SA Schools

Sure, you’re friends will tell you horror stories about the state of education in South Africa around the braai, but we just want to remind you that there are some great private and public schools in SA that are doing brilliantly.

So does DESTINY magazine.

For the last 5 years, DESTINY magazine have curated a list of the top-performing schools in South Africa, just for their readers. The Good Schools Report, which is created in association with Old Mutual, focuses on trends in the education sector and delves into contentious issues – this year they’re discussing the use of technology in schools – they also interview experts like Stacey Brewer, founder of Spark Schools.

“We have taken good care to cover schools from most parts of South Africa. However, we couldn’t include all the schools. This is DESTINY’s curated list that we believe can be used effectively when choosing a school,” says DESTINY’s Deputy Editor and Project Editor, Sheena Adams.

Along with the two-part report, readers will also find a comprehensive list of the annual fees for each school (and some handy advice on how to save for them from Old Mutual).

Get your copy of the Good Schools Report in the August 2014 issue of DESTINY magazine, on sale now.

P.S. You can subscribe here.

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But It’s Nice Here | South Africa

We’ve all been there – you’re enjoying a nice evening out. You’re at a dinner party or, more realistically, 6 beers down in a pub somewhere, and someone brings it up.

“Ugh guys, I dunno. South Africa is just falling apart. We’re looking at moving overseas. It’s the best thing for our/ our kids/ our parents/ our dogs future.”

Something inside you starts to boil because you’re passionate about South Africa, or maybe you just like the sunsets but when you open your mouth to speak… [insert the sound of crickets here].

All you can conjure up are a few mumbles about how pretty South Africa is, and, you guys, Tata! But when pushed for more the facts escape you and you’re left feeling silly and a little less than patriotic.

Something similar happened to Steuart, the owner of South Africa The Good News 12 years ago – around the time that a few of his friends were heading off to ‘greener’ pastures.

Infuriated by the conversation and his inability to back up his argument, Steuart started his website and hasn’t looked back.

It’s packed full of facts and stories about South Africa that will have you brimming with pride and ready to shout out a few numbers the next time that topic comes up.

There are awesome people doing amazing things in SA everyday… we just need to flip the conversation that way instead of the constant stream of negativity because we do live in a pretty awesome place.

Visit the SA Good News website, follow them on Twitter or find them on Facebook.

 

 

 

Macaroon Me

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My favourite online stationery boutique, Macaroon, have launched an exciting creative collaboration with South African fine artist, Tracy Paul.
Tracy Paul for Macaroon, features a whimsical collection of personalised stationery & accessories, featuring bespoke Tracy Paul sketches in Macaroon’s magical product suite.

In true Macaroon style, invitations, journals, notepads, stationery sets, gift tag collections, classic bookplate stickers and vinyl products are all available with Tracy Paul’s fine illustrations bringing a magical mixture of “art meets stationery” to the market.

“South Africa has a wealth of talented artists and designers and our collaboration with a talent such as Tracy Paul allows Macaroon to make her magnificent art accessible to the online market through our already established brand. We could not be prouder to be associated with Tracy Paul’s whimsical works of art.” says Taryn Hompes, co-owner and Director of Macaroon.

It’s not stopping here – the “Tracy Paul for Macaroon” collection is set to grow, and it’s charming characters are already being crafted into the Macaroon Christmas Collection which will launch later this year.

Tracy Paul for Macaroon is available online for personalisation (the best part!) at www.macaroon.co.za or in-store at 19 Gleneagles Road, Greenside, Johannesburg.

AboutTP

Did you see what we saw?

“Tracy aligns herself strongly with freedom of expression, cupcakes, peace of mind, corsets and the bluebird of happiness”

Because I couldn’t make the launch of this beautiful range (I had a good excuse, promise) the Macaroon Team were kind enough to send me a little something something. Totally blown away by the quality of their stationery, and the thrill of seeing my name on the cover of this book! Impressive or what!?

We’ve Got The Spirit

If you’re looking for something a little different to do in Joburg this weekend – you know, instead of the usual braai, dop en opskop you seem to do every weekend – put on a jacket and head to the Joburg Theatre.

