Sunday Reads

Also known as what happens in the real life that almost always constricts a great blogging schedule!

  1. Upcycling old kitchenware beautifully!
  2. Weep for this generation :(
  3. Great (and practical) ways to teach your children about money.
  4. Yet another lentil recipe.YUM!!!
  5. Another chai recipe – cupcakes this time.
  6. Vegetarian biryani. YUM!
  7. Something we also learn about marriage on the grind.
  8. Because she is that bit close to John Legend.
  9. On testing teenagers for AIDS.
  10. I know someone whose Dr could not tell her the right size of her baby. Very scary and confusing for the mom-to-be.
  11. Some things to do for yourself this year. I like the bit about having therapy, kinda feeling that vybe this year. Also, exploring your new city or going to a totally new place.
  12. Five strategies to get your academic writing “unstuck”.
  13. Youngest person to buy a Gulfstream Jet is a Malawian Pastor. Will leave that there.

Happy Sunday and reading!

 

Sunday reads …

  1. If you would like to incorporate more vegetables into your diet/ be vegan. Here’s how to go about doing so.
  2. Recipes to enjoy your grains.
  3. Such a beautiful and poignant story of motherhood.
  4. And this post on surviving after losing a mother from one of my most favourite bloggers.
  5. Creative ways to counter the rising pay gap e.g. publish pay info by gender, make an offer that ignores past salary levels, teach women how to negotiate.
  6. The Mr and I have the same and different takes to this Saturday dilemma.
  7. I so DO NOT endorse people that believe in presenteeism.
  8. This is the kind of meaningful stuff I want to do with myself.
  9. But what is this now???????????? Virginity testing, school only for virgins? Madness!!!
  10. Because who would not like poached pears with tea?
  11. Another tea recipe (tea-infused lemon tart)
  12. What Obama carries in his pocket  … (Lemme know what you think?)

2016 Theme Verse

Source

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,  rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6-7)

In the last couple of years I have started to look at a theme word and then gotten a verse for the following to keep me grounded. As 2015 drew to a close, I started to look at the last couple of years and the word that came to mind was “centred” or “rooted” as it felt like the previous years had been in some kind of flux. An alternative word was abide which always calls to mind being at peace and being deeply connected to something or someone as it were.

I love this verse above because besides so many other things it connects being established and rooted in Christ while at the same time talking of gratitude which was something else that I felt about 2015. God has been so good to me and mine in this year that I want to begin another year reminded of this and almost saying to myself to count my blessings, each and everyone of them every day.

So I look forward to a calming year with my focus on my Lord and Saviour as well as a spirit of gratitude!

Sunday Reads

  1. The pitfall of comparing yourself with others Sad smile 
  2. More on female economists and their returns to solo vs group publishing of papers (Hint: publish solo or with mixed genders)
  3. and a follow up of initial thoughts and opinions on the article.
  4. A healthy alternative to eating wraps!
  5. Slay Taraji, slay!!
  6. As a follow up to last weeks post on what the Brady/ Bundchen bunch eat, here is a list of recipes to adopt.
  7. Free downloadable calendars: one and two.
  8. The NYT recently published a list of 100 Notable books for 2015.
  9. Good to know that Uganda doing well on the front of palliative health care – effectively and cheaply.

First thoughts on the Mother City

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View of Table Mountain

  1. The mountain. On a beautiful or cloudy day, the mountain is majestic and I love how imposing it is!
  2. The water. Very beautiful but often just as cold.
  3. It is a much smaller town so most places are within twenty minutes of each other which is lovely. Very welcome respite from Joburg where standard driving is about 40 minutes.
  4. The shops around us open fairly early and close late. The nearest Woolies for example opens at 07h30 and closes at 21h00. Obviously not great for the workers but I am loving that flexibility.
  5. The beautiful and artsy CBD.
  6. I am finding the drivers are quite chilled and very law-abiding. I have on occassion been driving at 80km/h (aka the speedlimit) on the fast lane and have not had a single driver drive up close to me or overtake me at a weird angle to prove a point about my granny driving.
  7. Relatedly though, no one tells you about the insane traffic jams in Cape Town. Such a nightmare and mainly because of the mostly two lane highways!! Why now?
  8. The public taxis (matatus) have a tout calling out destinations and such. Much prefer that to Joburgs finger signs.
  9. It is standard to have buildings that have no parking and as a result I now park on the street outside my house. But, you have to be careful about where and how you park or you could easily pick up a hefty fine – I already have three for my efforts!
  10. Things work – so far, only one traffic light has been out, traffic got collected on Christmas and New Years despite those being public holidays.
  11. You could experience four seasons in a single day which was initially very distracting and difficult to plan with. But, you can get around that with jerseys at your desk or in the car.
  12. Much longer days with early sunrises and later sunsets. Initially disorienting but with time you adjust, except for the fact that we are eating dinner later and later because its hard to imagine eating dinner when the sun is still hot and out.
  13. Some malls charge a nominal fee for the toilet usage. Found out when I was so pressed and not sure I had a coin to pay!
  14. CAMPS BAY!
  15. The massive inequality between the haves and the have-nots. And indeed the cost of living which brings to mind the Kiswahili saying hii nchi ina wenyewe (this country has its owners). Of course Cape Town is not a country, but in many ways, it feels like it is!

