Category Archives: DIY and home improvement

Discovering where pineapple belongs in the Italian kitchen at 95 at Parks

This past week has been another busy one packed with events and delicious food, as you’ll see from the snaps below…

Thursday, 20 June 2019: Kantar’s ‘Innovation for Growth’ workshop

Last Thursday, I attended Kantar's 'Innovation for Growth' workshop, at their lovely offices on the Foreshore. Click here for a reminder of my event overview article.
Last Thursday, I attended Kantar’s ‘Innovation for Growth’ workshop, at their photogenic offices on the Foreshore. Click here for a reminder of my event overview article.

Friday, 21 June 2019: Orange sky before the storm

A line of orange clouds last Friday evening, before an enormous storm that evening.
A line of orange clouds last Friday, before an enormous storm that evening.
Cold weather means lots of cold doggies snuggling up under blankies.
Cold weather means lots of cold doggies snuggling up under blankies. And watching the rain from between the curtains.

Saturday, 22 June 2019: Munching at Trecastelli and Colala on Marine Circle

See our breakfast at Trecastelli on Marine Circle last Saturday morning. Flat whites and the cooked breakfast for Husband (it's not on the menu but quite a popular choice), while I had the cappuccino-croissant special.
See our breakfast at Trecastelli on Marine Circle last Saturday morning. Flat whites and the cooked breakfast for Husband (it’s not on the menu but quite a popular choice), while I had the cappuccino-croissant special.
I was in dire need of a coffee refill when we were at the Mall later that afternoon. Nothing a R10 dirty chai latte from Xpresso can't fix!
I was in dire need of a coffee refill when we were at the Mall later that afternoon. Nothing a R10 dirty chai latte from Xpresso can’t fix!
On Saturday afternoon we popped into Colala on Marine Circle for an early dins - they serve Asian fusion food, so you can have sushi and a creamy curry like Husband, or chicken cashew nut with egg fried rice like me. They also serve milkshakes, yay and onus, they're on the Entertainer app - we'll be back!
On Saturday afternoon we popped into Colala on Marine Circle for an early dins – they serve Asian fusion food, so you can have sushi and a creamy curry like Husband, or chicken cashew nut with egg fried rice like me. They also serve milkshakes like this caramel one, yay and bonus, they’re on the Entertainer app – we’ll be back!

Sunday, 23 June 2019: Reload Leadville breakfast

Sunday was a 'Reload Leadville' kind of morning, so we popped in for breakfast. See my mashed avo bagel and peppermint-choc latte, as well as Husband's 'trim' omelette. We also gret numerous happy doggies having walkies with their owners.
Sunday was a ‘Reload Leadville’ kind of morning, so we popped in for breakfast. See my mashed avo bagel and peppermint-choc latte, as well as Husband’s ‘trim’ mince, cheese and onion omelette. We also gret numerous happy doggies having walkies with their owners.
Coffee on our pretty new coffee side table.
Coffee on our pretty new coffee side table.
Homemade creme caramel for dessert at Mum's on Sunday. Yum!
Homemade creme caramel for dessert at Mum’s on Sunday. Yum!
Sweet, sleepy doglets as seen throughout the week.
Sweet, sleepy doglets as seen throughout the week.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019: Pasta Ripiena master class at 95@Parks

On Wednesday, I attended a 'pasta ripiena' master class at 95 at Parks, where chef Giorgio Nava shared tips and techniques to make his legendary stuffed pasta dishes. Mum came along too! See her with chef Nava, as well as the delightful setting.
On Wednesday, I attended a ‘pasta ripiena’ master class at 95 at Parks, where chef Giorgio Nava shared tips and techniques to make his legendary stuffed pasta dishes. Mum came along too! See her with chef Nava, as well as the delightful setting.
I also had my pic snapped with Chef Nava, of course! See the delicious cheese we snacked on, the cosy setting, our first course of spinach and butternut ravioli, and the deep-fried Pasta Montenara.
I also had my pic snapped with Chef Nava, of course! See the delicious cheese we snacked on, the cosy setting, our first course of spinach and butternut ravioli, and the deep-fried Pasta Montenara.
The master class in action! Chef Giorgio Nava, with his two 'helpers', Giovanna and Jonas. All three showed us various aspects of the filled pasta creation process.
The master class in action! Chef Giorgio Nava, with his two ‘helpers’, Giovanna and Jonas. All three showed us various aspects of the filled pasta creation process.
See the pasta ripiena menu, on offer until end-July, as well as the pea-and-ham cappelletti, pineapple sorbet and our espresso and cappuccino to end the meal. Click here for my official review on Biz, as well as a download of Chef Nava's recipes from the master class!
See the pasta ripiena menu, on offer until end-July, as well as the pea-and-ham cappelletti, pineapple sorbet (this is the answer to where pineapple belongs in the Italian kitchen – certainly not on pizza). Also see our espresso and cappuccino to end the meal. Click here for my official review on Biz, as well as to download Chef Nava’s pasta recipes from the master class!

