Worn Out From Fun!

Isn’t it awesome when you’re exhausted because you’ve been having fun!?

On Friday my Glugster came home from work a smidge early, and we went grocery shopping. Once again we came in on budget, including dog food, cat food and meat. That always feels like a win!
After our shopping trip I had a cake to finish for The Cupcake Lady for a Saturday morning collection so I was up quite late…

On Saturday morning my mommy darling came with me to the Beauty & Wellbeing Expo at the Gallagher Convention Centre, which is around the corner from where I live… But because there was a bloody Amway Convention happening in the hall next door, we took over an hour to get there! It was insane! And there were actually people scalping tickets at the entrance like it was a rock concert or something!
The Beauty Expo was great fun. My mommy darling and I don’t often get to do things together with just us two, so when I won tickets from Wenchy, I called my mom immediately!
Here’s a view from the top… 😛

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Along with my two tickets, I also won a Wand-A-Brush set which I claimed at the Expo, and I got a little hamper with Himalaya Herbal Healthcare products in it.
Walking around the Expo was very interesting, and I couldn’t believe how many different stands there were for nail care and polishes! And my mom and I walked away shaking our heads, from a stand advertising a hormone injection that gives you a tan!!
We watched an aerobics demo, and a make up demo where the very flamboyant make up artist actually put blusher between the models’ fingers and behind her ears!

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Then we watched a gelish presentation and they were handing out samples of their Magneto lacquer! I got a pinkish-red “Electric Metal Lover” and my mommy darling got a silver-grey “Iron Princess“, and then I won a prize by answering a question – a gelish nail treatment at Sorbet and another Magneto colour, a green “Polar Attraction“.
I would have liked to do a couple of the other “freebies” that were available, like the skin analysis and having my make up done, but the queues got longer and longer so we didn’t wait. Once we’d seen everything we went home and played with our nail polishes, and I realised that I can’t even paint someone else’s nails properly! 🙂

On Saturday evening, we had a few friends over to celebrate my Glugster’s birthday. We had a lot of laughs and WAAAY too much tequila and strawberry liqueur, and we were done and in bed by 11PM. ‘Coz we’re old and thats how we roll.
And we only clicked the next morning that we hadn’t eaten the whole of Saturday, which was why we felt so horrible on Sunday!

On Sunday, mine and my Glugster’s parents came over for a birthday lunch.
While I was preparing ingredients and getting ready for lunch, my sweetheart delivered our Santa Shoebox to the drop off point and while he was gone I realised I hadn’t taken a picture of it!
Anyhoodle, when I asked my Glugster what I could cook for him for his birthday he said, “chicken pie”, so on Sunday I made my first ever pie! It was delicious, and a complete diversion from our healthy eating plan – even more so when I served it with grilled potato wedges!

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All in all we had a wonderful weekend, and early on Sunday evening I fell so deep asleep I didn’t even hear my darling husband cooking the leftover chicken breasts that I didn’t use in the pie (so they wouldn’t go off) and tidying the kitchen for me!
Do I have an awesome husband or what!

So how was your weekend?

The @TsogoSun #SunCares Diepsloot Schools Arts Academy Showcase

If you think back on your school career- and your children’s school career, I’m sure your memories include countless concerts and speech festivals! Probably starting in nursery school!

I remember rehearsals during and after school, late nights performing, costumes made and/or rented, tickets sold, seats booked, sitting through seemingly endless song and dance routines to see your child on stage for maybe 5 minutes… or in my case – watching the teachers trying to catch my child as he ran behind the curtains at the back of the stage!
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My precious knucklehead is not a performer. He didn’t like being on stage, he didn’t like performing, unfortunately for him he usually didn’t have a choice. When I was at school I loved the concerts and the speech festivals, I wish I’d been more confident and shown more of what I was able to do!

Following on on that train of thought, I am oft reminded of the things I take for granted.

Like school concerts.

