A SERIOUS CASE OF WANDERLUST

A serious case of wanderlust never hurt nobody.

A few weeks ago my colleague arrived back to the office with a lot of stories of his travels to Costa Rica. And with that came a serious case of wanderlust tickling me. Lately I feel like going places. Definitely somewhere tropical, as I always prefer warmer weather when I leave on vacation. That is why I want to share some of the places I'm dreaming to go to someday. Here’s my current list of places I’d love to go to…

Charleston

Thanks to the prettiest blog Gal Meets Glam I discovered how pretty Charleston in Georgia is!

Jules and Louis Blog - A Serious Case of Wanderlust - pink house via Gal Meets Glam
Jules and Louis Blog - A Serious Case of Wanderlust - photo with bike via Gal Meets Glam
Jules and Louis Blog - A Serious Case of Wanderlust - photo via Gal Meets Glam

All pictures via Gal Meets Glam

And from what I once read, I also learned that Charleston is in fact one of the oldest cities in the USA. It is charismatic and definitely looks romantic. It is a city for savoring - I know that the South offers great food (that I would love to try out someday), hospitality and great music, so no wonder this is one of the many cities on my travel bucket list!

Ibiza

Jules and Louis Blog - A Serious Case of Wanderlust - Ibiza Can Pardal
Jules and Louis Blog - A Serious Case of Wanderlust - Streets of Ibiza

1.  Can Pardal, 2. Style Me Pretty

Be still my bohemian loving heart! I'd love to explore the more peaceful side of Ibiza, or Eivissa, as it is also lovingly called by the Catalan. Everyone knows what Ibiza’s all about at night. But before all the clubs the pretty Balearic island was where artists, and other free spirits and hippies found their peace. And it still does attract all kinds of visitors. 

Jules and Louis Blog - A Serious Case of Wanderlust - Ibiza beach

Picture 3: Style Me Pretty

I know it is calling my name for a few years now. I am dying to explore the more rural Ibiza, with its mellow vibe, its pristine and sometimes rough, rocky coastlines and beaches, the white churches and the pretty nature. Ok, bye bye now... I'm already there (I wish). :-)

Copenhagen

Jules en Louis Blog - A Serious Case of Wanderlust - Copenhagen

Picture: CNTraveller

A less tropical or bohemian destination, but still gorgeous looking: Copenhagen. This is one of the many citytrips on my current bucket list of places I want to see. I just know my design loving heart will go bonkers with all those Scandinavian design and interior shops there! Just look at the cute pastel coloured houses in the city... That city is definitely eye-catching.

Now you know my top three destinations I'd love to do (immediately). I have other favourite places too I have never visited before, like St. Barth's, the Amalfi Coast in Italy and some pretty Greek islands, but including them would make this post too long, haha. So, what kind of destinations are on your bucket list? Please do share them with me, maybe I can add a few other destinations to my never-ending list. ;-)

UNWINDING WITH BOOKS

I could read for days, weeks, heck... even months! I love to unwind with books.

Jules and Louis Blog - Unwinding With Books - flowers and stack of books

Lately the stack of books I have bought recently is growing rapidly. It is what I love to do. Curling up with a book in my sofa and a good cup of tea. Seriously. The best. Since my burnout last year I had the most pleasure when reading books (that, and painting or practicing modern calligraphy). It was what made me unwind and what made me calmer.  Just as buying books is like a treat to me.

As a busy mom, I sadly don’t get much time out of my day to read, but I always make sure to have a book available for a rare quiet moment. The books I have at home are mostly true stories, biographies and some novels of which the story line sounded pretty awesome. And I guess you could say I'm also a nerd for pretty book covers. The prettier a book or novel looks, the more I want to have it. 

Jules and Louis Blog - Unwinding With Books - stack of books

Books make a house a home. They are one of the easiest ways to add interest and personality to a room. And they also tell a little bit about yourself, what kind of books and stories you are into. Like coffee table books, they're a pretty excuse to leave everywhere in your home. ;-)

The stack of books you see in the pictures are Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson (great addition to my healthy reads), When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, I Never Believed In Love At First Sight Until I Saw Ibiza by Anne Poelmans (only available in Dutch) and Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (I'm reading the Dutch version).

I thought this post was a great way to share more about my love for reading. Here's what I'm loving/reading right now (and what I'm planning to read):

Do you want to feel inspired in the kitchen? Definitely check out the latest cook book of Dagny - Easy Nordic! I love it, I talked about her cook book in this post! Oh and the Donna Hay on the 4 seasons is great too - both are great, with simple, delicious and healthy recipes.

Or are you looking for a beautiful children's book? My last book I bought was 'All through my town', a story written by Jean Reidy and published by Bloomsbury USA. Leo Timmers was the one who illustrated the book. It's perfect with the rhyming and the pretty illustrations - our youngest boy loves it! For my Dutch speaking readers: you can find this book under the title 'Wij Samen Op Stap'.

