Why Mental Rest Days Are Important

So, this definitely isn’t a blog post about the importance of rest days during your weekly workout routine. I know how important they are when it comes to recovery (because trust me, I’ve had the sore muscles to prove it!), but I don’t think there is enough information on rest days for another important muscle in your body: your mind.

Especially during this crazy and uncertain time that COVID-19 has presented us with, our minds work through so much both consciously and subconsciously, and it does this practically every second of every hour. From scrolling through social media and planning your day to juggling your job and personal life, how often do you give your mind a standing ovation for working so hard? Or better yet, give it a moment to just rest?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I don’t consider myself a mental health advocate but I most certainly will vouch for its importance in our daily lives – mainly because I have experience in struggling with anxiety in the more recent times of my life. All stemming from my postgraduate year at UCT, I won’t go into it right now but I will say that it has been a 2-year journey of me having to learn how to work with anxiety, how to still the racing thoughts I tend to get, and how to stop overthinking; these have all fallen under the work I’ve had to do on my mental health.

One glaring act that these past 2 years have shown me is how much I need to actually say yes to rest. I don’t always get it right and I certainly have pushed myself to the point of burning out but if there is one thing I have never regretted in this life, it’s taking mental rest days for myself.

You really do need to give your mind a moment to rest, whatever rest looks like for you. Whether it’s taking the day to just sleep in, to meditate, to drive out to a new scenic location to just get some air. If you needed a sign to encourage you to rest, I hope this is it.

Photo by Eternal Happiness on Pexels.com

I believe that mental rest days should be about doing things that will require you to stop thinking so much and do a little living. Go put a smile on your face on your mental rest days. Go do something that you genuinely enjoy doing and push all the other stuff aside, because it will still be there when you go back to work.

On my mental rest days, I let myself sleep in and push aside any guilt I have about waking up way past my alarm. I cook myself a hearty breakfast that’s fit for a queen. I go take a walk outside to get fresh air in my lungs. I stretch for 2 seconds and then give up to go binge the latest Netflix series.

I do the things that get my mind to stop thinking and start smiling.

So rest, especially when you can feel your mind is yearning for it. Just like how your work day has a designated lunch break, give yourself designated breaks for your mind to decompress. You will never be sorry for doing anything that only serves you for the good. You are allowed to say yes to mental rest days, so give yourself the permission to do just that.


I Found Him…

It’s one thing to go through life believing that a thing called ‘Love’ is something that could find me in a genuine manner and form, and sweep me off my feet before I live happily ever after like all the Disney princesses have.

Well, it doesn’t exactly work like that, or at least, it didn’t work out that way for me. But I certainly found my Prince Charming, and the person I’ve truly chosen to spend the rest of my life with. And it’s the best feeling I have ever experienced.

Today just so happens to be our one year anniversary, and in honour of that, this post is a celebration of Love – in all of its glorious beauty. I’ve had my fair share of experiences in the department of Love, but this one – this one right here supersedes them all! Never have I felt so safe and secure in my vulnerability nor have I met someone who is dedicated towards creating a space where it is safe for us both to be who we are without fear or judgement.

I just have to sing praises for the man that God put on my path because he is everything I’ve ever prayed for, so much more than I hoped for, and truly the epitome of God’s love.

I found him… the love of my life, and I can’t tell you enough what a glorious feeling this is.

Watch my little love letter to the most amazing person I know

It’s undeniably wild that I look back at my life and remember a time where I really believed that I would never see this day. I think that deep within us all – and whether we like it or not – we yearn for companionship. We yearn to not go through this life thing along; I mean, why would you want to? Life is all the more beautiful with people in it – from work colleagues to close friends, family and life partners.

It’s undeniably wild that I look back at my life and remember when I felt so unworthy and undeserving of Love. It makes me laugh now because the Love I am experiencing now has always been within me; I just thought that it had to be found outside of me…

I know now that that was never the case, and I forgive myself for once thinking that way (because I used to feel so sad about it but there is great power in learning to forgive yourself for the things you didn’t know then – there’s a great deal of Love in that).

I found him… the love of my life, and in the year that we have been together, I have rediscovered beautiful parts of myself and fallen in love with who I am, and the phenomenal woman I am becoming. My relationship has made me face myself – the good and ugly – and really challenged previous notions I had about love and what it’s like to be someone’s life partner.

Gosh, I sit and write this with so much love in my heart because…

I found him… the love of my life, and I truly am in the most beautiful phase of my life. And I have a good feeling that it really will only get better from here.

Love and Light

khalipha ntloko

Imbalie Beauty Now Ready to Bloom


The Imbalie Beauty Group is excited to kick off 2022 with a new name and will now be known as the i-BLOOM group.

