Errmmm…

Can I even still call myself a blogger!?!?

There’s been a lot going on, the last few months have been rough… And a few years ago I would have blogged it before I even thought twice!

I have to do something to get back into some kind of routine… I miss it!

Have a #CupcakeForMyHero to Spread Hope

I am supporting this particularly delicious initiative for sure – and I have a long list of heroes to write on my hand!
Get yourself to Brooklyn Mall this weekend to support their campaign!

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Cancer is primarily seen as an adult disease, however more and more children are being diagnosed. If detected early it is highly treatable, but locally it is estimated that less than half of children with cancer are diagnosed, and many of those who are diagnosed are in advanced stages of illness.

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This Childhood Cancer Awareness Day, Mugg & Bean will construct a Wall of Generosity to bring South Africans together in support of those who have been affected by cancer at Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria on 24 and 25 September 2016.
Each visitor will receive a complimentary cupcake from the wall and be asked to write down the name of their ‘cancer hero’ – someone they know who has battled cancer – on their hand, and then pose for a picture holding up the cupcake with the other hand.

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“We want to create something special where everyone can come together to spread hope; hope for those who have been affected, for those who are battling the disease and hope for the future,” said Lee-Ann Cullingworth, Marketing Executive for Mugg & Bean.
“By driving the conversation, we hope to raise awareness of the early warning signs to equip South Africans with the knowledge to identify possible symptoms and act quickly to ultimately save lives.”

The Wall of Generosity forms part of Mugg & Bean’s annual Cupcakes 4 Kids with Cancer initiative in support of Cupcakes of HOPE that aims to raise awareness and funds for families in need of assistance. #CupcakesForHope 

In addition to bringing together a community of supporters, Mugg & Bean also introduced a lemon meringue cupcake to its menu for the month of September 2016. The sweet treat is offering consumers a simple way to help change and save lives – all proceeds generated from the cupcake sales will be donated to Cupcakes of HOPE.

“We’ve surpassed our 2015 donation of R100,000 within the first week,” says Cullingworth. “We’re humbled by the phenomenal response and honoured to be part of such a worthy cause.”

To support Cupcakes 4 Kids with Cancer, enjoy your lemon meringue #CupcakeForMyHero at any Mugg & Bean, upload your picture of support using the hashtag to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, spread the generosity by donating to the cause or visit The Wall of Generosity on 24 – 25 September between 09:00 – 17:00 at Brooklyn Mall.

I Miss You, My Daddy Darling

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August 7th 2016 was the 46th anniversary of my mommy and daddy darling “going steady”. It was also the day my daddy darling died.

My dad was “Uncle Duck” to many, many people, a larger than life personality who made friends wherever he was, drawing you in to his space and making you laugh. Able to discuss almost any subject, my dad’s general knowledge was vast, yet you never felt like he was trying to lecture you.
If you’ve ever been to a wedding with my dad in attendance, you would have found yourself being fed peach schnapps on the dance floor, and you couldn’t say no!
And he was a prankster too!
My BBF and I spent weekends and school holidays in each other’s homes, and one weekend we were riding bikes when Gen took a tumble, grazing her knee badly on the gravel. We limped home, and she sat in the bath as we rinsed stones and grit from the cuts on her knee. Then my dad appeared, full of concern, with a tin of mercurochrome spray. He gently patted Gen’s injuries dry, spritzing a little of the spray on her knee as he worked, and then before she could blink he sprayed a bright orange-red stripe of mercurochrome from her knee to her ankle! She went to school like that for a week before it finally washed off properly!

My dad’s family was his treasure. He loved nothing more than spending time with all of us together, and any occasion was a reason to get together. I have treasured childhood memories of me and my sister B as little girls, gallivanting to the movies with my dad, just us three, watching The Fox and the Hound and Bambi on the big screen. He loved tradition! He dressed up as Santa to hand out Christmas presents. He went to great lengths to hide Easter eggs for his children and grandchildren to hunt in the garden. We were given bicycles for our 8th birthday, a good quality watch for our 14th birthday, and sometimes for sport – a tin of condensed milk and a box of jelly powder wrapped in newspaper, like he got as a schoolboy.
I remember one time, he and my mom caught and painstakingly painted doors and windows on a couple of garden snails, so that we little girls could “find them” in the garden and see the snails carrying their own houses!

