Friday, August 31, 2012

Entertaining: End-of-summer tablescape

Image via

I can hardly believe that August is already over, and September is looming just around the corner. Ever since I took up on my old job again, I can't see the time pass. Fortunately, the summer weather doesn't seem to want to disappear that quickly, and I plan to soak up on as much sunshine as I can. That includes enjoying a bunch of BBQs and alfresco dinners while watching the sun set over the horizon. This beautiful tablescape has all the beautiful summer colors (like vibrant pink, orange and yellow), while incorporated a bunch of autumn shades (burnt sienna and gold are definitely among my seasonal favorites). I would use this color palette for an end-of -summer birthday party or even an unconventional wedding reception with a rustic twist.

Do you like mixing shades typical for different seasons? And what are your end-of-summer plans?
Have a wonderful weekend!



12. West Elm gold flatware, set of 5, $29

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Home office inspiration


I'm off to my second photography class today, so I' leaving you with a great dose of home office eye candy. I'm in desperate need of revamping my own home office space, and once again Pinterest proved itself to be an incredible source of inspiration.
All these pictures are unique and inspiring, with their combination of modern and traditional, of classic and classy. I love them all and narrowing them down to just one winner would be impossible. Do you have your own favorite home office style? 



Photo sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 9 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Summer getaway: Provence

Photo via

The summer is slowly but surely drawing to a close and so is my summer getaway series (you can find all the inspirational posts here). And since I started this series in Paris, it only feels appropriate to finish in another amazing and beautiful part of France: Provence. Although I lived in France for 4 years, I've never been to Provence, and it's one of my biggest regrets. When thinking about this southern part of France, I always imagine vast lavender fields, fragrant herbs, glasses of summery rosé wine, and the most delicious food in the world. When it comes to outfits inspired by this wonderful place, I imagine lots of flowy skirts and pretty tops, cute ballet flats, and of course, all the shades of lavender.

And when in Provence, don't forget to stock up on amazing Provencal cosmetics (L'Occitane and Savon de Marseille have been on top of my list for years!). There's nothing that transports me back to France more effectively than a bar of lavender soap and shea butter hand cream!
Now you tell me, what would your perfect last minute summer getaway look like? Where would you go and what would you pack?

Day






Tuesday, August 21, 2012

From my kitchen: Clafoutis aux pêches / Peach clafouti


My weekly trips to farmers market have got me thinking about shifting seasons. I confess, I could hardly imagine living in a place where the sun is always shining and the snow never falls from the sky. Shifting seasons are part of my DNA, and, perhaps even more so, of my kitchen. Seasonal fruit is the best example: every year I'm waiting impatiently for the first strawberries who epitomize the true beginning of summer to me. When strawberries begin to disappear, I gorge myself on apricots (my all time favorite kind of fruit, alongside with raspberries) and peaches (the stars of my today's dessert). And I already know that next week, peaches will be gone and first apples and pears appear on the farmers market stalls. Fresh fruit guides me through the summer and it's that much more precious when I know that it's only here for a while. I always try to make the best out of every kind, and I'm more than happy to share another delicious recipe with you! What is your favorite kind of fruit? Do you have a signature summer recipe? 

Peach clafouti

You'll need:

* 4 peaches
* 4 eggs
* 125g all-purpose flour
* 25g butter
* 300ml milk
* 100g sugar
* a pinch of salt

1. Butter the pie mold. Cut peaches into cubes and dispose them in the mold.
2. Blend eggs, sugar and a pinch of salt together. Add flour, then milk and blend all well together. 
3. Pour the dough over the peaches.
4. Bake in the oven preheated to 180°C for 40 minutes.
5. Serve warm.

Bon appétit!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer escape: Los Angeles

Photo via

I've already been dreaming about the perfect summer getaway for weeks (you can find all my previous summer escape posts here), and since I still have 2 weeks to go before my Roman holiday, I'm here today with another dream destination of mine. California in general, and Los Angeles in particular, have been on my travel list for ages. I'm intrigued by the differences between the beaches, the mountains and the glamorous cities that are characteristic for this state (and have I mentioned that it's home to a bunch of my favorite bloggers, like Emily and Anna, and to my all-time favorite fashion maven, Rachel Zoe?).

When it comes to Los Angeles style, I would opt for easy Californian chic for day, and dramatic glamour for night. I'm still not entirely comfortable with the idea of wearing denim cut-offs, but it's the piece that epitomitzes that relaxed vibe. When paired with a chic top, killer gladiator heels and a few colorful accessories, it looks absolutely fantastic.

In the evening, I would opt for a fabulous hi-lo chiffon dress paired with sparkly heels, minimal jewelry and colorful mani/pedi. 

What would your perfect LA wardrobe look like?

