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Monday, 28 July 2014

High Tea - High Fashion



With the #ChariTea event around the corner, ladies have been asking me what they should wear to dress "like a lady". This blog post will hopefully give you some ideas as well as a few do's and don'ts, but at the end of the day please just wear what you are comfortable with.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Check-up

Every 3 months I have to go for a check-up to make sure everything is still fine and no adjustments need to be made to my anti-rejection medication. The check up includes blood tests, xrays, lung function and a consult with my pulmonologist.

Girl Geek Dinners


I bought a ticket to the Girl Geek Dinners which took place at Pigalle in Melrose Arch on th 16th of March. R170 gets you a 3 course meal, a chance to win amazing prizes, gift bags and most importantly - it allows you to meet some really spectacular people! 120 seats were sold out in 58 minutes so I'm not the only one that thinks this dinner is not one to miss!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

12 Things To Do More Often


You probably already know the things that make up a good, healthy, happiness-filled life. (And you’re pretty sure it’s not Cheetos, checking email in bed, or gossiping.)

Monday, 21 July 2014

Jayd Dell - Living with Friedreich's Ataxia (FA)


I recently stumbled across this beautiful girl on a blog post that her best friend, Raechel did on her, entitled My Best Friend Is Dying. It was such a moving story, not only because of how beautiful their friendship is but also beacuse how inspiring I found Jayd to be. There are so many people with terminal illnesses but not everyone has the attitude that Jayd has. I sent her an email to chat to her more about her disease and I asked her a few questions. 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Africology at EXEC|Care


I recently won an Africology 60 minute sports massage from Exec|Care and the other day, I treated myself to redeeming it. I went their EXEC|Care branch in Dunkeld and Thabitha was my therapist.

Friday, 18 July 2014

'Modern Family's' Sarah Hyland - Kidney Transplant

Modern Family actress Sarah Hyland had a kidney transplant in April 2012.

Slightly puffy cheeks (like me) from her rejection meds. 
The 21-year-old actress, who plays Haley Dunphy in the US TV show, told the new issue of America's Seventeen magazine that she underwent the operation after battling kidney dysplasia her whole life.
Hyland also revealed she got the kidney from her father, actor Edward James Hyland, ahead of the procedure on April 13th.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

First "ChariTea" Event


The very first (of hopefully many) ladies high tea event will be on Woman's day, Saturday the 9th of August at Bella. All profits made will go to the Organ Donor Foundation which they will use for their EMERGENCY FLIGHT FUND to fetch organs from distant places, ORGAN REFERRALS EDUCATION for emergency rooms, and their PUBLIC AWARENESS INITIATIVE aimed at raising more registered organ donors such as you!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Bacon & Egg Cupcakes


Instead of bacon and eggs in the morning, why not get #Fancy and try these!

20 Signs You're Spiritually Happy


When you meet someone who is spiritually healthy, you're immediately drawn to that person. You feel good just by being around them. These people are magnets for happiness, freedom and generosity, and have a unique ability to enjoy the present moment.

The only way you can achieve true spiritual satisfaction is by following your heart's desires.

Here are 20 signs you're spiritually healthy:

1. You stepped out of the victim role and now play the game of designing your destiny.

2. You love your life because you're living your soul's purpose.

3. You feel like you're contributing and serving with generosity.

4. You got off the emotional roller coaster, and your emotions feel like smooth waves on a clear day most of the time.

5. You catch yourself when you judge others and realize that what you're judging is intimately related to your own self-acceptance.

6. You don't fear making the wrong decision, because you're aware that there can always be a spiritual lesson.

7. You understand that freedom and happiness are qualities you cultivate from within, and the more you work on them, the more they grow.

8. You no longer feel like you need to hide out of fear of judgment; you are the full expression of yourself personally and professionally.

9. You spend time in silence daily and crave it when you miss a day, because you feel like something is "off."

10. You have the courage to let go of relationships that no longer benefit you because you understand that they already served their purpose.

11. Your soul is happy because you find a moment to play and dream every single day.

12. You don't feel lonely or disconnected, and you highly appreciate alone time.

13. You seem to notice details, colors, tastes and beauty with a sensibility that makes you feel like a kid.

14. You express your needs and desires with complete confidence and without confrontation.

15. You don't feel like you have to explain your lifestyle, because you understand how it serves you and might not serve others.

