Reno, Renno? The first steps

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

People, let me tell you something very important. Sit, sit down, make yourself comfortable, because what I am about to tell you is very true and very heartbreaking.

Decorating a house is as difficult as trying to push a sweater through a needle's eye. Decorating a house is not seeing something in a store and buying it, because it might look great somewhere, but in the end it looks entirely mismatched and awful. Decorating a house is not as cheap as the before and after photos in magazines and blogs make it seem to be.

It is meticulous work. It is hours of planning, dreaming, blood, sweat, tears. Believe me, lots of tears. Magazines and blogs make it seem as if you just paint a wall and buy a new drape and it will look like a million dollars. It was a million dollars! That little lampshade that wasn't there before, that gorgeous chest in the corner of the room that suddenly appeared, that brilliant little ornament on a side table. They didn't fly out of the sky into the person's home. They cost money.

Now, why didn't somebody tell me that?

Well, that is, until I came across this post on Apartment Therapy:

To help us all learn to take away something unexpected from a project, even if it's not your style, here are 5 ideas to look for (if you're not one to simply scroll on by) to help you stay on the sunny side of life.
1. Technique: Even if you really are not digging the fabric or color choices used in a project, you can still draw from the technique of how it was done. Some of the best diy projects are done in new and unusual ways, using hardware and unusual items we never would have known about otherwise.

2. Time and Money: When planning DIY projects there are two things that often hold us back. Time and its beloved counterpart, money. Even if you're not feeling the project in the post at hand, you can still get a handle on materials, cost and the time it took to complete something. You can then purchase your own materials thatare to your liking and translate it project that you can plan for fully - you'll know if you'll need a weekend or a whole season to do it yourself.

3. Resources: Not sure where to get that thing-a-majig? What about that, you know, do-hickey? Ask in the comments if it's not included the post. Finding out secret resources (sometimes in your own town) and online shops for specialty items is a great way to start your own project brainstorming.
4. The Impact It Makes on a Space: So, someone painted a chair bright purple and that specific color reminds you of weddings — gross ones. Forget about your dislikes and focus on the impact that the color and the piece in question made in the space. Did the high gloss top coat make other things stand out? Did a fresh color make the rug look different? These small lessons learned are great to keep in mind when thinking about your own ideas.
5. The Art of Sharing a Finished Product: Are you a project starter, but not big on finishing? It doesn't really matter if you wholly like a project someone else has done, maybe they don't like certain aspects of it either. A finished project, however, is a thing of beauty even if it's still a little rough around the edges and not completed in a style to your liking. Most folks on the internet share things out of the kindness of their heart and I will always support that, even if the only way I can do that is with silence.
I draw a lot of inspiration from Pinterest, I absolutely love to find a good designed space on there. And this is one of my favourites. I am hoping and dreaming that I can work my bedroom to look like this, sooner rather than later....

This is my inspiration, tranquil, serene, inspiring. 
Isn't this what a bedroom should look like? Somewhere you can relax? Refresh? 
Press the F5 button? Yup!

My reality:
Yes, that is an actual human boyfriend in the bed. And that is me in the reflection.
Things have changed quite a lot in between, but for a before and after to be truly amazing, it should be truly shocking, agreed? Keep your eyes peeled for the after, hopefully I will be able to show it to you in the next few weeks. I will also post about the other rooms and their befores and afters as I go along. Enjoy!

Perks of being a journalist

Friday, February 17, 2012

The other day I was invited to a 'Taste Innovations' event by a coffee maker. Seeing as coffee is my only and favourite drug I divulge in, I was more than willing to attend.

At the event I was introduced to about twenty to thirty different coffees and teas. I started off my mornign with a demure caffe latte, which is my personal third favourite, after my mom's homemade cup of instant coffee and chai tea.

I wouldn't call myself a coffee connoisseur, but I do enjoy at least one cup a day. On this particular day, I had about the same amount of caffeine to nine and ten days of coffee in about 3 hours! This included two cups of normal coffee, an espresso dessert with chocolate coffee mousse, an iced coffee, coffee gelato, a coffee based energy drink and coffee caviar. It sounds gross and weird, but it's quite nice. Coffee formed in little gelatin balls.

I had a bit of a buzz after all this coffee and proceeded to become a bit nauseous and started getting this terrible headache. By this time I still had to listen to a barista describing a machine that makes coffee from grounded beans, a trend that seems to be disappearing, according to the barista. Freshly ground coffee smells like a stinky fart, if you ever so happen to wonder about this.

In conclusion, when I got back to the office , the overdose of coffee sent me into an emotional down-spiral and I eventually had a BREAKDOWN. I burst into tears for no reason whatsoever.

I guess there is such a thing as overdosing on a harmless drug such as coffee. I am still a bit repulsed by the smell of filter coffee and I still haven't attempted another cup.

The perks of being a journalist? It puts you off your favourite things. Now, I'm sticking to tea.

Ten things I love about Mila

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

  1. I love how she gets so excited to see me, even if I just went to another room and back, or how she follows me, wherever I go
  2. I love how strange and loud noises scar her and that she comes running to stand between my legs, her safehaven.
  3. I love how she runs. She lifts her head up and tucks her bum in and tries to run straight, while trying to break the land speed record. She does this while playing, it is so funny!
  4. I love how she and I actually have conversations. She will come and sit in front of me and start barking when I say 'hey'. This continues until Flip gets annoyed. The first time I heard her bark was on Saturday, the 28th. *(That's what the calender says the date was).
  5. I love how she loves to cuddle and sleep close to me. She will only be this little this long so I am soaking up every minute she can still fit on my lap or sleep on my chest with her pressed against my throat.
  6. I love the little jerks and noises she makes when she is sleeping.
  7. I love that she wakes me up, even if it is 2 in the morning, because she needs to wee or poo or have a drink of water. All of this is within her range, but she feels the need to wake me up and tell me that she is going to drink water now.
  8. I love how I think she is human.
  9. I love how she entertains herself with anything she can find. A piece of grass, a toilet roll, a piece of newspaper, a pair of Flip's shoes. They are all her toys.
  10. I love that I lover her. I was kinda worried when I go her that I wouldn't like her and what if she turned out to have a really shitty personality? Luckily, I love her quirky personality and I love that she is mine!

Happy valentines day

Valentine’s Day…a day to show your love, appreciation, adoration and overall gooeyeness to that special person in your life, the one you love.
I like the feel of Valentine’s Day, the warmhearted fuzziness it brings and the fact that Flip always spoils me rotten, but why should your and my love declarations be confined to one day?
I believe that people should show and say their love to that special someone almost every second of every day, something we all struggle with, especially when in a fighting rut or when your loved one irritates you.
You know, those days when the things you used to love about them suddenly drives you up the walls?

But instead of letting it get to you, rather look at all the positive little things; He or she running you a bath after a long day, or maybe a cooked dinner, even though you again forgot to buy bread and milk.
Maybe look at tiny things, like an arm wrapping around your body in the middle of the night.

Or a kiss planted on your forehead ‘just because.’

This should be everyday pleasures that we shouldn’t take for granted and only appreciate or remember one specific day a year.
I hope you all have a lovely Valentine’s Day every day of your relationship.


-to you I give the same present I give you every day-

 ::my heart::

'We had a photoshoot this weekend.Here`s a preview. Taken by weesgetiek en stuff'

Write him a love note

Monday, February 13, 2012

With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, there is still those last minute things you can do to surprise the one you love dearly. Pick 'n Pay gave a few ideas. Make it extra personal with a love letter! Don't know how? Here's some tips.   

Get some proper writing paper and a good pen. Writing on work stationery just isn't going to cut it, so get something special – preferably simple and elegant. 

Make sure you're in a place where you're not being disturbed. Put on some romantic or calming music to get your creative juices flowing.

