When I come to think of it, I’m definitely consumed by wanderlust. Nothing makes me more happy than the idea of exploring the world. Plus, when I have concrete plans for that matter, it’s hard to focus on anything else.
I admit, I’m really good at starting new projects. However, persevering is another story. I did manage to make an exception this past year for my jar of happiness project.
Throughout the year, the items in the jar kept on piling up, I was afraid it wouldn’t last until the end of the year, but it did.
As you well know, we had to say goodbye to our beloved Hiro at the beginning of December and emptying the jar of happiness yesterday with my husband really helped us put things in perspective.
It had us reminisce of better days and it actually managed to put a smile upon my face. While my husband initially didn’t care much for the idea of this jar (I put most of the things in it), he had to admit it was a really fun way to look back at this past year.
We will fill a new jar this year and hope to unfold many beautiful memories this time next year.
Lately, I’ve grown a fond love for greenery, especially succulents. I covered my desk at work in Bonne Maman jars with succulents and am planning to do the same at home. Who would have thought I had these skills, right? Of course, the fact that succulents aren’t exactly high-maintenance could be the reason they work so well for me, but let’s ignore that for now.
I’d never thought I’d give a blog post a title that reminds me of a certain Justin Bieber song, yet that’s what happening now.
Blame it on the baby shower we organized for our friend Stefanie over the weekend. Baby shower as in a get-together for every first-born in our group of lady friends. Stefanie was up next (which also means that I’m the only one left now, no stress here) and we managed to decide at the very last minute what our activity would be (blame that on the weather).
We ended up renting a photo studio in the Bruges area and I snapped a few pics of our beautiful pregnant lady (doesn’t she look stunning in that red dress?) while adding an individual shot of each of us at the end of the photo session.
Thank god for tripods as we managed to squeeze in a group photo as well.
It was nice being in a studio again, though I would like to have my own, if only to try out lighting techniques and have all the time in the world doing so.
I had to pinch myself this afternoon when I found out that I was nominated for the second edition of Weekend Knack’s annual Blog Awards. I had to seriously pinch myself.
I remember nominating a couple of blogs myself, but to see myself among those other nominees left me speechless. It’s truly an honor to even think about the fact that someone out there (well, a lot of someone’s as it turns out to be) thought about submitting my url to the Blog Awards jury. Of course, I also have to thank the jury for including me in their Photography top ten.
Honestly, I wouldn’t have known where to put myself, but since I use a lot of images in my posts and the visuals are more important than words, I understand how I ended up in the photography category. The fact that I recently earned a degree in photography and now this, is the best motivation I could’ve asked for.
When reading comments about how someone loves my photography or travel tip, I’m a happy camper. Really, conversation is what it’s all about and I love starting one, whether it be via the comments on the posts here or an email or a Facebook message.
I promise I’ll keep up the posting here and share new experiences with you. I might even add a bit more about photography, the technical stuff, you know, because I still get a lot of questions about taking photographs.
I’d also love to hear from you what you would like to see on here in the future, so please don’t be a stranger and leave your feedback in the comments section below.
But, first things first! Eternal gratitude will find its way to you if you could spare two seconds and vote for me. You don’t have to vote in every category (although it would be nice for the other bloggers), but when you decide to cast your vote in one or more categories, you have to cast not just one, but two votes. You do have to click away until the end and provide your details, otherwise your vote doesn’t count. Please do check out the other nominees as well, I’m pretty sure you’ll find some new favorites among them.
Our friend Carmen provided us with these appropriate buttons. Everyone continued to wish us a happy birthday as well when wearing this.
A couple of years ago the ladies and I decided to go on a trip when we’d be turning 30. Fast forward to 2013, when we found ourselves in London over the Easter weekend to celebrate our 30th birthday.
Work has been incredibly hectic for the last couple of weeks, so I tend to embrace the weekend as much as possible. Key words here are family, friends and the obligatory r&r. Although winter is coming again, spring certainly found its way to my office. Every female employee at work got a beautiful flower on Friday as International Women’s Day was celebrated around the globe. Saturday started off on a high note with a morning at the spa including the best breakfast ever. Later that day we had coffee & cake at Books & Brunch (more on this place later) in Bruges and I also managed to squeeze in a little shopping. I’m looking forward to creating the red velvet cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook and I managed to score the perfect parka at Zara.
Steven and I are celebrating our 8th anniversary today. The figure 8 got me thinking about infinity, which is exactly where I want to be headed with him. My next sentence may be one hell of a clichÃ©, but there are actually no words to describe how much he means to me. So, while we’re being all mellow and that, I would like to dedicate today’s post to him. Love you, sweetie!
Lately was all about (birthday) dinner parties and indulging in this heavenly strawberry cheesecake brownie.
When I wasn’t cooking or baking, I tried to relax on the couch wrapped up in the blanket I got at Dora and enjoying the beautiful tulips in the house.
