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July 2018

Interior happiness

Summer Vibes

Hi there,

Are you enjoying summer? Or is it too cold or too hot in your country?

In our gray rainy Belgium, it is extremely hot and super dry right now.

What’s good about summer and about warmth: it makes you a little lazy. You start living at a slower pace. What I love most is reading outdoors, not having to stop because the clock says so. And now I suddenly have to think about the silly scene of Little Britain “Computer says no.” Ever seen this? Well, it just makes me laugh, always.

Yes you must think my brain makes funny jumps. Well, it might be the heat 😉

I have two tips for you.

A refreshing homemade lemonade. You can make it with the ingredients you like, but this is my recipe:

  • a little berry grenadine on the bottom
  • big ice cubes
  • fresh cut ginger – makes it a little spicy but I love the combination of sweet-spicy
  • fresh lemon
  • mint
  • light sparkling water
  • fresh berries

With the sun shining non-stop, I do need something to cover my head when I have to go outside. And no more hats to be found! Where did I leave the last one? So I bought a new, pretty cheap one, but it fit well. And I bought a few ribbons at a fabric shop.

Every day, I can just choose the ribbon that matches my outfit.


Summer is also a time of reflection. So I share this poem with you, from a South-African poet, Ingrid Jonker. There is a beautiful movie about her: “Black Butterflies“.

Begin Summer

Begin summer and the sea
a cracked-open quince
the sky like a child’s
far above the water
Under the umbrellas
like stripy sugarsticks
ants of people
and the gay laugh of the bay
has teeth of gold

Child with the yellow bucket
and the forgotten pigtail
your mouth surely is a little bell
tiny tongue for a clapper
You play in the sun all day
like a ukulele

Enjoy summer!







Baking pizza under the olive trees

Hi Everyone,

How are you? Enjoying summer?

Due to a ton of different reasons we drove down – 2000 km’s yes – unexpectedly to Puglia, the car loaded with some small furniture. This week was the only one still available and I was eager to redecorate Casa Vita.

Just some small things I added, but for me interior design is about details and colors. Want to see what we brought?

This étalagère and two old antique plates (with garland with roses) I bought at the garage sale at the Yvestownshop. And it matches perfectly with the kitchen tiles and cactus bowl and jug.

Then this cute little ‘cloud table’ from Sissy Boy and two raspberry colored stools from Westwing.

Two light weight white tables for the white patio.

wooden side tables I made last Spring turned yellow because of the varnish, so I painted new ones, didn’t varnish them anymore, just painted the grinded tops with white oil.

Since it was a rush of coming and going of guests, we did a lot of washing and other chores in and around the house.

Yesterday was a lovely day.  We had family over to visit and for the first time we baked homemade pizza! Oldest had tried it in June with his friends and they found it to be the best pizza ever 😉

Did you ever make pizza yourselves? What’s your receipe?
Here’s how we did it:

  • Use small dry wood (there’s plenty from the olive trees here) together with some paper to get the fire going
  • Certainly take enough wood (the fire went out a little bit too soon for five pizzas)
  • Let it burn till the wood has turned into red coal
  • Move the coal to the sides, so you get an empty space in the middle
  • Take fresh dough from the bakery here in Ostuni (you get five pizzas out of one kilo of dough). Take the dough out of the fridge one hour before. Cut in pieces and roll into balls. Roll it out on plenty of flour.
  • Put enough flour on the plate so the pizza doesn’t stick to the plate. Put the dough on the plate before you start “decorating.”
  • The toppings: some tomato sauce and any other toppings you prefer (I used peppers, olives, tomatoes, anchovies, capers) and of course mozzarella (ask for mozzarella specifically for pizzas–it must be dryer than the regular one).
  • Don’t over do it with toppings; the pizza might get too heavy, and the crust will fall apart
  • Put the pizza in the middle of the oven and close the door
  • Check regularly, and turn the pizza a little bit, so it won’t stick to the stone
  • It takes about fifteen minutes for a pizza to get ready

Buon appetito!



Anton Corbijn in Antwerp

Hi there,

No need to tell you I am interested in photography.

There is an exhibition on Anton Corbijn, Dutch photographer, in Antwerp now.
Image result for foto's anton corbijn

Although it is staying till September 30th, I certainly didn’t want to miss it and hopped on the train to Antwerp, took bus 17 at the Central Station, and hopped off at the “Eilandje,” an upcoming neighborhood in Antwerp.

The exhibition took place in the “Loodswezen” an old neo-renaissance palace at the banks of the river Scheldt. It was used as a departure point for Antwerp’s harbor pilots, who guided ships smoothly and safely in and out of the port. This protected monument, which dates from 1890, is open to the public for the first time. I really felt as if I were in Havana again, walking through this old and a bit neglected but magnificent building.

I started on the first floor with a collection of photojournalists. I always find it amazing how these photographers risk their lives to show us the disasters taking place thousands of miles from our homes.

On floor two you can visit Iconobelge, not a retrospective of Belgian photography but a result of a personal search by 34 carefully selected top photographers in their own archives. Some are already world famous, others bound to become world-famous. To name a few: Dirk Baeckman, Carl De Keyzer, Harry Gruyaert, Sanne De Wilde.

Shame on me. I simply missed the third floor! Apparently there was a small staircase in a dark corner on the second floor… Oh dear. There you could admire Michael Wolf’s work, with his focus on megacities.

I ended with the most important, the main floor, which seemed more like a basement. Here, over four hundred iconic photos of Anton Corbijn can be viewed. Corbijn, born in the Netherlands in 1955, moved to London in 1979, following the footsteps of the musicians and bands he admired and wanted to photograph. It looks like he has had them all in front of his lens: R.E.M, the Stones, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Depeche Mode, Debbie Harry, Kim Wilde and many, many others.

Go and see for yourself!

I enjoyed Antwerp, as I always do, the rest of the day. I had a delicious cappuccino with vegan cheese cake at Plant B, did some shopping – sales in the City of Fashion! – and ended with a delicious dinner with Hubbie, my godchild Louise and her boyfriend at Resto Jaro/Bar Stout.

Ciao, Sophia




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