Friday, 29 November 2013

November Wrap-up

I found this really funny
I found this very sad
Husband left me and the daughter alone for a week while to went to Kenya to do the country proud playing hockey for S.A. The SA Hockey Lads will be going to the Hockey World Cup in Netherlands next year. Very exciting!
We have officially lived in our lovely home (and been home owners) for one year. I believe this is a great achievement for a young couple these days.
The daughter lost her second tooth (the first one fell out whilst eating an apple in September 2010!)
Daughter had her orientation morning for Grade 1. Cannot believe my little girl will be in Grade 1 next year!!
Went to a wedding in the Drakensberg. Beautiful place called Glengarry for a beautiful couple.
More friends have had babies and more friends are pregnant.
Did my first giveaway on Living Hillcrest and it was a great success. Thank you to Brenda from jack&sally for partnering with me to give away a gorgeous tent to a lovely local lady.
Went from 2992 pageviews to ... 4026 (29/11) pageviews. Excited!
Went live with the Living Hillcrest Facebook page and got to 139 Likes! Whoop whoop
I got a Christmas bonus. I have had to save all of it. Husband is practical like that.
I am getting excited for Christmas with the family and for some much needed time off.
People have contacted me and want to feature on Living Hillcrest. I love that people see value in what I am trying to do and want to be on this growing platform.
Husband is obviously the one of the right. This photo was taken in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics. I don't think there was an official photographer in Kenya (well none that I have been able to track down anyway). I needed to show off. I am a very proud wife.

Friday, 22 November 2013

The Play Market - Giba Gorge

I just loved The Play Market. It is SO ideal if you have kids.
Be sure to put this one in your diary for some shopping, good foof and a great day out with the family.
Find them on Facebook here for more info and future dates.

Monday, 4 November 2013

{GIVEAWAY} win a jack&sally tent

Brenda Finch is the lovely lady behind jack&sally. jack&sally first caught my eye at the Go to Play Market at Giba Gorge in October. Have a look here for more on the Go to Play Market. I loved the look and feel of the jack&sally products and I can't imagine any kiddies not wanting to get their hands on a tent, bunting or little table set to play in!

Read more to find out more about the beauty behind the business...
Q.) Explain jack&sally in your own words
Jack&Sally is about playing outdoors,  about taking your mind to places no one else can go. 

Imaginary friends are wonderful friends, no-one can see or hear them!!
It’s about hours of fun in the sun.

Logic will get you from A-Z Imagination will get you EVERYWHERE.
Dream, Play, Imagine

Q.) What do you sell?
A-frame tents, French wire furniture, ground sheets, floor cushions, bunting, and more to come.

Q.) Are jack&sally products durable?
Yes they are.  The tents are made from sturdy pine-a 7 piece frame, and beautiful fabric that can be pulled off and washed and/or interchanged.

Q.) Tell us more about the lady behind jack&sally…
I need to be creative and have always had something creative on the go. I used to do a clothing line and then had a baby and was rather busy for a while. Inspiration comes in other forms when small feet are about the house. I initially made a Punch & Judy puppet theatre which I adore, I sat with a carpenter for two weeks while we got measurements and dimensions right and then I did beautiful pin boards. I thought about what we loved doing when we were kids and we made tents, going from one side of the sofa to the other, using clothing pegs and pegging towels and blankets on the windy dryer, making rooms and spending hours outside.

Q.) Do you sew and make your products yourself?
Yes I do, I drill the holes (with the help of my husband), I make up the covers and sew the bunting.

Q.) Explain the name behind the business?
I love the Nightmare before Christmas.  Enough Said, read it, watch it, love it.

Q.) What is your inspiration?
Beautiful fabric, can’t resist a stunning piece.

Q.) What is your favourite product you sell?
I love making the tents and I love making the bunting, bunting is so happy….it’s hard to choose because it all marries so well together, the stunning French wire furniture, the beautiful floor cushions.  I simply cannot choose a favourite!

