The Sunflower Fund needs YOU!

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A little teaser pic about the sandboarding post that will be live shortly.

Cancer sucks! Big time. There are very few occasions when you can do something to help when someone you love gets The Big C but when it comes to leukemia YOU CAN HELP! I’ve been registered as an organ donor for a long time because I want to help those in need after I’ve left this world and I donate blood as often as my anemia will allow but I feel like I need to help spread the word about how you can get involved.

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If you can’t donate, buy a bandana and wear it on 12 October.

If you live in South Africa you know what these bandanas are about. You’ve seen them at Pick n Pay and maybe you’ve bought them every year. If you’ve supported The Sunflower Fund before I applaud you. You have raised essential funds for someone to be tested to see if they match someone else in South Africa who needs their bone marrow.

The Sunflower Fund needs YOU!

Registering to be a bone marrow donor is FREE! This is a relief because the tests cost R2000 per person just to see if you match someone who needs help. The tricky part comes in where matches are usually found in people in similar race groups or ethnicities. When I encouraged my office to register as blood donors I heard about cultural beliefs, the fear of needles and the misunderstanding of the procedures. If you needed the bone marrow transplant, how would you feel about this?

sunflower fund, bandana day, bone marrow transplant, donate, blood, the big C, cancer, cancer sucks, help, register, buy a bandana, pick n pay, R25, support, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsIt seems like people are dying unnecessarily when somewhere out there, there is a match available. There is someone who has the same tissue type that couldn’t be found in the cancer sufferer’s immediate family. The chance of finding a donor is 1:100 000. The Sunflower Fund is nowhere near the target of 400 000 registrations that they need.

Are you healthy (i.e. not over or underweight without any lifestyle or chronic illnesses)? Do you live a healthy lifestyle (i.e. practice safe sex, not abuse drugs or alcohol etc)? Do you want to help? The Sunflower Fund needs people from all ethnic backgrounds. They have a major shortage in donors from black, Indian and coloured ethnic groups. We all know that cancer doesn’t recognize race, age, gender or cultural beliefs. It is heartless and relentless in it’s pursuit of people from all walks of life.

PLEASE CALL 0800 12 10 81

for more information or to register.

You are someone’s PERFECT MATCH!

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Gooi and Enjoy with Paperkutz

gooi and enjoy, paperkutz, lazer cutting, lazer, engraving, cooking, make a recipe, gamr, recipe, fun, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsA few weeks ago I was contacted to find out if I’d be interested in receiving a #GooiAndEnjoy kit to try out and review and I said yes. The kit arrived with a personalized wooden spoon, a lazer engraved spoon rest with an owl (my latest obsession) and a R100 voucher from Pick n Pay to get me started. BTW: PR Agencies – this is a great example to follow!!

Gooi and Enjoy with Paperkutz

I started playing with the kit immediately but no matter how often I rolled the blocks, I ended up with turnips as part of the suggested combo. I don’t like turnips and especially when they are meant to be in a meal with eggs/cheese and bread. So, I cheated. I flipped the block over and it landed on baby marrows. Then I flipped the egg/cheese block over (a few times) until it landed on beef. That’s more like it. Then I pretended bread was pasta and I was closer to what I was craving. The cooking method landed on steam and I thought to myself, I’m sure it meant to land on bake.

I popped down to my local PnP to pick up what I needed. Beef strips, linguine, baby marrows, tomatoes and yogurt. I had rosemary in my garden and I decided to throw some paprika into the mix. I fried up some onion and dusted the beef in some seasoned (30ml flour, 5ml salt, 5ml paprika) flour. I added that to the pan with some finely chopped marrows and stirred until the meat started to brown. I deglazed the pan with some white wine then added the tomatoes and a Knorr vegetable stock pot. I added a can of water and seasoned well. I placed the lid on the pot and placed it in a preheated oven to bake for 40 minutes at 190 degrees celcius. About 10 minutes before the time was up I cooked the pasta. Once I removed the pot from the oven I stirred in 250ml full cream Bulgarian yogurt and some finely chopped rosemary and adjusted the seasoning again. I stirred the sauce into the cooked pasta and served it to my family.

gooi and enjoy, paperkutz, lazer cutting, lazer, engraving, cooking, make a recipe, gamr, recipe, fun, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsMaybe I shouldn’t have cheated as much as I did and found a way to incorporate the turnips. I might just do that next time and play WAAAAYYYY out of my comfort zone. But hey, no judgies until you try it for yourself. I’ll do it if you will… ;)

Follow @paperkutz_SA on Twitter or visit the Website to place to order for your #GooiAndEnjoy kit. It’s time to play with your food.

