Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Lashes, lashes where are you? Yes, folks mine are all but invisible and so thin that they make lash building a whole new art form ... it's true!

So it makes sense then that I am on an eternal quest to find the ultimate "lash building" mascara, one that will not only give me visible lashes but also be visible to all those around me. If you are a woman you will know how hard this feat it no matter how well versed you are in the application of mascara.

So what exactly is it that I look for in a mascara?

Well, my personal requirements are:
- flexibility (I hate a clumpy mascara which sheds all day)
- solid colour deposit ( black must be black people)
- buildability (I need to create them lashes because mine are fine and blonde)
- wearability (it needs to last all day and at least be smudge proof)

Let's take a look ...

 Avon Ultra Volume Lash Magnify Mascara - Review

So the lovely peeps at Avon sent me this mascara as a gift and it had me intrigued, so much so I abandoned another mascara already in use (not a favourite, but that's for another post) in order to try it out.

It looks impressive I thought ... so let's hope it delivers!
The packaging is pretty much the standard broad tube currently trending, but with its black veneer and rather lush gold print, it does offer an air of importance and elegance ... something about a little black number ... right?

The applicator is rather large for me non-existent lashes and it takes some clever aiming and great concentration to avoid smearing my upper eyelid with mascara. As with all mascara's after a day or two I acclimatised to the wand and it was much better.

The mascara requires multiple layers in order to build and achieve that false lash look. What does impress me is:
- the amazing colour deposit
- the fact that the lashes remain separate
- it does not clump

In conclusion:

All in all, Avon Ultra Volume Lash Magnify is an affordable mascara with great buildability and coverage I would definitely repurchase this baby. Even better is the fact that it is the first Avon mascara to not burn my eyes ... yasss!
Retails for R149.90

Could we have a waterproof option too please Avon?
And if that wasn't enough, browse the latest brochure with its seductive pages of fragrances (yes they are beautifully displayed) and go spoil yourself for goodness sakes!


Here's what's on my wishlist ...

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Hey peeps

I am sooooo sorry but it seems I really lost my mojo again. I wish I could put it down to any one thing, but in reality, I think it is just "Digital Overload" and the need to escape my daytime reality.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my job ... but being exposed to social media all day ... every day can slowly drive you nuts if you let it! You get to see the good, the bad and the ugly of people across society. You get to see politics at play, trolls at war and innocents who are spouting happiness and rainbows ... but at the end of the day, none of it is tangible and it all seems to fill your headspace with other peoples crap!

Life as a reality

That is why when I get home all I want to do is fling open the doors, breathe in the fresh air, cuddle my kitties and unwind. Yep, I want to pretend we still live in the 90's where your attention was not on demand but rather requested, where your opinion was not voiced but rather discussed and lastly where assumptions and judgements are not the order of the day.

The truth, however, is that this is now the world we live in and very much the reality of those of us who work in a digital space. I do however long to just unpack my thoughts over here and I have so many ideas... but the motivation falls flat every time! Forgive me but I am sure that I will find my mojo again and a modicum of balance. I hope that you can bear with me ... please do not desert me, I promise you are treasured and valued more than you know!

Upcoming adventures

So as I claw my way back to blogging and sharing life, love, reality and dreams let me share that I am getting super excited about my upcoming holiday. I am going to Vietnam ya'll!!

Yes, that is right! No, it is not some rich fling, it is in fact, the first actual holiday I am taking in 17 years and I have worked damn hard for every penny. It has taken loads of sacrifice and as a result, I know that I will treasure and value every second ... are you keen to come along? 

Would you like to see what I explore through my camera lens in my upcoming adventures?

So I promise to make more of an effort in the coming months ... thank you again for your patience. Coming up next is a review of one of the latest Avon mascara's.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

It sad to think that we have finally succumbed to a digital era where even feelings are filtered through the cyberweb. The old-fashioned heart pumping sweaty-palmed days are fast becoming emotions of a bygone era.

These days people hide behind the safety of a computer screen, laughing, sharing info and images about themselves, without ever actually having any form of physical introduction for months ... if not years. Is it even real? Sadly, no - often people are fed artifice. Stories and fantasies that have been made up by the person on the other end of a keyboard.

The reality is that they may, in fact, be talking to someone older or younger, more or less attractive, real or not real, a serial killer, a paedophile or simply just an innocent loner - BUT you will never truly know!


