last minute wanderlust

by Kelly on July 25, 2014

last minute wanderlust

As many of you know, the hubby and I already had our fair share of vacation by heading to the US in May and June. However, since the office I’m working at is closed for two weeks during the summer months, I’m now home alone (Steven has to work this summer). One of the things I love to do, is looking at people’s Instagrams to see where they’re headed. Of course, all of this leads to nothing but more wanderlust. Let me assure you, if my husband would be at home, I’m pretty sure we’d book a last minute somewhere. I’m a homebody, but our road trip through the US wasn’t exactly all about r&r, so I’ve missed out on that one up until now.

To conquer that said wanderlust, I did some surfing on the Neckermann last minute page and these would be my top 5 destinations:
Santorini
Just Google Santorini and you know why I want to hop on a plane. Just to think about all those magical sunsets.
Ibiza
Now, don’t you think I’m some kind of Ibiza party girl, no way. As I recently discovered, Ibiza has way more to offer than its famous party scene. It’s high on my bucket list and chances are I will convince the husband for it to be one of our next destinations abroad.
Portugal
I’d love to explore Portugal, although I’d like to start off with a couple of days in Lisbon. It seems like such a beautiful, vibrant city. That said, I’m also in for Pastéis de Belém for breakfast when I’m there, like, every day.
Croatia
We have a couple of friends in Croatia and they keep telling us how beautiful their coast is, so we will end up there eventually. Although, I’m not sure which destination I’d have to pick here: there are so many!
Bali
In case I want to go a bit further, I can imagine myself swimming around in a gorgeous infinity pool somewhere in Bali. Pure bliss, right?

Whereas I’m not headed anywhere for now, maybe you will! The people at Neckermann kindly presented me with a gift certificate, worth €150, which I can give away to one of my lucky readers. All you have to do, is hop on over to Facebook and like the page of Coineanach and of Neckermann Belgium and leave a comment below with the destination on top of your travel bucket list, by next Friday August 1. The winner will be picked at random and will be announced via Facebook next Saturday.

Good luck!

* open to Belgium residents only, sorry!

le tour

by Kelly on July 22, 2014

le tour de france
le tour de france
le tour de france
le tour de france
le tour de france
le tour de france
le tour de france
le tour de france
le tour de france
le tour de france
le tour de france
le tour de france
le tour de france
le tour de france
le tour de france

During its first week, the Tour de France halted in Belgium for a stage that resembled Paris-Roubaix in every way possible. I headed to the start of the stage in Ypres and witnessed the riders on the cobbles in Brillon. While it was pouring all day, it did prove to be an epic race.

While selecting the photos for this post, I had to think about how my photography style and interests have evolved over the years. Ten years ago, when I got my first dSLR, my main goal was to shoot action photos of the cyclists. I also pursued a press card. However, while I still have a keen interest in cycling, I lean more towards documentary photography nowadays. I find it particularly interesting to observe the crowds at a cycling race.
My biggest example would be the photographs that Emily Maye delivers. They are stunning behind-the-scenes images of cycling races (she specializes in other sports branches as well). Emily is also involved with my favorite team: Trek Factory Racing. Needless to say, I’m alway curious to see how she experienced the race. I’m a bit bummed I can’t attend her summer exhibition at Beach London, but did make sure to purchase one of the limited edition prints. I can’t wait to put it up on my wall.

bunny shower

by Kelly on July 14, 2014

bunny shower
bunny shower
bunny shower
bunny shower
bunny shower
bunny shower
bunny showerbunny shower
bunny shower
bunny shower

You know the deal when newborns are celebrated (or better they arrival is, if you happen to live outside Belgium) with a baby shower? We decided to do the same for the newest addition to our family: our two pet rabbits, Charlie and Lily. Let’s call it a bunny shower or ‘bunny borrel’ (bunny drink, English) in Dutch.
We invited my parents and my brother, because they’re as crazy (about bunnies) as I am, so it was a perfect match. We served food with a hint to bunnies, such as carrots as appetizers, hamburgers as the main course (served in buns, of course) and carrot cake amongst the desserts.
Of course, evenings like these are just the perfect excuse to have a drink and pig out on delicious burgers and fries, aren’t they?
As for Charlie and Lily, well, they kind of slept their way through the night and were still tired today. The massive amount of attention they got yesterday might have something to do with that.

wander & co

by Kelly on July 10, 2014

wander & co
wander & co
wander & co
wander & co
wander & co
wander & co
wander & co
wander & co
wander & co
wander & co

Last week, fellow blogger and fabulous lady Liesbeth invited me for the launch of her new webshop Wander & Co. Derived from the word wanderlust this webshop basically features my ideal household. Think House Doctor, HK Living and some Cowshed and we’re all set. The new entrepreneur spoiled us with the best drinks and appetizers, the latter courtesy of Atelier des Fêtes.

Next to spoiling yourself with everything Wander & Co has to offer, it’s also the perfect excuse to go shopping when in need for a birthday gift or whatsoever. Everything comes without that hefty price tag, so if you’re in need of a small gift, the shop will suit you equally.

It did take me over an hour to decide my first purchase at Wander & Co: these copper House Doctor baskets will be the perfect desk attire and this cute postcard is waiting to be put up on our wall. I’ve already got my wish list covered, so next time I will focus on my favorite products from the shop.

weight watchers picnic

by Kelly on June 24, 2014

weight watchers picnic
weight watchers picnic
weight watchers picnic
weight watchers picnic
weight watchers picnic
weight watchers picnic
weight watchers picnic
weight watchers picnic
weight watchers picnic
weight watchers picnic
weight watchers picnic

Last week I invited a couple of ladies over to our house for a summer picnic. Sadly, no sun was involved that day so instead we opted for a cozy, indoor picnic. Who needs summer when you can create summer inside the house, right?

About a month ago, the people behind Weight Watchers contacted me about hosting this picnic. I have been doing the program for quite some time now and already use some of their products, but I noticed lady friends that are still quite hesitant towards purchasing Weight Watchers products. The main reason is that they think that these products will lack taste. Believe it or not, they’re not the only ones. That’s why the brains at the Weight Watchers head quarters did a simple test. They developed a tasting test: 16 people (male/female) were invited who had to taste different dishes. The products were presented in two categories: Weight Watchers and Le Bon Goût. Of course, those smart marketeers only served them Weight Watchers products. Still, because of their (Weight Watchers) label, the test persons preferred the products of the other brand (the so-called Le Bon Goût). Pretty interesting if you ask me and a perfect test to repeat during the picnic.
If you want to see a video of the test they did, then hop on over to this link.

I received a picnic basket stuffed with Weight Watchers products which allowed me to test their four new sandwich recipes. Perfect for summer and fairly easy to make! Of course, I did some testing of my own. I served two varieties of mayonaise and, as for the bread, yogurt and spreads, did not tell my guests what were Weight Watchers products and what not.
The opinions did differ, but in the end most of us will be buying one (or more) of the products that were used during the picnic. I was also surprised to see my husband devour one of the yogurt containers afterwards.

Now that I’ve told you all about my picnic, I will leave you with a quick Weight Watchers products history lesson.
The first Weight Watchers product was launched ten years ago (on the Belgian market). They aim to sell products that are both nutritive and taste good. For that reason, only high-quality ingredients are used in the process.
As of today, the Weight Watchers product line consists of more than twelve product categories. For the Belgian market, Weight Watchers only works together with Belgian suppliers as to adjust their products to local habits and taste.
80% of their products are bought by people who don’t even participate in a Weight Watchers program (which somehow surprised me).

For more information on the Weight Watchers products, please visit their website.

Charlie + Lily

by Kelly on June 18, 2014

bunnies
bunnies
bunnies
bunnies
bunnies
bunnies
bunnies

Here they are! Charlie and Lily. It took us two full days but we got them names. I’m so happy to have two bunnies hopping around the house (again). Since we’re at work most of the day, we decided to get two so they can keep each other company. They are both really sweet and Lily loves to cuddle, although she’s quite shy. Charlie, on the other hand, knows exactly what he wants. I can’t wait to discover more of their personalities and spend quality time with them over the weekend.

silence is golden

by Kelly on June 16, 2014

CALIFORNICATION

Let me start by uttering my sincere apologies for neglecting you all this long. Rest assure, I do have the best excuse (ever). My husband and I just (well, a week ago) returned from a 16-day vacation to the US! We’ve been suffering major withdrawal ever since returning to Belgium, but the laundry that was awaiting me might also have to do with postponing this post over and over again.

I have tons of pictures and stories to share with you all and still have so many left from my trips to Paris and London. I bet it’s safe to say that I have content to last throughout the entire year or so.

In other news: we are the new (bun)parents to two beautiful little bunnies of whom I will share some pictures in my next post.

I’m also thinking about tweaking a couple of things here and there and am brainstorming about a new layout and new content. While at first I thought I was going to shut the whole thing down during the summer or towards the summer, I think I’m just going to work behind-the-scenes while providing new posts as well. Just keep in mind that the number of posts on a weekly base might be reduced to one, maybe two.

