29.6.12

The last one in June {Friday list}

album di famiglia
Album di Famiglia.

Holiday season started, here is selection of really great toys and helpers.
emila ida
emile ida
Sweet sneak peek for Émile et Ida A/W 2013.

Cool sunnies from Sons + Daughters on sale. Wooot.
milky chair
Milky chair.

In case you still need a bag for this summer.

my space
My space - cardboard folding play area.

I love everything Pantone.
ten
Ten from Belgium.

Wow this is pretty.

I wish I could go there...
bookbox
I love books, I love book-box.

Today in one week I will be in Paris. Excited!

Playtime here I come, sunshine here I come, shopping here I come... yummy food here I come...

But before ... I need to take lots of pictures for lots of things {clear statement I know}, send back a ton of samples, relax and eat some ice cream...

Sending you lots of love with this cute video: 

As a child in East Berlin

Some time ago I told you that the blog name is based on the famous movie Paul & Paula, read it here,  so I thought that it would be a good moment to tell you a bit more about East Berlin and how I experienced it...

I was nearly 11 years old when the wall collapsed - 9th of November 1989. I still believe that it was a really good age. Old enough to realize and understand, young enough to just go with the abrupt changes.
Plus it fall together with a change of schools, change from child to teenager...it was ok and nothing dramatic.

My family was always split between the East and the West side so I was used to the fact that there is a border and that you cannot just take the car and visit your uncle. My mum's sister lived on the other side as well. {she left hidden in the trunk of a car}
It was a big act to be approved to visit the West, nearly impossible even. I remember my mum could go once because my great-grandfather turned 90.
The only person who went more or less regurlarly was my grandma, because it was much easier to get an approval at 60+... everyone else got the stamp "will not come back"...

But back to me and how I experienced it as a little girl and please keep this in mind as you might hear a very different view from people who were adults then...
I do not want to use the word paradise as it does not fit at all however as a kid... it felt a bit like that. You go to Kindergarten and when you turn 6 you start school and become a Pionier. {more about Pioniere here, but in German, could not find anything in English sorry}
Your afternoons were filled with sport or crafty clubs that cost your parents a few pennies a year and after school care was FREE.

Your parents went to work - everything was nationalized and people had the right for work - unemployment did not exist.
I was not really aware of the political system in which I lived. I did not start to think about it until later in my life when I realized how much the socialist East differed from the West.
The state-owned enterprises (VEB) entertained sports clubs and had spaces for holidays available. They also organized summer camps for the children of their employees.

You maybe could not go very far, countries included Czechoslovakia, Poland and if lucky Hungary, Russia and Bulgaria, but you went on holidays - for sure.

Maybe it is because of this background that I could travel all the time, that I want to discover the world and move. My mum totally understands me, supports me and is happy for me because she could not...

After the fall of the wall we too took the car and went to visit the family in the West and yes me too, I stared at all the colours and flashy lights from shop windows and supermarkets. I tried McDonalds and had a coke.

There is still a "border" between the two German parts and I wonder how long it will take to become really one...

Here is a list of a few movies I would recommend if you are interested to learn a bit more about this topic:

Paul & Paula
One of the best-known East German films and due to the film's political overtones it was almost not released.

Der Tunnel
Based on a true story a group of East Berliners escaping to the West.

Helden wie wir
On November 9 in 1989 {the day of the fall of the Berlin Wall} Klaus Uhltzscht crosses the border to the West - naked. No one wants to believe him, that he is responsible that the wall has fallen, so he now tells his story.

Good Bye, Lenin
Mixes comedy and tragedy, disappointment and joy, despair and hope. Set against the collapse of the Berlin Wall...

Coming out
Premiering in Berlin on the very night that the wall collapsed, Coming Out was the first and last East German feature film that dealt centrally with the lives of gay men.

PS: If you want to ask me something about this topic please go ahead, I am looking forward to hear your questions ... and of course share your thoughts...

