Vivez Bien * Live Well

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Redressing my Dressing Room

I used to sew. Quite a lot actually. I was was very industrious in my day. I made all sorts of things which I used to supply to shops and sell at markets. Then I became too lazy busy. And my sewing machine started to gather dust except for the occasional item of kids clothing requiring adjustment. But lately I seem to have been driven to sew again and I've made a few things that I thought I would share with you.

I am questioning the wisdom of sharing these ideas because my not so mild case of anal retentiveness will become most apparent. From now on going forward I will refer to it as a case of AR because that word, that A-word, try as I might, does not roll easily off the tongue for me. Just as well I didn't choose a career in the medical profession.

First off - coat hanger covers. As you now know, I am somewhat AR so I like all my hangers to be matching and I like the wooden variety as I think it makes my clothes look more expensive than they really are. But the problem is that if you have an item of clothing that has a wide neckline or thin straps or is of a silky fabric, they just slip right off. For those less aesthetically inclined people, a rubber band wound around either end of the hanger works pretty well, but for those PLM's (people like me) a coat hanger cover made from unbleached calico is the way to go. Simple, effective and looks good.

The second item is a bag pillow. Yes, I'm afraid, you heard right. I have a bit of a thing for handbags and it really irks me when they flop over on the shelf of my dressing room.

You could stuff them with tissue paper or the like, but I came up with the, might I say, quite ingenious idea of a bag pillow. Just measure the size of the interior of  your bag, cut the unbleached calico to size, sew up 3 sides, stuff with filling (or fill with stuffing) and then sew up the 4th side. Works like a charm! I might even patent it.

Then, there is the problem of the floppy boot. I have heard people using cut off pool noodles to stuff their boots with - I'm sure they work very well, but PLM's might prefer my idea.

Cut a cone shaped piece of fabric. Sew up the one side, fill with stuffing and here's the charm, add some dried lavender or any other nice smelling pot pourri, and then tie the top with a piece of pretty ribbon. Voila! Pool noodle - be gone I say!

And finally, this isn't something I made, just found, on a shopping trip with my husband which in itself is a very rare occasion because he hates shopping! On a Sunday morning wander through Kalk Bay en route to breakfast I came across this old bowls trophy in a junk shop and thought it would make the perfect hat stand.

And it does.....

If you are in touch with your inner domestic goddess, feel free to copy my ideas. If you are not such a dab hand with the sewing machine, and live in the Cape Town area, I have these items for sale (except the hat stand). Just email me. 

Because you have indulged me by reading about my ground breaking ideas, I am going  to reward you by showing you some dressing rooms that appeal to me.





Till next time

Sharon x

Dressing room images via Pinterest and Tumblr
Other images my own

Friday, October 14, 2016

Of Water and Wine and Pretty Tables....

I have never been particularly fussy about drinking water. Our local tap water in Cape Town has always tasted fine to me so when I received Brita's new Fill and Serve Carafe to test out, I was a bit skeptical.

 My 14 year old son, Jack, is a water addict. He has never liked cooldrinks or fruit juices, so water is his drink of choice. (Wine is my drink of choice - just saying.) So I handed over the new carafe to Jack to put into action. He dutifully followed the instructions and left the water to filter for a short while. He then handed me 2 glasses of water for a taste test. First of all, I surprised myself by being able to taste the difference, and secondly, I correctly identified the filtered water because, despite my initial skepticism, it actually tasted cleaner!

Aside from producing clean and lovely tasting water, I also have to commend Brita on their design. It complements both contemporary and classic styles. It definitely does not look out of place on my table with my vintage French linen tablelinen, Wonkiware dinner plates, bone handled cutlery and French cafe glasses, but would look equally at home in a more modern setting.

The Brita Fill and Serve carafe was the Recipient of the 2015 Reddot Award in the “Product Design” category in recognition of delivering an elegant approach to filtering and serving water. Well deserved, I think! The carafe is fashioned from exceptionally transparent, high gloss, state-of-the-art ‘Tritan’ plastic and features soft touch design elements. It’s hygienic, can fit in your fridge door, is lightweight, shock resistant, easy to handle and lasts a lifetime. So what's not to love!

Most importantly, the carafe’s Micro Disc has a 150 litre capacity and its ActivSelect® technology effectively reduces chlorine and other taste impairing substances while leaving the ‘good’ minerals in. This is an important consideration in light of the current dry conditions which prevail across South Africa. 

Because I know you are going to rush out and buy one, I thought I would show you some pretty table settings where your new Brita Fill and Serve carafe would look very much at home.

Also, I should mention that although the product was a gift from Brita, all opinions expressed are purely my own.

And, since I fared so well on the water taste test, if any wine farmers out there would like me to do do similar such taste tests - I would be more than happy to oblige!

Till next time

Sharon x

The new Brita Fill and Serve Carafe will be available from late October from the following retail outlets:,, Makro and select Pick Pay stores nationwide.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Well today was a bit of a grey, rainy day and my car had to go in for repairs so I was stuck at home all day which might have been a bad thing. But then the doorbell rang - a delivery for me. My friend, Leslie Sinclair ,was kind enough to send me a copy of her new book, SEGRETO vignettes, What perfect timing!  I could spend the entire day, uninterrupted, pouring over one beautiful image after another. 

If you aren't familiar with Leslie's work, she ownes a company called Segreto Finishes which produces the most incredible decorative paint and plaster effects. The kind which can turn a newly built home into a French Chateau. I would so love her to cross the Atlantic and work some magic on my home. 

But aside from the beautiful photo's illustrating every page, the book is choc full of really useful information. If you are in the process of building or renovating, I would say this is a must have for both information and inspiration!

Or even if you just love looking at beautiful interiors, I guarantee you will revisit this book time and time again!

You can order your copy right away. Just click on the picture below.

Segreto Finishes Books

Till next time

Sharon x

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Tumblr(ing) in Bed

School holidays have begun which always means a very welcome change to my morning routine. None of that bleary-eyed stumbling out of bed, waking sleepy children and getting lunchboxes together with half-closed eyes, desperately trying to remember which child likes what on his sandwich and who doesn't eat bananas. 

The holidays mean waking at a more leisurely pace, getting a most welcome cup of coffee in bed from my sweet husband, cuddling with the dogs and browsing through Tumblr on my iPad. As much as I enjoy reading blogs and checking in on Facebook, my go-to place first thing in the morning is Tumblr. I like the fact that it is purely visual, I don't have to read or concentrate too hard, I just look at one beautiful picture after another.  The images can be anything from dogs to decor, flowers to fashion, art to animals or babies to baguettes It is like therapy for me, guaranteed to put me in a good mood.

Here is a sample of this morning's inspiration.....


So if you don't already... I can really recommend Tumblr(ing) in bed as a good way to start your day.

Till next time

Sharon x

My favourite Tumblr sites: