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Should you follow trends?

Should you follow trends?

Hey Guys!

How are you doing? A couple of weeks ago I was doing some shopping on ASOS. I mostly bought some basic navy and black sweaters and jeans but I also added a burgundy corduroy overshirt into my basket (I will link it below). I didn’t even think about it that much until I actually received my order. Corduroy, velour, and cable knit are on trend right now along with colours like burgundy, moss green, and camel and no matter which retailer you shop at, whether online or offline, you will find these types of fabrics and colours. But back to the story. I tried the overshirt and it was actually really nice but I couldn’t help myself because I realised that I used to hate corduroy. The last time I had something made out of that fabric was 15 years ago when my Mom got me a pair of trousers and I hated it. So I asked myself the question. – Do I like it because it is on trend?

Following this chain of thoughts, I just sat down and started to think about trends. Are we obliged to follow the trends of the seasons? I didn’t really get to a conclusion so I decided to wear the overshirt the next day. The next day when I was on my way to uni I saw about 10-13 men wearing similar burgundy jackets and overshirts and all of those pieces were corduroys. I actually felt a bit weird, to be honest. When I finally saw my friends, I received a lot of compliments that I looked good, the shirt is amazing and all that stuff. So yeah, I guess if we seek the approval of others, following the trends is a way of getting that but I was not seeking anyone’s approval. I am pretty confident about my style and what I put on each day even if someone doesn’t like it. I just simply don’t care. When I got home, I looked at the shirt and I was like, yeah, this actually looks good but you won’t see me walking on the streets wearing corduroy trousers.

You might be thinking, okay so what do I make out of this post? I think the answer is pretty clear. Ask yourself who are you dressing for. Are you dressing for yourself, your friends, or your partner? When you have the answer, you can make the decisions when you are shopping. Please note, there’s nothing wrong with following or not following the trends, I was just simply curious. If the trend matches your individual preferences, go for it and if not, you know what they say –c’est la vie. 

The below links are for some corduroy shirts that I think are good. I do own products from those brands, and I will always recommend items from brands that I know.

ASOS – 28£Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 14.50.28

 

Mr.Porter (Folk) – 135£

Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 14.54.50

 

Uniqlo – 24.90£

Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 14.55.41

See you soon,

Abel.

 

Dealing with writer’s block and finding inspiration

Dealing with writer’s block and finding inspiration

Hey Guys!

It has been a while. I hope all of you are doing well. When I looked at the blog today, I was shocked that my previous post was 22 days ago and this got me thinking. First of all, let me clear some air. I don’t just write posts here. I write short stories, longer ones that are still in the making and occasionally, I write music lyrics as well. So I began to think about the past three weeks and all the stuff I did, and the answer was there. I am probably encountering writer’s block. Writer’s block is something that you will experience if you write a lot. It is basically a state when you don’t have many ideas, you are out of inspiration and you just can’t write or if you do, it will be something very general. Also if you are a blogger, you would find it pretty hard to get inspiration. So this is what has been happening with me, but no worries, because I immediately thought that I should write a post about how to deal with it and also how to get inspiration when you are stuck. (this is not the first time I have writer’s block)

Tips to overcome writer’s block

  • stop for a bit and reflect, there’s nothing wrong if you need to take some time
  • don’t think about it too much, you’ll get lost
  • don’t panic, keep calm
  • read something you like – I like to read a lot of fiction. I think it just reopens the gates of creativity when they are locked
  • do something you normally wouldn’t do – I did some sketching
  • this might sound cheesy, but just don’t walk away from writing, everything will get back on track

Tips to get inspiration

Now whether you live in a busy city or a small town, there are ways to get inspiration out of anything

  • go for a long walk – No music, no texting, no friends, just go out and think
  • observe everything – the cars, the people, nature, the buildings
  • sit down for a nice meal even if you are alone
  • listen to some music – something you like and enjoy
  • cook something new – this is one of my favourite ones. sometimes I just go to the store and pick up a bunch of random stuff and then I try to combine them together and yes, occasionally I fail but that is just life
  • do a weekend getaway – it doesn’t have to be Paris or any major city. something you can afford
  • write down all the ideas that come to your mind

I know I have separated these tips but honestly, all the tips I mentioned work for both of these problems and I do not guarantee everything will work for you but I hope it helps a bit. At the end of the day, we are all different.

