Review: Softer Skin and the Scent of Summer with Skin Clays

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I’ll admit it, I love autumn. It’s my favourite season of the year as it falls in the Goldilocks zone of temperatures for me, where I can wear thick socks and boots with sundresses, pair fluffy cardigans with tunics and jeggings, take long walks in the evenings and come home to drink hot chocolate with marshmallows. I even look forward to feeling more awake in the mornings because of the cooler, brisk air that wakes me up. It’s pretty much the perfect season, except for the fact that the summer months of sun and exposure to the elements start to show – most notably on my hands which dry out and flake quite badly, despite slathering on hand cream before bed nightly.

So when the lovely ladies from Skin Clays sent me a summer-scented green clay and lemongrass hand cream to try out and included a sensitive-skin friendly rose geranium body scrub, I was over the moon! ^_^

Skin Clays Hand cream (C) Rambling with Rose

I love sampling all kinds of beauty and skin products and was doubly excited to try this fully South African range after learning that their products are created to beauty without cruelty standards, and are 100% natural (with some great benefits for the skin from the clay and essential oils). ^_^

As I had planned a weekend anniversary getaway in Elgin, I decided to test out the body scrub on hubby and myself, and after some mild persuasion on my part, he too partook in trying out the sandy-pink clay before washing as normal in the shower.

Skin Clays Body Scrub (C) Rambling with Rose

Though he wasn’t a fan of the texture (but he did admit he liked the smell) I can say I liked it – as you feel squeaky clean after using it – and that’s before applying your body wash as normal. The soft, soothing smell of rose geranium added a lovely, luxurious touch to my morning and evening bathing rituals, and the scent lingers for ages afterwards. The only thing I can say I was mildly surprised at was that once wet the clay (as it does in nature), took a bit more effort to apply and then wash off than I’d first imagined, though once you wash it off,  your skin does feel quite toned and taut.

Skin Clays Hand Cream using (C) Rambling with Rose

The hand cream I adore and it fits perfectly into the pocket of my bag to tote around with me during the day. Not only is the refreshing lemon grass scent a pick-me-up when I’m feeling lethargic, but I can honestly say that my hands have never looked this good after a summer of sunshine and outdoor activities. The skin is soft, my cuticles aren’t flaky, and there’s not even a hint of a hangnail in sight (which given the time of year is a miracle in itself).

All in all, these are products I can recommend whole-heartedly as they leave you with softer skin, and to me, smell like lazy summer days outdoors in the country.

Skin Clays Review (C) Rambling with Rose  (14)

I’ll admit, I’m waiting till payday to order the Hydrating Rose Clay Skin Cream online, as the small sample of it I received was a rich, luxurious, creamy delight, and went on like a dream! I cannot wait to get a full-sized product to add it to my autumn beauty arsenal. ^_^

You can check out the Skin Clays Facebook page to stay up to date and keep an eye out for specials, holistic and seasonal tips. Also, pop along to Wellness Warehouse in Kloof Street, Cape Town later today to chat to Karen, the lovely Skin Clays owner, otherwise, pop in to check out the full Skin Clay products and ranges – available in-store year-round.

 

Disclaimer: The full-sized products featured in this post were sponsored by Skin Clays in exchange for an honest review. 

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Country Anniversary: Breakfast at Peregrine Farm Stall

 

Heeader Country Anniversary Breakfast at Peregrine Farm Stall 1 (C) Rambling with Rose - Copy

Hello lovelies,

If you’ve noticed I’ve been rather  absent around here lately it’s because I’ve been away celebrating my 4-year anniversary in the nearby valley of Elgin.

It was a very special time, so picture if you will: autumn days, winelands flowing out over hills and into valleys, country-scented air (that smelled of pine forests, orchards, freshly churned dirt, and country cuisine), shaded green farmland and cute animals, coupled with warm sunshine and crisp, cold evenings with clear skies.

Naturally, our stay at Old Mac Daddy in the middle of all of this was a dream come true. ^_^

So since I’ve been gone a while, I’m going to show, rather than tell, you what we’ve been up to – starting with our breakfast at Red Tractor Café  (found within Peregrine Farm Stall, in Grabouw).

Though we don’t visit often, the attached café restaurant at Peregrine Farm Stall is our go-to first choice whenever we have to head over the ‘berg.

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The rebuilt restaurant is very airy and free-flowing (and done, we think, in a style inspired by Brinny Breeze, the restaurant at Old Mac Daddy). With friendly staff, hearty food, and an easy-to-read blackboard for those seeking takeaways, we’re happy to report that the food is divine and oh-so-fresh! ^_^

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After sating ourselves and doing a quick trip through the shop to get some snacks, we walked the grounds and viewed the mini Duncan Roses nursery before setting off to find Old Mac Daddy (I cannot wait to show you pics of this beautiful spot!) ^_^

Our Anniversary at Old Mac Daddy

Hello lovelies,

Wow – what a stunning anniversary we had in Elgin at Old Mac Daddy! It was characterised by crisp mornings followed by warm, sunshine-filled days that were spent exploring the Elgin area – with it’s smooth wines and hard cheeses, as well as plenty of fresh organic foods and friendly locals.

