My favorite Instagram pics of 2015
Instagram is still my favorite social media channel. Although I recently discovered the joys of Snapchat too. When I travel I always check out local hashtags or Instagram locations to discover new events, people, or interesting corners. Above is my "2015bestnine": my 9 most liked pictures of the year. It's always surprising to see what people love more/less. Plants are always very popular, just like colors and pink houses. But there are some very unpopular images that I really like. Like this picture of our (then unfinished) bathroom. I remember that I was so happy to move forward with the wall finishes of our bathroom. The picture shows lots of beige/brown/grey and dust, probably not as inspiring as my happy and real feelings behind the image. That's probably where Snapchat comes in: more instant realness. Something I would definitely like to experiment more with in 2016. But on the other hand: my most precious memories of the year weren't captured by my phone or camera anyway. I loved and love being disconnected.
Anyway, these are some of my personal favorite pictures I posted this year on Instagram:
The amazing view on our 8-hour hike in Ordesa National Park in the Pyrenees /// my favorite #joelixruns picture of the year /// a beautiful composition in Barcelona.
The blush wall at the fabulous Villa Savoye /// bit off the head of a Lego minifig ice lolly /// Loved participating in #dresstherainbow by Brittany
My husband gifted us matching Chucks for our 15th wedding anniversary /// grout and tile porn in La Ferte Millon /// View from the plane after running my first 10K in Nice
Minty pharmacy in the Oise /// My feather collection from my childhood /// Wall paper patchwork in Pont Saint Maxence
My purple heart plant is behaving weird /// Beautiful tiles at Praktik Garden in Barcelona /// Paris is a movie scene: scenes with Marion Cotillard
Emojis in the wild, I had my husband pull over and take this picture /// The impressive power of high tide on Noirmmoutier island /// Some of the green souvenirs I collected in Spain
I wish you a wonderful New Year's eve! See you next year with (finally!) the after-photos of our new bathroom!
My favorite jungles of 2015
Lush green urban jungles seemed to be everywhere I went in 2015. I visited half a dozen botanical gardens and a planty jungle shop and stayed at a true Urban Jungle Bloggers hotel. These were my favorite jungles from this year.
An abundance of palm trees, cactus plants and succulents at the Jardins Mossèn Costa i Llobera on the Montjuic hill in Barcelona. It's a big botanical garden with a view over the Mediterranean. Stunning! /// Plants, more plants, tea, coffee & cake, workshops, cool planters, plant hangers, botanic artwork, small and big green gifts, gardeners tools, soil, seeds, gardening books, watering cans, planty workshops and so much more. Wildernis Amsterdam is a true Urban Jungle Bloggers paradise!
When I was asked to pimp a deckchair for Out there Interiors, I couldn't help but turn it into a grassy jungle chair! /// A tropical oasis in the middle of Central London? That's the Barbican Conservatory.
In the summer I stayed at Praktik Garden hotel: an Urban Jungle Bloggers hotel located in the super central Eixample area. There's a lush green terrace for all hotel guests and the lobby and entry are dressed in potted plants. /// In 2015 I visited several plant fairs and events like the Jardins Jardin in Paris, Open Garden Squares in London and the Journées des Plantes in Chantilly.
Cactus and palm tree paradise in the middle of the city: the Jardí Botànic in Valencia. /// Smaller and with a completely different collection of plants: De Hortus botanical garden in Amsterdam. Education and research since 1638!
► Click here to check out my favorite jungles of 2014
► Click here to check out my favorite jungles of 2013
My favorite trips of 2015
For work, for my blog and UJB, for fun and to visit family & friends: I visited quite some lovely places in 2015!
For my birthday Robert and I spent a night at the Joke hotel in Paris and visited the fabulous Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the Grand Palais. /// We worked so hard and really deserved (and needed) this long break in October: we spent 3 1/2 weeks in Spain where we hiked, walked, slept and explored so many fabulous places, like the Desert de Les Palmes near Valencia.
In the spring we escaped our (too) busy lives for a week in Western France: we explored the Vendée and biked at Ile de Ré. /// Early October I went on a quick but very fun trip to Amsterdam to speak at Meet the Blogger: we won the Innovation Award and visited the Hortus botanical garden.
In the middle of the summer I was in Barcelona for the first time and LOVED it. So much that Robert and I went back for a week during our trip through Spain in October. /// In November we slept in this cabin on the water, in our Oise region. In the early morning I saw a heron fishing at one meter from our bed. Quite the experience!
► My favorite trips of 2014 are here.
► My favorite trips of 2013 are here.
My favorite shops of 2015
At Restored in Amsterdam you'll find a really nice selection of small brands that will make any Urban Jungle Blogger with a contemporary style very happy. /// Les Petits Hauts in Paris is a very feminine & Parisian boutique but the courtyard designed by HeJu is really beautiful. Perfect for a little break from shopping in the city of love ;)
Great coffee, no wifi, no decaf, no unattended kids but with fabulous Matagalán terracotta pots and plants: I loved Satan's Coffee corner in Barcelona. /// Delicious salads and planty green gifts at Sla Amsterdam.
