dinsdag 19 november 2013

Sweater Weather Tag

Oh no... It has been almost an entire week since I posted a blog, and I don't even have any interesting excuses to give you about why I haven't written because... nothing happened haha.

It's officially autumn, everything is grey, it's cold, I recovered from my first serious cold this season. Really, there is nothing else to mention. I did redecorate my room, it's not a very large room so it's always a challenge to mix things up, but I think I've managed to make it look completely different. Even though you don't know how it looked before, I've added some pictures to give you a glimpse :).

My desk and my couch/bed

And now for the real topic of this post: I've seen so many tags passing along on youtube channels and one of them has inspired me. I don't like hearing myself talk so that is why I haven't started vlogging or making youtube videos, but I thought, why can't I join in on this tag craze? I love the topic and all of those videos look so cute! My post is inspired on the tag Ingrid from missglamorazzi did because I loved they way she changed it, so here you go: the sweater weather tag especially for you:

My favorite candle scent?: 
I don't burn a lot of scented candles, I often find them too overpowering but there is one that I have been loving for almost a year now: it's the spring garden candle by rituals. It gives off a really warm and still fresh smelling Vetiver and Clary Sage scent. I've got it on my bedside table and every time I have a little quiet moment I like to burn it.

My favorite candle, with a nice saying on the glass

The candle on my cute bedside table

Coffee, Tea or Hot Chocolate?:
I like all three haha, but lately I've been drinking more tea than coffee with an occasional hot chocolate. I've been trying to cut back on my sugar and I can't bear to drink my coffee without sugar, but I do have a lot of tea-flavors that do very well without sugar. Currently I'm loving my Rooibos Cranberry loose tea, rooibos is very good for you and it is quite an interesting combination with the cranberry because I sometimes feel like it tastes a bit 'chocolaty' if you know what I mean... I love love love hot chocolate too but that is really a treat. My favorite hot chocolate comes in a carton from a Dutch brand, I think every country has their own hot chocolate brand, I also love the Danish chocolate milk 'Matilde' I think it's called, it's similar to the Dutch version. Very creamy, very chocolaty, very rich, too good to have it every day :P.

What is the best fall memory you have?
My birthday is in fall so obviously I have a lot of nice birthday memories that enter my mind every time I think of fall. When I was younger my family used to go to a family-house in the Ardennes in Belgium in september around my grandmothers birthday and I remember the old cold house and playing in the garden and going for walks in the woods and the smell of wood-fires. I've had a lot of fun times with my cousins there, so I guess that and my large collection of birthday-memories are my favorite fall memories.

Dark lips or winged eyeliner?
Winged eyeliner, for sure. It's something I do almost daily because I'm a huge liner-addict haha. I never wear dark lips actually and I have real problems discovering lipsticks that I really like... I always look almost 'over-done' when I wear it... Any tips?

Best fragrance for fall?
I have a problem choosing now, I have an all time favorite scent and one that I got recently and that I love as much as the first one, but the first one is more suited for fall and the other is more of an 'every day' kind of scent... My all time favorite scent is 'Love, Chloe', love the scent, love the bottle, love love love. The powdery scent is what I like about it so much, but I think that is what makes it better suited for colder times... it's a bit warmer and a bit more 'old fashioned' almost (in a good way). My newest scent is 'XX Hugo' by Hugo Boss. It's a lot lighter and fresher and not as heavy as Love, Chloe. Scents can really overwhelm me, that is why I don't wear the heavier Chloe scent every day.

My two favorite scents

What is autumn weather like where you live?
It's cold and it's rainy. We do get a glimpse of sunshine every now or then, but I think the Netherlands is known for its rain, with reason. It's okay though, in winter it gets better ;).

