What do bloggers do when they are not writing?

Have you ever wondered what Bloggers do when they are not writing or taking photographs for their blogs? They either attend or organise a Meet Up in the town where they live or in the city nearest to them.

MeetUps are neighbours getting together to learn something, do something or share something. I attended one of these this past weekend and simply have to share this awesome experience with you.

The event was organised (as always) by our very efficient and generous host Cindy Alfino from 3Kids2Dogsand1Oldhouse. Read more about the event here: The venue for our event was Chinos Coffee House in Kenilworth, Cape Town, South Africa – Find them here:

Our main speaker was a lady called Abigail from . . .

Specialist Women’s Portraiture

who shared some valuable information with us regarding the use of photographs and what the Copyright law says about using photographs taken by others and downloaded from the internet. The extra special bonus was the Online Blog Photography course available free to all those who attended this MeetUp. Thank you so much Abigail for your generous gift.

Our Goodie Bags were packed with all sorts of wonderful goodies as usual. Our hostess never ceases to amaze and impress us all with what she ends up putting in our Goodie Bags. Let me tell you about some of the stuff I found in my bag . . .

 

The Entertainer –  Find them here:

Entertainer App

This is an app available for all IOS and Android devices available through your App Playstore. This app for your mobile device gives you access to buy one get one free offers to the best restaurants, activities, attractions, spas and hotels across 40 destinations throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia.

 

Rain Day Spa –  

Home

We received some lovely handmade soap, African Rain Hand Lotion and a gift voucher towards our next purchase at any of their stores.

 

Milly and Me –  Find them here:

MillyandMe

We received a discount voucher towards our next purchase via their online store.

Lavender in Lavender Hill –

Lavender Hill Products

Pack of tea bags: two Lavender and Rooibos teabags and two Lavender Honeybush tea bags. Find out more about the health benefits of Lavender here:  The benefits of lavender:

SelfieStickerZA –

Selfie Sticker

The new way of taking a selfie without having to carry a selfie stick around with you. Find out more about this revolutionary product here: Find out more here:

Canal Walk Gift Card – Thank you to Canal Walk for their generous gift. Find them here:

Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics – 

Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

A beautifully scented Shimmy Shimmy Soap Bar. Apparently if you rub the bar directly on any area of the body in slow gentle strokes allowing the bar to slowly melt on the skin it will leave that part of your body with a shimmer to the skin. You can find out more about them here: Find more information here

Revlon Cosmetics – 

Revlon Products

Another sponsor who never fails to impress and surprise us. I received in my bag an Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour (Pink – which has a Strawberry flavour) and an Ultimate All-in-One Mascara (Blackest Black) which has 5 benefits all in one: Volume, Length, Definition, Lift and Intense Colour. Find them here

Oh So Heavenly – 

Oh So Heavenly

Have you heard about their newly launched product range called Hair Scentsations? I’m looking forward to trying this sample of hair shampoo and conditioner I found in my Goodie Bag. Smells like mixed berries. Mmmmm . . . together with my lip colour from Revlon will make me smell good enough to eat. #LoveyourColour. http://www.ohsoheavenly.co.za

 

There was so much more in the Goodie Bag, I’ve decided to keep my post short by only focusing on these items here.

 

This event is definitely a must to attend. You cannot afford to miss the next one. I sure am looking forward to the next one myself.

To get on the mailing list for the next event, sign up to our mailer here: Sign up here:

Looking forward to seeing you all at the next #CTMeetUp

Party time!

Balloon Circle

Don’t you just love parties? No party is ever the same. Everyone has their own interpretation of what the décor, food, cake (birthday cake, wedding cake – any speciality cake) should look like. The guest list is made up of a whole array of people – you have the family, friends, sometimes neighbours and/or work colleagues are included on the guest list.

In spite of all the excitement surrounding any celebration there is an awful amount of preparation and behind the scenes work that takes place to make the celebration a reality and, sadly, so many things can go wrong in the days leading up to the event and even on the day itself which is why planning is so critical. Not only the final plan but a Plan B and Plan C and maybe even a Plan D may be required.

