Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

Glass nail files and nail polish swatch of Enigma Green 416 by Kiko Milano

Lately I’ve been very much into light blue and turquoise. Maybe because I’ve been shopping for my baby boy so much? I buy things in different colors for him, of course, but I must admit there are a lot of shades of blue included there, too.

Glass nail files with Swarovski crystals and zodiacs by Mont Blue

Glass nail files with Swarovski crystals and zodiacs by Mont Bleu

This is why getting a package with these glass nail files from Mont Bleu made me extra happy this time around. I’ve raved about glass nail files before (read here!), and I could go on about their advantages forever. And by the way, the glass nail files by Mont Bleu are honestly the best ones I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried many. And how cute are those tiny Swarovski crystal incrustations (Mont Bleu is a Czech company located in Prague, this is why the Swarovski crystals really make sense here)!

As a bonus, I also got these adorable stud earrings with multicolored crystals. They kind of shift colors depending on the angle of observation.

Swatch of Enigma Green 416 nail polish by Kiko Milano

Swatch of Enigma Green 416 nail polish by Kiko Milano

Of course, I just had to do a manicure using my new glass nail files! Here’s a swatch of Enigma Green 416 by Kiko Milano. I would describe this one as a dusty teal or turquoise.

Make-up bag made with Tilda fabric

Make-up bag made with Tilda fabric

And here you can see a make-up bag I made yesterday using some Tilda fabric. Right now I’m learning how to sew in a zipper in the best way, so this is why I produce a lot of this kind of bags almost daily!

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Great Paris tips: Coffee break in the Galeries Lafayette café

Here’s another top tip for visiting Paris. It’s actually one of my favorites, and it’s basically free! On the third level of Galeries Lafayette, the most famous department store in Paris, there’s a really nice café where you can get an excellent view from their balcony.
Even if your travel budget doesn’t allow you to shop at the upmarket stores in the galleria, everyone can afford to have an espresso at this café and enjoy the atmosphere there.

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Paris tips: Second hand shopping at Guerrisol

Paris tips: Second hand shopping at Guerrisol

Paris tips: Second hand shopping at Guerrisol

Here’s another great tip for when visiting Paris – second hand shopping at Guerrisol. It’s a chain of thrift stores, and they are an absolute must. Prices range from 1 Euro to 30 Euro (most things are 3 or 5 Euro, though). I noticed that Guerrisol is really popular among the locals!
Most of the clothes are in decent shape, but they are all piled up and not very well sorted, which means that these stores are best suited for you if you’re one of those people who enjoys the sport of digging through heaps of clothes to find that unique, Parisian vintage blouse or skirt.
Guerrisol has special outlets for men’s wear and kids wear as well.

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Last minute Christmas gift ideas

- Digital gift certificates, such as Itunes gift card (the receiver will be able to choose any game, or book, or album there), Asos or Amazon credit voucher.
- Digital subscription services, like The Economist (Hannes would love this), Spotify (a music service) or a video streaming service, such as HBO GO.
- Tickets to a trip or an event. Concert tickets, movies, a hotel night or two, chocolate/cheese/wine/beer tasting, spa treatment or spa weekend or maybe a weekend in Paris.
- Charity. Donate a good cause in the receiver’s name and give them the certificate.
- You could buy a star! I know people who have done that. And it’s not even that expensive (I think it’s about 50 USD, and you can name it anything).
- An experience such as scuba diving, parachuting or getting to drive a supercar.
- A course. Maybe for some musical instrument, cooking or a language course.
- A photo album. Get your favorite digital photos developed and buy a photo album for them. If you only have very few photos, it might be a better idea to just develop the best one and get a nice frame for it.
- A good book. I know I mentioned gift certificates for books above, but sometimes you just can’t beat the real thing. For example, if the person liked the Harry Potter books, you could buy J.K. Rowling’s new novel, The Casual Vacancy.
- If you are good at it, anything homemade is always nice. A song or a special cake will please almost anyone!
- Redecoration! Do a home makeover. This can be anything from just rearranging the furniture to repainting the walls or just the kitchen cupboards.

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Paris tips: Eiffel Tower Lightshow

Watch the short video above to see what I saw

Every day after sunset, the Eiffel Tower lights up for ten minutes every hour. It’s quite enchanting, and I highly advise you to see it. You’ll get a great view from the city’s bridges.

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Where to eat in Paris? Bob’s Kitchen, an underground vegetarian restaurant on Rue des Gravilliers

Where to eat in Paris? Bob's Kitchen, underground vegetarian restaurant on Rue des Gravilliers 1

Where to eat in Paris? Bob's Kitchen, an underground vegetarian restaurant on Rue des Gravilliers

I want to recommend you guys a really good vegetarian restaurant in Paris. It’s called Bob’s Kitchen and it’s situated on Rue des Gravilliers. I wouldn’t even call this place a restaurant, since it’s very low-key, and the atmosphere here is extremely homey and friendly. Bob’s Kitchen is more of a diner for locals.

