Art & Soul Creative Retreat 17th - 18th November 2018 in Creighton, KZN

2Day1Night Art & Soul Retreat with Terry Angelos & Roxy Hutton in Creighton KZN_Artboard 3.png

Hosting retreats has been something on my heart for years and years, and when Farmboy and I got married here on the farm all those years ago, I just knew that the farm would make the perfect place. After all the renovations we just completed at Bedford (click here to see our beautiful self catering guesthouse), it has become the perfect setting to finally make my dreams of hosting retreats come true.

Here are some photos of Bedford…

And now onto the exciting news! I’m hosting my first every retreats with Durban based artist Terry Angelos, whom I met last year while attending one her art therapy workshops. I then bumped into her at our local Creighton Aloe Festival and I mentioned that we had just completed renovations at Bedford and then the topic of hosting a retreat came up.

The rest as they say, is history!

The 2Day1Night retreat is happening from Saturday 17th November to Sunday 18th November and will be here on Bedford Farm in Creighton. We still have a couple of spaces open if you’d like to book your spot!

Here’s a little more of what’s on offer during the 2 day 1 night stay:

art retreat creigthon durban kzn south africa


Saturday
Arrive anytime during the morning from 9am
🌿11am - art session / introduction and techniques for relaxing through art & art journaling
🌿1pm - lunch & free time
🌿3pm - art session - aloes and country botanicals
🌿5.60/6pm gin sundowners (I’ll be serving my famous Lavender & Grapefruit Gin Cocktail!)
🌿7.30/8pm - Dinner

Sunday
🌿9am - 10am picnic brunch
🌿10am - 12pm “Pleinair” painting - country landscapes
🌿12pm - free time. You are welcome to explore the area, find a lovely lunch spot on your way home or chill at the farmhouse till you are ready to leave.
Depart farmhouse by 3pm.

If you’re looking for a break away from reality and the opportunity to be creative in a beautiful countryside setting, this retreat is just for you.

art retreat durban creighton south africa

Cost: R1850pp including all meals, accommodation and art supplies.

Rooms are sharing (private rooms are available at R200 extra) and there is also the option of spending the Friday night here (an extra R350pp) if you’d like to extend your stay.

Message or comment below with your email address or email terry directly to book your spot today: terryangelosart@gmail.com

Terry and I are so excited to host this retreat, and I’m sure it will be the first of many to come!

Lemon Tree Cafe in Underberg...1 year later on and still the best hot chocolate in the land!

LemonTree Cafe Underberg Best Hot chocolate in south africa_Artboard 3.png

This time last year, there was an epic snowfall in the Drakensberg. Farmboy and I, along with a lovely group of friends, went off in search of a patch or two of fluffy whiteness. While we didn't qiote get close enough to it to be able to build a snowman (unlike the CRAZY blizzards & snowfalls we experienced while living in South Korea) we still had a wonderful day enjoying a delicious hot chocolate (the best I've ever had! And I've drunken a LOT of hot chocolate in my time) and a really good meal at the Lemon Tree in Underberg.

After stuffing our faces silly, we took a drive up Sani Pass (well, as close to the top of Sani as we could get without our passports) and had coffee in blue tin mugs, with a view of the snow.

It was wonderful!

Oh, and I had a huge tummy at the time! It's always fun looking back at my bump now that my little girl is here with us. I can't believe a year has come and gone already. Here's to the next year!

Watercolour Heart - Fine Art, Illustration & Design {A creative Business Feature}

Although I have yet to meet Jess in real life, I feel like we are old friends. This is one of my absolute favourite things about blogging & social media, and although it may seem strange to older members of my family, I think it's just wonderful.  

Watercolour Heart Fine Art Illustration & Design in Cape Town South Africa
Watercolour Heart Fine Art Illustration Design in Cape Town

Jess, pictured above looking so lovely in her recently updated studio space, is the beauty and brains (as well as the illustrator & designer) behind Watercolour Heart. Jess specialises in wedding stationery design, custom illustration & design projects, small business branding & personalised gifting. The latter of these is really showcased with the images I'm sharing with you today.

