Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Parties and miracles

Christmas is over, luckily we have some partying left to do. At the moment we’re getting totally ready for a dinner NY’s Eve party with friends - cava is cold, wine is on the table, Le Boyfriend and I have spent hours in the kitchen over the past few days, etc. No need to say that I’ve created that merry tablescape again. 
source: liquorlist                                                  source: notonthehighstreet
Oh and did I already mention this year’s Christmas Miracle? Well … I got the honour to become godmother on the day of Christmas Eve. Guess no one will ever get me a better present than that. (You can read about previous miraculous Christmas events here and here.)

P.S. The best wishes for the year to come. 

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry table

The nice thing about Christmas tables: no need for special decorations as the dining room usually is already filled with ornaments that breathe joy, love, happiness and believe (and thus X-mas). Bow-napkins and red candles can be enough to create a "merry table". On days like these (Christmas or New Year’s eve) one might add best wishes to make the merriness complete. 
Silver, shining mushrooms and the little cutie pie stood and watched 
how we were having a pre-Christmas party with friends.
P.S. An extremely merry Christmas to you all!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Classic Combo


Eleven months of waiting, about 333 days of thinking about it and then the time is finally right to install the Christmas tree again.

After all I think it’s kind of a classical tree, must be because of the traditional combo of tree green with Santa red, silver and gold. The Eiffel Towers obviously add something French and a (news)paper-fan-garland saved the tree from a „naked” look. In the end it’s about 400 „warm white” led lights that set the tree (and hence our living room) on fire. 
P.S. What does your tree look like? 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

In the mood

Christmas is almost all around, which means that we’re all set for the season of joy, fun, love and - obviously - Christmas parties. For now it’s boxes with ribbons, pine cones and seasonal ornaments that make the (Christmas) magic happen in our apartment. A decorated tree (plan for next weekend) will make the winter-wonder-setting complete. 


Apart from „fake” gift boxes there are true presents lying around too. The „fakes” house my jewellery and that way I can open a present every morning. It’s definitely helping to get me in a 200% Christmas mood.

P.S. Any tips for more nice decorations?

Friday, 28 November 2014

(face)book wall


Piling up beautiful art, lifestyle and fashion books results in an alternative facebook wall. Yup, you got it right: a wall built with books (some with a face on the cover).

Our library brings some colour and interesting, enlightening literature into the “dark” corner of the living room. The trick to building a solid wall is putting nice (steady) boxes in the middle of the “book works”. Another practicability to keep in mind: think about what books you love most when constructing your library. You don’t want to restore your wall every time you want to turn to favourite reads. Anyway, that’s what I did: my bibles are on top.

Looking at the picture I realize how bows and ribbons around the boxes could add a touch of “Christmasness” to the wall. Do you see it too?

P.S. What does your library look like?

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Very French


I’m dreaming of a French Christmas and I’m about to make this dream come true. Basically it comes down to this: there will be no Christmas Angels but Christmas Eiffels in this year’s tree.
When we visited the French capital a few weeks ago I was already on Christmas mode before we’d left. No need to say that being in the city of light and love this time of the year (about 8 weeks before C-day) intensified my winter-wonderland feelings. I said to myself (and Le Boyfriend because I wanted to make sure he liked my plan as well): why not have a French Christmas? You know, for a change and moreover because that way the trip could last at least till Christmas.
As the idea was all about taking France (Paris) home I got myself a dozen of mini-Tours-Eiffel in one of the many (ubertourist) souvenir shops. When the time is right (i.e. when we set the tree) the towers will be prettified with a red bow and become true Christmas ornaments.

P.S. Are you as curious as I am about what a French Christmas tree will look like? 

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Tricky


Hallowfood? I definitely know what to put on the menu when having guests for dinner at the end of October: pancakes and pumpkin soup. Setting a hallowtable, however, requires more brainstorming. After all we don’t want to scare the guests away, right?
 
In other words: witches, skull-pumpkins and other evil props are (literally) off the table. You see, I tend to go for a rather sweet hallow-tablescape, one that involves chocolate pumpkins and ditto squirrels and nuts for example. Not too much of Halloween yet totally in line with fall. Combined with some candles cosiness will be guaranteed. It is "happers" with tricky copy that add something hallow to it all.


P.S. Are you ready for some Christmas blogging? I’d say: stay tuned because yup, the yearly Christmas sessions are about to begin.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Heliolujah

Let's beat the winter blues before it has even started. In other words: serve & light some candles. Hallelujah heliotherapy!


