Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mane 'n Tail Shampoo and Conditioner - Hair Product Review

In 2013, I made the decision to hack off all of my hair.

Lets face it, my hair has been through chemical and product HELL... and it is no body else's fault but my own. Either way - I am trying to make up for my abusive relationship with my hair now by sourcing the right products to get my hair back on track.

In December I ventured into Dis-Chem to do some last minute Christmas shopping and decided to ask one of the shop assistants to recommend me some good products to help my hair grow. I'm not blonde - well technically there are parts of my hair that are blonde - but with regards to the insulting idiom, I am not blonde. I do know that you cannot hold all hope in a product to miraculously give your hair a growth spurt... but right now I am so desperate that I would try just about anything.

The sales lady took me down the aisle and pointed directly at Mane 'n Tail. I'd obviously heard of 'horse shampoo' in the past and had even considered heading down to my friends stables to sneak some of her horse's hair products away for myself (insert sly yet depressingly desperate giggle here). Well.. lucky for me they have now made a human-friendly version after a few experimental horse lovers decided they were going to try using horse shampoo on themselves after seeing the amazing results on their horses! True story.  



She told me that my best bet would be the Herbal-Gro set after I told her a bit of my tragic hair history. Unfortunately they only had the conditioner in stock so I settled for a different Mane 'n Tail shampoo (scandal!).

She recommended the Mane 'n Tail Deep Moisturizing Shampoo to accompany my conditioner.
  
The first thing that I do when choosing a new shampoo and conditioner is see how it smells. There is nothing better than having a wonderfully scented hair product. They both passed the test. 

The Herbal Gro Olive Oil Complex Conditioner has a coconut / cocoa butter fragrance to it without it being over-bearing which could lead to headaches. It is a soft and gentle smell. It helps to strengthen the hair as well as nourish it and reduces breakage. It leaves your hair feeling silky smooth and tangle free. 

The Deep Moisturizing Shampoo has a sweet, berry-like fragrance to its blue liquid. Personally I prefer the Herbal-Gro fragrance but both are divine either way. The shampoo is deeply hydrating as its name suggests. If you have dry or damaged hair then this is the one for you. 



They hold qualities of locking in moisture and repairing the damaging effects of heat-styling, chemical-use and environmental factors have to your hair. They fortify hair with Vitamin E and Provitamin B5. They are honestly just excellent and I am so happy that I decided to go out on a whim and try it out. I don't think I can go back now!

Celebs such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Anniston are big fans of this product and even go as far as to say that it is a beauty secret.


 After a month of using this product I am beyond impressed. Not only does my hair feel light and silky soft after every wash - but it has also dramatically helped my hair grow. I know that is a matter of opinion and some people just won't believe that but trust me - after popping hair growth tablets for the last year with little to no results - then using this magical product for one month.. the results are phenomenal! It isn't unnoticed to friends and family either. I have been getting so many lovely compliments and questions as to how my hair is growing so fast and I am only but happy to share my new secret.

I'd recommend it to anyone and will definitely be buying new bottles when my first stash has been depleted.

Mane 'n Tail is now available in South Africa (thank you!) and you can buy it at your nearest Dis-Chem.

Price: R90.00 for a 335ml bottle
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Don't Date a Girl Who Travels



I got an email this afternoon containing an article - the person who sent it said he swears it was written about me. When he said that I was thinking, 'yeah right!' but after reading it through - wow.

Reading it made me so proud of the person that I am - of the person that I have grown into - but it also left a massive gaping hole that is now resonating inside of me.
This is me through and through - not one character trait from this article is swaying away from who I am as a person.

This is me.
This is Jade. 

DON'T DATE A GIRL WHO TRAVELS

She’s the one with the messy unkempt hair colored by the sun. Her skin is now far from fair like it once was. Not even sun kissed. It’s burnt with multiple tan lines, wounds and bites here and there. But for every flaw on her skin, she has an interesting story to tell.

Don’t date a girl who travels. She is hard to please. The usual dinner-movie date at the mall will suck the life out of her. Her soul craves for new experiences and adventures. She will be unimpressed with your new car and your expensive watch. She would rather climb a rock or jump out of an airplane than hear you brag about it.

