Jack of all Trades – Catherina Heunis

16 May 2016

Being as unpretentious as she is, it came as no surprise when Catherina insisted I meet her at her office in Stellenbosch instead of a fancy coffee shop or hotel.  She decided to do some work before I arrive.

        ……the perfect example of a conscientious employee – she worked on the Saturday of our Tea Date; and late every day due to management pressures!

Catherina, you qualified to move in behind my desk. It brings memories of your PA days where you also sat behind my desk 😉

Catherina desk

A bit about Catherina

Catherina started work at Tokara Wine Estate 11 years ago. She was appointed to an Administration & Accountant position.  Hard work and further studies, lead to her promotion as Administration & Financial Manager.

 Catherina’s coffee mug

No tea cup for this girl, just a plain white coffee mug “because it is functional – it works for both coffee and tea.”

…..a typical accountant?!  🙂 

 Oh, yes, there is another reason as well:  “it has a thin edge lip – I hate thick-edged mugs”

Mug final

Our Live, Love, Laugh conversation:

 Live:   “I am a fixer, but I had to learn to accept the fact that I cannot fix everybody’s lives for them;  especially not to be the way I think it should be.  When someone has a problem, I am always the one to jump in and find a solution.  I have, however, often been disappointed by people who did not agree with my suggestions or did not accept my help.  It took me a long time to realise that sometimes one just has to let go and allow others to solve their problems in their own way….and it is still tough for me to keep my distance.”

Catherina lost both her parents at a very young age and was the strong one for her 3 siblings. She also lost her first husband shortly after their marriage. Through all these circumstances she had a fighting spirit and did not allow life to get her down.  No wonder you are a fixer, Catherina!

Love your LookCatherina’s image tip

“I have no tip – you know that I cannot get the dress thing right.  Did you notice I am wearing a scarf today?”

….You are just so preciously honest!

 “Ok, on a serious note:  find out who you are, how you want to look and do not try to dress like someone else”

….See, you are not clueless!

 Laugh:  “As we are also in the restaurant business,  let me share with you how strange people can behave when eating out. Someone I know went to a well-known restaurant on Mother’s Day.  He noticed a group of people who frequently passed a handbag from the one to the other and would then do “something” with it, but trying to ensure nobody notices.  Guess what did?  The had a “papsak” wine in the handbag, made a hole at the bottom for the tap and filled their glasses under the table when the handbag was moved around.  Can you believe it?”

 Catherina’s secret revealed:

“I have an unbearable desire for knowledge! I always want to know everything (gossip excluded) although I have no clue as to what I want to do with it all. BUT, I always think I may just need that information somewhere in the future!”.

….so Catherina, are you like those little kids who keep on asking “why?”

The crazy classy gift!

As Catherina is a very organised and methodical person who may easily forget there is more to life than just work, I chose red bicycle paperclips for her.

May these remind you to have more fun too!

Gift photo

 What I have learned from Catherina: 

She gives a different meaning to the expression “dynamite comes in small packages”.  Although she is energetic, walks fast, works hard, fixes problems, moves and shakes; she remains humble, unpretentious, positive and prepared to “fix herself” (learn from life).  This little dynamite lady can explode, believe me, but by the time it happens she has good reason; and never the intention to hurt or humiliate people.

Catherina, value the fact that you are a very special lady with a huge heart!


Until we meet at the next Tea Date!





Your wardrobe – your haven 1

(Afrikaans verskyn onderaan die Engels)

So, have you survived the clearing out process and ready to create your own wardrobe haven!?

Before we start the organising process, here is another tip: only keep clothes for the current season in your wardrobe! The reasons being:

  • more packing space available
  • avoiding the possible boredom of looking at your(same ld)clothes all year round
  • unpacking your clothes at the beginning of a new season can be quite exciting – you may have forgotten what you have
  • you can sort your clothes before packing it into your cupboard

Store your clothing for the next season in vacuum bags if your storage space is limited.  It works extremely well!

