Cosy Quarters & Content Tips at the #CTMeetUp in April

image

Hey lovelies,

Gosh, what a fun time it’s been recently with little lady and her late nights. I’ve been a bit behind on blog posts, but had to do a quick mention about the #CTMeetUP held at Eat on Main – a chic little spot found in Observatory with the cutest wall decor I’ve seen in a long while.

While I’m a bit too sleep deprived to find my wordy self and paint you a beautiful picture, I did happen to take a ton of photographs, so please scroll down and take a peek at what the day entailed.

image

image

image

My iron levels were taken by the lovely gentlemen featured above. 🙂 I was quite surprised they weren’t lower considering I haven’t had an iron supplement in ages (but I have been munching loads of spinach recently …so yay to that.) image

imageMassimo, the lovely owner of Eat on Main, was a delight to chat to for a few minutes and I have to say that the food we were served was absolutely delicious – and well worth returning for (I plan to bring hubby some time soon)!

imageimageimageimage

The BabySense ladies were utterly charming and as I’m a huge fan, it was nice to get some one-on-one chat time in to ask some questions about various products.

With the lovely Mira from Hot Oven Marketing!

Seeing Mira from Hot oven Marketing and getting to chat and catch up with her was so much fun – I absolutely adore this sweet lady! Some other fantastic ladies I met and got to chat to include Julie from Heart Mama Blog, Meg from Boring Cape Town Chick, Bea from Madam Nomad, Mandy from Pregnant in Cape Town (who was the reason I picked Constantiaberg as my birth hospital), Juwayra from Curly Heads and Dimples, Nicola from 3 Trolls Mom, and Leigh from Red Lips and Darling Adventures.

Love these two ladies! ^_^

Selfie with MadamNomad

Thanks for the selfie together Pregnant in Cape Town! :)

imageimage

imageimage

We got a very humorous and informative talk from Webfluentials Sam and Ruan who each gave two passionate and completely different approaches to knowing your worth when dealing with brands, becoming an influencer, and a whole lot more (thanks again guys!).

image

While I don’t have a snap of them yet (I’ll post a few in here soon – promise!) the Brandrocket photo printing booth was absolutely phenomenally fun!! It worked by searching the event hashtag and printing the pics out on the photo booth (say what?! It’s that easy? Yes, yes it was!).

image

image

Dessert was decadent and delicious – and don’t you just love the sunlight highlights?! Seriously, I couldn’t have planned how beautiful that would look – and it’s made me so hungry all over again! ^_~

imageA huge thank you to Cindy Alfino and author Derryn Campbell for my Absolutely Awesome South Africa prize. As a travel blogger I adore learning new things about our vibrant, exciting country and this book is packed chock-a-block full of interesting insights, facts, stats and beautiful artwork and images. It’s a new coffee table favourite (and even my 4-month old loves sitting with me as I read excerpts to her and show her the pictures).

Thank you so much again Cindy and all the amazing sponsors – the gift bags were a surprising treat with some great brands and items I can’t wait to try! What kinds you wonder? There were a small selection of items from African Extract Rooibos, a Better You B12 Boost Spray, Cape Flora Mints and magazine, Bach Flower Rescue Pastilles, Playboy deodorants, as well as a plushie of Xander the dinosaur (my little one has already claimed him as her favourite new teething / cuddle buddy).

All in all it was a super event where I got to meet some lovely people, learn a few tricks of the trade and spend an enjoyable afternoon out and about. I can’t wait to start applying some of the practical tips provided and definitely look forward to attending future #CTMeetUP events.

Rambling around and a life update

Hey lovelies,

Do you ever sit back and wonder where on earth time has gone?!

This past month and a bit has been quite the run-around I must say. In what way I hear you cry? Well …

My cousin Wayne and I attended the free Comic Book Day event at Stadium on Main and got to get some great pics of cosplayers.

Then, A MidSummer Nights Dream ran at the Masque Theatre (the show I was production secretary for) and I suffered some sever post-show blues once it’s 2-week run was over … trust me, they’re a real thing. Ask any actor or theatre contributor how they feel when their show run ends and be prepared for waterworks if the cast has been tight. In fact, in honour of missing them all (and because I tested out my first ‘fancy’ camera, I’m doing a little photo montage post to showcase the amazing theatre people I was working with.
Photos By Roseanna McBain (C) TravelGround (100)
Bites and Sites tour of Stellenbosch (C) Roseanna McBain (9)
Photos By Roseanna McBain (C) TravelGround (391)
Stellenbosch (C) Roseanna McBain (234)

Next up was a visit to Stellenbosch to take part in #Stellenblog 2015 via a Bites and Sites foodie tour with Hanli. I got to meet some very talented bloggers and experience the winelands in a new (and thoroughly recommended) way. You can read about my full experience here.

