KZN’s first Fitch & Leedes Gin and Tonic Festival – a success!

On Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 KZN hosted the very first Fitch & Leedes Gin and Tonic Festival at the picturesque Chris Saunders Park in the heart of Umhlanga.

With a combination of lifestyle elements, bringing together food, music and the biggest variety of gin that Durban has ever seen, the event was a resounding success with gin enthusiasts and those just in for the fun of it, having the choice to select between a Gin & Tonic taster or a perfect serve Gin & Tonic, poured by the mixologists, complemented by fresh garnishes as well as relaxed live music by the Gus Brown band as well as other local acts.

The event saw a great turnout and out of the hundreds of people that attended the festival, I captured quite a few of the groups of friends and family that were enjoying the experience. Seen at the event were:

 

1
 Aran Jung, Carolyn Ogle and Cathrine Boogaard
2
Laura and Warren Taylor, Craig and Lee Du Bruyn and Di Smith
3
Colin Chester, Shirley Berko (Cuizine Africa) and Gareth Lagesse
4
Back L-R: Moses Beukes, Brian Vezi & In front L-R: Mandisa Ngema, Mbali Radebe, Ndo Vezi, Thuleka Cele and Mbali Koba
5
Emelia Govender, Kajol Gabriel, Alisa Reddy and Lucrecia Singh
6
Travis Lester, Tasha and Brett Neilson and Justin Van Vuuren

 

Kerry and Caylen Kirsten with Shelley Richards
Kerry and Caylen Kirsten with Shelley Richards

 

Till next time!

Ciao…

Decor Tips for Mix-Match decor

A living space that works together by mixing colour, texture and pattern can be difficult to achieve. It can become kitsch and messy.

In order to get the look right, I spoke to Keswyn Mackintosh (Interior Designer and Business Developer at Inspired Design) who gave some ideas on how to get the mix-match style.

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Pictured right: A House of Décor floral and solid patterned sofa mixed with a hounds tooth pattern. The colour on the scatter adds contrast. Floral is then once again included in the painting, to tie in the look. 

According to Mackintosh, “There is a large amount of thought and planning when creating a mix and match room”.

No matter if your room has furniture of different colours, styles or patterns, as long as they are the same height, the room will look balanced. However, ornaments in different heights are an exception to the rule and add a layered effect for interest-sake.

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Pictured left: Different shades of blue and grey single sofa chairs of the same height, tie in with the rug. The coffee table in a dark coloured stain and the metal ottoman bring in an element of nature and the variety of colours and styles complement each other. 

“Any well-decorated room seeks some common ground, where everything finds a way to work together,” Mackintosh added.

Working a combination of styles

If your room incorporates both vintage and modern decor, ensure you make use of vintage items in the most strategic way. “Mixing and matching is all about selecting what looks right together,” Mackintosh said.

Paint colour:

Wall paint should be kept neutral in order to be combined with a variety of colour and texture options that are accentuated in the décor pieces.

As an aside, she added that green has been trending since the start of the year, however instead of painting the walls green, rather paint them a neutral shade and add in green elements through smaller decor items. Here is an example

Ciao for now and happy decorating!

 

Fun in the kitchen with a kid-friendly recipe

Name: Flapjack Friends

Makes: 8-10

Prep time: 5-10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

For all the parents out there who want to enjoy a fun affordable activity with their children, then opt for baking. It is a great way to interact with your little ones – especially if it is cold and rainy weather and you prefer a day indoors.

I have to admit that I am not at all a chef, but I have a few recipe’s which I enjoy making. When it comes to baking, I find that I am able to involve him and it allows me to spend much-needed quality time.

I find that at 2 years old, he is at a critical age where my husband and I need to teach him as much as we can, or at least try.

