Friday, 30 September 2011

Yummy Chocolate Cupcakes


We all love a good cupcake. There is something rather lovely about eating a perfectly small cake topped with icing and perhaps a fancy pattern or two. Also, you never feel bad about eating more than 3 because they are so small anyway. (At least that is how I feel)

Today's recipe is a copy of the ones I made for Brett's birthday last year (pictured above). They were so moist (naughty word) and the icing was freakin' out of this world. I sprinkled them with edible glitter and melted chocolate to make the hearts and stars. You can decorate them anyway you want but remember, they won't stay looking like that once in your tummy!

What you need: 

11/4 cups of self-raising flour
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
teaspoon of baking powder
Sprinkle of salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup of Vanilla Yogurt
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl whisk together sugar, butter, egg and vanilla yogurt until smooth. Alternately whisk in flour mixture beating until batter is smooth.

Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 22 to 27 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with chocolate frosting. (which is just icing sugar, cocoa powder and butter)

Monday, 26 September 2011

Conversations with the dead

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My wonderful friend Bee has a freakin' funny husband, Mr L, who sleepwalks and talks. He has inspired some good giggling sessions as Bee recounts the night's activities. She recently went to Knysna and shared with me one of her night dramas.

Mr L gets up and walks to the drawers and starts to rumage through them. He then turns to Bee:
Mr L: "Where are they?"

Bee is still a little groggy from being woken up and has no idea what he is talking about.
Mr L: "Where are the bags? All the bags that we packed, where are they?"
Bee: "Are you even awake?"
Mr L: "Of course!"
At this point, Bee realises two things, 1) he is talking in his sleep and 2) he could kill her in his sleep and he wouldn't even know about it. Bee starts laughing at him and he doesn't like that.
Mr L: "why are you laughing at me?"
Bee: “Because I am sure that you are talking in your sleep and will not remember any of this tomorrow morning.”
Mr L: "Oh, okay."
He gets back into bed and "falls back to sleep".
Bee gives him a little prod and asks him if he is awake. With eyes closed and through a gentle snore, he answers:
"Yes"

Now, that is quite a calm story compared to the arguments that Mr H and I have in our sleep....

Mr H is snoring so I prod him in his nose
Mr H: Don't ever do that.
Me: You are snoring and it's irritating me
Mr H: You woke me up to tell me that? Deal with it.
I hit him again in the face. With my hand.
Mr H: I swear Shanté that I will roll over you.
Me: I can't sleep with you making all that noise
Mr H: What the hell do you want me to do about it?
Me: Stop breathing
Mr H: Ya, Shanté, I'll just do that.
Me: You're such a miserable git
Mr H: Whatever. Go to sleep
Me: Okay. I will show you that I will.
I promptly did indeed show him. I feel straight back to sleep, my hand poised on his face.

We were both half asleep through saying this by the way.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Time spent with nature

On the weekend, Mr H, myself, our good friend Mr M and his two lovely daughters, to a trip to Postberg. It was a gloriously sunny day, the first in a long while, and the flowers were bloomin' marvelous. The girls even spotted Zebras and Wildebeests....and no, that wasn't Mr H.

Where we had our picnic

Boys and their toys. 


Beautiful flowers 

Roxy showing us how to pose
 

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Zanzibar

With this schizophrenic weather threatening my wardrobe, I am dreaming of going back on honeymoon with Mr H to Zanzibar. It was a truly magical experience, the first time we both got on a plane together rather than me always flying solo. The island is stunning with clear warm waters and white sands, something that has always been on my bucket list to see.
Here are some of the reasons why I miss the place....

My daily afternoon snack

The pool which we lazed around

A view from the private beach

The stunning shells found on the beach

The beach itself....

Not to mention the ridiculous amounts of food that I stuffed my face with!





Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Farce-Book

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I loathe those annoying and retarded messages on Facebook that take up my whole news-feed and request to be "re-posted". I really couldn't care less if it is National "Be nice to the Ginger" day, you're wasting my time with your prosaic bull. My least favourite ones are the long-ass messages like this:

"A year ago today my grandfather passed away and I still miss him. You were everything to me grandfather, I have no1 else in this world and even though you hated technology when you were alive and couldn't even turn on a television, I know that you will be using your time in heaven to go on Facebook and check what I have been up to - those drunken pictures aren't real by the way and I'm not really seeing that facially pierced drugged up guy - rather than running through lush green fields, chilling with Jesus and dancing with Marilyn Monroe. Re-post this if your Grandfather also passed away and likes to spy on you rather than enjoying the after life....