Don’t date a girl who travels because she will bug you to book a flight every time there’s an airline seat sale. She wont party at Republiq. And she will never pay over $100 for Avicii because she knows that one weekend of clubbing is equivalent to one week somewhere far more exciting.


Chances are, she can’t hold a steady job. Or she’s probably daydreaming about quitting. She doesn’t want to keep working her ass off for someone else’s dream. She has her own and is working towards it. She is a freelancer. She makes money from designing, writing, photography or something that requires creativity and imagination. Don’t waste her time complaining about your boring job.

Don’t date a girl who travels. She might have wasted her college degree and switched careers entirely. She is now a dive instructor or a yoga teacher. She’s not sure when the next paycheck is coming. But she doesn’t work like a robot all day, she goes out and takes what life has to offer and challenges you to do the same.


Don’t date a girl who travels for she has chosen a life of uncertainty. She doesn’t have a plan or a permanent address. She goes with the flow and follows her heart. She dances to the beat of her own drum. She doesn’t wear a watch. Her days are ruled by the sun and the moon. When the waves are calling, life stops and she will be oblivious to everything else for a moment. But she has learned that the most important thing in life isn’t surfing.


Don’t date a girl who travels as she tends to speak her mind. She will never try to impress your parents or friends. She knows respect, but isn’t afraid to hold a debate about global issues or social responsibility.
She will never need you. She knows how to pitch a tent and screw her own fins without your help. She cooks well and doesn’t need you to pay for her meals. She is too independent and wont care whether you travel with her or not. She will forget to check in with you when she arrives at her destination. She’s busy living in the present. She talks to strangers. She will meet many interesting, like-minded people from around the world who share her passion and dreams. She will be bored with you.

So never date a girl who travels unless you can keep up with her. And if you unintentionally fall in love with one, don’t you dare keep her. Let her go.




Check out the link to the article by clicking below:


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To be a girl who travels should not be a testament that you are undateable... instead, as good old Carrie Bradshaw says: "Maybe some women aren't meant to be tamed. Maybe they need to run free until they find some just as wild to run with them."

If you are a globe-trotter, a travel junkie, a jet-setter.. if you have been bitten by the travel bug and can't keep still - then embrace it. Come hell or high water do it because you'll never be satisfied if you don't. It will be soul-destroying if you brush traveling off when you know that is what you are craving. It isn't a craving... it is a need. We are a certain type of person. We aren't your average business woman or content with working 9-5pm and snuggling into a cozy routine. We like challenges, we are delighted by the unknown and the uncertainty of where tomorrow may take us. We are good people - people that deserve to love and be loved just like anyone else... we just need someone that understands us and respects us for who we are. Someone who is willing to accept us completely - and vice versa. Obviously as in any relationship you need to compromise and adapt if you truly want it to work. So yes, although the change might not happen over night - be patient with each other. Relationships are fragile and tender things. 

What will be, will be.
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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pretoria - Johannesburg

24 January 2014 - Friday

I recently caught a flight up to Johannesburg for the weekend... and it was one of the best weekends of my life. 

Work let me take two days of leave - but while up there I visited an art gallery that we work very closely alongside: The Everard Read Gallery. 

It was great to be able to put faces to the names of the people that I correspond with frequently. Don't you ever find it odd when you communicate with someone on a regular basis over the phone or via email - yet you have no idea what they look like or what their story is? Call me nosy.. but it is something that has always intrigued me.

Thereafter, I left Johannesburg and drove down to Pretoria (just outside of Joburg) to spend the weekend there.

I have made a vow in the past not to natter on about my personal life in great detail - so I'll just give you the basics of what we all got up to over the weekend.

Firstly, I was taken out for a delicious wine-induced lunch of sushi and oysters. It was a whopping 35 degrees out that day and to that I only have one thing to say: Hello Summer! :)

That night I watched my Friday Evening television show (blush)... The Bachelorette. Here in South Africa we are currently watching Season 17 (I think...) which for those of you who, like me, watch the show religiously... is the season where Desiree is the lady looking for love. I was treated to this gorgeous foot spa for the duration of the show, along with some more wine. I don't think I could have spent a Friday night in any better way after a flight.


