Friday, June 23, 2017

As a woman nothing makes me feel more like the confident woman I know I should be (but often deny) than luxurious and pretty underwear. Whilst I may not have the frame of a runway model ... who the hell cares if it makes me happy that is what counts!

Inner Secrets Lingerie in Cavendish recently celebrated a milestone birthday, as well as the launch of their new curated online store (which I had to miss because I was sick .... phfft!)

Lacey lovelies, sheer coverings, and the most feminine underwear sets are now available and you don't even need to the leave the comfort of your own boudoir! Goodness gals this could spell trouble with a capital "T" ya'll!


A brief history of lingerie

"Lingerie’s unique history traces back to 3000 BC in Egypt. Figurines throughout ancient times suggested different types of undergarments were worn even then. The word Lingerie originated from the French word “linge” meaning “linen” and was not frequently used until the late 1850’s. The soft linen’s during the Middle Ages were worn by nobility for the sheer purpose of modesty, hygiene, and warmth. At that time they were bulky, uncomfortable and designed to flatten breasts while contouring the body in a female silhouette. While in the 16th Century a chemise, petticoats, and corsets were designed to accentuate the female form, mainly to tease and entice men. It was considered scandalous in those days to even mention the word undergarments.

In the 18th century, the design became carefree and feminine. It was tailored with artwork, embroidery and various fabrics like silk, lace, and sheer linens all designed for elegance with intricate details. - ( read the full article on bitsoflace.com)"

There is loads more info where that came from, so read a little further if you like. But if you are anything like me and a visual person ... hold your horses, because here comes temptation!
I know that I've seen a few items which I love and will be shopping them online soon. I must be honest and say the Cavendish parking scenario never excites me! However, fuss free shopping for pretty little intimates online ... hell's yes I'm in!

Now don't be shy or pretend you are not interested, hop on over to www.innersecrets.co.za

Enjoy the freedom that comes with feeling like a sexy vixen under your clothes ladies!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Winter days are meant to be filled with slow meanderings, and warm comfort food. As you all know, nothing makes my little foodie heart happier than trying out a new eatery and just sitting down for a chat.

On one of my recent shopping trips I realized that there was a new "maybe not so new" eatery in a center I don't often frequent. Seeing as though it was lunch time, why not splurge and have a treat!

I love my Entertainer ZA App and I quickly hopped on it to see if there was perhaps a special and blow me over there was ....woohoo! Cos let's face it who doesn't like a little saving?

Spoils on a budget

For those who don't know the Entertainer App, it's a yearly once off purchase which allows you to benefit from buy 1 get one free deal's through South Africa and many overseas countries. The deals are on dining, hair, beauty, lifestyle, accommodation and much more. Honestly, it's worth every penny and more!

The Daily Coffee Cafe in the Seaside Village, Big Bay. It has a modern feel and vibe, not cozy but still very welcoming. The decor albeit rustic has hints of both trendy and Nordic style accessories.
We sat down and had a scroll through the menu. As usual, I was trying my very best to avoid bread where possible and there were options available which could be adapted. The staff were great and accommodated me with a pulled pork "bunless" sandwich (with a bit of added salad .. you guys rock!)

The food was delicious and arrived in a relatively short space of ordering. It does bear mentioning that service can be a little slow.

My sweet tooth, of course, had to be satisfied. The waiter tempted me with the yummiest Barone baked cheesecake and it did not disappoint ... hmmm, could do with a piece right now mind you! *stomach grumbles*
The Daily Coffee Cafe's serve Terbadore Coffee Roasters, hailing from a roastery in Franschoek & Kzn and the cappuccinos are delicious. You can even purchase a bag of beans to go.
All in all the food is great, the service a little slow and the amenities are the centers, so you will need to walk a distance and make use of the public toilets.

The restaurant can definitely accommodate a wheelchair with little to no fuss!

My advice, arrive early and settle in for a slow relaxed vibe, nothing better on a Winter's Day!



** This is not a sponsored post

Thursday, June 15, 2017

As I sit here today I once again have a throat full of razor blades and sinuses which feel like the Suez canal. Now I know we all get sick from time to time and that with winter it is to be expected, but this is the third time in as many months dammit!

One never realizes the value of your health until it is compromised and I mean truly compromised. If there is one thing Fibromyalgia and having a Leaky Gut has taught me is that even when you feel healthy your body is still battling on a whole range of other levels. Again this is not unique, but normally your body is able to fend off a harmless virus, often unnoticed and life goes on.

This, however, does not happen for those of us with autoimmune disorders and diseases, every single little bug seems to penetrate through our defenses making us constantly sick. It is not as though I do not take supplements or that I eat unhealthily ... nope, I eat well-balanced meals and steer clear of sugar, wheat, and dairy as much as possible. I take handfuls of supplements which keep me going on a daily basis ... and still, these blasted bugs prevail ... phfft!

