Half-birthdays, Ariana Grande hair and the non-seven year itch

If you’re not a teenybopper, you may have no idea who Ariana Grande is and thus be scratching your head in confusion at this week’s blog title. Don’t worry, you actually have ‘one less, one less probbblemmm‘ – all you need to know is that this past weekend my hair was sort of similar to her signature style. Except I don’t have extensions and she does. And hers looks professional and mine looks, well, messy. Thanks, Cape wind. (Click here to see hers and just scroll on down to see the pics of me below, or click on the first link to hear the earworm).

But I digress. As always.

It was a monster of a week in the Andrews household as we had my half-birthday (eep, yes, 30.5, gnash teeth, pull out grey hair, etc etc),  and to top it all, along came our seven year wedding anniversary… the one where everyone warns you of the ‘seven-year itch’. The Wikipedia page explaining the phenomenon isn’t too convincing though. Dustmites? Marilyn Monroe? Hmm. And then there’s the ultimate in ‘reputable journalism’, the Daily Mail – read this, it’s actually riveting!

But don’t despair, we’re made of stronger stuff than that. And if you think about it, we’re actually into our eighth year together. So wipe away those tears and join the celebration! Yes, a HUGE celebration is on the cards, pull out those streamers and party hats because… we bought a house, kids! Well, technically the bank agreed to buy one for us and we agreed to pay them back for it. But still!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014: Half-birthday present presented after longggg day at work (finished just before 10pm!)

Half-birthday gift from Husband and doggy children - my very own popcorn maker!

Half-birthday gift from Husband and doggy children – my very own popcorn maker!


Gorgeous, fresh popcorn! Not a drop of oil or butter involved!

Gorgeous, fresh popcorn! Not a drop of oil or butter involved!

Friday, 22 August 2014: Half-birthday lunch with Mum and Dad at Italian Club

(Half) Italian parents, back from Italian holiday, lunching at Italian Club for my half-birthday

(Half) Italian parents, back from Italian holiday, lunching at Italian Club for my half-birthday


I was there too (Friday was my day off last week as I worked the Sunday prior) - mmm gnocchi, my best

I was there too (Friday was my day off last week as I worked the Sunday prior) – mmm gnocchi, my best


Friday's also the day we got the good news: Look at that sold sign! It's for us! Eep! So proud/nervous/excited!

Friday’s also the day we got the good news: Look at that sold sign! It’s for us! Eep! So proud/nervous/excited!

Saturday, 24 August 2014: Gourmet Boerie lunch and sad, wet dogs

Fantastic coffee shake from Gourmet Boerie (our 'we bought a house' treat). It even came with a special twisty swirl around the straw. See the Ariana Grande hair

Fantastic coffee shake from Gourmet Boerie (our ‘we bought a house’ treat). It even came with a special twisty swirl around the straw. See the Ariana Grande hair


The is what we ate - mini boerie poppers with various dippy sauces, and the Mexican Boerie with guacomole and  skinny fries. Black Label bottle is just serving as table decoration

The is what we ate – mini boerie poppers with various dippy sauces, and the Mexican Boerie with guacomole and skinny fries. Black Label bottle is just serving as table decoration


Look at that face! Sad/wet/fluffy Bertie after he had a bath. Because he'd rolled his neck in something mucky, of course

Look at that face! Sad/wet/fluffy Bertie after he had a bath. Because he’d rolled his neck in something mucky, of course


Sad, wet Bassie also had a bath so she wouldn't feel left out (OK she doesn't really look sad here)

Sad, wet Bassie also had a bath so she wouldn’t feel left out (OK she doesn’t really look sad here)


Now THAT's a sad Bassie (No idea why this time. T'was hours later and she was dry)

Now THAT’s a sad Bassie (No idea why this time. T’was hours later and she was dry)


My sweet dog loves being upside down

My sweet dog loves being upside down


A custard kronut thing for supper! So yum

A custard kronut thing for supper! So yum

Sunday, 24 August 2014: lucky morning at Grand West Casino, lunch at Petiscos, beach ramble, tea at Mum’s

Our spoils from the casino! We never bet very much so are always ridiculously pleased with our winnings (More Ariana Grande hair)

Our spoils from the casino! We never bet very much so are always ridiculously pleased with our winnings (More Ariana Grande hair)


Dad and me displaying our drinks at Petiscos

Dad and me displaying our drinks at Petiscos


Lip-smackingly good Portuguese food.

Lip-smackingly good Portuguese food.


