Future me?

Today seems to be 'one of those days'. Since waking up this morning, I just haven't had the energy to do much. To be honest, I still don't think I'm properly awake...I may just be sleep blogging (which is actually pretty bad ass). I work from home so I can't really use the "I'm sick, I can't come in to work today" excuse.

Instead I have taken advantage of my fragile state and have done some deep thinking. Some serious stuff popped up into my head so I decided to alert "future Claire" on what she may have gotten herself into a year from now and I will apologize for what my actions may have caused :)

I found a site, via a random Google search, called Future me. It seems to be quite popular and they seem to deliver letters on time so I just went with it (confirming my 'bleh, I don't care' mood). This is pretty awesome. One year from today, I will share the letter with you and see if future Claire appreciated my efforts.

Have you ever done something like this "future me" thing? Was is rewarding or did you regret it?


P.S. Reading all the other 'public but anonymous' future me letters really brought on the feels. If you're having a shit not so great day, read these, they are really motivational.

Beating the winter colds and flu with Dettol

Please note this is a sponsored post. Read our blog Disclaimer for clarity on what this means.

Every single winter, since I was 18, I get a ridiculously painful upper repository tract infection plagued with all types of viruses and knocking me out cold for at least a week. The symptoms arrive and I start to freak out. Burning/itching throat, congested sinuses with tons of painful sneezes and torturous ear ache. I know the drill. See a doctor, get a prescription for antibiotics (and seeing as I'm allergic to the more common stuff, penicillin, I easily spend R700 an episode) and rest for a few days. However, this year will be different...I have come prepared!

Dettol have shared this awesome article with the interwebs to help us understand why we get sick by differentiating between bacteria and viruses, cold versus flu and informing us on how we can reduce our risk in coming into contact with these silent trouble makers. Here's what I took from the article.

Bacteria are tiny micro-organisms that are most commonly found on surfaces, just like those gross escalator handles at Menlyn. They are not that harmful but may make you ill. Viruses on the other hand, must get inside a living thing (like a human or animal) in order to survive and reproduce, hence why you shouldn't let people sneeze and cough near you.

I carry Dettol hand sanitizer and Dettol personal care wipes with me to disinfect those not so friendly bacteria that could cause some sniffles. If you are already sick then please use these Dettol products after handling tissues and other items that may contain harmful bacteria.

I'm all set. Disinfecting equipment, vitamins and tons of water.
Both the common cold and flu (influenza) are a viral infections affecting the upper respiratory system, so most of the symptoms involve the nose and throat such as sneezing, runny or stuffy noses, coughing and hoarseness. These colds and flu spread by inhaling droplets that come from other people or infected surfaces (such as coughing and sneezing). 

What makes flu particularly challenging and slightly more intense than the common cold is that you can infect someone the day before your own symptoms develop, and up to five days after your symptoms appear. That means you could give the flu to someone else before you even know you have it yourself. You need to keep an eye on colds and flu as they can quickly turn into lower respiratory tract infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. 

In general, you should follow healthy habits. Good hygiene can help stop cold and flu viruses spreading around your home. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly, especially the surfaces that people often touch with their hands (e.g. door handles, taps and work surfaces). Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing. Put your used tissues in a bin and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

Jasmine is one of Malcolm's favourite scent's
In our house we use this yummy-smelling floor wash to disinfect common germs. This is especially important if you have small children and/or animals who infect and come in contact with infections.

Overall, many common colds and flu can be eliminated from your home by practicing good hygiene and being aware of what could be contaminated with bacteria and viruses. Like me, if you are in an "at risk" category, go to your pharmacy (like Dis-Chem) and get a flu shot. They are inexpensive and may help you skip colds and flu when they are dealt out in a few months.

Now I'm not a fortune teller but I can see that my chances of getting sick this winter will be a lot less now that I know more about how they originate. Don't forget to read the Dettol article here.


Something different - Water marbling with Icebox Colors

This weekend I tried something different with my nails inspired by this video from one of my nail art guru's on YouTube. I have tried water marbling before on my previous blog which you can view here and here. This is a really unique way to get beautiful pieces of artwork on your nails with minimal effort.

For this design I used Icebox Colors' "Miami Lights", Essence's "black is back" and OPI's "Start to Finish base and top coat". Click here to see what technique I used.

Malcolm really loved this "different" style of wearing my nails which means I'll have to do it again soon :) Share some of your designs by commenting below.


We got this!

Today marks Malcolm and my four and a half year anniversary of being together. I couldn't have asked for a more supportive and caring partner. People always say this but it has become true in my own life...it's like we met yesterday...

