Christmas Gift guide

What a magical time of year! The smell of cinnamon and cookies and pine – so quintessentially Christmas and the holiday season. In South Africa, we get ourselves beach-ready, we sip cocktails and sundowners, we shop-till-we-drop to find perfect gifts and perfect summer outfits. The scent of suntan lotion and sand epitomises December for some of us, for others it’s the smell of a braai and Grandma’s famous Christmas pudding / dish / cookies, etc.

I tend to usually leave my Christmas shopping until the last minute {I leave most things till the last minute…} or until just before a function or our departure on holiday… The past two years though, I’ve been a bit more organised. With most of my family living far away and my parents in the States, I don’t really have a very long shopping list – and I do most of it online. I LOVE that – I can sit in the comfort of my own home, with my slippers on, sipping a glass of wine and just click away, knowing all my parcels will be delivered on time, all wrapped up and just perfect! I do love gift-wrapping though and I love making the packages look oh-so-pretty, and I still get to do that with family here. It’s really a win-win situation {shopping-wise}…

Anyways – getting back to my Gift Guide…
I’ve compiled a few things that I think are fab gifts – hope you also think they’re fab!

20131205-162601.jpg

20131205-162607.jpg

20131205-162612.jpg

20131205-162623.jpg

1. Leopard print studs – from Etsy shop, $3
2. Teacup bookends – from Typo shop
3. ‘Homemade’ cookie stamp – from Big Blu, R150
4. ‘Bake on’ tea towel set – from Mr Price Home, R50
5. Apron – from Mr Price Home, R90
6. Silver Kate Spade napkin rings, set of four – from Kate Spade, $40
7. Kitchenaid mixer – from Yuppychef.com, R6490 {for the one you love A LOT!}
8. Kitchenaid food processor – from Yuppychef.com, R6490
9. Le Creuset butter bell – from Yuppychef.com, R275
10. Le Creuset ramekin set of four – from Yuppychef.com, R220
11. Krups ice cream maker – from Yuppychef.com, R795
12. Le Creuset batter bowl – from Yuppychef.com, R320
13. Carpe Diem pillowcases – from Superbalist.com, R75
14. Heart planters – from Amazon.com, $65
15. J. Crew necklace – from J. Crew
16. Eat napkin rings, set of 8 – from Etsy shop, $24
17. Kids initials necklace – from Etsy shop, $40+
18. Egg board – from Superbalist.com, R149
19. Heart ceramic bowls – cannot find where these are from, but fab aren’t they?
20. Le Creuset flower ramekin – from Yuppychef.com, R180
21. Le Creuset French press – from Yuppychef.com, R660
22. Mr & Mrs chopping board – from Lulu & Georgia, $74
23. Cookie jar – from Crate & Barrel
24. Pineapple / rabbit jar – from Lulu & Georgia, $76.80

{I recently discovered Lulu & Georgia via a fab blog I follow, http://ashleybrookedesigns.com and I just love their quirky things! I also really love Ashley Brooke Designs blog, always packed with stylish and fun girly things!}

Whenever you’re doing your shopping – and however you’re doing it – do enjoy! X

Our Veggie Garden!

I’m so excited about our veggie garden! We’ve started to plant a few seeds – mielies (corn), carrots, beets and spinach, as well as some herbs – sage, coriander, basil, dill and watercress.

Our thieving chickens are pecking up all the seedlings – grrr – but some of them are still hanging in there. Hubby is fencing off our veggie patch tomorrow and hopefully the chickens will stay out!

Anyways, as this is our first attempt at becoming more self sustainable, we will see how it goes and then go from there. (I love plants and growing herbs, but to be honest, nothing survives for very long at my hands… {blush})

I found a really great blog about growing your own vegetables:  www.its-our-life-for-six.blogspot.com

So inspiring – I hope our veggies will turn out as beautiful as theirs!

Here’s a peek into our garden (remember nothing has sprouted yet!):

image image image

The compost heap was made from old pallets (yes – another one for Pinterest!) and we filled them with horse manure, as well as all the fruit & veg off cuts from the kitchen. Holes were made into the heap by placing thick wooden poles down the middle and then removing them – for ventilation.

The veggie patch fencing is made from off cuts of wood we had lying around – well, it came from an old shed that was taken down. Hubby sawed all the pieces to size and then timbered them all together to form these fab picket fences. We saved about R5000 by making them ourselves – whoop whoop!

image image imageimage

My wish for our little seedlings: grow baby grow!

X

Kids bunkbed – DIY

Finished bunkbedStaining & varnishing of bed

I decided on a bunkbed for the boys – Seb is ready to sleep in a ‘big boy bed’, and by the time Francois is ready for a bed, Seb can move to the top bed, or the beds can be taken down and just be 2 single beds. Either way, I still love the bunkbed look, plus it’s a great space-saver! (Something we don’t have a lot of in our little country cottage!)

After shopping around a bit, I found a great Small Business that could make it just the way I want… But, and it’s a BIG but, it would’ve taken 3 months minimum to supply!

Eek – I don’t have the time or patience for that, so, I decided to Do It Myself… (Well, sort of – we bought a ready-made natural pine bed, which I then stained and varnished myself.)

It was really easy to do and didn’t take that long (ok, it took 3 weeks, as I could only really do it during the boys’ nap times, and I didn’t work on it every day…).

And here it is – thanks hubby for assembling! 😉

(Bunkbed & mattrasses from Lotter’s Pine, wood stain is a Woodoc gel stain {dawn red} and the varnish is a matt sealer, also from Woodoc.)

x