spring

All posts tagged spring

You wish you could be this Awesome: almond-orange-rhubarb cake and cointreau rhubarb jam

Published April 14, 2013 by The Feminist

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I wasn’t quite sure whether to post all of this or not. It suddenly seemed more appropriate to lay low and hold back my awesomeness, so I wouldn’t intimidate you…

Ha! Silly me! If you can’t handle my insane level of awesome creativity, that is your problem, not mine. Besides, Albert Einstein once said : “Creativity is contagious: pass it on” And that’s exactly what I’m doing right now!

This cake is all about bringing spring into your kitchen with the tangy, fresh and in-your-face pink rhubarb. I am a girly girl, so you can probably imagine that I get really excited over pink fruit. But aside from Miss Rhubarb’s beauty, she just really tastes delicious. The cake is light, moist and the orange zest lifts the whole thing to another dimension. Don’t be scared of its overt girliness, because even the most macho “Where is my steak?” man will shed tears of utter happiness over its deliciousness.

If you’re thinking right now: “Wow, things cannot get more awesome than this!” Think again! Because with the remaining rhubarb and orange I made the most scrumptious jam in the world: a cointreau orange and rhubarb jam! Once you’ve tasted this, breakfast will never be the same!

So if you would like to give these recipes a try (Frankly, you would be crazy not to!), just remember: Anyone can be cool, but awesome needs practice…

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Almond-orange-rhubarb cake

Ingredients:

For the sponge:
• 190gr unsalted butter
• 190gr plain flour
• 60gr ground almonds
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1tsp cointreau
• 10gr flaked almonds
• 25gr natural yoghurt
• Zest of one orange
• 190gr caster sugar
• 3 eggs

For the stewed rhubarb:
• 4 to 5 stalks of fresh rhubarb, chopped into 2cm pieces
• 50ml orange juice
• 1 tbsp cointreau
• 70gr caster sugar
• 20gr butter

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and grease a loaf tin with butter.
2. Place the rhubarb in a saucepan along with the sugar, butter, orange juice and cointreau. Cook on a medium heat, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb softens. Set aside to cool completely.
3. For the sponge, cream together the butter and sugar and orange zest until soft and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Tip the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and whisk together on low speed. Add the yoghurt and cointreau.
5. Pour half of the batter into the tin and then spoon the stewed rhubarb on top. Top with the remaining batter and finish with the flaked almonds.
6. Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes.

Cointreau-orange and rhubarb jam:

Ingredients (for 2-3 jars):

• 300gr jam sugar
• 500gr fresh rhubarb, cut into 1cm pieces
• Flesh of one orange
• 4 tbsp cointreau

Method:

1. Place your fruit into a saucepan along with the jam sugar and cointreau.
2. Bring the fruit mixture to a boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the jam reaches setting point.
3. When the jam has reached setting point, carefully ladle it into the sterilised jars.

Shop till you drop: The shopaholic in me is alive and kickin’

Published April 8, 2013 by The Feminist
Shop till you drop: The shopaholic in me is alive and kickin’

I love fashion all year round. Every second of every hour of every day. There are moments, however, when my inner fashion diva goes in absolute fashion overdrive. When a very cool trend hits the runways or even when I just see a very awesome outfit online, I simply can’t stop thinking about it. I literally have dreams about it. Dreams of me wearing said awesome outfit and totally rocking it. This continuous “daydreaming” (a very euphemistic term for the scarier word “hallucination” 😉 ) will not stop until I have that outfit hanging in my closet.

I am currently going through such a fashion frenzy and the leading role in my very own Hollywood fashion movie daydream (besides a very stylish me) is the outfit above from River Island. I want it so bad, I get heart palpitations merely thinking of it.

I am a huge River Island fan. Sometimes I think this shop was created with the sole purpose of providing me with clothes.  However, there are two tiny little issues:

a)      What if my local River Island shop doesn’t have the outfit? :

 I saw the clothes on the River Island website, so there is no absolute guarantee that I will actually find them in the River Island store in Antwerp. More importantly, they have to have my size! I can hear you all thinking: “ Just order them online, you idiot!”

