Yes, I know, I just went to Dublin, and now I am already on a new trip. Maybe it is a bit much, but I do love visiting other places so much!
This week I have been on a skiing holiday with a group of friends to La Joue Du Loup, a small town in the French Alps.
I tried skiing on the first day, but as I dislocated my knee a few weeks ago, it hurt too much and I didn’t feel comfortable to ski anymore, so that was a bit of a disappointment. But I had such a great time nonetheless!
Just before Christmas I caved and bought the black furry Oscar snow boots that Kate has been wearing during several skiing trips over the past few years. I bought them at The Alpine Room and I must say: I couldn’t wish for a better customer service! As they weren’t sure they would be able to send me the boots in time for me to enjoy them during this holiday, they offered to send them directly to the hotel in France. As I never stayed there before, I decided not to do this and just take the risk, but it is so great if people think along with you. They shipped the boots the very same day and they arrived just 3 days later. Definitely recommend ordering at The Alpine Room!
Regarding the Oscar boots, they are SO great! As soon as there is even the slightest bit of snow on an entire area of ice, you have amazing grip. Felt very safe walking on them. They were a bit of an investment piece, but they will also be great use to me when I am going to Iceland later this year!
We heard that there was a walking path to Baily Lighthouse, just outside of Howth with beautiful views over the shore, so we thought that would be a nice morning work out.
But they didn't lie about the view!
The end of the trip to Ireland was marked by celebrating New Year’s at the official Countdown Concert in front of Trinity College, which was a lot of fun! Among the artists performing were the Sugababes and Madness, so I had a really great time! (I already shared pictures from that concert in my previous post about my New Year's resolutions.)
All in all, I would definitely recommend visiting Ireland, and Dublin in particular, to anyone who loves history and nature!
Dress: Tatiana's Delights on Etsy / Boots: Pied-a-terre / Coat: Vero Moda
Belt: H&M / Earrings: Tatiana's Delights on Etsy / Bag: Ebay
As I am already back from Dublin I am a bit late with this post, but I had just such a lovely time in Ireland I just wanted to share some pictures I took.
Because Ireland is so renowned for its beautiful landscapes, our group decided to rent a car during our second day in Dublin. We had to wait an hour before our car was ready, so we walked a bit alongside the river Liffey.
I love the way they combine old with new in Dublin.
When we got our car, and overcame the first difficulties of driving left side instead of the right, we visited Powerscourt House and Gardens, a few miles south of Dublin. For those who already watched the fourth season of Downton Abbey Powerscourt might sound familiar. (The Duchess of Yeovil tells Tom Branson that Lady Powerscourt is her niece, and apparently Tom HAS seen her, but he wouldn’t say he actually met her.)
Powerscourt House itself is turned into a interior design shopping centre, which didn’t really interest me, but we took an hour long walk through its beautiful gardens. Really gorgeous. I want gardens like that SO MUCH! Very Downton Abbey!
Our journey continued to Glendalough, which is a small town with a monastic settlement from the 6th century located in Wicklow National Park.
Glendalough lies in a glacial valley with two lakes, and is a great place for walking and enjoying the nature around you. It rained quite a lot in the weeks before our visit, so unfortunately this meant we couldn’t visit the church and grounds around it. The bridge to the grounds had become completely useless....
Luckily, the rest of Glendalough is beautiful as well. The whole area just had this amazing mysterious light, like walking right into a Lord of the Rings movie.
After Glendalough we returned to Dublin, and that was that for my second day in Ireland!
I know, I know! It's already a few days ago, but I hope you all had a beautiful New Years Eve filled with fun, good company and lots of champagne! I had a great time ringing in 2014 in Dublin at the Countdown Concert, partying with friends and talking to random strangers in the street (Oh, what great it is to be young ;-) )
We had such a great time! Ireland really is a magical place. (For those interested: pictures of the last two days will follow in my next two posts!)
The start of a new year is always a great time to reflect on the lessons and achievements of the past year and look forward to the future.
While 2012 was a year I felt I achieved absolutely nothing, 2013 was actually a great year for me. It started of slow, but at the end of it I can definitely say I moved forward, both in 'real' life, as well as emotionally.
