31 August 2014


Seeing it's the last day of Winter for us here in South Africa and Spring is upon us I thought it was time I did a Sunday Sketches post, as it seems an age since I last did one.
My "Sunday Sketches" this week are as usual from my favourite Inslee Haynes and they always put me in a good and happy mood.
 Inslee can be commissioned to create beautiful water colour wedding invites,thank you notes and even portraits of the bride and wedding party.

If you would like to see more of Inslee Haynes work visit her website

30 August 2014


Mention Christain Dior and the chances are the name will mean different things to different people...I automatically think of my favourite male fragrance Fahrenheit, as I worked for CD in South Africa back in 1988 when this great fragrance was launced.Others may conjure up visions of their favourite Dior lipstick or eyeshadow quartet, beautiful fashion, exquisite shoes, crafted handbags, jewellery and even a pair of sunglasses with the infamous CD logo on the arms. 
There is now doubt that this iconic fashion and fragrance house, 
which like to be now known as simply Dior, is synonymous with "Luxury"...
a little piece of this Dior "Luxury" can be purchased in its least expensive form for a few hundred rands, in the way of a lipstick, whilst many tens of thousands can be spent in the quest to own a piece of Dior "Haute Couture". 

On to more affordable "Dior" I have recently been wearing their latest fragrance addition,
Dior Addict Eau de Toilette and whilst we are discussing the price of how much it costs to own "something" Dior, this fragrance will set you back around,
 R895 for a 50ml spray
R1419 for the 100ml spray
which today is pretty much the norm for a luxury high end fragrance.

Addict Eau de Toilette is a new version of the Dior Addict Eau de Parfum fragrance launched in 2012, which was a reinterpretation of the original Addict launched in 2002. 
Having tried neither of its predecessors I cannot make any comparisons.

Classified by Dior as a woody/floral, I find it to lean more towards a fresh/floriental.
Its key ingredients are Jasmine, Sicilian Mandarin, Tunisian Neroli, Vanilla and Sandalwood. Initially I enjoyed the slightly "heady" Jasmin, as it was softened by the Mandarin and Neroli,
 yet on the dry down the Sandalwood and Vanilla came to the fore to give it a powdery soft fragrance, which I really enjoyed. 

However a softness in a fragrance can often lead to a quick fade, which is exactly what happened on my skin after a very short time, so several sprays throughout the day and night would be on the cards for me in order to keep enjoying this fragrance. 
This has prompted me to now try the Dior Addict Eau de Parfum as that may give me a longer linger that I require from a fragrance.

Let me know your opinions of this latest Dior fragrance and remember fragrance
 is a very personal thing!

Available from selected Woolworths, Edgars,Red Squares and Truworths countrywide.

28 August 2014


I haven't posted any "Weird" posts for some time and I have to admit that I quite enjoy searching for weird things...Here are some more "weirdo" shoes.

Hoof Shoes (totally uncomfortable)

Totally Wired

Barbie Head Shoes

25 August 2014


Having been a huge fan of good salon hair products for as long as I can remember, 
recently put my hair through a "Conditioner Detox"...
(not sure if there is such a thing but there is now).

Considering that I am in my mid 50's I realized that I have bombarded my hair, for over 30 of those years, with treatments of all kinds. Even though my hair is trimmed and highlighted every six weeks I have an obsession, as I think most women have, with keeping my hair in tip top condition in order to counteract the damaging effects from both chemical and heat treatments. Even though I spend a fortune on my hair products, I never really question the amount that I spend, as in my mind, they are all needed and doing my hair "good".

I had noticed for some months that my hair was feeling soft, but also heavy and looked flat and lank very quickly after styling, but my mental reasoning for this due to either age,menopause,change of products and possibly the fact that my hair was longer and therefore heavier and straighter, not at any stage did I consider that I was overloading my hair with conditioning and treating products, as they all pretty much claim to not make you hair feel heavy or oily. I agree with their marketing claims for the products being used on an individual basis,but the layering of several products, as most of us do, I believe can lead to an "overload"!

