Browsing Category

Life

Life

Lessons I’ve learnt at the 2017 #ECMeetup

June 2, 2017

If you’ve been following me on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll know that I’ve been writing about the ECMeetup like crazy. You’d have thought that I was one of the organisers. I’m not. I’m just super supportive and proud of Luchae and Eleanor on pulling off another great event. The event was over two weeks ago, but here I am, only writing about it now. I’ve been busy with exams, hence the lack of blog posts, but now that I’m done, it’s back to blogging as usual. The meet up was well attended, and it’s great to see online personalities in the area supporting the event.

On the morning of the event I had overslept and the venue is a 40 minute drive from where I stay. Also I had to take an alternate route due to protest action in the city, and my GPS ended up taking me via the scenic route. Fortunately I managed to get there on time. There were so many people to catch up with! I spotted some of my blogger friends at the Masterton’s stand across the porch and skipped going through the entrance to say hi and get some coffee.

The Plantation pulled out all of the stops, as they usually do. The venue was decorated in lanterns, roses, lush foliage and proteas, which gave it an elegant and proudly South African touch. They had a pancake table setup.  I didn’t take photos of my pancake because I threw nearly all of the toppings on and it looked like a hot mess. It was definitely not Instagramable like the table, but it tasted amazing.  That being said, I should have gone for seconds!

The pancake table at the #ECMeetup is divine 😍😍😍 #sharethebay

A post shared by OD (@osoinspired) on

The event started and we got down to business. First up was Ronel from Rain, she gave a beautiful backstory on the business, but more on this in another post. The main presenters Davene Prinsloo and Mandy-Lee Miller gave such great advice on the areas of their expertise. Davene spoke about the technical aspects of photography, which bloggers need to know and I learnt a lot from her. This post however, is about branding my blog.

Here’s a little secret, I was planning to give OSI a huge overhaul. Split it up into two sites, give both new names, each with a completely new image. Let me tell you, I’m glad I waited for the #ECMeetup before I finalised anything. Mandy-Lee spoke about branding and blogging and most of the time I felt like she was speaking directly to me.

Keeping up with the…

Late last year I attended a blogger presentation (just to be clear, it’s not affliated with the #ECMeetup), where the facilitator basically said everything I (and a lot of other people in the room) am doing, is wrong (well not exactly in those words, but she may as well have) and said that us PE bloggers are not the Kardashians. Yes, she did say we’re not the Kardashians. Not that I aspire to be one, but okay. I and a few others left that presentation feeling so despondent that some of us, including me, seriously considered giving up on blogging. So the changes I had been planning had been based on the information in that presentation. And by changes, I mean “fixing” my siteand doing it the “proper” way. What I learnt from Mandy-Lee is, there’s no “proper” way to blog.

Mandy-Lee’s presentation at the meetup was the exact opposite of what was said at the other one I attended. She spoke a lot about branding, but one thing that stood out for me was that people read blogs for the blogger’s experience and personality. And when Mandy spoke, with every point she made, she could back up it up and she doesn’t do the opposite of the advice that she gives.

Thanks to you!

Well one things for sure, I am not a Kardashian. Also it would be insulting to you guys, my readers, to think that people won’t read my blog because I am not a celeb. You, a real person, are taking time out your busy day to read this post, to read my blog. I’m not a celeb, and yet you read it. So there must be something you like about it, right? You’re spending your time, reading my blog instead or Kylie Jenner’s or whatever celeb who has one. And that’s pretty awesome, so thank you!

That being said, Mandy-Lee’s presentation has inspired me to still rebrand OSI, but it won’t be drastic. OSI will still be OSI, but there’ll be a new look and a few other changes. Because I’ve been busy with exams I haven’t started with my plans, but will be doing so soon. So keep an eye out. Her presentation also made me feel more confident in my blogging. I left the meetup feeling like I could go out and conquer the Internet, and not give up on my little space on the internet.

Thank you to everyone involved for making the #ECMeetup a great event, and see you guys at the next one.

One of The Plantation’s gorgeous guest rooms.

Life

The lazy girl’s guide to autumn/winter jackets and coats (plus win with Superbalist)

March 29, 2017

I don’t know about you guys, but I am so glad that the colder months are finally on their way. The last few weeks the temperature has been in the higher 20s along with some days being in the 30s and 40s, you’d swear that Port Elizabeth is still in mid-summer.

The weather has barely cooled and I’m already looking at winter jackets and coats. I’ve also begun binge watching trashy reality shows, so you should know my productivity levels will be at an all time low this winter. Investing in a good winter jacket or coat is important as a good quality one can last you many seasons (my oldest jacket is around 10 years old, and it’s as good as new).

At the moment the 90s is still influencing fashion trends. Superbalist has a bunch of trendy and stylish jackets in their Autum/Winter 2017 collection that I can foresee being stylish once the 90’s trend has passed. There are 6 designs that every one should have: the parka, the bomber, the puffer, the biker, the coat and the faux fur. Here are my faves from their AW17 collection. Also you should keep on reading to find out how you can win a R500 voucher from Superbalist.

