In this recipe, we use psyllium fiber. This is actually a dietary supplement to support bowel function. You can buy it for a few euros online or at the chemist (I bought it at Holland & Barrett ).
250 ml of water
A few drops of food dye of your choice (optional)
2 hefty tablespoons of psyllium fibers
Mixing & stirring ingredients
3 to 5 minutes in the microwave
Stir, cool down, ready!
The recipe I found online calls for 3-5 minutes, with our first try we did 5 minutes, it spilled over (as you can see in the video) but it was slimy and easy to clean up. The second time we put it in less long and it was not as slimy. I’m thinking that it really needs to get hot hot hot! So don’t worry if it runs over a bit, once cooled you can manage it.
The kids decided to add glitter last minute, was not my idea, but it did look way better than my brown slime 🙂
It does not smell great, so even though you could technically eat it (without glitter)…they won’t want to. 🤣 You’re welcome.
Who knew that fiber could give this kind of result.
Looking for free things to do with kids in Antwerp?
The summer is almost halfway done. Some of you are having a blast, others are struggling with keeping their kids occupied. If you are like me, a single mom on a budget, you want to keep the vacation costs low. So here are a few of my favorite places to go in Antwerp with my 5 1/2-year-old son.
So what free things can you do in Antwerp with kids?
One of my favorite things to do with my girlfriends and kids is visiting a child-friendly summer bar. And “Antwerpen” has a lot of them. For all types of people. The family people, the hipsters, the fancy pants …and so on.
We have been to the “Zomerbar” at the Sloepenweg for a few years now, just because my son loves it so much, heck even my 25 year old and her boyfriend love it.
You have an open-air library and there is even a volunteer who will read a story to the children twice a day.
This year they built this awesome a boathouse with slide up in a tree.
And when it is really hot outside, they put out puddle baths for the kiddos to cool off in.
Coming by electrical bike? Great, you can even charge your battery there.
Have some spending money? Book a circus show. Or order some great food from the food trucs there. Believe me, you will love the Zomerbar, or you will find another one that suits your needs better. Give them a try.
Check out this LINK to see if there is a Summer bar near you.
PETTING ZOO’s (kinderboerderijen)
You have many of those here in Belgium. Most of them also have a tavern and/or a playground in the vicinity. For us, in Brasschaat we love going to the Mikerf Farm. It is situated in the ‘De Mik” domain where they also have a real castle and towers. You can picknick at the lake before or after visiting the farm animals. It is a magical place.
You can even order a “fairytale walk” (sprookjespad) for your child’s birthday. Have a look here, and use google translate.
If you are planning a trip to Bokrijk or would not mind driving out a bit further, we highly recommend the playground next to the open-air museum. IT IS HUGE! You can pack a picknick and easily stay there all day. Read about my review of our day trip to Bokrijk HERE.
They offer the opportunity to walk barefoot for some distance and to feel the natural ground and various materials with bare feet soles.
In addition, visitors can enjoy balancing or climbing and walk through brooks or even rivers. Some barefoot parks include playground sections designed for bare feet. These healthy combinations of barefoot hiking and playing have become popular tourist attractions.
I’m including a few small free ones, but if you don’t mind spending a bit of money on a memorable trail, then I would strongly recommend the barefoot trail in Zutendaal. (google translate if needed).
We absolutely loved it there. We went there when my son was a toddler and I carried him half way on my back in the carrier and will never forget walking through a deep thrench with water up to above my belly button, with a sleeping toddler on my back. Going back with my 5 year old again for payback time. Ha!
The swimming facility in the Boekenbergpark in Deurne is an ecological swimming pond. Plants purify the water in a natural way, so the pool contains no chemicals. There is a large pond of 73 m long with a depth between 1.80 and 2.50 m. There is also a small play pool with a depth of 50 cm and a large lawn area to sit and lie on.
I’m going to end this post with the cheapest and for me one of the nicest free activities, and those are playdates.
