An ode to Spring

perrier jouet belle epoque cuvee

Spring is in the air. Beautiful first sunrays, dewey green leafs and blooming flowers, I love the fragile new spring, the first moment that you can just feel it in the air, there’s something enchanting about it. To celebrate spring and make our own enchanting moment, Chantal and I went to the park to celebrate spring with Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Edition Première..

Since its foundation in 1811, Perrier-Jouët has been nourished by authenticity, elegance and a real passion for nature. For this season Cellar Master Hervé Deschamps fashioned an ephemeral Champagne Cuvée as he would compose a spring bouquet, refreshing and floral with fruity scents such as cherry and hints of juicy yellow fruit, citrus, a zest of Yuzu and the dominant scent of white elderflowers: Belle Epoque Edition Première. The elegant bottle reflects both the freshness and delicacy of the champagne as it is gorgeous.

It’s not the first time me and Chantal decided to celebrate spring and make it a special moment with a champagne that lives up to the beauty of spring. Last year we had our moment here, but this time it felt extra special. Last year was such a tough year for me and I’ve been living 2014 to the fullest after many unfortunate events that made last year one of my hardest so far. But this spring really marks new beginnings for me and when I compare where I was last year and where I am now, I feel very lucky. I was happy to share this special ode to spring with the sweet and pretty Chantal whose editorial work I really admire and who made it possible to translate our special moment into pictures.

May this spring be as blooming for you as the flowers are. And never hesitate to celebrate an enchanting moment with something special such as we did here with Perrier-Jouët.

Enjoy Perrier-Jouët responsibly.


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Vienna

Vienna winkelstraat

Can’t believe my Vienna trip was already a week ago! Last week was my first time ever in Vienna and I fell in love with the beautiful city. It was a very inspiring trip with Just Away, a new online travel platform that launched in the Netherlands last week offering inspiring trips and holidays. But let me tell you more about them later, because I really want to show you more of Vienna and all I’ve seen and done..

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On day 1 I arrived in Vienna and went to see the famous Spanish riding school and had a workshop at Swarovski. Did you know Swarovski is originally Austrian? I didn’t!
After that we went to the main shopping area (the Golden Quarter) and took a horse carriage ride, as pictured above with Kim from NSMBL. It was quite easy to get around in Vienna by foot actually, although the city has a lot of grandeur, it’s less big than I expected which is a good thing, I love to be able to explore cities by foot.

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At night we had an amazing dinner in a restaurant that used to be a metro station, called Albertina Passage, and cocktails at the Palmenhaus which was a gorgeous location in the Hofburg Palace gardens that used to be a greenhouse part of the old palace. Definitely a place you can’t miss when in Vienna!

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Day 2 was a gorgeous sunny day that started with a bike tour along the Ringstrasse where you’ll find many gorgeous historic buildings and along the Donau river. A good way to spend the morning and Vienna is a great city to cycle through as well! I wore comfy travel gear because my days in Vienna were packed with activities and black never fails. Nor do leather jackets.

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I also had a taste of the Austrian cuisine. Which is not my favorite in the world (too many brown and beige food) but when you find a good place to eat (such as Corbaci), a cooked ball of dough called knödel is actually quite delicious!

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There’s many gorgeous historical architecture in Vienna, pretty much everywhere you go, but we also got to see the University of Business & Economics which was an amazing piece of modern architectural work. It almost (yeah, almost) made me want to go back to school, I wish my university had looked like this!

DSC_3688leuke buurt spittelbergstore Park wenenPark store

There was not much time for shopping on this trip, which I for a change didn’t mind that much because I really wanted to see Vienna and the special places Just Away showed me, not just the shopping streets. We did get to do some shopping in the 7th district though (also known as Bobo) which was a really nice area with small streets and shops where I could have walked around for hours. I also discovered my favorite store in Vienna there, called Park. A huge store carrying brands such as Acne, Haider Ackermann and Maison Martin Margiela. Couldn’t resist to get myself a souvenir, although I’m not sure a Margiela scent really counts as a souvenir ;) Another plus: Vienna has a Wood Wood store!

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On the second night we had dinner alongside the Donau and after that we went to the spectacular Le Loft bar at the Sofitel hotel (pictured above). The cocktails were amazing, the view was breathtaking and they have a gorgeous colored ceiling that made this bar one of the most spectacular ones I’ve ever been. Again, a must-see!

