Friday, July 12, 2013

Your View on the World

I'm sure you'd agree with me, architectural details can make a home. My apartment has the most amazing glass door knobs, woodwork and radiators. I love them (check them out here and here, if you want to see).

Another South African blogger's home that is very different to mine in style but has interesting detail too, is Ashe's. She lives in Durban, a city on South Africa's warm and tropical East coast that kind of reminds me of Miami in some ways - the art nouveau buildings, and the beaches... there are a line of them on one side of the city (some great surfing!) and then a harbour with a marina and yacht club, accompanied by a pine-treed lined high way. I love and miss Durban.

Anyway, Ashe has bought a flat there, and polished that little jewel so you can actually see its beauty. Here's some befores and afters of her kitchen.

So, my question is - how do you live in a place with such unique and beautiful windows and not make them a feature? Well done, Ashe, for bringing out the beauty. 

You can see more of her place here

PS: Plus, she has great taste in chairs! Why do I think so? Hmmm.... click here.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Christmas in July

So things have hit planning mode over here big time - with the imminent arrival of not one but two babies later this year, I've been busy making plans. One of the more fun things I have up my sleeve is our babies first Christmas, and we are lucky enough to be spending it with all of their grandparents! I've always wanted to create a cozy, tartaned-up Christmas and this is the perfect excuse... so while everyone else around me in Boston has been celebrating the height of summer Independence day fireworks, I've been dreaming of Christmas.

I have plans for the tablecloth, I've ordered some beautiful black raffia placemats, I have hurricane lamps and bone-handle china for the table. We'll pick up some pine cones for the centrepieces... And guess what arrived the other day? The tablecloth! The joy of planning Christmas in the middle of the year is the great bargains you find! (And it comes in a runner, if you prefer).

It was such a treat to open such beautiful packaging (even if I was in the car with the air conditioning on at full blast!)

Here are some of the images I've found on the web to inspire me (all images and more on my pinterest Christmas Table page, where you can follow them to their sources).

Monday, July 1, 2013

Coffee Addiction

So (doesn't any good story start with so?) my husband and I have lived in the States for ten years. And yes, we have somewhat grown accustomed to the coffee culture. No, you won't find me schlepping an idiotic (sorry to those who love them!) travel mug on my morning commute BUT I do love to make a stop on my errands sometimes and grab a latte from Starbucks. On the go. Gasp. I know. Sacrilegious to not stop and enjoy it but, hey, they have these handy straws and everything.

My husband, on the other hand, will not be caught dead with a Starbucks. He is a Dunkin' Donuts guy, through and through. Dunkin' is a local company and he swears by it. Personally, I can't handle coffee that's too strong, so I only drink lattes, and Dunkin's lattes are nothing to write home about!

So, here we are, accustomed to our American coffee traditions - like ice coffee - and we head home to South Africa. Americans who've visited South Africa may know this - you can't get an ice coffee there,  you get milkshake coffee type things. And other similar fancy drinks but nothing you're used to. My husband, the eternal optimist, ordered various cold coffee drinks while out and about but nothing would scratch that itch. So we were at a restaurant one day and he asked for coffee, ice in a glass and milk, all separately. The waitress brought everything - and instant coffee! In South Africa, filter coffee is not what most people drink, it's instant - so she thought that's what he wanted. So what he did was ask her for a shot of espresso, then poured that over the ice and added the ice. Finally! The itch was scratched.

So (here's another so) it seems like there are some guys who are going to change all that! The Department of Coffee - in Khayelitsha, of all places! I say go boys! I read a lovely article on them in the Jul 2013 House & Leisure magazine, and they say their coffee was really popular in winter but are still convincing people to try ice coffee in the summer. It is just. a. matter. of. time. I know. It didn't take us very long to be addicted!

The guys host events and do tons of fun stuff at their location, so if you're South African or American and find yourself in Cape Town and needing a good (and reasonably priced!) cup of coffee, these are your guys.

Images from here