Q.) How can one buy a jack&sally product?
Inbox me on my facebook page here
Call me 083 748 2179

How to Win a jack&sally Tent:
If you don’t already have a jack&sally tent and you’d like to WIN one (which you do!) then comment on this post telling us the first ‘thing’ your little one would say when he/she spotted his/her new jack&sally tent. I think the first thing my little one would say is “Mom, is that for me!?”

For an extra entry, tweet the following: {GIVEAWAY} RT & comment on the link to WIN a tent from jack&sally & @LivingHillcrest here:

In order to qualify make sure you like jack&sally on Facebook here as well as Living Hillcrest here

*Giveaway open to KZN residents only. Competition closes on the 22nd November 2013 and winners will be announced on the 25th November 2013.
The winner will need to collect prize from jack&sally directly.
*Tent prize excludes cushion, bunting and floor mat. Tent valued at R730.

Monday, 28 October 2013

World AIDS Day Christmas Market

Be sure to support Hillcrest AIDS Centre this Christmas.

Favourite Things @ Talloula

I previously posted about Talloula's Christmas Fair here.
It sounded like a great day out and I was looking forward to it. The weather unfortunately didn't play along. We decided to brave the rain and ventured out to Talloula yesterday to see what it was all about. I was expecting the 'market' itself to be bigger and have more variety. The goodies they had were fabulous and beautiful...but limited. We were there for about 15 minutes and didn't buy anything. Nevertheless I did spot some fabulous things!


Such a pity about the weather. Better luck next time Talloula.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Hillcrest Country Market-3 November

Tracy and Frank are the brother and sister team behind this great concept.
Thanks for sharing this Tracy!

A monthly country style market in the heart of Hillcrest showcasing locally made goods and promoting the talents of local people

We are pleased to announce that Hillcrest Primary School will be the venue for this exciting new market! There has not been a regular market in central Hillcrest for over ten years and Hillcrest Primary School offers the perfect location, as it is quite literally in the heart of this ever-expanding town. Conveniently located a mere 1.5kms from the M13 on and off ramps, this venue is easily accessible from Durban and the Midlands. We will have the use of the school's hall and outside area for our market, so stallholders will have the option of being indoors or outdoors if they prefer. It is also the only regular market in the area that features an indoor facility, so come rain or shine it will be market time!

This monthly market will focus on showcasing only good quality locally made goods (made in SA). Our aim with this market is to provide an upmarket shopping experience while still retaining the charm of a country market.

Our first market is on Sunday 3 November but please also diarise the following dates on which we'll be having markets in the festive season - Sunday 8 and Sunday 22 December, these markets will be the ideal opportunity for visitors to find those unique Christmas gifts and do a bit of last minute shopping!

Once we're into the new year we hope to schedule our market for the first Sunday of every month but due to school functions there may be the odd time that this is not possible but we will keep our stallholders advised of any changes.

We've received a great response from stallholders and if you're keen to have a stall at Hillcrest Country Market please send us an email: or if you'd prefer to chat to us, you're welcome to give us a call - Frank
083 408 46 91 or Tracy 083 30 11 522

We look forward to welcoming you to Hillcrest's exciting new market!

Frank and Tracy Lyle
You can find {and like} Hillcrest Country Market on Facebook here
See you there!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Go to Play Market - I LOVED it!

What makes the Go to Play Market unique:
  • The venue
  • {finally} there is a kiddie focused market
  • The signage, names, the setup and the general look and feel of the market
  • The world class bike track - a huge draw card for all those adventourous dads/moms/sons/daughters!
  • The kiddie entrepreneurial area.
  • The passionate Go to PLay Team!
  • Something the whole family will love.
I don't know about you but I am one inquisitive lady. When I go somewhere new I want to know more about what happens behind the scenes. Sometimes I am fortunate enough to be able to ask the questions and get the answers...
There are two lovely ladies behind this ingenious market and they have kindly agreed to share their thoughts with us.
Have a look at the Q and A session we had below:
Tell us a little more about yourselves as the two lovely ladies behind the Go to Play Market?

We are both mothers of young kids. I (Derryn) have 2 boys Liam and Kei aged 5 and 1 and Fiona has a boy named Rio who is nearly 2. I studied Hotel Management after I left school and then lived in London for 10 years working in the hospitality industry. I also did a lot of travelling, something I am so grateful for! I returned to Durban in 2003, opened a restaurant called Vestige Bistro and Bar on the corner of Musgrave and St Thomas Road, enjoyed that for nearly 2 years and then had my kids. I love being a stay at home mom but also felt I needed that something for myself! I have worked in the odd event over the last 5 years and furthered my studying, but felt that I still had not found what I was looking for. Never mind the hours and lifestyle that goes with working events.
Fiona studied a 3 year diploma in clothing production and then went overseas for 12 years, returning to South Africa in 2008. She then opened a shop called 'Mooi' (currently now situated at Earthmother) with her business Partner Lauren. She then sold out of that and started selling Lemonade with her very talented graphic designer husband Dino at Wonder Market. She too is a stay at home mom, but also needs that outlet for her creativity and passion for unique and local products.
We are both really passionate about spending time with our kids and have always wanted to find that something that we can fit in with their schedule!

{don't these 2 sound like superwomen?!}

In typical 'selfless mom' style there are no photos of Derryn and Fiona but below are some lovely photos of the families coming together to make the signage for the market. I love it!


Go to Play Market is run from Giba Gorge, why did you choose Giba Gorge?
Once we had decided to go with the whole kiddie focused market, we of course needed to choose a venue suited to the needs of our target market (predominantly parents and children) and a venue that parents would feel their kids were safe in.  We needed a venue with space and shade, where the whole family could have a fun day out and relax!  We had been to Giba for numerous Birthday Parties and to ride the BMX track and thought it would be an ideal venue for the whole family. It had sufficient parking, it had the little bike tracks, the swings and jungle gym and of course the beautiful walk to the waterfall. Not only did it offer moms and kids an ideal venue to chill, but it also offered dads (or moms) who are exercise prone, the opportunity to go for a run or cycle while the rest of the family stayed at the market. Not many dads are into markets, so we felt this was a perfect opportunity for them to be involved.  The fact that so many markets are popping up everywhere, we knew we needed that 'wow factor'!  The I Heart and Wonder Market are both very established markets, but we felt that for our market we had the space for kids and prams! Something I had battled to find at other markets. Of course there was the issue of the dirt road and the distance from Durban but we thought most adventurous families would easily travel the distance for a good fun day out with the kids.  Even more reason for people to stay the day! I know all the kids had a blast at the first market, which means all of us parents did too! We approached Giba with our proposal and here we are today.  We love the venue!

Why did you start the Go to Play Market?
I was sitting in the lounge one day with my Partner Jan, and the thought just came in to my head, what about a kiddie focused market. Both the I Heart and Wonder Market are very well established but I felt that for kids there was a gap for a market with space, kiddies entertainment and a good day out for both Mom and Dad. I had always wanted to start a market, but had never followed through with it, the timing wasn't right. We as mothers are always trying to find a venue where we can take our kids, feel that they are safe and happy and in return relax!  I knew I couldn't do this on my own, so the first person that came into my mind was Fiona!  She is hugely passionate about her Lemonade and was involved in the market scene, so I knew that she would be the right partner for me on this! We offer different skills to the venture, but at the same time are very similar in our vision and the quality of products we are looking for!  Her husband has been helping us out with the posters and branding of the market, so we are hugely grateful for that!
Dino came up with the name and Jan came up with the idea of naming the areas in our market after kiddies well known Children’s books. Even if people don’t get it, we feel the names are fun and represent the areas perfectly.  The bar is called ‘Five minutes peace’, the kiddies area is called ‘Where the wild things are’, the kiddie stall area is called ‘The Lilliput market’ from Gulliver's travels and the food court is called ‘The very hungry catterpillar’. Most importantly this has been a family affair.  Our kids helped paint all the signs, we collected the hay bales from Mooi River and had the covers made. We also had the kiddie stalls made! Our heart and soul has gone into this.  Everything has been hand- picked, hand-made and made with love!

