Happy Mother's Day Illustration by Felicity French

Happy Mother’s Day

A VERY happy, blessed and restful day to all our mothers on this Mother’s Day.

No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother’s love. It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints, and over wastes of worldly fortunes sends the radiance of its quenchless fidelity like a star.” ~Edwin Hubbell Chapin

Beautiful Vintage Perfume Bottles

Take A Scent Journey This Mother’s Day

By Marica

Want to spoil your mom or wife with something completely out of the ordinary this Mother’s Day? Well, this year we have got just the thing!

Every year Rose and I try to source a different activity or gift to feature for Mother’s Day. AND every year we get stuck for ideas! I mean, flowers, chocolates, breakfast in bed… been there, done that. BORING.

Not this year! Gift your mom with a unique and unforgettable “scent experience”. And before you ask – I’m not talking about shop bought perfume (how passé) – this idea is all together more exciting and individual. A Mother’s Day perfume MAKING workshop!

During the 2.5hr perfume making session, hosted by Diana Rankin of Perfume Power, you and your mommy dearest will be able to choose from exotic fragrances and essential oils to create your very own bespoke signature scents. How exciting! I would love to do this with my mom.

Perfume Power also sell these awesome perfume gift sets called “Scent Journeys”. Rose purchased one of these and they smell SO lovely – I can always tell when she’s dabbed some on. It is really an interesting concept – each kit contains 12 perfume vials which each fall into various fragrance families. This way you can wear a different scent every day and easily identify which fragrance best suites your mood, personality and lifestyle. I think I am also going to purchase one of these babies for myself.

You can find out more about the Perfume Power workshops: here. Additionally you can purchase their Scent Journey Perfume Kits online: here.

Mother’s Day: Floral Delight

By Marica

Last week Rose and I had a good ole chat about our individual families’ go-to ways of celebrating Mother’s Day. Other than a gift or brunch, flowers seem to be the favourite choice. Why not – it is easy and relatively inexpensive. One should just be cautious of being tiresome. Yes, it is easy – just don’t limit yourself to the same humdrum generic options.

I challenge you to take a fresh approach to your floral arrangement this year. Please don’t run into the nearest grocery store and pick the bunch closest to the door – give it some extra thought… give it some sentiment. Now, I know what you are all thinking but extra “thought” does not necessarily equate to extra money. Bigger is also not always better.  There is no need to be overly extravagant… except of course if you are the type of person who brags about the amount of money they spent – then by all means fork it out.

Nevertheless, whether you spent fifty bucks or five hundred, make it unique and make it personal.

Here is a few other ideas:

Consider the person: Do you know your mom’s favourite flowers? What about her favourite colour? Maybe a flower that will remind her of a special event in her life, something meaningful to her.

Consider the vase or container: Go for something like a pretty teapot, vintage tin, metal bucket or something unexpected. If you are buying a pre-made bunch then at least buy some lovely paper, string and ribbon (or washi tape) to make to make it unique.

Consider the arrangement: Mix it up, don’t stick to one type of flower, select a couple of complementary flowers and add some foliage and greenery (sometimes I think the foliage is prettier than the actual flowers)!

Consider ditching the bouquet: Want something completely different? Buy a variety of flowers and arrange them in individual containers (like glass bottles, jars, or tins). A friend of mine snuck into her mum’s home one Mother’s Day and arranged the most beautiful floral vignette on the fireplace mantle. Imagine mum waking up to find a gorgeous floral “shrine” in her living room!

Consider going permanent: get a potted plant in quirky pot – something that will bless your mum year in and out.

Try finding a florist or wholesaler that have a variety to offer. We have a lovely florist in our area – it’s more of a flower “warehouse” really. They have the most beautiful pre-made bouquets or you can go into their cold rooms and pick the individual flowers you would like to purchase or have a bouquet made of. If you are in the Northern Suburbs areas check them out: Bunches for Africa.

So what are you doing for Mother’s Day? Also planning to buy some flowers?

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10 Smashing Mother’s Day Gifts

By Marica

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and as you know from previous posts my recent Mother’s Day track record hasn’t been so good… not that I haven’t been trying. This year however I’ve decided to keep it simple – dead simple. In fact, I’m not even going to set a foot outside my front door – this year, I’m gift shopping online!

I am so thankful for the new wave of South Africa online design and décor shops – a few years ago none existed. Now you can comfortably browse and purchase the best that South African design has to offer without leaving your couch.

I have selected ten awesome Mother’s Day gifts from a few local online stores. The items range from budget – for those with a tight pocket, to luxe – for those who REALLY want to spoil mom and can afford to. Please be sure to follow the link in each image caption to the relevant online shop – nothing wrong with a bit of online window shopping!