Delegation of tasks is critical – it is impossible for one person to do everything on their own. For example:

Connectivity (telephone accessibility) – is your mobile phone charged? Do you have sufficient data and/or airtime? Do you have all the relevant suppliers/helpers telephone numbers stored on your mobile phone. Do you have a (paper copy) list of these contacts and their telephone numbers in case something happens to your mobile phone and you need to use someone else’s phone or a public telephone?

Event Manager/Co-ordinator: Delegation of duties at the venue on the day: Who will be responsible for co-ordinating everything? Who is in charge of the kitchen to make sure everything runs smoothly and that the food is served on time? Who will be at the door to meet and greet your guests? Who will usher the guests to the relevant space at the venue (cocktails/drinks in one space and eventually moving into the main venue where the event will actually take place)? Who is responsible for sound and lighting?

Venue – will the event be indoors or outdoors? Is the venue accessible to the disabled/frail, those incapacitated by recent injury or surgery? What is your backup plan if the weather changes and you cannot use the venue of choice? What happens if a fire breaks out the night before your function and you are unable to use the venue? What is your backup plan? What happens if there are power cuts? Do you have access to a generator at short notice? How early on the day of the function will the venue be available to you for setting up? Décor, sound and lighting all need a few hours and cannot be done an hour before the function starts.

Bathroom at The River Club Obs 10.09.2015

Bathroom facilities at your venue of choice – are these facilities easily accessible to everyone? Will the frail, disabled, or those who have had a recent injury or surgery be able to access the bathroom i.e. is it on the same floor as the function or will they have to walk up steps/stairs to access the bathroom?

Parking – do you have parking marshals to direct people to parking facilities available and to ensure the available parking is utilised as efficiently as possible? Have you arranged special parking for guests with disabilities or for the older generation who may not be so steady on their feet? You may have a guest who has recently had surgery preventing them from walking too far – have you made allowances for this?

Sound and lighting – do you have one person responsible for sound and lighting or two? Do they know exactly what you want and are they able to do exactly what you want in terms of equipment, skills and expertise? Do they know that they cannot arrive five minutes before the function is due to start to set up?

Catering – who will do the catering? Have you hired a professional caterer? Is your appointed caterer a friend or family member? If so, will they take direction and follow your instructions or will they force their opinion and strong will on you? Will they only do the catering or will they do the venue décor as well? Will there be an extra charge for venue décor or is this included in the price quoted? If you are doing the catering yourself, do you have sufficient people to delegate to? You cannot bake, fry, plate the final product all by yourself – who will help you? If you have outsourced the food – who will collect the food from the various suppliers? If you are doing the décor yourself – who will collect the tablecloths and overlays, the centre-pieces for the tables, the flowers etc? are you expecting one person to do all the driving around on the day or do you have more than one? Do you have a backup plan in case one of your drivers cannot help on the day?

High Tea tray at my birthday

The special occasion cake – it has become a trend that a special occasion cake is ordered either from a retail bakery or from a professional work-from-home baker. Here I’m referring to (for example) a cake for a milestone birthday (1st, 21st, 50th, 60th, 70th etc), a wedding cake, a milestone wedding anniversary (25th, 50th, 60th etc) or maybe even just a fun and funky cake to spice up the event. Who will collect this cake on the day? What is the backup plan if this nominated person cannot collect the cake on the day at the agreed time?

Photographer/Videographer – have you arranged for someone to take photographs and/or a video (DVD)? Is this one person for both or two or more people? Are they professionals or just doing this for a hobby? Do they know your specific requirements (if any) of specific photographs or video shots you would like of specific people or particular moments of the event? Do you have a backup plan in case this person (or one of them) is not able to attend the function on the day for some reason? Do you have a few friends or family members with cameras of their own to capture unexpected moments the photographer or videographer might miss?

Let me know how your recent function went. What crises did you face and how did you handle it?

Follow me on Twitter: @PriorityBizServ or on Facebook at: Find me here:

Dear Diary: Life’s Curve Balls!

Photo by: Tami Magnin @rumtumtiggs

Photo by: Tami Magnin @http://www.rumtumtiggs.wordpress.com

Isn’t it strange how life throws you curve balls when you least expect it?

2014 was the year I would be celebrating my big “50th” birthday. I was so excited about the prospect, not knowing what to expect from my family in terms of celebration i.e. I’m the one always organising surprise parties and I wondered if one was going to be organised for me.

