Happy AF

After three LONGGG months I was finally reunited with my boyfriend Pierre, and in no other place than the French Riviera. It was my first time in this gorgeous part of the world and I might as well have stepped into a postcard. I have to be honest, I wasn’t a good tourist. I didn’t go to any monuments or museums, I didn’t go on any tours or learned any words other than “Bonjour” or “Croissant”. All I did was wander around the old parts of the towns of Antibes, Juan-Les-Pins, Nice and Monaco with my bf’s hand in mine, drank coffee at all the cafe’s that had anything under 2 Euro and lazed in the sun on Nice’s infamous pebble beaches.

But, this was all I wanted. Sometimes traveling calls for different styles, like in New York I don’t want to stop moving and exploring, but in the French Riviera I wanted to do the opposite. I guess I quite literally take on the pace of the place I am at that moment. It probably didn’t help that I was like a teenage girl, catching myself staring into the bright blue eyes of the boy next to me 95% of the time, completely forgetting where I am and concentrating on not drooling.

Monday.

Denim on denim. Apart from actually seeing Pierre himself, I was most excited about wearing his vintage Levi’s jacket that he bought in Israel. I wore my mom jeans from Zara, a black velvet top and Pierre’s jacket. After walking though Nice for most of the day, we got a couple of beers and some fresh strawberries and sat on the rocks on the edge of the ocean until the sun set.

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Tuesday.

The most incredible weather. Pierre and I headed to Antibes and Juan-Les-Pins for a solid beach day. We strolled through Antibes’ old town (which was my absolute favourite town btw) and headed to the beach of Juan-Les-Pins. There we found a place with a sundeck, yellow deckchairs and umbrellas and decided this would be our camping spot for the day. We spent the day napping in the sun, cooling down in the clearest water (who have not yet received the message that it’s already summer), chatting and catchup up on days spent apart.

Summer days call for bright colours and open shoulders. On Monday I wore my old trusted high waisted jean short that I had to patch with a flower after tearing it in a very competitive family volleyball game December. I paired this with my (now brown) platform Supergas, an It’s all lies, Darling crop top from The Lot and my floral scarf from Zara.

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Wednesday.

We headed to Monaco for the day. It was two weeks before the Monaco Grand Prix and the whole city was littered with huge bleachers waiting for the thousands of spectators who will be watching this spectacle in a couple of days and the roads were already painted in the iconic red and white blocks. Even without the crowds, the whole setup was very impressive.

It wasn’t the first time that I wore this white outfit, but every time I wore it previously I got sidetracked from my blogging and never got some good shots! But with my handsome photographer boyfriend, I finally have some good quality shots showcasing this awesome white pinstriped wide-legged pants from Forever New. I wore it with a crisp frilly shirt from H&M. There’s just something about wearing something that you’re really comfortable in. This outfit gave me so much confidence and I loved wearing it so much!

Pierre looked sexy.

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

 

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Thursday.

Quite a gloomy day. The wind picked up, so we found shelter in the narrow streets of Nice’s old town (I just realised, while  typing this that we never went back for these amazing flavoured salt that I wanted to buy for my mum. damn). Nice’s old town is cheese and cured meat heaven. I am such a sucker for a good Camembert or Brie and some salami or parma ham. I was in a state of constant temptation. Especially with all those fresh croissants staring at me from all the viennoiserie counters.

I was in such a cheery mood and ended up looking like I was 6 years old and my mom dressed me for pre-school. I never wear pink, but that day I wore this in-your-face pink sweater from Pull&Bear with a flower scrunchy in my hair. To reduce the “my mom dressed me” look I wore Pierre’s badass Ray-Ban’s.

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Friday.

We went all the way to ITALY for some fresh produce! We got a little sidetracked in the pop-up clothes market selling faux Louis Vuittons and some pretty cool sneakers, but managed to make it home with a hand full of asparagus, green beans and 2 peaches.

I wore some of my old trustworthies. My black jeans, Pierre’s jacket… but my super cute leopard print sandals from Country Road made their debut! Although I don’t think I actually got one photo of them. I guess it will have to remain a surprise until I blog about them next time!

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Saturday. Today.

I left Pierre in the beautiful Cote D’Azur while I am making my way to Thailand. It was one of the hardest goodbyes of my life.