Thursday, 27 June 2019: Surprise 50th office birthday party

We surprised our CEO with a birthday party a day early on Thursday. See some of the decorations and snacks.
We surprised our CEO with a birthday party a day early on Thursday. See some of the decorations and snacks.
Happy birthday! See Andre in white, just to the left of the gold '50' balloons, with the rest of team Biz gathered around.
Happy birthday! See Andre in white, just to the left of the gold ’50’ balloons, with the rest of team Biz gathered around.
We had pots of delicious Thai curry and rice, as well as stacks of sweet treats to celebrate.
We had pots of delicious Thai curry and rice, as well as stacks of sweet treats – always doughnuts for Andre – to celebrate.

That’s all folks! I’m taking a few days’ leave next week for a ‘digital detox’ of sorts, see you for next Friday’s update. ๐Ÿ™‚

Easter weekend 2019: Bee hive removal, caramel-choc hot cross buns and fondue

Last weekend was longer than usual as it was the Easter weekend, and we took an extra day’s leave on the Thursday…

Monday, 15 April 2019: After-work book launch in Woodstock

I popped in at the Test Kitchen in the Old Biscuit Mill after work last Monday, for the launch of Sandalene Dale-Roberts' latest cookbook, The Inside Job. See some of the decor and food from the book that we sampled.
I popped in at the Test Kitchen in the Old Biscut Mill after work last Monday, for the launch of Sandalene Dale-Roberts’ latest cookbook, The Inside Job. See some of the decor and food that we sampled from the book.
Couldn't resist snapping this wall art outside the Old Biscuit Mill, on my way home that evening.
Couldn’t resist snapping this wall art outside the Old Biscuit Mill, on my way home that evening.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019:  Start-of-weekend dins at CTFM

Our gardener pointed out an enormous beehive in a corner of the garden, which we had removed. The bees and taken to safety, and we were left with lots of honeycomb!
Our gardener pointed out an enormous beehive in a corner of the garden, which we had removed. The bees were taken to safety, and we were left with lots of honeycomb!
Bee rescue complete, we headed to CTFM in Seaside Village for a 'welcome to the long weekend' meal. See the parents' prawns, my beef burger, Husband's Teriyaki salmon and the top of my berry bomb gourmet shake.
Bee rescue complete, we headed to CTFM in Seaside Village for a ‘welcome to the long weekend’ meal. See the parents’ prawns, my beef burger, Husband’s Teriyaki salmon and the top of my berry bomb gourmet shake.
The whole family, enjoying our CTFM dins - especially as we used our Entertainer vouchers for added value!
The whole family, enjoying our CTFM dins – especially as we used our Entertainer vouchers for added value!

Thuesday, 18 April 2019: Car service day, swing benching with Bassie

We had taken Thursday off from work as our car was booked in for a service, walking distance from home. That was our first stop on Thursday...
We had taken Thursday off from work as our car was booked in for a service, walking distance from home. That was our first stop on Thursday…
Breakfast is much more satisfying if you've worked - made that walked - for it! See the lovely sun-dappled path, and our breakfast at Reload, Flamingo Vlei. Husband had the Turkish eggs and a double flat white, I had a peppermint-choc latte and the chicken-mayo bacon bagel. Just right, before the walk back home.
Breakfast is much more satisfying if you’ve worked – made that walked – for it! See the lovely sun-dappled path, and our breakfast at Reload, Flamingo Vlei. Husband had the Turkish eggs and a double flat white, I had a peppermint-choc latte and the chicken-mayo bacon bagel. Just right, before the walk back home.
Bassie loved sitting on the swing bench with me on Thursday evening.
Bassie loved sitting on the swing bench with me on Thursday evening.
The tree is quite a sight when it's all lit up! We ate outside that night.
The tree is quite a sight when it’s all lit up! We ate outside that night.

