What a year 2013 has been. I have to say it’s been an incredible improvement on 2012. I can’t remember who told me this, but it has really stuck. “Sometimes there are years for questions and years for answers.”
It all makes sense – in hindsight. 2012 was a year of loss and change for me, but the loss made way for the most incredible opportunities that have made me happier than I could have imagined.
I guess I always think that good things just happen easily and beautifully. It’s all very Disney and not realistic at all.
Sometimes from the bad, greatness emerges and there is such beauty in that.
2013 was a big year of changes too, but great wonderful changes. It’s been a year that’s made me tougher, it’s made me stand on my own two feet even more than before and a year of growth.
I started my New Year in Cape Town on holiday, falling in love with the city even more. I had been wanting to move to Cape Town for long over 10 months at that stage, but there was a lot of fear, “what ifs”, “change is scary” and yet every time I flew down for business I had this calling to move. Inexplainable.
I flew back to Johannesburg with the idea that this was the year I was going to make the leap of faith… Part of me wished I could be bold, pack my car and just drive down with no plan… but I was turning 30 this year and a sense of maturity and needing to be realistic made sure that I really planned carefully and not impulsively.
I had also been doing a long distance relationship and as funny as it sounds, I didn’t want to make him the reason for the move. I had been wanting to move long before meeting him and when I did meet him in Cape Town at 2Oceansvibe Radio, it really felt like another little nudge in the right direction.
I also kept our relationship off my blog – for those of you who have been following my blog for years will know I’d been quite open about my relationships in the past. This one felt different – more special and whilst it was still new-ish beginning in 2012, I wanted to also be a little more cautious with my heart, which had been bruised quite a bit.
On the 30th of January I flew down to surprise him for his big birthday (read here)
I flew back to Johannesburg to be with my family and friends for my 30th. I honestly had that little wobble before my 30th. It started already at the beginning of the year. At first I thought it was just because everyone says you have a “wobble”, but there was more to that. It was a real moment in my life that made me assess everything. Who I was so far? What did I want? Was I happy in the career I’d chosen? Was I happy living in Johannesburg? Had I done enough crazy things in my twenties? Every single thing was assessed. I also had to make peace with the fact that I wasn’t where my 12 year old self had thought I’d be by 30 (which, to any 12 year old was ancient) – married, with twin babies, a best seller, a prime time TV and radio show and being interviewed on Oprah. Ha!
BUT… on the day of my 30th – the 4th of February, I woke up without any of the anxiety I had felt before. I felt light. It was as if turning a new decade had wiped the slate clean and I was able to start a new decade afresh. I was excited to leave my twenties behind with a little more confidence. I felt like I’d be taken a little more seriously and I had one of the best birthdays. I also had my boyfriend, Socrates (Sox), fly in from Cape Town to celebrate with my family and my closest friends. Read here
I also appeared in the Marie Claire Naked Issue. This was such a vulnerable experience but also so incredibly liberating. It was to raise awareness for the SA Organ Donor Foundation – something I had signed up for in 2010. Read here
It was also the month that my BFF Karolina and I were sent to Mauritius for work. What a pleasure! In hindsight, I’m so glad we got to do this trip because it was our last trip and proper quality time spent before my big move (I just didn’t know it yet!)
You can watch the video here.
I flew to Cape Town for business and to see my boyfriend. It was on that weekend that I decided to take the plunge and move by April. I had been setting everything up but as soon as I made the final decision, it’s as if everything just slotted into place. In that weekend I found an apartment to move into, but it would only be ready by May. That was when a friend of mine, Jen, said I could use her apartment for April (rent free – as a welcome to Cape Town.) Amazing. All just meant to be.
There were plenty of hints on my blog, even in 2012, though I never mentioned my plans.
I modelled for Hospice Wits Night with the Stars Celebrity Fashion Show on the evening of Human Rights Day. See here
I celebrated Easter with my family and made even more hints on my blog here.
I hosted a Legacy Lifestyle High Tea at the beautiful Michelangelo Hotel on Saturday the 6th of April.
