Slowly but surely this house of ours is coming together. We’re focusing on the top floors at the moment. One of which will be our home office. I’m so excited to move our mattress to the attic and start decorating our office. It will be the first time we will have our own office. At the moment we’re working from the couch, which is cosy but not comfortable.
I don’t know about you but I’m having a hard time finding furniture I really love. Desks are so ugly. I’ve looked everywhere but I just can’t seem to find a desk we really love. We’ve designed furniture before so for our home office we’ll be designing and making our own desks. It will be a learning process but I can’t wait to get started.
On another note, I’ve been thinking about getting some chickens. Here’s the pro’s and con’s list I made today while I should have been working on a client’s website.
they eat leftovers, reducing our waste
they start out as chicks
they fertilize the garden and eat snails
eggs. Who doesn’t love eggs!
I’d like to find out if you can train chickens
they fertilize the garden with poop
our dog likes to hunt anything bird-like so I’m afraid she’ll constantly harass the chickens
the chicken coop will take up a lot of the space in our small garden
no more cons, chickens are awesome
Do you have some good home office inspiration resources? And how do you feel about chickens? Let me know!
You know what? I’m going to be honest with you. The only reason I started this new style series is because I was looking for a way to show of my boots. I’ve been looking for the perfect boots for years. One late evening I stumbled upon these Frye boots and I fell in love. Shoes never fit me quite right, they’re always too wide or just uncomfortable. But these baby’s, it was like they were made for me. They fit so perfectly. So here I am, showing you my new boots. Aren’t they GREAT? Instead of buying a lot of clothes I’ve been looking to buy quality pieces that will last a long time and that are timeless. These boots, I hope, will last forever.
Oh and let’s not forget Nick. Nick is the most awesome guy I have ever met. This Christmas he got me a necklace and it is the greatest necklace ever. Why? Because he really got out of his way to get me something Angie-like. He succeeded.
What is the best piece of clothing you ever bought?
A dear friend gave us this cookbook Home Made Winter for Christmas and we love it. It’s not just a bunch of recipes, it’s a collection of things you need to know when making everything from scratch. We also own Home Made which tells you how to Home Make just about everything. It’s by a Dutch woman so it includes a lot of typical Dutch recipes. Such as this Ontbijtkoek-recipe.
Ontbijtkoek (click here for pronunciation) or pain d’epiche is literally translated breakfastcookie and it’s a lot like gingerbread. In Holland, people eat it for breakfast, lunch or as a snack. Because it’s kind of sticky, people eat it with butter.
We’d never made ontbijtkoek before, but we like how it turned out. Here’s our version of Ontbijtkoek. We altered the original recipe a bit. I like my ontbijtkoek spicy.
400 grams of self-raising flour
2 teaspoons of ginger powder
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of coriander powder
a pinch of allspice
a pinch of salt
200 ml of whole milk
100 grams of brown sugar (see note)
75 grams of honey
75 grams of maple syrup
Heat up your oven to 150°C. Butter up your baking tin.
Get out your mixing bowl and add all the ingredients. Mix it with a whisk until the batter is smooth. Pour it into your baking tin. When your oven is ready, put your Ontbijtkoek in the oven for about an hour.
When done, let it cool on a rack. Cooled down? Wrap it up to make sure it stays nice and sticky. As with most cakes, it’s better the day after baking so control yourself!
Note: This recipe calls for basterdsuiker. Basterdsuiker is a typical Dutch product. It is made by adding invert sugar and caramel to fine white refined sugar. This mixture helps to achieve certain textural structures and keeps baked goods moist. There are three varieties, white, brown and dark brown. Although there is some discussion about this, I’m of the opinion you can use muscovado sugar to replace it.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who loves to see how other people live. So , here are some pictures of our new house and of how we are living at the moment. We’ll keep you updated as we settle down and make this house our home.
