• As if Born to You

    Book Review: As if Born to You by Susan Newham-Blake

    Genre & Themes: Local Fiction Main themes – Family ; Racial divides ; Adoption ; Alcoholism Minor themes – Grief ; Morality ; Loss ; Poverty ; Social altruism Plot: When thirteen-year-old Zuri begins cutting herself, psychologist Ana is called in to help. Is the troubled girl trying to relieve the tension of being black in a predominantly white private school? And how healthy is Zuri’s relationship with Helen, the white single mom who adopted her? Struggling to soften Zuri’s defences during the course of her therapy, Ana must piece together the puzzles of both Helen and her daughter, including the truth of what happened to Zuri’s birth mother. But…

  • #plasticfreejuly

    Plastic free tomorrow

    Have you heard of Plastic Free July? You must have. If you’re on social media then I’m sure you would have been bombarded by posts this month with the hashtag #plasticfreejuly. The idea behind this campaign is that we refuse single use plastic in the month of July as a way to clean our streets; our oceans; our planet. So why am I only writing about this now, at the end of the month? Well, it’s because I don’t want Plastic Free July to end in July. I don’t want this to be a fad and then we all move on to the next trendy thing to do and go…

  • Ok I’ll say it, I don’t enjoy playing with my kids.

    Please don’t misinterpret that as me saying I don’t enjoy spending time with my kids because nothing could be further from the truth. They are my everything. I just don’t enjoy playing the games that they like at age 2 and 5. I will look for every excuse under the sun to avoid playing with them because their games make me want to pull my hair out in frustration and boredom. An average day in the Gabriel household Have you ever played with a little kid? Their imaginations are out of this world and will leave you astounded but they keep changing the rules and the games often spiral out…

  • book review

    Book Review – The Neighbour by Fiona Cummins

    Genre: Crime thriller, Suspense Plot: On a hot July day, Garrick and Olivia Lockwood and their two children move into 25 The Avenue looking for a fresh start. They arrive in the midst of a media frenzy: they’d heard about the local murders in the press, but Garrick was certain the killer would be caught and it would all be over in no time. Besides, they’d got the house at a steal and he was convinced he could flip it for a fortune. The neighbours seemed to be the very picture of community spirit. But everyone has secrets, and the residents in The Avenue are no exception. After six months…

  • Sweet & Sticky Oxtail Casserole

    Bring on the comfort food!

    I think we can safely say that Winter has hit hard in SA. Even the Durbanites are complaining about the cold! You know what that means…it’s COMFORT FOOD SEASON!!! “Summer bodies are made in Winter”…not in my house! The people who say ‘Summer bodies are made in Winter’ are an enigma to me. For me, Winter is all about soups, stews and hearty family meals. The feeling of coming in from the cold and having that tantalising smell of a slow cooked beef stew hovering in the air is priceless. Soups and stews are a great way to create warming, healthy meals with very few ingredients. Food Lovers Market has…

  • Our very first family holiday is finally happening!

    Are you feeling sorry for us after reading that title? Haha! Please don’t. We have been on lots of holidays but it is always with family or friends. We are now going on our first family holiday where it’s just the four of us. And I really don’t know why it’s taken us this long!!   Staycation – a holiday spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.   Memories of the coast Weekend getaways are something that I have grown up with from as far back as I can remember. My parents would plan trips to the…

  • Seafood Paella

    Seafood Paella in under 15 minutes

    I’m all about cutting cooking time while maximising flavour so here is my seafood ‘paella’ recipe that can be cooked and ready to eat in 12-15 minutes. Ingredients: 1kg of Seafood Mix 1 packet of Woolworths Heat and Eat Spanish Rice 5 garlic cloves 1 small lime Method: Add a splash of olive oil (and a blob of butter if you like) to a wide saucepan then grate in the garlic cloves. Keep the pan on a high heat. Drain the seafood mix before adding it to the pan (it needs to be completely defrosted if you are cooking this from frozen or the seafood will end up boiling in…

  • Cari Mora

    Book Review – Cari Mora by Thomas Harris

    Genre: Thriller Plot: There is a vault filled with over $25 Million in gold, hidden in a house in Miami that was previously owned by Pablo Escobar. The vault is not only hidden, it is also severely booby trapped. Now there are competing criminals after the legendary gold who will stop at nothing to get it. Cari Mora is a young immigrant who has escaped to America from her violent upbringing as a child soldier. She is the caretaker and the only person who isn’t afraid to stay in the mannequin filled house overnight. Cari catches the eye of Hans-Peter, one of the criminals on the hunt for the treasure.…

  • Spicy Coconut Curried Pasta

    Spicy Coconut Curried Prawn Pasta

    There was an amazing special on prawns at Food Lovers Market last week so of course I bought two bags, haha! Tonight I cooked them both and made two pastas. A spicy one for us and a plainer one for the girls. It was very much an experimental dish but it turned out pretty great so here’s the recipe… Ingredients 1 tin of coconut milk 1 small bottle of pasta sauce (I used the Ina Paarman Tomato and Basil) 6 cloves of garlic 2 chillies 5-8 curry leaves prawns spaghetti Method Grate the garlic and add to a sauce pan with the chillies and curry leaves. Fry them out a…

  • Book Review : The Snakes by Sadie Jones

    I have read a lot of books in my life. Some months I read two novels, other months I can read up to to twenty (yay for ebooks!) Reading is more than a hobby for me, it’s a passion and something that I need to do to relax and unwind. I say all of this to give you an idea of how many books I have read in my lifetime so that when I tell you that I have NEVER read a book like this before, you know exactly how unusual that must be. Genre Psychological Thriller, Suspense Plot Bea and Dan are in love and happily married but frustrated…