10 REASONS YOU SHOULD BE SHOPPING ONLINE

I have to admit that I am obsessed with online shopping, I might in fact appear to have a gigantic slight problem if one were to go and nitpick at my bank statements.

There is a certain excitement that only online shopping can provide – let me lead you through the process, backwards…

There you are, you gorgeous thing you, sitting at your desk, bored and agitated and continuously glancing at the big office clock with its roman numerals. The office doorbell buzzes and you are first off your seat, the sound of your heels running down the passage way to greet whoever or whatever waits at the door.

It’s FedEx, and you are smiling and swooning (your colleagues think you are one sandwich short of a picnic and the delivery guy thinks it’s his lucky day) you sign the delivery note, your signature barely resembling its true self and you greedily grab the box and make a bee line towards the kitchen to find something sharp.

With the agility of a surgeon and the speed of Kimi Raikonen, you deftly cut away all the tape that is securing the contents of the box and just before you open the box you draw a big breath and hold it while you undo the folds.

There it is, you have been waiting for two whole days, which felt like weeks and finally your gorgeous dress/shoes/bag/beautybox/iPad/book is here, sigh.

What happened before this moment may seem insignificant in light of the actually delivery, but as we all know (from Rocky Horror Picture show) it’s all about the an..tici…..Pation!

From the moment you start scouring your website of choice, you are searching for that one item, that one gift from you – to you! And even though you are the one choosing it, there is still a strange element of surprise: will it fit properly, will the size be right, and will the colour suit me? It’s all a bit of a gamble, but that is what makes it so much fun!

South African’s have been twice shy about shopping online, and who can blame us with all the banking fraud and other online money scams doing their rounds – But it’s time to put your fears aside, because there are excellent measures and payment options in place that will make online shopping safer than going to a store, and most shops have a free return policy, so there is nothing to fear but fear itself.

So I promised you 10 reasons to shop on line – here they are:

1. 36 boutiques

For rings and bags and gorgeous fashion, 36 is amazing, they deliver on average within 48 hours and the package that arrives is just a treat in itself, its smells beautiful and comes with a stunning carry bag.

2. Pretty Please

Pretty Please has gorgeous skirts, tops and dresses. Their packages arrive in a beautiful black box along with a very special hanger for the item you bought.

3. Shop Label

Shop Label is delish, however a bit on the expensive side. Great for jackets and scarves and gorgeous jeans.

4. GlossyBox

GlossyBox is the premier South African beauty box, you subscribe and presto – every month you receive a gorgeous box of beauty treats to try out at home.

5. I candy 

I Candy is a candy bowl of fun costume jewellery, the pieces make perfect gifts.

6. Zando

Zando is like an online fashion department store, they have everything from heels to jeans.

7. Woolworths

The comfort food of online shopping, you know it, you trust it, you buy it. You can even get your hands on some County Road online – and they currently have a sale on benefit items (Since Benefit is closing in South Africa)

8. Mr Price

The newest kid on the online shopping block, and we are already hearing positive reviews from satisfied customers.

9. 5 rooms

Home shopping porn, online.

10. Lingerie Letters

Another great idea, a surprise pair of knickers for every year of the month – I say why not!

BONUS:  Bloomingdales also ships to South Africa now, and there are a couple of items on my wish list

Shashi Rachel Rose Quartz Gemstone Bracelet

Boutique 9 Platform Pumps – Nosey Rhinestone

A weekend in the wine lands

The rain had been beating down on CampsBay the whole week, and we were getting cabin fever. Friday finally arrived and the prospects of bad weather didn’t seem half as bad if the days could be spent curled up in bed or on the couch. However my better half, the brains in our outfit, had other ideas about how such a cold rainy weekend should be spent and come Saturday morning, I was whisked off to the wine lands.

We drove through the mountains and through spots of sunlight and rain until finally we reached Franschhoek, where we checked into the Protea hotel.

After unpacking we went for a wander around town, ended up (obviously!) at the chocolate shop for a Belgian hot chocolate and Black Forest cake for me. The rest of the afternoon was spent lazily relaxing and getting ready for dinner.

Dinner in Franschhoek is never disappointing. You can even buy cheese and crackers from the BP garage and it would taste better than anywhere else in the world; however, what we experienced at dinner that night could only be described as spectacular.

Grant (the brains) had recently (5 months ago) decided that he would progress (or is it regress?) to veganism (from being a vegetarian) and this had proven quite a challenge when it came to picking restaurants – even in Franschhoek.

