I’m beyond excited to start this new series of monthly favourites!
It’s the perfect timing to start a new blog-post series since I’ve finished my last essay for this semester and can finally devote a bit more time to the blog. Before I’ll get to the favourites, I want to briefly explain how I pictured this new series. If you follow other bloggers, you are probably familiar with the principle: each month, I’ll list the things that have brought me extra joy, things that were super helpful or anything else that’s worth mentioning. However, I want to stay faithful to the key concept of this blog. So for each edition, we will make sure to include at least ONE favourite culinary (FOOD) experience and ONE cultural (museums, places, shops etc.) experience of one specific city. In addition, I will make sure to include at least one book each month (what else did you expect from a literature student…). AND one last thing. Depending on how busy I am, I will make a video for each series. But if I don’t find the time, I’ll stick to the writing. Aaaaalrighty, let’s get to the favourites of the month of January!
“What the actual…”, before you start swearing and think that I’ve lost it- WAIT. This pouffe is not only comfortable, but it is the perfect extra piece of furniture to spice up your room with some colour. I adore the Indian textiles and the patchwork of different materials. It really gives my room a more worldly touch and a great pop of colour. I’m not sure if they still sell it and I cannot tell you how much it costs since I was given it as a present. The pouffe is from a shop called Mélange in Dummeldange (Luxembourg). This place is exceptional since their shop reflects Indian imagery and patterns and most of their furniture is hand-crafted. If you’re around, you should definitely check it out.
If you read my previous post, you know what I’m talking about. Still, this desk planner by Hema was an absolute life saver during my exam period. I find it so crucial to be organised, otherwise, I really struggle to get all of my work done. If you’re interested to know how I use it, then you should have a look at my previous blog post.
‘Stop, Breathe & Think’ is the name of the app. Now, I am an absolute newbie to meditation, but I found that it really helps me to get through the most stressful periods and it also helps to decrease anxiety. However, I’m not going to dwell on the benefits of mediation, just believe me that it is beneficial in so many ways. The reason why I’m a fan of this app is that it give you some guidance. When you open the app, it asks you to fill in how you feel physically and emotionally. Based on these results, it gives you a selection of meditation exercises to improve whatever can be improved on your well-being. The meditations range from two-minute sleeping helps to ten minutes session. There are even some yoga lessons included for free. I would really advise you to look after your mental health, and this app is a helpful stepping stone to do so.
A Mercy by Toni Morrison
It’s the second time that I’ve read this book and once again, I ended up drawing hearts next to my favourite quotes. Toni Morrison is an astonishing writer. This novel takes you back to the very roots of slavery. It’s essentially a story about a young slave called Florens who is being separated from her mother because her former slave owner needs to settle a debt. She grows up at a farm with three different women and her buyer. Each woman has a different ethnic background and yet there’s something universal that’s tying them all together. One of the big themes is maternal abandonment and slavery of course. I won’t give too much away. If you’re new to Morrison, I believe that it is a good book to start with.
La La Land (!!!!)
I don’t even know where to start. I get so excited when I think about this movie/ musical/ piece of art that I end up dumbfounded. I might be a bit biased since I absolutely adore musicals. But this one, from the soundtrack to the chemistry between Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling, to the tap dance and the waltz, to the costumes, to the setting, to the themes… it’s so hard for me to talk about it while staying calm. So one of the hundred things that resonated with me is the way they pick up images from old musicals. It’s so cleverly done- please just go and see it. If not for you, then just do it for me. Thank you. ❤️️
Jewellery made in Utrecht: Love 4 beads
The city of this monthly favourites is the lovely city of Utrecht. Recently, I bought this beautiful heart ring which I hardly remove from my finger. However, I firstly found out about this shop because friends bought me another gorgeous bracelet for my birthday there. The reason why this shop deserves a place among the monthly favourites is because all their jewellery is unique and hand-made. If you enter the tiny shop, you see the artist herself working on the gems or threading other little stones. From the jewellery to the packing, everything is neatly done with great attention to the detail. It’s one of those cute, independent shops that need the well-deserved attention.
Food of the Month: Broodje Mario
Funny enough, I only found out about this place last month even though it’s such an epic food experience here in Utrecht. To be honest, I was a bit sceptical at the beginning since ‘broodje’, that is bread, is really nothing unusual for Dutch people. Sometimes I feel like they breathe bread. Nonetheless, this place is deffo a place to try out when you’re visiting the city. The traditional ‘Mario’ bread is with cheese, salami, chorizo and crudités. As a vegetarian, I can only speak for the veggie versions, and these are amazing. If you’re a veggie too, you certainly know that our food tends to be simplified versions of the meat version. But in this case, they really throw in the nice stuff and top it up with some amazing pesto sauce. The portions are enormous and the bread has still the authentic Italian dough taste- best part, it’s only 3euro!!
I hope you enjoyed my little list of favourites and I’ll see you in my next post,
You’re loved, Laury.