Thank you so much for all the heart warming comments, tweets, emails and messages on my personal love story that I shared the other day. It made me very happy that it brought a smile to so many faces! And even made a few people weep. Including me when I read my stepdaughter Rose's comment <3
A nice bridge for some shop love today ;) I already showed you some other London favorites like You Can Now and Ally Capellino and on my quest for color in Notting Hill I found another gem, called Pedlars.
If you're into vintage with a modern twist, this is your shop. In our own home we use quite a few thrifted lamps and objects we found in our building when we bought it, like the emergency stretcher and laboratory items.
When I spoke with Sarah, the shop manager, she told me that the Pedlars team was currently in the US, searching the best vintage items, like maps, lamps, prints, bags, flags. And that they even invited a Pedlards "fan" to tag along on their vintage road trip. Because they love sharing their passion and organize lots of competitions and challenges for the Pedlars community. It's really cool to follow their trip via Instagram and virtually meet all these vintage obsessed folks!
I particularly loved the nice mix between vintage items, British quality, and contemporary design. And their selection of stationary... and toothpaste:
And I think I need a nice Pedlars fleece blanket (in the third image) in my life. Their quality is so nice, incredibly robust and perfect for picknicks or to stay warm during cold summer nights on the porch (hahaha we don't even have one, but it sounds good right?!).
Vintage only in the back of the store:
Including a nice selection of buoys (remember these?):
So if you'll find yourself in Notting Hill, be sure to hop by this store! Oh they also have a nice online presence and webshop, if you cannot make it to London.
Nice to meet you too Pedlars:
Pedlars /// 128 Talbot Road, Notting Hill /// London W11 1JA /// +44 207 727 7799
Open Mon-Sat 10-18 Sun 11-17
I'm a sucker for romance and happy couples. Not in a candle light & roses kind of way, but for simple and real love. Ever since seeing this video by Stylelikeu earlier this year, I wondered if it would be too personal to share our own love story here, but then: this world never has enough love and I believe I have a beautiful story to tell. So here we go :)
Our love story starts in the Netherlands exactly sixteen years ago, at the end of May 1998. A few months earlier, my family and I were hooked up to the internet, which was a big deal to me and my sister. The first thing we did, was find out how to get into a chatroom, because we heard you could actually talk to people from all over the world in there. We learned about IRC channels and Microsoft comic chat (which is a lot like Bitstrips today). And it worked! We spoke with people from the US, Mexico, Australia and Europe. We were hooked! In a few months the world became so much closer. And bigger at the same time.
One day at the end of May, while I was unwinding from exam stress (I was graduating high school) I virtually bumped into this French photographer who lived in Nice. I was planning to go to Art School after high school and was very much into everything artsy, so we talked about his photography. In French. One of the chatroom moderators noticed and complimented me on my French and we started talking. Why I spoke French, why he was fluent in French, why I was stressed about the exams, why he was still at work at night. We didn't exchange A/S/L (age, sex, location), which was very common in those chatrooms. I just knew his (or her!) nickname.
From the very first moment we chatted, there was something there. A sparkle, mutual curiosity, virtual attraction, I don't know what to call it, but it felt very special. In one of our conversations we exchanged postal adresses and I sent him a card telling him that it felt so special and that I was looking forward to getting to know him more. A few days later I asked him (still in that chatroom) if he received my card. And then nothing but silence… he didn't reply for 30 minutes… 45… by the time I expected him to never speak to me again, he replied. He ran out of the door immediately after I mentioned the card, down the stairs to his postbox at the entrance of the building. And of course slammed the door and forgot to take the keys. He had to climb back into his apartment via his neighbor's balcony. But he loved the card.
In the pre-mobile era, it wasn't as obvious to exchange photos of ourselves. That's why I lay my head on a flatbed scanner at a friend's house and send him the scan. He sent me some proper scans of himself and his kids & cats. We wrote letters, sent emails, chatted, called each other on the phone and fell deeply in love. After two weeks we decided we just HAD to meet. I was 17, he was 30, which worried my parents (obviously) although they trusted me.
