Saturday, November 9, 2013

i made chocolate

Because I am a responsible person who knows her own limits I decided to make only the chocolate bars and to skip the idea of the scented satchels. I made three variations:

-White chocolate with exotic dried fruits. (I added some grated coconut to the melted chocolate. Yummy!!)

-Milk chocolate (with a hint of white) sparkled with cake decoration.

-Dark chocolate with nuts and raisins decorated with white chocolate. (My favorite!!)

It was pretty easy to make, but make sure to buy a LOT of chocolate! You can add various spices to make it even more delicious. I really enjoyed the experimenting!

Now they are in the fridge and in a couple of hours they will be ready to be packed.

Coming back soon!

Être et avoir - To be and to have

'Deux chaises, une table, un lit, un toit, c'était tout ce qu'on avait
Vingt ans, pourtant, des rêves en grand
C'était tout ce qu'il nous fallait
Voiture, maison, c'est sûr, c'est bon
Maintenant qu'est-ce que ça cache ?
Ça nous remplit, ça nous rend pas meilleurs pour autant que je sache

Car tout ce qu'on est, pas tout ce qu'on a
Tout ce qu'on est, pas tout ce qu'on a

Plus beau, plus cher, plus riche, plus fort, voilà tout ce qu'on adore
Autant d'efforts, tous ces trésors, on en fait quoi, quand on sera mort
Que tout cet or en banque, ces armes
Ces tanks, alors que c'est d'amour que l'on manque
Et l'être humain l'est un peu moins depuis qu'il s'est fait avoir ?

Car tout ce qu'on est, pas tout ce qu'on a
Tout ce qu'on n'est pas tout ce qu'on a

Deux chaises, une table, un lit, un toit, c'était tout ce qu'on avait.
Il en faut peu pour être heureux, moi, c'est tout ce que je sais

Tout ce qu'on est, pas tout ce qu'on a
Oui, tout ce qu'on est, pas tout ce qu'on a
Tout ce qu'on est, pas tout ce qu'on a
Oui, tout ce qu'on est, pas tout ce qu'on a
Tout ce qu'on est, moi, c'est tout ce que je vois.'

Even if you do not understand French, you will understand the message. Plus it is a great song!
Basically it is about how many unnecessary thing we buy and how our stuff define who we are. On Zazie's latest album the songs are divided into 7 parts, i.e. 7 days of the week. This song 'Être et avoir' is among the Saturday songs because in France (and in Belgium) this is the day of consuming with the shops being closed on Sunday.
If you want a lame google translation click here.

Have a nice shopping-free weekend!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

winter magic

The park looked almost magical today.

winter magic

winter magic

But it did not prevent us from having some winter fun!!

winter fun

look of the day

I am loving everything about this look from the Zara lookbook...

The only thing with Zara is that I love a lot of things in their webshop, but in the store I am usually disappointed with the quality.

weekend recap

So many thoughts, but so little time to blog. We had a quite lazy yet exhausting weekend which is perfectly possible around our home.

Lazyness involved:
-an amazing book on lofts (a surprise from my husband, thanks :-), reading blogs and drinking some wine

-kids playing with PlayStation Move which is an amazing alternative to 'just sit in front of the screen and pushing buttons' kind of games. So much fun! Here is Daniel brushing the teeth of a crocodile :-)

-this happened to my hair. Still unsure if I liked the result... maybe I will show it to you later...

-sale finds: Sessún boots from Yoox and some stripes and greys from COS and Toast

-a temporarty lighing solution for the entry...

The busy part involved going through our stuff, organizing, decluttering, recyling, giving away, selling on e-bay during which process I realized how much I hated most of our stuff. We had some BAD-BAD shopping habits before and that has to come to an END!!!
I am really busy right now, more inspiring and less bitter content coming soon!!

capsule wardrobe for spring

As almost every year my keywords are: timeless, classic, simple. Based on these criteria I put together a capsule wardrobe for spring. Some of these pieces I have already, some I would like to buy now and some will probably remain out of budget forever :-(

1. White linen jacket - the most perfect cover up for spring.

2. A feminine blouse - I love solid colored clothes with nice details like embroideries.

3. A camp-style chambray shirt - to introduce some utilitarian chic. This one is very affordable.

4. A classic breton top - I love the moden styling of this one.

5. A vintage snakeskin bag - is destined to become a wardrobe staple. It adds the right amount of edge to any outfit.

6. A pair of chinos - the less fuss about the details the best if you ask me.

7. Cigarette pants = classic chic!

8. A nice vintage watch with leather strap - I dream about finding a vintage Hermes watch one day!

9. White brogues - are more unique than the brown or the black versions.

10. Ray-Ban wayfarers - shall I say more?

11. A classic leather belt - I seriously need to buy a good-quality leather belt.

12. A nice classic silk scarf - this is really versatile and makes you look really Parisian!

And here are some of my outfit ideas. You can wear the belt over the jacket or shirt as well as in a proper way with the top tucked in the pants. Also you can wear the scarf in your head or you can adorn your bag with it.

a big thank you to BODIE and FOU

The lovely Karine from the gorgeous store BODIE and FOU has just informed me that I won the Living etc giveaway organized on their über-inspiring blog. Could you believe it? I have never won anything in my life! And now I will receive one of my favorite decorating magazines for a whole year!!

