Life By Asha Singh

A skincare range that is tailored to your age instead of skin type? This really intrigued me! A new skincare range in South Africa by professional skincare brand Nimue, AgeWell is their retail arm which can be found in Foschini stores and purchased online on their website.


The difference between success and failure is in taking the initiative. The Girl Boss series aims to highlight the achievements by women just like you and me who are doing amazing things. Hopefully their stories will inspire you as much as they inspire me. This week we chat to Tasneem Randeree, founder of Nura, an online accessories store, and MSc Molecular Biology student.



1. Who is your favorite female fictional character and why?

Wow, so many to even mention, I really love Khaleesi and Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones. But, if you asked my brother, he would say Mulan (both fictional and real) because I was totally obsessed with the movie growing up (still am and can recite the movie back to front).


2. Everyone's been making New Years resolutions. What are your New Years resolutions?

I’m not big on resolutions; I like to work through goals at my own pace. But if I had to pick one it would be; to be less judgey, there is way too much hate going on in the world and it needs to end. It’s time to start empowering others. More importantly, I feel like I’ve held myself back many times because I was worried about what people would say. It’s been so bad that I don’t even comment on pictures often because I wonder what people will think. So maybe if I let go of times I judge, I’ll be rewarded with the same energy. Also, it’s a big year for our business so there’s many resolutions and goals to work on (fingers crossed). If my husband and mother decide to read this, my other resolution is keep my cupboards more organized. My make up and shoes are everywhere!


3. If you could have lunch with any woman, dead or alive, who would it be?

Again, my brother would say Mulan (the real one). I am really inspired by empowered and strong women. Growing up, there were way too many fairytales about women being rescued by a man. Mulan was the first one I remember where the female lead saved herself instead of waiting around. Plus, it dealt with so many themes and topics that are still so relevant today.


4. What did you want to be growing up?

I think a ballerina for a while, I never really had an idea of where I wanted to be or who I wanted to be growing up. Which was great actually, because it landed me in science, although some days I think that was inspired by The Big Bang Theory.



5. Miss Scientist! What is it like as a woman in STEM?

I’m still currently doing my masters in molecular biology so not a full scientist yet. I started off with a Bachelor of Science because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study. The course had really good credits but after the first month I realised that it was where I wanted to be. It’s great being a part of the STEM community, and as a female it’s extremely empowering. Of course, some days people ask me if it’s a stepping stone for Medicine or Pharmacy and I feel pushed back another 10 years. It’s an incredibly uplifting experience and community and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested.


6. What inspired Nura?

There was no real inspiration for Nura, we just needed money, so we started a small business and found a niche to work with. We made the effort from the start that we had to try and be different. We grew to love the work. I think sometimes it’s great to acknowledge that you don’t have to be passionate about something to try it.





7. What was it like starting a business? What are some of the challenges and wins you've experienced?

It’s incredibly hard, we picked a random name to try and keep some anonymity. We also refrained from telling people because we were so nervous about it. But getting out there was the hardest part. Once we overcame our fear, building up a base became a lot easier.


Every day presents itself with new challenges, the worst and the best part about business is the people. There are some days, where you are so frustrated you feel like giving up but more often you will have people that remind you why you started. Our biggest win was our collab with Nabilah Kariem last year, there are so many people that we have met along the way that have just made our experience so amazing.


8. What's it like working with your significant other? Don't you get tired of each other (Lol!)?

It’s really great actually, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We disagree on the smaller things often but we’re pretty much on the same page when it comes to running of the business. We’re learning how to work around and with each other, but we also have our studies and jobs away from the business to focus on, giving us a break.


9. What keeps you motivated when you feel like giving up?

Honestly, there are days where everything really brings me down to the point where I just don’t want to deal with it anymore and give up. We attend to messages whenever we can, even if it is late at night or early hours of the morning. We package orders at ridiculous times and lost tons of sleep. That’s when I like to scroll through messages and pictures that people have sent us where they are happy with our products and services. The people who support you will always carry you through. We are honestly nothing without the people who encourage and support us.




10. What advice do you have to girls who want to start their own business but are too scared?

I know it’s scary, truthfully, there is nothing to fear. Once you have decided that this is what you want, take the leap. It’s not easy but will be worth it. All small business at some point only had 100 followers, everyone comes from humble beginnings. You will also learn along the way, so you don’t have to be an expert in business to start. There is great network of small businesses who help each other, always offering advice or a willing hand. You are not alone in this.


11. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

I grew up in a small town in Northern KZN, moved here to study and now Durban is my temporary home. Small town and big dreams. Omw, I’m not that interesting. I spend most of my free time napping, eating, Netflix, watching videos of kittens doing stupid things and annoying my husband.


12. If you could give your 13 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

To relax, you will leave the small town, you will see the world, you will have your life together. Life has a weird way of working things out. Just take it one step at a time and everything will fall into place. It’s often advice I still give myself.




13. Lastly, where can we find you?


You can find me on instagram: @Tasneem.Randeree not very active on other social media but you can check our business out on instagram: @nuraonline_ or facebook: Nura Online




Hello, February!

A month of love and affection, chocolates and roses and of course, my new favorite fake holiday, GALENTINES DAY.




With the New Year, New Me mindset wearing off it's time to go back to doing what we do best - binge watching series and movies on Netflix! It's actually the best time to do it considering the academic year has barely started, and most of us have some free time on our hands before things get crazy.



No family is perfect - that's the tagline for the new local movie, 3 Days To Go. Can it get any more relatable?




In 2019 I’m leveling up my New Year’s resolutions by setting realistic goals and actually pursuing them with help from the Uber Eats app.







Although not a South African tradition, for the past 3 years I've made it my own tradition and made eggnog. Eggnog is a dairy, alcoholic beverage (Or non-alcoholic) mainly enjoyed during the festive season (November-December).

Eggnog originated in the United Kingdom and was passed onto American colonies in the 18th century. It was typically a drink enjoyed by the aristocracies as its main ingredients, milk, eggs and sherry, were foods of the wealthy. In the 21st century it became more popular with North Americans and Canadians. Home made eggnog is typically preferred over store bought eggnog.

As far as I know, you can't buy eggnog in any of our South African supermarkets so why not just make our own! This is a quick and easy eggnog recipe that I make. I prefer to make non-alcoholic eggnog because I don't like the mix of dairy and alcohol but you can easily make it an alcoholic drink if that's what you prefer.



In this heat that we're facing in the southern hemisphere, the best way to spend the festive season is in front of the tv with the fan on high (Although I'm guessing those in the cold northern hemisphere feel the same way - except with a heater instead of a fan!).

Netflix has tons of Christmas movies - they literally show you most of them the moment you open Netflix!  Christmas movies tend to be so heart-warming and are such a good way to get into the festive mood

So grab your laptop/TV, make some popcorn and position your fan in front of you for these Christmas gems available on Netflix in South Africa!



It's that time of year again - time to go on 10 mall trips and STILL not find good enough Christmas gifts for everyone! Christmas shopping can be so frustrating, I for one know the struggle.

That's why I'm hoping to make Christmas shopping a little easier for you and give you some gift inspo so that you can go to the mall with a plan and know exactly what to get everyone! This should save you from the multiple mall trips that end up being a waste of time and energy. You'll find something for everyone (and then some!). Hope this helps!




I'm sure you would realize by now that I'm OBSESSED WITH CHRISTMAS. It's my favorite time of year (And I hope it's yours too! Unless you have, like, bad Christmas memories - but how could you, it's the most wonderful time of the year!).

I'm also a sucker for Christmas music (Fun Fact: Every year since primary school I start listening to Christmas music as soon as final exams start). I've decided to compile a list of my favorite Christmas albums that I'll be playing on repeat during this month.



It's that time of year again; year end functions, family time but most of all long queues to do Christmas shopping! *sigh* I'm the least patient person when it comes to waiting in a queue at the mall, much less facing the traffic. That's why I'm looking for cool alternative gifts that you can simply shop for online and have delivered straight to your door in a matter of days.

One such option is a lego mini me!


Mini Asha with her camera and trusted laptop

Our childhood favourite is back with a bang (Not that it ever left!). Vaseline has stepped up their game with the new Vaseline Lip Therapy Products.




When people think of KwaZulu-Natal they don't usually think of a holiday in the countryside. This often means they miss out on one of the best destinations in the province - the Midlands Meander. Nestled among the green, lush rolling hills of the Midlands is where you'll find Brahman Hills.

