Fixing My Face [A Thursday Plantation Review]


I was one of those annoying teenagers: perfect skin, serious attitude, and a determined defiance of authority. Two of those things followed me into adulthood, but it’s the perfect skin I miss the most.

Before I turned 18, I experienced the excruciating pain of a pimple exactly once. Yes, one pimple, for the entirety of my teens. Before you hate me though, adult onset acne has done it for you. I had my very first wrinkle, long before my first serious zit. Firmly believing, however, that I was one of the lucky ones, I happily ignored every advertisement for skincare products…until I turned 24, became a mom, and my perfect skin did a perfect leap out of my life.

Fast forward more than a decade later, and I’ve done everything I can to try and sort it out. Bear in mind, however, that I’m not a medically suitable candidate for hormonal treatments and such so, for me, fixing my face must be a topical adventure.

I’ve used potions and products of varying prices, with varying results. The classic result is, of course, that a system or product will work for a while, clear up my skin beautifully and then suddenly, I’ll have an outbreak of mayhem on my face. Usually, stress, a change of season, or some sudden allergic reaction to something unknown will set it off, and I’m back to square one, situation: cystic acne.

Anyway, let’s go back to two weeks ago, when a beautiful little package from Thursday Plantation landed on my desk. They asked me to check out their range, and I’m always happy to try something new out, especially if it ticks three important boxes:

  • The products are not tested on animals. This is non-negotiable. I don’t care if your product promises to return my skin to 1995 – if you test on animals, you can get right out of my house, the city, the planet. Bye Felicia, and take your archaic animal cruelty somewhere else.
  • The products are eco-friendly as all heck, vegan, and contain as few chemicals as possible.
  • The products don’t make big promises. I like honesty better than huge promises. Nobody is going to take me back in time to 1995, but I’m willing to give them a chance to try and keep my face as it is now.

This Thursday Plantation package included:

  • Tea Tree Face Wash Foam
  • A bottle of Tea Tree Oil
  • Tea Tree Toothpaste
  • Tea Tree Cream
  • Tea Tree Blemish Stick

With my little arsenal of excellence, I committed to using JUST these products on my face for a few weeks. Bear in mind, of course, that I’m cynical as all heck and was, on the day I started, doing battle with a bulbous zit on my chin. Cystic acne, you’re so irrelevant. Stop trying to make zits happen, please. I was also enjoying a superb little rash of dry skin across my right cheek.

From the very first wash, my face instantly felt cleaner, less oily, and so smooth. If I was feeling that good from Wash Round One, imagine how I feel today, two weeks later. I’ll let the pictures do the talking. [There are no filters applied to these pictures. You may have seen most of these on Instagram, and yes, this is genuinely what I look like, filter-free. Sorry if that’s disturbing 😊]

But it’s not the face wash that changed this game for me. Usually, committing to a certain set of products takes time – my skin must settle into it (that usually means a fab little bust out of zits, at first); then it starts to work; then I’m happy, and then it stops working and I cry a lot. So, I waited for that settling-in breakout to happen, and it didn’t happen. In fact, within two days, that little dry patch of skin was sorted out, and my chin was quickly healing up. WHAT IS THIS MAGICAL STUFF?

Well, it’s not wizardry. It’s Tea Tree Oil. A family member has sworn by it for years, and while I love my little box of essential oils at home, I’ve never really taken to Tea Tree. I probably should’ve, sooner, because, well, I’ll let Thursday Plantation explain:

Tea Tree Oil is distilled from specially selected Melaleuca alternifolia leaves…This 100% pure, 100% natural oil is a powerful antiseptic which inhibits a broad spectrum of bacteria and fungi and cleanses and protects skin abrasions…Has demonstrated to be as effective as Benzoyl peroxide in the treatment of mild to moderate acne*”

*Bassett IB, Pannowitz DL, Barneston RS. A comparative study of tea tree oil versus benzoyl peroxide in the treatment of acne. Med J Aust. 1990; 153: 455

Yes, you read right – this little essential oil I’ve been ignoring for so long is probably the solution I’ve been looking for, all along.