If 2013 taught me anything, it proved to me that you don’t have to have all of the answers. Reaching out to others for help can actually make things a lot better. The past few years I struggled with my studies enormously, barely making any progress at all, up to the point I stopped believing in myself. Until last January, when I was diagnosed with ADD. 2013 will always be the year for me that everything 'fell into place'. Now that I am taking the right medication I have passed every exam since and feel there is finally light at the end of the tunnel (and hopefully a successful job as well ;-) )
If there is something fashion related I've learned this year is that having a great style is based on two principles:
1) You don't have to be 5 pounds to look amazing. True confidence comes from accepting your own body and all its unique assets by dressing accordingly.
2) You don't have to own a million bucks to look like a million bucks. Anyone can buy a $1,200 dress, $600 shoes and a $800 bag and look great, but a woman with great style has the ability to mix affordable clothes (possibly with a designer piece) and look even more amazing. For me, Kate is the true embodiment of this principle.
As we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in the Netherlands, the end of the year is always the logical time for me to give thanks to the life I have. Last year I have been thankful for:
It is kind of sad to be taking down all the Christmas decorations, but I am also happy to get the house back to normal. Bye bye, Christmas tree! Hello brand new year and a fresh start!
So what are my hopes and dreams for the coming year? As I am a notorious list maker, here are some things I am looking forward to in 2014:
And last, but obviously not least, I want to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2014! Thank you for your readership and support this last year. Looking forward to another great year to come!
Hello everyone! How is everyone enjoying NYE? I am currently on a trip to Dublin and celebrating it there with a group of friends :-D Love this HUGE red Christmas ribbon on the Clerys department store on O'Connell Street! (Love the sale signs even more though ;-) ) The hotel we are staying in is the Academy Plaza Hotel. Definitely recommend it! Affordable rooms and great service are always a good combo!
When we arrived the first thing we went to see was Trinity College, Ireland's oldest university, founded in 1592. Notable people who studied there are Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, and - more recently - Jack Gleeson (King Joffrey on Game of Thrones :-P). More specifically, I wanted to visit the Old Library and the Book of Kells exhibit, but unfortunately, both were closed during the entire holiday. SOOO bummed about that! I hate it when that happens!
Luckily the next stop was in fact open for visitors, so we could take a look inside Dublin Castle, the centre of British rule in Ireland for more than 700 years. To keep warm I was wearing a soft pink cashmere sweater and a faux shearling black coat.
Coat: Vero Moda / Cashmere sweater: Tatiana's Delights on Etsy / Skinny jeans: H&M
Boots: Pied-a-terre / Necklace: Cristalina / Earrings: Ebay
The inside of the castle (the seat of the Viceroy of Ireland) was very beautifully decorated and also still very festively! Below pictures of the Ladies Drawing Room and two of the ceremonial rooms.
After that we took a stroll through the infamous Temple Bar district, with some of the most ' Irish' pubs imaginable. Don't they look adorable?!
Wishing you all a very festive New Year's Eve!
P.S. If you're looking for me, I'll be here!
Everybody's mind is on Christmas now, but I am already thinking ahead. Just after New Year's I am going on a skiing holiday to the French Alps. Have been excited about that for several months now, because I love to ski! Unfortunately, the odds apparently aren't ever in my favour, since I dislocated my knee two weeks ago and I now need to keep using my knee at an absolute minimum. Which means that I (most likely) will not be able to shine on the slopes this year (or actually, not be able to give other people the opportunity to make fun of how bad I really am). Boohoo!
Since I organised the trip (with a group of friends from law school) I am still going, but the main consequence is that now the skis, the skiing boots and the goggles stay at home, and my 'apres-ski wardrobe' needs to be expanded. And when it comes to fashion, Kate and you, my fellow Replikaters, are always my source of inspiration!
So here's a look at Kate's skiing outfits over the years...
March 2004 April 2005 March 2008 March 2010
March 2009 March 2012 March 2005
I feel like red, white and black is a recurring theme here. Would there be a reason for that?
And here's a look at Kate's 'off-duty' style during her visits to the Alps....
March 2009 March 2013 March 2010 March 2013
She sure loves those black furry boots!
So, here's the deal: since I now really need to add some pieces to my wardrobe for a fashionable apres-ski look, I need help from you ladies to find the most awesome items available! What are in your opinion absolute fashion essentials for the snowy slopes? What would Kate wear? Any tips on how to pass the time when everybody's away?
