Woman of Wonder | Rita Schalkwyk

Women of Wonder

The Happy Go Lucky Club is happy to introduce you to Rita Schalkwyk, this week’s Women of Wonder.

Like Marni, Rita identified a gap in the South African market and took a chance. With a lot of hard work and determination, Blossom Accessories is a thriving online business where you can find the latest trends in fashion accessories, handmade by Rita and her team.

Name: Rita SchalkwykRita 1

Birthday: 19 February

Age: 28

Business: Blossom Accessories
www.blossomaccessories.co.za

Blossom Accessories

My name is Rita and I live in a cosy home in Centurion, Pretoria with my husband, two fur-ball dogs and one cat. I’m currently expecting our first child and I’m feeling a healthy mix of excitement and fear. I’m not a big talker, but I love being around people. I get lost in the details and that also means that I’m usually late. I love drinking wine and attending festivals. I enjoy people who are open minded and aren’t afraid to question everything. I enjoy intellectual talks and absolutely suck at small talk. I’m a big reader and just finished reading Shantaram (Gregory David Roberts) which might have been one of the longest books I’ve ever read but it was totally worth it. I hate Sunday nights, forgetting someone’s birthday, traffic and feeling bored and restless at the same time. I got really lucky when I met my husband because he is the smartest, most generous, sweetest and amazing person I have ever met. I’m surrounded by close friends who I’ve (mostly) known a really long time and I am amazed at the level of support and inspiration they are always offering me.

I started Blossom Accessories almost three years ago, after visiting family in London. The popularity of online shopping in England really struck me during my visit and I felt sure that online shopping was going to boom in South Africa. Now, three years later, I’m happy to see that the prediction was right. My husband was supportive of the idea and I quit my day job a few months later. We lived on what we called the “Baked Bean Budget” for a while as it was some time before the business generated an income. The fact that we didn’t have any children just yet, and that my husband had a secure job at the time, made the decision possible for us and I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to make that leap.

My dream for Blossom was to have an online shop that sells high fashion, handmade products at a reasonable price. I wanted to create a solution for the trendsetters who are able to spot a trend early on, but always have trouble finding the product in South Africa. We release new products on the website twice a month and only small quantities are made of each style. People are also able to contact me about a specific product that they want and if it is possible, I will make it for them. Making sure that my customers are completely satisfied is very important to me and apart from being able to create constantly and working from home, my favourite thing about my job is opening mail from happy customers who are always generous with their kind and supportive words.

  1. What makes you happy? Making people laugh, creating something from scratch, bad dancing and good wine.
  2. If there was only one thing you wanted the world to say about you, what would it be? She did things her own way.
  3. Who inspires you in life and why? I’m inspired by non-conformists who make people look at life differently. People who choose to take a different path just to see if the view is better. People like Jack Kerouac, Frida Kahlo, Virginia Woolf, J.D Salinger, Chuck Palahniuk.
  4. What is your superpower? I’m Super-Song-Lyric-Knower Woman
  5. How do you handle criticism? I appreciate it when someone trusts me enough to be honest with me about my faults.
  6. In one year from now, what will you be celebrating? My son’s first birthday!
  7. What has been the hardest business decision you have ever made? When I quit the job, the grey believers…
  8. When did you know that THIS is what you wanted to do for a living? When we attended our first market and I saw people trying on our products and hearing that they love it!
  9. Where is your happy place? At a festival surrounded by friends and strangers having a good time.
  10. What’s one quote that inspires you? 

Carrie Bradshaw Quote

If our Women of Wonder don’t inspire you, we aren’t sure what will.

Happiness & love,

Mia & Blair

 

 


More Easy Party Treats for Children by Janette Mocke

Have you ever noticed that you can bake gorgeous cakes at any time, but try to bake one the night before your child’s birthday party and then it’s a disaster? You forget the baking powder. The icing melts. It burns. True story, it happens to us every year.

We were thrilled to find this book, More Easy Party Treats for Children by Janet Mocke. It’s a no-bake party book and the ideas are awesome. As in, we haven’t seen it a million times on Pinterest already. And it’s really no-bake.

More Easy Party Treats for Children Book

There are several themes to choose from and they are super easy to make. You get to use cookies and chocolates and gums to make trains, bees, make-up, monsters and all kinds of animals.

We wanted to try out some of the ideas. So we let the kids choose a design that they liked. They chose the train and we gave them the ingredients and that was it.

