Cosmopolitan.com http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za Cosmopolitan.com http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za/images/cosmo_logo_toolbox.gif Money en-us catherined at cosmopolitan dot co dot za Copyright 2009 These Gender Bent Disney Characters Are The Coolest http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/these-gender-bent-disney-characters-are-the-coolest twenties but Disney will always been in our hearts. Check out these cool Gender bent princes and princesses. Canadian digital artist SakimiChan is the responsible for all these great selections. 

Pocahantas



Cruella De Ville




The Little Mermaid's Ariel



Beauty and the lady Beast




Check out more cool pictures here


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Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
The girl http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-girl
1) When Ryan Gosling takes off his top for Emma Stone in Crazy Stupid Love. First of all, we don’t believe anyone who says they’ve never tried to get their man to do the Dirty Dancing lift. Getting to do it with someone who looks like that? We have no words.

2) When Zooey Deschanel goes on the Ikea date with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 100 Days of Summer. He’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And you get to have an amazing date with him. And then you get to be the one who walks away and break his heart.

3) Every single scene featuring Angelina Jolie in Mr & Mrs Smith. You can tell us: secretly, you’ve always wondered what it’s like to blow stuff up and get involved in a high speed car chase, right? We’re not even going to say anything about getting to shag Brad Pitt.

4) When Nicholas Hoult falls in love with Theresa Palmer in Warm Bodies. OK, so maybe not so cool to have a smelly, grunting zombie as your boyfriend. On the other hand, better to have to kiss someone who’s a member of the walking dead than to be eaten by his friends.

5) When Jennifer Lawrence belts out Live and Let Die in American Hustle. Not only because we love J-Law, but because we’ve always wanted to have that kind of rock chick moment.



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Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
Watch These Teens React To 'Mean Girls' http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/watch-these-teens-react-to-mean-girls  

Remember this gem of a movie?







Well, this year it's a whole TEN years old! Which means it's officially old enough to have the teens of today watch it and be surprised at how good an 'olden day movie' can be.




Of course, this just goes to show what we already knew: Tina Fey is awesome and Mean Girls is a total classic

You go Glen Coco!



 
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Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
This Diesel JoggJeans Commercial Makes You Feel Shitty About Your Dance Moves http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/this-diesel-joggjeans-commercial-makes-you-feel-shitty-about-your-dance-moves
But what's even more amazing is that when you watch it, you kind of realise that there may be some serious dance moves out there that you have been slacking on, and that you need to change this fact quickly. Or is this just us? Because the last time we felt like this is when the Pour It Up video came out.
But it's okay, because now we know what moves to pull out when we are being challenged on the dance floor. Bring it on. 

The video features a series of dance moves from A to Z, like twerking and the chicken noodle soup. Watch the video below, and excuse us while we Harlem Shake and Krump into the long weekend. 



PS Our favourite is obviously Q. Let us know which move you like the most. 


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Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
Four Vintage Markets You Must See When In Cape Town http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/four-vintage-markets-you-must-see-when-in-cape-town
1. Die Kattebak
Held every second Saturday between 9am and 2pm at the Palms shopping centre in Woodstock, this little gem is the Palms Market’s counterpart. While the Palms Market sells delicious treats, Die Kattebak offers vintage bargains. Although small, this gem of a market has a lovely collection of vintage clothes, second-hand books and an assortment of vintage household bits and bobs. Once you’re done browsing through the vintage dresses (often less than R100) and handbags (not more than R300) you can take a stroll through the food market downstairs.

via Die Katteback’s Facebook page

 
2. Church Street Antiques Market
One of Cape Town’s oldest markets, The Church Street Antiques Market is one for the avid collectors, the curious browsers and everyone in between. Open from Mondays to Fridays from 8am until 3.30pm and on Saturdays from 8am until 1.30pm, it offers market-goers ample time to get lost in the many stalls that sell collectables, vintage jewellery and clothing, African curios and other antique things. If you’re looking for a bargain vintage coat or an interesting ornament for that empty space on a shelf, this is the place to find it.

via the Church Street Antique Market’s Facebook page

3. Courtyard Market at The Woodmill
On the last Friday evening of every month, the Woodmill in Stellenbosch comes alive with activity. Artisan food and drinks and a host of lifestyle products will keep everyone from a bored boyfriend to a moaning mother happy. The Discover Vintage area, however, is what puts this market on our list. Rails and rails of affordable vintage clothing will keep vintage-lovers happy for ages, and the reasonable pricing will turn browsers into buyers! Once you’re scoured the vintage section, visit the other lifestyle stalls and get a bite to eat.
 

via the Woodmill Lifestyle market’s Facebook page
 
 
 
4. Bay Harbour Market
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay wows its patrons with live music, mouth-watering food and items ranging from local carvings to vintage clothes and jewellery. The location, an old fish factory right in the harbour, makes the experience even more charming and festive. While shopping for a new-old handbag or some hipster jewellery, enjoy the live music and incredible mix of cultures, people and food at the Bay Harbour market.

 
 Article originally appeared on Marie Claire


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Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
Taking Selfies Just Got Easier http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/taking-selfies-just-got-easier LED lights indicate when it’s about to snap. From there it uploads the image to Twitter. You can buy yours via iStrategyLabs.




What do you think? Is it for you?

Article appeared originally on Marie Claire



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Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
How Girls Drive Versus How Guys Drive http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/how-girls-drive-versus-how-guys-drive
















We came across this video on the WOW website, and let's just say, day = made. Watch below and let us know what you think... Hint: this girl is basically all of us. 

 

Okay, so maybe this doesn't apply to everyone.... just 99.9% of us. 

For the full article, click through to WOW



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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
Car Deals: New Car Checklist http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/car-deals-new-car-checklist
So, before incurring that huge debt, you need to check the following:

1. What will the monthly repayments be (and over what period)? The dealer or bank can advise you in this regard.

2. What will insurance cost? Take your top three cars and compare the cost of insurance – you may find substantial differences per brands (insurers know which vehicles are more likely to be stolen).

3. Does the vehicle come with a service or maintenance plan (these are extremely rare in this sector)? Understand the difference between the two – a service plan (which only covers scheduled service costs) is not nearly as valuable as a maintenance plan. Be aware that some manufacturers claim to offer a maintenance plan which is (when you read the fine print) only a service plan.

4. Does the vehicle traditionally have a good resale value? This is a major factor when the time comes to sell – it could mean thousands of rands more (or less) in your back pocket.

5. Fuel economy. The fuel price is as erratic as a woman with PMS. And it’s costing more and more for that tank of petrol (or diesel). Establish the fuel consumption (in litres per 100 kilometres travelled) before buying the vehicle. Bear in mind the fact that, while a diesel-powered vehicle costs more to purchase, it normally uses considerably less fuel on a day-to-day basis.

These are all factors which you must consider before making a final decision. Before purchasing, it’s also vitally important to take the vehicles on your shortlist for a test drive. Yes, facts and figures are vitally important. But vehicle selection is also an intensely personal exercise. You may like one car more than another for subjective reasons alone. So, hit the road Jack(ie)!


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Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
How to Surf Like a Champ… http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/how-to-surf-like-a-champ …and seven things I actually learnt from BWWT world champion Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker


The other day I YOLO-ed rather far out of my comfort zone – all the way to Llandudno beach and into a wetsuit, to attempt my first-ever surf lesson with Big Wave World Tour champion Grant Baker. Until then, the closest I’d come to surfing had been watching Blue Crush (repeatedly), and nursing an entirely different sort of crush on Kelly Slater (for a couple of decades).

So you can see how there were a few things essentially wrong with this picture.

First, I discovered that most of the surfing folk of Cape Town will tell you, ‘Llandudno, haha, cute…’ Which actually suited me just fine. Because, secondly, my swimming prowess could use a lot of work. Like, a lot. Staying afloat in a pool is manageable; fighting panic in the sea … well, I was about to find out it is quite another. Then there was the question of my (lack of) balance, getting on a board, trying to catch a wave, not nose-diving into the ocean or eating mouthfuls of sand, my long-standing hatred of sand in general…


On the plus side, I was told I carry a board like a pro. So that's something, right?


Let’s just say that, despite my YOLO and Grant’s best efforts, the only real achievement of my 20-minute (mostly underwater) adventure was the fact that I managed not to drown.


And this. Kind of…


But here are seven things I did learn from the guy they call Twiggy. (‘Skinny legs, lousy school friends’ – his explanation for the nickname.)

1 Parking lots are a thing.
As is waiting in them – for your surfing buddies, the sunrise, that one guy you don’t really know (but can’t leave behind) to change into his wetsuit. ‘You spend a lot of time in parking lots, just waiting for things to happen,’ Grant says calmly as we, er, wait for the last member of our press party to make an appearance. I’m ready to climb out of my skin with a combo of impatience and sheer panic; Grant just leans back against the car. Chilled, bru.

2 So, clearly, patience is also a thing.
But apparently only in the water. ‘I’m not cut out to give surfing lessons,’ he says. ‘I’m way too impatient.’ Yet 90% of his life is about exercising patience – in parking lots, at airports, on beaches. He even saves some for me as I swallow another mouthful of the Llandudno sea. But, wait … is that laughter? Sies.

3 The sea is a much better workout than any gym session, trail run or cycle.
I suppose it’s because I happened to be ‘using muscles I don’t normally use’ or some such – but my 20 minutes in the water resulted in the kind of creaky morning-after agony that I haven’t felt since my last fit of Argus madness. Perhaps there’s something to this water-aerobics craze after all…

Witness my ladylike stumble out of said water. Pure class

4 The only way to get surfing-fit is to surf.
According to Grant, a pro surfer could get on a football pitch and play a 90-minute game without too much hassle – but the reverse doesn’t necessarily apply. And since Twiggy actually played footy for a while when he was younger, I reckon he knows what he’s talking about. (Also because see point number 3.) In addition to surfing, his training routine includes stand-up paddle boarding, kite boarding, freediving and yoga – and he’s worked his way up to holding his breath underwater for five minutes. The mind does boggle a touch.

5 Scared? That’s good!
Fear and respect of (and in) the water clamps down on arrogance and exuberance, and stops you from doing silly, dangerous things. But you have to channel that fear and use it in your training, to build confidence in your own abilities. It’s the only way to go after what you really want – and succeed.


If you could see my face, you would be looking at the face of fear…

6 When the ish hits the fan, you find out who really has your back.
Midway through 2013, Twiggy lost his principal sponsor – and if it hadn’t been for the peeps at BOS Ice Tea getting behind him, he wouldn’t have been able to compete at the Mavericks Invitational in the US, and he wouldn’t have brought the BWWT championship title back to South Africa. There’s loads more to big-wave surfing than boards and wetsuits – like, for example, finding the actual big waves to practice on around the world and finding the money to get to them. Since his victory at Mavericks, he’s signed with Vissla (a surf-apparel brand) and Isurus wetsuits – which means he can carry on getting paid for doing what he loves. And isn’t that what we all want to do with our lives?

7 The ‘angry pirate’ sex position
That one I’d probably have to show you. But if you’re lucky enough to run into Twiggy and his lovely fiancée Kate on one of their Cape Town jaunts (try Hout Bay’s Dungeons during the day, and Aces ’n’ Spades – which he co-owns and where he also occasionally DJs – at night), you can ask him to show you instead. You won’t regret it!
I guess that's YOLO 1, JOMO 0.
 
With Kate, Twiggy and Modern Athlete's Sean Falconer




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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
Watching Anne Hathaway Singing Hip-Hip To A Broadway Tune Will Make You So Happy http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/watching-anne-hathaway-singing-hip-hip-to-a-broadway-tune-will-make-you-so-happy Anne Hathaway was on Jimmy Fallon's The Tonight Show and the two had fun with some hip-hop songs. Namely: Snoop Dogg's Gin and Juice, 50 cent's In Da Club and Kendrick Lamar's Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe. All in Broadway tune. It's amazing!






 
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Wed, 09 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
8 Signs You’re a Shopaholic http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/8-signs-youre-a-shopaholic faux-fur coat), and you eventually leave having bought anything and everything BUT the dress. Buyer’s remorse…


… And this never happens – you just can’t control yourself…



2. You’ve been out shopping, walking from store to store, for five straight hours – so no need for that spinning class later. 



3. You see a pair of shoes online that you simply MUST have. So you head over to the nearest store that stocks them and … they’re sold out – as in they will NEVER, EVER be in stock again. 



4. You’re waiting outside a store at 6am as it’s their 75%-off sale, and the tension is too much to bear as girls push and fight their way to the front (including you). As the doors open you lurch forward (like a crazed wild animal in a stampede), hands reaching out for ANYTHING (just because it’s on sale) – even that pair of lumo-green, 80s-inspired, tie-dyed pleather tights (yuk) that you’ll never wear.



5. You’re having a bad day so use that as an excuse to treat yourself and go shopping



6. Even when you just hear the word 'shopping', you go crazy with excitement…



7. You buy clothes that are a size too small as a motivation to lose weight… 



8. You look in your cupboard and realise you hardly have any warm clothes (because whenever you’re supposed to go winter shopping you just end up buying going-out dresses and shoes) and freeze during winter.




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Tue, 08 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
7 Dog Gifs To Remind You That Everything's Gonna Be Just Fine http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/7-dog-gifs-to-remind-you-that-everythings-gonna-be-just-fine










This dog who's totally showing off


 


This guy with the best 'get warm quick' scheme



This guy who's tired of your incessant staring



This guy who has no idea what you're talking about. He hasn't seen the doggy biscuits anywhere



The world's slowest intruder ever



This guy who's about to tell you a story so amazing you won't believe it



And finally this guy who can't believe your cheek for interrupting his 'me-time'




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Mon, 07 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
10 Mistakes We Make in Our Twenties http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/10-mistakes-we-make-in-our-twenties 1. Not being able to budget properly, so by the end of the month you’re subsisting on only two-minute noodles, stale bread and a cheap bottle of wine (think Crackling or (gasp) Tassies).

2. Buying exorbitantly expensive beauty products, designer clothes and lingerie that you know you can’t afford (hence living off only two-minute noodles, stale bread and a cheap bottle of wine for half the month).



3. Drunk-texting your ex or leaving rude, cringe-worthy voice messages.



4. Going to sleep with your makeup still on … and finding a zit smack-bang in the middle of your forehead a few days later.



5. Spending way TOO much time on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram – on a date, while out at a club, during sex, on the loo…



6. Stalking your boyfriend’s ex on Facebook – and accidentally liking one of her posts or photos of them together.



7. Dangerous yo-yo dieting. All those get-thin-fast fad diets DO NOT work. REPEAT: get-thin-fast fad diets DO NOT work!

 


8. This applies mainly to your early ’20s: pigging out on junk food after a night out (on most weekends) – AND having a big fry-up the following morning.



9. Overdoing the self-tan so that you end up looking like a terrifying Oompa Loompa.



10. Obsessing over a guy who is just NOT THAT INTO YOU. Tough love is normally needed.



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Fri, 04 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
10 of the WORST Pick-Up Lines EVER http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/10-of-the-worst-pick-up-lines-ever Some guys can be absolute idiots...


1. ‘Do you work at Build-A-Bear? Coz I would stuff you.’



2. ‘Did you just fart? Because you blew me away.’



3. ‘If I were a squirrel and you were a squirrel, would you let me bust a nut in your hole?’



4. ‘Hey, I hear your ankles are having a party. You want to invite your pants down?’



5. ‘Are those space pants? Because your ass is out of this world.’



6. ‘Your body is a wonderland and I want to be Alice.’



7. ‘If you were a Transformer, you'd be a HOT-obot, and your name would be Optimus Fine.’



8. ‘You don't need a bodyguard. You need a bootyguard.’



9. ‘Do you like spiders? I bet if you were a spider you’d be a mama-longlegs.’



10. ‘Treat me like a pirate and give me that booty.’



And we had to include this classic:

 

 
What are the worst pick-up lines you've ever heard? 
 



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Thu, 03 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
8 Signs You’re In a Relationship With Your Phone http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/8-signs-youre-in-a-relationship-with-your-phone Yes, it’s normal to have your phone near by to chat to friends, family and your boyfriend, and in case of emergencies. But when you start to become obsessed with it and can’t bear to be without it for one second, you’re most definitely in a relationship with your phone…


1. You sleep with your phone next to you on your pillow…




2. …And you go crazy when you can’t find it the next morning.



3. If you still have a Blackberry (sorry for you), you get excited every time the little red light flashes.


But then immediately get disappointed that there is a message from your mom and not your crush.



4. You feel unbelievably stressed all day if you’ve left your phone at home by mistake, and may even get withdrawal systems (shaking, sweating, heart palpitations)...



5. It doesn’t matter how old, cracked or un-user-friendly your phone is, you just can’t bear to part with it – it’s just too painful.



6. You take your charger EVERYWHERE with you, just in case – to gym, out to a club and even on a hike where you know there won’t be any signal (and how the hell would you charge a phone out in the wilderness anyway?). A tad bit crazy...



7. When you have to switch it off during a flight you become a crazed woman on the verge of a panic attack – and this has nothing to do with flying.



8. You SMS and talk on the phone while you’re driving – really, really NOT advisable…




If you relate to any of these points, it’s time to admit the hard truth – you’re addicted to your phone. Enough is enough, girl!





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Wed, 02 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
18 Reasons Why We Absolutely LOVE Men http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/18-reasons-why-we-absolutely-love-men  We love it when they…


1. Walk (or dance) around the house in their underwear (or nothing).



2. Gently kiss you on your nose.



3. Cuddle you after sex...



4. ... And cuddle you after you’ve had a bad dream.



5. Make you breakfast in bed – just because.



6. Get rid of spiders, cockroaches, mice and other creepy crawlies in your house (even though they may be scared of them too).

 

7. Give you a back/head/foot massage after a hard day at work.



8. Kiss away your tears.



9. Spoon you and gently kiss your back.



10. Tell you how much they love every single inch of your body.



11. Make the bed without being asked.



12. Offer to do your laundry for you when you’re feeling sick – even if they don’t really know what they’re doing…


13. Hold your hand when you’re out in public – they’re proud to be with you.



14. Whisk you away from the dance floor to steal a kiss.



15. Sexily flick their wet hair in the shower.



16. Get so emotionally engrossed in a rugby game –and genuinely feel heartbroken if their team loses.




17. Whisper, ‘I love you.’



18. Fart in front of you for the first time and get really embarrassed.





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Wed, 02 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
Say Hello To The Sexiest Security Guard http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/say-hello-to-the-sexiest-security-guard


The impossibly good looking 22 year old has spent his short adult life keeping the lucky users of a Sao Paulo subway station safe, and has recently cultivated quite a following after being voted the hottest guard. Here are some pics for you to drool over. Enjoy!






We’d now like to plead with the powers that be to find one from every profession.

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Tue, 01 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
7 Reasons Why You Have To See Erykah Badu Live http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/7-reasons-why-you-have-to-see-erykah-badu-live
1. SHE DRESSES UP
When Erykah Badu came out on the stage, she was rocking black pants, a leather jacket with three feathers sticking out and a hat that looked a lot like Pharrell’s one. She also had these awesome finger rings, which she made sure to always show off while she performed. It was awesome!

2. SHE TRIES TO PERFORM AS MANY OF HER SONGS AS POSSIBLE
Whether that means doing mash-ups, remixes or just straight up performing longer than she was supposed to, Badu certainly did her best to please everyone there. Her time was running out but instead of leaving, she pointed to someone in the wings and said, ‘There’s a man here telling me my time is up’ and then carried on playing. When she was called for an encore and was supposed to one more song, she ended up doing about three.

3. SHE GETS PERSONAL
In between songs, she would share an anecdote about her life or work. One of the stories was about her little sister being born on that very day. The two had such a touching moment as big sis Erykah blew her a birthday air kiss.

4. SHE GETS JUST AS EXCITED AS YOU DO
In between performances she would excitedly say that she’d never had such a fan response in her life and that it must be because she feels like she’s home.

5. SHE REMEMBERS TO POSE FOR CAMERA
This one may be a bit media member bias but it has to be said. As good of a performer she is, Badu never forgets the camera. And she’ll always make sure to give a fierce pose before moving on to the next number. The picture opportunities are endless!



 

6. SHE’LL TELL YOU TO SCREAM YOUR OWN NAME OUT
While everyone was excitedly screaming out her name Erykah shouted, ‘If you love yourself, scream out your own name!’ Best believe everyone did!

7. SHE’S NOT AFRAID TO CROWD-SURF
On top of continuously throwing away random items (including her awesome finger rings!) near the end of the show Erykah got off the stage and made her way to the little barrier gate separating her and the crowd. And she didn’t stop with just stretching out her had but straight up lay her body on the crowd.



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Mon, 31 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
These Ballerinas On Instagram Might Make You Want To Re-evalute Everything http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/these-ballerinas-on-instagram-might-make-you-want-to-re-evalute-everything
Let the OMG, WTF, Swoooooooooon ensue now! 

























We seriously don't even know what to do with ourselves. Help us! 

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Mon, 31 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
This Guy Impersonates Drunk Girls Almost Perfectly http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/guy-impersonates-drunk-girls-almost-perfectly
If you have ever wondered what you sound like after 5 tequilla shots and 2 vodka martinis watch our new favourite comedian Chris D'elia tell you in the video below!

Warning you are probably going to say "OMG, that's so true" more than once! 


At least we know how to have a good time, right?



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Thu, 27 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
Mama Mila! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/mama-mila


It feels like yesterday that we were watching her as the young and obnoxious Jacki bossing Kelso around on That 70’s Show, and now they are all grown up and having a real life baby together! All that life imitates art stuff must have some truth to it!

The beautiful babe is always brilliant on screen whether it’s comedy or drama that you’re after and we’re sure she’s going to be one hot mama!

See a timeline of her and Ashton's relationship in gif form here

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Wed, 26 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
There's Something Better Than #NoMakeUpSelfie http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/theres-something-better-than-nomakeupselfie
It's still very hysterical, and marvellous.

Take a look at the #CockInASock trend in support of testicular cancer



















You can dontate to fighting cancer too by going here CANSA
Here Prostate Cancer Foundation 
Here Cancer Buddies
To donate R20 to Pink Drive (in support of fighting breast cancer) SMS the word PINKDRIVE to 40158 


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Wed, 26 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
Celeb BFFs We Know And Love http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/celeb-bffs-we-know-and-love



























We wish we could be part of these cool BFF circles!


Rihanna and Katy Perry
 
These two are always seen together acting silly and having the most fun




Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
How many BFFs can say they hosted the Golden Globes together...TWICE? Just regular bonding time for this power couple.




Jimmy fallon and Justin Timberlake
The bromance that is between JT and Jimmy Fallon is beyond adorable! From early 2000s to today, these have appeared in countless SNL skits and Jimmy Fallon videos. Have you seen their 'History of rap' videos? Watch their latest one here.



Lupita Nyong'o and Jared Leto
The two Oscar winners have been hanging out together a lot more lately. Like the winners they are!



Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato
The two have been friends since they were 7 so have known each other for a solid 14 years now! "Demi's very, very strong. She's the only person that I would tell the deepest, darkest secrets to. The only person.' Gomez told Seventeen






 
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Wed, 26 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
Pharrell Williams "Happy" Takes Over Cape Town http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/pharrell-williams-happy-takes-over-cape-town Happy song is like chocolate cake on a rainy day, addictive. If it doesn't make you want to get up and dance, on the street, with flowers in your hair and a smile on your face then the only acceptable explanation for this is that you do not know the song we mean. But these guys do...



 
Watching this video teaches us that 
1) It's so easy to be happy, 4 minutes and 6 seconds is all it takes to be precise, just play the song
2) Cape Town is a BEAUTIFUL city
3)... and because of this, South Africa is an equally BEAUTIFUL country (hurry and show your overseas friends this video. THEY WILL BOOK A HOLIDAY)
4) It should be summer everyday of the year so we can do things like this every day of the year
and lastly 5) Pharrell Williams needs to come to South Africa. Soon. 

Don't be afraid to press repeat and thank these guys - 
Directed by: Shamiel Soni & Tannan Woods
Produced by: Nicki Priem
D.O.P: Roscoe Vercueil
Editor: Stephen du Plessis
Colorists: Roscoe Vercueil & Stephen du Plessis

We are! 
 
 
 
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Tue, 25 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
Kanye West Taking Photos of Other People Taking Selfies Is The Best Thing You Will See Today http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/kanye-west-taking-photos-of-other-people-taking-selfies-is-the-best-thing-you-will-see-today We are talking about the Kanye West Taking Pictures Of Other People Taking Selfies craze that is sweeping our social media feeds.

.... and it all started right here, with this picture that appeared in the April issue of VOGUE 


 
But first, can we have a moment of silence for how adorbs North West is?
Where can we get one? 

So anyway, because this picture of Kanye West taking a photo of Kim taking a selfie is probably the best thing we have seen since the Oscar selfie, the Internet, AKA the geniuses on Buzz Feed, seem to think he must have had a hand in secretly taking photos of some of the worlds best selfies! 

Like, the Oscar selfie

 

or the presidential selfie

 

or the Meryl Streep and Hilary Clinton selfie

 
 
you guys, even the Beyonce-photobombs-but-doesn't-really-photobomb-a selfie selfie 

 

This. Is. Genius. and all we know is, a) if being a rapper slash rant artist doesn't work out for him, he should not worry, he is by far the best taker of selfie takers we have ever seen! and b) if he ever does take up our suggestion and follows other celebrities around to take selfies of them taking selfies, we will want first dibs on his iPad! 

Moral of the story is the Internet wins today! But then there is this: 

 
 

We don't really know what to say about this one - except, can we have one North West and one Blue Ivy to go please? 


 
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Tue, 25 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
James Franco and Seth Rogen Make Fun Of Kimye Again http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/james-franco-and-seth-rogen-make-fun-of-kimye-again This time it's for the couple's latest Vogue cover shot by very famous photographer, Annie Leibovitz. 
In the spoof cover, Seth plays the part of Kim in her strapless white dress while James snuglles him from behind as Kanye.

It's all very hilarious!




Channel24


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Mon, 24 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
'Grace Of Monaco' To Open 67th Festival de Cannes http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/grace-of-monaco-to-open-67th-festival-de-cannes film will be happening on Wednesday, 14 May this year in the Grand Théâtre Lumiére of Palais de Festivals. 

Nicole Kidman will be playing the part of the actress Grace Kelly who became princess of Monaco when she married Prince Rainer III (played by Tim Roth). The trailer looks all kinds of glamorous and dramatic and amazing!

See the trailer for yourself then join us in being excited. In that order. 


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Wed, 19 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
Our ’90s Teenage Crushes Then and Now http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/our-90s-teenage-crushes-then-and-now scrunchie as our hotness-rating symbol.



1. Justin Timberlake
Even back in his boy-band days, Justin had sex appeal (pity about that noodle hair, though).


Hotness rating
Then: 7/10 scrunchies
Now: 10/10 scrunchies


2. Joshua Jackson (Pacey in Dawson's Creek)
Dawson doesn't make this list, unfortunately – he was annoyingly overemotional and, frankly, bloody boring.




Hotness rating

Then: 7/10 scrunchies
Now: 8/10 scrunchies. Joshua Jackson has grown into one fine-looking man AND he's dating the unbelievably beautiful Diane Kruger.


3. Will Smith
In The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air he was dorky and cute, and we loved watching him rev-up Uncle Phil and Carlton but he is definitely hotter now (and, thankfully, has done away with the hideous, WTF '90s clothes and hairstyle).


Hotness rating
Then: 6/10 scrunchies
Now: 9/10 scrunchies


4. Mark Wahlberg
Remember him in THAT Calvin Klein ad? He's still hot now but damn, he was deliciously sexy back in his modelling days...


Hotness rating
Then: 10/10 scrunchies
Now: 7/10 scrunchies


5. Jared Leto
One of the best things about Urban Legend was Jared Leto. He was hot back then and he is superhot now - we just wish he would cut his hair!!!




Hotness rating
Then: 9/10 scrunchies
Now: 7/10 scrunchies. Without the long, scraggly hair: 9/10 scrunchies


6. Usher
He hasn't changed much so his hotness rating stays the same!
Hotness rating
Then: 8/10 scrunchies
Now: 8/10 scrunchies


 


7. Kevin Richardson from The Backstreet Boys
It's kind of embarrassing to admit we had crushes on the boy-band members but there's no denying Kevin was a dish (we honestly don't know why everyone thought Nick Carter was the hottest member). Now, his face looks pinched… Hmm, plastic surgery perhaps?


Hotness rating
Then: 7/10 scrunchies
Now: 5/10 scrunchies



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Tue, 18 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
ICYMI: Jimmy Kimmel And Lie Witness News Bust Hipsters Lying About Made Up Bands At SXSW http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/icymi-jimmy-kimmel-and-lie-witness-news-bust-hipsters-lying-about-made-up-bands-at-sxsw
The bands on this video however, do not exist and these guys totally fell for the prank! Some of the proclamations are a little cringe-worthy when you know that the bands don't exist. But it's just so damn funny watching these hipsters try to wriggle their way out of the awkward. 




This reminded us of Kimmel's Coachella edition of the same thing






Lesson to be learnt here: Hipsters are liars!





 
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Tue, 18 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
6 Things Only Short Girls Will Understand http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/6-things-only-short-girls-will-understand There are some situations that vertically-challenged girls just can't avoid...


1. When you’re going out with a bunch of friends, you’re always squashed in the back, on someone’s lap – you NEVER get to sit in the front and have a whole seat to yourself because it’s a ‘waste of space’.



2. People always pat your head or play with your hair – in other words, treat you like a child (massively annoying).



3. Even in your 20s (and sometimes 30s), you may be asked for your ID when you go to a club or buy a bottle of champers from a bottle store (come on?!).



4. You really, really battle to reach the top-level shelves in grocery stores – which people of a ‘normal height’ can easily reach. Pfff.



5. Jeans NEVER fit you properly, and you look terrible in mid-calf dresses and skirts that make your already-short legs look like those belonging to a dwarf.



6. Unless you have abnormally large feet, you can never borrow shoes from your friends who are (again) of a ‘normal height’. However, there are a few exceptions where very tall people have midget-sized feet (score for you!).




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Tue, 18 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
1 Video You Have To Watch Today http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/1-video-you-have-to-watch-today

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Mon, 17 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
5 Things to Avoid on the Ides of March http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/5-things-to-avoid-on-the-ides-of-march There are great life lessons to be learnt from history and classic literature. Heed them!


In the oldest Roman calendar, March was the first month of the year and the Ides of March (the 15th day of the month) would have marked the year's first full moon. But aside from some religious observances, it wasn’t really a day of special importance until the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44BC. Now, Caesar was not the nicest of guys – neither were his friends, as it turned out. But at least they’ve taught us some important things about life. Here are five of those things that you should avoid around mid-March, just to be on the safe side.

1 Psychics
In Shakespeare’s The Tragedy Of Julius Caesar it was the soothsayer who started it by telling Caesar to ‘beware the Ides of March’ – early proof that, once a thought is planted in your head, you’re basically screwed because you’ll subconsciously go out of your way to fulfil the prophecy. So don’t bother with fortune-tellers: be the mistress of your own fate, and fill your head only with positive stuff.


Nothing to see here
 
2 Backstabbing pseudo friends
You know the type: they smile to your face and gossip nastily behind your back. Chuck that rubbish out of your life right now.



3 Political involvement of any kind
Caesar was assassinated at his Senate gathering, and we’ve seen how heated things can get in our own Parliament. We also know how tricky ‘politics’ can get within any group of friends. Steer clear of dodgy issues that may force you to take sides – you don’t want to end up surrounded by angry mates, all lining up to take a poke at you.

 Really, you don't

4 Knives
This is especially important if your hand-eye coordination needs a bit of work, and your level of cooking skill is, well, toast.


Butter knives are okay. We think…

5 Roman-themed dress-ups
Nobody looks good in a sheet. We’re just saying.


Although…

 
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Fri, 14 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
Kevin Bacon Would Like To Talk To You About 80's Awareness http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/kevin-bacon-would-like-to-talk-to-you-about-80s-awareness talk to you about 80's awareness.

'All you guys born after 1985 have no idea how hard life was,' says Bacon.
It's a good thing you're here to teach us then Kev!



 )
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Wed, 12 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
Quick Question: Have You Seen Lupita's Instagram Account? http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/quick-question-have-you-seen-lupitas-instagram-account From selfies with Rihanna, chilling out at The Academy Awards to hanging out with Jared Leto. Lupita's IG is very enviable!

These are the pics that gave us the greenest of eyes:

















Casually chilling with her mom and bro. Oh, and, uh, OPRAH!





Chilling like the Lupitarella she is at the Academy awards AKA the best #TBT post EVER!





Having a #Selfie party with Jared Leto (What's a 'Monday Blues'? can I eat it?)





Having a #Selfie party with Rihanna <insert obligatory Rihanna lyric pun here>





Things inside Lupita Nyong'o's house: heels, clutch bag, OSCAR







Being carried to the stage by Steve McQueen #SpiritAwards




Posing outside the Ellen Studios after her interview with Ellen




Is it me or is this girl just...the coolest ever? Let's go out for cake some time Lupita!
 




(She's gonna read this right?)








Pssst...ICYMI: Here's that interview she did with Ellen






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Mon, 10 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
10 Signs You Grew Up in the '90s http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/10-signs-you-grew-up-in-the-90s It was an interesting time growing up in this era – and there are some things we'd like to forget and that should REMAIN in the '90s...


1. This game predicted your future:



2. You remember these hideous fashion faux pas...



3. You recorded movies and series on VHS tapes, and this often happened:




4. You knew the dance moves to The Macarena (and may have even had a Macarena-themed birthday party – CRINGE).



5. You owned Magic Diaper Babies – remember their underwear would change colour when you dipped them in water?
 


6. You watched Pumpkin Patch.
 
 


7. You wore scrunchies – NEVER, ever again.
 


8. The NeverEnding Story scared the hell out of you (the luck dragon was pretty freaky too).
 


9. You went to awkward school discos. 
 


10. You were OBSESSED with the Spice Girls (oh, the shame).
 
 
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Tue, 11 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
Fun Fearless Things To Do SOLO In Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/fun-fearless-things-to-do-solo-in-cape-town-johannesburg-and-durban
Cape Town

See A Movie at the Labia Theatre
Sure streaming movies on your laptop might be easier and it doesn’t require you to put on pants, but there’s nothing quite like an old school cinema vibe. Your regular mall theatres can get a bit hectic though (and since when were movies so pricey?). What is one to do? The Labia Theatre just off of Kloof Street in Cape Town is the answer! It’s quiet with a vintage feel and THEY WILL PUT ALCOHOL IN YOUR SLUSHIE. For real. Hasn’t that been your dream since high school?
Labia Theatre: website@labia.co.za
68 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: 021-424 5927

Cycle on the Rhodes Estate Cycle Trail
Roommate/Boyfriend/Mother giving you a headache not even happy hour can fix? Girl, we feel you! You need to escape. And what better way to do that than to be on a bike in the peaceful outdoors, surrounded by some of the most beautiful views in the country. The Rhodes Estate cycle trail is the perfect way to clear your head while boosting fitness. Bonus!
The starting point for the Rhodes Estate Cycle Trail is a parking lot on the road that leads up to Rhodes Memorial from the M3 and is a circular route up and around ‘Plum Pudding Hill’, and ending back at the parking lot.

Explore the District Six Museum
Soak up some knowledge and culture at the District Six Museum. There’s no better way to experience Cape Towns rich history. And trust us- its better to be alone for this one. That way you won’t have to listen to your best friend complaining about her bf while you’re trying to learn something - very distracting! For only R30 it is a must-do!
District Six Museum: http://www.districtsix.co.za
25 Buitenkant Street,Cape Town 8001,Western Cape, South Africa
Tel: +27 21 466 7200

Johannesburg

Dig Through Old and New Records at any Joburg Record Store
Finding old records is like randomly finding money in your jean pockets – Best. Day. Ever. The problem is, just like going shopping you need to take your time to sift through everything just to make sure you aren’t leaving the next best thing behind. This is why digging through vinyl’s and CDs is great for lone shoppers because a) the selection is usually wide and b) if your friends aren’t all into the same things you are, they might not want to spend Saturday afternoon watching you bob your head to Antony & the Johnsons.
Suggestions
Record Mad: https://www.facebook.com/record.mad
Shop 4, Linden Place, 59 4th Avenue, Linden
Aware Record Storehttp://awareza.tumblr.com/
70 Juta Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg 2001, South Africa 
Tel: 083 300 2196

Rocking In Heels Dance Class
So not only do we enjoy a Beyoncé music video right? We want to be her. Obviously. But there is that little voice in our heads that says; you see those six inch heels? Do you see those dance moves? Maybe next time. BUT what would Beyoncé do? Do it anyway! So, treat yourself to a fun (but intense) dance workout in heels at one of Johannesburgs’ newest dance classes at Dance Junxion, Rosebank. Warning - likely to cause an obsession with dance.
Email: rockingnheels@gmail.com

Durban

Take Up a Water Sport
We love going to the beach, who doesn’t? It’s not as if the cure to a long week doesn’t lie somewhere in those waters – but when you are not trying to soak up the sun with your buddies try a solo beach activity by taking up a water sport – like under water hockey! The Durban Undersea club offers classes for anyone wanting to shake things up a little. But if that may be too intense, the Durban Undersea club also offers underwater photography. Fun, check. Fearless, check.
The Durban Undersea club: http://www.duc.co.za
Browns Road, Durban, South Africa
Tel: 031-368-1199

Explore the Indian District
Take some time off, grab your sunglasses, put on your best shoes and take a walk around Durban’s Indian District. Not only can you pick up some great spices to surprise your BF with when you treat him with a home cooked meal, but the Victoria Street Market has great clothes and jewellery on offer that your wardrobe will thank you for.
Indian District: Grey Street, Durban, South Africa




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Mon, 10 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
Google Wishes You A Happy International Women's Day With A Doodle http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/google-wishes-you-a-happy-international-womens-day-with-a-doodle
They are basically the virtual friend we've never had, and they've done it again for International Women's Day, which is only tomorrow, so you can imagine our surprise when we log on to Google today and find something to play with! 

Today's clever little doodle celebrates International Women's Day with us by featuring a video of women from all over the world wishing us a Happy International Women's Day in their local language. Watch the video below and let us know which well known figure you spot? 



Happy International Women's Day! 



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Fri, 07 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
Tina Fey Talks About Her Worst Audition On The Tonight Show http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/tina-fey-talks-about-her-worst-audition-on-jimmy-fallon hair and perm days, Tina Fey was an actress trying to make it in chicago. And like most actresses, she had to pay her dues through auditioning for commercials first. 

Here she is backstage on The Tonight Show talking about how things went down for a Mc Donald's commercial audition - not good, not good at all.


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Fri, 07 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
Things to Do During Load Shedding http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/things-to-do-during-load-shedding 1. Eat ALL THE ICE-CREAM in the freezer. Because you can't let it melt and go to waste. Out of ice-cream? Make cold Nesquick with the milk. Yum. 



2. Learn to speak cat.
Focus really hard on what your cat is meowing to you and try to understand her. 



3. Get a mapbook. Plot out your and your three besties' houses. Now find the best coffee shop or bar that is equal distances from all of you. Make this your official loadshedding meeting point.



4. Make up a new cocktail
. Think of a name for it. Then drink it. (Basically we are just pointing out that drinking doesn't require electricity. Especially red wine.)



5. Practice telekinesis.
Maybe you just haven't concentrated hard enough. 

 

6. Try that super-intricate time-consuming mani or pedi you've seen on Pinterest/Instagram/the COSMO site. While you're at it, moisturise your heels, push back your cuticles, and make your hands and feet ready for when the lights come back on. 



7. Learn how to braai. Phone someone on their landline and ask how. if you don't have a landline, knock on a neighbour's door. 



8. Invent a new yoga pose.



9.
As a last resort: sort out your wardrobe. You've gotta do it sometime. Rather now than when you could be watching GIRLS. You could do the same for your nail polish collections, makeup drawer or linen cupboard. Polish your halo and boast about your new, neat cupboard to your flatmate/SO/friends once the power comes back on.
 
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Thu, 06 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
The Funniest Thing You'll Watch Today! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-funniest-thing-youll-watch-today

 
What if Guys and Girls Changed Roles - Social Media ]]>
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
Hot AND cute? Viva Brazilian footballers!!! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/hot-and-cute-viva-brazilian-footballers After seeing the entire Brazilian team embracing a little South African pitch invader, we've picked the side we're going support in the upcoming invasion of our TV screens. Check out the hotness that is Neymar.

For those of us who've been anticipating the loss of our BFs to the looming Fifa World Cup, things are looking up. Yea, you can expect all communication to be reduced to a series of cheers, groans and at best monosyllabic responses to your attempts to get involved. But take heart...

With this kind of scenery, we're happy to go off-sides, and book our own armchair for the duration.

 
PIC: NIKE.COM

Settle.... They're just modelling their new Nike kit for the World Cup. But yes, that's a lot of heat right there.

And just look at how sweet (and gorgeous) Neymar (above, centre), Luiz (left), Silva (right) and the rest of the Brazil football team were to a little SA pitch invader at the game against Bafana Bafana. As security guards tried to shepherd him back to the stands, the Brazilians took over, hoisting him into the air, and posing for pics with him. They were less kind to our boys on the night, and took the game 5-0. But they took our hearts as well.
 


Viva Brasil!!!



 
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Thu, 06 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
The New Trailer For 'Annie' Will Give You Life http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-new-trailer-for-annie-will-give-you-life  


















The trailer for the new Annie film is here! 




And it looks Amazing! Quvenzhané Wallis plays the part of little Annie, Cameron DIaz is Miss Hannigan and Jamie Foxx is the new Daddy Warbucks as 'Benjamin Stacks'.

Basically this is the most adorable thing you'll see all day.

 
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Thu, 06 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
HOT Models Rapping + Kittens = Cuteness Overload http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/hot-models-rapping--kittens--cuteness-overload We just can’t get enough of the hot-men-and-kittens combination, and when we came across this video we HAD TO share it with you.

COSMO in the US compiled this must-see gem and the song is aptly called, Cats & Abs. Hot eye candy, adorable kittens, hilarious lyrics ... and it’s all in the name of charity! The kittens are all up for adoption (in the US) through the Humane Society of New York. But thanks to COSMO, we think these little kitties were snatched up very quickly.

We think this genius idea should be brought to South Africa – it’s the perfect way to advertise animals in need of homes. Love, love, love!





 
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Thu, 06 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
Lena Dunham Will Be Writing For Archie Comics http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/lena-dunham-will-be-writing-for-archie-comics












Writer, director and actress Lena Dunham has added 'writing a comic series' to her CV.  
She'll be writing a four-issue story for Archie Comics which will be debuting next year! 




According to comicbookresources.com

Lena Dunham, the Golden Globe-winning star and creator of HBO's "Girls," will make her comic book writing debut in 2015 with a four-issue story from Archie Comics, set to take place within the flagship "Archie" series.

"She's the voice of her generation," Archie co-CEO Jon Goldwater told CBR News. "To have someone like that say, 'Not only am I a fan, I'd love to write something,' it just epitomizes all the hard work we've put in for the last five years."


You think there'll be lots of nude scenes?

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Tue, 04 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
Oscars 2014, The Complete Winners' List http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/oscars-2014-the-complete-winners-list


Best Picture:
"12 Years a Slave"

Best Supporting Actor:
Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"

Best Supporting Actress:
Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave"

Best Director:
Alfonso Cuaron, "Gravity"

Best Actor:
Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyer's Club"

Best Actress:
Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"

Best Original Screenplay:
"Her"

Best Adapted Screenplay:
"12 Years a Slave"



Best Animated Feature:
"Frozen"

Best Foreign Feature:
"The Great Beauty,"

Best Visual Effects:
"Gravity"

Best Cinematography:
"Gravity"

Best Costume Design:
"The Great Gatsby"



Best Documentary Feature:
"20 Feet from Stardom"

Best Documentary Short:
"The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life"

Best Film Editing:
"Gravity"

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:
"Dallas Buyers Club"

Best Music (Original Score):
"Gravity"

Best Music (Original Song):
"Let It Go" from "Frozen"



Best Production Design:
"The Great Gatsby"

Best Short Film, Animated:
"Mr. Hublot"

Best Short Film, Live Action:
"Helium"

Best Sound Editing:
"Gravity"

Best Sound Mixing:
"Gravity"


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Mon, 03 Mar 2014 12:00 +0200
Shoes That Will Definitely Make You Hungry For Cake and Ice-cream http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/shoes-that-will-definitely-make-you-hungry-for-cake-and-ice-cream-
All our products are handmade. Every last detail is payed attention to. We can create custom one of a kind designs to suit your needs or we can create a copy of something you have seen in our gallery. Most of our work ranges from $200-400 and takes about 3-6 weeks to design and ship out. “

















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Fri, 28 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
The Beauty Intern Diaries - Photo Shoot Time! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-beauty-intern-diaries-photo-shoot-time
On another note, we’ve been shooting for beauty pages in our upcoming May issue and oh my goodness do Juana and I love photo shoots. The mess that we were allowed to create is definitely the reason.

The mess included: Barbie bubbles, a bucket full of water and bubble bath, chopped up lipsticks and lip-glosses, smeared creams and broken eye shadows . We were in our element! It was a full day of shooting as we did three totally different styled shots with the amazing photographer Sebastian.

Obviously we can’t give away too much, but we were all definitely very impressed by how the pictures came out in the end.

So one of the shots entailed bubbles. So there Juana was frantically making bubbles with Foam bath and warm water in this huge bucket whilst I stood taking Instagram photos and laughing at her child-like expressions.

We enlisted the help of Barbie, and blew bubbles onto the products as Sebastian perfectly timed each click of the camera. We were all like little kids umming and aaring at all the bubbles and who could blow the biggest and the most bubbles. Definitely grown-up stuff you know?

 


When we’d cleaned up THAT mess, we moved onto the next shot, which required completely destroyed lip-glosses and chopped up lipsticks. Juana carefully created the props and with much painstaking precision created these mini masterpieces of art!



Catch my blog updates every week and check out our Instagram page @CosmopolitanSA and my account @megsnicola where I’ll also be posting updates from our beauty office, or you can follow me on Twitter @_Megz_A ☺ x
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Thu, 27 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
10 Things We LOVE About ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/10-things-we-love-about-10-things-i-hate-about-you Who doesn’t love this cute ’90s teen rom-com? We’ve put together a list of our favourite moments from the movie – enjoy!


1. Patrick (Heath Ledger) serenading Kat (Julia Stiles). We just ‘can’t keep our eyes off of’ Heath!



2. Kat’s tear-jerker poem.

 
 

3. Heath Ledger and THAT smile…
 
 


4. Any interaction with the principal (Miss Perky).
 
 
 


5. The scene where Kat tells off the arrogant, brainless idiot, Joey …
 


6. … And when Bianca kicks ass and punches him (and ruins his future modelling career).
 


7. Bianca’s dim-witted (but funny) comments.
 


8. The scene where Bianca’s overprotective father makes her put on the ‘pregnant suit’.
 


9. Joseph Gordon-Levitt before he became the Hollywood A-lister he is today. SO cute!
 


10. And finally, this:
 


What other moments do you love from 10 Things I Hate About You?

 
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Tue, 25 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Don’t Shake, Just Bake! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/dont-shake-just-bake Even if you’re not much of a baker, these easy-as-pie pastries will make your crew drool


It’s Oscars weekend, and we’ve got our red-carpet-and-awards viewing plans firmly in place. The snack list is being processed and assembled as we speak, and there’s even a form of bingo in the final stages of development. In case your Big Plan is missing a little something sweet, we thought we’d share our recipe for these glorious baked banana-and-Nutella pastry ‘dumplings’, guaranteed to knock the socks off your entire posse – yes, even those with no sweet tooth or on some kind of healthy-eating plan. Added bonus? You can make these any time you’re overwhelmed by the need to eat your feelings. (Which might be sooner than you think, if Leo doesn't win that Oscar…)

What you’ll need
• Pie pastry (shop-bought is fine – rather use the time you would have spent making pastry to create cool cocktails for the party)
• Jar of Nutella (or two – you know, just in case)
• Two bananas, sliced into 5mm rounds

What to do
• Preheat oven to 180°C.
• Roll out the pastry to about 2mm in thickness – thick enough to hold the filling.
• Cut out circles with a big cookie-cutter. If you don’t have one, a wide glass or small bowl will do.
• Place a tablespoon of Nutella and three banana slices on one side of each pastry circle, then fold the other side over the filling. Use a fork to press the edges of the half-moon ‘pie’ together.
• Place on a greased baking tray and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through and golden-brown. If you want them super-crispy, leave in for another three minutes max – just watch them like a hawk to make sure they don't burn!
• Dust with icing sugar and serve.


All we have to say is omnomnommmm…

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Tue, 25 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Don't Judge This Wrapping Paper By It's Cover http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/dont-judge-this-wrapping-paper-by-its-cover














Not your average wrapping paper.




This, from Dude I want That: " Raunchy Wrap's exterior features a conservative, innocuous pattern of stripes. A gift's recipient will never guess that when he rips these stripes open--carefully, remind him, don't want to destroy the visuals--he'll come face-to-face with a Where's Waldo spread of boobies and butts. (Ladies, there are some choice parts of the male anatomy for you to ogle in a pink striped version of the Raunchy Wrap too.) It will be like two gifts in one. The paper might even prove to be more popular than whatever it's wrapping. Really the best approach would probably be to buy 2 packs of Raunchy Wrap and use one to wrap the other. That would be the gift of champions."






Buy it here.
Only $6.19.

This article appeared on Hurricane Vanessa 


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Mon, 24 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Here's Jewelry That Smells Like Food http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/heres-jewelry-that-smells-like-food
With these little items not only can you accesorise cutely, but you'll also smell like a plate of fresh waffles! 

From laugingsquid.com

Tiny Hands creates handmade polymer clay jewelry of popular foods like strawberry ice cream and corn dogs. Thanks to the addition of food fragrances, the jewelry is accurate down to the smell.


See the delicious pics for yourself!





mmmm chocolate chip




Warning: craving for pumpkin pie might arise while wearing this



Not sure if you'll lwant to smell like corndogs all day. But hey, if that's your thing...














Apparently this one was given to Suri Cruise for her birthday, so you know it's fetch.




The ice cream necklace is available for order here








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Tue, 25 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
5 Things We Hope To See In Sex and The City 3 http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/5-things-we-hope-to-see-in-sex-and-the-city-3 disappointing sequel is anything to go by, this may or may not be such exciting news!
We love Sex in The City anyway and chances are we will be first in line to watch it, but there are a few things that we would like to see in the next installment.















 

1 Carrie and Big Break Up

Even just for the entire 2 hours 25 minutes screening time. We are sure when we walk out the cinema and life resumes they will find their way back to each other, as they do! But for now, we are quite over the Carrie and Big type of love! She doesn't believe in soul mates any way...  


2 ... and Carrie Hooks Up With Aidan
Honestly we would just like to see more of Caidan!


We need a real love story we can daydream about, and we think Carrie needs it too!  

3. More Beyonce Choreography 
We are thinking maybe the ladies could do a little dance to Drunk in Love?
So, just after Carrie and Big break up, the girls go out to drown her sorrows with a bunch of Cosmo's and sexy men, and then Drunk in Love comes on, Samantha freaks out cause it's her favourite song and proceeds to teach the rest some sexy moves she learnt while holidaying in Jamaica!

Sorry, we are just getting over the steamy dance in Best Man Holiday.. and we think the girls could pull this one off nicely too! 





4. New York City
The girls jetting off to Abu Dhabi in Sex and The City 2 was fine, but it should not have lasted half the movie. "The City" has always been New York and that's where they should have been. So this time round, we hope to see the ladies where they know how to thrive the best, in New York City! 

 

5. FlashForwards
If this is the last one, then they've got to give us all they've got. Let's see Carrie with a baby, Samantha settled down, Charlotte with three more kids, and Miranda enjoying retirement. 

 



 


 



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Fri, 21 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Harry Styles Running Away From Things Is The Meme Gift That Keeps On Giving http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/-harry-styles-running-away-from-things-is-the-meme-gift-that-keeps-on-giving Harry Styles. The One Directioner had been in the loo but made it up just in time for the award by runing through a crowd of people. So, of course, the natural next step for this event was an explosion of memes.



source

Running away from those crazy teletubbies


source


Running away from Prince Charles (hahaha!)




  source


And here, not only is he a pop star but a champion marathon runner too! Look at him goooo!



source

Running from the pesky po-po

Now if they could just make one of him running into our arms! 






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Fri, 21 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
The Beauty Intern Diaries - The Rewards of Hard Work http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-beauty-intern-diaries-the-rewards-of-hard-work
Juana went to Jo'burg last week for the reveal of Elizabeth Arden’s new face – Adeola Ariyo and so I was keeping things in check in the Cape Town office.

For the past couple of weeks, delivery of product has been quite slow up until literally yesterday. The office is overflowing with everything from nail polishes to eye serums. Yesterday, I had the almighty task of clearing out ALL the beauty products from the cupboard to make space for the new stuff that has just arrived. I guess it could be worse… Sometimes, however, we get sent THE most random items EVER. For example, we once recieved chicken cutlets (the type one sticks into their bra, not the salmonella type), tampons and maxi pads, vajazzle stickers and most recently pencils. It makes our days just THAT much more exciting knowing we have some 'awesome' vajazzle stickers. 

We’ve been busy planning pages for May (yes, I said MAY, can you believe it) and the best part is that I’ve been able to plan a few of my own, with the help of Juana of course. This is what I love about my internship; I feel like I’m not just packing boxes (in fact I don’t ever really pack boxes), I’m slowly learning and being guided on what it takes to be a part of the COSMO team. And I am so extremely grateful.

One thing that COSMO has taught me is that hard work pays off, and I’ve never been afraid of hard work. It keeps things exciting, challenging and rewarding all at the same time. So thank you COSMO ☺

Catch my blog updates every week and check out our Instagram page @CosmopolitanSA and my account @megsnicola where I’ll also be posting updates from our beauty office, or you can follow me on Twitter @_Megz_A ☺ x


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Wed, 19 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Tinder Makes It's First Luuurve Match In Antarctica http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/tinder-makes-its-first-luuurve-match-in-antarctica online dating app that we're crazy about at the moment, has made it's first victory in the Antartic #whowouldthought

According to The Cut: 

On a lonely December night at Antarctica's McMurdo Station, an American scientist conducting research there decided to log on to Tinder — "just for fun." He'd been using the mobile dating app in the States for a few months, and wanted to see if there were any available women out on the loveless tundra. At first, no profiles showed up. But when he expanded the app's location radius, he found someone: another researcher, working at a deep field camp a 45-minute helicopter ride away from the base station. He swiped right, indicating his interest, and a few minutes later, they matched.

"She was actually in her tent in the Dry Valleys when we matched," said the scientist, who asked not to be named out of concern that the government would revoke his internet privileges if anyone found out he was using precious broadband to look for hookups.



This is just so beautiful! And the best part about this story? If two scientists in ANTARCTICA can find each other, surely any one of us, in bustling cities with a lot more options can too. There's hope for all of us!! #Thugtears






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Wed, 19 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
The New Game of Thrones Trailer Gives Life http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-new-game-of-thrones-trailer-gives-life Game of Thrones is always the worst, because when you are thinking about how RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME the show is, and why they had to go and obliterate the Stark family, there is an unwelcoming reminder that you will only get to see another Stark hottie, dragon, or Sansa Stark's gorgeous red hair, a whole year later.


But thank goodness for teasers, trailers and sneak peeks because all good things come wrapped up in Game of Thrones teasers!



Even though this trailer may make you want to break into the HBO offices, don't, the 6th of April is not that far away... right? right? 


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Mon, 17 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Max-ing Your Music Pleasure http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/max_martin_music What do these artists/bands have in common: Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Usher, Maroon 5, Jessie J, Daughtry, Taylor Swift, Pitbull, Pink, Avril Lavigne, Carly Rae Jepson, Kelly Clarkson, Backstreet Boys, N Sync, Britney Spears, Céline Dion, James Blunt, Kesha, Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera and Bon Jovi?

They've all had hits written and/or produced (usually both) by the same man. 

Going back a bit, do you remember Quit Playing Games (With My Heart); I Want It That Way; Show me the Meaning of being Lonely and 

 

How about Baby One More Time; Oops!... I Did It AgainI'm not a girl, not yet a woman; Hold it against me and 


Not to belabour the nostalgia, there's also Since U Been Gone, Behind These Hazel Eyes, My Life Would Suck Without You and ...


 
 
Yup. All by the same dude.

Not impressed yet? How about if we tell you that his work includes SEVENTEEN #1s. (Er. Yes, that would be more than Michael Jackson's - ahem - no disrespect but - 12.) 

Max Martin (that's the guy - real name Karl Martin Sandberg) has had more Billboard hits than Jackson and Madonna combined.


His more recent work includes:

Katy Perry's California gurls; Dark horse; E.T.; Hot n cold; Last Friday night; Roar; Teenage dream; The one that got away; Unconditionally; Wide awake and, of course:



Pink's Boring; Cuz I can; F'''ing perfect; I don't believe you; It's all your fault; Please don't leave me; Raise your glass; Slut like you; U + ur hand; Who knew and ...




Kesha's All that matters (Beautiful life); Blow; C'mon; Dinosaur; Grow a pear; Hangover; Kiss n tell; Only wanna dance with you; Supernatural

Taylor Swift's We are never ever getting back together; 22 and this, minus goats:




Usher's Dj got us fallin' in love (feat. Pitbull) and Scream are also Max's work.

As is Dynamite by Taio Cruz, Domino by Jesse J and...



Whether you like the music above or not, Google Max Martin and you'll see why we're so gob-smacked by his output.

Have to admit though that we can't help feeling a little disappointed that some of the artists we assumed wrote all their own music obviously don't. And we're still working through what it says about music being like maths. Because this sure sounds like a formula... 

And now we've got 10 ear worms wriggling around in our heads. Aaaaah!!!


 
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Mon, 17 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Behind The Scenes Playboy Pics Show How Trite The Shoots Really Are #NSFW http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/behind-the-scenes-playboy-pics-show-how-trite-the-shoots-really-are-nsfw Real life and fantasy rarely ever go hand-in-hand. And no stream of pictures shows that off better than these BTS shots of Playboy Shoots. Dutch photographer and art director Patrick Van Dam lets us in on how things go down.














We're sure the end products got the desired results. But as for the making of process...nothing but awkward 


Via Huricane Vanessa

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Mon, 17 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
The Oscars Goodie Bag Has Never Looked SO Good http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-oscars-goodie-bag-has-never-looked-so-good
Losing nominees still go home clutching a Goodie Bag worth $55 000.


And, of course, it’s not your average Goodie Bag.

Here’s a taster of some of the items included: Chocolatines Savory Wine Flight Pairing ($80)
Halo Natural Pet Food ($6,142.89)
Max Martin Shoes ($750)
Dosha Tea-Based Pops ($35)
Blossom Blends Tea ($49.95)
Hydroxycut Weight Loss Products ($38.96)
Narrative Clip Camera ($279)
Polar Loop Activity Tracker ($109.95)
Steamist Home Spa System ($2,560)
M3K Beauty Products ($100)
Best of Vegas Tour Package ($9,000)
Rouge Maple Syrup ($250)
House Call From Nutritionist Heather Lounsbury ($500)
Slimware Dinnerware ($59)
Huntley Drive Fitness Training Sessions ($850)
Le Petit Cirque Troop ($575)
Jan Lewis Designs Bracelet ($400)
Walk Japan Tour of Japan ($15,000)
Epic Pet Health Therapy ($1,571.98)
Acure Skincare ($300)
Rocky Mountaineer Train Trip ($4,078.00)
Gizara Arts Print ($1,000)
Jitseu Handbags ($279)
Imanta Mexico Resort Stay ($3,300)
Koala Landing Resort Stay in Kauai ($2,000)
Aviv 613 Vodka ($30)

Dosha Tea-based pops?

I suspect many of these find their way into the hands of sycophants and housekeepers.

The original article appeared on Hurricane Vanessa


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Mon, 17 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
100-Year-Old BFFs Discuss Pop Culture http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/100-year-old-bffs-discuss-pop-culture These long time BFFs talk twerking, Justin Bieber and what they think about the name North West. 

Be warned:
 After watching this, you'll wanna call your best friend too!







 
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Thu, 13 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
The Beauty Intern Diaries - Polished Mania http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-beauty-intern-diaries-polished-mania
And most importantly, we had to source pretty feet. Fashion intern Talia had such grogeous feet the we insisted she play model for a day. And so we were ALMOST ready for our shoot.



The prep for the shoot started early this week as Juana frantically worked her magic creating various different looks for pedicures and manicures. If she wasn't our beauty editor, we'd bet money on her being a professional manicurist to the stars! She's too talented guys, it's not fair. 


So with everything in check, and all of our beauty products packed and ready to go, we set off to the studio. Now this sounds like a non-important part to the story, except I was the one driving. However, we got there and back in one piece and only a few mild words were shouted from the car to passing drivers. So all in all, it was a succesful trip. (thumbs up)

We decided to do something slightly different from all our other polished pages and decided to use a 'foot model' for the shoot who is also known as our fashion intern, Talia. We oiled up her feet, slipped her into some sexy, sky-high shoes (shoes I previously wore to the J&B Met and which were surprisinlgy comfortable) and watched on as Riana, our photographer, began to work her magic. The shot is stunning, you guys will love it!!





It was then onto the shots for the other pages. We did blobs of nail polishes, dripped it down a piece of glass and had too much fun (owing to the fact we were probably all high from the fumes of the nai polish and acetone). Again, the shots are so stunning and it was a day filled with fun ... and fumes!

Catch my blog updates every week and check out our Instagram page @CosmopolitanSA and my account @megsnicola where I’ll also be posting updates from our beauty office, or you can follow me on Twitter @_Megz_A ☺ x

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Wed, 12 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
SPONSORED: We Love The Latest Fragrance From Guess http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/sponsored-we-love-the-latest-fragrance-from-guess fragrance is a fashion accessory. This is definitely true of Guess Girl Belle – a new perfume inspired by fashion's  jet-set crowd. Here's everything you need to know about the fragrance:

*It's the creation of award-winning perfumer Laurent Le Guernec.
*It's inspired by Laetitia Casta, Anna Nicole Smith and Amber Heard.
*It's yummy. The sweet top notes channel golden delicious apples and mixed berries dropped into pink champagne. The base notes are Australian sandalwood, musk and vanilla. Middle notes are pink peony, natural jasmine sambac and violet.

We're giving away 20 Guess Belle fragrances worth R650 each. Read 'Cheat Sheet: Festival Beauty' in the latest issue of COSMO for more information.


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Wed, 12 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Watch awesome ads promoting equality at the Sochi Winter Olympics http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/ads-promoting-equality-at-the-sochi-winter-olympics 'gay propaganda' aimed at children. You probably know how LGBT citizens
are treated by some of their comrades? And you know that the Winter
Olympics are taking place in Stochi, Russia? Then you must have seen
some of the creative, amusing and shocking ads that have been made
to raise awareness.

No? Well see for yourself here.

 
 

"The games have always been a little gay. Let's fight to keep them that way. Show your support for the equality of all athletes ..." This is the Canadian luge ad everyone's been sharing (in case you've been at a training camp in the Kalahari).



 



Why the uproar? Because... this:

 
 
And, well, this:



Putin also said: “The Olympics have always been, and should always be, about the athletes. Any attempt by homosexuals to flaunt their bodies in a way that is distracting, provocative, or arousing will be frowned upon.”
 
 
Got your frowns ready?

Here comes Russian President Vladimir Putin, Action Man flaunting it a bit (on theatlantic.com)



Gee up! (Is that a broke-back mountain in the background?)
 
 

Swim like a butterfly, darling!
 

Vlad, the Impaler (love the glove!)

