Whoa 2014! You were one crazy jallopy of a ride and I am I glad to finally unsaddle you and put a new saddle on the young mare named 2015. I hope the new year is a gentle, easy and enjoyable year with many more highlights than lowlights. The past year was honestly one of the toughest years of my life, and although I am not going into details about everything, I have had to battle many personal challenges., such as loss, cancer, BEING MARRIED, finances (who doesn’t battle finance?). Many of these challenges will continue into the new year, but it should be easier.
But despite all these awful and harrowing lows, I still had some really high highs!
Although we didn’t travel during the month of love, I did show you how to make your own bunting and how to lose weight in an office environment. Further, I recounted our visit to the Hartbeespoortdam Cable Cars, and told you a story of an old struggling man. I gave a mouse a bath, gave tips for travelling on a strict budget, went to Kaapsehoop, went to the Fourways Farmer’s Market, Queen street in Kensington, and spent a weekend in Irene, Pretoria and celebrated our first MARRIED anniversary.
May 2015 have many highlights for you and your family and may you be blessed with an abundance of love and joy!
I’m a bit of a romantic. An undying, hopeless one at that. While I like most areas of my life to be simple, my decor, my dress sense, my no-fuss hair, I do love a bit of a romantic side of life and I love being spoilt by intricate, well-planned events or presents (Dear Flip, are you listening?). And well, what better place to show your romantic side than the bedroom!
No, I’m not talking about Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, or rose petals leading up to the bed or even banana hammock *wink*, but fairy lights. I think it is the easiest, most simple way to create the most romantic space in your house. And a bedroom is supposed to be romantic!
The easiest and most fuss-free way to create this idyllic atmosphere is through lighting. Dim the lights, light some scented candles, and hang a curtain from the roof with some fairylights behind it. I love how beautiful it makes the room and that it truly look like something from a fairytale. It also ties in nicely with Christmas just being around the corner.
If the do-it-yourself process of hanging a curtain from the roof is a bit daunting, simply drape the fairylights over a mirror. Everyone has a mirror in their bedroom.
Fairylights images: 1/2/3
Invest in the nicest bedding ever. You spend almost 229 961 hours of your life sleeping, so why not do it in luxurious Egyptian cotton with 5 000 threads – or whatever? You don’t have to buy it every month, but you should invest in it at least once in your life. A headrest – or a proper bed – is also something that should also be considered. Having some nice threads on your bed instantly makes it more inviting and as a result, more romantic.
Ban all technology from your bedroom! Yes, it is tempting to put a tv in there, but I feel so sorry for women who tell me they have a tv in their bedroom. This is your private, safe space – not the living room. There is no bigger romance killer than a television that steals your husband’s time. And having a laptop in bed might be convenient – workwise – but rather leave your work for working hours.
Make it pretty with plants and pictures. I love succulents, and my entire house is filled with the beautiful little plants. Group them together on a nightstand or arrange them on a windowsill. Make the space your own. Print out your wedding pictures, your engagement shoot or your pregnancy shoot – all those little intimate little moments between you and your spouse and arrange them on the walls.
I read a few articles before writing this one, and one of the most prominent tips was to keep your bedroom clutter free. I know all of us ladies are so guilty of stacking everything on the night table, or letting our hairdryer lie around. If you’re anything like me, you also have heaps of washing scattered all over the floor. Make it a new year’s resolution to keep your bedroom clutter free. Your husband will thank you for it – and you will thank yourself for creating a more serene environment.
If he leaves wet towels all over the place, pick it up, spin it a few times and whip him on the butt. He won’t leave wet towels again.
The idea started with making something that was seen to be “old fashioned” new and modern again. With passion in their hearts for crochet and the happiness they feel when creating something beautiful with cotton thread, Elsje van Zyl and Jane Delport turned their addiction to crocheting into a business in 2012, and CottonNest was born. “We love to share our passion with everyone who comes across our products and that is what we strive for. We aspire to bring something different to the hand-grafts industry of South Africa,” Jane says.
The short and sweet version CottonNest – handmade crochet products in a modern vintage style, purely for the love of it.
1. How did you start and how long have you been doing this?
Crotchet as our hobby started a long time ago, but CottonNest, our business, is 2 years old this year. So we are still learning every step of the way and enjoying every part of the journey.2. What sort of products do you make? Do you also provide services?
We pride ourselves in knowing that our products are purely handmade and 100% local. We make crochet earrings, with the finest cotton thread. Brooches, assembled by our own hands, every single one different & unique. Dummy clips for every baby & style, like nothing you’ve seen in any kiddies store. And our new products is leather bracelets with a crochet bangle. We also make customised products on order only. The wedding brooches are very popular and the dummy clip for a special & unique baby shower gift.
3. Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
We have a lot of creative energy and draw a lot of our inspiration from each other. We both have very different styles and that makes our product more acceptable for a big range of clients from all ages. Our creations are inspirations from our different points of view, and then we just add all the right ingredients and Voila! a product is born. We have never produced a product that both of us didn’t agree on.
4. What are some of the challenges of being your own boss?
People tend to copy from each other, and our biggest challenge is thinking of something new every single day, to stay ahead of everyone else. Creativity is not a hobby it is a way of life.
5. How do you perceive the South African creatives/design landscape?
Creatives and designers are creating new frontiers in our country, and we have the ability to make a change and take chances. South Africa is all for entrepreneurial innovative ideas and because of that we can also produce our product in the market with self-confidence. People are moving back to hand made and environmentally friendly products, instead of commercial mass produced product. That is one of the aspects which makes CottonNest’s product so popular.
6. What is your favourite colour/ material to work with, and why?
We try to use 100% cotton, local yarns and wood to make our products. Our colours ranges from vintage pink, ivory and natural colours to bright red, navy blue and gray. We love to combine textures and different materials to make a perfect unique product.
7. What would you do if you won the lotto?
We would take our business to the next level by empowering woman and help them to be independent. We would also like to travel and see what the trends is in other parts of the world and maybe do some marketing for international clients.
8. Where to from here?We were selling our product mostly in Pretoria but we have taken the decision to take CottonNest to the rest of SA in 2015. We are selling to selected retailers across the country and the demand for our product increased exponentially the last year.
9. What has been your proudest moment since you started?When we were approved by Tierlantynkies Market in 2012. We have been with Tierlantynkies since 2012 till now and selling our product there was very special. We got amazing feedback from customers on how they admire us for taking the time to make such special products.
Find them here
If you are one of the lucky people who get to visit the coast this year, you will obviously need some goodies to take to the beach with you. Someone on the radio said this morning that it is far cheaper to have a coastal holiday than stay at home and have to pay the electricity bill – which is off half the time anyway. So there might be loads more people at the sea this year, and of course, you want to look fabulous! I again used Superbalist.com to find all the goodies you need for your beach essentials.
SUNSCREEN // Listen, even if you are not as pale as I am, even if you are a nubian beauty, or have the most envious olive toned skin, you need to wear Sun Screen! Base Lurhman feels so strongly about it that he wrote a song. Skin Cancer is real people, and you don’t want to age prematurely, so even if you are indoors, WEAR SUNSCREEN! You can find them at any supermarket or Clicks.
SUN HAT // Along with the sunscreen, protect your face and still look fabulous in a beautiful sun hat,. You will only thank yourself later, when you don’t have to apply aloe gel to a red, sore face that will be peeling in a week’s time. This beautiful multicolour Courtney sunhat from Forever New is perfect!
BIKINI // Hallo, what is a beach without the perfect bikini? This Maisy Floral Bustier Bikini is just gorgeous and hints towards bygone eras, with its bustier top. Superbalist also stocks beautiful American Apparel bikinis, did you know? Like this Jungle Leaves bikini. With jungle prints being all the rage right now, you will spot not! And they are far cheaper than you might think. Check it out!
SUNNIES // I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again – you can never have too many pairs of sunglasses and you can never leave the house without them! To keep the glare at bay – and also prevent crow’s feet wrinkles – grab these cute Lundun Wayfarers.
BEACH BLANKET // This stylish Beach Blanket will keep the sand away from all those pesky areas in your bikini.
BACKPACK // You need to take your holiday reading, sunscreen, cellphone, wallet, maybe lunch and all your other necessities with you, but you don’t want to carry it all in your hands. This is why this pretty little mint backpack is the perfect accessory for your lazy beach days.
Did I miss anything? Feel free to comment!
There are exactly 50 days left over in this year of 2014. Fifty days! Can you believe that? This also means that the holiday season is on its way and all us Joburgers will be invading the coast like Independence Day (the movie, you know? Ugh, forget it).
I’m also counting down the 46 days until we depart for Cape Town, via my little car. I am so excited that I am preparing everything now, even though I have plenty time! I made a short list of the roadtrip essentials needed for a comfortable 12+ hours’ drive with goodies from Superbalist, because when you are so busy prepping a bikini body in the gym, there’s no time to go to the shops. Yay for Online Shopping!