Kool-Aid Dyed Hair For Kids

So thanks to real-life and to Pinterest, Tic Tok and the entire social media influences, my nearly 10 year old decided she wanted to dip the ends of her hair a color and for her 10th birthday.  She wasn’t sure which color – pink, blue, purple….  but decided on pinkish.     I thought it would a fun thing for her to express herself – why not?  SO I agreed!  Plus it’s not permanent!!



I asked my hairdresser here if they dyed kids hair, but she didn’t.  So we did some searches and decided to try the Kool-Aid method.  It is simple, cheap, not permanent, and won’t damage her hair like typical hair dyes might!  All it takes is 15 minutes, a little water, and some Kool-Aid packets!

Sounds simple right… well, as we live in the Netherlands, Kool-Aid is not a thing here – thankfully as it’s disgusting to drink – just my opinion.  Perhaps we could have tried to find it at Kelly’s Expat Shop but we didn’t go looking.   Worst case we’d have to find some sort of child-friendly chalk but my sister volunteered to send me an assortment of colors from which she could choose.   Very nice of her considering the package costs €15  – outrageous for postage!



  • Kool-Aid packages (use 2-3 packages to get a more vibrant color)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Heat-proof bowl/glass which hair will be put into
  • Old t-shirt & dark old towel [which will get ruined]  Note:  I used a few sheets of paper towels to wrap up the hair at the end as I don’t own any old dark towels only nice white ones.)
  • Plastic gloves – optional but I highly recommend


This process is best done on newly washed hair that has been completely dried and combed through.    If you only want to have the underneath part of the hair colored, separate it and put the rest of the hair up in a clip.  We chose to do the entire bottom part so we did a low ponytail.


As mentioned above, be sure you have  your child dress in an old t-shirt that you don’t care about getting colored.  The hair will most likely drip and could possibly dye the shirt they are wearing.   Or you could also put a towel over the shoulders.  I don’t have an old dark towel, so I used paper towels instead in the end to wrap up the pony.  Also, I would recommend gloves if you don’t want your fingers to also be the color of the hair!


Combine your Kool-Aid packages (we used only one = Tropical Punch) and a cup of water in a pot and heat on medium-high heat until boiling.   Boil for one minute, then remove from the heat.  Pour your mixture into a heat resistant cup or bowl – I used a pyrex measuring cup.   Be very careful – as your child will need to sit with this boiling hot liquid behind him/her.    Depending on how much hair you want colored will determine how much liquid you want.   I read later that adding a few drop of condition to this process helps the color go on more evenly – ???


Dip hair or (ponytail) into Kool-Aid mixture.  I used a plastic spoon/fork to move the hair around every few minutes to ensure we got it all and as she has really thick hair.  As you’ll see in the final photo, the color didn’t evenly cover all the hair the first time we tried this.  Second time, I might skip the pony and just put the hair in freely.  [will update post with photos if we do it a second time]



Well, I did her hair in one section and let it soak for about 10 minutes total.  If you have darker hair may need 20-25.  Once the hair is done, ring it out with an old towel to avoid drips (again I  used thick paper towels and it was fine).   You can do strands if you want the same way vs just one big pony if you want to do different colors.   Repeat and move on to the next section until all is complete.



Once it was colored as you want, it’s time to blow-dry the hair using a comb to brush out any tangles.  It could be stuff and a bit sticky – hers was.   Then style as you wish.

Here is was evident that it was a bit more orange.   She doesn’t mind it at all but I think one of these days soon, we’ll give it another try with “Cherry” so that it will be more pink color as originally hoped.   Will update with new photos – if & when we do it.




Depending on how often you wash your hair the Kool-Aid will naturally fade in about two to three weeks time.  But if you really want to remove the dye for your hair sooner you can try this.  Boil a pot of water on the stove. Pour the boiling water into a heat safe container. To the water add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and stir to dissolve. Dip your hair into the water for about 30 seconds. You should instantly see the dye coming off. Hair may be dipped a few times if needed. This is extremely drying for the hair so be sure make to deep conditioner.


Update: April 11th

Sinterklaas Surprises – Love It or Hate It It’s a Dutch tradition and we LOVE it!

