I never spoke about the hair cut I had a few weeks ago. Hmm. The experience wasn’t bad, I had a cup of earl grey tea and an incredible head massage, and came out feeling juj and quite happy. Short lived. Within two weeks I was buying clips and trying to tie it back and up and to the side and feeling a strong longing to pop into Mooi, my lovely hair salon in Cape Town. Well, there is less than a month to go till we are back in Cape Town for a visit and I am afraid to say that I have attempted to make a booking for a hair cut with lovely Andret before I have made any accommodation plans even! If you are in Cape Town and haven’t been yet, I strongly urge you to make a booking and treat yourself. Xx

Other things I am looking forward to:
Soaking in the sun in my new bikini
Driving along De Waal Drive with hot air flowing in and listening to the radio
Seeing the cloud roll over Table Mountain
Walking along the Sea Point boulevard and eating soft serve and watching the waves and children swim in the pools
Catching up with friends over sushi and good coffee
Shopping at Mungo and Jemima {sorry my love, it has to be done}
Fish and chips and Gina and Geoff in Kalk Bay {not in order of importance!}
Hmmm…I had better stop there…otherwise I will be packing more than 3 weeks’ clothes…


>Happiness Xx

So the jacket and boots were to keep me snug and warm because we went ice-skating in Hyde Park! It was so lovely, our first winter anniversary so we warmed up with bratwurst, gluwhein {yummmm}, ice-skating and then munched a whole bag of pick and mix sweets {which came in a paper bag with big red hearts} as we walked through all the raked up leaves and then down Oxford Street to see all of the Christmas lights. The Brits and Germans do Christmas in style, gosh! It was so right for us…thank you my love. Xx

Thought those of you who are getting married might like Rock My Wedding, a fairly new wedding blog who we are in touch with on Twitter here at Luella’s {yay!}

Oh my goodness, look at the chair I found…move over kitten…there is one for me too! Suitcase cat beds and chairs, who would have known? I found this at my new favourite blog, Home Sweet Home, while I was looking for a housewarming invite picture. Ah, home love, but not as much as…

J. Morgan Puett…when I get over minimalism and start to love clutter, this will be my dream home style…organic and full and far away from the city.

Happy Thanksgiving* to my American friends and family! Cari love, I will be thinking of your Thanksgiving dinner tonight and Em, I hope you have a turkey ready! Listen to Obama’s Thanksgiving address here if you would like to.

* {Wikipedia says…} Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in Canada and the United States. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. While perhaps religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday.

>3 years, woop!

My love, happy anniversary! I heart you and am still waiting on the eskimos for 23 different ways to say that. Love Me Xxx

This was us three years ago on the 25th…getting hitched and hooked up! My best decision ever…I love being married to this gorgeous and gentle man. Who knows why, but here is something making me feel so puffed up and proud to say “threeee years” as opposed to one, two or even four. A whole triennial. Strange but true. Like when it comes to a few months before your next birthday, do you like to adopt that age rather than the actual one? I know I was 25 for months before my birthday! Anyway, he has something up his sleeve for tonight…I have been told to wear my boots and a warm scarf {hmmm…}. The traditional gift for three years is leather {I know, woah} or the modern one is crystal. Maybe I will buy him a cool leather belt. Some fun ideas I found to celebrate:

Go out for three romantic meals in one day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Take an extended weekend getaway: 3 days to celebrate the last three years.
All good things happen in three’s: Do three things together that you’ve been putting off.
Spend the first three hours of your anniversary day together in bed just enjoying each other’s company.
Do everything in sets of three: 3 kisses, 3 chocolate croissants, 3 rounds of ‘woo-hoo’.

Shmoosy and very cheesy, I know, but so what? Oh gosh…I am becoming gorgonzola. Forgive me please.

>About time

>Well. It is about time I indulged in a good ol’ blog. I have been busy with work, baking flapjacks, design work, reading {no internet or telly at home as I said…yup…this is the new baking, reading, blog-a-week me!}…along with some thoughts and inspirations from the last week.

Some linen love at The Paris Apartment.

My friend at Luella’s, Kat, has a really lovely friend called Cara who is a photographer. Oh my gosh. Have a look at her portfolio! Her style is exact love for me. She has agreed to do a shoot of Steven and I in the new year…a re-wedding shoot three years on {yes, it is our anniversary tomorrow! Woop!}. Have a look at her website.

Most girls my age are becoming broody. I on the other hand am having cat love. First I couldn’t adopt these two GORGEOUS kitties because they are in Cape Town and I am in London. And then I came across this vintage cat bed which Tiff found on Craftzine. Utterly besotted is what I am.

Lots of fun this week was meeting Chantelle Znideric, one of London’s very cool stylists. She has an awesome service and website at istylista where you can choose your body shape and get some hot tips. She is a lovely person and I follow her blog now for any trends and so on.

And now for one of my favourite discoveries: Sketch, an historic graphic artists’ club located in the heart of Chelsea. Kat worked there on Saturday night… I however have played on the website {check the light switches etc!} for far too long {yes, sinister but super retro and cool too} and hope to dine there soon! Or maybe it is more fun peeking in from the site…it looks like it lies more on the pretentious side of life. {Oh my gosh, did you have any idea about this Madonnalicious site?}

Otherwise, I escaped to the library on Friday evening and have been enjoying these two books that I emerged with. The River Cottage Family Cookbook is inspiring me to make my own bread {and butter, oh yes!}…and that is where I got my flapjack recipe {they semi-flopped…I am blaming it on the new gas oven and my switching the syrup for honey. Oops}. The second, The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl is the story {in blog post format} of a betty called Shauna Reid who lost LOADS of weight and writes honestly and heart-warmingly about her battle. I am loving it and laughing out loud at her struggles that every girl battles through to some extent. I will be following her blog closely after I have finished the book. Our world needs more superheros like her…able to be dead honest, laugh at themselves, and eat salad while thinking about triple chocolate cake. I love that as you flick the pages of the book, she has a little animation that shows bulging DietGirl lose weight! Awesome.

PS Thank you to the friends who emailed me after my misery last week. It really means a lot when you comment and email…or otherwise start blogs so I can actually see what is happening up there with you too! Xx

>Wedding fever

I have been swallowed this week. Perhaps like James in the Giant Peach or Jonah in the whale…and it is called being in the shop {phone, emails, jewellery orders, lace, lingerie, post, oestrogen, more dresses galore, girliness, and more lovely stuff…but busy}-grocery shopping for our new apartment-walking up and down the hill-and just so much more which I can’t even describe. All the while I felt so bad for not emailing the people who have emailed me, but at the same time, have come to know that I keep in touch with people more than they do with me. Wild thoughts like deleting my facebook page and blog have crossed my mind. We don’t have internet at home which has already been a shock to the system…no telly and no internet, a kettle on the gas stove and just a happy quietness. One really lovely thing that I have done this week is read. I am reading and loving The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society…definitely get yourself a copy, it’s so delightful.

Some fun weddingy weddingness…
Our lovely wedding planner’s blog.
The coolest wedding cakes EVER at Fancy Nancy.

And some blog love…
Find lots of inspiration at The Ritzy Bee. Oooh la la la la love.

Otherwise, I am just needing some love for the dark afternoons and rainy mornings in London.

>Gingerbread Latte

>One thing I am determined about: staying cheerful through a London winter {it is starting to get more than chilly this part of the world}. On my daily walk down Wimbledon High Street to work last week, I saw a sign promising that Starbucks red cups were coming….now, I had heard about these red cups and it obviously tweaked my curosity. Yesterday, I was happy to see that they have arrived, woop! A selection of special Christmas coffees for the season. When I looked online to see what different choices I would have to indulge in, I stumbled across a recipe for the gingerbread latte….mmm! I am not sure if this is the actual Starbucks recipe, if it is, then someone didn’t keep mum {lucky for us}.

“As the holidays come around so too does this incredible latte from Starbucks. Into the coffee house’s basic latte recipe go a few pumps of special gingerbread-flavored syrup, and we soon experience the combined sensation of munching on a gingerbread cookie while sipping hot, milky java. It’s very tasty stuff! To recreate the experience at home for the holidays at mere fraction of the cost of the real thing, all we have to do is make our own gingerbread syrup with a few common ingredients. When the syrup is done, simply brew some espresso in your espresso machine, steam some hot milk, and throw it all in cup. Top off your latte with whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg as they do at the store, and you’ll fool anyone with this hot little clone. By the way, this recipe is for a single grande-size latte but you’ll have enough syrup for as many as seven drinks:”

Gingerbread Syrup
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup fresh espresso
8 ounces milk, steamed (with a little foam)

whipped cream
ground nutmeg

1. Make the gingerbread syrup by combining water, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Be sure the pan is not too small or the mixture could easily bubble over.
2. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer syrup, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat when it’s done and slap a lid on it.
3. Make a double shot of espresso (1/2 cup), using an espresso machine. Use the machine to steam 8 ounces of milk, or heat up the milk in themicrowave if your machine does not foam and steam milk.
4. Make your latte by first adding 1/2 cup espresso to a 16-ounce cup. Add 1/4 cup gingerbread syrup, followed by the steamed milk. Stir.
5. Top off the drink with a dollop of whipped cream, and a sprinkle of nutmeg.