Lifestyle blog

Interiors, fashion, and everything inbetween

STYLING THAT BELLY

image7

Having a baby is one of the most beautiful times of womanhood. The body takes on new contours which means your existing wardrobe might not be all that practical. Theses fabulous nine months do not have to be spent in sartorial wilderness! You can be stylish and comfortable during your pregnancy. Here are some tips on how to have a stylish, yet comfortable nine months.

image6

1. COMFORT 1ST

Just because your body is changing doesn’t mean you have to stray from your true style. Go for clothing that still reflect you, as this will make your nine months seem effortless. You need to wear what makes you feel comfortable. Whether you like form fitting clothing to show of your belly, or loose cover-ups. Look at stretchy fabrics like Lycra and jersey for great comfort and an awesome fit. Think of proportion and balance, if you have a fitted top, you can slightly loose at the bottom, and when you have loose at the top have something fitted at the bottom. The baby bump is also sexy to show off, so don’t be shy to wear something that traces your curves.

2. FRUMP IS NOT COOL

You don’t want to look bigger than you are already. There’s a fine line between frump and preggy-belly cute. I’m not a big fan of some maternity clothing because they can sometimes make you look 3 x your size. I’m all for buying regular clothing, in fabrics that stretch and accommodate your temporarily growing shape. Apply the proportion and balance rule here too.

image1

3. KEEP IT SIMPLE

Steer clear of bright colours, bold prints and shinny satin fabric, these are not very forgiving. Dark or solid coloured tops and dresses are great at showing off your sexy bump. The same applies with pleats, frills and over-the-top trimmings around the belly area. These textures add volume. Stick to simple lines, stripes, polka dots, plaid in winter and plain neutrals.

image5

4. FLATTERING STYLES

Pregnancy staples: Showing off other parts of the body is also great, if you have amazing legs, rock those shorts, or trapeze style dresses in the summer, wrap dress with plunging neckline will flatter your full cleavage, show off those strong arms with spaghetti strapped maxi dress. Remember you don’t have to cover up from head to toe.

image4

  • Wrap dress
  • Lycra / jersey fitted ship dress, short sleeves or sleeveless for summer / long sleeves for winter
  • Tights / jeggins / dark jeans – These go with absolutely everything winter/summer very versatile.
  • Long fitted tank tops – Plain staple, that will serve as a base for your layering.
  • Comfortable shoes – ballet pumps, sandals, fashionable sneakers, flat booties for winter
  • Biker and fitted jackets, add shape to your other figure-less, figure.
  • Sexy Maxi dresses.
  • Trapeze style dresses with comfortable heels for those special occasions.

image3

image2

I trust this helps you when dressing up and enjoying this memorable time of your life.

If you’d like consult with us, email your inquiry to info@diaro.co.za

Matsela Moshokoa

A DAY AT THE RACES

image1

The J&B Met kicks off the fashion and horses calender for the year. There are a number of race day events that one can consider, Durban July, BMW Polo, Sansui Cup etc. We know that fashion is a big part of these events, so I have come up with a few tips to consider when working on the best outfit for your day at the races. Baring in mind that there is a thin line between portraying sophistication, class, chicness, and just being a circus clown. I have found that some people interpret the events theme quiet literally, the key is to be subtle and smart about your take on the theme.

1. Always choose the HAT first…

2a

The hat should be what inspires your outfit. Hats are really the fundamental element of a race day outfit. You can go as wild, as crazy, and out of the box with your hat, and then compliment the hat with a simple dress, fun shoes and quirky accessories. By choosing your outfit first and ending with the hat, you risk being too overdone and looking pretty zany.

image3

2. The rest…

image2

The rest of your outfit should be a transcendence of your hat. Race day is licence to break out all the colours of the rainbow, and keep black to a bare minimum. Try not to match your colours from head to toe, choose complimentary colours and play around with a particular spectrum i.e. Purple & Yellow. Ball gowns, sparkly outfits that drag on the floor are a no no! Race day outfits should be comfortable, graceful, smart casual look.

image7

3. The gentle-guy…

fashion-mm

I cannot leave the gents out, because they do accompany us gorgeous prim & proper dames. For the guys race day also allows you to have fun with your colour coordination. In England, some events have men donning a tail coat suite. It obviously has evolved and only happens when its a royal function. These days of course men have come into their own, experimenting with textures, colour and key pieces. Think light coloured chinos (salmon), a fun floral/palid shirt (blues/aquas), a solid coloured (Beige stone) sports jacket, and a beautiful colored handkerchief peaking out your pocket. Don’t forget to finish of the look with a straw hat i.e. Panama, Fedora etc…

image4

4. Get involved…

Not forgetting what race day is actually about, the betting and horses. Choose a horse and bet on it. It adds to the fun and you also don’t feel as if you are just there for the fashion and socializing. Even if your horse looses, it is fun to just participate and who knows you might be the lucky one.