Sinterklaas Surprises – love it or hate it – it’s tradition here in NL!  If you have kids groep 5-8, chances are your kids are required to make a “SUR-PRE-ZUH” leading up to Sinterklaas.  If you are new to Netherlands, you might not want to get caught off guard and show up with something less than expected – might be uncomfortable for the receiver and of course your child the giver.  This mom writes about her experiences on a local site.  

Last year was our first full school year in the Netherlands, so it was our first experience with “Sinterklaas Surprises” and celebrating Sinterklaas.  So we made our own family celebrations  and then each year we add (or subtract) or edit.  This year the kids were looking so forward to all the festivities.  But as we also celebrate Christmas, they knew not to expect too many gifts on the 5th.  Also this was the first year we had two non-believers so it made it easier to set expectations.   Though it was quite sad at the same time as M – who had been questioning it all along was apparently told by the teacher – grrr!  So in the end – she was more mad that sad – asking “how could you lie to me for so many years?”  She is over it now but there was one full night of unconsolable drama and tears….

All in all, what the kids were looking forward to most this year was the Sinterklaas Surprises at the school.  In fact, we visited Vlieland again but this time our plan was to head up on the 5th – so no movie this year.  But when we realized they’d do the surprises in the morning, we moved to the evening ferry so  they could be at school the entire day to participate.   Luckily our school has a study day the next day, so we had the day off and could enjoy our time in Vlieland.   I’ll make a separate post about our time there.


You can see from this year’s surprises, some kids with and without help from parents spend a lot of time and thought into the surprise and others not much.

This year our kids maebh a TV with a remote with instructions and a basketball.



For a child receiving a present which  is GEARED TOWARDS THEM and THEIR PERSONAL INTERESTS & HOBBIES is very special.   Perhaps even especially for girls. They even fill in forms to include their hobbies and interests along with things they do not like.   So with that said, even if you have not a creative bone in your body, a simple google search will turn up tons of ideas like this Pinterest board with nearly 300 ideas50 Nice & Easy Sinterklaas Surprise Ideas!   It is really not that hard to create a surprises but I guess you have got to want to make it and not treat it as a nuisance.

Sadly unlike last year, where she received an amazing surprise – a purple ice skate, [which is still on display in her bedroom] this year, she received one that was let’s just say more suited for a child who plays soccer and probably created in less than 10 minutes the night before.  

So for her and rightly so, she was a bit disappointed.  But as the is a mature 9 year old, and a nice girl, she didn’t get upset or cry, but you could tell when she brought it home, she was disappointed.   I wonder what this boy’s reaction would be if he were to receive a ballet slipper whipped together in less than 5 minutes – I’m sure he’d also be disappointed!  Anyway, this was her surprise and it goes down in the record books and went out in the next days recycling.


My son received one right up his alley – a “MEME”! As he is always posting MEMEs on his friends app and sharing them with me so it was really perfect!



Here are the suprises my kids gave – along with a typed poem – the one of the left was a punch surprise – inside each hole was treats and a big chocolate letter inside.    And the dog looking cat (ha ha) was made out of fluffy cotton balls – inside the tiny box in the front was a package of washi tape and inside was also a giant chocolate letter.




On the 5th there is a bit of a class party, Sint and some Piets visit the school, etc so I baked Sint cookies for both kids to take to school.  Extras were given out to the administration, teachers and helper as a thank you.   In fact, as I’m still starting out with my cookies, I did two rounds.

This first photo were of my first set of “oefenen koekjes” = practice cookies which I shared with local kids and my Inburgering classmates.   I picked up this cookie cutter for €1.50 at Dille & Camille but I found it a bit too small.


Second photo were the actual cookies which were brought into school.  I ended up ordering online a larger Sint cookie cutter for €2.50 from Koekdesign.nl and it was perfect!    I put the in plastic baggies as I assumed some kids would take them home, but turned out they all ate them there.  Good to know for the future – no bags!   Now that I have PME 00 and 0 tips,  I know I can do a better job but they kids thought these were wonderful as is so I was happy about it and they did taste good (according to my kids). 
I never eat decorated cookies – I LOVE making and decorating but I don’t eat them. 


I’m going to make some Winter themed cookies for their Kerst Dinner.  I’m thinking Extra Large Snowflakes, Xmas Trees, Hot Chocolate Mugs . My son asked me to also make my chili, so I’ll do both.

