Must Have Summer Sandals

 

sandals

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.

X

 

 

Holiday Season Clutch Bags

The clutch bag has its pro’s and cons but it really can take an outfit from plain and simple to the next level of interesting and fashionable.  I love the way it can add so much colour and statement to an outfit without being overpowering.  Its usually the perfect size for just your phone, keys and a wallet and it’s light to cart around.  Down side I would say is when you’re at a party, you have a glass of Champagne in one hand, your clutch in the other and then you are completely tied up when you are introduced to someone so cant shake their hand.  I quite like having one hand free at all times to put into a pocket (instant relaxant) or pick at the canapés (as one does).  When I’m on a trip away from the children I always pack clutch bags, its always the best time to utilise them, you also don’t want extra baggage in the way of hand bags as you would normally need.  I used my Leopard print clutch bag throughout the day and night to add that bit of pop to my outfits, unless I was working, then it was a cross body bag all the way for me (frees the hands up completely).

Here are some fun clutch bags to add to your wardrobe selection, holiday season is always the time to invest in these pieces as there are more lunches, dinners, drinks to go to and another great pro is that if you keep your wallet and keys in your clutch, you can then chuck the entire thing into your bigger travel or beach bag for ease of searching for smaller items.

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Leopard Print fold-over as link above

A metallic bag is great for evenings and weddings and goes with almost anything

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Metallic Scalloped Edge Clutch

Hop onboard the velvet, embroidered floral and teal trend with this beautifully finished off evening bag.  I love the mixture of colours here, this would look absolutely gorgeous with a pale pink or red dress.

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Teal Velvet Clutch

This one is pretty versatile, it’s as easy to throw into your beach bag without worrying about it as it is to wear out in the evening. A real beach to bar bag.

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Textured Clutch Bag

A Black Evening Bag is essential for the wardrobe, so I would suggest finding one that is classic and good quality that will last.

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Leather large Clutch Bag

Another fun summer clutch that will add style to your look.  Easy to wear with denim shorts and slides or pair it up with a formal dress to take to a wedding, the character of the bag will enhance the elegance of a formal dress to make the outfit interesting.

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Woven colourful clutch

A nude bag is always handy for all occasions so again investing in a classic simple style is a good idea.  I adore this one, with the added bonus of three separate pockets, allowing for that little extra space and versatility.

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Nude Clutch with tassel

This one being leather means its going to last longer and probably a bit more versatile, I would totally carry this one around during the day, with the handy wrist strap attached.

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Striped Leather Clutch 

There are so many out there to choose from, ensure you have two classic styles in neutral colours and then a couple less expensive fun ones to change through the seasons.  Clutch bags have really gone wacky so don’t be shy when choosing.

And as always I love to share some inspirational pics just to show you what it can do for an outfit.  Happy Shopping

X

Pics via Pinterest

Time Out

Time Out – not in the punishment sense but in the mummy sense!  Im not a mummy blogger (well, Im a mummy and I blog occasionally) but I don’t blog about kids and mum stuff.  Hats off to those that do, I think it must be one of the hardest pieces of advice to give with everyone being so different, so judgemental and just different people leading such different lives and dealing with such different personalities.  Anyway as some of you know or may have gathered I recently took a little trip to London for a week, this was to see some of my clients and I’m happy to say I got a fair amount of work done!  And to also catch up with some very dear friends that I miss terribly.  I was away from my kids and husband for 10 nights with all the travelling time I was only in London for 7 days.  I sometimes wonder if there are people that judge that sort of travel away from small children.  Whilst people pretend its awesome, they’re secretly thinking in their head “I cant believe she left her kids for 10 days”.  I know most of my friends definitely do NOT think that, they all know about healthy breaks away but there are always those that probably do judge (and who cares, that’s life I guess).  Well I have to say it was THE most refreshing and inspiring time away and exactly what I needed.  I came back with a new perspective on work, energy to put into my kids and a healthy break from my husband (you know all that, absence makes the heart grow fonder malarkey, well its true). I missed everyone profusely and had my guilty moments but having come back feeling like I have a new lease on life is a very welcome feeling.

My first two days away from the boys were probably the hardest and while I thought by the end of the week I would literally be crying for them, I was actually enjoying my time away and not too sad as time got closer to being with them again, it all felt ok.  It also helped that my time was jam packed so it went really fast.

I also know that not everyone is fortunate enough to have the support around them to leave their kiddies for a trip away.  I have to say the biggest thank you has to go to my wonderful parents who are always so happy to have our children and not only take good care of them but really show them the best time, its like a holiday for my kids, they adore my parents and just love being around them, so I have the luxury of knowing that I don’t really need to worry.  They don’t only take our boys but are happy to take our two puppies on board too (crazy people😉  Their cousins are also just down the road, so they spend hours playing outdoors and Oliver has told me long stories about what they have done, even the most simplest of things for instance, the thorns that he and Adam got in their feet and Thamkhulu pulled them out for them.  I don’t even know who Thamkhulu is but I just love learning all these new things that they have done and experienced whilst Ive been away.

