My tips for when you have a long layover in London

Borough Market Shrimp WrapTate Britain Inside Lights InstallationTate BritainTate Britain Inside Lights InstallationI am finally home after 56 hours of travel.

Although I love traveling, it’s always good to be back home.

I did, however, managed to squeeze in a couple of hours in London between the 6 hour train ride from Richmond to New York, the 3 hours of subways, the 8 hour flight from New York to London, the 11 hour flight from London to Johannesburg, the 3 hour drive to our farm and the hours upon hours of waiting in between.

I wan’t planning on visiting London on this trip, but my tickets ended up leaving me with long layovers in London twice. So, I got a UK visa just incase I might want to leave the airport for some crisp Autumn air. I wasn’t sure whether I was actually going to use the Visa, I’m usually pretty tired after a long flight and could easily have stayed in the airport having a nap on my luggage, but I am extremely glad I did.

Coming back from New York, I had a 14 hour layover in London! Even though I had less than two hours’ sleep on the plane and I was a bit reluctant to go at first, we headed out to the heart of London. Taking the Heathrow Express train from the airport is the easiest way to go. It brings you to Paddington Station from which you can take the subway to almost anywhere in town. We got off at the Blackfriars stop and walked a short while to Borough Market.

Borough Market is where Jamie Oliver buys his ingredients from, and I can understand why! You can find the most incredible bread (which I definitely had a bit too much of), organic produce, fresh fish, cheese that looks a hundred years old (you know- the older, the better) and everything else you see in cookbooks that always seems impossible to find! But, what’s even better than the raw ingredients is the small individual stands of Fish and Chips, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Colombian Coffee, French Pastries, Spanish Paella, Thai Noodles, Greek Mezze and every type of cuisine that your heart may desire – all cooked by experts in their own fields.

Grab yourself something delicious to eat and drink, and join anyone at a table with a open seat for the feast you are about to have.

My tip for the Borough Market? Walk through the whole place first before making your food decision. You don’t want to end up with a food baby and the regret that you missed out on something.

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We dragged ourselves away from this heaven and walked on the banks of the River Thames, making our way in the direction of the London Eye and Westminster Abbey.

Apparently the city only gets 2 weeks of sunshine a year (which I find pretty depressing… only 14 days a year? crazy), but we were once again lucky to have a sunny day in London. This meant that the River Bank was full of people, making the most of the 12th last day of sun they are going to have this year. We walked past the Tate Modern as well as the Tate Britain and made our way inside both times, feeling very proud that we actually made it into an art gallery in one of the three cities we visited!

I would recommend the Tate Britain. With it being smaller and not on the tourist route, I enjoyed the calmness of it. I could take my time with Dali and Picasso. The coolest part of the whole gallery was this room they had where they give you a A3 sized blank paper and a pencil and you can draw to your heart’s content while a video of the artist, Hockney, played on the walls. I made a quick sketch of my all-too-loyal camera and my water bottle, quoted with a sentence I heard while the Hockney-video was playing.

Sketch in Tate

Inspiration,

she never visits the lazy.

–Hockney

I just have a couple of tips for making a trip to the city when you have a long layover:

  1. Try to book your bags all the way through to your end destination. If you cant, there is a place that you can leave them securely for 11 Pounds per item. When you exit the arrivals after collecting you luggage, turn right, they are the last shop at the end of the building (right opposite a coffee shop).
  2. Don’t buy a ticket for the Heathrow Express at the baggage claim (they have a small stand there), buy it in the main arrivals terminal from where the train leaves – they give day travelers a special rate. Also, save yourself some trouble and buy your subway ticket here as well.
  3. Skip the London Eye and Westminster Abbey. It’s absolute chaos there! I actually got claustrophobic with the vast amount of people around me. Honestly, if you have seen these places of a Postcard, you have seen it all.
  4. Decide on one place or a small area that you want to see and savour every second of it. Don’t try to see the whole of London in one day. You have your next layover to explore a little more.
  5. On the 6th floor of the Tate Modern, there is a bar where you can have good coffee, tea, cake, beer, wine and small meals with an incredible view over London City.
  6. Save your hunger for Borough Market or some restaurant on the Thames between the Tate Modern and London Eye. There are some great spots.
  7. Make the effort to go. It’s much better than the airport.
  8. Lastly, wear comfy clothes for your flights, but pack a killer jacket for your day in one of the trendiest cities in the world.

