Thank you August! 

31 days, 31 outfits – I didn’t think I’d make it but here I am at the end of August having completed the first task I’ve set for myself as a blogger.
   
 
Apart from celebrating women through fashion I also got to show my lovely followers that you don’t need to rob a bank and shop weekly – you need to look for items that will last longer, look for pieces that are versatile – that translate from day to night, from casual to smart. It’s about quality and not quantity. 

I love fashion and shopping but my budget doesn’t allow for shopping sprees so I have to shop smart by looking for items that will last a few seasons but also go easy on the wallet. This means I hunt for bargains – I will go to any and every mall, shop and outlet if I have the promise of not having to part with a fortune to look good. 

   
 
When I posted my first #stylecapture, I wondered what reaction I’d get a I never imagined that bloggers whose profile I’d spent hours looking through, would appreciate my #stylecapture and show me love on their social media! That and the love I’ve been getting from everyone has made putting together every single outfit worth it! 

I hope that through the daily posts, I was able to show you that looking stylish isn’t for the über cool hipsters whose Instagram feeds make us drool with envy but can be achieved by any woman without going into debt! 
   
 
A part of me feels a great sense of accomplishment – sure I didn’t get 100 000 views on my blog and my Facebook likes and Instagram followers didn’t shoot up 10 000 but i started a project and saw it through to the end! I’m a little worried though, that after this, my posts for September will have to be better and more interesting but I wouldn’t be true to why I started #echerryefresh.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of spring which has come to symbolise new beginnings in various aspects – some may be getting married this month, some starting a new job, others moving to a new place and others like me will be stepping out of their comfort zone and embarking on a new project. It’s exciting seeing the sun set a little later, not needing a blanket when having ice cream after dinner and finally packing away the winter layers. It’s also Heritage Month so I’m hoping to show some of the aspects I love about living in South Africa where there’s a variety of cultures.
   
 
So now that August winds have subsided and the dust has settled, I’ll welcome spring and look forward to new beginnings! 

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Amacherry Afresh: “uMaria Podesta man!”

“Have you ever heard of Maria McCloy?”
I looked at him with a “Are you for real?” look on my face, let out a giggle and simply said “Oh yes. I’ve heard of her.” 

What he didn’t know is that he was asking this question to the chairperson of the Maria McCloy Appreciation Society. This guy didn’t know that I stayed up every Friday night to watch Bassiq and wouldn’t mind being sleepy on Friday mornings during lectures after watching Siyabonga Ngwekazi on Street Journal the evening before and my Sundays were never complete without Aya Mpama and Soul Sundays. What I wanted to ask is “Why haven’t you ever heard of her?”

Yesterday while driving with my sister, the 2003 hit by H2O “It is wonderful” came on the radio and it took me back to a wonderful time for urban culture and I remembered one of the people who were instrumental to this.

This could have easily been a short Instagram post but it wouldn’t do justice to how much she means to me. Please note as you read this that I’ve only ever spoken to her twice but she’s had such a profound impact on my life that I felt compelled to write something a little more meaningful about her.

She’s one third of Black Rage Productions and along with her partners Kutloano Skosana and Dzino they made urban youth culture more accessible and paved the way for other creatives like me to want to pursue and master their craft. 

As a second year student at the time, I was inspired to learn of this trio of Rhodes University graduates that had started a company that gave birth to rage.co.za and Outrageous Records at a time when I wondered where a journalism degree would take me. Social media wasn’t as prominent then so these weren’t overnight tweelebs who earned their stripes from 140 characters of wit, sarcasm and bitchiness – they worked hard and it showed. 

My admiration for Maria started then as she continued to be prominent in urban youth culture, I was always watching. I was so excited to walk into Burgundy Fly in Rosebank a few years ago and spotted beautiful African print clutches. When I enquired about who made them, the sales consultant told me they’re by Maria McCloy. I knew then that she was taking over the Afro accessories scene; what I didn’t know is that she’d been taking over since her days at Rage!

I’ve watched her brand grow from strength to strength and I’ve been inspired by her more and more everyday. 

As a creative trying to carve her way through this world, I’m encouraged and strengthened knowing that there are women like Maria who’ve travelled the path and have made it!

