Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday


I was planning to write something about Good Friday but then I read this post on, it is so beautiful and so true and I just felt I needed to share it with you, there's nothing more to add:

" This is where we were made to live, in the veiled glory of Good Friday. Easter is coming, to be sure. But learn to live here first, in the brokenness. Don’t despise today. His suffering is for you. And me. We spend so much time and effort presenting our best selves to the world but He came to be broken and His heart is to see us live there, too. We want prosperity. He bore a cross. We want an easier way. He blazed an impossible path. We want to be liked. He came to love. And His love, on display on Good Friday, changed the world.

Stay with Him, here, until it’s time.

Stay here, at the cross.... "

Read from the beginning here.... 

Have a good Friday, and a hope filled and joyful Easter weekend!

Love, Maria

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Love = baking, and a recipe

I find it kind of odd that of all my blog posts I've written since I've started blogging hardly any are a recipe post or a post about baking. 
It's strange because baking is one of my greatest passions.

^ ^ ^ ^

It started when I was a little girl. On Saturday mornings I would sneak downstairs and help my dad bake pancakes for the whole family, or I would watch him on Saturday evening while he was kneading dough for his famous Sunday morning raisin bread. 

I would help my mom bake cookies or watch her make the most amazing birthday cakes. Those cakes were the highlight of every birthday, we had a recipe book with all kinds of fun cakes and every birthday we could choose which one we wanted her to make.

my moms creation for my seventh birthday, a bunny!

I've held on to those traditions, almost every Saturday morning I bake pancakes and as often as I can there's freshly baked raisin bread on the Sunday breakfast table. I bake cookies and muffins and squares whenever I can and I already have BIG plans for Micha's first birthday cake.

^ ^ ^ ^

Baking has always been an emotional thing for me. 
When I yearned for a baby, I baked my sadness away. 
When I quit University, I baked because that was something I actually was good at. 
When friends had babies, there I would be with a basket of muffins for the tired new mom.
When I want to show my man some lovin', I bake whatever he pleases.
And yes, when my monthly fun time (ahum) arrives, it's brownies I bake.

The process of baking gives me so much joy. 
From measuring out all the ingredients to melting chocolate or butter. 
From rolling out pastry to sitting in front of the oven watching my creations rise
and bake and turn into edible happiness. 

I find peace while I'm kneading dough or icing a cake or seeing a pile of pancakes become higher and higher.

And I love that feeling of pride and satisfaction when someone bites into that perfectly crumbly pie crust and their eyes light up and their mouth curls into the biggest smile, 
because it's MY baking that's making them feel like that.

^ ^ ^ ^

I haven't shared a lot recipes on the blog, but I think I'll try to do it once in a while from now on. 
Mind you, I don't have the best photography skills, so don't expect any beautiful food blogger-worthy photo's. 

But what I can do is share some of my favorite recipes and my love for baking. 
Because I really do believe that food tastes better when you put some love and attention into it. 
And that's what makes it so special to me.

^ ^ ^ ^

And now on to my first recipe. 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 
(makes about 38 cookies)

I know, I know, everybody knows how to make Chocolate Chips cookies, but this is my go-to recipe. 
I combined a bunch of different recipes to make my perfect cookie.

1 cup butter (at room temperature)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup quick oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

or for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies add:

1 tsp cinnamon
and replace the chocolate chips with
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 375 F/ 190 C

In stand mixer or in a bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. In another stir together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

For the raisin cookies, add the cinnamon with the dry ingredients and stir in raisins instead of the chocolate chips

Roll dough into balls about 11/2 inches/ 4 cm in diameter. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, (you might want to use baking paper) placing balls about 2 inches/ 5 cm apart. On sheet at a time, bake in center of oven for 8-10 minutes or until just golden. Let cool on cookie sheet 1 minute, then transfer to rack to cool completely.


