Woven Whimsy

I love finding interesting ways to decorate my house, or unique gift ideas. I have all different pictures of our family all around our house, and I really appreciate hand-crafted gifts for myself – and this is often what I will choose to gift others too. This is why I was so excited when I came across the page Woven Whimsy.

Danielle is so creative and can make custom orders for you, your friends, and your family. She very kindly allowed me to interview her for my blog, and I can’t wait to show you some examples of her gorgeous work and ideas brought to life.


Woven Whimsy

Your name: Danielle

Photo by Shante Hutton Photography
Photo by Shante Hutton Photography

Business name: Woven Whimsy

Social media handles: Instagram, Facebook and Website

3 fun facts about you: I used to play the saxophone in high school, I can’t clench my toes, and I have a PhD in Human Genetics 😊

Tell me a little more about your business: As Woven Whimsy, I make and sell fibre art. This initially started as woven tapestries, but more recently my focus has shifted to custom-made embroideries.

Where did the idea come from: Whilst on my second maternity leave with my daughter in 2018, I spent a lot of time on Pinterest. At that time, weaving was just beginning to become popular, and I decided to try to make a loom with scraps of wood and nails that were in our garage. My first attempt was a disaster, but after some practice I started to improve. I think my husband was a bit terrified of having woven tapestries covering every surface of our house, so I decided to try to sell them. My following grew slowly over a year or two. In June last year I decided to embroider a “C” for my daughter, Cara. A friend’s mom saw the photo on Facebook, and commissioned an “A” for her granddaughter. The response to the embroidered monograms has been incredible, and embroidery is now the main focus of Woven Whimsy.

Have you always been a creative being: Very much so. I’ve always had a creative heart, although I don’t think that I’m particularly artistic. I grew up with a mom and gran who would knit and sew, and I enjoyed arts and crafts throughout my youth. But I’m also a bit of a nerd, and went on to study genetics at varsity. Today, I’m a molecular geneticist in a private pathology laboratory, but I’ve always relied on creativity for my “soul food”. I have an amazing husband and two very busy kiddies, so it’s not always easy to find time for these things, but I’ve realised that it’s so important for my sanity.

“…but I’ve realised that it’s so important for my sanity.”

What is your personal favourite piece: It’s difficult to say, but probably my first embroidered monogram, the “C” for Cara.

Do you do custom orders: Yes, I primarily do custom orders.

What are the different products you offer: At the moment my main focus is embroidered monograms and ultrasounds, although I occasionally do other custom pieces if requested.

How can people order from you: Some of my products are listed on my website, but it’s usually easier to message me via email or Instagram to get the conversation started.

Why do you love what you do: I get to make pretty things, and people want to display them in their homes! It still blows my mind some days.

Something that we always say to our kids: “Listen, have fun, and be kind.”


Aren’t Danielle’s designs absolutely gorgeous? And don’t you want to rush over to place your order for one right now?

Please try to support local and support small businesses as much as possible. They are the people that need us all now more than ever, and do a literal happy dance whenever their businesses are supported!


Entle Cosmetics

I am always on the hunt for local cosmetic brands, and eyeshadow palettes with vibrant colouring and gorgeous pay-off. And then, Entle Cosmetics decided to enter the party with all her glitters, lumo colours, as well as an everyday palette.

Guys, my mind is literally blown at the beauty of these palettes, as well as the thought, consideration and love that Thandokazi has put into each of her offerings. I am sure you are going to love them too!


Getting to know Entle Cosmetics

Your name: Thandokazi Xulubana

Business name: Entle Cosmetics

Social media handles: Facebook, Instagram and Website

3 fun facts about you:

  • I’m a qualified software engineer that loves makeup/fashion, which you hardly find in I.T.
  • I am terrified of animals that crawl.
  • I loved drawing cartoon characters in primary and high school.

Can you tell me a little more about your business: The Holdings company is called ‘Nokwakha’, which is my Grandmother’s name, and our cosmetics division is called ‘Entle’

Entle means beauty in my native tongue isiXhosa, we derived it from the name ‘Mbalente’, which is why we have 3 leaves on our logo. ‘Mbalentle’ means ‘Beautiful Flower’.

At Entle Cosmetics, we believe that everyone is born beautiful, you do not need to change the shape of your face because you are beautiful the way you are.

Our makeup is not made to change how people look, but to enhance people’s natural beauty. Our intention is to bring out the creativity in you, after all – makeup is art! Our brand embraces every culture, race and class (I do not want to go into too much detail around this part, as we will only reveal the vision on our next collection – I can’t wait for our next launch).

What pushed you to start this business: I got tired of not being able to get the quality and packaging I liked when I shopped for makeup. I am someone who loves people, and I would experience horrible customer service in some of the makeup stores I went to, which is why we always strive to be a brand that cares about the people we serve, and I always do follow ups with our clients asking about their experience with our brand.

