Slider

TravelStart,December,holidays,Mauritius


As this year draws to an end, with literally only 4 months left of the year, thinking about where to go on holiday this year has been kinda tricky. We have family all over the world and deciding who to spend time with is driving me insane. Although my heart wants to go to London – Christmas in winter with my friends, but Robbie he wants to go visit his cousins in New Zealand. Granted I do too but I’ve decided that I would rather go somewhere neutral. So this year we are looking Mauritius.

Why did I choose Mauritius?


Firstly Robbie has never been in a plane before. Not even on a local flight. Where as I have been flying since I was 11. My first experience of flying was in a 747 from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Benefits of having divorced parents, flying from one parent to another because the buses were not safe. I love flying and would love for Robbie to get bitten by the bug too. So that he can have a love for flying and want to travel the world.

TravelStart,December,holidays,Mauritius

Also Mauritius has a no visa policy for South Africans. One less thing for me to worry about.

* Did you know that Mauritius is one of the Top 5 destinations chosen by South Africans? Along with Harare, London, Windhoek and New York.

The culture in Mauritius


I am all about teaching Robbie the ways and cultures of different people. Learning to appreciate the way other people live and celebrate what makes them unique. With a array of different religions like Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist, Robbie will sure learn a lot.

TravelStart,December,holidays,Mauritius

Also all those different foods. Robbie is a fussy eater and I hope taking him on this trip will help him see that trying different food can be fun. I personally cannot wait to try the Creole and Indian cuisine. I am a fan of Indian food in particular. From the mildest curry to something really hot. I am also excited about the music. My mom brought me up on Reggae and till this day you will find a reggae playlist on my phone.

Activities in Mauritius


Kids get bored easily, and Robbie is no exception. He needs to be constantly stimulated. Mauritius has so much to offer young ones. There are different water sports, think water slides and learning to surf. There is also the botanical gardens of Le Jardin de Pamplemousse. Those huge lily pads fascinate me. Did you know that you can stand on one?

But I think Robbie will enjoy the Blue Safari Submarine the most. He is so fascinated with animals in the ocean. Especially sharks. He is constantly asking about different sea life. Why they look the way they do and how they live. This is surely something that will keep him entertained and also provoke his knowledge more.

TravelStart,December,holidays,Mauritius,heritage,golf
Photo Credit: Heritage Resorts

And because we are a family that loves Golf, a round or two at the Heritage Golf Course doesn’t sound like a bad idea either. The Heritage Golf Course is home to the AfrAsia Golf Tournament, which is on the European Tour. Definitely a course worth playing at.

Booking your tickets


Here is where the pressure starts. When booking tickets you need to know the best time to book. (Check my when to book article here) You also need to decide on your flight routes and whether you want to fly direct or do you want to have a stop over? Luckily when flying to Mauritius, it is a direct flight. Which will definitely help with Robbie who has never flown before. But if you are flying to London or New York, TravelStart lets you choose your flight routes directly on their website. They have it all laid out for you, so you can choose the best option for you and  your family.

TravelStart,birthday,sale,December,holidays,Mauritius

TravelStart is also having their Birthday Sale from the 27th to the 30th of August. Think amazing savings on not only domestic flights but international flights too. And on all the best airlines too. This is a sale you definitely don’t want to miss out on! Sign up for their newsletter and also download the app which is exactly what I am doing now.

TravelStart,December,holidays,Mauritius

So with Mauritius as our destination of choice for this years holiday, and flights sorted by TravelStart, all that’s left is choosing how many swimsuits I need to take with for our island holiday. Mauritius here we come.

*In collaboration with TravelStart

December Holidays - Mauritius

Friday, 17 August 2018

TravelStart,December,holidays,Mauritius


As this year draws to an end, with literally only 4 months left of the year, thinking about where to go on holiday this year has been kinda tricky. We have family all over the world and deciding who to spend time with is driving me insane. Although my heart wants to go to London – Christmas in winter with my friends, but Robbie he wants to go visit his cousins in New Zealand. Granted I do too but I’ve decided that I would rather go somewhere neutral. So this year we are looking Mauritius.

