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My Life Archive

Styli Card Company | Featured

I am very happy to introduce to you The Styli Card Company!

Styli Card Company was launched this year by Peter & Mandy Lumb, who already own and run a successful design and marketing company, One Hundred Percent.  Mandy contacted me a few months ago to tell me about her new venture and wanted to use a few of my images to present their stunning greeting cards, tags and labels on their new website.

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Styli is an online shop where you can personalize your own cards, tags and labels with your own photos in 3 easy steps.  They host a wide variety of beautifully designed stationary products, which are all printed locally.

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If you would like to find out more about Styli, you can visit their website here.

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Victoria Falls, Zambesi, Zimbabwe | Travel Post 6

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There is nothing more relaxing for me than to jump on a plane and arrive at a remote location for a break in the African wild. Nick and I spent Christmas in 2010 at Imbabala Safari Lodge and it was a no-brainer for us to return there a few years later for a holiday escape with my parents, who being London city slickers had not been on this sort of wild adventure before. What a year 2013 was for travel, and this was our last stop of the year (you go and see our other adventures of the year here: Sorrento, Paris, Lake District, London, Sydney and Auckland)

Having a chance to see so many wild animals from lion to fish eagles was an experience we will never forget.

The service we received from welcome to departure was excellent and we hope to return again soon, as the mighty Zambezi has stolen our hearts forever..

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PUBLISHED: The Pretty Blog & Sawubona Magazine

I am so happy that the beautiful wedding of Alvin & Donna has been featured on not only The Pretty Blog, but also in South African Airways inflight magazine, Sawubona.

Alvin & Donna’s wedding at Vrede En Lust, Simonium, was truly breath-taking and it was such a privilege to be there to capture it for them.

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To see Alvin & Donna’s stunning wedding on The Pretty Blog you can go here.

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You can go here to see more of photos of Alvin & Donna’s day.

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Sydney, Australia | Auckland, New Zealand | Travel Post 5

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I still can’t believe we had five months of travel last year. Six countries in one year (England/France/Italy/Australia/New Zealand/Zimbabwe).  What a real treat! Nick and I will definitely remember this for a long time to come.

Following up from my blog post on our tours in Europe, we had the privilege of traveling to Australasia during October/November – a three week trip meeting up with special people along the way.

First stop was Sydney – and after a very long flight and trying to recover from the jet lag, we found ourselves in the company of great friends of ours, Richie and Marina (and little baby Ruby). Nick and I were to be involved in their wedding for photography and music, and we soon made our way up to gorgeous Byron Bay for the festivities. If you didn’t get a chance to see the photos, you can HERE.

After that stunning wedding we hooked up with our friends Avril and Madeleine. Madeleine has been a good friend of mine since school and she had immigrated out to Sydney a few years ago.  It was such a joy to see what kind of life she was enjoying in this gorgeous city. While we stayed with Madeleine & Avril, I celebrated my 30th birthday.  I never thought I would be spending this ‘mile stone’ birthday in another country and Madeleine and Avril made the celebrations so special!

Wow! What a city Sydney is! Loved it there! The water, the weather, the opera house, funky restaurants, beaches and all the crazy wildlife to boot made for a great experience.

Next up was Auckland, New Zealand! Hooking up with old South African friends of ours, Sean & Sue, and meeting their new little addition, Ava, made our hearts happy. Auckland has its own charm: the yachts, islands, volcanoes, beachside towns and spiraling roads. Driving through to Tauranga to see the De Beer family added to the excitement. Their two girls are too cute! New Zealand is so breathtakingly beautiful and pristine! So much open space and natural landscapes. It is such a pity it’s so far away!

One more travel post to come – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

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Nick really couldn’t wait to get out for a surf….

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How cute is this little Wombat?…

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But the Koalas were my favourite!

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Regular watchers of the soapie ‘Home & Away’ might recognize this…

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Thank you to Richie & Marina for the wonderful champagne delivered to our hotel room for my 30th!

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We visited Sydney’s Zoo.  Found it very strange to see giraffes with a city in the background!

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The lovely Madeleine & Avril…

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The amazing ‘Mr Woo’ restaurant we ate at for my birthday….

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And then off to New Zealand…

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The amazing view of Tauranga…

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Taking a quick rest after climbing the mountain…

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The lovely De Beer family…

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Nick helped with carrying the kids up the mountain…

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View of Auckland from a dormant volcano..