I MC’d the prestigious PRISM Awards with Simba Mhere on Sunday, the 7th of April and the very next day I started my new adventure. I had packed my car to capacity and mom and I drove down to Cape Town. I cried a lot and my heart physically ached as I said good bye to my family and Duke. That was the hardest part. I just kept telling myself that he had the best life with my mom and dad and that I would see him all the time on Skype/FaceTime and in my visits AND… I was only 2 hours away.
We split the trip up and so on the 8th of April we stayed in the Karoo. Read it all here.
On Tuesday the 9th of April I officially drove into Cape Town in my little car. We went straight to Jen’s apartment in Green Point where my boyfriend met us. I was nervous, excited, exhausted, exhilirated and just emotional.
Mom stayed with me for a week and helped me settle in. We went sight seeing and I loved spending time with mom, but also felt extremely anxious when I knew she was flying back.
Here is the post where I announced my move, my dual city living plans, plans about Duke and more.
I almost immediately started working and got involved with the COSMOPOLITAN and Colgate Campaign. Here
I was invited to be on the DHL Stormers Couch on the rugby try lines as a welcome to Cape Town: here
I continued my radio show on 2Oceansvibe Radio from the Cape Town studio’s and was settling in to Cape Town.
OH and… in case April wasn’t busy enough or bringing in enough scary change, I also went back to studying! I enrolled in a course with Quirk, through the University of Stellenbosch Graduate School of Business to do Social Media 2. It had been a while since I’d studied and I had to get used to researching, reading text books and doing assignments.
I left Jens apartment and moved into my new apartment with my first and only housemate- Jarrad. He is hilarious and I have often thought of starting a side blog/ twitter account of things my housemate says and does.
Sox surprised me with tickets to watch Bon Jovi in the Cape Town stadium. We also celebrated our first anniversary of meeting one another.
I was invited to be a guest at the Cape Town Table of Unity on Table Mountain. That was an amazing experience.
Karolina came to visit me in Cape Town and we did some work together.
I finished my Social Media 2 Course and decided to start my own business. I absolutely LOVE media. Everything about it excites me. I love broadcasting and I also love social media, hence my studies. I decided to offer Social Media management to small companies who need SM, but don’t have time to run it because they’re running their business. My business is called BS Media and yes, it’s a play on the acronym of what you originally thought (don’t deny it) and my initals. 🙂
The great thing about this is I can be based anywhere in the world and it’s flexible. I work hard and I’m great at time management so I can keep up to date with everything that I do.
If you know of anyone needing Social Media, let me know I’m always looking to expand and I’m proud that it’s growing monthly.
I got a new car!! Told you this was a year of change! I have a vision board – I do one each year. Sometimes the things I have from previous years end up coming true years later. It’s fascinating and just another reminder that everything has it’s time and place. Hard for someone who is impatient. Ahem.
I have had a Mini Cooper on my vision board for ages. I bought myself a Mini Clubman and I love her so much! See her here
I fell on the treadmill – luckily it wasn’t YouTube worthy but it was pretty sore. I tore my Achilles Tendon – only 25% which meant I luckily didn’t need surgery. I hobbled on crutches for a month and was out of action/exercise for 4 months. I’m still taking it easy as it’s a nasty injury that takes a long time to heal.
I flew back to Johannesburg (crutches and all – what an experience) to surprise my dad for Father’s Day! It was awesome!
I started the “I Can’t Live Without Series” on this blog.
I did a 6 months review (and actually forgot about it until I saw it now in archives… Dammit and here I am just writing up the past 5 months when it was all there. Read here)
Sox and I drove to Plett to see some friends from Barcelona.
I flew to Johannesburg for the Red Square and Edgars Cosmetic Launch. Read here.
This was a month of big campaigns. I ran a campaign for Stimorol, Dove, Exclusive Books Crime Month, I started my baking campaign with Sasko Flour and Serv’d Fresh.
I also started my YouTube Channel. It’s something I really enjoy doing and will be doing more in 2014.
Sox also surprised me and my mom, by arranging a trip for me to surprise my mom on her birthday! It was so special and wonderful. Here.
The most heartfelt moment of the year, was when Sox organised some friends in Cape Town to gather blankets, clothes and food. We drove around the freezing wet streets of Cape Town and handed out food, plastic sheeting to shield the rain and warm blankets to the homeless. Read here. It’s something we have continued to do and will continue in 2014.