The Imbalie Beauty Group Limited successfully delisted it’s subsidiaries from the JSE on the 17th January, as a requirement from the group’s bankers, after receiving a COVID loan in October 2020. This provided the perfect opportunity for the group to continue with their vision of being the leading and most desirable skin care, beauty and wellness solutions group, nationally and internationally, but under their new name.

The i-BLOOM name was initially birthed within the group, during 21 difficult trading months within the beauty industry due to the COVID pandemic, with the launch of the i-BLOOM magazine in September 2020. The magazine was the group is proud to have launched the fifth edition so far.This was followed, In October 2020, with the establishment of the i-BLOOM Beauty and Wellness Academy, an international online educational and training platform, for empowering and developing professionals within the beauty and wellness industry. As the name began to develop within the group, the exciting final step was the launch of the first i-BLOOM salon, and the group has already opened their first i-BLOOM by Placecol skin, hair beauty salon at Chartwell Corner, Fourways, in January 2022.

The new salon will fall under the i-BLOOM group’s franchise division, along with the other leading beauty franchises, Placecol, Dream Nails Beauty and Perfect 10. In addition, the group will continue to operate its products division, which houses the award-winning professional salon grade skin care brands, Placecol, INNOXA and Skinderm, as well its educational division with the i-BLOOM Beauty and Wellness Academy. “Over the last 40 years, we have built our product lines and beauty salon franchise groups on the foundations of education and excellence, and we look forward to continuing this legacy under our new name” says Esna Colyn, CEO of i-BLOOM Solutions.

“Our new i-BLOOM identity is aligned with our values which are flourish, teamwork, integrity, beauty and respect. My heart is full of gratitude towards our shareholders, our board, and our exceptional team, who had the courage to make bold and strategic long-term business decisions in the interest of all our stakeholders” says Esna. “I am also exceptionally proud of every salon owner who fought hard to keep the doors of their beauty salons open during this pandemic.

As the group forges ahead with its great plans for the year ahead, it will be entrenching their theme of the year ‘NextLevel’ across all the divisions, including with ongoing summits to grow business leaders and their teams. This is part of the fully integrated and proven beauty business solution that the group is excited to be implementing to enable the entire group to flourish and bloom, after the severe trading conditions of the last two years.

Peace is the Priority in 2022

Well – hello, hello! It definitely feels like I haven’t been on this blog in quite some time… Because I actually haven’t been on this blog for quite some time (November 2021 to be exact).

While I have been away, I’ve settled into a new Marketing role, adapting to a new phase of my relationship with my partner, and working on the Imposter Syndrome I’ve been dealing with (which lead to me getting a tattoo… there’s a YouTube video on that).

As 2021 was coming to a close, I had such an odd but strong desire to get away from the Cape Town city centre on New Years Eve. Perhaps it’s because I’ve done the ‘stay up until the clock strikes midnight’ scenario, with friends and family and booze and a good time. However, this time around, I had the powerful urge to put myself in a space that was going to be as peaceful as I could afford. I wanted to be far away from the city and in a place where I would be surrounded by nature, listen to the stillness of my inner being, and step into the New Year with the most serene feeling I’ve ever felt.

So, I did a quick search on Booking.com, found a lovely hotel in Durbanvilled called Meerendal Wine Estate, and booked two nights for my partner and I to cross over into 2022.

This all happened a week before the 1st of January.

I don’t have the exact words for the bliss I experienced on New Years Eve, but my goodness, watching The Fate of the Furious while in a comfortable bed and eating some of my favourite snacks felt like a dream for me. Some might consider that as a boring way to spend New Years Eve. I call that ‘doing whatever makes me happy and not feeling guilty about it.’

New Years Day was as equally blissful, because it rained for most of the day, which gave me an opportunity to rest in the silence of nature (and welcome the blessings that were surely raining down on me; symbolic, isn’t it?). I felt so at ease that day, so content with my life, and proud of myself for choosing to do what I wanted to do – which was find the peace that I wanted to experience. And I did, but once I returned home the following day, I realised that there was more to my initial yearning to find peace at Meerendal on 31 December 2021.

You see, it was my soul – the inner depths of my being – that so gently, but loudly, said that ‘peace’ is what I need more of in 2022. I need to start being at peace with myself, the experiences I have and the circumstances I find myself in. I need to start finding my sweet spot inside of myself, that nirvana, that I can always go home to when life hands me a few lemons.

This reminds me of a pivotal moment in my life. During my final year of varsity, I remember making a decision that many would have called ‘madness’ – I stepped down as SRC President of my college during the first term. I mean, who would want to give up such a title? It looks good on your CV, and surely gets you a few brownie points in life. However, I still chose to step down and away from that role. Why?

