July Favourites

Yay for July! I’m looking forward to a lot of things this week. It is about three months until our wedding (time flew!) and our wedding invitations are keeping me going. I just love all the pretty fonts.

We are currently working on our hallway and are planning a gallery wall to fill some of the space. I love the simplicity of this one!

Most of my mornings start with coffee in bed these days, especially since it has been so freezing these past couple of days. Winter is finally here! And with winter comes what I like to call two-day dishes. Delicious stews, hot soups and pies. Meals that can be enjoyed equally on the first and second days. Loving it!

Ryno and I also built a coffee table (which I’ll hopefully share soon!) and I am really enjoying styling it. I haven’t found our permanent setup yet, but hopefully soon!

I hope you enjoy the month of July and start the second half of the year on a positive note! Make it count!

Current & New Beauty Favourites

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I think I’ll jump right into it by telling you how much I love Vaseline’s Healthy Hand & Nail. This product is a cult classic for a reason. It absorbes within minutes, leaves no residue and softens your hands and cuticles whislt at it. I will admit to using a heavier hand lotion in the evenigs simply because its winter and my hands can’t behave, but this product is still the one I reach for most. It isn’t heavily perfumed, yet smells pleasant and it definitely beats all its prettier sisters.

Next up is the Vitamin E Serum-in-Oil from The Body Shop. I still had a bottle of their old Vitamin E oil left when this launched, so I only got around to trying this recently. And I am a total convert. I love how it leaves my skin feeling and the fact that it is so light means I can apply it day and night as it absorbes quickly. It also smells divine!

As I always left nailpolish remover shopping until I couldn’t wait any more, I always ended up grabbing the same thing from PnP’s shelf. On a recent stroll through Clicks (as you do) I however stumbled upon the Sorbet Nail Polish Remover and it features a salon style pump. I don’t think I have to explain the convenience of the pump except to say no more spills. It really is worth it!

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Next up on my list is something I’ve wanted for a while- the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. If you watch any Youtube beauty channels (Lilly and Anna, I blame you!), this would’ve been on your list too. Now I’m not a fan of online shopping, so I never had one before Foschini started stocking it. I was lucky in that my local Foschini (Tygervalley) had stock when it opened after refurbishment, so I grabbed one.

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For a R160 you can get the softest, densest brush imaginable! I use it on a daily basis to apply my foundation. I simply dot my foundation where needed and then start spreading and buffing it into my face with the brush. It makes my foundation application look flawless. I even use it for concealer on my chin and it works like a dream. No fingerprints! You can also use it for bronzer and blusher, but in my experience those thousands of bristles just picked up too much product. Plus, if I only it for one thing, I can wait longer inbetween washes. Which brings me to the only two downsides of the brush. It takes forever to dry and the thick handle means it isn’t travel friendly and won’t fit into my makeup brush holder. But it is still so worth it!

Random Things Around the House

Well this is a pretty random post, but since I haven’t showed you much from our house (simply because there isn’t much to show). So I have decided to share a few snippets.

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We recently painted our backdoor and frontdoor charcoal and I am absolutely loving it. I was afraid that it would look too dark and slightly depressing, but I’m happy to report that it doesn’t. We do get quite a bit of natural light during the day, but I think it is the brass doorknob and light grey walls that keeps it from looking too stark.

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This was a small DIY and I quite like how it turned out. I simply spray painted the side of a tree stump gold and painted the tops with a Water-based enamel. I think it might have looked better with a glossy paint on top, but since we already had the matt paint I simply used that. It now serves as a side-table for all our emergency lighting (thanks Eskom!)

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We finally got a diningroom table (this one from @home) and I’ve been accessorising it like crazy (eventhough it is currently covered in the papers that R is grading). This lantern and the grey placemats are some of my favourites.

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Finally, let me introduce you to our climbing rose. It is a scented Panarosa rose from Ludwig’s Roses and smells just like turkish delight. Nothing trumps this!

June Favourites

Hello and welcome to my small corner of the world. I felt like I started last month on the wrong foot and it all came back to bite me, so on the second day of June (lets pretend it’s the first) I’d like to give it a warm welcome!

I could go on about how it is hard to believe that half the year is already gone, but the truth is we’ve still got a month to go! And really, I have achieved and done so much this year already that I really can’t complain. Besides if the second half of last year was anything to go by, I think this one might just be the best one yet!

