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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

 

 

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.)

 

 

always pack your running shoes

 

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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)

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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

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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

 

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

 

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

desert days

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I just arrived back home after a month of traveling from the western coast of Africa to the East and back to the West. I spent most of my holiday in the desert in Namibia, but did an epic cross-continental trip to the lush and warm shores of Mozambique, but more about that in my next post.

For now I am just going to give you a quick glimpse of the beauty and solitude of the Namib desert.

I spent two weeks in a fishing town on the coast of Namibia called Henties Bay. On of these days, Pierre and I  decided to drive a couple of kilometers inland to find one of the driest, flattest and simplest pieces of Earth i have ever seen. This seemed like the perfect spot for a couple of photos.

I decided to complement the simple landscape with a black vintage dress and the raffia Country Road hat that you will see in every one of my holiday photos.

Hope you have a great week, you will be seeing a lot more of me from now on. I have major plans for this year.

(Photos by Pierre Cronje, go check him out on Instagram here)

A B x

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

 

bomber jackets 101

The ultimate cool item in your closet, The bomber jacket. Every celebrity and street-style stars have been wearing these jackets this season – and for good reason. This will become your go-to staple item for this awkward half-winter-half-spring time and also then especially in the summer, (although we all have trouble admitting that summer does not always consist of 32 degree beach days) where we sometimes need something light to take the chill out of a windy summer night.

I found myself a floral bomber for a bargain and decided to wear it in an athleisure style. I kept it sleek with all black everything and wore it with an amazing black top from River Island. The top is basically a crop, but then has chunky netting down to the waist with an open back (it gives you the idea of those 90’s athletics shirts with the mesh). I finished my look with tight black jeans and my Adidas RMDs.

Bomber jackets have a way of adding an edge to your outfit. This can be done either subtly, with a soft champagne coloured bomber, or full on with a bomber covered in patches or embroided flowers. I have put together a little collection of style-inspiration. See how these girls pair anything from a crisp white button up shirt and jeans to loose flannels to  denim skirts.

Here are some of my favourite looks:

If you are wondering where you may find one of these Gems, go have a look in

Factorie

Cotton On

Adidas Original

Witchery

Do yourself a favour and invest in a bomber jacket for the season. You will never find yourself in a situation where you don’t know what to wear ever again! (that might be a bit of an overstatement – but you know what I mean)…

May your ambition be on fleek this week.

A B x