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Exploring Cape Town: Castle of Good Hope

castle in cape town, explore, cape town, things to do, south africa, kid friendly, history, heritage, heritage day, the castle of good hope, the names of the 5 points on the cape town castle, love cape town, family friendly, tourism, park inn radison, green market square, st georges mall, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsWe’ve been exploring Cape Town CBD lately and the kids had loads of fun getting to know more about their city. On Saturday we signed up for the Amazing Race at Park Inn on Adderly Street and managed to find 5 out of 8 clues dotted around the Foreshore. If you want to join in, you have until the end of the month to pop in and sign up at the front desk. No invitation necessary and no cameras following you around to broadcast your family spats for an international audience.

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castle in cape town, explore, cape town, things to do, south africa, kid friendly, history, heritage, heritage day, the castle of good hope, the names of the 5 points on the cape town castle, love cape town, family friendly, tourism, park inn radison, green market square, st georges mall, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs castle in cape town, explore, cape town, things to do, south africa, kid friendly, history, heritage, heritage day, the castle of good hope, the names of the 5 points on the cape town castle, love cape town, family friendly, tourism, park inn radison, green market square, st georges mall, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

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Today we went to the Castle of Good Hope. I, ahem, turned 36 last Tuesday and I’ve never been to The Castle. It is Heritage day in South Africa and the Iziko Museums have waived their entry free for the week but entry to the Planetarium and The Castle is only free for today, 24 September 2014.

castle in cape town, explore, cape town, things to do, south africa, kid friendly, history, heritage, heritage day, the castle of good hope, the names of the 5 points on the cape town castle, love cape town, family friendly, tourism, park inn radison, green market square, st georges mall, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsThe minute we stepped off the bus we could hear the party atmosphere with a group of Cape Minstrals playing their brass instruments at the front entrance. I must admit that I didn’t anticipate the crowds but it was great to see Cape Town coming out in force on a public holiday to absorb some history and heritage.

castle in cape town, explore, cape town, things to do, south africa, kid friendly, history, heritage, heritage day, the castle of good hope, the names of the 5 points on the cape town castle, love cape town, family friendly, tourism, park inn radison, green market square, st georges mall, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs castle in cape town, explore, cape town, things to do, south africa, kid friendly, history, heritage, heritage day, the castle of good hope, the names of the 5 points on the cape town castle, love cape town, family friendly, tourism, park inn radison, green market square, st georges mall, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsWe walked past a display of vintage cars in the central courtyard and navigated our way around pony rides to get to the rooms on the other side where there were displays of castle dining and bedrooms. The kids were fascinated at the size of the beds that were elevated from the ground in solid and detailed frames while cribs stood close by.

castle in cape town, explore, cape town, things to do, south africa, kid friendly, history, heritage, heritage day, the castle of good hope, the names of the 5 points on the cape town castle, love cape town, family friendly, tourism, park inn radison, green market square, st georges mall, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs castle in cape town, explore, cape town, things to do, south africa, kid friendly, history, heritage, heritage day, the castle of good hope, the names of the 5 points on the cape town castle, love cape town, family friendly, tourism, park inn radison, green market square, st georges mall, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsAnother section of the Castle housed a museum of modern art designs that were made from recycled materials. The staff had a hard time with people taking photographs but they sign that indicated we weren’t allowed to were not very well displayed.

castle in cape town, explore, cape town, things to do, south africa, kid friendly, history, heritage, heritage day, the castle of good hope, the names of the 5 points on the cape town castle, love cape town, family friendly, tourism, park inn radison, green market square, st georges mall, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs castle in cape town, explore, cape town, things to do, south africa, kid friendly, history, heritage, heritage day, the castle of good hope, the names of the 5 points on the cape town castle, love cape town, family friendly, tourism, park inn radison, green market square, st georges mall, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs castle in cape town, explore, cape town, things to do, south africa, kid friendly, history, heritage, heritage day, the castle of good hope, the names of the 5 points on the cape town castle, love cape town, family friendly, tourism, park inn radison, green market square, st georges mall, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs castle in cape town, explore, cape town, things to do, south africa, kid friendly, history, heritage, heritage day, the castle of good hope, the names of the 5 points on the cape town castle, love cape town, family friendly, tourism, park inn radison, green market square, st georges mall, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsThe Castle is built in the shape of a 5 pointed star and each of the points have a different name. There is Catzenellenboggen, Leerdam, Buren, Oranje and Nassau. We asked an officer how we could get to the top of one of the points and see the view from the top of the Castle. He pointed us in right direction and we set off up a few narrow flights of stairs. Since the staircases are very narrow we often had to wait for our turn in the traffic as people climbed up and down with their families.

castle in cape town, explore, cape town, things to do, south africa, kid friendly, history, heritage, heritage day, the castle of good hope, the names of the 5 points on the cape town castle, love cape town, family friendly, tourism, park inn radison, green market square, st georges mall, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs  Instead of going into great detail about what we saw I’m going to let the pictures do the talking and encourage you to go and see for yourself. It is not just for school outing and people of all ages can benefit from learning about the oldest building in South Africa. Get out there and be a tourist in your own city. You may learn something new and find out a little more about our rich and diverse history.

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Reality of Blogging

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BlogLand: In every bunch of zebras there’s a donkey…and an ostrich.

It’s been 12 days since my last post and I feel like I need to apologize! But that’s silly, isn’t it? I may have set a standard of one or two posts per week but I’ve had nothing to say that warranted an actual post. I’ve even been quieter on Twitter lately but posted two recipes to my Facebook page that I have been well received.

Reality of Blogging

The thing is… my mom is dying. Last year I visited her in hospital on my birthday where she was recovering from colostomy surgery and this year she is trying to manage the pain she is having from stage 4 cancer. No one enjoys seeing someone they love in pain. It makes you feel helpless and frustrated and sad. It is easy to be sucked into the dark hole of depression where your words get taken away from you. Where you drown in your suffering all alone. I have always prided myself on being independent and self sufficient but those “skills” make it harder to ask for help, to confide in others.

I’ve accepted depression as a reality for me. It is not overwhelming my life (yet) so I am still functional but it is something I know I need to watch out for. It has taken me a year to realize that I won’t have my mom for much longer. I understand it in my head but my heart is taking a little longer to accept the message.

Life is short.

Shorter than anyone can ever imagine. The scary reality is that you can kiss your loved ones goodbye in the morning and not know that it could be for the last time. We all think we have time. “I can do it tomorrow.”

I am making a conscious effort to not say things like, “I will travel once the kids are finished with school” or “I will do … when I retire”. Not everyone has the privilege of growing old and I am trying to make the best of every day that God has given me. In terms of parenting my motto has become, “You are raising people not fixing a problem” and it has helped me to not try and force my kids into become duplicates of me, but rather to become people who think, make decisions and take consequences for themselves.

Future of Freelancing?

As of November 2015 I will no longer have a job as my current 5 year contract ends, then again, I might be alive to see the day. As a result I am not spinning my wheels (yet) to find another job. I feel like as long as I am on the lookout for the right opportunity, I will see it. Yes, I am applying for jobs but if it doesn’t work out then it wasn’t meant to be.

I would love to get paid to write. I think I write well and could make a success of it. I studied Multimedia Design for 2 years and only found out that I couldn’t draw after I received my diploma. I worked in a call center for 5 years where I did offered telephonic and email support for online casinos and worked my way up through tech support to 6 month short stint in site and banner optimization. I currently support people from the deep rural areas of South Africa and encourage them to complete training and make better lifestyle choices through social awareness initiatives in order that they can find a way out of poverty.