To gather the inspiration I started a board on Pinterest (think: cable knits, faux fur and nordic prints). If you know some great additions to it, you are very welcome to join in!
And of course I am really interested to know about your skiing plans and anecdotes ;-)
I feel like the Middletons and William are just sitting there, judging my fashion choices. The pressure's on!
Day 4: Mosque
Hey everyone! Sorry for being so quiet last week! After having to study for an exam and going on holiday I had some catching up to do. But I promise I'll make it up to you with some great posts this week! Firstly though, I thought I'd share some pictures of the last few days of my vacation in Kuwait.
On day 4 Joeri and I wanted to visit the largest mosque in Kuwait, very originally called 'The Grand Mosque'. We already heard it wasn't easy to visit the mosque, and indeed when we arrived there was a notification at the entrance saying that tourist visits were only possible by appointment, which you could make by calling to some mobile number. Luckily, the guard on duty noticed us and told us that it would be OK to visit if we returned at 5 PM, because then there wouldn't be any prayers going on.
Since it didn't go as smoothly as we'd hoped I was prepared for the worst when we returned at 5 PM, but that turned out to be completely unnecessary. Instead we could enter the mosque immediately, and there we received a very friendly welcome from the mosque staff! After being stuffed with tea and cookies, Joeri and I got a private tour of the mosque. Of course it was expected of me to wear a long dress with long sleeves and a headscarf before entering the prayer hall, but as this wasn't my first mosque visit I came prepared (something greatly appreciated by the mosque staff btw). Below a photo I took of the large prayer hall, which has room for more than 10,000 worshippers at once. It is only used during Ramadan though. The rest of the time they don't have need for it.
As we were the only tourist in the Mosque during our entire tour, I couldn't help but wonder how many tourists this "top tourist attraction of Kuwait" (according to our Lonely Planet) sees every year. When I asked our guide about this he said: "No, no, we get LOTS of tourists! We had some French people two days ago!" I didn't even know how to respond to that.... But it did confirm our suspicion that at any given moment there are never more than 20 tourists at once in the entire country of Kuwait.
Day 5: Museum
Our suspicion regarding the amount of tourists in Kuwait was confirmed yet again when Joeri and I visited the other "top tourist attraction of Kuwait" the next day: the Tareq Rajab Museum. Housed in the basement of a large villa, this museum contains a vast collection Islamic art and antiquities, mainly costumes, jewels, ceramics and early Islamic manuscripts from the 8th and 9th Century. It was assembled as a private collection of by Kuwait’s first minister of antiquities and his British wife.
When Joeri and I arrived at 10:30 AM, 1.5 hours after opening time, the guards had to put on the lights and open all the doors for us. Looking at the visitors book, the Tareq Rajab Museum can't have more than 20 visitors a week. Such a waste, since the collection is so interesting and enormous. I must say, that basement is HUGE, but it still amazes me how much stuff you can put into it. Just wish more people would be able to see it for themselves....
Dress : Hobbs / Shoes: Pied-a-terre / Bag: Ebay / Belt: Vintage / Earrings: Cristalina
In the evening we went to eat at the Green Apple, a massive restaurant just around the corner from our hotel, that had so much green neon lighting it worked kind of hypnotising on us during the first 4 days, that we just had to eat there. Turns out that at the Green Apple, every floor has it's own menu and kitchen. First floor: Chinese, second floor: Indian, third floor: Iranian, fourth floor: Lebanese. We decided to be adventurous and go for Iranian, so third floor it was. The food was nice, but mainly the overfriendly employees made me feel uncomfortable in a Stepford Wives kind of way....
Day 6: Market
Of course we couldn't leave Kuwait without visiting the traditional Souq market, with all its different tastes, colours and smells. I find that you can always find the most authentic atmosphere at a local market. And so we did! Obviously I couldn't resist buying a 'keffiyeh' as a souvenir for my dad (that's one of those headdresses for men that looks like a large tea towel)!
As a sharp contrast to the traditional souq, and because we basically had seen everything else Kuwait had to offer, we ended our last day in Kuwait at the largest shopping mall of the world: The Avenues. With over 800 shops it basically means that if you name it, they've got it. Including the most awesome Cheesecake Factory I have ever seen!
Well, that basically sums up the rest of my vacation in Kuwait. It just amazed me how a country with next to no history or nature can still be so interesting to experience. I am pretty sure though that if I were to visit Kuwait again in 20 years, it would be unrecognisably changed again.
