Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween

This year for Halloween I opted to go as the intrepid explorer Wally / Waldo. As a kid I had many of his books and could spend hours paging through, looking not only for Wally, but taking in all the other awesome details going on in the books!

So yeah, he's not entirely scary, but hey, I love the chance to dress up and quite frankly Twilight has ruined vampires for me anyway.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Bloggers Secret Santa

Hey bloggers!

Want to join in on the bloggers Secret Santa?
Just send your details to Kelly of Sunflowers and Spears and she'll add your name to the mix and send you a blogger that you can buy a pressie for... This way we get to know bloggers around the world, AND we get a pressie in the post. Win!

Wrong Avenue

Cardigan - Truworths, Top - Woolies, Skirt - Mr Price, Shoes - Rage, Belt - Mr Price
On Friday night The Boyfriend took me out for a lovely fancy dinner but, in his excitement, booked us in at the wrong restaurant (oops). So as we arrived I started walking one way (towards the restaurant we had booked a table at), and him another (towards the restaurant he meant to book us into.) After his cursing and my hysterical laughter he sheepishly walked into 9th Avenue Bistro and explained to the manager that he had somehow got the restaurant names mixed up and booked us next door when he really wanted to dine in style at 9th Avenue Bistro. They were thankfully really accommodating about his mix up and manged to set us up a table within 15 minutes (even though they were quite fully booked - as is expected). 

If you're in Durbs and you've not yet been, do make a point to dine at the 9th Avenue Bistro. The food is incredible (expect dishes from rabbit to duck) the wine selection is top notch and the service is outstanding. It is no surprise that they have won multiple awards for being one of the top restaurants in SA.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Clean and Colourful Corner

Last night while in our spare room I realized that although I cannot remove the nasty paper stuck to the cupboard mirror (left from kiddies stickers from the previous owners) I had to URGENTLY do something about it. Suddenly it was a big problem that I could not bare to see anymore. (I had originally convinced myself not to stress because we would remove the boring cupboard mirror and replace it with a pretty framed mirror on the wall, but, well, that hasn't happened yet)

So with a few strips of helpful washi tape I just hid it. Maybe it's cheating, or maybe it's ingenious?

Halloween Sneak Peak

A little sneaky peak at some of my Halloween outfit...
Can you guess who I am dressing up as?
Full outfit pics to follow soon...

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Floral Fetish Nailed

Am I taking my floral fetish too far? Dresses, skirts, in my hair and now on my nails too! But personally, if I may say so myself, I am in love with this mani! It reminds me of Cath Kidston designs and having Cath Kidston nails makes me happy.

These nails weren’t too hard to do, but they do take patience and time, but it is so worth it!

What you need:
  • A base colour (I chose a soft blue - Mavala Lagoon) but you could even use a creamy beige.
  • Your flower base  (I used a bright pink – Essie Lovie Dovie )
  • Your flower detailing ( I used a darker pink  - Mavala La Paz)
  • Green for the leaves ( I used a woollies olive-y type green)
  • Top coat and base coat (as always)

After applying your base coat, apply your base colour. I apply two coats so that it is fully opaque.

Once the base colour is dry, create the base of the flowers. These are not meant to be perfect circles so no need for other tools, the little brush in the nail polish is perfect. Just dab onto your nails creating messy little spots.

Once these are dry, using a toothpick dipped into your darker colour draw little squiggles on your roses. These create the petals and define the rose. I sort of outlined areas of the rose and brought them in making a 'c' shape of sorts. Play around and see what looks best on your nail and your lighter pink spot.

Lastly, you need to add the leaves. Do not leave (hehe) these off. They really bring the final look together. Two little green triangular-ish shapes complete your little rose.

As you go from step to step the flowers won’t really look good. You may think it is looking messy but once every step is complete they really come together to look gorgeous. Up until I had completed the last leaf The Boyfriend was not entirely convinced either, but as a final picture you’ll see the effort is so worth it.

