Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday's Fancies #41: April Showers

I was very excited about this week's Friday's Fancies theme: April Showers, even if I already know that I won't experience very many of them this year. I don't exactly know why, but it seems that Graz has such a special location, that it almost never rains here. Ever since I arrived (almost six months ago), it rained only twice! After experiencing the foggy Paris and eternally rainy Brussels, this is really a bliss for me and I couldn't be happier! No need for umbrella, no need for rain boots. But I still had so much fun putting together the perfect outfit for a rainy day. I couldn't imagine it with a feminine umbrella and, pair of flashy Hunter wellies and a waterproof mascara. However, when I saw this stunning Valentino trench, I forgot everything else. I literally died for it and I've been dreaming about it ever since. The only catch? Its (more than) hefty price tag. But these are Friday's Fancies, money are not an issue, and a girl can dream...

Be sure to hop over to Long Distance Loving to discover all the outfit inspiraton for a rainy day.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Inspired by: French flair

Decorating your home (whether it's a tiny studio or a huge country house) is a never ending task. Just when you thought it's done, a new piece of furniture would catch your eye in the store, you'd grow tired of your curtains or you'd find yourself wanting to repaint all your walls in bright pastels. We've been living in our apartment in Graz for a few months, and it still doesn't feel finished. I've been struggling with our guest room (which still resembles more a warehouse than a cozy retreat for our friends) and with our incredibly high ceilings (they give our place a slight French flair, but they can be a nightmare to decorate). Let's just say that when I wanted to hang my curtains, my parents had to come over for a weekend, so my dad (who is almost 2m / 6'6" tall) could do it for me. Even perched on a ladder, I'm simply unable to do it on my own. 

Since I wanted our home to have a French charm (my fiancé is French, and I've always had a crush on French decorating style), I've been scouring internet for inspiring photos and affordable options. These pictures epitomize perfectly what I want our place to be: a soft-colored, comfy and chic pad, with lots of white and touches of pastels, stylish crystal chandeliers and that certain je-ne-sais-quoi.

Monday, March 26, 2012

My style: The Hunger Games weekend

Dorothy Perkins dress (worn as tunic), Levi's Boyfriend skinny jeans, Asos shoes, Lancel "Premier Flirt" bag, Orsay sunnies, Peerless Charm necklace c/o

This was one of those amazing weekends when my to do list was miraculously empty, I had nothing special to do and nowhere to be, when I was free to do whatever I wanted and just enjoy myself. Perfection. 

On Friday night we went to see the Hunger Games and thank goodness, I was very far from being disappointed. I've been hooked on Katniss' gripping story ever since I discovered the books a year ago and I really hoped that the movie would raise to the challenge and escape what I call "Harry Potter destiny" (in my opinion, the last two HP movies were a complete disaster). Fortunately, Gary Ross has made a better job than David Yates. Maybe the movie wasn't as powerful as the books, but it was still a huge punch in the face. It got me thinking about all those reality TV "stars" who try so hard to live their 15 minutes of fame. And those producers who try to come up with a more shocking and unforgettable concept every year. We become more and more desensitized to the violence on TV and we may be closer to seeing something similar to the Hunger Games on TV than we think. And that's something really scary, isn't it? 

What about you? Have you already seen the movie? What did you think about the movie rendition of the story? Don't hesitate to share your opinion!

PS: This is what I wore to see the movie: I wasn't quite ready for any Capitol-inspired outfit!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday's Fancies #40: March Madness

Spring has officially arrived and I couldn't be happier about the sunny and still warmer days. I love the fact that it's the sunshine, and not the alarm clock, that wakes us up in the morning. My winter coats and boots are already stuffed safely under the bed, waiting for their next chance to make an appearance. But I've already moved on to the spring and summer mood, and my outfits reflect that perfectly. I'm all about bright colors (like my favorite hot pink pleated skirt), breezy materials, sky-high heels for nights out and embellished ballet flats for day. For my 40th participation in Friday's Fancies I've put together a bold and colorful outfit I'd be happy to sport on a date or on a night on the town with my girlfriends. And how fabulous and glamorous are those Miu Miu heels? Even if they're far beyond my usual price range, I'm still going to dream about adding them to my shoe collection. After all, isn't the spring about new beginnings and big dreams?

