Friday, 31 July 2015

Breakfast Smoothie

I started juicing again about 3 weeks ago, I started with Spinach juices in the mornings on the Monday and the plan was to detox from the Thursday. Cutting caffeine and only drinking juice takes it toll on the body for the first couple of days and going to work whilst detoxing is torturous. Well, the universe was having none of it and my Smoothie maker broke. It broke in December as well when I went on a detox before going away. It is a Kenwood Smoothie maker and it is a really silly design. This little plastic piece on the Jug connects with the motor to make it work. This thin little piece of plastic broke off and the Smoothie Maker was no more. I managed to get it to work in December with a match and duct tape then bought super glue and it worked until now. It broke again. In December, I was determined to detox, it was hot, I was really feeling very ill and bloated and really overweight. My clothes were tight and cutting into me. I was also working from home - big bonus and I was determined to detox. This time around it broke in Winter, I am still overweight, but most of my clothes are loose. It is cold and there are days that I feel bloated, but not ill with bloat and toxins, so when my Smoothie Maker broke this time I wasn't that fussed. Kenwood discontinued the design, so it was either glue it again or buy a new one or stop juicing.

We bought a new one - what do you know the basic design is the same as the discontinued one. It also connects with the same thin piece of plastic. The new one is black and the old one beige - you can see the old one over here. I am hoping that this one won't break as well, there is a slight difference as the old one was a very tight fit and you had to force it in, this one is loose and the plastic piece does not have to get forced into the groove in the motor unit. Kenwood is a good make and I love my Kenwood mixer, the Kenwood Smoothie maker is also better than other ones, pity about the design. I really battled to get back into Spinach juices, especially after reading the recipes in the Smoothie manual - all with ice cream. I wasn't going to go the ice cream route - I have not had ice cream since December and that is a major achievement for me, but ice cream makes me feel really ill. I also realised that until last month I had no yoghurt this whole year. Last month I had about three small Woolworths yoghurts. There is so much hype around what is healthy and what isn't these days, but as far as I am concerned, we should eat yoghurt for the probiotics. So I decided to swap the juices for proper yoghurt smoothies and have now made the best smoothie ever. Even with Breakfast seed - a mix of flax seed; pumpkin seed, sesame seed and sunflower seed. I hate seeds of any kind - who wants to eat bird seed anyway and I don't eat it on rolls either, but added it to my Green Juices, for the health benefits, but gross really. In the Smoothie, you can't even taste it.

Breakfast Smoothie

  • Half A Cup Ayrshire Yoghurt (125 ml)
  • 4 to 5 Strawberries (depending on Size)
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Apple
  • 3 Teaspoons Breakfast Mix
Cut the Apple and banana into small pieces (about size of strawberries)
Put everything into the Smoothie Maker
Mix on low for 30 Seconds
Then on high for 60 seconds
Pulse for 10 seconds twice - Makes it the perfect thickness of a thick drinking yoghurt.
Dispense into a glass and enjoy.

I prefer Ayrshire Yogurt, but Woolworths didn't have any yesterday so I used Organic Low Fat Plain Yoghurt. It is slightly thinner and makes a thinner drinking yoghurt. 

I'll tackle a real juice detox, which I really need when it warms up a bit...

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Nivea Energy Eye Roll-On

I use Nivea products on my face and have been using them for quite a few years. They may be supermarket products and affordable, but I like them and they work for me. I have mentioned in my Makeup Monday posts that no product no matter how expensive will wipe away the ravages of life; grief and sun damage. I use the Nivea Q10 Plus Anti-Wrinkle eye cream but have been quite lax about using it. Ever since our house was turned upside down during our bathroom renovations, I have been lazy about face care. I use everything else except the eye cream because I can never find it. The other day I needed night cream and I saw Nivea has a new eye cream - an energy eye roll on. It reduces wrinkles; puffiness and signs of fatigue. It has a silver ball that you roll on under your eyes and the cold from the ball does feel so good on tired eyes in the morning. I used to use a Garnier eye roll on and not sure why I stopped buying it.

