As some of you might know, I hold a special place in my heart for my hometown Ghent. The perfect mix of hipness & history, there’s no place in our rainy little country I’d rather live. Today I’m sharing a very specific part of this precious city that I thought you might appreciate: some of my favorite vintage hotspots! Who knows, you might get some inspiration for a shopping trip over the upcoming long weekend :)

Myriam Wulffaert Vintage

(St.-Jacobsnieuwstraat 85, Ghent)

This is definitely my personal favorite! Owned by stylist Myriam Wulffaert, this lovely boutique holds a fine selection of vintage pieces (mostly originating from the 80ties), with new pieces coming in on a weekly basis (an excuse for regular visits, hurray!). But the shopping experience is made by so much more than the collection. The interior breathes classic chic and having Myriam herself sitting on her little chair sewing away (adding personal elements to vintage pieces and actually creating original collections) just gives an extra special touch. I love how she’s a serene presence but ready with valuable advice upon request (I don’t know about you but I just hate someone latching on to me the moment I step into a store).

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Think Twice

(Nederkouter 118, Ghent)

Think Twice is a pretty established chain of second hand shops, but I only recently discovered this particular one (while having breakfast across the road from it at the awesome WASBAR!). The two charming girls managing this branch did a really nice job creating a specific atmosphere through the interior (something between your favorite grandma’s attic and a hip flea market – if that makes any sense :) ), which definitely sets it apart from some of the other T2s I’ve been at.

On top of the nice setting and friendly faces you get exactly what you’d expect at a T2: if you invest a little time in rummaging through the racks you can find some real treasures at bargain prices. The collection changes every 5 weeks and did you know they donate surplus items to a good cause?

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Boomerang

(Kortrijksepoortstraat 142, Ghent) 

I just had to include this one for nostalgic reasons! This is actually the shop where my first second hand purchase took place. (A pair of boots, which I still have! Even though they’re falling apart I just cannot seem to part with them…) Situated in the heart of the student area, Boomerang offers a mix of second hand, import and overstock items, although it is mostly known for its collection of second hand shoes. The interior has a fun 70ties vibe and the shop owner is just that right kind of odd :)

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A few weeks ago, I caved for a pair of peach pink Nike Dunk Sky Hi sneakers. Just the right mix of girly and street and a perfect fit for my current pastel cravings. Obviously I was dying to try them out with some of my other pastel favorites and show them off to you. But I felt like they deserved an appropriate setting. When I passed by this lovely pink blossom while driving home from work (the adventures of a commuter…) I just knew they would get along nicely with my precious pair of pink kicks.

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So the next day we drove back to that hotspot of pink loveliness… Only to find it crowded with an enormous Indian family having a barbecue. Although not really the perfect backdrop for an outfit shoot, it truly was a great sight. Happy faces and laughing voices all around. Public barbecue spots are really a nice concept, don’t you think? But I’m drifting off.  Back to the blossoms :) Something you might not know about me yet (unless you know me in person, in which case you probably do  :) ): I can get pretty stubborn. Or as they say In Flemish: If something’s in my head, it’s not in my feet (some sayings really don’t make sense now, do they? :) ) I wanted pink blossoms. My kicks deserved pink blossoms. I would find pink blossoms. So we made a little drive on a quest for that same degree of pink loveliness. And ironically ended up right where we started, about 10m behind the happily loud Indian family (there was a second three that was just as pink and not surrounded with barbecue smoke, hurray!). And aren’t those blossoms a pretty sight?

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Ray-Ban glasses – Zara blazer – Urban outfitters Shirt – Casio watch – Levi’s jeans – Nike sneakers

By the way: did I mention I have awesome colleagues? I got this necklace as a birthday gift from my pretty partner-in-crime Molly and the bracelets from my lovely next-desk-neighbor Sophie. Naturally their awesomeness goes far beyond these pretty gifts, but they serve as a nice sample :)

Happy Friday!

Mondays. The thought of them rarely makes anybody happy. Although I love my job, I’m not a stranger to the occasional case of Monday Blues. In the event you are suffering from one right now, I’d thought I’d share some of my current little joys in life. So here are a few things which are sure to put an instant smile on my face, no matter the day of the week:

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We recently discovered a cute little flower shop just a few blocks from our house (adorably called “Flowers Marleentje”) with really reasonably priced flowers (at least as far as my knowledge of flower prices goes – which is not that far to be honest). A little bouquet of tulips is only 3 euros and I took the habit or regularly stopping by for a new bunch. They give an extra touch of freshness to the house and always put me in a good mood.

