Just Me – Juanita Maree

18 June 2015

Juanita chose Soet Bistro in Durbanville for our Tea Date.  The attractive waiter (wink!), the selection of cakes, good tea and lots of chatting made this a very special experience for me.

Thank you for a pleasant afternoon of serious conversation, as well as fun moments.  You qualify to move in behind my desk and you look stunning there, Juanita!

Juanita desk final

A bit about Juanita

Juanita was a (brilliant) primary school teacher for 22 years.  I say “brilliant” as teaching was a passion more than a career for her. She has the most amazing ability to teach young children.  In 2012 she left the teaching profession to assist her husband, Danie, in his businesses:  Rumadani Tours and Tygerberg Guttering Solutions.

Juanita’s mug

Juanita considers herself a “plain Jane” and “just normal”, therefore it was no surprise when she brought a mug and not a tea cup.  This mug was part of a set she bought after renovating her kitchen and it remains a favourite!

 Beker foto

 Our Live, Love, Laugh conversation:

 Live:   “I stress over everything and everybody! With age, however,  I have learned there is no purpose in stressing over others or even stressing on their behalf over their circumstances.  My stressing is not going to change anything for them!  I must take life easier.”

Just to give you an idea of how badly Juanita can stress over others:  she is an avid rugby supporter and when her team does not play well, or is on the edge of losing, she leaves the TV to wash dishes to calm her nerves J

Love your Look:  Juanita’s image and dress tips

“Although I dress very plainly (normally just trousers, a top and flat shoes) I never go without makeup. For me, makeup completes an outfit”

….And she also wears makeup when on holiday.  Not even a beach day will prevent her from putting makeup on.  I salute you for this, Juanita!

 Juanita also shared her best shopping tip:  “I never go clothing shopping specifically;  I make it  part of my grocery shopping….and I always find something!”

This is exactly what I teach my image students.  On the days you do not plan on buying clothes, you normally find your best buys.

 Laugh:  Juanita has many funny stories about herself to share, but one of her personal favourites is the day she shopped from another women’s trolley.

Juanita often does things in a bit of a rush due to her full program.  So it happened that she ran into the local grocery store, glad to see the daily trolleys with marked down punnets of fruit and vegetables.  Happy to be in time for a good bargain she started to shop from the first trolley.  Her son then noticed that mom was not loading her bargains from the official bargain trolley, but from the trolley of another shopper.  As fast as the other lady loaded bargains into her trolley, Juanita moved it over into her own!  In her hurry, she never noticed that she stopped at the wrong trolley!

…..oh my word!  Just imagine – as fast as you pack your trolley, somebody else unpacks it!!

 (It was very hard to choose only one of Juanita’s funny stories.  I think I will post more in the future.  Keep an eye on the “Laugh” section of this blog.)

Juanita’s secret revealed:

 Now this piece of information stunned me….

“ I am addicted to chewing gum!  I put chewing gum in my mouth after brushing my teeth in the morning and take that chewing gum out at night when I brush my teeth before bed”

Why am I stunned to learn this?  I have never seen Juanita chew on that chewing gum – she is not a typical gum chewer and you will never know that she even has gum in her mouth.  I am going to send all the ugly gum chewers I have met in my life to her for chewing lessons.

The crazy classy gift!

Technology frustrates Juanita, but she has mastered her smart phone and loves Facebook and Instagram, amongst others.  She is also a very cold person and not particularly fond of winter.  Her gift will allow her to enjoy social networking while her hands stay warm:  gloves with touch screen finger tips!


What I have learned from Juanita

I admire Juanita for the fact that she is satisfied with very little.  She has no desire for anything fancy and yet, has always lived a joyful and full life even in the most difficult of times. Juanita knows how to appreciate a little and make the most of it.

Until our next Tea Date!


Give and Take

Die Afrikaanse weergawe verskyn onder die Engels.

Nerine Gardiner (www.girlwithcake.co.za) bakes cake for street people, because she believes everybody deserves the experience of joy a delicious cake can bring.

I also love baking cake, but I wait for an occasion before I bake.  Here is a young lady who creates an occasion to bake ….  creates an opportunity to give.

My mind wanders to the Bible text teaching us the joy of giving as opposed to receiving.  As a child I never really understood this text as  I then enjoyed receiving the many gifts for my birthday, money in an envelope and surprises arranged by others.  In any case, if the Bible text referred to giving money, I never had much for sharing.