Day


1. River Island Clock and Key necklace pack, $20.44
2. ModCloth Drinks on the deck hat, $14.99
3. Dorothy Perkins blush bow front swing top, $44
4. Reed Krakoff Atlantique leather tote, $1590
5. Estée Lauder Beyond Black Pure Color nail lacquer, $20
6. MAC Heavenly Creature lipstick, $15
7. Topshop Moto copper stud denim hot pants, $70
8. Giuseppe Zanotti metallic suede gladiator sandals, $850
9. Ann Taylor Harper leather gladiator sandals, $99.88
10. Asos pack of two smooth double cuffs,  $25.55

Night


1. Rare chiffon hi lo dress with chain back, $71.58
2. ModCloth Front Page Photo jacket, $89.99
3. Deborah Lippmann Ray of Light & Sweet Dreams mini duet, $21
4. Dorothy Perkins Leopard halfmoon clutch, $17
5. Stila Sparkle luxe lip gloss, $22
6. Asos Hello heeled sandals, $85.15
7. Asos Adjustable pack of three engraved band rings, $13.62

Something extra


1. Sara Happ The lip slip lip balm, $24
2. Nikon d3100, $499.99
3. Wallpaper City Guide Los Angeles, $9.95
4. Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, $24
5. Estée Lauder DayWear Anti-oxydant BB creme, $28
6. Moleskine City Notebook Los Angeles, $17.95
7. Leonor Greyl Paris Nourishing Hair serum, $44
8. Clarisonic Mia 2 Mango sonic cleansing system, $149
9. Tela beauty organics boar bristle hairbrush, $72

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My style: Like a sunflower

Top & skirt: Orsay, Shoes: Deichmann, Sunnies: Firmoo c/o, Ring: Six, Nail polish: Chanel

I have finally found some time to check out the last summer sales, and I wasn't disappointed. I have snatched this cute yellow top and pretty green skirt for next to nothing, and I couldn't resist wearing them immediately with my new fabulous pair of sunnies that I received from Firmoo. Plus, after a year of experimenting with blonde hair, I have returned to my original brown, and I couldn't be happier. I don't need to be bothered about touch-up appointments anymore!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Shopping: La belle femme


The weather has cooled down significantly these past few days and I've decided that was the perfect opportunity to bring you the first glimpse of fabulous fall wardrobe.You know me well, I love myself a great dose of French chic every other day, so when I discovered Dorothy Perkins' new collection, I literally squealed from delight. Its name is "La belle femme" and it's full of glamorous well-fitted dresses, quirky prints (how amazing are those perfume bottle and necklace prints?), metallic accessories and pretty peplum jackets. All in all, I'm pretty much obsessed with every single piece, and I would love to add them all to my fall wardrobe (if my budget permits). These are my absolute favorites. Which are yours?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Summer escape: Rome

Image via

I know I told you in my very first "Summer escape" post that there was no "vaction" inscription on my agenda this summer. Well, things change, and after a lot of personal drama, I earned the right to escape all the problems, and, for the first time in my life, visit Rome and Florence. I'm leaving at the beginning of September, and I'm already super excited. I'm looking forward to visiting all the beautiful monuments, eating my way through a ton of pasta, pizza and other Italian delicacies, stocking on the best olive oil and being inspired by the fabulous Italian fashion and style. Doesn't that sound heavenly?

I've already spent days researching my trip, making my list of places to visit and of course, planning my wardrobe. They say that Milan is the Italian fashion capital, but I'm convinced that Rome can give it a run for its money any time it wants. I can't way to see all the Romans strutting around in their stylish, well-tailored and perfectly designed outfits. Below is my idea of perfect Roman wardrobe: lightweight dresses, glamorous sunnies, quality leather totes and shoes and a little bit of sparkle provided by the accessories.

Have you ever visited Rome or Florence? If so, don't hesitate to share your favorite spots, things to see, restaurants to try, anything, really. I'm already looking forward to reading your tips!

Day


7. Guess Moonbeam Mother of Pearl buckle, $221.39

Night


3. Forever 21 Chiffon rosette chain necklace, $12.80
5. Guess Pixie dust bucke watch, $253.75

Something extra


4. Nikon Coolpix S6300, $

Saturday, August 11, 2012

From my kitchen: Homemade raspberry vinegar


Making the perfect salad vinaigrette may as well be one of the most useful things I've ever learned while living in France. The combination of Dijon mustard, olive oil and vinegar always adds a lot of flavor and character to any salad I make. I've been pretty much sticking to the same recipe for years (regularly switching classic red wine and balsamic vinegar). But lately I've become a little bit more adventurous and I wanted to experiment a little bit with different flavors. First on my list was definitely raspberry winegar (the idea!), but instead of buying the stuff in store, I've decided to try my hand on making my own. It's very easy, even if it takes some time to macerate, and the results are simply amazing. I can't wait to experiment with more original flavors!

Raspberry vinegar

You'll need:

* 250ml white wine vinegar
* 200g raspberries
* 1 tbsp sugar

1. In a saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil (it should only be slightly simmering), then put it away from heat.
2. Put the raspberries in a Fido jar, add the vinegar and squash the raspberries to get a thick mixture.
3. Close the jar, put it in the fridge and let macerate two weeks.
4. After two weeks, strain the mixture with the help of paper towel, pour the vinegar in a bottle and keep in the fridge.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer escape: London


I must confess, I've been bitten by the Olympic Games bug. I would never ever have thought that possible, I'm definitely not the one to watch sport on TV (maybe with the exception of ice hockey), but these Games have kind of crept upon me. I've been really enjoying watching swimming (Michael Phelps will always be my champion!) and tennis (I was kind of devastated when Roger Federer lost the final to Andy Murray), and now that both these disciplines are over, I can finally get back to my reading list :) With the Games in full swing, I could only choose London as my next Summer getaway destination (you can see my ideal Paris and New York wardrobes here). London girls are known for their unique and original sense if style, characterized by unexpected color combos, edgy details and seemingly "out of place" accessories that add a touch of originality. I've only been to London once, but I really hope to get back there soon to pick up a few style tips as well as some new wardrobe treasures from Topshop and Dorothy Perkins. Who represents the London style best for you?






