How to Stay Creative

It’s an odd topic, isn’t it? Being creative is unique to each individual and sometimes you just can’t quite tell how to keep your creative juices flowing.

Creativity isn’t an emotion; it isn’t a friend you call up in the middle of the night and neither is it a choc-chip cookie (sadly!).  It’s being able to use your imagination and being original in what you do. Because it comes from within, pinpointing exactly what triggers it for everybody is tricky. But it doesn’t hurt to give a few new things a try…

Writing is fun and rewarding but only for as long as I can stay creative. And unfortunately, I only get creative in short doses now and again. I’ve come across a video on 29 Ways to Stay Creative that actually lists a few things I personally do: clearing up my work space, visiting new places, taking breaks (or perhaps that’s just the procrastinator side of me talking).  It has some fantastic, and more importantly viable, ideas that I just had to share with you.

How do you stay creative? Share your tips in the comments below, I’d love to know!

Instagram vs Facebook?

Facebook may own Instagram and they both have instant photo sharing in common, but what sets them apart? And why choose one platform over the other?

instagram-logoI’ve only joined Instagram in the last 14 days and I have already made up my mind: I prefer Instagram over Facebook. It’s no secret that I’ve been bored with Facebook. One of those reasons being that it gets too detail-oriented for something social and supposedly light-hearted (messy break-ups through questionable Facebook activity comes to mind here).

Instagram on the other hand, is simple. It’s user-friendly and the compelling visual content makes it addictive. I wouldn’t say I’m into photography, but I do love taking a great picture or two every now and then. And Instagram seems to be the ideal platform to share my ‘works’ ;) So here’s why I will always prefer Instagram over Facebook:

  1. Instagram is short and sweet. Basically, all you need is a picture or video & a caption. That’s it. You can’t post without visual content, so it’s bound to be eye-catching. After all,  a picture is worth a thousand words
  2. Because of point #1, it means that it’s quicker to go through many posts in a shorter space of time as compared to Facebook. It takes (me) longer to go through Facebook than Instagram: I spend close onto 15 minutes to get up-to-date with friends on Facebook whereas I’m done in less than 5 minutes on Instagram.
  3. If you’re a photographer at heart, there’s much more room for creativity.  It has an adequate range of filters to enhance your images and get creative with them before posting. Due to those options and the nature of Instagram, I’ve now become more conscious of how I take pictures, trying to be as original as possible in terms of angle, focus, the backdrop, etc.
  4. Basic Instagram profile. I’ve mentioned this in my comparison between Twitter and Facebook – Facebook prompts you for information almost all the time.  With Instagram (and much like Twitter) you have a profile that’s minimal but still sums up who you are without asking you which high school you’ve attended and where were you previously working (that’s why there’s LinkedIn, Zuckerberg).

Facebook still has a staggering 1.26 billion users as compared to Instagram’s modest 200 million users but upon breaking down the statistics, the demographics may explain the discrepancy. Feeling young, flamboyant and have a keen eye for stunning images? Yep, you know you belong on Instagram ;)

Dandy Dubai: A Man-Made Majesty

Some say they love it and others say… well, what I say: it was good while it lasted but I wouldn’t return.

Dubai is a beautifully made city. In the last two decades the Arabs built (not physically, their clothing simply cannot get messed y’know), enhanced and beautified what was once a plain and ordinary place. Impressive. But it lacks a little something… A soul. Every city has a soul; a warm and welcoming hum that you automatically tune in to when you touch ground. Perhaps my signal went haywire but Dubai’s constant rush, unashamed materialism and culture of snobbery made it difficult to feel at home.

There’s plenty of awe-inspiring pieces of architecture around Dubai, making it a photographer’s paradise. At every corner there’s some kind of entertainment offering, surrounding you with only the physical pleasures of life. Having said that, I won’t complain about South Africa again as I’ve realised how lucky I am to be living in a naturally stunning and friendly country that not many other places can boast about. That aside, below are some highlights of my trip:

Sunset in Dubai
Sunset in Dubai
Desert Safari
Desert Safari
The Desert
The Desert
Replica of & the real Burj Khalifa
Replica of & the real Burj Khalifa
View from Burj Khalifa
View from Burj Khalifa
7 high-tea
High Tea at the Park Hyatt Dubai
8 dubai-mall
Dubai Mall

All pictures have been taken with my iPhone 5, some were edited slightly to enhance the colour.

