Thursday, March 28, 2013

Natalie's Favourited Tweets To Brighten Even The Darkest Day!

You know how some days you wake up and realize that your boyfriend really did break up with you over email and your boy cat really does hate you and your neck is still sore from that time you looked at your bum in the mirror too vigorously and you dropped Vodacom's loan iPhone (which is made of glass) and now you need to actually spend R500 on a new cover and you don't have black bags and yes other people have much bigger problems like poverty and small carny hands but still your problems are bad too and you need something to cheer you up or you will probably just lie under your desk and eat your feelings? 

Well then you need a good dose of Natalie's Favourited Tweets!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Virgin Active Wellness Wednesday: Healthy Road Trip Snacks

I love a good road trip. But I'll be honest, it's the snacks I love most. Pretty much as soon as we hit the highway, I'm in the cooler bag, claiming starvation. It doesn't mater if I've just had a full meal. If there's food in the car, I will eat it. Like, I can't stop thinking about it. I can't even concentrate on road trip games. This can be problematic when you've packed snack foods like sandwiches, chips and cookies.

With the Easter weekend coming up, I thought a few healthy snack ideas would be perfect for this week's Wellness Wednesday. You can't eat rubbish if there's no rubbish in the car, right?

1. Nuts - not the salted kind and not the wasabi peanut kind. Just good old nuts. They are full of protein and they keep you full. You can't eat like, 30 though. Keep it limited to around 7-10 with some other snacks thrown in.

2. Dried fruit - this is really high in sugar though, so go easy on it. You should go for the organic version, which doesn't contain weird chemicals or extra sugars. Try Wellness Warehouse.

3. Blueberries - eat as many as you like. They are good for you in all kinds of ways.

4. Cherry tomatoes - they are easy to transport and don't make a mess.

5. Baby carrots- like normal carrots. But baby. Sweet man.

6. Banana's- because they come in their own packaging.

7. Hard boiled eggs- although, they don't smell that great. So open the windows. I also don't like the yolks, so I throw them out. Wasteful, I know. But such is life.

8. Grilled chicken breasts- cut them into strips and grill them in olive oil and lemon juice with some rosemary.

9. Biltong- because it's low in fat and high in protein and tastes delicious.

10. Water- you need to drink loads of water. Not just when you're in the car, obviously. But don't drink things like Energade either. If you drink them and don't do anything physical (like walk or stand) for a while, they can mess with your kidneys.

A Little Personal

I feel like I haven't really been getting into personal stuff on this blog at all recently. It's weird, when I started Tails Of A Mermaid, it was a place to talk about my life. Now I sometimes feel like I need to keep my life off this blog at all costs.

I found this list on Pinterest as part of a series to get to know your partner/parent/child better and thought it would be pretty cool to answer. Mainly as a bit of self-discovery and selfish time. Sometimes you just need to talk about yourself, you know? Sure it's narcissistic. Whatevs. Answering these questions was  actually pretty therapeutic. You should do it too. Email it to your mom or something. Or start a blog.

1. List 5 random facts about yourself
- I hate the colour orange and I notice it everywhere.
- I love wearing denim-on-denim and I don't care who knows it.
- I still don't know how to properly work iTunes.
- Peppers are my least favourite food  (and apples are the peppers of the fruit world)
- I am obsessed with visiting India.

2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
- LEECHES. When I was much younger, I was standing ankle deep in a dam, waiting for the start of a swim
  I was participating in. Just before the gun went off, I lifted my leg and there were hundreds of tiny leeches
  all up my leg, feasting my blood like I was some kind of buffet lunch. For the next 20 minutes I swam faster
  and kicked harder than ever before. I've been deathly afraid of leeches ever since. They are my biggest  
- Break-ins. For obvious reasons, but also because we had a really really creepy break-in when we lived in
  Hout Bay and the intruder wrote my name on my headboard. We never found out what that was about, but
  it seriously creeped me out. I can sometimes get really paranoid if I'm home alone.
- Answering my phone. I know this sounds PATHETIC, but when my phone rings and it's a number I don't
  know I start to feel super panicked. To the point where I want to ask someone else to answer it for me. I'm
  a total weirdo.

