by Kelly on March 11, 2014
Now, March didn’t only bring Spring into the country. No, it also marked the first race of the cycling season on Belgian soil. Coinciding with this event was the launch of yet another sports publication (I know, us sports/cycling fans are spoiled brats, that’s for sure): Titanen.
Titanen aims to bring us the stories of the present-day titans. We can find them in many fields and when thinking about cycling, I presume Fabian Cancellara is an obvious name to pop up. That’s how the first edition of Titanen is dedicated to Spartacus himself.
I browsed their website before the launch and was surprised to find a slightly different publication on the newsstands. It’s printed on a small newspaper format and it has that wonderful smell when you turn the pages. Something I truly miss when browsing the internet.
I spent one Sunday morning reading it and I would highly recommend it if you want to get to know Fabian a little better. It features a nice interview with him and the photography is top notch. There are quite a few contributions from people that I have been following for a while (online, that is), like Veerle Pieters. She provided a beautiful infographic about Fabian and even dedicated a blog post to the design process (which provides an equally interesting read).
With “De Ronde” and “Paris-Roubaix” approaching fast, this might be your one read before you watch Fabian giving ‘full gas’ on the cobble roads this season.
by Kelly on March 9, 2014
Spring is visiting Belgium a little earlier than usual and I’m certainly not the one to be complaining about that. It’s a welcoming change after last year’s winter, that seemed to last forever, and the rain we’ve been enduring for the last couple of months.
I’m spending this Sunday at home, just being lazy, (hopefully) finish my book and penning down a couple of ideas that have been swarming in my head for the past couple of days. Bliss.
Here’s what currently inspires me or complements the spring vibes I’m currently feeling.
This new record by Belgian duo Hermanos Inglesos certainly has that spring feeling to it and also has me making multiple embarrassing efforts at whistling.
This Pinterest board has had me oooh-ing and awwww-ing for hours this week. The cuteness is almost impossible to handle: it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
I’m currently trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and there’s nothing more important than breakfast in my opinion. Yesterday afternoon I finally got to try my hand at that granola recipe I found on Belgian foodie blog Thursday Dinners, like ages ago. I’m so sorry it’s in Dutch, but if you throw in Google translate, this will be easy as pie (not to mention: so delicious, it takes me tons of discipline not to eat that entire bowl).
by Kelly on March 2, 2014
I could’ve written about Coldplay’s Yellow here, but instead I’m going to write a little note about food. Not just any food, no.
This past Friday marked the opening night of Yellow Bistro & Bar. Set in a historic building in the centre of Belgian city Bruges, Yellow is a new restaurant concept curated by Gert De Mangeleer and Joachim Boudens of three Michelin starred restaurant Hertog Jan, formerly located in Bruges and re-opening later this year in Zedelgem (which happens to be my new hometown, by the way).
They aim at serving local products (De Mangeleer’s signature dishes) combined with surprising wine and beer combinations (as selected by Boudens).
Next to the bistro concept, there’s also a champagne bar courtesy of Veuve Clicquot. As a matter of fact, the name of the bistro and bar, Yellow, is a reference to the typical yellow colour of Maison Veuve Clicquot. There’s a selection of tapas available to accompany your drink, whether you’re having a drink before dinner or just unwinding with friends.
I had a sneak peek at the menu and have a date set with my friend already. If you’re feeling the yellow vibes as well, then do make your reservations before they close by the end of May.
28.02 – 31.05 (noon-3pm; 6-10pm)
for more information, visit www.yellowbrugge.be/en
by Kelly on February 25, 2014
During our latest visit to London, we discovered Tom’s Kitchen, located in Chelsea. I was looking for a breakfast place in the neighbourhood, since we would be spending part of the day there when Foursquare led me to this place. After walking a few blocks in all directions but Cale Street (where it is located) we finally got ourselves seated, just in time for breakfast. Set in a townhouse, this is the informal counterpart to Michelin starred Tom Aikens restaurant. On the menu: comfort food, from breakfast to dinner.
Our perception was that this place was rather frequented by locals as I didn’t spot any tourists (or they were really good at hiding it).
