Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Weekend in Pictures #24

This past weekend was a grey one. But a good grey! And now its almost time for the next one.

* choosing the perfect shade of grey for my best friend's (who recently became a MRS) new home!

* my latest attempt to complete number 27 on my "30 things before Thirty" list - making a quilt.

* sleepovers and waking up with shining toes.

* little sister outdoing herself with red velvet cupcakes

* smoking is bad for you friend (but dang, you are one of the very few girls I've met who looks stylish doing it)

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

Monday, January 28, 2013


I've been planning... lessons. Yes, it's back to school for me...and reality has struck hard. Right now I am a busy, busy bee (hence the absence of frequent posts)
I've been eating... a lot of sushi!
I've been dreaming about.... mice and maltese poodles. The subconcious is a strange thing, isnt it!
I've been splurging on.... school supplies. I just love this shop. It reminds me of the awesome stationary shops in Korea. I am not sure if there is a big gap in the market or if South Africans just don't bother with nice stationary. Either way, I stocked up on supplies before I came back.  Lately, however I've been running low on cuteness as my supplies are close to depleted so  I feel very lucky to have found Typo
I've been reading... uhm...yes?! I wish I could say that I've been reading lately...anything but text books that...but sadly its not the truth. The stack of books on my bedside table is gathering  dust while I am refreshing my knowledge on high school geography, history and business studies. Fun!
I've been wearing.... my stash of Korean summer dresses I "re-discovered" in the back of my closet.
I've been struggling with.... fatigue. This vacation with all its sleeping in, late nights and afternoon naps did me well....but now I have to get into the habit of a regular sleeping pattern again.
I've been happy about...the fact that some friendships, despite severe neglect and life happening,  has the ability to withstand the test of time.
I've been indulging in ..... peanut butter toast
I've been creative...  in re-arranging my home. I've been toying with the idea of doing a sneak-peak of my apartment for a while now but the lounge just never felt right. Two nights ago, close to bedtime the inspiration struck and re-arranged the furniture. It feels better now. We are getting closer to that sneak-peak.
I've discovered....a new passion. You may laugh as it's a bit old fashioned but I might just developed a affinity for quilting! 

What have you been up to lately?
Picture: Instagram

Happy Monday!

Hope you have a happy, happy Monday!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I did it!!!!


After obsessing over it for over a month, I finally did
 it ... I ombre'd my hair and I love it!

The only thing I am sorry about is that I didn't do it sooner.

In a perfect world, I would've loved to go bad-ass like the picture below....

...but being a teacher and all, I wasn't to sure that the principal would like it all that much. Turns out she loves it so I might just go a teeny tiny blonder.

Any one of you that Ombre'd your hair? Would love to hear all about it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New York, New York!

With beautiful France ticked off my "to-do" list, I've set my sights on a new destination....New York. Oh, how I dream about Central Park in Winter and Starbucks Latte's; ice skating, yellow taxi cabs and eating hot dogs of the street. And then I saw the "Morning in Manhatten" wallpaper from Famille Summerbelle and I instantly fell in love. 

If I can't go to New York now, I might just opt for bring a slice of New York to me!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy Monday!

Hope you have a lovely Monday!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Verse

Hope you have a happy Sunday!

Image from here

Friday, January 11, 2013

Five favourites on a Friday: Beauty products

It's the beginning of a new year which means only one thing - tons of social events and parties to attend. But I have to admit that although I love socialising, I don't like spending hours on getting ready. I am kind of a get-up and go girl. I'm not saying that I don't like dressing up, I really REALLY do but I prefer it not to be a 5 hour affair. Therefore I have a few trusted beauty tricks that I tend to stick to.

1. Red lips
Nothing chances one's appearance in an instant like red lips. I like mine bright red... and Viv-cat seems to like it too!

2.Be wise, moisturise!
If your skin is in a good condition, the beauty battle is half won. Unfortunately health, happy skin cant be faked, therefore I believe in a good skincare routine. Investing in a good moisturiser is crucial so I am a huge fan of Environ products. I only stared using it about six months ago but the difference is amazing! For a sun bird like me, I feel very lucky to have found a skincare range that caters for South African climate and with added vitamin A, I am fighting freckles and ageing one moisturise at a time!

