Tuesday, 30 April 2013

LA BELLE CAFE & BAKERY


I recently had lunch at La Belle Cafe & Bakery at the Alphen Boutique Hotel in Constantia. Not having visited the hotel for nearly five years I was excited to try La Belle Cafe, as I had heard several good reports.




We had decided to visit for a late Saturday lunch and even though it was very busy and we hadn't booked, we were soon seated on the shaded outside terrace. The staff were very efficient, attentive and professional.




My friend and I both opted for their signature dish of the La Belle Beef Burger served with rocket, tomatoes, Porcini mushroom sauce, crispy red onion rings and topped with slices of avocado. Don't expect a burger bun here, but rather expect your perfectly cooked to order beef burger, to be served on a section of French bread. The combination of all of the above worked so well and we both agreed that the burger was both delicious and deserving of being awarded the title of their "signature" dish. The food was beautifully served on a wooden board and was accompanied by a mini bucket of thin French fries. The portions were more than satisfying, so much so, that I had no space left to even contemplate ordering a dessert..Be warned though, that you will find it very difficult to resist the gorgeous cakes, tarts, muffins, croissants, macaroons and other delectable pastries, that are all beautifully displayed inside!
There is only one thing to do in such cases....and that is to return again just for a dessert!




La Belle is very popular for breakfast, lunches and dinners and is open from 7am till 9pm daily. The menu selection was good and catered for most tastes. I saw many platters and bowls of food being served to other tables and not only was all the food well presented, but the portion sizes seemed to be more than generous and I must say everything looked more than yummy!








Monday, 29 April 2013

MORE FROM YANKEE CANDLES

As mentioned in previous posts I love Yankee Candles...and they have some recent additions to their already extensive range.





These new "Dessert" large jar candles (622grs) retail for R470 and burn for up to 150 hours, but they do, smell absolutely divine. 
The dessert collection is right up any "dessertaholics" street....it has a Chocolate Layer Cake, Red Velvet Cake and Banana Cream Cake....






They also have a new collection of Reed Diffusers R434, in a different fragrance range from the candle collection.
They include Beachfront,Creme Brûlée, Apple Chai, Denim, Key Lime and Rose Petals....





New fragrances have also been added to the jar candles. The small jar candles (104grs) retail for R149 and burn for up to 40 hours. The new additions are Pink Dragon Fruit, Black Coconut and Spiced Orange .

These are all available from :

Mobelli Outdoor Furniture
92, Regent Road
Sea Point

Contact Michelle for more info on 021 434 2280


Sunday, 28 April 2013

BARNYARD GLORY DAYS

I was recently offered ten free tickets, which is now the second time in six months, for one of the shows at the Barnyard in Gateway Theatre of Shopping and Entertainment. 

The last show that we went to was Special Days which we thoroughly enjoyed.
Barnyard is a great night out and the more of your friends that join you, the better! In the past we have always taken along our picnic basket with the obligatory snacks and "goodies" but this time we ordered from the take way pizza bar that is now located inside the Barnyard foyer area. They are have a good selection and are priced around R60/R70 and your ordered is brought to your table hot out of the Pizza oven.
Obviously the level of enjoyment depends on the quality of the show, which has to be good, but generally the shows always are. The current offering is "Glory Days" which recently started on the 16th April and ends on the 26th May.





The show is based on a "nerdy"character called Wally who dreams of becoming a Rock Star just like his hero Bruce Springsteen...and you are taken through some of the best known songs and hits of the 80's along with a fashion flashback to the fashion styles of that era...

Romaine, the female vocalist belts out some good renditions of several Tina Turner hits,whilst Tiann and Marvin are the male vocals....

Whilst I enjoyed the show and the evening I have to admit, I did enjoy the "Special days" show far more.

