live laugh love

my body and me – #boostyourpositivity

A new #boostyourpositivity theme has been sitting on my virtual blogging shelf ever since it was announced almost two weeks ago. While my morning routine proved quite easy to write about, the work topic wasn’t very much so. Imagine what went through my mind when I read about the third theme: describe your relationship with your body. I have been running from writing this post ever since, but decided that today I would have to bite the bullet. Eventually I did postpone writing this until 6pm… Crazy, huh? Let’s get this over and done with, shall we?

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and the trees are stripped bare

october

The trees are supposed to be stripped bare in October, but we have been fortunate to experience a real Indian summer and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Turns out I do need that vitamin D more than I thought I did, me being the self-proclaimed queen of winter.

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work hard, play hard – #boostyourpositivity

This edition of #boostyourpositivity has had me struggling, you know. In a positive way, though, as it has me reflecting on things, which is good. I like a challenge or two when it comes to that.
Anyway, this post is a bit overdue since we kicked off this Monday with a new theme (body), but I still wanted to write a little something about the previous theme: #showyourjob.

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rise and shine! – #boostyourpositivity

rise and shine! - #boostyourpositivity

If you’re part of the Belgian blogosphere you’ve probably noticed that #boostyourpositivity, the blogger initiative by Danone (Activia) and Walkie Talkie PR, is back for a second edition!
I couldn’t be happier about this, since I thoroughly enjoyed the previous edition where I got to know (and meet!) several wonderful people with whom I still stay in touch to date.

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throwback thursday #1 – pepe

pepe

Ever since I first discovered the throwback Thursday hashtag on Instagram, #tbt, I loved the idea about it. As you may well be aware, photography is a big part of my life and I love to browse my photo books, reminiscing about the good old times.

Since I am a big fan of the concept I thought about integrating it here on the blog as a new theme. I’m not going to commit to this on vast frequency, but expect it to pop-up occasionally.

Ready? Then let’s get to the first #tbt on this blog. Click below to read the full post.

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25 questions tag

I’m going old school today by participating in a so-called tag, the 25 questions tag. Earlier this week, I already spotted the list of 25 questions on the blog of Falderie and yesterday it was also posted by Josie.
Writing this has me reminiscing about the early days of blogging. Back in 2001 I had my first blog and I remember these things doing the rounds.
Anyway, it’s a nice way to learn something more about the person behind the blog and as I totally love reading these myself I thought I’d join in on the fun.

Ready, set, go!

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alpe-d’huez

And just like that we’re back among our fellow Belgians, a 9-hour ride from our beloved Alpe-d’Huez. Do we feel sad? Yes, we do. But.. it’s also fun to transfer all the photos of the trip onto the computer and compile a blog post. I did my utter best to narrow it down to about 40 photos (mind you, my initial folder held about 120 photos (out of…?).
Click through to read the full report on our trip and take a trip down memory lane with us.

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vanden broele takes bellewaerde

Every year at work we are treated with coupon codes for theme parks. This must somehow trigger my theme park loving (?) colleague J because the moment he receives them an e-mail lands in our inbox asking us to join him for a (team building like) day. So it happened that one Saturday in May a small group of co-workers of Vanden Broele Publishers conquered a theme park somewhere in the outskirts of the country.

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PiekNiek

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that my colleagues and I like food, plenty of it. Birthdays are the best at the office, because we get to indulge all day long. You might remember our famous Vanden Broele Birthday Breakfast. I don’t like to brag here, but it was a great success! And we do like to continue that kind of food fest now and then. Read all about it after the jump!

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#teamevelien

If you read anything this weekend, then please read up on Evelien’s story here and here. I’ve been following her online (though we live only a couple of miles apart) for a couple of years and reading her post back in November… I simply have no words for this.

Her latest post will explain the photo feature here and I would like to ask you all to do the same thing and lend your heart to #teamevelien.

 

 

If you don’t understand Dutch, just let Google Translate do its thing, I’m sure you’ll somehow grasp the words written on her blog.

relax, don’t do it

Is it because I’m a tad bit sad the boost your positivity challenge has come to an end or is it because I was busy watching cycling during the opening weekend in Belgium or perhaps.. was it the fact that I really wanted to try my new Creative Intuos Pen & Touch for the image of today’s post?
I think it was the combination of all of the above including the fact that life has been a bit busy lately. Anyway, I made the finish line just in time, so sit back, relax and read along.

