Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dear Blogspot

 Dear Blogspot,

Over the past four years or so, you have welcomed me with open arms to the world of blogging.
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You were easy. You held my hand and gently helped me figure out this crazy world of "blogging" that was so new to me. You weren't fussy, you weren't complicated and neurotic. You were simple, you were friendly. It was easy-going and we got along like a house on fire. We clicked like a new-home-owner-browsing Pinterest. Yes, there were those moments when you annoyed the crap out of me - but every new relationship has it's glitches woudn't you say?

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Yet, you hung around, dear old blogspot, and guided me through the stormy seas of blogging. You've opened up doors to me that I never even knew possible. You gave me the platform to build the most incredible community of support, through your platform I have made incredible friends with people all around the world, I have connected with people online and off. You powered me through winning two different categories at The South African Blog awards. It is through this tiny blogspot, that I have featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine, Seventeen Magazine and various other print publications around the country. You have inspired me to launch an online store. You were there when I first opened up indieBerries to sponsorship

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You have inspired me to follow what my heart is telling me to do. You have given me a network of people who I feel are cheering me on, and that is something that I be forever grateful to you, humble blogspot. You have given me dreams, you have given me wings.

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But now, tiny blogspot, my wings have grown too big for this little space. You see - I am more than this blog. I am more than these daily ramblings and funny cartoons: I have services to offer; I have products to launch; I have talent to show; I have advice to give; I have stories to tell; I have laughs to procure; I have cartoons to create; I have wit to share.

I have dreams to chase.

And now -  it's time for me to say goodbye to you Blogspot. I will miss you. I will miss your big bright orange smiley face, I will miss your comfort and old familiarity. You are all I have known in this crazy blogging world and you've shown me an amazing time. Of course I am scared to leave you, to go out on my own... but it's time for me to move forward, onward, upward to greater things.

I'm letting you go soon - because you're not right for me any more.
We've outgrown each other - you and I, and no hard feelings tiny blogspot -

 it's not you -
It's me.

On that note.... some big and exciting announcements coming this week everyone! Stay tuned!

Monday, April 28, 2014

My first Reiki Experience.

When The Warr and I were back in South Africa, I booked in to have my first ever Reiki experience with Colleen at Midlands House of Healing. If you read Midlands Musings, you may have heard Keri mention her before as her "earth angel". So, given my newfound love for yoga/meditation/chakras etc I was super keen to give it a try. And by "super keen" I mean, I TOTES had my skeptical boots on. In fact, I think I must have been the worst kind of client. (More to follow on that)

The first thing I noticed when we drove up to Colleen's home and treatment area was the incredible setting - it's like an oasis sanctuary in the middle of nowhere - and everything in the air just feels so peaceful. It was the first time I had met Colleen, so as you can imagine, I wasn't too sure what to expect or how this whole "reiki business" was going to work. ie:

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Colleen is so friendly and easy to talk to and she told me to ask any questions I wanted to - she is also a total hugger (which I generally feel are the best kind of people to surround yourself with). The session started with a combination massage which was awesome - super relaxing - although given that I knew we had the reiki to follow, I kept having to ask, "Should I be doing something? What should I be doing? Am I doing it right?"  The answer of course is just to chill out and let Colleen get on with what she does best.

After the massage, we moved onto "the interesting stuff" as Colleen put it. The first thing she did was to explain to me that she was going to use a pendulum to see what the different energy zones in my body were doing. (ENTER SKEPTICAL BOOTS).

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She explained that within our bodies there are different energies zones (or chakras- which I've actually mentioned in this post) when energy is flowing freely the pendulum will swing in circles, when the energy is blocked - or not flowing very freely, it will swing in a straight line. After the first couple of minutes, Colleen told me that my Throat Chakra was closed. Which is exactly the same chakra I was drawn to when I picked my chakra necklace based on the symbol only (in this post). It is also the same answer that I got when I did the chakra personality test online.

