A road trip through the Eastern Cape

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I did a road trip through the beautiful South African Eastern Cape early this year. Starting off spending a night in Graaf Reient, a small town in the Karoo with a big church and amazing lamb shank.

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Just outside of Graaf Reinet is the micro-town Nieu-Bethesda, which takes you back in time about 100 years. There’s no shortage of wide dusty streets, creaky floors, homemade jam and succulents. Not to mention the 40 degree Karoo heat.

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The must see Owl House is a museum built by, a reclusive artist, Helen Martins, in the 1950s. Helen elaborately decorated the house in bits of different coloured glass, ornaments and interesting paintsings. Outside she built more than 250 statues/sculptures which form “The Camel Yard”.

I could pretend to imagine or infer a lot about the space, the statues and what it all means but I think the imagery does a better job of that.

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I really loved the use of mirrors within each room.

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After spending some time walking around Nieu-Bethesda and nearly getting attacked by a herd of goats we started the trip to Knysna.

Google Maps then thought a good route would be Prince Alfred Pass – a shorter, windy, scarier, mountainous path to Knysna – which takes nearly double the time. Although it turned out to be really lovely.

The views are breathtaking and there’s a stop half way where you can buy some tea and cake from a little store that sells homemade treats. Nothing like some South African melktert while your feet cool down in a river.

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Definitely want to live in a house with 2 blue doors in the middle of a mountain range one day.

Until then I’ll settle for the beach life in the Eastern Cape…

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With only a few days in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay we spent time at the beach, eating at the local spots (you can’t leave Knysna without having a coffee and pastry at Ile de pain), having a braai on Robberg Nature Reserve and soaking in the African summer sun(sets).

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We ended off the road trip through the Eastern Cape with a few days in St Francis, a more rustic, chilled version of Plett. Where the sea is warm, the harbour is bright and the beach shops sell pretty leather strappy sandals.

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One of my favourite things, besides shoe shopping, is vising new cities and exploring small towns.. Expect more travel posts soon 🙂

Jules,

x

PS. Ross and Alex are very good at driving.

Ruffles & Mules

IMG_3421ruffles on dress

Ruffles, a great name for your dog, you know if you were looking for something like that. But also it’s a trend that’s popping up for upcoming AW/SS.

Trends, either you dig them or you’re tired of them. They’re all just elements of pieces that stood out back in the day. Here’s my take on a modern ’50s look: Ruffles, a vintage bag, and mule shoes.

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So this is me, rocking the ruffles in the most discreet way possible. See people with boobs, and I mean, bigger boobs, cannot wear ruffles. Well you can but this is what happens… the top of your waist looks like you’re smuggling (not smarties) but a huge balloon and consequently make your legs look like those of a baby giraffe…wearing heels.

Hence the small touch of ruffles around the shoulder and the back of the dress, where the shape contrasts ones collar bones and straight back.

Dea rae ringsdea rae rings, white leathe bag

My mom always used to say when she was in her 20s she lived in grey and navy blue. While, like every other woman out there, I will adamantly say, “I’m not turning into my mother”, I find myself drawn to black, white, grey and most of all navy blue. It’s a colour I’ve found works with my skin tone and isn’t as harsh as black.

I fell in love with these speckles that add a bit of character to what would be a normal blue dress. The small speckles also work well with the soft ruffles making it a dress that’s actually quite different.

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Obsessed with these mule shoes I bought recently. They’re an “Autumn” shoe but actually they’re an everything, everyday, with anything, feet flattering shoe. Obviously they’re leather (hello invest piece), which means they’re comfortable, and they work perfectly as a day heel.

This white leather clutch bag was a gift from my gran this Christmas. It comes, yet again, from her incredible hand bag collection. Find more of her pieces here, here and here.

IMG_3533Dress with ruffles: Country Road / Mule leather shoes: Country Road / White leather clutch: vintage / Rings: Dear Rae

Ruffle up your weekend wardrobe with some texture and pattern. Or just get a dog and name him ruffles, who needs the latest trends when you have a puppy.

Jules,

x

The Sack dress ain’t wack

sack dress

It’s basically a chic version of what a dustbin bag would look like on me. Yeah, I’m all about that recycle/up-cycle/make rubbish bags look cool vibe.

It’s flattering, it’s cool, it’s boho, its black. Need I say more? The sack dress is basically an upgrade from the body-con dress, and everyone loves an upgrade.

Also I do love a dress that can be worn a million different ways. (And yes a million)

boho black dressblack dress leahter shoesOther ways to wear this dress and play with the shape would be to nip your waist in with a thin belt. Or for a more formal look pair the sack dress with some chunky heels and a structured bag.

comfy black dressleather gladiator rope sandalsA moment of silence for gladiator sandals making a come back 7 years later.

These brown leather ones are also an upgrade from my high school black with metal studs. Cringe.

I saw a similar pair of rope leather sandals (which you can see here) with 5 different colours and pom-poms and ever since then I’ve been on the hunt. Until I found these bad boys while on holiday at a beach town in the Eastern Cape. Whoop for small towns and pretty shops.

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cotton black sack dressDress: Vila from Superbalist / Shoes: Beach shop / Bag: Vintage

Jules

x

Valentines Day Lingerie

valentines day collage

This year I’ll totally be spending Valentines Day waiting for the return of The Walking Dead!

Not a huge Valentine’s enthusiast myself it’s not to say that I won’t indulge in the best parts of cupid festival… pretty undergarments and other things.

There’s nothing quite like delicate bras and beautiful pjs that make you want to dance around singing along to Taylor Swift.

Moving onto the good stuff 🙂

  1. Ines Bra, Bluebella from Superbalist, R294 (on sale)
  2. Adeline PJ top, Free People, R2314
  3. Demi Bra, Victoria Secret, R683
  4. Fairy bell lace bralette, LA with love, R390
  5. Lace body you bra, Cotton On, R58
  6. Nighty night bralette, LA with love, R439
  7. Bonnie, Netterose, R310
  8. Two step Romper, Free People, 1476

Happy Valentines Day to all those who love chocolate and flowers (on the 15th they’ll all be on sale).

Jules,

x

Make up your way through makeup

I don’t get make up. I don’t really know how to use it. Sure I wear it every odd weekend when I’m drinking and don’t want my bar rash to be visible… But that’s about the extent of it.

Contouring? What like the landscape of the South African mountain range?

I walked into MAC with a friend the other day and stood there frozen. The fear of putting on a “neutral” lipstick only to find out that it’s actually a cover up stick. Ahh… Yes, real story. It was awkward.

My “fear” of make up, cosmetics and anything else that falls into the “beauty” department probably goes back to my struggle with eczema. Juggling a skin condition all your life makes you anxious to touch anything that may set off a bad reaction. Sit on the grass… enter awful rash, touch something with fragrances… enter puffy redness, put on some cream…enter itchiness. And so on.

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The problem stems from the fact that I’ll never truly know what will set my skin off. In order to work around that I’ve had to sift through products and make it up as I go along. The result of having tried hundreds of creams has made me more aware of the junk that’s out there.

The small bit of knowledge I have on the topic comes down to a few simple routines, that involve natural products, without fancy (but actually fake and harmful) ingredients.

To the millions of others who, like myself, make up their way through the beauty isles. Who battle with skin conditions and most of all need an easier approach to the biggest organ – your skin – I’m sharing my few “tips” and “experiences”.

H20

Water is your friend, it’s also free (unless you’re silly enough to pay for bottled water) but most of all it’s the most natural hydrator.

I started noticing that when I went out drinking my ezcema on my hands would be terrible the next morning. After a while I realised that it came down to my skin being so dehydrated. It sounds too simple to be true but water really has improved my eczema, it doesn’t heal it but it helps prevent the extreme dryness.

The nightmare of ‘dry… and oily.. and sensitive skin’

Soft, fragrance free (my favourite word) cleansers are the way to go.

Dermalogica ultra calming cleanser

Dermologica ultracalming-cleanser_5-02_428x448Cetaphil

Cetaphil cleanserThe “agghh my skin is dry but if I put cream on it gets oily” problem:

Answer – use logic, use two creams.

A thin base for all over Proxera Body Emulsion

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A stronger oil based cream for selected area. – BioNike, Proxera Relipidizing Lipogel very dry skin creamI recently bought the Africology body balm (they’re having a sale online and in store right now). Out of the 13 different body balms there are two which are really good for eczema. The Frangipani and the Chamomile Body Balm, I got the Frangipani because I preferred the lighter natural smell.

What’s cool is that you can apply it to selected areas or you can put some in your bath and use as an oil. Great for complete moisture.

Africology body balmSunblock

No matter what skin you have you’re definitely don’t have the type that can fight the sun. Only Superman does.

I prefer a high factor for my face because essentially I’m ‘allergic’ to sun rays, sounds odd. If my face is in the sun too long it swells up, goes blotchy red and in the worst cases only calms down from an antihistamine shot. That’s also why hats are the best – all about that sun safety 🙂

Eucerin – It’s light and doesn’t have lanolin in / Africology SPF 30 – no artificial colouring or fragrances

Making it up..

Simple foundation with an SPF to give a matte feel and some powder if my cheeks are feeling especially red

And that’s basically it, besides a bit of mascara and bronzer.

Point is, I’m all about simplicity and working around the skin condition I have. It’s not easy waking up with an allergic reaction to pollen or whatever else is in the air.

For the past 20 odd years it’s been about finding out what my skin feels better with and what it reacts badly to. What I’ve come to realise is that I have to treat my skin with the most natural and simplistic products out there.

Jules

x

A look at the top trends in 2015

2015 came and went in a flash, although I do say that every year so either I’m going to bed earlier or time as a measurement has changed completely.

Here is a look back on some of the most popular trends in 2015. From the cat walk, to retail stores and onto the streets these styles stood our the most and will likely still be around in 2016.

70s

  • Flowy dresses and tops – think festival fashion and flashback to Woodstock 1969
  • Button down skirts – a staple piece for summer and winter. Click here to see a list of my favourites.
  • Bell sleeves and bell bottom jeans – essentially anything with flares. I just loved the mashup between ‘hippie’ flares on structured pieces that added a modern twist to this ’70s item

70s trend in 201590s – they’re still around

  • Crop tops – evolved into high fashion  with a formal touch. Kim and the rest of the Kardashians were the forefront of this style on the red carpet
  • Dungarees revival – making it cool to act like a ’90s kid again! Showing us that denim will never die.
  • Platform shoes – they’ve been coming in and out for a couple of years but in 2015 we sore it evolve into all styles. Espadrille platforms, sandal platforms and even sneakers with platforms. Essentially 2015 brought the Spice Girls back
  • Polo necks – it’s only the start… The classic ’90s item will evolve into different fabrics and patterns to make it a stand alone piece in the coming year.

90s fashion

Bohemain

  • Fringe – and anything suede. Making festival looks chic and adding texture to traditionally classic pieces
  • Over the knee boots – both boho and a ’70s trend, this was the ‘it’ boot to buy in 2015.
  • Peasant dress – the most versatile and comfy dress. It’s a big claim I know, but definitely my favourite trend from 2015
  • Off the shoulder tops – grab that boob tube bra or go bra less basically. A truly flattering piece that gave shape to simple looks.

bohemian trends in 2015

Ripped jeans – knee rips and raw hems were the biggest changes to jeans since the boyfriend revolution.

  • Skinny jeans with small slits over the knee
  • Complete rips all over jeans giving texture to the piece
  • Raw hems – both on jeans and shorts the frayed hems added flare as well as emphasised the ’70s theme

ripped jeans trend

White er thang

  • White on white – previously considered a tampon look now is seen to as a bright a summer and winter look
  • White sneaker were paired with casual and formal wear adding a sporty element to outfits
  • Shades of white – I love the idea of different shades and textures of the same colour

white trend 2015Wrap up, lace up shoes

  • Block heels with lace ups – contrasting the stiff block heel
  • Espadrills with wrap around ankle
  • Boho gladiator sandals – fusing roman and bohemian elements in one shoe while showing off those ankles
  • Lace up ballet flats – taking the classic ballet and pointy shoe and adding wrap around detail.

lace up shoe trend 2015

*All images sourced from Pinterest

With out a doubt a lot of these 2015 trends will spill over into 2016 for a bit. I fully believe a trend doesn’t have to just be a once off look. Try re-work them into different styles to make purchasing these items worth while 🙂

Jules,

x

 

Slip in and out of a slip dress

dress with slit

It’s summer, it’s hot, it’s run on the beach naked time… If that’s your vibe. Otherwise it’s still hot and the less you wear the better.

pin strip slipp dress summer slip dress

Slits on a slip dress..

Pro: High slits let the breeze come in

Con: A little too much wind and everyone sees your umm…panties.

Solution: Find a slip dress that shows a little bit of skin (side note: my mother, my sewing queen, is going to sew this up a little for me)

Slip dress with sandals sling bag and dress

Why get a slip dress? (easy..)

Pro: slip dresses look good with everything. This fashion(y) blog has always been about practical clothes that are versatile and worth buying or investing in. A slip dress works with heels for a night out and even slops at the coast. Cha-ching.

Con: Don’t be silly, there are no more cons to a slip dress, duh. Just slip one into your suitcase (they’re super thin too) and it’ll save you space to pack other things like…hats. Becasue hats are the biggest mission to pack.

black bow sandals back of slip dress

Here I wore my pin strip slip dress with black bow sandals to give it some femininity (and also to show off my manicured white toes – white toes are a thing, trust). Then added a pink sling bag, which accentuated the faint pink stripe in the dress.

The ‘belt’ tied at the back also takes away from the dress being an ordinary sack dress. I still love sack dresses, but a belt is great for giving form to your waist.

forever 21 slip dress

loose summer dress. forever 21

Side note – these dresses wear best with a boob tube bra as they hang loosely over your shoulders (too many straps aren’t cool with a look like this).

Stripped dress for summer

Slip dress: Forever21 / Black bow sandals: Woolworths / Sling bag: Forever New

Pro: this slip dress makes me want a million more slip dresses

Con: this slip dress makes me want a million more slip dresses

Basically, remember to pack your slip dress for holiday. ‘tis the season to slip into a slip dress.

Jules,

x

Currently Craving: Christmas shopping for the ladies

I used to love walking around the shops, going from store to store, finding what clothes and fabrics were in season.. Now, well things have changed slightly.. If you’re looking for me I’ll be in bed with with a packet of speckled eggs and my laptop.

The reality is online shopping is just too good. Maybe it’s my age, or maybe it’s just the evolution of how we consume these days, but I can’t justify walking around a mall, surrounded by crowds only to finally find something in my size and then have to stand in a queue to try it on.

So basically I’ve put my love for browsing the net into a list of great Christmas gift ideas for them ladies (creepy voice not included).

 

christmas shopping

  1. Daniel Wellington: Classy St Mawes – $149 /R2 168
  2. Superbalist: Blue Milk phone cover – R249
  3. Old Khaki: Rare Earth Scarlet Ladies Sandals – R499
  4. Takealot: Kindle Touch wifi – R1679
  5. Superbalist: Veri Keychain – R169
  6. Woolworths: Country Road, Grey Spot Tote – R549
  7. Superbalist: Nolden Bros, House Table Lamp – R299
  8. Dear Rae: Sashe Silver Songololo Pendent – R690
  9. Carrol Boyes: Unity Ring – R800 / $55
  10. Jane Sews: Felt Hat – R699
  11. Superbalist: Fisheye, Insta Lense – R299

Enjoy the gift of Christmas shopping online 🙂

Jules,

x