When it comes to playdates, I choose to keep it simple. I am not winning any “hostess of the year” awards—but I am totally okay with that. I keep the food and fanfare minimal these days, but I like to think that both the adult and child guests enjoy themselves while in our home. The kids get to play with other toys (kids love our dress-up rack) and mom’s get to relax, talk and enjoy some good coffee or tea. As simple as that. When you invite, you get invited back, especially useful in the summertime when in need of a pool. 🙂
Am I missing something you LOVE? Just let me know in the comments below.
There is also an area dedicated to the sixties but we did not have time to do it as we promised the kids that they could play in the wonderful playground before going home.
We went in near the parking number 1 parking lot. We were greeted by this wonderfully recently restored windmill. It pretty much showed us what to expect from the rest of the museum.
We started in the Kempen and spent the first 1,5 hour there. I thought that was it until my companion said that we didn’t even do a third of the parc yet. Oops! We spent so much time there because of the “Speelschuur” translate: “The games barn”. The kids had a hoot trying out all the different types of “olden day games”.
Next time we visit we will not start there as it was hard to get the children to move on. But it was a fun experience. It kind of made me want to do more of the simple game and life stuff.
You can walk back in time along a path that winds its way through the different parts of the museum site and step into historical buildings that line the pathway, see the traditional working farms and even see people (actors) cooking their meals.
We wandered along the pathway past hedgerows, wildflowers and goats grazing on the lush green grass. The Bokrijk Open Air Museum has a quirky charm. But watch out for the herd of sheep that are being led to another field by their shepherd and the sheepdogs. It was quiteunexpected thing to see happening on our path.
Top tips for visiting Bokrijk
THE TRADITIONAL GAMES BARN IN THE MOL – ZELM BARN
Stilt walking, shuffleboard, mast climbing, bowling and much more! This is the place to hone your skills on the Flemish folk games of yore, an experience for the whole family that mustn’t be missed! But do not start here otherwise you will have a hard time getting the kids to move on.
Currently, there is a ‘from grain to bread’ workshop route. Along this workshop route different aspects of the production process come into play. Every day museum visitors can become acquainted with bread dough in the Wortel workshop barn.
THE CHURCH AND SCHOOL IN WAASLAND
Visit the little church and hear the pastor preach from the pulpit and you can even attend a class in the tiny schoolhouse and hear about how children lived in those days. When we attended class, it was 1913, the year before the school became compulsory in Belgium for children from 6 to 12 years old. Not many farmers were happy with this new regulation as children were a cheap help force in the home and on the farm.
One of our children even demonstrates a punishment that was given in class besides wearing the donkey ears. She had to sit with her knees into wooden clogs and hold up two bricks. It looked painful but she thought it was cool. I wouldn’t want to go to school in those days and my son was less than impressed, seeking solace in my arms.
This was really what my son was looking forward to at the end of the day. I haven’t ever seen a playground like this before to be honest, it’s quite impressive. You could even sit there for the entire day and still the children will not want to go home.
Mega slides, swings, a climbing net, mini-cars, miniature golf and even a real toddler town with a HOPLA corner! The outdoor playground in Bokrijk is not only enormous, but it was also great fun. There is a zone for every age, and it is fully fenced. For children with disabilities, there are special playthings.
The restrooms are not what you would expect from a public playground. They are new, fancy and clean. There is a first aid post for if anything happens to your little one (or yourself). There is also a food and drink stand and picknick tables all around. Shaded under a tent or not.
Disclaimer: This his post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission (enough for a coffee, not enough to buy a pony) if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won't cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running! Thank you for your support!
Vegan tacos that kids will love
One of my son’s all-time favorite books is “Dragon’s love taco’s” and not only do dragon’s love them but so do kids! Especially my kid. And like the dragon’s in the book he likes them WITHOUT spicy salsa.
So as a homage to my son and his love for tacos I want to share with you our favorite taco recipe.
I know, I know, I can see you rolling your eyes at me. Do they need to be vegan? Well, our household has become a pescatarian. I do make chicken once a week because my eldest daughter of 25 just loves meat, even though she wished that she wouldn’t and I do cook fish once a week to, but other than that our meals are usually plant-based. We are not vegan, but I try to I try to limit the amount of dairy that we consume.