I’m going to keep using these products (P.S. The Toothpaste is fluoride-free and flipping great) and I’m going to buy my own set when these bottles run out. I went and checked on their prices at Dischem this week and HELLO AFFORDABLE WIZARDRY, COME TO ME! The blemish stick has put an immediate zing on any zit, and the Tea Tree Oil now has pride of place in my home (and dog!) cleaning routine too. Thank you, Thursday Plantation. I think we’re now BFFs.

Get it here. Read more about it here. Talk to them here.

#LoveMyHome with the East Coast Radio House and Garden Show

Moving house is right up there on the stressor scale, and I really think it wigs me out way more than I let on. As you know, we moved towards the end of 2014, and I now love our home. Deeply. It feels like we should’ve been here all along, but I guess that’s a sign of us having made the right move, at the right time. Sure, our house size has expanded too, and we’ve added in our Jake to the mix, turning our house very homely (but then, it was always going to be) and I happily profess that I #LoveMyHome. But the thing about loving this home is that I am constantly in the mood to do something different with it, and always looking for new ways to accent what we’ve got or discover new things for our spaces. That’s why I’m excited for the upcoming East Coast Radio House and Garden Show. Here are the top five things I’m looking forward to this year:

HandGshow 2015

Helping the least green thumb on the planet out:
We’re lucky – our garden is gorgeous and well maintained, thanks to our lovely landlord and incredible help in that department. But I do like to get stuck in now and then and spruce up a little, so it’s cool to see how the House and Garden Show is catering for even the most novice of gardener types. I’ll pop in at The Plant Inn for some indoor and outdoor plants and they’ll have window boxes too – I’ve always loved the idea of window boxes, and I think it’s time I got some.

Living the outdoor life:
To go with that great garden, we’re moving towards eating al fresco more often, so it’s time to invest in a good set of outdoor furniture. That means we’ll have to stop in and chat to the people at the Homewood stand and get some advice on what will suit our dining needs best.

Adding to the Onesie Army:
Overall, we’re big time homebodies and, during the chillier months, you’ll probably find us cuddled up on the couch in our onesies. Yes, all of us. I’ll definitely take a peek at what Chiliwinky has in stock on the onesie and vintage sleepwear side of life!

Décor and design:
I’m also on the hunt for great fabrics at the moment, because I’ve got some cool ideas on adding a few accents and pops of colour to our lounge. Elle Kay Fabricswill be at the House and Garden Show and they’ll be selling fabrics by the metre. I’m looking forward to that! Also, I’m Washi Tape MAD, so I’m happy to see that my favourite Washi Tape supplier, Papertree will be at the show too! Did you know that you could use Washi Tape to decorate gifts, schoolbooks and even your house? Yeah you can. Washi Tape is basically magic. Truth!

Because someone is turning ten:
My daughter has just turned ten, and with all this growing up (guys, why the heck does it go so fast?), her needs for her bedroom are quickly changing. It’s fantastic to see that the House and Garden Show has a big focus through their Kids Zone Exhibitors, so I’m heading to Brilliant Wall Stickers  and shooting over to Mathemagics for some educational software too.

Of course, after taking a meander through the show, I’m going to settle us in for a good meal in the Food Zone, mostly so we can chat about what’s going to go where in our house. I’m going to #LoveMyHome at the ECR House and Garden Show!

Pick up your tickets to the ECR House and Garden Show here and let’s go exploring!

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The Munchbox: A review & Giveaway!

I really do enjoy the wide range of monthly subscription box programmes that have cropped up over the past couple of years. It seems like you can sort your life out in style nowadays, using just monthly subscription services and, heck,  I like that idea. Anyway, let me introduce you to a new kid on the subscription box service block, The Munchbox. I’ve also got a Munchbox to give away to one lucky reader so check out those details below!

What’s in the box?
Made with families in mind, The Munchbox sends you and your kids a box a month, which contains: 3 recipe cards, a shopping list, some fun resources and some of the utensils you need to create the recipes. If you’re looking to make funky additions to your family kitchen arsenal, this could be a sweet way to do it too.


