The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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The Saucisse Deli Turned Five… and What a Feast.

November 25th, 2015 · No Comments

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Last week I was so thrilled to be invited to the Saucisse Deli’s fifth birthday celebration. And what a celebration it was… they invited a number of their local suppliers over for a tasting evening, a meet and greet so to say… and what a feast it was.

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Our readers have met Amanda before, when earlier this year I blogged about my trip to Zambia with GreenPop and Feasting in an Eco-Friendly Kitchen. Having an eco-friendly kitchen on the plains of Africa is one thing, but in the heart of the city, with foodies competing for space and acknowledgement, this family owned deli has managed to keep “Green Living” at the heart of their business.

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They source as much as they can locally, offer vegan (and gluten-free) options, products are as close to organic and free-range as they can be, they recycle everything that can be recycled, they use biodegradable packaging and cleaning products… and food wastage is donated to a local shelter.

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The Warmest Welcome to the Saucisse Deli

Fresh crispy breads…

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And the Juiciest of juices, Raw Mojo Juice:

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I keep bumping into these juices wherever I go… and my word they are good!!!

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Plenty of chatting and mingling…

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And the crowds rolling in…

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Tables filled up with intriguing products…

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And the party was on…

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Let’s Meet the People

What I did was, I walked from vendor to vendor and asked the folk to tell me the backstory behind their products. It was a fascinating evening with some incredible stories… I tried to capture everyone and as you can see there was a lot to taste and learn…

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Hemelrand Extra Virgin Olive Oils: Not only is the packaging fun, but the olive oil is truly delicious. It comes from the Hemelrand Farm in the Overberg region, that was completely run down and had been neglected for years, when the present owners moved in. Restoration, removing aliens, planting olive trees and lavender bushes. They have an olive press and local olive growers bring their olives on their farm… all in all a hive of activity… and a beautiful product.

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Chilli-Lingo: Now we are talking, from the family that loves eating chillis… The folk at this table were so excited about their products that I had to try them all. These sauces are created by a fellow who was a chef for seventeen years but gave it all up recently to follow his chilli passion. He has learnt that there is a whole lot more to growing chills than he thought, but thousands of chilli bushes later, he appears to have mastered the art… sauces like Green cayenne, and Habanero, smokey barbecue and sweet-chilli… awesome product and a great story.

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Pronto Mama: Now here is a friendship that I could have made long ago. We literally live on roast tomatoes… and always have a jar of it in the fridge. But I have found someone who could make it for me, not to mention a number of other wonderful products, think salad dressing and harissa source and totally delicious marinated mushrooms. It all began with a caterer who had an over abundance of tomatoes for an event… she decided to roast them, and before she knew it she had production line. You can take a peek at their recipe page for a whole lot of beautiful recipe ideas.

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Pierre’s Cured Meats: It wouldn’t be a deli without beautiful sausages… the mark of these sausages is that they are made with love. Actually a whole lot of passion goes into these sausages with incredible herbs and spices that have been carefully sourced to provide rich and lovely flavours from around the world.

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Dictator Chilli Relish: Did I mention chilli again, it is a common theme… my kids could eat chilli with everything. So here you have a mild chilli relish and a hotter chilli relish. It is all made by a chap with a passion for chilli, their products are so good, you could literally eat it on toast.

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Pepe Charlot, Cheese Maker: How this was right in our neighbourhood and we didn’t know about it. Beautiful goat’s cheeses made in the French tradition. My kids would love this, especially since the cheese maker himself speaks French… I know they would love to meet and talk about cheese. His cheeses are beautiful and perfect relief from the previous vendors hot chilli relish!!!

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Groenendal Preserves: Everything about these products was beautiful, the presentation, the packaging and the flavours… made in memory of a loving dad, you can feel the love lingering from generation to generation. Now I have never been one for preserves, but my dad loves them – so I dived in and discovered that I have been missing out. Just a little bit on a piece of cheese and you are literally transported to a childhood playing in a friends fig tree. The flavours were plentiful and varied and I am well pleased with this new discovery!!!