When we left home to travel, a year and a half ago, we sold everything we owned. Thinking we would never come back, it seemed like the best thing to do. And it was. It still is. Letting go of all of your belongings is incredibly freeing and knowing you’re carrying around everything you own is scary and amazing at the same time.
A while back I wrote about starting over and how excited I was to invest in some great stuff for our home.The furniture you see in the living room pic is not ours, we only have a mattress at the moment. Turns out, you don’t need much. We don’t have plates and eat every meal shared on a big cutting board. It’s one of my favorite moments every day and we would never have had this moment if we would have had plates. Maybe I’m scared of buying a lot of stuff, because it makes the rooting-process so real. I believe that once you’ve traveled you will never live without travel anymore. It’s always there, that small voice in a tiny part of your brain. And when I feel stuck in life or work, it tells me to start looking for cheap tickets to one of our dream destinations (Mexico! I say. Skiing! says Nick).
When I started writing this blog post I was planning to write about our new house. So I’ll end with that. Here’s some quick info:
Six years ago, we walked by this street one day and I remember telling Nick ‘I wish we could live here’ and now we do.
Because of the skylight, the kitchen is flooded with light and I love being there.
We have enough space to transform one of the bedrooms to a home office! No more working on the floor! My back will be so grateful.
Our bedroom will be up in the attic. It’s going to be romantic as fuck.
Bathtub. ‘Nough said.
This house is a rental, so we won’t be doing any mayor renovations
Any thoughts? Anyone else who is sort of freaked out by how serious it feels to go shopping for a couch?
Something I’ve been doing for a while, just not that radical – Radical Honesty
And some things I’m loving offline right now:
// blood oranges in ridiculous amounts
// riding my bike around town
// my amazing new boots (more on these soon!)
// Nick making great playlists of our iTunes library. He is like a cool underground indie dj nobody has ever heard of.
// working by candlelight
It took me quite a while to realize this is a hard dish to shoot. I made it, ate it and I loved it. I made it again, prepped everything, waited for the light to be just perfect in our kitchen (the roof of our kitchen is all windows, it’s a dream). Anyway, I waited for the light to be just right and took some test shots. Nothing yet. I took a couple of hundred pics. Nope. Still nothing. It was only when I started editing them that I realized this dish was missing some greens. I could have started over but there weren’t any greens in the recipe and this recipe is mucho tasty like this.
Our friend, who is the chef at Aangenaam, a local organic restaurant, started a new business venture not so long ago. It’s called Aangenaam Thuis (thuis means: at home). It’s for people who want to cook tasty and healthy but lack time or inspiration to go to the supermarket and put together a meal. They deliver a bag to your house, stuffed with practically everything you need to make two healthy meals for two people, including the recipes. All ingredients are fair trade, organic and some of them local. They offered us a bag to try! Here’s one of the recipes so you can try it at home:
250 grams of ground lamb meat
1 eggplant, cut into slices of a little less than a centimeter
500 grams of potatoes, each potato cut into eight pieces
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
juice and zest of an organic lemon
Preheat the oven at 200°C. Put the potatoes on a baking tray, sprinkle with olive oil, rosemary and coarse sea salt. Put it in the oven for 40 minutes or until nice and golden brown.
In the meanwhile, get out your grilling pan. Drizzle some olive oil on the eggplant slices and grill them evenly on both sides. Put the eggplant aside when you’re done grilling.
Put some olive oil in a medium-sized pan and fry your onions slightly. Add the garlic and cinnamon and sauté until the garlic starts to color.
Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, ground lamb and oregano. Sauté until the ground lamb is browned. Add salt and pepper to taste.
When your potatoes look like they only need 10 more minutes in the oven, get your eggplant ready! Lay them in an oven dish and fill them with the ground lamb meat. Roll them up and put them in the oven for about 8 minutes. Take out the eggplant rolls and potatoes and enjoy.