I started hinting about this a few months before Christmas (I like to be pro-active and be prepared in advance) and there was no indication from anyone that there would be a surprise party. I was on my own. If I wanted to have a party, I would have to organise one myself. Sigh!

October 2013 onward had me planning, adjusting the budget a million times to make the rands and cents work. I eventually settled on a plan. Instead of throwing away a whole lot of money on one big party, I would book mom and myself into a Spa for a day (the day of my actual birthday) for a spa treatment and we would “sleep it off” at the same hotel that night and leave the following day. I would also take the whole week off from work (as opposed to only taking the day of my birthday) and spend the rest of the week doing day trips in and around the city where I live. The Saturday following my birthday, we would have a High Tea for some close friends and family. By Christmas break, my plans were finalised and we were all set, waiting for the big day to arrive. The plans for my birthday were made based on mom having chemo treatment during the week of 27 January 2014.

Here’s where the first curve ball came: mom was scheduled for a CT Scan on 29 January 2014 to see whether her chemo treatment was working and, unbeknown to me, chemo treatment is not administered in the same week as a CT Scan. This meant that mom’s treatment was postponed to the week of 3 February (my birthday was on 4 February). Not a problem, I thought. There is enough time to make adjustments to my plans so instead of applying for one week’s leave, I would only apply for two days (seeing as mom would be sleeping most of the time after treatment, there was no point in being home if she could not join me). We would then still go for our Spa treatment and stay overnight at the hotel as planned.

Another curve ball: I was informed that with chemo treatment, it is not advisable to have a full body massage as the pressure of the massage could cause the cancer to spread. Not a problem I thought: I contacted the Spa and asked if they could change mom’s treatment to a Manicure and Pedicure only and I would still have my full body massage.

Photo by: Tami Magnin @rumtumtiggs

Photo by: Tami Magnin @http://www.rumtumtiggs.wordpress.com

Next curve ball: The 3rd February arrives and I take mom in for her chemo treatment. We see the doctor first (as is usually the case on the first day of chemo) who informs us that mom’s chemo will be stopped immediately because it is not working and that the cancer has now spread to the liver, lungs and on the glands around the kidneys. The cancer is now at stage four (4). The emotional rollercoaster this put us on would not just disappear by tomorrow. This put a real damper on me even wanting to celebrate my birthday, however, plans were in place. There was no way I could cancel everything now. We arrived home at about midday, had lunch and started sending text messages to everyone we knew to let them know the bad news about mom. This, in a way, was therapeutic for both mom and myself as it seemed to have taken the sting out of what the doctor said. I, however, still have not had the time to deal with the emotional and Psychological effects of this blow and am still feeling very emotional about this whole ordeal as I write this blog.

Photo by: Tami Magnin @rumtumtiggs

Photo by: Tami Magnin @http://www.rumtumtiggs.wordpress.com

The day of my birthday finally arrives and mom and I check in at the hotel, have lunch, have our Spa treatment and relax for the rest of the day. We try our best not to talk about the cancer issue – I’m too emotional about the whole thing and did not want to “spoil” my birthday by crying my eyes out the whole day. I also don’t want mom to see me cry because it will upset her because she is always wanting to “fix” things and this is something she is powerless to “fix”. Mom and I then agreed that, for the sake of granting me at least ONE day to enjoy my birthday, we would not talk about the cancer issue.

Back home the next day we went back to reality and everything went back to normal. Responding to friends and family phoning and texting us regarding our news . . .

Photo by: Tami Magnin @rumtumtiggs.wordpress.com

Photo by: Tami Magnin @http://www.rumtumtiggs.wordpress.com

The Saturday following my birthday, we had a High Tea at one of our local hotels (The Cape Grace Hotel at the V & A Waterfront, Cape Town). It was a small group of about 20 made up of friends and family. I was hoping to use the opportunity to thank those present for the role they played in my life but was not able to say as much as I wanted to because of the pent up emotions regarding my mom’s diagnosis, I almost burst into tears a few times. Nevertheless, we managed to have a good time in each others company so everything turned out well in the end.

There is a saying that goes

“when life throws you lemons, make lemonade”.

Did I do this? I think I did!

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
David Brinkley