:: Steps towards Sustainability – tap water ::

I have a confession to make: I don’t like tap water. And as I only drink water most of the time (the occasional juice aside), that is a real bummer. Because, as if the whole not-liking-tapwater isn’t enough, I have also a strong preference for a certain brand of bottled water. Plastic bottles, I know! To make it even worse, I was so attached to the brand, that I took my reusable bottle to school, filled with bottled water. Sigh, that doesn’t help much, does it?

I am pleased to tell you that I am slowly changing my ways. Thanks to Little Boy (who’s actually not that little anymore, it’s scary how fast those kids grow!). He consistently and specifically asks for tap water. I do the same for his little sis, for whom it doesn’t matter, as long as she can drink from a glass, like her mother. And I?
Well, I’m trying. When I’m really thirsty, I first drink a glass of cold tap water and then decide if I want bottled water. It helps if it’s cold, so I often keep a pitcher of tap water in the fridge. And to get my husband on board too (which seems nearly impossible), I make infused water.

He likes fresh tastes, like lemon and lime and cucumber. I prefer a sweet touch, like watermelon or strawberry. For Little Boy it doesn’t matter, as long as he sees it’s infused, he’s over the top enthusiastic.
It has been a few weeks since our last can, time to start again. And because Pinterest is my friend and those pictures scream summer all over, I’ll share with you my best finds.



grapefruit @ rosemary  actually this is a gorgeous article on infused water, with plenty of interesting combinations. I particularly like how fresh herbs are involved.

pomegranate & ginger & lime  jamie oliver. The pomegranate did it.

lavender & blueberry  I know, that’s a site in Dutch, but the picture says it all: lavender!

autumn flavours  I love to have a plan for other seasons.


It’s a real infused water galore out there!
What’s your favourite?

Reflections on Sunday #9

Just before the new week starts, I like to go through the old one. Our family life in little snippets, plus some great finds from around the web. Have a great Sunday!


Our cavalier is the first visitor of this wonderful exposition - flying ants everywhere!
Our cavalier is the first visitor of this wonderful exposition – flying ants everywhere!

Last week was a lovely one. My husband is home too, so we could spend some time as a family. Lots of time was spent in the garden. Little Boy loves his chalk and his drawings have suddenly evolved from just coloring and scratching to something that actually represents something (although we aren’t sure what, and he changes his mind about every second). Lots of circles with little stripes around. Days were warm and my husband has worked a lot in the harden. We’re always surprised how much there is to be done, while we mainly have some lawn and a few border plants and pots. It has been quite hot too, and suddenly all the ant nests in the garden freed their youngsters, so they could go out and look for a place of their own. We were not too happy about the ants (there were so many of them!), but those little creatures come along with any place and I must admit we almost never find them inside. I thought it was really special, the whole street was filled with flying ants and we could hear our neighbors wonder about them too. As if, on some secret signal, each nest made the same decision.



Having my husband at home also meant I could spend some time in the kitchen. My main concern was trying to waste as little as possible. After my successful jelly adventure of last week (stay tuned, I’ll be posting about it on Tuesday), I picked up some peaches very cheap and turned them into jam. A few overly ripe bananas were turned into banana bread, following this recipe. Since my blueberry muffins turned out so great, I went to the same place for the recipe. Good decision. It was moist, although it hadn’t risen so well. My banana loaves never do. Any advice on that?


Tackling Mount Ironing - Naptime for me!
Tackling Mount Ironing – Naptime for me!

Having a toddler running around is not very interesting housework-wise. As we would leave on Saturday for or holiday at the coast, I had to pack and finally tackle that huge Mount Ironing that was waiting for me. I don’t like ironing, and I’m thankful my grandmother-in-law does most of or laundry and ironing (she loves and I mean loves to do that). She’s a lovely old woman that worked in a boutique ’til she turned 80, two years ago! She misses it dearly and our laundry is something that she actually looks forward too. I’m happy to keep her happy, but from the start I decided to do Little Boy’s laundry at home and while I’m convinced it’s not absolutely necessary to iron his clothes (he’s still small enough to flatten the worst wrinkles out), I feel better once it’s done. The doing itself though, is not my favorite job.