On Saturday I was taken on a 4x4 trip to a gorgeous nature reserve called Groonkloef. We saw so many wild animals from Zebra, Giraffe, Wilde-beast and Ostriches. The obstacles were great fun!!! I've always been an adrenalin junkie so something like this was completely up my alley. I'd only ever been 4x4ing once before, which was in the Lake District (UK) but it was just a quick ride through a forest in a Land-Rover on the way to go Clay Pigeon Shooting so it was really short and dull in comparison to this! 


    

That Saturday evening we went out to a club called Chefs on Deck which was MAD busy. I'm a small-town girl - and that being said I don't really go out 'clubbing' at all... I much prefer a bar.. maybe it is the British in me coming out. 

It was a great time to dress-up and have a few shooters with all of my friends that I met at Pili Pili beach bar a few years back though. 

Sunday I got to sleep in a little bit before heading out to a big lunch where we popped leftover Christmas Crackers, sabraged about three bottles of bubbly and I nearly broke a baby... seriously. This baby was so happy and getting passed around from person to person - but as soon as I picked him up he freaked out.
Great. 

Normally I am pretty good with babies - but man I felt guilty. Just my luck.

That evening I was taken on a surprise trip... to an ice skating rink!!!


I may have acquired a few new bumps and bruises along the way but it was such a laugh and some of the best fun I have had in a long time.

Lately I've actually been doing so many great and exciting activities such as mountain biking, Stand Up Paddling, 4x4ing and Ice Skating. Life is great!


I have also been painting again - not only on canvas, but I picked up a few pebbles and painted some little quotes and flowers on them to decorate my home with too:



My nickname used to be pebbles when I worked at the spa in Pezula Resort - I'm pretty sure you can figure out why.
When I first moved into my own little cottage I had so much creativity surging through me as it was the first time I was able to decorate my entire house exactly the way that I wanted it to be. I really made it my own - and lets face it, nesting is an important part of having your own place. Your home needs to portray who you are... and to me, I like to invite people into my home when they can see unique and quirky things in and around the house that show me and my personality.

As for other travel plans... after backpacking and camping my way through Europe last year for a few months I am struggling to keep still. I realize that it needs to be done right now until I have managed to save enough to get back out there and experience all that the world has to offer... so I'm trying to hold tight. But - if all goes well, there are a few travels in the cards for this year such as:

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with a group of friends followed by a week in good old Zanzibar (Tanzania), Bali where I plan on taking a course as a yogi instructor as well as becoming a typical beach bum with my surfboard under my arm, Ireland - where I would absolutely adore to spend St. Patrick's Day (obviously) but I think that will only be feasible in 2015, and lastly, Canada. Along my way through life I have met some pretty great people, both physically and online... and yes I'm seriously hoping that they don't turn out to be some creepy fifty year old plumber some God knows where but I'm putting faith into the universe. A lot of the people I have met through my travels are from Canada and I am dying to jet off to see their beautiful country and catch up with good friends as well as have a Bloggers Unite Dinner Party with Haley over at : http://haleyspace.blogspot.com/ 
and whoever else she may know that have great blogs on that side of the globe. 

Well, now it is Friday evening once again and The Bachelorette is about to begin - which means that it is time for me to sign off for the night. There appears to be a bottle of Chardonnay calling my name.

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25 January 2014 - Saturday 

I meant to publish this post last night but my iPad started acting up. Turns out to have been for the best because I have somewhat of a mind-f#!k to add to this post... 

Last night I had this dream - and I wish I could interpret it or understand the meaning behind it.

Have you ever had a dream of place you have never been to - but then you have another dream months / years later and it is the same place... exactly the same, but the dream has no link to the previous one.. it is just in the same setting?? 

I don't know if that makes any sense but the dream I had was set in the same building as a dream I had many years ago.. I remember thinking in my dream, 'Hey! I've dreamed of this place before!' and I remembered my previous dream in the dream I was having last night! So in a way, I was walking through my dream knowing that it was in fact a dream..... weird right???? Some might call it de javu.

Well.. my dream was that I was in this spa.. and I was on the phone to someone... a man. He'd organized some romantic surprise for me and was leading me around - it was so real because I could see normal people doing every day things around me and I was smiling at them as I walked. He was giving me directions to go somewhere special in the building and then as I got to this door the guy was standing by the door and started laughing because I was so surprised to see him. I recognized him instantly and I threw my arms around him - I was so happy to see him and there was just an overwhelming sensation of warmth and love..... waking up was awful because for a moment it really felt like I was in the arms of the man that I am meant to be with. 