Now don't get me wrong, I am not admonishing the use of dating sites. As with most things they are in fact a necessary evil connecting people who are otherwise very lonely. But, keep it real and honest and don't lose yourself in a fantasy or fairy-tale which may, in fact, be nothing more than the fiction of another loner's imagination.

I myself at one point tried the various dating sites such as a Christian dating site, Tinder, online dating and well it just never gelled me. I found that I seemed to only attract weirdo's and blame it on my curvy figure and old-fashioned view of life (which I am not trading in for anyone by the way), and so I decided unequivocally to delete my profiles and live a life of the "solo-journey" until I meet "the one" in person - less trauma and emotional hurt.

I see all day every day the sad state of affairs of our emotional wellbeing thanks to the digital era, and being in social media it is very hard to escape the lies, untruths and blatant misinformation.


I find myself wanting to say "I just don't know?", but I refuse to give up the hope and the dream of someday meeting my "Mr Wonderful" - no, not the fairytale, the man who is a gentleman, the man who is what he says he is! The one who loves me by respecting me, being honest and sharing every aspect of life ... yes, even the flipping dishes!

Being in your forties and single is not for the faint-hearted but at least I know what I want, who I am and I am not prepared to comprise - no matter how much loneliness comes knocking!

Sunday, April 01, 2018

The Secret Garden Market, how would I describe it? Lazy summer days spent in the shade of lush trees while sipping on hand-crafted gin and nibbling on freshly shucked oysters. Can someone say "bliss"?

The Secret Garden Market Launches

I  recently got to spend part of my afternoon strolling through an array of curated gift stalls. The wares were nothing if not beautiful and bespoke and offering anything the heart could possibly desire.

Set on the premises of an old Constantia Estate, the gardens were manicured and maintained beautifully and poised to make an exquisite impression on all who chose to enter her gates... The house itself was breathtaking and somewhat enviable, although I shudder to think of its value (clearly out of my price range).

The quaint stalls of The Secret Garden Market were spread out over the estate in a manner which led itself to slow explorations, ending a central point complimented with all the refreshments you could possibly crave.

Some of the days tasty treats (gobbled by me) included:
Crumbs & Cream Ice Cream Sandwiches, the ultimate ice cream sandwich. I chose the chocolate brownie cookies and a Snickers flavoured ice cream laced with peanut butter yumminess ... it did not disappoint! I have been wanting to try one of these for absolutely ever and a day!
 For more visit Crumbs & Cream's website.
Nothing gets me more excited than a food truck ... weird I know (I blame it on the Cape Town Street Food Festival). On this particular day, I ordered the chicken burger from Boulevard 82. There is nothing quite like some good wholesome food. The portions were really great too and it was super to see some Irish visitors enjoying the market.

As if I wasn't busting at the seams already, I just had to try the olive tasting station. Chrisna's Olives are from the Del Vera wine estate. There are a variety of whole olives, olive blends, tapenade's and pastes to try as well purchase.

 This Mediterranean mix was the shizzle and of course a pot went home with me!

Next up... something to "whet the proverbial whistle" and boy were we thirsty by now. The sun was beating down, we had been browsing for an hour or two and we came across this locally crafted ginger beer.
Made by The Dragon Brewing Co. this ginger beer comes in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties and a new cherry flavour in the process of being launched.

I must be honest and say the non-alcoholic version is divine, it is not overly sweet (a huge plus for me), it is mild in taste with refreshing spicy undertones ... an absolute winner for any summer soiree.
Sit, relax and enjoy some shade and live music, all whilst nibbling on your purchases and sipping on your drinks. It's rather like a communal garden party. Chairs, blankets and bamboo mats are provided and they do rather encourage, nudge and coerce you to spend a lazy day at The Secret Garden Market

Upon my explorations, these were a few of the wares which caught my attention:
 Beautiful floral canvas block prints.

Seed bricks by Supersprout, these are germinating seed slabs. Heirloom, organic, Non-GMO seeds. For more visit Supersprout's website.

Velt, a local handmade collective of pressed fauna, which has been framed to create beautiful feature pieces.
Bottled in the Cape's beautiful handmade jewellery pieces, including porcelain pendants from shards collected on the beach from shipwrecks.
Vintage and antique jewellery collectables, enough to make you want to give-away your paycheck ... you have been warned!
Stunning and stylish pottery worth displaying in the most humble of kitchens. I just love love love these green floral designs and this gorgeous figurine.

There was so much to see, do, taste and purchase that my post does not really do it all the justice it deserves. I do however hope that it encourages you to come and explore and support this lovely new little market. Catch the latest news and upcoming events on their Facebook page - The Secret Garden Market

A big thank you to Marina Nestel of The Little Black Book PR for the opportunity to attend the first of what I can see will be many markets.

** Disclaimer 2

Monday, February 26, 2018

Hey guys, sorry I have been so quiet but somehow life managed to "klap me" ... as in sucker punch me (for the non-South Africans) again. My parents have been in and out of hospital again so I have been playing chef, taxi and shopping assistant for the past two months ... man am I exhausted!

I am however still standing! No mean feat I tell ya, no mean feat.

Solo and sad, my battle song

Sadly I have also not managed to shake off the loneliness and yearning for a life partner, so once again despite my better judgement, I tried online dating. Oh, my holy aunt guys ... #wtf @%&*^
I know that I am overweight and that I am no supermodel ... but Lord have mercy, it is like every weirdo in the universe thinks that I am his best match .... oh, hells to the no!

So once again, I have left the world of cyber dating, disheartened, disillusioned and quite honestly feeling like shit! I would rather be a snivelling pile of self-pity than a self-hating, self-doubting human ... honestly, I would!

So life is still solo and well let's just say ... bah humbug and move on alright?

I did, however, discover THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, a musical movie and I have been enamoured since the moment I first listened to the theme song/anthem "THIS IS ME". In fact, it pretty much describes exactly how I feel. Feelings which can only be described as follows "that the modern man seems unable to look past a woman's physical attributes". It is such a great movie, worth every penny and well Hugh Jackman is not bad to look at either ... and that fabulous song ... do take a listen.

So despite the desire to be paired up with someone, I made a few promises to myself this year and I have started checking off my list, starting with a holiday. I have decided that I will no longer say "when I meet someone", but rather that I will do things even if it means doing it solo or with a friend.

Well, I have an exciting holiday coming up in Vietnam and I just can't wait ... it'll be my first holiday overseas in 17 years and I am beside myself with anticipation. A friend and I are taking a much needed "me time", in a foreign land, with an exotic culture, great shopping and a whole host of other adventures ... so watch this space!

I just want to remind you of what I tell myself each day. 
That no matter what, you are worth the effort, you are enough and you've got this babe!
Go on, conquer the world and show them that you can! ... and if you are anything like me ...

Get up little sister your time has come
the world you despise is now undone
Get up little sister rise and shine
only you can create the heavenly and sublime
Get up little sister and never lay down
for your worth and value lie in your crown

** images: Unsplash

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Life is pretty fast paced killer these days, the holidays are barely over and already Easter eggs are in the shops ... like how does that even happen! Let's face it, I usually try and wish Valentine's day away ... now that is crazy even for me!

I know I have a busy year ahead of me and whilst in my mind, I am ready to tackle it head on my body is not really all that excited. The fatigue has set in again and some days with my fibro I just feel exhausted. I have made my resolution for this year to live each day as though it is my last ... because honestly if I have learnt one thing, it is that tomorrow is in actual fact a gift not a guarantee.

Because of this, I have decided to try and be healthy, be kind to myself and help my body be as strong as it can be. You all know the supplements I have taken in the past (read more) and I still stand by these but I am an "explorer" by nature and so I have tried a few new natural alternatives to help my body cope better.

Supplementing my body

Firstly I decided to try out Faithful To Nature, I have known about them for years, but have never really made any purchases through them. The experience has been amazing. My order arrived in no time at all and even though there was some confusion with a delivery, they quickly sorted it, resent the missing goods and even a handwritten apology and gift. (You guys are rock stars and will def be my health go to from here on!)

So I have always had hormonal issues, I have since a child hence my broad girth from an early age. It was based on this that I decided to try Maca Root Powder, let me tell you it is quite overwhelming the choices but eventually, I decided on  SUPERFOODS ORGANIC MACA POWDER.

