Friday Fancies: New Year's Eve

Friday, December 30, 2011

While the average South African are decidedly going out to get smash faced in either Hatfield square, Arcade Empire or all along the coast of South Africa, I have once again fallen into the lonely world that is non-conformism. I kid! This year will be the first year that I will actually be camping for New Year's Eve and what a better way to spend it than in the bushveld, surrounded by the beauty of nature and the splendid sounds of summer!

I have been longing for a break from the city all summer long, and while buying a house has left us financially crippled enough to wave adue to the lovely dream of the golden shores of Cape Town and Mozambique, we still have the amazing opportunity to escape to a bushveld retreat.

I am linking up today with Alison from Long Distance Loving for another one of her fabulous Friday Fancies. The idea of the post is to create an outfit you would love to wear if budget was not a problem. Well, seeing as I  am not going out and the fact that I will be in the scorching summer heat all New Year's I will keep my outfit low key and low budget.

This is what I had in mind.


The top the girl is wearing is an actual top I own, from Cotton On. They have the most amazing little outfits there and I just want to spend allll my cash on it!

The rest, as usual was a set I created on Polyvore, so click on through and find out for how much and where you can find these items.


'Tis the season to be sparkly? No?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It seems that the period starting from the beginning of December to about just after new years is the time to shine! Literally! All around I have seen people blinging it up in pretty glittery outfits, glitter featuring on Christmas trees, presents wrapped in shiny paper. You get the idea.

My own Christmas tree even hosted a bit of glitter. (Yeah, taken by Iphone. Not the best quality)

However, moving away from Christmas, a girl still feels the need to shine! I found this nifty DIY on the Glitter Guide. You should try it!



How to:
1. Mix Mod Podge & glitter. Add one part course glitter to two parts Mod Podge into a small plastic bowl.
2. Brush on to strap and let dry. Apply a second layer. Let dry. Apply a third layer (optional).
3. Apply a couple of plastic rhinestones at the end of the strap with either fabric glue or crazy glue.


If you tried it, please send me some pics, I would love to post about it!
I would love to do it myself, but I don't think Flip would be to happy about having to carry around a shiny happy camera strap!

Christmas Day: Delicious Eats

Friday, December 23, 2011

I really love Pick 'n Pay's delicious recipes! They are perfect for our warm South African weather and are quick and easy to prepare. I found a whole array of recipes on their website which would be absolutely delicious for Christmas Day. 

Maybe you are a bit tired of the traditional gammon, pudding and other Christmas dinner favourites...then these recipes will definitely make your mouth water. Change is as good as a holiday! 

Starter
Pan Fried Haloumi, with Red Pepper Jam

Ingredients

Main Ingredients

2 medium red peppers, diced
5 centimetres knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 can tomato cocktail
1 cup PnP white wine vinegar
2 cups PnP sugar
1 medium red chilli, chopped
6 medium pita breads, quartered
3 pieces haloumi cheese, organic
1 pinch salt and milled pepper
1 tbsp PnP organic flour, for dusting
1 glug PnP olive oil, for frying

Method
  • Preheat oven to 220C
  • Place the first six ingredients in a saucepan and heat, stirring, until all the sugar has dissolved
  • Bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes or until mixture reaches a jammy consistency
  • Toss pitas onto a baking tray and bake until crispy
  • Season cheese and dust with flour. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and fry cheese until golden.
  • Serve immediately on crispy pita triangles drizzled with jam


Main Course
Thai Mussels


Ingredients

Main Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 half onion, finely chopped
1 medium chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp grated ginger
1 stalk lemongrass, (outer leaves removed), chopped
1 large lime, juiced and peeled
3 ml castor sugar
1 cup chicken stock
1 can coconut milk
1 kilogram mussel, (black mussels), fresh and in shells
60 ml coriander, chopped


Method
  • Heat oil in a large pot and sauté onion until softened, not browned. Add chilli, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, lime juice and peel and castor sugar and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add chicken stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil. Add mussels, cover and simmer for 8-12 minutes or until mussels have opened. Discard any shells that have not opened. Stir in coriander and serve.

