9/15/2014

Spree S/S Lookboard 2014




Last week I attended the Spree Lookboard event which showcased the leading online fashion retailer's summer showstoppers featuring designs by Shana Morland, Gert-Johan Coetzee, Ruff Tung, Thula Sindi, Adam & Eve and Ilan, just to name a few.  

The prints were gorgeous and the brights were stunning. My personal favourites were the pastel statement dress by Ruff Tung and the art-inspired Bold Strokes look as seen on the model with the Paul's Boutique coral handbag. Wow! Can the stylist responsible for that please stand up? I'm guessing it was Spree's Fashion Director, Chris Viljoen. Listen, I wouldn't mind being BFFs, just saying. 

Spree also launched Spree Boutique which is an online collection of garments by top South African designers. I really do love the initiative Spree takes with supporting our local talent, it's now super easy to shop SA fashion. 

Thanks to Spree as well as the lovely ladies pictured above; Jasna, Tegan and Fatima. I had a great time checking out what's in store for summer. You can shop Spree at spree.co.za

9/13/2014

Forever 21 opens in Canal Walk





Forever 21 is finally here! I was really excited for this event because I went on a bit of a shopping spree there when I was in LA and the prices were great. Now, the fast-fashion speciality chain has opened its first SA flagship store in Canal Walk. 

So what's it like? There's a TON of variety. Not only does it have a gal's bases covered from sleepwear to basics to trendy items, but the myriad of styles cater to whatever your signature look might be. Girly girl? Sure thing. Rocker chick? No problem. Boho beauty? Take a look at all the hats and kimonos. Classy minimalist? Psssh, of course! 
  
I saw a lot more shoes on display than I did in the states and I was also pleased that they brought in global stock because sometimes the international chains play it safe and I end up finding the shopping experiences completely different. This isn't the case with Forever 21. They have all the accessories I ordered online and let me tell you, I'm obsessed with their rings.  

The prices are reasonable (R49 camis, R150 jeans) but of course the very drool-worthy items will cost you more. One of the best things about Forever 21 is that they get new stock EVERY DAY. No umming and aahhing, if you like it, grab it or it could be gone tomorrow. I really think there's something for everyone and I can't wait for Cape Town to have a look.

Keep up to date with all things Forever 21 by following them on your favourite social network:

8/28/2014

My take on the Samsung Galaxy S5 & Gear Fit




I'm sure you're aware that most bloggers are actually giant nerds. Ok maybe not giant nerds but I believe there's a good helping of nerd going on. I never review gadgets but like most people, I'm obsessed with my phone so when I recently got to play with some new Samsung products, I wanted to share it with you guys. Just to be upfront, I want to let you know that I didn't get paid to review anything, nor have I been gifted with any Samsung products. Now that that's out of the way, let's get down to business.

I'm a Samsung loyalist and I don't know exactly how it happened but I've managed to amass a Samsung microwave (nacho setting OMG), laptop, tv and Galaxy S4. Why am I not an Apple aficionado? Well if we're just talking about phones, I have a few reasons. For one thing, the SA iStore is super lame and I'm really into apps and games. Yeah, I know you can make a US account but why bother when the Galaxy App and Google Play stores are where it's at? Don't get me started on choosing the programs you want to use or freely transferring files; with Samsung, I wouldn't have to convert a song into a new format for a ringtone or even use any software, I can just plug in my phone, drag and drop a ditty and voilĂ ! My files are all available to use in a variety of ways. When I used an iPhone, I felt like I had to do everything Apple's way which I didn't enjoy. Long story short, the more freedom, the better.   

I tested out the Samsung Galaxy S5 and one of its pals, the Samsung Gear Fit. The S5 runs Android 4.4 KitKat, has a 16-megapixel camera and a 16/32GB memory. If you're like me, you'll get a micro SD card to bump that up to over 100 Gigs...phew, that's a lot of selfies. The actual phone is a little larger than previous models but it feels lighter. It's also water and dust resistant which is helped out by a covered USB port. I will say that the USB cover isn't a fake-nailed girl's friend but then again, neither is picking up coins or opening soda.

What makes me excited about the S5? Well for starters, the camera is an upgrade. It handles movement better which makes snapping photos a quicker and clearer affair. The battery life seems amped up and the new tools option is fantastic for multitasking. Ever need to Google something while writing an email? No problem, just open the multi window and you can switch between composing and browsing. Tab addicts will feel right at home with this, I'm looking at you, 10-tabs-open girl!

The S5 has a heart rate monitor on the back of the phone and it also boasts a fingerprint scanner that works like a charm. Save your fingerprint and you'll be able to use it to verify PayPal payments or to simply unlock your phone by swiping your digit over the home key. Secret spy vibes, love it. As far as built-in apps go, the Smart Remote is damn cool. I'd never gotten a remote app that worked in the past so I actually let out a gasp when I pressed the power button and my tv switched on. Who doesn't want to use a phone to control their tv? It's so convenient! Your homescreen will still display the remote buttons so if you're absorbed in Game Of Thrones but it's time to turn the volume down, just give your touchscreen a press.
  
The S Health also got an upgrade. Now, I hate exercise but Samsung has made it kinda fun. When I was at Coachella, my S Health kept me clued in by letting me know that I was walking over 20km a day so I knew that I could indulge in a good amount of pizza with my cousin. Let me just say that even though my cuz is an iPhone nut, she was loving the S Health lowdown. She also remarked that my phone was taking better photos which is exactly what you want when you're watching Lana Del Rey do her thing.

Now Samsung has a new product to help even more with exercise, the Gear Fit. The Gear Fit is a fitness band/smartwatch that that uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone while you're working out. Whether you choose to walk, cycle or run, your fitness data will be synced with S Health. Your heart rate is measured by an LED sensor and to be honest I found that it worked much better when I was exercising than it did when I tested it out initially. The battery lasts up to three or four days which is not too shabby but what other features are we looking at? Well besides the timer, stopwatch, pedometer and excersise options you'd expect, it also functions as an extension of your phone. You can control your phone's music and the Gear Fit will vibrate to alert you of any notifications that you'd like to stay in the loop with. How about the aesthetics? I would say it's more comfortable than it is pretty and I understand that that's only practical. It's sporty-looking so I would take it off if I had an event to go to because it would mess with accessorising. If I owned one of these however, I'd be motivated to work out more.

All in all, for me the S5 is a must and the Gear Fit is a nice-to-have. I hope I helped out anyone considering these products!

8/22/2014

Ruby Modern Day Witch Giveaway



A few months ago I did a photoshoot with Ruby as a Modern Day Witch and I absolutely love the result! Now Ruby is giving my readers a chance to win some of the jewellery I was wearing. There are 3 x silver dipped Spirit Quartz crystals and 3 pairs of Black Cleopatra earrings up for grabs so 3 lucky ladies will win both of these beautiful pieces.

How to enter: You know the drill, just use the Rafflecopter widget below. As always, multiple actions will give you more entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This competition closes on 3 September. If you'd like to see more images from Ruby's shoot, be sure to keep an eye on Ruby's Facebook page.

8/12/2014

I'm not okay.

I've drafted this post so many times. I've re-written it and scrapped it. I've read it over, seeing a jumble of words and crazy thinking on display. I've told myself that the very act of publishing this would be a self-indulgent addition to an already noisy blogosphere only to come back here again. Call me self-indulgent.

The internet is a place where we either share too much or conceal what's convenient because it's either too frustrating to keep quiet or too difficult to own up to reality. The reason I don't want to clutter up a newsfeed with humblebrags is the same reason I don't want to document a breakdown. I don't want to have my current emotions/decisions from winter 2014 cached for eternity, where people can speculate or get some sort of sick pleasure from making fun of me. I don't want whatever negative consequences come with putting myself out there but I also have no idea what else to do anymore except write...so I find myself here, doing one of the few things that still makes sense to me. 

