The best things I did/tried/bought/got done this month

October 5, 2015

The warmer weather and new season always make me feel like a different person – someone a little lighter in mood, and with a bit more motivation and energy.

Since I feel better, and since I try and slough off winter (including the extra weight, especially from my recent holiday in Croatia), it’s often a time I try more new things, including new products, authors and apps.

Here’s some of what I’m loving, have loved or have done something that’s made me happier:

1. I had a Brazilian straightening treatment for my fringe

I’ve had my hair straightened a few times in the last few years, but I didn’t give much thought to having my extremely cowlicked fringe a straightening treatment too until someone I suggested I have it done. Now why didn’t I think of this sooner? My fringe is now straight and manageable, and not curling awkwardly at the sides, or begging to be clipped away.

The treatment took less than an hour at Tanaz and was quick and fuss-free. I’m kicking myself for not having done this sooner, and I’ll definitely continue with it.

2. I ordered all my Christmas/festive/end-of-year gifts

I know it’s still relatively early to have made festive shopping and teachers’ gifts a priority, but with a small wedding on in December, and an extremely busy time at work until then, I thought I’d get ahead. Planning in advance also gave me a chance to take advantage of specials, and save a bit while getting ahead.

I wrote a piece about how to save money before the festive for 22Seven’s blog – you can find the link here.

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3. I discovered that Takealot has free shipping when you order anything

If you order from Takealot online, you need to spend at R250 or more to qualify for free shipping. On the mobile app, you get free shipping with anything you order.

It might seem like a small thing, but I’m often ordering gifts and stationery for under R250, so buying via the apps saves me R65 each time, which does add up.

The app is free, and the prices and product offerings are the same via the app as online.

4. I started using Fat Secret app again

I generally eat healthy food, but eat a lot of it, which is probably why I can’t shed all the weight I want to, even though I’m getting somewhere with my awesome dietitian.

A while ago I tried out the free app Fat Secret, but then got bored with inputting everything I was eating. I tried it out last week again, and what an eye-opener it is. You input all the food you eat, the app calculates all the calories you’re taking in, and you can see if you’re going over or under.

The app includes local foods and takeaways, and you can also input your exercise. If there’s ever been a rude awakening about how much every bite I take counts, it’s this app, and I’m learning so much more about portion sizes.


5. I started using Viktor + Rolf Flowerbomb Extreme

I love strong and spicy fragrances, and the new Flowerbomb Extreme from Viktor + Rolf is my season favourite. I don’t think you can ever know a fragrance without smelling it, and trying it on, but it has notes of bergamot, jasmine, patchouli, amber, vanilla and benzoin.

Viktor + Rolf Flowerbomb Extreme will be available at Edgars and Stuttafords for R1 545 from October. The men’s version, Spicebomb Extreme, is also sensational.


6. I bought MAC Mineralize Timecheck Lotion

MAC describes this as a “a moisturiser that utilises ingredients to fight against time and optically blurs lines”.

I don’t often buy into products’ claims, and prefer user reviews, and the ones for this product have been really good, especially from my most trusted source, Beautypedia, which rates it highly for its smoothing, moisture-boosting and repairing qualities.

I have several primers but this is my best so far – it’s part moisturiser and part primer, and my foundation appears to last longer, and my skin appears a bit fresher and healthier looking.

My sensitive skin doesn’t flare up, and the gel-lotion is lightweight, but not sticky. It’s available from MAC for R410.


7. I bought most of the Italian Summer Fig range from The Body Shop

Just when I thought The Body Shop couldn’t produce better-smelling ranges than the heavenly products they already have, along comes the Italian Summer Fig range from the new’ish Voyage line.

This is my favourite in the line, but others are raving about Fijian Water and Japanese Cherry Blossom.

Products in each scent include body spray, eau de toilette, body butter, fragrance mist, shower gel, and body lotion.


8 I read Jandy Nelson’s two books

I adored these two young adult fiction books – I’ll Give You The Sun, and The Sky is Everywhere – and I just wish Jandy Nelson would write more.

Her writing and stories are superb, and I wept during the last 7 pages or so of I’ll Give You The Sun.

Available on Kindle, and from leading bookstores, and Takealot.

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9. I ate Woolworths’ Cotton Candy grapes

I missed the boat last year, but fortunately I got hold of these limited-edition seedless Cotton Candy grapes from Woolworths.

They’re from Spain and R36.99, but I would probably pay more for them. At first I though people raving about them were exaggerating, but I get the thrill and hype. They have hints of vanilla and aren’t super sweet, even though they have more sugar than regular grapes.

They don’t contain anything artificial to make them taste like candyfloss; rather they’ve been grown by hybridising two different grape species.



10. I tried Kiehl’s BB Cream

I have used around seven types of BB Cream, from inexpensive to luxe, and there have been some hits and misses. The new’ish-to-South-Africa Kiehl’s BB Cream is perhaps the best I’ve used – it provides really good coverage for a BB cream, and goes on well. My skin isn’t amazing so this could never take the place of my foundation, but it’s perfect for gym or weekends when I’m just going to the shops. I’m not a fan of its smell, but it’s something I can get over for a great product.

Available from Kiehl’s for R520.



Feature image via Gratisography

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1 Comment

  • Aimee Justine Le Roux

    Takealot is definitely the best online store in South Africa! I’ve bought all my Christmas presents off them for two years now, and the prices are really competitive. I LOVE THEM!

    I need to get my hands on the Cotton Candy Grapes, I actually haven’t seen them in stores. Thanks for the idea.

    October 5, 2015 at 6:10 am Reply
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