Meet: Lola Berry

November 5, 2014

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Images: Lilli Waters (top) and Pinterest.

I know I’ve said it before, but three years of living in Australia really opened up my eyes to nutrition and it’s direct link to wellbeing. In my early 20’s as a Uni student and then when I went on to live in London, I used to eat a lot of food that was high in sugar or carbs because it was quick and easy and gave me instant energy. Over the years, I have learnt the importance of a proper diet and how you can really nourish your mind and body through what you eat. As well as living in the health hub that was Bondi, where you could get green juices at your doorstep and banting, gluten, dairy or sugar free options at just about every cafe, it was people I was exposed to like like Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugar and Lola Berry who inspired me to take the first steps to leading a healthier lifestyle through my diet.

I was very fortunate to have Lola, a leading Australian nutritionist  as one of my yoga teacher’s in Bondi – I used to get such a high from her energy-fueled sessions in which she combined her DJ’s skills with yoga. As well as a nutritionist, DJ and yoga teacher, Lola is also a television, writing and radio personality, chef and author of a cookbook – talk about an over-achiever! Lola’s colourful personality and passion inspires all of those around her  so I really hope you enjoy my conversation with her x

Check out recipes from Lola’s 20/20 diet cookbook here and follow Lola at lolaberry.com or on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

What does living with soul mean to you?

It means doing what you love, being real and coming from the heart, and you know what – I think that’s pretty rare. You know when you meet someone who’s truly real; they’re the ones with that extra little spark and they always make your head turn.

What or who inspires you?

Anyone who has the courage to live their dreams. Steve Irwin is a huge inspiration for me. And my Dad, he’s pretty ace too.

What’s your food philosophy?

Eat real food, listen to your body, nourish yourself and share food with the people you love most.

Biggest food myth?

That low fat is healthier and all the fake sugars, those artificial sweeteners are not cool at all.

We know that you love a good quote – hit us with one of your best!

‘Authentic people are enigmatic because more people are so comfortable in their hiding, conforming, dis-empowered state that someone brave enough to be simply real is fascinating.’ – Jamie Catto

Have you ever been to South Africa? If so what do you think and the big question – do you like our food? 

I would love to visit South Africa, my Dad went last year and his photos looked amazing. I’d been keen to try as much of the local produce as possible, I love spices so i think there’d be so much I could learn.

We know that you used to be a DJ – what music are you listening to at the moment?

Ahh – yes, I am still a big music nerd. At the moment I am loving Chet Faker, Ta-ku, Hozier and Sigur Ros.

Are there any awesome yoga playlists that we can find online?

I’d  say so but I collect my music for gigs – I love going to live gigs and I’ll try to make a playlist around things I love listening to at that moment.

And finally, one piece of advise you’ve never forgotten?

When I moved away from home to pursue my dreams, my dad said to me at the airport (when iw as crying); “Kick some goals girl” –  so that’s what I always try to do – be kicking goals.

Pink and Gold

November 3, 2014

 

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Images: Nicole Leftwick

A special day for two very special girls…

Our Natty is having her little bundle of joy soon so she was sprinkled with with lots of love and light at her baby shower last weekend. The day involved pressies and pinkness aplenty – and tears and champers on tap!

Thanks to La Maison in Durban North for having us and well done to Caro, Wendy and all other friends involved for doing an amazing job of styling the venue and making Nat’s day extra spesh x

Paint me like a French girl

October 28, 2014

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 Images: Nicole Leftwick

Last weekend I spent my Saturday morning doing just about everything that encompasses a perfect girls day out – and that would be painting, drinking tea and eating cakes of course.

I have always adored the look of shabby chic French furniture and decor, so when I heard about at the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® workshop at Bon Bon Maison in Umhlahi I jumped at the chance to book a seat! By way of background, Annie Sloan is one of those super women that does it all – she’s a trained artist from Oxford England, who has combined her love of colour with a successful career as paint designer, teacher, entrepreneur and writer – with over one and a half million of her books sold so far. And of course, she is the founder of the amazing decorative and most brilliant paint in the world; Chalk Paint®.