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Day 3 consisted of a visit to the famous Naschmarkt, a huge food market where we went to get ingredients for a traditional Viennese lunch. The market is open all week except on Sundays but on Saturday there was a flea market as well. I can spend hours on flea and food markets, but there was lunch that had to be made. With a chef, we prepared a soup, the original Wiener Schnitzel (which was better than I thought) and a yummy dessert. That part of the day might have been my favorite of the week, the cooking studio and preparing local food is such a great idea when visiting a city! Especially for me because I love to cook and who doesn’t love food?

25 hours hotel wenenDSC_354425 hours hotel lobby

Last but not least I just have to show you the hotel. My image of Vienna was an image of a traditional, historical city. Which it absolutely is, but there’s a lot of modern architecture, stores, restaurants and hotels as well. I spent my Vienna nights at the 25 Hours Hotel which is a super fun, kind of bizarre and surreal place to stay. It gave me a bit of an Alice in Wonderland feel with a fun touch (like the rug of the elevator saying ‘claustrophobic therapy centre’. Check out their website and more pictures here.

Soon there will be a bookable citytrip available on Just Away with this hotel or with the cooking workshop, which were my 2 favorites of this trip. But do have another look at Just Away every now and then (and check out their inspirator!)  because they offer thematic and inspiring trips and packages that change every now and then and there’s really something for everybody.

Happy Weekend!


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On My Mind

onmymind tgif

Here’s what’s on my mind right now..

- High on my to do list: finish my interior that is still not done after moving in in October last year.. There’s hardly anything on my walls yet! But I guess the finishing touches are always the hardest ones. I really want to decorate my house nicely though so I might have to make some time for that..
- Homemade granola bars. Still looking for a healthy and easy recipe but I really want to do a bit more baking and cooking again and number 1 on the list is making my own granola bars!
- Kittens! Always.
- This very cool Chinese printed top from Swedish favorite BACK by Ann-Sofie Back.
- Leather and lace. I love good contrasts.
- Cocktails! Because it’s almost Friday!
- Perfect basic black high tops from Balenciaga.
- When things don’t happen right away, just remember, it takes 6 months to build a Rolls Royce and 13 hours to build a toyota.
My head seems to be all over the place with ideas and plans and thoughts, both personal as for Lovely By Lucy (thanks to your input as well!) but I have to realize sometimes that I can’t do it all at once. That’s why this Friday, it’s Spa day. Me-day. Happy Friday!

Find all of these (and more!) images on my Pinterest.


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Baking!

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Since I’m still taking it slow I’ve had a lot of time on my hands lately, and so I started baking. Not that interesting for you who come here to see my outfits and inspirations, or at least that’s what I thought. But after sharing some of my homemade cookies and muffins on instagram I got a lot of questions of you asking me for recipes or even to post about it here, and so I will.
Baking is something that comes and goes for me, I only bake in periods where I have a lot of time and sometimes I enjoy it more than others. I rediscovered it 2 weeks ago though and since then there’s a lot of baking going on. Yummy!
Now I could write down recipes here and take credit for all that sugary goodness, but credit is given where credit is due. I find most of my recipes on Pinterest. There are so many baking websites and blogs and Pinterest is a nice way to find things you’re looking for or weren’t even looking for. I usually just type in an ingredient I like and then go through the pictures and click when something looks good. And so it happens that I’ve been baking a lot with oats lately. I guess my favorite baking foods are oats, peanut butter, banana and cinnamon. At the moment, that is. So I’ll just share a small list of recipes below that I either made or am about to make. Can’t wait to start my next baking project, which will be something with cinnamon!
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The easiest cookies I’ve ever made are these oatmeal cookies. Nothing better than to have yummy homemade cookies ready within half an hour. The recipe is in Dutch but just use Google Translate, it’s what I do as well.

If you like super easy and quick recipes, this one for peanut butter cookies is next on my list. Haven’t tried it out yet but looking at the ingredients it has to be good.

I made these peanut butter banana nut muffins yesterday, and they were really good! Would do great with chocolate chips as well.

Second on my still-to-bake list is something with lots of cinnamon. Since I’m a huge fan of cinnamon rolls (it’s my favorite thing at Starbucks, forget coffee) I definitely want to try and make these cinnamon rolls, the recipe sounds really easy.

Maybe the cookie version of cinnamon rolls will be even better, I love small bites. Here’s the recipe.

