The Grahamstown National Arts Fest

After attending fest I realised this is an old image and this year fest is 11 days of amazing!
What are your plans for this weekend? Or the one after that for that matter? If you're anywhere near the Eastern Cape you've got to make your way down the the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. Great food, live music, ballets, stand-up comedy, exhibitions, street artists, markets, magic shows and so much more you will never be anywhere and have so much to do and see anywhere else.

Pants on Fire is a comedy written and performed by Martin
Evans and Rob Van Vuuren is a laugh a minute
 and a show I would definitely recommend!
 Image source.
On Tuesday Charlie and I got together with a few mates and went and watched Pants on Fire at the little theatre in Port Elizabeth, and if that was anything to go by, fest is going to be just as awesome, if not even more so than usual!
 'Cause we're on house sitting duties this weekend and in Joburg next weekend, we'll only be able to make it to Grahamstown for one day- TOMORROW- but words can't explain how much I'm looking forward to a day trip with Charlie Brown, back to the place where it all began and I first got to meet my future husband! Grahamstown in my opinion has always been and will always be a magical place, but even more so during fest.

Will you be heading to fest this year? What shows are you going to see? Charlie and I hope to squeeze in 5, but have pre-bought tickets for 3, Bridezilla!, Body Language and The Chilli Boy.

The Festival runs from the 29th of June until the 8th of July. Info regarding the festival and shows can be found here.

A Sixpence for your Shoe!

I recently got the amazingly exciting news that I have the most incredible privilege of being a bridesmaids for one of my longest and closest friends.

There is nothing quite like the warm and fuzzies one gets when you know you are that important to someone that they want you to be standing there next to them on potentially one of the biggest, if not the biggest days of their lives.

I intend on being the best bridesmaid I can be and thought I'd start by conjuring up a list of things that could make any bride's day that much more special. Starting with a sixpence for her shoe. Apparently there's an extra part to the good ol' tradition something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and it should end with and a sixpence in her shoe!

According to Mon Amour Boutique, "the silver Sixpence was minted for English Kings and Queens, and is said to bring the bride and groom good luck and prosperity to their marriage. Tucked in the brides left wedding shoe for the big day, the coin is meant to be kept as a keepsake and reminder of the day you were wed until it is passed on to your daughter for her wedding day!"

For more info on this lovely little gift go here. A sixpence in her shoe cards come in a variety of colours and can be tailored to suit any bridal parties' colours. Please note all photos are taken from the Mon Amour Botique Etsy page.

Adding a little extra sparkle to your wedding day!

Mon Amour Boutique has these stickers in a variety of fonts and colours, but I love how the blue ticks something off of the Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue list :)
 If you have been anywhere near me in the last few weeks, you would know that I've caught a serious case of wedding fever. Even though Charlie Brown and I have been engaged for over two years now- we were basically in Korea for that whole time so we put plans on hold until we came back to SA.

It all started with a wonderful engagement party held for us by my lovely mom and dad (but more about that in another post) anyway- that's where I caught the bug, and now I fear I may be contagious!

The am overly excited as our wedding date has finally been provisionally decided, (it will be confirmed when we decide on the venue.)

My pintrest wedding board is now in full bloom- you can go have a look at all the things I love here,
and my bloglovin feed is bursting with blogs dedicated to wedding ideas. It was here that I stumbled upon this amazing etsy shop Mon Amour Boutique. I have fallen in love with their unique little "I do" and "Me too" stickers, and will definitely be getting some for our big day.

I blame it all on Bobbi! My new love affair with Estee Lauder

It's no secret, I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I love MAC, but there are a few products where I find MAC just doesn't cut it for me...and I've been forced to cheat on my one true love. One such product is Bobbi Brown's corrector, it's perfect for eradicating blemishes and dark circles under the eye, I came across it a few years ago in Korea, and have been swearing by it ever since.

As Port Elizabeth doesn't have a Bobbi Brown stockist I was forced to wait until a recent trip to Joburg to buy a hit of my corrector crack. So imagine my disappointment when the sales woman at Bobbie Brown said "sorry we don't stock your colour (porcelain bisque) anywhere in South Africa". My face began to flush, my mouth became dry and all I could blurt out was "What now!"

Ok, so I'm over dramatising the above a little, but luckily I had two of my besties by my side, one who is a loyal fan of Estee Lauder, who suggest we go have a look there, and grudgingly I agreed.

Well am I glad I did. Nearly R1000 later and I'm a believer. (Ok, I know R1000 is a HEAP of cash, but make-up is the only thing I really love to splurge on and I know this stuff will all last about 3 months, so don't judge). I invested in three of their products, their lucidity translucent pressed powder, double wear stay-in-place flawless wear concealer and double wear maximum cover foundation. In foundation I'm using Very light, and in the powder and concealer I'm using light.

When it comes to foundation it's really down to personal preference, I am lucky enough to have pretty good skin and have never really suffered from acne on my face, but I personally like to get as close to a flawless completion as possible. Please note here that flawless is my goal, not natural. If you want to look natural, maximum coverage is not for you! But if you want flawless this little baby is a gold mine!

