Casual Outfit: Bomber and Gaga T-shirt

bomber jacket: Pimkie - snake print skinnies: H&M - sneakers: Converse- t-shirt: Lady Gaga Born This Way Ball

pictures by Paulien

An ultra casual yet cute look today: what better outfit to wear during your recovery from all the holiday parties and eating? Super stretchy skinnies, sneakers, a loose fitting t-shirt and a bomber to pull it all together. I actually wore this to work a few weeks ago on one of those cold, grey days when you expect the rain to start coming down any minute. 

I love the basic pieces of this outfit, especially the pants. I've worn these skinnies to death over the past years because they just fit better than basically any other pair of skinnies I've ever owned (except for my G-star jeggings because those were seriously handcrafted by angels).

Time to do some work related reading! Have a lovely night :)

PS I should really do a post to prepare myself for the upcoming sales. Nothing better to keep from spending money than having a clear list of items you'll be allowing into your closet. Do you have a sales wishlist yet?

Family Christmas Party at Casa Dutchman

Another holiday party down, two more to go! Yesterday my mom, sis, her boyfriend, my brother and his family came over to spend the day together and eat some lovely food. We had a great time as I hope these pictures will illustrate :)

I finally got my pom poms up (after messing around with the strings and height and placement for AN HOUR)! Sorry for the crappy smartphone picture, I'll be sharing some better shots (and tips if you're contemplating this yourself) soon! They added a great, cozy, festive atmosphere to our living room. SUCCESS

My awesome brother, sister and me. My relatives bring some eyebrow A-game as you can see.

Skyping with our eldest brother over in the US of A, making fun of each other (I think this was taken right after my sister's one eyed penis impression) and feeling like he's part of the celebrations despite being separated from us by an ocean.

Kitty wants to be a baby.

Proud parents with my strong willed nephew.

Most beautiful picture of my sis and me EVER, taken with flash in very dark conditions, believe it or not! Naomi taught me to dim the flash on my camera which totally makes indoor flash photography acceptable. Stop the anti-flash prejudice, people.

PS both of us are wearing Selected jewelry. The gold looks uh-mazing against my sister's blue hair, and the Pia necklace has been on my neck non stop ever since I got it so expect to see a lot more of it.

Me, my dude and the snazzy red patent faux-snakeskin phonecase I got him ages ago. Boyfriends with tacky flipcovers = best thing ever.

Annnnd another one of my and my sis because my hair looks great in this shot and I am not above shameless self promotion.

Concluding with foodporn because everyone loves food, right? And a main course of butternut squash/spinach lasagna + pavlova for dessert = major droolage. I literally licked my plate after finishing my serving of pavlova and I wish I could eat it everyday.

Do you get together with your family over the holidays?

Velvet Skirt, Lace Tights, Sneaker Wedges and Red Lips

coat: c/o Chictopia - sneaker wedges: Ken's - green velvet skirt: c/o Oasap (a total steal at only 18€/25$, shipping included!) - socks, scarf: H&M - knit sweater: c/o Selected

Funky tights alert! I picked these up at H&M because I was in desperate need of black tights after my basic ones had worn out, and obviously they were just having a sale on all kinds of awesome giths and leggings so these came home with me. They remind me of Christmas, but in a sexy way. I paired them with this green velvet skirt, red lips and snowy whites for an atypical, holiday appropriate outfit. 

The sweater I'm wearing is a really lovely cotton, short sleeved, loose knit by Selected which I can't wait to pair with nothing but a bikini and some shorts when the weather improves drastically next summer.

I haven't been wearing my sneaker wedges as much as I did last winter, but I'm still convinced they are not completely over as a piece. For example, they make this outfit funkier but still more girly/ladylike than if I'd paired it with regular sneakers.

Do you think sneaker wedges still have their use or do you just want to see them BURNED AT THE STAKE?

Merry Christmas: Decorations

Hi everyone! I know, it's barely still boxing day and here I am with some very late merry Christmas wishes. However, you shouldn't look a gifted horse in the mouth, ye ungrateful brats (lulz just kidding)! Here are some pictures of the decorations that are showering us in holiday spirit these days. My fave is the mega hyper multicolour Christmas wreath. Oh, and of course the Christmas tree that looks like a vintage toy store barfed all over it.

I have been enjoying downtime with my family, watching Robbie Williams' One Night at the Palladium, eating any food featuring truffles and playing games. Everything I wish I could do 24/7 all year round, so it's safe to say I'm feeling very content and happy. However, there's still the tiniest inkling of disquiet in the back of my mind because of deadlines looming over my head soon as my break from work ends, but I'm trying my hardest to nip those in the bud. I also still have three(!) holiday parties coming up and I will be hosting + cooking on all of those occasions, so I am both excited and stressed out. But I'm sure everything will work out fine, I do love hosting a party.

