Yum! Chicken salad

Good morning! I decided to make a chicken salad for breakfast this morning. I am trying my best to be as healthy as I possibly can.

My salad this morning includes shredded lettuce, salt & pepper feta and grilled chicken pieces. I topped it off with mixed herbs and some flaxseed oil – as recommended by my Mom.


I had this with a tall glass of water with ice cubes. It’s a perfect time to relax, and write a to-do list of things I need to purchase or prep for.


My stationery is from Typo. They have really great stuff – particularly stationery. The pen is called Smooth Operator and the writing pad is a general one that are on their shelves.

xx

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Being vegan

My sister and I decided to try to be vegan for the better part of a week. My sister, the resilient person that she is, followed through for a full 5 days. I, on the other hand, managed for several hours, but soldiered on for a day or two more while adding butter here and there. I’m a weakling of sorts.

Below is a rye roll with poppy and other delicious seeds. Topped with purple cabbage, watercress leaves, baby snap peas and topped with a vegan honey-mustard salad dressing.

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Next, I had the same roll, except this time my toppings altered slightly. I’ve added purple cabbage, watercress and chick peas topped with the vegan honey-mustard salad dressing. I also had a side of baby carrots. To drink, I had a glass of ice water, as well as a mug of green tea.

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I then attempted a vegan Bhudda bowl. I boiled some pasta, drizzled olive oil over it to avoid it was from sticking together. I added some sweet corn, watercress, purple cabbage and baby carrots. I then added some crushed chilli flakes for a spicier effect. This was delicious! I could eat it any day!

Bon appétit!

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Coco Chanel

Over the years I’ve used a variety of different products in my beauty regimen when getting ready to go out, yet none of those compare to the Chanel products I’ve recently grown to adore. One of the best things about using Chanel products is the French aspect to it. The names of the products tend to have a French touch which is oh-so-glamourous!

 

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Coco Chanel once said that “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

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I began with a beauty basic – a lip balm called the rouge coco baume – hydrating conditioning lip-balm by Chanel. It comes in a lipstick tube as well as a tub. I first bought the tube and, once that had finished, the tub of lip balm. I much prefer the tube as that was less sticky than that of the tub of lip balm. The good aspect about the tub of lip balm, however, is that it lasts really long. Sometimes lipstick can be applied, and then some of the lipgloss after in order to give it a more glossy, finished look.

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I have also tried the Chanel lipstick – particularly the Rouge Coco Téhéran (56). This lipstick is pretty good and tends to last long. It is a pink-orange colour with accents of sparkle which truly adds to the evening charm. There is no need to add any type of lip-gloss over this lipstick shade as it is perfection on its own.

 

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The next Chanel product I quite enjoy is the Joues Contraste powder blush. It comes in a neat little package, and is further enclosed in a velvet case. In that velvet case is the compact box with the powder blush. The colour I have is Reflex (82) and it works wonders on my skin tone. The colour can be described as a dusty pink with a glittery essence that also adds to the blush on the whole. The actual compact box contains a clear-as-day mirror and a Chanel blush brush to aid in the application of the blush. All-in-all it is a convenient fully equipped blush kit which is ideal to pop in your purse for a touch up later on in the day!

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I also have the Les Pinceaux de Chanel brush. This is a 2-in-1 foundation brush that works for both, fluid and powder based make-up. This works really well when I want to apply strobe cream as a highlighter, or simply for blending make-up that requires it. This brush comes in a velvet case as well, thus making it easier to carry around when packing in a make-up bag or simply popping into a suitcase. It is as soft as cotton candy and is great to clean. I generally use the silicone make-up brush cleaner with some liquid soap and warm water. Within a few minutes it is as good as new, and as soft as ever!

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Au revoir mon chéri!

Review: 10 2nd Avenue Houghton Estate

Nestled in a quiet area of Johannesburg, lays a beautiful 5 star boutique hotel. I was quite excited to be here as I had been looking at reviews and pictures of the meals made here for quite some time prior to going. A few of my favourite girls surprised me with a fine dining dinner for my birthday this year. I was positively thrilled and 100% surprised (and heaven knows I love surprises).

As it was a girls evening, it was pretty great to begin with. The process of applying make-up and donning heels set these scene for the glamour and high society evening we were about to embark, prior to us arriving at the boutique hotel even. When we drove in, it was a quiet, decently lit driveway, where we were met by the maître d’hôtel who led us into the hotel, through a green garden via a little brown bridge, then up the stairs and onto the porch. We were given an option to dine indoors or out, to which we chose the outdoor porch area.

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We were brought hot towels to freshen up, as well an assortment of bread with butter, including sweet bread. We placed our orders and waited until our meals were served. 

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We ordered an assortment of starters, such as a Cajun chicken salad, a caprese salad with fresh tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil and balsamic reduction, a grilled prawn skewer with Asian slaw, wasabi mayonnaise and avocado, as well as peri peri chicken livers, salad with care melodies onion and toasted bread. Once we had eaten our starters, we strolled around the hotel which was immaculate and very warm. 

