Arum Lilea

Arum Lilea: November 2013

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Big Sur {Post Ranch Inn}

Next stop on my road trip up the Californian coast was Big Sur.  Let me start this post by saying that I have the most incredible friends in America.  They were the ones that took me to all these gorgeous places, planned where we would stop and the places that we would stay.  If it wasn't for them I wouldn't have seen these places at all.

The next hotel is one that I will most likely remain unparalleled for the rest of my life.  Yip, that's quite a bold statement to make but this hotel is incredible.  Imagine yourself staying in the Cullen house of the Twilight Saga, turn it up a few notches, and you've probably hit the nail directly on the head.  Without further ado, let me introduce you to the piece of heaven that is Post Ranch Inn.  

If you are anything like I am, a forest is your ideal city escape.  Big trees, a fire, a good spa and a great book is my ultimate getaway combination.  Now picture yourself 1200 feet above sea level in a luxury tree house.  One side of the tree house looks directly into the dense forest and the other gives you full view of the Pacific Ocean.  The sea and a forest?  Perfection.  Incredibly romantic, this Ranch has a superb restaurant on the cliffs overlooking the ocean with fine dining like you have never experienced it before.  The spa facilities are available 24 hours a day.  There are hot infinity pools all along the cliffs and you can relax in these with nothing but forest and a horizon of sapphire water in your line of sight.  You might even catch a glimpse of deer walking silently along the paths too.  Here you can begin your days with yoga before breakfast followed by a slow walk through the trees and immediately unwind.

This was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and I'll be forever grateful for having been given the opportunity of experiencing this extraordinary place.  I've never felt more relaxed and I've never been as sad to say goodbye to a place than this one.

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Monday, 25 November 2013

Something Navy

H&M blouse | shorts (old) | Dolce & Gabbana sunnies c/o Sunglass Hut | Michael Kors watch | Sass diva 
accessories | Longchamp bag | ALDO wedges

Happy Monday everyone!

This weekend was the South African Open golf tournament.  Le BF was super excited to go and watch and I'm more than happy to wonder around a golf course for the day.  Whenever I know that I will be in the sun all day, there first thing I plan to do is cover my shoulders because I burn so easily.  I opted for a light weight blouse, a pair of shorts and my favourite wedges for a fun day in the sun.  

I hope you had a great weekend!


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Napa Valley & Sonoma

Next stop on my road trip up northern California was Napa Valley.  This area of Cali is famous for its world renowned wines.  

I stayed at the Fairmont Inn & Spa which was a lovely, cosy stay.  The spa was the best I've ever been to, so if you're looking for a weekend of wine and spa treatments, this is most definitely the place you'd want to stay.  The full body massage is highly recommended!

As for wine tasting, we started at Del Dotto Vineyards which was a great place to begin.  The wine tasting is done in the caves of the winery where the difference between different barrels and the woods of each barrel is explained. I really love wine and I've done many wine tastings but, to be perfectly honest, I don't know much about it.  This particular tasting was fantastic for me because everything that I loved but never understood was explained throughout.  The difference between French and American wine, the different aging processes, the different smells, the taste at the front/middle/back of the palette were all broken down for everyone to understand quite easily which made everything so much more interesting.

Next stop was Domaine Carneros.  This place I had seen pictures of on one of my favourite blogs and I made a mental note to look out for it on my trip.  Turned out this gem of a winery was on the way from our hotel towards all the other wineries so it made for the perfect stop on the way back.   The building is so impressive.  If I had to describe it, it would be like an American chateau.  If you're in Napa I would definitely add this to your list of places not to be missed by any means!  We didn't do a tasting here, we simply ordered sparkling wine and cheese plates and enjoyed the atmosphere of this beautiful place and a golden fall afternoon.  

That evening we had dinner in Sonoma right near the town hall which was is so quaint and lovely.  The Girl and the Fig restaurant is really popular but we ate at the hotel nextdoor which has a gorgeous outside area alongside the pool.  I had the most delicious butternut squash soup with marshmellows.  Interesting combination but, as I love both, I tried it and I was most definitely impressed!