Why did I choose Mauritius?


Firstly Robbie has never been in a plane before. Not even on a local flight. Where as I have been flying since I was 11. My first experience of flying was in a 747 from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Benefits of having divorced parents, flying from one parent to another because the buses were not safe. I love flying and would love for Robbie to get bitten by the bug too. So that he can have a love for flying and want to travel the world.

TravelStart,December,holidays,Mauritius

Also Mauritius has a no visa policy for South Africans. One less thing for me to worry about.

* Did you know that Mauritius is one of the Top 5 destinations chosen by South Africans? Along with Harare, London, Windhoek and New York.

The culture in Mauritius


I am all about teaching Robbie the ways and cultures of different people. Learning to appreciate the way other people live and celebrate what makes them unique. With a array of different religions like Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist, Robbie will sure learn a lot.

TravelStart,December,holidays,Mauritius

Also all those different foods. Robbie is a fussy eater and I hope taking him on this trip will help him see that trying different food can be fun. I personally cannot wait to try the Creole and Indian cuisine. I am a fan of Indian food in particular. From the mildest curry to something really hot. I am also excited about the music. My mom brought me up on Reggae and till this day you will find a reggae playlist on my phone.

Activities in Mauritius


Kids get bored easily, and Robbie is no exception. He needs to be constantly stimulated. Mauritius has so much to offer young ones. There are different water sports, think water slides and learning to surf. There is also the botanical gardens of Le Jardin de Pamplemousse. Those huge lily pads fascinate me. Did you know that you can stand on one?

But I think Robbie will enjoy the Blue Safari Submarine the most. He is so fascinated with animals in the ocean. Especially sharks. He is constantly asking about different sea life. Why they look the way they do and how they live. This is surely something that will keep him entertained and also provoke his knowledge more.

TravelStart,December,holidays,Mauritius,heritage,golf
Photo Credit: Heritage Resorts

And because we are a family that loves Golf, a round or two at the Heritage Golf Course doesn’t sound like a bad idea either. The Heritage Golf Course is home to the AfrAsia Golf Tournament, which is on the European Tour. Definitely a course worth playing at.

Booking your tickets


Here is where the pressure starts. When booking tickets you need to know the best time to book. (Check my when to book article here) You also need to decide on your flight routes and whether you want to fly direct or do you want to have a stop over? Luckily when flying to Mauritius, it is a direct flight. Which will definitely help with Robbie who has never flown before. But if you are flying to London or New York, TravelStart lets you choose your flight routes directly on their website. They have it all laid out for you, so you can choose the best option for you and  your family.

TravelStart,birthday,sale,December,holidays,Mauritius

TravelStart is also having their Birthday Sale from the 27th to the 30th of August. Think amazing savings on not only domestic flights but international flights too. And on all the best airlines too. This is a sale you definitely don’t want to miss out on! Sign up for their newsletter and also download the app which is exactly what I am doing now.

TravelStart,December,holidays,Mauritius

So with Mauritius as our destination of choice for this years holiday, and flights sorted by TravelStart, all that’s left is choosing how many swimsuits I need to take with for our island holiday. Mauritius here we come.

*In collaboration with TravelStart


Dear Shalane

You're 20 and you have experienced so many things in the last 10 years. It has made you stronger, no doubt. Living through all the abuse and drinking, having to wonder if you would see the next day? But you know what you made it through. The next few years are going to be even harder though. But I want to give you so advice to carry you through the next 11 years. Advice I wish I had, so here goes.

* This first love that you think is the one, he isn't honey. He is just a guy looking for the next cash cow. He will say he is different and maybe in the beginning he will be but a few years down the line he is going to become the person you feared.

* Don't worry though because even though he isn't the person you thought he was, he is going to give you the most prized possession ever. Your little angel Robbie. This little angel will love you unconditionally. He will be your sun and moon and your world will gravitate around him.

* Life is going to be hard. There are going to be times when you feel like you can't go on but you need to, ok! For yourself and for Robbie. Always look for the good in everything. Don't stress about the little things you can't change. Be humble. Love hard like you always do, the right ones will stay. 

