Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I don't know what it is really, and I can't actually pinpoint really when my anxiety turned to depression? However, the fact remains that two weeks ago I suddenly found myself feeling sorry for myself after a long spell of just being plain anxious.

For approximately a year now my biggest struggle has been pain management with my fibromyalgia and repairing my leaky gut. It has consumed my days, as I have been determined to overcome this health issue and conquer the world.

Depression and breaking the spell


However, suddenly I have found myself sad, lonely and longing for a relationship once again. It has been seven long years of singledom and for once it feels like forever. I am usually upbeat and thanks to my faith able to push aside my feeling and march on. But this time was different I felt myself drawn towards the hurting ... almost craving people who understood my agony (even if unrealistic) because let's face it ... we all want to feel loved.

Suddenly the pain had dissipated and all I could feel was this empty void where my heart is ... a space meant to thrive on happiness and joy ... but where was mine? I felt myself drawn to God's word as I sought answers on how to move forward ... how to conquer this darkness which was so eager to embrace me when nothing or no one else would.

I found myself watching sad movies laughing at couples in love and when the lights went off, well it was just empty. Now I understand that many do not believe in God, but I do and I will not apologise for that. I went to bed after my latest crying session ... exhausted and spent and I had such a vivid dream from God.

I dreamt of a man whom I could not fully see, but I could smell him and the best way to describe it ... it smelled like home (corny but true), his eyes were a blue/grey/green colour and I was snuggled up to him.

Finding contentment


I found myself comforted and at peace, waking up and feeling this veil lift off of me. It was a promise a hope and a future ... I could feel it in my soul. I am at peace now ... I hang on to this dream and trust it will give me peace, joy, and contentment until I meet him one day.

Until then all I can say is depression is real, it can swallow you whole and without faith, I would not be sitting in this quiet space right now. Don't get sucked into the vortex, fight, use your faith, confide in friends and seek help ... it is the only way forward!

Depression hotline - click here
Suicide hotline - click here

You can beat depression!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

As you know I am a skin therapist by trade and a beauty junkie at heart. Whilst I have limited my reviews of late it does not mean my passion for targetted and effective skin care has fallen by the wayside.

Au contraire really, my skin is feeling the onset of ageing and while 43 is by no means old ... let's just say the fifties are getting far too close for my liking. My skin feels drier and I can see the volume and plumpness all but disappearing in front of my eyes.

So let me introduce you to my new best friend ...

SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier


As with all SkinCeuticals serums, this product comes in a glass dropper bottle to preserve the efficacy and delicate nature of the product inside. What makes this bottle rather unique is it's pretty purple packaging which makes it stand out from the crowd on the shelf.

This product offers amped up levels of hyaluronic acid and can boost the skin's levels by up to 30%, but why is this so important you may ask?

Well simply put hyaluronic acid has a short life cycle in the skin with between 30-50% degrading every 24 hours. So I guess I wasn't exaggerating after all! Production starts to decrease from as early as our twenties and by the time you reach your forties (like me) the decline accelerates.

I was super excited to try this product after reading about it over here at SKIN ONLINE and when I got my hands on it ... I just had to rush off and wash my face.

The botanicals which bring about the plumping

The botanicals included in this potent serum include hyaluronic acid, Proxylane, and purple rice extract which gives the product its unique colouring.

The SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier is a multi-beneficial product which offers the following:
- renewed plumpness
- elasticity
- firming

It reduces the appearance of the following:
- nasolabial folds
- marionette lines
- crow's feet

So what did I think?

Firstly I have to say that I find the packaging very appealing and the purple really gives a feel of royalty and indulgence. The product itself has a unique purplish tinge and applies onto the skin in a soft, smooth and a rather silky layer.

I found that using the SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier before a makeup application almost acted as a primer, especially on my dry and ageing skin. I have been using this product for two weeks now and can definitely feel the difference it makes to my skin. I also love the fact that I can mix and match it with any other products of SkinCeuticals that I use.

