Meal Planning Tips

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For someone who likes making list, I am surprisingly bad at meal planning. I guess it boils down to simply making and taking the time for it. I used to be quite good at it as a student- mostly because I had to be (I didn’t have a car to drive to the grocery store). So depending on which way you look at it, I might be the best or the worst person to offer advice on the subject. Either way here goes!

1. Take the time

Set out one day a week to plan your meals- it only takes about 30 minutes. That time can easily be made up at the grocery store as you’ll no longer be wandering around aimlessly, waiting for inspiration to strike.

2. Gather inspiration

I like making use of multiple sources- this is the fun part for me! Gather recipes using multiple sources – cookbooks, magazines and Pinterest are all great sources (I’ve got over 400 ideas on my Pinterest board). If you don’t like these things, don’t fret! I also find Facebook a convenient source for delivering meal ideas straight to your news feed! I love Idees and Taste for delicious meals that are in season and easy to prepare. Do you have a favourite source of inspiration?

3. Take the elements into account

This is a weird step to include, but if you really want your meal planning game to be on fleek you’d take the weather into account. There is nothing worse than planning a soup for a sunny day when all you want to do is have a braai (don’t I know the feeling!). This step can be skipped if step 1 is already problematic.

4. Save it in writing

I like to plan a week in advance and sometimes decide to leave the weekends out of it if I know we might make other plans. Start by writing each day of the week and then write the meal you plan on preparing below. Bear in mind that some meals can be enjoyed over two days (these are my favourite kind!) Stick this to your fridge so that you don’t forget.

5. Leave room for spontaneity

Don’t plan your week out to the T only to have a quick braai with friends ruin it all. Prevent wasting food by leaving at least one day open to make spontaneous plans whether it is take-out, a dinner party or simply for last-minute inspiration. You don’t even have to know what you plan for that meal! In the same line of thought, I don’t buy all my fresh ingredients at the start of the week just in case your plans change mid-way through and you’re left with a whole bag of rotten spinach.

6. Visit your stock cupboards

The final step involves getting up from the couch and going to see what you already have and what you might still need in order to prepare the meals you’ve planned. Taking a list to the store always makes me feel less scatterbrained.

Let me know if this or any other tips help you keep up with the planning as I can do with all the help I can get!

Shopgirl Find: Seven Swans Art

seven swansI just love Seven Swans’ latest collection of word art.

They have made use of some of my favourite quotes from the likes of CS Lewis and The Bible and brought them to life through letterpress and metallic foiling.

They are available in some of my favourite colour combinations- blush and copper or navy and gold.

The artworks can be bought framed or without a frame. Whilst I can’t currently justify spending that much on something that is purely decorative I was certainly tempted too! You can shop the whole collection which includes gift tags online.

Home Wishlist Round 2

coffeetab;eToday I thought I’d share with you my home wishlist. Our tiny house is slowly starting to look more like a home, with our entryway/hallway (basically our front door) coming on the blog soon! Although there are still a million and one things we need ranging from big purchases (like a proper couch) to smaller things for the kitchen, I’m mostly looking forward to the decorating part. It propably isn’t something we’ll be spending on soon, but I just view it as an opportunity to really think about what would be perfect. Right now I am loving the mix of modern and luxurious pieces. I struggle to balance the light and airy look with my love for more dramatic, darker pieces. I don’t want our home to feel too predictable, but still have a cohesive look that is distinctly us.

We’ve already laid the groundwork by investing in a proper dining table (as seen here) and painting the walls a light grey. These are all pieces I love and that would definitely help make our house feel more like us! What pieces have you considered essential in achieving a personal, cohesive decor style in your home?

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

July Favourites

Yay for July! I’m looking forward to a lot of things this week. It is about three months until our wedding (time flew!) and our wedding invitations are keeping me going. I just love all the pretty fonts.

We are currently working on our hallway and are planning a gallery wall to fill some of the space. I love the simplicity of this one!

Most of my mornings start with coffee in bed these days, especially since it has been so freezing these past couple of days. Winter is finally here! And with winter comes what I like to call two-day dishes. Delicious stews, hot soups and pies. Meals that can be enjoyed equally on the first and second days. Loving it!

