Girls Weekend Away In Paradise: La Bella Vita Studios.

I think it is safe to say that all girls need a weekend away here and there. A few nights away from the kids and hubby makes a good opportunity to unwind and to go back home with a clear mind and ready to take on a new week.

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Lauren and myself were invited to visit the beautiful La Bella Vita Studios out in Paarl. Now let me just begin by saying that the Winelands have never really pulled me in – I am not a huge wine drinker, and we normally head out to the seaside for family holidays.

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But, this time around the Winelands caught me off guard. I think because we were staying at such a beautiful place – it set the scene and the mood. Also, being newly engaged, it was an opportunity to dream a little.

We drove up on the Friday afternoon, just a short drive from home – and checked in at the Studios. We were really lucky to be given a little tour of the 8 studios (as well as the two new studios that will launch THIS month), because it really showed us the full vision of the owners, as well as the talent of the interior designer, Elsje Schonken. So much love has been poured into each studio – but I am going to leave the interior talk to Lauren from Lauren McCreath Interiors who will cover it from every angle. What I would like to mention though, is that each suite has a huge bathroom with a shower and bath, a small kitchen which is well equipped with beautiful crockery and cutlery, as well as a fridge and microwave AND Nespresso machine – so you can bring your own food (there is no oven or stove though, so as long as it is food that can be heated/cooked in the microwave), as well as a fire place, TV, lounge area and balcony. So it is fully equipped, and we didn’t once feel that it was lacking anything.

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You never tire of looking around the studio – each corner of the room is filled with high end finishes. The coffee table is neatly stacked with interesting books which are all relevant to the room. Nothing has been spared in terms of style. There is more than enough WiFi, and everything has been so thoughtfully done and considered which all adds to the overall experience.

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I always get excited for a girls weekend – I know I can just let my hair down and relax. La Bella Vita Studios allows you to do EXACTLY that. It was quiet, and we were surrounded by beautiful mountains and nature. We’d wake up each morning and go out to our private balcony, and just sit and drink coffee while watching the ducks and birds on the pond in front of us. We honestly could have spent all three days just sitting in our studio or outside on the deck.

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On arrival, we were gifted with a basket of delicious bread from Babylonstoren (literally a 5 minute drive away), some butter, jam, honey, cheeses, strawberries and wine. All fresh and divine. This allowed us to just totally chill on the first night with soup and bread, and we didn’t have to go anywhere.

 

I truly believe that hospitality is shown in the little details – in this case, the basket of treats, as well as the beautiful tray of bath salts, bath bombs and scents that they use in the studio (each studio gets a different scent).

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We had a divine bath that night (they have their own water supply), and each climbed into our own bed, which was literally MAGICAL. I haven’t experienced such comfort in a bed! There’s nothing like bundling up between beautiful linen sheets and sinking into plush feather pillows after a long day of adventuring. We watched some TV, laughed and chatted and fell asleep quite contently.

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The next morning we woke up, and had a slow start to the morning before heading out into the Winelands. Breakfast and some exploring at Babylonstoren, then off to a few other beautiful spots before heading to Blaauwklippen for a glass of wine, and then to Boschendal to finish off our day of adventures with a late lunch.

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We headed back to the Studios, and it honestly felt like getting home after a long and busy day. That says a lot about a place. We finished off the day with a glass of wine and a bike ride around the estate. This was the most fun we had had in awhile!!! So much laughter.

 

On the Sunday, we decided that we would spend our last day just relaxing and hanging out at ‘home’, because we just wanted to absorb what was around us. It was also incredibly hot, and neither of us had thought to bring our costumes, not realizing that there is a gorgeous pool. We then booked a spa treatment at Sante Wellness Retreat and Spa which is right next door to the Studios, within walking distance, and in the same Estate. I found that this was perfect for a girls weekend, and was also a highlight of where La Bella Vita Studios is located. Note that there is also a restaurant based inside of the Spa, so you don’t even need to leave the Estate when staying at the Studios. My facial was amazing, and Lauren had a full body massage which she also raved about. There are also uncountable amazing places just a stone throw away which are begging to be explored. Mark my words, you won’t ever feel bored!

