Attracted by Vera’s warm and colorful Instagram account depicting the daily joys and adventures of her family life in the Netherlands, we wished to know more about her cosy home and traditions. Winter is a time to wrap up, enjoy time indoors with children, surround ourselves with pretty colors and fancy prints. Vera does it perfectly! Let’s take inspiration!
Can you please present yourself and your family?
I am Vera, 36 years old and living in the Netherlands. Married with the love of my life for 7 years and mother of 3 young children. Two girls aged 6 and 4 and a little boy who is 1,5 year.
Three days a week, I work as a dietitian in a nursing home and rehabilitation center. I love helping our patients recover better by giving them the best nutritional advice.
How do you add warmth and joy to your fall/winter season?
First through the girls’ wardrobe. I delight in finding pretty print dresses and creating daily looks with the perfect matching accessories. This year we have found the cutest chestnut shaped wicker baskets....
Home decor is another passion of mine. Adding poetic frames, floral Liberty print detailings and cute toys to the girls’ nursery adds a dreamy feel to our home.
On rainy days we love baking too! With my husband the kids make all sorts of cookies, cakes and chocolates. The best part is to create a surprise and share what we have cooked with our family and friends.
We also love to watch Disney movies on cold winter evenings. The girls really like the classic ones like the Aristocats, Cinderella and Robin Hood. They can watch them over and over again!
Can you tell us about the winter traditions of the Netherlands?
A special winter tradition of ours is St. Nicolas. Of course we celebrate Christmas too but most of the Dutch kids receive presents from St. Nicolas on the 5th of December. The evening before, we put our shoes (with a drawing and a carrot in it for the horse) in front of the fireplace and we all sing St. Nicolas songs. The next day, when the children wake up, their little shoes are filled 'strooigoed' and little presents!
Strooigoed is our Dutch word for the typical candies and treats of Saint Nicolas. Among the most famous is the ‘kruinoot’ which is a hard spice-dough based biscuits.
This year, the girls were so excited about it that they hardly slept!
Can you give us a Christmas gift idea for children?
A great Christmas gift idea for children is a dollhouse. Small or large, they will play for hours with it!
If you follow our Instagram page, you will have seen how much we love ours! We are constantly adding new features to our Maileg house and take such good care of our little bunnies and mice. I have noticed that dollhouses are also a great way for children to process, learn and experience. It’s a safe miniature world in which kids feel totally at ease.
This winter is quite unlike any other, it has changed our habits and routines. What have you learned or what have you changed that you would like to keep after the Covid?
This year has totally changed our family life. Before Covid my husband was working 5 days a week at the office. He left early in the morning and came home late in the evening. Most of the time the children were already in bed and he didn't see them at all during the whole day.
When the lockdown came, I continued working on location (I work as a dietician) and my husband started working from home. Everything was turned upside down. I was up working the whole day and my husband was home with the 3 little kids. The first 2 weeks were very difficult but then the kids got used to being home with their daddy. Although it was really tough, they really enjoyed this time together. My husband was able to see his son growing from a baby to a toddler and saw him take his first steps.
Now he brings the girls to school every morning. Spending more time together as a family is something we really want to keep after Covid! And also enjoying little things more; like going to the woods more often or visiting little beaches. The kids really love it. You don't have to visit fancy theme parks to have fun.
Can you share some of your favorite Instagram accounts please?
- @deuxpetitesprincesses. The girls are always beautifully dressed and also have a stunning Maileg dollhouse.
- @peelandfriends : Beautiful account of an Australian mum living in the UK; her girls’ looks are totally my types of colors and prints.
- Perrine.59 : The dreamy account of a mum of two with a love for vintage Scandinavian who also shares her recipes.
- @fleurdamelie : A mum making magical memories with her family.
Follow Vera’s family on Instagram : @veracarpaij