Life By Asha Singh

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

What is it?

A cool personalised lego gift that you can customise to look like anyone, even yourself! With hundreds of options you can create a pretty darn accurate mini version of yourself. It also comes in a cute little container.

Where can I buy it?

You customise and order it online from https://mini-me.co.za. The customization process is easy and fun. You can pay with a credit card, EFT, snapscan and PayPal (This I found really cool. I have a PayPal account for my international purchases but hardly find local businesses that accept it. Big ups to Mini Me for that!). It takes 2-3 business days delivery. I ordered on a Friday and it came on the Tuesday.

My verdict?

I'm such a sucker for personalised gifts! I'm also very familiar with mini-me as I ordered versions for my dad and brother for Christmas last year. They were very surprised by it and still keep it on display even now - a sign that it was a good gift! So now I can add my own mini me to the collection. Yay! It makes a really cute Christmas gift or just treat yourself to one. You can either use it as a few ring or buy a stand and keep it on display. Definitely a very unique buy.






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!



ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE


FOR THE SELFIE LOVER: NOKIA 7.1



Source: FleishmanHillard


The Nokia 7.1’s stunning HDR display lies within a masterfully crafted, gorgeous design and offers an advanced imaging experience powered by a dual rear depth sensing camera with 2PD, for fast accurate autofocus and ZEISS Optics to ensure you never miss a moment.  

The Nokia 7.1 released in South Africa in November and proves to be a mid-range smartphone packed with features. With it's 12MP/5MP dual camera, it ensures you capture all those special moments (And have tons of content for the 'gram!).


It retails from Vodacom and selected retailers from R5999.



Source: FleishmanHillard

FOR THE FASHIONISTA: BLUEBERRY BLUSH



It’s about a lady who loves shoes and fashion, a guy whose mission is adventure and opportunity, and a team with passion for our country, it’s people, it’s bright colours and it’s carefree style. It’s about a business who’s sole purpose is pleasure, adorning your feet with both local and imported ranges of shoes and sandals that are a pleasure to wear at prices that will make you smile.


One of my favorite local brand, Blueberry Blush is a shoe brand based in Durban, South Africa. They produce beautiful summer sandals that make the perfect gift for a special woman - be it your mom or even a co-worker (Spread kindness like confetti!).


You can purchase shoes directly on their website.




FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY: MINI ME


Personalized gifts are truly my go-to and this is no exception. Mini-Me allows you to create a totally customized lego figurine. That's right, you can create a lego of yourself, your mom, your best friend and even your maths teacher! All you have to do is onto the mini me website and get creative! I created my own mini-me and will have a full post review up soon.


You can design your lego figurine directly on the website: www.mini-me.co.za and the price varies depending on the different parts and accessories you choose. 

My own mini-Asha!




FOR THE BEAUTY QUEEN: DERMALOGICA 12 DAYS TO GLOW


Shine the spotlight on your natural radiance! These brightening, firming favorites will reveal your healthiest skin, keep it smooth and protect it all day long.

If you're looking for a gift that's practical yet thoughtful, this is the one. This gift set has 12 Dermalogica products that will keep his/her skin glowing long after Christmas. 

It retails for R1,795.00.


Source


MUSIC LOVER: SONY EXTRA BASS™ wireless speakers


Portable and highly durable SRS-XB31 and SRS-XB21 wireless speakers provide listeners with the ultimate music experience with EXTRA BASS TM sound and a LIVE SOUND mode. The pocket-sized SRS-XB01 offers powerful EXTRA BASS sound on-the-go and is designed to provide superior quality for an ultimate party experience at an affordable price.


Dezember vibes call for year end parties, Christmas parties and, of course, NYE celebrations. These Sony speakers ensure that you're ready to bring the vibe whatever the occasion. The EXTRA BASS TM wireless speakers SRS-XB31, SRS-XB21 and SRS-XB01 are priced approximately at R3,299, R2,499 and R699 respectively.