Good point. But I prefer trying clothes on first, before buying them. (Oh God, I sound like my mother!)

b)      What if the clothes don’t fit and I look nothing like the cool chick I had in mind?

No matter how hard you may want a certain outfit, sometimes when you put it on, it just SUCKS!

So this is where you come in, dear readers! I want you all to knock on wood/ cross your fingers/ light a candle/ pray that the very cool outfit will end up in my closet! Maybe we could all do a cyber- telekinesis-séance kinda thing?  Who’s with me?! 😉

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Ps: The shoes and necklace are not from River Island. It was just to give you an idea of what I would wear it with.

Shop till you drop: The shopaholic in me is alive and kickin’ van evelineversluys met platform heels
River Island crop top, $24 / River Island crop top, $24 / River Island printed pants, $46 / Giuseppe Zanotti platform heels / Topshop

Fifty shades of sunglasses

Published April 2, 2013 by The Feminist

shade flower
See what I did there? 😉 Deft pun aside, this summer will be all – and when I say all, I do mean ALL- about shades! They provide an instant glam factor to any outfit and turns you into the perfect summer babe, even without a perfect summer tan.

This summer’s sunglass mantra is “the bolder the better”. Some designers’ sunglasses were so bold, I couldn’t quite figure out whether they were incredibly cool or incredibly ridiculous. As always, there’s a fine line between very vogue and very rogue.

But I do like to take risks, especially when it comes to fashion, and I truly believe there are some fashion daredevils among you readers as well! I could give you a list of all the new fabulous shades out there, but like I said, that would be a very long list. So instead of giving you a list of 50 sunglasses, ranging from pretty to pretty ludicrous, I’m giving you my ultimate top 3:

1) Egg-celent view

Round sunglasses aren’t just for Harry Potter freaks and people suffering from Easter melancholia, they are for every young and fashionable woman with an edge.

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shade round

2) Catwoman

There is a catwoman waiting to purr inside all of us and these sunglasses are the perfect way to embrace your inner Halle Berry. They are classy but not safe. They are sexy but not slutty. They are simply perfect. (Especially those from Dior!) Miaow!

shade cat

shade cat dior

3) Pretty little flowers

This is by far my favorite shade-trend: Sunglasses decorated with flowers. Whether you opt for very graphical plastic flowers, like the ones from Prada, or frivolous tiny florets, like the shades from Anna Sui, one thing is certain: these flowers will not wither, just like your amazing sense of style! 😉

shade prada

 

shade anna sui

From “Meh! Vegetables” to “Yeah! Vegetables”

Published March 26, 2013 by The Feminist

Confession: I am the biggest vegetable lover on this planet.

It’s true! I love every type, shape, size, taste, smell of vegetables. To my mind, vegetables are awesome! For some reason, however, a lot of people (and I mean A LOT of people! ) don’t like their veggies. They think of them as plain and boring.

Let me tell you something: if you are one of those people, you just don’t know how to cook them right. There are so many fun and original things you can do with vegetables! They are the true masters in versatility! So what the f*** is wrong with you people?? Eat your vegetables! They’re not only good for you, they are also one of a kind!

We had a “Hurray, it’s spring!”- brunch a couple of days ago. On the menu: grilled asparagus wrapped in pancetta (heaven!), pecorino, courgette and broccoli quiche( double heaven!) and a Middle Eastern cauliflower salad (triple heaven!). The irony was, however, that exactly on the day of our spring welcoming, it was bloody snowing outside. But hey, when you’ve got so many yummy vegetable dishes in front of you, who cares?

