Saturday, 31 March 2012

my saturday morning

How are you doing?

In the cloudy Antwerp weather I've been enjoying a relaxing morning, drinking good coffee, reading and writing. Yesterday I bought magazines and new stationery so I've been writing on a few note cards while the film Julie & Julia (2009) is running in the player. The half of that film is one of my favourite films. Does that sentence make any sense? Let me explain. I love the Meryl Streep-Stanley Tucci scenes and I can watch them again and again, but usually I fast forward over the rest (sorry Amy Adams and Julie Powell).

We are going for a drive so I'm wishing you a wonderful day with some of my favourite links this week:

  Lana of LanaLou Style has been luring me to visit South Africa with her beautiful blog posts. She's always up to something fun, photographing wonderful cafés and boutiques and sharing with us. Here is the latest place: part 1 and part 2
  Georgianna Lane shared with us her beautiful work in her latest e-magazine issue called Paris: Les Fleurs
  Diana of Miss Moss posted some beautiful photos by Kajico
  Yesterday Helen of The Style Schedule included in her post Intelligent Life's (a bi-monthly from The Economistcover photo of Cate Blanchett as she truly looks, not photoshopped as on the cover of my Harper's Bazaar UK issue. I had just bought that magazine when I saw Helen's post and the difference is incredible. It made me wonder why there is still this obsession with the perfect look on the cover of fashion magazines. Why not just show us these strong women as they really look instead of creating these unrealistic images? Here's to ageing gracefully with lines and wrinkles!

photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt

Friday, 30 March 2012

fashion friday – all white

It's another Fashion Friday. Today we are greeted by cloudy weather in Antwerp so this all white April editorial from Vogue Latin America suits my mood. It's called 'Oda al Blanco' and features model Emily DiDonato, photographed by Jean-François Campos and styled by fashion editor Sarah Gore Reeves.

I love the Stella McCartney blazer.

Here are five fashion links that caught my attention:

  Petra of Indivisualism shared Karl Lagerfeld's beautiful photography, which makes me want to buy a little black jacket from Chanel and the book that hasn't been released yet
  Natalia of Fashioned by Love posted a stunning editorial called 'Desert Jazz' from the March issue of Vogue Turkey. It has the '20s mon dieu factor
  I was thinking that I hardly ever post any photos of men's fashion so let me make up for that by sharing two street style posts by Nam of Streetfsn: part 1 and part 2

I owe you photos from Luxembourg and I remembered that I had promised to talk about the French Embryolisse skin care products I bought in Lille in February. And remember that soon there will be a spring giveaway on the blog from Iceland!
Have a fabulous Friday!

photo credit:
Jean-François Campos for Vogue Latin America

Thursday, 29 March 2012

spring fever

Have I already told you how much I love spring? These days I'm high on cherry and magnolia blossoms. Sometimes I wish time could just stand still so the blossoms could stay a little longer.

I took these photos in the Den Brandt Park of Antwerp yesterday. Our children's school has this yearly run (here is last year's post) and while the children were running we had a picnic under gorgeous cherry trees. Unfortunately, I had caught a mild cold but I didn't let it spoil the moment. But when we came back home I was in bed with fever so I'm just relaxing today. I think it'll pass quickly. I'm probably just dealing with a spring overdose. wink

Have a beautiful day!

photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

antwerp walk & latte at caffènation

Yesterday we were delayed so at the last minute we decided to postpone our trip to Holland and head into Antwerp's centre instead. We had to pick up the kids at school and we didn't want to risk being stuck in traffic on the way back from Holland. A walk in the area of the Stadsschouwburg culture house and Rubenshuis museum and a double shot latte at Caffènation sounded tempting. We thought about sitting down outdoors at the Brasserie De Markt (photos above) to enjoy lunch in the fine weather but we simply weren't hungry enough.

We crossed the cosy Graanmarkt square that has a few cafés/restaurants and headed into the Schuttershofstraat street where you find all the big labels. From there we walked to Meir, which is the main shopping street. After a quick look in Massimo Dutti and Zara we went to the International Magazine Shop on Meir to browse a little.

Then it was latte time in a completely different atmosphere.

On Hopland street, which is like an extension of Schutterhofstraat, there is a café called Caffènation. (I've mentioned it on my blog before and also in my recent guest post at The Yummyblogsisters.) Their motto is One drug, one nation, one Caffènation. That's where you go to get the best coffee in the city. It would be an understatement to say that it's an unpretentious place; its design is anything but fancy. The focus is simply on the quality of the coffee and how they manage to make the latte foam so unbelievably good is a mystery to me. It's a complete latte bliss. Because red is their colour (they seem to be Cher, not Che, Guevara revolutionaries) I couldn't help myself when I saw a woman at the next table with red toe nails.

photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

pink spring mood

We are enjoying yet another gorgeous spring day in Antwerp and I find myself in the mood for pink shades. These are the kind of photos that inspire me today and I don't think some flowers and a little Chanel couture and Dior have ever hurt anyone. If anyone knows who took that photo of the peonies then please tell me.

