posted on 26 November 2013
Tegan Smith is probably already quite a familiar name to you, she is Baked The Blog’s official photographer and I adore the lookposts she & Aishi put together. After the MAC launch a few weeks ago, Tegan had finished shooting Aisha, and I had finished shooting Aqeelah when they both turned the lens on me.
Absolutely love this photograph, it looks like I had a whole wind machine in the background, but really was totes natural! Wearing my favourite MAC Ruby Woo lipstick & the top is from the Anisa Mpungwe line for Mr Price.
posted on 25 November 2013
What screams birthday..? To me it’s cake, after presents of course. Cake and blowing out the ever growing number of candles to mark the anniversary of our birth, and hopefully getting a lil older and wiser. As a Pinterest lover I’ve noticed two huge cake trends, the first being rainbow layered cake – I prefer the ombre layers to the rainbow – so much more chic, that however requires patience and hours in the kitchen, and in the end you’re still left with a vanilla cake.. I however am a chocolate addict (you may have noticed from my new blog The Chocolate Standard) and the second cake trend of the year fit me just right.. A Kit-Kat encased chocolate cake, topped off with Smarties.
Here’s how to make your very own Kit-Kat cake – what I love about this cake is it’s super easy to whip together, especially if you cheat and use a chocolate cake mix like I did – NoMU, duh. Once you’ve baked your cake via following the box instructions – I chose to spread the mix between two small round tins, let them cool off. While they’re cooling down it’s time to get on to the icing. For me honestly icing is my favourite part of cupcakes and cake and I made it by throwing margarine, icing sugar, cocoa and a lil hot water together, if you want to go really over the top you could make a ganache. Then it’s time to start icing, you want to ice the top of the first layer and the assemble the second layer on top, ice the top of that and then carefully start going around they cake. As soon as you’ve finished icing it’s time to break up those Kit-Kat’s and start placing them around the cake, you want to work fast as they’ll only stick to the wet icing, if the icing does dry just dip a knife in hot water and go over that section of icing. Once the Kit-Kat pieces are beautifully assembled around the cake it’s bow time! Get a piece of ribbon, pull it around the cake so that the Kit-Kat bars stand nice and upright, I tied a knot to keep everything secure and then worked on my bow making skills which unfortunately weren’t all that fantastic. Then saving the fun bit for last, open a box (or two) of Smarties and pour them all over the top – managed to find the all pink Smarties in tubes at Clicks this weekend. The Pinterest images used the multi-coloured Smarties which look fun for a kiddies party, but for a more chic looking cake I much prefer just the all pink Smarties which matched the ribbon!
It’s Col’Cacchio pizzeria’s 21st birthday and they want to spread the birthday love #OurBDayYourParty – as their gift to you they’re giving away R21,000 – all you have to do is send them (via social media of course) a legendary tribute or gesture. I baked a cake, because you know that’s what I love to do, Aisha got creative and printed a pizza appropriate t-shirt, Aqeelah shared her style (and called Pizza the new cake!) whilst Raya shared her story of being at the opening of Col’Cacchio’s first store all the way back in 1992 – can you believe she was blonde back in the day? They want entries that are as varied as their menu, so get crazy, get creative and have some fun!
Ways to Enter: Send your tribute via one of their social channels using #ourbdayyourparty
Facebook: Col’Cacchio pizzeria
posted on 19 November 2013
Online shopping is addictive, I should know. Since getting my own credit card 3 years ago – it’s all too easy to see something you love on the Interwebs, a quick click of the ‘add to cart’ button and next thing you know you’ve impulse bought a whole lot of stuff you probably don’t even want but that ‘sale’ sign was far too tempting. Before Zara, TopShop & Cotton On opened in South Africa I honestly felt like online shopping was the only option available to get fast-fashion fast in SA but our local retailers have really picked up their game. I’m now a far more discerning online shopper – buying high quality, beautiful items that I know aren’t available in SA, or won’t be for some time.
If you’ve never shopped online with international stores before, the joy of clicking ‘confirm order’ is soon (thanks to fast shipping) replaced by the horror of a little post-office slip saying your item has arrived, but bring x (large) amount to collect it. Unfortunately for us we have some of the highest customs fees in the world, but rather than moan about it, I thought I’d explain it so you can save yourself the anguish, and work out upfront how much your item will actually cost you, and if it is still worth it. In order to calculate customs fee, you have to take the cost of your item and add a 10% customs fee, there is then a 45% custom duty and on top of all that you still have to pay 14% VAT on the full amount. Thanks to Amanda who did the maths and made it super simple to work it all out – see the calculation below. * It must be noted that the 40% custom duty refers to clothing and accessories, other items such as books and wine have different import duties.