I use all three of the products simultaneously so I'm going to mark them as a team...and I'm giving them 10 out of 10.
(Well for now anyway.) Time will tell if it darkens with age- the way that I feel Mac's Studio Fix foundation does after a month, leaving me with over half a bottle of foundation that no longer matches my skin tone. Or if it's concealer will provide the same long term cover for my freckles that I get from Bobbie's corrector. I am also a big fan of Bobbies shear finish pressed powder, as I really get good bang for my buck with how long it lasts, but I was swayed by an excellent and very helpful sales assistant at the Estee Lauder stand at Sandton Edgers who persuaded me to just go with the whole range- I'm a total sucker for all things matching.

But for now, I am very impressed, I don't think I have ever been as happy with a foundation set as I am with this one. It gives me great coverage, lasts on my face for hours and doesn't leave my skin looking flaky, plus it seems to be a perfect colour match, which with my pale skin tone is rare!

What foundation are you using? Are you in love? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Goals for 25

Getting Mashi, one of the best things we achieved this year
 I've noticed a hot trend in the blogesphere is documenting goals you hope to achieve in your birthday year. And as my birthday falls so close to the middle of the year I think its an even more fantastic idea, I mean how are you supposed to achieve anything if you don't know what it is that you hope to achieve?

Anyway, before I get to carried away with my new goals I thought I'd take a minute to reflect on my New Years Resolution goals progress...
  • Worry less in general!
    I can honestly say that I'm doing pretty well with this one. I mean don't get me wrong I'm still a total worry wart but I feel as though I'm constantly improving and getting better at this, and trust me the last few months have been trying.
  • Get a job that inspires me and encourages me to grow (I've felt a little stagnant here)
    I think (naively) I thought that I was going to come home (to South  Africa) and just somehow land a job. I didn't expect it to be the best job, I mean I was realistic about probably starting at the bottom of the bottom of the food chain for a next to nothing salary. But I wasn't expecting not to be able to find a job at all! In three months I literally found one job posting in the graphic design field and although I got called back for a second interview I didn't make the final cut. Anyway back to my goal progress, no I probably haven't found my dream job (I think it's to soon to tell), nor have I found a job in the field I thought I would be pursuing. But I have managed to find a 6month part time job and I am definitely inspired and challenged to grow. Everyday I learn something new and try my best to be the best I can be.
  • Blog more and get more followers
    Grrr, this goal is NOT going very well, in fact if anything I have blogged less. But being so preoccupied with everything else in my life has made me realise just how much I miss it! So hopefully I'll be pulling my socks up and getting my act together!
  • Give Charlie more hugs and kisses ( he's so wonderful and I never want him to forget how much he means to me)
    I could never ever possibly let him know how much he means to me, but it is something I work on everyday.
  • Take time to appreciate life
    Hmmm, I've had a few down in the dumps moments this year, but I think I've been pretty good at pulling myself up and focusing on all that is good.
  • Always place travel as a priority in life
    Having visited Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong so far this year, I'm going to give myself a big tick for this one.
  • Spend as much time with family as possible (spending two years away from them was two years to many)
    No amount of time is enough time- but I have managed to get some really good-quality family time in this year! And hopefully will continue to do so!
  • Take more photos!
    I think this is something that needs more work...
  • Be less hard on myself and more confident in all regards
    This is something I'm working on, but is easier said than done
  • Be more healthy
    I'm not going to lie, I think I've dropped the ball on this one...
  • Get a pet, a puppy hopefully, we want a little french bulldog desperately
    Done, done and DONE. We didn't get a frenchie, but we did get a Boston Terrier- who we are totally in love with. In my opinion getting him was the best decision we've made this year so far. He's just completely changed our lives for the better.
  • Floss more, its definitely something I have to work on
    This is a work in progress, but I'm doing a lot better!
  • Be as happy as possible because I really believe that you are in charge of your own happiness
    I think this is important, and something I don't always remember.

    I think my goals for 25 include all the above mentioned, except getting a puppy as we already have one. But I want to add that I would like to spend more time on me and taking time to work out where I want to go in life, while learning to appreciate where I am right now. Oh and starting to plan my wedding! But more on that later!!!

Turning 25: my quarter life crisis!

On the 28th of May I turned 25. twenty five. OMG TWENTY FIVE! I would be lying if I were to tell you it was a birthday I was looking forward to. In no uncertain terms it was not. In reality is there any difference between being 24 and 364 days old and being 25. I mean there shouldn't be, but I just wasn't ready to face that quarter-of-a-century milestone.

I saw the above picture on Facebook the other day and it just resonated so loudly with me. Having always been such an organised and planned person, I have to wonder how exactly I got to the point where I am now (which if you're wondering, is desperately just trying to stay afloat.) I guess I just thought I'd have more life answers, you know?!

Anyway, the point is that I don't. I don't have all the answers I thought I would. I don't know where I'm going to be living in 6 months time, and I don't know where I'll be working, or what I'll be doing. I don't know if Charlie will have been accepted into masters, or where he will be accepted if he does get in. And all these big unknowns make me panic.

But I feel life is trying to teach me a lesson, and that lesson is to be patient. There is a plan in place, I just don't know what it is yet, and maybe while I'm waiting for all of my questions to be answered (and don't worry I realise that all of lifes questions will never all be answered). I should focus on the ones that already are. Like knowing I have an amazing fiance, that I have a lovely place to live, the cutest little puppy ever and family and friends who love me.

I think that the thing to realise is that no-one has all the answers, and no-ones life is perfect, but the key to being happy about where you are in life is about trying to focus on all the positives and good, even though that's often easier said than done. So if I have one goal for my year of being 25, it's going to be to be patient and focus on the good.