February 27, 2012

Holiday photo overload part 1: Fes

I present to you... the first part of my holiday photos! We stayed in Morocco for ten days and visited 5 cities, so I'll just divide everything in 6 posts or something! 
Now, we landed in Fes and visited the city during our first two days. I've been to Morocco 4 years ago, so I was familiar with the culture and mentality of the people, but it still was a culture shock exploring the little streets in the medina (old city)! We stayed in a small and very basic hotel for only 15 euros a night! Of course you can't expect much comfort but a) we're poor students and b) a bed is a bed, and we were pretty tired every day from walking around so we were just happy to see our bed :) The guy from the hotel showed us around in the city, and we had some intersting conversations with him, tea included! And don't let the sunny pictures fool you, it was cold! As in sleeping with 2 sweaters, 3 blankets and my boyfriend close to me but still freezing √∂ Still, everything's better than -10°C Belgium :D Have a look at this wonderful city...

Bab Boujeloud: the big entrance to the old city

yeah, I had to get up very early that morning!

walking through the old medina and souks...

Shopping walhallah!

Arabic Coca-Cola!

yes, that's a camel head. Hanging in front of the local butcher's :D

On the roof of our hotel
I hope you like these photos! I miss it so much... I'm definitely going back soon, or to any country in the Middle East, it's just such a boost for my Arabic skills! Oh, and while we're on the subject: I'm going to Turkey with my parents and sister in July! No lying at the pool of an all-inclusive 5-star hotel in Bodrum for me, but first 3 days to Istanbul, than Cappadocia and Pamukkale and finally 5 days in a little house near the coast! I love travelling <3

Have a nice evening! 

PS: I'll adjust the size of the photos one of these days, no time today! :)

February 25, 2012

Project 365 life feed

Hi everyone! I'm still sorting out my holiday pictures (unless you want to be bombarded with over 1000 pictures) and quite busy with school work this weekend, but I wanted to update on Project 365. I've been taking a picture every day although I may have cheated a little bit by taking two pictures on a day because I'd forgot the day before. Sssshhht!
You can already see some of my holiday photos already here, but the real deal is coming tomorrow! I warned you ;) 

23. Me, 24. On the train, 25. Outfit
26. Thanks mum! 27. Jump! 28. Studying for exams...
29. Time for tea! 30. Snow! 31. Tea (again) from my favourite mug
32. Studying in style, 33. Last day! 34. Snow
35. Winter wonderland, 36. Fes, Morocco, 37. Streetlife in Fes
38. Meknes, 39. Rabat, 40. Enjoying the sun!
41. Best icecream ever! 42. Acting crazy <3 43. Pretty walls in Morocco
44. Ourika valley, 45. Marrakech, 46. Back in Belgium :(
47. Boyfriend''s new hairstyle, you like? :) 48. There we go again... 49. My new blog!
50. Waiting for my train... 51. New bed lecture (ahem) 52. New shoes!
53. Boyfriend studying, 54. Card from a friend who went to Dubai, 55. Being healthy!
 Come back tomorrow for part one of my holiday photo overload :D
Enjoy your weekends!

February 22, 2012

What I learned from my first year of blogging

Yep, it's been over a year since I wrote my very first blogpost (although absolutely nobody read it back then). In the past year my blog has grown modestly from something I didn't want anyone to know about because I felt ashamed of my ramblings and awkard photos, to 'my baby', something I'm very proud of and that people actually want to read! Especially with my new blog name and lay-out, I feel like I have a second chance to improve my blog even more. So here's what I learned from my first year as a blogger:

1. It takes a lot of effort and time.
Sure all bloggers know this, but when I read blogs from people who update way more frequently than I do (something I'll try to work on in the future) I can't help but wonder (Carrie Bradshaw, I can do this too!) where they get all the time to blog. Most of the blogs I read are written by people who study at university or work fulltime. Most of them have a boyfriend or husband, friends with whom they meet up from time to time and free time we like to spend on shopping (yes, it's a hobby!), watching series (I know you all do this), cooking or whatever you do in your free time when you're not blogging. My point is: after I'm done with this list I barely find the time to write a blogpost or take outfit pictures. I guess I'll just have to plan more and stop myself from aimlessy browsing the internet, checking my facebook or virtual shopping for stuff I will save in my WANT-folder but never will buy. Okay, maybe I should've named this post 'How I will improve my blog the coming year' :)

