Wednesday, 15 April 2015

A Spa Soirée...

A few weeks ago, I hosted a spa soiree for a few of my friends. Spa soiree's are the perfect way to celebrate with girlfriends, whether it's a birthday party,baby shower, bridal shower or just because! It's so easy to do and your girlfriends are sure to love it. After all, who doesn't like to be pampered? My tip is to keep the party intimate with just about 4-6 of  your closest friends.
Now, lets start planning...

First of all, create a haven. Dim the lights and place loads of scented candles all over. Most spas are scattered with cushions for comfortable lounging - an easy effect to imitate. Keep a stack of towels and some luxurious products at hand. You could even ask your friends to bring their favourite pamper products with them. I love the idea of creating your own beauty products so I've included some recipes below.
Spa Soiree

Keep the food light with some cucumber sandwiches, fruit and perhaps some indulgent petits fours (not so light, but who can resist a pretty petit four?). For drinks, fill some carafes with water and put some lemon grass stalks and lemon slices into it. So simple, yet spa-like. Green tea, peppermint tea and any other herbal tea is ideal for a spa party. I also served Cucumber Margarita Popsicles. I referred to them as Spa Popsicles, though...

The most important thing to remember is to relax. Yes, hosting can be stressful, but in this instance, take it easy and stay calm because, what's the use of a spa party if you are all tense? Try to have everything prepared beforehand for stress-free hosting. Ultimately, the aim is to have some fun with you favourite people!

Now for those recipes that I promised...

1. Cucumber Cooler Face Mask
1 small cucumber
1 cup of natural yoghurt

Blend the ingredients until smooth. Apply while still cool, leave for 10 minutes and rinse of with cool water.
NOTE: Make sure that no one takes pictures, because who wants a picture with gunge on their faces posted all over social media?

2. Sugar Scrub
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of olive oil
10 drops of your favourite essential oil (I love lavender)

Mix all the ingredients together. Use as a scrub on your whole body or just on your hands and feet for at home mani's and pedi's.

3. Peppermint Lip Salve
4 tsp of beeswax
4 tsp of almond oil
12-15 drops of peppermint essential oil (or any other that you may fancy)

Gently heat the beeswax and almond oil in a double boiler (or a bowl set upon simmering water) until the wax is melted. Remove from the heat and add the essential oil. Transfer to a small wide-mouthed jar and use as needed.

4. Luxurious Moisturiser
6 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of almond oil
3 tablespoons of beeswax
3 tablespoons of orange blossom water (rose water would work as well)

Gently heat the oils and wax in a double boiler until the wax is melted.Remove from heat and stir in the orange blossom water. Beat until the mixture is soft and creamy. Store in a jar and use as needed.

5. Coffee Scrub
1 cup of coffee granules
1/2 cup of olive oil
15-20 drops of your favourite essential oil (optional)

Mix all the ingredients and use as needed.
This recipe is my favourite. It leaves your skin soft and smooth for days!

These recipes can be doubled or even tripled as needed. The moisturiser and lip salve are perfect to give to your guests as take-home gifts. Just place them in pretty containers and tie a ribbon around them with the name of the product. Pop into gift bags and there you have it! 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Let's Get Messy!!!

My buddy loves messy play. We try and do some sort of sensory play everyday. Some days, its something as simple as playing in his sandpit or painting and on other days we get a bit more creative.

Sensory play has so many benefits. It helps toddlers and preschoolers build fine motor skills, assists with co-ordination, develops their imaginations and even language development such as learning new words.
If the mere thought of messy play freaks you out, here are some tips to keep things slightly 'cleaner':

  • If its warm take messy play outside.
  • Cover any surfaces that you don't want stained. 
  • Keep an old t-shirt for your child to wear during messy activities to prevent damaging good clothes.
  • Teach your little one to help with cleaning up after the activity and make clean up fun!

So lets get messy!

Playdough is always popular with children. We usually make our own because we go through so much of it!
It's also suitable for younger kids. Here is  the recipe that we use. I usually make a few batches and store it in Ziplock bags in the fridge.

