Life By Asha Singh

You gotta admit, when it comes to local TV and movies we aren't exactly spoilt for choice. You get the classics like 7de Laan and Carte Blanche but apart from that? Recently there have been some gems that were produced in the motherland and that actually give Hollywood a run for their money. While the South African film industry seems to still be finding its feet, I have high hopes for the content that will be produced locally in the next few years.

I'll include selections from DSTV, Netflix, Showmax, BoxOffice and even the cinema to give you some options for your next binge watch session.



Accomodation in Istanbul, Turkey

Where to stay in Istanbul?


Choosing where to stay was possibly the most time consuming decision I had to make when planning the trip. I took about 2 hours to plan the itinerary and yet I spent weeks deciding where to stay! There are lots of options for accommodation and many are similar however choosing an area to stay in can be difficult.

So basically it comes down to 2 options Sultanahmet (the old city) and Beyoglu (modern Istanbul). EminönĂ¼ and Fatih fall under the old city while Beyoglu consists of Taksim, Sisli, Besiktas etc. The two areas are actually neighboring, divided only by the Golden Horn body of water and Galata bridge.


Known as the city where east meets west, the only city in the world in two continents - Europe and Asia - is none other than incredible Istanbul. Awe-inspiring architecture, rich history and immersive culture, Istanbul is a true gem and a must see city.

Sunsets over the Bhosphurus with the stunning silhouette of grand mosques - that's the image in my head when I think of the city.




When asked what to do for my 21st birthday, I didn't even have to give it a second thought - Turkey had been on my bucket list for the past 2 years. So after a very last minute thought, my mom and I booked our flights and were off to Turkey! In the next few posts I'll tell you a bit more about my adventures and what I got up to in Istanbul and Cappadocia.

Here are some travel tips and advice for planning your trip to Istanbul!




Unicorns, Rapunzel and a magical land of fairy chimneys and hot air balloons filling the sky at sunrise - what do they all have in common? They're all fairytales - or so you think! 
Cappadocia (meaning: "the land of beautiful horses") is very much a REAL PLACE in Central Turkey that has the most otherworldly feel. 


I think we all wish we could go back and teach our younger self some life lessons - why were we so young and naive?! At 21, I know I still have a lot to learn (Young, dumb and broke anyone?) but I'm more knowledgeable in hindsight. Now I'm by no means grown up, I still struggle at adulting everyday but being a teenager could sometimes feel even more difficult than adulting.

One year that definitely stood out for me was 2010, my first year of high school and the year I turned 13. Being 13 was undoubtedly my most difficult year growing up. Teenage hormones are so real. If I could go back to that awkward, confusing time, this is what I would tell my 13 year old self.





A LETTER TO MY 13 YEAR OLD SELF


Dear Asha,

Well you've made it to high school, I know how disappointed you are that it's nothing like it looked in Hannah Montana or High School Musical. Unfortunately in these 5 years, Zac Efron isn't going to fall in love with you (And neither is Justin Bieber so PLEASE get rid of that bieberasha@yahoo.com email address because it will come back to haunt you every time you try to log onto Facebook).

On that note, you my dear self, have no idea what being in love really is. And let me just give you a hint, it's not like what you've seen in those Disney movies you (secretly) still love.  All the guys you date this year, and pretty much all throughout high school, are not worth the time or the tears.

I know you're looking at the mirror wondering why you can't be a bit thinner, have acne-free skin or flowy straight hair. I know you're trying everything to fix those "problems" you have when you really should be loving your slightly chubby, imperfect skin, curly haired self. What makes those girls in school seem so pretty is that they have the level of confidence you should have.

That time your Arts and Culture teacher in primary school called you "Painfully shy" you keep etched in your brain. You wish you didn't struggle so much with social interactions, and you wish that for once someone wouldn't use the words "shy" or "quiet" or "introvert" to describe you. It doesn't make sense to you how some people can so easily make friends while you sit alone at lunch break and have to try so hard to have a decent social interaction.

Don't worry about that girl that called you a b*tch or those "looks" those girls gave you. Don't overthink those guys you wasted precious time with actually imagining a future with (Eww). Don't worry about those times you got bad marks, mom and dad were definitely not disappointed in you. Don't worry about that little world that you're living in because I promise you it will get better.

Soon when you tell people you were so shy and quiet they'll be like "Dude, why you lying?". Trust me, you're actually gonna be the social one in your friend groups (And on that note your friends will be #squadgoals). You'll meet people you actually have things in common with, people who will inspire you, and not just classmates you're friends with out of convenience. One day you'll get over those insecurities about your body and learn to embrace yourself love handles and all (except the bad skin, because your makeup is always on point, girl).

Soon you're going to get a newly found confidence, the kind of confidence that comes from deep within. You're going to find out how strong and independent you are, and that's what so many people will know you for.

Baby girl, there's gonna be downs for sure, but you're gonna learn so much from those moments. You're gonna go on adventures and have the most mind blowing experiences. You're gonna meet people that expand your horizons and help you grow more than you ever thought you could. You will end up meeting some decent guys eventually (Actually scratch that, most guys will still suck). You're gonna finish the schooling chapter of your life on a high note and end up studying something you love (eventually, but that's a whole other story!).

You're going to laugh without fear of the future, and have hope and excitement gleaming in your eyes.

Asha, it does get better!

Sincerely, 
Asha

(The 21 year old me)





The difference between success and failure is in taking the initiative. The Girl Boss series aims to highlight the achievements of 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 Rukaya Mansoor, founder of Woman of the World (WoW), a female empowerment initiative, and a qualified chemist at Esse Skincare.



More often than not, the world passes us by. Be it because we’re caught up in reaching the next deadline or because we are simply too tired to notice, but some days just go by. We can’t account for what we’ve done nor can we fathom a memory that is worthwhile to speak about. Although sad, it's not uncommon. That's why, when you live life, you need to make sure you are living it for yourself and for those dependent on you. 

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!






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.



Time for another #girlboss interview! Get to know what keeps these Queens motivated to do the mostest! This week we chat to Dr. Rohini Bisaal, a dental surgeon, international model, brand ambassador for Miss Uniworld and dancer.

August's theme of Women Empowerment is in full swing! Every Friday this month you've experienced an interview with another #girlboss and got to know what keeps these Queens motivated to do the mostest! But why just stop at August? Women should be celebrated every month. So every second Friday for the rest of 2018 you can expect a new another one of these Girls Boss interviews - I hope it inspires you as much as it inspires me! This week we chat to Teshie Ogallo, a UCT student and fashion blogger who just this month launched her online store, STYLETECH by Teshie Ogallo.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig