17/10/2018

LIFESTYLE | The Best Things To Do In The Autumn


No pumpkin spice lattes will be involved in this post.

It would be very difficult for me to pick a favourite season. I love them all, and each season brings a new mindset, new hobbies, and every time I find new things to make me happy. Autumn is here, and now that the leaves have turned orange and scarves are out, it is time for me to share with you what is making me happy this autumn.
These past few weeks I have been feeling very creative, and I fuel this creativity as much as possible. It makes me appreciate the present moment even more, and experience this season in a totally different way. So without further ado, here are my favourite things to do this autumn...

Turn on the lights
The most depressing thing about the end of the year is that days are shorter and it gets dark very early in the day. A lack of light may make you feel unmotivated, sleepy, moody... So my best tip when autumn arrives is to turn the lights on! You can find really cheap fairy lights in Primark, and adding a couple of strings of fairy light in your room can be a game-changer. Think about where you want to put them too: around your bed and your desk are the best areas, because it is where you need a lot of light. Everything will feel so cosy and special!

Go outdoors
In the autumn, we should appreciate the days where it's not grey and rainy. This is why whenever the sun is out, and lets out that beautiful, golden light, we should run outside and enjoy it! There is nothing more satisfying that the autumn sun. It always feels like a privilege when you have a sunny and (somewhat) warm autumn day, and there are so many things to do outside at those times: leave and pine cone picking, walking in the park, a day trip (Winchester and Wells, UK are awesome cities to see in the autumn) or even, if the cold doesn't bother you at all, a picnic in the park with warm drinks and comforting foods!


My favourite places to go around London in the autumn time are the outside area of Covent Garden (you can always pop in Whittard's for a warm tea or delicious hot chocolate!), St James' Park and the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park. Autumn colours, and squirells galore!

Play with makeup
The autumn is my favourite season to play with makeup. It makes me want to get out all my dark lipsticks, my shimmery eye shadows and it gives me inspiration to create new looks. Often in the spring and summer I prefer lighter makeup looks, but in the autumn, my Naked palette is out again, and so are my glitter nail polishes! It is also a good self-care moment, - am I the only to feel like applying makeup is super relaxing?


I will soon be creating a blog post all about my favourite autumn look this year. Every year, I create a new makeup look on the blog. You can have a look at my previous looks by following these links: my 2015 autumn lookmy 2016 look and last year's more subtle look!

Take it slow
While in the summer we tend to be outside all the time, staying out for hours in the evening, going for drinks and spending a lot of time socializing, to me autumn is a time of centering yourself back. Find the time to listen to yourself, do things on your own a bit more, spend a rainy day at home relaxing and practicing mindfulness. There is nothing wrong with stopping from time to time, and letting go of the fear of missing out (but that is a whole other topic...)
My top tips? Spend a few hours doing exactly what you want. And if that means watching a silly TV show to get your mind off stress, then do it. Do something relaxing.


Since September, I have started stretching out once or twice a day, in little fifteen-minute sessions. I put on relaxing meditation music (you can find lots of these videos on YouTube) and think about nothing. It helps me unwind, especially before I go to bed. At this time of year, we can start to be tired. We have accomplished a lot, we have spent busy months working and enjoy holidays, and to make it through to these last days of December, we need pick-me-ups. Read books, watch comforting shows or films, cook hearty foods, and don't rush when you take time for yourself. You deserve it. Make it a weekly thing that you look forward to. And just like that, autumn will have flown by - and you'll be ready to attack winter strong!

What are your favourite things to do in the autumn?
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06/10/2018

FASHION | Why You Should Wear What You Want


Especially if it involves cute animal prints.