Thanks a milion to BODIE and FOU!!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

decorating never should be intentional

Decorating never should be intentional. Your home should change as you change. Let it evolve and transform slowly and carefully. Add things you like one-by-one and your home will start reflecting your SELF. Never force anything. Allow only things into your home that come to you naturally. That you feel comfortable with. YOU are the king of your home. You can do whatever you want. Let your home be the place that nurtures YOU emotionally, physically and intellectually.  
 all photos - via the absolutely amazing OLD CHUM - are linked to their sources

Sunday, September 29, 2013

easter in france no. 1





first destination: colmar, alsace, france

it was like a fairy-tale...
I am in love with france more than ever...

easter in france no.2







next destination: strasbourg

an utterly beautiful, vivid city with a charming historic downtown and a good laid-back french atmosphere

just lovely!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

small measures

The process of making our rental friendlier and more interesting is under way. This is what I have accomplished this weekend:

I started a herb garden. (please forgive the dirty windows, shame on me) As our kitchen is the most basic thing ever with the cheapest laminate flooring+cheapest white IKEA cabinets+cheapest grey laminated worktop, these two wooden pots with the herbs in them add real warmth to this place. Some more changes are foreseen here and I hope that the herbs will survive.

herb garden beginning

I said good-bye to the ugly brown plastic pot and our (so far) one and only plant was transferred into a lovely grey terracotta planter and found a new place next to the French doors.

new pot

Recently I scored three really old almost antique school posters on e-bay and one of them is now in my sons' bedroom. I have to tell you that the other two are in much better condition and are far more interesting and attractive (one of them is the anatomy of a sheep while the other one is a photo of Reykjavik), but Marci wanted this one. And he loves it. I'm afraid that he is becoming a nerd...

kids room

I think their bedroom is looking very cheerful now, but they just do not like being here. I think the simple reason is that it is on the first floor while the living room where we usually are is on the ground floor. And they just love being around us.

So this is a rather rare moment...

daniel in his room

Notice the giant Bumblebee car on the table. That's what we bought on the flea market today. That place is filled with lovely vintage toys, but they wanted transformers...

Marci and I made this artwork. I bought him a craft book and he dyed paper towels. (Yes he has a flair for maths and art...) These are his color choices... afterwards I tried to display them tastefully with more or less success. Plus I bought a succulent!!

we made art

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

simple moments to remember #1

mid-century modern reading corner
Animal Jazz Band Fountain in sunset, Tervuren, Belgium
When we were walking to the kindergarten with Daniel this morning a lovely woman stopped me. She told me how much she admired me. In that moment I felt truly shocked. For what reason could anyone admire me, I thought. It turned out that she saw me every morning walking with my son hand-in-hand and she thought that I always looked so calm and peaceful. Me? Peaceful? I have never thought about using the words 'I' and 'peaceful' in one sentence. No way. But you know what? She was right. During that ten-minute walk I am really peaceful. This is actually the best time of the day. No rush, no noise, no worries. Just a mother and a son hand-in-hand. This is our quality time. We always walk very slowly stopping often to admire snails, birds, worms. There is something very simple and old-fashioned about it. I have never thought about it before, but this is a great way to sense the changing of seasons, something that we could never do if we were going by car. It was a great reminder for me to see how truly lucky I am and how sometimes the simplest things bring the biggest pleasure.

Friday, September 6, 2013

luxurious minimalism or something like that

As you may have noticed I have a thing for minimalism, frugalism, down-sizing, simplicity, etc. Recently I started to read blogs about people who successfully managed to simplify their life in many aspects. What I am really curious about is how to design and decorate a home that is simple and minimal, but looks warm and welcoming.
My ideal home
a) is low-maintenance
b) purpose-built
c) has a harmonious, visually pleasing decor which reflects its dwellers' personality
d) allows its dwellers to pursue all kinds of activites smoothly and comfortably
e) is welcoming and nurturing
f) has nothing that is not practical or does not have any emotional value for its dwellers
g) has a strong connection with the surrounding nature
I think this vacation home in Uruguay meets all of the above requirements.
It exists in symbiosis with nature and the architect managed to make the best use of its surrounding. Except for one guest bedroom each room has an amazing view of the ocean. The use of natural materials is a great idea to make a minimalist space look warm. In this case rough concrete walls are combined with wood surfaces and furniture. Hand-woven rugs and traditional textiles evoke a sense of simplicity. Nothing is too fancy or pretentious here (only the swimming pool, but it is a forgivable sin in my opinion) and yet the whole place looks sophisticated. This is a home that makes its dwellers calm, relaxed and happy. And that is the most a home can offer.

Horacio Paone for The New York Times
Horacio Paone for The New York Times

Horacio Paone for The New York Times
Horacio Paone for The New York Times

Horacio Paone for The New York Times

Horacio Paone for The New York Times
Horacio Paone for The New York Times

Horacio Paone for The New York Times

all photos by Horatio Paone for the New York Times are linked to their original source
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