28.6.12

Anja Schwerbrock - tree house collection

treehouse
treehouse
treehouse
treehouse
treehouse
treehouse
Anja Schwerbrock is a German designer, based in Antwerp. She studied fashion design at the Hamburg University of Applied Science in Germany. Since 2006 she has had her own store and showroom in Antwerp, where she sews and sells her own garments under the label "Anja Schwerbrock". Beginning 2012 the baby collection "Tree House" was introduced and what can I say ...  it is simple yet super stunning. So simple is actually not the right word because it sounds like it's just like anything else but it is NOT at all.

It is chic, it is elegant, it is crazily beautiful {gosh... thanks god I'll have another baby} and still all together just perfect for a tiny wonder!

Right now only available at her store in Antwerp but I know at least 2 shops who will carry her designs very soon online... I will keep you posted!

For you mamas, you should def check out that women collection too... awesome!

And I... I definitely need to plan another visit to Antwerp!

Oh and last one... I hope this will be such a big success that Misses Anja decides to do kids clothes too, because ... you know... these jumpsuits will be just as adorable on my LittleR!

Trilingual education {part II}

trilingual
In November 2010 I wrote a post about the languages in our family {here}. It is still a popular article and gets comments every here and there.

So I thought, together with my idea of giving you some more Paul & Paula inside view, I will give you a little update.

It is now June 2012, the kids are bigger, one goes to school... things changed!

The languages we,as parents, speak to the kids did not change {and will not change}. I still speak German to them and hubby French - on all occasions.

And it brings me to the first point that I am now confronted with every once in a while. Is it OK to always speak German to the kids? Even so people around us do not understand?
There are lots of opinions on this topic. Nobody ever came up to me and complained but I know from friends and from exchanging with other multicultural families that some do adapt to the language around them.
Switching to Dutch whilst on the playground would feel wrong to me, my Dutch is so lala and definitely has a fun accent. In case I have the impression somebody feels left out I translate and for now that has been fine.
When we have a play date and the family speaks a language I do not understand I sometimes just ask what the child said {specially when they seem unhappy}. Works fine.
What do you think?
Further I think that at this age it is as well easy to follow a conversation which is mostly something like: Do you have to go to the toilet? Are you thirsty/ hungry? We go home now and so on... so nothing special and for the rest, I might ALWAYS stick to my language :)

KleinR started school last September. She joined the French school and loves it. Her French changed. She comes up with those expressions and super funny just really French little details that make me laugh all the time. The difference of being surrounded by other French speaking people - specially kids.
She started English too. Until the age of 6 the French school here in Amsterdam is doing a bilingual system - 2 days French/ 2 days English - Wednesdays are free.
She likes English and man... only 2 days a week, since last September and you could drop her in an English school and she would manage.
We chose the school because of the school and not the English part, just FYI.

So KleinR speaks 3 languages and her Dutch is still on going, specially since we started swimming lessons and gymnastics - both held in Dutch.

She does not mix, she does not refuse (like only answering me in French or so), she became a bit shy in speaking Dutch and I am very proud of her.
She does not feel weird because of the different languages (I hear there are kids who like to hide the fact they are "special" because of the different languages) either - I think it is just normal to her.

KleinA ist now just over 2 and started his talking career just the same way as his big sister. Bringing home lots of Dutch words and little sentences from daycare and picking up favourite words from us.
He understands all languages perfectly.
Funny enough he likes the more "difficult" words and one of his first was: chaussures (French for shoe) which was very very cute to listen to. Barbapapa is another favourite :)

I would love to hear your stories, experiences, different approaches etc... please share!

27.6.12

Little Puggle - craft kit boxes

littlepuggle
littlepuggle
Above you see my kids opening a Little Puggle box full of surprises, creative and innovative crafts!

Little Puggle is a monthly subscription service, which delivers direct to your door an exciting box full of high quality arts and craft kits and fun activities for children aged between 3 and 7 years.

