Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Tis still the Season

Christmas Eve was cozy, Christmas Day was great and second Christmas Day was lazy. After three days of merriness one would think we're done with it, with celebrations, dinners and merry decorations. One would think, indeed because in fact the holiday season is not over yet. It's vacation and the Christmas lights and other decorations make our home the prefect staycation location.


It's the perfect time to enjoy the gifts that we have received so far, to sit back and relax and also the time is right to get into some serious decluttering. (Which is kind of hard for people like me suffering from collector's mania.) However if I get to the phase of throwing away things you'll definitely hear about it. You see, to me decluttering basically means replacing stuff and reorganizing closets.

P.S. Happy Holidays, once again.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Tis the season, and other (Christmas) clichés

Wauw, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and I guess we can all agree that it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Moreover tis the season to be joly and the season that jingle bells rock. Obviously, like so many others, I am dreaming of a white Christmas … Not to mention my biggest Christmas wish: joy to the world and peace on earth. 


I could go on like this for some time but I guess you get it: tis the season to talk clichés. It’s that time of the year (described as the most wonderful for a reason) when everything looks just fine, warm, cozy and joyful. And I have to admit that I like it. A lot. It’s nice to see that we all seem to find some distraction from the misery that is going on in this world. (Check Facebook and see how many „friends” post their beloved decorated trees and other Christmassy affairs.) FYI: this doesn’t mean that nobody thinks about the unlucky ones in this world. After all isn’t the end of the year the time that people become (somewhat) generous and donate to charity more than during the rest of the year?

Christmas plants may be a better description for our „trees”, right?
Okay, enough with the moral lessons. Back to the good things in my world, to all that Christmas stuff like for example the trees. This year I decided (Le Fiancé doesn’t have a say in this matter, I have to admit) that two decorated pines would enchant our living room. Tiny ones as a tiny home simply calls for tiny trees. 

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

City Love

It’s not original, it’s a cliché and well … it’s a cliché for a reason, it simply is as true as a truth can be true. Yes, Paris is always a good idea and Paris sera toujours Paris. 
Place de la Concorde
I have always loved and I always will love the city (read this), in good times and in bad times. (Think about what happened last year November the 13th or - less dramatic yet really no nice experience at all - getting stuck in the (chaotic) Parisian traffic.)

As I live in Belgium and don’t go to Paris that often I have, over the years, discovered some tricks to get all Parisian even when there’s no trip on the agenda to the city of love and light „any time soon”. One trick is watching movies that breathe P.A.R.I.S. like for example PARIS - could it be anymore clear?-, Paris when it Sizzles, Le Divorce, Moulin Rouge, Midnight in Paris, etc. Listening to Zaz also helps as does browsing through photo albums of our latest trips to the city. Reading offers another getaway to the capital of France, especially reading city guides. And that I have done a lot over the past few weeks as I had to get ready for the trip to Paris that we made a while ago. No need to say that it was nice to meet my Love again after two years.

Apart from the inner city we also visited Versailles: I felt like Mary Antoinette and was baffled by the beauty and the grandeur of the domain. (I had never imagined le château and les jardins to be this grotesque.) To the people living in the palace life must have been great (in spite of all the formalities, arranged marriages, etc. that included living a royal life). To the common people in the city of Paris on the other hand life must have been kind of a living hell during the reign of the so called Roi-Soleil.

Mirrors mirrors on the wall 
in the brilliant La Galerie des Glaces.
P.S. Can you resist the appeal of this brilliant city?

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Gaming

Fallish games, I first came up with the idea last fall. This year I will again try to engage in the games as much as possible. The most obvious „field” of practice here is (of course) home decoration.


A first example is the punchbowl, which we have never used to serve actual punch. Or even better, which we have hardly used at all ever since we got it last Christmas. During summer - the ultimate punch season one would think - the large piece of tableware has been standing on the windowsill, out of sight and thus (once more) unused. You know, for things like these I regret the fact that life is not a fairy tale because to giants the bowl could be perfect for breakfast or soup and that way it would be useful. But again, life is not a fairy tale and giants don’t exist.


However sad it may be, the truth is I’d almost forgotten about the bowl until last week when I was looking for a place to stock the walnuts that we got from my in-laws. All of a sudden I saw the light (the bowl that is) and I decided to fill it with nuts. It’s perfect: you can grab a nut whenever you pass by the beautiful stock-solution and moreover the bowl actually (and finally) comes in handy. So you see, fallish games can be inspiring and make you rediscover nice pieces of tableware.

A second example involves a recycle game: scissors and old fashion magazines are all you need to play the game that results in an autumn-like garland. 