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My mind keeps switching over to the beautiful interior and décor of each studio, but I know that Lauren will be covering all of that in the next article. But, I do need to say that it is refreshing to stay at a place that has put so much thought into creating each studio unique and totally different to the next. One studio may not be your ‘vibe’, however, one of them will be. I have about three others on my list for when I return, one of them being their brand new studio, which is breathtaking, and may even be my new favourite.

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I love that each studio has a ‘theme’, the one we stayed in being the Mare Studio. Each theme represents a charity or cause that they support – so when you stay, 3.5% of their annual profit from each studio goes to that specific cause. This is really something amazing, and you don’t get many places that do something as selfless as that.

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La Bella Vita Studios isn’t just a weekend away. It is staying in luxury, rebooting, and an experience. A perfect spot for a girls weekend, your honeymoon, or even the spot to stay the night before your wedding with your girls, as it makes for beautiful photos for getting ready. But mostly, it was the ideal place to escape to for me to chatter away to one of my best friends as a newly engaged woman about all of my dreams and visions for planning my wedding day.

 

I hope to be back soon with my maid of honour too for even more fun. This is one of those places that will never be forgotten. And I am excited to return to stay in one of the other Studios for a different experience! A few key words to describe La Bella Vita Studios in closing would be: Upmarket, contemporary, comfortable, and luxurious. It was such a treat being surrounded by the simple beauty that nature offers, and we were so sad to leave that we even stayed one extra night.

Thank you for having us! Your hospitality was refreshing and your Studios magical! Keep an eye out for the interior review by Lauren McCreath next week.

Do yourself a favour and head over to their beautiful social media accounts that are bursting with gorgeous photographs of their studios and also have loads more information on each Studio:

Instagram | Website | Facebook


*Please note that the majority of these images were used from the La Bella Vita Studios website shot by Sheldon Moultrie Photography.

I decided to use their images because mine just didn’t do the beauty of La Bella Vita Studios justice!

 

 

 

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A Girls Night Off The Grid & WIN A NIGHT At Copia Eco Cabins.

Before I even begin, I’d excited to announce that we are running a very special Father’s Day Competition where you can WIN a night stay at this beautiful place!
Enter here!

My dear friend Lauren McCreath, an incredibly talented local Interior designer and myself were recently invited to visit the breathtaking Copia Eco-Cabins. For those of you who have not yet heard of it – it is located on a private farm in Bot Rivier. With it being just over an hour drive from Cape Town CBD, we jumped at the opportunity to drive up for just one night. What could be more perfect than old shipping containers that have been carefully converted into luxury self-catering accommodation up on a hill in the middle of nowhere?

We had been awaiting this moment in anticipation for months, and being busy Moms – we were so looking forward to a girls night away to kick our feet up, enjoy some wine and to soak in the Wood Fired Hot Tub. We got to ditch technology for an entire 24 hours, which gave us the opportunity to truly absorb real silence, something this generation doesn’t fully understand.

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Copia, without even trying, brings out real conversation, a connection between two people – friends or lovers. It allows you to escape from the hustle and bustle of the world and leaves you in a little world that belongs to just the two of you. Being surrounded by nature and having escaped from the tech world gives you a moment to look up from your screens, and instead of wasting time watching what the rest of the world is doing, it has you absorbing and really appreciating the beauty of the basics that surround you. I left understanding, that really, all one needs for true happiness is being surrounded by the ones that you love.

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I have never, in my life laughed like the two of us did. We sat in the Wood Fired Hot Tub for hours, enjoying red wine and enjoying that blissful feel of the cool breeze brushing our shoulders.

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Time. Every second is cherished when it isn’t wasted. In a way, one day felt like two, and I can vividly remember every step we took while we were there.

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We arrived on a dirt road, with pretty much nothing surrounding us but mountains, hills and horses. We entered the farm and were greeted by beaming faces of the farm kids. ‘Shame’ was the first thought that crossed our minds – however, on departure we couldn’t believe our naivety of such an absurd thought. Shame? Far from. I’ve never seen kids laugh and play and use such imagination. Imagine living in such simple beauty every day.