IMG_4626
IMG_4657 IMG_4884 20150508_124601Esona (C) Roseanna McBain (10) Esona (C) Roseanna McBain (53)IMG_554020150510_09251520150509_08293320150510_11012720150509_17402120150509_184318

The very next day a good friend from work and I were whisked away by DC Tours to visit the magical country town of McGregor, and we meet some media peeps who I simply adore (and am still in touch with). I’ll be doing a full post on our trip at some point later in the month, but as you can see from the pics above, this country town is something incredibly special! ^_^

This whirlwind of activity took place just after finding out that I’m pregnant (I feel like I should say ta-dah about that :p) but there’ll be plenty more about this big news in that in a separate post. For those curious, the little life forming in me is going to be a healthy baby girl, and she’s due in December! ^_^

On the home front, we’ve finally got a semblance of a kitchen together again, albeit that it’s spread over two rooms, now that tiling has finally been completed. Next up, painting the kitchen!

Sorry for the surprise photo blurb, but I thought you’d enjoy a peek into what’s kept me away from my (semi) regular posting schedule. ^_^

Coffee and a Catch Up

Hello lovelies,

This past week and weekend has been a great pick-me-up.

From date night with hubby, tackling my new year’s list, and having breakfast at Cafe Knead in Muizenberg, to family bonding time and finally sorting out my spare room, writing space, and desktop, I’m feeling far more motivated now than in the past month.

The ‘great clean’ was long overdue but I’m happy to say that with two black bags full of items to be donated or swapped, and a wardrobe full of clothes and shoes I’ll actually wear (and I now know what items I need to add over the coming seasons), I’m feeling pretty good about life in general  right now. And the lack of clutter is a very, very welcome change. ^_^

Along with the wardrobe overhaul I added two pretty trays to my desk to organise my writing essentials, deleted bookmarks that I don’t need (who actually goes through the 130+ sites they bookmark anyway?) and did an email purge to ensure the websites and blogs I follow are still relevant to my interests, give me inspiration, and align with who I am and where I want to head to.

The above took an entire day to sort through, but I’m very satisfied that my digital and home detox will keep me on track in the coming months.

Though to be honest, it helped quite a bit that Eskom decided to do a mid-afternoon blackout yesterday – as there were no distractions or social media pings to waylay my day plans.

The Wardrobe Cull

Wardrobe cull round up (C) Rambling with Rose (edited)

The tips I used from A Pair & a Spare were invaluable, and if you’re planning a wardrobe cleanse, you should definitely check out her post series; it’s thorough, concise, and though a lot of it is common sense, it’s presented in such a way you look at it and go “huh, I should have done this ages ago!”.

Though I have a pile of sentimental items still lurking in one of my draws, I’ve decided if there’s anything in there I don’t reach for this summer – or do reach for it, put it on and then hesitate before taking it off again – it’s going to have to go by the end of the season (unless I learn how to do some DIY tricks – any that you can recommend?).

Some things I learnt from doing this include:

  • I have a bad tendency to hang onto makeup that’s way past it’s ‘use-by’ date (that little cream lid with a number in it on most products nowadays stands for how long the product, after opening, is good until – who knew?!?)
  • I have a ton of dresses I don’t actually wear (several landed up in my ‘sentimental’ pile)
  • My jeans buying spree last winter (since I had only one pair then) was a good investment, but 2 pairs, of the 5 I bought, I have hardly worn due to a bad cut and fit – so into the “donate” pile they went
  • I have a ton of comfortable takkie (sneaker) shoes that I’ve hung onto despite cracks & broken soles (why?!)
  • My scarf collection (of 20+ scarves) needs to come out of the boxes and into play in my wardrobe – so any not worn or that don’t work can be gifted, donated, or repurposed
  • I’ve got plenty of great neutral items in my wardrobe. Mainly navy, black and grey – so no more dark colour additions can be added to my current wardrobe unless it’s to replace a beloved item that’s too far gone to wear in public – with brighter colours and lighter neutrals to be added instead

Writing

Writing plans (C) Rambling with Rose

Though I’ve still got a long way still to go with my novel, I’ve been trying to write at least 1000 words every three days (life’s busy, yo!), with plans to up this count in the coming weeks. I’m toying with the idea of creating a “Writing Wednesday” series, so stay tuned ^_~

 

Some TLC for body, mind, and beauty

Drinking more Tea (C) Rambling with Rose

I’ve been investing in my health lately, and with Epsom salt baths, fruit smoothies, micronutrients, a good probiotic, drinking lemon water in the mornings, and at least 1L of water a day. I can now state that my energy levels have come back in a big way (I was a tad worried I’d develop chronic fatigue but that luckily hasn’t happened).