He called up a couple of restaurants, including Le Quartier (which used to be my favourite over there) but they were closed and highly recommended Ryan’s Kitchen. I had never heard of this “Ryan’s kitchen” and was quite pouty about going to some place that I didn’t know, but off we went nevertheless, and what awaited us I just didn’t expect, at all.

Ryan’s is at the end-ish of the Main road on the right hand side. We crossed the green wet front yard and I felt like we were visiting with friends; warm lights glowing through the windows of the house, it reminded me of a time long past.

We were welcomed into the house by a beautiful woman with a hint of a foreign accent; Lana is Ryan’s wife and unbelievably the mom of two young boys. She walked us to our table in the dining room, which flows into the warm open-plan kitchen, I sat down and started looking around the room, beautiful home, I wonder if they live here.

Grant had called and spoken to Lana and Ryan when he booked because of the vegan-ness, he asked if they could make a plan for him. At first Ryan seemed a bit perplexed by this crazy vegan weirdness, but he patiently listened to Grant as he explained the no eggs, no milk vibe. We thought Grant would get a veggie curry or something typically easy to cook, perhaps even a carrot and a piece of potato, garnished with a blip of olive oil or something similarly bizarre. (You wouldn’t believe what people think when they hear vegan)

But Ryan had gone out of his way to create a masterpiece, and I think for the first time in five months, Grant forgot that he even was a vegan and that he had limited options when it came to food – and me, I was in food heaven.

The first course came out, looking like a kitchen-esque science experiment, with test tubes and vials, even a petrie dish with a scoop or a blob of light orange foam. I was sceptical at first, I can’t now come and tell you that I was all like “Wow this looks yummy!” because I was looking at the lot in front of me thinking “I hope Col Caccio is open till late”.

There is a scene in the movie Ratatouille where the rat explains what happens when tastes combine and he compares it to music and colours – this is the first time in my life I’ve experienced tastes like music. My mind was blown and I couldn’t compare what I tasted with what I saw – not even in the slightest.

I thought that the strange little starter was as good as the night was going to get (when it came to the food, of course) because the menu sounded queer and outlandish and for a while I couldn’t figure out what to eat – I settled on the quail (I don’t like quail, it’s bony and weird) as a main and for dessert I picked the Guava soufflé, which sounded like the most standard desert on the menu.

I watched the kitchen the way a kid watches cartoons, Chef Ryan doing the impossible. The energy in the kitchen was tense, as if they were performing open heart surgery, whispering shouted commands at the sous chef, never raising his voice to higher than a breathing whisper octave. Perfection with every deft movement when plating the food.

The dreaded quail arrived and it looked amazing, like fat quails that have been living in fat quail heaven. The quail looked nothing like any of the scrawny little bird blimps I’ve ever seen served.

The taste sensation was overwhelming and I recall that I had actual tears of joy welling up in my eyes at one point during the meal. The colours were beige and brown juicy yumminess in a pool at the bottom of my plate with blots of truffle and I was tempted to lick my plate when the food was gone.

When I hear soufflé, I see a tea cup size ramekin with a cupcake looking top hanging over the edge. The soufflé from Ryan’s kitchen is a proud, light puff of pinkish guava foam and she is large, no hanging over the edges, this soufflé looks as though she will just keep on rising if you don’t damn well hurry up and eat her.

About a third of the way through the soufflé, Lana came over to see how we were doing. She noticed that I had been eating my ice cream separately and promptly showed me how the dish was best enjoyed – she tipped the ball of ice cream into the soufflé and with a encouraging nod she said “Now you try again” I loaded my spoon with a little bit of each and popped it into my mouth… At that moment my mouth turned into a Madonna Concert and the soufflé was the music.I love food and I have never wanted to write songs about food, but that night I felt like standing on our table and singing about the food.

I couldn’t help myself, and I had to take pictures of everything – mostly to prove that it was real. I was dying to know more about the restaurant and the food; I asked Lana if she could sit with us for a moment and tell me a bit more. She did me one better and invited us to sit down with her and Ryan for a glass of wine after dinner service was done.

I had ordered an espresso and was yet again surprised, by another set of mini deserts that just finished me off. I had found food Shangri-La in little Franschhoek, and I met a real life kitchen warlock.

The other patrons left and the four of us sat till the wee hours of the morning, talking about Veganism, restaurants, food, hotels and Russia. Chatting and talking nonsense about children and life and having a good skinner as well. It’s been a long time since I have met such lovely people and I can’t wait to go for dinner to Ryan and Lana’s again.