2. Good photos make a huge difference.
One of the reasons I wasn't very confident about my blog at first was because of my awful (outfit) pictures. It can be quite discouraging to look at other people's blogs and see their pretty pictures while you're stuck with your terrible camera. Getting my secondhand DSLR in October last year was one of the best decisions I made, and not only for my blog: I love taking pictures and I definitely want to improve my photography skills even more! I'm not saying everyone should get a great (DSLR) camera, they are expensive and not everyone really needs it; and above that a lot of bloggers have a DSLR camera and even have mediocre pictures. I'm just happy with my (still improving) pictures :)

3. Other bloggers are nice.
It sounds like a cliché, but it really feels like I got to know people who I almost consider to be friends, although I've never met them, or never will because they live on the other side of the world. I love reading other people's blogs not only for fashion inspiration, but also to get to know more about their lives. I respect it when a blogger doesn't tell anything about her personal life, but to me my blog is a place where I can share stuff with my readers, and not only about my clothes.
Unfortunately I noticed that not all bloggers are as nice. Some never reply to your comment/tweet, others just visit you to promote their own blog or contest, and some bloggers leave nasty comments. I haven't really experienced negative comments yet (and I hope I never won't) but other bloggers have and I think it's sad, but on the other hand it's difficult: can you give your opinion (in a polite way of course) when you don't like something or should you just say nothing? Interesting discussion...

4. My readers are the best!
Seriously, I want to thank all of you who ever visited or commented on my blog, you rock my world! It's an amazing feeling checking my blog and seeing all your kind messages :) Thank you so much! <3

I'll be sharing the first pictures of my holiday to Morocco soon! I took about 1200 photos so I'm having a hard time choosing which ones to show you :)

February 19, 2012

Fresh start!

Welcome to my new blog! Do you like the new name and design? I wanted a clean lay-out so that all the attention goes to the pictures :) I've worked on it all day and I'm still not 100% satisfied with the result, but I'm quite proud of my little blog now! I'm having some problems with the comments, they seem to have disappeared :( Hope I can get them back somehow because now it seems like I've been blogging for over a year and never received a single comment, haha :) 
Indeed, my blog is one year old! Time flies when you're having fun... I'm definitely writing a post about my first year of blogging soon so stay tuned! I also have a lot of holiday pictures coming up (I took over 1000 photos on my trip.. whoops! Relax, I won't show you all of them) and I'm full of ideas for future posts, I'm really excited about my new blog, I needed a fresh start. Hope you like it and please leave your feedback!

See you soon,

February 13, 2012

You know you love them: clogs

A few weeks ago I asked you to pick a pair of shoes for me because I couldn't choose, and I was surprised to see how few of you didn't like CLOGS! I know, it took me some time too to like them, but now they're the first thing on my wishlist. Have a look at these inspiration pictures, I bet you'll be in love too! :)

Hello it's Valentine
A fine day for sailing

Styling Dutchman

Now look me in the eye and say they aren't awesome! So retro and chunky AND comfortable! I'm in love <3

Siel xx
PS: Yes, this is a scheduled post because I'm still on holiday. I'll be back on Wednesday! Feel free to leave me some comments for when I return, they make my day :)

February 10, 2012

Guest Post: Rebel Angel

As I'm still (hopefully!) enjoying my holiday in Morocco with my boyfriend at the moment, here's the second guest post for you! I asked Sian from Rebel Angel as a guest blogger because she's so sweet and I love her style :) Enjoy her post and leave her a comment!

