London love #1

I’m back from London and oh boy what a city that is! I go every year for the London Bookfair but always just for one day so I never get a chance to really look around. In high school I went for a school trip but that was ages ago (like in the last millennium) and I barely remember anything from that couple of days except St. Paul’s being the reason I’m now afraid of heights. We walked around a lot, saw a lot of museums and shopped a lot. That pretty much sums it up! I will share some highlights with you, but for now here are some London pics I took. {1. St. Paul’s cathedral / 2. Tate Modern / 3. Harrods / 4. Millennium Bridge – illustration: Goldfinchdesign}

Shops to visit in my hometown: Trade Studio

O dear, it’s been way to long since I last did an interview! But luckily I have a really nice one for you now! As you may know it’s been almost a year since we moved to the cutest town in Holland and one of the clothing stores in particular stood out for me even before I moved here. It’s called Trade Studio and it has the most beautiful Scandinavian brands. I asked the owner Karen Staal some questions and she was nice enough to answer them for me and I’m really proud to have my Trade Studio closet photographed. You can check it out here. For those of you who are planning a visit to my dear city do make sure to visit! What kind of shop is Trade Studio?  Trade studio is a light boutique in Haarlem in the area HoutZuid. The basis of the collections lies with classics and timeless pieces, that are enhanced with a considerable amount of Scandinavian style. Many of our labels come from Denmark and surprise us again and again with their simple beauty. Next to that personal advice is key, we gladly search for a style that really represents the individual. How long […]

TimeCapsule giveaway

Sometimes I get an email that makes me smile and when I saw the press release for the TimeCapsule my heart skipped a beat. I love the concept of keepsakes and really am somewhat of a nostalgic person. Do’t you just love it when you roam the attic and some old box pops up with trinkets and toys from your youth? Or when you read some old diaries and love letters? They take you away to another time and place. TimeCapsules is like that! It’s a collaboration between founder Anouk van der El, the award winning product designers of OfficeOriginair, creative collective Venour and graphic designers Mae Engelgeer and Marlous Sijm.  Inside your TimeCapsule you find a booklet that you can decorate with handy question stickers, your answers and personal messages from friends and family. You can stick photos, drawings and sketches onto the pages in the booklet with magic tape. Also included are a handy manual, some graphic wrapping paper, a shiny golden sticker for your #1 memory and funky tags that you can hang onto personal items you want to include. Finally, you find a super strength sealing-strip to close the TimeCapsule with and keep all your goodies safe from curious wanderers for years to come! […]

Illustration: Olaf Hajek- Little Gurus

I’ve been a fan of Olaf Hajek’s illustrations for a long time, but now I found out he made a children’s book on yoga. I practice yoga myself (I even did a teachers course at one time, although unfortunately I did not finish it due to circumstances) so you may understand my excitement. Wouldn’t the world be a more lovely place if we all just did an adho mukha svanasana or an utthita trikonasana once in a while?  {The book is only available in German you can try to buy it here}

Modefabriek 2013 #1

Last monday I went to the January edition of the Modefabriek in Amsterdam. I have been fortunate enough to attend the last two editions too, so by now I have a pretty good idea which areas I have to check out. I have to see MINT  (with ambassador Egbert-Jan Weeber) of course and another area called Trash and Treasures which is pretty cool and a little bit edgy. I like the fair, clean and hip environment of MINT. Actually maybe it’s even my most favorite part of the fair. But I have to say I also get really inspired by the ‘Garage Sale Extraordinare’ where thirty sellers are handpicked to showcase (and sell!!) their handmade, vintage or young designer fashion and accessories. For me the Modefabriek was all about the details this edition. So lots of accessories and small details that caught my eye. I have posted some pics on Instagram too and will highlight some new brands the coming weeks.   {1. Modefabriek promo photo / 2. Options department store selection in MINT area / 3. *eco* People Tree dress designed by Peter Jensen / 4. *eco* Granny’s Finest selection of knitwear in MINT area / 5. *eco* O My Bag […]

