3 November 2012

The Creation of Colour

It was always my dream to illustrate a children's book for you, but I never actually thought that it would become so real so quickly. I met a wonderful Australian author C.L. Burns only 3 weeks ago from today and I loved her story 'The Creation of Colour' straight away and could not wait to get started on the illustrations.

Casey and I have worked very hard on this book and the two of us are so excited to share it with our families and the rest of the world. This is what we have done so far:

We have organized a book launch for the 1st of December 2012 at the Gladstone Library.

We have set up a facebook page www.facebook.com/burnsandpetersen and website www.burnsandpetersen.weebly.com.
We have translated the story into German and have contacted other people to translate the book into other languages. Our aim is to have a number of dual language books so other families who have two or more languages at home can read it to their children either way. We have been to a recoding studio to turn the story into an audiobook, we have designed posters and postcards and they should arrive in the mail any time soon. We have a few more ideas ready to come alive, but for now we are pretty amazed with what we have done already! After another late night and so many things ticked off our list - we look at each other and think: "How long have I known you for?" It feels like forever. We just clicked from day one and work together so easily. 

The other day Casey asked me to write my dedication for the book, which was quite an emotional moment for me. I knew straight away that I wanted to dedicate the book to you -

my children.

but at the same time I also want it to be for the one child that we lost very early on before we had you two. We never gave it name, which does not seem to be something you would do afterwards. I hope it will be able to feel the excitement of the book and all the love I am putting into it - even up in heaven.

I once read how a mom said: I have 3 children - two on earth and one in heaven. This is exactly what I would like my dedication to be -

to all my children.

With love,


1 October 2012

From the heart

Dear Minna,

I am so lucky to have you as my daughter and I tell you all the time. Being part of your life and watching you grow makes me feel so proud and happy. You simply amaze me over and over again!

The way you looked into my eyes right after you were born assured me that you were the curious, outgoing little girl I had wished for.

The other day we were sitting at the dinner table and out of the blue you started naming everyone you loved: "I love you, Mami! I love you, Daddy! I love my brother, Finni! I also love you, Poppy!

AND I love myself too, Mami!"

You smiled at me and gave yourself a big hug by wrapping your arms around you.

I have never seen anything like it! Moments later we were all sitting at the dinner table hugging ourselves.

Thinking about that evening makes my heart go warm!!! The world would be a happier place if everyone would hug themselves every now and then ...  I hope you will always remember that and keep hugging yourself now and in years to come!

I love you,

Deine Mama

9 September 2012

Tribute to Tasko

Tasko has been your first furry friend who has known you since the day you were born. It took you, Minna, a little while to work out that he was the friendliest dog around.When you were little you were not too sure about him coming close to you. Nevertheless you always wanted to know where he is and you were so keen to feed him, but simply liked to keep a save distance. Only when you started watching your brother hugging him and crawling into his doggy bed with him, your courage grew and you didn't mind him coming right up close to you.

Finni, you on the other hand, have not shown an ounce of fear towards any dog. You loved being with Tasko right from the start. Once you were able to crawl there was no holding you back from following your furry friend. You couldn't wait to get outside into garden with him no matter what time of the day or weather condition. Once you started to talk you always called out to him: "TAKKO! TAAAKKOOOOOO! ARE YOOU???"

The day before we left Germany all of us sat down beside Tasko in the shade and told him that we were about fly to Australia on a plane and that he would fly to heaven very soon and that it was OK for him to do that when he was ready. Both of you stroked him gently and Minna wanted to know if Frau Mueller, our 98 year old neighbor who also passed away a couple of weeks earlier, would go for walks with once he has passed over. I think she would love to do that!

We knew he didn't have much longer to live when we said "Goodbye Tasko!" only moments before heading off to the airport, but we didn't think that he would pass away so quickly afterwards either. Minna and Finn loved you and still talk about you and draw pictures of you.

Rest in Peace Tasko

8 August 2012

Is this Australia, Mami!?

Oh Minna, you have been asking this question so many times now and it still puzzles you every time I say: Yes, we are : )

A whole month before we left Germany you wanted to know if this was the big day when we were going on the aeroplane to Australia, you asked every time we changed planes and now that we are here you still check with us when we jump in the car: Is this Australia too !?

