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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Well hello, happiness on a plate is all that I can say! If you have never heard of THE STACKED DINER in Cape Town on Kloof street ... you do not know what you have been missing!
I recently got together with a girlfriend of mine for a bit of a nosh and chat. I have become somewhat renowned amongst my friends for finding great little eateries that are a delight for both chatting and munching at the same time.

STACKED FOOD IS HEAVENLY

So what makes this food joint unique you may ask? Well, it serves three of my favourite foods!
1. Stacks of light and fluffy buttermilk crumpets (pancakes for our American friends)
2. Stacks of potato rosti with poached eggs (new on the menu)
3. Milkshakes which are hand churned

I believe the burgers are to die for too, but I'll have to get back to you on that one ... what I can say is that I saw the mince meat being delivered and their burger patties must be home made ... yummo!

SO WHAT WAS IT LIKE?

When Hayls and I got the menu we could not decide what we wanted to eat, so we settled for sharing and the ability to experience both stacks and not miss out!

Option 1: The 5 Stack of original buttermilk crumpets, with bacon and maple syrup on the side.
To say that this was heavenly is an understatement, they are the lightest and fluffiest crumpets ever!
Option 2: The potato rosti with poached eggs and sour cream
Again these were golden, crispy and crunchy, they were drizzled with sour cream and the poached eggs were done to perfection. Do be warned however that this is a stack of four rosti's and it is filling. 
Did I mention I will be back for these again ....sooner rather than later?
All in all, we had great service and the food was awesome. I must mention however that there are steps, door frames all over and the restaurant is not really wheelchair friendly.

The inside of the restaurant is enclosed and can get quite noisy, so in summer you might want to opt for the outside courtyard area if you can. It is a tiny outdoor space and also the space for smokers sadly.
If you are looking for a quaint little diner with great food and great prices, give this place a try it's well worth it!


** This is not a sponsored post

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Learning to love oneself is easier said than done, in fact, I have come to believe that may even be an unattainable myth! 

Let me explain! I have spent my life trying to be what is perceived to be a 'normal' size, having struggled with my weight from as early as I can remember, it is really hard to understand what an average sized body looks and feels like ... especially when it requires zero effort to achieve or maintain for some. Yet, for others ... we have never seen our hip bones ... and no that is not an exaggeration!

Your weight and your health

The last two years of my health have been an absolute rollercoaster. I have lost approximately 27kg's and have since regained 18kg's not even a year later. Never mind anything else, that alone makes me want to kick and stomp my feet, have a rabid tantrum and throw in the towel! But before you pooh pooh me and tell me all I have done wrong ... maybe just listen a little.

You see I followed a really strict diet for 6 months and managed to maintain my weight for 6 months until my body decided to go out of whack again. I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was doing my best to manage my condition but then my body threw me a curve ball. I developed Leaky Gut Syndrome and as a result, my body is not absorbing my nutrients and vitamins. This progressed my Chronic Fatigue to a stage 4 and the diagnosis Fibromyalgia. This meant my hormones are fluctuating, pain and inflammation have become a constant companion and fatigue ... well, let's just say insomnia is now a regular occurrence.

So yes, your weight can be chronically affected by:
- hormonal changes
- lack of sleep
- diet
- exercise
- leptin resistance

Making peace with me

I am not looking for sympathy, but what I am trying to share is that even after losing my weight, when I looked the best I had looked in 15 years ... I still did not love myself or my body. 

Do we ever really make peace with ourselves and how we look? The fact that some of us have calves that could kickstart a Boeing and some of us have none? The fact that some of us have bellies, some have butts and some have them all at once.

So after all my ramblings, my point is that it's not my weight that makes me not like me, it's the desire to be anything but me! How cheeky is that? God made us in His own image and here I am saying it's not good enough because I want to beautiful in the eyes of "man". I wish I could say my revelation has brought about a change but in all honesty, it is a journey and whilst I am still uncomfortable in my body I am trying to regain my health. I will lose the weight again and I have discovered a passion for helping others who are also struggling with stress, anxiety, depression and illness.

Let's do this together, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section (no trolls or spam please).

Monday, April 17, 2017

I won't lie and say I'm brave, I'm unique or that I am succeeding in managing the daily pain associated with my Fibromyalgia. I will, however, say that each day has to be started afresh. One cannot carry yesterday's struggles into today or else it will become all consuming.

What is this pain you talk about?

There was a time when I would have quite happily have considered my period pains, arthritis and even my kidney stones to have been the worst pain ever, and yet that has all changed. About two years ago I was diagnosed with burnout and chronic fatigue, I started a path to wellness and shed almost 30kg's in weight.

But I wasn't getting better, in fact, I felt worse, the weight started piling on again despite my healthy eating and exercising and my days became plagued with an all-consuming fatigue. My joints started to ache, the kind of dull dark pain that haunts you! It started keeping me awake at night and soon insomnia became a friend. Confused about what was happening to my body, I once again went to see Dr. Graham Duncombe at Health Renewal.

After considerable hormone and health screens (which had to be done), it was discovered that I have Leaky Gut and that my condition had progressed from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to Fibromyalgia ... the 'F' word! At first, I thought me ... an autoimmune disease ... Nah! But, none of us is immune! In fact, our modern lifestyles are fodder for this plague which seems to be riddling modern society. 

So what are the causes you may ask? 
Doctors don't know exactly what causes fibromyalgia, but it most likely involves a variety of factors working together. Truth be told unless you find a functional medicine doctor you may never get the assistance you need.

Causes may include:
1. Genetics
Because fibromyalgia tends to run in families, there may be certain genetic mutations that may make you more susceptible to developing the disorder.
2. Ongoing Long-Term Stress
Physical or emotional trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder has been linked to fibromyalgia.
3. Inflammation
4. Hormonal Imbalances

The other faces of Fibromyalgia

Is pain the only symptom that Fibromyalgia sufferers struggle with, heck no! Again if I look back all through my youth the symptoms were there I just ignored them:
- Cognitive and memory problems (sometimes called "fibro fog")
- Trouble sleeping
- Morning stiffness
- Headaches
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Painful menstrual periods
- Numbness or tingling of hands and feet
- Restless legs syndrome

So how does one cope with the constant pain, well aside from getting a proper diagnosis, following the prescribed supplements and avoiding dairy, grain or sugar where possible ... you've just got to keep going.

Listen to your body, I personally find sugar and wheat drive my inflammation and joint pain through the roof. I try not to be difficult when eating out or visiting friends, but I know that I will need to have painkillers on hand the next day. Whatever you do, do not try to walk this path alone, tell friends and get a support system in place. Ongoing pain often results in withdrawing from society, depression and disappearing out of sight ... this is not healthy!

For supplements read this post of mine "Starting 2017 Exhausted"

If I can give one piece of advice and encouragement, fight it! Fight it every day, with all that you have and are! You can do this!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Eeeep at last Revlon has what I consider to be a 'Gourmand' fragrance! *does a jig* In case you might have missed the fact that I am clearly a foodie, I happen to love food-inspired fragrances too and the latest is REVLON'S LOVE HER MADLY BREATHLESS & ENCHANT!

This new fragrance contains hints of citrus, fresh florals and is beautifully complimented with a touch of Buttery Caramel or Creamy Vanilla!

FRAGRANCE FINESSE WITH REVLON

So first let's look at what is a Gourmand Fragrance?
A gourmand fragrance is a perfume which consists primarily of synthetic edible (gourmand) notes such as honey, chocolate, vanilla or candy. These top and middle notes may be blended with non-edible base notes such as patchouli or musk. They have been described as olfactory desserts.

Can I hear a hell's yes! I'll take a dessert that I can sniff any day, how about you? Might just help the extras from finding the hips too. Anyway I am digressing or getting distracted, either way, let get back to the lovely new fragrance 

LOVE HER MADLY BREATHLESS & ENCHANT by REVLON

I personally adore an everyday scent which can be paired with a deodorant spray for freshening up during the day. To be honest, I have a thing for bad smells and so sometimes I think fragrances and layering have become somewhat of an OCD obsession for me.

The two latest additions to the love her madly fold are:
1. LOVE HER MADLY BREATHLESS
Top notes: Lime, Orange, Pear, Lychee, and Cardamom
Heart notes: Jasmine and Heliotrope
Base Notes: Patchouli, Sandalwood and sweet Caramel

2. LOVE HER MADLY ENCHANT
Top notes: Raspberry, Apricot, and Mandarin
Heart notes: Geranium, Magnolia, and Rose
Base notes: Patchouli, Tonka Bean, and warm Vanilla

The ranges include the following so that you can layer for all day freshness:
- 50 ml Eau de Toilette
- Perfumed Body Spray
- Perfumed Body Lotion
- Roll On



I personally tested the REVLON LOVE HER MADLY BREATHLESS and I adored the fresh Citrus burst with the hints of rich and buttery caramel, in fact, this came across as quite a sophisticated fragrance.

Whilst I did have to touch up midday, I love that the fragrance was not overpowering but rather distinctly feminine and fresh. I have not stopped using mine and I love it, why not forgo the chocolate this Easter and indulge in a new fragrance rather. 

The 50ml fragrance retails for R320

P.S. - DID YOU KNOW?
Don't dab the fragrance on your wrists after spraying. If you rub your wrists together, you'll force the top notes to disappear faster than intended and as a result, your fragrance may not last as long!

The fragrances are available at all leading retailers and pharmacies who stock Revlon.