Friday, 19 April 2019: Good Friday hot cross buns, Irish nachos and jalapeno poppers at Saint’s

We all breakfasted together at News Cafe on Friday morning. See my early bird full English breakfast.
We all breakfasted together at News Cafe on Friday morning. See my early bird full English breakfast.
Sweet little Bassie was Very Interested in my chocolate hot cross bun, especially as I'd filled it with Caramel Treat.
Sweet little Bassie was Very Interested in my chocolate hot cross bun, especially as I’d filled it with Caramel Treat. Caramel-chocolate hot cross buns were advertised anywhere, but none were in stock, so I made my own.
We stopped in at Saint's for a late-afternoon treat. See my cafe Capri - a latte with chocolate and coconut, as well as Husband's spiked shake with black beer, Irish whiskey and Nutella, his 'green hot' jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon and my 'Irish nachos'. Yum!
We stopped in at Saint’s for a late-afternoon treat. See my cafe Capri – a latte with chocolate and coconut, as well as Husband’s spiked shake with black beer, Irish whiskey and Nutella, his ‘green hot’ jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon and my ‘Irish nachos’. Yum!
It was cold enough that evening for us to put our new fireplace to use for the first time. Bassie enjoyed it but Bertie LOVED it. See various phases of his evening enjoyment here.
It was cold enough that evening for us to put our new fireplace to use for the first time. Bassie enjoyed it but Bertie LOVED it. See various phases of his evening enjoyment here.

Saturday, 20 April 2019: Velvet Cake Co’s Easter slice

Makro was our first stop on Saturday, so we ate at the in-store restaurant, Cafe De La Fe. See my toasted chicken mayo and Husband's full cooked breakfast, as well as his large cream-topped cappuccino - my latte is just out of sight.
Makro was our first stop on Saturday, so we ate at the in-store restaurant, Cafe De La Fe. See my toasted chicken mayo and Husband’s full cooked breakfast, as well as his large cream-topped cappuccino – my latte is just out of sight.
Sweet Bertie boy stretched out to fully enjoy the Saturday sunshine.
Sweet Bertie boy stretched out to fully enjoy the Saturday sunshine.
We popped in at Husband's parents for a quick pre-Easter visit on Saturday afternoon. See the delicious slice of 'Easter cake' from the Velvet Cake Co top right.
We popped in at Husband’s parents for a quick pre-Easter visit on Saturday afternoon. See the delicious slice of ‘Easter cake’ from the Velvet Cake Co top right.
Beautiful citrussy skies.
Beautiful citrussy skies at night.

Sunday, 21 April 2019 Easter Sunday fondue fun at home

We had a mall admin morning on Sunday, so breakfasted at Woolworths Cafe. See my vanilla-cinnamon latte and poached egg bowl, as well as Husband's chilli omelette and double flat white.
We had a mall admin morning on Sunday, so breakfasted at Woolworths Cafe. See my vanilla-cinnamon cappuccino and poached egg bowl, as well as Husband’s chilli omelette and double flat white.
Husband made friends with a chameleon that had been exploring the garden. Much larger than the little guy from a few weeks ago. Click here if you've forgotten!
Husband made friends with what the Robben Island website tells us is a Cape Dwarf chameleon that had been exploring the garden. Much larger than the little guy from a few weeks ago, so it’s probably his dad or older brother. Click here if you’ve forgotten!
Happy Easter! See our pretty pink roses, Dad with leafy 'bunny ears', and our lovely pork and veggies fondue.
Happy Easter! See our pretty pink roses, Dad with leafy ‘bunny ears’, and our lovely pork and veggies fondue.

Monday, 22 April 2019: Easter Monday breakfast at On the Rocks, lupper at Rocomama’s

It was a crisp but beautiful day on Monday, so we started ours with breakfast at On the Rocks. See our cappuccinos as well as Husband's croque Madame and my French toast with berries and ice cream.
It was a crisp but beautiful day on Monday, so we started ours with breakfast at On the Rocks. See our cappuccinos as well as Husband’s croque Madame and my French toast with berries and ice cream.
We had an 'end-of-the-holiday' treat visit at Rocomama's that afternoon. See our smiles and my espresso shake. Not pictured - our delicious burgers and Husband's draught beer.
After much lazing around, we had an ‘end-of-the-holiday’ treat visit at Rocomama’s that afternoon. See our smiles and my espresso shake. Not pictured – our delicious burgers and Husband’s draught beer.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019: Chocolate bunnies to get back into work mode

The return to work on Tuesday was sweetened by the Lindt buny waiting on my laptop.
The return to work on Tuesday was sweetened by the Lindt bunny waiting on my laptop.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019: Pre-work coffee treat at Tribe

Husband had a work meeting in town first thing on Wednesday, so dropped me off at work on the way. But first, coffee! We love the blend at Tribe, which is over the road from work, and all coffees are R15 if ordered before 9am. See our tall flat whites, the wall mural outside and some literal spilt milk on the steps outside. We didn't cry over it.
Husband had a work meeting in town first thing on Wednesday, so dropped me off at work on the way. But first, coffee! We love the blend at Tribe, which is over the road from my office, and all coffees are R15 if ordered before 9am. See our tall flat whites, the wall mural outside and some literal spilt milk on the steps outside. We didn’t cry over it.

That’s all, folks! We hope you have a restful weekend ahead ๐Ÿ™‚

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First Christmas lunch of 2017 at the Table Bay Hotel

December may have only just kicked off but I’ve already had my first full Christmas lunch of the year!

Friday, 1 December 2017: Adele Searll 100 Club Christmas lunch at the Table Bay Hotel

Nutcrackers at Table Bay Hotel
A nut-crackingly good welcome to the Table Bay Hotel.
Table Bay hotel Christmas
The decorations in and around the Table Bay Hotel got me into Christmas mode, fast. See the bright purply baubles everywhere.
Pink bubbly at Table Bay Hotel
Pink bubbly in the sunshine? Don’t mind if I do!
Table Bay Hotel ballroom
Beautiful tables in the Table Bay Hotel ballroom.
Pam Westaway at Adele Searll 100 Club
I was invited as Pam Westaway’s guest and enjoyed the Cathy Specific entertainment – that’s ‘her’ top left. Yes, I’m standing in the picture. On my tippy toes.
Christmas lunch at the Table Bay Hotel
Proper Christmas lunch – we shared platters of endive salad with walnuts, then each had a plate of turkey with pumpkin and cranberries and carrots, and ended with slices of pumpkin pie with maple-pecan ice cream and mince pies with coffee. Simply scrumptious!

Saturday, 2 December 2017: Ons Huisie breakfast, Wimpy shakes and home braai

One Huisie Restaurant French toast
We decided on breakfast at Ons Huisie on Saturday morning. See Husband’s curried mince on toast topped with eggs and my berries-and-cream French toast.
Ons Huisie breakfast.
Breakfast at our table at Ons Huisie.
Wimpy shakes
We decided on a Wimpy shake as our Saturday afternoon treat. See my peanut butter-toffee chocolate version up close with Husband’s plain banana shake in the background.
Braai with dogs
Next stop, Saturday afternoon braai at our house, with Spec sleeping over as we had plans for the following morning.
Weber coals
Coals cooking away before we added the meat to the braai.
Dacschund on couch
Bassie is always photogenic. See a few snaps of her on backs of couches and begging for crisps during the braai. Such a sweetie.
Braai food
Some of the tasty treats we ate at the braai. Yes, that is a chocolate pizza dessert bottom right.

Sunday, 3 December 2017: Mugg & Bean brekkie and Justice League at Bayside, beach visit

Mugg & Bean breakfast
We were up early on Sunday for breakfast and to watch Justice League at Bayside. Our Mugg & Bean brekkie included banoffee-chocolate French toast for me and the standard eggs-toast-bacon option for the brothers, with cappuccino all round.
Banoffee french toast at Mugg & Bean
Close up of my meal once I’d separated out the layers. Banana slices with caramel sauce on the left, banana slices with chocolate sauce and thick cream blobs on the right.
Justice League at Bayside
Spec and I are such true geeks who wear our superhero outfits and pose like the characters outside movie posters. Yes, even if other people are around.
Table Bay Mall Christmas
We did some Christmas shopping at the Table Bay Mall on Sunday afternoon. The decorations are lovely and bright!
Table Mountain from Dolphin Beach
We stopped at Dolphin Beach later that afternoon for a stroll and jump along the icing-sugar sand and Husband had a quick dunk in the sea.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017: Carrot cake and milk tart in the office

Carrot cake and milk tart
We had cake in the office on Tuesday to celebrate Cari’s birthday over the weekend. Slices were thin so we could sample both, carrot cake and milk tart. They were amazing.

That’s all, folks! I hinted at my latest DIY home project in my last blog post, big reveal below…

Mosaic
Here it is in all its glory. I’d been gifted with wooden numbers to mosaic and add to the front of our house once we moved in three years ago. We waited until the wall was up and freshly painted, then waited for me to decide on a colour scheme I liked, then estimated how much grouting and mosaic and trim I’d need and finally completed the job over my recent staycation. Sparkly!