Well, here are a few hints when you definitely know you are in Queensland:

When you get in the car and you realize the steering wheel is on the other side ...
When you don't need to watch the weather forecast any more, because every day seems to be blue sky and sunny  - HEAVENLY!! ...
When you talk about Dragons and Roosters in great detail over dinner ...
When a kilo of nuts costs 24 Australian dollars, one Dove deodorant (black silk) costs more than 5$and a maxi pack of 64 nappies costs 33$ when on special!!! - What is going on there? ...
When you have a BBQ breakfast with pouched eggs - Yum!! ...
When people smile at you and are happy to serve you in anywhere ...
When you go down to the beach on a winters day wearing a dress or less ...
When you have to check the bed and under the chair and in your shoe and basically everywhere you go for little critters - YUCK! ...
When you look at the night time sky and all the stars are out of order .. well, arranged a little differently - but still sparkly and beautiful ...
When you see more dead kangaroos on the side of the road than alive ones ...
When everyone calls you love, mate and possum - even if they don't know you ...
When nobody knows what "Quark" is and when they find it difficult to pronounce "Weihnachtsmann"

Well, I am sure you will realize quite soon that there are lost more differences between your old and your new home and that you will learn to love the beauty of both sides. I am so thankful for being able to share this experience with you. I hope you will equally grow some roots in this part of the world and that you will have many happy and long lasting memories of Australia in your heart.

With love,


3 August 2012

Long overdue

Dear Minna and Finn,

it's been far too long since my last post and in my head I have noted down so many things I wanted to share with you over the last 2 months! So much has happened since I last wrote to you: We have packed up your first love nest in boxes, went to see all your Grandmas and Grandpas, Great-grandpas and Great-grandmas, aunties and uncles and lots of small friends and big friends. It was an ongoing goodbye festival throughout those last few weeks. So many special moments!

Everything we left behind in my Dad's attic

you love to pick flowers and smell them

Berlin-Tegel Airport moments before take off

Now we are here - in Australia.

We arrived with 2 big suitcases, 2 small ones, 1 big backpack and 2 small ones, 1 double stroller and Mommy's handbag. It's amazing how little you really need when you have to be able to carry it all. (We didn't even have to pay an overweight fine at the airport.)

We have been trying to explain to you two what is about to happen, but of course it is difficult to fully understand. You knew, Minna, where we were going, but I think the huge distance that lies between your 2 homes is still a mystery to you.
my little thinker

It's still hard for me to believe that we actually moved from one continent to another. We have been preparing for this event for so long and now it has happened.

All we did was follow our hearts.

We have been in Gladstone for almost one week now. Even though I am very excited about this part of our life journey my heart is only now realizing what is going on and all over the place:

It's a little blue because I have left my home and family behind.
It's a little shaky because we totally left our comfort zone and let go of so many things!
It's a little judgemental even though I don't want it to be, but being surrounded by a different culture makes me question my own one a lot and at first I catch myself thinking: "Well, in Germany we don't that!" or "Back home we have this!" or "Where I come from we can simply buy it everywhere." 
It's also a little impatient and I wish someone could just tell me that everything will be alright and we will find jobs that we like - no worries! and the kids will be happy in their day care - of course!

Even though there have been a few little tears from my heart I still enjoy this whole upside-down feeling. It makes me feel alive and it reminds me that there is always something beautiful even in a sad and uncomfortable moment.

I want you two to remember that it is OK to feel all these things, but to focus on what is really important:
Being thankful, sharing love and trusting the future.

Stopover at Singapore Zoo

With lots of love,

11 June 2012

Letting go

Letting go seems to be a very present lesson to learn at the moment - for all of us. You two will be going to your day care center for the very last time tomorrow and by the end of the week we will sing your very last goodnight song in the same flat where we held you and hugged you from the first day you were born.

Moving is simply moving - physically as much as emotionally. I will have to detach the little baby bed where you, Finni, spent the first 6 months sleeping,snuggling and growing right next to me. The thought makes me weep every time, which is why I have not taken it down. You have been sharing a bedroom with your big sister for over a year now, but your little bed is still right next to me. It reminds me of all those precious first moments we shared together. Holding you close to my heart is still one of my favorite moments of the day.

I know I have to let go now.
It's not easy.

I do think letting go makes room for new things and will open up opportunities we never knew existed. Our memories will always be in my heart - no matter where we are!

Love Mama XOX

7 June 2012

Sharing some love - Giveaway via Casey

Yeah! It's giveaway time!

