MONDAY 5 AUGUST, 2013 / COMMENTS 
This weekend is Decorex! One of my favourite events of the year! If you're looking for some awesome and unique things for your home, or just some inspiration this is the one expo you gotta get to. They have endless rooms full of amazing shops and beautiful installations. I left last year's Decorex feeling inspired with a whole bag full of ideas and things for my home. Trust me, it's a goodie.
Decorex Joburg details:
7th – 11th August 2013 (Friday 9th August is a public holiday – Woman’s Day)
Where: Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand
Times: 10am – 6pm
Tickets: Adults R85, Students/Pensioners R75, Children U12 R10
I'm giving away 3 x sets of double tickets to the event this weekend.
All you have to do is leave me a comment below. I'm going to draw names at the end of the day, so enter quick!
TUESDAY 16 JULY, 2013 / COMMENTS 
Wait! Before you start reading, play this song, and then carry on - just a little something to get you into the mood.
After a great trip south we reached the beautiful Cinque Terre which is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia. "The Five Lands" is composed of five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.
We loved exploring all of these pastel coloured towns, tanning on the big rocks and swimming in the warm sea. We ended every night watching the sunset on the rocks and eating take aways. I can still remember the smell of the air - salt, fries and sunscreen. Although very touristy we still really enjoyed the authenticity of the towns. If you walked through the streets you'd still see people hanging up their washing, and going about their daily life.
Our favourite towns had to be Vernazza (top picture) and Riomaggiore (below - the best swimming spots). Monterosso is the only town with a traditional sandy beach so it's completely packed and is quite pricey to hire an umbrella and loungers. We ended up buying a beach umbrella for 9 Euros which was totally worth it with that heat!
I've heard there are some lovely hiking trails between the towns, but with the heat all we wanted to do was lie on our backs and soak in the sun.
Getting around: We had a car and stayed just outside the towns. Parking is a nightmare and very expensive so the best place to start is in La Spezia and take the train in to all of the towns. I would recommend staying here for 2 - 3 days so you can see everything and maybe even Porto Venere (which we missed).
MONDAY 8 JULY, 2013 / COMMENTS 
Amsterdam! What an adventure. We arrived at the airport with no clue what to do and we could only check into our Air bnb later that afternoon. So we bought a train ticket to Centraal station and decided we'd figure out what to do from there. I'd heard from a lot of people that the only way to see Amsterdam is on a bike, so we made a bee-line to a rental shop. We rented from Yellow bikes (but there are tons of bike rental shops around.)
We arrived at Yellow Bikes just in time for a 3 hour tour of the city. It was such a lovely introductory tour of Amsterdam with a lot of stops along the way at different points of interest. The city is connected by canals, and the architecture of the houses that line the canals are totally unique. Three or Four stories high with a very very small front facade, some as small as one metre wide! The windows are huge and beautiful and the apartments don't have any curtains so you'll often ride past people just reading in their window or watching tv. It feels very open and safe which I loved.
We were there for less than 3 days, and it felt way too short but I think in the time that we had we packed in a lot! In no particular order here are my top 5 things to do in Amsterdam.
We've kind of covered this above but I can't recommend it enough. Amsterdam is a small city but travelling feet still get tired and on a bike you'll cover more ground without breaking too much of a sweat. I also recommend doing the city tour on your first day to get used to riding around, using hand signals etc.
Here's a great post about bikes in Amsterdam.
Visit the Musuems.
I know they aren't for everyone but going to the Stedelijk museum (of modern art) and the Rijks museum were incredible for me. Seeing the Picasso's, Rembrants and Vermeers in the flesh were inspiring. (Most of the art museums are in the same area so you can do both of these in a day and they have amazing cafes inside.)
Amsterdam has most of the cool chain stores like H&M, Cos, scotch and soda etc. One of the main shopping streets is Leidestraat, and nearby is "De Negen Straatjies", which is nine streets full of wonderful and unique shops. If you love vintage clothing you have to get to Episode and Zipper (They reminded me of Beyond Retro in London). I think you'll like these back streets way more. Also if you have more expensive taste (Louis Vuitton, Fendi etc) there is De Bijenkorf which is the big fancy department store opposite Madam Tussauds.
If you're on the run be sure to get a pack of Stroopwafels (syrup waffles), they make for a really great energy snack. We also ate at some really amazing unique restaurants which I will be reviewing in a separate post.