Luckily I could also fit in one little nap for myself, and it was a much needed one!


interesting reads

Last week I have managed to waste hardly any food. I’m ashamed to say that doesn’t happen very often. Articles like this one keep me sharp and focussed. I need that kind of reminder quite often! We also saw an interesting documentary (I only stepped in halfway, so I don’t remember the title, but I did some research and I think it’s here – in Dutch, I don’t think it exists in English) that I actually discussed with my husband. It’s about how much our food costs in terms of ecological impact. The philosopher in it stated that we completely need to rethink our way of interacting with food. Tomatoes for example, are tasty and they can grow quite well here, but they ask a lot of the soil, especially in our regions. We could learn to eat clover for example, something that grows here on its own. I think he has a point (although my tomatoes were merely seeds put in a pot filled with potting ground and I never added a thing – but of course I had not to make a living out of it). My husband thought that was actually true, but he said he could never ‘rewire’ himself. For him vegetables are additional, and he prefers potatoes or meat to be the main ingredient of his meal. I’m very different and as I am the cook, he goes along quite fine, but he told me he never really liked vegetables. He’ll eat them, because it’s healthy but that’s about it. Something else they talked about in the documentary, was a digital way of foor pairing. Through specialized computer programs, from each food the aromas are analyzed. That way, the most special combinations are made possible. In our opinion, it takes the magic away from how great chefs combine their ingredients. But it also gives possibilities: one could recreate the taste of an orange for example, by combining the right (local) ingredients that have one of the aromas of oranges. I see the point, but I’m not sure if I like that idea. I don’t even know if that’s better for the environment.

On a whole different level, I looked for some journaling inspiration on Pinterest, and I stumbled upon the concept of Bible journaling. One of the things I would like to do during my parental leave, is working my way through the Bible. I do it with my job in mind, but it’s something I also do for myself. I think journaling in the book itself, might help to bound with it more, and make it an even more personal experience. I learned that the better I can internalize a Bible book, the better I can share it with my students. I teach religion in a catholic school and while it’s quite a challenge at times, it’s one of the most fulfilling jobs I could imagine. I like how the more I teach, the more I learn, and religion is a subject that seems to be made to prove that statement.

And you, how was your week?

Reflections on Sunday #8

Just before the new week starts, I like to go through the old one. Our family life in little snippets, plus some great finds from around the web. Have a great Sunday!


cuddling and playing inside
cuddling on the bed – playing inside

Last week was rather rainy and grey. It involved much time inside and while that’s appreciated once in a while, Little Boy isn’t made to spend the days between walls. Luckily there were a lot of cuddles on the bed, and he rediscovered his workman’s gear. He has been playing with it the whole week!



baby elephant soap bubbles
visiting baby elephant Qiyo (photo credit: http://www.planckendael.be/nl/kai-mook-grote-zus-0) – bubbles

Sunbeams had to be enjoyed. Even a cloudy sky was signal to go out. Our trip to the Zoo made us meet the recently born cute-as-a-button baby elephant. And in our own garden, it was trying to fight the weeds in the lawn (it’s completely useless, but I find it therapeutic) and making soap bubbles. They are this summer’s discovery and Little Boy is getting quite good at it!



instagram songsofhome pictures
I’m on instagram as @songsofhome now!

I have been playing around a little on Instagram, and created an account for my blog. Participating in prompt challenges here and there. (#fmsphotoaday is my favorite) Mainly being completely in awe of what people manage to shoot. There are some very talented people in this world!



redcurrant jelly blueberry muffins
playing around in the kitchen – redcurrant jelly and blueberry muffins

I’ve been making redcurrant jelly and blueberry muffins. More on te redcurrant jelly later, I hope to turn it into an interesting post. Of course, I always think of those things when season’s almost over, but hey, I have my jelly!



library books
“War” was a really good read – picking up some more!

Reading around, finished a good novel (It’s in German and has been translated in Dutch, not in English. The link is to a book review in Dutch on the site of the author) and then went straight to the library to pick up some more goodness. They recently installed self-scan desks and changed there household rules. No you can take 15 materials on one card, without having to pay for any of it. You can keep those for 3 weeks (or longer, you can manage your accounts online). Penalties for being late went up, but everything else has become cheaper (read: free). I love it and I’m splurging on children’s movies and CD’s.



interesting reads


Some good reads on the web too. Being home alone often lately with Little Boy, there were three posts that particularly resonated with me.


  • I came across this one before, but now I can totally see the point in it. Calling it ‘babysitting’ when my husband cares for Little Boy is something I have made myself guilty of right from the start (especially the first few months) and it doesn’t do justice to me nor my husband. Thinking that way creates patterns that are hard to break.  If we would decide a second child would complete our family, it’s something that I will keep in mind.


  • Another thing I will keep in mind, is this beautiful and honest post. It’s about the comments and reactions a little girl with a severe skin condition gets. Children can be really straight-forward, and sometimes brutally rude too (albeit not always with that intention), but the way we respond to that behavior as a parent can make a whole lot of difference. I love the advice the author is giving here, and some specific examples. I know I will need them one day


  • And as much as I love my kid, I appreciate nap times. So even if it’s not very polite to smile when someone’s having an embarrassing moment, I think it’s completely justified when she shares it with the world herself. Plus it’s a fun read. Plus it’s totally recognizable. At least I’m not feeling alone anymore. Never trust a jellyfish, but go ahead and read her stories.


How was your week? If you have any great finds to share, please do so in the comments. Have a nice Sunday!