("fair enough" said SKEPTICAL BOOTS, "Colleen probably read that on my blog somewhere") but then almost straight away she moved the pendulum over my Heart Chakra and it started swinging in huge gigantic circles meaning that it is has a very strong flow of energy. I had not mentioned this ever before (or even in the previous blog post - I checked), but when I did the online chakra test months previously, it told me that my Heart Chakra was the strongest of all the zones in my body.

Colleen went through the other different zones in my body to get a general idea of which parts needed healing. After getting an entire picture she then sends her reiki to heal those parts of you that need it. I'm not going to go into the finer details of my experience, but I will say that my SKEPTICAL BOOTS are definitely off and I have never experienced such a feeling of calm. After the session, Colleen came and put her hand on my shoulder and started explaining things to me about this previous year, how I have been feeling in my heart and my mind and things that there is no possible way she could know.
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but not like sad hysterical crying - more like emotional information overload crying.
In a good way.

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I left that session feeling very renewed and refreshed and super light, like I can't even explain.
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It is safe to say that my extreme skepticism, (ie: "How do I know you aren't swinging that pendulum? How did you train to become a reiki-healer? What do you mean Empath? Please explain that again.) has been completely overridden. I can't wait to go back.

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If you are in the Midlands (or even if you're not, I'd suggest making a trip) Colleen is lovely and her sessions will leave you feeling glowing inside and out.

Check out the Midlands House of Healing Facebook Page or email Colleen on midlandshouseofhealing@gmail.com to make an appointment!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Styled Shoot Photographer: Kelly Daniels

 Kelly Daniels is the third and final (sniff) of the amazing photographer-talents that we had at our Vintage Vineyard Styled shoot at Abingdon Wine Estate in March. Can you tell how I've tried to draw these posts out as long as possible - because after this one I have no more bride and groom photos to show you of husband and I! But for today - allow your eyes to take in ALL the amazing beauty through the lens of

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I think this is my favourite snap of all - probably because it's one of the ones that is least likely to ever age us. Does that make sense? Anywhoo... I think this pic is absolutely gorgeous! It's definitely a framer. Like, canvas style "framer". Like canvas above our bed framer. (As you can tell, I've plotted the whole thing out already. lol)

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Kelly is one of those people who is just instantly likeable. In the first three seconds of meeting her you feel like you've known her for 20 years. And there is nothing better for feeling relaxed in front of the camera on your wedding day, than feeling like you're just hanging out with one of your best friends. And if that isn't enough to convince you - her photographs in all their natural beauty speak exquisitely for themselves -

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LOVE this shot!!
(like LUUUUURVE love)

and the one below too - 

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Kelly is also has a very natural and easy way of guiding you into poses that are most flattering to your body. (I remember her telling me to bend my arm slightly in the above picture - way more flattering than a stick straight arm!) Her super friendly and easy-going disposition make you feel so relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera  so all she has to really do is finely tweak how you are naturally interacting to play up your most flattering sides - and the results are stunning, natural gorgeous pics!

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You can attribute my flawless face (and hair) to Kym and Me Make up -Kym was super good at recommending products specifically for our needs. (She actually recommended a foundation to me which I went out and bought and I absolutely LOVE it! {Estee Lauder Double Wear, FYI} high five Kym - thank you!)
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Kelly's easy-going and friendly vibe makes it easy to see why Kelly is such a phenomenal child and baby photographer (take a look at the photos of these kids  to see what I mean... absolutely STUNNING. Geez, I feel like framing them and I don't even KNOW those kids. While I'm on the topic - also have a look at the birth shoot that Kelly did for our other Styled Shooter, Eileen Laubscher.) {NB NOTE TO SELF: Make friends with a photographer so that it's not at all creepy when you ask them to shoot you giving birth}

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Our little picnic session in the tent was so much fun and Kelly Captured all the happy energy perfectly!
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I'm not sure how it's even possible, but the rich colours of Kelly's editing - make these cakes look even MORE delicious. This picture looks perfectly lickable, wouldn't you say? Go ahead and try it - I won't tell a soul.

