Monday, September 25, 2017

As you all know I am a bookworm. Sadly, one who struggles to find me time. I just love running away from society and escaping into the pages of a good book ... don't you?

Nothing makes me more content than a cozy corner and the physical turning of paper pages. I enjoy a wide variety of authors and genres which in the past has also included Dan Brown. I truly enjoy Dan Brown and have read most of his books,  mainly because I love the mystery and intrigue of dark hidden societies and the search for secrets revealed. What I treasure most of all, is his ability to draw you into the story so that you feel like you a part of the action and not just simply observing from afar.

Here take a peek at his new release which is coming soon!

Book Launch: DAN BROWN ORIGIN 

Good news for all the Dan Brown addicts, a new book is about to hit the shelves on the 3rd of October. The new publication is called ORIGIN said to be his best book yet.

About the book:
Bilbao, Spain

Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire, and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.

As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.

Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.


Want to read an extract?

It looks to be a great read so don't miss out, spoil yourself!

Published by Penguin Books and available at all leading bookstores from 3rd October 2017.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

So life has been rather hectic of late, we are approaching year-end and in my field of work that truly is a crazy busy time of the year.

Add to that a fibro flare and you will understand the anxiety pain and frustration once again circling through my life. I have never been one to question the "why" but rather I chose to just live one day at a time in the hope that God will use my life to enrich others lives in some small way. Whether it be here on the blog, in the day to day outliving of my life or simply the echo in my brain - that all is not in vain.


Moving through pain, frustration, and depression

So it is these revelations of meaning and purpose that are once again challenging me.  Especially as I sit here in agony, feeling depressed and defeated and all because of an invisible illness. Frustrated because no man can see past my physical appearance to a heart which yearns to be loved, and discouraged at my inability to save and travel. I guess one could say I feel unlovable and inadequate... how sad is that?


You see life is a series of interconnected events, you never know the outcome thanks to the myriad of variables and choices we make on a daily basis. So why is it that we so desperately cling to a dream long forgotten "faded dreams"? Why don't we refresh our view on life regularly ... recalculate and move forward? I suppose it's because sometimes the familiar is far easier than trusting in a future and a hope we cannot see. Today I am reminded that God gives us a hope and that only we can choose to let it go because of circumstance (and spite ourselves) ... or recalculate despite circumstance and hold fast onto His promises!

I have been watching a series called Perception which quoted "The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." What do you see?

My mind's eye

I recently realised that I still see distrust, hurt and betrayal in every man that crosses my path. How then can I ever imagine meeting that someone special? How then can I ever learn to love myself - fat or thin? The truth is I don't know, I can only cling to Jesus and His promises in my life. He is my rock and I know I can't do this in my strength. Heck, I don't even like myself most days ... Truly, I thank God for grace.

I know that I will not give up on my dream of a husband, travel and my own business. My dream of a pain-free day, and of being my goal weight. My dream of loving and accepting myself unconditionally.

I know we all go through daily struggles and thank you for listening to mine. For you my friends I wish love, hope, dreams, and happiness. Let's keep up the good fight and trust in Him always.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Nothing says fun, flirty and summer quite like a sparkling pink bottle of fragrance. As you all know by now I love my fragrances and I am not averse to the lesser known and more pocket-friendly variety too.

So today is my second budget friendly fragrance I bought on the TakeALot.coms sale. Today's fragrance is none other than Victoria's Secret Pure Daydream.

Fragrance Review: Victoria's Secret Pure Daydream

So first up let me say that what I love about the Victoria's Secret fragrances (the ones that I have tried) is that both the fragrance and the packaging are relatively uncomplicated. Why do I love this? Because honestly some days I just want a barely there fragrance and no fuss ... so these are just perfect!

The packaging is a fun, flirty and pink with a touch of gold and turquoise. At first glance, it's plain, simple and with no fancy "bits". The bottle itself is again a simple and straight up bottle with a gold spritz applicator and lid. The fragrance name is printed on the bottle along with a cute little bow (not unlike those found on your favourite VS knickers) and that is it ... no really!
The fragrance itself is pink in colour, while the composition lacks conformity and is once again rather unique. How so? It does not adhere to the traditional top, middle and base note but rather simply has two elements to it.

FRAGRANCE NOTES: Pearl Orchid & Pink Currant
Retails: R149.00

The fragrance is said to be ...
"Seductive and alluring, the perfect finishing touch"

Personally, I find the fragrance initially to be quite fruity on my skin, it later softens to a soft feminine and slightly sweet aroma. The fragrance is not long lasting and definitely, requires a touch up at least every 3-4 hours. But, I do love it and this is about my third bottle of Victoria Secret Pure Daydream ... so that says something I'm sure.

You can find this loveliness on both Zando.com and TakeAlot.com and they have the body spritz and cream to go with it if you like layering.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

So a girl can dream, right? Well, never-ending shopping would be awesome! ... exhausting but awesome! Okay enough daydreaming, but here are a few goodies I would lurve lurve lurve for my wee little house!

The room I really want to focus on is the hearth of the home, it's where I spend most of my time, and I absolutely love having a welcoming home. I am a bit of a vintage gypsy, so I don't tend to do too much "matchy-matchy", and also I love an eclectic (some may even say eccentric) look and it works for me.

In fact, a recent visitor asked if I have an interior decorator do my lounge (sniggers and snorts ... yeah with what budget right?). Anyhoo I'll take the compliment as it was meant in a kind and meaningful way. Somehow people often think this of my house, it must be the flair I inherited from my mumsy.

Imaginary Decor Make Over

So if I had my way and the budget - these would be on my "immediate" shopping list. You know ... just to spice up my existing interior and give it the splash of newness it needs.

So let's set the tone... 
My home is small with loads of light in summer and little light in winter. This means I keep the walls light and fresh ... but not white. It is painted a stone colour with white ceilings and dark floorboards.

The furnishings are all tones of neutrals think grey, stone, and creams, all except for my trunks in the middle of the lounge, my curtains and my throw pillows these are all duck egg blue. I have also added a splash of mustard yellow to bring the room together. My accessories are all antique gold and other metallic decor pieces. It really is soft and beautiful, but the carpets are worn and show sooooo much cat hair (white long hair cats shed like a bugger). Also, I would love some bold statement chairs to give the room a lift and a little cheeky character like me.

So enough explaining here are my home update choices ...

Home furniture and decor selection from Mr P Home

Personally, I am not shopping snob. I prefer buying from a store where I know I can afford to shop, and where the quality is great. A place that I can of course trust ... Mr Price Home has long been my go-to in this regard.

First of all a new rug, light in colour (for that cat hair) but durable and of course pretty ...
Approx R1400.00
Next up those magical splashes of colour I am looking for and nothing beats these cute chairs (I would love two of these) ...
Approx R1400 each
Now for a little unity with mirrors, I already have three on my livingroom wall and a new addition would bring it all together ...
Approx R1300. 00
Am I already giving you ideas? Well, I'm not done yet!

Next up are the finishing touches and remember these are accompanying my grey couch and duck egg blue soft furnishings and accessories ...

These are approx R199.00 each
Approx R499.00

No home is ever complete without a little green, and this Fiddlewood Fig has been on my wishlist long before they became a trend. In fact, I even tried to grow one from seed about 5 years ago ... no luck!

This past weekend, however, I spotted a few at a local nursery, and come payday that tree is mine dammit!
Approx R220.00

So now my home would be looking zhoosh for lack of a better word! We have a splash of green but what about how it smells? Yep, you know me I'm all about the sensory experience!

I was super excited to see that Diptyque has finally landed on SA shores, so I could not resist but add a favourite, this is one of their newest candles by John Galliano (who was designer for Givenchy twenty odd years ago when I worked on counter ... a little nostalgia maybe?) to my list of #LustHaves.
Another favourite brand is Jo Malone, but since buying my house the budget to indulge just isn't available ... but don't let that stop you. 

Here is their home fragrance diffuser, they have a variety and I am dying to try their Lime Basil & Mandarin
So there you have it my birthday #Wishlist that dreams are made of. 

I will hopefully be getting the Fiddlewood Fig tree and rug for myself ... but as for the rest ... just window shopping for now!


Big cozy hugs and happy homemaking !



** This is not a sponsored post

Monday, September 18, 2017


It has been quite some time since I have not only embraced a little whimsy and fantasy in my reading but also been so enthralled. So much so that I simply could not put the book down.

Breaking down literacy barriers 

In the past, I used to stick to my favourite author's taking comfort in their familiar characters, style, and rhythm of writing. But, then I met the most amazing bunch of women, they are not only a wealth of wisdom and knowledge but they hail from positions within journalism, pr, and medicine. They challenge me to think out of the box, read outside the lines and live each day as if there were no tomorrow.