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That Mayo: No contact details, no card… but get yourself down to the deli for this… and grab a jar, the bigger the better. Why, oh why… would I be raving on about mayonnaise, well I kid you not this stuff is magic. Two flavours, garlic and original, we rocked our way through a jar of garlic mayonnaise in a sitting. Honestly, you can eat this with anything: baked potatoes, salad, dips and dipping, but very soon you will find that you leave all those extras behind and eat it just as it is.

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Challoner, Olive Products and Preserves: Well if you ever want to meet folk that are really, really excited about their products, then you have come to the right place. And rightly so. These chaps have a wide variety of fantastic tastes and flavours, not to mention beautiful presentation. They are well worth a closer look. I started with their chilli sauces, they even have a stunner created by the well renowned chef, Bertus Basson… judge on our favourite show the Ultimate Braaimaster. I moved on to jams and oh my… what a collection of fine flavours, fruits and berries and just delicious. Leaping to front was the Seville Orange Marmalade… I grew up along side a citrus hedge, with a kitchen that always had pots of marmalade bubbling… so straight down memory lane, and I loved it.

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Oryx Desert Salt from the Kalahari: You know how I love an adventure… well I have to be honest I have met these salts before and use it for its great flavour… but now that I know the story behind it, well never look back. These salts are naturally pan dried on the plains of the remote Kalahari Desert, where rivers flow underground. The company has a very green ethos, looking to be sustainable in every area, and giving back to the local Khomani San and Mier communities as well.

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Kulture – True Bulgarian Yogurt: When a hobby turns into a passion, and making yoghurt from half a litre a day to hundreds of litres… then you find yourself in the heart of a yoghurt business. Completely natural yoghurt, no additives, no sweeteners, just the real stuff… a delicious and dreamy product for all of Cape Town’s banting folk.

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SuperSprout: This was my final visit of the evening, and what looks like slabs of chocolate are actual slabs of seeds and sprouts. So fascinating. Basically, you can buy original seeds that have not been genetically modified or adapted in any way… you water yourself and they will begin to sprout… some of the trays are tasty little sprouts for feasting on in salads and all. But the slabs are for preparing little plants to transfer into your garden and you grow a wide variety of vegetables from theses slabs… including one that was a mini-garden with a variety of seeds good to go.

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And Then The Most Magnificent Goodie Bag

And since this was a birthday celebration, there were gifts… absolutely stunning gift bags for each attendee… packed with even more wonderful products to taste and try. Preserves and cheeses, olive oils and bread, THAT MAYO, beautiful biscuits, sweet treats and toffees… really an entire picnic in a bag.

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And a wonderful mid-night feast for the father person and I to enjoy… I tell you this could become a new trend around here… just pure delight…

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If any of these products are grabbing your attention or you want to contact the Saucisse Deli, you can find them at The Old Biscuit Millhere’s a link to their website and you can follow them on twitter and instagram below.

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Huge thank you to the Saucisse Deli, it was wonderful to be spoilt at your birthday bash… met so many interesting people and learnt so much, really it was a great event. This was not a sponsored post and the opinions expressed are all entirely my own.

→ No CommentsTags: Cape Town · Monday Munchies · Outings · Restaurants

Se7en’s Fabulous Fun Post #298

November 24th, 2015 · 4 Comments

It’s November, which means colder than you think and not quite summer… the gang are finishing up their outside activities for the year and things should start to quieten down… I am hoping anyway. We are almost halfway through our school year – I can’t believe that myself… there is something to be said for plugging away at it all day after day. And we are all looking forward to some summer fun…

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I was on a bit of a blogging roll there and posts were flowing, and once again silly little technical issues stopped me in my tracks… but so much has happened this week, I have some fab posts coming your way. Not to mention one or two GiveAways to die for…


