Summer Essentials

I haven’t quite digested the fact that December is 1 day away.  Its such a cliche but every year goes faster and every year Im less organised by the time December comes around.  I think as soon as your children get to school going age, life becomes a bit more hectic not only having your own diary but all of a sudden you have another person’s schedule to consider.  In saying that I am not ready, I am still so excited for the holiday’s to arrive and for schools to break up so we can all wind down and enjoy some well deserved relaxation.   Once holidays begin, the last thing I want to do is have to pack up a ton of stuff to lug to our holiday destination (although some stuff can’t be avoided) the less there is to cart the less stress around the big trek.  Some summer essentials that are pretty much always on my list below are not only things I love and I’m sure loved by many others, but also a good little gift guide.  The odd thing on the list changes from one year to the next but generally Im getting into a habit of always going back to what works for me.  Here’s a small collection of what I WONT leave behind, these bits along with swimsuits, beach wear and the odd dress is all that I will be packing.

I love a Moleskine notebook and have carried one every year for about the last 5 years, ever since my husband bought me one as a gift and have loved them ever since.  I always go with the small pocket size so it fits into any handbag.  This is essential for all the list making: Shopping lists, present lists, packing lists, meal ideas, furniture measurements, bank details, you name it, it’s all in there.  I wouldn’t remember a thing without it!  I was very excited to see them for sale in South Africa at Exclusive Books and then even more thrilled when I googled it and they have an online store in SA with tons of wonderful products to choose from here

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Next on that list (in that Moleskine) would be sunblock.  I still have this UltraSun anti ageing for sensitive skin for the face which I use mostly but I have also recently been introduced to Cetaphil which is also wonderfully moisturising without being greasy.  Both UltraSun and Cetaphil are fantastic for children too.  Cetaphil is widely available in SA but I have not yet come across UltraSun

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From here on it’s in no particular order.  I find my hair does bizarre things when moving around, the water is always softer or harder, less chemicals, more chemicals, salty or full of limescale, wherever one goes, who knows what it’s going to come out looking like after a wash.  Mine quite often goes very soft when washed near the seaside so something to give it a bit of texture (apart from a dive into the sea) is EVO, it is essential for a half decent head of hair.  I was introduced to this little bottle of miracle powder about 1.5 years ago and couldn’t imagine hair days without it.  EVO gives your hair a feeling of dirtyness once applied (whilst still looking wonderfully clean) but it means you can manipulate your hair that much more to do what you need it to.  This along with some Oribe texturising spray will be packed before I even pack a brush!

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It’s always lovely to have nails painted in a colour that will compliment a tan, I love white in summer, it goes with all the outfits and enhances even the slightest of tans.  There are tons of good nail varnishes out there to choose from but I do love Essie

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Laura Mercier has been my go to foundation for many years, I have always loved their tinted moisturiser and its so perfect for holidays, very subtle. a low coverage that gives a natural and fresh finish.  A lovely new Skin Care store recently opened in Sandton called Skins Cosmetics, selling Laura Mercier amongst other great products, unfortunately I cannot find my product online but hopefully they have it in store!

As the days go by and the tans darken, it’s great to have a bronzer to get your face up to speed with the rest of your body.  And if you prefer not to tan then its nice to have a little colour to add on anyway.  The Chanel Healthy Glow powder comes in a few shades.  Chanel is another favourite when it comes to make-up and this fantastic bronzer can be built up depending on the intensity of the colour you wish to achieve.

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Highlighters are great for evening when you want to add extra definition and a healthy glow to your face.  I’ve always used cream illuminating products but this MAC powder is brilliant if you want to minimise oil on your face.  During summer with all the sunblock, and hydrating creams I find to add more cream to my face can just make me look like Ive got an oily skin and makeup tends to slide off quicker the more moisture I add.  I like to add the highlighter just above my cheekbones and brow bones (below and above). Im no beauty guru but that’s just what I have always done.

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Lips also need continuous hydrating, finishing off the face naturally with a soft dewy lipstick can perfect the summer natural look.  I prefer a lighter colour and have used a super hydrating Laura Mercier lipstick called Angelic for some time but was recently given the most luxurious feeling lipstick by a friend, which is Givenchy Nude in the Dark.  (colour not available online in SA)
Screenshot 2017-11-29 19.13.10From all the barefoot walking, coarse sand and sandal wearing the feet can become hard and cracked quickly so keeping them moisturised with foot specific cream is the cherry on top after a hot soak in a bath.  This award winning beauty product from L’Occitane is always on holiday with me.