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How gorgeous is this yellow dress from The Love Bucket?!
I honestly felt like some kind of Greecian Goddess in it!

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The light in these photographs is incredible. It's like everything has the most amazing glow.

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Kelly, thank you so much for taking the time out to shoot some snaps for us - it was an absolute pleasure to meet you and you are so much fun to be around! Warr and I are SO grateful to have such beautiful "wedding" shots and I will definitely be hounding you for some high res pics to blow up onto canvas! Your work is beautiful. Thank you so much!

Other awesome suppliers involved in the shoot - 

Venue: Jane – Abingdon Wine Estate 
Stationers: Liesel & Birgitta – Glee Projects
Dresses:  Stacey – Love Bucket
Tent: Tammy – Midlands Stretch Tents
Make up & Hair: Kym – Kym & me
Cake: Taryn – Smiths Bake shop
Videographer:  Wes – The Shank Tank

Bookmark Kelly's stuff for when you are getting married (or about to give birth) 
her stuff is amazing!! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

New Project Launch: indieLoveBooks

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You guys! I am bursting with excitement to announce the launch of my new project - indieLoveBooks! For a while now, I have been creating bespoke wedding guestbooks for brides "on the sly" - I say "on the sly", because really I had no website, no marketing focus, no real action plan - all I had was beautiful guestbooks and word of mouth from the few who had seen them featured, either here on indieBerries or from the gorgeous Gaby over at Southbound Bride, and had decided to email me on a whim to see if I would make one for them.

I mocked up some pinterest boards for the exact look and feel I wanted for this new site and enlisted the awesome services of one of The Photo Hunt co-founders, Bobbi - from Ready to Blog. I can totally recommend her services - she is super efficient and will create an awesome blog/site for you based on exactly what you want and need! Below is the moodboard she concocted!
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I wanted to create an entirely separate website space for this project (and not just include it as part of indieBerries) because I feel that I will better be able to target it to the correct audience. The indieBerries style is fun, quirky, cartoonish and whacky. indieLoveBooks is the more sophisticated, and refined older sister. That is not to say that indieLoveBooks do not have their own cheeky charm. Each of these books feature quirky questions for guests to answer - which make them not only a gorgeous coffee-table keepsake, but really fun and entertaining for guests to write in! I can guarantee that you will LOVE the creativity that your guests produce!

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Above: from our guest book, in the "Free Space" block, "Wow!! This is an intimidating space!!
I feel naked in here!!..."

Don't you just love it?

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Each indieLoveBook can be tailored to your specific needs - if you would like to include photos, memories and a story from your engagement, or a few pages introducing your bridal party to all your guests, or even just some travel stories and photos from your time together - we can work together to create a bespoke guestbook that is exactly what you want.

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Why indieLoveBooks?
I could've called this new venture "Bespoke Wedding guestbooks" or "Gorgeous Guestbooks" or something similar, but I wanted to keep a small connection to indieBerries -which has had such a profound impact on my life. I also genuinely believe that these books are far more than just "a guestbook". In the book that I created for our own wedding, I included photographs from the very first night we met, photographs and memories from travels we did together over the years, photographs from the night we got engaged, and photos from our London engagement shoot. The book we created is a keepsake book of the story of our entire relationship - and not only will we have all those memories preserved forever, but it now also includes messages, wishes and notes of love and advice from all our closest friends and family from the day we became husband and wife.

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It has been so special creating these indieLoveBooks for happy brides - I have loved being part of such a special celebration and seeing their stories through the photographs and memories they send me and I'm so excited to launch it into a fully fledged wing of the "indie Empire". If you would like to see more about the books - pop over to the brand new indieLoveBooks Website!