accompanied by

Tomato and goat's cheese tarts


Ingredients

Main Ingredients

250 grams PnP puff pastry
80 ml basil, chopped
80 ml flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
60 ml PnP olive oil, plus extra for tomatoes
1 pinch salt and milled pepper
50 grams goat's cheese
250 grams cocktail tomatoes, halved
1 glug PnP olive oil, for brushing

Method
  • Preheat oven to 200°C
  • Cut two 12cm diameter discs from pastry and set aside
  • Mix basil, parsley, garlic, olive oil and seasoning together
  • Leave a 1cm border around pastry and spread herb mixture onto each pastry disc
  • Crumble equal amounts of cheese onto each pastry disc and arrange tomatoes on top of cheese
  • Brush tomatoes with a little oil and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until pastry is cooked through and golden


Desert! Om nom


Ingredients

Main Ingredients

1 packet whole hazelnut, toasted
1 tub chocolate ganache
3 slabs milk chocolate, broken into bits

Method
  • Roughly crush hazelnuts
  • Mix nuts and ganache together and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up.
  • Roll teaspoonfuls of ganache mixture into balls and spear each ball with a toothpick.
  • Return to fridge to set
  • Melt chocolate over boiling water in a heat-proof bowl
  • Coat each ball in melted chocolate, then place on a lined tray to set
  • Store in a cool place

And to drink!

Pink GIN




Ingredients

Main Ingredients

125 ml gin, like Gilbey's or Gordon's
1 half cucumber, sliced into ribbons
1 cup ice cubes, medium sized
1 dash angostura bitters
1 litre tonic water


Method
  • Divide gin between 4 tall glasses
  • Place cucumber and ice into glasses and add a few drops of bitters (it’s high in alcohol, so don’t overdo it) to each glass
  • Top up with tonic water and serve

Well, enjoy a non-traditional Christmas dinner!

My two cents on...Crazy Stupid Love

Sunday, December 18, 2011





One of the best movies of 2011! Most of the reviews I have read, gave the movie a solid thumbs up and in reviewee-speak 'it was a sharp, decidedly superior romantic comedy whose top-rate performers and fizzy dialogue go a long way to overcoming its-tired set up,' says a guy on some newspaper website.


I love romantic comedies and I think that this one was the greatest I have seen for the year. It is definitely a must see.


Rotten Tomatoes sums it up as follows: At fortysomething, straight-laced Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is living the dreamgood job, nice house, great kids and marriage to his high school sweetheart. But when Cal learns that his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), has cheated on him and wants a divorce, his perfect life quickly unravels. The hapless Cal is taken on as wingman and protégé to handsome, thirtysomething player Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). In an effort to help Cal get over his wife and start living his life, Jacob opens Cal's eyes to the many options before him: flirty women, manly drinks and a sense of style that can't be found at Supercuts or The Gap. But despite Cal's makeover and his many new conquests, the one thing that can't be made over is his heart, which seems to keep leading him back to where he began.


I laughed at Carrel's silly antics, something that seems to be following him from all his previous movies. Perhaps that is what makes him the actor he is. Further, the movie also throws an unexpected curveball which in my view, makes the entire movie. It is not the typical boy-meets-girl-breaks-up-after-misunderstanding, but rather gives us as the viewers a glimpse into everyday life. That is, if everyday life was super funny and had super sexy people in it. ie Emma Stone.


But if there is one thing I cannot understand, is this: 



Why again do people think he is sexy?
I don't get it.




What to buy for Christmas Part 2: Last minute gifts for girls...courtesy of Foschini

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Well, well, well! Look who came to my rescue. Foschini's!

Lately the have started to stock quite interesting things, such as the little bird cage in the picture below. I also saw this little fox on Lucky Pony today, which I think would make a perfect gift for the friend with a bit of a quirky taste! Sweet isn't? It's also from Foschini's. Loving all the eccentricities!




