Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Heels to Dance Into 2014

Ideally, the best kind of shoes to dance in would be ballet flats or comfy sneakers, but then again, those wouldn't really go with elegant New Years Eve dresses. If Dancing with the Stars is anything to go by, it is possible to sway the night away in a pair of 6 inch heels. And if it's not, then make sure you have foldable flats tucked into your bag to remedy any stiletto setbacks. These are some fabulous shoes I found via Heels.com to dance your way into 2014.

1. Selena sandals by Pour la Victorie $350.  2. Quillan heels by Promise in Fuchsia $50. 3. Raina neon & black sandals - Circus by Sam Edelman $120. 4. Parie in Ocean Blue by Jessica Simpson $100. 5. Emmie in Red by Jessica Simpson $100. 6. Nerissa Turquoise suede sandals by Boutique 9 $165. 7. Ghislaine pink heels by JustFab $55. 8. Nava multi-red sandals by Marciano $80. 9. Dani Burgundy heels by London Trash $160.

Ankle Boots
10. Stuntin cut-out wedge boot by Privileged $165. 11. Swindle in gold by 2 Lips Too $85. 12. Gali black boot by BCBG MaxAzria $325. 13. Prime cut-out boot by ZiGi Girl $140. 14. Manny platform boot by Elly Clay $255. 15. More to Score leopard boots by Unlisted $70. 16. Red Velvet Mills glitter boot by Michael Antonio $70.  17. Andromeda wedge boot by ZiGi $500. 18. Monochrome Revolution boot by Mojo Moxy $180.

19. Krislin strappy sandals by Guess $110. 20. Marlen gold rhinestone sandals by Steve Madden $130. 21. Ethania suede and gold shoes by Guess $135. 22. Calkins rose gold PVC pumps by Jessica Simpson $90.  23. Olivia mixed metallic heels by Laura Brandon $128. 24. Laren glitter gold heels by Guess $95. 25. Jennings gold metallic sandals by Michael Antonio $50. 26. Ashlin rose gold caged boot by Penny Loves Kenny $70. 27. Silver Carrie pointy-toe pumps by Guess $90.

Pop of Colour
28. Genna cuffed heels in Turquoise by Shoe Republic $55. 29. Ethel lime green heels by Shoe Republic $50. 30. Tulle red shoes by Guess $120. 31. Meira sandals in Fuchsia by Truth or Dare $90. 32. Selene red chiffon strappy bow sandals by Paris Hilton $95. 33. Royal blue silk embellished sandals by Badgley Mischka $245. 34. Loveutoo petal pink pumps by Enzo Angiolini $115. 35. Date Night Coral lace and satin pumps by Luichiny $90.  36. My Darling satin bow shoes in Fuchsia by Luichiny $90.

Elaborately Black
37. Angelina pumps by Modern Vice $120. 38. Bismah heels by Schutz $225. 39. Poppy studded sandals by Betsey Johnson $170. 40. Rio heels by JustFab $55 41. Zana sandals by Dolce Vita $180. 42. Sparkle bow sandals by BCBGeneration $100. 43. Adore feathered sandals by David Tutera $145. 44. Wagner heels by Privileged $100. 45. Lynn black and gold shoes by L.A.M.B $245.

Wishing You All A Spectacular New Year!
May it Bring You Everything You Wish For!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Who Is Your Favourite 2013 Celebrity Street Style Icon?

Celebrity Street Style 
Icon of the Year 2013
Who's Your Pick?

As 2013 draws to a close, let's take a look back at the celebrities that have impressed us with their incredibly chic street style. These are the trendsetters, the game changers, the rule breakers and the ones that inspired our 2013 wardrobes with their extraordinary style.

The American socialite never fails to make an influential statement with every look she wears. Olivia has a knack for creative styling and is an expert at accessorizing. She adds prints, trendy coats and flats for comfort with flair.

The stunning 'Revenge' star mixes up glamour and grunge with panache. Her savvy Brit Rock look is attained with high-street brands and everyday pieces that we can all afford. Ripped jeans, biker jackets, tartan and stripes were high on the style list for Ashley this year.

The Aussie supermodel has proven her style icon status time and time again. Let's face it, she could wear a paper bag and still look good. This year Miranda attracted the pavement paparazzi with her sophisticated caped coats, floaty summer dresses & thigh-high boots.

When you have unlimited funds like Russian beauty Elena Perminova, wearing haute couture is an every day type of thing. This billionaire blonde has access to an incredible designer closet filled with Burberry, Chanel, Valentino and Chloé. Elena is a fearless fashionista, experimenting with bold colours, unique shapes, quirky hats, feathers and fur.

No Style Icon list would be complete with the mention of It-Alternate-Chick Alexa Chung. Her tomboyish style is accented by patterned skirts, flat shoes and fedoras. Put on something leather, a fitted sweater and striped tee and you will have 'The Alexa Look' pinned down. 

Russia's most stylish export, Miroslava Duma has enthralled us this year with her unique sense of fashion, innovative twist of trends and love of high-end labels. She dares to wear the things others are afraid to...and does so with great aplomb.

Reese has that Girl-Next-Door look all wrapped up with her updated version of classic looks. Accessible and easy-to-imitate, simplicity dictates her wardrobe with well-tailored, interchangeable pieces that are worn with confidence.

Rosie has topped our weekly style charts during 2013 with her effortlessly and elegant style. Her bohemian influences came to surface with folksy printed dresses, pants and hats. Rosie favors uncomplicated styling with slim tees & jeans, sidewalk stilettos and slick jackets.

The Saturday's singer Mollie King stylishly emerged as a fashion icon this year with her outstanding street outfits. She keeps it simple with minimal accessories and classic pointy toe pumps. Mollie made us fall for printed pants with her many snazzy pairs. Her graceful demeanor and that fixed-on genuine smile make her style all that more charming.

Jessica Alba's inherent fashion sense has been remarkably consistent over the year with her artful layering and enviable collection of blazers. Adding a t-shirt and skinny jeans to that, Jessica has mastered this three-piece look and reinvents it over and over again to perfection.

Who is your Favourite Celebrity Street Style Icon of 2013?

Let me know your vote below.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Table Decor

Table Setting Inspiration
For Your Holiday Parties 

As much as I love preparing for fancy dinner parties, it's setting the perfect table that I find most daunting. So, I have decided to find simple, easy-to-achieve and delightfully pretty table decor ideas from around the net to help me (and you) turn that holiday affair into something spectacular. These last minute ideas can be recreated with everyday items you can find at home, with the help of some garden blooms (if you're in the Southern Hemisphere), pantry essentials and craft-box components. These decor ideas will ensure your dinner table is the center of attention.

Pastel Place Settings
1. Borrow your grandma's vintage floral teapot & set some flowers inside for a quaint setting.
2. Paint some storage jars in pastel shades and top off with white roses.
3. Place a candle inside a tall drinking glass, then tie a single flower around the outside using a ribbon or elastic band.
4. Before you throw out those empty tin and cans, paint them to match your party colour scheme and fill up with garden flowers and greens.
5. Mismatch a variety of pastel plates and use an antique quilt as a table cloth for a truly eye-spiring table setting. You can also wrap little boxes of chocolates for each guest with floral wrapping paper and place on top.
6. Use pastel coloured water or gardening jugs for a serene summer table setting.

7. Place some candy swirls in a bucket for a two-in-one sweet treat and table centerpiece. 
8. Stock up a large glass vase with silver or gold covered chocolate kisses.
9. Spray paint pinecones in metallic hues & lay them out in different vases tied with ribbons.
10. Use any colourful Christmas lights that are not working anymore to fill up a vase. 

Edible Ornaments
11. Lay oranges topped with daisy straws on a cake plate, it will also lend a lovely zesty scent to your table.
12. Who knew green and purple cabbage leaves could be this versatile? Tie them around tea-lights and add them to a jewel toned centerpiece, along with some artichokes.
13. Add some vibrance to your table with a tall vase of lemons, sprinkled with silver baubles.
14. Bedazzle some pears with stick-on gemstones for a glittery and easily elegant show piece.
15. Asparagus can be used to make a DIY green themed vase to hold a floral bouquet.
16. A vintage wooden box stacked with peaches, apricots or plums will add a flavorful finish to your summer holiday table.

Jazz Up Your Jars

17. Roll a few of your elastic beaded bracelets around mason jars for a pretty jeweled effect.
18. Tie a doily around your jars and adorn with flowers.
19. For a more romantic look, use burlap and lace tied with string, and festoon with flowers.
20. Try a chic countryside centerpiece with hessian and a checked ribbon.
21. For a non-floral centerpiece, place glass stones into your mason jars, fill with water and a floating candle and wrap up with a raffia bow.
22. Peg antique postcards or family photos inside your jars and garnish with flowers.

Floral Flair
23. Transform a mundane muffin tin into something marvelous by placing candles and flower jars alternatively in each holder.
24. An ice bucket or silver kitchen utensil can be repurposed as a vase.
25. Glass cookie jars are beautifully ornamented with floating roses.
26. Remove the paper coverings from your soft drink bottles and place a single flower in each.
27. Adorn your cake stands with floral domes, made by sticking the stems of flowers into a polystyrene ball.
28. Turn your fancy stemmed drinking glasses upside down to cave a colourful bloom underneath, and balance a candle on top for an outstanding centerpiece.

Happy Holidays Dear Friends. 
May it be a Wonderfully Joyous One!

P.S I will be away for the rest of the week for an annual family Xmas get-together. Chat back to you next week.

*Photo sources: bhg.com. realsimple.com, countryliving.com, marthastewart.com, pinterest.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Royal Swazi Experience

Last weekend, I took a trip across the South African border to our neighbouring country of Swaziland. Eventhough it is one of the Southern Hemisphere's smallest countries, the congenial Swazi hospitality and stunning mountainous landscapes made it well worth the visit.

Swaziland borders Safrica to the north east, and is ruled over by King Mswati III.
Map via Google Images

Our accommodation for the weekend was the Royal Swazi Villas, a luxurious home away from home that superseded my expectations with it's spacious chambers and modern design. This double story chalet features 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, an open plan lounge, dining room and kitchen. The entire villa is encircled by glass doors and high windows, attracting warmth from the fiery Swazi sun and an abundance of light. 

The King Suite offers an imperial living experience where you can truly reside as royalty for the duration of your stay. The bed was so comfy, we almost didn't want to leave. A separate dressing room closeted all our luggage and the palatial bathroom with jacuzzi bath enhanced the grandeur of the villa. I wouldn't suggest opening any windows or doors though...one small gap and we found ourselves facing the cockamouse from How I Met Your Mother
Yes people, it does exist.

The Villa easily accommodated our group of ten people, with different suites to choose from. These were two of the other opulent bedrooms in the house. 

The African baroque themed lounge and dining room was like a page out of a home decor magazine, tastefully decorated with beautiful furnishings.

The best time to cruise the swimming pool would be late at night, where you can have the place all to yourself and escape the extreme daytime heat.
Image via Royal Villas.co.sz

For an authentic tribal Swazi experience, you can opt to stay in one of these traditional beehive reed huts within the compounds of the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.

Royal Swazi Spa is one of country's best golfing resorts with an 18-hole championship course.
Image via suninternational.com

We took a leisurely hike through the Mantenga Nature Reserve where a winding pathway paved with lush greenery, shady indigenous trees and soothing bird songs led us toward the majestic Mantenga Falls. Perfect for a picnic or afternoon dip, being immersed in such exquisite natural beauty was the highlight of the trip.

Being a short (and at times rainy) weekend, I didn't get a chance to see more of Swaziland, and as I have heard, there is a lot more that this wonderful country has to offer. It is only about a two-and-half hour drive (there is also an airport), so I would definitely recommend a trip to any fellow South Africans and international tourists.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Looks of the Week - 21/12/13

The red carpet has been relatively quiet this time of the year in Tinseltown, so here is the weekly roundup of celebrity style that's more on the casual side.

Urban Edge
Nikki Reed fine-tunes the grunge trend in this sheer printed red and black dress, allied with an Alice + Olivia leather jacket, Bellabag clutch and Timberland boots.
Gwen Stefani leaves us envious of her fabulous red tartan coat, perfectly paired with all black and snazzy Giuseppe Zanotti 'Alien' ankle boots.
Jessica Alba jazzes up her leather skater skirt with a floral printed MinkPink sweater, a bottle green carry bag and knee-high leather boots.
Olivia Palermo yet again proves her fashion prowess in this ingenious outfit featuring a red and black houndstooth coat with a black skirt, two-sided tights, a Louis Vuitton bag & fedora.

Check, Please
Olivia Munn sports a trim navy and red gingham checked dress, covered up by a camel overcoat. The 'Newsroom' star also carries a Prada bag and wears black ankle boots.
Aussie actress Margot Robbie savvily mixes prints in this polished black and white checked Oscar de la Renta dress and leopard print coat by Paule Ka.
Kate Beckinsale threw on a red and black abstract checked blazer by RACHEL Rachel Roy, modishly teamed with a black cami and loosely fit Sam & Levi pants. Her outfit was accented by a Givenchy bag and Jimmy Choo sandals. 
Mollie King was spotted some time back dominating the checked trend in a monochrome gingham coat and leather zipped skirt by Zara, topped off by a fedora and oversized bag.

Winter Luxe
Alexa Chung gave her own unique spin to this pretty guava pink lace Burberry Prorsum dress by adding a grey overcoat and leopard print loafers.
Jennifer Lopez takes a stride in an engaging metallic petal pink Kate Spade skater skirt and top, amping up the swank with silver Gianvito Rossi sandals.
Ashley Tisdale's bohemian themed taupe crochet maxi dress by Free People is toughened up by a black IRO leather biker jacket.

Leather Leggings Trend
Kristin Cavallari chicly stepped out in a striped Joes Jeans top, styled with a black blazer, leather leggings, a quilted Chanel bag, burgundy fedora and Chinese Laundry ankle boots.
Una Healy teamed her slick leather leggings with a cream knitted sweater, statement necklace, black Burberry bag and charcoal grey suede ankle boots.
Rita Ora dons a DKNY ensemble featuring a suave leather biker and black leggings, casually styled with a white tee, chain-link necklace, black pumps and a two-tone bag.
The always stylish Nicole Richie brings her debonair flair to the leather leggings trend in a black quilted pair with a cropped white Mugler blouse and monochrome brogues.

The Lingerie Look
Vanessa Hudgens glamed up in a retro inspired blush pink silk gown by Maria Lucia Hohan, accented with a cream fur stole and satin gloves.
Jamie Chung works the lingerie trend to her advantage in this sleek little black Zara slip dress with lace trims and strappy Jimmy Choo sandals.
Daisy Lowe picked out an ivory slip corset dress with floaty midi skirt and sparkly sandals.

Ladies in Red

Kimberley Walsh went for a modernistic approach to red in a slim-fit scarlet gown with embellished halter neck and belt.
Spanish beauty Mar Saura was radiant in a shimmering Lorenzo Caprile dress with sheer long-sleeved overlay that is ruched at the waist.
Zhang Ziyi made a red haute impression in a this glitzy strapless gown by Armani Privé.

Who is your favourite 'Look of the Week?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Frills

10 Rules To Live By Every Single Day

1. Realise your own worth. Avoid comparing yourself with others. Each of us is special, because we are different one from the other.

2. Set your own goals based on what is important to you, not what others think is important. Only you know what is best for you.

3. Treasure the things that are closest to your heart. Cherish them as you would your life, without them life is meaningless.

4. Live your life one day at a time, in the present, with each day to its fullest. Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past, or for the future.