This post is inspired by an old story of mine. A few years ago, possibly four or five years, when I was in high school, me and a friend spent a lot of our free time browsing the shops after school. One day, we went into an Etam store (it is a French brand, but still linked here if you are curious). I found the most adorable long-sleeved shirt. It was soft, cream-coloured, and best of all: it has tiny sausage dogs all over it. Now, I swooned over the shirt, but as I showed it enthusiastically to my friend, she said it was kind of ridiculous. Don't worry, she's great though and I am happy to say we are still friends to this day (and she still questions my fashion choices from time to time.)
For a few weeks, I debated whether I should get the shirt or not. My heart said yes, my friend's advice was no. I ended up never getting the shirt. And as sad as it may be, I still think about this cute little sausage dog shirt from time to time, mentally slapping myself for not getting it because I would still love it today.
I wanted it, it made me happy, and these I think are pretty good reasons to wear something. That it makes me feel happy and confident.


So when I saw this cute pug blouse in Bershka, I fell in love instantly. I mean, tiny little pugs hiding behind the stripes of the shirt and showing their butts, what else could I ask for? So I decided to get it straight away. However, as I was trying it out, I thought about the pros and cons (well, more the cons) of wearing this shirt. Am I too old to wear a shirt with pugs on? Will I look silly? Will it clash with my usual style?
Then I checked myself and realised that the second-thoughts I had were nonsensical. I was held back by what others might think about what I wear - which, in my book, is the silliest thing to worry about. We feel our most confident when we wear outfits we like, that bring out our identity and allow us to express ourselves. The way we dress can be part of who we are. So, as we should never be afraid to show our personality and our true selves to those we interact with, we should never refrain from wearing the clothes we enjoy, and that would make us comfortable and happy. I smile every time I see this little shirt, and will keep wearing it. So if you like wearing all the colours of the rainbow, do it. If you want to wear all black all the time, go ahead. And if you like shirts with quirky animals all over, wear them too. We would twin and that would be awesome. 


What is the one outfit you have that makes you happy?
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26/09/2018

TRAVEL | How To Spend 48H in Brugge, Belgium


My best tips to explore this chocolate box town.

Last August, my boyfriend and I took a little trip to Brugge. This adorable town is located on the Dutch part of Belgium, and I had seen many a beautiful photo of the place. I had also read Gabrielle's praise on her blog (A Glass of Ice) of how Brugge was a lovely city for a European break. And I can now say, after spending two lovely days there, that it is definitely a gorgeous place to see.
Without further ado, here are my top tips to spend 48 hours in Brugge:

TRY SOME OF THE BEST FOOD (RESTAURANT TIPS BELOW!)
The holy trinity of food in Brugge is as follows: French fries, waffles, chocolate. So of course, my boyfriend and I tried all three of them. Eating in Brugge is a tad expensive - in general, I think that Brugge is not really a budget-friendly town, but you do get what you pay for. The place I loved the most, and where we went on our first afternoon there, is the Old Chocolate House. It is a chocolate shop downstairs, and you have to go upstairs to the tea room to have the most wonderful choice of hot chocolate I have ever seen. I picked the Ecuador chocolate, '70.4% cocoa with fruity accents, hints of coffee and rum'. Heaven in a bowl! You are given a little tray with a chocolate basket made of chocolate and full of chocolate buttons. You have to pour the chocolate baskets into a bowl of hot milk and stir it until the chocolate dissolves. The whole experience is really fun, and the menu is quite extensive, from darks to milk and white chocolate. You even have fruity ones!

The Old Chocolate House
Mariastraat 1a, 8000 Brugge


French fries (let's forget about the controversial name here...) can be found everywhere in Brugge, from sit-down restaurants to little takeaway places where you can get them as a snack. We personally decided to pay a visit to the Potato Bar, a hip place where, you guessed it, the specialty is potatoes. You can choose between three portion sizes, but the best things is the toppings. They make a real change from your plain ketchup and mayonnaise dips! I picked the truffle mayonnaise (a generous serving of creamy mayonnaise, with truffles and beetroot) while my boyfriend got a beef stew topping. Pick the smaller size serving, it is more than enough for one meal - unless you are really hungry.