Burgers and monster shakes at FUE and family lunch at Panama Jacks

Woohoo, we have made it to the weekend! It’s been another tough work week all round, but we always find bright moments to make us smile. See the latest below…

Friday, 3 November 2017: Burgers and monster shakes at FUE

The FUE or Festive Underground Eatery
The Festive Underground Eatery or FUE is now open until 7pm and still offering their R199 special for two burgers with fries and a monster shake to share. That’s where we went after work last Friday, to get into the weekend feeling a little early.
Monster shakes at FUE
These sure are monster shakes, at over 1l per jar! That’s Dad with the berry and me with the peanut butter-banana version.
Monster shake at FUE
Look at those shakes in their entirety – topped with a full waffle, donuts, marshmallows, popcorn and more, this definitely counts as dessert!
Family at FUE
All were present and accounted for and full to the brim!

Saturday, 4 November 2017: Panama Jacks family lunch

McPherson's
On Saturday morning we breakfasted at McPherson’s. Husband went for an omelette while I had the club sandwich – both washed down with cappuccinos.
Panama Jacks.
T’was time for another family meal that afternoon. Husband’s dad was in hospital recovering from a knee op so his mom joined us at Panama Jacks in the harbour with my parents. The restaurant is moving across to the other end of the Waterfront in a few weeks so it was nice to sit and reminisce over the meals we’ve enjoyed there over the years. Note the standard pose outside post-meal bottom right.
Panama Jacks food
Some of the food we ate at Panama Jacks. That’s the lamb-black bean soup, the avo seafood, calamari with tartare sauce and Thai fish curry.
Choca Mocha Whizzer
I went for the Milky Lane Choca Mocha Whizzer for my Saturday afternoon treat following quite a bit of weekend admin. In case the name isn’t obvious enough, that means the ice cream is swirled with coffee and chocolate mousse.

Sunday, 5 November 2017:ย  Pink Olive breakfast and GrandWest movies

Pink Olive breakfast
We sat down to breakfast at the Pink Olive at Starke Ayres and not five minutes later Mother and Spec were there too, per chance! Spec stayed over at Mother’s for the weekend.
GrandWest Casino
Later that day we met Spec at GrandWest Casino on his way home to Fish Hoek, to watch the latest Thor movie. It was a bright, sunny day but the wind was cold and blustery.
GrandWest Casino photo
Ha. This is what we do when we see a ‘push button’ photo booth at GrandWest Casino. I think we take this same photo every time we pass it!

Wednesday, 8 November 2017: Loveables pop-up store launch in Salt River

Loveables pop-up store
I attended the launch of the Loveables pop-up store in Salt River on Wednesday morning. This is what I saw outside…
Loveables
And just some of the lovely things inside. Bunnies everywhere, and doesn’t little miss Eva look like a relation of Bassie? Full coverage on Bizcommunity soon!

Oh yes! I mentioned last week that I’d reveal the end result of the DIY project I’d worked on during my staycation. See below…

Ombre shades of grey
The chest of drawers I had painted in shades of grey a few years ago was in need of a revamp. So we sanded down the whole thing, then I painted the outer shell black with each drawer a darker shade of grey for an overall ‘ombre’ effect, then varnished it all to seal the deal.
Shades of grey chest of drawers
The end product. As you can see, we went all out and added new crystal knobs to each drawer so it feels fully fancy.

That’s all, folks! May your weekend be filled with all that makes you happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Veggie garden reveal and food-and-wine flights at Catharina’s

It’s been a successful first week back at work and ย part-time studies. That’s probably because we have a few exciting plans over the next few weekends to look forward to, and the thought of them keeps us going.

You’ll get to see those in due course, but for now you can scroll through how we marked the end of the festive season break. Key among those,ย Husband’s veggie garden reveal, as promised:

Veggie garden
Tadaa! You can see the phases of progress here – first, beams went up above the veggie boxes he installed a while ago, then shade cloth was carefully stapled along to provide shade and wind protection. So far, so good!
Dogs in garden
The doggies ‘helped’ by watching the goings-on and offering advice (and suspicious looks).

