Routines and owning a gym?

This month was my last interview for Peekaboo magazine (as we’re moving back to the Netherlands) and I really wanted it to be special. So I approached Jennifer. Jennifer and her husband Lee are the owners of CrossFit Northwest Arkansas. The gym already had a special place in my heart and that space only got bigger.

When I interview people for Peekaboo it’s always about family rituals and routines. Your routines and rituals say something about you, they provide structure, clarity and happiness. I try not to dive too deep in work related routines, because, work is work and family time is family time. Right?

Well… I already knew that owning a gym is not at all a 9-5 job. But talking with Jennifer made me realize that you can own and operate a gym in different ways. Jennifer and Lee run their gym with heart and soul, the gym is basically their life. So, do they have family routines? Yes they do, but their main focus is the gym and their members. They want their members to be fitter, healthier and happier. They also know that you only go back to the gym when it becomes part of your routine. In order to come back, the gym has to be great. When is a gym great? When the program and coaches are amazing, when there’s time and room to warm up and cool down and when there’s a welcoming community. Jennifer and Lee cater towards their members and that is not only insightful, but is also why it’s such a successful gym that I’m going to miss dearly.

Read the interview with Jennifer here.

And as always, click here for the higher resolution version, or even better get your hard-copy! Thanks for reading my interviews and so long! (In Dutch; ‘Dank voor het lezen en tot ooit!’)

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Adoption and inspiration; meet Cheryl Hull

Cheryl Hull works fulltime as a dermatologist and is the owner of Hull Dermatology & Aesthetics. We spoke about her work and how much she loves it. We spoke about her four adopted children of 4, 3, 2 and 1 year old and how much she and her husband love them and how those little ones keep them on their toes! It was simply amazing to have an hour of her time as she clearly carefully balances home and work. It was an inspiring talk, what a caring and loving woman. Read her story and be inspired too!

As always, a better quality version of this interview is available on the Peekaboo website!

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The bigger picture; Meet Cara Osborne

Cara Osborne is – amongst a zillion other things – the founder of Baby+Company aiming to expand women’s choices through care that supports, educates, and celebrates the wellness of pregnancy. We met at Kennedy’s coffee. She arrived in her sports outfit because she likes to do her conference calls walking. It’s just an example of how she manages her time wisely. She is sweet, smart, funny and knows exactly what she wants in life and why. Read about her routine in this month’s Peekaboo magazine!

As always, click here for a better quality version of the article on Peekaboo’s website, or even better, get your copy in print!

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Wedding Anniversary routine

Last year husband Joost and I introduced a new family ritual to our wedding anniversary: We took pictures of the children in our wedding outfits. On a sunny Sunday morning Boris put on Joost’s white suit. Joost wore the white linen suit during the evening at our wedding-beach-party. I remember that his mom came over for dinner when they had just bought the suit. They discussed what kind of underwear to wear with white and thus slightly see-through pants? When his mom suggested a thong, I nearly choked.

The girls put on my wedding dress. There were a lot of elastic hair bands involved to keep it in place. We took pictures in and around our house and they looked like mini-me’s. They loved it and I loved all the memories it brought back. When we got married it was just Joost and me (okay not completely true as I was six months pregnant with Boris because everyone had told us it would take at least a couple of months before you’re pregnant so we – novices in the world of babies and how long things take etc. – started practicing straight away and ended up ordering a larger size wedding dress) and nine years later we kind of relived the day with the children. We decided to make it a yearly event and every time at different location.Anniversary Rootines

This year we went to the 21c Museum Hotel on a Sunday morning at 7.45am as the children would only do it when there was nobody watching. The staff immediately allowed us to take pictures. They were unaware of the fact that Joost would walk around barefoot because Boris would wear his shoes. I was not aware of it either and it almost spoiled everything because after ten years of marriage certain behaviour can spoil things. We (the staff and I) ignored it and it was the best Sunday morning, ever. I guess it was the sum of the amazing atmosphere of the hotel, the children who totally embraced it and the ‘doing it together with the five of us’ feeling.

Love! Liefde (that’s Dutch for ‘Love’ en phonetically would be something like ‘Leefdu’).

Bobbie en Boris voeten bewerkt Lucie en Boris dansen bewerkt Lucie en Boris penquin bewerkt Lucie en Boris optillen bewerkt Lucie alleen bewerkt Boris en Lucie lopen bewerkt Bobbie en Boris roze bewerkt Bobbie alleen Lucie en Bobbie helpen Boris en Bobbie sleep


Run for your life!