I am so excited about summer and new plans, so stay tuned!

instax fun

by Kelly on May 8, 2014

instax

I’m not one of those who copy-paste press releases on their blog, but when I can share some competition news where you can win an Instax Mini 8, I’m happy to oblige.

If you follow me on Instagram, you will sure know by now that I basically adore my Instax Mini. It’s so much fun at dinner parties or for a quick memory when travelling. I guess it’s perfect at any given time.

The good news is: you guys can win an Instax Mini 8 promotional package. All you have to do, is hop over to the Fujifilm Belgium Facebook page where you can download a template of a photo frame. Your next step would be taking a picture featuring that said photo frame. Of course, you will have to ensure that the image is creative and original, but I am sure that will be no problem, right? Right?
When you’ve completed the previous steps, all there’s left to do, is uploading the picture on the Fujfilm Facebook page and share it with your Facebook friends. Instant easy right?

Good luck!

(so sorry, but this contest is open to residents of Belgium only)

cereal bars

by Kelly on May 5, 2014

cereal bar
cereal bar
cereal bar
cereal bar

As I’ve mentioned before, I changed my diet habits and am trying to eat well-balanced and healthy. So far, this has been really paying off. I lost about twenty-five pounds already and have no problem continuing this healthy lifestyle (which was always the hard part when I tried dieting in the past).
One of the big advantages are the blogs that offer recipes and healthy alternatives, but I’m also pretty good at inventing recipes myself so far. I’ve also been taking a couple of cooking lessons, organized by the organic food store I’ve been going to recently (its location, close to my office, is pretty convenient). Last week, I tried my hand at these delicious cereal bars, together with my friend Céline (whom I’ve met on Twitter, no less).
I tell you: these are easy as pie and are so delicious!

Cereal bars
5 cups of oats – 1 cup of sesame – 1 cup of sunflower seeds – 1 cup of coconut flakes – 1 cup of pumpkin seeds – 1 cup of almonds (roughly chopped) – 1 cup of oil (either sesame or sunflower oil will work) – 1 cup of rice syrup (I used 1/2 cup of rice syrup and 1/2 cup of agave syrup, but I think maple syrup would work equally well)

Preheat your oven to 150° Celcius.
Mix all ingredients, except for the syrup. Once all ingredients are mixed, add the syrup.
Put a sheet of baking paper on a baking plate and divide the mixture onto the plate.
Bake the crunch for about 15 minutes. Now this is the tricky part: bake the crunch for another 15 minutes, while keeping an eye on it every 5 minutes until it is golden brown and time to get it out of the oven.
At this point, the crunch will still be soft, so it’s best you divide the crunch into bars while it is still hot. Leave to cool completely.

See, I told you, easy as pie! Enjoy!

a very yellow dinner

by Kelly on May 1, 2014

yellow
yellow
yellow
yellow
yellow
yellow

After counting down the days (really!), it was finally time to head to dinner at Bruges pop-up restaurant Yellow this past Saturday. And yes, you might remember Yellow from a previous post I dedicated to them. I gladly refer you to the latter in case you don’t know yet what the concept of Yellow is.

As my lunch date cancelled, I changed my reservations so as it turned out the husband and I headed out the house on a dinner date. Ever well-prepared as I am, I had studied the menu before, but changed my mind once we got there (on purpose and not so much on purpose). Since the scallop season is finished, no scallops on the menu – insert (really) sad face here – but they got replaced by another seasonal favorite of mine: asparagus.

I made the obvious (or perhaps ‘safe’) choices and opted for the flemish-style asparagus as the main course. For starters I got the sea kale, which is grown on the farm owned by the team behind Yellow. This is, by the way, the same farm that will house the renewed Hertog Jan this August. The husband had the grilled pointed pepper for starters followed by Wagyu beef.

The food was delicious, although I wasn’t blown away. This could have had something to do with the fact that we chose rather traditional dishes (but from what I can tell, the other dishes on the menu also carry a certain level of tradition). Another reason could be the price tag. I know.. I was served food by the team behind Hertog Jan, which still has three Michelin stars, but I didn’t have dinner at Hertog Jan, I had dinner at their bistro concept and experienced quite a rushed service (something I don’t like at all).
From what I’ve been told by friends and colleagues, they do share this opinion. We all agree that it was a wonderful experience, but the price tag might just keep us away from a second lunch or dinner at Yellow or the Hertog Jan bistro concept (due to open later this year), which will probably be very similar.
That said, if you don’t mind the price and want to experience some of the same dishes Hertog Jan has on the menu, I would certainly make my way to Yellow before they end their run in the centre of Bruges on May 31st.