Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Coconut shampoo, conditioner and shower cream make me sing!

This weekend in an effort to pamper the poor-old-student (aka me), I bought coconut shampoo, conditioner and shower cream. They claimed it to be 100% pure coconut oil in all three products - yeah right! However bad the advertising may be the smell is 100% (fake) coconut.


The smell of coconut and the warmth of the shower make me relaxed... enough to start singing! And these are the songs I sing with coconut shampoo pricking in my eyes:
- Coconut Grove by Lovin' Spoonful {listen here}
- Put the lime in the coconut by Harry Nilsson {listen here}

Poor old Tom having to listen to me :-)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Our new king

For those of you who missed the news, our queen announced she would be stepping down to let her son take over. This year she became 75 (queen for 33 years) and our little kingdom is celebrating its 200 year existence. So, now Beatrix is stepping down her son Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima Zorreguieta (the daughter of Jorge Zorreguieta - worth looking up) are taking over as king and queen on April 30th (Queensday).


And this is what we are ending up with (pic: courtesy of my mum).

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Homemade Bird Food Cups

With the continuing snow and freeze birds have been having quite a hard time finding food. Most people (me included) put some bird food outside. It turns out you can make it yourself too! And you can make it very stylish!

The recipe is simple:
500 gr. Fat (I used frying fat)
500 gr. Bird Seed
4-6 Cups




Melt the fat and add the bird seeds. Pour the mixture in the cups (I got four from the second hand shop for 30 ct. a piece) and wait until it hardens again. If some seeds start floating you can stir the mixture in the cups a final time before it really hardens.



You can put the cups on the ground to accommodate larger birds, or you can hang them my the ear with some ribbon to feed the smaller birds.

If you decide to hand them you could put in a little stick before it hardens, so that the little birds have something to sit on while they enjoy your homemade bird food cups!




Saturday, January 26, 2013

New Painting!


Some time ago we came across this painting in a second hand shop near Tom's parents. I instantly fell in love with the colors, the crookedness and the mistakes. Once we got it home we had to decide where to hang it! The choice was between the toilet (where we have some other paintings in a similar style) or the living room. Since this canvas is pretty big it ended up in the living room.

When I find the time to clean up the house, I'll make some home-tour pictures to show you where we put it! As for now, just enjoy the picture!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fun Faux Taxidermy

Lately there have been lots of posts on faux taxidermy floating around the web. Since I grew up between hippo and impala sculls I have developed both a love and a hatred for taxidermy. On the one hand I love the idea of bringing nature inside. On the other hand I abhor the idea of bringing dead animals inside (especially since I'm a vegetarian). Faux taxidermy could be a solution! I compiled quite an inspirational list for you (and for me).


I love this deer from Okgreat, it only seems like a whole lot of knitting work. The fluffyness of the wool and the knitting pattern give the deer a warm and homely feeling.


This deer is from someone on Flickr who stuck Brooklyn on a kit from Cardboard Safari. However if you are to cheap to buy cardboard over the internet (like me), Ty from Know and tell crafts has made a downloadable and DIY-able version. Or if you have a laser cutter download this one.


I absolutely adore the faux from Anthropologie! I love the way they used typed paper to give an extra dimension to the animal heads. Mandi from Vintage Revivals did a great piece on how to DIY one of those cuties from Anthropologie, definitely worth checking out!


I found this inspirational cutie at Apartment Therapy (yes that is one of my favorite websites), they too have a page on faux taxidermy. But this cutie is from Etsy and no longer available.


For something pretty and simple and very DIY-able look at these Antlers with Japanese tape from Stylizimo blog.

There are so many fun things to do with faux taxidermy! I'm sure you can come up with lots more fun projects! I'm looking forward to seeing them on your blogs and comments!



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Night before the exam


Tulips from Holland/Home


Last Saturday when we went house-hunting with all the parents (first meet between my and Tom's parents!!), my mum brought a lovely purple bunch of tulips! Now, more than 5 day's later they look really lovely. I just wanted to share them with all of you!

Did you know tulips still grow a little extra in the vase?

Have a very happy day!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

DIY (Banksy) Wall Stencils


I found this amazing stencil (or so they claim) on ecosalon.com. They did not say where it came from and I've been unable to find the actual stencil online. But still, wouldn't this be absolutely perfect in a washing room? Just over the washers and dryers?

I'm sure this is nearly impossible to stencil, and if I want it bad enough I will have to draw it on. Anyway I've been looking into stenciling and how to do it in a most cost effective way. The first thing is to find a pattern or picture you really want on your wall. Print it, blow it up/shrink it to the size you need. Then place something see through and sturdy (see through binder, binding covers, etc) on top of the picture you need. Trace it and cut it! Now comes the difficult part, sticking it to the wall with painters tape and making sure it is straight!! Then dab paint on it, remove the stencil carefully and let it dry. Clean the stencil or rub it down for the next stencil so you won't get any blobs of paint where you don't want them.

For more stencil ideas take a look at the the Etsy page of Cutting Edge Stencils {here} or for more info on the how to take a look at {this} article on all things thrifty.

P.S. It turns our that this is a Banksy, and that you can get the stencils {here}. The fact that it is a Banksy copy lets me love it even more!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rosemary Coffee Syrup

When I was browsing through "A Beautiful Mess" from Elsie and Emma I found this darling recipe: Rosemary Latte Syrup. Since the recipe is simple and I love the savory smell and taste of rosemary and coffee I decided to try it out.




My dad brought the perfect honey for this recipe from France when he came over.


ROSEMARY AND HONEY SYRUP
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Bring the water and honey to a boil while stirring to dissolve the honey. Turn the heat down to a simmer and add the rosemary sprigs. Let this cook down for 10-12 minutes until the mixture has thicken some. Remove from heat and allow to cool before use.



And this is what you end up with! I put it in an old coke bottle to fit in our fridge. 
The taste is AMAZING!! It combines perfectly with the silky taste of a good latte, and gives it just that little extra punch it needs!

Monday, January 21, 2013

How Vogue can surprise you!

I'm surely NOT a vogue person.. but they have pleasantly surprised me. Have a look at their article on Miranda Brooks and Bastien Halard's Brooklyn Home, and take a very very good look at those pictures!!


Don't you want your bedroom to look like this?? I certainly do!!


Or a super cozy living room like this one? I love the color pallet and those high white beams!


Or this ultimate bathroom? I can just see myself sipping wine and enjoying the bubblies, can't you?


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Beer Crate Cathedral in Belgium

Wow, I just found the ultimate Belgian cathedral designed and made by SHSH (more pictures are on their website):



"The architectural challenge was the construction of a temporary pavilion to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the 1958 Universal World Exhibition in Brussels. The space was dedicated to various film projections and exhibitions open to the public recounting the sights, sounds, and mood of the original event.

The pavilion was positioned to face the iconic Atomium building, built for the original exhibition. It was located on the roundabout below this symbolic building, purposely to be in the middle of a circle of cars and pedestrians. The projection room is surrounded by an exhibition space propitious for a fluid and contemplative wandering. The building's facade and the exhibition space create a filter between the real outside world and an imaginary inner world of the projection room.

We desired the contents of the pavilion to ask, 50 years later, what the notions of progress, universalism and happiness had brought in their time through the system of international exhibitions, and how could a package building be enrolled in the parentage of an architectural solution that manages to convey the architectural questions of a given period in time.

Understanding that the sense of the temporary can only be truly successful when it is free of waste, the pavilion is built using an everyday and ephemeral component which after the event returns to its normal daily use. This project was an exercise in how a common item can transcend itself and become architecture, rather than a mere object or even a mere building.

With the constructive principles of universality and reusability, we decided to use a material extracted from the daily life of an ordinary consumer. Hence, a plastic beer crate is used as a generic element - like bricks, but deployed beyond its individual characteristics. This allowed us to explore many common architectural features such as columns, arches, and domes, combining together to form a huge and enigmatic interior environment. After an initial estimate, about 33,000 empty crates were necessary to construct the pavilion. The selection of this material allowed us to reduce the time of assembly and disassembly and produce a series of spaces that far exceeds the mere accumulation of common elements in an architectural format."



Saturday, January 19, 2013

Amat in the snow

This weekend we went walking with Amat (our cat) in the snow. She doesn't really mind walking on a leash, she does mind having to go through lots of snow! It has been snowing a lot the last week for Belgian terms. To my surprise trains are still running and the traffic jams are not longer than usual. In Holland they reached a new high on traffic jams (1000+ km) and not a single train is running on time.. Luckily we can enjoy the snow with Amat without worrying about the 'big' world.



"I hate snow and I will kill you for this.. soon!!"


"It's not that bad.. but are we going home yet?"


"Ahh.. so nice and warm"

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Useless Web

I'm just having too much fun (yeah it's exam time), and I thought I would share it!

http://www.theuselessweb.com/

Go procrastinate!