I was invited to attend the Tsogo Sun SunCares Arts Academy Showcase for seven Diepsloot primary and secondary schools.
These children spent a year auditioning, training, work shopping and rehearsing to perform on this stage, their first ever concert!
Their unbridled enthusiasm, their confidence, their eagerness to show their audience what they’ve been practising was absolutely infectious!
Dressed to the nines in fabulous, brightly coloured costumes and wigs they’d had their make up done and they took to the stage like old pros!
I was grinning and laughing and clapping throughout the show, and the one solo by Ndovhedzo Ndouvhada from Diepsloot West Secondary School gave me a lump in my throat and such goosebumps. Wow.
My favourite performance was definitely the “Superheroes” from Paradise Bend Primary School! They were so adorable I wanted to put them in my handbag and take them home with me!

Here’s the official press release and photographs, so that I don’t get anything wrong:

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Press release
11 October

SunCares youngsters hit the stage with their newfound skills

The stage is all set for the Tsogo Sun SunCares Performing Arts Academy’s year-end concerts which will joyfully showcase what 480 youngsters from 12 underprivileged schools in Gauteng have learned through the integrated programme in the course of the year.

Vusi Dlamini, Group HR Director of Tsogo Sun explains, “The Academy aims to make a real difference in children’s lives by developing their artistic talent, providing life skills development, and supporting the educational framework by creating extra-curricular activities, as well as potentially providing tertiary opportunities to learners within the programme.

“It was piloted in one school in 2012 and then launched in 2013 as a carefully designed full-year curriculum using the arts as a catalyst to provide opportunities for change in the lives of young people in communities around Johannesburg.” The SunCares Arts Academy provides a foundation in the basics of drama, dance, vocal training and voice projection, together with a structured lifeskills course that covers a broad spectrum of topics to empower the youngsters to make sound choices throughout their lives. 

The Academy is running in seven schools in Diepsloot near Montecasino and five schools in Mayfair near Gold Reef City, with 480 learners in total – 40 from each school. The learners go through a rigorous selection process to ensure that they have the potential and the dedication to do well in this Arts programme. Grade 4 to 7 learners are selected for the primary school programme and Grade 8 to 10 for the high school programme. Nine primary schools and three high schools are enrolled in the programme this year.

By the time the end of year concerts come around, the youngsters are bursting with excitement and anticipation – and extremely keen to show off their newfound skills to their communities as well as to a wider audience. “The concerts focus on the performing arts that have been learned through the year and incorporate items that display the different school groups’ dancing and performing skills as well as individuals who have shown particular talent in a specific area,” says Shanda Paine, Tsogo Sun’s Group CSI Manager. “The concerts are inspiring and are quite remarkable evidence of what can be achieved with a lot of enthusiasm, a desire to work hard and apply learnings, well-trained facilitators, and a fine-tuned curriculum.”

Renowned South African singer PJ Powers is the patron of the Tsogo Sun SunCares Arts Academy and is deriving immense pleasure from time spent with the children, coaching and encouraging – and instilling a sense of confidence in their ability to be the best they can be.

Tsogo Sun commissioned Minimax Performing Arts, which has been providing young South Africans with a platform to express themselves through the performing arts for more than 12 years, to develop and run the programme in the schools with four co-ordinating staff members and 12 facilitators who are given on-going weekly training.

As with all Tsogo Sun’s SunCares programmes, the Arts Academy is founded on strong partnerships with relevant bodies that include the Department of Education, with the schools, with leading learning and training institutions, and increasingly with the communities where the children who attend the academy live. The scepticism that was evident among parents of the selected children at the start of the programme has dissipated as the children’s academic standards have been maintained, their lifeskills have improved, and they have developed exciting new skills in the performing arts.

The first two concerts are held within the communities where the schools are based and are attended by adjudicators from the National Eisteddfod Association (NEA), who then select the top performers and the best schools to go through to the finals. These will be held at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City on 23 October and will culminate in an awards ceremony for the winners in several categories, including the top high school, the top primary school, the best three individual performers, the most enthusiastic educator and the best performing facilitator.

