you guys, i'm sorry i went m.i.a. on you for a couple of weeks. summer started out really hectic, with lots of cool projects and not enough time to enjoy the sunshine - even on the weekends. then it morphed into the laziest month of august i've ever known. i felt like i had burned through all of my energy and inspiration, and i truthfully needed a time out from everything. at one point, even instagram seemed like so much work - and i've never felt like that before. so a time-out is what i took, and it was the best decision i've made all year. it was so good to have some time to just think about upcoming projects, and not spend all my energy on 'keeping up'.

i also feel like i refuelled just in time to be able to face an incredible fall season. in about two weeks time, THE BOOK I WROTE ABOUT BLOGGING will arrive in book stores all around the country. i can't even tell you how excited that makes me. i've got plenty of workshops and presentations lined up for september, october and november - and it makes me so happy to think that i might be able to meet a lot of my readers there!

in terms of this blog, there's a particularly exciting change on the way - i finally decided to make the move to a self-hosted domain. of course this presented an awesome opportunity to tinker with the branding and layout, too. i can't wait to show you everything, and hopefully i'll be able to in a couple of weeks. i'm also working on a special style series that i will start once the new layout is up - i get butterflies thinking about that project.

in the meantime, i couldn't let september 1st pass by without an update from behind the scenes, right? there's a lot i can't quite share yet, so i decided to give you a peek of what was (and will hopefully continue to be for a couple more weeks) my summer uniform. an easy breezy MAISON SCOTCH dress with acapulco print, summer hat and glamorous sandals by miami-based designer CORINNA SAIAS - i'll sure miss this combo once the temperatures drop in geneva.

photos by stephanie duval // dress from MAISON SCOTCH // sandals by CORINNA SAIAS // hat from zara


i've always really liked dutch brand DENHAM. a couple of years ago i was fortunate enough to take a behind-the-scenes tour of their headquarters (a bit further down the prinsengracht) and interview their head designer. they have a really cool way of looking at fashion and denim - always rethinking denim heritage to modern classics with a twist.

so i already knew i love their designs, but i had no clue they were into coffee as well. around easter, i noticed a little denham boutique right down our street that i hadn't seen before. it turned out to be denham's showcase, service and coffee shop - strategically positioned to point shoppers and tourists the way to the denham men's and women's stores close-by.

we popped in for an espresso and a quick look around, and i fell hard for their 'double dutch' collaboration with amsterdam clothing boutique TENUE DE NIMES - a grey sweatshirt with a neat little scissor and stitch symbols print. if you have a denham jeans that needs repairing, this is also where you could have it fixed by one of the guys sitting behind the sewing machines in the shop window.

photos by stephanie duval


my favorite new discovery in amsterdam was the boutique of MARIE STELLA MARIS. it's a dutch water label that recently expanded into cosmetics and opened a first flagship store on the keizersgracht - conveniently located right around the corner of the place we always stay at. in the basement you'll find a cute, french-looking café with a rad faema e61 that churns out amazing espressos. upstairs is like heaven for typography geeks and fans of everything that smells nice.

i'm super picky when it comes to scents. overall, i hate perfumes - most of them just give me a headache or make me feel like i'm trying to be someone else. in terms of scented candles, i'm super loyal to byredo. in bodycare, i always default to either kiehl's or aesop. but i tried some products from marie stella maris' line and i gotta say - not bad, people. not bad at all. i was particularly smitten with the cinéma bleu scented candle (which is sadly not yet available for purchase) and the lavender-scented linnen water (which you spray on your sheets or into your closets to make everything smell like it is freshly laundered).

i'm pretty sure at least a few items will make my christmas list come december. (oh who am i kidding, i am already getting slightly worked up over christmas, with all the fall-like weather we've been having lately.) nice bonus for those who don't have a trip to amsterdam planned - the products are available online, too.

photos by stephanie duval
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