* You will cut family out of your life. It may see wrong but you need to do it. Don't give in. It is better for your sanity.

* When it comes to guys, don't get attached. It isn't good for your soul. You have so much to offer that someone special. Wait until someone shows the same interest in you before you get attached. There is nothing worse that loving someone that doesn't love you with the same intensity. Just wait it out, the right one will come.

* You will meet new friends along way, some will stay but some will go. Cherish the ones who care about you. Who ask you how you are and want to give you the world. The others are just there for the ride. Know when to cut people out of your life.

* Most of all, love yourself! Look after yourself. Eat well and move it. And never, ever stop loving as fiercely as you always do. 

I will always be there for you. 

Love your 31 year old self

xx

Letter to my 20 year old self

Wednesday, 20 June 2018


Dear Shalane

You're 20 and you have experienced so many things in the last 10 years. It has made you stronger, no doubt. Living through all the abuse and drinking, having to wonder if you would see the next day? But you know what you made it through. The next few years are going to be even harder though. But I want to give you so advice to carry you through the next 11 years. Advice I wish I had, so here goes.

* This first love that you think is the one, he isn't honey. He is just a guy looking for the next cash cow. He will say he is different and maybe in the beginning he will be but a few years down the line he is going to become the person you feared.

* Don't worry though because even though he isn't the person you thought he was, he is going to give you the most prized possession ever. Your little angel Robbie. This little angel will love you unconditionally. He will be your sun and moon and your world will gravitate around him.

* Life is going to be hard. There are going to be times when you feel like you can't go on but you need to, ok! For yourself and for Robbie. Always look for the good in everything. Don't stress about the little things you can't change. Be humble. Love hard like you always do, the right ones will stay. 

* You will cut family out of your life. It may see wrong but you need to do it. Don't give in. It is better for your sanity.

* When it comes to guys, don't get attached. It isn't good for your soul. You have so much to offer that someone special. Wait until someone shows the same interest in you before you get attached. There is nothing worse that loving someone that doesn't love you with the same intensity. Just wait it out, the right one will come.

* You will meet new friends along way, some will stay but some will go. Cherish the ones who care about you. Who ask you how you are and want to give you the world. The others are just there for the ride. Know when to cut people out of your life.

* Most of all, love yourself! Look after yourself. Eat well and move it. And never, ever stop loving as fiercely as you always do. 

I will always be there for you. 

Love your 31 year old self

xx
blog,photography,iphone

If there is one thing I see often is that people battle with blog photography. Especially if you are a beauty and lifestyle blogger. Getting the right images and styling the photo right is hard work. Although some make it look very easy. I know Elysian Life has only been around for a few months (how could I know about blog photography, right?) but before Elysian Life I had a beauty blog. I take all my photos with my iPhone. I'm a single mom, I don't have money for a DSLR. I will show you my tips and tricks. I will also share the links of bloggers who take amazing photography.

Camera - DSLR or iPhone


Although having a large DSLR with over 20 mp is amazing, not all of us can afford it. The iPhone 7 plus I use has a 12 mp camera that takes pretty amazing photos. Of course as technology advances, so will the cameras in our phones. Already the Hauwei P20 Pro has a 40 mp camera. The specs of the camera is usually the first thing I look for in a phone. 


Tripod


This is invaluable. Everyone who wants to take flatlay's with a iPhone needs a tripod. It will help you with stabilization for clearer photos. You can buy one at most camera shops but I love creating things, so I found this awesome DIY on Pinterest. Using PVC pipe to created a stand and having a few lengths to control the height. I am busy designing one to take pictures from the sides. I will do a DIY post soon.

Lighting


Ah the dreaded lighting. Natural light is the best. I shoot all my photos in the morning or in the afternoon. I never shoot between 11 am and 1 pm, as the light is too bright. If you have a day where there is no sun, you will need to invest in lights. You don't have to get studio equipment but get a bulb that mimics natural light. They sell them at builders warehouse. Also invest in a silver reflector. This helps bounce the light onto the photo. You can make one from a piece of board and a piece of tin foil.


