Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The look of summer

I heard a whispered rumor that Topshop might be coming to SA. I'm not entirely over the moon about it because you'll find in the UK that everyone, and their mothers, shops there and all you get is a bunch of identical clones trying desperately to convince you of their individuality. The beauty of Cape Town is that people really do have their own style. They wear their personalities and passions on their sleeves. That said, I would love for more clothing places to open up because whilst I love the idea of one off pieces from Long street, it can get pricey, not to say that Topshop wouldn't demand half of one of my kidneys too. 
Anyway, I have been browsing their website and I heart the hints of turquoise and the use of neutrals. These are my favourite pics for the summer.

Leather heart clasp purse £12
Iris painted playsuit £46
Lattice back crop £24
Vegas high vamp ballet pumps £18

The best thing though, is that they do deliver to Cape Town.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Movie Must-see

I am movie fiend. There is sometimes nothing better than getting a huge box of popcorn and sitting down to immerse yourself in some film escapism. This year promises to be a movie-goers delight with some epics hitting the screens and costumed heroes and heroines taking us on some awesome adventures. I have diarised the release dates of the movies I want to see (yes, I am that keen) but I just want to share with you 4 of the films I am gagging to see.

1) The Hobbit. I would bet both my legs that this will be the biggest movie of 2012 and will dominate the cinemas for a while. I am so excited that I can barely contain myself. Even when I watch it, I shan't be able to hold the wee in.
2) Fairy Tales play a big role this year and I think it is down to people still recovering from the Recession who are in need of  and escape into magic and myth, stuff we already know about rather than fanatical 'the world will end in October' films. This one is to be the lighter of the two but I just adore Julia Roberts.
3) Hello Tom Hardy, what a delight you are and what gorgeous muscles you have picked up to play Bane, Batman's nemesis. This. Will. Rock
4) The second Snow White movie with a rather stunning looking Theron. I hope that Kristen got herself a personality during this film. I'd hate to see the forest out-act her.

Friday, 27 January 2012

And that's the way the Cookie crumbles

I just love cookies. You won't find my kitchen cupboard without the necessary ingredients to mix some dough for late night binges. I am surrounded by friends who also have a cookie addiction and we go mental for a chewy, chocolate chip piece of goodness. But for those doubters out there, you need to know the reasons why cookies are the healers of the bakers soul:

1) They are easy to make. Fact. However, getting the consistency you want can sometimes be difficult but....
2) They are so forgiving. Crispy, gooey, big or small, the humble cookie tastes good no matter how you make or shape it. It loves to be eaten and therefore it has made a pact with the Baking goddess to always come out edible no matter what you do.
3) The ingredient selection is endless. You can mix in nuts, oats, fruit and of course chocolate. Adapt your favourite recipes and create new ones.
4) You can make raw cookie dough that won't give you salmonella poisoning. Lovely recipe here
5) Everyone loves them. They inspire childhood memories and they revert you back to your days of drinking milk instead of endless streams of coffee.
 6) If you have the patience (I don't know how people manage this) you can freeze the dough and use it at another time. I'm not sure if that is a positive because that means I have to wait!
7) They make my husband very happy. Need I say more?
8) They work well for allergies in that you can swap ingredients such as flour for gluten-free mixes without it causing any problems in the cooking and then eating of the cookie.
9) Depending on what size I make them, I never feel too guilty about finishing an entire batch in my own. I know, I'm such a guzzler.

So, has that inspired any of you to get into the kitchen and whip up some cookies of your own? If not, then there is something seriously wrong with you.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Reading list

Having stayed at the parents for the past few days whilst Mr H has been in Jozi, I have read myself into a literature addiction. I always forget how immersed I get in a book and that is the beauty of a truly good read, it enslaves you. I now realize, that I should have put 'reading more books' on my To Do list for this year as no self-respecting writer can expect to develop without gleaming inspiration from others. So I shall now rectify that and I give you *drum roll*, the books on the top of my reading list for this year.

1) Excalibar - I've actually almost finished it and it's been such an amazing trilogy. 
Cornwell is a writing champion and he sucks you into a mystical, verging on mythical, world of Arthur, the unwilling King and enemy of God.
2) Anything recommended by my literature herione Jodie Picoult, is a needed read for me.
I expect there to be tears in this account of a girl and her magical tasting abilities.
3) I have heard mixed reviews but the title was just so endearing and the plot, an account of the love and pains of a brother and sister, grabbed me.
4) I know it is a children/teenager's book but I believe it is important to know what the younger generation is letting soak into their minds. It also gives me hope that not everything has to be about boyfriends/girlfriends and the trials of choosing a date for the prom.
5) As stated before, I love Picoult. Her books are the stuff of wonder and she creates the most endearing characters and plot lines. I hated it when they murdered My Sister's Keeper in the movie.
6) It has become evident, that I do love a bit of history and legend. This fits the bill perfectly and I can't wait to get my hands on the pages.

Madeline Miller

Friday, 20 January 2012

Pretty things

I know that Christmas has passed and we're all tightening the purse strings once again to make up for the unlimited spending we did over the holidays however, our 1 year wedding anniversary is coming up (February 19th - magic!!). There will undoubtedly be gifts exchanged so I'm merely picking a few pretty things that I am in love with at the moment *hint hint*...not that I'm being too forward or anything. In fact, I'd be quite happy just to stare at pictures of them all day. Isn't that purse beautiful?

1) Dream Greets London Infinity ring
2) Anglomania Lady Dragon shoes
3) Real Teal BeeGee bag
4) Mac Pink Nouveau lipstick

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Feeling Hot, Hot, Damn Hot!


I do love England. That is a little obvious. But let me be a little more specific. People complain about the weather there, stating that it is too cold and miserable and granted, the sun shines roughly 27% of the year and the rest of the time it is either raining, howling gails, snow or hail or even a mixture of all four but it is still bloody beautiful. There is also never the problem of being intensely hot. Whilst I adore Cape Town and love to bathe in some golden rays, my skin and I have had a falling out after I subjected it to the heat of the past few days. Now looking and feeling like a sun dried tomato, we are not speaking. (I can hear it swearing at me right now)
However, I shan't be one of those people who complains about it because they really tick me off. They hate the sun and then when it rains, they curse that too. They need a room in their house with a sauna and an ice pool and then they can merrily hop between the two...wait, I need one of those too. Or perhaps I could just hire a ripped, tanned model to fan me with a giant palm leaf whilst I'm also being fed with frozen grapes. Why not have a snow machine too. Come to think of it, perhaps I'll just climb into my freezer and wait till June comes around, anyone wish to join me?

Monday, 16 January 2012

Man's best friend

This is Mr H's baby, Mia (pronounced My-a). She is his Princess and also, the madam who pretty much runs the house. She looks sweet, because she truly is and though in the past I was never one for pets and the like, I now cannot imagine life without her. It's true what they say about dogs:

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace."
- Milan Kundera

She came to us from Mr H's mum and from the start, we babied her and made a fuss of her.This was her first bath and she gave us these mournful eyes as if to say 'Why are you doing this to me, I like being a mess'..

We were stern when it came to being house trained. *cough* this is where I must interject upon myself, we got Mia when I was still living in England so I got to be with her for a month and then I left to leave Mr H to do all the dirty work. Best decision ever. No mopping up 'accidents'. But now I am here and we are in our house and I get involved with keeping the Precious happy.

Of course, being a Labrador, she is extremely active but we like going for walks with her and playing games. Labs also eat a lot, they don't know when to stop and she has these big brown eyes that just scream 'Feed me Mummy'. She also has a habit of digging, Lab owners I can hear you sighing now, yes, they just dig and dig. And we have tried putting pepper on her nose and rubbing sand in it and then putting mesh over the holes but she likes Pepper, doesn't mind the sand and carefully digs around the mesh. But no matter what she does, she knows that Daddy is too much of a softy to stay cross with her.

We're thinking of getting a friend for her and have our sights set on this baby. Isn't he so cute!
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Obviously, we are not wanting to breed with them, it would be a purely platonic relationship with no shared bowls of spaghetti bolognese but there will be plenty of long walks on the beach.

I'll leave you now with this awesome bit of wisdom:

"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog."

Edward Hoagland

Thursday, 12 January 2012

The Centre of it all

It feels like wedding season! Oh to be planning my wedding again and, um, again. I had far too many ideas that I wanted to incorporate that will just have to wait until I can force them onto my children. *manic laugh*
However, I do know that there are plenty of those who read the blog that like a bit of wedding inspiration and so here are some of my favourite wedding table centrepieces.

Images from the ever-amazing Pinterest

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


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Recently there have been 3 new changes to the technology in our household. The Wii Fit. The iPad. My defunct Blackberry.

The Wii began after I refused to go jogging with Mr H because it is so mundane. It makes no sense to me, I mean, are you actually getting to your destination any faster? No, you're not because the destination was your house to begin with. So instead of jogging, I do the Wii and I kick ass at the hula hoop....ok, that is a gross lie. I've got weird hips that don't seem to swing right. My mind says I'm going right and my hips go backwards, I start looking like I'm having a spasm.

The iPad is Mr H's baby and in the beginning, I felt a little replaced as he would play on it whilst we were watching The Office, which is usually unmissable for us. He spent days trying to stick cables in it:
Me: You need help sticking the wires in?
Mr H: The hole just isn't big enough
Me: That's what she said (Office fans would get that)
Mr H just turned slowly to me and shook his head. In a usual situation, he would wet himself.
But now, I'm starting to like it too. When he isn't looking, I gently caress it.

In regards to my Blackberry, this piece of coal has now ceased to operate properly. The scroll button has mind of it's own and likes to zoom in and out and up and down whenever it likes. Do you know how hard it is to use a phone that has an epileptic fit?
Me: My phone isn't working anymore
Mr H: Have you been dropping it again?
Me: No, i'm not that dumb.
Mr H: Maybe you dropped it in water (He looks at me condescendingly)
Me: Oh yes, that's right, I always like to take it in the shower with me and hold it in my cleavage.

Perhaps I have issues, when did technology become worthy of so much of my time. However, after watching Mr H spend 10mins trying to put his iPad into a protective case, I think I'm actually the sane one in this family.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Calling India

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Now that people are getting back to work, Mr H wanted to sort out some technical difficulties he was facing. So he called the company he was having a problem with except that the technical support he needed was all the way in India. I just don't understand why the call centre would need to be there, I'm pretty sure there are hundreds of people needing jobs over on this side who I might just be able to understand a little better and not cause us so much frustration. Mr H was on the phone for what seemed to be like a decade only to be put through to someone with an ear infection and a missing frontal lobe.

Mr H: Hi there, I really need you to fix this problem for me please.
Call Centre (CC): Sir, can you give me your email address?
Mr H: It's M for Monkey. R for Robin. H for Harry
CC: So that's NRA.
Mr H: No, that's not what I said. It is M for Money and H for Horse.
CC: I've got E.M.O
Mr H: And how did you come up with that?
CC: Sorry Sir?
Mr H: Look, it's quite simple, it's M. Mmmmm for Mum. R for Robin and H for Hat.
CC: Sorry, I didn't quite hear the last one.
Mr H: *shouting* M for Mother. R for Rat's arse and H for humiliation.
CC: E.M.R.H???
Mr H: *Dial Tone*

Mr H wasn't in the happiest of moods that day as you can imagine. So I offer my heartfelt plea to all service providers, have local and comprehensive call centers that work efficiently and with a degree of intelligence otherwise I'm going to a very unhappy wife.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Baking Essentials

Let me have my cake and eat it! I think I would have faired very well in the court of Marie Antionette if I could have eaten sugary treats all day.
But in the modern World, I have to make them and I don't get to lounge around in silk stockings being hand fed by topless men. *sigh*
Now every craftsman needs certain tools and my baking kit is ever-expanding but the internet is full of wonderful, must-have gadgets that I fear that my kitchen may need some new additions. So this month, on my baking list are the following:

Wire tiered cake rack
I have one rack and it holds about 5 cupcakes on it. Who in their right mind only ever makes 5 cupcakes at a time? 

Icing gun

I have a piping bag set but something that looks like an actual gun is way cooler!
Icing fights will never be the same again.

Cake cutter

I used to have one of these and then someone (not naming names) used it as an actual hack saw. On wood!

Large mixing bowl

Oh it's so clean and white and big. Mixing batches of cupcakes will be miles easier.

All to be found at the wonderful Yuppiechef.co.za

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The wonders of SM

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1) People assume that I'm a bubbly and caring person....they would be correct of course but it does help others to hide behind a facade.
2) You can stay connected with the world even when on the toilet - and I'm not ashamed to tell you that either.
3) I suddenly have a whole group of friends from all over the planet and we act as though we've known each other since the womb.
4) Twitter has helped me get job interviews, told me about hotel specials and given me details on where I can find Mason glasses. Beats Google. *gives the V-sign*
5) Blogs. I don't think I even need to say more right? Without blogs, I wouldn't be whole. Fact.
6) Half of my family live in the UK and without Facebook, I wouldn't be able to keep tabs on my gorgeous cousins or see uploaded pics of my Grandparents. (My Gran is a technical wonder)
7) I can spy on old high-school friends and enemies and smirk inwardly at how some of the bullies have ended up looking as rough as a baboon's behind. I'm also reaching that point in life where all my friends are getting engaged and married and it's so lovely seeing the pictures.
8) It sure knows how to ruin a romantic dinner. I have to turn it off and keep it locked in my bag otherwise I am tempted to look check my phone when I should be checking out Mr H.
9) It's something that I am good at and I like to laud it over Mr H...not out of spite, but just because he rocks at everything else.
10) Back on to the subject of friends, I have met some amazing people (met, as in, seen them face-to-face) through Twitter and they have truly inspired me.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Time for Tea

