My Top 5 Favourite Products for Reusable Containers

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Lisianthus and ranuncula

The saying that “It’s what’s inside that counts” really rings true when it comes to grocery shopping, but today’s post might just shift your focus to pay a little more attention to the packaging. I’m sharing my top five products to buy in the grocery aisle, not just for their awesome content, but also for its awesome storage potential! The packaging of products we finish often end up on landfils, so upcycling this really is a great way to spare the environment. Plus scoring awesome containers – practically for free – is just the icing on the cake!

Flowers and copper candle on magazines.

 

Mrs Balls Chutney
Such a classic in any South African’s kitchen, we go through this chutney on a monthly basis! I use this mainly as a bud vase for long-stem flowers, but you could store home-made cordials, ice teas or homemade condiments in here. Fair warning though, the labels are tricky to remove!
Nailpolish storage

Ferrero Rocher
I’ve been storing my nail polish and other manicure essentials in these handy lucite containers for years. They are the perfect size for a 2×5 nail polish arrangement and you can use them both with and without the lids. Just another reason to add this delicious treat to your Christmas wish list!
Airtight glass containers

Douwe Egberts Coffee
Now I don’t have nearly enough of these yet, but I am slowly but surely building up a collection. These airtight glass jars are the perfect size for finer grains and things like ground coffee. Investing in glass airtight containers could cost you a fortune, now it will only cost you a caffeine high! I think stick-on chalkboard labels would be a really chic solution for important info like expiration dates.
Bonne Maman preserve

Bonne Maman
Just as versatile as the ever-famous Dipytique candles, Bonne Maman jars are equally Instagrammable. There is just something about that faceted glass and delicate label! I like to use mine for storing canned preserves, but you could just as easily display make-up brushes, candles or posies in it.
Beauty essentials

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
This an awesome affordable alternative to other choc-hazelnut spreads that I stock up on at Checkers (for only R23!) The best part is that I never get sad when I finish a pot – partially because I’ll have a back-up ready but also because I love the containers. They are very similar to empty candle jars and are the perfect size for cotton buds and wool pads. You could of course also melt down candles into the empty jars.

Which containers do you end up repurposing and what do you use them for? I’d love to know.

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Life Hacks

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Often it is the small things in life that gets us down, like not being able to find your ringing phone between all the slips in your bag. So to prevent a mini breakdown, I’ve found implementing these easy tricks really makes life simpler. Now if only there was a way to make it easier…
1. Store your socks in pairs
This trick wasn’t the easiest for me to addopt, but eventually Ryno convinced me that it is worth the few extra minutes spent sorting the laundry. Besides saving on time when searching for socks and knowing that you’ll always wear a matching pair, I also find that it helps me track down missing socks before the washing machine has a feast.

 

2. Buy in bulk

Think of what you are always using, especially things like cleaning products that don’t have an expiry date, and stock up when it is on sale. No one has every bought too much toiletpaper!

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3. Keep everything you need when leaving the house by your keys

There are two spots in the house that I always check before leaving: the wall hooks where I keep my bags and jackets and the shelf where we keep our keys. This is also where I drop my phone and lunchbox before leaving for work each morning, which helps me ensure I leave nothing behind. Designating one or two areas where you drop and pick-up everything before leaving is essential to staying on top of things, even when you’re leaving at 04h00 for that business trip.

4. Dry clothes on hangers

This might seem obvious to you, but it wasn’t until a friend suggested it to me that my ironing life became so much simpler. Now the clothes are already stored on hangers (no need to go in search of them) and the creases are reduced ever so slightly.

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5. Add to your shopping list as you finish things

I keep two lists, one on my phone (to which only I add) and then one on the fridge to which my husband can also add. I try to update my phone list from the one on the fridge before going out shopping, but often I just remember what has been written on there. This prevents hubby from finishing the milk without me knowing or forgetting that I opened the last toothpaste.

6. Have snacks handy

I like to keep a loaf of fresh rye in the freezer (not everyone’s cup of tea, but it works for us) as well as a few avos and eggs on hand. So when hunger strikes or I realise that there is no leftovers for lunch, I have something quick and fairly healthy to grab to prevent me becoming hangry or overindulging in crisps. We also try to keep snack bars, drinking yoghurt and dried fruit on hand. These unfortunately don’t always survive the wait…

7. Save a list of fool-proof meals on your phone

Cookbooks are nice for inspiration, but when I am meal planning for the weekdays I like to fall back on my tried and trusted recipes. Thing is, I often find myself stuck – which is where my list of “Astrid” recipes come in handy. Think lasagne, chicken pie, beef pie, spagetthi, bacon carbonara, chicken wraps, etc. This is my go-to reference and I have over 30 dishes named and saved. So there is no recipe involved and no excuse to repeat the same meal each week!

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8. Store travel mini’s and mini containers in one easy-to-grab spot

Ryno and I both hoard our travel minis in one bag, making it easy to quickly grab what we need before heading out. Whereas previously we might have wasted  a lot of time decanting things and ignored the minis provided in hotels, we now keep everything ready for impromptu trips.

9. Keep a plastic bag in the car

The only way I am able to prevent my whole car from turning into a rubish bin is by having a bag handy. As I am always carrying a shed-load of stuff to and from the car, the chances of me emptying my car on a daily basis is slim. This way I empty the car once a week and have everything in a small bag instead of scattered around the car.

10. Use spare minutes to clear your phone & bag

Whenever I am wasting time in line or waiting somewhere, I like to take a few minutes to sort through my phone and my handbag. I like to sort through the image gallery on my phone and have created multiple albums. I also take this time to delete old texts and emails.

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11. Check traffic on your phone before departing

This is another useful tip I’ve picked up from my husband as this could potentially save you hours! Not all accidents will be indicated, but the bigger traffic jams should show.

12. Schedule monthly to-do’s in advance

Indicating when you need to flea dip the cat and feed the roses etc will help you stay on top of things. I find if I don’t do this and set reminders on my phone, I’ll get panicky a few weeks later and won’t be able to keep up a regular schedule.

I would love to know which life hacks you implement to make things a little simpler. Please share you tips in the comments.
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My Top 10 Home Stores in Cape Town

20160520_162359_1471208149368So as you guys might know, Ryno and I have been in our first home for just over a year now. And I have to admit, I love decorating it but am nowhere near done! Whilst we don’t own everything that we want yet, we have a pretty good idea of where to find it when our ship comes in. So I thought I’d share my favourite home stores where we get everything from the perfect white sheets to inspiration (and leave dreaming about winning the lottery).  So without further adieu, here are the top ten spots you just have to pop in to when dreaming up your perfect home.

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LA Girl Pro BB Cream Review

DSC_4045So I finally broke down of six months (yup, that was half a year!) and started wearing foundation again. I blame the cold winter air for drying out my skin and making it look extra blotchy and red. I remember looking into the bathroom mirror one day at work and rushing over to the MAC counter during lunch just to get something on my face, I was that embarassed!

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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.

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Life Update

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I 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! 

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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