romance

All posts tagged romance

A Belated Tribute To the Brangelina Wedding: Baking With Booze, the Romance Edition

Published September 13, 2014 by The Feminist

This doesn’t need much explaining; the video says it all.

I love romance. I love weddings. I love Angelina Jolie.

Pour all these things together into one overindulgent celebrity event, and you will understand why I went completely crazy over the Brangelina wedding.

Whereas I couldn’t care less about Kimye tying the knot (too many big egos, too much fuzz, too fake,…), I was completely and utterly thrilled when Brad and Angelina secretly said their vows.

In fact, I was so mesmerized by so much love and romance, I decided to use their wedding for this week’s baking with booze episode.

This chocolate and red wine cake with berries and Cassis liqueur is by far the most romantic cake on the planet. It may not look like a true showstopper (there are no decorations, no frosting, no icing, no tiers,…) but what it may lack in romantic appearance, it totally makes up for in flavour.

This cake will make you “drunk in luuuuvvvvv” in every possible way 😉

Chocolate and Red Wine Cake with Berries and Cassis

Ingredients:                                                              

  • 150gr flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125gr butter
  • 200gr caster sugar
  • 100gr dark chocolate
  • 300gr mix of frozen berries
  • 150ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp of Cassis liqueur (plus extra for drizzling over the top once baked)
  • 2 eggs

Method:

  1. Put the frozen berries in a large bowl and pour the red wine and Cassis over the top. Let it soak overnight in the fridge until your berries are lovely and boozy.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment.
  3. Melt the chocolate and butter together on a low heat until everything has melted. Take off the heat and stir in the caster sugar, followed by the boozy berries and all that incredibly yummy fruity red wine liquid. Stir well.
  4. Pour the chocolaty mixture into your bowl with the flour and baking powder and stir well until everything is incorporated.
  5. Crack in two eggs and mix.
  6. Pour the batter in your prepared cake tin and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
  7. Once the cake comes out of the oven, drizzle generously with Cassis liqueur.
  8. Let it cool completely before serving with a huge glass of red wine.
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Understanding Romance: 8 Love Lessons from Hollywood Movies

Published March 20, 2014 by The Feminist

WARNING: The following post contains dangerous amounts of gooey lovey-dovey stuff topped with a poisonous sauce of sarcasm…

Romance. It is a topic that has enthralled people all over the world for centuries. We all desire it. Poets write about it. Singers sing about it and Hollywood serves it to us on a plate full of glitz and glamour.

Yes, romance is something we all want. It is universal, but the million dollar question is: are our expectations about romance realistic?

Since I am probably the biggest sucker for all things romantic, I decided to dig into my past and find out what has influenced my image of romance.

Needless to say that I have Hollywood to blame for my (unrealistic?) expectations of romance. Especially all those romantic movies with handsome men with dreamy eyes and even dreamier six-packs.

Here is a collection of all the things I have learnt about romance and love from my favourite Hollywood movies. Feel free to comment or to tell me some of the valuable lessons you have learnt so far.

Lesson Nr. 1: If he wants you, he will let you know.

the notebook

Remember that one scene from the Notebook that made you choke back soft sobs? It is a heartbreakingly beautiful declaration of love and it made all of us girls believe in the braveness and honesty of men. If he wants you, he will shout it from the rooftops and he won’t stop until he gets you! Now, isn’t that a lovely thought?

Reality check: 2/10

Living in Belgium, I can tell you that most men do not openly declare their love for you. They just sit around playing videogames and drinking beer, while you do all the hard work.

Lesson Nr. 2: If you jump, he jumps.

titanic

Could there possibly be a more romantic movie than Titanic? A chivalrous guy risking his life to save yours is something fit for fairy tales or EL James novels.

Reality check: not applicable

Let’s hope you’ll never get stuck in a situation in which you would willingly want to jump of a ship, shall we?

Lesson Nr. 3: If you can’t find the right guy, you can always date a handsome stripper

magic-mike-matthew-mcconaughey-lawbreakers

When Magic Mike was released in theatres last year, I was over the moon with excitement! Channing Tatum! Matt Bomer! Alex Pettyfer! And they are all taking their clothes off!

Reality check: 0/10

Chances are practically non-existent of ever meeting a stripper as handsome as Matt Bomer. Feel free to try and look for him, but trust me when I say that it would be a waste of time.

Lesson Nr. 4: Sometimes you will need to take some risks…

Captain-Jack-Sparrow-pirates-of-the-caribbean-33979432-500-200

I’m not suggesting you should sail to Tortuga and fight some un-dead creepy pirates, but creativity now and then doesn’t hurt. At least, that’s what Jack Sparrow taught me.