Similarly with Polo, get to know the game and take the front seat to watch all 4 chukkas, and show off those fabulous shoes at half time while divot stomping.

There are also great competitions on day of the event, such as best hat, and best dressed. So be mindful when planning your outfit that you might just be best dresses on the green.

Enjoy the Met if you heading to Cape Town this weekend. If not pencil in upcoming race days, and start planning that perfect outfit.

Matsela

2015 TRENDS TO NOTE

image (3)

In my line of work, I have to keep a firm finger on the pulse the ever evolving trends. Some trends are frivolous and fade away as quickly as they start. Others stay with us for a long time. My lifestyle solutions for my clients is strongly influenced by the longevity of some trends in all areas of lifestyle.  I have compiled a list 5 trends to note in 2015. These are ones that I feel have substance and will only add to the quality of our lives.

COLOUR OF 2015

image (1)

PANTONE, the colour authority, releases a colour scheme set to be very visible in the upcoming years. I use it as bench mark for my design inspiration, through out my creative year. I’m loving the new years pick, its not as distinct as the previous years, it s moody and very sophisticated.

Interesting on its own and a wonderful contrast for other hues, PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala serves as the foundation to the Spring/Summer 2015 palette. Sensual and bold, delicious Marsala is a daringly inviting tone that nurtures; exuding confidence and stability while feeding the body, mind and soul. Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this robust shade incorporates the warmth and richness of a tastefully fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots point to a sophisticated, natural earthiness.

http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr/?season=spring&year=2015&pid=11#marsala

SEMI FINISHED PRODUCTS

image (4)

Simplicity has become the modern luxury, the era of perfection is being challenged by a new kind of luxury, and creative expression. Finished products are fast becoming mundane and somewhat predictable. I’m in love with the thought of finishing off things your way. 2015 will see a lot more individuals adding their own special finishes to products.

We will likely buy more unfinished products in the future. This could happen for a lot of reasons: more choice, better economics, and the ability to upgrade. But there are behaviors even more exciting at play. When we ‘unbundle’ products, the role of people changes.

As we break down the things into Raw Systems, how will it shift the roles of people and materials? For decades we have organized around production, soon production might organize more around us.

–IDEO.com

http://www.what-nxt.com/raw-2015-fashion-lifestyle-trend-forecast/

MOBILE HOSPITALITY 

image (5)

The mobile food trends is going well into 2015 & beyond, it is also becoming even more interesting. Temporary restaurants are springing up, as the Food Truck momentum gains a lot more traction in South Africa. Think Mobile restaurant that find different location and park and serve, it could be under a tree in the park, on a roof top overlooking the city, or at the beach as lounge out and watch the sunset. The street food phenomenon is going back to basics, making street food vending cool again. The belly of the earth has always unfolded in the sidewalks of the world, but with the decade of gourmet this, and gourmet that, we lost touch with authentic street cuisine, because we were made to believe it simply was not good enough. I’m loving this trend, and very glad that its moving from strength to strength. In 2015 we will be moving out of the restaurants and taking to the streets to satisfy our curious taste puds.

image (6)

NOMAD-ISM

045ec2f5561450ef704204642989374f

We will be seeing a lot of drifters in 2015. In case you haven’t noticed we have been released from the shackles of wires and cables, in the world of wifi and wireless devices, work can happen anywhere, everywhere and at anytime. Working away from the desk is becoming job seekers prerequisite on their resume. If productivity is not compromised, I don’t see why one cannot dictate where one could work from. Temporary work spaces, mobile retailing etc will be even bigger in the New Year.

c230c3b4eb52f525388e74700d224369

THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE 

image (7)

Shopping is becoming more and more of an experience, especially in the artisan realm. Competition is really tight and just trusting that your product is original is not enough. Shopping will become a lot more interactive in 2015, meeting the actual designers of the product you’re interested in, getting to know the design processes, interacting with the business owners. Shopping is becoming a lot more personalized and human touch is key. The big retail giants have a model that worked for the masses for a very long time, just like with all extremes, there is always a call to inevitably go back to basics and knowing the stories about the products you choose to identify with and end up purchasing is becoming important again.

