Wishlist & What I Have Been Loving

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By now you should know me as a very considerate shopper – I rarely make impulse buys – but sometimes I just feel overwhelmed with a whole sea of things I’d like to home. This happenned to me on a recent visit to H&M, where I felt overwhelmed with things I want. I know it is not realistic for me to want them as I don’t need most of it, but as a nice theme evolved I thought I might as well share my beautiful wishlist with you! These would also make nice gifts, which is something to consider with wedding season approaching.

So clockwise:
Metal wire basket R199
Patterned satin blouse R299
Paper napkins R29.99
Metal hanger R149
Stoneware soap dispenser R149
Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets in Hot Pepper and Nude-ist R160
Hexagonal Marble Board R399

I would also like to let you know that I have decided against doing monthly updates, and rather just to let you know whenever I have discovered something new. I am a creature of habit afterall.

I recently discovered a new to me blog Kate la Vie, I have been loving her Youtube channel – her home is such a source of inspiration and motivation to get my shiz done- but I wasn’t all too familiar with her blog until recently. All I’ll say is it is definitely worth a browse, even if you aren’t massively into makeup and beaty.

Books-wise I have been lusting after Jan A Breath of French Air. Punny title aside, it is such a beautiful recipe book with amazing photographs of Paris and the French country side. Ofcourse it helps that the food photography is amazing! It is currently on sale on Takealot and I am seriously considering taking the plunge.

Let me know what you are currently lusting after and how you deal with situations where you just feel overwhelmed and want ERYTHING hehe! I’d love to know what you guys like.

Life Update

peonyI feel slightly guilty writing this post, as I have been absent for longer than I intended to be. To be honest, I have completely failed in the blogging department. I haven’t even uploaded some of the beautiful pictures I have to share on Instagram!

I have been busier than usual at work, having taken on extra responsibilities including creating and launching a new website. It has been rewarding, but has also meant that when I finally step into my home I don’t want to see a computer screen! 

This past weekend we went up to Gauteng for our friends’ wedding and caught up with family in the process.

Our first stop was the recently renovated Tashas at Nelson Mandela Square, followed by a visit to the Mall of Africa for some sweet treats at Krispy Kreme, where they hilariously misspelled my name  (view and laugh along here). I have to admit that I was slightly disappointed at the Zara Home as it felt a little bit sparse and the collections were a bit disjointed.

In Pretoria we did a proper coffee crawl, ending at The Village in Hazelwood. This is such a cool concept, I can’t wait for something similar to start popping up in the northern suburbs. We enjoyed some freshly roasted coffee and cake at Spout, which I’d highly recommend.

Unfortunately all good things has to end and we flew back late on Sunday evening, with our hearts and bellies full!

Now that things are returning to normal, I hope to bring you more content soon.

Hope everyone has a lovely and productive week!

X

 

Back in Black in Babylonstoren

DSC_3638 This past weekend was a long one for some and for the rest of us, well we had to work on Friday. That does not mean that we didn’t make the best of Thursday’s public holiday! Ryno and I decided to head out to Stellenbosch for lunch as I hadn’t been there in quite a while. After finding a few of our favourite spots were closed for the holiday, we headed to an old favourite, Java for their chai lattes (a.k.a. liquid pancakes) and pizza.

DSC_3606Winter is definitely truly here and if we’d been armed with an umbrella, the relentless rain wouldn’t have gotten us down. But sans umbrella we drove on to Babylonstoren, somewhere between Paarl and Franschhoek. I have visited the farm on multiple occasions, but never before during winter. Each season brings about a few changes and I was delighted to find that the gardens are just as beautiful even when it is absolutely freezing outside! The lemon trees were a definite favourite. Somehow I’d never stumbled upon the prickly pears before, so when we happened upon them I couldn’t help but take a few outfit pictures.

I own a tonne of dresses for summer, but haven’t really had any suitable for tights and jackets in quite a while. This beautiful black and white number from Mr Price however instantly stole my heart! It is the perfect length (hits just above the knee) and I love the combination of the high neckline with the ever-so-slightly sheer top (the skirt is lined).  Oh an check the sleeves! This has however sold out online, but it looks like they have the exact same dress in burgundy online (available here). I finished the outfit in a black felt hat (Mr Price, other colours available here), wooly tights from Woolworths and my trusty faux leather jacket from Forever 21.

