Cricket|Women

Gob smacked that the Protea Women’s Team heads of to the Women’s World T20 tournament without a title sponsor

On the 23rd of October 2018, I joined in the festivities when Cricket South Africa (CSA) pulled out all the stops to host a send-off never to be forgotten, for the Protea Women’s Cricket Team prior to them heading off to the West Indies. Captain, Dane van Niekerk and her team are all set to take on the Women’s World T20 tournament this month.

The street outside CSA was lined with media and excited young ladies who waved South African flags as they awaited the arrival of the Protea Women’s Team. As the team bus came to a stop outside CSA, one could not help but feel Proud to be a South African and especially proud to be a female. It was evident that the send-off was a well-kept secret as the overwhelmed players disembarked the bus and made their way into the building.

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A National Sporting Team without a Title Sponsor

As the formalities got under way, it was mentioned that the Protea Women’s Team doesn’t have a title sponsor. How, in the 21st century does a team of professional players, representing their country at the highest level in a sport (that has traditionally been male dominated) not have a title sponsor? Absolutely unbelievable if you ask me, but hopefully it’s just a matter of timing. The average age of the team is a super young 22 years old. The youngest is Laura Wolvaardt who turned 19 in April and the oldest is Shabnim Ismail who has just turned 30.

These young ladies are proudly South African, unbelievably talented and continue to do their country proud. The associated hashtags, #AlwaysRising and #WeAreMore embodies the true essence of the Protea Women’s Team who give their very best with or without a title sponsor.

Chat Time with the Protea Women’s Team

I had the absolute honour and pleasure of getting to know the Protea Women’s Team when I interviewed some of them at their send-off. They are a fantastic bunch and the love and admiration they have for each other is extremely evident. I must admit their playfulness during their downtime is heartwarming and refreshing, but shouldn’t be mistaken for their commitment to the game of cricket. They ooze passion for cricket and their enthusiasm for the game is contagious. Below is my interview with some of the players, including Vice Captain Chloe Tryon.

My Message to SA Brands

To the incredible brands out there, “What are you waiting for??” The opportunity to be the title sponsor for the Protea Women’s Team is something you should be jumping at. Time is seriously limited as these ladies are pumped and ready to take over the cricket world. It is just a matter of time before they are snatched up. Plus they do plan to bring home the Women’s World T20 tournament trophy.

World T20 Kicks-off

This coming weekend sees the official start of the Women’s World T20 tournament, so make sure you don’t miss a game.

Proteas Women WT20 schedule:

  • Monday, November 12 – SA v Sri Lanka
  • Wednesday, November 14 – SA v West Indies
  • Friday, November 16 – SA v England
  • Sunday, November 18 – SA v Qualifier 1

To the Protea Women’s Team … we are 100% behind you ladies, so go kick ass and bring back the trophy like only you can.

Entertainment|Event|Lifestyle|Women

Women’s Lifestyle Expo High Tea set to attract who’s who of South African business women

Enjoying afternoon tea while perched on a gilded hotel armchair is a fine British tradition, which has thankfully found its way into today’s societal way of life.

The Women’s Lifestyle Expo presents you with the opportunity to sit down to an intimate High Tea with some of South Africa’s most dynamic, impressive and influential women at this year’s Expo (#WLE2018). Guests will be treated to a sumptuous tea while hearing how these phenomenal women managed to achieve their success; balancing demanding careers and motherhood and still managing to embrace their femininity. This sumptuous networking opportunity will be taking place on Saturday, 29 September from 2pm to 4pm at Joburg’s Montecasino Piazza Ballroom.

“The Women’s Lifestyle Expo High Tea will give you an opportunity to feed your inner goddess in a space that is energising and empowering and where women from all walks of life will get to interact, engage with and learn from some truly inspiring women.” – said Helen Johns, co-founder of Women’s Lifestyle Expo.

What to expect

Expect to sip on champagne and gin cocktails while enjoying delicious gourmet food. You will be able to enjoy one-on-one interactions and engage in relaxed discussions with the speakers and each guest will leave with a complimentary goodie bag so that they can continue their pampering experience at home.

