Let’s just talk about this Love Box, okay?

This is not the first time I have mentioned The Counter on this blog – I wrote about my goal to sample one of their famous brownies (while I was still living in London) HERE; and I featured it again HERE after I had my first taste of their wares during a trip to Jozi last year…

What I want to share with you today is more of a PSA about the subscription box service they launched recently, because you need this in your life. I think I ordered within the first ten minutes of their announcement a week or two ago, and my surprise-filled box arrived today.

It’s called a Love Box for a reason: so much passion and care has been poured into each handmade product inside, you can tell from the minute you rip it out of the courier bag that every detail has been carefully considered.

Obviously the yummeh contents of each box are the heroes (obviously) – but for me, it’s also about the beautiful packaging and design, and how it all comes together (I’ve talked about experiencing  a brand before and these guys are nailing it!)

Without further ado, feast your eyes on these, and read more about the logistics and how to order here: http://thecounter.co.za/love-box/




Rain Event @ Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) Durban

On Saturday gone by, I missioned down the highway to join some other local bloggers at the 2015 Rain KZN Bloggers Event being held at the Edu Centre at CROW in Durbs.

Us Midlands bloggers don’t get to attend cool events very often and I’ve had to turn down invites in the past (a la no one to babysit!) so I took the opportunity to have a kiddy-free adventure on hubby’s weekend off, and had an awesome time catching up with/meeting everyone despite the mizzy weather.

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Everyone in and around KZN has heard of CROW and the amazing rehabilitation work they do by helping injured/abandoned animals and birds back into the wild, so it was awesome to hear first hand from CROW Director, Claire, all about how they actually pull it all off. New-found respect for people who work with animals!

The Rain team (Yusuf, Ryan and Juani) were amazing hosts and we kicked off by creating our own body scrub mixes – I probably could have been a bit more adventurous with mine (a simple vanilla and rooibos concoction) but in the future I will be more than happy to leave it to the experts ;-)

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 2.30.11 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 2.30.19 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 2.22.31 PMAn incredible (vegetarian) lunch was laid out for us and a Rain video presentation showed how ingredients are sourced nd harvested, and local communities empowered through their relationships with the company.

We were also privy to a sneak peek at the upcoming seasonal products which will be in store soon, as well as a demo of the stunning new fragrances being released by Rain soon – Leaf, Twig and Nectar.

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A a designer, it’s all about the packaging for me though – kudos to Rain on that front, and for really creating a feel for who they are through their branding and marketing.

I’ve been watching their growth from the sidelines for a while now (their increasing online presence, as well as physical beautifully-designed stores in SA and abroad) and what a pleasure it was to sample some of their beautiful products and hear more about their ethos at this lovely event – thank you for having me :)

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INSPIRED! Hello Ambassador Follow Up Post

Let’s just say that I was so inspired by our little trip up to Jozi for Hello Ambassador earlier this month, that I haven’t done anything but work since then!

Okay, not completely true, but I have been playing catch up in a big way and have so many exciting projects on the go, I really haven’t given my poor old blog the attention it deserves…

So here we go, some of the highlights of my experience at #HA2015:

ONE. For me personally, top three speakers included: Robert Brozin (Nandos CEO-Founder), Pepe Marais (Joe Public Partner/CCO ), and William Struwig (Publicis Machine CD) – their talks were just incredibly inspiring – I left feeling like I want to do more, be more, create more – and that the possibility of having it all is actually real… I did at times feel a bit sad that I didn’t belong to a bigcityfuckoff corporate creative organisation and that I’m just kind of on my own here in the sticks, BUT there were still so many things they talked about that are interchangeable with freelance life and the path that I’m on that I know I can still make my dreams a reality.

TWO. Pepe made me cry by showing some of these incredible ads created by Joe Public:

THREE. Seeing Lauren Beukes (South African Novelist +More ) = ultimate fangirl moment achieved – just love her books and  was amazing  to understand a bit more about her research methods, and even just to see how she thinks and communicates…

FOUR. 3D Printing is INSANE people – thank you to Rick Treweek for the little workshop/intro into 3D printing and for helping me to understand how it actually all works, and amazingly, how accessible it is already…

FIVE. Meeting Steven and Telri from Paper Snap was an unexpected bonus of the event – what lovely people, whose beautiful illustration/design and screenprinting work I have been admiring from afar for a while now

SIX. Nicola and I had our portraits sketched in mere minutes (very awkward where-should-I-look-now minutes, but end result  well worth it!) by the talented Morne Venter Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 12.47.31 PMSEVEN. Just in general – seeing/talking to/listening to/being exposed to all different kinds of creative people and their crafts – great way to feel inspired and creatively refueled!