3. Pretty toes
This summer almost all my shoes are peep toes, therefore pedicured toes are a "must".  But who wants to spend hours and bags full of money on a pedicure if you can have perfect toes in just a minute? Not me thanks, so I just love Yardley's "Quick Dry" range which is ready to wear within 60 seconds. Right now I am obsessed with coral nail-varnish with my favourite colour being "Candy Burst".

4. Smelly cat!
I'm not sure if "scent" strictly counts as part of a beauty routine but to me this often overlooked part of grooming is really important. Someone's scent is what you remember them by and there is this really beautiful South African poem, "My nooi is in 'n naartjie" (click here for the English translation) that describes it so well. My favourite is Bvlgari's "Jasmin Noir", Chanel's "Chance" and Jean-Paul Gaultier. I also love Narciso Rodriguez's "For Her" which is high on my "wants" list right now!

5. Mac-simize it!
Someone once told me that the trick to good make-up is to accentuate your "assets". My "assets" are my eyes so I try to highlight them as best I can - maybe little shadow, perhaps some liquid eye liner but always, ALWAYS mascara. My favourite is "Pumped Up" by Mac.

Do you have any beauty tricks that you'd care to share? 

Oh, and before I forget: happy Friday!!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

365 days on Jupiter

Remember how I said I was totally inspired by photographic "pic a day" blogs. Well, I've started one of my own. Pop over here to have a look....or you can just use the button on the right.

Blackbird and Owl

Don't you just love these beauties?

I sure do!

Oh, Blackbird and Owl, you make my heart skip a beat.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

30 things before Thirty # 5 (Own a cat)

I am heart and soul a cat-person. Unfortunately I grew up in a home where my dad was terribly allergic to feline friends so I never had cats as a child. I promised myself that I would get a cat as soon as I left home but then university, travel and a year abroad happened where a cat would've been completely impractical. Still, I longed for a nice furry body to call my "kitcat". Then, one unsuspecting day it happened - I was driving in a less privileged area of my home town when I saw this poor little kitten hanging on for dear life on a dirty little boy's shirt, swinging to and fro as he walked. It was love at first sight. I just knew that she was the one! Immediately I stopped, almost causing an accident, and offered to buy the sweet kitten from him. The little boy was to happy to oblige and just there I became the loving owner of this flea invested sweetheart. I named her Vivienne and many  baths later, we are the best of friends. I am so blessed with a cat that is as affectionate as can be. She loves attention and a good rub is her favourite thing in the world. Its very seldom that I don't have a cat on the lap at home.

Then 2 months ago, a new sweetheart made is appearance. Knowing how much I love cats, and being completely heartbroken after Oliver ran away, my sweetest Timo, bought me the prettiest little Siamese kitten. He named him Laforet (which is French for Forrest) and this furry little rascal awaited me on my return from France .

Now I am the owner of not only one but two cats and 5 away from being a catlady. I guess I can tick this one of my list then....and keep telling myself that two cats is enough!

Click here to see nr 123,  4 of my "30 things before Thirty" project.


I've been planning...lessons for school that is due to start in little less than a week.
I've been eating...salad upon salad upon salad. I'm completely addicted to Cesar salads right now!
I've been splurging  on.... car expenses. Renewed drivers licence, renewed car licence, parking all adds up!
I've been reading... "The Hobbit" an incredible speed. I want to read it before I see the movies and with only a few weeks left on the circuit there is no time to waste.
I've been wearing....maxi skirts and peep toe shoes.
I've discovered.... that karma is a bitch if you were one.
I've been struggling with....counting the days to a dreadful plane ride.
I've been inspired by... 365 day photography projects. It's ambitious but I might just do one of my own this year.
I've been indulging in ..... late nights in the company of friends.
I've been creative... with colour. Three tins of paint to bring summer to my apartment.

What have you been up to lately?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Saturday, January 5, 2013

5 Favorites on a Friday..uhm...Saturday: Bedtime rituals

Bedtime is a highlight in my daily routine. It is that time of the day that I can put aside all of the days responsibilities and finally unwind. I don't know a lot of women who don't like the rituals that goes along with getting ready for bed but in my family we have a special deep rooted love for this lenghty affair that can take well up to 3 hours.

 1. Bath time

In my world, bedtime starts with a lovely long bath which usually lasts until the water goes cold. I love bathing and I must have inherited it from my mother because we can lie in the tub for hours. Add some bath salts, a candle or a good book and I am in heaven. The apartment I live in has no shower, only a beautiful old bath so I can't feel to guilty about water wastage because really I have no choice. But to be honest, I'm kinda glad because I'm convinced that a good soak is one of life's loveliest luxuries.

2. A cuddle with the cats

Perhaps I never outgrew the girlish habits of sleeping with soft toys because I cannot fall asleep without a good cuddle. Only now, my cuddle partners are alive. Some people would cringe reading this but one of my favorite things in the world is to fall asleep with the purr of a cat curled up close by. In this abode, the rule of no animals on the bed really doesn't apply at all. In fact, one would think that the bed belong to the cats.  I can only hope that my future husband loves cats too otherwise we might have a serious problem. MUST.LOVE.CATS

3. Lets read!

I made a conscious decision not to allow a television in my home. I'm sure different people have different opinions about this but to me, watching TV is a time stealer. It is so easy to plonk down in front of that screen and the next thing you know a few hours has passed which couldve used on something way more constructive. Don't get me wrong - I love a good movie so whenever the mood strike, Ill grab a friend or family member to go to the cinema with me but other than that, I usually have a big heap of books on my bedside table and every night read a little (or a whole lot).

4. Sipping on a warm drink!

Chamomile, Rooibos, warm milk with honey, tea, Milo, Horlicks..... These are subject to mood, weather and emotional state of being! Also whether I remembered to buy milk or not!

 5. Say a little prayer.

I am a big believer in the power of prayer and try to pray throughout the day, not only just before bed. To me, it's a conversation more than a ritual; a grateful, humble way of living rather than something I have to do.  There is, however, something extremely comforting about falling asleep whilst conversing in the comfort of  conversation with God.

Hope you have a happy day!

Friday, January 4, 2013

On my bedside table: Reading list for January

It seems like 2013 is going to be a year where quite a few good books will be turned into films so this month my reading list is dominated by movie-books. Not only has "The Hobbit" and "Life of Pie" hit the cinemas but "The Great Gatsby" is due sometime soon and "Anna Karenina" will also make it's debut on the big screen. I can't wait. I try my best to read the book before watching the film and of course the books are in most cases much better than the movie but it's always fun to watch the film and "compare notes". 

My film-inspired reading list for January includes the following:
1. 'The Hobbit".

Not being a great fan of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, I didn't even gave reading "The Hobbit" a second thought until recently when I saw the trailer for the movie. It looks really good. It was such a mission to find the book though. It seems that the world has a renewed interest in Mr. Tolkien's work. Thankfully our local library had it in stock and after a mad search I finally found it in the kiddies section. Who would've known? Surely there's a gap in my upbringing.

2.  "Memoirs of a Geisha"

Now, I have already seen the movie and loved it. Now is the time to read the book, that I didn't know exists until a few weeks ago.

3.  "Wuthering Heights"

I try to throw in a classic every month. This month it is "Wuthering Heights". Incidentally there is a movie made of this book as well starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliet Binoche.

4. "Solar" by Ian McEwan.

I'm not sure which one came first, the book or the movie, but I do remember being completely blown away by "Atonement. Ever since I've been a huge Ian McEwan fan and have read most of his novels. You can just imagine my joy when I fount one of his books hidden away at a book sale and I couldn't help but do a happy dance when I bought "Solar" for a measly R5.00 . I only started reading it and so far it's very different to his other work but Mr. McEwan never disappoints!

5. "Lee Miller: On both sides of the Camera" by Carolyn Burke

When I was in France, I went to Salvador Dali's museum and completely fell in love with Surrealism all over again. So when I heard about the Surrealist photographer, Lee Miller, I just had to read her biography. She is such an interesting lady and her photography, of which there is a few example in the book, is pretty amazing too.