Why is being cruelty-free so important to you: I have seen a lot of videos around makeup testing on animals and I could not stomach it. I am an animal lover, I literally cry and get mad when I see animals being mistreated. It angers me that as people we sit back and take videos of people raping animals or kill them for their horns. I love nature and the wilderness, so this is why this is important to me.

What makes your makeup products so unique: I cannot say that our makeup products are unique, because I know you will find similar quality products somewhere else… but I can promise you that you will not find the same experience that we create for our clients. We are not just selling makeup products, but we are selling a brand experience.

Our goal is to give all our clients a world class service, premium quality eyeshadow shades and elegant packaging, with a personal touch to each product.

Which is your personal favourite product: Wow, this is a difficult question because they are all my favorites, it all depends on the occasion. If I am going to the mall, I wear Anelisa. If I am going out for dinner, I mix Khanya with Buhle Bendalo (or Anelisa). When I go to Church, I wear Buhle Bendalo.

How can people purchase from you: We have our Facebook, and Instagram, shop which can be used to purchase our products. We also have our Shopify online store which is where the bulk of our orders come from.

People can also DM us for orders, and our banking details, if they want to do direct deposit.

Who do you think would enjoy your makeup: Makeup artists, people who are not afraid to be different, or standout, and those who like to wear less makeup as well. Our collection caters for those who love glam, and glitz, and for those who love nude colors.

What do you want people to feel when they use your products: I want them to feel undefined joy, to feel confident and cared for…because every package is packed with care and love.

Quote you live by: Never look at “negative situations” as problems, but look at them as challenges, an opportunity for you to grow and do great.

Anything else you want to add: Each palette has a dedicated name, for this collection we chose Xhosa names and their meanings define each palette:

Khanya eyeshadow palette – Khanya means shine, illuminate. We chose this name because the glitter shades represent the shine in Khanya, the palette packaging represents the illumination.

Buhle Bendalo eyeshadow palette – Buhle Bendalo means natural beauty. We chose this name because of Buhle’s nude/calm shades and the packaging that reflects in natural lighting, giving it a sparkling touch.

Anelisa eyeshadow palette – Anelisa means to fulfill. We chose this name because we felt like this eyeshadow fulfills your soft and full glam looks. You have both matte and glitter shades in one palette, each shade complements the next one.


In closing…

Don’t these palettes speak to you? And with their prices starting form only R299.99 per palette, they are affordable and cover a wide range of colours and textures. I know that I definitely want to add all of them to my collection, but I am super keen to try the glitters and stars in the Anelisa Palette first.

Thando has also launched a 10 piece marble makeup brush set in a cylinder case – even though I seem to collect different makeup brushes, I always feel that having a case to keep them safe and allow for easy travel is something everyone needs. Plus, how freaking gorgeous is the set?

Please show your love and support for Thando and Entle Cosmetics. She was an absolute joy to chat with, and I love that she is determined to change the way customers feel and are treated throughout their purchase and experience of her product.

I can’t wait to see what you create with these!


#ShareYourRare

Rare Diseases South Africa NPO 120-991 is a cause very close to my heart.

In case you didn’t know, I have a rare disease called Myasthenia gravis and I also work for RDSA as my full-time job. However, I have other rare talents that you may not know about – my husband and I have mad dance skills (mad being the operative word); I am double-jointed and flat-footed; and I can give a mean massage. I can also dislocate my jaw and hip on command.

Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune, neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles that worsens after periods of activity and improves after periods of rest. These muscles are responsible for functions involving breathing and moving parts of the body, including the arms and legs.

Photographer: Quaid Jones

#RarenessAwareness

After all the negativity associated with the past year, RDSA has decided to flip the switch on their awareness campaign and get everyday South Africans to #ShareYourRare whilst encouraging others to do the same.

Can you spin on your head, or do the worm, or even do chubby bunny with 20 marshmallows? Is singing opera your hidden talent, or can you bounce a coin into a glass every time? This is YOUR rare, and this deserves to be celebrated.

Being RARE, by definition, infers being unique, highly valuable and possessing admirable or exemplary qualities.

A rare blue diamond 💎… Worth millions.
A rare species 🦄… Highly sought after.
A rare discovery 🍾… Highly newsworthy.

Except for Rare Diseases which are considered a financial burden, are overlooked by society and forgotten by the media.

The truth is that we are all RARE to some degree. We all have unique qualities, talents, features and abilities that make us different, and yet similar for that exact reason. This is something that deserves to be celebrated!

So how can you get involved?

This is super easy…

Share your rare on your social media platforms and tag Rare Diseases South Africa; challenge your friends or followers to do the same; and check out www.rareaware.africa for more details. You can also follow the Instagram page which has been set up especially for this campaign here.

Please also change your profile picture on your social media platforms to the “R” above, and include the caption “Join the tribe… Visit  www.rareaware.africa  #ShareYourRare

With your support we can build a movement of Rare stories and get South Africa to share amazing positive stories building up to International Rare Disease Day on the 28th February 2021.

Wanna donate?

Founded in 2013 by Kelly du Plessis, Rare Diseases South Africa is a nonprofit organisation that has been successfully working to ensure that people living with a rare diseases and congenital disorders experience better recognition and support, improved health service and a better life overall.

Rare Diseases SA has 100% B-BBEE Social Development Recognition and is Section 18A certified with SARS making your donation tax deductible.

You can make a donation in many ways by visiting here.

Please help to create #RarenessAwareness and #ShareYourRare across social media. Let’s remind people about just how beautiful being rare is. Lets change our feeds to be filled with positivity and laughter through this difficult period. Let’s spread kindness and good by allowing our rareness to shine!


Some rare disease facts:

  • In South Africa rare diseases are defined as a dsease affecting less than I in 2000 people in the population
  • As a combined grouping, rare diseases affect 7% of the population, which is:
    • 1 in every 15 people
    • 4.1 million South Africans
  • 70-80% of rare diseases are genetic. Some may be inherited in families while others only affect the individual
  • Other rare diseases may be acquired during life due to trauma, environmental effects etc.
  • For many rare diseases the cause is still unknown.
Photographer: Quaid Jones
Featuring Baba Ganoosh

Can I count on you to get involved?


The Glitter Fairy

“Some girls are just born with glitter in their veins.”

Paris Hilton

I am a glitter fiend! Any chance I get I will add it to my makeup looks, I will sprinkle it in cards, and I will purchase the sparkliest gin that I can. I have, however, learnt that the same glitter cannot be used across all of these loves of mine – for examples using craft glitter for a makeup look or close to your eyes, as these can cause injury and damage to your eye balls.

But then I heard about The Glitter Fairy, had a squiz through their website and was super impressed to hear that they are biodegradable. Plus I think that I have found my glitter twin in Nadia, who owns this business. In fact I think her blood may even contain fine glitter in it…


Your name: Nadia Wrankmore (aka Head Fairy)

Business name: The Glitter Fairy

Social media handles: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Website.

3 fun facts about you:
I’m always the first one on the dance floor
I cry in most sad movies, including the animations. Mufasa still gets me every time!
I believe in fairies…obviously!

What makes your glitter unique?
Unlike conventional plastic glitter, The Glitter Fairy only uses Bioglitter® which is made from plant cellulose extracted from ethically sourced, non-GMO hardwoods, primarily eucalyptus trees. Making our product biodegradable, vegan friendly, non-toxic, and full of sparkly awesomeness!

Glitter Fairy glitter is also a globally compliant, cosmetic glitter, which means you can use it in so many products like cosmetics, bath & body products, hair products, body and resin art, nail art, and more. So you can get your sparkle on in so many ways!

What size is your glitter?
Cosmetic grade glitter is cut smaller and thinner than plastic-based glitter, so not only is it 40% softer than traditional glitter, it also comes in a few sizes, giving you more sparkly options to choose from.
Chunky glitter is similar in size to craft glitter and super chunky is like old school glitter, and then there is ultra chunky which definitely brings so much more dazzle and bling to any occasion.

What pushed you to start this business?
That’s a good question. Whilst in Bali having my own Eat, Pray, Love moment, I decided that I wanted to leave this planet, a little better off than I found it, even if it’s in a small way. So with my love for the ocean and all things makeup and sparkly related, feel-good sparkles were the way to go and a natural outlet for my passion and creativity.

Which is your personal favourite glitter?
That’s a tough one. I like to match my glitter to the occasion or to what I am wearing. But if I had to choose one…it would be Soul Sista. This was my first blend and born from my trip to Bali which kicked off The Glitter Fairy journey, it still takes me back to those memories.
Fun fact, all the blends have a special meaning, named with a person in mind or an important event that has occurred in my life.

Which glitter has been your best-seller?
Unicorn Squad is the top seller. I have a customer that puts it on every day, even if she is just going to the shops or relaxing at home. I love that! just like me she also knows that glitter really does make everything better.

Who do you think would love your products?
All sparkle lovers big and small. The glitter is so versatile so it can bring a little sparkly magic to person or product alike.

Do you do custom orders?
Yes definitely! I can make up a custom Glitter Fairy blend at glitter HQ according to your wishes; for weddings and parties.

How can people purchase from you?
You can flutter on over to our online shop at www.theglitterfairy.co.za

What is the difference between craft glitter and your glitter?
Ok, here comes the science bit. Craft glitter is made from multi-layered sheets of plastic called polyethylene terephthalate (PET), pigment, and reflective material which can contain aluminium, metal, glass, titanium dioxide, iron oxide, and bismuth oxychloride just to name a few. So not only are some of those ingredients a mouthful, they’re not good for your skin and together with the amount of plastic used can take hundreds of years to degrade, which contributes to the polluting of oceans and harm to marine life.

Glitter Fairy glitter will quickly biodegrade into harmless substances in all environments, including the ocean, which is great news for all our fishy friends, including turtles and mermaids. Microbes will consume the biodegradable content in just a few weeks.

