I’ve been absent from the blog for the majority of the year, but I’ve been itching to get back at it. Initially I had a lack of inspiration. Then in May we bought a house, which we hope will be our forever home, but it has ended up taking A LOT of our time. Now I have more than enough ideas to share, but feel like there isn’t enough hours in a day.
I want to preface this by saying that I know that we are incredibly fortunate to be in a position where we could purchase a property. I feel incredibly lucky and appreciate that this isn’t something within everyone’s means. In saying that it also wasn’t easy, we saved for several years and the bank still owns the majority of the house. We’ve also sold our old property privately. But if all goes according to plan, in twenty to thirty long years it will be ours and will be almost unrecognisable.
Looking for something fun and easy to do this Easter? I’ve got you covered with the ultimate in sweet treats – Easter egg chocolate bark! This is a great way to use up the last bit of Easter candies or, as was the case for me, a good excuse to stock up on some of your favourites! I’d like to say that this recipe is fool proof, but unfortunately you do run the very real risk of finishing the ingredients off before they make their way into the melted chocolate! If you managed to keep your taste buds under control though, you’re good to go! I would venture to say that this is even a good one to keep the kiddo’s busy (under supervision of course!) and of course you can customise this to include some of your personal favourites, these just happen to be mine.
I recently found myself on the hunt for the perfect slouchy black tee, as summer is around the corner and all that. I bought one last year from Mr Price and found myself constantly grabbing it from the washing line, before it was even properly dry, so knew I wanted to invest in at least one more. I don’t like spending a tonne of money on these as they often need replacing, so kept them all under the R200 mark. Below you’ll find some really unflattering pics of me and my review of each that might save you some time should you also be on the hunt for the perfect basic tee.
I usually start off with one of my year-round essentials for great cuticles – a good cuticle oil. I’ve used and liked this one from the Body Shop before (the smell is heavenly!) but whilst this one from Sally Hansen isn’t as convenient it is just such better value. Regular application keeps my cuticles from becoming dry and white, making it easy to keep them at bay.
I usually follow this up with a thinner Vitamin E-based hand cream. Something like the cult classic from Vaseline usually does the job. It just immediately soothes and gets absorbed, leaving my hands feeling wonderfully soft. I’ll often pop something like this on during the day as well as it doesn’t leave my hands feeling greasy and it isn’t gross to touch anything afterwards.
One of my biggest design problems, and one that some of you hopefully share lest we be the only dreary and drab ones, is with regards to the introduction of colour into our home. I blame it on one too many sensible purchases and the fact that I love grey it is one of the few colours my husband agrees on (why couldn’t it be blush pink!). Anyhow sometime last year I realised that our home basically reads like a paint strip going from white to black with all the shades of grey in between.
And whilst I love monochrome homes, it simply wasn’t something we were aiming for and a well curated black-and-white home requires more restraint than we had applied. So in my attempt to make our home feel more well rounded and slightly more colourful, I’ve found three ways to introduce colour into a space.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11
I don’t know what it is about May, but I always seem to have a longer-than-usual wishlist around this time of the year. Maybe it is the new stock that makes its way into the shops due to the change in seasons or perhaps its just simply the birthday mood that gets me. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely won’t be adding everything above to cart and checking out. For me, it’s more about the growing online wishlist. Knowing there is a safe spot where I can keep an eye on everything that has drawn my attention. Some of these items aren’t even perfect (I’m looking for a smaller purse and have already bought these PJs which are similar but better than the ones above).
I really like the idea of a capsule wardrobe, as it perfectly encapsulates the wardrobe philosophy I’ve had my whole life. Buying less clothing with the intent to wear it often just seems to make so much more sense to me than having a tonne of trendy items you’ll wear once. I also like having a smaller, more edited closet, as it makes it easier to get dressed in the mornings. So the whole capsule wardrobe trends makes me one happy chappy!
But the only thing that bugs me is that so many bloggers seem to promote this as justification for making crazy expensive designer purchases. Obviously that is their perogative and I do appreciate looking at a pretty designer bag, but it needs to be said that you can create a perfect capsule wardrobe on any budget. So if you’ve never done a capsule wardrobe or are just interested to see how I do mine on a strict budget, find out below.
I love all things Italian, especially food. Crusty breads, warm pizzas and creamy pastas are just a few of many things that I dream about. Whilst there is nothing inherently wrong with a traditional carbonara, I love this lighter varient that was born when I combined two of my faves (alfredo and carbonara) with some fresh herbs. I think some of the best recipes can be born out of need. In this instance I simply didn’t have enough cream left over for a alfredo sauce and since then I’ve purposefully recreated this recipe a few times as we love the intense flavours and lighter sauce. If the raw egg in a traditional carbonara worries you, then read on to see how I make myself feel better about it.
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.
I am over the moon to finally publish my first blogpost on Shopgirl’s new home! I’ve been thinking about self-hosting for far too long and as we’re approaching Shopgirl’s fourth birthday this year, I’ve decided it is time!
Please bear with me as I am still dealing with a few teething issues and working my way up the steep learning curve of self-hosting. Thank you for all the support over the years, I look forward to sharing many more!