Monday, April 30

The Hearted Girl

The weekend is already over but I don't mind because this beautiful monday brought a lot of (much needed) sunshine to me. There are worser presents than that, right! (Like that time someone gave me a Michael Jackson Barbie for my birthday, I'm not kidding.) 
This is what I wore this saturday when the weather was still making up his mind and opted randomly for rain, sun, cold, warm etc. Stupid weather makes me grumpy so some sparkle in my outfit had to make up for that. I chose to wear this cute playsuit from River Island from last year that I only wore on my birthday back then. Extremely stupid to wear something cute like this only once because pastel hearts and bright orange belts always put a smile on my face.
This no-buy will probably make me more than once "shop" in my own closet, so do not be surprised if I'll bring up more items that suffered the same fate. Bisous

Playsuit - River Island
Blazer - Urban Outfitters
Pointed ballet flats - New Look
Bracelets - River Island, BraQ, Manson, Guess
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Saturday, April 28

Sequins & Sparkles #25

Coco loves acting like a baby - red wine and eating escargots: feeling so French - blossoms - tulips - smoothie break - beautiful graffiti in my neighborhood - Belgian specialty: "stoofvlees met frietjes" - pink trench coat - the vacuum cleaner is much faster than all those brushes - new shirt, new ballet flats - Coco taking over my laptop - strawberries - again, tulips - breakfast in bed - pre-dinner drink.

Long time no see poor sequins and sparkles. Your weekly source of the best links around the web was down for quite some time and for making it up to you: here's an extra long list, so you know what to read (and do) this weekend!

Zenhabits wrote a do-what-you-love guide, the message: dream big!

I seriously need an extra hour a day so I can make these embellished friendship bracelets.

Smoothies on the road are my number one guilty pleasure, but these recipes are so yummie that I probably will make them myself from now on.

Gala wrote this awesome guide that will help you make your "time of the month" go a little more smoothly.

Having a rough day? Here's a hilarious post that will make you feel much better.

What says your favorite designer label about you? Or what about your stupid designer handbag? Even your nail shape says a lot about you!

Rock'n Roll Bride shares with you the art of self-confidence: must read alert!

The world of style has no shortage of superstars, here you find the 100 most influential fashion icons since 1923.

A fact for all the single ladies: we date at the level of our self-esteem.

In her Tedx talk "I'm not sorry", Dyana Valentine connects the dots of recognizing the patterns of apologizing for just being human. Stop apologizing for taking up space, for changing your mind, for wanting potato chips etc...
No time to listen to it? Gala wrote a very good resume.

Fast ways to lose weight (in a healthy way) do exist, read them here.

Some other great tips to build confidence, because we really never have enough of that.

Some of the Victoria's Secret Angels share their beauty secrets with you!

Still bad weather this time of the year? Here are the most romantic movies you must see (if you already haven't).

Jennifer Wrights confesses that she loves doing social stuff alone.

The Beauty Department tells you how to hide a bobby pin.

How to get that perfect skin without any makeup? Here are the best tips.

Have a nice weekend!
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Thursday, April 26

Peaceful white

With the exams in prospect I am really getting anxious. Although there are still so many things to study and so many papers to write that all I can dream of today is a calm and clear room like one of these. Just for relaxing, just for doing nothing, just for feeling peaceful.
What do you do when your stress levels are reaching their boiling point? Do you keep holding track or lose your mind and @¿*&%!!! Tell me your secret. 
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all images via White Swallows.

Tuesday, April 24

Denim (on denim)

Shorts, skinnies, flared, cropped tops, blouses etc... Everything is possible and anything is allowed in the whole wide world of denim. No need for excessive accessories, what makes it perfect for creating a casual, simple chic airiness. Denim is the key for putting together an extremely casual look that never gets boring. Sturdy but also feminine and at the same time it screams a "je m'en fou" attitude while still looking very stylish. 

Because of its multi functionality, it is no big surprise that so many models and other fashionistas love to wear a denim item during the fashion weeks. What yields of course some awesome street style photos that make me dream of buying a pretty denim blouse for creating my own denim on denim look. 

Do you love to wear denim? And what do you think about the denim on denim trend? I remember that a few years ago it was a real no-go.

sources: 1 - 2 - 34 - 5 - 6
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Saturday, April 21

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Last year I swapped at the age of 20 my children's cabinet for a built in closet with the result that I finally got enough place for all my clothing and had even a lot of extra space.  Unfortunately that extra area shrinked in no time and now that poor big closet is already crammed with clothes. I can tell you and I'm probably not alone: I love clothes. Even more, I love new clothes. The only thing is that I have already everything I need.

Still every time I announce that I'll take three months off from shopping for clothes, shoes and accessories everybody stops breathing and stares at me like I'm an alien. Or just crazy. 