SRS XB21 - Source

FOR AT-HOME-SPA DAYS: MILK SOLUTIONS


Milk Solutions is a results-driven and luxuriously pampering manicure and pedicure line for professional and at-home use. It features a classic, fruity and recently-launched natural range, as well as it star heel peel alkaline wash for softer, smoother heels and feet.

If you haven't tried a milk solutions scrub you're seriously missing out! And if you have tried them out, you'll know why milk solutions products make the perfect Christmas gift. They have a few different ranges (Milk&Honey range, fruit range, garden range, professional range) but my favorite would have to be the Fruit range! It smells AMAZING and lets you experience that "Just got back from the spa" feeling, right from the comfort of your home.  




SNEAKER LOVER: SNEAKERLAB FESTIVE KIT


You can’t go wrong with the Christmas Deluxe Kit. It contains all your Sneaker LAB must-haves, packaged in a limited Christmas edition box.


Sneakerlab is the OG brand I use to keep my sneakers clean. For the festive season you can get him/her their  own Festive Kit which includes all the essentials to ensure their sneakers stay clean during all the adventures in 2019.

Source



FOR THE GIRLBOSS: SPALICIOUS 


Spalicious is your one-stop-shop for all your treat yourself essentials to have an at-home spa experience. With their different gift sets, they have something for every taste! You can purchase the Elderflower and Cranberry Twist set, the Watermelon and Granita set or the Spacious Smoothie Set, that each include a scrub, body butter, shower gel and smoothie. 

We all know that girl boss in our lives who's been killing it it in 2018, constantly working 80 hour weeks and doing the mostest (Or maybe that's us!). Well, she needs to chill. And what better way to chill than with a Spacious gift set? Each set retails for R674.00 (While the Spacious Smoothie Set costs only R608.00). You can purchase all of these from the Spacious website







TREAT HER: DELLA ACCESSORIES


A local Umhlanga based jewelry brand by Pippa de Charmoy. She built the brand as an innovative outlet with a focus on high quality investment pieces that are inspired by practicality and yet offer a stylish take on modern jewellery.


Della accessories are elegant and high-end - the ultimate gift for a mother or girlfriend. I particularly like the earrings; the collection features unique pieces that feel more personal than your average jewelry. 

You can purchase accessories from the Della online store: www.della.co.za

Source

FOR THE QUEEN IN YOUR LIFE - MEMI JEWELLERY 



Gary Nathan, Founder of Memi Jewellery says, “We don’t want to be just another jewellery brand, we want to stand out. We want to give woman the ability to express themselves through the jewellery they wear. Our jewellery is no longer just a beautiful accessory, but rather a woman’s story, her feelings, dreams, hopes and memories - everything encompassed in her journey.”

Memi Jewellery is another local brand that includes stunning personalized pieces, all made of precious metals - solid white, yellow or rose gold, or sterling silver - all of which are fit for a queen! Quality jewellery is timeless and being able to make a personalized piece for someone is all the more special.

You can purchase personalized pieces directly from the Memi online store: www.memijewellery.com





A GIFT WITH A STORY: PICHULIK


PICHULIK is an intentional and ethical jewelry, accessories and womenswear brand handcrafted in Cape Town, South Africa. Through distilling sacred storytelling from ancient traditions, myth and an experimental use of materials and form, PICHULIK celebrates empowering feminine narratives that echo from the women who make the brand to the women who wear it. The PICHULIK brand essence is the pursuit of imparting sacred feminine wisdom for the modern woman through organic materials like jade, shell, horn and hemp assembled in gentle forms that communicate powerful messages.


Pichulik is a Cape Town jewellery brand that is the product of a group of pan-African women in a small studio in Cape Town. Their pieces are artistic and completely unique and one-of-a-kind - it's no wonder they're sold at some top museum stores around the world.







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.



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 

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