It's not just the Autoimmune disorder

So whilst I sit here and struggle I am met with the fact that yes my immune system is compromised, but my Leaky Gut plays a huge role in the health of my immune system. How does your gut affect your health you may ask?

The immune system gains its strength (or becomes weakened) through the health of the digestive system. Think of gut health as the main frame to your health. The healthy function of every system in our body begins with the health of the gut. It, therefore, stands to reason that if you have any of the following problems, you will struggle to stay healthy until it is corrected ...

- Leaky gut
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Yeast/candida overgrowth
- Food sensitivities
- Malabsorption dysfunction(can result from a leaky gut)

These are just a few of the intestinal-related diagnoses that indicate imbalances in the digestive systemInflammation is being the main driving factor, you can read more over at Skin Online for a better understanding. As I have explored my ill health, I have found Health Renewal and their doctors to be a wealth of information and crucial to my recovery. They have a holistic approach to health and practice what is known as functional medicine. In other words, they treat the root cause of your illness and not just the symptoms.

What the plan moving forward?

Firstly avoid antibiotics at all cost this will only worsen the condition, I have been faithfully making bone broth and chugging down a gulp or two every morning and evening.

Bone broth is said replaces lost collagen and restores the permeated intestines, and honestly, it has been much better. I have had fewer flare ups and the pain has been manageable of late. I just wish we had Dr. Josh Axe's Bone Broth (shakes and original) here in South Africa. If you are in the USA ... run and get yours here Dr. Axe.com

Here are two treatments which are on my wishlist at Health Renewal:
Medical Ozone IV - http://bit.ly/OzoneSO
Immune Booster IV - http://bit.ly/MyersCtail


I want to encourage you to listen to your body, if it does look right, feel right or work correctly ... there is something wrong! Early diagnoses can prevent long-term illness and reverse the conditions more often than not!

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

I love love love winter, and when it's spent under a cuddly duvet with a book in hand ... well, that's just heaven! For me anyway!

I really have struggled to get my mojo back with reading, having chosen sleep over the last while, rather than read with my fibromyalgia which plagued me. But, slowly I am finding myself again and my desire for the written word has returned with a vengeance. I do have to say my book club has been ever so patient with me, the ladies are saints and such great encouragers through tough times.

As you all know I have reviewed books for Penguin Books for many years, but that took a back stand along with my personal reading sadly. However, it has not stopped me from compiling a #WinterComfortReadingList. So if I could shop right now, what would I buy to read on my upcoming holiday?

As you all know I am a foodie of note, and nothing can get me more excited than a pretty and delicious plate of food. That being said I am trying to avoid "white foods" or what many call carbs ... not for the obvious reasons but rather because it prevents me having "fibro flares". I recently spotted two lovely new recipe books I could easily add to my bookshelf, here they are:
A great addition to any kitchen and from our very own local blogger turned professional foodie Sarah Graham.
Retails at all leading bookstores for R280
Read more: here
Retails at all leading bookstores for R220
Read more: here 

As you can see they look more than delicious and when you flip through the pages ... you will want one too!

As for my all-time favorites? You know the good old fashioned forensic, investigative and love stories which I so adore ... well, they're here too. Nothing beats a Jo Nesbo story:
Available in all leading bookstores, but if that hasn't got you hooked, maybe this will ...

"The murder victim, a self-declared Tinder addict. The one solid clue—fragments of rust and paint in her wounds—leaves the investigating team baffled. Two days later, there’s a second murder: a woman of the same age, a Tinder user, an eerily similar scene.
The chief of police knows there’s only one man for this case. But Harry Hole is no longer with the force. He promised the woman he loves, and he promised himself, that he’d never go back: not after his last case, which put the people closest to him in grave danger."
Read more: here

Here's the soppy stuff so make sure you have a tissue or two ...
I won't spoil this one for you, read more here on James Patterson's site, again this is available at all leading bookstores.

So now that your tummy is full, you've stressed, you've cried ... I suppose it's time to pull yourself together and what is better than this ...
This is a #1 New York Times Best Seller, and whilst I am not normally into self-help or feel good books, this one really has me intrigued.

I personally was drawn in by this excerpt ...
"Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. Even after the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding deeper meaning and gaining greater appreciation in our lives. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied to everyday struggles, allowing us to brave whatever lies ahead."

This book is also available at all leading bookstores and you can read more here.

So there you have it, as I prepare for my upcoming July holiday where I can tuck up myself under the covers sip on sugar-free hot chocolate and catch up on some much needed rest.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Now if you had told me a month ago that I would get the opportunity to go on a Safari, I would have laughed at you. If you had told me it would only be a two-hour drive out of Cape Town and that I would see the big 5 ... I would have just walked away shaking my head.

But that was a month ago! Today I stand here, after returning from a two day and one night adventure to the AQUILA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE otherwise known as AQUILA SAFARI & SPA. It was an adventure of a lifetime and one which I will never forget.

"I think your first safari is a little like your first love, it leaves an imprint on your heart and mind which will never be erased."

From the heart racing moments of seeking and chasing down the game to get that 'perfect shot', to the quite nights, clears skies and pure peace that only the bush can bring! Read all about our adventure and it was a grand one!


DAY 1 - THE ADVENTURE BEGINS

The adventure started with us being collected from the Lagoon Beach Hotel, Aquila Safari & Spa do transfers from all the major hotels, meaning that you don't even have to drive the two-hour distance yourself but can elect to sit back and relax. For our journey, we were in the capable hands of Anthony who made us feel relaxed, informed and comfortable at all times. Aquila is situated somewhere between Ceres and Touwsriver, and as a result there is a well-positioned pitstop and coffee break along the way.

On arrival, there are welcome drinks. There is also approximately two hours of leisure time, ideal to wander the facilities, order a cocktail, relax beside the pool or take advantage of the in-house spa. Your luggage will be kept in a holding room for collection at 2 pm when you are able to access your room and freshen up before the first game drive for the trip.
We filled our bellies with a bountiful lunch buffet and then proceeded to relax in our room, put our feet up and just enjoy the view for an hour or so, before getting ready to explore the big five.



"The rooms at Aquila Lodge are spacious, comfortable but with a clean modern twist and the views ... well, they are just simply breathtaking!"

The excitement is tangible as we get ready for our first game drive, the air here is chilly at this time of the year so we are wrapped up and ready to roll.

This game drive left us chilled to the bone, but with the adrenalin pumping, it was a minor imposition which was quickly alleviated with a filling and warming buffet dinner. Mumsy and I were here to not only experience the joy of a safari getaway but also to celebrate Mother's Day. What better than to be pampered with a full body 11/2 hour African Wood Massage at the gorgeous Aquila Spa. It has been months since my body has been pampered, I could all but feel my muscles sigh with relief as I drifted off  ... I may even have snored myself awake ...shhhhh it's our secret.
(These were friends we made on the morning drive and rumor has it he was once a Cape Cobra ... shhh!)

And then ... it was good night world! (and no the Hippo's did not even wake us!)

DAY 2 - THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES

So you know that saying "the early bird catches the worm"? ... well on safari it's "the early bird catches the game!". So yes our first game drive was at 6.30am on day two ... sjoe!

Make-up less and blurry eyed mumsy and I made our way to the waiting area, only to discover we were literally the first to arrive. After a quick coffee, we hopped on our truck and covered our knees with the blankets supplied, nestling like two love birds to try and stay warm. As soon as we were on the road the chill was soon forgotten, along with the bumping and bouncing as we set off to look for the Giraffe.

Well, if I had thought the first days game drive was enthralling I was sadly mistaken, the mornings drive proved to be the most memorable event ever. It was as if mother nature and the big five were all in cahoots. We got to see Elephants pulling some strange sitting manoeuvres, Giraffe eyeing us out, a Lioness chasing another truck (it was quite funny, even though it shouldn't be), Zebra taking a stroll, Rhino's casually roaming and a Gnu getting "miffed" because he wasn't getting enough attention. Nature was at it's best and my camera was in overdrive as I ran up and down the aisle of our truck, like a crazy person. Here are a few of the days fun images ...
We have to give a big shout out to Game Ranger Mike, he had a wealth of knowledge on both animals and their behaviors. He also has nerves of steel and went the extra mile to ensure that we all got great shots (check out my next post).
So on our return, we got to fuel up with a delicious breakfast buffet (always my favourite) with just enough time to shower, freshen up, change clothes and check out of our room. After returning our key, we once again had two hours leisure time and mumsy and I opted for a drive up to ARC or the Animal Rescue Centre. This is a rehabilitation center for animals that have been abused through farming, canning or other means, here they are cared for and where possible reintegrated into the wild or a game environment. Currently in residence are a Crocodile, two lions and the most gorgeous Leopard (he has no nails, as his nails were pulled and he was overfed to get a larger skin for a pelt/skin ... how can people do this!)

Sadly, I lost my photo's of the Leopard and Crocodile with a technical glitch but they are etched in my memory. A huge reminder of how cruel mankind can be!

All in all, words cannot truly express what an amazing experience this was, the adventure of a lifetime but hopefully not my last. I plan in future to share many of my past adventures, as well as, my ever increasing wishlist for both local and international getaways.



*Disclaimer 2


Monday, May 22, 2017

This winter is proving to be cold, wet and dry ... nothing like our normal Cape Town winters. We are facing the worst drought of the century and to be honest, it is starting to become pretty scary!