“This successful initiative has given us the means to provide gifted youngsters from Diepsloot and Mayfair with the knowledge, confidence and lifeskills needed to reach their potential through the performing arts and it is a privilege and a pleasure to be able to give them the opportunity to develop skills and then showcase them on stage in front of an appreciative audience,” concludes Dlamini. “Tsogo Sun is committed to this investment in these young lives and looks forward to many future concerts and to seeing these young lives blossom into accomplished people as they move on in their lives.”

For more information on SunCares, visit www.tsogosun.com, you can also join Tsogo Sun on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TsogoSun or follow @TsogoSun on Twitter.

ISSUED BY TSOGO SUN HOLDINGS. FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT:
Priya Naidoo | General Manager- Communications | Tel: 011 510 7583

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Kids with Denise Zimba from V-Entertainment

Kids with Denise Zimba from V-Entertainment

Mapaseka Koetle (Scandal), Koketso Modiba and Angelo Collins (Big Brother) and Tumi  Moche with the kids

Mapaseka Koetle (Scandal), Koketso Modiba and Angelo Collins (Big Brother) and Tumi Moche with the kids

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Carnival!

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Beach Party

Tumi Moche from MasterChef, Mapaseka Koetle from Scandal with Angelo Collins from Big Brother

Tumi Moche from MasterChef, Mapaseka Koetle from Scandal with Angelo Collins from Big Brother

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~~as per my Ladybloggers pledge, I must state here that I was not paid to write this blog post and that all opinions contained herein are mine and mine alone, apart from the official press release of course~~

Now I Know I Like Oysters!! #SSMonte

I was invited to visit the deck at Southern Sun Montecasino and sample their Oysters & Bubbly special offer!
Its such a gorgeous hotel too… I wish my photography skills were up to giving you an idea of what it looks like inside.

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And did you know that you can sit on the deck at the Southern Sun Montecasino even if Punchinello’s restaurant is closed!?
I didn’t!
And after my visit, let me tell you what – I could sit out on that deck all day, every day!
There’s a little dam with ducks and swans, and the deck provides fabulous shade and chairs that are dangerously comfortable!

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So until October 13th 2013 – thats this Sunday- you can enjoy 6 oysters with a glass of J.C. le Roux Pinot Noir (my personal favourite bubbly just by the way) for just R69! You can have another glass of bubbly for R29, or go all out and buy the bottle for R129.

And who knew oysters were so yummy!
I had mine with lemon and pepper, and a little drop of Tabasco, and the ladies from SS were kind enough to show me how to make sure the oyster is completely loose in its shell before pouring it into your mouth.
I get that its not everyone’s cup of tea but I am now a HUGE fan! They literally taste like the sea!

And after chatting to a Punchinellos sous chef, I now know that oysters are actually seasonal, so if you want them for a function you must make sure to order them well in advance.

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~~as per my Ladybloggers pledge, I must state here that I was not paid to write this blog post and that all opinions contained herein are mine and mine alone~~

Disappointed By @KFCSA…

Today I popped out to get some baking supplies, and on the way home I decided to get some KFC. I LURV me some KFC, and I was passing one on my way home.
I went inside and spotted a poster for a competition you could enter by buying a Regular Meal Deal. Its not what I usually get but it was affordable and it looked yummy so I ordered one.
The competition required a text message with your till slip number as a reference in order to enter, so I tucked a flyer into my handbag so I could enter the competition when I got home.
When I went to fetch my food I realised I had tossed my till slip in the bin while I was waiting for my food! It wasn’t the end of the world though so I grabbed my brown paper bag and headed home.

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I started eating the chips in the car and then remembered I was supposed to get a free Snickers – my second favourite chocolate bar – with my meal and started fishing around in the bag next to me.
No Snickers.

