Series

Cape Town cool

June 4, 2015

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 Images: Nicole Leftwick

Cape Town – always cool, classy and breathtaking.

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, but I have been mulling over a little winter getaway to Cape Town and as I was going through some old pics of my trip back in December I decided that this post would be the perfect segway to get me back into ‘the space.’

So if like me, you like to plan ahead here are some of my must sees if you’re in the Mother City over summer – or winter (wrapped up accordingly) x

For market meandering – Hout Bay Market

Blown.Away by this market. Set in an authentic old fish factory, Hout Bay Market is a melting pot of uniquely South African arts and crafts. It’s one of those places where the creative energy and the vibrancy of South Africa come alive and you just get that proudly Saffa shiver up your spine. There’s something for everyone there – I personally indulged in a delicious salmon and poached eggs brekky, impeccable coffee at ZA cafe and got me some blue mirrored sunnies from one of the many to die for fashion stalls.

http://www.bayharbour.co.za/

For road trippin’ – Kalk Bay and Boulders Beach

When I’m in CT I always squeeze in a road trip to see the little penguin men at Boulders Beach – and with the picturesque little retro town of Kalk Bay en route, it’s definitely one of my highly recommended ventures. Penguins and boutique stores – what’s not to like, really?

For wining and dining–

Ok it’s no brainer – in Cape Town, we drink wine. There are so many beautiful wine farms it’s hard to recommend one – just get a driver to chauffeur you around! Some personal faves of mine are Tokara, Meerlust, La Motte, Spier and Beau Constantia. I am looking forward to visiting in the colder months – sipping on some red wine around a fireplace is my kinda holiday.

For fresh air and exercise – Lions Head

Table Mountain’s little sister, always a goodie for a Sunday morning hike with a rewarding breathtaking view at the top. No more words of persuasion needed, you’ll see why…

For the health nuts – Wellness Warehouse

I died and went to health nut heaven here. 3.5 hours later (and I had only just moved over from the food and into the skincare) and I was convinced I needed everything from coconut yoghurt to kale chips and every superfood supplement under the sun – eventually had to get outta there… My fave part was the lovely wellness café inside that offers delicious vegan, vegetarian and gluten free meals – something still lacking in Durban I am finding – but we’ll get there.

Wellness Warehouse is situated in the Lifestyles on Kloof centre, 50 Kloof Street.

http://www.wellnesswarehouse.com/

For an authentic township vibes party – Mzolis

This was newbie for me and man I am glad I ventured out to Gugulethu. Mzoli’s is a butchery and grill bar on the outskirts of the township. I was at the outset, a bit concerned that it would be far too touristy for my liking, but was pleasantly surprised! Aside from the queue taking a good two hours – made a bit more fun by meeting many energized and festive spirits and being able to buy a few cold ciders and soft drinks from a mama’s homemade shebeen across the road – it was a really authentic experience. You choose and pay for your tray of meat and then head to the back where you wait in a smokey kitchen for your chosen cuts to be cooked (doesn’t sound fun but it was!). After that you take the charred cutlets back to your table inside the bar area where you proceed to devour it savagely with your hands, quickly clean up and then dance the night away to some really great African and RnB beats. A rustic and tasty African experience – I smelt like braai afterwards but it was well worth it!

For sun downers with a view – The Grand

And this is why you go to Cape Town (aside from the wine), to sip a cocktail on a private beach. A lovely spot for a Sunday sundowner x

http://www.grandafrica.com/GrandCafeandBeachCapeTown.aspx

Bohemian heart

March 2, 2015

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Prints above taken from Justina’s ‘patternful’ pinterest board 

I am sucker for beautiful prints and anything boho – and so when I came across Justina Blakeney’s work  I was immediately taken by all her creative wonderfulness.

Justinas describes herself as ‘obsessed with colour, plants, travel, creative reuse and thrifting. A designer with a Bohemian heart. Her online platforms are an absolute must-follow for any fellow Boho style lovers.

You’re welcome.

x

Follow Justina -

http://www.justinablakeney.com/

http://instagram.com/justinablakeney

http://www.facebook.com/justina.blakeney

https://twitter.com/justinablakeney

https://www.pinterest.com/compai/

 

Oh Happy Day

January 13, 2015

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It’s been a little while since I’ve posted so happy 2015! The holidays have been festive and it’s been a really busy month for me – I’ve managed to squeeze in trips to Mozambique and Cape Town – but now I am back in beautiful Durbs, feeling refreshed, motivated and ready to take on this year.

