Orange Friday*

April 26, 2012

I have a 4 day date coming up with 3 great gals from London this weekend. They're hopping across the channel to celebrate Queen's Day with me and my friends in Amsterdam - the biggest street party in the world which celebrates the Queen Mother's birthday. I can't quite stress enough how much the Dutch love orange; it's the national colour because the royal house was known as the House of Orange (named after a region in France) and they're just crazy about it. This outfit is a toned down version of what we'll be wearing come Monday; I'm trying to convince the girls that we will blend in amongst the sea of tangerines by wearing such a ridiculous colour combo! Our actual outfits will include false lashes, hats and bright, crazy sunglasses.

Have a great weekend!


snapshots of recent shenanigans

1. Springtime cherry blossoms | 2. The street I used to live on - one of my favourite in the world | 3. An old pharmacy in The Jordaan | 4. Finding inspiration in a shop | 5. Vintage markets | 6. Kitties curled up in odd places | 7. Most amazing pancakes ever - this one is apple with cinnamon ice cream and whipped cream. More on this later! | 8. Fishing nets hung out to dry | 9. Picnics in sunny parks | 10. Fairy lights in a tucked away bar

Wednesday's Window to the World: Papua New Guinea

April 25, 2012
View from our balcony overlooking Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
Hans Lancee, 2011.

Why being twentysomething is so freakin' awesome.

April 19, 2012

Kimberly over at Pastel Pink Paisley blogged about this article from Thought Catalogue  and I loved it so much I just had to share it! It's such a great read if like me, you sometimes wonder what it really means to be in your twenties. I feel like a kid stuck in an adult body, expected to do adult things. Yet on the inside a little kid is asking you what the heck you think you're doing. The answer? No idea.

"I know I talk crap on being a twentysomething but I’m only half-kidding. In actuality, there’s no age I’d rather be. (Besides maybe seven years old because they don’t do anything besides eat ice cream and poop themselves. That sounds like an ideal life to be completely honest.)
Being in your twenties is all about discovering which things hurt you and what makes you feel good. You go in blindly, practically pricking yourself with a dull blade, and then you walk out with tougher skin. One day you’ll stop pricking yourself altogether. Maybe. I don’t know. How would I? I’m just a twentysomething, remember?

This is what your twenties are for — to feel and see as much as you can, to take advantage of not being tied down to anything and anyone and to go balls to the wall with everything that you do. You’re a raw nerve. You hate getting upset over little things, about being constantly unraveled by ignored text messages, parents, grades, and friends, but you have to remember something: you don’t know yourself entirely yet. Before the age of 20, you were mostly under your parents care, a reflection of what was going on around you. You didn’t have the option to make your own choices. You were merely living the life someone set out for you.  Being in your twenties allows you to start carving out the life you want for yourself. Everything is on your terms now which seems daunting but is actually liberating. For the first time in your life you’re the boss.

It’s important to talk about why your twenties are great because it seems like we spend so much of our time wanting to be somewhere else other than where we are. Think about it. Why the hell are we in such a hurry to live some boring grown up adult life that we saw at a Crate & Barrel? Because once we do get there, we’re stuck for a long time. The novelty’s going to wear off, we’re going to get married and have babies, and everything will be amazing but don’t think for a second that you won’t be nostalgic for this time. Don’t think for a second that you’re not going to miss those nights you spent putting on your make up, changing five million times, drinking wine, smoking cigarettes out your apartment window, and going to some silly party, a party that feels like all the others you’ve been to but still has the right to feel special. You will miss all of this. This is a luxury. It’s going to leave us eventually so you better freaking enjoy it.

 You better enjoy every lame ass party, every awkward kiss, every 5 AM hangover, every drug experience, every crappy apartment, because one day it will all be gone and you’ll just be left with the pictures and the bruises and nothing else. Youth is fu**ing magic. Don’t you get it? Look at your skin! Touch it. Look at your smooth legs and stomach. Grab it. When you’re older, you’ll want all of this again so bad. You’ll possibly spend so much money to get some semblance of it back. Now it’s yours for free.

We’re not stuck. Even if it feels like we are, it’s not true. We’re the opposite of stuck. As twentysomethings, we’re constantly moving — apartments, relationship, cities, jobs. Anything is possible. People are ready for you. They want to hear what you have to say. They look at you and are curious about what words are going to come out of your mouth. You’re the new generation. What do you have to say? Don’t bite your tongue. One day you’ll be pushed aside for a younger “fresher” perspective so you better get it out now. Make a mark. Make a 
stain. Make something.

{all images via Kate Spade}
I want to remember the fear, I want to remember the promise, I want to remember the nights I wanted to curl up in a ball, I want to remember the people I’m not supposed to remember, I want to remember not knowing myself, I want to remember the moment I started to feel safe and like this life I’m leading is really mine. I’m going to be scared, I’m going to bruise my knees and not know how they got there, I’m going to try to fruitlessly forge a connection with someone who won’t ever get it, I’m going to lose the person that means the most to me and find my way back to them. I’m going to be a twentysomething because that’s what I am and all I know how to be.  And you should too. You should love every single moment of this hot mess of a decade. Chances are you’ll miss it before you even get to say 'I’m 30'.”
On that note, I'm going to unplug for a few days to enjoy this weekend coming up with some really special people. As all the cool kids these days are saying: YOLO!
(You Only Live Once = My new favourite saying)

Wednesday's Window to the World: Toronto, Canada

April 18, 2012
View from the CN Tower in Toronto.
Brigitte Toppin, 2011

What's wrong with our bodies anyway?

