Sudio Sweden

That time of the year again, Valentine’s! To be honest, I’m not that good with presents. Presents for myself, yes, but presents for the boyfriend, hm, not so much. I like to blame the boyfriend for that though, because he never has a wishlist and never likes the stuff I buy him hihi. But here Sudio Sweden comes in with their fabulous earphones I told you about earlier.

I ordered the model called TVÅ a few weeks ago and I don’t think I need to repeat here how much I loved the simplicity and minimalistic design. However, I already hinted at the model VASA BLÅ being my absolute favorite, because: an even prettier design, rose gold, and wireless (which is, besides fancy, also very handy when you have a cat). So I couldn’t be happier when Sudio asked me to be part of their Valentine’s campaign.

VASA BLÅ comes in a beautiful box with that same gorgeous white leather case (see previous post), a charging cable (unfortunately in black, I would’ve preferred white of course), a rose gold metal clip (that’s basically unnecessary cause the cable is pretty short because it’s wireless), and four differently sized sets of sleeves (which is GREAT, because I have small ears and with one of the smallest sleeves, they fit perfectly). About the sound: it’s great, the battery lasts perfectly for several hours (for sure the eight hours promised on the webshop) and it’s just so handy to walk around the house with my study books (and even go to the toilet) without taking the earphones off. As I told you in my previous post, I wanted to try listening to music to zone out and help me concentrate on my study work. I can tell you now that this has proven to be a great success, so I’ve been (and will be) using my earphones a lot!

Fortunately, I can keep these beauties for myself (or unfortunately, because now I need to find my Valentine another present), but the boyfriend loves them too and secretly steals them from me when I’m not around. So if you’re still waiting for some Valentine’s inspiration, whether you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend (they come in black, blue, and pink too), here’s the sign: a discount code for 15% off at Sudio’s webshop (with free worldwide shipping), use merely-merel at checkout!

Sudio Sweden Vasa Bla

earphones

earphones Sudio

Sudio Sweden

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Adidas Superstars

I guess you know you have the best boyfriend in the world if you find a brand new pair of Adidas Superstars underneath your Christmas tree, right? It’s been a while since, but here are the first pictures of me wearing them. Let me warn you in advance for the overload of Superstar-based outfits in the near future, because these sporty beauties make the perfect Winter-substitute for my beloved black (and white) All Stars. Because yes, I wear sneakers with bare ankles during Winter. They also came just in time for me starting Kayla Itsines’ BBG program, which includes lots of walks to the uni and/or work as part of my LISS (low intensity) training sessions. Haha! Anyone else doing a good job New-Year’s-resolutions-wise?

granny hair

granny hair

Adidas Superstars

Adidas superstars

merely Merel

SWEATER – also cozy | Bershka | see me wearing it here as well
LEGGINGS – similar, but mine has little spots | H&M
SUPERSTARS | Adidas via Pro Shoes
CARDIGAN – also really cool | Mango

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Weekday favorites

I must have lived in the Stone Age or something, because up until yesterday, I didn’t know about Weekday. Oh well, I had heard of it, but had never checked out their webshop. Which is a shame in itself, since there was a Weekday item on my wishlist for quite some time (find my current wishlist, updated since yesterday, in the sidebar >>). Whatever the reason for my ignorance, I’ve made up for all lost virtual shopping time by spending the night on Weekday.com.

Below are my favorites, but honestly, I could have listed many more. Weekday really fits my new 2016 fashion goals: quality and simplicity. I’ve been working hard lately on transforming my current wardrobe into a more basic, versatile and timeless (and smaller!) wardrobe and Weekday is – hopefully – going to further help me do that! Let’s hope these clothes are as good in real life as they look online, ’cause I eventually ordered three items and I’m very curious if you guys can guess which ones? Oh, and if you decide to take a look yourself, don’t forget to check out the sale, ’cause it’s yummy!

To be continued… ;)

Weekday favorites

MANAMA SWEATER €45 | AMI BLACK BOIS €55 | CONFORM SHIRT €55 €25
PYRO RINGS €8 | BONACHE POLO €65 | TINA SWEATER €40
TUVA SHAWL €50 | HOLLY CASHMERE €75 | PADDED BOMBER JACKET €100

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chunky overknees

Didn’t expect to find chunky overknees that are small enough for both my feet and legs, but it suddenly happened. Tried Fleur’s boots, which I still find really cool with their platforms, but they didn’t fit right. And on top of that, Sacha gave me a discount voucher when I returned them, even though Luuk bought them for me just two days ago, and they were new collection (and the sales girl didn’t tell him of the discount voucher even though my boyfriend asked her if it was possible to return them, because there was a big chance they wouldn’t fit me). Well… that’s just ANOTHER reason why I feel so disappointed in Sacha and which reminds me not to buy shoes there anymore. Unfortunately, I now have a discount voucher that I’m obliged to spend #sigh.

Anyhow, sorry to bother you with all this, but this is my experience with Sacha over and over again and you guys know I always try to be honest about my shopping experiences here on the blog. Sooooo, I opted for a good old Zalando search for small chunky overknees and ended up with these beauties. Seriously, Zalando’s search options are great (not to mention their delivery- and return policy). Combined my new boots here with more recently shopped items, such as the Vila blouse (which is so soft and comfy) and a really warm men’s parka (’cause there are no warm women’s coats out there, I feel like). Add an oversized blanket scarf and you’ll end up with some perfect winter layers to keep you warm and make you feel sexy at the same time.

Also, first pictures with my brown-grey hair! I still really love the white/silver look, but my hair is RUINED, so I’m gonna let this fade to my natural ashy blond color and leave it to rest for a while. (Okay, maybe I’ll do some grey maintenance in between.)(But no bleach anymore!)(#pinkypromise)

chunky overknees

grid printed scarf

men's parka

chunky overknees

chunky overknees

SHIRT | Vila
OVERKNEES | SPM Blanchet via Zalando
PARKA – very similar | H&M Men
SCARF – only in brown | DeBrosseNYC via Etsy | see me wearing it here as well

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2015 outfit recap

Typing this while wearing the last 2015 addition to my wardrobe, ^^ these cozy overknees, haha! Didn’t shoot a proper outfit with those though, they’re part of my PJ’s collection. ANYHOW, I did a 2014 outfit recap last year, so I thought I would be cool to do another one for 2015, and here it is!

In 2015, I published 35 outfits, which is 12 less than in 2014. Bummer, but understandable when you take my study-situation into account (I started a really exhaustive research master program in September 2014, that got to its most exhaustive point between February and July of 2015). Where the 2014 outfits were marked by better photography and a stepping out of comfort zones, I think 2015 can be described as an improvement of shooting locations and a more grown up style.

Especially the more spacious or neutral (white and grey) backgrounds are an improvement compared to the 2014 ‘residential’ locations haha. And style-wise, I think the last of the 2015 outfits mark a turning point towards more timeless pieces and simplicity. I want to carry on that way in 2016, so I might finally be able to invest in more quality (and thus more expensive) brands. The first 2016 outfit post is already waiting to be published, so don’t go anywhere!

2015 outfit recap

Wishing you all a very fashionable 2016!

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New Year's resolutions

The fun thing of blogging is that you keep track of all your activities, ideas, and thoughts over the years, and it’s so much fun to read about your own life a year ago. Last year, I put up some New Year’s resolutions and today, I’m going to assess them and share my 2016 ones! These were my 2015 resolutions:

IMPROVE MERELY MEREL – partly succeeded
Style-wise, Merely Merel has definitely improved. Thanks to Instagram, which is such a source of inspiration (and a place to play with photography, style, color, etc.), I now feel like my blog is looking more and more like I want it to look. It is more clear, photos are prettier, and I (I think) dress better haha. Still, there’s sooo much to improve (see 2016 resolutions hihi).

EAT HEALTHY – not succeeded
I can be very brief about this, I tried my best every now and then, but on the overall, my eating habits didn’t change even a little bit. I didn’t gain any weight though, which is nice, but I do not feel as healthy as I know I can feel when I eat better.

START RUNNING AND GOING TO THE GYM (AGAIN) – partly succeeded
Even though I haven’t been to the gym for months now, I have done a great job for quite some time during Spring and Summer. This resulted in running faster and longer than I’ve ever done, so that’s good. But, as I said, I haven’t done a workout for months now…

LOOSE A LITTLE WEIGHT – partly succeeded
I lost a little for Summer, which was nice, but gained it again as soon as Summer was over. However, I don’t think I need to loose weight anymore, I just need to get stronger and slimmer, not lighter.

WORK HARD, PLAY HARD – partly succeeded
After six incredibly stressful months (February – July), I’ve learned to step back a little, plan better, and make time to relax. Even though I feel a lot less stressed out now, there’s still much to gain here.

FINISH YEAR 1 OF MY MASTERS – succeeded
And I’m still in the running towards graduating with honors, so I think the previously mentioned stress payed off!

MAKE MY HOME “HOME” – partly succeeded
I wished we had tidied up and cleaned more, but we bought a new, huge, loungy sofa, changed up our dinner table and bought new chairs, and sorted out and updated our wardrobe closet, so I cannot be discontent.

BECOMING A MINIMALIST – partly succeeded
I regret not sorting out our home completely, because there is so much we can get rid off. However, I feel like my wardrobe is as minimal as it has ever been. I’ve invested in timeless pieces and muted colors and that’s really starting to pay off: everything goes with everything and the days I don’t know what to wear are over.

fireworks

And here are my resolutions for 2016! It’s basically one big continuation of my 2015 resolutions, but I’ll try to specify them in a more detailed manner in couple of future posts.

GRADUATE
The plan is to write a killer thesis and graduate in July. Fingers crossed!

IMPROVE MERELY MEREL
This was a 2015-resolution as well, but still, there’s a lot of work to do, social media being a major thing here. Also: even better photos (that photography course finally?), more consistency, more outfits, more followers. In one word: more professionalism. After all, full time blogging is my plan B, just in case I can’t find a job after graduating in July (chances are big).

WORK OUT WITH BBG
I’ve been following Kayla Itsines on Instagram for a year now and I think I’m convinced. I mean, have you seen the progress pics of her BBG-girls, it’s insane! Let’s hope this will be the year I’ll have abs in Summer.

EAT BETTER
It’s not about completely denouncing unhealthy stuff, or eating super healthy, it’s first of all about eating normal and regularly. Lots of veggies and fruits is already good enough. And I would be really happy if we’d cook a proper meal every day. We often don’t cook a healthy dinner, ’cause we simply forgt to shop groceries, stupid right? This has something to do with planning too, see below.

LIVE WITH LESS
Being important already in 2015, I’m going to continue to minimize my stuff. The less you have, the less you need to clean, I’m thinking. First thing on the list: selling a lot of stuff we sorted out last year.

STOP WORKING SILLY HOURS
Shamelessly copied this from Lydia, because it’s just so relatable. I still find it hard to get up at 7am, work from 9 to 5 and take the evening off (and go to bed early). Don’t get me started on the times when deadlines are coming up, because then I usually work through the night. Of course, blogging, working out, cleaning, those things suffer from my lack of proper work hours, so this has got to change in order to succeed in all of the above.

KNIT/CROCHET MORE
I always tell Luuk I would really really really love to have a knit shop, haha. Even though I tell him jokingly, I kind of mean it. I would love to sit down on my loungy sofa all day everyday, surrounded by yarn, needles, cups of coffee and my laptop for inspiration. So in 2016, I plan to knit and crochet a lot more and put my designs online for sale! Let’s see what happens.

New Year's resolution

Of course, I wish you all the best for 2016! Thank you so much for following and supporting my blog and I’d love to hear your New Year’s resolutions!

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minimalistic earphones

All good things come from Scandinavia, right? Scandinavian design has been conquering the rest of the world in a rapid pace, and you don’t hear me complaining about that because all things white, clean, and minimal (at least that’s what I think of when it comes to Scandinavian design) are very welcome in my world. Therefore, I was very happy to be introduced to a relatively new brand from Sweden, called Sudio (after Phil Collin’s song Sussudio - sorry, that will be stuck in your head now, but it’s a fun anecdote of Sudio’s founders). Sudio sells the prettiest earphones you’ve ever seen (not only in white) that certainly are a musthave for every style-conscious music lover.

To be honest, I do not listen to music frequently, because it often distracts me from what I’m doing (studying, 99% of the time). Besides, my ears seem to be too small for earphones, so they fall out of my ears easily and are not convenient for me to wear while cycling or running, for example. Still, I wanted to get myself a pair of earphones to try listening to non-vocal lounge-/classical-/piano music while studying. I’m often working from home or in the library or a cafe, where either the boyfriend, or another bunch of people is doing their own thing and I needed something to enable me to zone out completely and concentrate only on my own stuff. Especially now work on my master’s thesis has started, this is a much-needed luxury.

When I discovered Sudio, I knew I should give this idea a chance. Sudio offers four different sets of earphones, very Swedishly named TVÅ (‘two’) - for all types of smartphones and tablets, KLANG (‘sound’) - with a full-feature 3-button remote and stay-in-ear, VASA (‘hiss’) - with a full-feature 3-button remote and mic for Android and iOS, and VASA BLÅ (‘hiss blue’) - wireless freedom. The translations between brackets are Google Translate’s and I have no idea if they are correct, but they do make sense haha. I don’t think I need to explain that I love VASA BLÅ the most, do I? The design is absolutely stunning (black and white with rose gold? #hellyeah) and them being wireless is so so cool (and handy). Unfortunately, they’re quite expensive. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than willing to spend a little more on stuff I really really love, but I first need to see for myself if I’m gonna like using earphones to begin with. Since the other two models are not compatible with my BlackBerry (which has its own operating system), I chose TVÅ.

TVÅ is the cheapest of all Sudio earphones but certainly looks like a million dollars. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but check out the pictures below and you’ll see what I mean. They come in black, brown, and orange (so cool!) as well, but naturally, I opted for white. The packaging was really pretty and luxurious and I mean… a leather case to keep them protected in your bag? Really? Yes. And I love it. You’ve got the whole thing for only €39,- (free shipping worldwide), awesome. I’ve used my new earphones a couple of times now during studying (and blogging – I’m actually wearing them while typing this) and I think they are really going to help me increase my concentration and productivity. I selected some relaxing playlists and was surprised to find myself working for eight hours straight! Also, they actually stay in my ears. I still don’t think I should take them with me for a run, but for my current purposes they fit perfectly fine.

Now let’s take a look at their handsomeness and thesis, here I come, beware :) .

Sudio Tva earphones

white earphones

Sudio Sweden

earphones Sudio Sweden

Excuse me for incorporating some of my brand new (white, duh) Christmas decoration. I feel a little sad Christmas is over, so I’ll be keeping my tree for a little while (probably until the end of January haha).

flatlay earphones

Oh, and for those of you looking for more incredibly pretty flatlays including Sudio earphones? Check out Sudio’s Lookbook (which is essentially the same as their Instagram, @SudioSweden)! Thinking about getting yourself a pair of earphones? You can use the discount code merely-merel to get 15% off! You’re welcome.
;)

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business cards

Those of you who are following along for quite some time might perhaps remember my first order of business cards at Vistaprint. You can find the post about those cards here, and please do laugh along with me about the horribleness of the pictures I made back then (not to mention my nail polish). Hihihi. My experience with Vistaprint was not that great (as the Dutchies can read) and the business cards were still in Dutch, so I was very glad to be able to design some new ones via Fotofabriek.nl.

Fotofabriek (literally translated: photo factory haha) has a nice offer for small businesses like mine (if you can call Merely Merel a business, but I kinda like to do so). A set of fifty business cards costs only ten euro, so it’s easy to experiment and try out designs, because you’re not obliged to order a minimum of 250 cards (which is the case at Vistaprint). This price includes printing in color on both front and back side, so that was the point where I got excited.

