Mud Mask Review



Hey guys and girls! This post has been a very long time coming but school has kept me so busy I haven’t had the opportunity to put down in words what I thought about the Mud Mask clay masks. So let’s get right into this:

My Skin:

Here’s a little background on my skin. I have pretty decent skin, I hardly had acne growing up and even as an adult my skin was clear until I moved to Johannesburg. After moving to Jozi my skin started getting extremely dry and red around the cheeks. Not having dealt with major skin problems before this was new territory for me. I tried a couple of things but nothing seemed to stick until I tried Mud Mask.



Mud Mask first thoughts:

So my lovely friend, Sumarie the owner of Mud Mask popped over for a visit and surprised me with some masks. Firstly I thought the packaging was lovely! The masks are nicely stored in glass bottles that can be put on display, but I wasn’t sure if these masks would be like every other one I’ve tried: works for all of 10 minutes and then poof! My face is a tomato again.

All you need to do with the mask is mix it in with a few drops of water and/or an essential oil and apply it to the face. The first thing I noticed about the mask is the consistency and the velvet feeling as I applied it to my skin.

As advised by Sumarie, I kept it on my skin until I felt it starting to crack and washed it off. It felt uber nice on my skin, I could feel the mask locking in the moisture because of its velvety texture. It was also easy to remove just with some water.



After I dried my face off, I noticed an immediate difference: my skin was soft, the dry areas such as my cheeks and between my eyes were looking better. I was having a  crappy skin week so the mask definitely rejuvenated my face. I also used a touch of facial oil, which by the way is my favorite Mud Mask product, it locks in moisture and keeps my skin feeling soft and hydrated in the dry Johannesburg climate.

It was a total boost to my skin as the bumps on my face were reduced and my face felt clean. I was going out the night I tried the mask and found that when I applied my makeup I had a better foundation to work with because in all honesty if your skin isn’t in good condition makeup will never look perfect.




I have been using the masks every time I have an import night out or when I need a bit of pampering. I also love that I get to mix the product myself. It gets points for being interactive, but also quick and easy to use.

Why I would recommend it :

What makes these masks (and kit) so unique, is the fact that everything is 100% natural. The Essential Oils in the kit are all 100% pure and undiluted. The three essential oils (lavender, tea tree and geranium rose) were selected for their amazing benefits for the skin. These are also the three essential oils that are most suitable for any skin type. Evening primrose oil is another natural gem that you see frequently in many facial oils and moisturizers.
Obviously, these masks are completely natural. With no preservatives interfering with all the natural goodness in them! Not to even mention the additional activated charcoal and 100% raw honey that can also be mixed in with these masks!



The products are all natural which means there’s no funny stuff that you are unaware of going on your skin. The product feels luxurious on my face and the after effects are amazing, especially when it turned my face into an ideal canvas for makeup.


Why it’s worth it:

The Mud Mask starter kit and sample kit both come in the most rustic packaging; a wooden chest. I handled the packaging and products while taking photos for this blog and I was obsessed with the box. Keeping with the all-natural theme, Mud Masks packaging is environmentally conscious, unlike other beauty products I have used.  The wooden box can be reused as well as the cute little glass bottles which are stopped with a natural cork.  One of my favorite items in the box other than the products is the beautiful handmade terracotta mixing bowl, which is included in the starter kit.



The starter kit includes 21 items in total, 3 x each clay mask. Each vial contains enough clay for two facial masks which works out to R27.70 a mask. I have paid around R30 – R40 a mask in the past so R27.70 is good price for someone like myself who is on a budget. Money wise, Mud Mask is worth it and because you get to mix your own mask you control how much you want to use, this way I have managed to get not 2 but 3 masks out of 1 vile. Besides this, you are getting also the chest itself, and it comes packed with facial oil, facial soap and a wooden spoon.

To wrap this up, Mud Mask is a proudly South African brand. The products and packing are natural which means it is not only good on your skin but for the environment too. If you would like to purchase one of the products,  go to or visit this direct link to get your kit. With Christmas fast approaching these kits are great to find under the tree!



Hey ya’ll thank you for checking out this review. Let me know what you think in the comments below. In other news, I started a new Instagram account Cassricornart   to showcase my art as well as take commissions for my series “You’re a Beauty Guru Now.” Here’s one of Sumarie from Mud Mask, inbox me if you would also like to be immortalized as a beauty Guru.

International Beauty Products: Resellers + Tips & a List of trusted sellers



This is an extremely important topic that I would like to discuss. The beauty industry in South Africa from sellers, buyers, beauty gurus, and your average Jane has really skyrocketed in recent years. With access to international brands from resellers to the basic consumer buying from the comfort of their own home, directly from overseas-based makeup sites, things have drastically changed in the way we buy our beauty products. Resellers make it easier for us to get our hands on brands we won’t find in our regular stores. Most of these resellers advertise on social media and have a website.

But with the good also comes the bad. There has been a rise in fake beauty products being sold at the corner shop down the street to so-called online resellers, duping people into buying counterfeit products while assuring people their goods are real. This is a very serious and scary thing that many South African consumers get trapped in.