We met in the center of the Netherlands, at the Central Station of Utrecht, right under the arrival & departure board. I was and hour early, he was 15 minutes late. So I spent some time people watching, and soon imagined every dark man walking towards me to be "him". But when our eyes met, I knew. We hugged and I gave him my customized inflatable Eiffeltower (what was I thinking?!). I remember I didn't like his clothes, but he smelled very nice.
We spent the entire weekend at his home on the beach (in The Hague). He cooked for hours and we ate (it was all very delious, he's such a great cook). We talked and kissed and talked some more. We went for a walk along the beach, had hot cocoa and were very much in love. At the end of the weekend I didn't want to leave, but had to. On the train back home I cried. I graduated two days later and he came to celebrate with my entire family and friends. The moment he walked through the door at my parents', my parents understood why I was so in love with this "older" guy. The ones that didn't understand were other parents at the parties we attended to celebrate the end of high school. They asked him if his kid passed exams too ;)
A few weeks later he had to go on a business trip to Paris and invited me to come along. My third time in the city was magical. We drank big bowls of café au lait, walked along all the hotspots (Eiffeltower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysées, Tuileries), visited the Musée d'Orsay where we admired Monet and Manet. I remember when we stood in line for tickets, the man behind the desk complimented my boyfriend because of his super young girlfriend. The French are so subtle ;) We picknicked in the music kiosk in the Jardin du Luxembourg and while munching on some fromage and baguette, he spontaneously asked me if I wanted to become his wife. I said yes. We kissed and had more wine.
Two years later we were married in the beautiful village of Collobrières in the South of France (some pictures here). And sixteen years later we live in France, together with our three silly cats and still love each other so very much. Sometimes you just know! <3
And why the poppies? They are my favorite flowers, that blossom right at this time of the year, when we first met. They're everywhere, strong yet fragile, bright and colorful. And once you pick them, the leaves tend to fall. Of course I had some (fake ones) in my wedding bouquet too.
So… I love me some good love stories, who wants to share next?
The Typography of Travel 23
Beautiful typography and lettering spotted on some of my recent travels:
Boucherie & charcuterie (butcher) - Verneuil-en-Halatte, France
Lali shop - London, UK
Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the Barbican Centre - London, UK
Higher Ground creative agency - London, UK
Blood Brother Never Alone O+ - London, UK
Temporary Museum - Milan, Italy
► To see all previous editions of The Typography of Travel, click here.
Urban Jungle Bloggers #9
Ever since my friend Igor and I started our Urban Jungle Bloggers adventure last fall, I see green plants everywhere. Not only on blogs or in our home, but so many cafés, shops and restaurants use plants in their interior design and displays. Greens are definitely a thing right now and I love that!
For the May edition of Urban Jungle Bloggers I was looking for a unique place. Obviously I expected to find it on my recent trip to London. My first jungle stopover was at House of Hackney. Seriously: they take the idea of an urban jungle to a whole new level: couches, bikinis, lamp shades, tea pots, oven mitts, bedlinen and notebooks: all covered in palm trees! That shop breaths jungle fever but it was a little bit too much for me.
And then, just minutes before taking the Eurostar from London back to Paris, I found my place: the Ally Capellino shop in Notting Hill. Once I spotted the lucky money plants and plywood displays I knew this was what I wanted to show to you today: British, stylish and green!
Ally Capellino is a British designer of beautiful bags and leather goods. Her rather timeless designs are made in Italian veg tanned leather and waxed cotton. But I completely fell for the Goldfinger, a leather box in natural uncolored leather constructed without a single stitch or stud. And when you buy one, it includes a lucky money plant!
I counted several dozens of lucky money plants in the shop without making it feel like a screaming jungle. The repetition of the same kind of plant is a nice trick to make a place look green, yet very stylish.