Backgrounds


There are so many different items you can use as a background. From table tops, tiles, pieces of material, wood... the list goes on and on. You can make a fake marble background using an artist canvas board and marble contact paper. I also like to use tiles. You can ask your nearest tile shop if they would sell you a single tile. Try to get the largest ones you can. You can also use your fluffy carpets. I want to get a shaggy carpet just to take photos on.


Blog Props


This is where you can have fun. You can add almost anything you want to your photos. You can go with a theme and add props in line with the theme. I love fresh flowers. Not always roses, but one's I have picked from the garden or my neighbors. If you are a beauty blogger, buy yourself a few makeup books. The photos in there make awesome props. You can use crystals, cups, stationery, bowls and fruit. If you think it will work, try it. One piece of advise, don't make it too crowded. I like the open photos with a bit of blank spaces.

Rule of thirds


When using your phone I suggest using the grid to apply the rule of thirds. By placing the products at the cross junctions on the thirds, you will naturally draw your readers eyes to the product. This is a basic photography rule and one that works well.

Try different angles


Don't just do flatlay's. Try different angles. From the side, from below and every which way you can. I like to do the initial flatlay then I angle the camera closer and at a 45 degree, without moving anything. Thus zooming in on one item. There are no hard or fast rules. Just have fun and be unique.

Blur the background


I do this when I want to show off a products features. Like the tip of a brow pencil.  If you are using an iPhone, a quick way to do it is to press on the screen till you see AE/AF Lock. This will blur the background.


Editing


To edit my photos I use VSCO and Snapseed. I use VSCO more as I feel I have more control. Plus I love their preset filters. Here is a great online tutorial to use VSCO to your advantage. Once I have finished editing I transfer them to my PC and resize them on Pixlr.com. This is a free photo editor and great for people who don't have access to Photoshop.

Bloggers who take stunning photography


* Gemma Louise (the best flatlay's in the business)
* In the Frow (Queen hands down)
* A Girl Obsessed (I have only recently discovered her blog but her photos caught my eye)
* That's Totally Fetch (best local blogger with regards to photography)

I'm no expert but I hope these tips will help you with you blog photography. 

Blog Photography Tips

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

blog,photography,iphone

If there is one thing I see often is that people battle with blog photography. Especially if you are a beauty and lifestyle blogger. Getting the right images and styling the photo right is hard work. Although some make it look very easy. I know Elysian Life has only been around for a few months (how could I know about blog photography, right?) but before Elysian Life I had a beauty blog. I take all my photos with my iPhone. I'm a single mom, I don't have money for a DSLR. I will show you my tips and tricks. I will also share the links of bloggers who take amazing photography.

Camera - DSLR or iPhone


Although having a large DSLR with over 20 mp is amazing, not all of us can afford it. The iPhone 7 plus I use has a 12 mp camera that takes pretty amazing photos. Of course as technology advances, so will the cameras in our phones. Already the Hauwei P20 Pro has a 40 mp camera. The specs of the camera is usually the first thing I look for in a phone. 


Tripod


This is invaluable. Everyone who wants to take flatlay's with a iPhone needs a tripod. It will help you with stabilization for clearer photos. You can buy one at most camera shops but I love creating things, so I found this awesome DIY on Pinterest. Using PVC pipe to created a stand and having a few lengths to control the height. I am busy designing one to take pictures from the sides. I will do a DIY post soon.

Lighting


Ah the dreaded lighting. Natural light is the best. I shoot all my photos in the morning or in the afternoon. I never shoot between 11 am and 1 pm, as the light is too bright. If you have a day where there is no sun, you will need to invest in lights. You don't have to get studio equipment but get a bulb that mimics natural light. They sell them at builders warehouse. Also invest in a silver reflector. This helps bounce the light onto the photo. You can make one from a piece of board and a piece of tin foil.


Backgrounds


There are so many different items you can use as a background. From table tops, tiles, pieces of material, wood... the list goes on and on. You can make a fake marble background using an artist canvas board and marble contact paper. I also like to use tiles. You can ask your nearest tile shop if they would sell you a single tile. Try to get the largest ones you can. You can also use your fluffy carpets. I want to get a shaggy carpet just to take photos on.