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Copia is so well equipped, with everything you could possibly need for the duration of your stay. There were rusks and fresh eggs awaiting us in the kitchen along with tea and coffee, etc. I love that they had a little jar filled with all of the things you may need while you stay. Panado, plasters, etc. This means that there really is no need to leave for any reason while you stay.

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Night fell, and we enjoyed a dinner for two. Copia has really put in that extra special touch with providing little gas lanterns to create chemistry and beauty even when its complete darkness surrounding you.

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We climbed into what must have been the comfiest bed I’ve ever slept in, and found ourselves chatting for hours. With no curtains, you find yourself staring at the stars, and the faraway farm cottage light, which really looks like nothing but a star itself.

It is truly something special being blessed with time away at such a unique place. I love that they promote an eco-friendly lifestyle. Providing people with an off the grid escape. However, they have done this in a way that is still comfortable for visitors.

I can’t wait to return, with my hubby in tow as it really is just the most perfect escape. Copia currently has two cabins – Copia Cabin, which is the one that we stayed in AND Lone Tree Cabin. They both cater for two adults.

I must say that many may be put off visiting in Winter – but it has to be the best time! We absolutely loved being there with the rain!

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Please do yourself a favour and read what inspired Lucas to create Copia Eco Cabins here: https://www.copiaecocabins.co.za/our-story

I haven’t touched on anything decor wise as Lauren has covered this section (see below), as she has a phenomenal understanding of Interiors due to her expertise.

DO follow their social media accounts as they are always sharing beautiful images shared by their visitors and that’s also where you’ll see any last minute deals!

Facebook
Website
Instagram


INTERIOR REVIEW: Lauren McCreath Interiors

When it comes to out of the box thinking, Copia Eco Cabins has taken this one step further. Who would have thought a mere shipping container could become a sophisticated and endearing little house on a hill.

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Overlooking the beautiful valleys of Bot Rivier, this ticks all the boxes. The creators have seamlessly married the metal, boxy structure of the reinvented shipping container with the landscape. Using dark charcoal and organic tones of wood, it’s symmetry is juxtaposed with the rolling hills and mountains in the distance.

Once inside, you are immediately drawn to the large glass stacking doors which allows you to be fully aware of the stellar views outside. That’s the beauty. There is little distraction of the interior to the exterior. A carefully thought out colour palette of greys and neutral tones only enhance the beauty of what’s outside-fynbos and stone, fields of the working farm below and the mountains of greenery in the distance.

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A simple yet sophisticated, minimalist approach to the choice of furnishings, allowing guests to truly relax, and focus on nature and each other. Being almost completely off the grid, there is every opportunity to enjoy the peace and quiet.

Copper tones are used throughout. From the shower fixtures, (that shower was absolute bliss) to smaller details seen in the kitchenware and cutlery. I love how this adds a warm element to the decor without making it obvious and cluttered- in keeping with the Scandinavian feel.

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Wooden elements from the outdoors have been brought into the interior, and can be seen as bedside tables, and cleverly, as a basin stand in the bathroom. This creates a perfect balance of organic and industrial.

The bed was absolute heaven. HUGE pillows and lovely, crisp white linen on the king size bed says “let’s stay in bed all day! “ Again, a less is more approach works so beautifully against the backdrop. A huge window adjacent the bed allows you to take full advantage of the scenery outside. Waking up to the soft morning light, delicious,freshly brewed coffee and quiet.

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Don’t stay for just one night- it’s so worth an extra day.


*Please note that ALL professional images have been extracted from Copia’s website.

*Lauren & myself make a great team when it comes to reviewing beautiful places. We love travel and are adamant to find some of the best places to stay that tick all of the boxes (experience, hospitality and interior) to share with our readers. If you have a place and would like for us to visit – please email me a proposal to onemodernmom@hotmail.com

Sleep Soundly This Winter In Granny Goose Linen.

There’s nothing in this world like climbing into your cozy bed after a long day, especially in Winter. The crisp, fresh linen that’s ice cold as it first touches your skin that quickly warms your shivering body as you frantically rub your feet together.

