New Year, New Goals

I am sure we hear ourselves say this at the start of every year.  If I think back about the start of last year, I wasn’t thinking goals, challenges, resolutions etc.  I was focused on one massive continent move.  We celebrated Christmas, went away to the Countryside with friends for a couple of days over New Years, had a whale of a time and kept everything as normal as possible until that little trip was over…. and then, the big pack up begun.  Everything after that was a bit of a blur and I certainly was not focused on the year ahead, other than surviving the next couple of months.  Last year for me was about getting through lots of “news”.  New town, new home, new schools, new people, new absolutely everything.  So whilst I did a bit of a spring clean when we packed up in London, I also held onto a lot in case I needed it.  After having been back in SA for 11 months now I am starting to realise what is needed and what is going to stay and what is going to go.  I have worn about 5% of my wardrobe in the past year, which for me is really sad but the new climate and much more casual style here means I simply cannot wear closed shoes, high heels or coats and wooly jumpers for many days of the year.   On the interior front, our rooms now are a lot more spacious than we had before so things like rugs and tables and decorative stuff all feel rather puny in the larger space and rugs are not filling the areas as they should.

Having said all of the above my goals for this year are about slowly fixing everything to suit our new lifestyle.  We have survived the past year, now we need to thrive! Im quite an impulsive person and sometimes a little hasty, so when I get a bee in my bonnet or the slightest inkling of a “go ahead” from my husband, Im on to it.  I currently have the flooring guys in, ripping up carpets and sanding parquet and wooden flooring (we’ve only been home for 3 days after a month away).  Once that is done, I will move onto the next phase of this project.  Slowly but surely we will start to renovate and redecorate our home, but first we need to have a proper plan in place (which we are still working on).  The other goal this year is to not buy a thing! Other than the necessities of course. There are always those: “this is the best lamp I have ever seen and there will never be another one like it” (how many times have we heard ourselves say that and a couple of months down the line…!?!).  I want to utilise as much of my current bit and bobs as possible and make my wardrobe really work for me, discover new outfits and clear out what is not being worn.  Same goes for the boys.  The toys, and any home decor. This year is all about de-cluttering and then figuring out what exactly we want to replace and what we need once we are back to a minimal of everything.  I want a blank canvas to work with for the next phase.

Here are a couple of inspirational pics of those perfect spaces I would like to create, from bathroom to living to utility.

Bathroom Organisation – order and colour co-ordination

Make- Up, Accessories & Sunglasses. I seem to get a lot more of it all every year (clearly the older I get the more I need although the less I actually seem to use)

Books and Clothing – you need to see them both to appreciate and use them, tucked away and unseen, they become useless and forgotten about.

Kids play – I have this exact kiddies kitchen and I promise it is impossible to keep this tidy but I guess that is a sign it’s actually loved and is used regularly.  As do we have this many, if not more animals but I love the way they are displayed on the shelf (that wouldn’t last either).

The perfectly set up Utility room.  My lovely cleaner would kiss me if we set this up for her.  She is a laundry fanatic, loves it and takes great care in washing and retaining clothing colour and shape (we have a lot in common).

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I will share any developments of the house and wardrobe with you here.  I will also promise to disclose anything bought that is not on the necessity list on my instagram page here, you have my word (basically a name and shame of myself, hopefully this will help to refrain from purchases).

I would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2017 filled with so much love and adventure!  And thank you so much for reading my blog.

X

 

J Crew Hit List

I have done a little round up of my current hit list at J Crew.

Round shaped navy sunglasses add both edge and class in one swift move.

This particular green has always been a favourite but I very rarely come across anything I really love in this colour.  This bag however, I adore!

Every summer Im after a new swimsuit and this year Im after a one piece. I have tons of bikinis and I like the option of a really lovely full costume, this one is so gorgeous and would be really flattering on the smaller busted ladies out there.

I love a bit of metallic, I also love a grey tee, so what’s not to love about this.

Jeans are a weakness of mine, I always figure you can never have too many and we all know how difficult it is to find the perfect pair, my advice would be when you do, buy in bulk! The relaxed fit, the wash, the distressed element, the straight leg, the cropped length (its always a must for me)

Now this pic does not do these shoes justice here, but they are the cutest, prettiest, happiest pair I have seen in a while.  From the block heel, to the bow, to the print, they are perfect for summer.  Wear them with jeans or to a formal occasion with a dress, they are the showstopper to your outfit so keep it simple!

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Sunglasses // Swimsuit // Fruity Shoes // Bag // Jeans // T Shirt

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PS sorry Southern Hemisphere friends about the location of this store, hopefully you have a very lovely someone to call upon for helping a gal out.  Finally one for my Northern Hem friends (if you’re headed for sunnier shores that is….)

