Thursday, 30 June 2011

garden party for one or more

It seems from yesterday's comments that everyone is in the mood for a garden party. It was supposed to rain in Antwerp yesterday but instead we enjoyed beautiful weather so I decided to throw a 'garden party' for one on the balcony. There I was with my latte and Jane Austen, photographing my flowers when an unexpected guest flew into my photo and made itself welcome. Well, hello there! See, when you throw a party someone is bound to show up.

In July some of us have the perfect excuse for throwing a fabulous garden party. Tomorrow is Canada Day, 4th of July is on Monday, the French celebrate Bastille Day on the 14th and the National Day of Belgium is on the 21st. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning and send those invitations now! And remember, have fun with it – stress is forbidden.

And don't forget, today is the last day to enter my giveaway. If you are crazy about Paris then Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange with Sophie Gachet is the book for you. The winner will be announced tomorrow.

photo credit:
#1-2: LatteLisa

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

let's do summer properly

I got a bit carried away, I know, when finding images for this post. I started daydreaming about having a garden and all kinds of beautiful tableware, cutlery, napkins and tablecloths to use outdoors. I want colours on my table and flowers from my own garden, preferably. I want to use glasses and china, none of the plastic stuff unless I'm going on a picnic. Tableware doesn't have to be expensive; you can find plates and glasses at flea markets and mix it up. If it's a chilly night, you are inviting friends over and don't have enough blankets then simply ask them to bring their own. Well, unless you have an outdoor fireplace, which I find awesome.

Let's do summer properly and enjoy it!

photo credit:
top-left: Keith Scott Morton for Country Living
top-right: Ellie Miller for House Beautiful | styling: Rebecca Moses
bottom-left: Aimee Herring for Country Living
bottom-right: Frances Janisch for Country Living
top-left: Debra McClinton for Country Living
top-right: Mikkel Vang for House Beautiful
bottom-left: Robin Stubbert for Country Living
bottom-right: Keith Scott Morton for Country Living

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

true colours: carrie bradshaw's flat

I have a big crush on the blue colour on the walls in Carrie Bradshaw's apartment, as it appears in the first SATC film and the sequel. The set decorator was Lydia Marks and I think she did an amazing job. I recently watched the film again and found myself replaying the baby shower scene and the ones following simply to take in the design. That wall colour is so beautiful with white and the tones of the rugs fit perfectly. The rug in Carrie's wardrobe is the Margherita rug by Marni from the Rug Company and the one on the bedroom floor is the Overleaf, also by Marni. And don't get me started on all the gorgeous lamps!

Are you guys like me, do you sometimes find yourself being more occupied with the mise en scène of a film than the actual plot?

photo credit:
#1 & #2: Craig Blankenhorn via Stylist
#3: via Elle Decor

Monday, 27 June 2011

christmas in june part III

It's official, it's Christmas in June in our home. The mailman rang the bell this morning and brought me the book Larousse Gastronomique: The World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia. I think my first response was shock (it's so thick and heavy), then awe and respect.

Early in May the children received an Astrid Lindgren book package from the brother of my best friend (I blogged about it here) and it turns out that he had ordered this cookbook for me but something went wrong with the delivery. It has been lying in a Belgian post office for quite some time but now it's mine and oh it's gorgeous. I've never had a book like that; I feel like I'm ready to conquer the world or something!

All Mondays should start this way!

Enjoy your day everyone. Now I'm going to wash my floors after all the baking this weekend and then I'm soaking up the sun in 31°C out on the balcony all day, with my new book of course ... all my new books. I love Christmas in June, love it.

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt

Sunday, 26 June 2011

k&a recipe: banana muffins

Because all of a sudden the sun greeted us so kindly I decided to take a photo and post the banana muffins recipe on kitchen&aroma. I noticed from previous comments that many seem to like banana muffins. In our home, we simply love them.

Hubby just took the kids to the Nightingale Park so I'm using my quiet moment to make veggie chilli. Enjoy the rest of the day!

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt

busy bakin'

I'm busy in the kitchen, 40 banana muffins ready and about 30 to go. Well, we ate 2 each with the morning coffee and they were delicious, as always.

I hope you're enjoying a wonderful Sunday!

photo credit: LatteLisa

Friday, 24 June 2011

joy pockets

I cannot believe it's Friday already! Despite the rainy weather and occasional thunderstorms I've been enjoying a wonderful week. Well, if you had seen me yesterday when I came home after picking up the kids on my bicycle you probably would have thought that I swam home, but that's another story. One of the fun things this week has been choosing a book and DVD package from hubby and the kids for my upcoming birthday. Let me tell you, the Amazon basket is looking really good.

It's time for another joy pockets post. If you want to play along then join Monica at Bohemian Twilight. Joy pockets are the moments we cherish no matter what is going on in our lives and here are some of mine:

  • the new fuchsia on our balcony
  • turning on my Nikon
  • e-magazines that take your breath away, like Mowiekay
  • good recommendation reading lists
  • staying indoors during thunderstorms 
  • Jane Austen and chocolate
  • surprise croissants 
  • the sound of incoming mail
  • making pizza on Fridays with red wine and Adele in my ears
  • my five-year old's impossible math questions: "Mom, how much is purple + purple?" (The correct answer was 5. And no, I was not able to calculate that.) 