I loved heading out to explore the surrounding countryside, but I also loved returning to our cosy caravan each evening and sitting out on the deck under a canopy of sparkling stars. Seriously, if you love star gazing then this is one of the best spots to be at … plus the odd nightcap at Brinny Breeze was a welcome decadent treat.

So in short, I can say that our time in this beautiful little valley was as perfect as could be hoped for. Want to have a peek at how we spent our anniversary? Check out the pics below! ^_^

Old Mac Daddy (C) Rambling with Rose (edit 1)

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Charles Fox (they do gorgeous MCC tastings)

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Winters Drift Winery (so awesome – plus it’s on a train platform <3)

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South Hill

South Hill (C) Rambling with Rose (2).jpgSouth Hill (C) Rambling with Rose (8).jpgSouth Hill (C) Rambling with Rose (7).jpgIf you’re ever in this part of the world, do stop in and make yourself at home – it’s one of my personal favourite escapes and it’s literally just outside of Cape Town. There are so many gorgeous wineries and restaurants in the area to check out  (ya’ll know I’m a secret foodie, right?) and plenty of fun to be had for families with kids too!

Have you ever been to Old Mac Daddy? Which trailer did you stay in?

We’re heading to Old Mac Daddy’s – a luxurious farm stay in the woods

Hi lovelies,
Having stayed at the Daddy Long Legs Hotel in Cape Town the eve before my wedding (thanks to my stunning sister Barbara), I remember being astonished by the artistically decorated rooms, perfect bedding, lovely views and friendly service – as well as the seemingly endless glasses of Method Cap Classique that were gleefully imbibed from the chic downstairs bar.My bridesmaids and I enjoyed every aspect of the hotel, from sipping bubbly on the terrace overlooking the lively city nightlife to curling up under a big fluffy duvet in a room that had decorations that were out of this world. It’s quite understandable that this venue has a very special place in my memories.It’s where I woke up a good 2 hours before my alarm clock on my wedding day, and trying to quell the butterflies in my stomach, browsed the various medical decor about the room before grabbing a shower. It’s where the first quiet knock on my door for the day announced the arrival of my makeup artist, aunty and mum. It’s where my pristine, sparkly wedding dress and shoes were revealed and I was dressed, as those nearest and dearest to me gave me teary hugs and kisses. It’s where my final coffee as a single lady was sipped, and it’s where my father and I had a quiet chat in a small hallway alcove, before we made our way to the Castle and my betrothed.

Finding out that the Daddy Long Legs hotel had a second accommodation that was hidden in a pine forest, not even an hour outside of Cape Town, meant that a stay at Old Mac Daddy has been on my books for a long while – though the timing has just never been right.

With hubby and I celebrating our 4-year anniversary this year, a cosy getaway close to Cape Town was what we were seeking and the search for a perfect accommodation began – from looking at seaside getaways, country and wineland stays, small town houses, and even a center city apartments, the one thing we had agreed on was that we needed somewhere serene.

When a blog on Old Mac Daddy caught my eye, all those happy memories from a night at the Daddy Long Legs hotel sprang to mind, and it was quickly decided that this beautiful haven in the country would be our chosen anniversary venue. Though, since they’re an incredibly popular escape I was half-terrified that my newly imagined getaway plans would be declined from a lack of availability. So just try and imagine the goofy grin that graced my face when I received a confirmation from them, a scant half hour after my enquiry for the Mills & Boon Airstream trailer, along with a polite query as to whether we’d like a massage!! ^_^

I’m absolutely over the moon as this caravan practically screams romance and seclusion.

So stay tuned everyone, pics and a blog will follow! ^_~

Writing Wednesday – Writing Blues

Quote and pic (C) Rambling with Rose

The above quote is sitting on my laptop and is a promise I made to myself at the beginning of the year.

Though it’s been a while since a post has gone up here, I can say that I’ve been writing daily in other forms and spheres of life. And though I can make excuses aplenty for why it’s taken me this long to get a post up, I won’t. I’ll rather write a full update later on this week to explain what I have (and haven’t) been doing recently.

Personal stuff aside, today’s Writing Wednesday post is to remind you, dear reader, to be gentle with yourself and your failures – and to stop holding yourself back.

Your harshest critics aren’t always out there in the world, and you’ll find that far more often they’re sitting in your head and holding you captive; saying you’ll never be good enough, that you don’t have enough time, that what you’ve done is under par and you should quit while you’re ahead, that you’re making a fool of yourself and no one will ever take you seriously. That you’re wasting your time and energy on something you’ll never complete anyway.

The writing blues will strike and though these thoughts are persuasive, it’s high time for you to ignore them, hard though it may be.

Instead, keep at it!