Anyway, I had the most delicious granola at this place. They serve the yoghurt and honey separately which is how I like it (yes, I can be high maintenance at some point).
My husband isn’t the breakfast type of guy and doesn’t have the same appetite that I have, but when I ask him about his favorite breakfast ever, he still mentions this one. I think it possible that he’s just as much into assembling his own food as I am (the photo with the bagel and the salmon does explain it all).
Aside from the food, they have the best light available which is something I always notice when I step into a place (blame it on the photography background, will you?). Of course, a marble countertop doesn’t do any harm either.
By the time we had finished our breakfast turned brunch, early birds for lunch were arriving and by judging their lunch menu (did I spot butternut squash? Oh, I guess I did), I can’t blame them.
Hungry already? Tom’s Kitchen also has other locations in Canary Wharf and Somerset House, aside from the Chelsea one we visited.
by Kelly on February 20, 2014
(Image credit: Warby Parker (top & bottom left); Ace & Tate (top & bottom right))
I think I have been wearing prescription glasses for as long as I remember. No, that would be a lie, I do remember the day I admitted that for the past year or so, I hadn’t been able to read the black board at school. Yes, a year, and I did cry when admitting to that fact. We’re talking 1994, I was an insecure pre-teen and the last thing I wanted, was to wear prescription glasses. I already had a gap between my teeth (got that fixed in due time), so that was quite enough at the time. Not to mention, prescription glasses were anything but fashionable at the time.
Over the years, the condition of my eyes got a lot worse and as of today I am the not so proud owner of a sphere value of -7 and -4.75 on my eyes. Luckily, these numbers have been steady for the past ten years and I can only hope it stays that way.
When I was in college I eventually embraced the fact that I had to wear glasses. I got myself a set of Gucci frames and I was all set. Of course, it was only a matter of time before I couldn’t walk past a retailer and stare at all the beautiful collections.
However I tend to buy all my frames at the same optician I’ve been going to for the past two decades. For some reason, she always buys the frames I like best and I tend to have a liking towards Gucci and Ray Ban.
Glasses do get expensive and not only because of the frames. Since my sight is that bad, I need glasses that are extra thin, which tend to become more expensive and we’re only talking regular glasses here. Glasses designed for sunglasses are even more expensive.
Since my sight has been quite steady, I have had to ability to purchase new frames over the years without getting rid of my old ones. So, I switch now and then, but my Ray Bans are still my favorite. I also happen to wear contacts on weekends and during my vacation because they allow me to wear a range of sunglasses that I wouldn’t be able to wear with prescription glasses.
Around this time last year (or presumably even earlier on), I first learned about Warby Parker. They pop up on American blogs now and then (I think I read about them on Oh Joy!). They are indeed an American company, with their headquarters based in New York. They produce and sell prescription glasses directly to the customer via their online shop. From what I’ve read: good quality and by judging those $, a low price as well. Next to that, they are also involved in a charity program: for each pair of glasses sold, a pair of glasses is offered to people in need.
As for the customers, they have a home try-on plan which allows you to try up to five different frames during five days. After this trial period you send the frames back and you can purchase (no obligation) the frame of your liking. When I think about me sitting at my optician for over two hours trying to choose a frame, this sounds wonderful. I also think my purchase would be much considerate.
If you’re not really into that online stuff, they also have a showroom and a couple of retail locations in the US. I think I might be step foot into one of them during our West Coast trip, since they don’t ship abroad.
However, I recently stumbled upon Ace & Tate, who operate very similar to Warby Parker and have their headquarters in Amsterdam. From what I’ve read on their Facebook page they are shipping to Belgium as well.
They emulate Warby Parker’s business model of letting go of the middlemen, except Ace & Tate products are manufactured in Italy, in a family-operated factory to be more precisely.