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Retro Pampering At Petticoat Parlour

Rose and I have been running around like headless chickens this past two weeks – all in preparation for the Hotel Investment Conference Africa (HICA fo’ short) that started this Wednesday in Durbs. One of the sessions will focus largely on sustainable development, green architecture, and future trends within the hospitality design sector. Rose is one of the speakers – along with a handful of (mostly) architects – and should actually, by my watch,  be “hitting the stage” shortly. She will hopefully give you a little feedback on the conference once she returns next week.

Anyhoo, so that is the reason for our radio silence the past week… It is also the reason why my Mother’s Day arrangements has, once again, bit the dust. The only solace – the knowledge that my mum loves me unconditionally and quickly (and often) forgives my slacker ways.

I have however, endeavoured to make it up to her in some way – I’m thinking Mani / Pedis – and I know just the place…

Petticoat Parlour in Green Point has gotten a lot of airtime (ie. various blog posts and mag articles features) since their grand opening last year – and rightly so. This place is extraordinarily cool, as in James-Dean-in-a-leather-jacket cool. The little beauty parlour is a retro dream, 50s-inspired from the black & white chequered floor to the Pop Art pin-ups on the walls (I really didn’t mean for that to rhyme).

The funky day spa offers a wide range of treatments for you ladies looking to refine and unwind. AND some awesome pampering for the gentleman as well (seriously guys, get with the times). I can imagine that Petticoat would also be the perfect place to host a bridal shower or entertain a gaggle of teenage girls!

Who wouldn’t want to sit back with an old fashioned milkshake while someone is buffing you nails to a lustre?! Some vintage tunes on diner jukebox, having a good ole “skinner” (that means “gossip” for those of you who are Afrikaans-challenged). Sitting in those blue 50s diner chairs you are sure to feel like Olivia Newton-John in Grease.

So, this is definitely on my bucket list – might even drag one or two girlfriends with and score some serious brownie points.

Be sure to check out Petticoat Parlour’s website: here for all the necessary details or their Facebook page for the latest specials. I believe the month of May is their birthday month so there is bound to be some awesome birthday and Mother’s Day specials.

Images via Petticoat Parlour

Simonsig’s Beautiful Restaurant, Cuvée. This Restaurant = Eye Candy

By Marica

Mother’s Day has snuck up on me. If Rose didn’t ask me where I was planning to take my mom I would probably have forgotten the special day completely (bad daughter, I know).

Sunday being two measly days away didn’t leave me with much time to plan so I jumped onto the internet (old faithful) to find a restaurant we can go to for dinner. My criteria – must have an intimate atmosphere, has to be pretty (I am an interior designer after all) and the food must be drool-worthy.

Then, as if by divine providence, I stumbled upon Cuvée’s website. Isn’t it a feast for your eyes – I just had to call Rose over to my PC to take a look. We obsessively tabbed through their image gallery for at least 30 minutes…

Cuvée is Simonsig Wine Estate’s signature restaurant which is located on the outskirts of Stellenbosch. I happen to be one of those lucky people who have the greater Stellenbosch area as a backyard so I’m quite ecstatic about this beautiful find.

What I absolutely love about Cuvée’s interior is the juxtaposition of opposing styles and elements that come together in a unique and harmonizing way. A mixture of old and modern, the traditional Cape Dutch manor house was converted into an eclectic jewel.

Interior designer, Neil Stemmet of Koncept Design, a self-confessed collector & curator, brought his distinct trademark style to Cuvée’s interior. The rather brooding, masculine spaces are beautifully accented by one or two bold colours. Bright yellow and red make for a quite dramatic contrast.

I adore the old heavy Dutch armoires and funky use of picture frames and crockery as wall features.

The lighting is also something special – the crystal chandeliers with various pieces of crockery stuck into it is quite ingenious.

Furthermore Cuvée’s menu looks mouth-wateringly delicious and the dishes have a certain sophisticated flair which reminded me that we all eat not only with our mouth but also with our eyes. Eish, those dishes look amazing.

And, and! I phoned – they have Mother’s Day lunch special! The irresistible three course menu designed with you and mom in mind at the cost of R260 per person is said to “indulge your taste buds”. It also includes a small gift and complementary glass of the iconic Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel celebrating its 40th anniversary this year as South Africa’s first Méthode Cap Classique.

Ladies and gentlemen…we have a winner!

Do yourself a favour and check out their website. And if you are planning to take mom out to Cuvée you best make a reservation – tyd is min!


The Mother’s Day lunch is on the 8th of May from 11h00 to 14h00.

Reservations:  (021) 888-4932 or send an email to cuvee@simonsig.co.za

Oh and check out the special Mother’s Day Menu: here.