The occasional nice morning

Favorite thanksgiving food?
In the Netherlands we obviously don't celebrate thanksgiving, but we do celebrate Sinterklaas and Sinterklaas comes with it's own food and candy traditions. Sinterklaas is the Dutch way of saying 'Saint Nicholas', it is a saint of the children who according to Dutch legends lives in Spain and takes his boat the Netherlands every year for his 'birthday' on the 6th of december when he treats all the kids to presents and candy. Now I've given you the most basic introduction to Sinterklaas (I left a lot of crucial elements out to stay clear of any discussions), I can talk about the candy and cookies. The Sinterklaas candy is very sugar and marzipan heavy, I usually don't eat the candy. The cookies however, don't get me started about that! Sinterklaas and his helpers give out tiny little cookies called 'pepernoten' (spiced cookies with cinamon, clove and all those things). The plain ones are awesome but you can also get them covered in chocolate, covered in cappuccino flavor, chocolate truffle flavor... As you can imagine, I love them all. Click this link to find some more explanations about pepernoten and how to make them!

Most worn sweater?
My favorite sweater is a black/grey one with shimmery details. It's really warm and cozy and I usually just wear it with jeggings or black pants, but it has a zipper off center so it can look a bit more structured as well that is why I think it also looks really cool on a cute and girly dress! I have the biggest trouble finding sweaters I like, I always have the feeling they make me look so square... that's why I usually go for a button down or in this case a zip-down :).

Must have nail-polish this fall?
I actually did a post about nail-polish last week and I'm still in love with that look, it's a fuchsia-red-pink base with red/pink glitter on the top. It looks quite classic with already a little hit of festivity, I feel like it sparks up any outfit haha.

My current favorite nailpolish

Football games or jumping in a pile of leaves?
I'm not really a football/soccer fan (American football is really not very popular here in the Netherlands) but I do like to make the most out of fall weather. I love going out for a walk and when I'm at my parents place and we go walking in the woods there are more than enough leave-piles to jump in. So jumping in a pile of leaves anyday!

Skinny jeans or leggings?
Can I say both? I've got my favorite pair of Jeggings which is both a skinny jeans and a pair of leggings... It's black with a grey floral print, I hardly ever wear something with such a heavy print on my pants or skirts alone, but this one is just perfect, I would wear it every day if my boyfriend wouldn't get sick of it haha.

Combat boots or Uggs?
I'd say combat boots, I don't own a pair, and I do own a pair of Uggs, but I don't wear my Uggs anymore and I prefer the look of a nice pair of boots. However combat boots might be a bit too heavy for me... I really like ankle-booties, those are what I wear day to day. And with skirts I prefer higher suede boots, you can't go wrong with those.

Is pumpkin spice really worth the hype?
Eh what? Is the tag referring to the starbucks coffee? I think I've had it once this autumn (a skinny pumpkin spiced latte) and it is way too sweet for me, so no. I do like a bit of cinnamon on top of my cappuccino though, yummm. Or cinnamon in my hot chocolate <3

Favorite fall TV show?
Actually I haven't been watching any new series or TV shows, I've started watching the Gossip Girl seasons again on Netflix... Someone give me tip on what I should be watching instead? I'm not a big one for a lot of drama, either it has to be intriguing or funny for me to catch my attention.

What song really gets you in the fall spirit?
A really old one: 'The Mamas and the Papas - California Dreamin', ahhh I love that song!
Some more recent artists: I love Bastille, still. The new John Mayer album is pretty great too and when I need something more upbeat I put on the new Avicii album, I swear, every track on that album is a #1!

Soooo, I really hope you liked this post, please let me know if you enjoyed it, if I should do more of these tags and if you have any tips or trics for me leave a comment for me down in the comments box :). 

Lots of love,

woensdag 13 november 2013

Beautiful Wednesdays: current beauty favorite

Hey guys, I hope you're having a beautiful wednesday!

It is a wonderful autumn day here in Utrecht, the sun is shining, it is not too windy and the sunlight makes all the yellow leaves on the trees look golden.

I decided to start a little series on my blog called 'Beautiful Wednesdays', you can already read quite a bit about recipes here, but I also enjoy buying and using new (or old) beauty favorites. That is why I've decided to upload a little review of my favorite beauty product every week!