Reality Check: 9/10

I’m just a huge sucker for bonkers ideas.

Lesson Nr. 5: He will be witty.

proposal

proposal2

We all want a guy who makes us laugh. Someone who is able to make a distinction between witty sarcastic remarks and plain insults. It’s a fine line, I know. But Ryan Reynolds in the Proposal does a brilliant job!

Reality check: 7/10

Come one, guys! Show us what you’ve got!

Lesson Nr. 6: Make sure they remember you.

hunger-games-quotes-36

This valuable lesson is not just applicable to romance or –you know- survival at the Hunger Games, but it pretty much sums up everything you need to do to win.

Reality Check: 10/10

Haymitch for President!

Lesson Nr. 7: A guy will send you love letters

ps i love you

Dear Holly, I don’t have much time. I don’t mean literally, I mean you’re out buying ice cream and you’ll be home soon. But I have a feeling this is the last letter, because there is only one thing left to tell you. It isn’t to go down memory lane or make you buy a lamp, you can take care of yourself without any help from me. It’s to tell you how much you move me, how you changed me. You made me a man, by loving me Holly. And for that, I am eternally grateful… literally. If you can promise me anything, promise me that whenever you’re sad, or unsure, or you lose complete faith, that you’ll try to see yourself through my eyes. Thank you for the honor of being my wife. I’m a man with no regrets. How lucky am I. You made my life, Holly. But I’m just one chapter in yours. There’ll be more. I promise. So here it comes, the big one. Don’t be afraid to fall in love again. Watch out for that signal, when life as you know it ends. P.S. I will always love you.”

Sigh.

Okay, so technically Gerry was already dead when Holly received his letters, but you have to admit that when you saw PS: I love You (or read the book) you were secretly hoping that your guy would one day write one for you as well…

Reality check: 1/10

Let’s face it, Ladies. Men do not write love letters. Unless his name is Shakespeare, Napoleon or Beethoven…

Lesson Nr. 8: In romance, we are all a bit crazy…

harry potter

Seriously. Does anybody actually manage to think straight when he or she is in love? If even Harry Potter couldn’t keep his mind on the game (a.k.a. kill Voldemort) because he was too bewitched by Ginny, how are mere mudbloods like us ever going to be able to maintain focus? We are all just a bunch of headless hens running around in bewilderment until we find a nice nest to sit in…

Reality Check: 10/10

I don’t know about you, but I certainly am one of those bambling and bumbling baboons.

Sunday Shenanigans: Orange Lipstick, a Flapper Dress and Possibly the Best Movie Ever.

Published March 9, 2014 by The Feminist

sunday

As you all know, yesterday was International Women’s Day. Although I like to believe that every day should be women’s day (because we are so damn awesome!), I would like to dedicate this post to all the women out there who may often feel misunderstood, neglected or simply ignored.

We are women. We should be proud of that. Don’t let anybody tell you that you should tone down your feminine side, if you want to fit into a world dominated by male prejudice and machismo.

Being feminine is who we are. So embrace it.

Therefore, dear readers, this post is going to be about the girliest things imaginable. It is going to be about lipstick, glittery dresses and –oh yes!- romcoms. So get the hell of my blog, boys! For once, this is a “women’s only” blog.

Girly Thought Nr. 1: Orange lipstick: Yay or Nay?

Orange lipstick seems to be everywhere this spring: Fendi, John Galliano or my personal favourite MSGM,… all these brilliant designers showcased very perky lips in literally every shade of orange, ranging from pastel peach to vibrant clementine. I absolutely love this colour, for it gives you an incredible sixties Hollywood glamour vibe.

orange MSGM

The only question is: what about our teeth?

I mean, on the catwalk these beautiful orange-lipped models keep their lips tightly sealed, and the Hollywood A-listers on the red carpet have plenty of money to bleach their teeth into an almost glow-in-the-dark white.

orange bosworth

orange chastain

But what about those who don’t regularly bleach our teeth? I somehow have this hunch that if I were to wear orange lipstick, my teeth (which look rather nice, I might add)  would suddenly look like I’ve been smoking a packet of cigarettes every day ever since the day that I was born.

So what do you think about orange lipstick, dear ladies? Yay or nay?

Girly Thought Nr.2: I bought a Flapper Dress!

For over a year now, I have been looking for a one-and-only flapper dress. A dress that would make me look like a Roaring Twenties diva. A dress that would turn me into a modern-day Daisy Buchanan. A dress that would make me shine…

And I’ve finally found it.

DSCN3720

Needless to say, it is splendidly awesome.