"You, Renée, taking a break from shopping? You'll never be able to bring this to a good end. And why would you? Is this really necessary?"

Well, actually, it is. 

Some weeks ago I became more and more aware of my shopping habits. I live in Antwerp and am surrounded by stores 24/7 and even though in my head I know there is nothing in this world that I must have, still the enticement is too big for just passing them without even giving them a single glance. 

Most days I just wanted to buy something, anything at all because I had a stressful day or because I felt overwhelmed by life, just to celebrate something and most of the time out of boredom. I rationalized a desire to just spend. What's horrifying because, really, imagine what else you can do with saving all that money you normally waste on clothes you don't need: a week's groceries, a month's rent, that new camera you want for ages, a weekend away with your love or maybe even a trip far away! 

Besides that I also do shop online. Nothing better than sitting inside my apartment clicking through web pages like asos, topshop and riverisland, checking out their new items with a glass of wine (or two). And order a dress (or two).

Shopping had become a pick-me-up when I was feeling down and a way to celebrate when I was feeling great. And so it happened I was starting to feel bad about all the new things I was buying. A new emotion was creeping into my heart; guilt. 

Two weeks ago I stood in front of my closet and got the classic "closet full of nothing to wear", and I was so tired of it. Looking in my wardrobe, I realised how many flimsy summer dresses I have. The only thing is that I live in most of the time rainy and grey clouded Belgium, what makes that all those lovely dresses sit in my wardrobe all year, waiting... Waiting for me to wear three of them a day to get through them when I am on holiday. It's sad, isn't it? And so it's time to make a change.

I don't believe that the urge to shop will go away. But I hope that after this detox of three months I will be able to make sure that what I buy really counts. Shopping is emotional but I need to get my head involved too. I do have what I need in my closet, and if not, I will get to know what's still missing in the next couple of weeks. 

This weekend I'll take a look in my wardrobe and make a list of all the things I have and maybe make a sort of wish list with things I really do need. I want to check that list after 3 months and see if I still think the same about those items. If yes, I'll buy it but probably it will be a 'No'. Because I hope to become a pro in mix'n match and get a little more creative with what I've got. I hope to get more out of my wardrobe.

In 3 months I want to see myself strolling around the shopping streets while keeping my shopping addiction in check and see the difference between 'need' and 'want'.

What do you think about taking a break from shopping? Did you ever do it? Or are you one of those girls who can keep it under control?
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Thursday, April 19

LOJOLA coffee&cake

Normally I don't post things like this, but I had to share this oh-so-charming place I discovered by chance some days ago. Lojola is probably the prettiest coffee place I've ever seen and reminds me of a dollhouse where I would love to play the princess in. 
The coffee & cake house leans, literally, at the beautiful St. Charles Borromeo Church on the most beautiful plaza of Antwerp, the Hendrik Conscienceplein. It's so petit that I already passed it a couple of times without noticing it, what is absolutely a real shame! Fortunately there were standing bright colored outdoor seats the other day that caught my eyes and lured me inside.
Inside the place is just darling. Fresh with bright colors and appropriate decoration, the perfect location for keeping a tea party. I had the most delicious hot chocolate (because I am still learning to drink tea... WOOPS!)  and the sweet tooth in me had a very hard time staying away from all the delicious looking homemade sweets. There is plenty to choose from like cheesecake, carrot cake, light cupcakes... What makes the perfect excuse for the eternal doubter I am to return very often without feeling guilty. 
In short: a beautiful and cozy location where you'll be pampered like never before. For all the Belgians and my international visitors who plan on visiting Antwerp someday: really, it's worth a visit.

Lojola coffee&cake
Hendrik Conscienceplein 14
2000 Antwerpen
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Tuesday, April 17

Shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist.