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Pecorino, courgette and broccoli quiche
Ingredients:

• One sheet of shop-bought puff pastry
• 50gr pecorino cheese, grated
• 1 small broccoli, in small florets
• 1 small courgette, diced
• 1tbsp dried oregano
• Bunch of fresh parsley
• 2 eggs
• 200ml single cream
• 50ml whole milk

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 210°C. Grease a 23cm loose-bottomed tart dish with butter and gently line the tin with the sheet of puff pastry . Prick the pastry all over with a fork. Blind-bake the puff pastry case for 8-10 minutes.
2. Blanche the broccoli for a couple of minutes in salted water. Drain and rinse under cold water.
3. Sauté the diced courgette with the dried oregano in a tablespoon of olive oil.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream and milk. Mix through the grated cheese and chopped parsley. Season generously with salt and pepper.
5. Put the vegetables on the bottom of your blind baked pastry and pour over the egg mixture.
6. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

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Middle Eastern cauliflower salad

Ingredients:

• ½ large cauliflower, blanched and chopped finely.
• 3 spring unions, chopped
• Handful of raisins
• Bunch of fresh coriander
• Bunch of fresh parsley
• Handful of chopped almonds
• 1tsp cumin
• 4tbsp olive oil
• Juice of half a lemon

Method:

1. Easy! Put all the ingredients in a bowl, season generously with salt and pepper and mix through. Voila!

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Grilled asparagus wrapped in pancetta

Ingredients:

• 250gr thinly sliced pancetta
• 350gr green asparagus, ends trimmed
• Juice of half a lemon

Method:

1. Steam the asparagus al dente.
2. Wrap the asparagus with pancetta in bundles of five.
3. Heat a frying pan with olive oil. Add the bundles and fry to colour for one minute on each sideand sprinkle some lemon juice over the top and season with pepper.
4. Serve!

Hey guys: Act tough, wear pink!

Published March 20, 2013 by The Feminist

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Pastels. They are most commonly associated with women’s fashion and accessories. This spring, however, men are also allowed to wear sweet candy-coloured clothes, but instead of using the word “pastel” they prefer the term “chalky” (sounds much more butchy! 😉 )

A lot of men are reluctant to try these colours, because they believe it would make them look “gay”. But let me tell you something, male readers: there is nothing sexier than a man wearing elegant pastels chalky colours! It makes men look cool, dashing (when was the last time you’ve ever been called dashing? Unless your name is James Bond, I’m guessing NEVER! ) and incredibly gentlemen-like! I especially love chalky colours on blazers, shirts and suits.

Sigh.

Why can’t you guys look like these gentlemen:

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But my ultimate personal favourite has to be pastel pink. For some reason pink is thought of as the epitome of femininity. Wearing pink equals crying in public, showing your emotions or owning a Chihuahua. Pink is for woosies!

Think again, dear gentlemen! Pink represents confidence. Wearing pink means you’re brave enough to be in tough with your softer side WITHOUT losing your inner Tarzan! Wearing pink is sexy! So throw all your previous “pink is for sissies” assumptions overboard and embrace your pink-loving side! You know you want to… 😉

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men fashion pinl

Very Bold and Very Beautiful: Spring 2013 make-up trends

Published March 5, 2013 by The Feminist

Birds are chirping, buds are blossoming and spring romance is in the air. I feel overly excited and I constantly have this urge to start whistling. Which can only mean one thing: it’s time to buy new spring make-up!

Stop recycling your last year’s boring make up, because – as the weather heats up- it’s time for a bolder and braver you! Turn yourself into the superwoman of beauty tricks and make adventurous make up choices! This spring’s make up is all about standing out and wowing everyone around you!

Sounds fun, right? Here are the spring 2013 make up trends that will make you feel happy and self-confident.

1. Think pink!
Pink was by far the biggest make-up trend on the spring/summer catwalks. From fuchsia to bubblegum pink: anything goes, really! Donna Karan even opted for pink eye shadow and lashes! But my personal favourite were the fuchsia pink lips at Giles. Vibrant, young and oh so pretty!

pink lips

donna karan

2. Silver Lining’s Playbook:
Metallic eyes were a big hit on the runway this season. Chanel went for plenty of eyeliner and shimmering silver eye shadow. Opt for nude lips to balance out the in-your-face brightness of the look.

