Of Beautiful Things and Great Mamas!

I have never really blogged an individual as in the whole post is about one person. Mental note to self: write about me and only me on a single post.
Anyway here is an exception, please meet the beautiful Silvia.

I am in this group called Kilimani Mums. Most of the time I do not know what I am doing in that group but could be because I have lived in Kilimani and I am a potential mother. It really is a great group, its like a chama, or self help group, they get to share,  great info, feedback and you get to learn stuff about women and babies and men and general household problems and how to fix them. Its like having 2000 Aunties that you get to ask a single question at once. And they have a market to boot.  Kilimani Mums highlighted the ArtCafe racial epic fail. I think there should be a Langata Mums, South B Mums, Buru Mums, Nyayo Mums groups on facebook
In general its a great group, though sometimes there are mamas in there that ask questions that may make you loose hope in humanity.

I was going through posts and just thinking oh this is one of those slow days in here, then I saw this!

Instant love. This is Silvia and her baby girl. Silvia made the ankara dress. The most beautiful thing I have seen in that group. Fashion-wise that is. I was going to put this one on my FOR MAMA's  link. But then I went to Silvia's page. And there are lots and lots of great things she is doing with a sewing machine and other dress making tools.

We have our very own DIY queen. We must follow religiously. She makes dresses and knits and crotchets. She does things that make me wonder why I did not pay proper attention in my homescience class, and why my sewing machine is collecting dust somewhere in my small bros pantry.

The peplum skirt is detachable. I know you are also thinking why you never thought of that in the first place. Love love that dress.

Had I seen this earlier, I would have left that man's house with at least 12 of his shirts. Here is a great way of playing around with the husbands shirts.

Silvia also does baby's stuff so I will just throw in my favourites.
All those your tu regular white baby things can look this good, I have completely forgotten what that baby thing is called, I am not a mother yet.

Be inspired, get out your sewing machine and DIY.

Now, I know most of you are like me, just lazy and then there are those who wouldn't know how to thread a sewing machine if their life depended on it.

If you like Silvia's work as much as I do, please visit her FACEBOOK page. She sells some of her pieces, so you can order what you like. She has a blog too, which is very informative, she gives great DIY tutorials. Click >> silvianjoki <<
You will learn, you and your baby will look good in unique pieces, and you will save money and then you can thank me later.


Enyewe I have not talked about food in a while. I found this coconut something something on a fashion blog. That snack is high end fashion, that is the kind of food that will officially elevate you to The Good Wife status.
Do not ask me about the recipe. I saw it and I was overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of it I forgot to take the recipe. My intelligence is at times questionable. I am a coconut person. Have I mentioned somewhere in here that I am not big on chocolate, I think I am the only woman on the planet who does not go gaga over chocolate. But I love love love bounty.

Anyway since now food is on fashion blogs, I will be writting my own recipes here. This is a good thing because I can cook. My coconut chicken is legendary  ask Christine. The only problem is I can never repeat a dish, by repeating I mean I can never redo the same dish and it tastes exactly like the previous one. I dont use recipes, I just throw in things that I think will taste good together and I always get it right, except the oversalting part which can be blamed entirely on those royco/magi people, why do they put so much salt in a spice? So writting down the recipes for the blog will help me and it will help you too.

The other reason I want to add food in here, is because everybody loves food. Food is the A and O of everything. I do not know anyone who hates food, but food hates some people. Food can be like that man I almost killed, you love the food and the food refuses to love you back it just adds you baggage in the wrong places.

And then there is another reason, I have gone global with this blog, by global I mean we are being read in Naivaisha, Kisumu, Bungoma, Nakuru, Rongai and Uzbekistan. So I have to spice things up a bit. Soon we are going to be a real magazine like ELLE. Aki if I hear after this ati am not professional, I will QUIT!!!!

TOI HOME: Yeah we are getting THERE.

In the spirit of going global and being a world class, sophisticated, über chic, ultra modern Toi Market Magazine, we have decided that we are going to shove our ideas of good living up your throats too. So if we like some furniture or carpets or wall painting, or wine glasses, or plates or cutlery, you will hear about it. Immediately.
I find that when you say we, it sounds quite corporate and professional.

It is difficult getting good furniture in this town; For cheap that is; and I have noticed that Uchumi, Tuskys and Nakumatt specializes in expensive ugly furniture only. Really where do they get some of those things. But this is KENYA! Our fundis can do anything. 

Have you noticed that when you are moving say from Mombasa road heading towards Gigiri, the roadside furniture changes?  Like literally CHANGES! For instance in South B, Nairobi West or Langata, they have one make of bed, one make of chair and 4 makes of Sofas. Not that each area has different shapes and style, no it is the same bed, same table, same chair. As you move towards the leafy suburbs, towards akina Village Market, Karen etc the fundis suddenly get artistic and they are making this great furniture? I should, with immediate effect organise a protest on this maneno.

I took this picture to my fundi and he says, 2500KSH for the chair, so let me see how he will chomoa that and then I can send you all to him. I dont even know if that is cheap or expensive I am doing this for the first time. But it sounds cheap.
Meanwhile you can tell the husband to start transforming your home office, as my fundi tries out the chair. If the chair turn out ugly we can say it was for a good course, and at least I tried.

The rest of you who have no husbands can either call a fundi or just DIY! Times are tough and good men are hard to come by, but that does not mean you cannot have beautiful things.

I had wanted my fundi to make me this bench, 
Yes I am in a white mood. Maybe am turning into a virgin and I don't know. Plus I have been feeling too much like Main British of late. Or maybe am brooding and is about to get the pregnants. (that is not bad english, that is my new way of talking, you know the way naijas say "she is pregnant for him", cracks me up all the time)

These Armchairs,  which was to be my office chair
and bed side reading chair, yeah I like to think big and grand. Do not forget I am in a Main Britishs' mood. Usually am a minimalist, cubes and squares, grays and blacks kind of person so I dont know where this is coming from.

Wewe! bei yenye that fundi aliniambia is enough to pay 2 years' school fees at White Star Academy. That story has been put on a semi permanent hold. And I want to see how he will make the other simple cheaper one before invest in that kind of madness.

Tiles and Carpets have a sale going on, who has been there? I was going through their facebook page and on the Carpets picture these 2 mamas were really pissed, they were going like, you only have plain coloured carpets, where are the multi coloreds ones?!!!! I found that funny coz my Girl Christine has been looking for plain colored carpets like forever.

Talking of plain colors, if anyone knows where I can get plain white duvet covers, please buzz a woman, I have never seen any. I had this problem in Europe as well. On so many occasions I almost hepad with the bedsheets and covers from hotels. And dont give me that look yet you have house shoe bathrobes, and tiny shampoo bottles printed Hilton Hotel in your house.

Since am about to retire to bed (just look at the way am using Main Britishs' English) who have you heard of late saying "am about to retire" when they mean sleep and not quitting their job?
Let me throw in a bed for good measure, I like metal and I have always loved Zara, this one is next on my list.

That is the next picture am taking to my fundi, then maybe I will stop looking for white bedsheets and covers. dont forget to google Zara Home for more ideas.

Before I go, I want to bring something delicate to your attention, there after I will make some suggestions, see I am not forcing you to do anything, I am making suggestions. But there is a small story first. 
May grandmother (bless that woman's soul dear lord). My grandma loved Vitambaas. She had one on her head at all times except when she was going to sleep, very stylish. But she also loved vitambaas in this format. So one week its the clothe version, the next week crotchets.

And when my grandma covered she covered, everything including the radio and she had this pot that held drinking water behind the door, even that pot was covered in a kitambaa and the tables?

Everything! and then we had this tall stool, I dont know if anyone has seen those stools and I also do not know what they were for, its a tall stool that is like 2M high, even that stool was covered in a kitambaa. It had a special bigger kitambaa.

Now I am aware that old habits die hard, and that there are some prints those before us left behind, that are almost impossible to erase, I also know that you have spent several nights working on your vitambaas, and you are extremely proud of them; but darling they make such amazing sofas and tables these days, they do not need covering. Really they dont. I know Nairobi can get very dusty, but just dust. This kitambaa thing its a bit out, and you are so young and stylish.

Covering this sofa and coffee table in vitambaas is a sin! there I said it. Not that I see anyone who buys this kind of furniture covering it anything, but just picture that. This is the me I was talking about. This is what I like not the victorian era I have just entered.

Now that you have all that crotchet energy and skills and dont know what to do with it, may I suggest investing it in PONCHOS

Isn't that nice? a bit too kitambaaish for my taste but, that looks better on a person than on a sofa, and you can tweek it to suit your personal taste, we ndio fundi. or just go classic see these are just many tu small vitambaas joined together.\



  1. Hey Damaris.
    Interesting the way one wonders who would want that item then on the other end,one is frantically looking for the same. You can get the white covers from Mr. Price Home (depending on the color in season) but Woolworths will stock them more regularly.A shop in Junction at the corner near the food court sells very rich Indian fabric covers, but be warned that the prices are not very friendly tho may be worth the elegance of textures.

    1. Thanks I will head straight to Mr Price and woolworths, in my price range, the shop at the junction do they also have cushions and sell fabrics for curtains and sofas, ama that one is on another floor? I took my friend there, really great beautiful things, eventhe chairs in their for decoration I loved, but the prices are crazy! Thanks for the tip

  2. You are not professional hahahaha I just had to go there lol! Where do I start I think I missed school the day they taught talents how can one person have such amazing talent well done Silvia! As for vitambaas we stopped covering ours in 1997 yes I even remember the year because we switched houses and the vitambaas had to go. BTW Ankara/Kitenge same thing I refrain from using the term Ankara because you will never find our sisters from the west referring to Kitenge as Ankara. Kente on the other hand is a specific print just like leso/khanga and Kikoyi so I refer to it as Kente but but most African prints to me outside of these three remain Kitenge if I am talking to non EA or Swahili speakers then its African print we need to be proud of our name #mytwocents. Great post as usual chica!

    1. *I meant to say you will never find them referring to Ankara as Kitenge:)*

    2. I need to do a thorough research on the african print. I was talking to my friend Pat Mbela about the leso and she is like a library on that one. other than that I just call the what people call them. Should be my next project.