As her brand is all about giving people the tools to create, Annie started developing her own line of paints because she was not happy with those on the market – and when you try Chalk Paint you will know why it’s revolutionised the way we see decorative painting. The unique paint is so flexible and easy to use, it even allows furniture to be painted without priming or preparation as it adheres to almost any surface from different wood finishes, fabric, ceramic pots and tins – I was amazed at how easy it was to apply! It comes in 32 beautifully rich colours that you can mix and match, it dries fast and has great coverage – because ain’t nobody got time to watch paint dry these days!

The lovely and talented Su from Suzanna Jane Furniture took our ‘Introduction to Chalk paint’ class – Su lives on the North Coast and upcycles furniture for a living – and she’s an absolute Annie Sloan ambassador. Her vast knowledge of the product, combined with her passion for painting and patience with those of us less experienced than others made her the perfect candidate to teach us all the tricks of the trade. Armed with our own pieces of wood, a plethora of brushes and pots of paints and even a hair dryer, Su took us through a few different techniques including whitewash, one-colour ‘chic’ finish, adding texture, two colour distressing and the use of clear and dark wax.

I found the workshop thoroughly enjoyable, inspiring and enlightening and I’d highly recommend it to anyone interested in exploring paint techniques, DIY projects or creative ways to up cycle old furniture. Like anything creative I think it’s best to experiment practically first hand, so I won’t spoil it for you all but rather provide some of my top tips I took from the day –

  • It’s always advisable to clean your surfaces before painting to remove dirt and grime and give you a clean base – you can do this with sugar soap and water
  • Some woods with heavy natural oils e.g. teak, can bleed through the paint, to prevent this use Knot Seal to prime the wood
  • Use a separate brush for waxing
  • Always apply a coat of clear wax before dark wax
  • Wax can be applied a s quickly as 40 minutes after painting
  • To maintain your pieces, wax them once a year and clean with a feather duster rather than chemical products
  • After painting you can use a coat of deck seal on outdoor furniture to keep the paint from weathering
  • To prevent surface marks, ideally wait about 30 days before putting things on top of your painted furniture

Most Annie Sloan stockists in South Africa offers paint technique workshops. Bon Bon Maison is an ideal stockist for North Coast residents, but recently the range became available at La Maison in Durban North. To find your nearest stockist go to http://anniesloansa.co.za/workshops/ I’d also recommend jumping on youtube if you’d prefer to teach yourself or even if you need a little refresher post workshop.

The Annie Sloan half day workshop is R500. To book visit Bon Bon Maison’s Facebook page here

 

 

Meet: Bron Fourie

October 20, 2014

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Part of the reason I started this blog was to profile and celebrate great, local talent – Durban based freelance photographer Bron Fourie from Vanilla Photography is one of these people. What started as a hobby, fuelled by Bron’s passion for creating memories in photographs, has now materialised into a flourishing career that keeps her very busy taking beautiful images of everything from weddings to engagements, families and commercial shoots. Like me, Bron is passionate about living in Durban and gets super excited about local people following their dreams and doing exciting and innovative work.

Bron specialises in weddings and portraiture, but is open to all ideas and opportunities. Follow her incredible work or book Vanilla Photography for your own shoot at http://vanillaphotography.co.za

I hope you enjoy meeting this lovely, talented lady x

How did you get into photography?

I knew from a young age that photography was what I really wanted to do. My dream was having my photo on the cover of Elle Magazine or Cosmo! But instead of following that dream, I decided to go into Interior Decorating. After 5 years working in the design industry, I realised that my heart was still in photography, so I did a few courses to up my skills, quit my day job and dived head first into the unknown. And instead of the cover of Elle, I’ve hit the covers of wedding magazines! So although my dream has altered slightly, I’m definitely living it.

Top tips for taking a great photograph?

My passion is trying to capture the emotion in the moment – something that tugs at the heart strings and triggers a memory. I feel that that is a sign of a great photo.

Why do you love living in Durban?