Malcolm and I met at the nightclub Trademarx (on Loftus Versveld in Pretoria). At the time, I was working as a Receptionist at a Dance Studio and he was in his first year at Tuks. We were two completely different people but loved chatting (when mxit was still the in thing. hahaha) and hanging out.

Over the years we have gel'd into one unit yet still holding our own personalities, which do clash sometimes. Being together this long has taught me that without understanding, compromise and communication, relationships start to become self-destructive.

If Malcolm and I ever worry about life's obstacles or argue we just take a minute to reflect and say "WE GOT THIS"!

I cant wait till I share our 10, 20 and even 60 year anniversaries!

Oops I did it again - more Essence | Nail polish review

There I was, innocently browsing in Dis-Chem (I use the word innocent very lightly) and as always, like a fishing hook catching a big one, I got reeled in to the Essence Cosmetics stand. Usually by the time I get there most of the good stuff is already sold out (which I am never sad about as I loving seeing one of my favourite brands doing so well), but this time I hit the jackpot.

Left to right: hello spring!, be my lucky star, hello rosy
A new order must have just been unpacked because there were so many new goodies for me to feast my eyes on. Out of the many handfuls I chose, I had to scale down and I settled on these three. I am so glad we finally have access to more sand effect polishes after I got attached to me and my lover.

Whilst swatching the colours on one hand instead of giving each polish their own limelight like I do in my usual nail polish review posts (I wanted this to be a quick post), I became quite fond of all three colours together. 

Here they are:

Besides all the magical new shades, Essence also has a new "effect polish" range to go with the effect nails collection I mentioned here. I nearly peed my pant...so exciting! It seems you get Shimmer, Sugar and Jewels. There is also a new, more curved, bottle...probably to differentiate from Catrice's polishes (if you didn't know, Catrice is Essence's big sister) .

(There was also a second row below this but my brain had a nail polish freakout and had to reboot.)

To top it all of (the oh-so sweet cherry on top), Essence also has scented polishes in a "nail candies" inspired range. I did sneak a sniff of one of the bottles and it didn't smell too great but I think the point is for you to apply it and wait for the nail polish fumes to evaporate. Would love to try this!

Sjoe! What I am trying to say is that you need to get to your closest Dis-Chem store with a few R50 notes and take advantage!

That is all...


MAVALA Sublime Autumn/Winter 2013/2014 Collection | Nail polish review

Image from Google
I am very excited to share MAVLA's new Sublime collection with you today which was very kindly sent to me by the MAVALA SA team!

MAVALA set a more intimate, classic trend for this collection however they did not want to lose the feminine, seductive and confidant look. These 40's inspired chic shades place emphasis on a sophisticated nude look, on brown tones, rosewood blushes, inspired by autumn nature.

The following six shades will make you feel Sublime with its soft and graceful charm.

A precious purple.

A warm dark brown.

A luxurious beige.

A smokey rose.

A dark midnight blue.

A beige grey.

Out of these six beautifully made polishes, I would say the Ivory Beige is my favourite just based on the fact that I have been wearing it the most these past three weeks. I am sure that as temperatures start to get way colder as we get closer to winter, I will migrate towards the darker shades in this collection.

MAVALA's Sublime collection should be at Dis-Chem stores soon and they are most likely to sell at R59 - R69 per bottle (but I speak under correction). Please also check out this review of MAVALA's awesome base and top coat which would preserve your stunning new mani's. I also reviewed Via Veneto from MAVALA not too long ago.

Follow MAVALA SA on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all polish news and cute nail art tips and tricks.

Thanks so much to MAVALA SA for letting me share this Sublime collection and the cute little MAVALA nail polish choccies!


How we do it: Snack bowls

In my effort to cut down some terrible eating habits, I have come up with a pretty clever idea. Healthy home-made snack bowls to enjoy when ever you're feeling nibbly.

My biggest weakness is snacking on unhealthy food high in carbohydrates and I usually eat them at the completely wrong times of the day. For a brief period in January (about 3 weeks) I had a make shift "food journal" which I filled in everyday to track which foods I eat at what times of the day. I found out that I did tons of unnecessary snacking and that is one of the reasons for my recent weight gain. 

Obviously the snack bowl idea did not originate from me. You can purchase snack packs at most grocery stores with dried fruit, peanuts and other healthy consumables however those aren't made to your own custom diet and favourite tastes.

For my bowls I used KFC Kream Ball containers (turning bad food into good food) but seal-able plastic containers would work much better...I am still getting there. I have about 8 bowls so these last 2 days between Malcolm and I (2 bowls each, each day). In these bowls I have Safari raisins, no name pecan nuts, Spar cheese-bread sticks and Salticrax. I have included some carbs just because I know my body and I really need it otherwise I will binge snack on buttered toasts etc. The fact that I haven't eaten proper bread in over a week means that this system may actually work.

