Sunday, 31 August 2014

First Blog Birthday Giveaway

*Trumpets* Here is my blog's first birthday giveaway!!

I am just showing you three items of the prize up for grabs.  There are still another four (or more) items that will be added.

The giveaway will run from 31 August until 6 September at 12pm.

Please note that this giveaway is for South African residents only.

So go on get entering!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 29 August 2014

REN Clean Skincare

REN Skincare was very generous to give us lucky draw prizes and samples for all the ladies that attended the Durban Blogger Meet.  I enjoyed using my samples of a day cream and night cream from their Radiance Range that I decided to speak to them about their anti-ageing range.  My actual question to them (on Twitter) was whether I could get samples at Woolworths.  They told me that they would send me samples but first they needed to find out what my skin concerns were.
This was my reply : I am 41 but don’t have many lines just a few fine ones around my eyes – I do have redness on my cheeks and which looks like fine capillaries just under the skin – sometimes my skin can be a bit flaky if I don’t exfoliate – I very, very rarely get a pimple.
REN reply : It sounds as if you may have a sensitive skin.  I would like you to contact our REN derma expert directly for a personalized session.  Rinie is the best!  We would supply you with trial sizes first to experience the brand and see how it works for you.
I subsequently gave my email address and cellphone number and Rinie Erasmus contacted me and then sent me the following items to try.
·        Anti Redness Serum (Youth Defence Serum) – use every morning – apply before Day Cream.  This will assist to reduce redness of your cheeks.
·        Vitamin A Day Cream – use daily
·       Omega 3 Serum – use every evening – apply before Night Cream.  This will assist in the flakiness of your skin.
·        V-Cense Night Cream – use daily
·        Anti Age Eye Cream – use twice daily – this will assist in the fine lines around your eyes.
Let me go through all the products with you and I will tell you what they are supposed to do and how I felt about them.
Keep Young & Beautiful Firm & Lift Eye Cream (15ml R420) – I received a sample size
(formerly known as Keep Young & Beautiful Anti-Ageing Eye Cream)
·        An ultra lifting, firming and replenishing eye cream.  Firms, lifts and brightens the eye contour, reduces the appearance of expression lines and wrinkles, hydrates, smoothes and replenishes.
·        I found this to be an easy to apply cream and a little goes a long way.  I cannot say outright that it had reduced the appearance of my lines and wrinkles.  What I can say is that I certainly don’t have any new ones.  I should have taken a picture of my face to do a before and after – but life is too busy for that!
Rosa Centifolia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser (100ml R310) – I received a full size tester
(formerly known as Jojoba Microbead Purifying Facial Polish)
·        An exfoliating cleanser formulated with microbeads of Jojoba that gently yet thoroughly buffs away make-up, dirt and dead skin cells to leave your skin purified, invigorated and radiant.  Use 2 to 3 times a week.
·        I love this product!  It truly has microbeads in it which was not harsh on my skin.  It has a sort of minty smell and I use it about twice a week.   My skin feels clean and soft after use.
Evercalm Anti-Redness Serum (30ml R590) – I received a full size tester
(formerly known as Hydra-Calm Youth defence Serum)
·       Formulated to address the concerns of ageing through sensitivity.  Reduces inflammation, redness and irritation.  Combats the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  Apply under moisturiser in the morning and under night cream in the evening.
·        I used this serum just during the day.  It has definitely reduced the redness on my cheeks.  Very easy to apply and it spreads very well so you don’t have to use a lot of the product.  There is no discernable smell.
Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Serum Oil (30ml R450) – I received a full size tester
(formerly known as Omega 3 Night Repair Serum)
·        A transforming oil that strengthens the skin’s vital lipid barrier and re-energizes skin cell activity.  Skin is left visibly fuller and feels plumper, healthier and fitter.
·        Also love this product!  This was applied after cleansing.  It spreads so well over my face and my skin loves it.  Even though it is an oil it doesn’t make my skin greasy and I love its fresh smell.
Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream (50ml R440) – I received two samples
(formerly known as Vital-Mineral Day Cream)
·        A multi-active day cream that replenishes the skin with moisture and vital nutrients.  Hydrates, replenishes and nourishes.  Skin looks toned, glowing and healthy.
·        I love the smell of this product – sweet roses.  Very easy to apply and spreads so well.  Once it is applied my skin feels soft and I can’t feel any residue of the product.  This cream was applied over the Evercalm Anti-Redness Serum.
V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream (50ml R470) – I received two samples
(formerly known as Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream)
·        Formulated to recharge, revitalise and intensively hydrate the skin overnight.  This multi-action cream visibly smoothes fine lines, evens skin tone and offers antioxidant protection to help combat the signs of premature ageing.
·        As with the day cream, the night cream is very easy to apply and spreads well.  It is applied over the Vita-Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Serum Oil.
So in conclusion – I have really enjoyed using this skincare (not finished yet) and my skin has really enjoyed it as well.  Speak to REN about your skin concerns, they are very helpful.
If you would like further information on REN you can follow them here :
If you are interested in other reviews of their products go and take a look at The Glam Green Girl
REN Skincare is very excited about their new product launching on the 1 September in Woolworths - REN Flash Rinse with water activated vitamin C.
·        Voted 2014’s Best Skincare Innovation – ELLE Magazine UK
·        A quick beauty fixer to rejuvenate the skin
·        In a flash the water activated Vitamin C neutralizes urban grey skin leaving it looking firm, toned and smoothed.
·        Skin instantly glows with renewed health and radiance
From lacklustre to luminous in 60 seconds.  The new REN flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial will transform your skin from dull and fatigued to radiant and smooth in 60 seconds flat.  Doesn’t that sound exciting!! The REN Flash Rinse will retail at R470.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Fry's Gourmet Veggie Feast

