March Favourites

Hi everyone!

March marks the end of summer here in the southern hemisphere (yet tomorrow is set to be nearly 40 degrees celsius!) so I think this month will settle down. We’ve been so busy the first few months of the year with Ryno starting his new job, house hunting and wedding planning. Whilst it is all very exciting, I do look forward to some later starts to my weekend mornings.

This is also the last month before we officially move into our first home! So load of (cheap) DIY’s to come, like these awesome side tables. I’ve already picked up a piece of trunk from the small forest near our new home. Now I just have to decide on the colour. I’m also researching the best climbing roses for a slightly shady spot in our garden. I’m hoping for something with lots of green foilage (preferably for most the year) with big pink buds.

Along those lines, I’m also sorting the flowers for our wedding this month. It is something I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while and I really hope we can incorporate a few peonies into our budget-friendly arrangements.

Beauty wise I’ve been loving the look from the Micheal Kors show. It’s kind off my everyday look done professionally (and NOT in less than 4 minutes). As Ryno is planning a work trip to the US in the middle of the year, I’ve been compiling a list of want-haves for him to look out for. So any suggestions of absolute beauty must-haves for the natural look-lover that is only available in the US would be welcome. Wow that is a mouthful!

I’ve also finally found some gorgeous golden pave bar studs which will be on heavy rotation this month! I am hoping to pair it with a simple and classic look geared towards the cooler weather I’m expecting at the end of March.

I just think it so great to start the month on a positive note than to just reminisce about the great month past. And so I’m off to go snack on a batch of chocolate bark (my latest addiction) whilst staring at everything that’s yet to make its way into boxes. I hope you all have a great month and please let me know what you’re looking forward to this month!

Much love,

Astrid

DIY Tassle Garland

DSC_9537textI had been admiring gorgeous tassle garlands on Etsy and Pinterest for quite a while before something clicked and I realised that I can easily recreate it on my own. It took me a while to hunt down the tissue paper colours I wanted (or something relatively close) and I eventually found it at my local grocery store. Although it was quite time-consuming, I wouldn’t describe it as a difficult process and I really like the end result. So I highly recommend you make one for yourself as it is a much more affordable option and you can customize the colours.

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You’ll need:

  • 2,5m plain twine
  • 2 sheets of each colour tissue paper, minimum three colours
  • a pair of scissors
  • clear tape
  • Bostic

Steps:

  1. Start by folding each sheet in three (across the width) and cut along those lines leaving three sheets of approximately 20 cm wide sheets.
  2. Fold each sheet in half (across the length) and start cutting the fringe leaving about 5 cm uncut at the top fold. Repeat this on all the pieces of paper. This is what took me the longest and seeing Martha Stewart’s solution (a simple slicing machine) did not help!
  3. Once I was done with this you’ll have to unfold all the pieces and lay the coloured side of the paper down on your surface. You’ll then start rolling down the centre of your fold. I found it best to pause every now and again just to comb through the fringe and rearrange it otherwise you risk tearing pieces off. Try to roll this as tight as possible, but don’t worry if all the pieces don’t look the same.
  4. Once you’ve finished rolling you can twist that section and fold in half to create a loop. Secure it with a small piece of tape.
  5. I decided to alternate my pieces according to colour and arranged them onto the twine. Lay it out on a table and add a little bit of glue to each tassle so that it stays in place.
  6. Once dry you can hang it anywhere from a party table or wedding car and even above the bed. The possibilities are endless!

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Best Dressed: Oscars 2015

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Last night was the Oscars (yup it is already that time of the year) and damn did it present some of the best looking dresses along with some of the most talented actresses and actors of course. I think this could be officially called the year of the sleek dress. With nary a fairytale dress in sight (bar JLo off-course), 2015 saw most actresses reaching for the fitted or sheath dress. And it really worked!

My favourite was also the biggest surprise of the night – Rita Ora in Marchesa. She managed the perfect balance between dramatic and glamorous. Everything from the fit (nothing overtly sexy) to the accessories and beauty look was perfection. I think this is the first time I’ve chosen a mermaid look over the ball gown!

Black and white was clearly also a theme of the night with many of my favourite dresses falling into this category. Jenna Tatum deserves special mention however as she turned what was just another boring white dress (with a cape) into something awesome! Another triumph of accessories (that belt) and beautiful draping.

Jennifer Lopez’s dreamy Elie Saab dress was everything I dream of, but I felt like her cleavage sort of distracts from the overall prettiness of the dress. Love her lip colour though!

In the final two spots are America Ferreira and Emma Stone, both in different shades of green surprisingly! I only wish Emma’s was closer in tone to America’s dress.

Which were your favourite looks of the night?

Valentine’s Day Style

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I actually shot this look a few days ago without giving a single thought to Valentine’s Day and only realised that it is the perfect Valentine’s look today! Shocking I know, but given that my Valentine’s Day consists of coffee in bed and couch shopping you have to forgive me.

I love this flowing chiffon dress as it is the perfect blush shade and is super comfy. It also happens to be great for hiding food babies! I know paring it with a pair of nude heels is the chic way to wear it but since I was just taking a walk in the forest on a Friday afternoon you’ll have to excuse my flats.

This dress calls for a romantic hairstyle and natural make-up to complete the super feminine look. This rope braid is super easy to make and it would look great with soft waves. For my natural make-up look I started with favourite LÓreal Magique Lumi foundation which gives a natural, medium coverage and is slightly illuminating (I use the shade N1).

As I’m leaving my lids bare I kind of go to town with the blush. I suggest you use a warm pink tone which best matches your skin tone. For me that is a Clinique sample I got ages ago in a light pink.

To add some definition to my eyes I use a brown eye liner (Essence Long Lasting Eye Pencil in Brown) at the outer corner of my lower and upper lash line and finish with lashings of lengthening Clinique’s High Lengths Mascara in black. I am currently on the hunt for a new eyebrow product, so any suggestions are welcome!

I then add the finishing touch which is a Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie- a kind of my-lips-but-better, pinky shade. This is the only colour I can add to my lips that won’t have Ryno running in the other direction. Red lips are completely out of the question here. I’m also currently wearing my favourite nude pinky nail polish, Essie in Fiji.

So there you have it, my favourite Valentine’s look whether you’ve got a hot date or just one with your couch. Hope you have a great one either way!

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February Favourites

Hi everyone,

So I am a bit behind on the whole monthly favourites but this year literally just kicked off with a bang and hasn’t left me with much breathing space. I hope you’ve all had a great start to the year. I almost can’t believe that we’re already a week into February – a.k.a. the month of lurrrve!

So to start things off, as I’ve mentioned before R and I don’t really celebrate Valentines’ Day in the traditional sense but I do appreciate all the cute heart shaped items. My favourites of these are balloons or edible. :)

Last month was Paris Fashion Week (read couture) and I just fell in love over and over again as the models walked down the runway. I think the Elie Saab show was once again my favourite, but it feels a bit unfair to choose as they were all so great. You can find more of my favourite runway looks here.

This past weekend we also had our engagement shoot and I literally can’t wait to see the end results. Part of me is worried about how I will look as I’m not the most photogenic but on the other side it was so much fun and we did hire a professional so it should be fine. Whilst we were in the city I also picked up some beautiful vintage roses but unfortunately they drooped as they were out of water for too long. Any idea how I can revive them?

This month has also seen me reach for pink nailpolishes on repeat with about 4 in permanent rotation. Whilst on the subject of weddings, isn’t this wedding dress just the most dreamy thing you’ve ever seen? A girl can dream…

My favourite Valentine’s treat is breakfast in bed – because what says love more than getting out of bed for someone else! These pancakes will be great, whether you’re at the receiving end or in the kitchen. I also love this DIY tote which is a great alternative to my own sequin one.

