Monday, 31 October 2011

happy halloween!


It's a quiet Monday in my home. The girls are at a friend's house so it's only my boy and I relaxing as the children have an autumn break this week. Halloween is not a big thing in Belgium even though some kids do dress up. I'm going to carve a pumpkin later today to make the dining room a bit spooky before dinner.

Whether you are celebrating Halloween or not I hope you all have a wonderful Monday!

photo credit:
Mikkel Vang for Country Living


Sunday, 30 October 2011

cafés & magazines


I've been enjoying a very relaxing Sunday that started with freshly baked cinnamon buns and hot chocolate from Green & Black's. After that we relaxed with books and magazines. Our daughters were invited to a friend's house where they'll spend the night and have some Halloween fun. So, the three of us, i.e. the two men in my life and I, decided to check out another part of the city instead of going to a café in the city centre. We headed further north and went to ZUM, a café that opened last summer, very close to Park Spoor Noord. There has been much renovation in the area (the park is new) and it's said the Noord is the new up-and-coming neighbourhood in Antwerp. We had never been at ZUM before and I can highly recommend the place (I'll grab my camera with me next time). Of course I got latte and then I enjoyed a very good and fresh salmon sandwich – yummy.

Last Friday I did what I meant to do, got me the November issue of Vogue Paris. Well, when we told our boy to get ready he said to me: "Mum, you have plenty of magazines already!" That kid is smart ... way too smart! Of course I have plenty, especially after I got the stack from my aunt, but I wanted a new fashion magazine and something to practice my French, which pretty much sucks. I also got the November issue of the Belgian Elle Decoration, also in French. I haven't bought it before and I must say that I'm impressed. It'll take me quite some time to read through it, but it's filled with beautiful design and interesting stuff. Accompanying it was the first issue of Brussels Mag, a very trendy magazine, in French too, that was recently launched. It has e.g. a short piece on Diane von Furstenberg, who, in case you didn't know, was born in Brussels. The little guy got a Spiderman magazine and hubby got a cruising boat magazine so everyone was mag-happy.

And then something wonderful happened: I tasted the best latte I've ever tasted in my entire latte life! I'm not kidding. There is a place on Hopland street in Antwerp centre called Caffènation. Oh my god, the coffee they make is simply out-of-this-world good! It's a very raw place; it's all about the coffee. I'll photograph it later, I promise, because I'm definitely going there again and again and again. So, if you find yourself in Antwerp and you are serious about your coffee, this is the place to visit to get your caffeine fix.

I hope this Sunday has been treating you nicely!

photo credit: LatteLisa


Friday, 28 October 2011

céline fashion friday


Today I needed a dose of fashion and the colours of the Céline autumn/winter 2011 collection by Phoebe Philo seemed perfect. The photographs are from an editorial in the September 2011 issue of Vogue China. It's called 'A Journey to the Modern Classics' and features models Fei Fei Sun and Ming Xi, photographed by Stockton Johnson. The styling was in the hands of Kevin Chow. I like the simplicity; how the focus is on the beautiful clothes and accessories without any distracting props.


I feel the need to get out of the house so I'm thinking about a quick drive with the two men in my life into the city centre where I'll grab a latte and buy the November issue of Vogue Paris. Milla at Not Just Another Milla gave it such a good review so I'm thinking of giving it a chance. Bonne idée?!

Have a fabulous Friday!
photo credit:
Stockton Johnson for Vogue China

Thursday, 27 October 2011

emil the owl & magazines


I have the best aunt ever! Okay, I realize there are plenty of awesome aunts out there but mine is definitely in the top 10 on the list of awesome aunts around the world. Yesterday I found a huge envelope from her in the mail that contained these three Danish interior magazines and two Icelandic ones. That owl, called Emil, was included with the October 2011 issue of Bolig. It's the work of the Danish artist Anne-Sofie Holm, who's only 29, and it took her more than sixty hours to complete the illustration (she uses pens, colour pencils, water colours, gouache, poster paint and metallic colours).

Emil the owl will soon be in a frame on my wall. I love it! And I love my aunt!

This home is not quite done with illness. This morning our son was complaining about his jaw, close to the right ear, and at the breakfast table we literally watched the gland swell up. Hubby took him straight to the doctor and he has to stay home for at least three days. It's a bit scary to see how swollen his right side is right now – our poor boy! His lungs and ears are clean; it's only the throat. It seems to me that he's quite happy to be home because hubby doesn't have to go to work until Monday so our boy is getting plenty of attention from both of us.

So, in our home today it's mainly magazines, books, coffee and mandarin oranges, with Emil the owl watching over us. I hope you are enjoying a fine Thursday!

