thank you!

it is sometimes so hard to spend birthdays (and other celebrations) away from home and in a country far away from family & friends.

so i just want to say THANK YOU for EVERY sms (text message), facebook message, tweet & email i got on my special day.

ALSO a big thank you to che for sending me a birthday cake:

happy birthday steph

and for a LOVELY post on my sister, Janine’s, blog (click here to see the post).

thank you – and i LOVE you all!!! xx

instagram photos of this week and IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!

here is this weeks photos on my iphone:

tree {1st photo}; i took this photo of the front of a house - and i was wondering how they find the entrance {2nd photo}

my hubby drinking out of a funky mug - he got as a present; a lovely purple front door


the roof of king's cross station - i just LOVE that station; and the sun came out

it's also my birthday today!! woohoo!!! unfortunately i'm at work but luckily it's friday!
i'm off to have a grand old jolly birthday!
have a FANTASTIC weekend EVERYONE!
{photo taken on our honeymoon in jan 2011}

our favourite photos: from janine

i asked my lovely sister, janine from black sheep, to email me her favourite photos of us & the reason why it’s her favourite.  this is what she came up with:

This is definitely my favourite photo of Wayne, not only because I took it (hehe), but I love how it portrays his style (unique and edgy). the photos softness and brightness resembles His kindness of heart, his softness and sweet heart for my amazing sister, his family and as a brother-in-law and his bright and kindred spirit!  {I took this photo at Sammy Marks when they went for their pre-wedding photo shoot}.
This is certainly my favourite photo of Stephanie, she's so beautiful, has the most gorgeous eyes in the world and such a pretty smile that can bright any persons day! This photo portrays her perfectly, her beauty and inner-beauty, her kindness and all the love she gives to so many of us!

Lastly, this is my favourite photo of Stephanie and Wayne together. This was taken by Hannelie for their pre-wedding photo shoot. I love this photo! They are truly the perfect couple and I can see the love they have for each other, it also portrays their fun and kindred side (which both of them have plenty of).

thank you my lovely sister for this!  i do LOVE these photos you chose!

i made this: bbq goodies

happy hump day / little saturday, everyone!

with the bbq we had on sunday i made a few diy creations to brighten up our backyard.  i stamped these for our cutlery:

i got the idea from here {click on photo to see the source}:

i also created these newspaper bunting {click on photo to see the source}:

i used book pages that was still left from when i made our wedding invitations:

and lastly, to provide some colour for the brown fence behind the table i created this {click on photo to see source}: 

this was SUPER easy – i think it took me like 5 min to cut out the paper, make holes & add them on a ribbon:

bbq (braai) over the weekend

because our birthdays are a week apart, we decided to have a joint bbq/braai at our house with a few friends.  and we had such a FANTASTIC day on sunday!

on saturday i stamped our initials on the wooden cutlery, used our sweetie table bags & stickers to wrap the cutlery in:
as a 5min DIY i quickly made a paper bunting for behind the table:
because it was sunny & felt like summer for the first time in about 2 weeks - i decided to not add real flowers right in the sun but rather use the origami flowers i made.
 
i made the yummies (hope that is a word) flat bread as a snack.  i got the recipe from smitten kitchen.
in the photo above you can almost see (bottom) the mojito's i made.  it was raspberry & mint mojitos.  was a bit strong but a good start to a excellent day in the sun with friends.
 
the boys:
the beautiful blue sky.
 
here is a few photos of our house.
the book bunting on the stairs (left photo), i used left over papes from the books i used with our wedding invitations to make these.
 
i hope everyone had a fantastic weekend & have a great week!!

wayne on his birthday

i took wayne to an argentine steak restaurant, gaucho for his birthday on thursday evening.  and oh my word, it as THE best steak i’ve EVER had in my life!  they are a bit expensive but WOW we would GLADLY eat there again (on a special occasion of course). 

here is a few pictures of our time there.  the place is SO dark inside (probably with all that cow decor – looks like skin – on EVERYTHING) that the photos came out quite dark too.

the birthday boy

the lights inside & the outside of the building

the chairs & tables & again the lights (i really liked them)

the berry mojito drinks we enjoyed

and the FOOD. spinach with lemon, sweet potato wedges & potato chips. (top)  salt & pepper pots (middle) and the HUGE piece of steak we shared (bottom). 

on sunday we are having a bbq (braai) with friends to celebrate both of our birthdays (mine is next week).  let’s hope for no rain then on sunday!!

what i found on my phone

this is my week of photos on instagram.  actually i took all of them TODAY because it was raining ALL week and today was the first day that we actually had NO rain, BLUE sky & almost no clouds (not too sure how long that’s going to last, because as i am typing this i can see how dark the sky is getting).

kings cross station again & the BT tower (this is the main telephone provider here)

sun & trees & the blue sky and sun through my window at the office

a pink flower & blue sky (the black things in the way is actually leaves – looks weird i know, but i like it).

i wish you all a GREAT, relaxing weekend!!

niçoise salad

this is so easy & filling and it is perfect for a summers day dinner.  not that we are having a summer here in london at the moment, it’s only been raining here the last few weeks.