Sint-Amandsstraat 31, 8000 Brugge


I won't go into too much detail about waffles - you can find them pretty much everywhere, they are all super yummy and they will be your afternoon sweet snack of choice if you visit Brugge - trust me!
The last place I wanted to mention is Salade Folle (which means Crazy Salad in French): a lovely, healthy food restaurant with serious Instagram vibes. I mean, my salad looked like a work of art. It is not the cheapest place to go, however you do get excellent food for the price you pay. 

Salade Folle
Walplein 13, 8000 Brugge


On a side-note, if you like toast - and like taking pictures of cute cafés even more than you like toast - head to That's Toast to try out one of their compositions. It's all toast, and it's yummy. Be there early though as it gets crowded very quickly and you may have to queue to be seated after 10 am.
Another thing to know is that restaurants in Brugge (I can't talk for the rest of Belgium though) don't have tap water. They will give you a glass bottle if you ask for water. One thing I've noticed, is that all restaurants generally have one beer on the menu that's cheaper than water... Just sayin'.

TAKE A BREWERY TOUR
If you have as little as 48 hours in a new place, I would recommend doing one thing that you wouldn't do anywhere else. For us, it was a brewery tour! De Halve Maan (The Half Moon) is an old brewery and pub that everybody knows in Brugge. They have been brewing their own beers for centuries, and you can learn all about the process during a brewery tour.


For 10€ per person, you get a guided tour as well as a coupon for one of their ales, the Brugse Zot, to try any time you wish after the tour is completed. No matter whether you are a beer geek or not, I would highly recommend this tour. Even my boyfriend, who does not drink, loved it. Great value for money, and it makes a change from your usual museum! 
Bonus point: during the tour you get to climb to the roofs of the brewery, and get a beautiful panoramic view of Brugge. 


WALK AROUND THE FAIRYTALE STREETS
My favourite thing in Brugge was to explore. It's a small town, so you can do everything by foot - or in a carriage drawn by horses if you're feeling fancy. My boyfriend and I had the best time walking around and just taking in the view. The place we liked most was the little quarter tucked away behind the Brugge Cathedral - just meander around the streets, and on a Friday afternoon, everything was so quiet that we could hear a pin drop...


Some of the landmarks you don't want to miss are the Markt, Brugge's market place, where you can see the Belfort. The bell rings every day and plays a long tune, which at first feels special, and after a while gets slightly annoying as it tingles in your ears. Trust me, that bell never stops. 
There are plenty of restaurants all around the market place, which we did not try, but I drooled more than once over the beauty of the buildings themselves. I mean...


Generally speaking, once you get outside of the main streets (where all the shops and restaurants are) you will find that Brugge is very quiet and relaxing. Go for a walk along the canal, find the prettiest houses on the outskirts, and don't stick with the town centre only - getting away from the crowds always feel like you're discovering the town as it really is.
There are other beautiful spots in Brugge that I will share in other posts, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

THE DO'S AND DON'TS
There are a few other things visitors to Brugge should know. The first one is a practical tip for you to survive: be careful with cars and bikes. I am under the impression that drivers on any type of vehicles in Brugge don't really care about pedestrians. There isn't a lot of cars driving around so you may well end up walking on the road or on the pavement regardless, but make sure you always check around you - most especially for bikes. People love bikes there. Dutch influence I assume!
Last but not least, I had to make a note on the churches in Brugge. I adore visiting churches. Whenever I go somewhere new in Europe, I look for the churches because they are often a museum in themselves. My boyfriend and I visited three religious landmarks in Brugge, and I have to say, I was far from impressed. The Basilica of the Holy Blood claims to possess a relic of the Blood of Christ. I was expecting a lot from the architecture and art inside the churches but each time I was disappointed. I would say none of them are a must to visit - however, you will see that the outside structures of all the churches are stunning. The bell towers are so high in the sky, and the doors and facades are beautiful and intricate, but that is where it stops. I am finishing on a little downer, I know, but I had to share my thoughts on that side too. But I may be a little picky - I do like my dramatic, baroque Italian churches thus I am a little biased...

Have you been to Brugge? What is the cutest town you've ever visited?
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