My 365 project for 2014

I’ve wanted to do a 365 project probably ever since I started this blog. Initially, my blog was started up as a university project, and I’m super glad I did it. My theme was quite design oriented, but it was also just filled with fun random stuff. So way back then, in April 2010 (guys that even before the World Cup. Say what?) was when I first stumbled upon the concept of 365 projects, and wished I was cool or creative enough to start my own. Here are some examples of projects that I loved all those years ago:

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The most difficult thing I always thought was coming up with an idea. Then you can roll with it. And it hit me the other day. I don’t want to tell you what it is yet. It’s not going to be super incredibly awesome, and I don’t want to get your hopes up (don’t worry, it also won’t be clouds or sunsets), but I think it’s going to be really nice and something that will push me a little bit creatively in my actual life. And that’s always a good thing.

I’m just trying to work out how best to do this. Should I do a blog post daily on this blog, or just start a new one dedicated to it? Or should I do it on tumblr? (Lawdy, I’ve never even used tumblr!) Do I instagram, or post original pictures? Should I make a separate page on my blog for it? I’m not sure, and I’m kind of working it all out. I’ve kind of also been looking at apps to use, just something that involved a calendar so that I can keep track properly. I know I’m going to miss days because of Jewish holidays and the occasional Shabbos, but I think that’s ok. You’ll all forgive me, right?

The difficult thing – is that I want to start NOW. And I know that technically, I can, and that there’s nothing stopping me. But should I? Or is there something gratifying or simply numerical and chronological in starting on January 1st in 2014? I’d love to hear more on your thoughts. As “readers” (I say that because deep down it still just feels like I’m talking to myself up here, and don’t believe that people actually read this drivel), do you have thoughts on this? Do you even follow people who do these 365 projects?

I guess I have some time until January 1st to figure out the nitty gritty 🙂

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Instagram Friday

I want to see if maybe I should do instagram updates on a designated day, instead of just random ones. I’m not entirely sure what I think of this yet. On the one hand, I’ll get to stop having to justify the selfies, on the other, well, I don’t want to drive you all away 😉 Anyway, here are some recent life snaps of me, what I’m up to, and the beautiful Cape Town.

Everyobody loves lunch

A little bit/a lot obsessed with my new lunch box.

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I sometimes take quite a lot of food to work. Breakfast, snacks, and lunch of course! I bought this one at Clicks for like R60.

 

Sour face

Poor @the_greggelb can't handle sour things. Shem.

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Poor Greg. He didn’t like my baked alaska so much because the raspberries were too sour for him. I personally liked the fruity tang against the sweetness of the chocolate and meringue. But he doesn’t like sour flavours. And lemon meringue is my favourite dessert. It’s horrifying.

 

Ice Cream Sandwiches

This is part of what's going down for Shabbos dinner. @yuppiechef, you legends.

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I’ve you missed it, I made ice-cream sandwich cookies with my letterpress cookie set from Yuppiechef. They were all sorts of delicious. Read the post which includes the recipe I used.

 

Sunshine in Greenpoint

Summer selfies. As one does.

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Our favourite thing to do on a Sunday when we don’t have anything major planned is to spent a couple of hours at the Greenpoint park in the sunshine. Everybody needs fresh air, right?

 

The last one’s standing

You can sure tell which sweet flavours are the least popular, eh?

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Isn’t it funny to see which are the last remaining flavours left?

 

Scarf Selfie:

While I love layering different scarves, sometimes one just does the trick.

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I really want to start taking more pictures of my headscarves. Sometimes they are just so beautiful, I can’t but want to share pictures. Even though it can be difficult (and sometimes sucks) to cover your hair, it doesn’t mean you have to stop being beautiful. My scarves really help that shine through. Usually I like to do different colours and layers, but sometimes a patterned pashmina is just enough.

 

Water, anyone?

The newest addition to the Gelb residence, and we won a year's supply for FREE!

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We won a year’s supply of water. While it’s an incredibly random prize, it’s also incredibly awesome because you can’t drink the water from our tap. This isn’t coming from a snobby place. We’ve been told the pipes are probably bad, so we very quickly bought a Brita filter when we moved in. Now we don’t need it.

 

Handy Husband

Handy husbands change lightbulbs #winning ps. I can't be held responsible for the hideous light #rentingwoes

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It might just be a lightbulb, but it’s the start. I could use a handyman, instead of calling my dad for every odd thing I need done at the flat.

 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

What s picturesque setting to watch such a timeless classic. Wonderful evening!

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It was my first time seeing this movie, and I finally realise why the world was obsessed with Audrey Hepburn. I mean, hello – look at her. Grace and beauty and quirky and awesome. It was so lovely. We watched it at the Galileo open air cinema at the V&A Waterfront right here in Cape Town. It was such a unique experience because you could on and off hear the sounds of African music coming from the Waterfront. And oh, that big wheel. What a beautiful place.

 

Magic

I saw this graffiti on the pavement and thought it was worth a snapshot #magic

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I saw this on the pavement and couldn’t not snap it.

 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend 🙂

 

 

The coincidence 1 year before our wedding. An Improv Everywhere Mass Freeze.

So I got into work this morning and found a very funny video on my newsfeed:

You’d know by now about my extreme relationship with all things Harry Potter, so you wouldn’t be surprised to hear I was laughing out loud at my desk (and I’m a) not a big youtuber, and b) not a big laugh-out-loud-er during youtube videos). Poor Harry, unable to find the right station platform. So my boss piped up asking if I was alright (because obviously, something must be hysterical) and when I told him we realised we had a shared love for Improv Everywhere.

The discussion reminded me of an Improv Everwhere Mass Freeze arranged in Cape Town a couple of years ago around the Design Indaba time (one of my favourite times of year), which Greg and I took part in. So I went to google for the video (watch it, you’ll spot us quite clearly):

And noted the date:

Improv-Everywhere-Mass-Freeze-Cape-Town

1 year to the day of our wedding. We were even far from being engaged at that point.

So in essence, this blog post holds no greater purpose other than to share this random instance, which makes me smile albeit having absolutely no relevance.

And now that that’s out the way, I suggest you watch some of these videos:

And now there’s your youtube quota for the week (or day, depending who you are).

and for extra laughs:

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Happy Tuesday 🙂

Yuppiechef love: The Letterpress Cookie Set

I’m really no foodie, but I do like experimenting with new recipes here and there. Particularly when they involve dessert. I made a baked alaska last week, which my guests found super fancy and I even had a friend make one the following week for her own guests. Not so long ago, I won a voucher on twitter from Yuppiechef (if you don’t follow them on social media, well, take this as a hint to do so) and finally succumbed to buying something I have been eyeing for months. Their letterpress cookie cutter set.

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I think I was more besotted by the ideas of them, because I’d never had much success with biscuits due to my lack of Kenwood/Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I’d signed up to their online baking course (which is free, so wannabe bakers like me, go do it!) and there was a whole episode dedicated to them. How could I resist?

Now I couldn’t just make biscuits. I’d eat them myself and just get fat (obviously), so I needed to come up with a cool dessert that involved biscuits (without crushing them, because I needed to create cool messages on the top). Enter – the ice cream sandwich cookie. It was pretty experimental, and I had much higher aesthetic hopes for them, but if it means anything they tasted freaking amazing (and I managed it all a la wooden spoon, as there’s no Kitchen Aid mixer in this lady’s kitchen, so I was extra chuffed!)

After deciding which of the 3 shapes I would be using (and coming to terms how massive these cookies and how delicious this dessert was going to be) I started assembling my Good Shabbos message. I was incredibly pleased so have enough letters as I was expecting to run out – but the set comes with pre-set words (Happy, Birthday, Holidays etc) and 2 of each letter as well as extras of popular ones (thinks e’s and a’s). I was even sure to dust the cookie cutter in flour, thanks to the advice of Sarah Graham and it worked a dream!

