Holiday at Balaton lake

Hello, I am back πŸ™‚ I haven’t posted for about 2 months now, but I have a good reason: we have been to a fantastic 3 weeks holiday with my family, then my Mum came to visit us for an additional 3 weeks! And if I can, I rather spend the time with my family and live in the now, than write about it.

But summer is over, it is officially fall, and the temperature dropped significantly in the last 2 days. Rainy, windy, and I am thinking about turning the heating up in the house… :S

So, perfect time to review our summer, and post some sunshiney pictures πŸ™‚

We have conquered the 1800 kms of distance between my new home, Denmark, and my old home, Hungary in many different ways is the last couple of years. We have done it flying from Copenhagen, flying from Billund, and driving the whole way, making breaks in Germany. Β But this year we have tried something new: the train! Since we needed the car once in Hungary, the option of flying was not an option anymore. Driving the whole way is very exhausting, and with two kids being restless in the back of the car, we usually have to stop at least once for the night, therefore also quite an expensive option. But this year we heard about a nighttrain that goes from Hamburg to Wien, and where you can just drive up with your car, park it, then find your couchette, and comfortably spend the night sleeping, sparing 1200 kms of driving and gas.

Nigthtrain

The kids were obviously overexcited about sleeping on the train, and it actually went quite well.

Nighttrain

This way of travelling granted us the option of having a few hours both ways to discover the wonderful city of Wien, that I am going to have a separate post about πŸ™‚

Ruincastle

After arriving to Hungary, we had 2 beautiful week at Balaton lake, which is also affectionately called “tha Hungarian Sea” by all the good Hungarians πŸ™‚ The lake is huge, full of small villages all around, mostly holiday places. This is where all the Hungarian children camp with their schools in the summer. I also basically spent all my childhood and teenage summers by the lake. So it was clear that this year we meet up there with my parents, and we booked a summerhouse close to the lakeside. My brother came to visit us there with his girlfriend for a few days, one of my aunts came and a friend of mine with her boyfriend.

These two weeks were fantastic, the kids enjoyed it splashing around in the shallow water, playing in the sand, spotting trains that ran right outside our house, and being spoilt by the grandparents πŸ™‚

Cherry in the water

Paddington in the sand

waterbikes

swans

For the kids’ sake we went to a Circus one evening. It was a great show for the kids, parrots flying, horses trotting, acrobats jumping up and down, linedancers, magician, elephants, camels, and lions. Poor lions… They looked beaten and drugged, but I guess that’s how it goes in a circus, terrible. But the highlight for the evening for us was when a horse with wings attached to its back came around. I couldn’t take my eyes off of my daughter’s amazed face, and she couldn’t take her eyes off of her dream of a pegasus coming true…

Cherry and the pegasus

One day my husband and I escaped the summerhouse, and went for a one-day-selfspoiling to Zalakaros Thermal Bath. We made some little calculations, and realised, that we haven’t spent a whole day together, just the two of us, for almost 3 years… So I guess it was high time! I can tell you that, I wouldn’t be sad if someone told me, I will have to spend the rest of my life drifting in the warm thermal waters of Zalakaros… It was such a relaxing day.

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After Balaton, we spent a few days in Budapest, at my parents place, before taking the train back, this time, together with my Mum.

Elderflower Drink

What a hectic week! With my husband visiting Coppenhagen due to his work, and both of our kids falling victim to the nasty virus circulating in their daycare, I had my hands full.

Luckily the children didn’t get very sick. Sick enough to stay at home, but well enough to run around like poisoned mice… πŸ™‚ So yesterday I took out the bike and attached the kid-carrier behind it: I took Cherry and Paddington down to the nearest town, Hammel, to feed the ducks at the lake. They loved it!

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About the ducks: they are like the tame animals in a petting zoo: they are so used to people coming and feeding them all the time, that they are not scared at all of humans. Moreover, I haven’t even parked the bike, they were already all running towards us, quacking wildly, demanding their lunch… It also means that I could easily take close-up photos of them πŸ™‚

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Cherry found it amusing from the very first moment, but Paddington didn’t share her enthusiasm at first. Basically he was freaking out because of the pushy behaviour of the ducks πŸ™‚ Luckily later on he also started to appreciate the situation, and the bread I took with me was gone Β quite soon.