Coming from a very diverse city in terms of race, language, ethnicity and nationality, Cape Town is quite binary in terms of White/Coloured; South African/ Foreign and there isn’t much of that in between grey layer that makes things all the more interesting. And this is what makes me miss Joburg the most. Joburg is not a classic beauty like Cape Town is, it’s not even as organised or run beautifully but there is an innate beauty it has, an edginess and a diversity that I greatly appreciate. Outside of that, Cape Town is a place I reside at but it is not home.

First Sunday Reads

Welcome back and I pray that your new year has started off with a bang!

  1. I always knew the Russian Maffia doesn’t play!
  2. Clap back of the century! Pow!!
  3. Because mothers greatly influence their daughters sense of style. I certainly know mine did!
  4. Did you know there are surrogacy agencies and they have annual fairs? Well there are …
  5. I can actually taste this dish :)
  6. This one too!!
  7. The Atlantic lists their 50 best episodes for 2015 and has quite a few goodies.
  8. Wonder what the cause of death by age and country would reveal for Africa.
  9. Thoughtful reflections for anyone contemplating a PhD.
  10. Fantastic seeing how a doodle artist does her work.
  11. This article proves to me how women perpetuate patriachy.
  12. Wonder whether this niche, sells a single book at a time bookstore will take.
  13. What’s it like to be a private chef?
  14. I have never really thought about the professionals that have to work on rape cases. Till now.

 

Last Sunday Reads of 2015

  1. A simple way to think of writing, in three parts.
  2. Now I am even more confused about Westgate,Nairobi (37 minute audio recording)
  3. Ten ways to help you improve your eating habits. Particularly #1 on doubbling up on veggies.
  4. A quick tuna chickpea salad.
  5. Light quick read on the history of Vlisco making fabrics for Africa (Won’t talk today about my feelings of appropriation where this is concerned)
  6. A longer history of Vlisco here
  7. So Rachel Dolezal does not get it at all! Still, six months later and with a baby on the way!!
  8. “​what’s the danger of not training the people who stay?” Another classic Seth Godin post.
  9. The NYT’s best pics for the year
  10. Pleased to hear there are measurable and positive benefits to the show 16 and Pregnant coz I really like the show!

Merry Christmas!

2015 cHRISTMAS

Source

For unto us a child is born, unto us a child is govern

This day in Bethlehem is born a Child of the Virgin

My prayer is that Christ may be reborn in your hearts and in your midst this day. God Bless and richly scatter His favour upon you and your family!!

Reviewing 2015 through posts

I have enjoyed posting so much this year and pushing myself to write more, write in different formats or on different topics than the typical ones I would. Thanks for the reads, sharing and comments!

  1. My theme this year was on obedience.
  2. Listened to great music too!!
  3. Took care of myself!!
  4. Really got into podcasts.
  5. Ten little things I enjoyed this year (the first of many similar posts)
  6. I hurt when the Xenophobic attacks broke out! In February. Twice.
  7. Read a lot about women struggling with infertility.
  8. Cooked some nice things.
  9. Read some good and bad books!! The invention of wings was easily my book of the year.
  10. Made a personal announcement too!!

Enjoy and looking forward to 2016!!

Theme for 2015

I love that the sermons I have listened to this Christmas have to do with this verse!!

first hand accounts of a former homebody

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@Banksy

My theme verse for this year is:

I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

This is the year for me to step out in faith and step out of the proverbial experience and open myself up to new experiences in life, greater depth in my relationships, loving more and living fully AND being present. The only way I can proudly say ” … be it unto me …” is if I review every experience as it unfolds and choose in that moment, what I shall do or not do and why.

