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OK. Deep breath in.

I have resigned from a perfectly good job. The people I was working with were great. The money – absolutely nothing wrong there. Stress levels – nothing that I’m not used to. So what was the issue? It wasn’t them, it was me. No, really.

Here’s the thing: I’m on the search for ‘it’. And in an effort to find it, I’m about to spill my guts right here on my blog and tell you what I love and where my strengths lie. In return, I ask you this: If you know of anyone who’s looking for someone like me, please send them this link. I’m incredibly grateful to each of you who do. Thank you.

When I was a kid, I loved puzzles and those colouring in books where you had to join the dots first before you could grab the crayons and make the roof of the house red and the front door yellow.

My love for joining the dots and seeing what will appear once all the pieces have been slotted into the right place still gives me that giddy feeling. Checking out the numbers that Google Analytics spits out is exciting – I get to see what online audiences can’t get enough of and then (and this is the really fun part), I love to brainstorm cool new ideas on how to make the user experience better. Redesigns are the best. It’s the adult equivalent to being given a stack of sticky pastels that stain your skin  and a massive sheet of paper. The possibilities are endless. Splashes of colour land anywhere you choose.

Next!

I’m good at getting lost. And I really mean that. I have zero sense of direction and very often get left and right mixed up. But I don’t care because getting lost means that I often find the most interesting places and meet the most fabulous people. Which works perfectly in my favour because I’m insanely curious about everything. For instance, popcorn is one of my favourite snacky foods and I always wanted to know how popcorn, well, pops. Did you know that in the middle of each kernel is a tiny bit of water that heats up and then ‘pops’ the kernel? Yip. Now you know. Cool huh?

One of the really great perks of having worked in the digital biz for the last three and a bit years is that getting lost in cyber space in search of the hottest, coolest new thing is the best position to be in for someone like me who loves to poke around in every nook, cranny and side street.

Next!

I am irrevocably in love with is words. I love how there are so many of them to choose from and how you can manipulate them and twist them and turn them and create them. Do you have a favourite word? I have a few. I love the word ‘clutter’ and how it immediately brings to mind the familiar sound of my mom performing pure genius in the kitchen. I think the most powerful word is ‘Becoming’ because of the immense opportunity it holds. One of the prettiest words I’ve ever heard is ‘stellina’. It means ‘little star’ in Italian and to me, it sounds exactly like a tiny, twinkling little diamond in the sky.

Now, on a much more work related note, here are five very practical statements that sum me up.

1. I’m very ambitious: At the age of 23, I was made Digital Editor. Nine months later I was promoted again to Group Digital Editor – a position that saw me representing 8 Ink Media Digital at all levels: to consumers, advertisers and media.

2. I have more than three years experience as an online editor and digital strategist where I managed the digital (online and mobile) content strategies and website redesigns for a number of brands.

3. I’m results-driven: In 12 months, I increased unique browsers to seventeen.co.za, the principal youth brand in my previous digital portfolio, by over 200% and page impressions by over 160%.

4. I’m a creative thinker: I’ve developed successful digital campaigns for Benefit Cosmetics, Dermalogica, Johnson & Johnson, Kotex, Designer Group, MTN SA, Procter & Gamble and more.

5. I am of the firm belief that firstly, there is no substitute for hard work and secondly, that your attitude determines your altitude in life.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Kind regards,

Lisa Moretti

E: lisatalia.moretti@googlemail.com

….. Deep breath out…..

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A foodie in New York

New York is the greatest compilation album you’ll ever buy. It’s the most romantic love letter you’ll ever receive and it is most certainly, the most delicious slice of life you’ll ever be served.

Between the steam rising through metal grates in the street, the honking, the endless milligrams of caffeine that gets served every day and the bright electric lights of Time Square, the city harbours an energy that enables you to keep walking long after your calves have given in and your feet have been screaming at you for hours to stop. It’s impossible. To stop that is. Each jolt of a subway train, every flashing green light compels you to move forward.

A lifetime in New York City may never be enough – there’ll always be that buzzing new bakery with bagels you’ll just have to sink your teeth into or a swanky, young-things bar serving frozen watermelon margheritas. Or that shop with the dress whose A-line cut and lilac silk fits just so. There are so many exciting treasures to found on the map: X marks the spot in many places that exude more quirk and quack than Daffy, more grace than a ’40s Hollywood starlet and more comfort than your mom’s chicken soup.  Being a total foodie, I did what every good traveler would do: I asked the locals where I should grab my grub. So if you’re looking for the best in New York’s most famous nosh? Here are a few of my favourite finds:

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Corner Café Shop (Cnr Bleecker & Broadway):
Corner Café Shop reminds me somewhat of a quirky little café in Journalism that I used to escape to when the pressures of my 5000 word Journalism and Media Theory essays got too much. The people watching is fabulous, the portions are manageable and the breakfasts/brunches are just too yummy. Try the Crème Brule dipped French toast ($11) or the mushroom, spinach & goats cheese omelette ($9).