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I think back to my early teen years. I saved up for months to buy the perfect duvet set to match my baby pink room. Hot pink covered in daisies, reversible – the other side turquoise blue with hot pink polka dots. It was perfection to my thirteen year old self. But, did I love and look after that duvet set! You bet. The quality was so good that when I finally outgrew it, I passed it onto another girl who loved it just as much as I did, and she passed it onto someone else.

But, time went on and as I grew up and moved on, life changed a little. My double bed turned into a queen size bed to accommodate my man. And that turned into a King size bed… well, to accommodate a baby. And our choice of linen was just out of our reach financially. We settled for linen that was cheaper. The quality wasn’t great, and only now do I really understand how good linen can really impact your quality of sleep!

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I vividly recall tossing and turning every night. Waking up feeling irritated, trying to adjust my duvet cover. That feeling of discomfort that you just can’t get rid of. Cold winter nights I would find myself shivering beneath my covers. Hot nights spent frustratingly attempting to stop our sheer covers from sticking against my body.

Making my bed was never enjoyable. It was boring. A chore. I would fight with my duvet cover to get it on, as the loose frayed threads would tangle around my fingers as I hurriedly tried to just get the task done as quickly as possible. Bed time would arrive and I’d wait until the very last minute to climb into bed hoping I would be so tired I’d fall asleep immediately.

I sound like I’m ungrateful, however, I never really realized that my linen was actually the problem until I started using linen from Granny Goose! This sounds like the perfect advertisement. Like, I found the cure to all of your problems! But, in reality – they honestly have been my perfect solution to a bad night sleep!

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It created a cozy environment that very quickly became a place I felt I could escape to in order to reboot, to refresh my mind and to gain some sanity after a long day of motherhood. It has become a place that we snuggle up as a family to watch a movie. The perfect Sunday morning lie in spot that memories are created with my little boy finding his spot in the middle for tickles and stories. It’s become a place that my hubby has the desire to hang out in after a long day of work. Funny that something as simple as linen can have such a huge effect.

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Their linen is obviously made from Cotton and the style we chose is made with their 200 thread 100% count cotton percale. I’ve noticed how warm and snuggly I feel even with the same duvet inner. The thread count & cotton has made the hugest difference for Winter. We also chose a gorgeous Herringbone Throw which we have been using at night too. It is a beautiful, soft throw spun from soft acrylic fibers and finished with a trendy blanket stitch. They are available in Mint & Cobblestone (and are actually on sale at the moment!). Sometimes, during the day, I will sit and work on my bed and just use it over my legs – and it warms me up immediately. Such a perfect buy!

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I always thought that white would be such a silly colour to have on our bed due to having a toddler, but the marks that he has made have washed off without an effort. And, let’s be honest – there’s nothing better than fresh white linen! Right?

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I have to be totally honest and say that I have truly been enjoying my sleep at the moment. I was worrying about winter creeping up on us with the thin linen we had before that just wasn’t going to cut it for the cold nights. And we managed to get our Granny Goose linen just in time. It has made the hugest difference, and we wake up well rested!

It was such a pleasure going through the ordering process with the Granny Goose team. They are so helpful, and are incredibly well educated on their products and what will work best for you! They have a gorgeous selection, and really are well priced for the phenomenal quality. You won’t need to be replacing your linen any time soon after investing in new linen from them.

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I just want to add that the beauty of the Granny Goose linen is that it easily fits into your current bedroom style. No need to change things around for your linen – your linen fits in, yet stands out!

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We obviously couldn’t forget about our fur babies either – so we decided to get one of the Pet Duvets for them. My female Alaskan Malamute is besotted with her new bed. It is super padded, warm and cozy for her, and I love it because it means I can put it on our bed or the couch and I know that the hair won’t be a problem. My Siberian Husky hasn’t had much of a chance on it yet, as Skye isn’t a fan of sharing her bed with hairy men. 😉

*I will be telling you a bit about my experience with their luxury Duck Down Pillows in my next blog post as they have totally cured the migraines that I used to wake up with almost every morning and have helped me sleep so much better at night. I’m really excited to share my thoughts and experience on this with you as I am sure that it could help a few other people too!

Have a look at Granny Goose’s social media platforms:

Facebook
Website
Instagram


A huge thank you to the incredibly talented Lauren McCreath Interiors for helping style the room to perfection. She did such a great job, as per usual!

