Tag Archives | christmas

it’s the most wonderful time of the year

Although we’re both completely exhausted from a very busy 2015 (no time for curated gift guides over here!) this is such a special time of year for us and we have many festive traditions.

For Liza…
On 1 December, no matter what is happening on that day, I have to decorate the house and put up the Christmas tree. This ritual also includes playing the cheesiest of carols while we don our hats and sing along. My mum hand makes us a new bauble for the tree every year, so we have quite a few lovely ones now. Bailey and Robert get to fill their advent calendar with sweets and in the evening, we play a Christmas movie. This year it was The Cat in the Hat Knows a lot about Christmas. We hang the children’s stockings on the end of their beds, and the dogs’ stocking gets hung near the tree. Last year we started the tradition of all the girls in the family (sisters, cousins, aunts, grannies) going to watch the ballet at the theatre – it’s The Nutcracker this year, can’t wait! On Christmas Eve we usually go to my parents for a traditional dinner if we are not away, and the littles get to open one present each. Then back home before we go to bed, we leave out milk and cookies and carrots, as well as a little note, for Santa and his reindeer. Christmas morning is chaos – Bailey and Robert finally get to open all their pressies – stockings first and then the bigger ones! We go to church and after that usually host lunch at our house. This year we have 13 adults and four children coming over, so it’s going to be super festive. Lunch will be a variety of cold meats – gammon, lamb, chicken and beef, along with some Mediterranean-inspired salads. And then Christmas pudding, fruit cake with slices of cheese (my fave!) mince pies and my traditional trifle which I make every year without fail for my husband – it’s his favourite! Another treat we absolutely cannot go without is White Christmas, you’ve never tasted anything quite so yummy. And last but not least, we always haul out Love Actually and this year we’re starting another new tradition by having some friends over for a Christmassy supper and watching it all together.

Filling the advent calendar

Filling the advent calendar

Getting all the decorations out

Getting all the decorations out

Hoping to eat some treats now?!

Hoping to eat some treats now?!


Bailey looking rather pleased with her lopsided angel 🙂 *She’s standing on a chair incase you wondered how she grew so tall 😉


For Emily…
Growing up in England, I am still amazed by how a hot Christmas still just feels weird. No matter how many times I experience it. I’ve always been a stickler for tradition however and therefore did what I could to make sure the routines of my childhood were carried through. At least I did… until I married a man who cares not one wit about tradition and, well basically I had to start all over again. I have let go of almost all my childhood Christmas traditions, but there are a few that stick.

We put up the tree (I always vowed I would never buy a fake tree…. but now we have and secretly I love it) listening to carols and belting them out at the top of our voices. Jimmy generally denudes the tree as quickly as we decorate so it’s a process, although now he’s two he is actually getting more involved, which was so lovely this year.

Each year, Christmas itself is different. Since my beloved dad passed away we made a decision to not stick to the things we did when he was alive, it was too painful and we missed him too much, so now we do everything different but one thing that has to stay the same is that we are together. My mum and sister Alice, my brother Charles and his wife Barbara and their three kids (and normally about five dogs). This year we are going to Barbara’s parents for three days in Rooi Els and it will be a glorious chaotic time. I am insisting on making turkey (no one really likes it much but I am the only one with any respect for the traditions of our youth) and of course, the much looked forward to White Christmas chocolate dessert that Liza posted the recipe to above.

It’s going to be another break from tradition, another first, and although it’s still hard for me it is okay, I am accepting the fact that it’s just the way we are now and as long as we are together it’s all that really matters. Happy Christmas everyone!

And because you’re not going to find any gift guides here, we suggest you visit our blogger friends who are much more organised than we are. Take a look at Kimmy & Bear, For The Beauty Of It, Hey Mama and I Want That.

Wherever you are this Christmas and whoever you spend it with, we hope that you are happy and blessed and relaxed!