I hope you all have a great month filled with lots of love and laughter!

Love,

Astrid x

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

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Whilst my fiance and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s day I still appreciate all the beautiful pink and heart-shaped items.

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Whether you are treating yourself or a friend one of these bright and cheery items will definitely put a smile on anyone’s face! Has anyone tried the Catrice Beautifying Lip Smoother? They seem to be a dupe for the Clarins Insta Light Lip Perfectors at a quarter of the price.

I hope you all have an amazing Valentine’s Day!

Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Radiant Bronzing Powder

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Wow, I almost feel ashamed for only mentioning this bronzer now but I’ve only really gotten into it as of late. If you haven’t already heard about the Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Radiant Bronzing Powder (what a mouth full!), I’ll give you a quick update. I’ve got it in the brunette shade, so mine is a nice blend of baby pink, ivory and two darker bronze tones. I assume the one for blondes will have more pink tones.

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I don’t think you can see it in the picture, but it is quite sparkly so I use it like a blusher on my cheeks instead of for contouring.

I have to be careful not to go in too heavy as it can look a little dirty, so I always dust off the excess on my hands. When worn correctly however it adds a lovely touch of peachy-warmth to my face – almost like I’ve just came back from holiday. I love this for no-makeup days when I just do my brows and blush, as it cancels out all the pink in my cheeks (I’ve got self-diagnosed rosacea so it can become a serious problem).

The packaging is fairly nice although I do slightly prefer Clinique’s slimline packages. The big mirror is a major plus though so I always pack it when I’m travelling and I don’t fear that it will break as it feels very sturdy.

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The only thing I don’t like about the blusher-bronzer is the brush that comes with it as it suggests that it is a contouring bronzer, but everyone knows you can’t contour with shimmer. Ugh, such a first world problem! So I just use my regular blusher brush which is also kind-off chunky to travel with – hence my large makeup bag.

All in all a great purchase and a product I’ve been getting a lot of use out of the last couple of months. I do think it is part of an old collection, but I randomly spotted it in an Edgars a few weeks ago so you might still be able to find it. I’m already thinking about what I will do when I finish this one. Any recommendations from you guys?

Shopgirl Finds: Heart Shaped Plates

hartjie bordeAs I mentioned earlier, my fiance and I am now in the throes of apartment hunting and it has been really hard to steer clear of the shops until we find somewhere to stash it. But browsing on the internet doesn’t count does it?

I love this subtle hint to Valentine’s Day without it being too cheesy. As it is white you really can get away with using it as  servers year round. I am just picturing it ladled with chocolate-dipped strawberries or a delicious French toast breakfast on V-day.

The best part about it? It is on sale at www.spree.co.za

Relaxed Blush Weekend Look

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Hi everyone!

I recently wore this super comfortable look on one of the hottest days in Stellenbosch. It was actually a pretty good day as we met our wedding photographer and tried a pretty good new-to-us coffee place.

I bought this pair of elastic waisted pants for long-haul flights last year andI’ve actually gotten a lot of wear out of it since. I was slightly weary of elastic pants adding loads of extra bulk, but as these are very lightweight it isn’t really a problem. Besides they are just so damn comfortable that I don’t mind if it gives me thunder-thighs.

The shirt is one of my all-time favourite bargain buys (Mr Price) and I bought the handbag in Italy. It is definitely one of my all time favourite bags as it is great for sneaking snacks for the movies and it is real leather.

I can’t imagine I’d ever be able to sacrifice comfort for style, so I am really glad I found the perfect middle ground. And it is nice not to wear jeans for once…

What is your favourite weekend look?

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2015 Golden Globes: Best Dressed

I rarely watch award shows nowadays but I still love having a look at what everyone was wearing. This time around it was no disappointment. Silver was the clear winner! Take a look at a few of my favourite picks from ethereal and dreamy to damn right sassy (that is you Emma Stone!). Which were your favourite looks of the night?