Monday, 31 August 2015

INSPIRE: Pastel Painterly Dabs

Down in the cape the weather is refusing to admit that it is almost spring. So although I wanna whip out my summer gear, I still need to layer up. When I saw this painting by José Lerma, with it's spring pastels and its built on layers, it inspired me to put together a not-quiet-summer-yet outfit. Here's how you can get the look...

José Lerma


1) Denim Tunic from Modcloth
2) Infinity Scarf from Nordstrom
3) Watch from Swatch
4) Tote from Heritage Leather
5) Skinnies from Dorothy Perkins
6) Polish from Essie
7) Shoes from Neiman Marcus

My fav piece has got to be those Stella McCartney shoes but at almost R16 000 a girl can dream right!

XS

Saturday, 29 August 2015

READ: The Miniaturist & Appetite

My all time favorite thing to do in winter is curl up on the couch and read. I've read more books than I can count on my hands but there are only a select few that I have truly loved. Lately I'm on a quest to make more time to read and I'd love to share my favourites with you. Here are two great ones to get you started...



Set in 17th Century Amsterdam, this book tells the story of 18 year old Nella, who moves to the city to marry the merchant, Johannes Brandt. It takes you through the ups and downs as Nella tries to fit into her new home and adjust to her new family. Everything changes when her husband buys her a dolls house and she employs a miniaturist to furnish it. The artists creations mirror Nella's real life in a eerie way. And so Nella begins to uncover the secrets of the Brandt family...

The Miniaturist pulls you in from the word go and just when you feel you know the story a twist appears. The kind of twist that makes you shout out loud...literally. I loved how it spoke to my heritage and how you learn to love each of the characters as you follow their journey.
Appetite by Philip Kazan

Florence, 1466, everyone has a passion and with 60 thousand people crammed into it's city walls, you've got to have passion to survive. A young man by the name of Nino has the incredible gift of taste. He can taste flavours others cannot. The flavours come alive to him as vividly as a painting. This gift takes him on a culinary journey in the age of gluttony and conspicuous consumption, that leads him to love, self-discovery and danger.

Appetite paints a picture of food like I have never experienced in a book before. Luscious, sumptuous and difficult to put down. I've lent this book to a few friends and each one has loved it.









I hope you give these books a read and would love to hear your reviews. Also, do you have a great book to recommend? Pop it down in the comments...I love recommendations!

Happy reading!

XS

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

TRAVEL: Thailand 3.0

Hello my lovelies! It's been a long time since I shared a travel post here on the blog. We just returned from an amazing trip to Thailand so I thought I'd share some of our highlights. And although it was my third time visiting there, we had friends with us who were experiencing their first trip overseas. So everything felt new to me. We also did some fun things I never got to do on previous trips.


We started in Phuket and although we expected the usual Thai sun we had a few days of rain caused by the typhoon in Taiwan. That didn't hold us back though - I mean it was still almost 30°C and coming from 10°C back home we weren't gonna stay indoors.


We took a day trip to the Big Buddha with a tuk-tuk (much cheaper than a taxi and the driver stopped anywhere we wanted along the way).


The Buddha itself is amazing...the entire facade of the buddha consists of marble mosaic tiles and is MASSIVE.


The following day we rented a topless Jeep to circumnavigate the island of Phuket. Ain't it cute?!


We stopped at a few beaches along the way and just spent the day cruising.


I can highly recommend this experience - just be sure you have someone who is a fearless driver to drive and that you get your vehicle from someone reputable.

Luckily we did have a few sun-shiny days whilst on Phuket. That means only one thing...beach time!


We did some diving around this beautiful island...and got to encounter some reef sharks and a cheeky turtle too.


After our few days on Phuket we made our way to Phi Phi Island for the last few days of our trip.


We spent our time there chilling on the beach and lounging at the pool. At night we hung out at Carlito's Bar every night to watch the insanely mesmerising fire show, which is a must if you visit the island.


We had an amazing trip and the island treated us to this sunset on our last day.


And although I'm happy to be home I miss Thailand already.

Happy travels!

