30.1.13

At home spa

Every now and again I enjoy having a little bit of at home TLC time. My TLC time usually involves giving myself a manicure, pedicure, face mask or having a large and relaxing bubble bath. So imagine my delight when I discovered a list online of at home spa remedies. Now I haven't tried all of these but from those which I have tried, they've worked really well. 


For a relaxing bath try adding some rosewater and coconut milk.

For a great moisturizer combine honey and oil.

For an amazing scrub try some honey and brown sugar.

For a lip scrub try un-petroleum jelly and raw sugar.

For a great anti-redness facial give egg yolk and lemon juice a try.

28.1.13

Fashion keys

This past weekend I decided it was time to clear out and reorganize my clothing cupboard. I always love doing this as I get reminded as to what is in my cupboard, what I haven’t worn in a while (but I’m not ready to throw away just yet) and items that could work well together. As much as I love clearing out, there are some key pieces that I will always have in my cupboard and if I do throw any of them out, I end up replacing them almost immediately. These are what you would call fashion keys. They’re fashion keys because they are so versatile and can be used to build your own style. Now for some of you these pieces may be a no-brainier but for others it could be that helpful fashion tip. These are eight pieces that should be every girl’s cupboard.

Black and White Shirts
A black or white top can be worn with almost everything in your cupboard. They are the most handy tops you will ever own. I wear mine more times than I can mention and I’m always buying different versions of these classic tees.

Little Black Dress (LBD)
This item has stood the fashion test of time and will always be something that is fashionable. For me the LBD is my ‘fail safe’ if I don’t know what else to wear to an event or party.

Jeans
Jeans can be worn to almost any event. They are the most versatile piece of clothing you will own because they can be dressed up with a smart shirt and heels or dressed down with a t-shirt and sneakers.

Blazer
Blazers are fantastic because they can make any outfit look instantly smarter and well put together. I love wearing my (different coloured) blazers with skinny jeans and ballet pumps.

Collared Shirt
I like to wear my (over-sized) collared shirt  with skinny jeans and pumps for a classic yet smart look.

Skirt
A skirt is like your jeans, it can be paired with heels and a smart shirt for a smart look or a t-shirt and flats for the casual vibe.

Boots
Boots are perfect for those cold and breeze days. They go so well with a pair of skinny jeans, a comfy coat and scarf.

Coat
Now this item goes without say. I just love coats. For me they are the best part about winter. I wear them with my winter skirts, long pants, boots and a scarf.

With these pieces in your closet you’ll be hitting all the right fashion notes every day.  

25.1.13

Fashion envy...

As much as I love looking at fashion brands and their websites, it makes me sad at the same time. I have a serious case of fashion envy when it comes to certain international brands. It's almost as if their ranges and selections are just better than what we can get here in South Africa. Don't get me wrong, there are some real fashion gems here in South Africa (many of which I am yet to discover) but I find myself drawn to the brands and designers overseas. 

I can 'page' through their websites and online catalogues for hours on end. Day dreaming of all the outfits I could be putting together. Oh I'm such a girly girl sometimes...lol. my three top favourite brands are H&M, Forever 21 and Paper Crown. I first fell in love with H&M and Forever 21 when I went to visit my parents in Dubai (they used to live there) a couple of years ago. Thank goodness I was still a student (with a lack of money) at the time because otherwise I would have spent my whole paycheque in those two stores. 

Paper Crown is a fashion line by former reality TV star and clothes designer Lauren Conrad. I used to watch her on The Hills and admire her style and fashion sense. I just love the pieces in the line, because unlike other fashion lines I can actually see myself wearing each and every piece from the line. 

Well a girl can certainly dream. One day I will own a piece of clothing from each of these brands (I will make it my mission), but for now I stare from afar and strive for that day.


23.1.13

Honey face

I just love a good face mask. You get to cover your face in all kinds of gooey stuff (look like an alien…lol) and it leaves your skin glowing afterwards. Although I don’t always get around to it, I try to apply the mask to my face at least once to twice a month. One of my all-time favourite masks is honey and bicarbonate soda. Now I know what you’re thinking…it must be one sticky situation, and you would be correct. The effect that it has on my skin is so worth it though.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of honey
2 tablespoons of bicarb


Method:
Mix the honey and bicarbonate of soda together until it forms a thick paste. Apply the paste to your skin. Make sure to wash and properly dry your face before applying the mask. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes, but before you remove it, ever so slightly massage it into your skin. This way it exfoliates and removes all the dead skin cells. Then rinse off with warm water and moisturise as usual.

It’s not recommended that you apply this mask more than three times a week and if you have sensitive skin, try using the bicarb as a daily scrub instead.

21.1.13

Shopping on main

On most Sundays people like to relax...but if you ever find yourself in Jo'burg and looking for a fun and relaxing thing to do, why not make a stop past Market on Main.

This delightful market is filled with stalls selling everything from wooden crafts, ceramics, distinctively designed clothes, vegan foods, elaborate and unique looking cupcakes to a stall of Stellenbosch's finest olives. The market is located in the refurbished 1900's warehouse and is a sun filled quadrant where you can sit (on a picnic blanket) and enjoy some of the different foods on offer or just take in the people and surroundings. 


The food alone (and the cocktails of course) is something to look forward too. You can have a taste of Bunny Chow, freshly made sandwiches on a selection of different breads or even some warming soups (for those winter months). 

I just love taking home a selection of yummy treats from the Deli section. Market on Main is not your ordinary Sunday market, as each and every stall has a character of its own and the people who gather there are just as extraordinary. So if you have a free Sunday and you feel like doing something a little different why not head on down to Market on Main. The market is situated on Main Street, close to Ellis Park and the ABSA headquarters.

18.1.13

We saw some baby eleis..

Now before I start let me first clarify for you exactly what an eley is. It's my nickname for elephants, whether they are big or small. Now I might have mentioned this before but in case you didn't know, I am just a little....OK maybe a lot obsessed with elephants. I just cant get enough of those big grey wrinkly bodies of cuteness, not to mention their slight furriness. I just want to bottle it up and take it with me (yes I do realise how big an elephant is, which is what makes my obsession so funny).    

While we were visiting my parents in Zambia over the December holiday we had the opportunity to go visit a rehabilitation centre for baby elephants. Oh man were those little things just too damn cute for words. The evening before our visit it was absolutely pouring with rain, so while we were there the babies were having a ball in this puddle of water (score)! I warn you the contents of these photos contains loads of adorable and cute babies, I cannot be held responsible for what you will see next...lol.







16.1.13

RRRRiiiibbbiiiiitttt...

I love baking and my ultimate favourite thing to bake is cupcakes. I don't know what is it but there is something about these small cake delights that I just cant get enough of (weird I know...lol). This past weekend I decided to try something a little different with my cupcakes. I attempted to make cream cheese frog cupcakes. Although they were so much fun to make (my inner child came out when it came to decorating them), they didn't really end up looking like frogs. Well maybe they did...if you looked at them from a certain angle. 

Ingredients
200g butter, at room temperature
215g (1 cup) caster sugar
3 eggs
375g (2 1/2 cups) self-raising flour
125ml (1/2 cup) milk
2 tsp vanilla essence

Method:
Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Use an electric beater to beat the butter and caster sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until combined. 
Stir in flour, milk and half the vanilla until well combined.

Add the green food colouring.

Divide the mixture among prepared pans. Bake for 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

250g cream cheese, at room temperature
300g (2 cups) icing sugar mixture
2-3 drops of green liquid food colouring
20 green fruit ring lollies, halved (I used jelly tots)
2 strips black licorice, cut into small pieces

Use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese until soft. Gradually beat in the icing sugar. Beat in food colouring and remaining vanilla.

Spread the icing over cupcakes. Decorate with the lollies and licorice.

14.1.13

It's a lake...

On our Zambian road trip we went to what is known as the world's largest lake. Words can not describe just how large Lake Kariba really is. I of course have a few snap shots for you, so you can get a basic idea (because I'm photo obsessed and kind like that..lol).


The view from the bed and breakfast where we stayed


The dam wall (that damn wall...hehe)



A fisherman drying off the day's catch

An old Land Rover on the side of the road

9.1.13

The smoke that thunders

So the holiday is over and it's back to work for most of us. Even though it's sad that it has come to an end, the good thing is all the memories and photos that came from our trip. One of our stops this festive season was Victoria falls, or as some like to call it: "The smoke that thunders." 

The day we were at the falls was a particularly toasty day, so we were rather thankful for the "spray" coming from the falls. Now when I say spray I don't just mean any spray. It was more as if we were walking in the rain. At one point I was so soaked that the water was dripping from my hat and it was absolute bliss. Below are just a few snaps from the day, because to show you all the photos would take a while (we tend to be a snappy happy family). 







This day also happened to be our five year anniversary. 


You'll see this photo looks a bit white. That's the spray from the falls.


The boyfriend and I went for micro light flights over the falls. It was such an awesome experience. Due to safety reasons you are unable to take a camera up with you so I don't have any photos to share from the flight. 


7.1.13

Raspberry macarons

Over the past few months I have been coming across macarons quite often. It seems that they are now a staple at most coffee shops and restaurants. I decided I had to see what the fuss was about. So off I went and bought a macaron recipe book. I have to say it turned out to be more of a process (to make) than I thought it would be, which then explains why they're so expensive.


Ingredients
120g icing sugar
80g almond flour
2 egg whites
pinch of salt
60g castor sugar
Food colouring (pink)


Method:
Preheat the oven to 180°
Mix the icing sugar finely with the almond flour. Sift the mixture into a bowl.

Whisk the egg whites into firm peaks with the salt.

Add the castor sugar and food colouring, and continue whisking 
until the meringue is very shinny. 
Using a spatula, stir in the almond flour and icing sugar.
Using a pastry bag, make small rounds on a baking tray covered with baking paper. 
Allow to stand for an hour at room temperature. 
And then bake for 15 minutes.

For the raspberry cream you'll need: 
150g of raspberries
25g of castor sugar
1 egg
10g of cornflour

Method:
Mix the raspberries with the egg, castor sugar and cornflour. 
Filter through a sieve to remove the seeds. 
Transfer to saucepan and cook on low heat for about five minutes, 
whisking constantly until the cream thickens. 
Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool at room temperature.
To assemble the macarons, garnish one shell with raspberry cream and then cover with another shell. 
and voila...