Check out Casey's blog: http://www.thewiegands.com/2012/06/group-giveaway-day.html and leave a comment or become a follower if you wish.

I am giving away my latest favorite book: " The love language of children" , which is such an eye opener and will help you learn about your primary love language and the one of your children. After reading it you will know how to make sure that your child will FEEL your love so much more and that he or she will never run on a low emotional tank ever again!

This book is priceless!

With love from Minna and Finn's Mama

P.S.: my primary love language is quality time and I love giving my undivided attention to you through this blog : )

4 June 2012

Every end is the beginning of something new

This is what it says on the shop window of my favorite little second hand boutique in Berlin-Friedenau at the moment  (http://www.allesnebenan.de/geschaeft/Verzueckt-Designerfundus-Berlin-Dickhardtstr:405412 )


This sentence matches up perfectly with our life at the moment as well. We are in the middle of packing everything up and we will only take a few precious things on our journey to our new home. It won't be easy to say goodbye to everyone who loves us over here on this side of the world, but at the same time we know that there are equally as many special people waiting to wrap their arms around us on the other side of the world.

When ever somebody asks me: "Isn't it hard to leave your home?" I say: "It sure is, but it feels so right to do this! I know this is meant to be this way and most likely so many opportunities will open up for us that we cannot even think of at the moment. So even if it is a big deal to organize this move and to leave all these lovely people behind, it will be worth it on so many levels in our near future." I then often get a smile and a little voice saying: "But that means all of you will be gone and we won't see each other anymore." That is one side effect that I would love to minimize of course. The distance between Germany and Australia could not be much bigger, but technically we are still 'there' and simply not 'here'. Skype will be a great way to have a coffee/juice together and a giggle and a smile. It sure is not the same as a real date, but it will be one way of staying in touch : )

I trust in the future and I know you two will love every moment of it. You will get to know so many more people that are close to your hearts and that you didn't get a chance to really bond with just yet. You will get to know the Australian way of life and become familiar with all (well, hopefully not all of them) the unique animals and the amazing nature of your second home. You will learn to speak the language, eat yummy seafood and delicious fruits. You will hopefully learn how to swim and spent so much time outside in the garden. It will be magical!

Love from my heart (something that will never end)

Mama XOX 

1 June 2012

You did it!!

What a day! That is all I can say for now. I totally need to catch up some sleep that I missed out on last night ...

You were soooo brave, Minna! I am super proud of you! You even kissed the dentist lady good bye on her cheek in the end! Amazing people who work at KIDSDOCS (http://www.kidsdocs.info/luftbruecke/en/index.html ). I am so thankful for their work they did today with you, Minna May!

I love you,

Mama XOX

31 May 2012

Tooth Fairy coming early

Tomorrow is the 1st of June, which is Children's Day in Germany and normally that is suppose to be a special and happy day for every child. Well, I have to take you, little Minna, to the dentist to get your front tooth taken out, because you broke off a big chunk of it about a year ago while playing and running with another child. After a while the tooth died and your gum got infected, which is not good for your little body. I wish we wouldn't have to do this all together, but we just don't want to take a risk in harming you in the long run.

I told you in the car the other day while you were playing with your fairy wand that we would have to visit the dentist soon and that they will magically take you tooth out using a special dentist wand. You didn't think that you needed to go to the dentist to do that and you wondered why you simply couldn't take out your tooth with your own wand - yourself. I tried to explain to you that only dentists have a super special wand to do that trick! Luckily you went along with that and kept doing your magic wand noises in the back of the car.

We are going to the KIDSDOCS dentistry especially designed for children (http://www.kidsdocs.info/) in Berlin - Steglitz. The whole place is set up like an aeroplane and they thought of everything to make it look fun and engaging for children. They work with really friendly staff members, who will use very child friendly language when it comes to fixing a tooth. They told you that they will "wobble" your tooth out and that you will be drinking magic juice to make you feel really strong before the whole procedure. I am thinking I will need a big glass of that too ...

I know your smile will look just as cute as it always did and I know you will probably be just fine with your little gap, but it's so hard for me to imagine what will happen tomorrow. I so wish I had a wand now to make your infection go away ...

I love you my little princess!

XOX Mama

28 May 2012

Dear Minna and Finn (2)

Yesterday your Dad and I enjoyed 4 hours without you. We love those moments when it is just the two of us. As much as we love having quality family time together with the two of you - we also know that we need to make sure every now and then it is just Mama and Daddy time.

