Tag: family

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.


Keeping It Candid

Finding bloggers and influencers that speak to who you are, encourage you, and inspire you is so important.  No longer should we simply follow people who we think fit into the cookie cutter mold that society wants to force us into – it’s not just about the perfect feed with the blonde-hair blue-eyed family.  It’s about relating to people, knowing they are real and honest, and relating to what they are posting.

One such person that I have been following for some time is Cisca de Kock.  She has been blogging for some time, and I often find myself popping over to her social media to see what she is posting about and what is happening in her life.  Plus, you know I’m a sucker for spreading kindness, and Cisca has this in bucket loads.

This is such a surreal experience to be able to introduce you to her on my little blog, and I am totally freaking out right now!  #fangirl


Your name:  Cisca de Kock

Blog name:  Keeping It Candid

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

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3 fun facts about you:
1. If I could win a life time supply of clothing it would be socks! I swear they have superpowers and disappear- I always end up wearing my husband’s socks.
2. If I had to eat one type of food for the rest of my life it would be BILTONG.
3. If I had to be trapped in a movie for a day, it would have to be Clueless.

How would you describe yourself:  Honest, Perfectionist, Goal driven

How did you get into blogging:
My Mom passed away when I was 5 months pregnant with Hudson (my first born). I was devastated, and went into a deep and dark depression. When Hudson was born, I sunk even deeper. I had no one to talk to. No one to listen to my motherly fears and I just felt completely lost. I started seeing a Psychiatrist who deals with Post-Partum Depression and she suggested that I try and find an outlet. So one night in September 2017, while pumping milk for Hudson I created my own blog called It’s a Mom’s Life on WordPress. I honestly did not think it would reach anyone, and that was ok. It felt so good to write what was on my mind. From there I created my Instagram page which was first called “Raising Little Hudson” . Hudson was a little eager beaver and my water broke at 36 weeks (It was like a scene out of the movies – I actually wrote a 3 part Birth Story Series) We had to leave him in NICU, one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do, to leave the hospital empty handed. The day we left, the one nurse said “Have fun raising little Hudson” and that’s where the name stemmed from. This September my blog will turn 3 and since then both my blog and IG handles have changed. As my blog and social media handles grew, so too did my interests. I started off just featuring and blogging about local baby boy clothing brands. It became a bit expensive buying new clothing every month. It also became exhausting to take photos of Hudson. I knew it was not something that I wanted to do forever, and that’s when I starting exploring other avenues.

What does your blog feature:
Keeping it Candid is a Lifestyle | Beauty |Travelling and Parenting Blog. I started my blog to create an authentic account of my journey through life. Whether you are a lover of all things luxury: an organic foodie or a reveller in all things local, practical and affordable, Keeping it Candid will keep you up to date with the best in South Africa. I am a firm believer in YOLO and embrace each and every day to the fullest.

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What do you want people to feel when they are interacting with you:
I want people to feel comfortable and not feel like they are being judged. Over the years, I have made so many connections with other women. Some of them echoed the exact same feeling I had when I felt alone. My main goal has always been to use this platform and to make women feel that they are not alone and that it is natural to feel the way they do, especially if they are new mothers.

Why do you encourage people to support local:
This current Pandemic has really put things into perspective when it comes to sustaining oneself. A have so much respect for women owned local businesses. At the moment, they need all our help to sustain themselves. So much care goes into creating affordable and great quality products.

Why is family so important to you:
There’s so much I wish I could have shared with my Mom. Her death was so sudden and unexpected, that it still haunts me. The void that she left grows deeper every day, but I know that she would want us to remember her and to celebrate her. She also passed away on my Dad’s birthday, 1 December. Before the boys, December was such a difficult time. Having the boys now, we make it a happy time for them, a time that they will always find special, even if their Gran cannot celebrate with us. I am very fortunate and blessed to have married a man that respects me and treats me as his equal. I am double blessed with two beautiful boys, whom I will instill the values that were passed onto me. I treasure each and every moment that I can spend with my family.

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What is one way you feel we can all spread kindness:
There are many, but I want to mention two ways. Always treat others the way that you want to be treated. We also need to practice being quiet more often and to listening to others.

How can people reach out to you to work with you:
They can either make contact through my blog or DM. Alternatively they can email me at : cisca@dekockfamily.com

Quote you live by:
You are the artist of your own life, don’t hand the paintbrush to anyone else

Anything else you want to add:
The number one question I always get asked is: What camera do you use?
I don’t have a fancy camera, I always use my iPhone 8 + to create content. I will always try and think out of the box. Sometimes I take a lot of photos and I will change up the styling, until I am happy with it. Once photos are taken, I select the ones I am happy with and then either edit with my iPhone editing app, VSCO or Lightroom.

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Cisca, it was such an honour to be able to feature you on my blog, and it has been an absolute joy to get to know you better.  Thank you for your kindness, your messages and just for being you.

Please follow this wonderful woman – you will be a fan from day dot I can promise you!


 

Lisa Ternent Art

A friend recently shared a post on Facebook, & this was about the beautiful Lisa Ternent & her amazing art.  In case you don’t know, I collect various family portraits from different artists & I was immediately drawn to Lisa’s talent & unique images!

I popped her a mail asking if I could write a blog about her (& her Christmas Special that she is running).  I am going to be placing my order with her soon – will you be doing the same?

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Lisa has said that she will be extending this special for the next 2 orders she receives from my readers – simply let her know that you heard about her from Flowercrowns & Treatment.  Hurry hurry!


Your name: Lisa Ternent

Business name: Lisa Ternent Art

Social media handles: Facebook & Instagram

Tell me a bit more about what you do:  I have always been asked by friends and family to do various artworks for them. I have used many different mediums of art over the years and explored different styles, taking a special interest in realistic oil paintings at one point. However, one of the things people have always asked me to draw for them are these little doodles of children and people. They are so simple, yet seem to capture something that people enjoy.

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Have you always been artistic:  I have loved art from preschool age – spending many hours in the creative room during free play. I started extra art lessons from Grade 1 and used to enter art in the Royal Show exhibitions during primary school. My childhood dream was to be an artist in Paris (with a 100 cats 🤣). Art has always been a part of my life, even though it has been more or less prominent and has taken different forms at different stages of life.

What makes your art so different to everyone else:  My art is inspired and influenced very strongly by the nature of children. I have always been inspired by the simplicity and purity of children – how their personalities are so undiluted and clear to identify at a young age and how they live life so free and unhindered. I like to think that we all have an inner child we can return to – one that is free of the clutter that life puts on us – and that carries the true essence of who we are.
At school I started painting oil paintings of children where their freedom and life was captured in expression and movement. I also began with my doodles of children running, singing and playing. Even though not all my artwork is of children I feel that simplicity, freedom and purity are captured in most of the art I do. I hope that my drawings will give people that same sense of simplicity, freedom and purity in life.

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I see you have a Christmas Special – please tell me about this:
A friend suggested I start this special as an opportunity for people to have personalized Christmas family portraits drawn. The package includes one framed original of the drawing, 2 A4 prints and 16 other cards or tags which could be used for friends and family over Christmas time. The idea is that people can keep the original for themselves and give prints to grandparents or family members etc. Some people have opted rather to have a plain family drawing to make it more lasting, but the original option was to have the family drawn with Christmas details such as Christmas hats or presents.

Why do you encourage people to support local:  To be honest this has never been something I have actively encouraged others to do. But it does make complete sense. I think we have so much talent around us and we should help to unlock that talent right where we are, as well as to stimulate our local economy.

How can people order from you:
Drop me a mail at lisaternent@gmail.com or message me at 0725998409

Quote you live by:
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
I believe in quietness and being still. And I find that a lot of good comes out of that place.

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Aren’t these absolutely adorable?

I think they would make something so special for Christmas, & the family portrait is so unique – Lisa manages to capture expression & personality through the simplicity of her pictures.

Contact her today to request your own family pic!


Catch Up Time

It has been a while since I have written a blog.  There seems to have been so much going on & at long last I am able to sit back on the couch & not immediately pass out from absolute exhaustion.  I thought it was time to write a little catch up on everything that has happened…


We reached the target needed for the stem cell transplant!  This still feels like an absolute dream & I have been blown away by everyone’s generosity.  This is my last shot at “normality” & I didn’t know if I would ever get the opportunity.  It seemed like such a far away dream & something that would remain that – simply a dream.  My family, friends, & strangers that shared my pleas; organised fundraisers; sent messages of encouragement & helped financially – you have all contributed towards saving my life & for this I will always be grateful.  How do I even begin to thank you for putting my Christmas Wish at the top of your list?  My heart is so full & I can only pray that your kindness will be returned to you ten-fold.

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We had a great fundraising event at Jynx Nightclub in Lonehill called The Snow Ball, & it was a great night filled with laughter until my cheeks hurt; dancing until we fell over our own feet; & many, many snowflakes.  We were celebrating a life; we were celebrating a second chance; & we were celebrating the support that has been shown by a community of wonderful people.


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Now, a bit more about my transplant.  This is why I have been quiet & simply trying to process what is going to be happening.  This transplant is my chance at “normality” once again, but it also comes with its risks.  We went to see my doctor & she drilled this into us.  We need to be aware of the complications & high chance of infection.  Out of the 20 people that have had this worldwide, 9 have survived.  This is 45%.  The other 11 didn’t make it due to infection & their body simply not coping with what has happened.  This absolutely terrifies me & is a reality that I may be facing.

I will be admitted early in January 2019 for plasmapheresis – we are thinking we will do about 5 rounds to try get me in fighting shape for what is to come.  We are very lucky as I am having this in the hospital that is literally around the corner from me so I can see my family & friends during this hospital stay.

Once this is done, I will start on injections to help release my stem cells into my blood.  These will then be taken out & put away safely for when they will be transplanted back in.  This is not a painful process – much like giving blood – so I am not concerned about this!

Then begins the tough part.  We need to do a hard reset of my body – press CTRL ALT & DELETE to restore the antibodies to factory settings & hopefully get my body to function as it should.  This involves chemotherapy (yes, like what they use with cancer patients) & admission into isolation.  This will destroy my immune system & means that there is a high chance of me picking up any goggas floating around.  I need to be careful for 3 months following this & wear my mask if I leave the house – which I have been advised not to do for at least a month following my final chemo treatment.

Once the chemo is over, then the actual transplant happens.  We use my own stem cells (that have been “cleaned”) & these are put back into my body just like they would when you are receiving blood.  It sounds pretty simple doesn’t it?

Because this is the first time it is being done in SA for Myasthenia Gravis, there is a lot of research & back & forth to ensure that I will be getting the best possible care & medication.  My team of doctors are one in a million & I know that this would not be possible without them.

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So, this is what is happening.  I have come to spend Christmas with my family so I can see them all & pour love out over all of them.  I have accepted that this could be my last one, although am hoping against all hope that it isn’t.  I have dreams, hopes & aspirations.  I have so much to be grateful for & know that I could never ever ask for a better family – & extended family that I have simply forced my way into their lives.  I live a life of happiness, acceptance & growth; & have truly realised that life is a gift that you need to appreciate every day.


Thank you for reading this, crying with me, & laughing with me.  Thank you for encouraging me, supporting me & just being there for me & my family.  Thank you for being part of the #SaveMegs movement & helping my Christmas Wish become a reality.  2019 is going to be a year of miracles & happiness!

If you would like to read more, my fundraiser is here.  I won’t be able to work for up to 6 months following the treatment due to recovery, & thus financial stress is a definite reality.

Have a very Merry Christmas, appreciate the time with your loved ones & travel safely wherever you are.  Sending so much love x


 

Christine Bernard

Family…  Forever.  For Always.  No Matter What.

When its your birthday, you start getting all these requests of “what would you like?”, “what do you want for your birthday?” etc etc.  I had no cooking clue what I really wanted, so began to search for something that would be special & that I would keep forever.

As I was looking around our house, I realised that we didn’t have any recent pictures of husband & myself.  Our last “proper” pictures together were at our wedding – back in October 2012!  Then, I came across a very talented lady called Christine Bernard.  She used to work under Flat White Concepts, but is now in the process of streamlining all her business to her own website & FB page.

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I told husband what I would like, & left the rest up to him…  On my birthday I woke up to not only ONE family pic, but also an image he had had especially designed of how he viewed me.  He had these printed onto canvas for me & they honestly brought tears to my eyes.

Warren Hunter 1

Our whole family together – including the fur-kids

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Husband gave her the following brief:
Warrior
Princess Unicorn
Snowflake

Aren’t these just amazing?  Since then I have contacted her to commission more special pieces for friends & family; & each & every time I am completely blown away by what I get back.  You simply send her photos & descriptions of what you are looking for, any special requests you may have & hobbies of the individuals – then she sends back your one-of-a-kind image within 1-4 days.  #amazeballs

Megan Toni Hunter


I knew I had to get to know Christine a little better so asked her to answer a few questions:

Your name: Christine Bernard
Some interesting/fun facts about you: Other than my love of books, coffee, wine and art, I am OBSESSED with guinea pigs. We have two, and we treat them like our children.
Your business name: I am a novelist and Illustrator, and I also run an online magazine.
When did you start: I started my own business five years ago, when I first moved to Cape Town. I started off just doing the magazine and graphic design, but I have recently added novels and illustrations to the mix.
What did you do before this: I worked as a graphic designer for Mum’s Mail Magazine in Durban.
How/why did you start: I have always wanted to work for myself, so when I moved to Cape Town I decided to take the plunge.
What do you love most about having your own business: The flexibility is the best part. Also, cuddles with my guinea pigs throughout the day.
What have been some of your biggest battles with running your own business: Learning how to switch off is still the hardest part, and I often find myself working in the evenings or on weekends. When I first started out it was also hard to figure out pricing structures, and I said yes to every job that came my way whether it paid well or not. Five years in and I finally know my worth! I also know when to say no!
What is your main objective for your business: My business is a multi-layered – I write novels, I am a freelance writer, I doodle, I do layout design, and I run an online magazine. I like the diversity! It also means I’m never bored.
Links:
Illustration Rates

Thank you Christine for your time spent on all the different projects for me, for creating something I will treasure forever, & for just being you!

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