So this recipe is one I make almost monthly and both my children, young and “old” (sorry my love) love it. My daughter usually even overeats with this one.
Using the mushroom broth gives it the meaty taste that most of us like, but vegetable broth works as well.
Most people think of cilantro when they think of guacamole, but we are not lovers of this soapy tasting herb, but go ahead.
Use your favorite toppings. We used iceberg salade and cheese, replace the cheese with the vegan variety. Also tasty topped off with some jalapenos, but again, my son does not like it spicy.
Here we go! My take on vegan tacos that kids will love.
Cooking the lentils in mushroom broth instead of vegetable broth: it adds a special umami flavor to make the tacos extra savory!
Course: Main Course
Keyword: kids, vegan
1red onionfinely diced
3 tbsptomato passata
1packettaco seasoningmost supermarkets have it in their world section
1canlentils of choice
450mlmushroom or vegetal broth
1tbsplime juicefreshly squeezed
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add half of diced red onion and sauté for 5 minutes until soft. Add the minced garlic, tomato paste, taco seasoning and dried lentils. Sauté for another 30 seconds, then pour in the mushroom or vegetable broth. Allow the mixture to come to a boil over medium heat. Boil, uncovered for 10 minutes. Cover the pot, turn the heat down to medium-low, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
While the lentils are cooking, bring 200 ml of water to a boil over high heat in a small saucepan. Add the bulgur to the pot and turn the heat down to low. Simmer, covered, for 12-15 minutes or until tender. Transfer the cooked bulgur into the cooked lentil mixture; stir well to combine.
Scoop the avocado halves into a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Add the remaining cup diced red onion, the halved cherry tomatoes and lime juice. Mix well; taste, and add salt as needed.
Build the tacos by dividing the lentil mixture among the taco shells. Top with guacamole and serve.
I have to admit, my food picture taking needs some improvement. I’m getting there, but I needed some help and I the tips I got from reading from Jaime over at “Everyday Art” are SO helpful. Shout out to me other tips that you may have. Needing it very badly. So sorry if the pics are not that great, but the recipe IS!
So I hope that you will try out these vegan tacos that kids will love.
I asked to tag along on my youngest child’s school field trip to the Natural Science museum in Brussels with kids, having been there 10 years before with my older children I remember that I really enjoyed it. So we drove (during morning traffic, ugh) in the school bus packed with children, parents and teachers to the “Dino museum”. Even though it’s called “Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Science”, locals call it the Dino museum and the children have just had a dinosaur theme in class and where all about T-Rex’s. My son was particularly excited to see his favourite dinosaur, the Diplodocus. They loved it so much that they decided after this excursion to make their own museum in school. P-r-e-t-t-y cool I must say. So let me tell you about this trip to the museum stthat inspired them.
It was a little bit more run-down than I remembered and many stuffed animals were covered in a layer of dust, many interactive activity points were broken which was a pity, but it did not really take away from the impressiveness of this all, especially the the Bernissart Iguanodons, one of the earliest and most important prehistoric discoveries ever. This exhibit does not disappoint, the nine black mounted skeletons are displayed in the same poses they were in the 1800’s. They look incredible and this alone makes the museum worth a visit.
When you enter the museum you are greeted by a huge imposing whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling, it’s not the Smithsonian t-Rex kind of wow, but it still looks fantastic, and lets you know that you are in for a treat.
We unfortunately did not have time to visit the human exhibition or the temporary TEDDY and BEAR exhibition , but due to a friends daughter, who is a classmate of my son and was sick on the day of the field trip, we are planning on going back this month and we will hopefully be able to visit the rest of this very likeable museum, and I will add on to this post.
Our highlights were:
The children spent the longest time laughing, stomping and pretend running in front of the interactive dinosaur video wall. I think this must have been their most memorable part of the field trip.
The well preserved 30 Iguanodons that were discovered in a coal mine in the 19th century is probably one of the most significant discoveries of its time and the kids were impressed to say the least. Wow …when you walk into the main dinosaur exhibit room, you have a view of almost everything, this is impressive.
Another hit was measuring themselves next to a dinosaur leg bone. Got some funny face pics there.