Love, Maria

linking up with Casey today

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cleaning out my closet

I don't know about you, but once in a while my closet needs some serious tidying up.
My closet is super small so I really need to keep it tidy to be able to fit everything in,
 but over the last few months clothes have been piling up and I could hardly find anything.

^ ^ ^ ^

So today, when Micha was napping, I cleaned my closet.

I found clothes that I never wear anymore (tossing or donating),
I found clothes that don't fit (try to sell),
I found clothes that needed some up-cycling (white jeans with a stain might be fun to dye mint).
I found some maternity clothes(saving these for a next pregnancy?).

and I found a peach checkered shirt.
I remember buying it a while ago, but I never ended up wearing it because I didn't know how to style it.

So I tried some different ways to style it and came up with these two outfits:

cardigan, skirt, leggings, belt: H&M // boots: thrifted // shirt: Zeeman // earrings: Etos

jeans: H&M (up-cycled with DIY polka dots) // shirt: Zeeman // Necklace: DIY (heavily inspired by these beauties)
// earrings: Etos // floral sneakers: van Haren

I think I like the first one better, it's more in my comfort zone of feminine outfits.
But # 2 is pretty fun as well, I really can see myself wearing it more often.

^ ^ ^ ^

So all in all it was a pretty productive day, my closet is all nice and tidy and I have two new outfits to wear this spring. 

I'm a happy girl!

Have you discovered any new outfits in your closet lately?

Love, Maria

linking up with


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

34 weeks

Wow, Micha, this week has been something.

Remember last week when I was feeling so tired and overwhelmed,  because breastfeeding wasn't going well?
Remember that advice I received to stop nursing you at night? And that everything would miraculously be better?
Well, that advice was not very good at all.

^ ^ ^ ^

After two nights of me refusing to nurse you at night and giving you a drink of water instead, I realized that my milk supply was quickly dwindling, and that you weren't nursing more during the day. I started to panic and was so scared that I might not have any milk left to feed you and that didn't really help with the milk supply either.

I called 'La Leche League' for a second opinion and their advice was so, so much better.
They told me that you were probably too distracted during the day to nurse a lot and that you got your fill of breast milk at night.
That made so much sense, yes, you are quite an active little boy and you'd rather play during the day than feed. And just because I decided to stop nursing you at night, that didn't make you any less distracted during the day than before.
They advised me to keep nursing you at night and regularly offering you breast milk during the day, but not stressing out if you refused, because you drink what you need at night.
I felt a lot more at ease with this advise than with the first advise I received. It just made so much more sense to me.

And things are going so much better.
Now I nurse you at 7 p.m. before you go to bed, at 10 p.m., right before I go to bed, at 3 a.m., in the morning at 6.30 and during the day at around noon. You drink longer and better and I'm not so stressed out anymore whether I have enough milk for you or not.

I'm so glad that I decided to get a second opinion and that the advise I got really worked.

Nursing you is becoming more fun again and not as stressful as it was.

I'm so relieved.

^ ^ ^ ^
On a less positive note, you seem to have gotten your first cold this week, poor little guy.
You've been coughing and sneezing for the last two days and it's been keeping you up a bit at night.
We want to stay away from normal medicine as long as we can, so we've been cutting up onions for in your room and oiling up the soles of your feet with oil of oregano (got that tip from one of my favorite bloggers, Bridget), hopefully it will work! 
And it's good to know that nursing is the best cold fighter there is.

But you're still quite a happy baby, so I guess it's not bothering you too much.

Micha, I just love being your mama. 

I love you in the morning 
and in the afternoon
I love you in the evening
and underneath the moon

Love, Mama

linking up with Anything&Everything Tuesday Blog Hop

Friday, March 22, 2013

this weather hurts our feelings + happy friday

I know, I know... almost every blogger in the northern hemisphere is whining about the weather.
But c'mon, it's almost April, let Spring start already, seriously...

We're so DONE with the cold, cold weather!

This weekend the temperature will still be around the freezing point, but it will be sunny, so I guess we'll just have to bundle up and pretend that Spring is here. 