Bedroom Photographs shot by Seppi Hochfellner.
Lounge Photographs shot by Criene Images.

You can also follow me on Instagram or Facebook to see future collaborations.

Ceramic Loving.

I’ve been slightly, and strangely (is it strange though?) obsessed with buying special mugs, plates, bowls, and cups lately. Home-ware overall, actually! Maybe it’s because we are living in our own home now, and finally aren’t renting anymore. Preparing for renovations and finally creating our dream home in the next few months. Or, maybe it’s just because I am growing up, and am starting to appreciate the beauty in things we use on a daily basis or when we entertain and have people over for coffee or dinner.

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I’ve always been in love with the home-ware from Country Road, and I do have quite a few items from there, but I have also had fun browsing small, local stores at markets and online. My latest favourite is a small company run by a beautiful local, soon to be wed lady, Kate. Her full time job is a manager at Zando, and her secret love affair is Potsicle Ceramics. The name defines her and her business perfectly! ‘Potsicle’, just the sweetest name to go hand in hand with some of the most gorgeous, imperfectly perfect ceramics that she hand makes herself.

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I sent Kate a few reference pictures of what I like, and told her to be creative as I love her own personal style. I was so eager to see what she would create, and oh my goodness, am I in love! It arrived on my door step a couple of weeks later (it’s a process), and let’s just say that Kate is a bubble wrapping queen! My package arrived all in one piece, and I giggled as I unwrapped all of the bubble wrap! I’m sure I actually gasped when I first held my complete pieces in my hands. They are beautiful.

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I’m so excited to have some girls over for tea so that I can fill the plates up with home baked treats, just so that I can show them off! The quality of my ceramics are phenomenal, not a single flaw.

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These would make such wonderful gifts for a wedding. You can do your very own custom order if you wish, and create something personal and special for either yourself, a friend or a couple getting married. I think I may even be placing an order before too long for a little set to be made for a special baby that is soon to be born. We were gifted with a Jamie Oliver set that included a small ceramic plate, bowl and cup. And I just loved the idea. But, to be able to choose what you want yourself, to make it personal and special just wins over my heart!

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Kate, you’ve made me one happy lady with these beautiful Potsicle Ceramics. I can see through your work that you love what you do so very much. Thank you!
You can browse her already made products here: http://www.hellopretty.co.za/potsicle-ceramics
Or you can check out her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Potsicle/
And her Instagram here: @potsicle_ceramics

Competition Day: Win With Clever Little Monkey

If you don’t know this little fact about me by now, then do you actually even know me at all? I am obsessed with special pieces of decor that get their special spot in our home. And, over the past year – I have loved being on the hunt to find unique and trendy bits and bobs as well as larger pieces of furniture and home decor pieces that fit in beautifully for Olly’s bedroom and play area too.

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I’ve been really blessed to work hand in hand with Clever Little Monkey over the past year, and we always find the most magical things on their website. You have also had many opportunities to win some of these products over the past year! And, today is no exception! It’s another chance for you to WIN!

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This time, we are giving away a Lorena Canals Bubbly Basket that are brand new to their website. They are valued at R550.00. Which colour would you choose? https://cleverlittlemonkey.co.za/?s=basket&post_type=product

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It’s super easy to enter, and you can gain three entries into the giveaway!

Right here!
Right there:  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/onemodernmom/photos/a.1413740795622584.1073741829.1409931466003517/1811840692479257/?type=3&theater
And over here too: Instagram: @onemodernmom

How to enter here:

1. Subscribe to my blog!
2. Head over to like Clever Little Monkey on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cleverlittlemonkey/
3. Leave me a comment below telling me which colour Lorena Canals Bubbly Basket you would choose from their website (link above).

 

 


TERMS & CONDITIONS:
You need to be residing in South Africa.
The prize will be couriered directly to the courier at our expense.
The prize may not be redeemable for cash or exchanged for anything else.
The giveaway will end on Friday 28th July 2017 at 15h00, and the winner will be contacted via email.
If you have not claimed your prize within 5 working days, a new winner will be randomly selected.
If ALL steps are not completed, your entry will not be accepted.