Akira has adjusted so well around us in the last couple of weeks, it’s pretty amazing how a little bird like that can be so affectionate.
Ever since we moved into our house my husband wanted to adopt a lovebird. He grew up having a pet parrot for nearly 20 years. It’s not that easy finding someone who is willing to raise them by hand, but eventually he did (thank you, Google). Last November we got the news that by the end of the year we would be able to adopt our lovebird. Over the weekend, we finally got a call from the lady who hand raised it and on Saturday evening we headed to Antwerp to pick up Akira (the hubby picked the name, it goes pretty well with Hiro).
Akira is still a bit shy, but I did manage to snap a few pics of him yesterday afternoon.
Remember what I wrote last year? About how 2011 was a rollercoaster ride? And how I thought I’d never be able to match it again? On some levels, I won’t be able to match it again, that’s true. However, 2012 proved to be one rollercoaster ride as well. I cherish a lot of precious moments (moving in the new house, Hiro joining our little family), but some things happened that shouldn’t happen to good people (and that’s all I’m writing about it here).
Here’s to 2013!
Initially, when the hubby talked about putting up a Christmas tree, I wasn’t too fond about it. Christmas used to be my favorite holiday (by far!), but ever since Mickey passed away on Christmas Day 2008, I wasn’t feeling up for it. This year marks the first Christmas we’re spending in our own home and I decided to give the hubby the tree he’s always dreamed of. It was difficult to find some joy in doing all this, but when looking at our tree, it also brings back the fond Christmas memories I have (including the ones with Mickey). I also couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a few photos of our bunny Hiro in front of our Christmas tree. In a way, these photos remind me so much of the ones I used to take of Mickey every year…
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones!
Yesterday we celebrated our cotton wedding anniversary (or paper anniversary, as one would say in the U.S. or U.K.). We opted to stay in, sip some champagne and have a nice, candlelit dinner (topped off by a chocolate overdose!). You know, just the two of us. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate our first year as husband and wife.
(wedding photo courtesy of Tom Brinckman)
Summer finally arrived in Belgium and it feels good! I had the last couple of days off from work and enjoyed them by staying at home. The hubby and I finally got the chance to fully enjoy our home during summer. We also got a badminton set over the weekend so we played a bit of badminton as well. It’s probably one of the only sports I don’t suck at!
Since it was so sunny outside I visited my parents by bike. It felt so good! I took the opportunity to snap a couple of shots with Joey since I haven’t done so in a long time. I can’t have enough photos of my bunnies!
On the way home I noticed that the house in Moere, where Marvin Gaye wrote his hit ‘Sexual Healing’, has beautiful music notes decorations. It’s always wonderful to discover things like this in your neighbourhood.
You know what they say about enjoying the little things in life… That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do over the last couple of weeks. They include having a relaxed homemade dinner, having Hiro over in our bed in the morning (only in the weekends, though) and visiting my buddy Joey at my parents’ house (he still sits under my chair in their kitchen).
Meet… Hiro. Yes, we did find a name after all for our little sweetheart. He’s feeling right at home already and is so happy to have us around during the weekend. I got to take a few photos of him on the second day he was here and managed to get a few cute shots in Converse sneakers on Friday. He’s growing so fast, I should be taking pictures daily instead of weekly from now on…
While unwrapping this box of espresso cups & saucers, it suddenly hit me: we are settled into the new home. I remember buying this set as the first item of things we would need for ‘the house’. Little did I know that it would take a couple of years before reaching that point, but we did and I’m happy about it. There are still a lot of boxes around the house, but unwrapping this particular box suddenly made everything oh so real…
Let me start off by mentioning how I’m currently listening to The Cranberries’ Dreams on repeat (thank you, Spotify!) while writing this blog entry. Love love love that song!
Today’s #wijvenweek theme is perhaps my favorite of this edition as well: dreams. Dreams, I have so many to write about, but there’s only one recurring dream & I do hope to realize it someday. Who knows…
I adore the French Alps & photography, so I guess it comes to no surprise that I dream of opening my own little photography shop somewhere in the French Alps. It would also have a coffee bar with a current exhibition of my work. Adjacent to the shop would be our home: big windows with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, a sunny terrace, a big fireplace, aaaah. If we haven’t won the lottery by then, there would also be a couple of guest rooms. At night I would create a lovely meal for the guests & us and simply enjoy mountain life. I have been thinking of this for a couple of years now and I guess if the opportunity would be there, …
Opinionated? Yes, I am opinionated. Unfortunately, I almost always fail to express my opinions the right way. I always get stuck at some point. I have a strong opinion of a variety of subjects and yet, I don’t always dare to bare, if you know what I mean. Maybe I should bare more often in the future, let’s keep to that thought.
