A Magical Day – Create Your Day Party.

As a busy mom, as birthdays approach I find myself wondering how I’ll make all of my sons birthday dreams a reality. Luckily, my sons expectations weren’t through the roof this year, and he simply and very confidently explained that all he really wanted was a Bear Grylls Adventure Party with a few of his friends.

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Me being me, my imagination runs WILD, and I find myself overcomplicating things. I see everything through photographs, and become a bit of a perfectionist. Thankfully, I am an overly organized person at times, so I plan ahead. I recall visualizing exactly how I imagined the party, and my heart sort of dropped as I wasn’t sure how I’d find the things I needed to bring those thoughts to life.

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And then, it all just happened. I somehow came across Create Your Day Party on Instagram. I realized she was based in Cape Town, and I knew that this was exactly where I needed to be. I contacted her to find out how we could use one of her existing themed boxes in order for it to still work within the Bear Grylls theme my son had set in his mind.

Before I knew it, the box overflowing with wild adventure had been delivered, and oh my heart, I don’t even have the words to express how content and relieved I was. This box had everything I needed and more. The decor, the activities, and more!

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Inside your Wild Adventure box you will find:

  • Party decorations: bear plates, leaf napkins, cups and paper straws, cake toppers, garland ‘Adventure Awaits’ balloons, confetti, party bags.
  • Their inspirational guidebook full of tips and tricks, activities and a shopping list – which is basically like a printed out version of Pinterest.
  • Paper animal ears for all little adventurers, 1 ‘Billy the Bear’ mask and face paint.
  • Nature Scavenger Hunt list, including 1 magnifying glass and a bag of toy insects.
  • DIY slingshot set for all kids.
  • Personalised digital ‘Wild Adventure’ invitation.
  • Printable ‘Wild Adventure’ colouring picture.
  • Short video clip of the storyline.

The kids had the time of their lives! Give me the decor and idea challenge and I’ll throw you a beautiful party. Give me entertainment for 10 kids under the age of 5, and I’ll send them to Disneyland. Just kidding. But in all honesty, that part isn’t my forte’ which really gives me added stress when planning my sons party. Thankfully Create Your Day came to my rescue, and with using the guideline, I managed to keep the kids entertained for the duration of the party. We made slingshots, they hunted down the bear, they spent loads of time on their scavenger hunt in our own garden, and they just loved the independence and freedom it gave them. Some working in groups and some pottering around the garden on their own.

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The decor was just exquisite! Apart from the beautiful environmentally friendly balloon garland done by Cape Town Balloons, everything else came from the box and complimented the theme and the party to perfection. I had a houseful of ‘wild animals’ roaming around the house, cake smeared over the faces and dirt on their hands from taking their Scavenger Hunt so seriously.

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The parents raved about such a visually beautiful and interactive party. What I love is that you aren’t limited to a Wild Adventure party if you use Create Your Day. You can also choose from the following:

– Let’s Go Glamping
– Silly Circus
– Superhero
– Tea Party
– Tropical Fiesta

And even within those themes, you can really make it whatever you want it to be. I found that going this route was an affordable and convenient option. Because you aren’t having to drive around back and forth to find everything you need yourself, as well as having to buy in specific quantities, the Create Your Day option was the best I could have done, and honestly, I’m not sure I’ll be able to go back to what I did for previous years.

I honestly didn’t know we had such exclusive and high end products available to us for parties in South Africa. But thanks to owner, Willemijn, a Dutchie living in Cape Town – mom to three kids – she brought her European standard with her.

This will be a party that won’t be forgotten by our family or my little birthday boy.

Supplier List: 

Decor & Party Box & Kids Accessories: Create Your Day
Balloon Garland: Cape Town Balloon
Photography: Kindred Kind
Cake: Sweet Lionheart
Letterboard: Fable Lifestyle & Baby
Ceramic Fox: Calico Ceramics

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Creating a Visually Pleasing Wedding, SIMPLY, with Gather.