UPDATE:  Here are some photos of the cookies I made for the Kerst Diner –  slowly I’m getting better with consistency of the icing- still can’t get icing through the tiny  0, 00 and 1 PME to allow for fine details as hoped.   So while the tiny details are still a problem for me, I’m sure the kids are going to love these cookies – or at least I hope! 


Maebh had a friend over and they decorated some cookies – but using buttercream frosting instead – as there was not enough time to let the royal icing dry.  Here are two photos of their beautiful creations! They are very excited to bring them to school to show their masterpieces.



Just a quick update to this post to share this year’s surprises –  A llama and a tennis racket & trophy! 

2021 SURPRISE – only one this year – they don’t make surprises in middelbare!

Just a quick update to this post to share this year’s surprises –  A pizza oven complete with a giant candy pizza!

At first, she wasn’t thrilled with it but as it started to come together, she was thrilled with it.

If you are reading this and have an opinion on the whole tradition of Sinterklaas Surprises, do let me know.  Do you love it like us or do you dread it each year?

DIY: VSCO Cowie Shell Choker Necklace

My 9 year old asked me for a cowie shell chocker necklace but we haven’t been able to find one in Claires nor at the Urban Outfitters in Amsterdam,  so instead I decided to make it for her.  Of course, practice makes perfect, so I made her a few different necklaces and even a bracelet.

She’s very happy with them and changes them up when she goes to school.




I ordered some cowie shells & some supplies online but I did have some items here already so it quite simple to make … each one takes about 6 minutes to make.




While I cannot “label” our  9 year old a “100% VSCO girl”, she and a few of her girly friends have likens to one.   

While there are several specific hallmarks of a “VSCO girl,” which include:

  • scrunchies – Yes she has loads
  • oversized T-shirts –  Some
  • clothing from the store Brandy Melville – Never heard of her – totally a US thing. 
  • Vans – Maybe in the summer.  Not the best weather here for Vans.  She prefers Fila platform sneakers and wants Doc Maarten boots for Xmas.  
  • Pura Vida bracelets – These are totally more my style and price range than hers 🙂 
  • Fjällräven Kånken backpacks – Nope – I’m not paying that much for a backpack for her at 9 years old… an online-knock off maybe but not at real one at this age. 
  • Shell necklaces – yep, see above photos! 
  • Birkenstock Sandals  – Has not yet asked – I have Gizeh ones thought 🙂 

Another integral part of the “VSCO girl” lifestyle is being environmentally conscious, as a key component to the style is the use of products such as metal straws and Hydro Flasks to “save the turtles.”  So while we don’t go around using metal straws, we do try to avoid plastic ones. She uses a CHILLY’S AVOCADO bottle – only because we live in the Netherlands and Chillys & Doppers are more popular.   BUT…. as she was born in the US have many connections still back in the US and thanks to YOUTUBE, she is well versed in many things from the US including speaking fluent English [unlike many of her 9 year old pals].  So she “gets” a lot of the lingo and stuff which her friends don’t get.

Anyway, thankfully she doesn’t walk around putting on lip balm and doesn’t say “tssk tssk” nor “and I oop”.  She does however, watch and record videos with her girlies on TikTok.

We’ll see how long this VSCO girl trend lasts in our house … but it is all harmless and innocent!




Review: Terrarium making working at Werk aan de Winkel – MixStore – s’Hertogenbosch

Yesterday I made my first ever Terrarium at Werk aan de Winkel  here in s’Hertogenbosch.   It was a lot of fun and while it sounds old fashioned and boring it wasn’t.



The store is so cute and filled with so many lovely things.   If I need a gift, this is where I’ll go here next.  I already know that I’m going to buy M the neon heart light for Xmas!









Many bars and restaurants in the area provide her with their jars and bottles for The Green Bar to use for her eco-systems and terrariums.  Love that!! So, instead of just recycling my glass blue Bombay Sapphire blue gin bottle, I’ll be brining them by for her to use as they actually use them for eco-systems, etc.


I actually organised this event for a group of International women who live in town.  Five of us attended so it was cozy and each person received loads of one-on-one instruction for their terrarium.   She even did the event in ENGLISH for us as not everyone speaks Nederlands well enough (if at all).   We started off with a cup of tea and some freshly-made pieces of a cake.


How it works. 

