Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Can  someone tell when you've been stalking them online? I've been a huge fan of Kathy Waddell for ages... she is the co-owner of the amazing Madwa, and she has the most gorgeous house down near the Outeniqua mountains (a few hours drive from Cape Town, to my non South African friends) on a property that makes my heart sing. She bought it years ago and started by restoring the natural flora on the property, ripping out all the exotic stuff and slowly putting in indigenous species, figuring out what worked by trial and error (pics of the land from South African House & Garden, October 2014. Yes, yes, I've been hoarding it for that long!)

She plants the way I would - letting the garden meet up with the surrounding landscape in a way that you won't notice... huge swaths of one particular kind of plant...

The house itself was an afterthought. After lovely lunches out under a pavilion on the property, she decided it would be nice to stay. She grew up in an old house in Kimberley, an old mining town in South Africa - where the porches are deep and cool - and it informed the design of the house. You can read more about it here, on the Cecil & Boyd website, where I found these images (originally from another House & Garden, April 2011).

The house's heart is the cabinet that was from Kew Gardens... oh heavens, its just lovely. 

And then the reed ceilings... deep verandah, Malawi chairs... sigh.

Well, I'm going back to my fantasies of an indigenous haven in South Africa. Feel free to click on images to see them larger.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Back. Better than Ever.

I was recently flipping through the August 2015 House & Leisure and came across these images... how can you not stop and stare (sorry about the shine on the page in the photo)? These arresting paintings are by South African painter and sculptor, Lionel Smit. These are just some screenshots from his website.

You should take a look at a pinterest search. Sheesh.

Anyway, so yes, I'm back. Maybe not better than ever but life with twins is finally settling down... last Saturday was would've been their due-date 2nd birthday. Being 2 months premature has made the past two years focused on them catching up, other medical stuff and then the usual logistics of getting two babies through infancy. It's been the toughest two years of my life! But that's another blog post, if you're up for it... I *might* even consider a birth story, coz all the cool kids are doing it, but we'll see. I also need to give you updates on the babies' nursery. I have noticed most people post their nursery pics and then you don't see the baby's room again. I think I have some helpful hints to add, now that we're two years in (a double level bookshelf? Um, BAD IDEA). And of course, tweaks around the house that are a result of two toddlers toddling around the house. And yes, those memes about toddlers being like drunk people is totally true (no, please don't eat that! Yes, I do love you, please don't cry! No, put your shirt back on! Etc).

I can't promise to be blogging regularly but I certainly want to. There's a lot of things that I can now do that I've had to put on the back burner, and heaven knows I've sent myself tons of links to show here. I also have some new fun things to share - hopefully not all child-driven but certainly some will be. Feel free to not read those posts if you don't want to, but most will be design related. Because that's who I am and I can't help myself!

See you soon! (in meantime, you can see what I'm up to on Instagram and Pinterest. Links on the right!)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Our Madiba

Wishing so much that I could be in South Africa right now. So sad, regardless of knowing this day had to come.

"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of  others."

PS: Great news from us! Olivia is home! Our little family is complete, and thankfully my parents are here to help juggle feeding two babes. Phew!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Giving Thanks

On October 10, 2013 my life changed forever: my babies, Olivia Harper and Thomas George were born. It has been a whirlwind seven weeks, and I have not been as exhausted or as much of an emotional mess in all my life! The twins were born nine weeks early; which was a little scary and wonderful all at the same time! Our Liv is a blondie, and looks like her Dad, while Thomas is dark-haired like me, two little opposites and both so lovely. I am so blessed to be their mama.

They both spent two weeks in the Neo-natal ICU at St Elizabeth's hospital in Brighton, where they were born, then when they were bigger they were moved to a Special Care Nursery closer to our home. Tom has since come home and is keeping us busy, while Liv stayed on at the Nursery to perfect her breathing, a fairly typical occurrence with a premature baby. The great news is that we're planning on her being home by the end of next week! So while they will both most likely have some preemie "issues" to deal with as time goes on, they are both doing well and making their parents feel so grateful and exhausted (wait, did I already say that?) this Thanksgiving weekend. We have been so overwhelmed with the love and support our friends have shown us over these last crazy weeks... I know other South Africans overseas and expats will know how much that means.

I leave you with some hurried pics of the completed (3 weeks after the babies' arrival!) nursery, with the promise of some more photos of it, and the babies soon! I'm still on pinterest now and then, as much as my sleep-deprived brain manages, so pop over to see what is catching my eye.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sign Here

A little something fun for the weekend - for my South African readers, you may not have heard the expression "put your John Hancock here". I never had before moving to Boston! I believe because John Hancock's signature was so beautiful on the American Declaration of Independence, his name has become synonymous with the word signature.

Well, in Boston there is the John Hancock building - next door to another that used to be the John Hancock building (unfortunately I don't know the whole story). So, we were driving by the old one on our way to a class on parenting multiples (!!) when the garage door was open and we saw this! It must be the sign that used to hang on the outside of the building. Gorgeous! I love the combo of the lights against the subway tile...

Friday, September 27, 2013

Projects Around the House

In between parenting classes and just simply finding the energy to help make dinner and get the laundry done, we've slowly been making some upgrades around the house so our visiting family and friends are not mortified when they come visit our babies for the first time. I have some lengthier posts up my sleeve (maybe for when the to-do list gets smaller? More likely just slowly over time!) but for now here are some sneak peeks at some of our projects.

Changes to our living room

And a little bit of the lovely new curtains that are cozying up and simultaneously making our bedroom seem taller and bigger.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Johannesburg Loft

I loved this penthouse in the Johannesburg CBD, in the September 2013 House & Leisure Magazine.

So open and airy, and relaxed. It definitely feels urban, African, and cool without trying too hard.

And, check out these views! (And the vertical garden!) Sigh.