Treats South Africa’s Yet To Offer

I’ve been off the radar for a while as I had the opportunity to visit Dubai and perform a mini pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. My journey and experience cannot be compressed into a single blog post but I’ve put together a short list of some noteworthy foods that I have enjoyed and, more importantly, aren’t available yet in South Africa.

One of the first products I came across on day #1 in Dubai was Lay’s Chili flavour. My initial thought was “nope, too spicy” but then I decided to give it a try. Delicious! Crispy wisps of chili-flavoured potato that quickly became addictive. If you’re in Cape Town and enjoy the local favourite Messaris Chilli Chippi, wait until you’ve had Lay’s Chili – the real deal. I think Simba’s making a big mistake by not yet introducing this into the South African market. (Just for the record, I’m still on my no-chips diet…)

Lays-Chilli

About 2 weeks before my trip, my husband found a review of the Snickers ice cream. It didn’t matter that I had paid little attention to the video because these yummy gems are available in the Arab states. The ice cream is just so good… And this is coming from someone who isn’t a big fan of ice cream. The nougat part of the chocolate is replaced with vanilla-nougat-like ice cream with peanuts and caramel drizzled right through, enclosed in a chocolate casing. Heavenly.

snickers-ice-cream

A personal Nestlé favourite of mine are KitKat fingers… But the fingers tend to melt some times while I hold & eat them. For this reason I was delighted at the idea of KitKat Pop Choc designed for on-the-go. They’re dice-shaped, easy to eat and just the right size to give you the perfect dose of KitKat each time. I felt deprived.

kitkat-pop-choc

My sister raved about Shake Shack - they apparently have the best burgers. And I couldn’t describe it any better. They are freshly made with minimal extras (basic salad, no pickles, no onions) and their ‘standard’ ShackBurger comes with ShackSauce and a slice of cheese (yay!). It doesn’t taste like fast food, it has a more home-made, but deliciously home-made, taste and feel to it. I like that the extras are simple as the patty seems to be the focal point of the burger. Wish Shake Shack would open up here soon!

shake-shack-burger

Saving the best for last, Ladurée is a Parisian bakery whose cakes were beyond my expectations. They’re known for their macarons but also have a wide selection of fresh & fancy treats that you’ll have to dig deep into your pockets to pay for. The decor, furnishes and dim lights transport you back to Paris. After Ladurée, I realised how limited South Africa’s range of cakes are. We really need more bakeries of this calibre around.

laduree

These products & outlets are only some of which I’ve come across between three Arab cities. Do you know of any others that belong on this list? Post it in the comments section below, I’d love to know!

FANtastic: Fandom Jewelry

It’s safe to say some of us really do become a tad bit obsessed with our favourite fictional movies, books, series etc (Twilight does not count). Naturally we go crazy with excitement at the opportunity to own any object, charm or other paraphernalia relating to our obsession… and then we start a collection to boast about, of course ;)

While browsing through Pinterest in early January, I came across this:

lana-lang-necklace-pinterestI was in the midst of my 10-seasons-of-Smallville marathon back then so you can only imagine my excitement. It just had to be mine! I visited the site (JinxyJewels) that claims to hand-make Lana Lang kryptonite necklaces: both green and white available. It was almost too good to be true so I placed an order that very night. The approximate delivery time to South Africa = 5 weeks! Fortunately, and much to my delight, it arrived a little more than 2 weeks later. The necklace is amazingly beautiful, well-made and a true replica.

lana-lang-necklace1

lana-lang-necklace2

lana-lang-necklace3

JinxyJewels also hand makes Harry Potter, Supernatural, Game of Thrones & more fancy jewels such as bracelets, rings, earrings and keyrings. I received a voucher to use with my next order and I can’t wait to start my own Harry Potter jewel collection! :)

Where do you usually get your fandom charms and gems from?  

unleash the element within

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 229 other followers