Orange ice pops for King’s day

We have a king, a queen and three lovely princesses. The queen likes to dress her girls in matching outfits, just as my mother liked to do when me and my sisters were little. I can’t remember whether we loved it or hated it. I do know that as soon as my eldest sister got to choose her own clothes, she wouldn’t wear a dress anymore.

Ice pop mold oranges lime juicer squeezer

But enough about me and my childhood memories. It’s King’s day next week! King’s day is a national holiday when we celebrate our king’s birthday. It’s one of my favourite holidays because of the relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The Netherlands is a small country and we celebrate this day in a typical Dutch manner. There are no military parades, but children decorate their bikes for a neighbourhood bike parade. There are festivals all over the country and flea markets in many streets. City centres will colour orange because our royal family is from the House of Orange.

Orange lime juicer squeezer

We will celebrate King’s day in our own neighbourhood. The neighbourhood committee (we are very well organised) is hosting a coffee. We will drink ‘oranjebitter’, a liqueur made from oranges, and toast to the king’s health. There is no dress code, but a touch of orange is appreciated.

With spring, the sun shining and a holiday coming up, I think there are enough reasons to make ice pops. To stay with the theme I’m making orange ice pops but I like to add a lime for extra fresh flavour.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lime
  • 100 grams sugar

Saucepan orange lime peel

Start by washing the fruit. Next, cut the oranges and lime in half and squeeze out the juice.

Make sugar syrup by heating 200 ml of water and 100 grams of sugar in a stainless steel saucepan. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves.

Cut the fruit peel in pieces and add to the saucepan for extra flavour. Boil for a few minutes. Then remove the fruit peels from the pan.

Add the sugar syrup to the juice and let it cool in the fridge for a couple of hours. The colder before freezing, the better.

Filled ice pop mold

Stir again before pouring into the ice pop mold. Put in the freezer overnight.

Orange lime ice pops

Remove the mold from the freezer, run warm water over the mold for 10 seconds, pull the pops out, and enjoy.

What’s your favourite holiday, and does it include any orange clothing?

Orange lime ice pops

Growing hellebores

Are you a member of the hellebore appreciation society yet? I certainly am! They are a garden favourite because they’re one of the first flowers to bloom in spring. They brighten up the winter garden while we are all longing for some colour. They are expensive, but they give a great return on investment.

Continue reading Growing hellebores

What I love about blogging

The lovely Bex kindly nominated me for a Liebster Award. If you haven’t heard of it before, the Liebster Award is passed around the blogging community to new or smaller bloggers. It’s simply a way of getting to know each other a little better. Because I loved reading Bex’s post, I thought I’d take up the challenge.

Bex and I met through a wonderful online photography course by Emily Quinton we took together. We learned about composition, finding the light and all the technical stuff. We shared and commented on each other’s pictures and it was so much fun! I can highly recommend it to any flower lover who wants to take better pictures.

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DIY turquoise Easter eggs

Easter is just a week away so I decided it was time to dye some eggs. While the kids are busy with their egg holder and paint brush I am working on my own project: dyeing eggs in different shades of turquoise.

Haven’t dyed your Easter eggs yet and looking for an easy project? These pretty turquoise eggs make an easy and inexpensive Easter decoration. All you need are eggs, a simple Easter egg kit and some patience.

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At the cutting garden

I love flowers and have always enjoyed a bouquet of fresh flowers in the house. Flowers are relatively cheap in the Netherlands and even in winter, there is an abundant choice of flowers and colours. I usually buy my flowers at the market. I love going to the historic city centre each week to buy vegetables and bread.
There is so much to see and always something to taste at the market. I enjoy the lively atmosphere in the streets and squares on market days.

At the cutting garden: dahlias - Cloverhome.nl

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Market days February

We live in a small but lively old city close to Amsterdam. We have it all: the canals, the canal houses, the picturesque bridges, but on a much smaller scale. You can even take a cruise through the canals. This is not a commercial canal cruise like the ones in Amsterdam, the captain and guide are senior citizens volunteering. Continue reading Market days February

Dream garden

It is still winter but there are signs of spring everywhere.  The snowdrops are the first flowers to bloom in our garden. Two varieties of hellebores lighten up the back garden, they are so pretty. There are also some green hellebores in the front garden. They don’t get much sun so they probably won’t open for weeks.

Helleborus in the garden

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Sweet pea love

I love flowers but I never grew my own flowers. Having a small garden and four little boys who wanted to play in that garden definitely had something to do with it. But then we moved to a new house with trees in the garden for the boys to climb in, a dream come true.

The house used to belong to an old lady and the garden was rather neglected. With moving house for the second time in one year and still a lot of painting to do, you can imagine gardening wasn’t the first thing on my mind.

Starting sweet pea seeds the easy way. All you need are an empty cardboard egg carton, soil, seeds and a plastic bag. Put the egg carton on your windowsill.

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The way to a man’s heart…

Lots of people don’t like Valentine’s day because they consider it a commercial holiday. They don’t need a special day to show their love – they do that every day! Perhaps they just don’t like sugar-coated cards and pink hearts. But you don’t have to buy champagne, red roses or heart-shaped chocolate (you certainly can if you want to!). Try simply doing something nice. Send a friend a sweet and thoughtful card or make your husband his favourite food.

My husband’s favourite cake is a Linzertorte and he often makes it himself. There is no better way to show my love than to make him just that cake! My husband’s family is German and this is an old family recipe. It is named after the Austrian city of Linz. There are lots of variations, but we always make it with hazelnuts and raspberry jam.

Bake a heart-shaped Linzer torte for Valentine's day

Continue reading The way to a man’s heart…