I’ve started drinking more teas instead of that second (or third) cup of coffee – which I used to do but somehow fell off the wagon on that one – in this day and age it’s too easy to put on another coffee pot out of habit, when your body actually needs more hydration and not stimulation.

To go with the healthy inside, I’ve buffed, polished, moisturised, cleansed and started experimenting with nail polish and lipstick shades again (now that I have some motivation to make my outside reflect my inside). After my glandular fever I was sticking to moisturiser and eyeliner as my day-to-day options since having to think about what to add (lipstick, eye shadow, mascara, etc) were far too ambitious for me to attempt last week.

Sunday Plans

Sunday Plans (C) Rambling with Rose

Later, I’m heading out to a braai to catch up with friends and the full cast and crew of Midsummer Night’s Dream, which I’m going to be the production secretary for. I’ve had plenty of experience both on stage and behind the scenes in theatre, but never in this kind of capacity. It’s a little daunting, but it should also be a fun learning curve and I’ll share any tips and tricks I pick up for the theatre lovers reading this later on in the year.

And that’s pretty much my week summed up, with the continual promise of adding more posts here daily now my motivation is back.

I’d love to hear how your week’s gone, and what issues you’re tackling!

With love,
Rose

I’m Still Alive … Sort Of …

Hello lovely,

With glandular fever (aka mononucleosis) turning my usually active life into one of lethargy, long naps, and pain-filled days, it’s not an overstatement to say things have been a wee bit hard recently, especially regarding my normal habits, routines, and New Year goals.

Which is fairly ironic since my New Year plans overall were to get a handle on organising my life and planning ahead. It would seem that despite my best intentions, life is telling me to slow down. So instead of playing catch up with my pre-planned posting schedule and entertaining you with various places visited and changes at home, I’m going to give you a quick rundown of how I really have been these past few weeks. And no, it won’t be the usual “Hanging in there” response I’ve been giving out to those around me (along with whatever kind of smile I can muster up – which I hope is brave – I try to go for brave. But whatever, they get a mouth twitch and sometimes teeth).

The effects of Glandular Fever

For the past 2 weeks I’ve been fairly complacent and unenthusiastic about everything in life (barring an audition for Midsummer Night’s Dream that I somehow managed to haul myself out of bed for in the first week of my illness. As it turns out, I’ll be behind the stage as a production secretary instead of performing on it, but I’m quite happy I’ll be working with  awesome theater peeps in March – as I really am hoping to be well by then!).

Since that awful first week, which started off with odd lumps behind the head and a sore throat (which I got cortisone and hystamines for with instructions to return the following week if the bumps were still there), I’ve been unmotivated and quite literally unable to read, text friends, change out of my PJs, or do any of the normal things one usually does (and which I usually enjoy doing, like putting on a touch of makeup, running a bath, and reading in the evenings).

The pain medication I’ve been on has helped quite a bit, especially with the swollen lymph nodes that cropped up in my wrists, behind the knees, and in my hands (which truly made me feel as if a 90 year old man had invaded my body). But, said medication also send me to dreamland in pretty short order and then there’s the (gross!) tummy troubles which I won’t go into detail about because I like you ^_~. Needless to say I’ve cut pain meds out completely since the achy joints are finally gone, as of week 2.

I have been off work for 2 weeks and under strict instructions from my doctor not to participate in anything strenuous, including but not limited to contact sports, jarring my abdomen (no tight waistbands), or heavy lifting. I have to refrain from eating rich fatty meals, citrus, or anything along those lines due to the enlargement of my internal organs being unable to properly process the foods (the main affected organs are my liver and spleen).

Because these organs are so enlarged from fighting the virus, they’re pushing on my stomach making me unable to eat more than a small bowl of oats in the morning (which is a great choice for those out there starting this), a few nuts or a slice of dry toast or cracker bread in the afternoon, and if I’m lucky, half a bowl of soup for supper – with the caveat of no onions, garlic, or cream being in it. During the first week I hardly ate at all, and tried to stay hydrated with fluids – water, tea, re-hydrating sachets, aloe and fruit juice mixes, and iced teas. Turns out, this is the recommended option during the early stages (with the mention of broth soups – but meh). Week two was a bit better, with the above mentioned items tiding me through a day, though I usually skipped supper since I couldn’t handle the acid reflux I was getting (you get super sleepy after eating and lying down is a no no for reflux – you feel like you’re dying. Really. It plain sucks).