To celebrate the launch of her own, newly updated branding, Jess sent out beautiful packages to business owners who have inspired her in her own business journey. What a wonderful surprise to be a recipient of a beautifully put together collection of stationery goodies.

If my package is anything to go by, I can only imagine that the personalised gifting service Jess offers will wow and delight each and every person lucky enough to receive a gift put together by Watercolour Heart.

Thank you Jess for the incredibly thoughtful note that accompanied my package, your words meant more to me than I can say.

You can find Watercolour Heart in the following places

#FromFarmToTable - Homemade Baby food in Collaboration with Tommee Tippee

#FromFarmToTable Homemade Baby Food with Tommee Tippee -01-01.png

If you've been following me for a little while now, you might have seen my previous posts here on the blog and on Instagram where I’ve been sharing the beginning of our #EverlyStartsSolids journey.  My little girl is now 6 months old, and we are well into the swing of things when it comes to weaning her onto real food. I'm so excited to share this post with you, showing you how easy it is to make your own baby food, ensuring you avoid all those nasty additives and preservatives that are in store bought purees.

Although we are using fresh veggies from our own little veggie garden, you can still make delicious and nutritious meals for your little ones using store bought fruit & veg. 

EverlyStartsSolids from Farm to Table Starting Solids with a Baby (27 of 117).jpg

Our veggie garden goes through a lot of ups and downs. Sometimes it looks amazing and is bountiful, and other times I spend my life picking off the millions of snails that find their way onto anything and everything that grows. Plus there's the constant battle with the weeds. But even though it takes a bit of work, there's nothing quite like the feeling of picking your own homegrown vegetables, and eating them fresh from the garden.

Having our own veggie garden has also inspired me to make all my own first meals for Everly. We live out in the middle of nowhere, and so it's pretty much impossible to pop to the shops and stock up on ingredients. But I'm really not going to complain, when these are the views we look out on every day...

EverlyStartsSolids from Farm to Table Starting Solids with a Baby (110 of 117).jpg

Today I want to share with you one of the recipes from Meg Faure's Weaning Sense recipe book. This is her Rainbow Veg Mash, and is a really lovely 'base' to start with, and then to add other more exciting flavours to once your little one is used to it. So far I've added chicken stock, liver and cream cheese to it, and Everly has loved it! The recipe makes about three baby cup fulls which you can freeze easily for future use.

I've really been liking the Tommee Tippee Explora Freezer pots for freezing, as they have a very clever rubber base that allows you to ‘pop’ out the frozen food easily. They are also dishwasher, microwave & steriliser safe, although I prefer to heat up Everly’s food using hot water as I’m not a huge fan of the microwave. I also love the Essentials food pots (the pink see-through pots pictured below with the pinks lids) for storing left over food, and particularly for heating up her meals. They stack beautifully, taking up less space in your freezer, and are ideal for traveling too. Also, as they are see-through, you can easily tell what food is inside. This is particularly helpful if you are like me, and like to make & freeze in bulk. You can tell at a quick glance whether it’s butternut or beetroot, and grab what you need.

EverlyStartsSolids Colaboration with TommeeTippee CGScreative (57 of 90).jpg

When it comes to actually steaming & blending baby food, I can't get over just how easy it is to do with the Steamer Blender machine from Tommee Tippee. I was sent over one to try, and at first I thought it to be a bit of an extravagance. I mean, can't you just use a pot and then transfer everything to another bowl and blend using a hand blender or blending machine? Well, read on friends!

Now, while you can just use any old pot you have at home to steam and then blend with another device, the Steamer Blender just makes things sooooooo easy. It's as simple as; chop veggies, pop into the jug, press some buttons and voila, a perfectly steamed & blended meal…ready to be eaten (or frozen for later).