The #WLE2018 High Tea is however no ordinary high tea.  The high tea features a panel of multi-talented, dynamic women who will share their thoughts and experiences on their road to ‘Redefining Success’.  Your panel comprises of:-

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The Deets for the High Tea

Tickets to the High Tea are R650 per person – which includes access to the entire Women’s Lifestyle Expo – and can be bought from www.itickets.co.za. With limited space available, you’re urged to book now to avoid disappointment.

#WLE2018 Deets

When: Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 September
Times: Saturday, 29 September 9.30am to 8pm
Sunday, 30 September 9.30am to 6pm
Venue: Montecasino Piazza
Tickets: R180 per person per day for a general entry ticket. (more…)

Mom life|Parenting|Wellness|Women

Knowledge can boost confidence for oral contraceptive users

Oral contraceptives are chemicals taken by mouth to inhibit normal fertility.  All act on the hormonal system.  Female oral contraceptives, colloquially known as the Pill, are the most common form of pharmaceutical contraception.  They are used to prevent pregnancy.  The pill is also used to control symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis.  Many doctors prescribe the Pill to women who complain of dysfunctional uterine bleeding

Pros & Cons of Oral Contraceptives

Birth Control Pills
Success Rate with Typical Use: 91%
Pros Cons
  • Very effective against pregnancy if used correctly
  • Makes menstrual periods more regular and lighter
  • Decreases menstrual cramps and acne
  • Makes you less likely to get ovarian and uterine cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts, and anemia
  • Doesn’t interrupt sexual activity
  • Doesn’t protect against STIs
  • Depending on your insurance, your birth control may be free or there may be a co-pay.
  • Need to remember to take every day at the same time
  • Can’t be used by women with certain medical problems or by women taking certain medications
  • Can occasionally cause side effects such as nausea, increased appetite, headaches, and, very rarely, blood clots
  • Need a prescription
  • Still need condoms to lower the risk of STIs

The above table is obtained from https://youngwomenshealth.org

Managing lesser known but important side effects, can reduce concerns for users of oral contraceptives

Enabling women to make choices about their fertility is empowering and offers women better economic and social opportunities.   Since their introduction in 1960, there have been many advances towards minimising the side effects of oral contraceptives (OCs) and thus to improving compliance.   Lower dose oral contraceptive formulations have resulted in a decrease in side effects such as breast tenderness and bloating. 

Many users are however unaware of less obvious OC-induced side effects, resulting from the depletion of certain nutrients, such as some of the Vitamin B group.  Greater knowledge of the most common nutritional shortages and their possible impact, should assist users of OCs to decide, in consultation with their physician, whether they would benefit from taking appropriate dietary supplements. 

   Medical disorders that can occur because of vitamin or mineral deficiencies caused by OCs include cardiovascular disorders such as high blood pressure and thrombosis; anaemia and anorexia, as well as the more serious neural tube defects (NTDs) occurring during pregnancy.  NTDs result from the failure of the neural tube of the embryo to close by the fourth week of pregnancy, causing birth defects of the brain and spine.

   Some of the key vitamins and minerals that may be deficient in women taking OCs include B vitamins (in particular Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12); folic acid and zinc.  Vitamin B6 deficiency is associated with a heightened risk of arterial and venous thromboembolism while Vitamin B12 is essential for cell growth and replication. Both Vitamin B12 and folic acid are important in the prevention of NTDs, while folic acid prevents anaemia.  Zinc plays an important role in the proper function of the immune system and cell growth, while a lack of zinc may lead to anorexia, anaemia, atherosclerosis or affect the immune system. 

 Efforts to prevent micronutrient depletion with supplements or food should be considered for women who take OC for a long period. Taking appropriate dietary supplements is recommended as the first step, as various factors such as bioavailability, diet, unhealthy lifestyles and illness can also have an impact on the availability of certain nutrients.  So it’s best to consult your doctor or pharmacy to source appropriate dietary supplements to prevent micronutrient depletion.

 

 

Wellness|Women

I Seriously Underestimated My #WysJouMaag Challenge

Towards the last week of July (spurred on by a post from one of my followers), I decided to create the hashtag #WYSJOUMAAG (translated into English, it means show your stomach). I however seriously underestimated the power of this challenge.

Known for my workouts in a sports bra, (despite having fat rolls and stretch marks), I have been receiving an abundance of messages from women praising my confidence and courage. I decided that for the month of August , also known as Women’s month, that I wanted to impact the lives of women with the main focus being self-love.

I launched the #WYSJOUMAAG challenge on 1 August 2018 and after a mere 5 days into the month, women have unequivocally accepted the challenge.

View this post on Instagram

I am ENOUGH … and so are you!! . Happy Womens Month – #WysJouMaag Challenge . Let's make it one for the books. Let's work on our self-acceptance and self-love. Let's work on not giving a damn, because is too short Let's just do us . Use the #wysjoumaag and step outside your comfort zone. Challenge yourself to love the skin you are in. Right now in this very moment. . 🔊I'm looking for 31 women to step up to the plate and accept my challenge for the month of August. Don't forget to tag me in your posts and use the #wysjoumaag . Let's be the revolution!! . Have a empowering, energising and excellent month of August 😘 #iamchallenge #iamperfect #iamallwomen #nofilter #iamallwomen #wysjoumaagchallenge

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The month of August is the opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements and the important role that women of all races and religions have played and continue to play in South African society.  I want to especially focus on learning to celebrate ourselves, flaws and all. I want to inspire women to accept and love themselves. I want them to realise that they are enough, that they are perfect and that they are unstoppable. I want women to know that they deserve better and that they should never settle.  I want women to just stop giving a damn, but rather embrace what is and celebrate the now.

I started the challenge keeping in mind that I probably wouldn’t have many people saying, “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED”, I however have been surprised beyond my wildest dreams. I am humbled and in awe. Women are being so badass about the challenge that they fill my heart with an unbelievable amount of happiness and joy. Yesterday I received a video that had me in tears. The good, proud, this is so worth it kind of tears.

You my dear Merlize are courageous, immensely brave and strong. I want you to know that you are ENOUGH and that you are indeed OWNING THIS LIFE.

Thank you to all the women who have accepted my challenge.  You are pretty damn amazing and have forever changed my life with your awesomeness. So to all of you out there, I challenge you to join the #WYSJOUMAAG movement. Post your pics on social media, tag me and use the hashtag.  Show some love to the incredible women who are stepping outside their comfort zones and challenging themselves to live their best lives.  Be the kind of women who celebrates other women.

Let’s be the revolution, because self-love is indeed the greatest revolution.

 

Review|Women

Review – Anita Active Dynamix Star Max Support Sports Bra

A month ago I was invited to try out the Anita Active Dynamix Star Max Support Sports Bra and was requested to seriously put it through its paces before writing a honest review.

This however wasn’t the first time I had seen an Anita Active bra. During my initial encounter with the Anita Active range earlier this year, I immediately fell in love with the look and feel of the bra, but somehow never got around to trying it out.

The Importance of a Good Fitting Sports Bra

To be rather honest, I seriously underestimated the importance of a good fitting bra. Apparently it’s all about the perfect fit! Experts say it’s just as important to wear a well-fitted, quality sports bra as it is a pair of quality trainers. A good fitting bra can make a big difference to your workout as well as your breast health. Let’s not forget your soaring confidence levels.

Anita Active Momentum Wire Free Sports Bra
Wearing the Anita Active Momentum Wire Free Sports Bra in this photo (but this is a review for another day)

During my fitting, Taryn from the Bra Guru explained in detailed how a bra should fit and stressed the importance of getting measured by a professional bra fitting service. Check out my blog post on The Bra Guru to get the low down on all things bra related.