But how lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?

Very.

Till next week babes.

Love A B x

TRAINING: Getting back at it after a needed break

I am a firm believer in taking a solid break around every two or three months when training. Apart from a much needed rest day in a normal week, I feel that taking a 3-5 day break every now and then really benefits me in more ways than one.

For starters, I tend to get bored pretty easily. Whether it is running or BBG or gymming or whatever, after a couple of weeks, exercising seems mundane and I lose my motivation. When I feel like this, I know that it is time to take a quick break. When I wake up on the first day of this break I am so excited. I take my time with my coffee, wash and straighten my hair knowing that I will be able to keep it that way for a couple of days (all of you girls know the struggle of having perfect hair in the morning, only to sweat it up that afternoon). I love having that little bit of extra time in my day that I usually spent training.

I savour these days… and to be honest, I sometimes take them a little bit too seriously. Bread seems to creep into my diet more frequently and I sometimes make the 3-5 day break a 7-day break, which is obviously not the best thing, but I’m only human and bread is delicious. It is very important, though, for these short breaks not to turn into long breaks.

I took one of these breaks while I was in New York at the beginning of April. I ran a half marathon in Brooklyn on the 1st and then felt the need to take a break. I initially planned to take 3 days off, my body really needed the rest physically, but after those 3 days were over I realised that I not only needed to rest my body, but I needed to give myself a break from the routine. So, my 3 day break turned into a 8-day break thanks to travelling for 2 days straight as well. This was a bit to long for my comfort, but I was so ready to start again as soon as I got home.

The only problem with taking a break is getting started again. The hardest part for me is knowing where I was before the break, expecting to be able to run the same distance with ease and then being disappointed that I can barely manage half of the distance the day I start again. I then take a step back and approach this “starting again” differently. Over the years I have learned a few things that helped me get back into my routine as quickly and effectively as possible.

My tips for getting back at it:

1. Forget everything you did or didn’t do when you were taking a break.

If you feel guilty about not training or having a couple of treats, don’t.

2. Start your first day with a walk

The hardest part of getting back at is, is putting on your trainers for the first time. I usually trick myself to get moving by convincing myself that I just have to go for a walk, that’s all. Sometimes I just walk and that’s fine and sometimes my walk turns into a run, which is great.

3. Don’t be too hard on yourself the first week (i.t.o your diet as well as your training)

A start is a start. Rather focus on just getting your body moving instead of trying to perfect your routine.

4. Set new goals

It’s important to set goals beyond just trying to get back to where you were. You need to find something that drives you to train harder than before, that’s part of the beauty of taking a break.

5. Find some kind of motivation that really resonates with you

We all train and exercise for different reasons. Don’t just look at “fitspo” on Instagram, find something deeper, better. Find the inspiration that works for YOU.

6. Find the joy again

Remember that you love this. You love looking after your body. You love feeling free and strong and healthy. I know that I am a completely different person after a run/workout than I was before. I always forget how much I love training, taking a break like this is always needed, but it’s the getting back at it that always makes me remember.

I had to apply these tips to myself 2 weeks ago. Although not being 100% on top of my training just yet, I am getting there.

I am definitely not the perfect health-person or whatever. But, although not being perfect, I actually learned from experience how to get started after stopping (for whatever reason it may have been).

Just start, guys. However small or insignificant the step that you are taking may feel. It’s a step in the right direction.

I started with Kayla Itsines’ BBG program again last week. I decided that I missed it after rereading the post I wrote after finishing the program last year (read the post here).

I guess I was my own inspiration this time haha

Keep posted.

Love, AndyBee

 

 

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.

Borough Market 1 .Borough Market 2Borough Market Meal

Borough Market Sign .  Borough Market Shrimp Wrap 1 . London 1Borough Market Shrimp Wrap 2Borough Market Shrimp Wrap Station

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

Processed with VSCO with c9 preset        Processed with VSCO with a7 presetProcessed with VSCO with c5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a7 preset       Processed with VSCO with a7 presetProcessed with VSCO with a7 preset

 

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

 

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset26229824_Unknown .         IMG_0967Processed with VSCO with a7 presetProcessed with VSCO with a7 preset .   Processed with VSCO with a7 presetProcessed with VSCO with a9 presetProcessed with VSCO with a9 preset .     26229680_Unknown

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

 

always pack your running shoes

 

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset . Processed with VSCO with a7 presetProcessed with VSCO with a7 presetProcessed with VSCO with x1 preset  29 maart 7

I went for the coolest run this morning. I guess my runs get longer the more comfortable and at home I feel in a new city. On this particular run, I ran down the street to the Eiffel Tower, ran along the Seine River, over the Love Lock Bridge (where, sadly, there were 5 guys in neon bibs busy removing all the locks), passed the Louvre, through the Luileries Garden, passed the Roue de Paris ferris wheel, up the whole Champs Elysees, underneath the Arc De Triomph and sprinted the last 1km to the hotel.

I know that it seems daunting to take on the streets of some place new when you an barely find your way with a map and while walking. But, do yourself a favour the next time you pack for a trip – throw in those runners. A run is the best way to start your day, getting rid of the jetlag and to see your destination from another perspective.

Yesterday I walked through the whole Paris, not in my runners, but in some super cute ankle boots from Trenery and now I have blisters on my pinky toes. I am very impressed with these boots though, they were brand spanking new (which is a usually big mistake when walking for 8 hours), but they only started hurting the last hour and that was because I was speed walking like a little greek lady in her walk for life club. So, I thoroughly recommend THESE BOOTS.

I know I said that I would be exploring the Latin Quarter and Le Marais yesterday, but got so distracted on the way with cute cafe’s, shoes shops and street stalls that we never actually made it to these neighbourhoods! I can’t even say that we did anything “tourist” worthy at all. I just ate an incredible cheese and meat platter in a cafe on some street corner…

The other reason for getting so distracted on the way was the flares that I sewed onto my old jersey’s sleaves, making me feel super fancy.

I want to tell you more about today, but first – some shots:

(Wearing mom jeans and a suede coat from Zara and another one of my dad’s shirts that I fitted and cropped, but this time with added flowers that took me hours to embroider by hand)

Processed with VSCO with a9 preset29 maart 23Processed with VSCO with a9 preset . 29 maart 10.29 maart 9Processed with VSCO with a7 preset  29 maart 11 Processed with VSCO with a7 preset29 maart 17 . 29 maart 2129 maart 1829 maart 1929 maart 2029 maart 22

It’s a quick ride on the Metro to the Palace of Versailles and it was the best 7 Euro’s I could have spent.

The Palace of Versailles is obviously gorgeous, I mean it is a Castle with gold statues, but the palace itself is not the most beautiful part of the royal estate. It’s the garden. It’s breathtaking, with avenues of trees offering cool shade to many tired Japanese tourists, dams that reflect the sky as if it were a huge mirror and beautifully manicures lawns on which no-one has set a foot in like 400 years. An incredible place to spend one of the days in Paris.

Arriving back in the heart of Paris at sundown, I got to see the best part of the city. The Seine River becomes the meeting place of friends. families, lovers and dogs. By 7pm, the students and people that probably got off early from work start gathering on the river banks. By 8pm there are people sitting with their legs dangled from the edge as far as the eye can see. I didn’t see one person without six-pack beer or a bottle of wine…and cheese and bread. I am certain that having a picnic is a skill that Parisians have perfected over hundreds of years to the point that it is now imbedded in their genes.

And what a sight it is to see.

I wish I could also look as elegant eating a buttery baguette and drinking wine from the bottle, but I guess that is just one talent that I have yet to master.

Good night from the girl who wore a mom pants and a dad shirt with granny embroidery.

A B x

 

 

paris blooms

IMG_0596 . Processed with VSCO with a7 presetProcessed with VSCO with a7 presetIMG_0597   IMG_0598Processed with VSCO with a8 presetProcessed with VSCO with a7 preset

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

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset  Processed with VSCO with a7 presetProcessed with VSCO with a7 presetProcessed with VSCO with a9 preset . 26222784_Unknown   Processed with VSCO with a9 preset26223168_Unknown26223296_UnknownProcessed with VSCO with c8 presetProcessed with VSCO with c6 preset   Processed with VSCO with a8 preset

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

 

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset Processed with VSCO with b5 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 presetProcessed with VSCO with g3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

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