Please tell us more about the kiddies area and why this is such an ideal outing for families with children?

We have a kiddies area at the market offering face painting, sand art, cup cake decorating, tables and chairs with colouring in sheets, dress up boxes and photo boards. We have girls working in the area, playing with the kids and just keeping an eye. We hope this makes the parents feel more relaxed! We also have made our own Play Market Play packs for girls and boys. These sell for R60. We feel these are a great birthday gift! We also have a bubble machine blowing bubbles all day for those real littlies! They love bubbles! There is so much space between stalls that kids can ride their bikes and moms and dads can plonk their blanket down and sip on a cold craft beer, glass of wine or a soft drink. We also serve divine cappuccinos! This is a real family day out! There are so many ideas flowing around at the moment, we cannot wait to share them with everyone!
One of our special features is our very own kiddie entrepreneurial area. These stalls are run by kids who have made their own items. It is too sweet and was a real hit at the launch. We initially did not want to charge for these, but have decided to charge R50 a stall. We feel this will teach the kids that nothing comes for free! You pay for your materials and you pay for your space ‘rent’! This is the rent we charge! We have 4 kiddies stalls at the moment, but will grow this over time! 

How many stalls do you have?
We currently have 30 stalls.  We feel this is a good number to start off with.  We would rather focus on quality than quantity.  We would rather focus on getting people to the market, supporting our very talented stallholders and making sure we do not down slide on our quality of stalls.

How many stalls would you like to ideally grow to?
We would love to grow, as so many of these markets have, but this growth will be steady while we find stallholders who are passionate about their products!  We have had many people approach us to run a stall, but have had to turn them away.  This is not an indication of the standard of their products, but merely the fact that either we have something similar on board or they are more commercial goods. We do not want products you can find in the big shopping chains.  We want to support local people who make the items themselves or source it locally and the goods stick out from your ordinary run of the mill item. We would love to see ourselves grow into a combined food and family boutique market!  This will take time!  Good foodies are hard to find, but we know they are out there! We are also strict with the aesthetics of a stall.  We believe that the face of your stall is just as important as the quality of your product. 
If you would like a number, we would love to get to 80/100 stalls.  There is place to grow yet we still want to have that space for kids to play!

How much is it to get in and what does the cover charge include?
Giba charges R10 entrance fee for adults and kids over 3.  This gets you an amazing venue with a vast array of kiddies entertainment.  The face painting is free and so is the dress up, photoboards and colouring in. We have advertised on our poster this month guided walks to the waterfall.  This will be free of charge, but will work on a booking system. First come first serve.  We will organise 2 walks throughout the market day.  Of course the guides would not shun away any tips, but is not compulsory! We will pay the guides!
I noticed that majority of your stalls stock handmade/locally produced items, is this part of your selection process?
As mentioned above, yes we ideally want handmade/locally produced items. Fiona and I know exactly what we want! Whenever we go to shows or exhibitions to do research, we can point at the same stall at the same time and know whether we want them or not! We have very similar taste! What we also notice is that most of the markets have the same stallholders. We would like to find new ones! This takes time and perseverance and lot of research on our part.
Potential stallholders need to fill out our application form, send in pictures of their products and then we will get back to them.
We have varying stall holder fees. These can be discussed on request. Rates vary on the size of the stall and whether or not a stall needs power or a gazebo. We have also just introduced a new concession fee for stallholders who we feel need it and are prepared to just have a table and chair with less space. If people are interested in a stall, they need to email us on and we will send them an application form along with terms and conditions. We try to get back to people straight away, we believe in constantly being on the ball and up to date with our admin!

So there you have it. If you want to spend a day out with your family you will want to visit Giba Gorge and the Go to Play Market. Shop local and indulge in some great food. We had Suki's Indonesian Food {the pepper chicken and noodles is delicious} just by the way. But I wanted to eat so much more than just that!
For more up to date infomation on the Market visit and like them.
You can email Derryn
Future Market Dates:
Saturday November 16 2013
Saturday December 14 2013
Saturday January 11 2014
Saturday February 8 2014
Saturday March 15 2014

Photography by by Luca Barausse {not me...Luca's great photos blew my straight outta the water}

Friday, 11 October 2013

Go to Play Market - 12 October

For some reason I am really excited about this one!
Maybe it is because I know there is lots for the little one to do?
Maybe it is because the ladies who run this sound so great?
I can't wait to meet them!
Maybe it is because (and I am ashamed to admit this) I have never been to Giba Gorge before and have always wanted to?
Whatever the reason...I can't wait!
Find them on Facebook
See you there!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Bella & Boo

A new froyo store has opened in the Upper Highway area and it's...

'Froyo' is frozen yoghurt for those readers who are over the age of 25 and don't have teenagers.

Just love their little heifer and blue bird.

We popped into Bella & Boo for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed our first experience. Let me take you on a tour...

 I love that Kloof Bella & Boo has an imaginary line running down the middle of the shop with the delectable looking Empire Coffee on the left and the froyo on your right. This is brilliant as sometimes husband isn't in the mood for something sweet and he can indulge in some delicious coffee (he is a coffee addict thanks to his mom). I can't wait to try out Empire's selection too. I just love the look of it.

 Easy to use always gets points in my book. Simply grab a bowl and get going. Choose your flavours, get it in the bowl, and finish off with some delicious toppings.

Flavours include: Caramel, Creme Brulee, Nougat, Vanilla, various fruity flavours, Cheesecake, Cherry, Condensed Milk, and much more.

Topping selection includes: chocolate drops (and various other chocolaty options), jelly beans, fresh fruit, coconut, and of course sprinkles.

At the risk of sounding cheap we have worked out that it is best to avoid the 'heavier' options such as 'jelly snakes' as you pay for by weight. I don't know about you but I would rather have more froyo?!

Husbands verdict on Bella and Boo:
"Nice. Less 'tangy' than Wakaberry." He is a man of few words. So there you have it, if you are after a less 'tangy' flavour head over to Bella and Boo for some delicious froyo. I still love Wakaberry but have fallen in love with the new Bella & Boo.

My favourite thing about Bella & Boo froyo:
 Did you get that??? I am just going to say this again...
"almost fat free"
Pop over to their Facebook page
Phone Kloof Bella & Boo on 031 764 2092
Find them at the Kloof Maytime Centre, 20 Charles Way, Kloof, KZN.

Hillcrest has another (smaller) Bella & Boo at the Lillies Quarters
Phone Hillcrest Bella & Boo 031 765 1345
Find them 8A Lillies Quarters (near Oscars, 12 Old Mai Road, Hillcrest, KZN.

Monday, 30 September 2013

the meeting tree

My very first 'the meeting tree' market.
I loved it. I will be going back.
I took my mom and daughter along and the three of us thoroughly enjoyed our time under the pine trees.

The biggest draw card 'the meeting tree' has is the vibe.
My attempt at describing the vibe:
wine by the bottle (or glass), chatter, dogs missioning, bunting flowing in the wind, happiness, sunshine, blankets set down in long grass, pine needles, fresh air, live jazz, deck chairs, preloved books, never-ending views, family loving, tasty food and snacks, flowers in hair, laughter and some home brewed beer.

Thank you to Candice from Sliced Cheese for providing me with some more details about this laid back shopping experience.
'the meeting tree' all started on a piece of land overlooking Shongweni dam.  The owners apparently "just love the land and know that it is going to be a place where people will come and find rest and space as it is so beautiful."  The two-tiered pine tree forest is the perfect location for this market.  Not just "another flea market" but, an experiential market where one can come and enjoy a day out with their family, have great food, listen to live music and shop at Hillcrest's top handmade craft stalls.

Sliced Cheese got involved when the owners asked them to help them start a market.  Sliced Cheese came up with 'the meeting tree' concept and put the look and feel together.  The inspiration for the name comes from the tree that the band plays under. What a great place to meet it is. Sliced Cheese then started the official Facebook page and did a few flyer drops.

The first market was held in December 2012 after only one month of planning!

