Monday, September 30, 2013


You know those Mondays when you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle anything that may come your way? Well, it's one of those Monday's for me! 

What a terrific weekend! For the first time in months, I felt I was able to rest and truly have a weekend. Granted, I did work for a few hours but I was able to spend time with my family, do some inspiring retail therapy (see below for more), lie in for an extra hour, and sip my coffee slowly while watching the morning transpire.

Going to a mall and shopping for me is stressful in general. My anxiety heightens and I feel it's a robotic process which we have all fallen into. It's so false and pretentious. We no longer have connections with shop owners or have access to beautifully made pieces which were constructed with love and care. I therefore savor my little cash bank and when the time is right, I make my way to select stores, in non-peak hour times and hope to have a pleasant experience. So it was with great delight when my mum and I came to encounter wonderful shop owners who took their time to speak with us and give us their undivided attention. And with every store, I gravitated toward bold, graphical pieces which were screaming to me and exhilarated my creative senses. From greeting cards (Typo never let's me down) to fabrics (I was very adventurous with my purchases), I could not wait to start my work day and pull from the weekend's inspiration.

My FAVORITE find of all was a gorgeous little store called The Space. It's a "breath of art" and offers a unique arena for local South African designers. The pieces were so fresh and I found 2 blouses which I am in love with. The shop assistant | owner (a designer himself) was one of the nicest people I have met and we shared stories about his Mauritian decent and the suburb we discovered we all reside in. It was his unhurried presence and time he spent with us which made the experience so much better.

So today, take time for others and yourself. Look around and be inspired by the world and your local community. You will be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

LET'S GET APPY - App Happy that is!

As of now, I have 9 apps on my phone which allow for either photo editing or an alternative way of taking photos. A little ridiculous right? However, this avid photo taker | editor is not ashamed. Photo's are my life. They take me back to moments, places, and times with the precious people in my life. So if I come across a way to make it all even more beautiful, I'll take it. Here's sharing 2 apps with you which I have been using extensively and adore.

I've been reading and following The Fresh Exchange Blog for quite some time and was deeply inspired by their blog writings and photos of their recent visit to Cape Town. During their visit, they collaborated with Over to design an app in a day and launched Cape Town Love last week "for visitors and Capetonians to more deeply engage with major sights and other Cape Town moments." You can read all about it here. It's free too!

I came across the Rhonna Designs Blog by absolute chance and was immediately drawn to the quirkiness and uplifting approach of it. I was SO thrilled when Rhonna launched the Rhonna Designs Photo Editing App which continues to evolve and update with beautiful new tools. There are so many features and options and you most definitely get you $1.99 values worth! Find out more here.

Happy Apping!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


This is the man who has my heart. I didn’t think it was ever possible, but it indeed is! 

Adam and I met one random night through Tony, Matt and a mutual friend of all 3. From that night and still today, I am adamant he’s one of the sexiest men alive. I mean really, look at that face!  I know you will fully agree!

Adam has taught me more than just how to love again. He’s enabled me to grow and blossom personally, appreciate my ideas, views and realize how incredibly far I can push myself. He's one of my best friends and brings out the best in me, loves me for all my quirky | odd ways, and makes me want to be a better person. He’s very honest but can present it with a magic wand and that dashing white perfect smile. He is probably the funniest person I know and he brings out my rotten sense of humor. Between him and Sara, I don't know who's funnier. Put the two together and you have a comedy show on steroids and glitter.  His dedication to his friends and family is paramount and there is never hesitation for their safety.

Our story is a beautiful one which I cherish and still believe is one of the greatest. Though we are miles (8005 to be exact) apart for a brief time, we are constantly discovering more about each other, our love, and the future ahead.

I'm going to have to stop there, I hate to, but I could write pages of praise for him. He's like no other man you will EVER meet and I truly do love him so very much.

NAME:Adam Sledd
AKA: Tom Brady...wishful thinking
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST?: The Climb; Miley Cyrus

Monday, September 23, 2013


I will just give it to you straight - I had a terrible weekend. Sorry for the doom and gloom on a Monday morning - but it get's better, I promise! 