When steaming veggies, it's really easy to forget that a lot of the goodness stays behind in the water. With this machine, the water stays in the jug, and then is used to blend the mixture. This way, all the goodness goes right back into the meal. And if you are already past the first few weeks of starting solids with your little one, you'll be happy to know that you can set the amount of 'blending' you'd like. You can make really smooth purees for the beginning stages of your solid food journey, or you can leave it chunkier as baby progresses to more textured food. Or you can skip the blending stage altogether…there are so many different options. I have to say this gadget really does make life simpler.

I've even been known to whip up a good couple of batches of sweet potato mash for Farmboy and myself, so believe me when I say you really will get a lot of use out of the Steamer Blender, even as baby gets older.

I have been freezing extra 'single' food into ice trays (ice cubes are the perfect size for Everly's first meals as she isn't eating that much just yet). Then I go shopping in the freezer, picking out a few ice cube combinations and then pop them into a cup to defrost. You can also take the frozen cubes out the night before and put them in the fridge to defrost overnight if you're the sort of person who remembers to do that. I always plan on doing that and then forget!

Another huge bonus when it comes to the Steamer Blender machine is how easy it is to clean. I know not everyone is as crazy about doing the dishes as I am (for realsies, I genuinely find doing the dishes to be relaxing and FAR prefer it to cooking!). So for those moms or dads out there who despise doing the dishes, this piece of tech is going to change your life! There aren't a million and one pots and pans and spoons. It's one jug that is easy to rinse clean, and then can be popped into the dishwasher if you're feeling really lazy. Otherwise it's a quick rinse in hot soapy water and then you're good to go!

Want to see the steamer blender in action? We made a fun little video showcasing our meal prep and would love to share it with you. You’ll also be able to see our menagerie of animals, in particular, #AmberTheGinger & #ShadowTheJindo. 

We hope you enjoyed the little glimpse into our lives here on the family dairy farm. I've got lots more video ideas (including a few on cloth nappies!) which I'm going to be putting up on my youtube channel soon. Let me know in the comments below if there's anything in particular you'd like me to make a video about. 

I post a lot of behind the scenes photos & videos over on Instagram Stories, so make sure you're following me over there too. Please do drop me a message and say hi, I love making new friends! 

Interested in finding our more about other Tommee Tippee products? The brand is very active on Facebook and have just launched their South African Instagram Account for you to connect with them and ask any questions you might have.

This post is sponsored by Tommee Tippee but all thoughts & views are honest and my own. 

The #CGScreative February Photo Challenge - an easy & fun way to grow your Instagram account

The #CGScreative February Photo Challenge - an easy & fun way to grow your Instagram account

There is no time like the present to grow your Instagram following, and I'm going to make it really easy for you! 

Introducing the CGScreative 30 Day Instagram Photo Challenge

This is the third challenge I have hosted over on Instagram, and I am delighted to invite you to join in the challenge for the month of August.

If you're wanting to learn tips on how to build a more cohesive feed, connect with like minded people and ultimately grow your Instagram following and influence, then you are definitely in the right place!

Read More

Farm Foraged Flowers - foraging for flowers with The Holloway Shop

Farm Foraged Flowers with Storm Ross of The Holloway Shop Photos by Roxy Hutton of CGScreative & CityGirlSearching_Artboard 3.png

A few months back my friend Storm (of The Holloway Shop in Cape Town) came to visit us here on the farm.

We spent a wonderful few days catching up, drinking tea, eating delicious homemade meals and delicacies that Storm whipped up from our veggie garden, and most notably, I photographed Storm doing what she does best...forage for flowers and create the most beautiful floral arrangements out of thin air. Click here to see what the warm winter afternoon light looks like on our farm,

Here are some photographs of her working her magic with flowers and fruit and leaves she collected around my home.

Enjoy!

