Actresses

Austin, Blog, Daily

Tropical Paradise in The Heart of Austin


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Lake Austin Spa is an oasis on Lake Austin in gorgeous Austin, Texas! Catch it on a warm Spring or Summer day and you’ll have an almost tropical experience you won’t soon forget.

With crystal blue waters, the lake looks positively enticing as you sit and relax by the pool or on the patio in what can be the blistering heat of the Spring and Summer months.

I personally think this is a fabulous photo shoot location for aspiring models and actresses who are needing new headshots in an uplifting environment. I love the interior design, and the background of the water is just fabulous!

Lake Austin Spa Resort is tucked away in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. It has been ranked the #1 Resort in Texas & the Southwest by Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards.

Tucked away in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, our all-inclusive luxury spa resort offers a truly unique experience, where we cater to your well-being and provide a sanctuary for rest and renewal. – website

Join them on Twitter, Facebook + Instagram.

Highlights

+ It’s accommodation includes beautifully designed guest rooms, with all-inclusive packages for guests who wish to enjoy gourmet meals, fitness activities and luxury spa treatments along with that.

+ They have 2,3,4,5,6 or 7-night packages available with various room options.

+ They often host expert guest speakers who come to discuss a variety of topics. Conference scheduling can be viewed here.

+ They offer various health & fitness classes, including yoga and cooking demonstrations. View their calendar here.

+ They have delicious resort dining which offers guests various healthy options to enjoy in between treatments. I had the grilled atlantic salmon with fingerling potatoes, fava beans, lemon salsa and the satureja herb cream. See the entire menu here.

Lake Austin Spa
The view at reception
Lake Austin Spa
Snacks are laid out daily
Crystal infused water
Vita Juwel is a new company I discovered while staying here!

Lake Austin Spa

The Conservatory Garden House is stunning

Orange honeysuckle decorates the pergola
Creative Inspiration, New York, USA

The Icing On Top


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snow in jerseysnow in jersey

Being in New York this time of year, I’m seeing snow literally for the second time in my life. I love it, I just really wish it wasn’t so cold! It’s around – 12 °C for my South African readers. I bought a cute fur headband from Macy’s + some leather gloves, they’ve helped a lot. Apparently Feb 15th was the coldest day in New York history in 20 years! Here are some photos from around Battery Park, Central Park, New York’s Theatre District + Jersey City.

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Creative Inspiration, South Africa

20 Quotes + Endless Inspiration!


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Inspirational Quotes

As if the Golden Globes wasn’t inspiration enough (gorgeous outfits, glittering venue, beautiful role models), I’ve sourced some pretty cool sayings to give you a fresh approach to stuff you’re facing. As we kick off the new year, here are 20 quotes for the month that are guaranteed to inspire you.

1. Don’t look where you fall, but where you slipped. – African proverb

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Blog, Cascais

South African In: Cascais


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South African In: Cascais

Cascais is a coastal town and a municipality in Portugal, 30 kilometres west of Lisbon. It is a cosmopolitan suburb of the Portuguese capital and one of the richest municipalities in Portugal. Cascais was once a small fishing village, but its idyllic scenery attracted the attention of artists, writers and expelled European nobility in the 20th century. Today it still attracts high society, but all society comes in force to enjoy the gorgeous beaches and adventure options like sailing and surfing. I enjoyed the sunshine, friendly people, gorgeous ocean and gift shopping. These yachts weren’t bad, either!

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South African Interviews

Helen Mirren Leaves Cape Town


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Helen Mirren in Cape Town

DAME Helen Mirren looked every inch the Hollywood star as she arrived at the airport in Cape Town to catch her flight home.

As she strolled through the terminal with her husband, Taylor Hackford, by her side, the 69-year-old looked cool, calm and collected in a pair of dark shades and matching attire.

The “RED 2” star, who has been in South Africa promoting her latest film “Eye In The Sky”, had certainly dressed comfortably for the flight but still managed to look good.

Grinning and waving at photographers, Dame Helen wore a pair of cropped black leggings with a matching cardigan and ballet pumps.

She carried a lilac coat and a pink scarf over her arm, as well as a tan coloured handbag as she made her way through security.

Her husband pulled along just one suitcase and also looked rather happy as they prepared to board their flight.Far from being a diva, Dame Helen was more than happy to sign autographs for those who recognised her and also appeared to have a lengthy conversation with the woman who checked them in.Dame Helen hit the headlines last week when it was revealed that she had hired a buxom blonde body double half her age to do her movie stunts.Her body double for her latest movie is a super-fit, six pack-sporting blonde, called Fleur van Eeden.Speaking to The Mirror, Fleur said: “It’s amazing to be playing her body double when I’m 40 years younger than her. But Helen looks fantastic.

“No way does she look her age – she looks amazing. I want to look like that when I’m 69.”

Reblogged from express.co.uk

Helen Mirren in Cape Town

Blogging

20 Ways To Get Serious About Blogging


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1. Think long & hard about your blog categories

Your categories are the main sections or “magazine columns” that you feature on your blog. Your categories can be a drop down menu on your sidebar. They should be simple and logical. Use hierarchies to organise your ideas better. Try think of a catchy angle for them so you peak your viewer’s interest and stand out from the rest.

2. Design your site as simple as possible

Keep your design simple and appealing. Make it intuitive and well-structured. People should intuitively know how to navigate your space. Make pages along the top for sections you want to highlight. Use a category drop down menu and a follow widget wouldn’t hurt. If there are other platforms you want your viewers to know about, include those widgets also. A direct link to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram invites viewers to connect with you.

3. Operate it like a real magazine

Decide on your target audience just like Cosmo or House and Garden does. This means deciding:

+ Who you want to appeal to (age group, gender, interests)

+ What your content will be (which topics you choose)

+ How involved you’ll get in your articles (short, long, lots of resources)

Plan out each piece well. It’s always a good idea to think about a catchy title and invest time into each piece. Edit and format your posts and add great designs to them. Write in a natural tone and keep it simple. Decide on your intentions with each post. Publish often (weekly is great). If your favourite magazine missed a few issues, you’d eventually find a replacement.

4. Share each post into infinity

You write and publish something once, but who’s to say you can’t share that post once per month on Twitter, a couple times a year on Facebook or every other month on Google+? Pinterest is a lovely fresh platform with a constant stream of ideas. It’s a great way to advertise your blog. Make a board dedicated to your blog and pin your stuff to it! It will make it easier for people to find you and re-pin your stuff. Due to the “timeline” nature of most social media platforms, if you only share something once, it will only be seen by a small percent of your followers. It’s also a good idea to make an advert with your heading and URL on for sharing purposes.

5. Make sure you know what  your audience wants and needs

Your readers/clients have specific questions, desires and needs. You can start to figure out these needs by putting yourself in their shoes. What would you want to read about if you were them, visiting your blog? What tools can make things simpler for your viewers? Why do they come to your blog? Read more about figuring this out here.

6. Post frequently + consistently, with quality as your best friend

Remember to keep your material current and up-to-date. Try cater for a blog audience while maintaining your brand goals and sanity. This is, of course, if you are operating your blog like a business.

7. Invest in your blog

The things you spend money on are the things you want to get value out of. The things you spend money on are the important things that you care about. The best things in life are free, but some of the things that help you create your best life cost money. Invest in marketing your blog online or elsewhere if you want the traffic that will get you money in the long run.

8. Format your posts to be read by busy, lazy humans

This means short titles, bullet points and headings. Also, it means blog posts which aren’t too long.

9. Create a content calendar

….One that includes suggested post dates and categories. Editorial Calendar WordPress plugin is great because I like a visual representation of when I should post. Without a calendar and some type of plan, you’ll get around to that one post about that one thing on the 10th of NeverEver.

10. Add in promotion & maintenance tasks

Sponsored blogging (getting paid to publish promotional stuff) must be scheduled into your usual blogging routine. A lot of the time, clients/sponsors need a date for publishing. It’s good to plan ahead so you can give them an exact date.

11. Establish a writing routine that gives you time to think

Creative people are always thinking. Sometimes I have great ideas that pop into my head which I jot down. When I get around to writing a post, I’m always excited to publish it straight away. But I’ve learnt that it’s better to save the draft and give it an ‘incubation’ period in your head. Trust me, you’ll think of different things to add over a period of just 24 hours which will add value to your post.

12. Be you. We won’t like you if you’re being someone else

Enjoy your own space online. Add photos of your life. Write the way you would speak in real life. See how you do this in my post Find Your Voice Online.

13. Get high quality photos of yourself

It’s a good idea to have quality photos of yourself. These will come in handy for your “about” page, as well as any articles you write where you have personal experience. Allow your readers to connect with you! Keep a professional flavour by getting nice photos taken. It’s good for you and will be a plus for the photographer. There’s power in collaboration!

14. Audit your blog regularly

That post you wrote three months ago? It totally needs a link to the post you published earlier this week because they’re heavily related and your readers will be happy to have guided/quick access to both. Always keep in mind that no matter what order you write things in, any post or page on your website has the potential to be the first post a visitor sees. P.S. Blog audits are also a great way to make sure you’ve included your affiliate links and product/service links in all the organic ways possible.

15. Check your grammar

Make sure to double-check your articles.

16. Be available + interactive

No one likes a person who never responds to anything. Granted, you may be so “big time” that you can’t get to every blog comment or tweet, but none of them? I’ll accept that when you become the President of the United States. Even then, you can hire some people to help you out!

17. Pay attention to the questions your readers ask

There may be a new blog post you’ve written, a new eBook you can sell, a problem you can fix or a service you can offer that is lingering in questions from readers. Cultivate community around your blog so people feel they are in a safe space where they are supported and encouraged. Grow a family around your blog. You do this by being attentive to your readers.

18. Guest post like a champ

Once you have a healthy collection of quality content to lead people back to, pitch to some sites that fit your brand (or that are frequented by your ideal readers) to do a guest post. Think about larger online magazines and websites as well. These guest posting opportunities will help you build relationships and will lead new readers back to your site.

19. Accept guest posts like a champ

If someone else is willing to say some valuable and entertaining stuff on your blog, let them. Make sure each post fits your blog, fits your readers, and is the type of quality content you want your blog to be known for. Make sure to promote your guest authors and show them love. They will likely spread the word of their guest post, which can potentially give you lots of new readers.

20. Stay focused

We creatives like shiny new projects and get distracted easily. When you have lots of ideas racing through your head, stop and focus your energy on one thing at a time. Make a list. Lists are great.

Photo: Death To The Stock Photo

Blog, London

South African In: London


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South African In: London

I’ll never forget when I went to London in 2012 to compete in Top Model UK. What an exciting time in one of the best cities of the world! I was there for a few weeks for the show and stayed in the Hilton Hotel, London Metropole. During my free time, I made sure I dressed warm because it was the middle of winter and it was so chilly outside!

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Creative Inspiration

Harness Your Life Energy


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IMG-20120608-04832

We are born with a certain amount of energy. At a certain point in our lives, we either harness that energy and put it into motion and it collects and expands, or we drift by that point, and it dissolves. We all have that point in our lives where it matters if we are in process of motion or in process toward fading. Gather your energy and use it wisely. You can make something great out of your life.

Tara Stiles