Seeing a mammoth displayed in front of an elephant was pretty cool. (got many Ice age movie comments).
Opening dates and times:
On the 24th and 31st of December, the Museum will close at 15.00.
The Museum is closed on the 25th of December, 1st of January, and 1st of May.
Please note: the library is open Monday to Friday, between 9:00 and 12:00 and between 13:30 and 16:00. It is closed on national holidays and between Christmas and the New Year.
Adults: € 7
Students, European Youth Card (EYCA), Seniors (65+), Friends of the institute, Disabled visitors, FED+: € 6
Children under 18 (accompanied by an adult): € 4.50 (from 6 years old)
There is also the possibility for a free entry for:
for everybody on the first Wednesday of every month, after 13:00
for children under four (for TEDDY & BEAR) and under six (for the permanent exhibitions), accompanied by at least one paying adult
for Museum annual pass holders
for one accompanying person per disabled visitor
for ICOM members
for teachers with professional ID
There is a very small car park outside and is always full! If you go by car, you can park around the island but paying about 3€ or more.
You cannot really have a picnic there unless you reserve a table before hand in the lunch room. We did reserve a place (this was on a schoolday) and we really had to hurry the kids into eating quickly because there was already another class waiting, so I’m not sure how this works if you just go as a family. There is a cafetaria next to the room, but you need to order the food from there. I only ordered a well needed latte but I could see some of the stuff they had on the menu and it looked pretty decent and the prices a well. The typical Belgian lunch items like baguettes, pastries (croissants, donuts, chocolate buns). You could eat your lunch outside, but that would all depend on the weather, and hey, we are in Belgium…so be prepared.
There is a locker room if you want to leave your jackets and backpacks behind.
I asked to tag along on my youngest child’s school field trip to the Natural Science museum in Brussels with kids.
This was a kindergarden class affair. I visited the Natural History Museum with my 5 year old son, two teachers, four parents and 30 children (yikes!) between the ages of 3.5 years old and 6 years old.
Have you been there before? Let me know about your experience and what is to your opinion a must see exhibition.
Today I will be writing a review for my Babboe e-curve cargo bike. The opinions are mine. I did not receive any earnings from this post, but as you will be able to read towards the end of my post, I have been compensated. Just not for writing this blog post. 😉
To be honest, I am a bit ashamed to say that I am a grown 41-year-old woman without a driver’s license.
I don’t know how it is where you live, but here in Belgium I only have one other friend without a driver’s license so I always end up having to explain to people why I don’t have one. I just never came round to it and I am actually a bit scared, but fingers crossed, I will be going for my theoretical exam (together with my 25-year-old daughter.
But even if I do pass, it will still be months before I have a full permit and even longer before I can afford a car. So, my cargo-bike is a must in my life.
I am since July 2017 the owner of the Babboe e-curve cargobike. I have 3335 km on it. It is my main way of transportation. I drive my son to school in it, I bring him to and from swimming classes, I do my groceries in it, I run my errands with it, I even drive it 30km (18miles) on Sunday’s to church (Antwerp) and back.
I want to make it clear that my views expressed in this post are entirely my own and entirely based on my experience with this cargobike. I have provided a link to the Babboe website above for anyone who wants to look them up. Nobody has asked me or paid me to write a review. My only aim in writing this is to help others who may be thinking of buying the Babboe e-curve cargobike.
I did some research beforehand, I found some helpful Facebook groups where I could read experiences from other users and I wish that I had taken their advice. There were many complaints (mainly about the spokes), but I really fell in love with the e-curve Babboe when I saw it during a test drive. I made up my mind that I wanted a three-wheeler, I wanted something that also looked pretty and because of my chronic pain, it needed the battery-powered pedal “assist”. One of the most well-known brands here in Belgium is the Babboe and I fell in love with the e-curve when I saw it.
When my cargobike got delivered (then you could only buy it online in Belgium and it was delivered 4 weeks later) I tried it out straight away of course and oh boy….it felt really weird driving it. I constantly felt like I was going to fall off. But I was determined to make it work and so I drove it 40km straight to our fixed camping spot and once I got there, I was a confident cargobike, or how they call it here, even my expat friends, a “bakfiets” driver. I loved it. My son loved it, heck, even my two Doxies love it.