This is me in Antwerp on Christmas Eve wearing velvet leggings as pants (still going strong) in front of a huge ass Christmas tree right before eating all of this (and then some):

Heaven. How have your holidays been so far?

Christmassy Outfit in Red and Tinsel

dress: COS - bomber: c/o boohoo - boots: c/o Kell via Zalando - ring: Diamanti Per Tutti

A lot of people asked me about the specific texture of the bomber I'm wearing here when I showed it the first time, so I made sure to include some close ups for you to see. Kind of like shredded tape (from audio tapes for instance) or, well, tinsel

This outfit is what I wore to go out to dinner with my family to celebrate my sister's 20th birthday (curled my hair especially for the occasion). But it's pretty perfect for any holiday party, what with the tinsel and bright orange tinged red and all. I think I'd wear this to a more casual family holiday get together or an office shindig, because it's only subtly festive, not that big a step away from what I'd wear on a regular day.

I don't wear red that often (I'm more of a pink kind of girl) because I always feel like it makes my skin look ruddy, and because it reminds me of my mom. I mean, my mom has always been a stylish woman, but she has these periods of wearing a certain colour all the time (she's into teal right now) and we have very different skin tones so most of what she loves doesn't work on me, and doesn't feel "me" either. Because I associate the colours so firmly with my mom.

This tomato soup orange-red feels like such a modern statement colour, which is a lot more "me" and also feels more flattering. So for all of you out there who aren't into true red for clothes: just take one step away from red but stay in the same colour family if you want to give it a whirl for Christmas. A red that veers towards either pink, orange, purple or burgundy can work for practically anyone.
I'm going out to dinner with my boyfriend on this Christmas eve. What will you be doing tonight? And are there some colours that just don't feel "you"?

Sister's Birthday and No Man's an Island

Last week, my sister celebrated her 20th birthday. 20 is a special birthday, first year as a real "adult". 18 is still a teenager, you know? Or at least that's what it feels like to me. So now my baby sis is not such a baby anymore. I feel all those feelings everyone always describes in situations like these: she'll always be my baby sis so she'll never stop being a kid to me, I'm proud of the woman she has become, and the older we get the more I really appreciate both our differences and our similarities. 

But most of all, she grows. She becomes more of a fully realized human being with every passing day, accumulating experiences and building her future with her feet firmly grounded in the present. But it's the past that makes her who she is to me, the crappy, difficult, About A Boy-esque (just imagine Marcus having three siblings and a volatile, absent dad in addition to the unstable mom) past we share. That's why family is so important. They speak a language no one else will ever understand, can get you in ways no one else will ever get you. 

If you've moved around a lot in your life, you'll know the feeling of freedom, endless possibility and space that comes with it. You'll also know the yearning to belong somewhere, to feel safe, to find the empty place in the puzzle to fit your jigsaw piece. The older I get, the more I realize that there is no place you "belong". The key to that feeling of security lies in trust. Trust in yourself, that you'll be able to take care of yourself no matter what happens. And trust in others, the people that have been a part of your life for so long that they've helped form the person you are today. Believing that they'll be there for you, even if they're not always perfect. And accepting that same imperfection in yourself. And on the days that doesn't work, buying/eating stuff also helps. Just a tip. Well, a confession.

This is getting rather long winded but people like my boyfriend, my sister and some close friends are that to me. Anchorage. Home. Or just the people who get my inside jokes. Because no man is an island! And two people isn't enough. You need backup. If you're only two people, and someone drops off the edge, then you're on your own. Two isn't a large enough number. You need three at least. So thanks for being a part of my archipelago since 1993, sis!

Holiday Outfit Inspiration: Statement Dresses and Diamonds

Source, clockwise: 1//2//3//4

'Tis the season to dress up for parties, and I for one always find that a bit of a challenge. Which probably sounds ridiculous since I have more than enough clothes, but hear me out! My regular style is a full face of make up + dressed up casual style, and since I don't really wear sky high heels (not even for parties), party outfits that works with my style just look like I'm going to work. But I so WANT to find a balance between my easy style and feeling dressed up/extraordinarily pretty! Fancier than usual, but not like I'm wearing a costume, you know? Am I making any sense?

All of the women in the collage above look like their party outfit was styled specifically for them. Nicole is looking elegantly boho, Claudia rocks classic sexy glamour, Alexa does classy with fun details like no other and Elizabeth brings a modern, cute take on a sort of '20s meets '60s vintage look. And that's what I want! A party look that feels 100% me.