Let’s rewind back to the start of this year. It somehow feels like ages ago now that I look back on it. At that point, wedding planning seemed like a walk in the park. There was still so much time. Dreaming was happening, Pinterest was a nightly affair the moment my son was in bed and the kitchen was tidied.

I recall sitting at my desk at work and spending lunch break after lunch break trying to locate everything I had in my mind in terms of decor. My google search history was just a   blur of URL addresses. I’d revisit the same sites, and leave once more without getting anywhere. That feeling of frustration and almost being in limbo still comes flashing back in my memory vividly.

I’ll never forget being introduced to Gather. A Cape Town based hire platform for event professionals and brides. Their Instagram description read: “One Quote. One Payment. One Delivery.” I was sold.

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I rushed over to their website and got lost in their endless variety of beautiful vases, delicate candlesticks and bold and playful decor items that are just begging to be chosen for your event or wedding day.

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I loved that Gather had done all the work in selecting the top wedding decor suppliers as their hire partners. Each supplier having been properly checked to ensure that they are reliable, and of high quality.

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I registered my account on their site, created our event, and sat down with my talented friend, Lauren and we started making our dreams a reality – one ‘add to event’ click at a time. Even typing this out now, I feel the butterflies rushing around as I relive that exciting time of planning and selecting the items to create our vision.


The variety available on Gather is applaudable. It is incredibly challenging to find everything you need in one place. You can honestly put together uncountable events with the items they supply.

I never imagined the process to make my life as a bride so easy, to be honest! Whether you’re planning a small event and just need a few items or are having something big – this is without a doubt a go-to before looking anywhere else.

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You simply sign up, create your event with the date and location, select your items and the quantity. Once you’ve completed those steps, you request your quote and within 24 hours, you’ll have a quote awaiting your attention in your inbox which states the available quantity for your event date of each item, as well as a total quote cost. It’s that simple!


On the day of your wedding or event, you have your entire order delivered in one go, at the same time. There’s no stress in waiting around for multiple deliveries. There’s no need to coordinate delivery times. All of the ‘dirty’ work is done for you by Gather. They collect your order, and deliver it all in one piece.

I wish that words could describe how much of a relief this is for me as a bride. The thought of not having to even think twice on the day of our wedding takes so much stress away from me.

I can’t recommend Gather enough to brides to be and individuals who are planning an upcoming event – from parties, baby showers, to corporate events and weddings!

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Check out their website for yourself, sign up and dream a little, plan a little and make that next event you’re planning happen! They are constantly uploading new items and inspiration on their Instagram account too. It’s where the bulk of my dreaming happens.

 

Warriors Of Hope – The Beautiful Initiative by Keedo.

I was recently asked to work on a campaign with Keedo. I’m sure that by now, you’re all well aware how much I love the local brand – I love them for their beautiful, childlike designs. In a world where we so often dress kids way beyond their years, Keedo brings us back down to earth. Their garments beg to be played and explored in.

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And just as I thought that my love for Keedo couldn’t get any deeper – they launched their Loenix Warriors of Hope collection. Talk about a beautiful range. For many of us, having a child with cancer is unfathomable. Yet, for the other percentage, you may have walked the journey with a child of your own whose tiny body has had to fight off cancer. You may have been the shoulder to cry on for a friend whose child has been fighting cancer. Or you, yourself may be a cancer survivor. Either way, their aim is for whoever reads this blog post to feel uplifted and inspired. See the beauty in the words – in the range, and let it move you.

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This collection has been inspired by the little soldiers across the world who are up against the invisible enemy. To those who face a beast that is daunting even to adults. However, what Keedo is trying to show us is that as difficult as it is to watch the disease break down the little solders’ walls of safety, to witness the feats and tribulations that parents face – instead of turning their faces away, rather wipe the tears from their faces and open your eyes to the beauty that can be found along this dark path.