^ ^ ^ ^

At this point Micha probably doesn't even believe us when we tell him that one fine day he'll be able to go outside without having to going through the awful ordeal of having his coat put on. :)

Okay, rant over.

^ ^ ^ ^

Enjoy these Friday loves:

this inspiring blog post

this cuteness

this You Tube clip

this recipe

^ ^ ^ ^

I hope you all have a great weekend,
and if you're somewhere warm please send some warm vibes this way,
much appreciated.

Happy Friday!

Love, Maria

Thursday, March 21, 2013

five things.

I've seen this '5 things' post all over blogland and on Instagram, and I thought I'd join the fun too.

update: You're actually supposed be tagged to play along, and I wasn't, bad little rule breaker, me! But I just got tagged by Noni, so I'm all legit now :) Thanks Noni!

1 ~ I speak four languages, two of them fluently, Dutch and English, but I can also make myself clear and understand what others are saying in German and French. That's one benefit of going to high school in Holland, and growing up in English speaking countries. 
I would love to raise Micha bilingual, 
I really want him to be able to interact in English with my family and friends in Canada. 
I'm already singing English songs and reading English books to him, hopefully that will help a bit.

^ ^ ^ ^

2 ~ I'm one of seven kids. I have three older brothers, two older sisters and a younger sister. I loved growing up in such a big family, and am already feeling a bit sorry for Micha that he probably won't have many siblings (because of our infertility issues).

^ ^ ^ ^

3 ~ My best friend, Lydia,  lives in Canada and I miss her every day. We met in first grade and have been best friends ever since. We don't see or call each other much, but every single time that we see each other again it's as if we've never missed each other! She's a mama of two adorable boys and I can't wait for that day when our boys will be able to play together, maybe next year?

^ ^ ^ ^

4 ~ My husband is my better half and my very best friend. There is nobody I would rather spend time with than with him. He loves me so much and I love him more than anything! I'm am so grateful that God put us on each others paths at such a young age. 

Fun fact about us: Both our dads are pastors, and they both did a part of our wedding ceremony. 

^ ^ ^ ^

5 ~ I love to read everything and anything with words and I'm a really fast reader.
Remember Dan Browns 'the da vinci code'? I read that in one day. It's the truth.
I just love to lose myself in a good story and just put everything on hold to read. But since Micha was born I haven't read much at all, I should really start reading again!

Love, Maria

I tag Darlene, Erin, Lydia and Abby , and whoever else that wants to play along!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Date Night and a sneaky baby

I'm almost ashamed to admit this but B. and I have only been on a date without baby once! since Micha arrived over 7 months ago. I know! Crazy, right?

That one time was on B.'s birthday, when Micha was 2 months old, 
and all we could do, while we raced through dinner, was wonder how our baby was doing.
Of course he was perfectly fine at our friends where we had brought him, and we ended up spending the rest of the evening at their house while he slept peacefully.

^ ^ ^ ^

One of the reasons we haven't had many date nights is because both of our parents (people we trust with him) don't live very close by. Mine live in Benin, Africa (yes, you heard that right, more about that here) and B.'s parents live about an hours drive from us, which isn't ideal for just a few hours of babysitting.
That's one reason.

Another reason is that we don't want to burden our friends (who we trust with him as well). They have a little one of their own, a week younger that Micha, and while they tell us it's perfectly fine to bring him over, it feels like we're taking advantage of their kindness. I know, it probably has more to do with our feelings than with theirs.

^ ^ ^ ^

But the I think the real reason is that we just can't let go of our baby. 
When I was pregnant, and even before, we swore that we wouldn't become those people , 
you know the ones that are super protective of their kids and won't let anyone near them.
Well, I think we kind of are.... womp, womp, womp.

We don't even take him to the church nursery on Sundays ( 'eww, the germs', 'what if they let him cry?', 'what if some other kid pops something in his mouth and he chokes?', 'he'll die there!')