**Disclaimer 2

Friday, March 24, 2017

How do you control those voices in your head? Many of us are utterly overwhelmed by daily life, stress and work pressures making it hard to get any form of quiet in our heads.

While peace of mind and a clear headspace may seem a tad trivial, the truth is that more and more stress is contributing to illness such as anxiety, depression and auto-immune disorders. So how do we glean a modicum of peace in this modern day madness?

Truth be told it 's hard, we all wish we could be transported away to some deserted location where we could relax all day, see people when we want to and well the rest will just happen as in the movies ... but, this, as we all know, is a far cry from reality!

It seems the only way to get a little peace these days is to plan it, switch off and then implement it. Hide the phone and the PC if you have to ... but do take some time for mindful meditation and relaxation.

STUFF THE VOICES, CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN!

Here are five ways in which you can limit your day to day stressors in order to better cope with those little 'sneakers' ... yes, you know them! I call them the stress bombs!

1. Prepare
Prepare your meals and what you plan to wear to work the night before. That way if an emergency crops up unexpectedly, you can operate on auto-pilot and not have to rush about in a flurry!

2. Make a list
Try and make a small list before you close up shop for the night. Write down your priorities for the next day so that you can hit the ground running without stressing about what you may forget.

3. Create habits
Try to keep it simple by having dedicated spaces for your keys, your bag, your work items. This means that when you are getting ready for your day you can be sure of where all your various items are and gather them together with minimal fuss.

4. Go green
Again avoid lugging around reams of paper, this is the digital era so do make the most of it! Implement places to store your info so that it is close at hand and it takes the stress out of having to source info or complete tasks.

5. Take your vitamins
Your body is not a machine, it relies on sustenance for good health. Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated ... a hydrated brain is a happy brain. Take vitamins to boost your brain and maintain it's acuity. Lastly take an immune booster to prevent the onset of illness, a stressed body is a vulnerable body!


So there you have it, my simple ways of coping. If those voices persist and you cannot seem to gain ground I suggest you find a confidante, find faith (as in my case), find a doctor or psychiatrist whichever helps! One thing is for certain don't let the voice of stress convince you that you are not good enough or able to cope!

Remember you only get one life to live so make it count!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Every time I reflect on the years I have been working with Revlon, my mind wanders back to a rather intimate 'date night' we as media once had with them. It was shared with us how Revlon truly do listen to your (joe publics) feedback. The team shared how they had added foundation colours unique to our country. How make-up textures and colours had been adapted to suit your needs according to your feedback ... yes, it's true, your voice is actually heard!

So it's really great news when I see new blush shades added to their range because the feedback and idea could only have come from you!
SO LET'S GET CHEEKY WITH REVLON!

First up is a brand new addition to the REVLON SOUTH AFRICA fold, it is a great twist-up blush stick, making it perfect for when you are on the go.


The new REVLON INSTA-BLUSH is a sheer, blendable stick designed for use anytime and anywhere.
The blush comes in 4 colour variations namely:
- Rose Gold Kiss (for fair skins)
- Candy Kiss (for light skins)
- Nude Kiss (for medium tone skins)
- Berry Kiss (for dark skin tones)

Retails for R220 and it should be available now!

I must say the colour deposit of this product is not as intense as I expected. However, it is buildable, and I actually love all four shades. I personally find the REVLON INSTA-BLUSH to be a great option for my make-up bag, mainly because I have a bad habit of shattering my compressed powder blushes. I personally tested the Candy Kiss and loved as an option for winter.

There is also the new colour additions to the more traditional REVLON POWDER BLUSH, a small and convenient compact for both home and handbag. What makes the new range great is that it now comes in 3 finishes, namely Matte, Shimmer, and Satin.
While nothing new to the Revlon range the REVLON POWDER BLUSH is a soft and buildable micro powder with a colour to suit any complexion.
The new colours variations are:
Matte - Rosy Rendezvous, Bronze Beauty
Shimmer - Dare to Bare, Ravishing Rose
Satin - Orchid Charm

Retails for R239.00 and it should be available now!

I must be honest and say I was super happy to see that my all time favourite Tickled Pink is still around, but the RAVISHING ROSE that I tested is a lovely soft pink for those more natural make-up days.

While many still think of Revlon as a 'drug-store' brand, I will always use their blush, mascara, and foundation ... these are my trusted beauty staples, and they never disappoint!

Revlon is available at select leading retailers and pharmacies.


** Disclaimer Policy 2


Thursday, March 02, 2017

Often dental care is overlooked as a cause of bad breath and health conditions, and yet it has been proven in studies that Gingivitis can be linked to many a health concern.