Well, I love the Nivea Energy Eye Roll On , my eyes feel less tight and fatigued and that cool feeling feels so good when I am tired. Except for the past week, my eyes have been watering so badly. They don't burn they just pour which gives me a runny nose and it looks like I am crying or have a cold. I used to use Justine products and the tinted moisturiser did the same thing to my eyes. The strangest thing is that it does not happen straight away, sometimes almost immediately after I have done my makeup or an hour later and lasts for 4 or 5 hours - annoying is not the word - frustrating!!! I can't even say if it is from the Nivea Eye Energy Roll-On. Update - the watery eyes is from Garnier BB cream I have since discovered and NOT Nivea Eye Roll On. I make sure that I only do it on my eye bone and not near my actual eye and this morning I waited awhile before putting on makeup - it was fine until I arrived at work and my eyes just streamed and streamed. My throat even felt constricted, but that could have been a kind of panic attack.

I really don't want it to be the Nivea because it makes my eyes feel so good. I was whining and complaining to Mark {not that he listens,} but he did say it must be the Nivea, because what else could it be. I ran a mental list of the changes this past week. It can't be work because it happened at home over the weekend. I bought a new foundation, same make, Revlon, but different shade because they did not have the shade I usually use - could it be that. I once had an eyeshadow palette with about 20 shades and one shade affected my eyes. I started drinking Green Tea from around the same time. Woolworths Organic Green tea - could it be that??? The side effects of Green Tea seem to outweigh the benefits of it - well that is according to my doctor {cough WebMD cough}. It is the first time I have bought the Woolworths Organic tea, I usually drink Freshpak Green Tea. I have also been putting Chamomile tea bags on my eyes in the mornings before I get out of bed. OK, Ok, my eyes have been looking really bad lately. The other day, actually the day I bought the Nivea Energy Eye Roll On, I was so tired, slept badly and it looked like someone had mistaken my face for a piece of leather and carved patterns in it with a Hilti knife. I have been trying everything to look less ragged in the mornings, but boy do I now look a sight with streaming eyes and red nose. The effects of vanity!!!

I am now going to stop everything and reintroduce one at a time to see what is causing my non-stop streaming eyes - that is if it is any of the above. I would be interested to know if it has affected anyone else or if it could possibly be a side effect of Green Tea.

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Monday, 27 July 2015

The Budgeting And Planning They Don't Warn You About

Last Sunday Chad said, "Mom you do know I go back to school tomorrow hey" My reply was "No really... are you? I have been meaning to ask you" His reply was "Yoh you getting bad you don't know nothing (sic) going on in my life anymore" Yip, it has gotten really bad since I no longer drive him around anymore. He goes clothes shopping on his own; he drove to Gold Reef City the other day with his friends, it is about 30km's away and for me that is crossing the border. I have driven there once on my own, well with Chad in the car, but me driving. Chad just hops in the car and off he goes. I know it is normal for 18-year-olds to do that, but for me it is taking a lot of getting used to, because a) he is my baby {no longer} and b) I hate driving, get lost and won't drive out of my comfort zone.
The other day he was going to look at suits for his Matric Dance and whilst Mark was still phoning for the address and directions he was almost at the place. Modern day technology, Google the place and off they go.

The point to this post and post heading is Matric - the expense no one tells you about when it comes to family planning. I don't mean the Family Planning at the clinic where you are given a pack of condoms and the pill and sent on your way, I am talking about financial planning and budgeting. I am sure everyone has at some stage planned the expense of having children, be it with a financial calculator; scribbled on the back of a serviette or just randomly in your head, some budgeting and planning goes on. Gasping at the cost of prams and nappies or diapers whatever you choose to call them. College fees; school fees; clothes; transport, the list goes on, BUT there is one little {huge} expense all on its own and that is Matric. School fees are expensive, we all know that. Chad goes to a private school, but we are fortunate that it is not as expensive as other private schools, but facts are facts; if  you can afford high school you can afford university.

