Monday, April 30, 2012

My style: Boyfriend meets Mademoiselle

Armand Thierry jacket (similar here), Levi's Curve ID straight jeans, Gate t-shirt, Deichmann shoes (similar here), Dorothy Perkins clutch (similar here), Marks&Spencer sunglasses (similar here), Forever 21 bangle

This Chanel-inspired jacket is definitely one of the most versatile pieces in my closet. It looks equally fabulous with a pair of jeans, as it does with a pencil skirt or thrown over an LBD. I remember that when I was working for the European Commission in Brussels, I wore it almost every week. That's why I'm a little bit ashamed to admit that I completely forgot that I had it! I only rediscovered it last week, when I started to edit my wardrobe. My excuse is that ever since I started to work from home, a huge part of my "corporate" wardrobe has been sleeping in my closet, waiting for its next chance to make its appearance. But not anymore: I'm planning to add more classy and chic elements (jackets, shirts, blazers and pearls) to my day-to-day outfits. This chic jacket paired with my DIY boyfriend jeans (I simply rolled up the hems on my favorite straight jeans), floral heels and beachy waves, made just for the perfect outfit for a Sunday walk in town.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shopping French chic: French in trench

I'm here with another French-inspired shopping spree.We'll be talking about another French closet staple: a trench coat. No French wardrobe is complete without a classic beige or black well-cut trench. This comes as no surprise: after all, the French style is all about the simplicity, quality and easy glamour, and no other garment epitomizes effortless glamour as a trench! It is one of the most versatile pieces there is: you can wear with a classic jean and a soft blouse, or with a feminine tuxedo jacket and black pants à la Yves Saint Laurent; even with your cocktail dress on a chilly summer night. Fastening its belt nonchalantly on your waist will add a touch of effortless chic to any outfit. Take time choosing your perfect trench and don't hurry up: a French-style trench always fits like a glove. It should look like you've had it forever an it has almost become your second skin.

Of course, a classic Burberry is still the first choice, but let's be honest: how many of us can spend $1400+ on a trench right now? I know I certainly can't. Luckily, there are many classy, beautiful and good quality choices out there, and until I can max my credit card out chez Burberry, I'll be more than happy with a more affordable option. And I'm seriously tempted by n°3 by Lacoste. Isn't it just perfection? Which one is your favorite? And don't forget that you can find many many more options in my shopping section. Good luck finding you perfect one!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

From my kitchen: Banana tarte tatin with chocolate

Printable recipe here

I've been thinking about making a tarte tatin for quite some time, but I must confess, I was a little bit intimidated by the caramel. I've never made it before, and it turned out to be pretty difficult (or I just wasn't using the best technique - all the tips are more than welcome!). Nevertheless, even if the caramel was far from being perfect, the tart turned out really delicious. Since I'm not very fond of end-of-season apples (I prefer the delicious autumn ones), I used a bunch of not too ripe bananas, added a little chocolate twist and we enjoyed the results with a touch of whipped cream. One last piece of advice: the tatin is always best warm so make sure you put it in the preheated oven for 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Inspired by: The Art of accessorizing

Image via Madame Figaro

Every time I think of French women and their extraordinary sense of style, I have to think about accessories. Bags, shoes, bracelets, earrings, scarves: they love them all and know exactly how to incorporate them into their daily outfits to add a little pop of color here, a little touch of glamour there. French woman is never afraid to match her bag to her shoes, after all, what's wrong with looking perfectly pulled together?

These stylish photos have left me dreaming about quilted Dior clutch, coral pointed pumps, classic black ladylike bag and large gold bracelets. What are your accessories obsessions du jour?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday's Fancies #44: Picnic Primped

Ok, so this week's Friday's Fancies theme was Picnic primped, and I know that you probably don't wear a Valentino dress and Jimmy Choo pumps to a picnic in the park, but who cares? Friday's Fancies have always been about dreaming, and lately I've decided to dream big and really enjoy it! And who knows? Even the craziest dreams may come true one day! So if I happen to attend a picnic hosted by Blair Waldorf, I'd better be prepared, right? 

Be sure to check out all the picnic ensembles over at Long distance loving!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

DIY: Eiffel Tower

Lately I've been missing France and Paris more than I care to admit and I've been constantly obsessing over the possibilities to spend at least a weekend back there. And of course, I got incredibly jealous when my fiancé told me that he was going there from work next week. Oh, how I wish I could go with him! Anyhow, instead of getting all depressed and miserable, I've been working on the list of things I want him to bring me from Paris (like the foie gras and the latest Guillaume Musso's books): he better takes the biggest suitcase with him! 

This week I've been also reconnecting with French culture in Graz: I've became member of French Institute, I've tracked down the bookstore selling French magazines, and I finally managed to bake a batch of macarons that resemble the real deal (and of course, on the day that I made them, my camera's battery died - how's that for bad luck!)