 
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Wed, 12 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
5 Things You'll Want In Your Place Right Now http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/5-things-youll-want-in-your-place-right-now your place? Have you seen these yet?














1. A
 Wine Cellar For Your Kitchen Floor?








2. An Outdoor Cinema?




3. An Indoor Slide That You Could Use For Moving From Upstairs To Downstairs?





4. An Indoor Fire Place?









5. A See-through Bath Tub?




A girl can dream right?


We have FOMO now! 



Check out more pics here



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Wed, 12 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Cape Town Carnival Is Turning 5 With The Mother Of All Spectacular Parades http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cape-town-carnival-is-turning-5-with-the-mother-of-all-spectacular-parades boldest and brightest moves and enjoy a shared celebration on the city’s streets.'

When: March 15, Fanwalk in Greenpoint.
Bring: Your interpretation of celebrating glamourous African identity, comfortable walking shoes and friends.
Time: Woza 3pm and more than 2 000 costumed performers and giant floats will set the Mother City on fire.
Entertainment: DJ Fresh and MiCasa.

Best of all? It's a free party. For more info, go to www.capetowncarnival.com. Check out pictures from last year's party for inspiration. 







Here's a highlight from last year's edition.

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Wed, 12 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
COSMO Perfect Match Speed Dating Competition Winners http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cosmoperfectmatch-speed-dating-competition-winners Congratulations to the following winners!

1 Night Dinner and Movie Package for 2 people sharing at the 12 Apostles Hotel

Shannon de Lilly

Dinner for 2 at Round House
Andrew Robinson

Freshly Ground Concert Tickets for 2 at Kirstenbosch

Sandra Murphy
Francie Kohler

Cape Philharmonic Orchestra Tickets for 2 at Kirstenbosch
Candice Rynhardt
Veena Kander

Gourmet Picnic for 2 at Spier
Kimmy Kapp
Samantha Copeman

1 night for 2 people sharing at Fire and Ice Cape Town

Chantelle Robertson

1 night for 2 people sharing at Protea Hotel Sea Point
Warren Gas

Grand Prize: 2 night stay for 2 guests at the African Pride Arabella Hermanus
Bronwyn de Beer

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Wed, 12 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
COSMO Perfect Match Speed Dating 2014 http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cosmo-perfect-match-speed-dating-2014


Click here to see the full gallery of the COSMO Perfect Match Speed Dating Event. 


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Tue, 11 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Say It With A Passive Aggressive Valentine's Day Card http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/say-it-with-a-passive-aggressive-valentines-day-card
But if you are tired of the usual cheesy gift cards - been there, said that, bought so many of them - but you still want to let your significant other or friend know how much they mean to you, we have sourced 13 passive aggressive Valentine's Day cards that might do the trick. I mean nothing can turn a person on like a cute passive aggressive card right? 





And because we couldn't let you go without a little personal touch of our own, enjoy the COSMO versions below and send them to your loved ones if you dare. 

 

 


 
 

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Tue, 11 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Reasons Why We’re Excited for ‘Magic Mike 2’ http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/reasons-why-were-excited-for-magic-mike-2- Okay, the storyline wasn’t much to rave about but the unbelievably HOT eye candy more than made up for the boring narrative.




1. Channing Tatum recently tweeted a pic of himself at his desk writing the script for the film, with a bust of Matthew McConaughey for company. We love it! 



2. We’ll (hopefully) get to see Channing naked again – remember that steamy shot of his deliciously sexy bum? We could barely stay on our seats we were so excited!



3. Alex Pettyfer (no need to say anything further).
 


4. Apart from Channing and Alex, we get to see all the other hot lads half-naked.



5. We can't wait to see more of these sexy dance moves. We could watch this video for hours… (Maybe best to wait until you get home to watch it.)

.

 
6. Although Matthew's character, Dallas, was so embarrassingly cheesy, we hope we get to see him and that 'mighty fine' (to use one of his southern catch phrases) torso return for the sequel. We're also rooting for him to win the Oscar for his brilliant performance in Dallas Buyers Club. So he's definitely in our good books right now (not that he ever wasn't).
 

SOURCE
 



 
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Tue, 11 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
This Guy Hates Valentine's Day Even More than You Do http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/this-guy-hates-valentines-day-even-more-than-you-do if you're single - Valentine's day is a sucky reminder that you may die alone. if you're in a relationship, the pressure is on to impress your significant other without terrifiying them or spending so much that you're forced to eat carbs for the rest of the month. 



So just to make sure you don't feel alone, take a look at how much this guy hates V-Day (more than you do). 



Now that you feel better in a schadenfreude kinda way (sorry Anton), click through and buy yourself a V-Day gift. You deserve it. 



 


 
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Mon, 10 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Your Celebrity Faves In Disney Form http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/your-celebrity-faves-in-disney-form Annie Leibovitz recently added to her collection of celebs as Disney characters. Some of our faves from her collection include Taylor Swift as Repunzel, Jennifer Hudson as Tiana and Jessica Chastain as Merida. 










Taylor Swift as Repunzel










Jennifer Hudson as Tiana










Jessica Chastain as Merida








Queen Latifa as Ursula








Russel Brand as Captain Hook







Find more pics here

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Mon, 10 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Our Favourite Cute-But-Cheesy Romantic Movie Scenes http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/our-favourite-cute-but-cheesy-romantic-movie-scenes Valentine’s Day is coming up this Friday so we thought we’d revisit some of Hollywood’s classic love scenes.


1. Pretty Woman
At the end of the movie, Edward (Richard Gere) climbs up a fire escape (with a bunch of roses in his mouth) to get to Vivian and says, 'So what happened after he climbed up the tower and rescued her?' Vivian (Julia Roberts) replies, 'She rescues him right back.' Awwwww! 

 
 

2. 10 Things I Hate About You
Anyone who grew up in the ’90s would remember this cute teen rom-com, and it was the first time we were introduced to Heath Ledger. He won over our hearts when he serenaded Julia Stiles’s character, Kat, and sang Can’t Take My Eyes off Of You, and that cheeky grin gave us heart palpitations!



3. Titanic
Of course, we HAD to include this classic scene from Titanic – one of the most romantic movies of all time. And, come on, Leo is in it!


 
4. Romeo + Juliet
We just can’t get enough of Mr DiCaprio. This is the scene where the star-crossed lovers first meet and look tentatively at each other through the fish tank. Leo looks HOT in his armour suit, and Des’ree’s Kissing You made it all the more sweet and romantic.
 
 
This is when we all fell in love with Ryan Gosling, and this scene gives us goose bumps. Ryan’s character Noah says, ‘I wrote you 365 letters… I wrote to you every day for a year… It wasn’t over and it STILL isn’t over,’ and then passionately kisses her and carries her to bed where they make love. Who wouldn't want to be taken to bed by this insanely sexy man-god?
 
 


 
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Mon, 10 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Baby Sings Above and Beyond and Breaks Hearts http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/this-is-me https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151915668291629&amp;set=vb.6343611628&amp;type=2&amp;theater

I sing like this. Often. When I wake up in the morning, in the shower, at work (my collegues having bleeding ears. Often). There is nothing quite like letting go….giving it horns… no matter your tone deafness. I also love this track from @aboveandbeyond.

This was the best 14 seconds of life I have seen captured in a long time. Sing along with me…

I LOVE YOU BABY. YOU WERE THE SUN AND MOON TO ME. I'LL NEVER GET OVER YOU. YOU'LL NEVER GET OVER ME…



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Fri, 07 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
People You Need To Know: Amy Odell http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/people-you-need-to-know-amy-odell
She used to work for BuzzFeed

Before joining the cosmopolitan.com team as the editor, Amy worked on buzzfeed.com from 2012 as as the editor for the fashion sections.

She's a fashion blogger

But 'not the kind that assumes you care about clothes' she says. Before working on fashion on Buzzfeed, she was the primary writer for The Cut, New York Magzine's fashion blog, which she launched in 2008. 

She's not afraid to beg

She told intothegloss.com, 'I tried so hard—and more than once—to get an internship at New York magazine, and I just could not get through to them. Since I couldn’t get an internship, I learned early on that you really have to beg for work. I tell people this all the time and I don’t see it happening that much, but if you’re serious about being a writer and a reporter, you have to beg for work.'

She's got big plans for cosmopolitan.com

'Cosmo redefined women's media decades ago. The new Cosmopolitan.com will redefine what it means to be a women's magazine online.' And she's already gotten started! Check out cosmopolitan.com to see more of her work. 




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Fri, 07 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Learn From Your Mistakes http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/learn-from-your-mistakes Social Studies teacher, Diana Laufenberg talks about how she taught her students that making mistakes is part of the learning process. 

Watch this video and think about what you've learned from your own mistakes. Feel free to share your story with us on our
facebook page or on twitter.
 

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Fri, 07 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
10 Reasons to Break Up With a Guy Based Purely on His Hygiene http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/10-reasons-to-break-up-with-a-guy-based-purely-on-his-hygiene
 
2. A random fart every now and then is okay but if he’s passing wind (often and loudly) while you’re eating or in bed or at your grandmother’s 90th birthday and is ‘oblivious’ to it, it’s time to show him the door.



3. If he only changes his sheets every three months or so (once a week is preferable and we can accept every two weeks). The thought of getting into a bed that feels oily just makes our skin crawl – and who knows what bugs are lurking beneath those sheets... 



4. His toothbrush has bits of food in it – and he NEVER cleans it. 


5. When you smell something rancid and eventually find a three-week-old box of half-eaten pizza (that resembles a furry monster) behind the couch … and there are maggots...



6. Wearing the same clothes over and over again. In an interview with New! magazine, Robert Pattinson was quoted as saying, ‘These jeans are a few days old. But the top is probably fresh because it gets to the point where even I can't stand the air around me. I don't know, my personal hygiene – it's so disgusting.’ How did Kristen cope? 



7. He goes to the bathroom just before bed and doesn’t wash his hands, then expects some sexy time – we ain’t having none of that! 



8. Peeing in the shower – NO compromising on this one. 



9. Long, gnarly, dirty toenails – enough said. 



10. He hardly ever washes his hair (even after gym) – imagine running your hands through greasy, smelly, dandruff-filled hair? Ewwwwwwwwww!

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Fri, 07 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Five Classic ‘Sex And The City’ Valentine’s Day Quotes http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/five-classic-sex-and-the-city-valentines-day-quotes Valentine's Day is coming up and we had to share these classic Sex And The City quotes with you. After all, Candace Bushnell's brilliant creation has served as a love bible to so many girls, and each episode gurantees a smile. Samantha is always bound to shock and make you laugh ('I'm a "try-sexual".I'll try anything once'); Carrie's and Big's relationship makes you go 'awww'; Charlotte's desperate need to find a husband is sweet (but often annoying); and Miranda's candid, standing-up-for-women remarks always give us a boost of confidence on those 'I hate men' days. What's not to love about these four, feisty friends?

1. 'Happy (f***ing) Valentine’s Day.' – Samantha


2. 'Some people are settling down, some people are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.' – Carrie. Awwww!



3. ‘There is a good way to break up with someone, and it doesn't include a post-it!’ – Carrie

 
4. 'No matter who broke your heart, or how long it takes to heal, you’ll never get through it without your friends.' – Carrie
 
5. Miranda: 'Orgasms, major thing in a relationship.'
Charlotte: 'But it's not the only thing. Orgasms don't send you Valentine's Day cards and they don't hold you hand during a sad movie.'
Carrie: 'Mine do!'

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Thu, 06 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
The Love Cocktail You'll, Well, Love http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-love-cocktail-youll-well-love For Valentine's Day this year, why not try this Love Sour cocktail to enjoy with you and your lovah...or friends...or simply by yourself:


You'll need:
2 parts Disaronno (50ml)
1 part Liquid Sugar (25ml)
1 Freshly squeezed Lemon.

What to do:
 
Mix all ingredients together in a shaker. Strain drink over ice in a tumbler.
Sip and enjoy!


GIF


The exclusive MOSCHINO loves DISARONNO limited edition will be available at stores nationwide from R199.95.

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Thu, 06 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Five of the Worst Oscars Outfits EVER! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/five-of-the-worst-oscars-outfits-ever- 1. Pam Anderson – 2001
Pam has always liked to show some skin but come on, it’s the Oscars! The cleavage-baring white top (not surprisingly, a nipple was exposed during the night), a barely-there denim skirt and black thigh-high boots is so inappropriate and denim should NEVER be seen on the red carpet (Britney and Justin, anyone?). Even her iconic red Baywatch swimsuit would have been a better choice.



2. Whoopi Goldberg – 1993
This is a WHOOPING fail! This ghastly get-up looks like something Elizabeth Banks would wear in The Hunger Games.


3. 1. Bjork – 2001
We rate that this is THE worst outfit in Oscar history. We know Bjork is known for her bizarre, over-the-top outfit choices but this infamous swan dress (with a hideous body stocking – eeuw) shocked the fashion world and it was spoken about for weeks. There is even a Wikipedia page dedicated to the singer’s dress. What do you think? A bold, fearless choice, or a crazy, what-were-you-thinking nightmare?




4. Anne Hathaway – 2004 
In her Princess Diaries days, long before she got to play Andy in The Devil Wears Prada, Anne struggled somewhat with her red-carpet choices. This frumpy floral, satin dress looks like it could have been made from her grandmother's vintage curtains. But, thankfully, Anne has grown up since then and her outfit choices are often seen on best-dressed lists. 



5. Tyra Banks – 2000
This kitsch, Barbie-inspired purple mess is one of Tyra’s worst fashion decisions. Not a proud moment for the former supermodel.





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Thu, 06 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
CUTE Alert: the Kitten Version of ‘Girls’ http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cute-alert-the-kitten-version-of-girls Girls? This parody of the hit show is hilarious and the kittens play the characters brilliantly. The Pet Collective creates cute, witty clips of well-known series and movies, and it’s a pet-lovers dream website. Other cute videos have included parodies of The Notebook and Mean Girls. Check out the website at videos.thepetcollective.tv/ for some cute cat eye candy.
 
 
 

Grumpy Cat has some stiff competition!
 



 
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Wed, 05 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
The Beauty Intern Diaries - Off To The Races http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-beauty-intern-diaries-off-to-the-races past week has probably been one of the best weeks I’ve had so far at COSMO.

I’m now no longer all by my lonesome self in the office and have my boss/friend back which makes working non-stop, with the occasional natter, so much easier.

The past week has been full of beautiful launches and events that I’ve been lucky enough to attend on Cosmopolitan’s behalf. On Saturday I was invited to the Elizabeth Arden launch for their new Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Makeup.



The launch took place at The Grand Daddy Hotel in Cape Town and we were treated to an array of breakfast delights and bubbles. We were then taken upstairs for our presentation and had a foundation workshop with Elizabeth Arden’s senior makeup artist Gina Myers. The foundations were lightweight and luminous and so effortlessly applied to the skin.
  


Next, it was time for us to get glammed up for the J&B MET that Elizabeth Arden was kind enough to take us to. There were nail art technicians and professional makeup artists to make sure we were J&B Met ready.

We were picked up by a shuttle service and taken to the VIP entrance for the Met. We arrived at the Sunglass Hut tent and it was nothing short of glamorous. We had our pictures taken on arrival and handed a gift voucher for Sunglass Hut. We danced, watched occasional races (occasional being the operative word) and ate of course… because everyone knows how beauty editors value nothing more than food at events. Overall it was an absolutely incredible day and one I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

  


But back to the office and Monday and the work didn’t stop. It was then time for La Prairie launch for the new Swiss Ice Crystal Complex at the Prestige Cosmetic Group in Observatory.

Stepping into the ice-chilled room filled with ice blocks, fake snow, and deliciously snow-like treats made you feel as if you’d been transported to some glorious five-star cabin in The Alps.

The new range is definitely one of their best so far (more details to follow soon, so stay tuned).
Planning for April and May is keeping both Juana and I on our toes, as we brainstorm and come up with pages that we know you’d love to read. I couldn’t image being anywhere else but here.

Catch my blog updates every week and check out our Instagram page @CosmopolitanSA and my account @megsnicola where I’ll also be posting updates from our beauty office. ☺ x

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Wed, 05 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Robbie Jones Happens To Instagram http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/robbie-jones-happens-to-instagram time to thank him for the gift of his ripped body

















Here he is smiling at you...*insert a collective swoon*




Here he is staring you down (yes, Rob, you make us melt!)...



Here he is waiting for you to 'come on over here, baby'...





And here he is not looking at you at all. He's having a sexy headache instead...





And lastly, a throwback he captioned 'This guy... and his mama... Lol:) #TBT.' So precious!

Love what you see? There's more of Robbie on page 70 of the lastest COSMO. Click here for more hot guys!

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Tue, 04 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
In Today's WTF Story, This Woman is Addicted to Eating Makeup http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/in-todays-wtf-story-this-woman-is-addicted-to-eating-makeup addicted to makeup. That sentence doesn't seem weird  at first glance - everyone on the COSMO staff loses their mind at the beauty sale or the release of a new MAC Viva Glam colour.

But Brittoni isn't addicted like we're addicted to the new Revlon Colour Burst Sticks (although they do taste of mint - yum). She eats her makeup.


SOURCE

Yup. According to TLC, she spends over R2200 per week buying compacts to eat. Like other addicts, she hides compacts around the house so that she always has a snack nearby. She even does a taste test before buying a new product, and the texture is her fave part. Hide your blush, ladies!


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Tue, 04 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Lupita Nyong'o Is Front And Centre On Vanity Fair Cover http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/lupita-nyongo-is-front-and-centre-on-vanity-fair-cover Vanity Fair! This year's Hollywood Issue features the most talked about A-listers right now. Amongst them is your new best friend, Lupita Nyong'o

We think the choice to put Lupita standing in the centre and dressing her in that golden dress was an ingenious one! It's almost like a foreshadowing of Oscar night - dress her like the Oscar she's going to win!

#winning 

Log onto our facebook page and tell us what you think of the cover.




Picture by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair


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Tue, 04 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Five Best Movie Roles http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/philip-seymour-hoffmans-five-best-movie-roles The brilliant Oscar-winning actor has starred in a wide range of films, and was one of Hollywood's most versatile and talented actors. Here is our pick of his best performances.


1. Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part One (alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth) 2014




2. Along Came Polly (alongside Jennifer Aniston and Ben Stiller) 2004



3. Boogie Nights (alongside Mark Wahlberg) 1997


 

4. The Talented Mr Ripley (alongside Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon and Jude Law) 1999

 

5. Punch-Drunk Love (alongside Adam Sandler) 2002


 
 
Check out this clip of Philip accepting his Oscar for his role in Capote (2006):
 


 
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Mon, 03 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
The Beauty Intern Diaires - Time To Restock http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-beauty-intern-diaires-time-to-restock my previous blog post last Thursday. One thing that I’ve learnt about the magazine industry is that it’s constantly up and down. Super busy one minute and not so much the next.

My body seems to be less than happy with me at the moment and I’ve been quite ill recently. Malaria in my first week back from holidays, followed by a three-day migraines and now I’ve had a bout of food poisoning. So I think it’ll be a fairly short and snappy blog from me today.

I’ve managed to finally type up my article about my amazing adventure at my first launch in Johannesburg, which you can read all about here. Other exciting news is that Juana is back today so I've been doing some last minute checks to make sure everything is in order for her arrival (a.k.a the office is tidy).

We’ve been sent some awesome packages in the last couple of days including brand new products from M.A.C, SP, Rimmel, Dior and Revlon, and Bobbi Brown so the beauty office is looking fully restocked again!



One thing that's been really awesome is that I've featured in both the January and February issues of COSMO this year! In the January issue I was lucky enough to be included in our 'Beauty Police' page and tested out three different products and wrote a review on each. In our February issue I was chuffed to see I'd been featured on the COSMO Contributors page. This included a picture of me and a little blurb about myself. It's always great to recieve recognition for something that you've worked really hard towards. It also inspires me to keep up the hard work and to keep pushing forward. Who knows where this year will take me.


 

Catch my blog updates every week and check out our Instagram page @CosmopolitanSA and my account @megsnicola where I’ll also be posting updates from our beauty office. ☺ x
 





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Wed, 29 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
How to Open Wine – without a Corkscrew! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/how-to-open-wine--without-a-corkscrew No opener? No problem!

We’ve all been there: a bottle of wine, a cork, no corkscrew … frustration, thirst. The 'logical’ solution, other than buying solely screw-tops (which is an issue if you’re a fan of wooded Chardonnay) would be to try to push the cork into the bottle, right?

Wrong!

Apparently, if you know what you’re doing, it’s relatively easy to gain access to your favourite tipple sans opener, with the added bonus of not having the blasted cork sloshing around inside, making you spill and making a mess. Don’t believe us? Perhaps you’ll believe this guy:







Mind you, he’s a professional. He’s probably been practising this move for longer than we’ve been drinking wine. So while we do encourage you to try this at home, we also encourage you to do it safely – and to ensure you perfect the technique before you take this party trick on the road. And maybe use your man's shoe…

COSMO does not suggest irresponsible drinking, underage drinking or drinking and driving. Please drink responsibly.

 
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Wed, 29 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
This GIF Site is Awesome http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/this-gif-site-is-awesome GIFS are awesome as they are. Now a cool site called www.playandlistentogifs.com has gone one up by letting you listen to music over your GIF. All you have to do is press the play button, and be taken on a trip down memory lane as many of the animated loops are from 90s commercials. Go ahead and check out GIFS on steroids.

www.playandlistentogifs.com


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Tue, 28 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
The Best Reactions to Justin Bieber's Arrest http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-best-reactions-to-justin-biebers-arrest

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Fri, 24 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
‘Aaah’ Moment of the Day – Adorable Kitty Cuteness! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/aaah-moment-of-the-day--adorable-kitty-cuteness

Stockings the cat was born with severely deformed legs (they’re ‘backwards’) but this doesn’t stop this playful little fur ball from having fun and living a ‘normal’ life. We had to share this video worth you – it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face!


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Thu, 23 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
Dove's New Campaign Will Change The Way You Think About #Selfies http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/doves-new-campaign-will-change-the-way-you-think-about-selfies selfie?

Award winner Cynthia Wade follows a group of teenage girls and their mothers and asks them about how they take selfies. This is in turn, shines a light on the kind of beauty standards that young women feel pressured to conform to and the kind of insecurites that their mothers unknowingly pass on to them. 

It's heart warming to watch all these women realise that their differences and unique features are the exact things that make them more beautiful.




Here's the 8-minute version




And the 3-minute version





Read more blog articles

 
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Thu, 23 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
Fifty Shades Of Grey Co-Stars Are Hot together. But Not That Hot http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/fifty-shades-of-grey-co-stars-are-hot-together-but-not-that-hot 50 Shades of Grey film is scheduled for release next year. Apparently the cast and crew are more than half way through filming and things are going well. Fans of the book might be dissapointed that it won't be as raunchy as the book though.


According to E

But there's one thing fans should know before stepping foot into the theaters next year: the sex scenes are going to be much tamer than in the E.L. James erotica novel.
"It's less racy than the book," a source recently shared with us. "They felt it would be too much, so they have dialed those scenes back."



We wonder how 'dialed back' the scenes really are. Hopefully they can find a balance to satisfy the books' fans as well as brand new viewers. 

Also, when can we see a clip from the movie already? Just a teaser trailer? No? Ok, we'll wait

Read more blog articles



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Wed, 22 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
5 Essential GNO Gadgets http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/5-essential-gno-gadgets These handy accessories add up to a safe, stress-free night out



1 Pre-party primper
Look red-carpet glam with the help of GHD’s limited-edition V Pink Diamond Styler. If you like to do more than just straighten your hair, the contoured plate edges create great curls and waves. Get it at Ghdhair.com/za for R2 380.




2 Fun-proof phone
The Sony Xperia Z1 is waterproof, shatter-resistant and scratch-proof – so regardless where you end (even if it is in the pool!), this smartie will have your back. It features a five-inch screen, full HD display and a 20.7 megapixel camera, allowing you to capture your party moments in style. Get it at your cellular-service provider for R9 899.
3 Handbag-sized charger
Because the party might last longer than your smartphone battery, a little backup can be a big help. The Amped Zest 3.1 portable charger is small and light, and fits in any clutch – ideal when you need extra power on the go. Get it at Amped.co.za for R385.
4 DIY breathalyser
Now it’s easier than ever to play it safe: the Alcosense Elite breathalyser is small but smart, and features a built-in air-flow sensor, which means you’ll never be given an incorrect reading as a result of blowing too softly or too hard. Get it at Yuppiegadgets.co.za for R850.




5 Frustration-preventing key finder
Ever wished you could call lost keys to come to you? Well, now you can … kind of. Clip the Whistle Key Finder onto your key ring and whistle when you can’t find your keys – the device will beep and flash until you find them. Get it at Yuppiegadgets.co.za for R85.
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Tue, 21 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
You Won't Believe This Isn't a Bird http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/you-wont-believe-this-isnt-a-bird paints on models' bodies for different situations such as advertising pictures and commercials, fashion events and exhibitions. In 1990 he began to explore and experiment with body and hand painting. By having his models contort their body into specific positions, he could use his painting skills to create incredibly realistic portraits and scenes onto a living canvas. In 2000 he created his world-renowned ‘Handimals‘ series. It saw him paint highly detailed and realistic animals onto hands in various positions. The outcomes are truly amazing. Go to www.guidodaniele.com for more pictures. 

www.guidodaniele.comimage: www.guidodaniele.com
http://www.guidodaniele.com

www.guidodaniele.com

www.guidodaniele.com


Check out the maestro in action below





 
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Tue, 21 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
Lesego Motsepe Dies aged 40 http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/lesego-motsepe-dies-aged-40
He called the paramedics and she was declared dead when they arrived. Drama graduate Lesego will always be remembered in the hearts of South Africans for her 10-year role as Lettie on Isidingo. Theatre lovers were dazzled by her role as music icon Brenda Fassie in Ma-Brr (The Brenda Fassie Musical) and  Dr Mamphela Ramphele in Biko

Lettie's biggest moments:


1. Her arrival at Horizon Deep as a sassy teenager set tongues wagging when she and brother Parsons formed a band with new friends Dusty, Stuart and Steve. They were regulars on the stage at Bra G's shebeen, starting one of the beginning of the biggest battle of wills ever seen on local TV with a very traditonal father going up against his independent, multicultural daughter.

2. When her crush on miner Sammy turned into one of the sweetest love stories at the time, starring a sweet girl hooks ups with a lovely man with a PHD from the university of hard knocks. It didn't last, but it let the Horizon Deep, and viewers know that Lettie was definitely no longer just a girl.

3. Her first few weeks as an intern journalist at the Golden Weekly felt authentic. She was young, determined to find her place in the world but a little nervous about starting a job she chose on intuition and natural flair for news. We never cheered as hard as we did she got promoted to senior news anchor at ON!TV.

4. Her dramatic love life ruled the script for as long as she was on the show. Her breakup with Sammy was followed by a brief relationship with Vusi, who broke up with Lettie after discovering her fling with businessman Dumisane. Dumisae went on to become her baby daddy and husband until the couple divorced following his affair with Bianca. Lettie, back on the market, had a fling with Lucky (a colleague) and an interracial relationship with Joe (tongues never wagged as much in Horizon Deep) before finally settling down with Vusi - the love of her life.

5.Lettie was on screen 5 days a week for 10 years. Viewers were emotionally connected to her, so we got goosebumps when she got a job in New York. That’s why the day she left the show, in a dramatic car-crash, was a downer for Isidingo fans. ‘I will miss the things the scriptwriters made her say, especially since Lettie Matabane was so different from who I am,’ she said about leaving the show.


Tributes from friends, fans and colleagues:

Michael Mol ‏@DrMichaelMol
#LesegoMotsepe Your courage put a beautiful face to an ugly disease and brought hope! Will miss the flame in yr heart & the spark in yr eyes

Colin Moss ‏@ColinMossSA
RIP #LesegoMotsepe - A brave, outspoken, talented woman with a heart of gold. The world is poorer for your loss. 

Napo Masheane ‏@PopoMasheane
My heart is saddened by the death of Lesego Motsepe an energetic talented proud daughter of the soil. May your creative soul rest in peace.

Tumisho Masha ‏@TumishoMasha 
Deeply saddened by the news that Lesego Motsepe has passed away. She was a talented actress, good friend and excellent soul. May she RIP!

Samkelo Ndlovu ‏@SamkeloNdlovu 
RIP Lesego Motsepe who played Letti Matabane on @IsidingoSABC3 . Your cheerful spirit and kiddish laugh will be missed.

Hip Hop Pantsula ‏@HipHopPantsula 3h
Robala Ka Kagiso (rest in peace) to my friend and wellness activist Lesego Motsepe...I miss you so much already ngwana. *moment of silence* 

The outpour of sorrow from reminds us a very poignant tweet by @Lesegomotsepe. She said, 'Life is beautiful. Live!'
 She lived to the fullest. May she rest in peace. 



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Mon, 20 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
Aerie's awesome un-Photoshopped lingerie shoot http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/aeries-awesome-un-photoshopped-lingerie-shoot 'Time to get real. Time to think real. No supermodels. No retouching. Because ... THE REAL YOU IS SEXY. #aerieREAL'

This is the promise from American Eagle for their latest Aerie lingerie shoot.

In the words of one of the models in : 'Confidence is extremely sexy. I think women that own their bodies and are unapologetic for who they are as women and what they look like [are sexy].'

#whatwe'vebeensaying






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Mon, 20 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
Luxe for Less: Decor http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/luxe-for-less-decor
5 Rooms

They have contemporary pieces for all rooms of the house. Better than being budget friendly, they have a sale at the moment, with fabulous furniture and accessories selling at a bargain. Best news of all? They have cash on delivery payment option for sales below R2000. This service is only valid on orders placed for delivery in selected areas within Cape Town.
www.5rooms.com

Cori Craft
This is your one-click shop for couches, with more than 200 produced daily. They have one up on having a wide variety to choose from with the Cori Now feature: you see what you like, pay for it and have take it home with you ‘now’ instead of waiting a few days for your goods to be delivered. Smoother operators! We love their clearance centres in Joburg, Durban and Cape Town.
www.coricraft.co.za

Nevada Furniture

This is your one-stop shop for Ikea furniture, although Nevada is not affiliated with Ikea. Nevada works like this: you go to their site and place an order that is combined with orders from various customers around SA, Nevada imports the products to SA and you get your goods. We love that it's affordable, efficient and secure.
www.nevadafurniture.co.za

That Furniture Website
Think of this as a search engine for all things furniture related in SA, with a list of more than 50 stores on their website. Stores on the site include @Home and Bakos Brothers. We love that the site offers catalogues from featured stores, as well as full contact details.
www.thatfurniturewebsite.co.za

Read page 137 of COSMO for ideas on updating your living space with fun, sexy and oh-so-trendy décor items.








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Mon, 20 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
Diet wars http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/diet-wars Two competitive friends walk into a resaurant ...

OK, seriously, we're so over Dieting - you know the kind with the capital D right? Girls can't live on lettuce alone (or a single cherry tomato, or a measly half slice of cucumber...) Healthy eating is the COSMO way. 

And if you're cutting back, remember to cut yourself some slack too - a reward here and there is great incentive. One square of dark chocolate is not going to turn you into a quivering blob of jelly! Check out COSMO's healthy eating and first steps to fitness app here.

If you need some perspective (or have a friend who does), or know a couple of competitive A-types, check out the clip below. We LOL-ed all over the floor. (Not so much love for the title though.) 


 

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Mon, 20 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
#InstaStuds http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/instastuds
@Mirobr

Miro Moreira, 30, says he was an 'ugly ducking with braces and pimples' and zero muscles. He blossomed into a stud while working at a bank, where his collegaues nagged him to change careers. He started at the Sao Paulo Fashion Week, and went on to work for Giorgio Armani, Armani Exchange, D&G, Belstaff, Lebole, Sean John, Roberto Cavalli and Aramis. 




@iJulian_
Instragram @iJulian_
Julian Gabriel  was scouted through Facebook pictures taken at Ultra Music Festival im Miami. He's a law student and a fitness buff who is always working on keeping his body vicious. The best news? The 25 year old stuggles getting into a relationship because of 'jealousy', so he is waiting for someone who will make peace with the fact that everyone drools at a hot man and celebrities get stopped for pictures by fans. 'I guess I haven’t found that right person who doesn’t really care.' He can call us on 083-COME-OVER-HERE.




@RobEvansJames
Instagram @RobEvansJames
The British hunk wanted to be a boxing player when a scout changed his life (and gave women a hunk to lust after)s The rest is a history that involves the 26 year old's refusal to lose weight to fit into sample sizes at runway shows. He was a judge on America's Next Top Model: College Edition. Tyra Banks denied rumours of dating him. 




@nick__bateman
Instagram @Nick_Bateman
Nick was rumoured to be destined for the role of  Christian Grey in 50 Shades of Grey. We're sad that he did not get the role. Our glass is always half full so we're very happy that he has a lot of time to upload steamy pictures. He can play Mr Grey with us any day!




@peterpsquare
Instagram @peterpsquare
Meet Peter Okoye. The other half of Nigerian superband P-Square. He is Africa's hottest pop star with a private jet, and a taste for expensive bubbly. He recently got married but, hey, there's no rule against looking and drooling. We just wish he'd stop making us choose between his body and his face when he posts his pictures.*runs to a confession booth to ask for forgiveness for all the dirty thoughts this picture inspires*





 
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Thu, 16 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
Protect Yourself From Revenge Porn http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/protect-yourself-from-revenge-porn ex-lovers to settle scores, with former Disney star Dylan Sprouse as the latest casualty. Locally, celebrities like Khanyi Mbau and former Miss Swaziland Nompilo Mncina have had their nude pictures leaked online. Here are 5 ways of protecting yourself from being a casualty of revenge porn:

1. Don’t Show Your Face.

It sounds boring but it’s worth trying out. Send a picture of your body in various poses.‘In a relationship you have to make sure that you watch your back. He may love you today but wake up the next morning and tell you that he wants to move on,’ says life coach Karen Zievorgel.

2. Save Them On Your Computer

Karen advises saving nude picture and sex tapes on your computer and using your own gadgets to take racy pictures. This way, you control access to the sexy footage.

3. Sexy Back

He’ll know who sent him the pictures so why show him your sexy backside next time he asks for naughty pictures? Afterall, there's a reason the reverse cowgirl position is so popular.

4. Wear A Mask
A mask will make you look sexy and in control and up the kinky factor. And the possibilities are endless. You can be catwoman, a burlesque dancer and anything your mind conjures up.

5. Stay Alert

Set a Google Alert for your name: If a pic pops up, you'll be ready with a take-down notice.

We think the best way of getting over revenge porn is holding your head up and moving on gracefully from what is ultimately a minor scandal because everyone has a naughty picture or video–they just have not been leaked to the public (yet). Read page 64 of COSMO for more on Revenge Porn and refuse to be broken down by bitter exes. 

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Thu, 16 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
Take a Moment. Put on Your Headphones. Close Your Eyes. Let Go http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/take-a-moment-put-on-your-headphones-close-your-eyes-let-go Our ed listens to @aboveandbeyond acoustic version of Sun and Moon. Loses her mind. And heart. Again.

A few years back, when British trance kings Above & Beyond visited South Africa, I was lucky enough to shadow them for a weekend. I learnt their scene, their style, their strengths and their loves. And I too fell in love, particularly with their smash hit Sun and Moon.

Now the Internet has offered up a video of them performing this nostalgic anthem in acoustic version at London’s Porchester Hall. The rework is more beautiful than ever imagined. It features live vocals from Alex Vargas (subbing for original vocalist Richard Bedford), a stunning orchestra and the three boys themselves – Tony McGuinness, Jono Grant and Paavo Siljamaki. "'Sun & Moon' is one of our best-loved songs and probably the one that evokes the biggest crowd response all over the world, so it was an interesting challenge to try to create an acoustic version that might connect in the same way," Siljamäki told Rolling Stone earlier this year.

Take a moment. Put on your headphones. Close your eyes. Let go.



And they say EDM is not music. Hmm... 



 
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Thu, 16 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
The Beauty Intern Diaries - Start Of a New Year http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-beauty-intern-diaries-start-of-a-new-year


A new year brings new challenges, new goals and new experiences. Three things I love! January has played right into all three of those aspects as it's been a hectic month so far. 

The COSMO office was back up and running last week Monday and I’ve been non-stop since. Last week we I went to the studio with our Art Director, Juan, to shoot our April Lust List. It was a messy but an awesome shoot to be a part of… You’ll see why soon ☺

Part of my job as a beauty intern, is to attend on behalf of Juana any launches or events that she cannot make. So next week I’m off to Johannesburg for an event, which I’m pretty excited about. Although, flying in and out on the same day is going to be somewhat challenging for me. Anyone who knows me, knows I get tired too easily and require ‘napping times’ like some domesticated cat. But, I’m sure I’ll manage to pull through and make it back to my apartment semi-alive.

Anyway, that’s it for this week’s blog post as my stomach is officially singing the national anthem (anyone at the office with vouch for how often i'm found digging in the fridge). Because ladies and gentleman, hunger is real!



Catch my blog updates every Wednesday, and check out our Instagram page @CosmopolitanSA and my account @megsnicola where I’ll also be posting updates from our beauty office. ☺ x


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Wed, 15 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
The Best Gifs From Your Favourite Romantic Movies http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-best-gifs-from-your-favourite-romantic-movies
1. The Notebook

weheartit.com
GIF from weheartit.com

2. Dear John

GIF from www.tumblr.com


3. Poetic Justice


(because there comes a time when a man must do like Tupac and gaze into your eyes forever. Gif from www.gifsoup.com)
 
4. Casablanca 

GIF from www.tumblr.com

5. Jerry Maguire

GIF from www.tumblr.com


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Wed, 15 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
Are Drugs The New Uber-cool Thing To Do? http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/-are-drugs-the-new-uber-cool-thing-to-do Miley Cyrus, whose shock value hit sky-high levels when she lit a joint on stage. We also know how much she loves her Molly. So we have to ask: are celebrities turning drugs into the new uber-cool thing to flaunt? They sing about it on their hits; twelebs brag about it on Twitter:

@Killah_Beast That Swaziland weed got me so high

@Prtchards_k I wanna go back to when weed use to make me laugh LF!

@Therealnkully Growing up I used to like the smell of grass, until I got to know a thing called “weed” .(._.”)

@Zee_Theresa1 HIGH AF!

@Kurrupt_goti Hawaaiin kush, purp, and caviargold “world’s strongest bud”

@Zee_Ntakana I remember a time I was smoking weed with my ex, I passed out on the lawn and he left me there till the morning

@TallModaPhucka When I’m high, I enjoy long romantic walks to the fridge.

Clinical Psychologist, Michelle Andrew says there is a link between what’s cool in popular culture and what’s cool in the pop culture loving set ‘Artists who sing about drug may influence fans to start using as they see that their favourite stars ate doing drugs and doing just fine.’

Read page 46 of COSMO for more on #PoppingMolly, and why you shouldn’t fall for the hype.

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Mon, 13 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
Our Favourite Moments From Last Night's Opening Monologue http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/our-favourite-moments-from-last-nights-opening-monologue Last night, your best friends Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made us laugh once again. It's almost like the Golden Globes have been remade the Tina and Amy show. Or as they like to call it, 'The 71st Annual Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's Lee Daniel's The Butler Golden Globes!' 
Let's take a look at all of our favourite moments from their opening monologue shall we...


GIF



1. Introducing the show as the '71st Annual Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's Lee Daniel The Butler' Golden Globe awards!

2. Pronouncing Tom Hanks as Tam Honks 'Damn it! I knew I was gonna screw that up!' Amy curses 

3. Saying Matt Damon was pretty much a garbage man compared to the crowd there

4. That time they showed a picture of Jennifer Lawrence and said she was Amy Poehler

5. That time they shaded Julia Louis-Dreyfus for sitting in the film section instead of TV 'Hi Julia! You KNOW us from TV!'


Watch it here for yourself and tell us about your favourite moments:


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Mon, 13 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
13 Things to Remember when Travelling to a Foreign Country http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/13-things-to-remember-when-travelling-to-a-foreign-country Planning to expand your cultural horizons with a trip to another country this year? Here's what you need to consider

1. Pack smartly to make getting around airports and traipsing between train stations and hotels easier. If you can’t lift your suitcase after you’ve zipped it up, you’ve probably packed too much unnecessary stuff. Start over.

2. Pack lots of accessories – it saves on space and it’s easier than trying to fit 20 different outfits in your luggage. Plus you’re bound to pick up new threads on the road.

3. Take along one versatile, wrinkle-proof LBD – just in case.

4. Invest in comfortable shoes – sandals or sneakers. In fact, pack both.

5. Research the local laws and customs. Certain things that you take for granted at home may be frowned upon or downright illegal in another country.

6. Respect the local culture, no matter what your personal beliefs are. You’re a guest.

7. Make a plan. Consider the fact that you might not be able to get contraceptives or sanitary products over the counter at your destination (or you may not have access to shops/pharmacies if you're travelling to remote locations), so make sure you pack enough of whatever you’ll need…

8. …because there’s something deliciously exciting about having sex in a foreign country, and it’s even more deliciously exciting when it’s sex with a foreigner. (If he doesn’t speak your language very well or at all = bonus!)

9. But you should try to learn some local phrases. ‘Hello’, ‘Please help me find XYZ’ and ‘Thank you’ can get you pretty far.

10. Walk everywhere you can (in your comfortable shoes). It’s the best way to explore a new city – and since you’ll probably be eating and drinking everything in sight to get the most out of the local cuisine, it’ll help you burn off some of the kilojoules.

11. Chronicle your journey. Years from now you’ll be stoked that you blogged about it and Instagrammed everything.

12. When in doubt, be tacky. Postcards and kitsch, tourist-trappy souvenirs really do make the best gifts for your mates. And they won’t make much of a dent in your vacation budget.

13. Feeling mizz? Snap out of it – you’re in an exotic location doing/seeing exotic things and eating exotic food. Your friends would likely trade places with you in a second, and you’ll be kicking yourself once you’re back at work for not squeezing every ounce of joy out of each second of your holiday.



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Tue, 14 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
How to Have the Best Grown-Up Girly Sleepover, Like, Ever http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/-how-to-have-the-best-grown-up-girly-sleepover-like-ever
Forget normal all-nighters. Having a slumber party for your gal pals is the most fun you can have in your onesie!

The magic number
Three to five of your very closest mates is perfect for a sleepover: just enough
to catch up properly, goof around, laugh, cry and chat all night without things going totally south or anybody feeling left out. Keeping it cosy also means you can all bed down in the same room, bringing back the fun naughty- girls’ dorm vibe from your school days.

Spaced out
One choice is to clear out your largest room and cover the floor with firm cushions, throws, pillows, duvets and all manner of other soft bedding options so that everyone can find their own part of the ‘nest’ in which to curl up. If that sounds a bit weird, Carmaquip has camo-coloured self-inflating mattresses that are great for camping, too: they even come in handy bags for easy transporting (R750 each at Carmaquip.co.za). Another great option is the Thermal Comfort Standard mattress (R559 at www. campandclimb.co.za).

Onesie weather

Giant all-in-one rompers are the fashion fad of the year, and there’s no time or place they’re better suited for than at a stylish sleepover. Find yours at Topshop or Woolworths.

To-do list:
1. Load fave songs and playlists
2. Buy wine
3. Get ingredients to make something fun and decadent: Belgian waffles, anyone?
4. Assemble nail-polish remover and different colours, then try our mani of the month


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Fri, 10 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
Back Off, Back-Seat Drivers! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/back-off-back-seat-drivers
 Next time you want to instruct your driver, think twice...


If you’ve ever had a passenger slamming on imaginary brakes or giving you advice on how to parallel park, you know how irritating a back-seat driver can be. But back-seat driving isn’t only annoying – it can also be dangerous because it’s distracting, says Gary Ronald of the Automobile Association of South Africa.
Ensure you don’t commit these back-seat-driving offences:

Look out...
If you’re a cautious passenger, you might worry that the driver hasn’t noticed potential dangers. ‘Warning the driver about oncoming traffic will probably just annoy them and possibly make them aggressive towards other drivers,’ says Ronald.

Changing tracks

You’re bored with Rihanna –time to change the channel and see what else is playing. Oops, don’t like that either. Perhaps there’s something better on another station... Ronald warns that what might seem like an innocuous search for the best soundtrack to your journey can be a hazard if it distracts the driver’s attention. And if they’re the ones turning that dial? Gently offer to take over the role of DJ so they can focus on the driving instead of the tunes.

‘You won’t believe this!’
You’ve seen a status update on your phone that’s made your jaw drop, and you can’t wait to share it with the driver. Bad idea, says Ronald. ‘When you pass someone your phone to have a quick look, it means they’ll be taking their eyes off the road. Even if it’s just for a second, the results can be disastrous.’

The last-second navigator
Telling the driver to take a right just before the turn-off means they have to slow down and make their move within seconds – possibly without indicating. It’s not difficult to see how this could cause an accident. Check the directions beforehand and give plenty of advance warning.

No more drama
If, in your opinion, it’s not only your driver who could do with a few lessons but everyone else on the road too, you need to calm your temper. ‘Don’t cause drama by shouting and gesturing at drivers who wait a nanosecond too long at a traffic light or do something else to rankle you – you could start a road-rage incident,’ cautions Ronald. Courtesy and consideration are as much part of being a good driver as alertness is.

BUT DON’T EVER ACCEPT THIS FROM YOUR DRIVER

You have the right to speak out against any driving behaviour that makes you uncomfortable, especially:

1. Drinking (or taking drugs) and driving
2. Talking on the phone, or texting
3. Speeding
4. Reckless driving and weaving through traffic
5. Aggressive behaviour towards other drivers, which may spark road rage

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Tue, 07 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
Our Top 10 Scariest Movies http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/our-top-10-scariest-movies
1. The Exorcist (1973)
The mother of a demon-possessed teenager calls in two priests to pray for her soul. The devil, it turns out, does not give up without fighting to the last breath. Entertainment Weekly named it their scariest movie of all time.




2. Friday the 13th (1981)
Jason Voorhees drowns as a boy at Camp Crystal Lake due to the negligence of the camp staff. Decades later, the lake is rumored to be cursed and is the setting for a series of mass murders. The franchise has 12 hair-raising movies.




3. Blair Witch Project (1999)
The Blair Witch legend is said to be a true story of a woman called Elly Kedward from Maryland. She was accused to witchcraft and banished to the Black Hill forest where the town’s people left her hanging from a tree. In the movie, Three film students go missing after travelling into the woods of Maryland to make a documentary about the local Blair Witch legend leaving only their footage behind.




4. The Descent (2005)
A group of six close female friends on a spelunking trip find themselves trapped in an unmapped cave, and spend the rest of the holiday trying to not get eaten by flesh-eating humanoids that hunt them.



5. The Ring (2002)

A  journalist investigates a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it.
Her quest starts when a handful of teenagers who watched the tape while spending a weekend at a cabin in the mountains die suddenly on the same night. 




6. Jaws (1975)
This has to be the creepiest movie ever made, mostly because life imitates art every time some (unlucky) swimmer gets attacked by a shark. in Steven Spielberg's blockbuster a giant great white shark arrives on the shores of a New England beach resort and wreaks havoc with bloody attacks on swimmers. 



7. 28 Days Later (2002)
Animal rights activists free a group of infected chimpanzees, turning London into a killing field when the chimpanzees' victims go on a furious, murderous rage in the days following the initial exposure. Waking from a coma in a deserted London hospital 28 days after the animals were freed, a bicycle courier joins forces with another group of survivors following a terrifying encounter in a seemingly abandoned church. 

 


8. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A high school student has a disturbing nightmare in which she is stalked through the boiler room by a severely burned figure with the bladed glove on his hand. When he finally catches her, she awakens screaming in her own bed. However, her nightgown has four slashes in it, identical to the ones given to her in the dream by the unknown man's razors, and she is not convinced it was just a nightmare. 
 



9. Psycho (1960)
Alfred Hitchcock's best film has been praised as a work of cinematic art by international film critics and film scholars, while the  US Library of Congress declared the film 'culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1992. The plot involves a missing woman, a motel and a deranged loner of an owner possessed by the spirit of his dead mother.
 


10. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The film follows a group of friends who fall victim to a family of cannibals while on their way to visit an old homestead. The character of Leatherface and minor plot details were inspired by the crimes of real-life murderer Ed Gein. In 2012, the film was named by critics in the British Film Institute's Sight & Sound magazine as one of the 250 greatest films ever made.
 

Excited by these clips? Read page 54 of the February issue to find out why women love scary movies. 

 
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Mon, 06 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
8 Things We Didn’t Know About Hangovers http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/8-things-we-didnt-know-about-hangovers  Here are some surprising facts about hangovers that we didn’t even know!

1) It takes between 3-5 drinks for the average woman to set herself up for a hangover.

2) Colourless drinks such as vodka and gin cause milder hangovers than darker drinks such as red wine and whisky.

3) 250ml of an alcoholic beverage causes the body to expel 200ml to 1lt of water. So for every glass of alcohol you intake, you need to consume 4 glass of water!

4) Increased physical activity while drinking actually makes for a worse hangover in the morning.

5) You can be hung-over for up to half a day.

6) Coca cola was originally invented as a cure for hangovers and headaches.

7) For an orgasmic hangover cure, try sex! Okay it doesn’t actually cure a hangover, but it releases oxytocin, a hormone that reduces sensitivity to pain and alleviates the mood.

8) As you get older, your hangovers will get worse. Lets hope they invent a quick cure before we get any older!


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Sun, 05 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
10 Outstanding Gift Ideas for Your BFF http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/10-outstanding-gift-ideas-for-your-bff Say no to cheesy friendship necklaces!

She’s your bestie and she deserves the best – but the endless festive season shopping loop is completely doing your head in, and you’ve yet to find the perfect present for your closest friend. These cool ideas will get you started.

Ink her
We’re talking a temporary henna tattoos here – unless you’re brave enough to go permanent. Nothing says holiday spirit like matching BFF tattoos in the form of a bracelet – or you could create a bigger personalised design on your forearms (à la Season 3-Teen Wolf-Allison and Lydia, only not at all creepy).

Help her decorate
If she celebrates Christmas, a tree ornament with a special message and both your names on it will be something that always reminds her of you at this celebratory time of year.

Scrap(book) her
Scrapbooks are still cool – and she’ll love the time, effort and thought you put into making one for her. Take it further by choosing a bunch of cool pics of the two of you doing your favourite things and creating a 2014 ‘friendship calendar’, which you can get printed at a photography shop.

Time her
You adore her but she’s always late – for everything. A cool aqua-coloured alarm clock that also has a USB connection (R160 at Woolworths) will not only get her out of bed on time for work in the new year, but the timer function will also keep her on track while she’s getting ready to hit the town with you.

Spoil her…
…with a spa date, whether it’s a luxurious mani/pedi voucher or a relaxing treatment that’ll work out the kinks of a crazy-busy year. Get the same for yourself and make it a girls’ day out!

Surprise her
You know that concert she really, really wants to go to but simply can’t afford to buy a ticket for? Make her day twice over – on the day you give her the ticket and on the day of the show.

Adorn her
We’re trying to stay away from cheesy friendship jewellery – but a pair of sexy, leather cut-out earrings by Helen Andrews of White Rabbit Days will go down a treat. They’re cool, they’re unusual and they’re very feminine. Instant hit!

Kit her out
Her favourite hobby can help you choose a gift she’ll love to use. Does she paint? Get her a new set of brushes. Is she big on mountain biking? Club together with mates and family and get her a GoPro camera to document her adventures. The added bonus is, every time she does her favourite thing, she’ll also think of her favourite person – you!

Give her freedom
Makeup is a very personal thing, but since you know her so well, you’ll know that she’ll enjoy Inglot Freedom System Lipstick (R89 each). Pick the colour she loves right now – when she’s done with it, she can refill the lipstick with her new fave.

Organise her life
Put an end to her scratching around the bottom of her handbag for bank cards, business cards and parking change – a designer wallet is cute enough to make her feel spoiled and useful enough to make her life easier. And her manicure will thank you!

If your best friend is a guy…
…chances are he’s a sucker for gadgets and other ‘functional’ gifts. Be on the lookout for coffee makers, LED braai headlights, beer carriers, all-in-one fishing tools or smartphone cable kits. And if he’s already got it all, an electronics-store voucher will definitely be put to excellent use.



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Wed, 18 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Fabulous Party Cocktails http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/fabulous-party-cocktails- The Sweet Tart
For the fun loving and flirty girl.

Ingredients:

8 mint leaves
10ml golden syrup
12,5ml honey
a dash of lemon
50ml apple juice
25ml Irish whisky

In a shaker, shake the mint and golden syrup, then add the honey and stir. Pour the rest of the ingredients into the shaker over ice, jiggle and strain into an iced glass. Garnish with mint and a twist of lemon rind.

The Bitterati
For the independent and charismatic girl.

Ingredients:
4 dashes of Angostura bitters
15ml golden srup
50ml bourbon

In a tumbler with two ice cubes, stir in the bitters, add the syrup and another two ice cubes. Stir, then add half the bourbon and more ice. Top of with the rest of the bourbon and garnish with a twist of orange rind.

The Jane Bond

For the woman that loves a challenge and stirs emotions

Ingredients:
Four teaspoons of honey
50ml whiskey
25ml lemon juice
25ml pineapple juice

Stir the honey with the whiskey in the base of a shaker until the honey dissolves. Add the ice and other ingredients before garnishing with a pineapple wedge.

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Fri, 20 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
15 Reasons Why a Cat is Better Than a Man http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/15-reasons-why-a-cat-is-better-than-a-man best friend.

2. It won’t leave its toenail clippings in the lounge

3. It won’t insist on hanging on to his “lucky” pair of Converse.

4. It won’t borrow your car (and leave it with an empty petrol tank).

5. It won’t leave wet towels on the floor.

6. It won’t snore.

7. It won’t leave coffee cups all over the place.

8. It will not wake you up in the middle of the night because its
ridiculously drunk.

9. It doesn’t mind watching chick flicks with you.

10. It won’t break up with your via text.

11. It won’t go through your messages.

12. It doesn’t get jealous if you look at other cats.

13. It won’t have a midlife crisis.

14. You can have more than one and not feel guilty.

15. It won’t make empty promises about calling you in the morning.

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Thu, 19 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Editor's Choice: Emma du Preez http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/editors-choice-emma-du-preez Emma du Preez has been one of my biggest discoveries (and highs) of 2013. Her singer/songwriter sound moves me to reflect, to smile, to dance and I try to catch her live in Cape Town whenever she performs. Her first EP, The View From Here, produced by Kieran Kelly in New York, will be available in January next year. Until then, listen to this. Exceptional. 
 
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Fri, 13 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Your Holiday Frivolity To-Do list http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/your-holiday-frivolity-to-do-list- • Try out a new hair colour (or just one mean streak if you don’t want to go the whole Kelly Osbourne/Nicki Minaj hog).


• Swim – in a swimsuit that loves your body.

• Wear flowers in your hair. Weave them into your braided hair wreath à la Mimi, our online editor.


• Squander an afternoon doing an intricate, trendy manicure: see COSMO’s Mani of the Month for inspo.

• Find a cool new holiday signature drink. Pink grapefruit gin fizz, anyone?

• See the sun rise.

• Learn to cook a new dish – something to impress a guy or his parents, or to whip up for girls’ night at your place. Think Easy Butter Chicken or Beef and Pumpkin Pie by Ilse Fourie, MasterChef South Africa contestant. Find her recipes at www.gourmetprincess.co.za

• Lie in bed for an hour each morning. Think. Daydream. Plan.


• Spend a whole day at home in pyjamas. Or nothing.

• Weed your wardrobe: donate anything you don’t, won’t or can’t wear.

• Wear heels if you normally wear slops, or vice versa, just to see how it changes your outlook.


 
 
• Think of a cunning business idea or career sideline you’ve always wanted to pursue, and start gathering info related to it.

• Pinpoint three things you’d like to do in 2014. Just three. Do them by the end of next year.

• Handwrite a letter or card to a key person in your life, expressing what you appreciate about them.

• Put fresh flowers in a vase or coloured glass next to your bed.

• Write down three highlight experiences from 2013, and three challenges (and how they served you).


• Tell yourself that, despite occasional outward appearances, your life is going perfectly, according to a universal grand plan. So you can relax!

Smile. It’s the prettiest thing you can wear.

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Thu, 12 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Popular DJ Culoe De Song Releases His Third Album http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/-popular-dj-culoe-de-song-releases-his-third-album DJ Culolethu Zulu, aka Culoe De Song , launched a career that sent waves in the international dance music scene, with performances in Europe and a SAMA nomination for his second album, A Giant Leap. He recently launched his third album, Exodus, which he says sounds 'melodramatic'.

COSMO: Why the name Exodus?
CULOE: It's a people's album. I've met a network of people in all my travels and I've gained inspirations from different countries and cities. This has influenced my current sound and I'm taking people on a journey to all these places through the power of music. This journey is called Exodus.

COSMO: You have guest artists on the album. What do they add to the album?

CULOE. I've worked with Shota, Kabomo, Moneoa, Thandi Draai, Soulstar to name a few. All these great artists have contributed a unique element. Coming from different backgrounds and genres, they've helped me create a special and enjoyable dance music piece.

COSMO: What’s your favourite song on the album? The one that you believe everyone must hear regardless of the genre of music they listen to, and why?

CULOE: No Contest. I'd like everyone to listen to it and most importantly dance hard to it. It's an instrumental song driven by a flanger drum and guitar grooves. This was my way of saying ‘Music Is No Contest’. As a DJ, I’ve enjoyed playing this one and the response has been great.

COSMO: What makes you a fun and fearless DJ?

CULOE: I believe in giving people a great time through the power of sound.

COSMO's verdict: We love Exodus. It has a touch of tribal and deep house sounds, with catchy songs like the Journey of Love, Ma Afrika and Why Haven't I left, which makes you think of that one ex you didn't want to let go of.



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Thu, 12 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Making tracks for the holidays http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/making-tracks-for-the-holidays Whoop! It's the end of the year. Time for a COSMO hit-list.

These are the tracks we're taking on holiday with us because it's road-tripping, dancing, laughing, chilling, paaaaartay season (ie, it's the end of the year).

We've had a wild year, haven't we. Sometimes we've surfed the wave, othertimes we got dumped by it. And yet we rose, still spluttering, the wind knocked out of us, but ready to catch the next swell. 

What a ride! And wasn't the music fine?

These are the tunes we're surfing out of 2013 on. 

What are we missing? Let us know.


Shaun Jacobs - End Of The Road (Official Music Video)



Shortstraw - Couch Potato



Official MAFIKIZOLO ft Uhuru - KHONA




MI CASA - Jika

 

Toya Delazy - Heart 




Jeremy Loops - Mission To The Sun ‘Howling”




Goldfish - Three Second Memory




Jimmy Nevis - In Love with You




Heartbeat Racing by CrashCarBurn (ft. ChianoSky)




The Parlotones featuring Khuli Chana - Sleepwalker




Ross Jack - TV’s in the Swimming Pool




DJ Kent ft The Arrows - Spin My World Around 




Jack Parow - P.A.R.T.Y



Lady Gaga - Applause




Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Can't Hold Us




Drake - Started From The Bottom



 
Get Lucky - Daft Punk Feat.




Justin Timberlake - Mirrors




Fall Out Boy - My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark




Kayne West - New Slaves




Ylvis - The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)




Eminem - Rap God




Arcade Fire - Reflektor




Katy Perry - Roar




Paramore - Still Into You




Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball




Vampire Weekend - Ya Hey




Ellie Goulding - Burn




Justin Bieber - All That Matters <this is specially for our Editor>




OneRepublic - Counting Stars






And then, of course, this



 
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Wed, 11 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
The Beauty Intern Diaries - Enter Chuck Norris & Beauty Products http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-beauty-intern-diaries-enter-chuck-norris--beauty-products

It’s been a busy week in the office for everyone, as always, but Juana and I thankfully had a change of scenery yesterday, as we went off to shoot beauty products for next year’s pages. It was a long but exciting day!

Monday evening was spent packing the beauty products according to our lists, making sure we had everything and that nothing was missing, or in the wrong bag, and doing final product selections. We left first thing yesterday morning and headed straight over to Riana’s studio, Riana the photographer not Rihanna Rihanna, even though both are just as talented!

It was exciting watching artistic minds collaborate to produce the most AH-mazing visuals and beauty stills. Obviously I can’t give too much away in fear of spoiling the surprise, but oh my goodness you guys are going to LOVE the pages!! Something new, exciting and vibrant as it literally jumps off the page. How I wish that could be taken in the literal sense – don’t you long for technology to allow us to take that Lancôme eyeliner RIGHT off the page, at ease, and for free. Sigh ….



I love helping Juana out on the shoots and learning that, although the final product may look like it’s been put together effortlessly, it actually requires a metamorphosis into Chuck Norris. I just had to hold her gown in-between changes.


You have to think about lighting, how to bring out specific colours, which way to position the product, making the product stay still with the help of sticky stuff, shapes of products etc. There is so much to think about it’s actually quite terrifying, and that’s just for one page and then the process repeats.


By the end of the day we were exhausted but left chuffed with the visuals we walked away with! And then it was back to the office and time to start requesting prices and making even more lists. But it’s always so worth it!


Catch my blog updates every Wednesday, and check out our Instagram page CosmopolitanSA and my account megsnicola where I’ll also be posting updates from our beauty office. ☺ x


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Wed, 11 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
7 Cool Gifts for a Long-Term Boyfriend… http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/7-cool-gifts-for-a-long-term-boyfriend …and one thing you probably shouldn’t buy him, even though you're tempted

You’ve been together for ages – ages of birthday gifts, V-day gifts, Christmas gifts, anniversary gifts and even just-because gifts. If your present arsenal is running dangerously low (and your man has been his usual unhelpful self in terms of hinting at what he wants), these cool ideas might help!

Say it with pictures
Load a digital photo frame with pics of the good times you’ve had together, and his favourite places, things and people (yes, this is where your selfies come in). Just make sure all the photos are lounge-appropriate – you wouldn’t want his folks to see you at your less-dressed…

Say it in private
Nothing says QT like a romantic getaway. And while it’s great if you can afford an overseas jaunt (in terms of both money and time), even a long weekend at a secluded game farm or quiet guesthouse in the winelands will give you a chance to concentrate on just being a couple.

Say it the way you did the first time
Remember your first date? Where you went, what you did, how you felt? Surprise him with a full re-enactment, down to the clothes you were both wearing, if possible. Leave him a note with a date, time and dress-code instructions; on the day, blindfold him and drive him down memory lane.

Say it fast!
A chance to be Sebastian Vettel for a day? We can’t think of many guys who’d pass it up. Make his racing dreams come true with a day of training at the track at Killarney in Cape Town or Kyalami in Jo’burg, courtesy of the folks at Fantastic Racing – and make sure you’re there to document the whole experience (and ogle him in full racing kit).

Say it in stages
Buy (or make) a few smaller gifts – a fragrance, a designer wallet, a DIY ‘gift certificate’ for ‘sensual sessions’ of his choice – and have them dropped off at his desk at work one by one. End with an envelope that contains a key card, a room number and directions to a five-star hotel. He’ll love the attention – and the anticipation!

Say it online
If your man has even a whiff of an IT geek about him or fancies himself a blogger, register his full name as a domain. It’s easy to do and easy on the wallet – and he’s bound to get a kick out of it.

Say it all the time
Watches are seen as an expression of long-term commitment – and they’re, well, timeless. Need we say more?

Don’t say it…
…with a sports jersey emblazoned with the name of his favourite player. The transfer market being what it is, he might loathe that guy come next season – and the shirt might end up as a firelighter.



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Wed, 11 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
7 Cute, Quirky Gifts for a New Boyfriend… http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/7-cute-quirky-gifts-for-a-new-boyfriend …and two things you absolutely should not get him!