See? We made a heart, with our hands. True love, that

See? We made a heart, with our hands. True love, that


Pretty flower spotted when we went on a beach ramble

Pretty flower spotted when we went on a beach ramble


Fields of flowers! Who cares if they're weedy, that looks like the first signs of Spring to me

Fields of flowers! Who cares if they’re weedy, that looks like the first signs of Spring to me


The mountain! With 'crashing rocks'! (What I tend to call rocks that waves crash over)

The mountain! With ‘crashing rocks’! (What I tend to call rocks that waves crash over)


He watched, he listened, then he jumped in, as he does

He watched, he listened, then he jumped in, as he does


Dunked and tumbled! I'd have called for help if I couldn't see he was still actually standing safely and not being swept out to sea

Dunked and tumbled! I’d have called for help if I couldn’t see he was still actually standing safely and not being swept out to sea


Ariana Grande hair gets very windblown if you live in Cape Town

Ariana Grande hair gets very windblown if you live in Cape Town


Pre-anniversary kisses on the beach

Pre-anniversary kisses on the beach


Peppermint Crisp cupcakes at Mum's! Just because!

Peppermint Crisp cupcakes at Mum’s! Just because!

Monday, 25 August 2014: Seventh wedding anniversary – half-price sunset curries at Inside, Big Bay

Anniversary drinks!

Anniversary drinks!


Anniversary curries!

Anniversary curries!


Anniversary Kinder Joy from Mum and Dad :)

Anniversary Kinder Joy from Mum and Dad :)

That’s all, folks! :) Looks like another sunny weekend on its way…

Silver food swans and how much sugar it takes to sweeten a Wimpy Mega coffee

Ah, life. It has a way of getting ahead of itself, making you focus on certain things when others are more important, making you wait endless days for some things and bombarding you with a flood of others with seemingly little rhyme or reason.

Despite the typical ‘mid-year’ exhaustion setting in (anyone else notice August tends to be a particularly long, change-filled month? New offices, new workload, lots of birthdays, lots of financial admin, all over and above the usual?) we still managed a good few photo-worthy moments for your viewing pleasure since my last update. See below…

Monday, 11 August: Half-price pizzas at Col Cacchio, Big Bay

Tired as we were, we continued the extend the weekend feeling by eating out on a Monday to enjoy the wide range of Winter specials on offer.

I look tired but boy did that drink go down a treat! It's a 'Toblerone' - all sorts of chocolatey, caramelly flavours.

I look tired but boy did that drink go down a treat! It’s a ‘Toblerone’ – all sorts of chocolatey, caramelly flavours.

Husband looking pensive with our drinks. It was quite a wait for the food...

Husband looking pensive with our drinks. It was quite a wait for the food…

But well worth it when they finally arrived! That's my Norm's Pralina, and Husband's Half-half Butter Chicken/Ribs combo. Delicious.

But well worth it when they finally arrived! That’s my Norm’s Pralina, and Husband’s Half-half Butter Chicken/Ribs combo. Delicious.

Tuesday, 12 August: New offices and longggg train-bus commute home

View out the front office window (nice birdie in action)

View out the front office window (nice birdie in action)

Me on the train home from work. Great way to relax/unwind/nap, lol, especially if you're wearing sunnies

Me on the train home from work. Great way to relax/unwind/nap, lol, especially if you’re wearing sunnies

Go home Woodstock MyCiti station, you're drunk. (See how wonky it looks?)

Go home Woodstock MyCiti station, you’re drunk. (See how wonky it looks?)

 Wednesday, 13 August: team dinner at Mondiall, V&A Waterfront

 Of course new team starting at new office means team dinner. This is what we had

Sparkling water and pretty candlelight while perusing menu

Sparkling water and pretty candlelight while perusing menu

Look at that hot chocolate effort! Brimming with cream and flaked almonds, AND a cookie on top means it gets top marks (and at R45 it's not too bad if you factor in the Frangelico)

Look at that hot chocolate effort! Brimming with cream and flaked almonds, AND a cookie on top means it gets top marks (and at R45 it’s not too bad if you factor in the Frangelico)

Look at my burger! And chips! And hummus type spreads with olives that I ate with fresh bread, as a starter!

Look at my burger! And chips! And hummus type spreads with olives that I ate with fresh bread, as a starter!

See how much more 'swan-like' the silver (leftover food-filled) swan  at the other end of the table looks than mine?

See how much more ‘swan-like’ the silver (leftover food-filled) swan at the other end of the table looks than mine?

