style | decor | fashion | DIY | design | organisation: tips, tricks & clever ideas for the savvy girl

Archive for May, 2013

Happy Girls, Happy Monday

So. What I learnt this weekend (otherwise known as happy Monday musings):

1. a lit fireplace draws people in, creates actual and perceived warmth, makes red wine taste nicer and your dog lift her chin so she can get a little warmth on her chest. cute.

2. when the rugby is on, there’s not much else occupying your husband’s mind. Honestly. Just leave what you have to say/suggest/ask till the game is over (that includes post-match commentary)

Happy Girls Shine Brighter

3. when keen beans suggest an early morning run, don’t jump on the bandwagon because you know that it’s actually going to pour with rain in the morning and so it’s no point even setting an alarm and ruin your sleep. (guys you know who you are and I love you)

4. everyone needs to try skilpaadjies on the braai.

5. sometimes you just can’t connect. So stop trying and just let God…

6. it’s worth checking out your neighbourhoods and extended neighbourhoods a little. it’s also amazing the difference in culture, sounds, noise level, types of cars and sidewalk appeal. no kidding.

7. sleeping in is really worth it. best is getting out of your PJs and gown after 12pm.

8. reading a new book all the way through on a weekend means you have little to worry about, you have time to chill out and you are able to enjoy the preoccupation of a fictional world for 48 hours. bliss.

9. when you have a sudden urge for cheesecake, don’t go look at it over the edge of the counter at the shop. Rather get the ingredients and make one. if you have the time and the will, then go for baked.

10. give a little love. to everyone you know and life will be a better place. it really always is!

Top 10 Wine-Related DIY Ideas

As most of my friends know, I’m an enjoyer of wine – whether that’s quaffing really good wine at wine estates (that always seems to taste extra amazing when doing the swirl & sniff), uncorking a really great wine which has been languishing on the rack waiting for the perfect occasion, celebrating with a newly discovered pinotage at a wedding or other occasion, or simply opening an ‘easy-drinking-pasta-and-prawns’ chenin during the week…

I guess this means that I have ample opportunity for turning the various wine paraphenalia into smart DIY ideas – it’s all ‘reuse and recycle darling’. Soooo as advice to me and to anyone else who either has plenty of bottles, corks & boxes at home, or who simply likes the ‘look’ of wine-related ideas, I present some really cool little DIY tips for converting your wine into home projects x

From Wine Boxes to Box Shelves

From Wine Boxes to Box Shelves
Transform your old wine boxes into interesting box shelves! Some paint or wallpaper for the backing is a great idea, plus you can theme them together horizontally or vertically on the walls.

From wine bottles to word art

From wine bottles to word art
Take old wine bottles of different sizes, spraypaint them a single colour and then use a stencil or sticker to create a world – really nice ideas for kitchens or bathrooms!

From wine corks to cork sculpture

From wine corks to cork sculpture
This might need a little extra work, but get a wire sculpture done for you (or if you can manage it yourself well done!) and then stick or imbed wine corks to make a cork sculpture. Works well as a centrepiece or coffee table item.

From corks to baby cactus holders

From corks to baby cactus holders
Take corks, dig out the inside, fill with a little soil and a tiny cactus slip. You can even add a magnet to the back of the cork and stick it on the fridge for a quirky indoor plant effect 🙂

From cardboard wine box to shoe storage

From cardboard wine box to shoe storage
Store your soft shoes in a converted cardboard wine box – pretty easy! Nice for boys or teenagers who need the space.

From wine bottle to work of art

From wine bottle to work of art
Take old wine bottles of unique shapes and then paint them in blackboard paint. You can then write on them in chalk or even use tippex for something a little more permanent. Great art installation!

From wine glasses to glass chandelier

From wine glasses to glass chandelier
A really creative idea, take a collection of different wine glasses (we’ve all got them) and turn them into a pretty chandelier. Use wire and fairy lights to bring it all together.

From wine glasses to girls night in

From wine glasses to girls night in
Take normal wine glasses, dip the stems into paint and decorate the top half with your favourite pattern. Great for parties!

From champagne cork to name holder

From champagne cork to name holder
I did this for my own wedding! Take corks and either slide in the name tag on the top, or place the cork on the side and attach with glue. Walah!