Blog Props


This is where you can have fun. You can add almost anything you want to your photos. You can go with a theme and add props in line with the theme. I love fresh flowers. Not always roses, but one's I have picked from the garden or my neighbors. If you are a beauty blogger, buy yourself a few makeup books. The photos in there make awesome props. You can use crystals, cups, stationery, bowls and fruit. If you think it will work, try it. One piece of advise, don't make it too crowded. I like the open photos with a bit of blank spaces.

Rule of thirds


When using your phone I suggest using the grid to apply the rule of thirds. By placing the products at the cross junctions on the thirds, you will naturally draw your readers eyes to the product. This is a basic photography rule and one that works well.

Try different angles


Don't just do flatlay's. Try different angles. From the side, from below and every which way you can. I like to do the initial flatlay then I angle the camera closer and at a 45 degree, without moving anything. Thus zooming in on one item. There are no hard or fast rules. Just have fun and be unique.

Blur the background


I do this when I want to show off a products features. Like the tip of a brow pencil.  If you are using an iPhone, a quick way to do it is to press on the screen till you see AE/AF Lock. This will blur the background.


Editing


To edit my photos I use VSCO and Snapseed. I use VSCO more as I feel I have more control. Plus I love their preset filters. Here is a great online tutorial to use VSCO to your advantage. Once I have finished editing I transfer them to my PC and resize them on Pixlr.com. This is a free photo editor and great for people who don't have access to Photoshop.

Bloggers who take stunning photography


* Gemma Louise (the best flatlay's in the business)
* In the Frow (Queen hands down)
* A Girl Obsessed (I have only recently discovered her blog but her photos caught my eye)
* That's Totally Fetch (best local blogger with regards to photography)

I'm no expert but I hope these tips will help you with you blog photography. 
maybelline,total,temptations

While browsing in Dischem recently, I came across this pretty pink mascara and brow definer. Now I know I shouldn't choose a product based on the pretty packaging but I was sucked in. I was looking for a brow pencil in anyway. 

Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara


maybelline,total,temptation,mascara

One thing I love about the Maybelline Total Temptation mascara is the wand. For me a mascara wand needs to be a spoolie brush. I fee you get way more product on your lashes and it gives your lashes a boost. They didn't have a tester so I was going it blind but I was very happy when I got home. 

They product is black as black can be. There was no clumping and no spider lashes. I used two coats and my lashes look amazing. This is the first Maybelline mascara I have bought since the iconic green and pink Great Lash mascara. I will be purchasing this mascara again and for only R 149.95 it is a steal.

Total Temptation Brow Definer


Maybelline,total,temptation,brow,definer

The first thing that drew me to this mascara was the cute little spoolie brush on the end. A round little bubble. I honestly wondered exactly how it would work but it works brilliantly. I love it. Small and delicate to feather your brows.

Maybelline,total,temptation,brow,definer

The tip of the brow definer is a diamond shape. It is good for creating individual hairs and also filling in large spaces. The brow definer color is 130 dark brown, but it is great because it can be light or dark, depending on the pressure you use. It retails for R 99.95.

maybelline,total,temptation,selfie

I am will be putting one of these in my pro kit. It is great for everyone. 

Have you tried these two products from Maybelline? What do you think of them? 

Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara & Brow Definer

Monday, 11 June 2018

maybelline,total,temptations

While browsing in Dischem recently, I came across this pretty pink mascara and brow definer. Now I know I shouldn't choose a product based on the pretty packaging but I was sucked in. I was looking for a brow pencil in anyway. 

Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara


maybelline,total,temptation,mascara

One thing I love about the Maybelline Total Temptation mascara is the wand. For me a mascara wand needs to be a spoolie brush. I fee you get way more product on your lashes and it gives your lashes a boost. They didn't have a tester so I was going it blind but I was very happy when I got home. 

They product is black as black can be. There was no clumping and no spider lashes. I used two coats and my lashes look amazing. This is the first Maybelline mascara I have bought since the iconic green and pink Great Lash mascara. I will be purchasing this mascara again and for only R 149.95 it is a steal.