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Fragrance is not something I wear a lot of and anything strong makes me feel nauseas so discovering Byredo was a God send.  Not something you find in your typical Beauty department its only sold in certain stores but worth the search and pennies! Perfect for day and night.

Earrings as you would have heard me say before, small accessories to pack with large impact on the overall look.  Its the easiest hack to add glamour, colour or interest to a simple outfit.  Splurge out on bright colours for summer.  Great spots for accessories that will last the season and wont break the bank are H&M, Lovisa, Lulu Belle and then there are always stacks of little boutiques around SA selling local products that are not only world class when it comes to quality and style but also just so good to support local.

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Then last but not least a December essential, from throwing in all your bitty pieces that you don’t know where to pack, to using at the market, beach or trips to town the Woven Green Roundie is a summer must have!

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So that is my round up. Wishing you all a very happy festive season, travel safe and I will hopefully be a little more active on my site next year.  Thanks for following! Xx

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Grateful for a Getaway

Have you ever had a debate in your head (or with someone) if it’s a better idea to go on summer holidays at the start of summer or at the end. Obviously one at each end and perhaps another in the middle would be the most ideal…but that is not always possible.  The days of frequent travelling (are not over) but are just not as straight forward anymore now that we have two little ones and a lot more difficult to plan.  School holiday’s don’t affect us yet so we are lucky to be able to escape the mayhem (and cost) that peak season and school holiday dates bring.

Part of me feels that the pre- summer hype and the “what to buy” – have you got your sunscreen, the marine friendly one that is also organic and suitable to protect your sensitive skin from the prickly heat feeling (?!?), the sunglasses to match the bikinis from day to day, the must have rough roundie (aka, a generously sized round beach towel – super cool) and whatever else is on the “hot” list….. is it almost all pointless come September, I feel like it’s all past it’s sell by date as we read about the Autumn trends coming into store…

On the other hand, everything is on sale, even sunscreen! So we save more by stocking up on our summer goodies in the sales and our holiday’s in the same villa’s and hotels that others paid extortionate prices for in July and August are half the price in September, plus what’s better than the late summer sun in Europe, the sea water is warm, the unbearable heat has passed, and the tempretures are somewhere between 25 and 28 degrees rather than 30 – 38!

And now is a good time to add, that if we are ever complaining about the time of year we go on holiday, then we have our priorities completely wangled, we’re lucky to even use the word in our vocabulary. Some people around the world wouldn’t know what a holiday feels like. Lets get excited for our holidays no matter when or where they are and thank our lucky stars that we have the freedom to travel!  This is what I’m finding inspirational right now for my impending vacation.

Long lazy lunches

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Happy holiday’s to anyone going off on one soon

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Pics via pinterest

Life’s Little Treasure’s

It’s a sunny Saturday morning in Wales, Bruce and I are here for a wonderful couple’s wedding and we are so excited to be on our own again for a kiddie free weekend. We are staying in the most quaint little village called Hay-On-Wye in a gorgeous little loft apartment “The Pavement Palace”. I just love the name and we are right above the shops on one of the quieter little main streets.  I had booked myself into a spa this morning at a Country hotel about 20 minutes from here, but with the week that I have just had, the last thing on my mind was finding a cab to take me there at 9.20am on a Saturday, when living in London you take for granted that you can get anything at a moments notice. Clearly in Wales, the cab drivers are still sleeping at 9am, so I couldn’t get hold of one and unfortunately (or not) had to cancel.  However I’m now thrilled at the prospect of my free morning and have wasted endless minutes by pottering around deciding what to do next.  The first half hour was easy, I knew I needed a coffee, so I pulled my dress back on, put on the sunnies and went wondering, such a great feeling to be one of the first up, strolling the streets of a quaint and unfamiliar village, I followed the scents until I came across a little bakery, bought some fresh croissants and milk and headed back to the apartment after numerous Instagram pics of course….

I had a long list of things I wanted to do today before the wedding kicks off at 3pm that consisted of: a blog post, some work, catching up on emails and articles that I love to read, perhaps a face time or two with friends I never have time to chat to, a pedicure, fake bake myself ;-), read my latest copy of Porter Magazine, perhaps get closer to the end of the book I started last year.. (Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg), stroll the streets of Hay and browse all the antique treasures spotted on my morning walk and perhaps get in some much needed exercise that I never have time to do, oh and a spot of lunch with the hubby when he returns from his round of golf.  All this before lunch… Well it’s now 10:32am and I’ve managed the coffee, fake bake (that had to be done early), an article or two and I’m now writing.

