Here’s a little confession I bet many of you might find surprising: I’m a perfectionist.
I know it doesn’t seem that way. By all accounts, I’m pretty laid-back and quick to let things go when they don’t work out according to plan.
But I have a sneaky suspicion that these are the methods I’ve developed over time to protect myself from disappointment and constantly feeling like a failure. That’s a post for another day, however.
The point is: I think there are two kinds of perfectionists in this world.Continue Reading "Learning to appreciate the process"
‘The Wild Woman Interviews’ is a series of Q&As with women who do interesting, brave and inspiring things. The name hints at how nature, the outdoors, travel, the natural cycles of life etc. motivate and influence their passions and pursuits.
This month, I’d like you to meet Melanie van Zyl. She is a travel writer and photographer whose work just seems to capture the wondrous essence of every place she visits.Continue Reading "Wild Woman Interview: Melanie van Zyl on Travel Writing and Photography"
This past Monday (22 April), we celebrated Earth Day. While it may have slipped by unnoticed for some, it offered a moment of reflection for many.
While I certainly didn’t dedicate the entire day to thinking about the ways in which I’ve harmed – or, in fact, tried my best to help repair – our planet, I did spend a few minutes taking stock of my behaviour. As proud as I am of the reusable straws I whip out of my handbag every time I sip a smoothie in a coffee shop or the artillery of shopping bags I’ve built up in my war on plastic waste, I still have a long, long, long way to go.
Fortunately, there certainly is no lack of inspiration out there: men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting our natural resources and encouraging others to do the same.
In this past week, I happened to come across interviews with two women who have not only had a major impact on environmental policy around the globe but also inspired those around them to rethink their way in the world.
I wanted to share snippets of their stories with you… and then thought, what the heck, in for a penny, in for a pound: I might as well throw in two more inspiring environmental women warrior stories! So, here you go:Continue Reading "Earth Day: Meet These Badass Women Environmentalists"
When it comes to dreams of travel, there’s an outright war being waged within my soul.
While one side yearns to explore places unknown – inhale their strange air, indulge in their exotic cuisine, listen to the unfamiliar song of the languages the locals speak – the other side desperately longs for a grand return to so many I’ve been before. To retrace the footsteps of the woman I was back then, to see what she saw and maybe even point out a few of the things she missed; to sink my teeth into the delicacies I’ve never been able to find back home; to stake my claim for some sort of familiarity; but mostly just to be there again.
Portugal is one of the places I wish to return to most poignantly. Porto, in particular.Continue Reading "Take me back: Porto"
“Do you have filter coffee?” I ask, already knowing the answer.
“Yes,” the waitrons always say confidently and then add with some disdain, “Americano.”Continue Reading "Ode to Humble Ol’ Filter Coffee"
There are many things Instagram has done wrong in recent years, most notably changing their algorithm and sneakily squeezing adverts in among stories.
One thing they seem to be getting right, however, is hitting a target market bullseye when it comes to promoted posts.
How do I know this? Well, the majority of promoted posts that have popped into my feed lately have been so enticing that I’ve clicked through and followed the relevant profiles.
So doing, I’ve also discovered a whole new bunch of local makers to add to my favourites list.
Here are eight rather diverse items I’m particularly in love with right now:Continue Reading "8 Pretty South African-Made Items I’m Loving Right Now"
There’s a widely held belief that when it comes to houseplants, succulents are by far the easiest to maintain.
Well, I beg to differ. Despite my very best efforts, I have never been able to create a healthy and happy home for them. (You can read all about my struggles in this old blog post.)
While I can’t be sure about the reasons, I think it may have something to do with the fact that they just don’t enjoy being indoors and since my flat has the surface area of a chia seed and no balcony, there’s really not much I can do to fix this. Plus, I may have a tendency to be a little too generous in my watering habits, which is really hard to shake.
Whatever the case may be, the fact is succulents are a no-go for me.
But you know what? That’s totally fine, because who needs succulents when you can fall head over heels in love with lush, leafy plants and experience the unparalleled joy of having them love you right back?
Over the past three or so years, I’ve managed to cultivate a thriving little indoor jungle that just seems to be going from strength to strength. And can I tell you a little secret? It hasn’t been due to any efforts on my part – these plants just seem super eager to grow
So, if you’ve been struggling to get an indoor garden of your own going, here are a few plants – tried and tested by me – that will definitely ease the process:Continue Reading "4 houseplants even you can keep alive"
With the weather wavering between Indian Summers and snow down here in Cape Town, I’ve been craving music to suit this dreamy liminality.
So, in between getting work done yesterday, I created a new playlist (one of my favourite things in the world) which captures a bit of the mood.
It’s a little cloud of dream pop melody with a romantic R&B twist here and there, a Nigerian chart-topper somewhere in the middle, a dash of folk, a pinch of pop-punk and an energetic burst of drum & bass right at the end.
I think it’s a pretty pleasing mix for a laid-back evening at home or to kick off a spontaneous early-morning road trip. Give it a listen on Spotify (embedded below) OR Google Music.Continue Reading "Playlist: Somewhere between Winter and Spring"
For a long time, the fashion industry slipped under the radar for its impact on the environment. I guess everyone was so busy focusing on the way it tends to warp women’s relationship with their bodies and a myriad of other social issues.
But then, in 2013, the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh collapsed killing 1138 people. Not just any people. People who worked long hours and got paid less than minimum wage to create garments for fast fashion chains, such as H&M. For the first time since Nike’s sweatshops caused an outcry in the 1990s, the world received a sobering reminder that the clothes we buy with the change in our pockets and toss away without a second thought are actually made by real people – mostly women with households and children and husbands and errands to run – in far-off places, working in shocking conditions.
Then, of course, there is the unpleasant little fact that the fashion industry is the second biggest pollutant on the planet. In the US alone, 13 million tons of textiles make it into landfills every year, accounting for 9 percent of total non-recycled waste. Apart from this, the water needed to keep cotton crops healthy and thriving is exorbitant, while the toxic chemicals in dyes seep into our rivers and oceans.
While this all paints a pretty dismal picture for anyone with a passion for dressing sharply, the good news is there are actually a lot of ways to keep your fashion-related carbon footprint in check.
Here are some ideas:Continue Reading "How to build a more sustainable wardrobe"