Vivez Bien * Live Well

Monday, February 22, 2016

My House has Gone to the Dogs

 I am ashamed to say that I have not always been a dog-person. I grew up with dogs and liked them well enough but did not rush out to get dogs of my own. Before having children, I worked full-time, we travelled quite a bit and often went away for weekends. We thought a dog would make our lives a bit complicated. Then I had babies, lots and lots of them, well only 4, but it felt like 40, and life seemed too chaotic to include a dog into the mix. When the children got a bit older, I quietly started wondering whether a dog might not be a good addition to the family
 The turning point was when one of my sons came home from school with a dog lead which he had won in a competition. His opening words to me were "Mom, now that we have got this dog lead - we are going to have to get a dog"! So we did and have not looked back.

 We are all completely besotted with our two beagles, Blossom and Baxter. They are the most popular members of our family. They are always in a good mood, never sulky or grumpy, they don't argue or complain, they are always pleased to see us, they are not fussy about their food and they are always happy to be kissed and cuddled. Living with 4 teenage boys, as I do, I am extremely appreciative of these qualities!

 They make themselves comfortable wherever they feel inclined and we all just accept it. We cannot say no to them or get cross with them. One look at their sweet faces and we just melt. I tend to follow our good friend, Dr Dave's school of dog discipline.... when they have done something bad, like eating another shoe or a cushion or the smoked salmon starter off the dining room table, give them a lovely rub behind the ears and a kiss on the nose, all the while saying "you naughty, naughty, naughty dog!"

I thought I would be the sort of person who would never allow my dogs on the furniture - well..... apparently I'm not!

Let sleeping dogs lie, I say! (Someone else might have said it before me.)


 My children love cuddling them on the sofa and I love seeing my children cuddling the dogs - so its win-win for everyone, most of all the dogs!

Baxter -sitting in this corner of my study while I blog.  Why is he looking so guilty? I better go and investigate....

Blossom hoping someone might give her a lick of ice-cream. The dogs have one thing in common with my boys - they are always hungry!

Has your house also gone to the dogs?

Till next time

Sharon x

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Indoor Plants - Yay or Nay

If you live in Johannesburg - don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY for tickets to the Homemakers Expo - just email your details to me at
See my previous post here for further details.

Now on to today's post - indoor plants. My mom, who has always had excellent taste, and was a gardener of note in her younger days, never liked indoor plants. She thought they were best left to  doctor's waiting rooms or shopping malls. But those were the days of delicious monsters and potted ferns. These days they come in much more stylish guises.

 I love these examples of olive trees in large rustic containers occupying a corner of a living or dining room. I do wonder whether they would survive indoors on a permanent basis and I don't have the greenest of fingers. Many a poor orchid has died under my watch! Maybe those of you knowledgeable on the subject could let me know if it would be wise to invest in one.

Captura de pantalla 2014-05-15 a la(s) 12.00.23:



If you want something more sculptural - these fiddle-leaf figs are a good option...


....and you are after more of a conservatory feel, an abundance of plants is the way to go....


 I should probably start small - given my less than satisfactory skills with plants....maybe a little rosemary or lavender bush in the kitchen....

...or some succulents or cacti - those are harder to kill!



 ...but I am very attracted to a dwarf citrus tree in a rustic terracotta pot ....yes....I think one of those might be in my future.

 I'd love to hear your views on indoor plants. If I manage to keep mine alive it might be cause for a little celebration and you will all be invited!