Why shouldn’t people use craft glitter in their makeup looks?
They don’t call it craft glitter for nothing. It is not designed for use on your skin so rather keep it for Christmas cards and glitter pumpkins.

Quote you live by:
Start each day with a grateful heart and when in doubt add glitter.

Anything else you want to add?
It’s tough out there at the moment, but remember that you are tougher.


With names of glitter blends including Unicorn Squad, Frozen, Soul Sista, Shine Bright Like A Diamond, Halo, Abalone, Woke Up A Mermaid, and so many more; it’s a guarantee that you can find the perfect glitter for your occasion or general happiness.

I loved writing this blog, and discovering a fellow glitter lover that is out to change the world! Which of these colours do you like best?


De Crocky

If you follow me on any of my social media platforms, you will know that I really battle with tummy issues and trying to improve my gut health. There is a lot of research that has been done into the relationship between gut health and autoimmune conditions, and I can definitely feel a flare coming on when I eat badly or eat foods that don’t agree with me.

Kombucha has been something that I have always enjoyed, and I am thrilled that there are now more craft kombuchas available that have different flavours, and it is a natural way to help your digestion, rid your body of toxins, and boost your energy.

Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been consumed for thousands of years. Not only does it have the same health benefits as tea — it’s also rich in beneficial probiotics. Kombucha also contains antioxidants, can kill harmful bacteria and may help fight several diseases.

healthline

When I heard about De Crocky Kombucha I was immediately interested (keep reading to find out more about all the good they are doing), and when I heard that they are dog people too and this business was actually named after their Cocker Spaniel, I was even more determined to try some for myself and tell all of you about them! So get ready – this is a divine product that I give 5 stars to.


Get to know De Crocky

Your name: Jason De Freitas

Business Name: De Crocky (Pty) Ltd

Social Media Handles: Instagram, Facebook and Website

3 fun facts about yourself:
1) I love Cocker Spaniels
2) I enjoy fitness & health
3) I am a huge fan of Britney Spears (lol)

Please can you tell me about your beautiful dog that this was named after: Daphne was our beautiful Cocker Spaniel who sadly passed away nearly 3 years ago. My husband Ruaan & I got her shortly after we got married. It was a very magical time and she instantly bonded with our little family. Daphne was such a energy and we called her crocodile (the amount of times we came home to a destroyed house…). After she passed, Ruaan & I began developing our business idea that eventually became De Crocky. De Crocky is in honour of Daphne and keeps her spirit alive.

Why Kombucha: Kombucha can be such a versatile beverage. It can be tangy, sweet, sour or salty. It can be all of the above. Besides Taste, Kombucha has great health benefits from its consumption.

High in Glucuronic acid & living probiotics, Kombucha can boost your Immune system, lower your blood pressure & boost Cardiovascular Health.

When I go to a restaurant, there is not much selection for non-alcoholics. Kombucha is a great alternative for someone who doesn’t want a sugary fizzy drink or feels for something more adventurous than water.

What makes your product so unique: Our product is unique because of the way we make it. We want to ensure that every batch of kombucha that we produce is perfect or as close to as perfect as can be. On the pursuit of perfection, we know we will never achieve this, but with every batch we get closer and closer.

De Crocky only ferments in pharmaceutical grade 316 stainless steel. This allows for a more balanced kombucha. We are fully organic, juice our produce in house and have no added nasties. We have a proprietary mix of natural elements that we add to every batch of our kombucha which really harmonizes the flavours and tones of the beverage.

What are some of the benefits of kombucha: Kombucha can detoxify your liver, lowers your blood sugar & aids your gut health. Gut health is immensely important as a healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system, heart health, improved moods, healthy sleep & effective digestion.

What are your different flavours:

  • African Red (Rooibos, Ginger & Lemon)
  • Blood-Orange Bliss (Orange, Grapefruit & Kalahari Salts)
  • Cheeky Pineapple (Natal Pineapple)
  • Pink-Lady Mint ( Pink Lady Apple with Crushed Mint)
  • Winter Berry ( Winter Berries & Cape Grape)
  • Yellow-Vibes (Turmeric, Ginger & Lemon)

Please tell me more about De Crocky GREEN: De Crocky Green is our initiative to be more sustainable. With this initiative, we buy back our 500ml bottles for R3 per bottle. Simply visit www.decrocky.com and place a order. On checkout, in the promo field, simply type return12 and it will automatically deduct R36 from your total.

When we deliver to your residence, we simply trade the empty bottles with your new order. This allows our customers to save money on their kombucha supply as well as being more green.

Where can people purchase your products from: We have a few retailers in the Johannesburg are namely The Landing (Dunvegan), Gourmet Grocer (Birdhaven) & Oaklands Farm Supply (Athol).

We mostly focus on direct to customer sales. Orders can be placed on www.decrocky.com. We aim for 24 hour delivery as we know the booch cravings are real.

Which is your personal favourite flavour and why: Cheeky Pineapple. Pineapple is my favourite fruit and I believe it makes a unbelievable kombucha.