3. List 5 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
- Literally NO ONE at this school is of any consequence to your future. 
- Teachers have literally no idea what they are talking about, don't let them tell you what your character is.
- Wear your bikini. ALL THE TIME. This is the best body you'll ever have.
- Don't be so mean to your mom.
- Don't waste so many tears on your highschool boyfriend. Shame man.

4. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
- The idea of seeing my folks and my little sister in April.
- Spending time with my family in Hout Bay.
- My awesome girl friends.
- My new queen sized bed.
- Lots of bubble baths. Like, every night. 

5. If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?
- That Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was a real thing.
- That I had endless wishes.
- That I could marry a wine farmer.

6. What is your dream job, and why?
- I'd love LOVE to present an online travel and cooking show. That would be my dream come true.

7. What are 5 passions you have?
- I am passionate about this blog. I really love it.
- I love doing makeup. I miss my freelance makeup career a lot.
- Travel. There is nothing that can compare to experiencing a new place, language and culture.
- Wine. I am kind of obsessed with learning about it. And drinking it.
- Maybe I only have four passions.

8. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
- This is impossible. I have hundreds of embarrassing moments every day. The most recent one though, was
   putting my neck out while trying to look at my bum in the mirror. No one was even there to see this
   happen, but now I've put it on the internet so everyone knows. How embarrassing?

9. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
- People who use too many exclamation marks.
- People who describe themselves as "out of the box thinkers".
- Automated customer service recordings. When I have a problem, I just want to speak to a real human. I
  don't want to dial 1.
- Having to return anything, ever. I'd rather just wear shoes that are too small than have to return them.
- People who ask "Who else is going?" before they will agree to attending whatever it is you're inviting them
- Ordering the wrong thing at restaurants and having order envy. Or having a bad meal. I absolutely hate
  wasting perfectly good calories on an average to bad meal.
- Brands using "we would post a link to your site on our Facebook page" as a trade exchange. Are you even
  kidding me?
- Renee Zellweger and Hillary Swank's faces.
- Everyone getting engaged all the time.
- People who are always too hot. Aircon people.

10. Describe a typical day in your current life.
- Wake up, feed the cats. Shower. Get to work. Check Facebook, check Twitter, check email. Repeat.
   Repeat again. Repeat all day. Think of something to do in the evening. Go to yoga/go out for dinner/go out
   for drinks/run a bath and watch the Katy Perry Part of Me DVD whilst in the bath.

11. What’s the hardest part of growing up?
- All of it. Life is an incredibly hard thing for humans to have to do.

12. Describe 5 and weaknesses strengths you have.
- I can't even answer this question. What even is this? A job interview?

13. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
- I don't really have that many. Becoming a ktv presenter when I was in high school is definitely one. I
  suppose life is an accomplishments. The job I have and the home I've made and the fact that I am able to
  look after myself.

14. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
- Loving sport and fitness. I wish I was sporty. Cause then I would automatically have a hot body.

15. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
- This is another question that I absolutely cannot answer. I've always been more of a go-with-whatever-life-
  throws-at-you kind of person. Like, 5 years ago, when I was living in Joburg and doing makeup and
  presenting, I definitely didn't see myself living in Cape Town, working in Social Media and having two cats.
  I don't really see myself anywhere. Or, I see myself everywhere.

16. What’s your favorite holiday and why?
- I went on holiday to Thailand with my mom, sister, aunt and grandma in 2011 and that was probably my
  favourite holiday ever. I was going through a really tough time and it was so so awesome to spend so much
  time with my mom and my female family members.

17. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
- I don't know. I become obsessed with different people all the time. At the moment I'd probably like to
   meet Marilyn Monroe, because I just watched My Week With Marilyn.

18. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
- That the birth control pill is a safe thing for every woman to be putting into her body. THAT IS WHACK!
   Like, years and years ago when they used to give people cocaine for headaches? Look at us now.
   Laughing at how WHACK that was.

19. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
- My sense of humour.

20. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.
- TEN THINGS?! I just hope that people remember me as being clever and funny.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

RAMfest 2013: Videos

These video's just popped up in my Facebook feed and reminded me of how awesome RAMfest was. Man, there has been some really cool footage to come out of this year's festival. Of course, out of HUNDREDS of hours of footage and THOUSANDS of images, there is still not a single frame of me. I am literally cursed. Put me in a room full of photographers and not one will take a picture of me.