This post was inspired by recent events that occurred on a trusted beauty news Instagram account beautynewssa. Beauty News SA is “a source for the tea on all things makeup in SA, new releases, sales and giveaways” (taken from their Instagram bio.)

I was following their Insta story and to my horror, they were scammed into believing that a certain reseller was legit (after doing all the right checks of course) and shared this seller with their followers. Being a trusted brand themselves, their follows too, unfortunately fell into this trap. This is truly an awful experience for everyone involved and Beauty News SA was quick to admit their faults as seen in their Instagram story. I do not believe their intentions were bad, it’s just a really tough position they were placed in after trying to help the seller.

The conversation continued in a post where they asked these questions:

“So how did you all feel about today’s Story, and the whole fake makeup issue in general?? 🙊 Are resellers who deceive customers thief’s? Have you tried fake/replica makeup?”



I jumped into the thread and added some of my views on authentic resellers I trusted. As I read through the comments one thing jumped out at me. Some commenters admitted to using fake products, expressing that in some cases they were aware that the products were not original and simply, real products were financially unattainable and that buying fakes were more budget friendly. Others said that they have not had a bad reaction to fake products. This sent me into panic mode and I posted some of my thoughts on the matter which I would like to elaborate on here.



Let’s first establish what fake or counterfeit make up is for the purpose of this post:


Counterfeit makeup is anything that a fake or forgery of a well-known beauty brand. Knock-off products that copy the labeling and sell inferior products that elude the buyer to believe it is genuine. Not only does this tick off many illegal boxes,  counterfeiting is a form of trademark infringement and can be punishable by law. I’ve often come across counterfeit products of brands such as Kylie Cosmetics, Huda Beauty, Urban Decay and Anastasia Beverly Hills to name a few.




Why it is a bad decision to  knowingly buy fake products:


I understand the reasoning that high-end brands may be out of reach for those on a budget. The real deal can cost you over an R1000 an item also when you consider shipping costs from overseas, tariffs and customs, as well as the profit authentic sellers, need to make for all their work (remember when you buy from a legit reseller this cuts out the drama of dealing with customs and shipping amongst other things.) Also if you have used fake products and not had a reaction this does not mean the products are safe:



1. Endorsing counterfeit makeup creates the market allowing bad sellers to sell more.

2. As mentioned above, this is illegal on a lot of levels such as trademark.

3. Buying counterfeit makeup creates a false sense of security for other unsuspecting customers to be scammed and even worse. They could be exposed to a bad reaction that will damage their skin and cost more money than one would have imagined paying for the real deal. If you don’t know this by now, fakes are known to be replicated in uncontrolled environments. You can never know for sure what is in the counterfeit you are buying as with the label they also copy the ingredients of the real product. So essentially you are getting an exact copy of the packaging but an inferior product that could have chemicals and even rat feces in it.

4. This can also taint the original brand’s reputation. If you don’t know you are buying a fake, your idea of the real brand could potentially create negative connotations to it.


An alternative to buying high-end products:



We are fortunate to have some really great budget-friendly makeup available to us, that even rival high-end products. Drugstore brands, as well as some locally produced makeup, is a better option for many reasons. You definitely know what is going into the products and there is very little risk factor when using these products. Brands like Essence, Catrice, Wet and Wild as well as Makeup Revolution can be found at your local Clicks or Dischem at a fraction of the cost.


What if you must have the high-end stuff?


I hear you, I pined over my AB Glow Palette for months before being able to afford it. And when it finally went on sale at an authentic re-seller and I had the cash,  I knew this was my moment. I try not to buy into the hype of makeup products and the need to have it now because so and so has it. Peer pressure can lead you to wanting products now, and I know people have bought fakes just because of the label. We all start somewhere, and for most of us on a budget it is a slow grow. Here are some tips on how I grew my makeup inventory:

1. I have a makeup fund I put spare cash into and save for the products I want most. It takes time but it is worth the wait.

2. Make a list of what you need in your makeup kit, this way if you see something on sale you don’t go out and buy it on a whim. Stick to this list and set goals with your savings.

3. It’s pretty difficult to suss out resellers to know if their products are authentic but here’s what I have done. Check the price if it’s too good to be true it probably is. This isn’t a foolproof plan but it is an indicator.

4. I am on South African based Facebook makeup groups and they usually don’t allow sellers that are fake. One of the common practices on these groups is that a seller provides proof of authenticity in the means of proof of purchase. I also look at the comments on sellers posts and check out the more experienced buyers to judge sellers.

5. I attend makeup expos and pop-ups. Fake sellers are usually unwelcome here so I know I am in a safe place. Buying at expos and pop-ups mean prices are cheaper as you cut out shipping costs and they usually have sales.


Some authentic resellers I have purchased from:


Beauty Gifts by Melanie

Fashion Police

Kiss and Makeup SA



Thank you for reading. I hope that this post will help makeup lovers like myself save money and unnecessary pain. Let me know in the comments below if this helped you. Have you had a bad experience with a seller? Tell me about that too. If you would like to know more don’t hesitate to ask me any questions and I will try to assist.




