My Beach Bum Essentials

At present, I type these words to the sound of ocean waves, while sipping on freshly squeezed orange juice, watching the sun set over the horizon, as rays of sun glisten and dance over the water…

Just kidding, my laptop’s charger was flat so I’m sitting at the dining room table typing to the sound of Duncan’s frustration as he plays PlayStation, sipping on a cold glass of water. But just a few days ago, before the rains came, I was sitting on the beach with a caramel dipped vanilla ice cream, soaking up every drop of vitamin D (for those of you that don’t know I’m currently on my summer holiday in Port Edward with the parents and ‘in-laws’), when I decided to write a post about my personal favourite beach goodies – everything that I need to enjoy a FULL day at the beach, relaxing in the sun (or even a day at the pool).

Just a few of my favourites

So here it is – My Beach Bum essentials

1. Sun Block (very very NB)

I use Nivea’s “Anti-age sunscreen SPF 30” for my face and then their “Protect and refresh” SPF 50 for the rest of my body. Both of these work really well and I hardly feel that I have sunscreen on (no sticky paste feeling).

I even use the Nivea “Anti-Age face sunscreen” as part of my daily routine.

2. Your Favourite Magazine

I always have a magazine at the ready when I plan on spending the whole day at the beach. I love magazines and the easy access to inspiration and knowledge they offer but I don’t always have time to read them while at home, so bringing them to the beach when I know I’ll be tanning provides the perfect opportunity.

VISI is one of my top picks and for those of you who haven’t read it, I really recommend it.

2. A Good Book

The beach is also one of the best places to sit with a good book that you can get into. When I can sit and read on the beach I finally feel like the holiday has started.

You’ll also find this book in my “New Year’s Booklist” post. Click here to read more.

3. A Healthy Snack

This Jungle Oats snack mix is SO GOOD! I like to live healthy but I have to admit that healthy snacks don’t always taste so good but these are just DELICIOUS and have become my go-to whenever I’m craving a small snack – and on the beach they’re the perfect energy boost without making you feel bloated in your swimsuit.

You’ll find this specific mix in your local grocery store (I get mine from Pick n’ Pay) only for R9.99!

4. Notebook/Journal

I never leave the house without my visual diary and I find that having it around at the beach is the best thing since sliced bread. There is always an array of things to sketch from the landscape, the people and the fauna.


5. The Perfect Pair of Slops

Cause let’s be honest, what’s not to like about a great pair of shoes.

Got mine at Woolworth’s for about R150 if I remember correctly.

6. Lip Balm

I never go anywhere without it. And it smells almost good enough to eat. But I don’t recommend that you do.

Labello Watermelon Shine is my favourite flavour.

7. Beach Bum Beads

Because an extra splash of ‘pretty’ never hurt anyone.

Beaded necklace I bought at a Christmas market in Ovongo, KZN.

8. Comfy Beach Towel

Most beach towels are too short even for me, but this one from Woolworth’s is the perfect size and really soft to the touch. Best towel I ever owned.

Woolworth’s towel I bought on Honeymoon.

9. Beach Bag

Because we need something just as cute to put it all in. There is a huge range of affordable beach bags available, especially now in our summer season.

Got mine at Woolworths.

Well, I hope if anything this post gave you a few ideas on what to add to your beach day essentials and maybe a little bit of summer inspiration.

New art posts will follow in the week to come so stay tuned 🙂

Please let me know what your beach day essentials are and share them in the comments below!

Happy Thursday.



Daily Sketches

As part of my new year’s resolutions and to improve my observational and figure drawing, I will be doing at least one daily sketch of something I see or interact with through my day.

These sketches are part of my visual journal – a far more effective and fun way for me to keep daily accounts of my life. Sketching also brings me into the moment which helps me then to savor something rather than simply rush through it (which I do far too often).

I will try my best to post EVERY single sketch I do here on the blog, but in case I forget one or two you can follow my Instagram feed – which is where I WILL be posting each daily doodle.

And without further delay, here is daily doodle #001:


And just to leave you with something inspiring for the new year…

“When everything you dreamed of

seems like it’s just too awfully far,

and the whispered voice of doubt

has been engrained in who you are,

do not curse the distance

for it provides the time to grow,

What would be the point of dreams

if you could reach them in one go?”

– Erin Hanson


Art Progression: Saviour

Seeing as I have not officially started any new art projects as of yet (due to holidaying away) I decided that as the first Art post I would share the art progression of my favourite artwork, one that I actually completed for last year’s Christmas. It is a painting of Jesus the Christ.

The painting took me about a week, painting roughly 4 hrs a day. It is an acrylic on canvas work, A2 (420x594mm). It is the most soulful artwork I have painted to this day. While still in progression, I felt moved. I hope that even if you are not a Christian (or even a religious person for that matter), that you will try sense even an inkling of the feeling with which it was painted.

I like to take progression photos because it shows me how far I’ve come at the end of an artwork and it looking at it through a screen also gives me a different perspective after staring at the painting for hours while I work.


This artwork is specifically well suited to this month’s theme, New Beginnings, as without the Saviour, there are no new beginnings.

As soon as I’m back from my summer break I’ll be posting the start of my newest art series. But till then expect daily scribbles and sketches of my holiday happenings.

Till then.



I used as reference, a photo from The Life of Jesus Christ bible video series by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The painting is not for sale but was created for personal use alone.

If you wish to pin or share this artwork in any way please reference this site as the source.


New Year’s Wreath

Most people save the decorating for Halloween and Christmas but I’m someone who likes to decorate for all special occasions.

So to really celebrate the ultimate month of new beginnings (January) I decided to make a New Year’s wreath for my front door (I always have a wreath styled to the time of the year). I also find it quite fitting, as in a previous post I explained that the Month of January was named after the Roman God of doorways and new beginnings.

So what you’ll need:

  • Ribbon or lace in colours you feel represent the new year.
  • A wire ring roughly 20cm in diameter.
  • A good material scissors (needs to be sharp enough so that when you cut strips you cut smoothly without tattering the ribbons).

I get all my supplies from Her-Annie’s in Lyttelton, Centurion.

Ribbon/lace, wire ring (20cm diameter, scissors.

1. First start cutting the ribbon/lace up into strips of about 10-11cm (or as short or long as you like). You can cut all the ribbon you have or think you’ll need at once or you can cut a few at a time as you tie. I find that cutting the ribbon all at once can save time but it does leave the risk of cutting too much.

Cut ribbon/lace into strips.

2. Then start tying the ribbon to the wire ring  with a single knot.

Start tying ribbon/lace strips to the ring.

It will look funny at first but as you go you’ll see it coming together.


3. Then finally tie your last strip of ribbon/lace and hang your gorgeous wreath on your door to welcome the new year (or wherever you like really).

Proof that even my shabby door can be brightened with a touch of creative flare (however skew that wreath may appear).

Thank you for visiting and please let me know what you think in the comments below!


My New Year’s book list

Now, round the beginning of January, is usually when people start settings goals and making new year’s resolutions. It’s always an exciting and motivating time of year. But usually by June, July many people have given up on their good intentions. We’ve all done it.

So I decided to put together a list of books that will help both you and I have the best year and be our best selves, keeping us focused on our goals and our dreams alive.


Please don’t limit yourself to just these books, there are literally thousands of inspiring books just waiting to be read, the trick is to find what works for you.

Oh the places you’ll go by Dr.Seuss

1. Oh all the places you’ll go – Dr. Seuss

If I had to pick just one, this is by far my favourite book. Oh the places you’ll go is a beautiful and inspiring writing that speaks about the potential each of us holds. It has the quirky character one would expect from any Dr. Seuss book, along with all his gorgeous illustrations.

The Happiness Project
By Gretchen Rubin

2. The Happiness Project – By Gretchen Rubin

The Happiness Project is the PERFECT book for when you are setting new year’s goals and resolutions. In it, Rubin tells of her experience as she dedicated a whole year to being a happier person. It is a brilliant read (and as you can tell from the worn corners I took this book everywhere). One very important thing I took to heart from this book was that we are all really just looking to be happy. We do this by striving for growth in ways that vary from person to person.

Better Than Before
By Gretchen Rubin

3. Better than before – By Gretchen Rubin

This is a book that will help you conquer the habits you wish to instill within yourself. Full of personal experience and techniques that help you to discipline yourself and set habit changing goals that are suited to you. It is definitely one of the best books to start the new year with.

The Little Paris Bookshop By Nina George

4. The Little Paris Bookshop – By Nina George

This also sits at the top of my ‘favourite books’ list just for the beauty and style with which the book is written. It is a story that will help teach you to let go of the past and to live your best adventure now. Set in France, it is a tale about a man who has missed out on the last 20 years of his life, mourning for his lost love. In the end he realizes that instead of mourning the fact that she was no longer his, he should cherish the memories he had with her and live as passionately as he could with the life he now has.

Life Lessons From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari By Robin Sharma

5. Life Lessons From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – By Robin Sharma

This is a book I am still currently reading and LOVING. It is set with a number of chapters only 1 or 2 pages in length, each with a different lesson of life. It acts as a reminder to live the best life I can, as simply and fully as I can.

A daily or weekly planner From Typo

6. A Planner – This one is from Typo (but you can get yours anywhere)

Ok so this isn’t a ‘book’ per say but I think it is essential to start the new year with a planner (your phone calendar/planner thingy works too – I’m just old-fashioned and prefer pen and paper) for the simple reason that it helps you monitor yourself, your new goals and the habits you want to create. If you don’t want a daily planner a weekly one will do just fine, or even a calendar. I feel that the best way to start your New Beginning is to plan that new beginning in some way or another and any planner will help you do just that.

Journal/Sketch book/Visual diary

7. Journal/Sketch book/Visual diary – Bought this one at the Irene Market in Centurion

So again this isn’t really a book but it is a place where you can write down your own story, your own inspirations, goals, dreams and thoughts. A daily/weekly journal can be anything you want it to be. It can be a place where you write down your favourite quotes, where you scribble your daily thoughts or where you sketch your daily happenings – you can make it what you want. I promise that keeping a journal of some kind will help you organize your thoughts and feelings and even simply express yourself. I use mine to sketch in, take not of things I’m grateful for, write down quotes and sketch to my hearts content, it doesn’t need to be anything specific, it is just what it is and I have loved making it that way.

I hope that you enjoyed this list and that you’ll consider reading some of these great books for yourself, even if you’re not so into the whole new year, new goals fad – these books will be worth your while. If you have any other books you have read that have helped you to make new beginnings, please comment below and share.