What does Maca do?
MACA is an adaptogen, meaning that it helps the body to adapt to increased stressors. Maca is well known as an amazing hormone balancer, and strength builder. Because of its oxygenating effect on the blood, it has also gained the reputation for being the best natural aphrodisiac (not that this is of any use for me ... tee hee!).

My thoughts: 
So far I have found the malty taste pleasant and I either add this to my smoothies or to my Golden Lattes. I will let you know how my body responds as natural products usually take 6 weeks to be at optimal efficacy.
Retails for R135.00

So hormones are sorted, now for the stress coping

Here I decided to get two products, some capsules and also a powdered supplement mix to also add to my smoothies. As you know with my previous Chronic Fatigue (Adrenal Fatigue) and current Fibromyalgia the adrenal glands are a huge concern. The adrenals become overactive and produce too much cortisol wreaking havoc on my appetite, energy levels and joint pain.

Ever heard of Ashwagandha? Neither had I until my research!

What does Ashwagandha do?
It has been used for over 3,000 years to relieve stress, increase energy levels and improve concentration. ASHWAGANDHA is known as an adaptogen or a natural supplement that humans can take that help to support the body and mind in coping with our stressful, busy lives.

Here are some of the actions of Ashwagandha:
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Combat effects of stress
- Increase stamina and endurance
- Prevent and treat cancer
- Reduce brain cell degeneration
- Stabilize blood sugar
- Lower cholesterol
- Boost immunity

I got myself ...
Contains 200 capsules
Retails for R105.00

My thoughts:
Well, it is hard to say as these are veggie caps and will take time to work but I will keep you posted.

The powdered supplement mix is ...
Good Life CacaoBoost - Raw Cacao + Ashwagandha + Mushroom Blend

This combination offers the following benefits:
Good Life CacaoBoost is a tasty powder mix of premium certified organic superfoods that nourish your body and support your immune system. Raw Cacao, Ashwagandha, and medicinal mushrooms form a powerful trio that gives your immunity a super boost from these certified organic superfoods.

Ashwagandha is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for stress and improved digestion, raw cacao boosts happy making neurotransmitters and medicinal mushrooms are amongst the crème de la crème of immune boosters. All without any added sugar, fillers or preservatives to interfere with your daily super boost, Good Life CacaoBoost is a premium plant boost for your health, especially great for vegans.

Retails for R115.00

Here are some of the individual actions:

- Raw Cacao is a fantastic food source of heart-supporting magnesium and also boosts neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and phenylethylamine that help alleviate depression. Raw cacao is also one of the richest sources of antioxidants of any food. It’s even been found to help diminish appetite.

Ashwagandha is a potent adaptogen that helps balance your mood, metabolism and digestion. It’s been used as an Ayurvedic herbal remedy for centuries for managing emotional, mental and physical stress naturally.

- Medicinal Mushrooms have been studied for their amazing immune boosting properties and benefit from stress and anxiety, circulation, muscle health, metabolism, skin and organs.

My thoughts:
This definitely has a mushroomy taste, but you quickly get used to it. The mix itself is great for adding to peanut butter smoothies and gives it a chocolatey taste.

In conclusion

So as you can see these are high in adaptogens which are the bodies natural stress coping mechanisms, I will cover these more in another post. I must, however, say though that I am feeling much better ... not sure if it's all in the mind but I am sticking to this for now.

NB. This is not a sponsored post but rather a post wholly paid by me for me. I would, however, like to mention that I have been super impressed with the delivery. service and products from FAITHFUL TO NATURE and they are definitely my go to online organic health store.

**Disclaimer none

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I know I know Christmas is already a distant memory, we have all settled back into the mundane and routine of our day to day lives.

But this year Christmas brought a little "added" excitement for me. Here in South Africa we do not have the Bath & Body Works franchise much to my despair, having travelled in the States I got used a shop virtually being on every block and I love love love the Vanilla body mist. So I guess it goes without saying that when a friend said she was headed for San Fransisco, I was the first to squeal with delight (for both of us of course).

I promptly scoured the Bath & Body Works site and saw that their Limited Edition Christmas Collection was already available, and with their 3 for 2 offer. I was a gonner hook, line and sinker! Trust me if I had more moola at the time I would have done way more damage.

Bath & Body Works Fine Fragrance Mist Review

If you really aren't familiar with the Bath & Body Works brand and you have the store's locally I urge you to splurge, the fragrances are such fun and the candles are too die for.