Maria if you ever read this I’d like to say thank you for mentoring me from far without even knowing it. I salute you for living your truth and by saying in everything you do: “do what you love”. 

Keep it fun, fresh, flirty and feminine with Foschini this spring!

After a long and lazy catch up lunch on Saturday at 1 Fox The Sheds, I managed to convince my friend, Phetheni to come with me to the Foschini #WeAreWomen event at the Sandton City store later that evening. We were welcomed by friendly smiles and freshly made popcorn and we arrived just in time for the talk on spring fashion trends.

With the chill finally loosening its grip we can shed the layers as we look forward to warmer days.

Fun

I look forward to the fun that comes with spring. As the weather is warming up, picnics, festivals and chill sessions become the order of the day and with that comes picking cute outfits to be seen in!

Fresh

I look forward to fresh fruit (next to ice cream on top of a waffle), cocktails and swopping my Glühwein for Sangrias. I also can’t wait to get my hands on my favourite summer fragrance from the DKNY Be Delicious range!

Flirty & Feminine

With all the rooftop parties and cool kids get togethers you need some cute, flirty and feminine outfits: tulle skirts, crop tops, jewel embellishments, midi skirts, flowy blouses, wedges and for me bold african prints!!

I’ve picked some of my faves from #FoschiniFashionFriend, Phathu Musitha’s talk and added some goodies that I fell in love with:

 

My word this Tulle beauty!! When Phathu pulled this out, I wanted to jump for it immediately! Get it for R599 and pair it crop tops, denim shirts, Ankara print tops or a crisp white shirt.

Nothing says feminine like a full skirt! This beautiful tie front full skirt will be a perfect addition at R350.

 

Pencil skirts are amazing! They accentuate every curve and this pleather number is quite badass. Get it for R460.

Tapered pants are hot! Utility pants are hip! Joggers are everything! When you have a combination of these you’re set for life! These tapered leg jogger with utility pockets are a great buy for R399.

I’ve always associated turtlenecks with teachers or librarians but when I spotted them everywhere during winter, I decided to give it a try and I’m loving them! Get this lurex turtleneck for R260.

This sleeveless turtleneck jumper is also quite cute- I would wear it with the pleather pencil skirt with a statement neckpiece. It’s a great piece for R250.

This hammered satin vest adds a soft feminine feel to any outfit – it looks a nightmare to iron but at R199, it’s worth it!

 

Tunic dresses are great as you can dress them down for running errands or glam them up for date night or drinks with girls. For R399, it’s a bargain for this embellished tunic dress.

This bandage colourblocked sandal is perfect for fun outings with friends and family – it’s fashionable and looks comfy enough to dance the night away at festivals and braais. This cutie is going for R269.

 

Phetheni found what she was looking for in this nude heel. The lace up and cut-out detail is totally worth the R420.

The struggle continues to master the art of walking in heels and wedges and I’ve taken my fair share of tumbles but I’m still willing to take a few tumbles if the reasons look like this! This cute wedge goes for R499.

Bucket hats! Bucket bags! At the rate I’m going, I’m going to need bucket loads of money!! This cut-out baby is a steal at R399!

The collection of clutches is waiting for a new member and it seems they’ve found one in this structured envelope clutch! For R320 it’s the perfect addition to any growing clutch collection!

Fringe benefits! This trend is back this spring and like most trends, the best way to incorporate them is to get an on trend accessory like this cute fringed stud hobo bag for R399.

I also loved these cosmetics and fragrance specials ( I’m a sucker for bargains and freebies!):

 

Ever since the launch of DKNY Be Delicious in 2004, this has been my favourite fragrance. The range has grown and with the addition of the MYNY with Rita Ora at the helm I’m enjoying each fresh fragrance! Foschini has a special offer where you get 30ml Be Delicious for R425 saving R170 – this offer is also available for Fresh Blossom and Golden Delicious.

 

I’m a sucker for freebies and if it’s a cute bag, I’m in! This Aztec print bag is free in this exclusive Foschini offer: when you buy any 3 Maybelline products one of which must be a foundation.

My girl Nolwazi loves Paco Rabanne’s Lady Million and when they launched their fresh and fruity Lady Million Eau My Gold last year I joined her as a fan. This cute tote is free at Foschini when you buy any Paco Rabanne fragrance that is 50ml ot larger.

The event was fun and it was a great way to kick off the 3-day weekend – it also didn’t hurt that I was chosen as the lucky winner of one of the Foschini gift vouchers so I’ll definitely be back at Foschini looking for my fresh spring gear!

Eat, Drink, Meander with Food and Home Entertaining 

To end off my month long birthday celebration I had the pleasure of being part of one of the most amazing gastronomic evening to be hosted in Jozi last week Thursday. 
Food and Home Entertaining magazine was the first publication I interned at and so it’s always held a special place in my heart (and stomach). 

The best part about food meanders is that you get to enjoy a starter, main and dessert and three different restaurants so it’s like a buffet but even better! Last week’s event was hosted at Village View Shopping Centre in Bedfordview. It’s one of my favourite spots to meet for a quick brunch or a long lazy lunch catch up session. My sister and I opted for the Group 1 menu which saw us having our starter at the Thai restaurant, Erawan, our main at the Portuguese-style Pigalle and ended off with a decadent dessert at the popular steakhouse, Turn ‘n Tender. 

After registering and being welcomed at Tasha’s with warm drinks (we got to choose from hot chocolate and Glühwein – my choice being the latter, naturally) we headed off to Erawan for our selection of Asian starters. The feel and ambiance of the restaurant when you immediately step in makes you feel as if you’ve walked into a restaurant in Seoul, Kyoto, Bangkok or Singapore. The decor is simple and true to minimalist Asian style and had me wishing I was living in Japan again. 

We enjoyed a selection of sushi and dim sum and the memory of the flavour still makes my mouth water – I had my meal with Leopard’s Leap Chardonnay Pinot Noir and my sister enjoyed some of the flavours that have been added to the Appletiser range with each of her meals. 

The selection of fresh sushi took me back to Tottori.

The yummy dim sum were served with a Thai soya and a chilli sauce.

Our main was at Pigalle and we enjoyed a chicken filet filled with apricot and wrapped with Parma ham served with a honey mustard sauce, vegetables and a smooth and creamy sweet potato mash. I opted for the Leopard’s Creek Sauvignon Blanc and it was my first full glass of wine and it went down pretty well with the meal.

 

I even finished all my veggies as I polished off my Sauvignon Blanc!

 
We ended our gastronomic journey at the popular Turn ‘n Tender where we indulged in a choice between Bar One baked cheesecake, salted caramel milkshake with caramel popcorn or cookies ‘n cream milkshake – I got to sample both as I went for the milkshake and my sister went for the cheesecake. 

 

The star of the show: salted caramel milkshake and caramel popcorn and the decadent Bar One cheesecake.

 
It was a lovely evening filled with great food, good wine and amazing company and it was a great way to sample menus without having to pay an arm and a leg – I’ll definitely be back at some of the restaurants to enjoy a full meal with friends. 
Of course the cherry in top was the jam packed goodie bag and the three month subscription to one of my favourite magazines and so I can’t wait to embark on another evening where I can eat my way through an evening and I sincerely hope Food and Home Entertaining will consider a kasi food meander where we sample some authentic township flavours!

The goodie bag will stay on long after the food and wine is finished.

“I’m every woman…”

I had the pleasure and privilege of watching the legendary diva that is Chaka Khan perform earlier in June at the Delicious Festival. When she came on I watched as everyone around me transformed into disco divas as we all belted out the lyrics: “I’m every woman/ it’s all in me.” As I was dancing and singing and dancing I looked to my left i spotted a guy singing from the top of his lungs that he’s every woman, that it’s all in him and anything his baby wants done he’ll do it naturally!

Now as I think back to the number of women and men I spotted singing along to the 1978 hit I got to thinking about how amazing we are. 

I could write a thesis on the beauty, strength, resilience, creativity and general awesomeness of women but that would take longer than what i bargained for so I’ve decided to spend this month celebrating the women who inspire me in fashion, culture, music, literature and everything inbetween.

I hope my little tribute will help you appreciate the women in your life.