Anyway - I hope you're all having a great weekend and I wish you all of the best until next time.There's a lovely storm brewing up amongst the clouds so I plan on getting super cozy in my sweat pants and make a curry tonight...



Oh!! And today is the day I get to babysit my gorgeous month old nephew for the first time while my brother and his wife head off to their friend's wedding. What a good day :) 



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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Get Ready...

Tonight I finally have some time to myself - in which time I plan on opening up my laptop and rediscovering what writing / blogging is all about. 

(photograph found on one of the most entertaining lifestyle blogs I follow: http://www.iworeyogapants.com/ )

Having the house to myself - I will be able to put on some great tunes (I found the best new South African musician that I need to introduce you to below...), cook a delicious meal for one, perhaps open up a bottle of wine although in my hungover state at present that might be a slightly ambitious thought for the evening, and finally put my feet up with my laptop on my lap to write you all a post about what is new is the world of Jade (Auntie Jade I should say... #Winning). 

I feel so abundantly blessed with my life and the friends and family I have got. Things are great and they are only continuing to get better.   

Over and out until tomorrow - and then the real post will come (along with a few photo's). 

PS I have loved revisiting all of your blogs and catching up on your lives and thoughts. Love, light and happiness to all of my readers who have become more than just blog followers - but rather 'friends' scattered all across the globe!

And now for my favorite song of this moment - and I am so proud to call the muso South African!

Matthew Mole - Take Yours, I'll Take Mine:





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Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 Is Going To Be A GREAT Year...

Last night I received the BEST news in the world...



Women's Health Magazine contacted ME requesting pitch ideas for their next issue! So I now get the opportunity to pitch them ideas and hopefully be featured in either their February or March edition!!! 

I am overwhelmingly shocked and thrilled and spent all of last night scribbling down ideas and pulling my hair out trying to make them worth-their-while. This morning I boiled the kettle at 5am and glugged back an abundant amount of caffeine and set to work again - compiling my short-list of pitches before emailing it off to them.  

This has been a dream of mine for so long that if I pull this off - I would literally die happily. Blissed out in the fact that the only true dream I have ever had - becoming a published writer, has become real. It is now tangible - and if they publish me now, then that is the stepping stone of my future as a freelancer! 

The best part was that it was a complete surprise. I must have emailed them over a year ago, producing an article or two to portray my writing style and they told me that it wasn't what they were looking for at that stage. I didn't let it crush me but it was a major disappointment. Then, last night I decided to log onto  my emails which I never do in the evenings.. and was blown away by this email from them. I know it might seem small to some people and there are no promises of them choosing my pitches but to know that I at least made it onto their database.. to know that they must have been impressed with my writing even back then... that is HUGE to me! They contacted ME!! I am thrilled and flattered and just bubbling over with delight - either which way it was been a massive boost in my confidence and has made me want to write non-stop again. 

In fact, yesterday I was feeling so creative when I woke up before any of this... after work I got home and started painting on canvas for the first time this year. 

Life is good - and it can only get better from here. 

This is my chance to prove myself - wish me luck bloggers!!!



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Monday, January 13, 2014

Steak Strip Pasta Recipe

This is the perfect recipe for a quick meal you need to throw together to impress anyone from the in-laws (not that I have any of those...) to surprise visitors at the last minute. 

What you will need to make this dish (serves 4):


  • x 2 Sirloin Steaks
  • x 1 Large Portebello Mushroom (cut into cubes)
  • A bottle of burgundy dry red wine
  • A tin of cherry tomatoes
  • Light soy sauce
  • Wostershire sauce
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Penne
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Mixed Herbs
Start by glugging some wine into a bowl. Unfortunately I'm not the type of person that measures precisely etc and everyone has different preferences anyway... but for namesake lets say you add in a quarter of a bottle of red wine (the rest can be saved to enjoy with the meal later... and perhaps one sneaky glass while cooking). 