Remember that trends start at the lowest level of the streets / village etc, then “discovered” by a thought leader / designer etc, incorporated into their creative work, then it trickles back to the masses as a national or global trend. We need not be intimidated by whats trending, embracing a trends is fun, and whether you are aware or not aware, our whole existence is influenced by some kind of trend, big or small.

Regards

Matsela

SWIMWEAR TRENDS SUMMER 2014 & BODY SHAPES

image (1)

Summer is in full swing, and some of us will be spending a lot of our holiday time poolside or at the beach. I’m here to make sure that you look your best. Shopping for the right swimwear which compliments all your best assets and conceals the worst, is not always an easy task. I have put together a list of this seasons swimwear trends that compliment your particular body type, for both woman and men.

First things first, an informed shopping mission begins with becoming acquainted with your body shape/type, so that you know what kind of bathing suit is best for you. Its not all about the itty-bitty, teeny-weeny bikini anymore, recently we’ve seen swimwear trends are more practical and inclusive.

Body Shapes

BODY SHAPE

Using the chart above establish what body type you are, and this will help you decide on a trending style that will flatter your figure. We all wish we were an HOURGLASS/S-shape, but for some of us reality might be something else. So be realistic. Ask a friend too assist if you are struggling to figure it out.

image

HIGH WAISTED BIKINI – V-shape / H-shape / S-shape

The high-waisted bikini is great for hiding most trouble areas. Pooches, tummies and stretchmarks. It adds volume at the bottom for the V-shape body, gives an illusion of a waist for the waist-less boy figure, and obviously flatters the hour glass shape.

image (9)

CUT OUTS – MONOKINIS – H-shape / O-shape

Monokinis are great coverage, but still look super sexy. Play around with cut-outs that show the best parts of you body. To add hourglass shape, find one that has symmetrical cuts, that accentuate the waist area.

image (8)

FLUTTER TOP BIKINIS – A-shape / H-shape

The bikini top floats away from the body, ideal for smaller chested A & H shapes, the flutter top adds volume to the bust area. Balancing out the body beautifully. Play around with big bold printed fabrics.

image (7)

SPORTY – All shapes

Sporty swimsuits flatter all body types, usually one pieces with really structured fabric and finishes. These are great for when you are actually doing something active like beach volleyball or water sports. Find one that compliments you shape and you are good to go.

image (6)

RUFFLES – V-shape / H-shape

Top or bottom ruffles enhance or conceal different parts of your body. V-shape and H-shape should ruffle it at the bottom, this creates an illusion of curves.

image (5)

PLUNGING NECKLINE – O-shape / A-shape / S-shape

The plunging piece is not overly conservative, its sexy and give enough coverage. The O-shape can have a plunging back and higher neckline, and plunge it up in the front to singe in the waistline. It flatters the A-shape because of their smaller bust area. Need I say, perfect for the S-shape.

image (4)

BUSTIER TOPS – All shapes

The Bustier provides support for the well endowed, creates dimension and structure for the smaller chested. Tailored paneling adds shape and flatters all kinds of figures.

BOYS, BOYS, BOYS 

Gentleman lets stay away from the tiny Speedo and the over-sized board shorts!!

image (3)

CROPPED NYLON SWIM SHORTS 

These are reminiscent of the old school running shorts. Think vintage athlete look. This look is great on slightly younger men.

image (2)

TAILORED SWIM SHORTS

Flattering for young and old. It has no unwanted , unnecessary extra fabric where you don’t want it to be. If you have some baby fat, these are great for adding tailored structure, stay away from anything with a draw-string! For taller guys, adjust our length to lightly longer and if you are short, the opposite is true.

Happy days in the sun and cooling off in the water, I trust my tips will make your swimsuit shopping that much easier.

If you’d like to join our IMAGE WORKSHOPS next year drop us an email at info@diaro.co.za, and we will add you to the mailing list as soon as dates are announced. Workshops cover Body Shapes, skin tone, make-up etc.