Saturday, 16 August: Wimpy breakfast and Fat Cactus lunch with parents and bestie

Husband explaining something while buttering his breakfast toast

Husband explaining something while buttering his breakfast toast

See how many sugars the Wimpy staff assume the Mega Coffee needs? Seven. I only used two :)

See how many sugars the Wimpy staff assume the Mega Coffee needs? Seven. I only used two :)

Puppies celebrating the return of Granny and Grampa, after their Med cruise (the parents' cruise, not the puppies').

Puppies celebrating the return of Granny and Grampa, after their Med cruise (the parents’ cruise, not the puppies’).

Husband and dad at Fat Cactus, Mowbray (yes, we all wore our Croatia/Italy souvenir tee-shirts)

Husband and dad at Fat Cactus, Mowbray (yes, we all wore our Croatia/Italy souvenir tee-shirts)

Me, mom, and my Espresso shake

Me, mom, and my Espresso shake

Rib basket, with amazing chipotle sauce

Rib basket, with amazing chipotle sauce

Full family shot! Mum, Shells, me, Husband and Dad around the table at Fat Cactus for mom and dad's belated birthday lunch

Full family shot! Mum, Shells, me, Husband and Dad around the table at Fat Cactus for mom and dad’s belated birthday lunch

Sunday, 17 August: Doggy beach walk, lupper at parents

While waiting for me to finish my Sunday shift, Bassie told her dad she'd like to go to the beach

While waiting for me to finish my Sunday shift, Bassie told her dad she’d like to go to the beach

So go to the beach we did!

So go to the beach we did!

Bertie happily pranced on rocks and got completely soaked in the sea

Bertie happily pranced on rocks and got completely soaked in the sea

Bassie managed to cover her nose in sand...

Bassie managed to cover her nose in sand…

And grinned the whole way home!

And grinned the whole way home!

Husband cooked and ate two mussels 'caught' at the beach

Husband cooked and ate two mussels ‘caught’ at the beach

I made the parents their very own Bassie and Bertie as part of their birthday present(s)

I made the parents their very own Bassie and Bertie as part of their birthday present(s)

Birthday scones, made by mom! Nothing nicer :)

Birthday scones, made by mom! Nothing nicer :)

Mom and dad celebrating their (by now very belated) birthdays :)

Mom and dad celebrating their (by now very belated) birthdays :)

Monday, 18 August: Spur, Bayside’s two-for one burger special

One way to perk up a long, late Monday? Spur's Amarula hot chocolate!

One way to perk up a long, late Monday? Spur’s Amarula hot chocolate!

Accompanied by the two-for-one Monday Spur burger special, obvs.

Accompanied by the two-for-one Monday Spur burger special, obvs.

That’s all for now, folks! Lots more to update on, such as my half-birthday this past Wednesday and our seven-year wedding anniversary (gasp) this coming Monday. Plus other exciting news to share soon, so watch this space! :)

Fat snactus at Fat Cactus and discover the best brunch setting

This blog post should be subtitled “Showing some of the best of CT to my oldest bestie”, so consider it done!

My oldest, dearest friend (yes, she was my bridesmaid 7 years ago and yes, we’re going on 23 years of friendship now, jeepers that makes me feel like a wrinkly prune) was on our shores last weekend and it did my soul good to see her – especially as it was both my parents’ birthdays and they were still out at sea! Sob! (They’re home safe and sound now so you can dry your tears at least). More on that in next post.

The weather must have heard Shells was coming as it was on its best behaviour, all twinkly seas, light breezes and shimmery skies, so we did a spot of sightseeing too…

Saturday, 9 August 2014: McD’s breakfast, lunch at Hout Bay’s La Cuccina, drive along Chapman’s Peak and late-lunch at Fat Cactus, Mowbray

I know, I know. I’ve said before that we like a good quality weekend breakfast. But we also plan ahead and have a cheapie if we have a big weekend lunch or dinner on the cards. And so breakfast from our closest McDonald’s drivethru was exactly right – a cheese McMuffin with free coffee for R16.50 is certainly a steal.