Yesterday I attended the Fry’s Gourmet Veggie Feast at Harvey’s Restaurant in Umhlanga. (Thanks again to Inge @inge_loker for the lift)  We arrived just after 11:30am (event started at 12pm), parked in the parking lot and walked up a red carpeted ramp to collect our name tags.  Inge and I were trying to act normal as we entered the restaurant as a video camera was aimed at us!  We found seats by our other blogger friends – Shirley @cuizinedurban, Hazel @beautyshoutbox and Faeema @fayinthemaze.  A waiter came around to offer us a cocktail (non-alcoholic for me) which we gladly accepted as it was an extremely hot day.

Cooking setup

Tim with Chef Nizam and Andrew Draper

"Chicken" sesame strips - I had 2 of these
I got out my notebook, pen, camera and the all important cellphone.  While we waited for the event to start, snacks of Fry’s food were brought around for us to try – Lamb style bunny chow and chicken style strips in sesame seeds served with an avocado relish.  We were welcomed by Tim from Fry’s who explained to us that we would see two great chef’s (Andrew Draper from Harvey’s and Chef Nizam from Mauritius) in action preparing meals with Fry’s products.  First up though was Wally Fry himself to tell us all how Fry’s came about.

Wally Fry
Here are a few things I wrote down :

·         Fry’s is sold in 23 countries

·         He was a confirmed meat eater and livestock trader that married a vegetarian

·         Believes that human beings are kind but are no longer being kind to animals

·         He found it very hard to give up meat so he had to find a meat replacement

·         About 60% of crops on earth are grown for cattle feed

·         Fry’s does not replace fruit or vegetables, still important to eat them

·         Even if you do not become a vegetarian you can still help the environment by leaving out meat every once in a while (become a flexi-tarian or better-tarian)

After the talk by Wally Fry it was time for the two chef’s to show us what could be made with Fry’s products.  They took turns in cooking and it was incredible what they made.  Andrew Draper  (Harvey’s) made a Chicken like Moroccan burger, pasta dish with Fry’s spicy sausages and a Thai curry with Fry’s “prawns”.  Chef Nizam (Mauritius) made a salad with Fry’s polony and a schnitzel lollypop, soup with a Fry’s spicy sausage on a skewer which he called his cappuccino (served with foamed milk on top) and a “beef” wellington.

Andrew Draper in action

I can confirm that the food was divine!!  You would not be able to tell that you were not eating meat.  The only dish that I didn’t get to try was Andrew Draper’s pasta and his Thai curry was my favourite – the flavours!

Moroccan burger

Salad with schnitzel lollypop

No idea but it was yummy

The two chef’s made us all think outside the box - Don’t just open the box of Fry’s and cook it as is. So much more can be done with the products and new and interesting meals can be made.  We had a brief question time and then Tim thanked us for attending and said we were welcome to stay and try the rest of the dishes and to have another cocktail.  We did!

Thanks again to Fry’s for the invitation and to the two chef’s who showed that you can have an interesting and delicious vegetarian meal.

Follow Fry's on Twitter and Facebook

Monday, 25 August 2014

Happy First Blog Birthday

Today is my blog’s first birthday!!

It has been a wonderfully fun, beautiful and blessed year of blogging.  I have met the most amazing group of ladies and I am so pleased that we all have a very loud and talkative time when we meet up.  We have all become great friends and a fabulous support to each other.

I started this blog as I needed an outlet to tell my story and to inform people about my wonderful part of the world.  I am pleased to say that I am still enjoying blogging and I try not to put pressure on myself to do a blog post. 

