Saturday, 31 December 2011

happy new year - gleðilegt nýtt ár

How festive are these photos of model Daga Ziober, shot by Sebastian Kim for the January 2012 issue of Vogue Germany? I love the mood; perfect for New Year's.

So, the final day of the year is upon us. I'm soon off to the kitchen to start preparing our turkey meal which I love putting my heart into. I feel blessed having children that enjoy eating, savouring every mouthful. No need worrying about leftovers in this home.

Today I decided to share with you some of my favourite links posted by wonderful blog friends in December 2011. I could have made this list much longer but I narrowed it down to nine. Here they appear in random order:

  • Nicole at La Buena Vida brought her camera and talent to the West Village
  • Helen at The Style Schedule enchanted me with the Eiffel Tower
  • Milla at Not Just Another Milla touched my heart with her LatteLisa praise
  • Ada at Classiq shared with us a beautiful bookshop in Bucharest
  • Natalie at Fashioned by Love shared a stunning wintry editorial featured in the latest issue of Tatler Russia
  • Rachel at Little Bits of Lovely posted her 2011 favourite red carpet looks and I loved the blue Burberry worn by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
  • Sarah at Haute Design's 'In Spirit of Kindness' posts were beautiful and I especially liked the photos in the one called Invitation
  • Eleni at My Paradissi shared a living room with a gorgeous colour palette
  • Signe at SignePling swept me off my feet with her green 'Monday Morning Random' post

Happy New Year dear blog friends and followers, may 2012 bring you all the happiness and luck you deserve!

I'll be back on Monday.

photo credit:
Sebastian Kim for Vogue Germany

Friday, 30 December 2011

fashion friday - marion cotillard

I thought this gorgeous photo of Marion Cotillard by Ellen von Unwerth would put you in the right celebration gear. Do you have any big plans for New Year's? Tomorrow we're having another turkey feast, as we did on Christmas Day, but it'll just be the five of us; we're not doing any partying. I'm even predicting hubby will be snoring before midnight but I'm staying up late with the kids. They love seeing some fireworks. As there isn't much of those where we live, we can watch the firework madness in Reykjavik, Iceland online. You wouldn't believe me if I told you about it so just see for yourself and note the time difference. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Have you seen the Lady Dior comedy starring Marion Cotillard? It's called L.A.dy Dior directed by John Cameron Mitchell and it's fun and fantastic. It was inspired by this Lauren Hutton piece from 1973, directed by Richard Avedon.

Have a fabulous Friday!

photo credit:
Ellen von Unwerth for Tatler, June 2010

Thursday, 29 December 2011

quality morning

I've been enjoying a quality morning with hubby, as I call mornings spent in peace and quietness with the children still asleep. We were up at six-thirty after a good night's rest and have been sipping our coffee, reading the news, browsing through magazines and reading books in complete stillness. I love mornings like that.

I wish I had become a morning person earlier in life. I used to be such a night owl and sometimes I almost look back in shame thinking of the time I wasted, the pointless TV shows I watched, etc. I'm never getting that time back so to make up for it I, at some point, started going early to sleep and rising early.

I hope you've been enjoying wonderful holidays. Mine were relaxing with plenty of good food. I didn't let the flu ruin my festive mood or appetite. We watched all the Lord of the Rings films for the 100th time or whatever. We got so excited when we saw The Hobbit trailer that we had to make popcorn and forget ourselves in the world of Middle Earth. I'm predicting more moments like that in 2012 until we'll be able to see the first film. How awesome they're making two Hobbit films!

I want to end this post by thanking my blog friend Anait at Cap Ou Pas Cap, also known as my Paris obsession soulmate, for the book she sent me, Pastry Paris: In Paris everything looks like dessert by Susan Hochbaum. It was such a wonderful surprise Christmas present.

Enjoy your day!

photo credit:
Laurent Durand and Christophe Rouffio

Saturday, 24 December 2011

merry christmas – gleðileg jól

¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Merry Christmas ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Joyeux Noël ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸. Zalig Kerstfeest ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Feliz Navidad ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ Fröliche Weihnachten ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Buone Feste Natalizie ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Gleðileg jól ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪

As I write this I'm setting the table and listening to our Christmas songs playlist. The Christmas present to myself after days of dealing with the flu is not ironing the tablecloth. wink No one will notice when it gets darker and no one in our home really cares. Everything that needs to be ready for Christmas Eve dinner is ready. We're having smoked lamb, which is an Icelandic tradition, and I must add that the children are more excited about the smoked lamb than the presents. I'm not kidding; they love it.

Dear blog friends and followers, I hope you have wonderful holidays ahead of you. May peace and happiness fill your days. Christmas greetings from Antwerp.

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt

Friday, 23 December 2011

large christmas card

I was looking at my calendar and thinking, and kind of hoping too, that it was wrong. Christmas Eve tomorrow? Can it be? I was feeling so out of touch with everything so my sore throat and I decided to go grocery shopping with hubby. As we were picking the turkey for Christmas Day, the sweet potatoes, pecans, and everything that goes with it, I think I connected with my Christmas spirit again. Just the idea of knowing that ahead are days of delicious and mouth-watering food lifted my spirits.

Speaking of food. Christel at Captivated by Image (currently on a blog break but will soon be rejoining blogosphere) got my address to send me a Christmas card. When the card arrived in a big box I thought to myself that either Christel had taken her card writing to a much larger level or that she was surprising me with something. I found a copy of the Dutch foodies magazine in the box and I'm drooling over its pages. I only wish I could understand more but I have three young translators so I'm good. Thank you so much Christel, how well you know me!

I hope you're enjoying a wonderful last day before Christmas!

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt

Thursday, 22 December 2011

romantic christmas

Another inspiration from France, a romantic Christmas theme. I love the contrast of the raw tablecloth and delicate glassware on the dining table.

It seems like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe baubles in my last post were quite a hit. Unfortunately, I don't know where you can buy them, probably in some vintage shop in Paris.

Things are the same on the Flemish front. Yes, I'm still in bed; the last phase, hopefully, of this flu is a wonderful sore throat (the positive adjective is sarcasm, in case you didn't get that). It would have been nice to get a haircut and buy the rest of the things I wanted to buy, but I'm not going anywhere.

This post's Christmas song is my favourite Icelandic version of O holy night, performed by Egill Olafsson. I hope you are enjoying these last days before Christmas!

photo credit:
Christophe Rouffio for Art & Décoration

YouTube: Egill Ólafsson / Ó helga nótt

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

noël blanc

A little French Christmas theme on this last Tuesday before Christmas. How are you doing? Thank you for all your kind get well wishes. I'm still in bed but about one hour ago I honestly think I felt some kind of shift. I'm predicting that I'll be back to my usual self on Thursday. I'm dreaming of the moment where I sit down at the dining table and dip a biscotti into my latte again.

Enjoy your day!

photo credit:
unknown source

YouTube: Vox Angeli / Noël blanc

Monday, 19 December 2011

rose christmas

Still trying as best as I can to hold on to the holiday spirit but the way I feel now I just want to postpone Christmas until New Year's. Yeah, even Boney M didn't work! I'm still in bed ... coughing like a moron. I want my sense of smell and taste back; I want my appetite back! Let's see if the combination of rose pink from Marie Claire idées and Coldplay is the miracle cure I'm looking for. I've heard them perform this song in concert so it always brings back good memories.

Have a wonderful Monday!

photo credit:
1, 2, 3, 4 - Marie Claire idées

YouTube: Coldplay / Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Sunday, 18 December 2011

pretty christmas tables

I think I've established the fact on my blog that I like decorated tables. In my opinion, beautiful glasses can take a table setting to the next level. Look at the photos above and picture in your mind plain and simple glasses instead of the ones there and you'll know instantly what I'm getting at. Of course beautiful plates and cutlery play a key role, and the decoration itself, but I'm always drawn to the glasses; they seem to be the first thing that catches my attention. Show me coloured engraved wine glasses, like the red one in the first photo, and I go weak in my knees ... seriously! I once had similar ones in olive green and they were so pretty. I've been searching for glasses like that but the stem always seems to be too long for my taste.

On a personal note, I've been sick in bed since Friday but today I'm feeling slightly better (thank God for tea tree and eucalyptus radiata essential oils). This is one nasty flu and it's completely ruining my Christmas mood. I'm not trying to gain your sympathy, just please take good care of yourself if you have any flu-like symptoms. My advice is to stay in bed and do nothing.

Perhaps Boney M will get me into the groove again. Wishing you a beautiful Sunday!

photo credit:

 YouTube: Boney M / Feliz Navidad

Friday, 16 December 2011

cosy & warm homes

I haven't abandoned the Christmassy posts with the Christmas songs; I simply don't want to overdo them, as there are followers out there who aren't quite feeling the holiday spirit ... yet. Here is hoping!

These days I'm in the mood for cosy, comfortable and homey interiors. I think it's the fact that I'm still, yes still, fighting a cold and I find it best to spend as much time as I can on my chaise lounge under a blanket, with candlelights in sight. I was coughing like an idiot earlier this morning so hubby ordered me to pour Cointreau in a glass (the only strong liquor in the casa). It seems to be working. Maybe I should become a more active drinker!