Why do you think natural health is so important: A few years ago, I was on high doses of antibiotics and my intestinal flora was so diminished. I remember how weird my body felt and it affected my moods. It is only with a good diet and exercise that I started feeling human again. We must remember that how we feed our bodies plays a essential role in our health. Instead of feeding our bodies pills and hyper sterilized foods, we need to feed it more organic vegetables and fruits, fermented foods, less meat, water, exercise & sunlight.

Quote you live by:

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

mae west

Jason hand-delivered my kombucha yesterday – with all COVID protocols and sanitisation in place – in brown paper bags, and recommends that these are best enjoyed chilled. There was even a hand-written note included in my parcel and some information reminding me of their great recycling/re-using idea.

I completely agree with what Jason says about the choice of drinks when we go out – if you are wanting something non-alcoholic, you can either get water or something full of sugar. Wouldn’t it be amazing if De Crocky kombucha was more readily available at restaurants and shops so we could make healthier choices?

{PS: Use code FLOWERCROWNS to save 15% off your next order!}


Willow Asks Why?

A friend I went to school with has been a great source of encouragement and inspiration. I have seen how she has raised two beautiful children, and how she is constantly working to make South Africa a better place for the next generation. I have seen her raise difficult questions, work with others, and teach her children to be kind, considerate and loving towards others.

I saw her announce that she had started co-writing a book series named “Delightful Tales About Difficult Topics”, with the first book being “Willow Asks Why?”. I wanted to know more. This series of books is to be enjoyed by parents and their children together, and to show a way of speaking through difficult questions that kids may have – especially in all their honesty and innocence.


Your names: Kimberley Clow & Graham Geiger-Kirige

Business name: Delightful Tales About Difficult Topics

Social media handles: Instagram, Facebook and Website.

3 fun facts about you:
Kim:
* I am currently reading Brene Brown’s latest book, The Gifts Of Imperfection
* Unashamedly obsessed with reality television.
* In 2021; I am learning to speak Xhosa

Graham:
* Life Motto: “Beards Before Razors”
* Firm believer in tea bags being removed BEFORE milk is added.
* Proud father of 8 house plants (I have read the book to them)

Tell me a little more about the book you have written:
‘Willow asks Why?’ is a story about the ever-curious Willow, who begins to question why there seems to be a different set of rules, for people of different races. Packed with light-hearted illustrations, the powerful message is that we should always question the world around us and learn to see the ‘invisible’ roles that privilege & structural racism play. Only then can we challenge them.

What age group is this aimed at:
The book aims to spark conversations with kids of all ages, however if we had to give a specific age range, we’d say particularly kids between the ages of 2 and 4, as this is when they’re most vulnerable to societal stereotypes and prejudices.

What was the inspiration behind the book:
Kim is a mother of two and has a diverse family. Naturally, she began searching for locally produced children’s books that would more accurately reflect the members of her own family. She managed to find a few but not nearly enough and decided to write her own story with a focus on promoting diversity & inclusion, in a South African context.

Graham is a lifelong family friend of Kim’s, a freelance Copywriter and part time woodwork teacher at the Little Warthogs Playschool – run by his wife, an early childhood development specialist. So when Kim pitched her idea of a children’s book series promoting diversity & inclusion, Graham swapped his power tools for a pen & paper.

Where can people purchase one from:
You can order ‘Willow asks Why?’ on our website.

What is the price of the book:
Our retail price is R120 and 15% of the profits of every book purchased will go to ARNSA – The Anti-Racism Organisation of South Africa. They work closely with the Ahmed Kathrada and Nelson Mandela Foundations among many others to ensure that organisations are equipped to deal with racism within communities. Jump on to their website to find out more about their various initiatives and collaborators.

Why is this book so special to you:
Kim:
It’s a daily reminder of the strength my children gave me to step out of my comfort zone; and write a story that I believe in. There is massive racial bias in South Africa; and I would like to play an active role in trying to change this.

Graham:
Learning to navigate your way through the world can be tough, let alone when you’ve barely cut your first tooth! Working on this book was special because it has the potential to help kids ask critical questions, discuss difficult topics in an open way and hopefully make a confusing world, slightly less confusing.

Why do you think this is a conversation we should be having with kids:
Kids may begin identifying with race as early as 6 months old; and may start generalising by 2, therefore it’s super important to have these conversations as early as possible, before any misconceptions become ingrained. If kids can learn to discuss these problems when they’re young, they have the power and time to help change it.

Quote you live by:
Kim: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”
Graham: “Reading is an exercise in empathy”

Anything else you want to add:
‘Willow asks Why?’ is the first book of a series, ‘Delightful Tales About Difficult Topics’. As the name suggests, the goal of each book will be to make it easier for parents to have open & honest conversations about complex topics, not covered enough within the children’s book genre. We have some ideas for future topics but no concrete decisions have been made, so watch this space!