When I was raising my knucklehead on my own, my dad was there if I needed him. No matter how hard it was for him to be a father figure for my son as well as being his grampa, he never let me down.

My daddy darling, you can be proud. My life is filled with happy, treasured memories of us.

I miss you so much.

And I will be careful, always.

Get to @Mugg_and_Bean for #SmokyFlavours!

Can you get addicted to barbecue sauce…? After the #SmokyFlavours launch last Thursday, they sent us home with a little bottle of the sauce their sauce and I am hooked! 😀

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Recently, my Glugster and I were invited to attend the exclusive launch of the Mugg & Bean #SmokyFlavours menu at Morrells Farmhouse, where we were treated to a feast and a half!

These delectable, perfect for winter dishes, will only be available will August – so don’t wait!

You know – when you head to a Mugg & Bean – that you are going to eat well, and you’re going to get a generous plate of food.

 

Here’s the official press release!

NEW ON-TREND SMOKY FLAVOURS FIRES UP THIS WINTER

There are few things as true to South Africa as the smell of a smoky summer braai, but Mugg & Bean is reimagining and introducing these aromas to a new category in its winter menu, launching on Tuesday, 05 July 2016.

In the past smoky food that is charred or burnt is a sure sign of ruined meal. Not anymore. This season, smoke is the hottest trend. Rising in global popularity in recent months, smoky food dishes are complex with their sweet and bitter undertones, where various cuts of meat are flavourfully infused with a smokehouse treatment, prepared over an open fire or smoke-filled with speciality sauces. Lesser known cuts such as brisket and flank steak are dominating the meat market using the smoky trend.

Marketing Executive for Mugg & Bean, Lee-Ann Cullingworth explains that this addition was made to satisfy their customers’ adventurous palettes, “We want to enthuse our consumers, feed their growing appetites for exciting and new dishes and take them on a flavour adventure.”

Because this smoke flavour cannot be pinned down as a specific taste, the trend is rather defined by its distinct scents, similar to a nostalgic memory of campfires and the sense of being warm and comfortable. The smoke-kissed meats are complimented with fresh salads that can comprise of ingredients like crispy onions, root-to-stem veggies and seasonal citrus flavours, perfect for the winter time.

“The new additions will see use of smoked paprika, chipotle and other smoky sauces,” says Cullingworth. “Flavour and innovation are at Mugg & Bean’s core. Our new-product development team is constantly adapting our menu to the latest trends while ensuring our food is always generous, made-from-scratch and authentic.”

Mugg & Bean has always been about generosity, which comes to life through its generous portion sizes, flavours inspired from across the globe and the warm and welcoming food experiences that has remained true to the brand for the past 20 years. “We will continue to push our culinary boundaries by bringing new ingredients and flavourful combinations to our customer’s plates and palettes,” concluded Cullingworth.

Do yourself a favour and walk into a Mugg & Bean restaurant this winter to try the newest category and let us know what you think of the new offerings on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, using the hashtag #SmokyFlavours.

My Son, the Professional.

Wow.

I am still pinching myself.

Our knucklehead is now a fully qualified, PADI certified, Dive Instructor, passing his exams with distinctions and sporting a CV chock-full of related qualifications like Rescue Diving and Emergency First Response training.
He’s now adding Free Diving Instructor to that list, and he is on cloud nine.

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Last Sunday, the day after his exams, we went to celebrate with him and the other newly qualified candidates, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the knucklehead happier. He didn’t stop grinning, and if you asked him how he was, he threw his arms in the air and literally whooped!

If you had told me, even two years ago when he had just started his internship, that we would reach this point, I would probably have smiled, hesitant to take it as a given, even though I had all my fingers and toes crossed that he would make this work!
And it has been ALL him. He has had to work and study and look after himself – cooking, cleaning, doing his washing… We paid for his internship and supplied him with groceries, but he had to do all the work!
He has matured and grown up so much.
He is so proud of himself.
And we are so proud of him.