I decided to design my cards from scratch. I uploaded the picture of the geometric feather, put a marble print on top of it and made it partly transparant (yes, that’s an option!), and added text. On the backside, I put the marble print upside down (to make front and back look different) and added all my contact- and social media info. I wasn’t really blown away by the fonts that can be chosen and tried to upload a picture with text (in a font I chose myself). But I was too afraid the quality wouldn’t be too good, so I decided to go with a font from the design app after all. If you’re not that much of a designer, you can also choose from some prefab themes and cliparts. However, the app is really straightforward, so if you at least have a background image in mind, it’s super easy to design something fabulous.

In the end, I was completely in love with my design when my package of business cards arrived (already after three days or so!). Unfortunately, they were cut a little uneven (leaving more open space to the right than to the left of the text), but when I e-mailed about that, I received fifty new, perfectly cut business cards in the mail three days later. That’s what I call service!

Interested? You can design your own business cards here.

business cards

flatlay Macbook Air

Fotofabriek

blogging flatlay

business cards

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Haarlem

It was the usual grey weather (which evolved into really stormy and rainy weather on our last evening), but me and my two besties had an amazing time last weekend during our yearly girls-only-getaway. We either go to the Dutch mini-island called Terschelling in Summer, or (if we can’t make that work) do something fun around Christmas. This year, we opted for Haarlem, a city that is actually really close by for all of us, but that doesn’t matter, because it’s more about spending quality-time together than it is about sightseeing. We did a lot of shopping, strolling around (there was even a Christmas market), wine drinking, eating, dancing, and having a good time together. My new (fashion) buys will be featured here and on my IG soon enough, but for now, let’s just enjoy the beauty of Haarlem (even with grey weather).

Dutch city

Haarlem

My girls with their shopping bags at the Grote Markt <3

Dutch city

Pandora love! Didn’t buy any new charms though.

Dutch city

St. Bavo Church with Christmas lights in front of it (in the shape of the skyline of Haarlem with, yes indeed, the St. Bavo Church clearly indicated)

Haarlem

Dutch city

Bavo kerk Haarlem

I was quite content with myself after taking this picture haha!

Haarlem

Happy shopping dance.

I’m typing this after returning from a theater show called Caligula (about the Roman emperor), which was really good and absurd at the same time. Gotta go to bed now though, it’s laaaate already!

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camel coat

As you could’ve guessed from my previous outfit, I love the camel-and-grey combo. Combine that with an upcoming preference for everything chic and grown-up looking and you’ll understand my craving for the perfect, basic, camel coat. Well, I found it on Annestikvoort.com and bought the same damn thing at Zara a week later (not on purpose though, I was so inspired by Anne’s coat that I fell for the exact same one without being aware of it haha).

A little while later, me and Lauren (Lachanna.com) decided to meet up again for outfitshooting after a full YEAR of not seeing each other. I guess we’ve both been super busy, but it’s a shame we didn’t do this earlier, ’cause do you remember these pics of our previous get-together a year ago? They look crazy cute, don’t they? And the fun thing is that I actually still own pretty much all of the pieces I’m wearing there (which is rare). Needless to say, I will never ever in a million years wear those shoes with socks again, #pinkypromise (I can remember it was badass cold that day though).

Fastforward to our present date: we didn’t have the most of luck, it was raining pretty much all day. But we were bikkels (‘diehards’, kind of) and photographed our outfits in the rain anyway. Ordered some well-deserved hot chocolate with whip cream afterwards, obviously. Still, I’m happy to share this look with you, ’cause it includes all the pieces every woman should own (in my opinion): the before mentioned camel coat, a grey turtleneck (oh, the amount of love I have for this thing, go get it while you still can!), black trousers, a small black cross body bag, and some good old black Chucks.

Hope you like these pics and maaaaybe I’ll update soon with a personal post about why I’m not blogging as often anymore. It’s nothing to worry about, I’m mainly very busy with studying, but since quality goes above quantity, you’ll have to be patient every now and then. Just keep an eye on my Insta for more regular updates!

merely Merel

camel coat

fashion classics

camel coat

turtleneck

TURTLENECK | Mango
TROUSERS - old, but very similar ones here | Mango
ALL STARS | Converse via Pro Shoes | see me wearing them here as well
COAT | Zara
BAG - old, but try this one | bought in Florence | see me wearing it here as well

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