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#CTMeetUp May 2015

Hi everyone! On Saturday I was lucky enough to attend another blogging event arranged and hosted by the incredible Cindy from 3 Kids 2 Dogs 1 Old House. This is the 3rd event I have been to and they never disappoint! Our venue was the Italian Kitchen in Newlands. I managed to drag a friend along this time. My friend Taryn from Coffee Couture joined me and agreed to be my designated driver. Score! At one of the other meet ups there was wine and even though I only had 2 glasses I’m such a lightweight I didn’t feel sober. It’s what happens when you’re pregnant/breastfeeding for years on end. You lose the ability to hold your liquor. Excuse me? No. It has nothing to do with getting old.

I digress. We arrived to a small area outside of the restaurant which was abuzz with bloggers from all over Cape Town who blog about anything you can imagine. From knitting to food, beauty and travel, there was something there for every reader. In the corner there was a table and as I was heading over to greet our hostess I was intercepted by Desmond from Rain Africa. Desmond asked me if I would like a massage. He didn’t have to ask again. He led me to a chair and offered me some variants of buttery goodness for my massage. As I am already a huge fan of Rain’s aloe and avo range, I chose it in a heartbeat! Desmond has magical hands. I threatened to take him home with me. He was also very charming. I didn’t know it until after the meetup, but someone caught me on camera enjoying my massage:

 

Do you see that? The utter look of ecstacy on my face? It was so amazing! I really enjoyed that! We stood around, mingled, drank wine and ate a few snacks as there were platters for us to graze from while we waited to go into the restaurant. It was really nice to see so many familiar faces and to meet a couple of bloggers who I had been wanting to connect with. We moved into the restaurant area where we all settled in to our seats and Cindy started introduce the speakers. I’ll tell you a little about what they said:

First up was Melissa Louise from Zana. She told us about Zana and what they do. Zana does almost anything you can think of that involves fabric, from fashion to furniture. Did you know that you can shop online for both local and international delivery? Want to give a gift to your expat friend? How cool is that? You should definitely check their site out, they have some awfully rad things on there! Melissa also handed out beautiful pencil cases made from Zana’s signature fabrics. Thank you Zana!

Next up was Jenny Coulson from Zomato.I must be honest, I didn’t even know what Zomato is. Zomato is an app that helps you pick a restaurant nearby you, or search for a restaurant of your choice if you know where you want to go. This is not the coolest thing about this app. The app also gives you an average of what you will pay for 2 people and you can even view the menu from the comfort of your home! This is seriously cool!  I don’t get a lot of opportunity for date nights, but with this app I can plan one and insist. I can, can’t I? I think I shall! You can create a profile on the app to review/rate and post pictures of your dining experience. This will obviously help others when they are scouting out restaurants. Zomato also has weekly dinners where they invite users of the app to gather for an evening. This really is something special. I have been schooled. You can find Zomato in your app store 🙂

Last, but certainly not least was Ronel Botes from Rain Africa. I am already a huge fan of Rain products, their aloe and avo hand butter is a MUST HAVE for me in winter to save my hands and cuticles from destruction. Anyhow, you could tell how passionate Ronel is about their company. What really stood out for me was how Rain is interested in sharing their journey to success as opposed to just punting their products. Let’s be honest, their products are amazing and sell themselves. Ronel spoke about the ladies that were assisting with the massages at the event, how Rain has created opportunities for them to become qualified therapists. They started out working in the Rain factory making products, cutting soap and so on, but through their hard working careers at Rain have had an opportunity to uplift themselves and become more than they ever expected. Ronel urged us to check out the YouTube channel where you can see fascinating and moving videos about the stories of their hunts for ingredients, their spa treatments and their people. I enjoyed the following video of the Rain factory singing (quite beautifully I might add!):

The venue started rolling out rectangular pizzas for the guests to enjoy. They were quite something. super thin crusts with delicious toppings and when last have you seen a pizza that isn’t round? Paired with the red wine I was thoroughly enjoying (sponsored by Cindy’s employer, Incompass Insurance) and the wonderful company I was surrounded by, it was making for a lovely afternoon indeed. Cindy put on her Oprah hat and started with the giveaways. I really love this part! The sponsors always provide amazing prizes and it is just so much fun watching bloggers being rewarded for all the hard work they put into their blogs. Towards the end of the giveaway I was certain I would probably not win anything, but I was in for a wonderful surprise. I won a full body massage at GinkgoSpa! My friend Taryn won the same prize (as there were a few up for grabs) and we have already booked our appointment for Sunday. I am ridiculously excited! A full body massage isn’t something I would spoil myself with, since I would much rather spend the money on buying clothes for the kids or plugging a hole that needs filling, so this is an incredible treat for me. Look out for a review soon 😉

All too soon it was time to depart. I was having so much fun I didn’t want to leave! This is always the case with Cindy’s blogging events. If you see her send out a bulletin, be sure to grab a ticket. I begged and borrowed to afford my ticket this time around, not because they are expensive, but because we’re in a bit of a financial crunch at home. No regrets. It is always well worth it. Of course, there were stunning goodie bags where we were showered with gifts from a host of sponsors. Check it out:

#CTMeetUp Goodie Bags

Below is a list of all the sponsors with links to their social media accounts (mainly twitter links provided). Do show them some love 🙂

Sponsors:

Coasters – Admarula

Pouch Bags – Zana

Day Cream – Oh So Heavenly

Bracelet – Romeo Foxtrot

Biologie Hand and Body lotion – Rain Africa

Wine – Incompass Insurance

20% discount for a Budoir Shoot – Magical Moments In Time

Product* – Optiphi

Magazine, mints and keyring – Bontanical Society

R100 of R500 purchase voucher – Spree

Shampoo and Conditioner – John Frieda

2 for 1 voucher – Graze

Lip Balm, key ring – Zomato

20% off voucher – Charlie Foxtrot

Make Up/Polish Goodies – Revlon

Pen, Notebook and Gift Bags – Gumtree

A HUGE thank you to all the sponsors and to Cindy for arranging the entire event, the sponsorships and everything else to the finest detail. I don’t know how she does it. Her events are always a huge success and I’m definitely adding her to my bank account as a beneficiary so I can secure my tickets to the next event before anyone else snaps it up!

Do you enjoy blogging events? Tell me about your experiences meeting the faces behind the blogs in the comments. I’d love to hear your story 🙂

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*I didn’t find anything in my goodie bag from Optiphi this time around, but they usually give away a variety of products

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