Chocolate Chip Cookies

1I love chocolate chip cookies, but it’s pretty difficult to find some store bought ones that are perfect. I hate it when it tastes of margarine or isn’t crispy enough. Seeing as they don’t stock FOX biscuits in SA anymore (their choc chip is the best), I decided to try and recreate them. I was slightly disappointed in Woolworths’ ‘Chocolate chips’ (as they clearly took the name a bit literally), but they were still satisfactory. I just prefer larger chunks of chocolate, so next time I’ll hunt down the real thing.

3Ingredients:

  • 1 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100 g butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (dark & milk)

2

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C and prepare a baking sheet with baking paper and Spray & Cook.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Add the egg and mix it in.
  4. Combine the flour,choc chips and butter mixture in an electric mixer or rub it in.
  5. Once it resembles wet sea sand, start compressing it into a ball.
  6. Divide into equal sized balls and press flat in the palm of you hands and arrange on baking tray.
  7. Bake for about 15 min or until golden brown before letting cool on a wire rack.

4Makes about 20 cookies.

Winter Hiking Style

hiking styleI love hiking and Cape Town has some of the best routes to offer, but one of my favourites is to traverse the Franschoek mountains during the winter months when the peaks are all snow covered. It really is the only way we Capetonians can experience a white winter. When hiking comfort is as important, or dare I say even more than style. I like the middle I’ve found that doesn’t require a completely new closet just for a once-a-year activity yet is completely comfortableand suitable for the activity.

hiking style

1| 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

This is the basic formula I follow when dressing for a hike during the colder months. I like the idea of layering so that pieces can be removed or added during the day ensuring you never over heat or get cold.

The biggest investment to make for this sport are proper hiking shoes such as these Salomon trail running ones. I prefer trail running shoes as opposed to hiking boots as they are generally lighter and provide more traction where hiking boots mainly focus on stability.

I also prefer to wear loose-fitting jeans when it is a relaxed hike as they are warmer than running leggings and denim is more durable when you do slide on your bum.

Other than that I like a fitted parka for protection from the elements, matching accessories, stylish sunglasses and a large yet comfortable backpack to fill up with water and food supplies.

Enjoy your hiking trip!

 

What I bought and loved: Part 1

100_8775Ankle boots | B&W Peter Pan Shirt | Nude Shell Top | Belts | Black Straight Leg Pants | Melange Knit 

Hi guys, so this is a new series I’ve been thinking about for a while. I won’t follow a set schedule for this series as I just shop when I find things I like and it’s usually pretty random, but I’ll try to update you whenever I do find something I want to share with you.

I’m kick starting this series with a few of my favourite buys in anticipation for starting my new job. I might as well call this a Mr Price haul as the majority of items are from them. Their buyers have really been on winning streak of late. Keep up the good work! As you can see I’m really feeling the monochromatic and nude colour schemes and I’ve finally come around to buying a few key autumn/winter pieces.

100_8779Ankle boots are going to be major this season-think over-the-knee boots last winter, but much more practical! I have always loved Country Road shoes but the price tag is somewhat off-putting, so imagine how happy I was at finding these at Truworths.  They’re a dead ringer for Country Road’s Tayla Ankle Boot for less than half the price. Obviously it isn’t real leather though but as it’s a trendier piece I’m not bothered.

100_8778I love shell tops and this blush one from Mr Price is super flattering and surprisingly I also really like the neckline detail. It adds definition without being too OTT. The black and white trim top has one of my favourite features- a Peter Pan collar. So naturally I couldn’t resist. Both were priced at R69,99 from Mr Price.

100_8780I kind of always need belts to keep my pant looking neat (the joys of being pear shaped in a world of apples) so this two-pack from MrP is great. It features a light rose gold buckle and is somewhere between a skinny and regular belt (just perfect). The nude is ideal for white or other lighter pants whilst the black is a staple for winter wardrobes. I am so glad my mother spotted this for me and at R50 it’s a bargain!

Finally I bought a straight leg black pants from Mr Price and a round-neck knit in melange at R180 (from Edgars) that’s great for layering.

April Favourites

Hi everyone! I’m back today and sharing my April favourites. I know it’s weird to do it this way around- sharing my favourites for the month ahead rather than the previous one, but it’s all part of focusing on the future instead of always reminiscing about the past.

This month it’s Easter so there are plenty of public holidays and it’s my other half’s birthday month, so I’ve got a lot planned including tickets to see Swan Lake with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra which I’m REALLY excited about (seriously I don’t think anyone should be this excited about the ballet). I’m also starting a new job, but I don’t think it will interfere with my posting schedule too much as I’ve already got a lot planned and scheduled.

Colder temperatures do however mean a change in diet and outdoor activities. Whilst I’m hoping for a few more sunny days I’m fully prepared for the coming showers, snuggles with my fur baby, hot chocolate and tons of choc chip biscuits (which I’ve weirdly been craving these past few weeks). I’m also planning on catching up on some DIY projects and spending Easter weekend with friends and family.

In case you didn’t realise, I’m kinda obsessed with golden glitter and sequins hence the beautiful tutorial from A Beautiful Mess and the glittery eyes.

What are you looking forward to this April? Any exciting plans?

p.s. Click on the images to make them larger :)

Essence Colour & Go Nail Polishes

100_8705
I love to try new nail polishes and these new colours from Essence’s Colour & Go collection have not disappointed! I couldn’t pass up these beautiful colours at the affordable price of R27 each (Clicks & Dischem). I’ll admit the packaging isn’t as pretty as say Essie’s but for almost a R100 in price difference I can forgive the packaging. I like the flat rounded brush of the polish as it makes it easy to achieve a natural curve near the cuticle. I also found the consistency of both polishes to be perfect-as in not tacky or runny but this obviously depends on the colour. Both shades only required two coats to make it completely opaque but I did find that on some nails I had to go back a third time for a completely perfect finish. It lasted the standard 3-4 days without chipping but you might be able to push this further with a proper top coat (so disappointed in my Sally Hansen No Chip).

100_8659This medium pink is called ‘Free Hugs’ and it is the perfect spring/summer shade. So even though we’re veering into winter territory I can still have a glimpse of summer. I’ve been enjoying pairing this with a nude pink shade on my feet for an ombre effect.

100_8716At first I was a bit skeptical about my second colour named ‘Here’s my number’. I don’t like shimmery polishes in general and prefer something completely opaque or a chunky glitter, but  I was pleasantly surprised with this colour. It’s a great winter colour with a shimmery black as a base and a few larger silver and teal glitter particles giving a nice blue-charcoal finish. The sand effect was also evident whenever I brushed over it and even though it isn’t one I particularly like I suspect that others might enjoy this. . Removal wise it wasn’t as big a pain as I had expected. I did soak it in polish remover but didn’t have foil on hand (pun intended) and it worked quite well. It only required minimal rubbing.

All in all I will definitely be purchasing more of these Essence Colour & Go polishes as they really are value for your buck! Have you tried one of the Essence polishes? Were you as impressed as I am?

Dutch Baby

100_8123edited

As far as food trends go I generally gravitate towards the sweeter ones. Luckily this is also a fool proof recipe. The best way to describe Dutch Babies would be as a cross between a crepe and an omelet as they’re super light and airy yet filling. It is ideal for a winter brunch served with loads of berries and lemon peel.

100_8125

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 flour, sifted
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 2 tbs butter
  • icing sugar, for dusting

100_8119Method:

  1. Preheat an over proof pan or cast iron skillet in the oven to 220C.
  2. Whisk eggs in a large bowl and stir in the milk.
  3. Gradually whisk in the flour and cinnamon.
  4. Remove the skillet from the oven and melt butter. Spread with a brush all over.
  5. Pour batter in the skillet whilst still hot and return to the oven.
  6. Bake for approximately 10 min or until golden and puffed.
  7.  Remove from the oven, dust with icing and serve piping hot. Enjoy quickly!

 

 

What’s in my handbag

100_7886editedHi there! Today I’m sharing the content of my handbag in a bid to show you how I keep my handbag organised with all the essentials in it, without ever carrying too heavy.

  1. Sunglasses Pouch & Sunglasses: I made this DIY sunglasses pouch out of neccessity and these is my sunglasses of choice. They never tangle in my hair!
  2. Lindt Chocolates: Somehow I manage to collect these little Lindt babies from my visits to Cafe Vida. They are great for snacking when you’re peckish but my personal favourite use for them is to try and replicate Vida’s legendary chocolate quente’s at home.
  3. Swiss Army Knife:  I got mine from my father and whilst I haven’t gotten much use of it yet, each time I have used it I’ve been incredibly thankful that I’ve got it.
  4. Essence Match2Cover: This is a great all-round concealer, perfect for covering blemishes or minor discoloration. It’s also incredibly affordable, so it won’t be the end of the world if I loose it or it gets damaged.
  5. Purse: This one was actually a Christmas present and it’s my favourite by far. I even use it for the occasional milk and bread run sans handbag.
  6. Lipglosses & Lipsticks: I love affordable makeup, but when the quality is also great you have to stock up! This is the case with Essence Lipglosses and I’ve been trying their Long Lasting Lipstick as well. I’ve also been loving the Revlon Colorstay range.
  7. Hairbands & Bobby pins: You never know when you might need one or a few of these for pesky flyaways, broken hairbands or just windy days.
  8. Business cards: I keep a business cards from my favourite hairdresser, doctor and dentist on hand so that I can always refer someone and have the necessary details on hand. Keeping it organised and neat is very important.
  9. Pouch: This really is the key to my handbag organisation. I store all the tiny essentials in there like my tiny 8 Hour Cream (perfect for chapped lips, dry cuticles and minor cuts or burns), a comb, compact mirror, tissues and a miniature fragrance. When I want to change bags I simply toss this in along with the rest.
  10. Not pictured is my mobile phone which I obviously also carry everywhere with me.

