May 21, 2015

I don't even know what to write as a title

Some days you just don't feel it. You want to re-create that outfit you wore to class  that week and are pretty excited about sharing it, but then you can't think of a location and you just try wherever you are and have no clue how to move your body into any decent positions. Why am I biting my finger! Then when you upload the photos to your computer you find out your photographer cut your feet off in about every picture. Guys, I'm really not having the best time when it comes to blogging.

My deadlines for school and studying for my upcoming finals seem to have drained me from all of my energy. I'm writing this, but what I really want to go do is sleep so I don't have to go class tomorrow with two Céline Trapeze under my eyes. It's my very last class tomorrow. I cannot really fathom that. I'm going to say goodbye to people I've studied with for two years, walk out of that class room and know that I won't see most of them ever again. It's the strangest feeling and it definitely doesn't seem real. Anyway, I'll write about it another time because I really am very tired. And I'm feeling pretty emotional too. What a roller coaster. 

I hope you are doing well. See you soon! 

May 18, 2015

All That Twitters Is Gold: Did Social Media Kill The Blogging Star?


Let us have a discussion. In recent times, I've noticed many changes in the blogging world, and there's one in particular that has been getting some attention lately: social media. Instagram and Twitter have been around for a while, and lately I've seen more and more bloggers use SnapChat as well as a way to interact with their readers. I'm all about that, but ... .


I've been around here for 13 years. In those 13 years I went from webpage construction to blogging and lived through the high days of MySpace, the up-rise of Facebook and the announcement of Twitter. I remember buying an iOS device in early 2012 solely to be able to use Instagram. Social media were new and exciting. I liked and tweeted my heart away and while doing so felt like I got so much closer to you than I could through my blog. But the bubble burst, didn't it?

Blogs are cumbersome compared to social media. On their blogs, bloggers have the space to share a story in more than 140 characters and to embellish it with more than one picture. Leaving a comment on blogs can be tricky - Captchas are so 2000-and-late, people - and to hop from one blog to another you have to go through your reader or memorize the internet addresses. Reading blogs takes effort and time, two obstacles social media successfully gets around. 

Instagram can do what a blog can't: show you an #OOTD in one glance and with compact descriptions. Twitter forces us to think about our information-sharing: what is the most essential about the message we want to bring? Sometimes all it takes is an Emoji. Hashtags are easier to understand and apply than SEO for blogs and give instant-results. Following bloggers and other creatives has been made a lot easier by social media too, as is commenting and interacting in general. We used to describe social media as an extension of our blogs, but I'm starting to feel as if it has become a replacement of it. Social media does it better and recently it's been doing it bigger too.

Bloggers got some serious competition from social media influencers. People with not just large Instagram and/or twitter followings, but the right network to boot. They seem to me a technologically advanced sub-group of bloggers. Micro-bloggers, if you will. It takes a hell of a lot of knowledge and time to build up your social media presence, but the influencers have mastered the art of online impression management like no other and it's paying off! More and more influencers are landing on press lists and press events, and bloggers are doing so less and less. I can't help but wonder, and I know that this is a pretty mean thought to share publicly, how many blogs will still be written if this trend keeps growing. 

Blogs haven't necessarily lost their advantages. The advantages of blogs are just seemingly losing their relevance in a time where "fast, faster, fastest" and "more, more, more" are the motto when it comes to information-sharing. As marketing mediums blogs might not be relevant for much longer, but to me they still are the best way to share a story. No matter how many unfiltered videos I'd share through SnapChat or how many #iwokeuplikethis kind of pictures I post to Instagram, I don't think I could ever get a story across so genuine and vividly as I can through my blog. Or maybe I'm just old school.

What are your thoughts and feelings about this? I personally am seriously lagging behind when it comes to my social media outlets. I actually recently stopped tweeting in English and deleted my SnapChat account to downsize my online presence. My Instagram is a happy mess and I don't even have a Facebook page for my blog. I kind of feel like an outsider looking in, yet I'm caught up in the transition. Do you think you could give up blogging entirely and ride on social media? Or do you, like me, blog because social media can't fully satisfy your needs? Do you care?

May 14, 2015

Liebster Award


Emily from Em Busy Living granted me the Liebster award last week, and although I know these are usually given to young blogs and mine doesn't really fit into that category anymore, I wanted to answer Emily's 11 questions for me. It has been a while since I shared some random bits about me on the blog and you guys used to really like this kind of posts on The Ginger Diaries. So... off we go!