You can see above what was in our box - lots and lots of crafty and cool activities.
DIY kits are including all the necessary materials and we loved to try out this new service and fabulous idea.
When you sign up you can tell exactly what your child likes so the boxes are tailored to your their interests.

I think this is fantastic if you have a hard time coming up with fun ideas for rainy afternoons or just no time to shop all the materials and of course, the surprise of not knowing what will be in the box is unbeatable. And there is an adult guide full of bright ideas and activities to do in the future, all based on the theme of the box.

They ship internationally!

Please tell me ... your questions answered


How do you feel about people writing to you suggesting articles or brands or similar to be featured on your blog?{Daniela}
It all depends on how I was approached. If it is just a random e mail that was sent to 200 other people I am not impressed :)
... but if for example a small new brand is reaching out, calling me by my name and I feel that they really had a look on the blog... it is a different story.


Where does your content come from? {Jamila &Daniela}
Anywhere really, I am sending myself e mails all the time. I am in a shop and see a nice item, I check the brand and note it down.
At home I will find the website (not always that easy) and often already during that process I stumble upon other products, pictures, links and and and...
Sometimes I google, a friend tells me about something she got, even my husband comes back from business trips and tells me about a jacket he saw, magazines from different countries are a good source, online shops with selections that vary from the usual...

There is not one specific source, there are many and they are everywhere!


How many hours a day are you online and of those how many are you surfing around? {Anja}
It is all one process, I have no specific times where I say I will surf now. The only thing that is pretty much the same every morning is reading the news and my reader {and e mails after I woke up}.

After that I might answer some e mails, checking out a new brand or get a dose on Pinterest {which can easily become an overdose}...

And as all my projects are internet based I am online all the time that I am sitting at my desk.


You usually write 2 posts a day. Do you sometime have trouble with thinking about new content?
{Daniela}
NO. :)


How do you feel about the market of children blogs?
{Claudia}
It is getting more and more isn't?
Blogs are personal and inspiring and I think as long as this is kept it is good and there is space for everyone.


How do you see the future of your blog?
{Mark}
I have no idea - I just let it happen and direct me, as everything else in the past 2 years...

That is the good thing about blogging, things can happen fast, new connections, ideas, opportunities. Take them, adopt them and go!


Thank you for all the questions, I hope you enjoyed this!

26.6.12

all i am

alliam
alliam
Inspired by the Far Eastern philosophy of Wabi Sabi designs, all i am is a high-end fashion label offering contemporary kids wear based in Berlin.
The collections are made to dress newborn as well as children up to the age of six.

Wabi Sabi plays with the re-discovery of the values of natural beauty. According to the Japanese philosophy, it is individuality and naturalness that make a human unique and distinct. Nature in all its ways presents true beauty and finds its perfection in imperfection –long lasting and with a very high level of aesthetics. Nature is the best mother to learn from. Therefore, all i am takes its main inspiration from it.
„Minimise everything to the essentials, but do not loose the poetry.“

The collection contains dresses for kids, pants, shirts, jackets and many more functional and simple garments, but always with a twist of contemporary design and great colours like the mustard you see above!

To get here!

Please tell me... your questions answered

Paul & Paula
Thank you all so much for the e mails you sent and the great questions!
I decided to split this into two days {today and tomorrow} - today the more personal questions and tomorrow questions that are more related to the blog.
Lets start:

What is the greatest lesson you've learned from living in so many different countries? {Heidi}
Very good question Heidi and I would say that understanding that there is no perfect place in this world really helped me to put things in perspective and to relax much more.
We never thought to find paradise and never left "home" because we were seeking for a better life, it was more the adventure and the urge to see something else.


What is your daily routine? Do you follow a schedule like hours for lunch, diner... and do you try to always follow them? {Barbara}
You probably enjoyed my post from yesterday already as it gives you a good idea of a more or less normal day here.

