„Das Büro der Z…

„Das Büro der Zukunft ist ein Wohnzimmer zum Arbeiten. Und das muss bald passieren, denn wir sind heute schon so weit, dass das Arbeiten wehtut.“ Jan Teunen, Unternehmungsberater.

„The office of the future is a living room to work in. And this has to come soon because we’ve already reached the point were working hurts“. Jan Teunen, corporate consultant.

Teunen asks for poetry, art that should compensate work pressure. Employees should have a room where they can talk on the phone without interruption, where they can take a short nap, and where they can punch a cushioned wall without others watching.

I like that idea. Just imagine.

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Easter Bunny Ears Recipe

Yesterday I rediscovered my Jahreszeitenbuch because I wanted to find some Easterly recipe for Easter Sunday. I asked N (11yrs) if he would like to bake something and when his answer was yes I let him choose. He chose Easter Bunny Ears over Easter Bread (which I made today).

I wanted to give him a fun experience by doing everything on his own (plus then having the satisfaction of having something accomplished all on his own) but told him I’d be there if he needed assistance.

First step: Prepare your workspace

Step two: Gather your material and measure your ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups grated almonds

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 1/2 sticks of butter

about 1/2 cup almond slivers

N worked very diligently (he’s a very exact person when it come to numbers and facts). Out of personal interest (when I think of it or when I need it I add to my cookbooks the equivalent of the other measuring system) I set an additional tasks: convert the recipe from gramms to cups. This whole measuring concept was new to N so we both had fun experimenting with the kitchen scales and my little self made measuring cup. For the butter we used our calculation skills and visual judgement: We needed 280g, one pack is 250g, so we’d need one full pack and only 30g more. We had half a pack left, so it was a quarter of that what we needed.

Step three:

Quickly knead a shortcrust out of flour, grated almonds, sugar and butter. Chill for an hour.

Step four:

Clean. (I love it when the kitchen surface is cleaner after baking or cooking than it was before. So nobody would know what I did.)

After cleaning we had our little Easter egg hunt. N hid the Easter baskets for the younger kids. He said that next time we could do an Easter basket Treasure Hunt. P (26m) had fun at his first egg hunt ever, and T (9m) stole a chocolate egg from my pocket!

Step five:

N was not in the mood for any further steps at all. All the excitement was gone. I threatened to throw the dough away, E (8yrs) came in and asked if he could help. Surprisingly, now N wanted to do everything on his own again, but too late. Then P also came along and helped. T watched us and definitely also wanted to join the party so P went over to her and let her touch a little bit of dough. When she started moving it towards her mouth, we took it from her again, poor girl. so, here’s what you do:

Preheat the oven to medium heat. Place a baking parchment unto a baking sheet, grease it with butter. Form little balls, put them unto the baking sheet, put in two almond slivers each as ears (we used whole almonds which N divided into two halfs with a knife). I added a little smiley faces to each of the little bunnies wusing a skewer. Bake at medium heat until light yellow (we wondered what light yellow might mean and took them out when they looked right).

They taste really nice but crumble away easily (even more so when T tried them).

Happy Easter!Image

Activities: Cracking Eggshells, Rice and Shapes Bin, Marble Run

Yesterday was a kinda rough day with the kids (or should I say for the kids with me?). At least for me it felt this way. I’m not totally well at the moment, so that’s probably the reason anways. To ensure that the kids won’t be bored by their tired only mum again today I looked up some possible activities on Play Create Explore (they have tons of activities there!). Here’s what we did this morning: 1) An Egg Shell Sensory Activity. 2) Baby Sensory Bin: Noodles, Rice, and Shapes. Without Noodels. I had some leftover egg shells from the spring party preparations, so I just had to put them into a bowl and let P (26m) do the cracking. Like we did with the Easter Surprise Eggs (a post on those will follow!) he wanted to do egg tapping. He cheered with pure delight. T (9m) meanwhile would have eaten up the egg shells or turned around the bowl but mummy was watching her.

Egg Shell Activity

Egg Shell Activity

I thought P would enjoy this activity a little longer, so I prepared the Rice bin for T. We had no noodles at home so it was rice and shapes only. P instantly turned to the rice bin, so no egg shell mashing today. T played a little along, again I had to stop her from eating the rice. P really enjoyed the rice activity.

Sensory Bin wih Rice and Shapes

Sensory Bin wih Rice and Shapes

Sensory Bin wih Rice and Shapes

Sensory Bin wih Rice and Shapes

I’d say the kids had fun and so did I. The cleaning was a little bit of a tedious process. P wanted to help as always but just didn’t want to really clean up. When he had enough he left the scene. But as soon as I wanted to sweep the floor he was here playing again. So Man took the kids to build a marble run. P enjoyed watching the marbles roll down and T had a go at the building blocks. And I had time to clean up the remanider of the rice and egg shell little mess.

Seperating Waste for Toddlers

P (2yrs) loves helping in all ways and this also includes throwing rubbish away. Most of the times he guesses the right bin. But sometimes he got confused by „left“ and „right“ (he scores about just over 50% here) and then diapers landed in the organic waste and whatsoever. I had been thinking about drawing unto the bins for quite some while but always forgot when I would have had time to do it. The things is, I didn’t want my son to witness the drawing because we’re telling him that he is only allowed to draw on paper. He has already done some pencil wall graphitis so I saw no need in encouraging him there. For the organic waste bin I chose an apple. Easy, apple is fruit. Fruit is food. All waste food goes into the apple bin. But what to draw on the residual waste bin? I didn’t want to have any ugly image there. And then I had my answer. What he throws most away are diapers (one baby, one toddler, no more to say). We use a brand that labels the different sizes by animals. So mice are mini, rabbits are midi and elephants are maxi. Not bad at all. Since baby girl has rabbit size and boy has elephant size those two made it unto the bin. Now it’s easy. In case my son is confused we say, put it in the apple bin. Or, no not in the elephant one, not in the apple one, into „the other one“, which is plastic waste, which had to go without a drawing since it has no surface to draw on. Here are my waste pieces of art.