About my outfit:

I have to be comfortable while I travel, especially when I have multiple legs on my journey. I was wearing a plain black top and plain black leggings with Adidas sneakers. In London, I had been in these clothes for longer than a day, so I just threw on the red vintage leather biker jacket that my bf, Pierre, found in a thrift store. I immediately felt like I was actually dressed up a little. Problem solved.

I will only be home ’til Wednesday. I am leaving for Namibia for my aunt’s 60th Birthday Party and will also be driving through Botswana with my parents for a couple of days after the party. I am looking forward to having my feet in the sand and dust on my face.

Speak soon.

A B xx

Empire State of Mind in New York City

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There’s just something about New York. It’s the thing that urged artists like Frank Sinatra and Jay Z to write the songs that we end up quoting on our Instagram posts.

I’m not sure if it’s the fact that there’s always thousands of people around you, everyone on their own mission, or the sea of yellow taxi’s flooding the streets, or the chaos of the city being broken by the absolute tranquility of Central Park, or the promise of success in the names like ‘Broadway’ or ‘Wall Street’. I guess it’s different for everyone.

It is, however, a very overwhelming city. I tend to take a day or so to get used to the pace and intensity that New Yorkers seem to handle with great ease, but then suddenly feel like I have been living there my whole life (except for the parts where I get completely lost and where the lady at the coffee counter doesn’t understand my South African accent).

I am lucky enough to have an amazing cousin, Ilana (who happens to be one of my favourite people on this planet), who lives and works in this city, so instead of taking on the impossible task of trying to find a reasonably priced AirBnB in Manhattan, I get to live in an apartment in the Upper East Side. Ilana is also an exceptional tour guide.

It’s hard to do a day-by-day of what I did, where I ate and what I experienced while in New York, so I will tell you about the places that I feel you HAVE to visit when you find yourself in New York.

Where to eat:

 

1. Grand Central Oyster Bar

This is an institution in New York and the best place to have your oyster and champagne fix! Don’t sit at a table, turn right when you enter the restaurant and take a seat at the bar where right in front of two cheery guys chucking the very oysters you are about to indulge in

2. The Boathouse Lakeside Restaurant, Central Park

Even though The Boathouse is very well known among tourists and we see it in many a Hollywood movie as a chic wedding venue, it’s not touristy at all. Although you have to be well dressed to get a table at the restaurant on the water, they don’t take reservations which adds to the relaxed atmosphere of this gorgeous place.  Also, they offer good take away breakfasts and coffees if you would rather enjoy Central Park from one of their park benches.

3. Joe’s Shanghai, China Town – The home of Soup Dumplings

Don’t let the exterior of China Town stop you from having the best soup dumplings in Manhattan. I would recommend the Pork Soup Dumplings, with a very close second – the Pork and Crab.

Mexicocina, The Bronx

If you would happen to find yourself in the Bronx (I know, it’s not usually where you would end up when visiting New York), do yourself the favour. They made our guacamole fresh and they give you a whole bucket full, not like some places who give you just about enough for one taco. Have the grilled beef hard shell tacos. Yummy.

5. Seamstress, Upper East Side

Fried Cauliflower and Seared Sirloin to die for. Have a couple of plates to share.

Where to have a drink:

1. The Plaza Hotel

When you go through the main entrance, make your way left and then up the stairs on your right. Go sit right at the bar, the bar ladies are very friendly and you get a snack plate along with your drink. This is where you have the Manhattan in the heart of Manhattan.

2. Apotheke Bar

The ultimate Speakeasy. You won’t see a sign outside of the bar, just enter the darkest door you can find and you will be transported to a 1930’s chemistry, except instead of mixing medicine, they mix cocktails. This is also close to Joe’s Shanghai, so this is a good place to have a drink before or after stuffing yourself with Chinese Food.

3. Dear Irving, Gramercy Park

Another Speakeasy from another era. You might have to share a table with a couple of impeccably dressed New Yorkers (you won’t find a single tourist here), but you won’t ever have to flag down a waitress, just push the button next to your table and your waitress will be there in 5 seconds. Have a Dirty Martini.

4. Any Dive bar

New York has bars EVERYWHERE. You can’t go wrong.