NICOISE SALAD WITH JERSEYS

½ x 750g pack baby new potatoes
200g pack trimmed fine green beans, cut in half
2 x 200g can tuna in brine, drained and flaked
50g can anchovies, cut into 2cm diamonds

2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons fresh French dressing
Few rocket leaves

METHOD:

  1. Cook the Jersey Royals or baby new potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water until soft to the point of a knife (approximately 7-10 minutes). Allow to cool slightly and cut each into half. Place the beans in a saucepan and cook in boiling water for 4-5 minutes then drain and refresh in cold water.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients except for the French dressing and mix.
  3. Drizzle over the dressing and serve immediately.

husband’s birthday today!!

it is my lovely husband’s birthday today

{his presents all wrapped up in magazine paper & brown paper & decorated with wool – i know there’s a lot of girls on the magazine pages BUT was the only magazines i could find}

i just want to say to my lovely hubby that i am so luckily to have a husband, partner & best friend like you.  you said in your vows that you will support any and every crazy idea that i have & you’ve gone above and beyond that.  thank you for sharing your life with me, i will definitely be incomplete without you.  thank you for standing by me & giving me support when i needed it the most.

may God bless you with all the joy and happiness that you desire and hope that we walk hand in hand even after our hair turns grey.

i will always love you more and more with every passing year.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

stuffed mushrooms

this was SO SO good! we actually BOTH liked this meal.  i boiled my roasted veggies (i used parsnips & potatoes) for about 10min before the time so that they can be soft when the cheese turns golden.

i served this with salad:  (wayne made this yummy salad)

STUFFED MUSHROOMS WITH ROAST VEGETABLES & SMOKED CHEESE

8 large open mushrooms
375g roasted vegetables such as parsnips, potatoes, butternut squash, onions.
125g smoked Bavarian cheese, grated
6 basil leaves, torn

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly chopped flat leaf parsley

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5. Place the mushrooms on a lightly greased baking tray. Chop the vegetables into bite sized pieces and pile onto the mushrooms.
  2. Sprinkle over the cheese, basil and seasoning and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is golden.
  3. Serve sprinkled with the chopped parsley.

i made this: origami diy

as a new feature here on my blog every week i decided to try and make some of the very clever diy tutorials i find on the web.  i will post my end result on here then every week. 

for my first diy i picked origami.

i’ve been fascinated with everything origami after my sister made these awesome cranes for my wedding

{source}

then i saw these on pinterest:

{click on images to see the sources}

and decided to try and make them.  i used colourful paper to brighten up the white flower vases i have.

here is the heart:

and the flowers:

this was actually so much fun & didn’t take up a lot of my time.  i will make a few more to fill the metal jug i have on the dining room table.

ham & broccoli tart

i made the ham & broccoli tart and served it with green salad. i didn’t use stilton in my tart but feta cheese.

AND for desert:  apple juice & tonic with ice cream – kind of like a coke float but with fruit juice.

Here is what to do to make this SUPER easy tart:

HAM, STILTON AND BROCCOLI TART

You will need:
-200g purple sprouting broccoli
-2 medium free-range eggs
-150ml half fat crème fraîche
-2 thinly sliced spring onions, thinly sliced.
-2 slices Wiltshire dry cured ham, cut into strips
-1 savoury pastry case
-35g creamy blue Stilton
Method
1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then add the broccoli and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the pan, refresh in a bowl of cold water, then drain.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the crème fraîche, then stir through the onions.
3. Place the ham and broccoli in the pastry case,distributing them evenly and crumble over the Stilton.
4. Pour over the egg mix and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6 for 20–30 minutes until golden brown, then serve for an easy dinner that’s perfect for weekday evenings. Great with fresh salad or vegetables.

menu for this week

here is my planned menu for this week:

i try to do 1 day for just a veggie meal & 1 day for fist (normally thursday) – BUT since it is hubby’s birthday he chose his favourite meal:  STEAK!

i write our menu (on the inside of our groceries cupboard) every sunday so that wayne can mentally prepare himself.  he is a BIG meat eater so it’s quite a difficult task to find a meal that he will like without any meat.

Monday:  HAM, STILTON AND BROCCOLI TART

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

weekend, rain & harry potter

this past weekend the weather was miserable; with rain, rain and more rain.  this can only mean that we are missing out on a summer this year.  it’s already past mid july & the londoners are still wearing jackets & cardigans. 

we stayed indoors most of the time and i kept myself busy with the plans for our birthday BBQ (braai) on sunday (hopefully it won’t rain); i made origami flowers to decorate the house; made origami hearts & made cake pops.  i also created a cleaning schedule as part of my getting organised plan.  this schedule will make it easier for us to keep the house clean & in chip chop shape by cleaning a specific room in the house every day.  the only days that will be different are fridays & saturdays.  fridays we will have a evening off from housework & then on saturdays we will vacuum & mop the whole house.  i really hope this will help me to get a better balance between house & work & personal time. 

on friday night we went to see a VERY late showing of the last and latest harry potter.  it was sad to see the end of harrry potter & i did enjoy the movie.  i enjoyed the last 4 more than the first ones.  i LOVED the story they wanted to portray about all the different characters and how they have changed throughout the movie.  for example neville – he was just awesome, especially if you have to compare him to how he was in the beginning. he couldn’t fly on his broom, or even do easy spells and he was so courageous in the last movie.  i also LOVED the few flashes we saw of the first harry potters, in there it is just extraordinary to notice how all the actors have grown.

i hope you all will have a fantastic week!

{source}

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