Getting Crafty @ Christmas

Second Christmas post in two days and third in a week.  I’m not going to apologise as this is what Christmas is all about, getting festive, excitement, talking about it, thinking about it and generally just going a bit OTT, and potentially stressing about it (if you’re me and terribly disorganised this year). I have never been this disorganised for Christmas I’m ashamed to say. I’m always the one who’s done their shopping throughout the year and finished by October with a few more Christmassy additions to get in November ! Well this year I’m not. And I’ve been thinking all week “shit balls it is December on Thursday” but then forgetting about it again. So once again this afternoon whilst on the beach it dawned on me (for the 40th time this week) that December is now in fact upon us and amongst many things I haven’t sorted the advent calendar for my boys that I wanted to make.  Not being able to do a thing about it then and there I started racking my brain and said to my friend, I need a piece of plank, she looked at me wondering what the heck this woman is on about and then I explained. So when I got home I went in search of my plank, found a nice white painted piece lying in the store room, but sadly was not going to be big enough, continued my search and came across two pieces of framed canvases that I’d had lying around all year (as you do…not !)

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Bashing away in the laundry where I know my kids never seem to enter  

I decided these would be perfect for my base. Next, went rummaging through my Christmas box, (it’s a wonderful thing to have and saves all last minute projects like this one) I found my little pegs that I’d used for an advent calendar two years ago that I’d completely forgotten about. Grabbed some red and natural twine, hammered some nails into the wooden frame at the back, tied the twine on and clipped on my pegs. Now for the little gift bags and tomorrow’s gift (it’s 6pm) 🤔 I figured well I could make tomorrow’s out of wrapping paper (but I’m certainly not making 48 of them) so tomorrow I will need to squeeze in a dash to pick up some little bags.

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My little bags made from wrapping paper

And the gift, well I found a few sticker packs in my Christmas box so those will be tomorrow’s gifts. Phew 😅 advent calendar sorted in the nick of time. Now to fill the last 23 remaining bags 😬

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So I had to split the calendar across two boards, but it means when we depart for the beach cottage on the 10th I can ditch the first half – perfect, slightly less to pack! 

Tomorrow is Christmas biscuit baking day with friends and an old German gingerbread recipe.  And so the festive season begins!

Hope you all have a very Merry Festive Season 🎄

X

Great Gifts to Give

Giving gifts is always the most wonderful feeling, but giving something average or something that doesn’t necessarily have the person’s personality written all over it is not always as fun to watch.  I can’t bare giving a gift when I know its been a rushed purchase and not much thought has gone into it, I would rather wait longer until I find just the thing for them.

Sometimes you just have no clue, so here’s a list of lovely things to give, if you’re stuck…

Number 1 on my list may come as a surprise (unless you know me well, in which case it wont!) Rusks are my weakness, on a good day I will have 1.5, on a bad day up to 4 (eeek)!!! I would LOVE to receive this, what a great gift with a beautiful ceramic cookie jar to keep forever. Rusk Jar

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If you know someone who loves to cook and spends hours in the kitchen then this is the most beautiful apron I have ever seen and wouldn’t be ashamed to wear it out the house even – that’s how good it looks! Linen Apron

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We’re all so health conscious (or are supposed to be anyway) but we’re not all that good at knowing what to do about it or how to go about it.  Deliciously Ella is someone I have followed for years, when she first started writing about her illness and how the only cure for her was through healthy eating, I find it fascinating and inspiring how someone can be ill for so long and self heal through diet and a strong mind.  The ‘every day’ recipe book of hers is meant to be great and easy to follow (I have not used it yet) but a great gift to give to a health conscious friend who can or cannot cook. Deliciously Ella Every Day

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I’m not sure everyone’s as obsessed with lovely smelling candles as I am.  I love candles and they are usually quite pricey so not something one would just purchase on any given day (well not the good ones) a store I love to visit when I’m after a gift is L’Orangerie, their candles, soaps and bathroom products smell heavenly. L’Orangerie Candles

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Grandparents always love pictures of their grandchildren, finding a pretty frame that suits their interiors (or doesn’t) and filling it with a gorgeous pic is always a lovely idea. Leaf Print Frame

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For coffee lovers, I gave this to my husband for his birthday and I LOVE it (so does he ;)), it’s not a schlepp at all and the slightly longer time it takes to make than your normal coffee is worth every delicious sip. Bialetti Coffee Machine

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Plants are always a good choice too!  Snow Rose 

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Fill up a Glass Jar with home baked treats. Glass Jar

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Find a pretty, functional and less expensive basket and build a hamper, filled with nuts, wine, nougat, jam, homemade biscuits whatever you think the receiver may love! Basket

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Another great gift that would fit into any home no matter what the style are these beautifully crafted marble coasters that will last a lifetime, bringing a touch of elegance and glamour to the table.  Marble Coasters

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Happy Christmas shopping everyone, and it may be a good idea to forward this one onto husbands, dads, grandpa’s, boyfriends or just anyone clueless!

X

Christmas at Fenn + Ivy

If you live in Pietermaritzburg then you would have probably (in fact definitely) come across the lovely Fenn + Ivy store that stocks carefully handpicked and gorgeous clothing and accessories for both woman and children.   The best thing about this store (apart from it’s lovely owner & it’s contents) is the fact that it really doesn’t just take anything in, they only choose brands they love and believe in.  Im constantly ogling at their Instagram page.  So for those of you that aren’t lucky enough to pop in for purchases, you can email and order through their Facebook page, and they will deliver to your doorstep.