Total Temptation Brow Definer


Maybelline,total,temptation,brow,definer

The first thing that drew me to this mascara was the cute little spoolie brush on the end. A round little bubble. I honestly wondered exactly how it would work but it works brilliantly. I love it. Small and delicate to feather your brows.

Maybelline,total,temptation,brow,definer

The tip of the brow definer is a diamond shape. It is good for creating individual hairs and also filling in large spaces. The brow definer color is 130 dark brown, but it is great because it can be light or dark, depending on the pressure you use. It retails for R 99.95.

maybelline,total,temptation,selfie

I am will be putting one of these in my pro kit. It is great for everyone. 

Have you tried these two products from Maybelline? What do you think of them? 
sunday,relfections,gratitude

This has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. You know when a month is going to kick you ass and there feels like there is nothing you can do about it. But on Wednesday I gained some perspective and saw someone else's way of living that gave me the shock of my life. I got home and was speechless for the rest of the day. 

A thought: We need to stop being so ungrateful! There are people out there with nothing but who manage to smile and laugh each day. We have the tendency to get so worked up and depressed when the power is out or the internet is down. We take everything for granted. There are people who have nothing, who sleep in tents and yet they are the happiest and most grateful people around. We have so much to be thankful for. A roof of your head, clothes on your back and food on the table. Leave the luxuries. Stop crying because you can't afford tickets for a stupid concert or that new car. Just be thankful. 

Piece of Advice: Start a gratitude journal. At the end of each day write down all the things you are grateful for. Even the littlest things. You will see that you have so much to be thankful for. 

A quote for the week: Trade your expectations for appreciation and the world changes instantly. 

Song of the week: A Million Dreams - Greatest Showman soundtrack. This song is so beautiful. It makes me think of a bright and colorful future no matter what situation you are in.  How do these lyrics not inspire you?

'Cause every night I lie in bed, The brightest colors fill my head

A million dreams are keeping me awake, I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see, A million dreams is all it's gonna take
A million dreams for the world we're gonna make


Lesson for the week: We don't need a house full of meaningless belongings, as long as we have the people around us who care about us. People we value and appreciate. Material possessions mean nothing. You can't take them with you when you die.

Grateful for: New friends, Rhysia and Enver. My job. Laughter and happiness when days are dark. Moments shared with friends and family.

Sunday Reflections ~ Gratitude

Sunday, 10 June 2018

sunday,relfections,gratitude

This has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. You know when a month is going to kick you ass and there feels like there is nothing you can do about it. But on Wednesday I gained some perspective and saw someone else's way of living that gave me the shock of my life. I got home and was speechless for the rest of the day. 

A thought: We need to stop being so ungrateful! There are people out there with nothing but who manage to smile and laugh each day. We have the tendency to get so worked up and depressed when the power is out or the internet is down. We take everything for granted. There are people who have nothing, who sleep in tents and yet they are the happiest and most grateful people around. We have so much to be thankful for. A roof of your head, clothes on your back and food on the table. Leave the luxuries. Stop crying because you can't afford tickets for a stupid concert or that new car. Just be thankful. 

Piece of Advice: Start a gratitude journal. At the end of each day write down all the things you are grateful for. Even the littlest things. You will see that you have so much to be thankful for. 

A quote for the week: Trade your expectations for appreciation and the world changes instantly. 

Song of the week: A Million Dreams - Greatest Showman soundtrack. This song is so beautiful. It makes me think of a bright and colorful future no matter what situation you are in.  How do these lyrics not inspire you?

'Cause every night I lie in bed, The brightest colors fill my head

A million dreams are keeping me awake, I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see, A million dreams is all it's gonna take
A million dreams for the world we're gonna make


Lesson for the week: We don't need a house full of meaningless belongings, as long as we have the people around us who care about us. People we value and appreciate. Material possessions mean nothing. You can't take them with you when you die.

Grateful for: New friends, Rhysia and Enver. My job. Laughter and happiness when days are dark. Moments shared with friends and family.
© Elysian Life. Design by Fearne.