When browsing around this place felt nice: lots of plywood everywhere, beautiful bags & belts (I really love their Kitty belt in yellow/nude) and friendly staff and customers. I found they regularly organize workshops, like Indigo dyeing or a talk about Matisse's cut outs.
And if you happen to be in London today: Lovage at Ace Hotel is offering complimentary tasters of their freshly pressed, green Viridian juice in both Ally Capellino shops. More info here.
I love how the money plants are even part of their spring communication:
And did you see that vintage drawer? Entirely filled with lucky money plants! That's something you could easily achieve at home, right?
Ally Capellino /// 312 Portobello Road /// London W10 5RU /// +49 (0)20 8964 1022
Open Monday to Saturday 11am - 6pm Sunday 11am - 5pm
Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series hosted by 2 bloggers: Igor (Happy Interior Blog) and Judith (JOELIX.com). Every month we share ideas to create an urban jungle through styling ideas, DIYs and green tips & tricks. You can find additional inspiration on our Urban Jungle Bloggers Pinterest board and keep up-to-date via our Facebook page. Want to join? Subscribe to our monthly topic newsletter or use #urbanjunglebloggers on twitter and instagram. Let's bring some green into our homes and blogs!
► For more greens in cafés, shops & restaurants also check out: Vivere a piedi nudi /// Blog a Cavola /// HHallerlei /// Colourliving /// Facing North with Gracia /// Mocha /// Mamlo Connection /// It's nice here /// Brigi Co.De. House /// 23qm Stil /// Interior Novice /// IDA Interior Lifestyle /// Look Pimp your Room! /// Hviit /// Volle Lotte /// Hipaholic /// Anne Li West /// Miris Jahrbuch 1 2 ///
You Can Now London
If there's one talent that I developed in the past few years, it is to stumble upon the coolest places in the cities I visit. Maybe it's not a real talent, but simply luck and an overdose of cool hotspots in cities likes Stockholm, Antwerp, Berlin or Copenhagen. Anyway, I found some in London too and here is the first one: You Can Now, or to go short: YCN.
YCN exists since 2001 and is so much more than just a shop: it's a network for creatives, a place that aims to inspire "creative people to do new things". Our central teams work daily to put the wind into all of their sails; drawing from members' collective experiences, sharing ideas, inspirations and guidance, elevating the best of their creativity, connecting them with partners and opportunities and empowering them along the way to wherever they want to go next. What's not to love?!
I also loved browsing around and didn't leave empty handed: I just had to get myself some of Daniel Frost's work. Another highlight was finding Jean Jullien's artwork here: I've been following him on instagram for quite a while and his witt & wisdom always make me smile.
And although these terracotta planters didn't quite fit in my suitcase, I would have loved bringing them home for the greens in my urban jungle:
This mirror screamed for a selfie ;)
Four times a year, YCN publishes a magazine, filled with ideas to inspire action. The Winter issue's theme is "Get Lost" as an adventurous springboard into the welcome unknown. You can buy your copy here.
Members of the YCN network can borrow books from the library in the back (including some very covetable books!) and also get priority access to events and digital content, personal creative support and a first look at New Opportunities. Wohoow! Find out how to join on their website.
These little eating & cooking spoons and a special scoop for drinking water from mountain streams were so very pretty (and detailed!). They are designed by Miscelleaneous Adventures for YCN:
Oh yeah, definitely see you again soon!
YCN /// 72 Rivington Street /// London EC2A 3AY (Shoreditch) /// +44 (0)20 7033 2140
Open Monday - Friday 10am - 6pm /// Saturday & Sunday - 11am - 4pm
The colors of Notting Hill London
Our French weather man a.k.a. Monsieur Météo predicted a rainy weekend in London, but I was very very lucky: as soon as my Eurostar arrived at Saint Pancras station last week the sun came out and didn't disappear until I left four days later! Super convenient, because what I like best when visiting a city is walking around. Preferably all day and without an umbrella ;) While my feet hate me for that, my eyes loved it: especially when walking around Notting Hill. I know there are already so many pictures of the colorful houses in this part of town, but I just couldn't help myself. Sunshine & color simply make me happy.