I have put together a Christmas wish-list of some of my favourite summer items from Fenn + Ivy (apparently my husband reads every blog post of mine so we will see ;)…I would love to receive any of the below, in no particular order apart from No.1!

These Harem style cropped trousers are the best of both, casually cool, easy to dress up or look super relaxed in.

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If you have been following my blog you will know Im a basket fanatic, this classic basket style with leather straps is the ultimate basket for me, I love the simplicity of this with a touch of modernity in the tassel (although I probably don’t need another basket, if you don’t have one, its essential!)

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Its criminal not to have some form of small pouch to put your small things in rather than throwing them loose into a basket (if you want to save yourself a total breakdown whilst searching for your keys in a rush), and of course that pouch also needs to look good.  Love the contrasting blue zip and lining.

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These stylish beach hats are the perfect way to keep the sun off your face and look amazing all at once, I can imagine this sitting atop a beautiful head of hair and a pair of oversized sunnies peeking out from underneath. (THIS IS THE HAT THAT CAN BE WON!!) SEE BELOW FOR COMPETITION DETAILS !

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This in fact would have to be one of my top 3 items, this stunning design not only looks good used as a sarong but can be used as a towel, it dries incredibly well, is nice and big to lie on at the beach and then thin enough to tie around yourself as a cover up.

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If we’re being picky about our colour co-ordination then this little trio is the perfect way to accessorise on or off the beach, I can imagine this lot strolling down the promenade, sailing on a yacht, or going out for lunch.  I love a touch of black in summer!

And last but not least, how could one possibly leave either of these two beauties off a Christmas Wish-list

COMPETITION DETAILS: In order to stand a chance to win the beautiful sun hat, item n0.4 on my wish-list, you need to follow these simple steps.

  1. Like this post (bottom of the page)
  2. Follow the Fenn + Ivy Instagram account and facebook page
  3. Follow my Instagram account and facebook page 
  4. Then email me through this page or any form of my social media accounts to say you have done all steps so I can add you to the hat of winning this glamorous hat that will suit absolutely anyone and everyone.
  5. IF you are following all these accounts already then just send me an email.

Good Luck!

X

 

Must Have Summer Sandals

 

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You know how our Grandparents love to say “they don’t make things like they did in the old days”? Well Salterwater sandals proves exactly how well things were made in the old days and luckily for us they are still making them just as well. These sandals are true testament to how well things were made in the old days.  These classic sandals which have been a staple in America for over 70 years, now being spotted on a number of celebrities and their children, from Sienna Miller and Alexa Chung to Romy Mars and Ruby Maguire.  If the comfort and hardiness of this sandal aren’t enough to get you hooked, then surely their celebrity status is.

I was emailed by a stockist in SA and asked if I knew the brand and would I try a pair out for them, I was so excited and jumped at the opportunity.  Having been in the UK where they are very popular and have been for some time, I certainly did know the brand and I’m delighted to now be the owner of a pale gold pair.  Whilst I knew of the shoe, I had not tried them on before, neither did I know much about the brand, I read up about them and have realised just how amazing these sandals are.  It has made me want to write an essay on these quality little gems but I won’t do that to you, however I do want to share the highlights of these sandals with you:

The buckles are rust proof!

They can be thrown in the washing machine

You can run through the sand and sea in them (the leather is water resistant and the buckles are rust proof!) Making them the perfect sandal for wet or dry conditions.

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They mould to your feet after repeated wear (meaning these sandals are made for absolutely any activity)

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They have an array of colours to choose from

They have a kids range, so you can have matching sandals to your kiddies 🙂

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If you haven’t got yourself a pair for this summer, do yourself a favour, find your local stockist or order a pair online! Tip: they are quite a small fit, so if you are a half size, then go up to the next size.

Have a great week everyone and lets hope summer arrives soon!

X

Simple Christmas Decorating

I can’t quite get my head around the fact that the start of the Christmas season is only about 2.5 weeks away.  I actually don’t feel like thinking about all that needs to be done before we head off on our holidays.  This year I am going rustic and minimalist.  Reasons being; I love the minimalist christmas theme, tress with very sparse decor.  I’m too lazy to go all out (or just don’t have time) and we’re going to be in 3 different places from 1st December to 6th Jan (when all the decorations need to come down – if you’re a traditionalist) so the less I have to put up and take down again, the better.  I also have a lot of white decorations which will fit into our summer Christmas perfectly, it feels quite beachy I think. So here’s what Im thinking:

Firstly, I am definitely going to attempt this simple Garland. Click here for instructions.screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-10-22-29

I don’t want too much glitz on my tree or anywhere in my home, I want everything to be simple with no fuss, here are some trees that Im loving the look of …

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I love all the white wrapping in the baskets!

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I have already bought my wrapping paper for the children’s presents (pic below), this had to be done when I was in London at The White Company, just couldn’t resist! Im literally going to be covering my eyes when I watch them rip open the beautiful paper 😉

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And to complement this I think I will wrap the adults in plain white paper with raffia and sprigs of Christmas tree leaves that have fallen off.

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And that’s my simple Christmas! Now to find the perfect little tree.

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