It recently took an empty conditioner bottle in my shower to make me "wake-up" to the fact that I may have been over conditioning. 
I cannot ever..remember not using a conditioner after washing my hair, so getting out of the shower without using on this occasion filled me with absolute dread, as to the thought of how I will get a comb through my long, highlighted, tangled locks.
Careful towel drying and a wide toothed comb did the trick, followed by my usual use of a hair dryer and my Ghd.The only product that I used other than my shampoo was the Kerastase Nectar Thermique heat protector. I was shocked by the results of no conditioner, as my hair had volume and a lightness to it that I hadn't experienced for years, which proves to me that over conditioning was the cause. 

I have since washed my hair "conditioner" free..three more times and my "Conditioner Detox" has been relatively easy and successful. I am now going to re introduce my treatments slowly whilst being mindful that my hair does need a break every now and then. Now I am not recommending this for everyone,but if you recognize some of the same issues that I have described, then maybe you also need to detox your locks.

Some of my current products that I use 2-3 times a week

Me "Detoxed" Hair

21 August 2014


I recently attended the media launch for the "House" Restaurant and Deli,which is housed in the Ballito House situated in Ballito, on Kwazulu-Natal's Dolphin Coast.
(lots of use of the word "house" I know) 
Whilst there I was able to wander around and have a good "squiz" in all the rooms and public areas.
This exclusive retreat has just undergone a revamp and offers guests all the luxury of a private stylish guest villa with a comfortable homely feel.
This beach house is a five minute walk away from the beaches and has a spectacular view over the warm waters of the Indian Ocean with dolphins often coming to play and entertain making it perfect for family holidays,a romantic getaway, a private celebration or even a business brainstorming venue!
The Ballito House offers seven charming and beautifully decorated air-conditioned bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms and balconies, a private meeting room, library, cigar bar with snooker table/ TV lounge and outdoor lounges, which have been designed in a manner to optimise the blue ocean vistas.
Oh! and the all important swimming pool.....

The Ballito House is well situated for you to enjoy some of Kwazulu-Natal's finest golf courses, the culture of the Zulu Kingdom, restaurants and casinos, and is located just 15 minutes from Durban's UShaka International Airport.

The Ballito House has such a beautiful and relaxing atmosphere,  that I really battled to tear myself away.....throw in a delicious restaurant and more delicious takeaways from the Deli and I may not leave next time
so get my bed ready!

Inviting pool area
Stacking doors create a wonderful indoor outdoor flow
Now that's a a bottle of Coke
Alfresco outdoor dining and lounging
Beautiful calming views
Cigar Lounge

The house can be either rented as a whole unit or as individual rooms, so visit their website for more details with regards to their tariffs.

20 August 2014


Stila cosmetics have made their presence felt on the South African cosmetic scene since their SA launch nearly two years ago and I for one have blogged about several of their products and been very happy with my choices.
I am always on the look out for new and different mascara's, whether it's a new formula, brush or just the promise of longer looking lashes and I'm interested....
This soon to be launched mascara came to my attention recently and guess what,
 I'm very interested!

RSP R250

This mascara forms part of a collection of products that have been launched to mark  the 20 year celebration of Stila's artistic elegance. 

The attention grabber for me, with this product, was the name...
Mile High LashesTM Mascara
 Now..you tell me any female or male for that matter that wouldn't be curious about this mascara!!

Stila's press release states;

"The sky is the limit for length, lift and volume. Transform lashes with an instant upgrade and the new Mile High Lashes Mascara." 
Obviously playing on the aviation connection it also states;
"Our jet-black formula glides on seamlessly, transporting lashes with length and volume that will not smudge, budge, clump or flake."
Unfortunately here in South Africa we will have to wait until October to try this little "rocket of promise",
but I for one will be hopefully adding some "flutter" to my sparse lashes and putting this mascara to the test.

Available from Selected Stuttafords & Truworths nationwide

If you have tried this product already, then please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment.