Lovely Links from This Week

  1. If you don’t follow The Guardian’s How to Draw Series… well we highly recommend it and this weeks How to Draw… Monet’s Garden is just delightful.
  2. On the Picture Book Den a fascinating article on the Illustration of eyes in children’s picture books by Peony Lewis.
  3. I just totally loved this Journalling post on Babyccinokids. Love it!!!
  4. Over at Moomookachoo: Around the World in 80 Days is complete… and incredible resource, packed with fun, playful ideas, and printables.
  5. This post on My friend’s blog: The 123 Blog – Lessons Learnt from the Spanish Guitarist is pure gold. What pace are you setting yourself?
  6. If Maps and Mapping are your thing: Then for National Non-Fiction Month… Maps tell a Story on the FCBG.
  7. If you like Brain Twisters: Martin Gardner, Puzzle Master Extraordinaire on the BBC News.
  8. And the se7en + 1th link:

  9. A Blast From the Past:


Book of the Week

Life is Sweet, by Cathy Cassidy published by Penguin Random House South Africa: When Cathy Cassidy wrote the Chocolate Box Girls’ Series… she knew her readers would fall in love with the characters. And you know when you get to the end of a book and you really wish it wasn’t over, well here is a collection of stories for those of you who wished the series hadn’t ended. These are teen reads of the contemporary kind: A young musician, whose dad says no to a music contract; A chap that really wants to give the girl of his dreams, the best birthday gift ever, it doesn’t help that her birthday is on Valentine’s Day; Summer forfeits her place in an elite dance school for Jodie, but will Jodie be able to rise to the occasion? and so on… This book feels a bit like a box of chocolate, it is deliciously fat and filled with richness. Six stories that you can read, each in a sitting if you find a cosy spot and know you are going to be there a while. They stories are about character that are so real they could be friends with your teen… and the perfect vacation read. Not to mention their is a recipe for Cherry Chocolate Fridge Cake. If you do nothing else, visit Cathy Cassidy’s website… packed with girly delights.

We were given a copy of Life is Sweet, by Cathy Cassidy published by Penguin Random House South Africa: for review purposes. We were not paid for our review, this is not a sponsored post and the opinions expressed are as usual our own.

GiveAway Winner

All the entries…

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All mixed up…
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And the winner is:
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Lee Nov 22, 2015 at 6:45 pm I would love to win this prize :). Loved this post, thank you!

Congratulations to: expect an email from us shortly so that we can get your prizes to you as soon as possible.

We would like to thank PanMacmillan South Africa, who supplied us with a copy of this book to review and GiveAway. We were not paid for our review, this is not a sponsored post and the opinions expressed are as usual our own.

A Special Note for SIBO books

A while back we blogged about the fun SIBO science books for kids and they are trying to crowd fund their latest publication… you can take a peak at the SIBO website here and click on the image to find out more about helping them crowd fund their book launch.

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That’s us… Hope you all have a fabulous week!!!

→ 4 CommentsTags: Fabulous Friday Fun

Sunday Snippet: Serve Wholeheartedly…

November 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

Our Bible Verse of the Week…

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Ephesians 6:7-8

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord,

not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one

for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

Week by Week

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→ No CommentsTags: Sunday Snippet

What We Are Reading Right Now: The Chapter Book Version… And Hooray for a GiveAway…

November 19th, 2015 · 18 Comments

When children launch from easy readers to chapter books it is vital that they get to discover the best of the rest. Firstly, for their sake, they need to read books that grab their attention and then keep it. And secondly, for the parent’s sake, because you are probably going to still be helping your beginner reader at this stage and you need a book to be interesting for you too. You cannot encourage anyone to read a book, especially if that person is a little reluctant, if you are not loving it yourself. So here we go… Se7en Fabulous Chapter Books that are hot off the press right now.

Se7en Great Chapter Books

  1. Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright by Chris Riddell:
  2. It is no secret that we love and adore Chris Riddell’s work and the Goth Girl may as well be a member of the family. In fact, one of my children, who shall remain nameless firmly believes that they are the Goth Girl. This is the third in the series and can I say they are not just books they are works of art. From the sprayed edges, to the chalkboard cover, the mini book within the book… not to mention endless and glorious artwork throughout, magical masterpiece after magical masterpiece on every page… This is beautiful through and through and the perfect gift for any book lover of any age. You don’t have to read the whole series, you can dive right in, but honestly you do want to hold all these books in your hands… beautiful doesn’t begin to describe it. Anyway, the story is that Lord Goth is holding a Literary Dogshow and heaps of authors and their dogs arrive at the Ghastly-Gorm Hall to participate. There is a mystery: strange noises, mysterious footprints and disappearing food… never a dull moment. There is a lot in these reads for the grown-up reader, which makes them perfect for reading aloud. You too can meet Ada, the Goth Girl, on her website.

  3. Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden:
  4. Rumer Godden is one of those names you can trust, for beautiful and timeless stories, that you feel you can climb right into. I read this book as a child, it was one of my first chapter books and I remember the Japanese postcard that I used as a bookmark as I marched on from chapter to chapter. This is the story of a little girl, Nona, who is sent to England from India. She has been raised by her Papa and her elderly Ayah. She finds herself tossed into a cold winter, amidst three boisterous cousins, she isn’t familiar with games and playing with children, she finds the cold unbearable and trips into town overwhelming. And then Miss Happiness and Miss Flower, two Japanese dolls, enter into the story… they arrive as a Christmas package… and Nona surprises the family with her knowledge of Japan, she is an avid reader, of course. The dolls of are real and they have real conversations with the reader. Nona senses the dolls’ loneliness and decides to build them a home, an entirely Japanese home, that she creates through out the story with delicate precision. As the dolls begin to feel happier, so does Nona… this is a beautiful story, in every way. If you have ever wanted to know how to make a wishing tree… or to follow beautiful vintage instructions to make an authentic Japanese doll’s house then this is the book for you. You can read more about Rumer Godden on her website.

  5. Timmy Failure: Sanitised for your Protection by Stephan Pastis:
  6. Great excitement that the 4th Timmy Failure is out, just saying. We have blogged and raved about Timmy Failure before, in fact he is quite simply yet another member of the family. If you haven’t read #1, #2, or #3 you can dive in with #4… but trust me you are going to want to read them all. Timmy is a detective, with a polar bear sidekick who right now is lying on a coach eating Bon Bons. Timmy makes numerous and hilarious mistakes, simply because he is burdened with the troubles of youth… history tests, school lunches and such. In this rollicking adventure Timmy and his mum are off on a road trip, let’s just say “interesting times.” Honestly, the illustrations make this book, the cartoon characters interact with the words so well. Those readers just launching into chapter books will love this, chapters are only about three pages long, and more advanced readers will enjoy it just as much… because across all ages it is just jolly fun, so much so, that I have had no problem reading it to my gang more than a few times. If you haven’t met Timmy Failure then head straight over to Timmy Failure’s website watch some videos, gather some print outs.

  7. How to Train your Dragon #12: How to Fight a Dragons Fury written and illustrated by Cressida Cowell:
  8. The tragedy is that this is the last in a long and very eventful series… and we are so sad to see the end. This series is pure adventure, pure delight and for the child ready for a little magic… forget the movie (well don’t) but read the books. If your kid’s say they have seen the movie, then just start reading a little way in and leave it lying around. They cannot not be hooked, the writing is interesting and is full of wonderful words. The author assumes that readers are bright and curious and the readers, of course, rise to the occasion!!! This series is a fantastic read for kids that are weary of fat books because long passages are broken up with heaps of interesting illustrations, so even if they are stumbling along, it is easy to make quick and noticeable progress, which is always helpful. The down side is, for fluent and avid readers… these books will be inhaled in seconds… and so they should be. The series is about Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, who is a dragon whisperer and Viking Hero, and of course his world and associated family members. No one thought Hiccup would amount to much, but in this grande finale they need a hero and fast. Hiccup could be the one, or could he? The book is a book of olde… you can read it without reading the earlier part of the series… but you will want to go back, everyone reappears from books past, and there heroes and there is wisdom, there is living-on-the-edge-gotta-turn-the-next-page-ness, as well as undying love, mystery and not a little mayhem. Pure solid fun. Fantastic read, cannot recommend this series enough.

  9. My Dad’s a Birdman by David Almond and illustrated by Polly Dunbar:
  10. This is a very different, somewhat whimsical book, I was intrigued from the start. Lizzie lives with her Dad who is eccentric to say the least. He believes he is a bird and eats grubs and insects to prove it, and spends hours working on his flying skills. Lizzie is the grown-up in the story, who takes days off school to check on her Dad. From time to time Lizzie’s Aunt Doreen swoops down on their apartment and she is the voice of reason, believing that dumplings will relieve the grief at the loss of Lizzie’s mum. The Great Human Bird Competition is in town… and it is just what is required for Lizzie and her Dad to walk down the road to healing their hearts. There is a real “I can do it” attitude throughout this book and the child with a big imagination will love this book…

  11. Princess Mirror-Belle and the Magic Shoes and Princess Mirror-Belle and Prince Precious Paws, Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Lydia Monks:
  12. I have to say that Princess Mirror-Belle is not my favourite, but my younger girls who are lurching from easy readers into chapter books, love them and love reading them themselves. Some books children are meant to read themselves and that is okay. The books are about a girl called Ellen, who every now and then, every story in fact, discovers her double Princess Mirror-Belle in the mirror. The trouble with Princess Mirror-Belle is she is a naughty version of Ellen, and she doesn’t always have the best intentions. If you read Enid Blyton’s Naughtiest Girl in the School as child, then this is the level of naughtiness. Each story Princess Mirror-Belle arrives, then there is a little bit of an adventure and finally Princess Mirror-Belle returns to the mirror at the end of the story. The first book has two stories and the second one has three:

    • Princess Mirror-Belle and Prince Precious Paws: Well here is a little surprise… Ellen is throwing a stick for her dog Splodge, when she sees her reflection in the pond and out pops a very wet Princess Mirror-Belle and her dog.
    • Which Witch?: It is Halloween and Ellen is practising a poem she is going to recite with her friend, only her friend comes down with a cold and she is left on her own. Princess Mirror-Belle to the rescue… well almost.
    • The Princess Test: Ellen is cleaning the house just before her mum comes home from a week in hospital and dusting her mums’ three-mirrored dresser means that not one, not two, but three Princess Mirror-Belle’s emerge for the mirrors. The trick is to figure out who is the true Mirror-Belle.
    • li>Princess Mirror-Belle and the Magic Shoes: When Princess Mirror-Belle puts on her magic dancing shoes they just won’t stop dancing and as you can imagine there are quite a few consequences to having dancing feet… especially in dance class.

    • The Golden Goose: Ellen is birdwatching from the window and swings her binoculars round the room for a quick glance, of course she lingers on the mirror and out pops a miniature Princess Mirror-Belle.

  13. Enid Blyton’s Collection of Holiday Stories:
  14. We recently reviewed this book and got such a positive response to it… and then we had an extra copy of it, it immediately became a GiveAway!!! This is a fabulous book to introduce your kids to the famous storyteller from so many childhoods. My oldest guys are reading it to my littlest gang at bedtime, it is very sweet on every level. The stories are just long enough for a bed time read, stories for boys and stories for girls. Sweet stories, with a little excitement, a couple of adventures, and of course a good dose of magic, and, well, happy endings. It is rather lovely, and satisfying my own sweet holiday memories of lying in a shady spot reading Enid Blyton’s again and again. Good clean fun, of the Enid Blyton variety… what could be better really!!!