We’re going to be taking a little blogging break from 11 December till early next year. See you then!

— Liza


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fun at the V&A Waterfront this December

Cape Town is just overflowing with awesomeness in December. There is literally no end to the things going on. The V&A Waterfront is obviously a major hotspot and if you have friends down for the holidays or just want to get the kids out for the day, these are the things you can look forward to at this Capetonian landmark!

Christmas Light Shows: Thursday, 10 and Friday, 11 December

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The first day of extended trading hours, Thursday 10 December, will be marked by a Christmas Light Show to dazzle Victoria Wharf shoppers with a beautiful display of coloured light patterns, all set to Christmas-themed music, carols and performances to instil traditional Christmas cheer.

Light Shows will be held twice daily on Thursday, 10 December and Friday, 11 December, at 8pm and 9pm. The Light Show is new to this year’s V&A December schedule and aims to delight young and old alike.

Meet Santa: Wednesday, 16 to Thursday, 24 December (excluding Thursday, 17 December)

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Santa will fly in from the North Pole to meet with his legion of young followers at the Victoria Wharf Centre Court on Wednesday, 16 December, between 11am and 12.30pm, and later return at the same time each day from Friday, 18 December to Thursday, 24 December.

With a ho-ho-ho and a belly full of fun, Santa will personally receive children’s letters and hear directly whether they believe they have been naughty or nice this year.

Carols, choristers and Christmas bands

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The V&A Amphitheatre audiences can also get into a cheerful, festive spirit with an array of entertainment. Lovers of big bands and Christmas songs will appreciate the carols, choristers and Christmas bands scheduled to ring in the festive season at the V&A Amphitheatre the week before Christmas.

· Tuesday, 15 December: Rocking Carols and Nativity Play at the V&A
· Tuesday, 22 December: Mitchell’s Plain Crusader Christmas Band & Apostle Choristers
· Wednesday, 23 December: Salvation Army Band & Cape Town Gospel Choir

For any further enquiries, please contact the V&A Info Centre on 021 408 7600 or info@waterfront.co.za.

Pictures supplied by the V&A Waterfront

— Emily


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i heart christmas: day 20 – oh dear megan necklace worth R400 // closed

“Be bold, stand out from the crowd and embrace your inner quirk”

Oh Dear Megan jewellery is created with a passion for expression and always bears our roots in mind. Megan Fogarty, the designer behind the brand, takes old forgotten bits and bobs and turns them into something unique with a truly South African heritage. If you’re in Cape Town, give Oh Dear Megan a visit at Watershed at the V&A Waterfront, it’s a beautiful space.

One of the amazing pieces from Oh Dear Megan is a gold double coin necklace made out of an old South African coin, worth R400, which a lucky reader can win this weekend.


To enter, tweet the following: “I want to win with @the_iheartgirls and @ohdearmegan, courtesy @VandAWaterfront” or if you are not on Twitter then Facebook us and comment here that you have done so. Good luck!

For all the rules, click here. This giveaway will close on Sunday at midnight, and the winner will be announced on Monday.

— Emily

COMMENTS: { 22 }
POSTED IN: I Heart Christmas

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i heart christmas: day 5 – anna-louise sleepwear voucher // closed

Every girl needs great pyjamas! Anna-Louise Sleepwear, designed by the super talented Anna Atkinson, is a luxury sleepwear collection providing stylish and comfortable designs for both men and women. Say farewell to your big, baggy old t-shirt and hello to elegant, beautiful sleepwear.

Today, one lucky reader can win a R250 voucher from Anna-Louise Sleepwear – so you can choose exactly what type of sleepwear you want! Plus, you’ll receive a pretty eye mask too.


To enter, visit the Anne-Louise Sleepwear website, choose what you’d pick if you were chosen as the winner, and let us know in the comments section of this post. You can also retweet us on Twitter or share this amazing giveaway on Facebook.