During and after the baking experience I realised a few exciting benefits:

  • He spent less time wanting to watch TV. (I do try to limit this and this was one way of taking his attention away for anything digital)
  • The process of baking helped him build his creativity
  • The final result helped him enhance his imagination
  • Working with the food colouring and different colours of the ingredients assisted in him repeating and in turn revising the colours he knew as well as learning new ones.
  • He learnt to repeat the names of the ingredients
  • He used his listening skills

Here’s the easy-to-do basic recipe:

Ingredients: (I used a tea cup to measure out everything)

2x tea cups of flour (+-300g)

1/3 tea cup of brown sugar

1 tea cup of milk

½ cup cold tap water

1 tsp of baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 cap/drop of vanilla essence

1 pinch of salt

1x large egg

Cookie cutter (I chose the shape of a person)

Optional

1/3 cup of strawberry Nesquick

1 cap/drop of food colouring (I used blue)

Method:

Heat a frying pan (preferably non-stick) with a drop of cooking/canola oil

Once hot, turn the heat down to about 3.

For the batter:

In one bowl, sieve together and mix the dry ingredients – except for the Nesquick

In another bowl, beat the egg and milk, water and vanilla essence together

Combine the ingredients by mixing the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients

Mix until it becomes a thick yet pourable batter. Do not over mix. Then fold in the Nesquick and food colouring

Pour batter into a jug to make it easier to work with

Then pour the batter into the pan in the size needed in order to cut a shape out of it using a cookie cutter.

Watch for tiny bubbles starting to appear on the top of the flapjack and turn. Keep checking the flapjack. It should turn a light golden brown colour on the other side when done.

Place aside and leave to cool.

Once all the flapjacks are cooked and cooled, press a cookie cutter into each one to create your flapjack friends.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

#Historymade in the Midlands

On Wednesday, May 17th, I had the privilege of attending the Midlands Meander’s very 1st Popup Kitchen boasting fine dining off grills at Granny Mouse Country House & Spa amongst a selected few fellow bloggers and social media personalities.

Granny Mouse Country House & Spa is the perfect combination of relaxation and luxury. With a heritage spanning 30 years, award-winning cuisine and wine, coupled with a host of elegant accommodation options, Granny Mouse Country House & Spa has customised their ethos of being a, “home away from home!”

After checking in just after 2 pm, we retreated to our rooms to enjoy some quiet time before the evening got underway.

I was placed in a deluxe room, which was gorgeous. As you walk in you are welcomed with the smell of lavender and you immediately feel a sense of relaxation.

 

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Deluxe room

 

My favourite part about the room is the small touches, like the fireplace, complimentary mini bar, floral accents in the bathroom and the wonderful his and hers gown and slippers.

At 5:30 pm I made my way down to the main lounge where the guests would gather at 6 pm. I enjoyed some time near the fireplace and chatted to those that had also come down earlier. At 6 pm, the bubbly was poured and canapes served and Sean Granger, the General Manager of Granny Mouse welcomed everyone with a heartfelt speech which started off with, “Welcome home family & friends…” – which made everyone feel relaxed and ready to embrace the exciting dinner awaiting us.

When arriving at the wedding chapel, a long table was set out for us with stunning decor and fairy lights that shone against the glassware to illuminate the area. (This is also such a great idea for an intimate wedding setting).

The popup kitchen was set up nearby where Culinary Artists Wayland Green and Kirstie du Toit prepared the food for the evening, with a fire on the go, to add warmth and ambiance.

 

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Culinary Artists Kirstie du Toit & Wayland Green

 

With a menu to compliment the relaxed fine dining done off grills, we were presented with the following:

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For the table:

Steamed mielie bread & sundried tomato, basil & mozzarella Braai broodjie accompanied by olive tapenade & sweet tomato & basil chutney.

Starter:

Starter

Prawn & hake sausage, wild fennel & corn cream, corn kernels & salsa verde garnish with verbena & wild fennel.

Main:

Main Course

Wood grilled beef fillet, ox liver stout jus, caramelised sweet potatoes, peppered baby corn & carrots, fresh diced green pepper & red onion.

Dessert: 

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Deconstructed trifle with roasted almond flakes, chargrilled fruits, banana cream, Frangelico custard & puff pastry.

Wines:

The Barrio Sauvignon Blanc (with lemon grass aromas & passion fruit) and Glenelly Cabernet Sauvignon (touch of spice & chocolate with a complexity of flavours to the nose of blackcurrant & cherry).

Apart from the amazing food and wine, the company was incredible and with an instabooth, provided by KZN Wedding DJ to capture the action, the event saw lots of fun and laughter by all the guests.

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According to Sean Granger, General Manager of Granny Mouse,  “The event not only made history as the first of its kind in the area, but #grannymouse trended at number 1 in South Africa on Twitter for 28 hours. We were still trending the next day with #popupkitchen taking second place from 6 am. I believe in setting trends and having Granny Mouse lead from the front.”

 

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The guests

For more information about Granny Mouse visit http://www.grannymouse.co.za.

They are also currently running an amazing winter special, so why not book a getaway in the country.

Till next time!

 

Book Review: The Shack

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Picture courtesy of https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3378/3233624352_dce9d4ffca_z.jpg?zz=1

In December last year, I was introduced to The Shack. A novel I had somehow never heard of and when I was told that this was a novel I have to read, I did.  I recently found out that this novel will be screened in cinemas next month. *Happy Dance* 

What is it about, you ask? I have included my brief synopsis below (Read the full one here)

The novel is based on a father’s uplifting spiritual journey after suffering a family tragedy. I won’t divulge too much information, but it is thrilling.

Anyway, he goes into depression and then out of the blue, receives a letter… and this letter is the start of his journey.

What do I think about the novel?

I don’t know about you, but I am the type of person who loves reading gripping books of substance (It just so happens that some of these have been turned into films)

After reading the novel in only a few days, I learned so much from 270 odd pages and it honestly gave me a new outlook on death, my relationship with Christ and above all, my understanding of being a human dealing with my very own internal shack.

Although this novel is non-fiction, I truly feel that there is so much truth to it. It makes so much sense – with the smart, well thought out storyline coupled with a message about seeing & thinking out-of-the-box. All I can say is that this story has moved me.

As much as I don’t want to give anything away to those who have not yet read it yet, my favourite part of the entire journey of enlightenment is near the end, where the main character, Mackenzie is in the presence of God. He realises that forgiveness does not mean that anything is forgotten – as per the saying “forgive and forget”. It is more an understanding that when we forgive someone, it is about leaving that person’s hurtful actions in the hands of Christ and being freed from the anger and internal wounds.

Overall, this novel is easy to read and follows the story line without jumping from different scenarios.

Now I cannot wait to watch the film. Check out the trailer on The Shack’s official website – http://www.theshack.movie/#trailer

Have you read this book? I would love to hear your thoughts about it.

 

Capturing life’s little memories

As a mom, I feel that it is so important to have lots and lots of photos. If you’re pedantic, like me, you will also have a whole folder on your computer, or laptop and on a backup hard drive, solely dedicated to your child or children’s photos.

I have even gone as far as putting photographs into folders according to each month of development and have finally stopped at age 2. I am now only doing this on a yearly basis. *smiles*

As we know that with growing up, children get invited to many a birthday party. We too had the pleasure of eating cake and singing “Happy Birthday” at one of my little one’s friend’s parties and because we had adopted a Jack Russell puppy the week before, we decided to bring him along. (Just because he was only 8 weeks old and needed lots of love and attention).

Well, needless to say, the kids loved it and overall the party went well.

Besides the fun atmosphere, sweet treats and conversation to be had at a party, I love it when there is a designated photographer to capture the memories – especially when it is not mom or dad taking the photos. I have experienced this first hand! My sister and I recently hosted a combined birthday party for my son and nephew and I took it upon myself to snap away, so I didn’t really get to have any pics with my son and it was a little disappointing looking at them afterwards.

Nevertheless, I managed to get a really awesome photo of my son hugging his puppy at the party we attended. It is the cutest thing. It captures his little personality so well – a child with a caring and loving nature and one I will definitely have printed onto canvas.

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Thanks must go to Jené Harris, the owner of D’Light Photography for her beautiful images.  Check out more of her work here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/dlightp/about/?ref=page_internal

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