Yes, but what’s it like?
We took to trying out The Munchbox on a Saturday afternoon, after my kid had completed her exam studying for the day. Heading into the kitchen to make a delicious mess does definitely help you to shrug off the exam anxiety! After assembling the ingredients we needed, to make the scrumptious looking Apple Squares, it was pretty easy to let my kid at it, with the easy-to-follow, illustrated instructions and cute utensils to use. For the record, I did a price comparison: adding the cost of the good quality utensils the team sent, combined with the cost of a family recipe book and a puzzle or wordsearch magazine, this works out to be a pretty darn reasonable to have some kitchen fun with the kids.

Apple Squares | The Munchbox

What we liked about it:

  • First off, my kid loves to create in the kitchen, but I’m more of a box-mix mom or, you know, the type that sends a box of biscuits on cake sale day (cringe, those things always creep up on me like a surprise clown, and clowns scare me). So, for me, I liked how this recipe didn’t require any exotic ingredients and was made up of things we’d usually find in our kitchen anyway.
  • Secondly, the easy to follow instructions meant I could stick the recipe card up on the wall and let my daughter at it, only jumping in to help when the oven needed turning on. Also, the recipe’s simplicity means that it’s pretty easy to add your own twist to it, so we popped a sprinkling of cinnamon into the mix for that extra apple-pie-type-vibe.
  • And, of course, the final product – man, these apple squares are yum! I can see these becoming a regular feature in our school and work lunch boxes. I also really like that you can buy the utensils individually via The Munchbox online shop.


Where can I find out more about The Munchbox?
You can check out The Munchbox website, follow them on Twitter or check them out on Facebook here.

What’s in it for me?
And now that you know what The Munchbox is all about, I’ve got one to give away!



Here’s how to enter:

  • Simply comment below to tell me the name of your favourite family recipe. A winner will be randomly picked from a hat (be warned, there’ll be a cute Flipagram!) and we’ll get The Munchbox team to send you a box as a prize!
  • This competition is open to residents of South Africa and entries close on 29 May 2015. A winner will be announced on 1 June 2015.


Disclaimer: I was sent a Munchbox kit by The MunchBox team to review for the purposes of this post. 


Beauty in a Box | RubyBox

I’m not much of a beauty gal. Heck, I picked up a bargain Toni & Guy hairdryer from Clicks the other day, purely because it was on mega-special and because my trusty Clairol mini-travel hairdryer that I got from my parents for my (believe it!) thirteenth birthday is starting to wobble a little. Yes, really, I have a twenty-one-year-old hairdryer. Seriously, it’s so old I can’t even find a link or pic for it online. LOL. It still works, but just not as well as it used to! But, yeah, it was time for me to upgrade a little.

RubyBox 3

But, because time is marching on and it shows on my face, I am starting to pay a little more attention to what goes where and my regular skin routines. I feel pretty proud of myself for sticking to a skin routine for almost a full year now, and it’s working well for me! 

The folks over at RubyBox sent me a little gift via courier this week, and I’ve been pretty excited to try the products out. The whole concept of RubyBox appeals to me, because I am a lazy shopper (especially when it comes to beauty products!) and because I like surprises that are gifts (but not parties – I live in fear of surprise parties. I’ve had one thrown for me before and am still recovering. LOL)

So, what did they send me? 

RubyBox 1

Natural Lab SPF30 Natural Face Cream – this stuff is actually pretty darn awesome. Goes on smoothly and I don’t feel like I’m wearing anything at all. Plus knowing that it’s keeping my old skin safe from the sun today is a bonus! It’s slightly tinted so that does away with me needing foundation for the day 

RubyBox Super Seamless Foundation Brush – haha, I SUCK at applying makeup. I generally get it right twice a year. This helped, as I used it this morning to test it out. Am now having a good make up day and I won’t see anyone but my dog until this afternoon. I’ll use this often, I can tell! 

Africology Body Butter – yum. Yum. Yum. I used this after a shower last night and my skin still feels good. Like beautifully good. I would add this to my daily life! 

Mavala Cuticle Remover – my nails are, well, I’ve been a nailbiter since I was three. I gave up once, successfully, and then it fell apart with matric exam stress. One of the things that nailbiters have to deal with though, is really horrid cuticles and this worked well to sort out two of mine. Mmm. Maybe I could quit the incessant finger chewing again? 