I am so honoured to have been able to chat to amazing people like Kim and Graham, as well as Toys With Roots last year. We need to be aware of the way we speak to and about others, and we need to show our children the importance of acceptance, inclusion, and kindness.

This book is so needed in South Africa, and I could not be more proud of these wonderful people who have taken the step and making changes for our futures.


The Cavern

At the end of the day your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.

travel quote

Have you ever been on a holiday and immediately wished that you could return? Have you visited a resort where you were spoilt for choice, surrounded by beauty, and immediately felt your stress melt away as your drive through their gates?

Well, I am lucky enough to have experienced this – and The Cavern is my dream resort and holiday location.

I attended primary school in Hilton, Kwa Zulu Natal and my teacher at the time was Megan Bedingham (nee Carte) – whose family owns and runs The Cavern. As a special treat, our grade was invited to stay at this stunning resort. I remember the excitement at the idea of being able to go away on a holiday, and getting to experience a resort of this caliber. As a family we didn’t go away for holidays, so this was my first ever “holiday” and boy did it set the tone for what I expected going forward!

I remember being blown away at the beauty of the surroundings, the sense of peace that engulfed me, and the walks that left my legs aching for the next few days. Megan was one of my favourite teachers (yes, I was that nerd suck-up child – and I probably still am), and we reconnected over Facebook a while ago. I was so excited to learn that she and her family, along with her sister, are currently running The Cavern, and I knew that I simply HAD to feature them on my blog. Their reviews on local Facebook groups, and from friends who have visited recently have reminded me how spoilt we were to experience it for ourselves and I can’t wait to return with my husband!

Resorts and hotels have taken a terribly hard hit due to lockdown and travel restrictions, but The Cavern was determined to survive, take care of all their staff, and continue to support their outreach program. I think this shows their heart, and the fact that they have never given up on this dream.


Your name: Megan Bedingham

Megan, and her family

Name of your resort: The Cavern Drakensberg Resort

Social media handles: Facebook, Instagram and Website.

If you could describe The Cavern in just 3 words, what would they be:
Family, outdoors, home.

Can you tell me a little bit of a history about The Cavern:
The Cavern is a resort set in the Northern Drakensberg mountains. It’s a family business and we celebrate 80 years of many happy returns in 2021. Our story began when our grandfather, Bill, proposed to Ruth in a letter. He wrote; “Ruth, my darling, I plea as never before: Put your trust in me, marry me and be my mate in building up a home and a farm second-to-none in South Africa.” They moved to The Cavern farm in 1941 and so began the building of a dream.

4 children joined the farm animals but sadly after 13 short years Bill got cancer and died. But, Ruth was resilient and steadfast and kept going and fulfilling their dream.

In the 1970s Peter and Anthony, Ruth’s youngest sons, joined the family business. They grew it from a small guest farm to a thriving resort and by the 1980’s the Cavern was in full-swing! Holidays were about making new friends, hiking every mountain and ending each day with an evening activity. It was good fun and a great space to grow up.

Many years on, and we, the third generation, are now at the helm.

The Carte family – and additions!

Why is this such a special place to you:
It is not only a valley of exquisite beauty but a special place where people come to be restored. The mountains have that special kind of magic and they really do rejuvenate weary souls. We adopted Bill’s vision and we still work to fulfil his dream; “Our work is to create beauty, to make the land more fertile, to make our living, to leave the world better than when we came into it“.

Can you tell me more about the Drakensberg Community Outreach:
Our family has always been involved in outreach work but we consolidated our efforts in 2006 and began working through two key initiatives: Royal Drakensberg Primary School and the Khanyisela Project, one independent foundation phase school and 18 pre-schools which are situated in the greater amaZizi village. Our aim is to give children a strong foundation for future learning. More recently we began BabyBoost which focuses on the first 1000 days and so we are developing a continuum for growth, from birth to 10 years. Our mission is for children to learn2read so that they can read2learn.

What is your favourite part of The Cavern:
The hills. They are challenging and hard and yet they provide a space for reflection. The legs ache, the lungs burn but once the climb has been mastered there is a real sense of achievement and with this comes a deep sense of happiness and joy.

What is your differentiating factor to other resorts:
Perhaps that we are family run. We have a wonderful team of staff who work hard to provide wonderful holidays in the great outdoors and we love that people return time and time again.

What is on offer to your visitors:
There is hiking and horse riding, trout fishing, MTB trails, trail running, and we have the most gorgeous Forest Retreat Spa. There are tennis courts, lawn bowls, playgrounds for children and a refreshing pool with slippery slides for the kids. Indoor games when the weather isn’t great but also decks and lounges to just read or relax.
Essentially The Cavern is a special tucked-away romantic getaway for couples, a gentle place to find quiet and solitude, as well as a safe and child-friendly resort with a range of activities for families.

How can people book with you:
Email us: info@cavern.co.za
OR Call: 083 701 5724 OR 036 438 6270

What is included in your bookings:
We offer a fully inclusive package with our daily rates including all meals, teas and guided morning hikes into our exceptional wilderness.