What to do:

1. Watch a ball game

Whatever it is: American Football, Basketball, Baseball – they’re all good fun. I watched a basketball game between the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics. Even though we don’t have good basketball in South Africa, it’s such a easy and entertaining game to follow. Especially when you have a foam finger and they shoot t-shirts from big t-shirt shooting guns 4 times in the game.

2. Go to a Comedy Club

There are a couple of comedy clubs around town, just Google one in your area and you are bound to find one close by. I loved it. They pour the wine glasses to the brim and some of the talent ain’t half bad. Just don’t order food, it’s not worth it.

3. Go to a Jazz Bar in Harlem (Ginny’s Supper Club)

Harlem is one of the areas where jazz got it’s soul. This is the best place for a mix of Southern and Swedish food (weird, I know, but delicious). This is where the first waffles and fried chicken meal was ever eaten. Remember to book and ask for a table where you are guaranteed a view, we got lucky and could literally feel the talent and passion of these jazz musicians. This is a MUST do.

4. Take the ferry to Staten Island

Don’t do a trip to the Statue of Liberty. The view is better and it’s a hell of a lot cheeper just taking the ferry to Staten Island and back.

5. Take a walk up Madison Avenue

Although 5th avenue is great for shopping the brands like Prada, it’s hectic and busy. Window shopping in Madison Avenue from 59th street and up is much better.

6. Watch the sail boats in Central Park

Central Park must be one of my favourite places in the world. Combine that with cute kids playing with remote control sailboats and I’m hooked.

7. Times Square at 5:30 in the morning.

Throughout the day, you won’t find a single New Yorker in Times Square. It is most definitely the busiest place I have ever been in my entire life, lights and people everywhere! But, I walked though Times Square on my way to the subway station when I headed to Brooklyn for my half marathon. It was so peaceful. Although the lights on all the billboards were still flashing like crazy, there was not more than 10 people in sight. If you want to experience this iconic landmark in NYC, do it while everyone else is sleeping and you are about to run a half marathon in freezing temperatures.

These are a couple of the gems that I had come across in the time that I had spent in New York. I absolutely love this city for its mix of food, fashion, lifestyle and personalities.

I always feel like I am leaving a day or two too early, just as I start looking the right way for traffic before crossing the street and just as my pronunciation of ‘water’ is so that the waiters understand me, I have a flight back home.

I am however excited to see my dogs.

Until next time NYC!

A B xxx

(EDIT: if you happen to fly from Terminal 7 on JFK, have the Korean BBQ Chicken Wings from Blue Point Restaurant close to Gate 1. They are delish.)

 

 

paris, the city of street musicians

 

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You know that it’s usually the best weather on day you have to leave? Well, for the first time in my life, that was not the case. Today, I am leaving a cloudy Paris behind. Apparently, the weather that I have had is Paris the past couple of days was something way out of the ordinary. With this time of year being associated with rain and cold, it was completely weird to have people tanning on the banks of the Seine River this week. It felt like summer and I wasn’t complaining.

After another one of my Eiffel-Louvre-Champs-Arc de Triomph runs, I was determined to actually make it to the neighbourhoods of Paris that I wanted to visit on the first day. So, eliminating all possible distractions in the form of café’s and boutique stores where I can’t afford anything anyway, I got on the Metro underground train and only emerged to a gorgeous day at Hotel de Ville Station, the one closest to the Notre Dame. From there the plan was to explore the Latin Quarter and Le Marais, which are some of the oldest and most authentic neighbourhoods in the city.

I don’t know if it was the incredible weather or because of the fact that it was Thursday (who knows, maybe there is something secret about a Thursday in Paris), but something invited all the street musicians to this part of Paris.

The first musician I came across was on the bridge at the back part of the Notre Dame. He caught my attention with a beautiful rendition of Don’t Think Twice it’s Allright”, written and originally sung by Bob Dylan but then later covered by Peter Paul and Mary (which is coincidentally one of my favourite songs at the moment). The music echoed over the water and made every person, tourist or local, stop in their tracks and pause a moment to take it in.

Walking though the streets of the Latin Quarter gave me a peek of what it would be like to live here. Well, I have decided that I could easily sip coffee (or wine), eat stacks of bread and have deep discussions with friends while enjoying the sunny day (To be fair, it was lunch time so all the café’s were packed, I’m sure everyone actually does have jobs and things to worry about).

The second musician I came across was a picture right from a cliché Paris postcard. An old man with a leather jacket that any millennial would kill to have, a lit cigarette hanging from his lips, playing classical guitar.

The third was on the bridge taking me from the Latin Quarter to Le Marais. This must have been my favourite half-hour of my whole time in Paris. The bridge can’t be accessed by any cars, making it the perfect make-shift stage for these musicians. This guy, armed only with his guitar, a microphone, amplifier and his voice, managed to gather quite an audience. Every-one taking a quick break from being on their feet, but staying a couple of minutes longer to enjoy the music.

The rest of the day I saw at least another 5 musicians/groups singing on the streets, in the underground terminal and even in the train itself.

I absolutely love my outfit from yesterday (although my 12-year-old-self would die if she saw me in these clothes!). My last day in Paris I wore a pair of khaki, high-waist, flare pants from H&M, a plain white top and finished my look with a colourful floral scraf that you can find at Zara.

I am typing this on Heathrow Airport in London with my flight to New York leaving in less than two hours! I am beyond excited, so stay tuned for some cool posts coming your way in the next week!

G2G

BRB

Andybee xx

 

paris blooms

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Hey there guys,

It’s day two of my trip and I had already walked more than a marathon (this is probably a good thing since I am running a half one in New York in less than a week). I always end up being over excited on my first day in a new city and try and cram as much of the sights in to this one day. So that’s what I did and now I feel super accomplished. Now I can relax and start looking for those Parisian gems, the one’s off the beaten track.

Paris is beautiful and calm. Spring has sprung and the city’s trees are covered in flowers, the air is crisp and warm and it seems like everyone has an extra hour in their day, sitting in the sun and sipping on coffee or wine in a cafe on every street corner (or maybe this is just how everyone lives their lives in this city). Anyway, I love it. I, however, didn’t expect it to be this warm (since it’s technically still winter in the Northern hemisphere) and since I hate getting even a little bit cold, I took my camel coat with me when I left this morning. With all the walking and the sun shining bright, my coat ended up folded over my arms all day.

Other than this coat of mine I was wearing one of my dad’s old work shirts that I altered a little. I took it in on the sides, slimmed down the arms so it would fit me and not the hulk, cut it into a midi-crop and embroided a yellow crown just above the pocket.

Tomorrow I will be heading to Le Marais and the Latin Quarter. Apparently this is where I will find the best small shops and cafe’s in the city. Pop onto the blog tomorrow night to see what I have discovered! All I hope for is to find some good croissants… I am dying for a croissant.

Night.

AndyBee x

 

London

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I am sitting in my bed in the hotel in Paris. Finally. I am here. This is where it all begins.

I left Johannesburg last night and had a 10 hour flight to Heathrow. The lay over to Paris was 10 hours. There is no way that I would survive sitting on the airport waiting for 16:00 to arrive. So we took the Heathrow Express and 15 minutes later I found myself on Paddington Station. It is quite a couple of blocks to Portobello Road, so, with the weather being absolutely beautiful and my legs being restless from 10 hours on an airplane, the walk was such a treat. But first, Breakfast. I stumbled across the most beautiful, vibey and ON TREND cafe (Farm Girl). For all you gluten free-ers and vegans, this is the place for you. And for al you carnivores and coffee-lovers, this place is for you too.

Portobello Road is a gem. I saw too many things that I wanted/needed (trench coats, faux fur coats, real turquoise stone jewellery, leather boots, vintage Levi’s…) that I actually had to force myself to leave before spending all my money for the trip on the first day.

With the sun shining in London, it seemed like every single person needed to be outside. Kensington Gardens was full of runners, families on picnics, kids on scooters and an surprising amount of Pugs. I think I counted around 40 of the short legged, curly tailed pups. All very happy to feel the sun shine on their faces.

I think it might have been the first time that I saw a swan in real life. And that called for a celebratory glass of Prosecco on the edge of the water.

I didn’t even come close to seeing Big Ben or the Palace today, time caught up with me and before I knew it I had to head back to Paddington to grab the train to Heathrow to catch the plane to Paris. I will be back though.

Today I wore some of my old trustworthy items that I am sure I have already blogged about at some point and will probably blog about them again. But, I needed to be sure that I would be comfortable on my 24 hours of travelling and my quick pitstop in the Streets of London. These items include: my navy Country Road Jacket, scarf from H&M and pink beanie that Pierre gave to me as a gift. The only new item is a pair of pale pink sneakers from Country Road that has these awesome velcro straps like those shoes we wore when we were in pre-school….but super cool. I love them.

 I will be in Paris and New York over the next two weeks, blogging and eating and running and finding cool new spots. So, stay posted- there will be a lot more of these posts. 

It will be a major change of scenery from the rest of the year that I’ve had.. 

I just spent the last 3 months on our farm. My job was to restore the house that my great-grandfather built with his own hands. It’s the house that has been on our family farm since 1919, the house in which my grandfather was born and in which my dad has most of his childhood memories. It was a big task. Not only because the house required a lot of physical attention, but also because I had to do this simple, beautiful old farmhouse justice.

I did everything by hand. I installed, lights, doors and shelves. I painted floors, tables and cupboards. I drilled holes in the walls to hang paintings and mirrors. I put my heart and soul into this project.. and now it’s just about finished.

The reason for this restoration is because we will be opening it as a guesthouse very soon! People can come and spend a simple, relaxing weekend on our farm, hiking, biking, horse riding, swimming and mostly resting.

I am also just finalising the last details on the website and will be publishing it very soon for all of you to see. Just to give you an idea of what it will be, have a look:

A B x

the trick to being healthy, fit and strong

It’s your mindset. The trick, I mean. The one to being healthy, fit and strong.

I have to say, it’s easier said than done. It requires a lot of training. Training your mind to HELP you instead of putting you down, of holding you back, of pushing you off track. I swear, the hardest part of getting into a good and healthy workout routine is the battle with your mind. It’s usually your mind that says “you can’t” or “I will never look like that” or “don’t even try”.

To be honest, I haven’t quite got to the point where I have my mind 100% on my team.

But, I have found a girl who has. Her name is Renee and she is the most positive and inspiring person I have ever come across.

I met Renee De Beer (she was then still Renee Barnard) when I was in Grade 10. We were in different schools and she is a year my senior, but I was lucky enough to serve with her on the Junior City Council of Pretoria. It wasn’t just the fact that she was the Junior Deputy Mayor who always had a smile on her face (although it was that too) that she caught my immediate attention…it was her legs.

Renee is one of those people who seems like she has everything together all the time. When she first popped on to my radar 8 years ago she was head girl of her school, an athlete, smart, beautiful and she could sing. I mean, where does people like this in the real world exist? Apparently here.

So, after a couple of years, I randomly see a photo of this girl I used to know from High School on my Facebook feed. You know when some-one you know liked a photo of some-one they know and it ends up on your feed for some bizarre reason? Well, that happened to me. I clicked and clicked and clicked and ended up on the healthy.fit.strong Instagram page. Sometimes I just get too damn lucky.

Okay, I’ll try to get to the point.. This is the girl you HAVE to follow. Please, do yourself the favour. Her page has everything- from the inspirational YOU CAN DO THIS-Monday posts, to the reality check of giving yourself a break once in a while. I feel that sometimes I don’t even have to see her perfect legs and enviable abs to be inspired to go for my run, but just her super positive attitude and words of wisdom. Her captions on Instagram are basically my daily dose of motivation.

The thing that I love most about Renee and her Instagram page is that she is completely realistic. I know we all see girls on social media with bodies that we admire, hope for and train for, but have no idea how they do it. Most of them train or model full time, and although I have a lot of respect for them, it doesn’t seem attainable for us mere mortals. But, here is a girl who is just like us. A teacher from South Africa, who gives these models and trainers a run for their money. A girl who made me realise that I can do it too, I just have to start.

Many girls struggle with self-love and accepting their bodies and even though social media is one of the main causes of self-doubt and feelings of insecurity, it can also be a platform of inspiration to be better than you are now and advocation of loving who you are. We see this in girls like Renee, who utilises and embraces this platform to inspire girls like you and me to get up in the morning, look ourselves in the mirror and (although we don’t love what we see just yet), we are happy and ready to take the day and work on being better.

I know that she speaks from experience when she says she has had a rocky past when it comes to body love and balance. She has shared a couple of posts where she explains that she hasn’t always been as confident and happy with her body as she is now. She has had struggles with under eating and over training in her past, but I feel that you should head over to her page and hear it from her. All I know is that she knows what she is talking about. She knows what it’s like.

I have learned a lot from Renee over the last 2 years that I have followed her and seen her grow on Instagram. Although she doesn’t know it, she is the reason I put on my trainers a year ago and got my ass of the couch to go for a run. I wanted to feel as confident and free as she found herself to be.

That run was the first of many and I haven’t stopped since (with the help of my daily healthy.fit.strong inspo).

Once again, click right here to step into the world of positive body image, motivation and fitspo!

Have a great weekend. Remember to go for a walk and drink lots of water (or some wine, your choice!). I will be spending my weekend playing around with my sewing machine and pushing myself for a 17km long run tomorrow morning.

Chat soon

A B xx

 

wearing a summer outfit on a cold day

 

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Last week was what Pierre and I call “Hell Week”. This week starts with our anniversary (3 years this year), peaks with Pierre’s birthday and then closes with Valentine’s Day… Hell? Not for us, but for our bank accounts.

I flew down from Johannesburg to George on Tuesday, anticipating (and packing for) the sunny weather the Southern Cape has had the couple of weeks before my arrival. Well, I must have deserved some bad karma somehow because it started raining the minute I set foot in the Southern Cape. We didn’t let that stop us though. I still put on the outfit that I had planned for that day, ignoring the cold as much as I could.

We celebrated the day by visiting Pierre’s beautiful cabin in the woods on their farm, appropriately named Whiskey Creek, situated a short drive from Plettenberg Bay. We made a quick breakfast and enjoyed the unmatched views while catching up on everything that happend in the month that we didn’t see each other.

We then set out to have Kurland Hotel and Polo Farm’s famous tea and scones on their veranda. The hotel has giant fireplaces in the hotel as well as on the verandas, which was all lit, keeping me and my damn summer outfit warm. The view, the coffee and the freshly baked scones was just incredible. I indulged. Walking out of there with a slight food baby, knowing that we are still on our way to lunch.

After we wandered into the stables of the Polo farm and watched as these athletes trained, we went for lunch. For lunch we had freshly baked bread with some tapas and wine at Bramon Wine Estate. We had such a great time! We had a table in the vineyard with vines surrounding the whole table, making you feel like you are the only people enjoying this restaurant.

I guess we basically just ate all day…

but who’s complaining? not me.

Even though I was completely inappropriately dressed for the weather, I really  loved my strapless top and black shorts from River Island. I bought these items an hour before my flight to George, I barely had space for it in my suitcase, but it was beautiful…and on sale… so I had to have it. Oh, and my sandals are from Country Road.

I am back on the farm planning my travels for the next 3 months. I will be visiting London, Paris, New York, Madrid, Beijing and will be doing a boat trip off the coast of Thailand. I will also be doing another road trip through Namibia and Botswana as well as visiting my friend in Mozambique. I am too damn excited!! I plan finding all the best hidden spots in these interesting places and I will be reporting back to you. ❤

xoxo

Gossip Girl. jk. just Andy Bee

cheers on a new chapter

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The end of an era.

For the past four years, the Western Cape was my home. Originally a Transvaal girl, I had to see what the whole ‘rave’ about the Cape was about. So I headed to the beautiful town of Stellenbosch for my undergrad and I wasn’t disappointed.

This is where I met my best friends and also my incredible boyfriend. These were days of trading Economics lectures for a box of wine at Bohemia, days of blurry res formals and pub nights, of Saturday morning runs in the mountain and Sunday mornings at the Root 44 market…doing the absolute minimum required from me to still pass my degree.

The three years I spent at Stellenbosch will always be a highlight in my life. It was such a carefree life, where the worst thing that could happen to you is to have an 8am lecture on a Monday morning, which I slept through anyway. But, I am some-one who has to move around quite a bit. After these three wonderful years, I was ready for something different.

I started my postgrad in Cape Town at the beginning of 2016. This was a very challenging but yet rewarding year. With Cape Town being quite a bit pricier than Stellenbosch, I got myself a part-time waitressing job. With juggling school, work, training and a personal life, I worked harder than ever. But, I learned a lot. In this year I finally figured out what I love and wanted to do with the rest of my life…just in time.

So, after four memorable years, I’m sad to say that I am leaving the beautiful Cape.

I am trading the city life in Cape Town for one on our secluded farm near a small town called Vaalwater – crazy right? Not really. I am living on the farm for a couple of months (although I will be doing a couple of trips in this time as well), making and saving all the money I need to start traveling a bit later in the year.

I will be able to create and post some extremely interesting and beautiful content over the next few months.

Today, I am leaving you with a post of my second last day in Cape Town. On this day, Pierre and I stumbled across the biggest gem in the city. It’s a little thrift store called Lindsay and Lenny in the heart of Sea Point. Everywhere you look you see vintage denim jackets, felt hats, chunky jewelry, black ankle boot…. AND IT WAS ALL HALF PRICE.

Call me cheap, but at that point I was unemployed and barely had money in my bank account (although I did have just enough money for a pair of shorts, a beautiful gold necklace, a ring, a tan felt hat and a turquoise stone bracelet).

The photo’s you will see is of me in the Lindsay and Lenny store, taken by Pierre.

I am wearing a Cotton On jumpsuit with my Freedom of Movement Bobby Backpack, and to be honest, everything else I bought in the store and put on immediately.

So stay posted, I promise I won’t disappoint.

A B (and Pierre)

ABOUT LINDSAY AND LENNY

Find them at 361 Main Rd, Sea Point, Cape Town

Call them on 062 997 1882

Follow them on Instagram here

taking your training outdoors

Hi guys,

For the past 2 weeks I have been going to the gym in the morning, doing  Abbie Sterling (better known as “Corporate Sneakers“)’s My Best Body 3-week trial program, and then going for a walk or sprint session after my 9-5 internship with my friend Nicole on the Sea Point Promenade

Even though the afternoon cardio session wasn’t my main workout for the day, I feel that it almost benefitted me more than my morning gym session. To be honest, it took some motivation to put on my Nikes after getting up at 5am and spending the whole day at the office (we once even ended up going for a glass of wine instead of our workout), but ending my day with an elevated heartbeat and a breath of fresh air was the best decision I made every day.

I absolutely believe in training outdoors. I feel that it can benefit you, your training and your motivation in more ways than one. Taking my running outside was what got me active and fit again at the beginning of this year and what is getting me motivated and excited now.

I do, however, know that it is not always feasible to do so – there are so many things that you may feel stands in your way. I didn’t train outside once during the 3 winter-months. With the  Cape getting a hell of a lot of winter rain, the cold and the fact that the only time that I had in the day to workout was between 6am and 8am throughout the week (which means it’s still dark).

I stuck to the inside of the gym and it was great. It got me out of bed, knowing that I don’t have to run in the rain/dark, the structure of the gym and the other people working out around me was motivating and exactly what I needed to set my routine in stone.

BUT

I believe that for training and working out to be a lifestyle, you need to mix it up a little. I believe that the best way of doing this is to train outdoors. I just started running again after a 4 month break and it just reinforced my belief in the goodness and benefits of training with the sun on my face and the wind in my hair.

Here are some of the benefits that I found from training outdoors.

1.It provides great diversity to your workout

Even if your actual workout is the same, the environment around you is ever changing. This means that it never actually feels like you are repeating a workout, making your chances of getting bored slim.

2. It gets you going

I have this trick: whenever I don’t feel like going to the gym, I tell myself that I just have to go for an easy walk outside. Easy enough. More often than not, being outside and getting some fresh air in my lungs, gets me going and before I know it I have either run a couple of kilometers, done some sprints or finished a good stair workout.

3.Vitamin D

The sun gives you energy. Combining your workout endorphin with a good dose of vitamin D works wonders. I am always more energised during an outdoor workout than its indoor counterpart. Besides the energy, vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is essential for strong bones and a healthy immune system.

4. Mixing it up

Training outdoors provides you with the opportunity to do something different. You can run hills, do sprints, use stairs. One of my favourite exercises to do outside is HIIT. My go-to workout would be to sprint for the distance of 2 lamp posts and then walk for one. I have no worries of timers or anything like that, I just focus on getting to the next lamp post as fast as I can.

5. You can do it with a friend

We all know that you sometimes need an extra bit of support to get yourself to work out. Having a training partner can; firstly, help you get motivated to actually start working out and, secondly, push you to do more and do better. When one or both of you doesn’t have a gym membership, it’s no excuse to skip sweating all together.