As of week 3 I’m feeling a bit more human and motivated (though the energy comes and goes in waves like an oceans tide, or sunlight peeking out on a cloudy day, which is all too quickly gone again). I’ve found a few olives a day help with energy levels (likely due to Vitamin E), and I’m taking a probiotic and liver support to nourish my internal organs, along with drinking lots of water and teas, like ginger, fennel, and rooibos. Coffee is prohibited (and those who know me know how much I hate this, because I love my coffee!) purely since the caffeine has a negative effect on the adrenal glands.

On the plus side, I think getting into shape and eating healthily will be a breeze when I’m well again, since I’ve already lost quite a few pounds due to my stomach shrinking, and I’ve already kick started the healthy eating plan (albeit in baby-sized portions, which I’m confident will return to that of a ‘normal’ adult some time soon). So yeah, the only plus side I’ve found with glandular is weight loss.

How am I coping with Glandular Fever now?

In short, when I have spurts of energy, I feel like me again – but those usually only lasts for half-hour spans, before disappearing again; leaving me wanting to close my eyes and rest. Since South Africa only allows for 3 weeks of sick leave, for every 3 years worked for a company, and I’ve taken 10 days of sick leave already, I feel terrible having to take more … which is why I went back to work this past week.

I hung in Monday and Tuesday, took, Wednesday off to rest and try and recover, then worked Thursday and Friday morning. I was sent home before lunch on Friday afternoon because my manager could see I wasn’t myself.

It’s so busy at this time of year and I feel incredibly guilty taking time off work to come home and rest, and do little else but sleep (I think I could manage fairly well on email and do most of my work from my bed throughout the day, but that’s sadly not an option). Then again, on the other hand, it’s my health – and it’s the only health – and life – I have. So I need to start realising what my friends and colleagues keep saying is true, that “work will wait” (but I love my job!). 😦  I need rest, lots of TLC time, and to just let go and let God handle the rest.

Going into week four will be interesting. I’m hopeful my body will kick out this inconvenience and I’ll be feeling more like myself in short order (trust me, if I knew which idiot sneezed or coughed on me with this, I’d kill ’em. Horribly. Think fire ants and honey, or a vat of boiling oil). In reality, only time will tell at this point how fast I’ll recover, but I promise I’ll start posting more regularly here as my energy returns.

Have you ever had glandular fever? What have you done to cope with the symptoms, and how long did you take to feel like your old self again?

Glamour and Gangsters, Murder and Mayhem

Hello darling,

Last year  I decided it was time for me to do something a little more interesting with my friends than the usual “dinner, drinks and dancing” routine that I’ve stuck with for the past 4 birthdays (hey, if it ‘aint broke and all that good stuff…).

Murder Mystery the Girls

Murder Mystery the Boys

Though last years birthday wasn’t a milestone one (unless you count it as one in the general sense of ‘well-done; you survived another year’), it was when I finally realised that my various friendship circles had never met.

And to me, there was no better way to introduce them to each other than by gathering them under one roof, and unite them in a joint quest – to stay alive and solve the mysterious murder of William, a prolific director who died in August 1920.

Murder Mystery (C) Rambling with Rose (67)

How did the idea for a murder mystery come about?

Let it be stated that I’ve loved thrillers and detective stories my entire life – ever since I was little and was introduced to characters like Hercule Poirot, Nancy Drew, The Bobbsey Twins, The Adventures of Hal and Rodger, and later on in television Murder She Wrote, Lie to Me, The Mentalist, NCIS, and more! – In fact, I’ve always thought I’d missed my calling as a kick-ass crime solver. ^_~ So after attending a murder mystery dinner written by my good friend (and 2nd cousin) Wayne R, I realised that this festive approach would be the perfect way to ring in my 28th birthday. We struck an accord (ooh, doesn’t that sound pirate-like) and he dutifully began casting my friends as characters while I furiously trolled Pinterest to collect a sample of Gatsby / 1920s / gangsters and glamour themes, decor and food ideas.