So this is how my food day goes:
Breakfast 07:30 am
Snack bowl 10:30 am
Light lunch 12:30 pm
Snack Bowl 2:30 pm
Dinner 5:30 pm
Fresh fruit 7:30 pm

I would like to phase out the carbs at some point and just have fruits and nuts in these snack bowls but for now it works! 

Do you do something similar to this and what do you put in your snack bowls?


My Best Friend's Wedding!

This past weekend I was in the Drakensburg for my best friend's wedding. I thought I would share a few pictures of the beautiful view from where we were staying and from the wedding venue.

I wish I could have stayed longer than just two days. 

What were or would be your wedding colour/s?


My Monday Song

My new Monday song which I would love to shout from rooftops :)

Any new songs that get your spirit up? Comment below!


This week's reflections (07.03.2014)

For the next few weeks I will be mixing in some new questions for my reflections as some of the answers don't change much from week to week. Read what happened last week.

What lessons did learn that I could build upon next week? Investing time will pay off most of the time. Whether its your studies, relationship or your new diet, investing time is really valuable and it a great way to reap rewards for time well spent. I have yet to see this firsthand only because I get bored easily. Persistence and patience will help me achieve my goals.

Are my short-term efforts and long-term goals still aligned? Yes.

What could I have spent more or less time doing? I could have spent less time procrastinating and more time focusing on work.

What was my main concern and how did I find a put my mind at ease? I am a bit concerned about my health lately. Having a bladder infection made me realize that I'm not sixteen anymore and with age comes health issues. Being on a medical aid is really comforting, knowing that if something serious happens I can get medical treatment, but I also need to take preventative steps such as invest in multivitamins on a daily basis...for both Malcolm and I!

What is the first logical step for next week? With my best friend's wedding out of the way I can really plan a bit better, financially, in terms of car and house hunting.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!


Nails Inc Bling it on Rebel (leather effect) | Nail polish review

More nails! Here's my review on the Bling it on Rebel kit from Nails Inc which is available at selected Red Square and Edgars stores. I received this just after they launched last year (better late than never).

This picture has a funny story. My camera had a freak-out moment and the image turned out like this. I wouldn't let me view the image on my cell phone but once transferred to my PC it came out pretty awesome. This set the feel for the rest of my images. All by a technological glitch. Pretty cool right?
The kit comes in a neat box containing your nail polish (which is from the leather effect range), nail glue, embellishments such as rhinestones, gems and skulls as well as cuticles sticks to help with applying the crystals.

The process is pretty simple. Paint your nails as you normally would, with the leather effect polish in the colour "Shoreditch Lane", wait till completely dry and when you're ready to create your rebel look, use the nail glue to stick on your gems. It's like a grown up version of sticker albums!

You can really go wild with patterns and which nail/s you would like the embellishments to be on. I like the traditional ring finger and thumb. The embellishments I chose in the pictures above were randomly selected. The nail glue provided is pretty hardcore. You don't need to worry about your skulls suddenly falling off and rolling away. Mine even survived washing dishes for a week!

Overall this is a really funky nail art kit offered to us by Nails Inc. I find it to be rather rebellious (haha) and fun. The darker tone of the nail polish is right up my alley for winter and the "leather" texture will add something different to your plain leggings and winter cardigan. 

What do you think?


Essence Eye Sorbet | Cosmetic review

I am finally back at home with proper internet access and I'm kicking the week off with a product review. A new Essence product for us beauties to play with! The new "eye sorbet" can be described as a mousse like gel with insane shimmer. I purchased this shade, 05 Illuminating Hazelnut, at Dis-Chem for R36.95.

This eye sorbet adds the most beautiful shimmer to your eyes. It gives the eye a majestic "fantasy" feel which can be wearable during the day or out at night.

I like to apply a thin layer of the eye sorbet when doing my makeup because it dries fast and adds just the right amount of shimmer to enhance my eyes. I have found that if you apply a thicker layer, it looks stunning but it is more likely to smudge and transfer onto your upper eyelid when you blink. I also applied my essence liquid liner pen which smudged within 15 min due to the watery consistency of the eye sorbet.

Overall this is a fun new Essence product which gives your eyes a beautiful shimmer. I do suggest applying a very thin layer to your eyes with your finger (the gel wont work well with makeup brushes) and if you are doing a cats eye with an eyeliner pen rather use a shimmery dry eye shadow then the eye sorbet.

If you have tried any of the other eye sorbet shades, tweet me (@MsClairabella) some swatch pictures :)