Have you read any of these or other interesting books? I would love hear your thoughts on them.

Happy reading!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Thirty things before 30 - rediscovered.

This morning, while copying birth dates from an old diary to my new one, I discovered my list of thirty things I would like to achieve before I turn 30 (which, scarily so, is in less than 3 years time). I made this list when I was still living in Korea (which is 3 years ago) and I blogged about it but then I completely forgot about the list and never gave it another thought. That is, until today ...which means that if I intend to complete this list, I do have some catching up to do. Three years goes bye way faster than one would like. Luckily I unknowingly completed some items on my list  so I will post these soon!

Click here to  1, 2, 3 and  4 on the list!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Twenty thirteen resolutions!

And just like that the calender switched back to January, 1st and we begin a new year all over again. 2012 with all its glorious moment and hardship, successes and failures is now part of the past and we begin on a clean slate.

Tonight  my heart overflows with thanks for all the possibilities that 2013 holds and my wish for 2013 is best explained by the quote below that I found on this lovely blog:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something. So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” - Neil Gaiman

As for my resolutions, I decided that this year will be a year that I am good to myself and those around me. No restrictive resolutions forcing me to be perfect and to do things that I don't like doing and will probably end up not doing anyway. Instead, I chose resolutions that allows for glorious mistakes, to create, to grow, to live and to change for the better!

1. More fresh flowers please

2013 will be the year that I fill my little home with flowers. There are few things that gives me such joy as fresh flowers. Bought from the market, stolen from the neighbours garden, gifted, grown... in the end it doesn't really matter where they came from as much as the fact that they make a house feel like a home.

2. Photography classes

True story: I was in the registration row about to study Fine Arts when I decided that being an artist was not how I envisioned my life. At the young age of 19 I realised that being good at something doesn't necessary mean you like doing it, let alone love it enough to make a living from of it. So instead, I went to study a BA in all the subjects I love and this road a little less travelled made all the difference. I found my calling in life as a teacher and I am so thankful and blessed to do a job that I love.

Unfortunately teaching high school isn't always the most creative of occupations so early last year, when I received a SLR camera as a gift it was sort of life changing. Finally I found an art medium that was not as all consuming as painting or drawing but at the same time allowed for as much creativity and play. Photography has changed the way I view the world and I look at the mundane differently. 2013 will be the year that I develop this passion and I cannot be more excited to begin part-time photography classes I enrolled for this year!

3. Appreciating the little things in life more!

My cup runs over and every now and again I need to remind myself that I am the luckiest girl in the world for having the neediest cuddliest kitties, beautiful cups to drink my tea from, a balcony that looks into my neighbours pretty garden, a girl friend who loves decorating her classroom as much as I do, a sister who lives down the road from me and is the awesomest movie partner ever, a local library that is something out of "Beauty and the Beast" ....the list just goes on and on. You see, happiness lies in the small little things that we so often take for granted! I want notice these little pleasures more and enjoy them with glee.

4. Making more quality time for loved ones.

Weekly tea dates, movie nights, Saturday brunch, Skype calls -  I'm going to diarise it, put it in ink so that precious time wont be wasted on less important things.

5. A classic a month!

I've made my list and I intend to stick it

January - The Hobbit; February - The Great Gatsby; March - The Life of Pi; April - Anna Karenina; May - Watership Down, June - Emma, July - Metamorphosis; August - The Unbearable Lightness of Being; September - Middlemarch; October - Alice Adventures in Wonderland; November - The Lighthouse; December - A Tale of Two Cities.

6. Wearing my running shoes more.

Because exercise if fun, or so I keep telling myself. It's healthy, that's for sure. And I need to do my bit taking care of my temple -especially if I plan on sticking to nr. 7

7. Experimenting in the kitchen.

I want to be braver in the kitchen. Mistakes will be made. Lets hope for the best!

8. Thailand!!!

My sis and I are dreaming about palm beaches and Pina Colades. I am so excited about this. We both adore travelling but we've never travelled together. This will be a fantastic first!

9. New business ventures.

Watch this space!

And that's all!!!

I hope that your 2013 is a happy, exciting, blessed affair with lots of glorious mistakes!