The first step in your plant-making adventure is learning about your materials and then prep your planter.   She showed us a number of examples (both dry & wet) and told us all about drainage, soil types & nutrition so that our mini garden survive.

First we had to choose a glass container from a large collection which were set out on a table.  I chose a recycled roasted pepper jar with a strip of leather on the top.  Even the leather was recycled.   I found it rustic and thought it would be perfect for low plants.   If I was doing a wet terrarium, I would have chosen a taller one as the plants are taller.


With a wet terrarium you choose plants that like a humid climate, such as Ferns, Fittonias, Hypoestes, mosses, Tillandsias and Asperagus etc.  If you prefer cacti and succulents, like me, then go for a dry version.

She then explained to us step-by-step how to add different types of rocks to the planter, layer by later to be sure to get proper drainage before adding the soil – which you use different soil for wet & dry terrariums.


Once your planter is prepped, you’ll move onto actually adding your plants.  This was a fun part as this is where your personal style comes in.   I choose a furry cacti and not thinking the handling part through too well – ha ha.   All in all it was fine, not too many pokeys to pull out. 





The final step in your planting experience is decorating.   The dry ones are topped with tiny pebbles, and if you want you can add a few stones and a tiny creature.  I chose a Oeteldonk frog – after all we do live in s’Hertogenbosch 🙂


Once satisfied with your terrarium,  take it home to enjoy for as long as your heart desires.   You need to water it every once in a while to make them last as long as your memories of the event.

I’m not a green thumb at all – in fact, I own ONE plant and I’m surprised it has lasted as long as it as.   I normally kill every plant – even killed cacti in the past – I’m determined to keep this alive.

If you are interested in making one, it costs €36 and you can book online.  They have other workshops too and we’re now looking at booking a hand lettering workshop.


DIY: Turn a vinyl record into a decorative bowl

Today I made an old vinyl album into a trinket bowl.   Important: if you make one for yourself or as a gift, NEVER put food inside these bowls.  Unless it’s like food like oranges which you’ll peel.

First I had to find a vinyl record to use.   Of course, I don’t have any so I went to a local Kringloopwinkel and picked one out.  But I wanted it to be special, so I spent quite a bit of time looking at them.   Clearly, I looked like a vinyl aficionado inspecting each cover record.  I ended up with this one from the group De Damrakkertjes – only because it says HOLLAND so it’s perfect!   I paid €1. but it’s online value is €4.50 so I don’t have to worry about discovering I melted down a high valuable item.    Do check before you melt down yours!


There are many ways to do it and you can search online to see how others do it.  This is what I did for my bowl.

Turn oven on 100 c. (no higher!!)

Line a baking tray aluminium foil.

Put my record in on top of a pot so it starts to bend downwards.


With pot holders, I took out my warm, pliable record and put it into a bowl and quickly moved it around into the ruffle shaped edges  I wanted.  At first I didn’t like it so I put it back inside the oven, it re-melted down quite quickly did it again using a larger, flatter bowl until I got the shape I wanted.

The sizes of your bowls depend on the look you’re going for. If you want a more upright bowl that resembles a slightly bucket-like shape then you should use a smaller bowl with slightly upright sides (for the shaping bowl). If you want a more low slung, fruit bowl style bowl then use a bowl with more relaxed, wider sides.


Overall I am very happy with my bowl and the text “Holland” makes it extra special to me.

A simple search on Pinterest.com and you can find loads of different ideas of things you can do with vinyl records.   I’m not really into anything else like book ends, vase or even wall hangings, but wanted to try a doing a bowl.



Owls Group: Feed The Birds for Christmas, St. Anne’s Park, Raheny

Today we joined the OWLS nature group again in St. Anne’s Park for feed the birds this Christmas Event.   Same group where we did the Tree Climbing and Games event.  It was  essentially rubbing peanut butter on pine cones and rolling them in seeds and putting them on string.  Then they could take them home or hang them on the trees in the park – we opt’d for the second which was great as for some reason, I didn’t think it bring a bag or little tub to put the gooey sticky stuff in when done.

We met up with friends who also brought their kids to the park that day for the event too – when the boys were not playing soccer they were getting their hands dirty with the peanut butter mixture or climbing a tree.

We’ll keep an eye out for upcoming events as the kids really enjoy them with the OWLS group.