So here is what I got:

This fragrance is described as:
"A wintry sweet treat blend of fresh vanilla bean, warm caramel, sugar cookies, whipped cream and snowkissed musk"

What did I think?
I absolutely love the warm, rich and buttery undertones of this mist and I will have to find another way to supplement my addiction soon.

This fragrance is described as:
"A blend of Red Apple, Candied Orange, and Winter Rose Petals"

What did I think?
Initially, this mist is quite sweet but it soon settles to a lovely soft, sweet and rather sophisticated fragrance. I do enjoy wearing this on a hot summer day (a contradiction I know), it is light and feminine.

This fragrance is described as:
"A bright-and-early blend of frosted bergamot, mistletoe berry and snowkissed lavender"

What did I think?
This fragrance is of the "water fragrance" family, it's light, fresh and floral - a barely there, but a beautiful fragrance none the less. I love this one for bedtime, it's delightful!

The body mists tend to retail for between $14 - $16, and there are often specials like 2-for-1 or 3-for-2! This Christmas mists only come out once a year but do not be fooled- all of their fragrances are heavenly and you quickly find another 1, 2, or even 3 items for your shopping list.

Click here for more on Bath & Body Works

**Disclaimer - none

Monday, January 15, 2018

I am a foodie of note, which you would know if you are a regular follower of my blog. Working in social media means that I am constantly exposed to the newest, best and brightest of everything. While few things capture my eye, a good restaurant or a travel deal are guaranteed to knab my attention within seconds.

So when the new restaurant called Marigold launched in Franschoek I was intrigued, to say the least, there were gorgeous images splashed across Facebook and Instagram and I started to have some serious #fomo ... yes, for reals. It was then that Marigold Restaurant progressed to my #2018 wishlist without hesitation. Marigold is housed in Heritage Square and complements the Leeu Collection hospitality portfolio.

These past holidays I made a lunch date with a long-time friend who lives in Franschoek, and the two of us toddled along for lunch at Marigold Restaurant.

My Marigold Restaurant Experience

Being an authentic Indian restaurant Marigold's serve truly unique Indian dishes which you may struggle to find elsewhere. The tone is immediately set once you enter the quaint venue which seats a maximum of 60 people. The decor is rich in metals and warm tones all speaking to the namesake and inspiration of marigolds which are a vibrant orange.

The tables are beautifully set and arranged so as to get as much intimacy and privacy for the individual tables,  as you can within the confines such a small space. The beautifully screened windows are not only decorative but filter the bright light coming in, and they once again add to the rooms beauty and ambience.

The problem is where to start on the menu? We that's easy, start with the #Thali.

What is Thali you may ask?
“Thali” is a composite and wholesome meal with various small portions served on one platter. The idea behind the Thali is to offer all the various flavours of Indian kitchen – sweet, salty, spicy, crispy and sour.

A Thali feast

At Marigold it is offering of what our chef likes the best  and was a composite of the following:

Vegetarian - R280 
- One vegetarian Indian street food
- One vegetarian tandoori starters
- One vegetarian main dish
- One Basmati Rice
- One Dal Preparation
- One Salad
- One Yoghurt
- One tandoori naan
- One dessert

Non-vegetarian - 320 
- One non-vegetarian Indian street food (fish goujons)
- One non-vegetarian tandoori starters (tandoori chicken)
- One non-vegetarian main dish (lamb kebab)
- One Basmati Rice
- One Dal Preparation (we had yellow dal)
- One Salad
- One Yoghurt (Raita)
- One tandoori naan
- One dessert (yoghurt khulfi ice-cream lollie)

While the servings may look meagre to the naked eye, I promise you that you will be busting at the seams once you have finished your Thali.

"The individual dishes are flavour filled and a virtual feast for the senses whilst the khulfi cleanses the pallet and leaves you feeling refreshed."

The waitrons are so efficient, maybe a little too serious but Sive our waiter was all that you would expect from a fine-dining establishment (he did smile for his photo). The uniforms are reminiscent of a bygone Victorian era and very impressive.

All-in-all from the food, the presentation the beautiful venue it is a dining experience to beat, and I will definitely be back to sample the normal menu and once again tantalise my taste buds.


For more info, click here - Marigold Restaurant

** Disclaimer -  This is not a sponsored post but my own personal experience and expense