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

cushion found


I think the biscotti did wonders yesterday; the cold is no longer dominating my life and I'm feeling my right nostril again. I was feeling much better so I allowed myself to leave the house. Our boy needed a new coat for the winter so we decided to pay a short visit to Zara and H&M. We found a coat and bought something for all the kids. Afterwards hubby took them to a toy store so I could get some time alone in Zara Home. I found a velvet cushion, exactly the one I had in mind and now it's on my chaise lounge. So, here you have a sneak peek into my home, this is where I usually sit when I'm blogging.

The shopping trip made me feel the Christmas spirit; now I can't think of anything but tablecloths, napkins, gold rim glasses, plate chargers, etc. I'll probably go for blue and gold this Christmas. What about you guys, has the Christmas spirit got a hold of you yet? Let me add that yesterday I turned on the radio for the first time in probably months and they played Last Christmas with Wham. If that doesn't tell you that the holidays are almost upon us then I don't know what will!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

classy rustic


I managed to sleep for nine hours straight so today I'm feeling better. But I would like my right nostril back; I think it has gone missing. To feel a little like myself again I decided to embrace my kitchen and bake biscotti. The loaf is in the oven as I write this and my sense of smell is obviously back as I can feel the smell coming from the oven. I almost can't believe I'll be dipping biscotti into my latte again. I'm alive!

What do you think of that kitchen above? I wish I could tell you it was mine. I love the rustic touch; it's like classy rustic. This is very close to my idea of a perfect kitchen.

Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone!

photo credit:

Monday, 24 October 2011

can i...


stay in that room for the rest of the week and do nothing at all? Anyone? I'm so tired of having a cold and a runny nose. If I see one more package of tissue there is a chance I'll start pulling out my hair; the bad news is that it looks like I'll need another package. I'm full of inspiration on this Monday, am I not? But that room above is lovely, isn't it?

Okay, I have a confession to make. I'm partly to blame that I'm not feeling better because yesterday I got so tired of being sick so I started painting bookshelves. Yes, I tend to do something weird like that when I get restless; I just couldn't take it anymore, I had to do something! But today I'll relax. I promise. But hey, the bookshelves look much better. wink

I'm back in bed with books and DVDs. I really hope you're enjoying a fine day!

photo credit:
 Better Homes and Gardens

Saturday, 22 October 2011

cushion search


I have been keeping my eyes open for a cushion like the one to the right, a velvet cushion with that shape, preferably in yellow gold colour or mustard. Dusky orange would also do. When I looked at the website of Zara Home this morning it seemed like they made a silk cushion especially for me, they even call it Lisa cushion! I think the universe is trying to tell me something.

I have to admit that I've seen much livelier Saturdays in our home. Our oldest daughter is in bed with fever and her voice is completely gone. Our younger daughter is sounding like an old rocker who has had too much whiskey. Luckily our boy is much better and hubby hasn't caught anything. My cold sometimes feels better and sometimes worse; it's like it can't decide whether to stay or go away. I'm already looking forward to the chicken noodle soup we are having for dinner. I think I'll drown that soup in ginger.

How is this Saturday treating you?

photo credit:
(photo cropped by me)

Friday, 21 October 2011

carrie bradshaw & big's flat


This post may be a bit clichéd, I know, but lately I have found myself viewing these photos in my inspiration folder. I don't know about you but in my opinion the story of that second SATC film was a disappointment. One of the scenes that probably saved the film is where Miranda and Charlotte are talking about motherhood, the I-can't-lose-the-nanny! scene. It was hilarious. However, what the storyline lacked the design team perfectly made up for.

The design was in the hands of production designer Jeremy Conway and set decorator Lydia Marks. There are so many elements in Carrie and Big's apartment that I like. In the living room I really like the play between that yellow gold painting, the blue wool-mohair sofa and the two beige side chairs. I love the idea of using bookends on a coffee table; I don't remember seeing books standing up on a coffee table before. (I showed this to hubby and we are thinking about using this idea for a few small books that we like to keep within reach. We just need to find small bookends.)


The hallway is glamorous with the wallpaper and two big lamps. I love the idea of using wood and white in kitchens and this is beautifully done with these gorgeous blue tiles in between. The oxidized-metal chandelier in the dining room is not my favourite but for this space it works perfectly. No words are really needed for the walk-in wardrobe, feminine on one side and masculine on the other. I want it!


The bedroom is probably my least favourite space. Well, I love the curtains and these gorgeous lamps but that wallpaper and headboard fail to impress me. But let me add that everything on the bed itself I find beautiful. Remember that horrible scene where Big had bought the TV for Carrie and put it in their bedroom? My heart is still aching. Talking about killing romance!

If you have an opinion on the film's set design then please share it. This is a subject that I find fascinating. (I've already posted Carrie's apartment after it was redecorated if this is a subject that interests you.)