1.Where do you currently live and what's one thing you love most about it?
I'm born and raised in the Flemish region of Belgium, in a small town on the border with The Netherlands. I've never lived anywhere else. What I love most about our tiny nation is the food, our history and the fact that nothing is more than a 4 hour drive away. Unless you get stuck in traffic and let's be honest: I bet we hold the record for traffic jams.

2.Do you have a motto? If so, what is it?
As a teenager I used to go by "yesterday is history, today a gift, tomorrow a mystery", right now I can't say I have one.

3.Where is one of your favorite places you've ever traveled and why?
London, Canterbury and Edinburgh. The UK holds a special place in my heart. I'm writing a special blog post about it that I hope to share soon!

4.List three NEW places you'd visit if money was of no concern.
Alaska, Northern Canada and the Australian outback. Maybe I'd do trans-Siberia too but my body wouldn't last out there a day. Unlike what most people think, I am an outdoorsy girl and have a hunger for adventure.

5.What's the best book you've read this year?
I haven't read for leisure in a while. I'm reading bundles of academic papers for my thesis and prefer to spend my time off the job having coffee-conversations with my girlfriends. I'm really good at that! I also really am not the type of person that can sit back and relax. I just have way to much energy to be still, haha. Part of being a redhead I guess!

6.What is the best movie you've watched this year?
Since K and I introduced weekly date-nights we have been to the movies a lot. His favorite was Into The Wild, which we actually watched on Netflix with a good amount of Oreo's, but mine were The Hunger Games en Divergent. I like not having to think about the movie I'm watching, is that bad? We saw Avengers: Age of Ultron this weekend, by the way.

7.Who is a great, underrated band you think everyone should check out?
I haven't been into music that much lately, but I've been listening to my old favorites since September. Think the early 2000's: Linkin Park, The Offspring, Bowling For Soup, Jimmy Eat World, Blink 182, ... . The good old stuff!

8.What is the one thing you take time to do for yourself every day?
Right now? Two episodes of Pretty Little Liars. I've set off watching the series for a very long time but I've been hooked since January. I'm almost finished with season 5 (currently at episode 9) and hope to be ready when S6 starts in early June! Other things I do daily are writing my offline diary and keeping up with my friends at home (I'm studying 60km away).

9.What is one of your guilty pleasures?
Pretty Little Liars? Oh, and coffee dates. So hipster, but so much fun!

10.What is your number one "bucket list" item?
Visiting Canada! And it's not happening any time soon, so I made friends with Canadian bloggers and live through their Instagrams. Hey Lynn, Veronika and Karyn!

11.What is the purpose of your blog?
It started out as a tool for me to enhance my English and connect with people all around the globe (when I was 10), then it evolved into a platform where I could share my journey to find my own style (when I was 17) and right now it's something I write for pleasure. I just love doing it. Or maybe I just don't know what else to do since I've been doing it for so long, haha.

Thank you for the award Emily! It means a lot. ♥

May 11, 2015

Jump For My Love


And just like that, here comes the sunshine. We're enjoying 25°C this week and me and my new bikini are ready for some studying in the sun. Goes to show that you should be careful what you wish for when you write blog posts on bikini shopping! Anyway, to this look. I bought a romper and a jumpsuit last week. I'm still unsure whether that was a crazy act or a good wardrobe update. I do know that the jumpsuit was worn for date night this weekend (outfit above) and that I am wearing the romper as I type this text. Coming to the blog soon too.

I was cleaning up my Pinterest boards when I noticed I had pinned an awful lot of simple black jumpsuits over the years. When I missed class last Friday (public transport: sometimes you love it, most times you hate it) I decided to kill time shopping for shoes, but when I left New Look my eye fell on this pretty number hanging right next to the store exit. Good strategy, people, cause without thinking I went to try it on. The high waist, the tuxedo seam on the side, the ankle detail: I was sold. For only €25 anyone would be, right? And yes, the blue blazer. I pinky promise I've done about every outfit I wanted to share on the blog by now and will share different pieces in the coming weeks. But just a heads up: that romper I talked about above? It has cobalt blue in it.

jumpsuit: New Look • Blazer: come on guys, you still don't know? Ted Baker • shoes: Cypres • shoulder bag: Kate Spade "Little Minka"

May 7, 2015

STOP! Bikini time!



As I am working on this collage the rain is coming down with buckets. Even Rihanna's umbrella couldn't help to protect my summer dresses from getting soaking wet in this pouring rain. Mother Nature has been moody lately and has given us everything except bikini and Sangria weather. And although the air after a thunderstorm feels kind of exotic, I took to the internet to get back some of that summer-feeling.