2 and 1/2 cups of water
1 and 1/4 cups of salt
1 and 1/2 tbsps of cream of tartar
5 tbsps of vegetable oil
2 and 1/2 cups of flour
Food colouring
Mix all the above together in a pot and cook on low heat until it starts to come together. Remove from the heat and empty onto a work surface. Once it has cooled down, knead it well. 

Now let your child's imagination run wild! Here are some ideas to get you started:
1) Make brown coloured playdough and use it as cement to build houses with wooden blocks.
2) Use it to hide small toy creatures.
3) Create playdough creatures. Spiders, snakes and monsters are Buddy's speciality! Use pipe cleaners and googly eyes for added fun.
4) Add glitter for glittery playdough.
5) Make different prints in your dough. Handprints, leaf prints, use a textured rolling pin or even stamps.
6) Pretend to cook or bake.

The possibilities are endless!

Erupting Moon Sand
Make exploding moon sand.
1 and 1/2 cups of flour
1 and 1/2 cups of bicarbonate of soda
1/4 cup of sunflower oil
Food colouring of your choice
Mix all the above together.

Buddy enjoyed playing with it like this for a little while.

 Then I gave him a pipette filled with vinegar and the real fun began.

Eventually we poured all the vinegar in...

Shaving foam
Shaving foam always excites children. Mix in food colouring and make shaving foam paint. Freeze it and it becomes 'ice-cream' textured paint. It's great for bath time play as well.

Water beads
Boil tapioca (available at supermarkets) in water mixed with food colouring. When its soft, drain the water and rinse thoroughly. Now let those little fingers start exploring!


This is so much of fun,you'll want to play with it yourself! Its not liquid nor is it solid. You can shape it like playdough, but it won't hold its shape 
(Note: this is not for the little ones that are likely to put it into their mouths)
1 and a half bottles of art and craft white glue
1/3 cup of warm water
Food colouring (you can use green like real flubber, this time Buddy really wanted blue) 
Mix the above together
In another bowl mix:
1/3 cup of warm water
1tsp of borax powder
Slowly add the borax mixture to the glue mixture mixing as you go. 

You may not need all the borax mixture, use as much as you need. If you add too much borax and your flubber ends up too stiff, just add some more glue. 
Use googly eyes to make creatures.
Or add glitter to the flubber for sparkly flubbler. 

There's so much you can do. I'll post some more ideas soon. In the mean time go ahead and try some of these.....your kids will love you! Have fun! 

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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

If You Make One Thing This Week...Lamingtons

Everything is just better gift wrapped...
I made these babies for a friend recently and they tasted as good as they looked! Received loads of oohs and aahs! They are quite easy to make, though a little time consuming but the results are well worth it!

125g of butter
3/4 cup of caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 and a half cups of flour
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
3tsp of baking powder
1/2 cup of milk
1tsp of vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180•C and butter mini loaf cake tins.
Cream the butter and caster sugar together. Add the milk and eggs one at a time. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Add the vanilla extract and beat for 7 minutes.
Divide the batter between the cake tins and bake for about 30 minutes or until done. Allow to cool. 

Chocolate coating
125g of butter
1 cup of water
2 cups of icing sugar
2tblsp of cocoa powder
Desiccated coconut

Boil all the ingredients together. Do not allow the coating to become very thick. 
Dip the cooled cakes into the hot coating and immediately dip into the desiccated coconut.Tie each cake with ribbon and decorate with paper roses.  

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Lalaluxe Baby....When Only the Best Will Do....

Aren't the baby products available these days just exquisite? I'm having a hard time trying not to buy everything that I see!  Parents, relatives and friends will find it hard to resist shopping for a new baby. Whether you're looking for the perfect gift or want to shop for your own little one, here are some items that I love!

Sophie the Giraffe

Made out of rubber and food safe paint, it's easy for little fingers to grip. Sophie makes the perfect first toy! My son adored his Sophie and she made teething a lot easier. He still plays with her occasionally. She's been around for ages and my mom actually played with one when she was little! Sophie is simply prettier, softer and cuter than any other teether.
Available at Glam Baby

Aiden and Anais muslin swaddles

I loved these when my son was little. We've used them not only to swaddle him on those hot summer nights, but also as a sunshade over the carseat or stroller. I'll definitely buy another set this time around. Now, which colour to choose...
Available at the Yummy Mummy flag ship store, Corner of 4th Avenue and 8th Street
Parkhurst, Johannesburg, 2193

Vichy sunscreen

My sunscreen of choice for myself and my Buddy is Vichy. Recommended  by my dermatologist, I've been using it for years. The non-greasy, lightweight formula works perfectly on sensitive skin. I always carry a tube in my diaper bag.