This month I’m looking forward to getting into the details of my wedding, as October is just around the corner! There are a few small DIY projects I’ve left until now and I can’t wait to tick them off my list! I am also going bridesmaidsdress shopping with my best friend later this month.

I would also like to report that my ranunculas are well on their way to blooming. Some of them are nearly 10 cm high so I am hoping that a few of them might already bloom this month. Ranunculas are right up there with my favourite flowers! I think they might even beat peonies ;)

We painted the back door and front door charcoal this week, which ties in nicely with my black & white theme for the kitchen. I really like the look of the darker cabinetry in this kitchen! Kitchen goals!

After years of searching I also finally got my hands on the perfect parka (from Mr Price Sport, if you were wondering). It is super comfy, cosy and has a big furry hoodie. Already on the right track, the quilted arms and cinched waist just sealed the deal. And it was a total steal too! I love pairing it with another favourite of mine, stripes.

Since the weather really brought its A-game this week (sarcasm aside, it is literally snowing in Cape Town in JUNE!) I decided to try my hand at a traditional Cornish Pie last night. It was delicious and I am so glad I made enough for two nights. Nothing beats the cold like a warm meal.

Eventhough I only wish I was planning a trip to Paris in the near future, I figure you can never be over prepared. So I’m pinning and planning in my head for one day. You never know, it might be soon!

I hope you all have a wonderful June, whether you’re welcoming summer or embracing winter. Always look to the bright side of life!

Caramel Popcorn Cake

DSC_9959title Ryno’s birthday was nearly a month ago already and I am only getting around to share the special cake I made for him now. That is how behind on blogging schedule I am! But better late than never! I copped out and bought a box cake because I actually like this particular one and it is quite affordable. I just add one extra egg.

Any vanilia sponge cake recipe should work though!

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I made two layers of vanilla cake and a whole lotta buttercream icing that I flavoured caramel. Inbetween the two layers I put some homemade toffee sauce. I used this recipe which actually tastes great with just about anything!

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I finished it off by garnishing with caramel popcorn, which was a great addition! I would just advise you to leave it off until right before you eat it. Or you can create a nice little challenge for yourself. Hint: it involves eating an entire cake in one day!

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2015

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Wow, I can barely believe that it already Mother’s Day. Where has this year gone? Anyway, it feels like this holiday crept up on me and if you’re like me you can do with a little help in this department. We rarely go big with gifts for these “Hallmark holidays” but I still enjoy the sentiment. I am sure my mother would be happy with any of these gift, in fact she might have already gotten one of them… So here goes my relatively compact gift guide for Mother’s Day 2015…

  1. Some pretty yet comfortable pyjamas (who can resist polkadots!) from Spree.co.za
  2. Handcream that does the job whilst packaged all innocently from Woolies
  3. An orchid, or any plant or flower really. This is where the personal touch comes in!
  4. A beautiful dish with a few sweet treats like nougat and turkish delight from Woolies
  5. Still not sure? How about a luxurious lipstick in an everyday colour (Chanel Adrienne?), a yummy candle or the best of all – a home cooked dinner that she didn’t have to lift a finger for!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there.

May Favourites

May used to be one of my favourite months, but in recent years it has lost some of its allure to me. Turning a year older lost its sparkle, my favourite magazines became too expensive and the weather is dreary. But I am determined to enjoy this coming month. I turn 26th on the 19th of May, I have a work conference which might be fun and hopefully my fiance will bring back a few interesting things from his trip to the US.

Besides this, I am excited about tulip season which usually starts around this time of the year. We all know that April showers brings May flowers! I hope that we’ll get a dining table on which I could put a few vases soon. The empty living room is starting to get to me, but I don’t want to make a rash decision which we might regret. Does anyone know where I can find a dining table similar to the one above?

As the weather cools (we just had our first rainy evening) I’m really starting to crave comfort food and this one-pan chicken hits the spot. Whilst we are on the topic of cooking and the kitchen, I really look forward to finishing the kitchen – as in to buy everything we need. I am so sick of starting with something only to realise that I don’t have all the necessary tools. I think we are close, but not entirely there yet. I’d like to celebrate this with a nice utensil holder.

I’d also like to start putting up some are in the living room. We are planning on printing a few pictures from our Italy trip, but I really like this DIY Grey Malin-inspired print idea for creating an impact.

Finally, I am finishing this with boater hats (call me obessed!), a happy chocolate cake (which I wouldn’t mind digging in to) and an irresistable jewelled headband that Blair would approve of.