Who are these women you may ask? They are my book club (Jane, Lynne, Beryl, Karen, and Howelline) and these women rock! I have never looked at books the same way since delving into the wealth of genre's and origins as hidden in our book clubs treasure trove of stock. I have discovered new author's, rediscovered old favourites and embraced new local authors too.

Today I want to chat about my latest book club find called ALL THAT SHE CAN SEE by CARRIE HOPE FLETCHER.

From the publishers of ALL THAT SHE CAN SEE

Feelings are part of life - feelings are life. If you take away what people feel, you take away anything meaningful. Wanting to diminish the evil in this world is a good cause, one I have fought for the majority of my life, but not like this . . .


Cherry has a hidden talent. She can see things other people can't and she decided a long time ago to use this skill to help others. As far as the rest of the town is concerned she's simply the kind-hearted young woman who runs the local bakery, but in private she uses her gift to add something special to her cakes so that after just one mouthful the townspeople start to feel better about their lives. They don't know why they're drawn to Cherry's bakery - they just know that they're safe there and that's how Cherry likes it. She can help them in secret and no one will ever need to know the truth behind her gift.

And then Chase arrives in town and threatens to undo all the good Cherry has done. Because it turns out she's not the only one who can see what she sees . . .

                              ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Accolades
A story of love, food and a little bit of magic, All That She Can See is an enchanting and beautiful novel that's guaranteed to be the most magical story you'll read all year.


                             ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

My Review
I absolutely adored this book from the minute I flipped the first page. The writing is light and easy and the storyline very much whimsical but not quite full on fantasy. I think what fascinated me most was that I could identify with the emotional monsters in the story. If you have struggled with pain, hurt, bullying or any kind of separation from your feelings and society - you will identify with this book.

Some of it may be fantasy, but a lot of it is very much reality wrapped in a modern day book cover. Although unconventional this book manages to draw you in, wring out a few tears and then spit you back into the harsh reality of ... oh well, yep ... that sounds like life! Cherry is a treasure in her pajama-clad buttery self, her down to earth realness makes you want to get into the kitchen and practice the craft of baking to soothe emotions.

It took me 3 days to read (a miracle with my current work situation) this love;y book, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I will be looking for more books by CARRIE HOPE FLETCHER ... that is for sure!


I am sure you can get this book at all leading bookstores such as Exclusive Books or online at Amazon.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

It's not every day that we get to escape the craziness of our life ... albeit it less than 20 minutes from home.

I recently got invited to overnight at the Thyme Wellness Spa & Guest House and what a treat it turned out to be. As you know I am pathetically single and so I decided to make it a girls weekend and invite my cousin along.

Thyme Wellness Spa & Guest House, an urban retreat

The Thyme Guest House offers a minimalist but cozy environment, with quaint little nooks and crannies where you can sneak away and hide from sight. As you pull up the facade of the house almost embraces you with its presence, the wrought iron work and the lush lavender bushels hint at the treasures which lie within.

Day 1 and check in for our little #Staycation

We were greeted at the front reception area, which also doubles as the reception for the day spa. The staff and hostesses are all super friendly and accommodating and sat us down to get our breakfast orders for the next day sorted.
We got to stay in the Sage room (a.k.a the honeymoon suite ... I know the irony right!) with what I can honestly describe as the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on in a very long time both home and away.

I often struggle to sleep when it's not my own bed and especially when sharing a bed which I am not used to. However on this bed I slept soundly and did not feel my cousin turning, nor was I aware of my own restless sleeping ... I toss and turn terribly.
The bathroom in this suite was expansive and luxurious, with the most enticing bath (if only we weren't suffering from a drought), shower and dressing area. I could get used to this!
After checking in and settling down and packing away our luggage we decided to take a walk around the property and explore the guest house a little.

On wandering around we came across a lovely area outside our room with swing chairs ideal for kicking your feet up and snuggling down with a good book, oh the temptation ...!
On further exploration, we came across the swimming pool and jacuzzi area and made a mental note to take full advantage the next day. 
The guest house is made up of various buildings which are all interlinked with green courtyards, lavender and the cutest details such as pretty succulent pots. A lot of thought and time has gone into creating a unique space that feels unified both in look and feel throughout the property.


We were going out that evening to the Cape Town Street Food Festival  (that is a separate post which is coming soon), so we headed back to our room to change.

Day 2 After a good night's rest

After a really good night's rest on that amazing bed, I mentioned we were spoiled with breakfast in bed. Our breakfasts were amazing and included a choice of fruit salad, yoghurt, english type breakfast, cappucino's and juice.
If breakfast in bed is not your thing, Thyme Guest House also have a lovely little dining area which is bright and airy and leads onto the pool area.

But do be careful to not be tempted by the sweet treats such as cookies and the local South African treat called a rusk. It's great for dunking and highly addictive ... you have been warned!

After stuffing ourselves to the brim, my cousin and I quickly scrambled to get ourselves decent as we were being pampered at the Thyme Wellness Spa with a massage and jacuzzi. The day spa is a complete contrast to the guest house. Where the guest house is white and neutral shades the spa is dark and rich tones, which are strangely inviting ... to say the least. I may or may not have snored myself awake ... shhh!

The treatments were heavenly and we far too quickly left the spa to sip on sparkling wine and bob about in the jacuzzi ...sigh ... talk about absolute bliss.

A staycation is a must to restore both body and soul, and best of all you don't need to go far from home. You just need to leave home so that you are not tempted to clean house or do work.

We ended off our stay with the most amazing spa lunch which comprised of a chicken wrap, salad and a yummy frozen chocolate dessert with crunchy crumble.

What a weekend treat, I had such a relaxing and refreshing time out and despite it only being one night away from home I felt rested and ready to take on the new week.

Thyme Wellness Spa & Guest House are the epitome of hospitality, being a guesthouse there are little things that were unexpected (I have to sometimes force myself to put my critical spa manager brain to rest). However, all in all, the service was great the treatments and food were divine and I would definitely recommend them to anyone.

I do hope I managed to capture the essence in pictures of what a wonderful weekend we had, thank you to all at Thyme Wellness Spa & Guest House.

For more info or to book visit www.thymespa.co.za

**Disclaimer 2

Friday, September 15, 2017

I have many "bug bears" but one of the greatest is unpleasant smells. I absolutely cannot tolerate a foul odour under my nostrils. I blame it on years of working in the cosmetics industry with luxurious aroma's surrounding me all day.

Okay okay so maybe that's not all true, truth be told it seems to run in my dad's side of the family. We all have issues with sticky fingers and body odours ... sad but very true.

Recently TakeALot.com had a fragrance sale and I bought a few smellies for myself and for gifts. I came across this fragrance which sounded intriguing because we all want to be "WANTED" right? So let's take a look at what I thought of it.

REVIEW: WANTED by Jesse McCartney


Firstly Jesse McCartney, who is that? Here are the deets ...

Jesse McCartney is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. McCartney achieved fame in the late 1990s on the daytime drama All My Children as JR Chandler. Wikipedia

Born: 9 April 1987 (age 30), Ardsley, New York, United States
Height: 1.76 m
Albums: In Technicolor, Departure, Beautiful Soul etc

For me, I got to know Jesse when he sang one of my favourite songs and so here is a link so that you can listen while you read. Listen to BEAUTIFUL SOUL
Okay so back to the fragrance and what I thought of my newly acquired treasure.

The Inspiration Behind The Fragrance

The bottle is absolutely gorgeous and reminiscent of a soft blue rain drop with the name "Wanted" embossed into the glass. The cap has a twist off feature, which acts like a lock making it perfect for travelling.

The Fragrance Profile

Designed to be a fun and flirtatious evening fragrance, it is said to be "for women who want to tap into their feminine appeal". The notes are clean, fresh and rather reminiscent of CK One.

TOP NOTES: Crisp chilled apple and rich bergamot set the stage with a perfect blend of sweet and sensual
MIDDLE NOTES: a heart of sultry jasmine and delicate rose
BASE NOTES: cedar and amber 

What did I think?

At first, I wasn't sure whether I would get the staying power I was looking for from this fresh and rather green fragrance. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by how it clings to my skin. It actually tends to envelop me in a fragrant fresh cloud for most of the day (at least 6 hours).

I have fast grown to love this scent and it is now my "go to" when stepping out on a warm sunny day.
So here's the good news, it didn't cost an arm and a leg (although when I see Chanel and Jo Malone, I often consider giving up a limb to be an option ... because lush is always lovely). This little drop of loveliness only cost me only R70.00 (on takealot) for 30ml, making it super affordable for those on a restricted budget (can somebody shout single with a bond here .... eeep!).

Whilst we would all love the luxe fragrances, it sometimes simply is just not within our reach. That is why it is great to be able to get a "branded" fragrance at an affordable price.

Watch this space as I bring you another budget friendly find next week. I will also be sampling some luxe fragrances in coming weeks.