So you’ve been dating for two months and now it’s That Time Of The Year. You’ve only just found out he prefers his eggs sunny side up but chances are his music tastes are still a bit of a mystery. Getting him a thoughtful gift that doesn’t scream ‘stalker’ or send you to money rehab can be hard. Good news: we’ve thought of some ideas so that you don’t have to.

Cute boxers
We’re going to go ahead and assume that, by now, you know what’s going on in his underwear drawer. A fun pair of boxers = cute, quirky and guaranteed to raise a smile. And if he’s a Y-fronts guy … our condolences.

Even cuter T-shirt
We’re not saying you should be dressing him (at least not this early on in the relationship!) but a funny-graphic tee is great for a guy with a sense of humour. If his skin tone can handle orange, a CCTV shirt from Mr Price (R39,95) will be a hit.

Something to read
Books are quite retro-cool in the tablet era – and Ja Well No Fine: An Alternative Guide To South Africa (R100) from local imprint Two Dogs is a funny and irreverent look at our country. Added bonus: it’s bitty, so he can read it for 15 minutes during the football or cricket break.

A music voucher
You might not have had time to investigate his music taste in detail – or perhaps you have, but you don’t want to freak him out with your elephant-like memory. Get him a voucher for an online music store and let him pick his favourites.

On the note of vouchers…
Why not get creative and make your own voucher for him? It could be for a night out at a place of his choice, three uninterrupted hours of sports-watching on a Saturday afternoon or a tasting trip around the Winelands with you as the designated driver.

For the silent type
Perhaps he takes public transport often or works in an open-plan office. A pair of full headphones will help him concentrate – or steal a moment for himself in the madness of a busy studio.

And then, this!
iPhone camera tripods are the next level of awesome – and we’re in love with this rad dinosaur version on Eat.Sleep.Make. We’re not sure who’ll get more of a kick out of this: you when you're making it or the lucky recipient when he's using it!

Think twice before you get him…
…a kitschy framed picture of the two of you (which you printed off Thunda.com the day after you met) – or an iPod Shuffle filled with all your soppy-song favourites. It might still be too soon…

Find cool festive-season gift ideas under R100 here.


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Tue, 10 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Elopement Checklist http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/elopement-checklist Get Your Documents in Order.
If you’re getting married in South Africa, go to the Home Affairs website www.home-affairs.gov.za to find out exactly what documents you need. If you’re going to tie the knot abroad, you must check the legal requirements of the country you’re travelling to. In SA, an ID document will generally be sufficient, but you might need proof of divorce or death of a previous spouse, or to fill in additional government forms at your destination. Things are more complicated if you’re younger than 18 (or, in some cases, under 21).

Have a Plan.
By eloping, you’re already running the risk of upsetting family and friends. Don’t make it worse by letting someone close to you find out the big news from someone else! Make sure you get in first.

Honour the Occasion.

No matter how small, casual or impromptu, it’s still your big day. Whether it’s going to a five-star restaurant afterwards or wearing a designer dress to a registry office, find your own way of imbuing the event with the splendour it deserves.

For more information on Life Planner click here.


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Tue, 10 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Photographers and their Muses http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/photographers-and-their-muses


Lee Miller and Man Ray
Acclaimed photojournalist, model and fashion photographer, Lee Miller is mostly well known for being the muse and lover of iconic artist and photographer, Man Ray. The duo lived in Paris where he taught her photography until she ended the relationship, which inspired his most famous painting ‘Observatory Time: The Lovers’.

Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe
Their epic romance and artistic partnership took place in the turbulent New York of the 1960s. They were two young roommates and lovers trying to make their way into art. Patti appeared in many photographs of his famous early work.




Terry Richardson’s Muses
Rihanna, Miley, Miranda, Gisele… Terry has photographed the biggest artists and models of the moment but is very controversial. He’s been accused of perversity and sexual harassment by some of his posers, so one may wonder where the limit is with this concept of the muse.

This article originally appeared on www.marieclairvoyant.com


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Mon, 09 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Tips On How To Host A Farewell Party http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/tips-on-how-to-host-a-farewell-party Venue:
Consider hosting the event in an intimate venue – perhaps a quaint boutique hotel – where you don’t have to plan the décor. Be sure to invite the closest friends and work colleagues of the person leaving.

Drinks:
Erika Lenkert, author of The Last-Minute Party Girl (McGraw-Hill), recommends creating a speciality cocktail that fits the theme of your party, such as caipirinhas for a Brazilian samba party or mojitos for a Cuba Libre shindig.

Party Extras:
If the person is moving cities or going overseas, try to match the theme to the destination: for instance, you could have a Bondi Beach bash if he or she is going to Australia. Make little ‘What you mean to me’ cards and have each guest fill one out at the party. At the end of the evening, read them out loud to everyone. Depending on how tipsy everyone is by this stage, the contributions could be highly entertaining. Or have each guest complete a sentence, for example: ‘Whenever I think of Jenny, I think of…’ or ‘Sam would kill me if ever I told anybody but…’

For more on Life Planning click here
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Mon, 09 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Getting Out of a Tricky Situation…ASAP! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/getting-out-of-a-tricky-situationasap Walking out of a Pricey or Unappealing Restaurant
After you look at the menu and have realised that you cant even afford the starters, it can be quite intimidating to get up and leave. Don’t try and sneak out. That can just end up incredibly embarrassing. Rather excuse yourself and leave politely. Don’t forget to smile!

Cutting a Conversation Short on the Phone
We all have that one friend that never stops speaking about their problems and kills your phones battery. Wait till she takes a slight pause then gasp and remember that you have something to do. Also make it clear to her that you would like to give her your full attention and advice when you have more time. The more time she has to think over what ever is happening, the less she is likely to complain.

Slipping out of a Group Meeting at Work
Never get up and announce that you need to leave. Not only will you disturb the meeting but you will get some strange stares. Rather leave quietly and leaving a note with your boss’s assistant explaining why you needed to leave.

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Mon, 09 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
‘Help! I Can’t Stop Listening to Hardwell!’ http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/help-i-cant-stop-listening-to-hardwell The DJ Mag world number one DJ really is all that – and then some

I can’t stop listening to Hardwell. I’ve had this ‘problem’ ever since Revealed Vol. 4 was released in June – and now that I’ve seen the ‘I Am Hardwell’ SA tour, the problem has been severely compounded. Now I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop listening to him…

                                         And this is why I can't stop…

I’m one of the lucky ones: I’ve seen him before. Eighteen months ago, when he was still ‘only’ at number 24 in the DJ world (according to DJ Mag Top 100), I watched Hardwell at Tomorrowland. And I saw him again six months ago, when he was the world’s number six. But those shows were at festivals: shared stages, short sets and big egos fighting for supremacy. ‘I Am Hardwell’ is just what it says it is – and it’s all about him.

Robbert van de Corput has everything he needs to rule the EDM world right now. He’s young, he’s brash, he’s loud, he’s heavy, he’s banging; he makes you want to stomp, jump, dance and punch the air with both fists. He makes the non-believers shuffle oh-so-grudgingly (or so they'd have you think) to his relentless beats, and he makes the minimal purists pause, listen and acknowledge. He doesn’t stop until he has you, and once he has you he’s not likely to let go for the full three hours of his set. He really is all that. And I suspect he knows it.

They all know it too!

But it’s not youthful arrogance – almost essential in today’s EDM industry – that makes the crowds fall in love with this 25-year-old. It’s his energy, his focus, his refusal to stop, and his commitment to putting on the best combination of music, art and visuals he can. The DJs of today may have been called ‘glorified button pushers’ by some, but if scripting is what makes ‘I Am Hardwell’ the outstanding spectacle that it is, then I don’t think I ever want to see another ad lib set again. All I want is this crowd-pleasing rock star, just one more time. Trust me: you want to catch him and the incredibly talented Dannic on this tour. Go go go!


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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Images of South Africans Celebrating Madiba's Life http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/images-of-south-africans-celebrating-madibas-life


Lynette Sait – “Nelson Mandela was an ordinary man who did extraordinary things!”




Gill Fitzhenry, Helen Worthington Smith – “Madiba has made us proud to be South Africans”




Kiki Coka, Noluthando Coka – “ The great tree has fallen. We love you Madiba!”



Samantha Levin – “ A leader, an icon, a man to remember worldwide. His peace lives on.”



Niquita Hulbert, Olivia Hedley, Kelly Bates – “Thank you to the Father of our country. Rest in peace!”



Nuraaan Anthony – “I was really saddened by the news of passing of the great Mandela. He was a great man and my hero.”



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Fri, 06 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
From the Editor: Thank You, Madiba http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/from-the-editor-thank-you-madiba We woke up to a new South Africa.

I close my eyes and picture the face of Madiba. Our Madiba. A spirit and a life that have changed our country, our story and our future.

And I think about him, and us, and smile because without Madiba there would be no ‘us’. As part of the tribe that makes up COSMO in South Africa, with our different races, religions, cultures and histories, we are – as he bravely showed us – not that different at all.

Madiba fought and sacrificed for a freedom and equality that we can never take for granted – so that we could chat, cry, laugh and love together, without scorn or condemnation.

How do you write about a man who defies definition? Frankly, I’m not sure. And I think to myself: how on earth do we, as a people, honour his legacy?

We honour his legacy by linking arms as we walk forward into this foreign country that will be ‘South Africa without Madiba’. We celebrate his courage through brave acts of our own. We chuckle when challenged, as only he could.

We forgive unreservedly, knowing through his teachings and through his remarkable grace and poise that resentment is not a weight worth carrying. We live our best life, the one that he sacrificed so much of his life for.

His legacy is now our challenge. We honour him, dear COSMO readers, by recognising that.

Safe travels, Tata.

Cathy and the COSMO team


MEETING MADIBA
Pictured above with Nelson Mandela in 1994
is COSMOPOLITAN South Africa’s founding editor,  
Jane Raphaely. COSMO was a favourite among
the political prisoners on Robben Island,
who used it to create a secret code to get
messages to their loved ones, and comrades.  
To read more about this, click here.



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Fri, 06 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
COSMO on Robben Island http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cosmo-on-robben-island COSMOPOLITAN played a role in bringing what was happening in the world to Nelson Mandela and other prisoners on Robben Island. But it had another role too. It was used as a vehicle for secret communications, as shown in the following excerpt from the autobiography by our chairman, JANE RAPHAELY: Unedited

‘Island Chronicles’, the story of what Cosmopolitan meant to the Robben Islanders, was published in the tenth anniversary issue of the magazine. There could have been no better witness than Judy Sexwale to this unique relationship [as a representative of legal firm Mallinicks, Judy was tasked with helping the prisoners with non-legal queries]. She wrote:

‘The punishment for those who were classified enemies of the State in their struggle against apartheid was total isolation from society, in prison on Robben Island. Denial of mail – in and outgoing – as well as of newspapers and journals deprived the “islanders” of information regarding the world outside their prison walls.

‘Their main objective, therefore, was to obtain any reading matter they could lay their hands on so as to stay in tune with developments in the country and worldwide. Smuggling became the norm. Any scrap of newspaper or magazine was cherished, and before the day was out, every word would have been read by the hundreds of prisoners, each article painstakingly copied and passed from section to section.

‘After years of lodging complaints with judges, official visitors and bodies such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, certain newspapers and magazines such as Huisgenoot, Farmer’s Weekly and Bona! [were allowed]. And they didn’t arrive in the cells uncensored – often pages were cut to shreds. The prisoners, most of whom were already on the Island when Cosmopolitan was launched in March 1984, had all heard about this new magazine and were desperate to see it – it became forbidden fruit.

‘After much time, and many struggles to convince the authorities, Cosmo was finally allowed in – albeit with many holes as a result of censorship scissors. Any politically oriented article, or any negative comment on the status quo, was removed, including articles describing social mores that the authorities decided might be too progressive.

‘But the prisoners could not be disheartened, and Cosmo was one of the magazines that became their window to the world. It was like a television to the eye: glossy, colourful, informative. In a place where everything was grey and drab, Cosmo was quick to strike the eye. The articles were – and still are – enlightening and serious while still maintaining a desperately needed light-heartedness. With its colour, spicy articles, cultural approach and general sensitivity towards all areas of life, Cosmo mirrored the life of which the prisoners were deprived.

‘On the Island, Cosmo was regarded as the magazine that balanced their lives. It is, of course, basically a women’s magazine, depicting women in their full splendour and glory, and as such it was a reminder that the prisoners’ lives were incomplete. The articles about women and relationships, achievements and successes were enlightening and provided the inmates with the feminine input that was lacking in their own lives.

‘Morale on Robben Island was high and there was a very strict code of discipline among the inmates – they did not allow pin-ups on the cell walls, for example: not because of prison regulations, but because of their own. The way in which women, with their wholesome beauty, were portrayed in Cosmo gave it the prisoners’ unanimous vote. It created a balance in their otherwise predominantly male environment.

Cosmo also spoke about children and these pictures and articles were relished by the prisoners. They could not touch or speak to their own loved ones freely, and their desperation and sadness made them hang from their prison windows just to catch a glimpse of wardens’ children walking past and to hear their laughter. Cosmo showed them that normal relationships still existed.

‘When you are imprisoned, time stops. You are denied the privilege of advancing with society. So those who were imprisoned in the 1960s and 1970s knew nothing about what the contemporary world looked like – the cars and fashions they knew about were long forgotten by those of us on the mainland. Technology, fashion, food … everything had advanced and changed, and the prisoners were left behind. Cosmo showed them what progress had been made – and this was an arena where advertising came into its own. Adverts of cars, kitchen appliances, fashion, food, etc, were scrutinised, discussed and dreamed about.

Cosmo also played its part – albeit innocently – in the world of the prison underground. Messages were conveyed through articles and ads, messages of a serious nature at a time when every written and spoken word was monitored and censored. Words on different pages would be painstakingly picked out and given their numerical position on the page. Then a note would be smuggled to someone on the outside who would purchase that particular copy and find the words that had been indicated, thereby decoding the message.

‘Even relationships were conducted through reading Cosmo’s articles and ads. What excitement to receive a message to purchase issue No. X and to read or to look at page Y! Relationships could not be conducted normally, so fantasy played a major role and Cosmo assisted this role in bringing people closer together. Perhaps the message was to look at a fashion spread and an ardent suitor would be conveying his fantasy of seeing his loved one dressed in such an outfit! With the restrictions under which the prisoners lived and from which visitors and loved ones also suffered, a message such as the above could send electric currents coursing through the veins.

‘In a world where life was portrayed as black and white, Cosmo was a firm favourite with the Islanders and, in turn, Cosmo showed its commitment to them. After having been informed of the popularity of the magazine on Robben Island, and also having been told that not many prisoners could afford a subscription, the editor, Jane Raphaely, came up trumps by donating a few issues each month that could be distributed among the inmates. Also, they were not forgotten at Christmas time; Jane sent a card to a certain TP Nkosi, extending greetings to all, and this gave joy by knowing that they were understood and thought of. They were most grateful.’


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Fri, 06 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
COSMO Editors and Readers from Around the World Pay Tribute to Madiba http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cosmo-editors-and-readers-from-around-the-world-pay-tribute-to-madiba We asked the international COSMO sister communities what Madiba meant to them. Their responses show how vast his positive influence is.



COSMO Australia
‘There are very few people about whom you can say, "If only there were more people like him, the world would be a better place." But that’s the truth about Nelson Mandela – he’s one of history’s greatest heroes, and it’s really been the world’s privilege to have him among us.

'Mandela proved, when he sacrificed years of his life and personal happiness to dismantle apartheid, that complex problems can be overcome with grace, integrity, stubbornness and forgiveness. And that’s one seriously amazing life lesson that I hope our readers will carry with them forever. I certainly will.

'And as far as the effect he’s had in our country… Our own Indigenous population still has a much poorer quality of life than other Australians – there’s a substantial, tragic gap in their life expectancy, access to healthcare, literacy levels and education. The best thing we could possibly do here to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy is aspire to heal those problems and better look after our Aboriginal people. Mandela’s lifelong mission to look after vulnerable children (he was quoted as saying, “History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children") should hopefully inspire compassion not just in our readers but also in our politicians and business leaders.’
Editor-in-chief Bronwyn McCahon


COSMO Czech Republic
‘I grew up under a totalitarian regime in the heart of Europe. At the time – during the 1980s – many Czech people (family members and friends) were in prison for their political views. We felt solidarity with all political prisoners around the world, and we searched for information about them. When Nelson Mandela was released from prison, we immediately knew there was hope for our society, too. It was a sign that there was change in the world. It was sign of the future of democracy; it was the end of old totalitarian regimes. A few months after his release, our future democratic president, Vaclav Havel, was released from prison too. The fate of Nelson Mandela and Vaclav Havel is the link between history of the Czech Republic and South Africa's people.’
Editor-in-chief Sabrina Karasova


COSMO Greece
‘There is always time to stop and think about people who have changed the world. There is always a way to be inspired by people who can see a blue sky behind bars; who never lose hope; who use their faith for change – no matter how hard the reality is. For a country struggling to overcome challenging times, such as Greece is, the thought of Nelson Mandela could really make a difference. Because his greatness hides in something very simple and human: while he could have harnessed vengeance and hatred to secure his power, he reached out to every single person. This is why he has always been so special and has always stood out from all the other great leaders. This is why his country, along with every single other country on Earth, honours him. We need to recognise, as he did, the greatness of forgiveness and true love – the kind of love that changes the course of the world.’
Editor-in-chief Nassia Bitha


COSMO Italy
'Man-de-la! Man-de-la! Yes, I always imagine Nelson Mandela as a rock star: a charismatic leader on stage, with the power to drive people to a better world thanks to his immense humanity, inner light and talent. He has a magic superpower: he is everywhere, in every soul, in every heart. And he will be everywhere forever: he's part of each of us, like sweet music that resounds in our blood. He taught Italian people, as he taught the entire world, that there are no different races, no skin colour: only humans. That's why COSMO Italy readers love him: he's brave, he's curious, he's a fighter. A COSMO Man.

'He is a person we can all relate to. Every year, Brescia hosts Italian Mandela Day, a weekend of celebrations in honour of his birthday. Thousands of young girls participate in this event, trying to find out more about his life and catch up on news about him with an enthusiasm usually reserved for finding out about their favourite celebrity!

'In Italy, we have never experienced apartheid, although sadly we are no strangers to racism. This giant and his fight serve as an example to schoolchildren of how we should relate to each other – and because of that, we can change.

'Italy loves Mandela! Rome, Florence and Bologne paid homage to him with an “honorary citizenship”, and the University of Bologna – the oldest university in the country – gave him an “ad honorem” degree in Political Science.

'I feel I have a personal link to Mandela, as I visited South Africa on honeymoon. My husband Marcello and I were eager to explore the country’s wildlife, history and culture. Among the attractions we visited were Soweto, the township where Mandela lived, and Robben Island, where he was imprisoned. Seeing these places aroused a mix of strong emotions that made us understand, more than ever, how great he truly is. Today, one of the songs that inspires me whenever I need a boost is Mandela, a magical piano composition written by the young Italian Giovanni Allevi. Look for it on YouTube – you too will feel moved.”
Editor-in-chief Francesca Delogu


COSMO Germany
‘Nelson Mandela is a real role model and a great inspiration – especially to the people of Germany. His dream of equality for every human (no matter what their skin colour, culture or religion) is really important to keep in mind, and is a goal to keep working towards. He has many followers in Germany, where his name is a symbol of unselfish commitment.’
Editor-in-chief Kerstin Weng



COSMO Argentina

‘The leaders of the world still have a lot to learn from Nelson Mandela’s ideals and sacrifice to achieve freedom and equal opportunities for everyone. Mandela left me this wonderful life lesson: change is possible if there is a great spirit to impel it.’
Editor-in-chief Majo Grillo

‘Nelson Mandela is simply a great man. His fight for freedom continues in every South African who is seeking justice.’
Mercedes Norambuena, COSMO Argentina reader

‘I see hope in his face.’
Sofy Mesas, COSMO Argentina reader


COSMO Hong Kong

'The first time I heard about Nelson Mandela was in a song called Glory Days, composed and sung by the famous Hong Kong rock band Beyond in the early 1990s. The music was beautiful and touching but it was also a strong political anthem about Nelson Mandela’s accomplishments and how he fought for his dreams. More than just a great man, Nelson Mandela is a symbol of freedom and liberty. It’s an honour to be able to talk about him and the words he gave the world. One of the messages I find most inspiring was this: "Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again."'
Senior features editor Rain Shum


COSMO Middle East
'I've always loved this Mandela quote: "As I walked towards the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew that if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I would still be in prison." I find that so incredibly humbling. The Middle East is a multicultural society, with the majority of the population made up of expats. Mandela's words and lessons serve as a reminder that it really is possible for everyone to live together, in a respectful, loving manner.'
Editor-in-chief Kerrie Simon Lawrence



COSMO Netherlands

'Not only has Nelson Mandela changed history but his beliefs and spirit are timeless and inimitable. His famous words, "It seems impossible until it's done", encapsulate the philosophy I – and readers of COSMO Netherlands – try to live by every day. He will forever be a true inspiration to us all.'
Editor-in-chief Anne Marije de Vries Lentsch


COSMO UK
'Nelson Mandela has inspired generations of UK women with his legendary courage, dignity and opposition to oppression and racism. I was lucky enough to be at a meeting at Number 10, Downing Street when he paid a visit to the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and saw the top of his head out of a window. It was a fleeting glance – but one I will never forget.'
Editor-in-chief Louise Court


COSMO Armenia
‘Nelson Mandela has always been a symbol of freedom and strength. His struggle against racism is highly appreciated in Armenia. He should be a role model for all of mankind.’
Editor-in-chief Hrachuhi Utmazyan



COSMO Bulgaria
‘Nelson Mandela is someone I have always admired greatly. His spirit is stronger than any other person's I know. He taught us that it is possible to win when you are fighting for your rights.’
Editor-in-chief Detelina Stamenova


COSMO China
‘I just returned from a team-building trip to South Africa, and witnessed what Nelson Mandela has done for this country. The COSMO team was inspired by his faith and fight for freedom. His campaign to create a rainbow nation inspired me to think again about what civilisation and equality really mean. Our readers in China view him as a marvellous leader and politician; a fighter and a man with perseverance and a strong will.’
Editor-in-chief Vera Xu


COSMO France
‘When I asked my team what Nelson Mandela means to them, this was their response:
- Nelson Mandela is, to me, a symbol of bravery.
- He should be an example to politicians all over the world.
- He stands against violence.
- He feels no hate, no vengeance.
- He made me realise that no-one is born hating another person because of the colour of their skin, their background or their religion.
Acting editor-in-chief, Marie La Fonta



COSMO Taiwan
'Nelson Mandela is a visionary and an idealist; but he is also extremely kind, compassionate and forgiving. The fact that he emerged from prison bearing no hatred makes him on of the world’s greatest leaders.”
Fashion editor Sophie Wu


COSMO Turkey
We asked readers of COSMO Turkey what Nelson Mandela means to them. Here’s what they said:
Songül Türkmen: 'We have a new way of looking at human rights, racism, poverty, inequality and freedom, thanks to this incredible person.'
Serhat Öztürk: 'He is a statesman whose success goes far beyond winning the Nobel Peace Prize.'
Şebnem Kırmacı: 'He is one of the world’s most inspiring people.'
Rıdvan Çiftçi: 'A real man who has a heart; a true patriot and humanitarian.'

'He wanted a world where everyone could live together, in a harmony, with equal rights. This was a dream he never stopped fighting for. For me, he is a man with a big heart. This planet needs statesmen who, like him, want the best for all people.'
Editor-in-chief Özlem Kotan


COSMO Vietnam
'To me, Nelson Mandela is a great leader who is a symbol of inspiration, encouragement and passion. There is so much our young Vietnamese people can learn from him.'
Editor-in-chief Nguyen Mai Phuong




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Fri, 06 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Our 10 Favourite Cocktails: Part 2 http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/our-10-favourite-cocktails-part-2 cocktails, but only 10 have us (and some nations in the world) liking happy hour. Here's part 2 of our favourite cocktails.



5. Margarita 

://pixelatedcrumb.com

The Mexican cocktail is primarily made up of tequila, cointreau or any similar orange-flavored liqueur and lemon or lime juice. It was invented by a socialite named Margarita in 1948 during a cliff-side party in Acapulco. On average, Americans consume 185,000 Margaritas per hour. 



4. Martini

www.helenshelpfulhints.com

It's not every girl's cocktail but there's something sexy and debonair about a man holding a glass of martini. Better if he pulls a James Bond and drinks his shaken. It consists of vodka, sometimes gin, dry vermouth, and garnished with an olive. The martini is said to have been first shaken (not stirred) a century ago at a hotel in New York. 


3. Cuba Libre

www.somethingwickedcocktails.com

The third most sold cocktail drink around the world is also known as run and coke. It's made with cola, white rum and lime juice.


2. Screw Driver

www.summerfruitcup.wordpress.com

The earliest written reference to the Screwdriver is from the October 24, 1949 issue of Time: 'In the dimly lighted bar of the sleek Park Hotel, Turkish intelligence agents mingle with American engineers and Balkan refugees, drinking the latest Yankee concoction of vodka and orange juice, called a 'screwdriver'. We prefer calling it orange juice with a personality.


1. Bloody Mary 

www.tjobriensbarandgrill.com

It's called the world’s most complex cocktail for the spices and condiments that go into it the vodka, tomato juice and lemon juice, including worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce, salt and pepper. Bar tender Fernand Petiot claimed to have invented the drink in 1921 while working at the New York Bar in Paris, which later became Harry's New York Bar. 

Click here for part 1 of our favourite cokctails

#HelloDecember.



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Wed, 04 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
The Beauty Intern Diaries - The Mayhem on Fifth Floor http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-beauty-intern-diaries-the-mayhem-on-fifth-floor Normal.dotm 0 0 1 312 1779 aaa 14 3 2184 12.0

So, today was by far THE most overwhelming day that I’ve had so far at COSMO. I have two words that should pretty much sum up the reason as to why… Beauty Sale.

 

Beauty products ranging from Dior to Chanel at R5, I think it’s fair to say that people definitely had their game faces on. Five minutes before the beauty sale commenced, women were lined up hovering over the tables ready to pounce at the hundreds of beauty products lined up for the taking, like lions ready to catch their prey.

 

I feel like the word ‘sale’ just makes us women crazy. I’ll walk into a store that has a sale sign and buy an anti-ageing cream, and I’m nineteen, just because it’s on sale… like duhh, I’ll need it eventually. The same can be said for today, going back to the lion reference – even if these ‘lions’ had just eaten a four-course meal, they were definitely going to catch another two zebras because hey, you can never have too much.

 

And then before I could blink, it all started… women flying, yes I said WOMEN flying, not the beauty products !!!! Ok I’m exaggerating, but imagine how entertaining THAT would have been! The once neatly packed tables became swarmed by a mass of agile and determined women, I physically couldn’t see the tables, just lots of darting eyes and flying limbs. Do not ever underestimate a woman’s ability to move at the speed of light to the OPPOSITE side of the room because she’s spotted someone putting down that gorgeous Sisley lipstick.

 

I was in charge of money, and I was terrified of making these highly excited but yet focused women upset when I told them that they’d spent A LOT more than they had originally planned. They were lined up at my desk waiting for me to give them the ‘verdict’. The moment was full of lip biting and toe tapping as they anxiously waited to hear how much they’d managed to spend in about seven minutes. But, I survived and I’m still in one piece.

 

 

I know I say this every time, but I’m learning so many things here at COSMO and I love it! The life lesson today: do not get between a woman and her beauty products, unless you want to be applying moisturiser from your hospital bed. Catch my blog updates every Wednesday, and check out our Instagram page CosmopolitanSA and my account @megsnicola where I’ll also be posting updates from our beauty office. ☺ x


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Wed, 04 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
An App That Makes Instagram Shoppable http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/an-app-that-makes-instagram-shoppable Keep has created a new feature that makes Instagram shoppable!

Keep.com’s As Seen on Instagram feature allows followers to source their favourite fashion items that are trending on the social media app. ‘It dawned on us that there is this vast fashion experience on Instagram but there is no further information on where to get it or an easy way to buy it,’ said Keep CEO Scott Kurnit to Venture Beat of the company’s new Instagram shopping strategy.

The Keep team identifies the product price and information, linking it to the corresponding retail website. What’s more, the feature allows you to ‘favourite’ images or ‘keep’ them, after which Keep will notify you when the item has gone on sale. The site already has 300 000 items on sale, including Olivia Palermo’s sunglasses and jewellery posted by Jessica Alba.

An app that combines shopping with our favourite social media platform? We like this one!

This post originally appeared on the www.marieclairvoyant.com


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Wed, 04 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
So This Really Gorgeous Gynaecologist Exists In The World http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/so-this-really-gorgeous-gynaecologist-exists-in-the-world nice things? 

Meet Rico. He's 24, beautiful and a gynaecologist.

We're battling between feelings of lust and anxiousness over the thought of him being our OBGYN. On the one hand, THANKS for being so scorchers...on the other, please stop, we're not too sure we want to get too uh, up close and personal with you..


GIF

Would you book an appointment with him?







Pics courtesy of buzzfeed




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Wed, 04 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Festival Fashion- Synergy 2013 http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/festival-fashion-synergy-2013 head accessories! The most popular of which was flower headbands, followed by beaded headbands and then turbans! The headband/turban is such a simple accessory, yet it is so beautiful and adds such a ‘bohemian goddess’ feel to an outfit!

Take a look at the Festival Fashion at Synergy 2013
















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Tue, 03 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Time to Move on, Movember http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/time-to-move-on-movember It's the last of our Movember posts for 2013.

This is it. Do not ask for any more mo's.

Our previous Movember posts (here, here and here) will have to see you through till 01/11/2014.

OK... Razors ready?

Let's go!



Ryan Gosling


Robert Downey Jnr


Ewan McGregor


Jude Law


And, of course, a last look at the marvellous maniliness of the one and only tache on the COSMO floor.


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Mon, 02 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Our 10 Favourite Cocktails: Part 1 http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/our-10-favourite-cocktails-part-1
10. Mojito

www.ronsley.com.au

The national drink of Cuba was a favorite drink of author Ernest Hemingway, who made a bar called La Bodeguita del Medio famous by declaring, 'My mojito in La Bodeguita, My daiquiri in El Floridita.' Traditionally, the mojito consists of white rum, sugar, lime, sparkling water and mint. 

9. Pina Colada

www.whiteonricecouple.com

Known as Stella's Groove to millions of girls who watched Taye Digg's amazing body in the movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back, the drink was created in 1954 at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico by Ramón Marrero after the management asked him to come up with a great drink for their star-studded clientele. Piña Colada, which means strained pineapple, has been Puerto Rico’s official cocktail since 1978, with July 10 being the national Pina Colada day. 

8. Cosmopolitan

www.past1978.deviantart.com

Sex and the City gave us fabulous fashion, sexy heels, jaw-dropping sex and one of the most freshing cockatils ever mixed. The Cosmo is said to originate in Miami, where a lovely bartender called Cheryl Cook decided between 1985 and 1986 that we ladies deserved a delicious drink in a martini glass.  'The Martini had just made it's come back. Women were ordering Martinis just to have a drink in that classic glass. It was this realisation that gave me the idea to create (the) drink.' 

7. Tequilla Sunrise.

www.thepeacefulbead.com

The tequila sunrise cocktail gets its name from how it looks as you pour the ingredients into the glass. The cocktail is made in two ways: the original is composed of tequila, crème de cassis, lime juice and soda water, and, the more popular which consists of tequila, grenadine syrup and orange juice.


6.Daiquiri

www.matrimonio.it

The Daiquiri is named after a beach in Cuba. It's believed that it was concocted by Jennings Cox, an American mining engineer during the Spanish-American war. The drink has several versions but the main ingredients remain to be the same: rum, sugar and lime juice.

Cheers to the festive season.


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Tue, 03 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Some Holiday Spot Ideas http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/some-holiday-spot-ideas stuck on where to go on your next holiday, why not give these places a try?

We found these from an awesome website that shows off the world's most unusual and beautiful places around the world. Here are some of the ones that we loved the most:



The “Great Blue Hole” in Belize. Photo by Wataru Ebiko.




A small fish restaurant in Zanzibar. Photo by Tibor Mester.



Rice terraces in northeast Vietnam. Photo by Sarawut Intarob




The Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park. Photo by Jason De Caires Taylor.



Pink Lake Hillier in Australia. Photo by Jean-Paul Ferrero.




Bamboo Forrest in Japan. Photo by Tomoaki Kabe.




An Irish natural tree tunnel. Photo by Jacco


For more pictures, go here
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Mon, 02 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Why, When a Man Advises You Not To Have Sex With Him, It's a Really Good Idea To Listen http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/why-when-a-man-advises-you-not-to-have-sex-with-him-its-a-really-good-idea-to-listen
Because, not only did Craig’s marriage end because he was a serial cheater (leopards and spots, friends, leopards and spots), but because it’s patently clear that he has the morals of Hugh Hefner and less than no respect for women. But now before you start feeling sorry for the hapless girls who stroll into his favourite drinking hole den, here’s the rub: at no point does this man attempt to hide the dogness of his ways. On the contrary, when he meets a woman whom he knows is only good enough for a shag and will never, ever be anything more in his life, he tells her upfront. Not in Arabic or code or veiled language, either. What Craig says is this: ‘you do not want to sleep with me. I am a dog. I am the kind of man your mother warned you about. Take my advice, and don’t go there.’

And what do these women do? Do they go, ‘at last! A man who is honest about his intentions. I do not want some arsehole who won’t call the next day, I want a husband. So, best I move along swiftly. Goodbye, player guy, I was made for better things.’ Nooooo. They whip their knickers off faster than you can say La Senza. They love his admission; they lap it up. Turns out, it’s the best line he’s ever used. It’s foolproof. Then, when he doesn’t call (like he promised he wouldn’t), they are incensed. They hound him, leave furious messages on his phone, demand to know why it meant nothing to them. What is going on here?! What part of English are they not understanding? It’s truly the oddest thing.

All we could work out that night was that either they don’t believe him (mistake), or they see it as some kind of challenge – I’ll be the one to change you. That’s how amazing I am. Needless to say, they end up getting burnt. So, the moral of the story is this: in the first half hour of meeting someone they’re going to tell you who they are. This is the most honest he will probably ever be with you, so play close attention to what this guy chooses to reveal. Later, in the heat of the moment, you’re deliberately going to forget, and then the disappointment that follows will be your own damn fault and you’ll be phoning him and crying when you knew all along. There are as many different kinds of guys out there as there are women, but one thing holds, irrespective: when a man advises you not to have sex with him it’s a really good idea to listen.

Susan Hayden is a writer and blogger who believes in sparkly tops, the sisterhood and telling it like it is. She also reviews restaurants, writes books about wine and has a risotto named after her at a top Cape Town restaurant. Which makes her kind of fabulous, we think. Nonetheless - like the rest of us - she doesn’t always feel that way which is why we love her warm, honest and over-sharey views on relationships, life and men. These posts all originally appeared on her blog: http://discopantsblog.com/, and you should head on over there for a full dose of Discopants. Follow her on twitter @susanhhayden, or drop her a line on her blog. Tell her we sent you.



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Sun, 01 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Synergy – A Weekend Never to Forget! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/synergy--a-weekend-never-to-forget Synergy 2013 certainly did not disappoint! On Friday the air was filled with excitement as everyone hustled to get their tents up and head to the dance floor. There were so many stages to choose from that it was difficult to try be everywhere at once. But between the main stage and the electro stage hours were spent dancing, meeting people and enjoying local and international talent! Haezer and Al Gordo performed absolutely incredible sets that left shivers down our spines, as we begged for more. Saturday the wind decided to play a visit, followed by a bit of rain, but this didn’t stop us for a second- by lunch time crowds of people gathered to listen to a bit of local comedy, followed by a snooze in the Lipton Ice Tea Activation area’s hammocks. As the sun set, our excitement grew- it was almost time for Foreign Beggars’ dj set, we made sure to fill up or squeegy bottles all the way to the rim, and head to the electro stage where we listened to the incredible PH Fat perform, we danced away, and before we knew it Foreign Beggars was on – it was out of this world amazing! Sunday came to soon, we woke up and felt really sad that the festival was over, but we left with amazing memories, great new friends, and plenty of awesome festival fashion photos.

The festival fashion post will be up tomorrow, make sure to visit the site to see who wore what at Synergy 2013!
To see today's fashion articles click here

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Mon, 02 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Doggy-Style Friday! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/doggy-style-friday






Source: Instagram- @harlowandsage






Source: Stuff on Scouts Head








Source: Striking Paws


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Fri, 29 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
The Beauty Intern Diaries - Short and Sweet http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-beauty-intern-diaries-short-and-sweet Normal.dotm 0 0 1 264 1509 aaa 12 3 1853 12.0

Currently I’m sitting brain dead, staring blankly into my computer. Yes, it’s been one of those weeks – long, stressful and exhausting. But hey, I love what I do so it makes it all worthwhile.




As we draw closer to the end of the year, I’ve found that the days aren’t the only thing diminishing. My brainpower is too. It’s like it’s packed up it’s bags and gone early on vacation. I’m struggling to remember what I’m doing, what day of the week it is and I’m still battling with the damn weather. 




This week has been filled with planning pages, emailing beauty briefs to clients, selecting images and ideas and general upkeep in the beauty department. Juana has gone to launches in Joburg for two days so I’m helping hold down the fort this side in sunny, but, OMG too windy, Cape Town. I’m feeling somewhat confident that the office will remain in one piece. Juana, if you’re reading this then what I mean to say is, I am 100% TOTES confident all will be fine. ;)
 

To brighten up our Wednesday, and before Juana had to hop on her flight to Joburg, Minell from Minelli Art came over to the office to do a few of the editor’s nails and I decided that maybe I’d treat myself to a little manicure as well. It was quite scary how Juana and I both decided on exactly the same kind of design without even speaking about it before hand. Clearly 'great minds think alike'..... :p. 

 

This week, even though it’s been a little on the ‘I have so much work to do that I might just take a nap’ kind of week, it’s also included one of my biggest highlights and proudest moments so far; my very first page in the magazine entitled ‘Beauty Police’. When I think of the fact that I’ve been out of school for almost a year to the day, I guess I am proud of what I have managed to achieve. And here’s to many more moments like these.

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Thu, 28 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Instagram Goes to the Movies http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/instagram-goes-to-the-movies Instagram by gathering images on the site, and then editing them together to form 'structure out of this chaos.'

'Instagram is an incredible resource for all kinds of images. I wanted to create structure out of this chaos. The result is a crowd source short-film that shows the endless possibilities of social media,'  he says. 

The video consists of 852 different pictures, from 852 different Instagram users. 

 

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Thu, 28 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Great Places to Catch a Film this Summer http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/great-places-to-catch-a-film-this-summer
The Galileo Open Air Cinema
From November to April, Cape Town film-lovers will be entertained with their favourite movies at three different venues around the Mother City thanks to Galileo cinemas. You can chose between Tuesday evenings at the Hillcrest Quarry in Durbanville, Wednesdays at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, or Thursdays at the V&A Waterfront for a memorable movie experience under a night sky of stars.

SCENE cinemas by Nu Metro
Nu Metro Cinemas has stepped up the movie-going experience by launching two new luxury venues this year: the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town and The Pavilion in Durban. The SCENE cinema experience includes comfy lounges, enjoyable food and drinks (including a selection of alcoholic beverages and soft drinks) and great service. Treat yourself with this five-star cinema experience.

Menlyn Park Drive-In
One of the very few rooftop drive-in cinema in the world, this cinema is perched on Menlyn Park Shopping Centre. Here, you can enjoy movies against the skyscape of urban Pretoria with the latest picture and sound technologies. You can also grab a drink, bite or an entire picnic basket at the Rooftop café. As admission is on first-come basis only, arrive early to avoid disappointment.

This post originally appeared on www.marieclairvoyant.com
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Tue, 26 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
My Boyfriend's Snoring Won't Kill Him. But I Might http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/my-boyfriends-snoring-wont-kill-him-but-i-might
My guy works in the film industry and has been doing 25-hour days so it was with unbelievable gratefulness (my yelp of joy was masking an actual sob) that we accepted an invite to the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa for their signature ‘B Together’ couple’s massage.
The hotel itself is glorious, nestled snugly on the 12 Apostles slope and overlooking one of Cape Town’s most special coastlines. But it’s within the hotel’s belly, where the spa is submerged beneath ground level, that you truly experience its 5 star offering.
With robes and fluffy slippers (a novelty I never tire of), the guy and I made our way down to the steam rooms, relaxation lounges, hot and cold Jacuzzis and salt bath – all of these surrounded by thick rock surfaces and gentle lighting.

I knew the guy was tired but after just two minutes floating in the salt bath, our body weight completely carried by the concentrated salt content, he started his slow, rhythmical heavy breathing. Was he really falling asleep? In water? I quickly tapped him with my foot (okay, it was more of a quick kick. I’m not proud) and we jumped out to enjoy the rest on offer.

Heaven, I’m in Heaven…

Our treatments took place in glass gazebos sitting behind the hotel, in the thick of the mountain’s Fynbos. There was no cheesy lounge music or Enya playing during our massage but just the sounds of the not-far-off sea. And crickets. Awesome. The sliding doors were left open, the aircon turned up (it was a 36 degree day!) and we were lain flat on the massage tables. The treatment combines both deep tissue massage using the strong palms of the therapist’s hands, as well as their upper arms and elbows – amazing – and hot stones rubbed from your toes to your upper neck. I’m grateful I can share this with you because I wasn’t actually able to share it with the guy, despite the fact that he was lying next to me experiencing exactly the same thing. That’s because he was sleeping. And snoring. Loudly.

From our first sleepover, I knew this would be my relationship cross to bear. But I love this man and so night-after-night I endure his guttural, incessant, in-and-goddam-out snoring. Actually, that’s a lie. I don’t endure it. I sleep on the couch. And, yes, there have been a few nights that I have had macabre fantasies of ending the snoring for once and for all. This involves a pillow to the face (again, I’m not proud).
But, now, in front of two highly professional therapists with serious poker faces who quite clearly wanted to laugh, he was snoring away. Completely lost in his relaxation. Even the crickets that had been merrily chirping just minutes before vacated the area. I was mortified. But then something unexpected happened.
And this is how I know that this treatment was hands done one of the best I’ve ever had. I too fell asleep. Something I have not been able to do in the same room as the snoring giant in ages.

We meandered down the mountain once done, our eyes full of sleep, our minds nowhere but in the present, our souls peaceful and our bodies relaxed. This treatment = priceless. Treat yourself. Treat your guy. It’s a million times worth it. Book now at www.12apostles.com ]]>
Tue, 26 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
What Movember Taught Us About our Guys http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/what-movember-taught-us-about-our-guys
Movember gives dudes the chance for judgement-free (OK, mostly) experimentation and self-expression. (Unless he's just a lazy slob who loved the opp to ditch personal grooming for a month - in which case, unless you love washing up, picking up, and putting out (the trash), it's probably a good idea to evaluate whether he's worth a long-term commitment.)

So what can his facial topiary tell you? We did some research.

Take the full-frontal assault of the Beard. What does this say about your guy: well he's got the testosterone to support this hair habit for a start. Yup, even if he plays the ukulele and sprouts angst-ridden poetry at the drop of a (hipster) hat, he's a real man and he wants the world to know. But if the Hell's Angel look is not one you can live with, show him a photo of Paul Kruger and then follow with the one below. He'll get the picture. Possible negatives if he's chosen this look: for all his 'I am He-Man, hear me roar!', he may be hiding insecurity behind his beard. 


So over the last few weeks, you thought he was going for the hip Hemsworth look above: he's been letting his tache grow down towards his beard, but now they've met and he's whipped off everything outside the ring around his mouth. All hail the circle beard. The choice of celebs. What does this say about your guy? Well, he likes the element of surprise (viola! the big reveal!), which means he's a forward planner (growing a circle beard requires stealth and patience, apparently – see Philips.com). Plus he's prepared to put in the effort required to get what he wants (there's a fair amount of trimming and shaping required here). He's the life and soul of the party, but under that is a steely determination: he's focused and determined, loves the spotlight and may be vain and selfish. 


Look at Ryan down there: he looks all calm and chilled, but check those eyes... just a little bit of calculation escaping at the corners, yes? Def not a pushover. Is your guy the 5-o'clock-shadow type? Is his carefully tended stubble in evidence at 8 o'clock, 11 o'clock...? Then this is a confident guy who knows himself well. He seems laid-back but every aspect of his look is carefully considered – he's a pay-attention-to-the details man. Or he's just a 'vaccuum masquerading as an enigma' and is too plain lazy to shave. You'll know which. 


Smart, classic, professional. That's the image a clean-shaven guy projects. He's open, has nothing to hide, likable, lovable... Possible downside? This smoothie may harbour a streak of arrogance. He may think his features just too perfect to hide under a beard. He may be a staid stick-in-the-mud who sees himself as way above slavishly following trends, even in support of awareness drives for prostate cancer. But maybe he really is just the fun, dependable and what-you-see-is-what-you-get guy we like to think Channing Tatum is!


And what sort of guy goes for the look below? He's creative, funny, kind, a great leader AND a team-player. He cares about things, and is passionate about causes he believes in. He is (in short) our Art Director, Juan. And we think he ROCKED Movember. (Click here to see Juan in his first Movember moment.)



If you're not a fan of facial hair, you'll be pleased to hear that beard authority Dr. Allan Peterkin told Huffington Post he predicts that 'we're going to go back to that Mad Men, clean-shaven look'. And the Daily Mail says that the hipster beard is on the way out. But the joy with which so many men embraced Movember tells us the trend may still be around for a while. You may need to step away from the razor...

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Tue, 26 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Twerking Turkey! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/twerking-turkey The worst thing you'll see online today #GladWeDontCelebrateThanksgiving

Miley’s twerking antics seem to be invading every part of American culture – even Thanksgiving! This tongue-in-cheek video is pretty disgusting but it’s a good laugh!

Warning: Don’t watch while eating.




Has Logo TV (the makers of the video) gone too far?



 
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Tue, 26 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Selfie is International Word of the Year http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/selfie-is-international-word-of-the-year
Your favourite sort of picture, selfie, is word of the year, as choosen by Oxford Dictionaries. The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of interest during the year to date. Language research conducted by Oxford Dictionaries editors reveals that the frequency of the word selfie in the English language has increased by 17,000% since this time last year.

The Guardian newspaper reports that the word can be traced back to a post on an Australian online forum in 2002: 'Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer [sic] and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.'

Judy Pearsall explained its evolution: "The hashtag #selfie appeared on the photo-sharing website Flickr as early as 2004, but usage wasn't widespread until around 2012.

It has since produced an array of spinoffs, including helfie (hairstyle self), belfie (bum selfie), welfie (workout selfie), drelfie (drunken selfie), and even bookshelfie – a snap taken for the purposes of literary self-promotion.

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Tue, 26 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Take a Walk to Make a Difference! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/take-a-walk-to-make-a-difference Register for the Sisters with Blisters walk and get involved in the fight against gender-based violence

Looking to do your bit for a good cause this weekend? The eighth annual Sisters with Blisters walk takes place on Saturday at the Blue Hills Country and Equestrian Estate in Kyalami. Signalling the beginning of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, the walk will be raising funds for the Sonke Gender Justice Network and the Women and Men Against Child Abuse group. So gather your mates, your man, your folks – even your dog! – and join thousands of Jo’burgers in making a stand against gender-based violence. Don’t worry if you haven’t registered: go to the venue between 2pm and 8pm today or head out there at 6am tomorrow to enter. Entry is R100. The eight-kilometre walk starts at 7.30am and the four-kilometre walk starts at 9.30am, and if your furry friends are joining you, the four-kilometre walk with dogs starts at 8.30am. It’s exercise with a conscience – good for the body and the soul!

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Fri, 22 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
The Selfie and Why You Must Resist Posting That Pic http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-selfie-and-why-you-must-resist-posting-that-pic
We’ve all lain on the beach and looked down at our thighs with the sun and the sea in the background and thought, ‘hm… not a shabby pic.’ Sometimes we even *clears throat* take that pic. And we’ve all, en route somewhere we want to look fancy, taken a photo of ourselves in the mirror to make sure the outfit we picked out actually works or sent it to a friend for advice on shoes or used it to establish whether the smoky eye we saw them do on TV makes us look like an extra on Jerseylicious. And this is all well and good, but it’s like picking your nose in bed – while it’s a fact of life, nobody needs to know you do it.

But then there are those people who actually post the pic. And it blows my mind. Because the folks who end up seeing it on Facebook and Twitter don’t think, ‘oh wow, s/he is looking awesome, those Cross Fit classes are really paying off,’ they think, oh-my-fucking-god-are-you-serious?! Whether you do it out of insecurity or plain, old vanity, it just makes you look like a twat. So, your new eyelash extensions are amazeballs, and when you stare directly at the light and aim the camera just so your eyes totally look like those coloured lenses? Do not post the pic. Your arm looks so freaking thin from that angle you’d swear you hadn’t eaten since October? Still – do not post the pic. When you lift yourself a little off your beach-towel and clench your stomach muscles hard and the light falling a certain way creates the illusion of a six-pack? Especially do not post the pic.

It’s hard, I know. We all want to look great and be loved and admired but the truth is our friends and loved ones know what we look like. They’ve seen us first thing in the morning, drooling after three bottles of Shiraz and doing the ugly cry minutes after we’ve been dumped. No amount of funny faces or distorted body poses are going to convince them we turned into Heidi Klum overnight. Nor is it going to make them want to be around us more. Because the truth is, it’s the quirkiness and imperfections we share that truly make us loveable. So, by all means send the pic to your besty and write ‘fucking hell, I am SMOKING right now!,’, but don’t put it on your Timeline. It’s just the wrong thing to do.

Susan Hayden is a writer and blogger who believes in sparkly tops, the sisterhood and telling it like it is. She also reviews restaurants, writes books about wine and has a risotto named after her at a top Cape Town restaurant. Which makes her kind of fabulous, we think. Nonetheless - like the rest of us - she doesn’t always feel that way which is why we love her warm, honest and over-sharey views on relationships, life and men. These posts all originally appeared on her blog: http://discopantsblog.com/, and you should head on over there for a full dose of Discopants. Follow her on twitter @susanhhayden, or drop her a line on her blog. Tell her we sent you.



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Mon, 25 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Dancers Among Us http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/dancers-among-us
'Dancers are storytellers. They’re trained to capture passion with their bodies. They often create a fantasy world or offer us a deeper look into familiar settings. They bring to life what we feel but what most of us, lacking their artistry and athleticism, are unable to express physically,' as Jordan explains.

Jordan's work is one of the most beautiful stories told about dance.










Check out more pictures of  Dancers Among Us at www.chicquero.com/2013/01/23/dancers-among-us


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Thu, 21 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
The Beauty Intern Diaries - Full Steam Ahead http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-beauty-intern-diaries-full-steam-ahead Normal.dotm 0 0 1 341 1944 aaa 16 3 2387 12.0

So is it just me or has this year flown by? We’re already over half way through November! #iCantDeal 

I woke this morning to the realisation … shock ... horror ... there are only SIX Mondays left in 2013!!! To say I had a panic attack would be an understatement. 


Although the weather this past week has been, shall we say … unpredictable at best, it definitely hasn’t had an effect on the COSMO office who are full steam ahead to make our deadlines. This week has been dedicated to planning and shooting products for the February issue. Planning so far ahead has definitely been a challenge for me, seeing as I struggle to remember the days of the week let alone what themes we should be using in relation to what the season is that the month falls in to.  But I’m getting there, patience is a virtue and I guess it’s never too late to learn whether summer or winter comes first. 

 

I’m slowly but surely starting to wrap my head around which products belong to which PR company and therefore whom I should email to request prices and images etc., so it’s making life about ten times easier. I’m definitely feeling as if I’m settling into the swing of things at COSMO. Juana’s been busy at launches and events for most of the week so it’s been a hectic but fun week. We’ve also been scanning the Internet for inspiration for design layouts and pages, and oh my goodness does it bring out the ‘I-wish-I-didn’t-draw-like-a-four-year-old’ side of my character *sigh* … 

 

I’ve been at COSMO for two months now, and you’d think by now I would have learnt to dress for Cape Town weather, but sadly not. Today, for once, I am dressed for the sinking of the Titanic (trousers, rain jacket and even appropriate boots) and I’m seeing sun outside my window? Could this not have happened on Friday when I had to walk home through torrential rains and flooding? My timing is horrendous. I remain optimistic that this is just a phase and my weather predicting talent will kick in at any moment now.. 

 

Catch my blog updates every Wednesday, and check out our Instagram page CosmopolitanSA and my account @megsnicola where I’ll also be posting updates from our beauty office. ☺ x

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Wed, 20 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
8 Passport Essentials to Sort Before You Travel http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/8-passport-essentials-to-sort-before-you-travel Learn from Russell Brand’s mistakes: check your documents before booking international flights!

If you had plans to laugh it up with Russell Brand this week, our condolences. The UK comedian was ‘banned from South Africa’ – i.e. not permitted to board his flight from the UK to Johannesburg – because of a passport issue. We thought it’d be nice to get something out of this (other than just your money back), so here’s a refresher on your passport and what it needs in order for you to travel internationally with no hassles.

1 Spelling is important.
Correct details and spelling are essential on a passport. If there’s an error in your name or a mistake in your date of birth, get it sorted out. Don’t try to book flights until it’s fixed – you could encounter problems in a foreign country if you get asked for another form of ID and it doesn’t exactly match your passport.

2 On the note of names…
If you’ve just got married or changed your name for any reason, and your new name appears on other official documents, get a new passport before you get stuck at a border.

3 A valid argument
Every country has its own set of passport validity rules. Obviously you can never cross borders with an expired passport but to avoid any other drama, the safest bet is to ensure it's valid for at least six months after your planned date of travel.

4 Space is at a premium!
What allegedly tripped up Russell was the fact that he didn’t have enough blank pages in his passport. Again, the rules vary from country to country. Make sure your passport has at least two blank pages so you don’t get stuck with an overzealous official at the check-in counter. (Ask about the requirements when you’re applying for a visa, or get them ahead of time from the government website of the country you’re travelling to.)

5 Feeling torn?
Ripped passport pages = damaged pages, and damaged pages = trouble. This is particularly true in the case of the page on which your photo appears – border officials could see it as a sign of tampering. If pages get torn, get a new travel document.

6 Same goes for water!
Any kind of water damage, even if it’s just a few drops, can make your passport invalid – so take particular care on laundry day or when grabbing that last-minute coffee before heading to the boarding gate.

7 Under cover
A protective sleeve or cover is a good idea (especially if you are prone to coffee-related accidents) but any kind of permanent cover or unofficial sticker could make your passport invalid.

8 Fly much?
Never add pages to your passport yourself – it completely invalidates the document. If you fly often and feel you might run out of space before the passport’s expiration date, order one with more pages. This will cost you extra – but it’ll save you panicked emergencies in the future. Happy travels!



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Wed, 20 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Gorgeous Scribbles! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/gorgeous-scribbles on fashion illustration and surreal portraits.

Her beautiful vivid artwork has turned her into a go to graphic designer and illustrator for clients that include Condé Nast, Vogue, Teen Vogue, Bloomingdales, Macy's, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana's Swide Magazine and HBO among others.

'My illustrations are always full of vibrant colors, rich details and delightful feelings. My work, on the other hand, is an endless journey searching for beauty, value, truth and self. When I paint, I am bathed in happiness, I hope my colorful illustrations can bring you some joy too!.'

Bike Girl, inspired by Ralph Lauren Spring 2013 RTW.




Lip Couture, outfit inspired by Jean Paul Gaultier Fall 2013 Couture collection


Visit www.sunnygu.com for more beautiful artwork



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Wed, 20 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Dawa Cocktail http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/dawa-cocktail
Pour a double shot of vodka into a shaker with ice, shake, pour over ice into a whiskey glass, add four small lemon or lime wedges and heaped tablespoon of honey, which should sink to the bottom of the glass.

Serve it with a cocktail stick so you can keep muddling the lime and stirring the honey as you drink. Cheers to summer.

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Tue, 19 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
The most EPIC Resignation Letter of all Time http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-most-epic-resignation-letter-of-all-time
Glory's email starts professionally, with her saying 'After careful consideration, I will be ending my employment with PwC effective Monday, November 11th.'

It goes downhill with 'pointers' like 'get a real career that has meaning #dontbeFAKEaboutitbeABOUTit.'

Her keeping-it-real rants include this shout out to a colleague: 'P.S. XXXXXX, I can give two shits about your animals, maids, brother, etc. Is your life really that boring? Never seen people so in love with animals in life.'

It gets down right crazy at the end of the email when she mentions 'top 10 reasons Baddie Bey (Beyonce) will kill Britney Spears (she’s a has been) any day'.

Read her entire #hashtag loaded email here www.clutchmagonline.com/2013/11/meet-glory-woman-wrote-epic-beyonce-inspired-quit-email-youll-ever-read/

Glory ends her rant/resignation/settling of scores by adding, 'Beyonce wins and now that I’m out of here, I win too!!! #doingtheharlemshakeasitype'.

We have two hashtags for Glory: #BridgesBurnt #CareerInFlames.





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Wed, 20 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Jose Cuervo Who’s in? The Subways and Fun Lovin' Criminals Street Party! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/jose-cuervo-whos-in-the-subways-and-fun-lovin-criminals-street-party

#PartyAnimals are you! It’s a thing and so is going to a street party. Trendy, vibrant, fun and free are a few words that come to mind when I think about street parties. Why be crammed into a smoky bar when you can be outside, underneath the stars, taking in your beautiful city?

Besides the obvious benefit of being outdoors with the wind in your hair; always smelling like a princess (no bad BO under starlight), you get to dress the part too. Plan your evening gig-ready outfit and hairstyle and join the party. Cosmo recommends a messy bun, that way you can rock out all you want, and not worry about the do! Wear strappy sandals or flatforms, they look good and won’t leave you aching as you switch between the three stages.

 Who’s in? Who wouldn’t be?!

Cape Town: Harrington Street, East City, on the 23rd of November

Johannesburg:  The Mills Parking Lot, Newtown on the 22nd

A little bit more about the acts to hit the SA scene…

The Subways

The Subways are an English rock band that released their debut album in 2005 and combine elements of alternative rock, Britpop and punk.

Reminiscent of the post-grunge / Britpop genre, The Subways started their career playing covers of Nirvana and Green Day and grew from there, going on to win a competition to play at the well-known Glastonbury Festival in the early 2000s. They have released three studio albums, the latest being ‘Money and Celebrity’ in 2011.

The band consists of Billy Lunn, Josh Morgan and the Britpop female element comes from Charlotte Cooper. You can’t help but clap your hands and bop your head, and order an ice cold beer (or Tequila) when listening to them.

Give The Subways a listen here and get ready to rock with them next weekend!


Fun Lovin’ Criminals

Fun lovin’ Criminals are an American alternative hip-hop/ alternative rock group from New York City that started way back in 1993. They released their 7th album “Classic Fantastic” in 2010 and will be here in South Africa to take us on a trip of Mafioso rap, jazz, hip hop and rock.

Definitely fun, satirical, and ever so slightly gangster-esque.

When I listen to it I am transported back to the 90s, think early House of Pain, Stereo MC’s and Freakpower (founded by Norman Cook a.k.a Fatboy Slim). The lyrics are straight forward, no hidden message and clean-toned. 

If you want to jump around and rap along with Huey Morgan, Brian Leiser and Frank Benbini then this will work for you. It’s light-hearted and often laden with Sarcasm, so take it in, with a pinch of salt.

Here is one of their latest songs to get you in the mood for next Saturday…

 

Get your tickets, grab your friends and  have a few pre-drinks (ice-cold Jose Cuervo with lime anyone?) while getting in the groove. Tickets will be on sale for R100 each, available to purchase on www.webtickets.co.za. Please note this is an 18+ event. Bring valid ID.

Social Media links:

Like FB: /JoseCuervoSA

Follow on Twitter: @JoseCuervoSA

And watch on Youtube: /JoseCuervoSA

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Fri, 15 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
How to Survive a Hijacking http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/how-to-survive-a-hijacking The Approach
If someone approaches your car, the first thing you could do is drive off quickly. If you cannot, use your hooter to draw attention to yourself.
If they have broken your window already, stay calm and listen to them. They could easily reach for a weapon if you freak out.
If it gets to a point where they have now opened your door, remain calm and allow them to take of your seat belt. They are most likely to ask you to lie down on the floor. Listen to them and stay put till they drive off.

In The Car
If a hijacker attempts to keep you in the car with him, this is when you fight. They are more likely to leave you on the street where someone can find you.

Take some chances
If you truly can’t get out of the situation, once you are driving brake hard and jump out of the vehicle. Try and stop somewhere where there are quite a few buildings and people so that you can get some help.

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Sat, 16 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
That (funniest) awkward moment when... http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/that-funniest-awkward-moment-when For a Friday smile, how about some of our favourite 'that awkward moment' quotes? Feel free to add to the list!


That awkward moment when you notice someone's fly is down but you don't want to say anything because you don't have a good excuse for why you were looking that low.

... you add a new profile picture and someone likes your old one.

... you’ve already said 'what?' three times and still have no idea what the person said, so you just agree.

... you’re singing alone in your car and you make eye contact with a stranger.

... someone catches you talking to yourself.

... someone is giving you a handshake that lingers a bit too long.

... you’re at a shop and you ask for help from a person – who doesn’t work there.

... you ask somebody what they’re wearing to an event and they respond ‘I’m not invited.’

... your chair makes a farting noise and no one believes it was the chair, so you try to do it again but you can’t make the sound.

... the doctor asks you if you’re sexually active in front of your mom.

... you comment on someone's Facebook status and they completely ignore your comment, but keep answering everyone else’s comments.

... you yell your own name during sex.

... you talk to yourself and you start smiling like an idiot because you’re just so hilarious.

... someone says, “You two should date!”

... we can't tell you when Zac's new movie's launching in SA beyond 'sometime early in 2014'





That awkward moment when you wave back at someone and realize they’re not waving at you.

... a fat kid says 'that's how I roll'.

... you make eye contact with someone while eating a banana.

... you change your facebook status to “single” and your ex likes it.

... you’re stalking someone through Facebook and accidentally like one of their posts.

... you look under your bed and there is actually a monster.

... you try to search for someone’s name and instead end up setting their name as your Facebook status.

...you’re watching a movie with your parents and the sex scene suddenly appears.

... your parents walk in on you having sex.

... you walk in on your parents having sex.

... Bruno Mars is discharged from the army because he keeps trying to catch the grenades.

CLICK HERE FOR TWO SURE-FIRE, FACE-SAVING WAYS OUT OF ANY AWKWARD MOMENT


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Mon, 25 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
How to get through an Awkward Moment http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/how-to-get-through-an-awkward-moment Part two in our Awkward Moments series: 
TWO WAYS OUT OF ANY AWKWARD MOMENT...


According to
TwistedSifter.com these guys HAVE mastered the art.


RULE #1: KEEP WALKING, LIKE NOTHING HAPPENED








RULE #2: ACT NATURAL, AS IF WHATEVER HAPPENED HAPPENED EXACTLY AS YOU INTENDED IT TO
 
 
 
To see our favourite (funniest) 'that awkward moment when' quotes, click here.

 
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Mon, 18 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
10 Reasons Why You Have To Watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/10-reasons-why-you-have-to-watch-the-hunger-games-catching-fire The last installment was a year ago. You’ve waited long enough for this.

2. Jennifer Lawrence is your best friend. Best friends support each other.

3. We get introduced to another strong female character in the form of Jena Malone (Donnie Darko, Sucker Punch) who plays the ass-kicking Johanna Mason. Yay for more strong heroines to watch!

4. You are highly likely to be moved to tears during various parts of the film.

5. The film poses some very interesting questions about society. What is with our obsession with celebrity culture and why are we all so wrapped up in keeping up the perfect appearences? The people in the Capitol get very worked up about the games and love the victors who become celebrities. Peeta and Katniss are so obviously miserable but they must keep up the appearance that all is well no matter what. Food for thought, you guys!

