Tsogo Sun makes champagne and food & wine pairings an affordable treat

I've grown up some since #projectme began, when sipping on tea was my happy place. Well, I will always have a soft spot for tea, but I've blossomed into a girl who appreciates the finer things in life. Gone are the days of drinking anything that's going and I have learned to know the difference between a champagne and sparkling wine. I also know what goes well with a fish dish and when a wine if overbearing or far too subtle for main meal.

Delving into this world has been a treat and an experience. It's also been an expense.
My constant toss up is between knowing what I love and wanting to experience it, but also thinking ... hmmm ... that's just a touch elaborate for an average school night.

Well, on one of those average school nights, I got invited to a double does of Tsogo Sun hospitality, which both fed my new favourite past times. Drinking champagne and finding restaurants to experience food and wine pairings. My dear friend, Joanne, who is on the journey of here wine master's course and who showed me the way to appreciating these great gifts of the vine ... well, she's created a monster.

Tsogo Sun Bubbly tasting

I will only drink champagne. I was thrilled that the first stop on the Tsogo Sun treat day was to the #SSHydePark hotel, which has the most spectacular view, overlooking our beautiful Jozi skyline. It was the setting for a big announcement. While sipping on a glass of Moet, and waiting the next 5 champagnes that were in store for us, I kept thinking ... expensive hobby Jodene.

But then the big announcement ...

"The good news is... now you too can join the ?celebrity? ranks and enjoy the finest Champagne at affordable prices in South Africa ? only at Tsogo Sun hotels and casino properties, restaurant, bars and lounges.

Champagne is a sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is Champagne. At Tsogo Sun you can enjoy the real thing from the unique area of Champagne, located in the northeast of France.

Harnessing the group's considerable purchasing power, Tsogo Sun has negotiated the very best prices you'll find for Champagne.

Tsogo Sun have selected, with the guidance of their sommelier Miguel Chan, a diverse collection of the world ten legendary and vibrant Champagne house, based on their uniqueness, elegance and eternal generosity.

Discover and enjoy a selection of Billecart Salmon, Bollinger, Dom Perignon, Louis Roederer, Mo?t & Chandon, Taittinger and Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin at various Tsogo Sun properties including 54 on Bath, Beverly Hills, InterContinental OR Tambo, InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers, the Palazzo, Sandton Sun and Suncoast Towers.

You'll also find your favourite Champagne, including Mo?t & Chandon Brut Imperial starting at R680 and Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Yellow Label starting at R765, at selected Tsogo Sun hotels nationwide, including Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton, Southern Sun Montecasino, Southern Sun The Cullinan, Southern Sun Waterfront Cape Town, Southern Sun Cape Sun, Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, Southern Sun Gold Reef City, Southern Sun Emnotweni, Southern Sun Newlands, Southern Sun O.R. Tambo International Airport, Southern Sun Pietermaritzburg, Southern Sun Pretoria, Southern Sun Bloemfontein and SunSquare Montecasino."

Thanks to Tsogo Sun for recognising that these events are for the passionate and not necessarily for the experts ... that's why this announcement is so welcomed

Thanks to Tsogo Sun for recognising that these events are for the passionate and not necessarily for the experts ... that's why this announcement is so welcomed

 

Off to the next stop for a food and wine pairing in Punchinellos at Montecasino. I'm an absolute fan of pairings now and we try find one to go to a good handful of times a year. It's tough to find friends who appreciate it, but it was such a treat to sample the experience with a table of influencers. Taking place once a month, for such reasonable prices, it looks like my regular crowd will be treating ourselves to fine wines and perfectly matched food on a far more regular basis.

Chefs of Distinction at Punchinellos, Montecasino

Chefs of Distinction at Punchinellos, Montecasino

For more info on Chefs of Distinction and the great champagne prices, be sure to follow @TsogoSun or check out their website.

On the other hand, give me a shout and let's do sunset drinks with a bottle of bubbly or book a table and pair up!

 

My TedX talk and the huge response it got - project me post 1018

Project Me has been a roller coaster ride of achievements and failures, sorting out my life and finding more things broken. It's been about some successes that put me in a league of my own and struggles that put me in the same scary space as many others.

None of these is as great as my weight loss ... and gain! I admit that I scroll through blogs and pictures of my friends on Facebook, just to feel not so alone in the world with my struggle with my weight. It's one of the toughest battles that many of us face and it doesn't help when ex-fatties or never been fatties say that it's so easy ... it's not!

I've picked up 13kg since I called off my engagement in December 2012.
I have woken up every day promising myself that, just for today, I will get healthy and I will get moving. It hasn't been that easy ... it hasn't been easy at all.

