Five couples from Johannesburg. All amateur chefs, competing against each other to host a top notch dinner party for the other contestants. Each competitor then rates the host’s performance with the winner winning a R1,000 cash prize and more importantly bragging rights. Bragging rights to the title of the ultimate dinner party host.
It sounded like a great idea whilst enjoying our High Tea at the Fire and Ice with a group of girlfriends. So we decided to execute it then and there. Names were drawn out of a tea cup and dates were decided. I drew the
unlucky number one and I hosted first, this week.
It took weeks of planning and I finally settled on a Menu that I was happy with. It looked something like this ~
Seared beef fillet with chocolate chilli and Amarula sauce
Prawn & Cashew Nut Curry
Home-made Romany Cream Ice-cream
Once the menu was out of the way, it was time to sort out all the other final details that make up the ultimate dinner party. Two dinner tables, 10 dining room chairs, 5 metres of table cloth, old records for place mats, table decor, scoring cards, video cam and entertainment.
Dinner parties don’t necessarily need to be expensive. I believe it’s more about the experience of the night. And what a night it was! I had such fun with the organizing, planning, setting up, cooking, serving and entertaining but the cherry on the top, were the guests. If you know our group of friends then the snide remarks, the constant teasing and making fun of one another, only means one thing. It was a success!
So Good luck to the rest of you. I’m looking forward to seeing what you’re going to put together. I have no doubt each of you will try out-wine, out-dine and out-class me. Until next week…
It’s been pretty quiet on this little blog but let me tell you, behind the scenes it’s been far from quiet. Our little family has been up to all sorts of things the last few weeks that I honestly haven’t even had time to think up a blog post, never mind write one.
Work has eaten up most of my time but if you know me well enough, you will know that I’ve never let work get in the way of living. So even though I find myself overwhelmed every now and again with the worry of deadlines and projects, I really try to keep myself busy enough on the weekends that those thoughts don’t take over every free thought and moment. And in those moments we’ve created memories.
One. One magnificent afternoon spent with two amazing people at the Portuguese Festival last weekend. Nothing beats an afternoon under the African sky eating mouthwatering food, sipping on their infamous wicked cocktail of cane, castor sugar and limes and catching up with friends.
Ten. We celebrated our 10 year Wedding Anniversary this week. We celebrated it twofold with an al fresco picnic at the picturesque riverbank of Toadbury Hall. Then Friday evening we dined at SA Masterchef’s restaurant Aarya and after much anticipation we sat down to watch the smash hit musical Jersey Boys, which didn’t disappoint at all. It was a nostalgic week, and what I wouldn’t give to turn the clock back to 10 years ago? Our wedding down on the beach with our nearest and dearest was a week I’ll never forget and one I’ll always hold very close to my heart. Not to mention our two week honeymoon spent in the charming, quaint and strikingly beautiful Greek Islands. I would redo it, in a heartbeat.
Five. Five couples who have decided to host our only little SA Come Dine with Me in May. I’ve been furiously planning a menu and trying out dishes and I’m happy to say the menu is done, the décor planned and the dessert is setting in the freezer. I. can’t. wait. We host this week!
Two. We witnessed two souls become one yesterday. I was lucky enough to be invited to Laura’s wedding and what can I say. The bride was exquisite, the groom handsome and the venue utterly enchanting, delightful and captivating. Photo’s are up on Jeanette’s blog already http://www.jeanetteverster.com/blog/
It’s been a busy two weeks and the next couple of weeks are only going to get busier, but I’m grateful. Grateful that I have deadlines and projects to worry about, because it means I have a job. There are so many people out there who pray for work, any work. Grateful that I have to worry about what to cook for dinner because it means I have a family. They are my constant. My love. My life. Grateful for my sister and my friends. They are my nicest distraction and I love them to bits.
So yes life is busy right now and it’s often a juggling act but I wouldn’t change a thing.
Here are a few reasons why I always welcome Autumn with open arms.
The promise of cooler evenings. I do love Summer for it’s sunny skies, however being from Joburg, let’s just say the heat can get suffocatingly hot at times.
The array of oranges, reds, yellows and magentas. It’s the season that boasts the most impressive colour palette.
A gala of birthday parties. A lot of my nearest and dearest are born in May and June which means there are weeks that are packed with parties, festivities and merriment.
The comfort food. Making home-made butternut soup infused with nutmeg, masala curry and sweet coconut milk.
Autumn fashion. Wooly hats, thick tights, boots, over sized coats, colourful scarves…need I say more?
It’s cold enough to justify you staying in on a Saturday night and eating hearty stews but it’s still warm enough to picnic with friends on a Sunday afternoon.
So in celebration of the new Season I would like to introduce Remember When’s new look. I’m liking it a lot and just want to give my hubby Donovan a big shout out for the design. It might have taken a few weeks and a couple of moans but I finally got it out of him. And I love it <3
I love all things pretty. I particular love the items below. I’m frantically trying to work out a way to buy them all without having to eat baked beans on toast every night.
This bag from Nonna Gift & Decor Shop in Parkhurst. My much loved Olkapolka bag is looking a little sad and I found a little wear and tear rip in her side last week.
This beautiful Jozi Skyline Pendant that my very talented friend makes over at Whimsy & Whatnots. So so pretty.
A pink typewriter just like this that I found in a little thrift shop in Melville a few weeks ago. It would look lovely on my old trunk and I’ve been told by the owner she is in perfect working condition. I hope she is still there when I go back for her at the end of the month.