Wow, where to start? The fact that we have the sea at our feet, the Midlands at our shoulders and the Berg as the cherry on top! Who wouldnπt want to live here? The diversity of the people, the old school feel of the city centre, the amazing drive of the entrepreneurs in our city- it makes my tummy tingle knowing there are so many youngsters in our city trying to break the mould!

Best places to go in Durban?

For food- Marco Paulo
For coffee and working out the office – I want my coffee
For markets – The Wonder Market
For a chilled weekend away – Nottingham Rd
For awesome quirky decor – Antique Cafe in Churchill Rd
For drinks- Franks

Fave accessory (other than your camera of course!)?

I LOVE a good watch and a good chunky necklace. And I have a leather jacket that I wear all the time!

What does living with soul mean to you?

Living out your dreams, and feeling passionate about life, and everything in it. I love the freedom of being able to do what I love, and meeting the most amazing people while doing it. Connecting with strangers fills my soul! I’m a big believer in following your passion, and doing everything within your power to make it work for you.

Best place you’ve ever travelled to?

I’m an avid traveller, and have extremely itchy feet. I feel like this world was not made to have your feet planted in one place. There is too much to see!! I would say Barcelona is my favourite city, Croatia is my favourite country, and China is an incredibly fascinating place to visit. The Great Wall should be on everyoneπs bucket list too. But at the end of the day, there is no place like home (or Cape Town!)

Who inspires you?

My mom. Sheπs is the strongest, kindest soul I have ever met. When I grow up, I want to be just like her!

One piece of advice you’ve never forgotten? I have 2 things I live by:

1. Take the time to do the things that make your soul happy
2. Life is uncertain, you should eat dessert first!

 

Local love

October 19, 2014

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Images (top to bottom): MaXhosa by Laduma, Shoppe, Supergra campaign featuring Poppy Ntshongwana, Zana bags, Mr Price Home, Shoppe on Marriot Road

Since moving back home I’ve been having the best time exploring SA brands – you could say I’ve been getting back to my roots in the best way I know how – by shopping! These are some of my fave finds so far – and I’m sure there will be more to come x

MaXhosa by Laduma - An innovative Xhosa-inspired knitwear brand. I first noticed this eyecatching range in Supergra’s new campaign featuring Poppy Ntshongwana (above), where she rocked one of his fabulous knit pieces – and then I saw the full range and Laduma journey during a designer feature on Top Billing. I’m in love with the bright prints and unusual shapes – it’s modern African fashion at its best. Shop Laduma here

Zana - Decor, accessories and fabric in beautiful prints from a team of creative lovelies based in Woodstock, Cape Town. Adore everything they create, especially their cat prints. Read their blog here and shop Zana here 

Shoppe - If you’re into quirky decor pieces then Shoppe is a must-see if you’re in Durbs. It’s conveniently located on Marriot Road (number 40) in the same space as Market Restaurant – so you can pick up a mean coffee and a unique decor gem in one trip :) I could spend hours in this shop perusing though all the little treasures. Their ceramic bunny monsters and Sonia Vosloo pineapple cookie jars are to die for – and as for their Marmite stools and Zoo Biscuits cushions – I can’t! Check out their Facebook page here

Mr Price Home - It just keeps getting better and better – this brand is going to take over the world. They are so on the pulse with new trends, from gold pineapples to neon print pillows, you name it, they’ve got it. With their wide selection of items from lighting fixtures, to ceramics, bedding, garden and even stationary, you could literally style your entire home and office beautifully. Love love love. Shop Mr Price home here

 

 

 

DIY Cards

October 15, 2014

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Images: Nicole Leftwick

As if buying gifts doesn’t come with a high enough price tag, then you have to actually buy the tag, baubles and beautiful bits to wrap the things! The good news is that pretty pressie packaging can be done on a budget. These DIY cards are super easy and give your gifts that personal touch x

What you’ll need: Scissors, double sided stickers, paper glue any bits and pieces you have lying around like lace, twine, pom poms, ribbons, stickers etc. – and a cardboard or paper card which you can print on a colour printer if you have access to one. There are so many lovely prints, illustrations and photos on the net that you can easily find something that matches your gift or giftee.