Words

Words

For the little ones.

For the little ones.

St. Patricks‘ Day Finger Painting

When I was looking for St Patrick’s day ideas I came upon this St. Patrick’s Day Craft Party and I wanted to give the finger painted rainbow a try. I thought my 2year old boy would love it plus I’d have my kids‘ handprints on canvas once again, making memories.

While the others were out for a walk I put some green footprints on the fridge door. I didn’t mention them and acted all surprised when my little one discovered them. He learned a new word „Fußabdrücke“ (footprints) and I told him that it must have been leprechauns visiting. To illustrate I showed him a picture of the little people.

After the kids‘ nap we went to work. I painted P’s hands in the colours of the rainbow. He had most fun washing his hands in between. I put a bowl with warm water next to him every time we were finished with a colour. When baby girl woke up we painted a second rainbow with her hand prints. In her other hand she was tightly holding on to a brush. I think she liked her first painting experience too.

Image

After the rainbow was finished (yes, I know, the pot is yet missing, will come tomorrow or so) P was daring to paint his hands by himself and do some more painting. So I gave him a smaller canvas to paint, no instructions here, he picked the colours by himself and did all the painting. It was nice just watching him picking colours, mixing them, painting his hands, pressing them unto the canvas, thinking about the next step. I love how it turned out.Image

Update: As promised, here is the pot of gold:

(I put the painting on the couch to let it dry. When my little boy woke up, he discovered the gold, touched it and went „O nein“ (O no) because now the paint was on his fingers. After a moment of wondering, he went straight off to the bathroom to wash his hands. Since he liked our reaction the first time, he touched the gold a second time. And went „O nein“ again. 🙂 ).

DSC05853 (Small)

Keith Haring Inspired Canvas Paintings

I made those Keith Haring inspired canvas paintings for our home a while ago at Atelier Mandala.

The paintings fitted nicely between two windows.

The paintings fitted nicely between two windows.

I knew I wanted to have five little paintings that would harmonize. Thus I had to ponder a while which colours to use where. I started with yellow and red. Those are in every picture. I then added blue as the third colour. Green was the fourth colour. But since I wanted to have a different background colour in every piece I chose purple instead of green for the last one.

When I hung them up it also took me a while until I figured out how and where to hang them. I finally discovered the perfect space – between two windows in our living room. By arranging them I followed the colours (telling a story just didn’t work). Red/yellow –> Red/yellow/blue (+blue) –> Red/yellow/blue/green (+green) –> Red/yellow/blue/green –> Red/yellow/blue/purple (-green/+purple).

The fun part is that you can invent little stories with those pictures which are open for interpretation. The kids see a lot in them and relate them to personal experience. The big boys used to argue who of them was the green football player and who was the red one.

You need:

– Wrapped Canvas (about 20x20cm)
– Pencil
– Acrylic Paint
– Black permanent marker (I used STEADLER permanent Lumocolor M)
– Any Keith Haring picture you like (Search Keith Haring Artworks here)

1) By using a pencil make a free hand drawing copy unto canvas of the picture you chose. Draw only lightly. You can play around with the shapes of the motifs here. For example, as you can see in the pictures, I sometimes changed the shape of a male figure into a female one.
2) Paint the picture with acrylic paint. You can choose any colour combinations that please you.
3) Let dry.
4) Draw the conutures with the permanent marker. You can do that in one line or add a second line so that the contures get thicker.

When you’re doing several paintings as I did, paint them simultaneously, one colour after the other, so that the colours have the same outcome.

Untitled –>1

Heart+Untitled –>

32

BestBodies+Untitled –>

54

The First Sunday in Advent of Easter + DIY Spring Decoration with Ribbons

Last Sunday we had a small First Sunday in Easter advent family get-together at our home.  Advent of Easter? Yes! I had this brilliant idea of starting a Sunday in Advent tradition as in the Christmas season. 1) Isn’t really Easter the most important holiday in Christianity? And why then is it kinda neglected in comparison to Christmas? 2) All this Easter decoration – Should we really use it only for one weekend a year? 3) Counting the weeks towards Easter prepares me for the holidays. No more emptyhandedness this year!

We had cake.

Lamb CakeHalf a Lamb Cake

We painted.

SlipCasting

Plus, I got this little Easter rabbit rotary candle holder (änglaspel), since I thought the kids would love it (no doubt I do).

änglaspelDSC05695 (Small)

It comes with a pure vegetable palm oil candle, isn’t that nice?

I also couldn’t wait to finally get that small decoration project done I had planned the previous days. Years, many years ago, I received this bowl as a birthday gift, decorated in black and orange ribbons. My birthday is on Oct 31, that shall explain the colours. I never got myself to remove them until recently.

The glass bowlThe glass bowl from above

And then I had the obvious idea: Redecorate the bowl as seasons change. So I went out shopping for springly ribbons. This is the result.

DSC05614 (Small)

I’ll put a candle inside or maybe small treats. I also did a water jug and a flower vase. Spring party is ahead!

Jug + BowlVase + Jug + Bowl

Lovely, isn’t it? Plus, cheap and easy to do.