7. Two words: Liam Hemsworth.

8. Elizabeth Banks has never looked more fierce. Watch out for a gorgeous butterfly dress that she rocks in a way that only Elizabeth Banks could. 

9. This Gif:
 
http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/catching-fire-gif


10. You don’t even have to wait in line. You can book your tickets right here




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Fri, 15 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
What to do in a potentially dangerous situation http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/what-to-do-in-a-potentially-dangerous-situation Situation #1- You’re outside your flat, when suddenly a stranger appears from nowhere and grabs you…

DO: If you know your neighbours are home, scream to draw attention to yourself. If there is anything around you, grab it and try to protect yourself.

DON’T: Avoid leading the attacker into your flat. You are less likely to get attacked outside.

Situation #2- You’ve been shopping and arrive back at your car, which is in a isolated spot. As you’re packing your bags into the boot you feel a gun at your back and you’re instructed to hand over your car keys…

DO: Listen to the hijacker. Don’t try and reach for anything. Make sure he can see your hands so that he does not attack you.

DON’T: Since you are in an isolated spot, don’t scream or make any sudden movements. It will just aggravate the attacker and there is no one nearby to help.

Situation #3- You wake up in the middle of the night and find a man standing next to your bed, night in hand. You don’t know whether he intends to rob or rape you…

DO: Stay calm and assess the situation. If you make any sudden movements, it could startle him, which could cause him to attack. If you have a flat mate, shout to get their attention. Take note of the items in your bedroom. You could use your lampshade as a weapon.

DON’T: Do not scream if there is no one to hear you. It will aggravate your attacker and he could harm you.

Situation #4: You leave a party late at night and as you pull up to your flat you notice a suspicious car parked outside

DO: Trust your intuition. If your gut tells you that something isn’t right, drive away and go to your nearest police station. Alternatively, you could call the South African emergency help line on 10111.

DON’T: Do not attempt to confront the person in the car. This could result in them attacking you. Also, do not slow down to look at them. It will alert them that you know about their presence.


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Fri, 15 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Surviving a Stadium Concert http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/surviving-a-stadium-concert
Do not wear your best clothes. We can assure you that one person somewhere near you will be jamming like a crazy person and will be throwing beer everywhere.

Remember to leave quite early for the concert. Traffic tends to get insane and you could sit on the highway for up to an hour. Don’t forget that the same will happen when you leave. So make sure you have some snacks or something in your car.

You are not allowed to take a DSLR camera into the venue. Take a small camera rather. You really do not want them to keep your big fancy camera behind.

If you are that type of girl (we don’t judge), take a spare bra with you. Throw it on stage. Go wild.

Whatever you do, do not wear heels. You will be there for a long time and people tend to push you around. Some people end up taking their shoes off and you wouldn’t want to be the one stomping on their feet.



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Thu, 14 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Mean Girls get Merry http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/mean-girls-get-merry-christmas Mean Girls and some cool Tumblrs. Because some things never change when the mistletoe and holly-days roll round.








1. There SHALL be shopping. Lots of it.



2. There shall be eating (dieting is what 1 Jan is for).



3. And, of course, there shall be much toasting of fabulousness.
(But NO drinking and driving!)



4. Festivities shall be trimmed with FOMO and scattered with jealously.



5. So thou shalt, at this time of the year, apologise to those you've hurt
and make things right.



6. Thou shalt try to let nothing you dismay, though your relatives embarrass you ...



7. ... and though the ignorant hold forth at family gatherings on subjects
about which they know absolutely nothing.



8. For, hey, tis the season to be jolly. And deep-down you love it!



9. Tis also a time for giving…



10. ... and a time for getting (your just desserts) (+ Xmas pud!).



11. So put on that perky face, don that strange outfit and get in the spirit, dammit 




12. If that doesn't work, buy some mistletoe and make it pay!
 
Gifs from: howshouldiexplainmyself.tumblr.com, eonline.com/news, coolcactus.tumblr.com, xmaschillthoughts.tumblr.com
hotpinkpostits.tumblr.com, existential-crisis-suxx.tumblr.com, partylikeapornstar.tumblr.com, noncommonsensewithbigwords.tumblr.com
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Wed, 13 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Uber (cool) App http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/uber-cool-app
Uber uses your phone’s GPS to detect your location and connect you to the nearest driver. And it doesn’t matter if you don’t know your address because your clever phone does. When you’re needing a ride, Uber App will locate a driver and let you know, on your map, exactly where he or she is. Your driver’s name and car details will appear on your phone, and you can go back inside and enjoy the rest of your cocktail because this App will SMS you when your taxi has arrived. And, you can message or phone them if you need to.

There’s more: Uber App has taken the hassle out of cash payments and will automatically deduct the amount from the bank account details you have already provided when you downloaded the app. Omg, right? But, what if you’re sharing with a buddy? Well, clever Uber App has thought of that, too, and allows you to split the fare with a friend who has the app, too, and you’ll be charged equally. You’ll also be told in advance what the fare will be, and you’ll receive an email with your receipt. Plus, Uber App ensures fast and professional service by giving you the opportunity to rate your driver. We think this is beyond clever. And that you need to download this app in a hurry.

Female-and budget-friendly cab services to call at the end of the night

Johannesburg:


Taxi Services Johannesburg: 078 475 3352
Rose Taxis: 083 255 0933/4
Snapp Cab: 011 027 6730

Cape Town:

Cab Co: 086 136 7222
Rikkis: 0861 745 547
Excite: (021) 448 4444

Durban:

Zippy Cabs: 031-202 7067/7068
Moddley’s: 0767339967
East Coast Cabs: 082 632 7410


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Tue, 12 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
The Beauty Intern Diaries - Summertime COSMOness http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-beauty-intern-diaries-summertime-cosmoness Normal.dotm 0 0 1 346 1973 aaa 16 3 2422 12.0

So, I’m not afraid to admit that I am indeed one of the few who will listen to the same new song over and over again until I can sing it backwards at a Karaoke contest and win first prize! (NOTE: I’ve only ever partaken in Karaoke once, and I was seven. So it’s cool)

This week it’s been the new remix from Cedric Gervais of ‘Summertime Sadness’, which I’m dubbing the anthem of the summer. Both Juana and I are absolutely obsessed with this song, and yes, it’s been on repeat. Not only was this song getting us both into a summer mood, it was also getting us totes excited for the COSMO Summer Party at Shimmy Beach hotel that occupied our event calendar for Friday night.

Shimmy Beach as usual did not disappoint. Never have I ever seen such an array of well-put together people in such a breath-takingly gorgeous venue. It was so COSMO. That’s how we do it!

The night started off with sensational performances from Crazy White Boy and later on Pascal and Pearce who really got the party going. The drinks were flowing and the little beauty intern was in her element, gazing at all the immaculately dressed partiers.  Of course it was a mad rush panic in the office right before as the beauty room was flooded with all the girls getting ready and getting their hair and nails done by, what we call, our very own professional manicurist and hair stylist – Juana, the jack of all trades.

The event was a great excuse to dress up, and we all love a good excuse to splash the cash on items of clothing we deem ‘essentials’ (including the green leather jacket which I purchased from I LOVE MOCHIKO in Cavendish and absolutely love).  It even gave me a reason to try out my own fake tan for the very first time. Let’s just say I didn’t end up looking like someone who had run into Mr Blobby and Snooki simultaneously, so I’d say it went well.  I gave the Madame La La Tan a go and it was super easy to use and smelt divine. You can order it online and they deliver to South Africa which is awesome!!   




 If you’re off to a summer party soon, check out these great tips from the COSMO team to make sure you’re ready for your summer socializing. And go check out I LOVE MOCHIKO LONDON store if you're looking to splurge out on some new rad clothing, because hey, it's only like two weeks till pay day!   

And if you haven't checked out the Cedric Gervais remix of Summertime Sadness, here's the clip just for you! Enjoy :) 




Catch my blog updates every Wednesday, and check out our Instagram page CosmopolitanSA and my account @megsnicola where I’ll also be posting updates from our beauty office. x

 

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Tue, 12 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
How to take the Perfect Selfie http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/how-to-take-the-perfect-selfie
Light, Camera, Angle!

Most people look best when their face is tilted at a slight angle to the camera rather than straight on, so the first thing to do is experiment in front of the mirror to see which angle flatters your features best. We all have a ‘good side,’ and this is the one you want to capture. If you’re looking for emotional engagement, look directly into the lens. Also, take the pic early in the morning or late afternoon when the light is softest.

Cheat

Since all’s fair in love and on Facebook, you want to download an app which will allow you to brighten and improve the look of your skin, plus add a bit of colour to your pout. A good one to go for is Camera+App which allows you to fiddle and put your best face forward. 

Make Like a Model 
Anyone on Twitter will know that models and celebs take fab selfies, so copy their technique - hold your phone high above your head and away from you at a 45 degree angle. This will make your look skinny without putting a foot in the gym. But don’t pout – you’ll just look silly.

Use a Filter
Even if you’ve been a good girl and gone to bed early all week, you probably have a few dark circles and lines you want to get rid of. This is where selecting a filter like Inkwell or Willow miraculously takes five years off your age.

Take it off!
No, not your clothes a la Lady Gaga, but your phone cover. Few people know that doing this can have a major effect on the clarity of your picture. Even though there’s a hole for your camera lens, it catches the camera focus in the periphery, causing the photograph to be less clear. Try for yourself and see the difference.

Hello fabulous selfies!


















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Tue, 12 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
I Forgot my Phone http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/i-forgot-my-phone

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Mon, 11 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Top 5 most underrated sexy men. http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/top-5-most-underrated-sexy-men
Travis Fimmel
Image from Facebook https://www.facebook.com/trav.fimmel

Australian Actor and former Calvin Klein underwear model: He stars in Vikings TV show. We can easily spend all day looking at him looking at us with those eyes. As a bonus, we'll add a weekend of hugging away the pain he endured when he got that scar.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson
 
Image from Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AaronTaylorJohnson?fref=ts

English actor famous for his roles in Kick-Ass and his lead role in Anna Karenina: His wish (and it better be a never-ending dirty weekend) would be our command.

Evan Peters
Image from Facebook https://www.facebook.com/booboodaddy

American actor, starts in American Horror Story: Look into his eyes, check the flag and tell us with patriotism didn't just turn into a naughty thought.

Michael Pitt
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Michael-Pitt/111989065483925?fref=ts

American actor and musician famous for his controversial role in The Dreamers: He has also stared in Boardwalk Empire and a lot of our fantasies.

Yannick Ilunga
Image from Facebook https://www.facebook.com/yannick.ilunga.5?fref=ts

South African musician who records as Petite Noir: Two words: yum yum. Hear what he sounds like here www.youtube.com/watch ]]>
Fri, 08 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
‘Help! I Can’t Stand His Hair Up There!’ http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/help-i-cant-stand-his-hair-up-there So you hate his mo. Now what?

November can be a spiteful month. Your body is desperate to slide into holiday mode and the longer, warmer days make it easy to forget the 73 different deadlines you still have to meet before you knock off for the year. If you get swept up in two-for-one sundowner cocktails, chances are the next day’s workload will kick you in the hangover as soon as you turn the page on your desk calendar. Also, summer is kind of here – but when the sun goes down on a hot, glorious day, dusk will kindly remind you why you’d packed that chunky jersey when you left home in the morning.

And then there’s Movember, and that thing it spawns on (seemingly) every man’s face.

If you’re in a relationship, a week into November you’ll realise the alien on your guy’s upper lip is not only not going anywhere, but has also started developing a personality of its own. Whether his facial hair grows quickly or hardly at all, there’s bound to be a porcupine quill-like something poking its way up your nostril every time he tries to make out with you. The fact that he’s beginning to look like a cheesy ’70s porn star is not helping – it might even be making you question whether you want to be seen in public with him. Yes, it’s for a good cause … but if you really can’t stand the mo, how on earth are you supposed to live with it for another three weeks?

There’s a ‘Muffvember’ picture doing the rounds on social media. The premise is that, in return for us girls having to put up with an unfortunate incarnation of Magnum PI in our bed every night, we too get to let things, er, flourish. Now, I don’t know about you, but whether the end result is the moustache suggested by the picture or some other cute shape of your own choosing, the idea of having to beat around that particular bush doesn’t fill me with glee. All of us get lazy about landscaping sometimes – winter, single, feeling blah, why bother, etc – but it’s not likely we’ll purposely grow out anything in the shape of a mo just to get back at our men. Aside from everything else, they’ll probably think it’s hilarious. Point defeated.

You could try to make a game of it. Instagram a picture every day to create a progress gallery, or paint his ‘spikes’ with various shades of mascara while he’s sleeping for a colourful twist (or to hide how blond and pathetic his attempt at a moustache actually is). In the latter case, spray paint and food colouring might seem tempting but are not advised – unless your end goal is to get him to shave it off in a huff (hmm…) so he can go to work without looking like a clown. Be warned, though: the huff could turn into a month-long sulk, and you could become that shrew who ruined his fun.

You could also just refuse to see him until 1 December but that’s pretty much a lose-lose. So your only viable course of action is to be the bigger man – without the associated testosterone-driven hair-growth implications. Accept Movember and all its horrid manifestations. Let your guy have his month of fun. Most importantly, don’t be disapproving about it. Because chances are the more you let on how much you hate his facial hair and can’t wait for it to be gone, the more likely he is to form an unhealthy attachment that extends well beyond 1 December. And ain’t nobody got time for that.


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Fri, 08 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
An Awkward Moment We Are All Guilty Of http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/an-awkward-moment-we-are-all-guilty-of
These people experienced the same fate at a party in Nottingham, when they thought they were having a photo taken but the camera had another idea. Watch as the awkward moment we have all been guilty of plays out in front of you. 


source

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Thu, 07 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Tom Collins cocktail recipe http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/tom-collins-cocktail-recipe- 1 tot gin
1 tot lemon juice
1 tsp castor sugar
half a cup of soda water 
1 maraschino cherry
1 slice orange

In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the gin, lemon juice, and sugar. Shake well. Strain into a collins glass almost filled with ice cubes. Add the club soda. Stir and garnish with the cherry and the orange slice.

Hello Cosmo summer!



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Thu, 07 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
What One Year in a Physically Abusive Relationship Looks Like http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/what-one-year-in-a-physically-abusive-relationship-looks-like Watch this.


Now think about yourself. Your sister. Your best friend.

This video campaign was created by the anti-domestic-violence organisation, Sigurna kuća, which means Safe House in Croatian. Although it is staged, this ‘photo a day’ gallery is a haunting reminder of how stripped down and broken we become in an abusive relationship. If you or someone you know is in trouble, there is help. Today, if you need it. Because this video shows what waiting one more day could mean.

Contact The Stop Gender Violence (http://www.stopwomenabusehelpline.org.za/) helpline on 0800 150 150 or read these articles

Signs a guy could snap
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za/bodysoul/KicksButt/signs-a-guy-could-snap-pg1

Breakup danger
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za/bodysoul/KicksButt/breakup-danger-pg1

How to spot a really bad guy
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za/bodysoul/KicksButt/how-to-spot-a-really-bad-guy-pg1



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Wed, 06 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
The Beauty Intern Diaries - Coffee, COSMO and Summer http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-beauty-intern-diaries-coffee-cosmo-and-summer Normal.dotm 0 0 1 348 1984 aaa 16 3 2436 12.0

The disposable coffee cups are piling up in my bin, yes that’s right guys I have FINALLY found the holy grail of all hot beverages … and it goes by the name of One Large Cappuccino with Two Sugars. Make it snappy!

So although I may not be doing the cliché intern coffee runs for the office, I might as well be.  I’m consuming probably the same amount the office would, but by myself, because pssht I’m an overachiever. As to why my coffee addiction started, I’m not entirely sure, and my Herbalife family would not be best pleased, but as long as I continue to work out each week surely they cancel each other out?

Speaking of things that make me happy, have you checked out our Instagram page? It’s been so much fun styling products that have arrived on our desk and snapping away so that I can let you guys in on all the marvellous things in the COSMO Beauty office. I do hope I’ve made you a little jealous, in a nice inspiring way of course!

Juanaallowed me to write as much online content as I like, and I’ve loved it! So far I’ve written  over 30 articles online and would LOVE to get some feedback on what you guys think. Have you enjoyed the little tricks and tips? Have any of you tried them out? If so, tweet @Cosmopolitansa with a picture of yourself and tell us which tip you’ve tried and use the #BeautyOnline (and if you’re not that comfortable with twitter and would prefer to do it via Instagram then just tag us using @Cosmopolitansa). You could even stand a chance to win a little prize from the beauty office!

I’m pretty sure everyone in the office is counting down till Friday, not that we don’t enjoy working, it’s just, well nothing beats the weekend. But this week is extra special. This Friday is the annual COSMO Summer Party at Shimmy Beach Club. This will be my second COSMO function, and if The Lingerie Issue Fashion Show was anything to go by then this will be one hell of a way to end my week!

But what would a COSMO party be without COSMO readers? You join us by buying your tickets here for only R65.shop.cosmopolitan.co.za/shop/cosmopolitan-summer-party/ though tickets are almost sold out so book fast!

 
I'll be there, no doubt sipping on a cocktail, dancing the night away. *wiggles bum*. So get your tickets NOW! You definitely don't want to miss it!!

Catch my blog updates every Wednesday, and check out our Instagram page CosmopolitanSA and my account @megsnicola where I’ll also be posting updates from our beauty office. ☺ x

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Wed, 06 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Look Closer http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/look-closer
A cinemagraph is an image that contains within itself a living moment that
allows a glimpse of time to be experienced and preserved endlessly.
Visual graphics artist Kevin Burg began experimenting with the .gif format
in this style in 2009 but it wasn't until he partnered with photographer
Jamie Beck to cover NYFW that cinemagraphs were born. Marrying original
content photography with the desire to communicate more to the viewer
birthed the cinemagraph process. Starting in-camera, the artists take a
traditional photograph and combine a living moment into the image through
the isolated animation of multiple frames. To quote supermodel Coco Rocha
'it's more than a photo but not quite a video'.

Beck and Burg named the process 'cinemagraphs' for their cinematic quality
while maintaining at its soul the principles of traditional photography.
Launched virally through social media platforms Twitter and Tumblr, both the
style of imagery and terminology has become a class of its own. The creative
duo are looking forward to exploring future display technologies for gallery
settings as well as pushing this new art form and communication process as
the best way to capture a moment in time or create a true living portrait in
our digital age while embracing our need to communicate visually and share
instantly.



















Check out annstreetstudio.com/category/cinemagraphs/  for more amazing pictures.



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Tue, 05 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Sorry, Seth. Marriage IS for me http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/marriage-is-for-me-and-love-is-selfish-and-so-is-everything-else-you-do-and-thats-ok http://sethadamsmith.com/2013/11/02/marriage-isnt-for-you/). More briefly, he preaches that 'No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love… the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive.' 

The crux of the article centres on a conversation he had with his father at a time when he was wondering things like 'Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?'

And his father replies, 'You don't marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy.'

You marry to make someone else happy? Oh dear. That way lies true, desperate disillusion, disappointment and deep (bottomless-chasm-deep) resentment.

It can't be a happy marriage if you don't totally want it for yourself. You marry someone only if you have total conviction that you want that person. For ever.

No bloody wonder a year or so into his marriage his 'heart had been hardening with a mixture of fear and resentment'.

If I were Seth's wife, reading of his 'paralyzing fear' and that it took his father's pep talk to get him to marry me, I'd be deeply hurt and very worried. But maybe not surprised. Just a year or so into their marriage  'emotions erupted', and he was 'callous' and 'selfish'. But she didn't demand respect. She didn't tell him his behaviour was unacceptable. No: 'Laying aside all the pain and anguish I had caused her, she lovingly took me in her arms and soothed my soul.'

I'll wait while you run to the nearest sink.
Back again?

OK. Seems to me she knows without doubt that she wants him, but that she also knows he doesn’t have that same conviction. So she is binding him to her with saintliness. She has chosen the martyr's way because this is how she thinks she'll keep the man she loves and the relationship she wants.

And it works. He feels guilty. He promises he will 'try to be better'. (Note the word 'try'.) For now, he wants to want her. He has persuaded himself she is the person he SHOULD marry.

Poor Kim. She loves him more than she loves herself. She should read COSMO. Learn to love herself. Learn to be the best she can be – not for her husband, or his father or their children or her mother. But for herself. For her self-respect. And yes, that is selfish, but so is every thing we do.

If you say you're getting married to make someone else happy (whether the someone else is your partner, your father, or your child/ren), you are lying. To everyone, but also to yourself.

The answer to 'Would she make me happy?' is that sometimes what she does and who she is will make you happy, Seth, but actually your happiness is your own responsibility. And often we choose to be happy. And it is a selfish choice.

That is what you're doing now, Seth. And good on you! It is courageous – in a damned, Light-Brigade kind of way. But please: enough with the love-should-be-selfless. Humans are selfish creatures. We choose to do what we do and how we do it because that is how we think we'll achieve our personal desires (whether those be the love of the person we love, admiration for our good works, or self-respect for being a 'good person'). Each and every single human act devolves from a choice. And that choice is motivated entirely, always, by selfishness.

In saying 'my dad told me to marry you to make you happy', Seth is embedding an escape clause. Down the line I bet Kim hears the rest of the sentence: 'but I never really wanted to marry you'.

Well that's what I think. I can't make you agree with me, though of course I'd prefer it if you did because, well, I'm selfish like that.

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Tue, 05 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Tache wars: Johnny Depp vs James Franco http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/tache-wars-johnny-depp-vs-james-franco
Feel better?

Ah November! Such a wonderful month - it's sunny, but not too hot, the year-end holidays are on the horizon but the silly season hasn't entered its complete-madness phase… and guys' lips everywhere are getting fuzzy to raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancer.

Yes, we love our guys so much and we admire their willingness to support a good cause. Of course we believe completely that they're downing razors to raise awareness, and not just because shaving every day is 'such a las'. And we do look forward to perhaps a bit of Johnny's pirate-swagger and James's cooth.

Who do YOU think wears it best? Let us know and if it's your guy, send us a pic! Here in COSMO land our brand new art director, Juan Geel, is planning his own facial topiary. We'll be posting weekly pics of his tache's progress, so pop back to see how it's going!



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Tue, 05 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
The Gangs Of Ballet http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-gangs-of-ballet yes/no/grey is the first full length offering from them and has been getting welcoming responses from their fans. With all this growing success and busier schedules, how do they keep up with their daily lives?

Cosmo: You all dress so well, do you have a stylist or call each other to find out what each guy’s wearing?
Gangs Of Ballet: (Blushes all around) We work with a Durban designer called Sgt. Pepper. We wear his clothes and he keeps us in the know. And then we’ve also got a really cool barber in Durban called Ned. Nobody really knows his surname, he’s just known as ‘Ned the barber’.

Cosmo: The crowd you played for at RTD this year was huge! Do really big crowds like that intimidate you or do they give you more energy?
GOB: We love it. When we get to a big festival, everyone’s literally waiting for you and they’re already pumped for the show. All we have to do is play. A smaller crowd is a lot more intimidating because we have to win them over first.

Cosmo: How do you interact with your fans on social media?
GOB: We try and keep up with twitter and facebook everyday. Our facebook page is run by all of us and updates everyday. We’re really enjoying Instagram right now though. It’s a little bit more interactive than a putting up a status update or tweet cause our fans get to see what we’re doing instead of reading about it.

Cosmo: How does the song writing process work in your group?
GOB: It’s very much a collaborative effort. Brad and Josh write the lyrics and might have some ideas for the tune then Jono and I will have come bring in the sound. So we’ll usually have one idea an then work on it from there. A lot of the times the end product isn’t even what the initial idea was but that’s more or less how it usually works.

Cosmo: Brad and H are married while and Josh and Jono have girlfriends. How do you juggle those relationships when on the road?
GOB: The tricky part is that you’re not just away for one or two days. You’re away for a few weeks to a month at a time. Then when you’re home, you’re still busy so it is a bit tricky. But the girls are amazing! They put up with us and we’re very grateful for that.

Cosmo: What do you wish women knew about men?
GOB: Sometimes we like to be left alone. It’s nothing personal. Men have a ‘nothing box’. We have the ability to think about nothing. Sometimes we’re in our ‘nothing room’ and we like to go there sometimes. It’s our ‘me time’.

Cosmo: What are you looking forward to about summer?
GOB: Being able to swim again and going surfing!


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Mon, 04 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
4 Things Invented By Women That Make Life Much Better http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/4-things-invented-by-women-that-make-life-much-better
The Dishwasher
We have a female to thank for this modern day convenience. Josephine Garis Cochrane, who apparently said 'If nobody else is going to invent a dishwashing machine, I’ll do it myself' - spoken like a true woman. 
Despite the fact that having a dishwasher means you can also sit in front of the TV with your feet up, we also no longer have to worry about the manual labor of washing dishes. Load, press start, unload. Hello freedom! 


Spanx
Sara Blakely came to women's aid everywhere. Spanx make women slim down, look trim and feel confident in a matter of seconds, how long have we been wanting to do this? Maybe the better question is, how did we survive before? 


Modern Bra
Hard to believe that bras didn't exist when dinosaurs did, but thanks to Mary Phelps Jacob we get to think they did. And even though the first thing we want to do when we get home is take these things off, walking out of the house without one on the other hand is a terrible day waiting to happen. 



Improved Hairbrush
So while Lyda Newman was not the original inventor of the hairbrush she did go on to make improvements to it. Brushes were originally made of animal hair, and Lyda thought she could do them one better and create something that allowed hair to breathe and properly remove the excess hair and dandruff. Can you imagine what life would be without hairbrushes? We'd rather not. 


image source: imgur






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Mon, 04 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
The Cat Who Wears Tights http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-cat-who-wears-tights
Meet Gucci, the cat who wears tights.




Not so long ago the wonderful world of the Internet graced us with images of dogs wearing pantyhose, it was the funniest, cleverest thing we had seen, EVER, that's of course till today, when we came across a hilarious post by BuzzFeed of a cat wearing tights! While this may have decreased our Monday productivity by a smidge, a cat wearing human clothing? Who can't resist.  

Check out Gucci's meowtfit (not our term, we wish we were that clever) of the day! 






image: original source


To see more of Gucci styled in tights, head over to her tumblr, Meowtfit Of The Day

Happy Monday! 


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Mon, 04 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
On Set With The Springbok Sevens http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/on-set-with-the-springboks-7s



They asked us how to pose (so cute!) and we gave them a little COSMO tip from our COSMO bags of tricks: your face should say boyfriend, and your body should say sex god and voila! 

Do you think they took our advice well? 






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Thu, 31 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
The GIF That's Taking The Internet By Storm http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-gif-thats-taking-the-internet-by-storm Daily Mail of a girl being transformed into a model with the help of a hair, make-up and....photoshop. Watch the revealing GIF below. 



For more articles, click here


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Thu, 31 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Procrastinators Guide To Halloween: GIRLS Edition http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/procrastinators-guide-to-halloween-girls-edition


Shoshanna Shapiro
All you need to get her look is, your hair tied neatly in a bun, a floral dress, a little lace, flats, a little innocence, a fast tongue and a quest for knowledge. Do this and you might just be giving the real Shoshanna a run for her money! 

Hannah Horvath
Okay, so obviously you can't walk around naked, unless of course this is a Halloween party for two and you and your boyfriend want to spend it together indoors, then by all means go ahead. But don't worry, if you have a party to attend you can still go as Hannah, all you would need is a mismatched outfit. Get a top and pair it with shorts or skirt or leggings, but in a completely different style and completely odd colour. 

Marnie Michaels
Marnie Michaels is your every day girl, all you would need to capture Marnie's modern style is bright colours, a pencil dress or skirt, a cardigan and some great heels, and hello Marnie Michaels! 

Jessa Johansson
With Jessa, anything goes, but to be sure, what you need is messy hair, a filthy mouth, british accent, black or red lipstick, and a long, preferably white, dress and you will re-create Jessa's we don't even know quite how to describe it look. 

image source: Rex Features


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Wed, 30 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
The Beauty Intern Diaries - For The Love of Rihanna http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-beauty-intern-diaries-for-the-love-of-rihanna

So, thankfully I can say that my big girl pants did not fail me. Juana loved what I prepared for our hair page and has even included my name in the byline. Best. Feeling. Ever! But the good vibes and exciting energy didn’t stop there, oh no.


It was the week of Rihanna’s concert and a few of the COSMO office were lucky enough to be going to the concert (including me, but that was thanks to generous parents and an awesome birthday gift). So what’s a better way to pitch up to a Riri concert, than to have super sexy stiletto nails?! COSMO agrees. So in came the holy grail of all nail kits accompanied by the lovely Minell from Minell nails. I think Juana and I almost bowed down on one knee when she opened her nail kit.

 

Both Juana and I sat in silence and in awe as she proceeded to unpack and convert our beauty desk into an at-home nail salon. Across from my desk all I could hear were ‘mmmms’ and ‘ahhs’ as they decided how they were going to make Juana’s nails Riri-ready.

It was decided, they were going to do stiletto nails with her VERY OWN blue color that Minell created right there and then (this sent Juana LITERALLY over the edge!!) But the coolest part of all was when Minell suggested that she write ‘COSMO’ on one of Juana’s nails and a diamond (for Riri’s diamond tour). We both just gazed in amazement as she proceeded to delicately paint the tiny letters to spell out COSMO. Well, that was it. We were finished.





By the time Minell was finished working her magic, our maturity level had declined about 20 years, as we stood gasping and clapping like seals. It was truly an amazing thing to watch, such precision and concentration like an artist painting on a canvas.




Next, we knew we just had to share this delightful end to our day with the world, with Juana’s carefully positioned hands (by Minell) I immediately snapped away at the masterpiece and finally fired them off to Instagrizzle.



Did you guys see the instagram photos and videos?? What did you think? Let us know by tweeting @cosmopolitanSA using the hashtag #COSMOnails

Catch my blog updates every Wednesday, and check out our Instagram page CosmopolitanSA and my account megsnicola where I’ll also be posting updates from our beauty office. Thanks for reading ☺ x



 

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Wed, 30 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Kana Guilty of Raping and Killing Anene Booysen http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/kana-guilty-of-raping-and-killing-anene-booysen News 24 reports that Judge Patricia Goliath found that the case presented by the State against Kana was strong and has ordered that sentencing for the charges against Kana to be continued today.

This comes after both the State and defense presented their closing arguments on Monday, and the State showing the court Kana's motive to kill Booysen. 



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Wed, 30 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
How to Survive a Music Festival COSMO Style http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/how-to-survive-a-music-festival-cosmo-style- Prepare for extreme weather
It might be 40 degrees in the day and close to zero at night. Bring the right variety of clothes. It’s not glam to be so cold you cuddle up to a fitlhy stranger for warmth. Likewise, you don’t want to wear the same sweaty tank for the third time because it’s the only strappy top you brought.



Source 

Prepare for the dirt
There might be amazing hot showers (like at Rocking the Daisies) or you might have to rely on wet wipes and denial. The only thing worse than feeling dirty is looking dirty. Spray that dry shampoo, wear that bandana, take 5 minutes to clean off your make-up and start again (even though it seems easier to just top it up each morning) it will make a world of difference to both you and your festival selfies. (Felfies. It’s a thing).



Source

Glamping means not packing light. And that’s okay
As long as you are organised. It’s fine to bring your double feather duvet and a sleeping bag, just pack them into a big shopping bag so that they’re easy to carry. Utilise resources around you – bring an extra six pack of beer and flutter your eyelashes at a nearby man. He will carry your coolerbox or set up your tent and be happy for the cold beers.



Source

Don’t kiss a guy on the third night of a festival.
Not only are you not sure when you last brushed your teeth with running water (Listerine is only good enough for talking, not smooching) but you don’t know when HE last did. Also he has had two nights to get blackout drunk and vom. Eew. Not worth it. Write your number on his arm in permanent marker and hope for the best.



source

Have a meeting place.
You will lose your friends. It’s a given. One will need the loo, one will go get a drink, one will make out with her high school ex-boyfriend and you’ll get stranded. Your phone battery will be dead or you’ll have no signal. Don’t panic. Make new friends while you wait at your pre-agreed-upon meeting place. It’s helpful if your meeting place is a food or drinks tent because then you’re always have something to do while you wait for them.




source


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Mon, 28 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Best for Last … Let's Hope it Lasts! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/best-for-last--lets-hope-it-lasts
I’ve already decided to ditch the suggested Sunday supper. Pea-and-ham soup is lovely and all, but in my world it’s a starter – and the lasagne I’ll be smashing in my face instead will be a collaborative cooking effort between my maternal unit and my culinarily gifted sibling. They make their own pasta, and finely chop beef fillet for the filling. Yeah, that’s right. Om nom nom.

The great news is I’ve lost three kilos. Perhaps if I’d shaved my legs and taken all my kit off before I weighed myself yesterday, it would have been more. I’ve been pretty good at sticking to the eating plan, so the reason for the three kilos could be that I stopped doing the suggested exercises in the last week or so. They became a bit too complicated for my (very linear) brain, and the lack of sketches and videos for some of them stumped me. Double leg lift? Plank with knee tucks? Pyramid crunches? I suppose if I’d paid attention in Pilates class I’d know what those are. And yes, I could have googled them but I’ve been on a crazy deadline at work. Ain’t nobody got time, yo.

So I’ve slipped back into my usual gym routine: cardio five times a week with a bit of strength training at gym, and some of the free-weights exercises from the first two weeks of the programme. There is something about dumbbells that makes my muscles hurt differently from when I’m using, say, the shoulder press at gym, so I’m quite excited to have a new set of 20-minute “circuits”, if you will, that I can do at home. Another fab find is the medicine ball – I would have probably never picked one up if I hadn’t been told to, and it’s an amazing piece of equipment. I’m also in love with my New Balance sneakers – they’re great for running, which I’m beginning to get into. (The Other Half is in love with what he calls the “yoga” pants… Men. Not predictable at all.)

I never thought I’d say this, but breakfast is not quite the devil I made it out to be in my head – though I’ll have to keep the eggs for weekends because trying to cook them in the microwave without blowing up the office might not be within my skills set. What I don’t want to see for the next three months is any tomato-based sauce, so I’ll be sticking strictly to balsamic reductions, béchamel, béarnaise, hollandaise, lemon butter, garlic butter, mushroom and cheese sauce. I’m filing the fact that I haven’t developed some kind of deadly allergy to tomatoes (and peppers!) in my “minor miracle” column.

In short, it will take me a while to get over the uniform nature of “healthy” eating and strict kilojoule counting – one hopes that I’ve learnt enough self-control not to undo all the good work by overcompensating in the other direction. Often in the past four weeks I’ve thought that I’d rather do an extra hour of exercise every morning than ever again go on a diet this restrictive. But the bottom line is my skin’s looking better, I’m feeling better and I’ve been told I look skinnier – so the results are there, even if my exercise routine was erratic and tempered by illness. And there are good ideas and good habits to be picked up from the eating programme – though if you’re going to attempt it, I want to reiterate something I said three weeks ago: do it with a friend. You’ll need her help through the tricky bits and her support in times when you just can’t stop thinking about burgers and chips – and you’ll definitely need her to eat all those “halves” in your fridge.



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Fri, 25 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Apple OS X Mavericks Released for Free http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/apple-os-x-mavericks-released-for-free
Apple recently announced the introduction of new iPads, MacBooks, and Mac Pros, but that's not it, what is even more interesting is that Apple has decided to give away some of their key software for free, including the Mac OS X upgrade called Mavericks. 

Brand new operating systems have always cost money, just ask Microsoft, so you can imagine the shock when Apple announced for the first time a free software upgrade. Good news for every Mac owner out there! Get the latest Mac software from the Mac App store available now. 


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Fri, 25 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Bitstrips: The Latest App Taking Over Your Newsfeed http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/bitstrips-the-latest-app-taking-over-your-newsfeed
Bitsrtips allows users to create and share comics of themselves and others with personalised messages about their day, their friends, or whatever is on their minds. It's like a status update, but better. 


 





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Fri, 25 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Sparrow Face is the New Duck Face http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/sparrow-face-is-the-new-duck-face BuzzFeed, the sparrow face is done by opening your eyes wide and puckering your lips like you're a baby bird waiting to be fed. 


Image source: Mail Online

Will you be doing #SparrowSelfies? Tweet us yours @CosmopolitanSA






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Fri, 25 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Thursday Giggles: Men Posing Like Motorcycle Babes http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/thursday-giggles-men-posing-like-motorcycle-babes
The staff at MotoCorsa, a Ducati dealership in Portland, decided, after shooting photographs of female models with a Ducati 1199 Panigale motorcycle, to turn the camera on themselves. The results? A hilarious but amazing take on what men think sexy poses are. 





The rest are equally hilarious - head on over to MotoCorsa to see the original post

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Thu, 24 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
A Sexy Shimmy Halloween http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/a-sexy-shimmy-halloween
This event will see Shimmy’s brand new and ultra-exclusive club, the Heineken Deck, transformed into a wonderland of ghoulish glamour.

With top DJs Branny, Tammy Smith and Mr Mo on the decks, the thrilling itinerary will feature several twists and turns with dancers and magicians weaving through the crowd to entrance and surprise.

The evening’s theme is glamorous and sexy, with a touch of Disturbia-inspired spookiness.

Available from www.quicket.co.za, for R100.00, these coveted tickets will allow the bearer entrance to a night of magnificent magic in Cape Town’s most indulgent venue. Tickets will also be available at the door, at a price of R150.00.

A further, VIP ticket option exists, whereby six guests can book a sumptuous private six-seater couch pocket for the evening, receiving a bottle and mix to toast the night’s festivities.

Shimmy Beach Club is a glittering jewel on Cape Town’s foreshore, with panoramic views of the ocean extending to the horizon beyond the luxurious man-made beach deck. Extensive cuisine and beverage menus compliment the sumptuous décor, and this expansive venue offers dynamic opportunities for indulgence throughout its exclusive lounges, decks and VIP areas.


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Thu, 24 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Jo'Burg's Biggest Walk Against The Abuse Of Women and Children http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/joburgs-biggest-walk-against-the-abuse-of-women-and-children Sisters with Blisters walk. On the 23rd of November thousands of sisters, misters, kids and four-legged friends will unite at the Blue Hills Country & Equestrian Estate in Kyalami for the 8th annual Sisters with Blisters walk. 

Over the past eight years, Sisters with Blisters has raised over R2 million for organisations that make an active and practical difference to the lives of those affected by abuse, and this year, all proceeds of Sisters with Blisters will go to Women and Men against Child Abuse and the Sonke Gender Justice Network. 

So ladies, get your heels, takkies, pumps, sandals, or flip-flops ready and rally your family, friends and colleagues and join the Sisters with Blisters walk on the 23rd of November! 




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Wed, 23 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
The Beauty Intern Diaries - Time to put on my big girl pants http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-beauty-intern-diaries-time-to-put-on-my-big-girl-pants Normal.dotm 0 0 1 202 1152 aaa 9 2 1414 12.0

I really felt like a grownup last week. Juana was away in Johannesburg for a launch for two days so It was the first time I had been left in charge of the beauty office, although it was literally for two days, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so grownup.

 

As well as making sure that the office along with all of it’s beautiful contents didn’t burn to the ground, I was also left to put together and plan my very first page for the magazine. I had so much fun researching and writing content that I think I could have written an entire magazine in two days (time to calm down Megz)! It was nice to know that I could actually see myself doing this full-time.

 

My big girl pants were definitely on and secured tightly. I was determined to do well! I must admit, I was probably a little over excited and managed to finish planning the page on my first day… I really need to learn to pace myself sometimes. But I guess it meant I could make sure I was completely satisfied with what I had produced for Juana.

 

Awaiting the verdict this morning, so I’ll definitely let you guys know next week if it was a success. If I suddenly start blogging about cats, packing boxes, coffee runs and anything else that sounds slightly less exciting then you can safely assume it didn’t go well.

Catch my blog updates every Wednesday, and check out or Instagram page CosmopolitanSA and my account megsnicola where i'll also be posting updates from our beauty office! Thanks for reading :) x

 

 

 

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Wed, 23 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
How You Should Be Dancing to 'Get Lucky' by Daft Punk http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/how-you-should-be-dancing-to-get-lucky-by-daft-punk


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Tue, 22 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
The Beauty Intern Diaries - Day 1 http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-beauty-intern-diaries-day-1
Funnily enough, I didn’t feel that nervous on my way to my first day of work, probably owing to the fact I was so damn excited! I was taken on a tour around the beauty office and my jaw practically hit the floor when I saw all the beauty products stacked in every possible space and crevice in the office. It was every girl’s dream room and now I was fortunate enough to be spending five days a week in this beautifully smelling office. Score!

I’ve been here three weeks now and it’s flown by! All I wanted to do in my internship was to learn and gain as much experience as I could. And that’s exactly what’s happened. I’ve managed to hone in my fragrance skills, write online beauty articles, attend various launches, open packages filled with delicious new products (it’s honestly the closest I’ll ever get to the believing-in-Santa kind of Christmas) and just being a part of general day-to-day beauty fun!

I’m glad to say that my internship hasn’t been a hellish nightmare like movies make it out to be, and I’ve been made to feel welcome and part of the team!

Catch my blog updates every Wednesday, and follow our Instagram account CosmopolitanSA where I will be posting daily photos of what’s happening in the beauty office! Thanks for reading, ciao!


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Tue, 22 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Six Things I've Learnt so Far http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/six-things-ive-learnt-so-far 1. Balance = satiety
I mean, who knew? (Apparently everyone but me…) From day one of the eating plan I noticed that representing all the main food groups in each meal kept me full until it was time for my next meal. I’ve not been hungry once – though at times I have been a bit bored, in an “I-need-to-put-more-chilli-in-my-food” kind of way, and not entirely satisfied on a psychological level. What can I say: I crave things I can’t have, and it’s not always rational.

2. Breakfast = good thing
I’ve never been a breakfast person (except at hotel buffets, but that’s a story for another day), and would usually subsist on two cups of coffee until midday, when I’d have lunch. Now, by midday, I’ve eaten twice … and it feels okay. I’m not going to choke you with clichés and say that it’s the most important meal of the day or that it sets you up for a less-nibbly afternoon and evening, but breakfast actually ain’t that bad.

3. Brown rice <<<< barley
Seriously. On a scale of one to 10, I hate brown rice at least 33,5. It’s like a bottle of turpentine, while barley is a fairly nice box of wine. Incidentally, pasta is a fine Pinot Noir, and mashed potatoes are a deep, rich Shiraz.

4. Chocolate ≠ for me
What this actually means is that cheating on a diet is not really for me. But then, I’m a borderline OCD-type person who, once she gets given a plan of action, will stick to that plan with almost fanatical attention to detail. Chocolate and other sweet treats (except for ice cream) are superfluous to me at the best of times, and they definitely have no place in any eating plan I’m on that’s designed for health improvement and weight loss.
Having said all that (*tumbles off high horse*), I did cheat on the diet with a couple of shots and some whisky on the day of the rugby. Don’t tell mom.

5. Cardio ≈ zzzzz
It literally puts me to sleep. But because it’s the only way I’ll ever get rid of this keg I carry around in the place where my six-pack should be, I will continue to do it five times a week. There’s some kind of pain/gain reference in here, except for me the pain looks a lot like soul-destroying boredom. While I’m on a treadmill or a stationary bike, I calculate in my head how many songs I’ve listened to and how long each was, in order to figure out how much cardio I still have to do. No, checking the timer on the equipment is not an option. Everyone knows that clock-watching slows down time. It’s a scientific fact.

6. ∑ (right food+exercise routine+POA) = health
If you’re going to change your lifestyle and become a “healthier” version of yourself, you have to have a plan – and this one is a good one to follow. I wouldn’t say that it’s something you can maintain for the rest of your life (as I’ve mentioned before, it’s too rigid for that), but it will educate you about better food choices, more structured eating and manageable exercise. Even if the only thing you take out of going through this four-week cycle is how beneficial it is to do half an hour of exercise five days a week (and point 2 above), you’re already en route to a healthier, happier you. Me, on the other hand… I want ice cream. Right now.


To read more of Ania's blogs, click below
It's Time To Begin
Of Couches and Cardboard
Pass The Cream, Please
Size Matters
Walking The Plank
Weight Ain't Nothing But A Number

To join in the fun, download the Zest App here



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Tue, 22 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Going Back to the Island http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/going-back-to-the-island
…Cape Town? Yes, you’d be forgiven for thinking I was sailing the blue waters of the Mediterranean, about to step into a (insert appropriate number of stars here) restaurant on the Monaco waterfront. But this was Cape Town, where we celebrated the launch of Mainstay 54 Island Vodka and the Mainstay Fusion range at Shimmy Beach Club. It was quite a spectacular evening – the sail along the Sea Point coastline, the yummy canapés at Shimmy Beach, the funky DJ who brought out my inner twerker… And all the time, the colourful cocktails kept coming – all vodka-based, naturally, with sexy names like Exotic Escape and Behind the Blue. I had trouble deciding what to taste first … and I was quite happy that I had a sexy ride home!



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Tue, 22 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Appletiser New Pack Design Appeals To The Fashion Conscious http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/appletiser-new-pack-design-appeals-to-the-fashion-conscious
Appeltiser launched a sleek new 330ml slender can and to give the can a more contemporary look, they have made it slightly taller than the standard beverage can and considerably slimmer. Tall and slim anyone?

According to Appletiser, the new slender look positions the brand in the premium category, while differentiating the product against a backdrop of standard beverage cans.

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Tue, 22 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
White Collar Club Album Review: After Hours http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/white-collar-club-album-review-after-hours get a digital version right now).

Here at the COSMO office, we were lucky enough to see a live performance from these gents at our offices a few weeks ago, and they gave us a copy of their debut album, After Hours. It’s part Michael Buble (i.e. get your boyfriend to add it to his ‘get romantic’ playlist and run you a bubble bath), part boy band (mainly because they’re hotties), and all the lyrics are written by the boys themselves. Sigh.

Here’s a bit more about who these gifted guys are. Watch the video below and try not to get goose bumps. We dare you.





Find White Collar club on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WhiteCollarClubMusic, Twitter https://twitter.com/collarclub, Instagram http://instagram.com/collarclub and their site http://whitecollarclub.net/.



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Wed, 16 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
The Beauty Intern Diaries – Heels, lingerie and All Things COSMO http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-beauty-intern-diaries--heels-lingerie-and-all-things-cosmo
I am, however, starting to run out of outfits and my need for creativity has never been stronger. I have also learnt that walking to and from the train station between work and home in heels is never a good idea. Not having to worry about what to wear was definitely the only thing that school was good for, but those dresses just won’t cut it anymore!

I thought I’d do a little recap of my favourite memories of my time at COSMO thus far. For me, the Lingerie event is definitely one of the highlights. It was the first COSMO event I was lucky enough to attend. It gave me the chance to see how COSMO operates and, boy oh boy, was it one hell of a show! (Plus, being surrounded by a room full of beautiful people wasn’t too bad either.)

My other exciting moment was assisting Juana, COSMO’s beauty editor, on my very first shoot for one of our December beauty pages. I got to see how products were shot, how the lighting works and which key aspects are needed in a photo. And it turned out amazingly!! I can’t wait for all the COSMO readers to see it!

Catch my blog updates every Wednesday, and check out our Instagram page CosmopolitanSA. Thanks for reading, ciao!


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Wed, 16 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Why You Must Never, Ever Send A Guy A Second Whatsapp http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/why-you-must-never-ever-send-a-guy-a-second-whatsapp
Back in those days (which are now pretty much regarded as the dark ages but was actually only about thirteen years ago) not even everyone had cell phones. You still relied on a landline which sometimes, but not always, had an answering machine. Therefore, when the guy you were crushing on madly didn’t answer it meant he wasn’t home and you had to go away and think about something else (Or drive past his house but that’s just nuts and I never, ever did that. At all.) Me, in my twenties, with a smart phone? It would have a mess on wheels. I would have been relentless – messaging, tagging, instagramming, whatsapping and then freaking out when he didn’t answer me instantaneously, as in the following second.

Instead, I was forced to be patient and wait till he came back from his dive/finished watching the game/ended his working day till I could impose myself on him again, which led him to believe that I was more reasonable than I really was. So, it’s with great empathy and tremendous referred pain (from them to me) that I watch my single girlfriends navigating the dating website space and conduct these agonizing exercises in torture otherwise known as chatting to a new guy. And I cannot judge their eagerness and concomitant devastation when he doesn’t take the bait for one nanosecond, because that would have been me.

But on Sunday I went for a walk with a new girlfriend who shared a simple, but very clever little analogy re the whole dating website/new guy fiasco. And, being a dispassionate observer who is not (god forbid) looking for a man, I can see how absolutely correct and appropriate it is, and share it with you. She said, when you meet a new guy, either in person or online, you’ve got to imagine a tennis court with two people on either side and a ball going back and forth. Back and forth is the only way. You serve, he returns your ball. You send it back to him, he sends it back to you, and so it goes on. If he does not return the ball to your court, you do not serve again. There is one ball in this game. It is tennis, not snooker. If that ball doesn’t come back to you, you wait. And wait. Still not coming? He’s on another court. Move on. Don’t ask him where the court is or what he’s doing on it – he doesn’t want to play with you, and that’s all you need to know.

And yet all the time I see the women sending that ball over, then sending another and then another still, and then asking, why doesn’t he answer? Was it something I said? What’s his problem? And then taking their communication apart word for word in an attempt to decipher its hidden message. There’s no hidden message – he doesn’t want to play ball with you so you must go away. It’s much simpler than we believe. We sit there over-analysing, picking things apart, second-guessing: what is he doing? Why is he online and not answering me? Who else is he talking to? When none of this matters. It’s irrelevant. Despite all this technology which (for better or for worse) keeps us connected 24/7 some things have stayed the same: if the boy likes the girl he will go and get her. And that’s the long and the short of it.

Stop sending more balls – it just makes you look desperate. Even if you just want to say this one thing – don’t. Even if it’s the funniest, cleverest thing anyone has ever said in the world – don’t do it. He’ll feel hounded and think you’re psycho and not like you anymore. True story. And it’s easy as hell for me to say this because my dude is chained to the net, bless his tennis socks, but at the same time this vantage point allows me to see things a lot more clearly than I would if I were waiting to see if the little yellow ball was coming my way anytime soon. And if this guy isn’t game, eff him; there are many more where he came from. You served, he missed, game over.


Susan Hayden is a writer and blogger who believes in sparkly tops, the sisterhood and telling it like it is. She also reviews restaurants, writes books about wine and has a risotto named after her at a top Cape Town restaurant. Which makes her kind of fabulous, we think. Nonetheless - like the rest of us - she doesn’t always feel that way which is why we love her warm, honest and over-sharey views on relationships, life and men. These posts all originally appeared on her blog: http://discopantsblog.com/, and you should head on over there for a full dose of Discopants. Follow her on twitter @susanhhayden, or drop her a line on her blog. Tell her we sent you.

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Tue, 15 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Shake It Up With Hooch Fox http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/shake-it-up-with-hooch-fox
For those seriously sexy cocktails, all you need is a few bottles of Hooch Fox, a bottle or two of vodka, fruit such as lime and oranges, fruit juice to mix it up and some garnish. Go the extra mile and add some glamour to your drinks with cocktail accessories like shocking pink straws and on-trend mini yellow umbrellas.

Click through the gallery to find your favourite Hooch Fox cocktail that will get your taste-buds tingling:





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Mon, 14 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Weight Ain’t Nothing but a Number http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/weight-aint-nothing-but-a-number
But herein lies today’s lesson: fat really does weigh less than muscle, and a low number on the scale does not necessarily translate into a beautifully toned body.

I’ve been taking it pretty easy with the cardio because a) honestly, I find it boring and b) I’m still battling to breathe a bit. But I’ve been very good at catching up on all the toning exercises, so by Monday I plan to be up to date. I kind of wish I was able to do morning training before I go to work, but the reality is I only get out of bed at 5am for two things: food and travel. So I’m squeezing all the toning into my after-dinner-before-bed time, while still doing bits and pieces on the treadmill and bike at the gym straight after work. But the days are getting prettier, so it’s getting harder.

On the note of pretty days, we had a corker on Wednesday here in the Cape, and that’s when I realised the true limitations of sticking to a rigid eating programme. While I’m genuinely never hungry (seriously, it’s like magic), I hate that I can’t ever substitute or replace meals. A friend wanted to go for impromptu sundowners at a beach cafe near where I live, and I had to decline – not only am I not allowed to eat anything off any restaurant menu (and it’s not like anyone serves steamed vegetables and pearl barley), I’m also not really allowed to drink anything but water (ice and lemon optional). I’m not saying that I can’t have a good time without alcohol – I’m just saying that it’s tough not to become a complete social recluse when you can’t even order a chicken salad and a couple of rounds of passion fruit and soda…

On the plus side, it’s Friday. Got a beach run planned for tomorrow morning, and if you’re out on the Sea Point promenade around 7am, look across the bay: you might just see my lumo-orange self trotting around Blouberg beach. And if the idea of brightly coloured exercise gear appeals to you, head over to the COSMO Facebook page: New Balance has kindly organised some training-gear hampers for you to win. The kit is supercute and very cool – and hopefully pink and orange, like mine!


To read more of Ania's blogs, click below
It's Time To Begin
Of Couches and Cardboard
Pass The Cream, Please
Size Matters
Walking The Plank

To join in the fun, download the Zest App here



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Fri, 11 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
The Summer Bomber Jacket http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-summer-bomber-jacket
We have just received all the new and exciting products for the COSMO January issue. I’m completely obsessed with all the amazing prints and rainbow of colours that will be brightening up all of our closets this summer.

I’m loving the summer bomber jacket, which seems to be popping up in stores all over the country. This seemingly sporty piece has become so much more daring and yet still stays stylishly feminine all at the same time. You can get them in a range of bold colours and elaborate prints, as well as beautifully textured fabrics. Add some edge to a summer dress by pairing it with an ultra-cool bomber and a pair of printed wedge heels.

Don’t be afraid to mix prints. As intimidating as it may seem at first, it makes your outfit that much more fun and flirty. If you are a first timer at this, select a colour that stands out or is visible in each of the garments you wear. This way you create a uniformed look that is understated, but still capable of stealing stares everywhere you go.

I love this Sissy Boy turquoise printed bomber. Find these chic jackets in stores this summer, and do yourself a favour and invest in one.



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Thu, 10 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Pose like Nina Dobrev and WIN http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/pose-like-nina-dobrev-and-win Nina Dobrev cover pose and you could see yourself in the mag. You might even win an Eyelure eye and lash kit. 

HOW TO ENTER:
1. Take a photo of youself posing like Nina Dobrev and holding the October Issue of COSMO

2. Tweet, Facebook or email it to us (www.cosmopolitan.co.za) and include your email address (how else will we get hold of you if you win?!)

3. Amire your gorgeous cover girl pose. Ta da!


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Wed, 09 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Walking the Plank http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/walking-the-plank
My strategy is to “catch up” on all the exercise I’ve missed by combining last week’s sessions with this week’s. Monday was fabulous, because Day 1 involved stretching and Day 8 was a rest day… Yesterday, a combo of Day 2 and Day 9, was a bit more painful.

There I was, on a yoga mat, trying to hold the plank for 20 seconds. Fail. Apparently two weeks of inactivity has completely destroyed all the core muscles I’d worked so hard to get for the past six months. Also, after about 10 seconds I realised my mat was too thin and the floor tiles were wrecking my elbows*, so I moved on to the ab work that allowed me to lie on my back. Much better – but, as Ron Burgundy said in Anchorman, it was still a deep burn.

I’m really glad I bought 2,5kg dumbbells. Had my eye on the 3kg and 4kg ones (pink and purple respectively, can you blame me?) but I don’t think I would have been able to type this blog post if I’d lifted heavier weights last night during the upper-body toning. Fifteen reps of something might not seem like a lot, but it sure feels like a lot at the time. Still, I managed to get all the toning and stretching out of the way in 30 minutes. Thought I’d feel more stiffness today to remind me of the effort I’d put in, but I got out of bed without any bone-breaking incidents. Success! I’m also a bit more positive about the eating plan – it’s amazing how 30 minutes of exercise can make you feel SO much better about the massive amount of food you’re stuffing in your face.

Today will be tough. I have about an hour and fifteen minutes of cardio to make up (I didn’t do any yesterday because ye olde lung situation was still a bit dodgy), in addition to lower-body stationary weights at the gym and some Pilates-style exercises at home. At least I’ll be giving my, er, totally inconspicuous New Balance kit a proper go. You know, just to make sure those hotties pay no attention to me whatsoever.

* Note to self: Buy thicker exercise mat.

To read more of Ania's blogs, click below
It's Time To Begin
Of Couches and Cardboard
Pass The Cream, Please
Size Matters

To join in the fun, download the Zest App here


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Wed, 09 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
The SMS's Your Cat Would Send If It Had A Phone http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-smss-your-cat-would-send-if-it-had-a-phone Texts From Mittens, shows the kinds of conversations Mittens might have with humans, should cats ever gain the ability to use a smartphone, it's also a hilarious take on Text From dog, that leaves you wishing Hogwarts was real, and was actually in fact a place you could take your pets to, to learn stuff like this.

Oh well, if wishes were horses. Below, are some of our favourite selections, but be sure to head over to Angie's site for lots more.












Image Source

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Pets and Partners

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Tue, 08 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Size Matters http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/size-matters
Partly as a result of the above, I continue to battle with portion control. It is just not possible to adapt the recipes in such a way that you make the correct amount of food for one person. No matter how diligently I measure out the amounts, I end up with enough for two people – more than twice as much as I’d normally eat. And looping back to wastage and inability to eat leftovers, I tend to then eat everything. Obviously not ideal.

So my oh-so-sage advice to you is this: if you’re going on a diet, especially a diet where you have to adapt recipes meant for four or more people, get a diet-buddy: a friend, a housemate, your man, your mom. You can split the costs and the food, and you’ll have someone to help you through the tough patches when all you want is a giant bowl of ice cream or an equally giant bowl of creamy, buttery mash. Or both. Together, even. (Yeah, I’m still on about that.)

On that note, with nobody to really help me this weekend, I ended up doing shots at a pub. One to drown my sadness over the Bok defeat, one to celebrate a (rare, these days) Man United victory and one for good measure – because you should never leave a bar on an even number. The shots were all named after desserts (milk tart, apple crumble, chocolate cake, in that order) but had far fewer calories, so I don’t feel guilty at all. Well … maybe a tiny bit.

As a final note, the beef-and-lentil burger recipe from day five is truly exceptional, even when you have to finely chop everything by hand because you don’t have a food processor (ahem). The Other Half had seconds, and ate the last patty for breakfast the next day. It’s the only day I didn’t have any leftovers…

To read more of Ania's blogs, click below
It's Time To Begin
Of Couches and Cardboard
Pass The Cream, Please

To join in the fun, download the Zest App here


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Mon, 07 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Pass The Cream, Please http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/pass-the-cream-please
Be that as it may, the hake I made for supper was pretty good. While I’m beginning to have a serious craving for a cheesy fondue with a side order of double cream (yuck … or is it?), the Mediterranean flavours of tomato, olives and capers baked around the fish were surprisingly tasty. It’s one of those meals I can imagine cooking for family and friends. Might give the steamed veg and couscous a skip, though, and serve it with a side of – you guessed it –something cheesy or creamy. Like mash. Or creamed spinach. Yum.

This weekend will be very trying. There’s a Sauvignon Blanc festival I’m missing, for one, because even though I’m allowed to “cheat” with a glass of wine, the reality is one never stops at “just one drink” at a wine festival. So I’ve wisely decided not to torture myself. There’s also a plethora of sport that I’ll no doubt be forced to watch without any alcoholic accompaniment to dull the inevitable pain. (I support Manchester United, which, as you’ll know if you follow football at all, comes with an unwelcome set of challenges.) Also, every Sunday I visit my family for breakfast, lunch and supper – now I have to bring along my healthy food AND forgo my mom’s amazing cooking. I have a feeling that’s really going to suck.

However, since the dreaded lurgy seems to be on its way out the door, I might do some gentle exercise to get my mind off, well, all the “fun” I could be having instead. Catch you on the other side.


To read more of Ania's blogs, click below
It's Time To Begin
Of Couches and Cardboard

To join in the fun, download the Zest App here


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Fri, 04 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
100 Fun, Fearless Women to Judge Wines http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/100-fun-fearless-women-to-judge-wines
This is where Ultra Liquors 100 Women 100 Wines wine tasting and judging competition was announced where 100 ordinary women will gather in Johannesburg to sip and swirl their way through 300 of South Africa’s top selling wines categorised by drinking occasion.
Fearless enough to judge? 
All prospective judges have to do is to motivate their reason as to why they would make a perfect judge to clare@spill.co.za no later than October 16. and the lucky winners will be invited to the event by Spill Communications, to The Maslow Hotel - which will be awarding a luxury weekend for two and other great prizes to lucky judges, on Friday November 1st.

Cheers to that!

If you feel like you may need a little crash course on wines first, read our article The Dummy's Guide To Wine and learn the difference between Chenin and Chadonnay, or if you already consider yourself a wine connoisseur but want to try new wines, read our article Which Wine? to see what the label says about the wine. 


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Wed, 02 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Get Going http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/get-going now.
It’s also the month when the sun truly starts shining (finally, yay) and we start thinking about holiday time. Usually going away means complete indulgence, right? Lots of food, fun and sun. But if you’re wanting downtime without letting go of your health regime, then a break to Lux Le Morne in Mauritius could be perfect for you.

This 5-star resort, situated on the gorgeous south west coast of the island, has put together amazing vacation packages that blend adventure activities with wellness principles. Activities include trail walking, mountain climbing, sea kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, kite surfing, diving, yoga, fitness sessions, nutritional consultations, cooking class and spa treatments.

Day 1
• Physical Assessment with personal trainer
• Trail walk in Black river National Park: Get back into nature with a guided trail run or walk in the stunning nearby national park.
• Sunset Yoga: Finish the day with a relaxing yoga session in nature overlooking the Le Morne lagoon.

Day 2
• Swim with the Dolphins: Experience one of the most magical moments in Mauritius by swimming with a pod of spinner or bottlenose dolphins in their own environment. Very few places in the world offer the chance to swim with dolphins who are receptive and interested in human interaction in the wild.
• Discover diving: learn the basics of diving in the pool and then enjoy a shallow water dive on a nearby reef.
• Spa treatment: Finish the day with a LUX* Me personalized massage to ease any sore and tired muscles.

Day 3
• Climb Le Morne Mountain: An essential activity for any one visiting the world heritage listed site of Le Morne. Take an early morning hike up the mountain and experience some of the best views of the island.
• Healthy cooking class: learn how to cook healthy cuisine and enjoy a healthy lunch with your creations
• Sunset Yoga: Finish the day with a relaxing yoga session in Nature overlooking the Le Morne lagoon.

Day 4
• Wellbeing safari: Journey to the south of the island and visit a natural reserve. Enjoy a relaxing yoga session, walk in nature, swimming and a traditional Mauritian lunch.
• Stand Up Paddle boarding: Finish the day with a fitness session on the lagoon using the stand-up paddle boards.

Day 5
• Sea Kayak safari: Discover the pristine Mauritius lagoons with a guided sea kayak Safari visiting some of the areas beautiful beaches
• 2 spa treatments
• Kite surfing discovery: Get the adrenaline pumping with a kite surfing demonstration to see how the sport is done.

Other Elements
Nutritional consultation and 2 fitness sessions also included in the price. These sessions are planned according to individual times and preferences.

For more information and to make your booking now visit http://www.luxresorts.com/en/hotel-mauritius/luxlemorne

To read more of Cathy's blogs from Mauritius click here, and here


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Wed, 02 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Of Couches and Cardboard http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/of-couches-and-cardboard
If this continues for any length of time, I might actually put on weight instead of trimming down for summer. Talk about living a hashtag: that moment when you get chunky on a steady diet of fruit, veg, lean meat and brown rice #FML. I mean, I love Twitter but…

So I can’t tell you about the exercises and I also can’t tell you much about the food in terms of flavour, since blocked nose = stuffed taste buds = might as well be eating cardboard. Helpful side note: the Other Half assures me that my healthy-cooking skills are not entirely tragic and that the portions are very filling. He’s very sweet: he didn’t even once complain about how (very, very) chewy the kebabs were last night.

What I can tell you about is the incredibly bright exercise kit I got sent by the folks over at New Balance. (Seriously, LOOK at the sneakers!) I’m talking the kind of bright that will probably be visible from Sunset Beach as I huff my way up Lion’s Head. At least I’ll be easy to find if there’s a problem. “Oh, Ania? Oh, there she is, about three-quarters of the way up. Sprawled across the rocks in exhaustion…” << the medics in the helicopter

Off to the couch I go, to kick this nasty bug’s ass so I can start kicking ass. In my new, cute, bright kit. Shades on, everyone!

Read Ania's first post here 
To join in the fun, download the Zest App here 



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Wed, 02 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Time To Fest-Up! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/time-to-fest-up To get into the festival feeling, read our OppiKoppi 2013 report-back by Grethe Vermaak, with tips on surviving music fests in style. See you soon with a flower in your hair, darling?

On Top Of The World At OppiKoppi
It's All About The Music 



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Tue, 01 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
It's All About The Music http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/its-all-about-the-music Black Cat Bones, Dan Patlansky and Bittereinder.
Bittereinder was one of my personal highlights. After just recently returning from their Amsterdam tour they were ready to thrill South Africa once again with their genius use of poetical rap, electronics, lighting, costumes and visuals. The midnight gig filled up the Wesley Dome Stage, with people needing to watch perched on the rocks leading up to Koppi – it was that full. Needless to say, it was a party!


The band name, Bittereinder, comes with a lot of meaning and directly translated means ‘a die-hard.’ The last standing in the Boer War were known as Bittereinders and is therefore rather symbolic. Jaco explains that the name has a lot to do with the battle between Afrikaans and English language in their creative processes. Jaco makes use of the many aspects of our country’s culture and topical issues when he writes. Just what South Africans, both English and Afrikaans, need.

Their song, Dinkdansmasjien, is available for free download on their site http://www.bittereinder.com/. Download for your listening pleasure.
Next up, I interviewed one of SA’s best blues rock bands, The Black Cat Bones. They are one of my favourites; I have absolute respect to these guys.
The Black Cat Bones are:

Kobus de Kock, Jr – vocals
Andre Kriel – guitar

Chris van der Walt – bass
Jason Hinch – drums

Grethe: ‘Your music, and Kobus reminds me a lot of Tom Waits. Could you tell me a bit more about where you take your inspiration from?’
Andre: ‘I could kiss you right now; it’s all we listen to!’
Kobus: ‘The Tom Waits thing is very true. I take a lot of theatrical queues from Tom Waits and Freddy Mercury – in school we were taught that when you recite a poem you should use your whole body and your body language. Tom Waits does this very well. So yes, he is a massive influence.’
Grethe: ‘Tell me a little bit about your band name, The Black Cat Bones. Did you choose it because the bones are known to be a voodoo ‘good luck’ charm? Does it have something to do with Muddy Waters singing about black cat bones?’
Andre: ‘We are well aware of them being a voodoo charm. As Afrikaans guys, we believe in the boererate (folk wisdom). It is a very lucky name, and when you think about the blues, you think about voodoo magic. There are many voodoo lucky charms and as blues musicians, they have meaning.’
Grethe: ‘Have you ever written a song to get laid?’
All: ‘No.’
Okay, now for some more light-hearted ‘girly-orientated’ questions:
Grethe: ‘What’s the most romantic thing you have ever done, or wish to one day do?’
Kobus: ‘As a band?’
Grethe: ‘Ha ha ha. No.’
Chris: ‘I have one – I planned a treasure-hunt-type of thing, with each clue leading up to a ‘good time’ and I was the X – it was very well received.’
Blues music to me is romance for real people; the good and the bad of love. The band did agree but were more of the opinion that blues was about the aftermath of romance and a poetic outpour of feelings – dirty, selfish and personal. Like I said, romance for real people. Listen to their music here www.facebook.com/TheBlackCatBones/app_178091127385 and decide for yourself.
Grethe: ‘What is your opinion of sex at a festival?’
Andre: ‘On the first day, sure, but on the second or third day, stay away…’ That seemed to be the band’s consensus actually – they are good, clean blues rockers.

I wish I could write a little on each performance but unfortunately there are just too many. Head to the next big festival, Rocking The Daisies (3– 6 October), for top-class local and international acts, and start getting ready for OppiKoppi 2014!


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Tue, 01 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
On Top of the World at OppiKoppi http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/on-top-of-the-world-at-oppikoppi Promotions came with buffs-a-plenty, the new OppiKoppi festival must-wear item. This looped piece of stretch material that can be worn as a scarf – over your mouth or wrapped around your wrist – is a winner not only for the hard-core ‘festival-goer’ look it gives you, but because it keeps you dust-free from dawn until dusk.

OppiKoppi 2013 really did a fantastic job when it came to sponsors and amenities. A particular highlight for me was waking up in my mobile bedroom (car with mattress) and seeing a guy walking around selling coffee! Café Enrista had a mobile coffee dispenser, and it was pure heaven to sip on coffee before having to get out of bed.
Captain Morgan hosted the famous OppiKoppi deck this year, and all you had to do to gain access was buy 4 Captain Morgans and coke. The deck also offered free burgers, chips, biltong and a pineapple-and-rum pick-me-up.
Samsung brought the luxury ‘washbox’ experience this year, and with #Galaxyexperience you could win a hot shower, access to hairdryers, face cream and flushing toilets. I was lucky enough to win a pamper experience and it was just delicious. A hot, steamy shower never felt so good!
Another new addition to the festival this year was the Glass Of Wine corner. Those wine lovers out there will be thrilled that it’s no longer all about the beer! The area has comfortable seating and served delicious, freshly made pizza too.

Of course, the Beer Drone cannot go unmentioned. I was intrigued to see what all the hype was about it, and it was AWESOME! It was funny watching thirsty people running after the drone, because it couldn’t land directly in your hands. But still, running a metre or two for a beer, instead of trekking to the main bar is a lifesaver among the Koppi Community. See more here http://smaakit.co.za/oppikoppi-beer-drone-video/
Going to OppiKoppi, thanks to HoneyHoney/COSMOPOLITAN, I felt the need to ask festival-goers a few ‘naughty’ questions, some beauty-related ones and a few regular festival-related questions too.
Festival essentials:
My festival essentials are wet wipes, my army jacket, cowboy hat and a bottle of tequila (to share!).
Michelle, 28: ‘Toilet paper and wet wipes.’
Robyn, 25: ‘Wet wipes and the right attitude.’
Mark, 25: ‘ “This buff thing” and a hat.’
Charlize, 30 : ‘My Hunter wellies.’
Festival beauty:
What is so magical about OppiKoppi is, in fact, the dust; it sets my hair perfectly and prevents it from getting oily!
Make sure you wake up early on the morning you are leaving for OppiKoppi to wash your hair. Blow dry it but don’t use any hair products or heat-resistant sprays as these tend to make hair oily.
You really want to rock the natural-beauty look at festivals – old, dried and crusty makeup, smudged eyes and greasy hair are a sure-fire way to ruin your look.
While at the festival, make use of the shower facilities. If showering every day is not on your agenda, ALWAYS wash your face with cold water and apply a good sun cream.
Now, to the Koppi beauties wondering around:
Kate, 19: Bright lipstick and lip gloss perks up a tired, post-party face.
Grace, 27: Wear a headscarf, wrap it up and forget about it.
Elizabeth, 22: A good bronzer gives you a pretty festival glow.
Festival sex (if any!):
I’m not one for one-night stands, especially at a festival, and I don’t need to go into why not. However, for those interested parties, lots of fun can be had! Basically, once you are back at your campsite, the party doesn’t need to stop.
In the car:
The shotgun:
Make sure no-one is around, sit in the front seats and give each other some ‘parked-car loving’. Oral sex is great in this position. Do it as if one of you were driving and tilt the seat back for easier access (especially when you are receiving).
Face him and drive:
Straddle your partner, make use of the car door and area between the two seats for your feet. The extra support will allow for a greater movement in the hips. Your hands can grip the headrest or his shoulders. Va-va-voom!
‘Intents’:
Getting intense in a tent is a tricky one. I have bared witness (or rather my ears did) to a couple going at it in a tent right next to mine. It’s fascinating what one thinks is silent breathing in the throes of passion. Anyway, it’s not at all a pleasant experience. Like they say, sex is like a good joke: if you’re not getting it, it’s not funny.
The ‘Brace Each Other’:
Hopefully you are sleeping on a mattress or a blow-up mattress (if you are not, what are you thinking?!).
• Your partner lies down facing you, you straddle him.
• Press your hands against his shoulders.
• He needs to place his hands on your shoulders.
• Press down with some pressure, as if you are holding each other in place.
• You can start rocking gently backwards and forwards.
• The idea is to keep each movement limited and contained.
• Try not to have any bags at the end of the mattress that may start moving back and forth against the tent – dead giveaway.
• This should help limit the tent from swooshing back and forth, and when it comes to noise level, silent sex is a challenge, but can be superhot and arousing.
The ‘Sex-Toy Whisperer’:
Many vibrators are ideal for festival sex.
If you and your partner just cannot have quiet, slow sex then the answer may lie in using a vibrator to get you rock and rolling.
I asked a few guys and gals their thoughts on sex at a festival, and here is what they had to say…
Michelle, 28: ‘It’s a go! Only if you are in a relationship though, no one-night stands.’
Mark, 25: ‘Yes, definitely, but only with a long-term girlfriend; no “onesies”.’
Vanessa, 30: ‘My stance on sex at a festival is do it. It's dirty – like naughty-dirty. The fear of getting caught or heard makes it exciting.’

List of companies mentioned:
Glass Of Wine:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Glass-of-Wine/571067919603105
Twitter: @1_wine
Samsung:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SamsungSouthAfrica
Twitter: @SamsungMobileSA
Café Enrista:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cafeEnrista
Twitter: @CafeEnrista


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Tue, 01 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
It's Time To Begin http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/its-time-to-begin
This could have something to do with the angry porcupine that’s busy dragging a cactus up and down my throat (trust my body to rebel against the idea of going on a health kick with massive flu symptoms) – but it could also have something to do with how much salad I’ve just had for lunch. And that’s not all I’ve eaten today. Last night, I kid you not, it took me at least half an hour to measure, weigh and count out the strawberries/ grapefruit/ muesli/ bran flakes/ almonds/ pumpkin seeds/ crackers/ cheese/ pomegranate seeds/ broccoli/ watercress/ salad leaves/ fish/ mustard/ dressing that I needed to consume at work today. I imagine similar madness is in store when I get home and try to figure out how to cook my chicken dinner. And then I have to prep my food for tomorrow…

I think I need a nap.

I’m an averagely healthy person – I go to gym five times a week and I try to eat the right stuff (but mostly end up eating what I want when I want it). I will never say no to pasta or ice cream, and I worship at the altar of pork. But just lately I’ve been feeling quite…fat. Blah. Meh. Winter, yo. It’s not exactly a waistline-friendly season.

Enter the COSMO Zest app (available at http://zestapp.cosmopolitan.co.za) – possibly just the kick up the butt I need to drag my eating habits away from the snack aisle and towards five-a-day. For the next four weeks, I’ll be following the diet-and-exercise programme created specifically for COSMO by registered dietitians and personal trainers. I’ll be sucking it up and sucking it in (and, let’s face it, most likely crying a bit when the rugby or football goes badly and I can’t even drown my sorrows in a bottle of whisky).

Basically, I’ll be test-driving this eating-and-exercise programme so that YOU can be sure it works. Before, you know, you give up the pasta and the ice cream and the oh-so-summery glasses of chilled Chardonnay…







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Mon, 30 Sep 2013 12:00 +0200
Simply Sexy http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/simply-sexy
My name is Aisha Baker and I’m a fashion blogger, business student and self-professed shoe addict. Whether it’s flats or towering stilettos, I do not discriminate when it comes to adorning my feet.

I try to keep my feet sexy and the rest of my look pretty simple. My favourite shoe trend this season has got to be lingerie-inspired strappy heels (seen on page 104 of the COSMO September issue). I’m particularly obsessed with the Sam Star clear strappy stilettos, paired with a boyish look that I’ve been sporting lately. These shoes are perfect for more than one reason. Firstly the slight platform and perfectly sized arch will ensure lasting comfort, not to mention the ankle strap for extra support. The clear straps add sexiness to the most basic outfit. Pair these gorgeous shoes with a statement necklace and a sling bag. Add extra va-va-voom to your lashes and add a messy ’90s high pony – you’ll be instantly transformed!

You can buy dungarees and boyfriend jeans at Zara this season and great tees at Mr Price. Check out Topshop for eye-catching necklaces.


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Mon, 16 Sep 2013 12:00 +0200
Going AWOL http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/going-awol
In July, my friend Taryn and I were lucky enough to spend a night at the hotel and take part in the training session. We arrived on a Friday afternoon and were greeted by friendly staff and taken up to our hotel room – a chic, ultra-modern space with a stunning view of the city and Table Mountain. We were also given a shirt, socks, snacks and energy drinks (thanks to New Balance, AWOL and Scheckter’s). At 7.30pm we went down for dinner and met personal trainer and AWOL creator Anton Slabbert, who gave us a brief breakdown of what to expect at the workout session.

Dinner included a three-course meal, and for starters we were served scrumptious salmon, prawn and chicken salads. For the main dish, we had to ‘build’ our own healthy burgers and could choose between lean chicken, lamb, beef or hake. I chose to go with chicken, which was delectably tender and cooked to perfection by chef Jason Scott. Dessert was incredible (and surprisingly low in kilojoules too). I decided to have the Avo & Apple Milkshake. This may sound unappetising but it was deliciously creamy with a fruity twist.

After dinner Taryn and I decided to head up to bed and have an early night before our workout. At 7.30am we gathered in the reception area and were driven to Camps Bay. I was feeling quite nervous as, shocking to admit, I hadn’t been to gym in months. But luckily Anton doesn’t push you and often gives you short breaks if you need them. Our workout included running on the beach, sit-ups and press-ups, running up stairs (that seemed to NEVER end) and a run through the Glen Forest – a truly beautiful setting for trail running.

After the workout, we were taken back to the hotel for a buffet breakfast that included fresh fruit, croissants, mini wraps and a smorgasbord of delicious pastries and cheeses – YUM!

I’d definitely recommend this programme to guests who want to keep up a healthy lifestyle while checking out our beautiful city.

For more information, go to www.awollifestyle.com, www.proteahotels.com or e-mail kirsty@irvinebartlett.co.za or sam@irvinebartlett.co.za ]]>
Thu, 26 Sep 2013 12:00 +0200
The Lux Life… http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-lux-life Note to ed: You know we love you, but right now we might just hate you a little teeny bit, Cath! (What do you think, COSMO girls. Is an ed's life the life or what?)







Yesterday was Ganesh Chartuti Festival on the island. We were lucky enough to see the celebration and prayers at the Sacred Lake



A beautiful stretch called Gris Gris



The Sacred Lake



Outdoor cinema. The movie? Staying Alive. Brilliant



My office for the day...working real hard (!)



Road to nowhere..



Sunset dip anyone?



Beach bonfires into the night. For us owls.



Take me to the beach...



Lunch on the beach served in easy-to-manage boxes. The salad was delicious but that lemon tart rocked it!



My room. Not that kak at all, right?



The sun showing off....



Lux Le Morne offers many activities, including horse riding. Or you can just lie on the beach and take pictures of other people doing activities. (Guilty.)



The sun saying her goodbyes



Massive Shiva statue. Beautiful. Beyond special.



Wish i could say i was contemplating something deep and meaningful. Was just thinking about whether we should eat Thai or local cuisine for dinner.


For Cathy's first blog post, click here 
For more blogs, click here 










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Wed, 11 Sep 2013 12:00 +0200
How To Lose Facebook Friends Fast http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/how-to-lose-facebook-friends-fast
The Travel Companion and I arrived two days ago, guests of the Lux Le Morne Hotel. An hour-long taxi drive from the airport delivered us to this haven. Our driver, Vishnu, a spirited man with big stories and very few teeth, talked us through the history of the island, the local agriculture and economy. One story rolled into the next and the scenery changed just as rapidly. One minute you’re driving past fields of sugar cane so high they block the sun, the next you’re bypassing lush forest with weeping willow trees adding drama to your journey. And then you see the sea and the sea sees you. And you lambast yourself for having never visited before.

Hello Luxury

We arrived in the evening, the sun saying its last goodbyes, and were greeted with cocktails, cool minted hand towels and smiles. Before I continue, let me point out that I have already promised my first born to our gracious hosts, Lux Le Morne. Not that they asked. What’s a kid for a few days of pure indulgence, right? The resort is sublime. It sits at the foot of a massive cliff, so grand it would almost be ominous if not for the soft, dreamy Balinesian inspired architecture of the resort, the frangipani trees that scent the air, and the sea’s gentle, lapping soundtrack. Our suite (ahem) sits metres from the ocean, has a bed big enough to sleep the entire cast of Friends, an outdoor shower and a double day bed in front for those late afternoon nap times. The Travel Companion would go on to tell you that it also has a phone in the toilet, a massive delight for him. So much so, in fact, that he made me take a picture of him on the phone. On the toilet. (Pants up, seat down…don’t worry!). Venus and Mars. I simply don’t get it.

Being kids of the Instagram age, we immediately started snapping away and continued to do so for the next two days, posting all to Facebook. So obnoxious, I know. The sunset: part one. The sunset: part two, with Champagne glass in hand. The grilled crayfish for dinner. The lone guitarist welcoming the night. Me taking a dip in the crystal ocean. The Travel Companion taking a dip in the crystal ocean. Our Facebook friends tolerated us for a while. Then the likes decreased, the comments became fewer and we received a handful of ‘I’m going to unfriend you until you come home because, seriously dude, you are making me feel ill’ posts.

Good luck trying not to fall in love in Mauritius

Okay, I’m going to say something gross. This place is undeniably one of the most romantic escapes ever. Gross, I say, because I am not that girl. I am not this girl. The one who gets all dreamy eyed and loved up over a sunset. But, goddamit, someone with the personality of a pot plant could start looking like life partner material here. Even just a pot plant could. I swear. There is seriously something in the air. Pheromone spray, I wonder?

I realised this over my (deleted) glass of champagne, while singing along to the cover band in the gorgeous ocean-facing bar and thinking to myself that I should really listen to more Lionel Richie. I’m chuckling writing that. Lionel Richie. Oi vey. In my defense I had had (deleted) glasses of champagne. It’s special. Beyond special.

Now to do stuff

Tomorrow The Travel Companion and I are going to do stuff. Actual stuff. Arg, it is going to be so hard. This resort makes you not want to do stuff. But we are heading out to explore the island and I will report back after that. In the meantime I will post some of our pictures. Feel free to unlike any one of them.

For more blogs, click here



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Mon, 09 Sep 2013 12:00 +0200
The “G” word. http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-g-word
Word on the street:
No doubt you’ve seen people use the phrase ‘eat clean, train dirty’. Loosely translated it means ‘consume good things, get off the couch’. The trainer who coined that saying is high fiving himself as you read this, because it’s the truth. Don’t eat the cheeseburger, don’t drink the sugary drink, and don’t eat the entire Aero. By all means pick a day and have a cheat meal, but throw out all the bad stuff. If you can’t see it in your fridge, you can’t eat it.
The next phrase was invented to go hand in hand with the former, like a two-for-one special: ‘summer bodies are made in winter’ or in this case, Spring. Winter is technically behind us, but we’re still comfort-eating whilst maxing out, watching Big Bang reruns. Much like your newly pressed summer dresses, it’s time to take your summer body out of storage; and this is how you do it.

Pick a card, any card:
You aren’t limited to joining a gym. Go outside, run, do yoga in the park, take up Pilates at a studio, try BodyTech, do lunges when you leave your desk to get something out of the printer. Just do something. Starting is the hardest part.
Should you find yourself with a gym membership that only sees you running in, swiping and leaving again, try going inside for once. Most gyms have a range of group classes throughout the day that can give you that much needed change in pace and surroundings. Mix and match your routines as you would your outfits. And this isn’t school – if you can only work out for 20 minutes, the teacher isn’t going to shout at you. Just go in, give it horns and watch the magic unfold! Then leave.
It can be a little daunting at first. You’ll probably stand at the back; go left when everyone else is going right… but who cares? You’re there and that’s half the battle won!
#FFFTip: Find the teacher’s pet (there’s always one: skinny, doesn’t sweat, boobs don’t move in a random way when she’s jumping) and let her be your motivation. You must out-Zumba her. You WILL out-Zumba her. You can do eeeeet!

Become part of a dream team:
When you’re wandering around the gym or before your class starts, talk to people. Don’t be shy. Make a buddy – a gym buddy. Someone who can whatsapp you at 6:30am and say something ridiculously chirpy like, ‘Yay! Kettlebells!’ It’s the same principle as drinking alone – you can do it, but it’s kind of lame. The more buddies you have, the bigger the party.
#FFFTip: Once you’ve secured your gym buddy, you could have a friend for life! A future godmother to your phantom children! Or just someone to split the trainer’s bill with. Up to you.

There you have it, a few fun, fearless gym tips from a fellow female who’d rather have a cheat week than a cheat day. I got it right by never stepping on a scale and letting my clothing be my guide: less tight = gym is working. I’m a bonafide mathematician!

Now work that bikini!

Read Stacey's post from last week here.
Read Stacey's post from the week before here
Read Stacey's first post here

Catch Stacey on 94.5 Kfm and 94.7 Highveld Stereo on weeknights between 7pm and 10pm, and follow her on twitter (@staceynorman17).

For more COSMO blogs, click here.
For COSMO fitness, click here.

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Mon, 09 Sep 2013 12:00 +0200
How We Can All Commit http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/how-we-can-all-commit-
DEFENDING YOURSELF IN PUBLIC

COSMO’s self-defence guru Sanette Smit shares her tips on staying safe and surviving an attack:

• Increase your awareness. If you feel uncomfortable about a person or a situation, get away immediately.

• Walk with confidence. Stride like a woman who knows where she is going. If you’re attacked, strike sensitive target areas and use your body as a weapon:
- use your fists to punch your attacker’s nose or throat
- use your open hands to smack his ears
- use your fingers to poke into his eyes or to grab his groin
- jab your elbow into his face or his spine
- kick at his groin
- use whatever you can in the fight. Scratch him with your keys or throw sand in his eyes.

• Scream if you’re in an area where you’ll be heard. Do not scream if you are isolated, as your attacker could knock you out cold and tie you up. Do make a noise if you see car lights, or hear music playing or people chatting.

• If you don’t want to report the case, see your doctor for a medical checkup and ask for the following medication: a morning-after pill to prevent pregnancy, an HIV test and HIV prophylaxis, and antibiotics to prevent other types of STIs.

• Known as the ‘impact phase’, the first 48 to 72 hours after a rape
are crucial. During this time, your brain is struggling to make sense of what has happened. Because you’re in shock, you may not be able to process a lot of information. Tell someone you trust what  has happened. They will help you remember information and assist you in making key decisions. They may need to act as a witness to corroborate your story if you choose to report the case and it goes to trial. Then, if you want to report the rape, go to the police station nearest to where it happened, as soon as you can. Don’t wash or change your clothes, as they may contain vital evidence. All appropriate medical attention will be given to you at the nearest health facility as part of the clinical forensic management of rape cases.

• Get counselling as soon as you feel able to. Call the Rape Crisis 24-hour helpline on 021 447 9762 to find out where to go.


Cathy Lund
Editor

For more Kicks Butt, click here.
For more COSMO blogs, click here. 

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Tue, 03 Sep 2013 12:00 +0200
Fierce Heels for Every Fashionista http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/fierce-heels-for-every-fashionista
I am a fan of all sorts of shoe styles but I always find myself coming back to peep-toe heels.
I love this studded pair from Plum, and the colour will suit all skin tones.

Pair with these springtime outfits:

* I am loving ripped boyfriend jeans. I would wear them rolled up, with a white tank top, a black blazer and neon accessories.

* Tracksuit pants, in white or black, a leather jacket and a plain tank with an oversized monochrome clutch.

* A mid-length (below the knees) skirt with a cropped top.

* Printed pants only work if you clash the right colours and patterns. I would pair them with a basic tank (white, black or tan), a jacket and gold accessories.

* Blue denim skinnies with a denim shirt, tan trench coat and a bib necklace.

* I am obsessed with the white-on-white trend! I would pair white cropped pants with a white tank top and a white blazer.

* A short dress, either fitted or loose, and in any colour.

* Maxidresses and skirts in patterns or neutral colours, paired with a cropped denim jacket and transparent bag.

* Tailored or ripped denim shorts with a simple T-shirt and jacket or cardigan.

Visit Jasna's blog, Fashionjazz, and follow her on twitter (@Fashionjazz)
Read more COSMO blogs here.
Get more COSMO fashion here


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Mon, 02 Sep 2013 12:00 +0200
More Cupboard Space – More Clothes! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/more-cupboard-space--more-clothes Last week I gave you a plan. A plan that would leave you feeling lighter and more organised. A plan that would leave your cupboard more spacious and colour-coded. Don’t you feel better? Yes? You know what else will make you feel better? New stuff!

Spring has sprung! No more jerseys and layering and walking around like a ‘sexier’ version of Frosty the Snowman. The truth is there’s nothing more daunting than buying things for a new season – what are the trends exactly? Will they look good on me? Will they complement what’s already hanging in my (now newly sorted) cupboard? It can be a little overwhelming, which is why I’ve brought in the big guns.

Jo Carlin is a local fashion designer based in Cape Town. She’s also my secret weapon. In the name of research I paid Jo a visit at her store in De Waterkant on Friday afternoon. If anyone knows what’s cooking, it’s her. We went through some of her new pieces and discussed spring trends.

Here are some of Jo’s tips:

1. Monochrome is all the rage!
Mix black and white. Whether that involves colour-blocking, prints or stripes, just do it. The cool thing is that most of us have black and white items in our cupboard, so there is no need to fork out a fortune. White on its own is also a big trend this spring. Think lace and delicate fabrics – very feminine, ’60s glam.

2. We can still colour block!
Remember when we were running around circa spring/summer 2011, trying to find bold colours to mix and match? Twas not for naught! Dust off those red pants because we’re doing it again. Brights are still in…in a very big way.

3. Prints and floral!
Mix them, match them or double them up. Prints and florals are everywhere. Go bold with Aztec-inspired patterns or feminine, floral prints in every size. It is spring, after all!

4. Accessorise!
This season is bright, colourful and loud. Aztec-printed pumps, flower-shaped earrings, bright belts; whatever you’re most comfortable with. There is nothing wrong with a pretty white dress and some killer yellow heels.

5. Pastels are back!

Another money-saver. Hallelujah! I also have it on good authority that you can blend pastels with brights. It’s all over international runways so move over, Naomi! Here you come!

At the end of the day, fashion is about having fun. COSMO editor Cathy Lund will be on my show tonight just after 7.30pm, and we’ll be chatting about what to add to my list of what to rock this spring. If there’s anything you’d like to know, tweet me @staceynorman17 and I’ll ask her for you.

Yours in not-being-afraid-of-springtime-fashion,
Stacey
xxx

Read Stacey's post from last week here.
Read her post from the weeks before here.

Catch Stacey on 94.5 Kfm and 94.7 Highveld Stereo on weeknights between 7pm and 10pm, and follow her on twitter (@staceynorman17).

For more COSMO blogs, click here
For COSMO fashion, click here

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Mon, 02 Sep 2013 12:00 +0200
I’m Calling it a ‘Spring-olution’ http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/im-calling-it-a-spring-olution
According to Wikipedia, the origin of spring-cleaning dates back hundreds of years. It’s ‘the practice of thoroughly cleaning a house in the springtime’. Check! ‘The practice of spring-cleaning is especially prevalent in climates with a cold winter.’ Check!

A few weeks ago, I came home to find that my clothing rod in my walk-in cupboard had kindly dislodged itself from the wall. As a result, years of shopping lay strewn across my floor. Three trips later, I had moved all hanging items and formed a heaped mountain on my lounge floor. This was the motivation I needed to start chucking out things I a) didn’t want; b) didn’t wear; and c) didn’t need in the first place. I was going to spring-clean…eventually. Truth be told, the mountain stayed on my floor for three days. I kept walking passed it and thinking, ‘I could probably get rid of that or I could possibly give that to charity’. But getting stuck in required some dedication to ushering in a new start: my ‘spring-olution’, and it was starting now.

Three hours later I had made three piles of clothes. The pile I was keeping was returned home to the hanging area in my cupboard. One item per hanger, colour-coded. The second pile was neatly folded and put back in its rightful spot, while the third was placed in a big beige bag and swiftly marched off to a charity. I was left surrounded by empty hangers and a true feeling of achievement. Plus, someone gets some cool clothes and I get to actually see and appreciate my clothing. Everyone wins.

The idea of your own personal ‘spring-olution’ is exciting but the challenge is daunting. It’s going to take some time and effort on your part, plus the sentimental attachments you have to your stuff can throw you off. That’s why I’ve compiled a ‘How To Spring-olution’:
1. Tackle each area of your closet individually.
2. Draw up a ‘tackle’ schedule: there’s no need to do everything on the same Saturday morning. Slow down and take stock of what you still have and what you don’t need.
3. One item per hanger: what’s the point of having pretty things if you can’t see them?
4. Be honest: you know you’ll never wear that tie-dyed hairband again; chuck it out.

The ‘spring-olution’ doesn’t have to stop with your clothing. I do a feature on my radio show called ‘Crap In Your Car’. It’s astounding how much rubbish people can accumulate, and 90% of the time they don’t even know how it got there. The same can be said about your kitchen cupboards or your Tupperware collection. If you haven’t used it in the last year, toss it out. Happy Spring-olution to you!

Read Stacey's post from last week here.

Catch Stacey on 94.5 Kfm and 94.7 Highveld Stereo on weeknights between 7pm and 10pm, and follow her on twitter (@staceynorman17).

For more COSMO blogs, click here
For COSMO fashion, click here

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Mon, 26 Aug 2013 12:00 +0200
Karisa Loves Studs http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/karisa-loves-studs
My Love Affair with Cape Town is my little space to show off this incredible city which I get to call home. I blog about anything and everything Cape Town-related, with some personal bits of my own thrown in here and there.

Now, on the topic of retail therapy, I love to spoil myself with a new pair of shoes. While browsing through COSMO’s September #shoeporn supplement, I was very happy to see that studs and spikes are still big. I love a sexy, edgy pair of heels. Not only do I think it is hot in a ‘good girl gone bad’ kind of way, but I also think it reveals your fun side.

Read more COSMO blogs
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Follow Karisa on Twitter, and read her blog

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Mon, 26 Aug 2013 12:00 +0200
Secret Wall Street Party http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/secret-wall-street-party
If you promise to keep things on the down low, we’re willing to dish up the skinny on the most far-out shindig to happen this side of the river: the Wall Street secret dinner and party hosted by the cool cats from dinner club SecretEATS and good-time gurus 3 Blind Mice. The super swanky soiree is so hush-hush, only the who’s who of the concrete zoo will find out where it’s held on the day of the bash on Saturday, 24 August 2013.

So, you’re in the mood to risk it all and get jazzed up for this mysterious to-do? Here’s what you need to know: this New York Stock Exchange-themed razzle-dazzle affair takes you back to the booming 50s and 60s when it was all about banking, big money and beautiful broads and billies, and guys and gals are invited to dine and dance like it’s 1959.

The Wall Street event combines two unique going-out experiences – a gourmet meal at an underground pop-up restaurant and an outta sight concept party. The first part of the evening is an exclusive three-course dinner prepared by one of Cape Town’s top chefs (another secret to be revealed) and paired with fine wines from local vineyards.
After supper, all those squares in suits, ties and stockings will loosen up on the dance floor for some good ol’ fashioned twist and shout thanks to the rockin’ records spun by Renegade Bingo’s Will Hutton and DJ Fred Spider. Not to mention, the live band led by Shen ‘ShenFM’ Winberg will have the retro audience screaming like a gaggle of teenage girl-fans at a Beatles concert.

In true Wall Street style, drink prices are going to fluctuate more than a Depression-era stock market, and thirsty brokers will have to keep an eye out for crashes and inflation – one second a tequila could cost R10 a shot, and the next it may spike right up to R45. It’s all about supply and demand. The same applies to the ticket prices, in fact, and to keep posted on the rise and fall of these one-of-a kind assets, stay glued to the 3 Blind Mice Facebook events page.

3 reasons to attend the Wall Street Secret Dinner & Party
The venue is pretty epic. Though we can’t disclose much about the secret venue, we’ve been told that a party of this nature has never been held at this special location, which, according to a reliable source, is “flipping rad”.
Drinks prices are like real stocks (kind of): With drink’s prices going up and down all night, it will be a true test of who the savviest stock brokers are – buy while you can or hold out for a better deal?
You get to dream up a crazy outfit: Dressing up is the best part of anything, especially if you’re going to a super fun, dance-all-night, anything goes kind of jam. It’s glitz and glamour at it’s very finest. You could come dapper as Don Draper or beautifully dressed as Brigitte Bardot; just look your best.

Tickets for the Wall Street Secret Dinner & Party
Tickets for the dinner portion of the evening are all sold out, but tickets for the after party are still available via Webtickets.co.za and cost R150p/p. As mentioned, the price of tickets will be fluctuating like stocks, so keep an eye out for a bargain, but don’t wait too long or you just might miss out.
The merrymaking starts at 9pm.

Date: 24 Aug 2013
Time: 21:00 until late
Venue: TBA
Location:
Price: R150p/p
Phone: +27 (0) 861 2255 98
Email info@webtickets.co.za
Website: www.webtickets.co.za

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Thu, 22 Aug 2013 12:00 +0200
Fun Fearless Stacey Norman http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/fun-fearless-stacey-norman
As a young girl, I used to page through COSMO at the local library. I would lap up the fashion-savvy girls, try to spell out the fancy words and avoid being caught by my mother, who was missing Egoli to help me make photocopies for my history project. Those were good times. Little did I know, years later I’d be in COSMO, wearing pretty things and using (kind of) big words myself.

When my PR manager called and said, 'We’re meeting with COSMO editor Cathy Lund: wear something stylish', I was obviously over the moon. I, Stacey, was going to be in Cosmopolitan magazine. Me. It was a Carrie Bradshaw meets Oprah moment.

Skip a week or two, and the three of us are eating gnocci and discussing what I’ll need to do. September issue: Spring, new beginnings, fashion, lifestyle, blog posts, collages on Instagram… But first: the shoot.

Now trying to get your happy-Spring-time face on, when it's 12 degrees in Cape Town is tough. The nervy stuff like 'did I do enough kettle bells this week?' and 'why did I eat that soft, white roll yesterday?' didn't help. But when the stylist walked in and I saw the outfits for the shoot I snapped out of it. Bright crop tops, high-waisted Aztec skirts, bold patterns, irresponsibly high heels – I was in heaven.

A quick aerosol tan and a long GHD session later, I was ready. I was spring! I was a COSMO girl! And somewhere, some young girl is looking at me in the latest COSMO and thinking, 'I want to be that. I could be like that!' (And you know what? You can!)

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be giving you a look into my life. It’s mostly exciting, but I’ll include pictures just in case. And we’ll be tackling Spring together. I believe in starting with the tough stuff so there’ll be complaints about gym; we all want to look pretty so my sometimes love-hate relationship with fashion will feature (I love clothing, but my credit card doesn’t), and we’ll marry radio with the print world.

Here’s to a fun and fearless Spring.

Have a kiff week! (And don’t judge me, 'kiff' is totally in this season.)

Read Stacey's second blog post here.

Catch Stacey on 94.5 Kfm and 94.7 Highveld Stereo on weeknights between 7pm and 10pm, and follow her on twitter (@staceynorman17).

For more COSMO blogs, click here
For COSMO fashion, click here

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Mon, 19 Aug 2013 12:00 +0200
A scooter continua http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/a-scooter-continua
If you’re in Cape Town
You can rent a scooter from Cape Town Scooter Hire (www.capetownscooter.co.za) from R220 a day (the longer your rental, the cheaper your daily rate).

The dear old Mother City can get a touch constipated at times, and there is very little to beat the kick you’ll get out of skirting the road-rage queues and zipping into half a parking space right at the door. But a hassle-free commute is not the only thing you’re going to love about your two-wheeler. Ever since Frankie Drake popped in during his round-the-world gap year, it’s been an an internationally acknowledged fact that this Cape is the fairest of them all. So take a day and become an explorer yourself: head over Kloof Nek to Camps Bay, Llandudno and on Hout Bay; take Main Road to Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, Fishhoek and Simon’s Town – if you’re comfortable enough you could keep going all the way to Cape Point from Hout Bay or Simon’s Town. Or go north: chug the edge of Table Bay to Milnerton, Blouberg and Melkbos and look back at the Table spread with cloud, just for you. Ah, Cape Town!

If you’re in Joburg
As above, re sailing through the traffic (*fist-pump*), and for an urban gasp that’ll make you fall in love with Jozi all over again try the views from Munroe Drive (from Houghton Drive, the road twists towards Louis Botha and you can see all the way to Sandton – heart-stopping vistas of mauve during Jacaranda season). But before you dismiss Jo’burg as being all about the city, think about the magnificent surrounds: Magaliesberg and Muldersdrift, for example. Hire your scooter from Radical Rides (visit www.radicalrides.co.za to find out daily rates), then head out to the mountains. For interesting places to visit and restaurants to relax at follow the Magalies Meander.

If you’re in Durban
The obvious choice for scooter fans living in Durban is the Golden Mile – enjoy the sea breeze as you ride past the beachfront, taking in the touristy vibe. You could also take a day trip through the Valley of 1000 Hills, stopping for a coffee at one of the quaint restaurants along the way. Hire your scooter from Rent-A-Scooter (www.rent-a-scooter.co.za). Or hit the R103 out to St Ives for some fly-fishing (hire the rod there), or Granny Mouse Country House, or Nottingham Road ... if you haven’t ‘meandered’ for a while you’ll quickly see what the rest of us love about the Midlands.

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Mon, 19 Aug 2013 12:00 +0200
COSMO does Tomorrowland Day 3: The End http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cosmo-does-tomorrowland-day-3-the-end
I devour two scoops of ice cream while I watch people sneak into the Church of Love – and by “sneak”, I mean “go into amid catcalls and pointed cameras”. I’m on my way to that restaurant and that steak; both turn out to be pretty cool, though what I love the most after two days on my feet is the chance to sit down on an actual chair under an actual umbrella, out of harm’s way. I could stay here forever, which is how I end up missing Porter Robinson. Oh well.

I stock up on water and Red Bull (all drinks are sold already open, which is a bit of a problem, but I’ve squirrelled away a couple of bottle caps earlier) and make my way into the middle of the crowd. What follows is an eight hour marathon of Yves V, Alesso, Steve Angello, David Guetta, Nicky Romero, Afrojack and Steve Aoki. By 11.30pm I’m so hungry that the idea of getting caked is beginning to make its way to the top of my requirements. There are fireworks, flames, giant glow sticks and the realisation that I’ve heard “Greyhound”, “Don’t You Worry Child” and “Save the World” three times over the course of the weekend. There’s champagne, cakes, a crazy mosh pit on my shoulder (yeah, you get those at raves – who knew?). There’s a crazy response to Romero’s “Toulouse” and an even crazier one when Afrojack joins Aoki on stage for “No Beef”. There are people dancing, jumping, laughing and singing all around me.

And then it’s done. The last firework, the last blast of light, the last note. I sing my way out of the festival grounds among the crowd, high-fiving revellers along the way. Will I do it again next year, for the festival’s 10th anniversary? I don’t know. The way I feel right now, I’ll consider it a success if I manage to get out of bed tomorrow morning in time to catch the Intercity back to Amsterdam.

But I think you should go. Do it, at least once. You won’t regret it.

Read Day 1: The Awakening
Read Day 2: The Deluge

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Fri, 02 Aug 2013 12:00 +0200
COSMO does Tomorrowland Day 2: The Deluge http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cosmo-does-tomorrowland-day-2-the-deluge
The food stalls at the festival make me very happy. Burgers, hot dogs, fries and pizzas – pretty standard camping fare – are sold alongside prawns, Spanish tapas, pastas, apple-filled meatballs (I’m not brave enough), smoothies, pistachio ice cream, sushi and strawberries. There’s also an a la carte restaurant that I have my eye on – I see a sirloin steak and a Caprese salad in my future.

I tear myself away from the food to listen to Pete Tong. The man is a legend and an institution, and he’s got the whole dance floor wrapped around his pinkie. I make it to main stage just in time for Knife Party, who are rocking; but it’s Axwell’s set straight afterwards that steals my heart. He’s always been my favourite Mafioso and right now I want to lick his face. The changeover time between DJs is less than a minute, and pretty soon we’re listening to Avicii who, on the back of “Wake Me Up” (his Mumford-esque hit with Mike Einziger of Incubus and soul singer Aloe Blacc) has gone all country – and all out of my league. There’s still “Levels”, “Bromance” and “I Could Be the One”, but it gets a bit lost in all the rockabilly. I’m confused, and not 100% thrilled.
And then the rain comes down.

As Armin van Buuren announces the birth of his baby boy and I prepare to duck to the Garden of Madness for V Sessions with Eric Prydz, the world goes mad. The water comes down in solid sheets; in seconds everyone is soaked and main stage turns into a mud pit. In an effort to escape the rain, people tear off pieces of the bar (literally); the way out is a tunnel of craziness where you either allow yourself to be swept along or you … I don’t know what the alternative is, but I’m not prepared to find out. The Garden of Madness is packed as everyone seeks refuge under the tent, so I trudge through the river that used to be the main drag and pray that a bus is waiting when I get to the stop.

It is. I’m safe. We swim back to Antwerp as the rain keeps coming down, and I fall asleep in the hotel bath. Tomorrow is another day.

Read Day 1: The Awakening
Read Day 3: The End
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Fri, 02 Aug 2013 12:00 +0200
COSMO does Tomorrowland Day 1: The Awakening http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cosmo-does-tomorrowland-day-1-the-awakening
My travels around the festival grounds are a bit like a homecoming. Everything seems familiar, and yet so different from last year. The staples are still here: Carl Cox’s stage, the magic bubble-blowing mushrooms, the fountains, the Cloud Rider, the post office, the kissing spot, the Church of Love. I’m missing the Book of Wisdom, but this year’s main-stage special effects are even more visually mind-blowing.

I catch Hardwell and part of Steve Aoki’s set at the Dim Mak tent. But I find out from some of the locals later that the true hero of the day is Markus Schulz: the German trance master has a stage all to himself, playing a mammoth 12-hour set near the entrance to Dreamville. Because I never stop anywhere for longer than a few minutes, flitting around like the butterfly that forms part of the festival logo, I can neither confirm nor deny that he really raved nonstop, nor can I tell you whether he was allowed to take a nature breaks. What I can tell you is that 12 hours is a long time to be at work, even if it’s a job you love. My respect for the man is immense.

I quickly discover that the euro is a pretty horrendous currency for a South African, so I keep things clean and simple with the occasional soft drink. This sobriety kick also has a lot to do with my inability to find the cocktail bar, though I know there is one – after all, those mojitos in people’s hands didn’t make themselves. I do “accidentally” order damn good berry vodka/Red Bull, filling my pink-drink quota for the day. I also discover my version of alcoholic hell – a tequila beer called Desperados, popular with, well, everyone but me.
I’m awake now. And it’s not just the Red Bull or Tiësto or Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. It’s 1am, day one is done, and there’s so much more where that came from.

Read Day 2: The Deluge
Read Day 3: The End

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Fri, 02 Aug 2013 12:00 +0200
Charlize Theron presents CHOMA http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/charlize-theron-presents-choma-


   
Look out for 3:06 when she reveals some scary stats on condom use in young men.
Then check out how adorable she is at 5.05 when she switches to Afrikaans.
At 5.34 she tells us about the project and how CHOMA will help. ]]>
Thu, 01 Aug 2013 12:00 +0200
Honey Honey Wild Winter Party http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/honey-honey-wild-winter-party
After a few minutes’ mingling, Irit Noble got the party started with Salt-n-Pepa’s Push It and once the ice was sufficiently broken, the sex-toy talk began. First up was something that looked exactly like an innocent cupcake but was actually a very discreet vibrator; then came the Honey Honey ‘mascot’. I thought it was adorable – at first glance it looks like a little animal toy but when the Honey Honey Bunny Bunny lights up and gets going, its eyes turn blue and its ‘eyebrows’ move in a completely suggestive way.

Strapped into sky-high heels and accompanied by seductively suggestive humour, Irit took us through more of the Honey Honey range – what an educational evening! I had lots to think about… Aside from learning about sex toys, I discovered what Honey Honey really sells: self-love and the importance of taking time out for yourself. As Ms Noble put it, taking charge of and exploring your own pleasure is empowering. It was inspiring to listen to someone so confident, unapologetic and comfortable in her own skin.

At the end of the talk we were invited to go through the different toys on offer, to touch and feel and get a better idea of how each works. We enjoyed some more Two Oceans Quay 5 wine (low-calorie, guilt-free fun), Toffifees and McVities Penguins (guilt-free not-so-much, but sweetly delicious – a little like one of the toys I had my eye on, come to think of it).

As the guests began to depart, goodie bags in hand, I realised how much fun I’d had. And the night wasn’t over. I had a lot to think about, and some sweet dreams ahead!



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Tue, 30 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
#COSMOSummer Shoot Day Five: Cooking and a Stolen Kayak http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cosmosummer-shoot-5
We found our clothes (rolled in sand and hidden by Olga, COSMO's fashion assistant and team prankster) and headed back to the hotel for one last chilled drink. En route to the room, the kayaks called to us and Jemma and I decided to, erm, borrow one and take it out onto the ocean for a midnight paddle. We thought we had got away with it until we saw a security guard sweeping his torch's beam across the ocean and stopping when he reached us. 'We're done for,' said Jem. I decided that we would simply pretend it was normal to kayak illegally at night, and yelled for him to take a photo of us. Expecting the worst, we paddled to the shore – ready to apologise and pretend we hadn't seen the sign informing us that water sports were to be operated with assistance only and not after 6pm.

But once again, the incredible Pangkor Laut service trumped our expectations. The guard was merely concerned for our safety, as apparently army boats patrol the area searching for (and arresting) suspected smugglers on kayaks. Eek! We pushed our luck and asked jokingly if we could put the kayak in the pool. Without missing a beat, he picked it up and helped us carry it there. After much merriment piling seven people into said kayak, we finally got to bed in the early hours, with no apologies necessary.

This morning, I dragged my throbbing head to the Chef's Kitchen Experience: a half day to be spent shadowing the Pangkor Laut Chef as he goes by boat to a larger island, walks through town buying dried seafood crackers and freshly made noodles, on his way to the anchovy-sorting factory where he chats to the fishermen about the day's catch (not only anchovies) and picks up specialty fish. Afterwards we were due to visit a floating fish farm where we'd fish for sea bass and red snapper before, finally, returning to the resort to turn all of that shopping into a three course lunch.

Now, I had read about all of this on my itinerary. So when 8.30 am rolled around and I was tired and hungover, I was dreading what boat rides and the smells of the various fish-related activities would do to my stomach. But when we arrived there was so much to look at that I forgot to be tired or ill, and became immersed in the explanation of the fishing industry that supports so many of the people in this part of the world. They showed us the machines they use to sort anchovies into sizes (basically sieves with holes of different sizes). It was surprisingly fascinating. And the colours! The boats, the buildings, the locals' clothing. All so bright and pretty. Once we'd seen the factory, we watched the chef negotiate a price for the baby shark that was on the lunch menu for the day.

Then we set off, back through the town towards the jetty where our boat was waiting to take us to the floating fish farm. On the way, Jemma and I spotted a shop that was VERY unrelated to fish or cooking – clothes! Having been deprived of shops for the past five days, we simply had to stock up on batik sarongs and straw hats for our summer wardrobes. The poor chef, never having taken this trip with a model and a shopaholic before, had to wait around while we haggled for discounts and sorted out cash. Finally, sweating and sporting several hats each, we got back to the boat, hangovers completely cured by retail therapy and a can of Coke.

The fish farm was a rickety floating structure built from strips of wood supported on plastic barrels. But they handed me a fishing rod and, never having been fishing before, I was so excited to reel in a one kilogram red snapper!

All too soon we were back on the island and had the opportunity to cook the food we had just caught with the chef. We had aprons and everything – very professional. He had prepped some spices and we each took turns to prepare a course; soup, fish in banana leaves and a traditional Malay curry. While those were in the oven, they decided to send us back to the spa to 'freshen up' before lunch was served. (Was I a saint in a former life? What did I do to get to enjoy my absolute favorite experience – the spa bathhouse – two days in a row?!) Once we were scrubbed and dressed in fresh sarongs, we tasted the product of the morning's adventures. Jemma even tried the baby shark, which apparently doesn't taste like chicken, but is quite yummy. Feeling I'd had enough adventure for one day, I gave the shark a miss.

Needless to say, after a spa treatment and great meal, we were ready to make full use of the nap gazebos.

Happy but with heavy hearts, knowing it was our last full day, we headed back to the rest of the team for our final dinner together. What an incredible few days in paradise, surrounded by new pals, wonderful food and unbelievable views. Pangkor Laut, I hope to see you again soon! COSMO Summer and JimmiJagga, thanks for sending me off to experience bliss and call it work.


For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 1, click here
For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 2, click here
For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 3, click here
For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 4, click here


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Tue, 30 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
#COSMOSummer Shoot Day Four: Horizontal Heaven http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cosmosummer-shoot-4
To maximise the experience, I had to start off with sunrise yoga. Now you may remember my stance on exercise from yesterday's post (brief summary: not a fan). But I am a non-model on a swimwear shoot, so I thought I had better give it a go. After all, model Erin swears by Bikram. So, dressed in my pyjamas (I heard 'jungle' and 'beach' and only packed dresses and sarongs), I took a gorgeous walk along the path (on stilts! In the sea!) to the outdoor studio and prepared myself for blissful calm. Huh! A painful and sweaty hour later, I was SO ready for breakfast and the holy five star grail: the Pangkor Laut spa.

And OMG was it better than I could have expected. Firstly, it's separate from the rest of the resort, with its own pool, restaurant and… get this: nap pavilions (gorgeous little individual gazebos, filled with cushions and a view of the ocean). The Pangkor Laut spa has a wonderful ritual prior to every treatment: the bathhouse, where three kinds of ritual washing ensure that you walk into your treatment already relaxed.

The first part of the bathhouse ritual is Chinese foot washing and pounding. If you'd told me beforehand that someone would hammer my feet with a little wooden mallet, I would have raised an eyebrow. But it's incredible - promise. The tradition comes from feudal China where women with bound feet would seek relief by unwrapping, soaking and pounding their feet. And now this tradition has been passed down to a miniature footed, stiletto bound COSMO girl.

Next, I was led off to the women's baths – the next bits would involve a fair amount of public nudity. Once stripped, I was wrapped in a sarong and led to a wishing well, where I threw in a coin. I won't tell you what I wished for but, sorry guys, it wasn't world peace. Then the Malay baths began: I was led through a cold waterfall, into a pool and past four scented steamers, representing calm, upliftment, detoxification and passion.

Next came the Japanese bath – a self-scrub with a traditional goshi-goshi cloth, followed by a dip in a warm rock pool while sipping icy green tea. Lastly, I was led to a private room where my naked body was scrubbed with a body brush. Once I'd been rinsed off and dried, I was wrapped in a colorful batik sarong, which I got to keep as a memento (bonus!).

And as if my bathhouse experience wasn't relaxing enough, I then began a 50-minute Malay massage! Sorry Yogis, masseuses trump you in the relaxation stakes. I emerged into the world feeling truly relaxed and calm for my consultation with a Chinese doctor. He took my pulse, looked at my tongue, and then made an uncannily accurate diagnosis: 'lack of sleep'. He explained that my Yin (described to me as my heart, or cool energy) and Yang (my brain, heat energy) were out of balance. What I took from that was that I need more sleep, and more socialising in order to balance my energies.

So off I go to enjoy a sunset JimmiJagga on the beach with my new besties. Hey, I'm following doctor's orders!

For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 1, click here
For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 2, click here
For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 3, click here
For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 5, click here


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Mon, 29 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
#COSMOSummer Shoot Day Three: Five Stars and Dinner Dipping http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cosmosummer-shoot-3
And blown it is - before you even realise you're thirsty there's an ice cold drink in your hand. Not sure where your room is? Someone is already asking you to follow them. Everywhere you look, there is a little detail to remind you that this is a smart establishment. The flowers floating in water all over the resort - intricately arranged and changed daily. Your bags appear in your room; your towel is in the shape of an elephant...

Jenna (managing social media for sponsor JimmiJagga and my partner-in-fun on this trip) and I were told we'd be eating a picnic lunch on the beach. I was expecting a nice sarmie in a basket on a towel. Way to over deliver, Pangkor Laut. We were fetched by an air-conditioned car (when it's 33 and humid, air-conditioning feels like angel kisses on sweaty skin) and delivered to the beach. We frolicked in the waves with the COSMO Summer models, wrote our names in the sand, took selfies with our drinks - the usual.

Then we set off across the beach for our lunch. The 'picnic' was set in a little cove, against a jungle backdrop, with the sea in front. It was fancier than some weddings I've been to. They had laid out cushions and decor (at a picnic - decor), more food than these two hungry tourists could fit in our (ever expanding) bellies. I felt like Cleopatra being fanned by palm leaves and fed grapes. There were actually individual grapes in a little glass jar. And cheese. So much cheese. I'd been warned that Asia in general isn't great on dairy or coffee - a terrifying prospect - but as it turns out, the coffee is passable and I have already eaten 8 kinds of delish cheese. So false alarm there, if you were worried.

You may have gathered this by now, but I'm not what you'd call an 'active' person. Not one for voluntary walks or hiking. Table Mountain is for aesthetic purposes only. I only run if someone chases me with a knife. And I therefore don't LOVE going to the beach in Cape Town. Of course, it's gorgeous when you're there - but first you have to fight for parking, then climb down 237 (guessing - didn't count them) stairs carrying an umbrella, towels, sarongs and cooler box. Then you remember you left the factor 50 in the car. Back up the stairs... Not my idea of fun. But here on the island, they make everything so effortless. The level and quality of service is almost overwhelming. Towels are laid out on the lounger for you upon arrival at the beach. Jen likes sun and I like shade so the beach waiters arrange the umbrella just so. And a cocktail is merely a hand-signal away. Now that's a beach I could visit daily.

Speaking of the beach (and award-winning service) dinner last night was particularly special: they closed the beach for the night and then set up a private table, surrounded by fire torches. Of course we played 'Survivor' later and tried to snuff them out but that's not the point. The only people on the beach were the chef, waiter, Jen, Jan (a journalist from Kuala Lumpur) and, me. As Jan commented, 'Everything here is so breathtaking that we simply have no breath left.’ It was the most intimate, romantic meal - the perfect place to be proposed to. Maps - are you still reading? Hint hint!

They served four courses including lobster (I told you it was fancy) and then - after a subtle warning from the hotel staff that there was no lifeguard on duty - Jen and I gave into our fearlessness and stripped off for a post-dinner swim.

Writing that has put me in the mood for another swim - check back tomorrow for more!

For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 1, click here
For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 2, click here
For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 4, click here
For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 5, click here



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Sun, 28 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
#COSMOSummer Shoot Day Two: Models and Mangosteens http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cosmosummer-shoot-2
You know those women who are so beautiful that your inner mean-girl secretly hopes that she is lacking in other departments (GSOH, intellect, etc)? Well, when I heard I was accompanying models, I thought that's how this trip would be: making small talk and eating their plane food. But dang it, these girls are awesome. They're hard working and adventurous and have great stories to tell.

It's true: they have it all. Erin's doing her honours in psychology and Jemma traveled the world as a professional kitesurfer. Emma's obsessed with cheese (my kind of girl!) and bakes a killer cheesecake. And you know what, they're such gems that you can't even resent their glowing skin and legs for years.

Oh, and rumors about models not eating are simply not true here on Pangkor Laut. The food is quite something. Not just the usual yummy pineapples and watermelon - but Dragonfruit and Mangosteens (nothing to do with mangos) and myriad fluffy, spiky and otherwise unusual looking fruit, the names of which I haven't yet Googled (the wifi is patchy - being a tropical island and all).

They also have no division of meals like we do - you know, eggs for brekkie, sandwiches or salads for lunch... Not here. Want dim sum for breakfast? Sure, here you go. Want a banana leaf filled with lush coconut rice, red beans and chicken? Coming right up!

Just as delicious is Maps Maponyane - COSMO's sexiest man - and our male model for the shoot. Oh boy, does he live up to his title. He is the perfect combination of adorable face (those dimples) with a body hotter than this island (37 degrees and humid - yoh!) and then of course, friendly personality. He's energetic and up for (almost) anything, including writing a note in the sand to one of his twitter fans. Cue thousands of hearts all over South Africa melting - including mine. Maps, if you're reading and looking for a girlfriend, I volunteer as tribute!

More on models (and food) tomorrow - I'm off to a picnic lunch in the aptly-named Emerald bay with a 'Touch of Melon' JimmiJagga in hand.

For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 1, click here
For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 3, click here
For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 4, click here
For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 5, click here


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Sat, 27 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
#COSMOSummer Shoot Day One: Stilts in the Sea http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cosmosummer-shoot
So I set off from Cape Town with two of the models, Erin and Jemma, as well as Jenna, who manages sponsor JimmiJagga. (That's a lot of Js.) Of course, I immediately bombarded the models with questions about their beauty secrets. Jemma happily took me to the La Prairie counter at Duty Free where we slathered our faces with Skin Caviar samples: 'to protect your skin from the dry air-conditioning on the plane,' she explained. (And because it's free, I thought.) But she's right – on a long flight, it's all about moisture. Model tip 2: Put on a leave-in conditioning hair mask, slather some moisturiser thickly on your feet, then socks and top with Converse.

And, don't forget: on a plane your body needs moisturising inside too. (H2O, not G&T. Oh, ok. One we're-on-our-way!!! toast won't hurt.)

Now, when you land, you may still be tired and grumpy, but at least you can take flaky off that list.

We took two planes, a bus and a ferry and eventually – 27 hours later – arrived in Pangkor Laut. 'Paradise' is a word that gets bandied about a lot but seriously: a resort, with exquisite rooms on stilts, in the sea… The infinity pool looks over the ocean, so it feels like you're floating out in the middle of it and yet, a cocktail is but a hand signal away. I can't wait to experience all that my little Pinterest-fantasy-turned-reality has to offer.

Now excuse me, I'm off to relax in my outdoor spa bath under the stars

For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 2, click here
For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 3, click here
For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 4, click here
For more or #COSMOSummer Shoot day 5, click here 


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Fri, 26 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
COSMO does Tomorrowland http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cosmo-does-tomorrowland
The flight from Cape Town to Amsterdam is long; the train trip between Amsterdam and the Belgian city of Antwerp can feel like forever (especially if you aren’t lucky enough to find a seat on the Thalys fast train, and end up on one of those Intercity jobs that stops at every village and wind farm). The Dutch and Flemish dialects can sound harsh and, even with a knowledge of Afrikaans, completely impossible to understand; and the people can seem disinterested and unfriendly as they go about their lives on what is essentially a workday. But it’s EUROPE. It’s green. It’s beautifully sunny. The temperature is a ravishing 28 degrees with a chance of thundershowers later – and I’m on a bus to one of the most incredible events on the EDM festival calendar.

Logic and experience have forced me into sneakers and socks this morning. The Gelish on my toenails may be indestructible (I’ve tested this extensively) but I swore last year as I scrubbed the mud off my feet at 4am that I’d never wear flip-flops to a festival again. Ever. Logic and experience have also driven me to take jeans and a long-sleeved top along for the ride, because the bus trip back to the hotel is likely to be on the wrong side of.

Bus 500 to Boom is relatively empty. It’s ‘only’ 11am and, while the lucky inhabitants of Dreamville have been partying since yesterday afternoon, for most of us Tomorrowland begins at midday with a 45-minute main-stage set by NO_ID – a Dutch duo familiar to those who raved to Swedish House Mafia in SA in January. I’m quite keen to see them again. I HAVE to see them again. And I have to see Nervo, Otto Knows, Hardwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, Tiësto, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Afrojack, Shermanology, Yousef, John Digweed, Loco Dice, Carl Cox, Dzeko & Torres, Steve Aoki, Datsik, Jamie Jones, Infected Mushroom…

I have to see everything. And that’s just today!

It takes such a long time to get to Tomorrowland. A year of planning, waiting, anticipating. But I’m almost there. Almost off this bus. Almost through the gates. Almost in the music. See you on the other side of The Madness.
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Fri, 26 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
Filling Up http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/filling-up
Franschhoek is four Taylor Swift songs, a Beatles Greatest Hits disc and a Wimpy burger outside of Cape Town. In other words, about an hour’s drive. For those who’ve never been, Franschhoek is the Pleasantville of quaintness. It’s a treasure trove of art, antiques and bookstores, and offers some of the best culinary experiences in the country. The town is hugged by ever-present mountains and surrounded by one glorious wine farm after the next. Arrive hungry and thirsty.

My friends and I certainly did. Our all-you-can-eat journey started at the gorgeous Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa, our five-star home away from our (at most three-star) homes for the weekend. Or at the hotel bar, more specifically. First up was a bottle of bubbles with a cheeky kick and a cute name: Miss Molly. Next we moved on to a bottle of Haut Espoir (a rich, fruity Cabernet Sauvignon from the region) and into the dining room of Dish. The restaurant’s interior, much like the rest of the hotel, is opulent and beautifully considered without being intimidating. And the artwork displayed on almost every wall is worth stealing in the dead of night. Or, you know, working hard for.

My starter was a sublime serving of fresh asparagus and ham tartare with a mustard-encrusted quail egg, and my main a slow-cooked beef fillet with tomato spelt and fresh vegetables. I ate it all. And then surreptitiously undid my pants button and ordered more. A barrel-smoked chocolate fondant with ice cream and home-made Nutella, no less. More wine. The evening ended in my plush room; magies vol, ogies toe.

TASTE BUDDIES
Virginia Woolf left us a lovely quote: ‘Language is wine upon the lips.’ The following day, having imbibed a wee bit too much the evening before, my crew and I weren’t the most talkative bunch as we arrived for some tasting at Haute Cabrière. We chose the ‘wine upon our lips’ bit to be our language for the day. This wine farm is best known – and loved – for its Chardonnay Pinot Noir. It’s a perfect drink-in-the-sun white, and that is exactly what we did. Sunglasses on.

We moved across to Grande Provence next, which houses not only an incredibly funky tasting room (think steel joinery, galvanised metal and skylights) but also a contemporary art gallery that showcases works by leading and emerging South African artists. To bring a little more effervescence to our day (and personalities!), I knew more fizz was needed. A bottle of Pongrácz later and the conversation was flowing. The farm offers a three-course set menu but I opted for a light starter – butter-poached baby lobster in a garlic bisque. The meal is covered by a wine-barrel smoke dome filled with saffron air – beyond joyous. And delicious. While the bisque is relatively rich, the serving is small enough not to leave your feeling too heavy.

We chose the village pub, Elephant and Barrel, as our evening entertainment spot. It’s hearty, offers cheap grub and – for those whose plus-ones enjoy sport – there are large TV screens. Everywhere.