Till next time

Sharon x

Images: 1. Velvet and Linen  2. Tumblr 3. How to Decorate 4. 5. Decor de Provence 6. Tumblr 7. Malin Persson 8. Vogue Australia 9. Interior Collective 10. Ironstone and Indigo  11. Mrs Blandings 12. Bloglovin 13. The Kitchn 14. Lauren Conrad 15. regardsetmaisons blog16. Lauren Conrad 17. My home ideas 18. Pinterest 19. Tidbits and Twine

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Photography, Cushions and a Giveway

I know you are all dying to know how my photography course is going .... let's just say my brain hasn't had to work this hard since 1st year Maths at UCT in 1982! But the basics are slowly being absorbed. We have been given some homework  projects to do so this morning I was up early and went out and about, armed with my camera to take advantage of the early morning light. I felt like quite a cool, hip and happening photographer type, lining up artistic shots at interesting angles, but then I got home and had to make the bed, unpack the dishwasher and hang out the laundry. All hip and happening illusions were swiftly dispelled! I'm sure real photographer types would have gone to a cool coffee shop and hung out with interesting and creative people and discussed the merits of their photos. C'est la vie. My next project is to take photographs of urban scenes at dusk, so if you see me lurking on dim street corners - don't get the wrong idea. 

 You might remember that I bought some of my photography accessories online and also did quite a bit of my Christmas shopping online last year, or "on the line" to quote Vince Vaughn. I feel that I am becoming quite good at it, although I don't think my husband agrees that this is a skill to be nurtured! I definitely find it a lot less stressful than trudging around a shopping mall, especially if I have a few disgruntled children in tow. 

Which would you choose......

I have mentioned NetDécor before - one of my favourite online shops and during the holidays. I was lucky enough to meet the owner, Miranda Reeder, for a coffee. It was like meeting a long-lost friend. She is so friendly and bubbly and full of life. We talked non-stop for about 2 hours.

Miranda Reeder
NetDécor has a great range of home decor accessories and they have recently introduced  fabulous scatter cushions, a few of which I have my eye on! What an easy way to give your decor a bit of a boost.

NetDécor has a permanent link on my sidebar so whenever you are visiting my blog, just nip across to see what's new on offer.

Whatever your decorating style, believe me when I say this ....
 "t h e r e   i s   a l w a y s   r  o o m   i n   y o u r   l i f e    f o r   o n e
 m o r e     s c a t t e r     c u s  h i o n"
I know this is quite a profound statement so feel free to quote me.

Now onto my GIVEAWAY.......

I have....not 1.....not 2.... but....

10 Double tickets to the
Johannesburg Homemakers Expo
 to give away.

Valued at R100 each


Some of what you can expect at the Fair....

The Builders DIY Theatre extends their presence at the show this year with their very own Get-it Done arena. The arena is an extension to the very popular theatre. You can shop for specific DIY tools and accessories to get your DIY projects done now. Enjoy mini products demonstrations in this area and at the same time look out for amazing specials.

The first must visit element is the HOMEMAKERS interactive wall where you (and the kids) can touch, feel, colour and play around on a magnificently designed platform.

The 947 Boxes challenge is a design challenge with a twist. Hosted in collaboration with 947 FM, the challenge takes place within the parameters of two good old fashioned shipping containers. DJ's Darren Simpson (Breakfast Xpress) and Anele Mdoda (Afternoon Drive) are battling it out in this decorate the box banter . Come and vote for your favourite. Two lucky winners will each walk away with the R100 000 plus worth of content!


In collaboration with the University of Johannesburgs Industrial Design students and supported by the three brands: Festool, Makita and Black and Decker. See how Joburg's youngest talents move around mowers in their high-tech designs. In this innovative competition we challenged the students to show us their take on a rechargeable lawnmower. HOMEMAKERS supports young designers.

This is a brand new curated area to the show. Feast your eyes on the hand-picked collections of décor and home improvement goods.

25 - 28 February 2016
Ticketpro Dome
Thursday and Friday 10:00 - 19:00
Saturday and Sunday 09:00 - 18:00

 All you need to do is either leave a comment telling me how much you love my blog  (make sure you include your email address), or email me at  Winners will be chosen by lucky draw and notified via email.
PS.  I was joking about the how much you love my blog thing, but I would love to learn a bit about my readers so anything you can tell me about yourselves and your interests would be appreciated.

I look forward to receiving your comments or emails.

Till next time

x Sharon