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Something To Smile About

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This week’s something to smile about:

1. Beautiful pink proteas

2. Not only capturing the amazing Natasha Meister & Jimmy Dludlu play together but getting to listen to awesome music at the same time

3. Vrede En Lust Wine Estate – need I say more?

4. Anticipating the third installment of Bridget Jones’ Diary – Mad About The Boy – coming out soon.  Read the first one when I used to commute to London by train and made me laugh out loud.  Although latest news is Mark Darcy has been killed off in this one – say it can’t be true!

5. Call it my bad sense of humour, but saw this and make me chuckle

6. Stunning decor at the wedding of Donna & Alvin at Vrede En Lust last Saturday

7. A great excuse….

8. Finding an old photo of my Mum when she was younger – loving the Polaroid

9. Nick is trying to convince me that he now needs this Asterix and Obelix wetsuit that Matt Wilkinson wore in France.  Still trying to convince him that he doesn’t.

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Something To Smile About

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Sometimes when life catches up with us and we are mega busy we forget the little things that made our week.

These are just a few little things this week that made me smile….

1. Driving through snow capped mountains as we were on our way to Robertson for a photo shoot.  Even though it means Cape Town will be extremely cold it still is a beautiful sight to see.

2. Finding a opened, but unfinished Toblerone in the fridge – bit partial to a good cup of tea and chocolate on a cold winter’s day

3. Being given beautiful yellow tulips from a client to brighten up my house.

4. Happy to be back in Cape Town and coming across beautiful sights like this.

5. Almond blossom everywhere

6.Going beer tasting with Nick – even though I am not huge beer fan this was quite insightful and fun – never knew there could be so many different options for beer!

7.Being surprised by Nick this week to go to 5 Ryneveld in Stellenbosch (these guys make yummy burgers!) to watch the amazing Natasha Meister perform.

8. Sunny Cape Town – have had a lot of rain and grey skies recently, so always nice to see the sun.

9. In my London post I mentioned that I saw the smallest camera ever at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum and the other day I found the photo of it.  How tiny is it? And it works apparently!

I hope whatever this week had in store for you something made you smile!

 

 

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London, UK | Travel Post 4

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Being back for a few weeks now has got me and Nick settled into life as we left it. As I pull out these photos from CF cards (and film!), I cant help but feel astounded by just how blessed we were to do what we did over the last 4 months. Up until this year, life has had its ups and downs, but as we came around the corner of 2012 we saw a year of travel unfold – what a gift of grace to us. Speaking with Nick as we look back, we both feel humbled and extremely grateful that we had a chance to take 4 months to get away and kick up our feet in sunny France, Italy, and England! What a pleasure 🙂

Alas, I now wrap up with the last photos I took while away in England. I won’t say much more, because as you scroll down you will see I have added a few notes. The first photos are at Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guards. We just managed to sneak in the last bit of the parade, along with some sort of dignitary who floated in via helicopter!

Oh and one last thing.. This is my first “My Life” blog post on my all new website – Hope you like the new look!

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Just before a bestie of mine got married, me and the girls managed to sneak away to a cute little spot on the English coastline called Rye!

I didn’t see a whole bunch of bakeries, but it was a very cute town none the less!

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Nick has got some English roots – his father was born in Sevenoaks, Kent. Last year we found out that his great-grandfather was a rector at this cute little church in East Hoathly, near Lewes in Sussex. Apparently he was a great musician and he served the congregants here from 1922 till his death in 1933. He and his wife were buried on the church ground.

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On the way from East-Hoathly we popped into the nearby town of Lewes – famous for their local brew!

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We visited Brighton on a few occasions for two reasons. 1- Our good friends live there. 2- We just love Brighton!

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Brighton pier and beach..

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The famous lanes of Brighton….

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Some more Brighton beach….

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Visiting Nick’s sister in Maidenhead we got to see Windsor Castle:

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Towards the end of our stay, on the 3rd of September we celebrated our 8th anniversary at a stunning restaurant on the 33rd floor of “The Shard” in London. (There are 72 floors!! Yikes!) The whole building is made from a steel frame and glass panels.. Its fast becoming one the newest icons of London.

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..I’m also a leeeetle scared of heights! (P.S – try not to look down..Wooah!)

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After lunch we went to the museum Ripley’s Believe It Or Not – where I saw the world’s smallest camera – and it works!

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And now.. *drumroll* for some…. FILM!!! I just love the texture it gives! I got lucky one day in a 2nd hand camera shop where I managed to get my hands one of the last models of Canon film models, at a price I couldn’t refuse!