And until I figure out my next trip to my favorite city in the world, I made this cute paper Eiffel Tower to keep me company in my office. I've stumbled upon these templates (photo 1 and 2) while browsing Flickr for inspiration, and I couldn't resist trying my hands on them. My Tour turned out really well, even if it took me some time to clean my desk from all that glue. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Hunger Games inspired wedding

Photos via You & Your Wedding

I have stumbled upon these photos a few days ago, while browsing You & Your Wedding website for my own wedding inspiration, and I simply couldn't resist the temptation to share. You know how big of a Hunger Games fan I am: I've read all three books several times, I have them in their audio form on my iPhone and I can't even explain it properly, but there is something in that story that touches the most inner parts of my brain and soul and I love reading every single page over and over again.
And while this photo shoot might not represent precisely my idea of chic and glamorous reception, there are many beautiful and eye-catching details that are simply too beautiful to pass: like the sea of ruffles on Katniss' dress, simple yet glamorous golden chairs, exquisite calligraphy place cards, pretty gold-trimmed vases with daffodils, simple white candles, homemade fruit pies that could have come straight from Peeta's bakery, and natural linens. And the cherry on top? A stunningly beautiful Mockingjay wedding cake. I love when a photo makes me dream and these have kept me dreaming for several days already. 

Photos were taken by very talented Carmen Santorelli.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday's Fancies #43: Pretty in Pastels

Images via
I've been in love with sweet and pretty pastels ever since Marc Jacobs sent the Louis Vuitton models spinning on that incredible carousel. Alongside Valentino's perfect lace work it was the most romantic and feminine collection of the season, and I've been dreaming of incorporating pastels into my wardrobe and my home decor ever since. Pastes have even influenced the design of my blog: when I was designing my new header, a soft pink background was more than an evidence. That's why I simply adored this week's Friday's Fancies theme and of course, I went over the top, creating not one, but two perfect pastel outfits. To say that I fell head over heels for the beautiful D&G tutu (so Carrie Bradshaw!) or that Sonia Rykiel striped sweater (which has "French chic" written all over its face), would be a major understatement. Now, all I need is to break the bank!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

From my kitchen: Honey cupcakes with white chocolate ganache

Find the printable recipe here

I feel like every time I need a quick and delicious dessert, I turn to cupcakes. They are one of the cutest things ever, and they are so much easier to make that those elusive macarons (and speaking of those, I'm planning to give them another try tomorrow - still determined to get down to the core of the problem!)
I think I've pretty much mastered the classic cupcake recipe with sugar icing (as seen here), and this time I wanted to experiment a little bit with the flavors and decorating. I added a touch of honey to the dough which proved to be a very good idea. It added a hint of unexpected sweetness, and the cupcakes were that much lighter and fluffier. For the first time I tried a chocolate ganache (white chocolate, bien sûr) and it turned out a lot better than I expected: perfectly sweet but not greasy. Simply delicious (find the printable recipe here).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My style: Cherry blossom

Orsay top and sunglasses, Brigitte skirt, Kara leather jacket, Deichmann pumps and bag, Claire's pearl bracelets

Easter has never been one of my favorite holidays: back in Slovakia, we have some special traditions that I don't like at all, and I was always happy when I could escape them. This was our first Easter in Graz, and to be honest, it was probably the first Easter weekend in my life that I truly enjoyed. My brother and his girlfriend came over for a visit and our weekend was filled with lots of chatter, laughing, great food and great wine, long walks and delicious ice cream. It was just the perfect family weekend I was hoping for, and it has left me with a lot of energy and happiness for the upcoming short, but busy week. 

How was your Easter weekend? Do you have any special traditions in your country? And most important, do you enjoy them?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday's Fancies #42: Flower Power

The last time I edited my wardrobe I realized that I had very few pieces with floral print. That is really weird, since my style tends to be very feminine, and there's not more feminine print that flowers, right? This week's Friday's Fancies gave me the necessary jolt, and I went searching for some serious floral inspiration. I already dipped into flower power with my previous styling of this Topshop origami dress. That's why this week I wanted to put together something more subtle, more in the spirit of French chic. When I saw this extraordinary Oscar de la Renta dress, I was lost! No flower print is involved this time, the beautiful and intricate flowers are directly cut into the organza, and they couldn't be more whimsical. Paired with classic nude patent leather pumps, berry clutch and gold jewelry this would make an outstanding outfit for any summer night party. Forget the price tags, this week I'm dreaming big and loving every second of it!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

From my kitchen: Quiche aux poireaux (Leek quiche)

Find the printable recipe here

When I first came to France as an au-pair, the only thing I could cook were scrambled eggs. Don't laugh at me: my mom has always been a great cook and I felt a little bit intimidated, like I could never compare to her. Later on, she told me that when she saw me off to my first trip to France, she was really worried for me: how on earth was I going to take care of such a huge family (34 people, grand parents, parents and children all mixed up) when I didn't know a first thing about cooking? I wasn't really bothered until the first time I saw them all together - 34 people is really huge, you know... But I was lucky: they didn't really expect any culinary miracles from me, and they preferred to teach me their ways. It was the grandmother who taught me patiently everything she knew: the secrets of the best ratatouille, an incredible chocolate gateau that always disappeared with the speed of light, and the famous quiche. Even now, 8 years later, I still make a quiche at least twice a month, and I think I've became quite an expert. But I must admit, I never really experimented with the various fillings. Until now. When my fiancé brought some leek from the Farmers market, it was the perfect occasion to try something new. I've just updated my classic quiche recipe, added a little bit of this and that, and then enjoyed the results of my hard work. (You can find the printable recipe here). It was really scrumptious, and it has motivated me to search for more new and unexpected flavor combos.

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