 

Spirit of the Dance is back in South Africa until the 15th June, and it makes for a pretty fun night out.

 

The dancers are joined by the Irish Angels who knocked out both Irish classics, ballads and Avicii beautifully.

In total there were probably about 2 minutes where my toes weren’t tapping, and that was because I was trying to get a sneaky picture – even though it was allowed, I still felt bad taking my eyes off the stage.

And before the boys start to moan about watching dancing (shame on you), let me add that the show has some serious spirit. The interaction between the dancers and the audience makes you feel like you’ve been part of the whole performance.

And if you have a bit of time, head across early and grab some dinner and a drink at Stages, the Joburg Theatre’s in-house restaurant.

Do you have the Spirit? You will after watching #SpiritOfTheDance.

Tickets range from R165-R330 and are available here.

SpiritPoster SpiritOfTheDance

If you like it, put your name on it

Macaroon Collection was started in 2010 by Cheryl Liebenberg and Taryn Hompes. The team married their passion for parties and “soft spot for celebrations” with the desire to build a technology-based business that would make social stationary accessible to a larger market.

Over the last 4 years, their range has grown to include gift stickers, tote bags, aprons, vinyl stickers and much, much more (look here).Whether you’re super-organised, want to be super organised or just love pretty things with your name on them, you’ll love these new personalised zip bags from Macaroon Collection. I sure do!

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Pricing ranges from R240 – R340 per bag depending on sizes and they’re available in an assortment of colour combinations. Lime, Cherry, Watermelon or Lemon against Navy canvas or more classic colours – Ink or Liquorice – on a Taupe bag.

In case you haven’t already thought of a bazillion uses and labels, here are some ideas:

“Allergy bag, medicine bag, storage for hair accessories, cables and chargers. There are a multitude of uses, and your choice of text makes them your own,” said Taryn Hompes, co-director of Macaroon.

What would you put on yours?

p.s. here’s my personalised tote bag. Cool or what?

Macaroon

 

 

Why I Changed Media Houses

Although I read at least 80% of the content I consume online, there really is nothing like spending a lazy Sunday afternoon flipping through the crisp pages of a new magazine.

However, over the last year or so, every publication I’ve picked up has felt like it was missing something. I just couldn’t connect with what was inside those pages. The fashion didn’t seem like things I’d wear, the content didn’t capture me and didn’t seem relevant and I guess I’ve just been a little disappointed. So I stopped buying magazines.

This coming from someone who has dreamt of being the Editor of Vogue (despite my complete lack of Wintour-like style or poise) for as long as I can remember.

Then about a month ago I watched Paper Wars, a two part mini-series that shows the birth of Cleo Magazine and the fearless Ita Buttrose, and I decided to give print another go, and off I ventured to the shops.

However, as I stood in the aisles, I just didn’t feel compelled to read anything the glossy mags where ‘teasing’ me with.

Now, it could be that because I read so much online that I had read something similar already, but I fear it is more likely that the mags I used to lust after just don’t cater for where I am in my life right now.

So I scratched around a little, and decided to give Destiny Magazine a try.

It didn’t take long to hook me – here’s why:

1/ I recently started my own business and I won’t lie, it is scary. 6 months in I am still terrified on a daily basis. I sometimes need a little bit of motivation and I am inspired by women who have done the same thing – followed their passion, worked seriously hard and come out on top. I realise this sounds odd, because there are loads of female South African entrepreneurs, but find me a platform that asks them about how they built their empires as opposed to what they eat for breakfast and where they like to shop (not that there isn’t a need for that information, too).

2/ I love Africa. I think the amount of untapped potential on this continent is staggering, the people are fascinating and it is just so beautiful, but we have problems, too. I want to hear about xenophobia and politics and rape. I want to know all the gory details so I can help fight for change for all of us. I don’t want to be that person at the dinner party that brings up something bad so we can complain for 30 minutes before we talk about the last rugby match or scandal. I think it is important to know what is happening in our country and what people are doing about it, but mostly, I think it is important to “keep the conversation going”. There are loads of campaigns that highlight issues in South Africa, and Africa, and often once those campaigns are over, so is the conversation, “until next time.”