If you're based in Cape Town and looking for a florist, I can't recommend Storm more highly enough. She is incredible talented when it comes to flowers and is so creative with her unique designs, she is in a league of her own. Here are some photos of bouquets she whipped up for her portrait shoot last year:

#KZNbloggers Meetup - August 2017

#KZNbloggers Meetup in Durban Photos by Roxy Hutton of CGScreative & CityGirlSearching-02.png

Last month I attended the #KZNbloggers meetup which was held at I Want My Coffee in Umhalanga. The venue itself was delightful and we were greeted with a wonderful selection of eats and drinks.

I Want My Coffee is situated just opposite Chris Saunders Park, which is just round the corner from Gateway Shopping Centre. I was so happy I arrived early because this meant I was able to spend some time admiring the decor and awesome little quotes punctuating the wall space. It was the perfect venue for our meet-up, and I can highly recommend their hot chocolate!

I had booked tickets for both myself and my lovely fellow photographer & blogger friend Julie (of Julia Jane Photography & Design) who you can see looking cute with the glass of 'wine' & coffee below. I also was able to meet Claire (from the blog Design By Claire) in person after having known each other for many a year online.

The line of speakers included Verushka from SpiceGoddess (who spoke about her blogging journey and what she wished she knew when she started blogging and whom I've known 'digitally' for years and so it was soooo nice to finally connect in person);  Nelisiwe from Conversation Lab (who spoke about how influencers are identified for brand campaigns); we had a spokesperson from MUD (Make-Up Designatory) sharing more about the brand and finally Ryan from Rain Africa.

Rain Africa had a beautiful display of some giveaway items. I loved their use of natural elements (like the pine cones you can see in the pictures below):

I loved what Susan from Goddess  has said about these meet-ups: "A bloggers’ meet-up is not so much about the goodie bag (but that sure is nice too!) as it is about stepping out of your own space. A meet-up offers you the opportunity to meet other bloggers, meet PR people and experience brands". While goodie bags are a lovely extra, the entire experience of meeting new people and learning from one another is what makes an event like this so special.

On the note of the goodie bag, here are some close up shots of all of the amazing things we were all gifted with.  I can't wait to start using all of these amazing products! 

Rain Africa

 


Origin Stationery

Personalised stationery from Origin Stationery (I LOVE how Origin went out of their way to ensure I got a package of pretty pink items!)






A huge thank you to Susan from Goddess who was our host and who did such a fantastic job bringing us all together and organising the event. I so enjoyed my time at the meet-up, especially meeting new (and old!) bloggers and creatives. I will most definitely be attending the next one!

If you want to attend the next #KZNbloggers meet-up, make sure to keep an eye on their Facebook page by clicking here. If you're not in Durban, don't worry!

These blogging meet-ups also took place this year in:

I'm so looking forward to the next one here in Durban!

Natal Midlands - Art Therapy Class with Terry Angelos

Natal Midlands - Art Therapy Class with Terry Angelos

Just before wrapping up the end of 2016, I spent a most wonderful morning attending an art therapy class hosted by Durban based artist extraordinaire, Terry Angelos.

Terry uses nature as her inspiration, and creates the most beautiful works of art. She also owns the clothing store, Anthology, which is in the Windermere Shopping Centre in Durban.

Terry has just started doing art therapy classes here in Natal, hosting one in Durban earlier last year, and then finishing off with her second one for those of us who stay closer to the Natal Midlands. The class was all about watercolour painting and aimed at beginners (thank goodness!). Most of us hadn't spent much painting before, and Terry really showed us that anyone can paint and there really is no secret to it all. It's all about having fun and putting paint to paper.

Read More

The Ultimate South African Christmas Gift Guide - everything you need to know about keeping it local this festive season

The Ultimate South African Christmas Gift Guide - everything you need to know about keeping it local this festive season

Christmas is right around the corner (6 weeks away to be exact!) and to help you beat the stress and overwhelm that often takes over when it comes to buying gifts, I've put together the following gift guide.

