How to quickly update your dining room


How to quickly update your dining roomI have been looking for new dining chairs for our home to replace the mix and no-match we had around our dining table since the house renovations so quite a while…
A couple of vintage Eames I salvaged from the dump when my old company Universal Pictures International was revamping the international offices, a vintage Harry Bertoia chair bought on Ebay, a new stainless-steel Bertoia I got from the Knoll sample sale, a couple of cardboard stools from Story Deli and of course, our Ikea’s bright green garden chairs which added a cheerful pop of colour but wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for the room, which has very soothing hues of pale grey and white. Continue Reading

30 days to minimal blogging


30 days to minimal bloggingA couple of years ago, I ended up in a rut blogging wise. Nothing I was writing inspired me and if I couldn’t inspire myself, how could I inspire others…
No matter how beautiful the content was, it just didn’t work and then I realised that after nine years of blogging, I had changed as a person and the layout and design of the blog didn’t fit any longer who I was and what I wanted to pass on creatively to others. Does this sound familiar?

Here comes Ana Degenaar … Continue Reading



GratitudeIt has been a tough few days (actually a tough year but let’s focus on the last few days). We lost a chicken on Monday and that upset me more than I expected it would and yesterday, Steve and I went to a funeral as our friend Alexia lost her dad.
12 months after losing mine, feeling her intense pain and re-living the sense of loss and sadness we all felt, was extremely draining and painful.
We, as a group of friends, have spent far too many times at the Crematorium these past few months…4 times in total, that’s one loved one gone every 3 months.
Yet today, with tears in my eyes and my whole body aching, I want to feel grateful for all we have.

Continue Reading

10 evergreens for your Xmas wreath that will last longer


10 evergreens for your Xmas wreath that will last longerArmed with my Orla Kiely secateurs and a pair of gumboots, I went for a walk in the forrest near our home over the weekend to cut some branches and make my first wreath of the season.
In just half an hour, I was delighted with the amount of green beauties I managed to find, so I decided to make my first wreath, using only things I had cut myself as a celebration of what Nature has to offer, rather than things bought from the Florist.10 evergreens for your Christmas wreath that will last longer10 evergreens for your Christmas wreath that will last longer10 evergreens for your Xmas wreath that will last longerAs you may have seen on Instagram stories on Saturday, it was a messy but fairly easy job and I was pleased with the result. However, between taking Mila‘s to her skate and surf lessons and our wounded chicken to the vet, I totally forgot how warm our home is and since then, my beautiful Forrest wreath has dropped a lots of needles.
It is now obvious that it’s not going to last until Christmas so I will make a new one on my return from London.
In the meantime, if you haven’t started your Christmas wreath yet or were planning a trip to the forrest like me, here are a few useful tips to make your Christmas wreath last longer.

Christmas wreath-making TIP #1: If you’re not ready to make your wreath once you’ve cut or bought your evergreens, put them in a vase or a bucket with water and store them in a cool place. Evergreens will deteriorate more rapidly in warm temperatures.

Christmas wreath-making TIP #2: If you hang your wreath indoors, keep it away from direct sunlight or heat sources and mist it on a regular basis (I thoroughly cleaned a plastic spray that used to have bathroom cleaning product in it and spray my plants with water regularly).

Christmas wreath-making TIP #3: Choose evergreens that last a long time. I cut some Holly in the forest that still look very fresh and I’m keeping it for my next wreath but here is a list of evergreens known to last a long time:

  • Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)
  • Cypress (Cupressus)
  • Balsam fir (Abies balsamea)
  • Fraser fir (A. fraser)
  • Noble fir (A. procera)
  • White fir (A. concolor)
  • Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
  • Boxwood (Buxus)
  • Eucalyptus
  • Olive tree
  • Laurels
  • Thuya

10 evergreens for your Christmas wreath that will last longerI hope you find this useful. Have you started making yours? If so, could you please tag me and use hashtag #simplethingsforahappylife so we can inspired each other. Wishing you a great week xoxo