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3. Welcome to the sixties!
Marc Jacobs and Moschino went a couple of decades back in time and gave their models full brows, nude lips, lots of eyeliner and ultra-long lashes. Yes, it’s time to embrace your inner Twiggy!

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4. Under the sea
I’m guessing designers like Stella McCartney and Michael Kors were dreaming of a Mediterranean holiday when they chose the colour of their make-up. McCartney opted for an elegant thin streak of green eyeliner, while Kors chose a very futuristic turquoise line above the eyelid. Very bold and very Beautiful!

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michael kors

Seize the day! Buy these shoes!

Published February 18, 2013 by The Feminist
Seize the day! Buy these shoes!

Spring is in the air! To some, this means getting back outdoors, redecorating the garden or taking weekend mini-breaks to spas. To me, however, spring means buying new shoes! And if you still have one foot stuck in winter, I recommend you to do the same. What better way to step into Spring than with a brand new pair of shoes, right?

Just like the buds in Spring, my shopping list is ever-growing and these lace up boots are at the top of that list! They are cool, bold and require LOADS OF CONFIDENCE AND ATTITUDE ! (They are definitely not for sissies! )

Opt for printed boots (animal, floral, galaxy: whatever you fancy 😉 ) or choose the very popular studded boots. My personal favourite – BY FAR – are the lace up Perspex boots! See-through plastics were seen in basically every designer’s shoe collection for spring-summer 2013 – and yes! – even Cinderella’s glass slippers are back in style! So why hesitate?  These beauties should already be sitting on your shoe shelf by now!

Seize the day! Buy these shoes! van evelineversluys met lace up boots
Jeffrey Campbell booties, $130 / Jeffrey Campbell booties, $230 / High heels / Lace up boots / Pink baby booties / Lace up boots / Lace up bootie, $62 / Lace up boots / Lace up boots

Collar me in

Published January 22, 2013 by The Feminist

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Collars are riding extremely high on my personal fashion radar, because they can immediately spice up your outfit. Wear it as a cool necklace alternative or as the cherry on top an already very chic and sophisticated dress/ knitted jumper/ sheer chiffon blouse.

You can either buy a dress or blouse with an already attached embellished collar or you can buy it separately as an accessory so you can mix it with practically any outfit! (fun guaranteed! 🙂 )

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I absolutely love collars embellished with studs, beads or pearls but the look I’m most chuffed about –without a doubt – are the chain collar tips. Simply clip it on and it will take the whole outfit up a notch.

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So start collaring, ladies! (I don’t know if this is actually a verb, but humour me for a second 😉 )

Just like Peter Pan, you will stay young forever!

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Live Green, Love Green, Wear Green: Emerald Green

Published January 9, 2013 by The Feminist
Live Green, Love Green, Wear Green: Emerald Green

This spring will be all about colour! Soft and pretty pastels will turn you into a groovy Kate Middleton and flashy and bold neons will turn you into a classy Nicki Minaj. Which look you go for is entirely up to you. However, there is one colour ALL women should have in their closets this spring: emerald green.

This vibrant and stunning jewel tone was seen in the Spring/summer collection of practically every A-list designer. Coats, dresses, skirts, tops, shirts, shoes, accessories,… everything was emerald green!  Do you need more convincing? Well, I can honestly tell you that this type of green matches every skin tone and suits every hair colour. Yes, even red heads like me! Dare I say it, this colour was MADE for red heads!

Besides, emerald green will not just be a key colour in your closet, it will also be of vital importance in your beauty bag. Think emerald green nail polish or an emerald liner across your bottom lash line.

Make all the other women green with envy (pun fully intended): opt for emerald!

Live Green, Love Green, Wear Green: Emerald Green van evelineversluys met super skinny jeans
ISSA London tiered dress, $620 / Motel green cocktail dress, $93 / MICHAEL Michael Kors satin top, $135 / MICHAEL Michael Kors super skinny jeans, $235 / Michael Kors genuine leather handbag / SHOUROUK long drop earrings, $520