Have a fabulous Friday everyone!

photo credit: LatteLisa

Giveaway reminder:
Parisian Chic: A Style Guide
by Ines de la Fressange with Sophia Gachet
Enter before 30 June
Winner announced 1 July

Thursday, 23 June 2011

villa shopping

People, it's time to talk serious business! I need to find a way to come up with 79 million Danish kroner, the equivalent of about 10.6 million EUR / 9.5 million GBP / 15.1 million USD, and I need to do so quickly. I said quickly!

Why? Are you asking why? Hello, it's obvious! I need to buy this gorgeous villa, located in Hellerup in Denmark, just a short drive from Copenhagen. And yes, of course I'm buying it for all of us. It'll be our central blogging universe heaven.

Usually, I'm not a fan of big houses but this house is a dream house. Look at the architecture ... the windows ... the doors ... the view! Oh my goodness, this is just too good to be true. It was built in 1906 and they simply don't make houses like that anymore.


photo credit:

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

kirsten dunst & cover shoots

I didn't plan on writing a post on Kirsten Dunst; it sort of just happened today when I was thinking about fashion magazine covers and the overuse of celebrities on those covers. When I was a teenager American Vogue was one of my favourite magazines and it was always exciting to wait and see who'd be on the cover (no internet back then). I'm not against celebrity covers but with all respect for Anna Wintour I'm tired of not seeing a model on the cover of American Vogue. Come to think of it, when was the last time a model was on the cover, does anyone remember? Well, I stopped buying it a long time ago, except for the September issue. I'm probably one of the exceptions to the rule that celebrities sell better. I guess this is also one of the reasons why I've liked Vogue Paris; celebrities seldom appear on its cover.

Back to Kirsten Dunst. I don't know what it is but that girl has always appealed to me. Not only is she a talented actress, in my opinion she's also one of the celebrities that photographs amazingly. There are some gorgeous photo shoots featuring her and I picked four with this post. I have to add that I really like Dunst in the Bulgari Mon Jasmin Noir campaign; the ads are beautiful.

I think I first saw Dunst in Interview with the Vampire (1994) and I remember her vividly in Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides (1999) and opposite Julia Roberts in Mona Lisa Smile (2003). I was glad when she won the Best Actress category at the Cannes Film Festival this year for her role in Melancholia (2011), which I still haven't seen. I also haven't seen All Good Things (2010) but I'm waiting for that film to appear on the VOD.

What about you guys, do you have any celebrity favourites when it comes to fashion magazine covers?

photo credit:
#1: Norman Jean Roy for Teen Vogue (Nov 2006) | styled by Havana Laffitte
 #2: Simon Lekias for BlackBook (Jan 2011)| styled by Christopher Campbell
#3: David LaChapelle for Rolling Stone (May 2002)
#4: Mario Testino for V Magazine (Spring 2010) | styled by Nicola Formichetti

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

one year

I'm off to a café with a friend, with latte and good food on my mind. There are clouds but the sun is also shining. It's exactly one year since we arrived in Belgium. Hubby is working and the children at school so it's my job to take care of the celebration, wink.

Have a fabulous day everyone!

photo credit:
unknown source via Pinterest

Monday, 20 June 2011

chanel summer

When I see that Chanel ad and makeup video I just want to put a flower in my hair and feel the sun on my face, but Antwerp is offering nothing but clouds these days. Well, yesterday we had a bit of sun and it felt so wonderful to sit out on the balcony and read. As some of you probably remember I've been reading a biography of Coco Chanel so the two Cs have been on my mind. I was looking at old Chanel ads and campaigns when I found this video, a short interview with Peter Philips, the creative director of Chanel makeup. Antwerp is his hometown and he talks a little bit about his background. He also gives a peak into Coco's apartment at 31 Rue Cambon, which has been kept exactly as it was on the day she passed away, 10th January 1971.

I hope you are enjoying a sunny Monday!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

sunday peace

Sunday is my favourite day of the week; I absolutely love Sundays, so I wish I could tell you that we enjoyed one of those wonderful Sunday mornings with coffee and croissants. Well, the coffee was there and the croissants too, as good as ever, but I don't know what happened to the children. They were totally crazy! Is today some universal children irritation day that no one told me about? Hubby ordered them to clean their bedrooms and take a bath and then he would take them to see a film. I cannot wait for my quiet moment later today. I'll be relaxing on my chaise lounge with Jane Austen in hand, enjoying the Sunday peace I long for.

How is your Sunday going?

photo credit:
top-left: {JooJoo}on Flickr
top-right: Whole Living
(with a little help from Pinterest)

Saturday, 18 June 2011


Another history lesson for you guys. In April we visited the Lion's Mound of Waterloo, a monument dedicated to the soldiers who died in the Battle of Waterloo, which took place on this day, 18 June, in the year 1815. It's one of the greatest battles in the history of Europe. It symbolizes the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte as the emperor of France; marks the end of his brief second reign, usually referred to as the Hundred Days period. Napoleon had been in exile on the island of Elba in the Mediterranean but he managed to escape and marched to Paris where he set up a new regime after King Louis XVIII had fled. Napoleon's army was defeated at Waterloo and he died in exile on the island of St Helena on 5 May 1821. 

If you find yourself in Belgium, please visit Waterloo (south of Brussels). The view from the Lion's Mound is worth the walk up the 226 steps and the soreness you feel in your muscles the next days.

And here is ABBA, perfect for this post.

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt