Durban, South Africa

Just wanted to quickly share a few photos Derrick took on his most recent trip to his hometown of Durban, South Africa. I think they're amazing, though of course I'm partial. 

These are some of my favorites – a few of which we'll frame and hang once we, you know, live in a permanent place. The rest of the photos can be found here, and you can read more about the photos in this piece that was published earlier this week. Enjoy!

Kirsten Sims

Thanks to Wolf Eyebrows, I recently discovered the work of Kirsten Sims, an illustrator and painter based just outside of Cape Town, South Africa

Kirsten's work focuses on the domestic and the ordinary - well, ordinary if you live in a place as gorgeous as South Africa - and she paints in a lose, youthful style, making great use of color and light.

I'd like my house and my surroundings to resemble Kirsten's paintings, but for the meantime I just might settle for having a few throughout my flat. 

Good Reads: The Best Links This Week

The gods have smiled upon me this holiday season and granted me with a quick trip to Monte Carlo. Yep, you read that right.

I'll be in Monte Carlo for the start of the week, acting like the fanciest person ever. Don't worry - full recap to come.

In the meantime, enjoy these links while you eat 99 candy canes.

Maddie on Things / Second Floor Flat

Maddie's excited for the holidays, too! (Maddie on Things)

Sally Singer's new concept for is a good one. Entitled Scripted Content, each month Vogue's cover girl (or boy) will star in a scripted, close-to-life short film. So far Jessica Chastain and Kate Winslet (double swoon) have participated. 

One Bottle's Journey - featuring Sprout & Pea and Ricksby!

This story reminds me so much of my childhood spent at my grandparents lake house in the North Georgia mountains. (Paragraph)

Adam Driver and Justin Timberlake's duet for Inside Llewyn Davis.  Please, Mr. Kennedy. (Refinery29)

A dancing dog

Idris Elba just went up a ton of points in my book after this interview on Morning Edition. (NPR)

and finally

Looking through photos of my trip earlier this year to South Africa, where I was lucky enough to visit the Nelson Mandela capture site. RIP, you great man. 

SA Photo Diary

I mentioned it a previous post, but never actually put up any photos from my second trip to South Africa. So, here are a few. 

Nelson Mandela Capture Site  - Howick, South Africa

Nelson Mandela Capture Site  - Howick, South Africa

Peatties Lake, South Africa 

Peatties Lake, South Africa 

PS - If you want to see more photos of our trip, look  here. If you want to see some photos I took on our trip that are not as legit as these, check out my Instagram, scroll down to February, and soak it in.

LoveZaBuyZa - or, The Case for Shopping Local

Two weeks on holiday will sure turn a gal around, and two weeks in a place as lovely as South Africa will do wonders. It was timed perfectly after we returned from our recent holiday in Durban that I read about a campaign to help save the local South African fashion community.

I was already on a "shop local" high, marvelling at the lovely jewelry and other goodies I bought from local craftsmen around the eastern coast, so learning about this campaign so soon after we returned to our second floor flat in London sure helped ease me back into everyday life.

The LoveZaBuyZa campaign originally launched with the goal of drawing attention to the talent in the local fashion industry in South Africa, and with good reason: over 80,000 jobs have been lost in the clothing and textile industry over the last six years. Now slightly expanded, LoveZaBuyZa also supports local artisans in industries of all kinds including food, interiors, and art.

Badges, like the one below, will adorn the windows of shops who sell local wares in hopes of encouraging the support of these local artists in an ever-struggling industry.

Marian Park-Ross of gorgeous Cape Town boutique Mungo & Jemima and GOOD Clothing launched the campaign with the help of her sister Louise and Mungo & Jemima co-owner Kirsty. Aside from being fashion-forward entrepreneurs in their own right, these go-getter gals are spending their downtime fighting for a dying industry. Talk about supporting your community.

To learn more about how you can help the South African fashion industry, visit the LoveZaBuyZa campaign site. And as always, shop local!

Chic and Really Cheap

Living in London means that a fair amount of creativity is required when it comes to choosing an outfit. New York is one thing - sure, winter lasts from November to April and in that time you have to come up with endless ways of creating new! exciting! cold weather outfits, but the thing about London is the mediocre chill that just lasts and lasts - and when I say that, I mean it: it doesn't really end. Want to imagine London weather? Picture 50 degrees and cloudy - all year. That's London.

Depression aside, it does give the Londoner the chance to find ways to make mediocre-weather outfits exciting. So on a recent rainy evening out, which started with a stroll through east London and ended at, um, KFC, I turned to one of my cold weather tricks: accessorizing. (Others include layering and mixed prints).

Here's what you wear when it's cold and raining, and you want to look nice without  putting much work into your outfit. Chic and Really Cheap: Round III: 

Second Floor Flat 


Necklace purchased in South Africa from the KZNSA Gallery shop (£2.50 / $3.70)

Kendra Scott earrings - which were given to me as a gift, which means I'm cheating here (£79 / $120)

Second Floor Flat

A black, open-back top from Mikkat Market (on sale for £13 / $20)

Striped bone ring, also from South Africa (£2 / $3)

Second Floor Flat
Second Floor Flat

And to round things out:

BCBG skirt I got in high school

My trust ASOS patent leather booties (£25 / $40)

and to keep out the cold, some knitted Topshop tights (£7 / $10)