Now, on with the daily highlights…

Thursday, 5 January 2017: Summery food-and-wine pairing flights

News Cafe breakfast
Our last Thursday of leave started with the early bird breakfast special at our local News Cafe.
Catharina's in Steenberg Estate
I’d unknowingly picked just the right day for our review of the new summery food-and-wine pairings at Catharina’s in Steenberg Estate, one of our favourite wine farms. Just look at the sunny brightness! Click here for my official review and here for a reminder of our late-August version of this photo.
Ostrich eggs at Catharina's
Decor at Catharina’s is classy and eye-catching. Note the reindeer that adorn that inside roof, along with the origami birdies I so enjoyed on our last visit; as well as the large ostrich eggs at the port decanters in the hotel lobby; and some of the rose bushes dotting the walkways.
Owls at Catharina's
We sat at a table much like this, hoping to spot the family of eagle owls that swoop around the old oak trees. Sadly they didn’t appear, but we still had a wonderful time.
Water and cappuccino at Catharina's
Our pre- and post-pairing drinks – wonderfully chilled still water (bread board in the background), and a strong, flavoursome cappuccino. Colour me contented! (Don’t fret, am not sunburnt. The pinkness you see is from the sun reflecting through red umbrella).
Menu at Catharina's
The three ‘flights’ are beautifully explained in this menu – two savoury options and one sweet, each comprising a flute of bubbly, white and red with perfectly paired morsels.
Savoury wine pairing at Catharina's
I know the pic was hard to read, so luckily I took some photos. This was the first savoury flight. Everything positively popped with colour and flavour.
Savoury wine pairing at Catharina's
The second savoury flight: Same-same but different. And sadly I was so excited by the third flight – the sweet option – that I forgot to snap a pic of it. Luckily, there’s a professional pic of it in my review on Biz, along with detailed descriptions of all the wine and food. Click here to see it.

Friday, 6 January 2017: McPherson’s breakfast and Black Bullย lupper

Breakfast at McPhersons
First thing on Friday we headed to McPherson’s for breakfast. I had a cappuccino and the club sandwich with wedges, Husband had a very filling wrap.
Outside area at Black Bull
Following a day of staycation things we decided on an early dins at the Black Bull on Sandown Road to mark the end of the holiday (yes, there was still a weekend ahead before work kicked in, but you know what I mean). Husband opted for a draught, as he does.
Black Bull nachos and bangers and mash
I had a strawberry shake and the starter nachos you see in the middle – the top pic is how they arrived at the table, middle pic is once I’d had added all the side bits and bobs. Husband went for the pork bangers and mash. We’ll be back.

Saturday, 7 January 2017: Baconville breakfast and Bertie’s new chew-friend

Breakfast at Baconville
If you wake up hungry on a Saturday, chances are you’ll decide on Baconville for breakfast. I went for the flapjacks topped with crispy, syrup-drenched bacon (mmm) while Husband had their Mexican-style ‘Hairy Biker’. Teehee. Both delightfully good.
Dogs with toys
All of Bertie’s former TV-viewing companions (stuffed toys that he’s unstuffed) were looking a little ratty so we snuck them into the bin and bought him a new monkey and doggie-that-looks-like-a-fox. The monkey is hiding in a cupboard until the doggie is ready to be discarded, too. Bassie remains very uninterested in all toys but gets lots of attention despite her sad face, promise.

Sunday, 8 January 2017: Breakfast, books and beachy ice-creams

Fry up breakfast
For our ‘last breakfast before work’, Husband outdid himself with an exceptional (make that egg-ceptional, harhar) fry-up, included red pepper slices, properly cooked tomato and crispy bacon. Yum.
Marian Keyes Brightest Star in the Sky and KFC pina colada Krusher
What better way to relax on a Sunday than by rereading a beloved book, and sipping on a Pina Colada-flavoured Krusher from KFC? No better way.
Big Bay beach
The beach at Big Bay, much later in the day. Just look at all the merrymakers, making their last bit of merry.
Ice creams at the beach
Despite it being so hot the sea was icy, so we contented ourselves with ice-cream cones from Met Eish at Eden on the Bay. Husband’s had caramel ripples and mine was plain chocolate, both with a hidden Flake.

That’s all, folks! I wish you a very happy weekend ahead. ๐Ÿ™‚

*Disclaimer: Obviously our pairings at Catharinaโ€™s were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

Muizenberg delights and Gibson’s gourmet burgers & Freek shakes

It’s here, it’s here! ๐Ÿ™‚ The end-of-year holidays are upon us, and we collected brother-in-law Spec from the airport this morning, so will have fun times with him well into 2017.

Until then, here’s our most recent batch of highlights…

Friday, 16 December 2016: Bar-One poppers at I Love Big Bay market

Big Bay Christmas market
Last Friday was Day of Reconciliation, but Husband had to work. I had a lazy morning with the doggies then went with Mum and Dad to Eden on the Bay’s ‘I Love Big Bay’ market – usually held on the final Wednesday of the month, but a public-holiday Friday works, too. We tried various fresh and fried goods, like chilli bites and Bar-One ‘poppers’.
Big Bay eden market
We also had some slightly healthier options, like a wholewheat shwarma with chilli, chicken and lots of veg.