4 Binge Worthy Animated shows on Netflix


If you’re anything like me and love a good animated show, that you can get sucked into, the streaming gods have blessed us with some of the best Animated shows for not only kids but adults as well.


Netflix has changed the way I consume content and has exceeded my expectations when it comes to the shows I  can watch and easily binge on. Here are my top 4 animated series which is a mix of shows for younger ages to more PG.


1. Disenchantment


If you’re already a fan of the Simpsons you might recognize the animation style of this show. Matt Groening brings us Princess Tiabeanie, an out of control princess like you’ve never seen before. Along with her unusual sidekicks a demon and an elf she gets into all sorts of trouble. This show is definitely for adults as a boozed-up princess is far from the Disney standard but is a fresh take on the prim and proper princess we all know.


Why I like this show:

Princess Bean is a direct opposite of everything I’ve ever known about Princesses. While watching her antics as she gets into trouble, intoxicated out of her mind there is an underlying storyline which I’ll be interested to see play out in season two.


2.The Dragon Prince



Co-created by Aaron Ehasz, the head writer for Avatar: The last air bender. The story follows two kingdoms who are on the verge of war. Two human princes and an Elvin assassin, take on an epic journey in order to save their world.


Why I like the show:

Dragons, Assasin Elves, Magic? What more can I say? Technically directed at children, This show is everything I want and more. The animation is impeccable and the characters have so much substance. Spoiler: one character, in particular, is a female knight, She’s also deaf and commuticates in sign language.


3. Final Space:


A sci-fi comedy for adults about an astronaut named Gary, who’s serving his last days on a prison ship. He then meets his new adorable friend Mooncake, a planet destroyer who’s wanted by the evil Lord Commander. Gary along with Mooncake and other characters try to stop the Lord Commander from destroying the universe.


Why I like the show:

This is a new and fresh storyline for space themed animation. I enjoyed the characters and interaction between them. Gary especially is flawed and unsure of himself which makes him relatable and there’s cute little moon cake, who destroys planets.


4. Hilda:



A beautiful show for kids and children at heart. Hilda is about a fearless girl who transitions from her home in the wilderness to the big city. The show has elves, giants and all sorts of quirky magical creatures.


Why I like the show:

I binge watched the hell out of this show and it drove right into my heart. The animation and music ties in well with this show about a world that coexists with magical beings. I loved the lore of the show and how every creature has a back story. It’s nicely put together to give you a pure feeling of mystic and wonder.




Another show I just started watching is the new She-ra series. I am quite enjoying it and think its worth your while to check it out. What are you watching on Netflix? Let me know in the comments below.

Beauty Expo and Make up Haul

Another year another expo! Last Saturday I attended a beauty expo hosted by Beauty Swop and Sale. Attending an event 2 days before my final year-end exam was not my best moment but I sure needed a break from the books. The highlight of my day was truly the vendors and hanging out with my friend a fellow blogger Cherice from Glam Hipster Diaries.
This was the second beauty expo I have attended and I came prepared. The night before the event I stalked the vendors on Instagram so I could go in with a game plan:


1. Buy a new palette: more specifically Athena by Bad Habit
2. Check out some Korean skincare: what is it even?
3. Buy Glitter: Important
4. Face masks


I’d been saving my birthday money for this event so I had a budget but le boyfriend gave me his card just in case. I’m lucky, aren’t I? Though in all seriousness planning before you go to an event helps your wallet. Listing what you want to buy as well as your expectations puts your spending in perspective and helps you, to eat for the next month!


The day had finally arrived and I got up super early to be there on time so I wouldn’t miss out on anything. The first vendor I saw was Kiss and Makeup and within moments of walking in, I had my first buy. I’ve purchased from them before and they are my go to when I need an international brand at a good price. Athena was ticked off my list along with an additional purchase, a Color Pop lip gift set for only R50. I also returned a few hours later to grab a Morphe primer and sponge, seeing as my current sponge looks like the bottom of a lake – I thought this was a good buy.


Next, I stopped off at the lovely ladies from Glow Theory who recognized me from last year. Cherice and I both jumped at the Korean Skincare starter kit to help us get into Korean Skincare. I also came back later to get a 7 pack face mask which I’m dying to try out.



EllaGance Makeup, a South African based beauty brand was also there and I met the owner Ella Champion. It was lovely talking to her and she happily covered me in the Nova Glow Illuminator. Her products are amazingly pigmented and I just fell in love with her brand. I ordered the Nova Glow in Gold Digger which isready for me to pick up. I’d love to buy some more products especially the blush and the lipsticks which pack so much power.



A few other things I picked up was body glitter from Glamore Cosmetics, a silk pillowcase from Kikkaboo and makeup remover from My Abby. Shout out to Robin from My Abby for stopping us before we left to tell us about the My Abby range. The makeup remover is the one thing I’ve been using since the expo and oh my gosh it’s been amazing!