Because I was aiming for top marks to get into Honours at the University of Cape Town the following year, I was working a part-time job, I was building my personal brand, and discovering myself in new ways (not to mention, I also wanted to get better at photographer). So much demanded my attention at the time, and something just had to give in order for me to stay sane. There was just too much on my plate, and I was at a point where my body would choose to shut down for me if I couldn’t stop and slow down.

After a heartfelt conversation with my mother that year, she gave me the best advice that a mom could give. “Make peace your priority. Make decisions for yourself that will always give you the most peace, even if that means letting other people down.”

I’ll never forget her words, nor the sweet peace that filled me as soon as I made the internal decision to step down as SRC President. I could feel the delicious air fill my lungs again, I could feel the sweet beating of my heart, and I could feel that this decision was the right thing for me to do.

Mom was right back then, and she’s still right today. As I step into 2022, I realised that feeling the peace that I did at Meerendal was the physical manifestation of what I want to feel throughout this entire year. I truly want so much peace for myself, and to be at peace with everything that I do. I want to embody and embrace peace in every facet of my life. Career. Friendships. Relationships. Personal Life. And more. 

So, I’m making peace my priority this year, and working on living my best life holistically. I’m going to be a healthier person, I’ll take care of my mind and learn to enjoy more experiences that life has to offer. Above all, though, I’m going to be the most peaceful person I know, and I hope you have something that you will prioritise for yourself in 2022.

Watch my new YouTube video for highlights on 2021

Hello November!

Can you believe it? We’re in the second last month of 2021 and while this year has been both fast and slow, I’m in awe of how time has flown by. Now, it’s that time of the year where I start to reflect back on some key moments from 2021 and man, what a year!

Love Found Me

Maybe it wasn’t so much about love finding me, but rather opening myself to the possibility of love just one more time. I have had my fair share of heartbreak and pain, and quite frankly, I was ready to just accept that perhaps I am meant to be alone in this world.

This doesn’t quite match my heart’s desires – I want a forever love, and a husband and a family and to be a soccer mom – but I was ready to accept that maybe all I will ever experience when it comes to genuine love is just that; a desire and nothing more. But boy, was I wrong!

I am grateful for the 1% of my heart not wanting to give up on love. There’s a Maya Angelou quote about trusting love one more time, and always one more time. Words cannot begin to express just how much I am glad I took these words to heart earlier this year. Because the moment I opened myself to trusting love again, it found me in the most perfect form in the most incredible human being I have ever met.

Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.

Maya angelou

Of course, love comes with challenging you to grow and evolve and unlearn so many things while relearning new things that will help the uniqueness of a relationship. I’ve come to learn how wrong the movies are about parts of love, that unconditional love is possible, that you really do need to let go and love wholeheartedly and without reservation.

This isn’t always easy, but it is so worth it, and I hope that you will experience a love as beautiful, fulfilling, wholesome, and downright eloquently written by God himself. You truly deserve to experience it.

From Junior to Manager

At the start of this year, I had been a Junior Content Marketer at a global media intelligence. Now, I cannot believe (but am also so incredibly proud to say) that I managed to get a new job as a Digital Marketing and Communications Manager at a fintech company. The career (and financial) glow up is REAL!

It’s been a long road towards getting to this point in my career. I’ve thought about where I want to be, how to get there and who I want to surround myself with on my way to what I want. This part of my life revealed how important it is to have the right people in my corner, people who could help me think logically because, as an emotional individual, I’m prone to making decisions that don’t always involve my mind.

I also learnt the important art of patience, and working in unison with the Universe to get into a particular frequency that matches the outcome I wanted (which was to get a new job). Call it ‘manifestation’ or ‘prayer’ but I had faith that my time would come when I would be called to do something bigger than the job I found myself doing before 1 October 2021.

As cool as Digital Marketing and Communications Manager sounds incredible, I really am more proud of how I decided to just go for this role. I mean, I was a junior and here I was, daring to step it up about 50 notches. And it paid off in the end.

Now, one month into my new job and I feel so at peace and confident that I can do this. That I am doing well and that I have everything I need to succeed in this new role. I can’t wait to see just how far this role will take me, and the growth I’m bound to experience.

Dealing with Imposter Syndrome in my Creativity

It has been a rollercoaster year when it comes to my creative work. From working with Orms and Canon South Africa, to getting nominated for a Womandla Arts in STEM Award, I am so grateful for the creative endeavours I have pursued, and the sweet rewards that have come my way as a product of my gratitude.

But if I am being honest, this year has also been one of the toughest when it comes to dealing with Imposter Syndrome. Sometimes, more times than I admit really, I feel like I’m not doing enough or not nearly as ahead as I would like to be.

Throughout this year, I’ve wondered just how impactful my work is, if I feel like I am living out my personal values of inspiring, motivating and educating. Sigh… I’ve been going through a fair bit this year, cried at how unimportant I feel in the creative space, and thought out quitting it all and just disappearing into my own little world.

Of course, I’ve worked through most of these feelings and I am slowly getting my confidence back, but it takes constant work. I really does because Imposter Syndrome just isn’t this switch that I can turn off.

I recently got my second tattoo, the words ‘I AM WORTHY’ are now forever marked on my inner arm. I’m so glad I have this because it serves as a reminder that indeed, I am worthy of everything I want in life, especially when it comes to my creative work.

I’d been feeling so hopeless and useless and uninspired; this tattoo has been a reminder that it is okay to go through these types of emotions. I’m human after all, but these feelings don’t take away from the fact that I have done some incredible work in the creative industry, that I’ve gone above and beyond to accomplish goals I never thought I could (a Glamour Magazine feature!!). It’s all okay to feel these lows but they don’t take away from the very high fact that I am worthy.

So, hello November

So as October is behind me and I step into November, I am nothing but hopeful and optimistic that I will finish this year strong (and that the definition of ‘strong’ will be tailored just for me). I welcome this new month with a renewed sense of not losing sight of doing the things I love.

It’s been one long, slow, and whiplashing year, but I choose to focus on the beautiful, the positive, and I dwell in knowing that November (and even December) will be magical.

5 Inexpensive South African Red Wines to Try

I hardly share this with the world (which I really should change because it’s quite a flex to have) but here is a random fun fact for you about myself…

I hold a certificate in South African Wine Education.

I took the 6 week long course to gain a better understanding of one of the many things that make South Africa beautiful and well known across the world – its wine. It is something I’ve come to love while I stay in Cape Town, and in this blog post, I’m sharing 5 inexpensive South African red wines that you should definitely try. All of them are less than R70 yet deliver such a richness that you’d feel like royalty just drinking them!

Jacques-Steytler 2019 Merlot

A beautifully robust red from the Western Cape, this wine is one that I truly encourage anyone to give a try when you stop by a local Pick n Pay (this wine is produced exclusively for Pick n Pay). At R64.99, I consider this to be an affordable red wine perfectly suited for dinners where red meat is on the menu.

You will get notes of red and black berries in this wine, together with pomegranate and cherry. It’s on the fruitier side and and offers freshness on the palate, so if you are someone who loves something that is medium-bodied on your palate, this is for you.

Stonedale 2019 Shiraz

Produced in the Robertson area in the Western Cape, this Shiraz is a smooth red wine with berry fruit flavours, a bit of spice and a touch of toasted oak. At R49.99 per bottle in most retailers, this is a wine that works well as an inexpensive option to accompany your pizza, pasta and red meat meals.

For those who are interested in keeping this wine for maturation, it’s possible to do so with this Shiraz for better results (although it is best to enjoy it immediately; you’ll want to have a taste of the mocha flavours that emerge).


La Ricmal Supréme 2020 Merlot

Another Western Cape beauty (this time from the La Ricmal wine farm in Stellenbosh) that certainly doesn’t disappoint on the nose or palate, this soft but fruity red wine has flavours of plum and mulberry. With the subtle use of oak, this Merlot is a beautiful balance of fruit and wood, and any red wine lover would enjoy this easy drinking wine.

At R49.99 per bottle, this wine is best accompanied with red meat, poultry, seafood, pastas and salads – making it a perfect all-rounder for any foodie occasion.

Robertson 2020 Chapel Red

This 2021 Double Gold Winner has a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinotage and is known to be a dry red but with fruity, soft notes of berry and herbaceous brambly flavours and bodes well with anyone looking for an everyday wine to enjoy.

Pair this wine with rich food like steaks, roasted meat and stews, or something simpler like pizza and pasta. At R44.99 per bottle, it certainly won’t disappoint.

Woolworths 2020 Organic Shiraz

This vegan-friendly wine has no added sulphur, making this wine rich in colour with flavours of blackberries and spice emerging. This wine delivers a smooth yet spicy finish so best enjoy it with roasted meat, like duck, or lamb chops from a classic South African braai.

For R62.99 and with every bottle sold, the makers of this wine – Stellar Winery – make a social contribution to the Stellar Empowerment Trust to improve the lives of farm workers and their families.

There you have it! 5 South African red wines to try that taste rich but cost less. Bookmark this post if you ever need to refer to it for a quick reference to the wines that you simply have to try.