See you soon,

Abel.

LV x Jeff Koons collaboration 2 plus I finally got the play CDG x Converse sneakers

LV x Jeff Koons collaboration 2 plus I finally got the play CDG x Converse sneakers

Hey everyone!

No recipe today. Sorry but the university assignments are taking all of my time and I have been mostly surviving on meal deals from Tesco and Waitrose. Maybe I should do a meal deal post.

It has been a while since I wrote about fashion. Mainly because this is my final year at the university and that’s a priority. Anyway, I finally managed to sit down a bit and read about our beloved fashion industry and the news were everywhere; The Masters 2 collaboration is coming. Wow, I have to be honest. I already shared my views on the first collection, but I got to admit, it must have performed well in terms of sales cause that’s why we are getting a second one. What is really interesting to me is that since I study fashion, the university is filled with people who have new merchandise even sometimes before the release date and they are pretty much early adaptors when it comes to trends. Just think about Yeezys or the Supreme x LV collection, or the new Jadior bag. You can pretty much see it anywhere when you enter one of the many campuses throughout London. But I haven’t seen anyone wearing the masters collection. I’m just merely interested. Probably Jeff Koons fans and older customers are actually the ones who buy the collection. We will definitely see how this collection is performing.

 

CDG 1

 

Another update regarding some shopping. Drum roll, please. I finally got the Play CDG x Converse sneakers. It has been months I was constantly checking the Dover Street Market website. When I was in Japan, I was asking everyone at DSM if they have these sneakers, but of course, my size was not in stock. But finally, it is back in stock and I just received an email from DSM that the polka dot one is back as well. If you want these sneakers, I suggest you buy them quickly because they are selling super fast. They are comfy, in my opinion, they look cool and they retail for £95.

That’s it for today guys.

See you soon,

Abel.

 

 

 

A hearty mung bean soup

A hearty mung bean soup

Hey everyone!

There’s an Asian supermarket just a couple of blocks away from my flat and now they’re expanding their space and with that in mind, they have more products. I am a lover of these stores and I like the fact that there are more appearing throughout London. I was there a couple days ago and I’ve noticed that they had mung beans. It’s not a novelty but you usually see mung bean sprouts in stores. When I got them, I was thinking about how should I prepare these beans and I decided to make a soup because I’m a little bit under the weather.

Mung bean soup 1

The ingredients:

1 cup of mung beans

2-3 handfuls of curly kale

1 red chilli pepper

2 large leeks

4 thin slices of ginger

4 cups of chicken stock – veggie stock if you are vegetarian or vegan

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon of turmeric

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)

1/4 teaspoon of thyme

a pinch of salt and pepper

1 bay leaf

The only things you sort of need to prepare are the mung beans. You should soak them in water for at least 3 hours. You can do overnight as well. First, chop the leeks and the chilli pepper and add them to a stewpot with the oil and the ginger slices. Saute for about 2-3 minutes just so that the ginger releases its flavours. After that, add all the seasonings and stir well.

Drain the mung beans and add them to the pot with the chicken stock. I added an extra cup of water as well. The final ingredient is the kale. Just add it to the mixture and that’s it. Simmer it for about 40 minutes and the soup is done.

 

Mung bean soup 8

Mung bean soup 9

Serve it just by itself or a fresh baguette. I had some salty crackers with it. Hope all of you are doing great and see you soon,

Abel.

Rice flour pancakes – gluten and dairy free

Rice flour pancakes – gluten and dairy free

 

Hey everyone!

On Sunday I went to have brunch with my friends. The place was super cool but I didn’t make enough pictures to make a post about it and it was also full. When a restaurant is full, I just don’t feel like disturbing people with my phone trying to take pictures of everything. Anyways, the today’s recipe is inspired by the pancakes I had there. Let’s start.

rice pancake 1

The ingredients:

1 cup of rice flour

1/2 cup of almond milk

1/2 cup of soy yoghurt

2 tablespoons of sugar

1 tablespoon of cocoa powder

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

a pinch of salt

1 egg

5 strawberries – thinly sliced

some oil for cooking

more yoghurt and maple syrup for later use

rice pancake 2

rice pancake 6

First mix all the dry ingredients together. Then add the almond milk, the yoghurt, and the egg. Mix thoroughly and make sure you avoid any lumps. When the mixture is done, you are ready to cook.

rice pancake 7

Heat a pan with some oil to medium heat. Seriously, medium or even low heat is enough because these pancakes burn super quickly. When the pan is hot, add 1-2 tablespoons of mixture into the pan. The cooking method used here is not different to any other method used when you are making pancakes. When you see the bubbles appearing, flip the pancake to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. I tried to time it, but it really depends on how high or low the heat is. I would say that each side shouldn’t take more than a minute. I managed to make 10 pancakes out of the mixture. When the pancakes are done, you are ready to assemble.

