Halloween doesn't seem to be as celebrated here in South Africa compared to The States or England even, which is a bit of a pity.
It's the same with Bonfire Night, which is big in UK & not here.
It's such a shame.
I love these annual festivities. Any excuse for a theme & a dress up!

And it's most exciting for the littlies.
An opportunity to stay up late & enjoy the excitement of the dark & a bit of a party.
I have such fond memories particularly of Guy Fawkes night in England - of eating hot dogs out of wooly-mitten clad hands, ooh-ing & aaghing at the twinkly fireworks & spelling our name with sparklers. We didn't actually dress up in fancy dress back then, that would have made it even more special & fun!

I know it's a little bit early to start planning for the 31st Oct, but this year I want to do a special mini halloween party for Lula and a couple of friends.
And I've been looking around the net for fun costume ideas for little people.

So sweet!

I ♥ the Paper Doll idea & the Marigolds chicken feet!!

But if you're not in the mood to be crafty or don't have the time or patience to start whipping up elaborate costumes, you can pop down to The ShoeString Collective in Cape Town to get a Lula by Emma Superhero, Pirate, Wizard or Nurse outfit or order through my Facebook page & I'll post one to you.
Easy Peasy & super cute ♥

30thirty : Womens Health Yoga dvd

My yoga-loving, lovely friend Fi told me about a great freebie in Womens Health this month. For a bargain R32 you not only get a magazine full of health tips & stories, but it comes with a FREE 45 min yoga workout.

I've just finished doing the routine now & I loved it.

I haven't been to Yoga at the gym for a few months, but I remembered the positions & could follow the instructions easily.

How the instructor can do those poses & talk & breath at the same time is mind blowing.
And inspiring.
I found some of the routines a bit fast, but it's great being able to follow the dvd & I'm determined to keep doing it to feel stronger. I feel like yoga brings out your weaknesses but in a positive way if that makes sense. If my hip wasn't flexible, the leg was shaky or my arms unable to fully extend, I was fully aware of it, but not in a defeated way - it makes me want to improve.

(And bonus, one of the articles on page 109 looks like another great 30 minute work-out for another day)



30thirty : lunchtime desk moves!

So I knew today would be a tricky one for my 30 min challenge. Straight after work I have a beauty appointment & following that a client dinner so I'll only be home waaaaay after my bed time.

This meant that I needed to do my 30 mins from my desk today.

Not as easy as I'd hoped.

I Googled 'Exercise for the Office' but most of them involved calf rises at the photocopier & running up & down the stairs like a lunatic (not going to happen, especially wearing high wedges like I am today. I'm more likely to break an ankle than tighten any glutes)

I was way too self-conscious to try these too. I tried a couple of seated crunches but was concerned that someone might think I was rocking myself in anxiety. And squats? Across the studio? I don't think so!

Cosmo's solution didn't work out for me either - arms rests on your chair is required for their workout.

But I managed to do a few of the leg raises I found in here  and repeated them a few times through the afternoon along with some Kegels & some seated bottom squeezes.

It's surprisingly difficult to clench & resist whilst still working though so I had to do it in 2 min & 5 min bursts & keep count on a post-it note.

Not a great work-out admittedly, but it was something.
Those stretchy bands would have been a better to use under my desk I think.

30thirty : ♥ your lower body

So today really was quite a challenge.

Straight after work we headed over to the Poops for our regular Tues evening dinner (for Show & Tell). We only got home at 8.30pm & I still need to make a nautical-themed bunting order up.

But part of this 30 day challenge for me is working out where to fit 30 mins in to my day, and finding time for even just a leettle bit of exercise (my best excuse for not exercising is that I don't have time inbetween work, Squish, home love & sewing)

But I did it!

Well technically it was more like 20-25 minutes, but it still counts!

Before I switched in to my onsie & started cutting stripey triangles to make in to bunting, I did this routine. I've had it 'stored' on Pinterest, for, well, quite a while so it was good to finally try it out!

It didn't seem too challenging, but I'm happy to ease in to things this week. Next time I'll try the harder versions of each exercise & do 3 or 4 sets instead of 2.

The great thing is that it's easy to follow & you just need a wall!
However, I do need to buy an exercise mat - our slate tiled floor wasn't the most comfortable.


Show & Tell


Some funnies (and 1 maybe not so funny) & lovelies from around & about:

* Oh my goodness, this is hectic & horrendous & a serious reality check on the state of humanity's quest for food. I loved Baraka by the way, and this is filmed by the same Director.

* Is this Art or just blurry pictures taken out of a fast moving train....

* This one was about a woman who went unnoticed, living in someone's cupboard for a year. It made me chuckle.

* There's always time in life for a cat gif 

* I'm so making this giant donut pinata

* Google fun

* Imagine printing your own shoes? Now you can!

* This looks like so much fun!

* I LOVE these air vases & hope to own one when I'm grown up

* I just love this video for Evian


30thirty : with Tracey Anderson

At the beginning of the year I saw this post on Goops blog & made a mental note to try it out - one day!

Well now that day has come.

As part of my 30 day/ 30 min challenge, I did this workout at home this evening.

I don't really have idols, but out of all the famous people out there I do admire Gwen & have been following her blog for a while. She really does know how to live well & live right. So if it works for her, maybe it could work for me?

I grabbed a tin of baked beans & a tin of creamed corn, and I was set.

I had to replay the video a few times & pause the computer to do my reps, & crikey, did I feel it!

My arms have never been particularly strong, so I definitely felt the burn there & then discovered a few lost muscles in my bottom too!

I think it might take more than 15 minutes to get a bod like hers or Gwens, but at least it's a step in the right direction on my quest to get over my fear of exercise.

Day 2. Tick.

30thirty Challenge

Today I decided to set myself a 30 minutes/ 30 day challenge.

Life's good. I'm happy, I love making our nest at home, our Squish is just amazing, Lula by Emma is fun & moving in the direction I'd hoped, we had a fabulous holiday to Thai earlier this years, we have plans...

But the one thing I just can't get my head around is exercise. If I absolutely didn't have to do , I really wouldn't. But I know I need to and that it's supposed to be good for us. I just don't like it - at all.

A few years ago, following my knee op (which can I just mention was caused on my 1st day of yoga, when I had had a similar thought that I really must do some exercise, and yoga had seemed a gentle introduction to it....), I had a sudden concern, that now that my 1 leg was weakened, if someone were to chase me, I wouldn't be able to escape swiftly!

So I set myself a challenge to learn to run, and by the end of it, run the Kysna half marathon.

I trained strictly 4 times a week, following a 10 week running program & at the end of it, completed my 21.5km run. BUT I felt cheated. During the whole training process & the following years after the race when I trained much less vigorously, but maintained a bit of jogging in my weekly routine, the endorphines NEVER kicked in. I never experienced the 'buzz' of running, and every single time, I just did it, just to get it over with & then dreaded the next time.

Runners say that once you start, you just can't stop & that once you've broken your pain barrier, it's easy. Really? Why after 7 years of trying this daft activity, have those words never been uttered by me?!

Even now, every Sunday morning, I get up at the crack of dawn & run 5km on the treadmill. It doesn't make me feel particularly good. I just do it, because I feel I should & I can't wait to get my exercise for the week out of the way.

So this morning, whilst I was pounding away at the gym, I thought that I'd try & change this pattern & mentality...

It takes 30 days to break a habit right?

Maybe I'm just not exercising enough, and if I do more, I'd feel the benefits & start to LOVE it?!

And now that I'm older, maybe things will be different? I'll possibly feel the benefits of feeling good naturally, better?

I must say that recently I've been feeling a lot stiffer. A bit less flexible as I crawl towards 40. And if  I spend any time kneeling on the floor cutting fabric or making things, I have to say it takes me a while to straighten up. And despite my 8 hours sleep a night, I'm often tired. Maybe there's just not enough movement in this body of mine to keep it feeling invigorated & alive?

So I know I need to exercise to stay fit & healthy, mobile & younger looking (I threw that last one in hoping that I can get that with the package for free?!)

And the 30 days starts today.

The idea is that I have to do at least 30 minutes of exercise, every day for 30 days.

Hopefully by the end of it I'll be running with the determination of Forrest Gump & have the flexibility of Jane Fonda and energy of one of those cheesy models in hot pants & running vest on the front of a health magazine and will be craving more & more!

Here's the start of the 30/30 Challenge.

I started the day with my usual 6am Sunday trip to the gym:
5km run on treadmill @ 44 mins. (10 min walk - 30 min run @ 7.5km ph - 4 min walk)
5 mins each leg on flexibility machine to stretch out (level 100)

Then it was such a gorgeous day, that after a quick shower & delicious brekkie, we headed up the mountain with Squish to look for bugs, tadpoles, mountain waterfalls and the ultimate destination of our walk, the mountain pond with gold fish. Such a beautiful sunny Cape Town morning. Amazing views. Happiness.
1- 1.5 hr gentle walk

I must say, that as far as today's exercise goes, I can actually say that today I enjoyed it.

Let's see how the next 29 days go!


DIY Post Office play

On Thursday our little Squish spent a day in hospital.

After almost 5 years of allergy tests, homeopathic tissue salts, dust-mite-free bedding covers, humidifiers and hoping she'd grow out of snoring & heavy-breathing, it was the only way forward and her enormous adenoids were removed (along with her tonsils).

It has had it's 'ups' with marshmallows for brekkie, unlimited Nik Naks & pink milk and plenty of jelly every day, but it does mean she's booked off school & home bound for a few days, poor sausage.

She was so brave in hospital & has been such a low admin patient at home that this weekend everything was about Lula & her getting better. So I decided to make her a little Post Office kit for us to play post-lady in.

We made a Post Office out of a recyling box, a Mailbox from an A4 paper supply box, and a Letter Sorter from a shoebox.  Then we made our own stamps, postcard flash cards for sorting, and envelopes. And I made her a little mail bag, felt love letter envelope & matched it with one of our crowns & the set was complete.

The only expense was a roll of red paper @ R3.90 pm (I used about 4 m I think) & a can of spray paint @ R60.


For the Post Office : Cut a window out of the large box & fold those bits down to make a desk. Then cover it in red paper like you're wrapping a present. I added some little curtains for the sides too (it can be a puppet show or ice-cream stand in it's next life!).


For the Mailbox : Stick a piece of card on top of the small box to make an arch. Then cut a little rectangle flap and add some extra pieces of card to the sides for the post to slide in. I also added a little door at the back to get the mail out. Use gaffer tap to seal up the sides and fill in any gaps & then spray the whole mailbox red.


I used some of Lula's foam bath letters & painted them with gold pigment mixed with wood glue & stuck the word POST on to the from of the stand

Colour in & cut out your own stamps.
And we made a sorting tray with little flash card postcards to match up the letters

She's had so much helping make it all and then playing post lady & writing her Thank You letters.


 Here's to Postie fun


Spare Bedroom Revamp

We moved in to our new house just over a year ago, and have slowly (very slowly) been settling in to our new space & working out what we want & where.

The rooms are big & the ceilings high, which I love in old Victorian homes like ours, and I'm naturally drawn to Scandinavian and B&W interiors. (My current lust is B&W decor with copper or gold accents & natural leather/wood styling.) But until we have collected more furniture & arty bits & bobs it's tricky to get a good balance between simple & clean and just sparse & lacking personality!

Our spare room was falling victim to that a bit. We had painted the en suite bathroom white & hung a pretty mirror & I made a cute curtain from some IKEA fabric I had to cover the window from the road, but the bedroom had been left a little sad & empty.

So I decided to embark on a quick & simple revamp and have created a simple head board. I was inspired by a post I saw on Pinterest ages ago & wanted to create my own washi tape skyline wall.

Super cheap, super quick & super cute.

I bought some black electrical tape for R10 from the hardware store & used a scalpel knife to get clean edges. That's it!

(In hindsight I should have probably mapped it out & drawn it lightly in pencil 1st, but I've never been good at spending time on the prep & once I decide to do a project usually just jump right in!)

And it's as simple as that. Create your city outline to the size of the bed & add a hill or 2 if you like.

It reminds me a bit of Cape Town - a city nestled next to the mountain.

I ♥ it!

To complete the look, I made a sweet little cloud & rainbow hearts wall hanging (using felt hearts from my rainbow bunting)

Now I just need Warren to hang the floating shelves that we have from our old house & attach some LED lights underneath. I think it'll look fab.

Next thing to do will be to get a couple of rugs, make a new blind - we want to print something on it so we need to brainstorm that one a bit more still. And if I'm feeling brave, I'm dying to try & make a Koushi light!