Esti is a fitness coach and runner. She loves to push people outside their comfort zone. Esti has a great sense of humour and will always make you laugh while working out. Her kick box classes are fabulous and always packed. She works when other people have time to exercise. Those hours are normally the busy hours in a household. What this does to her family routines and rituals? Read the article!

Esti teaches at the YMCA and Pro Martial Arts should you be interested in a ‘kick your ass workout’ (which can be a variety of classes as she teaches Spin, HIIT, PIYO etc. etc. -> Unfamiliar with those abbreviations? Another reason to pay her a visit!)

As always, browse to Peekaboo for the article in higher resolution!



Keeping the girls close

Elda’s story is featured in the July issue of Peekaboo magazine. This one again is so special! Thinking about your routines and rituals make you reflect on the important things in life. Elda surely did. Talking with her about life, her girls, husband and the choices she makes and why she makes them, was amazing.

Elda is one of the founders of the Amazeum and this coming week is a special week for her family as the museum will open to the public!  It’s a great children’s museum where you can tinker and discover and it’s such a wonderful addition to the Bentonville community. You probably already did and if not: Get your memberships now!

As always, browse to the Peekaboo website for a higher quality version of this article. Or, even better, get your copy in print at the various distribution points!

Elda interview

Rituals of Life; Meet Bea Apple

It was amazing to interview Bea. She is a successful business woman, an amazing mother and she has an interesting story to share. Her perseverance and view on life are impressive and inspirational. Read the article below, click here or – even better – get your printed copy as this print-screen doesn’t do justice to the amazing way Peekaboo’s owner and editor-in-chief and etc. (another amazing and inspiring woman) designed the page.

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Peekaboo; Meet Evie

Evie FamilyI met Evie a year ago. It was winter, very cold, she was wearing a long black coat and she came rushing in. There was something with a cat and a dog and she had to rescue them and her grandson was waiting in the car, and, and, and… I immediately liked her. She is a very special woman and she does special things. I interviewed here for Peekaboo. For more Peekaboo stories, click here!

Evie copy


Jennifer’s Kitchen Helpers

Jennifer has four beautiful children. Her twin daughters can be a handful and that’s why Jennifer decided to create a routine for them. Her story shows that daily life is not always easy. Sometimes you have to create a routine in order to turn daily life struggles into a more meaningful experience. Read the story of the kitchen helpers, their love for salad and fun in the garden. And have a look at TheBabyGuyNYC if you have a minute because besides being a mom, Jennifer works on this fabulous business with her brother!

For a more high-res version of the magazine, visit Peekaboo!

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Nina Noodles

Afbeelding-Boek-Afvallen-met-je-Gedachten-origineelLiane is de vrouw van Haiko en Haiko is een van de beste vrienden van Joost en Joost is dan weer mijn man. Zo is Haiko natuurlijk ook vooral de man van Liane. Liane is buitengewoon lief, een getalenteerd coach en ze schreef ook nog eens een boek. Het boek ‘Afvallen met je gedachten‘ gaat over het ontwikkelen én behouden van een gezonde levensstijl.

Ik interviewde Liane over haar routines en rituelen en waarom ze eigenlijk een boek over afvallen schreef. Het was een mooi gesprek over frikadellen, Nina Noodles en de switch naar gezonde sapjes.

Liane woont met Haiko en Max in hartje Amsterdam. Kijk voor meer Liane en haar werk op


Jason Suel’s family dinner

Jason Suel is one of the Trike Theatre directors and does a lot of other things; as long as it’s a learning experience, interesting, creative and FUN, he’s in. Jason is a very passionate person and doesn’t ‘just direct’ a play. Educating the children he works with – engaging them, learning them something new and teaching them how to reflect – is as important as the play itself.

I interviewed Jason about a family routine for Peekaboo Magazine and that was truly nice and interesting to do. He’s a really nice dad too and manages to make dinnertime a more meaningful experience. I’ve attached a screenshot of the interview below. You can find it in better quality on the  Peekaboo website or in the printed magazine!

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I’d rather have dessert

What are those green things on my plate and those yellow snakes? I’d rather don’t eat them!

Recognize that? We started eating crisps and tomatoes before dinner. Or actually, a bowl with tomatoes, cucumber, peppers etc. etc.; healthy things & some crisps. By doing that you don’t need to worry that your children won’t eat vegetables for supper.

This poem is about a little girl who refuses to eat vegetables. Her mom says: ‘You will never be a big girl if you don’t eat them!’  She doesn’t care and says ‘Being small is perfect!’

Gedicht eten, klein is fijn gecropped

Rozijntje (Raisin)

Het badritueel, elke dag weer. Machteld’s oudste dochter vindt het heerlijk! Het liefst zou ze uren badderen. Maar ja, dat kan natuurlijk niet, dan kom je eruit als een rozijntje.