Tip in a few teaspoons of soy sauce (not too much or it will dominate the flavor). 
Add in a hearty amount of wostershire sauce. 
Lay your steaks in the sauce and head to a chopping board to chop up your mushrooms. Scatter a couple of mushrooms into the sauce and steaks too along with some mixed herbs (which came in a ready made bottle for me) and grind in some pepper... as you can see my biggest bowl in the house didn't really cut it.


Now you can let the steaks marinade for about half an hour, turning them every few minutes. In the meantime you can get your penne pasta on to the boil. 

Now that your steak has been marinading, put some extra virgin olive oil into a pan and put one steak on to cook. Cook for 4 minutes  or less, depending on how you like your steak. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside in a bowl. Add in the other steak along with all of the sauce and cook for a further four minutes. 

Once both steaks are cooked and the sauce is simmering, remove both steaks and slice into strips. Be careful not to burn yourself. Cut away all of the fatty parts that you don't want to keep and feed them to the dogs or any other unfussy animal you have roaming around your house. 

Put the strips back into the sauce and do the taste test.. add in more ingredients where you see fit.. if you can't pick up enough wine (which you really should be able to after a quarter of a bottle!!) don't be shy to add in more. Season accordingly, but be careful about salt as the soy sauce will have already made it very salty. 



A wise chef once told me you should only ever cut the steak up after cooking it as otherwise it doesn't keep most of the juices. That is why I did it this way but you could cut your steak into strips beforehand if you wanted to. 

Dish up your sauce and steak strips into a bowl of al-dente penne pasta and enjoy! My family all loved it and absolutely adored the sauce. To be honest it is probably one of the best sauces I have made.. and it was so simple too! 

What I could have done differently:

Added in some cream to thicken it up. I was nervous to do this due to it curdling with the wine but I have now learnt how to make sure the cream doesn't curdle so next time it will be even better!


Happy cooking!!



Auntie Jade

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Welcome Back...

Good Morning Blog-Land! 

Wow - I'm not sure if I remember how to do this. With my blog having taken a backseat as 2013 drew to a close I feel like a deer caught in the headlights trying to get it started back up again.

I've decided that there is really no point in playing catch-up by showing you dozens of photographs of how I spent my Summer. Instead I'm going to sum it up in one small paragraph. It won't do it any justice - but I want to start 2014 fresh. 

Lets just say that December was a ball of fun, spent with good friends, bottles of bubbly, the rumbling sound of the ocean, enjoying the salty spray-back of the waves, crispy skin and bronzed tans from the gorgeous South African sun, occasional rain-showers followed by beautiful rainbows, shooting stars, sand-castles, Chinese lanterns and fireworks.  Every time I hop into my little blue Nissan Micra I am reminded of the wonderful memories that were made by the leftover sand scattered in every nook and cranny of my car. 




I have dozens of great posts lined up now that season has finally calmed down and my life is heading back into normality. Everything from some great movie reviews, one or two book reviews (there hasn't really been much time to settle down and enjoy a novel recently,), and quite a few new recipe posts! I've been delightfully busy experimenting and playing in my kitchen and look forward to sharing my new culinary creations with you all.

One other absolutely amazing blessing that occurred the day after Christmas was the arrival of the new member to our family. 



Jenson Charles Preston Wright entered the world on the 26 December 2013 and I am besotted. Every time I get to hold him I am completely awe-struck by how perfect he is. I realize how biased that sounds but honestly - you've never experienced that form of love until you become an Auntie. 



 

I was asked the other day what sort of Auntie I will be... whether I would be the strict one, the one that constantly spoils him, the Auntie that just embarrasses him or the adventurous / outdoorsy type. I think the answer is pretty obvious. I will be the happy medium between the one that constantly spoils him and the adventurous / outdoorsy type. I can hardly wait until he becomes a toddler and starts to develop a personality of his own so that I play football in the garden with him, take him fishing, show him how to surf and teach him how to be a proper little gentleman. 

So as you can tell - life has been complete chaos over the last month. That is why tonight I am taking myself out of town and into a forest to set up camp for the night. I need to go and light a bonfire, roast some marshmallows and catch up with my thoughts. Nothing beats the sound of a crackling fire, waking up to the sound of the forest alive around you, breathing in crisp fresh air and boiling the whistle kettle for a cup of tea in the morning. I need that for a night - it is the perfect way to unwind after the holidays.


Signing out for the first time as...

Auntie Jade 

 
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