Ryno and I also built a coffee table (which I’ll hopefully share soon!) and I am really enjoying styling it. I haven’t found our permanent setup yet, but hopefully soon!

I hope you enjoy the month of July and start the second half of the year on a positive note! Make it count!

Current & New Beauty Favourites

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I think I’ll jump right into it by telling you how much I love Vaseline’s Healthy Hand & Nail. This product is a cult classic for a reason. It absorbes within minutes, leaves no residue and softens your hands and cuticles whislt at it. I will admit to using a heavier hand lotion in the evenigs simply because its winter and my hands can’t behave, but this product is still the one I reach for most. It isn’t heavily perfumed, yet smells pleasant and it definitely beats all its prettier sisters.

Next up is the Vitamin E Serum-in-Oil from The Body Shop. I still had a bottle of their old Vitamin E oil left when this launched, so I only got around to trying this recently. And I am a total convert. I love how it leaves my skin feeling and the fact that it is so light means I can apply it day and night as it absorbes quickly. It also smells divine!

As I always left nailpolish remover shopping until I couldn’t wait any more, I always ended up grabbing the same thing from PnP’s shelf. On a recent stroll through Clicks (as you do) I however stumbled upon the Sorbet Nail Polish Remover and it features a salon style pump. I don’t think I have to explain the convenience of the pump except to say no more spills. It really is worth it!

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Next up on my list is something I’ve wanted for a while- the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. If you watch any Youtube beauty channels (Lilly and Anna, I blame you!), this would’ve been on your list too. Now I’m not a fan of online shopping, so I never had one before Foschini started stocking it. I was lucky in that my local Foschini (Tygervalley) had stock when it opened after refurbishment, so I grabbed one.

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For a R160 you can get the softest, densest brush imaginable! I use it on a daily basis to apply my foundation. I simply dot my foundation where needed and then start spreading and buffing it into my face with the brush. It makes my foundation application look flawless. I even use it for concealer on my chin and it works like a dream. No fingerprints! You can also use it for bronzer and blusher, but in my experience those thousands of bristles just picked up too much product. Plus, if I only it for one thing, I can wait longer inbetween washes. Which brings me to the only two downsides of the brush. It takes forever to dry and the thick handle means it isn’t travel friendly and won’t fit into my makeup brush holder. But it is still so worth it!

Random Things Around the House

Well this is a pretty random post, but since I haven’t showed you much from our house (simply because there isn’t much to show). So I have decided to share a few snippets.

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We recently painted our backdoor and frontdoor charcoal and I am absolutely loving it. I was afraid that it would look too dark and slightly depressing, but I’m happy to report that it doesn’t. We do get quite a bit of natural light during the day, but I think it is the brass doorknob and light grey walls that keeps it from looking too stark.

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This was a small DIY and I quite like how it turned out. I simply spray painted the side of a tree stump gold and painted the tops with a Water-based enamel. I think it might have looked better with a glossy paint on top, but since we already had the matt paint I simply used that. It now serves as a side-table for all our emergency lighting (thanks Eskom!)

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We finally got a diningroom table (this one from @home) and I’ve been accessorising it like crazy (eventhough it is currently covered in the papers that R is grading). This lantern and the grey placemats are some of my favourites.

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Finally, let me introduce you to our climbing rose. It is a scented Panarosa rose from Ludwig’s Roses and smells just like turkish delight. Nothing trumps this!

June Favourites

Hello and welcome to my small corner of the world. I felt like I started last month on the wrong foot and it all came back to bite me, so on the second day of June (lets pretend it’s the first) I’d like to give it a warm welcome!

I could go on about how it is hard to believe that half the year is already gone, but the truth is we’ve still got a month to go! And really, I have achieved and done so much this year already that I really can’t complain. Besides if the second half of last year was anything to go by, I think this one might just be the best one yet!

This month I’m looking forward to getting into the details of my wedding, as October is just around the corner! There are a few small DIY projects I’ve left until now and I can’t wait to tick them off my list! I am also going bridesmaidsdress shopping with my best friend later this month.