My Thoughts on the Anita Active Dynamix Star Max Support Sports Bra

  • Lets start with the fabric which is extremely lightweight and I love the barely there feel of it on my skin.
  • The dual colour options are vibrant and bold. I must admit that I felt super sexy and confident wearing that bra, purely because of the design and the way it immediately improved my posture.
  • The fabric is also breathable, which is aimed at active sweat management. After wearing that bra for an entire day in Durban, which is known for its hot and humid weather, I will have to admit that this feature of the Anita Active bra gets a 10/10.
  • Its front-adjustable strap system allows an “easy on & off”. This is truly such a cool feature and design. It really does make life easier and makes this an all round sports bra. You can basically adjust the straps depending out your workout.
  • The back, cross design feature sits at exactly the right spot on my back. I found it super comfortable and was able to wear the bra for a long period without experiencing my usual back pain.
  • The straps are padded and I really like the thickness of the straps. I found that it didn’t cut into my shoulders during high impact activities.
  • Due to my foot being injured, I am unable to run at the moment. So I asked a friend who owns an Anita Active Bra to review the bra during her run. She confirmed that the straps did not cut into her shoulders during to her run and that movement is minimal. So more run, less bounce!
  • This is a wireless bra that actually performs like a bra with a solid under wire support. My breasts honestly haven’t looked this amazing since I was 16. Unbelievable support and shape and for the first time ever, my breasts and my body are not at war with each other. My breasts move with my body and not against it.
  • Another feature that has me shook – there’s NO padding of the bra cups, yet it gives the perfect shape to ones breasts. Have a look at the video below to see what I mean
  • And finally. Wait for it … these bras are available in cup sizes AA-G. You heard right, a G cup!

After wearing the Anita Active Dynamix Star Max Support Sports Bra regularly over the past month, I have to admit that I now understand why this sexy sports bra won the international Red Dot Design Award.

(more…)

Parenting|Women

Is There Such a Thing as Intimacy, Connection & Desire after Kids?

I attended the June Mama Meetup which was held at the very luxurious and exclusive Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa. The theme for the meet-up focused on intimacy, connection and desire after kids. The Saxon was the perfect setting, supported by its incredible food and drinks, it set the tone for the night ahead.

Relationships, like most things in life occur in phases and don’t we all absolutely love the initial phase of a relationship. The butterflies, excitement and sheer spontaneity which results in moments of euphoria and incredible chemistry.

Then at some stage (planned or unplanned) kids are thrown into the mix and things change. The added responsibility of looking after our little ones, 24/7 plays a dramatic role in intimacy, connection and desire levels. For most men, having children doesn’t diminish their sex drive, it is however the contrary for many women. Time is also a vital factor which sees us prioritise everything else ahead of ourselves and our relationships.

Totally Me – Intimacy & Relationship Coach

Tracy Ziman Jacobs, intimacy and relationship coach was the guest speaker at the June meet-up and according to her, what sounds a bit like a bit of a fallacy, is actually attainable. You will however need to put in the effort and work.

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Everyone has a beautiful erotic side to themselves” – Tracey Ziman Jacobs

Tracey is a therapeutic counsellor who works as a specialised intimacy and relationship coach within her consultancy, Totally Me which is based in Bryanston.

She spoke passionately about wanting to help couples and individuals who wish to go beyond their current intimacy level and rekindle the passion they once had for each other and for themselves. Tracy Ziman Jacobs shared part of her life story. “When I got married, I thought I’d never get divorced,” says Tracy. “It came as a bit of a shock and after my divorce, I was cynical about marriage,” she admits. But she recognised the hope we as human beings attach to marriage. “It’s the romance that brings us together and after all, people are still getting married,” she muses.

As a mother herself, Tracy understands that there needs to be a balance between parenting and marriage. The interactive session saw us chat to Tracey about our wants, needs and frustrations as mothers in the 21st century.

Whether you’re a parent or not, Tracy’s counselling work is about rekindling romance for a renewed intimate relationship. “You’ve just got to do it to understand it,” says Tracy of her sessions. “In other words, do the work and then you’ll understand it.” She went on to explain that good sexual health is also great for creativity and for our bodies, as it boosts circulation as well as oxytocin and serotonin. The bottom line is that connecting with your partner and being in a good space is wonderful for everyone all round.”