Morning time is pretty much the same on days the kids go to daycare and school (week days except Wednesday). I think I am lucky that everyone is really good and we never have any big discussions or tantrums.
Diner time is usually around 6/6.30pm. After that bath time, arranging clothes for the next day, reading books and tzzzzzzz. Pretty straightforward too.

All other mornings are usually very easy and we only change from PJ's into clothes before we head out.
Wednesday evenings are "on the clock" too as we have to get up on time the next morning.
Friday and Saturday evening can vary...

Oh and in between hours I really try to get as much done as possible when I am at my desk and nobody else is around!


What skincare do you use? {Karla}
I have a common combination skin and change my care every once in a while. First of all because I like to try new things but also because I realized that my skin does not appreciate the same treatment over a long period.
Right now I am using KORRES and I love it! My skin feels great.
This White Tea Gel Cleanser is crazy and my absolute favourite - it smells so yummy you want to drink it.
Then I have this Wild Rose Moisturizer, the Wild Rose Exfoliating Cleanser  and the Yoghurt Sunscreen.

From all products you only need a very little amount as they are super concentrated. Great value!

Not to forget my little emergency treat from Shiseido and one of the best night creams ever: Shiseido Night Moisture Recharge, it feels great and as I keep my creams in the fridge it is a real delight. Haha!


Do all items on your Blog reflect your personal style or do you sometime write about things you think your readers will like but you don't like specially? {Daniela}
Yes the items reflect my style 100%, one by one and I believe if you are a follower of my blog you do get a very good picture of my style and things I like.
And I have to say that I am not sure about something that my readers would like but for myself I am not convinced... I think I would feel like I am cheating. Hmmm...
You are here because you like my choices... yes? I hope so!


Could you consider going back to a REGULAR job? {Daniela & Erina}
Yes I could. Another great question and one that really takes a moment in finding a good way of explaining it shortly.
I used to work in the hotel industry, those pretty ones that are usually named in glossy magazines as "places where the stars stay" and I love that world. I love hotels.
Right now I am not in the right city and I am a bored with choices and that is actually one of the reasons why I am blogging... {really long story altogether}.
Baby number2, no interest in going back working in a hotel here, staying in Amsterdam for now... hmmm... ahhh... what is that... blogging... let me try that... it went a bit like that...

But coming back to your question, I am not missing my old work just yet but I could imagine in going back one day. It is a special and small world, it is fun...


Is baby No.3 your last? {Camille}
Another yes... I mean I think so. From the very beginning my husband and I thought that 3 is a nice number. We always said that we really want more than 1 and when we have 2 we will see how it goes... and voila... 3 it is soon and 3 is good. We will be FIVE then and 5 is my lucky number :)


Will you move again or stay in Amsterdam forever? {Marina}
It's been 4,5 years by now, the longest we ever stayed in one city after we each left our home cities and I am longing for a change. Really badly!
We were hoping to move this summer but most probably that will happen next year... one more year in Amsterdam it is for the moment.

Thank you for all your questions!
More tomorrow. xoxo

25.6.12

Wassupbrothers - handmade soft creatures

Wassupbrothers
Wassupbrothers
Wassupbrothers
Wassupbrothers
Wassupbrothers
Wassupbrothers
Olga really loves making things with fabric!

All creatures are handmade and always one of a kind!

"I try repurpose, recycle,reuse different materials as often as is possible.
It's a magic to see, how small pieces of fabric, vintage buttons, sweaters or old dresses turn to a soulful creations. Mostly i use natural fabric and fibers. If I am not satisfied with the fabric tinge, I dye it with natural dyes like tea, coffee, cinnamon and others."

The moment I found wassupbrothers I was smitten... all items are so lovely and made with lots of care and love, you can see and feel it through the screen too!

My day in pictures

myday1
myday2
As promised each day of this week I will share a bit of my life with you.
Today is the start and you can follow me through my day which I captured in pictures ... one/hour!

{6:45am}
Last Thursday started with the little brother waking up his big sister and then a usual pre-school/ daycare morning with getting dressed, tooth brushing, hairdo and the like until we finally...
myday3
{±7:45am} leave the house.
myday5
myday6
{8:45am}
I am back home, we dropped LittleA at daycare which is very close to our house and then took the bike to go to school.
They both really enjoy daycare/ school so it is usually an easy task with sweet good bye kisses and waves.

Above you see my breakfast of the day and a peek from our balcony where I like to go throughout the day for some fresh air and, if lucky, sunshine.
myday7
myday8
My day always starts with the news and my RSS reader. {e mails I already checked when I woke up via my phone...#addict}
Then I write posts, check my to do lists, answer urgent e mails, open Twitter...

And when I need a little break and feel like moving and doing and activity I usually go upstairs and tidy the kids room.
myday9
{±12.30pm}
Lunch.

myday10
myday11
I am so good, see my inbox? And 2 e mails are from school which I only keep to double check that I have everything for the Zoo outing {today} and the big summer party {on Friday}. Yay.

Little self portrait with a baby kicking in my bump... shame you can't see it!
myday12
{2:45pm)
I will leave the house at 3pm and pick up LittleR from school. 
Today I have to bring her swimming bag plus some snacks and drinks for after swimming.
myday13
myday14
Little girl is back with mama and had a good day at school. Now we will quickly stop at the supermarket.
It's the summer party at daycare today and everyone should bring a little snack.

{4:00pm}
Daycare - Party - Bouncing castle
myday16
We stayed for an hour until we left for her swimming lesson. Dad stayed at the party with his boy.
KleinR in the pool gives me around 30min "free time" and means today: Buying cups and plates for her birthday party and a few other items from the long shopping list so I have a little less to get the next day.

{6:00pm}
Swimming is over, KleinR happy, hungry and tired.
myday17
{6:45pm}
Diner.
Something quick today - grilled cheese sandwiches.
See the distance between KleinA and his plate? :)
myday18
{8:00pm}
Sound asleep.
myday19
Now it is mama and papa time.
Watermelon for desert {see the birthday stuff ready for the next days preparations}, watching some football, talking, party planning and a big cup of green tea for me.

A normal day here in Amsterdam... hope you enjoyed the "behind the scenes" here today.
More tomorrow and you can still drop me an e mail in case you missed this post.

24.6.12

Win a Bugaboo neon

Are you living in Amsterdam or close by or are you here next week Thursday?

Hype Kappers, known for creative haircuts mixed with a concept store, is partnering with mobility brand Bugaboo.  
Inspired by the striking neon trend Hype x Bugaboo are hosting an event on June 28 in Amsterdam.

There will be a raffle and you can win a Bugaboo Neon... wooooot!

Would you like to join this event?
I have 3x2 tickets to give away.

Please e mail me to paulpaulapost at gmail.com / subject: bugaboo neon and the first 3 will get each 2 tickets!

22.6.12

The one before the birthday {Friday list}

rasberry cookies
Rasberry cookies.

Did you enter the give away I am hosting - you can win a tutu kit. So fun!
tableware
Beautiful tableware.

The Kidsboutik - now 40% on the summer collection!
les simones
Sweet blouse.

Comfy dresses for little girls.

kids on roof playmat
Fun playmat from kids on roof.

Last chance to grab 50% OFF on Mini Rodini and KidsCase!
vdc
vdc
I want everything from this shop! VDC!

Do not forget and get a chance to ask ME... anything you want... check x
kid
kid
Those kids are priceless!

Tomorrow KleinR will celebrate her 5th birthday with her friends. It is the first time she invites kids to her party and I am surprised she can still sleep peacefully...
For sure I will take pictures and give you a little view of everything and maybe some nice party recipes if they turned out to be a hit... that is!

But for now I have to cross fingers that we can celebrate outside... my summer girl...

Happy week end everyone! xoxo
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