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After the bread was all eaten up, the kids engaged themselves in the classic game of chasing the ducks around – in the rain, of course, it is Denmark, after all πŸ™‚ Cherry couldn’t stop laughing at the funny knock-kneed way of running of the ducks. Later the kids collected some feathers, and we went home.

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And it was time to make some lovely elderflower drink πŸ™‚Β 

As far as I am concerned, I simply love the elderflower syrup drinks! So I was very happy to see, that we have some nice elderflower bushes in our garden, and right now it is high time to pluck them and turn them into some sweet, smooth, golden, summery syrup drinks…

bush

To make the drink, you are going to need the following:

  • An elderflower bush would be nice to have around, probably in the forest…
  • A big bowl or basket to collect the flowers
  • A pair of scissors
  • A bowl for cooking the syrup
  • Some clean bottles
  • A 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy (optional, or can be replaced with children of any number, gender and age)

While I was trying my best to collect the flowers from the bush, Cherry was standing by, holding the bowl, and a little bit complaning about the bowl being heavy… πŸ™‚ Paddington was playing with the dog. Now that is what I call an ideal distribution of work tasks πŸ™‚

When collecting the flowers and putting them into the bowl, Cherry suddenly cried out: “Look, Mummy, the flowers all full of animals!!!” – well, it’s true. When it comes to “bio” elderflowers – and by that I mean that they are from our own garden, without the use of any chemicals – insects will decide to live and prosper among the bushes.

picking elderflower

That is why you have to give the flowers a very proper wash before using them. I flooded the flowers with plenty of water, thereafter I removed the floating corpses of the “animals” from the water. Not my favourite part of the process, I can tell you that…

washing

To make the syrup, you will going to need:

  • 40-50 bunches of elderflower
  • 1 kg sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 l water

ingredients mix

You start with adding the sugar and the honey to a bowl af water, and make them boil. When it is boiling, you add the flowers and the sliced lemons, and stir the syrup.

elderflower syrup

After that just put the bowl to a cool place to chill, and let it stand there for 3-4 days. I covered the bowl with an insect net, to keep additional ingredients (dead bugs) away from the syrup. And the net might also keep away curious children of the syrup, though I cannot guarantee that… But our house already smells heavenly!!!

cooling

You will have to stir the syrup a few times daily. After a few days the syrup will be ready to be drained and put into clean bottles. You serve the drink by adding water to it.

So far I haven’t reached the point of draining and serving the drinks, but obviously I will keep you updated πŸ™‚

Little Girl’s Tee Dress

I am on a serious stash busting mission recently. Yes, I guess I have a problem – when I see some cute fabric, especially when it’s designed for kids, and even especially when they are on sale, I just cannot help it, I have to buy a meter or two of them… Probably you know the feeling πŸ™‚ Anyway, this habit of mine actually leads to a storing problem of the above mentioned cute fabrics. So I decided that this summer I am not going to buy new clothes for my kids (or for myself), I am going to make them. Because I can πŸ˜‰

Tee Dress

So I decided to make a small, girly version of the summer dress I made for myself, and asked Cherry to choose a fabric from my stash. She picked a lovely, summery fabric with funny peacocks on it. After picking the fabric, she pointed out, that one of her little horse toys is very sad, because he doesn’t have his own blanket, and is freezing, poor thing. So after I am done with her dress, will I make a blankie for the horsie of the same fabric please? Well, of course I made one. I don’t want to be blamed if the horse catches a cold, or something πŸ™‚

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Making the dress again was super easy and super fast. I just picked a shirt that fits Cherry perfectly, folded in half and placed it on a piece of pattern paper. I draw along the edges, and prolonged the pattern at the bottom to the desired lenght, so instead of a shirt, it becomes a dress.

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Once the pattern was done, I took the fabric, and folded it into 4, with the wrong side out. I placed the pattern alongside the fold, and cut it. This way I got two pieces of dress-like fabrics, that I just had to sew together along the shoulders and sides.