Now that you know what (wearable!) clothing and accessories you have left, you can shop for containers and practical items to organise your wardrobe practically and tidily.

Here are some suggestions:

Hanging items

  •  Your wardrobe will look neat if your hangers are all the same. I love the versatile plastic hangers with twisting hooks which make it easier to have all my clothes facing the same direction.  For expensive coats and jackets, consider wooden coat hangers.

hanger idea 2

  • Hang clothes on separate hangers: one item per hanger. Separate suits and organise hanging items in your cupboard so that jackets, blouses, skirts and trousers are together. In this way all your clothes are visible at a glance and it is easier to see different mix and match combinations.

Pretty enough for a Princess

Hanger idea 1

  • Use utility hangers for scarves and belts.

belts idea



  •  Fold jerseys and t-shirts neatly and keep similar items together on a shelf.
  • Never stack items too high; rather arrange / pack it in stackable containers on the shelves.
  • Items which do not stack well e.g socks, pantyhose and underwear can also be placed in baskets or stackable containers.


 Box idea 1


  •  Drawers are ideal for items which cannot be stacked on a shelf. Make use of drawer dividers or plastic containers to keep items neat.
  • If you keep your make up and, or, jewellery in drawers, look out for useful containers – even cutlery trays do the job.

 drawer divider idea 1


Why not make your own dividers?

drawer divider idea 2


Remember:  Besides packing your cupboard in a neat, practical and organised way, it also needs to look pretty!  So look out for items you really like.




Het jy toe die skoonmaakproses oorleef en is jy gereed om jou eie klerekas paradys te skep?

Voor ons begin met die groot regpak, het ek vir julle nog ‘n wenk:  hou slegs die klere vir die huidige seisoen in jou kas!  Die redes hiervoor:

  • Jy gaan meer pakplek in jou kas hê
  • Jy gaan nie so gou verveeld raak met jou klere as jy nie heel jaar daarin hoef vas te kyk nie
  • Om jou klere aan die begin van ‘n nuwe seisoen uit te pak kan heel opwindend wees – jy het dalk al vergeet wat jy het
  • Dit skep ‘n geleentheid om jou klere uit te sorteer voor jy dit terugpak in jou kas

Indien jy beperkte spasie in jou huis het, stoor gerus jou klere in vakuum sakke.  Dit werk regtig goed.

Nou dat jy weet watter (drabare) klere en bykomstighede jy oor het, kan jy houers en praktiese items gaan koop om jou klerekas mee te organiseer.

Hier is ‘n paar voorstelle:   Sien fotos hierbo

Hang klere

  •  Jou klerekas sal netjies lyk as al jou hangers dieselfde lyk. Ek hou baie van die veelsydige plastiek hangers met hake wat in die rondte draai.  Sodoende hang my klere almal in dieselfde rigting.  Vir duur jasse en baadjies kan jy gepaste hout hangers gebruik.
  • Hang jou klere op aparte hangers: een item per hanger.  Skei jou pakkies en sorteer hang items in jou klerekas op so ‘n manier dat baadjies, bloese, rompe en broeke bymekaar hang.  Sodoende is al jou klere met een oogopslag sigbaar en sal jy makliker verskillende meng-en-pas opsies raaksien.
  • Gebruik nutshangers (“utility hangers”) vir serpe en gordels.


  •  Vou truie en t-hemde netjies en hou items van dieselfde soort bymekaar op ‘n rak.
  • Moet nooit items te hoog op mekaar staple nie; pak dit eerder in houers wat op mekaar gestapel kan word.
  • Items wat nie maklik op mekaar gestapel kan word nie, bv sokkies, kouse en onderklere kan ook in mandjies of stapel houers gesit word.


  •  Laaie is ideaal vir items wat nie op mekaar op ‘n rak gepak kan word nie. Maak gebruik van afskortings binne die laai of plastiek houers om items netjies te hou.
  • As jy jou grimering en/of juwele in laaie hou, wees op die uitkyk vir praktiese houers – selfs houers vir eetgerei kan goed werk.

Onthou:  Behalwe dat jy jou kas netjies, prakties en georganiseerd wil hê, moet dit ook mooi lyk!  So kyk gerus uit vir items waarvan jy regtig hou.

handbag walls





Plain Jane – Ronel Smith

9 May 2015

The very humble Ronel allowed me to choose a venue for our Tea Date.  She deserved to be spoiled and I took her to the Peninsula Hotel in Sea Point.  The weather played along and we had a super time next to the swimming pool!

Ronel, you look great behind my desk!  Welcome!

Ronel desk


A bit about Ronel

Ronel is an accountant at Cape Cheese. After 21 years at the company she knows the business inside-out…and of making cheese too!

       …….come to think about it – I should have twisted her arm(sic!)for a gift of cheese 🙂

Ronel’s tea cup

Ronel brought a tea cup belonging to her Mom.  This reminds her of her granny, a real lady, who enjoyed tea and a biscuit at 11h00 daily.  The tea cup stayed on our table throughout our conversation and attracted much attention and comments to our amazement!

 Tea cup pool

Our Live, Love, Laugh conversation:

 Live:   “Life threw me a curve ball when my sister died 9 years ago.  I have never seen myself as a ‘go getter’, but this experience has taught me that we can determine our own destiny. I was bowled over, but realised that I cannot depend on others to pick me up. I had to get up myself –  the world owes me nothing!  I try to instill this lesson in my children as well:  “There is no such thing as ‘I cannot anymore’.  Endure and try – you will see what you are capable of.”

Ronel has 2 daughters of her own and adopted her sister’s 2 daughters all 4 now teenagers!  Salute! to what you have achieved thusfar with these beautiful young ladies.

Love your Look:  Ronel’s image tip   :  “I dress for comfort!!”.

        …..there you go!  Words of someone who is happy in her own body.

Laugh:  Ronel shared a personal story which had me in stitches.  Ronel has always been a very shy and reserved lady. Some time ago she visited a Dermatologist who, to her surprise, asked her to strip down to her underwear and wear the gown on the examination table.  She then, with horror and embarrassment, discovered that the gown was way too small and could not gather in front – which half exposed her!  Ronel’s comment:  “What is he thinking – not all women are the same size”.  Imagine this sight – the doctor entering the examination room and breaking into a grin!?

 Ronel’s secret revealed:

Ronel loves reading Mills & Boons novels and even taught me how these books are colour coded : there is a different ‘band colour’ for each genre!

Well, this piece of information intrigued me and I went to Google it.  It seems that different countries use different coding systems, but the Afrikaans website shows  MODERN – dark blue;  DESIRE – red;  MEDICAL – green; INSPIRE – turquoise, to name but a few genres.

The crazy classy gift!

I decided to spoil this busy lady with a Mills & Boons book – how could I not?! (and please note the band colour: pink for ‘soothing’).  The bookmark will hopefully remind her of her carefree childhood days when she lost herself in books and never even took notice of friends who came to visit.

I hope this will encourage some “me-time”, Ronel

Ronel geskenk

What I have learned from Ronel: 

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.  Despite the fact that Ronel is very quiet, reserved and prefers to stay in the background, she is an exceptionally strong woman who has made lemonade with all the lemons life has thrown at her.  She has, however, done this in her own quiet, remarkable manner without complaining nor looking to others to solve her problems. She practiced what she preaches:  “get up and move on!”


Until we meet at the next Tea Date!




Your winter wardrobe – organised chaos?

(Die Afrikaanse weergawe verskyn na die foto)

May, the last month of autumn!  We are well aware that winter is approaching fast.

The beginning of a season is the ideal time to revamp our wardrobes and sort our existing clothes – a task most women dread!  “It’s too much effort. What do I keep and what not?  What to do with the stuff I don’t need? What if I need something I threw out?”

These are not unfamiliar excuses to me and therefore I would like to assist you getting your wardrobe ready for winter.  Just imagine opening your cupboard doors every morning and looking at your own little haven – everything is neatly packed and everything has a purpose; you cannot wait to get dressed!

So, let’s get going sorting your existing winter clothes.

Firstly, find a place or person who can benefit from the items you will remove from your cupboard.  There are charities which can distribute your (old) clothes, shoes and accessories and, believe me, it is easier to let go of items if you know it can benefit someone else!

Now use the following guidelines in deciding what must be removed from your wardrobe:

  •  Items you do not feel good in – maybe due to the colour and/or style
  • Items which look worn(tattered)- no matter how much you love wearing it, it has served its purpose and you most likely don’t look your best in it anymore
  • Styles which are outdated – it repeats, but with a “twist”, not looking the same… and you will be older and not necessarily look good in it again
  • Unnecessary duplications – how many white blouses, black pants and jeans do you really need?
  • Clothes which are too small or too big – altering oversized clothing may change the entire style …and if you keep your thin clothes hoping to fit into it again, remember: by the time you’ve lost the weight – you deserve new clothes!
  • Items you have not worn for 2 seasons

 Valuable tip from my late momI once noticed some of my mom’s clothes in the cupboard in the spare room.  Upon asking her about it, she said “They are on holiday!  I don’t wear it anymore, but to make sure I will not need it again, I put it where I cannot see it.  If, after another season, I still don’t miss it I know it can go!”

Still not sure about certain clothing items?  Put them on holiday!

 More valuable tips to follow soon!

wardrobe 1


 Mei, die laaste herfsmaand!  Ons is deeglik bewus van winter wat nou vinnig nader kom.

Die begin van ‘n seisoen is die ideale tyd vir nuwe lewe in ons klerekaste en om deur ons bestaande klere te sorteer.  ‘n Taak wat meeste vroue verkies om te vermy:  “Dis te veel moeite.   Wat hou ek en wat nie?  Waarheen met dit wat ek nie nodig het nie? Wat as ek iets gaan nodig kry wat ek uitgegooi het?”

Hierdie verskonings is nie vir my vreemd nie en daarom wil ek jou graag help om jou klerekas gereed te kry vir die winter.  Verbeel jou jy maak elke oggend jou kasdeure oop en kyk na jou eie stukkie paradys – alles is netjies gepak en alles het ‘n doel;  jy kan nie wag om aan te trek nie!

So kom ons begin jou bestaande wintersklere uitsorteer.

Heel eerste – kry ‘n plek of persoon wat kan baat by die items wat jy uit jou klerekas gaan verwyder.  Daar is liefdadigheids-organisasies wat jou (ou) klere, skoene en bykomstighede kan gebruik vir minder bevoorregtes, en glo my, dis baie makliker om items te laat gaan as jy weet iemand anders kan dit gebruik.

Maak nou gebruik van die volgende riglyne om te besluit wat jy uit jou klerekas moet verwyder:

  •  Items waarin jy nie goed voel nie – dalk oor die kleur en/of styl
  • Items wat lyk of dit al voos gedra is – maak nie saak hoe lekker dit dra nie, dit het sy doel gedien en jy lyk tien-teen-een nie meer jou beste daarin nie
  • Style wat oudmodies is – al kom style weer terug in die mode is dit met ‘n “twist” en lyk nie weer dieselfde nie; jy is boonop dan ouer en sal nie noodwendig weer goed lyk daarin nie
  • Onnodige dupliserings – hoeveel wit bloese, swart broeke en denims het jy regtig nodig?
  • Alle klere wat te klein of te groot is – om oorgrote klere te verstel kan die styl heeltemal beinvloed… en as jy jou maer klere hou en hoop jy gaan weer daarin pas, onthou:  teen die tyd dat jy gewig verloor het, verdien jy nuwe klere!
  • Items wat jy vir 2 seisoene nie gedra het nie

 Waardevolle wenk van my oorlede Moeder:  Ek het een keer opgelet dat van my Ma se klere in die spaarkamerkas hang.  Toe ek haar daarna vra, was haar antwoord “Hulle is met vakansie! Ek dra hulle nie meer nie, maar om seker te maak ek gaan hulle regtig nie meer nodig kry nie, sit ek hulle waar ek hulle nie kan sien nie.  As ek daardie klere na nog ‘n seisoen nie mis nie, weet ek hulle kan maar gaan! “

Steeds nie seker oor sekere klere items nie?  Sit hulle op vakansie!

 Nog waardevolle wenke volg binnekort!






Lucille, the Diva – Lucille MacGibbon

30 April 2015

The Diva, as Lucille calls herself, decided that we should have meet at the Crystal Towers Hotel for our Tea Date.  It was a special afternoon with serious discussions as well as “girlie giggles”!

Lucille, you qualify to share my desk and it is a privilege to see you behind it.

Lucille desk

A bit about Lucille

Lucille is a Human Resources Business Partner at SA Rugby and looks after the referees, rugby department, operations, finance, corporate affairs and the executive team.

          …….a hectic job with major responsibilities, but she is fortunate to (regularly) appear on photos with some great hunks 😉

Lucille’s coffee mug 

A cute mug covered with cupcake pictures;  because Lucille loves sweet things!!

 Framed mug

Our Live, Love, Laugh conversation:

 Live:  Lucille lost her husband in a hijacking in July 2000 and accepting the loss of not only a spouse, but also a marriage, has been a long, tough journey.  I know Lucille to be a chirpy lady who still loves life and wanted to know how she does this despite the very sad trauma she experienced.

Confidently, without hesitation, she answered:  “Avoid negativity, don’t listen to it.  Forget about ‘I can’t – no, it is I can’.  I believe in being positive, and yes, it is an inner battle and a conscious decision to take every day.  However, I know that positive energy and thoughts lead to positive encounters.  I also experienced my faith in God got me through the trauma.”

Love your LookLucille’s image tip:  “If you are a slightly bigger women, you can still maintain a sense of trendiness.  Do not neglect yourself – make an effort with your makeup and hair”.

                         …..I hope all the plus size ladies take this advice to heart. Lucille always looks immaculate – even when in casuals.

 Laugh:  “I was once stopped in a roadblock where the traffic cop noticed my license disk has expired.  I panicked a bit, but then told the (Afrikaans speaking) traffic cop that the license disk was couriered from Johannesburg to Cape Town as I am in the process of moving (the latter being the truth).  The cop frowned at me,  totally confused, clearly not understanding what “couriered” meant…and then told me I can go.  We had a good laugh in the car – probably more out of relief rather than the word “couriered”  not being understood by the cop”

Lucille’s secret revealed:

She can do beading!  Lucille wears the most beautiful pearls which I never knew she beaded herself.

….I tried very hard, but it seems that Lucille really don’t have any dark secrets to share (LOL).  Lucille, may we place orders for your beautiful pearls, please?

 The crazy classy gift!

Lucille travels for work and I decided to give her a travel buddy that can keep her warm;  small enough to easily fit into her suitcase.  Lucille, your buddy will have to get a name – we are waiting to hear!


What I have learned from Lucille: 

I have learned that it is “ok” to seek help when we do not cope in life.  Lucille made use of professional help and support groups after her husband was killed.  There are qualified professionals and wonderful support groups for a reason – we just need to admit that we need their help.

We also need to be aware of God’s presence in our difficult times and recognise the angels (caring people) He sends us.


Thank you for sharing Lucille!  Until we meet at the next Tea Date.