My partner in crime, also wrote a great post about some of the lessons we learnt from various speakers – a must read: http://www.nicolatweed.co.za/lessons-learnt-from-hello-ambassador-2015/ (thank you for coming with me on this adventure to the Big Smoke x )

And for those still wondering, I didn’t win the Awards for my You Biscuit! poster entry, but I came a close second and really chuffed and grateful for all the support received <3

To end off, some badly lit pics, but you get the idea!

Hello Ambassador Awards 2015 – please vote for YOU BISCUIT! if you think it deserves to win :)

Next week I’m off on a road trip with Nicola Tweed to attend the Hello Ambassador Creative Festival in Jozi – a  2-day conference featuring talks by industry experts from a variety of creative disciplines + workshops and a creativity and innovation expo.

C.A.N.N.O.T. W.A.I.T to immerse myself in some fresh creative vibes and take a break from Midlands life, as lovely as it is! Will definitely be sharing more pics and a blog post after the event, but the purpose of this blog post is to share the news that I’ve entered my You Biscuit! poster into the Hello Ambassador design competition and I’m in the running to win an award along with 6 other fantastic finalists!

It’s the first time I’ve ever taken part in an awards ceremony, there is no prize except for the title but I would be thrilled to win either way – so if you think my efforts with You Biscuit! deserve a vote, PLEASE CLICK HERE and type my name into the box at the bottom of the page – it only takes two secs, I promise :)

Will keep you all updated – to those who have already voted, thank you – honoured to receive so much ongoing support from everyone with my You Biscuit! project, very heart warming <3

I did my first 10km ever! Spar Women’s 5/10km Race, PMB

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 6.29.43 PMI wasn’t really going to write about this, but then I thought – hell yeah, I deserve to be proud and I’m going to shout it from the rooftops!

Not only did I complete my first organised 10km EVER yesterday (I’m sure I’ve walked 10km consecutively before, just not in a short time space, as part of an actual event) but I did it in only 1 hour and 31 minutes (and 29 seconds if you want me to be exact!) Considering I’d anticipated that it would take me just under 2 full hours – that’s a pretty decent achievement.

AAAAAAND I even RAN a bit – most of the downhills, as much as I could manage!

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The weather was perfect – a little overcast but no rain, and the vibe was awesome – I loved to see such a huge turnout of women in all shapes and sizes (and some men, most of whom dressed up as women which was pretty amusing!) – it was all very inspiring and heartwarming to feel that kind of unity.

I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of my Run/Walk For Life (Howick) team mates Tess, and Kerry (who is 20 weeks pregnant!) who kept me going and pushed me to keep up along the way. I don’t think I’d have done nearly as well if left to my own devices, and for that I am so grateful!

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 6.30.03 PMThat awesome feeling when you are done and have achieved what you set  out to do is PRICELESS! It’s made me really want to get fitter and better and I can’t wait to get out on the road again later this week :)

Thanks to SPAR for organising such a lovely morning.



Pichulik: not just a product, an experience!

I have been lusting after a Pichulik neckpiece for a while now and had some leftover birthday money, so took the plunge, ordered one online and then waited patiently for it to arrive by courier to hubby’s work…

cleverbirdbanter-pichulik-1It didn’t take long to get here from Pichulik HQ in Cape Town (5 working days from placing my order on a public holiday weekend to having it  in my hands – kudos Pichulik!) and to say I am thrilled with it is an understatement.

But let me tell you – you don’t just GET a beautifully designed product from Pichulik, you EXPERIENCE it’s arrival in your life.

Unwrapping my parcel was almost as amazing as trying on the necklace for the first time…

cleverbirdbanter-pichulikSo much attention to detail: beautiful swingtags, a drawstring storage bag; a hand-written note on gold-foil-headed notepaper; matching tissue paper, stickers and sticky tape…

The designer and stationery-nut in me nearly died – I can see how much passion and careful thought have been poured into every aspect of the Pichulik brand and it impresses me.

The necklace itself is flawless – it looks exactly like it did in the picture online (always a concern when you haven’t seen something physically before buying it) and I know I will treasure this piece for a long time to come.

Custom Watercolour Illustrations by Jessica Doré from Watercolour Heart

Last week Mandy from Pregnant in Cape Town held a giveaway in conjunction with Jessica Doré from Watercolour Heart – the prize was some custom art by Jess, who takes a photograph and recreates it as a watercolour illustration using hand and digital techniques…

I didn’t win ;) but loved the idea behind Jessica’s work so wanted to show her some support and ordered two pics – one of hubby and I (we celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary over the weekend) and one of my two baby girls…

Was blown away to receive the work less than 2 days after I placed my order (it’s all digital so the commissioned images are sent straight to your inbox), and was super chuffed with what Jess had achieved! Take a look for yourself: 10399753_131779662880_1602416_n murray and andrea watercolour wedding pic for blog 1383080_10151808319687881_1196899179_nAddi and Jules watercolour pic for blog Jessica’s custom artwork is super affordable (too affordable in my own opinion, big-mouth over here has already told Jess she should definitely charge more!) and just such a lovely idea and special gift for someone else, or just as a treat for yourself!