Friday, 26 April 2013

FRIDAY FINDS


I found a treasure of a little shop tucked away in a corner of the Cape Quarter in Cape Town called 
Vendange.
 It stocks food, wine and olive oil accessories as well as many other decor items. It is also home to the Boutique Vineyards Trudeau cheese and baguette board range as well as carefully sourced glassware, ceramics, olive oil, Champagne buckets, wooden wine crates, kitchen tables and other products that are useful for entertaining and add style and beauty to any entertaining area.

 If you are looking for a chopping board, then this is the place to go, as they have every shape and size imaginable. These hard waring Trudeau boards are hand crafted from French oak wine barrels and can be used for the more mundane task of generally chopping, but can also be used to both cut on and present cheeses,baguettes,braai meat,sushi and there is even a fish shaped board to present and serve your fish or salmon from.....prices range from R135 to R650.





These Champagne gel fragrance candles are unusual and retail for
 R150





My hubby would love this Biltong board and cleaver
 R599.95





A little pricey, but this set of 6 Blind wine tasting covers are great if you are into your wines
R299.95




These heavy wooden doorstops will keep any door open for
 R290









Thursday, 25 April 2013

PINK SKETCHES

I found these lovely pink, fashion related sketches on Pinterest..which is your favourite shoe and bag sketch?

I think my favourites have to be the Dior bag and the Moschino shoes...just because they are pink!

Enjoy!



                                                   

                     







Wednesday, 24 April 2013

LUSH FOR TEENAGERS





I have written several posts about Lush products before and I have been more than happy with my choices, but none more so, than the products that I have bought my teenage boys...


We don't have a LUSH shop in Durban, but I was told that a shop is on the cards, but Johannesburg is the next region in which they will open. 
Do not sulk Durbanites, as they are soon to launch their online ordering website, which I am afraid will just have to suffice in the meantime!

Both my teenage boys love the Mask of Magnaminty and it is one of the only products that they will use regularly. I have tried them both with many products over the past few years to help control, calm and heal those hormonal breakouts, but to not avail....

On my recent trip to Cape Town, I bought two more products with the hope that they will also enjoy and continue to use...
Wish me luck and reviews will follow soon!


Aqua Marina facial cleanser R95


Grease Lightening Spot Treatment R75



Tuesday, 23 April 2013

MINI LISCIOUS

Several weeks ago my "Friday Finds" were all MINI branded goodies from SMG Rocks in Umhlanga Rocks. Their MINI boutique is full of MINI items, so here are some more for you to enjoy!


If you love all things MINI or just looking for some different gifting ideas, then pop along to visit their boutique and don't forget there is a Vida e Caffe onsite, so you can grab a coffee at the same.
Oh! and there are always the cars to look at and perhaps buy....shopping, coffee and a new car all under one roof, what more could you ask for....

Prices are correct as of the 24th April 2013
Contact SMG Rocks 031 561 3569 for more info
or visit www.smg.co.za


Duffle Bag R450


Leather Clutch R650


MINI Garage Key Hanger R199


Thermos Can R19I9


SA MINI Fridge RI500.55


Ladies "I LOVE MINI" T R225

MANGWANANI MOONLIGHT NIGHT SPA



Mangwanani African Spa is situated at the Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom on the North Coast of Durban and is just a fifteen minute drive from my home...so, it is literally on my doorstep, in fact I can see the Sibaya complex from my house.

My BFF, has on numerous occasions tried to coax me into enjoying the Mangwanani Moonlight Spa experience, but to no avail....but feeling somewhat embarrassed I finally agreed.

The reason for my hesitance was actually two fold.. "My Nightmare Pedi"  which I blogged about last year was given by an ex therapist from this spa chain. Read my post and you will understand my indifference. The other reason is that within the beauty industry these "massage therapists" and that is all they are, have unfortunately given the beauty therapist, a somewhat "bad" reputation and my nightmare pedi is just one example! So this is not a "Spa" in the true sense of the word as you will find, no, tweezing, steaming, extraction,waxing or nail treatments going on here, only massaging. I think it is important to remember this in order to enjoy the whole experience.