We gaan het om de week doen; dichten en tekenen. Ronald hielp ons met het lettertype en daar zijn we heel blij mee!
Klik op het beeld voor een grotere versie.

Eva_Machteld Rozijntje..


The bath ritual…
Machteld and I started a new project. Machteld writes a poem and I make a drawing based on her text. Or well, actually we talk about it, which is also not true because we text about it. It’s a fun process and we decided to do every other week. Ronald helped us out with the font, we love it!

This time inspiration comes from Machteld’s eldest daughter. She likes to bath and would love to stay in it forever. Her mom tells her that she can’t, because she would get all wrinkled, just like a raisin. Why isn’t she her grandmother, she wonders. Her grandmother has plenty of wrinkles and can stay in the bath as long as she likes! )

Rootines in Peekaboo magazine!

This month Peekaboo launched a series of interviews about daily Rituals and Routines. I’m very happy to be interviewing people for the magazine about the subject that I believe is so important for every family – big or small. The january issue features an introduction to Rootines. You can find the pdf here, or visit the Peekaboo website for the complete magazine and ‘easier to zoom’ article.

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The Elf on the Shelf

The Elf on the Shelf is a tradition in the USA. It became a tradition only a few years ago when clever marketing people wrote a book about Santa’s little helpers. I had never heard of it and thus wrote a blog – in Dutch – explaining the phenomenon. I love traditions and I love the fact that parents put an effort in hiding the elf and thinking of stories to incorporate the elf in.

To elf or not to elf

I am not very enthusiastic about the spy activities of the Elf though. It makes the Elf a bit creepy. It’s a bit of a scary thing anyway, always smiling and having no feet whatsoever etc. Question is, do we buy one? My children want one, the idea of hiding it in different places is nice. Maybe this could be our new American ritual? To Elf or not to Elf, that’s the question.

(The answer is yes and no. Yes we bought one and we will keep it boxed for another year. It would be rather strange for the Elf to show up two days before Christmas. So, we’re postponing the answer). 

Nuts Elf merged

Poekoeloekoe (Pookoolookoo)



Who: Anne, Marijn, Julie & Livia
Ages: 35, 35, 4 & 1
Interviewed: Anne
Ritual: Poekoeloekoe

Omelet on Saturday

My sister and I played hockey every Saturday morning. My father was coach of one of the teams. When we came home he made us a Kaiser roll with omelet. All four of us jumped on the couch where we ate our sandwich. The couch faced towards the window. It was a rather strange position for a couch, but handy as you could look out the window at what was happening in the street. They were very relaxed moments, eating an egg sandwich after a tiring match. It still feels like just yesterday that we sat there.


Since we have had children, we live a more structured life. It is mainly led by Marijn, but I believe it’s important as well, especially for the children. We always put them to bed together. For the last year the game ‘Poekoeloekoe’ has been part of the going to bed ritual. Julie invented the game. She said: ‘1, 2 , 3 Poekoeloekoe!’ and we ran to the couch as fast as possible. Since Livia joined, a robot element has joined the competitive side of it. Marijn is the robot. I say: ‘1, 2, 3 Poekoeloekoe’! and the girls and I start running. The robot starts a little later and catches one of the children. We normally play the game twice as both of them need to be caught.


The evening always follows the same pattern. We’re home from 5pm and the children watch television while I prepare supper. We eat, they bathe, we play Poekoeloekoe, they each get a bottle of milk and at 7pm we put them to bed. Pretty boring, but routines make life easier. Hmm, that sounds quite tough when I say it out loud. Yet I do see it that way. Structure provides stability and creates space to achieve something in life. If life were to revolve around spontaneous moments, that would become your routine. Whereas those unexpected things – such as a spontaneous evening walk – now are the gems that make life extra special.

Pancake Wednesday

I enjoy the unexpected moments, but I realize I have the best memories of things we repeatedly did. Eating an omelet on Saturday and pancakes on Wednesday. My mother used to make pancakes on Wednesday when we came home from school. My sister and I and little neighbor Bob who often joined, enjoyed it very much. My mom still makes them when they are visiting us or if we are on vacation together. She calls it our family tradition.

Being at ease

We never miss this evening ritual. Things like evenings out for the two of us, we always plan to leave after we’ve put the children into bed. The children look forward to Poekoeloekoe, it makes the bedtime ritual fun. Livia will remind us if we forget about it. She just places us at the starting point at the bottom of the stairs. The bedtime ritual is a cozy end to the day. It gives me peace of mind when the children are safe asleep in their beds.

anne collage