polo & picnics: zucchini and chickpea faux falafel

This weekend our friends decided to trek to the BMW international polo match between South Africa and India. I had a lovely time sipping wine (with ice in it, because when in Rome…), googling the rules for Polo and half heartedly cheering for India (as noted I was on the wine). We packed a picnic, celebrated the arrival of summer weather (oh yes, THIS is why we love it here), stomped divots watched other people stomp divots (re: The Wine).

The day before P and I made zucchini and chickpea “falafel.” I got the idea from Whole Living (via Pinterest) but re-worked it to include tastier elements and added tzatziki (which in Turkish is pronounced ja-jeeky FYI) thanks to inspiration from all the meals we ate at my friend Tulin’s place during our Berlin years.

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johannesburg love (free print downloads)

Here are my Jozi prints, from my places we have lived series. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy life in Joburg. The top is obviously a map of Johannesburg in South Africa, the second one is all the stops of the Gautrain (for those font lovers), and the last two started as photos of iconic Johannesburg landmarks -the Hillbrow and Sentech towers, and ended up like this. We have some lovely friends who are sadly leaving to go back to the UK (such is the expat cycle) and I am planning on framing and giving one to them.

Print, share and use. For private, non-commercial use only, thank you.

I hope you like my new minimalist blog banner too, designed by Victoria at Vmac & Cheese.

a weekend in the country.

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

We spent the weekend in the South African countryside with friends…these weekends usually consist of renting a giant house, eating lots of food, and drinking lots of wine. The scenery in South Africa is casually breathtaking wherever you go (except inside malls and all of Fourways in Johannesburg), and it’s a privilege to live here and enjoy it with friends. Our friends’ ‘puppy’ (a pony sized Rhodesian Ridgeback) has me jones-ing for a puppy of our own. I think P is right that life is too full of travel to be tied down with a dog at the moment. But if a cute one showed up on our doorstep I wouldn’t turn it away.

My Photoshop print series will be back tomorrow…

fashion friday: winter in the southern hemisphere

The days are officially getting longer down here and this week has been warmer than usual. Last weekend we walked all around downtown Joburg and sipped coffees and kept warm and listened to Graceland in the car. When I made the graphics for this post last week it was freezing and still officially fall. The weather’s turned a bit warmer (for now) and I’m so excited because we have an action packed weekend of fun planned with our friends. 
bottom to the top:
my reliable oxfords from Some Store in Berlin.
wool tights to keep me warm from Falke
high waisted short from Urban Outfitters
bright purple belt by The Summit from Egality in Joburg (best store ever)
mustard shirt by Non-European from the Mememe in Joburg
Long ass scarf from Zara in Berlin
bag from  Second Attitude Vintage in Parkhurst
little silver star earrings that you can’t really see are by Silver Fig also from Egality

these are the days of miracle and wonder…

     One lucky thing about living in different countries around the world is that you get to take a little ownership of many different cultures. It’s always cool when those cultures mix in a way you hadn’t previously realized.  Paul Simon’s Graceland album was a staple on family road trips in a lot of childhoods of people around our age group. We were too young to remember or fully comprehend the controversy Simon caused when he came here to Johannesburg to record it in 1985; he was breaking the international cultural boycott against South Africa and her apartheid government (though the album showcased black South African musicians and obviously didn’t support the apartheid government). For the 25th anniversary of the Graceland album, the documentary Under African Skies examines that controversy through footage of recordings and tours, and interviews with Simon, Paul McCartney, David Byrne, Hugh Masekela, Ray Phiri, Joseph Shabalala and many more.
    It was really cool and touching to see the story behind such a fixture of American culture that was recorded right here in the city I love and live in as an adult. 25 years after it was made, apartheid is a thing of the past, but the country still hasn’t yet fully healed.
    I can’t decide on my favorite moment of the documentary. One was the interviews with Joseph Shabalala and other members of Ladysmith Black Mamabazo about their trip to the U.S. to promote the album and perform on Saturday Night Live. When they got to NYC, they asked Simon where they must go to get a pass to visit Central Park, it hadn’t sunk in yet that they were free to go where they pleased.
Here’s a good excerpt of all the artists sing N’kosi Sikeleli (then the unofficial and now part of the national anthem) and another one of Miriam Makeba and Paul Simon singing Under African Skies. 

House Tour: Our Bar (and styling tips)

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

I’ve just finished putting the final few touches on our bar and it’s now ready for your consumption. We entertain (read: drink ) a lot and so it’s fun to have a bar that’s functional as well as nice to look at. While I don’t have a bajillion dollar lucite vintage bar cart in real life like I do in my imaginary life, our house has a built-in bar that’s accessible from the dining room and living room, and it ain’t too bad either.
A few notes about where I got stuff:
All of our stemware is from CB2 that was bought by our crazy generous family and friends as wedding presents, (there’s two more shelves that you can’t see!). It’s beautiful stuff that won’t make me want to slit my wrists if we break it.
Our wedding cake topper was found on Etsy.
The tri-bud vase is from Santos in Parkhurst, Johannesburg
The vintage-inspired tumblers are from a lovely shop called Life Unplugged in Parkhurst, Johannesburg
The octopus hook is from Anthropologie
I DIY’d the bottle stoppers from a tutorial on Cupcakes & Cashmere
I also DIY’d the gold leaf tray, with a tray from Mr. Price and gold leaf paint
The clear bottles are filled with spirits, and I’m going to continue and shell out for the bottles that are pretty (I’m not too concerned with what’s in them, as long as it’s alcohol). Tomorrow I’m going to show you how to make your own saffron infused-gin along with a photoshop label download so you can give your infused liquors as gifts or as pretty additions to your bar.
I learned how to do the “attention circles” over at Pugly Pixel. Thank god for that woman.