July 29, 2011

Our study revealed

I have been talking about the study for ages here here and here. But its finally pretty much finished so I thought I would share with you the pictures! So exciting!

Here is the before!  It used to be a play room and had a rainbow and clouds on the wall which although sweet wasn't really the look we were going for.  This was just after we moved in hence all the junk!

A Chi Chi Affair

And here is the official after!!  Don't you think it looks so much better?

A Chi Chi Affair

The most dramatic change is the bold wall colour which is midnight blue from Homebase  The wooden flooring is also from Homebase.  The flooring makes the room look so much bigger (so much better than the blue carpet) and I love the blue wall colour - its really calming but makes a statement and contrasts so nicely with the white trim.   The art wall (which I blogged about here) really pops against the blue.

A Chi Chi Affair

The desk (from Tesco Direct) and small blanket box (ikea) are purchases that we already had so we just updated the seat by covering it with some fabric from ikea.  In fact we actually used a staple gun to do this!

A Chi Chi Affair

A Chi Chi Affair

We painted the ceiling white and added a plain lamp shade. We may remove the ceiling rose at some point as I dont think it really goes with the contemporary feel of the room.  The fish (from M&S home) adds some extra interest and I thought it was fun!!

A Chi Chi Affair

A Chi Chi Affair

We also purchased a new rug which makes it look a bit more cosy. I searched and searched on the high street but couldnt find anything I remotely liked and then I found this one by Scandi Living online. Exactly what I wanted and good quality too.

A Chi Chi Affair

I moved my Anthropologie mug and the Ikea cannisters from the kitchen as they both fit the room nicely. On the picture of the cannisters you can see the fabric of the curtains which is also from Ikea. We actually made them ourselves with hemming tape. Thank you Cassie at hi sugarplum! (she is the queen of the no sew and always gives me inspiration!)  Both the lamps are also new. The white one is from Inspirational lighting and the blue desk one from Ikea.

A Chi Chi Affair

A Chi Chi Affair

A Chi Chi Affair

And that's it - we are so pleased with it! Tell me what you think - have you transformed any rooms?

Rachie xo

July 28, 2011

Fabulous Thursday Food: Pina Colada Bars

I've moved a few things around this week so the Fridays recipe is on Thursday this week. Its actually because I wanted to post the big study reveal tomorrow and I have a few last minute pictures to take!!

This recipe is such a good one from a totally fabulous blog called Sugar and Charm which is packed full of lovely recipes. Do go over and take a look These bars are perfect for summer picnics and totally remind me of hot holidays (which is fab as I'm off on one tomorrow!)

 Here's the recipe:

Pina Colada Bars

Sugar and charm blog
Ingredients 
Crust 
2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup butter

Combine all the ingredients until the dough clings together. Press the dough into a 9x13 un-greased pan. Bake for 17 minutes at 350 degrees.

Pineapple Filling
4 eggs
1 cup fresh squeezed pineapple juice 
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Mix the eggs together first. Then continue to mix in the rest of the ingredients. Try not to over-mix the filling... a tip would be to add the dry ingredients together in a bowl first. Take the crust out of the oven and pour the pineapple filling on top. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Let it cool completely before you cut into squares or shapes. Once the shapes are cut, sift powdered sugar and coconut shavings on top! For a different twist, you can bake them with the coconut on top.

Don't forget to tune in tomorrow to see the before and afters!

Rachie xo

July 27, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Our Photographers!

One of the most important parts of our wedding search  so far was our photography. I knew from the beginning I wanted contemporary quite high end photography as the pictures are one of the only things you get to keep.

I stumbled across Segerius Bruce Photography early on and to be honest I didn't look much further. I love their use of colour, their ability to capture moments and they have quite a high fashion editorial look that I adore.  They have even shot at the venue before which is a bonus!!


Segerius Bruce Photography

Segerius Bruce Photography

When we met Chanelle and Craig we knew we had made the right choice, they were so lovely and they are from the same place as H2B and live really near us which I think is fate. :-)

I cant wait for them to shoot our wedding!

Rachie xo

July 26, 2011

Tuesday Tales from the Week!

Hi lovelies

Hope you are having a good week. My bestie is over from Australia so I am having the best time :-)  Here are the things I am sharing this week.

First up I loved this pretty packaging from My Wardrobe - the black ribbon is so chic. Its the best thing when you get packages through the post that are so pretty!

A Chi Chi Affair

We went to the races this week. After the cold and rain that day it turned into a beautiful evening. We have a bit of a flutter on the horses but sadly didn't win! There is always next time.