More Easy Party Treats for Children Book 1

The ideas are easy enough that they could do it all by themselves. They loved building the trains and loved eating them even more.

More Easy Party Treats for Children Book Train 1

This is an awesome book to use for parties or just for fun. The kids have listed all the other things they’d like to make. As you can imagine it is a long list. And they have chosen their party themes for the next thirteen years, we’re just wondering how we’re going to explain that some of the themes might not be entirely appropriate for a 21st birthday.

More Easy Party Treats for Children Book Train 2

This is the second book in the series and we’ll certainly be buying the first one. You can purchase Janet Mocke’s books online through Exclusive Books.

All your baking woes sorted. Enjoy!

Us.

More Easy Party Treats for children book review pin


Felt Story Board Gift Wrap

We loved felt story boards as children. It was one of our favourite storytelling activities and we wanted to find a way to share that love with our kids. We also know that kids like playing with the boxes their toys come in, more than they like playing with the gift so we decided to make the gift wrap into a toy, a felt story board to be precise. We made a cupcake, but the ideas are endless and Pinterest is a great source for templates and felt-cutting tutorials. We included links below.

Felt Story Board Gift Wrap 2

You can make this as decorative or as simple as you like. You can add a different topping to the cupcakes with beads or glitter glue. The kids will be happy to help and make some suggestions, we are sure.

The tutorials for the felt-cutting look amazing, you’ll need freezer paper, which we haven’t used or bought.

You need:

Felt – colours depend on your chosen design.

Sharp scissors

Pencil

Ribbon

Chosen template

Method:

  1. Wrap the gift in a big piece of felt.
  2. Secure the folded ends with the ribbon. This can be tricky; an extra pair of hands would be useful.
  3. Find your design online and print it out. We used cupcakes.
  4. Cut out the design.
  5. Trace or draw your chosen design on the felt with the pencil. You can use this tutorial for a simple method.
  6. Cut out the felt pieces. Sharp scissors are really important.
  7. Arrange the felt pieces on the gift.

This is the template we used.

cupcake-template

Here is another tutorial to check out.
Ice cream cone felt board- thebbm

Have an awesome day!

Love,

Us.

FELT STORY BOARD GIFT WRAP PIN

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Woman of Wonder | Theo van der Riet

Women of Wonder

The Happy Go Lucky Club would like to introduce you to our next Women of Wonder, Theo van der Riet. We are still wondering if there is anything she can’t do?

Name: Theo van der RietTheo van der Riet

Age: A few months away from the naughtiest decade in my life!

Birthday: 7 January (Typical Capricorn)

Business names: Body Intellect, Basi Pilates, Basi Pilates UK, Zwalu Estate

Position: Since this is on a light note, I’ll just say EVERYTHING Pilates and recently added the title, landlady to the mix.

body intellect
Basi Pilates SAbasi pilates uk

Zwalu EstateI’m Theo Botha, wife and mother of two beautiful, busy and awe-inspiring kids, Stephan and Inge, born only 13 months apart, phew! I run 4 businesses and I am really good at delegation – good thing or not? I’ve used my 39 odd years of enjoying life, OCD, and passion for people to change lives, by doing and teaching movement (Pilates) to like-minded individuals. I’m passionate to give up-and-coming Pilates teachers the tools to pay it forward and change the lives of their clients through movement and having their own businesses. 

I am the author of each day and each situation. I believe my attitude is what makes the difference to the title of my day. I jump out of bed with a big smile on my face each morning because every day is the day I’m going to get through my to-do list, phone that friend, drink maybe 1 cup less coffee, work with my students, communicate with my partners and make a difference in each person whose life I touch. I believe movement and a kick ass attitude makes all the difference. I hope to inspire people by being myself, working hard and being committed to my cause. Life is just too short to sit around and mope…

This is more than a job; I’m on a mission to share my passion for life, love, family and friends.

1. What makes you happy? When my two little ones giggle, loooooong hot showers and wine on tap.

2. If there was only one thing you wanted the world to say about you, what would It be? Jeeeez, how is she fitting it all in? Seriously, that I’m true to my word.

3. Who inspires you in life and why? People living without boundaries. My solid husband inspires me, especially his cooking. Oh, and did I mention he can fix everything.

 4. What is your superpower? Juggling! Not balls, but life. I love it though, and once in a while when I hit an equilibrium, it’s pure bliss.