The Puffer

Being a child of the 90s, I remember puffer jackets fondly. These were so popular when I was in primary school. All of the cool kids wore it. Also the bigger the puff, the cooler the jacket. I still love puffer jackets, but just not the bulky kind anymore. I like the Tahoe hooded coat as it’s not bulky and is longer length (to cover the booty). Plus it’s got a hoody. It looks like a good jacket that will last quite a few seasons. It’s casual, but it can still be worn to the office on chilly days.

The Bomber

Another big trend that I remember as a kid, was bomber jackets. After begging for ages, my mom bought me a faux leather one and I wore that jacket until it literally fell apart. Seriously, bits of the leather began peeling off. Bomber jackets are usually quite casual and best worn with jeans. But Superbalist has quite a few sleek styles in their bomber jacket collection, which could easily be paired with a pencil skirt or tailored pants for a more formal look.

The only thing that can top a leather bomber is probably a leopard print bomber jacket. So when I saw the Villa bomber jacket I knew it was love at first sight. Leopard print is iconic. Bombers are trendy this winter, but leopard print is trendy forever.

The Parka

Parka jackets are seriously underrated they’re both functional and stylish. Parka jackets are probably the most comfortable jacket ever designed. I’m not a fashionista, but personally I think that they will never stop being trendy and never go out  style. This is why I think it’s important to invest in a good quality and versatile parka. I love white jackets, but unfortunately can never keep them clean. I still love this Iris parka. The faux fur adds a great touch to it and I love that the front has buttons and a zip.

The Biker

A biker jackets can make any outfit edgy. Biker jackets also keep you warm because they’re normally made with faux or real leather. This biker jacket black by Glamorous is made from faux fur and faux leather. The faux fur lining looks so snug and warm. I also like the zipper and belt details and the fact that the zippered pockets form part of the design. The hemlines also have an unfinished look to it, which I also really like.

The Coat

Everyone needs a good coat in a neutral colour that will last many seasons. I’m a big girl and this plus size belted wool coat is stylish, it will keep me warm and the best part is that is basically an outfit on its own. Just think about it. You’re lazing in sweats, binge watching series and suddenly realise that you’re out of snacks. No need to change your outfit to go to the corner store, just throw this baby on and you’re dressed. This tip is basically a lazy person’s guide to style. Buy a nice big coat, throw it over anything and you’re dressed.

The Faux Fur

Who needs real fur when faux fur is so fabulous these days? Is there anything as luxurious as a faux fur jacket? You could be wearing the most plain or boring outfit ever, but if you throw a faux fur jacket on, BAM! It completely transforms you (nevermind the fact that they’re also so warm). Snuggling up in a lush, plush and cruelty free jacket is pretty awesome. I legit feel like Anja Wintour when I wear mine. I love this Long line faux fur bomber jacket as it reminds me so much of Cher from the classic film Clueless. It’s so effortlessly chic. I just need a mansion to go with it.

Win a R500 voucher from Superbalist

Here’s your chance to win a R500 voucher from Superbalist. And it’s super easy.

All you have to do is visit this link to Superbalist’s Jackets and Coats collection. Then comment below with the link to your favourite jacket or coat and tell me why it’s your favourite. That’s it. So easy right?

Before you enter, be sure that you’re well acquainted with OSI’s terms and conditions.

The competition closes Wednesday 5 April 2017 and the winner will be announced Thursday morning on my Facebook page.

This post has been sponsored by Superbalist, but as always, opinions are my own.

Life

Why I went to the #ECMeetUp

August 25, 2016

When Eleanor from Just Ella Bella and Luchae from My Spreadsheet Brain announced that they would be holding a blogger’s meetup earlier this year, I was immediately filled with excitement. Jozi and Cape Town, have been having meet ups for a while, but there were none in little ole’ PE. However as soon as the excitement settle, I got nervous. Nervous to the point that despite booking and paying for my ticket, I seriously considered not attending. I even had my excuse planned. I had exams the following week (which was true) and needed the time to focus on them (which was also true). Subconsciously, something told me I should go. It was only the morning of the #ECmeetup that I actually decided to go and I’m glad I did.

#ECMeetup-3

The first #ECMeetup

After following her blog for years, I final got to meet Eleanor in person as well as many other bloggers. The best part of the meetup was meeting a group of wonderful women. Since the meetup some of us joined a whatsapp group, where you share ideas, discuss opinions, motivate one another and provide construction criticism. It’s a truly amazing and if I had let my nervous get the best of me, despite having read most of these ladies blogs before, I would have never have met them and discovered how truly amazing they are.

Blog readers are often made to believe that the goodie bags are the best part of meetups. The goodie bags we received were amazing, but there were so many great things about the event that I can’t pick one.