A Chi Chi Affair

My sister and her husband came over for a low key dinner which gave me an excuse to get the napkins out. As a pre dinner snack we served bread sticks, hummus and olives and if you are interested we had salsa verde potatoes, garlic chicken and a green salad for main and then ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

A Chi Chi Affair

Happy Tuesday!

Rachie xo 

July 25, 2011

A Vintage Sewing Party

Hi all!

Happy Monday!

I love it when I come across original party ideas and there are none more so than this gorgeous children's vintage sewing party from Pure Joy Events.

I love how the dessert table is modelled around an old fashioned sewing machine which is the inspiration for this theme. Its so well put together!

Pure Joy Events 

Pure Joy Events 

The colours in this are so gorgeous too and the cake is super cute. I love the use of bakers twine around the milk bottles and the stripy cake flags. Definitely easy ideas to steal.

Pure Joy Events 

Pure Joy Events 

Pure Joy Events 

Pure Joy Events 

For more pictures,the how to and vendors do go over and visit Pure Joy Events   Enjoy!

Rachie xo

July 22, 2011

Fantastic Friday Stuffed French Toast

I love french toast! If we are out for breakfast and its on the menu I always order it! My fave ones have been at The Soho Hotel and at Balans - ultra yummy!

As much as I love it I actually havent made it at home so I've decided I'm going to give it a go this weekend!

Here's the recipe from Jamie Oliver

jamieoliver.com

Ingredients (Serves 2)

3 bananas, peeled and thinly sliced
• 2 tablespoons runny honey
• 100g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
• 4 slices good-quality sliced white bread
• 4 eggs, preferably free-range or organic
• 1 teacup of milk
• 1 knob of butter
a sprinkle of icing sugar
• a small tub of Greek-style natural yoghurt


Method


Mix the bananas together with the honey and the pecan nuts. Divide the mixture equally between 2 slices of the bread, leaving a slight space along the edges of the bread. Top with the other 2 slices to make 2 sandwiches.

Heat a frying pan over a moderate heat. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat in the milk. Dip both sides of the banana sandwiches in the egg mixture. Melt the butter in the frying pan. Fry each sandwich gently for 3 to 4 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, until nicely coloured and warmed through.

Dust with the icing sugar, cut in half and serve with the Greek-style natural yoghurt.



Happy Weekend All!


Rachie xo

July 21, 2011

The Art Wall

I'll be unveiling our study next week (Whoop !! - Its been a long time coming) but first of all I wanted to give you an in-depth look at a couple of features in the room and first up is our art wall.

Because the wall colour is so dark we always wanted to keep to white frames to make the wall a bit lighter but I wasn't anticipating that they would stand out so well. The navy really works against the white.   We've used different sized frames which are from a mixture of Ikea, John Lewis and TK Maxx and also different textures which gives it an interesting look. I'm sure we'll be adding more as time goes by.  

A Chi Chi Affair

A Chi Chi Affair

A Chi Chi Affair

A Chi Chi Affair

A Chi Chi Affair

Some of the postcards are ones that I picked up from Paperchase. I really like the graphic apple and the rain print (apt for the weather we having in what is meant to be summer in the UK!)   And the London pics are so fun and remind me of my fave city!

The large print is one we picked up in Barbados and I think its so interesting, there is so much going on in the picture. I love having souvenirs from my travels.   We also have a vintage postcard of the beach front in Durban South Africa as that's where H2B grew up so it reminds him of home.

Hope you like it! Do you have an art wall in your house?

Rachie xo


July 20, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Lovely Wedding Rings

My engagement ring is very similar to this one and I could not love it more, both for it's aesthetic value (because its absolutely beautiful|) but also because of what it means. Some days I gaze at it and can't believe it's mine and I get to marry the person that gave it to me. It's my absolute most treasured possession.

hodgespodge.tumblr.com

Its funny to think that as well as my gorgeous engagement ring I get to have a wedding ring too - too lucky!! And to be honest I haven't given much thought to having one.   However these quite simple bands have recently caught my eye. Now I'm not sure that I can actually have one of these as I think I have to have one that fits around the stone but I still think these ones are super pretty.  I love the initial ones and the hearts and the bottom one is such an interesting shape.

catbirdnyc.com via Pinterest

clay-pot.com via pinterest

Would so like to know what your dream wedding ring is like or if you already have one what you decided on?

Rachie xo

July 19, 2011

Tuesday Tales from the Week!

Hi all

Hope you enjoyed last weeks Tuesday Tales from the week. I've decided to make it a regular feature!

First up look at these absolutely beautiful purple Alliums I have in my kitchen at the moment. Aren't they stunning! They are like huge pom poms. Nature is so amazing don't you agree!

A Chi Chi Affair

I was at one of my good friends 30th birthdays this weekend and they had this cool silhouette in the bar. I thought it looked cool!

A Chi Chi Affair

Finally I'll about to embark on a whole new skincare regime. Has anyone used Kiehl's products?

A Chi Chi Affair
Hope you are having a good week!

Rachie xo

July 18, 2011

A Childrens Art Party

I love this children's art party. Its such a simple concept but the details and the use of colour is really clever and it would work for either boys or girls.

The cake palate cupcakes are such a fun idea and I also love the pom poms. This would be really easy to emulate for your child's party especially if they are doing a crafty activity too

hostessblog,com

hostessblog,com

The colours are emulated through the invitation and the food labels and there is even an array of colourful food!

hostessblog,com

hostessblog,com

hostessblog,com

For more pictures click over to Hostess with the Mostess blog here

Happy Monday!

Rachie xo

July 15, 2011

Fantastic Friday Food: Chocolate Mint Cookies

My go to cookbook for baking, especially cakes and cookies is always Nigella. Her sweet treats are always proper - and by that I mean indulgent and yummy!!  I love making cookies as they are super simple and you cant really go wrong! The chunkier the better.

These Chocolate Mint Cookies would be lovely at a dinner party instead of the after dinner mints (as the book suggests!) But I also think they are great treat for a picnic or BBQ - cookies always pack well and are easy to eat and what is better than bringing out a plate of freshly baked cookies after dinner - Yum!


Nigella

Click here to go to the full recipe 

Happy Weekend All

Rachie xo

July 14, 2011

DIY Prize Ribbon

Hi all

Here is a cute DIY for you! When wrapping presents its always nice to add some finishing touches and this tutorial to make these paper prize ribbons is so lovely.

I found it on The Sweetest Occasion Blog which has some gorgeous ideas so do click over and have a look.

The Sweetest Occasion

The Sweetest Occasion 

Click here for the full tutorial and how to!

Happy Thursday!

Rachie xo

July 13, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - And the Winner is..

Hello lovelies

So if you have been following these posts you will see that we've been on the hunt around London to find a wedding venue. And I can now reveal the winner is... (hee hee its like Xfactor!)

ANDAZ hotel at Liverpool Street!

Hyatt

This hotel was a strong contender right from the start, I had visited before for drinks with my bestie when we used to live around the area in 2003 and I knew how gorgeous it was even then.  Although the exterior is very traditional Designed by Charles Barry son of the architect of the Houses of Parliament) the inside is very modern and quite glamorous which was the look I wanted for our city wedding.

We're having the reception and dancing in the restaurant 1901 which is really grand but still has a contemporary edge - I love the chandeliers and the food is really lovely. We gave it a test run for my 30th birthday and it totally exceeded our expectations.

Hyatt

So that's it and on with the planning. The Andaz events planner has been really accommodating so far so we are definitely off to a good start! I hope all the guests love it as much as we do!

Rachie xo

July 12, 2011

Tuesday tales from the week

Thought I would do a cute new feature where I share some pics of my week.  Hope you like them!

We had some great weather on the weekend so we had an impromptu BBQ with the family and we used our old table as outdoor furniture in the garden until we get a new set. I actually thought it looked quite cool. I styled up the table with some green paper napkins and my Zara Home place mat. Okay it was simple but I thought it looked quite pretty. The pink mat is from Habitat and I've had it for years and years but I still love it!

A Chi Chi Affair

Can you believe that these flowers are not real!!  I really liked the shape of them in the vase and the colours. I think I'll be considering something like this for my wedding decor.

A Chi Chi Affair

Finally I visited this place this week for work and I liked the contemporary decor especially the three light fittings in a row at the cafe bar and the arm chairs. The bold red really makes a statement with the wooden floors

A Chi Chi Affair

A Chi Chi Affair

Hope you enjoyed a peak into my week!

Rachie xo

July 11, 2011

A Pretty Kitchen Tea

Look at this gorgeous and super pretty kitchen tea from The Pretty Blog.  A Kitchen tea is commonplace in Australia and South Africa and its kind of like a bridal shower/hen party where you play little games and the bride receives (according to easy weddings) gifts of  kitchen essentials that the bride would need in married life such as mixing bowls, bottle and can openers, rolling pins, tea towels, baking sheets, oven gloves and potato peelers?


Anyway I would love to have one of these (hint hint!) to honour the South African family that I am joining. It just sounds super fun! This one that I have found is just so stylish and stunning. I love the pretty pink and red colour palate as well as the beautiful stationery and the place settings.  








For more pictures please go over here to The Pretty Blog which has tons of gorgeous inspiration


Rachie xo