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Books/Movies, Entertainment, Inspiration, Slider

What’s all the hype about Goodreads, anyway? 

November 26, 2018

Whether you’re a big lover of books, or not so big, chances are you’ve stumbled upon Goodreads at some point. You were most likely searching for reviews for some book you’ve been meaning to get your hands on when you did. No surprise here – that’s exactly how I discovered Goodreads. My biggest mistake at the time, though,  was thinking that Goodreads is just a book review site, so I’d spend hours upon hours reading through all the reviews (it gets really addictive) and nothing else.

Once I took the time to actually look around the site more, I discovered that Goodreads has so much more to offer than just awesome reviews!

Here’s why I love Goodreads:

My Books

It’s a virtual bookshelf and your own personal online library, giving you instant access to almost any book you can imagine. Think of Belle when the beast first shows her the library in his castle, or Hogwarts library in Harry Potter! Although you cannot actually read the books you shelf directly on Goodreads, it’s a great place to organize all the books you’ve ever read and all the books you’re planning to read. It’s a bookworm’s heaven!

 

Reading Challenge

Nothing is more motivating than setting goals and competing –  against yourself! I absolutely love the Goodreads Reading Challenge! You decide how many books you’ll read before the end of each year, and when you reach your goal, you’re rewarded with an honorary badge that stays on your profile, and the sweet satisfaction of knowing you’ve reached your goal.

You know your reading habits, your lifestyle, and your motivation levels. Don’t set yourself unrealistic reading challenge goals. There are members with a Reading Challenge goal in the hundreds, even thousands; and there are those starting off with a reading challenge of only 10 books.  Both are perfectly okay if it means it fills your soul with joy.

 

Trivia & Quizzes

Need some time to just unwind and let your general knowledge juices flow? You’ll love these! Be careful, because they are quite addictive. Whether it’s a quiz about your favourite books, genres or Game Of Thrones – you’re likely to find it here.  And if you don’t, then you can create your own!

 

Widgets

If you have your own website or blog, or if you have an email account, then you’ll love this!  Show off the cover of the book you’re currently reading when responding to emails.  Friends and clients alike are sure to be impressed and maybe even inspired.  At the same time display your bookshelf, reading challenge, or a favourite quote on your website or blog. It’s a fun way to show off your book obsession and meet other book lovers out there.

 

Book Barcode Scanner

We already use our smartphones to scan everything – documents, audio, video, when we go to the store – so why not also books?

Instead of manually searching for books on the site and adding them to your reading shelves, simply scan the barcode of books you find interesting while browsing a bookstore. This will bring up all the information about the book and you can then decide on which shelf it should go!

I swear, I’m obsessed.

 

Book Recommendations

Another reason I love Goodreads is for how easy it is to recommend books to your friends and to find book recommendations for yourself! I no longer have to search high and low for my next exciting read, which I spent most of my life doing.

Goodreads made my life so much easier!

 

Compare Books

Imagine finding your reading twin! Well, with Goodreads that’s highly likely with its nifty “compare book” feature that lets you find other users of the site with the same taste in books as you. Neat, huh?

 

Chat With Your Favourite Author!

Authors are understandably very busy with all that writing going on. There’s hardly time to casually book chat with their adoring readers, but Goodreads has thankfully bridged this gap and made communication between author and reader so much more convenient. Authors are happy to answer any burning questions you have about their work through the “Ask the Author” feature on the site. This feature is controlled by the author, so keep an eye out for when it’s turned on and ask away!

 

Join As Many Groups As You Like!

Goodreads is rich with many diverse groups (or virtual book clubs as I like to refer to them). There’s a group or groups for everyone, and if you don’t find anything you’re interested in, then go on and create your own group!

 

Become a Goodreads Librarian

Think you got what it takes? Librarians are long-time users of the site and are passionate about keeping their “library” neat and tidy. They also know the librarian manual, aka the Goodreads rulebook, by heart and are happy to quickly remind users what the rules are when adding and editing book data.  The great news is that you too can apply to be a Goodreads librarian. Though you won’t need to learn the Dewy Decimal System, you will need to know the librarian Manual.

 

These are just a few of the reasons why I love Goodreads and why I recommend you give it a try! It’s the app to have and the community to be a part of. For now these are my top 10 best features, but I’m sure once you’ve had a look around you’ll be able to find your own reasons for loving the world’s largest online community for book lovers.

