This past week, Guillaume and I decided to take a little mid-week break and headed to the Cederberg for some flower-spotting and a quick two-day digital detox.

We stayed at Enjo Nature Farm in the Biedouw Valley and spent a full day hiking, rowing, swimming, reading, eating and laughing (mostly at Jasper).

I’d like to tell you more about this magical little place in a next post and show you some of my photos, but first, I thought I’d share some observations from the road. Observations that somehow stirred new hope and eased the tension that has been building in my belly from an overdose of news and opinions, fear-mongering and negative talk on social media.

Continue Reading "Report from the road: there is more good than bad, don’t forget"

This past weekend, Guillaume, Jasper and I headed off for a little pre-festive season camping trip to the Breede River.

We pitched our tent (in 40+ degree Celsius heat) at the pet-friendly Rivierplaas just outside Worcester and revelled in the tall trees, green grass and cool river close by.

It was Jasper’s first camping trip with us (who knows what he did in his previous life?!) and while he seemed almost 100% sure that we had lost our marbles for the first 12 hours or so, he eventually settled into the #campvibes and had a great time lolling around on the ground cover, ogling our doggie neighbour, Snowy, and longingly watching us eat (because that’s what camping’s really all about, didn’t you know?).

I had a bit of fun capturing a part of our camp set-up and take-down in time-lapse mode. It’s always amusing seeing people buzzing around at 30fps, but it’s even funnier when you add a perplexed dog into the mix.

Continue Reading "Just a bit of fun: camp set-up & take-down in time-lapse"

If you’ve spent any time on the internet at all over the past few years, you’re probably quite familiar with those motivational travel quotes sprawled across majestic landscapes.

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – JRR Tolkien

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

Well, this post is not like that.

My aim is not to motivate anyone to travel, to ‘find themselves’ or to see the world. Some of us have that desire and will act upon it in one way or another. Others don’t, and will live perfectly fulfilled lives without ever setting foot outside of their home town. It’s really none of anyone else’s business.

Instead, this post is just a collection of things I found useful, clever, heart-warming and enriching in the various elsewheres I’ve found myself recently.

So, here you go:

Continue Reading "Life lessons my recent travels taught me"

The blues have a funny way of creeping up on us, don’t they?

Waking up with a knot in your stomach after so many days of feeling all energised and amazed. It’s the worst.

October is mental health awareness month here in South Africa and over the past 30 days I’ve really loved reading people’s thoughts on various aspects of this too-often neglected subject.

It’s been empowering to see friends, acquaintances and strangers opening up about their battles – everything from commonplace insecurities to crippling burnouts – and finding strength in that vulnerability.

More encouraging, even, has been the opportunity to learn about ways in which people choose to take care of themselves during dark days and how these (mostly) simple rituals speak of hope beyond measure.

In the light of this, I recently decided to take a closer look at the things I choose to do when I hit a low, trying to differentiate those that drag me into a downward spiral from the ones that eventually help to send me soaring again.

And so, with the simple act of paying attention to my body, I’ve started discovering self-care methods of my own that form the building blocks of feeling better.

Here are just a few basics to start off with:

Continue Reading "A few notes on self-care"

We’d been toying with the idea of getting a dog for some time, Guillaume and I.

Maybe it started with the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Border Collie we met during our first weekend away together in Tulbagh almost three years ago. For those two days, he was a constant companion – chilling on the stoep while we braaied and even joining us for a hike up the mountain in search of an elusive waterfall. We dubbed him Wouter for some reason and soon ‘Wouter’ became a central figure in our future dreams.

Our far-in-the-future dreams, that is. Because, let’s be honest – first, a long distance relationship and now, living several suburbs apart – our situation has been far from ideal for co-parenting a canine.

But, then, we stumbled upon the sweetest soul who somehow decided he had to be ours. And who were we to turn him down?

Continue Reading "World, meet Jasper"

It’s not every day a girl manages to gather a combination of skin- and hair-care products that just work… simultaneously.

You know how it goes – you get a face wash that makes your skin feel all dewy and fresh, but every shampoo you try keeps leaving your hair limp and sad. Or the moisturiser a friend swears by has you breaking out in zits, but at least that conditioner you started using makes your hair bounce and shine.

Yup, if you aren’t blessed with great hair and skin naturally, finding products that help you feel (and hopefully also look) good can be a real drag. Doubly so, if you’re an utter beauty product noob, like me!

Miracles do happen, however, as I recently hit the jackpot with a couple of good buys that have seriously given me hope for a more sustainable ‘feel-good’ future. Some are surprising new finds, while others are old faithfuls that keep proving their worth.

Continue Reading "4 beauty products that make me happy"