Matsela Moshokoa

MATSELA’S FAVOURITE THINGS – XMAS Edition

One of my missions in life is to discover great products, to experience them, and then sharing with family, friends or any one that lends me an ear. I’m an advocate for creativity and design, or anything that compliments the lifestyle I have chosen to live. I have compiled a list of my Favourite things, there are many…however I had to narrow it down to 8 for the purposes of the blog. Looking for great Christmas presents, there is definitely something in this list. Most are Proudly South African. Supporting local grows and strengthens our economy, our products are of high standard and quality. So no excuses.

Lets be FRANK

image (3)

A body Coffee Scrub from Melbourne Australia. I have been using this scrub for a year now, and boy have I absolutely fell in love. Its messy but fun, and the smell of coffee in the shower is always welcome. It works wonders with regards to skin conditions such as acne, blemishes, cellulite and scaring. If you looking for a quick over night solution, then Frank is not for you, the results with Frank come over time, so patience is key, however the coffee treatment is so fun and invigorating that time flies by and results start to show. They ship all over the world,

https://frankbody.com/

LIGHT ME UP & OIL ME DOWN

image (4)

One of SA’s Luxury Brand YSWARA, known for the magnificent teas, has a line of amazing scented candles that make for great room scents, but what I love the most about their candles is that the wax can be used as massage oil. I cannot begin to describe the glorious feeling of the candle oils on my skin. Great for private pamper parties at home. So get one or 2 wrapped for that special somebody!!

http://www.yswara.com/shop/luanda/

image (2)

JEWELRY WORTH HAVING

I have recently discovered Kirsten Goss London. They produce beautiful must have jewelry. Their pieces are unique and worth collecting. Kirston Goss Jewelry made me fall in love with gold again. I’m besotted with their MOD range. Simple sophisticated pieces for every taste.

http://www.kirstengoss.co.za/

image (5)

SWEATER LOVE

If you don’t know Laduma’s knit wear designs by now, you obviously have been living in a cave in the desert. Maxhosa is one of my favourite product that has come out of South Africa yet. Its original and the story of its origins will make you fall in love over and over again. The Knitwear is well made and the colours are fun to work with, when putting together an outfit. Maxhosa is on my Xmas gift list.

http://www.maxhosa.co.za/

image (8)

YUM YUM

We know how hard it is making homemade ice-cream, and the stuff in the stores is just frozen sugar. Thanking my lucky starts for Pauls Homamade Ice-scream, finally one can enjoy great ice-cream with awesome flavours, without feeling guilty. My fridge has Cookies n Cream, Peanut butter and Strawberry. This dessert option can be fantastic for the Xmas lunch/dinner, or cooling of on those hot summer days ahead. Thank you Paul.

http://paulshomemadeicecream.com/photos/

image (1)

WEARABLE ART

I’m a sucker for scarves. I believe they add some sophisticated drama, to an all black outfit, which seems to be my everyday colour of choice. The bigger the scarf the better, I’m always on the look out for light cottons, linens and silks. Then I stumbled upon L’MAD Collection. They make stunningly light silk scarves. I refer to them as wearable art. L’MAD collaborates with artists and render their paintings/illustrations onto their scarves which make for great collectors pieces that you can be shrugged over your shoulders. Awesome gift for Mom, sister, wife, girlfriend, this is a gracious option for your leading lady.

http://www.lmadcollection.com/contact/

image

MODERN LEATHER GOODS

My obsession with leather goods is getting out of control, with all these great artisan products that are coming out of our backyard. Its very hard to make up ones mind on which one I will choose to invest in. I’m loving ILUNDI ‘s style, its simple and very practical. I gravitate towards the almost unfinished look of their bags. The leather clutches with the cut-out patterns, make for an interesting statement accessory.

http://ilundi.co.za/products

image (6)

A CUP OF SOMETHING GOOD

I have been gifting FATHER coffee beans to all my Fine Coffee drinking friends and they love it and keep asking for more. We love FATHER coffee!!! First attracted by their Brooklyn-esq Coffee Shop in Braamfontein, then tasted their coffee, and i was easily hooked. If you would like to introduce a friend to brilliant coffee, then head to the coffee shop and get yourself some beans, they can also grind them for you. No need for a gift box, their packaging is gift-esq already.

http://www.fathercoffee.co.za/

If you were struggling with gift ideas, or just haven’t started I hope I have made your life that much easier.