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She continues to explain that somewhere there is a warrior creating butterflies from the cracks on the ceiling of the oncology ward. Another warrior is painting the most beautiful, colourful masterpieces. The lesson to learn is that there is always hope, even in the darkest of times. This collection is a tribute to all of the brave little warriors who refuse to let the beast win. Even when it takes its tolls on their bodies, their bold hearts proclaim a battle cry of laughter. They are the Warriors of Hope and their mission is to open the eyes of the World.

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These deeply moving experiences resulted in the Warriors of Hope range which you’ll find in Keedo stores countrywide. The designs incorporate both the dark times faced by children suffering from cancer, and the bright, unbreakable spirits of these little soldiers. Incorporating dark colours, stripes, colourful polka dots, and yellow cancer pom-poms, the pinnacle of the design is the artwork of the children and the way they bring colour to their world. The designs illustrate the contrast between children who suffer internally, but still wipe their parents tears and make each other laugh in oncology wards across the globe.

This collection is truly beautiful! It was designed to spread the hope that these children wish to share with us. The intention isn’t to make you feel sad, but rather to make way for the future generation. A generation that chooses to see beauty in every situation. They do not allow anything to steal their joy.

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I feel honoured to have been asked to spread the word for this incredible initiative. I love how Keedo has decided to speak so much positivity, honesty and reality through the Warriors of Hope collection. I also appreciated how they have a special place for this collection in their stores. Really creating a space for it to stand out – they have created unique tags for the garments and have informative posters in the stores that will share insight on what the different styles mean. As you can imagine, every single item is stunning! And of course, the purpose behind it all just makes it even better.

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Please pop into your nearest Keedo and see the Warriors of Hope collection for yourself. Educate your kids – don’t be afraid of them knowing about children their age and younger who are fighting cancer. Allow them to be thankful for their health. And enable them to be sensitive and caring for those surrounding them who are walking this frightening journey with so much positivity and hope in their hearts.

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If you purchase any of the garments – don’t just buy it for what it looks like, but have your kids understand the meaning behind it. Please do tag me if you buy any of the garments – I’d love to see which one you chose and hear your thoughts on this beautiful collection too. The collection caters for kids from newborn – 6 years.  In light of Mandela Day, I am encouraging YOU to donate to the Warriors of Hope campaign online www.keedo.co.za or at any Keedo store nationwide. Allow this range to help you see the light in dark times.

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Not sure where your nearest Keedo is? No problem – simply click here to see the full list of stores countrywide. https://www.keedo.co.za/storelocator

A Girls Weekend at Shiraz Estate Guest House.

Being the type of person that I am, I wanted to organize a girls weekend away with my bridal party. With only a few months left until the wedding, it was time to go on a little roadtrip with the girls to just relax and enjoy the calm before all of the craziness hit.

When looking for the perfect spot – I knew that I wanted a place that had beautiful interior, as well as an outdoor area that would work for entertaining. When I stumbled upon Shiraz Estate Guest House in Riebeek-Kasteel, I immediately knew it was exactly where we needed to be.

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We booked months in advance, and as I told Kristine, the owner of Shiraz about my plan to put together a special surprise for my bridal party, she was so open to allowing me to create a beautiful space outside for them. That being said, Shiraz is the perfect getaway for a bachelorette or birthday weekend.

After an incredibly busy few months, the four of us were excited and relieved to finally be on the road after work. We arrived that evening, and were appreciative to have found such a wonderful place so close to Cape Town.

We were greeted by Kristine and shown around the gorgeous house.  And although it was late, it didn’t take long for us to settle in and to feel ‘at home’. A bottle of champagne was awaiting our arrival, and we took full advantage of our first child-free night and it being beneath the moonlit sky outside by the pool. It was so great having the feeling of not bothering anybody even though we got reasonably late and without even realizing, we were only climbing into our bed around 3am!