Sushi Damo (58th West Street. Right behind Time Warner Centre):
Elegant and expensive, I had the best sushi of my life here. You can choose to share a platter for two which includes 18 assorted sushi rolls, 10 pieces of sashimi and a 10-piece house special roll. Ours was the Monkey roll (shrimp tempura, eel and salmon wrapped in tuna and cucumber).  But before that delicious spread they serve you Miso soup. For drinks, I knocked back a Buddah’s Passion. If there’s space for dessert, Pink Berry fat-free frozen yoghurt is served two restaurants away.

Peanut Butter & Co (240 Sullivan St. Btw Bleecker & West 3rd):

For a smothering of quirk and charm, nothing comes close to Peanut Butter & Co. The décor is very simplistic – wooden baby blue and white chairs and tables and there’s one unisex loo. But what they lack in a good paint job they make up for in an array of colourful food choices where peanut butters transforms itself to gourmet status. How about a white chocolate peanut butter and orange marmalade sandwich with a crunchy layer of thinly sliced almonds or would a spicy peanut butter and chilled grilled  chicken satay sandwich with a little bit of pineapple jam do the trick?

For pizza: Head to Lombardi’s – New York City’s first pizzeria, and top your pizza with meatballs, wild mushrooms and extra mozzarella. (32 Spring Str. Cnr of Mott)

For modern elegance you can afford: Landmarc has the most mouthwatering appetizers imaginable. French onion soup, lamb meatballs served with whipped ricotta and mint, smoked mozzarella & zucchini frittas and linguine con vongole (pasta with clams) all get my stamp of approval. Bonus: Landmarc has a great view of Central Park so make sure to sit by the window. (10 Columbus Circle. 3rd Floor)

For cupcakes: Magnolia Bakery has made this huge name for itself by riding on the coat tails of the infamous NYC series, Sex in the City. I found them chalky. Disappointed? Very! Head to Crumbs instead. They’re buttery, they have a much wider selection and you can find them on a lot more New York corners.

For originality and cool: One of my favourite places was Vynl. Menus come embedded with old LP covers like Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA or Sonny & Cher’s greatest hits. Food is delish with a host of Asian-Californian fusion dishes, burgers, salads, wraps and sandwiches to feast on. The Cobb Salad Wrap will have your mouth full through the entire dinner conversation – yes, it’s that good and you’re sure to hit a home run with the Vynl Pad Thai or the Peking Duck Rolls.  And I’m convinced that their pomegranate margherita’s are the best in the city. (754 9th Avenue at 51st Str)

For the best pastrami on rye with a side of crispy fries you will ever eat in your whole life: Katz’s Delicatessen. The atmosphere is a kind of vintage that will never go out of style. Their food is so good you’ll be dreaming of pastrami sandwiches on your flight back home. And remembering Meg Ryan’s ‘O-O-O’ moment from When Harry Met Sally will make your squiz out the place trying to find the exact spot at where exactly that scene was filmed. This is one amazing diner joint. Best for lunch.

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love love love
❤ ❤ ❤

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What to do this August

It’s August people! Yes, yes I know… Like when the hell did that happen? Well it did. I’m not sure about you, but I need a little zip in my zap, a little chill in my chillax and most definitely a heavy dose of chai in my latte. So I’ve come up with three things to get you through the month. And because we’re all cruising along on a number of different budgets, I’ve included something for everyone.

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SPA: I’ve been threatening to spa it up recently. However, I’m saving up for a little trip so all that threatening went well, nowhere. But luckily for me, my mom is great at catching not-so-subtle hints. Pezula Spa in Knysna are currently having monthly specials that are just ridiculous to say the least. Their July special (the one I was treated to) included a full exfoliation scrub and an hour, four-hand full body massage. The day package also includes as much tea, coffee and smoothies you can quaff back, use of the hot pool, sauna, steam room and if you’re seriously delusional, the gym. Once you’ve been preened and pampered they then ship you off to Zachary’s for a complimentary lunch. All for R799. Told you it was ridiculous.

Pezula’s August Special (R799)
Classic essential facial
Spa Manicure or Spa Pedicure
Dermalogica Gift
Lunch at Zachary’s
To book, call 044 302 3335

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BECOME A CONSCIOUS SHOPPER: Levi’s kicked   off their “Get Rid Of Your Jeans For Good” campaign on 27 July and man or man, it’s simply jeanious. If you’ve got a pair of jeans that you’ve grown out of or if you’re a seriasss fashionistas with denims that are ‘like so last season’, well then you’re going to love this. Take your old Levi’s jeans into any Levi’s store and you’ll receive a R200 voucher to use toward buying yourself a brand new pair of denims. Nice hey. Your old denims will be donated to disadvantaged communities supported by Rocking the Daisies and Rocking the Gardens. I’ll head bang to that.

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FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC: August is alive with the sound of Musica’s latest special. Spend R150 or more and you get a 15% discount off your next purchase.

Right, now that you’ve got the inside scoop, get back to work.

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camps bay

Keeping your ear to the ground is the only way to live in Cape Town. Otherwise before you know it, you’ve been robbed of a killer sashimi special right from under your nose. You don’t want that to happen do you, huh huh huh? No, didn’t think so. Here’s your guide to being in the know.

Love burgers? Head to Caprice in Camps Bay for their amazing burger special! Any two burgers on the menu and you only pay for the most expensive one. Choose from a selection of beef, chicken or veggies burgers. But beware, these aren’t just your regular cheese burger guys. We’re talking gourmet here people! Last night I chopped down a beef burger topped with cranberry jelly and melted brie and swapped the chips for salad (yes, that’s allowed). To-die-for!

I’m Italian, so naturally I’ll know where the pasta specials are. Andiamo in De Waterkant (Cape Quarters) makes the most delish pasta. Choose any two pastas plus quaff back a glass of wine each for R100. Perfect night out for two. My recommendation? The mushroom and parma ham pasta.

Buzz in Gardens have introduced a dinner menu! Whooohoooo! I’m in love with their perfectly scrambled eggs on toast so I’m dying to try out their dinner deals. Plus for the month of May, if you head in after 7pm, you’ll get 25% off your bill. Nice.

Moving swiftly and ever so briefly along to fashion….

I’ve been invited to attend the Woolworths Trenery launch at the end of June. Designed by the much loved team behind the label Country Road, our fave one-stop-shop Woolies will be stocking the new-to-SA Trenery brand in selected stores from August. If everyday luxury is what you’re after, Trenery is going to steal your heart.

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Last year I attended Durban Fashion Week (which by the by, kicked CT Fashion Week right off the runway) and two young designers and their collections remained memorable: Bekky Beaukes and Joline Graham.

Bekky has gone on to feature in Obrigado and Joline showcased at Design Indaba. They’re both doing fabulous things with cotton and thread.

Here are my reviews from last year that appeared on www.seventeen.co.za

img_0019_8d11_Bekky Beukes
Bekky Beaukes: This was my favourite collection out of all the young designers. Dedicating her collection to her brother who is a US Marine, Bekky’s models stepped out looking absolutely gorgeous and so feminine but with an added twist: They all wore army helmets and carried huge, mean-looking guns… Totally unexpected, but an original touch! Bekky’s clothing combines the structured with the slouchy. Paneled, fitted dresses gave way to long, flowing skirts and T’s were combined with mini-tutus… Awesome! Her slouchy, long urban shorts, were beyond cool. All these beautiful outfits had two things in common: models wore wooden crucifixes around their necks and army boots on their feet – but yet, they still managed to look girly and quite sexy at the same time.

Oh and a little bit of goss, Bekky’s dating the drummer of Perez.

img_0279_8d11_Joline Graham
Joline Graham: The music starts to blare… It’s Meredith Brookes and her angry, loud woman- guitar music. Joline Graham is only 22-years-old and I was stunned to see her collection – AMAZING! Inspired by World War II and romantic war movies like Pearl Harbour, the models were dressed in gorgeous, urban wear with killer heels… Ready to tackle the catwalk! Joline isn’t afraid to mix and match fabrics. Denim jackets are given a little bit of an edge with woolen jersey knits that will battle against the elements this winter. Metallic fabric was also added to candy, stripped stretchy tops… So cool! Some of my favourite outfits were a white dress cinched in at the waist with a red belt, super high-waisted dungarees paired with a satin top and the last two dresses that hit the runway – one in red and one in white – they had huge ruffles, high slits and were just breathtaking!

Joline’s personal style message? Always be glamorous! And don’t be scared to show off your more confident assertive side by mixing the very feminine with something a little unexpected.

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The quickest and easiest way to make friends…Milo biscuits

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185g butter
¾ cup brown sugar
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1 cup Milo
¼ cup water
¼ cup self raising flour
1 ½ cup plain flour

Icing:
2 tsp butter
1 cup icing sugar
3 tsp milk
½ tsp vanilla essence
2 TBS Milo

1.    Beat butter and sugar until light, fluffy, add egg. Beat until combined.
2.    Stir in Milo, water and sifted self raising and plain flours. Mix well.
3.    Roll mixture into balls and flatten slightly.
4.    Bake at 180 for about 20 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned and firm to touch. Stand biscuits on trays for 5 minutes, place on wire racks to cool.

For the icing:

Combine butter, sugar, milk and the vanilla essence in a small bowl. Mix well. Spread icing over cold biscuits, sprinkle Milo on top.

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marc and I new

One of my most prized possessions is a Marc Jacobs heart-shaped compact mirror. I love it so much, I take it everywhere with me.

Adding to his already incredibly vast fashion line, Marc has decided to be too cool for the pool with these electric neon swim caps.

So if you want to own a little piece of Marc, without breaking the bank entirely, now you can. Swim caps retail for $10. Check out www.marcjacobs.com for more deets and where to shop.

Marc Jacobs swim caps

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