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DSC_3639DSC_3640We’re looking for more ideas on what to do in and around Cape Town, so any suggestions welcome! I’d love to hear what you do when the temperature drops.

 

Raspberry Bakewell Cake

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This recipe is the ultimate celebration of raspberries in my books. I love whipping it up at the height of raspberry season when they are at their sweetest. I’ve yet to meet someone who can say no to this, it has even been known to convert some non-berry eaters… So hurry and buy a fresh punnet of raspberries whilst they are still in season, this recipe doesn’t deserve frozen berries.

 

Ingredients:

  • 120 g ground almonds
  • 140 g butter, softened
  • 140 g castor sugar
  • 150 g self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 200 g raspberries
  • icing sugar, to serve

DSC_3102Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare a cake tin with non-stick pan.
  2. Mix the almonds, butter, sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla essence with a food processor until well combined.
  3. Spread half the mixture in the cake tin, sprinkle the raspberries over the top and smooth the rest of the mixture on top.
  4. Bake for 30-0 minutes or until golden.
  5. Leave to cool and sprinkle with icing sugar.

June Favourites

Helo,

I hope everyone has been enjoying the month so far! I know, I know, this is seriously late! But in all fairness, I do feel like June is only starting now. Anyone else feel like May just wouldn’t come to an end? (No? Just me!?) Anyways I am finally getting around to telling you what has me excited for the second half of June! Hint: It is not the weather!

I can’t tell you how excited I am that frayed jeans are back in fashion! Sure it is a nod to the 90’s, but it is a good one isn’t it!? As someone who always has to shorten her pants (sadly even cropped ones drape on the floor) this has me really excited! I also might style my winter dress sans tights just before the weather takes a complete dip. I love the contrast in bare legs and long sleeves.

I am trying to find a way to make things around the washing up area less of an eye sore and the rail idea (check Kate la Vie’s blog for a more impressive version) looks amazing. I wonder if I can convince my husband to do the drilling?

Speaking about eyesores, annoyingly our livingroom is fitted with two of the most ugly sconces. To make matters even worse, they aren’t centre and I haven’t spotted a viable option for replacing them. These sconces by Aerin Lauder would look amazing though! As would one of these plush velvet chairs. Le sigh!

As June feels like a really dreary month to me, I’ve decided to share a few pretty things like peonies (lucky you if you live in the northern hemisphere!) and the prettiest bathroom tiles. As I am still a grass widow until the middle of the month, I plan on dining on glorious things like this breakfast-for-dinner French toast. So naughty, but so nice!

What keeps you going during the colder months? Is it chocolate or coffee? :) Hope you make the best of June!

27 Random Facts About Me

 

DSC_3088Last week was my birthday and I still haven’t gotten used to saying that I am now twenty seven. I find approaching thirty a little bit scary, but anyway with age comes a few good things as well! You get to know yourself better each year, you grow more comfortable in your own skin and just like a good wine your music taste matures. I thought it would be fun to commemorate the occasion with 27 random facts about me and at the same time afford you the opportunity to get to know me a little better.