"For me, it is a winner and I am loving it so much I struggle to be sparing with it and find myself splurging on the portion size .... naughty naughty!"


I purchase all of my skin care products from Skin Renewal online, via this Online Skin Shop



**Disclosure ranking 2

Monday, August 14, 2017

Nothing makes my heart happier than a day out adventuring about Cape Town and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is no exception. From the sweeping views to the constant holiday vibe, it leaves little to boredom and a groaning bank account.

The sights and smells are amazing and so is the food offerings, you can find anything from a fish and chips takeaway to the best in fine dining. I am no food snob I can quite happily sit on the dockside and manage to pack away a tradition "slap" chips and fish parcel. However, on this particular day, I felt like a tranquil fine dining experience with mumsy and honestly, it was great.

So where did we go?


Camissa Brasserie At The Table Bay Hotel

The decor is reminiscent of Old School Library meets Colonial Plantation. There is loads of plush leather, fabulous wood craftsmanship and just enough of the unusual such as the glass decanter chandelier.
If you are looking for an upmarket lunch for business or pleasure this certainly is the place to come. Camissa Brasserie has quaint little nooks for you to escape to and enjoy your meal without having to shout over the buzz.

The views are expansive and magnificent as one would expect!


I love the touch of local with our indigenous Proteas as part of the table decor, they are truly beautiful and unique. A touch of beauty from the majestic fynbos family.

So mumsy and I were actually on the run that day and not really looking for an extended or heavy lunch. we had come with the express purpose of collecting a package and grabbing a light lunch.

We spotted the roasted butternut and goats cheese salad on the menu and it was a "hells yes!". we both love creamy cheeses and roast butternut ... a no brainer really!
The salad was delicious with just the right amount of dressing on the wild rocket and I loved the crunchiness added by the roast pumpkin seeds, all perfectly juxtaposed by the rich but soft and creamy cheese.

The service at this restaurant is five star as one would expect with Camissa Brasserie being housed within the Table Bay Hotel. The staff are quick to smile and go out of their way to ensure an exceptional meal, not matter how big or small your choice.

I absolutely love the tranquility of the "off peak hours" and will definitely be back to visit again.

Monday, August 07, 2017

As you all know by now REVLON is a staple in my make up cupboard, so when they launch something new is goes without saying I'm gonna be watching ya'll.

The latest to hit the Revlon SA fold is there new Ultra HD Gel Lipcolor, it's not a gloss ... it's not a lipstick .... but it's a whole lot of vanilla smelling lovely and it comes in 15 shades.

For those who don't know me, well I am a bit of a magpie, I love anything which is sparkly or shiny and when this landed on my desk accompanied by the most beautiful make up box(made by The Beauty Box) with crystal knobs ... it was a double swoon!

So enough lip flapping about the box, but a big THANK YOU! Revlon South Africa.


LIPSTICK LOVE AND ULTRA HD GEL LIPCOLOR BY REVLON

Let's talk lippies ...

So this fabulous new range of Ultra HD Gel Lipcolors from Revlon features 15 fabulous new shades and honestly if you can't find a colour you love ... well let's just say ... it's not possible.

From the softest nudes and neutrals to the boldest reds and purples, you can honestly just get lost in the creaminess and sleek shine of theses new lippies.

Colours include:
- HD Vineyard
- HD Twilight
- HD Tropical
- HD Sunset
- HD Lava
- HD Pink Cloud
- HD Rhubarb
- HD Sand
- HD Adobe
- HD Arabica
- HD Blossom
- HD Coral
- HD Dawn
- HD Desert
- HD Garden

Retails for R165.00




My Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lipcolor Adventure

I got to try the following five shades:
- HD Pink Cloud
- HD Blossom
- HD Tropical
- HD Desert
- HD Adobe
The colour deposit is great for a glossy application and lasts relatively well, although you will need to apply after eating. I was super impressed with the purple and surprised by how much it made my blue eyes pop. Would I have bought this colour on my own? ... Honestly, no! Would I buy this colour again? ... Honestly, yes! I got so many compliments that it just goes to show that sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone!