Cape Town didn’t get the memo that it was supposed to be Spring. We had a very late start to Spring and even Summer.
My YouTube channel was growing slowly but steadily. I traveled to Joburg for family, Duke and friends and work. Marie Claire and Clarins invited me to film a video for their Beauty Spotlights. I was honoured to be chosen as one of four “it-girls”. Read here.
I celebrated 6 months of living in Cape Town. Time flies.
I was also promoted at 2Oceansvibe Radio. I went from having a 1 hour show every Monday – Thursday to having the 2 hour lunch time show every Monday – Thursday 12-2pm. www.2oceansviberadio.com
I did an amazing campaign on my blog and radio show with the hotel Park Inn by Radisson in Cape Town, to celebrate their 2nd birthday. See the fun here
I learned how to sew my very own beach bag.
We went to watch Rihanna courtesy of 4th Street wines.
I celebrated Halloween at Cafe Caprice and wish I had dressed up more.
I decided to start taking better care of myself – after my Achilles Tendon tear I hadn’t done much exercise, I comfort ate, which actually left me uncomfortable in my own skin. I’m on my own healthy challenge and I’m eating right, training at Sweat 1000 and have a goal to be a certain weight. I’ve been meaning to do a blog post (which will be quite vulnerable…but I haven’t got round to it yet. Fearful procrastination.)
I filmed an insert for the Expresso Morning show with Lisa Raleigh. That was so much fun.
I tried something I’d never done before and used my beloved Vanilla Tea in a baking recipe. It was a major success and absolutely delicious. Vanilla Tea Cookies.
Dad turned 60 years old and to celebrate this wonderful milestone, he took my family, my boyfriend, my sisters boyfriend and friends out from America to Zanzibar. This was pure paradise and one of the best trips I have ever been on.
You can read all the posts and see all the pictures here (don’t forget to scroll down and click on “Older Posts”)
Coca Cola got in touch with me and told me that I was one of the “celebs” chosen to have my name on a Coke bottle/can as part of their Share a Coke campaign. What an honour! See here.
I also MC’d the Summer launch of Alessia Boutique and even had a grecian dress named after me.
I flew to Johannesburg to become an ambassador for the Blow the Whistle Campaign – I am extremely proud of this and I’d love you to read more here.
I flew back to Cape Town and was on the Expresso Morning show with Ryk Neethling to talk about Blow the Whistle.
Duke turned 2 years old!
My uncle Paul and aunt Nadja arrived from Switzerland. I was very excited to introduce them to Sox. We had an awesome meal at KOI.
Sox and I were invited to the red carpet movie premier for the Nelson Mandela movie: A Long Walk to Freedom.
Nelson Mandela died. The whole world came to a stand still and our entire country was in mourning. See my tributes here.
My little sister and her boyfriend Ross got engaged and I am so excited and happy for them!
We had our 2Oceansvibe Radio year end luncheon and closed the radio station.We are playing the best of 2013 shows and music and will have live DJ’s from January again.
Sox and I went to the Nelson Mandela Cape Town Memorial and it was such a magical moment.
I MC’d the pink carpet at Cape Town’s biggest Party: MCQP (Mother City Queer Party)
I found out that I came Top of my Class for the Quirk Social Media 2 Course through the University of Stellebosch Graduate School of Business. *Nerd*
I celebrated my very first Christmas in Cape Town. We first celebrated Christmas Eve dinner at Sox’ best friend Marc and Kim’s parents home. It was an incredible night of delicious food, wine and a hilarious game called Actionary.
On Christmas day I celebrated with Sox’ family. I made a roast chicken with fresh stuffing, roast sweet potatoes and butternut. Sox’ mom made roast lamb, spanakopita and the most delicious dessert.
I’ve been enjoying the incredible beach weather, catching up with friends like Mark Pilgrim and his adorable family and just getting ready for 2014.
I am looking forward to 2014 and I can’t wait for the next adventures!
Thank you for all your love and support this year. If you read my blog daily, you are an absolute legend and I appreciate it more than I know how to put into words.
Here’s to another great year of Vanilla Blonde.