As this is a special occasion I will be running a small giveaway to celebrate this milestone.  I have been rather busy lately and my sister is visiting from Jhb this week, so I have not finished putting together the items for the giveaway.  So do keep a look out for it!

One year down and hopefully many more years to come.

Bye for now J

Monday, 18 August 2014

Hillcrest Primary School High Tea

On Saturday 9 August my Mom and I attended the high tea at Hillcrest Primary School.  The event was to raise funds for the Grade 7 Prom at the end of the year.  The Grade 7’s got together in groups and they had to hire a table, sell tickets and decide on a theme.  Laura asked me to please try and get prizes for the lucky draws so of course I agreed.  We were blessed to get quite a few companies to send us items.

I also spoke to Ginja Food Magazine to ask them if we could have some back copies of the magazine to hand out.  The lady that I spoke to said why don’t we go one better and get Chef Jacqui Brown to come and give a talk on the day. Yes!  Ginja also gave us 150 copies of their May issue.

Laura stayed over at one of the girl’s houses on the Friday night and went to the school at 7am on the Saturday morning to set up the table.  They had chosen the theme of Candy Land.  One of the girls organised food, one did table decor, one did tutus and the other girl did the crockery (well the Moms did).  Laura supplied sausage rolls and of course lots of prizes for the lucky draws.  All the parents, family and friends waited outside the hall for the 9am opening.  Wow! All the kids did the most amazing job decorating their tables.  There were themes such as Big Bang, Bows and
Balloons and even Zombies.

Candy Land table

We sat down and greeted the other Mother’s and Granny’s – our table consisted entirely of women.  The girls served us tea or coffee and then brought out the savoury eats which were sausage rolls and mini quiches.  The principal of the school welcomed us all and congratulated the kids on their fabulous tables.

Laura, Jenevieve, Kayla, Krissie and Rachel

Then the morning began.  We had a very talented young lady sing for us, a woman talk to us about stress relief and the talk from Chef Jacqui Brown about her incredible Ginja Food Magazine.  We were also treated to a “fashion” show from 7 “international” models!  The entire hall was screaming with laughter at the incredibly brave boys in dresses, skirts, make-up and sky high heels.  In between the entertainment the lucky draws were happening and of course lots of talking and laughing.  

Chef Jacqui Brown

"International" model

Love the sweetie tree

Before everyone had entered the hall, the tables had been judged by some of the teachers.  Prizes were handed out to the best table, best outfits etc.  Candy Land won the prize for The Spirit of Spring table.  The girls went up and were given a certificate and slab of chocolate each.

The girls also served us mini milk tarts and cupcakes and kept our tea and coffee cups topped up.  They even gave us chocolate dipped strawberries.  It was lovely to sit and relax and chat with the ladies at our table.  What a wonderful morning and the Grade 7’s raised a lot of money to make their end of the year Prom special.

Our thank you for attending cupcake


P.S. I must thank Michelle (Ordinary Misfit) for helping me finalise the request letter and for also asking companies for sponsorship.  Big kisses!!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Durban Holocaust Centre

On Monday the 4th August I helped take children from the Hillcrest Primary School down to Durban to the Holocaust Centre.  I could take four in total, but only Laura and two other girls came to the car.  We waited a bit and I stopped her teacher to tell him that I had space for one more.  So he asks if he could come with us, so of course I said sure.  He herded a few other kids to the school bus and when he was out of ear shot there were wails of dismay from the back of the car.  Nnnnoooo now we can’t play our music!!

He came back to the car and off we went.  We chatted and the girls were rather quiet for some time before they relaxed and started talking and giggling. Soon one of them started to play music on the cellphone and they were also singing along.  The traffic was bad all the way into Durban and I am so glad I don’t have to make that trip every day.

Laura (middle) and some of her classmates

We parked outside the centre and waited until all the parents and school bus had arrived before everyone made their way inside.  The kids were taken to Seminar Room 2 and all the parents went with.  A man welcomed us all to the centre and then started discussing with the kids various terminology and what they understood about certain words such as : Propaganda.  He then showed us all a short video about items found in the concentration camps and what they can tell about the age of the people etc.  The kids were then divided into 2 groups and I tagged along with group 2.  A woman took them through the Holocaust display and explained the timeline and what was happening in all the pictures.  They have a small section about Anne Frank as well.  There is a display cabinet containing ceremonial silver that is symbolic of that which belonged to Hebrew congregations and Jewish families in Europe.  The silver was looted from homes and synagogues by the Nazis and in most cases was found by Allied troops and restored to Jewish hands.  After the war, the World Jewish Congress distributed some of the silver to living Jewish communities as a memorial to the Jewish communities who were destroyed during the holocaust. 