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On the first of May it is a tradition in Belgium to offer a small bouquet of lilies of the valley to the people we love, as they are a symbol of spring and said to provide good luck and health until next spring. How cute is that? And no, buying them for yourself a few days in advance in no ways diminishes the effect :) (At least that’s what I tell myself…)

In addition, I love to surround myself with pictures of family and friends. Especially those that were taken at special occasions. Even on those bloody Mondays, looking at those smiley faces immediately lifts my spirits. I’m sadly sentimental like that. But hey, if it helps the Monday blues, who cares?

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As you might suspect (reading the two previous points), my surroundings have a major effect on my mood. I got this clock at the Kringloopwinkel thrift shop a little while ago and am totally in love with it. No it does not work (which was an issue to my boyfriend, for some weird practical reason :p ), but doesn’t it look pretty? :) Feels a little art deco, although you’ll never hear me claim I know anything about those kinds of things. I’ve only really been living alone for about a year now (not counting my student days) and having to start (almost) from scratch we got a lot of stuff at Ikea. But I just hate the feeling of living in an Ikea catalogue (as much as I admittedly love that place). So bit by bit we are adding some more unique pieces to our interior, giving it that little dash of personality,  and making it feel more and more like our own little place in the world (told you I was sentimental ;) )

Chest

As I shared before, I love items with an emotional story. This coffer was my grandma’s dowry chest, and was passed along to me through my mom. It was nicely fixed up and painted a few years ago (with some drawers added to it, which makes it perfect to serve as an underwear/jewellery organizer) but still has the original note with my grandpa’s address on it. I love having this little (or huge, depends on how you look at it) piece of her around me and being reminded of the love she and my grandpa shared.

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Yes, I’m one of those people. Pictures of cats make me smile. Especially pictures of my cat. Sorry about that.

No idea if these can cheer up anyone else but me, but hey, at least I tried ;)

Hope you’ll have a lovely week! <3

 

 

I told you before about my love affair with dresses. To this day, I can happily report that it is still standing strong :)  Especially on my more girly days (I understand how the mere thought of me having non girly days might baffle you… ;) ), I can get all giddy by DRESSing up (you heard me, Mr. Stinson).  Who cares if it’s just a day at the office/stroll around town/trip to the supermarket? You have all these pretty dresses in your closet, eagerly awaiting a chance to face the world. Not fair to deprive them of the opportunity, now is it? :) In addition, I don’t really believe in saving clothes for special occasions. How about living life like every day’s its own special occasion?

On the other hand, although one could argue that you can never be overdressed, sometimes you just don’t want to be the girl that got all glammed up for a casual event. So how to reconcile your girly side with your more modest one? By simply combining them! Mixing a dress with some casual or tougher items, can easily dress it down for any occasion.

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This petrol green Vila dress is one of my favorites, but feels to me like a real ‘dressy” dress. (If that makes any sense to anyone else but me?) Looking for ways to dress it down, a jeans shirt & biker boots seemed like a good fit. Seeing as this shirt is one of my current favorite casual items, you can imagine how this girl was one happy camper when “discovering” this combo. A tough jacket or sweater and some sneakers might also have done the trick… But let’s keep that idea in mind for another time :)

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Ray-Ban glasses – Vila dress – Zara shirt – Essentiel bag

Do any of you have your own “dressing-down” tips? Me and my dresses are all ears :)

 

 

Finally! Spring came to visit! Bye bye endless snowy days, hello first rays of sun. I don’t know about you, but the weather totally affects my mood. Things just go easier when it’s nice out. Even sitting behind my desk and typing away. (Yes, that is basically what I do all day :) ). An open window and a sweet spring breeze bring instant inspiration. On Sunday I got such a boost by the first sun, that I spent the night cleaning out my wardrobe and making the winter-summer switch (with a nice glass of wine and after spending a whole afternoon on a sunny terrace, obviously…) Welcome back my sunny darlings! (Yes, I talk to my clothes. No judgment pretty please). And yesterday I spent a lovely birthday on a sunny city trip in my own home town (I love in-country citytrips! Sometimes you just have to take a moment to enjoy the beautiful things that are right there and so easily taken for granted). I took a tour of some of my favorite Ghent hotspots and did a few pretty vintage purchases! More on that later :)

So, yes. Spring is just the best. Don’t get me wrong, if I could get 365 days of summer, I would go for it (in that spirit: can’t wait to feel grass under by bare toes again…). But being deprived from the sun for months on end, makes people that much more grateful and happy when she finally comes along.