Anyway, while I was reading a couple of #wijvenweek blogs during my lunch break today, I couldn’t help but being inspired by Sara’s post. She managed to fit all my thoughts on this one particular subject into an interesting read & I can’t do anything else but share her opinion on the matter. So instead of writing my own litany, I’d suggest you visit her blog and read her post. (sorry, Dutch only…)
Aaah, guilty pleasures, there are so many, aren’t there? But let me pick one, just one, since I think it will be my guilty pleasure until I turn 100…
I love love love all kinds of tv series & that includes teen dramas as well. Name one and I think I’m either watching it or planning to do so. I have been intrigued by them since I was about 10 and saw one of the first episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210 (still one of my favorites until this day). I know I’m 29 and I should be way past all the teen drama surrounding Gossip Girl & co, but still. To compensate I also watch other tv series like Mad Men or Boardwalk Empire, but I guess my love for teen dramas will never die.
Linguine with hazelnut pesto (recipe here) for our 7th anniversary (& 4-month wedding anniversary).
2011 could best be described as a rollercoaster ride. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to match it again. My relationship status, residency and career went in a positive direction, all at once. We had our fair share of downs as well…
Looking back at 2011, I think the word ‘change’ might just be fit. Change, good & bad. I think I’m ready for 2012, but I’ll happily leave any changes out this year.
December 25th, 2008. It was supposed to be a Happy Christmas, but after that day, Christmas would never be the same again. At least not for me. On that day, my favorite holiday of the year, I said goodbye to my dear friend Mickey. Up until today I still miss him very much & I hope that someday I will find the joy of Christmas again.
Miss you, buddy…
Last year, Steven and I started a new tradition. Instead of spending a huge amount of time & money in the creation of holiday cards, we decided that we would donate the money spent on the cards (plus a little extra) to a charity of our choice.
Our wedding photographer Tom Brinckman recently dedicated a blog post to our wedding. The above image is from the pre-ceremony shoot in the forest of Tillegem, near Bruges.
When we used to think about our wedding, one of the most important things on our list was a photographer. Honestly, looking back at the last couple of years, I never thought we would find a photographer that was perfect for our wedding, not anywhere in Belgium at least. Luckily, we did manage to find that one photographer and it was quickly decided he would be the one capturing our big day.
If you want to see a selection from the photos of our wedding, head over to Tom’s blog post and leave him a comment or two if you’d like.
Happy World Animal Day to all animals today, especially my cute pet rabbits Joey & Robby.
World Animal Day is celebrated each year on October 4th and has been since 1931, when it was started in Florence, Italy during a convention of ecologists.
On World Animal Day, animal life in all its forms is celebrated and throughout the day various events are planned all over the globe.
Coincidentally, October 4th also marks the feast day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, though World Animal Day isn’t bound to the celebration of a Christian saint anymore and is thus celebrated by animal lovers of all beliefs & backgrounds.
For more information about World Animal Day, please visit the official website.
I’ve been waiting like forever to write this entry with its accompanying title… Once you’re finished reading this, you’ll understand why.
Next March marks the seventh anniversary of Steven and I, and oh boy, it’ll be one to remember as it will be the first in our new house and.. as husband & wife.
The latter sounds a bit awkward as I am typing it, but I’d better get used to it, since our wedding day is approaching rapidly.
After visiting what feels like a billion houses over the last three years, we finally found the right-priced and perfect house for us. It’s located about 9km from where I live now and is a 3-bedroom detached house. There’s not much work to be done, so we can move in right away. We decided rather quickly on getting the property, because of previous experiences.
As we were planning on getting married anyway, it was best to do it now (with buying the house and all that), so on November 5th (2011, that is!) we’ll get married at the city hall of Zedelgem. I already bought a simple dress a long while ago (you know, to be prepared and all that) and found a matching jacket this weekend. I think we set a record on planning that wedding, seriously!
The last few weeks were quite hectic, so to speak, but expect me to blog a bit more often from now on…
I spent the day out with friends in Ghent yesterday and came home to a rather big surprise! We have a new bunny friend for Joey in the house.
First of all, Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms in the world!
In our family, we usually have a double celebration during the Mother’s Day weekend as my mom celebrates her birthday on May 9th. Yes, it happens now and then that her birthday and Mother’s Day are the same day.
When picking a gift, I always try to do something else than the clichÃ© flower thing, so when my dad got himself this slide scanner at the beginning of the year, I knew exactly what my Mother’s Day/Birthday 2011 gift would be.
My dad owns tons of slides with images from e.g. my parents’ wedding day, vacations, etc, but also the building of the house we are now living in. That’s how I decided that I would scan all the slides and create a photo album with the scanned images (using Blurb).
When I got the finished book a couple of weeks ago, I was beyond happy with the result. Considering the fact that they had a crappy camera in that time and some of the slides being over 40 years old, I think the end result was more than ok. Needless to say my mom loved this gift.