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! 

Pan Fried Haloumi, with Red Pepper Jam


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

  • 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


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

  • 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


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

  • 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


Main Ingredients

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

  • 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


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

  • 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!

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