Unfortunately the weather, on the night we had booked for, was....atrocious! It was cold, windy and pouring with rain...which was a pity, as the usual Durban warm weather is key to the maximum enjoyment of the evening, as many of the massage treatments are performed in open sided thatch gazebos with wonderful views of either the sea or palm tree lined water features. After saying this, they are well equipped for the bad weather, as treatments were performed in rondavels and purpose built thatch huts, which all adds to this African experience. The only unfortunate thing about the rain, was whilst rushing between the treatment areas, dressed only in a fluffy white gown and white slippers... you soon found that the once pristine white slippers, soon became soggy and dirty! However they did provide umbrellas and a change of slippers often! I found it all quite amusing to see 60 clients and 60 employees scurrying around in the dark and dark it was....all part of the experience...maybe! Note to management - lights are needed!


Changing and Shower area


On arrival we were traditional greeted and taken to the change rooms, which are well equipped with showers, lockers, hair dryers , toiletries and plenty of clean towels...all the usual you would expect. The dining boma serves as the focal point of the evening,as this is where you return to, in between each 55 minute massage treatment, of which there are three. A strict order to the evening is followed, but at times we did feel  slightly rushed.




Biltong,dried fruit,crudites and dip

Chicken Roti and salad


Light snacks and refreshments on arrival @ 18:30

IZIMANGA (Heaven on Earth) Full Body Traditional Body Massage with Hot Stone Therapy

Return to dining area for Dinner with a Selection of Desserts.

MOLALA Ancient African Head & Neck treatment with Sesame Seed Oil

Return to the dining area for refreshment

NEO MAOTO (Foot Gift) Traditional African Royal Foot Massage(from toes to knees)
Rose Petal Wash, Sugar & Grape Seed Scrub, Mangwanani Massage Cream

Return to dining area for a glass of African Amarula and a chocolate

Spa evening ends at approximately 22:30 / 23:00


Bling bottle

You are also provided with your own "Blingy" water bottle, and a choice of lemon or cherry flavoured waters are on hand throughout the evening. Several fruit juices, coffees, teas and hot chocolates are also provided as part of the deal...sadly I just didn't have time to partake in a "hot Choc" much to my disappointment.

The staff were generally very attentive, but I could see that several of the sixty or so on duty that night were just going through the motions of this nightly ritual.....

Onto the treatments...the compulsory information and medical history cards are filled in at the beginning of the evening and prior to each treatment you are asked what strength of pressure you would like, either light,medium or strong...I opted for all medium strength massages.However I found this varied from girl to girl and on a couple of occasions requested her to ease up a little and for your info....I can take a good firm massage...thank goodness I didn't opt for the strong!

You're also able to choose which oils they use, either relaxing or revitalizing, but don't expect any specialized oils, as they are all premixed bulk "bog" standard oils....


Foot cleanse,exfoliation and massage

Hot Stone Back Massage


The foot massages are performed in tandem treatment huts with your partner or BFF in relative privacy, as is the hot stone body massage, but the head, neck and shoulder massage is performed in an open area along with thirty or perhaps even more of your fellow spa mates all sitting "bolt" upright in wicker chairs.....despite the massage being good...I wasn't too keen on this communal setting.

Whilst the massage therapies were enjoyable and relaxing, I did wonder as to the depth of knowledge that these girls actually had about any muscle groups that they were working on etc. as several of my questions went unanswered.

Despite some of my reservations, I have to admit, that I unexpectedly enjoyed the whole African Spa experience.It seemed to be enjoyed by all the other couples,some of which were celebrating wedding anniversaries, birthdays, hen nights or like myself, just an evening of self indulgence!

There were also some nice little touches, such as rose petals strewn over the tables and in the public areas, as well as fragrant candles burning in the treatment rooms and your hands are washed with Rose water upon re entering the dining boma, which all made for an evening of absolute pampering. You are also able to buy Mangwanani branded clothing and body products from their on site shop.