So to rewind back to the latter part of  last year; one of my best friend’s and I wanted to celebrate our 31st birthday’s together and because their is nothing like December time to put strain on the purse strings, we decided to host a champagne brekky DIY-style. The beautiful home, crystal glasses and tea cups of course came free, but here are some ideas on how we styled the space to make it extra girly…

Dipped succulent pots

You can pick up terracotta plant pots in a variety of sizes at most larger nurseries but these adorable mini ones were from Builders Warehouse. There are so many ways of painting these pots – just check out pinterest - it’s a DIY dream! These ones were painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in white and bronze paint using masking tape to get the solid line, but you can also dip dye them by dunking half the pot in a pot of paint.

Flower letters -

Again, my go-to here was pinterest. I made these letters using large polysterene letters from Party Themes and a bag of fake flower off cuts that I also bought there. I stuck a little super glue on the stem and then poked it through the polystyrene until it was wedged in. Just make sure you get a variety of sizes and ensure you don’t hide the ends of the letters so you can still see the shape.

Polaroid bunting –

We wanted the party to also be about all the friends and family who have been part of our lives, so what better way than through photos – right? You can print your insta pics via Nifty250 for R6 a print, then hang them up with twine and mini pegs, which you can get from from Party Themes.

Paper roses –

Picked these up at Party Themes – they have a host of colours and sizes and are super easy to make – instructions on the packaging.

What we wore - My dress and shoes: Zara, Michy’s dress: Tattoo at Westfield Bondi Junction (Australia)

x

 

Meet: Tayne Draper

December 3, 2014

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Images: Wokshots, Maxine Elphick, Instagram

Anyone that knows me well knows about my obsession with coffee – and please note, not freeze dry, add hot water and milk kinda thing – I’m talking freshly brewed, rich bodied, ‘gourmet’ java – and so I was elated when I heard about a cool new spot in Durban North that specialises in not only mean coffee, but also craft beer, boutique wine and gourmet burgers – dream combo right?

Republik’s mission is to cultivate a healthier, happier world by spreading goodness through nourishing foods, honest words and conduct that is considerate and forever kind to the environment. They encourage everyone around them to Eat Responsibly & Act Responsibly through means of handcrafted, great tasting, high quality natural and free-range produce, while striving to act in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner  – I like that.

I recently interviewed Tayne Draper, co-owner and founder of Republik (along with her business partner Matt Richardson), to get a little more insight into this local Durban spot and generally just chat about good food, good coffee and good people.

I hope you enjoy meeting this epic lady – and make sure you stop by for a coffee and a burger, bru.

Republik can be found at Unit 8 Broadway Shopping Centre, in Durban North (the corner of Broadway and Kensington.) They are open for breakfast from 6:30am weekdays/7:30am on weekends and open til late in the evenings for dinner and drinks. Silly season is now upon us so they are giving us some Sunday session love from 5pm – 8pm (snacks and drinks only).

For bookings call 031 573 1429 or visit their website or Facebook page for more details.

Tell us about Republik; the food, the people, the vibe…

We like to define ourselves as a “meeting place” and our motto is “for the people.” We wanted to create a fun different place for the people of Durban to come and hang out – and we didn’t want to be defined as a bar or restaurant or even a coffee shop. The food is single focused, we do burgers and we like to think we do them pretty darn well. All of our meat is locally sourced, free to roam, grass fed, routine anti biotic and hormone free, our rolls are made especially for us from Madison’s bakery in Waterfall and all our fresh produce is delivered daily – if we can’t get it fresh we won’t serve it. We pour Tribe coffee which is roasted in Cape Town and is Matty’s favourite coffee brand – it’s insane, we love it and it even got me to start drinking coffee. We focus on Craft beers and awesome boutique wines at a reasonable price and we’ve just introduced a tasting boards; so EPIC! The vibe? Well the vibe is what you make it I guess.

What inspired you to start up the Republik and open up shop in Durban North?

Sjoe, now that’s a long, round about story, should we just say it was the right timing for both of us? Haha, no seriously, it’s been a dream we both unknowingly shared and the timing was right so I guess we figured if not now, then when? Durban North was an easy decision really, we were originally looking in Umhlanga but, decided against it for a number of reasons. When our little corner became available we just knew we had the right spot. Durban north is awesome, the people are great and it just seems to be getting better. I think Mackeurtan Avenue started it off and we hope with the opening of Lupa next door to us we will continue the growth of this area.

Best thing on the menu?


Dude, you can’t go wrong with a cheese and bacon burger – but then again we change our toppings as often as possible, so you never know…

I LOVE good coffee and really got into the coffee culture in Sydney. What, in your opinion makes a good coffee?

