Things I wish I could eat right now {but shouldn't}

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

So, my wedding day countdown has officially gone into the 70s, a few odd months left. And by few, I mean few. I am starting to get a little panicky about the amount of stuff I still have to pay off, and inadvertently, this is causing my body to go on a little stress freakout. Right now, while eating my cous-cous and butternut salad - with bits of melted plastic in it for nuking it too long, I am sitting with a little back ache. It feels like the body aches you get when you have flu, but I have no other flu symptoms. I have come to the conclusion that it is either heat stroke or an abnormally enlarged heart, or stress. I'm thinking it is the prior or the latter. Any web-MD's out there that want to shut this hypochondriac up?

Anyway, to think of something else that makes me ache at the moment, I looked at a few recipes of stuff I cannot eat at the moment. If you're asking yourself why the hell would I do that, the simple answer would be: because I'm Megan, that's why. Enjoy the deliciousness that is about to ensue. And if you try any of them, you must let me know.

In the mood for some chocolate espresso cake? Recipe here

How about some magic microwave meringues? Find out here how to bake them

If that didn't make your mouth water, how about you try some tequila fondue on for size?

I'm an ice cream-o-maniac, so I would really, eally love some of this 

And just to top it all off, some choc-chip cookies.

Okay, I'm done torturing myself now. It's not like I'm ever going to make any of these. 
I'm just not domestic like that.

Park Acoustics {my second, but not last, time}

Monday, July 29, 2013

Whoa! This Monday was off to a rough start. This morning, as we left home, Flip told me that it was 2 degrees! All I can think of is my poor dogs, who are so pampered and spoilt - I am big enough to admit that - and now sitting outside in the cold. I didn't even have time this morning to put on their jackets. I just hope that they are smart enough to find a nice sunny spot and move along with it as the day goes on.

And to think, only yesterday we were sitting in a warm winter sun, and it really felt like a summer's day - I have the sunburn to prove it.  Now, I'm sitting in a thick jacket and typing with half frozen stiff fingers. I am seriously longing for summer and its thunder showers today. And missing the wonderful heat from yesterday, when we attended Park Acoustics.

 I have no relation to this man, I just took a pic of him for his likeliness to Koos Kombuis
I told him I'm taking it because of his hair. He roared with laughter
my take on those 'from where I stand' pics

For those who aren't in the know, Park Acoustics is "a monthly outdoor live music concert that takes place in the unique venue that is Fort Schanskop, Pretoria," the website states. Fort Schanskop also forms part of the Voortrekker Monument.

The event, which takes place on the last Sunday of each month, "sees hundreds of people gather at the foot of Schanskop hill, ready to embark on the 5 minute bus trip to the top. Once inside the fort the atmosphere changes from inviting to intimate as great acoustics and friendly people greet you on your descent." Flip also met some friendly, ahem, people.

"If you arrive early, grab the best picnic spot which is under a large Umbrella Acacia tree up at the front of the stage." we didn't arrive early enough, so sat on the pavilion under the blue and red squares. It was hot!

"Park Acoustics concerts are cozy and relaxed, allowing the crowd to develop a personal connection with the talented musicians on stage. What makes Park Acoustics unique is the fact that you have a 360 degree view of Pretoria, Centurion and Johannesburg in the distance!

That's Pretoria aka my hometown

"We also boast the best sunsets in Pretoria, so do stay for that magical time of day when we all have sundowners on the hill. Park Acoustics is open for all ages and we encourage you to bring a group of friends and family and spend a day with us.  You are welcome to pack a picnic basket with delightful treats."

I couldn't have described it better myself. It really is such a treat to just chill with your friends, bottles of wine, the sun, good music and a crapload of weird hipsters. The occasional dancing, passing out, falling down stairs and general tipsiness cannot be excluded. 

