diy: chevron tray

To corral all of the COFFEE RELATED CRAP in the kitchen I made a gold chevron tray. I wanted something simple so made oversized zig-zags. The other reason I want something pretty for the coffee stuff is that thanks to my friend Anna I bought an electric milk froth-er. I’m going to make thousands of espresso drinks on our trip to St. Lucia (the milk froth-er is coming with us).  Pre-safari latte is where it’s at.

1 white tray
gold spray paint
over sized masking tape

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diy: i need gold animal jars.

      They were selling these hilar and also kind of amazing gold topped animal jars at Uncovet (sorry you have to sign up and be invited, blah blah blah go ahead and use that link if you’re interested). OBVIOUSLY I needed them. Worry not, (I told myself, in a panicky way), a trip to my pantry, the toy store, and 30 rands later I’m the proud new owner of my very own gold animal topped mason jars.

     Totally Insane Aside: There were several different sets of plastic animals at the toy store (farm, jungle, etc) and I picked the Safari pack, for obvious reasons, but mostly because THERE IS LITTLE ELSE I HOLD MORE SACRED IN THIS GOD FORSAKEN WORLD THAN SITTING ON A JEEP AND WATCHING ANIMALS IN THE WILD WHILE PERIODICALLY STOPPING TO DRINK WINE. Imagine my horror when I discovered amongst the giraffe, zebra, rhino, lion, etc that there was a TIGER. Anybody with half a brain knows that tigers do not occur naturally on this, the lovely continent of Africa, and therefore WOULD NEVER BE SEEN ON SAFARI. You can’t even argue that the safari pack was Indian safari (if such a thing existed) because the other animals in the set DO NOT OCCUR NATURALLY IN INDIA. Perhaps the safari pack could be more aptly called ‘Safari toys: FOR FUTURE NINCOMPOOPS.”  These toys are being sold to children and if I, like any normal person my age in a toy store, was buying these FOR CHILDREN I would be irritated. It was a lesser version of the rage I feel when they teach kids IN SCHOOL, THE PLACE FOR LEARNING FACTS, that the earth was formed 6,000 years ago and dinosaurs and humans co-existed (IT’S LEGAL TO DO THAT IN SEVERAL STATES IN AMERICA YOU KNOW).

Ahem. I digress….

Mason Jars
Plastic Toys
Glue gun
Spray Paint (any color you want)

Step 1. Glue animals onto mason jar lids. Let it dry.

Step 2. Take ’em outside and spray ’em. A bit tricky because you gotta get the undersides of the animals, else it’ll look sloppy.

Step 3. Let it dry.

VOILA. Up yours, Uncovet.
(sorry I really have nothing against them, they have really cute stuff)


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.

Terrariums, terrariums everywhere.

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

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

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

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

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

We use our dining room a lot and it was looking incomplete and needed a bit of je ne sais quoi. So I went a bit Mental With Terrariums and added 5. My favorite are the micro terrariums that I put in the bud vases that dangle from the ceiling above the table. Micro terrariums dangling above the table were the reason I registered for these (now they have mini hanging terrariums for this purpose) in the first place but never got around to actually making them until now (thanks to my friend Candace who has been going Mental With Terrariums as of late and provided the inspiration). I also enjoy the single succulent that sticks out of a chemistry lab-ish vase.

To make terrariums you’ll need:


succulent/cactus soil

glass containers suitable to become terrariums

succulents and cacti to fit in your various glass containers

The main thing is to put enough gravel at the bottom for drainage, since glass doesn’t provide for it. A thick layer of gravel, then soil then the plants. To water my mini terrariums I’m using a mini funnel and not very much water at all. By the way, I bought a set of plastic funnels of different sizes and I use them at least once a day, best 4 dollars I’ve ever spent. Also I’ve seriously considered purchasing these adorable mini terrarium tools from Anthropologie before I realized that it would probably be the biggest waste of my money since I decided I ‘needed’ a paper mache Cape Buffalo head (which I DID need and brings me great joy every day).

Anna and Maureen’s visit, according to my iPhone

Two of my best girlfriends have been visiting us for the past two weeks. We went on safari in Kruger and flew down to Cape Town and explored Johannesburg thoroughly. It was a blissful time and I wish your best friends could always be across the hall, a few steps away like they were in college.  It was sad to take them to the airport yesterday but if we all lived in the same place we probably wouldn’t have spent the last two weeks spotting lions together in Kruger, wine tasting in the Western Cape and eating meat and pap with our hands at a shisa nyama in Soweto. I feel so thankful that so many of our friends have come and visited us here in South Africa (and when we were in Berlin) and all the priceless memories we have running around the world with them.

Thanks for coming, Anna and Mo! xx