Saturday, 31 December 2016

{2016} Thats all folks!

2016 left us as quickly as it came. Come to think of it, this year felt particularly busy for me. I'm not sure if its because I am a lot older that I have been so busy "adulting" that i didn't notice the months and weeks fly by.  

I'm sure you've been wondering what has kept me so busy this year and if I can be completely honest, i just cant pin point one particular thing. I can tell you what is keeping me busy now and that is the house (a real house you guys!) my husband and i have bought. It is a bit of a fixer-upper with a lovely big garden for the 3 (not just one but 3) whole beagles we own. We had two until my beagle had puppies and i did not have the heart to let them all go (I Kim-Kardashian-ugly-cried when we had so let 3 of them go). Now, we have 3 beagles which we absolutely (want to murder often) but just cannot live without.  

With all that said, I did manage to squeeze in a few blog posts this year (whoop whoop) which is more than I can say for previous years and so i thought i would list some of my favourite blog posts for 2016. 

1. My post on the bachelorette i went to this year was at Beefcakes in JHB. It may not be a big deal to some but it was for me as I am INCREDIBLY conservative. I was not going to go to this bachelorette because, I didn't know anyone and i was fairly concerned about what was going to happen at this show. I ended up meeting some lovely ladies and laughing until my stomach hurt

2. I have never been to Pilgrims Rest before. It is a special place for my husbands family especially since a lot of his family retell stories  of growing up around here. Pilgrims Rest is a true gem :) 

3. Would it be too cliche to have a post on Starbucks as my third favourite post for 2016? I have been so fortunate to travel growing up that Starbucks that it brings back some amazing memories. These days I am trying to get my husband on plane (he has a claustrophobia problem and the thought of a confined space for extended hours freaks him out) so that we can create new memories together. 

4. My obsession with Instagram reached new heights this year when I realised just how incredible our South African photographers are. 

I have since posted 3 posts on the South African Instagramers i follow religiously; 

5. Sticking with the South African theme, i finally decided to move away from buying skincare and supporting locally produced products. I am still amazed at the amazing products being produced in this beautiful country. 

So Cheers to all the adventures you had in 2016 and cheers to all the new adventures 2017 holds for you!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

{Happy Memories} Not one but three!

Its hard to believe that THREE (not one) years ago we said "I Do" 

It was the best decision we ever made and its  been a wild adventure since then!

*Our favourite photo captured that day was taken by Lad and Lass Photography

Sunday, 11 September 2016

{Hartebeespoort} Sunday Outing in Harties

Sure, Joburg is no Cape Town, but for the folks living far away from beautiful Western Cape province, Harties, as it is otherwise known is a true gem for those of us living in the hustle and bustle of the gold rush province of egoli (the city of Gold). 

The husband and I have had jam packed schedules the past few months and expect to have an even busier schedule now that we have bought our first home. It was because of the busy months past and the busy months ahead that we decided to set some time aside to catch up on our "date nights" in the form of a "date day" in Harties.

It is one of our favorite places to get out of our routines and spend sometime together close to the beautiful Hartebeespoort dam. Now, the things to do in this area range from balloon rides to a boat cruise at sunset. Of course we just couldn't do everything today but we did decide we would pop in at the French Toast Coffee Cafe which was built in honour of the movie produced by the creative South African company "Hartiwood Films" (post here).

French Toast is an Afrikaans movie filmed predominantly in Paris. Once the film was completed, certain elements from the set was brought back to South Africa and is now located at the coffee shop itself even a mini Eiffel tower has been built and the popular bridge of "love locks" situated in Pont des Arts of Paris has been recreated. 

Before I move on and mention where we went next, I must just say that everyone had the same idea to get out to Harties as we did today. I must advise that bookings for a favourite restaurant is a must especially at the French Toast Coffee Cafe. We were surprised that French Toast was fully booked up for breakfast. Our only option was to have a cappuccino and a croissant at the "Baked-away" patisserie next door to the cafe. 

 Our next stop was at the  Aerial Cable Way  in Hartebeesport which had recently been revamped a few years ago and is a lovely outing for the family. Once you have reached the top of the mountain you can take a short walk around the path or stop for a Pizza at the Pizza Shack. Recently the Cable way has added live entertainment on top of the mountain and a small (i mean really small) massage parlour which also over-looks the town of Hartebeespoort.

Prices per adult R195.00 (one way) 

I think we had a pretty successful "date day."  I am looking forward to my next visit to Harties again, hopefully next time we will spend and extra day. 

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Thursday, 4 August 2016

{Mpumalanga} The Panoramic Route

A couple months ago the family and I took a weekend getaway to the beautiful little town of Pilgrims rest. This short breakaway was spent at four starred Crystal Springs Lodge just outside of Pilgrims Rest Town (known for its mining history during 1873 Gold Rush as well as the Anglo Boer War) located in the beautiful province of Mpumalanga (Graskop area). This short getaway introduced me to more of the beauty South Africa has to offer as well as some of the incredible sites in the country i had always hear about but never seen.

We decided to spend the day (as most South Africans would on a Saturday or a Sunday) slowly making our way to the various sites we had listed on our weekend "bucket list"- listed below. 

What makes this area such an attraction besides the fact that it it on route to the Kruger National Park (and the truly spectacular surroundings). This area of Mpumalanga has one of the worlds largest green canyons known as the Blyde River Canyon. This beautiful canyon holds a number of unique attractions which makes up most of the Panoramic route. I will share these attractions in my post shortly. 

I was also reminded that the 1873 Gold Rush had a huge influence on the discovery of this canyon. Some of the attractions such as Bourkes Luck Potholes was discovered during this time. 