I love that Destiny Magazine is talking about important issues in Africa, and some we might not deem as important, like Biodiversity. I like that they’re showing beautiful South African and African woman and their work on these issues, and I like that they’re not sugar coating things.

In fact, the moment I knew I was hooked was when I read these two paragraphs in their April 20 years of freedom issue, as a few prominent South African women took stock of where how far we’ve come in 20 years:

“As a young democracy, SA needs young, visionary and courageous leaders who are able to put the country first and themselves last.” Wendy Luhabe

“Women have to give themselves permission to participate. Twenty years into our democracy, it’s ridiculous to continue arguing that we’re not being given opportunities.” Wendy Luhabe

3/ When I say women in business, I mean working women. We’re not just talking tailored jackets and pencils skirts, we’re talking about PPE, too. Women working in the mining and engineering sectors. Young, old, you name it, you’ll find it in here.

4/ You still get that girly feeling – the pages have all the bits we love: beauty, style, arts & culture, food, travel and decor, and things like this:

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5/ Khanyi Dhlomo.

With career highlights like heading up SA Tourism in France and working on True Love as the editor for 8 years, and an MBA from Harvard Business School, Khanyi is a pretty impressive (and smart) lady. I read every word of her Editor’s Note, and am nerdishly excited for the next one.

Walkers, Joggers and Runners, Get Ready

Whether you’re a walker, jogger, runner, triathlete, regardless of whether you’ve been at it for a few weeks or a few years, there’s somewhere you need to be tomorrow.

The Comrades Marathon Expo houses all the latest in running gear, technology and nutrition and it’s free for anyone to attend.

Soak in a little bit of the magical Comrades atmosphere as you browse, shop and chat to like-minded people.

Doors open tomorrow morning at 9am – don’t miss out!Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 1.52.01 PM

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Switched Off

If you’ve spent more than 5 minutes with me, you’ll know that I am always online.

It’s the nature of my job and a side effect of having a husband that works far away. I can’t help it, I don’t feel like I can switch off… ever.

Now, ordinarily this level of commitment is commendable, but I suppose it shouldn’t be.

My older sister, who is 5 and a bit months pregnant, came to Johannesburg to keep me company over the long weekend. We baked some delicious custard cups, went to Mon Petit Throbb for a delicious dinner, and did a lot of chilling in between. It was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time (barring a small incident of theft at a market and subsequent trip to Hillbrow Police Station, what a treat that was).

It was our last girls weekend before Baby B arrives, and I cannot wait to meet the little thing.

Somehow during the weekend, the girl time, the sister-bonding, the exploring Jozi, I managed to switch off.

Not completely, and probably even noticeably, but for me… it was huge. The fact that I only realised after she left makes it even better.

Enough about that, here’s some snaps of what we got up to:

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Beauty-ful

Let me start this off by saying, I am no beauty expert. I don’t get free products to review, and I’m pretty sure no one but my very best buds would trust my make up advice, but, let’s be honest, I’m usually the one looking at how-to’s and asking for advice.

So when Beauty South Africa sent me a little something-something to test out, I was beyond thrilled. And then nervous. And then like a 5-year old with a new bubble gun. And then nervous, all over again.

I sat and looked at the bottle of skin-coloured goodness (a perfect match to mine, clever, clever, BSA) for a few days until I finally tested it out. It took a few hours on the website combing through lovely products before I actually wrote anything down.

Here’s the thing about BSA – they ask regular folk like me to write about products so the reviews make sense. They’re not written by beauty professionals, so there’s no fancy terminology and you’re left with clarity about what the product is going to do. Miracle!
Don’t get me wrong, I love reading through the glossies, but sometimes I just want someone to write – when you first start using this mascara, keep your eyelash comb (is that what it’s actually called?) handy because it clumps a little. But give it a few tries. Maybe a blog that says, “I tried all of these, these worked for me, these didn’t and here’s why.”

Until that happens, or until I get over the need for it, try out Beauty South Africa. Your pre-shop stop for all things beauty.

P.S. Today is Thursday. Phuza Thursday. Here’s a link to one of my favourite articles on the site. How to look your best with a hangover.

P.P.S. Sign up with their program – you never know. You might get a few things to review.