It is very simple. First, put a pancake on the bottom, then add some yoghurt and strawberries and repeat until you have enough layers. I made 4 layers totally. Don’t forget to drizzle some maple syrup on top of the pancakes.

Serving tip: If you have mint leaves, please do use them. I tried to find them in the store but they didn’t have any. Just sprinkle some leaves on top, or you can layer it with the strawberries. It will go very well with the flavours and it just makes the dish fresher.

Hope you guys try this recipe.

See you soon,

Abel.

Stuffed Eggplant

Stuffed Eggplant

 

Hey Guys!

I wanted to make this recipe for quite a while now. I love eggplant. Some of you might call it aubergine I know, but it is still the same berry no matter how you call it. Yes, eggplant is a berry and not a vegetable, but without further explanation, let’s get to cooking.

eggplant 1

The ingredients you will need:

2 eggplants

1 medium onion

2 celery sticks

2 cloves of garlic

500 grams of ground beef

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

2 tablespoons of olive oil

4 tablespoons of shredded cheese

1 teaspoon of – salt, pepper, chilli flakes, ground cumin, rosemary

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 if Fahrenheit)

eggplant 2

Let’s start with the eggplant. Cut it lengthwise and make some diagonal cuts into the flesh without damaging the skin. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Put it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. The cooking time changes according to the size of the eggplant, mine was ready in 25.

 

eggplant 3

While the eggplants are cooking, start preparing the filling. Slice up the onion and the celery sticks and add them to a heated pan with the other tablespoon of olive oil. Sautee for about 5 minutes and add the garlic. Stir for another 30 seconds so the garlic releases its aromatics. Once you are done, it is time to add the meat. This recipe works well with any other types of ground meat, so if you don’t like beef, you can use turkey, pork, and lamb. For vegetarians, I would recommend using lentils. After you add the ground meat, make sure you start breaking it up immediately and then add the seasoning. Cook for about 5 minutes and add the tomato paste. Mix well and set aside.

When the eggplant is done, remove it from the oven but don’t turn it off. The whole dish will go back for another 5 minutes. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon and again, be careful with the skin. Put the flesh into the meat filling and stir well.

Now it is time to fill up the eggplant with the meat mixture and sprinkle some cheese on top. If you have leftovers from the filling, it can be easily frozen. Put the stuffed eggplant back into the oven for another 5 minutes and you are ready to serve.

 

eggplant 13

I like to serve this dish with just some leafy greens but it can work well with bread as well. This I think will serve 2-4 people depending on the level of hunger.

I hope you try this recipe. Enjoy the week and see you soon,

Abel.

Exploring Hasselt (Belgium)

Exploring Hasselt (Belgium)

Hey guys!

This weekend I’m visiting my best friend in Hasselt, Belgium. Hasselt is an hour train ride away from Brussels and it is a university town. The University of Hasselt is located here, so there are many students living around. With this in mind, this town is filled with restaurants, coffee shops, and bars everywhere. 





It is a small town so if you are planning to get here, you’ll need a day or two to see everything. But I don’t think this town is about sightseeing. It’s more about chilling and shopping. You can find all the fast-fashion chain stores like Zara, H&M, and Primark here. Also, there are some local boutiques and multi brand stores as well. The variety of restaurants in terms of cusine is also great. Should you have Japanese, Indian, Italian, American? Don’t worry, all of that is possible. Just take it slow. There’s no rush. All the locals are enjoying the time. It’s like an escape from the busy big city days. 

One restaurant I would totally recommend you to try is the Orangerie. It is a very cute restaurant and we definitely hit the jackpot because the daily special was pasta with wild forest mushrooms, and it was very delicious. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I’ll see you soon,

Abel.