Sunday, 30 August 2015

Pecan Nut Pie



This is another recipe from the book my mom-in-law made for Neil.  We all know that pecan nuts are not cheap but for 1 ½ cups of pecan nuts you can make 3 pecan nut pies (medium sized foil plates) or 33 small tartlets which is very good.




Pastry

½ cup sugar

125g margarine

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Cream above ingredients and then add :

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Salt


Put pastry into your chosen pie plates.




Filling

Boil the following for 3 minutes :

125g margarine

1 cup golden syrup

½ cup sugar

1 ½ cups pecan nuts





Cool slightly and add 2 beaten eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla essence and 10 crushed up (not too finely) cream crackers


Divide up the filling into the uncooked pie shells and bake for 15 – 20 minutes at 180C.


You can eat it plain or with a dollop of cream. Neil likes to also have a piece with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Run On Coffee Turns Two




Today is a wonderful day for me as I celebrate my blog’s second birthday!

 
It feels so strange to realise that two years ago to this very day I published my first blog post on Run On Coffee. You can read my first blog post over here.

 
Okay so enough of the talk and let’s get started with the celebrations.

 

The giveaway prize consists of the following :

Dr. Gobac Cosmeceuticals – Exfoliating Mask, Starter Cream and Wash

Avon Footworks AHA Renewing Treatment

Avon Glycerine Hand & Nail Cream

Avon True Colour Eyeshadow Quad “Pink Sands”

John Frieda Volume Refresher

Essence eyeshadow “Jazzed Up”

Black Opal invisible oil blocking powder 02

Yardley colour rush lipstick “Creamy Blush”

Beaded bracelet

Woolworths makeup bag

 

 



T&Cs :

Please make sure that you do the entries correctly as I will check.

Giveaway closes 1 September.

Winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter and announced on 2 September.

The winner has 48 hours in which to claim the prize.

The winner will be announced on the blog as well as my social media.

This giveaway is only for South African residents.



 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Sparkle Gets Some Youth Back


Our cat, Sparkle, is getting on in years ................ sssshhhh don’t tell her!

 
We think she is about 12 years old but are not too certain as she adopted us. We had no pets at that time and she would enter the house at night to look around. She gave me a huge fright more than once when I would be up late watching a movie. Neil took pity on this “poor stray” and started to feed her bits of sandwich ham and then we started buying cat food for her. I wondered if she perhaps belonged to the people over the road and one day I called to the woman to ask if she owned a cat and she confirmed that it was hers. They had to move again after a few months and the woman said she would leave Sparkle with us since she seemed to prefer us. She was sad to let her cat go as she had had her since she was a kitten but Sparkle didn’t like their big dog. NEVER did I think I would ever own a cat as they gave me terrible hay fever – streaming nose and eyes and lots of sneezing.

I can’t remember what Sparkle was called before and I think it was my daughter who decided to give her the name Sparkle. She has us very well trained and is very “talkative” and always has the last word. Sparkle has been with us for over 10 years now and is not as active as she once was. She tends to stay inside all day and goes out for her “toilet walks” twice a day.

 
The wonderful Hill’s asked whether we would like to try their Prescription Diet® j/d® Feline dry food to see if it could help give her back some of her youth.

Pet arthritis is a debilitating disease caused by protective cartilage wearing away. Joints become stiff and painful, and mobility progressively decreases. It is often misinterpreted as pet’s “slowing down” due to old age.


Does your cat :


·         Groom herself less, especially around the tail area?

·         Struggle to jump onto high places?

·         Sleep all day?

 

She could be suffering from painful joints.

Prescription Diet® j/d® Feline is formulated with the following benefits :

 
·         Clinically proven to help cats walk, run, play and climb stairs more easily, see a difference in 28 days.

·         Helps your cat walk, run and play better by soothing aching joints and preserving healthy cartilage.

·         Helps maintain joint cartilage thanks to EPA, a special omega-3 fatty acid from fish oil and glusosamine and chondrotin sulphate from natural sources.

 

Prescription Diet® j/d® Feline contains omega-3 fatty acids, which nourish cartilage.

Controlled phosphorus and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids help maintain kidney health.

High carnitine helps burn fat while maintaining lean muscle mass.

 

Sparkle had been eating the food for about two months now (loving it) and we have definitely seen a difference in her. She finds it much easier to jump onto higher surfaces – which she loves as she can swat anyone walking past. Her favourite thing of all is to climb ladders and especially if that ladder is going into the ceiling.