Project Me is about figuring this out and after nearly a decade, I still don't have the answers. I do know that I battle with my weight every day.
Then I watched the Ted video by Brene Brown, where she posted her video and the comments that came flying through were that she was fat. I didn't care what size people thought she was ... he knowledge and the lessons she gives the world are invaluable.

Then it was my turn.
TedX has been a dream of mine. Ted is a bigger dream and I will get there.
I stood in front of the mirror on the morning and I knew that I was carrying a lot more weight than I ever intended to. I also stood, staring at my reflection and knew that I had a message to share with the world and that was more important, in the moment.

I did the talk. People applauded when it was done. The organisers were thrilled and thanked me sincerely. Some of the audience came running up to me afterwards just to shake my hand and say thank you ... my message was a powerful one.

Then the email arrived ... The video as out there ... I remembered how horrible the world is and that if Brene got a comment like she did, I had better prepare myself for the nasty world.
I told my best friend. I told my special friend Cam who lives thousands of miles from me. I told my assistant ... they all told me not to worry. I did ...

Then it happened. It took me a few days to pluck up the courage to post the link. How sad ... it had nothing to do with my Project Me story and everything to do with the anticipation of someone calling me on my weight. Which didn't take long at all!

"She's huge" ...

I'm a little zoned out ... mainly by the shame that I feel at having to share this planet with blindly insensitive human beings, but then I would be judging too.

I'm fucking proud of my talk and of being brave enough to stand on that stage, knowing I would be filmed and know that I would be judged for my looks and not for my talk.

So, this huge chick is on a mission to get a special Project Me message out. DON'T stop yourself from doing something because you are worried you will be judged. YOU WILL BE JUDGED ... for the very shame that you carry! Do it anyway ...

I'm not going to wake up depressed (okay I might) and determined to only drink water and eat salad until I can stand up in front of the camera and not have the world judge me, because I know I will only be critisised for something else. It's what the world has become ...

But ... I am going to watch all the Brene Brown videos again, turn to someone for help (maybe more than one person) and try to get to the bottom of the shame that is stopping me from losing this weight. I might eat more, because my shame has been fueled, but I know that something has to change. Everything has it's gift and the very dread that I carried onto that stage slapped my reality. I'm far too aware to ignore this moment ...

The world is cruel ... but there's truth in the too ... I'm fat!
My talk was still fucking good and I will forever be proud that I didn't let my shame stop me!

How life gets in the way of blogging every day in May - Project Me post 1018

I'm currently reading a book called, "The Dance", by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. I'm simultaneously reading, "The four hour work week", by Timothy Ferriss.

An interesting combination of reading. One very spiritual and the other very practical. One reminding me that I'm good enough as I am and the other pushing me to do things a little different. Both very much in line with where I am along my Project Me journey.

The combination of feeling so on track and feeling so far from where I want to be is all the plays on my mind these days. ?Today I decided to take some time and go shopping with my dear friend, Joanne. We usually have breakfast every Sunday, but tomorrow I'm .. wait for it ... working! I have an event that I volunteered to do, with love! So Joanne and I shopped, ate, drank wine, shopped, ate ice cream ... and talked. ?In my one statement to her, I confessed that I feel as though I'm using 10% of my potential, because of how busy I have made my life. Her response: at least I know what my potential is.

Yes, I am extremely proud to say that I know what I want from life and that I'm absolutely heading in the right direction. None of this is me complaining or being ungrateful, but it's the very essence of what Project Me is ... it's consciously looking at my life and admitting some truth so that I can make it about me and do what I need to do (without doing anything, as Oriah would try explain to me) to get to where I know I'm going .

In my conscious observation, and telling some of my close friends about the space I'm in, I've come to realise that I'm really not alone in the world when I confess that I think I have made myself so busy with other stuff, because I'm totally petrified of the very potential that I am. What will it mean when I manifest the BIG dreams? What will it entail to be the confident, outspoken advocate for my beliefs. How will I handle the responsibility of filling the big shoes that I have decided will be waiting for me?

I don't have the answers to any of this, because I've managed to the human thing. You know, that human thing, where we make ourselves so very busy, that we have no moment to spare to take the next step to greatness.

I have the best assistant a girl could ask for. I have systems in place, I have the most amazing clients and totally get how to manage my relationships with them. I don't have kids and I hardly go out (except to work events), yet, I'm so busy that I don't know if I'm coming or going. My poor assistant keeps asking me to give her more things to do and I keep telling her that I don't even have the time to hand it over to her. It's not fake busy. I don't think we create fake busy, I think we create real mayhem, that we have to work our way out of in order to truly get the lesson.

So I set out to blog every day in May. Something I used to do with such ease a few years ago. I started off reliving the rhythm I remembered and wondering my I hardly found time to blog of late.

Then it happened ...

Life ...

Career ...

Family ...

You name it, it's been genuinely consuming me. I say genuinely, because when I speak to friends, they keep telling me it's a time management thing. Trust me ... it's life!

I could go into the details, but I think each on of you can relate in some way.

So my main thing is to take from The Dance, and not beat myself up about it, but to also take from The Four Day Work Week and sort my shit out!!

I'm not throwing in the towel. I am going to try and blog as much as I can in May. I also can't blog at midnight, because a part of being kind to myself, is getting the sleep I need and figuring out a way to find the balance between getting the Project Me part of my life so right ... while not neglecting the other side of me ...

How my blog go its name - Project Me post 1017 for #BlogeverydayinMay

Project Me ... the discipline of making myself my own project. The journey of living totally goalless, but absolutely purposeful. The determination to live each day with courage, consciousness and a sense of humour.

How my blog got it's name is a story that goes back to almost a decade ago.
On the 1st of August 2004, the day my family home, with my business in it, burned down.

jodene fire project me

Wow, I haven't looked at this picture in years. One of the best and worst days of my life.
The very short version of how this very day led to my Project Me blog goes a little something like this ...

Fires are a great thing, if you are conscious and believe that something this significant has to be laced with messages and lesson. When this fire struck, my life was a mess of every single level and no part of me could continue living the way I was. I decided that, in part, and the rest of that was decided by the amazing people I had in my life. Two in particular were the spiritual teacher I was studying with at the time and a dear client of mine (I still owned my spa and was doing massage and reiki).

While my teacher was pointing out the mess that I was, my client was telling me that it was time to put myself first. The combination of both messages and two very convincing women, I was living Project Me before I knew it. Changing my career, my habits, my image ... my whole world ... and learning what it meant to put myself first, live within my truth and be my own project.

After years of living my conscious journey and really having made incredible changes in my life, I watched the movie, Julie and Julia. At that stage i had found my passion for social media, was teaching almost everything I head learned from my incredible teacher and had enough insight into what it meant to live Project Me ... so I decided to blog daily.

I decided to share with the world what it is like to live each day being my own project. I wanted to show people that it is possible to live consciously and within integrity. Most of all, I knew that I was very far from my dreams and that I still had massive demons to struggle and truths to face. Single, broke, overweight, spiritually outspoken & determined to be highly successful and influential in my world, I began to blog and share my story with raw, unapologetic truth!

My first post was on the 1st of January 2010 and I blogged daily for nearly 2 and a half years. Still living each day as my own project and over a thousand posts down the line, I'm so glad I did!!!

Love on a Friday - Project Me post 1016 #BlogeverydayinMay

What do you love on a Friday?

It took me a while to think about the things that separate the days for me. I must admit that I could be in a much better space of Libran balance because it's far too much about work (which is my passion) and not enough about the things that would distinguish one day from the next.

I don't have a Monday coffee date or Wednesday dance class. I'm mentioning those because I want them, oh so badly.

So, what I love on a Friday is more of what I want to love of a Friday ...

friday

Switching the alarm off for the whole weekend.

Climbing into bed with wine (I do that), my cats (do that too) and a book (okay, I totally crave doing that).

On the other hand, not climbing into bed and going out with friends for dinner, without being rushed or exhausted

A manicure & pedicure ... every Friday! Truly that would be love ...

These daily posts have been so great for my reminder of what Project Me is all about and I'm taking steps (little ones) to make the changes I need so that I can have the career and the life, in perfect balance. This one ... What I love of a Friday ... has set the tone for something I want to love and look forward to every day of the week.

That unread book - project me post 1015 #BlogeverdayinMay

I'm patting myself on the back and pinching myself to stay awake at the same time. Wow, I don't know how I managed to blog daily, just a few years ago. Okay truth be told, I was still spending my days contemplating how I was going to get clients, instead of juggling the handful that I have now.

So after a long day, with an event and a client dinner squeezed in, I'm cramming in my daily blog post for May before midnight creeps up on me.

Oh the irony of the book I haven't managed to read, but know that I want to and need to.

The 4 hour work week ...

4 hour work week

It's not the newest of books and I've contemplated making that my next read for quite some time. Next read ... that's going to take a while considering that the only time I get to a book is when I'm in an airplane and can't get phone signal.

I am definitely one of those entrepreneurs who never intended to work my ass off and not have a moment to have a life. I'm definitely one of those entrepreneurs who works my ass off and doesn't have a life!

