CottonNest {feature + giveaway}

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The idea started with making something that was seen to be "old fashioned" new and modern again. With passion in their hearts for crochet and the happiness they feel when  creating something beautiful with cotton thread, Elsje van Zyl and Jane Delport turned their addiction to crocheting into a business in 2012, and CottonNest was born. "We love to share our passion with everyone who comes across our products and that is what we strive for. We aspire to bring something different to the hand-grafts industry of South Africa," Jane says. 
The short and sweet version CottonNest - handmade crochet products in a modern vintage style, purely for the love of it.

1. How did you start and how long have you been doing this?
Crotchet as our hobby started a long time ago, but CottonNest, our business, is 2 years old this year. So we are still learning every step of the way and enjoying every part of the journey.

2. What sort of products do you make? Do you also provide services?

We pride ourselves in knowing that our products are purely handmade and 100% local. We make crochet earrings, with the finest cotton thread. Brooches, assembled by our own hands, every single one different & unique. Dummy clips for every baby & style, like nothing you've seen in any kiddies store. And our new products is leather bracelets with a crochet bangle. We also make customised products on order only. The wedding brooches are very popular and the dummy clip for a special & unique baby shower gift.

3. Where do you find inspiration for your creations?

We have a lot of creative energy and draw a lot of our inspiration from each other. We both have very different styles and that makes our product more acceptable for a big range of clients from all ages. Our creations are inspirations from our different points of view, and then we just add all the right ingredients and Voila! a product is born. We have never produced a product that both of us didn't agree on.

4. What are some of the challenges of being your own boss?

People tend to copy from each other, and our biggest challenge is thinking of something new every single day, to stay ahead of everyone else. Creativity is not a hobby it is a way of life.   

5. How do you perceive the South African creatives/design landscape?

Creatives and designers are creating new frontiers in our country, and we have the ability to make a change and take chances.  South Africa is all for entrepreneurial innovative ideas and because of that we can also produce our product in the market with self-confidence.  People are moving back to hand made and environmentally friendly products, instead of commercial mass produced product.  That is one of the aspects which makes CottonNest’s product so popular.

6. What is your favourite colour/ material to work with, and why?

We try to use 100% cottonlocal yarns and wood to make our products. Our colours ranges from vintage pink, ivory and natural colours to bright red, navy blue and gray.  We love to combine textures and different materials to make a perfect unique product.

7. What would you do if you won the lotto?

We would take our business to the next level by empowering woman and help them to be independent.  We would also like to travel and see what the trends is in other parts of the world and maybe do some marketing for international clients. 

8. Where to from here?
We were selling our product mostly in Pretoria but we have taken the decision to take CottonNest to the rest of SA in 2015. We are selling to selected retailers across the country and the demand for our product increased exponentially the last year.

9. What has been your proudest moment since you started?
When we were approved by Tierlantynkies Market in 2012.  We have been with Tierlantynkies since 2012 till now and selling our product there was very special.  We got amazing feedback from customers on how they admire us for taking the time to make such special products. 


Stand a chance to win a R250 gift voucher from CottonNest! All you have to do is go to their website (click here) and tell us what your favourite item is by commenting here! For extra entries, like their Facebook page at CottonNest, share this post on Facebook or tweet the following:

Christmas came early with @waitingformeg and CottonNest! I want to win a R250 voucher:

 Add in your comment that you have liked their page, shared and tweeted!

Beach Essentials

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

If you are one of the lucky people who get to visit the coast this year,  you will obviously need some goodies to take to the beach with you. Someone on the radio said this morning that it is far cheaper to have a coastal holiday than stay at home and have to pay the electricity bill - which is off half the time anyway. So there might be loads more people at the sea this year, and of course, you want to look fabulous! I again used to find all the goodies you need for your beach essentials.

SUNSCREEN // Listen, even if you are not as pale as I am, even if you are a nubian beauty, or have the most envious olive toned skin, you need to wear Sun Screen! Base Lurhman feels so strongly about it that he wrote a song. Skin Cancer is real people, and you don't want to age prematurely, so even if you are indoors, WEAR SUNSCREEN! You can find them at any supermarket or Clicks.