Friday, August 3, 2012

On my nightstand, August 2012


When I published my July reading list a few weeks back, I didn't know how ambitious my plan would become. Even if I'm a big reader and sometimes I'm able to go through 4 books in one week, this time I simply wasn't able to squeeze enough reading time into my schedule. But I'm more than determined to change this in the weeks to come! I still managed to read through Jonah Lehrer's Imagine and Emma Donoghue's Room and I enjoyed both of them very much.

Imagine is an amazing insight and study of the creative process. It speaks about brain and its functions a lot, but in a very simple and comprehensive way. I learned a lot about the creativity, the ways to stimulate it and work with it on everyday basis. What I loved most about this book is its claim that the creativity is not a "gift from God" to a happy few. We all can be creative in a multitude of ways and imagine and create the life we want. Very inspiring.

Room was a completely different story. It's written in a language of Jack, a five-year old boy, who is being held captive with his mom in a small room. He was born there, he never saw the outside world, his entire life is constructed inside this little space. When Jack and his mom finally escape their incarcerator, Jack feels completely lost because he doesn't understand a single thing about the world that surrounds him. I don't want to give away too many details of the plot, but I highly recommend this book: it has a unique, almost claustrophobic atmosphere, and it makes you think about a lot of things that we usually take for granted. It is definitely an exceptional story. 

I'm taking all the other books into August, my Nook is not going to leave my side and these are the four more books I hope to finish reading before the end of summer. Don't forget to leave me a comment with your favorite books and the best book recommendations!

1. Lauren Conrad: Style. Lauren is hands down one of the most inspiring young women today. Her reality TV career nothwitstanding (I was definitely not impressed with The Hills and its petty stories), I've always admired Lauren's ability to turn her TV career into an amazing design one. There is seemingly nothing that this girl can't do: she designs clothes, blogs (The Beauty Department is a must!), writes fiction and lifestyle books and she has plans to make her own beauty line. Impressive, huh? And since I'm always on the lookout for inspiring advice, I'm definitely looking forward to finally (!) read this book about fashion and style.

2. M.L. Stedman: The light between oceans. This is a story about a couple living on a tiny island lost somewhere near Australia. Tom is a lighthouse keeper whose wife Isabel desperately wishes to have a child. After 2 miscarriages and one stillbirth they all but have given up on this hope, when a boat washes up onshore with a dead man and a living baby on. Isabel manages to convince Tom to keep the baby and claim it as their own. None of them knows that this decision will destroy several lives. Now this sounds like an amazing and riveting story. Plus, Oprah said this was the one book you must read before summer ends. And I definitely won't be the one to contradict Oprah!

3. Kaari Meng: The French-inspired home. I've had this fabulous little book at home forever, yet somehow I haven't managed to do more than just flip through its pages. I'm determined to change that immediately, since it's brimming with great ideas, diy projects and tons of tips on how to bring an amazing French style to your home decor. Needless to say, I'm going to try and make every single project in this book!

4. Emily Griffin: Something Borrowed. Jenna, one of my best blog friends, has been raving about Emily Griffin forever, and I feel that the time has come for me to discover this author. If Jenna is right (and she always is when it comes to books), I'm going to enjoy immensely this complicated love-friendship story. And have I mentioned that it's all going on on Manhattan? A must!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Entertaining: Harmony in pink and yellow

Image via Pinterest

Don't you have the same impression as me that July flew by with a speed of light? On the other hand, for me it was quite a bad month, so I'm definitely hoping that August will be better.
Today I have another fabulous and inspiring tablescape for you: it has caught my eye with its fresh and summery pink and yellow color combo coral plates and rich pink and orange flower bouquets. I'm especially in love with the little DIY touch: vases covered in denim fabric that add a touch of edge to an otherwise feminine tablescape. This would be such a perfect setting for an al fresco summer birthday dinner, don't you think?


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My style: Life is what happens while we're busy making other plans

Dress: H&M, Shoes: Zara, Bag: Oasap c/o, Belt: Dorothy Perkins, Necklace: Forever 21, Sunglasses: Orsay, Bracelets: bizuteriasnov.sk

Many of you have noticed that I've been missing from the blogland community these past days. I've been through a lot this past week: somehow, my world has veered out of control and I'm still holding on to the hope that everything could go back to normal one day (and soon!). I'm still determined to bring you original and inspiring content every day, though, I have tons of new ideas and projects in mind, and I'm infinitely grateful and happy for all your comments and sweet words! You are most definitely rocking my world!


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