Girl, you’ll be a woman soon… The sexiest woman in the world.

Bragging rights are in order the day they name you the FHM 100 sexiest numero uno, so with this post I pay homage to my home girl Genevieve Morton. Proudly and beautifully South African. To the boys – Enjoy!

This is sexy Gen on the Cover!

“I look sexy upside down too”

Grace and time

As women, we tend to notice other women more than we notice men. We are always looking to our female icons for fashion inspiration, chatting to our friends and neighbours about beauty tips. Women talk about women.

My mom and I were sitting at Vida on Sunday and looking at the diverse group of people around us. I noticed the beautiful, slim Camps Bay moms who had dragged their unimpressed toddlers into the morning mist for a social caffeine injection with the girls.

I noticed in particular one woman warmly greeting another with a warm, beautiful smile on her face, the two had a short exchange asking after each other’s husbands etcetera etcetera. The one woman gathered up her young and waved goodbye, and as soon as her back was turned, the once beautiful smile turned into a sneer that sat on her face like a scar.

I thought to myself “Jesus, was that the same woman” my mom noticed the observatory expression on my face and said “party mense is lelik as hulle ophou smile ne”.

And that got the cogs in my head turning, because not only was this woman no longer pretty, she was in fact quite ugly. It did not take rocket science to see that life had dealt her a hand of sour cards, it was written all over her face, and her snide insincere cover up face was now ugly too.

So what does it take to be stunning, to be gorgeous. In my opinion, it takes grace and hard work. See you can spend every last penny you have access to, on the most miraculous beauty serums, treatments and dopas. You can drink herbal tea and go for cellulite treatments, you can Botox the past out of your face and smother your skin in organic this and that from the top of the Himalayas to the bottom of the dead sea, but if you’re not feeling it inside, you’ll just be a an expensive mess.

Seek joy they tell us, seek inner peace. Yes, I can agree with that. Live a healthy life, stop smoking and drinking, stay out of the sun and avoid saturated fats. Doing those things will get you far I guess.

But how? That’s the part they seem to leave out.

Think of one dynamic, beautiful woman you know. For me I know a couple but Aletha Carswel springs to mind. My friend Genevieve and I often muse that “We want to be like her when we grow up”  one significant thing to notice about Aletha, is that I have never been able to gauge her age. I met her when I was 17 years old, and I dare say that time has appears to have forgotten all about her! I think she has hardly changed over the last 11 years. There is a regal and eminently graceful confidence in the way she carries herself, and I know this is a petty small minded self-involved thing to say, but she still greets me, in fact she makes an effort to do so.

She makes people feel special and memorable, and if I’ve learnt one saying that will always ring true, it’s that people will forget many, many things about you, but they will never forget the way you made them feel.

You may notice, that if you don’t know who Aletha is whilst reading this article, you don’t know much about her physical attributes, but I can guarantee that the picture envisaged in your mind does not resemble a hideous witch. Aletha is beautiful and kind, she is effortless and timeless.

Now think of the nastiest person you know, and counter her looks with your feelings. Take away the way she makes you feel, and discover how much more beautiful she could have been, if only it wasn’t for the way she treated the world around her.

That brings me then to the discovery of such glowing beauty, I think it has something to do with intention, what you intend… Do you intend to be happy? Do you intend to make people around you happy? Do you intend to see only beauty and goodness in those around you and in the situations that life throws at you?

Look I’m not saying, go forth and be naïve, use your own common sense. But learn to put your own rose tinted glasses on when the world  gets a bit grey, and above all if you have kids – I think you’ve got to Mary Poppins magic the crap out of them. Kids will keep you young, if you choose to play and interact with them.

I’ve since that day at Vida, tried to smile at random strangers, it’s quite hilarious the reaction of some people – I walked past a lady in Spar, our eyes met and I nodded a smile off in her direction – so shocked was she, that she turned to look behind her, only to find that I was in fact smiling at her. Not in a creepy axe murderer “you’re next” kind of way by the way… mind you.

So to be beautiful, I think you should drink lots of water, try to make someone else smile at least three times a day, get a good serum, use a good SPF for the day, eat healthy, yummy food, play with the people around you, find the fun in every situation, get enough sleep as often as you can, and be real, be sincere in your emotions, let it all hang out.