I must now confess that I have no idea what this post is really about, I’m certainly not trying to give advice, its not gloating about time away, it’s not really inspirational for anyone, but it was just at the forefront of my mind today and I thought I may as well write whilst Im feeling inspired😉

If you have ever worried about leaving your children for a couple of nights, I can honestly say you are doing both them and yourself the world of good, you will return with energy and rearing to go.  The non stop cuddles on return alone, are worth the time spent away😉  If you aren’t able to get away for a night then even a few hours, reading a magazine, getting a pedicure or literally just hanging out in a cafe, time to oneself is so important.  There’s something incredible about walking out with a phone and a wallet and absolutely nothing else.  DO IT!

And this is us, straight back into the crazy antics post bath time.  Trying to dress my toddler whilst being tugged by my eldest (who’s actually trying to help me pull Adam back up the stairs !?!?), this is just one of the crazy fun times and many challenges I face with these kiddies on a daily basis and just adore every minute of it (even more now that Im so grateful to be back with them).

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Hope you all have a fab week (with a moment to yourself at some point)

X

PS you see, two posts in two days – winning!!

The Season to Shine

No matter where you reside in this world Christmas is always a time filled with fairy lights, champagne/sparkling wine, evenings out, and general festive cheer and it’s certainly a time to dress slightly more extravagantly than you normally would.  If your’e in a warm country, a sequin skirt with a plain t-shirt or a sequinned t-shirt and jeans/shorts can be a great summer way to wear sparkly garments.  In winter long or 3/4 sleeved sequin tops are great with black trousers/jeans and sequin dresses with tights under a wool coat are fab for Christmas parties and dinners.  Ive searched the online retail sector available to us and found some of my favourite sparkly items to help you lift your sparkle game this season.

I love the way a Sequin t-shirt subtly picks up the light and shows off a hint of sparkle every now and then.  I would pair these T’s with a pair of cut off blue jeans and a pair of statement earrings H&M

This sequin t-shirt would look great whilst on the beach in the evening for drinks or a boat perhaps.  Wear with white on the bottom for a real summer vibe, put the hair up into a top not and wear some heavy jewellery around the wrists and rings. Zara

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I have a top very similar to this and just love it for a winter christmas party.  Its such a statement and it’s warm too.  Wear this with leather leggings, skinny jeans or even tailored trousers for a more polished and sophisticated look.  Keep the accessories to a minimum.  Zara

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I love this dress for a winter evening.  I would totally layer it as the picture with a long sleeved top underneath, but with opaque leggings and ankle boots.  Ensure the coat you wear over is long enough to cover the bottom of the dress and left open in front for the sparkle to shine through as you walk. A small simple clutch bag in a metallic leather would be a great addition to this dress too.  Zara

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I love this brightly coloured sequin top, great for winter or summer.  Because it is quite boxy and a short length it would look good with a fitted skirt or pants.  I would love to dress this down with relaxed jeans and sneakers for a pub lunch or a slightly more casual function.  Mango

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I bought a Navy sequin skirt a while ago, and whilst I ware it very seldom I am so glad I bought it.  I wore it to a casual dinner at home a few weeks ago and my guests all commented on my skirt.  As not to look to dressy I wore it with a grey linen T and barefoot (it was a warm evening).  A sequin skirt would look as good with a pair of strappy heeled sandals as it would with simple sneakers. In winter wear it with a chunky knit jumper. Mango

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If you’re a bit reluctant to go the sequin route, go for something subtle like a scarf with sequins.  Mango

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But whatever your thoughts, if your’e wanting to try this sparkly look, December is the time to do it!

Happy Shopping

X

Pics via Pinterest or website as stated.

A Summer Trend you cannot miss!

Tassels, tassels, more tassels and pom-poms! They can be spotted everywhere, from bags, to earrings, to skirt hems.  This trend is out in force and luckily for all (if you’re a fan of a trend that is) everyone can pull off a tassel (or a pom-pom) in one way or another.

Tassels and Pom-poms on a beach bag, sandals or accessories will suit everyone, hanging off the bottom of your trousers or a mini skirt probably won’t.  This trend is not so much body or age specific but more personality specific.  If you do love a tassel or a pom-pom there are so many ways to incorporate them into your wardrobe that are completely inexpensive, you won’t mind having to throw them out come the following season when they’ve had their time.  And if you don’t want to wear them then your cushions can.  But if you do, then here are some ideas of how to do it the right way.

