Friday, October 24, 2014

{Friendship Friday} Speed (friend) dating

A few weekends ago our friend B was out from London.

He came for our church conference and how's this for cool - the mother church they go to in London is in Pta and they were also conferencing that very same week. That's God giving him double the blessing for the money spent! 

We were whatsapping back and forth trying to make a plan and nothing was working but I said to him, it will work out - it always does.


So after gym on the Saturday we rushed home, he rushed to us and we spent just an hour and 15 minutes connecting, heart to heart, again and sending him off with hugs for both him and K, his wife.

It was short, it wasn't exactly as I would have had it (perhaps less sweaty? :)) but that was all we had so we made the best of it.





Caren and I had a supper date last week . This had been scheduled more than a month in advance.

Only problem is... it was at 7.30 pm.

There is no point in me driving all the way home to arrive at 5.55, stay one hour, and drive almost all the way back out in the same direction.

So I emailed around to see if any other friend could meet me from 5:30 - 7:30.

It was close but eventually my one friend K said YES, definitely. And we met up.

K said it felt like speed dating :) but it was actually the perfect use of time to connect with two friends in one evening, and not "waste" my time driving back and forth.

Of course I paid R16 for parking but it was totally worth it.

Caren brought me gifts (!) and a card to congratulate me on my new job - so thoughtful of her!

I won't do this very often because it was a very long day for me, being away from home from before 8 in the morning to after 10 that night, and I was pooped.

But connection with friends is priceless and I really value it when we prioritise the friendship. Let's face it - no situation is ever "perfect" in this life stage so we're always making a compromise here and there.

I'm doing another straight-after-work thing next week but this time, it's only one plan :)

Do you ever speed (friend) date?
Tell me some finagling you've had to do to connect with your friends recently.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Making wraps with a recipe from the gang at Se7en

Guys, remember those grocery posts where I told you we very seldom have wraps for supper because they're so expensive?

Right.

Well, they are.

Depending on the brand you can pay anywhere from R28,99 for 6 small wraps/ tortillas to R39,99. We used to buy the big ones because it felt like we needed two each of the tiny ones.

Then I saw a post on my friend, Se7en's blog about making wraps.


It looked easy but she makes everything look easy, doesn't she?

Still, I like to give things a good bash at least once. So one Friday we got home from work, and I went to work... in the kitchen.

(all pics by D because wrap-making is messy business)






me pointing to exactly where I wanted the camera :) Also, that rolling pin is 19.5 years old - wedding present
there we go, isn't that better?



It's so, so easy!

Ingredients

4 cups flour
1 - 1.5 cups warm water
120 g margerine
1/4 tsp salt


I made two changes because I'm incapable of following directions (true story!):
  1. I used margerine instead of butter.
  2. I didn't wipe my pan with oil first. I found that the flour and the margerine in the dough kept the wraps from sticking in the pan.

A tip I loved: Cut the dough into 8 pieces, and then cut each piece into 2.

This makes 16 wraps... and my family of 4 ate those wraps that Friday night, again for lunch one day on the weekend, and once more during the week. And we "fought" over the last few.

I fried them all on the Friday night and kept them in a plastic container. There are some comments saying the wraps went hard. Mine stayed soft. I don't understand the science of baking so I can't tell you why but IT WORKS.

These photos were taken mid-Sept and we've made wraps an additional two times since then.

YES!

They are that easy. Matter of fact, I may make some this weekend!

Go forth and make some wraps this weekend.

Have you ever made wraps, tortillas or roti?

PS your kids will think you're wonderful if you put some salted caramel toffee in a wrap for dessert ;)
PPS So far this is my favourite recipe of the year!
PPPS I tried some biscuity things this week which turned out amazing - can't WAIT to blog about those. EASY-peasy. If only I could take photos while baking, I'd be a food blogger. HA!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I found new amazing Jhb views - part 1

So most of you know how much I loved my old work campus. And one of the hardest things about leaving was leaving that beauty behind. I know it sounds crazy but it is what it is.

And then we get invited to a party... in our suburb... and as we walk through the garden, I gasped!

Those gardens were amazing. The views, the space, the beauty!

Okay, I'll stop talking and let you have a look. I had a BALL walking around with my camera taking photos of all the things I love.

(this is part 1 - I'll post part 2 next week)
 











So friends, this was such a gift from God. It was literally like getting a gift to nurture my soul in the middle of a normal weekend.

