August 25, 2014

The Other One





dress: French Connection • sandals: Tamaris • croos-body bag: Kate Spade "Little Minka"


Cobalt blue has been labelled my signature color by both my on- and offline friends. It an open secret that I love the bright blue shade to my wardrobe pieces. This summer you've seen me rock it more than once on the blog ( #1#2#3), and also in real life I am rarely spotted without my Ted Baker blazer these days. But no matter how great the love is, some days I have to cheat. Some days, I grab for "the other one" in my closet: wine purple.

It's a difficult color to find in stores, but it's a color that I believe was meant to be worn by redheads. I look out for it whenever I am shopping, and will almost always try on anything I find. There's something about the way this particular shade of purple looks with my hair that instantly makes me happy when I look in the mirror. It's also one of the few colors I know that doesn't make my skin look like I am an extra on The Walking Dead (totally a ginger problem, right?), but actually makes my skin glow a little. It's funny to even say that, my skin... glowing... ha! Not a chance.

These photos were taken in the Japanese gardens in Hasselt. I was really excited about visiting them after seeing the photos from a friends engagement session, taken under a sea of cherry blossoms and by the large koi pond in the center. Kenneth and I had a little picnic and sat by the pond for a good while while, soaking up the sunshine and enjoying each others company. Little did we know it would be the last day we'd see the sun this summer. It's been raining non-stop for almost three weeks now and we're barely making 20°C anymore. This might just be the last summery outfit I am able to share with you this year and that makes me a little bit sad. I still had so much fun looks in mind that I never got around shooting! Ain't that how the style-blogging story goes?

Have a great week guys! Hopefully you've got more fun plans than I do! I have my second exam on Wednesday and nobody likes those, right? I'm going to watch one more of my recorded classes, and you can go watch the new episode of your favorite series or read more blogs. You are living the good life, my friend. Cheerios!

August 18, 2014

Oscar






top: H&M • skirt: H&M • ballet flats: Jonak Paris


I'm a social worker. I know "how to handle things", you know? Except for the two things in this world that I have never been able to cope with: cats and babies. I have the enviable super talent to make cats hiss and babies cry. Always. But something changed this weekend and it left me feeling a little upside down.

I was playing fetch in the garden with Dasha, our German Sherphard, for some time already when I suddenly heard soft miauw-ing. At first I didn't think much of it. Both our neighbors have cats, and their cats like to tease our dogs. I threw Dasha's ball once more and she went to get it, but was apparently not in the mood to return it. She lay down in the grass on the other side of the garden, chewing and drooling all over that poor tennis-ball. Miauw. I was at the backdoor when I noticed the two tiny white paws sticking out under the garden fence. Two seconds later a white kitten with black spots appeared on the patio, staring at me with the biggest green eyes and... miauw. Uh-oh. I turned around and called Dasha to her cage while picking up the kitten. Our dogs will be friendly to other dogs, but they will not give cats the same friendly treatment. Kitten or not. When it was safe for him to wander through our garden again, I the kitten go and headed back inside, thinking he'd go home soon. But he didn't go anywhere. When I went outside to pick him up and go around the neighborhood to see if he was missing somewhere, he started purring, nuzzled up against me and climbed into my arms by sticking his claws into my leggings and crawling up. That one hurt, by the way. I went from door to door, but no one was missing this cute little fella. I took him back home and we played a little in the garden. I then left him on the patio to go and call a vet to bring him to a shelter, as that's what my mom said I should do. That's when he caught the eye of our Jack Russel. She started barking at him from inside the house, and she scared the kitten so much that he quickly jumped over the fence. I went back outside to search for him because the vet wouldn't come for nothing and I didn't want this little cat to wander the busy streets around my house alone. I had no luck finding him. 

A good few hours later, I spotted him on the neighbors doorstep. They have this huge glass front door and he had his paws pressed up against it. I could see my neighbors come to the door and look at him and then walk away. To see a tiny kitten sit on that doorstep, all alone and outside in the rain, just broke my heart. By the time I got to the neighbors house he was again nowhere to be found. It rained a lot that day, and I couldn't help but think about Oscar (that's what my younger sister named him) being out there alone. Sometimes I just have a "click" with animals. I could tell you endless stories of how my dad and I went into a pet shop to buy a hamster and came home with a bunny because the bunny and I just "clicked". I felt that click with Oscar. As I was trying to finish my study schedule that afternoon I couldn't help but look out my bedroom window every now and then and wonder: where did he come from? And where did he go?