P.S. Have a nice weekend!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Table Treat Trick










To trick or treat? When it comes to tables I go for the treat.
Tie napkins to the plates with a ribbon and you have the perfect treatment for dinner guests. Whether it’s Halloween or not this trick always works.
Trick AND Treat
We serve candles.
P.S. How traditional (i.e. American) are you when it comes to celebrating All Hallow Even?

Sunday, 26 October 2014

An American Dream


Paradox: two weeks in NYC flew by and before we knew we were on the plane back to Belgium. Still, the city trip feels like a never-ending journey. You know, it’s the memories, souvenirs and moreover the pictures that keep our American Dream going.
 
The thing is, creating a photo album is not that easy. Whether you go online and create a digital book that you get printed or you go old-fashioned with “glued” photographs, presenting a holiday (or any other happening for all I know) picture-wise takes time. It all starts “on the spot” (i.e. holiday destination) where you shoot, well let’s say everything and that way end up with like 2000 snapshots of a two-week-holiday (anyhow, that’s me).
 
After homecoming you get to upload the images to your computer. (I am one of those who don’t do analogue anymore, never really did actually. I was born on the edge of the digital era, you know.) Then comes the hardest part: selection time. What images are the best and need “printing”? Dilemma alert because you’ll only know for sure if you made the right choices once you see the “paper” versions. Somehow however you manage to deal with it because a few hours of reflecting upon the picking part later and after having placed your photo-printing order the time is right to create the actual album.

That’s where I am at the moment; searching for the right compositions and combinations of all the NCY experiences and views that we got to enjoy over there last August. I’m glad it takes so long, because – as said a few paragraphs before – it makes the trip a never-ending journey.

P.S. What kind of photographer are you: do you go digital or analogue all the way or do you combine digital (camera) with “glued” pictures and “analogue” albums?

Monday, 20 October 2014

Glorious Fall


Fall in full glory. I’m totally falling for it.
Guess there’s nothing more to say about this wonderful piece of natural wall art. Maybe one more picture, for the sake of its beauty.

P.S. How do you like the “falling” landscape in general?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Key-chained


Finding the perfect souvenir, it’s not easy. Gewgaws of all kinds, I simply cannot spend money on them. When in NYC, however, I found myself the perfect souvenir. Something typical American and useful that will always remind me of how great a city trip we had and, more important, something that won’t end up unused in a box and that I will never forget about. 

From souvenirs to double-chains and style, sounds strange. What might even sound stranger is someone saying that he/she loves being double-chained. If the person says it’s about jewellery I suppose you’ll understand better, right? So it’s combining multiple necklaces that I like. Since a month or two I go double-key-chained through life most of the time; a Reminiscence key-pendant and a Tiffany & Co. key (the souvenir I was talking about) around the neck. The mix of different pendants and chains turns every regular T-shirt, blouse or sweater into a more chique top.
 
In one of the latest Tiffany-Key-campaigns Daria Werbowy shows how it works, multiple key-chains. 

P.S. I guess there was no better souvenir to take with me from the Big Apple than a Tiffany & Co. Key! (heart-shaped one in the first picture)
source pic 2: Tiffany & Co.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Wa(te)r proof


The battle is about to begin, the fight against rainy autumn and grey, cold winter. To survive the yearly struggle for warmth, waterproof gear and resistant footwear are indispensable. Time to get the troops together!
A batcape and rainproof anti-fatigue Timberland combat-heels will not only beat the “grainy” (i.e. grey and rainy) seasons; they will also make you cry victory in style. I have to say, can’t wait for the war with the weather to begin!
(Un)folding beauty
 P.S. More Timberland rain boots to be found here. 
www.timberland.eu 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

S(n)o(w) White


How to dress the table when an Indian Summer reigns over the city? That’s the question I had to find an answer to last weekend when we had a dinner party planned at our place. Temperatures rising up to 25°C and lots of sunshine: that called for a barbecue but definitely not for fall-inspired decorations on the table.
 
This is the Indian tablescape we (i.e. a couple of friends and Le Boyfriend & I) ended up in.
Let’s have a closer look so you can see that it’s all kind of white, except for the beige-jeans-blue table runners and origami secret-message-flowers.
Why so colourless? Orange would have been too much of autumn for the sunny weather, yellow too much of true summer and green too much of spring. I thus decided to go Indian with snow-white.

Curious about what secrets we revealed that night?