Kate Spade diaper bag

I have this one in navy. Purchased while expecting my son, I still use it! Not only is it stylish, it's comfy to carry, hooks easily onto the stroller and EVERYTHING fits inside! Definitely one of my favourite purchases and it's still in perfect condition.

Kiehls baby body wash and moisturizer 

I've always used these for my son. It's so mild that it works perfectly on his eczema prone dry and I love the subtle fragrance. The Kiehls skeleton always entertains my Buddy while I shop.

Baby sleeping bag/nest

Every winter baby needs a cosy sleeping bag. Don't you love this one by Burberry. It also has slits so it can be used in a carseat or stroller. Available at

Bloom baby lounger

This drop dead gorgeous, luxuriously padded baby rocker is so stylish and modern it will enhance the decor of any home! Even the pickiest of parents will appreciate this sleek modern lounger. or email

Bambino Diamonds

One of the most precious gifts that a little girl can be given is a piece of jewellery. I love the delicate sparkle of the Bambino collection by Claire Aristides Fine Jewels. Their pieces are just the most precious gifts, worthy of any little princess. For more information visit

The Mima Moon highchair
The beautifully designed Mima Moon high chair is so stunning you'd be proud to display it in your dining room. Suitable from birth (it reclines fully so that baby can relax on the padded insert while you enjoy your meal) until 45kg, this gorgeous  chair would blend seamlessly into modern surroundings and it obviously complies to the highest safety standards. What's not to love???

Mamas and Papas blankets

These knitted blankets are just gorgeous! I bought a few for Buddy and he uses them all the time. I always carry one with me to throw over him if he falls asleep in his carseat or stroller. He loves snuggling into his blankie at night as well. These blankets wash so well that when I found out that I'm expecting, a stack of Mamas and Papas blankets was one of my first purchases.

JellyCat bunnies

A high quality soft toy makes a lovely newborn gift. There are so many choices. These JellyCat bunnies are so soft you won't want to stop cuddling them! It would be the perfect comfort toy. Available from Glambaby

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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

If You Make One Thing This Week...Rice Paper Rolls...

It's Autumn, the days are getting shorter, but the weather has been great. Warm and sunny, we've been spending a lot of time swimming and relaxing outdoors. Weekend meals have been alfresco. If you are like me and hate spending hours in the kitchen, then this recipe is for you!
It is filling but light, quick to make and healthy! Does it get any better? Without further ado lets get to the recipe!

Prawn salad rolls and two dipping sauces

1 packet (about 12 wrappers) of Vietnamese rice paper wrappers (available at all good supermarkets)
A small bunch of coriander
A small bunch of mint
A small bunch of basil (Thai basil if you can get it)
A handful of bean sprouts
1 ripe but firm mango, cut into strips
A handful of toasted peanuts
1 baby red cabbage, shredded
1 cucumber seeded and cut into julienne
500g of prawns, shelled and steamed
2 carrots cut into julienne
Some spring onions sliced

1. Soften your wraps according to the packet instructions.
2. Layer all the vegetables and the prawns at one end of the wrap and wrap up like a spring roll.
3. Leave for a 2-3 minutes before cutting into halves at an angle.
4. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce (recipe below).

Note: This recipe tastes good with a sweet chilli sauce too.

Dipping Sauce 1

3 tbls minced ginger
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
3-4 fresh red chilli's, seeded and finely sliced
2-3 limes, juiced
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
1 tbls finely chopped coriander
1/4 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of water
6 tbls fish sauce
1tsp sesame oil

Simply combine all the ingredients together. Stir well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Dipping sauce 2

5 tbls crunchy peanut butter
2 tbls soy sauce
1 tbls honey
juice of 1 lime
2-3 tbls water
finely chopped red chilli

Combine all the ingredients together. Stir well.