Friday, 29 November 2013

FRIDAY FINDS {TEACHERS GIFTS]

As another school year comes to an end, its time again to think about those Teachers gifts.
Having had two boys go through the schooling system, the teachers gifting was a non entity once they started high school, but Pre, Junior and Senior Primary phases it was a highlight for my "kiddie winks".
They loved to choose that special gift for that special teacher and I wasn't always in agreement with their choices, but hey! it was their teacher and it was a gift to say thank you for putting up with them for the whole year....personally some deserved gold medals,but that's another story.
Here is a selection of some lovely gifting ideas for under a R100 for today's Friday Finds.
They can all be ordered online from Woolworths and at the moment all orders
over R700 are delivered free.

Woolworths

Enjoy!




1.

Traditional Turkish Delight 550g


R 99.95 


2.

Liquorice All Sorts 1.2Kg

R 99.95 


3. 
Vanilla Hand Treatment Pack

R89.95

4.
 Dog Bag Charm 

R49.95

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

BELUGA GATEWAY {REVIEW}


Some of you may have read my previous reviews on various restaurants, cafes etc.and I know I am a harsh critic, but being a "mature" diner you need to understand that I have eaten many meals out in all types of restaurants over the years and lets face it, eating out is not a cheap past time,
so to put it simply and bluntly....
I work hard to earn my money and I don't settle for crap.....

Obviously my reviews are based purely on my personal taste,opinions and experiences at the time of the review, all this being said I very rarely give a mediocre or average restaurant a second chance, 
as I really don't want to waste more of my good money. 

So how did I Beluga rate?
My son turned 20 years old a couple of weeks ago, so we decided to eat at Beluga in Gateway, even though I have eaten a couple of times at Beluga in Cape Town this was my first time trying this offshoot, which opened a year ago.
 Beluga in Cape Town has always pleased me and I was expecting great things from my "local" Beluga. 

If I am not mistaken this 350 seater eatery is housed in the 
old Pop Art Cafe Club premises, 
which is a double volume cavernous space. 



We opted to sit outside on the sidewalk terrace and unfortunately that's where things started to go somewhat "pear shaped". 
The outside area is dark, as there is very little lighting and we all had the same problem...we couldn't read the menu even the "Kiddiewinks" with their young eyes complained. 
After voicing our concerns, the waiter brought us a candle to light our way! 
The candle happened to be an electric flickering flame to resemble a candle, 
hence it shed no light whatsoever....reading between these lines....can you sense my frustration already?

We proceeded to move to a table along side the windows hoping the light issue would be resolved and guess what, it wasn't, so after table move number 3 
we ended up inside the restaurant. 
At this point I started to have a sense of humour loss, as the lighting inside the main restaurant was really no better.Regardless, we all battled to read the extensive menu and it all sounded "delish". 

First off I ordered my compulsory Strawberry Daiquiri, as Beluga pride themselves on their cocktails, 
so I waited with anticipation and what arrived was a glass full of sweet slush puppy syrup with no garnish!


Strawberry Daiquiri R58

I am not even going to comment further on my SD other than     
to offer some advice to the management of Beluga... send your barman down to the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga to learn how to make a good SD.

Lets move onto the food.....
We all opted for Belugas set 3 course menu selection at 
R165, 
as it covered lots of our family "likes". 

We all chose the pan fried Calamari with Ginger and Chilli and what arrived was a large portion of perfectly cooked calamari with a tasty plate drizzle of 
Chilli and Ginger, 
a big thumbs up all round!

Ginger & Chilli Calamari


For our mains we all ordered different dishes, which I like as I get to taste
 everyone's food.

"Kiddiewink 1" 
Decided on the Sticky Beef ribs
 which he enjoyed.

 "Kiddiewink 2" 
Chose the Angry Chicken Curry, 
named after the angry chef that totally ruined the dish by overdosing with salt.

"Hubby" 
Unfortunately picked the Slow-Braised Lamb Shank,
 which he was assured was a good portion for a hungry man, I could see his face drop when a minute shank appeared before him and to add insult to injury he declared it tasteless! 

"et Moi" 
I ordered the Kingklip with buttered mash and beurre blanc, 
which didn't look very appetising but the taste was good.


Kingklip


After mixed reviews on the mains it was onto the 3rd and final course and 
my "fave" part...the puds. 
No contest here, as we had all heard so much about the
 White Chocolate Beignets.