From my limited experience I’d say consistency makes a good coffee, something that consistently pours well (this is generally down to how well the coffee is roasted), is smooth and being a chocolate addict I like a mild chocolate undertone. Matt reckons that a well extracted shot that provides the best balance of flavours.

Any restaurants/cafes around the world you’d highly recommend?

Well we might be a little biased but the Tribe Coffee shop in Woodstock Cape Town is an epic spot to go if you have the chance. Zumbo in Melbourne, Australia was a life changing experience for me, best macaroons and cronuts I have ever had in my life, EVER.

Do you love living in Durban? And why?


We both frikkin LOVE it. What’s not to love? The weather is awesome, the people are laid back and friendly, you are never further than 20 minutes from the beach or 2 hours from the mountains and we have an awesome variety of food – the flavours you can find in Durban blow my mind! The sky is the limit and Durban is only getting better.


What does living with soul mean to you?

I think to me living with soul would mean living with purpose, finding happiness in a useful life, try look at what it is you can do to better other people’s lives and you will begin to see your life change for the better. Make an impact, dare to be different…

Who inspires you?

As cliché as it sounds, my parents do and I know Matt feels the same way. Every day I woke up to see my dad work long hours to achieve his dream no matter how hard things got, I saw the support my mom gave him and I saw how that support gave him the courage and energy to carry on even when things got tough. And in a huge way Matt inspires me, we are so different and I know there is a lot we can learn from each other, he’s one of the most passionate and hardworking people I’ve ever met and every day I’m grateful for our partnership.

One piece of advice you’ve never forgotten?

A lion does not lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.

Jingle Bell Rock

November 30, 2014

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Images: Nicole Leftwick

‘Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few, you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, for as the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.’

It was our annual girl’s Christmas do yesterday – no words can describe how much I love these girls. I think the pictures say it all really… xxx

 

 

Girl Heaven

November 25, 2014

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 Images: Nicole Leftwick and Vanilla photography 

OK ladies, listen up – there is a little piece of girl heaven that you need to know about…

La Maison is your one stop girl-time shop offering everything from scrumptious cakes and quality coffee to skin and nail treatments, hairdressing and scrapbooking – all packaged up in a beautifully ambient little house-turned business, conveniently located behind the Spar in Durban North (Ennisdale Drive). You could literally spend all day there!

Here’s the low down of what you’ll find there –

Crop –

Crop is the brainchild of my good friend Stace Shea. After living and working with some top hair stylists and brands at many a fashion event in Cape Town, Stace came back to open up shop at home in Durban. It’s a beautiful little spot with a clean interior and modern fixtures that makes you feel instantly at home – interior design was done by the lovely Kirsty Lindley Interior Design.

I had my ‘hair did’ there last week as I wanted some very natural highlights for summer. Stace used Wella’s new freelights and I’m so so happy with the results! Golden perfection a la Eva Mendes/Jessica Alba.

Follow Crop on Facebook or call Stace on 031 573 1926 for bookings.

The Skin & Nail Bar -

My other besty Kelly Edwards opened up her salon earlier this year and it has been flourishing ever since. It’s a gorgeous salon styled by Lisa M Designs with two treatments rooms and two mani/pedi stations. Jana recently joined the business so now the team can offer double treatments – perfect for a girl’s/mother daughter day out.

The Skin and Nail Bar and Crop are running a special  for the last week of November – book a facial to the value of R380 and get a free blow wave at crop. They will also have plenty of Christmas time deals available.

Follow the The Skin & Nail bar on Facebook or call Kelly on 031 563 1614 for bookings.  http://www.theskinandnailbar.co.za/

La Maison Café -

After you’ve had your skin or hair treatment you can pop into the cafe – if not, why not hey? The quiches and coffee are to die for! La Maison also hires out the space for parties – we recently had a baby shower there and it’s just the perfect, girly little spot for such an occasion.

La Maison is holding their Christmas shopping evening night every Wednesday from 8am – 8pm for November and December only. The Skin & Nail Bar and Crop will be open for late night bookings, La Maison will be serving up delicious food, Reminisce will be holding an Xmas Décor workshop and various stores will be selling their goods, including Tasha Closet, Roxstar Bikinis and Bella Gem Jewels.

Visit their Facebook page or call 031 563 0756 for bookings.

Reminisce Scrapbooking – 

And finally – next to the cafe is Reminisce – Durban’s exclusive Scrapbooking supplier that stocks the latest Scrapbooking supplies from top quality manufacturers and offers a variety of creative workshops and events. All my fellow Annie Sloan fans will be excited to know that they also now stock AS Chalk Paint!