 5. How do you handle criticism? Not always that well. I can take things quite personally, but once I’m over the self-pity, I can stare at the naked truth and take the good, the bad or the ugly…. Reflection and distance bring clarity, I always say.

 6. In one year from now, what will you be celebrating? That I’m alive, and made it to 40 with healthy, happy kids and a husband and family who loves me just the way I am.

7. What has been the hardest business decision you have ever made? I had to ask somebody to leave my business, as they were harming my decades of hard work. It was very tough, as this lovely person was also a friend.

 8. When did you know that THIS is what you wanted to do for a living? One day it just CLICKED! I’ve always loved dancing, movement & exercise, and doing it with absolute purpose. The day I did my first class in Pilates, I knew all my worlds had met and it was magic. I don’t work, I have fun and love to share. Sometimes that sharing comes with too much passion, but that is what I want to do with anybody who is interested.

 9. Where is your happy place? The moment the Boeing’s wheels leave the tarmac, that is my happy place.

10. What’s one quote that inspires you?

Audrey Hepburn


Johan’s No-Bake Chocolate Bars

Our kids love cooking, they love chocolate bars and most of all, they love making a mess and you will agree it’s fun. This recipe, Johan’s No-Bake Chocolate Bars, came home from school and the little ones were super-excited to try it out. You only use one pot so we didn’t mind and it is easy enough that they could do most of it.

johan's no-bake chocolate bars

Ingredients:

½ cup milk

½ cup cocoa

225g butter

2 cups sugar

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup desiccated coconut

Method:

  1. Add the milk, cocoa, butter and sugar to the pot and bring to boil. Stir continuously until the sugar dissolves. Let it boil for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients while it is still hot.
  3. Spoon the mixture into your container and allow to cool. We left ours in the fridge overnight.
  4. Cut and enjoy.

Milk and chocolate bar 2

Obviously, you will need to give a hand with the cooking part on the stove, but the little people can do all the stirring and spooning. The licking of the bowl is, of course, a sacred event. We had a lot of fun making these and will be on the look out for more kid-friendly recipes. This recipe makes about 24 bars.

The benefits of having your kids in the kitchen are endless.

  1.  You get to spend time with them.
  2. They get to practice their math skills.
  3. They learn to cook.
  4. They learn about processes.
  5. They learn to follow instructions.
  6. They learn about cause-and-effect.
  7. They get to tidy the kitchen after the baking.
  8. You all get to lick the bowl.
  9. It’s fun.

We hope you enjoy the recipe and the time with the kids in the kitchen. Grab a camera and make sure you get lots of shots of those chocolate covered cheeks.

If you make this recipe, make sure to tag us!

Happy baking.

Us

Johan no bake chocolate bar pin


Women of Wonder | Marni van den Berg

Women of Wonder

The Happy Go Lucky Club would like to introduce you to Marni van den Berg.

Marni is the mastermind behind Find Your Jane, a professional recruitment agency that will assist you in finding the perfect nanny or domestic worker for your family. Their slogan is “Recruiting Peace of Mind”, which is exactly what they do. All of Find Your Jane’s candidates have completed a basic first aid and nanny course.

We hope you enjoy getting to know Marni better.

Marni van den Berg Find Your Jane

Name: Marni van den Bergh

Age: 33

Business: Find Your Jane

Position: Owner

Birthday: 12 June – a Gemini

 

 

 

Find Your Jane

A few questions for us to get to know Marni better:

  1. What makes you happy? I am at my happiest in a warm, steamy bubble bath with my iPad and Pinterest. (please don’t tell my IT colleagues about the steam and iPad situation…)
  2. If there was only one thing you wanted the world to say about you, what would It be? That I am the happiest and most optimistic person to be around.
  3. Who inspires you in life and why? I am inspired by working mothers. It takes careful planning, excellent time management, innovative ideas, blood, sweat and tears to run a household, be a great wife, mother, and colleague. There are days where I am beyond exhausted and only have to look at the working mothers around me to find energy and inspiration again. I am also inspired by women that encourage each other to live their dreams. I recently met a few great girls that are working mothers, entrepreneurs, and creative masterminds! These girls are connected, supportive, kind and have a such a positive vibe around them.
  4. What is my superpower? I am not very fast, but I can run very far.
  5. How do you handle criticism? I don’t think anyone likes being on the receiving end of criticism. I take criticism quite personal, but I have learned to deal with it. In the end, you can’t grow or make the necessary changes if you don’t have the awareness. Take a day or two, deal with it and move on. I have also made a conscious decision to give positive feedback where it is due. Positive feedback inspires people to better themselves and is more constructive in the long run.
  6. In one year from now, what will you be celebrating? In one year from now, I will be celebrating the fact that I managed to scrape together enough courage to pursue my business idea, Find Your Jane. Starting your own business takes a lot of courage and in a way you expose yourself which was quite daunting to me.
  7. What has been the hardest business decision you have ever made? I really want to make everyone happy and assist every customer that approaches me, but sometimes I have to make a decision that I can’t satisfy everyone’s needs and refer them to another business.
  8. When did you know that THIS is what you wanted to do for a living? I am a full-time employee in a corporate environment and decided to start Find Your Jane as a sideline business earlier this year. I became a mother August last year, finished my post graduate studies in December 2015 and still felt the need to give my business idea a try. At first, it was purely a business idea with a logo and a Facebook page, but it has changed into something much bigger. I have managed to assist 23 women in obtaining a child care and CPR certificate through Sr Elsie de Klerk’s Mother and Baby Clinic. It’s by no means a university degree or college diploma, but the joy and pure happiness when they successfully complete their course is priceless. I can literally see how our society is turning into a better place by empowering women. We are all trying our very best to be great mothers, wives, and sisters and we can achieve so much more when we support each other. I have placed wonderful women with wonderful families and it gives me so much joy when I get phone calls from these women and customers expressing their gratitude. It is in those moments that I know I am doing the right thing.
  9. Where is your happy place? I am in love with our home. It is there where I get to spend time with my little family. They make me so happy. Oh, and Mauritius. Mauritius is also great.
  10. What’s one quote that inspires you?

be content with what you have mother teresa

Love us,

Mia & Blair


Lavender Wreath Gift Wrap

If you have a garden, we recommend planting lavender. Lots and lots of lavender. The uses are endless and the flowers look and smell beautiful. The plants are pretty hardy too, as professional plant killers we are happy to report these guys are still alive. For now. We made a lavender wreath to use as gift wrap and loved it.

Here’s how we made our lavender wreath:

lavender wreath1

You will need:

Purple tissue paper

Sticky tape

Lots of lavender, you need pretty long stems

Fishing line

Ribbon

 Method:

  1. Wrap the gift.
  2. Organise your lavender. You’ll be using small bunches of about 10-12 stems. The flowery heads should be together.
  3. Put the bunches within reach.
  4. Take the first bunch and gently tie it with fishing line.
  5. Add a second bunch just below it. Secure it with the fishing line. You can just wrap it around the stems.
  6. Keep doing this. It’ll create a long string of bunches. Make sure to secure each new bunch.
  7. Start working it into a circle.
  8. Once you have closed the circle, wrap the fishing line around the whole wreath once again.
  9. Cut and tuck-in the stems that are still sticking out.
  10. Tie with a purple ribbon.
  11. We left the wreath loose on the gift, but you can tie it down with more ribbon.

lavender wreathLavender Wreath Gift Wrap Pin

If we haven’t convinced you of the necessity of planting lavender here are a few more images encourage you.

lavender weath

via Pinterest

Here is a link to another lavender wreath tutorial. It’s different to ours because we don’t use a round base, but it might make it easier for you.

Enjoy your wreath-making.

Love,

Us.

Lavender Wreath Gift Wrap Pin


Women of Wonder | Louise Holding

Women of Wonder

The Happy Go Lucky Club is proud to present our first Woman of Wonder Post!

A Woman of Wonder is a magic-making, awesomeness-generating, inspiration-dispensing, every day-hustling, super-cool woman!

We hope you enjoy getting to know Louise Holding better.

Name: Lou HoldingLou (Salt water outside)

Age: 36 (although for some reason I keep thinking I’m 37…!) 

Business name: Step Ahead and Pesso Shoes

Position: Head Shoe Buyer at Step Ahead & Owner of Pesso

Birthday: 23rd October

step ahead logo JPEG

pesso logo JPEG

Tell us about yourselfI’m a mom to two girls and wife to a nature enthusiast and wannabe explorer! When I’m not building shoe ranges I’m either spending time with my two little princesses or pounding the pavement in my running shoes! I believe in making small differences every day – whether it be giving a banana to the car guard or letting a taxi driver cut in front of you with a smile and a wave. As South Africans we have to keep paying it forward! 