Some of the families that came to Durban to escape

Ceremonial silver

It is scary how one person can have such a huge influence over a country and cause such a lot of death and destruction.  Very good and clear displays showing the timeline of events and there is even footage that you can watch.  I was so absorbed in reading and looking at the displays that the group disappeared.  I found out later that they went to collect a small stone to place at a memorial to the holocaust and then returned to end at the Anne Frank display.  I had already been through there so headed to the Circle Cafe for much needed coffee.

The Circle Cafe also has a wonderful gift shop.  I decided on a cappuccino (R18) and 3 x biscuits for R10.  They serve breakfast all day and there are also daily specials.  Let me give you a brief run through the menu : anything on toast, toasted sarmies, bagels or wraps, salads, pastas, fritters and latkes, kids, something sweets, hot and cold drinks.  All meals can be ordered as take-aways and even cakes to go.  All profits from the Circle Cafe and gift shop support the educational programs, workshops and events of the Durban Holocaust Centre.  The cafe has free WIFI and is open every day from 8:30am to 4pm (except for Shabbat and Jewish holidays).

Wonki Ware

Cheesecake etc

For the 3 x biscuits I chose a butter biscuit, butter biscuit with jam and a raisin biscuit.  The cappy was very good and I sipped slowly and looked at all the fabulous items for sale.  I even discovered Rondavel soap on one of the shelves.  I sat at a table inside the main part of the cafe but there is also a veranda section with couches and an outside eating area.  The Garden of Remembrance is so beautiful with a water feature and so many birds.  Once my cappy was finished I made my way outside to sit in the shade.  I was joined by 2 other Mom’s and we sat watching birds and chatting about the markets in Durban and surrounds.  Then all the kids came out and it was time for us all to head to the cars and then back to school.  The traffic was bad on the way out as well and it was a relief to get back to our town.

Kids placed stones onto this memorial

Garden of Remembrance

Find out more about the Holocaust Centre including Johannesburg and Cape Town

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Durban Cookie Swap

About 2 ½ to 3 weeks ago Faeema @fayinthemaze asked Michelle @Ordinary_Misfit and myself to please help her organize the Durban cookie swap.  The Durban part of the event would have been cancelled if a host was not found.  Michelle (the list making queen) unfortunately was not able to attend on the day but agreed to help Faeema. 

Faeema and I split the sponsor list compiled by Michelle and frantically started to email to try and get donations for the auction.  We also all did a lot of tweeting to advertise the event and to get cookie swappers to attend.  This was how it worked : Bring 30-40 large cookies or 60 small and pay R50, attend with no cookies and pay R100.  All cookies are placed on the table and the attendees try the cookies and at the end of the event swap cookies.  So you should leave the event with almost the same amount of cookies that you came with, but not entirely your own. 

This was #CookieSwap4 but was only the second event held in Durban.  Last year Verushka and Faeema were the hosts and I was just an attendee.

For the Durban event we were sent items from Nicoletta, Oyster Box Hotel, Nomu, Revlon, Kiehls, Random Struik, Naturals Beauty, Rain Africa, Yuppiechef and the big item a R 10 000 worth holiday.  Most of the items were for the auction but we did have a few spot prizes as well.  All money made on the day was going direct to Learn to Earn the chosen charity this year. 

The event was held at the beautiful Quarters Hotel Avondale.  Neil and I stayed there last year for 2 nights and loved our stay.  Faeema, her Mom and I set up on the porch of the restaurant.  All auction items were put on display and we set out our biscuits.  The cookie swap attendees were expected to arrive at 10:30am. 

When the ladies arrived they paid their money, chose a lucky number name tag and wrote out what their biscuits were.  Once everyone was there Faeema welcomed them and I read out the letter of thanks from Learn to Earn.  Then it was time to do lucky draws and the auction.  We were thrilled to sell all of the items, except the getaway, to the ladies that attended.  The getaway was sold later that evening to a buyer from Jhb.  I managed to win the Nomu auction item J

We all had an amazing time and I hope that next year the cookie swap event will be even bigger in Durban.  Faeema, Michelle and I are thrilled that our little event raised over R 8 900!!

So wherever you stay (Durban, Cape Town or Jhb) look out for Cookie Swap 5 and join in for fun, cookies and to raise funds for a charity.  Make sure you like the SA National Cookie Swap Facebook page so that you don’t miss out.

Thanks again to Quarters Hotel Avondale for hosting us and even bringing delicious pecan nut biscuits.  BIG thanks also to the sponsors and of course to the ladies who attended and helped us raise the money for Learn to Earn.