HEADING OUT
Early mornings in Franschhoek remind you to breathe. They are still, fresh, flawless. When you’re there next time, set the alarm a little earlier than usual – it’s so worth it. Our weekend had come to an end but our gastronomical journey not just yet. Breakfast at Le Franschhoek is a feast best enjoyed over a few hours and in loose-fitting pants. Pastries come straight out of the oven (the custard tarts – yes, plural – were my best), the cold-meats section includes fresh salmon trout, local cheeses and honey dripped straight off the comb, and the now-it’s-time-to-tuck-in hot breakfast of rosemary-dusted mushrooms, extra crispy bacon, French toast, hash browns and eggs to order rounds off the meal, and your belly, nicely.

The Beatles sang us all the way home. But there was no need to stop for that Wimpy burger.

A huge thank you to Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa for their gracious hospitality and the glorious dining over the weekend. Readers should head over to www.lefranschhoek.co.za to see the hotel’s Bastille Weekend specials.

Click here for more blog posts. 

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Mon, 08 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
China doll http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/china-doll
One of the reasons we don’t usually do Asian is because my man has had oily chop suey and MSG-laden noodles one time too many – to say that he’s not a fan is an understatement. I, on the other hand, adore the complex and subtle flavours of the East. Fortunately, Gewfey had something for both of us: the restaurant prides itself on ‘redefining Asian food’, so there’s no heavy-handedness with the soy sauce here. Rather, it’s all about light, fresh tastes – and because there’s so much to choose from, we were bound to find something that we both liked.

We started off with tongue tingling salt and pepper squid and plump, moreish dim sum dumplings that literally exploded in the mouth with a pop of prawn and curry beef. Next, I had a spring onion fish fillet, one of the chef’s recommendations. Yum! The dish had the perfect balance of flavours: a pungent burst of spring onion tempered by the delicate fish and a sauce blended with cucumber and exotic mushrooms. And for a sweet ending: a refreshing sago pudding with a light mango coconut cream.

We toasted our night with Gincumber cocktails: a dangerously delicious mix of gin and cucumber that’s made for sundowner sipping.

Our verdict? Definitely a place to fall in love with!

3 Lower Road Sandton
011 784 2283
info@gewfey.co.za





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Wed, 31 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
Lindt’s Chocolate Appreciation Course http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/lindts-chocolate-appreciation-course
Enter Lindt’s Studio’s Chocolate Appreciation Course – which I was lucky to attend in Cape Town last week (the same course also runs in Joburg). If chocolate’s your weakness, then this course has your name written all over it: we started out with a cup of (the most delectable) hot chocolate... Think of a cup of melted Lindt balls. All that was missing was a side of Johnny Depp ala Chocolat; next, chocolate extradonaire and award-winning chef, Dimo Simatos, explained the intricate detail that goes into making chocolate. If you imagined it only takes some cocoa beans and a glass and a half of milk, think again. Making one bar of chocolate (especially the Lindt variations) can take weeks, if not months: from sourcing quality beans around the world (mainly South and Central America and Africa), breaking the beans down into cocoa powder and cocoa butter before mixing it with a few other key ingredients in a chonche machine – this specialised machine works anywhere from 48 hours to 72 hours to ensure that delicious, lip-licking flavour has you coming back for more and more.

And what would a Chocolate Appreciation Course be without trying (more) chocolate? The five-senses chocolate tasting is where, as the name suggest, your touch, smell, hearing, sight and taste get to experience Lindt chocolate to the full. The evening, finally, ends with making (and eating, of course) our own Lindor Lollies – ah, chocolate wrapped in chocolate, rolled in chocolate (yes!).
As I leave the studio and enter reality again, I realise that my (and the rest of the world’s) problems may not have disappeared. But at least life was very sweet for a moment.

For more from the COSMO team, click here

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Wed, 03 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
Samsung Galaxy S4 Unpacked http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/samsung-galaxy-s4-unpacked
The glamorous event began with media and Samsung partners (by the thousands) queuing in a seriously chilly NYC line to enter the venue - the prestigious Radio City Music Hall, and the extravagance of the iconic venue made the walk in six-inch stilettos worth it. Met by a selection of complimentary drinks and '50s-styled promo girls beautifully adorned in elbow-length black gloves, it was clear that this event would be one to remember.

The keynote speech was delivered by host, Will Chase (ex-Broadway actor, and now popular TV icon), and included an impressive musical theatre performance by some A-list faces from the new series, Smash, as well as a familiar face from the '90s, Tia Mowry, star of the series Sister Sister and Tia and Tamera.

With upbeat numbers performed by an entertaining, vivacious female cast on stage, show-stopping features supported by the new handset were elaborated upon by the stars in a role-play, Broadway-style manner.

With cameras clicking away, media jumped at the opportunity to play around with the Galaxy S4 after the show, while the crowds lingered and enjoyed a bit more of the glitz, glamour and fashion before heading home.

Want to find out more about the new Samsung Galaxy S4? Read our review here.


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Mon, 18 Mar 2013 12:00 +0200
Oppikoppi Style http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/oppikoppi-style
When you're going to a festival, there's one thing you can be absolutely sure of: at some point or another, you're going to look awful. Not oops-my-eyes-are-a-bit-puffy awful, but awful like your own mother wouldn't recognise you in a line-up. Oppikoppi (bless it) is no different. You'll be covered in dirt, your clothes will probably be torn and your hair will be dripping grease – for a fact. That's why it is some kind of a style miracle when anyone manages to look hot while stomping around a dusty camp site for four days.

This year, COSMO hit up Oppikoppi in Northam. It's one of the coolest festivals in the country and consists of three days of non-stop music from some of the best local and (occasionally obscure) international acts. We trawled through the dirt looking for girls who managed to stand out from the 30 000-strong crowd, and here's what we found.

There are only a few people who look good at festivals; Kate Moss circa-Glastonbury - and these girls.


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Thu, 23 Aug 2012 12:00 +0200
'Smile – You're at Tomorrowland!' http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/smile--youre-at-tomorrowland Tomorrowland 2010 after movie' ensured within the first 30 seconds that this sunshiny, crazy, happy festival would go straight to the top of my bucket list.

Fast-forward to 27 July 2012 (through many, many conversations with friends and colleagues, Internet discussions with those who've experienced it, and obsessive watching of YouTube clips), and I was making my way past the Q Dance stage. It was 2pm, the sun was beating down, the gates had just opened, and already there was a sizeable crowd, fists pumping to the sounds of Activator. Not necessarily my cup of commercial tea, the hard trance/dance/dubstyle prevalent on this stage was, in fact, the perfect preparation for the madness that lay beyond.

The scale of this annual event held in the usually sleepy town of Boom, Belgium, is almost indescribable. A quick breakdown: aside from Q Dance, there are 15 other 'stages' (tents/cellars/music areas) at the festival. Fifteen. As in one-five. Which means that, even if you only dedicate 10 minutes to each act or DJ playing over the weekend, there's still no way you'll get to see everyone. The solution is to find your happy place and leave it only when it becomes necessary to buy more beer. Of which you will drink a lot – trust me. It gets hot and thirsty in that madness.

Because my grungy, dirty, rock-'n'-roll, Mercury-Live-on-a-Wednesday-night upbringing limited my exposure to EDM until fairly recently, my happy place was most definitely the ID&T main stage. Even so, in addition to Fiona & Rebecca, Cazzette, Thomas Gold, Alesso, Fatboy Slim, Avicii, EC Twins, Nervo, Hardwell, Martin Solveig, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Skrillex, Swedish House Mafia, Nicky Romero, Afrojack, David Guetta and Steve Aoki (all on the main stage over three nights), I managed to catch Yousef and John Digweed at Carl Cox & Friends, Laidback Luke at Super You&Me, a bit of Pete Tong at Pearl – and whoever was playing at Q Dance every time I walked past on my way to and from the press area. (That's, like, 21 out of 420 acts. I think. Which is, like, 20% of the acts. I think. Maths was never my strong point.)

The real beauty of Tomorrowland is that the music is literally everywhere. It permeates the air, the trees, the lakes, the brain. As the sounds of one stage's bassline start fading away, the beats from a tent next door start kicking in, making every trip to a food court, every beer run and every meander through the grounds a sonic experience in itself. People don't walk at Tomorrowland – they dance their way from place to place, always jamming, always bouncing, always singing, always smiling…

I could go on and on (no, really: ON and ON) about the incredible organisation (more than 180 000 people shuffle through the festival, yet every day by 10am the cleaning crews will have ensured that the grounds are spotless), the attention to detail (several 'refreshment' stations where you can reapply sunblock, hairspray or gel – and have a beautiful guy or girl give you a once-over with deodorant), the mind-boggling production (almost seamless artist turnover, perfectly timed fireworks – day and night – that would put New Year's displays to shame, and regular flower-petal-confetti drops from a helicopter that circles the grounds), the lobster braais/BBQs that I was lucky enough to smash in my face as a press member, the lack of any kind of aggression from anyone in the crowd – even in instances that would normally try an average South African's/my patience (yeah, I'm talking about that chick who was all up in my space and all over my toes during Swedish House Mafia), and the off-the-charts hotness of the people from 50 countries who attend the festival (I literally perved myself into a standstill day after day, and the Kissing Point and Church Of Love were hives of endless activity), but all you actually need to know to have the weekend of your life can be summed up in these 10 commandments:

1. Dance
2. Smile
3. Love
4. Share
5. Appreciate
6. Embrace
7. Jol
8. Jam
9. Party
10. Enjoy!

You really do have to see it to believe it. I know I'll definitely be seeing you on that dance floor in 2013!


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Thu, 02 Aug 2012 12:00 +0200
Two More Days In Paradise http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/two-more-days-in-paradise-pg1

My day started with 'pieds dans l'eau Breakfast', which simply translates to 'feet in water breakfast'… makes sense, right? Well, I thought it did, and waited patiently by the pool at 8.30am, with my feet in the water, only to realise that it meant breakfast on the beach. Of course; I knew that. Sheepishly, I made my way to what was the most gorgeous setting for breakfast I have ever experienced - a beautifully laid out table right at the water's edge.

After breakfast, I was whisked off to the southern tip of the island by my driver who could seriously give Lewis Hamilton a run for his money. I was to spend the day relaxing in the 26 degree 'winter' sun on an exclusive private little island, five minutes off the mainland, called Ile Deux Cocos. It was surrounded by the most breathtakingly clear turquoise waters I have ever seen. It can be rented privately at R25 000 per night for four people sharing. I believe I shall suggest this to my friends back home in Cape Town… Yeah, right!

I happily accepted a welcome cocktail upon arrival, even though it was only 11am. After making myself comfy on a sun lounger, I opted for a shot of litchi rum, which was one of 16 homemade rums they have on offer. The thought of trying all 16 did cross my mind, but I had to remember that I was here on a work trip…

Upon heading out for my own private snorkelling session, I bumped into a group of six very delicious surfers with their wetsuits pulled down, exposing their rock-hard abs. A bit of flirting and a snapshot later, and I had even more of a bounce in my step. Island boys are hot! The hundreds of colourful fish I spotted underwater were something else too. Olympus have sponsored me with their new 'tough' digital camera, which is not only shock-proof (my middle name is klutz), but also waterproof, so I managed to get a few shots of the fish, too (unfortunately, goggles do not make for a sexy look, much as a girl might pose).

All this exercise meant it was time for an al fresco, island-style lunch (and, of course, a few more potent cocktails) before heading back to the Lux Belle Mare resort where I was to accompany the rest of the swimwear crew for our final dinner together. Everyone was bushed; it has been a long, but fabulous week. The rest of the crew have a 4.45am wakeup call tomorrow to get to the airport. I still have another half-day in paradise. I shall certainly be making the most of it, starting with a lie-in and this time, breakfast in bed. Bliss.
 


<<<Go Back To Chillin', Island Style


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Tue, 31 Jul 2012 12:00 +0200
Chillin', Island Style http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/chillin-island-style-pg1

The COSMO swimwear team have been grinding away over the past few days, so we all indulged in a much-needed day of R&R today (some of us needed it more than others due to an impromptu cocktail party down at the beach last night). The genre of choice was some head-bopping, hip-shaking, dub-step pulsating from the speakers and, as the vodka flowed, so did the funny stories, resulting in lots of loud laughter from our little private part of the beach under a star-studded sky.

Call it Murphy's Law, but the next day dawned drizzly, messing with my intention of being a fun, fearless female and testing out the water sports. So, I decided to make today all about indulgence, instead. Knowing that the rest of the team was taking it easy, I decided to treat myself to a bit of a lie in. Now, I know I have mentioned this before, but the beds here are just the business. You could get lost in them for days and, being so big, you could try every possible Karma Sutra move under the sun without even touching the sides. It is a bit of a shame, really to be all on my lonesome (note to self: bring hot, sexy man along next time).
Indulgence number two was the food. If you generally struggle to order off a menu, you'll get totally flustered by all the mouth-wateringly yummy options available here at Lux Belle Mare. And, worst of all, I discovered it's a cruel, cruel world - Kaone, one of our breathtakingly beautiful swimwear models not only manages to eat her own starter, main course and desert, but she has a habit of tasting everybody else's food, too. Somebody please tell me how it is even possible to still look that bloody fabulous in a G-string?! Oh, and she's an awesome person, too. Indulgence number three was an hour long relaxation massage. For this, four words: orgasm on a massage bed… I felt like I was walking on clouds by the end of it.
 



<<<Back To 'Magical In Mauritius'
>>>Go To 'Two More Days In Paradise'
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Mon, 30 Jul 2012 12:00 +0200
Magical Mauritius http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/magical-mauritius
As people who know me will testify, I have a bad habit of missing flights as a result of unlucky events occurring en route. So, this time round, I wanted to make sure that absolutely nothing would stand in my way of getting to the tropical paradise of Mauritius to join the COSMO team already there for the annual COSMO Swimwear shoot. My itinerary consisted of catching an insanely early 6am flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg and from there, onto the island. And arriving in time for check-in meant a gruelling 3am start.

Upon arrival at the airport parking lot, disaster struck early on as I misjudged the angle of my parking spot completely and proceeded to wedge my car right into a pole, leaving some serious dents and scratches. But, I was on my way to golden beaches, so I didn't let this phase me. It was so early that there was no check-in crew in sight for another hour, so I perched myself on the cold airport floor and waited patiently in the front of the line, like a good little girl.

Once check-in finally opened, my plan to be super-charming worked as I had the clerk giggling away, as I told her about my bad luck of catching flights. She weighed my suitcase, looked at her watch and said that it was all fine and I was good to go. Then disaster struck again. As she opened my passport, she frowned. I had accidentally grabbed an expired passport! My jaw dropped to the ground. There was absolutely nothing I could do but head back home and try to arrange a flight for the next day. I was devastated.

Getting To Mauritius – Take Two

Due to a fabulous colleague, I was booked on a flight for the next day. The time of the flight was 5.45am. This time round, I decided to take a taxi. It was booked for 4am, but I was taking no chances, so changed the time to 3.30am. The driver, however, had his own ideas and decided to show up and rudely wake me from my slumber at 2.55am. I knew this was way too early, but I decided not to risk any possible further hurdles in getting me to my destination. You can imagine my relief when my suitcase was checked in and I was handed my boarding card. I was finally on my way! Wooohoooo!

A Slice Of Heaven

Through the aeroplane windows, I could see beautiful mountain ranges and crystal-blue waters unfolding beneath me, and the island itself is laced with green palm trees and sugar cane plantations. The Lux Belle Mare resort, which is hosting our crew, is named after the pristine golden beach nearby. I was welcomed by warm and friendly staff, and was offered a deliciously chilled welcome cocktail with lemongrass and ginger. I was then shown up to my room. I couldn't believe my eyes: I felt like a princess! Everything is massive - the shower, the bath and most importantly the bed, which could comfortably sleep six.

I have a gorgeous balcony that looks out to the beautiful golden beach and windward palm trees, as well as the biggest crystal clear blue pool I think I have ever seen in my life. This place is breathtaking, and the temperature is perfect. There are three different restaurants to choose from, including the beach restaurant (yes, please). I had an hour to get showered and dressed before finally meeting my crew and some of the models at the main restaurant. I got to the restaurant too early, so decided to enjoy a well-deserved cocktail down at the pool bar. The bartender offered to surprise me with one of his very own special cocktail creations. The mouth-wateringly delicious creation is called 'Secret Angel' – and, man oh man, was it good! I sat back in my comfy bamboo chair, sipping on my ice-cold cocktail with a massive smile on my face. I might have gotten off to a shaky start, but this is going to be a great week.

>>>Go To 'Chillin', Island Style'


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Fri, 27 Jul 2012 12:00 +0200
In Search Of Nothing at All http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/in-search-of-nothing-at-all Niks. It's an indulgence few of us get to have, but so many of us long for. To sit and merely think. To walk with no intention of actually getting anywhere. To find quiet.

The Cape's West Coast has quiet in abundance. There's sea, there's road that looks less travelled, there's fynbos. And every few kilometres there are little towns offering up weekends of nothing. Which is how I found myself in Paternoster, with its whitewashed homes and sand-sprinkled roads.

What To Do: Walk and Drink
Minutes beyond the town lies the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve (or Tietiesbaai as it's more commonly known), where there is little more than an easy-peasy hike that snakes along the sea line. Then, head back into town to the famous gem of a pub, the 'Panty Bar'. Carefully hidden within the confines of the Paternoster Hotel, underwear hangs from every spot of the roof. Which sounds ickier than it actually is. It's said that the tradition started years ago after a woman was told that 'no one wearing panties is allowed in the men-only bar,' at which point she whipped them off. When there, order beer. Watch sport. Catch a chill. And these days you're not expected to lose your broeks.

Where To Stay: Somewhere Slicker Than Your Own Home
It's always nicer to do nothing when staying at a place that offers everything. The opulent Abalone House Boutique Guesthouse is a must. Here, old envelopes new in a richly-layered haven of luxury. Modern pieces mix easily with oversized antiques, rugs, old silver-and-crystal chandeliers and the dark wood, African-themed bar with its open fireplace forms the perfect space to relax, sip on a whiskey and just be. If you are in Paternoster with a bigger group of friends, definitely look at renting one of the Abalone self-catering cottages, which are smartly decorated and spacious.

What To Eat: As Much Of Everything As Possible
The hotel's Saffron Restaurant is fine dining at its best, and if you have a little extra to spend, chef Darren Stewart's menu will not disappoint. Afternoon tea is an indulgence you can't skip or skimp on. Ask for Darren's chocolate-kissed profiteroles. You'll die. For an easier, feet-in-the-sand, let's-share-a-seafood-platter kind of dinner, head across to the Voorstrandt restaurant situated right on the beach.

What To Take Away: Crawly Things
On every street corner local kids bend and braid shell wire hearts, the perfect R20 gift for a friend. Also, look out for local fisherman selling fresh crayfish. Just make sure they're still alive, and the right size.


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Thu, 21 Jun 2012 12:00 +0200
Romance In The City http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/romance-in-the-city
The point of this promotion is to allow couples a night out which includes dinner, a movie, casino vouchers and a hotel stay if you’re keen. I don't usually go to Monte Casino, even though it’s only 20 minutes away from my house, but after my experience, that might just change.

My man friend and I checked in to the Sun Square hotel. The rooms are chic, minimalist and very modern - well-suited to a COSMO girl. Then, we headed to a restaurant called Mondo Vino for a tasty, three-course meal. Even though we go out for dinner quite often, there was something about being away from home and knowing that we had the whole night ahead of us that made the experience even better. Unlike some nights, it really felt like a date. We had time to catch up, time to flirt, and time to remember exactly why we fell in love. Dinner ended up taking us almost three hours and a couple of bottles of wine made us less inclined to go watch a movie. It was nice to have the option, though.

The rest of the evening and a huge breakfast the next day were fantastic - it’s amazing what a bit of quality romantic time will do for a couple. The effect of just one night away stayed with us long after we’d gone back to normal life. I would recommend this special to all Jo'burg-based couples. It’s reasonably priced, you’re guaranteed some quality time with your partner and it feels like you’ve really been away. The Night Out For Two specials range from R325 and hotel stays start at R600 per couple. Enjoy!

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Thu, 26 Apr 2012 12:00 +0200
How Much Longer Can We Be Quiet? http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/how-much-longer-can-we-be-quiet
Today, the news of a teenage girl who was gang raped and filmed in Soweto bypassed my invisible wall and found its way into my life. I was shocked, disgusted, saddened and angered. How do things like this keep happening in our country? What is being done? Who are we raising? And can we see that we are failing dismally? I felt sad for the teenage girl involved; I felt anger towards the young men who had decided that their actions were something to be proud of, and I felt great pity but also a bit judgemental towards their parents. Nobody comes out of a situation like this unscathed.

That train of thought led me to a place where I had to question what I, as an individual who claims to know better, am doing to aid the situation. What are my peers doing to help? Yes, we are up in arms online, expressing our sadness, disgust and dismay. And while not everyone can afford to take time out to speak to young people, each one of us has the opportunity to teach young people through our actions.

Today, I hope more of us will give some thought to what we are doing. I also hope that more of us will consider what can be done. Soweto is my home, where I was raised and really where I should be giving back. When girls are attacked like that, not just in Soweto but in every corner of this country, surely I should be doing a bit more than just tweeting and blogging my feelings away? As the aunt of a two-year-old little boy, I could be doing more to ensure that the day never comes when my nephew is one of those boys. Instead, I should be working towards making sure he would be the boy who would stop that madness; who stops the cycle of violence.

Today the story comes from Soweto; next week it will come from Sandton - there is no one in SA who isn’t affected. I’m already fun and fearless, as are most of you reading this. Now, the onus is on us to make sure that the new generation of women have a healthy self-esteem. We need to raise sons who protect and respect women instead of seeing them as one-dimensional sex objects to be used, abused and violated. We can’t just do that from behind our Macs and BlackBerries. What are you willing to do to help the next generation?


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Thu, 19 Apr 2012 12:00 +0200
Growing Pains http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/growing-pains
My friend was saying that there are days when she feels like she’s failing at life, and that feeling can be so overwhelming that sometimes she just feels like giving up. There are all kinds of theories about the crisis that can occur a quarter-way into life and the hurdles that young adults have to face these days. My friend thought that she was the only person experiencing this. With Twitter and Facebook updates constantly reminding us about how fabulous other peoples' lives are it's easy to start believing that you’re the odd one out. The reality, however, is very different.

In the ten years since I left school, the lessons I’ve learnt have been invaluable. I’ve found that there is something very humbling about life. In matric I thought I had everything figured out. I didn’t think anything seemed terribly hard; I just assumed that my life would fit into a certain mould because I said so. After a couple of knocks, bumps, intoxicating highs and memorable moments, I am now a different version of my schoolgirl self. My arrogance has toned down to a tentative confidence because now everything I have and am has been earned by hard work. I no longer feel entitled to all of life’s highs - instead, I am grateful for every high I’ve been granted. That took ten years of living, of laughing and crying, of failing and getting back up on my feet. As is the case for most people.

Everyone has struggles, and no matter how miniscule they seem to you, they are just as valuable and harrowing as yours. So whatever your struggle is today, recognise that it’s simply preparation for who you are going to be. No matter how exhausting and draining an experience is, coming out on the other side is the reward. So when you think you’re too faint-hearted to continue, tap into that fearless part of yourself, and I guarantee that, in a short while, you will look back and think, 'damn I survived that - and am all the more fabulous because of it.'

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Thu, 12 Apr 2012 12:00 +0200
Tweeting My Life Away http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/tweeting-my-life-away
I'm a Twitter girl. Admittedly, less so than before, but I'm still pretty plugged into that matrix. By now, most people have joined Twitter and some have lost interest along the way. Mine has been a love-hate relationship with the platform. I love its ability to erase borders around the world, and deliver news straight from the source before some network edits out the most important parts; I love that I get links to articles that I would otherwise have missed, and I love getting a glimpse into peoples' personalities and lives - it feeds the voyeur in me.

There was a time when my first action of the day was picking up my Blackberry and checking what was happening on Twitter. It was also, generally, the last thing I did at night. One day I was half-heartedly having a conversation with my boyfriend while having another full-blown conversation on Twitter. When he walked out and told me I could come talk to him when I was ready to give him my full attention, I chalked it off to a silly tantrum.

One day, after months of living more on Twitter than in the real world, I felt compelled to take a break. I was about to go on holiday, so the timing seemed perfect. For the first time in a while, I wasn't having multiple conversations in my head, trying to be witty in 140 characters or expressing my full range of emotions in max two lines.

And it's never been the same since. These days, Twitter reminds me of important events like family reunions, and I get much pleasure from seeing the people that genuinely bring me a smile or a LOL moment. They are out there, even though sometimes you have to look for them. But, mostly I see major intellectual masturbation or a large-scale game of my-life-is-better-than-yours.

I've cleaned out my timeline, so I'm hoping that the next time I log on, my mind will be entertained, challenged and amused. Even though I'm no longer much of a contributor to other people's timelines, I hope that this much-needed break will bring me closer to the people who used to be my real-life companions - LOLs and all.

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Thu, 22 Mar 2012 12:00 +0200
Birthday Fever http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/birthday-fever
When I turned 26, I got my biggest gift to date: my nephew was born two days after me, and since then my view of birthdays has changed. A week before my birthday, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do to celebrate. Eventually, after lots of back-and-forth discussions in my head, I settled on a simple dinner with a few friends at a cosy eatery. One of the things I had to consider was my budget because, since 2010, my birthday budget has gone down by about 80%.

This is because, while planning for my do, I was planning little Bo's party at the same time, and I was shocked by the cost of kids' birthdays. After endless internet searches, I decided on a venue and a menu for the party. On the night of my birthday my friends gathered around, sharing laughter, great food and creating new memories. It was a perfectly stress-free night.

When it was time for Bo's party, on the other hand, I was a bundle of nerves. Would everything be perfect? Would he like it? Would he want to play with the other children? After virtually driving myself nuts, the birthday boy arrived, a bit sulky at first, but quickly warming up and becoming eager to party. When the time came for the birthday song to be sung, my anxiety had evaporated. In front of me was a delighted baby boy, eager to blow out his candles (all two of them) and with a smile that would melt even the most jaded heart.

Again, Bo managed to give me the greatest gift ever, happiness and inexplicable love. Even with a lighter wallet and probably another ulcer, I realised that birthdays just get more exciting on my side of town.

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Thu, 15 Mar 2012 12:00 +0200
The Power Of Female Friendships http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-power-of-female-friendships Basketball Wives depict female friendships as vicious, petty, shallow, and filled with drama and screaming matches. In my experience there are relationships like this, but they are definitely not called friendships.

Female friendships, in my opinion, are some of the most underrated relationships in the world. I grew up in a family filled with girls. I have loads of female cousins on both sides of the family, so female friendships have nurtured me since I was born. From there, I've gone to build all kinds of relationships with women, most of them very satisfying and healthy. I also happen to work in an office full of women. Contrary to what reality TV will tell you, this office is filled with loving and supportive relationships, where laughter and sisterly support are the order on any given day.

Recently, two girlfriends and I decided we were in need of a chill-out weekend, so we packed our bags and headed to Cape Town for a bit of bonding. The weekend was filled with long chats, some tears, loads of laughter and the feeling of security that comes from knowing that you are loved and accepted just as you are. These types of friends are also the first people to call you out when you're wrong, and when some of the decisions you're making seem off-key.

I feel very lucky that, in my life, I have a circle of women that surround me and support me. We have our fights but, more than that, we really love each other. Without female friendships I think most of us would need a permanent break from life.

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Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:00 +0200
Music in Your Mouth http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/music-in-your-mouth
Every once in a while Jo'burg has an event that appeals to practically everybody, and this week it came in the form of an invitation from Dukes. Now, Dukes is one of the best burger joints in the city, so when they announced that they were launching a range of new burgers I was excited. You see, these weren't just random, run-of-the-mill burgers; these were burgers created by some of SA's coolest rock bands, including Short Straw, Van Coke Kartel, aKing, Jack Parow and Flash Republic.

We headed out to Greenside (where all the hipsters seem to gravitate), and the venue was packed - all rockers, cool kids and media people. After finding a spot to settle in for an evening of happy munching, a drink helped us summon the energy required to taste the entire range of burgers. This wasn't a problem, as I generally consider myself to have a pretty impressive appetite, and I've never been one to shy away from any food (except maybe the occasional vegetable). Plus, I work in an office where food is the subject of many a conversation and Kodak moment.

Each band had put a lot of thought into creating a burger designed to fit the personality of the group, and I was very proud of myself for managing to taste every single one, including a bite of the vegetarian burger. By the time the night was done, my jeans were unbuttoned and all I wanted to was sleep.

So the next time you find yourself jamming to a cool band, why not pop in to Dukes if you can find the flavour that complements the sound? To see what your favourite SA band came up with, check out www.dukesburgers.co.za.

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Thu, 01 Mar 2012 12:00 +0200
Welcome To Miami http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/welcome-to-miami

1. MAKE LIKE THE KARDASHIAN'S AND TAKE IT
Having travelled a fair amount of the States - especially its main cities like New York, Chicago and LA - I found Miami disappointing. At first. The famed South Beach strip, to me, was no better than Cape Town's own Camps Bay. Only slightly more murky. The people trying to tempt you into their restaurants and bars are overly friendly. The rest? Not even a little bit impressive. But there's no point in skulking about when you've invested in travelling somewhere new, so I decided to 'take' the beachfront, people, mojitos, energy and sites, starting off on day one by doing the next suggestion on my list.

2. RENT A SEGWAY
Stopped laughing yet? Good. Yes, I did rent a Segway. Yes, I did look ridiculous. And yes, people did laugh. And point. And take pictures. But, dammit, it was so much fun. And it really is a fantastic way of seeing the South Beach ocean stretch without having to actually do anything other than lean forward. (I am a self-admitted sloth). There are loads of rental stores and they cost around $25 (around R210) an hour.

3. SING SONGS ABOUT THE CITY. OUT LOUD.
May I suggest 'I'm in Miami, Bitch' by LMFAO, 'Welcome to Miami' by Pitbull or 'Miami' by Will Smith.

4. HAVE YOUR CAMERA READY
Celebs sure do L.O.V.E this city - they come to play, stay and stray in this wicked Florida town. While I was there, rapper Rick Ross was celebrating his birthday at famed-nightclub Amnesia. Diddy (no 'P') was MCing the gig. At $140 entrance (around R1 000), I made the conscious decision that going without food for the remaining three days was not altogether wise or healthy. I regret that decision now. As does my scale.

5. GO TO THE WORLD EROTIC ART MUSEUM
You cannot not. Artworks, both modern and centuries old, beautiful and naughty, make up this incredible showcase. Sculpted penises, phallic adornments, oil paintings of naked women and naked women covered in oil… there's nothing that won't excite. Where: 1205 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach.

6. CHECK OUT THE MANNEQUINS WITH THE BIG BOOBIES
Some of the bikini mannequins look like they have had surgery. They bring their DD game to the shop storefronts. You will cry laughing. PS. The best stores (Zara, MAC, Armani Exchange, Nine West, True Religion, etc) are situated on Collins Avenue in South Beach.

7. VISIT GIANNI VERSACE'S FAMED VILLA
You won't be able to enter the property, but you can take pictures out front. Like a tourist. Which makes sense… seeing as you are one. Standing on the steps out front where the famed designer was shot dead brings a macabre and surreal sentiment to the gorgeous property.

8. CHILL OUT SOMEWHERE COOL
The days can be very hot and even more humid. The best thing to do is stay at a hotel close to or on the beach. We stayed at the über-funky Surfcomber Boutique Hotel right on South Beach. Its pool just about spills out onto the sea sand and they have a funky beach bar set-up, with live DJs playing numerous nights a week. The rooms are incredibly comfortable and come with all the things a girl needs – a properly stocked mini bar, hairdryer and white towelling robes. To book your room, visit www.surfcomber.com.

9. GET INKED
If you were planning on getting tattooed one day and you find yourself in Miami, you really should head to the Love Hate Studio on Washington Avenue, home of the famous Miami Ink artists.

10. STAY UP VERY, VERY LATE
Miami is most famed for its world-class nightclubs and top international DJs that frequently play at them. South Beach is certainly the city's uncontested nocturnal nucleus. Far from outliving its 15 minutes of fame, South Beach still heaves into the night with clubs like Amnesia, Nikki Beach and Space taking centre stage. But know this: cover charge is pricey and the drinks even more so. Save your pennies, girls.

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Thu, 23 Feb 2012 12:00 +0200
Whitney Houston Remembered http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/whitney-houston-remembered
Whitney was the soundtrack to my childhood, and those of many people born in the '80s. I remember my cousins and I singing along to her songs while holding hair brushes and performing for our parents. Whitney's appeal wasn't just her incredible voice, but the fact that she was beautiful, black and successful was phenomenal. At the time I didn't realise the enormity of this. As young girls, my cousins and I would put yellow jerseys on our heads, pretending that they were our hair because we wanted to be like Betty from the Archie comic book series. Artists like Whitney made us take off those yellow jerseys because, when we were putting on a Whitney concert, we didn't need blonde hair - we already looked the part. She represented a form of beauty that we could relate to; something that validated our own greatness. The same thing can be said for Brenda Fassie and other musical icons that helped shape our young identities.

My love affair with Whitney Houston and her music didn't end there. In my teen years, songs such as 'How Will I Know' held untold meaning, and countless hours were spent singing them while day- dreaming about my crush of the moment. My cousin, Zanele, and I would dedicate afternoons to singing along to Whitney classics, and when the Waiting To Exhale soundtrack came out, more songs were added to our repertoire. In the latter years, Whitney's name was in the headlines for the wrong reasons. People made fun of her drug use, but the legacy she had created was too big to be overshadowed.

So, as I mourn the death of Whitney, I also celebrate the gift that she left behind for many generations to enjoy. Let's sing and dance - life is simply too short not to.

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Thu, 16 Feb 2012 12:00 +0200
Friendship Is The Best Medicine http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/friendship-is-the-best-medicine
My nephew just started going to crèche. At first, I was completely against the idea, dreading the thought that his life was going to be structured from here on out. But after a few days he came back rattling off a list of names which, it turns out, belong to his new group of friends. Up until now, we've been his friends. And while I loved that fact, I don't think I'm as interesting to him as I would like to believe.

As my nephew made his little alliances I was reminded that I have some really awesome people who I call friends. Some are family, and others I picked up along the way. My best friend is my ex-boyfriend's sister, and another really close friend is someone I met on Twitter. Another great friend of mine is the person I live with, my boyfriend. All these friendships fit into my life like a puzzle, feeding and nurturing different aspects of my life. Unlike friendships developed on the playground, these are friendships that have seen me through quite a bit, from major heartache to the simple day-to-day madness of living.

When I was having a rather crabby day last week, some of my friends invited me to a braai. After a few hours of laughter, drinks and catching up, my spirits were lifted and I felt like myself again. The next day I was on the phone for hours talking to a friend who was wondering whether or not to sleep with a new man. It was my turn to be her spirit-lifter, and that job is a very honourable one. For someone to trust you when they are at their most vulnerable is a gift that should never be taken for granted.

So while my nephew makes new buddies, I will work on the friendships I have; the ones that remind me of who I really am when I get lost in the daze of life. Here's to friendship - life is so much sweeter because of it.

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Thu, 09 Feb 2012 12:00 +0200
Oh-So-Heavenly http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/oh-so-heavenly
When we were invited to the Exclusive Books Summer Sale Media Preview, I forgot any January blues I may have been harbouring and headed out to Melrose Arch to see what was in store for me. Even though I work with words every day, there's still that 'kid in a candy store' feeling that I get when I walk into a room full of books - books I can take home with me to fill my already overflowing bookshelf. Exclusive Books never seems to disappoint when it comes to providing its wide selection which caters to the literary tastes of just about anybody.

This time round I found myself hovering around the kiddies section a bit more. My nephew is almost two, and we've already started our mission turn him into a book-lover. He's been known to attempt to read a book upside down for about two minutes before he reverts to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Since I want him to grow up with an appreciation of the beauty and intrigue of books, I was fascinated to find out just how much this book store does to cater for little people.

I left armed with novels, cook books and a wide range of other goodies. If you're a reader, I suggest you go and spend your hard-earned money at that summer sale which is still on countrywide. Unlike your shoes, which may be outdated by next season, your books will last forever. And your book shelf - and your brain - will thank you.

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Thu, 02 Feb 2012 12:00 +0200
Think Before You Ink http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/think-before-you-ink
While tattoos were once considered a social faux pas, limited to drunken sailors and jailbirds, they're now recognised as works of art, which they undoubtedly are. Now, if you're thinking of heading down the tattoo path, make sure you follow the right route… or you might wake up the next morning with inky remorse.

Here, four tips you should keep in mind before you get a tattoo.



1. Never tattoo a trend. You will probably regret that Chinese symbol (no matter how meaningful you think it might be), tribal marking (why would you ever get a tribal tattoo?) or worse, a butterfly. Or a star. Or a dolphin. Just not cool.

2. When you visit a tattoo parlour, make sure you go to a recognised establishment. You might get ink for cheap in a back-alley, but you're likely to be left with potential infection and in the long-term, cheap-looking, faded designs.

3. Before you go to a respected tattoo shop, make sure you have a printout or picture of the tattoo you have in mind with you. It doesn't need to be exact, as the artists will help you rework whatever you're not happy with, but you can't just walk in and say, 'I want a tattoo of a bird on my ankle. How much does it cost?' Just imagine how many people ask a question like this on a daily basis.

4. Before you impulsively pick your artist, make sure they are on the same page as you when it comes to your design. Look at their portfolios and see what kind of work they've done in the past. If the artist's style doesn't suit yours, it's better to find out before the ink is dry.

So, perhaps the best thing to do is to think on it for a year. There's no need to rush. When the next tattoo convention (where you'll be able to pick from a range of local and international artists) comes to town, you'll be super-prepared and ready to hit the chair. No regrets.

For more information about the Cape Town Tattoo Convention, click here.

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Mon, 30 Jan 2012 12:00 +0200
Who Are You Going To Be In 2012? http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/who-are-you-going-to-be-in-2012
But the onset of 2012 has been a bit different. After a few weeks of lazing in the sun, eating everything in sight and having cocktails for breakfast, I was ready to go back to life. By life, I mean some kind of routine. When D-day came, I didn't moan or cry over the fact that none of my clothes fit, I simply got on with it. This is also one of the few years that I don't have a long list of New Year's resolutions that will be shelved by March, nor do I really have any regrets from the year gone by. None of this is because I had an amazing year with no glitches and tears, mind you; but, there's something about the onset of this year that has me feeling calm, relaxed and pretty sorted – a highly unusual state for me.

While I was happily riding my calm wave, a friend of mine sent me a 30-day self-love challenge. I figured it can't be a bad thing to do, so I set myself up and was ready to do the first exercise which was writing out 20 things about yourself that you're grateful for. At first I figured that would be pretty simple; I mean, how hard can it be to write down 20 things that you quite like about yourself? Four and a half hours later, I finally finished the project. Which got me thinking: if it takes me that amount to time to find 20 things I appreciate about myself, what am I actually doing with myself?

A week into 2012, I've realised that this is the year I would like to be more honest with myself about my needs, wants, dreams and fears. In the Jo'burg COSMO office, we often speak about people living their dream life and how awesome that is. I think, this year, every COSMO girl deserves that. So, as the new year starts I hope you have the strength and the courage to invest in your own truth, the drive to make your dreams a reality, and the inner wisdom to realise that you, too, deserve to live your dream life.

Here's to a fabulous 2012!

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Thu, 12 Jan 2012 12:00 +0200
The Detox Wrap http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-detox-wrap
All over the world, penitent gluttons are shutting themselves away in darkened rooms as they try to cope with the unique hideousness that is the detox headache. But there's a much more fun (and luxurious) way to kick-start a bright new you for a bright new year. And you don't even have to give up caffeine - in fact, it's an essential part of the Africology Coffee and Mint Body Wrap.

The treatment starts with an exfoliating body scrub, which incorporates marula shells ground to just the right texture. This gets your skin primed for the application of warm coffee-and-minty mud. (Did you ever hear that song 'Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud'? Bet this is what they were singing about.) The scents that escape are yummy and energising. And yet, cocooned in the wrap, with a warm blanket over you and that unique genre of (spa) music wafting from the speakers, you'll probably drift off to sleep while the spearmint and coffee extracts do their thing - stimulate blood flow, lymph drainage and toxin elimination. (It's apparently highly recommended as part of a lymph drainage treatment, and helpful for water retention and cellulite problems.)

Then, if you want to go the whole hog (after pigging out for a month, why stop now?) and you're having the wrap at one of those hushed temples of hedonism like the Mount Nelson's Librisa Spa, where I tried it out, the wrap should be followed with a full body massage. The oils used during my trial were a combination of energising and relaxing lavender and eucalyptus. Blissssss.

To have an Africology Coffee and Mint Body Wrap is the new-year resolution we're making now, in advance, for every January until - well, forever, quite frankly. It definitely helps one get over festive-season overindulgence and to recover from too many late nights. It's excellent for stress-relief too. What are you waiting for? Try it!

For more information or to find venues where the treatment is offered, visit www.africology-sa.com or book online at the Librisa Spa via www.mountnelson.co.za. Alternatively, phone 021 483 1550 and ask for Michelle.

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Thu, 05 Jan 2012 12:00 +0200
Merriment In Maputo http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/merriment-in-maputo
We stayed at the Maputo Southern Sun, a place that is a small piece of paradise, located right by the beach. Our room overlooked the pool area and the beach. The view alone seemed to take off weeks of stress that was firmly lodged in my body. With a week of sea, food and fashion ahead of me, I couldn't wait to see what Maputo had to offer me this time around.

One of the things I adore about Maputo is the feeling that you can walk to anywhere you really please without having to feel your safety is compromised. One our first day, I felt like being an explorer and not a tourist. Armed with nothing but some money and some sunscreen, I walked around town, visiting downtown spots that were the playground of the locals. Parched, exhausted and eager to switch back into tourist mode, I headed back to our hotel for a cocktail session by the pool and a walk on the beach. After a nap and some 'get beautiful' time, I headed out to Joaquim Chissano Conference Centre to see what Mozambican fashion has to offer.

I walked in with very few expectations. I feel that South Africans are quite spoilt for choice, I knew that if I walked in there expecting what I was used to back home; I would be setting myself up. The venue was well-decorated and the city's socialites were out in great numbers. Unable to understand what most of the people were saying, I found myself a comfortable seat not far from the runway and immersed myself in the designer's offerings for days on end.

Liz Ogumbo and Odile Gertze were some of the stand-out designers, wowing the Mozambican crowds and managing to illicit a positive reaction from a partially jaded Jo'burger. The other designers also put on impressive shows and it was visible that quite a bit of thought had been put into it. So even though Mozambican Fashion Week isn't in the same league as the shows we have here, I loved the passion and interest that was shown. There was a certain charming naivety about the shows; there was still belief in the eyes of the fashionistas and socialites. That energy and enthusiasm made me hanker for days gone by when South African shows still had that. We now have all the class, glamour and world standards but seem to have lost that youthful spark that the Mozambicans still have.

After the shows were the mandatory after-parties. The locals were up for a party even on week nights and I made sure I was part of that scene. We went party hopping for three nights in a row and since Mozambicans know how to party, our evenings often ended after 3am. The combinations of humid summer nights, cocktails and the splendour of being in a foreign country ensured that my enjoyment of the after-parties were as energised and exciting as everything else about my stay.

Between fashion shows and late nights, I spent my days being well taken care of by the staff at the Southern Sun Maputo. My days were made up of lazy long breakfasts, followed by naps and walks on the beach, which were rewarded by seafood dinners. What more could a girl ask for to top off a long year? Mozambique helped me find myself again, I remembered that I was a fun spirit and I plan on taking that Maputo energy into 2012 with me.

*Zama travelled on BA Comair - who operate 10 flights a week between Jo'burg Lanseria and Maputo. For more information, check out www.kulula.com.


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Thu, 22 Dec 2011 12:00 +0200
Lapping Up The Island Life http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/lapping-up-the-island-life
Let’s not beat around the bush; we South Africans have our own share of delectable beaches that offer all the right amounts of sun, sea and sand. We’re not desperately searching for a beach that satisfies us (there’s one on every part of our own coastline, after all). In fact, if you want us to visit your beach resort in another country, it better be damn tempting. Luckily, LUX* Islands Reports are…

LUX* (that’s Latin for light, you know) Island Resorts are newly-revamped, rebranded resorts in Mauritius, Maldives and Ile de La Réunion. And, because I’ll never miss an opportunity to compare other beaches to our own, I visited their resort in Le Morne, Mauritius (spoiler alert: it’s pretty fantastic). It’s five-star, which means it’s got all the luxuries you dream of when planning a beach holiday, complete with indoor and outdoor showers in your room, king-size beds, flat-screen TVs, a private patio and direct access to the sea (which is actually warm enough to swim in – tisk tisk, Cape Town).

But they’re not just clued up on fancy interior décor and amenities. The idea is that the resort will leave you with benefits that will last well after your tan has faded. They say they want you to come back ‘feeling re-energised, reinvigorated, re-inspired and re-ignited,’ all of which sound like good ideas to us. Instead of simply offering another, same-old, 5-star location (one quick trip around Google will show you just how many ‘relaxing, quiet, luxurious, 5-star’ resorts Mauritius already houses - yawn), LUX* offers an experience; an experience they like to call Island Light Holidays.

They want to give you a less complicated holiday experience. Everything you could possibly need or want is at the resort. Constant flow of booze? Done – they’ll even have secret bars that pop up in different locations of the beach, so you never have to walk very far for a cocktail. You want to sleep ‘til noon? No problem; they’ve got specialised ‘Sleep Tight’ beds that you literally have to drag yourself out of. Want to feel like a kid in a sandy, candy shop? Sure thing; check out the ice-cream parlours scattered around. And everything is provided for you by staff that is actually friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.

They take you back to island life as it should be; fresh, simple, spontaneous. The best bit is that they’re not trying to be your average location, mimicking some hotel chain from the West. They’re entirely about real Mauritian, island life, from the music to the food to the parties. But that doesn’t mean you’re not spoilt for choice. In the two days I was there, I snorkelled around the reef, ate lobster on a boat, swam with dolphins, ate lobster on a beach, did yoga in a forest, indulged in their vegetarian cuisine (for those of you who battle to find healthy food on holiday – they have Honestly Healthy menu options that will definitely keep you filled up with ), had a massage in their spa that offers up tailor-made treatments just for you, ate lobster in a restaurant, and partied in their bar (note to self: never drink rum again). Because of time, I missed out on the art classes, dancing lessons, picnics, kite surfing, monopoly (the winnings of which LUX turns into real money to donate to community projects) and much, much more.

If you want to ‘celebrate the energy, colour and tastes of island life’, you could do a lot worse than the LUX* Island Resorts. Yes, it’s even worth pulling yourself off our own beaches for – especially if you like a well-rounded, experience-filled holiday. It’s all turquoise water and white sand and, yes, it’s beautiful. Plus, surprisingly, it’s quite mountainous - which only means you get the perfect combination of sea time and forest time. So, all of your picky friends will be happy. But, really, beware of the rum.

Packages to any of the LUX* Island Resorts can be booked by e-mailing reservations@islandlightholidays.co.za or calling 011 770 7821.

A seven-day package deal that includes direct return flights, return airport/hotel transfers, seven nights’ accommodation, dinner and breakfast daily, goes for around R17 379pps, depending on the time of year.


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Thu, 08 Dec 2011 12:00 +0200
I'm Getting Tested, Are You? http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/im-getting-tested-are-you
I first had direct contact with Aids when I was in Grade 11. My friend's mother had been sick for a while and when my mom and I went to go see her in hospital, she was a shadow of who she used to be. In between shallow breaths, she told us about her condition and for the first time ever, I realised that HIV and Aids weren't as far away as I would've liked to think.

Since then I've lost about four cousins to the disease. Their condition was shrouded with secrecy and adamant denial about having HIV or Aids. Instead, stories were made up to explain their deteriorating health.

What I know for sure is that some of my cousins would have still been alive if treatment had been sought. If they weren't in denial, they could have helped themselves.

Despite the casualties I've seen, I've also come across some success stories; stories of people that took their health into their own hands and decided to live positively and not give up. I have good friends that have refused to give up on life just because their test results weren't what they were hoping for.

So when the advertising campaigns go live today, I hope that many more of us will be heading out to get tested. Daunting and nerve-wracking as that process may be, I feel that it's one of the conditions that should come with the decision to have sex. No matter what results may lay ahead of each of us, I hope we take responsibility for ourselves and for our health and continue to spread the good word about safe sex and regular testing.

For more information about World Aids Day, click here.

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Thu, 01 Dec 2011 12:00 +0200
A Shopper's Delight http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/a-shoppers-delight
Sandton has always been the go-to place for fashion-forward stores, so it came as no surprise that this is where the country's first Zara would be located. We arrived in the new wing of the mall and were immediately impressed with the sleek styling and simple, yet classy aesthetic. As if things couldn't get any better, champagne was being served in every corner.

When I first walked into Zara, my first thought was 'There goes my pay cheque.' Even though I'm not the biggest shopper, I knew that this store and I were going to get well acquainted and that my wallet would be badly affected. There isn't a single ugly item of clothing allowed at Zara. Even though some things may not be to your tastes, you'll still be able to see that they are beautifully created pieces of art.

It took about three glasses of champagne to traverse the entire store and see what they had in stock. Shoes, bags, blazers and dresses were calling out my name at every turn, making me wonder if paying rent was actually important – that's how much the store sucks you in.

My only complaint would be that their sizes will only work for women who are a size 36 or smaller and, considering the fact that a lot of women aren't that size, I thought it would have been nice to create a little something for them too.

I left in a daze, armed with a stunning pair of pants that I think I will live in for the rest of my life. Within five days I was back, looking, lusting and cursing myself for not having more money. There was some new stock and women who looked like they'd just walked into a house made of chocolate, full of awe and gleeful delight.

Girls, I think fashion heaven has officially arrived.

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Thu, 17 Nov 2011 12:00 +0200
Why I'm a Wedding Girl http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/why-im-a-wedding-girl
I'm a sucker for weddings. I care about every little detail, and I don't mind listening to brides-to-be speaking about linen for hours - all of that stuff is right up my alley. So, when there was a wedding pending in my immediate circle, I knew for sure that fun times were ahead.

When people are in relationships they generally chill out a bit more. Maybe it's just us, but over time my man friend and I have often opted for a night in watching Come Dine With Me instead of dressing up and painting the town red. We don't go clubbing, and our dinner parties are generally laid-back, so there's no need for fancy outfits and done-up hair. The same goes for a lot of our friends.

As the build-up to the wedding ensued, all of a sudden outfits were discussed, shirts were bought and hairstylists, booked. I got to see my friends in a different light. I think some of us had forgotten just how beautiful and fun we can actually be.

When the bride walked down the aisle looking radiant and stunning, and the groom stood waiting for her looking handsome and dapper, we felt proud to be witnessing love and beauty blossom for the people we share our lives with.

Instead of jeans and tackies there were tailored suits and pretty dresses; instead of braaied meat and chakalaka there was gourmet food, and instead of doing the same old thing we do regularly, we were celebrating something special. We danced the night away in celebration of our friends, and in celebration of love. It was like seeing a more polished, sophisticated and grown-up version of ourselves.

That's what I love most about weddings: the sense of hope for the future, the air of happiness, and the constant stream of laughter and smiles that are sprinkled around the room - and the feeling that we are all connected and want the best for each other. So, because we sometimes forget, we all need to attend a wedding now and again to remind us that there is a lot more to us than meets the eye.

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Thu, 03 Nov 2011 12:00 +0200
Naughty Girls' Night http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/naughty-girls-night
Wine, snacks and some girl talk later, the entertainment for the evening arrived. No, it wasn't a man in a leopard print thong (let's be honest, there is nothing is sexy about a stranger thrusting their pelvis into your face). Our entertainment was 'bachelorette festivities', courtesy of one Lola Montez.

After filling out a form with sexual questions and comparing notes there was much laughter all round, as we discovered that some of us (who work for COSMO, naturally) knew quite a bit about sex.

The next round was the bride-to-be doing a striptease-inspired dance routine. With a soundtrack that would have made any strip-club owner proud, she started making her rounds. The initial bout of being shy soon dissolved thanks to wine and the giggles in the room.

That broke the ice for a game of 'never have I ever'. We thought we'd already learnt a lot about each other, but questions that include whether or not you've had threesome took that into a whole new league. Luckily, we'd all loosened up so much that oversharing seemed like the most natural step.

The sex toy demonstration was next. I don't know how many 'OMG's' I counted. Most of the sex toys managed to get some kind of reaction from the women, leaving many promising to go get their fix at Lola Montez. The Roger Rabbit, in all its splendour, was a favourite amongst the girls, making me wonder if boyfriends and husbands will soon be obsolete...

A few more drinks and giggles later, we all went home feeling a bit lighter in our spirits and promising to have many more naughty girls' nights in future.

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Thu, 27 Oct 2011 12:00 +0200
Corporate Wednesdays http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/corporate-wednesdays
Granted, we aren’t terrible - but on the scale of fashion-fabulous, we aren’t fairing very well, either. Which is why we recently came up with the (not very novel, but new for us) idea of dressing for success. Lots of research has been done around the issue of dressing the part, which means that our assumption that our brains were our only ticket to success might have been a bit naïve. Hence the idea of Corporate Wednesdays. Once a week we have to come to work well-styled: no flips-flops, pumps or anything that looks like it could be worn to a flea market or the beach. Initially this idea seemed great, and served as an excuse for us to shop for items that are more trendy than comfy. Each week, the fashion guru of our office, Tamara, judges our outfits and lets us know if we’re winning - or not.

What Corporate Wednesday has done for us is make us fall in love with fashion. It has to be said, there is something about dressing up that makes a girl feel fabulous. We’ve even started strutting lessons, because apparently when you look good there is an accompanying walk. It’s also been fun, more than anything else, to walk in every Wednesday and know that everyone went to a bit of effort. So, COSMO girls, what are your corporate fashion rules? Help us out - we want to work our way up the fashion ladder...

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Thu, 20 Oct 2011 12:00 +0200
BlackBerry Woes http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/blackberry-woes
So it came as a big surprise that my BlackBerry being out of service would render me emotional. Day one wasn't so bad - a bit irritating, but bearable. I remembered the joys of SMSing again and I moved on with my day. By day two, I woke up wanting to check BBM statuses. When I could see nothing, I felt a mild sense of panic wash over me - what are my friends doing? Am I missing out on any important news? This was obviously crazy because, to date, I have never received any valuable information through BBM's status updates.

The gap showed up again when I was having my morning coffee. All of a sudden, I had no new tweets to scroll through while letting my body fully wake up. What did I do before BlackBerry while drinking my morning coffee? I've been giving it a lot of thought to this, and I still have no answer.

But the worst part of this whole BlackBerry trauma hit me when I was shopping. I have a wedding to attend soon and was on the search for the perfect dress. Usually when I go on this type of mission, I have my BlackBerry close by, ready to take pictures and BBM my friends pictures so that I can get their opinion. My lapse in memory led to me taking pictures that I couldn't send, and a whole lot of uncertainty. The thing with friends helping you shop for a dress is that you have much better odds of finding the right one. I left the shop wondering if my purchase was more freakum than anything else. Without the advice of my sisters, I felt lost.

As yet another day went by without my trusted BlackBerry, I'm happy to note that I felt less panicky and more focused. I had no one to chat to constantly, I'm wasn't checking Twitter and BBM statuses - all of a sudden it started to seem kind of narcissistic and childish. Maybe it's time I go back to my 5110; you know, the one with the colourful faces... How bad can it be, really?

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Thu, 13 Oct 2011 12:00 +0200
Shoe-d He Stay Or Shoe-d He Go? http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/shoe-d-he-stay-or-shoe-d-he-go their shoes? We asked our legion of Facebook followers: ‘Do you care what shoes your guy wears? Or could you make out with a man in Crocs?’

I’m a shoe girl. I guess, to some extent, we all are. Of course there are degrees of shoe-craziness: some will budget for shoes ahead of electricity and food. Some of us have even been kicked out of wherever we’re living as a result of splurging on a new pair of Jimmy Choos instead of paying rent.

But when asked about our feelings on guys and their shoes, we’re less certain of where we stand. Facing a dizzying array of Nine West heels, we know exactly how we feel, but in the unknown territory of men’s footwear, we may need some help. And with an army of more than 30 000 ‘likes’ from fun, fearless females, COSMO asked the question on Facebook – and this is what we found…

THE FIRST JUDGE IS THE DEEPEST

First impressions can be the difference between a second date and a cold shoulder. When all we have is the chance to look someone up and down, shoes can be a very useful guide! ‘That’s the first thing I look at when being approached by a guy,’ says Lebohang Mashwabathi, 24, a student from Viljoenskroon.

‘If eyes are the windows to the soul, shoes are the base of the personality,’ agrees Avanthi Avi Moodliar, 22, a postgraduate student from Cape Town. The uber-sexual man in spotless white pointed shoes might just be a player who spends more time than you do getting ready every morning. And it doesn’t stop at aesthetics – the state of the shoes can say a lot about a man, too. A long-haired hottie in sneakers that look like they haven’t been cleaned in decades is possibly the kind of beach bum who will be living with his parents until his late thirties. As Lorene du Plessis, 23, a hotel receptionist intern from Johannesburg says, ‘Guys should be considerate of the shoes they wear, as we women are. A man who looks good will make his partner proud.’ But beware the man who is more fashionable than you are – he may just be more into guys than you are.

And a man in Crocs? The unanimous verdict appears to be that you should run away as fast as your Louboutins can carry you!

WELL-HEELED

But don’t be too quick to turn a man down purely because of his shoes. A man who is confident in what he’s wearing is much more appealing than a man who spends hours agonising over shoes. A man who is well groomed but not obsessively so; a laid-back guy but not a crusty hippie. It’s about how he carries himself – if he feels good, he will look good.

As Vanessa Hammond, 28, an accountant from Johannesburg insists: ‘As long as he’s a good kisser, he can wear anything he wants.’ Linda Greeff, 23, a somatologist from Cape Town tells us that she made it clear to her boyfriend from day one that she despises Crocs. And what did he do? He got himself a pair! Five years later, they’re still together – but she insists she won’t be seen with him if he ever wears them in public.

You may find a man in modest, no-name sneakers who makes you melt with one kiss. You may find your future husband in a pair of flip-flops. And luckily men can be trained - one shopping trip with you might be all it takes. But no-one is budging on the Crocs…

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 12:00 +0200
Man Flu http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/man-flu
I woke up yesterday in a great mood and ready to take on the world. Just as I was about to don my workout gear, I heard a groan coming from the bed. My optimism led me to believe that my man friend was merely turning in his sleep, but what followed was a warning that man flu was about to visit my beautiful new home. 'Babe, I'm sick,' was the next sentence I heard, followed by sniffles and more groans. Even though I knew what it was, I asked, 'What's wrong, lover?' sounding as caring and concerned as I could. 'I don't know,' he grumbled.

Every girl who has ever had a boyfriend, brother or father knows about man flu. It's the flu that surpasses every other ailment known to humankind. It's the flu your doctor doesn't know how to deal with. It's the king of all flus, making swine flu look about as intimidating as a kitten. During episodes of this dreadfull illness men are incapable of doing much. Sadly for my boyfriend, man flu happened to kick in on the same day that the domestic helper comes in. It took 15 minutes of patient cajoling on my part to get him out of bed so that I could remove the sheets. The groans were getting louder, and the agony was obviously too much for any human being to bear – how could I not understand?

As I was about to walk out the house, I did the thing that no self-respecting woman should do when her man has man flu: I asked if he needed anything. The list was long…. very long. Twenty minutes later I left the house. The man on my bed still had the sad man-flu-face on, but now he was armed with head phones, medication and clean sheets – plus, a host of other things that his man flu nurse had arranged.

When I got home, he looked better but apparently still had the inability to do very much. He was starving because one of the symptoms of man flu is that grown men forget how to feed themselves, even in a house full of food. The man flu hadn't taken away his desire to know exactly what he wanted to eat, however. After dinner and more nursing, I was exhausted - all I wanted was a hot bath and some sleep. The man, on the other hand, was wide awake and keen to watch the soccer match on telly. Again, man flu: one. Zama: nought.

As we speak, I'm getting the sniffles, so for once I'm going to will my regular girl flu to morph into man flu and see just how much fun one person can have while sick and in bed (alone). While I don't mind taking care of my man friend (because he does the same for me) I want to cure man flu once and for all. It will be my gift to womankind. You can thank me later.

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Thu, 15 Sep 2011 12:00 +0200
The Reunion http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-reunion
My initial reaction was to ask the fashion department to make me look stunning. Let's face it, who wants to see old schoolmates while looking anything less than perfect? After hours of planning and going crazy, I remembered: 10 years ago I was a laidback, easygoing, cool girl who got along with most people in my standard (yes standard, not grade). So why, 10 years later, was I being a neurotic and annoying version of myself?

Sanity prevailed, and I called off the search for the most stunning outfit in the universe. I decided to come as myself, just as I am. No appointments with makeup people and outfits from shops I can't afford. I simply looked through my closet, put something on and went as Zama circa 2011.09.07.

Going back to my old school was very emotional, and seeing the faces that will forever colour my high school days even more so. Lots of hugs, kisses and 'Oh my gosh's' were shared. Finding out two of the naughtiest guys in my class were now teachers is one of the things that warmed my heart - knowing that we'd all come so far, in spite of who we were or weren't back then.

Amongst my classmates were parents, divorcees, newly-engaged couples, housewives and career-women. Everyone had stories to share, and all of us sported a scar or two from the decade gone by. Yet there we were, happy and celebrating. It was as though we made up the world - so many different stories and so many different callings, yet all of us doing our bit to contribute to the world in the best way we know how. I realised that, as much as my old friends and I have changed over the last decade, we were still the same; we had the same feeling of ease around each other, and a bond that comes from having spent years together, sharing experiences that no one else outside the group can really 'get'. We lost two of our soldiers along the way, and that sad reality reminded us just how much life had changed.

Even though I hadn't seen some of those familiar faces in ten years, there was a real feeling of camaraderie about the evening. There was no need for pretences because we all knew each other before we forged our adult lives. There is something about reminiscing about Geography class and detention that quickly brings you back to earth! I left there feeling grateful for how my life has turned out so far, and even more grateful that I'd survived the last decade - with my health and sanity in check.

I look forward to the next 10 years. Here's to the class of De La Salle 2001.

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Thu, 08 Sep 2011 12:00 +0200
Hello Spring http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/hello-spring
This year, spring starts on the same day that I move into what I have named 'The Love Shack.' This is a place that has been giving me sleepless nights and many hours spent on Gumtree, ogling what seemed like millions of properties. House-hunting, as I was reminded, is no joke - but ten apartments, three estate agents and a few teary sessions later, I finally found the love shack. While I managed to fight off a few other couples that were also hoping to call this awesome space their home, the process – which happened against a backdrop of a freezing Jozi winter - left me feeling emotionally depleted.

This winter has been emotionally heavy, with too many tears being shed alongside too many glasses of red wine consumed in the name of sadness and stress. I didn't like it, and I don't think anyone else did either. So, when the sun showed the first sign of coming out I was already looking to buy shorts and summer accessories. Joburg weather, erratic as it may be, has been very pleasant over the last few days, and I'm already donning summer dresses, deliberately ignoring the fact that there may still be more than one last cold front to live through.

Now, with my boxes packed and my new love shack waiting patiently for me to make it home, I can't wait to feel cheery and smiley again. So, while we say goodbye to winter, the visitor that just wouldn't leave, I suggest you pack up any old issues that have been lurking - whether it's friends who aren't supportive or boyfriends that need to get the boot, this is the time to clean out your emotional and mental closet.

Here's to a glorious (and happy) spring!