Don’t be too formal or business-like. You're writing to someone you love, but you also want it to be serious enough so that it conveys your feelings accurately without the recipient feeling like you're joking around. Start with ‘To my dearest…’ or ‘Darling…’

Make sure your handwriting is legible and that your spelling is correct.

Refer to the recipient as ‘you’ and yourself as ‘me’ to make it personal.

If you're still battling to think of things to write, then simply list the things you love about him/her or re-tell the story of how you met. You could also explain how your life has changed with your partner in it.

If you know your partner’s favourite author, then quote a meaningful line or, if you can, write a poem. If you copy one, make sure you say who the author is to avoid any embarrassment if s/he finds out it wasn’t you who wrote it.

Make sure you deliver the letter by hand. If you're sincere in what you write, then you're guaranteed a positive emotional response!

Also fresh out of ideas on what to do? Maybe try some of these:

Pack a picnic basket complete with bottle of bubbly and chocolate, and go somewhere beautiful. This could be the beach, a park, a botanical garden or even a look-out point over a city. Your very own garden can also be turned into a magical space with some candles and cushions.

This sounds a bit geeky, but imagine sitting in a dark, cool space looking up at thousands of stars, holding hands, watching the world spin around you. Sounds pretty romantic, actually. Or, if you can't make it to a planetarium, go to a secluded place, far from the city lights and watch the stars glittering above you.

Dance lessons
Go for a tango or salsa lesson with your partner on Valentine’s Day. Dance lessons have you standing really close and learning how each other’s bodies move, plus you’re learning a new skill and it can be really fun.

Sushi or chocolate-making classes
This will require some concentration, but you get to eat what you make at the end of the class – and if it’s on Valentine’s Day nobody will object if you bring a bottle of MCC along! Check out the classes available at the Good Food Studio in Cape Town and Joburg here.

Couples spa treatment
Even if you just have a couple’s foot massage, you will be doing something that feels really good together. Some spas have specials that include covering each other in mud, showering in a room that sprays from all directions and then lounging in a spa bath afterwards.

Get out of town
Getting away for a weekend can do wonders for your soul and is quite rejuvenating as long as you don’t go too far. Hot springs or going to a cottage that has no electricity can bring a whole new dimension to your weekend away. 

Valentine’s Day can be overrated and a cliché, but if you make it into something unique and special, you could spark a new tradition that will keep you away from all the insincere hype. So get creative!

(All images from Pinterest)

Valentine's Day?

Friday, February 10, 2012

If you are really into Valentine's Day or are just looking for inspiration wherever you go for decor (I know I am with the new house and all) then this quirky little door tutorial should blow your mind.

Thank you to Miss Diana from Our City

I'm not sure if you can get all these products in South Africa, but it still makes for a killer DIY that I would just love to get my hands on!

You will need:

And an old unsightly door in your house. Paint it! 

And write on it!

Et Voila, a pink masterpiece. 
Did you know that pink is my favourite colour and that the Aerosmith song was written in my honour?
You didn't? 

Neither did I!


The history of Valentine’s Day dates back to the third century in Rome when the Emperor Claudius the 2nd banned marriage because he believed that single men made better soldiers. 
A young and clearly passionate priest named Valentine decided that he didn’t want to abide by these rules and continued to marry young lovers who came to him. Of course, Valentine was thrown into prison where he fell in love with a girl who used to come and visit him every day until his death. He wrote her a letter before he died, and the letter became the first Valentine.