It was lovely talking to Zaza from Luxeloft who provided us with samples on some of her products after I explained my concerns about not knowing what works on my face! The vendors were awesome and they truly made the event.




Cherice and I purchased an intermediate makeup class along with our ticket. It was said to begin at 11am when we arrived at the door but to my utter annoyance (and if you know me, I am drama queen #1) it was moved to 10:30. We had no clue about the time change, because who listens to announcements when you’re too busy drooling over all the awesome products on display? We were fortunately fitted into the next class which was for professionals at 1 pm. Having an exam the next Monday with a tight schedule, the time change did throw my day off. I know students out there will relate! Despite being uncomfortable and put out of my comfort zone, Kirsty Cochuis from Smudge Makeup Academy did her best and I picked up a few new tricks – And as someone wise told me, taking oneself out of your comfort zone is what defines true beauty which was quite apt for my experience.




All in all, it was a good day. I spent time with my sunshiny pineapple-banana-lemon Cherice (I adore the dress she wore) I met some awesome people at the event and I came home happy with the goods I bought.


Next year I plan to check out other beauty expos, do you know of any other expos happening around Joburg? Let me know in the comments below 😊

Ps Thanks to Cherice for the silver Ofra lippy!

Bohemian Rhapsody Review

Hi friends!
Here’s a new section that I am adding to the blog. One of my loves is watching movies and tv series – mostly because I’m an overthinker and getting transported into a different world visually not only helps me turn off but it also lights up that part of my brain where I have a huge appreciation for cinematics.

We’ll be starting off this new section with a much-anticipated movie that will be hitting the big screen on November 30th. I was lucky to catch the World Premier Pre-screening of Bohemian Rhapsody over a month before its official release.


A biopic (and I love me a biopic) about the lead singer Freddie Mercury and the band Queen. It follows the life of Mercury from his small beginnings,  through to his process as an artist and his larger than life personality he intensified with the success of Queen.  All entwined with the personal struggles he faced with his identity, loneliness, and sexuality. See the trailer below:

My background with Queen

Sadly, the real Freddie Mercury died in 1991 so I have never been able to experience the massive icon that he was but thanks to my dad I was exposed to Queen’s music from a young age. I remember getting all excited at age 4 to watch a Queen concert (without Freddie ) on TV and that’s where I fell in love with guitarist Brian May’s mad guitar skills. A couple of years ago I attended a Queen tribute show at Johburg Theatre, where my interest in Mercury actually took off. I started watching more of their music videos and interviews with Freddie and to my utter surprise, I had been walking around for 25 years not knowing he was Parsi Indian!



With my background on Queen and Mercury, I went into this movie really excited to see what I have read about his flamboyant life in articles, come to life on the big screen. I didn’t follow the production of the film too closely but I was aware that the living band members worked closely with the production team in order to get a close-to-damn-it portrayal of the rock legend. Also having cast Rami Malek in the lead role was a great choice from the get-go in terms of looks but I was still holding my breath to see his performance.

Thoughts on the film

The movie is a  glimpse into the life of Freddie Mercury, from the formation of Queen, his writing and recording process and the many successes of the band. This is pretty much the chronological order the movie follows but it also touches on issues fans may not have known about him and his personal trials with loneliness which is a theme seen throughout the film.  It is a story about a man who was unapologetically himself, he pushed boundaries and knew what he wanted but still had a human condition that needed a form of anesthesia in order to cope.

Although the film touches on realistic problems that contrast his ostentatious life and makes the character real, it also plays it safe and doesn’t explore certain issues that I would have like to have seen a deeper look into. BoRhap is a film honoring his memory but what would have made a bigger impact is if we saw more inner turmoil as he dealt with issues such as identity and finding himself.

Rami Malek

Let’s talk Malek for a moment. If anyone had to play Mercury it had to be him. Looking at images from the film we can definitely see that he looks like Mercury but could he act, I wondered? And yes, he can! I know Malek from the unhinged role of Elliot in Mr. Robot and I did not know that he was so versatile as an actor. He brought the essence of Mercury to the big screen and I think he did an amazing job with this character. Speaking for myself, I could see Malek in the character but there were certain instances in the film where Mercury just shone out. Especially in the scenes on stage, parading around with the microphone and stand, that was brilliant.




Okay, so to wrap this up. I loved the film (my biased is showing because I love historical movies,) the music fills the cinema and creates this atmosphere of anticipation and excitement and that’s all I needed. Despite the few hollow areas of the movie, I would recommend you go see it if you love Queen or biopics. One thing that I took away from this movie is that it doesn’t matter where you come from the important thing is, if I work hard at my dreams I could also do something half as significant as Mercury did in his short life.


Thanks for reading!

What are your thoughts on Bohemian Rhapsody? Will you be watching it? The movie releases on 30th November at my favorite cinema Ster-kinkor.

Before I go, I’d like to say a big thanks to Melanie Pretorius for the tickets and Ster-kinekor for hosting the event.

Best Birthday Cakes. Ever.

I have been doing the monotonous task of sorting through years and years of photos, I’ve hoarded on my external hard-drives. To say the least its been hours of mind-numbing stuff – weeding through the accidental, very unflattering up-the-nose pics, I hit gold when I found a folder with pictures of my Birthday last year which sparked this post.

Around about that time I was still on my blogging hiatus and so could not share my utter glee with the world by putting into words how damn awesome my birthday cakes were. If there’s something you must know about me, is that I really enjoy the craftsmanship of novelty cakes and because I can only get cake once a year and I refuse to bake it myself, I make a point of going all out and last year I found the one, the ultimate pâtisserie.

While on the hunt for a new baker I went through so many websites trying to locate the perfect one but I just could not find any that were doing it for me until,  Cafe Hemingway’s. My first impression of them was WOW! Not only was their website beautifully presented but unlike a lot of other places I had looked at they had all the information I needed categorized nicely between different tabs. Hallelujah!

Which has become a rarity lately, as a socially-awkward-running-on-a-low-budge-student it is super helpful that I get all the information I need on your website instead of calling in for a quote and finding out I grossly cannot afford it. Yes, cakes are made to order but what Hemingway’s get right for me is their Cake Book which details the prices according to size, flavor, and fondant.

I must have mailed them immediately and asked for a quote on a unicorn cake and was surprised to find out that I could afford 2 more! And in less than 2 hours Melanie had given me all the information I needed and processed my order, all without having to call in!

Chuffed with myself, I decided that the family and I ( le Boyfriend and Mum) visit the Cafe for a taste test. The bristro was beautifully decorated and delightful. We had a few cake options to choose from but we went with the basics chocolate and vanilla and I can tell you this, you have not eaten cake until you’ve had a slice at Hemingway’s. Happy as a fat kid with cake I couldn’t wait for my birthday! I was literally vibrating when I left the Cafe.

When cake day arrived I sent le boyfriend to collect them but was a bit nervous – if you have ever transported a cake before it is at least a 2 man job and I was sending only 1 boyfriend for 3 cakes. The math did not add up. But Hemingway’s had us covered they packaged each cake into a very sturdy box and tied with a pretty ribbon that made each cake look like an individual present. This not only got them home safely but added more whimsy to the whole event.

When they finally arrived I was over the moon and happy with the effort that went into my cakes, from the boxes to the amazing work of art each cake was. I chose the  Fluttershy Unicorn, Color of Magic and the Black Minx cakes for my Birthday.

Fluttershy Unicorn 
This cake was my first choice, of course. French Vanilla sponge covered in vanilla icing with piped swirls for the unicorn mane, decorated with fondant for the unicorn details.

Color of Magic
I loved this as it was pretty in pink. Red Velvet sponge covered in pink icing with cream cheese frosting between the layers, it was decorated with lovely fresh flowers.

Black Minx
I wanted something a bit unusual and this was a gorgeous cake! Chocolate sponge covered in black icing and gold flecks, decorated with white chocolate bark, macarons and fresh flowers.

Cafe Hemingway’s did a marvelous job and I felt the cakes were worth much more than I paid for them. Each one was moist, just the right amount of sweetness and delicious flavors. I think my favorite was the color of magic as it had a bit of tartness to it that balanced the red velvet. Right now I’ve just placed my order for this year’s cakes and I cannot wait!

Thanks for reading!
xxx Cass

Do you like cake as much as me? Let me know your favorite sweet treat in the comments below.

Life Update – Where have I been?

Hello reader…

I know it’s been forever and a day since I updated my blog, wrote and new post or even made a peep but a lot has happened since I was last here. I am alive. And if that is enough for you, you can go now, but if you are remotely interested in why I took a long extended absence from my space on the internet read on.



The last time I left off, I was gearing up for the second semester of my second year of study. Exciting times indeed but in my personal life, I was facing the closest I have ever been to hell. My world was rocked after le boyfriend lost his job. We were faced with very adult decisions to make about our immediate life, where we were going to go and what was going to happen. There were days where all we did was sit on the couch and literally cry while we picked up the pieces of our life. And of course, when it rains it most certainly pours and everything that could go wrong went wrong. FUN.

I cannot condense in words how utterly difficult that time was but trust me I would not have got through it all without the support from my friends and family. Thank you to everyone. We are, however, still trying to get back on some kind of track and it will take some time to regroup before we feel normal again. But in some crazy way we are in a better space than we were before and my last few months have been amazing.


This is what I have been up to lately :


We bought our first couch:

Not something I was going to mention but I believe it is very important to make note of the milestones in one’s life even if it may not be as important to the next person. After 4 years of living together and not making any sort of improvement to our general living space we bought a couch. It may not be the most expensive and some might say they’ve sat on more luxurious pieces of furniture but you know what, it’s my couch and I am proud of our achievement.


My best friends came to visit me for the first time in Jozi:

I have been friends with Raafeeqa since we met at age 15, that’s 12 years of friendship. We still maintain a strong bond after so many years and even after I moved to Joburg we are still consistent in our friendship. Nazz, her sister, who I also absolutely adore is the little sister I never had. In August they both made a trip just to see me and we had an amazing week together. Lots of shopping, cooking together and most importantly our great convos.