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Wed, 31 Aug 2011 12:00 +0200
Not So Grown http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/not-so-grown
The latest reason why I started feeling this way is because I have to move house. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it means making grown-up decisions and all of that not-so-fun-stuff.

Many moons ago, when I first moved house, I was 17-years-old. My matric results had just come in and, armed with my mother's purse, we went looking for a place. The hardest part of that process was finding a flat close to my university. I didn't worry about how it would be paid, and I didn't know that deposits cost ridiculous amounts of money; I didn't even worry too much about the moving logistics. Eventually I moved to a flat on Jan Smuts, upstairs from an Adult World (charming). But I loved my apartment and all the freedom it represented. Since then, I've moved a few more times, each time becoming more stressful than the one before, the main cause of stress being that, as my age increases, the more the responsibility grows.

Now, at 27, I find myself looking for another place to call home - a place that will both suit me and my boyfriend's very different tastes and somehow fit our budget. Unlike when I was a teenager masquerading as an adult, deposits and moving trucks are now very much an issue. I can no longer be strolling the streets of Melville while my mother handles everything – not so much fun.

So, while my head sometimes goes into teenage-zone, my life no longer affords me that luxury. Somewhere between then and now I've had to get work done, pay bills, paint my nails, make time for my nephew and live through some other slightly more serious episodes. So, instead of getting myself bummed about becoming a 'grown up', my mission for the next few weeks is to remind myself about the awesome parts of being an adult - freedom, sex, earning my own money and having the chance to be writing for COSMO instead of surreptitiously reading it in Geography class. Here's to semi-adulthood.

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Thu, 11 Aug 2011 12:00 +0200
Fit For a Swan http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/fit-for-a-swan
I deserve a Golden Globe, at least, for managing to be both coy and contemplative when the opportunity for me to check out the lodge-style Bushman's Kloof reserve in the Cederberg mountains presented itself. Of course, this reserve all but disappeared as we drove into the super luxurious lodge-style resort. On arrival - after a somewhat gruelling 270km drive from Cape Town - I was chosen as the faux bride for the trip so we could all have the real 'Swan Party' experience. A printout of Jarvier Bardem's face completed the charade and we were soon led to lunch where we were presented with a delicious, healthy spread featuring what must be the best guacamole I've ever tasted.

After lunch we were hurried over to the spa where we each received shoulder and neck massages - the kind where you slip into a dreamlike, yet invigorated state - and lounged about in the tranquillity and steam rooms. I enjoyed the steam room so much that my champagne - to my own personal horror - went untouched. High tea was served in the gazebo which has breathtaking, panoramic views across the landscape and where I, for the first time in my life, passed up on cupcakes. Having packed quite lightly (a single overnight bag) I was ill prepared for the Cederberg cold but, thankfully, the staff at 'BK' were. Armed with wool-stuffed, waterproof ponchos we made our way to Kadoro - a restored shepherd's cottage in the reserve - in an open vehicle.

We viewed game such as bontebok and ostrich, while a shirtless guide named Daniel assailed us with his tattooed torso and chocolate tequila. At Kadoro, games were played - including a fun Q&A session where we revealed our naughtiest secrets. There was also a bra hanging from the roof, and anyone who touched it had to have a shot of something. If only they'd known no provocation was needed...

On our last day we woke up early to embark on a guided tour of rock art - a fascinating look at ancient painting and drawings of the Bushmen who once lived in the area. Then breakfast - by far the most ambitious undertaking - was served high up on the mountains overlooking the best of Bushman's Kloof scenery. We had a delightful champagne breakfast where almost everyone (understandably) opted for the Bloody Mary's on offer. After a sumptuous meal of fruits, juices and bacon and egg sandwiches, we went back to our temporary home to prepare for a long (and woeful) drive back to Cape Town. Note to self: when my time comes to take the long march down the aisle, this is the place I will bring my girls to kiss singledom goodbye.

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Fri, 19 Aug 2011 12:00 +0200
Fasting - Just How Far Would You Go? http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/fasting-just-how-far-would-you-go
Since I have Muslim friends, we’ve gotten into discussions about fasting again because it is Ramadan.
Fasting is supposed to take you out of your comfort zone and build discipline and character, but what does failing at it say about you?

Our conversation led to us discussing whether or not we could do celibacy for 30 days. In theory this shouldn’t be very hard. I mean what’s a month? The reality however can be a bit different. Thirty days when you live with someone that you think is super sexy will start to seem like a painfully long time.

That got me thinking, if I couldn’t give up coffee for 40 days, would I be able to make up for it by giving up sex for ten days less? So even though my track record makes me an unlikely candidate for 'most disciplined fasting dreadlocked girl in the world', I’ve decided that there are things that I would be great at giving up. Vegetables for example, I can go without them for days. Sadly that requires no discipline from my part, so it doesn’t count.

The conversation ended with some of us saying we’ll try a 30-day sex fast, others said no they’ll just stick to their dirty habits and be happy.

What can you live without for 30 days? Sex? Chocolate? Shoes? Do share!

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Thu, 04 Aug 2011 12:00 +0200
What Kind Of Island Holiday Are You On? http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/what-kind-of-island-holiday-are-you-on 1. When you arrive…
a. You're shown a patch of jungle and told to build your own hut using only the available materials.
b. You wait at reception for about half an hour. When someone finally hands you your key, you lug your bags up five flights of stairs because the elevator is broken.
c. You step off a seaplane onto the jetty of a private island, where a smiling woman hands you a cool facecloth and a glass of refreshing homemade lemonade. Your bags are whisked off as you're led to a soft, inviting couch overlooking a pristine palm-fringed beach.

2. In your room, you find…

a. A baby scorpion, a pile of dry palm fronds and a plastic bucket. You'll just have to use your sarong as a bed sheet.
b. Twin beds (you asked for a double) both sagging in the middle. In the avocado green bathroom is a small cake of soap and a thin, scratchy towel. The view is of another apartment block, with a small corner of sea visible on the far right.
c. A king-sized bed with snowy white sheets wafted by air conditioning. There's a plasma TV and minibar fridge hidden in a dark wood cabinet. Your bathroom is set in a private garden, with two showers, a bath and a pile of thick towels. The gels, shampoos and lotions smell deliciously of mint. A sliding door leads onto a secluded patio with two loungers shaded by a flowering tree. Beneath the arch of its branches are a white sand beach and the glittering sea.

3. For dinner tonight it's…
a. A small fish you caught yourself after spending four hours in the blazing sun hunched on a rock with a pointed stick.
b. Beef curry and rice, coleslaw, bread rolls (only slightly stale) and jelly trifle with tinned fruit. For the second time this week.
c. Fresh salmon and tuna sushi and an assortment of incredible Asian cuisine. Yesterday you discovered Turkish food and tomorrow night there'll be all sorts of American specialties. Your only problem is trying not to go back for thirds of dessert each night - but how do you choose between cassis ice cream, hazelnut crème brulee and crepes?

4. On a typical day you'll…
a. Walk a kilometre with your bucket to find fresh drinking water, squabble over who gets to eat the leftover semi-raw fish from last night, then spend a relaxing afternoon combing the lice out of your hair.
b. Elbow your way past 13 000 overweight foreigners to find a spot to spread your towel on the beach. You decide not to swim because you saw something dodgy floating in the water.
c. Wake up to the sound of soft waves breaking on the beach outside your door. Go for a snorkel or a scuba dive on the nearby coral reef. You swam with a whale shark yesterday and today you'll probably see some turtles. Soak up some sunshine on your lounger after a long, leisurely lunch before heading out for sundowners at the beach bar beside the rim-flow pool.

5. Your Facebook status reads…
a. 'Does anyone know what it means when your whole body is covered in red lumps? Should I be worried?'
b. 'Went to another bar last night. Very bored so drank too much tequila. Think I may have snogged the fat guy from the souvenir stand.'
C. 'Went for a surprise outing on a jet ski this afternoon and swam with manta rays!'

RESULTS

Mostly As: You are participating in a reality TV show. Your best option is to get voted off the island as soon as possible.

Mostly Bs: You're at an average island holiday resort. Next time you'll ask the travel agent to be a little more specific about what she means by 'luxury' and 'idyllic'.

All Cs:
You're at Diva Resort in the Maldives and you're one very happy holidaymaker indeed.

<<<Back To Blog Seven


Find out more about Diva Resort here.


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Wed, 03 Aug 2011 12:00 +0200
The Best Way You Can Start The Day In The Maldives http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-best-way-you-can-start-the-day-in-the-maldives
The Maldives is one of the best dive destinations in the world - some would say it's the best of all. At Diva Resort, we're lucky to have a really good scuba operator, Euro Dive. Temptingly, they offer discounted rates if you do more than one dive, so I've signed up for five.

It's a great feeling to be stepping onto a dive boat early in the morning and chugging off over translucent turquoise water to one of the thirty or so dive sites within easy reach of the resort. We can choose between inner reefs, outer reefs, manta cleaning stations, wrecks and thilas. Thilas are like underwater mountains: isolated coral spires in channels rich with plankton, and full of fish feeding on that plankton. All the dive instructors agree thilas are the best dives in the Maldives.

We have our briefing on the roof of the dhoni boat, are assigned our buddy teams (divers always dive in teams of at least two) then go below to don wetsuits, weight belts, BCDs, fins and, finally, masks. One by one we step off the boat and splash heavily into the water. We all give the okay signal and then the downward thumb to start our descent.

Down we sink, in a burble of air bubbles. As we go, I pinch my nostrils shut and blow hard. With a squeak, the painful pressure in my ears releases. We're close to the ocean floor now: the light is dim and blue, the suns rays slant slowly through the sea, the water is cool and heavy. This is a different world.

As we drift along on a gentle current, I float beside a fabulous jungle of coral cliffs, densely inhabited by flitting butterfly fish nosing at soft corals like sunbirds. Burly but beautifully painted parrotfish crunch stone corals like crisps. A Titan triggerfish cruises past at a safe distance as a school of unicorn fish dart around my face, their long horns making them look rather like aquatic Pinocchios.

Each time I venture underwater here, I see something new and astonishing. Like the hawksbill turtle that swam right up to me and looked me over as if to say, 'Funny fish in the neighbourhood these days'. Or the white-tipped reef shark that cruised straight through an enormous cloud of Oriental sweetlips - who didn't mind him at all. The list of fish I've identified is already close to 100 - and I know there are many I've left out.

It's so relaxing down here, so beautiful. I wish I could stay forever. But one hour is all we've got. We ascend slowly and as we near the surface, I can see hundreds of tiny jellyfish, each one different, unique, like snowflakes of the sea.

On the boat, our tanks are lifted off us, we're handed clean white towels, mugs of hot black tea, and fresh fruit kebabs. We climb the stairs to the roof deck and flop down in the sun, tired, happy and excited. Soon it will be time for our second dive of the morning.

<<<Back To Blog Six

>>>Go To Blog Eight

Find out more about Diva Resort here.


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Wed, 03 Aug 2011 12:00 +0200
99 Problems http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/99-problems #whitegirlproblems and #blackgirlproblems hashtags make sure we laugh with each other.

Everyone knows that stereotypes are only funny when they're true, which is why the super-popular Twitter hashtags #whitegirlproblems and #blackgirlproblems kept us busy for hours. Correction: keep us busy for hours.

Besides being funny enough to ensure coffee is squirted from our noses at our desks, these hashtags about the menial problems in the lives of white and black girls give us a little insight into how the other half live. White girls get a taste of the beauty, fashion or lifestyle mishaps that black girls face each day, and vice versa. Whether it's dealing with an itchy weave or hoping that no-one notices you're wearing leggings for the fifth day in a row, the truth is that everybody's got problems. Big or small, these hashtags give mostly-hilarious, sometimes-sad voices to all of our daily annoyances. And, maybe, they're not all that different after all. For every #whitegirlproblem, there's a #blackgirlproblem to match it.

Check out our picks of the best below:

White Girl Problems:

@oldkimcole: Why couldn't Queen have <Flat Bottom Girls> We have no anthem. I would sing that! #whitegirlproblems

@MattIsWar: Bad hair day even though I just showered? Wtf? #whitegirlproblems

@Unemployed Actress: I really need to stop drinking skinny vanilla lattes. It's starting to stain my teeth #whitegirlproblems

@beckybship: I keep confusing Demi Lovato for Selena Gomez. #whitegirlproblems

@elaineparmelee: How many days in a row can a girl wear leggings before an intervention must be staged? #whitegirlproblems

@whatachatch: My pencil skirt is restricting my movement. #whitegirlproblems

@caro_clark: Coke Zero on my white pants. #whitegirlproblems

@lizmatthewspr: Worrying about fitting everything (and everyone) in the Range Rover tomorrow #whitegirlproblems

@clairezettle: Knowing all the words to <my humps> #whitegirlproblems

Black Girl Problems:


@PrettyYoung_Gee: #blackgirlproblems That line that stays on your forehead after you've unwrapped your hair

@alisoncxo: When you're expected to know all of the latest dance moves, and do them well #blackgirlproblems

@CJdrizzzle #blackgirlproblems Not swimming because you don't want to mess up your fresh perm and no, a swim cap is not an option.

@gottahavemyfox: The way I just scratched my head... I won't be getting a perm anytime soon #blackgirlproblems

@McHIGHver: When someone asks you to braid their hair and they're shocked when you tell them you don't know how #blackgirlproblems

@Jay_Doll #BlackGirlProblems Knowing that if you leave your house without any Vaseline, or lip balm or gloss...You're in trouble

@ay0itskeia_ k3i%≤: People are surprised when your favourite music artist isn't someone in Young Money. #blackgirlproblems

@brandeeshiff: I really despise the fact that all my shorts are tight on my ass and extremely loose on my waist. #blackgirlproblems

@de_la_perry: #blackgirlproblems Another year has passed without me being adopted by Angelina Jolie

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Tue, 26 Jul 2011 12:00 +0200
10 Things I Learned On The COSMO Swimwear Shoot http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/10-things-i-learned-on-the-cosmo-swimwear-shoot 1. Swimwear models really are that thin and gorgeous in real life. But they eat like normal people. Which could make it easy to hate them, but...

2. The models on COSMO shoots aren't stuck up or stupid prima donnas. We shoot with fun, down-to-earth, happy people.

3. It's possible for a pair of earrings that look like they were made out of a cool drink can to cost more than R3 000.

4. A Mr. Price bikini can look as good as an expensive designer bikini and can be a lot easier to figure out how to put on.

5. With reference to point 4., sometimes even fashion director's can't be absolutely certain which way a piece of swimwear is supposed to be worn. It's not uncommon for several people on a shoot to stand around debating this: 'I'm sure it's meant to go on this way...' 'No that's upside down, isn't it?'

6. Prep (yes, the stuff men use for shaving) is the best thing you can pack for an island holiday. It's great for sunburn, stings, rashes, cracked heels... you name it. If you don't have Prep but you have sunburn, you can ask the resort restaurant for some vinegar to put in a hot bath. It'll sting, but it helps.

7. The fashion assistant sometimes has to pin the bikini bottoms up behind because the models are so tiny (seriously!). We actually used nappy pins so there would be no chance of injury.

8. Models who've just come off Sports Illustrated shoots have to be trained not to model so much on a COSMO shoot. We prefer images of women looking natural and behaving the way they normally would, rather than performing weird contortions for the camera.

9. Getting a great shot doesn't look all that complicated, but it's a combination of many factors that all have to be just right: The light, the location, the styling, the hair and makeup, the model, the photographer, the equipment, the direction, the motion, the moment... The main aim is to capture an image that creates a certain mood or feeling.

10.
After a hard day shooting in the sun, there's nothing models love more than karaoke. And tequila! And, for the record, photographers are especially terrible at karaoke.

<<<Back To Blog Five

>>>Go To Blog Seven

Find out more about Diva Resort here.


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Mon, 01 Aug 2011 12:00 +0200
How Many People Does It Take To Shoot a Bikini? http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/how-many-people-does-it-take-to-shoot-a-bikini
1. Models, obviously (even I knew that). The number of models can vary, but on this swimwear shoot there were five. Grace and Tsanna from Canada, Isabela from Brazil, Justin from Chicago and Candice from Cape Town. All of them absolutely loved the Maldives and got on like old friends. (There's even a bit of a romance developing between Justin and Tsanna!)

2. A project manager. COSMO's Business Development Manager, Leigh Kinross put the whole shoot together, arranging sponsorships, advertisers, the team, transport and the location. Fortunately, she managed to fit in a couple of treatments at the Diva Spa - after all that organising she must have needed a time-out.

3. A fashion director. Our Special Projects Fashion Director, Robynne Kahn, sourced some of the most newsworthy and desirable swimwear of the season. There are at least 10 swimsuits from this shoot I simply have to have - and some of them I can even afford. She'll pair a show stopping one-piece with an enormous chunky necklace or earrings in ways that will make your eyes pop out of your head.

4. A fashion assistant. Junior Fashion Assistant, Andrea Albertyn keeps everything in order, which is no mean feat when you've got 20 assorted boxes full of bikinis, earrings, bangles, shoes, sandals, necklaces, dresses, hats - and you're shooting about 10 outfits at a time. Andrea makes a note of each item photographed, as well as the designer, outlet and price, in a red-and-white polka dot book.

5. Hair and make-up. Huey Tilley has a way of making hair and makeup look effortless and natural all at once, despite being the victim of an ancient curse that causes his essential M.A.C. powder to fall on the floor and shatter within the first few days of shooting.

6. Photographer. Jacques Weyers has the nerve-wracking job of translating a few simple ingredients (model, palm tree, beach) into endless variations that all have that certain something that makes COSMO fashion spreads sensational.

7. Photographer's assistant. Gerrit Olivier has got Jacques' back - quite literally when Jacques is walking backwards through the sea taking photographs. Other duties may include drizzling water from a palm frond onto moonlit models in bikinis. He tries not to make his friends sick with jealousy.

8. Videographer and general prankster. Roland Sweet has about five cameras, two of which are waterproof – which is lucky, because the crew are occasionally tempted to pour ice-cold water over him while he's napping, in revenge for all the tricks he plays.

9. Journalist. (That's me.) My mission is to hang about watching the weird and wonderful goings on and to write about them. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it!

<<<Back To Blog Four
>>>Go To Blog Six

Find out more about Diva Resort here.


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Mon, 01 Aug 2011 12:00 +0200
Nothing But Fruit? http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/nothing-but-fruit
My plan was foolproof: I'd eat nothing but fruit (and, if possible, drink nothing but Brutal Fruit) and I'd spend all my time doing strenuous outdoor activities in my bikini: snorkelling, scuba diving, beach volleyball, waterskiing. In no time at all I'd be lean, brown and almost possibly a COSMOPOLITAN Swimwear model candidate myself.

So you can imagine how my spirits plummeted when Leigh Kinross, COSMO's stylish Business Development Manager, greeted me with the fateful words, 'Oh my goodness, the food here is the best in the world!'

There are six restaurants at Diva Resort, and, besides all being in spectacular settings (think perched over a limpid lagoon full of tropical fish), most of them serve buffet meals.

Now, in my experience, buffets are not normally anything to write home about. They usually involve various brownish fries and stews, stale soggy sandwiches and sad wilting salads. In other words, they're utterly resistible.

The buffets at Diva, however, are unimaginably delectable. The variety, the freshness, the presentation, the sheer yumminess of it all would be enough to defeat the most disciplined of dietarians.

Let's start with breakfast. Please tell me, how was I meant to choose between fresh sliced fruit (papaya, star fruit, dragon fruit, pineapple, kiwis, passion fruit, yellow and pink watermelon), fresh fruit salad, fresh fruit compote (kiwi, strawberry, raspberry, peach) and stewed fruit? Apparently, even my 'fruit-only' diet was completely doomed.

Each morning, I have to walk past chocolate croissants, custard Danishes, dainty little bread rolls, Nutella, omelettes made to order, egg noodles, cold meats, cheeses, even dim sum. In the end, I usually manage to settle for a three-course breakfast of fruit (hey, I'm sticking to my plan, sort of), Bircher Muesli and fresh pancakes with maple syrup and crispy bacon, washed down with two cappuccinos.

Lunches and dinners pose a similar problem. No matter how hard I try, I simply cannot pass up on the Caesar Salad station, the fresh tuna niçoise, the crispy grilled salmon, the fresh smoked salmon, the prawns, the reef fish stir-fry, the chocolate éclairs, the chocolate mousse, and the coconut, coffee, strawberry and pineapple ice creams.

To top it all, some of the restaurants have themed evenings, so you can try out authentic tidbits from all over the world. On Monday, it was Maldivian evening. Tonight, it's Chinese and Japanese. (Did I hear someone say sushi?)

I'd love to know just how the chefs come up with all these incredible recipes and ideas and how they manage to put together such fresh and varied feasts on a tiny island in the middle of nowhere. But, what I really want to know is this: which joker at Diva decided it was a good idea to put an electronic scale in each room?

<<<Back To Blog Three
>>>Go To Blog Five

Find out more about Diva Resort here.


 
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Fri, 29 Jul 2011 12:00 +0200
Swimming With Sharks http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/swimming-with-sharks
The Maldives is one of the best places in the world to see underwater life. The tropical coral reefs are swarming with jewel-coloured fish - around 300 species of them - as well as manta rays, stingrays, sea turtles and assorted sharks, including the real star of the show: the whale shark.

For many people, swimming with a whale shark is a lifelong dream. The lucky COSMOPOLITAN Swimwear shoot crew enjoyed an incredible morning's 'work' yesterday out on a whale shark safari.

After breakfast, we boarded a dhoni boat. These are the traditional boats of the Maldives, which have dramatically tall, curved prows. The dhonis at Diva are double-storied so you can climb the stairs to a sundeck. Since the weather was perfect, we lay sprawled on our towels in the sunshine, supposedly looking out for whale sharks.

In fact, we were lounging around having a fat chat when the crew started calling and pointing excitedly. Although whale sharks are quite common around Diva, it's still a special occasion to see them. And we were luckier than we could ever have hoped.

The first whale shark we saw was swimming quite far down below us. We jumped in with our snorkels, but it had soon gone too deep to see clearly. Undeterred, the crew called us aboard and almost immediately found another whale shark. This one was swimming very slowly, only a couple of metres below the surface, and was totally unbothered by all our splashing and squawking.

Whale sharks look cool in pictures, but they are seriously awesome in the flesh. They're the world's largest living fish (hence the name) but are completely harmless. They're also incredibly beautiful, with skins that look like a cross between aboriginal paintings and a starry night sky. In fact, researchers at Diva use software originally developed for star mapping to identify each whale shark's unique patterns. You can upload your photographs to their database and, if they don't have a record of your whale shark, you get to name it.

I'd been swimming along beside our shark for about 10 minutes when it occurred to me that it would be great if someone took a photo. Perhaps we could call this whale shark 'COSMO'! Looking around to see if anyone had a camera, I saw a sea turtle right next to me. It flapped its flippers in the crystal clear water and stared with its head to one side, as if to say, 'Hmm, some odd fish in the neighbourhood these days.'

I was caught in a terrible quandary: should I hang out with the turtle, or keep swimming along with the whale shark? Turtle or whale shark? Whale shark or turtle? These are the truly tough decisions you face in the Maldives. With an apologetic wave to the turtle, I swam off after the whale shark again.

P.S. Unfortunately, the underwater camera's battery was dead, so we never found out if the whale shark had a name or not. But it will always be COSMO to me.

<<<Back To Blog Two
>>>Go To Blog Four

Find out more about Diva Resort here.


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Thu, 28 Jul 2011 12:00 +0200
A Little Piece Of Heaven http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/a-little-piece-of-heaven
The first four hours of the drive were pleasant; all we did was sing, chat, chill and enjoy the views. But once we hit Nelspruit, we got lost during peak-hour traffic – not an ideal scenario. At that moment, my calm demeanour flew out the window and I became a typical, potty-mouthed Jo’burg girl. But a few detours and an hour later, we arrived at a place that I would call a little piece of heaven.

The staff at Sabi River Lifestyle Resort staff welcomed us with drinks and, before even checking in, we were driven down to the river to see some hippos. With glasses of wine in hand, we watched as a few hippos went about their business less than 20 metres away from us. This is the only place in the country where you can get that close to hippos. Instantly the feeling of calm returned. Instead of being stuck in the jungle of Jo’burg traffic, I was in the perfect combo of wild nature and luxury.

After drinks, we went off to dinner and were treated to yummy meals including Sabi trout stuffed with cheese and feta. As a true foodie nothing, not even a five-hour drive and sore feet, can distract me from good food. Stuffed, content and still excited about sundowners with the hippos, we headed to our rooms for a night of well-deserved sleep.

Saturday had a lot of 'firsts' in store for us. Spa treatments were number one on the list because, let’s be honest, what’s a holiday without a bit of pampering? A couple’s massage from the Eden spa took away two months’ worth of stress and tension and added to overall luxuriousness of the resort. After the spa, I decided to stress myself out a bit by going on a microlight flight over Sabi As this plane is about the size of a kite, there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing about whether or not I wanted to try this out. In the end, I figured trying something new is what COSMO girls do.

As we went down the runway, I said a little prayer and wondered if I’d told my mom I loved her enough. But the second we hit the air, my fear evaporated. I was seeing the world from a different and glorious perspective. We saw hippos and zebras, and the world was so much more incredible from a bit further up that by the time out trip had ended I didn’t want to get off the plane.

Next on the agenda was a game drive in the Kruger National Park. Although most of the animals were playing hide-and-seek that day, there is something very appealing about being out in the wild. The air is different, the energy is different and I felt a deep connection to nature. We drove to a giant rock in the game park where we enjoyed sundowners. I wanted to stay out there for longer, but my fantasy of permanently living on the giant rock was interrupted by a game ranger who was talking about how animals climb up this rock in the dark. That was enough to make this city girl pretty eager to return to the car and the safety of our hotel.

We spent the rest of the weekend taking in the views, taking long walks on the golf course, eating tasty meals and enjoying the place we’ve decided to make a regular holiday spot for us. For other city girls like me who sometimes need a breath of fresh air, a new perspective and some time to bond with nature over cocktails, this is a place worth checking out. Whether with a group of friends or for a relaxed couples get-away, Sabi is an untouched piece of heaven which you'll never want to leave.

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Thu, 28 Jul 2011 12:00 +0200
Cutting-Edge Summer Trends http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cutting-edge-summer-trends
Many of the guests - particularly the Chinese women - look as though they've hired their own professional stylists to put together each day's outfit for them. We all agree these looks will probably only make it to South Africa in the next two years. So, in case you want to get ready for Summer 2013 now, here are five future summer fashion tips.

1. His and hers outfits.

Try not to choke on your cappuccino! Wearing cute matching ensembles is going to be the thing, especially when it comes to swimwear. Right now, in Diva's East restaurant (this resort has six restaurants), I can see two couples flaunting their togetherness. One pair are wearing pale stone tops and his and hers zebra-print shorts - hers are short, his are long. The other pair are wearing matching cartoon dog shirts and Hawaiian print Bermuda swim trunks - his are blue, hers are red. My vote goes to team zebra: the cartoon dogs are a tad scary.

2. Floaty, chiffon florals.
I'm no fashion fundi, but even I can see that the florals on display here are on a different level to the ones we get at home. Wear them either as full-length dresses with silk and button detail or as adorable, but minimalist above-the-knee babydolls.

3. Silk, lace and beadwork parasols.

So maybe this trend isn't practical for everyday use, but it looks sensational strolling down the wooden catwalk, erm, I mean boardwalk, at a resort in the Maldives. Plus, there's no chance of getting hat-hair.

4. Flip-flops with massive fabric flowers.

How these manage to look stylish is beyond me, but they do. I think the trick is to keep the rest of the ensemble as simple as possible and wear the flowers on your feet as your only accessory.

5. The perfect five-star island resort setting to strut your stuff.

These styles simply aren't going to look as incredible in the city as they do posed on white, sandy beaches under softly swaying palm fronds. Once you've got your wardrobe sorted, book at least ten days at a place like Diva to give those outfits the outing they deserve.

How do I know this is a hot trend? Well, put it this way: At a time when most hotels and tourist destinations are struggling, Diva is operating at 100% occupancy. Apparently after I arrived, there literally wasn't a single room left empty...

<<<Back To Blog One
>>>Go To Blog Three

Find out more about Diva Resort here.


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Wed, 27 Jul 2011 12:00 +0200
Arriving In Paradise In Style http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/arriving-in-paradise-in-style
Hairdryers are going as Robynne Kahn, COSMO's fierce special projects fashion director picks accessories for gorgeous, exotic Grace to wear with the insanely hot swimsuit she's modelling. Laid-back hip-hop is pumping from Jacques' iPod. He's the photographer. He's blonde, tattooed and has a tan that testifies to many a shoot in a tropical location. Perhaps the Maldives is just another day at work for him. But for some of us, they're pretty astounding.

I knew this was going to be one fairly awesome trip when I saw the word 'seaplane' on my itinerary. You see, in the Maldives, the islands are sort of incidental. They're really just there to give definition to all the water. The way you get around here is either in boats, or in boats with wings.

When I arrived in Male, touching down on the world's shortest international runway (which covers the entire length of an island), I was taken straight to the seaplane terminal for my flight to five-star luxury resort Diva, where I'd be joining the rest of the COSMOPOLITAN SA Swimwear shoot crew.

It was a little odd to climb off a wooden jetty into a plane that rocked, helped in by crew wearing flip-flops (some of the pilots were strolling around barefoot). As we took off, I gazed out of the window at little islands, apparently completely given over entirely to one resort each, and lots of what looked like the fairy circles in the Namib desert, except that the patterns here are made in water, rather than sand. These, I'm guessing, are atolls.

We landed with a splash beside a strip of white sand fringed with palms. 'Welcome to Paradise,' said a smiling young woman. Yeah, yeah yeah. Everyone calls every tropical island 'paradise'. It's admittedly kinda a hackneyed thing to say. Except, I thought, looking around at the softly shushing sea, the lush foliage and the luxurious, open air lounge, perhaps this time it's true...

>>>Go To Blog Two

Find out more about Diva Resort here.


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Mon, 25 Jul 2011 12:00 +0200
On Special Days, You Meet Angels http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/on-special-days-you-meet-angels
It took almost three weeks to find the perfect venue and date, and after a while, I stopped thinking about too much. I went on with my life which included the good - phone calls with my nephew, laughter at the office, cuddles with my boyfriend, conversations with friends; and the bad - complaining about money, crying over some drama in my life and dragging myself out of bed on days when I'd rather be sleeping off an emotional hangover. I wasted most of that three-week period feeling sorry for myself, moping and complaining. Eventually, my mother told me to snap out of it. I was trudging my way through murky emotional waters, but now I had a clear view of what was up ahead.

As scheduled, I left my office to meet a woman whose story I will not share here today. She is younger than me, and, having survived the hardest odds, is the beacon of light that many people need in their lives. Despite the fact that many things had gone wrong in her life and she was even at death's door at one point, she was as alive and as optimistic as ever. Unlike me, who had been hiding under blankets while weeping away into yet another box of tissues, she had faced her challenge head on and continued to fight.

When I asked her what kept her going, she said that the gift of life is what made her go on, every single day, determined not to complain. Even though we all have some problems, there's a way of thinking that often eludes us because we are so self-involved. Maybe like me, you need to meet someone who can share their wisdom with you or maybe you just need to get out of your hole and help someone who is less fortunate than you. Either way life is too fabulous for us to be walking around as shadows of the people we are meant to be.

So, as winter slowly turns to spring in the next few weeks, I'm going to clean out the giant closet that is my life and I hope you can do the same too. You deserve it!

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Wed, 20 Jul 2011 12:00 +0200
Cool Cocktails http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cool-cocktails

Dash Splash (created by Mexico)

35ml J&B
40ml ginger ale
40ml cranberry juice
10ml lime juice
Orange slice to garnish

Method:
Served ice cold, this is a dry, slightly sparkling mix. Build the J&B, cranberry and lime juice in a flute glass. Stir well and top up with the ginger making sure all the ingredients are chilled to perfection. Add a slice of orange for garnish.


Sunset Blaze (created by South Africa)

35ml J&B
15ml crème de frais
15ml lemon juice
75ml orange juice
75ml cranberry juice
Fresh strawberry to garnish

Method:
Blending different juices and a strawberry liquer, this fruity drink shows the versatility of J&B. Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain into an ice filled highball glass and add a garnish fresh strawberry to serve.



W Redrock (created by Mexico)
35ml J&B
15ml crème de cassis
125ml sprite
Fresh cherries to garnish

Method:
Using the cassis to add a touch of blackcurrant and inject a flavour of dark fruit into the drink, this is a delightfully refreshing and effervescent cocktail. Add all the ingredients one by one to an ice filled tumbler. Stir well as you add each one to make sure the drink is well blended. Drop a cherry on top to serve.



Ellicious (created by South Africa)

35ml J&B
15ml peach schnapps
50ml mango puree
20ml lime juice
75ml pineapple juice
Pineapple leaf to garnish

Method:
Flavours ofmango, pineapple and peach bring a taste of the tropical to this cocktail. Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and strain into an ice filled highball glass. Add a pineapple leaf to garnish and serve.



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Thu, 07 Jul 2011 12:00 +0200
Growing Old-ish http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/growing-old-ish
Then came the teenage years, those years when I thought I was incredibly cool and resented my mother's presence in my life more than ever. My body was changing, making me think I was all grown up (when the reality is that C-cup breasts don't make a 16-year-old anywhere near an adult). I would seek my freedom in many a shady way – making plans to sneak out, making my dad wait for me even though I promised I'd be done at the movies by 10pm, etc. Those were some of my most fun days, but not always my best. Luckily, back then the consequences weren't drastic - at best, I would be grounded.

Then, I kind of grew up. I got my matric results and off I went apartment-hunting with my mother. Finally the freedom I craved was all mine. I would spend money on going out, live on noodles for a week, party until dawn and still have the luxury of someone else paying my bills. This was by far my favourite 'grown-up' phase.

Now, I'm 27 with a real job, real responsibilities and my propensity to stay up later than 2am no longer appeals to me with as much excitement. While I still know how to party, no matter how many boot camp sessions I go to, my body (and luckily my mind) is no longer 16. Sure I have moments of madness where I feel young and free but these days the consequences (including massive hangovers that take three days to shake off) stay with me that much longer. So, for the umpteenth time in my life, I feel like I'm at a weird middle ground - not quite old, but not quite as young at heart as I used to be. I now crave the security of a cute little apartment with a man who strokes my hair as he reads a book. I now prefer not to eat noodles for a week, but rather a cooked meal with the odd takeaway treat. My mother is now one of my best friends and confidante. I can't believe I went through so many years trying to ignore her.

So while I try clean up my life, dusting off some cobwebs left from more wreckless days, I wonder - does this make me old? Perhaps not, but older - definitely.

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Mon, 11 Jul 2011 12:00 +0200
Karaoke For Two http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/karaoke-for-two Idol wooden mic contestants is that I'm under no delusions about the state of my voice. It's bad, really bad, in fact. But, I feel I make up for this with nicely waxed eyebrows.

These days I've been singing more. My nephew, who was once a teeny tiny little man that would sleep on my bosom, is now a toddler. He's not one of those sweet, even-tempered toddlers that quietly play with their toys. He is the run-around-throw-stuff-pull-stuff-stick-fingers-in-electric-sockets-and-pull-the-dog's-tail kind of toddler. This not-so-little bundle of joy is still my favourite person and the more he learns to do stuff, the more in love I fall.

After spending a couple of hours mourning the fact that never again would he be three-months old, I decided that I would have to learn how to play. Failure to do this could lead to a strained relationship and I am not willing to take that risk.

At 27, I think I play quite often. I have friends; we have play dates where we dance, play board games and do other fun things. This and my own childhood have done nothing to prepare me for how to play with my nephew. After some training from my sister, I have learnt a few things: how to kick a ball (not too hard, he's still technically a baby), how to decipher what 'aaai eeei you' means (translated: 'I see you') and how to sing the 'Baby Shark' song.

Discovering the 'Baby Shark' with my nephew has been one of our defining moments, excluding his birth and me permanently putting his name on my body. He loves to hear me sing and I love singing it to him - do things get any better? It also gives me a break from other things he wants to do. Hours can go by and this gem of a song doesn't get tired. When he wants me to sing it he mumbles 'doo doo doo doo' and then I take centre stage and grace him with my rendition of it.

So even though I will not be making a fool of myself on national television, I have a place, a very special place, where my voice and my superb performance of 'Baby Shark' are really appreciated.

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Wed, 29 Jun 2011 12:00 +0200
Hardcover High http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/hardcover-high
I arrived at the office to the news that the Exclusive Books Winter Sale was around the corner. Now every reader knows the joys that lie between the aisles of this shop. There are rows and rows of adventures waiting to be discovered, recipes waiting to be cooked, children's books waiting to be read to nephews and a host of other goodies that will make your brain sharper and your bookshelf more impressive. When I heard the book sale was being launched and some books were patiently waiting to be read, I rushed out, knowing there was a book out there that desperately wanted me to write my name on it. It so happens that the date the awaiting book wanted scribbled on its first page was this previous, oh-so-gloomy Monday.

The venue for the launch of the event that's on every avid reader's calendar was La Cucina di Ciro – a cosy Italian restaurant in Parktown North. The setting couldn't have been more perfect. This is the kind of place where I want to bring my book on a weekend and have a long, decadent lunch while I read. Wine, canapés and thousands of books made me forget two things: 1. That it's a Monday and 2. The fact that it's the week before pay day and my bank account is in a tragic state.

I know many girls that get this feeling when they're at a shoe shop (I'm one of them), but the feeling of intoxication (No, I didn't drink the wine) that swept over me for the hour or so that I was going through the books, judging their covers, reading the summaries and secretly smelling the pages is the best high I've had in a while.

So if you're anything like me or if you're one of those people that has a sorry looking bookshelf, do yourself a favour and head to Exclusive Books. The Winter Sale starts on the 30 June and will go on for about three weeks. If you don't get there soon, you may find that other Fanatics and I have taken all the happiness off the shelves. Here's to books and the many adventures that lie ahead – on our couches, on our beds and everywhere else where we can get lost in words.

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Tue, 21 Jun 2011 12:00 +0200
Older Girls' Night Out http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/older-girls-night-out
Somewhere between the third glass of wine and a trip to the girls’ bathroom, someone silly ordered tequila. Luckily I have the sense not to drink this vile stuff, but that common sense doesn’t extend to turning down blow jobs – that being the shooter, of course. I recall making a phone call to my boyfriend, telling him I would be home soon – 'soon' being a relative term because then the birthday boy decided that clubbing was in order and while I would normally say no, something (the wine and the drinks with rude names?) made me say yes. This was despite the fact that I was wearing hardly any makeup and Ugg boots. Normally, going out like this would really bug me, but this night, nothing could stop my fun.

My next memory is of waking up in the morning, feeling like I’d been run over by a steam train. Luckily, the next memory made me burst out laughing, numbing my hangover pain, even just for a few seconds. Some of the flash-backs I had included kissing my friend Nick’s belly button (who knows why), giving the birthday boy a lap dance (in my weak defence, we all did), dancing like maniacs with my friends and kicking some people off their VIP table. It was the most fun I’d had in a long time. And the fact that it was impromptu made it even more special.

What I failed to notice while I was at the club was that my friends and I were the 'old ladies'; the ones who are under-dressed and don't care what people think. I remember judging those women some years ago - not understanding why they were in the club in sneakers, tattered jeans and no make-up while I was in heels, a freakum dress and a fully painted face. That boozy Friday night taught me that as you grow older you change. Now, I was on the other side of the spectrum. I was under-dressed because the night wasn’t planned, and part of the reason I was having so much fun was because I was no longer nearly as self-conscious as I used to be. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a closet full of freakum dresses, I just know that they have no connection whatsoever to the amount of fun an evening might hold.

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Thu, 09 Jun 2011 12:00 +0200
A Fight With Winter http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/a-fight-with-winter
Step one: honouring my eyebrow and hair appointments. Step two: signing up for boot camp. I've done this before and loved the results. I also loved meeting exercise buddies and the feeling that only an endorphin rush can give you. Previously, camp was done in summer so it wasn't that hard. I'd also signed up for an evening class, so all I had to do was pack my gym gear into my car and I'd zip there after work.

This time around, I've signed up for morning classes. Yes, I know: talk about self-sabotage. Since I have a date with Oprah at 5.30pm, going to camp after work is no longer feasible, but the problem with mornings is that a) I'm not a morning person, b) it is dark at 6am c) it's freezing at 6am d) my bed is really warm and comfortable. Hauling my unfit self to camp this week is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

Once I arrive at camp, I'm met with other women in layers of clothing looking about as miserable as I do. Knowing that I'm not alone in this struggle makes me feel better. This feeling lasts all of five minutes until we're made to run around the field for a warm-up. I run, but generally to the shops and my car and to the couch with my gin and dry lemon. This type of running doesn't affect a chest that has smoked too many cigarettes and a body that has done no exercise since December. Spluttering and breathing heavily, I manage to get through the hour-long session. I even manage to do the same the next day and the day after that.

Now, four days into boot camp I feel good. My thighs are sore, as are the backs of my arms, but I feel like I've achieved something. I've kept a promise to myself, and that's the best feeling of all. If I can conquer the monster that is morning boot camp and also manage not to become a bear this winter, I will have won a major personal battle. So here's to kicking the cold in the butt and coming out preened and toned by the time the summer sun makes a comeback.

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Thu, 02 Jun 2011 12:00 +0200
Date Night For One http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/date-night-for-one
This past weekend my boyfriend went off to Mozambique. While one part of me was, like, 'I don't want you to go, boo-hoo' another part of me was more, 'Woo-hoo, I've got a date with myself!' If anyone had tried to tell me that you could go on a date with yourself a few years ago, I would have scoffed. But now, a little older and wiser (and knowing the levels of annoyance soccer and X-Box can bring into one's life), I was ecstatic.

I spent Friday afternoon fantasising about what I was going to wear (pyjama pants and a T-shirt), what I was going to eat (carbonara pasta with extra chilli and a stiff gin) and what I was going to do (watch reality TV, read and paint my nails). Now this is all stuff I do regularly but, to do it alone, with no one else there watching, made it all the more wonderful.

As I shovelled down a third helping of pasta while watching Basketball Wives, I realised what it is about solo date night that is so appealing. When you're single and eating toasted cheese sandwiches alone in your PJs almost every night, the idea of going out with a guy is exciting. There's all the dressing up to do, followed by flirting and maybe even a delicious goodnight kiss at the end. When you're living with your boyfriend, all you want is a pyjama night by yourself. It's all about wanting what you don't have.

But, after two days of date night became date weekend, the thrill started to subside. I'd changed my nail polish twice, gone out with my girlfriends and watched endless episodes of Kim and Kourtney Take New York. When my boyfriend finally came home, I was very happy to have another type of date night. While still in my pyjamas, I was now sitting with my best friend and lover, hearing all about his adventures and telling him about mine. Maybe not as exciting as a first date, and not as self-indulgent as date night alone, but better than both put together.

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Thu, 26 May 2011 12:00 +0200
When In Cannes http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/when-in-cannes
Get your hands on the August issue of COSMOPOLITAN and find out what went down on the red carpet, who we met (and drooled over) and what to expect if you decide to plan a trip to the French Riviera. Trust us, it’s worth a visit. Just take a look at these snaps…


*A big thank you must go out to Glacéau Vitamin Water who sponsored us on this trip. You truly showed us a wonderful time!*

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Thu, 19 May 2011 12:00 +0200
The Road Less Travelled http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-road-less-travelled
The Strokes’ new album Angles is good.
I shared a lift with three-quarters of Die Heuwels Fantasties on the way down to Margate from King Shaka International Airport, a normally one-and-a-half-hour trip that took close on three due to traffic. Thankfully, the boys had brought along great music loot in the form of Angles, The Strokes’ latest offering. Rock-rich and rewarding, this album, while not their best, will reveal itself after a few listens.

…but all good things come to an end.
The album ended and we turned on the radio. Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ started playing and we all sang along. (Sidenote: Have you seen the movie Almost Famous, where a young writer for Rolling Stone magazine goes on tour with a '70s rock band? Remember the cool scene in the tour bus where they all start singing along to 'Tiny Dancer'? It was like that. Only so not. Whitney Houston is not cool. Neither are we, it would seem.)

Biker festivals feel like new-age Viking gatherings.

At least, at night they do. We arrived to a huge crowd of leather-wearing, beer-swigging, butt-slapping, loud-laughing revellers. A jovial, inoffensive bunch that were clearly enjoying the camaraderie of the clan gathering. There was little to do but join in. Which we did. Minus the butt slapping.

The revving of Harley engines in the morning isn’t the worst way to wake up.
If you haven’t gone to sleep 45 minutes before, that is.

The Harley Davidson crew sure know how to swag.
There are heaps of market stores that snake along the Margate beachfront where you can get absolutely anything to accessorise your bike, your look or your body. Being part of the Harley crew means being part of a clan - but not to the extent that your individuality is lost. How you dress your bike and yourself is what keeps you from becoming biker wallpaper.

There are hundreds of ways to wear a bandanna.

As a neck scarf, a head cover, a hair tie, a wristband….

Riding on the back of a Harley for the first time is exactly and nothing at all what you would expect.
You’ll likely give into the clichés and describe it as ‘exhilarating’ and ‘powerful’. Because that’s exactly what it is. I have no need for speed in my life, and have never actively sought out a ride on the back of anything, but I absolutely loved the half-hour trip I took sitting abreast a beast of a bike. Relinquishing control to an advanced rider, but never my tight hold around his waist, I kept my mind and eyes open as we made out way down the coast.

There’s value in the road less travelled.
Biker festivals are not the normal stomping ground for most of the COSMO sect. The crowd is slightly older, but are no less colourful than any other. They seem slightly harder but are the biggest softies you’ll meet. And while you’ll expect AC/DC to be blaring from their sound systems, it’s more likely you’ll hear Gaga. Expect the unexpected.

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Wed, 04 May 2011 12:00 +0200
Easter Fever http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/easter-fever
The weeks leading up to this much-needed break have been filled with work, work and more work. Admittedly, sometimes discussing different shades of nail polishes constitutes work, working in the COSMO office is fast-paced and guarantees that one seldom has a dull moment. And a mixture of the change of season, a heavy work-load and, of course, time-consuming holiday fantasies meant that the last two weeks have left me feeling exhausted – I imagine, not unlike most people in the world.

While daydreaming about my holiday, one of the highlights was switching off my Blackberry. No emails, no bbms, no noise. While I was still smiling at the thought of that, I realised that I better get everything done before my great escape. So, instead of sleeping in until my alarm screeched for the fifth time, I somehow mustered enough discipline and strength to wake up way before sunrise, make my way to the office and drink copious amounts of coffee while I worked. Usually this wouldn’t happen - extra work is usually done in the comfort of my pyjamas, so this was a huge leap for me.

Since all of this newfound disciplined was borne of holiday fantasies, I realised why this break is so important. Four months into the not-so-new year, we all need a bit of time to calm down and reflect. So much has happened since the first of January - a lot more than we give ourselves credit for. First of all we’ve managed to survive up until this point. Then, whether we realise it or not, we’ve grown in small but significant ways, whether it's been mastering the art of getting up earlier learning to change a tyre. And since we’ve grown, then we must (in the words of Charlie Sheen) be winning.

So as you celebrate Easter with your friends, family and those randoms that occasionally pop in during big holidays, give yourself a pat on the back – you’ve lived, laughed, cried, danced and left your print on the first quarter of 2011.

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Thu, 21 Apr 2011 12:00 +0200
The End Of a Love Affair http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-end-of-a-love-affair
Now that winter is around the corner, I feel it may be time to embark on a new relationship. This is very daunting because every year since I turned three (slight exaggeration perhaps) I’ve been depressed by this season. I morph from a fun-loving, smiling and eager-to-dress-up girl to a bear-creature who resembles a bag lady. There was a time when I justified my winter depression with monologues about my African heritage and how I was born for the sun. But the fact that I experience these winters in Africa ruins my theory somewhat, and makes me sound more than a little silly.

Now, as I head into my 27th winter, I’m hoping that years of experience and a bit of optimism will make this dreaded season less painful. I’m hoping that red wine, curry, lots of books and maybe a pretty coat or two will turn this winter into the comfortable stage of a relationship: that place where nights are spent under the covers watching re-runs and having lazy sex instead of the rush of making out for hours on end in restaurants. This may not be the most exciting part of a relationship, but it definitely isn’t an unpleasant one. With the right kind of movies, socks and boyfriend, this time can translate to lots of low-key fun.

So, as I collect bottles of red wine, the phone numbers of every curry restaurant within a 10km radius and a winter stash of books, I go into this season with a smile - maybe not a bright one but a smile nonetheless. I’m hoping that just this once I don’t become the sad version of myself that winter reduces me to. I’m hoping that I can wear eyeliner, shave my legs regularly and manage to not scare my boyfriend into thinking I’m about to commit suicide. So while I say goodbye to the sexy, fun lover that is summer, I say hello to my not-so-exciting but necessary man-friend - winter.

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Thu, 14 Apr 2011 12:00 +0200
Behind-The-Scenes Kinda Gal http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/behind-the-scenes-kinda-gal
But last week I had to be in front of the camera. Initially, I was excited: who doesn’t want professional pictures taken of themselves? For days I stalked Lilian, our Junior Fashion Editor, demanding to know exactly out what she planned to dress me in. I also promised to give her my first born-child if she made sure that I looked as skinny as possible and that I’d be in the tallest, most expensive shoes that she could lay her hands on. I even did a few sit-ups in the vain hope that months of non-stop pasta-eating would be rectified in a few days, and performed practice poses in front of the mirror. After all, how hard can it be really?

The big day arrived and I was still picturing myself striking my best model pose. After being in the make up chair for over 30 minutes, I headed to Lilian to see what my kit would be. There’s something almost sacred about beautiful clothes waiting for you to put them on. After trying a few options I had that moment where the heavens open up because you feel so freaking sexy.

But, when the time came to do the deed, the nerves kicked in with a vengeance. I was awkward up there. Gone were the wise-cracks and diva-esque attitude. Every time someone told me to smile, I wanted to cry. I tried explaining that I don’t quite like the way my nose crinkles when I smile. Then, I was told that I’m blinking too much, and the dress that made me feel super-sexy just minutes ago now made me feel like I was showing off too much booty. I remembered all the times when I rolled my eyes at girls that were struggling to smile, not realising that this stuff is hard work…and I don’t like standing in heels for longer than three minutes at a time.

Eventually I got into the swing of things, stopped trying to look perfect and focused more on having fun. I smiled because Lilian was making me laugh, posed because I knew there was a packet of hot chips waiting for me on the other end and I decided to be playful and make it fun because who knows when my next shoot will be? The final product was some pictures of me looking a very well-dressed crack-head with half open eyes, and others of me looking fun and fearless. All in all I had a blast, wore pretty clothes but I think I’ll go back to where I belong – behind the scenes with a slice of pizza in my hand.

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Thu, 07 Apr 2011 12:00 +0200
From Maputo With Love http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/from-maputo-with-love
Travelling is a staple on most people’s list of things they love to do. And travelling when you don’t have to pay for it is a bonus that comes around only so often and should be enjoyed to the max. I was recently invited to Mozambique to check out the newly refurbished Polana hotel. The hotel, which lies in the heart of Maputo, has been around since 1922 and, thanks to its beautiful architecture and modern face lift, has morphed into a luxurious haven in the midst of a bustling city full of rich culture.

We arrived in Maputo on a Friday evening and got straight to the business of having a good time. Since an evening without cocktails is a wasted evening, five other invitees and I took in the ocean views while sipping on Cosmos and Mojitos. Dinner was served in a separate dining room at Delagoa, making us feel extremely VIP. Our meal was prepared by 2* Michelin Chef Edouard Loubet. Since I’m not one to shy away from good food, I was delighted at the endless courses that arrived at our table. Never, in one sitting, have I eaten so many scrumptious dishes. By the time the trio of chocolate desserts came to our table, I felt compelled to take my belt off because I was too full to worry about whether my outfit still looked perfect. The dinner also gave us time to get to know each other – there’s something about the combo of good food and wine that makes everyone eager to mingle.

After a few more cocktails, most of us were ready to head back to our rooms, a charming mixture of colonial décor and luxurious modern touches. Our over-fed bellies made us sleep soundly, surrounded by the thick air that sensually envelopes the city of Maputo... bliss.

WHIRLWIND SATURDAY
Saturday morning was a rush of activity as we were given a tour of the city. Maputo’s architecture makes you feel like you’re in another era. One of my favourite tour stops was the weekly market. The Dana Tour bus made us immediate targets at the Mercado do Povo because, at a marketplace, everyone loves tourists. Being swarmed by boys and men and boys, all promising to give me a discount, didn’t phase me – the prospect of shopping made this market the most interesting place on earth. Considering that it was over 30 degrees outside, walking around and looking at different artefacts, jewellery and African cloths made our skins glow and become a shade darker – I felt like I’d been away from Jo’burg for much longer than a day.

After we’d negotiated our way past earrings and handbags, paintings and fabrics, we made our way to museums and other popular tourist sites. One of the things that stood out through our daytime travels was that no matter how packed or how dingy some of the places were, I always felt safe. The salesmen (even though they came in groups) always had a friendly, non-threatening way about them. For a moment it made me sad to think about how much of a mental game plan I have to adopt when travelling around the streets of downtown Jozi. In Maputo, there was no need to always be checking my bag to see if my wallet was still there.

When we eventually got back to our hotel, famished and satisfied with our sightseeing, we headed to the Aquarius Sushi Terrace at the Polana. We were served the freshest sushi I’ve ever eaten and, after going through various platters, we spent hours enjoying the giant swimming pool at the hotel. Girl-talk and cocktails took centre stage as we allowed our bodies to fully relax.

After hours at the pool it was time to eat (again!), put on our highest heels and check out the nightlife of Maputo. We were warned that most clubs don’t close until 10am because if there’s one thing Mozambicans have perfected (aside from great hospitality and the best seafood ever) it’s partying.

UNTIL THE WITCHING HOUR

Our first stop was a club called Kampfumo. Located at the CFM train station, this club is a melting pot of age groups, races and as many genres of music as you can imagine. Armed with drinks and the desire to see how the Mozambicans party, we hit the dance floor and found ourselves shimmying with locals and tourists wearing all the local fashion. When the DJ played some Malaika hits, the South Africans came to life. The impeccably styled David Tlale got the crowd dancing and the excitement levels went up a few notches. After a few hours at Kampfumo, we moved to where the cool kids of Maputo hang out, the Ice Bar. This club was reminiscent of many high-end Johannesburg clubs: no flat shoes, and lots of sleek-looking women wearing the shortest of designer dresses. The major difference was that the Mozambican girls take over the dance-floor, and their short dresses don’t stop them performing some of the most sexual dance moves I’ve ever seen. After about an hour of just staring at these mesmerising women, we simply had to join in.

The party moved downstairs to another club, The Lounge, and it was as if we’d moved to a completely different place. The dress code was laid-back, the music was up-tempo dance and an empty pool was the most popular chilling spot. A few cocktails made it very easy for us to join in the fun. Hours whizzed by and it was 5am before we knew it. The club was showing no signs of slowing down and some people were still coming in. I realised that I’m not quite the party animal I used to be, and eventually retreated to bed.

PAMPER FEST
Sunday required downtime and, luckily for us, the Polana has a spa. We went to the Maisha Spa and for the first time I got a full body massage from a man. Before this experience I’d heard people speaking about ‘happy endings’ and all sorts of other dodgy things that happen when massages are given by people of the opposite sex. That wasn’t enough to deter me though because really, who doesn’t want a fully-body rub-down from a pair of nice, manly arms?

I stripped down and lay there feeling a tad self-consciousness. The man was doing his job, but when someone has their man hands on your bum, it’s hard not to feel a bit weird. I eventually succumbed to the good feelings and didn’t even flinch when it was time for me to turn over, exposed breasts and all. I felt relaxed and just a little bit naughty by the time I took a cab to a restaurant called Casa Da Sol.

The cab drive reminded me of Johannesburg in that the driver was trying to rob us blind. Little did he know that living in Jo’burg for 27 years will make you a tough customer. The streets of Maputo were more packed than they were on Saturday. People were hanging out along the beach front, some selling food, others blaring music from their boots. There was a festive mood in the air and, according to the locals this is what every Sunday is like.

After eating an assortment of fresh seafood served with a peri-peri sauce that puts Nandos to shame, it was time to head back to the hotel. A new friend and I had a hard time finding a cab, so our Jo’burg 'hustler spirit' made us quite excited at the prospect of finding a random taxi to drive us back – at a price, of course. He was playing Durban kwaito in his car which was really exciting. If SA culture is making its way to Maputo, maybe the gentleness of the Mozambican culture could find its way over here too...

This place, that made me fall in love in under 72 hours, is paradise. Not in the traditional sense of pure luxury but because of the ambience of the whole city. Feeling carefree and being safe are a huge part of going away on holiday. Mozambique offers both of these together with the twist of a different culture and atmosphere. The entire time I was there, I thought of how I need to come back with my boyfriend. I also thought about how a girls’ weekend away to Moz would leave even the most jaded of Jo’burg sisters feeling light, free and in love with a brand-new African city.

P.S. Thank you to 1Time for taking us to Maputo and back in one piece and with as little drama as possible!

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Thu, 31 Mar 2011 12:00 +0200
A Room With a View http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/a-room-with-a-view
For Capetonians, this might not seem like an idea worth writing about, as any beach is a sand grain’s throw away from most areas. But there’s a big difference between neon bikinis and ice-cream men on Clifton Fourth and a quiet night away (or not so quiet – Penguins, as we discovered, are surprisingly loud) on Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town. Still, a bit of squawking aside, few things are more relaxing than a night away at the seaside.

At 6pm on a Friday, after a hard week of work, the idea of getting back into the car and setting off on a long drive was daunting, and I could feel my urge to complain looming all too quickly. But as soon as we left the city, the stress of the week’s toils floated straight out of the sunroof, and once we arrived (think: clear blue waters, sunset, waddling penguins and a room with a view) stress soon became a thing of the past. Add a candlelit seafood platter and the beauty of the Boulders Beach Lodge into the mix and you’re set for a night of pure bliss.

And that’s all it takes, girls - a little bit of chilling to put everything back into perspective. It doesn’t matter if it’s 50 or 500 kilometres away, sometimes you just need a quick escape and a long breath of fresh sea air to remind you to relax, switch off your phone, stay away from your Wall and leave the tweeting to the birds (or penguins). I know getting away is not what our bank balances like to hear, but, surely we can sacrifice a weekend of card-swiping partying for a night of hotel bliss? It doesn’t matter where you live in this beautiful country of ours, bliss (and a little relaxation) really is only a drive away.

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Tue, 29 Mar 2011 12:00 +0200
Summer On My Hips http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/summer-on-my-hips
Last winter I went on a huge mission to be thin and svelte in time for summer. Painful weeks of a carb-free existence and dedication to my exercise routine worked out, and by September I was confident, lump-free and ready for summer. The last three months were filled with shorts, mini-skirts and vests - all worn with reckless abandon because I felt so good. I vowed that, never again, would those last few kilograms haunt me and make me feel anything short of fabulous.

Then December happened – carbs snuck back into my life (come on - who can resist a good pasta dish when on holiday), gin at midday became something I looked forward to after my sizable brunch, and (again) I started nibbling the chips off my boyfriend’s plate. Then I came back from our holiday, and the residue of holiday love made me want to make roast and potatoes for dinner. I didn’t stress, though, because I knew that once January rolled around, I would be back to being my disciplined, carb-free self. And since holiday-sex was part of my holiday cheer I figured I’d found a great way to keep the bulges at bay.

So, January rolled around and I was back at work. We now had a new office, one with a cheap cafeteria downstairs. Chicken breasts were replaced with burgers and chips, water replaced with Crème Soda (got to get some greens in the diet) and midday sex replaced by midday deadlines. Luckily, my new body was still fairly intact.

My jeans were getting tighter by February, but I liked it. I felt like a sexy and curvy Aphrodite-type goddess. A little bit soft, a little bit round, but still in good shape. If I was smart, that would have been a good time to stop - but I didn’t.

Now, it’s the end of summer - my jeans don’t fit, the curves are morphing into bulges and I’m eating vanilla Oreos as I type this. But, instead of feeling of sadness and shame, I feel happy – this was, by far, one of my best summers ever, and if I ever need a reminder, it's right here on my hips.

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Thu, 17 Mar 2011 12:00 +0200
Love In The City http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/love-in-the-city
My boyfriend and I recently went to go watch the final performance of History - This Is It, a tribute to Michael Jackson, at the Johannesburg Theatre. I was expecting a laid-back afternoon, followed by a fast drive home to be on time for American Idol. But when my uncle and his wife called to cancel at the last minute, I found myself stuck with two extra tickets and not enough time to call up other friends to join us. So I had an idea: since it was February and the month of love and giving, I decided I would find a couple on the street and surprise them with free tickets. Great idea, right? Well...

Off to the theatre we went. I’ve dreamt of having an Oprah moment for years, where one day I stand in a room full of deserving people and say ‘You get a car - and you, and you and you, whoop!’ This felt almost like that. ‘You get a ticket and you get a ticket,’ seemed like something really nice to do. The park next door was sprinkled with couples and students, so I figured I was bound to find people who'd be keen on a freebie show. My boyfriend was not at all keen on the idea of me approaching complete strangers and offering them tickets. ‘They might think you’re creepy,’ he insisted. But I shrugged him off, thinking that I would love it if a stranger approached me with free tickets to a show.

The first couple I approached cringed before I even opened my mouth. When I finally delivered my monologue, the woman scowled meanly and said, ‘No!’ That’s the moment that I remembered: ‘Oh gosh, this is Jo’burg in 2011. Where people get mugged in parks, women wielding theatre tickets might actually be serial killers, or worse - a girl on the prowl on Valentine's month.’ I went back to my boyfriend and asked him to come with me this time so that couples didn’t think I was some weirdo trying to be the third party in their relationship. After a series of couples, several no’s, why’s and confused looks, I was getting tired of this giving-away business. Why couldn't people just accept that sometimes someone wants to give you something; not because they want anything but just because they can?

Just before my heart felt like it was about to break, couple number five (the woman was wearing a red top – a sign?) agreed. Actually, they were delighted. They’d not seen the show and, in fact, she had never been to the theatre in her life. We gave them their tickets and when they joined us at our seats, tickets in hand and smiles firmly planted on their faces, something clicked for me. All those hello's that go ignored are worth it if there will be just one person who really needed your hello that day. So maybe my ticket act wasn’t the norm for people living in the jaded big city, but it was enough to make one couple happy, even for just a few hours. That’s what love is all about isn’t it?

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Tue, 22 Feb 2011 12:00 +0200
Hello, Neighbour Boy! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/hello-neighbour-boy
A Fine Mess

Life with Sarah has its pros and cons. On the one hand, it's nice to have someone to come home to and eat dinner and watch movies with. On the other hand, she's a slob and, like some sort of primordial ooze, her mess is extending outward and slowly moving into my space. It's driving me freaking crazy.

When I got home from work tonight, Sarah was out. She had obviously been cooking, as the kitchen looked like it had been hit by a bomb. Not wanting to deal with the mess right away, I headed back out for a slice of pizza. When I returned, Neighbour Boy was sitting on the stoop, also eating pizza.

'Wanna join me?' he laughed, dimple appearing on his right cheek. I smiled, sat down, and took my slice out of the bag.

'Not how I envisioned our first dinner date,' he said, smirking.

If I didn't have such a raging crush on the guy, I might have been angry at him for flirting with me even though he has a girlfriend. But since I can't help but melt around him, I sat on the stoop for the better part of an hour, shivering in the cold night air and chatting about any inane thing I could think of. I don't know for sure, but I think he was shivering under that coat too...

Black Thursday
If there were one holiday I could abolish, it would be Valentine's Day. I spent my workday going from wedding to wedding, shooting happy brides and grooms exchanging vows, mothers sniffling, and big cakes being cut. Joy.

