Friday, 30 December 2011

dec, 30th - cabin fever....

day 667:

the Shoebox got a little claustrophobic over the holidays, especially with a medium sized Christmas tree taking up a good percentage of the by Boxing Day, I was desperate for some wide, open spaces and Limi was keen to try 'Mimi's-very-own-scooter' out on the open roads park paths. 

some fresh-air breathing space in Chiswick House Park and Kew Gardens was just what i needed......... 

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

dec, 28th - more christmas....

day 665:

our family loves celebrations. so, we certainly didn't need to add children into the mix to give us an excuse to go all out on decorations, themes, headgear, food and good wine. 

but having said that, this year was really the first time that Limi grasped the concept of Christmas and it was fascinating for me to watch her get her head around Santa, the tree and the made it all the more exciting and fresh....... 

on Christmas Eve, we laid out Japanese whisky and biscuits for Santa and carrots and milk for the reindeers. Limi was confused by the idea that Santa comes to visit while we're all sleeping but was super excited to see that the carrots and biscuits had been munched on, the milk had been lapped up and the whisky was long gone on Christmas morning. 

we even started a few new, family traditions......... the final book in Limi's advent calendar {see day 640} was 'The Night Before Christmas'. we read it to her on Christmas eve and plan to do the same thing every Christmas eve to come. it's a tradition copied from some family friends and I love the idea that no matter where the children are in the world, they still call home on Christmas eve for their mum to read them the story. the second tradition was in fact, created by Limi.......her present from Santa was a blue scooter which she calls 'Mimi's-very-own-scooter' but when I asked her who had given her the scooter she said, 'The Tree' which was technically correct. So, a new tradition was born.....a present from Santa and a present from The Christmas Tree. 

and once again.....this Christmas proved that it's not about the cost of the present but about putting in the creative time and thought......the presents that Limi loved best of all were two from her stocking......a packet of your basic teachers' gold stars that i picked up in the stationery store and a tiny, plastic baby bird (she's obsessed by baby birds) that you wind up and leave to hop across the floor.....oh, and the box that Andrew's present came in, that's big enough for her to sit inside with all her toys and sing 'row, row, row your boat'.....i predict a new box project {see day 583} in 2012. we had a lovely Christmas and I hope that yours was too. 

dee x 

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

dec, 27th - christmas....

day 664:

merry, merry christmas everyone. hope you are having a wonderful break.

ours has been filled with delicious food, a bit of a doilie fetish this year, friends, family and a couple of bracing walks. 

limi and i made gingerbread first attempt... and decorated some mandarins. aaah, the smell of gingerbread, mandarins, cloves and pine needles......definitely reminds me more of my northern hemisphere christmases than those down south.

looking forward to a new year and new exciting projects.
thank you for all the support this year and all the lovely comments.


p.s. lots more of the South Africa trip still to come in the new year.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

dec, 21st - lunch with rolling hills....

day 658:

it's starting to look a lot more like Christmas in the Shoebox.......but i'm still a little stuck in South Africa.....

before we left for SA, we chatted to some good friends who we were planning to visit. they promised us a fresh mussel lunch collected on the same day. i had almost forgotten in all the excitement but we arrived to freshly plucked mussels and bustle of activity in the kitchen. felt so spoilt...not only by the delicious mussel soup for lunch but also the view. rolling hills of KwaZulu-Natal remind me so much of my childhood.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

dec, 20th - babylonstoren....

day 657:

Babylonstoren is a beautiful place. Like its name suggests, it does have the bountiful Babylon about it. i've seen pictures of it from afar and been very keen to experience it for myself. the creation of Karen Roos, ex-editor of Elle Deco SA and her husband, Koos Bekker, it is a farm that combines Cape Dutch history with a solid backdrop of nature and a good dose of contemporary sophistication and style.

we tried to find a spot in Babel, the restaurant, back in November but it was already fully booked for the whole of December (not a surprise that people are flocking to enjoy this spot) but we were fortunate to be able to attend the opening of the new Babel Tea House last Friday with my friend, Loula {see day 437}.

As with everything else on the farm: the holiday cottages, the vast food gardens, the restaurant, the rolling hills of vines.......the new Tea House is spectacular. It is situated around the impressive greenhouse (which will be glorious in the cooler months) although on such a bright day we all enjoyed the tables and cool breeze under the trees outside.

unsurprisingly, the attention to detail is amazing and the focus is firmly on nature. our drinks were a choice of red, yellow or green that all tasted deliciously refreshing and as Loula said 'as if we were doing something good for our bodies.' we ate generous portions of carrot cake and shared a decadent chocolate cupcake.

Babylonstoren is a hard place to leave. And Limi's favourite part......

the giant tortoise.
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