On a side note, that footage of people drinking tequila out of the bottle almost made me faint right here at my desk. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

A QMS Facial at Manx Consulting

A couple of weeks ago, I went for my 6 weekly facial at a new QMS Consultancy in Green Point called Manx. You probably know that I am completely obsessed with QMS and I use their entire rage religiously.

I was greeted by the lovely Charlene Schumacher, who I liked immediately. Personally, I feel it's really important to like and trust your skincare therapist. First of all, she has the fate of your visage in her hands and secondly, your treatment should be a relaxing experience. There's nothing worse than a therapist constantly asking you judgy questions about your water-drinking habits and skincare routine while your eyes are closed and she's cleansing your pores.

So anyway, Charlene was totally lovely and friendly as she took me into her small consulting room at her home. The room is light, with just one treatment bed, which made me feel like I was in an exclusive skincare salon-cum-medical suite in Beverly Hills.

Charlene cleansed and steamed my skin and expertly applied the QMS products as she chatted easily to me about my life. (I know the range fairly well, so she didn't have to take me through each and every product as she applied it.) She also gave me an amazing shoulder massage while she was at it. Once we were done, Charlene introduced me to a product I hadn't used before: the Relax-O-Firm Mask.

This mask is incredibly rich and feels amazing on your skin. It's got loads of moisture and acts to fill out any fine lines and wrinkles, using extracts from the plant Acmella Oleracea. You apply it thick onto your face and then leave it for about 15 minutes to really absorb into your skin. Immediately, I could see that my skin was glowing, smoother and the fine little lines around my eyes seemed to have disappeared. These effects lasted for the next couple of days and my skin looked and felt amazing.

If you're interested in trying the QMS range, I suggest you give Charlene a call on 082 312 6746 or visit the Manx website.

A Night At Spier For The #SpierNewJourney

Last weekend my sweet friend/makeshift boyfriend Miss Emma Jude invited me to join her for a night at Spier Wine Farm to experience a few of the many experiences they have to offer on their amazing farm. What followed was a day and night of wine tasting, eating, more wine, food, the consumption of wine, the eating of food and excessive use of the hashtag #SpierNewJourney. 

I've been to Spier a few times before, but I've never really explored the farm or their offerings. Mainly, I've just been to Moyo a few times and popped into the Cheetah encounter once (which is amazing). Right now they're running the #SpierNewJourney campaign in order to show local tourists how much they have to offer and encourage us to enjoy all their awesome offerings and experiences. 

Especially over the upcoming winter months. Locals don't know this, but Cape Town is overrun with specials over winter. Tasting menus, weekends away, spa treatments...all at really great, winter prices. 

We arrived to a tasting of the 21 Gables range in the stunning new open plan tasting room where we tasted the Chenin, paired with a delicious little mouthful of pickled fish and the Pinotage, paired with a chocoltae truffle and guava jam. I could have eaten about 16 more mouthfuls of each.

A quick walk across the farm took us to a festive braai set-up where the winemakers were competing against each other in a harvest braai. That's right you guys: A bunch of Afrikaans men were competing against one another in a fight to the best braai chop. Can you even imagine the consequences? Um, probably the best braai meat I've ever eaten. Combined with fantastic weather and great wine, it made for some pretty fantastic pre-nap feasting.

Emma and I booked into the hotel and promptly lay down for a 2 hour nap before getting ready for dinner. The hotel room was really spacious with twin beds, tv, aircon, a huge bathroom with a bath (yay!) and shower and a view of the pool. 

I love going away with girlfriends because it means loads of time to play hair-hair and makeup-makeup without having a boy flicking through the channels in an impatient manner. So I did Emma's hair and makeup and we took shameless selfies before heading down to the hotel for dinner. More eating, drinking and conversation followed before we basically rolled up to the room.

I know that we often speed past Spier on the way into Stellenbosch, thinking that it's more of a tourist destination than a local wine farm, but we really should be spending more time there. There is so much to see and do and the whole operation runs like a well-oiled machine. Check out their website for more details. You can also follow them on Twitter for updates on what's going on at the farm.

Thanks for an awesome weekend away Emma. And thanks for hosting us Spier.