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.

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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 :)

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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

x

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…

ASK YOURSELF THIS:

Gratitude

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

Recent Reads – some book reccomendations…

Haven’t done a book post in a while – between work and the kids it’s a miracle that I even get the time to read but somehow I make it happen and I love the escape! Much to Hubby’s dismay, if it’s a really good one, I’m up til all hours in bed with the light on as I page my way through….

So, my top three reads in the past few months include:

1. The Girl On The Train – Paula Hawkins

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A great thriller set in London with some interesting twists – read if you loved Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl – very much the same dark, questioning vibe…

2. The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley

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The first in a 7 part series – this book is thick, so prepare to exercise those arm muscles! Had me continuously trying to guess how everyone/everything in the story was connected. Set partly in France, partly in Brazil, jumping between characters and generations/time – loved it, can’t wait for second book to be released in November… Just hope that I’m not over it by book seven!

3. The Day We Disappeared – Lucy Robinson

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My friend Francesca was spouting off about this on FB because she was Lucy Robinson’s publicist for the book – so I downloaded it in support of her efforts and albeit a bit slow to start, totally got into it and thoroughly enjoyed it all the way to the plot twist at the end!

Would love to hear recommendations for new books to try if anyone has any?

Recent Work: Hooray Weddings

Nicola and I had the pleasure of working with Derryn, CC & Christy on their new business project, Hooray Weddings. The trio of pro-photographers form a wedding-focused consulting team that offers a range of services from dress rental to stationary design, timeline planning and consulting for every little wedding-related question you might have. These ladies are passionate about connecting their brides with the perfect vendor and through years of being involved in the wedding industry, they have all the right contacts! Our job was simple – we brought their ideas to life in the form of branding/identity and a shiny new website to showcase their offerings – the idea was to create a light, contemporary look and feel and we love how it all turned out! Wishing Hooray Weddings much success!  Hooray-Weddings-Logo-cleverbirdbanterlHooray-Weddings-FB-cleverbirdbanterlHooray-Weddings-Bus-Card-cleverbirdbanter2Hooray-Weddings-website-cleverbirdbanter

Masabelaneni Initiative @ Caversham Centre

I recently posted about the beautiful hand printed fabric produced by Caversham Textiles, but what I also enjoyed about my first visit to their studio was discovering the Masabelaneni (“let us share“) community initiative which aims to support and inspire local youngsters through creative programmes, workshops and collaborative art projects.

Loved the beautiful work displayed in the center at Caversham, so much so that I bought a few treasures home with me!

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My purchases (below) included a trio of linocut prints on paper, yet to be framed; an awesome washing machine print peg bag, backed with vibey shwe shwe (too cool to hide in the kitchen, will be hanging it in my office to store craft bits or something!) and a fishy themed print on fabric (actually a place mat) that I will also be framing, hopefully soon!

Everything was so stunning and carefully made, it was torturous to choose something, but I love that there are so many talented artists out there!

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For more pics and info, check out their Facebook page and show them some love <3