We cast our vote during the Municipal Elections at the beginning of the month.
After voting, we popped in at Aunty Helen's place for a quick visit. Mia was up and about, she's such a cutie pie!
Looking like a little princess in the dress that came all the way from Dubai.
It's no secret that I do love me some leather, zipped ankle boots. I had to attend a high achievers' award ceremony alongside Chris in Johannesburg, so whilst out shopping for my first ever black suit for the function, I stumbled across these boots. After much toying, caution to the wind, I bought both pairs!
Gotta love Durban!
We decided to stay on in Johannesburg for a few extra days after the awards ceremony and as Chris had forgotten his driver's at home - I hired my first car, ever!
We stayed at the Sun International Sandton City Hotel - this impressive chandelier is at the hotel's centre. It's a pity my photographic skills aren't brilliant as this photo truly does not do it justice. It's gorgeous!
Usually I just have a cappuccino but this month I had some cake too!
Our view of Sandton from our hotel suite and - apparently - the Joker was at Sandton City's Gautrain station.
August brought with it us being back in Durban for a year - yikes! Is it really possible for 12 months to literally fly past in such a blur?! I suppose, in hindsight, we have been busy: Chris with the business; us renting and then buying another house; Chris' family visiting from Australia; us getting married; Justin being unwell and Uncle Lenn's passing... It really has been a jam-packed, emotion filled year. I'm slowly starting to feel settled, Durban is starting to feel like home again. We are also finding ourselves socialising more, which has been good for us, as we both can easily spend all our free time together! The one thing I do enjoy about visiting Johannesburg, is that I get to pop into some stores that aren't down here along the coast such as Birkenstock and H&M and - lest we forget my favourite haunt - Super Sconto! I stopped yoga over the Winter months - can anyone say Winter fat much? Luckily I have found a Pilates studio just down the road from us; I have pre-booked 20 one hour lessons for September, so let's see how we go. I have never done Pilates, so not too sure what to expect but coupled with my wogging (walking/jogging) and Parkrun - hopefully by November's end, I'll be beach ready!
Some light retail therapy ensued!
Criminal Minds, our hands-down favourite telly show always start off with a quote of some sort; the above two stuck out in my mind. Thought I'd share these words of wisdom.
A walk along the promenade wouldn't be complete without stopping by the Moses Mabida Stadium. It's been over 6 years since the FIFA World Cup graced our shores and our stadium looks as neat and tidy as can be. Not to mention a stunning piece of architecture that dots Durban's landscape. Spent some time there with Zubaida and naturally a selfie or two were taken!
Over the past few months I noticed when checking my tyre pressure that my back left-hand side tyre constantly seemed to be losing pressure - Chris usually deals with maintenance issues but because he's been so busy - I told myself I'd get to it. Eventually, after many months of procrastinating, I finally contacted a good friend of ours who works at a Hi-Q and booked my car in to have a look see. I am usually very pedantic about these things, so don't follow my lead and rather get it sorted out ASAP as vehicle maintenance is so important.
Chris and I had a lazy Sunday lunch along the promenade at California Dreaming, whilst sitting in the warm sun. !t was really busy, so perhaps that's why the service and food quality wasn't quite up to our expectations but when we can we like to support local business. We'll probably give it one more chance to redeem itself.
I follow the lead of my favourite cook, Ina Garten, and have been freezing any leftover roast chicken with my eye on making homemade stock. August found me cooking up a batch - nothing more comforting than knowing exactly whats gone into it and they freeze so well.
Guess who I found taking it easy on our bed one evening. It's a Jessie!
Whilst we were in Johannesburg, we strolled down 7th Street in Melville and popped into Junkie, a sweet jam-packed charity store just to have a squizz and I found this vintage 1960's Pyrex Coffee Carafe - I just love the simplicity of the design. So carefully packed, it now has a home down here in Durban.
So now I have caught everyone up on the last three months.
Until next time,
Spring is knocking at our front door and with that, I thought it's time to come out of my Winter hibernation and return to the online world! I was thinking what would be the best way for everyone to catch up on what I (and to a certain extent Chris) have been getting up to these past few months. Why not share a few snapshots?!
On the topic of dogs, our old man, Juzzie, gave us a bit of a health scare that lasted from June through July.
We noticed that Justin was battling to eat his food - he's never battled to eat his food! We took him to our Vet who first advised us that he may have an infection of the gums, so round one was a course of antibiotics - which seemed to help at first but once the course was finished, the problem persisted. So back to the Vet we went, this time we were advised that he'd need to be booked in for a teeth cleaning session (which involved a general anaesthetic) - at this stage we were trying to eliminate any potential causes. So an overnight stay at the Vet and another course of meds ensued. He was okay for a few days before the symptoms returned.; by this stage, I was starting to worry as Justin has always been a healthy and happy dog - back to the Vet we went. After a thorough examination, he was finally diagnosed with a degenerative nerve disorder, which essentially means that where certain nerve endings connect with the next set of nerves, the connections are breaking down which in turn starts causing pain - in his case, it's in his jaw - thus preventing him from drinking and eating with content. If he was 10 years younger, we could have biopsied to find out what's causing it but because he's pushing 14 years old, our Vet recommended that there's not much we can do other than to keep him as comfortable as possible - which we are now doing with a daily dose of anti-inflammatory meds. He will be on the meds for the rest of his life.
