Vivez Bien * Live Well

Monday, December 16, 2013

Peace on Earth

I was at an all girls high school and every year the whole school of about 600 girls would put on a Christmas Carol Service for the public to come and listen to.

We would practice for hours every day in the months leading up to this big event.
We all had to wear white knee length dresses and have our hair neatly tied back.
 Some of the carols were sung in other languages, and there were harmonies, descants and alto's.

It really was a beautiful occasion and to this day, many, many years later, I still remember the whole of Silent Night in German and Oh Come all ye Faithful in Latin.

A recording was made of the event and every year, when we decorate our Christmas tree, I play the CD of The Collegiate Carols and take a trip down memory lane. 

We ended the carol service with a very moving hymn called "Deep Peace"....

...and it is with these words that I would like to extend best wishes to you, my wonderful readers......

Deep peace of the running wave to you....
Deep peace of the flowing air to you....
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you....
Deep peace of the shining stars to you....

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a peaceful year ahead.
Till next time
Sharon x

Image source: 1. Unknown, 2. Simplypix, 3-10.  Tumblr, 11. Zsa Zsa Bellagio 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Nelson Mandela - A Shining Light

With every candle we light this festive season, we will remember your greatness, your humanity and your humility. May you rest in peace, Madiba.



Till next time
Sharon x

Sunday, December 1, 2013

French Charm in Cape Town

It's hard to believe that this gorgeous home was previously a school with lot's of pokey rooms and small windows. The owners, self confessed Francophiles of note, needed space to accommodate their treasured collection of furniture and accessories and undertook a two year long renovation to create the home of their dreams.
A beautiful armoire topped with confit pots from a Paris flea-market and an antique leather chair create a welcoming feel in the entrance hall.
An antique coat rack, old kist and wicker basket housing sports equipment create a casual and lived in atmosphere.
Antique shutters from France are placed on either side of the fireplace in the living room.  Wood and wicker create a casual feel.
Two identical hunting tables from a chateau in Burgundy, are placed side by side in the dining room, perfect for entertaining large numbers of friends and family. I love the idea of the blackboard for menus or fun messages!

The marble topped kitchen island has a distressed paint effect which  adds character.

A dutch door with the top part open allows light to flood through into the kitchen.

An old kitchen scale and antique baguette baskets create an interesting display.

The main bedroom is calm and peaceful with it's soothing colour scheme. I love the vintage linen dressing the bed.

The neutral theme extends into the bathroom which is simply furnished. 

In contrast, the daughter's bedroom has a riot of colour on the vintage wrought-iron bed.

Colourful accessories and vintage furniture create an stimulating space for  a young girl.

I love the classical lines of the front of the house with the black shutters and slate tiles.
A collection of earthenware on a baker's rack, huge carafes in wicker baskets, kudu horns and statement cushions on the veranda, a popular gathering place.

The garden has a Mediterranean feel with it's olive trees and low walls.

I hope you enjoyed a tour of another beautiful South African home. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.
Till next time
Sharon x

Source: Here

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stoney Cottage

The Karoo is an area of South Africa that still offers that unspoilt magic that is becoming more and more rare in the fast-paced, high tech world we live in today. There are few places where you can really escape and find total tranquillity and this home is one of them.

Absolute privacy guaranteed, not a neighbour in sight, the home sits comfortably in its surroundings. Off the grid, solar power and gas provide all the electricity needs.

 Packed slate walls, big comfy sofa's, throws and rugs, wicker and wood, all combine to make a most inviting interior.

In the evenings, light candles and lanterns so as not to detract from the huge star filled Karoo sky.

The colours inside are suitably muted and subtle, perfectly echoing the surroundings.

Big wrap around decks with latte ceilings provide shelter from the hot Karoo sun.

The cottage is situated in a private nature reserve. You might well see buck, zebra and other wildlife whilst sipping your sundowner.

Bedrooms are simple, yet luxurious, perfect for a good night's sleep after a hard day doing....well...nothing!

You have the option of taking a bath here, or you might decide to take a dip in a small rock pool and river running next to the house.

So why don't you take some good food, good wine and good company and get away from the city in this perfect bush hideaway!
Till next time
Sharon x