Emoi Emoi

Holiday Gift Inspiration

December 10, 2015 • Home DecorKids

’tis the season for making lists and shopping gifts, and i want to start this post by telling you about this little life hack that i found online. it’s called CHECKED TWICE and it’s basically a platform where you can create an account for a family and all members can share wish lists with each other. you can ‘pin’ anything from any web shop on there, or create a gift idea without a link to a shop. but the true genius of it is that everyone can ‘claim’ gifts for everyone, so that no one ends up with a double. every family member can see which gifts are taken, except for the owner of the list – so the surprise isn’t spoiled for them. personally, i am all for lists. i figure that either we don’t do gifts at all, or we get each other things that we know we’ll actually like and use. it’s a wonderful idea to want to do something thoughtful for one another, but i feel bad about wasting money on stuff you’ll never use. so, if you’re like me and you have a large family spread out all over, perhaps you’ll like checked twice. (not a sponsored post y’all, i really just friggin’ love this little discovery!)

last year i put together a few collages with gift ideas from brands that i loved, but this year i decided i wanted to take a look around our apartment and share some of my current favorite things, so that they might end up inspiring those looking for ideas. there’s something for everyone in there…

TIVOLI gives the gift of great music, anywhere you want it. we’ve had the MODEL THREE in our living room for years, but until recently were missing an audio unit in our bedroom. the MUSIC SYSTEM THREE streams music from your smartphone, has a radio and an alarm clock, and works on batteries so you can put it anywhere you like. i like to take it into the bathroom while i take a shower. // TYPE HYPE has the best gift ideas for those who have weak spot for good design or type. i love these bottles – they are great to look at, but they’re actually very decent wines, too. the BARBERA D’ALBA is my favorite. // other gift ideas from our bedroom – letter cups from TYPE HYPE to form their name. // a poster from PLAYTYPE with their favorite letter. // that lamp from SERAX for night time reading in bed.

if you’re looking for a small gift that feels personal, i think these letter notebooks from TYPE HYPE are the best. they exist in several different colors and sizes, and they are great to encourage that friend to write down their witty quips, awesome ideas or emotional life story. to be honest, i feel like you can never have too many notebooks, so this kind of gift would always make me happy. // check out the cute notebooks from SERAX, too. // another brand that is so, so good at creating perfect gifts is EMOI EMOI. especially if you want to spoil a mom or dad! i love their scented candles that spell ‘we are family’, their coffee mugs that say ‘maman poule’ or ‘papa cool’, and perhaps you’ve noticed how much I LOVE THEIR SWEATERS. but this scarf honestly takes the cake. it’s a collab with mapoésie, has the most beautiful colors and comes in a cute little box.

if you’re looking to surprise a design fan in your life, why not surprise them with a subscription to DESIGNER BOX? it truly is a gift that keeps on giving… and it’s how i got these cute WOODEN ANIMALS that brighten up my desk space. // i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again – one of the most important elements in anyone’s interior, is the lighting. it’s the first thing we saved up and shelled out for when decorating our first apartment together, and the lamps we bought then are still some of our favorite items today. the lamp on my desk is the luceplan costanzina we got at MASTER MEUBEL a few years ago. the one next to our tivoli in the living room is by FOSCARINI. it’s their iconic lumiere table lamp, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. the way to a design lover’s heart, if there ever was one.

photos by stephanie duval

Real Life On Our Couch

September 5, 2015 • Home DecorKidsLifeStyle

a while ago a belgian journalist contacted me because she was preparing an article about mamas on instagram. as i have been sharing a lot of #julietrabaey on there, it didn’t surprise me she considered me ‘an instamom.’ i shared some of my favorite pics with her to be published in the magazine she writes for, and didn’t really think about it again until the article came out. i shared a picture of it on ig (BUT OF COURSE) and i wanted to repeat here what i mentioned there.

my life is far from perfect. it’s complicated, it’s messy and it can be exhausting. sometimes i feel like sharing how this makes me feel – like when juliet had such a difficult time those first three months of her life. i posted a few pictures on instagram to share how hard it was on me and our family, and got so much comfort and encouragement from the comments that followed. i’ll forever be grateful to everyone who shared their own stories with me or offered me some words of sympathy. i don’t think i’m exaggerating when i say they really helped me get through a tough few months.

luckily, juliet is doing much, much better now. she’s as happy and healthy as a baby can be. it took me a little longer to adapt to my new life (and it’s probably still an ongoing process), but i can honestly say i am feeling happy much more often than not. i choose not to dwell on things, and to move forward, so that is why on ig i’m back to sharing happy moments and memories. i don’t think that means i’m being dishonest. it just means that whenever possible, i like to spread joy and optimism.

what does all this have to do with that article, i hear you think. the instamoms that were represented in the article, were all examples of perfectionists and aesthetes. they like to think about the photos they post, perhaps even style them a little bit before they take them. i plead guilty, but as the article said – it’s not so much about trying to ‘fake’ something, than about wanting to remember the best of everything. just like back in the day when moms used to book a professional photographer to take their family portrait. so even though the article never accused me of anything, it did make me think about how i’m presenting myself online and what i’m feeling and thinking in reality. and it made me want to share a little more than i usually do.

like the story behind the pictures you see above. because juliet had such a difficult time those first three months, there was barely a moment she was awake and not crying. we were exhausted and on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and the last thing on our minds was organizing a photoshoot to commemorate the start of our little family. i pushed back thoughts of regretting that later on, but of course time passed, juliet’s troubles went away and i regretted having lived on fast-forward for three months without taking the time to letting it all sink in.

so when we finally set up the tripod and took the time for a family picture, we sat down on the couch on which we had cried, laughed, rocked juliet to sleep, watched netflix endlessly through the sleepless nights and nursed ourselves and juliet back to health. it was an emotional moment yet at the same time there was absolutely nothing ceremonial about it. juliet only liked sitting still for about five minutes, my husband felt silly having to pose, and it took about a million shots to finally find the pose where we all didn’t look like complete morons.

so actually, nothing about the pictures above is perfect, but they are pretty perfect to me. when the journalist described the setting as carefully thought through and composed, she was only partially right. yes, we’re all wearing EMOI EMOI because their sweaters look great and have cute messages on them. yes, we’re sitting on the absolutely perfect moroso couch which we carefully selected for our home at MASTER MEUBEL. and yes, we look like a happy family because that’s what we are, in the end. but what you don’t see is the conflicted emotions, the happy tears, the sad tears and everything else going on behind the scenes, and perhaps that is a shame, because sometimes it can be a beautiful thing to share, too.


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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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