Shops to visit: Restored

Whenever I’m in Amsterdam I try to squeeze in as much quality shops in the (often) limited time I have. Every time I try to cover one particular area, such as the Pijp or Noord or center. I usually know exactly what stores I want to see and in most cases there even is a time plan involved. You could say I’m a little bit neurotic that way. The funny thing is I usually don’t prepare at all whenever I go and visit a foreign city. Foreign cities and their unknown treasures, the enormous quantity of must-see shops: they have a way of paralyzing me. “There is no way to see everything so I might as well just go and see what pops up.” is usually my city trip or vacation attitude. Since I had plenty of time to get to know Amsterdam (I was born and raised in Amstelveen which is kind of its suburb) I have conquered the paralysis as far as this city is concerned. I know it inside out (like my back pocket as we Dutch folk say). Last Saturday I went to Restored on the Haarlemmerdijk, a shop I wanted to see for ages (I […]

Book: talking dress

As promised here, I would like to tell you about this great book I published recently. It’s called talking dress and discusses fair fashion and lifestyle in great detail, it has loads of practical tips and DIY’s, interviews and a fair shopping guide. About a month ago we had the book launch and it really was a huge pleasure to see the end result (the book we had all worked so hard on) and to celebrate. Actress Sanne Vogel came to receive the first copy of the book and we had great music by Mees. If you would like to see photo’s of the launch please check the FB page of talking dress (and make sure to like it!). And of course I would like to recommend you buy the book (for all Dutch and Belgian readers) and / or buy the app (also available for Android)! Talking dress was written by Marieke Eyskoot with beautiful full-colour illustrations by Koosje Ruijgrok. The book design was by Bonny Smit and it was printed on FSC qualified paper with eco ink. Although it was a time consuming project, it has really been a labor of love by all of us and it has been great […]

Shops to visit: Cottoncake

Recently I visited the Pijp thanks to a great party I will blog about on another occasion. I got the chance to visit some great shops like Zublim and Cottoncake. I was particularly smitten by this last wee little shop. The interior was just so perfect and they served delicious home brewed coffee that came out of a grand looking coffee machine and the clothes and accessories they had were just amazing. My heart just skips a beat in such a perfect place. Just the right mix too between sweet and ‘stoer’. I bought a way to expensive blazer jacket in a beautiful matte green by Minimum. Sometimes you just have to splurge! And did you know their beautiful moth logo was designed by LaFarme? Please do make sure to visit if you have the chance!

Fashion: Esprit RCA limited edition

Yesterday I was in Amsterdam to eat sushi with one of my friends when I came across the ESPRIT shop. Their window display immediately stopped me in my tracks because it was made up of really beautiful clothes and amazing illustration art. I must confess I haven’t been in an ESPRIT shop for ages, but these clothes were simply amazing. I found out they have been made in a limited edition only in a collaboration with the Royal College of Art. In the words of ESPRIT: “Graduating RCA students were asked to create a collection that broached the question of whether fashion can be truly sustainable. The collection was also to reflect the zeitgeist of the student’s generation.” Three collections were chosen, the one by Julia Mackenroth, Ryan Mercer and Rachel Hall. The playful illustration work of Andy Rementer was used to visualize the campaign. For me this collection embraces everything I think is important in fashion: wearable, timeless and creative pieces. What’s even more great is that it’s a truly sustainable eco friendly collection!  

Kindred Spirits #1- Babongo

Today marks the beginning of a new series I’m starting on my blog: kindred spirits. In this series I interview the person behind a small business or blog that I find inspiring and whose message I would like to support or whose story I would like to share. I am starting off with Babongo, an ecofriendly webshop run by Nicole Blaak. I asked her some questions and she was so kind to answer them. Could you tell me something about the person behind the webshop Babongo?                                                                                          My name is Nicole Blaak, creative, idealist optimist with a passion for beautiful things, travelling and nature. But I’m also an incredible homebody, I love settling myself on the couch with a cup of tea and a good book. I can do nothing really well! When did you start Babongo? The idea for Babongo started at the end of 2010 and in june of 2011 Babongo went online. In between […]