8 Ways to Break the Block

If I had a 5c coin for every time I found myself staring blankly at the wall, I wouldn't be driving a Tazz or sharing a one-bedroom flat with my plants and a fridge. Creative blocks are simply made up of a sense of helplessness, self-doubt and hopeless abandon, so you'd think they'd be pretty darn easy to smash. Yet the reality is that there is no quick fix or any known emergency exit out of this mental lock-up.

So how do you break out? Simple: Stop doing what you're doing! And try this instead:

#1. Stop thinking, because thinking leads to over-thinking and over-thinking is a bitch. Play with the problem rather than thinking about it - write it in weird typefaces, say it with a funny accent, Google it and allow yourself to get distracted.

#2. Remind yourself why you're awesome! Creativity is a very personal thing and it's easy to convince yourself that you're a bigger failure than BIC underwear. What's more, creativity is directly affected by one's level self-confidence, so it's essential that you take a moment to make a list of why the world should be thankful you're still in it.

#3. Do EVERYTHING differently! It's safe to say that your current method simply isn't working, which is why you need to shake it up: Change your scenery, use interesting stationery, adapt your thought process, even change your clothes if you have to - and new-found inspiration will follow.

#4. Don't be so damn over-protective. It's easy to get stuck on that one idea - not necessarily a brilliant idea, but a safe and comfortable one nonetheless. Venturing away from it is plain scary, but you'll never be able to dig deep enough to uncover the genius within if you're stuck on first base. Take your idea and mutilate it, tear it apart, twist it, turn it on its head or go in an entirely different direction if you have to. Don't settle for sub-par.

#5. Stop measuring creativity against efficiency. The creative field is the one place where there is no known time-to-success ratio - in other words, spending three hours behind your desk is no more efficient than watching a movie and playing with the idea in the back of your mind. Let your brain breathe!

#6. Spend a day in the life of a stereotypical creative. Being a creative isn't all it's cracked up to be simply because we allow ourselves to get swept up in day-to-day hogwash. Steal a day out of your busy schedule to visit museums, drink pretentious coffee, admire beautiful architecture and remind yourself why you love what you do. Live like a creative and you'll start thinking like a creative.

#7.  You've done it before, so you'll do it again. "Past you" has been in similar situations - and has there ever been a time when you didn't manage to crack the brief and produce a piece of undeniable genius? So when you really think about it - two weeks down the line you'll look back and think, "BOOM! Nailed it yet again". Isn't that a comforting, confidence-boosting thought?

#8. Surround yourself with people. Creativity is a team sport! It's easy to forget just how differently our brains are wired - even though your brain might have exhausted all the creative options, someone else might have an entirely different perspective on the matter. The world is full of brains - both creative and non-creative - that are waiting to be picked, so get out there and start harvesting ideas!

The cure for creative block according to Don Draper.

35 Ways with Speckled Eggs

It's the season of hot cross buns, cream filled chocolate eggs and shameless chocolate overdoses. But sweetheart, you can even keep your decadent Lindt bunnies - just spoil me with a bag of Speckled Eggs to go with my cup of tea! After all, it's no secret that happiness is really egg shaped with a chocolate-candy coating and jelly centre.

After stumbling across a couple of innovative ideas with speckled eggs on another blog, I took the matter a step further and compiled this list of over 30 ways to make the most of these pastel munchies. So I'll essentially be stuffing my face with speckled eggs every day for the entire month of April - which is a lie, but wouldn't that just be living the dream?

NOTE: You can find all the recipes and step-by-step DIYs on my Pinterest board HERE.

#1. Birdie egg cupcakes // #2. Egg carrot cake cupcakes // #3. Egg nest vanilla cupcakes
#4. Meringue nests // #5. Coconut marshmallow nests // #6. Speckled egg & chocolate shards

#7. Speckled egg brownies // #8. Chocolate coated pretzel nests // #9. Speckled egg spoons

#10. Mini chocolate egg mousse // #11. Cup puddings decorated with speckled eggs // #12. Pancakes & eggs

#13. Speckled egg cake // #14. Speckled egg decorated cake roll // #15. Egg & Kit Kat Cake 

#16. Speckled egg muffins // #17. Biscuits decorated with speckled eggs // #18. Eggs inside a biscuit // #19. Robin's egg biscuits

#20. Eggs in melted white chocolate // #21. Rice Crispy squares // #22. Speckled egg popcorn 

#23. Rice Crispy eggs with (you guessed it) eggs inside! // #24. Speckled eggs and peanut butter // #25. Mini eggs on hot cross buns

#26. Wreath // #27. Tree // #28. Surprise doorknob nests // I have no idea how these would work, but I want it.

#29. Speckled egg nails // #30. Mini egg-shaped cookies // #31. Tea & speckled eggs - BEST!

#32. Pretzels topped with icing and eggs // #33. Eggy milkshakes // #34. Speckled egg ice cream

And last but not least, the best way to enjoy these nibbles?
#35. By the jar!

Happy Easter, blokes and bunnies ♥

Freezable Waist-Friendly Munch Muffins

I hardly consider myself a health nut, but who doesn't love a guilt-free treat - especially during winter time when those incessant munchies kick in! So this weekend I Googled "low calorie muffins" and came across a recipe for fat-free sugar-free banana cinnamon muffins that supposedly clock in at under 100 calories a piece.

While it might sound way too good to be true, you can tell by the ingredients list that these muffins fall squarely into the health category and, believe it or not, they don't taste like cardboard! I adapted the recipe ever so slightly after the first batch, and I can say with certainty that I'll definitely be making these again.

You'll need:

  • 400 ml oat bran (I didn't realise this was a thing until I discovered it in the cereal aisle)
  • 2 tbsp cake flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarb
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbs sugar (optional - I added this to the 2nd batch, for the benefit of my sweet tooth)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup plain fat free yogurt (I used a small 175ml tub)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Now to get baking:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400-degree Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in (ya, you guessed it) a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the mashed bananas, apple sauce, yogurt, egg whites and vanilla.
  4. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Allow the batter to rest for about 5 minutes so the bicarb can work its magic. 
  6. Spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups and bake for about 15 minutes.
  7. Leave the muffins to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Enjoy 'em with tea and, if you're in a cheat mood, add a lashing of chocolate spread or jam ♥

Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen.

Proactive TTL Lancewood Campaign

Copywriter: Charn Neethling
Art director: Megan Manzoni

Please click on pages to enlarge.

Lancewood Digital Cook-off Competition


For the ♥ of Popcorn

When I felt winter nipping at my ankles this morning, I couldn't think of anything better than curling up on the couch with a big bowl of crunchy popcorn deliciousness ♥ A while ago I did a post for Momtrepreneur on various moreish toppings - so positively scrumptious, it's definitely worth a reblog

  • Feel good treat: Cinnamon, icing sugar and a variety of dried fruit, seeds and nuts.
  • Simple savoury: Parsley, paprika, salt and a drizzle of melted butter.
  • Eastern munchies: Cumin, coriander, a pinch of cayenne pepper and a sprinkle of salt.
  • Greek inspired: Parmesan sprinkles with parsley, garlic salt and a drizzle of olive oil or balsamic.
  • Hot & happening: Butter and (sweet) chilli sauce melted together and drizzled over.
  • Onion & chives: Dried or fresh chives and a dusting of white onion soup powder.
  • Gourmet: A mixture of lemon juice, black pepper, rosemary and salt tossed into the popcorn.
  • Caffeine addict: Coffee powder, icing sugar and melted golden syrup or butter.
  • Palate cleanser: Lemon zest, chilli powder and a sprinkle of salt.
  • Italian lovin’: Oregano, basil, parsley and garlic salt with a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Meaty man: Barbecue spice and small crunchy bacon bits with melted butter.
  • Oriental bite: Wasabi salt or spice with a splash of soy sauce and sprinkle of dried nori.
  • Chocolate frenzy: Cocoa powder, icing sugar, mini marshmallows and melted honey & butter.
  • Old faithful: A sprinkle of fine salt and a dash of vinegar with parsley just for fun. 

Click here for image references and check out the original post here.

Starke Ayres TTL campaign (proactive)

Copywriter: Charn Neethling
Art directori: Megan Manzoni

Problem: City-slickers are under the assumption that all plants require space and effort, which has negatively impacted plant sales.
SolutionRecruit consumers to the plant lovers’ community through a low-maintenance plant, namely the succulent.

Werda TV ad

Agency: Hg80
Creative Director: Duncan Wares
Copywriter: Charn Neethling
Art director: Megan Manzoni
Production: iKraal

Contour Online - Ebook

Contour Online commissioned me to research and write a short ebook on the 4 keys to online profits:
1. Attract // 2. Convert // 3. Close // 4. Deliver

Click on the book cover to take a peek inside.

Healthy munch-a-lots

Lately my taste buds have been very much obsessed with these fuss-free teatime bites:

Click here for photo sources.
Top left: Frozen grapes
- Exactly it sounds - grapes popped into the freezer overnight for natural frozen fruit "candies".

Top right: Pea mash
- 1 cup of cooked peas mashed together with a small knob of butter, salt, a pinch of garlic (optional), a dash of lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper. Spread on toast or crackers.

Bottom left: Frozen yogurt blueberries
- Fresh blueberries dipped in honey-sweetened plain yogurt, frozen to the point of deliciousness.

Bottom right: Butter bean spread
- 1 can of butter beans, drained and blended with 2 tablespoons of soya sauce, a teaspoon of parsley and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Ideal as a carrot dip or cracker spread.

Lancewood - Facebook teaser posts

Agency: Hg80
Copywriter: Charn Neethling
Art Director: Megan Manzoni