They say: with age comes wisdom, and somewhere in life I realised that giving is not only about gifts and money; it’s about much more than that.  Giving is an attitude and not necessarily about tangible things.

Giving is:

  • 5 minutes of your time just to call and find out how things are
  • thinking about someone who suffers and saying a silent prayer for that person
  • a text message to say “good luck with your doctor’s appointment today”

There is nothing wrong with giving tangible items:

  • share the soup you cooked with your ill neighbour, even if you don’t know her
  • give the leftover birthday cake to the “bergie” in the park – do you really need more kilojoules?
  • pick lavender in your garden for your special friend’s birthday….it is not the monetary value that counts, but the love you give it with

The question still remains:  how can it be better to give than to receive?

It is certainly not wrong to enjoy a gift or a surprise.  In fact, appreciate what others give you with gratitude.   You will, however, experience the joy of giving when you put your own ego and needs aside and show sincere interest in others; when you realise a text message, small bunch of lavender or a phone call reflects the love and pampering we all sometimes yearn for.

Only when you look into the eyes of the receiver, see the ear-to-ear smile, the tear of appreciation or the spontaneous hug of love to thank you, you realise giving has as much an influence on your own mood as on that of the person you have given to.

You too can cultivate a spirit of giving by applying the following question: “how can I bring peace, joy and kindness?”

Let’s create (more) opportunities to give!



Nerine Gardiner (www.girlwithcake.co.za) bak koek vir straatmense, want sy glo elke mens verdien die vreugde wat ‘n heerlike koek bring.

Ek is ook baie lief vir koek bak, maar ek wag vir ‘n geleentheid voor ek bak.  Hier is egter ‘n jong dame wat ‘n geleentheid skep om ‘n koek te bak….’n geleentheid skep om te gee.

My gedagtes dwaal na die Bybelvers wat ons leer dat daar meer vreugde is in gee as ontvang.  As kind het ek nie eintlik hierdie vers verstaan nie – wat was dan nou lekkerder as ‘n klomp geskenke met jou verjaardag, geld in ‘n koevert en verrassings wat ander vir jou reël? Buitendien, as die Bybelvers verwys het na geld gee, het ek in elk geval nooit veel gehad om uit te deel nie.

Hulle sê:   met ouderdom kom wysheid en iewers in my lewe het ek besef gee gaan oor veel meer as geskenke en geld.  Gee is ‘n gesindheid en nie noodwendig iets tasbaars nie.

Gee is:

  • 5 minute van jou tyd vir ‘n oproep om net te vra hoe dit gaan
  • ‘n gedagte aan iemand wat swaarkry en die prewel van ‘n gebed vir daardie een
  • ‘n boodskap om te sê “voorspoed met jou doktersafspraak”

Daar is niks verkeerd met tasbare items nie:

  • deel die sop wat jy gekook het met jou siek buurvrou, al ken jy haar nie
  • gee die oorskiet verjaardagkoek vir die bergie in die parkie – het jy regtig nog kilojoules nodig?
  • pluk laventel in jou tuin vir ‘n spesiale vriendin se verjaardag … dis nie die geldwaarde wat tel nie, maar die liefde waarmee jy gee.

Die vraag bly egter:   hoe kan dit lekkerder wees om te gee as om te ontvang?

Dis beslis nie verkeerd om ‘n geskenk of ‘n verrassing te geniet nie.  Inteendeel, waardeer wat ander vir jou gee met groot dankbaarheid.  Jy sal egter die vreugde van gee ervaar wannneer jy jou eie ego en behoeftes opsy skuif en opreg in ander begin belangstel;  wanneer jy besef dat ‘n boodskap, bossie laventel of ‘n oproep die liefde en vertroeteling weerspieël waarna ons almal soms hunker.

Dis wanneer jy in die oë kyk van die ontvanger, die oor-to-oor glimlag sien, die traan van waardering of die spontane drukkie om dankie te sê, dat jy besef dit het net so ‘n groot effek op jou eie gemoed as op die persoon aan wie jy gegee het.

Jy kan ook ‘n gesindheid van gee kweek deur die volgende vraag in jou lewe toe te pas: “hoe kan ek vrede, vreugde en vriendelikheid bring?”

Kom ons skep (meer) geleenthede om te gee!


Your wardrobe – your haven 2

(Die Afrikaanse weergawe verskyn onder die Engels)

I hope you are making good progress with creating your own wardrobe haven.