So happy May to all of you! What are you looking forward to this May?

Style Icon: Lily James

You might know her as Cinderella, but to those who have been watching Downton Abbey she will always be Rose. Her recent press tour for the Disney classic certainly brought my attention to her style. As you know, I am a sucker for a princess dress and boy has she brought it on in that department!

She always looks elegant, whether in it is for a red carpet appearance or a red-eye. She manages to effortlessly go from short and sweet (blue and white Valentino) to suggary sweet pink Elie Saab. She also seems to stick to the two most princess worthy designers out there, Valentino and Elie Saab for her red carpet appearances. And who can blame her? She stunned in red lace Valentino way before her princess days. Asides from the simple princess dresses, she also manages to pull off more edgy looks like enhanced silhouettes and dramatic feathers.

I don’t know what I am looking more forward to- the final season of Downton or more of Lily’s style?

st exclusively Elie Saab and Valentino, the two most princess-worthy designers, on the red carpet she keeps her looks sweet in either soft colours or with her feminine styling. Even when she puts the dresses aside for a long-haul flight, she manages to look put-together and sleek.

April Favourites

Can you believe that the first quarter of the year is already over? Wow it really feels like time flew! It was just yesterday that I got engaged with a year to plan and now we’ve got six months left! But I digress, we’re here to discuss what gets me excited for the coming month.

So lets start with the most obvious – Easter! It might not be my favourite holiday (I find Easter quite depressing) but we do have chocolate to make up for it! And it will be the first weekend we spend in our first home!

Which brings me to my next point, we got the keys to our home last week! Although it is very small, we’ve been painting all week long (cuboards, walls and skirting boards – basically every surface where the paint will stick!). Finding the right grey paint for the walls is a whole new blog post (short version: there are a lot of blues and purples masquerading as grey).

I am really looking forward to just chilling in our new place althoug there is still a lot to do. We really need to get a new bathroom cabinet (as step one of the bathroom make-over) and I am completely lusting over this classic shaker-style cabinet.

Besides all the painting we’ve done, we’re also replacing the hardware on all the doors and for the bedrooms we’ve settled on a similar crystal style and it really does transform the space (not as much as painting the dark cuboards white, but it was well worth the money!)

All this hard work has me lusting for a holiday and all the lovely pictures on Pinterest just isn’t helping! It’s been nearly half a year since our Italy trip (I know-shut up already but I just can’t) and I feel like I’d give anything to go back, or somewhere new. There is so much of Europe that I want to explore still.

I look forward to some normal weekends which don’t require paint clothes – maybe I can even replicate this cute stripes outfit! Oh and I’ll paint my nails my favourite Essie shade, Fiji. It also happens to be great for Easter!

So on that bombshell (yes I watched Top Gear),

I hope you have a great April! Please share what you are looking forward to this month to help everyone stay positive and happy! Sometimes sacrifices are worth it when you keep the greater picture in mind!

Much love,

Astrid

P.S. You can find all the images on my Pinterest account.

 

Home Inspiration

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We are counting the days until we can move into our first home! With little less than a week to wait, I decided to create a style board of everything we want to include in our home. This is also a great way to see whether things works together without having to actually make the splurge. It is going to take us a while to get everything we want for our home, but this will help keep us focused.

Our house has an openplan living area with just enough room for a small dining room and living room. We’re going to start off by painting the room a light grey (something like Dulux’s Grey Steel) and investing in a good couch from Sofaworx (also in grey).

We have kind off prioritised the remaining items and feel that a dining table would be next on our list. We can make do with the mix and match chairs we already own until we can finally replace them with comfortable upholstered chairs with an armrest (also from Sofaworx). These are comfortable enough to act as extra seating in the living room and will look great in the dining room as well.

Storage will also play an important part in our living room as we have a lot of books between the two of us and I love few things more than a good built-in bookcase. These ones from Ikea are also a great option. We haven’t yet decided what size we want, but the large one creates a nice impact.

We’d like to add some warmth and create a cozy atmosphere with aesthetically pleasing lighting and a nice rug that we won’t feel to fussy about (I am clumsy at the best of times, so spills are a given).

One of the last and possibly most expensive things we want is a framed coffee table with a marble of Ceasarstone top. As this is something that we will have to have custom made and not really a necessity this will have to wait a while.

Finally we will accessorize with colourful art, books and loads of candles for atmosphere. I can’t wait to share our little home with you and hope you will come along on what would be a very long journey to decorating our home.