Happy Holidays

Tuesday, 15 December 2009
It is finally Christmas time. The tree is out, the stockings are filling (slowly) and the sun is beaming.
Today is my last day at work as I am going on Christmas vacation.
Sun tanning, book reading, love, family, friends, great food, perfect company and a little trip to the sea!

Happy Holidays!

Xoxo

PS. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

It is true

Monday, 14 December 2009






















PS. Be safe during the Holiday Season!

xoxo

When is it going to stop raining...

Friday, 20 November 2009















I feel like this little guy.

32 mm of rain in two days! What has happened to my jozi summer :(

xoxo

PS. Stay in bed this weekend with a book and hide under the covers, thats what I would do!

19*11*2009

Thursday, 19 November 2009













PS. J & B

xoxo

How to kill an idea...

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


























The real way to kill an idea

xoxo

PS. click to enlarge

Being creative...

Thursday, 5 November 2009






















A designers quote i can believe in.

xoxo

Cardboard Love

Wednesday, 4 November 2009






























This is definitely one of my new favourite sites.

Go to cardboard love to see what other people have done.

These two are just the ones that i like the most today.

xoxo

PS. This site is perfect for a pick-me-up on a rainy day.

Le ballon

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Le ballon
Uploaded by ddbparis. - See more comedy videos.


This video is beautiful and inspiring. Let your imagination run free!

xoxo

PS. The lonely balloon always finds a friend x

Ransom Note

Monday, 12 October 2009

















This is sure to cheer up your monday. It's a Ransom note generator, i absolutely looove this!
Here is the link for you: Ransom note generator

xoxo

PS. I cannot be help responsible for any random ransom notes anyone might receive *wink

Quick Coco

Friday, 9 October 2009


























surprise, cocobutton is a designer....

PS. xoxo

Happy Little Rabbit

Thursday, 8 October 2009


















PS. It's too gorgeous not to share

xoxo

Rose Ice Cubes


























I just love cute little decorative touches that you can add to any occasion.
This DIY project created by Jonathan Style is a stunning way to decorate your bar at a cocktail party, ladies day, baby shower, birthday, or even your wedding day!

You can even try lots of different colour roses to create more excitement.


What you’ll need: (per ice tray)


12 spray roses (the small ones) –

Tip: spray roses can be pricey if you’re making many ice cubes. Consider using small silk flowers from Mr. Price Home

12 twist ties

2 wooden skewers

1 ice tray
Floral tape


Step 1: To keep the roses submerged in the ice trays, we have to build a framework that will weigh them down. Cut the spray roses, leaving about 2 inches of stem, and use twist ties to attach the stems to the skewers.

Step 2: Place the roses, which are attached to the skewers, upside down in their individual ice compartments of the tray.


Step 3: Tape down the skewers at the ends of the ice tray to keep everything from floating when you add water. Your ice tray should look like the one in the photo.


Step 4: Add water to the ice tray and freeze overnight.



Is it edible?

Most roses are indeed edible. However, many growers use pesticides on the roses, so I would avoid putting these ice cubes in drinks unless you’re sure there were no chemicals used. Just use the ice to cool drinks.

PS. Uses different colours with simple clear drinks, the roses and ice cubes should be the heroes here!

xoxo

If you didn't already know...

Tuesday, 29 September 2009














xoxo

Tasha’s brings out the Sun

Monday, 28 September 2009

Tasha’s has become a well known, or should I say Jozi known, hot spot for the hungry and stylish. Just to tell someone that you are having lunch at Tasha’s brings a little envy out in the people around you.





Who really knows what attracts the locals to the white and porcelain chic that we all love in Tasha’s? It could be the perfect, clear and virtuous décor that is Tasha’s. Perhaps it is the idea of sitting on white couches and sipping champagne that attracts you? Or maybe it is the great service that is received at all four branches? Whatever the reason, my personal one is always and of course the delectable food that arrives in front of me, always delicious, always divine!



We went for breakfast to try out the new Tasha’s in the newly built Morningside centre. It was a cold morning, which worked to our advantage. Because of course, Tasha’s is always full, no one wanted to sit outside so we braved the cold and elected to sit outside rather than stand in the 10 deep cue.