Breakfast drinks! The ever-essential morning coffee and a citrusy juice to get Husband's day off to a sunny start

Breakfast drinks! The ever-essential morning coffee and a citrusy juice to get Husband’s day off to a sunny start

Hashbrown hashtag in the bright sunshine

Hashbrown hashtag in the bright sunshine

My sweet treat after the eggy breakfast - pear and almond tart washed down with 'hot cross bun chai' at La Cuccina, Hout Bay

My sweet treat after the eggy breakfast – pear and almond tart washed down with ‘hot cross bun chai’ at La Cuccina, Hout Bay

Husband looking rather pleased with himself after finishing a plate of hot food from the harvest table buffet

Husband looking rather pleased with himself after finishing a plate of hot food from the harvest table buffet

Then we drove to see the sea - just look at it! Perfect champagne day along Chapman's Peak

Then we drove to see the sea – just look at it! Perfect champagne day along Chapman’s Peak

Magical water, look at that colour!

Magical water, look at that colour!

Suspiciously contemplating his Iceberg at the Fat Cactus - a Castle draught topped with floaty frozen lime margerita

Suspiciously contemplating his Iceberg at the Fat Cactus – a Castle draught topped with floaty frozen lime margerita

Cautiously taking a sip...

Cautiously taking a sip…

Eyes closed to fully savour the flavour (delicious, I say, he says once was enough)

Eyes closed to fully savour the flavour (delicious, I say, he says once was enough)

Going onto my best milkshake list - gingerbread flavour! Scoop it out of the mixy shaker yourself!

Going onto my best milkshake list – gingerbread flavour! Scoop it out of the mixy shaker yourself!

And then... Sloppy Joe nachos, perfect for sharing

And then… Sloppy Joe nachos, perfect for sharing

To celebrate dad's birthday eve, we lit a Chinese lantern and set it off across the sky toward the sea, in the hopes he would see it (Sadly he didn't). Bertie was VERY interested, as you can see from his glowy eyes

To celebrate dad’s birthday eve, we lit a Chinese lantern and set it off across the sky toward the sea, in the hopes he would see it (Sadly he didn’t). Bertie was VERY interested, as you can see from his glowy eyes

He then stood at the gate to watch it float far, far away - it's the little light you see in the sky

He then stood at the gate to watch it float far, far away – it’s the little light you see in the sky

Sunday, 10 August 2014: (dad’s birthday!) Breakfast with Shells at Durbanville Hills

Teehee, love this :)

Teehee, love this :)

See? Best breakfast scenery!

See? Best breakfast scenery!

You can tell who ordered this by the fact that it's being thoroughly Tabasco sauced. He flipped a coin and decided on the springbok carpaccio version of eggs bennie

You can tell who ordered this by the fact that it’s being thoroughly Tabasco sauced. He flipped a coin and decided on the springbok carpaccio version of eggs bennie.

Only realised now there was a cactus on the table under the sunnies - funny as we're meeting Shells again this weekend at (drumroll please) the Fat Cactus.

Only realised now there was a cactus on the table under the sunnies – funny as we’re meeting Shells again this weekend at (drumroll please) the Fat Cactus.

What's a birthday without cake? A sad day indeed. So even though dad was bobbing about on the sea many miles away, we thought of him (and put up the family birthday banner) while eating a cinnamon twisty thing and spicy cinnamon tea

What’s a birthday without cake? A sad day indeed. So even though dad was bobbing about on the sea many miles away, we thought of him (and put up the family birthday banner) while eating a cinnamon twisty thing and spicy cinnamon tea

The weather was just calling us to the beach, so we went. He dunked himself, I did not.

The weather was just calling us to the beach, so we went. He dunked himself, I did not.

That’s all for now, folks – it’s been a busy week so we’re going to have another relaxing weekend, watch this space!

Click here for the Mowbray Fat Cactus menu (you’ll see I can’t take credit for calling it fat snactus at Fat Cactus, teehee) and click here for the Durbanville Hills menu. And yes, if you were paying attention, I did wear tops with big cats on them the whole weekend :)

Airport goodbyes and dogs that eat wood

Last weekend was a bittersweet one as we took my parents to the airport for their much-anticipated, well-deserved Mediterranean cruise to celebrate Mom’s 60th birthday this coming week – shh! Don’t tell her I told you! ;) So while we were super excited on their behalf (especially as Husband is quite the aviation fanatic, as I’m sure you know)… it was also sad for us – mainly that we couldn’t go with, but also because we’re so used to seeing them every few days and having them just a WhatsApp message away when advice is needed (and this week LOTS of advice has been needed… but that’s a topic for another post).

So Saturday was all about the airport – Husband even took a video of the parents’ plane taking off for Johannesburg, where they spent a night with mom’s sweet family before flying on to Paris and Italy – click here to see it!