It’s so funny this past week I was talking to Bruce (my husband) about the pressures in today’s world about having to do more than just be a mum, and how difficult it is to do something else successfully as well as being a mum…. successfully.  Yet there are so many genius super-mums out there that get the balance right and do it all.  They are pin up mothers to their gorgeous, well dressed broods as well as being super gorgeous themselves and have time to run a successful business, and I keep asking myself how? Is it possible to do without childcare? No! But when I leave my kids for more than 2 hours to do something work related or non work related the guilt seeps in, I want to be the one raising them and doing the mundane every day things with them, but some of these woman appear to be doing that too, as well as,,,.

Then this morning I was reading one of my favourite blogs and the article was on a former stylist, now living in Bali just being a mum (although Im sure she has tons of projects on the sideline) but her interview was so refreshing and so true!

What’s the hardest and best part of being a mum?
“When I first had Eadie, pretty much all the mums I knew were full-time working super hero mum jugglers, still functioning in the real world while dabbling in a bit of parenthood. Outstanding effort – I was in awe. But not able to keep up. Quite interesting that although we all know how hard-core parenthood is, when peeps ask you what you do (cringe) the general public is quite dulled by ‘just a mum’, it doesn’t feel like it’s enough, even though you couldn’t possibly even think about doing anything else, nor have the time to execute it. We’re already putting pressure on ourselves to do more, be more, earn more. Tough gig, I guess the hardest part is societal expectations and figuring out where I stand and how I’m seen, as a mum – just a mum. The best part about being a mum is that I’m growing into a woman who has opinions on such things. No wait that’s not the best part, there’s lots of good bits. Pretty cool when they outwit you. I get duped by Eadie all the time, she’s a tricky little one.”

The bit that stands out the most for me is people being bored by the answer of saying you’re just a mum as well as finding the time to do anything else let alone execute it!! Like all of us mums, we have so many wonderful ideas of what we would love to do but how on earth do we put it into practice when we just don’t have more than two hours at a time. And call me lazy but I’m not staying up until midnight to work just to be woken a few hours later by a baby or toddler and then have to cope happily with the day ahead on minimal sleep.  It’s such a tough gig! When I have worked it out I will let you in on the secret, I’m still trying to get there and hopefully soon I will reach my goal.  In the mean time I will enjoy life’s little treasures, which today will be all the antique stores I browse, and on any other given day will be my boys!

I leave you with some of the shop windows I came across earlier on my quest to find coffee and croissants. As well as a few of The Pavement Palace which I highly recommend and can be found on Air BnB.

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Show Windows

Happy Weekend to you all and enjoy the sunshine! X

Blue Hues

For as long as I can remember (as well as my parents and grandparents) my family have been going to the same beach house every summer. That is a VERY long time, my gran is 94! The long summer holiday in South Africa is over December, however December in South Africa is not actually the best time of year (weather wise) at the coast.  The time of year when you are almost guaranteed great weather is February.  December can be very windy and also rainy at times, but it can also be absolutely beautiful, so it’s a bit of a lottery. However I never seem to remember the holiday’s when the weather has been bad, I only ever think of our holiday’s as hot, sunny and calm, no rough seas, big swirls and white sand dunes to sand board down. Low tides for breakfasting up the beach and long walks, flat glass like water on the river for water skiing and boat cruises and of course beautiful starry nights for BBQ’s and drinks outside.  I love that I remember only the good stuff and not so much of the bad, howling gale force winds when we were pretty much locked up in the cottage.  I suppose this is because there are so many of us (cousins) that even if we were stuck indoors, there was always someone to play a game with or talk to, so never really a dull moment.

I seem to be digressing (I’m revelling in my memories), but the point of this is the colour blue, the bright (almost cobalt) skies, the clear sparkling blue sea and the dark colour of the river all remind me of summer and when I think of summer I think of blue.

A little gallery of summer! Look at it for inspiration, for excitement, nostalgia, warmth or whatever you wish. To me, looking at this is pure joy!

Taken by an amateur (me) where we holiday every year.
Taken by an amateur (me) where we holiday every year.
The only movement on the water are the ripples made from the boat.
Paternoster, West Coast South Africa
Paternoster, West Coast South Africa

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Summer loving. Happy dreaming!

