#Historymade in the Midlands

On Wednesday, May 17th, I had the privilege of attending the Midlands Meander’s very 1st Popup Kitchen boasting fine dining off grills at Granny Mouse Country House & Spa amongst a selected few fellow bloggers and social media personalities.

Granny Mouse Country House & Spa is the perfect combination of relaxation and luxury. With a heritage spanning 30 years, award-winning cuisine and wine, coupled with a host of elegant accommodation options, Granny Mouse Country House & Spa has customised their ethos of being a, “home away from home!”

After checking in just after 2 pm, we retreated to our rooms to enjoy some quiet time before the evening got underway.

I was placed in a deluxe room, which was gorgeous. As you walk in you are welcomed with the smell of lavender and you immediately feel a sense of relaxation.

 

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Deluxe room

 

My favourite part about the room is the small touches, like the fireplace, complimentary mini bar, floral accents in the bathroom and the wonderful his and hers gown and slippers.

At 5:30 pm I made my way down to the main lounge where the guests would gather at 6 pm. I enjoyed some time near the fireplace and chatted to those that had also come down earlier. At 6 pm, the bubbly was poured and canapes served and Sean Granger, the General Manager of Granny Mouse welcomed everyone with a heartfelt speech which started off with, “Welcome home family & friends…” – which made everyone feel relaxed and ready to embrace the exciting dinner awaiting us.

When arriving at the wedding chapel, a long table was set out for us with stunning decor and fairy lights that shone against the glassware to illuminate the area. (This is also such a great idea for an intimate wedding setting).

The popup kitchen was set up nearby where Culinary Artists Wayland Green and Kirstie du Toit prepared the food for the evening, with a fire on the go, to add warmth and ambiance.

 

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Culinary Artists Kirstie du Toit & Wayland Green

 

With a menu to compliment the relaxed fine dining done off grills, we were presented with the following:

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For the table:

Steamed mielie bread & sundried tomato, basil & mozzarella Braai broodjie accompanied by olive tapenade & sweet tomato & basil chutney.

Starter:

Starter

Prawn & hake sausage, wild fennel & corn cream, corn kernels & salsa verde garnish with verbena & wild fennel.

Main:

Main Course

Wood grilled beef fillet, ox liver stout jus, caramelised sweet potatoes, peppered baby corn & carrots, fresh diced green pepper & red onion.

Dessert: 

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Deconstructed trifle with roasted almond flakes, chargrilled fruits, banana cream, Frangelico custard & puff pastry.

Wines:

The Barrio Sauvignon Blanc (with lemon grass aromas & passion fruit) and Glenelly Cabernet Sauvignon (touch of spice & chocolate with a complexity of flavours to the nose of blackcurrant & cherry).

Apart from the amazing food and wine, the company was incredible and with an instabooth, provided by KZN Wedding DJ to capture the action, the event saw lots of fun and laughter by all the guests.

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According to Sean Granger, General Manager of Granny Mouse,  “The event not only made history as the first of its kind in the area, but #grannymouse trended at number 1 in South Africa on Twitter for 28 hours. We were still trending the next day with #popupkitchen taking second place from 6 am. I believe in setting trends and having Granny Mouse lead from the front.”

 

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The guests

For more information about Granny Mouse visit http://www.grannymouse.co.za.

They are also currently running an amazing winter special, so why not book a getaway in the country.

Till next time!

 

Lipstick tips & tricks to try

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I have to admit. I don’t wear lipstick every day, (sometimes it is lipgloss or lip balm), but when I do, I tend to enjoy reds and plums as I feel that these kinds of colours really suit my skin, which is quite pale (especially in winter).

 

I also find that I have a constant need to care for my lips. I mean, they are an important part of the face in my opinion.

My tip for creating smooth lips is to exfoliate. I do this on mornings when my lips feel slightly neglected or if I am wearing a bold shade of lipstick that day (so the colour does not sit in any cracks). The technique I use is quick and simple. Dip a toothbrush in petroleum jelly (a.k.a Vaseline) or a scented lip balm and rub over your lips and then wipe off with tissue. As gross as this sounds, it does work. But, perhaps you prefer another method? Well, then you could try a DIY sugar scrub. How: Mix a tablespoon of sugar (preferably brown as it is more abrasive) with some olive oil or a bit of honey, so that it clumps together and rub this goo all over your lips and then wipe clean. Wallah!

For those that have a preference for lipsticks that last all day, like me, you will love this.

Apply your lipstick and place a thin piece of tissue over and hold in place with your index finger and thumb of either side of your lips. Then dust some translucent powder over using a powder brush. The bits of powder that do come through, will set your lipstick. (P.s: If you don’t have translucent powder, you can also try baby powder or cornstarch. I have tried these and they worked for me and may work for you too). My favourite part about long-lasting lip colour is the fact that it doesn’t rub off onto clothing. Thumbs up!