Then there is Matric - The Matric Dance and Matric Vac. Believe you me don't think because you have a boy that you are exempt from the expense. There is the tan can; the teeth whitening; the clothes; luckily the hair; nails and makeup is exempt for boy parents. The hair gets done, but obviously at a fraction of the cost. Then there is "Dax for Vac". If you think girls are the only ones who worry about body image then you don't live with a teenage boy. "Dax for Vac" is working out in the gym like crazy; protein shakes and chicken; lots of it to look good for Matric Vac, where they are going to spend their days drinking too much and eating junk food when they remember to eat.

Chad and his one friend are hiring suits, Chad a Tux and his friend a suit. We said that we would buy him one, but he thinks it will be a waste (good boy) because he is planning on getting much bigger so by the time he needs to wear a Tux again it will be too small {positivity is always a good thing}. The hired suits also get tailored to fit perfectly - at R2.00 less than 1k to hire a suit, I should think it must fit perfectly. That excludes a shirt, which Chad has now decided to hire as well; because he can't find a new one that looks like the one he saw at the suit hire place. [I am not too keen about a hired shirt, but it is not my Matric Dance].Then there is the shoes - no jocks; socks or shoes are hired out - well I should hope not. I think these boys have trawled all the malls looking for shirts and shoes. My FOMO, when it came to being involved in my son's current life ended very quickly when I realised that it would have been me trawling the malls and driving to the other side of the world town to try on suits and go for fittings. He has it all covered. Every now and again he pops in at work to get some money and I am still taken by surprise when he walks in and I wonder how he got there.

The other day it was to buy alcohol for a "bring your own" party. Mark said to me you know that Chad is buying alcohol. My reply was "Mark he is 18, what were you doing when you were 18 as long as he knows he must never drive even after one drink" They were all sleeping over at the one girlfriend's house and her mom was driving them to and from the party and Chad's car was locked in her garage. Chad has to know that no matter how drunk he gets, even if he experiments with drugs, he can phone us at any time of the night to fetch him, he is not to drive. We won't say hey how cool -you are drunk and buzzing- we will deal with it, but he must never drive drunk or get in a car with a drunk driver.

OK, I did balk at the price of the alcohol, my son has expensive taste. After the Matric Dance expenses, we then have the pleasure of paying for Matric Vac, the one neither Mark or I or looking forward to, not the expenses the actual trip. However, we have paid for the Rage pass at 1.3K, we still have to pay for hotel accommodation; petrol split 4 ways not too bad and spending money. We have paid R400.00 deposit for accommodation in a hotel and I am worried that the two boys organising the accommodation are going to mess up and they won't have accommodation.

... And that is a snippet of the expenses no one tells you about...

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Saturday, 25 July 2015

Back On The Blog - Link Up Attempt

I haven't had the will to blog for a very long time, then last week my laptop finally met an untimely demise truth be told it was VERY timely because it was a huge part of why I gave up blogging and commenting on blogs. I still read all my favourite blogs on my phone, but commenting became a problem, especially with Disqus, because I don't know my password. Last night when I read this week's Ultimate Rabbit Hole on The Annoyed Thyroid's Blog, I thought what better way to get back into blogging than by joining linky's again. So why don't you  pull up a chair next to the fire, pour a sherry and join me on my journey to find lovely links to share or if it is too early for a sherry a lovely cup of Chamomile tea like I am having.

I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but we are having crazy weather. It has been raining and storming and last night the thunder was rumbling so loudly that I thought our windows would break. Rain is uncommon in Johannesburg in Winter, but when we woke up yesterday morning after a night of rain, everything looked fresh and clean with the dry dust momentarily a thing of the past. It has however left a biting chill in the air. Well, now that we are all warm and cosy let's get to those links I found to share.