                          

Left above: Aletha Carswel     Right:  Genevieve and me

Wild for the Wild Olive African Artisans

Wild, nature, game reserve, botanical, table mountain and fynbos… One would not expect to find the words body butter, eye balm or soap dish in the same sentence. However the creative talents of the Imizamo Yethu Artisans and Wild Olive have made it so.

I was fortunate enough to sample the beautiful products from the newly launched, limited edition Table Mountain Collection of Wild Olive. I instantly fell head over heels in love with the body butter, not to mention the perfect hand crafted porcelain jar.

The range includes the aforementioned Body Butter, a delicately scented soy candle, an eye balm and a bar of handmade soap. The body butter and the soy candle smell exactly like fynbos or  shall we rather say Flora Capensis after it’s proper name, the names of the fynbos always make me smile Cape May, African Woodworm, Cape Snow and Buchu, all of these have medicinal properties that are beneficial for the skin.

Many celebrities around the globe have launched cosmetic and perfume lines and now even our own beautiful seventh wonder, Table Mountain, boasts a range in her honour and I must say that the Wild Olive range does not disappoint.

Besides from the obviously yummy products, the packaging is something special. Each and every product in the Limited Edition range comes in a unique porcelain jar, each item is hand crafted, either painted with liquid gold or drawn with pencil. The artists are the Imizamo Yethu Artisans, and on the bottom of each jar, you will find the name of the person who created your beautiful one-of-a-kind piece. The product even comes with a certificate to prove it’s authenticity as these jars may become quite sought after due to the limited number created.

These beautiful pieces are then further shielded from the elements by a stunning, hand sewn, black and white  South African Merino sheep wool pouch, then placed in a box – ready to be the perfect gift to yourself or someone else of great importance to you.

The retail prices for these little works of art are as follows:

Body Butter – R835

Candle – R875

Soap & Dish – R565

Eye Balm R675

The Wild Olive boutiques are located at the new Cape Quarter Centre in Green Point as Well as Cavendish Square, however if you are lazy or if you are (like me) addicted to online shopping, you can also shop on their website – http://www.wildolive.eu/

WAX ON, WAX… WELL… OFF.

My beauty therapist and I have enjoyed a ten year relationship we tell each other stories, share tips, gossip and drink flat whites together. Ten years of waxing, pedicures, manicures, spray tans, massages, reflexology, lymph drainage and the occasional full body scrub. Last week she texted me to say that she was going on holiday. I was like What holiday? Alas, she was in fact going on the first holiday I can ever remember her going on and who can blame her?

Good for her I thought.The woman works hard -she deserves a break. I merrily went on with my day, until later that evening when I got in the shower… Looking down at my womanhood, I realised in a panic that I needed to get my wax on before she left! Usually I would just ring her up and go “Hi Kath, yes… See you at about 6ish after work?… Great!” I frantically bbm’d her “I need a wax before you leave”.I waited, it delivered. She read it and surreally I could see her replying “Sorry sweets, I’m leaving in the morning”. SHOCK.HORROR.

I got in bed and briefly contemplated going to a different therapist, I rejected the thought as soon as it entered my mind. Twas but a foolish  flit of momentary madness!  I could never trust anyone else with my Va-jay-jay (Unless my gyne took up waxing, but at that hourly rate??) because there are simply some things that just a handful of  people can do, and I have heard horror stories – girls having their business waxed right off, I’m talking medical repair… plastic surgery, reattaching certain precious bits. Point is ladies, waxing is a serious business and should be treated as such.

So I took a policy decision, I would do it… Myself. Who better than me, myself – I have seen my therapist do it a million times. Can’t be that hard, right?

So off to Clicks I troddled, hot wax I bought, and there you go. I got home and got together all the things I thought might come in handy, an old towel, a huge plastic “Forever New” shopping bag to sit on and a wooden cutting board. So I popped the tin mug filled with wax onto the stove, it heated up and melted… As per the instructions on the insert, I waited for the wax to be the same consistency of honey, I applied a little bit to my wrist to test the temperature and thought “Ha! See I knew this was easy!” then I decided to do a little patch at the top… wax on… dry a little, wax off…Hmmm, it really was not that bad.

So I became more cocky with every patch, and when it came to waxing the most important bits, I was like “Yeah whatever, you can call me Kath for short, Whoohoo!” I applied the wax to (yeah you can use your imagination) and then repeated the wax mantra – Wax on… dry a little… taking a little longer… dry a little more… there was go.. Wax “Ooooooh holy (insert swearword)mother and sister of (insert belief system) what the (another swear word)!”.