For all the rules, click here. This giveaway will close at midnight, and the winners will be announced tomorrow.

Good luck!

— Liza

COMMENTS: { 37 }
POSTED IN: I Heart Christmas

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i heart christmas: day 4 – naturals beauty hamper worth R630 // closed

The Naturals Beauty range is one of our favourites, so we are really excited about this giveaway. Not only is Tanya – the brains behind Naturals Beauty – a seriously nice and intelligent woman, they also have a policy of only producing small, fresh batches, using the highest quality natural and organic ingredients. What’s not to love?

The new Naturals Beauty Essentials Collection Range is a sophisticated botanical skincare range that is known for its anti-ageing and skin wellbeing properties. Extracts include wonderful skin nourishing things like cucumber, sutherlandia, rooibos, baobab and chamomile, to name just a few.

So now that you love them as much as we do here is what you can win…


Today’s prize is valued at R630 and includes six amazing products – day cream, night cream, exfoliator, cleanser (winner can choose between the gel or milk cleanser), face mist and hydrating masque.

To enter, like Naturals Beauty on Facebook or on Twitter, then leave a comment on this post and tell us why this hamper must be yours; OR you can retweet our #iheartchristmas Day 4 post on Twitter; OR share our Day 4 Facebook post. So simple.

For all the rules, click here. This giveaway will close at midnight, and the winners will be announced tomorrow.

Good luck!

— Liza

COMMENTS: { 20 }
POSTED IN: I Heart Christmas

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santa’s shoebox happiness

On Tuesday we went to Canal Walk to visit Santa’s Shoebox ‘The Little Elves’ Pop-Up Shop. Situated at the Centre Court, it’s the cutest little cardboard shoebox shop with everything you need to make a needy child’s Christmas a wonderful one.

The standard shopping list for each box ensures each child gets a toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, a facecloth, a toy, sweets, a little outfit and some crayons and a colouring-in book.

The Good Hope FM pop-up shop supported by Pick n Pay will cater for anyone who has already pledged as a donor with the organisation and also encourages new shoebox pledges – on-site registration and pledging means you can support the initiative easily and quickly.

“Every year we work as hard as we can to ensure that every child on our name-list receives a pledged box and this year we are hoping that The Little Elves Pop-up Shop will help us to reach new supporters, and to grow our reach even more within the community of the Western Cape. We are thrilled to see our initiative coming to life like this!” said Irené Pieters, National Coordinator, Santa Shoebox Project.

All the filled shoeboxes will be handed over to the Santa Shoebox Project at the CTICC on 31 October. So if you are at Canal Walk this weekend, do pop in and put together a shoebox. We did, and we are so grateful for an organisation like this that puts so much hard work into making sure needy kids get blessed for Christmas.







The Santa Shoebox Project originated in Cape Town and has grown from a humble 180 boxes in 2006 to a record 118 274 in 2013! The boxes are distributed to more than 1 000 facilities through more than 60 satellites around South Africa and Namibia. The success of the Project can largely be attributed to its personal nature – your box is specific, for children whose names, ages and genders are known.

— Emily


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summer staycation

I love Cape Town in December, which is one of the reasons why we never go away this time of year. It’s all the chaos of Christmas, followed closely by my birthday and then New Year. I want to be with my extended family for all of those so we tend to stay close and pack our days full of get togethers.

Over the last two weeks we have laughed, swam, read books during the day, eaten lots, enjoyed afternoon naps, played in the sun and visited some great local spots that we never normally get time to visit. I have kicked off 2014 feeling so privileged to have such a wonderful family and group of friends and to live in an incredible city.

Here’s to a year of plenty!


Christmas eve

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Very serious Christmas angel

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Jimmy’s first Christmas

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Christmas lamb on the spit and sisters hard at work in the kitchen

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My family. And there’s me receiving the world’s best birthday present


Willow loves boats



Beautiful Simonstown


Afternoon naps




— Emily


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