Monday Me 27/10/2014: Cuppa For Cansa {The Serious Stuff & The Grand Total }

My life has never really been directly touched by cancer. I have a dear friend whose mother has beaten it twice, an aunt who died of leukemia before I was born and distant family friends who have had to fight the battle against the disease. But there has never been anymore in my immediate family and for that, I am thankful every day.

So why then, did I choose the Cancer Association as my charity to support and why host a Cuppa For Cansa when cancer has clearly not been a significant part of my life.

In Hinduism it is called Seva or Sewa, where a service is performed without any expectation of reward for the person performing it. To me the Cuppa is my Seva. Planning and hosting the Cuppa has been a tremendous growing experience for me. I’ve learned how generous and selfless people can be. I’ve also learned how spiritually fulfilling helping others with no expectations can be.

Also, I have 2 daughters and it is a fact that 1 in every 26 women, irrespective of race or social status in South Africa, will get cancer. To me that number is astounding. The key to survival is education and early detection, as 70% of all breast cancers can be found by self examination. So, I think that it is my duty to be well informed and keep my daughters well informed as they grow into women.

I want to send out my sincerest thanks again to everyone that attended the Cuppa last week and contributed so generously, as well as those who helped set up.
A few of the ladies at the tea told me that I had inspired them to host their own Cuppas. I hope that they do follow through with that because every rand raised and every Cuppa held helps the Cancer Association.

How Your Donations Help Fight Cancer

R20 can help us give a newly diagnosed cancer patient important support and information resources to help them through their cancer journey.

R50 can help staff the CANSA Toll-free Information Service 0800 22 66 22 with expertly trained, multilingual counsellors.

R100 can help train a CANSA volunteer to provide one-to-one support for people diagnosed with cancer.

R250 can help disseminate our internationally acclaimed CancerCare Coping Kits to survivors all over South Africa.

R500 can help provide ‘a home from home’ for patients while they are undergoing cancer treatment in major centres. CANSA has various Care Homes, a hospitium based in Polokwane, as well as a CANSA-TLC Nicus Lodge in Pretoria and a CANSA TLC Paediatric Oncology Ward in Limpopo. Read more re CANSA’s Holistic Care & Support to those affected by cancer…

R1000 can help provide Mobile Health Units delivering services in resource poor communities like informal settlements, townships, farms and in remote rural areas.

Like I said at the tea and Marlene reiterated, a Cuppa For Cansa doesn’t only have to be held in October. They can be planned for any time of the year, so I challenge everyone that reads this to host their own Cuppa and help make a difference. If you have already hosted a Cuppa you also have until this Friday to enter the awesome competition held by Le Creuset for the most inspirational Cuppa.

So finally, I’m very proud to announce that with the help of all the amazing ladies that attending the Cuppa, the businesses that donated prizes for the raffle and auction and the private donations I was able to raise….



Here are the posts by a few of the lovely ladies that attended the Cuppa

Megan Deane

Jane Tennet

Hazel Whitehead

Faeema Sader  

Verushka Ramasami


The Cuppa For Cansa – Part 3 { The Eating, The Talking and The Bidding }

The Cuppa was hosted by me, Viveshni aka Madame Macaron.

IMG_5825The ladies all arrived at Hashtag looking beautiful in their Pink, Black and Bling.

IMG_5522IMG_5609IMG_5550As the chatter of ladies filled Hashtag I could feel that it was going to be a great afternoon. There was a little bit of a space issue but like I had asked in the invite, people did bring an open heart and we made it work.

The ladies were given the first 45minutes to get themselves something to eat and drink. (Did I mention that Hashtag sponsored all the beverages!!) The items up for auction and raffle were also on display, so the ladies had a chance to have a look at them and buy raffle tickets as well.


Far left: The baking kit worth R500 from My Go 2 Girl Centre: The Hamper from Hashtag Awesome worth R500 Right: Ladies Polo Purse worth R550 from Gopals Luggage

Far left: The baking kit worth R500 from My Go 2 Girl
Centre: The Hamper from Hashtag Awesome worth R500
Right: Ladies Polo Purse worth R550 from Gopals Luggage

The voucher for lunch for 2 from Fudart and the Ladies Polo purse from Gopal's Luggage

The voucher for lunch for 2 from Fudart and the Ladies Polo purse from Gopal’s Luggage

The coveted Whistling Tea Kettle From Le Creuset

The coveted Whistling Tea Kettle and 2 mugs, all worth R1070, From Le Creuset

I had decided to do the raffle a little bit differently, so jars were placed in front of the items up for raffle and the ladies could buy a square of paper for R10 that they could write their name on on put in the jar for the item that they wanted.