#ECMeetup-4

Going to the meetup has opened opportunities for me, and as allowed me to collaborate with a few organisations. Megan Kelly and Dorette de Swart were guest speakers, and they shared such great advice.

#ECMeetup-6

The venue The Boma was spectacular. They served a variety of canapes  and breakfast. We had a breakfast bake made from minced beef, egg plant, white sauce and scrambled egg. It was served in cute miniature potjie pots. The dish was so delicious that I’ve actually tried creating a similar dish. I buy Masterton’s coffee regularly (they’re good quality and affordable) so I was happy to see their coffee bar and the packs that they gave for us in the goodie bags.

#ECMeetup-1

A combination of shyness and nervousness led to me taking photos mostly of the food and decor. I set a goal that at the next meet up I’ll take more pics of people.

#ECMeetup The Mini Meet

Luchae and Eleanor will be hosting a mini meet on 17 September 2016 at the Athenaeum. I can’t wait. If you’re an Eastern Cape blogger, do yourself a favour and attend it. For enquires and bookings email Luchae on admin@myspreadsheetbrain.co.za.

#EC The Mini Meet

Life

Giveaway and new look

March 28, 2016

Hi Everyone, welcome to the new look OSI, I’ve also decided to host a giveaway. I’ve finally stopped procrastinating and moved over to self-hosted WordPress. My procrastination was mostly due to fear, I had a good understanding with Blogger and could easily change things on it, but with WordPress I feel like a little fish in a huge ocean. So many people said the switch would be easy but I literally find something I need to update, install or redirect every time I log on to the site.

giveaway
There are a number of changes to the site, and over the next few weeks there’ll be a lot more because if I have to wait until they’re all done, it would take ages to relaunch OSI. On Blogger for a reason that I can’t recall, I hosted all of my images on Flickr or Photobucket and with importing the blog over none of them showed, so I have to go through the gradual process of editing each post to update the pictures. I’ve also removed Disqus, so now it looks like OSI hasn’t received any comments for the last 3 years. In terms of managing spammy comments, Disqus is better than Blogger’s built in commenting system, but at the moment I feel that the WordPress version with Askimet is adequate.

To celebrate the relaunch of the new OSI, I’ve decided to do a little giveaway to thank my followers for sticking around. One lucky reader will receive the following:

Giveaway

LA Girls Eyeshadow Collection Nudes
I purchased this after a bunch of beauty bloggers gushed over it and compared it to the Naked palettes. Well let me tell you, it’s definitely not Urban Decay, but a lot of people seem to like it. It’s mostly shimmers and the colour payoff is good for it’s price range.

Oh So Heavenly Vanilla Cupcake Bubble Balm
This balm has a lovely sweet vanilla scent that I love and is a dupe for the EOS balms.

The Body Shop Frosted Cranberry Handcream
One of my favourite scents from one of my favourite brands. Okay, I say that about nearly all of The Body Shop scents.

Lifestyle 2016 Personal Home Organiser
Yes I know its April, but let’s be real, not everyone has it all together yet. I bought this in support of the Animal Anti-Cruelty League. I have one myself, but I don’t use it as a daily diary (it is A5 with a weekly view and I prefer the A4 daily ones). It has a weekly view so I use it to plan my blog posts (great for bloggers) and make shopping lists. It also comes with a relaxing CD, titled Dreams, and is filled with useful information.

Enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter below. None of the options are mandatory so you can enter as many or as little times as you like without having to jump through rings on fire while delicately balancing a glass of water.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to people residing in South Africa only. It is not sponsored and I am not associated with the brands and organisations.

Life

Welcome to OSI in 2016

February 21, 2016

Women with hair

Hi everyone, it’s basically March, but I’m only just beginning to feel like I have all my ducks in a row for this year. Well almost in any case.

Initially I wasn’t intending on taking a break over Christmas and New Years, but I reckoned what’s the point of posting anything if everyone is at the beach. The break took longer than originally anticipated, but the good thing is I’m back.

There’s 3 posts scheduled for this week, the first one should be dropping around 8 this morning. There was supposed to be a giveaway posted today, but I haven’t had the time to take the photographs so it will only be up next week.

As with all of these welcome back posts, there’ll be some changes to the blog. Well mostly in it’s design and hosting. Last month I bought a theme from Solo Pine and will be moving to self-hosted WordPress. I’m not sure of the exact date yet, but it will be in the near future.

I will no longer be sharing a lot of personal posts on here, but I do feel the need for you to have an overview on what is happening in my life. Currently I am studying towards my 3rd degree. It is in a completely different discipline to my other two, so in order to be successful and reach the targets that I have set for myself I have to dedicate a lot of time to my studies (keeping in mind that I am still working full time). This means that I have to better my time management in order to ensure that I don’t neglect my studies or OSI (this is one of the reasons why my first blog post is so late in the year).  It will be a challenge, but an exciting one and I look forward to the next few years as I complete it.

May 2016 be the best year yet for you, and me too.

Image via Pixabay.