Mom Story: Maike Keuben from MoodKids
Hi, I'm Maike Keuben and I am a mom of two little girls, Marli Anne (3) and Bobbi Roos (6months). I have loved design all my life and started developing an eye for children's design ever since I became a Mom. However, I noticed that there wasn’t much attention for that subject in the Netherlands. I’m a big fan of online magazines such as Babiekins, LMNOP, La Petit, Small, and Papier Mache. Free online magazines where you can find fun DIY, great fashion for kids, art and a lot of design of course. I really missed a stylish Dutch Online Magazine that would perfectly fit in my reading list.
So I decided to create my own play yard. Together with graphic designer Eefje Kleijweg I founded MoodKids, an online publishing company for stylish and creative parents. We blog at least everyday (with a lot of help from our guest bloggers!), send out online magazine’s, specials, and collect the best webshop sites for kids. One day we hope that people will add MoodKids to the list of their favorite magazines! You can find me at: MoodKids, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.
What kind of house do you live in – are you and the kids happy here, or is there anything you find lacking, or would like to change? What do you like best about living there?
We live in a very old (1805) little farmhouse in the Royal Forest. There are only 20 houses in the whole little town, deer, wild boars, foxes and other forest animals live around our house. Although our house is located in the middle of the forest, the center of Apeldoorn is not that far away. It's definitely a amazing place and we feel very privileged to live here. We are surrounded by deer and wild pigs. During the day you experience the seasons and in at night it is pitch dark (we have no streetlights) and you can hear owls, and other forest animals. Summer is buzzing with many cyclists who enjoy the surroundings, and the ice cream shop a little further down the road. In the winter we close the shutters to keep the house warm. Outside you can smell the burning wood from all chimneys. I absolute love our place.
Do you keep your children’s play area separate, or do you believe they should have a space in every part of the house?
We have a small children's playroom. Definitely a great luxury not to have all the toys in the living room. Some of the wooden toys are beautiful to play with and look at, so they may stay in the living room, but other toys are doing better in the playroom. All the toys have been distributed in a number of boxes. Every month I replace all the toys in the playroom for a new toy from another box. This keeps the girl's still enthusiastic about their own toys.
I’m a big fan of online magazines such as Babiekins, LMNOP, La Petit, Small, and Papier Mache. The dutch paper magazines are a bit outdated, but 101woonideen I still buy every month. My latest obsession is Pinterest!
What are your children’s favorite items in your house?
Bobbi Rose is still too small to really play, but Marli Anne loves her rocking horse circus play tent that I made for her and books, many books. Bobbi Rose is a typical second child and can be extremely happy with all the attention she gets from her big sister. I think her big sister is her favorite toy But of all toys they have, they just love to be outside and play with leaves, wood and sand.
Cleaning up is still a bit hard for my little three year old girl. I try to teach her to clean up before we move on to something else. Often we do it together, but it happens frequently that I, lik a whirlwind, go through the house when the kids go to bed to get everything back in place.
What places in your neighborhood do you like to shop at?
In my neighborhood there are no shops, I shop online.
Photograph by DHR. Huttinga
What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?
We usually love the quick and easy rapid diy and craft things. Like drawing, painting, cutting and pasting that’s what we love. We do it every day.
Books, websites, or local shops you would recommend for tips and ideas about kids crafting?
I love the easy ideas from Made by Joel. Easy, fun, fast and beautiful. His book is great too!
What do you do with all the projects your children make at home or in school?
First I keep them for a while. The most special one’s get a place in the living room (we have a clean fridge policy) and before I throw them away I take a picture of them. I plan to preserve each year a few nice diy/drawings by my girls. My mother did it with my own arts and drawings, and it is very nice after 30 years to see what you created as a 4 year old child.
Photograph by DHR. Huttinga
Any decoration ideas on how to hang, keep, or use your children's projects as presents?
Beautiful drawings are often used as wrapping paper, or we cut them into little pieces and tie them up in a bunting to celebrate someones birthday, that daddy is coming home after a business trip, or just that it's monday.
How do you buy your books? Bookstores? Online?
I am extremely fond of children's books, we get them every three weeks from the library. The finest books I buy to keep and read over and over again. I also have many children's books from my own childhood, such a treat! Especially picture books that are richly illustrated are our favorite. Wild animals of Rop van Mierlo, and I love the books by Oliver Jeffers. They are incredible, magnificent, and are as a parent fun to read.
Do you cook together with your children?
We have a vegetable garden, so I try to cook with the seasons. For children it is super fun to see how vegetables grow. They love to choose, pick, and eat themselves out of the garden. Marli Anne was not even two when she helped me all along in the garden, and you saw scattered small teeth in the zucchini. I love to cook. Marli Anne often helps me cooking, she’s really enjoying it. Cupcakes and cakes are our favorite. Because we are not able to eat cakes every day, but like to bake them as often as we can, we make healthier savory pies, or pizzas that we can eat for dinner or as a snack.
What a gorgeous Mom Story Maike, thank you for sharing it with us!