We dropped you off at Grandma's and Grandpa's house, where you had a blast in the garden playing with the watering hose and kicking the ball. While we went to the horse races at the Galopprennbahn in Hoppegarten. Your Dad won a couple of times while ... I didn't do so well in picking the winning horse.

The funny thing is that whenever we are without you - most certainly we will be talking about you, looking at recent photographs or videos from when you were first born. We laugh about things that you did and we go on about how much you have grown up, how your hair color changed once again and how much faster you are at running or more confident at climbing.

When ever you get to have little ones please make sure you allow yourself to enjoy those special moments with that special someone who is so very important as well. Sometimes it is easy to forget what life was like without having children, but once you make the effort to go on a date again you will remember very quickly why you fell in love in the first place.

Letting go every now and then is OK and OMG do we love those moments when we get to pick you up again and your little faces are full of laughter and happiness!

Even when we are not with you - we really are right inside your little hearts!!

Love Mama XOX

26 May 2012

Dear Minna and Finn

This blog is a gift to you from my heart to yours and I hope to capture many more precious memories. You two make my whole world sparkle and I am so thankful for being part of your wonderful journey through life. You teach me new things every day and the moment I got to hold you for the very first time my heart started to grow bigger and deeper! 

I am always worried that one day I will forget little sweet moments we had together, a fun family outing that brought us closer or a meal we shared together when we laughed and giggled about something silly that happened. I love all those wonderful moments when I get to be a child with you all over again!

With this blog I would love to capture what my life is all about and I am hoping one day you will look through these posts and remember how much your Daddy and I loved you two back then and now!!

With love Mama

24 May 2012


Riding my bike home today I almost had to stop and catch my breath. My heart was racing and felt so overwhelmed and happy. It all made sense to me all of the sudden and I am so excited to get started!
I have been asking myself over and over again WHY do I want to blog and WHAT do I really want to blog about!?!

 I have been told several times that it should be something you are passionate about - I got that - but that was somewhat hard since I am passionate about so many things: photography, sewing, vintage clothes, art, traveling and my family of course.

Well, I was never quite sure what to say when people asked me: "So what do you blog about!?" I kept saying: "A bit of everything, but mainly about things that touch my heart in one way or another."

That part won't change, but the way I am going to address it will. Here is a little sneak preview, of what it might look like. I love these two adds and they touch my heart straight away.


I LOVE the thought of being able to create something similar ...

Change is a wonderful thing when it takes you closer to your dreams.

With happiness from Janie Xxx

23 May 2012

The 5 Love Languages of Children

I just opened a package that had arrived and it's yet another book to my little library that I have created over the last few months. I have heard of this book through another blogger who had mentioned it several times in her posts - except the book she was referring to was about the love language of adults (http://www.thewiegands.com/2012/05/guess.html). I went online and I found this one instead (http://www.amazon.com/The-5-Love-Languages-Children/dp/0802403476/ref=pd_sim_b_1 ), but I am guessing it is somewhat similar. It talks about the different love languages each child has and how it's so important to know the primary love language of your child.

I used to always be too tired to read at the end of the day when the kids were still really little, but now I love my bed time routine and I can't wait to read a chapter here and another few pages there. I wonder what Minna's and Finn's love languages are ... I shall keep you posted : )

Do you know the love language of yourself or your kids???

With love from Janie

22 May 2012


High-tech women all around

I think I read my very first blog a little over a year ago ( which was http://www.thewiegands.com/ and it got me hooked straight away), I published my first blog post in May last year (http://zumverlieben.blogspot.de/2011/05/das-sind-die-winkeltaschen-von-meinen-2.html and I went to the first European Blog Conference THE HIVE ( https://www.facebook.com/TheHiveBlogConference)  last weekend. I think that's a pretty good progress even though I would still call myself a blog virgin!

THE HIVE was such a wonderful way to learn more about the blogging world and to realize how many people you can reach and inspire and change their lives - sometimes a little and sometimes a lot!

Having delicious treats in between presentations

It was incredible being able to listen to all these amazing women and moms ( I think there were about 10 men in total : )  I loved hearing what they are passionate about, what they blog about and why. I met people who had 5 followers and 27 000 followers and they were equally interesting to talk to. Some people are just getting started like Ina from http://www.pattydoo.com/ (a wonderful sewing tutorial blog) and others have been doing it for years and do a beautiful job like Jeanette from http://frydogdesign.blogspot.de/ and Gabrielle from http://www.designmom.com/.