What do you carry in your bag that you can’t live without?

Shopgirl Find: Gold tea cup

Chamonix tea cupChamonix Cup & Saucer, R120 (here)
Winter is just around the corner, meaning my uptake of warm beverages will increase dramatically over the next couple of months. It just seems like the perfect time to treat myself to a special cup for late night hot chocolates and early morning coffees.
I love this modern take on a traditional gold rimmed cup and saucer from Woolworths. It perfectly balances tradition with quirk.
As it is made from bone china with a metallic rim, this isn’t microwave or dishwasher safe but I don’t think I’ll mind hand washing this beauty. What does your favourite cup look like?

Coral Summer

20140209_100225Trenery Top | Pick ‘n Pay Clothing Jeans | Mr Price Sandals

If I had to choose my favourite colour coral would probably win if it were based on my closet contents. It always evokes memories of warm weather and summer dips in the pool.

This sleeveless top from Trenery is great for super hot summer days and the zip detail adds an unexpected edge to what would otherwise be a very basic shell top. Lately I’ve been pairing this bright colour with neutral pants and accessories for an simplistic approach to dressing for the end of summer. I don’t feel nearly ready for winter and I don’t want to start buying warm knits and coats. Are you ready for it?100_250620140209_100432

Home Office Tour and Organising Tips

Home Office Pink and Gold with Hello KittyToday I’m sharing with you the place I’ve spent the majority of my time over the past few years whilst I was still studying, my home office. Now I mainly use it for arts and crafts, general admin and for the home PC (which my boyfriend kindly donated after my laptop died) but I still do spend a fair amount of time here as it also doubles as a space where I often shoot blog photos and write all my articles (House & Leisure and blog related). Home Office DeskOur study is built into the attic so the exposed roof beams are a big feature in the room. This however allows for some unique shelving (not pictured, its quite messy) and the built in desk which is very practical. No other conventional desk would be able to offer me so much space.

Home OfficeI kept the colour scheme fairly neutral but added some pink and turquoise touches. The build in desk doesn’t have drawers so everything you’d traditionally store out of sight has to be on display so I try to be very careful about what I display. Oh and say hi to my Hello Kitty which I got several years ago in a McDonald’s Happy Meal! Still looking good (and storing my paper clips).

Home OfficeUnfortunately I don’t own a MAC PC (and I can’t see myself ever paying that much just for the looks) but I’ve made the best of what I’ve got. I like to keep things wireless if possible or if you have to deal with wires as I do, make sure they’re tucked away as much as possible. Most of my PC accessories are stored in the cupboard but I do keep a few things I use daily out.

Home Office

Finally, I am going to share my few very basic tips on organising your home office as it really is the key to making it work for you.

  • I like to make lists and keeping a cute notebook or diary on hand is essential for me. It not only makes me feel more organised but somehow also helps me to focus on what I’m doing or working on that moment. A printed daily planner can also help if you’ve got a hectic schedule. Try this (so very pretty with the polka dots) or this one as they’ve both got fairly large squares allocated to each day for writing.
  • My DIY pin board really serves as a cute inspiration board with favourite colours, runway looks and art on display. Having everything pinned to a board instead of pressed to the wall with presstick not only makes it look more organised but it’s also easier to replace and change things up. I highly recommend this if you need some creative inspiration.
  • Keeping things stored in a pretty container right where you need them is really essential to an organised space. I like to keep flash drives, memory cards and freshly charged batteries on hand when working on the PC. Nothing is more frustrating than having to search for them, especially when you’re in a rush.
  • I like to use both a pencil holder (for prettier supplies) and a pencil bag (for the unsightly ones) on my desktop. You can use either one or the other, witch ever works best for you, but make sure you always have all the essentials on hand (glue, scissors, rulers, black and blue pens, pencils, sharpeners and erasers). This pencil holder DIY is very cute, I might have to try it.
  • Keep magazines, books and binders stored horizontally for easy access. I’ve got mine sandwiched between the wall and a roof beam but you can also find cute magazine holders at shops like Typo to help with this. An In and Out tray may also be necessary depending on your workload. I just try to stay on top of my admin.
  • This isn’t technically an organisation tip, but spend a little time and money to make your office space, however small it might be, pretty. This will motivate you to keep it clean and organised at all times. If it weren’t for this, I’d probably have a whole week’s worth of coffee cups and water glasses gathered here.