Day 3: Science & Symbols
Dress: French Connection / Top: H&M / Bag: Modalu England / Shoes: Vintage
Sunglasses: Amazon UK / Earrings: Azuni London
Most Kuwaiti women I've seen so far wear an abeyya, or at least jeans or trousers with a tunic and a headscarf, so I was a bit unsure whether it was OK to wear a dress that didn't cover my lower legs (the Lonely Planet said I could), but after seeing a few expats wearing capri jeans or a dress I decided to go for it. Turns out nobody really cares, not with American or European people anyway. The only mildly disapproving looks I got were actually from women wearing abeyyas themselves, while the men didn't even seem to notice, or at least they couldn't care less. Pfew, that's a relief. Otherwise I couldn't have worn half of the outfits I packed :/
After our lunch we took a stroll along the beach, where we came across this sign: no swimming, no fishing, no BBQing and NO water pipe smoking. Just so you know, in case you were planning to dust of that water pipe before going to the beach...
Last stop this day were the Kuwait Towers, a famous landmark and symbol of modern Kuwait. Unfortunately, it turned out the towers are closed for renovation and when we asked a security guard at the gate when they would be opened again, he answered: "Maybe next year". Well, that's a symbol of modern Kuwait for you...
As we arrived there around sundown I was able to take some pictures of the towers during the process, and I must say, they are really pretty, with some sort of blue / green mosaic on the globes. Too bad we couldn't see the view from up there or eat something in the restaurant, but it was a nice way to conclude our day anyway!
Day 1: Traveling
A few months ago my friend Joeri and I decided to go on a holiday to Kuwait. Since then the only question I kept hearing from my friends and family was: "Why?!" And the answer to that is: "Because the plane tickets were so cheap." €175 for a return ticket and we thought: "What the heck".
Since then I've found out that apparently we are the only ones who think that. I think that about 95% of all visits to Kuwait are business related. This makes it quite difficult to find some decent tourist information. Luckily, both Joeri and me like a challenge, so off we went...
Jacket: Tatiana's Delights on Etsy / Sweater: H&M / Trousers: H&M / Scarf: Alice by Temperley
Bag: Longchamp / Bag: Ebay / Loafers: Zara / Earrings: Designs by Noa on Etsy
Most nationalities have to get a visa on arrival in Kuwait. When we found this out we thought it would be the same as when visiting Turkey, where you have to go to a counter to pay a few bucks and then get a cachet in your passport. Boy, were we wrong...
Apparently, in Kuwait they love to make things as difficult as possible.
You first need to go to a counter to get a copy of your passport and a number. After that you need to get some sort of stamps worth of 3 Kuwaiti Dinar from a large vending machine. This means you first need to go to the nearest ATM machine to get Kuwaiti Dinar. Unfortunately it turns out this ATM machine doesn't take debet cards or any of the most regularly used credit cards. Luckily, you still have some Euros in your wallet that you can change at the adjacent bank counter. After having stood in line for a while you finally reach the vending machine, only to find out it only takes exactly 3 Dinar, which means you need to change the money you got again for smaller notes. After having annoyed the bank employee once again, and after having to stand in line once again, you finally reach the vending machine and get your stamps. Great! You're almost done! Now you only have to wait for an hour until your number called!
Luckily, that was the worst part. Once my number was called I only had some difficulty pronouncing my name to the Kuwaiti desk employee who had to write down my name phonetically in Arabic. After that I got my visa and it was a pretty swift ride from the airport to our hotel, Ibis Sharq. But by then it was already 5 am. The only thing on my mind was taking a shower and sleep for a loooooong time, so that's what I did.
Day 1: Exploring
After this sugar bomb we went to watch the sundown over the yacht harbour and visit دبنهامز (Debenhams in Arabic) in the Souq Sharq shopping mall.
Jacket: Tatiana's Delights on Etsy / Dress: H&M / Belt: H&M / Bag: Ebay
Shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Earrings: Designs by Noa on Etsy
- ABOUT TATIANA -
Hi there! I am a fashion and travel enthusiast living in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Tatiana's Delights is your online resource for preppy and minimalist fashion, travel tips, affordable home decor and adorable cat photos. You can find out more about Tatiana's Delights here.
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