By the end of the day, I was jaded and miserable. I decided to go home, watch a bad made-for-TV movie or two with Sarah, and shove chocolate in my face. As I walked into my building, Neighbour Boy was walking out. With Ashley, his girlfriend. They were dressed up and laughing about something.

'Hi,' he said, awkwardly. 'You remember Ashley.'

'Hi,' I said with all the fake cheeriness I could muster. 'Happy Valentines Day! Well, I better go.... I'm running late.'

'Hot date?' Neighbour Boy asked.

'Something like that,' I lied, thinking, hot date with my TV. I scurried away. When I got into the apartment, I found a heart-shaped box of chocolate and a note from Sarah. 'Hi! I'm on a date. Don't wait up. Happy V Day! XOXO!' If there's a silver lining; it's that now I have some chocolate. Positive thinking, positive thinking, positive thinking…

Knock Knock
A little after 9pm the other night, my doorbell rang. Sarah was out. I looked through the peephole. Neighbour Boy! He had on jeans and a green hoodie and looked adorable.
'Hi,' I said, opening the door. 'Need to borrow some sugar?'

'ActualIy,' he said, 'I hadn't thought out exactly what I was going to do when you opened the door. Can I come in?'

'Um...' I started to say.

'I broke up with Ashley,' he said.

My heart did a backflip, and I nodded. The second I closed the door behind him, he grabbed me on both sides of my face and kissed me. I sank back into the door, and he sank with me. My hands found their way into his curly hair, his mouth found its way onto my neck, and for what was probably close to half an hour, we devoured each other in my doorway.

'Now that,' he said when we finally came up for air, 'is something I've wanted to do since I came around the corner two months ago and knocked you over.'

'Me too.'

'Can I do it again?'

'Definitely.' And he did. All night long.

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Fri, 04 Feb 2011 12:00 +0200
A Night To Remember http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/a-night-to-remember
On Thursday I headed to Randlords in Braamfontein - all by myself because the invitations clearly stated that no dates were allowed. Randlords, as Joburgers know, is notorious for its glamorous chic-ness and breath-taking views of the city. In true form, the party's hostesses were clad in LBDs and big smiles as they offered guests a whiff of the new Carolina Herrera fragrance.

Happily, luck was on my side as I bumped into some of my friends, and the event instantly turned into a fun girls' night out. After taking pictures and having our glasses filled with delicious cocktails, we mingled. I’ve always been fascinated by the fake air-kisses that seem mandatory to socialites. It just doesn't make sense to waste a kiss (even if it’s an air one) on someone you hardly know - and possibly don’t even like. This is probably the reason I’m more of a flea- market-and-gin-and-tonic than a champagne-and-air-kisses girl but, weird rituals aside, I was happy to be there.

We were led upstairs where a presentation, snacks and a cash bar were offered to Jozi’s beauty editors, journalists,TV personalities and professional party-goers. It’s not often that people adhere to the dress code, but I have to say that 90% of those in attendance came looking extremely glam. After an hour or so of small- talk and socialising, DJ Euphonik took over the decks and even those that are averse to dancing ended up making their way to the dance floor.

The combo of great music and an open bar meant that inhibitions were shed and new friendships forged. When feet strapped into sexy high heels started complaining that enough was enough, everyone headed home. Goodie bags that had everyone smiling were the perfect ending to a well-organised and exciting event. By the time the clock struck midnight, it had been a great night and we were more than ready to turn into expensive-smelling pumpkins.

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Tue, 08 Feb 2011 12:00 +0200
Cougar Town http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cougar-town The Cougar… David Attenborough-style
* Kingdom: Animalia
* Phylum: Chordata
* Class: Mammalia
* Sub-species: Demi Moore

This adaptable species is found in bars, pubs, on dating sites and on nightclub couches. This cunning stalk-and-ambush predator pursues younger men (preferably at least 10 years younger) and lures prey with the aid of camouflage (Botox) which helps it blend into social environments usually reserved for those born after 1979.

The lure of the Cougar lies in their solitary nature (they are elusive with their prey refraining from bombarding it with SMSes and too busy with their own lives to drop everything and mate on many given days). Add that to an ass that can wear gold, pleather and hot pants, and the prey doesn't stand a chance.

It's All Fun and Games… Until Someone Acts Their Age

I myself once dabbled as a Cougar (although he wasn't a Spanish supermodel) so, as a massive authority on the subject, I feel I should tell you this cautionary tale…

It's fun to play the older woman. Even your sagest of sex moves will elicit wow and slack-jawed awe. His friends will all want to meet you: you're sexy – a novelty. Take him out for dinner and watch him try to pay. Ain't he cute! But, at some point, the shiny newness of your toy boy wears off… And it's not so fun. This may occur when you realise his relationship maturity is dog years behind yours and marriage isn't on the cards until 2043. Or, in my case, when you reach into the pocket of his pyjama pants with a cheeky grin and find… His retainer inside.

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Tue, 25 Jan 2011 12:00 +0200
The Many Faces of Jo'burg http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-many-faces-of-joburg
I went to the newly launched Market on Main with no real idea of what to expect, but excited nonetheless. What I found there is a new sub-culture that the city has been craving for a while. The market is made up of stalls filled with vintage clothes, designer clothes, treats to please even the fussiest palates and an eclectic mixture of the city's glamorous arty crowd. The lawn was filled with people eating delicious-looking food purchased from stalls and restaurants, a few surprisingly well-behaved children ran around and there was live music from RJ Benjamin and Pebbles. In a nutshell, it was the city like I’d never seen it before. If you can imagine creativity being various colours, then the Market on Main is the brightest rainbow you’ve ever seen.

After getting my pennies together I walked out with a vintage belt, a designer dress from Loincloth and Ashes on order and a tummy full of wine and tasty, homemade bread. It looks like I’ve finally found a spot worth trading pyjama Sundays for.

This charmingly laid-back Sunday ushered me into the week feeling calm and ready to take on new challenges. The COSMO Sexiest Man event was due and there’s something about half-naked, good-looking men that makes it worth the effort of donning make-up and doing some schmoozing.

My friends and I headed to the Oxford excited and ready to party and, in true COSMO style, the event didn’t disappoint. Pink shooters and chocolate greeted us at the door. Bonang Matheba was the host for the evening and she did a stellar job at putting our sexy men at ease. After strutting their stuff and being brave enough to withstand cat-calls and kisses being blown at them, the winner was announced. It looks like Gregg Hammond had most girls hoping to be Mrs January - and his mother was possibly the most excited of us all.

I personally had (and still have) a thing for Mr June – Frederico Fernandez. In my many years of man-watching as a favourite hobby, I’ve never come across such intense sex appeal. Once we’d soaked in all the perving we could take, we swiftly moved to the dance floor and let loose.

The combo of local creativity and local sexiness, all in the space of five days, made the last week of January exciting. Let’s hope the weeks that follow don’t fall short. Here’s to celebrating Jo’burg with its different faces and fun options for a COSMO girl.

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Tue, 01 Feb 2011 12:00 +0200
Guys Wide Shut http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/guys-wide-shut Going Home Alone
'He's either a massive freak or he doesn't like me… I don't know which is worse.' These words were spoken to me by a friend after her first date with 'The Rugby Guy.' They have a great time, so she asked him back to her place… he said 'not tonight' and called a taxi.

'Now he either thinks I sleep with guys on the first date, which I don't usually, or he's just not attracted to me. What kind of guy doesn't come back to your place?!' she wailed over the phone.

There was a hopeful silence… I decided to give TRG the benefit of the doubt. 'A gentleman,' I answered.

'Bullsh*t,' she said.

The Blame Game
When a guy won't give it up, we fault ourselves. The act of keeping his pants on lays bare our insecurities. What did I do? What did I say? What's wrong with me? We overanalyse, repressing the memory of men we've been attracted to, yet knocked back with gusto.

Guys Who Say No

To prevent TRG's frigidity from shattering my friend's fragile confidence, I did a little research. Here, tales of women who survived the ego slap:

'I'd been seeing Luca for three weeks. One night I went to his house after a friend's birthday drinks. It would be the first time we'd had sex… except he wasn't into it! I was mortified. The next day he told me I was so drunk I was resting the full weight of my head on his face while kissing him. He just wanted me to know what I was doing. Two years later, we're getting married!'

'A friend of mind went on a date… and she asked him back to her place. But, when they got to her apartment, he ran off into the night. She was devastated. The next day he sent her flowers. It turns out he's a primary school teacher and he didn't want to be late for work or offend her by leaving at 5am.'

'This happening to me… at first I was upset, because I thought that I must have done something wrong, but it turned out he was a virgin – a whole new predicament…'

See honey, maybe TRG's a part-time teacher, or a virgin! Or perhaps he truly is a gentleman… did he pay for the drinks?

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Mon, 24 Jan 2011 12:00 +0200
Frisky Finance http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/frisky-finance Cheap Sex – The Good Kind!
They can take our jobs, they can take our house, but they'll never take our orgasm! This is our defiant cry as we tackle the credit crunch head on, armed with nothing but a condom and a horny spirit… Huh? A British survey revealed that sex was the most popular free activity in these times of financial crisis - ahead of window shopping and gossiping. Oh…

Relieving the Financial Pressure
Sex in a time of crisis… it's not exactly new. Emergency sex in war zones is a standard movie plot. Bombs are dropping all around, the last of the medical supplies are dwindling, the world as you know it is falling apart. When disaster strikes we turn to the one we love to comfort us… or at least the one within arm's reach.

Replace bombs with the South African Rand, medical supplies with superannuation and the world as you know it with the JSE, and you've pretty much got the situation we're in now. Nothing to do but don your naughty nurse's uniform and straddle the nearest soldier! And if you find yourself alone on the front line? Don't worry - you're not. Adult shops are experiencing a sales surge worldwide.

Why are we so uptight when times are tight? Well, I'm not an economist (thank God, or I'd be out of a job), but recession sex is fun, free and literally a way to feel good when your bank balance is really, really bad. So, will you swap your Friday night cocktails for takeaway Thai, a DVD and woman on top?

Singles Get Ripped Off

Hang on a minute… it's all well and good if you've got a significant other you can bonk on a budget - but what about the cost of sex for the singletons out there?

THE URBAN DATING EQUATION:

Bikini wax (standard sexual investment) - R250
Dinner (because, really, a girl still expects a date) R250
Booze (seriously, would you give it up sober?) R150
Taxi fare (if you can't face the walk of shame) R150
Total cost of sex: R800
Having a long-term partner so you don't have to fork out for any of the above? Priceless.

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Wed, 15 Dec 2010 12:00 +0200
Premature Experimentation http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/premature-experimentation You're Not Serious! Yes, I Am
Riddle me this: Why would a virile young man decide to pop a Viagra on a Sunday night and rock up to the house of his lady friend… especially when he's only known her for two weeks, and the sparks are still flying?

Stumped? Me too. But this is exactly what one of my guy friends has been up to recently. I call it 'premature experimentation'. Surely he can't be that bored yet?

Too Much, Too Soon
I asked my significant other why our friend would so hastily choose to spice things up in the bedroom? He too is vexed, and chalks it up to friend's giddiness at finally getting some action after weathering a dry spell severe enough to rival the Sahara Desert.

I can appreciate the enthusiasm, but who needs Viagra in the honeymoon phase of their hook-up? That's greedy. What is he going to do when the relationship clocks up three weeks? Surely, to keep our libido from tiring we must leave some uncharted sexual territory?

Cranky!
I'm putting myself in my friend's new girlfriend's Jimmy Choos - what would my reaction be if a new guy who I'd shagged, oh, maybe three or four times, darkened my doorstep on a Sunday night packing V? Slam! Not only is this premature experimentation an insult to intimacy, but Sundays are for organising - not attempting to break the Guinness World Record for Sabbath orgasms. I mean seriously, there are gym bags to pack, brown rice to cook and things to hand-wash because you forgot to get them dry-cleaned.

Call Me a Prude…

But what do you guys think? Should we say to hell with pacing ourselves in the sack and instead get all of our (metaphorical) cards on the (metaphorical) table immediately, saving no surprises for later? I mean, I'm just saying two weeks is a little too soon to get freaky. And surely 30 years old is about 30 years too soon to drop a vitamin V?

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Wed, 15 Dec 2010 12:00 +0200
In The Name of Sex http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/in-the-name-of-sex The Things We Do for Sex
Yesterday my partner bought me two new pairs of yoga pants. Nice ones. If a dress-code should ever require it, I now own items befitting of track chic. Smacked him a little kiss in the shop to say thanks for my pressie, to which he replied, 'No worries, just throw out those bloody flannels and wear these to bed please. They're killing me.'

Um, sure. Flannels. Throw out. Yip, cool. Will do. And while I'm doing that, wearing my new pants, I'll try not to trip over the STRINGS ATTACHED! Who knew the blue-and- white polka-dot PJs I'd so thriftily obtained in aisle five of the supermarket would have such a profound effect on my sex life? Not me, apparently.

Like a Candle in the Wind
Unceremoniously stuffed offending flannels in the kitchen bin this morning then stormed off to work. Coffee first. Bumped into a girlfriend at the cafe and got chatting about her weekend. 'I met a guy!' she screeched above the sound of grinding beans. Ohhh - distraction! Where, how, when!? She turned down the volume a bit: 'You know that older guy, a friend of a friend? I was at my local bar and someone brought him along. We had serious flirtation. Then he asked us all back to his place for drinks! Said I'd meet them there - grabbed my bag, bolted back to my place, waxed my bikini line and took a taxi to his place in 45 minutes flat…hee hee!'

There I stood, skinny latte in hand, experiencing a major reality check. I'd been bitter about the fact my favourite jarmies were now covered in bin juice, but clearly I was one of the lucky ones. There were women out there enduring public transport mercy dashes and drunken home-waxing for the good of their sex lives. How could I compete with that?

Oh, and Another Thing…
I know what you're thinking. Yoga pants? Well, maybe your boyfriend buys you leopard-print G-strings. To each their own, I say. I'm comfy - don't judge!

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Fri, 10 Dec 2010 12:00 +0200
Kardashian Kraze http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/kardashian-kraze
I’m an avid fan and, since I watch the show so often, my boyfriend has been brainwashed into knowing the characters and he agrees that Scott is possibly the biggest douche-bag in the history of television. It looks like the rest of the country likes these girls even more than I do, and that was evident when the Kardashian Kraze broke out.

Kim and Khloe were here for the Brutal Fruit Cheeky Cranberry launch. This was the second round of parties to celebrate the new flavour, and everyone in town was clamouring for invitations. The event seemed like the only thing that people could speak about on twitter; so, the Kardashian Kraze went digital too.

When the night of the event eventually came around, I headed out to The Rand Club in downtown Jozi where pink was the order of the day. The venue is plush, and has a seductive air of decadence, while the dress-code was chic with a touch of pink, and most people came dressed to the nines. It’s amazing that heels, brand new outfit and newly coiffed hair did nothing to stop people from pushing and shoving to get a glimpse of the Kardashians. Cameras were flashing, girls and guys were screaming, and most people’s inner groupie was tellingly revealed.

After a short speech and a car giveaway, the Kardashians retreated into their VIP area. Many fans were basically offering to their first-born children just to get a picture, and many were disappointed when the girls sat with their backs to the crowd. Kim was on her phone most of them time, but Khloe was a bit better, smiling, dancing and interacting with her fans. Many fans were left with their hearts broken because their reality TV heroines weren’t as engaging as they’d hoped (I’m not sure what they were expecting). My take is this: if you watch the show you’d know that these girls are pretty self-absorbed, so expecting them to go beyond the call of duty (which was just showing face) was unrealistic.

The rest of us danced the night away thanks to the awesome DJs, and at the end of the night, my friend and I left with sore feet and happy hearts. Others left with long faces and rantings on Twitter. All in all, this was the perfect party to cap off a year full of parties.

Now my heels are being pushed to the back of the closet, my make-up bag is being stashed away (every girl’s face needs a break), and my party-girl spirit is being traded in for my Zen-spirit: while you party away, I will be meditating away. Fret not though, 2011 is bound to be even bigger and better. Let’s toast to a good year.

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Mon, 20 Dec 2010 12:00 +0200
The Day Soundclash Changed My Life http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-day-soundclash-changed-my-life
This year’s Soundclash featured two very popular and talented bands – Gazelle and Die Heuwels Fantasties. I didn’t know very much about either band, but that’s what made it all the more exciting. The year before was The Dirty Skirts and Tumi and the Volume, so I'd gone in with a preference and expectations. Sometimes, it's best to be surprised.

We landed in hot and humid Durban weather and headed straight to the beautiful Suncoast Casino Hotel. The concept of having a hotel right next to a shopping centre is one that appeals to me because who doesn’t want to dash from their room to a shop to pick up shoes? On my various trips to the mall I realised that fashion can be very city-specific. I spotted several matric-dance-inspired dresses and a lot of gold – in people's mouths!

After an afternoon of meeting the bands and drinking copious amounts of Red Bull, it was time for the show. The outdoor venue had two stages and a microphone in between the stages to measures the crowd response because it's us who decides who wins.

Ready D was in charge of getting the crowds in the mood for a good time, and he was the ‘musical referee’ for the night. The competition started with the band doing their version of Eddie Grant’s 'Electric Avenue'. Both bands created a unique sound, and the energy was electrifying as the crowds sang along. In the end the crowd decided that Gazelle was the best.

For the second round, the bands had mastered each other's tracks and again the crowd was awed by Gazelle. DJ Ready D made the third round particularly interesting: the bands were forced out of their comfort zones and had to do songs in hip-hop, country and dub-step genres. The crowd was going wild and I, who has never really been into any kind of rock music, was going insane myself. I realised that music isn’t about what you prefer, especially when it’s live; it’s about the energy, and the bands were giving us so much of their creative energy that we couldn’t help but be swept up by the wave.

In the end, Gazelle won the overall competition. Their unique style of music plus their playful and proudly South Africa theatrics on stage (think sangomas and an invisible DJ) are unlike anything we'd seen or heard before.

Post-Soundclash, we partied until the sun came up. While any sane person would have assumed that this was the end of the festivities, we decided that sanity was overrated at this time of the year. We hung out by the pool with band- members, and at about 4.30am decided that going to the beach was a pretty fantastic idea. Frolicking in the sea and sand without a care in the world, I decided that if this is the rock-star lifestyle, then I want in!

We headed back to the hotel and still there was no desire to sleep (I blame the Red Bull) so we stayed by the pool and had conversations about everything under the sun. When the breakfast rush started, we received odd stares from the ‘sane’ people that had slept, showered and were going to be having a dignified breakfast while we ate with wet clothes and day-old mascara. The 'insane crowd' stayed in this state until it was time to catch our flight, Durban had its way with us and we loved it.

Soundclash turned out to be the perfect mixture of music, food, new friendships and freedom. I couldn’t have thought of a better to bid an early goodbye partying in 2010.

Take a look at what went down at this year's Soundclash...



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Thu, 09 Dec 2010 12:00 +0200
The Weekend Stand http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-weekend-stand The Weekend Stand
There I was, sitting in my office earlier today, typing something, when in pops my good friend for a chat. I assume she's here to discuss our faux plans to go to the gym, but no, today she has sweaty news of a far more interesting kind. Yes, you smelled it - sex!
She had lots! With a guy she met on a night out. A one-night stand, you might ask? Oh no: she stayed at his house all weekend! Yes, days! AM and PM times two. Had to cut sordid tell-all short to go to meeting. Attempting to acquire greater detail. Will report back.

Miracle Tea
Called her into my office this morning under guise of work and put on business-looking glasses to divert passers-by. Now, please tell me about the sex! My friend spilled the details while I simultaneously Googled His Horniness. He was hot, of course. What ugly guy has an arousing effect the morning after the night before? But that alone didn't satisfy my curiosity. Yes, I know what you're wondering - I just had to find out too. During the 48-hour sex-athon, what the hell did they eat? Thai food? Pizza? Home delivery? 'Um, nothing,' she replied, with a shrug. 'Oh wait, hang on, we had a cup of tea.' Tea? Yes, just the regular stuff. Who knew you could exist for a weekend on a diet of sex and diluted caffeine?

Why?

Forgot to say, after she finally left they never spoke again. No number exchange - simply thanks and see you never. Typical one-night stand behaviour - nothing unusual there. But, I asked her, didn't you find you'd established more of a connection after a whole weekend together? Her response: 'It was what it was and l needed that.' Typical one-night stand summation, which begs the conclusion that the weekend stand does not fundamentally differ from its one-night counterpart. At the end of the day (or night, or in this case, weekend) we're simply a savvy consumer society. Is this just another way to get more bang for your buck?

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Tue, 07 Dec 2010 12:00 +0200
Legendary Nites http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/legendary-nites
The event fell on the same night as the opening of Surreal Eco Boutique Hotel in Bryanston. I tapped into my go-everywhere powers and headed to the hotel with no real expectations. We walked into what I've heard referred to as 'green paradise', just a few minutes from Sandton. You know that feeling you get when you drive out of the city and realise that you feel free – that’s what Surreal instantly does to you. The 100% green hotel not only has the most luxurious rooms but the food is made by a chef who is also a herbalist – can it get any healthier? We lounged outdoors sipping on drinks and tasting as many culinary creations as possible – a girl needs a lot of energy for the night I had ahead of me!

A quick change of clothes and a touch of make up later, my friend Vanessa and I happily headed to Moyo, but when we walked in we realised that everybody and their mother also wanted to see Thandiswa’s performance.

One of the pleasures of a superb nights out is being able to spot hot men that we wouldn’t normally see. In the hustle and bustle of the city, all the hot men seem to be hiding behind office doors, so a sighting has become an almost miraculous event. Before we had even walked the whole room, we spotted a cutie – it was going to be a great night. We marched right to the front, not wanting to miss a thing. Except, again, everyone had the same idea. Groups of men and women kept on standing in front of us! Manners seem to be the last thing on people’s minds when they are dancing to hip-hop beats and waiting on Miss Mazwai to get on stage!

When she finally arrived on stage, Thandiswa displayed not only her talent but an amazing aura of power, and real thought had gone into her vocals. There isn’t a single watered-down pop-like song on her repertoire and, judging by the claps, screams and number of voices singing along, everyone was enchanted.

As though her great performance was not enough, Simphiwe Dana, another well- loved musician, joined her on stage for an impromptu performance. Looking around I saw people on the verge of tears, not believing that they were sharing in this moment. Calls for an encore were not ignored and even those that weren't fans left converted.

After the show, people were in a daze, undoubtedly going home to relive the show in their heads. We chose to stay and indulge in old-school kwaito and hip-hop beats courtesy of DJ 1D and Ken hero. The beats brought other sexy delights that only seem to make an appearance when the sun sets. Dancing, laughter and the sighting of a sexy man in a white shirt left my friend and I thoroughly satisfied and happy to store the memory as a night definitely worth remembering.

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Thu, 02 Dec 2010 12:00 +0200
Have You Got VBD? http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/have-you-got-vbd
Not long ago, such behaviour would have been seen as extremely rude, but we now live in a world where everyone feels justified in putting their own needs first. It's perfectly common for guests to ask for a drink that isn't being offered, or for variations on the food you're serving - even alterations to the air-con, lighting or music. If you make a date with a girlfriend, she'll think nothing of postponing it if something more important comes up - or just because she's tired. You could put all this down to a crisis in manners, but these aren't just examples of thoughtless behaviour - they're all driven by the same desperate impulse to be the absolute masters of our own destinies.

The poster girl for such control freakery is, of course, Victoria Beckham, who stage-manages every detail of her life, from her coordinated Hermès Kelly bags to her social schedule. And though we laugh at the lengths to which she's prepared to go in pursuit of total control, the truth is, we're all suffering from a nasty dose of Victoria Beckham Disorder (VBD)… but to a lesser degree.

It wasn't so long ago that being labelled a control freak was an insult. But then 'controlling' turned into 'super-stressed' and almost became a badge of honour. Now, people don't mind being seen as inflexible and demanding, because it suggests a certain purpose, and because we equate getting our own way with power and success. We look to successful celebs like Beckham, JLo and Nicole Kidman to show us the way and they oblige: eating strictly raw food off only white plates, demanding their nannies sign confidentiality deals, and that their chefs and dermatologists are all on call.

We think this behaviour is extreme, but chances are, you've accepted an invitation with conditions, forced a taxi driver to take your preferred route or ordered a coffee to go 'with a dash of milk, but make sure it's red hot, and I'd like it in an extra-small cup'. Previously, we put our faith in God, fate or simply in life and the people we knew. Now, what we believe in is exerting our will in every situation.

'I can't go on holiday with anyone other than my boyfriend anymore,' says a PR exec, who wishes to remain nameless. 'I stress when everyone takes hours to get going in the morning - it's easier to move quickly if there are just two. And l can't bear it when they all want to eat at some pavement cafe, where you can see the food is going to be terrible.' Does she think she's a control freak? 'My boyfriend does. But l don't mind,' she says. 'I think if you've got good instincts, you're entitled to be a control freak. Control freaks give great parties and they run efficient businesses.'

And there is a place for control. We lead complicated, multi-dimensional lives, where exerting more control counterbalances all the white noise, according to clinical psychologist Dr Cecilia d'Felice. 'It's a way of psychologically containing what feels uncontainable. Often, we succumb to controlling behaviour when we're stressed or overwhelmed - women, in particular, can appear hysterically controlling because they have responsibility both at work and at home in a way few men do,' says d'Felice.

Maybe the real reason we leave nothing to chance is that the world seems a crueller place now – it's the reason for commitment-phobia, the R50 000 handbag and the rise and rise of plastic surgery. We have a sense that you get only one chance at life, and you won't get anywhere without pushing your own agenda. It's quite sad, really.

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Tue, 30 Nov 2010 12:00 +0200
Trial Run http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/trial-run
As much as Jo’burg is a great city for party animals, there is so much more to explore. One of the positives about the activities that are more day-time orientated is that heels, make-up and pretty dresses are optional. Sunglasses, flip flops and sunscreen, however, are must-haves. My weekend looked like a giant eating plan - everything involved food and lots of rest.

I started out my Saturday morning with a Clinique breakfast. Clinique invited a group of young women to be schooled on their variety of products. Our skin was assessed, products were recommended and we got to fill up on a tasty, but healthy breakfast. The goodie-bag was a bonus treat and, because I’m yet to meet someone who dislikes freebies, all the ladies left with a big smile on their faces.

The next stop was lunch at a friend’s house. The weather dictated that we dine outside, and after lots of conversation and even more food, sleepiness set in. I indulged in something I don’t do as often as I should – I took a nap outside. I love a lot of things about summer, but being able to sleep under a clear blue sky is one of the best perks, and something I used to do a lot more of when I was younger. I figured if I start doing more things that I did when I was younger, peace of mind would become easier to reach.

A sunny afternoon nap was followed by what was meant to be a casual stroll through Bruma Lake flea market, but there’s something about pretty things that are reasonably priced that makes me very bad at window-shopping. After a little bit of convincing (and some ice cream), my boyfriend and I bought a few things for our apartment. Since rest was one of the major themes for my weekend, I got home, and got straight into bed. An hour-long massage had me passing out and waking up 12 hours later – aaaah... bliss.

Not one to be easily distracted, I continued on my mission to eat everything in sight. I’m generally put off by places such as Wimpy and Spur. I have no problem with the food, it's the kids running around freely that gets to me. My 12-hour sleep somehow made me crave the kind of breakfast only available at places with screaming children. I quickly indulged, and then figured that the best way to cap off the weekend would be to share decadent dessert with friends. Some sorbet, cheese cake and sangria later, I decided that I’d had the perfect trial-run for the holidays.

After a year filled with parties, thousands of tweets and lots of general activity, shutting down and rebooting is the only way to prepare for the New Year. Although the invitations are still rolling in and there are still quite a few bashes to attend, I’ve finally found the perfect way to wind down.

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Thu, 25 Nov 2010 12:00 +0200
The A-Z of DJ http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-a-z-of-dj
Arriving at the venue with the DJs is quite exhilarating. The music inside is already thumping and the crowd are well warmed-up, each person emitting energy heavy with anticipation. People gawk, smile and squeal (yes, even the guys in the crowd).

Boombox production starts weeks before the show, with visuals selected not only to complement headlining DJs, but also to reflect the city being played in. Godskitchen’s Ed Shaw is the guy with his finger literally on the button. ‘There is a split second before every single show, just as I am about to press play, that I have this flat panic about whether I have the right visuals in place. What if I put in the wrong disc? It’s a crazy feeling. And irrational. Until now, I’ve always got it right. Touch wood,’ he tells me.

Crowded House is one of Tony’s favourite bands. Which surprised me. We sang along to one of my favourite songs, 'Italian Plastic'. Well, he sang. I hurt the air with the off-tune squeak that is my singing voice.

Disney World is where Jono spent one of his favourite holidays. He was 9 years old. Yes, that makes sense.

Espresso is the only stimulant the DJs imbibe before the show. After Friday night’s set (which was 3 and a half hours long) Jono was still feeling the caffeine’s tweaky effect. And he only had one. On Saturday he settled for a cappuccino (lightweight!).

Fans adore the duo. Leaving both events, they were flogged by followers desperate for a picture, a signature or just a hug. ‘What does it feel like to be so loved by so many?’ I asked Tony. ‘Mostly it feels quite abstract,’ he tells me. ‘But there are times where it becomes real. I remember a few years back when my dad passed away, my family and I were really struggling to find something fitting to put on his tombstone. It’s going to be there for eternity so you really want to get it right. Not long after, a fan emailed me to say that one of his friends had died. He wanted us to know that they had chosen some of our lyrics to place on his tombstone. I was really moved by that.’

Groupies. Well, yes, there may have been some backstage but I didn’t notice any and if there were, the DJs weren’t, um, biting (!?). Although there were stories being whispered of other big-name international DJs who ask for girls from the crowd to be ‘delivered’ backstage. That’s no surprise, really.

HaloLive are probably some of the most enthusiastic local followers of A&B. They had a South African flag with ‘Above and Beyond’ plus the signatures of all their friends written on as a gift for the duo. It made me proud to see. Read below for their take on Friday night's show

Itineraries aren’t cast in stone, but there are certain daily routines that evolve – probably because they tour so often. Like always having dinner together before the show. It feels very casual, like a bunch of friends gathering to break bread, rather than a precursor to a mammoth show.

James, who played two fantastic warm-up sets over the weekend, is Jono’s brother, manages A+B and is A&R at record label AnjunaDeep. But what he’s most proud of is being father to toddler, Lucas. I spent time looking at pics and vids of his son on Saturday night – hardly the mayhem and mischief I’m sure many imagined was happening backstage.

Kid-like is one way I would describe Jono. He told us about a remote-control gadget he has that can turn off television screens from a distance. With a grin, he recounted how annoyed sports fans get when he uses it in the pub. I asked him whether he thought it would work with the Boombox visuals. His eyes glistened. Ed’s turned fearful.

Like most others who love all forms of dance music, Tony cites Ibiza as the best party place in the world. (Must. Save. Money.)

Many things can go wrong during a show like this. I was told of other Smirnoff shows where plugs were inexplicably disconnected, power cut out just before the doors opened and beer was spilled on the decks just as the headlining act stepped up. In the end, it all came together though.

Nerves don’t come into play. At least, I didn’t pick up on any. The DJs walk through the backstage area and up those stairs to the boombox as if theirs was a job that didn’t involve 10 000 (and often many more) screaming, dancing maniacs hanging on their every move.

Of both shows, Joburg was the bigger crowd but both ‘brought it’ equally. Afterwards Tony tweeted: ‘Final Score in a thrilling SA weekend, Cape Town 1, Jo,burg 1! Thanks to everyone who came, can't wait to come back. Txx’

Pool is not any of these boys’ strength. Andrea Spey (Godskitchen) and I beat the guys while playing at 15 on Orange. (Okay, it was only one game, but still).

Question sessions with journos happen sporadically between gigs and the guys are more than happy to sit and chat. Tony (and the crew) had a good laugh after Roger Goode introduced him as Tony McGuire on his radio show. McGuire? As in Toby? Erm….

Response from the crowd as they get up on stage is immediate. There is an instant roar as hands are thrown in the air. The music is turned louder, the heat becomes more tangible and it’s not long before the audience are losing their inhibitions, their clothes and their minds.

Smirnoff throw good parties. Honestly, this is not a plug or payback. They are tuned into what their market wants, utilise their budgets well to bring out the right acts and treat everyone – from the audience to the media to the artists – like VIPs.

Their set is stored on a tiny chip, no bigger that my thumbnail. ‘That’s tonight’s music,’ Tony told me ahead of Friday’s show as he slipped it into his pocket. ‘What, that?’ I ask, flabbergasted that something so small could hold so much – a multitude of layered, detailed and complicated tracks that were set to form that night’s soundtrack. I don’t know the technical aspects of how dance music is produced, stored or played but I do know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of that music, surrounded by thousands of like-minded monkeys, the sound crawling on my skin and shifting my DNA. It’s a big feeling. Much bigger than that chip.

Underneath the lights and behind the music, the madness, the magic and the fame are two of the most humble, uncomplicated guys I’ve met. It’s a weak cliché: they’re nice guys. But true.

Volume backstage is not as loud as what you’re experiencing up front. Regardless, most people wear earplugs. It’s a wise move…mine are still buzzing.

Wine is the entire crew’s drink of choice with dinner but the Smirnoff vodkas come out to play once the house lights go down.

X. Crap. What could I possibly write that starts with an X from the last weekend? Nothing. Moving on…

Yelling a track request at the DJs from the crowd while they’re playing really doesn’t work. (Yes, I actually did see this happen). They can’t hear you.

Zzzzz is hard to come by. With the erratic hours, you sleep when you can. For the DJs, this meant a little after the show and a little more either in the afternoon or evening. For the Godskitchen crew…well, I don’t actually think any of them slept. As for me, I too got minimal shut-eye. So, with that in mind I sign off and head to bed. For the rest of the week.

A word from the HaloLive boys:

In our recent audio interview with Above and Beyond the question was posed as to what the expectations are of a global electronic dance music act when visiting a “modest” destination like South Africa. But this past weekend a fusion of world-class talent, production and support from the trance and progressive loving South African public came together and there was nothing modest about it.

In the ten-odd years that we have been attending such events there are invariably howls of discontent with respect to some aspect of the production. Either there are issues relating to access control, insufficient bars and staff, the quality of the musical progression through the piece or even the price paid for a ticket relevant to the perceived value of the experience. This time round, though, the only complaints fluttering around Facebook, Twitter and other social media avenues relate to the magnitude of the hangovers and the number of subsequent days written off to recovery. We at Halo have to say a big 'well done' to promoter Juaan and the guys and girls at Smirnoff for pulling off such a world-class event and putting their faith in a genre of music that has previously been much maligned as it struggled to shake off the stigma attached to it from the “rave culture” days of the late 90s and early Noughties. The sound of Anjunabeats, featuring many forthcoming tracks from Above and Beyond’s new artist album, Group Therapy, engineered a tide of swaying hands on a sea of smiling faces, and presented the best face of this music that we so love and enjoy.

To all who came out on a mild November night and proved that Cape Town and JHB can stand alongside London, New York, Moscow and more, thank you. It was magical and we can’t wait for more.


 
In this shot: Cathy Lund, Tony McGuinness, Giselle, Jono and James Grant.

And if you missed the party, take a listen to this...



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Tue, 23 Nov 2010 12:00 +0200
The Breakup Sick Day http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-breakup-sick-day
Hime & Company, a Japanese marketing group, seems to have developed some empathy for staff going through breakups. They recently announced staff can take 'heartache leave' - employees aged 24 and under are given one day off per year; 25- to 29-year-olds get two; those older can take three days to recover. The sliding scale's presumably due to the fact the older you get, the harder it is to extricate yourself from the logistics of a long-term relationship - there are houses, dogs, Ikea futons and, sadly, possibly kids to think of.

So, how do you deal with a breakup? Do you stay at home or do you go to work and tough it out? I put this question to friends recently and they all agreed that Hime & Co were onto something. 'When my ex and I broke up, all I was capable of doing was sitting in front of the heater at home and crying. I may as well have been sick, my stomach was churning and there were plenty of tissues and snot,' says one friend, who was unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend of two years.

Another broke up with her boy of four years and went to work the next day, but was far from productive. 'I'd be lying if I said I got anything done except reply to emails,' she says. 'Face-to-face contact was a nightmare, my eyes were so red. I wanted a distraction, but looking back, I should've just taken a day off and cried myself stupid, then come back.'

While a BSD (Breakup Sick Day) might seem an emotional indulgence to some, I think it's the way of the future. We all suffer when a long-term relationship ends but, if we're given a specific day to contain the grieving period initially, we won't mourn endlessly and fruitlessly for the next week. So, I'm calling on all employers to grant staff a much-needed 24 hours to sit at home and sniff their ex's old Billabong hoodie before pulling themselves together. It just makes individual and corporate sense…

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Wed, 17 Nov 2010 12:00 +0200
COSMO goes Above and Beyond http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cosmo-goes-above-and-beyond
So, years later, I’m super-excited about this weekend’s Smirnoff Experience as they host one of the world’s most popular trance acts Above and Beyond (see below for more details). If you went to last year’s Smirnoff Experience headlined by Armin van Buuren, you will have an idea of what to expect. Again we will be treated to the visual onslaught that is the Godskitchen Boombox. Only this year it’ll be even bigger. And this year COSMO will be capturing the experience behind the experience as we hang out with the crew and DJs involved in this year’s production. Follow us on Twitter (look for the hashtag ABCosmo) and on Facebook over the next five days for updates on what’s happening before, during and after both the Cape Town and Jo'burg parties, starting this afternoon as we head over to the Bellville Velodrome to meet the crew and check out the massive ‘boombox’ scaffolding being assembled. Then check back on Monday for the follow-up blog.

For now, all you have to do is press play below for a half-hour Above and Beyond treat, and read on as local trance and progressive music gurus HaloLive tell us more about what to expect this weekend.

From The HaloLive Boys:
It’s observed, ménage-a-trois aside for those so inclined, that ‘three’s a crowd’. But since the triad that comprises UK trance juggernaut Above and Beyond united in 1999, Paavo Siljamaki, Jono Grant and Tony McGuiness have dispelled this notion.
Since 2004 (coinciding with their critically acclaimed BBC Radio 1 ‘Essential Mix’) Above and Beyond have been regarded as the UK’s leading authority on producing and performing emotionally engaging electronic music. Subsequently exported across six continents, their global appeal garnered two consecutive DJ Mag Top 100 top 5 finishes in 2009 and 2010. Combining punchy kickdrums, grooving basslines, happy/sad lyrics and hauntingly beautiful melodies they have presented both club and commercial hits including No One on Earth, On a Good Day, Satellites and Buzz. The latter was used by Virgin Galactic as its theme when unveiling the world’s first commercial passenger spacecraft ‘Spaceship Two’ last year.

To their legions of fans Above and Beyond are to progressive and uplifting trance what Louboutin is to shoes. And much like that pair of 10cm high calf- and posterior-enhancing leathers staring at you through the boutique window, they’ve been largely inaccessible - until now.

This weekend they make their first official visit to SA, sultrily presented within UK super club brand Godskitchen’s ‘Boombox’. Conceptualised by Parisian design house 1024, the ‘Boombox’ is a 16m-wide, 8m-high and 6m-deep audiovisual extravaganza that debuted in 2009 to 16 000 fans in the Ukraine and subsequently become the most in-demand platform by dance music fans and the world’s most influential DJs alike for delivery of their aural artistry.
Sight, sound and friends come together in climactical proportions in Cape Town this Friday (Bellville Velodrome) and Jo’burg this Saturday (MTN Expo Centre, Nasrec ). Tickets are still available through Computicket.



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Wed, 17 Nov 2010 12:00 +0200
Freedom To Have Fun http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/freedom-to-have-fun The last few weeks have been spent dancing, coming home late and wondering where the next party will be – very different from my usual nights under the covers watching Jerseylicious and Keeping Up With The Kardashians!

The best event I was invited to was the Channel O Video awards, which were much anticipated by people from all over the continent. Being the procrastinator that I am, I waited until the last day to decide on an outfit. Luckily, one of the perks of having a junior fashion editor for a friend is that she always has an idea! After being styled and preened by COSMO’s Lilian, I picked up the rest of my friends, and we were more than ready for a night of decadent fun.

The Sandton Convention Centre was the place to be, and it was a pleasant surprise to see all the new faces. My friends and I hadn’t realised just how cute the guys from Ghana are - it looks like we have a definite destination for a 2011 holiday.

The event was well organised, with the aviation theme was really fun. After the actual awards show, we were treated to lots of food and an open bar. After checking out more eye candy and exchanging hugs with old friends, we moved onto the dance floor. There’s something so cool about having all your friends with you and a DJ that's totally switched on to your musical tastes. We ended up staying longer than planned because we realised that some of the eye candy we were enjoying were – sadly – going to be boarding a plane soon, never to be seen again...

After a series of other parties that included open bars, high-heels and a dance floor, I decided it was time to opt for a relaxing weekend. A friend had a braai and, as usual, his guests were an interesting mixture of opinionated people who, at the same time, don’t take themselves too seriously. Add some home-cooked food, a little bit of gin and a heated game of 30 seconds, and you have a Saturday to remember.

Big parties offer the chance to dress up, have a girl’s night out and hopefully spot some new talent in the eye candy department. Friends’ houses, on the other hand, are safe places to let it all hang out, where people are free to speak their minds, and everyone's more relaxed than they are at events. So, while there are no random cuties waltzing in and out, no open bar and no dance floor, you get to hang out, chill and really catch up with people you know and like. What I love about this city (and my job!) is that I'm able to choose. Here’s to freedom of fun!

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Tue, 16 Nov 2010 12:00 +0200
The Booty Clock http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-booty-clock Mills & Boons, but has it ever actually happened to you? To one of your friends? No. Because, in reality, the bumping about of your delicate bits for approximately nine hours straight would result in severe chafing, extreme cramps and the use of far too much lube. Who wants that? No one. And if you do? Eww.

After years of horny hippie folk chanting the praises of Tantra, and big-mouths in bars boasting about their bedroom stamina between mouthfuls of beer, a poll of 50 sex therapists (published in the journal of Sexual Medicine) has revealed that the best sex happens in 13 minutes or less. That's the same amount of time it takes me to make Marmite toast and eat it, or start wondering what I'm doing in this yoga class in the first place.

The sexperts involved in the study say they've made this info public in an effort to help calm unrealistic beliefs that good sex must last A Very Long Time. Personally, though, I've never needed a stopwatch to help me decide whether doing the deed was worth ruining an expensive blow-dry - an orgasm usually answers that.

But, what do everyday shaggers have to say - is timing the essence of the perfect 'rude hug? 'It all depends on the circumstances,' says my friend Susie*. 'Is it a quickie? If so, then yes, 13 minutes is plenty. Ever put something in the microwave for that long and waited, starving, in front of the door? It takes forever. Having said that though, time flies when you're having fun! If my boy and I don't have to rush to work or somewhere, I'd say 13 minutes is only acceptable for Round One.'

Hmmm… Then this from my colleague, Carol-Anne*: 'Let's remember, it's not a race - but neither do you want to be lying there humming the theme song from The Neverending Story. It's all about quality, not quantity.' So true, Carol-Anne, so true.

But what do men think? Yes, their opinion counts - and we must all fly the flag for equal opportunity. According to a poll, 50 per cent of guys believe 13 minutes is too short, and that 20 minutes is the best average length of time for sex to last. Other responses from the men surveyed included, 'Sex should go for longer on Christmas and on my birthday' - one guess why - and, 'As long as all 13 standard positions are used, time is of no consequence'. Um, excuse moi, 13 standard positions? At last count there were nine less than that in my bedroom But that's another column, for another day…

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Thu, 11 Nov 2010 12:00 +0200
Doodle Talk http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/doodle-talk
Then, another friend took the floor, boldly declaring 2010 to be her very own 'Year of No Doodle' - apparently, due to an 'eventful' '09, she'd seen the number of notches on her bed-post significantly rack up.

'No doodle at all?' I asked her.
'None,' she answered dramatically.
'If I want to meet my future husband this year having only slept with a respectable number of men, l need to put the brakes on – now!'
'But what about vintage?' asked another, resourceful friend. 'Surely you can recycle one or two guys from last year and still get some action without blowing your tally?'
My newly virtuous friend shook her head. 'There are slim pickings in old doodle, remember?'
Oh ja, we did… Recedo, the guy with the hairline situation. Yep, old doodle was definitely a no-do-over zone.

But, this doodle-talk got me thinking: women have come a long way in terms of sexual equality in recent years: in bedrooms today you'd be hard-pressed to find a woman who isn't (usually) on top, and we can discuss this fact in magazines like COSMO without shame or fear. But, despite this apparent egalitarianism (which, more than likely, sprang from the fact men like to lie back and have someone else do all the work) when it comes to the numbers game, things still don't add up.

'I don't like the Year of No Doodle,' l told my friend. 'Why should you have to stop having sex to be "respectable", when your future husband is probably out sowing his wild oats like crazy before he settles down? Why not, the Year of Quality over Quantity? Can't you just establish a three-week waiting period before you sleep with someone so you can weed out any dicks, literally and metaphorically, that you might regret later on?'

'Well,' she said, laughing and handing me her glass. 'Maybe you have a point. Put some ice in this chardonnay and I'll think about that.'

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Wed, 03 Nov 2010 12:00 +0200
A Love To Remember http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/a-love-to-remember Idols I've been completely faithful. I only missed one episode in the entire series, and that was dramatic enough. My (real) boyfriend has had to be extremely patient, watching episode after episode along with me, and listening to my (admittedly, sometimes crazy) rants, and a few moments when I was bordering on being very Mara Louw with all my histrionics.

So finally, the Big Night arrived (feeling a bit like I imagine a wedding day would). And, like many excitable brides, I was in a state. My mind was racing. Would Elvis Blue win? Had I sent enough votes? Should I have bought another sim card to sneak in an extra 100 votes?

Idols fans have been known to get quite crazy, and over the past two weeks, there’ve been hectic disagreements about who should win. Some thought Lloyd should because he's really talented, but also because he's black and there's never been a black winner. Even though I gave some thought to the argument, I stuck to my guns and voted for Elvis because, in my opinion, he was, simply, the more talented of the two and Idols is not a race war. My opinion got me two DMs on Twitter telling me that, as a black girl, I should vote for the black guy. After quickly clicking ‘unfollow’ and ‘block’ on those accounts, I went on to spend half of my month's petrol budget voting for my man, Elvis.

The finale, when it finally came around, was exhilarating: hundreds showed up to the Mosaik Teatro in Fairlands, and it was huge excitement everywhere you turned. Interesting collaborations were put together by the Top 10, and some SA musicians such as Zolani, Steve Hofmeyer and HHP.

I enjoyed the performances as much as I could for somebody whose heart was racing faster than a taxi driver on the highway. To say I was in some kind of trance would probably be an understatement, judging by the look on my boyfriend's face which read, ‘what did I get myself into with this chick?’

After what felt like a lifetime, the winner was finally announced…Elvis Blue. True to form, I burst into tears and started dancing a jig. It felt natural for me to tweet before going on with my private party - after all, Twitter is the place where me and other like-minded fans had been gathering to dissect this relationship we’d all become so involved in.

When Elvis announced that he would be sharing the prize money with Lloyd, it all fell into place for me. Sure this is TV, but judging by the amount of investment we'd all put into it, it had become a lot more to a lot of people. That gesture, and the genuine friendship that had grown between Lloyd and Elvis, showed the country that there’s so much more to we human beings than winning and money, and it laid to rest all the race arguments that initially were being hurled around by disgruntled viewers. It showed that, way after the season has wrapped and after the show is over, love and kindness are what bind all of us together. Here’s to a great love affair.

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Thu, 04 Nov 2010 12:00 +0200
The 'No Plans' Plan http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-no-plans-plan
Recently, however, this long-established kitchen discourse has undergone a serious makeover. Everywhere, women are ditching over-committed weekends in favour of gleefully announcing they have 'no plans'. And feeling fantastic for it. It wasn't too long ago that having nothing to do on a weekend indicated your status as a social pariah; it was far from exciting, nor anything to exclaim to co-workers with glee. But there's been a seismic shift in what is considered a 'cool' way to spend your Saturday and Sunday. It's almost as if someone had overheard Kate Moss saying she'd be cleaning the house and watching DVDs of 24 all weekend – yep, suddenly it's the latest trend being 'tried on' by women everywhere. And guess what? It fits.

For me, sending panicked SMSes to pad out the hours between a Saturday manicure and Sunday lunch with Mom is a thing of the past. I've strategically planned to do nothing on the weekends for some time now and the reason is simple: I'm so tired from weekday life, I've had to learn to say no. For example, do I want to go out until 2am, spend the equivalent of a pair of Nine West heels on drinks and taxis, and feel like arse the next day? No, but thanks for asking… can we do coffee instead?

Don't get me wrong, I still have fun, but these days fun is a Friday night drink, backed up with brunch and a day at the beach. Over-committing once made me feel popular, as if my life was full. But, like many women, I've made a new commitment to give myself a break. And my life is 'fuller', because I now have more energy to enjoy it.

Monday rolls around and, creature of habit that I am, I'm chopping my kiwi again, chatting with colleagues about the movies we saw, yoga classes we took, and outfits that resulted from the soul-lifting amount of washing we did. Doesn't it just make you want to… do nothing?

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Thu, 28 Oct 2010 12:00 +0200
A Rooftop Affair http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/a-rooftop-affair
The venue was the Rooftop and the uber trendy 44Stanley in Milpark. Well-known for bustling with fashionistas and arty-types, in a trendy and refreshing setting, there is nothing like it in Johannesburg. After a trek up the stairs, my partner and I were greeted by Parkour Jumpers. As amazing as this form of art is, it made me tense for the first hour. I kept thinking 'If one of these boys falls off this roof, I will die.' In reality they would, but let's not get morbid.

Psyfo was the MC for the event and he took us through the NIK NAKS journey, although there are very few people who don't know the brand. I have childhood and varsity memories of NIK NAKS – mainly me spending my money on shoes while living on NIK NAKS and rolls. When we finally got down to official business, the launch of the new Spicy Tomato flavour, lots of goodie bags were passed around and everyone happily tasted and agreed this flavour would be a welcome snack at 5am on a Sunday morning after a cheese burger pie.

After a brief overview of what plans the brand has in store for the rest of SA, Crazy White boy took to the decks to get the crowd in a weekend spirit. 'Is it too early to be enjoying gin so early?' asked my friend.

I've never enjoyed being the last to leave a party. But this party was an exception. When the maintenance staff began clearing away the chairs, some hung their heads, but I moved onto the next party armed with spicy tomato NIK NAKS.

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Wed, 27 Oct 2010 12:00 +0200
Cash Crush http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/cash-crush shoes shoes, I'm talking Prada, Chloe, Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney shoes. The target of my affection was a pair of superb black-and-gold YSL pumps, which whispered to my credit card in a language only they share. I caressed the ankle straps and considered how much envy they'd inspire in my friends, how toned my calves would look in them, how hot they'd be with… Then l went home with a pair of R300 ankle boots. And an intense Cash Crush.

Just like a crush on your best friend's brother, the Cash Crush is not only based on aesthetic desire but a knowledge that you can't have it. Your salary will put a stop to that. (And if it doesn't, car repayments/kids/the addiction to poker will.) But the fact you can't have an object of desire won't stop you thinking about it. On the contrary, a Cash Crush – especially the fashion kind – consumes you. Until the next one comes along, anyway.

You'll experience little heart flutters when your 'crush' comes to mind, you'll devise 'clothing compilations' around it and you'll find any excuse to bring it up in conversation, with anyone. (Except your boyfriend because he would rather eat shoes than hear about those bloody shoes again.)

Anyone who ached for pink rollerblades as a seven-year-old knows the Cash Crush is nothing new, but the modern day version is out of control: we're punching well above our weight division. This is, in large part, thanks to our obsession with celebs and what they wear. No longer is 'a brown slouchy bag' an acceptable retail craving. No, now we hunger for Balenciaga's brown slouchy bag. And jeans? An R400 pair won't do. We want Ksubi because that's what Lindsay and Mischa wear. It's not that we're unhappy with our stuff from our local department stores… it's just we'd be happier if they were complemented with those hot Christian Louboutin heels we saw Ashley Olsen wearing.

And it's not all about fashion. My friend Sal, who has temporarily elected to spend her money on a stainless steel fridge and a LCD flat screen TV over social activity, says she needs her appliances to look designer, 'Or I get embarrassed when people come round'.

Sal's not alone. We hunger for the latest iPod even though our current one works fine. We dream of buying a R7 000 cockapoodle, when a staffy from the pound would be better karma-wise, and we can't help wishing our trip to Namibia was a trip to New York.

The key to diluting a Cash Crush is to switch your desire into gratitude for what you already have. Take stock of all the cool stuff you own, and think back to how desperately you needed those things once, too. I remember a man once telling me, 'Anyone can wear expensive clothes and look ordinary; it's wearing cheap clothes and looking amazing that's admirable.' Word.

Now I'm aware most of my Cash Crushes are obsessions with objects for the obscenely rich, and I'm enjoying what I already own. I now love my R300 boots. I get loads of compliments and they are exactly like a pair Kate Moss wears. Now all I need is that Burberry trench of hers…

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Thu, 21 Oct 2010 12:00 +0200
Pink Is The New Cheeky http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/pink-is-the-new-cheeky
Twitter was abuzz with tweeps desperately trying to get their hands on the invitations; some even begged. The plush venue, ZAR at the Radisson Blu GauTrain hotel in Sandton, has become one of Jo'burg's biggest party spots. We arrived to a paparazzi-like wallpaper with camera flashes going off in every direction. The dress code for the evening was black with a touch of pink and true to form, the city's socialites came dressed accordingly.

Everyone was armed with pink Brutal Fruit's, which made it easier to mingle. The touch of pink in our glasses was a great way to compliment people's outfits. Bonang Matheba was the host for the evening and she kept the crowd entertained with her dramatic flair and contagious laughter. She even had a Skype chat with Kim and Kourtney Kardashian – they're heading to South Africa in December for more Brutal Fruit Cheeky Cranberry parties. And a lucky lady won herself an Audi and more will be joining her.

Plenty of schmoozing and air kisses were exchanged and I was happy to see old faces. We ate, mingled and when the hip-hop set came on, it was time to hit the dance floor. My plan was to be home by 10pm but the beats dictated my schedule. After all I met people I hadn't partied with since Varsity days, so leaving wouldn't have fitted the cheeky theme.

A few Brutal Fruits later, I was ready to swap my heels for flip flops but headed out to the balcony for those weird conversation smokers usually indulge in. A slightly intoxicated lady spoke to my friends and I about it raining semen (don't ask, I'm still traumatised). But luckily it started raining had and we managed to escape the rest of the conversation.

A few more cocktails later and about another hour on the dance floor made the balcony experience seem like a distant memory. This was by far one of the best together events of 2010. Look out for the December parties and be cheeky, it could just get you a new set of wheels.

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Tue, 19 Oct 2010 12:00 +0200
TMI (Too Much Information!) http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/tmi-too-much-information
Using the Internet to appeal for financial help isn't new. Karyn Bosnak, of www.savekaryn.com fame, polarised the trend when she established a site asking for one dollar from 20 000 people to pay off her credit card debt. Since cyberspace saved Karyn, it's amazing how far other 'entrepreneurs' are willing to go – and exactly how much they're willing to give of themselves to make a buck online.

Google it and you'll find women selling their dirty underwear or sweaty workout gear to perves across the globe. We've even seen then-18-year-old UK student Rosie Reid removed from eBay after trying to auction her virginity for £10, 000 (R108 400) to pay university fees. She eventually sold it on her own website for around R135 000. Selling out on the Internet appears to be a lucrative business, but what about the personal cost? The virtual realm enables people to enter to a comfort zone they don't enjoy in RL. Ask yourself: would 'milliondollarpubes' sell raffle tickets at the local pub to support her hair-free cause? No, because in reality, a firewall stands between us and gratuitous over-sharing with strangers – namely, the indignity, regret and shame.

I'm currently saving for an overseas holiday to New York and Mexico. And while it seems I could add weight to my bank balance by inviting cyberspace to splash out on my toenail clippings or old loofah gloves, I'd rather retain my freakish aversion to over sharing on the Internet (yes, friends who send requests, that's the real reason I don't have Facebook) and earn my trip the RL way – by stashing R500 each pay day. It's slower than broadband, but you know what? I can live with that.

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Thu, 14 Oct 2010 12:00 +0200
Pyjama Jam http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/pyjama-jam
This event was hosted by Pink Drive to raise awareness about breast cancer, so I called my friends who are into the pyjama theme and we made a date to party in our jammies. And then, of course, I set out to find some – my boyfriend wasn't too happy when I dragged him along without him realising no sexy lingerie would be bought.

That night the girls and I headed out to the beautifully decorated SiSi, a restaurant in Rivonia. The décor was pink (what else?) and tables were adorned with delicious desserts, making many women in their night clothes happy.

After exchanging formalities about the amazing work Pink Drive is doing, we were truly in for a surprise! Out of nowhere music began pumping and Speedo-clad boys flooded the room, gyrating away. Now that's how COSMO girls like to party!

'I thought you said this was a pyjama party, not a strip club,' one friend whispered. Gob smacked, we watched as the 20 or so men began dancing. So we did what any self-respecting COSMO girls would do; we joined them on the dance floor.

After working up a sweat, we tucked into a huge cake which was baked in the shape of boobs in a pink bra.

I hadn't realised until that evening how much fun one can have in pyjamas. Not only was this a great cause to support, even the Speedo boys were doing their part too. (Apparently the boys were trying to raise awareness for prostate cancer, which explains the barely-there bottoms.)

During the month of October, do your bit too; there's lots of fun to be had while helping to educate the masses. Even if it means stripping down a little.

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Wed, 13 Oct 2010 12:00 +0200
The Disco-Kiss Test http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-disco-kiss-test It's In His Kiss. Yeah, That's Where It Is! Oh, Oh, Oh… Hug him…

Sorry.

A kiss, the research says, is a 'complicated exchange of information' – a woman's breath is an indication of her hormone levels and fertility, and a man's is a sign of his virility (with his saliva containing traces of testosterone). Talk about pressure to perform! Surely a first kiss comes with enough butterflies, (tongue or no tongue?). Do we really need the impending fate of marriage and babies flapping in our guts as well?

My own such kiss was at a backyard party with a pirate theme – not exactly the best setting for a life-changing judgment to be made. Was my breath fertile? I'd just eaten a sausage roll… Could I taste his raging testosterone? Actually, I think it was beer… And, guess what? We lived happily ever after, despite sharing 'information' that probably indicated a need to chew gum. This is because the first kiss isn't an exact science, and that's really half the fun. The ritual of kissing is found in 90% of human cultures, and in animals too. It's a universal means of showing affection. But in our world, where first kisses commonly occur as stolen moments in bars, cars and at pirate parties, it's hardly a fool-proof screening technique for finding The One.

Research starts with a hypothesis, and I'd like to propose one requiring further study by white coats: A guy may be a good kisser, but when it comes to relationship potential, for women, it's what happens after the kiss that counts. The experiment: Does he call you, often, and when he says he will? Is he kind and funny? Can he argue without anger? Will he share his friends and family, and the couch rug on cold nights? The result: while kissing is beautiful, chemistry creates a powerful attraction and Cher can sing a catchy tune, if a guy really is the Daddy of your unborn children, a nervous clash of teeth or scratchy beard won't count him out.

… Now, That's Where It Is! Oh, Oh, Oh…

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Thu, 07 Oct 2010 12:00 +0200
Race Away http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/race-away Idols finalists, my immediate answer was yes. Being the reality TV junkie that I am, I spend my Sunday evenings in bed watching while I tweet. During this time, no one's allowed to call me; I'm far too busy for that type of random distraction.

After accepting the invite, I was happily planning the event in my head when I got an e-mail saying we were going to be meeting at 7am. It took three days and a lot of whining for me to finally realise this is something I really wanted to do. So I headed out on Monday morning, half asleep but very excited.

I had a strategy; I wouldn't be overly nice to those I'd been talking mess about on Twitter. My heart wouldn't let me be that fake.

When the Top 7 first walked in I was struck by how beautiful Adeline is. She had no make up on and she still managed to look better than she does on TV. Then Elvis Blue, one of my absolute favourites walked in. To say the man is super sexy would be an understatement, so immediately I was awake and wondering why I hadn't bothered to put on any eyeliner.

We split into two groups, a mixture of journalists and Idols. I was in a group with Boki (another favourite of mine), my new crush Elvis, and Adeline. We were taught how to manoeuvre trendy Ford Figo's on a skidpan. After we got over our initial bouts of nerves, we had a blast competing to see which one of us was the most fearless driver.

After a series of other driving exercises, we took time to just hang out, get to know each better and share a tasty meal. I found Pieter West and Jess (who was sent home this week) to be more reserved. Pieter had a boyish shyness about him which I found quite endearing.

I ended up spending loads of time with Elvis and Boki (who I promised to reacquaint myself with when he's five years older). Lloyd was also a pleasure to be around, warm and sweet, just how he seems on the show. We discussed marriage and careers, and it felt like a catching up with friends I hadn't seen in a while. That's the gift and the curse of TV, we sometimes feel like we already know the people we watch on our screens. To find out that they are really cool people off the camera was fascinating.

After a tasty lunch, lots of laughter and a little bit of flirting from me (or maybe a lot, it depends who you ask), I headed home. New friends, helpful driving skills and a new crush was not a bad way to start a week.

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Tue, 05 Oct 2010 12:00 +0200
When You Fall For A Taken Man http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/when-you-fall-for-a-taken-man A General Theory of Love (Random House) says many women will have feelings for a claimed man at some point, because we're wired to covet things that are hard to get. And these kinds of feelings can seriously disrupt your emotional wellbeing. Crushes are generally harmless if you don't act on them. (If you do, you can expect some major fallout.) Still, there's just something irresistible about the unavailable guy…

Leggings, jumpsuits, ballet flats, shift dresses – these trends catch on because humans have natural impulses to seek out hot commodities. This is true with guys, too: if another woman (especially one you respect) digs him, in your mind he registers as quality goods. But you've got to put it in perspective – he only seems flawless because you are checking him out from a distance. 'You don't know what he's like behind closed doors,' says Lewis. Who knows what nasty habits he's hiding?

Ever wanted a rare handbag so badly, you drove to a shopping centre two hours away to track it down? That same strain of desire is what afflicts you when a guy with a girlfriend catches your eye. 'It's called frustration attraction: the more difficult something is to attain, the more we long for it,' says Helen Fisher, author of Why We Love (Holt McDougal). Here's how it works: every time you have a craving, your brain releases a chemical called dopamine into your body, which invigorates you to go after your goal. When an obstacle (in this case, his girlfriend) prevents you from getting the target, your brain pumps out extra dopamine, making you super-focused on the hunt. To tame it, 'Remind yourself that it may be just the challenge may is firing you up rather than the actual guy,' says Arthur Aron, psychology professor and author of Love And The Expansion of Self (Hemisphere).

Finding The One can be pretty tough. It's hard weeding through the C-listers to meet an A-grade partner, and that may be why you're obsessing about The Taken Man – it means you can avoid the singles scene. Ask yourself, do you have a thing for this guy because it's easier than looking for a partner of your own?

To shift your energy to an available man, pinpoint what you admire in the off-limits guy (i.e, he's funny and kind). 'This will guide you to what you want in a man,' says Dr Lewis. And wouldn't you sleep better knowing you'd got him fair and square?

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Thu, 30 Sep 2010 12:00 +0200
The Take Care http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Play/Blogs/the-take-care
AT THAT MOMENT I KNEW IT WAS OVER…
I had been ‘Take Cared’. And when you’ve been Take Cared, you simply get your coat and leave quietly. Or else you risk being a &