After a month and a half-long hiatus, we’re back! And we’re so glad to be back! What have you been up to this last few weeks?
In the time we were gone, we: moved twice, lived in a tiny attic above a store with no door or bathroom, celebrated Christmas twice, drank champagne on New Year’s Eve, both worked two full-time jobs, painted most of our new house, are trying to decorate our new home and we’ve even been trying to squeeze in some hours of sleep here and there.
We’re not done, not even close and this storm we’re in, it’s not calming down any time soon. But we’ve found balance together within this storm and I quite like it. It’s been windless for far too long.
There is so much we want to share with all of you, but for now we’ll keep it short. Happy New Year, we’ve missed you and we’re hoping to connect with you soon!
// Vegetable lentil soup – this is so good and filling and warm. Hands down the best lentil soup I have ever had.
// Spinach date and almond salad – a summertime favorite, but it’s good in fall as well. Shutterbean is one of my favorite resources for good recipes. We have tried a lot of her recipes and she has never let us down. All of her recipes are tasty.
// Coconut rice with peas and more – holy crap. I could eat this everyday. It’s comfort food at it’s best. It has loads of veggies, no crazy calories and the feeling of indulgence.
I don’t know about you but I get really angry when I’m hungry. Sometimes after a long day of work, I don’t want to think about what to make for dinner. I just want something to eat. For those days, I like to have a few recipes I can fall back on. The only condition is that they are tasty. I switch up recipes every other month or so, but some recipes stick. These are four of my current favorite fallback recipes. There is one more recipe that I really really love. It has the best pasta in the world, gnocchi. Full recipe including pictures coming soon!
What are some of your go-to recipes? Let me know and I’ll try them!
The last time I shared some of our work, you all seem to like it and asked for more. So here is another project we are working on.
When Anouk and Simon of Dear Wendy approached us a few months ago, we knew right away we would hit it off. They come from the same island as Nick and they all share the same love for the sea.
Dear Wendy is Anouk and Simon on their guitars making dreamy folky music and we knew we wanted to capture that feeling in their website somehow. We also knew we wanted to do something with the fact they both come from an island, surrounded by sea. As you can see in the moodboard. We’re now in the final stages of designing their website and it should be online soon.
Dear Wendy landed a gig in Holland’s biggest coffee chain Coffee Company (think Starbucks, but Dutch). They asked us to design a poster for the occasion.
Because we couldn’t decide and got carried away, we made four poster designs and we’re sharing two of them with you. The first one is in the style of the moodboard and website design, the second one is my personal favorite. A poster that will stand out between all the other posters.
With the design of the posters, Nick and I really worked together as a design team. Something we’re always looking to improve. It’s easy to get lost in the your own process and forget to work together. This time we brainstormed, bounced designs around and both posters are the fruit of our coöperation.
My dearest Sparrow in Space readers, it’s weekend! Hooray!
We found this building while we were walking around at last month’s Dutch Design Week. I don’t know what it looks like from the inside, but from the outside it looks like one of my dream houses (yes I have several dream houses. I like to dream big). I love the windows, the brickwork and the location which you can’t see on the photo but trust me on that. I bet it has a big garden for my pet goat to roam freely.
In my dream garden I have a goat, some chickens, a small pig, an alpaca and a donkey. And three children, running around. Perhaps one is riding around on the donkey. Not sure if my future donkey likes that kind of shenanigans.
I believe dreams are plans waiting to happen. These dreams of my garden probably need some tweaking, but it is going to happen. I’m strong of will and if I want something, I will make it happen. As should you. If you want to quit your job and work as a freelancer, work towards that. If you want to have children, well start… you know what. If you want to have the best wardrobe in the world, stop buying cheap clothes and start buying quality stuff. If you want something, anything, go out and get it. Don’t wait for the world to hand it to you. This weekend I’m going out and I’m getting what I want. For this weekend, it’s coconut milk yogurt, because I also like to dream small.