Experience

My experience is rich and diverse. I have knowledge of two very different ends of the spectrum and I would like to use that to make a difference in the lives of people all over the world.

I had my brain picked by a PR person on the bus this morning and I recommended that brands would have greater success if they allowed bloggers in on the brainstorming process. We have the skills and talents to profile their products and our honesty means more to readers than a full page ad in a magazine. We are approachable and reasonable and we can offer solutions to overcome the unanswered questions and grey areas of blogging with brands.

Brands: I will be more than happy to brainstorm with you. Come and test my knowledge and experience. Let’s work together.

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Ultimate Braai Master S3: Meet the Teams

It’s “Time for Tough” was the slogan for the 3rd season of Ultimate Braai Master and if you’ve watched the show before this should make you question the sanity of everyone who entered, since the last 2 seasons were hardly a walk in the park.

This season is once again sponsored by Pick n Pay and supported by Coca Cola, Robertson’s Herbs & Spices, Renault and South African Tourism’s Sho’t Left campaign. I’ve been a avid fan of this show from the start and you can track my virtual journey with this show by clicking through my Ultimate Braai Master articles. I’m looking forward to watching the show on ETV starting at 8:30pm on 11 September and I hope you will join the other UBM crazies and myself on Twitter during the show.

Just click on the team names below to be taken to their Twitter profiles. Be sure to show them some love by tweeting them during the show.

ultimate braai master, justin bonello, reality tv show, cooking show, south africa, proudly South African, chef, braai, BBQ, competition, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

All 15 teams. Pic credit: Louis Hiemstra – Cooked in Africa Films

Ultimate Braai Master S3: Meet the Teams

Santa Annas

Business partners Piet Marais (29) and Frik Oosthuizen (24) entered Ultimate Braai Master for an opportunity to go on the road trip of a lifetime and to get away from the grind of city life for a while. While Braai Master Piet is admittedly devastated to be missing the Western Cape wild mushroom season and Braai Buddy Frik is really going to miss his girlfriend and his dog, they have big dreams if they win, including financing their business and donating money to the Rhino Fund. They think elimination rounds will be the toughest challenge to tackle. Their team mantra? “After a good braai, one can forgive anyone. Even one’s own relatives.”

Braai Dukes

Cousins Milani Motlohi (21) and Kevin Jonas (21) are two very motivated students from Durban who want to open their own restaurant if they win. Their team mantra is “Something worth doing is worth doing well” but they do admit that they think braaiing in remote places and in difficult conditions will be the biggest challenge to face. This dynamic duo believes they will miss spending time with their friends and family, but the Braai Dukes are amped and ready for an adventure!

Bushies Gone Wild

Durban friends Sherwyn Weaich (24) and Zane Jacobs (36) entered the Third Season of Ultimate Braai Master for their love of food, good company and of course, to try and get their braai-singed-fingers on the cash! If they win, Sherwyn wants to take his family on a long holiday and Zane will use some of his share to fund their charity “Full Tummies, Happy Smiles.” Sherwyn says nothing about the competition scares him, but Zane admits that the sense of the unknown will be a little nerve-wracking. Their team mantra is “Bushies, how’s our combination?” and they’re looking forward to going on what they call the food journey of a lifetime!

Team Ala Mofepe

Pretoria chefs Freddy Buyane (43) and Jabu Mahlangu (33) are both huge Jamie Oliver fans, and they believe that competing on Ultimate Braai Master will help them improve their skills and help them become as successful as their icon. With this motivation to drive them through the competition, it makes sense that their team mantra is “Skill, taste and character.” They differ on what they think the most challenging part of the competition will be; hopeful Braai Master Freddy thinks the final round will be the toughest and his colleague and Braai Buddy Jabu is dreading preparing desserts and puddings on an open flame.