Cappuccino’s and heaters were assigned and warmed us up right away. We ordered, a standard breakfast, a scrambled eggs with salmon and I ordered corn fritters with bacon, avo, baby tomatoes and rocket (oh yum!). As our food arrived typically, the sun came out! The fritters were unbelievable. I managed to polish them both off. Then after breakfast a shot of wheat grass and I was ready for my day. And what a perfect start.


I think I am going to have to test them all out again just to check for myself that the Tasha’s are really the same! To be continued...

PS. Try not go at peak times or at least go early, you will cue! (Even though it is worth it!)

Xoxo






Birdie Birdie Birdie!

In Johannesburg it is said to be Spring in September. However, in our vibrant and bustling city we skip Spring and go straight to Summer.
The sun is beaming, the blossoms and blooming and the birdies are tweeting!

I found these Birds on Lauren Alane’s website, I just love them! With the city behind them it just reminded me of home!

Happy Summer loves!

PS. Don’t forget the Sun Block!

xoxo

Sharon Sampson

Friday, 18 September 2009

Born, raised and educated in Durban, South Africa.


She graduated in fine art and graphic design at Natal Technikon.


Employed in design studios and advertising agencies in Durban, Johannesburg and London.




Over a 15 year career in advertising and marketing, seven with international group McCann-Erickson: conceptualizes and directs over 150 still photographic shoots and television commercials; wins awards in both print and television, locally and internationally including ‘Creativity’ in New York.









She has exhibited in group exhibitions in Pretoria and Johannesburg. Her most recent was “Printed” in May 2009 at the David Brown Fine Art Gallery in Rosebank.

She lives in Johannesburg with her husband and two daughters.









PS. Click here to visit and purchase art at African Art Now
or email her at sharonsampson@ibsa.co.za


xoxo












Guacamole... mmmm spicy!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009










I just love guacamole!

Apart from being the healthier option to chip dip its also ridiculously easy and super tasty. Especially when avocados are in abundance.

This is a cheap and versatile dish that can be server on burgers, with chips at a party or with Crudités for a healthy snack.



When I saw this recipe on one of my favourite sites, www.showmenow.com I had to share it with you.
(click in picture to enlarge)

Don’t forget Avo doesn’t last too long after you cut it open so be sure to make it just before you serve. And if you like it spicy and with a bit for a kick you can add a little chilli or Tabasco to taste!

Enjoy!

PS. Make a double portion of whatever amount you planned to make for parties, it seems to be a firm favourite and disappears quickly!

xoxo

Today...

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

happiness, dance!

Friday, 21 August 2009
video

For Bibba

Sunday, 16 August 2009

It was recently my birthday and a very special person gave me a very special book. A book called Cakes, subtitled; To Celebrate Love & Life. Could there be a more perfect title. This book was made for me.



So this weekend I decided to take it for a spin. Delving first into the Chocolate Cupcake recipe. Instead of using the normal buttercream icing I was challenged to try the Meringue Icing. Never one to back down from a challenge I went full speed. And the result was delightful.




2 cups sugar
1 ¾ cups flour

¾ cup cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs at room temp
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup boiling water

Preheat the oven to 180 C
Prepare muffin pans with 18-24 paper cups


In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together all dry ingredients. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla essence.

Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Stir in the boiling water, the batter should be runny. A bit like chocolate soup.
Pour the batter into the paper cups equally.

Bake for 10-20 minutes. Leave to cool completely before topping with icing.


Meringue Icing


4 egg whites at room temp

1 cup sugar
A pinch of salt

A drop of food colouring if desired



In a heatproof bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar and salt. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and hand-whisk continuously for 3-5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch.


Attach the bowl to the electric mixer with the whisk attachment, and beat on low for 2 minutes. Add a drop or food colouring, then beat on high for a further 5 minutes until mixture has cooled down and stiff peaks form. pipe immediately.


Maritz, Callie & Guy, Mari-Louis. Cakes, to celebrate love & life. Cape Town: Struik Lifestyle,

2009.