Be sure to check out all the March madness ensembles over at Long Distance Loving:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

From my kitchen: Homemade croissants

On workdays, breakfast tends to be quite a fast and uncomplicated affair in our house. While my fiancé gets ready for work, I prepare the coffee and hot chocolate (with my eyes still glued together) and some toasts. There's never enough time to experiment and it's so easy to fall in a routine when you're in a hurry. However, since I like to shake things up a bit from time to time, this week I've decided to tackle another big project on my "to cook / to bake" list: homemade croissants. I followed a recipe similar to this one, and they proved to be even more challenging than I expected. At first, my dough didn't rise properly and the perfectionist inside me was quite embarrassed. But I managed to save the day (and my reputation), and I whipped up a bunch of fluffy and buttery croissants. They weren't as perfect as the ones from a French bakery, and it'll probably require some time and experimenting to get the most amazing results, but they were still a nice departure from our typical toast-marmalade combo.
How about you? Do you have your own challenging recipe that you're trying to master?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Inspired by: Tiffany Blue & pink wedding

First of all, I need to send a huge thanks to Nicole Rene, an aspiring event coordinator and a very talented and amazingly creative author of a lovely blog Nicole Rene Design. If you are looking for an inspiration for your wedding or any other important event, this should be your first choice! And I know what I'm talking about: this beautiful wedding mood board is her creation!

When Nicole approached me several weeks ago with an idea of creating a mood board for my wedding, I was beyond excited and intrigued. I must confess, I haven't had much time to think about the details of our wedding yet, even if the two major things are already ticked off the list: we've found the perfect venue, and I've found THE dress. Considering the fact that our wedding is still 14 months away, it's a huge part of stress that's been cut away. And now, thanks to Nicole's beautiful mood board, I can concentrate on choosing the color combos, flower arrangements, menu and other important details that will make our wedding special. 

I couldn't resist publishing a few photos of Nicole's designs. If you want to see more, be sure to hop over to her beautiful and inspiring blog. Thank you, Nicole! I wish I could hire you as my wedding planner, if only we weren't separated by the ocean :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Beauty: Blissful bath

Every once in a while I feel completely stressed out and overwhelmed by my work, by the pressure to learn German as soon as possible to be able to lead a normal life here in Graz, by organizing our wedding, by the life in general. Sometimes, curling up on the couch with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate can manage to cheer me up, and sometimes, stronger solutions are needed. That's when I fully appreciate the big bathtub in our bathroom (we didn't have any in Paris, since we were living in a teeny tiny apartment with only a shower to play with). Now, I can truly enjoy a long hot bath and experiment with different bath foams, salts and soaks. This pampering is an amazing way to relax, forget the stress as well as to discover new brands and fragrances. And who could say no to a promise of a soft, glowing skin? These are the bath pearls and salts currently on my radar. Put them, a soft music, a good book and a few candles together, and I'm happy again!

Monday, March 19, 2012

My style: Toughened up pleats

H&M top (similar here) and skirt (similar here), Kara leather jacket (similar here), Deichmann pumps, Bijou Brigitte scarf, Claire's bracelet, Orsay sunglasses (similar here)

The spring has officially arrived to Graz, and I celebrated the glorious weather over the weekend by hiking to the city's highest point, stocking up on a vitamin D, eating delicious ice cream and purchasing two pairs of shoes. Life couldn't get better, I think. I've stuffed all the winter coats under the bed and I don't want to see them until next November! I've got quite a busy week ahead of me, and I can't wait to share a few of my new and upcoming projects with you. Hope you're all going to have a wonderful week!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday's Fancies #39: St. Patty's Day

I don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day, and I don't know anyone who does, so there's no risk of being pinched. However, green is one of my favorite colors, and I don't need any special occasion to wear it. Lately, I've found myself dreaming about monochromatic outfits: I simply love the idea of pairing various shades of one color. I know the mismatched looks are the latest word in fashion, but there's something really glamorous and polished about a monochromatic look that's really appealing to me. That's why I had so much fun putting together this green ensemble and I would simply love to wear this outfit on a date night or even to a job interview.

What about you? Is the monochromatic look a yay or a nay for you?