Are you for real?

If you're gonna ask me to re-post anything, then make it read like this:

'The hobbit you just called fat? He’s skipping 2nd breakfast. The dwarf woman you called ugly? She spends hours braiding her beard so you can differentiate her from a dwarf man. The Uruk-Hai you just killed? He’s been abused by Saruman. See that Gollum creature with the gangly limbs &large eyes? For 500 years the Ring poisoned his mind. That Elf you just made fun of for crying? She just lost her wizard friend to a Balrog. Re-post this if you’re against bullying in Middle-Earth...'

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Wedding Shoes

How simply amazing are these hand-painted wedding shoes! You can see more lovely wedding ideas here at Junebug Weddings

Monday, 19 September 2011

Girl Power

I am a Christian therefore, people automatically assume that I must be a push-over. In high-school, I remember someone using my faith as a means for making fun of me and stating that I could not retaliate because "it's against my religion". 
Let me just tell you something, you do not mess with a Christian, especially one that carries a bible around with her which can be turned into a deadly assault weapon. Yes, we're taught to love all people equally but at the same time, I'm not going to lie down and let you beat me you ignorant nitwit. 
Firstly, I am a woman and I eat a lot of chocolate. Chocolate gives you extra special muscles which can break kryptonite. And secondly, I am also a master of sarcasm and will baffle your small and constricted little mind to the point of making you cry and scream for your trollop of a mother. Yes, that's right, I am not to be taken lightly.
However, saying all this, I am very aware of the image that many "religious" people portray. We get a bad press because some people are idiots and some are judgemental fools....but I'm not here to write about those guys, just to dispense with the whole "weak and geeky" stereotype because I'm the real deal baby and if my wit and chocolate-fuelled muscles can't stop you then I'm sure that singing Kumbaya about a dozen times whilst hugging you tightly will.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Cake Stands

I may not come across as the D.I.Y baby but I've got it in my blood....granted, it is very watered down. My grandfather is a whizz with pretty much anything. He used to create and make furniture and artistic pieces that were amazing. He still makes things and at 83, he re-designed and fitted his own kitchen. I however, prefer to look at something and think "now who can I get to help me with making that". Yet I am amazed at how easy the following D.I.Y project is...
You know I love cakes, and that I also love pretty and whimsical things. They don't come much more fanciful than these two cake stand ideas which I can see as being a project that I can tackle on my own. Don't they look stunning and I can see that my cupcakes will get pride of place in the flat.

Trash Chandelier Cake Stand
You can get instructions here

Rustic Cake Stand
You can get instructions here

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Breaking Dawn

I hate Bella and Edward. There, I said it. I find Bella to be the most pathetic and emotionally dead "heroine" ever to be breathed into existence and Edward to be a total drip yet, I will still watch the movies.
It became a "thing" between Mr H and I when I used to live in the UK because every time I would come over to visit him, one of the movies was just out and so, we have watched every single one together. Now I am with Mr H permanently, I still feel as though we still must keep the tradition alive.

So for all you fans, here is the trailer....

Rugby Raves


I love the buzz of the RWC but I'm not liking the change in temperament of Mr H. After watching the SA versus Wales game. On Sunday I saw my husband's inner beast and whilst it was mildly attractive, it was also a little scary. The morning started off so well, health smoothies in hand and a blanket tucked around us, we were a couple in love. But once Wales had scored, the blanket was thrown off and Mr H was sat bolt upright on the edge of the couch screaming obscenities at the screen. I tried desperately to soothe his frustration, a kiss here and a tickle there but to no avail. At one point, he was close to getting up and doing his very own Haka and poor little me, to make up for the lack of love and affection, was forced to ogle over all the cute players. It's a hard life I lead.
Thank God they won otherwise I would have had to make serious amounts of cookies and brownies to bring him out of his dark mood.
Image from here

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Calling all cake addicts...


The amazing apron you could win made from The Sewing Room
So what are you waiting for? Get out those cookbooks and start planning your winning baking delight.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Disney Dilemma

(angst Ariel)
After watching another Disney movie with my brother and sister, I have come to realize something rather disturbing about all these stories. Look back over all the 'Princess" Disney movies you ever watched and can you see a pattern? I'm not talking about the inclusion of talking animals and fish, which I think is perfectly normal. I often think that animals talk to me, I just don't always listen to them. The pattern is that their are no decent parent figures, you're either a Princess with a wicked stepmother or you have a rather idiotic and anal father. So I know that the first few Disney princess movies were based on fairy tales which were rather grim (no pun intended) but if you think about all the later movies, little girls don't really have any nice parent role models.