And I LOVED IT!

The mom said I can come back anytime to read... take photos... whatever... and I'm totally taking her up on it. At the very least I need to go get some sunset photos.

Which was your favourite?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Petunia, the girl who was NOT a princess... and D's first words on the blog!

Well now, my Kendra is way too princessy and I'm... not. I'm as far from a princess as you'll get.

As I say, the nail polish is really one of the only girly things about me.


When I read a post on Cloud's blog where she was looking for reviewers for her new book, Petunia, the Girl who was NOT A Princess, and I saw that it was about one of my favourite soapbox subjects, I jumped on it :)

I had a few technical glitches (when I downloaded in the Kindle app, it was blank except for the cover - I'm sure this is my technical inexpertise) but fortunately the ibooks version worked perfectly.
The first few photos show Connor reading the story to himself. I even have a little video where he made up his own story just based on the pictures. So cute.



But then a few nights later, and for a few nights, D read them the story. See below.


(these photos were taken both with the canon and nikon. I still don't know what I'm doing but done is better than perfect, right?)





Since I didn't read the story to the kids, I asked D to write a review. Here we go (D's first words on this blog!!!!)

I love the heart of this story. It's ok for girls not to be princesses. I liked Petunia as a character and how she also learned it was ok to dress up a bit at times. I liked her friendship with Penelope. 

The artwork was very cute. The artwork and text mostly complemented each other. Two pages were exceptions. One was where she races cars and other activities where there's not enough text to dwell on all the images. The second one is Penelope moving in next door, where there's too much text for one image. Perhaps don't show Penelope's frills at first, so we really feel Petunia's disappointment.

Improvement areas: it loses a bit of dramatic punch near the end. The weakest point is the jump to the dance where new characters suddenly appear - it's all too sudden. Spend a bit more time developing the last few pages - that's where the success or failure of a story is. What does Petunia feel and learn and why should we care? 

Final note: I wasn't sure of the similar sounding names. It was confusing for me and difficult to keep each character separate in my mind easily. 

Otherwise, a lovely story. I look forward to more! 

d:notations
(D does copy editing and proofreading for his daytime job)

D says Connor really loved the book but we both said it could be because of the ipad. He loves to "control" the ipad.

Kendra liked the story but we could both see she's not quite sold on the idea of girls being princesses AND something else. She often says things like "girls can't play soccer" so she's a work in progress.

And me?

I love the idea of the book because I really believe girls need to grow up with the idea firmly lodged in their minds that they can do anything and still be a girl! The artwork is also very, very cute. I definitely think you should all get a copy especially if you have daughters. Please tell me if you get a copy :)

 
Do you have a princess or a girl who is not a princess at your home? Which one were you growing up?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Around here...


I'm sure no-one but Julia even noticed that I took the weekend off from blogging here.

The 31 days series continues, of course, and I think it's really good but what do I know?!

Thing is I fully intended to blog but my right hand has been in quite a bit of pain. I just googled and it's my thenar muscles. I thought it might be due to me playing with photos for about 3 hours on Saturday because suddenly in the evening, I had some pain.

I stopped working on the computer immediately (I considered it a sign!) and went to read.



It was worse on Sunday so again I only did computer essentials and then read.

And nothing had let up by today. Although it feels like work did some good because it feels better now than it did this morning.

Anyway, Connor prayed for my hand this morning and I believe that God's healed my hand.


This is quite serious - does anyone know where I can get some size 7 - 8 plain white takkies for Kendra's school concert? I've looked at Bata, Edgars, Mr P and Pep.

Oh, we need to get it by Friday :)

I saw the perfect Tomy takkies but they only start in size 9 or 10 (?) - can't remember but it was too big!

Please let me know, friends.


I made a few new craftsy notecards that both look awesome and are fabulous to touch. I can't wait for good light on the weekend to take some nice pics and show you.


So I know some of you've been reading chapter books to your kids (I don't think Deanna reads here anymore but I know she does) but somehow it took us some time to get there.

Well, we went to the library and took 6 big books for the kids (Enid Blyton) and they love it.

This is one addiction I'm quite happy to encourage ;)


I have a couple more socials to try and sort out but then I'm going to stop scheduling them for the rest of the year.

I still want to make a non-Christmas Christmassy supper/ lunch with friends and then I'll call it a day.

Have you stopped yet, or are you still scheduling?





What's going on in your world?

PS this is spring photowalk 2 :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fashion Friday - the beard edition

For the last how-many months, I've been observing something rather... interesting.

It's this new-fangled beard thing that I just don't get.

By the way, D and I were chatting in the car about this very topic the other day.

I should write more of it down because it's fascinating stuff - we rip off marketing, corporates, the state of work these days, riveting things. Kind of like Seinfeld but work-related.

Anyway, so this beard thing for men is an actual marketing trend.

For the love!

Now, let me clarify - I don't object to beards. Matter of fact, I like facial hair on some men (granted, Movember sends me over the edge - I can't take these guys seriously who look like they're trying on dress-up clothes).



But I like them very neat and trimmed like stubble. You see, it's the long beards that give me the heebie jeebies.

You see, I keep thinking of food getting caught in there.... and when I see a picture, I literally shudder.

Where are you on the beard thing and why? 
Love it? Hate it? Somewhere in between? Okay for others but your own hubby better not try it?

PS This is not a post about men who grow their beards for religious reasons.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Do you "do" bookclubs? Wait, do you even like reading?

I've never been a bookclub person.

For starters, I don't really like bookclubby books.

If you look at any of those 100 books to read before you die lists, I can assure you I've read none of them, unless they were prescribed for Setwork at school.

True story.

Anyway, so that's my bookclub disclaimer.

I know Cat is a member of a bookclub. Who else belongs to one?

If you do, tell me why you love bookclub so much.

For the rest of you, do you read? Have you considered joining a bookclub?

I've started a new little thing at work due to the fact I can't get onto any blogs or anything really............. (very annoying!)

I read my Kindle app on the phone (yesterday I took in the ipad and it was even more glorious) and usually read a chapter a day of my non-fiction book. It's fantastic.

However, I must be a "sight" as people keep stopping by me in the pause area, confused that I'm reading.

D told me he gets the same reactions (and then we drove past a girl at a bus stop reading a mystery thriller - she was well past the Point of No Return though so she was clearly hooked) at his work and we were wondering if it's maybe a "people who work in the financial district" thing? :)


So, let's all be brave.

This is a book on this year's to-read list.




I did a spontaneous thing last night and decided to read this book as part of an online book club.

Yes, I know I'm not a book club person... but this seemed like fun.

Let's see.

About the author.... I read her 31 days series a few years ago on courage... and loved it.... and that series sparked off this book for her.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spring photowalk 1

Do you know how many winter photowalks we did? 11 here in Jhb and 6 in Ballito (I don't feel like I can count the beach ones because it felt like summer).

 After I'd blogged about 4 - 5 of them, I didn't announce them as winter photowalks anymore but just sprinkled some pics here and there. Let's see how we do with spring.












When are you going on your next photowalk? :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My "famous" yoghurt pops

I'm not a lover of ice-cream.

I know, it's weird. But there are about 10 other things I'd rather have for dessert first (anything apple!). I do like custard over ice-cream....

Interestingly, the only time I really crave ice-cream is in the dead of winter. It happens so infrequently that we never buy a tub of ice-cream; we just go past Steers or KFC and get soft-serve cones.

So in summer I make yoghurt pops for the kids.



It uses yoghurt just as you buy it in the tub - I like flavours like berry, strawberry or apricot. I'm going to make some caramel ones soon too.

I used to put these into the ice lolly moulds but then I saw something on (I think) a cup of Jo that triggered my thinking.

The lady put ice-cream sticks into water ice blocks for her baby to suck on. Good idea and it gets them used to enjoying water (!) as a cold treat in summer. I feel slightly cross that I didn't think of this myself.

ANYWAY. I made some yoghurt pops in ice trays with the ice-cream sticks. These are the ones I mentioned here.

I love the snack size and we've been having them after supper as our dessert. I will make the standard ice-lolly ones too for when the kids are playing outside properly, but these work really well to cool them down quickly and as a little treat. Pics here of the standard yoghurt pops.



I bought about a million ice-cream sticks - okay probably 50-100? - at Westpack for R12,95... and I'm washing them to reuse! Let's call it "green" instead of "cheap".

Method
  1. Put a dollop of yoghurt in each ice cube section, insert an ice-cream stick and pop into the freezer.
  2. Warning for the perfectionists - the sticks won't be at perfect 90 degree angles and that's okay. Right? Seriously, the kids won't care and neither should you :)

Enjoy!

Tell me about a good idea you're using at your house these days.

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