Thursday, November 28, 2013

36 Totally valid excuses to NOT exercise.

 photo exercise_zps40ab21b5.jpg
(image found via Pinterest. Originally from The Good Old Days TV Show.)

London winter is upon us. It is getting colder and darker by the second and I do not approve. Hit me with some snow and I might overlook it - but for right now - it is just cold and dark and getting harder and harder to make the effort to exercise when sitting on the couch seems like a way more cozy option. For all those living in colder (darker) parts of the world right now - I thought I would help you out by providing you with:

A list of perfectly valid excuses NOT to exercise.
(Use them whenever you feel is necessary)
  1. It's too cold.
  2. It's too hot.
  3. I've already eaten a pie, a pizza and a bag of chips - there is no point.
  4. I've only eaten celery today - I don't need to.
  5. I can't find my sports bra.
  6. It was feminist-day yesterday - I burnt my sports bra.
  7. I don't have a sports bra.
  8. My gym clothes are in the wash.
  9. I need to wash my gym clothes.
  10. My lover likes me "chunky"
  11. I like me "chunky"
  12. I'll just get a tan.
  13. I'm a bit "busy" with something.
  14. People should love me for my personality.
  15. I need to do this other thing.
  16. I need to do another other thing.
  17. I'll just do a series of rapid eye-blinking - am sure there are calories to be burned in that.
  18. I'm inventing my own new exercise - finger snapping.
  19. Laughing is basically the same as exercising.
  20. Shivering is EXACTLY the same as exercising.
  21. I've been neglecting the couch lately - must make ammends.
  22. I don't want to get too skinny.
  23. I can't leave the house now it's too dark - I will definitely die.
  24. I might sprain a muscle.
  25. i cut my fingernail too close to my pinky - it's very sore.
  26. I must listen to my body - it's very sore.
  27. I'll just do some light stretching.
  28. I'll start on Monday.
  29. Oh! I forgot Monday is my "rest day"
  30. I need a rest day.
  31. I'll eat ONLY PROTEINS tomorrow.
  32. I don't want to over-endorphin myself.
  33. I forgot I already have other plans.
  34. I don't have enough fuel for this workout - I might feel faint.
  35. Oh no, i just painted my nails.
  36. I've already showered today.
Also - you guys... I love you guys on twitter - y'all are such fun! Come join the party! @indieBerries

PS y'all - you should all TOTALLY exercise. It's good for you and such.
(And when you find the motivation - come over to my house - I will talk you out of it pretty quickly. Wine?)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


We are almost nearing the end of November! 
But before we say adios to this eleventh hour of the year - 
 photo movember1_zpsb8c80dac.jpg  photo movember2_zps1ba978d8.jpg  photo movember3_zpscc5e87ad.jpg  photo movember4_zpsba2e935d.jpg  photo movember5_zpsb317fb0c.jpg
None of those beauties have been gracing my view!


 photo movember6_zps56ea0169.jpg  photo movember7_zps4635fa85.jpg

You are not sure what my DELIGHTFUL VIEW has been?

Allow me to "ZOOM OUT"

 photo movember8_zps8813c3de.jpg
oooh. my soul.

 photo movember11_zpsa03315da.jpg

Stubble - i luuuurve!!
Five o'clock rugged shadow - WONDERFUL! BRING YOUR HANDSOME FACE HERE! 
Even a beard  - i'm down with that.

But plain ol' MO' TACHE -


 photo movember9_zpsed4b1439.jpg  photo movember10_zpse035328f.jpg
Aaah yes.

That wonderful month - where men decide to ditch their razors in an attempt to see who can be the MOST MANLY by growing HAIR OUT THEIR FACE. Brilliant.

For the whole month, I have tried to convince THE MAN, how ridiculous he looks.
But, unfortunately, he has not "seen it" yet. In true wife-fashion -

 photo movember12_zpsad47a59a.jpg
(do it, i'm serious)

 photo movember13_zpsa608203b.jpg  photo movember14_zps3e58287b.jpg  photo movember16_zpsb2e9a101.jpg  photo 120809losangeles_lg_zps2a793b90.jpg

(but, to be fair - I do think he is actually trying)

Pre-Movember, I tried to use all my tactics to convince the husband NOT to do it - 

 photo movember18_zps22b2e2ac.jpg  photo movember19_zpsb8434c7d.jpg  photo movember20_zps314041ee.jpg  photo movember21_zps2353fd8d.jpg  photo movember22_zpsc6863f3f.jpg  photo movember23_zpsf653910b.jpg  photo movember24_zps753e155f.jpg
Of course, he's right.
(savour that Husband, because I'm only saying it once)


In honour of THE GOOD CAUSE, for the entire month, - I have had to put up with the husband-mexican-pedophile-look. Every single time I have introduced him to anyone this month the introduction has been as follows -

Me: This is my husband Warren-HE-DOESN'T-NORMALLY-HAVE-A-MOUSTACHE-nice to meet you.