I went to Comic Con Africa:

I can officially say I was one of the people to attend the first Comic-Con Africa hosted in Johannesburg. It was mind-blowing there was so much to see and it was fantastic. I also DIY’ed my mermaid attire including a magnificent trident. Le Boyfriend went as the 11th Doctor and screaming girls asked for his picture even though all he did was buy a fez and went in his work clothes! I met a lot of friends I met online and even after CCA we still keep in touch.



I surprised my mother for her 60th Birthday:

With all the drama that has been going on in my life, I was really happy I could pull this one out of the hat, okay really all praise should go to the man that made it happen but come on I did all the planning. So my mother turned 60. Wow. And I had to be there. I took a 10-day break from reality to visit my mum for her big day and see everyone that I could back home. I spent well deserved time with my loved ones and with my closest friends, reunited with family and truly hit a reset before exam season starts.


What’s next?

I am currently preparing for exams. One last stretch before I can breathe. I have 4 exams and 1 portfolio to complete by the end of November. Studying is going slow but I am sure it’ll pick up very shortly.

Other than that I have started the Inktober challenge which is keeping me creative. In a nutshell, I have to follow daily prompts for the month of October and interpret these into daily drawings.

Something that is keeping the procrastination alive, is, unfortunately, my upcoming Birthday smack bang in the middle of exams! Well at least I am not writing any exams on my Birthday this year, last year I wrote 2. I’ve been getting sucked into what I want to do for my day and how I spend it. It is something to look forward to and I am excited!

I would also try to blog more. Le boyfriend gave me a little notebook to write down my ideas and goals and I am hoping to use this to help me be a bit more consistent in my writing and creative space.  Well, that is all from me for now, hopefully, I will be back sooner than last time.

Thanks for reading. xx


UNISA: How to get ahead of the game



I have been studying at Unisa for the past year and a half and although I got off to a rocky start I quickly managed to find my feet with distance learning. As you may or may not know at Unisa you need a high level of self-discipline in order to keep up with the rollercoaster ride each new semester brings.  This means you are accountable to yourself for a number of things, making sure you dedicate enough study time each week, scheduling work between different modules and making sure you meet deadlines before hell month begins in other words, exams!  I have picked a few tips to get ahead of the game and help me manage my studies more efficiently which I am going to share with you:

RELATED POST: How I became a student. Again.

Study Material

As a Unisa student you soon get to know that your study material may not always make it to you on time, this my friend is no excuse. You can get cracking as soon as you hit ‘Request’ on your application.  The moment you register any modules (even if you are temporarily registered) you have access to study material.

I had no idea this facility existed but once I found it, it changed my life forever. No longer will you find me hopping around group chats begging for a tutorial letter because there is a Download Study Material Tool available. All you have to do is fill in your personal details and the tool will generate all the study material for the modules you are registered for. As simple as that, want to try it out for yourself click this link Download Study Material Tool 


I don’t know about you but I like saving a penny wherever I can and purchasing second-hand books can save you a ton of money. After you have downloaded the tutorials go through each one and make a list of the prescribed textbooks you will need for the semester.

Once you have that down, have a look at reputable booksellers such as to find out what the retail selling price is of each book. This helps you gauge how much you will be spending on textbooks but it also helps you avoid being ripped off if you are purchasing second-hand.  I once had someone try to sell me used textbooks for way above the RSP. If I had not known what they were selling at new, I might have thought it was a pretty good deal. Second-hand bookstores are really good to find a bargain but the easiest way I have found the books I need are through Facebook, Whatsapp, and Telegram groups. I usually post my book list in the group and ask if anyone is selling what I am looking for or I search keywords to find sellers.


Studying through Unisa can feel kind of lonely. Unlike a physical university, there are no classes (in my experience) so you miss the interaction with peers. Groups bridges this divide by bringing people together to discuss the work and make it easier to cope with Uni life. You can ask the questions about things you are not sure of or access study material. I have also met some of the most amazing people in these groups and made lifelong friendships in my study buddies. The first type of groups I would like to point out is Facebook groups. One, in particular, is the Unisa Students group which is for all students but there are specific groups dedicated to a course like the BA Communications group and even groups for single modules like ENG1501. All you need to do is search keywords such as your course name or a module and filter it out to find any available groups.

When I started at Unisa Whatsapp groups were the standard but currently, Whatsapp is being phased out in favor of Telegram. Telegram is similar to WhatsApp but new members can access any documents and messages that have been sent before a user has entered a group. This means 1 document can be sent instead of it having to be resent over and over. You can find Telegram groups by going to this link Unisa Groups, search your module and join.


Read through the assignments for the semester as soon as you get your tutorials. This trick allows me to have a general idea of how much time each one needs. If it’s a multiple-choice question assignment – I know it will take a lot less time to complete than a written assignment. I also jot down the due dates on my calendar so I know when each one is due and I can plan accordingly. I generally do the easier assignments first so that it is out of the way and then I move on to the tougher ones.

If you have the time, reading any novels, textbooks and study guides ahead of time will help you in the long run. If you acquire your study material and books early put in the work as soon as possible even if you commit to reading just a chapter a day during the holiday. I have started reading one of my prescribed books already even though the semester ‘technically’ starts in August I have taken time out of each day to do a little bit before the madness begins.


Thanks for reading

XX Cass

Do you have any tips or questions about studying through correspondence University like UNISA? Let me know in the comment section below and best of luck for the next semester!

One last thing before I go… Please like my Facebook Page  Cassricorn Blog to keep up with my posts. I will be posting more on my studies and sharing other fun posts soon.

5 Lessons from The Mother of Chinchillas

A little while back, I had an illustration done of my little family by the amazing artist Christine Bernard. I had stalked her page and loved how her drawings expressed the essence of the people in them and was ecstatic to have her draw us. It was slap bang in the middle of exams and I had trouble keeping up with our correspondence but like I said Christine is amazing and she whipped my illustration up in a matter of hours! If you want to check her out – and you should, you can find her on Instagram here christinebernardauthor.

With that, I thought I would take the opportunity to tell you more about my family and what I have learnt being The Mother of Chinchillas.


Can somebody get me one of these?


1. Patience
Something le boyfriend will tell you I don’t have. I need instant gratification and I need it yesterday! But when the Chinchillas came along with their little pitter pattering feet I had no choice but to learn patience. As cute and cuddly as they may look, they are not cute and cuddly at all. Maybe ‘at all’ is a little bit of a stretch but to be honest they were a stark adjustment to dogs who will love and give you attention no matter what.

Chins, depending on what age you get them and their individual personalities show little affection and don’t really like being picked up and smothered in love. Our relationship is 80/20 with them showing affection very rarely. I had to learn a lot of patience with them and understand that the few fleeting moments they do show love are exceptionally special. Like the time I put Socrates on the plane to take him with me to Port Elizabeth because I was attending a wedding. I have no clue what transpired between the PE airport to OR Tambo but when I collected him at the BidAir Pet Lounge and took him out of his carrier he gave me the longest cuddle ever even if it did last all of 5 minutes!




2. Selflessness
I am not a human mom yet and I do not think I will be for a very long time but what my furbabies have taught me is to be selfless. I put them first at every point in my life. The Chinchillas each have their own cages which they spend most of the day in but need to come out regularly to play, dust bath and get some exercise. We usually do this at night as they are nocturnal animals and snooze during the day but some nights I could just not be bothered and would much rather sit on the couch and be a potato. But I signed up for this job and play time needs to be done so I make the effort even if I do not feel like it and put them first. Our road trip from hell which I might go into detail about in the future taught me this as well.

We were travelling from JHB to PE for Christmas a few years ago when we had the worst case of a series of unfortunate events and was stuck in a problematic car in the middle of the South African summer with 3 animals that could quite possibly die of heatstroke. It was one of the most stressful times in my life as we had to make it to our destination with a broken car, while le boyfriend did everything he could to get us on the road again I shifted into mother mode and made sure my boys were okay. I recall buying around 10 bags of ice from a garage in Middleburg, smashing them on the side of the road like a crazy person and separating bits of ice into smaller plastic bags and putting one into each Chins cage so they would not overheat.


3. Awareness
We got our Chins at a local pet shop. I had been looking for an animal to keep me company and was going to get a hamster but a week before we brought Socs home an aunt mentioned I should get a Chinchilla. At the time I knew very little about Chins and had never even seen one IRL. So when we walked into the pet shop a week later and we saw Chinchillas we knew this had to be fate. Around 9 months later we got Thor and Loki and that is how our family became complete. What I didn’t know was that pet shops are not the greatest place to get animals, all you need is the cash and they will hand over an animal just like that. As a kid, the best place to be at the mall was the pet shop I always loved animals but having Chinchillas opened my eyes to the truth about the pet trade.

I have read a lot of articles about the hash conditions animals face when they are put into breeding in order to keep up the demand for potential buyers at the pet shop and even though I got my boys at a pet shop I wouldn’t encourage the purchasing of animals from a store. I wish I knew then, what I know now, and even though my pet shop seemed legit I can’t imagine what horrors may be going on behind the scenes.

Now a big believer in adoption and if you want any kind of pet, this would be the best way to go. You not only give an animal a loving home but you can usually trust they have come from better conditions and rescue centres always do home checks! Another thing I didn’t like about the pet shop was the misinformation about animals. I was advised by worker at the pet shop, I could put a harness on Socs and take him out for walks, this was inaccurate and could have potentially ended badly because Chins mostly have cartilage and if I had put him on a harness and he started running (which he would have) he could have been badly hurt!


4. Teamwork
Our lives are a bit all over the place. With my studies and Gs work we don’t really have a set schedule. But the boys have taught us to be a bit more grounded. We take them out to play at least every second day and clean their cage together weekly. It is a team effort to look after our boys and we seem to be doing well. G feeds them each morning and night (he is brilliant) and I make sure they don’t get too many treats.