XS

P.S: Can't get enough of Thailand? Check out my posts about previous trips here and here

Photo Credits to Lee, Lizelle, Faz and their iPhones.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

INSPIRE: Yellow Lichen

When I first saw this pic of the yellow lichen growing on grey stone, I fell in love with the contrast. I pinned it immediately in the hopes of using it as part of a room INSPIRE post. Finally today I have found the perfect pieces to help you bring these gorgeous colours and textures into your lounge with the help of Chairish. Have you heard of Chairish yet? They are a fab online platform where you can buy and sell vintage homeware pieces - yay! Here's how you can get the look...



2) French Beret by Benjamin Moore
3) Planter from Chairish
5) Sofa via Chairish
7) Rug from Wayfair

My fav piece is the Mid-Century Modern yellow sofa! You can find a heap of delicious Mid-Century Modern pieces over on Chairish too. I love how the pieces contrast not only in colour but texture too. Remember don't be scared to mix textures as well as design styles when decorating your home as long as the colours speak to each other. For me that is what gives a room life.

Happy decorating!

XS

Thursday, 26 March 2015

PINTREND: Macarons

Today's Pintrend is Macarons! I love these little French treats, especially when they look as cute as the ones in this round up...


12 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Wanna try make your own at home? This little illustration breaks the process down in a lovely whimsical way.

XS

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

DIY: 5 Tips for Growing your own Veggies

I have always had a black thumb when it comes to gardening - ask my indoor plants. So when I received this gorgeous veggie box from my mom 2 years ago. I didn't really know how to maintain it and well, it died. The box stayed dormant for a long time till I decide to take the plunge and try again with the help of my mother-in-law. I used to think it was difficult to grow your own food and that you needed a big garden to make it truly worth it. But this time I have managed to create a very productive box. So today I have some of my quick tips to make growing your own food rewarding...

Day 1 of my little box
Tip 1: Position is Everything

Make sure your container gets full sun for most of the day and is secluded from wind if possible. Strong winds can "burn" your veggies and almost destroy your crop.


Tip 2: Healthy Soil is Key

Ok so here's the trick - if your soil isn't healthy your plants won't grow. Seems obvious right but it also seems complicated. Well not really, here goes...

Get a bag of good potting soil at your nusery - pour this into your container, mix in some horse manure (ratio of roughly 1 unit horse manure to 10 units soil). Make sure to give the soil a good turning over so that the manure and soil are well and truly mixed. If you have existing soil that has been dormant in a container you would like to use mix in at least 50% new potting soil and then add the manure as above.
Now you are ready to plant.

Cos Lettuce and Rocket
Tip 3: Plant Seedlings

Pick seedlings over seeds as this means you don't have to wait a really long time before you can start harvesting. Also pick trays over larger individual plants as they are usually more value for money - 6 plants for the price of one! Plus you will have more to harvest.


Tip 4: Grow Salad

If you have a small box like I do the best route to go with your plant selection is salad ingredients - lettuces, tomatoes, rocket, herbs and chillies. That way you can make a dish rather than have a few random ingredients. Also they tend to grow quicker than other varieties of vegetables. When choosing lettuces pick "loose leaf" versions, like cos, so you can pick a few leaves at a time instead of waiting to harvest a head. I pick roughly 2 leaves off each of my lettuces almost everyday and they are still producing! Remember to allow your lettuces a minimum of 2 weeks after planting before you harvest.


Tip 5: Water Regularly

Water your veggies everyday once in the morning and once in the late afternoon/evening. You don't need to drown them each time just make sure to water enough so that the soil stays damp.

Our first Okra flower
Bonus Tip: Feed

Once a week I feed my box with a veggie and human friendly fertilizer followed by a deep water to help the fertilizer seep into the soil. I do it on the same day every week so that I don't over feed the soil and risk burning the roots. This is truly the trick to get your garden booming!

Happy gardening!

XS

P.S: Post links to your veggie endeavours in the comments below, I would love to see what you have created!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

FREEBIE: Floral Wallpaper

The new year is here and as usual I like to start the new year by getting my planner organised and updating my desktop with something new. So I created this cute and florally wallpaper for us to freshen up our workspaces.


Simply click on the image above to be taken to the download page. Click "download" then set the image as your desktop wallpaper the same way you normally would. Easy as that!

Happy desktop refresh!

XS
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