It started off with a rocky Friday morning (you know those days when EVERYTHING possible that can go wrong does, that kind of morning!) and led into a Saturday of my phone being stolen out of my purse, phone blocking, police reports, and viewing video footage of any possible suspects. I am so thankful I was not hurt or that my bank cards were untouched, but knowing that someone was watching my every move and had access to my private messages and photos on my phone was gut wrenching. 

I learned (after tears, curses, and a few glasses of wine to clam the nerves) incredible lessons from this incident and have realized how incredibly fortunate I have been to have lived in cities where this was never a worry. Or that I was in the position (not a very cheap one) to replace my phone and purchase a new handbag (sorry Zara tote) with a secure zipper! And that no matter how old I get, I may still run to my dad for help - not all the time, but sometimes!

As I embark on the week (which has started off on a beautiful note), there is so much to look forward to. You see, I promised it would get better! We have Heritage day tomorrow here in South Africa which leads to a short working week and time with my family. I end "The Friends I Keep" series with a very special person. I cannot wait to tell you about a 2 beautiful and playful apps I have found and perhaps share some unnecessary but necessary insight.

Have a magnificent Monday!

LL: Thank you to my dear little brother for the photo. I needed a fun moment over the weekend and this was it! Taken after dropping what seems like a bazillion dollars for my new phone and handbag. #firstworldpromblems

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

DHAM GIRL - Look at those calves

Unfortunately, we live in a society where there are very few of us who have good self image. If I could wave a magic wand, I would wish away ALL judgement toward people, but particularly by size or how they look.

I will not lie, I have never been 100% confident in the way I look but I have always tried to take care of myself and stay healthy. With my recent gym addiction, remember this post, I have begun slowly noticing my hard work and seeing my body evolve in a new way. 

So at one early morning workout, it came of great surprise when I looked at my reflection in the mirror to correct my squat form and the first thing that came to mind - DHAM GIRL, look at those calves!  

I have despised my gymnastic looking calves all my life. Thinking they are too muscular and knowing they could never fit into 90% of boots and skinnies. But for the first time in all my life, my calves and I have become friends. And this week, I walked out the house, in skinnies, unrolled, and with a beaming confidence. #selfgratification

As minor as this may seem, how wonderful it is to feel so good about something you never have. So find something splendid about yourself (and others), even the smallest thing, because we are all resplendent in our own way and deserve to feel confident and bright.

Hard work, even if slow, always pays off in the end.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I had to count back to how many years Leigh and I have know each other but I will never forget how,where and when we met. It’s one of those memories that will be ingrained in my mind until I loose my sanity. 

It’s been over 13 years and Leigh still stands strong by my side no matter what. Fate has presented us both with very similar situations in the past and it made us stronger, together.

She’s the most giving, kindest and sweetest person you will EVER meet (I promise you that) and will give anything to help someone in need. And she literally will never hurt even a flea.

NAME: Leigh
AKA: Wish I had a nickname, like a cool one . . .  have been called the following in the past, but nothing stuck thank goodness – pinky, lulu, tingrin (when I had braces lol) and special bus
WHAT WOULD BE THE WORST SONG TO WAKE UP TO?: Eeugh, waking up in general sucks but I would have to say opera
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST?: Always said my song should be “don’t wake me up, up up up” by Chris Brown – it’s so catchy, bound to put me in a good mood.
WHAT WOULD BE THE FIRST THREE WORDS YOU WOULD TEACH A PARROT, IF YOU HAD ONE?: I like big nuts (ok that’s 4 words but does “I” really count?)  . . . and I can not lie – it’s stuck in your head now isn’t it?

Monday, September 16, 2013

BANK on loving this.

I’ve done a lot of working this weekend. Meeting deadlines, playing catch up, and just  clearing the backlog. Thankfully, I’ve been able to do it all in sweats and tees with the magic of music playing through my headphones. And in turn, the chance to hear new songs and discover new artists. Once of them being, BANKS.

She’s been a prominent feature on my playlists for quite some time, but with the release of her new song, Change – I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce her.

Her songs have substance, deep undertones, and her voice has an unshakable Norah Jones like sound to it. I can switch off the world with Waiting Game & Warm Water. #listening bliss



Friday, September 13, 2013


I woke up this morning to a gloomy & chilly over-cast day. My first thought - no, Friday 13! I didn't make my 4:45 a.m. workout (need sleep SO desperately), my phone did not charge for some reason (human error aka LHC), my perfect cat eye on my right eye was a complete fail on the left, and I got into my car only to realize it was a little low on gas. Sigh. 

When I really think about it, the above are all really everyday mishaps but somehow on Friday the 13th - they seem amplified! I've always been a little suspicious (I thank my father), the usual - black cats, walking under ladders etc. But Friday the 13 for me is like a big bully who springs to the occasion every once in a while. I just want to hide from it. How absurd! It's just another day of the week associated with a number we continue to deem unworthy. Sorry #13!

But this Friday 13 will be different! I put on some bright and cheery clothing pieces (nothing like a Hello Kitty tee and neon pink tipped flats) and a positive smile to beat the Friday 13 blues. I will workout this evening, charge my phone, entertain the fact that my eyeliner is not exact on each side (it really is so minor #OCD), and full my gas tank! 

See, not so bad.  Happy Friday 13th all!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I think we will all remember where we were, what we were doing, and how we individually heard about the devastating news of 9.11. And how it's changed our world.

But today, remember those who lost and sacrificed their lives not only on that day, but the years after and still today.

May the world find peace.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


So to connect the dots from last week, Matt and I met at work – I drove him insane from the moment I sat behind him and I think I still do to this day. Matt and I only truly become friends after I stole his partners, Tony, heart (well, I like to think so) and his precious Saturday nights with him too. And his dogs pretty much adore me. Maybe I’ll just take everything of his!

He’s truly the smartest man I know (he really does know everything – a walking encyclopedia) and will give you advice from a point of view you never thought looking from. He has an immaculate sense of seeing matters with so much clarity and allows you in turn to take a step back and see a dilemma from a logical point of view.

During humid summer lunch breaks, we used to walk (with Matts speedy long legs it's more like leaping) on the Greenway and it's became my favorite 45 minutes of that day. Not only did I learn something new each time (from poetry to mechanics to bird life), but Matt guided me through some challenging life questions. No matter if you take his advice or not (If not, he will make it very known that he is not pleased!), he will stick by your side and support you. 

Matt prefers to blend in the crowd, but when he stands out, he does an amazing job at it! And you will never forget it. He's witty, insightful, caring, loving and as with Tony, I adore this man.

NAME: Matt
AKA: This guy right here!
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST?: Any song that actually wakes me up is probably pretty much the worst ever. Especially at that time!
NAME THE ONE HOUSEHOLD CHORE YOU NEVER WANT TO DO AGAIN?: Dealing with a plumbing backup :-/
IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE SITCOM HOUSE AS YOUR REAL HOME, WHICH WOULD YOU PICK?: The Golden Girls crib yo! It’s so tacky and just SCREAMS of my childhood.

Monday, September 9, 2013

GYM JUNKIES – Things at the gym that make you go hmmmm . . .

Over the past 2 years, I have dedicated plenty hours in the gym – with the absolute course of age and gravity deliberately taking it’s toll, I am on a mission to keep fit and attempt to have my 18 year old body back (a girl can wish right!). With these endless hours in the gym, you begin to notice trends, habits and odd occurrences with the regulars aka, the gym junkies. So in an attempt to perhaps vent a little, here’s a few tid bits I’d like to share – in the lightest and least judgmental way possible. Shamelessly, I may have fallen into one or two of these. But hey, we live and learn right.

* Drinking WATER out of a PROTEIN SHAKER does not make you look cool. In fact, you look a little like a protein-workout wannabe and we think that you perhaps haven’t cleaned your dishes in days so it’s a last resort.

* Wearing false eyelashes whilst working out not only makes you look silly, but I’m sure is dam uncomfortable. We all know sweat | moisture | eye lash glue are not a good mix – attention all staff, we have lost an eyelash on treadmill #4. Unless you are attending your prom after your workout, please leave the falsies at home.