Some time back I came across a blog on my Twitter Timeline about a lady who won the battle against Colon Cancer. To me, that would be the worst cancer to get. I know saying that is almost on par with people saying you are lucky you have another child when your child dies. The answer to that insensitive statement would be, so which of your two; three five ten children would you choose to die and the same can be said to that insensitive statement - which part of your body would you like to be ravaged by cancer. Anyway, I spent the morning reading through this lady's blog and she also wrote about the stigma of colon cancer. I didn't bookmark or save her blog and couldn't remember the blog name (although I thought I would) and didn't read her blog again. Months later again on my Twitter Timeline her blog came up. I did not follow her on Twitter, her link was retweeted by one of the accounts I follow. It was this post about The Problem With Not Losing Your Hair When Going Through Chemotherapy and it made me think of how many times we hear of someone who has cancer, who is going through chemotherapy and we think to ourselves that they don't even look sick.  This quote from Nicola Bourne, the lady who won the battle against Colon Cancer “I am far sicker than my long flowing locks allow you to believe" is a reminder not to judge until you have walked in someone's shoes. Embarrassingly as it is to say, I did not bookmark her blog again (I have now) and again I came across her site on another blog about the book Nicola has written "The Fabulous Women's Guide Through Cancer". Nicola Bourne is so inspiring and I have wanted to do a weekly link up for a long time, but you know procrastination is my middle name and a slow computer stopped me from doing it. Her book is available on Amazon, I haven't read her book yet, I can't say if it is because I don't want to tempt the Universe and put it out there that I don't have colon cancer or if I have been fortunate enough not to have been directly affected by someone with cancer or if it is simply because buying something from Amazon and getting it to South Africa would be a mean feat or if it is just because I don't read books anymore, either way I haven't read it, but I have read a couple of reviews on blogs and they are all positive and all recommend that if you or someone close to you is fighting cancer this book will be more than beneficial to you.

Staying on the topic of health is this post by A Cornish Mum on how she found out her son had Type 1 Diabetes. You can read the post over here. A missed diagnoses of Diabetes in children can be fateful. Mark and I are both pre-diabetic. I think my sugar was higher than his when I was tested last year, it must have been higher because I am now taking two 500mg Glucophage daily, he isn't on medication (different doctors or his is lower). I have changed my eating habits somewhat this year and lost weight, sweets and Lays chips are no longer my substitute cigarettes. My diet is not perfect and I fall off the waggon more often than not, but Mark still drinks far too many fizzy drinks and he complains that his coffee is not sweet enough with four spoons of sugar. He is not a big coffee drinker, but because it is cold and I make coffee at work he drinks about four cups a day and not normal coffee, we now buy  Nestle Cappuccino sachets, which are sweet as it is. I now put sweeteners in his coffee too. I know there is this whole debate that sweeteners are bad for you, but it is better than 16 to 20 spoons of sugar a day over and above the fizzy drinks - I am working on that (for Mark not me).

Sheila's children came up to Joburg for the July holidays. Sheila is our cleaning lady and her children live in the Eastern Cape and she sees them once a year, sometimes twice a year. What has changed in Sout Africa - the disadvantaged are still disadvantaged!! I thought I would bake them some cupcakes and biscuits although Chad says I find any reason to bake. Sometime back also on my Twitter Timeline I found a link to a recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes. I have always wanted to make Red Velvet Cupcakes and this recipe looked so easy and because we are on a healthy eating kick [said tongue {deeply embedded} in cheek] baking for Sheila's children was the perfect excuse to try out this recipe. I baked the cupcakes and Mark who is not a lover of cake and does not often eat the cakes I bake devoured them. His words to me were that they were so good I could sell them. Chad my biggest critic also loved them. I made the cream cheese frosting as well, I am not a lover of cream cheese or cream cheese frosting, but this was so good. Mark and Chad who both dislike frosting of any kind loved the icing as much as the cupcakes. They were so good!! By Monday, they were all finished and I had to bake some more during the week for Sheila's children. You can find the recipe over here. It is also egg free so perfect for little people who are allergic to eggs. I used the frosting recipe on her blog and not the one in the link. My frosting skills leave much to be desired but you can see a picture of the cupcakes I posted on Instagram over here. If there is one thing about blogging that I can honestly say I love and that is the confidence it has given me to try out new recipes.