Hooray, Hooray, it’s a GiveAway

So we have a copy of Enid Blyton’s Holiday Stories to GiveAway to a lucky reader. This GiveAway works in the usual way, leave a comment before the end of play on Sunday, 22 November 2015 and tell us “Your favourite Childhood Chapter Book. We will draw and publish the winners in the Fabulous Fun Post after that. I won’t respond to your comments as I do on our other posts because I don’t want to be included in our own giveaway.

Our GiveAways are open to everyone: If you have won a GiveAway before never fear – enter away. If you live on the far side of the world – enter away. Postage takes forever from here but eventually it should get to you! Good luck and happy commenting!!!

This post is the second in a series we are writing on the latest and greatest reads, previously:

What We Are Reading Right Now – the Picture Book Version

We would really like to thank PanMacMillan Books South Africa for providing us with the books to review for this post. We would like to declare that this is not a sponsored post, we were not paid to do these reviews, just provided with books. All the opinions are as usual, entirely our own!!!

→ 18 CommentsTags: GiveAways and Swaps

When Se7en Visits Yuppie Chef For A Behind the Scenes Brunch…

November 17th, 2015 · 4 Comments

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This past Friday I was invited over to visit our friends at Yuppie Chef for brunch… I didn’t hesitate to accept, in fact the hardest part was waiting for the day to arrive. Don’t you love a beautiful welcome…

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I have never seen such prettiness in flowers…

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And the Christmas cookies made me want to dash home and get the gingerbread recipe out.

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The Beautiful Brunch

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And of course, this is Yuppie Chef, the folk that believe in connecting over food…

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And the food was pure loveliness…

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As folk were arriving delicious aromas and copious coffees were supplied.

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Chatting and feasting got going, it was great to meet heaps of new folk in the world of food and blogging, not to mention catch up with old friends.

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The Christmas Craftiness

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And since this is Yuppie Chef, a collection of the most creative folk on earth… we weren’t likely to sit around idle for long. We were taught how to make these beautiful gifty packages… I love them.

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We began by mastering a few origami… skills!!!

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And then we were showing how to roast nuts to pop into our packages. Hmmmm… these definitely bring out the Chritmassy feeling…

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You can head over to their website for the recipe for cinnamon roasted nuts…

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The Terrific Tour

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The next thing on the agenda, was a tour of the warehouse… exciting times. Do you have any idea how much kitchen loveliness they have over there? First stop, we ambled through customer services… were everything looked peaceful and calm, despite sending out million of parcels all day every day, you would expect a certain amount of frenzy… but there was none of that!!! Probably because their desks were covered in green plants, I am sure there is a lesson there – love it!!!

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Then we were taken for a quick spin through their store. While Yuppie Chef is an online store, they do have a physical store, where you can pop in and grab a gift, or get something you are absolutely desperate for and couldn’t possibly wait for delivery.

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And they seem to fit a lot of stock in here… there is a smattering of almost everything…

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Including some of the brands we totally love.

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And then on into the warehouse…

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We did a warehouse tour a couple of years ago and my how things have changed…

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Tablets have replaced clipboards and papers… And shelves that were stacked with organised rows and rows of brands and products, have been replaced with chaos sorting… it is faster, more efficient and serves the customer better. Gotta say, that works for me!!!

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By the time we were almost at the end of the tour we reached the final destination in any packages journey… we had preselected parcels waiting to despatch to friends… and cards we had written earlier were in our packages waiting for us to box them up!!!

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And this super-efficient packer, helped me come to terms with copious amounts of bubble wrap and tissue paper. He didn’t even blink and goodies were wrapped and in their box…

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And they were off on their journey…

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Otherwise, What’s New at Yuppie Chef?

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They just launched their very own magazine, TABLE: shop, cook, share… packed with kitchen delights, product reviews and of course recipes. Not to mention there is a very fine competition for a Kitchen Aid in there… just saying!!!

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And then having given each of us a gift delivered on our behalf to a friend, they gifted us with a FOMO Box… A what, how had I not heard of this wonderful thing!!! A FOMO Box is a Food on Monthly Order Box filled with lovely foodie treats. You have heard of coffee of the month, or beer of the month clubs, well welcome to Food of the Month… a little treasure chest of delights. You can take a peek:

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I know, you need details… how cool is this box of loveliness… The father person inhaled all things nutty, and I have to say those Angeli biscuits lasted about one second!!!

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And that was it… over far too soon…

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One thing I can say about Yuppie Chef is that even their after party looks delightful!!!

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Previous Yuppie Chef Posts


A huge thank you to Yuppie Chef for the fantastic spoil… This is not a sponsored post, we were not paid to write it, but we do love Yuppie Chef and the opinions we express are as usual, entirely our own.

→ 4 CommentsTags: Monday Munchies · Outings

What We Are Reading Right Now… The Picture Book Version.

November 16th, 2015 · 7 Comments

Basically I could read picture books all day, every day… and while classical classics are those picture books that can be read again and again and again… there is nothing nicer than a new discovery. So many fresh and new picture books come out and it can be difficult to find the magic amidst the sea of new books that are out. This post is full of books we have read and enjoyed, books that have gone on to the “It’s a Keeper Shelf.”

Se7en Fantastic Picture Books

  1. A Great Big Cuddle Poems for the Very Young by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Chris Riddell:
  2. This book gets the full ten out of ten score from us, and is our current: read it again and again and again book. It is glorious, bouncy and filled with delightful poetry for little people and their grown up reader to enjoy. Who would have thought a poetry book, with thirty five poems, for tiny tots would have such appeal but it does. Firstly, Michael Rosen has a delightful way with words… and you will find your little people bopping to the rhythm of the poems long after you have finished reading it. The first poem starts: Tippy-tappy Tippy-tappy Tap, tap, tap. Nippy-nappy Nippy-nappy Nap, nap, nap… and so on. Here’s another one, I can’t resist… a little mouse that starts: I am angry. I am really angry. Angry, angry, angry. I’m so angry I’ll jump up and down… and do all sorts of terrifically terrible things and ends… And then go to bed. Just pure word fun. And then of course the illustrator is our friend and Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell. Double page spread, after double page spread of magnificent illustrations… detailed creatures real and imagined, little people that you feel you have met somewhere before, amazing animals… just a delightful collection of his gorgeous illustrations. This book would make an amazing gift for any young child, in fact it would make a fantastic baby present because it is a book that a child can grow up with and will become a childhood favourite.

  3. How to Hug With Hugless Douglas:
  4. We recently met the author/illustrator David Melling and we have a huge Hugless Douglass fan in our house. This is a fabulous big board book, chunky and perfect for the beginner book lover to grab, drag around and generally over-love. There is a lovely fluffy Hughes Douglas on the front cover that leaves you wanting to climb right into the book and cuddle. It is short and sweet and the affable Hughes is once again full of hugs to share. He and his friends have a hugging competition. There are so many many hugs to be had… book hugs, pyjama hugs, party hugs and wobbly hugs… keep paging, keep paging to the ultimate hug: A BIG BEST FRIEND HUG. A lovely book for little people that are ready for a first book to love and keep under their pillow, but not quite big enough for paper books.

  5. What the Ladybird Heard Next by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Lydia Monks:
  6. This is Julia Donaldson on form, a lycricalling rhyming tale combined with the beautiful colourful illustrations of Lydia Monks and you have a winner. It is a farmyard tale, with every available farmyard animal you can think of. And then the fat red hen begins to lose eggs, and the observant little ladybird leaves a wonderful glittery trail to follow through the book as she seeks to solve the mystery of the missing eggs. It turns out Hefty and Lefty are the culprits and the farm animals think up a cunning plan to solve the problem of the disappearing eggs. This book leaves a nice cosy feel and makes a good bedtime read.

