Monday, 31 December 2012

New Years Nails

This is my manicure for New Year's Eve :) I wanted something light and sparkly, so I used two coats of "Make It Golden" - a Color & Go polish from Essence. It's a clear polish with a slight golden shimmer, plus hexagonal glitter in two sizes. Normally I layer this over a colour, but for this look I just applied it straight over my base coat. Then, on my left hand (because I don't trust using my left hand to write on my right!) I added "2013" in a black polish (also an Essence Colour & Go one, but the polish name has dissappeared). I just used a toothpick to draw on the numbers - first by lightly dotting out the number to check shape and spacing, then going back and drawing the numbers in small sections. (You could probably be braver if you weren't doing this after a few glasses of red wine like I was...)

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Christmas Eve 2012: The Food

Obviously, a huge part of Christmas is sharing a meal with your family and friends. This is what our Christmas Eve dinner looked like:

On Arrival:

Pimms Cocktails
Prawn, Avocado and Chilli Crostini
Smoked salmon Christmas parcels on Christmas Tree Croutons
Quails Eggs with Caviart
Moroccan and Provencal Olives


Tomato and Red Onion Tarte Tartin


Some of the dishes:
Roast Chicken (with Cranberry and Sage stuffing)
Smoked Turkey
Chipolatas in Bacon
Roast Potatoes
Red Salad
Mango and Beet Salad


Pavlova with Vanilla Cream and Summer Berries
Pink Marbled Meringues
Homemade Peanut and Cherry Ice-Cream
Frozen Lemon Cream with Summer Berries
Plus - my mom made this beautiful bowl of ice which we filled with more berries

What did you enjoy for your Christmas meal? To my fellow Southern Hemisphere inhabitants, do you stick to a traditional Christmas menu or do you embrace something more season-appropriate? (We couldn't even think about heavy Christmas desserts for our evening!)

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Christmas Eve 2012 - Pressies!

Just a few of the beautiful things I was blessed to receive from my extended family this Christmas :)

Canvas tote bag with one of my favourite quotes
The beautiful Mail Bag from Typo
Tote cooler bag (so I can carry my lunch to work in style!)

The perfect book for anyone who's fascinated by science and history - I'm thoroughly enjoying it so far
Diary, buffalo journal and pens from Typo

My brother customized this black tshirt himself! Elemental symbols spelling out my name! (Lanthanum, Uranium, Radium)
Pretty top from Forever New, plus a cookbook my aunt put together herself
Hand-knitted fingerless gloves

Curling iron for my longer hair :)
Makeup mirror (normal and magnifying)
Pretty feather and flower earrings, cute button earring, pretty beaded earrings and necklace set
Lovely long necklace with an assortment of pretty charms

For all these, and the others I neglected to photograph, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks. I love you all!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Christmas Eve 2012: The Dinner Table

Let it be said that constructing a formal dinner table to seat 21 people is no easy task... My mom and I used four dinner tables from various parts of our house to construct this one long table that stretched through the dining room and formal lounge. We covered the tables with matching white linen to assist the illusion of continuity. Our table had a green, white and silver colour scheme, with small accents of red. Each place setting had a silver and grey-green place mat with white china, silverware and simple but elegant stemware. A folded linen napkin was topped with a silver Christmas cracker. I made the menus (double sided) and place names myself. We wanted simple decorations on the table that did not obstruct people's view, so that everyone could see and talk to each other. We ended up using silver candlesticks and candle holders with plain white candles, and added little centerpieces made up of Christmas tree ornaments. The tall candlesticks were accessorized with green and silver poinsettia wreaths. Finally, I made some decorations for the chairs themselves. I tied red baubles to conifer branches (from our garden) with copper wires decorated with glass beads. Every branch was then tied to a chair with a silver satin ribbon and some red beads.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas Eve 2012: What I Wore

My mom's side of the family always has its big Christmas celebration on December 24 with a huge dinner and a grand ceremony of opening presents. This year, family that had spread to far flung corners of the world returned to Cape Town for Christmas - so we had the biggest celebration we've ever had, with all of us together at the same time. Naturally, this meant that this was the perfect occasion to wear my new little red dress for the first time!

Red bodycon dress - Foschini // Black platform heels - MRP // Diamante earrings - Sass Diva // Nail polish - Catrice // Raindeer headband - Clicks

 And, in the true spirit of the festive season, if one glass of Moet is good, more must be better! ;)

Makeup: Foundation by Revlon Colourstay // Lipstick is Heartbreaker by Rimmel // Liquid eyeliner in Black by Woolworths // Eyeshadows by Estee Lauder // Blush by The Body Shop // Highlighter by Essence // Mascara by Essence (let me know if you want product specifics)

(Many thanks to Mikey - my very patient brother - for agreeing to be my camera man, despite all the head-shaking at my odd desire to have a million photos taken!)