This week it's a nail-polish. I've already confessed my love for the L'Oreal nail-polishes, but my love has only grown bigger since the last time I talked to you about them. As you might have read it was my birthday last sunday and once I'm 'past my birthday' christmas always feels so much closer! Is it too soon? Maybe. Do I care? Not really, because I found the perfect christmassy nail-polish:

The L'Oreal nailpolish #836 Scarlet Tinsel
Oh my, isn't that pretty? It's a nice fuchsia-pink-glitter and the glitters are really small. You need a couple of layers to cover your nail with glitter if you don't use a colored base-coat. I was afraid that would take too long so I painted my nails with Rimmel's 'lycra pro professional finish' in 402 in Urban Purple (which is not a purple but a fuchsia as well) first before I added a layer of the L'Oreal glitter. I've only just bought it so I'm not sure whether it will chip easily or not, but I will let you know next week!

This was really an impulse buy by the way, I travel to Amsterdam a couple of times a week by train to go to university and there is a little drugstore in the train-station. Every time I have to wait more than 5 minutes before I can board my train I end up going into the drugstore. I was only in for 3 minutes today and I still managed to buy something haha... Ah well, it got me in the Christmas mood!

What about you? Are you looking forward to the holidays, or do you think it's too soon? And what color nail-polish is your favorite at the moment?


zaterdag 9 november 2013

Birthday entertaining (+recipes)

Happy Saturday everyone!

How's your weekend so far? Mine started yesterday already and I've been having a great time! Tomorrow it's my birthday, so I used the opportunity to throw a little birthday party yesterday evening. I had been working on an assignment until 1 the night before so I tried to sleep in on friday morning, but at 9.30 am I was too excited to start baking and cooking that I got up and started my chores.

I expected around 20 of my friends to come of which two of them would stay for dinner so I wanted to bake two types of cake. I was looking for some crowd-pleasers, at least one of my favorites and I had to take into account that I was baking on a budget. It was a long and hard thought process, but in the end I settled for a banana bread and Jamie Oliver's 'Children's Party Cake'. I've made the banana bread a coupe of weeks before and it was a real crowd pleaser and the Party Cake is one of my favorites, it has a lot of chocolate, fruit and whipped cream, everything you want in a cake ;). You'll find the recipes below!

The party was a huge success, at least that is what I thought. Everyone loved the cakes, I got many awesome and very thoughtful gifts, we danced a little, laughed a lot and at 2 am I was in my bed. Exhausted but sooo happy because I got to see so many friends!

Wearing my new scarf!

If you ever find yourself in need of a good recipe for a cake either one of the two posted below are great options. The banana bread is a lot quicker to make if you're short on time, but the chocolate party cake is a real party favorite!

Jamie Oliver's Chocolate Children's Party Cake

I started with the Chocolate cake because that had to cool down before I could cut it in half, cover it in whipped cream and oranges. In his recipe Jamie tells your to use two separate cake tins but I have a teeny tiny oven and it would take way too long to bake two cakes.

You need: 
200 g butter (at room temperature)
4 tbs of cocoa powder
3 oranges
200 g of sugar (as fine as possible)
3 eggs
1 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of salt
200 g of self-raising powder
200 ml of cream
100 g butter for the icing
100 g of pure chocolate
100 g (or less) icing sugar

Preheat the oven on 180C degrees. 
Cream the butter and the sugar in a bowl, if you've made sure that your butter is soft enough that should be fairly easy to do. Mix the cocoa powder with 4 tbs of hot water and add the mix to your butter/sugar mixture. Add the eggs one by one and add the zest of 2 of your oranges. Mix together the dry ingredients and start adding them to your wet mixture, make sure not to over-mix it but it should be a nice and creamy cake consistence. Now this is very important: try not to eat all of the mixture. I know, it tastes great, but you should have enough left to fill a round cake tin for at least 1/3 of the height. Before you add the mixture to your cake tin grease your cake tin properly and put a piece of baking paper on the bottom. Bake the cake for 40 minutes or until a when you test the center of the cake with a skewer and it comes out clean.

Let your cake cool down for about 40 minutes.
In the meantime you can make a banana bread ;) (That's what I did). 
Whilst cooling down, add the chocolate, butter and sugar in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. It'll look incredible, but again, try not to eat it all... 

Try to eat not all of the chocolate icing... 
Once it has cooled down, carefully cut your cake in half, whip your cream until you reach stiff peaks, segment the two oranges you used for the zest and add the cream and the segmented oranges to the bottom half of your cake. Press the top half of your cake on top and drizzle it with the chocolate mixture. Let your cake cool down in the fridge for about half an hour and then it is ready to eat! 
The chocolate cake, cut in half
Cover it in cream and segmented orange

The best banana loaf ever!

250 g of flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of salt
100 g of butter
200 g of white muscavado sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup of creme fraiche (125 ml)
3 bananas, mashed
100 g of pure chocolate, cut into pieces
(optional: some nutes, pistachios or walnuts and some brown sugar)

Here comes the easiest recipe ever: 
Preheat the oven on 180c degrees.
Cream the butter and the white muscavado sugar, add the eggs, the vanilla and the creme fraiche. Mix the dry ingredients and add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients spoonful by spoonful (otherwise you get a flour explosion in your face). Add the mashed bananas and the chocolate and mix. Pour it in your bake-tin that you have lined with baking paper (to understand how to do it look at my picture below, it has proved to be my personal miracle to get out my cakes in one piece). If you'd like you can add the brown sugar and the nuts on top to create a little caramelly-top. Bake your cake for 60 minutes (in the middle of the oven if you have different settings, I don't, as I said, my oven is tiny haha). Let the cake cool down for 20 minutes and remove it from the cake tin!

Banana loaf batter

The cooked banana loaf

All in all it was a great day, I love taking the time to bake and it's even better if I don't have to eat it all myself haha! I hope I've inspired you with these recipes and let me know down below in the comments what your favorite birthday cake is!

Thanks for reading! 

maandag 4 november 2013

ASOS haul and other bits and blips

Happy monday everyone!

I hope you all had a marvelous weekend, I sure did! At the moment I'm on the train, making my way back to my place in Utrecht, it finally stopped raining and I'm enjoying some peace and quiet with a little bit of autumnal sunshine.

Nice little sunny train-ride
My weekend started off really well with the arrival of my ASOS order that I had placed earlier this week. I ordered this pretty, feminine dress and this necklace. The dress fits really nice, if you're thinking about ordering it, you can get away with buying a slightly smaller size than you're used to, the fabric is really stretchy and soft. I usually only wear tops in UK size 6, in dresses I usually need a bigger size (for the hips) but this fits really nice and the skirt is very flowy and has the perfect length. First I quite liked the necklace, its colorful and playful but now I'm starting too doubt, it might be a bit too much for me. As you probably can tell by looking at the dress, especially in autumn i prefer to wear some darker colors, and my style is quite classical... The necklace does not really fit that style... What kind of necklace do you think would look better with a dress like this?

Complete view of the dress
Sweetheart neckline

( Sorry it took so long for me to upload the pictures guys, I wanted to take pictures with my big-girl camera, but in the end I forgot to do so, that is why you are now looking at such crappy pictures haha ;) )

On saturday I went shopping with my friend Anne in Amsterdam, which was soooo much fun because we hadn't seen each other in a while. I didn't buy a lot besides thee pairs of socks and stockings haha. 

Awesome Topshop socks

In the evening I went to see my boyfriend and on sunday I just followed him around until he had to go to work after which I went with his family to a party for his granny. In the evening I got on train to Maastricht because I had to go to the dentist and now I'm on my way back! All in all, a busy weekend! Glad I got you updated in all of my nonsense haha.
So november jas started and what has caught my attention is the overall explosion of movember! The last couple of years it was there, I heard about it, I knew guys who participated but for some reason everyone is obsessed with movember this year! Its on the radio, its on tv, I even spotted Fleurdeforce's husband making a video about participating! I can already hear all of those hipsters mumbling: "but I knew about it way before it became a thing..." haha! 

I hope you enjoyed reading it, leave me a comment telling me how your first november weekend was! 


PS, i am in love with these cookies, does anyone have a recipe that will get me close to these? They are so yummy and crumbly and small, so I don't feel bad for taking more than one ;)

Green apple & almond cookies, yum!!