See options, costs and how to order here: http://mywatercolourheart.wix.com/watercolourheart#!order-now/c1pn9

I’m planning to get my two pictures printed on Print Wild Faceblocks next time I place an order – so excited – thanks Jess and well done  on a super idea and product :)

Skinny laMinx Block Printed Scarves

Last week, Skinny laMinx released a second batch of their limited run of fine cotton scarves, designed by Heather Moore and hand block-printed in Bagru, India. (I did an interview with Heather last year on my blog – one of my creative idols, her work is super inspiring!)

The first batch that went on sale a few months ago sold out so quickly that I didn’t have a chance to get my mitts on one, so this time round I was prepared and had my name on a waiting list to be emailed about their arrival as soon as it happened!

Well, my Geo Ochre print scarf arrived on Friday (beautifully packaged) and I could not be more thrilled with it!

If you know me personally at you will probably notice that I always wear a scarf/pashmina and if not, it’s likely I have one in my bag or car as a back up. I just love them to “jooojhe” up and outfit or to use if I’m feeling the cold etc – my collection has grown over the past few years and I have at least 25 different scarves in my wardrobe!


Pearl-Scarf_close-up-3These Skinny laMinx ones have a gorgeous texture and are bigger than your average scarf/pashmina which I LOVE. Never mind the gorgeous print and colours – just beautiful and very me (one of my fav colours in the world is ochre and the right shade is hard to come by!)

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See here for more details – http://shop.skinnylaminx.co.za/collections/scarves


Recent Work: Inspired Living – Identity & Website makeover

Inspired Living  is an online South African lifestyle publication created by writer and editor, Fiona Rossiter – if you’ve never heard of it, I’m kind of wondering where you have been for the past few years – think Fashion, Food, Beauty, Travel, Decor and general trends all rolled into one!

Nicola Tweed and I partnered up once again to work on giving the website a new look – while I worked on logo and general identity / style, Nix got to work on creating a beautifully functional and visually exciting site which incorporated chosen colours, fonts and related elements.

Let us know what you think?!

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Follow Inspired Living on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for great lifestyle content and tips.

Be grateful today for the things you want to have in your life tomorrow

I can’t claim this quote entirely as my own – I saw something similar on Facebook but I’ve put my own spin on it to make it less religion-specific and I hope it stops you in your tracks like it stopped me…



Thought provoking, right?

I totally believe in The Law of Attraction (a la The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, based on the premise that ‘like attracts like’) and I always try to keep it in mind when I can remember to – I’m not perfect, I sometimes let The Bad creep in – but being grateful for the positives in my life is what constantly keeps me moving forward, striving to create more happiness and joy for myself and others.

So when you’re reading this post (tomorrow morning after it’s been published, because I’m writing it last night – confusing I know) – these are the things I will look forward to in my day / beyond, because I’m putting them out there into the universe right now, and practicing some GRATITUDE:

… I am grateful for my incredibly beautiful family – my amazing husband and all the hard work he does, and my two sweet and precious baby girls – my everything!

… I am grateful to have a roof over my head, food in my tummy, and most often than not – access to clean water, electricity and other basics denied to many in SA

… I am grateful for my health, and a body that may be imperfect, but one that grew two amazing humans in it pretty perfectly!

… I am grateful for special friends who encourage, support and shower me with love

… I am grateful for online friends who offer kind words and friendship even though we are yet to meet “IRL” – see what I did there ;)

… I am grateful for abundant work opportunities that allow me to express myself creatively and to meet interesting people

… I am grateful for a career that allows me the flexibility I need to function as a mom and a business woman

… I am grateful for amazing clients who trust me to bring their visions to life

… I am grateful for constant opportunities to learn something new – in work, and life in general

… I am grateful for technology (purely because I am a geek and I love that shizz!)

… I am grateful for books and stories that allow me to escape and explore new worlds and different eras

… I am grateful to be able to call two countries ‘home’ – my years in London shaped me and allowed me to see SA more positively and with new-found appreciation

… I am grateful for choice in so many areas of life, again, a privilege reserved for few

… I am grateful for strong women – some I know personally, others admired from afar – who have inspired me and shown me that anything is possible

… I am grateful for small things and simple moments in life, because I’ve come to know that they are actually the ones that count…

My Hump Day Challenge to YOU: think about and voice what you are grateful for – I hope my post inspires you x