How To Make Mondays Bearable

I know I’m not alone in saying that Mondays are literally the WORST! By the end of most Mondays I am ready to crash on the couch and start the weekend all over again, but alas we need to carry on. So I’ve come up with a few simple things I do to make Mondays more bearable.

Make dinner in advance

I love cooking more than enough food on a Sunday so that we have leftovers for the Monday evening. Dishes like lasagne, pies and pastas are great. This way I can have a delicious meal ready to pop in the microwave. Plus we also save on dishes.

Plan something fun for Tuesday

Whether you need an evening of takeout and Game of Thrones or a dinner with friends, having something to look forward too always makes the day go by faster.

You could make plans for Monday night, but I like to chill it out and rather head out on Tuesdays.

Treat yo’ self

Whether it is a special cappuccino or a DIY nail polish, rewarding myself after a particularly hectic Monday makes it ever so slightly better. It is the little things!

To-do list

Making a to-do list is a great way to start any day, but sometimes sneaking in a few easy to complete tasks helps start a great trend for ticking off the items and getting sh*t done.

Go to bed early

Making sure you start the week well rested not only ensures a more productive day, it also means you start the day without having to press the snooze button multiple times. Now if onky there was a way for me to get to bed on time.

When all else fails, just get a cat or two! They make everything better. Hope your Monday flies by!

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Winter Accessories

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Can we just all take a moment to acknowledge that this year has really flown by before diving head first into this post. Like seriously, it is the last week of July already! Which also means that we’re just about halfway through winter. It is usually around this time that I start getting bored with the season and my wardrobe. It might be because I favour a monochrome wardrobe, but lately it just feels lacking. I’ve somehow fallen into a trap where I wear variants of the same outfit day-in and day-out.

So I thought it is high time I shake it up with a few accessories I already have in my wardrobe.

The newest item to my wardrobe and definitely the most attention drawing in my line-up is this leopard print winter scarf. I was searching high and low for the perfect classic yet not old fashioned print and finally found this at Woolworths (can’t find it online). It is massive and incredibly soft (so doubles as a blanket) and also works with grey.

Then I also decided to swap my non-descript big black handbag for a smaller one with more detail like the quilting and gold hardware. I love feeling more structured when so much of winter is oversized and comfortable.

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I’ve also taken my hat out for a spin a few times. Granted it isn’t the most practical item for a day in the office, but as the wind has been pretty chill this winter I’ve definitely worn it more. I can confirm that in some instances you do feel overdressed, but always in a good way! Plus I am sure everyone assumes you are stylish, even though you might be wearing a sweater that has pilled.

Unfortunately this liquid lipstick from Essence has been discontinued, but any matt red or power shade of lipstick (and nailpolish for that matter) can really make you feel extra zush. Whenever someone talks about the power of makeup, I think of red lipstick. Find a bolder shade that you’re comfortable with (preferably in a long-lasting formula) and keep it at hand for when you feel in need of some magic.

Lastly are these eye catching sunglasses I scored for less than R30 online! I found the same ones in YDE for R200, so guess the young designers are all based in China? Anyway I think they are fun and perfect for those sunny winter days. Plus they offer a pretty good disguise for when you just feel gross and your hair is all frizzy from the rain (what just me!??) I was going to throw a straightening iron in the mix, but even a GHD can’t guarantee me good hair days!

 

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How To Avoid Crocodile Hands this Winter

 

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I usually start off with one of my year-round essentials for great cuticles – a good cuticle oil. I’ve used and liked this one from the Body Shop before (the smell is heavenly!) but whilst this one from Sally Hansen isn’t as convenient it is just such better value. Regular application keeps my cuticles from becoming dry and white, making it easy to keep them at bay.

I usually follow this up with a thinner Vitamin E-based hand cream. Something like the cult classic from Vaseline usually does the job. It just immediately soothes and gets absorbed, leaving my hands feeling wonderfully soft. I’ll often pop something like this on during the day as well as it doesn’t leave my hands feeling greasy and it isn’t gross to touch anything afterwards.

I then follow this up with a more intensive cream, like the ones pictured above from Woolworths. They feel almost like a butter in the sense that they are definitely oil based and take a while to absorb, which makes them great for P.M. applications.

So this is my three-step routine for soft hands. I also try to put on gloves when facing extreme cold in mornings, just for extra protection. How do you tackle dry hands in the winter?

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Three Ways To Add Colour To Your Home

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[Alexander James]

One of my biggest design problems, and one that some of you hopefully share lest we be the only dreary and drab ones, is with regards to the introduction of colour into our home. I blame it on one too many sensible purchases and the fact that I love grey it is one of the few colours my husband agrees on (why couldn’t it be blush pink!). Anyhow sometime last year I realised that our home basically reads like a paint strip going from white to black with all the shades of grey in between.

