December 11, 2014

The Dublin Diaries: Ireland National Botanical Gardens


Last week I was discussing my weekend plans with a few of my friends, and when I told them that Kenneth and I have a weekly date night, they started laughing, claiming date nights are for old people. While they're out hanging in a bar, Kenneth and I sometimes like to do things that "are for old people". When we travel, we will almost always visit the local or national botanical gardens. Because they're pretty. And because their cafés usually serve the best cakes and pies. So far, the Kew Gardens in England took the number one spot on my list, but they got some serious competition happening in Ireland!

"Majestic" is the first word that comes to my mind when I try to describe the National Botanical Gardens of Ireland. I've never seen anything like this glass houses before, and the gardens surrounding them are so large and beautiful that we easily could have spent an entire day there. My favorite parts were the rose garden and the dahlia field, which was an awesome throwback to a dahlia exhibition we visited in Paris a couple of years ago. Because I took so many, I decided to share my photos from the botanical garden in a separate post. If you'd like to see and read about Dublin itself, I have a post on that as well! 

December 8, 2014

The Gift of Giving (With Sony Music Belgium)


On the first day of Christmas a friend send to me, an album by a singer I love to hear. And on The second day of Christmas I send to a friend, an album by a singer I hope she loves to hear. And on The twentieth day of Christmas there we will form a circle of friends listening to good music, and reading each others blog posts about this special musical project. 

When I first started blogging, I never thought it would affect my offline life as much as it has. Throughout the years the offline side of it has become equally, if at times not even more, important than the online happenings. I've met new people who love and laugh about the same things I do, people who's stories have moved me, people who support this blog even when it turns quiet for a while, people who (try to) teach me about make-up, people that drink cocktails with me and people who support my coffee-addiction. It is thanks to my blogging friends that I still write The Ginger Diaries with joy.

It is the friendships that we build that Sony Music Belgium wants to help celebrate with their #SonyMusicSanta project. Where we usually show our appreciation by helping each other out with outfit shoots and writing sessions in coffee bars, we're doing something special this time. We are gifting good music to listen to when writing a blog post or, as in my case, a master thesis. Marlies from Golden Mirrors & Pink bows chose to give me George Ezra's debut album "Wanted On Voyage" and I could'nt be more happy! His most well-known single "Budapest" already was on a playlist I listen to daily, as are "Did You Hear The Rain" and "Listen To The Man". George Ezra might only be 21, his voice warms you up and fills the room with ease. He's a pleasure to listen to, and I'm hoping his name will pop up on some festival posters this summer! 

Those who receive shall give, and therefor I send the love forward to Laura from Laura Pauline K. I love her writing and have been reading her blog for years. If you ever visit London, her posts about the city are a must-read. It's also no secret that she loves good music, so when it was my turn to send a little love, I knew my gift would be for her. I chose to gift her Gabriel Rios's new album,The Marauder's Midnight, because his songs send out the same vibe as her blog. I just though they'd be a perfect match. I'm curious to see what she'll write, and how she spreads the blog-love further. 

Thank you, Marlies, for thinking of me and know that I'll be listening to George a lot during the upcoming exam-period. The perfect way to calm my nerves! 

A special thank you goes to Sony Music Belgium for hosting this lovely musical link-up!

November 19, 2014

The Parisian Diaries: Paris In The Fall


Every girl, and definitely every girl with a quotes board on Pinterest, knows that Paris is always a good idea. But you know what's even better? Paris in the fall! I'm bitten by the travel bug, so when Kenneth asked me this summer if I felt like going to Paris we immediately sealed the deal. It was only by September that I realized how well we timed our visit, because I have always wanted to see Paris covered by a blanket of golden leaves. It was purely magical, and the following photos are proof of that. You all know that Paris isn't unkown territory to us, but there were still a lot of places we had never been to. This trip was all about scratching those last must-sees off our list and visit a few of our all-time favorites. And even though this was my fifth stop in the city of love and lights, we still have to go back at least once to visit the Place Vêndome and the Panthéon. But that isn't a problem, because, well, Paris is always a good idea.

Let's walk around town, shall we?


November 12, 2014

The Obligatory Fall Post


Whether or not I'm currently going through a midlife-crisis with The Ginger Diaries, I could not miss posting the obligatory fall post. Last year I followed a class where we learned how to properly write an academic paper. Well... it was supposed to learn us that. I can't really say its mission was successful. However, I learned there to give credit where credit is due, and therefor I'm writing this homage to fall.

Fall is by far my favorite season, and I mean that. The leaves of the trees around our house turn to gold, the air gets crispier, the mornings are perfectly chilly, I can wear my blazers and booties, my scarves can be put to use again and above all: it's the season for hot chocolate milk and coffees! These days my girlfriends and I can be found in Barnini or Vandoag Is't basically every day of the week, but the owners sure are not complaining. Since September I've spent a small fortune and too much of my precious study time discussing the cold weather and fashion magazines in cozy coffee shops. Isn't life great sometimes? 

This season also scores an extra few points because the fashion stores are stocked up on all the colors that look cute with my hair. Too bad my trip to Dublin and Paris broke the bank or I'd be emptying Massimo Dutti right now. My mom is taking me shopping later this week though, because I "need" new jeans and tall boots, so maybe if I treat her with a visit to Barnini... .

Lastly fall calls for nice, long walks in the woods and that's exactly what my friend Jolien and I set out to do on a beautiful day last weekend. We hadn't seen each other in a while, and had so many things to discuss. She's doing her internship as a psychologist and I'm in the midst of preparing my thesis research as a sociologist, so our talks can get heavy, but are never boring (despite what anyone else in the world might think when reading this, I know how it sounds). And even though I'm cutting back on the outfit posts, my inner child couldn't say no to a happy fall-themed shoot at the end of our walk. Jolien is a topnotch blog-photographer ("give credit where credit is due") and I should really take her out to ... oh well, the baristas in Antwerp haven't seen the last of me yet.

November 10, 2014

The Next Chapter

I'm listening to Bon Jovi and writing a blog post. Not much seems to have changed, but the truth is that something has. You know it. I know it. I know that you know it. Darling, we need to talk.

I am a firm believer of the saying that a blogger and her blog should be like husband and wife. A relationship where one invests time and effort, but above all: a lot of love. Unfortunately, the love is gone. I still do the little blog-chores we all know, but much like in a love affair gone cold I do them simply because they are part of my routine. My blog and I live together, but apart. Today we are more like blogger and sister, than the passionate lovers we used to be.

I had so many good intentions, so many fresh ideas to ignite the fire again. But the distance I felt between me and my blog has only gotten bigger. I write it still, but it doesn't feel like it's me who's typing the words. We miss a connection. Toto learned us to hold the line, because love isn't always on time. But how long should I hold it? It's been a very long and good journey, but I feel like we've reached our destination.

I have a relationship with a style blog. A relationship that used to be so passionate, that this blog was all I could think about. I grew older, and the blogging world changed. And now, now we just don't match anymore. Over the last couple of months I've tried to make a style blog work for me, but I don't feel it anymore. It's a "it's not you, it's me" kind of situation. One that I found no way out of and therefor my style blog and I are breaking-up. Breaking-up is never easy. Break-ups are hard, they don't always go smoothly, they tend to have consequences you never saw coming. But no pain, no gain. Holding the line when I already know the love will not flare up again is nothing but a waste of my time.

And much like with relationships between people, this break-up doesn't mean I can't fall in love again. I might have outgrown outfit-blogging, I still love blogging in itself. I love to write things and I love being able to talk to you all through this platform, I just want to change my message. It's going to take me a while to write a new story, but you can trust on the fact that I will be back one day.

For now, I'm going to listen to more eighties music and write a paper on Belgium's migration history. Darling, something has changed, but not everything.

Talk to you later

xo

Nikki