I know this isn’t typically the kind of content I publish; but humour me for a while will ya? In September I set myself a personal health and fitness goal (OMG bikini!), following a strict exercise regime that includes training for my first half marathon (OMG 21kms!) on November 2nd. For the first time in my life I’ve been really dedicated to the programme, motivated and, surprise surprise, I’m seeing results. With all the running I’ve been doing I needed something to listen to, something other than my running mix that is starting to get boring, and I happened upon the Rich Roll Podcast.
Rich Roll is an endurance athlete, wellness & nutrition advocate , lawyer and Stanford Law grad. He invites interesting guests onto his show and they shoot the breeze on a range of health and wellness topics. Right, so I run sloooowly. Which means I need a long show to listen to, and his are just that at the 2 hour mark. The first show I listened to (Beyond the Kale) gave me, well, food for thought. They made a comparison between our bodies and car gas tanks and asked why we’re particular about the quality of gas we put into our vehicles, yet less so when it comes to our bodies (on the whole).
He makes a good point.
I finished my [slow] run, got home and proceeded to spend the rest of the day lost in Pinterest. I stumbled upon a bunch of ‘clean’ (ugh I can’t believe I just used that word), natural recipes that I hope to put to the test in my endeavour to care more about what I put into my gas tank. The first was inspired by Jessica Sepel’s recipe, and I call them OMG Date Balls. I started following her recipe but ended up free-styling because it didn’t suit me 100%. I was looking for something sweet, delicious and easy to make. I’ve cut refined sugar from my diet but still get that 3PM snack attack slump, especially at the office, and I really don’t want to default to eating sh*t. These bad-boys turned out so well, here they are:
Prep time: 5 mins
- 250g pitted dates
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup flax seeds
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 1 scoop whey protein (optional)
- 3 tbsp almond nut butter
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- desiccated coconut
Mix all ingredients (bar the coconut) together in a bowl. If you feel it’s too dry, add some more water. Add more seeds if it feels too wet. Roll into bite-sized balls, roll in the desiccated coconut and voila – OMG date balls! Refrigerate. Keeps for 1 week & makes +- 16 balls.
Next time I’ll add chopped nuts and some coconut oil. You can vary this up as much/little as you like, for example, replace the almond nut butter with banana, add fruit or cocoa nibs etc. This recipe is great for a little boost, particularly because of the chia seeds. These little super seeds are packed with vitamins & minerals, anti-oxidants, protein, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. Read up on chia, the claimed health benefits are astounding.
Let me know how yours turn out!
It’s been a little while since I’ve written. In the past few weeks I’ve moved home, cities and jobs, so I hope you understand the lull. This weekend we played tourist-tourist in my new backyard: Braamfontein. If you read my blog regularly you’ll know that I’m a Styld.By ambassador for GAP – part of a global collective of content creators and publishers. In this series I threw on a pair of GAP legging jeans with some leopard print, a jacket and flats and we walked the Jozi streets to the Nelson Mandela bridge. I live in my GAP denims, mainly because they fit both my legs and my bum properly; something I struggle to find in jeans. Lots of brands gape and the back – the worst! Here’s my Jozi Shore denim story…
And if you haven’t been to Father Coffee on Juta; best you get your good lookin’ ass there.
If you follow me on Instagram you would’ve seen my Daily Dish delivery last week. The lovely folks behind the brand sent me a week’s worth of meals to try and have also very kindly offered 3 brandslut readers the chance to win a box each. The delivery couldn’t have come at a better time; I’m in the middle of a move and having dinner sorted for the week was a win.
How It Works
1. Choose the menu you prefer: classic, low-carb or vegetarian
2. The exact quantities of the recipes will be delivered along with step-by-step recipe cards; meals take no more than 30 minutes to prepare
3. You decide when/where you want your deliveries – you can pause/resume as needed (no contractual obligations)
I opted for the low-carb menu (R620 per week for 4 meals, so R310 per person or R78 per meal), example below of what’s provided per meal. These lamb koftas turned out really well! What I love about the concept is the ‘mystery box’ style approach – for me it kept the week exciting and I thoroughly enjoyed cooking things I wouldn’t ordinarily make; not to mention not having to plan, go to the shops etc. I’m definitely going to subscribe and continue with Daily Dish on a weekly basis…
How to Win
Choose one of the 3 entry options below, or you can do all 3 to improve your chances:
1. Comment on this blog post and let me know which menu you’d like to win. Click here for the menu options.
2. Share my Daily Dish facebook post here: https://www.facebook.com/brandslut
3. RT my Daily Dish tweet here: https://twitter.com/brandslut_
Competition closes at midnight on Sunday September 21st 2014. Deliveries need to fall within the Daily Dish catchment areas of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town. See the Daily Dish website for specifics.