Mia turned a whole 2 years old this month and Chris and I gave her (well, her dad Andre) a padded toilet trainer seat and a step up to help him when it comes to potty training her. Yes, it wasn't the most exciting gift to give but practical nonetheless!
When we moved into our house, some globes needed to be replaced. We were at PnP Hyper and found these globes that would stay on should there be an electricity cut. At just over R100 a globe we cringed but bought three for the kitchen area. As luck would have it, January through May we didn't have any power outages but low and behold, one evening in June the lights went out and boom!, our fancy globes kicked in and we had light in the kitchen. Mental note to self: buy some more for the rest of the house. Well worth the investment.
Aunty Helen and I took Candy for her annual check-up at the Vet. She can be seen chilling on our doggy seat cover on the back seat of Chris' Ford Ranger.
During the month I made two Polenta dishes - having never made anything with Polenta, I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty it was - hence the reason I made two variations during the course of the month! It was also the perfect excuse to use the Le Creuset ovenproof dish that Donovan gave as a wedding present to us.
I have no idea what 'PHENYLALANINE' is but Sprite Zero obviously felt it needed a little asterix - I'm too afraid to google what it is...
Saturday afternoon at the Durban Botanical Garden with friends!
There is always time for a cappuccino!
June also marks the beginning of us moving away from eating any red meat and pork - so it's seafood, chicken, ostrich and vegetarian meals from here on out. Sadly, no more perfectly grilled rib-eye steaks!
Another Nutbrown product to add to my vintage kitchenware collection.
So that's June all summed up in a few photos - now for July!
Until next time,
So I have known the Durban-Folks for well over 11 years now and for as long as I have known them, Aunty Helen has always made the most delicious prawns, ever!
I have never really thought about cooking prawns as I've never had to because I knew if I wanted some, I'd just go visit the the folks - again, Aunty Helen is known for her prawns! - but in late August, both Chris and myself found ourselves at their house, celebrating Andre, their son's Birthday and wishing both him, his gorgeous daughter Mia and Mia's mother a safe trip - they were going to visit Mia's maternal family in Greece.
Mia is a special little girl, at all of 18 months, she has her South African, Portuguese and Greek passport - what a little international toddler she is!
Andre feeding Mia, last December, when Mom and I visited Durban to see the folks
Rocking 'em shades!
Back to my story, Chris offered to do the braai'ng - he's happiest with a braai tong in one hand and a beer in the other - so whilst he was outside manning the coals, Aunty Helen was inside preparing the prawns. When we all sat down to have lunch, Chris tasted the prawns and when he went back for seconds - I thought, oh no! - low and behold, he loved them just as much as everyone else sitting around the table and as he had so kindly offered to braai for the folks, Aunty Helen ensured that he had his full of prawns - Chris even commented on how nice they were - so I mentally made a note to look out for prawns on my next grocery shop run.
I did indeed manage to find some, they've been in the freezer ever since, well up until yesterday anyhow.
This past Sunday, Chris and myself popped in to see the folks, I'd been away so hadn't seen them in 10 or 11 days and just wanted to check up on them and see if all was ok, I also had some pasta that I bought in Johannesburg to give to her - she loves Bucatini, a type of pasta that is hard to find in Durban - so whenever I buy, I always get an extra few packs for her too. A few weekends before that, Chris had kindly re-lined Aunty Helen's washing line making it easier for her to hang her washing up - he is good like that - so he is in both the folks good books.
As luck would have it, we arrived at around lunchtime - purely by accident I can assure you - but as quickly as we arrived, two extra plates were graciously set out on the table and an impromptu get together was held, laughs were had and a good catch up ensued. Plus, did I mention a serving dish full of prawns arrived at the table too?!
Everyone around the table - Vanessa, Sajeeda, Andre, Aunty Helen and myself - all agreed that Chris did an awesome job on fixing the washing line, so naturally he was offered more prawns than most. He thoroughly enjoyed them. So obviously I had to make them...
Before leaving, I asked Aunty Helen for her recipe - bearing in mind she's probably been making them for the last few decades, her recipe instructions were vague to say the least - as with anyone who has a signature dish, it's all stored inside her head but the one thing she stressed was to not overcook them.
So we set off for home later that afternoon, me with what roughly goes into making them but without any quantities as such but I had enough to get me started.
Last night I attempted cooking the prawns - they turned out brilliantly - if I may say so myself! Look out for the recipe under my 'Recipes' tab - give them a try, they are quick and easy.
Thanks Aunty Helen, I now have another go-to recipe that reminds me of you - love you lots!
Until next time,