Snow White: No parents but an evil step mother who wants her dead and possibly made into a pie (that is the only logical explanation I can think of for wanting her heart).
Cinderella: No parents and an evil stepmother with really creepy eyes.
Sleeping Beauty: Parents with an acute fear of sharp objects who shove their daughter into a forest under the supervision of glorified fireflies
Beauty and the Beast: A father who is a Muppet. He should have listened to his horse...ah but then Belle wouldn't have met the Beast....
Aladdin: By far the worst parent as he seems content to just play with little toys.
The Little Mermaid: A father who is impressive but who doesn't understand his daughter and destroys her room. So uncool!
Tangled: Does she even have parents?

The only one with a slight difference was The Princess and the Frog - she had a nice dad but he didn't last long.

The best Disney dad for me will always be Mufasa. His death was heartbreakingly cruel, no wonder I'm messed up! If I hadn't had such an awesome real-life Dad, I would be a mental nutcase who thinks that glass slippers are comfortable, short men who live in the middle of the woods are a safe bet and hairy beasts are sexy...hang on....he kinda is....


Monday, 12 September 2011

I'm a little teacup...

...short and stout. Oh I do so love my tea. I think it's because I'm British, and we've all been born with an inbuilt love and desire to brew and consume tea. My mother, who is truly British, has a large collection of teapots and tea sets so this obsession with tea is not just mine. Since moving over here, we've haven't used the sets very much so I have been thinking of ways to utilize the boxes of dusty crockery that we have. Having  searched around, I've found these delightful ideas....

How pretty do these look?
Found here

This Idea incorporates food....always a good thing
Found here

One of my favourite ideas but I'm not sure I'll be able to make them
Found here

Friday, 9 September 2011

A year in Cape Town...

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Today marks the year anniversary of my move to South Africa. Yes, I have been in Cape Town for a whole year. The time has gone by so quickly that I feel as though I have been here my whole life. I do still miss England and it's comforts such as Terry's chocolate oranges, twigletts, H&M, historical buildings and of course, my dear family (read more here). However, I have grown quite fond of this rugged yet beautiful land with it's bi-polar weather, at least in England you can expect rain 90% of the time, and it's gloriously friendly people. So to celebrate, I've somehow managed to pick just a few things that I heart about Cape Town:

1) The Waterfront- I love that place and that might be because it's close to an English mall but also because of the buzz you get from being there.
2) Wine farms - I have gone from a girl who drinks tea to a girl who drinks bottles of wine....I'm not sure if that is a good thing but I love Fairview, Bon Courage, Rupert & Rothschild and Jc Le Roux. *hic*
3) Table Mountain - Every time I look at it, I am reminded of how small I am and how great this country is and can be.
4) Rugby - Never have I seen such a passion for the game and I love how it brings everyone together. Go Bokke!
5) The accent - My Husband has the sexiest South African accent ever! Yummy
6) Boutique eateries - Food plays such an important part over here and that suits me fine. My ridiculous cookie & cupcake eating habits have been satisfied.
7) Twitter - okay, I know it is not purely a South African thing but, through Twitter, I have become acquainted with some of the most amazing Capetonians. Some of whom I still haven't met but have been detrimental in helping me fit in. Cheers to you lovelies!


Image from http://weheartit.com/entry/14199092

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Baggage

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If you're like me then you like to carry emotional baggage around. I am unfortunately the type of person who will hold on to hurts and transgressions and weave them into my skin. If something bad is said or done to me, I will forever be thinking of that moment and will sometimes replay it over in my head, wishing that I had had a really cool comeback for the moment you ripped out my heart and stomped on it like the filthy mudblood that you are. I'll also trap you in a grotty broken suitcase and throw you off the cliff of "friendship suicide" and there you will remain in the sea of "broken and un-shed tears" until you can do something radical that will make me smile again.

However, I'm also the type of person who will stand by you forever if you win a place in my heart. I can be fiercely protective to the point of smothering you. I will put you in a fabulously floral vintage suitcase and keep you there...

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Paddock's Princesses!