NC

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Pictures 1, 2 & 3 my own. 4 onwards borrowed from Pinterest and theyallhateus

Forever Wild Rhino

I came across a beautiful quote the other day, I read it and moved on. Then a few days later I was in the shower thinking about work and this quote popped into my head again. Suddenly I thought of the Rhino.

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Us humans are very selfish beings and we want everything for ourselves. If only everybody could understand just how destructive we can be and actually CARE about it.

A few interesting facts that I picked out about the Rhino:

  • The difference between the White and Black Rhino is not in the colour as they are both a greyish brown, but in the shape of their mouths more correctly known as the square-lipped (white) and the hook-lipped (black).
  • There are at present approx. 4,800 black and 20,700 white rhino surviving. The species overall is classified as Critically Endangered – the highest risk category assigned by the IUCN Red List for wild species.  Critically Endangered means that a species’ numbers have decreased, or will decrease, by 80% within 3 generations.
  • South Africa has achieved unprecedented success over the past four decades with the preservation of rhino, to the point that we are now home to over 90% of all rhinos in Africa.
  • Rhinos are killed by humans for their horns.  These are traded on the black market for ornamental or unscientific medicinal purposes. Rhino horn has no medicinal properties!
  • Yet Rhino horn is worth more than gold, selling for up to US$60,000 a kilo. This is why the survival of the rhino is threatened.

I bet everyone can just about remember exactly what they were doing almost every month 5 years ago, 5 years is not a very long time at all, it goes by in an absolute flash. Well these beautiful animals could be extinct before we know it, in only 5 years if we don’t all try and help. It’s got to the point where we cannot sit back any longer and hope that the industry professionals will hopefully sort it out. NO we can all do something,  even if it’s only donating £10. If you don’t know what you can do to help, simply share this information through social media, work colleagues and friends and make a small donation, you could even win a safari trip to see the big 5. Please have a read below and see how you can help. These phenomenal creatures desperately need our help.

Look out for my post on what to pack when going on safari, its definitely one of the most thrilling and humbling experiences, to be out in the bush with the wild animals and to watch them in their habitats, it puts everything into perspective and makes you think about what really matters in this world.

The endangered white rhino will be extinct within 5 years if we don’t stop poaching. With their biggest defender, the late Dr Ian Player now gone, it is up to us to band together and continue his legacy. We can’t afford to wait any longer…

The Wilderness Foundation Global is launching a crowdfunding campaign with Kriticalmass to save the endangered white rhino and continue Dr Player’s legacy.  Through the power of his story and the immediate need to fight an epidemic that will see us lose the rhino by 2020, we are looking to mobilise support of global companies, powerful political figures, celebrity conservationists and the general public to enforce action.

The goal of the campaign is to raise £30 000 in funding and in-kind donations.  We hope you will become part of the movement save Dr Player’s legacy.  We have chosen this path as although we desperately need funds to equip our brave rangers on the frontline, we also see the value in everybody helping out in whatever way they can. This means that you can join our Forever Wild Rhino Team in more way than one by:

  1. Donating to our crowdfunding campaign atwww.kriticalmass.com/p/foreverwildrhino we have exclusive rewards including one-of-a-kind Dr Ian Player downloads and beautiful imagery from our team. Plus every person who donates £10 or more goes into the draw to win a Safari Trip to see the big 5 later this year.
  1. Volunteering  to work with Wilderness Foundation Global.  We’re looking for skilled volunteers across a range of things including event managing, photography and app design. But if you’ve got a skill we can use, give us a shout at team@wildernessfoundation.org
  1. Partnering with us.  We have already got the fantastic support of the Mantis Collection who have donated holidays and are backing us all the way. But if you’re a business of any size and would like to join our team you can get in contact with us to talk at team@wildernessfoundation.org
  1. Spreading the word. Share our story on your social media, forward this email to your friends and family, tell your work colleagues to check out the page. Save our specially designed banner (attached) into your email signature. Everyone and every action can make a difference.

Thanks for taking the time to read about our story and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. If you would like more detail on the campaign or want to offer your support, please go to www.kriticalmass.com/p/foreverwildrhino

If you had difficulty viewing this information please use the link below to direct you to the web page http://eepurl.com/bg09tj

Looking forward to the back end of the week 😉 Have a good one! X

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