Thanks Hill’s for giving her Royal Highness Queen Sparkle some youth back.

 

 

 

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Getting to Know : Nadia van der Mescht





How many of you have heard about Nadia van der Mescht? Maybe you think you know what she does and who she is. If not, I have asked her a few questions to satisfy your curiosity – Okay to satisfy my curiosity!
 
You were a successful crafter (still are) and then you became a creative business consultant. How did that come about?
I started my first creative business when I was really young so I also knew I had an entrepreneurial spirit. I established a career in marketing and fashion, which I eventually expanded into blogging when I lived in London. When I returned to South Africa I yearned to start a creative business again which I successfully did. My knowledge, years of blogging, marketing experience and creativity lead me to shape a brand focused on business development for creatives. People kept asking me for help and it developed from there.
 
What training did you receive to become a creative business consultant?
I studied a range of business and marketing focused subjects along with practical learning. The various jobs I have had in marketing and fashion lead to the business elements being nurtured. A great part of what I do is rooted in it being a vocation – I can honestly say I have a knack for it and I utilise that element often.
 
Why do you specifically focus on creative businesses?
I believe that creative business owners have incredible talent, but often need guidance and assistance with elements that are related to traditional business. I pair this thinking with their needs and bridge the gap to assist them specifically. My experience and expertise also lie within creative fields and it’s what I truly enjoy.
 
What does your job entail?
It’s a really vast role that spans over a variety of jobs so to speak. It requires objective thinking balanced with insight and research. The average day is a mix of tasks that ranges from admin through to working one on one with clients. Some of the tasks I am currently working on are assisting a client with preparing a press pack, teaching a few creative minds how to improve their blogging. Another client is getting help with her editorial calendar to really build her social media. I’m reviewing a website for a new business to ensure it’s truly the best it can be. Another task on the list is guiding a several newly established businesses on the next steps they need to take. Those of just a few of the things my job entails.
 
Please explain the courses that you offer. Can anyone attend even though they might not have a creative business?
The workshops are aimed at creative business owners in a variety of fields from photography and design to crafters or even bloggers. If you have your own business and want to learn and prosper, then the workshops are ideal for you. The topics range from social media to creative marketing ideas and there are two types of workshops – one for beginners and one for intermediates. The Intermediate Workshops are for those who are in the industry and on the right track, but would perhaps like step it up a notch. However, I often have creatives who attend who are bloggers or just creative in general and want to get more out of what they do. It’s a good foundation for creative thinking in general.
 
What aspect of your job do you find the most satisfying?
Each individual creative business owner that I guide brings me not only joy, but a sense of personal achievement and satisfaction. The ability to help people and to see them flourish is the greatest reward possible.
 
How vital is social media in the success of a creative business?
I believe it’s is exceptionally important as a communication tool, but you need not use every single platform out there. Having a well-rounded online presence is essential. I really enjoy guiding clients with every step of the social media and often do one on one lessons to help creatives get over their ‘social media stage fright’. Social media is a tool and therefore it’s useful for businesses... big or small.
 
How do you stay inspired?
I get out into the world and interact with other creatives. Travel, within South Africa and internationally is one of my absolute favourite ways to get inspired. I also enjoy observing others and the way that they go about their work.
 
I know that you love stationery. Where do you feed your obsession?
Pretty much any place that sells anything stationery related. I am always on the hunt (even when I’m not supposed to be). Of course Typo is always awesome! I also really like all the stationery knick-knacks at The Space.
 
Are you a coffee or tea person and where is your favourite coffee shop?
Don’t tell anyone, but I don’t drink coffee. Most people are really shocked when they hear that. I’m pretty good at rating cake though – so hopefully that makes up for it. I really enjoy a good Red Cappuccino and try them at various spots around Durban. I love enjoying a nice cup of tea in my peaceful office – there something so satisfying about the perfect mug.
 
I love to collect Blue Cornflower Corningware, are you a collector?
Over the years I have collected vintage brooches and clutch bags. Stationery is the big collection focus, but I am very good at actually using it and sharing it. I also always look out for interesting pencils and friends usually bring me one or two from their travels.
 
Being based in Durban you must know some hidden gems. Could you share 1 or 2 with us?
I find that Durban is a gem in itself and with blogging being so popular people share their personal favourites more readily. I think the Station Drive Precinct is damn nice, but I might be bias as my office is there. One hidden gem to check out is Adams Books in Musgrave Centre as they often have nice notebooks and creative books. I like The Ruby Orchard in Howick and Fenn & Ivy in Pietermaritzburg.
 
What apps/filters do you use to make your photos look so fabulous?
I simply always try to take my photos in good natural light. My motto for Instagram is ‘quality over quantity’. I like to take my time with photos – what’s the rush, nothing is truly instant anyway. My favourite filter is Valencia.
 
You mentioned on Twitter that you took part in Miss South Africa. Please tell me about it.
Oh goodness, you weren’t suppose to see that (*blushes*). Yes, I did indeed take part in 2005 if I can remember correctly. It was a really great experience. It gave me confidence because as a young teenager I was told that I would never be a model. I decided to enter Miss SA in my early twenties (regardless of the naysayers) and really felt that I proved them wrong as I made it to the semi-finals. I think it also taught me what I really wanted and that is to be a business woman, not a model. Plus, I still get to be in magazines, but the focus is on what I do rather than how I look and I really like that.
 
Nadia van der Mescht – Business development for creative entrepreneurs. Creatives can get in touch via email should they wish to find out more about her services or how she can help them.
 






 
Nadia is running one her popular Creative Business Workshops on the 29th August in Durban if you are in need of insight into social media and its purpose within your business.







 

Friday, 14 August 2015

SAMPAR - Pink and Pretty from Paris


On Saturday morning (8 August) I went to Woolworths at the Pavilion Shopping Centre in Westville to see the launch event of SAMPAR products.

SAMPAR was introduced to the world in 2004 and inspired by the lifestyle of the Parisian woman. The name was derived from the Institute Samuel Par, a fresh and popular beauty location at Saint Germain des Prés in Paris. As of 2015, the brand SAMPAR is represented in over 1,000 select beauty locations in the world. SAMPAR, 1st urban cosmetics brand, believes that ‘Beauty cannot wait’ and dares the ‘double action’ unique promise: immediate visible results paired with a long term clinically proven efficacy.

The award-winning brand has 6 product ranges, designed to satisfy and fulfill every woman’s skin desires: Essentials are your basic skincare products, for all skin types. Pure Perfection provides a range of solutions for blemish-prone and problematic skins.  Cosmakeup blurs the lines between skin care and make-up, giving you the best of both worlds.  Age Antidote aims to reduce the visible signs of ageing. The City of Light range provides clarifying and illuminating skincare solutions. Winsome Body for body firming and toning treatments (Winsome Body is not yet available in South Africa).

SAMPAR’s cutting edge cosmetic range is dedicated to discerning women looking for smart products that give immediate and long-lasting visible results. Their mission is to reset the skin’s intelligent response system and to support its natural healing actions.


Present in all SAMPAR products lines and known as their Urban Advance Complex, are :

Shea Butter Serum – powerful detoxifying agent and free radical-fighter, protects the skin from pollution and reinforces its natural defences

Mint Endorphin – neautralizes the irritations caused by the environment

Probiotic Sugar – source of vital energy for cells, revitalizes and stimulates the skin’s natural defences


So what did I see and do at the SAMPAR in store launch?

Products on shelf at Woolworths and the Facebook competition
 
Beautiful table setting and delicious eats
 
Firstly I looked at their products on shelf and then at the wonderful “Parisian” table display set up in the cosmetics section of Woolworths. I had gone to the launch in full make-up (of course) and I knew that there was going to be a skin consultation. But it did not occur to me that I would be having a mini-facial. So of course all the make-up (except the eyeshadow) had to come off. I am being very brave here by showing you me sans make-up and with the products applied to my face. The blog is for sharing with you my experiences – right? My face was assessed and questions asked about my skin and then the products were chosen. I have a combination skin with currently very dry patches on my cheeks (so frustrating).

After my face was cleansed of the make-up the Nocturnal Line-Up Mask was applied – it was wonderfully cooling as I was experiencing a rather warm skin day (insert hot flush here).  This product is part of their Age Antidote range and is applied and left to dry on the skin at night. In the morning wet the skin, rub in a circular motion and then rinse off the product.

Right : Mask  Left : Glamour Shot
 
The mask was removed and then my face was cleansed with Velvet Cleansing Milk which is part of their Essentials range. This product gently lifts away traces of pollution and make-up (even waterproof) from the skin and eye area. It was also wonderfully cooling on my heated skin.

Next up was the So Much to Dew Day Cream also from their Essentials range. Since I have been experiencing extra dryness on my cheeks this winter (at least I hope it is only for this winter). This cream restores water concentration in the skin and also protects it from harmful UV’s, leaving it refreshed and replenished.

I now had a bare face (no foundation), so Glamour Shot universal transparent foundation was applied. This is SAMPAR’s COSMAKEUP that blurs the lines between skin care and make-up. Glamour Shot minimizes pores, redness and imperfections, unifies and mattifies the complexion and blurs lines in 1 minute. Plus, it offers a long term anti wrinkles action. I had quite a lot of redness on my cheeks that day and I did see a slight reduction in it, but would have to give it a proper test run to see if it really does what it says. Also applied was Glamour Shot Eyes (universal transparent under-eye concealer) enhances and illuminates the eyes in 1 minute, instantly erases dark circles, brightens dark areas around the eyes, minimizes puffiness and blurs wrinkles. It also offers a long term anti-wrinkles action. I would have loved to have a before and after photo to see if these two products had made a difference to my skin. My face was powdered and blusher added and when I looked in the mirror it wasn’t overwhelming obvious that I didn’t have any foundation on.

What I can say is that my face felt very happy with all the products that had been applied and my skin was relaxed, not tight with dryness. My skin also felt very soft to the touch.

 
The products used on my skin

Visit the Woolworths Pavilion or Edgars Pavilion store for a complimentary skin consultation and customised trial pack valued between R150-R350 during the month of August. I received Daily Dose Foaming Cleanser, 2 x Lavish Dream Cream’s and Nocturnal Line-Up Mask to try out at home. Woolworths and Edgars in Westville Pavilion are the only stores in Kwazulu-Natal that currently carry SAMPAR.

SAMPAR is available at the following Woolworths :  Pavilion Westville, Eastgate, Tygervalley, Canal Walk, Cavendish Square and V & A Waterfront

SAMPAR is available at the following Edgars : Pavilion Westville, Eastgate, Menlyn, Cresta, The Glen, Canal Walk, Melrose Arch, East Rand Mall, Clearwater Mall and Walmer Bay West (Please phone the store first to check that the products are on shelf)

 
Display set up inside Edgars

SAMPAR are also running a competition on their Facebook page where you can win a customized SAMPAR beauty hamper to the value of R3000. Visit the store nearest you, get your free skin consultation, give your details and then take a selfie with your favourite SAMPAR product. Post the selfie picture onto their Facebook page and get your friends to like it.

 
Note : I will give feedback on all the SAMPAR products after I have used them for awhile.

 
The SAMPAR samples that I will be testing
 
Thank you SAMPAR for also sending me the following products to test : 3 Day Weekend, So Much to Dew Day Cream, Lavish Dream Cream and Ultra Hydrating Fluid.

 
Seshnee Moodley (PR) with her favourite
product : Equalising Foam Peel

SAMPAR, Beauty Cannot Wait

 
 

Monday, 10 August 2015

OSA Restaurant



Staircase, stunning wallpaper and the circular lounge
 
I recently had the privilege of attending the media lunch at OSA Restaurant situated at Fairmont Zimbali Resort and Lodge on the beautiful Zimbali Coastal Resort & Estate. The all-new OSA Restaurant serves authentic Indian fusion cuisine lovingly prepared by chef’s Seelan Naidoo, Melanie Moodley and Nesar Noorullah. A bit of background on the three chef’s creating the cuisine for OSA : Seelan Naidoo is the Chef De Partie (station chef or line cook – yes I had to look it up), Melanie Moodley is the Senior Sous Chef and Nesar Noorullah is the Executive Pastry Chef. Joining us for the media lunch was Executive Chef Dean Uren who oversees the resorts kitchens – 11 kitchens and a 77 member kitchen brigade.


Our set table, entrance to OSA and a light in the restaurant as seen from above
 
Maybe it is just me, but when Indian cuisine is mentioned I immediately think …… HOT! I don’t do too well with hot as I can’t taste the flavours and all I feel is my mouth on fire. If you are like me you can relax and make a booking straight away as this Indian fusion cuisine is full of flavor and spices and I didn’t grab for the drink once.

I am getting ahead of myself though and must mention that before we all sat at the decorated table to try out all the dishes, we were first gathered on the upper level of the restaurant. While we were seated on the fabulous circular couch we were served a delicious Tomato Shorba (aromatic tomato soup) as a pre-cursor of the flavours yet to be experienced.

Then an excited bunch of happy, chatting people made their way down the stairs to sit at the table and experience more Indian fusion flavours. The comprehensive menu at our places showed the dishes to try and I wasn’t the only one who thought that we would have to choose from the menu which dishes we wanted. In fact I tried everything on the menu except the Rock Cod Tikka (love fish but always scared of bones).

There were three Amuse-Bouche (bite sized portion of food served before a meal or in between courses) – Chicken Liver Tikka, Crispy Pur Prawn and Lamb Samosa. All three were amazing in their differing flavours and textures and I would have loved to eat more …… but there was still more food to come.


Soup, Samosas, Prawns and Chicken Livers
 
Next up to try were the curries – Butter Chicken, Lamb Rogan Josh, Prawn Korma and Paneer Tikka Masala. Everything was tender, saucy and beautifully spiced. My favourites were the chicken, lamb and prawn but I wasn’t keen on the paneer (just not something that I am particular to).

Tandoori Grills – Chicken Tikka, Rock Cod Tikka and Kashmiri Lamb Chaape (lamb chops marinated in Kashmiri spices). Loved the chicken and the lamb and in fact I had two lamb chops. I didn’t try the rock cod but others were making appreciative sounds at the flavours. There was rice and vegetables available to have with the curries and grills and I did have a tiny taste (yum) but had to keep space available to try the rest of the menu.


Prawns and Paneer Curries, Lamb and Chicken Curries, Chicken Tikka and Lamb Chaape
 
By this time I was wondering how I was going to fit in dessert but when you see that one of them is Crème Brulee you definitely have space. We were first served a wonderful Kiwi Lassi as a palette cleanser and then it was onto the dessert.

Indian Dessert Collection – Cinnamon, Chai and rose flavoured Crème Brulee, Golden Gulab Jamun (soft sponge soaked in sugar, pistachio, almond and golden leaf) and Kesari Kheer (rice pudding). Number one for me was the crème brulees (divine) with the crisp cracking top and smooth custard interior. The Golden Gulab Jamun had the texture of a doughnut and was lovely with its sugary sauce. The Kesari Kheer was not something I would order as I like sweet desserts but it did have an interesting texture.

 
Kiwi Lassi, Crème Brulee's and Kesari Kheer

As a finale to our awesome meal we were served the OSA Restaurant’s Signature Chai Tea.

 
Chai tea

 
Take a drive out to Fairmont Zimbali and experience for yourself the delicious flavours of Indian fusion cuisine.

 

OSA Restaurant is open Tuesday to Saturday 6:30pm – 10:30pm

Bookings are essential

Contact the Dining Concierge Desk 032 – 5385000



5 Corkwood Drive

Zimbali Coastal Estate

Ballito

 

If you were asking “did she have coffee?” Well of course I did! A lovely cappuccino served in a beautiful cup. After all I do Run On Coffee.


My cappuccino

Friday, 7 August 2015

Updated Coffee Routine



I just don’t know what has happened with the days lately. Time is flying by at a rapid rate and there never seems to be enough of it to complete tasks. The saying of “running around like a chicken without a head” seems very apt to me at this moment. The last time I blogged was the 12 July and that is crazy!

So to get back into the swing of things I thought I should start with an update on My Coffee Routine and the original post can be read over here

The big change in our coffee routine was that we purchased a coffee grinder, and what a change that has made. If you think that you are enjoying great coffee by buying it ready ground I can confirm that you are not! My friend Inge Loker gave us two bags of coffee beans and that was the driving force to buy a grinder. Firstly the smell of the freshly ground coffee is amazing and once you have brewed it and had that first sip ............ oh my oh my oh my.

We also decided to branch out with our coffee drinking and bought coffee beans from the Coffee Magazine’s Discover Great Coffee Club. I just ground the last of the last packet this week and I think we will be buying the Spring batch next. The Spring batch has coffee beans from Terbodore Coffee Roastery and Bean There Coffee Company (that is just 2 of the beans).

So if you are a lover of great (not just good) coffee you really need to buy yourself a grinder and coffee beans from the amazing local coffee roasters in South Africa.

Here is information that could help you out in your great coffee endeavours :


The latest magazine

The Autumn batch (we ended with Flat Mountain)


Coffey and Cake – a guide to great coffee shops and places where you can buy beans

South African Country Life magazine – I have been enjoying reading about coffee (the jargon, tips on making better coffee) written by Jamie Braun in her #CountryCoffee section

Krups burr grinder – a great entry level grinder that works very well. We bought it online from Boardmans


Krups burr coffee grinder GVX2