I must say; I’m really pleased active-wear has kicked up a gear and become much more colourful and creative. Brazilian brand Liquido is at the forefront of this movement and you’ll be glad to know you can now get your paws on it via Coconut Activewear in South Africa. The lovely ladies behind the local distribution thereof sent me a pair to try recently and they’re incredible. They feel amazing on and are also quite tight, sort of like compression pants which are great for exercise. The fabric is also quick drying and offers UVB/UVA 50 against sun exposure. Check out some of the designs of past and present; ideal for yoga, running, training, water-sports or even for simply relaxing in…
I kinda want them in every print. And I’m almost certain that just wearing them will increase suppleness by at least 50%. Right, so I’m giving a pair away to one lucky lady – they retail for between R900 – R1250 so this is a great prize! All you need to do to enter is follow Coconut Activewear on facebook by clicking here; and then comment on this blog post telling me you’ve liked their facebook page and that you reeeeeeally need these funpants. A winner will be drawn at random and entries close at midnight on Sunday September the 6th ’14.
I was recently invited to enjoy a night of fine food, wine and accommodation in Stellenbosch to mark the launch of the winter Come Sit, Stay and Savour Stellenbosch campaign. In short; a group of restaurants and hotels are offering some incredible winter deals that are sure to inspire a couple nights of luxury in the Cape. There are three packages to choose from:
1. Bargain Package from R1200 pp sharing for 2 nights
- 2 Nights accommodation at either Middelvlei or the Oak Leaf Lodge at Delvera
- A 2 Course lunch including a glass of wine at a local restaurant (Dornier, Delvera, Delheim or Eight at Spier)
- A 2 Course Dinner at a local restaurant including a glass of wine (Devon Valley Hotel or Spier Hotel)
- Any 2 activities from the list below: Middelvlei Barrel Tasting & Cellar Tour, Delheim Wine and Cupcake Pairing, Eagle Encounter at Spier, Fleur du Cap at Bergkelder: Tasting at Cellar Tour Plus a Box of Salted Fudge, Premier Wine Tasting at Dornier or the Warwick Wine Tasting and Cellar Tour
2. Lifestyle Package from R2200 pp sharing for 2 nights
- 2 Nights accommodation at either 22 Die Laan, Allegria or Devon Valley Hotel
- A 2 Course lunch including a glass of wine at a local restaurant (Middelvlei, Tokara Deli or Devon Valley Hotel)
- A 2 Course Dinner at a local restaurant including a glass of wine (Terroir Restaurant or Spier Hotel)
- Any 2 activities from the list: Middelvlei Barrel Tasting & Cellar Tour, J.C. Le Roux pairing with Marshmallows & Meringues, Fleur du Cap at Bergkelder: Wine and Salt Pairing, Van Ryn’s Brandy, Coffee and Chocolate Tasting or Lanzerac Chocolate and Wine Pairing
3. Luxury Package from R2777 pp sharing for 2 nights
- 2 Nights luxury accommodation at either Lanzerac, Kleine Zalze Lodge, Majeka House or Wedgeview Country House & Spa
- A 2 Course Lunch including a glass of wine at a local restaurant (Warwick, Terroir Restaurant or Lanzerac Hotel)
- A 3 Course Dinner including a glass of wine at a local restaurant (Tokara Restaurant, Terroir Restaurant, Lanzerac Hotel or Makaron at Majeka House)
- Any one of the following activities: Spier Segway Tour, Vine Hopper 1 Day Tour, Middelvlei Wine Blending, Bites & Sites Foodie Tour or the Lanzerac Mini Spa Package
- Any one of the following activities: Adventure Centre 2 hour Bike Rental, Peter Falke Wine Tasting and Snack Platter or the Van Ryn’s Florentine and Brandy Tasting
I was treated to the Lifestyle Package and stayed at the Devon Valley Hotel (I particularly enjoyed the Amarula hot-chocolate touch when I got back to the room after dinner, they also have a phenomenal whisky collection if you’re partial to a couple at the fireside and that sort of thing), had dinner at Spier and experienced the art of MCC (Méthode Cap Classique; aka Champagne) making and pairing at the House of J.C. Le Roux. You probably aren’t aware but J.C. Le Roux offers 5 super premium MCCs that’ll blow your mind – Scintilla is my personal favourite.