I admit, I’m a bit reluctant, but then again, I have my eyes set on a new pair frames since like forever. The question remains though, will I pull the plug and take a leap of faith with Ace & Tate or will I go back to my regular optician? Time will tell, but at €98, new prescription glasses are a bargain, that I can tell you.
by Kelly on February 18, 2014
Pronunciation: /ˈwɒndəlʌst /
a strong desire to travel
(as described in the Oxford Dictionaries)
When I come to think of it, I’m definitely consumed by wanderlust. Nothing makes me more happy than the idea of exploring the world. Plus, when I have concrete plans for that matter, it’s hard to focus on anything else.
Now, imagine I have booked the husband and I two tickets to San Francisco this summer. Yes, that’s right, we finally decided it was about time to head to the West Coast. We’re in for a 15-day road trip that will lead us to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Flagstaff (Grand Canyon), Las Vegas and Palm Springs (with the occasional stop in between).
Am I excited? Hell yes, I’m excited! I’ve been planning non-stop since I booked our flights. So far, the car has been decided on (why yes, a Ford Mustang convertible, if not something similar) and I booked our hotels in San Francisco, Flagstaff and Palm Springs. I have yet to decide for Los Angeles, but I’m leaning towards either an Airbnb location or the Ace Hotel Downtown LA. As for Las Vegas: there’s an abundance of luxury resorts at our disposal and the one thing that keeps me from booking is that I just can’t decide (it’s a terrible habit of mine). So, if you have any recommendations for LA or Las Vegas, don’t hesitate and let me know in the comments.
Next to booking all our accommodations, I’m also looking into how we’ll spend our days in all those locations. I’m thinking the classics (Alcatraz, Golden Gate, Venice, Manhattan Beach, Beverly Hills, etc…) but I’m sure there are other things to discover as well.
The one thing that will prove a major challenge is where to shop & eat. I’m sure I’ll head to my favorite travel & lifestyle blogs for inspiration, but once again, don’t hesitate to leave your recommendations in the comments.
But, we started off with a definition of wanderlust, so it might come as no surprise that I’m headed to Paris and London in the next couple of weeks, so have a look out for that on the blog soon.
by Kelly on February 12, 2014
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought it was about time to present you my favorite brand-blogger collab of the moment.
I’m talking diamonds here, hence the Valentine’s Day reference.
After writing about their pop-up shop and the wonderful blogger dinner I attended last month, I guess by now Diamanti per Tutti is no stranger to you.
While their first line didn’t wow me, their future collections and collaborations sure did. Add the affordable price tag to all of this and I’m sold. I presume I don’t have to mention my wish list with them is endless?
Now, onto my favorite Diamanti per Tutti collection so far: the collaboration with the lady who has way too many aliases (blogger! journalist! photographer! etc! etc!), Stephanie Duval.
I’m a fan of her style and I think she did an excellent job in translating it into her capsule collection for the brand.
I’ve said it before, I’m no fan of the classic diamond necklaces, bracelets and rings, but this collection is just the opposite: subdued but ever so stylish, just the way I like it.
And it appears I’m not the only one as every time I wear a piece of the collection, I’m asked about it or people tell me how much they like it.
In some other related news: the Diamanti Per Tutti pop-up shop I talked about during the Christmas holidays recently re-opened as their first flagship store. With Friday approaching real soon, it might be your one stop before (or during) this Valentine’s weekend.
(images 1, 3 and 6 used by kind permission of Diamanti Per Tutti)
by Kelly on February 9, 2014
Unless you’ve spent the last year on a deserted island, you must have realized by now that nail art is hot and happening.
I admit, I wasn’t a fan at first and I’m still not into applying nail art to all ten nails at the same time, but I love a subtle accent here and there.
I’m not gonna lie, I have a thing for people who are chasing their dreams and even more when they succeed in it. Enter Elfi De Bruyn, whom I most definitely could give another alias to go by: the queen of nail art perhaps? Just check her blog, Facebook or Instagram account and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
She published her first book last year, Happy Nails, which not only covers a bunch of nail art projects, but also talks about taking care of your hands and feet and offers multiple diy tricks. I got myself a copy over the Christmas holidays and I sure took a cue from the queen of nail art.
Elfi is in for a rollercoaster ride this year as well with her title being published in different languages and the long-awaited Happy Nails 2 to be released this fall.