While I think it's totally normal and okay to be protective of him, I don't want to be that couple that doesn't take time for each other since the baby arrived. It's not healthy at all!

^ ^ ^ ^

We need to practice in letting our baby go. We need start trusting others to take of our baby, like our friends or B.'s sister who would LOVE to watch him. And we need to trust that it will all be okay!

And that's exactly what we're going to do next week Friday! Me and the B. will be going on a date, I can't wait!

And this is what I will wear:

don't mind the random baby paraphernalia 

oops, should have sucked in the belly for this pic..

and now for the sneakiest baby photo bomb....

Love, Maria

linking up with:


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

33 weeks

Oh you, this week you are definitely giving your papa and mama a run for their money.

I love you so much, but yesterday I was feeling so overwhelmed and tired and frustrated.

^ ^ ^ ^

You haven't been nursing very well lately, and on top of that, the last few nights were kinda horrible as well.
I'm starting to wean you at night, because our pediatrician said that you might be drinking your fill at night and that could be the reason you're on a breast strike during the day. She said you're old enough to sleep through the night without having to nurse.

So that's what were doing now, but it's not easy. 
The breastfeeding during the day is getting a bit better, but the nights, oof!
Usually if you woke up at night I'd let you nurse for a bit and then you would calm down pretty quickly. But now you have an hour each night, at around 2 a.m, that you wake up almost every ten minutes.
Last night I gave in and let you nurse for a few minutes and after that you slept until morning. Luckily you nursed again this morning, so I guess it didn't interfere too much.

^ ^ ^ ^

So, last night I was feeling pretty upset about how things are going, I was by myself because your papa had meeting at school and then he sent me a text, he told me to listen to a version of Psalm 23 on YouTube. It was exactly what I needed at the moment and you bet it had me crying my eyes out.

"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures, 
he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. 
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; 
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. 
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, 
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."

I'm not saying that I'm walking 'in the valley of the shadow of death', that would be a bit dramatic, but I was feeling myself getting pulled into a dark place and it was so healing to hear these words. 

I don't have to do this alone. God is there next to me, he gives me peace and strength and comfort when I'm stressed out and tired and overwhelmed.

^ ^ ^ ^
I really hope things will get better soon! I know it's all part of raising a baby, but that doesn't mean it's easy.

But, my sweet little Micha-boy, even when things are hard I just have to look at your cute little face and suddenly everything is good in the world.

I don't know how you do that!

'are we done yet, mama?'

I love you.

Love, Mama

Friday, March 15, 2013

Falling for Friday a.k.a. Lately loving...

Lately I'm loving...

- This book:

It's such a fun read, even for adults. Micha LOVES it!

^ ^ ^ ^

- This musician:

B. went to a  'the Killers' concert this week (yes, I'm so jealous!!) and while I love them I prefer the lead singers solo album.

^ ^ ^ ^

- This cute little number from H&M:


I LOVE the pattern and I bet it would look super cute with boots, black leggings and a leather jacket like this cute one: 

And to add a pop of color, a necklace like this awesome one:

made by the lovely Lady Lee

^ ^ ^ ^

- These blogs:

^ ^ ^ ^

This show:

There's an English remake but the original Danish version is the best. We've almost finished the third and final season and loving it!

^ ^ ^ ^

And last but not least this little charmer:

I could just eat him up!

Happy Friday, have a great weekend!

Love, Maria

linking up with:


Thursday, March 14, 2013

A coffee date

I've seen this blog post idea on several blogs (i think it originated here) and I always really enjoy reading them, so here goes my version:

If we had a coffee date...

I would welcome you into our little maisonette apartment (an apartment with two floors) and it would smell of freshly baked oatmeal muffins and coffee. 

Micha would be playing on the rug in our living room or in his playpen with a dozen of his toys scattered around him, and probably getting cranky because it's nap time.

I'd offer you a cup of coffee and probably apologize that it's not as good as the stuff I'd fix you at the espresso bar I work at. But it's not about the coffee now, it's about conversation and company on this oddly cold March morning.