But…a few weeks later the first problems arose, my brakes and lights. One brake was not working, the lights were not working and so I emailed Babboe. I also inquired about when the technician would come by for the first maintenance (included in the price we paid. I had already received an email asking me if I was satisfied with the services…for the services that I haven’t received yet). It took exactly a month before the technician came. My brakes were then finally fixed and I had received new lights. My bike was riding smoother than ever.
Then the rain cover poles broke. I emailed again, Babboe said that they were aware of the poor quality of the poles and that they were looking for a solution. In the meantime they would send me new poles. And they did, the wrong ones. Emailed them again and soon after I received the first pair or rain cover poles. But the rain cover poles have broken off 5 times during the 18 months that I have owned my e-curve.
Another issue, the wheel spokes. They too have been broken multiple times. This is apparently something that many, many Babboe owners have experienced. This is a pretty costly thing to have to happen regularly. One of my back spokes is even broken now.
And something they forget to tell you…not many bike repair shops repair your electrical cargo-bike, definitely if you have not bought it in their shop. I have two bike repair shops in walking distance of my house, but they have refused to repair my bike (one will repair the spokes but nothing else) and so I have had to rely on friends to pick me up and drop me off at another bike shop further away. Not very convenient. You can always book a maintenance and repair service at home from Babboe, but be prepared to wait many, many weeks and with a broken spoke, you need to get it repaired as soon as possible.
Oh yeah, and my battery, remember at the beginning of this post I mentioned biking 40km to our camping spot? (I still drove around with it for a few more days before I had to recharge the battery) . Well now (18 months later) the action radius is +-15km. I alternate between modes 3 and 4 and transporting one child who weighs 21kg, I weigh 70kg. My friend who owns an “e-big” bike from Babboe even bought a second battery because she could not make the trip to school and back with her kids. Not ok.
I have emailed Babboe again (I have emailed them 8 times) I feel like a complainer, but when you pay almost 2.500euro’s for a bike, you expect it to work properly. Customer service is very unsatisfactory and while they are polite, they are evasive. They say they will get back but they do not and so I have spent a few hundred euro’s to date on reparation costs.
I am writing this post, review, because I am just so very upset about the quality of my bike, while it looks great. My brakes broke again two days ago, I have yet again a broken spoke and it is making a funny sound while driving, I am worried that it’s the motor. The key to the battery of the bike is so thin that it has been bent beyond use and I will have to get a new key made today, otherwise, I will not be able to recharge the battery. I am a single mom on a very low income and I have no way to get it repaired again, let alone the money to buy a new one might this break down completely. It saddens me, I have really enjoyed driving it, my son loves it so much too and it has given us so much pleasure and freedom and I really need it, I just cannot do without and so I’m again praying for a miracle.
It is very pretty to look at. Classy.
The finishings are much nicer than the cheaper models. Especially the “leather” handles.
The display is nice and easy and it’s digital, so you know how far you can still drive before the battery runs out.
The rain cover (not the poles) is cute and you have velcro on the top for stopping it to flap down while children are getting in or out. You can also roll up sides on warmer days. It has to be -20c degrees here before my son wants the sides closed though.
Comfy seat for the driver.
The spokes, just the wheel, in general, is not strong enough for the cargobike according to two repair shops.
The battery. I know, I know that a battery loses it’s power the older it gets and by usage, but going from +-50km a year ago to 15km now…that’s ridiculous.
The rain cover polls break very easily.
The brakes…ugh, I find that the scariest.
The rear light is powered by a battery. The two front lights are powered by four AAA batteries between them. It would be great if the front lights were powered by the battery or dynamo powered. The front lights don’t give much light, plus you need to slide them on and off, meaning that they also easily slide off by themselves. I have lost one like that.