DSC_29271. I am 100% a cat person
Oddly enough I was raised with a dog, but have always favoured cats. Now I don’t even know how to act around dogs!
2. I hated the colour pink for about 2 years
I’ll chalk this up to having pink drapes for far too long. Luckily I’ve since detoxed and now favour a blush tone.
3. I believe everything happens for a reason
This includes the good, bad and the ugly. Sometimes it is just really hard to understand why.
4. I have always had a wicked sweet tooth
I remember attempting to swipe candy from the kitchen. Give me a shout if you remember Click’s “Pick ‘n Mix” counters. Those were the stuff my dreams were made of… who am I kidding? It is still the stuff my dreams are made of!
5. I’m a chronic list maker
I have about ten active lists currently on my phone.
6. I nearly became a lawyer
Actually I bailed for my dream career at a magazine straight after graduating with an LLB.
7. I can’t give someone the middle finger
My index and ring fingers always shoot up as well.
8. Cape Town will always be home
I can’t imagine living anywhere but in Cape Town for more than a year.
9. If I had to live elsewhere for a year it would have to be London
I love the vibe and lifestyle. Plus I appreciate all the great museums and the fact that they speak English.
10. I prefer shopping in stores
Online can be more convenient, but I shop with my hands. It is the best way to asses quality.
Iron Maiden Book of Souls World Tour12. I am a metal head
I still remember the first Iron Maiden song I heard ten years ago, so being able to attend their concert last week was the best birthday gift ever!12. I hate changes, which makes trying new things challenging.
13. I have terrible navigation skills
My husband always jokes that my internal GPS only switches on when I am in a shopping mall, as that is the only time I can navigate.
14. The film I’ve watched the most is “You’ve Got Mail”
Fittingly the book I’ve reread the most is Pride and Prejudice.
15. I am a blowdry girl
It is all about the root lift!
16. I’ve never broken a bone (touch wood!)
I wish I could say the same for my teeth!
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17. Does it come in grey?
This pretty much describes my wardobe and home decor! I just can’t get enough of the colour.
18. My favourite scents are all associated with baking
I love the smell of freshly baked bread and cake.
19. I don’t care what car I’m driving
As long as it works! I have the worst luck and have had several breakdowns.
20. I love buying gifts for people
And then of course teasing them about what I got. It is a rare occasion when I manage to keep the secret.
21. I don’t think I’d feel myself with short hair
22. I haven’t worn foundation in 5 months
Just a little bit of concealer leaves my skin so much happier.
23. I am a night owl
It is way past my bedtime already!
24. I am an introvert
Luckily this has also gotten better as I’ve grown older.
25. My favourite Cadbury slab is Milk Chocolate and Biscuits
26. Paris and Croatia are next on my travel bucket list
I have ticked off Italy although I’d love to return and visit the Amalfi Coast one day.
27. Ich bin ein nerd
Yup that is a IT Crowd reference, ’nuff said am I right!? 

I’d love to get to know you guys better as well! Drop me a few weird or unusual facts about yourself in the comment section below!

Cape Town Chill

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This weekend I had the most fun catching up with a very good friend, Crisna from Nunkilief. We had an early breakfast in the most beautiful restaurant, Hemelhuijs. The decor is basically my dream – wall panneling, dark colours and loads of bookshelves. But it wasn’t a patch on the conversation. Crisna and I are working on some content togethering that we’ll hopefully be able to share with you soon!

After a short browsing of Bree Street (seriously the coolest street in the city at the moment) we decided to head to take some outfit photographs. Crisna is obviously a great photographer as she managed to get some pictures where I wasn’t pulling a weird face or have my eyes closed (photogenic I am not!).

With regards to my outfit, it was a really chilly foggy morning in the city. A biker faux leather jacket is always the answer in my book! This one is from last year at Forever 21, but you can find similar styles at Zara. The leggings and boots are both from Woolworths and will be staples in my winter wardrobe. I love the everyday comfort of the boots. I won’t mention the bag again (see previously here), but the sunglasses are fun ones from Mr Price and the earings are from Lovisa.

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8 Decorating Tips for Small Livingrooms

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To say I have experience in navigating tight quarters is an understatement! Our house is by no means large and at 6 x 4 m our living/ dining room is the average size of a single garage. I’ve been slowly decorating our space for the last year and thought that I could pass on my experience and maybe help someone else along the way. As a caveat, I want to add that I am not a trained decorator (only passionate) and that each room is unique, but I do think these 8 decorating tips for a small livingroom can be useful to you.

1. Consider the room’s function

Before my husband and I moved into our own spot, one of the things I was most looking forward to was hosting loads of dinner parties with friends. And as our weeknight routine mostly consists of Netflix and chill, a comfortable TV-couch situation also needed to happen.

Taking the time to think about how you want to use a room can really help you narrow down what pieces you need and what you can forgo. We decided  to eschew the typical L-shaped couch for a bigger diningroom table that can comfortably seat up to eight people. I think it is important to decorate according to how you plan on using your space 90% of the time and not for the once-a-year family reunions that require ten thousand seats!

2. Consider future uses

This ties in with the first step, but I think it is always worth just quickly envisioning whether a room’s function might change over the next few years. Are you perhaps already planning on expanding the spare bedroom into a dining room? Or would your home office one day have to make way for a nursery? This certainly shouldn’t detract from how you use your space right now, but in the planning (and buying phase) this could inform some decisions.

As smaller spaces are often transitional living spaces, you should also spare a thought as to whether you’ll still want something if your living space increased in size.

3. Start working on your layout

Once you know which pieces you need, it is a good idea to start playing with layout to find the perfect scale. I always like the idea of creating a scaled blueprint and cut outs of the furniture pieces you’d like to add. Remember to draw in your door openings and to indicate windows.

