zaterdag 28 april 2012


While coming up the stairs in the thrift store yesterday afternoon, she caught my eye immediately. Dressed in a long bluish green dress, with a long scarf wrapped around her slender shoulders. A red ribbon covering the front part of her dress, like a necklace. What strikes me most is her beautiful face: the sweet smile, sparkle in her eyes and bobbed hair. She must be the same age as my youngest daughter, who is almost eighteen. When I walk closer, pick her up in her golden frame, I see her name is Evelyn.

A long time ago, in 1928, she was printed on a page in the Christmas edition of the Haagsche Post. A popular Dutch weekly magazine. Isn't she just beautiful?! Normally my girls aren't that enthusiastic about my thrift store finds, but the whole family fell in love with Evelyn immediately.

Because Stephanie and Nicola asked me to, and because I am just as much interested in other people's books as they are, I will show you some of the books that were on display on my glass table in last Monday's post. 

Rules and civility by Amor Towles is the only book on the pile I haven't read yet. The black and white cover photo, taken in what looks like the 1930s, appealed to me very much. A beautiful young woman in a long white dress draped languidly across a deck chair. A well groomed man sitting by her side.
The book is about twenty-five year old Katey who meets Tinker Grey, a handsome banker in a 1937s Greenwich Village jazz bar. The encounter with Tinker is the start of a yearlong journey toward the upper echelons of New York society.

I bought Mrs. Whaley and her Charleston Garden second hand on Ebay. It was first published in 1997. Having read about it on a blog, I decided it was the sort of book I might like...and I was right.
In the book eighty-five year old Mrs. Emily Whaley tells about her garden in the town of Charleston in West Virginia (USA). For garden lovers the book is a joy to read. It's full of humour, enthusiasm and a love for life and plants. Unfortunately Mrs. Whaley passed away several years ago. I would have loved to meet her in person and see her garden!

I bought Van de groenteman or The Greengrocer at half price in a book sale. It's from Australian food writer Leanne Kitchen. The book is beautifully designed and photographed. Full of seasonal recipes. There is a chapter on the greengrocer, herbs and leaf vegetables, seasonal produce and fruit. I haven't made one of the recipes yet, so I can't tell you if it is fool proof.....:-).

The Perfect Summer is written by Juliet Nicolson, granddaughter of Vita Sackville-West & Howard Nicolson, who lived at Sissinghurst castle more than fifty years ago and laid out it's amazing garden.
In the book Juliet Nicolson describes the year 1911. King George V has just succeeded his father as king of England/emperor of the British Empire. Juliet looks at class divisions, strikes in the dockyards and a war to come, through the eyes of a débutante, a choirboy, a butler, a trade unionist and queen Mary. It is a fascinating read.

The book Vintage Flowers by Vic Brotherson is a gem. Full of the most beautiful floral displays & vintage crockery. On the back of the book Sophie Dahl wrote 'Vic Brotherson is a floral goddess' and I can only agree with her. It's one of those books I often pick up and have a leaf through. If only to look at the amazing photographs.

Love to hear what's on your table?!

Wish you all a happy weekend and to the Dutch ladies a Happy Queens day.


Madelief x

Photo 9 to/incl. 12 from Vintage Flowers 

woensdag 25 april 2012

Birthday tea

Thank you for your comments on my last post. Some of you even left comments twice. I appreciate if very much! I feel so foolish deleting it all. That's what you get when you do three things simultaneously, think you are Mega Mindy (Belgian version of super woman), but obviously your not :-). I should have known........Another lesson. Even on your forty and quite something...

I enjoyed my tea on Sunday very much. I hope and think our guests did too. The girls helped to make the table look pretty and prepared some of the tea time treats. My husband covered the living room in floral bunting (surprise!) and took care of the tea & coffee. I couldn't have done without them.

We made the brownies, scones, sandwiches, petit Mont Blancs and carrot cake ourselves. The other treats on the table were bought at Koekela, one of my favourite bakery's/patisserie's in town. They are specialised in cookies, muffins & bars.

Nicola and Stephanie asked me to do a post on the books which were on my glass table in my last post. Ladies, I am working on it :-)

Wish you all a Happy Wednesday!

From a sunny Rotterdam,

Madelief x

maandag 23 april 2012

Splash of colour

 dress & necklace Mango, book Homespun Style by Selina lake, cardigan Pure

It's been a while since I did a fashion post. Well fashion.....more a post on clothes I love to wear. Now that fine spring weather is on our doorstep (positive thinking, they say it helps :-), it was time to go through my summer wardrobe. I thought I'd combine a few old and new things and show you. Normally I wear a lot of black and pastels, but I started wearing more bright colours recently. And you know....I quite like it!

Meanwhile the preparations for my tea party tomorrow, are in full swing. Unfortunately not in the garden, but at home. Que sera sera. I have already prepared some Petit Mont Blancs, brownies and scones. The carrot cake is in the oven right now. I will try to take some photo's so that I can show you.

Wish you all a Happy Weekend!

Love, Madelief x"

Wish you all a happy new week,

Madelief x

Dress second hand store, rose Zeeman, cardigan H&M

woensdag 18 april 2012

Merry & Bright

Although we had a beautiful start today, it's cold and wet in Holland for the time of year. It feels like autumn in stead of Spring. I wish we would get a south-westerly wind, that brings in warm air. I could really use it, because we have a tea party planned for Sunday. I would love to hold it in my garden.

If only because the garden is really pretty right now, with the cherry trees in full blossom, the blue and white grape hyacinths at their best and the woodruff almost in bloom. I would love to share it with my family. So please keep your thumbs up!

Let me show you some of the things I recently found and will use for my party.  They are all quite colourful. Hopefully they brighten up your day. Like they did for me!

Wish you all a Happy Wednesday!

Love, Madelief x


zaterdag 14 april 2012

Watch the ships go by

The photo's I show you today are not the sort of photo's I normally post on my blog. However, there is something about Rotterdam's harbour area that I find hard to resist. Even on a cold and rainy day, when the whiteness of the buildings and The Swan, one of Rotterdam's major bridges, looks impressive against the dark grey sky.

After visiting an exhibition called 'Celebration of the photobook' in the photo museum on 'de Kop van Zuid', we walked along the quay's and admired the beauty of the old warehouses, the boats, and the view of Rotterdam city centre.  I like the way old and new blend in together. Most tourists visit Amsterdam when in Holland, but I can assure you that Rotterdam has much to offer. We don't have any canals lined with 18th century houses, but we do have our harbour and a modern city centre with great architecture and much atmosphere!

We ended our walk in one of the café's that are situated on the quay and watched the ships go by.

Wish you all a happy weekend!


Madelief x