Summer Essentials

I haven’t quite digested the fact that December is 1 day away.  Its such a cliche but every year goes faster and every year Im less organised by the time December comes around.  I think as soon as your children get to school going age, life becomes a bit more hectic not only having your own diary but all of a sudden you have another person’s schedule to consider.  In saying that I am not ready, I am still so excited for the holiday’s to arrive and for schools to break up so we can all wind down and enjoy some well deserved relaxation.   Once holidays begin, the last thing I want to do is have to pack up a ton of stuff to lug to our holiday destination (although some stuff can’t be avoided) the less there is to cart the less stress around the big trek.  Some summer essentials that are pretty much always on my list below are not only things I love and I’m sure loved by many others, but also a good little gift guide.  The odd thing on the list changes from one year to the next but generally Im getting into a habit of always going back to what works for me.  Here’s a small collection of what I WONT leave behind, these bits along with swimsuits, beach wear and the odd dress is all that I will be packing.

I love a Moleskine notebook and have carried one every year for about the last 5 years, ever since my husband bought me one as a gift and have loved them ever since.  I always go with the small pocket size so it fits into any handbag.  This is essential for all the list making: Shopping lists, present lists, packing lists, meal ideas, furniture measurements, bank details, you name it, it’s all in there.  I wouldn’t remember a thing without it!  I was very excited to see them for sale in South Africa at Exclusive Books and then even more thrilled when I googled it and they have an online store in SA with tons of wonderful products to choose from here

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Next on that list (in that Moleskine) would be sunblock.  I still have this UltraSun anti ageing for sensitive skin for the face which I use mostly but I have also recently been introduced to Cetaphil which is also wonderfully moisturising without being greasy.  Both UltraSun and Cetaphil are fantastic for children too.  Cetaphil is widely available in SA but I have not yet come across UltraSun

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From here on it’s in no particular order.  I find my hair does bizarre things when moving around, the water is always softer or harder, less chemicals, more chemicals, salty or full of limescale, wherever one goes, who knows what it’s going to come out looking like after a wash.  Mine quite often goes very soft when washed near the seaside so something to give it a bit of texture (apart from a dive into the sea) is EVO, it is essential for a half decent head of hair.  I was introduced to this little bottle of miracle powder about 1.5 years ago and couldn’t imagine hair days without it.  EVO gives your hair a feeling of dirtyness once applied (whilst still looking wonderfully clean) but it means you can manipulate your hair that much more to do what you need it to.  This along with some Oribe texturising spray will be packed before I even pack a brush!

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It’s always lovely to have nails painted in a colour that will compliment a tan, I love white in summer, it goes with all the outfits and enhances even the slightest of tans.  There are tons of good nail varnishes out there to choose from but I do love Essie

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Laura Mercier has been my go to foundation for many years, I have always loved their tinted moisturiser and its so perfect for holidays, very subtle. a low coverage that gives a natural and fresh finish.  A lovely new Skin Care store recently opened in Sandton called Skins Cosmetics, selling Laura Mercier amongst other great products, unfortunately I cannot find my product online but hopefully they have it in store!

As the days go by and the tans darken, it’s great to have a bronzer to get your face up to speed with the rest of your body.  And if you prefer not to tan then its nice to have a little colour to add on anyway.  The Chanel Healthy Glow powder comes in a few shades.  Chanel is another favourite when it comes to make-up and this fantastic bronzer can be built up depending on the intensity of the colour you wish to achieve.

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Highlighters are great for evening when you want to add extra definition and a healthy glow to your face.  I’ve always used cream illuminating products but this MAC powder is brilliant if you want to minimise oil on your face.  During summer with all the sunblock, and hydrating creams I find to add more cream to my face can just make me look like Ive got an oily skin and makeup tends to slide off quicker the more moisture I add.  I like to add the highlighter just above my cheekbones and brow bones (below and above). Im no beauty guru but that’s just what I have always done.

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Lips also need continuous hydrating, finishing off the face naturally with a soft dewy lipstick can perfect the summer natural look.  I prefer a lighter colour and have used a super hydrating Laura Mercier lipstick called Angelic for some time but was recently given the most luxurious feeling lipstick by a friend, which is Givenchy Nude in the Dark.  (colour not available online in SA)
Screenshot 2017-11-29 19.13.10From all the barefoot walking, coarse sand and sandal wearing the feet can become hard and cracked quickly so keeping them moisturised with foot specific cream is the cherry on top after a hot soak in a bath.  This award winning beauty product from L’Occitane is always on holiday with me.

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Fragrance is not something I wear a lot of and anything strong makes me feel nauseas so discovering Byredo was a God send.  Not something you find in your typical Beauty department its only sold in certain stores but worth the search and pennies! Perfect for day and night.

Earrings as you would have heard me say before, small accessories to pack with large impact on the overall look.  Its the easiest hack to add glamour, colour or interest to a simple outfit.  Splurge out on bright colours for summer.  Great spots for accessories that will last the season and wont break the bank are H&M, Lovisa, Lulu Belle and then there are always stacks of little boutiques around SA selling local products that are not only world class when it comes to quality and style but also just so good to support local.

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Then last but not least a December essential, from throwing in all your bitty pieces that you don’t know where to pack, to using at the market, beach or trips to town the Woven Green Roundie is a summer must have!

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So that is my round up. Wishing you all a very happy festive season, travel safe and I will hopefully be a little more active on my site next year.  Thanks for following! Xx

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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

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

 

Gift Wishlist (Men take note)

If you are like the majority of the population out there you most probably have not finished your Christmas shopping, or even started it for that matter.  I find most publications get their christmas lists out way too early, because people read them, think they are great and then totally forget about what they had seen and have to start the search again….alone! So here is another wishlist that I have put together, this one is for the men to take note of for their ladies, mums, sisters etc…As it’s a little closer to the shopping dash madness hopefully you will bear these ideas in mind when running around like a headless chicken, or better yet, shop them directly from here by clicking on the links below.

It really does pay off to be organised, I must say I like nothing more than giving a gift that I have put thought into and that I am almost 100% certain the receiver is going to LOVE and I despise giving a gift that I have grabbed just for the sake of it and am almost embarrassed to give because no thought has been put into it and I find that is when you end up throwing more money at the situation.

From Red and Green to Metallic and Greys, there’s a colour scheme below to suit anyone out there.

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Faux Fur jacket //  Photo Frame // Pom Pom Basket // Earrings // Toiletry Bag // Matches in a jar

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Velvet Lace-up shoes // Leather cross body bag // Velvet slippers //  Cocktail Ring // Sequin bomber jacket

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Earrings // Nail polish  // Sweater with floral detail // Velvet Bodysuit // Beaded clutch // Chair

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Red Dress // Non wired bra // Toiletry bag // Personalised Christmas socks // Lip Pencil

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Velvet shoes // Silk Top // Monogramed Mug // Leather bag

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Antlers on a shield // Salad servers // Blanket scarf // Pomegranate bath marbles // Copper light with turquoise cord

Slide7PJ Bottoms //   Personalised bracelet // Knitting needle case // Candle holder // Cashmere gloves // Passport Holder

Slide8Bobbi Brown Face Highlighter // Suede Gilet // Metallic Leather Skirt // Leather shopper // Earrings

Happy Shopping and Merry Christmas to all you wonderful readers!

XXX