April 17, 2012

Plus Model Magazine’s January 2012 issue caused a bit of a stir when size 12 model Katya Zharkova was photoraphed by Victoria Janashvili. Bold statements accompanied the photos about the growing disparity between downsized fashion models and increasingly overweight and obese American women. The article doesn’t mention the upsizing of the average American woman however, who is vastly more overweight and obese than 20 years ago.
Naturally there are people of all shapes and sizes around the world. We all have that skinny friend who eats more than a horse or the one who complains about being too 'fat' while scoffing cookies. This article is aimed at all of those women who constantly feel like there is something wrong with their body if they're not as thin as the average model in a magazine. Sadly some think that they need to achieve the skinny look even when it's unrealistic or impossible to do so and it’s nice to see images of plus size models portrayed in an attractive way. At least it helps break the mould of what beauty should look like. The issue of health is slightly different – of course health promotion is also important, but unfortunately fashion images have such a strong influence on what society perceives as acceptable and attractive. This perception is different across cultures of course - in the Caribbean men more happily accept curvy rather than 'broomstick' girls. In Holland the 'average' girl is tall and slim, with defined legs thanks to years of bike riding and playing hockey. In Asia I was told I was 'too fat' to even try on clothes in a shop, even though I'm considered pretty average in Europe.
Regardless of what your personal taste is, I'm pretty sure everyone agrees that being lazy and unhealthy is just not attractive. Happy, healthy girls are sexy no matter their size. If you're really not happy with your weight, do what you can to bring about positive changes responsibly. And if like me, you got some junk in your trunk that will never shift, try to embrace what yo' momma gave ya.


Paris | Part 3

April 14, 2012

On Good Friday we decided to check out the The Catacombs of Paris (the “municipal Ossuary”) - the biggest necropolis in the world with over 7 million bones .
We seem to have a thing for bones and creepy places. The quarries under the city of Paris extend over hundreds of kilometers and date back to the 12th century. 

Fast forward a few hundred years and Paris was facing a housing problem - the housing of dead bodies. Victims of the black plague, epidemics, starvation, of all the wars since the middle ages were piled up on several levels in the mass graves of the churches throughout Paris. The health risks of this overcrowding was enormous and they eventually decided to transfer the remains to the emptied quarries.

The bones were transferred and organised according to genre. Great care was taken to stack the bones in an aesthetically pleasing manner because of the tours; some could even say it looks beautiful in the creepy glow.

I'll be honest, after 5 minutes the bones all blur into each other and the fact that these had been stacked for the 'tour' made it seem a little less 'authentic' than what we had seen in Asia. The idea that this lay under the city of Paris is crazy and I'm glad we had the experience of seeing it.

Christina is Catholic and so after the tombs we went to mass at a church nearby. It was cool inside the packed church and even though the mood was sombre it was quite calm and relaxing. I really enjoy religious ceremonies because of the feeling of togetherness - there must have been over 50 different nationalities in that church alone.

Our Friday afternoon consisted of strolling around Saint Germaine, peeking inside the lovely little shops and enjoying an ice-cream whilst people watching on the steps of another church.

We came across these street performers outside of the metro stop; their lively music had the whole sidewalk of people bopping their heads and laughing along at their comical antics. I could have watched them the entire night.

Friday evening we took little Kaiso for a walk and this was followed by an amazing dinner at Hotel de Coste with Dominic. 

This place is fabulous! If you're ever in Paris I'd highly recommend checking it out, even if just for a drink at the bar. Despite the ridiculously skinny and gorgeous waiting staff, they're all very friendly and the food is delicious. The photos are via their website (We were told off for trying to take photos!) but they don't really relay the atmosphere inside the restaurant. It's so cosy and chic, exactly what I imagine Paris to 'feel' like. I'm not one to take photos of my food but I wish I had taken a shot of the crab starter and our cheesecake dessert;

I took the first shot on our way home from dinner - totally wrong camera setting but I quite like how it turned out! I then convinced Chris to make oneeee more trip to the Trocadero; I really wanted some shots of the tower at night. Luckily it wasn't too crowded and we 'oohed' and 'aahed' with everyone else as the tower sparkled on the hour. 
A romantic end to a wonderful day in Paris; pity Chris isn't my type.


Paris | Part 2

April 13, 2012
After lots of wine and catching up the night before, Chris and I set off to wander the city. Chris has been to Paris a million times because her uncle Dominic lives here and really didn't want to do the typical 'touristy' stuff again, yet somehow I managed to convince her to make a stop at Trocadero to take some fun shots in front of the tower. It also happened to be our friend Tash from Love Design* Barbados's birthday that day so we had to make a special shot to let her know we were thinking of her.

Chris was quite set on visiting Muse d'Orsay but when we saw the queue outside I nearly had a conniption. I'm a poor excuse for a tourist; I HATE waiting in line for anything, far less when I have limited time in a particular place. Of course there are 'must sees' but it just seems like such a waste of time to stand in a line for 4 hours when you only have a few days! After convincing Chris that she could go there another time we visited Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, taking in the tourists and Rihanna blasting from the street performer's boom box. I still get so excited when I hear RiRi in seemingly 'random' places and can't get over the fact that everyone knows this little hottie from Barbados. The street performer made everyone gasp (and others blush) with his 'sexy' moves and crazy football stunts at the top of a lamp post. We then wandered around Montmarte and moaned that the area was overpriced, touristy and quite tacky as we sipped our 5 euro coffees.

Previous Paris Posts:

Paris | Part 1.5