Neither Hannes or I are vegetarians, but both of us enjoy vegetarian meals four or five days of the week.

There’s this fresh indie feel to Kitchen, and all the guest sit at the same long table, so you might easily get into a conversation with one of the regular customers or an occasional foreign visitor.

All of the employees wear turbans.

The menu changes often, but there’s always a daily soup, a good bagel and a veggie sushi roll to choose from.

They also have pancakes and amazing smoothies. As you can see, the prices are very democratic, too.

I ordered this carrot and sesame soup with coriander. It was really good and warming, but it did remind me a lot of my own seasonal soup with butternut squash, carrot, pear and coriander! Mine might even be a little better.

Hannes had the Indonesian style veggie stew with roasted sweet potatoes and beetroots. There was also rice with sweet coco milk in it, delicious! I’m thinking of recreating this dish in my own kitchen soon.

So, make sure you visit this cosy little place next time you’re in Paris! As I mentioned before, it’s situated on Rue des Gravilliers (close to Marais), although it’s a bit hard to find if you’re not looking for it specifically. But isn’t that often the case with the best restaurants?

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Tips for a Paris visitor: Short guide to the masterpieces of Louvre

Tips for a Paris visitor: Short guide to the masterpieces of Louvre

Tips for a Paris visitor: Short guide to the masterpieces of Louvre

Louvre is the most visited museum in the world. It’s situated in the Louvre Palace, which is absolutely huge, and looking at every piece of art in its collection would probably take days and days.
So before going to Paris I carefully planned our visit to Louvre. We ended up spending about three or four hours there and while it sounds like quite a lot of time, that’s what it takes to see the most important parts of the museum!

Here are some tips and a short guide to the masterpieces you absolutely can’t miss when in Louvre.

The entrance of Louvre under the glass pyramid

To enter the museum you have to go through the famous Louvre Pyramid. This enormous pyramid of glass has become one of the symbols of Paris, along with the Eiffel Tower and the Triumphal Arch!

One of the courtyards of Louvre

My advice is to go on a Friday after 18.00, because that’s when there are fewest visitors, so you don’t have to wait in lines and you can actually see the art. Also, this is the time when everyone under 26 gets a free entrance to the museum (which saves you 11 euros, if you are).
There is also free entrance for everyone on the first Sunday of each month, but I strongly recommend you to stay out of there on that day, because that’s when the crowds are at their peaks.

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

Of course, you want to see Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa! Soon you will notice that she’s everyone’s goal. However, you simply can’t miss this legendary painting, because there are signs pointing towards it everywhere!

Here she is in the photo below (and yes, she’s all that):

If you're lucky, this is what it will look like when you get there. However, there are times when the room is full of people!

Another must-see in Louvre is, of course, The Dying Slave by Michelangelo. The Rebellious Slave is right there beside him, too. A lot of things can be written about these masterpieces, but I’ll just say once again that Michelangelo is my all-time favorite artist. I could (and have!) spend hours admiring his works.

The Dying Slave by Michelangelo

The Dying Slave by Michelangelo, Louvre Museum

Another remarkable Italian statue is Psyche and Cupid or Psyche revived by Cupid’s kiss by Antonio Canova:

Psyche and Cupid or Psyche revived by Cupid's kiss by Antonio Canova:

Psyche and Cupid or Psyche revived by Cupid's kiss by Antonio Canova, Louvre Museum

This is probably the most famous work of art depicting the heartbreaking love story between the mortal beauty Psyche and the divine Cupid, Venus’ son. (Although, they do end up having a daughter.)

Among the ancient Greek statues you will find the celebrated Venus de Milo, famous for her mysteriously missing arms:

Venus de Milo, Louvre

It was actually much larger than I imagined, and really well-preserved, too!

 

Another piece of art I was looking forward to seeing was The Lacemaker by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer (you know him for his Girl With a Pearl Earring). This one:

The Lacemaker by Johannes Vermeer, Louvre

However, we wandered around in the Dutch rooms for quite a while, before Hannes finally saw it! It turns out that The Lacemaker is a really tiny painting, not larger than a postcard!
For some reason they put it in a corner, too:

While wandering around we saw quite a big collection of works by the Flemish painter Van Dyck and a wall of portraits by Rembrandt:

Now, these were my highlights from the museum of Louvre. If you’ve been there, I’m sure you have your own ones. And if you’re only planning your first visit, I hope you’ll find my little guide helpful!

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