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#CuppaforCansa High Tea


Last week I had the good fortune to be invited to attend a #CuppaForCANSA high tea at the luxurious Table Bay Hotel in the Waterfront. This delightful afternoon was hosted by Le Creuset and the lovely Vicki from Iwantthat and the afternoon promised to be a real treat.

Given it’s luxurious reputation The Table Bay’s new High Tea menu did not disappoint. We were plied with teeny tiny sandwiches, posh sausage rolls, mini salmon quiches and gorgeous wraps and that was just the first course.

After that we tucked into warm scones served with dollops of thick jam and lemon curd and washed down with pots of hot tea.

Then to finish it all off we were set loose on the cake table (sadly I did not manage to take a decent photo of this marvel). The enormous pastry display was crammed with all kinds of delicious goodies, to be honest I had no idea where to start. There where every kind of cake you can imagine. There was even a multicolored cheesecake – truly the silliest cake I had ever seen!

As you may remember, Nadine was selected as my “Cake Date” for the afternoon and we had the best fun hanging out together, Turns out we have a lot of friends in common and spent a lot of the afternoon catching up on who’s who and what’s what. I couldn’t have wished for a better High Tea buddy. Thanks Nadine for putting up with my non-stop chit chat and sitting with me while my sugar rush passed! You are dynamite!

After stuffing our faces with kilograms of carbs, there was a sneaky little raffle draw (in aid of CANSA) and much to my surprise I was drawn as a prize winner, scoring, for myself, a very pretty pink Le Creuset stove top kettle. How exciting! Now Alexis and I have his and hers kettles (as we already have a baby blue kettle).

Then to top it all each guest was given a divine little party pack, filled with loads of gorgeous goodies, including the prettiest heart shaped ramekins and a perfect pink cappuccino mug (from Le Creuset) as well as the pretty pink nail polish. What a treat!

What a fantastic afternoon, I went home so happy, my belly was bulging with sweet treats and my heart was bursting with sweet love from new friends. What a delight!

Thanks Vicki for organizing a truly amazing afternoon and thank you Le Creuset for the gorgeous gifts.

Matching kettles

Win high tea at the Table Bay Hotel – #CuppaforCANSA

Cuppa for CANSA

Who can resist an invitation to tea? Especially when it comes from the very lovely Vicki from I Want That (feels a bit like being invited to tea with the Liz at Buck’ Palace). Best part of Vicki’s invite is: I get to bring one lucky ready with me!

So here is the low down:

Vicki will be hosting an Afternoon Tea, with Le Creuset, in aid of CuppaforCANSA – the cancer awareness organisation. This delicious get-together will take place at the Table Bay Hotel next Thursday 23rd October from 2.30 – 5pm.

“Le Creuset is challenging people all over South Africa to open their homes, workplaces and hearts by hosting a Cuppa For CANSA. By hosting or attending a Cuppa For CANSA or raising funds online, guests are enabling CANSA’s Care & Support Programmes to those affected by cancer – the focus for 2014 being on the Tough Living with Cancer (TLC) Programme which supports children/teens &
families affected by cancer.”

So, if you are keen to join me, Vicki and a bunch of fabulous bloggers (and their guests) here is what you need to do:

Share the following sentence on Twitter or Facebook and leave a comment below letting me know you have done so – SUPER easy!

I’ve entered to win High Tea at The Table Bay with @Pretty_Pretty & @LeCreusetSA #CuppaforCANSA – you can enter too:

It’s going to be a lovely afternoon filled with cake and fabulous chit chat. There will also be fabulous raffle prizes on the day and everyone who attends will automatically get entered into a draw to win R10 000 to spend at a Le Creuset – SO ENTER NOW! (you’d be daft not to!)

Vital bits of info you need to know:
– Entries close at 3pm on Friday 17th Oct 2014
– Winners will be notified at 5pm on Friday 17th Oct 2014
– Open to folks who are based in Cape Town and are able to meet for tea at the Table Bay Hotel at 2:30pm on Thurs 23rd Oct 2014.

Be sure to also follow Le Creuset on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and use the hashtag #cuppaforCANSA

Cuppa for CANSA

If you have also been eye-balling these pretty pink Le Creuset mugs then now is the time to buy them – 30% of all sales made will be donated to CANSA.

Cuppa for CANSA

Felted Cat Caves

Stripes (#bestcat) is a cat who loves to cuddle and in winter if there is a blanket to burrow underneath she is there. Most of the time this is terribly sweet and yes, I am so blessed to have such a loving companion to keep me going while I work, but occasionally when I am trying to work on something very complicated her persistence is not so welcome.

You see, somehow Stripes knows when a deadline is eminent, that’s when she insists on pushing all the pens and pencils off my desk, she then tries to curl up on my mouse hand and if that doesn’t work (which it normally doesn’t) she then tries to squeeze herself onto me lap (under my desk) and then as a final distraction she always insists on using my keyboard as a thoroughfare – without fail managing to activate all sorts of weird Photoshop setting that I simply cannot turn off… yikes!

So in an attempt to maintain peace in our house I have been shopping about for cute cat hideaways. I found a few really gorgeous felted examples and may well have to place an order soon.

Cat Caves

Cat Cave

Cat Cave

Cat Cave

You can find the first 5 cat caves here.
The last three cat caves can be found here.

Alfajores Dulche De Leche Cookie Recipe

Alfajores recipe

According to Wiki the spanish word Alfajores is derived from the arabic work for “luxury” or “exquisite” – and let me assure you, this couldn’t be more spot on – these cookies are heavenly.

Alfajores are originally from South America and normally are made up of two thin buttery biscuits sandwiched together with a generous dollop of dulche de leche (or caramel).

I found this recipe on Twigg Studios (a super blog with tons of delicious recipes and mouth watering photos). Although I followed the recipe quite closely I did find the dough quite sticky so I chose to roll mine into a sausage shape and freeze it until it was hard enough to slice.

Alfajores Dulche De Leche Cookies:

For the biscuits:
250g Cake Flour
25g Icing Sugar (sounds like very little, but it’s just perfect as the filling is super sweet)
1 tsp Salt
225g Butter

For the filling:
1 Tin of Caramel
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves

In a food processor combine all the biscuit ingredients and whizz about till it forms a smooth dough. Tip this out onto a floured surface and form into a long sausage shape, wrap in cling film and pop in the freezer for a couple of hours. You don’t want the dough to be frozen rock hard as you will need to slice it, but if it is solid, just leave it out for a few minutes and it should soften up making slicing easier.

Preheat your oven to 180C. Line a backing sheet with grease proof paper and set aside.

When your dough is just hard enough, slice it into 5-8mm thick slices and lay them out on your backing sheet. Don’t put them too close together as they spread a little and you want to keep their lovely roundness.

Bake for 10 -15 minutes until golden and delicious looking.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire cooling rack. Once they are completely cool dust them with icing sugar.

Now you can whip up the scrummy filling – pop all the filling ingredients together in a bowl and mix together thoroughly.

Smear a spoonful (or more) of the Dulche De Leche filling onto half of your cookies and use the remaining half to finish of the little sandwiches. Perfection.

Now pour your self a cup of tea, sit back and be prepared for pure bliss!

Original recipe from here

Playing Arts

Do you love card games? I must admit one of my secret indulgences is playing Solitaire on my iPad.
Naff I know, but I love it and it reminds me of my Gran – she used to make huge pots of tea and sit in the sunroom playing Solitaire in the afternoon light. Such good memories.

Gran had a basic pack of cards – the kind with the blue and white bicycle backs (the kind I am sure everyone had back then). Sadly all my current deck cutting and shuffling happens on my iPad, and to be honest, I don’t even know if I own a pack of cards. Well if I am going to spend some money on a pack I might just be tempted to go for a deck of these really special Playing Arts play cards.

They are designed by 54 different designer from across the globe. Here are a few of my favorites.

Playing Arts

Playing Arts

Playing Arts

Playing Arts

Playing Arts

See the complete deck here and find out more about the artists involved

Design Indaba Expo 2014

After yet another super busy week, it was so lovely to peacefully meander around this year’s Design Indaba Expo and soak in all the great talent on show. Each year that goes by I am always impressed with the volume of fabulous goodies on display and the amazing talent that is out there.

Naturally I was tempted to spend all the money I had burning a hole in my wallet, but I showed restraint and only landed up bagging two gifts for two fortunate mates (and nothing for me!)
If you get a chance, get down to the CTICC and see what’s out there – but be warned, it gets pretty busy, so try to get there early. (Oh and you have to try the Bubble Tea – I had my fist one yesterday and it was weirdly very, very refreshing!)

Here are a few highlights from the Expo.

Design Indaba ExpoDesign Indaba ExpoDesign Indaba ExpoDesign IndabaDesign Indaba ExpoDesign Indaba Expo

1- Diana Ferreira Ceramics | 2 – Liesel Trautman Ceramics | 3 – Africa Is Now Exhibition |
4 & 5 – Artymiss | 6 – Calvera | 7 & 8 – Run Rabbit Run | 8 – Skermunkil

On my Christmas Wish List: Bird Apartment Block

Dear Father Christmas – please can I also have a Bird Apartment block. Thanks – Jo

Nendo have come up with yet another amazing must have item. One day when I have a big enough yard, I am installing one of these Bird Apartments. It is so clever, while the bird tenants nest in a collection of little bird houses in the front of the Apartment blog you can sneak into the back and peep at them through little spy wholes – voyeuristic maybe, but very interesting, especially if some of the locals are hatching chicks.

Bird ApartmentBird ApartmentBird ApartmentBird ApartmentBird ApartmentBird Apartmentbird-apartment55_MasayaYoshimuraBird Apartment

See more of Nendo’s work here
photos by Masaya Yoshimura / Daici Ano

Colour Inspiration – Grey & Pink

The glorious Cape Town sun of yesterday has abandoned us and instead the sky is dull and grey and not very happy looking. In an attempt to brighten up a gloomy day, here is a bit of cosy colour inspiration – Pink and Grey – a soft combination that always work well together.

Included in my inspiration board are some of my current lust decor items – stunning wall decals by the super talented illustrator Fathima Kathrada, a gorgeous Harbour rope lampshade by yarn bomber extraordinaire Isabeau Joubert, delicious ice-cream ceramics by Kate for Josephine Road and a beautiful hand lettered cushion by Alice Edy for Lionheart.

Grey & Pink Colour Inspiration

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 & 5 | 6

Daschund love

Daschund love

Recently I have completely fallen in love these short legged, little critters. I am not really a small dog kinda gal – Border Collies and Red Setters are more my thing – big, bouncy and full of fun, but it appears I have developed a soft spot for these dinky canines.

We live in a house with a very small outside area and having a gigantic hound just wouldn’t be fair. So, as a result, we have never really considered having a dog. Most small dogs are too yappy and full of nervous nonsense for my likings. Possibly a Jack Russel could have worked, but they tend to be VERY loud if not constantly entertained and very strictly trained. The natural alternate (as most of our friends have said to us) would be to own a Frenchie or a Boston terrier, but as much as I love these gorgeous dogs, I simply can’t bring myself to get one. Too many people have them – they are everywhere and I am not inclined to follow pooch trends. Don’t get me wrong, they are such adorable dogs, and I can totally understand why people have flocked to get them, but I prefer to do things a little differently, so I think a Daschund would be best for us.

Admittedly getting a puppy is a long way off for us as there is a lot to still consider – we are very much in love with our gorgeous cat, Stripes and she is NOT a fan of the “dog” at all. So lots of thought will have to go into how we go about things.

Well in the interim, I have started investigating the whole Daschund story and I am so pleased to see that some pretty impressive famous folks have also fallen for this sassy breed – check out these photos of well knowns and their “Daxie” companions.

Daschund loveDaschund_pp3Daschund_pp4Daschund_pp5Daschund_pp6

Photo source:
Cover – Audrey Hepburn
1 – Marilyn Manroe
2 – JFK
3 – Clint Eastwood
4 – Pablo Picasso
5 – Gary Cooper
6 – Leonard Nimoy
7 – Andy Warhol
8 – Marlon Brando
9 – The Queen and Queen Mum
10 – Bridgette Bardot

Home DIY projects

We recently finished a very long and painful renovation of our little kitchen – we have a new roof, beautiful new sliding doors, a new floor and not much else. Now the fun bit starts, we are going to deck the new part of the kitchen out ourselves to the exact specifications we want. Its going to be a slow process, but at least it will be done perfectly and exactly how we want it.

I am afraid that having our house over run with builders and contractors has left me very jaded. Our build went from being a 4 – 5 week project to a 13 week nightmare – full of drama and frustration (and a fair share of dust and dirt too). This was not a pleasant experience and hopefully wont be repeated again in a hurry.

Anyhow, enough moaning Jo – onto the fun bit, we are now planning all new goodies and gadgets for this new part of our kitchen. While looking for ideas I stumbled upon Homemade Modern, a website filled with fabulous ideas that look relatively easy to make and are all quite affordable. Here are just a few of my favorite’s:


All photos & projects from Homemade Modern

Veggie Cutlery

Qiyun Deng is the clever clogs behind this collection of disposable bioplastic PLA cutlery titled Graft. Each piece serves as a reminder of the origin of it’s source material – vegetable starches, oils and fat.

Aren’t they just so lovely… I couldn’t possibly through any of them away (even on the compost heap).

Graft -  Qiyun DengGraft -  Qiyun DengGraft -  Qiyun Deng

Read more about Qiyun Deng here.
Found via This is Colossal.