Archive | January, 2014

I’ll get more sponsored stuff if you buy it. Thanks.

26 Jan

New Year Detox: Get all five detox products for just R449. That’s a massive saving of R456 per pack before the end of Jan.

New Year Detox: Get all five detox products for just R449. That’s a massive saving of R456 per pack before the end of Jan.

I’ve used Sh’Zen products for years. It started with my sister Naomi Gelb who has represented Sh’Zen since Moses needed hand cream after 40 days and nights in the desert –  a very long time ago. At the time I was spending fortunes on Dermalogica products and not that keen to try something new but with each celebration I received another Sh’Zen product to the point today where I use Sh’Zen and Environ exclusively.

Imagine how thrilled I am to get a stash of Sh’Zen-sponsored products (thanks in part to SleekGeek Eric Chowles for bringing his mom Heather who works with Sh’Zen and knows Naomi) to hear my Upgrade Your Life talk about my successful weight loss. Anyhoo, in exchange for a blog post and Facebook mention I’ll get a stash from them every month (providing, I guess, you let them know you love them too.)

I chose the New Year Detox package of Pamplemousse Cleansing Gel (smells divine) and can be used in the shower every morning to help tone and purify skin, the Skin Stimulator (think sponge and loofa on steroids) which exfoliates, improves circulation to give you a toned, firmer shape, a Contour Gel to help improve the excess skin under my arms and upper legs which also eliminates excess fluids and strengthens connective tissue to leave skin looking firmer and smoother as well as a Digestive Aid Massage Oil  which helps detoxing. (I’ve used the Black Pepper After Sports oil for years and swear by it!) The package also comes with Detox bath crystals but as I only shower I swapped it for shower gel.

IMG_4516 IMG_4517If you see me looking more spiffy than usual and smelling dreamy you’ll know why.

If you’re going to buy Sh’Zen please do so from my darling sister Naomi, also available on




Zebula Golf Lodge in Bela Bela, just two-hours from Jozie.

21 Jan

Casual elegance at Protea Hotel's Zebula Golf Lodge

Casual elegance at Protea Hotel’s Zebula Golf Lodge

This piece was first published on

Think about Zebula Golf and Safari Lodge as a Club Med experience and you couldn’t be happier.

For golfers there’s the Peter Matkovich course designed to USGA-specifications. Dale Hayes and Steve Dunn were among the initial developers so the championship course ticks all the boxes. It is also very picturesque which is of great appeal to lodge guests who get to enjoy it from the walking and bicycle tracks that criss-cross the course.

For families there’s a zoo of sorts with scary snakes, a pair of crocs, and the most adorable tiger (yes) and lion cubs. There’s also a vast selection of activities to entertain all from the most sedate to the adrenaline junkie either on the premises, on nearby properties (such as elephant trekking) or in their vast wildlife enclosure and equestrian centre on the opposite side from the main gates.

And for the more energetic Zebula also has a squash court, fully-equipped gym, and resort-style pool with faux rocks and waterfalls.

Our accommodation was at the Zebula Lodge, managed by Protea Hotels, but there is also accommodation in the Waterberg unit or by renting privately owned homes on the estate. Because it is just two and a bit hours from Johannesburg it is especially popular for weekends-away. Bela Bela, previously known as Warmbaths, is celebrated for its hot springs and the Forever Resort, 45-minutes from the Lodge, is worth stopping at for a few hours en route to “take the waters.”

If you like to bike

We hired bicycles for the two days we stayed there and it was wonderful being able to get so close to animals like Sable, Eland and loads of other antelopes that roam freely around the reserve. There was a nyala that liked the sweet grasses near our room and would be out every morning when we opened our suite’s sliding doors.

There is something especially moody about the Waterberg and the summer light makes the bushveld look golden.

While on a horseback safari – a real highlight again because of the easy proximity to the animals (no predators) thunder struck just as we were trotting along the edge of the waterhole. My mount bolted which I am so glad about as I’d been terrified about this happening. Look, for an inexperienced rider such as I am, it was scary, but I also felt a high sense of personal triumph at being able to stay calm. I didn’t fall off which was my greatest fear.

Up close enough for a nibble

We got so super close to a giraffe while on horseback that she could have nibbled my earlobes if she’d been inclined.

Accommodations are extremely roomy – suites are huge, at least twice as large as you’d expect from a city hotel with equally vast bathrooms. This is a bush lodge only in that it is surrounded by bushveld and there are animals nearby but it comes with all the resort trimmings – DSTV, spa baths, twin basins, separate toilet, Wi-Fi, in-room phones etc.

Based on the five planes on the runway during our stay and the expensive 4 x 4’s in the parking area, Zebula attracts the moneyed crowd.

Food is served in a buffet restaurant on the ground level of the Club House aka reception area while upstairs there is an elegant yet relaxed a la carte restaurant, along with a long bar and conference centre. We found the food delicious and the service good despite the resort being very busy.

Drawbacks included an unsightly electricity substation directly in our field of vision and the very hot temperatures. We had to retreat to our air-conditioned rooms for a few hours every afternoon as it felt like temperatures late in November were in the 40s.

Protea Zebula Lodge. Farm 534KQ D1000, Mabula District, Bela-Bela, Limpopo. T: +27 (0) 14 734 7700;

I can get it for you wholesale!

18 Jan

On top of the Kogelberg with Pringle Bay bay in the background.

On top of the Kogelberg with Pringle Bay bay in the background.

Anything for a discount, right? Right. Why pay full price when you can pay half the price? Suddenly spending R999 on another pair of waterproof Columbia hiking boots doesn’t seem like a stretch. Even less so when it comes with a different lacing technique (think ice skates) making my complaints about how long it took me to get into my previous pair a thing of the past.

Columbia, Canal Walk

Columbia, Canal Walk

I also love the elegance of the leather (amazingly this pair is as light as the synthetic fabric pair)  but they got seriously scuffed after just one mountain outing.

I consider the Kogelberg MY mountain and try to walk on it every day that I’m in Pringle Bay but it has lots of sharply jagged edges and small rocks and stones that make the wearing of regular shoes not a comfortable option. The best part about these boots is they have the kind of traction on rocks that let’s me pretend I’m a klipspringer. Mind you don’t expect the same traction on a tiled surface through, I almost went flying walking on a wet kitchen floor while wearing them.

A new favourite store is Kingsley Heath, also at Canal Walk where I bought the Columbia boots. I first discovered them when they used to be in De Waterkant but at that time I was too fat to fit into anything there. Their interior is all Colonial Adventurer Club meets African luxury and what I love most is the huge and comfortable changing rooms and brilliant service. I bought a 100% cotton shirt with button-down tags to neatly roll up the sleeves also at half price and they also had golf shirts vastly reduced.

A huge thrill for me is to ask the sales attendant for a smaller size. A big change from having to embarrass myself every time I got onto an aeroplane and had to ask for a seat-belt extender.

These Columbia boots are made for walking. Note the easy lace ups.

These Columbia boots are made for walking. Note the easy lace ups.

My other pair of Columbia boots, also useful as a flare when lost.

My other pair of Columbia boots, also useful as a flare when lost.

Betty's Bay from the Kogelberg.

Betty’s Bay from the Kogelberg.

Route to change: pick a path and stick to it.

5 Jan

Route to change