There are a lot of random things to do in Amsterdam but one of the best things to do is get lost. Just walk around the canals and see what you find. It's so quaint and pretty, and there are hidden gems around every corner.
We stumbled upon such awesome places like this sweet little corner shop called Stach (I loved their branding so much, so simple but effective).
We also stumbled onto a totally cool Barber shop called Haar Barbaar where Dylan got his beard trimmed - it was such a cool place but a total boys club - no ladies allowed! I laughed out loud when the barber told me I couldn't come inside but he was dead serious, so I had to wait outside on the bench while trying to take some sneaky pictures. How awesome does it look though?
Wandering around at night is also lovely with all the canals lit up, as long as you don't end up in the red light district.
A few random tips
Don't worry about the language barrier, most people speak a bit of English and are really friendly. If you understand Afrikaans, you can generally understand the dutch pretty well.
Don't waste precious time and money on typical tourist traps like Madam Tussauds. Rather try experience Amsterdam like a local (below is me being a major tourist, it's the I amsterdam sign outside the Rijksmuseum and there are always people climbing all over it)
Do have a picnic in Vondelpark, or at least a ride through it.
Do try visiting one of their "coffee shops", at least once.
Do get to the museums/sites early to avoid queues.
Do dump your luggage if you're stuck with it. There are lockers at the stations and museums.
Do book accommodation in the central ring (in riding distance), we stayed outside the ring and it wasn't fun catching the metro in everyday.
Do get a 48 hr - 72 hour transport pass (works for metro, buses and trams if you're going to be doing a lot of cross city travelling, especially if you don't hire a bike).
Take it all in, it's an amazing city.
Next up: Driving through Italy.
MONDAY 1 JULY, 2013 / COMMENTS 
After a year of being open I finally paid a visit to Enmasse in Illovo (a nice treat before our long flight to Amsterdam). I've been to a few lovely massage houses, and I usually frequent Puri Thai in Parkhurst but Enmasse is something else! When you walk in you feel like you've entered some futuristic tea room. The cobalt blue is intoxicating and time doesn't seem to matter at all.
When you arrive you get a comfortable white cotton outfit to wear for your massage, they don't use any oil and the massage is surprising non-abrasive through the material. It is a typical thai massage stretching out your whole body and getting all the joints and muscles back in place. It was so relaxing, I almost fell asleep! The music is also great (Mumford and sons, Beirut vibes), no trickling fountains or whale noises here!
After your massage you get to relax on the most comfortable loungers (feet up!) where you get to choose from a range of delicious teas, and a massive variety of international fashion magazines (I had "The devil's advocate" - a nice wintery ginger tea, if you go soon I really recommend it). I could have spent hours there, it was such a nice escape!
They're running a brilliant birthday special until the 15th July where you can buy a pack of 3 x 60min massages for R790. A nice monthly treat I think!
Find them at Unit 14, Illovo Junction, 1 Corlett Drive (corner with Oxford), Illovo (Above Wolves).
They're open 7 days a week from 8am - 10pm (I know right?)
THURSDAY 27 JUNE, 2013 / COMMENTS 
I have seriously neglected our photography blog in the last two months. Between shooting and editing and also maintining EJN I just haven't gotten around to publishing our latest work, and there really is some pretty work to publish. This is a shoot I did a few months ago with the prettiest pregnant woman i've ever seen (bar my sisters ;) ) and she's pregnant with twins! Bailey invited me around to her stunning apartment in Parktown North to get some casual, comfortable, non-maternity maternity photos. We just hung out with them while they made tea, ate croissants and lounged around in the warm winter sun.
I'm so happy with the way they came out, they just feel cozy and real and document exactly how her and husband are in real life and how they felt at the time.
Don't you think she looks similar to Carey Mulligan? They are going to have damn cute babies.
Ps. Go here to check out Bailey's beautiful blog, she has the most amazing taste. I follow her on Pinterest too!
MONDAY 5 AUGUST, 2013 / COMMENTS 
So i'm back in town and ready to blog like machine! Dylan and I had such an incredible time away but we're so happy to be back and are ready to make things happen! Something that helps with that is an awesome soundtrack, and I think on a monday morning we all need an awesome soundtrack to start the week.