I first spotted these polka dots on Blogtacular speaker Joy Cho's feed and accidentally walked passed "her" house:
And I found so much more color, I hope it makes you happy too:
Looking through a beautiful fig tree in this front yard:
And a beautiful platan tree:
sweet spring foliage:
wedding cake pastels on top of the Notting Hill:
And this last picture of the famous Portobello Road. At the very end of this road, passed the tourist shops and the Spanish institute, I found this very nice shop that fitted our next Urban Jungle Bloggers topic perfectly: greens in cafés, restaurants or shops. I asked if I could take some pictures and they agreed, so that's what I'll show you here on Thursday! See you soon!
These are a few of my favorite quotes from speakers of Blogtacular, a creative blog conference I attended this weekend in London. Apart from top notch speakers, a great venue (The Royal Institution of Great Britain), my personal highlights were the more personal conversations I had with blog friends, old and new. During the weekend I also completely fell for the quirky British humor & creativity (not in the last place because of the creative duo behind Mini Moderns: Keith & Mark). It's very refreshing when you're used to working with French creatives ;)
If you like, you can check out all the official pictures taken at Blogtacular right here (with actual people in them, as opposed to mine hihi). As you may have seen on instagram, part of the conference was a colorful photowalk lead by the very talented Xanthe Berkeley. If there's one regret, it's that I didn't attend one of her workshops, it looks SO much fun, don't you think? The great news is that you can buy a virtual ticket to Blogtacular with access to videos from the conference (available in June). Read more about it here and sign up for the newsletter to be the first in the know. Yay!
Quotes from: Anne Ditmeyer - Annabel Beeforth - Will Taylor - Joy Cho - Natalie Lue - Yvonne Eijkenduijn
second image kindly provided by Mollie Makes /// handwritten words & all other photos by me
sugar free Rhubarb cake
Rhubarb always reminds me of the sugary rhubarb compote my mom used to make us as a kid. As we kind of banned sugar from our kitchen, I wondered what to make of these beautiful rhubarb stalks:
On Instagram, Jessica suggested to use agave syrup in stead of sugar, which worked like a charm. Just add some agave syrup and sucralose (50/50) and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the chopped rhubarb and stir on a low fire for 15 minutes.
In the meantime I prepared a simple dough: 200gr self-rising flour, 100gr butter, 2 eggs, a bit of sucralose and vanilla extract. By the time the dough was ready, the rhubarb looked pink and creamy:
I added 80% of the rhubarb to the dough mixture and baked 2 flat cakes in 15 minutes at 180°C. The last bit of rhubarb was used as a topping:
And actually, I was surprised by how nice and sweet it tasted. Not bad at all for a non bakerella ;) I added a Union Jack on top, because when you read this I'll be in a Eurostar between Paris and London to attend Blogtacular. It has been over 2 years since my last visit and I can't wait!
See you next week... and bon appétit!
Next week I'll be in London and because I expect it to be quite an urban trip, I'm "virtually" preparing myself with some airy views from our #blago2014 adventure.
I love these pale blues at the Lago Maggiore and the Lago d'Orta at this time of the year. As well as the eternal snow on the mountains in the background, the palm trees, the islands...
Hope you're having a great weekend!
The other day when visiting a vide-grenier with my sister, we bumped into these giant papavers in one of the community gardens. I was tempted to bring them home, but she insisted on only taking their picture. So I did. Always listen to your little sister, right?
In the past months I photographed quite a bunch of different flowers (anemones, snowdrops, hyacinth, more anemones) but poppies are still my all time favorites. Unfortunately the petals fall off once you pick them, so I had a few fake ones in my wedding bouquet. These pale pink and orange giant poppies were almost as big as my head and looked gorgeous after a fresh spring shower.
Their flower buds were equally giant, about the size of goose egg:
Happy Labor Day... or as some say in France: Joyeuse fête du Muguet (lily of the valley)!
@joelixjoelix on instagram