The only thing missing right now, is an old-school Prohibition cocktail and…oh yeah, a Gatsby lookalike.

Girly Thought Nr. 3: About Time is probably the best movie you’ll ever see…

… in your entire life!

When About Time came out in theatres a couple of months ago, I really wanted to go and see it. However, life got in the way (as always!) and I only was able to see it a couple of nights ago, (when I was in the mood for something gooeyly romantic and sappy). Although I always love films with Rachel McAdams, I thought About Time would rank somewhere between “okay” and “pretty good”.

About Time trailer - video

But… this film was much more than just “pretty good”. This film was perfect. I can’t explain why, but it just is. It is the magical combination of the Notebook meets Notting Hill. It is about time travel (say wuuuut?) and it has a really cheesy message at the end, which –in all its cheeziness- still grabs you by the throat like a poisonous river snake.

One of the possible explanations for my love for this movie is the very Britishness of it all. It is set in London and Cornwall, everyone speaks with such a lovely British accent (except Rachel McAdams of course) and then there is Domhnall Gleeson, who plays the lead character. He is a skinny young man, with messy red hair and the most endearing facial expressions in film history. He is like Ron Weasley, only hundred times better. Domhnall Gleeson is the true star in this ground-breaking romcom. His disarming ordinariness sweeps you off your feet in a way even Hugh Grant in his golden days was never able to.

So yes, it is “about time” you watch it as well.

It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de-lovely: Heart Prints in Fashion

Published December 2, 2013 by The Feminist

I’m in a romantic mood today. Seriously, my day is filled with little elements of romantic-desiring behaviour and it isn’t even two o’clock in the afternoon yet!

Need some proof? Okay, here it is:

One: I have the urge to re-watch the Notebook. Or Titanic. Will probably watch both.
Two: I’m overdosing on John Legend music.
Three: I’ve already lit four scented candles in the past thirty minutes.
Four: I bought myself a huge box of chocolates. (Admittedly, I eat chocolate every day but today I’m going particularly overboard on the cocoa)
Five: I winked at a handsome stranger.

See? I’m practically on the verge of throwing hand-cut heart confetti at everyone in the street.

Given this romantic attitude, I think it is time to highlight some very lovable fashion for you all.

For years, romantic souls like me had to deal with those dreaded skulls on every possible garment. I assume people loved this trend because it made them look tough, but to be honest, all these skulls just reminded me of death and horror movies. I mean, when people look at you, wouldn’t you want them to associate your personality with joy and love, instead of death and walking zombies?

Anyway, apparently I was one of the few who actually thought like that. But fear no more fellow romance- cravers: the era of the skull print is over!

This season’s print is all about showing love and affection. In a society in which showing emotions is –unfortunately and to my great frustration- frowned upon, this trend encourages us to step away from this collective coolness. This season, we are done remaining frozen and incapable of expressing our emotions. Let it out people!

And a first step to a more open emotional life is buying yourself some heart print clothes. This print isn’t just something you wear on Valentine’s Day, the symbol of love can be worn every single day of the year. These prints will make you feel cherished and alive. Drop that veil of calm collective posture, ladies. Trust me, it won’t make you vulnerable. It will only make you drop dead gorgeous.

This amazing trend was launched by Burberry Prorsum. The creative team behind Burberry put heart prints on practically every available piece of fabric. Apart from this very lovable print, the collection had everything a girl could possibly wish for: a silhouette of tight pencil skirts and breezy blouses, fabrics to die for (from soft cashmere to elegant leather or daring translucent rubber)and the elegant colours (beige and bordeaux) make the collection look feminine, not girly.

heart burb

heart bur

heart burber
Even guys are allowed to show how much they love us!

heart man

These shoes from Charlotte Olympia are called “Love Me”.

heart charlotte olympia

Now, I don’t think that will be much of a problem.

If you’re looking for a subtler approach to the trend, heart-print accessories might be something for you!

What about these adorable socks?

heart socks

Or these cute glasses?

heart glasses

For the daredevils among you: don’t you think these tights with encrusted heart knee pads are just mesmerizingly beautiful?

heart tights

After such an overdose of heart-shaped loveliness, I think it’s only appropriate to seal this post with a big kiss.

kiss-mark-isolated

Boudoir Babe: Confessions of a Lingerie Addict

Published October 31, 2013 by The Feminist

andres-sarda-fall-winter-2013-lingerie-collection-07

“No one is going to see it, so what’s the point?” The frustration among single women can indeed be quite big when they happen to stumble upon a beautiful lingerie set , but refuse to buy it because they don’t have a partner to wear it for. If you’re one of those protesting single ladies, here is my piece of advice: Lingerie is never about him. It’s about you. Don’t ever let your single lifestyle keep you from rocking those sexy lace knickers.