P.S. How about you, have you been playing around with fall as well lately?

Friday, 30 September 2016

No more fear

A very comforting thought for scaredy cats like me, this thing Will Smith (Cypher) said to his son Jade (Kitai) in the (less comforting) movie After Earth (2013):

“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice.”


Thursday, 8 September 2016

Summer White

Summer has been around a lot the past few weeks. The sun has been shining, temperatures have been rising so the time was and is definitely right to use the summer white bag (i.e. the ultimate accessory to complete basically all summer outfits with). It is that vintage Delvaux „granny bag” I’m talking about. (Don’t you remember? You can read more about it here.)
I have only used the whitie a few times but so far it has proven to be quite practical, with loooong handles making it both a shoulder and cross-over bag. When worn over the shoulder it offers a classy look that emphasizes the bag’s „vintageness”; used cross-body it adds a modern touch to my outfits.
Living in the city the multi-functionality is a great advantage as I tend to go places by bike (practicality comes in handy), places where I want to show off the bag that is. It then comes very much in handy as a true shoulder bag. Well, and that’s how I get to kill two birds with one … bag.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

The Circle of Love

Wauw, what a week! An engagement clutch (unique vintage Delvaux piece) on (a Blue) Monday for starters and a vintage eighties white classic shoulder bag (also Delvaux branded) on a Sunday dinner at Granny’s place to end the same week with. I guess you can imagine that these kind of surprises totally rock my world, given the fact that I'm a bagaholic. 

Tada

As each bag deserves a post of its own I’ll focus on the „Monday” bag today. It’s the most special one because yes, you did not misread: we are engaged. Yes, we are getting married. Yes yes yes, we will indeed say I DO. So once more, YES, next spring season Le Boyfriend, who now is Le Fiancé, will become Le Husband. (Pardon me if I stick to Le Boyfriend for now, I’m still getting used to the idea.) 
How we popped the question? No big diamond or romantic proposal for us; all we needed was a conversation over breakfast to make the „marital” decision. Basically it went like this. One of us: „Wauw next month we celebrate our nine years together.” Says the other: „So next year we will celebrate our tenth anniversary.” Replies the first one: „Maybe we should do something special to celebrate this properly.” Then the both of us: „Why not get married?”. And that was it, a very reasonable, down to earth „proposal”. This must have been in January or February, by the beginning of March we had gotten used to the idea and that's when we have first spread the word about our „plan”. (Something we have been doing ever since.)

„But how about that engagement clutch if it didn't come with the question?”, you’re probably wondering. Well, I found this beauty on Labellov and immediately saw myself wearing it on my Wedding day. (To bagaholics getting married requires a purse of its own, as does any other (important) event in life.) I mentioned the lovely bag to Le Boyf…Fiancé and a few days later he came home with a gift bag that contained this round, suede beauty. I baptized it The Circle of Love as it symbolizes nine years of love (and everything that comes with it), a love that (I hope) will last forever.
A sneak peak of the white (Sunday) bag

P.S. To be honest, I did not just mention the bag, I gave a very clear hint that Le Fiancé must have understood (to my surprise because my hint-tricks usually don’t work very well).

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Getaway

The world is going crazy, horrifically crazy. No wonder one would like to escape from reality once in a while, right? To get distracted from all the horror and drama a cultural (surreal) excursion works just fine for me. Like a few weeks ago, when Le Boyfriend and I went to visit Dalí, master of surrealism and modern art. We didn’t even have to take a plane (thank god) as the expo De Salvador à Dalí brings the Spanish artist to (what was once) Brave Little Belgium (Liège). 
Only one-hour drive away from home we were welcomed by Dalí himself in his crazy, hallucinant and, from time to time, psychedelic world. The nicest thing about the expo is the focus on his eclectic personality, on the jack of all trades painter, photographer, movie director and sculptor that also included science, politics and philosophy in his art. Before this expo I already had some Dalí experience, I was especially acquainted with his paintings, sculptures and home designs. (The house in Cadaqués, the museum in Figueres and his colourful designs, that I’d seen a looooong time ago.) The intellect Dalí, however, I didn't recall having met him before. 
As I’ve always loved Dalí’s work (and as the expo has made me love it even more) I decided that we are going to Spain to (re)discover Dali’s land, art and much more of his fascinating, crazy ideas. Or, let’s say to explore his surrealistically extensive and impressive oeuvre. 









P.S. You want to trip like we did? Go to Liège, Gare TGV Guillemins before 31.08.2016 and visit expodali for practical information.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Candle language

Say it with a candle (in stead of flowers) my friend must have thought when she gave me this „merci” candlelight.