Being a busy bee the lady prepared a cool event next weekend (February 15th & 16th) in collaboration with Antwerp-based concept store The Public Image: the first pop-up nailbar to hit Antwerp.
Elfi will be around to pimp your nails for a small fee and if you aren’t very creative yourself, don’t worry: a custom nail menu will be available.
Spots are limited though next weekend, so make sure you reserve yours via nele(@)thepublicimage.be.
by Kelly on February 4, 2014
I’m not sure if many of you know this, but I spent most of my college years in Kortrijk. It’s also where I met my husband and got my college degree, so only good memories are in order here.
Ever since graduating from college, we kept on returning to Kortrijk. The city has so much to offer and I love to discover new places to shop and eat. I was told that former start-up Wasbar (with locations in Ghent and Antwerp) is planning on conquering the city and it also hosts one of my favorite concept stores: Byttebier (but we’ll talk about them later).
Anyway, I had already heard about book store Theoria from a few people on Twitter and Facebook, so when we were in Kortrijk last December I had to stop by. The bookstore hosts quite the variety of books (all the familiar themes are included and there’s even a special kid’s corner). Upstairs they have installed a couch and a few shelves with foreign language books (my favorites as I mostly read English novels). Needless to say, I lost my heart in this place. I buy a lot of books online but nothing beats the look and feel of a good bookstore. Did I mention they also have their own cat? Books and pets: you got it, I was sold!
When asking to take some photos for the blog, I was told that I definitely had to check the space next-door: Komma in de Lucht. They have a large selection of comic books, serve the most delicious coffee and cake and upstairs they have a selection of vinyl plus a co-working space where creative minds can get together. The co-working space is spruced up by an art exhibition now and then so I guess they really have it all: books, art, coffee and vinyl.
Though I must not emphasize the coffee too much as it is a book store in the first place, so seating is limited and you won’t find Coca Cola on the menu here either.
If you’re an avid reader (or pretend to be one, just like me) then this is your place to be. I’m sure I will be back, if only for the cat. No, seriously, hop on over to their Facebook pages (Theoria & Komma in de Lucht) because they have a string of events planned (I think I might attend the Komma Koers Kaffee, but that should come as no surprise to you).
Theoria x Komma in de Lucht
Onze Lieve Vrouwstraat 20-22
by Kelly on January 29, 2014
It continues to sparkle here on coineanach.org. I already told you about Antwerp diamond fashion brand Diamanti Per Tutti back in December when I visited their pop-up store and spoiled myself with an early Christmas gift. A couple of weeks ago a sparkling invite landed in my mailbox which led to me attending a dinner party last Thursday, hosted by no other than the lovely Stephanie Duval of 70percentpure and the people behind Diamanti Per Tutti.
The utterly talented Stephanie (besides being awesome in about everything she already does, she now added jewelry designer to her resume as well) designed her own capsule collection for the Antwerp brand. Sharing Stephanie’s style and admiring everything she does (girl crush much?) it might come as no surprise that this 70percentpure collection was an instant favorite of mine. When window shopping at the next best jewelry store, I always remark how dull the designs are. Throughout the years, the window displays barely change and it all feels way too mainstream.
Insert Stephanie and her collection and I’m sold. Not convinced yet? Have a look at the price tags over at the Diamanti Per Tutti webshop and I’m sure you’ll be pretty convinced in no time.
Anyway, back to Thursday night: I met up with Stephanie, the Diamanti Per Tutti team and a string of lovely and talented Belgian bloggers (I was quite intimidated at some point) at the Diamanti Per Tutti pop-up shop. I was happy to meet some very inspiring people and to enjoy the cooking of the lovely Louise of Thursday Dinners (I tell you: the food was amazeballs!). Sparkling goodies were on hand and I’ll be wearing the Prism necklace (another favorite of mine) day and night from now on.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, expect another article soon, dedicated to the Diamanti Per Tutti x 70percentpure collection and if you cannot wait until Valentine’s Day, you can visit their webshop 24/7.
Thank you once again, Stephanie and Diamanti Per Tutti for the kind invite and the lovely evening.