The ‘Come Sit’ bit was inspired by the outdoor sculpture exhibition that’s on in Stellenbosch at the moment. Local artists were commissioned to design a bench that would encourage locals and tourists alike to visit the picturesque town, linger and stay a while. As you meander through the streets of the dorpie you’ll encounter 24 benches; there’s even one that’s been turned into a swing that lights up as you gain momentum.
Stellenbosch really is a magical town with so much to discover. I work there and I’ve not scratched the surface. If you’re just passing through, be sure to make a turn at Schoon de Companje and M Patisserie. However I’d encourage you to come sit, stay and savour Stellenbosch.
A little while ago I was approached and asked if I’d consider being an ambassador for the Kaika Jewellery brand. Kaika, founded by sisters Sharmn and Shahnaz Cola, wanted their campaign to feature regular girls-next-door; I jumped at the chance. Bee Diamondhead, Raya Rossi and I spent a morning at the Legacy Collective Studio getting our hair and make-up did, putting some outfits together and accessorising with our favourite pieces from the eclectic international range. The shoot was a lot of fun; although I have new-found respect for the boys and girls who do this for a living. I had to concentrate really hard to stop my mouth from twitching. Here’s a look at the campaign and some of my favourite pieces from the collection…
Check out the full Kaika Jewellery range here.
I’ve had this post bubbling inside for a while; pun intended. You see, two years ago I started working in the liquor industry – previously uncharted territory for me. I quickly realised how little I knew about it. You think wine is complex? Try the industry. I spent my first week in primary and secondary production facilities, at bottling plants, on farms, in warehouses – I loved it! I’ve always been fascinated with production lines and heavy machinery; perhaps because I spent so much of my childhood in a truck manufacturing plant in Benoni’s Apex.
As consumers it’s easy to forget/ignore a product’s roots and often humble beginnings. I heard a story recently about some kids that didn’t know milk came from cows. Why? Because it came from Tesco (a UK grocery chain). My point is that we ought to. My sentiment pertains to all sectors I suppose, but I’m going to reference the local alcohol industry here.
As South Africans we cannot rest on our laurels and wait for the government to create employment and affect change in this country. Why? Because we can vote with our wallets at the very least. Have you ever stopped to think that supporting local alcohol producers and manufacturers means supporting job creation in the following industries?
- Farming and agriculture
- Manufacturing and processing at breweries, distilleries and wineries
- Distribution, wholesale and retail
- Wooden barrel and tank manufacturers
- Stainless steel tank manufacturers
- Import and export industry
- Bottling industry including manufacturers of glass and bottle caps and labels
- Manufacture and supply of boilers and burners
- Chemicals, gases and fermentation product manufacturers and suppliers
- Advertising and marketing industry
- Event management industry
- Food and product safety and quality monitoring industry
- Health and safety industry
- Generator industry
- IT (hardware and software) industry
- Industrial cleaning industry
- Promotional branding industry
- Public relations industry
- Recycling of glass industry
- Tourism industry
- Vineyard equipment industry
- Viticulture industry
- Water and effluent treatment industry
- Wine filtration equipment manufacturers
- Liquor licensing consultancies
That’s a lot of jobs.
We are the citizens of a nation producing award-winning wines and spirits on a global scale. The following products walked away with GO (Gold Outstanding) and gold awards at the recent 2014 IWSC competition (International Wine and Spirit Competition) held in London:
- Van Ryn’s Fine Cask Reserve 15YO
- Oude Meester Reserve 12 YO
- Van Ryn’s Distiller’s Reserve 12 YO
- Richelieu 10 YO Vintage Brandy
- Van Ryn’s Collectors Reserve 20 YO
- Oude Meester Souverein 18 YO
- KWV Grape Brandy 12 YO
- KWV Grape Brandy 20 YO
- KWV Grape Brandy 15 YO
- Mainstay Island Fusion
- Klipdrift Gold
- Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky 5 YO
- Three Ships Single Malt 10 YO
The list of South African wine and spirit brands walking away with awards in the Silver Oustanding, Silver and Bronze categories is too long to mention; evidence of the high quality of product being manufactured locally. With this in mind, the next time you go to a bar or restaurant put brand/badging status aside for a minute and think about the country of origin and industry/industries you’re supporting by the choice you’re about to make. We have a hell of a lot to be proud of as South Africans. Now let’s start showing our support with our voices and wallets.
- Farming and agriculture
Derrick and I were invited to a wedding in Tuscany recently; we decided to make the most of it by cramming as much of the surrounds as possible into 1o short days. If Rome and Tuscany are on your wanderlust lists, then I can recommend an itinerary similar to ours:
- Rome (2 nights)
- Florence (3 nights)
- Siena (2 nights)
- San Gimignano (day-trip)
- Saturnia & Porto Santo Stefano (day-trip)
- Bucine (2 nights)
We stayed at the Venetia Palace Hotel; a great little hotel a stone’s throw from the train station which was super convenient for getting in and out of Rome. This was also the starting point for the Citysightseeing Roma red bus tour – a great way to get acquainted with any city. You need to tick the traditional sights off when visiting Rome: the Trevi Fountain, the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum and the Spanish Steps. As is the case with most European cities – walk! You’ll burn off all the gelato (try Gelateria Pistacchio Verde) you’ll be eating and discover the gems off the beaten track. We walked from our hotel to the Trevi Fountain on our first night in Rome and happened upon a great little restaurant about 200m east of the fountain; Vineria Il Chianti.
This city took my breath away. Florence is beautiful, surprising and full of energy. As soon as we arrived I said to Derrick that I liked the feeling of the place; that feeling never left me. We stayed at a quaint B&B a short walk from the station, Hotel Sempione. Again we hopped onto Citysightseeing Firenze to get our bearings and then revisted the sights over the next few days. I can recommend seeing the Cathedral (the climb to the roof and top of the Duomo is worth the 463 steps), Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery, David, Basilica Santa Maria Novella, the Medici Chapel and the historic centre. Highlights for me include drinking Aperol Spritz at Rivalta on the banks of Fiume Arno at sunset, dinner at L’Osteria di Giovanni and charcuterie at La Prosciutteria. The best views of Florence are from Piazalle Michelangelo on the other side of the river.
This walled Medieval town upon the hillside is enchanting. We stayed at the Hotel Athena on the edge of the town; views for days! It also boasts a lovely rooftop terrace with a bar and a restaurant – perfect for sundowners and dinner. We overestimated the amount of time we’d need in Siena (3 nights, 2 would’ve been ideal) so we used the town as our base for some day-tripping out into the Tuscan countryside (San Gimignano) and coast (Saturnia & Porto Santo Stefano). Highlights for me include walking the town’s perimeter walls, lunch on the Campo and dinner at the famed La Taverna di San Giuseppe. The taverna’s wine cellar dates back to 300BC – hard to wrap your head around that.
Bucine is a one-horse town in the Tuscan province of Arezzo. This is where the magical Mijich-Leitch wedding was set and I’d recommend it for travelers wanting to rent an iconic Tuscan villa and do nothing but eat, drink and swim for a few days. There are a few villas dotted along a hill-top; ideal for a destination wedding and accommodating a lot of people. Oh, and there’s a chapel and a reception venue too. We stayed at Villa Felciai La Selva.
If you’ve got any tips or recommendations you’d like to add – please do leave a comment. And go ahead and book that trip to Italy – you won’t be sorry.
I’m super excited to announce the imminent launch of British fashion giant River Island in South Africa in July. The retailer will be opening its premier South African store in Rosebank, Johannesburg – with plans to expand to Cape Town in 2015. The Autumn/Winter 2014 range features 6 key themes: puritan, luxe traveller, 60s pastels, snow, noir and grey. I mean! And along with this exciting news; River Island have kindly offered one brandslut reader the opportunity to attend the epic Night of Fashion launch event on September 18th along with two friends. The winner will receive R900 to spend on the night plus two tickets to ensure they’ve got their entourage in tow.