What to buy for Christmas Part 1: Gifts for guys

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Still haven't decided what you are going to buy for that special man in your life? Take a look at these presents.



Is he always running late? Get him a nice leathery watch. Mens Barrelcuf Cornograph watch, R299 from Woolworths.

Find out what his favourite fragrance is, or just take a whiff of his everyday deodorant and find a fragrance similar to it. Classic go-to smell: Jean Paul Gaultier pour homme Le Male about R700

Looking to splurge? Johnny Walker Blue Label is sure to put a smile on his face. From R1 600 (all liquor stores)

Sure, it's going to make your house smell like biltong for a while, but you'll both love it! Mellerware Biltong King biltong maker, R300 from Game or Pick and Pay

Is your man a real handy-about-the-house? A leatherman is perfect! From R1 500 (any outdoors shop)

Maybe he can't cook? Here's some pointers: Jamie Oliver's 30 minute meals from Yuppiechef

Does he smell his wine before he takes a sip? Then he will love this Corkscrew and Stopper set, also from Yuppiechef

You can never go wrong with a nice sturdy leather wallet. R400 - R600 from Jeep Accesories.

My two cents on Breaking Dawn

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

This post is way overdue, but I have been a bit busy. I also just wrote this whole post and then the computer busted out. SO I'm going to write the quicker version.

Wow! What a terrific movie! It was really worth the long wait. No, I am not a Twihard, I haven't even read the books. However, my friends who read it, was quite dissapointed with the differences between the two.

I thought it was awesome! And gruesome! There were scenes that had me near vomiting, scenes that made me yell out loud with the rest of the movie goers and scenes that really had me rolling my eyes. At one stage I was so queasy that I grabbed my popcorn box closer in case I couldn't hold it in anymore.

But I would definitely recommend it! Even if you haven't seen the first movies in the series/saga. Yes, there will be a few gaps as to who fits in where and yes, you will miss the 'inside' jokes, but it still provides great entertainment value.

I am going for seconds some time. A friend of mine could not make the first screening and I promised her that I would be her date. She watched it with her other friends in the meantime, but a promise is a promise! Besides, I think I missed quite a few things the first time, a result of running commentary between my friends and I through out the film.

(I still think Edward is hot as heck! Screw all you haters!)

PS - I made some changes to my bucket list, had a few things to tick off, a cousin told me so. Go check it out!

PPS - Also, feel free to go and like my facebook page - you'll find it here.

PPSS - Posts that are still coming up include my birthday celebrations post and a whole lotta stuff about Christmas. Coming soon to a Second Floor Living blog near you.

Thoughts on turning 24!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Yesterday, the third of December, I turned twenty four. How does it feel to be 24? A question I was often asked when I answered the phone from a well-wisher. Well, I should have answered, it feels old.

I have always had a problem with aging. Never with throwing a party or having a birthday, always just the fact that I had to do maths and add another number to my ever increasing abacus of life. All in favour of actually declining in health, height, brain strength and all other things that you have when you are young, say I! 

Thought so. Not a lot of I's in the crowd, now was there? If I could choose an age to be for the rest of my life, it would probably be this age, but with a few tweaks. I'm allowed to make tweaks right? 

Firstly, I would be 24, with the body I had at 21, the boyfriend (and love of my life) I currently have, the stamina to stay up, watch crap on tv and go out until 6 in the morning as I had at varsity (I think I burned out back then), the skin and no-care attitude I had at school and the innocence, playfulness, excitation and faith of a little child. Wouldn't it be great if you could alter your life like that?

In some instances it is possible....well most of it is. It just means hard work, patience, resistance and faith. 

I am grateful to have the years I have had. I am grateful for my wonderful friends and I am grateful for the life I have. Here's hoping I have many more! 

I got some great presents from my friends...Check it out!

  

The owl is from my dear friend Eleanor. I freaking love owls.
The handbag is from my Flip!
And the candle from Jenna and Eleanor respectively.


Next up, I got vouchers and this awesome chalkboard, which will look awesome in my new kitchen, from Tracy and Idele! Lovely!


This interesting 'chips and dip' holder was a present from my dear brother and his wife Angelique. 
Quite fitting, the newspaper theme, seeing as I'm a journalist, huh?

And the lovely roses are from dear Jenna!

Thanks to everyone who wished me well, who phoned, smsed, facebooked, tweeted, emailed, joined in the fun and sent smoke signals! I enjoyed my birthday thoroughly and I cherish each and every present!

We are moving!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This is mine. Not only is it mine. It is ours. It is Flip and I's first house. That we bought. Together!

We have signed the papers earlier this month, but I wasn't sure whether I wanted to post about the house yet, as I was (still am) not a fan of how the house is painted and didn't want to blog about it until I got all the colours under control. And as you can see, the stupid lazy-ass municipality didn't want to do maintenance in the region, so they decided to tar everyone's pavements. I hate this! It's so morbid and ugly and..and I need everything to be green, not black damn it. With respect to The Rolling Stones.




However, I will remain positive! This not only gives me free reign to let loose on my creative side and go crazy with my mad inherited gardening skills and creative ideas, but also a number of blog posts to come up in the new year of befores and afters as I make over our new house into a dream home! Who's with me?

I'm planning to break up the tar in the front, if the municipality gives me the permission, and create a gorgeous, lush garden with lavender, agapanthus, crawlers, ground covers, a few lollipop trees and a heck load of grass! As for the colours I want to paint the house and walls, I will keep that under wraps for now.

Pros of the house is pretty much everything! Including a lovely view over the city, as it was built on a hill (as you can detect from the slope of the wall). We are moving in at the end of January and in the meantime I am forcing all my loved ones to buy me vouchers for paint or decorating stores for my birthday, which is this Saturday.

No, it's not vain, it's smart!

(PS: I stepped on a bee yesterday running around in my mom's garden. It still hurts like hell.)

How did they not eat them all?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The other day I found this video through a link on facebook that was shared by a blogger that she found on another blogger's blog.

It's amazing!

I couldn't help but share it with you all. Only question is, how did they stop themselves from eating all those jellybeans? Maybe the answer lies in the 'How they did it' video. Check it out!



The amazing thing is that this project took over two years to complete, the patience! There is a lesson in there for us all. And over 228 000 jellybeans were used. The temptation! Good thing I wasn't on set. This may have resulted in 'death-by-jellybean'. Either that, or I would have been on a sugar rush for two years.

Tori Amos in South Africa

"Let's just pretend that we are all sitting in my lounge, just having a good evening. I'll take some requests, I got them here. And even if I don't play them tonight, I'll play them another night," she said.

The crowd reacted with cheers, perhaps a few tears were shed by the most die-hard fans. Tori Amos was in South Africa and I was there.

"I wrote this song for a friend of mine some years ago, when he was having a pretty rough time. That's when you know who your real friends are, when you're not popping champagne bottles and not making people's face pretty anymore. That's when you know who the cunts are, and there's a lot of them. There is some good one's too," she laughed as she started playing Taxi Ride on her piano.

Amos, who effortlessly switched between keyboard and piano, wowed the crowd with old favourites such as Bells For Her, where she ambidextrously played both piano and keyboard, Virginia and Cloud sleeping on my Tongue.

The intimacy of the concert delighted all senses, gripping the eyes in spectacular backdrops accompanied by the harmonic wailing of Amos's vocal prowess. The crowd was often stunned into silence, her voice transcending and whispering. Anticipation.

She still managed to surprise the listener, with little foxes slipping into her well known lyrics, mostly in the form of curse words. The crowd cheered in delight, every single time she cursed.

The esoteric singer never ceases to amaze. She uses normally perceived imperfections, the things our voice teachers always warns us against, such as swallowing and breathing heavily in her act. This wasn't on my bucket list, but it sure as hell should be!