Follow on Reminisce on Facebook or find out more details on workshops at http://www.reminisce.co.za/about.htm

 

Having a moment

November 21, 2014

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Image by Rog Walker

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Images: Pinterest

So many ‘JUST YES’  fashion moments this week – I am especially taken with Solange’s all white wedding. I dig a non traditional matrimony – and as for her one piece pants suit; so my vibe.

I am also loving that all the stars are ditching their extensions for a classy modern bob/lob a la Lauren Conrad – tres chic ladies.

And finally – one month until I turn 31 and I’m considering a tattoo – maybe I’ve lost my mind, but how sweet are these dainty tats? They are like tiny pieces of jewellery – but they do last a life time. Let’s see if my sentiments remain the same next week…

Happy Friday x

DIY: A Touch of Gold

November 17, 2014

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Images: Pinterest (top 3) and Nicole Leftwick

There’s no denying that touches of gold always add an air of decadence. I’ve made a few rose gold DIY items of late for work and gifting purposes, and number of people have asked me how to make them. It’s really really easy gals – here’s how…

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What you’ll need – About a metre of gold stretch sequin with 3 or 4 rows of sequins per strip (from Craft Concepts or Waste Centre), wooden hangers with clips or without, depending on what you’re using them for (from Mr Price Home), scissors and multi purpose glue.

How to – Start at the top, back of the hanger and glue the strip of sequin on – remembering to ensure the sequins are facing the same direction as they are on the material. You can measure out the sequin on one side of the hook to work out the size of strip you need to cut for future hangers, but I am a bit lazy so I just wrap the full metre around one side of hanger until I get to the end, then cut it, glue at the back again and then do the same on the other side. Depending on the angle of the hanger you can glue each strip to the hanger to ensure there are no gaps.

Use them for – Anything really! A glitzy welcome sign for an event, a photo feature for your wedding or prom dress, boutique store functional decor etc.

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What you’ll need – Jam jars, glitter (I got mine both from Party Themes), gold spray paint, modge podge, masking tape, a sponge brush (Craft Concepts), a box and newspaper.

How to – 1) Place your jars face down in the box (line with newspaper if you want to use it again) and then spray them as evenly as you can – spray paint usually dries quite quickly (about 30 mins between each coat) so you can lift them up to ensure you’re covering the whole surface. 2) Once satisfied then leave them for about an hour to ensure they are fully dry and then place them on a table with newspaper laid over. 3) Depending on how much of a perfectionist you are, you can create the line across the bottom of the jar either using a very non sticky masking tape (you don’t want the spray paint coming off with the tape) or just using the sponge brush with modge podgy in small sections. If the tape is on you can paint the whole bottom with the modge podge. Then get your glitter and sprinkle directly onto the glue – you’ll need quite a lot to cover each section and give the right effect. You can experiment with different colour paints and glitters depending on your theme/mood.

Use them for – Again – whatever you please! I used my first ones as little vases for flowers for a colleagues birthday, but you could put candles in them, use them as favours at an event, fill them with sweeties and so on!

Meet: Lola Berry

November 5, 2014

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Images: Lilli Waters (top) and Pinterest.

I know I’ve said it before, but three years of living in Australia really opened up my eyes to nutrition and it’s direct link to wellbeing. In my early 20’s as a Uni student and then when I went on to live in London, I used to eat a lot of food that was high in sugar or carbs because it was quick and easy and gave me instant energy. Over the years, I have learnt the importance of a proper diet and how you can really nourish your mind and body through what you eat. As well as living in the health hub that was Bondi, where you could get green juices at your doorstep and banting, gluten, dairy or sugar free options at just about every cafe, it was people I was exposed to like like Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugar and Lola Berry who inspired me to take the first steps to leading a healthier lifestyle through my diet.

I was very fortunate to have Lola, a leading Australian nutritionist  as one of my yoga teacher’s in Bondi – I used to get such a high from her energy-fueled sessions in which she combined her DJ’s skills with yoga. As well as a nutritionist, DJ and yoga teacher, Lola is also a television, writing and radio personality, chef and author of a cookbook – talk about an over-achiever! Lola’s colourful personality and passion inspires all of those around her  so I really hope you enjoy my conversation with her x

Check out recipes from Lola’s 20/20 diet cookbook here and follow Lola at lolaberry.com or on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

What does living with soul mean to you?

It means doing what you love, being real and coming from the heart, and you know what – I think that’s pretty rare. You know when you meet someone who’s truly real; they’re the ones with that extra little spark and they always make your head turn.

What or who inspires you?