I would bring Micha upstairs for his nap and meanwhile you could sneak a peek around the apartment to satisfy your curious nature (what? that's just something I would do?).

^ ^ ^ ^

We would sip our coffee and I would ask you how you're doing? How is life treating you?

I would tell you that I'm  really enjoying this season in life. Yes, there are sleepless nights and normal day-to-day worries. But life is good.

If you're a fellow mommy we would chat about our babies and I would share with you that Micha is showing less interest in nursing and that it's making me feel a little unnecessary and insecure. I'm not ready for him to wean yet and that I'm hoping that this is just phase he's going through.

I would ask you how you're doing it with your baby, and maybe feel a little pang of jealousy if you'd tell me that things are going super smooth.   
(just keeping it real :) )

I would mention that I feel that being a mama is such a blessing but also such a lesson in humility and selflessness, and that it's kinda hard sometimes.

^ ^ ^ ^

Meanwhile our coffee would be getting cold in our mugs and I'd fetch us some more, and bring some muffins along while I'm at it.

We'd munch away at our muffins and enjoy the sun shining through the living room window.

^ ^ ^ ^

I'd tell you that I sometimes feel a bit insecure that I don't have a 'real' job, but that I don't regret my choice to be a stay-at-home mama. Yes, lately it's been a little tight financially, but I would tell you that I believe that God provides for us. I don't mind having a tighter budget for the time being if it means that I can be at home with my baby. 
He'll only be a baby once, and I wouldn't want to miss it for the world!

I would share that having a tighter budget is forcing me to be more creative and that I've found a new hobby in thrifting and restyling clothes.

I would ask you what your passion is and what your dreams are?

^ ^ ^ ^

We would chat away the morning and finally we would hear Micha waking from his nap.

^ ^ ^ ^

I would share with you that I really appreciate having a friend like you, and that it's been a while since I've invested in a friendship. 

I would tell you that I really enjoyed our little coffee date and that we should do it again soon. 

Love, Maria

linking up with:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday - The tale of the up-cycled maxi dress

Once upon a time while I was still pregnant I had a favorite piece of clothing. 

It was this wonderful maxi dress:

I wore it religiously. 
It made me feel good, it was so comfortable, and it even though it wasn't a maternity dress it fit me right to the very end. 

It rightfully earned the title of best dress ever.

Me and my three favorite things at that moment: Maxi dress, Gelato and B. (behind the camera)

When our baby boy finally arrived I was the happiest woman on earth. 

>But part of me was a little sad, I would never be able to wear my favorite dress again, as my belly had stretched it out.< 

I didn't want to wait for a next pregnancy to wear it again (because if that ever happens again maxi dresses will probably be long out of style), so I decided to restyle it into a skirt.

^ ^ ^ ^

Months passed and my dress lay crumpled up in a corner, useless.
But finally, seven months after I had given birth, I found a quiet moment to work out my plan.

I hacked of the top part and sewed a wide elastic around the top to make a stretchy waistband.

And, voila, the dress had now magically transformed into a beautiful skirt. 

And so ends the tale of the favorite dress, which has now become the favorite skirt.

And we will live happily ever after.

Love, Maria

linking up with

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

32 weeks

32 weeks I've kissed those soft lips

32 weeks I've breathed in your milky sweet scent

32 weeks I've held you so close

32 weeks of falling head over heels

32 weeks of dreams come true

A lifetime of LOVE ahead of us

You're my heart, baby boy!

Love, Mama

Friday, March 8, 2013

Insta-dump February/ March

I have a private Instagram account, but I thought it would be fun to post some of the photos from IG once in a while.

Instagram February / March

1. in the baby carrier  2. ready for a walk  3. this is what I do two nights a week

4. caged wild child  5. morning devotions  6. wine and 'the killing'

7. feeling crafty  8. cuddles  9. first time at the hairdressers since baby

10. dressing-up in my old baby clothes (sorry little guy :) ) 11. cool dude  12. coffee, banana bread and my trusty medela pump

follow me on Instagram : @marianapplug

Have a great weekend!