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A while later, our main meals were brought and we began to experience the taste and service of true fine dining. We ordered a roasted lamb rack with minted pea and sweet potato mash, glazed carrots and jus, as well as char grilled lemon and herb chicken with haloumi and rising pasta salad and herb crème fraiche, eye fillet steak with fondant potato, seasonable vegetables and and a green peppercorn sauce, and lastly kingklip with spicy Basmati rice and sautéed vegetables.

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By then we were very cold as it was a chilly evening, and we opted to be served our desserts indoors. We ordered layered puff pastry and custard with seasonal berries and berry coulis, sticky date pudding accompanied with whipped cream and butterscotch sauce and a Lindt chocolate fondant served with coffee ice-cream and chocolate shards. All the deserts were utterly delicious!

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Needless to say, I had a lovely birthday with the most lovely ladies whom I am ever so grateful to have in my life!

Yum! Mini donuts

A few weeks ago, I was inspired to make mini donuts – or donutlings. It’s been a craze recently and what better thing to do than to attempt it oneself. I began with a basic donut recipe, and used circular objects in order to get them to be a genuine DIY in order to get the perfect size – ‘mini’.

Sugar and spice and all things nice were included in the mixture. The spice being nutmeg of course, to give it that lovely savoury donuty taste!

I fried the mini donuts in hot oil, all the while turning them to ensure that they were perfectly cooked outside as well as inside. After it was a golden brown, I took them out and left them to drain on draining paper.I melted Cadbury chocolate – the best tasting chocolate I’ve used thus far – and dipped the donuts in. Thereafter I proceeded to sprinkle hundreds and thousands over them for a pop of colour.

Lastly, owing to my adoration of flowers, more so edible flowers, I popped a few on several of the donuts to add a elegant touch to it.

And voila!

Yum! Red velvet cupcakes

Back to baking! It would be good to mention that I got a paper cut of sorts from a Rice Krispies box while frantically searching for cupcake holders, prior to baking. It seems that an inanimate object, such as a paper box is a hazard to my very existence. Rest assured, in the end I found the cupcake holders, and my finger seems to be recovering decently.


I decided to make red velvet cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and some people like variation of it – some like it without the frosting, others like eating the frosting on its own, so it really is a personal choice at the end of the day. It was just before twilight when I began so the weather complemented the baking process quite well. Once I poured the mixture into the frilly white cupcake holders, the oven was at 180 degrees Celsius and ready to receive a batch of almost-cupcakes.


While baking in the oven, a perfect window of opportunity opened for me to begin making the cream cheese frosting. I combined softened butter and cream cheese in a glass bowl, then added icing sugar and beat it until it was a perfectly integrated and looked to be a smooth consistency. I used cling wrap to cover the top of the glass bowl, then popped it into the fridge for 30 minutes. After a while, my cupcakes were baked and smelling delicious! I left it out to cool for approximately 45 minutes.


I then proceeded to transfer the cream cheese frosting into the piping bag with a simple nozzle, after which the much awaited piping began! I had so much fun baking and then piping the cream cheese frosting onto these red velvet cupcakes! I was quite happy with the outcome. Cupcakes after my own heart.

Yum! Cupcakes

If I had to write a sentence to sum up my undying love for cupcakes, it would go something like this:

I have an undying love for cupcakes.

Unlike Marie Antoinette, whose quote would go something like:

Let them eat cake!


How rude. She was guillotined in the end so her sarcasm regarding baked goodness was dealt with a degree of justice, one could argue.

Some 200 years later, I happen to be around, floating uncommitted, from room to room until I find myself in the kitchen on a mission. I am by all means a total advocate for cupcakes – especially creating them, pouring sprinkles on them, baking them and icing them thereafter.


I spent my afternoon in the kitchen putting together ingredients for delicious vanilla cupcakes. Once the mixture was ready, I scooped it into frilly white cupcake holders using two table-spoons. I then proceeded to sprinkle rainbow coloured vermicelli sprinkles on half of the cupcake mixture, and sprinkled chocolate coloured vermicelli on the other half of the cupcake mixture in their respective oven tray holders.


After my fluffy mixture had baked for under an hour to golden perfection, I allowed for it to cool for a few hours before I began on my icing expedition. I used butter icing -which is a mixture of butter (of course) and lots of icing sugar. Once I creamed together the mixture to smooth sublimity, I added in a dash or two of turquoise liquid gel colouring. This allowed my icing to become a beautiful Tiffany & Co blue, allowing me to become even more fond of it – if that was even possible to begin with.


Finally, I transferred the icing into my piping bag, with a shiny silver nozzle at the tip to get the result I wanted with regard to the shape of the icing. The icing oozed out of the nozzle without much fuss, as it was the right consistency – not too hard, nor too soft. Like baby bear said, “juuurst right!”.


Needless to say, I was incredibly pleased with the outcome. The possibility of me entering the kitchen again to bake cupcakes is not a far off prospect. I can’t wait to share my next baking moment on the blog!

For info on ordering cupcakes for kiddies parties, high teas or corporate events, please leave your contact details in the comments section below and I’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible!

Love,

R.