In line with this, I also saw this quote from Seth Godin:

Fear is not the enemy. Paralysis is the enemy.

I have been too scared about so many things and this year, I am trying not to fall into that trap because when I ventured…

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Baked eggs with spinach and mushroom

This past weekend in preparation for hosting family over Christmas, I decided to finish up some of the little bits of left over ingredients in the kitchen and whip up something interesting for breakfast for the Mr and I. I took some pics to help with restating the recipe.

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I used Rachel Allen’s Entertaing at Home. You can follow this blog’s recipe

You basically need a pan, ramekins, mushrooms, spinach, eggs, cream, cheese, nutmegs, salt and oil/ butter.

Start by melting the oil/butter and add the spinach and mushrooms and cook until they wilt slightly.

Then add the cream and nutmeg to spice.

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Once done, remove from the fire and line the ramekins with the mushroom, spinach mixture.

Into the well, break the eggs gently and sprinkle with cheese.

I cooked these at 180 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes in the oven but that was probably too long. Next time, I would do it for half that time and then serve. Once done though, they should like this below.

Serve on toast and I would suggest bacon and/or vegetables on the side and enjoy as you can see from the empty containers below!

 

Again, the recipe was adapted from Entertaining at Home by Rachel Allen but you can also use this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

Happy Cooking!

4 days to Christmas

For the past two Sundays I have listened to a sermon preached about Mary’s response to the Angel in Luke 1 when she finds out she will be with child. About her obedience and the fact that she knew the character of God and His promises from everlasting to everlasting. Yesterday we sung the following hymns that also speak to this message.

 

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice;
tender to me the promise of his word;
in God my Savior shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his Name!
Make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
his mercy sure, from age to age to same;
his holy Name–the Lord, the Mighty One.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might!
Powers and dominions lay their glory by.
Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word!
Firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
to children’s children and for evermore!

Be blessed!

 

Sunday Reads

  1. ​I read this article on miscarriage and for some reason it made me sooooooo sad :(
  2. As a foreign worker, this paper obviously made sense to read. See also the comments, very useful.
  3. In case you are looking to stock your first kitchen, the kind folks of Food52 will help you out!
  4. How to help yourself eat a healthy lunch at the office!
  5. This life must not be easy and I am so grateful to God that I have been largely exempt from it.
  6. Beautiful ways to think of gift giving.
  7. Because beautiful book design covers.
  8. I would love to have this in my house.

Some recent pics

Of the mountain from my office

Recently went to Paarl with a couple of friends, gorgeous weather and lovely views!!

Enjoy xoxo!

10 Nutritional Tips for December

Love these simple tips for how to incorporate healthy food options into your diet!

Brewsker

Nutritional Tips for December

We are now firmly into the sickie season and the month of excess, so with that in mind, I asked nutritional therapist Laurie Richards (one half of the magical CALA duo) for some advice on how to tackle December!

As we rush around buying the last of those presents, catching up with friends, drinking and eating more than usual and generally preparing for and celebrating Christmas, we put ourselves and our bodies through more stress than usual. The bad news is that stress lowers the immune system and allows bugs to wreak havoc on the body. The good news is that we can find everything we need to support and defend ourselves in Mother Nature’s pantry! So make sure to add these cold- and flu-fighting foods to your basket the next time you go shopping.

1. Orange Veggies
Carrots, sweet potatoes and squash contain beta-carotene which the body turns into…

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Snap Snap Thursdays #16

In case you are looking for posting inspiration :)

Books and Messy Buns

sstSnap Snap Thursdays is a weekly meme hosted by Rebeca at “Books and Messy Buns”. Anyone can join, you just have to do the following:

  • Pick up the book you’re currently reading (or read last)
  • Take a picture of it
  • Share your picture with the book community :)

Note: Please refer the host of the meme (this blog/this post) in your own post and leave a comment down below with a link to your SST so all the participant can have a look and share their thoughts too!

My Picture:

16

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how to avoid feeling hangry

Note to self :)

nourish hour

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Here is a little cheat sheet on mindful eating for some much needed guidance as I’ve really fallen off the wagon lately with snacking.  It’s the holidays and usually it isn’t an issue for me; but I’ve succumbed to the temptations of sugary drinks, ice cream, chocolate and poor choices in the on-the-road munchies department (I accidentally bought a bag of salted, instead of unsalted, pretzels).  I think my mind is temporarily set in this unhealthy mode because I have it on the back of my mind that I’ll have plenty of opportunities to be healthy next year (in two weeks). When in reality, I should just do it right now.  With that being said, my breaking of healthy habits motivated me to compile a list of healthy snack options below.

SNACKING IDEAS

  • Nutrition/Protein bars (choose low sugar: < 5g sugar; lowfat: < 3g fat; high protein: > 5g…

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Pears baked in pastry

Oh I love pears as dessert!!

Cooking without Limits

pear baked in pastry

Yesterday, I tested one of the recipes I want to do for Christmas. Easy to make,  this cozy dessert has plenty of “wow” factor and it looks like a beehive.

This is an elegant dessert and is fancy enough for a dinner party and also can be made ahead.

pear baked in pastry

Ingredients:

  • 4 small pears
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 50 ml cognac (optional)
  • 1 small lemon, halved
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 to 8 whole cloves
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg

pear baked in pastry

Directions:

Peel pears and core pears from bottom, leaving stems intact. 

In a large saucepan, combine the water, sugar, honey, lemon halves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cognac and cloves. Split vanilla bean and scrape seeds; add bean and seeds to sugar mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; place pears on their sides in saucepan and poach, uncovered…

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Sunday Reads

  1. ​This is so true of my Undergrad experience of Economics as a whole​.
  2. Not really an Oatmeal fan, but this strip is very inspirational.
  3. Great writing advice!!
  4. Article had such promise only to wind up with me asking, and then? so what?
  5. ​This one too was well written about an emotionally evocative topic, white privilege.
  6. Practical tips to help us think through nutrition. Also, thinking of stopping to take dairy and switch to alternatives.
  7. Cue the farewell to 2015 posts!
  8. How to respond when things go wrong.

The Centre Cannot Hold

I recently had occasion to read Things Fall Apart. I thought it would be quite overrated because how can it be that every single person would read this book and fall head over heels with it. BUT, I must say, it delivered on just about every aspect. It was an easy read, well written, timelss and very much classical. I loved it and would happily recommend it to anyone (like me) that hadn’t read it!

Things Fall Apart tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world. The second, as modern as the first is ancient, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo’s world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries. These perfectly harmonized twin dramas are informed by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. Source

My overall thoughts?

  • I loved that the story was told through a very flawed but relatable hero.I loved that he took the time to develop other supporting characters and they were not a hollow supporting cast.
  • I greatly appreciated the proverbs and had occasion to smile at the meaning behind some of them.
  • Based on my upbringing whereby I significantly identify with a Christian Culture, I found some of the content quite other-worldly and very steeped in what I would call Witchcraft what with all the ceremonies, the belief in ancestral worship and the blatant worship of idols. That made me very very uneasy.
  • Having said that, it was quite enlightening to see how things ran say Pre-Christianity as we know it . To see how the people ( past and present), their land and their “gods” were heavily intertwined.I believe that we are merely stewards of the earth and that to some extent we have abused it.
  • The last section of the book dealt with the early Missionaries and the Colonisers that came to Africa and I must say it made me so angry.I actually felt like my stomach would turn from the rage.
    • It bothered me so much that Christianity was so heavily intertwined with Western Culture. African culture was not perfect, ABSOLUTELY NOT! But it was unnecessary to introduce the faith within such a narrow slant. I wonder whether it makes White people uneasy how integrated Church is with predominantly their culture. Yes, I understand it is a generalisation as I have attended churches that are truly multicultural but they are often in the minority!
    • I doubt that we speak often enough of the brutality of the Colonial rule. Physically and emotionally, it dehumanised and destabilised people. Something I believe inexorably altered the application of the Rule of Law across most colonialised nations.
  • I loved the sense of Community that was described and in particular the description of one of Okonkwo’s neighbours daughters and how the village chipped in to make the day a success and memorable. This was particularly memorable in light of a conversation I had with friends earlier last week on whether they would go through with traditional negotiations or if they would skip it altogether. There is a communal part to marriage that one must experience -regardless of how tough or difficult it becomes.
  • As a modern woman some of the practices were a tad out of date for my liking and the one that is foremost in my mind is Polygamy. Just no.
  • The ending initially for me felt like a cope out but then as I reviewed it over and again in my mind, I could see how it would happen. Okonkwo had been broken down slowly and then increasingly over time. By the end, he was not himself.

Definitely, go out, read it and share and let me know your thoughts if you have already read it!