The Big Move – FayintheMaze

I finally took the plunge. I made the move from this little WordPress blog to my own domain. I have mixed feelings writing this post because it makes it all very final. It means I will have to give up this comfortable little space I have had for so long.

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And that’s really it with a blog isn’t it. It’s mine. Every post and feature. I put it together from the bottom up, I didn’t know what I was doing nor did I have any blogger friends at the time to help me through it all.

I still remember my early days. Starting a new twitter account for the blog at zero followers. I can’t remember how it happened but I stumbled upon Bronwyn from Mother City Mom. She was so helpful, always sharing advice and going out of her way to help me with the silliest little things that I didn’t understand.

And that is what I love about the community and will never forget. How grateful I am for the new friends I have made and for the people that didn’t just step over me because I was new, because I didn’t have the hang of things. I hope I can help others in this same way.

It is in the end a labour of love. What else would make us tirelessly type away, photograph random items, edit them and then put a post together time and time again. I started for me. I wanted my own little corner of the internet to call home.

I’m still learning every day. Setting up the new site was a learning curve in itself. Once again I knew very little, but this time I had people at my side to show me the way. GI Jane, I would never have made this leap without you gently nudging and encouraging me (okay maybe not so gentle, they don’t call her that for nothing). Thank you for your patience with me and always being so uncommonly kind, helpful and willing.

To new spaces, a new little home. It is of course still a work in progress, most bloggers will tell you that it always will be. Constantly changing, updating and improving. Join me over on http://www.fayinthemaze.co.za

If you follow me via WordPress, you will need to re-follow else you will no longer find me in your WordPress reader. See you on the other side!

Boiler Room Cafe

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I keep a list on my phone of new places that pop up in Durban that I really want to try, or old places places that I’ve always heard good things about but never got down to visiting. I keep the list for those days when I want to go out, but I’m not quite sure where. Boiler Room has been on that list and I made it my last coffee shop/ cafe visit before Ramadan. I knew that if I didn’t go, the thought of those milkshakes would haunt me.

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What’s not to love about the iconic Lion Match Factory with it’s old school good looks. The Boiler Room is brought to us by the legendary people of 9th Avenue Bistro and is essentially the resident cafe to the many office workers at Lion Match Factory.

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We ordered the much talked about milkshakes, caramel popcorn and peanut butter, both were delicious and creamy. The popcorn shake is sweet glory and has bits of popcorn in for you to scoop up at the end.

Boiler Room is also home to Wicked Donuts, at around 3pm when I went in there were only 3 left. I went for the newer, dulce de leche filled donut. It is heavenly. Crammed with filling so that is oozes out of all sides when you bite into it. I spotted cheesecake on the menu as well, so of course we had to order the nutella cheesecake in a jar. It is the perfect sized serving, rich and silky smooth. It has an oreo base and topped with flaky almonds.

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I love the industrial chic look of Boiler room and will definitely be going back to sample more on the menu. There are also lunch and dinner menu options if you’re keen on a quick bite. The cheesecake and caramel popcorn milkshake were my favourites, but you know I won’t rest till I’ve tried all the milkshake flavours on the menu. Have you visited Boiler Room? Comment, tweet or message me your favourites.

Gateway’s Vodacom Durban July Preview Fashion Show & Concert

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It’s back, for the 7th year running. You can once again look forward to a preview evening of fashion and entertainment leading up to the VDJ on July 4th. The fashion show this year will show some of Gateway’s best boutiques and and international brands such as Forever New, Jenni Button, ZARA, Hugo Boss and Cotton On.

Gateway's Vodacom Durban July preview fashion show & concert 3rd July 2015

This years Vodacom Durban July theme is the Captains Table, which is all about exclusivity and luxury. The theme draws from my favourite era, the 20’s. Traditionally the Captain’s Table was a dinner held on cruise liners where only 12 of the most elegant and best dressed guests were invited to dine.

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Beautiful model at the press conference

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Alongside Gateway’s in house fashion segment there is also the Designer Segment with 8 high profile National designers. Confirmed this year are Craig Jacobs, Haroun Hansrot, Colleen Eitzen, Terence Bray, Brenda Quin, Sibu Msimang, Dale McCarthy & Jane Wolff and Hangwani Nengovhela. Each designer will showcase their interpretation of this year’s theme for the first time at Gateway’s Vodacom Durban July Preview Fashion Show & Concert on 3rd July and then again on Race Day.

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East Coast Radio will also be broadcasting live on the day from 3 – 6pm. A concert will follow the fashion show and features performers like Goodluck, Shortstraw, Durban born Ryan the DJ and Protoculture.

You can purchase your tickets to the event from Computicket for R50 per person.
I also have 5 sets of double tickets to giveaway! Simply follow me on twitter @fayinthemaze and RT the competition tweet.

Durban Beach Rescue airing on DSTV Travel Channel

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Our local everyday heroes, casually saving lives on the daily at Durban’s busy beaches. They too often go uncelebrated and unnoticed. A new ten part documentary/reality series shows Durban beachfront lifeguards in their element.

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We previewed the first episode which will air on 4th July at 8pm on DSTV Travel Channel 179. It is a lovely mix of real life thrills, humour and a peek into what really goes on behind the scenes for lifeguards. Not to mention the challenges they face, which we rarely give thought to.

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The series delves into Durban beaches busiest time of year, the holiday period approaching NYE. It is a time when the beach is filled with partying matriculants and holiday makers, which means the lifeguards are working over time to keep everyone safe. Especially on the dangerous Wedge beach with its unstable sand banks.

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Just from the short time spent with the team I am in awe on them. They know our beaches in and out, every dip and sink hole. We take for granted the pivotal role they play and I am glad that this series will bring to the fore the hard work they put in and struggles they have. Interestingly the series took approximately a month to film and nothing you will see is scripted or rehearsed.

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Catch Durban Beach Rescue on
DSTV Travel Channel 179
Saturdays 8pm
With the first episode airing on July 4th

#BlogChat week 1 & 2 roundup: PR Edition

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If you’ve missed out so far, GI Jane and I hosted #BlogChat on twitter the past two Wednesday evenings. It started because we had questions of our own and wanted to create some kind of conversation between bloggers on social media.

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We hosted the first #blogChat on 10th June, discussing the Blogger/PR dynamic from the Bloggers perspective. Here are some of the highlights and points that were raised and I found interesting:

  • as bloggers we often find PR agencies or representives intimidating purely because we don’t have a good and clear understanding of what it is they want from us.
  • blog stats should not be everything, social media influence should also be factored in
  • at the same time, PR agencies should realise that a large social media following does not necessarily translate to big influence. Follower engagement is key.
  • Do not let anyone dictate the way you run your blog and do not base your decisions for your blog on pleasing others or gaining favour with a specific brand.
  • press releases are a problem, they are sent in bulk with little thought for the recipient. A more personal approach is appreciated as well as making sure what you are sending is relevant to the blogger in question
  • Please read our blogs before emailing us or trying to work with us.
  • Don’t ignore the little people. Blogs grow and influence changes, someone you ignore today may be someone you need tomorrow.
  • Do not send us pictures and information about an event in our hood that you did not invite us to. You cannot possibly expect us to publish or talk about this.
  • Details matter, like getting names right for starters.

Then on 17th June we hosted the second edition of #BlogChat and tried to get PR companies to chip in and give us their side of it. We had a lot of great conversation going with Jade Reinertsen of Jawbone Crew and Michelle of Corner 57 who gave great insight

  • PR peeps generally choose bloggers for campaigns based on their reliability, being an expert in the required category and of course the person behind the blog as well as the blog itself being a good fit and relevant to the brand.
  • be professional in your approach when dealing with PR. Especially if you are working on sponsored posts or paid campaigns.
  • If you don’t take projects and work seriously, you likely will not be used in future campaigns.
  • If you aren’t happy about something, let the PR person know. A polite email explaining your issues or concerns is generally well received and appreciated.
  • Foster good relationships both with readers and brands that you enjoy working with, it’s good for everyone.
  • Having a Media Kit is important and makes everyone’s life a little easier.

Those are just some of the things that were brought up or discussed over the past two weeks with #BlogChat. We are changing things up and Twitter #BlogChat will now happen on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month at 8pm. Catch us next week Wednesday the 1st of July, we will be discussing What Readers Want.

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It’s a great way for us all to connect with each other and learn from one another. Let’s cultivate a blogging community of open and free discussion and assistance when needed. Follow @gijane_zn and myself @fayinthemaze and don’t forget to use the hashtag #BlogChat if you are joining the conversation.

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