I want to again remind you, dear reader, that this has been my experience. I am not technical, so I cannot comment on the motor or stuff like that, I can only write about my experiences and how people have advised me. I advise you to do your research before buying your “bakfiets”. Go try some out or rent one for the day and even if you think that you would not be able to drive a two-wheeler bakfiets, try it out, it’s like riding a normal size bike. I wish that I had because I know now which one I would have bought then knowing what I know now.
Do you have a cargobike? Which one? I would love to hear about your experiences.
EDIT: 4 February 2019
Since writing this post about the Babboe e-curve cargo bike review, it has been shared around on social media and was the talk amongst my friends. My bike actually broke down, the crankshaft broke, leaving me in a bit of a predicament. But I am truly, truly blessed by all the wonderful people around me. People were texting me, asking if they could help with the groceries or if I needed them to bring my son to and from school. Then one mom in school even lent me her cargo bike!!! *happy dance* That was really a lifesaver for me. Thank you all again! Big love.
Now what happened next; Babboe contacted me through this blogpost and I finally got to speak to this very nice lady Aimée. She said that they (at Babboe) were very sorry for all the difficulties that I have been experiencing with the Babboe bakfiets and said that they will be sending me a technician who will hopefully be able to fix all the problems. A week later the technician came (again a very nice person who really enjoyed my coffee and cookies) and he made me a very happy mom again by :
replacing the whole rear wheel (due to the crankshaft)
new disk brake
new battery and charger
and tightened the brakes and bolts
For my lights, I can also visit a bike repair shop to get some new lights installed and Babboe will reimburse me.
So I practically have a new bike now, all done under warranty, thank goodness!!! We are again zooming all around town overjoyed by having our little piece of freedom back.
Thank you all for sharing my Babboe e-curve cargo bike review.
EDIT 15th of April 2019:
So, my cargo bike has again, started to make funny noises. I’m afraid it’s the motor or something. So Babboe has gracefully proposed to replace my bike. They only do this when there have been many issues with a bike.
I am very grateful for this, it helps me to be independent, gives great joy to my son and me and I can continue to get groceries myself without having to rely on other people. It makes a big difference in our lives.
So thank you again Babboe, your generosity humbles me and alters my perception.
Thank you re-posters and thank you, dear friends, for sharing this post of my Babboe e-curve cargo bike review.
EDIT 9th of August 2019
I was a bit late with this update but I am very very happy to say that since writing my latest update:
That we have been so blessed by receiving a BRAND NEW Babboe cargo bike!
*Insert party ballons here*
The sweet (patient) lady who had been trying to help me sort out the problems with our previous bike realized that the problems that I had been experiencing with the cargo bike were really abnormal.
So we started a new adventure with a new e-curve. Since June we’ve had our new bike and I’m glad to say that we have not had any problems yet. I’m not going to lie, I seem to be waiting for something to happen, but that’s just me. If you know me and my life, you will know that it’s just something that stems from the very unconventional life that I’ve had up to now.
So even though we did not have much luck with our first Bike, Babboe really came through for us and I really stand by my opinion that they’re practical, beautiful, and damn fun to ride. They can haul everything from babies to groceries, to large pieces of furniture. They make moving gear through traffic-choked cities faster, and more fun, than any big air polluting car. I’m totally smitten again!
Thank you Babboe and thank you all for reading and sharing my Babboe e-curve cargo bike review.
Edit 14 January 2020
Since beginning September 2019, I have started to regularly experience flat tires. This has happened 9 times in total, 7 times it was my back tire.
It seems to happen for no apparent reason. A couple of times it had to do with the spokes breaking and puncturing the wheel. Other times have been just tiny holes. The Local bike shop has checked the outer wheel, there seems to be nothing there.
I have taken different bike routes, checked my garden for any debris, but it stays a mystery as to why I am getting so many flat tires. According to my repairman (and he guessed my bike was a Babboe without me even telling him), that this company, unfortunately, does not use the best quality and that it for sure is not made for the long distances and frequencies that I use it for and that he has had many clients of this make, with flat tires, bad batteries, and spokes breaking off.
So, maybe that is what it is. It’s a pretty bike, works well if not used for long distances.
Too bad for me I guess as I now have to look for another solution for getting my son to school and back. Making that a total of almost 25 km a day at least.