And number 10 – for fun 🙂

Happy Friday Folks! Forries Here I Come…

Hi all, just wishing you a happy Friday – I’m off to Forries for a well-deserved after-work glass of vino. Weekend plans:

  • first ever yoga class
  • coffee with the BFF
  • some shoe shopping
  • dinner/movie?
  • run or mountain bike
  • Mother’s Day coffee & croissants
  • church x

Have a super weekend, have fun, be safe!

Happy Friday

Wall Art With Stickers | Contemporary Home Decor

Back when I was a little girl, the most my mom could do to decorate my room was pink wallpaper with ballet slippers on it, paint the walls (pink again, and then sea green when I hit 12) or even paint a mural (which my brother had all over one wall). When I was a teen I plastered my walls with everything from cute poems from cards, to posters of Leo DiCaprio, the BackStreet Boys, Tom Welling and Bob Skinstad…

When I reached varsity, all the black and white perfume magazine pictures came down and the walls were painted bright orange with a stylish 1950s Marilyn Monroe poster on top. But the key thing was that posters, cards and pictures were very ‘temporary’… and messy. I remember countless hardened blocks of prestick on the walls being SUCH a pain.

The great thing is that these days you can embellish any wall in your home with stylish, elegant wall stickers – ensuring creative spaces in just about every room! From silhouettes to word art, flowers to children’s teddy bears, there’s really something for everyone.  Check out My Wall Tattoos, a company that locally produces amazing wall art that can be sent anywhere in the world. I’ve put together some personal favourites – be inspired!


Elegant Kitchen Wall Art | source Vinyl Impression


Wall Stars for Kids | source Ferm Living Shop

cross stitch

Cross Stitch Wall Sticker | source Not on the High Street


Animal Art for Kids Rooms | source Way Fair


Kitchen Utensils Sticker | source Heart & Design


Flower Art Wall Stickers | source Home Designing


Awesome Map of the World Sticker | source Project Decor


It’s a Starry Night | source Ferm Living


Asian Inspired Blossom Trees & Bird Cages | source Impressive Interior Design

The Importance of Stretching After Exercise | GUEST POST – healthline

Today I’m introducing Guest Blogger* Valerie Johnston from – With ambitions of one day running a marathon, this health & fitness writer in East Texas ensures she’s up to date with all the latest wellness news! Today’s post is on the importance of stretching – when to do it, when not to do it, and all the best (and secret) methods to recovery. Read on and be inspired!

Stretching is an extremely important part of any workout routine. However, what most people do not know is that it is actually more beneficial to stretch after exercising rather than before. Stretching beforehand can actually cause more damage than it prevents.

Stretch After Your Run

When Not to Stretch

Stretching before working out has been proven to lead to more injuries than if people did not stretch at all. This is because the purpose of stretching is to relax the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the body. When these parts of the body gets too relaxed, it can be very dangerous to perform high intensity activities.

This is because these muscles and tendons need to be tight and constricted in order to keep the rest of the body performing at a high level. If the bones and muscles are not being held tightly in place, they can easily be broken, fractured, or otherwise injured during exercise.

Stretching is part of Warming Down

Why After Is Better

Stretching after working out, however, is extremely beneficial and can help prevent injury. This is due to the fact that the muscles and everything else get very tight during intense physical exercise. After the tightening occurs, it needs to be released so that the muscles can recover and rebuild after being torn up from the work out.

Stretching can help relax the muscles as to not allow build up of lactic acid, the substance that causes cramping and pain in the muscles. By letting all of these acids escape and run out of the muscles, it helps people be much less sore the next day after a big work out and it allows their muscles to properly heal.

Stretching Increases Flexibility

How To Stretch

However, stretching does no good if it is not done correctly. In order to get the muscles to work at their full potential and recover at the fastest rate possible, people should follow the following guidelines. First, stretches should not be held for longer than six seconds at a time. Contrary to popular opinion, which says that stretching needs to be for extended lengths of time, a stretch should last exactly six seconds and then be released for six seconds and repeated a total of three times.

In addition, stretches should not be painful. Many people think that an effective stretch bends the body to the point where it actually begins to hurt. No pain, no gain is their philosophy. This is actually very dangerous, as over stretching can lead to chronic injuries and pain. A stretch should only go as far as the person can handle without pain. Otherwise, the stretch does more harm than help.

Stretches should also be done after each and every work out. If individuals decide to exercise and skip the stretching afterwards, it can cause a lot of pain, soreness, and likeliness for injury in the future. Sometimes it is tempting to skip the stretches after working out because one is very worn out and just wants to get home, but it is absolutely necessary for proper body function.

Always Be Aware of What is Comfortable for You

Chocolate Milk and Stretching

Something a lot of people also do not know about stretching is that, when combined with a glass of chocolate milk, it makes for the best muscle recovery possible. Chocolate milk, though often viewed as unhealthy or fattening, actually possesses all of the necessary elements to rebuild and recover muscles quickly and perfectly.  (an aside from me – this is perfect, I love chocolate steri stumpies after hard excercise, particularly a run. I find it works well as a recovery drink!)

When the muscles are worn down during exercise, they need plenty of protein, calcium, and other things to help them grow back and grow back stronger. If these muscles are not taken care of properly, they will not grow or recover. Stretching is just one way to ensure that the body is healthy and running at top performance levels.

Make Stretching a Healthy  Part of Your LIfe

Have you got any great fitness tips or things that have worked? Share as a comment below or tweet me @theggguide – have a super weekend!

* I love guest posts! If you would like to share your knowledge or expertise on any design, decor, fashion or style trends, please email me on theggguide[at] All posts and included links undergo a review before publishing.

Red Velvet Cupcakes from Ma Mere Maison & YuppieChef | Recipe

Here is something seriously yummy for a Friday! I came across this Red Velvet Cupcake recipe on the Yuppie Chef website this week – you can see the whole post and all the nice pics here. The recipe comes from Ma Mere Maison and (according to the comments on Yuppie Chef) is one of the best recipes out there!

I am yet to successfully pull this off – but I think a Friday afternoon is as good as any isn’t it? For extra sparkle, gold dust, edible glitter, red Maraschino cherries or crushed pecan nuts on top of the cream cheese icing will certainly go down well. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes from YuppiChef

Main Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 80g butter (room temperature)
  • 200g white sugar
  • 80g egg (2 small eggs or 1 jumbo)
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 60ml water
  • 2 dollops red food colouring gel
  • 160ml buttermilk
  • 200g flour
  • 1 Tbsp spirit vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp bicarb
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • A pinch of salt

For the icing

  • 250g full fat cream cheese
  • 80g icing sugar (sieved)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


1. Turn your oven onto 180ÂşC. Put the butter and sugar into a freestanding electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer up to high and slowly add the egg. Leave to mix until you have a smooth mixture.

2. In a small bowl, combine the water, cocoa and food colouring and mix it until a paste forms.

3. Turn the mixer down to a slow speed and incorporate the cocoa paste into the egg mixture and allow it to mix completely. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl to avoid uneven mixing.

4. Once you have a smooth mixture, slowly pour in half of the buttermilk and beat in completely. Add half of the flour and beat in completely. Pour in the remaining buttermilk and flour respectively and allow to mix to a smooth consistency.

5. Next add the bicarb, vinegar, vanilla essence and salt and beat until well mixed, turn the speed up once more and allow the mixture to really beat well making sure all the ingredients are completely combined.

6. Place 12 cupcake holders into your cupcake tin and distribute the cupcake batter evenly between them (the batter should fill 2/3 of the cup). If you are making a bigger batch and you end up with not enough to fill all the cupcake holes, fill the remaining ones with a little bit of water. This ensures that the heat distributes evenly through the pan, instead of scorching the outside of the few in that pan.

7. Put the cupcakes in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave to cool.

8. Time to make the icing. Beat the cream cheese until it has softened. For true red velvet cupcakes, you simply have to go with the fullest of full cream cheeses. You won’t regret it.

9. Beat in the icing sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, then add in the vanilla essence. Leave the icing to beat until a light and fluffy consistency has formed.

10. Put the icing into a piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Most icing bags don’t come with a handy stand so Lexi cleverly uses a Le Creuset container to prop the bag into while filling it with icing.

11. Once you’re finished icing your cupcakes you can use some red velvet crumbs to decorate the cupcake. For an extra bit of pizazz, gold dust is a fuss free trick. Just dip your finger in some and gently blow it over one side of the cupcakes.


> this recipe was taken from and is originally from Ma Mere Maison.