Spree S/S 14 Launch

1 Oct

Just after I got back from our amazing trip to Rome and Paris [more on that soon], I was lucky enough to attend the launch of Spree’s S/S 14 Launch, and it was just one of those events that ended up being the perfect way to spend an evening. The evening started with bubbly [always good!], and then several people from Spree spoke to us about the online store, the season ahead, and fashion in general. I was thrilled to hear Chris Viljoen speak, and he took us through several designs currently in store.

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After the talking was over, we got to try on the clothes, have our hair and make-up done, and pose for a little photoshoot! I got to wear this interesteing Black Coffee dress, which I wouldn’t normally have picked out for myself but Chris knows his stuff! The heels are Errol Arendz.

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I mean, if that isn’t the perfect way to spend a mid-week evening, I don’t know what is. Add to that some delicious snacks, and great women like Bailey and Natalie… I mean! At the end of the night we also walked away with a handbag from Spree, AND a voucher to spend at the store. I chose this beautiful pleated maxi skirt from Cheryl Arthur, and I’m excited to say that the weather seems to finally be getting summery enough for me to give it a spin soon!

I’m really loving the selection on Spree, but especially the local designers! Chris Viljoen is a legend in the local fashion scene so it comes as no surprise, of course.  I’m definitely keen to buy more local designers’ wares, and Spree’s service is excellent: Free delivery, and it’s fast! Plus the team is on hand to help you at the drop of a hat.

Thanks for a great time, Spree! Here’s to future shoppings.

The lunchtime missions: 17-19 September

20 Sep

I’m afraid I’m failing dismally at this project this week. The main reason is I’ve had something on every night this week, and had an assignment due yesterday, so my lunch breaks have been spent doing maths. Not ideal, I know. But hopefully next week will offer some more opportunities to do cool stuff during lunch.

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Spindel, You Are My Friend

18 Sep

Look, I’m no domestic goddess- not by any stretch of the imagination! SC does most of the cooking, though [and it’s so good!] that I try make up for that with other chores like tidying and laundry. But, as anyone living in Cape Town will tell you, laundry can be a bit tricky in this town during the winter months because it rains all the time. Wet plus cold weather doth not a dry load make. And unless you’re earning a CEO’s salary, constant tumble drying will flatten your wallet in no time, not to mention the fact that it isn’t great for clothes.

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I’d heard about Spindel from several of my friends, and a few weeks ago they surprised me with my very own Spindel! We tried it out last week when we had a mountain of washing to do after our trip. Eventually we ran out of house space to hang everything up to dry, and decided it was time to try this guy out. It’s as simple as plugging it in, packing it full of your clothes [folded], and giving them a spin for three minutes [no, seriously, that’s all! Three minutes, people]. Spindels don’t use extreme heat to dry the clothes, they just spin really really super duper fast. And because you pack the clothes in tightly, they don’t go all over the place and get stretched and tangled. So, while I don’t normally get overly excited about household appliances, I can definitely get behind something that saves my clothes and my electricity bill, while being extremely useful to me as well.

I probably haven’t explained this terribly well, so watch the view below. But before you do that, here’s some good news: Spindel is on special on One Day Only tomorrow, marked down from R1 599 to R1 199! So if I haven’t given you enough reason to get one, there is just no hope for you…

 

The lunchtime missions: 16 September 2013

16 Sep

So today was the start of my new personal project: the lunchtime missions.

Today during my lunch hour I walked down to Adderley Street to the flower sellers to get some flowers for our flat. The flat is between Adderley and work, so afterwards I stopped there to drop them off, giving me a quick chance to say hello to Éponine, also. I had a nice walk down Long Street, stopped at the piece of the Berling Wall on St George’s Mall (which is right below where we live)- there’s a grammatical error on the plaque, tell me if you spot it if you ever visit the wall! It was too cold to go read in the park, hence deciding to do some admin instead.

I also found out some interesting facts about the flower sellers that I’ve always wanted to know! They’re been doing for 151 years now, and the woman from whom I bought my flowers is a third generation flower seller. I also asked how they decide who gets which spot- I mean, being tucked away in the back can’t be great, surely? Well, they rotate on a monthly basis.

Also, I’ve noticed there’s always someone there, even in the middle of the night, keeping watch over the flowers that they don’t pack up at the end of the day. So if you ever drive past there late at night on your way to buy food, maybe spare a thought for them and get them a coffee or a snack while you’re stocking up?

Now, I know none of this is exactly life-changing stuff. But it sure beats eating lunch at your desk, staring at your computer screen, no? I saw a piece of the Berlin Wall, found out something I didn’t know about a prominent feature in my city, and I got some fresh air.

Who knows what tomorrow holds.

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New personal project #2: the lunchtime missions

12 Sep

Right so I just posted about my new personal project #1: being a tourist in my own city. The second one overlaps the first: the lunchtime missions.

Today, after picking up my annual pass to the South African National Gallery, I saw down on a bench in the beautiful company’s gardens to look at the pamphlets I had gotten with my card, and to chill out in the sun a bit.

A man approached, and after my standard momentary thoughts of “I’m about to get murdered”, he asked if he could sit down. I grumbled that it’s a public space so he could sit wherever he wants (I don’t like people- I’m a terrible person so judge me all you want, but I’m being honest here). He then started talking and I admit in my mind I was going “urgh, really?! Leave me alone! What about me says ‘I desperately want to spend my lunch breaks talking to a random man’?”

He tells me I look German. His name is Daniel and he’s in final year of mechanical engineering studies. He’s looking to do masters at UCT as he knows it is international recognized. I tell him he must be very smart, and he says studies are tough but he’s happy with his makes right now. He’s from Angola, and speaks Portuguese. His sister lives in Portugal. He tell me my name is Portuguese. He’s traveled a lot, and tells me about brazil and how people all walk around casually with guns in parts of some cities. He tells me how friendly people were to him in Rio, and that people from Madeira have funny accents. He’s going to France next year to learn French, and naturally I suggest some places for him to visit. I tell him France has the best food on earth, and he wants he may never come back, in that case. He says Cape Town is expensive, and if you’re earning less than R1000 a month you just can’t survive. I gulp when he says that, and count my bloody blessings. He’s been to Ohio and Houston, but really wants to visit New York City. So do I. He asks me where Prague is, and marvels at the fact that I speak five languages. He says he’s going to leave in a few minutes to go cook himself some lunch, and I say I should probably get back to work. We say goodbye, and I wish him luck with masters and being an engineer.

I walk away smiling, and immediately call SC to tell him about Daniel. I guess technically there isn’t much to tell, in a way. It’s not like I met Daniel and he turned into a Unicorn, or told me the answer to the most difficult question in the world. But somehow meeting this stranger has made me feel happy, and (and I can confidently say this hardly ever happens) eager to meet more strangers! I’m eager to hear their amazing stories, to find out how I can help the people I pass on the street every day, even if it is only to recommend the best hot chocolate in town (where is that, by the way?). I’m eager to meet people I want to run into again, exchange numbers with strangers, and meet the kind of crazy people I never want to see again. I’m eager to just have a nice chat with someone, which may never amount to anything more than a ten minute talk about arbitrary things, because that is a far better way to spend lunch than sitting at a computer!

So I’m going to try “mission” as often as I can during lunch break. Whether that is to meet a stranger, go see a new shop or gallery, or just sit in the park and read, I’m going to try get away from spending lunch time at my desk, staring at a computer screen, reading something that isn’t vaguely enriching or educational. And of course I’ll be reporting back on the weird and wonderful things that happen on these “missions”.

Any idea for lunchtime missions in town?

New personal project, #1: tourist in my own city

12 Sep

We just got back from the greatest place on earth (Paris, obviously) and Rome, and I have major post-Paris blues. Symptoms and cute involve lying on couches wearing couture while eating foie gras by the spoonful, crying.

But while I will call it “horrible, stinky Cape Town” for the next week or so, I do love this city, and I know we are incredibly blessed to live here. We are, at the very worst, a short drive away from mountains, the beach, wine lands, amazing restaurants, live music, art, and basically anything else you could wish for (besides for Paris). And being back home has got me thinking: imagine of we experienced our homes as fully as we did the places we want on holiday? Obviously doing something every second of every day isn’t sustainable, but I’m sure we could all meet ourselves halfway between holiday mode and everyday living?

So I’m on a mission to be a tourist in my own city. I want to go to exhibitions, the aquarium, try new restaurants and wine farms, see plays and operas, go to the ballet, discover new local bands, and anything else that will enable me to say that I am experiencing Cape Town as fully as I can.

Today I joined the South African national gallery as a member for the remainder of this year until the end of 2014. I got a family card as SC will obviously be dragged along with me on my tourist missions. It’s inexpensive, and I’m thinking of doing the same for the aquarium, as well as the national museum.

I think it’s a shame that we tend to be so much less into where we live, than the places we visit as tourists. And I think if more locals supported they would not only discover amazing things about their area, they would also be supporting worthy industries such as tourism and the arts, and of course ultimately contributing towards job creation.

So if you’re reading this, I have two challenges for you:

1. Do the same. Start with something small, like seeing a show at your local theater, or going to the museum near you. Let me know what you take on and how it goes, I would love to hear about your experiences!

2. If there’s anything in the western cape that you know of that might be a great way for me to be a tourist in my own city, invite me! Whether it’s an exhibition, a new market, a new band, a bar or restaurant I need to try, tell me to go there, what to do or order or look out for, the quirks and facts only regulars know, the history tourists would want to find out- anything!

Who’s joining me on being a tourist in my own city?

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22 Aug

I’m writing a quick post to explain why, for the next while, I will either be very quiet, or posting random videos pretending I’m posting stuff on here when really it’s just a cop-out.

At the moment, I am quite busy. Now, I get annoyed when normal people with normal jobs go oooon and ON about how busy they are, because you know what, Barack Obama is busy, and you don’t see him making such a BFD about it all day on Twitter. But, right now, I am sincerely busier than usual, and here’s why:

I work full time. That’s 08h30 till 17h30, five days a week.

I have a business on the side which is in stage 1 – operating but not yet profitable, and currently entering phase 2 where we’re going from one product… to 22.

I just started my BComm in Business Management, which I am doing through correspondence. On top of this, because I am going to Europe next week [!!!], I am trying to complete all assignments by next Thursday so that I don’t have to work during the trip, or be in a panic from the second I get home. That means 10 assignments. I’m 4 down at the moment, and I can tell you that, having studied supply and demand in economics, time is in very high demand in Lizeland right now.

I came up with another business idea earlier this year. I pitched it a few months ago, got the go-ahead for funding [which was a huge deal to me because it requires a large amount of start-up capital and the investor really liked the idea and readily offered me the loan so I feel like a real-life smart business person of awesomeness], and I got word two nights ago that the woman to whom I pitched to partner with me on this one accepted the proposal! So now that is also happening, and we’re in the very beginning stages of setting everything up.

And then there’s the usual other stuff: running; a husband; and general  life activities that will keep me a little bit sane; planning for our first anniversary trip in Paris and Rome [!!!]; and having a full-time cat.

So pardon the silence. Lizeland should be back to normal in about 5-8 years!