These images are from various homes, except the last four, the smaller ones, which were taken in designer Billy Reid's decorated home in Alabama. I love the piece of furniture – the desk – in the photo to the right. The simple decoration on the desk is so beautiful and the entire space is very inviting. In Reid's home I'm fascinated with the 19th-century English sideboard that holds their antique plates collection. And that photo with the mixed plates makes me swoon. I know; I'm a sucker for pretty table settings.

Have a healthy and fabulous Friday!

photo credit:
2: Mikkel Vang for House Beautiful
3: Simon Upton for House Beautiful
4-7: Justin Bernhaut for Country Living

Thursday, 15 December 2011

desk talk

These photos are from a Californian home with Tuscan accents featured in Architectural Digest, the interior design is by The Wiseman Group. I fell for the photo of that beautiful desk with the 16th-century painting hanging above it. In my opinion, it's not often that desks work in living rooms but when they do there really is something wonderful about them; a desk gives some kind of security. This home feels somehow solid to me, if you know what I mean. It's like no matter what is happening in the exterior world, this home will always stay the same. I like that feeling.

The photo of the dining room below is actually a before photo. The room was changed as it was thought to be too spacious but I like the before-look much better. I have mentioned it in an earlier post that I love using a desk instead of a bedside table as in the first bedroom photo below (also a before-look). I've been thinking about doing this in our bedroom but first I'll have to find the right desk. Look at all the stacks of books on the table – I love that! And I love the chair too.

Happy Thursday to all of you!

photo credit:
(1-2) Tim Street-Porter for Architectural Digest
before photography (3-5) by Jamie Hadley

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

a trip to illums bolighus

It's almost Christmas, which means that my mind tends to drift to Copenhagen ... a lot. I've said it before that December in Copenhagen is a wonderful time of the year; everything looks so festive. If I were in Copenhagen today I'd head straight to Illums Bolighus on Strøget (the main shopping street) to view – and hopefully to buy – Scandinavian design. It's definitely my favourite shop in the city. Afterwards I'd sit down at a nice café or restaurant, continuing to dream about the beautiful design.

So, today I'm doing a bit of imaginary shopping. With plenty of cash in my wallet this is just a small portion of what I would buy: 

  • Cocoon bowls and vases in black glass with white glass inside from Holmegaard. Design: Peter Svarrer - maybe I would choose another colour but the black ones have that perfect classic look
  • Etagere 3 layer from Royal Copenhagen
  • Dania teak boxes from TripTrap
  • Tivoli Audio Music System - we have a radio from them and we love it
  • Cocoon tealight holders in various colours from Holmegaard. Design: Peter Svarrer
  • Miniature versions in pink of Arne Jacobsen's the Ant and the Number Seven chairs from 1:6 DESIGN - I would buy a miniature of the Egg chair too
  • Uten Silo storage system in ABS plastic from Vitra Design Museum. Design: Dorothee Becker – a white one for me, please
  • Leather baskets with white stiches from Ørskov. Design: Jørgen Møller – I would choose a brown one

Is there a city in the world, which you especially connect with this time of the year?

Yesterday I took an unplanned break from blogosphere. I had to run some errands and when I got home I simply decided to keep the day blog free. I didn't view one single blog and that hasn't happened since I started blogging. As I was busy on Monday I'm afraid to open my Bloglovin' right now; I think the number of unread posts will bring on a panic attack!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

photo credit:
all images from the website of
Illums Bolighus

Monday, 12 December 2011

quick hello

Some time ago I found this cute Advent calendar on the website of Marie Claire idées and I liked the idea of using vintage postcards. I wouldn't mind having something like that on a beautiful table in my hallway.

I have a precious role today, I'm taking care of a 10 months old boy who is now sound asleep in our son's bed. I have spent the morning playing and singing for him in Icelandic on the living room floor. He is fascinated with the lights on the Christmas tree (evidently it did pay off decorating it so early) but he can't stand the sight of hubby, haha. Hubby is usually very good with children but this little fellow is not giving him a break just yet.

Now it's time to enjoy some coffee before my little friend wakes up. Enjoy your day!

photo credit:

Sunday, 11 December 2011

the place mats

Our younger daughter turned ten years old today (thank you for the birthday wishes!). Yesterday I told you about my place mats idea. I bought neutral ones in IKEA and asked the girls to colour them for the party. Our birthday girl is all about hippos, they are her favourite animals and she draws them all the time. As you can see, she is very artistic. I love her attention to details; she doesn't need to have a picture of hippos in front of her when drawing them. That actually applies to everything she draws. In her mind hippos are very innocent animals and full of love, not the aggressive creatures they actually are. She's often asked us for one as a pet! A hippo in our home would be quite a sight, I guess.