Anki from Zilverblauw published her first book Shoot! this year and you can shop it here. I can't wait for it to be published in English, because this is a photography book you actually WANT to read. /// Another really nice plants & coffee (& cake!) shop: Dulce de Leche in Valencia.
► Click here to check out my favorite shops of 2014
► Click here to check out my favorite shops of 2013
My favorite buildings of 2015
Visiting plant nurseries makes me really happy, but visiting amazing architectural masterpieces is my second favorite. These were my favorite buildings that I visited in 2015:
A surprisingly exciting "new" place not far from our home: La Plage des Lys, which used to be the-beach-to-be for Parisians. /// I loved the pink, blush and sunny façades in Nice, like at Patisserie Auer.
An amazing carpet, a floating roof, lots of marble and sharp lines at the Mies van der Rohe pavillion in Barcelona /// A former mail sorting office converted into a cultural center: Le Tri Postal in Lille, France.
My favorite fun moments of 2015
2015 meant an overdose of fun and happy moments, photo shoots and exhibitions. Just what I needed to counterbalance all the tragic events this year. These were some of my random fun favorites:
In the spring I couldn't keep taking pictures of the colorful flower extravaganza in Holland /// Food & drinks: the perfect subjects for this exhibition of Jean Jullien's work at l'Imprimerie in Paris.
It was freezing cold, but the videoshoot in our greenhouse with IKEA caused lots of laughter and giggles! /// This sugarfree lemon meringue pie was simply delicious! Especially the lemony goodness filling. Yumm!
Cutting off the mistletoe twigs from the tree in our garden for this wreath took 1 hour, but it was so much fun! /// Zilverblauw's book launch, workshops, flowers, happy faces and blogger fun at Snor Festival!
Let's kiss under the mistletoe
One light string in our Euphorbia was our only Christmas decoration at home up until now. But I spotted "some" mistletoe in the tree in front of our home. For the first time there were berries in there and I couldn't resist to get a few. It took an hour to get the entire bush out of the tree, but it worked and now we have enough mistletoe to kiss under another branch every day in 2016. From a few smaller twigs I made two wreaths, one for our cinemaroom and another one on our yellow submarine door. So now... let's kiss!
While trying to get the mistletoe out of the tree (why do they always grow on the highest branches?!), I Snapchatted what I was doing. My friend Anne got me hooked to Snapchat, well it's a bit random, but some snaps are just hilarious. For example Damien Aresta, snapchatted a daily advent snap: every day he would take something out of his pocket. Unfortunately he quit... So if you are on Snapchat, let me know your name in the comments, so that I can follow you! (I'm joelixjoelix on Snapchat if you like to know).
Anyway, there is even more mistletoe outside:
And because mistletoe is a little cheesy, I even hung a few twigs above our bed too. Never enough plants and never enough kisses, right?!
For now I wish you some very wonderful (warm!) Christmas days surrounded by your loved ones. See you very soon! Because next week I'll be shooting our new bathroom, I can't wait to show you the final result. So yeah, hope to see you soon! Here on my blog or on Instagram, or maybe via Snapchat?
Urban Jungle Bloggers #24
In these dark (or better: grey!) days before Christmas I can't help but think about the year that went by, and even more of 2016. Two thousand and fifteen has been very busy and full of exciting travels, collaborations and a lot of work. At several moments the balance between work & time off was completely messed up and that's one of my goals for 2016: make wiser decisions on how to spend my time.
When times are busy and particularly worrying during complicated events here in France, it was very calming to slow down and take care of my plants. A healthy form of escapism that I tremendously enjoyed in 2015. And I'm happy that Igor and I are in the middle of planning "a few" new green things for 2016! I can't wait for plenty more planty projects! And to do it with someone who's always happy, supportive and creative is something I'm very thankful for. You're the best UJB buddy one could wish for, Igor!
A while ago, IXXI asked me if I wanted to create my own IXXI. My home office, where I spend so much time, needed a little something new on the wall, so here we are. I turned a photo of the gorgeous botanical garden Jardins Mossèn Costa i Llobera in Barcelona into a JOELIXXI ;) I added some yellow dots:
Putting together an IXXI, with matte printed squares that are snapped together through plastic X-clips is very easy. The quality of the paper, the instructions, the clips, the nail-free hanging system, the box: everything looks really nice. It's true Dutch Design and they get extra cool points because IXXI comes from Den Bosch, the city where I was born ;)
So back to my planty wishes for 2016: I simply wish for more people to discover the little surprises and health benefits of plants. One small wish that will make the world a tiny bit more beautiful. Watering, pruning and repotting plants is so relaxing and takes time out of our busy days. And if you feel more relaxed life is easier, right?! Add some extra leafy friends to your office or living room: they purify the air and make your home healthier at the same time. Oh and on my planty wishlist: a zigzag cactus!