Hi everyone! I'm Sian from Rebel Angel and I'm guest posting for you today while Siel is off on a lovely holiday! This is just a snapshot of me, so take a look at my blog to find out more =)

For someone who claims to love summer fashion and not particularly like winter fashion, my blog seems to give testimony to the opposite! Despite summer clothing being a lot easier to throw on and to have that casual look, winter clothing is much more fun for layering and often looks a lot smarter and put together. Because Siel is away in warmer climes, I thought it would be nice to stick to the theme of holiday-wear and decided to talk to you today about what I've worn on my travels in the past year. I was very lucky to be able to travel to Spain, Florida and Greece in 2011, each needed a different set of clothes. Spain was at Easter, so was warm-ish, and I felt needed to be a bit smarter than normal summer clothing: so my Spain wardrobe consisted mainly of pretty sundresses (particularly 50s style ones!), wedges, and cropped cardigans:

Florida was entirely different: we went at the beginning of summer, so it was hot, sometimes very hot, and often rainy and stormy. We spent a lot of our time in Florida visiting the theme parks (of course!), so I needed more comfortable clothing that I would be wearing all day long, shorts for the rides, but I still wanted to look fashionable. The heat meant I usually wanted my hair tied up (even though I don't really like my hair up!).
Kennedy Space Center, meant I could wear a skirt!

Typical theme park outfits: vest top and shorts and the occasional giant pink poncho!!
And at the end of summer I was very lucky to be offered a place on a summer school course in Archaeology in Greece. We were based in Athens at the start, then travelled the Peloponnese in the second half. The weather in Athens was particularly hot, we only had one day of clouds in the whole 3 weeks!! It also meant a lot of walking (and I mean A LOT!), up and down hills (the Ancient Greeks liked to build on hills to torture future archaeologists). This meant sensible shoes...the shoes I hated when I first tried them on, but loved by the end of the 3 weeks because they hadn't blistered my feet and were cushioned so my feet didn't die! The heat meant we wanted to wear as little as possible to keep cool, but as much as possible to keep covered from sun burn (we were sometimes out in the sun with no shade all day long); we had to wear hats everyday to keep from 'brain boil', which meant my hair had to be braided everyday to keep it off my neck (where it wrapped itself like a scarf) and so I could fit my hat on. So outfits consisted mainly of hat, sensible shoes, shorts and vest tops:

 I hope you've enjoyed seeing this snapshot of my travels, drop by my blog to take a look at my everyday style and say hi!!

February 7, 2012

Guest Post: Girl Next Door Fashion

Since I'm enjoying the good life in Morocco at the moment, I asked some of my favourite bloggers to write a guest post. First up is Charlotte from Girl Next Door Fashion, hope you enjoy her post and please leave her a lovely comment because she's one of the nicest bloggers I know :)

Hi! I'm Charlotte and I blog over at girl next door fashion. As you can probably guess from the title, my blog is a fashion/lifestyle blog but when I heard Siel was going to Morocco, I had to share with you guys my favourite Moroccan-inspired recipe!

girl next door fashion outfit

This is one of my absolute favourite recipes that I eat at least once a week- yep, it's that good! I use aubergine and mushrooms, but you can substitute any of the vegetables if they aren't your favourite. The most important thing here is the spices, so make sure you have all of these. This is a vegetarian recipe, but like with the veg, feel free to add meat if you fancy it! This recipe was originally found here, and I've just adapted a couple of things.

oil for frying
 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
 10ml ground coriander (or fresh, chopped)
 10ml paprika
1 teaspoon each ground cumin, cinnamon and tumeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
 400g chickpeas
 400g chopped tomatoes
 300ml vegetable stock
 1 large aubergine (around 253g)
225g halved button mushrooms
 100g dried apricots
 Salt and pepper to taste

cous cous, to serve

(You can use plain cous cous for this, but it works well with spicy or roasted vegetable flavoured cous cous, rice, or quinoa)

serves four
(I only cook for myself so I tend to make enough for four, eat it for two nights and freeze the rest- or share wit with my housemates!)

difficulty: fairly easy

time taken: 20 minutes preparation, 40 minutes cooking

Heat oil in large saucepan, add onion, garlic and spices and fry over a low/med heat for five minutes until golden. Add the chickpeas and their liquid, tomatoes and stock.

Heat more oil in a frying pan and fry the aubergine over a high heat for 5 minutes until evenly browned (you might have to do this in batches!)

Add aubergine to the chickpea mixture. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add more oil to your frying pan and fry mushrooms for 4-5 minutes until browned, then add to the stew with the chopped apricots and cook for10 more minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare cous cous (if using) according to package instructions

Serve the tagine on a bed of cous cous and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this dish- let me know if you make it! And don't forget to come see me over at my blog!

Charlotte x