Enjoy!

Matsela

MAKE – UP

image (5)

In my Image workshops I come across woman who are still intimidated by make-up, or view it as time consuming. In today’s post, I’m re-introduce make-up as something that is fun, and does not have to take up too much of your precious time. I swear by a 10 min everyday routine, and only when I’m headed to something fancy that needs a little more effort, I would crank it up a notch to about 20 min tops.

Make up artistry is also a great industry to work in, if you are creative and enjoy tactile activities maybe Make-up Artistry could be for you. In SA, Makeup Artistry still has a long way to go, in being recognized as career just like any other, just like the overseas markets. Think about it, when Beyonce goes on her world tour, part of her Glam Team is a make-up artist. This career is more than just a option if you don’t have options, it is a lucrative industry and the perfect creative outlet.

I have enlisted the help of Professional Make-up artist Tsholo Ramashala https://www.facebook.com/M.couture5 , she’s a freelance artist, who has great tips on the essentials of make-up. She will be joining our lifestyle feature on the Power Lunch with Azania, on PowerFm 98.7 today at 13h00. Make sure to tune in.

image (3)

TIP #1: Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise

  • Skin loses elasticity with time, moisturizing on a regular basis will not only slow down this process, but it will leave your skin glowing and looking healthier. Remember its better to have to have an oily skin than dry.

image (1)

TIP #2: Keep Your Eyebrows Neat

  • Eyebrows are very important as they frame one’s face. Invest in a good eyebrow shaping whether it be through waxing, threading or plucking. Maintain this by plucking any fine hairs that grow outside of your desired shape. You may have a beautiful face of makeup, but it’s nothing without a neat, well shaped brow.

image

TIP #3: USE POWDER

  • Always use a powder with your foundation or tinted moisturiser. Powder helps set your foundation on the skin, soaks up any excess oil and increases the wear of your makeup. Apply some powder as well on your eyelids to increase the wear of your eyeshadow.

image (2)

TIP #4: Choose Your Eye Shadow Wisely

  • This is determines by your natural eye colour. To create a contrast and to make your eyes stand out, always choose colours that completely contrast your natural eye colour. For instance, if you have blue eyes naturally, go for any other colour besides blue. Try your pinks, mauves, browns etc.

image (4)

TIP #5: Invest in Good Make-Up Brushes

  • Make-up brushes should ideally be a one time purchase. Invest in good makeup brushes to ensure a professional, even and blended application. Keep your brushes clean by washing them regularly and using brush cleaner in between washes.

Thanks Tsholo for these great tips, I trust that they will come in handy in our beauty routines. For bookings please contact Tsholo Ramashala on m.coutureonline@gmail.com, she’s @Queen_Tsholo on Twitter or call her on 072 591 5892

Matsela Moshokoa

(lifestyle consultant)

LONG DISTANCE FLAMES

image

Existing in a long distance relationship is not easy, but it doesn’t mean it cannot be fun. Sometimes we get hung up on what we don’t have instead of looking at what we do have, which is each other. With smart phone apps and social media the great divide can be bridged easily. I have put together creative ways to keep those flames burning with long distance love. This is how my boyfriend and I bridge the gap everyday. Johannesburg and New York have never been this close.

image (1)

1.  VIRTUAL DATES

Our first date was a virtual date, what does that mean you ask?. Simple, take your phone or tablet with your headphones and have a meal together at your favorite spot, and he/she does the same on their side, you synchronize your times and voila!!!, you have a virtual date. Other examples could be taking walks together, having supper together at home. In my case my supper is his lunch because of the time zone difference, but the key is sharing some of your meal times together as you would if they were in the same town or city.

image (2)

2. LOVE LETTERS – as in Snail Mail

Every now and then snail mail creeps into my postbox and its a letter from my bae. Even though we speak to each other everyday. Letters are really special gifts for me.  Take time to write it, slap a stamp on it and do it the old fashioned way. It has a certain feeling of nostalgia and creativity. It allows you to experience each others creative writing skills and hand writing, which might seem trivial given the ‘text language’ we have come to be accustom to. Use beautiful paper and envelope, and seal it with a wax seal for that extra charm.

image (3)

3. GIFTS

Buy each other random gifts, they don’t need to be expensive, just a little something to show that you are thinking of them. It could be anything from a charm bracelet from a craft market, a T-shirt of his favorite football team or cupcakes delivered to the office. Keep it random and get ideas from your conversations, there are always hints.