We found this awesome Norwegian lad Mikhael Paskalev while at Latitude festival last month, and even though he was on one of the smaller stages him and his band blew us away and got everyone dancing their faces off.
You can listen to the whole album here, but he is most famous for his music video where he dances around in his tighty whities. Ladies, 0:33 - 0:40. You're welcome!
SUNDAY 14 JULY, 2013 / COMMENTS 
Sometimes things don't really go as planned.
Our Italian road trip got off to a pretty rough start. Long story short (leaving out a few gory details), our camera, without warning stopped working on our last day in Amsterdam. One minute I was taking a picture of an ice-cream and the next minute the screen wouldn't go on. We got this beautiful camera on loan from Fuji to replace our bulky but amazing SLR's. All our bets were on using this camera for our trip and we lost. You have no idea how devastating it is, as a photographer, being in the most beautiful places in the world and not having the right equipment to capture it.
To buy a new decent camera would severely cut into our travel budget, and so far we still haven't gotten a replacement from Fuji so we are pushing onwards with our iphones as cameras and hoping that our pictures will do the places we go justice!
We landed in Milan, and after a long afternoon of finding a sim card, a gps and a camera shop (which seem to be non existent in Italy) we drove up for a short but sweet time on this beautiful Italian lake. The roads were crazy. Dylan quickly had to figure out how to drive on the other side of the road, the other side of the car while on two way roads really only meant for one! There were more than a few scary moments but we arrived in one piece.
Lake Como, Lago di Como in Italian, is Italy's most popular lake. It is surrounded by mountains and hills and dotted with beautiful houses and villas. Since Roman times it has been a top romantic destination and you can see why. The beauty of the place does something, physically, to your heart. Like a pull or a burst or something. All I know is that it made me forget all about the bumpy start to our journey and excited to be on this adventure with my favourite person.
We loved our very short stay here; making out in the cobbled streets, drinking a morning caffé with the most incredible view and seeing how the locals go about their weekends. We took it all in, promising ourselves and the lake that we'd be back again for longer next time.
A little place with a beautiful view where we split a pizza.
We stayed in Lezzeno but I would recommend staying anywhere on the lake. As long as you have a lake view and can walk around easily you'll have an amazing time. We drove in through Como and exited through Bellagio (both breathtaking) and headed South to Cinque Terre!
The road trip had started and adventure awaited us!
TUESDAY 2 JULY, 2013 / COMMENTS 
Hi Guys, I'm writing this post from Frankfurt! We're in a little airport cafe drinking R40 cappucino's and eating Frankfurters (we had to!)
Yesterday we packed our little bags and have headed to Europe for a whole month. It was quite a stressful last few days getting ready and finishing up work but it feels so good to finally be here. We're headed to Amsterdam today, and we have a long list of nice things to do and places to eat and shop!
I'm going to try and blog as I go, and take you along on the journey. If you have any recommendations we're in Amsterdam for the next 3 days :) let me know!
THURSDAY 27 JUNE, 2013 / COMMENTS 
So Dungarees are back and I quite like a few of the styles coming out above from ASOS.
What do you think? Are you going to overall up?
WEDNESDAY 26 JUNE, 2013 / COMMENTS 
In anticipation of going to Amsterdam (next week!) i've been doing a lot of research on where to go and what to do, and it was actually my mom who told me about the Rijksmuseum and how they've just reopened and launched this incredible part of their website where you can download original artworks from their site and make your own prints from them (and anything else really). I'm talking high res, zoom into little details of a caterpillar type of detail. I've already downloaded this "Stilleven met bloemen in een glazen vaas" by Jan Davidsz. Now I just have to decided what i'm going to do with it :).
How flipping cool is the temporary Tattoo created by Droog above?
Here's what they say about it on their site:
"Rijksstudio invites members of the public to create their own masterpieces by downloading images of artworks or details of artworks in the collection and using them in a creative way. The ultra high-resolution images of works, both famous and less well-known, can be freely downloaded, zoomed in on, shared, added to personal ‘studios’, or manipulated copyright-free. Users can have prints made of entire works of art or details from them. Other suggestions for the use of images include creating material to upholster furniture or wallpaper, or to decorate a car or an iPad cover for example"
I think it's a pretty amazing, daring thing to do as most art galleries will hardly let you take photos inside.