She drew the cat for her friend who is a cat lover and our older daughter drew the ship for her brother (believe me, that ship has now been smeared with lasagne and chocolate tray bake!). The birthday party is over now and it was quiet and lovely.

I hope you're enjoying a lovely Sunday!

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt

Friday, 9 December 2011

christmas cottage

Who's with me to this gorgeous cottage? We've talked about the option of renting a cottage over Christmas but I need a guarantee that everything will be spotless (I believe it's my constitutional right ... and if it isn't, it should be!) and that the kitchen has a clean oven and contains everything I need to prepare the Christmas meals. And I'm not talking about pots, pans and spoons only; I need a food processor and the whole kitchen appliance package! And a fireplace! (Yeah, I'm demanding, just let it go will ya!) It's so easy to post beautiful photos of something online and then offer the complete opposite and I'll let no one ruin my Christmas mood with that kind of marketing trick. So, if a cottage owner is reading this and can promise me what I ask for then I'm ready to spend Christmas 2012 in a cottage, hallelujah!

Have you ever rented a cottage over Christmas?

There were many interesting fragrance ideas in the comments yesterday, even mentioning of perfumes that I had totally forgotten about. Thank you. And yes, I'm feeling better, I still have a cold but I'm getting my groove back.

Have a fabulous Friday!

photo credit:
Spike Powell for Country Homes & Interiors

YouTube: She & Him / Rockin' around the Christmas tree
(she: Zooey Deschanel, he: M. Ward)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

lovely pieces

I found this photo some time ago on Eleni's blog, My Paradissi. I love the styling by Hans Blomquist; the furniture is so my taste. I like stripes but I would probably choose another rug. Well, let's say I'd use this one during spring/summer and choose a different one for autumn/winter.

Right now I'm turning off my computer, as I'm about to tackle 1000 lovely pieces of cute houses and houseboats in Amsterdam. Hubby brought home a few boxes of jigsaws and everyone is now busy on the living room floor fitting their pieces together. The silence is unbelievable.

I hope you're enjoying a wonderful Wednesday!

photo credit:
Hans Blomquist

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

evening post

It seldom happens that I blog in the evening but I had a busy day and simply wanted to say hi to you guys and leave you with a nice photo before going early to bed. We woke up earlier than usual so the children could open the presents from Sinterklaas, the Belgian Santa Claus. They had plenty of time to play with their new toys and we enjoyed a festive breakfast together before they went to school. It was a lovely morning but now I'm tired and unfortunately dealing with a cold, which I'm in no mood for in December.

Are you guys done with your Christmas shopping? We almost finished today and the rest is decided so we just have to pick those things up. I'm hoping to have everything wrapped by the weekend.

Well, I'm off to bed, I need to read at least one chapter in Dickens's Bleak House before I fall asleep – probably with the book on my face. I hope you all had a wonderful day! 

photo credit:
styling Lindsay Mens
Stacey Brandford for Canadian House & Home

Monday, 5 December 2011

fashion magazine talk

When shopping last Saturday we of course took our time in the magazine shop. I had seen these photos of model Karlie Kloss online but when I viewed the December issue of Vogue Germany I liked them even better; the colours and flowers fascinated me. So did the cute dog. (I guess more people are talking about her nude photo shoot for Italian Vogue.) In the shop I was looking for the new December issue of Vogue Paris because I wanted to view the David Bowie-like cover of Kate Moss, which I find so cool. Have you seen it?

I don't know about you, but these days I find that good editorials are hard to come by. I actually find it amazing how it's possible to turn beautiful clothing and makeup into something utterly dull, boring and uninspiring. Sometimes it feels like I'm looking at the same dress again and again. I say this with the deepest respect for designer Stella McCartney, but if I see one more editorial with one of her black polka-dot sheer knit dresses I'll start pulling out my hair!

To continue with this subject, can someone please tell me why the December issue of Marie Claire UK has the exact same Sarah Jessica Parker cover photo as the US September issue?!! I really want to know. I even read somewhere that the same photo was used for the Australian December issue as well. What kind of weird marketing tactic is that?

Okay, I'll stop talking about magazines.

Our home is already looking very Christmassy because yesterday the children decorated our tree. Some may find it a bit too early but tomorrow the Belgian Santa Claus will leave presents for them by the fireplace and we wanted the tree decorated before his arrival.

I'm off with hubby to do some Christmas shopping. I'll be reading your blogs when we come back home. Have a wonderful day!

photo credit:
Alexi Lubomirski for Vogue Germany

PS. Remember when I told you about the delicious biscotti with the dried cranberries? I'm happy to let you know that CafeSigrun has posted the recipe on her website. I borrowed the photo from her.