But before that was a wonderful late-Friday farewell work lunch with my fantastic current colleagues before we went our separate ways – and as luck would have it, we ate at the Fireman’s Arms, which I already knew made a marvellous Dom Pedro, so Dom Pedro I did:

Kahlua Dom Pedro. Of course I munched on the garnish, too

Kahlua Dom Pedro. Of course I munched on the garnish, too

And to eat? An enormous bacon cheese burger with fries (I ate EVERY. SINGLE chip/speck of relish and polished off the burger… in fact, that’s all I ate that day!)

Look at THAT for a burger! Actually had to smoosh it all together to fit in my mouth, and in the end even that didn't work so I ate the bottom bit of roll separately to save on mouth-space, lol

Look at THAT for a burger! Actually had to smoosh it all together to fit in my mouth, and in the end even that didn’t work so I ate the bottom bit of roll separately to save on mouth-space, lol

Just look at the striking clouds on my commute home last Friday

Just look at the striking clouds on my commute home last Friday

You know I love me some pretty pink clouds - this is what I saw when I got home

You know I love me some pretty pink clouds – this is what I saw when I got home

Sun-kissed streaky clouds above my palm tree

Sun-kissed streaky clouds above my palm tree

Sunset skies are the perfect start to a weekend. And then the weekend began! Here’s what we did, starting with the airport:

Waiting patiently with my Spur breakfast (there was more to it than just jammy toast, obvs) in front of the plane that would whisk the parents away

Waiting patiently with my Spur breakfast (there was more to it than just jammy toast, obvs) in front of the plane that would whisk the parents away

Husband demonstrating just how many mini-margarine tubs we were given for our Airport Spur breakfast (Just enough to properly butter 4 slices of toast, in case you're wondering)

Husband demonstrating just how many mini-margarine tubs we were given for our Airport Spur breakfast (Just enough to properly butter 4 slices of toast, in case you’re wondering)

We waited and waited and waited... and then we saw them! My parents! Heading through the walkway onto the plane! Mom in front and dad following, as you can see

We waited and waited and waited… and then we saw them! My parents! Heading through the walkway onto the plane! Mom in front and dad following, as you can see

Sunday was a relaxing day filled with warm-feeling-flooding-your-body things like a wine farm breakfast at Poplars Restaurant in D’Aria Wine Estate (which is where we did our very first wine tasting when we first moved down, click here for a reminder), as well as afternoon cake and lolling about in front of the fire as it turned rainy, as you’ll see below…

Just to show you how cold it was, based on my Ugg-ly outfit (and I was still cold, should have taken thick jacket along)

Just to show you how cold it was, based on my Ugg-ly outfit (and I was still cold, should have taken thick jacket along)

Delicious breakfast cappuccino at Poplars, the restaurant at D'Aria Wine Estate on the very outskirts of Durbanville

Delicious breakfast cappuccino at Poplars, the restaurant at D’Aria Wine Estate on the very outskirts of Durbanville

Tabasco-ing his Eggs Benedict. Note: This Tabasco sauce-fetish (we go through a bottle a week on average at home) is the reason our doggy is named Tabasco and also why I've always suspected he's not of this world (fans of the TV series Roswell will understand)

Tabasco-ing his Eggs Benedict. Note: This Tabasco sauce-fetish (we go through a bottle a week on average at home) is the reason our doggy is named Tabasco and also why I’ve always suspected he’s not of this world (fans of the TV series Roswell will understand)

Love the expressions on all three of their faces as they warm themselves in front of the fire! Teehee

Love the expressions on all three of their faces as they warm themselves in front of the fire! Teehee

Your eyes do not deceive you. Bertie decided the firewood was delicious and started gnawing it while his dad was adding logs to the fire.

Your eyes do not deceive you. Bertie decided the firewood was delicious and started gnawing it while his dad was adding logs to the fire.

That’s all for now, folks… looks like we’re in for a few summery sunshine days so expect lots of happy pics in my next post!

Staycation 2014 week 2: The R90 DIY ‘shades of grey’ chest of drawers make-over

Hello, crazy kids! I bet you’ve all been twiddling your thumbs and impatiently refreshing my homepage to find out how I spent my second week of staycation as the first dose was so riveting! (Remember? Lots of hot chocolate, half-price pizzas, etc).

While there was still an abundance of sweet treats (I should rename my blog ‘She of the sweet tooth’ or some such), there was also lots more relax time. Like this…

Look at THAT for a hot chocolate! This is how it's done at Petit Fours in Blouberg - cream and Flake on top, with two marshmallows on the side. You can do what you want with them - I elected to dunk them into the mug so they mushed into pink fizz.