It's very self inflicted and over the past few months I have been very conscious of turning my attention to the original plan of working smarter than harder.

I'm a big fan of believing that as we are truly ready for something, then the universe provides it for us. That's not the same as throwing our hands up in the air and waiting for a miracle to land in our lap.
I've slowly started to refocus and ended up talking about where we wanted to retire. All I could imagine was sitting and overlooking the ocean, while writing yet another book. So while I have been intrigued to read the 4 hour work week, the other part of has always known that the rest of my week will be spent writing ... which kept putting this one on the back of the book list.

Then ... a friend of mine sent me a mail today. Lo and behold, it's a copy of the book!!!!

That is one clear sign and obviously a vital step in my Project Me journey! Now to find the time to read it ...

The kitchen table post for Blog every day in May - Project Me post 1014

Everything is always in perfect timing. It took a long time for me to truly get my head around that, in all my spiritual quests for the meaning of life. Sometimes it's a serious response, which helps me get through trying time, and on other days it's the perfect reminder of an exciting and special life lived.

It's election day in South Africa. That's not the point of this post, but it is a day that's declared a public holiday (of sorts). Voting done first thing this morning, I've had a lovely day being on Aunty Duty and tonight I'm off to the theatre for some comedy.

However, the blogging question today is, where are you blogging from?
One of my most favourite spots ... the kitchen table.
I don't really have a kitchen table, but I do have a beautiful home. It's a flat that's attached to my big sister's home. I love my little space (which isn't so little, considering) but I have found a special place upstairs, living among my big sister and my gorgeous twin nephews.

When I decided to make the move, I had decided that I would be a tenant, who used my own entrance and ate alone on my couch. I decided that it was a sensible move, but I had rule and I had boundaries. Rules ... sometimes silly things!

A little bit of chaos and adjustment to my new way of living kept me upstairs, for what I imaged being very brief, as I got settled in. Little did I realise that settling in would mean finding my place on the couch and at the kitchen table.

I'm blessed, that along my #projectme journey, I have had written my posts in many different locations and destinations, but for today ... when voting about what happens to my country ... I find myself simply posting my blog from a happy kitchen table!

My "how to" post of Blog every day in May - project me post 1012

Oh this is so easy! Whenever I'm asked to share a "how to" of anything, I always get excited to boast one of the oldest pagan winter soup recipes.

Winter is heading this way and if you are anything like me, there's lots of soup on the stove.

On the coldest winter nights, there's nothing like the smell of pumpkin & cinnamon to keep me warm and I hope this recipe does the same for you.

I call it Witchy Winter Pumpkin Soup:

pumpkinsoup (1)

Ingredients

Directions

Serves 12, unless it?s so delicious that you don't want to share ...

UBER PROVIDES FREE RIDES ON ELECTION DAY FOR RSA VOTERS!

Uber South AfricaUBER will be providing FREE rides this coming Wednesday 7th May 2014, between 7am and 9pm, as they participate in making the country?s voting process more convenient in their own special way.

This coming election day, new and existing UBER users can enter the promotion code: VOTESA to redeem two free rides, each up to R200 in value.
New users can sign up at uber.com/app/VOTESA. [See the blog for more details:http://blog.uber.com/].

This exciting campaign comes ten months after UBER first expanded into Africa, starting with its successful August 2013 launch in Johannesburg.
The Head of UBER in Africa and the Middle East, Jambu Palaniappan, says, "At UBER, we are incredibly passionate about helping people move around the cities that they live in. We have received a warm welcome in South Africa, and are very excited about current operations in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban. On May 7th, we'd like to give back by making it easier for people to go out and vote. We'd also encourage all of our users to take an elderly friend or family member with them to the polls, so that everyone has their chance to be heard."

UBER wishes all voters in South Africa, a free and fair election.

UBER can be found in your mobile app stores for download!

Day 4 of Blog every day in May - project me post 1010

That one compliment!

I'm sure that depending on our esteem, we remember the compliments more than others. I'm sure that some people have had the most beautiful compliments and completely missed them or brushed them off with something self-crushing.
I'm sure, because I used to be one of those people.

Then something changed! I met someone so special that he took the time to get to know me and love me unconditionally. I'm not sure which of the compliments was the turning point in my life, but my best friend and most amazing business partner has been that one person, that one place, that one compliment, that has seen me through most of my fears and insecurities for nearly a decade.

greg chat

Clearly I'm the one getting all the plans confused in the chat and Greggie is the one giving me the greatest compliment anyone could ask for ... "because I love you!"