Be Positive – Yolanda Siebrits

16 October 2015

Yolanda decided Café Chameleon was the place to be for our tea date – a restaurant with a stunning view of Table Mountain and Cape Town.  We met on a Friday afternoon late – the perfect setting to the end of a busy week.

It is a privilege to welcome you behind my desk Yolanda!  I am sure you look as good behind your own.

Yolanda Desk

A bit about Yolanda

Yolanda started her career in banking and has worked as an Administrator in the insurance industry over the last 20 years.  She currently works for Sphere Consult.

Yolanda, I am sure you know EVERYTHING about insurance and  a good contact to have 🙂

Yolanda’s tea cup

Yolanda has a tea set which is about 40 years old. The set of 4 cups, saucers and cake plates was a gift from her dad to her mom when she(Yolanda) was still a child.

Tee koppie

How precious!  It is beautiful, Yolanda.

 Our Live, Love, Laugh conversation 

Live:  “I am inspired by ill people who are always positive and never complain – they just carry on with life.  Joost van der Westhuizen is one such a person: he turned his illness into something positive and inspiring.  These people help me forget my own problems. I try to avoid negative people!”.

Yolanda’s faith carries her in difficult times and helps her to  stay positive.  During a recent difficult time her sister-in-law advised her and her husband to read Ps 91 as encouragement.  Yolanda accidently read the wrong Psalm:  Ps 90.  She believes it was meant to be as Ps 90:11 – 17 became her ‘life line’  –  she read this passage every single night for months!

“I have learned that difficulties teach us to have true sympathy and empathy.”

Yolanda, I have never seen you despondent – you are always your bubbly self.  Thanks for sharing your secret with us; we can learn from you!

Love your look:  Yolanda’s image tips

Yolanda believes that if your hair is “in place” and clean, you will FEEL good.

….and then she adds with a serious tone of voice:

“I also do not believe in going out with dirty or broken clothes – never!”

Two simple, yet invaluable tips. 

Laugh:  Banking used to be a formal environment in the days Yolanda started her career – people were addressed as Mr, Mrs or Ms. Three weeks into her career she was called to take a phone call from an English speaking person.  Being an Afrikaans ‘Mej Groenewald’, her brain went into ‘translation overdrive’ and she identified herself as “Miss Greenawald”.   Realising her mistake, she started giggling,  so much, she could not continue her conversation with the client.

Ha ha… any of you perhaps have a surname which can be translated?  I’d love to know!

Yolanda’s secret revealed

“I am claustrophobic and lifts are a huge NO! for me.  Years ago I worked on the eighth floor of a building (the Sanbel Building for the Capetonians who may know the building).  As the lift made me feel hugely uncomfortable, I decided to take the stairs to the ground floor and then discovered a locked security door at the bottom.  I was not going to take the stairs back to the eighth floor and started to bash the door with all my weight.  The door eventually flung open and the alarm went off.  I had security storming me – it was very hard to convince them of my innocence.”

Oh my word!  Yolanda is a very petite lady, so I can just imagine what security must have thought when they saw who actually bashed open the security door.

The crazy classy gift!

Yolanda is a master entertainer and always surprises her guests with the most interesting and divine baking…not to mention her desserts!  Doing dishes is hard work and I thought Yolanda will appreciate a ‘cute companion’ to make her task lighter.


What I have learned from Yolanda

 How often we look at (happy) people and assume they are ‘ok’ and seem to be handling their circumstances fairly well?  How terribly wrong we can be?

Yolanda taught me that although people may look ‘ok’ when they have difficult circumstances, they may actually not be. We need to be more supportive when friends, family and acquaintances go through tough times, even if it seems they are coping…

Until our next cup of tea!


Embrace Life – Deidre Carstens

10 October 2015

Deidre and I met at her favourite coffee shop, Chocolat, in Durbanville.  The 3 hours we spent together was way too short – we just had so much to discuss! What an enlightening experience.


Deidre, welcome behind my desk. What a privilege to have you there!  Certainly a desk with less stress than your own…..

Deidre desk final

A bit about Deidre

 For the last 11,5 years Deidre has been working at Cool Wines where she started as a debtors clerk.  With hard work and dedication through the years she has now been appointed as National Credit Manager. Enjoying the industry in which she works was not enough, so she completed a wine course to be able to enjoy drinking and tasting various wines even more.

This lady is a true people’s person and knows exactly how to build excellent relationships – no wonder she is so successful in her job!

Deidre’s tea cup

 A friend often visits her and her husband. This friend does not drink his tea nor coffee from a mug and Deidre did not possess any tea cups.  So he made a plan and gave her a tea set from which he can be served tea and coffee when visiting.

Teekoppie finaal

A man with a (good) plan I would say J

 Our Live, Love, Laugh conversation

Live:  When Deidre’s dad fell ill with cancer he expressed the wish to use his entire pension to buy another 10 years’ of time with his family.  This made Deidre realise that we need to embrace life and take the positive out of it while we are healthy.

Deidre had the privilege to read to her dad from the Bible when he could no longer read for himself.  In the two weeks before he passed away he wanted to hear the same passage every night: 1 Cor 13.  Verse 13 was special to both of them and Deidre believes this is another key to “embracing life”.  She has the words FAITH, HOPE and LOVE on her keyring which reminds her of 1 Cor 13:13 on a daily basis.

Sleutelhouer finaal

Deidre, you indeed embrace life in everything you do.  You are a role model to many!

Love your look:  Deidre’s image tips

Deidre enjoys comfortable clothes and although her style is pretty natural, she loves a bit of bling on a shoe or a bracelet.  Two image tips from Deidre:

  1. “I always have more tops than bottoms in my wardrobe. This allows me to look different every day.  People most often notice your tops rather than your bottoms”
  2. “When I shop and see a pretty item and in which I feel good, I buy it immediately. It may be gone later and then I would have missed out”

A valuable shopping tip for those who tend to ponder  over “to buy or not to buy”…

Laugh:  Shortly after Deidre started at Cool Wines, the admin staff (who are mainly office bound), were taken on an outing to 5 different wine farms.  Deidre loves animals and on one of the farms a beautiful Boerboel dog ran to greet her. Deidre knows dog breeds very well, but on this day – without thinking – she asked the owner’s son what kind of crossbreed the dog is?  He responded with the entire pedigree of this thoroughbred.  “My image and reputation was shattered before I could make a good first impression!”

Ok, so let’s remember to think before we speak. Lol

Deidre’s secret revealed

“When my garden is in full bloom and looking pretty you can know I am in stress-relieve mode!  I love gardening, love the feel of soil between my fingers and when I am stressed you will find me in my garden.  It is my stress-relief haven.”

The crazy classy gift!

 Deidre’s gift was inspired by the fact that she works in the wine industry, as well as an arrangement she had with her kids when they were small: they were not allowed to disturb her when she relaxes in the bath.  So, what better than   “champagne bubble bath”?!

Pic frame

Lianne geskenk final



And so I also got a gift – and ironic enough, real sparkling wine.  It was my 24th wedding anniversary on the day of our tea date and Deidre decided to spoil me too.

We had 2 “sparkling wine” bottles on our table – each with different content.




What I have learned from Deidre

 Deidre has taught me the value of a coping mechanism during difficult times of life. She treasured Bible reading to her dad in a very sad phase of her life, she creates “me time” to re-energise herself and she always shares a laugh (or sometimes just a smile) with a humouristic comment when things may not go according to plan.  Her positive spirit is indeed contagious and you just cannot be depressed in her company!

Deidre, you certainly spread happiness despite your own challenges.