I'm still catching up on blogs after my hard drive crash and getting my files in order. The sun is also keeping me away from the computer. Right now I'm finishing my cup of coffee and then I'm off to Holland. I'm hoping to bring back home some beautiful fresh flowers. Have a wonderful day!

photo credit:
1: unknown source via miette/Tumblr
2: Matthew Rolston for InStyle US, Nov. 1999 via BWGrayscale
3: Sofia Coppola for Dior via DJane Couture Fashion Dress Room
4: Sandra Haischberger of Feinedinge via Design*Sponge

Monday, 26 March 2012

designer's home in paris

I have a little crush on this remodelled 18th-century Paris apartment of interior designer Thomas Pheasant. It's located on Boulevard Saint Germain, which is on the left bank of the Seine river (that would be the south side). Pheasant said he "wanted to enhance the architectural details that had been ruined by bad remodeling.” Please take a look at the before photos in the article to see how bad it actually was! I love the view from the bedroom. He kept its design simple "so as not to compete with the view.” How wonderful it must be to have one's own apartment in Paris! sigh

We had a good day in Luxembourg yesterday and we also drove to the old city Trier in Germany, which I last visited in 1991 when I was travelling through Europe with an InterRail train pass. I hope you are having a good start of the week!

photo credit:
Durston Saylor for Architectural Digest

Sunday, 25 March 2012

sunday sophistication

These photos are from a home in Los Angeles designed by Windsor Smith. They appeared in House Beautiful and I've been swooning over them for some time. I love the feminine elements. The arrangement on the tray in the bathroom looks so pretty and the bedroom is perfect in my eyes, sophisticated and comfortable.

I'm off to Luxembourg. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

photo credit:
Victoria Pearson for House Beautiful

Saturday, 24 March 2012

spring is here

I am so certain that I'll have my bookmarks and folders sorted before Christmas, yes I am! The last time I lost a hard drive was about five years ago and I had forgotten all about the work that accompanies it. I'm going to take a break from the computer now and visit some beautiful seaside in Holland, feel the wind in my hair and recharge the batteries. Tomorrow we are thinking about visiting Luxembourg again so stay tuned for a Luxembourg post. By the way, I'm also preparing a sponsored giveaway from Iceland, which I'm very excited about.

I found the top photo in a Picasa album of mine from last year and I had completely forgotten all about it. The second one I took a few days ago in the Park. Spring arrived a little bit later this year in Antwerp but when it arrived it feels like it exploded. I love this time of year.

photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt

Friday, 23 March 2012

i'm back

Hello everyone! As some of you already know I've been missing in action because my hard drive crashed. I meant to blog on the iPad instead but it simply didn't feel the same so I decided to take a blog break. First it felt strange and I missed you guys a lot, but then came the wonderful and sunny spring weather.

I just got my laptop back and I'm beaming. It looks like a brand new one because they replaced the keyboard and surface as well (thank you Antwerp Apple guys!). Life is definitely computer-good!

This is a different Fashion Friday post as I felt the need to simply post a little something to say hi. The beautiful photo of Abbey Lee Kershaw from the March issue of British Vogue, taken by Alasdair McLellan, pretty much sums up my mood these last days. I've been reading on the balcony and it feels so wonderful to sit there again in the sun.

During the blog break I've been enjoying wonderful days with the family. We've already been in Luxembourg for a day (I almost had forgotten how beautiful that country is) and in a marina in Holland, admiring the cruising boats ready for this season. After school we've been going to the Nightingale Park; I photographing gorgeous magnolias while the children have been having fun on their scooters/in-line skates (hubby sometimes catching them when they're about to fall). Yesterday we played tourists in the city centre and I used this day to make the balcony completely spring/summer ready. Well, I just need to buy some flowers.

I'm off to the kitchen to make the Friday pizzas. Please give me a few days to catch up on your blogs. I'll have to download all the stuff I need and get my bookmarks and folders in order. Finally, thank you for the kind emails while I was away.

Have a fabulous Friday!

photo credit:
Alasdair McLellan for Vogue UK
via Photoshoot

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

one photo

Sometimes after I've had my morning coffee I am reminded of a photo in my inspiration folder that completely describes my mood. Today it's this one. Maybe it's because it's a cloudy day or that lately I've been watching many period pieces. I love that photo. It's from an editorial called 'City Flapper' in the March issue of Elle Denmark, photographed by Oliver Stalmans, styled by Anna Katsanis. I think model Ilva Heitmann looks absolutely stunning (click the link below to view more).

photo credit:
Oliver Stalmans for Elle Denmark

Monday, 12 March 2012

beautiful vignette & guest post

This beautiful photo has my inner crazy lamp lady wanting to put on all her charms and start flirting!

I have a guest post called 'Wattburger on the Menu' on The yummyblogsisters blog. It's about one of my favourite places in Antwerp, Wattman where I sometimes go for an organic burger and/or latte. The yummyblogsisters are Flemish friends of mine, two wonderful sisters that I met through blogging after I moved to Antwerp. They're always up to something fun in the kitchen. To my Flemish and Dutch followers I'd also like to point out their other food blog, written in Flemish/Dutch, called T-alamenthe.