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Living with your head in the sand and need help on where to find them? H&M have great accessories from earrings to necklaces to clutch bags all adorned with tassels and pom-poms, inexpensive and colourful they’re a great one stop for all, including your scatter cushions. They have a wonderful range of home wares of which the scatters have many a pom-pom swinging off the corners.  Country Road do tank tops and dresses with pom-poms down the side seams and hems, they look cute but do seem more on the beachy side.  Woolworths have some lovely boho style blouses with tassel ties around the neck and Zara brought out the pom-pom and tassel multi coloured strappy, tie on sandal (as above). Pretty much the sandal with all the bells and whistles if you can say that.

(I could have said, have a tasselly Tuesday, but that would have been way too cheesy ;))

X

The Blondes behind Simply Home

A couple of months ago, I had just arrived back in SA and was so overwhelmed by the amount of entrepreneurs this country is churning out.  There is so much incredible talent, driven by hard working creative people (many of which are in their 30’s with small children in tow), doing all sorts of amazing things.  Two of those happen to be the brilliant blondes behind the brand Simply Home, who’s concept translated into their product launch last November and has soared.

They bring us locally produced home décor that is ethically sourced, using home grown raw materials. Locally made furniture encourages job creation. This is the optimal modern day business model in South Africa.

Any of us with a bit of a conscience are all about preserving our planet and working locally. Ethically produced goods is one of the many reason’s I love Simply Home!

So who is behind Simply Home? Co-owners Lindsay Lloyd, who founded Simply Child 8 years ago, and Leigh Cattell who comes from a fashion retail background. Together they bring us contemporary, neutral décor with a Scandinavian touch, the minimalist look that is plaguing Pinterest. These great friends were born and bred in Cape Town but only met in London, where they lived together.

Leigh, whom I’ve known for over a decade, welcomes me with the loveliest smile that everyone who knows her will recognize. Her beautifully-styled home instantaneously makes me ogle at everything.  Leigh shares her stunning abode with husband, Andrew and their little girl, Sophie. As I walk through the front door I’m introduced to the equally bubbly and gorgeous Lindsay, who is hard at work, putting together all the furniture pieces; a DIY diva!

Leigh’s home exudes notions of the seaside. Showcasing different textures and styles in her open plan home provides a feeling of serenity. The use of neutral hues, splashes of grey and turquoise, express their love of the ocean. Leigh describes what makes a home warm. “A place that is comfortable, it needs to be lived in, we can’t be precious about expensive pieces, a home needs to be enjoyed and used.”

I never got the chance to see Lindsay’s home that she shares with her husband,d Grant and their two little boys near Kirstenbosch. I have no doubt it’s full of character and would be a wonderful expression of her energetic and creative spirit.  Whilst Lindsay is happiest in overalls at the Workshop, building, bashing and getting dirty, Leigh prefers a slightly ‘dressier’ role; client facing and sales liaison. They are both equally involved in all areas of the business, however I noticed that they each naturally gravitate towards their area of expertise. Lindsay says when her mind runs wild and she’s bringing too many new product ideas to the table, Leigh reigns her in and helps her focus on just a few designs at a time. They are currently aiming to launch up to three new products per month.

How do they come up with their ideas? They follow international trends, and Grant makes all the sample ranges. “Ultimately he would like to be involved doing this full time too.” Grant has been instrumental in their business as he was the original carpenter for Simply Home, building everything with his tools from scratch after work and on weekends.  They have now employed a full time carpenter and handy man at their workshop. This frees up some time for Grant, and Lindsay and Leigh are able to focus more on customer relations, marketing and everything else that comes with running your own business.

When asked what the future holds for Simply Home they both answer: “We want to grow Simply Home into exporting flat pack furniture.” Their Furniture pieces are most popular and of course with the weak Rand, exporting is definitely the route to go.  They are both so passionate about their products. They take pride in making exclusive products, nothing is mass produced. They take a concept and develop it from scratch, putting in hours of intensive thought and manual labour until they reach perfection.

How have they overcome the challenges of online shopping in South Africa? “Online shopping has completely done a 180 in the last year, the confidence of the SA people has increased and they now have faith in online shopping.”

These two brains together are a force to be reckoned with. Finishing each others sentences and laughing all the way, they are set for success!

Whilst I knew I loved the products from their website, having spent an hour eating biscuits (that was me) and drinking coffee with this fun duo, I am smitten. Having seen, felt and tested some of the stylish range first hand, I have shared some of my favourite pieces with you (click on links for product details). Quit ogling and get ordering!! http://simplyhome.co.za

Lindsay and Leigh’s Cape Town

Bakhoven beach with kids

Langebaan with the family (Leigh)

Kirstenbosch gardens with the boys (Lindsay)

Child free Dinners in Kloof Street

Leather Strap Wall Shelf

Round Wall Hook // Belly Baskets

Childrens clothes rail

Marble Collection