Murder Mystery (C) Rambling with Rose (11)

 What Worked

– Having Wayne play host (and butler) for me, while I got to mingle and chat with everyone (he’s an angel!) – this also allowed me to be completely oblivious to who the killer was, so I could enjoy the fun and suspense of the night alongside my friends

Murder Mystery (C) Wayne Ronne

– Having a little table in the entry hall with props on it to set the mood as soon as people arrived (Gin bottle, hollywood scene board, long cigarette holder, long pearls, feather boa, etc)

– Inviting more than 10 guests – you have more suspects to narrow down and with more people participating, those who aren’t part of  theatre felt less shy when give their fledgling acting a try, and there was always someone new to question

– Planning the party fairly early in the month (rather than having it as a last-minute thing)

– Not having a formal sit down dinner and serving finger food platters (it’s far easier to mingle, with less interruptions / opportunities to fall out of character)

Murder Mystery (C) Rambling with Rose (78)

– Opening bubbly and giving everyone a welcome drink as they arrived (that in itself was very Gatsby-ish). As I’m not made of money I served a sweet , delightful bubbly that cost slightly over R40 a bottle from Pick ‘n Pay.

– Ensuring there was a dedicated drinks area (the bubbly station became the bar after a half-hour)

– Creating a broad theme for the party – Gangsters & Glamour encompassed styles which ranged from the 1920s – 1950s, which ensured everyone could dress up and get into character (as opposed to feeling awkward in the usual jeans & a t-shirt)

– Cupcakes – were a welcome dessert after the game, and were quick and easy to whip out

Murder Mystery (C) Rambling with Rose (61)

What Didn’t Work

– High heels on the outside lawn – should have seen this one coming

– Having everyone amalgamate outside due to the heat of the day, without knowing where the outside lights were for when the sun set – which resulted in hubby going home to fetch a few camping lanterns to light up the outdoors (oops)\

– Putting out extra flowers around the house, which were a nice touch for me, but hidden in the greater scheme of things

Murder Mystery (C) Rambling with Rose (42)

Final thoughts

Needless to say, with champagne flowing, finger foods being passed around, clue cards handed out, and everyone putting aside their nerves and just taking part, the entire night was a smashing success! And though our darling murderess walked away free and clear (pictured below in the red and black dress), everyone had a rip-roaring good time, complete with appropriate Jazz era hits playing softly in the background.

Murder Mystery (C) Rambling with Rose (13)

If you’re interested in having a murder mystery planned for an upcoming event, contact Wayne R (who will have a website with sample scripts coming out mid-March 2015) ^_~

Have you ever thrown a murder mystery party before? What theme did you pick?

A Birthday Summary

Hello lovely,

Yesterday was my birthday, and as of today I’m another year older, and hopefully a little wiser. ^_~

The morning started off with my wonderful husband and mom in law waking me with a cup of coffee and a present that I’ve been dreaming of for months – the Kindle Paperwhite!

Kindle Paperwhite

The little beauty came with a black leather case, and after several joyful squeals of delight (delivered with hugs and kisses), I bid them adieu for their day of work while I sipped coffee and started syncing it (to retrieve my hundreds of book purchases over the months that I’ve been reading on my phone’s Kindle App).

I then opened my other presents which included a gorgeous Gatsby-inspired lace beauty hamper from Oh So Heavenly, a lovely, large red beach blanket, a 2-player solitare word game called Voltaire, a gorgeous golden paisley writing book and pen, and my present to myself: a trench coat (which is an item I’ve been searching for, for the past 3 years!!)

Lace Gatsby beauty hamper

 

Voltaire

Writing book and Pen

Trench 1

Then it was time to help my brother in law with the tiling of dining room, grab a quick shower, and meet a friend for some wine and a catch up chat, before we went to the theater to spend an evening being entertained by the pantomime: Once Upon a Time.com.

Wayne and I

It was a fantastic day all in all, and I feel grateful and blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. ^_^

Hello December

Hello sweetie,

I know I’m a day late with this, but hello December! ^_^

Hello December - pic taken at Grande Roche Hotel (C) Roseanna McBain

 

Now NaNoWriMo is over, along with my need for a fairly quiet environment, we’re finally tiling the house and getting rid of the grey cement floors that we’ve tried to pretty up with rugs. I’m incredibly excited at this change, but along with having new floors put in, we’ve had to pack and move a lot of our furniture around.

Needless to say (though I will anyway), things are a bit higgled-piggledy at the moment – including my little writing corner. Which means within the week I’m going to be moving my comfy writing spot, which I’m now sharing with furniture, out of the dining room and into our spare room – and I’ll post some writing space photo’s soon (I love seeing how others work).

I promise to give Rambling with Rose a lot more love in the upcoming months, so stay tuned for some design changes, as well as a few more categories.  ^_^

What are you up to this December?