Reviews on Stila products

17 August 2014


Silver Rain

Silver Rain was the first fragrance that the Swiss skincare house La Prairie launched back in 2005.
Silver Rain creators were inspired by the phenomenon that takes place in spring in the mountains of the Swiss Alps. Rain is transformed into ice crystals of breathtaking beauty. In the spring these crystals melt and fall from a height of 1000 feet and is called 
“ silver rain”.
Back in 2005 I worked for La Prairie and it was an exciting launch, as the packaging
 was a beautiful sculpted gleaming silver raindrop and in my opinion still 
remains on my top 10 list of exquisite bottles. 
The fragrance itself was also unique for its time, as it did not transition on the skin 
from the top note through to the base note, but remained the same throughout. 
This modern woody floral fragrance is a sensual combination of roots, herbs and flowers that are both rare and costly. 
This elegant and complex fragrance was expensive back then and it remains so 
today at R1740 for a 50ml Eau de Parfum spray.
Not in everyone's price range I know, but non the less, sells well and has its loyal followers. 
It was one of my favourites for several years and I have two empty bottles on display in my bathroom and they still look beautiful today with no corrosion or tarnishing,which considering I live at the coast, only goes to show that the bottles are lasting pieces of artwork.
I was given a sample of Silver Rain recently and was excited to re visit my
 once fragrance of choice,but unfortunately I have evolved with regards to 
my fragrance preference and Silver Rain sadly just didn't do it for me anymore.
I found it to be too heavy despite having some of my "fave" ingredients like Vanilla,Verbena,Rose and Bergamot Zest. 
This only goes to show how our tastes change and for me the Jasmine and the Gardenia were too prominent, so remember that a fragrance we enjoyed in our 20's 
may not the be same type or classification as the ones we will necessarily enjoy in our 30's, 40's or even 50's as in my case.
Crisp Green Apple, Verbena Flower, Dewfruit Berry, Anise Seed, Crushed Coriander, Bergamot Zest
Gardenia Tuberose Blossom, Red Rose Petal, Juicy Plum, Star Magnolia, Night Blooming Jasmine, Crystallised Sugar Accord
Patchouli Leaves, Heliotrope Flower, Rare Agarwood, Rich Musk, Red Sandalwood, Creamy Tonka Bean, Vanilla Infusion
Available from La Prairie counters at selected Edgars.

14 August 2014


Even though the Pick n Pay Taste of Durban happened several weeks ago (Friday 25 to Sunday 27 July) at Suncoast Casino & Entertainment World (Suncoast), I for one still remember it well... Chefs from nine of Durban’s top restaurants created special menus of starter-sized dishes, including their signature dishes, designed to reflect their individual philosophies, whilst showcasing seasonal and premium ingredients. Into its third year now the build up in the media prior to this event promised to be the most exciting ‘foodie’ event of the year...
and I have to be honest this media promise did instill some negativity in me, 
as more often than not these claims don't deliver! 
How wrong I was, as this really was a great event and one to mark on your calender for next year.
Held over three days, this unique international restaurant festival brought together Durban’s most dedicated and sophisticated foodies in an al frescodining celebration. Visitors had the opportunity to sip, sample and shop their way around the festival and there was something for everybody to enjoy.
Just a couple of things to bear in mind to really gain the best out of the Taste of Durban experience:

  • Pre book your tickets and arrive early to take full advantage of the 4hr session, as it is a case of "time flies when you are having fun" and we certainly had fun...
  • Expect some queues.
  • Arrive with an empty tummy, as temptation does take over.
  • Wear loose clothes and comfy shoes
  • Try and secure somewhere to sit....both seated and standing dining areas were available, but more were needed and this would be my only complaint and hopefully next year this will be addressed.
  • Take plenty of money and buy your Scoin vouchers ( the currency used to purchase everything) on entry (1 voucher = R5) dishes vary from 4-8 scoins.

It's impossible for me to mention all the wonderful restaurants and exhibitors that were involved, I will let the photos do the talking. My personal favourites were Greedy Buddha and Little Havana and of course Lindt Chocolate! 
If you are a "foodie" then The Taste of Durban 2015 is a "must do", as it promises to be even bigger and better and I for one will be there!

Rekorderlig Swedish Pear Cider


Be sure to buy your Tasting Glass

Vigour & Verve - Seared Beef Wrap

Havana Grill - Asian "Wagu Angus" Burger

Havana Grill - Braised Lamb Arancini

Market - Calamari,Quinoa and nut salad

Freedom Cafe - Sticky Short Ribs

Havana Grill - Grilled Calamari & Chorizo

Wine & Canape paring

This is a must do next year 

Martini causing a stir

12 August 2014


I feel like a bit of cheat this week with my Sunday Sample, as its a sample of a perfume that I used for several years and was actually part of the launch team, here in South Africa back, in 2005.
The fragrance is Silver Rain by the prestige Swiss skincare house La Prairie and I was given a sample at a function recently. I know so much about this fragrance, but after not using for many years would I still enjoy today, the elements that I loved back then....
I will bring you my 2014 thoughts on my Sunday Sample post this coming Sunday!