SUN HAT // Along with the sunscreen, protect your face and still look fabulous in a beautiful sun hat,. You will only thank yourself later, when you don't have to apply aloe gel to a red, sore face that will be peeling in a week's time. This beautiful multicolour Courtney sunhat from Forever New is perfect!

BIKINI // Hallo, what is a beach without the perfect bikini? This Maisy Floral Bustier Bikini is just gorgeous and hints towards bygone eras, with its bustier top. Superbalist also stocks beautiful American Apparel bikinis, did you know? Like this Jungle Leaves bikini. With jungle prints being all the rage right now, you will spot not! And they are far cheaper than you might think. Check it out!

SUNNIES // I've said this once and I'll say it again - you can never have too many pairs of sunglasses and you can never leave the house without them! To keep the glare at bay - and also prevent crow's feet wrinkles - grab these cute Lundun Wayfarers.

BEACH BLANKET // This stylish Beach Blanket will keep the sand away from all those pesky areas in your bikini.

BACKPACK // You need to take your holiday reading, sunscreen, cellphone, wallet, maybe lunch and all your other necessities with you, but you don't want to carry it all in your hands. This is why this pretty little mint backpack is the perfect accessory for your lazy beach days.

Did I miss anything? Feel free to comment!

My dog hates getting her feet wet

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

This post started out as an Instagram post, but it turned out sooo long, that I decided to write a blogpost about this dog of mine. 

This mêdem thinks she's human. 

She hates getting her feet wet, so with all the incessant downpour in Joburg, getting her to go outside and pee is a job in itself. I have to carry her onto the grass, as far as possible from a door - so she doesn't just bolt back inside - and stand there and wait for her to finish. If I move, she moves. And I can tell that she's been holding it in long, because she squats for a few minutes. 

Then, to show her disappointment with me, she doesnt get back in on my side of the bed - as she usually does - but gets in on Flip's side, or goes and sleeps on the couch! She's unbelievable! 😳

When I got home yesterday, she came to greet me, but froze where the wet grass starts. She's blocking my way, so I prompt her to walk, but instead she turns around and stares up at me. I again urge her to start walking, but instead she props her feet up against me, as if she is asking me to pick her up and carry her over te wet grass! 

She's such a character. I didn't pick her up though, she covered a 10 m stretch in about three leaps, anything to just not get her feet wet! 

Does your pet do stuff like this? Please tell me I'm not the only one.

Road Trip Essentials

There are exactly 50 days left over in this year of 2014. Fifty days! Can you believe that? This also means that the holiday season is on its way and all us Joburgers will be invading the coast like Independence Day (the movie, you know? Ugh, forget it).

I'm also counting down the 46 days until we depart for Cape Town, via my little car. I am so excited that I am preparing everything now, even though I have plenty time! I made a short list of the roadtrip essentials needed for a comfortable 12+ hours' drive with goodies from Superbalist, because when you are so busy prepping a bikini body in the gym, there's no time to go to the shops. Yay for Online Shopping!

SUNGLASSES // This is the most important travel partner of all time - besides good music and a good travel buddy. Come rain or shine, I never leave the house without a pair of trusty sunglasses, because even if it is overcast, the sunnies can help cut the glare from the sharp light. Added bonus: if you have been travelling for 12+ hours and have not had time to refresh, you can just hide your tired, mascara smeared eyes behind a pair. These Bellpop Lundun sunnies are perfectly wide, and only R199.

COMFORTABLE SHOES // I love wearing shoes that I can just kick off at any moment (much to the detriment of my fellow passenger - no, not because I have stinky feet, but because I then prefer to stay barefoot and get out at every stop barefoot - which they find embarrassing.) But you must also look cute in your comfortable shoes. I am in love with the Mecca Sandal from Zoom. Stylish and in my favourite sandal colour.

THE PERFECT TEE // If you did not pick up that I am all for comfort during travelling from my choice of shoes, then let me put this in concrete. I am all for comfort when travelling! So a shirt, that feels like pyjamas, but looks super cute, is a MUST. Who can resist this cute Frenchie inspired t-shirt? Not I!

CELLPHONE CHARGER // Because duh, how else are you going to instagram your roadtrip pics if your battery is flat? Get a double port charger, like this Kanex charger, then you don't need to argue with your travel buddy about whose phone needs to be charged more. (If you only have an one-port charger and there is one girl and one boy in the car, it goes without saying that the girl must always have right of way to the charger.)

A NOTEBOOK // To jot down random thoughts, journal things that happened on the trip, keep up with your expenditure - especially if you have a budget, write down all your plans, addresses of places (in case google doesn't work, and believe me, there are places in SA that still does not have signal), shopping lists, and a list of things to do that you can tick off as you go along. Listen, I cannot stress enough how important a notebook is. You cannot go wrong with this Tabbed Notebook, which categorises all your thoughts.

A PILLOW // Chances are you will nod off quite a few times when taking a long roadtrip, which makes a pillow the perfect accesory. This travel inspired pillow will not only keep your head up high, but also make you feel happy with its cheerful colour!

TRAVEL DUFFLE // Now,  not only does this Travel Duffle from Burgundy serve as a stylish bag for your clothing, but you can also take it to the beach, to the shops, everywher. And, if push comes to shove, it could be the perfect body bag - you know, for when your travel buddy drives you absolutely nuts.

What's on your list?

Check in tomorrow, because I'm sharing some more essentials! 

Adri and Luke, Nov 1

Friday, November 7, 2014

On November 1, we attended Flip's little cousin Adri's wedding. I cannot believe she is married already! When I arrived at the venue, a camera was shoved in my hands and I had to take pictures, as I usually have to do at any event that involves a camera. {Disclaimer, I am not a professional photographer and do not claim to be one, so don't get all shmuck about the quality of my pics.}

I thought I would share some of the pics. Nothing profound is being written here today, just pictures. And I also had a little debate on my instagram about which dress to wear {find me here, I would love a follow} and finally settled for the one I'm wearing here. What do you guys think? Did I make the right choice?

The WV harmony strappy woven dress is from Cotton On, and as promised yesterday, I'm doing a post on it. Enjoy. The first picture was taken with an iPhone, so it looks bad in comparison to the camera pics.

The little girl in the pictures is Flip's niece, Andrea. I love that child, even though she bit me. Now for wedding pics.

It's bikini season!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

When I was a little girl, I would take a mirror from the wall and hold it against my waist, taking away the view of my feet and replacing it with the view of the ceiling. I would pretend that I am on some adventure and that I could walk upside down. It was outlandish, but it was a change of perspective and it kept me occupied for hours. 

Sometimes, all you need is a change of perspective to see the good instead of the bad, the healthy versus not-so-healthy. I was gaining a little bit of weight back since my wedding and even though I knew it and could feel it in my clothes, I didn't really care about the packet of Nik Naks I just ate, because "I will eat healthier tomorrow" and "I will go back to gym tomorrow".

 I didn't realise that I was tired all the time, that I had no energy; but just changing my perspective towards healthy eating and following the Kayla Itsines bikini body guide, I have learnt so much! And boy am I happy that I started this guide, because have you seen what Cotton On has in store these days? I just bought myself a beautiful white dress the other day (I will still do the post on it, promise) and then learnt that the clever people here have launched the most beautiful bikinis this side of the equator!

 The lifestyle and fashion brand took note of the increasing healthy lifestyles and launched a range of active bikinis - no worrying about a wave knocking your bikini off and you showing your boobies to everyone here!

The Poolside Paradise collection features a blend of cheeky prints, bright and bold pops of colour, retro shapes and a mix and match approach to swimwear.

 In surfer and scuba-influenced fabrics like neoprene and mesh, with functional, sports-inspired detail, this range is designed with an active lifestyle.

Whether it’s paddle boarding, surfing or a morning beach run, these pieces combine the best elements swimwear and simple activewear. Think: industrial zips, high necks and racer backs. The clothing brand also opted for colours and bold patterns, to make you look extra super cute on the beach. They also added rouching, frills and fringing to make it more girly!

Even better is that Cotton On has also launched a range of active gear to help you get ready for that bikini body. I have spent many hours poring over the beautiful pieces at the Cotton On in Rosebank - the closest one with the active range. Hey Bedfodview, get on it! I want every single bright piece, it is just fabulous!

But now ladies, as we all know, getting that great bikini body isn't just about excersise! I had to learn to eat more. And more often. So much more than I was used too. There were days where I felt a little bloated even and my cms didnt correlate with the "effort" I was putting in. But I started feeling different, by just eating different. By just nourishing your body, you can make it do so much more for you.