Now I’m upset. I was looking forward to it. I am cheating on my forking diet so it serves me right, but I wanted that damn Snickers!

Knowing I would have to go back to the shop if I wanted my chocolate bar, I phoned them anyway (I didn’t call their customer care line) – their number was on the back of the flyer I had put in my handbag.

I assume the man who answered is a manager but I didn’t ask, and I told him I didn’t get my Snickers.
He apologised and asks me if I handed in the flyer with my till slip to get my free chocolate.
Excuse me!?
The flyer says, and I quote: “Buy any Regular Burger Meal Deal and get a FREE* Snickers“.
It doesn’t say: “Hand in your till slip and a flyer and we’ll give you a free Snickers

I question this, and he tells me the staff are supposed to explain this and that they do it this was to “…keep track of the Snickers…
I must note here that he was very polite and very apologetic, and said I could go and fetch my Snickers if I’d like to, which made me even more annoyed because not only was I not driving back there for a little chocolate bar – I didn’t have my forking receipt anymore!!
And all I can think is why is their point of sale programme – which records each and every sale exactly – not accurate enough to keep count of their stock of complimentary chocolates!??!

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And its not the first time this particular KFC has disappointed me… My darling husband is of a mind to just not go back there, but I like to have my say if I don’t get what I pay for.
On October payday we went grocery shopping, and we saved more than we thought we were going to on our budget so we decided to “splash out” on the family treat, which is pretty good value for money for R150.
We got home with our meal and I started plating it for the three of us.
I have never seen such grotty looking pieces of chicken in my life! They were all thighs and drumsticks – not one breast or wing – and they looked so unappetising I actually peeled the skin off without eating it!
Have you ever!?!
The skin is the whole point of KFC!!!

Needless to say I won’t be going back there again, and I do hope the manager makes a plan so as not to disappoint more of his patrons.

KFC on Facebook
KFC on Twitter

~~as per my Ladybloggers pledge, I must state here that all opinions contained herein are mine and mine alone~~

Our Lifestyle Change, 29 Weeks In

29 weeks.

Or 205 days.

Or 4920 hours. Whichever sounds less to you. They have all started sounding like an age to me when I think about how long we’ve been on this weight-loss-lifestyle-change-dieting thing we’ve undertaken.

I have lost about 9kg in that time. Thats about 45g a day, or about 300g a week. I was hoping for 500g a week when we set out, and I can achieve that with more exercise and not cheating as often as I do…
But I have the self-control of a gerbil.
And we are SO not gym people… Who knows – we may become gym people when we look and feel better.

Today the dietitian said we need to up the ante on our exercise. We are doing more than we did when we started, but we’re not doing more as we progress, and we need to in order to get off the plateau we’re on now. She said, and I quote, “You need to do enough to make you sweat” and I burst out laughing.
If you know me well enough you’ll know that perspiration is not something I battle with! Its something I have always loathed about myself, its why I hate going to the gym and its why I got married in winter. The slightest exertion has me sweating like a racehorse and I hate it. When I am working in my kitchen I wear a bandanna on my head – not only to keep my hair out of my face and out of my baking, but because I perspire for nothing. Once when I was in nursery school, I got into trouble for sticking my head under the garden tap!
I told the dietitian that if I stop exercising because I have started perspiring I won’t even get out of my driveway!
Its no wonder I love water as much as I do, I am almost always dehydrated! Drinking 3L a day is easy for me!

But I digress. We’re going to try and do more. The dogs certainly won’t mind! 😀

We’re taking “before” pictures once a month or so, for ourselves to see, and admittedly it takes looking at each other’s pictures to point out that there is actually a difference. And I might publish a before-and-after picture once we’re where we want to be… But that is still about 20kg away for me and about 50kg away for my Glugs…

And as my darling Glugster keeps reminding me, it may be slower than we wanted but its still in the right direction!
We’re not yo-yoing, we’re losing.

Consistently.

So we will persevere.