Looking for a good beach read? I have just bought the novel 'Big Little Lies' which was already high on my to-read list. But I also want to get The Vacationers by Emma Straub and Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. These are definitely high on my list and I think they're great books for summer!

Oh and my most favourite books of all time must be Matilda, The Witches and the BFG by Roald Dahl. They still belong to my all-time favourites.

So tell me... what are your favourite books of all time? What’s next on your reading list? Are you also a book worm like me? I’d love to know!

CURRENTLY LOVING | BLUSH AND NEUTRALS

Blush and neutrals do make me fall in love...
Blush & neutral

similar: hanging chair / clay mask / wooden trunk / beauty bag / recipe cards

Today I'd love to start by saying how much I appreciate you visiting and reading my blog! I'm really grateful, and I know some of you are trying their best to read my thoughts in English, so again: thank you lovelies! 

Here are some items I'm currently laying my eyes on. I guess you could say I'm definitely drawn to the neutrals and blush pinks lately. And probably on top of my list is the clay mask of Herbivore. I've read so many great reviews I just have to try it. Their products may not be the cheapest, they are definitely the best for your skin and I think it is well worth the splurge.

Oh and that hanging egg chair would look so amazing in our attic as a cosy reading nook. Perfect for me, aka the bookworm, haha! Oh, I'm just head over heels with everything, damn.

Are there any things high on your list? I'm all ears...

MY ABC OF IMPORTANT THINGS

There are a lot of important things, one of them is you.
Jules and Louis Blog | My ABC of Important Things

Almost a year ago I took Susannah Conway's e-course Blogging From The Heart. And I was inspired by something particular she wrote. At one point she told in her course that it can be difficult as a blogger to come up with fresh, new content. As a blogger it is something I struggle with, too. And since my new blog and website was partially born to put more of myself into it, I thought her idea of the ABC-list of important things in your life was such a great one. That is why I had to share my own list. Here I go...

A is for Antwerp. Antwerp is the capital of the province of Antwerp. I'm born and raised in Brasschaat, which is a green, lush town situated in the province of Antwerp. It's a good 15 minute-drive from the city of Antwerp where you can sometimes find me and my hubby shopping and enjoying nights out with friends. When I'm in Brasschaat or in the city of Antwerp, I always feel like coming home.

B is for Books. Books were always important to me. My very first book was a gift from my parents at the age of 9: The Witches by Roald Dahl. My second book was Matilda. I loved every story of him that I started collecting all of his books he has ever written. Dahl became a hero, a big example to me as a little girl. And still now, after all these years, he is the reason why I dream of becoming a writer someday. To write stories for everyone in my own little shed. To share my thoughts with the world. 

C is for Cupcakes. My mother and husband say I know how to cook a great meal, but the thing I love most is baking. That's a love I inherited from my mother. She was always baking cakes, bread, cupcakes, apple pies and what not when I was little. The home always smelled so wonderful, I still get transported to my childhood when I'm baking. My favourite things to make with my new Kitchenaid robot, is pizza and cupcakes. And my oldest boy loves it too!

D is for Drawing. I guess I have been drawing since I knew how to hold a pencil. When my grandparents or parents took me out to a restaurant, the first thing they gave me was a piece of paper and pencils. I drew and drew (or coloured) and amused myself the whole time without nagging. It is still something that can get me in this flow, where I don't hear a thing. I should do it more often, because it relaxes me.

E is for Ecofriendly. My mother got sick at a very young age. Around her 30's she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. My dad read a pile of books on homeopathy, macrobiotic living and cooking, when he finally took the decision to change our diet and our way of living. For almost 10 years we only ate organic, biological food, we lived as vegetarians and my parents taught me how to live more ecofriendly and how to recycle. Growing up that was normal to me, now I'm older and having children myself, I see the importance of protecting our planet and educating my kids how important it is to go for more greener options. 

F is for Friends. I never had a big bunch of friends. I'm an introvert, so I'm more of a one-to-one person. The friendships I have with some people are becoming better and closer with age. And I know I can depend on them and I hope they know that I'm always there when they need me. That I'm someone who listens to their problems or worries. I love them. And they know who they are. ;)

G is for Gold. Gold is the colour of my wedding ring. It is also a beautiful colour that naturally attracts my eye. It adds warmth. I just love it. It's like friendships and things in life: when they're good, they're golden.

H is for Home. Oh yes, home is important to me. If I don't have to go away, I love to stay at home. That is where I feel safe, comfortable and happy. I guess you could say I'm a homebody.

I is for Intuition. Next to introvert I'm also good at intuitive feeling. I can pick up how someone feels intuitively. Sometimes a great thing, but it can also be very tiring...