16. You're able to be in the now at least 25% of the time; you're fully present and in joy.

17. You don't second guess yourself because you trust your intuition and act on it.

18. You trust that life is on your side and problems are always opportunities or lessons to be learned.

19. You are able to fall in love over and over again, with your friends, with your partner, with your work.

20. You start your day with an intention and go to bed in gratitude.

Taken From - Mind Body Green


Friday, 11 July 2014

Christmas In July


I am part of  a lovely group of bloggers called 'Bloggers Who Bless'. We meet once a month to encourage one another and to strengthen the bonds within the blogging community. I have met such amazing girls and I really look forward to our meet-ups each month. 

This month we are doing a "Christmas In July" themed evening and we are doing a secret santa. We have been given the name of the blogger we have to buy a present for, with R200 as our limit. To ensure we all get something that we like we have decided to put together a wishlist of about 10 items.

Whoever is shopping for me has a very easy task as I consider myself rather easy to please because I like such a wide variety of things and really am grateful for any gift that I am given! 

  1. Nail Polish


Nail polish is a super easy gift that most girls would love to receive! The only tricky part is getting the colour right! With so many colours to choose from and countless trends out there it can be a bit of a daunting task trying to select the right colour for someone.   

Personally I love neutral tones and then on the opposite side of the colour chart I also love all the very dark colours such as a deep purple or plum. Of course metallic is gorgeous too and if you throw in some glitter, even better!! 

You also can't beat the classic french manicure! 



2. Scarves


It's winter, scarves are one size fits all and are always on trend! They make a great gift for all ages and are a great option for any budget! I love printed scarves and these 2 from Woolworths are just gorgeous.


3. Bath Stuff
Anyone that knows me knows how much I love my bath time! I literally spend hours in the bath and so absolutely anything bath related will be a much used and loved gift by me! 
The Body Shop always has such lovely things! 



4. Pj's 
My standard sleep wear is usually just an over-sized t-shirt ("borrowed" from my brother) and some boxers - real lady like! In winter I just wear as many layers as I can and don't care much about matching sets of anything. That said, when I stay over at friend's place it's always nice to take along some respectable pjs. Size wise can be a bit of a pain but I like loose fitting things to sleep in so even if something is too big, it will still get used! 
There are matching bottoms for this,



Mr Price have started to cater for us crazy cat ladies and have such cute pj sets at the moment! I would say I am I medium but Mr Price sizing can be very strange at times unfortunately!

5. Sweat Tops




In staying with clothes and Mr Price, they also have some really nice casual sweat tops. 

These are on my wishlist because it's something I need but never end up buying for myself. When I go clothes shopping I would much rather spend my money on beautiful outfits that I can wear at social events than sweat tops which are something I would wear casually at home or to the shops. However, when I find myself looking for something to wear on a day where I don't have much to do, I never have anything in my cupboard!

I thought this 'single' sweat top was pretty cute and funny!  






6. Kitchen Stuff

As a foodie you can pretty buy me anything for the kitchen and it will make me happy! Unfortunately kitchenware isn't cheap so with a R200 present budget it makes it a bit more difficult to find something in this department. I did find some nifty egg things on Yuppiechef which are within budget and make a super gift! 

7. Handbags & Wallets
Can you ever have too many handbags? Probably! But I certainly don't, so here they are on my wishlist. I'm a little fussy with handbags but if you stick to simple classic colours and styles then you will be safe. I don't do clutch bags or any bag that isn't practical to be carried around. I'm a small girl so I can't have a bag that is too big or else I just look silly! 

<- I LOVE this Mr Price Bowler bag! It's in a classic brown shade and will go with nearly every outfit!

 If my list of 'don'ts' has put you off then maybe opt for a wallet? 

They're cheaper and I am a lot less fussy when it comes to wallets. All I ask is that there is ample card and cash space. That's not too difficult right? 


Spree





Example of 'ample space'












8. Vitamin E



I love the vitamin E range from The Body Shop or any brand really. We need to pamper our skin, especially in winter and vitamin E is a nice gentle way to ensure our face and body gets enough moisture! It may seem like a less personal gift but it really isn't! 

9. Cook Books
As I said earlier I am a big foodie and anything for the kitchen would be much appreciated! I love reading and experimenting with new recipes so recipe books are always welcome in my home! Do remember that I am a diabetic and do not eat carbs so you would have to buy something that would be suitable for my diet! 

An example of a suitable book would be Tim Noakes' ''real meal revolution". This is a very popular book right now and is pretty difficult to find! For that reason I am not 100% sure on the price but I did see it somewhere for R220 so it may be a little over budget! 