How to: Simply print the cards and get creative! You can make little ribbons to bring the pics to life, add dimension with stickers or pom poms, use paint/watercolours as your base, colour block with coloured paper – basically style with and however takes your fancy. If you have limited materials lying around the house then think thrifty, even newspaper can work as a quirky wrapping paper or card base.

 

 

Coconut Craze

October 13, 2014

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Image credit: Pinterest

I’m literally bananas about coconuts – I can’t believe that I only really discovered the goodness of these tropical nuts in the past few years! Coconuts give us three wonder products; coconut oil, water and milk – here are some ways I incorporate them into my life, but really, the options are endless x

 Lather

In my years of being a publicist for many a beauty brand I have tried A LOT of hair masks, but my best product yet is pure and simple coconut oil. It helps relieve any dryness of the scalp and also leaves hair feeling soft and nourished. I rub some in before showering/washing my hair or, if my hair is need of lot of hydration I leave it in overnight and wash in the morning.

Coconut Oil also makes a beautifully natural body and lip moisturiser. It’s more hydrating than average body cream because the oil penetrates deep layers of the skin and actually helps to strengthen underlying tissue. It’s SO good that my friend used it on her little Yorkshire Terrier’s back – the poor pup had a dry itchy spot that would not go away – and a week later it was completely healed!

Drink –

In Sydney I used to be able to buy whole, chilled coconuts from the veggie shop. The staff would cut them open, pop a straw in and voila; you had your instant coco-fix. Pure coconut water is full of electrolytes, which play a vital role in your body, especially in maintaining proper functionality of your nerves, heart, and other muscles. It also contains essential vitamins B6, C Thiaman and folate. If you are buying a bottled coconut water then make sure it is 100% natural and has no sugar added. I searched far and wide for coconut water with NO sugar and finally I found some at Gorimas (the Indian delicatessen).

Cook –

Coconut Oil is one of the healthiest oils you can use for cooking. Many known ‘healthy’ oils like olive oil break down into harmful compounds when heated but coconut oil remains stable at higher temperatures – so keep the olive oil for yummy salads!

You can also use coconut cream/milk as substitute for milk. Some recipes I love to make with coconut – oil for homemade chocolate e.g. raspberry ripple and homemade popcorn, coconut milk for scrambled eggs and green smoothiesmango and coconut smoothie.

 

Meet: Marisa Van Vuuren

October 9, 2014

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Images: Nicole Leftwick, and Fine Art Photography

Meet Marisa van Vuuren, the founder of Yoga Zanzibar. I was fortunate to meet this lovely lady and spend a week under her wing on the island a few months ago during my travels through East Africa.

As part of the retreat I practiced yoga twice a day, morning and night for 7 days in a very intimate group. I learnt so much more than I had learnt in years of doing yoga in overcrowded classes. It was the one on one attention and little tweaks that helped me become so much more in tune with my body and improve my practice dramatically. Things I loved were; the focus on different types of breath, becoming more aware of the way we position and ground our feet, feeling the alignment in our bodies through wall and partner work and trying out the more challenging poses after seeing Marisa illustrate them for us – proving how far we could go with our practice. Granted that doing yoga in front of  a beautiful sunset every evening helped a little too! Marisa is a beautiful lady with a beautiful soul as you will see from our conversation below – enjoy!

You can read more about Marisa and her yoga retreat packages at www.zanzibaryoga.com

Q&A with Marisa -

Why do you love yoga and why does it make us feel so great?

I think yoga gives us the time and space to reconnect with ourselves. Yoga allows us to live from our “soul center” instead of the ego or mind. The ego is limiting. Our true self is unlimited and full of potential. Yoga helps us to get out of our own way.

Any tips for complete newbies to the yoga game and wanting to give it a try?

Just do it! Just give it a try and do the best you can according to what your body allows you to do at this point in time. You don’t need to be “flexible’‘or strong to do yoga. You just need you – just the way you are.

Tell us something that a lot of people don’t know about yoga?

There are probably a lot of people that don’t know that yoga is much more than just physical postures. It is a scientific technique of arriving in the present moment and allows you to live your life to the full potential, to be the best version of you and allowing acceptance – acceptance of yourself and others.

We keep hearing a lot about ‘mindfulness’ – what is it?

Mindfulness for me means to become aware of our emotions, thoughts, tendencies and habits in the present moment. Through observing without judging, noticing, becoming aware of it – it will lessen or even gradually disappear gradually over time. Don’t beat yourself up about your thoughts, tendencies or habits which are not serving you for the best. Just simply observe, accept and embrace instead of resist. Embrace your dualities – your positive qualities and less positive qualities.

What does having or living with ‘soul’ mean to you?

Living with “feeling.” Living and doing the things that makes you feel alive – that spark which lights the fire within, living with passion, living from the heart!

What are your top tips for living a soulful life?

Bring as much love, laughter, music & dance into your life. Just BE YOU. Don’t overthink. Live with passion. Know that you have to power to create your life and to live your dream. Do what makes you feel alive! Be in the present moment. Know yourself. Connect with nature. Follow your heart. Be real. Take responsibility of what you attract and create in your live. Living from a sense of abundance and not from lack thereof. Accept and love yourself which in return will determine the quality of  your relationship with the people around you.

What is one piece of advice that you’ve never forgotten?

I do love Irene Cara’s 80”s song: What a feeling! “Take your passion and make it happen!” However, I don’t think we should  follow any rigid advice or philosophy in life– just feel and be true to yourself, follow your heart and your gut feeling within. Our gut and heart are our road map in life – it is when we follow these feelings and do the things we love that allow us to be in the right place at the right time – being in flow, being in harmony. Science is even teaching us how to create coherence between the mind and heart and how that brings about balance in the physical body, making us overall happier. Check it out here.

Namaste

x

Flawless

October 9, 2014

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Image credit: Pinterest

It’s cold and mis in Durbs today but I just watched the new Beyonce and Nicki Minaj new Flawless remix music video and that perked me right up! (along with a strong coffee)… and yes she is perfection. Surfboard.

Aussie Rules

October 8, 2014

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Images (Top to bottom) – SaboSkirt, Elle Ferguson at Spell in Byron, Christine Centenera, Spell Designs, Forever Soles, Natalie Alamein and the Theyallhateus girls.

When I first moved to Sydney I was in complete awe of the Aussie style. Australian women generally just have a knack for pulling off that ‘effortless’ look by piecing together basics, denim, killer shoes, beachy hair and great accessories. Girls like Elle Ferguson and Tash Sefton from blog Theyallhateus, Pip Edwards and Mimi Elashiry make the casual cool ‘I woke up like this’ look flawless and as for the likes of Christine Centenara – no words, she’s still my style icon.

Besides the obvious and more pricey Aussie labels (Zimmermann, Sass and Bide and Lover to name a few), here are a few of my fave (and more budget friendly) labels that you need in your life – and in case you’re wondering, yes I have done my research and almost all of them deliver internationally – win!

Spell - If your vibe is boho gypsy kid then you have to check out this label by two Byron Bay sisters Elizabeth and Isabella. Think floaty fabrics, exquisite layers of adornments and dreamy boho homeware. Shop Spell here

Saboskirt – One of my first Aussie finds via Insta and a brand that’s perfect if you’re searching for that new, on trend, weekend outfit. The owners Thessy and Yiota are absolute babes and chronicle their daily outfits and lookbook shots on Instagram. Hot product at the moment? Their summer fresh crochet crop tops. Shop Sabo here

Natalie Alamein - I discovered Natalie’s range of earrings when selling some of my own second hand goods at the Bondi markets (a must see if you visit Sydney!) I hadn’t seen anything like it before – beautifully unique, hand crafted earrings and bags (as above) in bright colours. Natalie’s website is still under construction but you can get in touch on her Facebook page. I don’t think she delivers internationally just yet, but you can always ask  a friend visiting Aus to bring you back something small – well that’s my plan anyway!

Forever Soles –  Another boho find, perfect for the free spirit festival goers and boho brides. I’m loving their anklets and barefoot sandals. You can also style up basics beautifully with some of their chunky pieces. Shop Forever Soles here

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