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the shortcuts in life

I can’t believe it’s Sunday evening and I only just managed to write this post by now. It doesn’t really do its title justice, but hey. The third boost your positivity challenge was all about those shortcuts in life. As in: what do you do to keep everyday things going smooth and efficient.
I guess the theme suits me really well as this is what I’ve been trying to do for the past year. Let me give you a glimpse at some tips to use in your life.

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dear sixteen year-old kelly,

I’ve been thinking a lot about you (lately). Especially the last year. Considering I’m twice your age now you will come to understand everything about being patient in life. Ugh, I know you hate that word and I (sometimes) still do, but without sounding too motherly: yes, it’s true, patience is indeed a virtue. You will learn this in the coming years.

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#2015

I’ve never been keen on the so-called new year’s resolution thing. However, I can’t help but pondering over the year ahead during the first weeks of January. One has to do it at some point, evaluating his or her life and for some odd reason a new year contributes to this. I guess it might also have to do with the fact that January is my birthday month and birthdays generally get me thinking.

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this year’s highlights (+ contest!)

When on the verge of a new year, all I keep thinking about is how I actually don’t like New Year’s Eve. There’s way too much fuss about it, yet I am ringing in the new year tonight amidst a huge crowd. The difference is that I chose to spend it with my love and no one else (well, if you don’t count that crowd, that is). That said, I would easily make do with my couch and tv on NYE as well. I truly am ageing, aren’t I? I sound like an 80 year-old.

Now, to get to the point. As much as I think all this is overrated, I can’t help but reflect on the past year when approaching a new one. What better way to do so than with a photo recap?

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halloween at home

This year, I decided to re-use most of the Halloween decorations I kept on the attic. However, I did want to create some sort of centerpiece. I ended up getting some extra material and made the centerpiece I was so eager to have.

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dress to impress

I’m one of those women who never dares to bare their legs. I avoid skirts and dresses as much as I can unless they reach a certain length. However, when meeting other people in skirts and dresses, there’s always some kind of envy. It’s not so much that I don’t want to wear them, it’s just that I’m not confident enough to do so.

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spring on a sunday

Spring is visiting Belgium a little earlier than usual and I’m certainly not the one to be complaining about that. It’s a welcoming change after last year’s winter, that seemed to last forever, and the rain we’ve been enduring for the last couple of months.
I’m spending this Sunday at home, just being lazy, (hopefully) finish my book and penning down a couple of ideas that have been swarming in my head for the past couple of days. Bliss.

Here’s what currently inspires me or complements the spring vibes I’m currently feeling.

Paris is always a good idea
…and that’s exactly my idea for next weekend. Can’t wait to see you again, old friend.
Postcards from Paris - Gary Pepper
(photo credit – Carin Olsson/Gary Pepper)

Summer tunes
This new record by Belgian duo Hermanos Inglesos certainly has that spring feeling to it and also has me making multiple embarrassing efforts at whistling.

Pastels
I’m all set for this pastel trend and even did a small wardrobe update on Friday. I just love my new blazer from H&M.
H&M Figure-fit jacket
(image credit – H&M)

Cuteness overload
This Pinterest board has had me oooh-ing and awwww-ing for hours this week. The cuteness is almost impossible to handle: it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Eat
I’m currently trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and there’s nothing more important than breakfast in my opinion. Yesterday afternoon I finally got to try my hand at that granola recipe I found on Belgian foodie blog Thursday Dinners, like ages ago. I’m so sorry it’s in Dutch, but if you throw in Google translate, this will be easy as pie (not to mention: so delicious, it takes me tons of discipline not to eat that entire bowl).

jar of happiness

jar of happiness
jar of happiness
jar of happiness
jar of happiness
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.

a succulent affair

a succulent affair

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.

Oh baby

baby shower

baby shower

baby shower

baby shower

baby shower

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.

Weekend Blog Awards

Weekend Blog Awards

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.

london calling

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.

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It’s a wrap

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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.

Infinity

infinity

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 cliché, 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

tulips

blanket

strawberry cheesecake brownie

birthday dinner

all laced up

akira

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.

Lovebird

Akira
Akira

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.

Happy 2013

Hello 2013

Wishing you all the best in 2013! Looking forward to new adventures this year, both online and offline, and sharing them with you. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but if I did, blogging more frequently would certainly be one of them.