Chin-chin, all set for the aperitif yet I couldn’t decide where we would have it. (As it got chilly by the time the guests had arrived we took the tray back inside.)
 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Laughing in style


It might be hard for you to belief when I tell you now that I know the New Year (as in 2015) is going to be a funny and stylish year. Even though we’ve still got four months of 2014 left and autumn/winter still has to begin, I know I’m right. No, it’s not with the help of a fortune teller or any other psychic that I’ve come to this conclusion.
Weekly humorous style tips and funny sketches
will make me smile all year long.
It’s my new agenda, the La Parisienne planner by Ines de La Fressange and Sophie Cachet that did the trick. Flipping the organizer, a time and style guide in one, made it clear: after a royal year with Le Petit Prince (check this post about my 2014 diary) the next will be all about laughter and/in style.

The About-a-bag-bag, picture-wise this time,
filled with NYC essentials and the new diary.
P.S. No need to say yet I’d like to mention that the diary is based on IDLF's style guide, La Parisienne.  

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

About a bag


If I were a student I would be ready for the start of the new Academic Year. Last month, on our New York trip, I found myself the nicest of all schoolbags that I’ve seen over the past few years. (That is since the schoolbag became a trend, the Alexa Chung Mulberry bag, you know.) 
The bag sketch-wise.
Okay I had to break one of my New Year’s resolutions – “no bag buying” – but it was for the greater good. The thing is (was) that I brought one of the Longchamp backpacks to join me on our adventure through the NY city jungle. A backpack seems like the perfect city-trip-bag and just might be, if you get to cycle all day. If you walk through the busiest of all cities you need hands-free as well, I know. Drinking coffees on the go, taking pictures and browsing through city guides simply requires bag-free hands. One problem a backpack poses: pickpockets might get in waaaaaay to easily when the bag is worn the way it’s meant to be (i.e. on your back using both shoulder straps). Me being (1) a safety-first and (2) a “wanna-look-stylish-as-a-tourist-too” kind of girl didn’t, of course, backpack through NYC. Wearing the bag (overloaded with m&m’s, books, sun cream, pen & notebook, wallet, sunglasses, city guide) on my wrist and slung over one shoulder made me hurt my back. Result: me nagging and complaining about it to Le Boyfriend. My elegies must have got in his hair. Why else would he have offered spontaneously to hold the bag for me, right? 

Anyway, after a day or two I kind of divided the city essentials over 2 bags. I found a pliage-backpack one of my sisters had lent me for the holiday in my suitcase. For the rest of the trip (10 out of 13 days that must have been) my partner in travel-crime backpacked the way it’s meant to be, with the fold-up bag.

So, brief recap: I picked the wrong holiday bag. Having to use that one and the same bag for 2 weeks is like hell, especially for a bagonista like me. It felt like one arm was missing and I just couldn’t get it, didn’t understand how I could have made this terrible, terrible mistake. I mean, the last month before take-off I’d spent hours of thinking about all of my bags, about their “practicality” on holiday. I’ve missed sleep over it, spent nights awake, breaking my head over the holiday-bag-issue. (That’s nothing new actually.) When I thought I’d made the decision (D-bag would carry the essentials for me and a linen tote would offer assistance, bring the right balance and avoid overweight.) me, undecided as I am, asked for advice. Backpack it said, so I reconsidered. And that’s how it happened, how I ended up in NYC carrying the “wrong” bag and also how I committed self-betrayal by buying a new bag. No overpriced one (oof), nor a designer or it-bag. I got myself a brandless bag, a natural beauty that stands on its own, that doesn’t need a logo or famous name to make it into something special.

And there’s more, because, you know, in life it’s not all about the looks and beauty. From time to time it’s also about ... nostalgia. You could even say that family matters made this NYC bag irresistible. Its “body”, shape and curve remind me of a former schoolbag that my eldest sister used to have. Apart from the “form” the leather as such (darkchocolate-brown nubuck) is food for reminiscing too. It flew me back to Christmas parties where we (for as far as I can remember some of my aunts, sisters, nieces and mother) discussed leather goods that some of us gave and got as presents, where we all seemed to agree on how splendid, nice and beautiful those wallets and pen cases were. Back then nubuck bags were way out of my wallet-league and I could only dream about carrying one. By the time I finally could afford them (when I got myself a weekend job that is) the nubuck-wish was history, probably because of the Vuitton fever that had hit me too hard by then.

Let’s get back to the here and now (August 2014, NYC), to the crime scene. On a Saturday morning there was a market in “our street” and in front of the hotel was this sample sale stand. Yup, it must have been faith: nothing but nice natural-leather-bags. From backpacks and crossovers to schoolbags and keep-all travel bags, they were all yelling my name. Especially that particular schoolbag-like yet true shoulder and crossover bag. It looked like the perfect bag to carry around in a city: notebooks and travel guides fit in perfectly as well as sunglasses, a wallet and sun cream. At first I tried to ignore this paradise stand and went for breakfast in Bryant Park like every morning as if nothing had happened. But (I guess you saw it coming, the but) as Le Boyfriend decided to visit a barbershop to get his hair cut I decided to go buy that chocolate-brown beauty. It was more expensive than I hoped for, yet having felt and opened the bag and having had a very close look at it I realized (once again) that bag-love is priceless. If it had been a less exclusive bag (LV or Delvaux) I wouldn’t have given in, that’s for sure. It’s the once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity-aspect that won me over and drove me to this self-betrayal, nothing more nothing less.

P.S. Or at least that’s what I tell myself to get rid of my guilty bag conscience.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Blog food


What to blog about when it feels like October in August? I had planned some summer blogging about nice skirts and sunny holiday pictures. But with this weather, I don’t know ... Wouldn’t such joyful writing make us long for warmth and sun even more?

Blog food, no matter what: Chocolate. 
So, what to blog about if it’s not about summer? Fall, winter and all things that come with the “dark” seasons? The change of the weather, Halloween, party outfits, Christmas and its decorations? Nah, then there would be nothing left to talk about in the months to come.

Okay, the best blogstuff right now would be: how to get happily through August days that feel like October. Yup, that’s what I would really like to write about. If only I had some useful advice to give.

Pffffff, this leaves me with nothing but the question “what to blog about”, right? As I don’t feel like bothering you too much with this kind of nonsense I’d say: see you soon, maybe (and hopefully) for some inspirational blogging.

P.S. What are your favourite blogreads of the moment?

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Pillow talk by Candlelight


Ever since we’ve been back in Brave Little Belgium the weather gods have been torturing us. Getting used to the cold, greyness and rain after two weeks of sunny (and funny) NY city life is hard. However, I found a way to deal with it: lying on yellow pillows in the sofa while coloured candles cast a warm orange glow over the greyness of the clouds outside.

P.S. How are you holding up in this fall-summer situation?

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Hungry for summer


One final petit post before the holidays, a little something about summer. Just to honour this bright and (sometimes) sunny season, in a way, and to show it some respect.
La Durée, the famous French macaron brand, is celebrating summer too.
 The images speak for themselves, right?

P.S. Thank you La Durée for your ever-inspiring shop windows

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Diamond Sky



It was a rainy Sunday, ironic uh, when I decided to go fly some kites. Origami diamond-kites that is, attached to a cord to form a garland. The (magazine and news-) paper creations embody summer perfectly; they fly me back in time, to family days at the Belgian seaside years ago. 

 

These days, however, I don’t need the beach to lift kites; our terrace is now the perfect place to have them fly.

Colourful diamonds in the sky
P.S. You want to DIY? Tips and tricks to be found here.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Batwoman


Classic Barbour Tartan lining in a modern snit
For years we’ve had the batman with his batmobile and batcape. Now it’s time for something new, something more spectacular and cool: the bat-trench. A cape in trench style that will make you get away with the rain fashionably stylish. Also, a trench that actually is a raincoat, equipped with a hood and wearable over another coat as the ultimate protection from the rain.
 
Le Boyfriend likes to think of me as a flying squirrel or a bat when I wear the Barbour trench-cape. He might well make fun of it; to me it’s a fantastic piece of raingear. Call it a hero or a lifesaver if you want because really, on rainy days it saves you a lot of soak-misery. There is no better means to protect you from the rain than a cape like this. As an extra cover over light jackets in spring and fall, combined with wool cardigans and scarves in winter and on top of light blouses on rainy Belgian-summer days like the ones we’re dealing with at the moment. In other words: no matter what season, this trench will wash the rain away. 
P.S. One minor downside: the cape makes me feel like a batwoman but, unfortunately, doesn’t give me the wings to actually fly.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Devil Eyes


The FIFA World Cup. Four years ago I couldn’t care less. This year, however, I’m totally into the world football championship. How come? An overenthusiastic boyfriend and a feeling of euphoria, ascribable to the Red Devil’s qualification for and participation in the tournament after 12 years. But there's more to it than that.
At the beginning of the contest, about a month ago, I said to myself: why not give it a try, watching football? I realised that with a companion who wants to watch all the FIFA matches opposing to his obsessive behaviour could only harm our relationship. I thus decided to go with the FIFA flow and support “our” team. Putting on devil eyes (i.e. a pair of red or yellow sunglasses), a traditional supporter T-shirt with vintage Red Devil logo and Jaune citron nail polish, that’s my way of encouraging a hell of a football team.
P.S. Are you nervous and curious too about which team will have to go home tonight?