Now for those of you who do not have a specific colour of lipstick, and need that colour to complete your look, you can actually make your own by using an ear bud to mix vaseline or clear lip balm and your specific colour eyeshadow. I received this bit of advice from a sales consultant when I purchased a mineral eyeshadow from them and it does work.

Last but not least, I am sure you have heard this before, but if you want a more vibrant and true colour, apply concealer to your lips before applying your lipstick. This will help the colour stand out. 

I thought I would also share this fun little game I played on the weekend, courtesy of one of my favourite magazines, Good Housekeeping, to determine what lipstick colour will suit you right now! Take the Quiz

Have another tip to share? Then leave a comment

Ciao for now!

May #InspirationForTheNation

This week, I heard a really inspiring story on the radio and wanted to share it with the Divinely Moulded readers.

My inspiration for May is Wandile Mthiyane, founder of Ubuntu Projects – Buy-A-Brick, Build-A-Home.

Wandile Mthiyane, founder of Ubuntu Design Group, grew up in the shanty towns of Durban, South Africa, and always dreamed of returning to make a difference in his home town. When the Ethekwini Municipality afforded him an opportunity to study at Andrews University, located in Michigan, USA, he was finally able to meet like-minded peers and make this lifelong dream a reality.

With this urgency and desire to help his South African community, Wandile found opportunities to learn from his professors and classmates about engaging his passion for architecture while using these skills as a tool to empower shanty towns back home. This was the birth of Ubuntu Design Group.

From there Wandile was afforded the opportunity to present his “Half-House Project” during the One Young World Resolution Project Summit in Bankgok, Thailand in [2015]. He was awarded a fellowship along with start up funding for Ubuntu.

Ubuntu Projects is currently working on a project to build Mr and Mrs Mtshali a handicapped-friendy home in Umbumbulu, and they need South Africa’s support to help this family and many other disadvantaged families in the country.

People can get involved through donating materials, labour, and money. Construction started in March.

To contact Wandile, you can find him on Facebook. #BuyABrickBuildAHome.

To read more visit: East Coast Radio #HeartStuff

DIY Sofa Makeover – Suzelle style

When it comes to doing-it-yourself, the only way I am able to succeed is through gaining inspiration.

I recently scrolled through some DIY videos and watched this incredibly humourous tutorial by Suzelle.

For those who have never heard of Suzelle, she is Julia Anastasopoulos, a South African artist, illustrator, designer and actress. Anastasopoulos became a local internet phenomenon in May 2014, with her do-it-yourself web series known as SuzelleDIY. (Wikipedia)

I am all for DIY anything and my favourite DIY method is paint! That is probably the reason why this really caught my attention; especially since the video gives us more than just an old sofa makeover. Watch it here and be inspired just like I was: https://youtu.be/FY3QYjJDe20

Will you be trying this out? I know I will be 🙂

Till next time!

 

What Matric Dance hair should be made of in 2017!

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Bespoke Hair Durban team – Claire, Grant, Donald, Sally & Lynelle

Matric Dance season is here and I thought it would be fitting to chat to a professional about the kinds of trends to rock this year! I chatted to popular Durban hair stylist, Donald Olive from Bespoke Hair, (situated on the ground floor at the Lion Match Office Park, 892 Umgeni Road in Durban), who supplied some recommendations on the hair styles that ladies should be considering this year.

 

 

Braids: pancaked braids give a beachy or boho look. Don the plait with some flowers as accents. FYI: Pancaked braids are french plaits or plain braids that are pulled out slightly to give it a flatter and fuller appearance.

Twisted floral crown:  . The hair is divided and plaited into a section on each side. This is then twisted up to the top of the head and pinned down near the hair line to form a crown. Little flowers, pearl clips or diamante are then inserted. However, options can include a floral headband.

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Hair done by Grant Mack @bespoke_hair_

Pretty Braid Up-do: Updo’s are a great choice for hair that can easily fall out of a curl or for someone who wants a style that stays in place while dancing. FYI: The braided updo consists of any type of braid that is swept into a bun or tucked under or pinned.

 

Half up, half down curls: Gives off a beachy feel if messy and can also pass as a glamorous look if created with big curls. This style may also be bohemian if it includes a waterfall braid to separate the upper half from the lower half.

 

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Hair done by Grant Mack @bespoke_hair_

Updo with curls: The hair is parted to the desired side and curled. It is then left to cool and then fingers are run through the hair. The curls are then either tied with a hair band and twisted, pinned, or pulled to create the desired updo. This type of hair style comes in many forms including side styles which are also created by curling the hair first and pulling low to one side and pinning.

Donald Olive has owned Bespoke Hair Spa, Beauty and Personal Care Salon for the past 6 years. The salon offers experienced and talented hair stylists who provide expert hairstyling, cutting, colouring as well as male grooming for the fashion-forward.

Bespoke Hair caters to all ages and offers a full professional service in a welcoming atmosphere.

Book your matric dance hair appointment at Bespoke Hair by calling 031 303 1074.

April #InspirationForTheNation

It’s April and once again at the start of every new month, I share with you something truly inspiring.

For those of you that have heard of Bear Grylls, you are aware that he is an Adventurer and has been filmed in numerous TV series that showcase him in dangerous situations (and teaching survival) – the most popular of which is Man vs. Wild.

This man is a true inspiration – not only for all that he has accomplished but for his beliefs, faith and love for his family as well.

This month, Bear Grylls is my #InspirationForTheNation. I say this because I was recently told to read an article about him and it brought me to tears and I wanted to share his inspirational story with you – so that you too could be inspired.

Read it here: http://qpolitical.com/1-bear-grylls-shares-the-heartbreaking-story-that-led-to-his-faith-in-jesus-christ/ 

Stay Inspired!

 

Have you ever contemplated a World without printing?

 

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Where would we be without warnings signs and traffic signs? How would we know when or where to exit a freeway or a parking lot? How could we know the speed limit? How would we know which gate to board at an airport? How do we tell which soft drink can to remove from a café refrigerator or shampoo to put into a supermarket trolley?

In short, how would we function without printing?

Steve Thobela, CEO of PrintingSA, the representative body for South Africa’s printing and packaging industry, says that he relies on printing and packaging every day. Without printing he would not have vital information where he needs to see it most, be able to make quick, informed decisions or communicate.

Thobela is not a Luddite (someone who does not like new technology and avoids using it). He enjoys reading on his tablet, relies on his smart phone and relaxes in front of the television when he has a night off. But he also knows that new age technology and print are closely linked and an integral part of everyday life.

In South Africa, this has spawned an industry that employs 45 000 people and contributes R55-billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Printing impacts the lives of almost all South Africans on a daily basis. At the same time, digital is the mainstay of a modern day economy. Without the internet and technology, businesses and even homes, could not function.

“It’s time to call a truce on the print versus digital war. People get very emotional when they begin discussing whether digital media will close down newspapers and magazines and whether libraries and bookshops will disappear. But that is only a very small part of the picture. Printing goes far beyond textbooks and novels,” he points out.

In summary, print informs, educates and entertains. Without packaging, labelling and advertising, it would be impossible to tell different brands and products apart. It is these – and consumers’ responses to them – that gives brands the value that they covert and supports the extensive advertising and marketing sector.

Fashion is also all about print. It goes beyond glossy magazines and advertising. Without printing, there would be no trendy designs on T-shirts or printed fabrics, no printed sneakers or even a price ticket on a pair of jeans.

On a more serious note, without labels on food stuffs, consumers could not identify ingredients to which they could be allergic and there would be no way of finding out the dosages of over the counter medicines. Someone with an intense headache or nausea is unlikely to hit Google to find out.

On the business side, Thobela adds, the printed business card remains the mainstay of networking.

Even smart phones – which have been seen as the major rivals of print – come in an attractive printed box with – wait for it – a printed instruction leaflet.

“It is definitely time for people to take a more rounded view and to celebrate the strengths of each. Printing has been bad-mouthed for damaging the environment. The paper industry has been criticized for using large amounts of electricity and killing trees. But trees are grown especially for paper and no indigenous trees are harmed. We do not accuse meat producers of threatening to make cattle extinct when we order a steak at a restaurant or of causing large emissions of greenhouse gases which lead to global warming,” he says.

While critics point to electricity consumption and emissions from printing and paper companies, they could also look to the massive amounts of electricity – ultimately generated by environmentally unfriendly coal-fired power stations – consumed by computers and digital devices. Unlike this equipment, paper can be safely recycled. According to the eWaste Association of South Africa, toxic compounds including lead, mercury and cadmium can be dangerous if electronic equipment is dumped in landfills or not recycled properly.  A typical computer monitor may contain more than 6% lead by weight and up to thirty-six separate chemical elements are incorporated into e-waste items. These items are also very difficult and expensive to recycle due to their complexity as well as the fact that many contain flame retardants and other compounds which are extremely difficult to process.

And so the list goes on.

For Thobela, it’s time to stop the counter-arguments and to focus on growing the print industry for the good of all.