It was a pity about the rain and I would love to return on a warm summers evening with my "hubby".
By the way, this is a must for any overseas visitors, as they would surely love the whole African experience.

The cost for the above is R1099 per person, which I think equates to good value for money when considering all that was included.
You can find several of these spa's dotted around South Africa.They do also offer day and half day packages but do visit their website for more info  Mangwanani






















Monday, 22 April 2013

COLGATE OPTIC WHITE {REVIEW}




We cannot help but notice, when someone has a beautiful white smile and we also can't help, but have some twinges of envy....a sure way of getting that mouth full of pearly white teeth, is to have them professionally whitened, which can cost thousands of rands, so where does that leave the rest of us who cannot afford to have the professionals make our dreams of having that white dazzling smile come true? Don't despair as there are affordable home whitening kits and treatments available, but do they really deliver on their claims?Colgate Optic White is one such range, that can be bought from supermarkets and chemists.




Manufactures Claims:


COLGATE ® OPTIC WHITE™ TOOTHPASTE
Sparkling Mint
75ml R15.99

New Colgate® Optic White Toothpaste delivers:
One shade whiter after one week
Advanced formula with whitening accelerators
Fluoride for cavity protection

New
OPTIC WHITE™ MOUTHWASH
500mls R46.99

New Colgate® Optic White Mouthrinse effectively whitens teeth
and freshens breath by:
Reducing yellow stains to restore natural whiteness
Preventing tartar build-up which discolours teeth

For Optimal Results
THE OPTIC WHITE® TOOTHBRUSH.
R43.99

For optimal whitening results, use a Colgate® 360°® Optic White® Toothbrush. It helps whiten your teeth in two important ways:
Whitening cups. These soft rubber cups are designed to hold toothpaste to more effectively
remove surface stains for a whiter smile.
Polishing bristles. Help whiten teeth by polishing away surface stains and clean hard-to-reach areas for a full
white smile.


I tested both the toothpaste and the mouthwash for the recommended 7 days. I didn't buy their toothbrush, as I have an electric brush, which in my experience is far more thorough than any manual one! Also I understand that for optimal results you are recommended to use the the Optic White toothbrush.

I personally found the toothpaste to be quite ineffective, not only in its claims of making your teeth "one shade whiter after one week", but also I found the taste of the "sparkling mint" quite difficult to palete twice a day and left your mouth feeling far from freshly brushed or sparkling!
Unfortunately the mouthwash fared no better, in fact it left my mouth with a feeling of foaming baking soda, which was very unpleasant.

I tried not to have any great expectations of getting whiter teeth in one week, after all, the three products only retail for under R100, but I was hugely disappointed that both products underperformed in regards to the normal basic functions of a toothpaste and mouthwash.
I couldn't wait for my trial week to be over, so I could literally ditch the "Optic White" products and revert back to my Colgate Maxfresh with fresh strips and my Listerine mouthwash, which in my opinion are far more effective.....

So it seems like we do get "taken in" by the advertising and the product claims or at least I do, but I wonder how many customers actually return products for a refund when they do not deliver!
Very few I suspect, as our investment is only a few rands, so we "let it go". However in comparison, if a consumer bought an expensive Anti Ageing regime and it didn't live up to the advertised claims... you can be sure that they would return to "air" their disappointment and possible demand a refund!
Makes you think doesn't it....

As for my Optic White products they have been tossed in the bin, as even my kids and hubby didn't enjoy the taste enough to finish the product..what a waste of money....maybe I should lift them out and take them back to Pick n Pay for a refund....then again it's all too much hassle.....maybe there lies a story for another blog! What's good for one should be good for another!









Sunday, 21 April 2013

RECYCLING WINE CORKS

I hate to throw away anything that can be stylishly reused. I know that many bottles of wine now come with screw caps, but here are some recycling ideas for all those wine drinkers out there, that still drink wine that comes out of a bottle, with a good "old fashioned" cork in....

