Longing for London

London has this way of burrowing into your heart and setting deep roots into your soul that forever stay intertwined into your being. Perhaps my thought sounds dramatic, but I can truly say that this is the way I feel about the city, a place that now seems to be built into my every fibre and DNA. I might be a deep thinker or even overly sentimental, but I know I'm not alone in my true love affair with a place that is so powerful in its being. It's something that is difficult to explain, something that has to be experienced, understood... lived. 

The tourist attractions are varied and wonderful, but the true heartbeat of the city lives in the moments and places experienced when you least expect it. It's in an encounter with a stranger, a warm Starbucks on a cold morning, the sound of your favourite song playing on your earphones as you walk the streets. It's in seeing the view from Waterloo Bridge, or darting into a side street only to discover a beautiful boutique or secret garden. My suggestion is to explore, walk and walk, then walk some more. Immerse yourself in London's life, glance up at Big Ben, feel the history that surrounds you, find your new favourite coffee shop and opt for a little something different. 

I was honoured to write a few quotes about London for Webjet's blog - it was easy, my thoughts and love poured out onto a page. Take a look at the post and share in my adoration. In addition here are a few of my favourite London photos taken while I lived there or on holiday. Each of these photos capture a different aspect of London extraordinaire.

My beloved Goldershill Park

Hampstead Heath

Brick Lane

Creative Business Workshop: August 2015

Last week I hosted one of my Creative Business Workshops to a room full of eager, creative entrepreneurs. The setup and planning is always one of my favourite aspects, which includes selecting brands to work with and choosing giveaway prizes. There is nothing better than spoiling the attendees with a few useful tools to help them along their entrepreneurial journey.

I snapped a few quick photos on the day to share the behind the scenes with you, along with a few of the special details. This time round I worked with m.studio, Bouwer Flowers and Smith's Bakeshop - mainly.

One of the giveaways included a MollieMakes magazine, a creative business consulting session and a copy of Your Business. Look out for my opinion and quotes in the latest August/September issue.

If you would like to see more photos then search for the hash tag #nvdmlearns on Instagram - several of the lovely ladies shared their experience.

I'll announce the next date asap or feel free to email me in the meantime.

Jet, Hand Luggage Only & McDonalds

At the end of August I headed to Joburg with Jet - who invited me to their summer preview & media event. I often have to decline blogging related trips as my consulting work and clients have to come first and I am often booked in advance. However, in this case I decided to join in on the fun and accepted the lovely invite. The trip was a really fast one - less than 24 hours to be exact. I left Durban around 2pm after a quick airport lunch and magazine browsing session and arrived in Joburg, together with a few cool Durban people - including Brett Robson and Bongani Mtolo. We were taken to our guesthouse (after being in traffic for ages - obviously) and dashed to get ready. I did take a few moments to admire my beautiful room and must say I was very excited to see the L'Occitane toiletries in the bathroom (hooray). After grabbing a pair of high heels, throwing out most of my luggage on the bed (in the rush) and donning some bright lippy... it was time to head to Cresta where the event was hosted. 
The evening was such fun - the Durban creatives stuck together and we got to know each other a bit better, which was lovely as I haven't really chatted to either Brett or Bongani before. I also bumped into a few 'internet friends' like Amy Scheepers and the glowing Mrs Rogero who I met at long last. There were cocktails, snacks and sparkling wine paired with a fashion show. The highlight of the night was winning the grand prize of two domestic flights from Mango. Wow! We also browsed the new summer items and got to do some shopping. On our way back to the guesthouse we did make an emergency McDonalds stop and I'm happy to report that fashionistas do eat (after all). Before we knew it - we had to get up at the crack of dawn (the stars were still out*) and head back to the airport. The early start was totally worth it though. A change of scenery albeit brief can be quite inspiring.

I managed to take only hand luggage - I know that would seem like the obvious choice, but I am a notorious 'over-packer' and was quite proud that I managed to put it all in one, small carry on. The zips were strained and the wheels groaned a little, but off I went - with a few essentials and favourites in tow. I found this pretty Eiffel Tower mirror for a steal at Forever21 and it's great for travel and touching up  make-up on the go. The Chanel lippy is a must to add a touch of colour after a long day. I traded my bigger Country Road purse in for a small compact zippy pouch from Zana... saved heaps of space and so much lighter too.

It was really nice to get to know Brett a bit better and we had a good old chat about blogging in South Africa. Her 'Obviously' tee will be in Jet stores soon. Shashi Naidoo was one of the models at the fashion show, which was hosted by the super cool and talented Kathlego Maboe. I bought a beautiful black and white fitted jacket which is the perfect wardrobe staple. It was only R169.99 and it's called 'Boss Girl' (it's fashion fate). The view on the way to the airport was a site to behold - truly incredible Joburg (you showoff). I also shared the trip highlights via Snapchat (nadiavdmescht) which was quite fun, but such a battery drainer!

A huge thanks to the lovely Jet team for the awesome invite and incredible hospitality. I had an amazing time.

Cape Town - August Trip

Daniel and I headed to Cape Town earlier in August for a bit of fun paired with work. Despite the freezing weather (brrrrrrrr) we had a great time. I was also lucky enough to celebrate my birthday while there and had an awesome day with family and my best friend. On the day we headed to Treat Cafe - a personal favourite (who stock The Velvet Cake Co) and I was so tempted by their cake tasting menu. In the end we settled for lemon meringue which turned out to be incredibly delicious (as expected). In the evening we opted for Tashas in Canal Walk and once again we enjoyed an amazing meal. I was so spoilt by my in-laws and Cape Town friends. It was different to have a birthday away from home, but I feel like I got to celebrate for longer. The exciting part was my gift from Daniel and my friend Claire - which was  Filofax Saffiano all the way from London / I'll be sure to post about it. I also got some lovely Typo stationery, flowers and a treat or two from Rifle Paper Co. In my element!

In between the cake eating I did manage some work and loved meeting several Cape Town creatives for consults. It's really inspiring to be able to work in another city and assist far and wide. I hosted the sessions at Brooker and Waller and just look at that scrumptious scone I snacked on.

In Good Company was a must-visit and I always look forward to popping in to spot what's new. I adore all the ban.do and Kate Spade items (Washi book shown above is from there)! Eeeek - I'm in love! It was with great excitement that I visited the Watershed - the space has such an international feel to it - while still being focused on our wonderful local talent. Over and above that there was so much else that we managed to do, which included a trip to The Village Idiot, A private wine tasting and a visit to my favourite shop - Cape Arts and Crafts (Canal Walk). In terms of a holiday - there wasn't much rest, but who can complain when it's filled with so many exciting things. I really suggest checking out all of the above places - if you haven't already. Cape Town is a treasure trove of local coolness! I shared a few other snaps via my Instagram - on my business account and personal.

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