Wednesday, April 29, 2015

zChocolat - A Collection for my Mother


 



My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Forrest Gump

As sweet this quote from the famous movie is, as wrong it is about  some things. Life gives you someone you know you will have there forever: your mother, and of course, all her love.  The unconditional love and support a mother can give you are priceless and are life's biggest treasures. Each day, like from a great box of chocolates, she teaches you new lessons, shows you the way, lets you explore your senses, gives you freedom and still offers you strong roots to thrive on.

Whenever I open a box of chocolates from zChocolat I close my eyes and let my fingers pick for me - one chocolate of the collection will tell me about my past, another one will remind me of joy, the third will give me new energy to start all over again, the fourth will make me wonder about all the things I still have to learn in life - be it a new combination of tastes or a new episode from my story.

When I received the Mother's Day zBox 15 from zChocolat, I knew this box was destined for my mother. This seasonal collection offers something new and something traditional, just like what mothers offer their children every day. The packaging is a light pink adorned with a lotus flower, a symbol of love, purity and rebirth. Inside you will find chocolates from their traditional collections, which tastes I have described in previous posts on this blog - absolutely sublime.

Any mother's life is all about her child from the moment she gives birth (or even before that), so this zBox 15 was a great occasion, since mother's day is approaching fast, to offer my mum time for herself, to indulge. I secretly watched the sparkles in her eyes while she was having a cup of tea and secretly eating the chocolates. She enjoyed every minute of it and that made both of us very happy.

My mum will probably say: Life is like a box of zChocolates: new yet traditional, indulging, relaxing and very tasty ;)

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You can find the Mother's day collection here. Oh - and one more thing - with the zChocolat boxes of chocolates, you will always know what you are getting, and that is high quality, great taste, craftsmanship, tradition, and last but not least - quick delivery.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Weekend Travel Light Bag

Since we are approaching a long weekend, and after a discussion with a friend about how to pack light, I decided to share my tips with you.


Last few years have taught me how to reduce "stuff" I take with me on travels and how to stick to what's essential. So here is a list you could consider:

- toothpaste
- toothbrush
- hairbrush
- deodorant
- perfume
- make-up

-->   all of these in small containers. Ignore the shampoo/wash gel, because you will find these wherever you go, be it a hotel or some friend's place. Towels as well - no need for those either, as you will find some at the destination.


- a big scarf - It can serve multiple purposes: you can roll it like a pillow for the plane-/train-ride, cover yourself in it if it gets chillier on a summer evening, wrap around your throat so you don't catch a cold, or even cover your head with it if you, for example, visit a Mosque or a church or take a boat-ride or a city bus-ride on an open double decker.

- an extra pair of trousers - I've learned this the hard way one winter on a trip to Paris, when it was horribly cold outside and I unfortunately stained the only pair of trousers I had with me, so I had to wash that stain off and it was not completely dry the next morning. It was a Sunday so shops were closed, I could not buy a new pair, so I had to walk in that cold with a part of my leg being exposed to the freezing cold. Since then I always have an extra pair with me, even if I travel for only 2 days!

- a sweatshirt/cosy sweater - ideal for the flight, for sleeping, for walking -all you want is to "enjoy the ride" so the word "comfort" should be a guideline for your packing habits

- an extra (light) pair of shoes - for example flexible trainers like those from Nike Free collections - in case it rains and your first pair of shoes is drenched or if you have hiking planned - these are perfect

- Monochrome Tees - easy to match with everything and easily accessorized with the scarf I mentioned before

- Pay attention to your outerwear - in spring weather changes easily - be sure to have something which is fir for rain and with yet light to carry. 3 in 1 jackets are my personal choice

- don't forget your sunglasses - in any season - especially if you are traveling by plane; your phone charger and those easy-to-store in-ear headphones for music

Enjoy the weekend!

P.S. I'll let you in on a secret - if you want to pack that extra sweater or extra T-shirts/trousers, but the space in your bag is insufficient - use vacuum sealed travel bags in order to reduce the volume to a half. This way you can still travel with only one bag and yet have more choice of clothes on the way. Good luck packing!
 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

London's Sky Gardens

 
  
 To all out there who want to have a stunning view over London and to have an experience they will not forget so soon, book a time slot to visit Sky Gardens, located on the 35th floor at 20 Fenchurch Street. This 38-storey building is the fifth tallest completed building in the City of London and offers incredible 360 view.