1. Diane von Furstenberg Shizuka Ruffled Silk Dress, $445.00
2. Ralph Lauren Collection Jesalin Canvas Sandals, $695.00
3. Mulberry Bayswater Textured Leather Bag, $1398.00
4. Miu Miu Croc-Effet Glossed-Leather Wallet, $415.00
5. Miu Miu Croc-Effect Glossed-Leather Passport Holder, $215.00
6. Kenneth Jay Lane 22-karat Gold-plated Crystal Snake Bracelets, $425.00
7. Gucci Square-frame Acetate Sunglasses, $295.00
8. Estée Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Nail Lacquer in Teal Topaz, $19.00
9. Cire Trudon Ernesto Rum, Grapefruit and Bergamot Scented Candle, $80.00

Be sure to check out all the green ensembles over at Long Distance Loving:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

DIY: Bookmarks

I'm what you could call the ultimate book worm, sometimes devouring up to three or four books a week. I learned to read at the age of five, and ever since I've been known to always carry around a book (or two) in my bag. I love the fact that the books offer me the opportunity to escape my everyday routine, discover places I've never even heard of before and live a thousand different lives. When I need desperately to forget my problems and change my mind completely, I always get lost in the worlds of Harry Potter or Katniss Everdeen. I'm not a literature snob and I can re-read Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky for the tenth time, and follow up with the latest Dan Brown. I have a terrible habit of reading two or three books at the same time (and obviously I always get lost), and I'm always in need of another bookmark (I seem to lose them everywhere I go), that's why I've decided to try an easy and creative DIY. This way, I have a stack of fun and colorful bookmarks to use or give away as gifts, and since I've put a lot of time and effort into them, I hope that I'll be a little bit more careful and that I won't lose them all in two weeks.

Here's a step-by-step tutorial:

You'll need: thicker colored paper, patterned wrapping paper (choose patterns that are easy to cut out), soft black pencil, glue, scissors, glitter glue and thin ribbons (app. 6mm / 0,2inch wide)

Print and cut out the templates (I used this and this)

Use the templates to draw and cut out bookmarks from colored paper.

This is what you should get.

Now, get your creative juices flowing and decorate your bookmarks with different patterns and colors: I used flowers and stars cut out from the patterned wrapping paper, I stenciled patterns with simple black felt-tip pen, and I drew flowers with a glitter glue pen and let them dry thoroughly.

You are limited only by your imagination, so have fun!

Monday, March 12, 2012

My style: Glamour is..., part 2

H&M button-down (similar here), Forever 21 skirt and shoes, Peerless Charm necklace (c/o), Dorothy Perkins clutch (similar here), Claire's bracelets, Ray Ban Aviators

Now that I've decided to add a glamorous touch to my everyday life, glamour seems to be everywhere.These are my most recent discoveries:
Glamour is in a swipe of my favorite pink lipstick (my signature shade) that makes me feel instantly pulled together.

It's in a new pair of shoes that makes my legs incredibly long and which, at $24.99 was an amazing deal.

It's in a brand new magazine that lands in my mailbox, and that is an immediate source of inspiration.

It's in a flickering fire of a scented candle. 

It's in a perfect manicure and in all the beautiful nail polish shades.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday's Fancies #38: Spring Break

It's been a long time since I last prepared my spring break suitcase, and I had so much fun remembering my excitement about those few days off school and campus. Planning a casual wardrobe has never been an easy task for me, because I've always favored skirts and dresses over pants and heels over flats. But lately I've been determined to experiment a little bit more with my outfit choices, and I'm planning to sew a pair of cropped pants similar to this Marc Jacobs' one. It would be so fun to pair it with a silky blouse and a pair of stylish loafers. This is definitely a style I'm willing to explore. Do you have your favorite casual outfit?

Be sure to discover all the Spring break ensembles over at Long Distance Loving:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

From my kitchen: Homemade pizza

Every time I feel too lazy to think up some sophisticated dinner, I opt for a homemade pizza. It's easy to make and always scrumptious. Of course, I love discovering new Italian restaurants and looking for the perfect flavor combination, but there's something inconspicuously glamorous about enjoying a homemade slice (or two). For such a huge pizza lover as I am, it's quite a shame that I waited this long to make my own homemade pizza dough. I've always imagined that it would be long, complicated and tiresome. Well, long, it was (you have to let the dough rise for at least 1 1/2 hour), but complicated? Not at all! I followed Annie's super simple recipe and the results were more than I could hope for!

I must admit, I'm not really big on following pizza recipes, I usually throw in anything I can find in my fridge, and it's always delicious.This time I opted for green pesto, ham, tomatoes (fresh and dried) and a ton of various sorts of cheese (mozzarella, emmental, Parmesan) and I already can't wait to experiment with new flavors and ingredients! Do you have your personal favorite?

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