Last friday I showed you my new shoes I bought on my last day of shopping before the start of my no buy. Yes, still talking about that and will probably do until it's finished. Sorry in advance for that. Today it's time to show you some of my new clothing. I would love to know which item you like best.
Let's start with this very cute blouse. I bought it at Zara, a shop where I almost never come... Ahum. Seeing my closet, I actually think they can promote me to best buyer. I probably fell in love with this sheer blouse because of the lollipop pink color and the cute collar tips which gives the shirt a well finished look. 
I already told you that I was looking for a yellow colored jeans for completing my candy colored pants collection. (If that's even possible, sooo many colors!) When I attended the River Island x Elle summer style event I saw a girl walking around with these jeans in the mint colored version. *SWOON* My friend told me it was from Massimo Dutti. Normally I don't shop there, I actually don't know why but after seeing these pants the shop was worth a visit. Unfortunately they didn't have the mint colored version anymore in my size but the yellow pants were still available. I already have mint colored pants and yellow was still on my wish list. And so it happened that these pants found a new home.
What I like most about them is the subtle print they have. It aren't just yellow pants you know. When you take a closer look you can see a print that reminds me of snake skin. Very pretty. Also I was kind of surprised that my boyfriend complimented me with this purchase. Normally he doesn't like this kind of clothes so now it's sure a WIN!
Peplum, another trend that I already told you about in my style forecast for this spring and summer. I actually wasn't looking for a skirt like this, but when I was trying on some clothes in the dressing rooms at Zara my mom came suddenly in with this pretty skirt telling me I had to try this on. And being a good daughter as I am, I listened to my mom and... Well, the skirt fits as a glove.
If you're still having doubts with this trend, I advice you to just give it a try. It really sounds counterintuitive that adding additional width at the hip will minimize your belly. But it really does, believe me!
And last but not least, I bought a trench coat in a very subtle pink color. It's for sure that the number one thing on my never-ending wish list was a trench coat. This one will be perfect for the transition between winter temperature and good summer times. It also will be perfect when I don't feel like dressing up, this trench will make me instantly look chic.
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Sunday, April 15

missing some hipster-intellectual cool glasses

Happy Sunday peeps! I hope that you're all enjoying a very nice weekend so far, I am still cursing my oh-so-boring and I-don't-understand-what-i'm-writing paper. Another thing is that the material girl in me doesn't like that "no buy thing" any longer, certainly after I saw this way too cute little white dress at Mango. I'm not kidding if I tell you that probably the only thing that is still missing in my wardrobe is a white dress. So if you want to make this girl happy you know what to do.
After these high quality thoughts of a shopaholic in rehab, let's talk about the clothes I'm wearing here, clothes that I already bought before that no buy - stupid, not well-thought - thing. (I had a life before this shitty period?) The outfit is nothing that special, but I think that the loafers make me look like a real writer. Something that I'm kind of studying for, or will they some day really become willing to pay philosophers, give them a real job? (I don't think so.) Besides the loafers, some hipster-intellectual cool glasses would not be out of place. Right? They would be so cool! Not that I need glasses... Okay maybe, very little. My eyes get sooo tired after 10 hours of working non-stop behind my laptop. Good reason to buy some resting glasses ;-)
Oh well, you just have experienced the emergence of a new quest: getting real glasses. Because I'm way too authentic for just getting some blank lenses.
leopard loafers - Steve Madden
black jeans - Gstar
top - Gstar
blazer - Urban Outfitters
bracelets from top to bottom - river island, BraQ, Manson, Guess
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Friday, April 13

Welcome home

Last friday I told you that I would "celebrate" my my no-buy with one day extreme shopping. Yes that's right, shopping is a serious sport. Did you ever think about it? Walking for hours, carrying all those shopping bags, dressing and undressing in way too small dressing rooms, acting like a total bitch when you take away the last size in front of that other girl, bitch fight... In three hours and less you  will probably burn 1000 calories. Okay I'm a little bit exaggerating but you get my point. These three months of no shopping takes away a big part of my daily exercise. So instead of spending my precious time in the waiting line for the dressing rooms, I'll spend it in the gym the next three months. Yàày...
Anyway, last Saturday it was the last day I was allowed to shop till I dropped. And so it happened. Because I'll probable won't show you new stuff in the next couple of months, I opted for splitting  the welcoming of my new stuff on the blog into one post for the shoes and one post for the clothing. 
I went a bit crazy at Steve Madden and bought these two pretty flats, because I "seriously needed" some extra flats. Both flats are very eye-catching but I can't make up my mind and tell you which pair  is my favorite. So help me, the pink ballet flats or the leopard printed loafers?
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Wednesday, April 11

Collar Fetish

The collar, this summer you'll see it everywhere. I suppose it's a mixture of me liking the masculine side of it and also having the connection to the old fashioned, classic lady style. In the past few years there has started a whole new phase for the collar with lots of modern twists that will turn your plain shirt into a sexy eye-catching item. Which style do you like best? SHOUT!

Monday, April 9

A week with Blonde Muse

1 - 3 dinner with the boyfriend for celebrating our 6th anniversary 4 pretty blossoms 5 taking this very old camera out for a walk 6 "voetgangerstunnel" 7 so many options 8 Antwerp skyline 9 cupcake love 10 outfit river island x Elle event 11 - 12 cocktails + pretty models at the river island x elle summer style event 13 - 14 good weather equals ice cream 15 lovely graffiti 16 random pretty street 17 fresh lemon juice 18 red traffic light with love.

I am kind of veryyyy busy with school work this Easter Monday, so I just leave you with this photo diary of last week. I hope you all had a great time this Easter weekend and that it was filled with lots and lots of chocolate eggs ;-)
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