P.S. Here you can read more about speaking candles


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Sunday, 28 February 2016

The Reader

About a year ago I got back to reading novels for fun. Like when I was a child and first started to read at the age of six the bookworm in me came to life again after a "disappearance" that had lasted for about ten years. Where I loved to go to the library as a child, Fnac now became my favourite spot in town. Yet again books is what kept me awake at night, out of curiosity and the inability to stop reading because you want to know what’s going to happen next. (Simple explanation for my inner-reader's departure: I used to read for fun but in college an enormous amount of obligatory literature had to be dealt with and there was no time left for the books of my choice.)


As I had forgotten what last year’s books were about (mainly confusing stories) I decided to get myself a Moleskine Book Journal. The perfect tool to abstract the stories with a briefly worded personal opinion on the „reading stuff”. 


Another practicality when it comes to this „recycled” hobby of mine is a reading nook. For now a seat with a small table and a reading light will do. But I’m a dreamer and I dream B.I.G. so maybe once, I will have a place for me and my books that looks like the ones below.
OldHouseDreams
tmmagazine-nytimes
lushome
sortrature
ruemag

Saturday, 13 February 2016

LoVely Day

Today is the most lovely day of the year. We celebrate Saint Valentine and that means love is everywhere: in the air, in the shopping streets, in the restaurants and even here, on my blog (as in many other places on the www).

LabelLOV offers a great variety in second hand designer pieces.

For about nine years my (funny) Valentine has been the same. This year, however, something is different. The truth is I’m kind of cheating on Le Boyfriend as I’m totally in love with this vintage Louis Vuitton backpack. Another truth, it’s not just a crush. One could say it’s an example of unrequited love with a happy ending. You see, I’ve been dreaming about the beautiful Montsouris ever since I was twelve years old and only now (I’m almost 29 so you can do the math) I’ve managed to conquer one. It took me some time because Vuitton doesn’t produce this model anymore which makes it hard to find and true vintage. Anyway, the Toile Monogram backpack was one of the first items on my „bag-bucket-list” and now that it’s finally mine Le Boyfriend will have to accept the fact, and understand, that he has to share my love and devotion with my new LoVe this Valentine’s Day.


I bet you’re curious about the rest of that list too, aren’t you? Well, to bagaholics completing a bag-bucket-list is a true achievement and buying an item you’ve always wanted is like a milestone. (To them it’s what graduation, having a baby, getting married, etc. mean to „normal” people.)  Other items on my list that are - as we say in Dutch - „in de sjakos” (literally meaning: in the purse): LV AlmaPapillonSoho backpack and Delvaux Le Pin. Quite some accomplishments, right? Still I wonder if the list will ever be finished because as I grow older it seems to get longer, with new (vintage) bags stealing my heart every now and then. 


P.S. Let’s hope Cupid is not coming after me today to hit me with another bag-arrow.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Januarious

January. I love the sound of it: soft, sweet, mellow and filled with hope. By the end of the first month of the year, however, the blues are rising high and the January love affair is usually over. No more Christmas Trees, no more dinner parties (as half of the Belgian population is on a diet) and it’s dark and cold outside. To prevent the winter depression I decided to call the family together again, about four weeks after Christmas, for a „light” dinner party. Not too many snacks at apero time and only main course and dessert were served. 
A simple menu so all I had to think about was a Januarious tablescape that would kill the blues. Paradoxical if you use shades of blue to do so, right? Anyhow the candles represent the softness, sweetness and mellowness; the pinecones winter that’s still reigning. In the end it’s the nice thank-you-for-the-invite presents that will definitely ward off the winter blues (as if the guests had read my mind): spring garden home fragrance sticks and tulips. Could a home be more springlike in January?

P.S. How do you like January?

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Wonderwalls PII

Wall art is to be found in Brussels as well. Comic scenes, famous bands, poetry: the wonderwalls have it all. 







P.S. Want to see more? Visit the capital of Brave Little Belgium, stroll to the city and you'll discover much more of these paintings.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Wonderwall

In NYC artists turn walls into true pieces of art. It creates amazing street views and to tourists the walls are the ideal setting for funny pictures.

Luke's Lobster near Brooklyn Bridge

 Lady Liberty in Little Italy (Soho)

Butterfly on the wall @ Soho by Kelsey Montague Art

Audrey Hepburn in Little Italy (Soho)
P.S. Unfortunately I forgot to write down the exact addresses where these pictures were taken when in NYC (summer 2014).