Monday, January 14, 2013

How I study for exams

Yes, this is a little bit off topic and I know I promised no uni stuff. But still, this is important, so listen up!



Besides entertaining the cat, neighbors and Tom, I also run a household... ow yeah, and I have to study for my exams (still 3 to go in the next two weeks). With my need to concentrate a lot I have been figuring out ways to eliminate distractions. My distractions are pretty clear to me, at the very top of my list is the internet, followed by staring out the window, teasing the cat, fidgeting with clutter, making too much tea/coffee and consequently using the toilet every 15 min.

This is how I try to eliminate distractions:

  • Turn of the internet
  • Stop blogging
  • Clutter free work space
  • Place cat outside + add food
And to ensure a continuous work flow:
  • Have a fixed study space that is not associated with other activities
  • Stick to a study routine
  • Have scheduled regular breaks
  • Look for rewards and incentives
And last but not least, let people know you are studying so they can not invite you to all the fun and distracting things you want to go to. Yeah, I know, studying sometimes is a real bitch. But it's all for you and a better future. So, TURN OFF your computer and hit those books!!

Good luck everyone!!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Inspiration - kitchen prints

Lately I have been looking around to spice up our kitchen a little. So far I've been looking at some really cute prints! Although our kitchen walls are already too full, I did want to share them with you.. Just because they are soo cute!

This lovely honey print is from Peraboom (on Etsy). To make this an amazing gift she can make a custom one with someones name. 

This cute one is from Gabby (on Etsy). It is so true, every home I know runs on love and coffee!
And last but not least, the love seasoning by Tamara Brooks (on Etsy). The great thing about this one is that you can DIY it! Tamara sells the JPEG and you can change it and print it in any color you want. Although I think I would stick with the ruby red.


These are of course not the only prints these artists (and Etsy for that matter) have to offer! There are loads of very cute ones!


Friday, January 11, 2013

DIY - Globe Lamp Shade

We did this DIY a long time ago. It used to hang over our dinner table in Brussels, now it's hanging over the sofa in the study. You can't believe the fun we had with it.. planning out trips and looking up countries we've never heard of (incl. the Starbuck island - uninhabited, so no coffee plantations).


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Foodie - Oatmeal-coconut cookies with cranberries


These look so delicious! We will be trying them out this weekend! The original recipe {here} is in Dutch.

SPECIFICATIONS
24 pieces
25 min, 30 min to prepare, wait 180 min

INGREDIENTS
200 gr oatmeal
25 gr butter, melted
4 tbsp honey
1 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp dried cranberries
50 gr chocolate extra pure 72%

MATERIALS
baking paper

COOK
1. Preheat the oven to 190 ° C. Mix the oatmeal, butter, honey, coconut, baking powder and 1 pinch of salt in a bowl. Add 125 ml of hot water and knead to a smooth dough. Knead the cranberries through.
2. Roll 24 balls the size of a walnut. Flatten them and place them on baking paper. Bake in about 25 minutes until golden brown in the oven. Let cool completely (1 hour).
3. Melt the chocolate au bain-marie. Zigzag with a spoon the melted chocolate over the cookies. Let harden (2 hours).

If you like this also try out the flowing recipes:
Wholemeal banana bread with dates 
Oliebollen

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Inspirational - Moss Graffiti

When graffiti is good I can certainly appreciate it. But if it is good and green I'm absolutely in love. I really want to try this out.. 




And this is what you get:




Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Inspirational - Sole Rebels

















I know I should not be surfing the internet for shoos I cannot afford.. but I think surfing Sole Rebels is ok. The shoos are made in Ethiopia by Ethiopians from recycled materials, and they are fair trade! And.. to make matters worse for my wallet, the shoos are so cute!!! Have a look:





These

Or this one..

Why oh why are they so terribly cute?

Inspirational - Special Suitcases

Our local thrift store now has a deal on suitcases! So I have been looking around what to do with them, besides making more suitcase chairs as we have done last year. These are a couple of my favorite DIYs, have fun!

One: The cutest sewing-kit from Apartment Therapy
Two: Fabric covered suitcase from Besserina
Three: Cutest cad bed ever from Camille Styles
Four: Suitcase picnic basket from Prudent Baby
Five: Suitcase picnic table from Instructables

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Foodie - Wholemeal banana bread with dates

Sweet Tom is becoming quite the stay-at-home-man (although he will always deny it!). Today he started by making some amazing apple-pear juice and then went on to make wholemeal banana bread with dates (original link in dutch)! I just can't wait until it cools!