  7. The Cow Who Climbed a Tree by Gemma Merino:
  8. We absolutely loved Gemma Merino’s previous book, The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water. So here is a cow, who doesn’t quite fit the norm… and like most of us has something slightly different about herself. She loves reading and is always telling the other cows incredible things… and the other cows are having none of that and don’t believe a word of it. Well, our heroine decides to climb a tree, and there she meets a delightfully dragony dragon – gotta love the illustrations. The dragon is not like other dragons it is friendly and vegetarian, and the cow and the dragon become firm friends. The other cows of course want to be part of the fun… and their could be flying lessons for cows, just saying!!!

  9. Chocolate Me! by Taye Diggs and illustrated by Shane Evans:
  10. Now this book didn’t get the best press, but we quite liked it. It is the story of a little boy who is teased ruthlessly for being who he is. My kids have grown up in a very multi-ethnic multi-cultural environment and did not pick up that it was a little chocolate skinned boy in a very white neighbourhood, they missed the racial slant completely. What they did get, was the teasing and bullying and their “righteous anger” leapt to his defence. The illustrations are lovely and the t-shirts this little guy wears are brilliant, page after page of “your are the best son” “you are awesome” and so on… So this is a book about bullying and if your children are not too familiar with bullying, let it go. But if your kids live in the world, and have experienced bullying themselves, or observed it, then they will like the gentle way that his mom handles the situation.

  11. The Emperor of Absurdia and Wendel and the Robots by Chris Riddell:
  12. These two delightful books are not new, they have been republished in a very “little person friendly” format. Ladybird book size, and perfect to fit into a little backpack and for heading out on an adventure. I should mention that Chris Riddell is about our favourite illustrator of all time and his books are simply magical. The Emperor of Absurdia wakes from a dream and the Wardrobe Monster helps him dress… there is breakfast, supper and lunch… which hatches, and the most wonderful dragon hunt. This book captures the essence of a dream so beautifully. Page after page of detailed illustrations that fill out the words, you can not read this story without wanting to climb into it.

  13. Wendel and the Robots, also by Chris Riddell:
  14. Wendel is possibly the most inventive mouse ever… with diagrams of his inventions to pore over. He invents a robot to do all his tidying up… and I cannot think of any of my children who haven’t “been there.” Anyway his robot gets a little enthusiastic, and Wendel gets tidied up too. Wendel lands up on the scrap heap himself, and he is miserable… it is a good life lesson and everything turns out ok, of course. Wendel learns his lesson and always recycles after that experience. No need to send anything to the scrap heap… repurposing and tidying as you go is his new thing.

  15. Let’s Pretend FireFighter by Roger Priddy: and Let’s Pretend: Animal Rescue by Roger Priddy:
  16. These two books go together, they are very similar… and when Hood #8 saw the fire rescue one, he literally hyperventilated. These books are very chunky board books with a suitcase full of bits and pieces, real live chunky equipment that your real live firefighter or vet would need in an emergency. The tools fit into the story like first puzzle pieces… very playable… into the suitcase, then into the story, then repeat many many times. The story is really simple, the illustrations really detailed, with lots of lovely things to find. They are perfectly designed, Priddy books – what can I say, to be lugged around and loved by your junior person.

We would really like to thank PanMacMillan Books South Africa for providing us with the books to review for this post. We would like to declare that this is not a sponsored post, we were not paid to do these reviews, just provided with books. All the opinions are as usual, entirely our own!!!

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Sunday Snippet: A Hope Deferred…

November 16th, 2015 · 2 Comments

Our Bible Verse of the Week…

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Proverbs 13:12

Hope Deferred Makes the heart sick,

but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

On this day two years ago, we lost our little Hood #9, and this verse has been the verse that has been bound to my heart ever since. There is no one thing that makes a shattered heart heal, but there are many drips that fall into a bucket that make the load feel a little lighter. We took this snap of the gang while visiting with friends this weekend and I love each of these kids with all my heart. While the picture is perfect, there will always be one face missing for me.

Previous Posts

When you lose a love

When you lose a love… How can you help?

When you lose a love… It is a family affair.

When you lose a love… A whole year on.

Week by Week

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