Love, Maria

Thursday, March 7, 2013

a quiet afternoon

Not much to say today.

Just enjoying a quiet afternoon while Micha naps.

Maybe I'll take a nap myself, mmm, that sounds good!

^ ^ ^ ^

I'll leave you with this truth:


Have a great Thursday!

Love, Maria

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Yesterday evening at bible study we were discussing discipleship, and the question arose: 'Who are you discipling/mentoring?'
Some of us had searched for someone to mentor, others had people come across their paths, and I straight away thought of Micha. 

It is so clear to me that he is the one I need to be discipling right now. When we baptized him we made a promise that we would raise him in a God-filled family, and it is what I vowed to God I would do if he would give me a child.

Micha's baptism. September 2, 2012

At the moment Micha is too young to understand much. I read him bible stories before he goes to bed, but to him I could just as well be reading dr. Seuss.  

I also pray for him, and I pray with him. 
And when I pray with him it's not just a bedtime song, but we pray all throughout the day, we thank God for what he gives us, like food and health, I ask God to watch over Micha and fill him with His peace and love. 

I pray out loud so that Micha can hear what I'm saying, and even though he giggles at me when I pray and doesn't understand the importance of what we're doing, I hope that some day he will understand. 
And when that day comes I hope that praying will be his second nature. 

I want him to know that praying isn't just something we do before we eat a meal or go to bed or when we're in church, but that it is something he can do constantly and that he can pray about anything. 

Nothing is to small or to big for God.

I want him to have a personal relationship with Jesus.

^ ^ ^ ^

I also want Micha to see me praying too, I want him to know that his Mama loves Jesus as well and has a personal relationship with Him. 
And that's why I love what Emily wrote a few days ago, it was so eye opening to me:

" a friend mentioned something about how having our 

quiet times in the morning is great for us, but if that is the only time we ever read our bibles, then our children will never see us in the word. i don't want my kids to look back and have to wrack their brain to figure out when it was that i actually read the bible. so, if that is your time to be with the lord as well, make sure they know we read the it with them throughout the day. memorize scripture together. whatever it is that works for y'all. "

Isn't that so true? I love it!

My prayer is that God will give us strength to raise Micha to know Him and accept Jesus as his savior, we will definitely need it!

Love, Maria

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

31 weeks


You've been a bit of a rascal this week with your sleeping (or should I say, not sleeping). 
With your naps during the day there's no problem, but at night you've been waking up quite a bit. And while we could usually calm you down pretty quickly, by stroking your face and giving you your pacifier, it's taking us quite a bit more time to get you back to sleep. You go to bed at 6.30 p.m. and you used to wake up at around 10 to nurse and then at around 3 a.m., but the last few days you've woken up almost every hour! Arghh!!

Mama and papa are ti-red!

^ ^ ^ ^

We're not really sure what's causing this behavior, but we think it might have something to do with your new favorite hobby : eating solids. You've been a little bit constipated, so maybe that's bothering you? Or it could be teething, though we haven't seen any new teeth popping up.

We really hope things will get better soon!

Luckily last night was a bit calmer again, so our hopes are up! (a dangerous, dangerous thing for new parents ;) )

^ ^ ^ ^

But while your nights are kind of sucky, during the day you're so fun to be around! You're such a happy little guy, maybe a little high maintenance, but I just love hanging out with you all day!

You're my little pal, my partner in crime, my homie!

I love you so very much!

Love, Mama

Friday, March 1, 2013

Melty, chocolaty goodness

Sometimes I get reeeaaal fancy and make myself some s'mores while Micha is napping. 
I actually love to bake real things, but this is a quick and easy way to satisfy those chocolate cravings I get once in a while (or maybe every day :) )

All you need is two chocolate covered digestive cookies, two marshmallows, aluminum foil, and a toaster.

Happy Friday!

Love, Maria