Have a fabulous Friday everyone!

photo credit:
Craig Blankenhorn

Thursday, 20 October 2011

today's inspiration


Today I'm inspired by bright spaces, natural rugs, frames, patterned cushions and coffee table books. The first photo is the cover of the July 2011 issue of Traditional Home magazine. If you want to see the rest of the house then here is a link to photos at Dillon Kyle Architeture.

I'm still in the ginger water and oranges department but today with only one child to nurse. I hope you are enjoying a wonderful day!

photo credit:

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

it's oh so quiet


I know the mood of this collage is pink and purple and romantic and maybe calls for a slow melody but I wasn't able to put the song It's Oh So Quiet, here performed by Björk, out of my head this morning so I surrendered and added it to the post. After all I'm an Icelander and she is the most famous one. (Click the link below to watch the awesome video directed by Spike Jonze.)

How is everyone doing today? I'm at home with two children feeling ill, nothing serious though, just a classic cold. My role is mainly to boil water with fresh ginger and lemon for them to drink and handing out oranges.

photo credit:
top-left: House to Home
top-right: Michael Thompson for SJP's Loveley ad campaign
bottom-right: Riso Studio via Style Me Pretty

YouTube: Björk / It's Oh So Quiet
music/English lyrics: Hans Lang and Bert Reisfeld


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

k&a: cinnamon buns


I promised you my yeast free cinnamon buns recipe and I always deliver! I've baked them a few times now to make them bullet proof (okay, shooting cinnamon buns makes no sense at all but you know what I mean). Here is part of my introduction to the recipe at kitchen & aroma:

I have nothing against yeast; I simply don't have the patience to use it! There, I said it. About two years ago I began experimenting with a yeast free cinnamon buns (rolls) recipe. Everyone in this household loved it, but I wasn't 100% happy, I wanted them softer. On a beautiful Sunday morning in September I was dreaming about freshly baked and soft cinnamon buns when I had an epiphany! I ran into the kitchen, put the invisible stay-out-of-my-kitchen sign on the door, put on my apron and began working, and I got the results I wanted. The yummy noises at the dining table were very rewarding … By the way, the recipe includes no eggs and the dough itself contains no sugar. And you know what, the buns are delicious!

Now to a totally different subject: Has it ever occurred to you that Claudia Schiffer is a vampire? Amanda at Blue LaReve suggested it in a comment to my yesterday's post and you know what, I think she's right. It makes perfect sense; the woman hasn't aged at all!

I never thought I would see cinnamon buns and vampires together in a blog post.

Have a fabulous day!

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt

Monday, 17 October 2011

black & white & colour


Self Service magazine is a Parisian fashion and culture biannual and in my opinion the current issue N° 35 contains stunning photography (every issue does). I'm especially drawn to the black and white photos but I had to add some colour.

The images above are the ones I picked from three editorials that were all styled by Suzanne Koller. The first photo, the faceless one, is my favourite; I simply love the setting. But it's nice to see model Anja Rubik's face in the second photo wearing that same dress, photographed by Ezra Petronio.

In the second editorial we have none other than Claudia Schiffer, looking stunning as ever, photographed by Angelo Pennetta. In the third are models Arizona Muse and Daphne Groeneveld photographed by Alasdair McLellan. The fourth below has model Zuzanna Bijochwas photographed by Mark Segal; styled by Tony Irvin. (Click the 'current issue' link above if you want to view more photos.)

I hope you enjoy the photography and that you're having a good start of the week!


photo credit:
#1-3: Ezra Petronio
 #4-5: Angelo Pennetta
 #6-14: Alasdair McLellan
#15-16: Mark Segal
for Self Service

Saturday, 15 October 2011

salon de thé claude


This is the café where I met my friend for lunch yesterday, the Salon de Thé Claude in the Zuid district of Antwerp, at Scheldestraat 79. Neither of us had been there before and for the first hour or so I think we were simply in a trance, taking in all the beauty. How I've managed to walk that street many times without noticing this gem is something I'll never understand (it crosses Volkstraat and standing outside you can see the Schelde Vrij monument I talked about in this post). The owner designed the place (job well done!) and the atmosphere in there is wonderful. Even though we were meeting for lunch we ordered breakfast from the menu. Of course I got my latte and we had three types of bread, one with nuts and raisins that was divine. Everything tasted so good and the service was very personal. I told them I had a blog and they gave me permission to take as many photos as I wanted to.


If you find yourself in Antwerp and you need a little bit of Paris heaven then Salon de Thé Claude is definitely the place to go to!

I'm not done with heaven. I had ordered a box of macarons to take home with me. I hardly ever order cakes or sweets at cafés as I like enjoying my own home-made stuff, but these were irresistible. First I took a photo of them and then I sat on the chaise lounge in the living room with my partner in crime – my six-year old – and we ate them all in one go. Well, I took a bite of each and he finished them. The chocolate one we shared fifty-fifty. Definitely heaven!

Have a wonderful weekend!

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt