Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thanks Scar, For My New Hair

I recently decided to go back to blonde. I've had dark hair for a few years now, but I've grown bored of it and it was time for a change. Gone are the days though, where I could shave off one side of my hair, or colour it pink and purple. I'm part of the real world, where people have real hair colours in various shades of blonde, brunette and ginger. And I've made the decision to never cut my hair again as long as I live. So that's off the table.

I called Scar and made the appointment while I had the nerve. If you've ever done it, you'll know that going from dark to light can be pretty risky. You are really pretty much putting your social life in the hands of your stylist, so it's really important that you can trust them and be sure that they know what they're doing. Luckily, that's exactly how I feel about my stylist, Carlos. He's not like those stylists who ignore your pleas of "just a tiny tiiiiiiny tiny bit off the ends" whilst gaily chopping off the six centimeters you've been growing for the past 24 months.

So last Friday I sat down in front of Carlos and told him to make me blonde. Or blonder than brunette. Four hours and a few nervous glances from Carlos later, I was about three shades lighter. And I had fringe to go with the new colour, too.


I honestly trust Scar absolutely and I knew that Carlos, knew exactly what he was doing. He wouldn't allow me to pressure him into going lighter than he knew was safe for my hair and he didn't even mind staying late on a Friday. I really love Carlos. He's a great hair stylists and a pretty awesome guy, too. When he's not making people look amazing at Scar, he's cycling. Or Tweeting about cycling. But he's much cooler than most cyclists.

I asked him some questions that I thought we might like answers to. Here's what he said:

The man in action

1. You're are a straight Afrikaans boy from Bloemfontein. How did you get into hair styling?
I am exactly that haha my mother has been a hairstylist since long before I was born, I literally grew up in 'Maison Costa' until I was 11 years old. after trying a few different jobs during my gap year I knew I definitely wanted to do hair.

2. Where and what did you study? 
I studied hair and cosmetology at Motheo FET college in Bloem part time for 3 years, went to college 1 day a week, and worked at Maison Costa 5 days a week during that time, constantly attending courses to better myself.

3. What is it about Scar that made you want to work there?
Unlike most salons, management lets you be yourself and there is no drama what so ever amongst colleagues. As a result, pure art is produced. which meets international standards at the same time without a doubt. I like that the creative space I work in means my work is constantly challenged and therefore; it just gets more and more interesting.

4. What's your favorite kind of styling job to do? Cut/colour? 
Everything except fingerwaves haha! I enjoy cutting more this week; last week I enjoyed colouring more. I couldn't choose.

5. When you see someone with really bad hair, how do you hold back from saying to them "I can help you"? 
How did you know that?!
(I actually do briefly go up to them and tell them what I think would be better and hand them my business card.)

6. Going from dark to light is pretty risky. How can girls (and maybe guys, I don't know) go safely from dark to light without having their hair fall out in orange clumps? 
Make sure your hairstylist is educated and concerned about the health of your hair.
You can save the condition of your hair by lightening only 1 to 3 levels at a time and letting the hair rest for about 3 weeks in between. People don't realise that treating it at the same time helps damage/breakage. If you come in; lift only 1-3 shades and TREAT - you can save your hair!! No point coming in, hearing that its a bad idea but then still doing it - only to have the hair break off...

Use non permanent colour, unless you're 50% grey.

Everyones hair is different and thus needs different combinations of protein and moisture (homecare products) your stylist should be able to guide you here.

Don't use box colour, ever! The more box colour you apply - the more layers of cheap colour you are adding that are difficult (to impossible) to lift..

7. What are your favourite products at the moment?
Wella SP Luxe argan oil. The new scar dark range with argan oil, its sulfate free and perfume free.

8. Which celeb do you think has the best hair? 
I like the fact that Katy Perry keeps changing her hairstyle and colour without damaging it too much.

9. Which celeb's hair would you most like to get your hands on?
I'd like to give Karl Lagerfeld a nice short style.

10. If you weren't in the hair business, what would you be doing? 
Contrary to belief, definitely not IT. Wholesale foods with my dad I suppose.

Thanks for taking the time to answer those questions for me Carlos. And thank you for making me a blonde again. Although, I haven't stopped fantasizing about going even lighter, so we might have a case of blondorexia on our hands.

If you're looking for a hair salon in Cape Town, I highly recommend Scar. Not only is everyone in there is remarkably good looking, they are super talented too. To make an appointment call 021 422 5900. Also, follow Carlos on Twitter here.

famke Jewellery Design

My friend Famke is an incredibly talented jewellery designer. All her pieces are hand crafted in her studio in Cape Town. I want to own her entire range. And wear it all at the same time. This video was made to give a glimpse into her new range and I think it is hauntingly beautiful.

Famke is exhibiting at Design Indaba so if you are going, make sure you visit her and maybe even buy some jewellery for yourself or your ladyfriend.

Here are a few pictures from her previous ranges of pieces that I really really want. Badly. I mean, I know I only have 10 fingers, but I want all these rings just the same.

Find Famke Jewellery on Facebook here

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Virgin Active Wellness Wednesday: Healthy Entertaining

I'm having a couple of girls over for dinner tonight and I will be cooking something tasty. We are all relatively healthy and we prefer to eat meals that are made up of veggies and lean protein rather than starch and cream as much as possible, so I'm going to be cooking my new favourite meal to prepare: Grilled Lemon & Thyme Chicken Breasts with Raw Courgette Salad. This meal is light and super easy and everyone likes it. I've cooked it twice now so I'm positive that it's a hit.

Unfortunately, I haven't actually taken any pictures of it, so I had to find a picture of chicken breasts on the internet which is not actually as easy as it sounds. Not all chickens have a photographic set of breasts. For the sake of aesthetics I like to include at least one image in a post, so I stole the above one from this site. Sorry about that. I promise I will take some pictures tonight and come back and edit this post.

ANYWAY, back to my delicious recipe. To feed four people, you will need the following:

4-6 organic chicken breasts
4 lemons
2 cloves of garlic
good quality olive oil
a punnet of courgettes
a punnet of mushrooms
loads of fresh tyme
salt & pepper

What to do:

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.

Strip the little leaves off the thyme and bruise it by bashing it up with a rolling pin or something. Zest your lemons and add it to the abused thyme leaves. Juice your lemons and add the juice. Crush your garlic and add to the mix. Whisk in lots of olive oil and add salt and pepper.

Line a pyrex dish with foil and drizzle with olive oil. Lay your chicken breasts down and pour half the mixture over the chicken. Fold the foil at the edges so that the steam stays inside the foil pocket. Place in the oven.

Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice your courgettes into pretty green and white ribbons. Slice your mushrooms very thinly and add them to the courgettes. Pour the rest of your dressing over the salad and mix well.

Cook the chicken for about 35-40 minutes and serve hot, on top of a bed of the courgette salad. So tasty!

Healthy lifestyle posts brought to you by Virgin Active.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Hands On Harvest Festival - Robertson Wine Valley

Good morning Excelsior.

Plaasbrood with jam and coffee for breakfast.

Shiraz picking at Excelsior.

Miss Emma Jude harvesting.




A Place In Thyme B&B

Bon Cap Restaurant.

Table setting at Bon Cap.

Wine tasting at Bon Cap.

This weekend Emma Jude and I road tripped out to the hot, mountainous area of the Robertson Wine Valley for the annual Hands On Harvest festival. Now in it's fourth year, the Hands On Harvest is about creating opportunities for wine lovers to experience harvest time and celebrate everything that goes into the making of a great wine. Many of the farms in the area create amazing experiences around picking, stomping, bottling and blending the grapes along with various harvest feasts, tasting experiences and other grape-themed activities.

On Saturday morning we left Cape Town before sunrise to get to Roberston in time for a harvesting experience at Excelsior. We arrived just after 7am and were each handed a bucket and a pair of sheers and sent out into the vineyards to pick some Shiraz grapes. Our buckets full, we loaded the grapes onto the back of a quaint donkey-drawn carriage and ambled up to the stomping area.

After tipping our buckets of grapes into big vats, it was feet first into the squishy grapes and I stomped away while Emma Instagrammed. It was a squishy affair and the noises reminded me a lot of the kissing scenes in The Bold & The Beautiful. Once our grapes were stomped into a juicy pulp, it was time to strain and bottle the juice. We actually just watched as the other festival-goers did this activity, as neither of was very keen to drink the grape juice my feet had just been marinading in. Would you put your foot in a glass of grape juice before drinking it? No.

After an interesting cellar tour and a walk through the vineyards learning about the region and looking for weapons made by prehistoric man, we were very ready for lunch and both piled our plates high before settling down under the trees on the Manor House lawn. By the time lunch was over we'd already been awake for like, twelve hundred hours, so we decided to find our guest house and have a nap before our evening activities.

We checked in at a lovely little guest house called A Place In Thyme. The room was pretty, with two 3/4 beds, airconditioning (vital in those parts of the country), an en suite bathroom with a shower and DSTV. Best of all, there was a pool. Robertson was boiling hot and we were sticky after our morning's harvest activities. After a dip in the pool it was time for a nap.

We arrived for dinner at Arendsig and were warmly greeted by wine maker Lourens with a glass of his hand crafted Sauvignon Blanc. The sun was just about to set and the mountains around us were lilac with the last rays of the hot day. Dinner was served at a long table in the old cellar on the farm, Consol solar jars and little tea candles creating the atmosphere on intimate feasting. French loaves with delicious oil olive, feta, black olives, salami and roasted rosa tomatoes were followed by quiche with avo and pine nut salad, minestrone soup, an amazing stew served with rice and pancakes served with orange and ice cream. Man, it was a delicious feast.

The Arendsig wines were absolutely fantastic. Each course was paired with a glass of hand crafted wine; Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viogner. I wish I'd known when we sat down that the bread would be followed by four (!) more fantastic courses, so that I could have held back on the face stuffing. But I soldiered on and by the time I put down my fork after desert, I was ready for a food coma. My favourite wine of the evening was definitely the Chardonnay. If your a fan of the varietal, I highly recommend you it. I just ordered a case on the La Verne Wine Boutique website.

Elana, the owner of A Place In Thyme brought us coffee in bed on Sunday morning before serving a delicious breakfast of bacon and eggs. We spent the morning relaxing before heading to lunch at Bon Cap. Bon Cap is an organic wine farm and most of what they serve at their Sunday buffet was grown organically on their farm too. I am a huge believer in organic and bio-dynamic wine and while all big, "traditional" wine labels will swear there is no difference in product, I can tell you there is.

Emma and I chatted over a bottle of The Ruins Sauvignon Blanc and big plates of delicious food. The whole menu makes use of grapes in some way, shape or form, from raisin bread to grapes in a chicken salad, which I loved. After our lunch we were treated to a wine tasting and I ended up buying two cases of wine!

The Robertson Wine Valley is only 90 minutes out of Cape Town and is so beautiful. There are lots and lots of farms for you to visit and accommodation is affordable. With the Durbanville, Constantia, Stellenbosch, Paarl and Wellington wine regions so close to Cape Town,  I think it's easy to forget about the Robertson Wine Valley, which is a big mistake. It really is worth a visit andI can't wait to go back for another weekend of feasting and drinking.

A few more Robertson festivals to look forward to are: Wacky Wine (June), Robertson Slow (August), and Wine On The River (October).

Looking to spend a weekend in the Roberston Wine Valley? I recommend:

Visit the Robertson Wine Valley website for information on farms, festivals and acommodation.

Excelsior Wine Estate & Country Manor
Arendsig Hand Crafted Wines (by appointment only)
Bon Cap Organic Wines 
A Place In Thyme B&B (Bonnievale)

My Favourites From The Oscars

Every year the Oscars showcase some of the most beautiful and most hideous dresses of the year. Designers fall over each other to dress award hopefuls, stylists fall over publicists to get designers to dress their attending celebrity clients and we fall for the spectacle of it all.

Here are my favourites from this year's red carpet. These women all looked flawless from head to toe (except Heidi Klum, but we'll get to that) and owe their stylists a weekend in Barbados.

Jennifer Lawrence, obviously. She's lost some more weight and is looking stunning, but I hope she doesn't lose any more. I've always really loved her "natural girl" appeal and clearly, Hollywood does too. This dress was perfect for her big night. It's a big dress, but she's a big star. I particularly loved the subtle accessories. I often think her makeup could be better, but this time she looked stunning.


Emma Roberts looked AMAZING. I would absolutely wear this dress. It was more favourite of the night, by far. I'm also a big fan of flat chests, and this dress would only have worked on a girl with a small bust. I applaud you, Emma Roberts. And your small bust too. Her hair and makeup were perfect for the dress and I give her a score of 11/10.


Charlize Theron looked incredible. I don't love the hair, but she did what she could with it. It takes a special woman to wear a fitted white dress with a peplum waist and look thin while doing it.

Heidi Klum looked like an old lady who could use a burger and a couple of buttons to reign in her bosoms, but the dress was gorgeous. I just wish it was on someone younger and more flat chested. Like me. Or Emma Roberts.



Catherine Zeta Jones, Selma Hayek, Stacy Keibler, Naomi Watts and Jessica Chastain all looked incredible.  I loved the metallic trend and mermaid-styles this year and I think these ladies got their makeup and hair spot on too. Jessica Chastain's dress is a close second to Emma Roberts and one that I would attempt in by some twist of fate I grew a talent and was catapulted into the spotlight and inevitably invited to the Oscars.

Jennifer Aniston looked stunning, but I feel like maybe her stylist didn't watch Jennifer Lawrence winning at the Golden Globes earlier this year?

Who were your favourites? Don't say Anne Hathaway.

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior. Anne Hathaway in a dress made by a stay at home mom from Boksburg, who says she originally made the dress for her daughter's Matric farewell.