It didn't always make sense, in fact when I was younger, I used to keep a diary but I never wrote about bad experiences because I didn't want to acknowledge them. I thought that if I didn't pay attention to them, I could get past them quicker, or even nullify their existence completely. I feel like everyone is doing the same thing publicly nowadays, me included. Maybe we don't want to be buzzkills or look weak. I think everyone is just simply trying to highlight the good and minimize the bad which is completely logical even though it may create the false sense of everyone being ok, or fantastic even. I guess I grew up thinking that any complicated or painful matters should be settled in private because it's respectful and, what good can come from pouring out our guts to anyone who'll listen? I mean, I don't want to sit here and talk about issues on the internet when I'd rather ignore it and pretend that I'm fine but I also know that that's the exact attitude which brought me to this point.

I experienced what I can only call a breakdown at the end of June. I didn't listen to myself, to my loved ones or to my life. I can only think of this Oprah thing (bear with me) where she talks about how the universe (or whatever) shows you where you need to go. The message starts out as a whisper, then it speaks, then it yells and finally if you don't listen, you get a brick to the face. I even posted about getting my priorities straight because I knew I was headed in the wrong direction. 

I had been, for lack of a better phrase, "losing my mind" which displayed outwardly as being manic one minute and really low the next. My loved ones told me that I needed to slow down but I don't ever think I need to slow down. I put too much on my plate to the point where even social commitments with friends became another obligation that felt too taxing. I made decisions that got me screwed over because I didn't trust my instincts or want to appear unprofessional. I haven't been living a healthy life with regards to eating properly, getting exercise or sleeping normally and relaxation wasn't exactly happening either. I would turn recreational things into projects, somehow making them a stress while on the flip side, procrastination became a monster of my own making and I felt like I was constantly living in a backlog. It feels like I woke up one day and life had just begun to feel terrifying and even casual conversation became something I recoiled from. Facebook messages, WhatsApps and phone calls actually began to freak me out and I would ignore them for as long as possible, not feeling strong enough to respond (what the actual fuck?!). Eventually, I could no longer ignore how I had been living and felt like I bottomed out. I put a lot of pressure on myself like most people. I just don't think I'm coping like most people.

The modern world offers so much variety and stimulation. The amount of choices make it hard to choose while the many different ways we're constantly connected to everyone seesaws between being on-call 27/7 or feeling ironically distant. I don't know if what I'm dealing with is a breakdown, I don't know what to call it. All I know is I'm not out of it. I'm still finding myself alone in a restaurant after almost passing out from not sleeping or eating while the waitresses assume I'm hungover or on drugs. I'm still finding myself trying to take on the world in a hyper manner or alternatively, not wanting to get out of bed and staring into space. The staring into space thing troubles me especially because I'm not even like, being lazy and playing a game on my phone, I'm just sitting there with a cluttered mind spewing thoughts, ideas, what-ifs, etc.

It's really humiliating to talk about mental health, especially when I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't want to be labelled as a mess, I want a balanced life but I also know that whatever I'm going through seems like something I can't just magically fix. The anxiety of taking time away from everything is eating me alive but I have to stop feeling guilty. I overthink things. I overanalyze things. I can turn anything into a worry and I feel like I question myself from several angles which trips me up or keeps me stuck. At one point, I decided against any more negative personal posts altogether, thinking A) I'll just be a broken record. B) It spreads more negativity. C) People have worse problems, so shut up. D) I'm sure whatever I have to say has been covered by someone else, much more articulately. I can go through the whole alphabet about anything no matter how frivolous or profound it is.

So here I am, with my cursor hovering over the 'publish' button but why? Keeping it to myself hasn't changed anything and if I share this, it'll be out there alongside the fluff. Instead of keeping secrets from my diary, I'll do the opposite and maybe it'll make it real enough that I'll have no other choice but to face up to it and work through my problems. I can list pros and cons until the cows come home but I know that I'm backing myself into a corner and I need to stop this destructive pattern. I think a step in the right direction is catching myself doing that and stopping the cycle. Perhaps right now, hitting this button will be a start.

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