5. Be relentless when you have something to offer; never give up. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

6. Embrace risk, don’t be afraid. We learn how to be brave by taking chances.

7. Love deeply, freely, with all your heart. The quickest way to receive love is to give love, the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly, the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

8. Live your dreams. To be without dreams is to be without hope and to be without hope is to be without purpose.

9. Slow down. Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you have been, but also where you are going. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savoured, each and every step of the way.

10. Surrender to your destiny; have faith that it will unfold as it should. Choose to be happy, at peace and one with the universe.

* Unknown author. Image via Nina Ricci

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Party Hair Ideas 2013

Holiday & Party Hairstyles
Inspiration Ideas 2013

We've already seen a few good party dress ideas last week, so it's only appropriate that we find the perfect hairstyle to match. Formal and fussy or laid-back and relaxed, what ever the holiday event you're attending, these runway and celebrity hair ideas will surely inspire you to try something new with your tresses.

Ways with Braids
Braids have been massively popular this year from the runway to the red carpet, seen styled in innumerable ways. Lucy Hale and Alberta Ferretti models wore loosely plaited ponytails, whilst Selena Gomez went edgy with an elevated braid. Wear a romantic braided crown (seen at Rebecca Minkoff) or go goth like Cara Delevingne did with a braided undercut. TV Presenter Maria Menounos showed off a textured mermaid braid.

Elegant Updos
 For those more formal affairs, you can't go wrong with a classic pulled black chignon, French twist or slightly messy bun. An asymmetrical fringe will beautifully compliment this style.

The Faux Bob
Shorten your locks without cutting it off by trying out the uber trendy Faux Bob. Curl sections of your hair with a curling iron, then fasten and tuck inwards towards the nape of your neck with bobby pins. Leave a few strands loose in the front to soften this pretty look.

Plaited Upstyles
Incorporating a plait into your usual upstyle will add a playful party spin.

Half-up Half Down
 If you have naturally wavy hair, the easiest way to add some glamour is with a half up, half down hairstyle. Gather a few strands from the front of your head and either braid it, twist it or pull it back in a pompadour. Let the rest of your locks fall loose in ravishing waves.

The Finer Details
Vivify your normal style with interesting hair accessories. At Marchesa, models were given a fringed finish with feathered clips. Alexis Mabille went retro with beehives and satin bands. Y-3 presented uncombed folksy locks with a side braid and neon rainbow feather. Plait a bright ribbon into your braid seen at Calla. Cover up uncompromising hair with a very trendy veiled beanie a la Jil Sander. Or add a contrast coloured strand for a grungy look as Libertine did.

Straight Forward
 To get your hair this sleek and perfectly straight, smoothen down with a flat iron, using a heating spray before hand and a good serum or shine spray after.

Hair Gems
Ornament your tresses with a range of beautiful hair jewels, floral clips and crowns or try ornate crystal brooches for a vintage effect.

Which of these Holiday Hairstyles will you be trying out?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Keepsake Spring/Summer 2014

Sometimes, it's okay to forget the fancy frills, dizzy prints and crystals and just get back to the basics of good clothing. This is what Australian brand Keepsake are best known for. Creating flattering, figure-loving silhouettes enhanced by origami folds, sharp angles and structured peplum waists. Colouring in the Summer of 2014 are sweeps of petal pink, teal and turquoise, black, white, lemon and ice with hot flashes of cerise.

Taking inspiration from the couture runways, Keepsake divides the price but doubles the style, with modern and graceful looks that can be worn from day to night events. This summery season, we have the grandest picks from pleated mini and maxi dresses, flirtatious little playsuits, tulip skirts and unusual netted necklines. Cut-outs and sheer details zig-zag their way through this innovative range, keeping up with designer trends. Expert pattern-cutting can be seen in intricate three-fold peplums and strong geometric shapes.

Hopefully the South African sun can be coaxed to come out at the sight of this beguiling Spring/Summer collection.

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

Set 4

Set 5

Set 6

Set 7

Set 8

Set 9

You can shop the Keepsake collection here. They also offer international shipping, so hold on to your credit cards.

Which Keepsake set is on your summer wishlist?