J is for Journaling. Writing has also been a big thing in my life. My first diary or journal was gifted by my grandparents when I was 12. I loved writing down what I did on special days and although I don't journal anymore, I think of my blog as the new journal where I can share my thoughts and ideas, only online.

K is for Kids. My two boys are my life. When I was a bit younger, my husband and I had a lot of discussions on when to have kids. I thought I was always going to be single, have no kids and travel a lot. Life has a funny way... Turns out I'm not single but married with children and travel is almost non-existent on our schedule these days. Haha! But how I love my kids! They're the love of my life. And they're my everything, the apples of my eyes. :)

L is for Love. Self-love, the love for your own children, the love I feel for my husband and family. We don't always feel it that way, but if you start thinking about it, we love a lot. And we have to keep doing that! The world is a better place with a lot more love.

M is for Mother. My mother is such a beautiful woman inside and out. She is the best cook in the world, she is so strong in everything she does. How she copes with her M.S. since an early age is amazing. I respect her. She is both my mother and my best friend. Not a day goes by without a little phone call. Even if it is for just 5 minutes, I always call my mum. My dad is also important, but mum is the one I tell everything. From secrets, questions about how to deal with things, worries to stupid jokes. I just love her to bits!

N is for Notebooks. I admit: I'm an addict. I love buying cute notebooks. I don't know why, but something about them makes me want them. A new, fresh, unwritten notebook holds so much freshness and fun. I usually cannot wait to start writing in them. Usually I jot down my ideas, my plans, my dreams and things I need to do. And if the cover holds a beautiful quote, I'm definitely sold. I'm such a sucker for notebooks with beautiful quotes. ; )

O is for Om. That's the mantra I always "sing" when doing yoga. At first I found it a bit funny when I took my first yoga class. It was something I couldn't do when I first started yoga. Om sounded so weird... almost laughable. I feel sorry for writing this, but it was how I felt the first time. And now I realise that this little word helped me to breathe better when doing yoga. I find it helpful chanting that om word, because it helps me to breathe out longer. I only have to read a bit more about om and yoga... Because I'm not sure what it means.

P is for Pictures. Photos and pictures are important to me. Just like my grandmother whose home is filled with pictures of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren I think pictures in a home make it feel more "homey". I definitely have pictures hanging and standing everywhere in my own home.

Q is for Quiet. I have not a single problem with being alone or with being quiet. It helps me to lose stress and to think more clearer. Peace and quiet are definitely helping me to get more energy. I love to be alone once in a while, I enjoy the silence.

R is for Roots. Never forget where you came from. Your roots can tell so much about yourself, your life and the history of your family. Since I'm always interested in history, I think it is important to remember where your roots lie. My husband's are in Bruges, mine are in the province of Antwerp, so those two places will always be special to us.

S is for Spirit. You have people with spirit, creative spirits and spirits who are always close to you. The last thing may sound a bit spiritual and eccentric, but I do like to believe that are loved ones up in heaven are sometimes really close to you. It comforts me to think this. Call me crazy. : ) 

T is for Tea. Yes, tea! I love a cupcake and a hot cup of tea, a book or a magazine, my dog Lilly and a blanket. I don't need anything more for having a perfect relaxing afternoon.

U is for USA. What can I say? My husband and I love the USA. Ever since I was 18, I had been dreaming of a big road trip through the USA. Only in 2008, ten years later, I visited the Big Apple for 10 days with my husband. It's still one of our favourite cities in the world! After visiting the West coast and a trip through Florida we have been bitten. We're only waiting for our two boys to grow up and to save a little bit more money to hopefully go back someday!

V is for VTWonen. A Dutch interior magazine that is also very popular in Belgium. And it is simply my favourite magazine to read.

W is for Wanderlust. To travel is so important for your soul. You learn and discover new places, new cultures, you meet new people... And you learn so much about yourself too when you travel. It is great to have wanderlust forever.

X is for X-Mas. Ok, ok. I'm a bit Christmas-crazy, but there is something about the twinkle lights and the smell of christmas trees that make me go wild when the season is there to be celebrating. Not only is December the month of my birthday and of my oldest son, it is also the time to decorate the home with as much lights as I can find. Usually I cannot wait until December to start decorating for the holidays. Yup. Call me crazy.

Y is for Yoga. Besides dancing it is another love of mine. I never ever thought that it would help me, but it does. It stretches you, makes your muscles more softer and it helps you in ways you didn't know possible. I know I had a lot of prejudice before I started yoga, but I'm a fan now.

Z is for Zen. Being zen and quiet inside of yourself is a state of zen. A state of peace inside of you. I try to meditate when I'm not doing yoga, especially just right before bedtime. Or when I'm stressed out or when I feel like it and it has been transforming me ever since. Everyone should do a bit of meditation everyday, I think people would be a lot more happier.

Photo credits: Love & Light Photography