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Just this week, I have finished creating a guestbook for an Australian bride, getting married in Hawaii at the end of the month - she emailed me yesterday to say,
Brilliant. Thank you. Yep last minute is the case as we just went to another wedding on the weekend and took some ideas. However I'm pretty positive our guest book is better. I've never seen a guest book like the ones you do. They are so much more personal and definitely one we will leave out for people to read when at home. 

Get in touch if you'd like a quote!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sponsors - awesome people of April!

I know I have had a bit of radio silence over this Easter Weekend... did you miss me?

Don't lie. Of course you did.

To make up for my quiet weekend in blogville, I have an awesome line up of epic sponsors for you to meet! So let's get stuck right in!

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Ruby + Swallow

First up on the list of awesomeness is Ruby + Swallow - this is the creative blog and stationery design team headed up by Kim and Filipa. Ruby + Swallow is a real feast for the eyes and you can tell just by clicking over to their website that these girls have a knack for incredible design! Their blog is filled with lovely lifestyle posts, personal posts and a good lashing of their awesome design work and creative wedding ideas! I can tell you right now, these dynamic girls are going places! Feast your eyes on their awesome portfolio work - and stay tuned because they are offering an awesome deal for indieBerries readers! Details coming soon!

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Femmegypsy is the blog of Tamzin Nel and her contradictory life. Tamzin's blog is awesome because she often shares quite philosophical-type posts which really get you thinking and questioning your own internal monologues (take this post for example!). She also writes really interesting content - reading about her job and the contradictions it brings about in her is fascinating! And lots of personal nitty-gritty type posts - which really take you back to what exactly blogging is all about. Each post of hers begins with an inspirational quote - which I absolutely love! Femmegypsy: corporate by occupation, hippy at heart. Dive in!

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I've mentioned before, but I think Skype Engllish Now is such an awesome concept! If you are a second language English speaker looking to improve your English, be it conversational, business English or specific preparation for exams or tests - you can book a one on one English class via skype with one of the Skype English Now teachers. If you want to test it out to see if it's right for you, you can book a FREE 20 - 30 min class! And it's perfect because you don't even need to leave the comfort of your own home! If you have any important documents (resumés, essays, business docs) or less important docs (emails, blog posts, letters) that need proof-reading and editing - you can submit your documents to Josh who will ammend them for you! And all it takes for you, is a couple of button clicks!

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The Moss Letter Company is no stranger to indieBerries - they have been hanging out on the sidebar for a little while now and I LOVE having them! Their mossy letters are just too awesome! Think weddings, home decor, party decor - you name it! Also... a little while ago - Jodie, the awesome creative behind Moss Letters asked me if Warren and I would like to come get some "wedding snaps" for their Spring Mossy Collection - unfortunately, Warr and I were in South Africa at the time - but I recommended another lovely couple for them to snap! Head over to The Moss Letter Company home page to see if you spot any familiar faces!! (hint!). The Moss Letter Blog (actually one of my favourites for their "weekend reads" has also had a mini facelift - so go check it out!). (Also - this post on tips for a fledgling business - LOVE it.)

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This is a blog for all the wordy-lovers out there! I love this post on "substituting" that wild backpacking pipe-dream with getting lost in the exotic adventures of book. Amy writes with genuine food for thought and provides some super useful tips for aspiring writers. Take for example this post on deadlines - do deadlines make you FREAK OUT? Amy explores how deadlines can be used as a powerful tool for writing motivation and gives some awesome tips for using them to your advantage. I also love this post on "writers excuses" and what they really mean - which really can be replaced with just about any activity. Go delve into Amy's world of wordy-wonderland!

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And that's the round up for this month's awesome sponsors! As I mentioned, be sure to check back for Ruby + Swallow's featured post and their awesome deal for indieBerries readers! If you would like to advertise with indieBerries - check out the different packages here!