My 5 Ways to Increase Intimacy in your Relationships

  1. Love yourself – to truly love another, we need to first learn to love ourselves.
  2. Speak your partner’s love language – communication is indeed the foundation of all great relationships.
  3. Kindness doesn’t cost a thing – Regular kind gestures will have a lasting impacting on a relationship
  4. Go to bed together– Our fast pace lives often have us living past each other. Try and limit that as far as possible
  5. Put the phone down – cellphone have become such an intrusion and obsession in our lives, that we really need to learn to just put our phones aside and connect with people face to face.
  6. Date night is non-negotiable. – It’s okay to take time away from your kids. In fact its vital and help couples to reconnect. So whether is a day, night, weekend away or even just an over to grab a coffee together in a moment of sanity, do it.
  7. Set boundaries with your kids – Kids need to respect that aside from being parents, you are also husbands and wives.
  8. Date each other again – recreate the initial chemistry and excitement.
  9. Spice things up – No further explanation needed
  10. Seek professional help – If you relationship is in a downward spiral, don’t just leave. Seek out professional help

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Irrespective of your relationship status, a renewed intimate relationship is a step in the right direction. Tracey explained that the benefits are numerous: “When you’re in synergy with the one you love, you are in a good space and you will find that you’ll sleep better, work better, have more patience with your children and be far more productive. Good sexual health is also great for creativity and for our bodies; it boosts circulation as well as oxytocin and serotonin.

So leave a comment if you have found a way to keep the romance in your relationship alive and kicking.

Inspirational Peeps|Women

Left Empowered & Inspired as Sta-Sof-Fro wrapped up the #WearYou Seminar Series for 2018

Balancing Love, Life and Everything in Between

Sta-Sof-Fro, the No. 1 brand in South Africa for people who prefer to style their own natural hair, wrapped up a series of events focussed on empowering women with a final salon seminar for 2018 in Johannesburg. The series focussed on the following Seminar themes:-

  • Seminar #1 – Wealth
  • Seminar #2 – The Profitability of Passion
  • Seminar #3 – Balancing Act

I was pleasantly surprised with an invite to attend this prestigious, (invite-only) event. The event was held at the exclusive Fairlawns Boutique Hotel in Sandton.

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I won tickets to the event for my friend and I with Mapula Ndhlovu

Having a full-time career, being a working mom by day, who is also a blogger by night and balancing everyday life is something I have managed to master with time. Achieving balance is however different for every woman and can sometimes become extremely overwhelming. With some women having it all together, it begged the all-important question of …. “How?”

The third panel of #WearYou speakers came together to answer that very question. The panel of speakers included media personalities and business women Palesa Masiteng and Lerato Sengadi. The Queen of Fitness herself, Mapule Ndhlovu as well as medical doctor and fashionista Dr. Nandipha Sekeleni. These four remarkable women, each power-houses in their own rights, joined the stunning Nicole Bessick on stage.

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On the couch with Nicole Bessick

The unscripted Q & A session with the quick-thinking and witty Nicole, had these ladies share their personal experiences in career and life. Their individual and honest takes on how they have managed to achieve balance in their lives was not only refreshing but also inspiring. As we sat in the audience clinging to their every word, in the hopes of finding the key to achieving balance, we found ourselves laughing, smiling and even crying. Best of all, the women, who are all extremely different were in fact all relatable for various reasons. In fact, several of the women who attended the seminar agreed with the above statement.

For the past 7 months Sta-Sof-Fro opened the floor for women to engage and share their personal experiences. Their journey’s no doubt changed fellow woman’s lives. The intimate seminars, aimed to break stereotypes and create dynamic dialogue, allowing the #versastyle women to embrace their personal truths, reminding all, that it’s ok to be and #WearYou. The #WearYou campaign has been and continues to be an extension of what the Sta-Sof-Fro ethos stands for.

Final Words from the Brand Manager

“Watching this campaign take shape and to have these ladies breathe life into it has been an overwhelming experience,” commented Sta-Sof-Fro Brand Manager Lerato Selepe. “The speakers and guests have shared, laughed and cried, they have experienced “I thought I was the only one” and “aha” moments and #WearYou made a real impact on the lives of women which is what Sta-Sof-Fro believes in.”

Plans for the Future

Sta-Sof-Fro foresees keeping this movement alive with plans to involve more leaders in various industries on the continent. To allow them a platform to share their personal experiences, truths and narratives as real woman in an ever-changing world.

The Key to Living a Balanced Life

Women who attended the event reiterated the fact that they felt empowered and inspired in more ways than one at the end of each seminars. It dawned on them that self-love is indeed the greatest revolution. The focus on living a guilt-free life that encompasses being kinder to oneself is the actual key to living a balanced and fulfilled life.

Leave a comment below to let me know what your #VERSASTYLE is.