At the risk of over-sharing: I happen to be a lingerie addicted single. Whereas other shopaholics might spend entire fortunes on shoes or Chanel handbags, I prefer spending my money on stuff no one but me can see. One possible explanation might be because I’m a hopeless romantic. Everything that’s dainty, refined, red, pink, lace or bejeweled has my direct attention, for it reminds me of hand-cut heart confetti and chocolate bonbons or triggers my all-time favourite fantasy of a Prince Charming on a White Horse singing emotional Bruno Mars songs just outside my bedroom window.

Another reason why I believe lingerie is the most important item in your wardrobe is because it creates self confidence. And that is why I’m truly convinced that all of you, single ladies, should have a bursting lingerie closet as well. Good lingerie makes you feel happier, sexier and more at peace with your body. Moreover, beautiful lingerie isn’t just for young and thin models. Plus sizes, older women, tall/short women, there is a pretty lingerie set for everyone!

I hereby hope I was able to convince you of the importance of lingerie, because this fall season is overflowing with romantic underwear!

One of my favourite collections is the fall collection from Andres Sarda.

andres-sarda-fall-winter-2013-lingerie-collection-08

andres-sarda-fall-winter-2013-lingerie-collection-12

andres-sarda-fall-winter-2013-lingerie-collection-14

My favourite affordable lingerie brand by far is the Italian boutique Intimissimi. Their lingerie is absolutely mesmerizing, but in contrast to Andres Sarda, you can buy as many items as you want because it’s not really expensive!

intimi

intimi good

intimisintimisi

The collaboration between lingerie brand Etam and super model Natalia Vodianova is still drool worthy. This black lace bodysuit is simply sublime, don’t you think?!

etam1

Prince Charming sucks

Published November 14, 2012 by The Feminist

Prince Charming sucks

Although every woman will try to deny it, we all still believe in the boy-meets-girl fairy tale story.

Why wouldn’t we? A handsome prince. Love at first sight. Happily-Ever-After… Every woman secretly hopes she will be treated as a princess, with a knight in shining armor as good-looking as Ryan Gosling and a jewelry box as large as a walk-in closet. (Although that last part might just be me ^^)

Our fairy tale dreams are often tempered by the harsh reality that life has to offer. Men simply don’t climb up ivory towers (Because they don’t know where to find one?) or travel across the country to return your shoe. (Because they think we would simply buy another pair?) I hate to bring it to you, but life is not a romantic comedy.

Life is much more than that! Life is complicated. Beauty, love and hope walk hand in hand with pain, hate and disappointment. At times life can even seem more like a nightmare than a fairy tale.

But don’t ever let this bother you, fellow princesses! If you want your version of a fairy tale, CREATE IT! Don’t ever stop dreaming. Never lose hope. Everything is possible, as long as you’re willing to work for it.

So cherish your dreams! Cherish your hopes! Just remember: Even if you can’t find prince charming, that doesn’t mean you should feel less of a princess.

(and besides, who needs prince charming when you can have Ryan Gosling in your DVD player? 😉 )

Prince Charming sucks van evelineversluys met vintage jewelry

Giuseppe Zanotti peep toe heels, $1,640 / Nina vintage jewelry

Life is a combination of magic and pasta. – Fellini

Published September 27, 2012 by The Feminist

Image

Pasta and romance. Romance and pasta. The two seem to be intertwined. And we have Walt Disney to blame for that, because one of Disney’s most famous romantic scenes is definitely the “Spaghetti Kiss” from Lady and the Tramp. For those who come from another planet, here’s a brief description:

The lady and the tramp are having a candlelit dinner at a romantic little Italian restaurant.(‘Tony’s’ if I remember correctly) They are sharing a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, while the waiter is singing the beautiful tearjerker Bella Notte. And then –woops!- they accidentally kiss as they swallow opposite ends of the same spaghetti strand.

It’s iconic.

That is why lovebirds all over the world like to cook each other a bowl of pasta. It’s easy to cook, it’s utterly delicious and it brings a smile to everyone’s face. And last but not least, slurping spaghetti looks very sexy, because it draws attention to your lips.

But for all the single ladies who don’t have a lover to share a bowl of steaming pasta with, IGNORE ALL THE ABOVE!

Pasta always tastes good, regardless of who may – or may not – be sitting in front of you at the table. Just remember: Not having a boyfriend means not having to share food!

Take a seat in your comfy couch, or on the floor in front of the fire place, and enjoy your bowl of delight with one hand. Aah, heaven!