The Chins care ranges from medium to hard and we always have to be aware of health scares with them. We once purchased a different type of food for the boys when we couldn’t find our regular Chinchilla mix, Socs ate a little bit too much and I ended up having to rush him to the vet – if a Chinchilla gets bloated it can be fatal! I got hold of G and he rushed home from work and we took him to the vet. He ended up being okay and it was just a little tummyache from eating too much. He gave us a scare but the two of us worked together in order to keep him safe.


5. Happiness
The Chins may not be the type of pets I wanted in the affection department but they are definitely the ones I needed. They have taught me so much and I don’t believe that this is all for nothing there must be a greater purpose in life that the Chins are preparing me for or maybe this is all I will ever be, Mother of Chins and I do think that will be enough for me. My boys have filled my heart with happiness and made my house a home. They are cute, mischievous and also quite intelligent and they are the centre of my home.



Thanks for reading

XX Cass

Hi everyone, I hope you enjoyed this post about the Chinchillas. If you have any more questions or would like me to do more posts about my escapades with them let me know in the comments below. Do you have any pets, what have you learnt from them?

I think I need another illustration depicting me as the Mother of Chins any artists out there think that they can help me out?

How I became a student. Again.


Studying for THL Exam

At 27 it is kind of weird to be a student, especially when one of your closest friends that you met through studying just turned 21. I have always been studious and way back when, when I was in high-school I had dreams of becoming a lawyer (clearly this dream has not come true.) I got into University and as my friends say, I knew everything but forgot it all, the minute I wrote a test. My brain is the most outstanding organ. It works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from the day I was born… until I have to take a test or remember a name at a party – in one ear and out the other usually. I quit after 6 months. Family life, stress, anxiety and possibly depression as well the thought of wasting my parent’s money all lead me to dropping out.


Me, My 21 year old friend Cake (on her birthday) & Tazz a new friend through UNISA



The years in between my studying is a blur of life pushing me in all sorts of directions with weird bosses and experiences that I might share later on but for now, I am going just stick to my journey with studying. In 2011 just under 2 years after my first rodeo with University, I went back, with a bursary to back me up.  I thought I had made it but it was one of the toughest years I have ever had. The bursary fell through, I was only notified at the end of the year. Literally 9 months after it became obsolete. I was devastated and this is where I gave up and for the next 5 years I lived in a fog of depression. I had convinced myself that my desire to study and get a degree was not something that was going happen for me, I was getting too old and unfortunately, not everyone’s dreams come true and I was one of those unlucky ones.

It was in 2016 when the idea resurfaced. I was living in Johannesburg with my boyfriend while my best friend back in Port Elizabeth was talking about studying through Unisa. She wanted to pursue a career and the best way for her to do that was to get credentials but she also started planting the seed with me. I was, at the time, doing nothing really substantial with my life. I had not worked in two years because of the decision we made about my eye disease. I have Keratoconus and when we moved to JHB we decided that I would not go out to work. We found the best doctors and surgeons to diagnose and treat my incurable disease. I went for an operation, got fitted with hard contacts lens and truly saw for the very first time (before everything was a blur.) And it was around about the time where I needed to get back on track.

As the seed that my friend planted grew I started entertaining the idea. I still thought I was too old to study and fulfil a dream at this stage in my life and what about the cost? I had a lot of doubt about going back to studying but the desire outweighed the doubt and I looked into this crazy notion even more. I had the talk with G (le boyfriend) and asked what he thought, he thought it was a brilliant idea and was all for it and without skipping a beat offered to pay for the whole thing. I also spoke to friends and family and made sure that this was the right thing for me. Before I filled out the application we came to the decision (so many decisions) that this would benefit us in the long run, I’d be working towards a career I wanted to be in and when the time came the possibility of getting a better salary with a degree in my pocket sounded logical. So, I filled it out, sent it in and 5 months later I was a first-year Communication Science student.

Something I never thought would happen ever again. I am now currently full-fledged, full-time student with all the problems that come with it. I hate it most days and ask myself WHY? But to be honest this is where I want to be. I love learning, I love the idea that at this end of this I will achieve something I wanted for as long as I could remember. You may be wondering how I jumped from Law to Communications? Well, law will always have my heart but I believe am a writer. I have no clue at all what I want to do with this skill but I know it would be awesome to get paid for it or at least be in some part of the Media doing something creative and Communication Science will help me get there. I still do not know what exactly it is I want to do, and people keep telling me that, that is okay because not everyone does so I am just chilling, (at the time I wrote this) in second year hoping that I figure this out by the time I graduate. And even if  I don’t what I have learnt is, it never the end of the world and you are never too old to do what you love.

Thanks for reading

XX Cass

Hi readers, have you ever thought you were too old for something like I did? Leave me a comment and let me know, also if you have any questions about studying go ahead and ask, I know a thing or two and might be able to help or satisfy a burning question you have about me.