A few questions for us to get to know you better:

  1. What makes you happy? My children playing around me.
  2. If there was only one thing you wanted the world to say about you, what would It be? She had the biggest heart.
  3.  Who inspires you in life and why? Average South Africans just trying to put food on the table and live a better life.
  4. What is your superpower? I can run and strategize at the same time!
  5. How do you handle criticism? It very much depends on who it comes from! In my business environment, I try and take it on the chin, learn from the experience and move on. However, when my husband suggests that there may be an easier way to pack all those boxes into my boot I’m not as forgiving..!
  6. In one year from now, what will you be celebrating? Our 10 year wedding anniversary, hopefully, another Comrades medal and the continued success of our beautiful shoe brand – Pesso.
  7. What has been the hardest business decision you have ever made? Every day seems hard in a tough economy! 
  8. When did you know that THIS is what you wanted to do for a living? When I saw my first Pesso catalogue being printed.
  9.  Where is your happy place? On my patio, with my kids, holding a glass very chilled wine.

An inspiring quote:

Women of Wonder Louise Quote

Have a happy day!

Love,

Us.

 


How to use green leaves to add a pop of colour and freshness to your life

We are obsessed with green leaves. We love them in big containers, just on their own or mixed with flowers. Aspidistra leaves are a favourite. They are incredibly hardy and easy to manipulate. They are great to use for gift wrap. Here’s how we did it:

How to use green leaves

You need:

Aspidistra leaves

Tissue paper, we used white

Sticky tape

Double-sided tape

Paper punches

Method:

  1. Wrap the gift in the tissue paper using the sticky tape.
  2. Make sure the leaves are clean. Wiping them with a damp cloth will work.
  3. Choose the punch you want to use.
  4. Punch the leaves.
  5. Use double-sided tape to stick the punched pieces to the gift.

how to use Green Leaves gift wrap

Green leaf gift wrap 2 Green Leaf gift wrap3 Green Leaf gift wrap4

You can combine the Aspidistra leaves with a variety of other green leaves.

You need:

Green leaves, you want a variety of shapes and colours

Glass containers, bottles and vases, also a variety of shapes and sizes

Method:

  1. Add a little bit of water the container
  2. Arrange the leaves, taking care to showcase the colours and textures

You can also use the same kind of leaf and then play with the bottles to create a difference in height.

how to use green leaves

via The Days of the Chic

Seriously, this coaster is so gorgeous and simple.

Trust Martha Stewart to reinvent the votive. Beautifully wrapped in green for a gorgeous outdoor dinner.

And the best part is that leaves are way more cost effective and last way longer than flowers. Although, we still love flowers.

The ideas are endless and we hope we have inspired you to turn over a new leaf.

Love,

Us

 


Roastmasters Coffee Bar

It’s still winter and we are sort of over it. So as a consolation we have treated ourselves to numerous coffees. Roastmasters Coffee Bar in Menlo Park is our newest favourite haunt. It’s cosy, and the coffee and wifi are strong.

roastmasters coffee bar

We should also mention that our office is possibly the coldest room on earth so we are partial to warm workspaces where people offer us caffeine and baked goods.

roastmasters coffee bar bar

The food is simple and well-priced, and the croissants have been approved by our resident six-year-old croissant expert. You can also order a simple cheese and tomato toasted sandwich, which is a relief in a world filled with huge portion sizes, overdressed plates, and inflated prices.

roastmasters menu

 

The carrot cake is next-level awesome and filled with lots of nuts and chewy bits.

roastmasters carrot cake

It feels like walking into an old apothecary. The shelves are filled with old books, bottles and jars that look they were once filled with potions. We just love everything about it.

roastmasters coffee bar book shelf

 

They roast their own coffee and you can buy your own beans to grind and brew, or just brew at home.

roastmasters coffee bar coffee menu

There are couches to chill on or you can work at one of the high tables. There are plenty of plugs for your laptop and coffee on tap. One can’t ask for a better coffee bar. Find them on the web here or on Facebook.

roastmasters coffee bar interior

Do yourself a favour and go check them out. And don’t forget…

life is too short for bad coffee1

Have a happy day,

Us.

 

 

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