Here’s how Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world:
  • In Japan, women shower men with gifts, usually chocolates, which they've made because store-bought chocolates are frowned upon on Valentine’s Day. These gifts don’t only go to men the women are romantically involved with, but to men they work with too. On March 14, exactly a month later, the men have to reciprocate with gifts that are not limited to the edible kind. 
  • Brazilians have decided that they would trade in Valentine’s Day and celebrate Dia dos Namorados on June 12, in honour of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of matchmaking and marriage.  Certain rituals are followed and small gifts exchanged.
  • In Ghana, Valentine’s Day has become so commercialised that on 14 February Ghanaians can be found huddled around their radios or televisions hoping to win prizes in the competitions and giveaways held specifically on this day.
  • Mexicans go crazy with giving red-coloured hearts to people they love. Here gift giving is an expression of prosperity and love, and the hype starts just after Christmas.
  • Even Iran celebrates Valentine’s Day, although the Muslim culture far from embraces the event. Stores can be seen decorated with stuffed animals, chocolates and balloons.

It is my friend Jenna's birthday today! Go and wish her a happy and long life, now!

I have been blessed!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hibiscus is one of my favourite plants on earth and before we  moved to the house and I paid attention to the garden, I have been wondering how I will implement this gorgeous plant into my garden.

And then on the day I got the house keys, I was given one last tour of the garden and actually noticed the hibiscus, right in front of our front door! I was ecstatic.

A bonus is, that the lady that lived in the house before us was somewhat of a horticulturist and she 'bred' this hybrid herself. Makes me appreciate it just so much more.

Aren't they stunning?

They will need a lot of work though, I need to trim it regularly so that the dominant colour doesn't take over and I need to cover it in winter, or it will die! I can't have this beauty fade, not on my watch!

Tracy's chocolate mud pudding

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

This weekend we had an improv braai at our new house. I wasn't very keen on the braai (google it) as I was extremely exhausted after the hard week of moving and having a little puppy-baby keep us awake. To top it all off, I was suffering from some severe Vertigo, and every step felt like I was either going to pass out or vomit. My mom believes my sinuses might have caused it. Anyway, I had a really good time and my friend Tracy decided to spoil us with a chocolate pudding for the evening, which was absolutely delicious! 

I thought I would share it with you (unfortunately she mixed it at her house, and baked it at mine, so I can't show the process.)

50g butter, melted
150 g (1 cup) self raising flour
100 g (1/2 cup) castor sugar
2 tbs cocoa powder
1 egg, lightly whisked
Cream – to serve

Chocolate sauce:

155 g (3/4 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
2 tbs cocoa powder
375 ml (1 ½ cups) boiling water


Preheat oven to 180C. Brush a 1.5 l ovenproof dish with melted butter to lightly grease
Combine the flour, sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Make a well in the centre.
Combine the milk, butter and egg in a large jug.
Gradually pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until well combined. Pour into the prepared dish and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface.

To make the chocolate sauce, sift the sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl. Sprinkle over the pudding mixture in the dish. Gently pour the boiling water over the cocoa mixture. (Use the back of a spoon)

Bake in oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until a cake-like top forms and a skewers inserted halfway into the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Serve with thickened cream.


Oh my soul!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

This music video just kills me! It's freaking genius!

They used over one THOUSAND instruments to make this piece of master art!


A really challenging day

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We moved today. There will be some posts on this later on, but all I can say now is that even the new consumer protection law could not protect us from people lying about water damage, and a tenant in the garden flat moving out on the day that we moved in claiming that he has been 'transferred to Port Elizabeth'. I call bullshit!

Disappointment after disappointment kept peering out around every corner, we had a small disaster with our curtains, which are almost sorted, and in between it all we had to make some living space out of millions of boxes and still keep a watchful eye over Mila.

She fell in the swimming pool twice today. I'm still almost in tears about this. She kept running after me, wherever I went, and I would just hear a splash and my puppy crying. Gee whiz, what a way to put your nerves at end. Luckily, she is going to work with Flip tomorrow, so she won't be at home alone. We'll try and sort out a playpen as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, I tried to take some photos of Mila while she was awake and I had some spare time.


What the hell, why are you barking at me? (I made her bark btw, it's freaking cute.)

 Not this time. Let's try it once more.

Got you!
I think I am going to have to work on my photography skills! 
Crying shame that I can't take any action photos of her.

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