Lindt White Chocolate Beignets

 Lindt white chocolate,vanilla bean ice cream and butterscotch sauce and for me being a "chocoholic" this was promising to be a great end to our otherwise disappointing meal. 
One bite into the white chocolate fried ball revealed a hot melted chocolate centre, which was very rich, in fact so much so, I could only eat the one and add to that the butterscotch dipping sauce and the whole dessert was just too rich and too sweet. 

If you follow my blog, you will know from many of my reviews and posts that I loooove chocolate, but this dessert must go down on record, as being the richest "pud" that I have ever eaten. 
Even "kiddiewink 1 & 2" couldn't help me out, so sadly my plate went back to the kitchen minus just the one ball, a little butterscotch and some ice cream, again for me this is unheard of!

To finish off this rather long review
the atmosphere is lacking, the service was average, but the food was to say the least disappointing on many counts. 
I feel that to try and roll out an award winning fine dining restaurant formula to another province is a challenge for the owners and can often fall short and in my opinion sadly this is what has happened to Beluga. 
The final bill came to R940 inc. a tip. There was no wine only beers, cool drinks and my Strawberry Daiquiri!
Would I return? 
Unfortunately not, but I would most definitely visit the tried, tested and established Cape Town branch.

Just a final note....kindly ditch those unhygienic large open jars of brightly coloured jelly beans, its a nice idea, but I witnessed both the waitrons and customers stuffing their,no doubt dirty,grubby, germ ridden hands in, to grab handfuls.
It brought to mind the "bowl of peanuts on the bar" story that did 
its rounds years ago!
Yuk!

To read previous post on Beluga

BELUGA (GATEWAY)



Physical address: 
Shop G347 
Gateway Theatre of Shopping
 Umhlanga
Durban

Opening times:
 Sunday to Thursday 12 noon - 10pm. 
Friday to Saturday 12 noon - 11pm. 




Tuesday, 26 November 2013

AUBERGE HOLLANDAISE 5* GUEST HOUSE




This past weekend I attended a launch of a new skincare serum called SEEFREE but more about that in a later post. The venue for the launch is my focus today and even though I have passed the building on numerous occasions I never knew what lay behind the walls and the gate of this property. Situated in the heart of residential Durban North this once grand home has been renovated and restored to its former glory. 




The Three Cities Auberge Hollandaise is a luxurious five star guest house tailored for the discerning corporate, local and international traveller. I have to admit I was somewhat blown away once I entered through the gates and the impressive triple volume hallway cannot be ignored along with a beautiful chandelier and its warm inviting wooden floors and sumptuous decor. 


Once you make you way through the spacious public lounge areas you come across a large pool deck, outdoor bar and breakfast area.







It's easy to see immediately, that the Auberge Hollandaise offers a haven of calm and tranquillity from what lies on the other side of the walls and gate.Whether you are on business or on holiday all of the ten beautifully decorated guest suites will satisfy the most discerning guest including me! 
Attention to detail is quite obvious upon entering each suite and in fact the whole Guest House. 








Besides the standard Air Conditioning, Tea and Coffee making facilities,Satellite TV, toiletries and hair dryer, each room has a laptop safe and free Wifi, which I know is a bonus,as many of the chain hotels across South Africa charge!



The Auberge Hollandaise also has a wonderful private and luxurious boardroom that can accommodate up to thirty delegates.I cannot think of a more delightful and peaceful setting to host a conference and at R395 per delegate inclusive of food and standard equipment Close to the business and entertainment districts of Durban and Umhlanga Ridge, its worthy of some consideration when you are next wanting to hold a small conference.

Rates:
R1280 pp sharing Luxury King Bed and Breakfast
R1780 Single Luxury King Bed and Breakfast
Dinner on request
These rates are until 31st December 2013

For more details visit











Monday, 25 November 2013

ESTEE LAUDER BLOCK BUSTER 2013




Yes... its that time of the year again when Estee Lauder launch their Block Buster in time for Christmas.

I know that the "BlockBuster" from Lauder has been a familiar and very popular gifting option for the past 30 years, that I am aware of and it still pleases and excites many today!

Every year different colours for lips and eyes are chosen and showcased in a beautiful vanity case.
This years collection is all packed in this beautiful  Lauder blue case.






Purchase a 50ml or larger Estee Lauder fragrance & qualify to purchase the Estee Lauder Make up Block buster. The Blockbuster retails at R1500 yet is valued at R4000.

The Block Buster contains 29 colours, including 3 full-size lipsticks, eye and cheek palettes, a full-size makeup remover and much more--plus Estee Lauders #1 nighttime moisturizer. The set also includes a golden companion case and a navy SlimCase Traveler.  