This is definite must for your shopping list and the fact that there are so many great nude shades made my day. I will definitely be investing in a few more colours as they are the ultimate mix of lipstick meets gloss ... love it! The fact that they come in a color coded sleek tube with a sculpted tip makes color identity and application super easy when on the run .... very clever!


What you need to know ...
These new generation lippies contain vibrant color pigments suspended in a clear gel base, giving you great colour definition and leaving your lips lovingly hydrated. What gives all this added hydration? Well, it's our good friend hyaluronic acid!

So now you can get a silkier, smoother pout which is not only extra kissable but moisturised all day long.

Revlon is available at selected retailers and pharmacies.


** Disclaimer 2

Thursday, August 03, 2017

First of all, let me just say that I know how sad the title of this post makes me sound ... but wait till you are past forty and you will see ... the struggle is real people!

Online dating after 40

So many of you may have read my other post on single-dom in my forties and the struggle to "put myself out there", for those of you who have missed it ... you can catch up over here!

So I recently embarked on a month of online dating .... eeeek! Firstly let me say I hate hate hate this whole dating scene and quite honestly right now an arranged marriage sounds a whole lot better than this continued struggle. Let's face it I am no lithe sleek blonde with perky melons, legs for days and a Colgate smile. Nope, I am just your average gal with a few extra's around the middle (we will get back to this). But this is where it get's complicated, I am a Christian and have rather strong convictions in this area ... making me the enemy of all hormone driven specimens from the male population.


So back to the fact that there are basically three types of men in online dating, what are they you may ask? Well ... okay, let me enlighten you!

Online dating and the 3 male stereotypes

1. The male stud

2. The nit picker

1. The sex fiend

Intrigued, well so you should be. Let's break it down a little.


1. THE MALE STUD
It seems like these days it is an all out competition for men on online dating sites to list how many sports they do, with the majority opting for running, hiking, cycling, supping and MTB.

While it is great to see that men are choosing to be active, they all claim they want like minded partners and once again that too is great but not all women are sports driven. Also what if I prefer a gym to a mountain bike ride, and what if I am not as fit as you? Does that suddenly make me unable to care, laugh, joke or enjoy life with you? Are you telling me that only if I plan to meet your fitness level and sports criteria do I qualify as adequate in your eyes ... bah humbug to those who say they don't look at bodies and judge.

I am quite happy to not have to compete with an iron horse, mountain or pair of takkies for your company thank you. I may be squidgy, but at least I judge a guy on personality and persona rather than his qualifying time!

2. THE NIT PICKER
So these guys are quite fun and you can actually tease the socks off them ... if you get the right one that is. They go through your profile with a fine tooth comb and then message you to check the details under the veil of "I hope you don't mind me asking" or "I'm not sure if it is okay to ask this?"

So honestly my impish ways kick in here and I tend to pretend stupidity, then innocence and then well I guess just plain honesty will always win out in the end. No, my life does not read like a book, it is messy, real and unapologetic ... shit happens guys!

3. THE SEX FIEND
Now this guy, he is always colourful! The conversation usually starts off pretty innocently and then bam ... the sex talk. These guys are quite skilled at trying to draw out your sensual side and get you to either describe your body and/or what turns you on. If it wasn't so desperate it might actually be quite funny. Luckily I had my fingers burned quite badly a good few years ago and can generally see these guys from a mile off.

Whilst I am actually quite a "touchy feely" person, as you all know by now I am also a very strong Christian. I do not believe in extramarital sex (yes, even though I am not a virgin ... there are no t&c's applicable in the bible) and so it is kinda easy for me to quickly get rid of these guys with the reality of no sex ... telephone or otherwise dude! They hightail it out of there before you can say "boo" and you know what ... that's okay ... clearly they are not looking for a soul mate but rather a bed warmer.