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That’s pretty much it for now. I’m by no means any pro in baking nor have I baked much in my life, these are just a few really easy, quick and delicious recipes I like (I’m a quick baker, who has time to be in the kitchen for 3 hours?) and that will be great to make on a rainy morning. I might add new ones as I continue my baking adventure though! Also, I really recommend searching for recipes on Pinterest or SeriousEats (same idea when searching), just type in an ingredient you like and I promise you: instant hunger. Happy baking and show me what you made on instagram! (@lovelybylucy)

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(PS. Some of you asked for healthy recipes and I’ve tried making no sugar or no butter cookies, the really healthy stuff, but they always disappoint and I think a cookie or two won’t hurt anyone, they’re just much better with sugar and butter! What I always do is keep a few myself and give the rest of it to friends and neighbours, makes them happy and keeps you from eating them all at once ;))

images via Pinterest


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WIN | A box of yummy cake pops by Cupcake Boutique

Look what came into my mailbox the other day! Remember the delicious and pretty cake pops I had for my birthday party? I picked them up at Cupcake Boutique in Amsterdam, but they now also have the possibility to ship the cake pops! Which means anyone in the Netherlands can easily order them and have them shipped to their home. Of course I had to try that, so when this pretty box of yummyness arrived I couldn’t wait to dive in. Soooo delicious! But let’s get to the most fun part: I’m giving away a box of 15 cake pops to one of you Dutchies! All you have to do is:
- Like the Cupcake Boutique Facebook page
- Go to my Facebook page, like it and share this giveaway!
- And leave a comment below with your e-mail address so that I can contact the winner :)

Sorry international readers, this giveaway is for Dutch residents only. The winner will be randomly picked on July 26th and published on Facebook. Good luck guys! If you can’t wait, order your cake pops here!


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Random | Birthday Pops

Celebrated my birthday yesterday with friends. And these cake pops from Cupcake Boutique! They were almost too pretty too eat, but in the end they tasted even better!
I’ll show you what I was wearing tomorrow!

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>Pasta and Greens

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Here’s another few ideas for in the kitchen, for a change. With all the diet hypes, it seems like pasta is a big ‘no go’ nowadays. A plate full of carbs, why would anyone eat that? I actually eat pasta quite a lot. It doesn’t have to be a carb-filled dish! When I cook pasta, I cook a humble amount of it and fill the rest of my plate with veggies and some kind of protein. And as a variation to the traditional pasta with tomato sauce, I make my pasta with green veggies, which I love. Here are some ideas to make your pasta a healthy dish and getting at least two of your five a day! 

Asparagus, broccoli and cheese pasta
Who doesn’t love his mac ‘n cheese? Nothing wrong with that, but I do always add some veggies to my macaroni or other pasta with cheese. Broccoli and asparagus go really well with this pasta with grated parmesan. You can add a tablespoon (or two) of cream cheese or creme fraiche to make it more creamy.  Add some pine nuts for a nice bite!
Pasta with green beans and bacon
I love this recipe and have made it quite a lot. The sweetness of green beans goes so well with the saltiness of the bacon. What I usually do is put half of the beans (150g) in the blender with some grated parmesan and a splash of white wine, salt and pepper, and put half of the beans in the pasta as they are, so you get two textures. I mix the the pea puree with the pasta, sprinkle the rest of the green beans on top, add some more parmesan and some crispy bacon I’ve crisped up in the oven. One of my favorites!
Pasta with asparagus, snap pea and avocado
This pasta is quite plain but definitely a healthy and delicious dish! I like using different varieties of pasta. That way, if I eat pasta multiple times a weak, I don’t have the feeling I’m eating the same thing all the time. This one’s a bow tie pasta with spring vegetables like asparagus, snap pea and avocado. Just grate some parmesan on top and your done! It only takes a few minutes!
Lemony prawn and pea pasta
This pasta is great since lemon and prawns obviously are a match made in heaven. Just cook any pasta you like. Make a mixture of some sour cream or creme fraiche, lemon juice and lemon zest, and a little bit of parmesan. Add that to your pasta, with some boiled shrimps and peas. I actually eat a lot of peas, since I always have those in the freezer and go well with a lot of things. That way I can always easily add some more greens to my dishes!
Creamy pasta with zucchini and salmon
Ok, and it has peas again. But as I’ve said, keeping peas in your freezer gives you the healthy option of easily adding veggies to dishes. Stir fry or just fry the zucchini for 3 minutes, add some salmon and than a cup of creme fraiche and two tablespoons of pesto. Put the peas into the sauce, and when you’re spaghetti is cooked, put that into the sauce as well. Some salt and pepper, and again that’s all there is to a great healthy recipe. Bon appetit!
sources: Taste.com.au, Foodies, Martha Stewart, GoodFood, Albert Heijn

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