Painful and unnecessary is the one way to describe what I had managed to do to myself. Perhaps Cruel and Unusual may be more apt..The wax was stuck, and there was no effing way in hell I was pulling at that patch of dried wax that was now attached to me again. This fast became the stupidest idea I’ve ever, ever had. I had vivid images of myself in Gardens MediClinic, with nurses whispering and giggling behind their hands.

After a while, I thought to myself, I’m NOT going to MediClinic, I have to stop being such a baby, I can so do this. I sprinkled some baby powder on the waxed area and put some baby powder in my hands as if I was an Olympic gymnast. With the same intensity as those world class athletes, I took hold of the bottom piece on wax, I stared in front of me and imagined a beach with tropical cocktails and happy smiling people. One… Two… Three…. Three and a half… Wax OFFFFFFFFFFFF!! Success!

Muhaha! I held that piece of wax up to the ceiling and said “You’re not the boss of me wax!” Suddenly there was a knock at the bathroom door “Babe, are you okay? What ARE you doing?”

“I’m fine, fine, I’m just… busy” I shouted back at my boyfriend.  I had survived, and I was waxed (I know what you are thinking – Shut up.) However, I will never, and I mean NEVER do that to myself again. I have learnt that sometimes “Taking things into your own hands” is a really stupid idea and there are times when au naturale will just have to do, when waiting for the professionals to come back from their much deserved holidays. That is after all why they had to go to beauty school.

Fabulouser and Fabulouser – Petticoat Parlour

There is a new spot in town, just for us girls… think 50’s soda shop slash 80’s nail bar slash high tech beauty parlour then add some candy floss and champagne with a pinch of luxury beauty product and voila, you have The Petticoat Parlour in Green Point.

Last Thursday night I had the pleasure of attending the opening of the Petticoat Parlour, the event was put together by the fabulous owner Wendy Chait and Cape Town’s own party liaison Marina Nestel of Little Black book.

The evening was uncharacteristically warm for the time of year, beautiful swing music could be heard from the bottom of the staircase that was fitted out with a white carpet specially for the event. At the top of the stairs we were welcomed by the hostesses, all dolled up with long lashes and pretty red lipstick.

The event was well attended by the Cape Town social royalty, guests included the gorgeous Cowley sisters as well as Kitty Spencer and our very own beautiful Genevieve Morton all dressed to the nines.

The treatment rooms were open and the beauticians on hand to answer questions about treatments, while guests casually wandered around the Parlour with glasses of Champagne and pink Lemonade, snacking on miniature cupcakes. The lovely makeup artist Renee De Sambento was also at the party, but not so much to socialise as to do make up demonstrations and as the evening progressed more and more red pouts could be spotted courtesy of her steady hand.

I loved the interior of the shop, the 1950’s pin up girls on the walls, the black and white tiles and the coffee bar that has been set up with a black smeg fridge as well as a New York style pedicure bar in Bright Pink.

Renee De Sambento, Marina Nestel, Wendy Chait

At the end of the night we were given the cutest goodie bags filled with Dermalogica and Guinot products, a very sexy pair of black knickers, a suede leather bracelet, box of addictive Toffifee and a 20% discount on a treatment from the Parlour.

I am looking forward to booking a relaxing pedi and sipping on a soda!

Myself and Genevieve Morton

***Please note Petticoat Parlour offers an opening special: Book any massage or facial to the value of ZAR 400.00 and receive a complimentary mini manicure For more information about Petticoat Parlour or for bookings please contact: Wendy Chait 021 434-9484 or visit http://www.petticoatparlour.co.za/

A Thought for Friday

So many things went down this week… We had the Local Elections on Wednesday, some people are happy about the results and some are very disappointed. The Stormers finally won a game this morning and loads of people are happy about that. The ugliest hat in history (PRINCESS BEATRICE’S HAT) fetches a price of £20,000 on EBAY – personally I think this is atrocious.

And in other news, we could or could not have the rapture taking place at some point (the time is speculated to be 6:00 pm) tomorrow, and folks have been getting pretty serious about the whole thing – God save us.

Amidst all the chaos I found myself thinking about a piece of writing from one of my favourite authors Tom Robbins, and I quote “Our lives are not as limited as we think they are, the world is a wonderfully weird place, consensual reality is significantly flawed; no institution can be trusted, but love does work, all things are possible and we all could be happy and fulfilled if we only had the guts to be truly free and the wisdom to shrink our egos and quit taking ourselves so damn seriously.”

I leave you with this though, on this beautiful Friday afternoon just like any other.