Why do you think people continue to return to The Cavern once they have visited:
The Cavern really is a place where families bond, friendships are formed and memories are made. Many families love to return to something that is familiar and they love to return to rekindle happy memories.

Quote you live by:

“Do your little bit of good where you are. It’s those little bits of good put together that can overwhelm the world”

Desmond Tutu

Anything else you want to add:
The mountains provide such a wonderful space for families. During this pandemic families have needed a place to go because nature nurtures – there is peacefulness in the forests, comfort in the hills and beauty in the surrounds. As 2021 begins, we carefully tread into the next season…


If I could be anywhere right now, I would choose to be at The Cavern.

I would love to be surrounded by the beautiful Drakensberg mountains, taking long walks with Warren and breathing in fresh air. I would love to experience their Forest Retreat Spa, fall down onto a beautiful bed after a long day outside, and belly laugh until my cheeks hurt. I want quality time with my husband without the stress that seems to have been following us all around over the past 12 months – and beyond.

The mountains seem to be singing my name. And I can’t wait to answer her call.


Wendy’s Art

Isn’t it amazing how the social media algorithms show us pages and groups that we may find interesting, or that fit into our lives just so perfectly?

Recently Wendy’s Art came up as a page that I may like, and I was immediately interested in her Mini-Impe’s – then as I spent some time browsing through her art I knew that I had to interview Wendy for my blog. She is so talented, and offers unique gift ideas that will be treasured forever.

I am so grateful that Wendy took the time to answer my questions, and that I got to learn more about her as a person and her gorgeous art that she creates!


Your name: Wendy Smit

Business name: Wendy’s Art

Social media handles: Facebook; Instagram; Twitter and Tiktok

3 fun facts about you:

  • I’m a perfectionist but only when it comes to my art, for the rest I am actually very easy going
  • I LOOOOVE any form of potato!
  • I’m a real busy body, before I am done with the one project I already knows what the next one will be. I cannot sit still for 5 minutes
  • I was a teacher but I hated it ☺
  • I am a true believer that anything anyone can do I can do as well. So my husband knows to by me power tools these days instead of the more traditional presents
  • I love travelling

Have you always been artistic: 100% yes, ever since I can remember

What makes your art so unique: As I have gained experience over the years my art has change allot. I would say my art is completely realistic in an unrealistic way if that makes sense.

How would you describe your style of art: Funky, modern and personal. Some reason when it comes to my paintings I love and prefer to paint women

Which is your personal favourite piece that you have done:

Monochrome Painting is probably my favourite colour combinations

Colour Painting

Pencil Sketches

Mini-Impe’s (I love all my mini-impes so hard to pick favourites here)

Please tell me a little more about your Mini Impe’s: I love creating them because the mini impersonators are realistic but also not. Each and every piece excites me as much as it does the owner so all my energy and love goes into each piece. I love the fact that people can recognise themselves in the mini-impes. They are a great conversation point for everyone visiting with people guessing what mimi-impe represents who in the family and reliving at the same time the experience the mini-impe portrays. For me it’s a much nicer way to capture memories than the traditional photos on a wall. 

How can people order from you: All orders can be done through my website.

Who is your target audience for these products: For the mini-impe’s its everyone that wants to capture memories in a unique and fun way

Quote you live by:

Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.

Benjamin Franklin

Anything else you want to add: To be able to do what you love doing the most in the world and to call it your work, is for me living my dream


I know that I definitely want to order a Mini-Impe for my home – but trying to decide which moment I want captured is proving to be the most difficult part. Perhaps our wedding day? Or should I capture our “normal”? Or the fact that we survived lockdown and everything that 2020 threw our way?

Wendy, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions and for allowing me to feature you on my blog. I absolutely love everything you have on offer and really appreciate the person that you are.


Post a TikTok video and win a 43’’ Hisense Smart TV and Infinity H40 smartphone worth R11 500

It’s a phone that makes every moment worth capturing, and is packed with amazing features in a sleek and beautiful package, the Hisense Infinity H40 is an incredible device to accompany you in 2021.

With a bigger 6.5 Inch O-Infinity display nothing gets in the way of what is on the screen – eye catching from edge to edge. With a thinner profile and ergonomically designed , the Hisense Infinity H40 is a joy to hold.

The HD lens super resolution delivers truer colour and richer detail for vivid pictures and the ultra wide angle mode fits everything in. The Hisense Infinity H40 allows you to create eye-catching bokeh effects with minimal effort. Scene recognition automatically adjusts settings to suit whatever you are shooting. Forget overexposure – keep every details clear and crisp even in low light. With the 25MP front facing camera you can take fantastic selfies and the AI beautification fixes uneven tones and tweaks images to reflect beauty trends.

The Hisense Infinity H40 offers face and fingerprint recognition to unlock your phone. Powered by Android 10, it also has features such as battery conservation, adaptive brightness and smart reply. With a 4510mAh battery you can enjoy a whole day’s usage and benefit from the Infinity H40’s intelligent power management system.

