Saturday, 28 March 2015

My Coffee Routine

Since I run on coffee I thought I had better write a blog post on what coffee I use and what equipment I make it in.

First up is the storage equipment and what coffee we enjoy :


We store our coffee in this gorgeous and practical container from Le Creuset in the colour Marseille (it fits a 500g bag). After trying many different ground coffees Hubby and I came to the conclusion that we liked the Woolworths ground coffee. We buy the Breakfast Blend and the Mocca Java Blend in the 500g packs as it is more value for money. I also usually get 10% off as I have a Woolworths card. We would like to eventually get a burr grinder so we can buy the coffee beans but in the mean time this is working out well and we get great tasting coffee.

The morning ritual :
Two cups of coffee made in our Bodum coffee plunger. Hubby usually makes this coffee. Two rounded scoops of coffee are placed into the glass of the Bodum and boiled water is poured over and up to the level for the two cups. The plunger is inserted but not pressed down. The coffee is left to brew for about four minutes and then the plunger is slowly pressed down. Pour into cups, add required sugar and milk and we also add a bit of cream. Serve and enjoy mmmmm. Sip slowly!!!

Then it is the usual get ready rush and the taking of the kids to school. I either come back home to do housework etc or I go down to the office to do the job costing.

My second cup of coffee I like to have around 9am or 9:30am. This time I make it in my new toy the AeroPress. Hubby had seen this in December in a newsletter from Yuppiechef and encouraged me to buy it as we had a one cup Bodum plunger that didn’t filter out the coffee grinds properly.  I am so glad I listened to him and bought it as it is a fabulous coffee maker. A filter paper is inserted into the bottom and a rounded scoop of coffee added. You have to wet the end of the rubber plunger. Boiled water is added up to level  4 (personal preference) and the coffee is stirred and then the plunger inserted and pushed down. Remove the AeroPress from the cup and clean it and then add the usual milk and sugar to your coffee, relax and enjoy.



I might have another AeroPress made coffee later in the day or if I am feeling very lazy I will make myself a Cappuccino or Cafe Mocha in my Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine. It is very easy to use : make sure the water holder has enough water in and switch the machine on so that it can warm up. If I am making a cappuccino I put a milk capsule in first and turn the dial to 5 and push the button. When that is done I replace the milk capsule with a coffee capsule and turn the dial to 1 and push the button. Add sugar, stir and drink a lovely cappuccino.



For coffee on the run I have three lovely travel mugs to choose from. The one with the pink top is from Nescafe Dolce Gusto, gold glitter with the pink heart is from Woolworths and “The wake up and smell the coffee” is from Typo.



So there you have it! The coffee and the coffee making equipment that help me run.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Events at the Oyster Box Hotel


I recently wrote about an event that I attended in the Durban July Room at the Oyster Box Hotel and how they go out of their way to prepare fabulous food and give brilliant service. The Oyster Box Hotel treats all their guests as VIPs and I love going there.

 
Here are upcoming events at the hotel :

 

IT’S TASTING TIME!

Take part in a free Tutored Tasting of Bouchard Finlayson wines on Friday 27 March in the Hotel Lobby, from 18:00-19:00, before the Dinner service. Booking for both the tasting and dinner is essential. 

 




EASTER TREATS

Holiday vibes are on the cards for the Easter Weekend at The Oyster Box.  An Easter-themed HighTea will take place daily from 14:30-17:00 from Friday 3 to Sunday 6 April in the Palm Court.  The cost of R 320.00 per person includes a gift for each guest.

 


CALLING ALL FASHIONISTAS! (This sounds fabulous!!)

The definitive guide to looking and feeling good!  Hosted by East Coast Radio’s Jane Linley Thomas, style-guru and dress designer Carol Clark together with Wendy Hind from Chato Romano, makes this a day to remember with a fashion show and “Style your Life, Style your Wardrobe” Workshop.  Relax in the Pearl Room with tea stands served at your table from 09:00 – 12:00 on Wednesday 22 April.  Prizes for the best dressed lady and exciting lucky draws with a Carol Clark pop-up shop after the show.  Tickets are R390 per person.  

 
Carol Clark

HOT NEWS FOR FOODIES (DON’T MISS THIS!)

Back by popular demand and celebrating the very best KZN produce and product available the next KZN Food Heroes Dinner takes place on Friday 24 April in the Pearl Room.  MEET… the farmers and producers of KZN’s artisinal produce, hear their food stories and walk the KZN Food Heroes journey.   Enjoy the five-course plated menu, accompanied by beer from The Nottingham Road Brewing Company. On the Menu: Charcuterie from Midlands Speciality Products; Venison from Zulu Waters Game Reserve; Fresh Strawberries from Cappeny Estate Strawberry Farm;   Cheeses from The Gourmet Greek;  Flowers from LIV Childrens’ Village; A Gift for each Diner from Peters Gate Herbs.  Cost is R550 per person. 

 

SPA EVENTS 

The 2015 World Spa & Wellness Awards, which were announced on 22 February at a gala event held in London, saw The Spa at The Oyster Box – triumph in the Hotel Spa of the Year: Africa category.

