Introducing www.shopgirlblog.co.za!

DSC_2612I am over the moon to finally announce that Shopgirl has a new home! I’ve been thinking about self-hosting for far too long and as we’re approaching Shopgirl’s fourth birthday this year, I’ve decided it is time!

Please go check out my new home at www.shopgirlblog.co.za!

Please bear with me as I am still dealing with a few teething issues and working my way up the steep learning curve of self-hosting. Thank you for all the support over the years, I hope you’ll continue this journey with us.

C-c-c-changes on its way…

7a55ace953c02e5ff8696dbfc762dbc2Hi, I just wanted to pop in and apologise for my absence. There will be no “Montly favourites” this month as I’m working on something very exciting that is currently taking up all my free time…

Once everything is sorted, you’ll be the first to know so please keep an eye out for some new developments and something that is way overdue.

Much love,

Astrid

Italian Bolognese Recipe

Spaghetti 4I really favour simple meals that are bursting with flavour, especially when I am the one preparing it! A traditional Italian bolognese sauce served with pasta is one of my husband’s favourite meals and it is super simple and quick to prepare. I personally prefer penne pasta, but spagetthi is traditional. This is also the same meat sauce I use for my lasagne.

Spagetthi 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs sunflower oil
  • 4 Shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 500 g Extra Lean Beef Mince
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes with Italian Herbs
  • 2 tbs chutney
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • water or 1 glass red wine
  • fresh basil leaves, to taste and extra for serving
  • 300-400 g dried Penne Pasta
  • Parmesan for servingSpaghetti 3

Method:

  1. In a non-stick saucepan, stir-fry the thinly sliced shallots, minced garlic, celery and carrot before adding the minced beef.
  2. Once the mince has browned add the canned tomatoes, chutney, worchestershire sauce and tomato paste.
  3. Gently stir and let it simmer before adding  a few basil leaves. You might find the need to add a lit bit of water if your sauce becomes to thick. If you have an already open bottle of red wine, it is worth adding a glass to your sauce. This isn’t necessary, but is a nice addition when possible.
  4. Leave the saucee simmering while starting with the pasta.
  5. Bring a litre water to the boil in a pot before adding a little bit of cooking oil and the pasta. Cook until al dente, usually around 7 minutes.
  6. Serve the pasta, topped with the spaghetti sauce, fresh basil and grated parmesan.

Serves 4

 

Yzerfontein Break

Yzerfontein house 15As you might have gathered from my previous post, Ryno and I took a short beach break just before Christmas. It was the perfect start to my to the holidays and really set the tone for a relaxing week spent with family and friends.

Yzerfontein is a small town along the West Coast, although in recent years it has really picked up and now even sports a local grocery store! My family owns a beach house in the area, so I’m no stranger to the icy sea, but this time around we decided to take along a few friends along and stayed in a cute rental overlooking the ocean (more information here). I think ‘cute’ pretty much sums it up! It is white and wood panelled from the outside and bright and airy from the inside. We scored the top bedroom with a magnificent view of the waves thundering outside. It is the perfect little beach house, with an oceanview braai outside and cast iron fireplace

inside for those cooler evenings. The owner has really done a great job of setting up the place with everything you could possibly need from wood for late-night marshmallow toasting sessions to matching beach towels and everything inbetween. I also appreciated all the festive touches, with at least one in every room!

The West Coast is famously windy, but on the rare occasion that it does quiet down Yzerfontein reveals its real charm. Less tourists means more time to rest and relax with the possibility of having whole stretches of the beach to yourself. If you’re a waterbaby and can brave the cold, then you can’t miss the main beach.Yzerfontein house 4

When you do tire of endless walks along beach, the West Coast National Park (a mere 30 minutes away) is also a must visit. You need to book in advance during flower season, but a small entrance fee will allow you to explore the vast park during the rest of the year. We made a day trip to Preekstoel for a swim in the warm, turquoise waters and now I can’t wait to return with something to float on. It is the closest thing to a tropical islandYzerfontein beach 1

Merry Christmas

DSC_2325Better late than never, I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas with all their loved ones! In South Africa Christmas means beach breaks and braais (Google it!), so I’ll leave you with this peaceful image from our West Coast break. South Africa is amazing…

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Festive Home

DSC_2212Although our home is far from done and we still have a tone of decorating to do, I couldn’t resist indulging in a bit of festive decor for our home. Our home isn’t the biggest, so our Christmas touches are mostly restricted to our openplan dining/livingroom. It is also where we’ll be hosting a few Christmas parties so we’ve put out a few festive treats for our guests (but REALLY they’re for us). And I love the finished result! We’ve gone for a classic, metallic look that isn’t to over the top. Since our decor collection is quite small at the moment, there are definitely a few pieces (like a reef) that I would like to add, but maybe next year. Continue reading

Review Catrice Glamour Doll Waterproof Mascara

Catrice Glam and Doll Waterproof mascara wandWhen Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup mentions a product she loves, I take notice. I think it is because she isn’t a fickle beauty blogger and likes to stick to what is tried ans trusted, just like I do. So when she recently mentioned a new contender for favourite mascara, the Catrice Glamour Doll Waterproof mascara, I took note! Not only is this brand available in South Africa, it is also super affordable and waterproof. Continue reading

DIY Octagonal Coasters

DSC_1962We found ourselves constantly needing more coasters as a white coffee table is not the most forgiving. I really struggled to find ones that I liked and started thinking of ways that I could DIY them. These were as much fun to make as you’d imagine, and we’ve been using them all the time. They’d also add the perfect touch to any festivities and they’re fully customizable (shape and colour). Continue reading

Home Decor Trend: Velvet

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If you’d have enquired about my thoughts on velvet two weeks ago, I would’ve been completely indifferent. The only velvet associations I had are red stage drapes from my ballet days and a faded love seat that a friend had in her bedroom. Not exactly the stuff dreams are made of! But Pinterest is a magical place! Continue reading