Professional pics from Park Acoustics website

When my fiancé gets hold of a camera {an exposé}

Thursday, July 25, 2013

He likes to shoot from the hip it seems. Expect lots of unflattering angles of me.
{I'm surprised that it isn't all focused on just one area of my body}

Lynwood Bridge {a pleasant surprise}

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The other day I was telling you about our amazing cake tasting, which took place at Lynwood Bridge Mall. Although I have driven past it, I have never been there - and when we finally went in, I was pleasantly surprised. The place has such a lovely outdoorsy vibe - and even in the middle of winter - people would sit outside and enjoy the afternoon sun.

While waiting for Malissa, our cake baker, I heard some jovial tunes being played on an accordion and snapped a few pics of this guy - not really a busker as such, as he was being paid by the mall to add some atmosphere - how cool is that?

After our appointment, I just had to speak to him and find out more - perhaps he could even play out our wedding! 

His name is Rian Britz and he plays in a couple of bands - one called  The Oh So Serious - which you really should check out, they have such cool music - and Swing Party, which doesn't have a website. However, Rian was kind enough to send me some of his recordings. I was amazed!

But the problem is that we already have a DJ, paid in full. 
What do you think? Can there be two different sources of music at one wedding?

Flip and I then proceeded to muck about, because that's just what we do.
I love him.

and the {winner} is....

Monday, July 22, 2013

Malberry Cakes {the best cake tasting ever}

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Wedding Cake. I have been told by a number of people that this should be last on my list of priorities, as often, by the time you and your groom are ready to cut it, a large number of people have already gone home or are so tipsy on wedding champagne and wine that they will not even taste the cake. "I'm to drunk to taste this chicken" springs to mind. But I wasn't going to let this influence me, I will have a stylish wedding.

Although I'm not willing to pay exorbitant prices (ahem, I got a quote for R10 000) for something edible, I am still not letting go on quality - and quality is what I found with our baker - Malberry Cakes.

On Saturday, Flip and I met the lovely Malissa - owner of Malberry Cakes, for our first cake tasting. You know, like in the movies. And oh my goodness, did I love it. I had my cake and ate it!

Malissa presented us with the most amazing Red Velvet cake with toffee cream filling; a Chocolate Mud cake - which tastes like brownies! - with white chocolate ganache filling and a Vanilla Velvet with a toffee cream filling. Oh my GANACHE! I have never tasted something so good in my entire life. I wish I could just share those tastes with everyone in the entire world.

Malissa quipped that even a groom who didn't like cake got so enthralled by it that he ate it all! We met Malissa at a jewellery shop at Lynwood Bridge - where I got chased out of the shop for taking too many photos - tee hee!

Flip was so in love with the Red Velvet cake that he didn't want to leave a piece for me to take home to my mom - so that she could also have a taste. I finally coaxed him out of it, but needless to say, our wedding cake will definitely feature Red Velvet. 
{I was a bit opposed to this though as I'm not a fan of red}

Malissa is explaining the different cakes to us below. 
I loved interacting with her and cannot wait to see her again on the wedding day!

Best cake tasting adventure like ever! 
I cannot wait to see our cake!

Happiness Is... {feature & giveaway}

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hello lovelies, I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! I sure did! It was eventful, including almost being in an accident that would have been fatal. Thank God for His grace and for keeping Flip and I safe. Moving swiftly along and to get out of that somber mood, I'm featuring the gorgeous Fathima K from Happiness Is... today. She really is a treat and will have you oogling over her beautiful designs and creations, such as iPhone covers, in a jiffy. Enjoy!


1. Happiness is... is your personal blog as well as your graphic design brand's name. Please tell me more about this. How long have you been doing this?
I've been blogging on Happiness is... since 2009. I'd started a few blogs before that and could never get myself to post regularly, until this one. It started out for two reasons: one was to promote some little felt goodies I was making and selling at Durban's I Heart Market, and the second was to try and bring more positivity into my life, hence the title. 
As I kept going with it, it also became my creative outlet to balance my work life. Last year I left my job to start my own business as a freelance designer and illustrator and thought I'd keep the name for that as well since it already had a little bit of recognition. However, I would like to change the name for my brand purposes, as soon as I can come up with something I like!