You could win a Hisense Infinity H40, plus a Hisense Smart TV!

How would you feel if you won a Hisense Smart TV (43A6000F – FHD) and smartphone worth R11 500? What do you think your facial expression would be? Share it on TikTok, and you could win these incredible Hisense devices.

Here’s how you could win:-

  • Take a photo of your expression if you won
  • Create a catchy 10-second TikTok dance sequence to the song 24K Magic by Bruno Mars. When he sings “magic in the AIR” that is your cue to open your hands and show us the photo you captured.
  • You don’t need to use a Hisense camera to take the picture, nor do you need to have it in your video.
  • Use the hashtag #CaptureTheMagic to enter.
  • You can enter as many times as you want.
  • The giveaway ends at midnight on 31 December 2020.

About Hisense Mobile

Hisense S.A. (PTY) Ltd. entered the South African market in 1996. The company is based in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, and in Century City, Cape Town. Hisense has a national footprint with offices in the country’s 4 major centres, 

Hisense Mobile was launched in South Africa in 2013. Their 14 models cater to a wider audience ranging from entry models, mid range models, and their premium range models. 

It’s this dedication to developing and producing cutting edge technology that has seen us become one of the world’s leading electronic manufacturers.

Belani Beauty

Doing makeup is my happy place. It provides me with a chance to show my creativity, escape the stresses of life in 2020, and make myself feel a little more attractive – these #COVIDcurves have destroyed my self-confidence, but getting into my makeup takes me away to a different place.

I discovered these graphic liners through social media, and they have really changed the game when it comes to taking your makeup to the next level, as well as experimenting with new looks.

I reached out to this local business, and asked if I could please feature them on my blog – and their response was so positive and appreciative, that I knew this had to be my very next post!


Your Names: Dineo & Emily Mabunda

Business name: Belani Beauty

Social Media: Facebook, Instagram and Website

Photo by: Ismaeel Bagus

3 fun facts about you: We are responsible for all the content on our page (with the exception of a few photos from a photographer), We designed all of labelling and brand name ourselves, We are sisters.

Tell me a little bit more about your business: We started Belani Beauty because we just felt a little bit stuck in life. We are both commerce students who just wanted to have a creative outlet that was fun and fulfilling. We both stared doing makeup in our early teens and we may not be professionals but we are definitely enthusiasts who like to experiment and switch it up. We want Belani Beauty to represent just that, a brand that will take you out of your makeup comfort zone. We are definitely still a work in progress. We have so many ideas and we are trying to figure out what is next for us. We excited for what the future may hold and we are extremely grateful for all the support we have received in such a short span of time . It’s expected for people to be skeptical of a new business especially in this South African climate but the leap of faith our customers took from the beginning is why we are still up running and we can’t thank them enough for that.

Photo By: Lavanya Wiles

What makes your liners unique: Our liners are unique because we took the time to sample a wide range of manufacturers and vendors so we could ensure the best quality for our customers. They are extremely pigmented, smudge and transfer proof, quick drying, cruelty free and vegan. We currently have a range of 20 colours and we plan on expanding it if our customers are still interested.

How can people place an order with you: People can order our liners on our website or use the shop function on our Instagram page.

Photo by: Ismaeel Bagus

Who do you think would love your liners: I know anyone who has an interest in make up would love our liners, whether you are just an enthusiast or a professional make up artist.

“It’s just a fun and easy way to add something different and eye-catching to your make up looks.”

belani beauty

Where did the idea to start this business come from: We used to save so many pictures of make up looks with graphic liner that would always pop up on our Instagram explore page. We really wanted try these colourful liners and we couldn’t find any beauty business that was selling them in South Africa so we decided why not bring them to SA. We’ve always been told that the key to a successful business is to identify a gap in the market and fill it well once you do. That’s what made us want to follow through with our business because we wanted to put this advice to the test.

Do you need a steady hand to apply these liners: Yes you do need a steady hand to apply the liners with the use of our ‘Detailed brush’ and ‘Ultra Thin Detailed Brush’, which can be found our website, your application will be easy and you’ll get the perfect sharp lines in no time.

Quote you live by: “Just start”

Anything else you want to add: We have so many ideas and concepts for the business and we are currently thinking of a rebrand, we just hope everything goes as planned we don’t know what the future holds for our business holds but again we are so thankful to everybody who has supported and shopped and re-posted on their stories and tagged us in their pictures it’s just so amazing to go on our Instagram page and see all the love from our customers and our followers and we can’t wait for 2021.

Photo by: Ismaeel Bagus
Photo by: Ismaeel Bagus

Aren’t these just so divine? And don’t you want to get your hands on them?

I have been seeing so many stunning graphic eye looks on Pinterest and Instagram, and can’t wait to try these myself with some of Belani Beauty’s graphic liners. My only problem is that there are so many colours that I would like to purchase.

A special thank you to these gorgeous ladies for allowing me to interview them, and for helping to change the game in South African makeup!


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