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Monday, 18 November 2013

Coconut Ice {Sunglass Hut #SGHComeandPlay}

Zara blazer | Forever New dress | Europa Art shoes | Forever New bag | Michael Kors watch | Sass Diva accessories

Hi everyone!  I'm finally back home from my trip although I'm still suffering jet-lag.  Do you have any remedies for me?  It's been a while since my last outfit post with all the travelling shenanigans so to dive straight back into them, here is a pink and white combo for you.

On Thursday evening I attended the Sunglass Hut #SGHComeandPlay event and this is what I wore to the function.  Those of you who follow me on Instagram (@arumlilea) will already know which sunnies I picked to come home with me.  Stay tuned because they will be making an appearance on the blog within the week.  

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Thursday, 14 November 2013

San Francisco

Once I arrived in San Francisco I knew that I had found my favourite city in the USA.  It swept me off my feet from the moment I could see it on the horizon.  The bridges, the water, Alcatraz at a distance, the most beautiful architecture, it all so much better than I could ever have imagined it to be.  The home of Full House, Mrs Doubtfire and Monk have used this city as their stage and it is not hard to see why.

San Fran was our first stop on our road trip up the Californian coast.  We arrived on the afternoon of Halloween, just in time for some fun city celebrations.  We stayed in the Ritz-Carlton which is such a gorgeous hotel from its grand Greek exterior to its elegant interiors.  If you're looking for a hotel for your stay, the Ritz-Carlton definitely comes highly recommended.

Once dressed in our Halloween costumes, we headed out for a night on the town.  It was so much fun to see everyone in full costume, something we don't see at home.  The next morning, Cassie and I planned to see all the sights in San Fran.  We started in Union Square for some shopping (what better way to begin?).  Next we headed over to the Warf.  This is such a beautiful area.  You observe the sea lions tanning and barking at one another.  They're such adorable animals that we sat and watched them for ages before moving on the sea what else SF has to offer.  We were told by our driver that we could walk from there to the Golden Gate Bridge but be warned, unless you are an olympic athlete, this is highly unlikely.  We did walk along the beach, though, which was beautiful.  After walking what seemed like hours, we caught a cab to the bridge.  It is so impressive, more so than I could have expected.  I got a thrill from finally laying my eyes on the famous red bridge.  Next, we saw the huge trees in the National Park right by the bridge.  If you know anything about me, you know that I'm a tree lover so I could not have been any happier... except for the fact that our next stop was to be the "Painted Ladies".

I had fallen in love with SF's architecture from the moment I had laid eyes on it.  Each house is so beautiful and unique from the others and the victorian styled "Painted Ladies" are a perfect example of this beauty.  If you're able to, pack a picnic lunch and head over to the Painted Ladies where there is a park you can sit in and admire the beauty around you.

If you're in the Warf around lunch time, Boudin is renowned for its delicious sourdough bread and clam chowder.  There are also many different restaurants in the warf serving fresh seafood that are worth trying.

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Monday, 11 November 2013

Pumpkin Patch

I'm heading home today after a three week stay in California.  I've had the most incredible time here.  I've spent most my time in Los Angeles but a group of us did a road trip along the California coast.  I'll be sharing all that with you over the next couple posts because it's too good not to share.

I arrived in America just in time for Halloween.  Now obviously in South Africa we don't celebrate Halloween so it was quite exciting to experience it here.  To begin the festivities, I was taken to Universal Studios for their Halloween Horror Nights.  Actors run around with chainsaws behind you and there's blood and gore everywhere.  My poor little heart could not take it!!

My experience of Halloween did improve though.  We went to a pumpkin patch to find pumpkins to carve and it was the sweetest thing I've ever come across.  There are young families everywhere having fun picking out their pumpkins together.  There was a small petting zoo for the children to visit.  Hay stacks everywhere and a children's train running through the corn fields which also housed the cutest of scarecrows made by the community.  I think I found my happiness in a pumpkin patch.  I loved every moment!