However along with the cold, dry weather comes dry skin and all those unwanted bugs and viruses. This can leave your lips feeling dry and cracked, and the constant nose blowing will leave flakey red and rather unsightly nostrils.

The solution I have always turned to is Letibalm, a unique formula that helps to heal and repair te skin unlike any other! You can read all about the first time I came across this bran over here LETIBALM, the brand has since revamped a little and the lid on the pot is now blue as you will see.

LETIBALM - MY WINTER SURVIVAL KIT

So the lovely peeps over at #Letibalm sent me the most awesome cold & flu survival kit. Ivohealth teamed up with Sparrow Society to put this gorgeous purse together, with the Letibalm must-have winter essentials.

Let balm is specially formulated to treat and repair the nose, lips and the delicate skin in-between. I personally love the fluid and wish they would make a few tinted options. They would be my go-to lip product.

For those who prefer more of a "solid" type balm, they have got you covered too. The balm is also ideal I found for the nose area as it has more of a matte finish.
Both products are available at Dischem and visit the Sparrow Society webpage to support a community driven project.

I am sorted for winter, how about you? Time to get yours and pop it in your handbag, they are the ideal size!

Keep warm!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Every day we face challenges of some sort, whether it be a traffic jam, a family crisis or in my case lost photo files. These moments truly are defining moments and we can choose to either conquer them or alternatively allow them to crush us!

Upon reflection of my recent incident, I realised how overwhelming the loss of a precious irreplaceable moment can be. Memories are the glue that binds us together. They are however also deep-seated in our hearts and imprinted on our minds, so let's just calm down already! You see no amount of tantrum throwing, crying or depression will ever be a solution to trying to resolve a problem.


Where I go to find peace

For me, the bible is always my inspiration, it is the place where I can seek solutions that will get me back on track. One of my favourite verses is the following: Psalm 46 v 10

" Be still and know that I am God!"


So why is it that I find this so hard to remember at times? Well, because it is often easier to freak out than it is to have faith ... this is the human side of us. The side of us that lets our emotions run rampant through our mind and body ... the part of us which we need to learn to control! So how do I calm the contained storm within my body and my mind? It's not easy but I ask for prayer, I push into the word and most of all I stand in faith, that all will be well.


Meditation and peace

Many think that meditation was derived from the Buddhists, and whilst they may practice a similar concept (chanting and mantra's) it is not the same as reading the word. The bible often refers to Jesus "meditating" on the word, so no mantras. no clearing the mind ... but rather a different kind of "focus". Clear your mind of irrelevant clutter, focus on God's word, and live in a conscious space of positivity and faith and hopefully, the storm in your mind will subside. 


As for my photography dilemma, the jury is still out. I have people at Orms (thank you, Gavin, in Bellville) photography and Lexar (Simon) helping me trying to recover the images and so I have honestly had to find peace and leave the rest in God's Hands. After all, no amount of panicking is going to bring them back. The lesson learned however, I need to invest in a good memory card asap and never plug your digital camera directly into a MAC computer ... eish! A hard lesson to learn.

Take care and stay positive!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

So you all know by know that my soft spot on this crazy planet happens to be cats. Nothing can rival the unconditional kitty cuddles I get every day ... nor can reason explain the undeniable swelling of my heart, one may even say bursting with love for these four-legged fur balls!

Mt two angel boys are the absolute adoration in my life and they truly make my house a home! Now that winter is here their bellies are once again constantly hungry (or so they would have my believe), and being Hills kitties that means they consume more kibble.

I was so excited when Hills recently told me they were launching a new set of whisker friendly bowls as a "Gift with Purchase" and when offered one for each of my kittles it was a .. hells yes! So why whisker friendly you may ask?


Well here's the thing about whiskers

A cat's whiskers — or vibrissae — are a well-honed sensory tool that helps a cat see in the dark and steer clear of hungry predators. Whiskers are highly sensitive tactile hairs that grow in patterns on a cat's muzzle, above its eyes and elsewhere on its body, like the ears, jaw, and forelegs - LiveScience

So the new kitty bowls from HILLS PETS SA are designed to have less interference with the cat's whiskers and gives them more room to gobble unhindered.

So if like me, you love your cats ... spoil them by buying their favourite kibble (ours is the Hills J/D because of Tiger having broken his pelvis in half in a car accident 2 years ago and well Mischka is going on 8 years so it only does him good), why not grab a free bowl at the same time!


So what's the deal?

More purr-lease! This May, get a whisker-friendly #HillsKittyBowl free when you buy any Hill’s Feline bag, 1.3kgs or larger. Get more info here KITTY BOWL

This deal is only available whilst stocks last!

 


** Disclaimer 2