PS If anyone else documented their Christmas outfits, send me a link so I can have a look-see :)

Monday, 17 December 2012

Music Mondays

All I Want For Christmas Is You - Michael Bublé

(Anyone sensing a theme to this month's Music Monday's ;-) Haha, love me some Bublé...)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

#NOTD Perfect Purple

Words cannot describe how beautiful and sparkly this manicure is. I'm LOVING the Mavala Showtime Collection (see a mani with Sparkling Silver here). Sparkling Violet contains small glitter particles in purple, silver and blue. I used two different shades of purple as the undercoat then topped up with two coats of the glitter polish.

Polishes used:
Tip Top 'Surfer Girl' on most nails
Essence 'Break Through' on ring fingers
Mavala Sparkling Violet.

(PS: Yes, I got excited and took photos before I cleaned up properly. My bad.)

Monday, 10 December 2012

Deck the Halls

This Saturday morning, I took a break from the ever-awful thesising to visit my parents and put up the Christmas tree. Me putting up the tree has become a bit of a tradition, mostly because I get a bit obsessive about symmetry and everything being "just right" and so I grandly dislike anyone else doing the job and "ruining" it. Obviously, to get things perfect, you need to do things in phases so that all the multiples of a certain type of ornament are evenly spaced across the tree, and you work from most common to least common, until every tip is adorned. We have had a fake tree for years, ever since one Christmas my mom developed an awful allergy to pine resin. (Since I ultimately developed her hay-fever, I would very much like to avoid this one, so I'll be sticking to fake trees always.)
In any case, without any further rambling, this is what our Christmas tree looks like (you can click to enlarge). Our whole house is decorated with a traditional colour palatte: green, gold, red and silver.

(i) fanning out the tree (ii) adding lights (iii) beaded garland

(i) gold baubles (ii) red baubles (iii) special ornaments and the angel!

The finished product:

Some close ups:

If you celebrate Christmas, have you started decorating? What does your tree typically look like? Do you go real or fake?

Music Mondays

Cold December Night - Michael Buble

Stockings are hung with care, as children sleep with one eye openWell now there's more than toys at stakecos I'm older now, but not done hopingThe twinkling of the lights, as scented candles fill the householdOld Saint Nick has taken flight with a heart on board, so please be careful
Each year I ask for many different things, but now I know what my heart wants you to bring
So please just fall in love with me, this ChristmasThere's nothing else that I will need, this ChristmasWon't be wrapped under a tree, I want something that lasts forever, so kiss me on this cold December night
A cheer that smells of pine,a house that's filled with joy and laughterThe mistletoe says stand in line,loneliness is what I captureOh that this evening can be a holy nightLet's cosy on up by the fireplaceand dim those Christmas lights
So please just fall in love with me, this ChristmasThere's nothing else that you will need, this ChristmasWon't be wrapped under a tree, I want something that lasts forever, so kiss me on this cold December night
They call it the season of giving;I'm here, I'm yours for the takingThey call it the season of giving; I'm here, I'm yours
Just fall in love with me, this ChristmasThere's nothing else that we will need, this ChristmasWon't be wrapped under a tree, I want something that lasts forever, cos I don't wanna be alone tonight
I'll wear you like a Christmas sweater, walk you proudly to proudly to the mistletoe tonightI want something that lasts forever,so kiss me on this cold December night
They call it the season of giving;I'm here, I'm yours for the takingThey call it the season of giving;I'm here, I'm yours

Friday, 7 December 2012

Boyfriend Watches

I've always gravitated towards thin, delicate watches, but lately I'm been drawn more towards chunkier "boyfriend" watches. I picked this one up from Woolies (although I had to take it to a watchmaker to have the strap re-sized - it came with only one adjustable "click in/out" link), as I wasn't about to go spend a small fortune on a trend. I particularly like how this watch has digits at 12-4-8 rather than 12-3-6-9; it's just a small detail but it makes it a bit unique.

What are your thoughts on chunky watches for women?

Friday Favourites

I just wanted to share some of my favourite things that I've spotted on the web recently...

Favorite quote

 Favorite DIYPoem scarf - I would LOVE a scarf like this!

 Favorite spaceI love this light, peaceful bedroom so much!

 Favorite dressI have no yellow clothing, so I was extremely brave when I bought this dress online. I love it so much and can't wait to wear it over the festive season! (New Year's maybe?)

 Favorite laugh:  I love Edna Mode, ok?

 Favorite find: How did I know a million shortcuts and not know this one??!!

You can also find all these on my Pinterest boards - I'm an active procrastinator, so I pin regularly. Go check it out :)

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

New Glasses!

I'm really loving my new (prescription) glasses! The frames are Guess GU1735 in black - I love the classic shape and how they flatter my face. I'm planning on wearing them instead of my contact lenses for the majority of the month - the hours staring at a computer screen while writing a thesis does not make for a happy contact lens wearer...

What are your thoughts?

Words of Wisdom