These delightfully crisp “Good Shabbos” cookies, dolloped with either chocolate or halva spread with vanilla coffee flavoured ice-cream (with some extra chocolate chips, because why not?) sandwiched in the middle made the perfect special dessert for our Friday night Shabbat supper. Guys, come now.

The final product may not look as fancy as I’d hoped (liked I’ve mentioned before, I don’t score well on food styling or photography, also I can’t for anything about our unfortunately styled kitchen) but goodness, they tasted like heaven.

(The cookie set says to use a recipe you trust, so do shout if you’d like me to update with the recipe I used.)

*update* You asked for the recipe, and I shall provide!

Sugar Cookie Biscuit Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter or margerine, softened at room temperature (I left it out overnight and then some more)
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbs soy milk/milk (I think I may have even used water. Shhh)
  • cookie cutters in any shape or form that you like!

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to  180.
  2. Beat butter, eggs/margerine and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add egg yolk and vanilla. (I don’t have a Kitchen Aid or mixer of sorts, so I managed this all with a wooden spoon. If this non-kitchen-diva can do it – so can you.)
  3. Sift the flour and salt. Add half flour mixture to butter/margerine mixture. Add milk/soy milk (or water), then add remaining flour. Mix until just combined. Set aside.
  4. At this point I rolled out the dough between two pieces of baking paper and then chilled it (like I was told to in the Yuppiechef Baking Course). I found it stuck too much to the top sheet of baking paper, so eventually left that out and left it to chill (rolled out, on the baking tray)
  5. Bake for 13 minutes. Leave to cool.

For the ice cream part, just get creative. I made my standard parev (non-dairy) ice cream, but vanilla ice cream would be perfect (and probably a better consistency). I smeared some chocolate spread on the biscuits for extra yum and then sandwiched ice-cream in the middle. It got a little messy, but  you’ll pop them back in the freezer soon after and all will be alright.

Please let me know if you try your own sandwich cookies. They’re super easy and you can really use any of your favourite cookie recipes (I’m thinking to try choc-chip next!), and most of all – it tastes like heaven in your mouth. Is there anything more you could want?

Historical moments reimagined as selfies.

I’ve admitted before that I have been guilty many a time of the selfie. I do wonder sometimes if a selfie still count if it’s of me and Greg? I never know. I say they do because the picture was taken by us. Oh well. Either way, and moving on.

This link was sent around the office the other day, and I had to share it. I love it that much more because it is a local, South African advertising campaign. It’s for the Cape Times newspaper making using of classic historical photographs reimagined as selfies.

“You can’t get any closer to the news.”

cape-times-selfies-2 cape-times-selfies-3 cape-times-selfies-4 cape-times-selfies-5 cape-times-selfies-hed-2013

Love.

Nova at Virgin Active (and the sad realisation of not being able to touch your toes)

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I just tried yoga and pilates this morning all smushed into one. I tried a class called Nova at the gym today. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, never having tried either of its components (if that’s how we’ll refer to them). I also went alone. Yes, alone. That’s a biggie. Going to a class on your lonesome, to something you’ve never tried and you know that at some point you’ll have your bum high in the air.

I wish I was as flexible as this puppy. Knowing I was going to a yoga/pilates hybrid thing I was expecting some  of this:Yoga-Vs-Pilates-Yoga

And maybe even some of this

namastesaying

To be honest, there was quite a lot of the former and none of the latter. When I first joined the gym (somewhat reluctantly), convinced by my then-boyfriend (who is now my husband. See, happy endings in abundance) and to this day our workouts have also been pretty standard: a weights routine followed by some cardio (for a while we did the circuit after we’d missed gym for like a month “to ease back into it”). We used to do kick-boxing classes which used to be a laugh: between my lack of breath (the old ladies at the back could keep up better than I could) and Greg’s complete lack of coordination, it was at least a fun(ny) experience.

Some blogger friends suggested I try spinning with them, but yoh, that much cardio? I think I might die. And no-one wants to be the person in a 45 minute class who has to walk out (and knowing me, it would be from the back). No, that would be terrible. So I went to have a look at the schedule and found Nova. I’d heard it had started recently and had been kinda keen to try. So I found a class that fits perfectly into my routine (ie, it ends by 7:15) and… I went.

It was lots of mat work. I think it was mostly stretching type of things, but goodness, it’s been a couple hours and my shoulders are already hurting. I thought it was more of a “relaxation” thing, but it really was much more of a muscle thing (my googling skills tell me yoga is the relaxation one, and pilates targets muscles more), so it was a pretty nice combo. The saddest realisation of the class: I may just be the only person who cannot touch their toes. Not while sitting, or standing, or balancing on one foot. I seem to be as flexible as a wooden spoon.

Going to gym regularly (or fairy regularly anyway) this isn’t something I’d do every day as my excersize. I actually really wish I had the time to do both, but 5:30 is already early enough to be waking up.  Nevertheless, I think I’m going to keep this up for my Friday mornings. It was a relaxing way to work up a little bit of a sweat and stretch your muscles in the good way. I’m in a little bit of pain already, but I’ll have to let you know tomorrow if it really hurts 😉

Yoga_puppies

Thanks Virgin Active, that was fun! I think I’m going to be adding more classes to my gym routine. Find out more about Nova at your local Virgin Active gym here.

Movie Review: About Time

about_time_film

They told me I’d do The Ugly Cry. You know, not the one where your eyes water a little bit, or you wipe a small tear. No, no. You will heave, your heart will be wrenched and you mind will run in circles. Well, I didn’t heave, but I did struggle to keep the tears from falling, and once they did, well, let’s just say they didn’t stop, and I left the cinema hoping people would assume I’d seen a sad movie and not that Greg and I had had a huge argument.

Greg actually walked in and said “if I’m the only guy in here, I’m walking out.” I knew he wouldn’t, but I actually sat wondering for most of the movie – hello? When is this supposed Ugly Cry going to kick in? Because for the most part, Greg and I laughed our way through. The loud, hearty type of laugh. Funnily, I saw so much of us in the lead characters, Mary and Tim (minus the American accent an the orange hair). At one point I laughed so loud at a point that wasn’t funny at all because it was the exact same way Greg would have reacted.

About-time-movie2013

Initially when I heard the movie involved time travel I was all “no, man. You can’t rip off The Time Traveller’s Wife” (I haven’t seen the movie, but am in love with the book). But I was so impressed. Also from the creators of Love Actually, can you actually expect anything sub-par? I’ve never seen Rachel McAdams in a better role, you wouldn;t be able to believe she ever played a meanie like Regina George. And British films are always, ultimately better. Basically: if you love anyone deeply enough this movie will touch you. Do you love your partner? Do you want children want day? Love your family? You’ll feel all the feelings.

It’s funny, I used to pride myself on not crying in sad movies when I was younger. I think it made me seem cooler and tougher. Now that I think about it, that seems a bit heartless. But I think that when you get “older” (I’m not that old yet) you have so many more experiences, so many deeper relationships, different things are more meaningful to you, and these are universal things that you feel, but when you’re younger you might not understand. At 16 I would never have been able to really fathom true love for a partner, or appreciation of your parents/siblings and the mere concept of a day without them. Deep, right?

I don’t want to give it away. But it made me think of so many things. Even this morning while driving to gym at the crack of dawn i started tearing just thinking about it. So obviously, I stopped thinking about it. I’m not going to share why exactly this movie made me “feel all  the feelings”, but it was wonderfully sentimental and touching. There is just so much natural love in this one movie.

I need to stop thinking and writing about this movie, because the tears are starting to surface, and I’m sitting at work, so it’s quite the place for an Ugly Cry, is it?

I’m not sure when this movie is going off the circuit, but please, do go see it.