Look at THAT for a hot chocolate! This is how it’s done at Petit Fours in Blouberg – cream and Flake on top, with two marshmallows on the side. You can do what you want with them – I elected to dunk them into the mug so they mushed into pink fizz.

And look what I ate! They were out of bananas but I didn't mind. This is a wonderful waffle with carmel sauce, melty chocolate and enough nuts for every block of waffle

And look what I ate! They were out of bananas but I didn’t mind. This is a wonderful waffle with carmel sauce, melty chocolate and enough nuts for every block of waffle

Dad pleased with his 'double up' sushi at Catch22 - (on Thursdays you get double the amount of sushi you order. Tis a lovely thing.) The bright light behind him is the sea, I kid you not

Dad pleased with his ‘double up’ sushi at Catch22 – (on Thursdays you get double the amount of sushi you order. Tis a lovely thing.) The bright light behind him is the sea, I kid you not

The pinkest pink milkshake I've ever had to drink I think. Plus you can see my cream cheese-stuffed jalapeno poppers, AND the R35 'bowl of soup and roll and coffee' deal I helped Mom finish. Am very helpful when it comes to food :)

The pinkest pink milkshake I’ve ever had to drink I think. Plus you can see my cream cheese-stuffed jalapeno poppers, AND the R35 ‘bowl of soup and roll and coffee’ deal I helped Mom finish. Am very helpful when it comes to food :)

Some quiet time with the doggy children. Yes, they're BOTH sitting on my lap. Glasses are on  (mine, their eyes are fine) as this was in the midst of my Glee season 5 marathon

Some quiet time with the doggy children. Yes, they’re BOTH sitting on my lap. Glasses are on (mine, their eyes are fine) as this was in the midst of my Glee season 5 marathon

Now both dogs pretend they are cats - if you read my last Staycation blog post you'll know what I'm talking about

Now both dogs pretend they are cats – if you read my last Staycation blog post you’ll know what I’m talking about

Nom-nom-nomming and resting aside, the ‘staycation’ was also very productive. First up, I tackled the very last of the very hefty filing admin, as we learned the hard way a few months back that slotting all the paperwork of everything from the everest of ever into a skimpy, flimsy little concertina file is not the answer (read: it broke apart all over my head when I lifted it out of the cupboard and turned our spare room into the messiest mess that was so embarrassing we permanently kept the door closed).

Until now, that is… behold the tidy organised-ness:

ALL the filed paperwork from the everest of ever! With file dividers and sticky tabs and all sorts of organisational skills!

ALL the filed paperwork from the everest of ever! With file dividers and sticky tabs and all sorts of organisational skills!

A selection of the Husband's framed certificates, diplomas, etcetera etcetera.

A selection of the Husband’s framed certificates, diplomas, etcetera etcetera.

And while that was quite the achievement ( as well as FINALLY framing some of the academic certificates Husband’s had for decades, as you see above), what I was most proud of was the little DIY project I set myself.

See, our ‘medicine/loose wires/wrapping paper/all and sundry random objects’ chest of drawers was starting to look a bit tired. More than a little tired if you must know, as some of its pully-knobs just plain fell out along the way. And (more disconcertingly) it was a boring brown, which doesn’t quite match my black-and-white-and-silver colour scheme in the slightest. So it was a big colour clash mish-mash and overall eyesore, truth be told. So what did I do? I plotted and planned, flipped through magazines for inspiration, and finally found it (albeit in pink instead of grey) – a lovely ombre effect that’s easy to achieve by simply making each drawer a different shade of your colour of choice by blending different amounts of paint together… nothing to do with the 50 Shades of Grey book ‘n movie franchise, alas.

But wipe away your tears and bask in my pride by having a looksee below – and let me know what you think! It’s by no means perfect, but only cost around R90 to complete (R35 for a tub of black paint, R35 for a tub of white paint, R10 for 2 small round wooden doorknobs, R10 for brand new paintbrush). This is the before shot…

The 'before' shot. Poor thing was missing knobs and had misaligned drawers and its top was used as a general dumping ground.

The ‘before’ shot. Poor thing was missing knobs and had misaligned drawers and its top was used as a general dumping ground.