And whilst I love monochrome homes, it simply wasn’t something we were aiming for and a well curated black-and-white home requires more restraint than we had applied. So in my attempt to make our home feel more well rounded and slightly more colourful, I’ve found three ways to introduce colour into a space.

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Lemon Drizzle Cake

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I had never actually had a lemon drizzle cake before, so maybe I’m not the best judge, but from my husband feedback I’ll chalk it up as a big success. I had to share this, as it is one of those super quick recipes that you could easily whip up on a whim. I also appreciated the fact that I already had all the ingredients in my pantry.

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Cake:

Ingredients:

  • 60 ml Margarine
  • 180 ml Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 50 ml Lemon juice
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 310 ml Flour
  • 2 tsp Bakingpowder
  • 100 ml Milk

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180*C and prepare a baking tray or mini-loaf tray by spraying with Spray ‘n Cook.
  2. Beat the margarine until smooth and gradually add the sugar, eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  3. Sift together the flour and bakingpowder.
  4. Add half the egg mixture and the milk to the flour and start mixing it in.
  5. Fold in the rest of the egg mixture.
  6. Spoon the mixture into your baking tray and cook for 20 – 25 minutes, depending on whether you are making one large tray or mini-loaves.

Lemon Drizzle:

This could easily be adjusted according to your taste, but I find that a good dose of lemon juice really cuts through the sweetness creating the perfect combination.

Ingredients:

  • 185 ml Icing Sugar
  • 50 ml Lemon Juice (Can adjust according to taste)
  • Zest of half a lemon

Method:

  1. Sift the icing sugar and then add all the lemon juice.
  2. Slowly add a teaspoon of boiling water at a time until you reach the perfect consistency.
  3. Stir in the lemon zest and drizzle over the loaves.

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A Garden Route Sho’tleft

Knysna Featherbed dock

I want to preface this post by saying that I am, along with the rest of the country, incredibly devastated at the disaster that Knysna and the greater Garden Route has experienced due to the fire. I can’t personally imagine what it must be like to loose all your personal belongings, everything that has sentimental value to you, and to have to do a dangerous and uncomfortable evacuation not just of your home, but the general area. What I do know is that Knysna needs our help to rebuild and that whilst donations do help, ultimately a large part of the area relies on tourism for an income, which they now sorely need to rebuild and recover. Please don’t let the destruction keep you away, the incredibly beautiful area still has so much to offer. There are still so many amazing properties available to book in area largely unspoilt, so there is literally no excuse. In case you need further motivation, scroll down.

Knysna Heads

I was incredibly lucky to be invited to join SA Tourism earlier this year on a journey through South Africa’s Garden Route. This is an area of our country that I was largely unfamiliar with as I’ve only driven through the region when we attended a wedding in Port Elizabeth. On that trip we spent one evening in Knysna on a very tight budget, so I was keen to return and see what the area really has to offer.

First stop was Port Elizabeth, where we took a quick historical tour. When I drove through on the highway the first time, it didn’t look like much. But Port Elizabeth is steeped in history and has quite a few historical buildings of architectural note.

Port Elizabeth Public Library

We did a walking tour of PE’s central district, called the Donkin Heritage Trail. The highlight on the hour-long walking trail was definitely the beautiful Victorian buildings and statues, but I was surprised by how little I knew of the city’s rich history. Our guide was passionate and definitely made the experience so much more special than it would have been if I’d just read about everything before hand. So I’d highly recommend you get someone to show you around and take you into the Opera House and the beautiful Cathedral Church of Saint Mary the Virgin.

This was followed by a quick stop in the surfer’s paradise that is Jeffrey’s Bay, where we had a lovely lunch overlooking the ocean at the Kitchen Windows Beach restaurant before moving on the millionaire’s playground that is Cape St Francis. I had my first taste of calamari at Port St Francis. Everyone else raved about it, but at the ripe age of 28 I figured out that I am not big on seafood.

We ended off the first of three days with a sunset canal cruise in Cape St Francis (thanks to BriSan on the Canals) before retreating for dinner and bed in one of the self-catering homes in the Cape St Francis Resort. I must give a shout-out to the Joe Fish Restaurant as I had a very memorable chicken and spinach dish that I still sometimes crave and have tried to recreate multiple times.

The next morning we set out for the Tsitsikamma, an adventurer’s dream. We started the day off with ziplining at Tsitsikamma Falls Adventures, something I was very happy to observe from the sidelines. So I enthusiastically observed from the deck and wiped my sweaty palms on my pants any time someone went over the edge. I did however participate in the segway tour and was surprised to find how easy it was with the proper training provided before hand.