However as with most things in life, there are loopholes in the system, which if used effectively can minimize if not completely avoid customs fees. The first thing to note is that orders under the value of R500 are duty free, meaning you don’t have to pay any custom fees, however you are still liable for 14% VAT on items over R100 – although I have never been made to pay any packages under the value of R500. There is talk, and hopefully it will change to make the threshold before taxes and duty applied to online shopping R1000. Business Day Live calls the current threshold a ‘significant impediment’ to South African consumers, as it prevents them from benefiting from internationally competitive prices and the expansive choices offered by international retailers. Other countries like Australia have a threshold of R8000 (we can only wish) and thus their culture of online shopping has exploded, something that is still taking off very slowly in SA.
So what are the loopholes you ask? Well the obvious one is to keep all your orders just below R500. What I’ve done a few times is that lets say I wanted to buy R1500 worth of clothing from one online store, sort them out into 3 baskets of goods for values close to R500 and then place 3 orders, even if this does mean paying more for shipping, the shipping never comes close to the customs duties.
I currently use my MasterCard which I love and have bought everything from bags, shoes, jackets, books, booked hotel rooms and overseas flights – it’s so easy and convenient, no need to wait in line to make payments to buy the goods you want, also better yet you can shop at any time you like, from the comfort of your bed – the multitude of options & size availability also makes for a stress free shopping experience. Thanks to MasterCard’s current promotion, shoppers in South Africa can now easily shop and enjoy sweet deals and promotions offered by top US retailers during the holiday season. The likes of Bloomingdale’s, Gilt, Garnet Hill, Neiman Marcus, Intermix, True Religion Brand Jeans are involved to make your shopping experience the best it could possibly be – simply enter the coupon MCSHOP at checkout to enjoy free and discounted shipping. The promotion is currently running and will end on 31 December, so make sure to make use of it as soon as possible if you would like your goodies to arrive in time for Christmas.
Happy shopping – be Interwebs smart and work out your custom fees before clicking the ‘purchase’ button, but thanks to MasterCard’s free & discounted shipping you’ll be able to fill as many carts as you like without spending a fortune on shipping, hashtag winning!
How to work out custom fees:
R1000 x 10% (customs fee) = R100
R1000 x 40% (customs duty) = R400
R1000 + R100 + R400 = R1500
R1500 x 14% (VAT) = R210
R1500 + R210 = R1710
R1710 – R1000 = R710
Total Fees: R767 (for R1000 worth of goods)
photo credit: image 1 / image 2
posted on 07 November 2013
Say hello to my little friend – the Olloclip. You may already follow me (@TalyaGoldberg) on Instagram and would have already seen some of my Olloclip’d photos poppin’ up. So what exactly is the Olloclip? Well it’s a 3-in-1 lens attachment for your iPhone. The lens are: macro (close up, lots of that blur I love) / fisheye and wide angle.
How it works – the Olloclip attaches to your iPhone. The fisheye lens is the biggest and is one the one side, while the other side features the wide-angle lens, you then screw that off to reveal the macro lens. It’s very easy to attach to you iPhone, takes a few seconds – although you cannot have a cover on, which to me is the only downside as I don’t like to get my phone scratched.
To be perfectly honest I don’t really see the appeal of the wide angle lens as you can just shoot a panoramic on your iPhone, also in terms of Instagram you still need a square image, although the app Whitagram is pretty handy if you would like to post a non-square shaped image. I am however totes obsessed with the macro & fisheye lense, the macro did take me quite a while to get the hang of, it’s not like your conventional camera macro – you have to get super super close, almost touching the object – but the detail in the shot (hold still, no shaky hand) honestly blows my mind. Love the shot of the coffee beans I got and everyone I showed it to couldn’t believe I’d taken it on my iPhone! Then there is the fisheye lens, super fun and retro – really enjoyed playing around with it, and generally just love the fisheye (rounded goldfish bowl) effect. It also includes a microfiber case to carry your Olloclip in, protecting it whilst also doubling as a lens cleaner.
The best place to buy your Olloclip is Instageeks.co.za which is where I got mine, they cost R700 which is R200 cheaper than I’ve seen them anywhere else. They stock them for the iPhone 5 in both black & red. The one for the iPhone 4/S is still in stock in both black & red and costs R600. They also stock a whole lotta nifty accessories for your phone to ensure you get the best photographs possible.
posted on 06 November 2013
This is just a little public service announcement: yesterday, my sister, Gabi & I launched the nichest-niche new blog, but at least it’s a niche that almost everyone loves. The new blog is called The Chocolate Standard. For us, the rather standard choice in life, between chocolate or vanilla has been an easy one. If it isn’t chocolate it generally isn’t worth eating. And by generally, it is about 99,9% of the time.
The Chocolate Standard was born to document our love for anything in, on or around chocolate. Our posts include our favourite recipes, reviews, events and anything chocolate related we adore. Currently there are new posts up on Slutty Brownies, Homemade Nutella, Raw Brownies, Salted Dark Chocolate Almonds, The new NoMU baking kits as well at how to make your own delicious but very nice (sugar & dairy free) Nutella. Check out the new blog here, and lemme know what you think!
PS also a huge thank you to Raya for the beautiful header – we love it x