PS. The chocolate shavings made it!


xoxo



Manna Epicure
















A place where white is your favourite colour, a teapot is a decoration and cupcakes are fine art, Manna Epicure is a place where patisserie dreams come true.

It has the elegance of an upmarket art gallery. The clean white exterior reaches out to you when you drive past it due to the complete contrast to the rest of the bustle and grey of the concrete street. Simple yet beautiful decorations of cream, or should I say crème on white, create a gentle and cheering feeling.

The other people there were enjoying complimentary bread and dips. Others indulged in cocktails and breadsticks and tea and biscotti. Some were peacefully reading newspapers in the sun and the table behind us were discussing silk threads and gallery openings. A ménage of diners, all with one thing in common, their love for Manna.

Manna is not only a patisserie thought, the menu is separated into divisions for unique taste sensations: sweet, bitter, sour and savoury. They have a variety of scrumptious tapas, a selection of farm breads and of course the artistically ornamental cupcakes.

Of course I had to delve into a cappuccino and a cupcake. There is nothing that makes my heart sing louder than a perfect cupcake with the perfect company at the perfect place. This was one of those moments. Between 3 of us we each had a cappuccino and shared two cupcakes. And of course; one vanilla, one chocolate.

When the two little beauties graced us with their presence we could do nothing but “Ooooh!” and smile at each other with delight. They looked like two dazzling little gifts of glory, who had come to light up our eyes, and our tummies!

My new favourite cupcakes were hugged in brown paper cupcake holders. The vanilla one was sprinkled and dusted with powdered sugar and crowned with a striped, fabric ribbon. The butter cream icing actually looked like fresh piped cream and was surprisingly dense and sweet to the taste. There was also a pleasant surprise of rosewater.

The chocolate cupcake was dark and lustrous. A perfect brunette from the brown of the paper to the tip of the silky icing. The adorning ribbon matched the rest of the outfit in dark brown with light brown stitching. The two together were magnificent.

Manna is owned by Maranda Engelbrecht who works at Taste magazine. Taste magazine is one of my favourites so finding this out made it clear why I have such an attraction to Manna.

Manna is heavenly and bright. There is not one person I know who would not have a most wonderful time. Alone with a book or with friends and family, Manna is sure to make you’re day that much more special.

PS. Go hungry! You’ll want to order everything on the menu!

Manna, 151 Kloof Street, Cape Town. Tel 021 426 2413.

xoxo

I want to go back to Stelle

Thursday, 6 August 2009
I like little dinky places where you can go and forget about the city that you are dragging in. You can imagine that you have escaped for one evening into another world. It goes without saying that a place that changes its menu everyday, only takes bookings (which are usually hard to get unless you book at least a week in advance) and use simply fresh and natural produce will always be a hit. And Stelle is a huge hit!

It’s a petite place at 62 Tyrone Avenue, Parkview. It is rather strange when you walk in. the peachy orange wall’s re not exactly ‘Italian-Chic’ and the loud, colourful art is peculiar and a little daunting yet the restaurant itself is homey and personal.

The menu is brief and probably only has about 7 things to chose from for each course. I love this. It means you know that everything is going to be insanely delectable, perfectly cooked and above all fresh! They make all their own pasta and believe that flavour is key.

For starter I had the crab, mayonnaise and potato mille-feuille. It was exceptionally flavoursome. The crab was soft and sultry and the sharp lemony mayonnaise was the perfect contrast. The presentation was also gorgeous, the little stack looked strong yet as though it could float away on its lettuce leaf at any moment.

For mains I had a beef strip and porcini mushroom dish. Served with pretty little roast potatoes and zucchini. Although the crab had filled me up I had to eat as much as possible as it was so moreish. The meat was tender and juicy that the porcini mushrooms… well what can I say, I love porcini’s so I was in heaven! Some of the other meals included; meat ravioli with walnut sauce, chicken pasta in a lemongrass soup and four cheese ravioli, all tasted and recommended!

Desert is chef’s choice for the night. (Yes!! love a surprise!) There were two, something that looked like a little custard profiterole but then she said chocolate and orange and I made my order, with haste.

It was a little mini dark chocolate cake with warm melted dark chocolate with orange syrup and orange rind. Holy moly! Worship is a word that comes to mind. It was loving and tender and might have stolen my heart if I hadn’t shared it.

Stelle is an awe-inspiring restaurant. I highly recommend it not just for its amazing food but also to have a little slice of real Italian bliss!

P.S. you must book! It’s full 100% of its time and for good reason I might ad. Stelle 0116466996

The Shack

Tuesday, 28 July 2009
I must admit I did struggle a little to get through this book. I found myself constantly have to go back and remember what I thought were insignificant events in the previous chapters. I also found the situation rather heavy and had to put the book down simply to reflect the gravity I had just read.

The book opens a lot of debatable questions in both heart and mind. It also challenges religion and many religious issues which under some churches would not be accepted. Thus when reading I tried to keep an open mind.

Young initially wrote The Shack as a Christmas gift for his 6 children with no obvious aim of publishing it. Some friends also read the book and encouraged him to publish it for the general public. Young and his two partners (former pastors from Los Angeles) had no success, so they formed Wind Blown Media for the sole purpose of publishing The Shack. The Shack has achieved its number 1 best selling achievement via word-of-mouth and with the help of a $300.00 web site; nothing else has been spent on marketing up to September 2007.

The Shack revolves around Mack (Mackenzie) Philips. Four years before this story begins, Mack’s daughter, Missy, was kidnapped during a family holiday. Although her body was never found, the police did find proof in an abandoned shack to confirm that she had been viciously murdered by a infamous serial killer who preyed on little girls. As the story starts, Mack, who has been living in the darkness of his Great Sadness, receives a bizarre letter that is apparently from God. God requests Mack to revisit the shack for a get together. Though unsure, Mack visits the scene of the crime and there has a weekend-long encounter with God, or, more properly, with the godhead.

The Shack made me reflect, made me laugh, made me curious and in some places brought me to tears. It is incredibly moving and is definitely a book that helps you to appreciate what you have, and who you have in your life. Weather you choose to believe in the possibility of the events ever happening is up to you. However I do advise it to be read with the utmost attention to detail and to imagine it as a true story. Once the book is finished a lot of the puzzle comes together and I personally am grateful to have read it.

PS. This book is not for the faint hearted!

xoxo

Hot, red and fruity!

Monday, 27 July 2009
With these cold winter days, the worst thing against trying to keep warm is having a cold drink with ice. I personally can’t drink anything without ice unless its been sitting in the freezer. Either way, I always end up feeling like the bottle of wine in the deep-freeze- icy!






So what’s the perfect thing to keep you warm? Gluvine of course! Commonly called Mulled wine.

This drink is spicey, fruity and above all, hot!

Gluvine

Ingredients

Serves 8

  • 3 large oranges
  • 8 cardamom pods (dry can be used as an alternative)
  • 12 whole clove
  • 12 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon stick, plus 4 for garnish (optional)
  • 2 bottles fruity red wine
  • 1 cup sugar organic brown sugar (light brown not the dark one)
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 tablespoons of ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of mixed spice
  • 4 star anise



Directions

With a fine grater, zest, then juice 2 oranges. Cut the third into slices.
With the flat side of a knife, press firmly on the cardamom pods to bruise them.
In a large pot (not aluminium), combine zest, juice, orange slices, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, wine, sugar, spices, and brandy. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves, 1 to 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to low; simmer until flavours have melded, about 30 minutes.
Pour through a fine-mesh sieve; garnish with cinnamon stick, if desired. Serve immediately.

PS. Make sure you have glasses that can stand the heat and be super careful when serving, you don’t want to spill red wine on your white Eskimo boots!

xoxo

Shepherds pie, the perfect winter warmer

Tuesday, 21 July 2009
It’s cold, its wintery and the best thing about it is a hot meal at the end of the day.
Shepherd's pie is a perfect winter warmer; making it is blissfully unfussy. I prefer adding sharp cheddar to the mashed potatoes for a deeper topping.