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Thursday, 7 November 2013

How to Create a Beehive in 5 minutes

Hi from Los Angeles!!! I'm here until next week and then I'll hop right into some travel posts that I've been organising to share with you. Today I have a gorgeous blogger filling in for me. I've been reading her blog for a while now and I love her posts. Enjoy!!!  

Hello there Arum Lilea readers!

My name is Sarah and I’m a fellow Joburg personal style blogger and I blog over at The Angelheaded Hipster. I was delighted when Leanne asked me to do a guest post while she was away as I really admire Leanne’s style and I think that Arum Lilea is one of the up and coming Joburg fashion blogs.  

Today, I thought that I’d share one of my favourite hair tutorials for those of us who are fond for a 60’s style beehive but want an easy 5-minute alternative to the hair teasing mission that you find in a classic beehive. I love wearing a beehive for a quirky and nostalgic touch to a very feminine outfit. This tutorial is based on Tavi Gevinson’s two-minute Beehive tutorial, which you can see here. There are a variety of ways to create a Beehive, but I find this the easiest way to create the look especially if you have medium length hair.

  • Hair Brush
  • Hair Spray
  • Hair Pins
  • Hair elastic (this is optional)
  • Hair Bow (also optional)

Step One

Brush your hair thoroughly, pulling your hair up into a ponytail. Pay attention to the back of your head, as this will be on display with the beehive.

Step Two
Grab your hair elastic and tie your hair into a loose ponytail in the middle part of the top of your head. Make sure that you don’t tie your ponytail too tightly, you want it to be loose else you won’t be able to tuck the end of the ponytail underneath it. You don’t have to use a hair elastic, but I prefer to, as my hair is thick and very unruly, so the hair elastic adds an extra bit of security.

Step Three
Now comes the trickier part, tuck end of the ponytail underneath the base of the ponytail so that it forms the classic beehive shape with a lot of volume at the top part of your head. You may need to practice this a few times to get the top part of your hair smooth.

Step Four
Take your hairpins and pin the beehive down and secure. The pins work best on the sides of your head to make sure that the beehive stays up, but I also use them to secure the hair where you tucked the as well as to enhance the volume of the beehive.

Step Five
This is optional, but I like to take a large hair bow and secure it over the tuck. This is for aesthetical as well as practical reasons as it hides the hair elastic which may or may not be peeking out.

Step Six
Use hair spray to secure your beehive and any stray hairs, which may have fallen out.

Step 7

And voila! There you have an easy beehive, which will help you channel a 1950’s vibe without looking dated or like you just stepped out of Hairspray!

I hope that you found this tutorial useful and that you’ll be rocking your own beehive soon. Remember, practice makes perfect!


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Monday, 4 November 2013

Martha Stewart's Marble Cake Recipe

For me, Marble Cake just hits the spot when I'm craving something sweet and delicious.  I love taking a moment to have a cup of tea and a slice of this moist cake with my sister or friends after a busy day.  I have yet to find a person who doesn't enjoy this cake so I'm pretty sure you will love it too.  It's quick and easy to prepare so it's also perfect for whipping up for unexpected visitors.

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1 3/4 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2/3 cup buttermilk at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2. Grease loaf pan.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
4. With an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (5 minutes).
5. Add eggs 1 at a time until combined.  After each addition, scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
6. Mix in vanilla.
7. Add flour in 2 batches alternating with buttermilk; starting with and ending with flour.
8. Set aside 1/3 batter.
9. Mix cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water with rubber spatula until smooth.
10. Add cocoa mix to reserved batter and stir until well combined.
11. Spoon batters into prepared pan in 2 layers alternating between spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate to simulate a checkerboard.
12. To create marbling, use a knife and run it through batter in a swirling motion.
13. Bake, rotating pan halfway through until cake tester comes out clean, for 50 minutes.
14. Transfer to wire rack after 10 minutes to cool.


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