I have not one single vacation planned for the summer, but still I find myself surfing the internet looking for the perfect bikini. Just in case. My search lead me to an old love: Calzedonia. I always knew Calzedonia for their good-quality yet affordable tights (as seen here) and only discovered their swimwear line when I was in Italy two summers ago. I tried on a cobalt blue number in their store in Bologna, but had already spent so much it wasn't reasonable to bring it home with me. At the time, we didn't have Calzedonia stores in Belgium (the closest to me was Düsseldorf I believe), but luckily times change. A store has opened on the Meir in Antwerp not too long ago and I have been wanting to go take a look at their SS15 swimwear collection. The bikini with the bright pink Hawaiian print is my absolute fave of the bunch and I'm also really loving the green-light blue one. Prices range between €30-40 for a set, but if I remember correctly everything can be bought separately as well meaning you can mix and match just as much as your heart desires. I'm all about that!

So while I wait for the dark skies to clear up, I'm going to dream up Caribbean holidays or check airline sites for cheap tickets to the sun. I hope you guys enjoyed this post and if the weather allows I'll see you on Monday with a new outfit post! 

note: this post is not sponsored, but part of the TGD overhaul.

April 30, 2015

23

On April 24th I celebrated my 23rd birthday. A random number, it seems, but 2015 is the year my life is going to change a lot. And so will my blog. I'm graduating, looking for an apartment and searching for a job. Not nothing, I'd say! It's in the light of these changes that I would like to announce some changes to The Ginger Diaries. 

I'm a social worker and I personally feel that if I want to work in this field, I need to find a new balance in what aspects of my personal life I share on my blog. I've always been open and honest about most of the things that happened to and around me. I shared about my family, my friends, my boyfriend, my studies and the general good and bad things that I went through. My blog was my diary. A cleaned-up version, but still pretty open and personal. Now that I'm at the start of my grown-up life I want to literally take a step back. I want to enlarge the distance between my personal life and my online presence. I will filter out certain aspects to ensure the privacy of the people that surround me and be less open about my personal life as well. Of course, I'll still write about life, but it's time this blog grows up with me and I feel like these changes are part of that process. I will still be me, but just like with everything on the internet, you should know that my blog never was and never is the complete picture. 

So now that we have the serious talk out of the way, I want to share a little about my birthday. My girlfriends and I went out for dinner at Burgers & Booze in Antwerp which had been on my must-visit list for a while. I had heard a lot of great things about them and they delivered! The interior was typically hipster, but the burgers were definitely at the next level. I went for a bun with pulled-pork and coleslaw and had a margarita for dessert. The guys waiting the tables were in a very good mood and super friendly as well. 10/10 for the smiles and the service! We ended the night the night chatting over soda (responsible!) in Kapitein Zeppos. On my birthday itself I had to give an important presentation and  I rewarded myself with a scoop of Ijsboeke's delicious raspberry sorbet. My boyfriend and I enjoyed take-away noodles and did some people-watching on the Groenplaats before we headed to the Badboot for a formal party. There's something about men in suits, so getting my boyfriend in a suit was the best part of my birthday! We danced the night away and woke up to a table full of delicious things: "koekjestaart", carrot cake and a fruit-pudding pie all for me! My birthday party was prrrretty awesome and it was fun to see so many of my family and friends again before I dive into my exams. Bye bye social life!

To end this post I would like to notice how I did not miss one day of posting during April. I'm patting my shoulder. I'm patting my shoulder.

Have a good weekend!

April 27, 2015

Great Minds Dress Alike (with Dress Your Life)

When a friend wears the same sweater as you and is also a blogger, posts like this must happen. The sweater is not a recent find. I bought it while shopping for an outfit to wear for our New Years Eve party with friends. I wanted something comfortable and chic but not a dress, and this sweater ticked all the boxes. When I got home from my shopping trip I posted a picture of my new wardrobe addition on SnapChat and I received an exciting reply from Naomi telling me she had exactly the same one. The deal was made.

We met for lunch during Spring Break and decided to both dress up our sweater and have some shoot-fun together. As usual, I'm the one with the basic look. Black jeans, black pumps and my Michael Kors "Sutton" let the sweater really stand out and get the attention it deserves. I sometimes swap the jeans for leggings when I have a late night study session in the library and the low hem ensures I don't commit a style crime. Naomi is more of a daredevil when it comes to her personal style. She went for a comfy street style look that you can see in its full glory on her blog Dress Your Life!

This week holds more exciting things! On Wednesday, Naomi and I are meeting up again to discover the new FW'15 collections at the press days in Antwerp. I can't wait to see all my favorite girls back and have a good time. It is much needed after a few very hectic weeks at uni. Who else is coming!? 

top: C&A • jeans: Levis • heels: Cypres • handbag: Michael Kors "Sutton" large