A big white washed vintage table that preferably seats at least 10 people for a dinner competition that I’m hosting next month. And a bigger garden so I can fit everyone in.
So many nice things to dream about, don’t you think?
I have come to the conclusion that I have a love hate relationship with camping. After our last trip in December I vaguely remember promising myself that I would never to do it again, I had outgrown it! Well that’s what I thought but strangely enough I found myself packing for an impromptu camping trip to the Canyon last week and it didn’t take much convincing from anyone. And now I find myself planning for the next camping trip because this one rocked, in more ways than one. The Canyon was a sight for sore eyes. Sore eyes that are normally accustomed to rows of boring office cubicles, bumper to bumper highways and the otherwise dreary concrete jungle called Joburg.
I am embarrassed to say I hadn’t heard of Blyde River Canyon until a few days ago. It was only when I googled that the penny dropped. The third largest Canyon in the world could be found in our very own back garden, Mpumulanga! And what a back garden we have. Gods Window, Worlds End, the Three Rondavels, the Rain Forests, Mac Mac Falls, the Canyon and so much more. I discovered a whole new part of South Africa to love.
It was a trip that might have just saved my sanity, my marriage and my general well being. We hiked, we were stalked by scary baboons, we discovered little waterfalls nestled in great canyons, we uncovered charming little towns, we went to bed at 8 every night, it was an adventure. It was also food for the soul.
Camping, you’ve redeemed yourself.
Life has been anything but a walk in the park lately. It’s been a crazy mixture of work, deadlines, problems, meltdowns, system bugs, sleepless nights and did I mention stress? I’m tired and it’s only February. Work is getting to me and lately most Sundays are filled with dread for the week ahead. So yesterday, instead of sitting at home we decided to take the kids to the local park. The space was filled with playgrounds, bike trails, a lonely windmill and lots of breathing space.
And while we were there I spotted one of the cleaners. An elderly guy in his old City of Johannesburg overall, taking photos of the bins. I was curious. When I asked him why, he was more than happy to tell me that it was part of his job. He needed to prove to his Supervisor that today he emptied bins. No photo no pay. Good golly! Seriously?
And what put things into perspective for me is that he did it with pride and he took dignity from each empty bin. He was enjoying the small things in life. He was getting it right. He was doing what I miss. Enjoying life and not letting silly things get to me.
Here are a few of those moments in the park.
Daddy’s girl. She wasn’t meant to be in this shot but I love that she ran into it anyway.
She loves to swing. She has always loved to swing and one day when we have a big garden with a big tree, I’ll buy her a big girl swing.
Super M’s, chubby fingers and giggles. Can you see the little trickle of pink milk by her thumb?
Siblings. Always watching out for each other. Play mates.
Then we ended off our day at one of our favourite Greek Restaurants where we ate fried halloumi, yiro in pita and hot chips. It was a good Sunday.
I had been waiting in anticipation for Saturday night since we scrambled to get our Rodriguez tickets in October last year. And I’m happy to report back that it was worth every second of the wait. He exudes a wonderful combination of strength, humour, mystery and frailty. At the ripe old age of 70 he still knows how to rock a pair of leather pants and he certainly brought the house down at Carnival City for the 5 000 odd fans that were lucky enough to get tickets.
Saturday was a dream come true for many South African’s. ‘I Wonder’ and ‘Sugarman’ were iconic in the 90’s and if you searched through any average South African’s LP case you would more than likely find the Cold Fact Album alongside the Beatles, Neil Young and Simon & Garfunkel. His anti-establishment lyrics became the soundtrack for many of us growing up in the Apartheid era and many of us believed we would never see him perform live. Afterall not so long ago the rumours of him committing suicide after singing “Forget it” on stage, weren’t rumours. We believed it to be the truth, well I did anyway! So Saturday a musical hero had been resurrected for me.
There were no bright lights or fancy stage setups. Instead there was a man and his guitar in its purest form. An old soul that captured our attention for two hours and in those two hours we were transported back in time. I have been to many concerts over the last couple of years but this concert must rate as one of the most eagerly anticipated. It’s only now that Rodriguez is being given a much-deserved second chance internationally that we have the pleasure of rediscovering him all over again in South Africa.
Look at these bookpage jars I made this weekend and best of all, they were so easy to make! I made all 4 in literally 10 minutes. If you are interested in making your own, this is what you’ll need.
- old bookpages, drawings or old maps.
- mod-podge & a brush
And it’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
1. Cut out the old bookpages and glue them onto the jars with the mod-podge.
2. Let them dry.
3. Put candles in and Voila, you’re done.
I think they are going to look so charming with a candle in them at night. I can’t wait to use them…
We went to David’s 30th at Delta Park yesterday. And whenever we go to Delta Park I see it as a photo opportunity! So I stole some time away from the party, grabbed a reluctant 4 year old and walked up to the graffiti wall. It was hot. It was humid. And she didn’t really want to have her photo taken.
But we did get this one.
Before she said NO more photos.
Then she went to go play and I caught her picking some wild flowers. Which is one of her favourite things to do.
After her flower picking we headed back to the picnic. It really is no fun when she doesn’t want to play along but who could blame her? Especially when the picnic offered a big play area, cupcakes and ice-creams.
Happy 30th David. Looking forward to your BIG day in May :)