Ladies, you might know the feeling. The new spring lines hit the stores and online shops and you just cannot put off indulging in a few lovely pieces. However, confronted with a Belgian winter that just doesn’t seem to end (seriously, what is up with all that snow?) and chilly first spring days, those pretty pieces end up spending the next months lonely and neglected in your closet.

That just doesn’t seem fair, now does it? And if you’re as impatient a person as I am (I confess), you will try to find a way around that. One option would be to just go for it and freeze your ass off, but let’s not take the suffering for beauty motto too far, shall we? In this case the easiest solution is to go with layers. Got a pretty new summer dress you’re just dying to wear? Why not try to combine it with a pair of thick pantyhose (or even a skinny jeans) and a nice blazer? I know, not quite the same effect, but at least you’re letting spring back into your life (and out of your closet).

My first spring ‘13 collection crush was this Mint and Berry top. By combining it with a cozy knitted jumper I got to keep warm in minus zero temperatures, all the while enjoying happy spring colors. Even though only the collar peeped out, I got to wear my new top and that was basically all I wanted. Yes, sometimes it only takes a little thing to make my day :)

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IMG_2772 editsMint and Berry top – H&M sweater, parka and loafers – Levi’s jeans – Stradivarius necklace

On a totally unrelated subject: this high bun is my favorite “bad hair day hairdo“. I’vge got to say, discovering the hair donut has changed my life (or at least simplified my morning routine :) ). It’s a great tool for creating a low fuss high impact hairstyle when you only have a few minutes to spare.  As my colleagues will confirm, I’ve become quite the donut advocate :)  Intrigued? I got mine here.

But all kidding aside, these quick fixes will only satisfy us for so long. Dear weather gods, can it be spring already? Like, NOW? *please please pretty please*

Earlier this year I took a short trip to Lisbon with the lovely Princess Misia. More business than pleasure, but even a little pleasure can go a long way, now can’t it? So what to do when you’re in an unknown city and only have a few hours to spare? Conquer it by storm armed with the only weapons you need: a camera and an Elle magazine! The perfect recipe for snapshots and hotspots (which was basically all we had time for :) ).

Nothing like some vintage shopping to get that “local” feel. Through the Elle citytips we discovered A Vida Portuguesa ( ‘Portuguese life’) a little shop in the middle of the Chiado neighborhood. This vintage treasure house holds a carefully selected collection of Portuguese heritage. Snooping around the handcrafted and locally manufactured objects feels like a genuine dive into Portuguese culture! A great tip indeed, thanks Elle! ;)

As amazing as these vintage treasures where, what we were really craving (obviously :) ) was some vintage fashion. That is how we stumbled upon the vintage shop & bar A Outra Face da Lua (‘The other side of the moon’). If you’re ever in Lisbon, I really recommend a stop at this hotspot! (Let’s call it a Scene by C citytip, shall we? ;) ) It has a great selection of vintage and second hand clothing. Feeling overwhelmed by all this prettiness or simply want to rest your feet? (shopping can be SO exhausting :p ) Just have a seat and enjoy a nice coffee while you let your eyes wander through the racks. Extra tip: around the corner is a small A Outra Face da Lua outlet shop, with second hand items for only €5! I scored a really nice romantic white blouse (which I will definitely share with you at some point!)

As for the snapshots? You might know (or you do now) that I’m somewhat of a newbie photographer. And since I’d bought my new camera only a few days before taking off for Portugal, our stroll around the beautiful blue-skied streets of Lisbon was the perfect occasion to put it to the test.

 

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Of course, this newbie still needs to develop her skills. And as my travel buddy happened to be the awesome Marta Majewska, I had a first class mentor at my side :) Blog photography one-on-one workshop = check! And that is how my first outfit shoot came to be :)

 

Zara dress & hat - Drôle de copine jacket - vintage scarf - Pull and Bear bagZara dress & hat – Drôle de copine jacket – vintage scarf – Pull and Bear bag

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 Pics by Princess Misia

This little sip of Lisbon definitely made me thirsty for more, so this lovely city was immediately added to my must-visit (properly this time :) ) destinations list!

I must confess. I’m having an affair. Several of them actually. A closet full to be exact.

I have a passionate love affair with dresses.

A beautiful dress gives me an instant confidence boost and makes me feel like I can handle anything. Cause let’s face it, Ladies, we feel stronger when we feel pretty. And that’s what dresses do for me.

On top of that, they make picking out an outfit in the morning so much easier! :) No decision process about whether or not your shirt/sweater is a good match with your skirt/dress.  One piece, throw on some accessories and you’re good to go. Easy peasy, no matter the occasion.

Fully dressed with a dress

However, not just any dress will do the trick. As in the search for a perfect guy, you have to be picky! For starters, it’s all about fabric. Who feels sexy in itchy nylon? I don’t think so. We can’t always go for silk (and we might not even want to), but a nice and soft fabric makes the fashion experience that much sweeter.

Secondly, make sure you feel comfortable. Don’t try to squeeze your gorgeous body into that super tight pencil skirt. You’ll be uncomfortable and tense, and it will show. Go for a model that complements your body and have that delicious brownie you know you deserve.

Finally, there’s nothing like a little mystery. Yes, that mini dress shows of your fabulous legs. But will you really feel classy when you’re constantly wondering whether people can spot your underwear (even if they’re a pretty shade of bubblegum pink :) )? Just a hint of skin can have so much more impact.

But if you ask me, the most important thing is to always aim for love at first sight.  That fabulous dress you just have to have. An instant love affair.

Don’t you just love firsts? Your first kiss, first job, first time traveling abroad without parental supervision… There’s nothing like it. All butterflies and twinkling eyes, you’re ready to take on the world. Even though deep inside, you’re scared as hell :)

So, you can imagine how this first post makes me feel :) I’ve been playing with the idea of creating my own online spot for a while now. However, sometimes it takes that little extra push, be it from people around you (Thanks Princess Misia for the inspirational coaching & Simon Droomcommissaris for creative design and guidance!) or your inner cheerleader, to transform vague plans into reality. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone (<3 this as a life philosophy :) ), so here we are!

Through this blog I want to share those things that touch me, interest me, make me think and make me smile. Intrigued? (I do hope so :) ), here’s a little sample of some of the things that make me happy:

Things that make me happy

Hope you’ll enjoy the world through my eyes!

Love,

Charlotte