Saturday, 17 December 2016: Muizenberg and Fish Hoek morning, Gibson’s burgers &ย shakes afternoon

Empty Muizenberg beach
We set off for Muizenberg first thing on Saturday, and were surprised to find a relatively empty beach.
Graffiti in Muizenberg
Some of the lesser-known Muizenberg sights – colourful beach huts as usually seen in St James, and striking giraffe graffiti.
Empire Cafe Muizenberg
Of course we needed breakfast before further sightseeing. We stopped in at Empire Cafe and Husband opted for the ‘poached eggs on butternut rosti’ and I tried the bacon, lettuce, tomato or BLT croissant with balsamic glaze, both delicious.
Coffee at Empire Cafe
Husband sat in front of the coffee machine but I’m the one who tried the cappuccino. Just perfect with the BLT croissant.
Swimming in Fish Hoek sea
Bellies lined, we set off up the road to Fish Hoek. Husband swam in the sea right along the shark net, while I read in the shade.
Boulders beach penguins
Next stop was Boulders Beach, a little past Simon’s Town. We spotted lots of little penguins far down on the beach below but didn’t have time to go explore properly.
Penguins at Boulder's beach
You can just see the penguins on the beach through the hollow in the trees.
Gibson's craft beer
By then it was lunchtime, and we had a date at Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers & Ribs at the V&A Waterfront. Husband gave Gibson’s own brand of craft beer a shot.
Gibson's menu
Just look at those choices! There are pages and pages to flip through, with over 40 burgers and 100 shakes to choose from. I went for the Governor burger, top left, and the peppermint caramel Freek shake, middle bottom. Both were huge and delicious.
Gibson's burgers and Freek shake
Everything we sampled: A minty mojito, the Tex-mex burger with nachos and a baked potato, the cheesy Governor burger with sweet potato fries and the peppermint caramel Freek shake. Click here for my official review!
Dogs on couch
We were both so very full that the rest of the afternoon entailed spending quality time with the doggies.

Sunday, 18 December 2016: Bread & Butter breakfast, Sunningdale dog walkies

Salmon eggs benedict at Bread & Butter
We started our Sunday at Bread & Butter. Husband had the salmon eggs benedict.
Breakfast banana split at Bread & Butter
I had the ‘breakfast banana split’, filled with yoghurt, granola and berries.
Cape Town beach Table Mountain
We managed to fit in a quick beach visit early that afternoon.
Dog walking in cape veld
We took the doggies’ walkies-gear along when we visited their grandparents later that afternoon. Bertie darted this way and that, exploring the bushes.
Dog walk
A few more snaps from the doggies’ walkies.
Chicken and salad
Lots of chicken and salad for lupper at Mum’s that eve.
Fruit flan
And for dessert, a wonderfully fruity custard flan.

Monday, 19 to Thursday, 22 December 2016: Veggie gardening and final work week antics

Growing vegetables
Husband’s been doing quite a bit of gardening recently. See how his seedlings are taking off here…
Strawberry plant
He also built beautiful wooden planters for strawberries and tomatoes by taking apart a pallet. And the strawberry plants are already ripe! Nothing beats the taste of something from your own garden.
Christmas biscuits
We had lots and lots of Christmas treats in the office this week.
Last work day of the year.
The last work day of the year meant a braai for Husband and his colleagues at Clarion. See his lunch plate below the pic of him cheers-ing his colleague, and on the right my own ‘final work day’ lunch of chicken briyani, noodles and Coke.

That’s all, folks! We hope you have a wonderful Christmas week and that you have time to relax and recharge your batteries before 2017 kicks in.

*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals at Gibson’sย were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

Spring haircuts, gardening reveal and the Wally’s cave hike

Apart from having my bag stolen out of our car last Sunday, and all the admin headaches that go along with that, it’s been a wonderful week, as you’ll see below…

Thursday, 22 September 2016: Spring haircuts and midweek lunch with parents

Haircut
Look at that chopped off ponytail! I decided on a big change for Spring so had my hair trimmed to shoulder-length, with highlights (as you can see from all the foils in the pic top-right). The doggies weren’t too impressed with the idea of adding my hair to their lovely brown fur, though.
Chicken schnitzel at Carlucci's
For lunch we stopped in at Carlucci’s on the beach. Mum and I shared this delicious chicken schnitzel on pumpkin-seed bread.
Tall dog
Bassie wanted to pretend she’s the tallest doggie so insisted on being lifted above her dad’s shoulders that evening.