Although we definitely didn’t have enough time to do everything the region has to offer, I feel like these activities gave a glimpse of its natural beauty. I’d love to return and complete a few hiking trails. If you’re planning a trip, I can highly recommend the quant Tsitsikamma Village Inn where we stayed as it is perfectly located for a night out with beer tasting and a 60’s diner right next-door. The inn consists of various smaller buildings, all recently converted into comfortable bedrooms with on-suites and each beautiful with a unique architectural style.

Knysna view from the top of the Featherbed Reserve

For our final full day, we went to Knysna, where I mentioned earlier I’d been before. As students we were on a strict budget back then and no boat cruises made the cut, so this time I made up for the missed opportunity and went on no less than two! The first cruise for the day took us over to the Featherbed Nature Reserve (the eco-experience) where I completed an hour long hike in jeans and sandals (we weren’t prepped), but the breathtaking views kept me distracted from my blisters. Sadly large parts of the reserve, including the restaurant, has apparantly been damaged in the fire. Luckily the Cape’s fauna and flora can take quite a beating, and often excell because of this.  The morning’s trip over was folllowed by a short break at the Harbour before we embarked on a sunset cruise (a Paddle Cruiser Experience). This is where I’d like to add that their piña coladas were amazing and I’d encourage everyone to at least try one. In keeping with my seafood aversion, I skipped the raw shell fish known as oysters.  We spent the night at the Premier Resort The Moorings, which offers all that you need in a place of such beauty and incredibly is also rather budget friendly.

Garden Route coast

Our final day in Knysna was spent in George, before our afternoon departure from the small airport. On the afforementioned trip we did a short hike in the Wilderness and on this occasion I got to paddle up the river in the beautiful area thanks to Eden Adventures. We didn’t even mind the fact that it meant we’d have to board the plane wet!

If I were travelling on my own dime, I’d definitely consider driving back from George to Cape Town as it is such a beautiful route and with boarding times and everything taken into consideration, it is probably not even that much shorter. I honestly can’t wait to return to this beautiful region and neither should you!

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Wishlist

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I don’t know what it is about May, but I always seem to have a longer-than-usual wishlist around this time of the year. Maybe it is the new stock that makes its way into the shops due to the change in seasons or perhaps its just simply the birthday mood that gets me. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely won’t be adding everything above to cart and checking out. For me, it’s more about the growing online wishlist. Knowing there is a safe spot where I can keep an eye on everything that has drawn my attention. Some of these items aren’t even perfect (I’m looking for a smaller purse and have already bought these PJs which are similar but better than the ones above).

I have to say, everything looks so much more pleasing when grouped together. I can also see a strong theme taking shape.

So tell me, am I the only weirdo that still ads things to wishlists to keep an eye on them? I feel like in today’s fast-paced world, people have definitely become less patient and expect to own an item they like within 48 hours since they first laid eyes on it. I also notice that I am becoming increasingly impatient and often have to remind myself that everything can’t happen at lightning speed. For me, there definitely is something more rewarding about waiting, “stalking” and carefuly considering before finally pulling the trigger and purchasing something.

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5 Times We Used Paint to Transform Our Home

About 95% of our home DIYs include or are solely comprised of paint. It is by far the cheapest and easiest way to transform a space! It also requires the least amount of skill, although patience definitely is a virtue (waiting for layers to dry is literally the worst!) I thought it would be fun to think of all the times Ryno and I have used paint to personalise our space. Not all projects have to be as big as our recent garage transformation witht the help of Prominent Paints. Some of these jobs could easily be completed in a weekend.

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Shopping For Your Capsule Wardrobe on a Budget

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I love scoring a bargain as much as the next person, nay probably more, as it leaves me with an incredible sense of achievement. Especially if it is an item I’ve been hunting for for a while. But when it comes to purchasing your whole wardrobe on a tight budget, it comes down to a little more than just scoring that elusive bargain. Below are my tried and tested steps to ending up with a closet you love.

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7 Steps To Starting A Capsule Wardrobe on A Budget

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I really like the idea of a capsule wardrobe, as it perfectly encapsulates the wardrobe philosophy I’ve had my whole life. Buying less clothing with the intent to wear it often just seems to make so much more sense to me than having a tonne of trendy items you’ll wear once. I also like having a smaller, more edited closet, as it makes it easier to get dressed in the mornings. So the whole capsule wardrobe trends makes me one happy chappy!

But the only thing that bugs me is that so many bloggers seem to promote this as justification for making crazy expensive designer purchases. Obviously that is their perogative and I do appreciate looking at a pretty designer bag, but it needs to be said that you can create a perfect capsule wardrobe on any budget. So if you’ve never done a capsule wardrobe or are just interested to see how I do mine on a strict budget, find out below.

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