Books, Food

June Favourites

June 15, 2017 | 7 Comments
Italian gin

I haven’t written one of these for AGES! Here’s what I’ve been enjoying lately..


Why do I always start with eating? Because it’s so much fun, that’s why. I made this three bean and chorizo stew last weekend when it was raining and it was the perfect one-pot wonder. We topped it off with a dollop of creme fraiche (because everything tastes better with that stuff) and then used garlic bread to mop up the sauce – yum.


The Cows by Dawn O’Porter was such a warm and fuzzy surprise because when I chose it as a holiday read Cows by Dawn O'PorterI knew nothing about it, I just liked the striking cover. But it is fabulous! It’s about women in our modern society and the choices we make, and how we are all judged (by fellow women too). But ultimately it’s about having the conviction to find your own path, whether that is as someone who chooses not to have children, someone who is a single mom, or someone else entirely.

There’s a scene in the book that you’ll think about for a long long time (trust me!), and the best part is that one of the main characters is a blogger and there was so much I could identify with in terms of her writing process and thoughts (she’s mega famous though) – in fact she felt familiar in many ways. Anyway, this is bright, funny and thought provoking women’s fiction…and it would be a great addition to any book club or your personal book collection.

Thinking about

Pocket money – it’s time to start this with my oldest, so she begins to learn about saving and budgeting and all those vital life skills. I also got tired of her asking for tuck shop money every Friday – I’d rather give this to her at the beginning of the week and it’s then up to her to save it and decide how much she’s going to spend on ice lollies/popcorn. The less snacks/junk she buys, the more she can save for things she really wants and I want that lightbulb moment to start happening for her.

I’m also not sure if I want to tie this Italian gininto chores or not? Because I think kids should do certain chores WITHOUT BEING PAID, as it’s just part of being a decent human (i.e tidying your room etc). But I am not above threatening to take pocket money away if someone is being naughty. We started with it last week so let’s see how we go.


I’ve become part of the gin revolution and I love the stuff! So I was very chuffed with this blog drop recently of Malfy gin – don’t you love the label? This is gin from Italy distilled with juniper, lemons and five other botanicals and it will do very nicely for some gin cocktails this weekend thank you very much. Cheers!


Wonderwoman – and loving it. My husband will watch anything with a superhero in it but I tried to see the last Batman and walked out after the first 20 minutes (why must he keep growling into a mask like that? No man). So I was sort of dragged by him to Cinema Prestige to watch this movie but OH I FORGOT TO TELL YOU HOW AMAZING PRESTIGE IS. It has completely transformed movies for me – you get to lie on a lazy boy, someone brings you drinks and snacks and you don’t feel like you’re sitting next to a bunch of noisy strangers who keep looking at their phones.

Plus on Vitality we get big discounts so it works out very similar to normal movie ticket prices. Anyway, this is a great movie. Chris Pine is a darling and I want to be Gal Gadot of course. This is a movie about the power of women and what we can achieve, and it’s completely worth your time.

Testing out

The Smart Toy Club! This is SUCH a nifty idea and makes total sense for any parent of young kids. I have always found toys a minefield to navigate, never knowing if they will have longevity, be worth the investment/money spent, or just be another bit of plastic adding to the global landfill.

Smart Toy Club is a monthly toy rental service, where your kids (from 6 months to 5 years old) get to play with age appropriate (specially selected) toys, and then return them the next month. We’ve been testing it out for two months, and I’ve been very impressed with all the new toys we’ve discovered – the Leapfrog Scribble and Write this month has been much loved!

The toys all come with batteries included, and are picked up and dropped off very efficiently – so you don’t even have to think too much about it (they even give you a few days warning so you can round up the last batch!). It costs R299 per month with delivery (in CT, nationwide is R349) and this includes about five toys with a value of over R700. They also email you a description of all the toys and how to use them.

I love the way it cuts out the clutter, saves you money and is kinder on the planet. Check it out.

Excited for

Disney on Ice – we’ve been invited to attend on the opening night 30 June. Last year we went and I think Ben was a bit young, plus I ambitiously offered to take along three kids (my two plus a friend) – and that was too many kids for one adult! I think this year I’ll bring Gareth along and Ben will be more likely to sit still and not pour his slushy on my lap.

Anyway, enjoy Youth Day tomorrow and the long weekend,


P.S. The gin and toy rental service were both given to me free in order to review them. Disney on Ice tickets will be the same.



  • Reply Cassey June 15, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Yay for fun stuff, and good books. Re pocket money, K has a star chart. When he reaches a set number of stars he gets a coin (R5), which we give to him and he immediately puts in his saving jar. Then when out and he wants something – that we don’t want to get, cos our rule is treats must be shared and all 3 of us must want a treat – we then tell him how many coins he needs for it. He has at times changed his mind. Other times we remind him he must give either parent the number of coins when we get home. It works really well.

    Also, when misbehaving he loses toys for a bit. He gets toys back when he does something that would normally earn a star. So his star – and therefore coin gain – is all dependent on him. He hasn’t quite got the nitty gritty of it yet, but it works for us.

  • Reply Melissa Javan June 16, 2017 at 10:17 am

    I love that gin’s label 🙂 Great post. Good luck with the savings thing, I hope to hear more of it.

  • Reply Nats June 16, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    We do pocket money for our 4 & 8 year old.
    They love adding it to their wallets & then counting the “paper”. I don’t think doing chores for money sends the right message – chores happen when we live together as a family & all have to muck in. Good luck!

  • Reply Lyneve June 16, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Thoroughly enjoyable to read your blog…kinda stuff that you relate to and just warms the cockles of your heart (or was that the malfy gin!) Toy Rentals is only THE best thing…with so many happy customers constant flow of passion!

  • Reply Caley June 24, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    That gin is delicious! Yay for Disney on Ice – we cannot wait! x

  • Let me know what you think!