 Look out for monthly SPECIAL OFFERS as well as regular SPA SPECIAL EVENTS.  

 
Coming up:

John van G Make-over Day – Monday 30 March

Join us for a make-over day in conjunction with John van G, the make-up brand used by The Spa at The Oyster Box.  One of our qualified John van G make-up artists will offer a variety of tips and trends to take your look to a new level. The cost of the workshop, which runs from 08:00-17:00, is R350 per person.   

 

Gorgeous Glow Top to Toe/ Mama Mio Spa Treatment – Wednesday 29 April

Brought to you by Mama Mio, the pregnancy experts, join our team of therapists for a complete top to toe 90-minute Spa experience with a pregnancy facial - deep cleansing, exfoliating & rebalancing – combined with a mind-melting massage.    The morning starts at 09:00 and ends at 11:30 and includes a goodie bag, light breakfast and the Spa Snack Buffet. Cost is R995 per person. 

 

CHECK OUT THE EXCITING NEW TALENT & ENTERTAINMENT LINE-UP AT THE OYSTER BOX 

 

The hottest spot in town, The Oyster Box offers live entertainment every day of the week.

 
THE LIGHTHOUSE BAR

Open daily for cocktails and snacks, with live music from Wednesday to Friday (18h30 – 21h30), from some of Durban’s top, as well as up and coming musicians. 

SAVE THE DATE - The fabulous acoustic swing Jazz duo, Beat Route, entertains in The Lighthouse Bar from 18:00-22:00 on 31 March and 28 April. 
 

THE OYSTER BAR

Sit back and enjoy live music each evening (18h30 – 21h30) from Monday to Friday.

NEW – Local talent Eric Canham joins the line-up in this stylish, laid-back venue. The music of singer/song-writer Canham appeals to both young and older audiences. He is well known for his cover versions of the music of the greats – Jazz, R&B, Rock ’ n Roll. 

 
THE OCEAN TERRACE

 
Live music from top local performers, including Wallace Nock & Eric Canham on Saturdays from 12h00 – 15h00 and 12h00 – 15h00 on Sundays.  An a la carte menu as well as the Incredible Curry Buffet is served in this casual venue and it’s the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch and sundowners.



The Oyster Box Hotel
2 Lighthouse Road Umhlanga Rocks
031 5145000
http://www.oysterboxhotel.com/

Friday, 20 March 2015

Decorex Durban 2015




It is Decorex Durban time again!

 
Yesterday morning Faeema and I got there at opening time (10am) so that we could experience a few hours of beautiful decor before I had to fetch the kids from school. I love attending Decorex and especially with someone that I can ooh and aah over all the wonderful stands with. We were not disappointed as there were many stands where a lot of thought, time and effort had been put into making them stand out.

 
There are fabulous cooking and table styling sessions in the Dining & Entertaining Theatre so make a note of the times so you can be seated to watch the chefs in action. The first session starts at 11:30am.

 
There are lots of stands selling delicious food and the main one is the Consol Gourmet Market which also has an ample seating area. If you have eaten at Afro’s Chicken, at their yellow container on the beachfront, you will be glad to know that they are at Decorex. They also have a lovely seating area to enjoy your strips ‘n tjips. For your coffee (and brownie) fix there is Gloria Jeans Coffee.

 
Here is my journey through Decorex in pictures :

Arabian Stallion by Bryan Cusack Sculpting

Love this blue wall from the Compact Spaces Kitchen

Retro in the Ergonomics kitchen

Lots of green from Vegmo Accessories

Caesarstone

Sugar Plum Interiors

Woodshack

Love this wall in the Ginja Magazine stand


Another amazing wall at the Plascon stand

Hanging bottles in the Plascon stand

Stunning room by Frans Alexander Interiors with Home Fabrics

Design Team delights

Love these bottles - R15 from Consol (I bought one)

Colourful bottles from Consol

Flutterby butterflies at Slinx Interiors

Slinx Interiors
 
These are just a few of the amazing stands to be seen at this years Decorex Durban. Get down there to experience it yourself!
 

Decorex at the Durban Exhibition Centre.

 
Opening times:

Friday 20 March 10am – 9pm

(featuring the Upmarket pop-up from 3pm – 9pm)

Saturday 21 March 10am – 8pm

Sunday 22 March 10am – 6pm





Thursday, 12 March 2015

Caltrate Ladies Time Out Event


Yesterday afternoon Inge Loker and I attended a wonderful and informative event at the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga in the Durban July Room. The event was hosted by Caltrate and I was fortunate to win two tickets through their Facebook page Inspirational Women.
Celynn Erasmus

The speaker was Wellness Professional Celynn Erasmus who explained to us how important it is to be our own CEO - Chief Energy Officer.

Performance Chemistry - Managing energy

High performance pyramid

Challenges that we face :

Challenge 1 : Time poor and stress rich

We need to make changes that don't cause more stress in our lives eg diets cause us stress as we put so much worry into making the change.

Challenge 2 : We don't change easily

When there is too much information on a change we tend to just not do it.


Things we need to practise :

80/20 principle - 80% of the time eating well and 20% on fun food

Strategic refuelling - breakfast within 2 hours of waking and then eating regular meals throughout the day

Ideally having a snack every 2 hours eg fruit, handful of nuts

Eating less at night for supper (loved the example she used of fueling a car - you don't fuel a car at the end of a trip so why eat a huge meal before you go to sleep!!)

A snack for a woman should have 500 - 750kj of energy (read the label) it should also be as natural as possible with little or no sugar

Buy a range of snacks and keep them in your handbag and in your car

Balance portion sizes (calories) - eat off smaller bowls and plates

Eat like an artist (colour) 5 servings of fruit and/or vegetables a day (serving = ladies fist full)

Add your salad or vegetables to your plate first and then meat and/or starch

Hydration - 1 glass of water for every 10kgs of weight

Re-think your drinks - be very careful of drinks with calories

Good waist management - extra weight around the waist can lead to diabetes and heart problems

Do you know your health numbers? Glucose, Cholesterol, blood pressure (you need to know this yearly)

Sleep - you body needs 7 - 8 hours every day (you will struggle to lose weight if you are sleep deprived)

Do you get enough nutrients from what you eat? If not then you need to add supplements eg calcium, multivitamin, omega 3

Do you move around regularly? You need to get up from your desk and move around for at least 2 minutes every half an hour. Motion creates emotion

Looking after yourself! If you don't look after yourself, how can you look after others?


We ended off the informative talk by indulging in the most divine high tea spread. So yummy! If you have not attended the Oyster Box high tea!!! I suggest you rectify that immediately. The experience is incredible. Read about me taking my parents to the high tea here

Sweet selection
 
Beautiful table decor

Celynn giving her talk
VIC (very important cat) Skabenga

The fabulous lighthouse

 
Caltrate:Website Facebook

Celynn Erasmus : Website Facebook Twitter

The Oyster Box Hotel : Website Facebook Twitter

Thank you Caltrate, Celynn and the Oyster Box Hotel for an amazing afternoon.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Roxy Learn to Surf

My daughter decided before her 13th birthday last year that she would like to learn to surf. So for her birthday we bought her a surfboard, a 2nd hand one that we got from a friend of our son.  Neil and I knew nothing about surfboards and we only discovered later that you start with a big board and then get a smaller one. So the board we bought for the daughter is actually too small for her. Oh well!

 
 


A few weeks before the end of school I saw on the Roxy Learn 2 Surf Facebook page that there were going to be a few camps in Durban. We asked Laura whether she was keen to attend (she was) and she said she would ask friends to do it with her. Hubby had a genius idea and suggested to our son that he go as well, and just see what he thought of surfing.

 
I got in contact with Alan of Roxy Learn 2 Surf in Durban and booked and paid for the kids. It was a 3 day camp from 16 – 18 December. They supply a surfboard, rash vest or wetsuit and lunch for only R550 for all 3 days. It starts at 9am and the kids get collected at 3pm.

 


So on the 16th December we took the kids down to Addington/UShaka beach for their first day of surfing. We introduced ourselves to Alan and signed the kids in. You can give your kids money if they wish to get extra food or an ice cream etc or you could pack extra snacks for them. We gave the kids some money – which they spent at Afro’s Chicken up the beach (found this out when we fetched them). As it was the first day they had to wait for all the kids to arrive and then assign surfboards to them and find them rash vests etc.

 
Neil and I decided that we would have breakfast at Surf Riders which is right next to the learn to surf area. We ordered cappys and our breakfast and watched the preparation happening at learn to surf. The cappys and breakfast were divine and I would really like to go back and eat there again. Also a great people watching place, as there are so many walking/running/cycling past the restaurant.

 
Everyone was sorted out and they lined up with their surfboards behind them to have photos and then made their way onto the beach. We watched them start their warm up and then we headed home.

 
Oh my! The excited chatter when we collected them. Laura saw dolphins and stood up on the board and caught her first wave. Caleb also managed to stand. They had pizza for lunch and also went to Afro’s for chicken and chips. There were cooldrinks available to drink when they were thirsty. The coaches were awesome, especially Alan. They were told to reapply sunscreen and the lunch break was 2 hours. Aaaannnddd surfing hooked Caleb. They couldn’t wait to get back to the beach.

 
The next day Neil took them down and fetched them as I was busy trying to get the house sorted before Christmas. It was the same excited chatter as before – we saw this, we did that and surfing is awesome! Caleb was determined to get a surfboard for himself.

 
The 3rd day they were not able to surf for long as blue bottles were blown onto the beach. Alan and the coaches kept them entertained and they went boating on the canals. Two very happy and tired kids came home that afternoon but they were also so sad that the surf camp was over.  I really, really recommend Roxy Learn 2 Surf as the kids were very well looked after and they had an incredible time. Even if your kids don’t take up surfing, attending the camp will be an amazing experience for them.

 

Roxy Learn 2 Surf is not only in Durban. Go to their Facebook page for information of where and when the next surf camps are.

 
Here are the contact details for Durban :

Alan Wallace
076 877 5143