This extraordinary collection includes:
• Deluxe Eye Shadow Compact with 18 Best-Selling Pure Color EyeShadow shades (Sugar Cube, Pink Flash, Sepia Sand, Summer Linen, Sugar Biscuit, Ivory Slipper, Amazing Grey, Tranquil Moon, Smoky Ember, Nude Fresco, Hot Cinnamon, Wild Sable, Nocturnal Blue, Berry Burst, Amethyst Spark, Ivy Envy, Chocolate Bliss and Lavish Mink.)
• Cheek Palette with 4 Best-Selling Pure Color Blush shades (Peach Passion, Lover’s Blush and Pink Kiss and Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer in Medium)
• 3 Pure Color Long Lasting Lipsticks (full-size, in Hot Kiss, Sugar Honey and Nectarine)
• Pure Color Glosses (in Praline Paradise and Garnet Desire)
• Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner (great for smoky eyes, in Blackened Black)
• Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Le Smoking
• Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara (full-size) in Extreme Black
• Gentle Eye Makeup Remover (full-size 3.4 oz.)
• Advanced Time Zone Night Age Reversing Line/Wrinkle Creme (deluxe travel size)
• Gold Companion Case
• Navy SlimCase Traveler

For years it was always top of my Christmas Wish List and have received many over the years, so what makes it a 'hit" year after year?


  • Firstly it offers wonderful value for money, as you receive so many generous sized products at a huge cost saving.
  • The assortment of make-up items are always well chosen so as to suit the "likes" of most people.
  • The products always come beautifully presented in some sort of stylish, usable vanity bag or case.
  • Great gift for women that are not daily wearers and this gives them all they require.
So all things taken into account this Block Buster offers great value yet again!


Available from all Estee Lauder stockists whilst stock last





Saturday, 23 November 2013

THE MAKING OF THE M&S CHRISTMAS TV COMMERCIAL

Earlier in the week I posted the Marks & Spencer TV commercial for Christmas 2013.
The advert for me, was a magical christmassy story yet it also showcased some of their beautiful clothes and accessories that are available this festive season.
The video below not only shows you how it was made, but also interviews the main characters.
Enjoy!





Thursday, 21 November 2013

HONEY BY MARC JAOBS {REVIEW}

Another recently launched fragrance from the Marc Jacobs stable is Honey....
and yes you have guessed it, the underlying ingredient is Honey!
I must give Marc Jacobs, full marks for his packaging and presentation of his fragrances and I love the "Dotty" look from last years launch of Dot and now its repeated with Honey.




Immediately the yellow packaging suggest that the contents should be sunny, energetic 
and bright and that is initially what you smell,a sunny bright burst of Mandarin, Green Pear which makes way for Honeysuckle and Orange Blossom.
A hint of honey is noticeable throughout the different stages of the fragrance,which I quite enjoyed.
This fragrance to me is not a statement fragrance but rather a subtle feminine, floral, 
slightly sweet easy wearing kind of scent.
Unfortunately Honey didn't linger too long on me, 
even though it's an Eau de Parfum,
 and left a very soft vanilla fragrance behind.

Available from selected Edgars and Red Squares

Eau de Parfum 
30ml R650
50ml R910
100ml R1175

www.redsquare.co.za

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

JO RUST BMW ADVENTURE AROUND AFRICA

As some of you may be aware my "hubby" has a BMW 1200 GS Adventure motorbike, which he adores and just loves the wonderful riding that Kzn and in fact most of South Africa has to offer any lovers of this two wheeled mode of transport....you will also know that I much prefer having four wheels firmly on the ground!
I do accompany him on some of the organised Sunday morning rides, but its the promise of a good breakfast that gets me on the back and not the great riding...I am a reluctant pillion and I sit on the back of the bike resembling a Michelin man, all trussed up like a Christmas turkey! I know the clothing is very important for safety but OMG it is so hot in the Durban heat...on the positive side though,it's like having my own personal sauna. Forget wearing make-up and the helmet does a better job of flattening your hair than a Ghd hair straightener, so all things considered you may have realised its not really my scene.

This past Sundays ride however was slightly different, as we were escorting Jolandie Rust (the first female to ride solo around Africa on a motorbike) on the next stage of her trip around Africa, which will be coming to an end in the next few days after being on the road for the past 20 months, travelling through 27 countries and clocking up over 40,000 kilometres.
More than 35 BMW motorbikes escorted her and her faithful machine a
BMW F800GS DAKAR
from Pinetown down to Hibberdene and I am sure after many lonely sections
of riding through Africa on her own she was happy to have some company.