All of these wonderful gifts are from local South Africans and buying them means you are supporting the small business trade. I love the idea of supporting small business owners, because with each gift bought for your loved ones, you are enabling that business owner do the same for their family...it's a win-win situation.

I've started the guide with gift ideas for the special ladies in your life, followed by a selection of ideas for men, and ending off with loads and loads of inspiration for the little ones.

Please do feel free to share this post with all your friends and family, and anyone else you can think of who may need a little help finding the perfect Christmas present this year.

This is a VERY image heavy post, so you might want to go put the kettle on and make yourself a warm cup of something while you wait for all the images to load. In the mean time, make sure you bookmark this post so you can come back to it if you need to.

Happy Shopping!

x

Read More

PrettyPopUp event - Cape Town

PrettyPopUp event - Cape Town

A few weeks ago I held my first ever pop up event in Cape Town as a meet and greet to celebrate the pre-launch of my the CGScreative. 

Although I am based near Pietermaritzburg, I have a lot of readers in Cape Town whom I was very excited to meet up with in person. 

These #PrettyPopUp events are a way of sharing more of the CGScreative brand with people, and are a wonderful way to connect in person, while building relationships & connections outside of the online world.

Read More

The Holloway Shop - Floral Designs, Beautiful Bouquets and Foraging for flowers in Cape Town

The Holloway Shop - Floral Designs, Beautiful Bouquets and Foraging for flowers in Cape Town

I met Storm in Korea in 2013 while we were both teaching English in small towns not far from one another. We instantly became friends, not just because we are both South African (South Africans abroad tend to unintentionally seek each other out and end up forming these strange South African friendships circles, no matter how many other different nationalities we spend time with) and this was exactly what happened with us.

We worked on so many wonderful styled shoots together, with her as florist and stylist, and me as photographer (click here to see some of them) and I was very sad when she left Korea at the end of her contract. Now that we are all back in the same country again, the floral photograph can continue! Storm has started her own business (The Holloway Shop) creating and selling custom floral arrangements in Cape Town.

Of course, I couldn't wait to follow her around with my camera and capture all the beautiful things she does.

Read More

THE #CGSCREATIVE August PHOTO CHALLENGE - AN EASY & FUN WAY TO GROW YOUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT

THE #CGSCREATIVE August PHOTO CHALLENGE - AN EASY & FUN WAY TO GROW YOUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT

There is no time like the present to grow your Instagram following, and I'm going to make it really easy for you! 

Introducing the CGScreative 30 Day Instagram Photo Challenge

This is the third challenge I have hosted over on Instagram, and I am delighted to invite you to join in the challenge for the month of August.

If you're wanting to learn tips on how to build a more cohesive feed, connect with like minded people and ultimately grow your Instagram following and influence, then you are definitely in the right place!

Read More

The #CGScreative June Photo Challenge - An Easy & Fun way to grow your Instagram Account

The #CGScreative June Photo Challenge - An Easy & Fun way to grow your Instagram Account

Hi friend!

Today I'm so excited to tell you all about the latest CGScreative Photo Challenge that is happening over on Instagram for the month of June. You may remember the first photo challenge I did in April this year (which was a huge success with over 1200 submissions from people all over the world!). I received so many emails from the CGScreative community asking me if there would be another one, and so I am delighted to give a big resounding YES to that question! 

First, a little bit more on the purpose of this challenge: 

Instagram is all about ENGAGEMENT, it always has been and always will be. A lot of people have gotten rather upset about the algorithm changes that have been slowly rolling out since April, but I want to tell you it's not all bad news! 

Instagram now aims to show us the content it thinks we like, based on our previous actions (ie. our likes and comments). This means that it is now more important than ever to be liking and commenting on those accounts that you really love and want to follow, rather than engaging with accounts that you hope will follow you if you spam their feed enough

With the above in mind, I started the CGScreative Photo Challenge in April, and have brought it back again for June. The challenge is a fun way for us all to engage with one another in a genuine way, while helping each other get seen by more people. Doing this grows your own audience and following as well as everyone else's...it's basically a win-win situation!

