Friday, 30 September 2011

middelheim museum

I'm already in love with Antwerp but there are moments when I fall a little bit more in love. Yesterday I experienced one of those moments, in the Middelheim Park, which is almost at my doorstep. It's separated from the Nightingale Park with only one cobblestone street. Middelheim Park is an open-air museum, a beautiful park with about 400 sculputures. The first international exhibition was held there in 1950 and yesterday they were wrapping up one by the Austrian Erwin Wurm (the boat and pumpkin head are his).

First I took a long stroll in the Park with my camera. The weather was beautiful, sunny and 26°C. Afterwards I sat down under a tree at the Park's café with a glass of rosé. It was precisely at that moment that I fell more in love. Moving here is probably one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. It's sort of my motto in life to remain detached but I think I'm failing big time when it comes to Antwerp. I guess Antwerp attachment is not really so bad.

Have a fabulous Friday!

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt

Thursday, 29 September 2011

antwerp angles

Today I'm showing you a few places in my adopted city Antwerp and giving you a short history lesson (you love those, don't you!). The monument above is called Schelde Vrij (Free Scheldt) and is located on Marnixplaats square in the Zuid district (close to Volkstraat which I've already told you about: part 1, part 2). It was installed in 1873, ten years after the Belgians and Dutch had reached a settlement over the control of the Scheldt River. Antwerp had been occupied by Spain in 1585, so the Dutch blocked the river and cut off access to the city. Smart people the Dutch! After the Peace Treaty of Münster in 1648, which ended the Eighty Years' War between Spain and the Netherlands, the Dutch didn't quite let go of their control of the river. They imposed a levy on all ships sailing to Antwerp, which limited its growth. But in 1863 a settlement was reached and everyone lived happily ever after.

When Antwerp fell in 1585 its mayor was Marnix van St. Aldegonde, hence the location on Marnixplaats. The monument itself is 20 meters high (66 ft). The guy at the top with the trident in his right hand is Neptune himself, god of the sea, and by his sides are Mercury, god of trade, and a kneeling woman that represents the city of Antwerp. Behind them is a small boy. In the last photo of that section you can see one of the water gods spouting Scheldt River water. The architect was Jan Jacob Winders (1849-1936), who also designed the exterior of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts.

Now let's get some coffee, shall we.

The above photos were taken this summer during one of our many visits to Café Wattman in another part of the city (I've told you about it before). We like to go there for a burger and/or latte. It's wonderful to sit outside in good weather but it can be rather noisy because of the railway tracks and traffic – industrially cosy.

Let's jump on a tram and head to Groenplaats square, shall we.

I've often mentioned Groenplaats in my posts, for the simple reason that I like to stay in that area of the city. By the square you'll find many cafés and restaurants, for example PAUL. Some of you may be familiar with that patisserie, which seems to be everywhere in the world. Behind it is the Cathedral of Our Lady, which I'll show you more of very soon.

I'm off to the Park. Have a wonderful day!

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

a parisian loft

A loft in Paris ... yes please, when can I move in? Love the custom-made bookshelves and the floor material is right up my alley. Nice!

It was one of my New Year's resolutions to make it to Paris this year but I think that's the only one I have to break. (Hubby, are you reading this? Surprise me, please surprise me!) But I have probably bookmarked like 50 hotels and considering everything I want to see I'll need to spend at least three months there! Three months in Paris – doesn't that sound wonderful?

We're enjoying Indian summer in Antwerp and it's beautiful. Yesterday the kids and I went to the Park after school and soaked up the sun. Wherever you are I hope the weather is treating you nicely!

photo credit:
Cyrille Robin for Marie Claire Maison

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

black & white

It was either posting this now or spending the rest of the day trying to find the source for that gorgeous photo of Anne Hathaway. Some of you must know the source; I'm counting on you! How awesome is that quote? Anyone who knows where it comes from? I've seen a few websites saying it's from Mark Twain but not according to my sources. And yes, that song is from the One Day trailer; I can hardly put that book down!

I'm off to the kitchen to make cinnamon buns. I did a little experiment on Sunday with yeast free ones and they tasted so good. I have to make them like 2-3 times before I share the recipe with you on kitchen & aroma – maybe next week.

Have a fine Tuesday!

photo credit:
top-left: unknown source
top-right: Elle Arden
bottom-left: unknown source
bottom-right: Vintage Indie
with a little help from Pinterest

YouTube: OneRepublic / Good Life

Monday, 26 September 2011

welcoming rooms

I was sitting here on my chaise lounge with a blanket, enjoying Irish coffee with hubby and reading (I just started One Day by David Nicholls – very gripping). I was also contemplating what to post. On my mind were cosy and welcoming rooms, rooms that let in light and this is what I found in my inspiration folder.

Now I'm off to check out your blogs. Enjoy the rest of the day!

photo credit:
#1: via Bolaget
#2: unknown source
#3: Rue magazine via decor8

Saturday, 24 September 2011

that is home

Whether you're celebrating autumn or spring, going somewhere or staying home, have a wonderful weekend!

photo credit:
left: vol25 on Etsy
with a little help from Pinterest

Friday, 23 September 2011

i take tea my dear

Unlike the guy in Sting's Englishman in New York lyrics I take both coffee and tea and I'm fine with toast done on both sides (with cheese and organic raspberry jam, please). And yes, I would be an Icelander-living-in-Belgium in New York.

I don't know what it is but Sting's song always comes to mind when I take black tea. It's only September and I'm enjoying a Christmas Kusmi Tea blend. Yes, I said Christmas. It's a blend of China teas with scents of orange, almond, rose, vanilla and spices. It was a gift from Tina at Vintage-kompagniet blog that I've been saving. Until now I've only opened the beautiful metal tin to enjoy the aroma but now it's in my cup with just a touch of raw cane sugar. Such a wonderful gift!

For the rest of the day I'm doing absolutely nothing except replying emails and reading. The home is clean so I don't have to do anything, not even pick up the kids. Hubby is taking care of that and he'll also bring home plenty of mozzarella and red wine. You see, it's Friday which in our home means home-made pizza and good music.

Have a fabulous Friday everyone and listen to Sting when he sings be yourself no matter what they say! Well, even the best of writers have to be edited so sometimes it helps to be an edited version of oneself. And make sure your cover looks good! wink

photo credit: LatteLisa

YouTube: Sting / Englishman in New York

Thursday, 22 September 2011

oscar de la renta spring/summer 2012

I don't want to drown you with runway photos but I need to post some of the NYFW gorgeousness. One of my all time favourites this year was Oscar de la Renta; he had me at that first marigold silk taffeta gown. Look at the details of the black tulle floral embroidered caraco – this is art! (You can view his taffeta gowns in emerald and tomato if you click the Vogue US link below). Words aren't really needed here, I find his entire spring/summer 2012 collection incredibly beautiful and the above photos are just a small part of the beauty.

The name of Oscar de la Renta always reminds me of the SATC scene where Carrie and Aleksandr Petrovsky are talking on the sofa, she reading 'her Oscar de la Renta dress poetry' from Vogue. Then he says: "Oscar is a good friend of mine, I'll tell him you like the dress." She goes: "Oscar? You call him Oscar?" And Petrovsky answers: "That's his name, isn't it?" Priceless.

I'm off to meet my girls. We got a lunch date at a café called De Cafetaria, which I've never tried before. Have a wonderful day everyone!

photo credit:
Marcio Madiera for Vogue US