"Almost sugar-free" granadilla and berry slush

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It is hot! I haven't really felt the heat, as I am stuck in the office most of the time, and in there I wear a nice thick jacket. In short, it is bloody cold with the aircon! But for those odd days that I am not in the office, oh let's call it weekends, I need something to cool me down.

Enter Pick 'n Pay's idea! It is almost ridiculously healthy as it is almost sugar free! Perfect for those weight watchers, like me. Yay fruit! Yay summer! You can use almost any fruit that is in season, but avoid fruit that oxidises, such as apples and pears.


Ingredients:

250 ml artificial sweetener
............................................................................................................
750 ml water
............................................................................................................
500 grams mixed frozen berries
...........................................................................................................
250ml granadilla pulp
...........................................................................................................



Method to the healthy madness:


  • Heat sweetener and water in a saucepan to dissolve. Cool.
  • Blitz berries until smooth. Stir berries and granadilla through syrup.
  • Place in a shallow container and freeze.
  • Mash every hour to break up ice crystal until it forms a slushy mixture.
  • Serve immediately in glasses with straws or tall spoons.

Enjoy!

For kids, use some extra fun straws, like the ones showed above.



How's this for being spoilt?

My good friend Eleanor spoilt me with a visit the other day. We rarely get to see each other, as our schedules are always colliding.

Luckily, she was in the vicinity after an event (yes, she is also a journalist) and we decided to go al fresco.






Focus on what you can give to a friend, not what you can get out of a friendship - anon

I am so happy to have spent some time with one of my besties. 

When bad goes to worse goes to shit

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This weekend was supposed to be  a breakaway for Flip and myself. We both had pretty hectic and rough schedules the past few weeks and we were planning to go to Parys, in the Free State to have a rest. Its about an hour's drive from Joburg, so it was ideal for a weekend.

We booked a place at the Smilin Thru Resort, expecting a blissful retreat and a lovely little cottage to stay in. I would never in my life recommend this place. It was the pits. It was absolutely horrible. The environment was nice yes, as our cottage was wedged between the Vaal river and a swimming pool, but this cottage looked like it hadn't seen humans in years. Gross. So I phoned my mom to tell her about how shit this place is. Luckily, I did.

Yesterday morning, I got a very mysterious phone call from my brother, asking to speak to Flip and I immediately thought that something was wrong, something had happened, but Flip wouldn't tell me. I phoned my mom to find out, and she immediately started crying. She had driven over my dog.


This is my baby. Her name is Liefie. I got her in 2000, after another dog of mine was stolen. She is the love of my life, the absolute most loved possession I have ever had. And here I thought she was dead. My world fell apart. I couldn't stop crying. In my state, I understood that they already put her to sleep and I didn't even get the chance of saying goodbye. It tore me apart.


But after non-stop crying for about an hour, even in the shower, I sobered up enough to phone my mom again and ask her what happened exactly. She was still alive! And still at the vet's, although, she was drugged to keep the pain away. We got in our bakkie and cancelled our stay. The somewhat two hour drive took us about an hour and fifteen minutes. I still had the chance to say goodbye.



We went to the vet and I sat with her for a while, trying to get her to drink some water and eat a beeno. The latter she ate with vigour! My mom and I then discussed Liefie's tendency to not pee when she's indoors and we carried her outside so that she can go to the loo. My wonderful dog stood up! She stood up all by herself, even though she had a broken bone and she walked around. She proved that there was still so much fight and so much life left in her that it would just be unfair to put her to sleep.

My parents are both pensioners and are at home most of the time. So my mom decided to amputate the broken leg, as it has been broken in multiple places and an operation will just cost a lot of money and her leg might not even properly heal. My wonder dog is going to have only three legs after tomorrow, but at least she is still alive! However, she is still in danger, as there is a lot of swelling and we aren't quite sure what the full extent of internal damage is, but the doctor says he doesn't think there is any internal damage.

I will accept it when she dies of old age. That's different. To quote my mom: "You and I are still going to chew old bones together."

Theme created by PIXELZINE