Anyone who has the courage to live their dreams. Steve Irwin is a huge inspiration for me. And my Dad, he’s pretty ace too.

What’s your food philosophy?

Eat real food, listen to your body, nourish yourself and share food with the people you love most.

Biggest food myth?

That low fat is healthier and all the fake sugars, those artificial sweeteners are not cool at all.

We know that you love a good quote – hit us with one of your best!

‘Authentic people are enigmatic because more people are so comfortable in their hiding, conforming, dis-empowered state that someone brave enough to be simply real is fascinating.’ – Jamie Catto

Have you ever been to South Africa? If so what do you think and the big question – do you like our food? 

I would love to visit South Africa, my Dad went last year and his photos looked amazing. I’d been keen to try as much of the local produce as possible, I love spices so i think there’d be so much I could learn.

We know that you used to be a DJ – what music are you listening to at the moment?

Ahh – yes, I am still a big music nerd. At the moment I am loving Chet Faker, Ta-ku, Hozier and Sigur Ros.

Are there any awesome yoga playlists that we can find online?

I’d  say so but I collect my music for gigs – I love going to live gigs and I’ll try to make a playlist around things I love listening to at that moment.

And finally, one piece of advise you’ve never forgotten?

When I moved away from home to pursue my dreams, my dad said to me at the airport (when iw as crying); “Kick some goals girl” –  so that’s what I always try to do – be kicking goals.

Paint me like a French girl

October 28, 2014

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 Images: Nicole Leftwick

Last weekend I spent my Saturday morning doing just about everything that encompasses a perfect girls day out – and that would be painting, drinking tea and eating cakes of course.

I have always adored the look of shabby chic French furniture and decor, so when I heard about at the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® workshop at Bon Bon Maison in Umhlahi I jumped at the chance to book a seat! By way of background, Annie Sloan is one of those super women that does it all – she’s a trained artist from Oxford England, who has combined her love of colour with a successful career as paint designer, teacher, entrepreneur and writer – with over one and a half million of her books sold so far. And of course, she is the founder of the amazing decorative and most brilliant paint in the world; Chalk Paint®.

As her brand is all about giving people the tools to create, Annie started developing her own line of paints because she was not happy with those on the market – and when you try Chalk Paint you will know why it’s revolutionised the way we see decorative painting. The unique paint is so flexible and easy to use, it even allows furniture to be painted without priming or preparation as it adheres to almost any surface from different wood finishes, fabric, ceramic pots and tins – I was amazed at how easy it was to apply! It comes in 32 beautifully rich colours that you can mix and match, it dries fast and has great coverage – because ain’t nobody got time to watch paint dry these days!

The lovely and talented Su from Suzanna Jane Furniture took our ‘Introduction to Chalk paint’ class – Su lives on the North Coast and upcycles furniture for a living – and she’s an absolute Annie Sloan ambassador. Her vast knowledge of the product, combined with her passion for painting and patience with those of us less experienced than others made her the perfect candidate to teach us all the tricks of the trade. Armed with our own pieces of wood, a plethora of brushes and pots of paints and even a hair dryer, Su took us through a few different techniques including whitewash, one-colour ‘chic’ finish, adding texture, two colour distressing and the use of clear and dark wax.

I found the workshop thoroughly enjoyable, inspiring and enlightening and I’d highly recommend it to anyone interested in exploring paint techniques, DIY projects or creative ways to up cycle old furniture. Like anything creative I think it’s best to experiment practically first hand, so I won’t spoil it for you all but rather provide some of my top tips I took from the day –

  • It’s always advisable to clean your surfaces before painting to remove dirt and grime and give you a clean base – you can do this with sugar soap and water
  • Some woods with heavy natural oils e.g. teak, can bleed through the paint, to prevent this use Knot Seal to prime the wood
  • Use a separate brush for waxing
  • Always apply a coat of clear wax before dark wax
  • Wax can be applied a s quickly as 40 minutes after painting
  • To maintain your pieces, wax them once a year and clean with a feather duster rather than chemical products
  • After painting you can use a coat of deck seal on outdoor furniture to keep the paint from weathering
  • To prevent surface marks, ideally wait about 30 days before putting things on top of your painted furniture

Most Annie Sloan stockists in South Africa offers paint technique workshops. Bon Bon Maison is an ideal stockist for North Coast residents, but recently the range became available at La Maison in Durban North. To find your nearest stockist go to http://anniesloansa.co.za/workshops/ I’d also recommend jumping on youtube if you’d prefer to teach yourself or even if you need a little refresher post workshop.

The Annie Sloan half day workshop is R500. To book visit Bon Bon Maison’s Facebook page here

 

 

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