I hope you're having a good start of the week!

photo credit:

Sunday, 11 March 2012

cosy sunday & plenty of baking

My son and I are having a lovely Sunday together while the rest of the family is viewing cruising boats at the Amsterdam Boat Show. We all went last year and it's such a big event – it takes hours to view everything – so I rather wanted to stay home with my boy. We enjoyed home-made pizzas for lunch and I just made cinnamon buns from the rest of the dough. We are thinking about a walk in the park later today to view the signs of spring. Well, he suggested that we should rather stay cosy at home, he playing on his father's iPad while I made him muffins. wink

Enjoy your Sunday!

photo credit:
Isle of Capri, Italy – Running from the Law blog

Saturday, 10 March 2012

current dream desk

I stumbled upon this photo online and now all I can think about is that table, which would be the perfect desk for me. The legs look like the ones on my coffee table so it would fit well into the living room. Where I will get it is another matter, as this is from an old article in the Turkish version of Marie Claire Maison.

Have you any plans today? We're going to an art exhibition at the children's school and then to the library. I'm hoping to find The Visitor (2007), starring Richard Jenkins. Tonight I'm thinking sushi. Dawn of The Alternative Wife wrote this magic word yesterday and had me craving sushi – not for the first time! I thought it my duty to pass on this craving to you.

Enjoy your day and your sushi if you go for it!

photo credit:
Serra M. Gültürk for Marie Claire Maison Turkey

Friday, 9 March 2012

paris fashion week – the train to louvre & more

Can someone please call Marc Jacobs and ask him where I can get the schedule and buy tickets for that fabulous Louis Vuitton train to Louvre? The bags are included in the price, right, and the porter too?

These Louis Vuitton bags ... sigh!

At the Paris Fashion Week last Wednesday Marc Jacobs showed his AW12-13 collection for Louis Vuitton. It was the show that stole my heart this fashion weeks season, I love it when people put on a good show, I'm all for the theatricals and fun. When I saw that clock and the arrival of the train he had my undivided attention. Then the models stepped off the train in gorgeous jackets and coats and cardigans and other beautiful outfits, some resembling the ones from his debated Marc Jacobs show at the NYFW, which I talked about here. This time the styling was proper, if we can use that word, and the porters carried the bags. Did I already mention the gorgeous bags? The above photos were taken by The Sartorialist and you'll find some more on his website. The ones below are close-ups from

Here is a video of the show. It's so cool when the train arrives, I dare you to watch just the beginning if you're not interested in the clothes.

I think some people take fashion way too seriously. When I'm collecting material for these Fashion Friday posts I like viewing websites that I don't visit on a daily basis and I especially like reading people's reactions – it can be a better entertainment than a great novel, trust me. I couldn't help chuckling just a bit when I read the angry comments about Marc Jacobs stealing John Galliano's train idea, as if Galliano had the exclusive rights to use trains in fashion shows. For some people this seems to be a very serious issue and I'm wondering if some of them will ever be able to sleep again.

Let's move on, shall we.

Sonia Rykiel AW12-13
I have to admit that this Sonia Rykiel collection by April Crichton and Nathalie Rykiel was not my favourite from the fashion house but these two beautiful blouses/shirts caught my attention and would be more than welcome in my wardrobe.

Elie Saab AW12-13
This morning I've been prolonging the publishing of this post as I was hoping that better photos from the Elie Saab AW12-13 show would appear online. There really are beautiful pieces in this collection and I find that the photos available don't do them justice. Therefore I'm including the video only. Please note model Karlie Kloss on the runway, she could kill someone with that awesome look. I can picture her as a future Bond girl, I bet she would be the first to defeat Bond himself just by staring at him!

Chanel AW12-13
I haven't quite decided what I thought about what Karl Lagerfeld presented on Tuesday but I found myself liking some of the trousers. I think this is a Chanel AW collection that maybe will somehow grow on me ... or not.

Paris Fashion Week street style
Here are a few Phil Oh photos from and I urge you to watch the slide show for more.

Finally, here are some fashion links that deserve to be noticed:

•  Stefano Pilati said goodbye to Yves Saint Laurent at the PFW
  Chloé AW12-13 at the PFW was a beautiful show
  Garance Doré has made another Pardon My French video, this one on fashion and technology
  Florina of Fashionsensitive's gorgeous piece on the art of shoemaking
  Ada of Classiq's beautiful Haider Ackermann AW12-13 post

Have a fabulous Friday!

photo credit:
1-3: Scott Schuman - The Sartorialist at Louis Vuitton
4-11: Yannis Vlamos for Vogue US
12-13: Yannis Vlamos for Vogue US
14-15: Monica Feudi for Vogue US
16-18: Phil Oh for Vogue US

YouTube: Louis Vuitton RTW AW12-13
YouTube: Elie Saab RTW AW12-13