The vouchers sponsored by Perfect10 (The Crescent) and the bag of goodies from Peg&Pencil


A few of the awesome lot of books donated by Bargain Books

A jar full of macarons

A jar full of macarons

The speakers for the day were:

Marlene Pretorius from the Cancer Association. She chatted to the ladies about breast cancer, the signs of breast caner, how to do a self examination and also on the environmental causes of cancer. All the ladies attending the tea were also offered a free breast exam at the Cancer Association located on Umbilo Road. I was presented with a certificate or recognition for hosting the Cuppa.


The second speaker was Dr.Nishani Maharaj from the Aesthetics clinic in Umhlanga. She spoke to the ladies about the available aesthetic treatments available and also sponsored a voucher for a chemical peel that was auctioned off.

IMG_5736The fun part of the afternoon was definitely the auction. I have to say that the woman at the tea were amazing, giving way above and beyond my expectations, with a great deal of the items being won for more than their retail value.


Things got serious during the auction :p

It wasn’t only the adults bidding but the kids at the event got in on the action as well.

The 2 Le Creuset mugs won for R350

The 2 Le Creuset mugs won for R350

The Angel Heart necklace and bracelt were won for a bid of R650 byt the little miss on the right. My niece on the left was lucky enough to win the raffle for the books from Bargain Books

The Angel Heart necklace and bracelet were won for a bid of R650 by the little miss on the right.
My niece ,Ascharya, on the left was lucky enough to win the raffle for the books from Bargain Books

Here is a breakdown of the winning bids and the items won.

  • R500 – Hamper from Hashtag Awesome Bid R400
  • R500 – Hamper from Rain Africa Bid R400
  • R550 – Polo Ladies Purse from Gopal’s Luggage Bid R700
  • Angel Heart Sterling Silver Necklace&Bracelet Bid R650
  • R770 –  Le Creuset Whistling Tea Kettle Bid R700
  • R260- 2x Le Creuset Mugs Bid R350
  • Designer Arm from Trinket Trove Bid R300
  • R500 – A full makeover from Exclusive Brides Bid R350
  • R690 – Sheba Dress from Captive8 Value Bid R300
  • R500 – Voucher from Aesthetic Makeover Studio Bid R350
  • R600 – Hair care hamper from Perfect 10 The Crescent Bid R400
  • R400 – Moroccan Hair Oil Hamper from Perfect 10 – The Crescent Bid R300
  • R500 – Baking Set from My Go To Girl Bid R400
  • Hamper of Dove Products Bid R300

These were the items up for auction

  • Angel Heart Sterling Silver Bracelet
  • 3 Way Wrap from Trinket Trove
  • Pedicure voucher from Perfect 10- The Crescent
  • Hair Styling Voucher from Perfect Hair- The Crescent
  • Book Hamper from Bargain Books
  • Goodie Box from Peg &Pencil
  • Macaron hamper from Madame Macaron

The spot prizes were 2x Necklaces from Shimmer

Here are some of the winners 🙂



Monday Me: 21/10/2014 – Cuppa For Cansa Part 1

The Monday me was indeed a very tired (hence the late post) yet a very fulfilled me. Months of work came to fruition when I hosted my Cuppa for Cansa this past Saturday for 60 ladies at Hashtag in Windermere.

The idea to host the Cuppa came to me almost as an epiphany. My business turned 2 in October and I wanted a way to celebrate and give back the blessings that I had received over the past 2 years. I tried to think of a way that I could do that and somewhere I saw something about the Cuppa For Cansa initiative by the Cancer Association. So, I went online to The Cuppa For Cansa website and read up all about it.

It’s such a simple yet effective idea.

Host a tea party for your friends and family and raise awareness and funds for the Cancer Association. The great thing is that it doesn’t have to be a big event; it can be just you and a few friends. The key is to raise awareness. You can read up more here.

I had an idea in my head of the type of event that I wanted to host and I chatted to Justin about it. I knew that I wanted to have as much sponsored as possible, so that as much of the funds raised, if not all, would go to the Cancer Association. I also knew that I needed to get items that I could raffle or auction off to raise funds. But first things first, I needed a venue.

I started making lists and then it occurred to me to give Verushka a call. I know that she had been a part of the Durban Blogger meet and hopefully had some ideas to get me started on the road to getting things done. Her input was invaluable as she introduced via email to a host of sponsors, including Trushin from Hashtag, who so very generously and without hesitation contributed the venue as well as beverages for the day. I also chatted to Parushinee, of My Go 2 Girl, who was full of great ideas and brought on board many amazing sponsors as well.

Other businesses came on board one after the other and the different elements of the event seemed to fall into place. The response from the different business which ranged from international companies like Le Creuset to small Durban based businesses like Peg&Pencil, and even businesses from Johannesburg and Cape Town, was overwhelming and so touching.

I will not lie. It was an enormous amount of work that included many late nights, countless emails and what seemed like an endless amount of list, in addition to my normal Madame Macaron work and day job as mother and wife. It was worth it though, because I got the opportunity to connect with so many different people and hear so many of their stories of how cancer has affected their lives. Their stories motivated me even more to make the event something special and it was no longer about celebrating the birthday of Madame Macaron but more about making a change and inspiring people to want to do the same.
There’s a lot that happened at the tea and too much to put into one post so part 2 will be posted tomorrow with pictures of the event.
For now I want to thank all the amazing ladies who attended the tea and the sponsors that came on board to make the event what it was. Each and every one was a vital part of the day.

Here is a list of the sponsor. Please follow them on social media, buy their products, use their services and show them much love for being such amazing and generous businesses and human beings!

· Hashtag
· Le Creuset
· Hashtag Awesome
· PolkaDots and Jellytots
· Happiness Is
· Rain Africa
· Gopal’s Luggage
· Angel Heart
· Trinket Trove
· Exclusive Brides
· Captive8
· Aesthetic Makeover Studio
· Perfect 10- The Crescent
· Perfect Hair- The Crescent
· Shimmer
· Bargain Books
· My Go To Girl
· Peg &Pencil
· Madame Macaron
· Pick ‘n Pay
· Associated Media
· Al Baraka Bank
· Tiger Brands
· It’s A Bling Thing
· John Frieda
· Baker Gurl
· Smith’s Bakeshop
· Boutique Boulangerie
· Jasmin Nights Software Solutions
· KZN Boxes
· The Baking Pan

xxx Viveshni

Photo credit: Polkadots & Jellytots

Out & About: The National Cookie Swap 2014

On a beautiful sunny Durban Saturday on 2 August 2014 I attended the SA National Cookie Swap. The Durban event was hosted by Faeema and Nicola and was held on the porch of the Quarters Hotel on Avondale.

The Cookie Swap is the initiative of Ishay Govender-Ypma and the main purpose, besides getting your hands on some yummy baked goods, is fundraising. This year the money raised nationally, an amazing R24 645, R8900 of which was raised in Durban, was donated to the Learn To Earn organization and their Bake For Profit project. Women from Hermanus and Khayelitsha are taught how to bake and use those skills to build and sustain their own small businesses. I think its a wonderful use of the funds.

Each person attending was asked to bring along 40-50 cookies to swap and there was a R50 charge for bakers and R100 for non bakers.  I took along some macarons for the ladies.


With some great sponsors, the cookies were not the only thing that the ladies were excited about.


I was lucky enough to win a copy of Bake with Josh – Recipes and Games for Kids. I don’t think that the book could have been better suited, with Jasmin and Teyla becoming more and more involved with me in the kitchen these days.


Another highlight, and big contributor to the fund raising, was the auction. With amazing hampers full of lust-haves from Khiels, Revlon, Nicoletta, Le Creuset and others, it was great fun watching everyone try to outbid each other. I managed to snag one of the 2 Revlon hampers worth R1000 and I could not be happier.



All in all it was a great morning out and, besides my container-full of baked deliciousness, I really enjoyed the company and I cannot wait for the next years event.



Here are a few link to posts from other bloggers that were at the Swap and what they had to say about it.