As promised, hereby a few more tips and ideas:

Jewellery, Handbags, Scarves, Makeup

  •  There are amazing ways besides drawers to store jewellery e.g jewellery mats, decorative hanging items, utility boxes etc
  • Consider the most practical way to store your jewellery. My favourite place for jewellery is on the inside of my cupboard door – right next to where I choose my outfits.

Jewellery idea 1

jewellery idea 2

  • Handbags can be kept on a shelf, on handbag hooks inside your cupboard, or alternatively on a hanging shelf.

handbag ideas 2

Handbag idea 1

  • Scarves can be stored in a drawer with dividers, hanging shelf (roll them for an interesting appearance), stackable containers or scarf hangers.

Scarf idea 2

Scarf idea 1

  • Keep hair accessories in utility boxes, or find a decorative box to display on your dressing table.

Hair ideas 1

  • If you use your makeup every day, it is important to keep it in a place where it is easy to reach.

makeup ideas 1


makeup ideas 2



  •  There are wonderful stackable shoe boxes available. My personal preference is  a drawer – like box.
  • A shoe rack may suffice if you do not have many shoes, and if you have the space in your cupboard.
  • Hanging shoe shelves are also great for shoes and can even be used for other items such as scarves, jewellery, hair accessories, etc

Shoe idea 1

shoe idea 2

How do I decide what items will work best for organising my wardrobe?

  •  Consider the most practical place to put the various items e.g hair accessories where you dry/comb your hair; jewellery where you get dressed.
  • Consider the space you have available for storing your items.
  • Your personal preferences – I hate taking lids off boxes (laziness?) so I found other practical items for my cupboard, e.g. lin bins which stacks easily and are open in the front.

Where to find these items?

  •  Shops which specialises in plastic containers
  • DIY departments in large retail stores
  • Homeware and home décor shops

Enjoy every moment of creating your wardrobe haven and watch this space for more surprises!



Ek hoop jy maak goeie vordering met die skep van jou eie klerekas paradys.

Soos beloof, hiermee nog ‘n paar voorstelle en idees:   Sien fotos hierbo

 Juwele, Handsakke, Serpe, Grimering

  •  Behalwe vir laaie, is daar ongelooflike maniere om jou juwele te stoor, bv juwele matte, dekoratiewe items wat jy kan ophang, nutshouers, ens.
  • Oorweeg die mees praktiese manier om jou juwele te stoor. My gunsteling plek vir juwele is aan die binnekant van my kasdeur – net daar waar ek my uitrustings kies.
  • Handsakke kan op ‘n rak gepak word, aan hakke binne jou kas gehang word, of maak gebruik van ‘n ‘hang rak’.
  • Serpe kan gestoor word in laaie met afskortings, ‘n ‘hang rak’ (rol hulle op vir ‘n interessante voorkoms), houers wat opmekaar kan stapel of selfs op serphangers.
  • Hou bykomstighede vir hare in nutshouers, of oorweeg ‘n dekoratiewe houer wat jy op jou spieeltafel kan uitstal.
  • As jy elke dag grimering dra, hou dit byderhand waar jy dit maklik kan bereik.


  •  Daar is wonderlike skoendose beskikbaar wat op mekaar kan stapel. My persoonlike voorkeur is skoendose wat soos ‘n laai kan ooptrek.
  • ‘n Skoenrak sal voldoende wees indien jy nie baie skoene het nie en as jy genoeg plek in jou kas het.
  • ‘Hang rakke’ vir skoene is baie prakties en kan selfs vir die stoor van ander items gebruik word, bv serpe, juwele en bykomstighede vir hare.

Hoe besluit ek watter items die beste is vir die organisering van my klerekas?

  •  Oorweeg die beste plek vir versillende items, bv bykomstighede vir jou hare hoort waar jy jou hare kam of droogblaas; juwele waar jy aantrek.
  • Oorweeg ook die spasie wat jy beskikbaar het vir die stoor van verskillende items.
  • Hou jou persoonlike voorkeure in gedagte – ek haat dit om deksels van houers af te haal (luiheid?) so ek het ander praktiese items vir my kas gekry, bv houers wat opmekaar stapel en oop is aan die voorkant.

Waar kry ek hierdie items?

  •  Winkels wat spesialiseer in plastiekhouers
  • Doen-dit-self afdelings in groot winkels
  • Winkels wat huisware en huisdekor aanhou

Geniet elke oomblik van die skep van jou stukkie paradys en hou die spasie dop vir nog verrassings!