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Arriving at night meant that we couldn’t quite make sense of our surroundings, so it was such a wonderful surprise when taking our first look outside when we awoke. The weaver birds singing and working hard was really something special, and although they’re loud, it was actually one of the highlights of our stay. That sweet sound of birds singing happily truly is something unique.

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We made good use of the Nespresso machine, and enjoyed the rusks left for us in our room. I loved that we shared the ‘family room’ which has a main bedroom, twin beds, little dining area and en-suite bathroom. This was perfect for the four of us sharing, and although we had all of the space in the remainder of the house, it was nice to have some down time in our suite.


That first morning, we decided to have a slow morning, and enjoyed breakfast under the garden gazebo. We were blessed with beautiful weather and took full advantage of it! It was amazing having full access to all of the crockery and cutlery that we needed. Two of the girls then headed into town for coffee, while two of us set up the little surprise for my bridal party.

Riebeek-Kasteel is a tiny little town with some of the best coffee shops, restaurants and galleries! If you come up for a few nights, there is definitely no shortage of things to do. You can actually walk there from Shiraz, it’s a beautiful, peaceful and quick walk up the road. However, it’s also just far enough to feel that you’re secluded.

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Kristine and the other two ladies from Shiraz were amazing while I was setting up – they were super helpful and helped get the outdoor area perfected. I was initially a bit worried about feeling that I was being an inconvenience, but they were excited for me, and never once made me feel that I was putting them out. This really made the entire event that much more special and it all turned out beautifully.

It was great having a space as beautiful as this to create what I was envisioning, and the fact that I didn’t need to bring any additional things like plates, knives and forks, etc along was so appreciated and helpful.

Overall, Shiraz feels like a home away from home. It’s perfect for families when booking out the whole house – there’s loads of space for playing in the garden, swimming and braaing. We’ll definitely be back with a group before too long!

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I was so excited to have found such a gem so close to home, and especially one that so well suited our aesthetic and décor standards. Kristine and her family have created such a beautiful space – one that isn’t easy to find in the Western Cape. They stay on the same property in a separate home, however, they’re only at the house when needed, and certainly understand the meaning of hospitality!

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But, Lauren from Lauren McCreath touches on all of the juicy décor details below:

Shiraz boasts the best of simplicity and luxury. The lovely Norwegian owners have showcased their take on an AfroScandi aesthetic. Beautiful, simple and clean lines inspired by their heritage, combines with an African ethic, creating a sophisticated and stylish guesthouse in Riebeek Kasteel.

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The renovated homestead has been rejuvenated to its former glory. The love they have put into creating the beautiful guest house is felt around every corner.

The traditional architecture of the home with terracotta tiles, large open fireplace and areas of exposed original stonework, smartly framed and showcased, pays homage to the Cape vernacular of the homestead.

The combination of beautiful traditional African fabrics, local artworks and woven wares combined with bespoke and Scandi inspired furniture pieces punctuates the crisp interiors, creating a warm and inviting ambiance in which to relax .

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Organic elements are combined with a gentle muted color palette which creates a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere.

The locally made bespoke furniture, has a distinct Scandinavian feel.

Individual pieces sourced from Ikea and Danish company Muuto bring authentic Scandi style, and, combined with classic pieces sourced from local artisans such as Pederson and Lennard and Sacs in Woodstock, is balanced and considered. The owners have perfected the look and feel of minimalist design with ease and flair.

The upstairs loft bedrooms boast large en-suite bathrooms. The King sized beds with custom made headboards which reference local “riempie” furniture, are beautifully dressed in crisp white linen. Stylish, simple Muuto pendant lights complete the look. Carefully placed plants create an organic link to the gorgeous outdoor spaces.

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The reed ceiling veranda has an inviting comfy sofa, providing a perfect spot to watch the abundance of bird life in the palm filled garden, whilst dining tables and chairs provide a relaxing place to enjoy meals.

The symmetry and balance of the inky blue pool and its pool house are a feast for the eyes, and provide an idyllic and tranquil area to unwind.

Comfy African print cushions brighten the bench seating in the pool house… a perfect area in which to enjoy long leisurely meals, celebrations or sundowners.

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Shiraz is a warm and welcoming reflection of the detail and care of the AfroScandi aesthetic of the wonderful owners and the perfect destination for those wanting to enjoy peace and tranquility in a beautiful setting.

Book it out as a 6-Bedroom Villa:

From September, the guest house will only be able to rented out as a whole house. It is also super affordable when dividing the total price per night by the amount of people. This is something we’d totally make use of! We love the idea of booking out the entire guest house as a self-catering holiday house!

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Get a group of friends together, pack your bags, and have a relaxing few nights in Riebeek-Kasteel. The house sleeps up to 14 guests in 5 double rooms with king size beds (beds can also be made into twin upon request) and 1 Quadruple Suite. All rooms are en-suite, have air-con or fan and a coffee & tea station with a Nespresso machine. Relax in the tranquil garden with pool, sun loungers, garden gazebo (perfect for entertaining – which is what we used it for), and braai facililities. Enjoy meals together in the dining room with a fireplace, or outside on the shaded stoep or in the garden gazebo. The kitchen is fully equipped with a gas stove and with all the necessary crockery, pots & pans and utensils for self-catering. Located in a gated complex with plenty of off-street parking.


Make your booking now. And follow them on Instagram to keep up with the latest news and any specials as time goes on!

 

Sustainable Fashion Done Perfectly – Locally.

There’s nothing quite like stumbling upon new brands and then finding out that they are local. There’s a little happy dance that begins stirring inside of me. And this is EXACTLY what happened when I heard about Beagle & Basset – a new Cape Town based eco-conscious company.

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I first heard about them about a month ago, and fell in love with not only their napkins, dresses and hair scrunchies – but also what they stand for, and how they go about creating their products. In short, they’re literally saving our beautiful planet one napkin and hair scrunchie at a time!

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How? Well they are passionate about the ancient practice of natural dyeing achieved with plant matter, harvested right here, in South Africa. Basically, they collect discarded raw materials – like fynbos, blue gum bark and avocado stones – and give them new life when they extract their pigment and use it to dye raw textiles.

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How crazy is it to think of the journey that your napkins, hair scrunchie or garment has been on before reaching you?

I truly do believe in sustainable fashion – and although it seems to be a slow process as things change within our country – it’s brands like Beagle & Basset that make this possible for us to change the way we live and shop.

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I was blown away when I first unpacked the beautiful Leuca Dress pictured here. Apart from its obvious beauty – the label and little linen swatches attached are just such a perfect representation of why you should support small, local businesses. Genna has paid such attention to detail, and has really created that love that every consumer should feel when spending their hard earned money on purchasing something new. The website is also a minimalists dream.

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This dress is flawless. It’s also available in FIVE different colours (Cederberg – Yellow, Lowveld – Pink, Overberg – Olive, Swartberg – Aubergine and White). Because the dress is dyed, please note that it could take up to 3 weeks for delivery. However, the white is available immediately.


I feel as if I have so much more to say, however, I feel that deep down inside, you understand and believe in the value of supporting businesses as wonderful as Beagle & Basset. This was a totally heartfelt post, and I hadn’t promised them or anybody else a blogpost or feature on it. I just felt in my heart that I wanted to share it with my readers, so that they too, could hear about a brand that I was so excited to learn about. I’m sure you can see why!

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Visit my account for more photos from this shoot!


Follow Beagle & Basset on Instagram to keep up with their beautiful creations as they grow and blossom. Thank you Radiefa from Radz Photography for capturing this so beautifully and Kristin Swan for hair and makeup. Spirit Jewellery – always a pleasure to wear your beautiful pieces.