So there you have it. Thanks for dropping by, sending spritzes of sunshine and happiness your way!



** This is not a sponsored post

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

After almost a year and a half of struggling with my weight, bouts of depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia and leaky gut ... I can finally say that life is relatively normal ... a.k.a. LESS PAINFUL!

It is a constant struggle to find foods that my body likes, to avoid inflammation and to try to keep the pain at bay. While I feel like I have conquered the demon called inflammation, I have lost the battle with my weight. A bitter pill to swallow I assure you!

Struggling to find the middle path with inflammation

While I would love to shout from the mountain tops that I am all healed, this would not be completely true. What is true, however, is that I am almost 90% better thanks to careful eating and loads of prayer.

I seldom struggle with pain ... unless I eat the wrong foods of course! The fatigue .... well it comes and goes at will! The depression and anxiety, well they seem to take turns, but in general, it is far more under control than before.

What is my secret you may ask? Well, it's threefold so sit tight and let's chat!

Controlling fibro flares

I have done so so so much research in the last year on Fibromyalgia, from the foods to eat, to the supplements to take, to the recommended treatments. Here is truly what has made a huge difference in my life. A personal revelation if you will ...

1. BONES ARE YOUR FRIEND
I apologize if you are vegan or vegetarian but there is no denying the power of bone broth in healing a leaky gut. It is a time-consuming exercise, smelly for some, not to mention how hard it is to find bones these days thanks to banting.

What you need to ask your butcher for are the joint bones, no meat just loads of collageny bits. Then place these in a pot with water and salt (NOTHING ELSE). I find other ingredients tend to make the broth "go rancid" far quicker, especially if you are keeping it in the fridge. Now, you need to boil the bones for 9 hours or more ... on a low and slow heat. You may have to keep topping up the water, but eventually, you will see when the bubbles start gurgling and the liquid gets thicker. Allow this liquid to cool and pour into your portion sized containers to freeze. I did say this is a broth, and that is true for the warm liquid ... but, once it cools, the liquid turns to a collagenous jelly which your body will love.

2. FERMENTED AND FABULOUS
So fermented foods are the guts best friend, to date I have made my own kimchi using fish sauce and found it to be a great addition to salads. Homemade Kimchi lasts about two weeks in a sealed container and takes less than two days to make in warm weather. I am currently aiming to do a few recipes from my latest cook book acquisition called "Genes To Plate" and I will share the recipes in a post soon.

On my current wish list to enrich my fermented foods is this kit from Faithful To NatureCrafty Cultures' Milk Kefir Grains @R230.00. I  am dying to make my own Kefir.  It can be used for yoghurt, dressings and even ice-cream.

Here is some good advice, take it from me ...

Avoid: sugar, wheat, and dairy where possible. Alternatively, opt for lactose-free milk which is now readily avaible at supermarkets and very affordable.

3. SUPPLEMENT, BUT DON'T OVER DO IT!
I found in my desire to ward off pain, germs and a lack of energy I turned to supplements. I was dosing myself to the hilt. I have cut back my supplements, from bucketsful to just these few Vitamin D3, Omega's, Zinc,  a multi Vit and an energy boosting vitamin B complex ... and that is enough.

I have however started to incorporate superfoods into my diet such as Quinoa, Chia, Avocado's as well as oats, nuts, and seeds. My body is loving these new foods, and a red honey latte has once again become my favourite drink ... nothing like it!

Neutral ground

Finding neutral ground and learning to understand my body has been super rewarding. Sadly, my weight fluctuations and struggles are back and it has challenged me in so many ways.

Not only that but with our droughts in Cape Town I am unable to grow my own vegetables and once again I find it so frustrating as I love harvesting my own produce. However, I can happily say that life is far less painful. I am also shocked that I am now craving and lusting after things such as Beetroot and Turmeric lattes ... yes, for reals! Healthy and anti-inflammatory options have become an everyday craving and not some foreign object to view from afar.

Here are the current health foods topping my wishlist:
- Taka Golden Latte
- Taka Golden Cacao
- Superlatte Beetroot Cacao



So before you ask, no this is not a sponsored post but rather a wishlist of mine. It's great to write about things, it's an electronic diary of sorts ... and it puts you into temptation too ... tee hee! Maybe I'll have to spoil myself for my birthday on the 27th of September ... a "to me, from me" :)


So I hope this helped, use it don't use it but for me, I am currently in a good space and that is all I can ask for now.