The visit is free, however, you will need to book in advanced as every visitor is offered a time-slot. You will also have to undergo an airport-similar security check at the entrance.


Opening times are Monday to Friday 10am to 6 pm (last booking slot 4.30 pm) and on weekends 11am until 9pm (last booking slot 7.30pm). I had my visit on a Friday at 10am, it was really nice because it was not crowded so I was able to enjoy the view and take as many pictures as I liked without being interrupted. My mother and I sat down at the end of our tour at the cafe located in the garden-area, and enjoyed cappuccinos over the rooftops of London. From above, the city looked much more tranquil and it was a nice break away from the city's swarm.
 

As we entered the lift to get back  to ground floor, the sir who was in charge of us arriving down safely was asked by another visitor which would be the best time to visit, from his point of view. He mentioned after sundown, when all the city is lit and you can have another experience than during the day. I saved myself that experience for my next visit to London. However, if you visit London for the first time and you are not very familiar with its geography, I recommend the day-time visit.

Have fun and enjoy!

 
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Chanel Online Shop





Chanel goes online - WOW!


Being one of the last luxury and fashion houses to adopt this "trend", or better put, this retail development, Chanel will finally be available for e-commerce. But hold your horses, because the house is taking it one step at a time.

The first project will be an online store at the famous online luxury retailer Net-a-Porter for a capsule jewelry collection, called Coco Crush, with prices from 2000 to 20000 dollars. A sort of pop-up store starting 15th of April 2015 - meaning today.



As for the Chanel online-store, Bruno Pavlovsky states that the site might be ready in September 2016, even if rumours indicate it could be up and running already in the first quarter next year.

I look forward to seeing this (inevitable) change for the house and will remain until then
 ...in the mood for Chanel.

 (Picture source:http://cdni.condenast.co.uk/426x639/k_n/netaporter-vogue-7-9apr15-pr-b_426x639.jpg; Video source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgtOz3ThhXI)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Inspiration for the Easter Table Decoration



Go floral, sleek, playful. Choose pastels: faded shades of green, baby blue, lavender, light yellow, pink or cream colour. Choose natural elements such as carrots or spring onions. Don't be pompous! In fact, this is a celebration for the family and your dearest ones, so make everything and especially everyone feel comfortable. So why not approach it also with a bit of DIY?! Just let your imagination flow and be creative - there is inspiration in every flower, vegetable or egg next to you ;)

Happy decorating!








(Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Preparation - Harrods London



Are you all set for the upcoming Easter? Did you already get in the mood for it?
If not, it's high time you did! Here's a proposition from my side: go to London's famous Harrods. It's a wonderful experience just to stroll through the department store, especially through its food court.  take a friend with you, or a close relative, and enjoy a wonderful after-noon just exploring whatever one can find on the globe brought for you just in one store in London's Knightsbridge.

 

For Easter especially you have a whole range of Easter Egg sweets and cute, fluffy rabbits to accompany them, but what I found most hilarious (and a bit disturbing, I must admit) were these duck-face-selfie-white-chocolate-eggs, as I like to call them. So I had to take a selfie with one of them. My mum was most amused by it :)


Don't forget to visit the flower section - you'll be amazed by the variety (especially of off-season flowers). They will make a great center-piece for your Easter table decoration.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Food Experience in Bruxelles - In't Spinnekopke



I have been here in mid January after having searched a lot on the Internet for a true Belgian experience - and I was lucky to find this place!!!

The location is in an old bruxelloise house in the center but still a bit off the touristic path and it looked like the other guests were locals, which is always a good thing! The staff was extremely friendly and patient with the 7 of us an catered to all our needs. The service was fast and always with a smile on the face.

Everything we ordered was delicious - for starter I had coquille Saint Jacques in a cheesy rochefort sauce due to which I had to leave my table manners aside - I had to dip in my baguette because it was yummy! As a main I had eel in a greene sauce served with frites and as a desert I had the moulleux aux chocolat, which I hadn't eaten so perfectly done in a long time! !!


My friends enjoyed other dishes such as horse steak done pink medium - very tender (I tasted every dish at the table ), oysters, mussels with fries and a sausage dish as well as the yummy desert. Everything was fairly priced so all in all it was a great experience. I would return there anytime and will recommend it to anyone!

Oh...make reservations!
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