One Stop Shopping

One Stop Shopping

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I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like one stop shopping…so when Wellness Warehouse showed up at Moema’s old spot in Parktown North I was excited! They also have a location at the Thrupp’s Centre.

Wellness Warehouse originated in Cape Town in 2007 and has only now made its way to Joburg. This was my first visit there and it reminded me of a mini Whole Foods from the states. It sells a variety of organic foods, natural skincare, and supplements. It also has a small wellness cafe where you can get fresh wraps, salads, kombucha and juices. Looks like their Cape Town stores also carry fresh produce but I don’t see any of the stores around here doing that yet. Well, beggars can’t be choosy so I will take what I can get for now. Hopefully the growing success will convince them branch out here like they have in Cape Town! Here are some of my favorites from Wellness.

Skoon 

Loving this natural skincare line that I picked up at Wellness. For me, these products are the foundation of my skincare. I will venture out and use more specialized products but when it comes to the basics, I like to keep it simple.

Taken from the Skoon website:

SKOON provides you with the health giving properties your skin deserves by harnessing the best of nature with science. Combining ingredients like Wildflower Honey and Buchu, organic oils of Jojoba and Coconut etc with established scientific actives, we ensure your skin is nurtured just the way it should. Most importantly though, our full range complies with the stringent, toxin-free, criteria of the globally recognised EWG (Environmental Working Group).

Here’s my loot:

  • Whitewash – purifying clay cleanser
  • Gel to Milk – cleaner and  makeup remover
  • Retinin Minipot – resurfacing moisturizer
  • White Cloud Manuka – concentrate
  • Ruby Marine Minipot – overnight hydrating mask
  • Frangipani Flowers Minipot – solid body oil
  • Pretty Smooth – moisture gel
  • Mineral Matte – balancing serum

After two months, I can’t say anything bad about the products. They work well and I’ve been happy with the results. They are pretty standard. There are no miracles but I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised with the Retinin Minipot. I wake up with brighter skin and we all know, us moms, need all the help we can get in this department.

 

Rude Health

This is one of the lines that Wellness carries that caters to milk alternatives, raw cereal, crackers and health bars. My favorite though is the Ultimate Almond Milk as it has nothing but water and almonds! It’s the closest thing to making your own almond milk as many of these milk alternatives have stabilizers and other chemicals in it to make it long lasting or froth like regular milk. So remember to check and read your labels!

Wazoogles 

I have never been one that enjoys protein shakes until I found Wazoogles. Wazoogles is a plant based protein powder developed by two brothers in Cape Town. I can’t say I have anything to really compare Wazoogles to but I do know that it gives me a great morning boost and keeps me satisfied till lunch time. More importantly, it tastes good! My shake is a scoop of the powder, frozen bananas, frozen berries, tablespoon of almond butter, dash of honey and ice. I put everything in my nutribullet and I’m set to go!

So next time you walk by a Wellness Warehouse, it’s definitely worth a visit or you can easily shop on their website, which I like, as everything gets delivered to your door!

Happy Shopping!

La Boqueria

La Boqueria

I’m always up for a night out as these days it’s rare and what a treat La Boqueria was. Newly renovated in Wombles’ old haunt, La Boqueria, welcomes people in with their open and airy industrial boho decor. I could totally see this place buzzing in the warmer months as their steel doors open out to a large patio. The bar is situated on the far left and is very inviting. It also helps that they have great drinks! The place is grand and even when it’s packed you won’t feel like you’re on top of each other. For me, this is key as the last thing I want after a long day with the kids is someone breathing over me or in my personal space! Since we were situated in the private room, there were no complaints. It’s upstairs and gives a great view of the whole restaurant.

The restaurant is suppose to be an ode to their favorite food markets around the world and surely they do. Yet, I have to say some dishes were better than others. For me, the serrano and asiago croquettes were the star of the evening. Our party ended up ordering quite a few of these as they were that good. For my entree, I made the mistake of ordering the Wonder Bowl which was a hot ramen noodle bowl with miso broth, grilled pork belly, soba noodles, Asian greens, dried chili, pickled cabbage, sprouts and poached egg. Now if you ever had a ramen bowl, you would know that it doesn’t contain soba noodles! I should of known better but I thought the rest of the bowl could make up for the noodles. Boy was I wrong, it was a disappointment. The rest of the party was divided…some had steak, kebabs, paella, poke bowl and the reviews were mixed. The desserts on the other hand were all crowd pleasers. Sorry no pics as they were gone in a flash! I would of been perfectly happy with my Miss. Demeanor cocktail, croquettes and dessert!

Place: La Boqueria

Where: 17 3rd Avenue Parktown North

My Take: Love the ambience, great food and drink. I would stick to the more traditional tapas as that seems to be their forte. The more adventurous dishes definitely need more tweaking but this won’t stop me from visiting it again. For a mom’s night out, this is  worth a try!

Wass up! 

Wass up! 

 

There are some things that will always brighten up my day and that’s skin products that smell absolutely divine! I also love supporting locally made products.

Wass is a 100% natural and organic range of products made in Cape Town. I discovered her recently at Kamers and have been using her products ever since! We have already gone through two body balms and we’re almost done with the bath salts. I started using the bath salts for my kids when they went through their bouts of flu. It helped to clear their sinuses and was a great way to calm them down before bed time. They even slept better!

As you can see, I bought the whole range. Her products are categorized by seasons. I love all of them for different reasons. But right now, my favs are autumn and fall. I also love the travel size roll ons which she calls temple oils. She has one for day, night and travel. I love putting them on throughout the day.

These products are kid approved. It may seem excessive to use such lavish products on them but after they were born, I realized they both had very sensitive skin and was allergic to many chemicals in the heavily scented baby products. I became more conscious of the products I used on them and therefore, our family now uses a lot of organic and natural skin products. Our skin is happy and it helps that everything smells so darn good. My kids even request the bath salts and our daughter loves the body balms! LOL So for us, this is a no brainer…I will be replenishing our stock right after this post!

Where to buy: Unfortunately, no one stocks Wass in Joburg. She sells at a couple stores in Cape Town. You have to head to her website, Wass. The bath salts and her scrub are not listed on the website but I’m sure you can drop her an email to order them…definitely a bath must for the cold winter!

Never knew Kale could be this good…

shaved brussels sprouts and kale salad

I have always had a love hate relationship with kale especially when it first appeared in all the NY trendy health restaurants. I just couldn’t get myself to love it. Maybe hate is a strong word but it wasn’t exactly a must have at my meals nor something I would actually look for on a menu.

Until I saw somewhere on Instagram that I could just sauté it with some olive oil and garlic…then it became a instant favorite of mine. How simple. Then I thought maybe I just like it cooked vs raw until I came across this salad, Shaved Brussel Sprouts & Kale Salad. I love brussels sprouts so decided to give it a try. It’s so so simple….maybe what makes it so darn good is the sweet basil dressing. I’m not convinced it’s just the dressing though. I think it’s the whole combination of the kale, sprouts, dates and hazelnuts. Again, hazelnuts isn’t exactly the kind of nut I would put in my salads. It was a nice surprise.  This is just a quick easy side and easily a meal once you add some protein. I’ve had it with chicken and salmon. I love the fact that I can just throw it together in minutes if you shave the brussels sprouts ahead of time. For me, this is going to be a great summer salad.

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 2 pitted dates, chopped (I like to add more)
  • ¼ cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 4-6 tablespoons SWEET BASIL DRESSING

Instructions

  • Slice the bottoms of the brussels sprouts off and then put them in a food processor.
  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can slice them thinly with a knife or buy pre packaged shaved brussels sprouts.
  • Remove stems from kale then slice the kale into thin strips. I buy the pre packaged kale from Woolworth’s.
  • Add kale into a large bowl and pour 2 tablespoons of the Sweet Basil Dressing on top and massage it into the kale with your hands.
  • Then add in the shaved brussels sprouts and add in 3-4 more tablespoons of dressing and stir to coat.
  • Top with chopped dates and hazelnuts!

Sweet Basil Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, loose
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 pitted medjool dates, soaked in hot water to soften
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until dates are broken down and it is smooth and creamy!  Drizzle over a salad or chicken!

 

I decided to list the recipes on my blog as it seems to be easier for people to follow but you can always click on the links to the original recipes above too.

Homemade Mayo & Curried Mayo Chicken

Homemade Mayo & Curried Mayo Chicken

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Who doesn’t like mayo!!! I love tuna with mayo, chicken with mayo, french fries with mayo, and almost every sandwich that has mayo. Mayo just adds that certain sweet and tangy taste that you can’t get from anything else. So after checking and trying out a few recipes, I basically came up with my own. There are so many adjustments you can make according to your tastebuds.

Here are a few substitutions/suggestions to consider while making your mayo and of course, taste it while you make it. You can sub the avocado oil for macadamia oil. You can use less 1/2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and you can add a touch more honey. I try to use everything organic and sometimes that alone changes the taste. I feel organic apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard have stronger flavors so you can always use less and add more as make and taste it.

Mayo Recipe:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 180 ml extra virgin olive oil (don’t use one that’s too heavy)
  • 180 ml avocado oil

So I like to make things as easy as possible. I made my mayo in my NutriBullet but you can use a hand blender if that’s what you have. Add all the ingredients except the oil in a bowl and start blending and slowly add the oils. For me, I added the ingredients into the Nutribullet cup and whisked them then I added the oils and gave it a whirl in the Nutribullet. I had no issues at all. If it’s too thick then add a little warm water.

With this recipe, I was able to make the two 250 gram glass jars in the pic. I just took half the mayo out and added the curried mayo ingredients to the other half. Again, I gave it a quick spin in the NutriBullet. The mayo should last about two weeks.

Curried Mayo (just add the following after)

  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • dash of lemon juice

 

IMG_9642

I love making use of leftovers and this is how the curried chicken mayo came about today!

  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken
  • 4 fresh medjool dates, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup baby fennel
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews
  • 3-4 tablespoons of the curried mayo (personal preference)

If you give these recipes a try, please let me know how it turns out as it’s my “first recipes”.

**Disclaimer: I’m all about eyeing my ingredients. If I feel like a recipe doesn’t have enough of something I just add or if I feel it’s too much, I add less. These kind of recipes, fall into this category. It’s all about tasting as you go. It’s usually the baking ones that you have to be more accurate.

 

Little Miss & Mr Men Obsessed

Little Miss & Mr Men Obsessed

So at bedtime, we read to our kids every night and currently, they are obsessed with Little Miss and Mr. Men books. I say currently but it’s been over a year that I bought Becket his first set of Mr. Men books for his 4th birthday. It was an instant hit so 6 months later, I got Finley her first set of Little Miss books. I can’t tell you how many times we have read each book but they have become classics in our home. There is always a Mr. Men or Little Miss book in the night’s storytime rotation. So it’s not surprising that I love to give these books as part of a birthday present! They are small, cute, and easy to read. Finley loves to read them now on her own too. The original collections are great but I’m a bit obsessed myself with the newer ones like Mr. Men at Bedtime.

Of course, you can find them here in Joburg at Exclusive Books but even better, is that you can find them on Takealot for a deal.  For everyone else, I am sure you can find them on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

Marataba

Marataba

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One of the advantages of living in Africa is going on safaris. The kids simply love it and now that they are older it’s easier to manage the early morning wake up calls! We discovered Marataba Safari Lodge when Brian bidded on a school auction and won. It’s only a 4 hour drive from Joburg so the road trip is manageable. It’s located near Waterberg at the Marakele Park, Thabazimbi. For those concerned, it is malaria free. So a quick weekend getaway is definitely possible. We were surprised that many of our SA friends have never heard of it but I guess it’s mainly a lodge that caters to tourists.

We can’t say enough great things about them. The service, accommodations, food, and drives were all exceptional. Our guide, Andre, was amazing and the kids absolutely loved him. He was so knowledgeable and the kids asked him a million questions. They love animals and it probably helps that Wild Kratts is their favorite show. They are walking animal dictionaries. You can ask Becket almost anything and he knows and when you ask him how he knows…he says the Wild Kratts! LOL They even had afternoon activities for the kids so the adults can relax. The landscape is one of the most beautiful that we have seen as they have water and mountains. It’s rare to find this combination. There’s something about getting back to nature. It’s magical. It also helps that you sleep like a baby….we think it’s the air!

Marataba was so magnificent that we went back again in April when my parents came to visit. So this one is a keeper. If you’re adventurous and don’t plan on taking the kids, they have a brand new eco lodge, Marataba Trails Lodge, that caters solely to walking safaris. Definitely something Brian and I plan to do….one day!