Read More

The #CGScreative Instagram Photo Challenge - An easy way to grow your Instagram Following!

The #CGScreative Instagram Photo Challenge - An easy way to grow your Instagram Following!

Has your Instagram feed also been taken over by posts asking you to turn on notifications? I know that a lot of people are rather upset by the latest changes announced by Instagram, but I'm here to tell you today that it's not going to be the end of the world for you.

It's also not a huge surprise that Instagram, which is now owned by Facebook, is implementing these changes. 

If you're not sure what the changes mean, here is a easy to digest summary of what has got everyone in a tizz.

Instagram is planning to show us the content it thinks we like, based on our previous actions (ie. our likes and comments). This means that it is now more important than ever to be liking and commenting on those accounts that you really love and want to follow, rather than engaging with accounts that you hope will follow you if you spam their feed enough.

Read More

My FitBit Flex - Why I both love and hate this excercise tracker

My FitBit Flex - Why I both love and hate this excercise tracker

For anyone who may not know what a FitBit is, you've come to the right place. A FitBit is an exercise tracker, designed to put the fun back into working out, making it easier to monitor your progress. It's also one of the most unobtrusive trackers on the market, as you don't wear a chest strap like a lot of other trackers. FitBit has a range of different trackers, but I will be talking about the FitBit Flex in this post. 

The FitBit flex is not designed to be a hardcore heart rate monitor/GPS tracker but rather is meant f to track their your basic movements. It monitors your steps, calories burnt as well as being a very cool sleep tracker when you put it into sleep mode. I always forget to do this, but on the few nights that I did remember, I was able to see my sleeping pattern and how many times I moved/was awake during the night. This is really great for those people who go to bed early but still wake up feeling exhausted. You may be unconsciously moving around during the night, therefore not hitting REM meaning your body is not getting the steady soundless rest it needs. Hmmm....Interesting.

I mainly use my FitBit as a step counter, to make sure I reach my step goals. I find that when I am in the routine of checking the app and being aware of my steps, I am more motivated to exercise and more inspired to get out the house and get my body moving. Because, let's face it, we're all a little lazy deep down inside, myself included!

Read More

Chopping off your locks - Donating your hair to Charity in Korea

Chopping off your locks - Donating your hair to Charity in Korea

It's the start of the cooler weather here in South Korea and I have been wanting to cut a fringe for the past few weeks. Cooler weather means much less maintenance when it comes to a fringe, or bangs as my American friends say. All girls with a fringe will sympathise with me when I say that that part of your hair does not tame easily, especially if you exercise a lot.

A few weeks ago I noticed a number of my students had cut their gorgeous, long hair in favor of a bob, and when I asked them why they had cut their hair, I was quite surprised at their answer. They had donated their hair to cancer charities. After asking a few more questions about it, I decided I wanted to do the same with my hair. In the past 20 years I have only had one 'short' hair cut and that was to below my shoulder, hardly short I would say, and so this was quite a big deal for me. Instead of thinking about it too much, I decided to make the change last week Tuesday and then walked into a salon here in my small town and had it all chopped off. Over 30 cm's of hair!

Here are a few snaps of my hair pre-cut (as in, the morning of the day I cut my hair). It was long, wavy and looked a bit endy. I was never the type of girl to spend hours curling or straightening my hair, and this is how it looked naturally after a quick once over with the hairdryer after a shower. 

Read More

Behind the Scenes of a Working Photographer

Behind the Scenes of a Working Photographer

Today I thought it would be fun to share some of the behind-the-scenes shots of me, and what it took to take the following photographs. You'll usually find me shouting, making funny noises, climbing over and under things and bribing my dog with all sorts of things to get the perfect shot. 

These photographs also go to show what a can be achieved with a good camera (some imagination) and editing skills. If you're interesting in knowing more about what I use to edit my photographs then let me know in the comments below.

Read More