All-in-all, whether it’s because you need a break from the gym, need some extra motivation or don’t have a gym membership.. training outside is the best decision you can possibly make for yourself and your fitness.

Have a happy week

love

A B x

 

kayla itsines bbg program REVIEW

I just finished Kayla Itsines’ BBG program today! I did the last (week 12 abs) workout this morning at 5:30 before I had to be on campus at 8. I would like to share my thoughts on her program, what I learned and how it benefitted me.

I started the BBG program after my trip to Vietnam. I have started it about 2 times prior to this, but never completed it. The first time I got to week 3 and the second to week 9. Both of these times I started out very motivated, but life got in the way in the form of summer holidays or exams.

A brief overview of the 12-week program:

The BBG program is a 12-week program which includes 3 gym sessions each week with additional cardio throughout the week and some HIIT sets in the last month. the gym sessions are broken down into cardio, legs, arms and abs. The gym sessions consist of four 7-minute sessions in which you complete as many cycles of the exercises provided in each of the 7 minutes. Each month the intensity of the sessions increase in terms of level of difficulty as well as the amount of reps for each exercise.

How I approached the program:

I didn’t follow the program to a T, I mean I did all her workouts, but in terms of the additional LISS and HIIT, I did my own program on the days that I didn’t do Kayla. On Tuesdays I would do 40mins of intense cardio on the tredmill and the stepper and would then move over to the assisted pull up bar for some good arm, back and ab exercise. On Thursdays I would do a heavier leg session as Kayla’s legs are a lot more plyometrics (which are great), but I wanted to add an extra weight session as well. On the Fridays of the last 6 weeks I would do a spin class before my Kayla abs. I would then also do one more cardio session somewhere in the week.

What I experienced:

So, overall, I benefitted a hell of a lot from this program. It didn’t really tranform the way I look (I do have new muscle definition that I didn’t have before), but my strength and fitness increased tremendously! We all know that fitness takes time and that, wherever you are in your journey, there are exercises and moves that kills you.. I felt that every Kayla workout was a major challenge for me and I was shaking after each one of them. There were, however, certain things that made me recognise my fitness progress.

The first: I am a lot stronger (no, not bulky) and in control of my body.

When I started the 3 months I couldn’t do 5 push ups before I had to change to doing ladies push ups on my knees. This was initially a huge shock to me as I have always had strong arms (years of swimming and my mamma’s genes), but that made me just push a little harder. In this last week’s arm workout I did a total of 336 pushups -ALL of them ‘normal’ push ups, not ladies – in the 34 minutes, all with different variations including burpee-push up-tuck jump and some more arm exercises in between. I’d say that’s a pretty huge achievement. This goes for the rest of my body as well; lunges, burpees, jack knifes – all easier.

The second: It drastically improved my running.

Although  I didn’t run for the whole duration of the 3-month program, I got right back into running, starting my first week of running with a 6km, 8km and 10km with ease. It could honestly have been a lot further, with the rain and time forcing me to stop. I feel my running have improved substantially. I am stronger and fitter, taking on long hills without stopping and also increasing my pace. I can easily include a couple of sprints in my runs as well.

The third: I have no plans of stopping.

Kayla’s program was the kickstart to the rest of my workout habit. I now have a base on which I can build and improve. I do feel that I need a bit of a break from the program, not because it doesn’t work, but I need a bit of a change. I am some-one who needs to mix it up on a regular basis to avoid getting bored. I loved doing BBG, but I am ready for a new challenge and routine. I want to increase my running, as this is my first love, and start entering races as soon as I feel ready. I want to add another element to my training as well, but I am still figuring out what I want to do. All I know is that I don’t want to stop.

How it can benefit you:

I have realised that many girls don’t really know what to do when they get to the gym and end up going back to the tredmill and elliptical. Kayla’s program will push you and teach you. It will give structure to your workout routine, allowing you to build on the weeks that you have already completed and focus on those to come. The program is also amazing for people who are already in a workout routine as it provides a source of alternative workouts which can add to your existing program, imporving the other aspects of your training (as I have seen with my running).

All-in-all, I would recommend  this program to anyone! I do believe that this is an amazing program to get you into a good exercise routine or as a change to your current one.

I will keep you posted on my training plans for the future.

A B out