Being such a spring junkie, you can imagine how much fun I had when I got a little “spring prequel” a few months ago, spending a day with Princess Misia while she was working on the spring issue of her lovely Luscious magazine. If I wanted to be an extra on some of her pictures? (All the while getting to taste some of her fresh spring recipes..) HELL to the YES! So here are a few of the products of that fun afternoon (even a few “unpublished” pics!). And yes, everything was as yummy as it looks!

 

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In case you were wondering: it was literally 0°C outside. Isn’t it amazing how Marta’s photography magically introduces spring? Although I do think that in the lemonade picture my face kind of gives away that I was freezing my ass off :) But anyway, I’m sure this little preview makes you curious what other yumminess can be found in this Luscious magazine. Just have a peek yourself:

 

 

I’m totally craving that Socca Pancake and the Greek yoghurt dessert! How about you?

Bon appétit! :)

 

The little things in life. It’s so cheesy and said too many times, but they go such a long way. Those fresh flowers on your desk, an understanding glance between old friends or just that quiet moment in the sun. They brighten your days.

Similar to the way these little things add a sparkle to your everyday life, little details can add just that tiny extra to every outfit. A fun print, interesting accessory or bright color accent can bring character to the most casual of silhouettes. I’ll rarely be the one going all out for bold looks (although I think I should work on that :) ), but I do like to complete an outfit with some fun details. Everything is better with just a dash of humor, don’t you think?

That’s why I instantly fell in love with these moustache loafers and the horses shirt. Granted, if you’re a horse lover, wearing this shirt might be going a little overboard. But since I’m sadly allergic to horses and never rode one in my life, I think I can get away with it… And as for the loafers: who doesn’t love Mos?  :)

Obviously, spring still hasn’t blessed us with its presence yet (any day now… ) which obliged me to combine  the shorts with tights. This is not necessarily a bad thing though (the tights, spring not being here yet is REALLY REALLY bad), since I sometimes need some self-convincing to flaunt that degree of bare leg :) But let’s keep that discussion for another time ;)

Horsies and Mos with mos

Tom Ford glasses – Zara shirt, cardigan, shorts and loafers (damn does it show that I’m a Zara fan? :) ) – Suiteblanco purse

Wishing you all a lovely weekend with tons of little sparkles!

This weekend I helped cleaning out some closets. Unfortunately however, they were not my own (even though they could REALLY use a good cleanse..). Quite the opposite actually: I went to Clean Closet, and took a few pieces off other people’s hands, all the while adding some lovely extra clutter to my own wardrobe. The things one does to help others… :)

But all kidding aside, don’t you just love these kinds of initiatives? Fashion victims getting together and swapping/sharing/selling second hand items. I sure do :) I love snooping through the racks, looking for that one special piece (or those few, ahum…) and discovering hidden treasures. Add to this mix that I got to meet some awesome people in real life for the first time and that Princess Misia and Vane Valentine were catering the event (hello, sweet & healthy yumminess!) and you have a recipe for success in my book. Kudos to Liesbeth from Candy & Treats for making it happen!

Now you might be wondering which babies I adopted and gave a second-hand home? (Or: which bargains I scored?)  Have a peek into my treasure closet:

Clean closet collage

Source picture closet

I especially love the (H&M) skirt! Made me think of Delft Blue tableware and I could immediately see myself skipping about on a sunny city trip in Holland. (Yes, fashion inspires my imagination, and I just tag along…) The jumpers are nice basics which I’m sure will get along quite good with the rest of my wardrobe (wore the striped one to work the very next day, something which the attentive few among you might have spotted in my instagram feed ;) ).

I got the collar and neon braid necklace at the booth of the pretty Eline from On High Heels. I assumed I would be wearing the necklace as a double bracelet, but combining it with the collar for this picture made me discover they work pretty well together! Am figuring out an outfit in which they will shine as a couple. :) By the way: my lovely colleague Déborah and I were both really saddened by our big feet and Eline’s small ones, as her shoe display was very nice! (Not to say, mouthwatering :) )  But the Zara sandals I found a few booths further consoled my sorrowed feet. As soon as the sun is peeping through, my toes will be doing some peeping of their own in these babies. :)

So this is as far as the results of this treasure hunt go. I think I kept it within reason, no? :) How about you ladies, scored any nice second hand items lately?

