Being a mom has meant a lot less gifts for me, from Brett or from myself, because we both so love spending that money on Charly. On the odd occasion where Brett has thoughtfully bought me a little spoil, it is generally shared with Charly too. So all I want for Christmas is something just for me.
I am a person who loves getting gifts almost as much as giving them. And it doesn’t much matter to me whether it’s a handmade Christmas card or a diamond necklace – as long as I can tell you thought of me when you chose it. In fact, if you make a card for me and used my favourite colour or animal or quote on it, it would mean more than the diamond necklace that was chosen for its price tag. I am very much of the “thought that counts” school, value doesn’t always have a rand sign attached to it.
There are literally dozens of things that I could have added to this Christmas wish list; but short of an entire day of tranquil silence without worrying about C (never going to happen), a full night’s sleep (Hahahahahaha) or teleporting me to New York City (so I don’t have to fly for hours to get there) and giving me an American sized budget and letting me wander the streets indefinitely… the list below ticks all of my boxes.
As you know, I’ve been taking a little strain of late. So when a dear friend sent me over to this website and I ended up smiling all day thinking of their adorable and quirky mini easels (at only R120), I knew it was the perfect gift for me. I smile every single time I see my little panda easel, and to say that at the moment is a big deal. But seriously, LOOK at this! How could I not?
Vin d’Easel launched in June 2015, and came from their shared love of photography, illustration and art. “We wanted to combine those elements to produce a tangible product to share with the public. All our art is supplied with miniature easels and from this, together with our slogan (small art for big people) we created a play on words, obviously referencing the Hollywood actor Vin Diesel. We wanted to keep things light-hearted and humourous and thought that the juxtaposed difference in size between the product and the star, and the similarity to his name would be quite funny. Also, Vin means ‘wine’ in French – so that has to be a good thing.” This lovely and unique idea comes from the creative married combo of Christine and Warren, who live in Cape Town with their two guinea pigs, Arthur and Bean. Can you handle it? Do you not want to just spend all your free time with these minds?
Christine is a graphic / layout designer and freelance writer who owns Flat White Concepts and runs an online monthly magazine called Flat White Magazine. Warren is the photographic retoucher at Flat White Images. And I know they are kindred, because, as you can tell by their name, all their work is fueled by coffee!
I adore their ethos that art is something that should be accessible to everyone, not only those that earn the big bucks. Their miniature art is affordable, and beautiful and doesn’t need a massive space to be displayed. I love that the easels are small enough to be put on my desk or bedside table (my one currently moves between the two depending on where I am), it makes it even more personal somehow which I believe art is.
Other than my very favourite one (mine of course), there are a few that I love and feel strike the perfect chord of thoughtful and personal without breaking the bank. As an added bonus, for just an extra R20, you can make the print double sided so it can be altered according to mood
For coffee lovers (photography)
For lovers of Cape Town (photography)
If you love these as much as I do, head over to their Website to have a look at all the options and place your Christmas orders now! You can also follow their journey and new additions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
I have mentioned the amazing Carmi before, she is the owner of Miiniimee and the creator of the personalised baby handprint keyrings from my Father’s Day gifts post and also the owner of BaBaBear (who did the nappy cover giveaway with us a few months ago). Carmi is an always busy work at home mom who I relate to on every level! Her beautiful family recently moved to Joburg, but she still pops to Cape Town fairly regularly to see her mom. She has a passion for unique jewellery pieces which she showcases through miiniimee and I have a passion for all things miiniimee.
The newest introduction to her range is the signature pendant, which is just so classic and beautiful to me. I have been thinking for quite some time about what I could have done using this style and then one day I just knew ~ BCM. Besides being my gorgeous husband’s initials, it also represents Brett, Charly and Mandy. I love that Carmi designed it with that in mind and our little C just floats surrounded by us in the pendant (R900). I am besotted and wear it constantly.
The circle pendant with a teeny baby handprint or footprint is still on my wish list, since my baby is no longer teeny this will have to wait til baby two comes along. You can find miiniimee and all the beautiful custom made keepsakes on her website and on Facebook.
Oh So Charming #AllTheThings
Seriously, I didn’t add the #AllTheThings, it is part of the name. That is how in tune I am with this amazingly talented lady. Founder of Oh So Charming, Tracey Preston, is married to her bestie, and a full-time mama of three and sometimes step-mama of one. Her very special people are what inspire, drive and fulfil her.
Tracey is a very special human, one of the best I know, and she has #AllTheSkills! Besides being an amazingly talented artist and graphic designer, she is a creator of beautiful things. My favourite of these things this week is her bespoke mugs. I have always wanted to collect special coffee mugs, instead I just collect the biggest mugs I can find at reasonable prices (much to Brett’s frustration). But NOW, Tracey MAKES beautiful unique mugs according to anything I you might want. Like this…
And this… just as a few examples.
The gorgeous dandelion mugs have become a huge hit (as well they should be), simple and matching everything, or you can go a little more quirky with a This little Piggy Mug (both R65 each). The Christmas starry night mug (R65) was part of a 6 piece set for a special order and I find it to be just beautiful. And this one (R85) was made JUST for me, as in with her knowledge and understanding of who I am!!
My Christmas mug was bigger than the standard designs to suit my lack of sleep needs, the details were carefully thought out to make me smile and I can FEEL the love and attention that went into creating it. The photos don’t do it justice at all and didn’t quite capture the “Dear Santa, I’ve been really good, may I have ALL THE COFFEE? (Like now?)” Something like this, that takes ME into account is the perfect example of something precious I will treasure forever.
Tracey makes more than just mugs, which you can find out more about on Oh So Charming or The Preston Art House. In the long term, she aspires to design and make beautiful textiles, create memorable art pieces and illustrate children’s books. One day at a time, one pretty at a time, she is looking so forward to making #allthethings for you. If you have an idea for the perfect Christmas mug that tells your special people that you really know them, THIS is the perfect Christmas gift.
Rouge Day Spa
Rouge Day Spa has been hidden away in the heart of Kenilworth for 7 years, (under the current ownership for the past 3). HOW did I not know they were there? I could have had my own treatment room by now I would have been there so often. And I am already considering who to invite to a spa day there for my birthday in January…
They offer a full range of skin and body treatments and once you have been there, you won’t want to leave. Which is actually okay with them, as they actively encourage clients to spend time relaxing on the deck or lounging by the pool with champagne or ice tea. Particularly appealing to us working / work at home moms is access to free wifi, so you could technically be “back at work” answering mails in the sun.
We won’t even get started on how much time I might spend there in winter, when they offer a roaring fire and TV for ‘Chick flick’ movie viewings.
The therapists I had were Koko and Phumi and I can’t recommend them highly enough. You can tell they are well trained as my pretty fingers, toes and brows can attest to, and they were professional and polite and lovely to chat to. I have booked them again for 2 days before Christmas as a gift to myself (and to everybody else who usually has to witness the disaster that I am every other day of the year).
I was very happy and cannot wait to try more of their services next year. A gift voucher from Rouge Day Spa is guaranteed to be a huge hit as a Christmas gift for anybody you know who wants to take a breath and step into a little paradise. Get in touch with them now, you won’t regret it!
From hidden escapes to affordable luxury in your own home. I love the Darling Jane products I have tried. I got the Mini Build a Box (R100), with a 200ml Fresh Peppermint body sugar scrub product, a 100ml Chocolate Mint Lip Scrub and a Fresh Peppermint lip balm. My absolute favourite was without a doubt the Peppermint body scrub, gentle even on my really sensitive skin and it left my skin feeling like absolute silk and smelling so fresh.
Darling Jane was established in June this year and has grown from strength to strength, with the reviews I’ve come across all being glowing. I love that their belief is that “skincare should not be a luxury” and that they created a line of affordable products that anyone can buy to back that up. Their beauty and bath products are all handmade to order and they use only natural and high quality ingredients. They have an amazing range of Sugar Scrubs, Salt Scrubs, Bath Salts, Bath Fizz, Bath Milk, Bath Tea, Bath Oil Capsules, Lip Scrubs, Lip Balms and Nail Oil.
I love the idea of the Build a Box options for Christmas that allow you to mix and match products and let you try a range of things that sound amazing. The fact that the boxes offer a discount over buying the already incredibly affordable individual items is not to be sneezed at, with the regular costing R180 and allowing you to choose two 200ml products, one 100ml product and any two lip balms.
As if that wasn’t affordable enough, they are offering a 20% discount on all of their sets for Christmas and shipping will be free on orders over R500 (this means the build a boxes are only R144 for the regular or R80 for the mini!!)
Another firm favourite that I have mentioned more than once… The awesome Berneen from Mummy Massage who will come to where you are and give you the best massage EVER! While going to a spa is amazing, when it comes to massage I love that B comes to me, transforms Charlotte’s room into a tranquil space and makes me forget that every inch of me hurts every moment of every day.
Berneen is internationally trained, accredited and experienced. She was so loved by one of her bosses on the yachts overseas that she was sent to the UK to study prenatal massage when the boss fell pregnant.
Mummy Massage launched in June 2014 and focuses on mobile pre- and post-natal massage. Berneen trained as a doula to get a better understanding of what a mother’s body goes through in carrying and birthing a baby. She has studied reiki and lynotherapy and is constantly networking and learning in order to grow her knowledge and abilities. It boils down to the fact that this lady knows her business, and her business is mommy bodies.
Best Christmas gift ever? Signing the special lady in your life up for one of the amazing value packages, or if you are looking for something a little more affordable, a single session will leave her relaxed and happy and loving you even more than she did before!
Other favourites that I have experienced this year that would make amazing Christmas gifts are the incredible luxury of Rondavel SA Soaps (thanks Andrea!!!), my gorgeous personalised locket from Lock-It, my wall calendar decal from Rainbow Magic and a newfound / rediscovered passion for colouring in that I plan on indulging in as one of my favourite artists Lorraine Alvarez Posen releases her “Adult Colouring Book” – I am SO incredibly excited to own something with her work in it!!
So that’s it, that’s Christmas shopping for me… Not so hard to shop for me, is it? Did I miss any special luxury you would add to your list? Do you think I’ve left off something that should have made it on to mine?
Sending all the love xx