* Holding onto the handles on the treadmill, is not only dangerous but you look ridiculous, that's the only way to really put it. And I think you’re deceiving the point a little.

* Looking at yourself and your pecks endlessly in the mirror will not make them any bigger – I hate to brake the news to you.

* Taking a selfie at the gym and posting it on Facebook does not count as a workout. It just means that you were there for an hour, editing your pictures and looking at your phone while “stretching” on the mat.

* Please leave the kids at home. It’s awkward for everyone and they just hog the machines and make us angry, even when we do just smile at you when you sheepishly walk by.

Happy workout all!

Friday, September 6, 2013

FRIDAY BLISS: With a Smile

 If you're not a morning person, you may want to throw your hot coffee at me before, whilst, and after reading this! Bring it - I'M READY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD TODAY!
It’s been a long week, a VERY long week (however excessively productive with spectacular weather). Long days and late nights working. BUT there is nothing better than ending the week and starting your Friday with a smile! The “let’s make Lauren’s Friday a great one” gods shone their light on me this morning as I started it off with a rocking 4:45 a.m. workout (box jumps, kettle bell swings, medicine ball sit ups and a 3 mile bike), 20 minutes early office arrival (the traffic was light and easy - RARITY), sighting of an all American made Corvette (even left hand side drive. Made me miss so many things in an instant) and the ultimate stick figure sticker (let’s just say I would like to “kidnap” those sticker families) which needs no explanation but simply a glance at the pic! You hate me yet? And so far, I'm meeting all of todays deadlines and haven't stopped laughing since I sat down at my desk.

So on this Friday:
* Be Kind.
* Listen to this.
* And remember to start everyday on a positive note!

Wishing you all a splendid weekend!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Tony. Where and how on earth do I start with Tony

I met Tony through my work colleague (definitely a trend) – Matt, you will get to ‘meet’ him next week – whom is Tonys extraordionary, loving and crazy partner. Fate (another definite trend) has it that all 3 of us became fast friends and inseparable. People even still till this day think that Tony and I are an item!

Tony tells me how it is, but when I need to hear it the most. And he is the first to tell me that I am just being plain ridiculous: 90% of those cases, I am! What you see is what you get with Tony (one of the many reasons I adore him) and he's one of the only people I know who can present honesty the way he does - with eloquence and sassy-ness!

He’s got an energy that you cannot help gravitate toward and a spirit like no other.  It's so tough to sum up or express what a friend of this caliber means to you in just a few sentences. So in short - without him, I really don’t know where I would be today.

The responses below pretty much sum up why I cherish this man (and evidence that every moment is nothing less than entertaining!).
NAME: Antonio "Tony" Segovia
AKA: Commonly refereed to as 'Miss Tony' by the near and dear :)
WHAT WOULD BE THE WORST SONG TO WAKE UP TO?: Any Lil Wayne song (ain't nobody got time fo dat)
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST?:  Hakuna Matata (who wouldn't want to wake up to the sounds of Timon & Pumba singing about a problem-free philosophy)
NAME THE ONE HOUSEHOLD CHORE YOU NEVER WANT TO DO AGAIN?: Laundry, specifically putting clothes away, even more specifically, putting clothes away that are inside-out AKA Matt's clothes
IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE TV SITCOM HOUSE AS YOUR REAL HOME, WHICH WOULD YOU PICK?: The Golden Girls home, OBVI! (Would spend ALL my time on the lanai)
WHAT WOULD BE THE FIRST 3 WORDS YOU WOULD TEACH A PARROT, IF YOU HAVE ONE?: This is a toss up and I would def be teaching this said parrot both these phrases: Hey miss thang OR beat it, B*tch!

Monday, September 2, 2013


HAPPY LABOR DAY to all my USA friends! Enjoy the long weekend and day off whilst the remainder of the world hits the daily grind!
To get your September and Monday going, here's 10 tracks to inspire you for the month and day ahead.

Happy Listening!