I would also like to report that my ranunculas are well on their way to blooming. Some of them are nearly 10 cm high so I am hoping that a few of them might already bloom this month. Ranunculas are right up there with my favourite flowers! I think they might even beat peonies ;)

We painted the back door and front door charcoal this week, which ties in nicely with my black & white theme for the kitchen. I really like the look of the darker cabinetry in this kitchen! Kitchen goals!

After years of searching I also finally got my hands on the perfect parka (from Mr Price Sport, if you were wondering). It is super comfy, cosy and has a big furry hoodie. Already on the right track, the quilted arms and cinched waist just sealed the deal. And it was a total steal too! I love pairing it with another favourite of mine, stripes.

Since the weather really brought its A-game this week (sarcasm aside, it is literally snowing in Cape Town in JUNE!) I decided to try my hand at a traditional Cornish Pie last night. It was delicious and I am so glad I made enough for two nights. Nothing beats the cold like a warm meal.

Eventhough I only wish I was planning a trip to Paris in the near future, I figure you can never be over prepared. So I’m pinning and planning in my head for one day. You never know, it might be soon!

I hope you all have a wonderful June, whether you’re welcoming summer or embracing winter. Always look to the bright side of life!

Caramel Popcorn Cake

DSC_9959title Ryno’s birthday was nearly a month ago already and I am only getting around to share the special cake I made for him now. That is how behind on blogging schedule I am! But better late than never! I copped out and bought a box cake because I actually like this particular one and it is quite affordable. I just add one extra egg.

Any vanilia sponge cake recipe should work though!

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I made two layers of vanilla cake and a whole lotta buttercream icing that I flavoured caramel. Inbetween the two layers I put some homemade toffee sauce. I used this recipe which actually tastes great with just about anything!

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I finished it off by garnishing with caramel popcorn, which was a great addition! I would just advise you to leave it off until right before you eat it. Or you can create a nice little challenge for yourself. Hint: it involves eating an entire cake in one day!

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2015

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Wow, I can barely believe that it already Mother’s Day. Where has this year gone? Anyway, it feels like this holiday crept up on me and if you’re like me you can do with a little help in this department. We rarely go big with gifts for these “Hallmark holidays” but I still enjoy the sentiment. I am sure my mother would be happy with any of these gift, in fact she might have already gotten one of them… So here goes my relatively compact gift guide for Mother’s Day 2015…

  1. Some pretty yet comfortable pyjamas (who can resist polkadots!) from Spree.co.za
  2. Handcream that does the job whilst packaged all innocently from Woolies
  3. An orchid, or any plant or flower really. This is where the personal touch comes in!
  4. A beautiful dish with a few sweet treats like nougat and turkish delight from Woolies
  5. Still not sure? How about a luxurious lipstick in an everyday colour (Chanel Adrienne?), a yummy candle or the best of all – a home cooked dinner that she didn’t have to lift a finger for!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there.

May Favourites

May used to be one of my favourite months, but in recent years it has lost some of its allure to me. Turning a year older lost its sparkle, my favourite magazines became too expensive and the weather is dreary. But I am determined to enjoy this coming month. I turn 26th on the 19th of May, I have a work conference which might be fun and hopefully my fiance will bring back a few interesting things from his trip to the US.

Besides this, I am excited about tulip season which usually starts around this time of the year. We all know that April showers brings May flowers! I hope that we’ll get a dining table on which I could put a few vases soon. The empty living room is starting to get to me, but I don’t want to make a rash decision which we might regret. Does anyone know where I can find a dining table similar to the one above?

As the weather cools (we just had our first rainy evening) I’m really starting to crave comfort food and this one-pan chicken hits the spot. Whilst we are on the topic of cooking and the kitchen, I really look forward to finishing the kitchen – as in to buy everything we need. I am so sick of starting with something only to realise that I don’t have all the necessary tools. I think we are close, but not entirely there yet. I’d like to celebrate this with a nice utensil holder.

I’d also like to start putting up some are in the living room. We are planning on printing a few pictures from our Italy trip, but I really like this DIY Grey Malin-inspired print idea for creating an impact.

Finally, I am finishing this with boater hats (call me obessed!), a happy chocolate cake (which I wouldn’t mind digging in to) and an irresistable jewelled headband that Blair would approve of.

So happy May to all of you! What are you looking forward to this May?