The final word

So I wish this didn't sound as bleak as it is ... but trust me I have yet to find a guy who can take my curves, not find fault with my life and be happy with out any form of sex.

"I find it so surprising that men now find their identity in sport, sex and little else ... what happened to the gentle-man. The one who opened doors for you, took you on dinner dates and just enjoyed being friends before lovers?"

I know this may sound outdated, but I would rather be alone than be judged or used to please someone's carnal hankerings. After all, in this day and age, it is far easier and less compromising to live the single life.

You may say find a Christian dating site, sadly I have and it is no different.

So that's my month of online dating in a nutshell. If you disagree, leave a comment below I would love to hear about it.


**images - Unsplash.com

Friday, July 28, 2017

So I got to travel before the digital photo era and up until now, I have struggled to find a way to save and capture my memories of years gone by.

But now with all digital "goodie magads" and apps it is easier than ever before to scan and turn old images digital. I discovered a wonderful app called Photomyne and have since started scanning in my images ... 4 years worth and more than 800 photo's .... wish me luck!

But in the meantime, I thought we could explore the world together through the lens of my camera. So what are we waiting for ... let's hit the moody skies and sky lines of the "Big Apple"!


NEW YORK NEW YORK ... YOU DO NOT DISAPPOINT!

So sadly I was in New York about three times before the Twin Towers went down and the last time was literally two days before 9/11, we had a ship full of New Yorkers and it was honestly the saddest and most traumatic experience I have ever had to go through.

Literally, in the blink of an eye, the world changed as we knew it and we never returned to New York (our then home port).

My heart and prayers still go out to each and every person who was affected by 9/11, an act that shows just cruel mankind can be, but also just how amazingly a country can stand together!


NEW YORK THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS!



As with all cruises, we usually sailed either at sunset or sunrise, meaning that we often got many a moody skyline as we waved either "hello" or "goodbye". Now if you know the New York skyline you will know that there are iconic buildings which form an integral part of these postcards pictures. Some of the best-known contenders are the Chrysler Building, The Empire State Building and of course back then the Twin Towers ... but don't forget those humble, but infamous water towers too!

Interesting info on the Empire State Building:
The Empire State Building is a 102-story skyscraper located on Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and 34th Streets in Midtown, Manhattan, New York City
Height: 381 m, 443 m to tip
Construction started: 17 March 1930
Floors: 102


The city is always abuzz and the streets form a grid which makes for easy navigation but crazy traffic. I'll never forget the first time I stood on one of those streets, raised my hand and tried to hail a Yellow Cab.

I felt like I was fresh out of a movie .... whilst the locals just pushed past and went on their merry way, not paying much heed ... but then what's one more tourist after all?

On one of my few adventures through the beautiful city of New York, I got to ascend the Empire State Building. The views were breathtaking and made me feel as insignificant as I am in the greater scheme of things. Everything in New York has a movie like quality which just cannot be described. And whilst it is great to see and feel ... I must be honest and say that I personally could never live in the city myself.

Next up on the list? That huge toy store called FAO Schwartz, the world's largest toy store (well it was back then) ... yes, I could not resist!

Fifth Avenue is on a whole nother level when it comes to stores like Bergdorf's, Bloomingdales, Macy's and FAO Schwartz. They are a feast for the senses and a burden on the pocket ... but when in New York how can you possibly say no?

I still remember buying myself a "Shelby" and my nephew a "Gizmo" part of the Furby family, they came out just after the movie "The Gremlins" ... gosh how time flies!
So it was back to the ship for me and right next door to where we were docked was a naval museum called The Intrepid Museum after the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid
Sadly that was all I got to see on that particular day, and if I find more photo's I promise to update and share this post again.

We were however blessed by the most beautiful goodbye as the harbor fire boat bid us a fond farewell on a rather gloomy afternoon.
 Farewell Manhattan Island, this is the last time I would ever see you looking like this!


If there is one thing I could share, it is that New York should be on everyone's wishlist for travel. It is a sensory experience second to none and the sightseeing alone could take about two weeks.