Right, so this is how you enter…
1. Visit www.battletobritain.co.za
2. Vote on the look-book I’ve created as inspiration for the River Island launch. I decided to emulate the look and feel of the initial scamps that would have been created in planning the fabulous Autumn/Winter 2014 range and featured some my favourite pieces. The items I’ve sketched will all be available in store for purchase. Voting also offers you the opportunity to win additional vouchers, so there’s a double chance to win here – yay!
3. When you’ve voted for me, brandslut (thank you!), let me know by commenting on this blog post and letting me know you’ve voted. Your e-mail address won’t be published, but please do leave one so I can contact you if you’ve won.
That’s it, easy peasy lemon squeasy. Voting closes midnight on June 18th 2014, and I’ll announce my winner on Thursday the 19th 2014. Winners will need to be Johannesburg based or be able to get there for the event. However, so as not to exclude any readers from being able to participate – if you win but can’t make it on the night, I will happily be your personal shopper and grab you those items you’ve been coveting. I will send you the catalogue to choose from if you can’t make it.
Fingers crossed and thanks again for your vote, it means the earth.
A few years ago I stumbled into the world of podcasts and my life is better for it. Not only do they help pass my 2 hour daily commute; they enrich my life. I’ve listened to episodes about topics I’d never typically have gained insight into. Breaking up, bad babies, killer paracetamol, paedophiles, introverts, colours, Typhoid Mary; just some of the things I’ve learnt about through podcasts. Now I realise summarising an episode into one word just won’t do it justice, so you’ll need to take my word on this.
What is a podcast?
I’m going to give a bit of an introduction here for readers who don’t know what podcasts are. I know the word confused me before I started researching the medium. A podcast is an episodic series of audio made available online (you get video and novel podcasts too, but I’m focussing on audio). They’re like neatly little packaged radio shows with amazing production quality, minus the terrible DJs, useless content and bad advertising. They’re themed and are usually between 25 and 55 minutes long. I like the long ones. Get your mind out of the gutter. Podcast file sizes are typically smaller than music files, and you’re looking at roughly 22MB for a 50 minute podcast (file sizes vary, but they’re small).
If you scroll to the end I’ve included a step-by-step guide to help you download your first podcast, if you haven’t already. And no, you don’t have to download them, you can stream them and listen online, just click on the links (podcast titles) below…
10 Podcasts That’ll Make Your Life More Awesome
1. This American Life: Ira Glass hosts this award-winning show comprising first-person stories that are touching, funny and surprising
2. The Moth: true stories told live and without any notes to standing-room-only crowds worldwide
3. RadioLab: hosted by Jad Abumbrad and Robert Kulwich, this is where science meets culture and information sounds like music
4. Freakonomics Radio: Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner explore the hidden side of everything
5. TED Radio Hour: a journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions and fresh approaches to old problems
6. NPR Programs – Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me: have a laugh and test your knowledge in this weekly current events quiz
7. Stuff You Should Know: explores topics like “8 Reasons Why Your Body Is So Gross” and “How The Paleo Diet Works”
8. The Nerdist: Chris Hardwick talks about stuff with his two nerdy friends Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, and someone more famous than they are
9. The Bugle: John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman leave no hot potato unbuttered in their hit weekly topical comedy show
10. Death, Sex & Money: a biweekly podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation
I received a heap of awesome recommendation on twitter today but decided not to include those before I’ve listed to them, so I’ll do a follow up post soon. If you’ve got any you’d like to share with readers, please comment on this blog post with a link to the podcast – let’s share the love.
How to Download a Podcast From Your iPhone
Sorry BlackBerry and Android users, I can’t help you. Well, I suppose I can – click here to buy an iPhone. iPhone users, this is how to download a podcast:
Go to the app store and search for ‘Podcasts’ to download the app to your iPhone. Click on the purple ‘Podcasts’ app/icon, the one with the little ‘i’ wearing a halo.
Click ‘Search’ (bottom right) and then type the name of the channel you’re after into the search field e.g. This American Life
Click on the podcast channel you’re searching for
To download, click on the little cloud shooting an arrow. The little arrow will turn into a spinning progress wheel while it downloads (doesn’t take long at all, less than a minute). You can then click on that episode to play it.
If you’d like to find the channels you subscribe to or the podcasts you’ve downloaded, click on ‘My Podcasts’ bottom left.
Connect your phone via Blue Tooth or AUX cable to your car audio for easy listening.