You may have some other recycling ideas for wine corks, if so let me know.

Enjoy!







Friday, 19 April 2013

FRIDAY FINDS

There is no denying, that along with thousands of others across South Africa , I am a true Woolworths "foodie" fan, so this weeks Friday Finds has taken on a "Foodie" theme.






1. Willow Creek Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
750mls
R84.95 

I have read a couple of articles recently about this award winning Olive Oil
 from the Nuy Valley in the Cape, so I am ditching my "Italian"
 for a "South African" when it comes my next purchase.

~~~~~

2. Chilli Salami Sticks.
8 sticks
R21.99

When it comes to food I have bit of a Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I am not actually sure if you can be OCD about eating a particular food item, but for the purpose of this post humour me! These Chilli Sticks have been available for some time now and I cannot resist the temptation of buying a packet every time I go to "Woolies" food market....That "hit" of Chilli is too hard to ignore and I can devour the 8 sticks before the car has even left the car park. For those that don't want to become addicted like me then go for the plain option,which are also good. Thankfully they have no added MSG, but as for the other nutritional values, I dare not read the back of the packet. Sometimes ignorance is "bliss"
My only complaint would be the price especially as they were
 initially R19.99 and have recently jumped to R21.99

~~~~~


3. Strawberries & Cream Bon Bons.
150 g
R19.95


I haven't tried these fruit flavoured hard candy yet, but anything strawberry and it is bound to be liked by "moi"...I'm not sure how these sweeties escaped my attention, but I can assure you, that.. I am on "it".

~~~~~



4. Fresh Green Split Pea & Vegetable Soup with leeks, carrots, garlic and turnips.
600g
R19.99

I do enjoy a good wholesome tasty soup and often make my own in winter, but this soup is simply "delish" and my whole family agree....not only is it the cheapest of all their fresh soup collection, it really is one of the tastiest. It also freezes well.


WOOLWORTHS







Thursday, 18 April 2013

HELLO KITTY

Are there any Hello Kitty fans out there?
I must say, I am a doggy person, but these are girlie, feminine and very cute nails...

Enjoy!







Wednesday, 17 April 2013

WHAT DO COLOURS SAY ABOUT YOU?



Have you got an important interview, meeting or just an event coming up, where you really want to make a good impression?
If so then read on, as choosing the colour of your outfit is just as important as the clothing you select.
Colour does subliminally say something to us and definitely arouses different emotional feelings.
Check the list below and next time you pull an outfit out of your wardrobe think about the appropriateness of the colour!

Enjoy!



BLACK is the colour of authority and power. It's a popular choice as it also makes us appear slimmer. It also is timeless and classic. Don't wear all black as this can appear unapproachable.









GREY is one of the most popular choices for an interview, as it can give the impression of sophistication and confidence. Also can be less distracting therefore the focus will be on what you say.










WHITE is light and a popular choice as it goes with everything. It also projects cleanliness, neutrality and simplicity.











RED is the most emotionally charged and aggressive colour. Red is the colour of love and passion and will certainly get you noticed. Red also can make the wearer appear heavier. Not recommended for that all important interview.










YELLOW is a bright, sunny, happy and an energizing colour. Its an attention getting colour and can be overpowering if too much is used. It's also the colour of concentration.










GREEN is the colour of nature and is the easiest on the eye. It's calming and
refreshing. Dark green signifies wealth and masculinity.











BLUE is the recommended colour to wear for an interview as it symbolizes loyalty and control. Tranquil and peaceful it produces calming chemicals in the body and is easy on the eye.










PURPLE is the colour of royalty, luxury, sophistication wealth. Perhaps not ideal for an interview as it is also viewed as being feminine and romantic.











BROWN is solid and reliable colour and abundant in nature.Light brown suggest genuineness whilst dark brown implies reliability and a good communicator.









Source - HiredMyWay