Friday, 25 April 2014

Cute with a capital 'C' ....

Last week on my weekly way to physio I came across this breeding coot. Not entirely unexpected because I noticed the (at that time) empty nest earlier.
Wonderful to see how he or she (information over here learnt that male and female ~very emancipated~ hatch the eggs together) sat imperturbable on the beautiful built nest ....

So this past Tuesday not only a towel (for physio) but also my photo camera went with me to my weekly appointment, and as you can see on the next photo not for nothing ....

At first it looked like three little ones safe with "mum" or "dad" on the nest ....

One of them , at some stage had enough of it and went for a swim ....

While observing this lovely bunch my imagination maybe ran a little out of hand .
But doesn't it looks like on the next photo as if  "dad" ~a bit worried~ says to his youngster
not to go too far away...

And on this one it seems like "mum" says that they've played outside long enough and it's high time to return to the safe nest ....

Not long afterwards "mum" became very restless on the nest. I have no idea how long it takes before they hatch all the eggs but all of a sudden "dad" hurried back as if she said, I'll be damned .... there are more!

Even though I followed the spectacle from a safe distance it seemed better to give the young family some privacy. But not without wondering on my way home what I'll find next week.

Have a lovely weekend,
Anita xo

Friday, 18 April 2014

A long friendship gathered around a spring table ....

About a week ago three dear friends came to dinner.
More than thirty-three years ago our friendship began as colleagues. Even though we have, for a long time now, all other jobs we always stayed in touch.

Over the years we shared so much together while we lead different lives. Some of us got married, two started a family, one is still happy single and one friend moved abroad, returned and will leave again this summer for a permanent stay with her husband in France. But these changes will not affect our friendship, the past years already taught us.

Just like our friendship we're very consistent in meeting each other. We meet four times a year at someones home and last week it was my turn to entertain.
Not only I really like to put a menu together but also styling the table is just as enjoyable.

Most of the times I'm inspired by my everyday surroundings as this time by .... the great spring weather we have and nature awakens, resulting in lots of flowering plants.
And believe it or not this cute napkin that I really had to buy the other day .... all signs for a Spring table.


Because I had bought a small (spring) gift (flower seeds) for everyone I made name cards which I also used as wrapping. To make them I used cotton rag paper , raffia and bits of the napkin ....

Here how it looked on the table ....

The nests I bought years ago at a garden centre now came in handy to create a real
springlike table setting ....

It was also a nice opportunity to try a new recipe and this croissant pastry with scrambled eggs and salmon as entree fitted well with the spring theme ....  

If you want to give it a try you need the following ingredients:
( for 4 people )

  100  gr smoked salmon
    25  gr of butter
     4  slices French pastry
     4  eggs
     4  tablespoons creme or demi creme fraiche
     1  tablespoon fresh chopped dill
     salt and pepper 

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Grease the cups with butter. Cover them with a thin layer of pastry.
Whisk the eggs with the cream, salt and pepper. Add the salmon (into small pieces) and dill to the egg mixture and pour on the pastry. About 15 minutes in the oven while occasionally stirring.

If you're going to try the recipe , enjoy your meal!

Have a lovely weekend .... happy Easter. 

Anita xo

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

For the love of Vintage

It's not only the vintage style I love so much but also the history behind it.
I have a lot of vintage stuff at home but one in particular is very dear to me , the dressing table that once belonged to my grandmother ....

Though it's a very long time ago, I can vividly remember how I, as a little girl , sat down at the dressing table and played hairdresser.
I remember the cape of lace to protect clothes from hairspray. I felt like a princess when I wore it around my shoulders. The perfume bottles whose granny didn't mind if we (her granddaughters) used, happy memories about a granny who allowed almost everything.

Maybe because my mother is not so well at the moment that I think a lot about my gran (my mother's mum) and today especially since it's her birthday.
Although she was for a very short time in my life (she died when I was eight years old ) in many ways she always stayed present in my life.

When I was a lot younger, I often felt her presence .
It didn't felt weird at all , I even mentioned  it to my husband that my granny was visiting as if it was quite normal.
As I got older those moments were becoming less without having more thoughts about it.

I would like to share a story with you and I hope after reading it you still see me for what I think I really am .... pretty down to earth.

About fifteen years ago I got on my former job a new colleague, Marion.
A sweet sympathetic woman who immediately made a great impression on me.When she introduced herself to me I was a little swept of my feed and I didn't understand why.
Gradually we got along very well , we had children in the same age , so plenty in common to talk about without getting to personal.

After a few weeks while we were at work together , she said suddenly out of the blue .... there is a woman standing next to you, she's there for a couple of days now and I really need to know who she is because I can't concentrate on my work.
She gave me a description of a woman with an accent and who was wearing some kind of costume. That description wasn't really necessary because I knew immediately that it was my gran.
Maybe this picture explains it more ....

My grandmother was born in Volendam but left the village
when she fell in love with a young man from
Amsterdam , my grandfather. For that time a very adventurous
decision because very few people, even now, leave the village.

I got very emotional and went strait to the toilet to calm down . I was so upset about the whole thing that I didn't want to talk about it with my colleague, at least not at work. So we both left it by that, at least I thought so.

A few weeks passed and my colleague (which I had become very friendly with) asked if I came by for a cup of coffee.
So a week later I went unsuspectingly to her home and after some chatter while sipping our coffee she wanted to show me around in her house.
That's how I ended up in her attic where she (so appears) always gave her readings
It was therefore not only a social visit but it also became a "get together" with my gran , really needed according to Marion.

It was a revelation, there were things mentioned that Marion just couldn't know. Where I particularly was impressed by is that my gran was so happy to have finally found someone to make contact with me.
I've been disrupted for days after this event but what prevailed was a completely blissful feeling .

I'm still so grateful for this experience and what I already knew was confirmed , my gran is always with me.
What people often said to me, I now (as I grow older) see myself , in appearance I look like her.
But most of all I hope I once will be just like her .... a very sweet gran!

So that's why this is such a special vintage treasure, lovingly restored by my husband, with precious belongings on it that I've collected over the years.
But above all , with one of the few pictures of us together, as a little girl on Gran's lap ....

Anita xo