There are other diabetic friendly cook books but if you are struggling then you could also buy a reference book of herbs, spices, different food cultures etc. I love anything to do with food so get creative! 






10. Flowers
My wishlist would not be complete without flowers! Flowers make me happy and having them in my home always brings a smile to my face. Potted plants or flowers are best as freshly cut flowers don't last very long. Orchids are a good option, everyone loves them and they are very easy to keep alive - it's getting them to re-flower the following season that's the hard bit! Woolworths always have orchids in store but for a wider selection (and better prices) I would go visit a flower shop or a garden centre.

And there you have it - My Christmas in July Wishlist. 

Good luck to my secret santa, I know I will love anything that you get me, whether it's on my list or not =) 











Thursday, 10 July 2014

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies


These are possibly THE easiest cookies I have ever made! With quite a bit of honey in them and the chocolate chips, their sugar content is a little higher than I would like but they're absolutely perfect in moderation!

Ingredients
1 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (I didn't have this so I left it out and they came out great)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I chopped up half a bar of 85% cocoa Lindt Excellence dark chocolate)

video

Method
  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. 
  • Mix together all ingredients except the chocolate
  • Add the chocolate and mix well
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spray with Spray and Cook
  • Using a table spoon of mixture at a time, lump cookie dough balls onto the paper
  • Bake for 8 minutes
  • Remove and allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. They will firm-up as they rest, so this step is important!

Driving

My transplant has honestly changed my life in every aspect and simple things, like driving, have now become possible for me to do and I absolutely love the freedom that comes with all these trivial tasks.


Before I got very ill I was able to drive but I always found it very tiring. That said, it was far less draining than walking! I remember driving to the shops and trying to find a parking right outside the shops so that I didn't have to walk far. If I couldn't find a parking close by then I would drive to another shop. I know I should've used the disabled parking but because I looked so 'normal' I felt like people would think I am just being lazy!

One memory that stands out more than the rest is when I went to a show with a friend. We parked very far away from the entrance and for the rest of the group this just meant a brisk walk and more time to chat. Walking to the show, I felt so out of breath and I was so relieved when we finally got to where we were sitting. I remember thinking to myself during the duration of the show "How am I going to manage walking back".

When the show ended we started our walk back. My friend asked if I was ok and I said I was but I really wasn't. On the brink of tears at how hard it was becoming to breathe we finally got to the car and I couldn't wait to get home so that I could put on my oxygen.

It's taken me a long time to get over the anxiety that used to come with finding a parking. I have the lungs and the strength now to park as far away as I need to without any problem. But mentally it still stresses me out a little as my mind is so conditioned to thinking about doing things in a way that will put as little stress on my breathing as possible.

After transplant, it took me a while to gain the confidence to get back on the road again. My mom didn't help the situation as she too was very overwhelmed by all these 'new' things I could do and she didn't want time to go too fast. So it actually took me longer to convince my mom that I could manage than it took to convince myself. It's amazing how much confidence you lose when you haven't done something for a while. Little by little I drove further and further until driving became second nature once again.

I didn't have power steering on my car and being so physically weak from years of inactivity I really struggled with back pain when I drove. Eventually it got so bad that I ended up in agony and having to go to physio. I then decided to upgrade my little pink car to something with power steering. I now have power steering AND automatic transmission and driving is now an absolute PLEASURE!


Driving alone at night in the beautiful city of Joburg has become one of my favourite times to reflect on life and everything I have gone through to get to where I am today. I put my music on LOUD and I smile to myself as my achievements overwhelm and delight me =)

An example of a song that will most certainly make me smile and give me goosebumps is this amazing track from Swedish House Mafia. Remember, if it's not on LOUD then it doesn't count!



"Don't you worry, don't you worry, child.
See heaven's got a plan for you.
Don't you worry, don't you worry now."

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Chia Seeds


My newest obsession is Chia seeds and I am starting to see them EVERYWHERE. I bought a little packet for R10 (they're so reasonably priced) and have been playing around with them.

Chia seeds are native to South America and have been a staple in Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries. Today, they draw the interest of many people for their health benefits and uses in cooking. It turns out the South American staple is a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants.



Why Chia seeds are good for you

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Chia seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3s in chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol.

Fiber
Fiber is associated with reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol and regulating bowel function. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, with a whopping 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons. That is one-third of the daily recommended intake of fiber per day.

Antioxidants
Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life. They last almost two years without refrigeration.

Minerals
Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis.

Satiety
Satiety is the feeling of being full and satisfied, which helps lower food cravings between meals. The combination of protein, fiber and the gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids all contribute to their satiating effects.

Gluten-Free
Chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet.

Egg Replacer
The outer layer of chia seeds swells when mixed with liquids to form a gel. This can used in place of eggs to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 15 minutes. This substitutes 1 egg but does not work in place of eggs for omelettes. 

Can Be Digested Whole
Unlike flaxseeds, which are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and minerals, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to obtain their nutrient or egg- replacement benefits.

Dyslipidemia
A study published in the "British Journal of Nutrition" showed that chia seeds as a dietary fat source can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels while increasing HDL or "good" cholesterol. 

Blood Sugar Regulation
Chia seeds can play an important role in regulating insulin levels. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.

Increase Energy Levels
Chia is one of nature’s highest plant-based sources of complete protein. Usually protein from items like peanut butter. and some beans are incomplete, meaning you have to combine them with other foods to get the full benefit. Not Chia though, it’s protein is complete to raise your energy levels. The combination of complete protein, vitamins, minerals and blood-sugar balancing gel all work together to make sure you have steady, never jittery energy.

So far I have only used chia seeds to add a decorative element to both sweet and savory meals.

Butternut Soup


Strawberries and cream






















With so many uses and health benefits, I will definitely be playing more with these seeds!










Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Brinjal Lasagne


Mince Ingredients
Mince +- 300g
1 onion
chopped mushrooms
1 grated carrot
1 tin tomatoes
3 Tbs tomatoe paste (I used about 5Tbs tomatoe sauce because I didn't have paste)
Seasoning

Cheese Sauce Ingredients
1 cup grated cheddar
3 Tbs flour
3 Tbs butter
1 cup milk

Other Ingredients
3 brinjals (I used 2 and was a bit short) 
1/2 cup grated gouda
1/4 cup lentils (optional)

video

Mince Method
  • Fry the chopped onion and mince until the mince has browned
  • Put in the tinned tomatoes, tomatoe paste and the lentils 
  • After a while add the rest of the veg and and top up with boiling water (I also threw in some white wine)
  • Simmer for as long as you'd like (I let mine simmer for about 30mins while I was preparing everything else) 
Cheese Sauce
  • On a low heat melt the butter and flour
  • Add the milk and cheese and stir until the cheese has melted
Lasagne Method
  • Fry the brinjals until browned - Do not use any oil when frying
  • In a baking tray add a layer of the mince followed by a layer of brinjals and then the cheese sauce
  • Repeat layers and top with the grated gouda
  • Grill until cheese has browned.
Warning: This meal is very addictive

I ate half the lasagne at 1 sitting (which serves 4+)





Chocolate Strawberry Brownies



First of all, as great as these are, I don't really recommend them in winter. I learnt that this morning when taking a bite into the frozen strawberry layer and immediately my body was covered in goosebumps!

The original recipe is for Chocolate RASPBERRY Brownies which sounds way better than strawberries but tis' strawberry season so that's what I used!

Ingredients for Base
1 cup raw nuts (I used almonds)
1/3 cup cacao
3 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
12 Medjool dates, pitted

Ingredients for Middle Later
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (I used strawberries)
2/3 cup raw cashews (I left out the nuts in the middle layer) 
4 Tbsp. shredded coconut
6 Tbsp. organic maple syrup (I used honey)
1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

Ingredients for Top Layer
½ cup of cacao butter (or melted coconut oil)
½ cup of cacao powder
¼ cup of organic maple syrup

video


Directions for Base
  • Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until all the ingredients are well mixed and the macadamias are crushed.
  • Add mixture to a lined tin, smooth out with a spoon and place in the freezer to set.
Directions for Middle Layer
  • Blend all but the coconut oil in a high speed blender until smooth.
  • Add coconut oil and blend until well combined
  • Add to the base and smooth over with a spatula or back of a spoon and place into the freezer for at least 1 hour.
Directions for Top Layer
  • Melt the cacao butter in a double boiler on low heat (I used coconut oil, melted in microwave)
  • Add the organic maple syrup to the double boiler and whisk until combined (I used honey, melted in microwave) 
  • Whisk in the cacao powder.
  • When well combined pour over the middle layer and smooth over with the back of a spoon
Put back into the freezer and let it set completely (around 1 hour).

Remove from the tin, slice straight away and store in an airtight container in the freezer (I recommend the freezer as the raspberry layer softens easily).

Recipe taken from Mind Body Green