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Nick loved the band below. Believe it or not, they were a classic old school american 50s rock n roll band from Latvia in Eastern Europe called “The Big Bluff”.

Most folks were getting their jive on as they played some original music and covers from the classic 50s era.
This is what they were playing when I took this photo:

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Nick capturing a jazz band with his recorder. He really enjoyed recording sound bites from various parts of the trip.

This band were playing 1930s jazz music with classic old selmer guitars – the kind of music from The Great Gatsby era – have a listen:

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Nick tired after all the walking around London. We stopped for a drink in Carnaby Street.

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The Tate Modern Gallery:

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Lake District, UK | Travel Post 3

Rebecca Groves Photography

Nick and I have been having a wonderful time over the last months. After enjoying such memorable experiences in Italy and France, we came back home to London for a few days before jumping in a car with my lovely sister and her boyfriend, and driving up to the evergreen Lake District in Northern England.

Although I grew up near London, I moved to Cape Town shortly after school in 2003, so I never really had the chance to explore the beauty of my own back yard. So off to the Lake Districts then!

What struck me the most upon arrival was the unique look of the area. Slate cladding covers just about every exterior wall and fence in the area, giving such a unique look and feel to the nearby towns. I felt like I was in a different country! Old churches, bridges, pubs and the odd castle gives such character to the area.

Beatrix Potter- the author of so many famous children’s novels actually visited one of these castles on the edge of the lake. One day we hired a boat and went across to visit this famous site. Its not hard to see where she got her inspiration from.

It was so good to head away from the city to enjoy some country life for a few days. The fresh air, rolling hills (full of resident sheep) and tranquil waters made for a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

I hope to be back one day soon!

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Paris, France | Travel Post 2

Rebecca Groves Photography

Shortly after our trip to Sorrento, Italy, we had a chance for a short visit to Paris for the first time. Staying in cute B&B accommodation in the city was the perfect positioning for us to pop into the subway and jump on the local underground network to visit all the sites.

Seeing the grand Eiffel Tower was an awesome experience, but not the only stop of our adventure. Paris is full of sites to see- The Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomphe were just a few of the many places one has to witness upon arrival.

Having said all this, there is still nothing better to do in Paris than to take in the romantic atmosphere as a couple, and spend an evening in a quaint restaurant in the heart of the city. Hearing the French language in the air along with the sound of accordions being played in the streets really sets the tone for two to fall in love all over again.

After our romantic rendezvous in the city of Paris, we decided to be like little kids and re-live our childhood at Disneyland Paris! Highlights included waving at Mickey, enjoying the famous rides and watching the castle being lit up with fireworks and color as they did the evening show.

All in all, we managed to cram a lot of fun in to a few days, and it was no surprise to find ourselves “nodding off” on our return trip with the Eurostar, back home to London.

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The famous Musée d’Orsay….

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After a long walk around Paris and then up to Montmartre, we were starving, so found a sweet little restaurant to stop for a bite to eat…

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As well as seeing the Mona Lisa at The Lourve, we also got to visit one of my favourite parts of the gallery, Napoleon III’s apartments.  So stunning!

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Every time we walked by The Eiffel Tower I had to get my camera out to take a shot, and it was even more spectacular at night…

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When we stepped into Notre Dame a choir was singing.  Something that I am so glad I got to experience – sent chills up the spine!

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Both of us posing by The Seine River…

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Some people decided to declare their love on Lover’s Bridge over The Seine, by writing their names on a padlock and locking it to the bridge…

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The Musée de l’Orangerie, where we had the privilege of seeing Monet’s famous Water Lillies…

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And finally, our last stop in Paris, Disneyland – the place where dreams come true and you feel like a big kid!

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Sorrento, Italy | Travel Post 1

Rebecca Groves Photography

Who doesn’t love a chance travel?  Nick and I have felt so blessed this year to be able to take some time out and see a few wonderful places around the world.

Being a London girl, I have wanted to take Nick to see more of Europe for a while now. Having seen a bit of it myself, I wanted him to experience the different languages, sights and history of Europe.

Last week we came back from Sorrento, Italy and gosh what I stunning place it is!

We had a chance to visit the Amalfi Coast, along from Sorrento and also got to learn about some history at the ruins of a Roman town of Pompeii.

My favourite thing to do though was to stroll through the little narrow streets of Sorrento, shopping, buying fruit, drinking Limonchella, and stopping for a coffee at a little corner cafés on the way.

I actually think I left a piece of my heart there, after experiencing the sheer beauty of the area.

Who wouldn’t?

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