Anyway, to make sure that he has made the MOST of his mo-tache month - he is looking for some donations to THE GOOD CAUSE. He has already raised £310 on the official Movember website. And his company will match whatever he raises. So go ahead and donate to the good cause of Men's Health!

 photo movember25_zps75275ba4.jpg
And now little children... come get your candy...

But seriously, It is a really good cause - so Donate to The Husband's Mo!


PS. I have already stocked up some Gillette razors for December 1, 
because this month - 
It's been rough.

________________{follow indieBerries}__________________


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Your First Market | When things don't go *exactly* as you would have hoped.

 photo businessbitesgrey_zpsf751da2d.png
Since it's Tuesday, it's another edition of indieBusiness Bites! A new blog series I started a little while ago documenting my journey of The Creative Business. As many of you know - I attended my very first market last Saturday at Holy Cross School. I was super excited about having my first market stand and dived straight into market preparations and preparings! For today's business blog post I wanted to share some of the lessons that I took away from my very first market - which was a big learning curve!

 photo lessons1_zpsf6befc07.jpg

1. Arrive as early as possible 
Make sure you get to the market with plenty of time to set up your stall. Trying to finish up last minute things whilst the customers are starting to arrive will make you feel flustered and overwhelmed. We arrived at the market with plenty of time to spare - but on arrival, I realised that the table that had been allocated to me in all the email communications between the organiser and the market stall holders, had been taken over by other market stall holders, which was slightly disorientating. My market table had been switched on the day by other vendors to a table right in the corner which I was not expecting. I am not one for confrontation so I just let it go. This may not have had any impact or affect on sales at all, but it did start the day off on a bad note. It may have been avoided if we had arrived even earlier than we did. So make sure you get there early-early.

 photo lesson9_zpsa59a1531.jpg

2. Know your market, ask questions.
Before you sign up to a market - do some research. Ask the organisers for mini profile of their "expected buyer". Many markets (and particularly markets in the UK) are quite expensive to sign up to - so it is your right to a few questions about the market in general before you sign on. Get an idea of expected foot traffic and the type of buyer who they most likely expect. If you feel unable to ask these questions to the organisers - then take a trip to the market yourself and gauge the type of crowd who is entering, the type of products they are looking at and the items/things they are buying. Your assumed buyer may be very different to the actual buyer.

I got very excited about my first market and jumped in semi-deep end without really doing much research. Since it was an annual School Christmas Fair that I participated in, I wasn't able to have a look at the market before I signed up and I assumed the average buyer would be school parents. In reality, the majority of the "buying power" came from the young kids at the school with their little pounds to spend.

 photo lesson2_zpse35ad764.jpg

3. Cater to the expected buyer
If possible, (and in the creative businesses I would usually say it is) cater your products to the expected buyer. For example, had I known that the mass buying power would come from 8 year old girls (as discovered above), I would have created a MASSIVE SPINNING WHEEL-OF-DEATH GAME and Hello-Kitty-ed the SHIT out of my stall. Let me tell you, that when the buyer is an 8 year old girl - you absolutely cannot compete with decorative nail-painting and pink-iced-biscuits. 8 year old girls are not interested in (nor should they be looking at) "Love Vouchers" - which include "professional back massages - with fancy oils" (below).

 photo lesson10_zps64b9241b.jpg
(love vouchers: 12 per pack, 2 blank for your own messages)

Whilst my products all have very cartoon/fun/childlike imagery, the humour and target market is for an older crowd (see below). And had I known that the mass buyer were young girls, I would have altered my range slightly. This is not to say that you should abandon your product range and make completely new items based on each individual market - but getting an idea of the expected buyer (which comes from asking questions) will help you get more sales. For example, say you are a baby-bootie knitter, if you know you are going to be at a market which is a Christmas themed affair - why not "grow the size" of your baby booties and knit some epic Christmas stockings?

 photo lesson16_zps6a080c49.jpg
 photo lesson14_zpsa1f40bf2.jpg  photo lesson5_zps7068af80.jpg

4. Mock up  your table beforehand but know the exact dimensions
Mocking up your table beforehand is essential. You can see how things all work together and how they look when they are placed next to each other. You will also way more easily be able to make sure that there is a spectrum of different priced items available. I am so happy that I mocked my table up beforehand and I was really happy with the way it all came out!

Although, as a "test-run" I set up a table in our spare room across two desks. The size of the two desks together were much bigger than the actual trestle table size - and as such things looked a bit more "bunched together" than they should have been. I also ended up putting my "portfolio board" on the floor - for lack of space - which made it not very visible! Get the exact dimensions!
Also - if you set it up at home and force your husband to remember where everything goes - he will be invaluable in helping you set up your table on the day - since he already has an idea of what should go where. Score. Take pictures of your set up, if you think you may forget!

 photo lesson4_zpse9c9b820.jpg
(left: Portfolio pin board | right: Christmas Gift tags)

5. Engage with customers
This is an obvious one. There were a few people who came over who were very interested in the custom poster designs I had displayed. Of the people that came over - those who I offered information to - ie: "I can do a poster for your whole family, you can use it for personalised greeting cards/present stickers/bedroom decor etc" where those people who picked up business cards and took down my details. Offer people some insight into how your products are created, the processes you use and the services you offer - people love hearing about the creation behind the products.

 photo lesson3_zps169318d0.jpg  photo lesson8_zpsebe24b09.jpg
(above & below: Peace, Love, Doodles art journal book)
 photo lesson18_zps3f0dc2eb.jpg

6. Don't get disheartened
This is by far, the hardest lesson that I have learnt in my first market endeavour. Anyone who knows me, will tell you right away that I have very high expectations for myself. And when those (extremely inflated) expectations are not met, I feel let down. Markets are tough. Unlike a specific shop, where people go, to find exactly what they are looking for, markets cater for "the chance buyer" people who may or may not see something they like, who are there to browse and be part of the market atmosphere more than anything else. People who come to the market may not necessarily be looking for the things that you are selling. If you think of your own experience of "market shopping", it is very different to your experience of walking into Sainsbury's where you know you are going to be spending money. So, it's important not to feel disappointed and not to assimilate those feelings with the products, services and goods you produce. Alternatively, find yourself a good husband who buys you a bunch of red roses to say chin up! (If you haven't found yourself one of those and you have a meh-market day - give me a holler and I will send you some LOVE!)

All in all - it was an awesome first market experience and the things I have learnt from this market which will help me move forward have been invaluable! My main take-away is to find a platform/market that is more suited to my craft. Something like the Renegade Craft Fair or an Etsy collaboration show would be a MUCH better environment for me to have my range showcased at! Learning curve for the win!

 photo lesson25_zps06b40106.jpg

I am SO thankful for everyone who came to say hi and support! Kasha from lines of escape (above) wrote such a lovely write up on her blog! Thank you lovely lady! Also thank you to Lulu from Berry Diaries and Anna, Shan, Paula and Ryan for all coming to say hi! Muchos muchos gracias! I hope you love your indieBerries goodies!

Also - massive thanks to the fam for their support and to husband... 
for all the reasons that you already know <3 br="" nbsp="">

PS - I have received quite a few emails for price lists of my products  and I have already shipped some goodies to far away places - USA, Singapore and a shipment is off to SA this afternoon! My online store is still under construction (and I will be uploading onto Etsy over the next little while- but it all takes time!) So in the meantime, to save myself repeating the same information over email - I will be posting an album today on the indieBerries Facebook Page with a list of product prices. If you are interested in ordering anything - you can pop me an email at:
che.strawberries @

Shipping prices are dependent on where you live and the products you want to order (weight wise) so get in touch and we can work something out!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Date Day | Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park

 photo winter5_zpsb78515e3.jpg
As a post "first market" surprise - The Husband had organised for us to go ice-skating at Winter Wonderland in Hyde park yesterday. I have never been to a Winter Wonderland and was absolutely BLOWN AWAY - by the MASSIVENESS of it all.

 photo winter4_zpsb752440c.jpg  photo winter2_zps01807475.jpg
 photo winter15_zpsb8b0883e.jpg
Our first port of call was a mug of steaming hot Mulled Wine because DELICIOUS. And our second port of call was another mug of steaming hot Mulled Wine, because OBVIOUSLY.
 photo winter1_zpsd71a3793.jpg
There is SO much to see and I can tell you right now, that after 7 hours there yesterday we didn't even see a quarter of it all. I have made The Warr promise that we are going back!

 photo winter3_zpsd0177b2e.jpg
There are so many delicious foodie options to choose from - with quite a heavy German/Bavarian influence - lots of sausages, bratwurst and things with un-pronounceable names such as Schweinshaxe. We settled on a very conventional plate of fat-chips as fuel before our big ice skating debut!
 photo winter11_zps0b62e6a6.jpg
Warren: Are you trying to hide my moustache in a black and white filter?
Me: Yes.
 photo winter12_zps1942b4d6.jpg
Ice skating was SO much fun- it made me feel like a kid again! And bonus of the day - I didn't fall once! (Granted, I was clinging onto husband's sleeve for the majority of the hour.)

  photo winter13_zpsd013bbbc.jpg  photo winter14_zps8d372eb4.jpg 
yeah you guys! Look at me go!
How cool is this fake snow?!
I know. 
Am thinking of shipping a container-load back to South Africa.

 photo winter8_zps381d5b4c.jpg 
We wondered around the arcade style games and markets for ages and then met up with some mates of ours for a drink and some nosh at the Bavarian village.

(Can't believe that it was so busy and such a massive performance for a Sunday night.)

 photo winter6_zps5b20abb3.jpg 
Toast your own Marshmallows on this giant open roaring fire - 
we are DEFINITELY coming back to do this!!

 photo winter9_zpsafd52960.jpg  photo winter7_zpsc587afd4.jpg 
Our friends were crazy enough to go on this ride - The man and I watched from the safety of the sidelines - with another mug of mulled wine. 
 photo winter16_zps0a930f2d.jpg
We had such an awesome day! Cannot WAIT to go back for more Wonderland fun!
Viva la Christmas Winter in London!

PS - full market post to follow - 
thank you so much to everyone who came to support - 
muchos gracias!