PS - I have some SUPER exciting things coming in the next two weeks! Including the last of the awesome Vintage Vineyard Styled shoot photographers, some funny cartoons and some WILDLY exciting BIG announcements! (I am BURSTING to share.... can you tell?!) Stay Tuned!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Eileen Laubscher - Brightgirl Photography.

I have another incredible photographer to introduce you to today! I have tried to space these posts out a little for many reasons -

1. I don't want you guys to be all "wedding-ed" out - because trust me, there is LOADS more I can still say on the subject, lol.
2. I didn't want to overload you with all the awesomeness all at once. You know, thought I'd give you a bit of time to properly process each amazing photographer and their unique talents
3. These amazing photos have been all SO incredibly precious to me, that I have felt the need to savour each and every tiny little pixel. I didn't want to just share them all in one go! You know, like eating the most decadent chocolate that you just don't want to finish all at once. But Easter is coming up soon... so all the chocolate is allowed...Ha!

So today, for you to feast your eyes on something beautiful - here is another bite - 

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HOW amazing is this photo? I absolutely LOVE it!

I have actually admired Eileen's photography for a long time - in fact, I contacted her when I first started looking for wedding photographers to shoot our wedding because I loved her style (but then some Australian bride swooped in - THANKS A LOT AUSTRALIA.) Warning: Eileen gets booked up fast - so GET IN THERE QUICKLY. And it is not difficult at all to see why...

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There is something so incredibly romantic about Eileen's photography - especially these gorgeous snaps with such a shallow depth of field - it makes you feel like Eileen has captured a completely private and beautiful moment - and there are SO many of those private moments that you want to treasure on your wedding day - and Eileen will do just that. You wouldn't ever think that there were tons of people buzzing around in the above picture - Eileen's photos take a beautiful moment as it happens and transforms it into something magical.

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The "rustic-vintage" wedding stationery was created by Glee Projects - go take a peek at the rest of their work!
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You guys, I just want to say that this gorgeous tree-lined avenue at Abingdon Wine Estate, looks verrrrrry similar to the tree-lined avenue of Michaelhouse, where we (didn't) have the most beautiful wedding photos. But actually, that tree looks exactly the same as the Michaelhouse tree.

So basically these are actually our actual wedding photos.

Thank you Eileen!

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This fab little tent that Keri and I are sitting under - is from Midlands Stretch Tents - if you are planning on having an outdoor wedding or even canapés on the lawns with the dodgy Midlands Weather - then this is totally your answer! (even for protection from the sun). Plus, the bedouin tent vibe looks WAY more classy than the average marquee.

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I love how rich all the colours look in Eileen's photos! They almost have a kind of sundrop-glow. Also - those cakes from Smith's Cake Shop- they were pretty rich too (and dreamy-delicious)!

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Why I would hire Eileen Laubscher to shoot my wedding:Not only do her photographs have the most incredible romantic and "private moment" feel, but her editing gives the photos such rich colour and the most gorgeous glow. Another absolute bonus of having Eileen as your wedding photographer is that she gives excellent direction. It's not really something you ever actually consider when booking a wedding photographer - but it should honestly form part of your decision because it makes ALL the difference. You will never be left wondering where to look or what to do with your stray arm or standing awkwardly not knowing what to do with your awkward face. Eileen takes control of the shoot and provides very easy, fun and specific directions for you (and your man) to follow and the results - as you can see, are spectacular.

Thank you so much Eileen- your work is incredible 

and have made this "bride" so incredibly happy!

Other awesome suppliers involved in the shoot - go give them some love!

Venue: Jane – Abingdon Wine Estate 
Stationers: Liesel & Birgitta – Glee Projects
Dresses:  Stacey – Love Bucket
Tent: Tammy – Midlands Stretch Tents
Make up & Hair: Kym – Kym & me
Cake: Taryn – Smiths Bake shop
Videographer:  Wes – The Shank Tank

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As you may remember my goal to have "the most photographed dress in THE WHOLE WORLD" is totally happening... I am busy chatting with three amazeballs photographers! Stay tuned!