Happy birthday Goodreads!

love

Entertainment, Lifestyle, Slider

Exciting Wine Tasting Experiences Around The Cape Winelands

November 6, 2018

Wine & Food Pairing at Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards


This photo of Leopard’s Leap is courtesy of TripAdvisor

What The Reviews Say: Great and affordable wines. Great, but overpriced food. Family friendly with a lovely kids play area. Beautiful views that goes on for days…

Classic Ranges @ R40PP // Premium Ranges @ R55PP // Private Group Tastings @ R65PP

Tuesdays – Saturdays from 09:00 – 17:00 and Sundays 11:00 – 17:00

Recommended: Wine and Food Pairing @ R250PP

Phone: 021 876 8002
Bookings: info@leopardsleap.co.za
Website: leopardsleap.co.za
Address: R45 Main Rd, Franschhoek
 

Underground Candle Lit Tasting at Weltevrede Wine Estate


This photo of Weltevrede Jonkers Family Wine Farm is courtesy of TripAdvisor

What The Reviews Say: Escape the norm and book an underground tasting experience. Unique tasting experience. Friendly hosts. Interesting stories. Beautiful views!
Chocolate and Cheese pairing at R100PP
Recommended: Underground candlelit tasting from R120PP
Monday – Friday 8AM – 5PM
Saturday & public holidays 9AM – 3.30PM
Phone: 023 616 2141
Bookings: info@weltevrede.com
Website: weltevrede.com
Address: R317, Bonnievale

Wine and Biltong Pairing at Marianne Wine Estate


This photo of Marianne Wine Estate Guesthouse is courtesy of TripAdvisor

What The Reviews Say: What a pleasant surprise! Where has this place been all my life?

Interesting fact: Their flagship wine, Floreal, the very first vintage produced, and was served at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday at Buckingham Palace.

Recommended: Wine & Biltong Experience at R115PP

 Phone: 021 875 5040
Address: Valley Road – Off R44, Stellenbosch, 7600

Macaron and wine tasting at Blaauwklippen


This photo of Blaauwklippen is courtesy of TripAdvisor

What The Reviews Say: Great place for the whole family, lovely market, kids and dog friendly.  However, no dogs allowed in the tasting room!
Recommended: Macaron and wine tasting R150 PP
Phone: 021 880 0133
Bookings: www.blaauwklippen.com
Where: Strand Road, R44 Stellenbosch

Pizza and Wine Pairing at Brenaissance Wine and Stud Estate


This photo of Brenaissance Wine & Stud Estate is courtesy of TripAdvisor

What The Reviews Say: Beautiful place, lekker pizza and wine, lots of space for kids to play!
Recommended: Full house pizza and wine pairing
Monday – Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Phone: 021 200 2537
Bookings: info@brenaissance.co.za
Where: Devon Valley Rd, Stellenbosch

Tapas, Oysters and Bubbly at Haute Cabriere


This photo of Haute Cabriere is courtesy of TripAdvisor

What The Reviews Say: Come for the wine tastings!

Recommended: Cellar tours and tastings, also experience  “True Marriage of Food and Wine” with a menu that revolves around the estate’s wines.

bubbly and wine tasting
Taps and wine pairing
Mondays – Fridays 10h00 – 18h00
Saturdays and Public Holidays 10h00 – 18h00
Sundays 11h00 – 16h00.
Phone: 021 876 8500
Bookings: restaurant@cabriere.co.za
Where: Lambrechts Rd, Franschhoek

Wildcat Park Tour and Wine Tasting at Vredenheim


This photo of Vredenheim is courtesy of TripAdvisor

What The Reviews Say: Stunning venue for family picnics, lovely selection of animals, wonderful place for the whole family! Bring your sun hat on warm days!
Recommended: Cat Park and Gin tasting!
Monday – Sunday, from 9am – 4.30pm
Phone:021 881 3878
Where: Vredenheim Wine Estate on the R310 / Baden Powell outside Stellenbosch

Craft Beer and Biltong Pairing at Signal Gun Wines


This photo of Ke-monate is courtesy of TripAdvisor

What The Reviews Say: Great place to hang out with friends, large kids play area, interesting pairings!
Recommended: Craft Beer Pairing
Everything from Beer and biltong tasting, wine and Turkish delight tasting, wine infused toffees and more!
Bookings: tasting@signalgun.com
Website: signalgun.com
Where: Hooggelegen Rd, Durbanville

Food and Wine Pairing at De Grendel Wine Estate


This photo of De Grendel Restaurant is courtesy of TripAdvisor

What The Reviews Say: Simply one of the best experiences in Cape Town, good quality wine, and the place to be with family and friends on a beautiful day!  A world-class Winelands experience and should be on every wine lover’s itinerary.

Recommended: Food and Wine pairing

Phone: 021 558 6280
Bookings: tasting@degrendel.co.za
Where: De Grendel Wine Estate and Restaurant, Plattekloof Road, Panorama

Kiddies Pairing at Creation Wines


This photo of Creation Wines is courtesy of TripAdvisor

What The Reviews Say: Guests highly recommend splurging on the wine and food pairing if you can!
What’s on offer:
Creation Wines Tasting: R50PP
Kiddies Pairing: R114PP
Wine and Chocolate Pairing: R130PP
Food and wine tasting: R565PP
Tea and food pairing: R600PP
And so much more…
Daily between 10H00 and 17H00
Phone: 028 212 1107
Where: Hemel & Aarde Rd R320, Hermanus

“Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable.”
― G.K. Chesterton, Heretics
Love
Inspiration, Lifestyle, Slider

Shelley Point – Our Magical Anniversary Get-Away

October 16, 2018

Eight years ago I married not only the most amazing husband, but also my best friend and the best human being I know! It hasn’t been an easy road, in fact it’s been really hard many times and I’m pretty sure hard times will keep on coming, but even so I can’t imagine my life without my person and the perfectly imperfect life we’ve built together.

To make those inevitable hard times a little more bearable when they do come around and so we don’t end up killing each other, we try to go away at least every year for our anniversary, just the two of us. It might seem unimportant or a waste of time and money, but it’s the small things that does a marriage the world of good! This year we decided to explore the West Coast and although we’ve been there many times before, there’s always somewhere we haven’t been yet and things we’ve never seen and done. To make this time even more memorable, we have an unspoken rule to never go to the same place. Last year we celebrated our anniversary together with the kids at Flora Bay along the Atlantic Seaboard, and loved it, but decided this year we wanted each other for ourselves again! I believe these times spent alone are pivotal to a relationship, especially after having kids.

I always wanted to go to St. Helena Bay, so we headed to Shelley Point the Saturday after our anniversary. We were lucky to find a room at the Mussel Cracker since we only booked that morning. When we arrived at the bed and breakfast later that afternoon we were met with the most gorgeous beachfront view and the friendliest host ever! Karen was all too happy to show us around her beautiful home and help us settle in before introducing us to the only other couple there, and who happened to get engaged that very day!

Since it was already late afternoon and dark by the time we’ve settled in, we enjoyed a few drinks at the bar downstairs where Karen recommended a nice little place close by we could go to for dinner and where we enjoyed the yummiest steak. Back at the beach house we helped ourselves to a Gin and Tonic from the fully-stocked bar and spent the rest of the night curled up on the porch, chatting under the stars, with the crashing waves our background music. We could not have chosen a more romantic place for our anniversary weekend.

The next morning we woke up bright and early to catch the sunrise (which we almost missed, mainly because the bed is so freakin comfy, but also Gin!), and strolled along the stretch of gorgeous white, unspoiled beach to the lighthouse where we took some more pictures. I totally fell head over heels in love with the magical Shelley Point. Karen also enthralled us with many lovely tales about the area – Early Spring brings with it the possibility of finding the rare paper nautilus if you’re a keen shell collector, and in Summer you can literally swim with the dolphins and hear the whales mate, which is only the most beautiful sound in the world! We will for sure be back to experience Shelley Point in every season.

 

 

The Mussel Cracker also has family rooms available for up to 4 people max and has been the venue of choice for many weddings!

53 14th St, Shelley Point, St Helena Bay // +27 82 823 0919 // karenc06@gmail.com

Click here to make your booking

 

Love,

Lifestyle, Slider

Family Winter Getaway Along the Garden Route

July 18, 2018

When Lesley and I recently decided to take the kids on their first holiday along the Garden Route, we underestimated a few things. First was how excruciatingly long the drive to Victoria Bay is with three kids, which is where we were spending most of our weekend away; and second was how excruciatingly short a weekend away really was! What were we thinking?

We left late Friday morning and the drive was pretty awesome for the most part.  The kids always enjoy driving through the Huguenot tunnel just before Worcester, and driving through beautiful valleys such as Robertson and Swellendam (where we’ve been with the kids before when we visited the faerie sanctuary there) made the drive a total joy.

