Because we love the outdoors, and we love to camp, we decided a retreat for the long weekend in September was definitely required. We booked in at Monk's Cowl in the Drakensberg and were set for four days of pure relaxation and quality time with our family. I know it seems as though all we have done lately is enjoyed weekend-away after weekend-away but the fact that we have had two back-to-back weekends in the beautiful Drakensberg is purely coincidental. Aside from the amazing views and the hikes, I enjoyed every second I got to spend with my little sister Mia. She is nearly three and I have only spent a few days with her at a time over the past two and a half years... Mia is extremely shy to begin with but eventually she warms up and relaxes in my company! How nice it was to be on the receiving end of many cuddles and kisses before we parted ways again on Tuesday!
On Thursday at around 15h00 I got a text from my husband saying 'you may as well know that I am taking you away for the weekend...', and of course this followed by a million questions from me but alas, when row throws a surprise, he really keeps his lips sealed.
On Friday we departed for the beautiful Giant's Castle in the Drakensberg, Kwazulu Natal. We arrived at sunset and were greeted by the amazing sights and smells of being in the bush. Rowan booked us into the honeymoon suite, a sweet little cottage on the edge of the mountain called Bride's Bush. It overlooks a beautiful river below and the great Giant's Castle all around us. Total and utter relaxation - just like a postcard.
Our weekend was spent hiking, reading, bird viewing, walking, watching a local group of Zulu dancers perform at sunset and lots of relaxing. I would go back in a heartbeat.
It's our six month anniversary today and they assuredly have been the greatest six months you could ever wish for being a newly married couple. This little weekend away to celebrate was really quite special and testament to our love and adoration for each other, and the outdoors.
Several months ago we went to Clarens for a weekend away and were joined by my sister and her boyfriend. We loved every second of walking around the quaint and crafty town and enjoyed much of our spare time enjoying the sights and smells of the outdoors and the sweet farm cottages just outside Clarens where we stayed.
On the Saturday afternoon, after a full morning of activities, we arrived back at our homely base and just began enjoy winding down. We took a little walk around the Jastelle Farm and started getting creative photographing the surrounds, and Charne' and Damian. These two are regular models by the looks of things.
Just sharing a little trip down memory lane in pictures...
September, for me, is the month of bright and fresh colours and smells! It is also the month for tossing out the old and bringing in the new. Well, there is no doubt that change is a good thing and I thought I would dedicate this post to the recent challenge I committed myself to: The FitLab 12 Week Pilot Study.
There are five of us taking part, each with our own individual set of goals and objectives. The common thread in each of our lists of things to accomplish is healthy living forever. In other words, the twelve weeks encompassed in this challenge are the very stepping stones towards a complete healthy lifestyle which should never be a temporary endeavour but one you make for life.
We are a week into the challenge and so far everyone seems to be reaping the benefits of one hundred percent commitment. I, however, am the first to suffer with a broken immune system. I have been booked off for a week with a severe chest infection and am only to return to physical exercise next Monday. This next week is going to kill me.
My husband is also one of the pilot study participants but he is getting it easy compared to the rest of us. We are all restricted in terms of what we can and cannot eat for the first four weeks but whilst we have to avoid all dairy, sugars and carbohydrates, Rowan is not as restricted. See, where four out of the five participants have weightloss as one of their main goals, Rowan is so near his goal weight already, he just has to up the exercise and he will be perfect! He will say to this "I am already perfect"... and I would have to agree (naturally).
In truth, the best part of this whole challenge is the very fact that Rowan is doing it with me. It's easy to make excuses and try and get out of exercise commitments, but having someone invested in the same challenge makes it that much easier not to flake out. I could actually say the same for any of the other participants... Everyone is so good at keeping each other motivated. The FitLab team of Bongani (our trainer, owner of FitLab) and Stephanie (our dietitian, owner of Complete Living) make for an amazing support system and if this first week is anything to go by, the next twelve will surely go by without any hiccups.
Here's to the remaining eleven weeks of the challenge!
This year has come with many changes. From freelancing as a graphic designer and photographer, to dabbling in full time employment and now, back on my own freelancing and expanding my market offering to my clients. Let me start off by saying welcome (again) and thank you for taking the time to read about what's going on. I have said before, life has a funny way of making you either move through the motions of the ordinary, day in and day out, or it can swiftly jump at you, turn you around a few times and then make you change course of your intended direction. A lot of this has been happening of late and I have seen myself taking a keener interest in my pursuit of my passion for photography and graphic design. And taking it more seriously!
Of course, the buck doesn't stop there. I have become very fond of empowering people with the knowledge they need in order to succeed and with several clients requests I have also started offering lessons in the basics of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator as well as initiated social media profiles which includes pulling through all corporate identity elements necessary to ensure a strong brand presence on most platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest).
I know I have gone and started a whole new site but if you know me, you know I like consistency. I am the kind of person who will write things out ten times on a piece of paper and if I am not happy with the way the last three words look I scrap it and rewrite everything. I know, I know... It isn't very conducive to a society that is trying to do what it can to become "greener" - well, that is exactly why, when I can, I choose technology over pen and paper. Now having added to my market offering, I thought it best to have one site with all the information accounted for instead of referencing several sites.
It's a journey, you love it, hate it, but most of all learn from it.
Candice Christie Photography
Hello and welcome. This is my online home... a place where my passion for photography lives. These eyes have gazed upon a whole new world through my camera lens. I like to share this world here with you, in words too.