Ta-daaaa! A little over an hour later and this was the result. Bonus? I used waterproof paint so could happily get myself as messy as I liked and not suffer the turpentine-fumey consequences

Ta-daaaa! A little over an hour later and this was the result. Bonus? I used waterproof paint so could happily get myself as messy as I liked and not suffer the turpentine-fumey consequences

From another angle

From another angle

I know, I know – it’s only 6 of the stated 50 shades of grey the book promises, so there’s bound to be more DIY coming my way ;)

Sunset curries: Extend your weekend by going out on Monday evening

Going out is usually the last thing (hard) working folk feel like doing on a Monday night. They’re usually recovering from a busy weekend and have had a rough start to the week (Mondays are Mondays for a reason. Manic Monday, anyone? Wish it were Sunday?) My point exactly.

See, if you think about it, going out on a Monday evening is actually the perfect way to ease into the rest of the week. It gives you time to digest the day you’ve just had and rev your engine for the rest of the week by talking things over with your significant other and seeing things from a fresh perspective if you go somewhere new, and do something beyond your usual four walls, especially if you work from home (been there, done that, got the anxiety pills). To further sweeten the deal, don’t forget that many places in Cape Town offer winter specials to take advantage of!

So that’s exactly what we did last weekend. Below you’ll find the usual breakfast/cappuccino/doggy snaps, but below them you’ll see the gorgeous sunset we witnessed while waiting for our curries to arrive at Inside at Big Bay (Yes, the place we usually go for an excellent value-for-money weekend breakfast). The best bit? All chicken curries are half price on a Monday and Tuesday evening. But best of all? I discovered my new favourite treat ever, a sticky toffee frappe. I can’t describe its sticky toffee goodness to you, you’ll have to get an idea from the picture wayyy down below…

Saturday, 26 July 2014: Breakfast at Eden Café, Big Bay and lunch at the Italian Cub, Milnerton

Breakfast cappuccino (with a shortbread biscuit, yummy) at Eden Café, Big Bay

Breakfast cappuccino (with a shortbread biscuit, yummy) at Eden Café, Big Bay

But, look what I ate! Crumpetty flapjack efforts with banana, walnuts, marscapone and carmel syrup, deeeeelicious. Husband had an Eggs Benedict concoction that I didn't take a snap of, oops

But, look what I ate! Crumpetty flapjack efforts with banana, walnuts, marscapone and carmel syrup, deeeeelicious. Husband had an Eggs Benedict concoction that I didn’t take a snap of, oops

See where I get my standard 'excited about food' photo face from? Here is dad, parmesan cheesing his veal thinghead at the Italian Club

See where I get my standard ‘excited about food’ photo face from? Here is dad, parmesan cheesing his veal thinghead at the Italian Club

Husband and I had gnocchi Bolognese as it was gnocchi weather (obviously)

Husband and I had gnocchi Bolognese as it was gnocchi weather (obviously)

See all our cold/wet weather accoutrements - jackets, raincoats, brollies - was indeed cold and wet outside

See all our cold/wet weather accoutrements – jackets, raincoats, brollies – was indeed cold and wet outside

So cold, in fact, that the doggies got to wear their jersey/tracksuits. Bertie is in the shot, look behind my leg and you'll see his glowing green eye. Don't worry about the glowy light on the wall, tis not another ghostie - just Husband's reflective vest for the motorbike

So cold, in fact, that the doggies got to wear their jersey/tracksuits. Bertie is in the shot, look behind my leg and you’ll see his glowing green eye. Don’t worry about the glowy light on the wall, tis not another ghostie – just Husband’s reflective vest for the motorbike

Sunday, 27 July 2014: Breakfast at Ilha, Woodbridge Island and doggies visit their grandparents

Sunday dawned bright and sunny - but still chilly. Here's my standard breakfast cappuccino

Sunday dawned bright and sunny – but still chilly. Here’s my standard breakfast cappuccino

Husband salting his ham, mushroom and cheese omelette

Husband salting his ham, mushroom and cheese omelette

Beautiful girls - Bassie with her granny

Beautiful girls – Bassie with her granny

Making her best 'woe is me I have not eaten' face (all lies, she had eaten - and lots!)

Making her best ‘woe is me I have not eaten’ face (all lies, she had eaten – and lots!)

Precious puppies sitting between their grandparents

Precious puppies sitting between their grandparents

Monday, 28 July 2014: Sunset curries at Inside, Big Bay

Is this not the EXACT same expression dad had in his photo at the Italian Club above? Teehee. Perusing the menu after a long day of work

Is this not the EXACT same expression dad had in his photo at the Italian Club above? Teehee. Perusing the menu after a long day of work

Contemplating sunset

Contemplating sunset

Contemplating beer

Contemplating beer

Sunset beer

Sunset beer

Frappe! Sticky toffee! No ice lumps! Amazing. Definitely having more of these

Frappe! Sticky toffee! No ice lumps! Amazing. Definitely having more of these

And then the curries came! Chicken vindaloo...