Friday, 23 September 2016: Breakfast and movie on parents’ anniversary

Mom and daughter at Spur Bayside
T’was my parents’ 38th wedding anniversary on Friday, so I joined them for breakfast and a movie (The Magnificent Seven) at Bayside. Here we are, sitting at Spur (dad was the photographer)…
Coffee at Spur
We all went for the breakfast special with bottomless coffee. Yay for free refills.
Dogs on couch
The doggies didn’t know what to do with themselves, having me at home with them, so they acted like cats by sitting along the back of the couch.

Saturday, 24 September 2016: Free cookies and see what we’ve been doing in the garden

Black Forest Cafe
The Black Forest Cafe is finally open on Saturdays, so that’s where we headed first thing on Saturday. They posted a ‘secret sentence’ on their Facebook page last week that would result in a free cookie if uttered to the till operator.
Oreo cookie at Black Forest Cafe
Our sentence-uttering was a success, so I trotted off to choose my free cookie. I went for the Oreo – it has a choc-filled Oreo baked into a regular cookie! So good. Then it was time for some hard physical work…
Garden transformation
Bassie has been very interested in the ‘paving corner’ of the garden since we started working on it a few weeks ago – first we had to weed it, then Husband set down plastic sheets, mixed concrete (not recommended that you do so by hand!) and smoothed out the area before we could place these pretty pavers. We added the bird bath as a final touch.
Bird bath
Bertie loves the little birdies that adorn the top of the bird bath.
Dog in garden
What a sweetheart! Love that little face.
wors roll
Hungry again after all that work, Husband opted for a wors roll – it was Heritage Day after all, so boerewors was going to be eaten, either way!
Smiley face toys
Lol at these funny little emoji toys I found when we did our weekly grocery shop at the local Pick n Pay that evening.

Sunday, 25 September 2016: Bread & Butter breakfast, hike to Wally’s Cave in Lion’s Head

Bread & Butter cakes
We’ve not been to Bread & Butter in our local Sandown Retail Centre for a while so stopped in first thing on Sunday. There were lots of lovely baked goods to choose from…
Cappuccino at Bread & Butter
But we both needed a caffeine fix before we could think of food. My cappuccino had a lovely heart swirled on top.
Croissant at Bread & Butter
To eat, I went for the ham and cheese croissant – mini tin cup with side of kettle-fried crisps was an interesting touch.
Banting breakfast at Bread & Butter
Husband wanted to be healthy as we’d be hiking later, so he went for the banting option – here are his poached eggs on banting bread, with lots of crispy bacon and fresh avo.
Lion's Head mountain flowers
Then we headed off for Lion’s Head and did a slow hike up to Wally’s Cave, which we’d heard about but not yet seen. Here’s some of the pretty flowers along the mountain side.
Signal Hill from Lion's Head
You follow the usual trail up but veer to the left of the short ladder up Lion’s Head to reach the cave – close to where we took this picture. Note how short Signal Hill looks in the distance!
Wally's cave
Success! That’s the cave above me.
View from Wally's Cave in Lion's Head
Yes, that little speck is Husband balancing perilously close to the edge of the mountain.
View from Wally's Cave in Lion's Head
View of the outside from the inside.
Cave exploring
Clever Husband had brought his ‘cave-exploring’ cap along with him so he could turn on the light. See.
In Wally's Cave
Proof we were both in the cave together at the same time.
Cocktails at Jamaica Me Crazy
Once we’d hiked back down to the car we realised my bag was missing. No damage to the car, but bag completely AWOL, despite having unpacked items like my phone from it into Husband’s hiking bag when we parked. What followed was about two hours of driving from police station to station to make a statement, calling banks to cancel cards, etc etc. Having done as much as we could we stopped in at Jamaica Me Crazy for a soothing cocktail. I had the Blue Hawaii, Husband had the Dark & Stormy.
Heritage Day braai
We had a belated Heritage Day braai at Mum’s for lupper that evening.

Monday, 26 September 2016: Breakfast at the Waterfront

Everyway at Waterfront
As it was my last day of leave on Monday, I went to the Waterfront with my parents. We stopped at the Everyway deli counter to choose our morning eats… it was formerly known as the Royal Bavarian Bakery.
Everyway coffee
Here are our various coffees and pastries. A very good start to the week! Click here to see how they’re the same black cups as when we had a similar staycation coffee in March.

That’s all for now, folks! Keep an eye out for my next update, next Friday…