We firstly started our sight seeing tour of the Graskop area at The Pinnacle. What a unique thing it was for me, a local South African girl to see. I have seen images of rock formations like this in pictures around the world. I did not expect to see this unique formation in South Africa. This Pinnacle is a single rock which, in my opinion looked as though it was floating in the valley of the mountain. It is definitely worth a visit.

The entrance fee per person into the Pinnacle  R10 per adult.

Our second stop was the whole point of the Journey - God's Window. This part of Mpumalanga has sentimental value for my husbands family. We knew that we had to seize the moment that day, according to some of my friends and family who frequent  the area have said that often Gods Window is overcast and covered by clouds but this particular day had exceptional for the area.

I must warn anyone that hasn't visited God's Window and plans on making a stopping this way in the future to pack comfortable shoes. There is quite a walk involved to get to the view point. 

Entrance into God's Window per Adult R10

The third stop for us was Bourkes Luck Potholes. It is the only place in South Africa where you will pay to see a natural "pothole". It really is a wonder to see. These potholes were formed over centuries where two rivers, the river Treur and the Blyde Rivers join at the Blyde River Canyon. The joining of these rivers over time has worn into the sand rock forming these Potholes.

The Three Rondavals - R20.00 entrance fee per person

We couldn't very well make a trip down this way and not stop in at the picturesque Pilgrims Rest Town . I must say, this little town is such a gem but i really feel people don't visit this town enough. I'm not sure if people aren't aware of the Town or don't make enough time to stop by but really, i loved it and if you know you're going to pass by, why not support the residents? Now I'm sure you're wondering why I am harping on about this, but Pilgrims Rest Town is a historical town in South Africa and was quite the destination during the Gold Rush in 1873 when Pilgrims Rest was proclaimed a gold field after gold had been discovered in Pilgrims Creek.

What i loved about this lovely town was that while I was walking down the street i felt like i was walking into an old vintage Black and white movie. All buildings in this village have been maintained to keep its original historic appearance (From the post office to the petrol station and even the signage on each building). 

All the historic buildings have signage like the one in this picture above

All the houses have been maintained to keep their historic appearance 

We stopped in at the Pilgrims Pantry for lunch, it was a toss up between the Royal Hotel, Pilgrims Pantry (there were two other options but had narrowed our choices down to these two) and so we settled for the pantry. It was a fantastic choice. The service and the food was pretty amazing. 

Notice how the Cappuccino had gold sprinkles which 

Have you traveled to this part of Mpumalanga and what was your favourite part?

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Saturday, 23 July 2016

{Flashback Friday} Sun City

Christmas may be very much over and done with, and all this cold weather (it is winter here in South Africa) makes me feel a little nostalgic as I am missing the warmer (and almost unbearable) weather and the Christmas festivities which is why i decided to post my Flashback Friday of Christmas 2015 for Christmas in July. :)

Having Christmas lunch at the Palace in Sun City was a pretty grand experience.  

I'm pretty tempted to put up a Christmas tree & try make one of these ginger bread houses!

Friday, 8 July 2016

{Tried and Tested} Skoon Skincare

As you all know now, I have been searching for a local skin care brand that I can use in the future not just as an attempt to support locally produced product but also to save on costs and lastly to know what ingredients are found in these products. After all, we are putting these products onto and into our skin and bodies daily.

My first attempt at local skin care products started with a post on Skin Creamery. To be honest, I was a little nervous at turning my back on an international brand I had been faithful to for a while, so i started with the everyday cream and although I thoroughly enjoyed it my skin needed more. This is why i turned to Skoon Skincare as my second attempt at Local South African Skincare products. This time around I pretty much ordered the full range in travel sizes so I could decide which products worked for me and which products didn't. 

Skoon Skincare gets major brownie points from me. Why I say this is it is a big deal for me to place an order online and have to wait 7 days before the parcel gets delivered. I wont lie, it sucks! However, I was thrilled to have my parcel arrive 2 days after I placed my order (round of applause) so I got to test these lovely products sooner than I expected. 

I loved the packaging!

Isn't this a lovely sight? 

Since I received my parcel at work I couldn't wait to get home. Part of my winding down routine is to take my make up off  and have a hot bath. I immediately dove right in and went with the lovely creamy cleanser along with the face cloth in my picture below, what an experience! I loved the cleanser and the little travel face cloth will most definitely come in handy on holidays and small getaways. 

I am impressed with this moisturiser, it is fast becoming my "the one". I could certainly see the difference before I applied the moisturiser and after I had given my skin time to absorb the cream. I also decided to add a few drops of the glow drops and WOW, when  combined with the Glow drops, i think this combination becomes a force to be reckoned with.  

I am not the type of girl who will easily try a face mask so i took a big risk buying this Ruby Marine Hydrating Mask. Like the Super Moisturiser, when I applied the face mask, I could immediately feel and see the difference. I generally have a dry complexion and even more so this time of the year (winter in South Africa) which was also why I bought this hydrating mask. Although this product's purpose is to hydrate over night, i found i didn't need to keep this ruby marine mask on over night,a few hours was enough for me. 

These glow drops are a gem! This little sample removed all doubts and now i am sorry I didn't buy the actual bottle. With the harsh dry conditions we have had in winter, this Skoon Glow Drops concentrate has been an answer to prayers. I have added drops to my moisturiser (not just my Super Moisturiser from Skoon but also other moisturisers) i have in my make up and even my foundation! 
I chose the travel sizes as my testers. I loved that Skoon Skincare gave me this option, it took away the stress of buying a product I might not like and in doing this it has encouraged me to buy all their products in the future!

 I am so excited to try out their eye creams when they are available for purchase, I'm hoping Skoon Skincare will release these soon!  

Have you tried out this local Skin Care brand and what stood our for you?