If you listen to what people like and why, you can’t help but truly know that we were all born differently for a very specific reason – and exactly that is what makes the world go around – the beauty of our differences. Often people assume that their preferences and the things they are interested in must be a common trend, as they will naturally surround themselves with people in the same sphere of favourite things. If only they knew how inspiring it could be to others if they were just willing to share a bit more of themselves.
I remember being in a group of strangers for the first time. The host broke the ice by asking each person to name a few of the things that they like. At first it seemed silly, as you would assume that everybody would say similar things, but to our surprise, it ended up to be such a creative way to get to know people instantly, but besides that, you could associate, connect and be inspired by different personalities and interests!
For that exact same reason, I would love to share a few of my favourite things with you!
- There is nothing in this world that determines and sets an atmosphere as much as lighting (except for music, off course ;)). I am inspired by soft yellow light. More than that, I adore candles – everything about it – the smell, the light and off course the atmosphere that comes with it. It takes me back to a time when life was slower and when bed-time drew nearer once the candles were lit for a proper family meal around the table. My favourite moments by candlelight is with friends, wine and food around a table or in the bath with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine!
- Paris…and the Eiffel tower. I can honestly not explain why this is, but for some reason I feel that my parents have adopted me and imported me from Paris – they just haven’t gathered the confidence to tell me ;). I can’t speak a word of French, but everything about that country and city inspires me. The first time I stood in front of the Eiffel Tower, I couldn’t utter a word. I just stood there, crying and staring for about an hour. Maybe it is the significance behind this landmark that resonates with me, but mostly it’s just because I love everything about Paris – the people, the fashion, the cuisine, the culture and the language. The design of my wedding ring was also inspired by the tower and to top it all (and I’m not sure how deep I must delve into this), my maiden name was Nell, which was derived from Neil, which is a French surname 😉
- RAIN, the shop. (These are RAIN bath bombs) It’s head office is in Swellendam and there are outlets all over South Africa and in New York (I love it when South African Entrepreneurs dream internationally). It is important for me to use natural body products and I absolutely love everything about every range at RAIN. I use their Facial Rehydration Spray as a toner, their bath bombs (my skin loves it), hand soap, hair mask and body scrub. This is also my favourite spot for presents! Viva all natural!
- The kitchen and food is my hobby. I really enjoy cooking, baking and preparing food – especially if it’s healthy and interesting food. And let’s not mess around – you can’t do anything without a lemon (and actually I should have put an onion right next to it). With our busy schedule and profession, it is really important for us to stay healthy and such a big part of your health lies in what you eat. Besides that, I believe in treating this one body that I got as good as possible and I like to do that by eating 80% healthy, natural and fresh 80% of the time! That’s a nice way to go about what you eat without ever having to be on a diet (I don’t believe in diets)!
- My Suz Fabric Art Tapestry Shoes! Enough said! These are by far the most beautiful and the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. I came across the shoes and their maker (Suzette Plekker) for the first time in September last year. The shoes are based on a ballet shoe design with a little heal for comfort and elevation. I dress it up and down and I play every show in them. The rest of the story you can watch on Kwêla on May 4th 😉
- Amanda Laird Cherry Apparel. I believe in South African designers and believe that we must support them more. I know it is a lot more expensive than most of the mainstream shops that we know, but the more we support our own designers, the more affordable the apparel will become. The Amanda Laird Cherry brand really resonates with what the band stands for and with what we as individuals want to support! These are their leather shoes which I love to wear in my down time, but I am really privileged to announce that I will be wearing Amanda Laird Cherry clothes for the band, starting this season – I can’t wait!
- If I wasn’t a musician, I would have definitely been a wine maker. I believe that wine is where science and art meet – it is a beautiful product of nature. Wine and the culture thereof is as old as the mountains and it’s so amazing to be exposed to the South African wine industry to the extent that we are through our job! I am a complete Pinotage fan. Proudly South African! One day I will still make my own wine!
- What can I say about coffee except that my entire life evolves around it 😉 All jokes aside – I really enjoy coffee. I never drank coffee until I tasted my first black americano at the age of 17 in Knysna. I felt as if I could taste the aroma for the first time – I was hooked! I learnt so much about the coffee industry and it’s beauty. It really draws people together and coffee shops in our country are starting to function as creative hubs for business men and freelancers more and more each day. The culture of a properly brewed cuppa has only taken our country by storm in the past 5 years and I am so happy to be alive during this coffee “boom”. If you don’t like coffee as of yet, order a black americano (hopefully there is a good barista behind the machine), close your eyes, imagine the smell of coffee, and take that first sip. And cut the sugar – it’s bad for you anyway 😉 Black gold, I’m telling you!
- Since I was a little girls, magazines were fascinating to me. There is something about the vivid combination of pictures and stories, advertisements and cross word puzzles, that makes it seem like a wonder world of information and beautiful things. I always start by paging through the entire magazine, whereafter I read every single word of that magazine. Even articles which I’ve assumed won’t be interesting to me, have taught me a few things! I love the smell of the pages – combined with an early morning coffee and the warmth of your bed before the day starts – la dolce vita! I hope the magazine industry will exist forever – no matter how advanced technology becomes!