You're on a 7 hour road trip from Joburg to Durban. It's approaching hour 6, almost a whole day on the road. You're grumpy. You're tired. You're HUNGRY. Just like an oasis in the desert you pull off the N3 onto Nottingham Road and see The Midlands Kitchen, a foodie heaven in the Midlands!

High quality skin care products are something we shouldn't have to compromise on. While I'm all about that saving money life, I'm also someone that believes in investments and investing in good skincare products is super beneficial in the long run. 

While I personally use just a few essential skincare products, I like to incorporate one or two other more intensive products into my routine from time to time depending on my skin's needs. For 3 weeks I incorporated the Environ Focus Care Hydrating Oil Capsules and Environ Focus Care Youth+ Revival Masque into my routine.

This week we chat to another #girlboss - and she's literally the boss! Nafisa Grey has built a name for herself as a mother, wife, blogger and CEO. This is a unique edition of the #girlboss series and is aimed at motivating and inspiring you to conquer this exam period! Nafisa recently went back to school and is in progress of her second masters degree - talk about doing the most.




Hey you. Yes you, the one procrastinating and reading this blog post - you should be studying!






With Halloween coming up I figured it's the perfect time to do something scary - LIKE GETTING BLOOD INJECTED IN YOUR FACE, ALL IN THE NAME OF BEAUTY. Well, kind of.

I decided to try out the Vampire Facial. The vampire facial is a PRP (Platelet-rich plasma) treatment that uses your own blood to promote the healthy activity and regeneration of your skin cells. I first heard of it a couple years ago when Kim Kardashian posted a bloody selfie in IG (Eeeep!)
In actually fact, as you will see in the video, it isn't bloody at all. The red blood cells aren't used. 


PROCESS (VIDEO)


STEP 1: YOUR BLOOD IS DRAWN AND YOUR FACE IS NUMBED USING NUMBING CREAM.

STEP 2: THE BLOOD IS RUN THROUGH A CENTRIFUGE TO ISOLATE THE PLATELETS.

STEP 3: MICRONEEDING OR MICROABRASION WITH THE PRPs (i.e blood) TAKES PLACE ON YOUR SKIN

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO BELOW!


AFTERCARE

Right after the treatment your skin might be a bit red with a sunburn texture (i.e cancel any plans you have for the rest of the day!). You have to apply sunblock and should not wear makeup directly after. Make sure to continue applying sunblock even after, although you should be wearing sunblock anyway. After a day or 2 your skin may be very dry and start to peel off (which is what I experienced). Then, after around 3 days you should see results - beautiful, glowy skin!

Disclaimer: My treatment was complimentary but all opinions expressed are my own.


Time for another #girlboss interview! Get to know what keeps these Queens motivated to do the mostest! This week we chat to Danielle Jayne Dass, a fashion designer with her own fashion label, blogger and recent mom of 2!




1. Who is your favourite female fictional character and why?

Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada. She exudes confidence and style! Although the sternness of her character didn’t always appeal to me, she was the ultimate Boss Lady and I dreamed of having a career like her.

2. Were you a girly girl or a tom boy growing up?

Both! I loved sport and getting down and dirty. Most of my childhood memories are of me playing outside with my sisters and pretending I was in an episode of The Gladiators. My girly side came out whenever my mum was at work and I would sneak into her closet and walk around in her heels (She’s still mad that I jumped in the pool with her favourite velvet boots)




3. If a genie gave you 3 wishes, what would you wish for?

Good health for my family
A happy and prosperous future
An endless supply of Louis Vuitton bags (I think I’m allowed one wish for vanity lol)

4. Let's talk about mamahood! How do you balance your career and spending time with your daughter and family?

Balancing my career vs family time has never been too much of an issue – mainly because I work the usual 8am to 5pm job and very rarely have to work overtime. I don’t think Alyssa even misses me much while I’m at work because she has her grandma and great gran spoiling her throughout the day. Weekends are when we really try to spend time together as a family. My own clothing label has taken a back seat though because I couldn’t keep up with working all day and then coming home and working on my brand – I would rather spend that time with Alyssa. Which is why I actually ventured off into the blogging world because I could still keep my creative juices alive but in my own time and at my own pace.




5. Do you believe women should get more maternity leave?

Definitely! If you want it then I don’t believe it should be denied. Alyssa was a really easy baby so I was comfortable going back to work after my 3 months with her, however, some babies and mums need that extra time especially if you have a baba who is collicy or prem. I’m sure there are many more reasons as well!

6. How do you actively raise your daughter to be a #girlboss?

I don’t smother her – I allow her to be independent and try things on her own (within reason) and I also allow her to have her outspoken moments – aslong as its not cheeky! I don’t want her to feel like she’s too sheltered from the world or that she has to be quiet and soft spoken to be liked. She’s had her own personality from the moment she was born and we always allow that to shine through.


Like mother, like daughter


7. What advice do you have for young mothers who are also trying to dominate and progress in their careers?

Don’t give up on your dreams or goals because you feel guilty about using that time for you and not your baba. One day they will admire the fact that you pushed on to make a future for yourself and them!

8. Behind every warrior princess is a warrior queen! Tell us a bit more about how your mother has inspired you in any aspect of life or motherhood?

My mom is my best friend – even though she denies it. Also she told me to say that everything good about me is because of her. Seriously though, my mum is the most head strong women I know and she’s taught me to always stand up for what I believe in and always treat others with kindness even when I don’t want to.


5 Generatons - from Danielle's great grand mother (who is 86) to Alyssa!

9. Tell us a bit more about yourself? (What you do as a career, some of your hobbies, what are your passions and goals for the future)

I work as Head Designer and digital patternmaker at a workwear manufacturing company. Its not the dreamy fashion job but it has given me experience I would have never gotten anywhere else! I love my job so much! My hobbies include lying in bed in my pajamas and doing some online shopping (im not kidding) I used to love swimming – the competitive kind. I was part of the KZN swimming team a few years ago but I haven’t done laps in years (One of my goals for 2019 is to get back into this after baby #2 - UPDATE: Baby boy Aidan Jai has made his way into the world!) Im passionate about all things fashion and beauty related – in true Plain Jayne style though! Emphasis on the Plain part – I think I’m a glam queen at heart but I can’t hide from the minimalist side either – its so conflicting right?? In the future I hope I find myself moving more into design and away from manufacturing, that’s where my true passion lies.




10. If you could give your 13 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

That ANYTHING is possible if you put your whole heart into it! Also – be nicer to your parents. They’re not the enemy! They’re the only ones who literally want nothing but the best for you – trust that. 

11. Lastly, where can we find you? 

Instagram: @PlainJayneOfficial
Blog: www.plainjayneluxury.co.za
Youtube: Plain Jayne Official 



If you're in the Umhlanga area looking for a place to go out for dinner with your man or the girls then you're no doubt spoilt for choice. Just a walk down Palm Boulevard or the village will make it evident that there are literally hundreds of options. But what makes one option stand out from the others? Apart from good food, when you're choosing a restaurant you're also looking for a good atmosphere. You're not just looking for a good meal, but you're looking for a whole vibe.



Last weekend, I gave News Cafe Umhlanga a try. It's conveniently located right opposite Gateway Shopping Centre which is my usual stop when I'm in the area. One thing that stood out about News cafe was the atmosphere which seemed to get better and better as it went from afternoon to early evening.





To eat, I stuck with the classics and chose an original burger and Strawberry Daiquiri and my brother chose a Chicken bowl and a white hot chocolate, and we had taco's as a starter. The (soft shell) taco's were a bit plain but they were very filling, after having just 2 I felt almost full! My burger was juicy and although I'm not much of a burger person, I did enjoy it (I don't eat much bread so I took out the top bun). And the strawberry daiquiri was amazing! I wanted to try out more of the cocktails but I had another commitment later that evening the required me to be sober (*Sigh*). But there's always next time! The music really set the tone for the atmosphere and even though it was a cold rainy day, it was warm and cozy inside.







Even though I was so full, I wanted to stay a bit longer after my meal and just relax. I ordered a piece of Bar One cake for dessert, sipped on my Strawberry Daiquiri and just unwinded with a chilled Saturday evening at News Cafe Umhlanga after a long week.






Will I be back? Definitely, but this time with a group of friends and more time on my hands to sample the long list of delicious sounding cocktails.



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