British Museum

While you’re reading this, I’m somewhere in the middle of *** nowhere in La France, enjoying some real nice time off. Off from studying, off from work, off even from wifi — even though I don’t really like that last one (it’s probably a good thing though). But to jump from holiday to holiday, here’s a little photo impression of my trip to London almost two (!) months ago! I went there together with my fellow Ancient History master students for four days, with our most important destination being the British Museum (we spent two entire days there haha). Can you believe I had never been in London (and in the BM) before? Shame on me indeed. Now I wanna go back a.s.a.p. =)

British Museum

The entrance of the BM and its center hall are impressive to say the least. Can you imagine ancient architecture actually looked like this? — Oh no, it didn’t, it was all painted, really kitsch to our modern views haha!

Greek and Roman sculpture

Ah. Let’s go there.

Parthenon sculptures

The Parthenon sculptures (way better put on show in the Acropolis Museum, but okay)

Parthenon frieze central slab

The most interesting central slab of the Parthenon frieze: WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE and what on earth are they doing — read all about it in this fabulous book.

Parthenon pedimental sculptures

Fragments of the pedimental sculptures representing the birth of Athena (itself lost haha). Look at the crazy horse head on the left!

Erechtheion caryatid

The one famous Erechtheion caryatid of the BM, the other five are in Athens (must be lonely).

British Museum

Much less famous, but this pretty, “minimalistic” (compared to earlier ones) woman might be at the heart of my own research. And I want her dress.

British Museum

Pay attention to the small objects (don’t do that all the time, you’ll be exhausted): they can be so cute (the sheep) and funny (the slave with a headache).

pilosophers

Philosophers, all with their own distinct iconography — Socrates in the foreground.

Hope you liked this selection of an art historian’s favorites and beware for London part two!

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Polette giveaway

Guys, this is so much fun! To fall with the door in house — as we would say in Dutch — I’ve teamed up with Polette to give you a chance of winning your favorite pair of Polette glasses! For those not familiar with Polette (is that even possible?), they offer an amazing range of trendy frames that are super affordable too (even though the latter is not of interest to you now haha). To these frames can be added all kinds of lenses, with or without prescription, colored (to make fashionable sunnies!) or transparant.

Polette giveaway

I’ve been the lucky owner of a pair of Polette glasses for a while now, and you can read all about my experience here. And if you’re convinced, here’s how you can enter the giveaway:

OBLIGATORY

  1. Leave a comment on this blogpost including which pair of glasses you’d love to win (+ the optional things you did for extra entries, if you did any)
  2. Follow @merelymerel and @poletteeyewear on Instagram

OPTIONAL (FOR EXTRA ENTRIES)

  1. Tag a friend who would love to enter this giveaway in a comment below the giveaway photo on my Instagram — which is a pictures similar to the ones in this post, maybe you’ll have to scroll through my feed a little, but you’ll recognize it (+ 2 entries)
  2. Repost the giveaway photo, tagging @merelymerel in the photo itself or in the caption, and leave it up for at least 24 hours (+ 2 entries)
  3. Follow Merely Merel on Bloglovin and like this post (+ 1 entry)
  4. Follow Merely Merel on Pinterest (+ 1 entry)
  5. Follow Polette on Facebook (+ 1 entry)
  6. Follow Polette on Twitter (+ 1 entry)

Polette giveaway

This giveaway is closed and the winner has been contacted. Thank you all so much for participating and see you at the next giveaway!

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turtleneck

I’m back! Kinda. It feels really weird opening this blog post with a picture of me all smiling and happy-faced, but at some point you just gotta decide life goes on (and be grateful for it too). In case you’re at a loss about what I’m talking about now — I lost my mom almost a month ago. I might share bits and parts of the story here and there in the future, but for now all I feel like sharing is that she was ill for a couple of months and that my family and I are (sort of) at peace with how it all came to an end eventually.

But as I said, life goes on, and the last couple of weeks I’ve tried to keep up with its pace. Which is, besides an overwhelming feeling of tiredness, going quite well. And right now, at the beginning of another brand new week, I felt like blogging again. My blog is my happy-place, and I want to keep it that way, so I today I’m sharing with you guys a look that was shot a while ago, on a happy-day (not taking the rain into account). My friend Lauren and I sneaked into a parking lot, took the stairs up to the rooftop and were met by this ah-mazing view of the Dom Tower. My city just seems to keep on surprising me with its beauty — and then who cares about rain anyway?

Layering has helped me survive Winter pretty well this year and this day was no exception. I fell in love with the long-shirts-underneath-warm-knits kind of combination and thank the lord for these (relatively) warm days that allow me to wear sneakers all day everyday. Also, this turtleneck is my first Weekday buy. The second one will be on the blog AS SOON as temperatures are rising just a liiiitle bit, so make sure to stick around (‘cause it’s awesome). Managed to get the boyfriend some pretty good bargains as well, so everybody’s happy, world peace.

Well, dear followers, thanks a lot for all your sweet comments here, on my social media channels and via e-mail. They all mean the world to me. And from now on, this will be a happy place again!

Dom Tower

Adidas Originals

turtleneck

layering

Dom Tower

TURTLENECK also really good — Weekday
SHIRT on sale now! — Vila
SKINNIES similar — H&M
SUPERSTARS — Adidas via Donelli

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mommy

I’ll miss you like crazy.

mommy

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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