Helpful Hint: I read that sometimes it is easier to try do the splodges on your left hand using an earbud as it is easier to control. I however managed with the nail polish brush so didn’t use them, but if you’re struggling keep one close for just in case…

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Whitewash Weather

The view from our balcony

The weather this weekend has been quite miserable, which has suited me  perfectly as The Boyfriend and I have created a list of 35 things we need to get done to our house before the year is up. The list has everything from the very simple (buy more big wine glasses) to the far more extreme (convert the spare room into a creative workspace). And this weekend we got going on our list.

We are redoing our spare room into a space where I can blog, do my DIY and get messy, and also a space where The Boyfriend can sit down with good music and edit his surf footage (He received a gopro for his birthday so he can now be seen in the water with it on his board, or strapped to my old mop pole for better angles...)

We are building a work desk in the room and wanted to make the desk a space where I can mess without making the desk look damaged, so we decided a good whitewashing will create a look that will actually be enhanced by drops of glue and splatters of paint.

Whitewashing Wood

What you need:
  • Wood
  • Sandpaper and sandpaper block
  • White water based paint
  • Water
  • Varnish / sealant
  • Paintbrush
  • Mixing container
  • Old rags

Before you can start with the painting you will need to first prep your wood. Using the sandpaper sand the wood down to remove any old varnish / paint. Be sure to wipe the wood down afterwards as you don't want any dust to be there when you paint.

Sand the wood

Once the wood is sanded you need to create your whitewash. Mix 2 parts paint to 1 part water. That's it. No funny tricks here. 

Paint on the whitewash in small sections

Working in small sections, paint your wood, and then wipe the excess paint off. Whitewash dries pretty quickly so wipe as you go.

Wipe off excess paint

Once the whitwash has dried, apply a second layer if necessary. Once this layer is also dry, get your sandpaper and start sanding where the wood would naturally weather, so on the corners and raised areas. This adds the texture and worn look.

Sand the wood again to age it

Finally, once you wood is looking well old, slap on a layer of sealant / clear varnish to protect the wood.

Varnish wood

Once we have finished our workspace I promise to post pictures of the final product...

Wednesday, 17 October 2012 the sky with Diamonds

I am so excited!

A couple months back I spotted a few beautiful bird illustrations online and I just knew I had to have them in my home.
But they had no reference to where they were from or who did them, and so started my mission to find out who the artist was and get my hands on some of her work.

After much googling and searching (what do you google, bird illustrations? Water paint birds?), I eventually found my way to Abby Diamond, the artists behind the canvas. With a  name to search everything became  a lot easier and my eyes were opened to her incredible collection of works.

Having originally  loved just one picture I now found myself wanting them all (typical) and had to narrow down my selection to 3 of my favourites. ( I chose top 6, printed them out, took them home and played until I could commit to only 3, which admittedly is probably too many anyway)

And then the fun part, she sells them online on Society 6 and they ship all around the worlds – yay - so my order is placed and now I have to wait patiently (truth: run and check the postbox daily) until my parcel arrives. I cannot wait.

Here are the three I eventually settled on, but do check her out to see the rest of her designs…

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Bittersweet Treats

I saw this recipe on the fabulous I Love Baking SA page and gave it a try. They called this recipe Chocolate Truffles, but as it was quite delightfully bitter, I reckon Cocoa Truffles would be more fitting… 

1000ml (4 cups) rolled oats
315ml (1¼ cups) white sugar
125ml cocoa
250ml butter
30ml strong coffee powder
5ml vanilla essence
30g baking chocolate, melted
30ml peanut butter
80ml desiccated coconut flakes

Mix all the ingredients (except coconut) together in a mixing bowl
Roll mixture into small balls and then roll the ball in the coconut
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before eating

The ingredients
Mix it all up
Making the balls

You'll have to squash them into shape
Roll the balls in coconut flakes
and enjoy...

Unlike my uber indulgent previous cookies, this recipe is not nearly as rich and sweet but rather quite an interesting mix of the cocoa and oats – somehow to me it just tastes healthier. (Thus allowing myself to have just one more)