It’s where the N2 began to stretch out its long, endless, though beautiful, road before us, that the kids started asking the dreaded four-word question – are we there yet? Underestimating how long the almost five-hour drive would be (if you include the stops in between), also meant we didn’t prepare them well enough other than telling them it was going to be a very long drive. But in the end, it was nothing a few yummy snacks, the best views, and tabtales couldn’t fix.

We arrived in George just after three in the afternoon. We got a few more snacks, drinks and braai meat from the local mall and continued further on to our holiday destination, which we only then discovered lies up a steep hill – something else we didn’t expect. This holiday was turning out to be full of surprises.

The road to Ballots Bay Nature Reserve took us across a railway and descended quite steeply to the river.  We then crossed over 2 small bridges before ascending very steeply up the side of the hill to the security gate controlling access to the Private Nature Reserve. It wasn’t too bad with our little Honda, and we’ve seen SUV’s making it up and down there with ease, but I certainly won’t risk it up there with a trailer.

When I say it’s a hidden gem, I really mean it’s HIDDEN! There’s no doubt if you’re looking for a break away from it all that this is the ideal location.

The kids LOVED every minute, and when we got to our mountain lodge, none of us could believe our eyes! We were right on top of the Victoria Bay hills surrounded by nothing but forest and ocean. We had our own private beach at Ballots, but the kids preferred going out to Victoria Bay instead where they could be around other people. I didn’t complain, because Victoria Bay easily ranks among my top favourite beaches.

The Saturday morning, excitement was high and everyone was up early because it was the day we were all going to see REAL elephants for the first time! We drove up to The Knysna Elephant Park from George (another hour away) and had a blast walking among, feeding and touching the elephants. It was also interesting to hear about the humble beginnings of the KEP from our guide, and how far it’s come to build such a loving home for these gentle giants. The tour was both fun and educational, and definitely an experience of a lifetime.

The Sunday Morning after breakfast, we were ready (not ready) to take the long road home, but not before spending the beautiful, sunny morning at Victoria Bay beach for the last time. We were still in the heart of Winter, but it felt like a perfect Summer’s day. It was barely ten in the morning and the beach was full of people swimming and surfing and tanning. It wasn’t easy to leave, and much less easy to make the kids leave.

On our way home, we stopped at Mossel Bay for lunch and found the most picture perfect spot on the decks of Delfino’s. We had the best time eating and relaxing, while the kids played in the beach park and the tidal pool. Like in Victoria Bay, there were also lots of beachgoers soaking up the sun in Mossel Bay. Everyone we’ve spoken to told us what a crazy Winter it’s been on the Garden Route, and that this was the most perfect Summer’s weekend they’ve had throughout. We were very lucky it seems, and grateful too.

Our weekend may have been way too short, but at least we’ve found the perfect spots for when we visit the Garden route on our next family vacay.

Love,

Entertainment

2018 Jive Cape Town Comedy Festival

July 14, 2018

Last night was my and Lesley’s first time at the Jive  Cape Town Comedy Festival and what a treat for the tummy muscles!  The annual comedy festival has been running successfully at the Baxter theatre for the last fourteen years and has been a steady platform for many local comedians who went on to become international sensations – including, the now world-famous, Trevor Noah. As you can imagine it was a night full of roaring laughter and a 2.5 hours well spent with the funny man himself, Alan Committie, as the host. No seriously, this dude is funny as hell, and could easily have stolen the whole show if it wasn’t for Rob Van Vuuren’s rant of his first time on the metrofail…I mean metrorail train, or Tats Nkonzo’s recollection of the “tot of bal” game he was taught ( I still have no idea how this game goes because I was laughing too much), or Marc’s usual dramatics on politics and Ashwin Willemse.

Not only is the Comedy Festival worth checking out for its obviously brilliant lineup, but you will also have the opportunity to interact and support the okes over at the Zip Zap Circus, who help, inspired and educate kids from all backgrounds, in the arts. How amazing!  If those are not reasons enough to come out and cheer up your winter blues, you can also look forward to being spoiled with amazing discount vouchers from City Siteseeing and Table Mountain Cableway, so you and your kids can explore Cape Town like tourists, but more affordably. Much, much more affordably! It’s also a great way to make up to your kids for leaving them with grandma while you and hubby went out on a date night to the funny festival!

Needless to say, we had an amazing night of laughter (and good wine and food). I encourage you to go out and support our local and international funny guys and girls. Get your tickets here

 

Rated PG 13 // 9 July – 5 August // 8pm // R190pp //  Main Rd, Rondebosch, Cape Town

 

Yours in laughter,