image (4)

4. YOUR DAY IN PICTURES

Send each other pictures of what you are up to on a daily basis. Sometimes my days are so busy that long telephone conversations are tricky, so I send pictures of what i’m up to. Things like the colours of fabric i’m putting together, the stores that I’d be visiting, what i’m having for lunch etc and he does the same. It helps you catch up on the day, without necessarily having to talk about it, and when you do talk you just fill in the details and he/she has the visuals already.

image (5)

5. PLAN SPECIAL HOLIDAYS

Because we are always working with limited time. Planning our physical meet ups is key. We always plan a getaway for the first few days of the visit and the rest of the time, we will just exist in each others spaces, like the everyday relationship. Planning the getaways can be fun as a project you do together, one can be in charge of logistics and the other can look at activities. It is great to have something to look forward to every time you part ways.

image (6)

6. DO PROJECTS TOGETHER

Planning the holidays in one such project, however there are many. We have a 2 person book club, we find interesting books to read, suggested by either of our very different tastes and preference which makes things interesting. Build something together, e.g. a car model, a bookshelf or even a light fixture.

Remember to have fun and be creative, you will find that distance doesn’t have to that bad, and that it really makes the heart grow fonder.

Matsela

SUCCESSFUL SHOPPING

image (6)

Shopping is a very big part of my work. I’m a professional shopper. Mastering the art of shopping is not easy. It requires a lot of discipline and patience. Not everyone enjoys trolling the stores for goods, and that’s why I’m hired to assist with the sourcing of items, for both home and wardrobe. However we do not all have the luxury of paying a professional shopper, we still have to go about it ourselves.

My shopping tips will  be useful in having a successful and productive shopping day, these will save you time and you won’t have to spend your entire Saturday at busy malls or shopping hubs. My clients pay me per hour, so time management with maximum results is very important.These are methods I live by.

1. MAKE A LIST & BUDGET

image (5)

Making a list of what items you would need, will automatically before you even start your car, save you a few hours of mindless wondering. Growing up, my mother used to make a list for all shopping escapades and if it wasn’t on the list, you will not find it in her shopping trolley, and that was that. Lists help your sit and think of your NEEDS and WANTS, because you engage with the list the day before, allowing enough time to think and re-think what you really need to get. It eliminates impulsive purchases when faced with a decision in the store. Budget is also important in spending within your means.

2. PHANTOM SHOP

image (4)

This is what I call trial shopping. Especially for big ticket items like furniture. I do it for everything though. You must leave your credit card at home and patiently troll the stores for what you are looking for. Equipped with a note book and pencil to make notes of what you find, then going home and deliberating what you will go with and how much it will cost you exactly! This will also exposed any specials, sales, promotions that might be going on, meaning you might even save some money. Again this needs patience and time. (Measuring tape is also important, along with dimensions of the space you are shopping for)

3. BREAKFAST IS KEY

image (3)

Before embarking on your shopping day, make sure you eat a full generous breakfast. This helps with your energy levels, and will also eliminate the distractions that are placed at every corner, e.g those deliciously smelling coffees and freshly baked croissants. If you are distracted from your mission, you will loose focus. Also remember to pack a water bottle to keep hydrated.

4. START EARLY

An early start is always wise, stores are still empty and the sales assistance are energized and fresh for the new retail day. You get better attention than when the stores are already spilling over with people. Remember to also wear a big smile and happy attitude its always a winner with sales staff.

5. TEST DRIVE.

image (2)

Always always try things on. It is a waist of time and money to take something on face value and then regret it when you get home, only to travel back to the store for an exchange or refund. That particular item will end up costing you more than what was on the price tag, if you do the maths.

6. TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED

image (1)

Leave any surplus payment methods at home, and take only what you budgeted for. Cash Is always a good measure in keeping track with what you are purchasing that’s on that list. For small items such as food and clothing use cash. For big ticket Items, I usually ask the stores to reserve the item for 24 hours, and they email me a quote, and when I get home i have a few hours to think about it, and then I will make an EFT payment to the store, only after I had time to think. If you don’t have extra cash on hand to spend, you will not be tempted to purchase things that are not on your list.

7. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED REWARD

image

This reward you will deserve only if you have completed your shopping mission without any distractions and over spending. sit down for a beautiful lunch, or a ice-cold cocktail to pat yourself on the back, for a shopping well done.

Happy shopping!!! If you would like personal shopping assistance, please drop us an email on info@diaro.co.za, we will be happy to assist.

regards

Matsela

CHRISTMAS DINNER PARTY

image (4)

Its that time of year again, as we work on wrapping up the year and look forward to our festive season holidays. Most of us will head to different parts of the country or even world, to be with our loved ones for the holidays. DIARO Living, as well as many host an annual Christmas Dinner Party. It’s the last dinner gathering one will have with friends for this year, before we break for the summer. I absolutely love hosting dinner parties because I enjoy the creative platforms it offers. I have compiled a list of ideas to assist you in hosting the perfect dinner do. I have also taken into consideration that we all have different levels of creativity, it does not have to be complicated. Keeping it simple is key and maximize on making it fun for both you, the host, and your guests.

1. CHOOSE YOUR MENU

Choose your menu according to your culinary skills, you want to make it as effortless as possible, so stick to what you are good at…unless of course you are very adventurous, if so, do some trial runs beforehand so that you don’t subject your guests to experiments that might go horribly wrong.

  • TAPAS

image (5)

My favorite kind of entertaining food, its effortless, most things can be prepared prior to guests arriving, and you can be very creative with serving, think unconventional serving methods.

  • GOOD OLD BRAAI

image (6)

Nothing beats a good old braai, however braai with style. Choose cuts of meat that are easy to serve as portions, eg: Lamb chops, burger patties, fillet steak etc. Spread the table with these different meats on platters and wooden boards, accompanied by beautiful summer salads and veggies. If you think of yourself as the next Braai Master, this option will be a breeze for you.

  • GOURMET  PLATES

image (7)

If you are aware that you can give the Master Chef contestants a run for their money, then  do show off your Culinary artistry to your guests. This menu option is time consuming but obviously very gratifying. Beautifully plated courses are always a winner, choose 3 – 4 courses and wow your guests.

2. TABLE DECORATIONS

A huge element in creating that Christmas mood is in the table top decor. This is where you play and have fun. Every year could be different according to whatever the trends are.

  • RUSTIC 

image

Rustic is pretty minimal and slightly raw, but its very charming. If you are a fan of D.I.Y then this look will be perfectly for your dinner party. Think ruffled edges, flowers from your garden, unmatched crockery cutlery, handwritten notes.

  • CLASSIC – RED & GREEN

image (2)

If you are trying out your first Christmas Dinner Party, I would suggest you go with this look and feel, these decorations are very easy to find. Its the classic Christmas colours we see every year when the season is upon us. You can keep it simple by emphasizing either green with a touch of red or the other way around. If you are seasoned and would like to take it up a notch, add Golds or Silvers for some added drama.

  • SHIIIIIIINE!

image (1)

Metallic colours and textures are synonymous with Christmas, if you gravitate towards the shiny and sparkly side of life, this theme is over the top and opulent. Grab any shiny thing you can find from ribbons to glittered Xmas balls, foil wrapping paper and maybe spray paint some branches to compliment your table decor. More is more and its okay.

  • MODERN 

image (3)

Modern table settings are trending right now, keeping things simple and using alternative interpretations to conventional Christmas decor.Origami flowers, wreaths, balls take modernism to whole other level. Play around with simple textures and colors, usually great with the neutral pallets, black, white, stones, grey and sandy tones will make for a modern Xmas experience.

3. GIFTS

DIARO Living loves giving gifts, as the host one has to think of creative ways to thank your guests for honouring your invitation. Hostess gifts should be simple, and maybe something home made.

image (8)

We have also added an element of charity, because Christmas is a time for giving, so we have asked our guests to buy a stuffed animal which we will hand over to charity as Xmas prezzies for the children that don’t have the warmth of family around them at this time of year.

image (9)

We have one more challenge for our guests, which adds to the fun of the evening. Each guests must spend R100, on a gift for a stranger that will be attending the same dinner party. They have to be creative about buying the gift, wrapping it beautifully and writing a heartfelt Xmas note to someone you might not know. I think this gesture is selfless and takes you out of your comfort zone, all in the name of fun.

I hope you are inspired to host your own Dinner Party, let us know how it goes

DIARO Living will be hosting their annual Xmas Dinner Party on the 27th November 2014, if you would like to join us, email us at info@diaro.co.za, and we will forward you an invitation.