Start with your bigger pieces like dining tables and couches. Try to play around with different layouts, until you find something that works. Try not to arrange everything against one wall and be sure to leave enough space for foot traffic.

4.Furniture scale

Although the most obvious choice in a smaller apartment is to down scale, I have to say this is one rule that really was meant to be broken! Nothing makes a room feel more dated (and in most cases even smaller!) than a tonne of smaller pieces of furniture. I like to make use of a combination of larger/regular scale pieces and smaller ones.

In a living/dining room, I’d say you should use a standard sized couch and dining room table. These will anchor your room and are often also investment pieces, which will move with you to your next home.

I’ll then add smaller coffee tables, side tables and slim chairs to complement you room and to prevent it from feeling like the room shrunk around the furniture.

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5. Furniture weight

Don’t confuse a piece’s scale with its visual weight. A regular sofa floating upon dainty legs can take up less visual real estate than a chunky two-seater. Clear pieces (think glass and lucite) are your biggest friend, as are those with dainty frameworks because they won’t add bulk to your room. They’ll also allow more light into your room.

Lower profiles in pieces like couches and dining chairs will also aid your eyes to glide over them.

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6. Colour palette

Although I always appreciate a good neutral base, I feel that this can be even more important in a small living space as it is easier on the eye. This doesn’t mean your space has to be boring, accent colours can inject just the right amount of personality and fun. Just be sure not to introduce too many different hues. When in doubt, stick to varying shades of one hue.

Working with lighter colours can also help fake the feeling of airiness.

7. Create a layered look

Minimalism is a great way to make smaller spaces feel more open and spacious, but it certainly isn’t the only answer to make a room feel, well, roomier.  Creating a thoughtful, layered look in your home can take years as you collect and combine the things you love and those that have sentimental value but ultimately it is the best way to infuse a home with personality.

Layered doesn’t equate clutter, but rather suggests a thoughtful combination of various elements ranging from the expected to the unexpected.

8. Edit

Finally, it is important to remember that you’re never done decorating a room. Just as you’ll add things and make changes over the years, you should also constantly be editing. Ask yourself whether pieces are still working, whether they still add value to the room and remove those that don’t. Whilst some people find comfort in clutter, it never makes a smaller space feel bigger.

 

 

May Favourites

May usually signifies the start of winter, at least weather wise. This winter I’ve started a love affair with sweat tops. Mr Price has a pretty decent quilted selection, but Cotton On has the best ones with quotes. I’ve already added one blush one from Mr Price, but am considering one in my favourite tone, melange. I’ve also been looking for the perfect trench coat (finding the perfect fit, colour and material at right price has proven nearly impossible over the last two years!), but I’m seriously lusting after this khaki green one.

They always say April showers bring May flowers and my favourite are ranunculus. I haven’t planted any bulbs this year, but  I was considering giving tulips a chance. They would look amazing in these hexagonal vases from ferm living.

I am also dreaming of upping our coffee table game, with a colourful tray and beautiful crystals. I’ve already paid a visit to the Scratch Patch, but everything I fancied was unaffordable. I also really like this fringed chandelier and am planning on DIY-ing something similar.

And finally as this is my birthday month, I think a burger and cake party would be appropriate!

I am really looking forward to this month, cozying up on the couch and planning on making our home easier on the eye. Hope you have anamazing month!

Style Icon: Gwendoline Christie

Stellar performances in both GoT and Star Wars aside, Gwendoline Christie (perhaps better known to Game of Thrones fans as Brienne of Tarth) has recently been rocking the red carpet. It should come as no surprise considering she’s modelled for Vivienne Westwood and is dating designer Giles Deacon. Far from her on-stage androgynous looks, Gwendoline frequently favours more feminine pieces on the red carpet like the sequined Vivienne Westwoord wrap dress or monochromatic and fitted Oscar de La Renta at the Star Wars premiere.

Although her every day wardrobe is often characterised by somewhat eccentric accessories, she sticks to a neutral palette of metallics, creams, navy, black and white on the red carpet. Chameleon-like she shifts from feminine dresses and curled hair to structured pant suits and slicked-back hair, both with similar success.

I look forward to seeing her future red carpet appearances thanks to roles in the next Star Wars and Absolutely Fabulous.