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After that i adjusted the lenght of the dress and cut a little bit more of the neckline in the front, zigzagged all over, and sew a hem on them. And done πŸ™‚

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Told you. Easy πŸ™‚ Now we just have to wait for the nice summer weather to return, so Cherry can wear it.

 

Midsummer

Summer is officially at its peak. It is midsummer, 6 months after Christmas, 6 months before Christmas – alas the best time of the year to have birthday, according to my husband. As it happens, it is my birthday today πŸ™‚ But that’s not what I was going to write about.

I love this time of the year, especially in Denmark. As all of the Scandinavian countries, Denmark also welcomes an extreme amount of light hours during these months. The sun is up (even if sometimes behind the clouds) about 19 hours per day. Fantastic πŸ™‚ A nice change after the long winter months, when we can be happy, if we have 5 hours daily sunshine… All this light is beautiful, even if sometimes it causes its troubles, like when I am unable to get my kids to sleep, cause who is going to fall asleep in bright sunshine, even if it’s already 10.30 in the evening…. I remember my dormitory days, when I used to work as a dishwasher in a fancy restaurant to pay my bills, and every Saturday we had a wedding to attend to. It meant that I rarely got home before 4 o’clock in the morning, shut the blinds on the window of my dorm room, and wanted to fall into unconscious sleep, but I simply couldn’t, because of the light finding its way through the blinds, and all the birds making a terrible noise, singing happily outside my window… oh, those were the days of my youth πŸ™‚

Summer by the way means a lot of beautiful things. Like our roses that have sprung…

Or the fresh strawberries that make the milk you pour on them just amazingly pink and sweet…

strawberries

And also, the yearly Midsummer celebrations πŸ™‚ We had a little grilling and bonfire at our village’s sports field, where a lot of our neighbours, my husband’s football buddies and our children’s day care friends met up. It was a lovely evening, despite the occasional showers (but again, it is Denmark).

A man-sized bonfire was built earlier that day, and it was not easy to set it on fire, but finally the men managed to start it.

starting the fire

It was beautiful and scary at the same time, the flames reaching up to the sky, and I was so happy that I was not born a few centuries earlier, because I am sure that I would have been burnt as a witch, just because of my freckles… what a terrible death.

At the same time as the bonfire, a rainbow showed up above the village πŸ™‚ If you look at the picture carefully, you can see that it was actually a double rainbow!

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We had a lovely time, and walked home around 9 p.m, when our kids started to get tired, and somewhat wet from the on-and-off rains.

 

Summer dress

Oh, hello! How have you been? Haven’t seen each other for a while, eh? For about a month…

I haven’t been lazy, though… I have done a lot of things, I just haven’t found the opportunity to write about them. Well, probably I could have if i really wanted to, but I guess I was suffering from some kind of writers’ block. Anyhow, I am back, rejoice πŸ™‚

This is going to be a relatively short post, since I have the board of the School’s Support Association coming for a meeting in the evening to discuss a lot of important things, and I still have to make the house look presentable, and bake something for them.

But let me tell you about my new favourite dress! Originally I am not a very big fan of dresses, somehow the shop bought dresses simply don’t seem to fit me properly, they all hang on me in a weird, uncomfortable way. Even the jersey ones. At places they are far too tight, at other points they are just too loose. But now I decided to end this, and make my own summer dress!Β 

I found this very nice tutorial of a Tee dress from ICandy, and I followed her steps. It was so easy, I cannot even tell you! I might make a few more of the same dress, in different colours, probably also different lenghts…

I just took my favourite T-shirt, drew a pattern around it, extended it to a comfortable dress lenght, grabbed a piece of summery-flowery knit fabric, and tadaaa!

Dress Collage

Please excuse my shiny, white legs, even though summer and sunshine is coming, I can reassure you, my tan will not get any better than this, sorry πŸ™‚

I simply love this dress! I have been wearing it day and night (not literally, of course), it is simply perfect for everything! For example a lovely stroll around in Grenaa, when we visited my husband’s parents, for my mother-in-law’s birthday last Saturday.

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