Don't miss out on a proper New York bagel, a hot pretzel or hot dog on the side walk and a take away coffee from Starbucks ... and most of all relish every minute!


Thursday, July 20, 2017

So I finally got to my much needed leave period only to be struck with my dad having a double stroke …eish! Not ideal, and I could quickly see any plans of my well plotted holiday going out of the window.

There was however one part of my holiday that I was unwilling to let go of … what is that you may ask? It was a well orchestrated and totally unscheduled day of meandering down the main road of the the little known Cape seaside village called Kalk Bay.

Renowned for being rather bohemian this seaside gem is a virtual treasure trove of quaint clothing stores, dusty antique shops and fabulous eateries. Come what may I was going to have my one day escape from reality … and that I did!

The Kalk Bay meander

The day started off with a cursory lie in (can I hear someone say holiday!) and then a friend and I met up. Armed with my camera we set off for our day of adventure. First up was to subdue the grumbling tummies and get in the first caffeine of the day … did I mention with are both coffee-aholics (the real stuff ya’ll).


The Court-Yard Café

As the name suggests this quaint little eatery is tucked away in a courtyard between an art gallery and curio shop. After walking up the stairs you are met with two options, you can either choose an upbeat and urban indoor café or alternatively sit under a reed roofed outdoor area with uninterrupted views spanning the bay.
As this was the start of the day we simply opted for a savoury cheese muffin and a cappuccino … oh yes, and my friend spotted the date balls (a South African tradition) and ordered a couple of those too.

A great way to start the day!

Gift shopping in Kalk Bay

Moving along we found a cute cluster of buildings housing three unique shops, here's a sneak peek ...

1. SHORELINE KALK BAY
Shoreline have a great selection of clothing, jewellery, cushions, gifts and leather handbags


2. MEDITTERANEO
Mediterraneo offers unique clothing with natural fibres, made by supporting community upliftment projects and a selection to suit every taste


3. BOKKE & BLOMME
Cut out quotes and sayings in every colour. I must say I would have happily have bought two or three of these if the budget had allowed for it. Bokke and Blomme are great for statement pieces "excuse the pun"!

So after a bit of browsing, we set off again we found a cute bagel and coffee shop tucked away on a side street. Now this place truly is tiny and has vintage tricycle’s and bicycles mounted both inside and outside the shop.

Bob’s Bagel Café is situated off the park and offers custom roasted coffee beans and bagels with a filling to suit every type of hungry tummy.


As the day progressed we came across a very large gift shop which stole my friend's heart and a good few rands too … tee hee.

The KALK BAY ¼  store has everything from handmade ceramics, to jewellery, custom handmade clothing and shoes and a 2nd hand bookstore on the second level. THE KALK BAY ¼ is an overload for the senses, take your time and savour the treasures it's definitely not to be missed.



After our many purchases, the tummies were once again growling, and rather than do the sensible food options, we once again chose holiday fare and went for waffles.

We spotted the KALK BAY EXPRESS from across the road, it’s a restaurant set up in an antique train coach, situated on the Kalk Bay Station.


The waffles were delicious and gave us the energy to continue on our way.

For those who have never been to Kalk Bay, what you need to understand is that there are quaint alley ways and side streets at every turn and these hold untold treasure troves of art, antiques and nik naks. When it comes to Kalk Bay you need to take your time to breathe in the fresh sea air.

It takes time to make the "noise" stop, and be able to consume the picturesque mountains, the architecture and expend yourself on a personal treasures... all in the effort to remember your short time here.




Whilst I could go on for days about the wonders of Kalk Bay and the journey we made that day, I will save a few choice tidbits for another post or two ... I would hate to overwhelm you!

All I will say as I bid adieu, is that when you are in Cape Town make sure to schedule a day or even two's adventure in Kalk Bay.

P.S. Bring loads of spending money and a hungry tummy too!



** This is not a sponsored post