universe of cribs and bibs and overall cuteness. The checking of the bump in every single mirror, the showing of sonograms to complete strangers. And how you nearly explode with curiosity whenever that mini monkey crosses your mind.

With little number two on its way, you get on that rollercoaster again. But you know the drill, you've seen the baby stuff. No more surprises: as your due date approaches, you spend the days working and wiping your toddler's nose, self-confident, fully prepared for that next stay at the maternity hospital.

And then, on July 13, there we were. Flabbergasted all over again. Crying the same amount of happy tears as two-and-a-half years ago. Because this second monkey turned out to be different, but equally perfect. Because we suddenly realized there had been something missing in the small zoo our household can be.

So don't you think you're any less special, Daan. You'll probably stay the youngest, which basically means you'll get away with everything. I know we're gonna spoil you to pieces and I won't even try to fight it. You're only ten weeks old now, but when you smile, our world stops turning. You fill up our car and our hearts. And you make your brother a brother, one that would give up his blue plastic guitar for you (we both know how much that means). The best is yet to come – just because you're here.

Daan is wearing a T-shirt and leggings of fred + ginger for his first photo shoot.

All pictures are taken by me.


Size 50

by Waltrui


With only eight weeks ahead, the preparations for our family expansion are getting serious. Birth card: check, gift list: double-check. And of course there's a a fourth wardrobe to fill. Going through Mon's former outfits, I realized that it takes a baby to know how to dress one. By now, I could write a book about my do's, don'ts and bad bargains, but let's start with some tips in a blogpost.

Foremost, don't overspend on small sizes. I'm the first one to ooh and aah over designer bloomers, yet I experienced front row how clever newborns are when it comes to smudging. Many big chains offer mini collections at equally small prices, and although the fabrics are often less qualitative, they're more than fine to catch everyday burps. An insider's tip: the bio cotton rompers from HEMA. You can never have enough of those.

On the other hand, don't buy baby clothes too big, thinking your kid will grow into them. You'll be a lot more relaxed when that diaper is properly packed, believe me. Besides, an oversized playsuit looks sloppy – and by the time the garment fits well, it's likely either covered in milk or out of fashion.

Which brings me to an important style rule. Even the strictest minimalist won't deny a flamingo print looks cute on her little one. However, it's a better idea to stick to simplicity. Timeless pieces are easier to pass on to a brother or sister because they don't look dated after a few years. Stock up on basics, they're perfect to combine mutually or to balance that one colorful piece you really couldn't resist.

And it might seem obvious, but keep the seasons in mind. I prefer (or at least I try) not to shop too much in advance as the Belgian weather's mostly unpredictable. A knitted hat that appears too tight after a hot September month – that is just a waste of good taste.

The pictures belong to ZARA, Petit Bateau, Fred & Ginger, L'asticot and Maurice knitwear, a handful of my favorite labels.