RubyBox 2

Anyway, even though RubyBox is a subscription service, I like how they also make the products available for purchase via their site. So, when you find a favourite product, you can buy more quite easily! Check it out here and you might just surprise yourself! 


/I received a small box of gifts from RubyBox to review for this post/

Two girls, One Flat, a Lifetime of History #LoveChange

It’s Tuesday and I’m bucking a little trend today, and making this Throwback Tuesday! Why? Because I can, and because this post got me thinking. It got me thinking about the village of colourful characters that make up our life, and that one time in a flat on a hill where two gals had a barrage of great ideas and a litany of funny stories to tell. 

I’ve been thinking about Sheena a lot recently, as our friendship and connection has taken on a zillion different mediums over the years. We’ve been through what feels like a million metamorphoses, and yet the easy nature of how she and I talk to each other stays the same. She says it on her blog so well, when she describes me as “Cath – my ex-housemate, soulmate and sharer of womb in another lifetime.  We’ve been in each others lives forever, we just didn’t know it”.

Sheena and Cath
Two girls, One flat, A lifetime of history

It always makes some people’s eyebrows shoot up when we tell them that we had never truly met, in person, before deciding that we’d like to be housemates. Hah. Truth is, what started as mutual blog stalking, turned into Facebook messaging, and then I actually think I invited her to live with us via a blog comment, that mentioned lavender and baby powder. But, let’s back up a bit…

Cath and Sheena
I miss this girl like I miss the point sometimes.

My friendship with Sheena started with a simple Facebook message, after we’d “mutually stalked” each other online, thanks to the then-little world of blogging in SA. Back then, there were very few bloggers in South Africa, and we all sort of found each other through the Queen, Tertia. Sheena and I shared our stories with each other, without inhibition, because we both knew that blogging was therapeutic for us. We’d laugh at each other’s chaos and calamities, and commiserate together over our sad moments. We had written a hilarious history book together, full of quips and private references, long before we’d even met.

When I was in my teens, my dad used to tell me how the poetry I’d write and the graffiti I emblazoned on my wardrobe was my “primeval swamp”, because, from there, I’d hone my craft and learn to write. For me, I think the primeval swamp became blogging, and from it, grew not just my career, but my village too. Sheena, for me, has always been – and always will be – the head chief of that village.

Our time living together was peppered with laughter, fighting over how to hang the laundry (yes, really) and, as young adults trying to find their place in the world, we would talk long into the night about our respective hopes for charting our ways through life.

We’d laugh over our fears of being alone for the rest of our lives, and how we’d probably never “settle down”. Sheena taught me not to doubt my inner voice – she reminded me not to let anyone question my parenting, unless they had a damn good reason to. Sheena stuck with me as I faced a horrible time in our life, and she helped me laugh at it, because… “the best thing you can do to get past something that scares you, is poke fun at it”. Sheena was a friend to me at the worst of times, and another mom to my kid when she needed a circle.

Of course, we were never going to live in our little big flat on the hill forever. We’d talked about our dreams and hopes, the futures we would create. And then the time came where we needed to stop talking about them, and start making them.

The rest, as they say, is history. Sheena’s gone on to create the career we always knew she would, and marry the love of her life (turns out, he was actually not just around the corner, but a little bit more inland…). I’ve gone on to be the writer she believed I always would be, even when I did not believe it myself, and to have the family unit I dreamed of, but had sometimes deemed impossible. Sheena would always believe in my dreams for me, when I could not. She still does. 

While we live in different places now, and our lives have the hue of the dreams we’d dare each other to dream at 2am, over boxes of tens and laughter… yet, the essence of who we are remains. Life changes came at us and we at them, like cheese on toast. But us? Our village is exactly as it always was, just bigger. Our life in the little big flat on the hill was colourful and sometimes so noisy. But from colour and chaos, has been built a village. Thank you, funny girl on the Internet, for helping me believe in the village.

I’m tagging Sheena to share her story on how life has changed since we lived in that little big flat on the hill. YOU should get involved too, because BrightRock are looking for your #LoveChange story.

Sheena replied to my post here and it’s BEAUTIFUL! 


Are you a budding writer? Then #LoveChange and win!