As if tea parties couldn't get any better, Undergrowth Design have created these amazing Blaue Blume ceramic pieces which feature a rather dashing pair of ladies legs protruding from each piece.

Aren't they beautiful!

And if those weren't magical enough, there is even an Alice in Wonderland themed tea time cutlery set
I feel that a cake baking session is in order....

Pics from Undergrowth Design

Monday, 2 January 2012

Life in 3D

Instead of lots of individual gifts, Mr H and I decided to buy ourselves a new TV. A 3D TV. I wasn't really that keen on it, thought it was a complete waste of time and money especially as my eyes always hurt after watching a 3D movie at the cinema however, Mr H is a great convincer. We got the TV at a great price and it came with 2 movies, numerous Ray Ban inspired glasses and popcorn. So I did get rather excited (as shown by the mad smile in the picture).
I can't explain how cool it is watching the Lion King in 3D in your own lounge. Mr H's Grandmother was particularly enchanted and when she came over to visit, we put the movie on and left her in front of the TV all night. 
I now like to wear my glasses around in the house, everything appears so much bigger and brighter in 3D. Teehee.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year

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I've never been one for making resolutions. Mainly because I don't like to disappoint myself if I can't keep them. My mother, in all her wisdom, told me that instead of giving things up, I should instead aim to do more and make positive commitments. So for 2012, a year in which I aim to kick some serious behind, I vow to make the following promises.

1) Shut up. So many situations could have been avoided last year if I had simply clamped a hand over my mouth and internalized my frustrations. In the heat of the moment I just blurt out words that are designed to hurt and aggravate because I'm stubborn and proud. This year, I will curb my wicked tongue...I'm not sure if that also means that I can't 'rant' anymore on my blog?
2) Listen up. With me talking less, I should be able to listen more to people and to be a more empathic human being. This will be tough as there are certain 'whingers' who honestly need a hug. Around the neck. With a rope.
3) Be more giving. I don't mean by buying presents for the entire Universe but by giving up time and energy on helping others. The buzz is like injecting Red Bull into your veins, you can't tell me that that isn't worth it.
4) Love my body. I think, because of the media, us women are constantly bombarded, from birth, with Skinny Minnies who, if they stood to the side, would be invisible. I've had a problem with my weight for years and I know I need to start treating my body better. Less binging, less guilt, more nourishment and healthy meals. I am reminded of a health article on the rules of Dieting, simply put, it said 'Don't give your diet more attention than you would your religion.'
5) Finish a book. I have been promising this to Mr H for years now but I will aim to keep slogging away. I aim to have extremely muscular fingers from all the typing.
6) Master the art of the macaroon and make my own puff pastry. I have tried the former and it was such a disaster that I almost cried. I didn't want to tell Mr H that I had just wasted 2 bags of ground almonds so I quickly hid all the evidence. I am determined to get it right though and to also make a puff pastry pie. I've done the shortcrust thing.
7) Do more wine pairing evenings. I used to hate wine. I got told that it was an adult taste and obviously, I was still a child. But when I moved over here and saw the wealth of wineries, I realised that I had to jump headfirst into the barrel. Guided by my dearest friend Wayne (Take2Tours), I have found a love for all things grape. And because I love food so much, I started to host pairing evenings. We have had about 5 of them and each one just keeps getting better and better, (look at me bragging) if you're ever in my area then you must join in.
8) Live more. It is so easy to become obsessed with how everyone else is living their life and to feel a little envious with those who have either got more or achieved more than yourself but all that comparing and languishing in your supposed inadequacies will not get you anywhere. Throwing off my jealous mantle, I shall live this year as myself, not as what is expected of me or as one who is trying to fit into the World. We're all unique and different for a reason, if Emma Watson can make 17 million in a year, faaantastic, but she doesn't make the best brownies in the world and she doesn't get to wake up next to my husband so, nah nah nah, *composes self*. I will be me. Simple.

Do any of you have any New Year resolutions for 2012?