Even if that post or chapter you’ve planned hasn’t gone further than a scrawl on a scrap of paper, or come drifting back to you as a thought that keeps returning until you finally take notice of it, just relax. You’ve got this!

Carry on doing whatever project you’re stuck on, regardless of what life (and circumstances) throw at you, sometimes just by starting again, you’ll find you make time where you previously thought you had none. Commitments to yourself are as important to honour as commitments to others.

If time isn’t an issue for you, and instead you’re finding it hard to stay motivated, then find a writing group to join, a forum you can find inspiration within, a blogger or writer who encourages you to persist (either one you know personally, or someone you admire who compels you to go for your dreams). Go for a walk, take up a hobby, troll Pinterest, re-read your favourite novels, paint, dance, draw, act. Do something that will shake you up again and inspire you and give you back your enthusiasm!

After all, if you never try, or do and then give up half way, you’ll never succeed – and good or bad, life and writing is what you make of it.

Now go out there and conquer that next page (or project)! ^_^

Sauntering around sand dunes and spotting whales at De Hoop Nature Reserve


Main pic De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose

Hi there lovelies,

Have you ever just wanted to run away and escape? To explore beautiful scenery and marvel at the wonders of nature far from the daily grind? I’ve had that feeling recently, an ache to go exploring and simply be.

Which is why being whisked away to De Hoop Nature Reserve was the best thing I could’ve imagined! I said goodbye to city life, and bid farewell to responsibility for a little while as the Mr and I spent a weekend in utter paradise with some dear friends. Be warned that the road in to De Hoop is incredibly bumpy (and you feel a tad like 007’s famous drink at the end of it).

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After settling in and sunscreening up, our group got to scramble around sand dunes, explore walking trails and beautiful flora, spot whales breaching and calves playing while we picnicked near the shoreline, before dashing merrily around algae-stained caverns at low-tide to watch sea anemones sway gently in underwater currents.

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Letting the soft sand cling to our feet and trickle between our toes as the wind whipped our hair about was magic in it’s purest form before we headed back to De Opstal to light an evening braai fire.

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Trading stories and laughter over a bottle of wine as barn swallows flitted about at sunset; replaced by bats after dark along with the call of a baboon troop, while a sea of stars sparkle above us meant I just had to use my stargazing app and discover the constellations both above (and below) where we were.

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (354)

The next day we took a bit of a drive and saw buck of all kinds, along with zebra with calves, the odd ostrich, and passed other weekenders riding bikes, which naturally meant we had to take a turn too.

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De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (453)

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I hate to admit it, but I’ve never actually learnt to ride before, so while our friends merrily followed along one of the bike pathways, hubby got to coach me for just under 2 hours on how to ride – and I was over the moon when I finally stayed on my two-wheeled transport for over 3 minutes (before kissing the dirt yet again … I’m almost certain I saw a buck shake it’s head at me when that happened). Ah well, maybe one day I’ll get to try again and master riding a bike. After that, to somewhat soothe my spirits, we wandered the gift shop and restaurant, and I photographed the ruins of the old restaurant which burnt down very carefully. From the doorway. Of course. 😉

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De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (378)

If you ever get the chance to go here, do take it! Because spending time in this coastal paradise and unique biome does a world of good for your soul.

Have you ever gone to De Hoop and done a stargazing experience or marine walk? I’m tempted to do one of the two next time I go. ^_^

Hello March

Happy March lovely!

Hello March (C) Rambling with Rose

Can you believe we’re already three months into the new year? Time certainly seems to fly these days, so don’t forget to take some time out for yourself  to just breathe, if you’ve spent the past two months running around.

Where I stay, March heralds in Autumn and the changing leaves, cooler weather, coats and tights, hot chocolate, starlit skies, cosy blankets, crackling fires, and the last chance to make the most of the outdoors before the winter rains strike.

Which is why March to me is a time of quiet serenity and introversion, and is usually when I take some time to myself to reflect on where I am, where I’m going and what I need to do to get there. So long forest and beach walks followed by some quiet time at home to write are what I’ve got planned for the coming days.

As the start of autumn is one of introspection, and since that I’ve been playing around with PicMonkey, I thought I’d share a few holiday snapshots with you that I’ve added some inspiring quotes to (and to pat myself on the back a bit, the second pic below is my own personal quote and current mantra):

Be a reflection (C) Rambling with RoseCultivate a sense of serenity wherever you go (C) Rambling with RoseFocus on why it will work (C) Rambling with RoseIf you want to fly (C) Rambling with RoseThe voice of the sea speaks to the soul  (C) Rambling with RoseI know my own value - agent Peggy Carter (C) Rambling with RoseAwesome husband and quote (C) Rambling with Rose

If the person above looks familiar, it’s because it’s my awesome hubby – he models well, doesn’t he? ^_^

I hope you have a stunning, inspiring and serene day further – and I’d love it if you take 30 seconds to comment and tell me which quote (or pic) you liked best.