Design Mom - Being a mom of 6 children - a power nap must be her secret

It does seem like Germany and Europe in general are still a little behind when it comes to blogs and especially in appreciating them. I don't think that most people even realize what they are missing out on and how much businesses could profit from blogs in so many ways.

I do think that despite the wonderful ONLINE world it is so so so important to touch base with real people and real friends, which you might have met online first or keep in touch with through your blog/ facebook/ twitter/ pinterest ... . I love the fact that I got to meet people like the publisher of a sweet Magazine that I have been reading called Kleinformat  http://www.kleinformat-mag.net/ and Marie who runs an online shop at DaWanda, where I have bought beautiful material from in the past http://blog.naehmarie.de/tag/dawanda-2/. in real life at THE HIVE.

Having met other bloggers makes me feel much more connected sitting in front of my computer all 'alone' reading beautiful posts and looking at inspiring images! Thank you so much for all your effort Radostina, Peggy and Yvonne!!

Anna Sterntaler working at DaWanda

Well, I am truly looking forward to the next blog conference and I really wish I wouldn't have to wait another 365 days!!

With happiness from Janie

18 May 2012

The Hive

I have not been writing for a little while now since life was just so full on in many exciting ways! I do want to start writing more again, but I still find it hard to find 'my way' of blogging. I sometimes feel like sharing everything with everyone simply because that is what I like doing, but other times I feel like I just want to be there for my family only or have a feeling just inside me without anyone knowing. This little voice inside me says things like:  "Who cares what I have to say!?" and other days it says "If only one person gets a positive vibe from a post that I wrote - it was all worth it!" I still go from one extreme to the other, but I guess I am simply trying it out and learning along the way. I do know for a fact that happiness will only multiply when you share it, which is why I want to continue this blog.

Mother's Day Breakfast with my 2 angels in disguise

There are so many amazing things happening all around us at the moment and I would love for you to be part of it. 

First of all I am very excited about tomorrow as I am going to THE HIVE (European Blog Conference) hoping to meet other bloggers or blog readers, who like to share what they are passionate about - just like me!!

Happy Weekend XO Janie

2 March 2012

My rice experiment

In the end of January I ran a workshop at an international conference for teachers, which I called 'Positive thinking - positive teaching'. During my research for the workshop I came across an experiment that fascinated me and therefore I thought I should try this too.

Day 1 of my rice experiment

Day 1 of my rice experiment

I boiled rice and filled it in two jars and added some water so the rice was almost covered. Then I put a lid on and labeled my two jars. One with a simple and not so nice looking label YOU FOOL and the other one with a pretty label saying THANK YOU and WITH LOVE AND JOY.

All I had to do now was spend 2 min each day with each jar saying not so nice things to the YOU FOOL jar and lovely and sweet things to the THANK YOU jar. Well, I didn't really enjoy being nasty so I decided to ignore the jar instead and I placed it on top of our old oven next to some dusty boxes. Basically in a not so nice space. The other jar was allowed to live right on my bedside table next to all my treasures that I keep close to me. Almost every night I held it tight to my heart and thought lovely thoughts.

After about 2 weeks I could really start noticing a difference between the two jars. My YOU FOOL jar didn't look so fresh and appetizing anymore. It started to look dry and yucky. My nice jar on the other hand looked as fresh as ever. The water level even seemed higher than in the beginning.

Day 18 of my rice experiment
This image is not the best, but you can see the lump of rice in the YOU FOOL jar and a little bit of water in the THANK YOU jar.

After another 3 weeks of ignoring and cuddling the jars they now look like this:

Day 37 of my rice experiment

Day 37 of my rice experiment

When I first read about this experiment and saw the you tube videos I was somewhat skeptical, but after 5 weeks of doing it and seeing the change in the rice and the water I am amazed!

The guy who first tried it out is called Dr. Masaru Emoto. He experimented with rice and also with water crystals. The whole point behind his experiments is that our human bodies are made of 60% of water (kids have even more) and therefore we need to surround it with lots of positive energy in order to keep it in a happy and healthy shape. It also made me think about the impact it has on other people. Even if you think you are not being nasty - you are ONLY ignoring this person - it still makes a difference to how they feel and how they could benefit from getting some positive energy from you. Try it out and see for yourself : ))

Happy Friday!!!

XOX Janie