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The judges. Pic credit Louis Hiemstra – Cooked in Africa Films

Simply Sisters

Don’t let the fact that these are two women competing in a braai show fool you, because Busisiwe Dhladhla(32) and Thembeka Ngcobo (31) entered Ultimate Braai Master to take the title, so no wonder their team mantra is “We shall overcome!” And if they do that, Busisiwe wants to open a Shisa Nyama and Thembeka wants to open a small coffee shop. Their icons in life are two very strong women, Oprah and Princess Diana, so this team is definitely one to take seriously, although Braai Master Busisiwe says she’s not looking forward to going fishing!

Kaiings en Afval

Jozi based couple Tippie Enslin (43) and Santie Mostert (43) are both passionate about nature and food, which is why they decided to enter Season 3 of Ultimate Braai Master. Their team motto “Take it one day at a time and enjoy the ride!” is exactly the kind of attitude you need to make it through to the finals. If they win, all they want to do is travel and eat great food but first they have to survive each other, the cold and the road for two months! Braai Buddy Santie says she’ll miss her bed and under floor heating the most while Tippie says he’ll miss the company of his two dogs.

Smokey and The Bandit

Durban siblings Barend Deminey (31) and Lente Deminey’ss(26) team mantra is “You’ll never know unless you try” and that’s exactly what they did! They entered to see what they’re capable of, to pursue new challenges and to explore the unfamiliar and that’s exactly what they can expect in this season of the Ultimate Braai Master. They hope to improve and develop after each challenge and if they win, Braai Master Barend wants to use the money towards his kids’ future education and his sister and Braai Buddy Lente wants to go on a trip to Antarctica.

Team Tenacity

Cape Town based life partners Rod Hemphill (60) and Lesley Verhoef (59) entered Ultimate Braai Master for their love of adventure. While they think the most challenging part of the competition will be to keep calm while everyone else is losing their cool, Braai Buddy Lesley admits that waiting for the Judges to make a decision might be even tougher. If they win, the money will go into their bucket-list fund, and with a team motto that goes “Yes we can!” they might just have what it takes!

Sugar n Spice

Best friends Celeste Raynard (47) and Chantal Geerdes (43) don’t only share a passion for food and travelling – they also share a friendship, and now, a team motto: “Through thick and thin, sick and sin.” As first timers to the Ultimate Braai Master, they’re getting ready to be put to the ultimate test – from their cooking skills, fitness levels, intellect, integrity and embracing the unknown. If they win the competition, Braai Master Celeste wants to complete her book and get it published and Braai Buddy Chantal wants to donate some of their winnings to an animal shelter.

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Pic credit Louis Hiemstra – Cooked in Africa Films

Tong in Cheek

Johannesburg and Cape Town based friends Penny Rider (55) and Dee McCool (55) say they are “In it to win it!” and if they do, they’ll split the cash. Braai Master Penny wants to get a food truck on the road to sell organic and healthy fast food. They entered Ultimate Braai Master after watching it on TV because they realised they could successfully compete in the show – plus they love a good adventure! They think the most challenging part of the competition will be to deal with the unknown and long hours in the car.

The Fire Feeders

As the first and only Port Elizabeth team to make it into the top 15, friends Stuart Smith (42) and Bretton-Anne Moolman (45) say that Ultimate Braai Master is going to be tough but that they’re up for the challenge. Stuart entered his team for the chance to experience the road trip of a lifetime and Bretton-Anne happily joined him so that she could also share in the amazing experience. If they walk away with the title, the car and the cash, Stuart wants to use his share to set up a travelling food truck and journey across South Africa, while Anne just wants to buy a car.

Weskus Braaiers

West Coast based best friends John Stewart Grundlingh (35) and Bruno Julian Mori (34) entered for the love of the braai and in memory of their best friend who sadly passed away a year ago. If they win, John wants to build a house with a massive braai, while Julian is another contestant with the dream of opening a food truck restaurant. Their team mantra is “Never give up and live life to the full” and while on the road for two months, Julian says he’ll miss surfing and fishing the most, while John says he will miss his wife (although he admits that this might be the safest answer!)