BrightRock loves change and now, they’re looking for your big change story. Share your story about your experiences with one of Life’s biggest Change Moments – whether it’s Landing that Job, Tying the knot, Starting a Family or Making a Home – and you could win R2 000 in cash and the chance to become a regular contributor on BrightRock’s exciting Change Exchange. It’s an asking, learning, sharing, changing space – packed with tips and tools to help people live through, and even love, life’s greatest Change Moments. I love reading each piece as they’re published, because life – even though I hate change haha! – has taught me that Change Moments are what make life move forward!

Change Exchange Writer Competition

Here’s how to win:

Submit your #LoveChange story – of no more than 650 words via the “Your Story” tab on the Change Exchange. Feel free to upload a pic to go with it, or include a link to an Instragram pic or YouTube video. You’ll find all the competition rules on the Change Exchange. Get writing folks, because this is a damn good way to kickstart your dream! 

A Beautiful Number

At about the age of twelve, I clearly remember thanking my mom for making me “short and squat”, because it relieved me from the pressure of entering beauty pageants. She laughed at me then but, looking back, I am truly glad the mix of her genes and my dad’s created me, just as I am.

As I journeyed through the high school years, I will admit to battling with this. As everyone around me grew taller, thinner and more intent on becoming model-like reflections of the people we’d see in magazines, I just grew hips and bosom. Many people around me dabbled with diet pills, crazy eating plans and, sadly, a dear friend even endured the horror of anorexia. I don’t think she was the only one. I only found out, much later on in life, that my very own mom had anorexia.

With my curvaceous butt and height like a hobbit, I’m never going to grace the cover of Vogue but, what I do have to do – not just for me, but for my daughter – is grace the cover of this life and my parenthood, with self-love.


I realise I have a heightened awareness of this, because I’m petrified that an eating disorder could invade my daughter’s life – it did for my mom! I think there’s also something to be said about the overwhelming need within me, to be okay with what I see in the mirror every day. It’s not just about me anymore – because what parenting has taught me, is that kids will learn everything from you, and it’s not what you’re saying, it’s what you’re doing.

The idea that my own perception of my body directly communicates to my daughter how she sees her own, and nothing brought that home to me more, than the night she asked me to read her the number on the scale that displayed when I stood on it.

I will admit that, the first time, I did the wrong thing. I said: “ooh, I don’t really want to say that out loud” and she, in her cherubic innocence, questioned me, saying “but it’s just a number”. I thought about that moment for the next 24 hours.

When we were in the bathroom the next evening, she hopped onto the scale and proudly yelled out her number. Following her lead, I did the same, even though I felt wobbly and weird about it.

Her response?

“Mom, what a beautiful number”.

There’s a lesson in there, that I want her to know and never forget. Yes, the scale tells us a number that signifies our body’s weight, but that number doesn’t define us – it is just the indicator for the body we’re in. Scales cannot calculate our spirit, worth or capabilities so they can’t and should not control or scare us. They just show us numbers, but the true worth of ourselves cannot be shown on a scale.


This is who I am. And I like it that way.
This is who I am. And I like it that way.

And, every day that I look in the mirror, worry about the extra layer on my hip or booty on my butt, is one more day that I’m robbing myself of the ability to just love the body I’m in. I won’t let my own mind steal a day from me, and I won’t let any of those days be stolen from my kid. My daughter’s journey of loving herself and the creation of her inner voice starts with me, so I’m saying my number out loud.

And I know that the Dove Self Esteem Project peeps will join me in saying this – lets ditch our negative inner monologue and work on our own self esteem – not just for us, but for our kids too. Check out the Dove Self Esteem Project here for fab resources relating to developing and maintaining a positive self esteem, even when life throws its numbers and obstacles at us!



On running, shopping and school holidays.

I miss you, blog. Feel like we haven’t spoken in a while. Like, spoken properly. So, here’s what’s been in my head for a while.

The chaos of the juggle has descended and school holidays have begun, which means that I’m typing this whilst holding a conversation with my kid, attempting to get through emails and try figure out if I’ve had breakfast yet. Wait, no, I haven’t. I haven’t even had coffee yet and it’s 10h30.