Anyway, as always: polyvore to the rescue. I've been browsing outfits and styles and I think the solution to my perfect party outfit problem lies in a couple of key ideas. I'm thinking: fancy accessories, comfortable heels and a dress that is too sexy/intricate/fun for work, but still understated enough to let me rather than the dress be the centre of attention. I want the total picture to still be young and fun, but more sophisticated than what I might have worn a year or two ago.

dress: ASOS - clutch: Zara - slingback kitten heels: Ann Taylor - earrings: Anjolee

I think all of these items work together because they feel sharp, geometrical and elegant while still being quite relaxed. I am 100% in love with that dress. I think it's both simple and different, sexy and classy, and it looks super duper comfortable to boot! Because seriously, 99% of my holiday party activity consists of eating. When it comes to non-stretchy party wear, I've learned my lesson.

And aren't those diamond earrings gorgeous? Duh, diamonds. Anjolee's webservice is worth noting because its jewelry is customizable both in look and in price: pick a basic piece, and change up the options to get a finished end result that fits your taste and wallet. This means a basic pair of real diamond stud earrings can go from about 200€ to 12.000€ (yowza!). Not exactly a stocking stuffer, but once in a while you might want to find a show stopping gift for someone special, for example to commemorate an occasion (5 year anniversary, sister going off to college, your mom's 50th birthday, bridal set, ...).

I think I'd pair this combination with very easy/messy hair (aka my own), nude lips and either a cat eye or smokey eye make up. Think of Alexa's hair + Claudia's make up in the upper picture, or take this collage for reference. I'm SO going to try and replicate that blended cut crease eye make up.

Source, clockwise: 1//2//3

Now, obviously I don't own the pieces featured above (sadface) so this isn't 100% what I'll be wearing for the holidays, but I see these types of collages as a basic blueprint of a good party outfit, something to keep in mind when browsing the sales or standing in front of my closet while getting dressed. Or, when in doubt, sequins. Always.

So! Do you find dressing for parties as difficult as I do? And what pieces would be essential to your perfect party style?

Food for Friday: Roasted Butternut Squash, Beetroot, Pecan Nuts and Goat's Cheese Salad

It's been a while since I've shared a recipe in my Food for Friday series, so for my glorious return I'd better post something good. And let me tell ya, this salad is good. If you're anything like me, you're fully enjoying the overload of rich foods that comes with the colder part of the year, but every once in a while you want to eat something light and healthy, amirite? But you're sick of soup, and salads are a summer thing?


Here I am to help you out. Turns out, salads AREN'T just a summer thing (or was it just me who thought that?). If you throw together some typical winter ingredients, you end up with a totally scrumptious end product aka the one you see above.

What you'll need (for two people):

- one large butternut squash
- one or two beetroots (usually, these are already cooked and sold vacuum sealed)
- an onion (red onion works well)
- a lettuce of your preference, I use lamb's lettuce
- pecan nuts
- goat's cheese or crumbly cream cheese 
- red wine vinegar
- olive oil
- honey
- salt
- pepper

What to do:

- Peel and cut up your squash in whichever size you prefer. I go by about a 3cm width, one cm thickness. Do the same with the onion. Put the vegetables in an oven dish, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and pop them in an oven preheated at 180°C for about half an hour or until done. 

- Cut up your beetroot, again, whichever size you prefer. I usually make them smaller than the squash because beetroot has a strong taste.

- Arrange your lettuce on a place and throw the roasted pumpkin, beetroot, pecan nuts (you can crumble them a bit if you like), cheese and drizzle with the vinegar, olive oil and honey

Et voila, bon appetit! Seriously so easy, very nutritious, filling, and absolutely yummy to boot.

Something you'd make? Or do you have any winter salad tips to share?

Whites and Greys + 5 Ways to Wear Chelsea Boots

shaggy faux fur coat: Ebay - skinnies: c/o Lee - chelsea boots: c/o Kell via Zalando- sweater: H&M

I'm on a blogging ROLL! No less than three blogposts in 24 hours! *stupid sunglasses wearing emoticon*

Buuuuuut I guess that means I'm totally out of things to say? Let's face it, I only have a couple of hundred words to say in a day (LOL NOT LIKELY). So, uhm, here's my outfit! I wanted to wear all greys and whites, even though that total image was kind of ruined by the pink socks I'm wearing which you can peep in the last picture. But they are hella warm so I have no regrets.

And the boots! AGAIN the boots! Quick reminder, these are the ways I've styled these boots up until now, which is your fave?

1//2//3//4//5 (today)

(I really can't pick, the boots are just too perfect as they go with absolutely everything.)