Her story is quite interesting and not without some very scary moments, but one thing that strikes you when you chat to her,is that she is more than capable of taking care of herself
and is a very determined free spirit. I asked the question
"which countries will she remember the most and for what reasons"?
She didn't hesitate to mention Tunisia, Morocco and Gabon for being the most hospitable
and Libya being the country where she had the most concerns for her safety.
 She has documented her adventures on her website, so if you would like to learn more about what drove this 29 year old to embark on such a journey, 
then visit
 www.jorust.com

Once this adventure ends she is then onto the next, which is competing in the 
Paris-Dakar Rally in 2014.
 Writing a beauty blog I was dying to know what, if any, beauty essentials or must haves could be found in her panniers. I obviously didn't expect her to reel off a whole beauty regime, but I honestly expected her response to be at least a sunscreen for protection against the sun and windburn.... and a lip balm.
She looked at me rather bemused when I asked her the question and then she proceeded to dig deep into one of her many jacket pockets and bring out a tin of Nivea Lip Butter 
that she bought in Kenya!



Despite her non existent beauty routine her skin looked incredibly good...I would have been happier is she had a good moisturising sunscreen hidden in the depths of another pocket,
but alas it was not to be!







Tuesday, 19 November 2013

WAYNE GOSS - NO FOUNDATION VIDEO


Here is another video from Wayne Goss on
NO FOUNDATION
I have to say that mixing your concealer with an illuminating or radiance enhancing moisturiser
worked for me and as he mentions in the video it really does give the effect of no foundation, whilst at the same time concealing and covering.
I loved the natural effect and so did my lines and wrinkles...I have to admit I do have just a few!!
I suggest you give this a try for those lazy days and let me know if it worked for you.
Enjoy!





Sunday, 17 November 2013

HELLO KITTY

'
For all the Hello Kitty fans out there here are some gifting ideas from Woolworths
that will surely put a Hello Kitty smile on your face....
Enjoy!




1. Body Spray 50ml R39.95
2. 3D Foam Bath 300ml R120.00
3. Eau de Toilette 50ml spray R299.95
4. Hand & Nail Cream 75ml R39.95


Friday, 15 November 2013

FESTIVE FOOD FROM CRABTREE & EVELYN





For those that are not aware Crabtree & Evelyn also make wonderful jams,teas and biscuits.
 Carefully selecting the best natural ingredients, 
Crabtree & Evelyn’s Festive Food collection boasts a wealth 
of luxurious seasonal treats, presented in a collectable tin 
with covetable Secret Garden illustration. 
Yes I know they carry a hefty price tag, 
but my favourite from this years Festive Food collection
would have to be the Musical Tin with Jelly Babies.
What a lovely keepsake to bring out year after year.




   
                     
Spiced Ginger Biscuits 165g

Traditionally baked English biscuits with an aromatic mix of ground ginger, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel, cloves and cardamom.  For a real festive flavour.
RSP R250








Triple Chocolate Chunk Biscuits 190g

Milk, white and dark chocolate chunks combined in one traditionally baked biscuit.
RSP R250











Christmas Pudding Biscuits 190g

With a careful blend of seasonal fruits and spices including mincemeat, cinnamon, coriander, caraway, ginger and nutmeg, the distinctive taste of the charming Christmas pudding has been transformed into a biscuit, making every coffee break feel like Christmas day.
RSP R250






                             
                                                
Festive Tin 350g

This beautifully presented tin is filled with festive buttery shortbread shapes. Choose from a tasty selection of stars, bells, Christmas trees and Father Christmas shapes.
RSP R550







Gingerbread Men Tin 200g

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the comforting aroma of ginger lingering in the air.  Our delightful gingerbread men will bring a smile to everyone’s face no matter how old you are!  12 gingerbread men biscuits presented in a novelty keepsake tin.
RSP R400




Musical Tin with Jelly Babies 300g

Intensely fruity Jelly Babies made with only natural colours and flavours, presented in a musical tin that plays ‘Let It Snow’.
RSP R500









Thursday, 14 November 2013

THURSDAY THOUGHT




My "Thursday Thought" posts are normally just a thought provoking quote, but this time I am asking you to read a story that I found, as it really does pertain to most of us that are trying to cope with the daily pressures of life......

Enjoy!

When things in your life seem, almost too much to handle, when 24 Hours in a day is not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cup of coffee.A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
...He then asked the students, if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full.
They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car.
The sand is everything else --The small stuff.
'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.
If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
So, pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal unit.
'Take care of the golf balls first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.
The professor smiled. 'I'm glad you asked.'
It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a TRUE FRIEND.'