Instead of dousing myself in caffeine this morning, I went for a 2.4 kilometre run-walk-run-slog-jog-run-walk. This whole running malarkey looks like it might stick. I’ve been doing it, 3 times a week, for a month now. This is the first time in my life I’ve been able to commit to something that’s even vaguely recognised as exercise. Some days, I hate it. Most days, I love it. I hated Friday’s run. I loved this morning’s (and this morning’s run was longer). I’m really grateful for the support I’ve received. You guys are such a network of awesome, that I swear – when I feel like I am sucking at this – your voices are keeping me going. Thank you.

And then there’s work. Well, work. I love my work. I am so grateful I can do stuff I love. My to do list is longer than I could imagine but, it tells me that I’m not doing so badly in my little world. To me, busy is good. And if I’m not busy, something is very wrong.

One thing I am doing right now is attempting to permanently move all of our shopping online. I’ve been doing it on and off for a while, but the more time I spend in malls, I realise I’m not cut out for having to deal with 20 000 other people who don’t know how to drive a trolley or like to haggle over the last cabbage in the vegetable aisle. Stuff it. I’m done.

And, luckily for us, the fact that almost all our favourite retailers now let us shop online is magnificent! Of course, Mr Price is a regular stop! With Autumn setting in for a bit, and Winter thinking about dropping in within the next couple of months, I took  a little whip through to see what Mr P has available online.


I’m usually on there, hunting for bargains for the other members of this little family I have but, their sweat shirts caught my eye (just for me, mos!) After a little late night scroll through their range, I’ve settled on adding these two to my cupboard:


Screen shot 2014-03-31 at 10.57.21 AM Screen shot 2014-03-31 at 10.57.37 AM


So I’m hitting “check out” and these babies will be coming home to me pretty soon. Actually, have you shopped with Mr P online? I ordered from them last week on Thursday evening and my purchases arrived on Saturday morning. Have you ever? To me, that’s faster than having to stress out over navigating through crowds of sweaty people and then find out a shop doesn’t have my size in something.

Online shopping is my way forward for everything now, especially considering that I barely have time for coffee, never mind malls!

Beauties from Beier! (and a giveaway)

I’m short, and by short I mean…people are surprised when they meet me, short.

As a result, I have really small feet. Moreover, I have really wide feet! It makes it near impossible for me to therefore buy shoes, or pants that fit nicely. I’m usually buying one size up on shoes, and having to tack up pant hems by like a metre at a time.

It’s funny though, because – somehow – people step on my toes ALL THE TIME. It’s not like they’re big and getting in the way! Heh. I’m really quite the squished toe, weird-footed two feet and a brick high chick.

This week requires me to be able to kick ass, in a lot of ways. And everyone who knows me, knows that I have asskicking shoes. They’re usually boots, but I think I’ve just changed my mind on this.

I spied a new range from Beier Safety Footwear when I was on their Facebook page the other day.I know, I know – you’re saying, “But Beier make safety boots!” Yes, I know. But did you know that safety boots don’t have to be ugly anymore? 

They’re most definitely not anymore! Beier have created a range called Sisi. Made especially for women in the workplace, these little babies look good in a workshop, fab in a factory and super on a construction site. I really love how they’ve added an interesting, feminine flair to their range and, as I type this, I’m wearing mine. They’re comfortable and I feel powerful enough to seriously kick some ass in these, whilst not having my toes trodden on anymore. Best of all, these babies are South African made!

Cute packaging. I’m a bit of a sucker for cute packaging.

Lucky for you, you don’t have to just read me talking about these comfortable asskickers anymore!

The lovely people over at Beier have given me a pair of these beauties to give away to you!

Disclaimer – not my feet. My kid and I wear the same size shoe. Gulp.

To enter, simply answer the question below in a comment. This competition will close at midnight on 24 February 2014, and the winner will be announced on 25 February 2014. This competition is open to South African residents only. 

You can also check out the full SISI (and other!) ranges on the Beier Safety Footwear Facebook page or follow them on Twitter

The question:

Tell me how you’re kicking ass this week (and feel free to tell me whether or not you’re taking names and/or chewing gum too:P). 

And the Winner is…number 4, Being Angel!

Screen shot 2014-02-25 at 07.16.50 AM

**This is a sponsored blogpost**