SPECIFICATIONS
70 min, 30 min preparation, wait 60 min

INGREDIENTS
3 tbsp sesame seeds (100 gr tray)
8 fresh dates (scale 250 gr), pitted
250 g wholemeal flour + 1 tbsp extra, sifted
125 g butter, at room temperature
125 g light brown sugar
3 tbsp kitchen syrup
2 eggs
3 bananas (over) ripe, mashed
1 ts ground cinnamon
2 ts baking powder

MATERIALS
grease proof paper, cake tin about 30 cm long, skewer

COOK
1. Line the greased cake tin with baking paper. Toast the sesame seeds in a frying pan without oil or butter for 3 minutes until golden. Let cool on a plate. Preheat the oven to 160 ° C. Cut the dates into small pieces and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour. This prevents them from falling to the bottom of the cake.
2. Beat the butter and sugar with a mixer 5 minutes until fluffy mass. Beat the syrup through. Add the eggs 1 by 1 and beat for another 3 minutes. Fold in the dates, banana, cinnamon, sesame, flour and baking powder. Spoon into the cake tin.
3. Bake the banana bread in the oven for about 70 minutes until golden brown. Check with toothpick. If it comes out clean, then the bread is done. Let cool for 20 minutes outside the oven and in the tin. Take the bread out of the tin and leave for 40 minutes to cool down further.

TIP
Extra tasty with a ginger-sesame glaze. Sift 150 gr icing sugar and add 1 tbsp ginger syrup and 2 tbsp hot water. Mix until smooth glaze, pour over the cake and sprinkle with 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds.

P.S. Turned out amazingly yummie!


If you like this also try out the flowing recipes:
Oatmeal-coconut cookies with cranberries 
Oliebollen

Friday, January 04, 2013

What should I read next?

It's not the first time I finish a book I really liked and wanted to read something similar. Now, instead of running to the library to get something new (and ending up with something I hate), I go to What Should I Read Next. This website allows you to type in an authors name, or the title of the book you enjoyed, and then finds books that are similar to it. So far I'm liking the results! Next time check what should I read next before you're off to the library!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Inspirational - Cat teasers I love


DIY - Book Book Shelf

This weekend Tom finally hung up one of the book shelves we made months ago. As you can see it turned out great!


As both of us are fervent-toilet-readers we always have some books lying around on the toilet, and with the cat using the very same toilet things started to get a little messy. Now we have a little bookshelf to save our toilet-reads from becoming cat toys.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

And we're on Facebook, Twitter and Bloglovin!

I've been looking to post Uni Therapy's posts on Facebook too. Here's the Link!!!

Since Facebook and Blogger are still at war with each other it is virtually impossible to post directly to FB. Luckily I found dlvr.it, a website that uses the RSS feed to publish posts to Facebook. Now I only hope it works!

For that matter, you can follow us on Twitter too. Here's the Link!!!
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

DIY - Map Purse


I just found this DIY on Sonya Style, I would love to make it... if only I could cut op one of my maps :(




What You'll Need:
One map
Roll of Clear Contact Paper
Rolling Pin
Cardboard (for the bottom)
Sewing Machine
One Hot Little Car!
Glue Gun
Velcro

Directions:
1. Take your map and the clear contact paper. Stick the contact paper to matching sides to as much surface area as possible. One side at a time and roll all air bubbles out with a rolling pin.

2. Measure 14 inches wide and cut the side off. There will be 4 inches of laminated map left for the strap. Cut the excess map off that is not laminated.

3. Fold the bottom of your map over so that the back piece is about 6 inches longer than the top. Sew the seam on the side and push the corner inward to create a box-like structure at the bottom. Cut a piece of cardboard to match, cover it with laminated map paper and glue to the inside bottom of the bag.

4. Sew the bottom of each side on the horizontal so that the triangles are inward facing and continue the line on the front and back of the bottom of the purse for continuity.

5. Fold the overlapping flap over the front and see how much excess is on either side. Fold the excess over, sew down and glue the soft side of Velcro, one piece to each inside corner of the flap. Figure out the corresponding points on the body of the purse and glue the bristle-y side of the Velcro to two points on the body.

6. Take your excess laminated piece and fold in half. Fold the outer edges in about a quarter of an inch so that there are no raw edges showing. Sew a zig-zag line the length. Attach each end of the strap to each side of the bag.

7. Get a Hot Rod Car and glue to the front center of the flap.