Hope you’ve all enjoyed the Easter fun last weekend! As predicted, my two family brunches resulted in good times, a major chocolate overload and a respectable food baby. But that was not all! In addition, I was surprised with an early birthday gift (hurray for siblings that have birthdays a few weeks before your own :) ) You can imagine my delight when I tore off the wrapping paper to find the object of my latest fashion crush: the Essentiel Eliporto bag! (And only a day after confessing this crush to you in this post, what a happy coincidence :) ) In my overflowing enthusiasm (the little girl and her new toy metaphor definitely fits here), I immediately squeezed in a quick outfit shoot when we went out for a sunny Easter stroll. As you can see I was rocking a pretty casual “Easter with the family” look, but I felt that the bag did kind of upgrade it. Probably the infatuation with my new toy talking, in which case: excuse my casualness :)

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Ray Ban glasses  Pieces scarf – Zara blazer – Mooia T-shirt – Stradivarius pants – Converse sneakers   

As you might have noticed, I decided spring has started (even though the temperature would beg to differ) and am consistently adding some spring items and colors to my daily outfits. Who knows, the weather gods might feel encouraged and actually come through. A girl can dream…

On a side note: I got this feather T-shirt on a girly shopping spree in Breda, during which I discovered the brand “Mooia” at Bijenkorf (obviously an essential stop when shopping across our northern border :) ). I was quite pleased with the discovery as the collection had a lot of lovely girly pieces that spoke to me immediately. A quick Google search revealed that Mooia is actually a Bijenkorf house label, so little or no chance of finding it in our little country, unfortunately. :( Here’s hoping that Bijenkorf extends the delivery area of its web shop to Belgium soon!

On my list of top holidays, Easter certainly takes a solid second place (I’m a total sucker for Santa’s time of year, sorry about that Mr. Easter Bunny). Egg hunts, brunches and a good excuse to go chocolate crazy, what’s not to love? :) And even though the weather isn’t fully cooperating (the sun is trying its best this morning though!), the Easter atmosphere with all its yellow, pastels and candy colors creates an instant spring vibe. Love it!

Personally, I have two family brunches on the agenda. Having a large family has its perks, now doesn’t it? :) Will report back next week, probably with the remainder of a huge food baby (chocolate overload, anyone?).  How about you peeps, any egghunts or other chocolate related plans ahead of you? If so: here is some Easter inspiration, just in case you want to dress seasonally :) By the way: I have a total fashion crush on this Essentiel Eliporto bag! Will probably have to yield and make it mine soon :)

Hope you’ll all have a lovely time today!

Easter inspiration

 

Essentiel Bag and sneakers – Guess pants – Zara top – Passigatti scarf

Picture sources: flowers, chick, chocolate egg

I love stories.  People, places and objects with a story fascinate me. When I was a kid I used to stare out of the car window at the houses flashing by, and imagine a life for the families living inside.  Even now, I like to indulge in the occasional people watching session from a sunny terrace (with a nice cocktail or glass of bubbles in hand, obviously :) ) and wonder about the life stories of people hurrying or strolling by.

I think my love for vintage fashion might have originated from this love of stories. A second hand or vintage piece of clothing has a whole story of its own, and you just get to add to it. Of course, the tale of your newly acquired vintage treasure gains extra value if it touches you personally. Being the child of a pretty complex modern family, I was blessed with quite some fashionable ladies in my life. And whenever something hasn’t been worn for over a year, but is too pretty to throw away, they generously pass it on to this lucky girl!

This way, my wardrobe has welcomed some lovely new guests over the years.  Here are some of my favorites:

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I know you’re not really supposed to pick favorites among your children, but I must admit that the authentic Rayban Wayfarers are my little darlings. They’re older than me but remain timeless. When my mom rediscovered them while cleaning out a closet a few years ago, I think I did a little dance (all the while going “please please, mommy, please” :) ).

The little black bag has that wonderful sixties feel about it (which makes sense, as I’m pretty sure it was first bought around that time :) ) and gives a retro touch to any outfit. I got the pumps when I was still a poor little student. They were actually my first decent pair of heels (and what a revelation that was: wearing high heels without the torture, it is possible!).  Finally, I’ve noticed that these two Essentiel jumpers have become some of my go-to pieces whenever I have a “nothing to wear” day (don’t you just hate those?) The lively prints make it unnecessary to add a lot of extra accessories when I don’t feel inspired. A pair of skinny jeans and some heels and I’m good to go!

Knowing how happy I’ve been with all of these treasures, I can’t wait to find a young fashion victim who I can pass on some of mine to! (And I have a feeling my bursting closet and my boyfriend cannot wait either… :) )  How about you? Do you have a Fashion Fairy Godmother or someone to lavish second hand gems from your closet on?