2. What sort of products do you make? Do you also provide services?
On one end I'm experimenting with my own creative products which is mainly stationery at the moment, and I sell that on Hello Pretty. I sell on Society6 which is a really cool international site that allows you to sell your designs on products which they create, like iPhone and iPad covers, prints, cards, t-shirts and tote bags. I recently also started a store on Creative Market selling stock graphic elements and illustrations that you can buy and use.
On the other end I offer graphic design and illustration services and consulting. This ranges from branding for small businesses to wedding stationery and commissioned illustrations, and more. I'm always keen to try something new!

How cool are these iPhone covers?

3. Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
Mostly from nature. I love plants and nature in general, and when you really look at the details, it's truly amazing. I'm also inspired by other illustrators and designers; looking at their work always gets me motivated to be better and do more. 

4. What are some of the challenges of being your own boss?
Being my own boss is pretty cool, but what's sometimes tough is probably having to play all the roles you'd find in a company. In my own business I'm not just the designer anymore, I'm also the secretary, client liaison, art director, conceptualiser, and even accountant (well... more like Excel spreadsheet-er, haha!). That's pretty much the reality of being a one woman band, but I enjoy that. I like that I'm responsible for everything, so if something gets stuffed up I have only myself to blame, and if stuff goes well, that's mine, too. I kinda feel more fulfilled handling more roles, but it does take up a lot of time and requires planning and discipline. 

5. How do you perceive the South African creatives/design landscape?
South Africa at the moment is so full of the most talented, amazing creative people! And not just graphic design, but illustration and craft as well. There seems to be a lot going on, it's really great. I do find that many creatives aren't very open to sharing knowledge and collaborating, and I find that a pity. Working together makes everyone better! I think we need to work on developing a more sharing culture. 

6. What is your favourite colour/ material to work with, and why?
Hmm... My favourite colour in general is green, probably a lot to do with my love of nature. I absolutely love luscious green landscapes. My favourite materials are probably my Pentel brush pen (it's like a pen with a paintbrush tip!) and watercolours. I'm not a watercolour expert, so I enjoy experimenting with it and love that you aren't always 100% sure what the end result will be once the colours blend and dry. I especially like mixing those two mediums, I like the contrast of the harsh black ink and the soft watercolour.

7. What would you do if you won the lotto?
Oooh, I wish! How much is the lotto these days anyway? I think I'd first give a chunk to my folks, as much as they need to be comfortable and go on a nice holiday. Then donate a fat chunk to an animal rescue/rehabilitation organisation... Or maybe even start my own, haha! The thought of starting a shelter for strays has crossed my mind several times! Then I'd use the rest on cool art supplies and handmade goods and save some so that I can work less and spend more time on making :)

8. Where to from here?

Onwards and upwards! I've got a book full of ideas for little projects and products that I want to work on, so I hope to slowly achieve all those. I'm about to launch a wedding stationery template range, which I'm very excited about! And I hope to grow my business and be able to collaborate with other creatives who have products, I'd really love to expand my work onto mediums other than paper.

9. What has been your proudest moment since you started?

I think since this was my first year on my own, every time I landed a client for a project I was excited about, it was an achievement. Being able to do work that you really enjoy is a great privilege and I appreciated that every single time. But overall proudest moment was probably last month, which was my one year freelanciversary! Very proud and grateful to have made it through what is usually the toughest phase of a new business or starting anything new.

You can win! 

Fathima has kindly agreed to do a special giveaway for The Sun House readers.
You can stand a chance to win your initial in an A6 size monogram watercolour and brushpen illustration worth R200!

Fathima drew one with my initial as an example.

 All you have to do is check out her collection of products on Society6
and then leave a comment here on what your favourite product is.

You can also check her out on twitter, facebook instagram.
And make sure to check out her blog!

Good luck!

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