Regards

Matsela Moshokoa

VACA’ VACA’ TIME

It is that time of year, when the next 2 month seem to be dragging, the level of fatigue is becoming unbearable from all the hard work we’ve been putting in through out the year. In January I wrote about Starting the year with end in mind https://diaroblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/begin-with-the-end-in-mind-starting-the-year-with-your-holiday-in-mind/ . If we were mindful, i’m sure we have enough money saved up for some kind of holiday as December draws closer. Ideally you should be halfway in planning that vacation already, if not, don’t despair. Holidays don’t have to be expensive, its more about getting away for a few days or weeks, to rest, recoup and regenerate. The simpler the holiday the better. Try not get caught up in the hectic vibes and its finding peace wherever you choose to go. Here are some ideas of different kinds of vacation for different kinds of tastes.

image (4)

1. BUSH BREAK

A lot of people associate holiday with the beach, I however think the tranquility of the bush could just hit that spot. Being one with nature and exploring our beautiful bountiful backyard is nothing short of ultimate relaxation. Bush breaks can be on any budget, whether you are a 5 star lodger, with spa treatments and the whole nine… or on a budget there are many ways to enjoy this type of vacation. Self catering lodges start at about from R350p/n, camping sites are also pretty affordable too. So there is no excuse to not take sometime off this festive season. The Kruger National Park is always a winner for me.

image (2)

2. PARTY TILL YOU DROP

This kind of holiday is for the young and the young at heart. If you want to party it up every single night of your time off from work. A place that is known for amazing night life is key, and I’d say the weather should be good too, I can’t really imagine a party week in fur coats and boots. Party dresses are short and skimpy so places like Cape Town and Miami come to mind, electric night life is a must. I find Johannesburg dies down during the festive season because people are holidaying somewhere else, so slim pickings for great parties in JHB. Get out there and have a lekker jol!

image (3)

3. BEACH BUNNY

Beach, classic holiday, however, overcrowded beaches are a nightmare. This year look for places that are little more under the radar with the masses. The Eastern Cape Coast is pristine and doesn’t see the overcrowding of Durban Beach or Camps Bay Beach for example. Opt for places like Coffee Bay – EC, Port St Johns –  EC, Kenton on sea – EC , Southbroom –  KZN etc. For a good spot on the sand go a little off track and find new beaches.Our Neighbour Mozambique also has a lot to offer when it comes to sun, sand and waves.

image (1)

4. WINTER WONDERLAND

I recommend to all, at least once in you lifetime to experience a white winter holiday. It has proved to be very difficult to convince my friends to visit the northern hemisphere in December. The ‘are you crazy!! its freezing’ comments always come my way. But I know there are adventurous spirits out there who would love to check this off on your bucket list. There are so many activities and experiences you can have in Winter resorts around the globe. We always think skiing and snowboarding which are absolutely fun and worth a good attempt. Iceland for example has hot springs, and its a ritual in those parts to clad your tinniest bikini and jump into one, while surrounded by a white snowy landscapes. Pop champagne and have a real white Xmas. These winter vacation towns also have great shopping and fun activities for the entire family.If you have been saving for a good holiday experience, winter wonderland could be just the thing for you. It is more expensive around Xmas, the best time to go is towards the end of January through to March. The first snow is not the greatest, its the powdery candfloss kind you are looking for, especially if you’ll be skiing.

image

5. ROADIES

My favorite kind of vacation, roadies are just the best. Whether you are exploring locally or abroad there is nothing like a good road trip. South Africa has a lot of routes ready to be explored, my favorite being the Route 62 and Garden Route. Midlands Meander hosts amazing padstals and craft shops all along the route and the magnificent Drakensburg Mountains are truly breathtaking. So fill up that car, pack the kids in and choose a route.

6. HOLIDAY MUST HAVES

  • Travel Note Book to document your everyday experiences, stick in and write in.
  • A fully charged camera to capture every special moment in time.
  • A map, no shame in having reference to map out your journey, Subway map, route map, country map
  • And lastly a big bag of excitement. We work very hard during the year reward yourself you deserve it.

image (5)

I hope you have a better idea on what kind of getaway you’d like. Your comments are greatly appreciated, tell me about your clever holiday plans.

Happy Planning

Matsela