10 August 2014


The delish sisters Rebecca and Kate Lund are the bubbly, effervescent and ever so friendly sisters behind the Ballito foodie brand "Delish". 
This passionate foodie duo don't believe in
 "letting the grass grow under their pretty feet" and since December 2013 they have appeared, very successfully  on the "food market" scene, with their infamous slow roasted lamb in naan and their double chocolate brownies. 

Slow Roasted Lamb Naan

They have also established a catering business and now their latest venture is a Restaurant and Deli housed in the stunning Ballito House Boutique Hotel aptly called "House".

The relaxed and comfy seating areas

Lovely views all add to the "House" experience

The House Deli will be stocked with their goodies to enjoy at home, with fresh and frozen meals soon to be added to their Deli range.

The "House" Deli

Having sampled some of their "Delish" delicacies this past Friday at a media launch, I for one will be popping back for more of the same,I personally couldn't think of a nicer way to pass a couple of hours, than enjoying either a brunch or a Sunday Harvest style lunch on a sunny Durban day over at the 
Delish Sisters House".

A selection of tasty "goodies"

Sage Infused Mushroom Cigars

Double Chocolate Brownies (best ever)

Smoked Salmon and Dill Cream Cheese Muffins

A Thank You Biscotti Gift

083 583 2943

House Restaurant & Deli
14 Eland Street

To keep up with the Delish Sisters follow them on:

9 August 2014


National Women's Day is an annual public holiday in South Africa on 9 August. This commemorates the national march of women on this day in 1956 to petition against the pass laws that required South Africans defined as "black" by The Population Registration Act to carry a '"pass," an internal passport that severely restricted their movement. Each "pass" designated specific urban/metropolitan areas in which the bearer was authorized to live, work and travel. Within such areas, black South Africans were required to carry and produce their "pass" at all times, and were arrested if without one. As such, it served to maintain population segregation, control urbanisation, and manage migrant labour during the apartheid era.
On 9 August 1956, more than 50,000 women staged a march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act (commonly known as the pass laws) of 1950. They left bundles of petitions containing more than 100 000 signatures at prime minister J.G. Strijdom's office doors.Outside they stood silently for 30 minutes, many with their children on their backs. The women sang a protest song that was composed in honour of the occasion: Wathint'Abafazi Wathint'imbokodo!(Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.). In the 54 years since, the phrase (or its latest incarnation: "you strike a woman, you strike a rock") has come to represent women's courage and strength in South Africa.The march was led by Lilian NgoyiHelen JosephRahima Moosa and Sophie Williams.
Since 9 August 1994, the day has been commemorated annually and is known as 
"Women's Day" in South Africa and I wish you all a wonderful day and......

5 August 2014


When I hear the name Vera Wang, wedding dresses and fragrances spring to mind, as this 65 year old New Yorker has created some beautiful and memorable bridal and red carpet gowns for royalty and celebrities alike and her fragrance collection isn't too shabby either. I was part of the team that launched Vera Wang fragrance collection into South Africa many years ago, launching with Signature, the original fragrance, then Princess and Truely Pink. At that time I remember that we were all so excited,as we were to receive a Vera Wang gown that was to be used nationally in promotional areas and centre court displays, but unfortunately my only opportunity of seeing,feeling and examining the beauty of an original Vera Wang bridal gown never materialized.
Packaging is so important to the success of a fragrance, along with its contents and you wouldn't expect anything less than "romantic" and "stylish" from Vera Wang. Huge budgets are allocated by the perfume companies to spend on the creation of the bottles.These are some of my favourite Vera Wang creations (all in pinks) and I think you will agree that they are all feminine, whimsical and totally compliment her exquisite gowns.

1. Princess 
2. Lovestruck
 3. Be Jeweled 
4. Anniversary