A monthly collection of five of our favourite things done, seen, tasted, heard, smelt, worn, bought, savoured, enjoyed, touched, liked or loved.

…. and BREATHE! Out of office on and maternity leave (me-time before the B-time) begun, I feel like this is the first time in a couple of months that I can sit down and properly devote some time to the blog. So first and foremost would be collating my latest list of favourites… which also left me thinking that it is possibly the last time I may have an “unmommified” list! Will beauty products be replaced with favourite baby products (*gasp*) – I guess I will have to wait and see what the last four months of this year hold for me! In the meantime…

1. Carlton Dry Bars

No this is not a “new one” but certainly one that has been included religiously on my credit card statement for the past couple of months. Quite simply – the BEST blow dry bar around – in my humble opinion.

Let me break down why I am such a massive fan*
* R165 for a wash and blow. If you had to convert your time per hour (because that’s what a wash and blow at home takes for me), then this makes economic sense. In and out – with fresh locks – in 30-40 minutes.
* I have been to various stylists at both the Melrose Arch and Hyde Park branches lately; and not once been disappointed. These ladies are professional and GOOD!
* The app. Download it and get your first blow dry free AND every 12th one after that free. Errrrrrybody loves a freebie!

My reasons for popping in lately include a lunch, a photoshoot, a weekend away and even being just too lazy to do my own hair. If you have not yet given these concept dry bars a chance, you are really missing out. Although I do warn you – the more you go, the more addictive it becomes!

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2. MAC Mineralize Foundation

Over a year or so ago I proclaimed I might never stray from my beloved Chanel foundation. Well – that was until the onset of pregnancy pigmentation. In fairness, I have been so lucky throughout my pregnancy but in the last few weeks my skin took a noticeable turn of looking more pigmented and red – that seemed beyond the capabilities of my lighter-weight foundations and tinted moisturizers. On the day of our Daniel Wellington photo shoot, I stopped by MAC to get my make-up done (side note: why do I not do this more often?!) and ended up purchasing the Mineralize Foundation that the lovely MUA, Penny, had used on my skin.

This is the first cream-based type of foundation I have ever used (preferring a liquid foundation) and found myself feeling skeptical as to whether it would cope with my dry/dehydrated skin. The verdict is that is most certainly does (beautifully), as well as providing me with the extra coverage I desire. I apply the foundation using my Beauty Blender – which does the most fantastic job of blending – set with the amazing MAC Mineralizer Skin Finish powder and have achieve the longest-lasting finish I have yet to experience from any foundation.

The shade Penny recommended to me was NW20 – slightly warmer and lighter than the NC25 shade I religiously used for years – but it does an incredible job of warming up my very winter-y sallow colouring. It is also a reminder to me to ensure that with every seasonal change to switch up my foundation: I am not sure how we can realistically expect the same foundation to do the required job over summer and winter (especially Highveld winters) and with changing skin conditions.

At R470 a pop, this incredible product safely sits in the “mid-range” price tag of foundations – and although I am hurtling my way through it – and has firmly earned a place in my make-up loving heart as one of the best I have ever tried.

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3. The Jungle Book

Until last Saturday, my list included the little-known Brit film Eddie the Eagle as a favourite of the month. But then, I watched the live-action version of the Jungle Book and had to scrap the sweet Olympic-themed film for the beloved tale of a orphaned boy.

The conversion of old Disney classics into live-action films has been taking place for the last few years and truth be told, I have not been blown away by any of them. This film has become the exception: incredible CGI-effects, visually stunning backdrops of the jungle, beautifully acted and the touching (without feeling too schmaltzy). It is one of the few films that actually manages to improve-upon the original.

Both Sean and I loved it – to such an extent, that this is the first movie I have asked we buy on the Apple TV to keep and watch over and over again. If you are in any doubt as to whether as to watch it, I’ve added a clip to one of my favourite part of the movies. If this doesn’t bring a smile to your face and spring to your step then I am not sure what will 🙂

4. Café Del Sol Tre – Parkhurst

Café Del Sol has become recongised as a Jo’burg institution over the past few years, and quietly opened up its third restaurant in Parkhurst a couple of months ago, aptly named Tre (three). Of the three, the Parkhurst restaurant has to be my favoruite of the trio – besides being beautifully decorated with elements of the Jazz area/20s, the restaurant feels slightly smaller than the Olivedale and Bryanston branches and of course, was built to take advantage of Parkhurst’s famous pavement culture.

We have been twice so far – both meals memorable – although, I would say the new venue is best equipped to be enjoyed on a lazy weekend afternoon, in the sun. I’m always drawn to the same dish at Café Dol Sol – stuffed calamari served on julienne vegetables and angel hair pasta with a beurre blanc sauce – and the version at Tre was quite honestly the best one I have tasted yet.

I don’t want to give too much away as I think the décor is an incredible surprise but every element of the restaurant – from the glassware to the lighting – has been carefully thought out and considered. The menu is by no means “cheap” (in fact, dining out is generally becoming very pricey) but in line with upmarket Italian joints around the city. Do yourself a favour and stop by for a delicious, modern pasta and the gin-on-tap!

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5. Eucerin Sun Gel Crème SPF50

I have neither acne-prone skin, or even vaguely oily skin but I am absolutely LOVING this sun cream! Included in our “goodie bag” from the Marie Claire Prix d’Excellence beauty awards back in March, I decided to give this sunscreen a try… and wow, am I impressed! The fact that the formulation is anti-shine makes it the perfect companion to wear daily, under make-up, and I love the fact that it is an SPF50! Also: I have mentioned it before but I have the most sensitive skin to sun creams and I have had not had one issue with this product to date. This seems like a product that every skin-type and concern could make use of.

You should know by now, I don’t consider myself a great beauty-budget shopper so to find a drug store product that makes my skin this happy is really a winning situation. Eucerin is widely available – at both Clicks and Dischem stores – and with summer fast approaching one really has no excuse to not be wearing sun cream daily (and delaying the onset of early wrinkles!).

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