Bad breath, also known as halitosis or oral malodour, often you don't know that you have it because let's face it, it is hard to smell one's own breath. The best way to check is to ask a family member or close friend for an honest opinion. Alternatively, there is the strange option, but one which the experts over at IVOHEALTH recommend:

"Lick your wrist, starting from the back of the tongue to the tip. Allow the saliva to dry for 10 seconds and then smell the area for any unpleasant odour."

Brushing your teeth has more importance than just simply giving you a bright white smile, it proves that the theory that the body and mind are linked. Your bad breath may be your body trying to tell you something.


Dental Care for good health

Good oral hygiene and oral health can improve your overall health, reducing the risk of serious disease especially as science have now linked inflammation to many life-threatening illnesses.

After starting to work with the group of functional medicine doctors that I work for, I was shocked to discover that Gingivitis and bleeding gums are cause for major concern. In fact, they are often associated with the development of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, blockages of blood vessels, and strokes.

Basic oral hygiene

Experts stop short of saying that maintaining oral health can help protect overall health, so where do you start?

My basic oral hygiene routine has always included the following:

1. BRUSHING
Brush correctly twice a day for at least two minutes each time, where possible use an egg timer or stopwatch. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to clean gently under the gum line. Don’t brush too hard as this can damage gums. Use a soft, small toothbrush and replace it at least every three months.

I love the Sunstar GUM toothbrushes and this Technique+ is a lovely soft bristled brush, it comes with a cover and an easy to hold ribbed rubber grip. 
2. TOOTHPASTE
I personally enjoy a tooth whitening toothpaste, and I find the Sunstar GUM OriginalWhite toothpaste a great option, it does not sensitize my teeth at all. It is not as mint as I personally like but it does leave your mouth feeling fresh and your teeth beautifully clean.

3. MOUTHWASH
When it comes to mouthwash, I have always shied away from it, mainly because of the alcohol content which I just never enjoyed. The Sunstar GUM OriginalWhite mouthwash has 0% alcohol, it cleanses the mouth, gently whitens and leaves the mouth refreshed. I especially find this to be a significant step to sterilize the mouth and help with stains from coffee, tea, and beetroot.

These are my top three steps to basic oral hygiene and the minimum that any of us should do to prevent gum disease and/or bleeding gums.

Watch this space as I bring you the next level in mouth care!

I purchase all my Sunstar GUM products from my local Dischem and you can get yours there too!



**Disclosure Ranking 2

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Yes, I am the crazy cat lady, I love my kitties as they are my children, my companions and the cuddliest critters ever.

Your cats are what you make them

So many people have said to me your cats are unique, I have never seen cats like yours before! Why? Well because my cats are not aloof and distant but rather thrive on love and cuddles.

You see cats are often misunderstood, yes, they all have their own personalities, and some may not be as cuddly as others. The trick is to love them as THEY ARE! Do not try to change your cat's personality, just love them differently. It's also always important not to try and modify the laws of nature, in other words, the pecking order. If you have more than one kitty always honor the 'top cat'. In other words, the oldest of the pack, feed him/her first, greet that cat first when you get home and pay adequate attention to him/her.

So here are a few of my tips, I am no 'kitty whisperer, ' but all I can say is that my cats are the envy of many, and I know given half a chance people would be happy to take them off my hands ... not happening #JustSaying
So here are my kitty love rules in my home:

Give them love
So my cats as I have mentioned love to be hugged. I have made it my policy to give them love from when they are teeny tiny, also whenever they ask for it, no matter how inconvenient (yes, even on the toilet). Cats have a way of wanting attention at the most unbelievable times, but to get affection, you need to give love when your kitty wants it. Have you ever felt rejection? Well, your cat never forgets rejection.

Show them who's boss
When your cats act out, show them who's boss. I am not saying abuse your cat, but I am saying a tap on the bum, a stern voice and talking to while looking your cat in the eyes (a dominant kitty behavior) ... this lets your cat know that you are the boss and serious!

Never, never, and I mean never abuse your cat's trust.

Devote your time and connect
When you get a minute take the time to cuddle and snuggle up to your pet, slowly break down barriers. From when they are young implement things such as checking their teeth, checking between the pads of their feet, their ears or even blowing the occasional 'zerbit/sherbet' on their tummies (yes, I do this, and it is possible if your cat trusts you.

My cats have different places they allow me to tickle and I respect this, but it is always a breeze taking them to the vet or administering meds because of this advice.

They will test you
Like children, your kitties will test your patience, your authority, and your rules BUT always show them who the boss is. Like children cats need to know who is in charge, but that they are still loved.

Talk kitty
This is important, cats respond to sound. Speak in soft dulcet tones, whisper behind their ears, call with cutesy pet names and change your tone for your different kitties. Cats are not unlike humans they want to feel loved as individuals, they thrive on sweet nothings whispered into their ears.

So there you have it my #CrazyCatLady house rules that keep me in regular cuddles and covered in fur ... not that I'm complaining.