All the work has been done for the love of it and to see a market of this calibre take off in the Upper Highway area.

There are usually between 30 and 40 stalls but this fluctuates each month.  The stalls are also always changing as new vendors come along. At this stage 50 stalls would be the maximum.

The chosen band used every month is called 5th Season Jazz Band.  It is a three piece jazz band with drums, bass and guitar.  According to Candice "they are so groovy and provide a wonderful vibe to come and relax and enjoy a day out." I must admit that I didn't hear them play. The photo of the musicians below are not 5th Season Jazz Band. These two sand some really mellow acoustic music after 5th Season Jazz left. Great music. 

According to Candice the venue can also be hired as a rustic wedding venue or party venue. There is a rustic chapel on the property that they want to repair and a stone main house with a big open plan lounge and deck overlooking the view.

People who are interested should contact Candice from Sliced Cheese Designs at Stalls are R200 for foodies, R150 for crafts and R100 if you don't need a table.
The selection process involves sending an email with pictures and a description of what you do. Don't bother popping Candice an email if you sell imported Chinese bits and bobs, because you are not going to make the cut. 'the meeting tree' team only select handmade or well-made crafts that are unique. The Meeting Tree have vendors from as far as Pietermaritzburg, South Coast, North Coast, Howick, Nottingham Road and Durban.

Have a look at 'the meeting tree' on Facebook here.
This is a good place to keep up to date for dates and vendors.
The market is usually on the first Sunday of every month.

The Meeting Tree - October

Don't miss 'the meeting tree' this October.
Put it in your diary now.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Christmas with Talloula

Get organised this year and do all your Christmas shopping at your local markets and fairs. Support the Hillcrest community and start saving for the 'Favoutite Things @ Talloula' Christmas Fair.
I know that I will most certainly be there.
I plan to be one of those organised Christmas shoppers this year!
Visit Talloula's Facebook Page and be sure to 'Like' them here.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Happy Spring!

This is just my kind of humour! I love it.

May you spend your spring running through fields of wild flowers, enjoying long walks with those you love, eating from picnic baskets in the warming sun, and doing whatever else makes your heart warm.

Farewell winter, hello Spring! 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


Hillcrest Primary School are hosting their second 'LOOK WHAT I MADE' market tomorrow evening, Friday 30 August.
Make sure you pop in and support the local Hillcrest community.
For more information contact or 084 529 9639.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Makaranga Movie Moment

The husband surprised me to a night out at the movies.
Not just any outdoor movie!
Makaranga are running this experience from August 7 until September 18, 2013. In my humble opinion Makaranga's garden is perfectly suited to this! It has a gentle slope which ensures everyone can see without having to sit in the front. Makaranga is beautiful, even in the dark!

We had the pleasure of watching Top Gun. I am embarrassed to admit it but neither the husband or I had watched this old classic!
What a treat.
Take a look at the line up above.
If you want to find out more about The Galileo Open Air Cinema take a look here.
Or you can phone the Ticket Hotline on: 0861 2255 98
The husband booked our tickets online in advance and got a small discount. Otherwise you can buy 'at the door' pay full price and risk it being sold out. Movies start at 6:30pm but you can go into the movie area from 4pm. When we got there it was dark already (this was not the plan and resulted in some less than desirable photographs). 

You can buy food and drinks as well as popcorn. You can't take any food or drinks in. We had some scrumptious boerie rolls complete with chilli sauce (it would not be Natal without chilli sauce!). Stock up on food and drinks before the show starts as they pack away when the movie gets going. Bit of a pity as I could have done with a hot cup of Milo halfway.

You can hire/rent a blanket if you forget to take your own. But please remember to take a pillow or two with you. The ground does get hard after a while and I felt so sorry for the people next to us who sat the whole way through while we go to lie down and snuggle under our blankets. At the end of the day...go prepared. There are a several fire pits glowing to keep warm. If you love a good fire pit get there early to get a spot close to one.

We are considering going again and taking our daughter.

Sorry about the poor photography but photos in the dark just do not do this justice.