 I also recently went out with friends and had one small bottle of champagne and two shooters. The following day I was lethargic and couldnt even get off the couch. That could also be because Flip and I were dancing and jumping like crazies on the dancefloor til two in the morning. Side note: if you know Flip at all, you would know that he never ever dances, so I didn't want the night to end and laughed so much just dancing with him that I didn't care about the time. I swore off alcohol though, I hated how it made me feel. I learnt that you don't need alcohol at all. It is all just empty calories.

So take care of your body girls, you only have one? And make it hot! PS: you can get the full summer catalogue by downloading it here.

Here's to a better you and hot bikinis! Cheers

Irrational Fears vs Stupidity

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I read somewhere that Charles Dickens was the first person, and author, to make the connection between clowns and fear. Years later, another brilliant author Stephen King penned the fear down in the form of Pennywise the clown in IT, a book and movie that still haunt me to this day.

But my clourophobia - the fear of clowns - predates the book and the movie. At my second or third birthday, someone hired a clown to entertain the kiddies. Judging from the photos taken on this day, I was clearly petrified.  Some people might argue that all kids are scared of strangers and that I was just scared because I did not know the clown, but this wasn't it. I am an extrovert and I've been this way since birth. I was never a shy child, or scared of new people. I loved them.

But clowns are different. I am so scared of these humans in make-up that even just taking a photo of this picture from my birthday scared the wits out of me. And while doing a little research for this post, I came upon this article about the history and psychology of fearing clowns. Click only on the link if you are not scared of clowns, because my heart stopped when I clicked through. I am still sitting here shaking after I saw that pic.

The fear has grown so much - albeit very irrational - that I freeze when I see a clown. Last year, Flip and I visited a circus, something I regret, both because of how animals are treated and because there were clowns there. Man, I thought that clowns were extinct by now. Anyway, the one clown approached me directly and I started crying, I wanted to get up and run away, as fast as I can. When it comes to clowns, I defintely have the flee instinct. The other day, there was a clown in Builder's Warehouse, on stilts. A tall fucking terrifying clown. I had to walk down long aisles to avoid him. I felt tears in my eyes welling up. Luckily there aren't a lot of clowns around.

Real Fear
But, when it comes to things I should really fear, like crime in this vrot country of ours, I am exactly the opposite. On Sunday we were driving through Pretoria. Flip was driving and his window was wide open. We were chatting away, listening to the radio and the next minute, a hand comes in through the window, and switches off my car.

Shit, we're getting hijacked, is my first thoughts. Then a second guy appears, holding a knife a few centimetres away from Flip's throat. "Give us your phone," he says. The next thing I know, I'm loosening my seatbelt and unlocking my door. "Stay in the car," he demands. FUCK YOU, I retort.

I got out of my car and started hurtling towards them, swinging my fists and screaming all kinds of profanities that I would rather not repeat here (such as a c word that relates to vagina). I made such a terrible noise and told them that I would fucking kill them and I would beat them to a pulp, that they walked off. The two must have thought that I had a gun on me. They are lucky I didn't, because I would have shot the shit out of them. Or if I had a pipe in my car I would have beaten the crap out of them. I don't think I'm brave or anything, I might even be stupid for acting like this, but it is what my instinct told me to do. When split second decisions have to be made, there is no thinking about it, you just act.

I returned to the car and Flip sped off. In this instance, as with a previous time when we were smash and grabbed, my fight instinct kicked in. I was in a psychotic state, ready to kill anything or anyone who aims to harm my family. It actually scares me how crazy I get. I often think of what would have happened if I was in Flip's shoes when he was hijacked. I know I would not be compliant to the attackers' demands, I know I would have fought back, even with a gun to my head. I would have tried to defend myself. And perhaps not be here to write this today.

But isn't it time that people stand up for themselves and fight back? Why be complaisant to criminal activity? Why just give in and sit down and shut up? Fuck that.

It's funny how a human who is supposed to bring joy and no harm scares the living daylights out of me, but that a human who aims to harm me or my loved ones does exactly the opposite.

Do you have the fight or flight instinct? What is your worst irrational fear?

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