What are your planty wishes for 2016? Do you want to learn how not to kill your plants? Or buy a new watering can and some pretty plant pots? Share your wishes on twitter or Instagram or blog about it and we will share it on Urban Jungle Bloggers. Twenty sixteen: bring it on!
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? Find out how on our website and use #urbanjunglebloggers on twitter and instagram. Let's bring some green into our homes and blogs!
► For more Planty Wishes, check out the gallery!
Yes, I'm going bananas! It has nothing to do with minions, but with a crazy ear infection that's been chasing me for the past month. The different kinds of pills ease the pain but make me nauseous and I don't feel strong enough to run (so frustrating!). And overall I feel a bit bleh, despite long nights of sleep, vitamin boosts and a caring husband.
But on the other hand: there's a lot of good stuff going on. Our new bathroom is FINISHED! And it was sooo worth the 18 months of mess: it's pure luxury to take a shower in a real and heated bathroom and I can't wait to take some decent photos and share the final result with you. Also, two restaurant-letters were entirely renovated & painted and attached to the wall of the bathroom and have light (triple yay!). And in the past few weeks Igor and I have been outlining some very exciting Urban Jungle Bloggers projects for 2016. It included a daytrip to Holland by plane, which felt a bit crazy, especially with an ear infection, but it was a very fun experience. We will tell you all about it soon!
And on a more personal note: Robert and I planned our first 2 trips of the new year. We are staying here in the Oise... and we're going to Helsinki!
And I'm also going bananas for REAL bananas... banana trees to be exact. In our AirBnB garden near Valencia grew a gorgeous and big banana tree with 2 banana bunches and a beautiful inflorescence (above). Every day a dark purple burgundy petal would fall off. A few years ago I had a little banana plant, but Wally liked munching on the leaves and totally destroyed it. Maybe I should try again and grow some in the greenhouse? They have this instant tropical vibe, right?!
Do you like bananas? Or banana plants? In any case, I hope you are well and not too stressed out by any Xmas preparations!
Satan's Coffee Corner in Barcelona
Plant-loving coffeelovers, I found THE place to go... if you are in Barcelona. This coffee place is called Satan's Coffee Corner and I stumbled upon the address when looking for the beautiful Matagalán terracotta pots. Matagalán's designer Caroline styled the entire coffee place with her creations. Don't you love how the terracotta pots and plants pop against the blue wall?
At Satan's Coffee Corner you can get the best (self-proclaimed) coffee of Barcelona and they serve different coffes like a V60 or aeropress. I ordered a simple and delicious flat white. Please note: no decaf, no wifi, no unattended kids. Cash only. Fuck Tripadvisor, fuck Yelp, aussies keep it quiet!
And right there... in the back...
... a spiky & stylish bathroom corner:
Satan's Coffee Corner /// Carrer de l'Arc de Sant Ramon del Call, 11 /// 08002 Barcelona, Spain /// +34 666 22 25 99
Open Monday through Saturday 8 am - 6 pm and Sunday 10 am - 6 pm.
Jardí Botànic in Valencia
With the current COP21 conference in full swing here in Paris, I can only find one reason why the climate change would be a "good" idea. It would make it possible to plant my cactus plants and palm trees directly in our garden instead of keeping them in pots. I would be able to grow my own botanical garden with dozens of cactus species, succulents and strong palm trees right here in Northern France. No seriously: let's try our very best to prevent this from becoming a reality! I really don't mind traveling southwards to admire lush Mediterranean gardens. The Jardí Botànic in Valencia for example: it was truly one of the (many) highlights from our trip to Spain.
For the first time ever I saw an Opuntia just like mine: they clearly like growing in the strangest directions while keeping perfectly balanced:
Extremely spikey Cylindropuntia:
What's not to love: the pattern, the abundance, the shapes:
The botanical garden of Valencia, El Botànic, was founded in 1567, but only in the late 1980s they started restoring the garden until its completion in 2000. The garden has over 3000 different tree and plant species and it's known for the many varieties of palm trees and cacti. The botanical garden carries out research into plant diversity, conservation of rare, endemic or endangered species of Mediterranean flora and the conservation of natural habitats.
Yummy figues de Barbarie, also known as cactus fruit:
Botanical gardens make me happy:
I couldn't help but picking some palm tree seeds from the ground. It was pretty hilarious because the flower beds in the entire garden were covered with baby palm trees (that grow from the seeds that fall from the trees). They will probably remove these off sooner or later, because palm tree roots are really tough, but it looked so cool!
The perfect bench in the sun:
Amazing palm tree seeds from a species I had never seen before (unfortunately I don't recall its name...):
Strong and tall palm trees everywhere:
And as logo-obsessed as I am: the logo of the Jardí Botànic is actually a leaf drawn by Matisse! Love it!
That moment when you recognize a plant in the wild from Justina Blakeney's drawings:
Jardí Botànic /// Calle Quart, 80 /// E-46008, Valencia /// +34 96 315 68 00
Open every day (except Dec 25 & Jan 1) from 10:00 - 18:00 (winter) / 21:00 (summer) /// admission 2,50€
@joelixjoelix on instagram