Ingredients

Serves 8

5 baking potatoes peeled and cubed
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 medium carrots grated
6 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup tomato paste
2 pounds ground beef chuck
½ cup water
½ cup of red wine
1 cup whole milk
2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar

Directions

Preheat oven to 230°C. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high. Add carrots, celery, onion, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beef; cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Add ½ cup water and ½ a cup of red wine; bring to a boil, and simmer 1 minute. Set beef filling aside.
Drain potatoes and mash. Add milk and 1 cup cheese. Mash until smooth; season cheddar-potato topping with salt and pepper.
Pour beef filling into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Drop dollops of cheese topping over filling; spread to edges with a spatula. Using a fork, make decorative peaks; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until topping is browned and filling is bubbling rapidly, about 20 minutes (if topping and filling were chilled, increase to 35 minutes). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

PS. Yes the meal does serve 8 but if there are less people divide the mixture into two baking dishes (once all is prepared) and simple cover tightly and freeze the other for another night!

PPS. Sorry I forgot to take a picture, I ate it too fast ☺

xoxo

Wish I had a friend like Pooh Bear....

Tuesday, 14 July 2009













I am a huge Winnie The Pooh Fan.
Its gorgeous simplicity reels me in every time!
I wish I had a friend like Pooh Bear....

xoxo

Winter Cinnamon Apples with Roasted Pecans

Tuesday, 7 July 2009
This recipe is so ridiculously easy it really does take 30 mins (if not less) and tastes even better!

Ingredients

Serves 8

  • 1 cup pecans (more if you’re a nibbler)
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown organic sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh organic lemon juice
  • 4 Gala or Fuji apples
  • 4 cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 2 pints vanilla ice cream

Directions

Preheat oven to 230. Spread pecans in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish; toast until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. They really do toast quickly so keep an eye on them! Remove pecans, and set aside (or store in a resealable plastic bag, up to 1 day).
In a large bowl, combine sugar, lemon juice, and cup water. (I used 1/2 a cup of hot water melt the sugar quickly and then 1/2 a cup of cold water so that its not hot when adding the apples)
One at a time (to prevent them from turning brown), halve apples through the stem end, core, using a melon baller, and immediately toss with sugar mixture.
Arrange apples, cut side down, in baking dish; pour sugar mixture over. Tuck in cinnamon sticks; cover dish with foil. Bake until apples are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve apples with ice cream, topped with pan juices and pecans. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, if desired.

PS. Making them just before you eat keeps the apples from going wrinkly, don’t forget to take the ice-cream out and to have ready to scoop just before serving!

xoxo

little red

Tuesday, 26 May 2009















*Simple beauty at the cricket

Keyboards & Cupcakes...


















*sigh, my favourite things.

xoxo

Emily Moon

Emily Moon River Lodge is owned by Mark and Christine Valentine. It is peacefully gorgeous. Everywhere I looked I felt visually stimulated. The decorations are in abundance yet not overdone. Mark Valentine, owner and a leading dealer in African artifacts, has filled the restaurant, sun deck and eight luxurious lodges with treasures he has collected from across Africa, as well as beautiful bits and pieces from India.

For lunch we sat and looked over the picturesque river valley. The views are amazing. Still and calming. The juxtapose of the jumble of decorations in the restaurant and the wide open green of the valley is exceedingly alluring. I struggled to leave after the meal was done and now back in the crackling, screaming bustle of the city think back on it with great admiration and fondness.

For lunch we sipped on wine and soaked up the glory of mother nature. With short personal menu’s prepared on the day the ingredients are fresh and the meals can be concentrated on for the best possible result.

For mains we had two different things, a spicy prawn dish. It had a Moroccan feel with curly fries and a divine little salad. The other meal was a mussel and prawn pasta with a creamy white wine sauce. Both were delectable and kept us busy and our hands dirty, great fun.

For desert there were 3 options; there was a trio of ice-creams, a guava and crème angeles dish and last but not least I had a heavenly Panna Cotta. As you can see in the pictures it was small simple and elegant. With a swirl of gooseberry jus, what could be better.

I highly recommend Emily Moon for any occasion. Delicious!

PS. Before you eat or check in, take a peak at the wedding hall is too stunning for words…

Xoxo

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