And then the curries came! Chicken vindaloo…

... And chicken korma (which I finished faster than Husband finished his vindaloo, thankyouverymuch)

… And chicken korma (which I finished faster than Husband finished his vindaloo, thankyouverymuch)

That’s all, folks – next up will be my DIY endeavours of Staycation 2014 week 2 – click here for a reminder of what I got up to during my last staycation.

Staycation 2014 week 1: Tasha’s breakfast and Col Cacchio lunch

If you’re not even sure what a staycation is, you definitely need one. It’s a vacation where you don’t actually go anywhere. So you stay at home enjoying the simple things like getting up when your body clock tells you it’s the right time to, reading the pile of books you’ve been ignoring, singing along to songs on the radio, catching up on those TV shows you’ve been putting aside (ahem Glee season 5, I’m talking to you), and seeing people who happen to be available during the week (such as your lovely retired parents).

And so, that’s what I did during last week’s mid-week staycation – along with spending quality time napping with the doggies, I spent Tuesday to Thursday catching up on much needed admin and housework and even breaking my first ever window (accidentally, of course). Alas Husband was not on leave with me as he’d already had a staycation of his own a few weeks earlier – click here for a reminder. We’ll definitely plan our leave better next time around!

But I digress. It was rather chilly in Cape Town last week, as you can tell from these photos…

Strong contender for best hot chocolate in Cape Town - the version at Tasha's in Constantia Village comes with scoops of Nutella that you mix with the jug of frothy hot milk and marshmallows.

Strong contender for best hot chocolate in Cape Town – the version at Tasha’s in Constantia Village comes with scoops of Nutella that you mix with the jug of frothy hot milk and marshmallows.

Dad's mango frulatta looked amazing, with pieces of fresh fruit swimming along in the fruity drink

Dad’s mango frulatta looked amazing, with pieces of fresh fruit swimming along in the fruity drink

Dad and me sharing a giggle

Dad and me sharing a giggle

See how delicious our drinks were? And the food was even better!

See how delicious our drinks were? And the food was even better!

Mom enjoyed her pot of tea and the pretty decor

Mom enjoyed her pot of tea and the pretty decor

How deliciously healthy does this look? Dad had an omelette with salmon, avo and other bits

How deliciously healthy does this look? Dad had an omelette with salmon, avo and other bits

Mom's mini breakfast didn't look so 'mini' to me! Poached egg was wonderfully runny and look how nicely they cooked the tomato

Mom’s mini breakfast didn’t look so ‘mini’ to me! Poached egg was wonderfully runny and look how nicely they cooked the tomato

Of course you know I can't go for the healthy option if there are other yummy things to try - this is the French toast with marscapone, syrup and Italian cherries. Bellisima!

Of course you know I can’t go for the healthy option if there are other yummy things to try – this is the French toast with marscapone, syrup and Italian cherries. Bellisima!

Grey skies and silver seas near Camps Bay as seen in the car on the way home

Grey skies and silver seas near Camps Bay as seen in the car on the way home

Proof that Bertie is part-cat. Does YOUR dog perch on top of the couch with his paws tucked in, and fall asleep like that?

Proof that Bertie is part-cat. Does YOUR dog perch on top of the couch with his paws tucked in, and fall asleep like that?

Mom made us individual chicken, mushroom and leek pies for supper on Wednesday - so good!

Mom made us individual chicken, mushroom and leek pies for supper on Wednesday – so good!

My very berry shake was the winner of our drinks at Col Cacchio on Thursday

My very berry shake was the winner of our drinks at Col Cacchio on Thursday

My sweet smiley dad waiting for his half-price half-half topping pizza to arrive

My sweet smiley dad waiting for his half-price half-half topping pizza to arrive

Mom and me waiting for our lunch

Mom and me waiting for our lunch

Pizza happiness! I had the Norm's Pralina, which has butternut, feta, rocket and caramelised pumpkin seeds. Finished it for supper that night

Pizza happiness! I had the Norm’s Pralina, which has butternut, feta, rocket and caramelised pumpkin seeds. Finished it for supper that night

That’s all, folks. It was a much-needed mini-break but the relaxation’s not over yet as I’m in the middle of yet another mid-week staycation this week! So expect more photos soon, but first I have some of last weekend to share… Watch this space! :)