I will never know the answer to the first question. The answer to the second, I do have. No, he's not staying with us, but Oscar did find a home. At 9 PM that night, our doorbell rang. In a small town like ours, doorbells don't ring at that time in the evening. I peeked through the curtains and saw a man with a young girl, but no car. I live along a busy hiking trial / cyclist route so I figured they were lost or needed to use a bathroom. Happens all the time. But juuuuust to make sure I asked Kenneth to come to the door with me. It was only after I opened the door that I noticed the girl was holding little Oscar in her arms. Her dad said Oscar had shown up at the party they were having at a location two houses down. The young girl asked me if he was ours, or if we knew where he had come from. When I said I didn't, her dad told her they would take him home and take good care of him. My heart could rest assured, but I can't help but still think about that little white kitten with the black spots, huge green eyes and sharp-as-hell nails. The first cat that ever liked me. Now how long before I can handle babies?

August 14, 2014

#GOINGDUTCH: Mussels, But Not From Brussels











1. mom and dad on a path along the Scheldt • 2. my sister picking flowers for a flower crown • 3. a boat coming into port with a fresh load of seafood • 4. coffee + cake in town • 5. bikes and cute houses • 6-7-8. oyster farms • 9. endless rows of yachts • 10. on the horizon, you can spot the port of Antwerp • 11. mom and dad enjoying the views over the Scheldt • 12. even the children know how to sail here • 13. time for dinner!


On July 16th, The 2014 mussels season was festively opened in Yerseke, and guess who was there? Me, my family and an awful lot of camera crews. Because mussels are a big thing in La Belgique and The Netherlands, and if they are ready for the harvest you'll know it as soon as you switch on the news. My mom absolutely hates them, but my dad and I love them and therefor a visit to "mussel capital" Yerseke had been on our to-do list for years. We begged and pleated with her, and when we promised her we'd find a restaurant that also served things that did not come out of the North Sea she went along. Foursquare served me well that day, and we found us a table with a stunning view over the Eastern Scheldt and the fisherman's wharf. A cheerful waiter came to take our order.

Me: mussels!
Sister: mussels!
Dad: mussels!
Mom: mussels!

I will never understand my parents. Never ever.

Yet, my moms order was not the biggest surprise of the night. After placing our order, the waiter informed us that we'd have to wait for a bit until the kitchen was restocked. A short while later, a boat docked right next to the restaurant and a young man jumped off board onto the embankment (a dangerous move, it seemed) and picked up one of the empty crates that were stacked against the restaurants wall. He threw it to his mate on the boat, who then filled it with fresh catch. A third man attached a walkway to the embankment and the second man came walking to the restaurant with the crate full of mussels in his hands, while the young man who threw him the crate was sitting on a bollard smoking a cigarette. Through the open kitchen we got to see how to cook checked the load and how everything was weighted and then thrown right into a giant kettle. Moments later we were enjoying what was probably the freshest seafood I have ever eaten. And it was good.

August 11, 2014

The Crop Factor






cropped top: Zara • shorts: Zara • handbag: Carpisa • sandals: via Torfs


My head is about to explode. I just finished my first study marathon of the re-examination season, and no matter what I try to type out, it would be a crappy post. All I could bore you with today are z-scores, standard deviation errors and whatnot, because that's all that will be on my mind from now until September 5th. Sooooo.... I will pat my own shoulder today because I planned my outfit shoots in advance and have them nicely edited and ready to be blogged in my drafts. Guys, I'm off to study some more Estimations shizzle and I'll be back on Thursday with a travel post!

Shortest blog post ever. What math class can do to you.

August 7, 2014

This Summer, We're #GOINGDUTCH



I lovingly call her "The beast". It's big.


Growing up, my grandparents had a caravan like the one in the photo in the Ardennes. 16 summers have I spent there, and I remember well all the friends I made on their campsite. We used to gather with the entire family and have big barbecues and go for long hikes in the endless surrounding woods. When I was 12, my parents bought a caravan of their own. A small one that could be hooked up with our car and for a year we traveled our tiny country, but eventually they settled on a campsite not too far from my grandparents. In Grand-Halleux I made friends for life, did morning gymnastics in the pool (even when it rained!) and spent hours and hours forgetting about the world on the immense playground. 

In April, we sold our old caravan because my parents bought the one you see in the photo above. Its location is closer to home and just across the border with The Netherlands. Its stands on a campsite in the cutest Dutch village I have ever visited and located close to a grand lake and the Dutch seaside. Even though I hadn't been to our old campsite in 5 years, my heart felt heavy when I said goodbye to the Ardennes. It was as if I had to say goodbye to my childhood for real (which maybe isn't a bad thing considering that I am 22...).

The day my parents signed the sales agreement, my friends started making summer plans involving our new caravan. We might be going on a weekend in September, but since we all have a very busy school life or job planning such an outing tends to get complicated. If we're friends on Instagram, you might have seen my snaps from two weeks ago when I was there with my mom, dad and youngest sister. The weather was just amazing, and I have got so many photos that I'd like to share! I got the idea to do a small travel series about my first summer in The Netherlands, and remembered the expression "go dutch" from watching Lost. The expression might have nothing to do with travelling, but I liked it too much not to use it as a tag for these posts. The first post is coming up next Thursday, I hope you will enjoy!