What a weekend! If you don't know about the charity fashion show that I've been planning then you must have been sleeping under a rock! On Saturday at The Paddocks Shopping Centre in Milnerton, we had 10 beautiful girls from Reach For A Dream, all of whom have life-threatening illnesses, escorted down the runway by Top Billing's Janez Vermeiren (who is rather yummy) and wearing fashions from Keedo, Naartjie, Earth Child, Cupcakes and Cowboys and Vintage Lifestyle Magazine who sponsored the girls a beautiful necklace each.
The event was so amazing that I couldn't help but shed a tear. Tese girls were stunning. They were true princesses and they rocked that runway! They were true stars and they outshone any supermodel.
The idea for the event was to raise awareness for Reach For A Dream and we had a raffle to raise some funds for them. We managed to raise R3000 and are so grateful for everyone who came along to show their support...the prizes were immense!
So, for those who missed it and even for those who were there, here are a few pictures for you:

Siv Ngesi our fabulous MC

 Fashions by Cupcakes & Cowboys and the yummy Janez Vermeiren





Stunning Earth Child clothing (They let the girls keep the clothes!) 


Bright fashions by Keedo 


The girls wearing their cute Naartjie Ballerina frocks 

Our Queen of the day (she was worried about the event because all the other girls have hair and she thought she wouldn't look as pretty but, we can all see how stunning she is)

Good Hope FM judge Tarryn Trussell

Good Hope FM judge Leigh-Anne Williams 

Siv again


Top Billing's Janez Vermeiren 

Friday, 2 September 2011

Healthy Eating


When I see the words "health food" I think of kale, celery and other undesirable green foods that inspire a sense of nausea. I do try to eat healthy because I'm keen to stay youthful, beat the antioxidants and generally feel good but I my problem is that I love cookies and chocolate too much. You know me, I'm addicted to baking, how does a girl bake with hemp seed and Goji berries? She doesn't!

However, I've been on the look out for a way to incorporate healthy and good foods into my diet and to eliminate the bad foods. For instance, I have cut out all caffeine, mainly because I have an intolerance to it, but also because of what Kimberly Snyder says. She's this amazing healthy eating guru who invented this super charged green smoothie that promises inner and outer beauty. Something that I would like in abundance, not that I'm calling myself an ugly Betty, I would just like a lovely natural glow. I want to be healthy without spending a ridiculous amount on silly exotic ingredients that some ring-tailed Lemur had to scrounge for on the forest floor. Nor do I want to be subjected to torturous gym activities. I simply wish to eat well. Is that so much to ask?

I have therefore dragged Mr H into this scheme and starting from today, I'm eyeing up my first green smoothie right now, we shall be embarking on a new eating plan. However, I shall still be making cookies but just with gluten-free flour/rolled oats and dark organic chocolate chips. Yum!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

30 Seconds to madness

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I am incredibly competitive. I hate to admit it. At most things in life, I like to be the best. I like to know things and bamboozle people with my intellect and I like to be classed as a great cook/baker (which will hopefully be proved here). However, games are the worst.
I’m one of those people who likes to fake a smile when really I am inwardly grimacing over the fact that I am not number one. I think with age, this has only gotten worse. I’m like an angry Scottish warrior, shouting out loud words that don’t make much sense, stomping all over the place and promising death to all my fellow players.

The other night, I had some girlies over and we played 30 Seconds. Wow does it pull out the angry rebel within me. There were four of us. Two teams. My blood levels have never been higher:

I've picked up the blue card. The hourglass has been turned. I am now describing to my partner

Me: Another name for the United Kingdom.
My partner (MP): Ooooh...oooooh…yes
Me: It’s the collective term for England, Scotland, Wales etc
MP: Yes, I know this….um…
Me: It’s awesome….come on….another name for where I am from
MP: Europe?
*sigh*

Take two

Me: It happens in October. We dress up as scary things.
MP: Oh oh oh oh
Me: You carve out faces in pumpkins
MP: Damn it…I know this one….um um
Me: You go trick or treating. You know, Trick or treating?
Blank expression
Me: Trick or Treating. Come on! TRICK OR TREATING!!!! (I'm literally screaming and about to throttle someone whilst doing a Tom Cruise on the couch)
MP: Great Britain!!

We lost the game. Not surprisingly. And I was close to taking her off my Christmas list but remembered that she is my very close friend and what doesn’t kill you with shame will only make you kick ass more brutally next time.

Image from weheartit.com