My spelling has become horrendous, partly thanks to spellcheck we no longer have to think; partly due to my fried brain, I type something totally irrelevant in place of the word I should be typing -probably something I am thinking about, partly due to normal typos and partly due to my old laptop having no letters on the keyboard and my tired and fried brain not being able to touch-type, because I am self-taught and not a proper typist. Whatever the reason I spend more time checking my work; my blog; my emails than typing them and I still miss so many errors until I discovered Grammarly. Grammarly is more than a spellcheck. It is free, but like with everything else there is a paid version that you can upgrade to, which has so much more, but with the dollar/rand exchange rate in South Africa for now I am sticking to the free version. It eliminates so many stupid typos and errors because it picks up words spelt correctly but in the wrong context. It also picks up punctuation errors and all those language rules forgotten from school days. Each week you get a report on how you did on Grammarly.

Well, that's me for today, let's hope typos and grammatical errors did not slip through even with Grammarly, you never know with a fried brain. Have you tried Grammarly, have you read Nicola Bourne's book. Do you have a favourite Red Velvet Cup Cake Recipe? Let me know!! I am linking up with The Ultimate Rabbit Hole and The Blog Centre Showcase Tuesday, I hope you enjoyed the links.

The Blog Centre Showcase Tuesday

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Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Dumbest Invention Ever

You know when something small and insignificant stresses you out to such a point that even major stresses are pushed aside, because of this all-consuming annoyance.  Well, I have one of these things going on and it is getting to the point of me really losing it. I don't wash dishes at home unless I am cooking or baking up a storm on weekends, which hardly happens, if it can't go in the dishwasher it doesn't get washed used and during the week Sheila does the dishes that don't go in the dishwasher. However, I wash dishes at work every day and when we go away like we did recently and stay in self-catering. I don't wash a houseful seven-course meal bunch of dishes, max 6 cups and spoons, so why am I ready to freak out and pop an aneurysm every single day.

The Aneurysm Popping Causing Culprit

What retard designs/invents a plug with holes in it and better yet, what retard {ahem landlord} intentionally chooses a plug system with holes in it. I am not even apologising for calling someone a retard - it is what it is. We had the exact same plug when we went to Salt Rock and it was hit and miss when we did dishes. If you are lucky you manage to get the plug lined up somehow {do not ask me how it hardly happens} and then the water stays in the sink or it runs out very slowly and you manage to get the dishes washed. Washing dishes should not and is not rocket science - you should not have to spend hours figuring out how to fill a sink with water.

We don't have a working geyser at work so when washing dishes I boil a kettle to get hot water. Mark was going to connect the geyser, but we have pay as you go electricity and I said it will be such a waste of electricity. I know boiling a kettle to get hot water for the dishes is flying in the face of saving electricity, BUT, connecting the geyser will mean everyone else will run the hot water all day long and waste electricity and water. You know when you don't pay for something - you waste it - the nature of the beast. For me boiling the kettle to wash and then rinse 6 cups that only Mark and I use is not a big deal. What is a big deal is boiling the kettle; filling the sink and before you have even filled the kettle for the next lot of hot water, all the water has run out!

What a waste of electricity, of which if you live in South Africa or know anyone who does, then you know that there is an electricity shortage and more importantly water is a very scarce, but valuable resource, not only in South Africa but even in first world countries that have their s$%t together. Never mind the cost of Sunlight dish liquid pouring straight down the sink. Who would invent or design a plug that causes waste of a valuable resource? The irony of KwaZulu-Natal having a water shortage was not lost on us as we filled the two sinks with water to wash dishes and watched it all run-out when we were in Salt Rock for a weekend away and faced the same problem I face each day.

If this "√§mazing" invention is to stop debris going down the drain - it doesn't work and anyway unblocking drains every six years is better than wasting water. So each day as I boil the kettle; fill the sink; pour dish liquid into the water and watch it all run down the drain, I swear and curse in my head and internalise the rage and hatred for the person who designed such a dumb idea. Even if I had to swear and rant and rage out loud no one would care or even hear me and every time I go to the shops after my rant and rage, I forget to buy a proper plug.

Stupid stupid design and even more stupid to install it. Washing dishes is a pain, having to fiddle around for half an hour playing ""puzzle puzzle" just does not cut it with me and this must be the dumbest invention ever.

Do you know the secret to this dumb invention; do you have a small annoyance that drives you to a near aneurysm; have you come across any dumb inventions that beat this one

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