Mix Masala

Farm store manager Sujith Singh (40) and wedding planner Prishen Maharaj (31) are both from KwaZulu Natal entered to meet different people and for their love of food experimentation. Sujith is excited to showcase Durban as a foodie capital and if he wins he wants to take his family on holiday, and buy himself some “larni” cooking utensils, while Braai Buddy Prishen wants to take his mom and dad on a well-deserved holiday. Their braai mantra is “To de- stress, start cooking now!” but when the pressure is on, they admit that the combination of any surprises that come their way, and having to use limited ingredients, might be the biggest challenge.

Delicious Foodies

As the only mother and daughter team to make it through to the top 15, Braai Master Brigitte Leclercq (24) and Braai Buddy Lynn Leclercq (48) plan to live up to their team motto, “Eat well, laugh often and love much.” They entered Ultimate Braai Master to challenge themselves and to get away from the fast-paced city lifestyle. If they win, Brigitte wants to build a small river cottage in Bonnievale while her mom would like to invest her share of the money. They think that cooking food they’ve never cooked before on an open flame will be the most challenging part of the show.

Tikka Boys (PICK N PAY’S WILD CARD)

Cape Town friends Mohamed Yusuf Sujee (26) and Stephen Nandes (26) are both junior sous chefs with big dreams. If they win, Yusuf hopes to open his own restaurant and Stephen wants to travel and spoil his family. Their team mantra is “Never say burn” so let’s hope they live up to their goal! While they hope to gain experience and use the show as an awesome opportunity to showcase their braai skills, they admit that the idea of not knowing what to expect is a little scary.

Tune in to ETV on Thursday 11 September 2014 at 8:30pm for the first episode and join the conversation on Twitter @ultimatebraai and hashtag #UltimateBraaiMaster.

 

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Hard Pressed Cafe

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Reasonably priced, delicious coffees at Hard Pressed Cafe

Maybe it’s because I’m not brand conscious or maybe I’m too honest but I don’t think much of coffee shop offerings. I love coffee. I limit myself to 1 a day and nothing after 12pm (thx insomnia) but I love good quality, ethically sourced, freshly ground java.

Hard Pressed Cafe

hard pressed cafe, coffee shop, things to do in cape town, great coffee, hard pressed, vinyl, records, retro, wifi, hipster, awesome iced coffee, cape town, south africa, bree street, review, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs, intimate venue, venue, baby shower, hen party, kitchen tea, retro vibes, cool hangoutWhen you look at the price of a cup of coffee at some coffee shops in Cape Town you might feel the need to grab some just to restart your heart! So even though I was intrigued when Hard Pressed Café opened around the corner from my office, I was almost too scared to go and look. The pictures I saw on my Twitter feed were lovely and the reviews were awesome but could I afford something delicious or would I have to walk out to prevent a heart attack?

hard pressed cafe, coffee shop, things to do in cape town, great coffee, hard pressed, vinyl, records, retro, wifi, hipster, awesome iced coffee, cape town, south africa, bree street, review, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs, intimate venue, venue, baby shower, hen party, kitchen tea, retro vibes, cool hangoutWell, I was there for a baby shower on Saturday I made a point of scrutinizing the menu board. What!? The basics were all under R20 (filter, latte, cappuccino etc) and the sandwiches where just as reasonable (R40-R60). NICE!! Of course, the proof is in the tasting and I’d heard about “The Amy” so that is what I had. YUMMY! It’s a double shot with peanut butter, white chocolate chips and ice cream and it’s served in a jam jar. That was R36 and well worth it.

hard pressed cafe, coffee shop, things to do in cape town, great coffee, hard pressed, vinyl, records, retro, wifi, hipster, awesome iced coffee, cape town, south africa, bree street, review, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs, intimate venue, venue, baby shower, hen party, kitchen tea, retro vibes, cool hangoutIf the weather we’ve been experiencing in Cape Town recently is anything to go buy we’re in for one seriously hot summer so I will be popping in to try some more of their iced coffee variations over the next few months. It’s located on the Bree Street side of the new Portside building and remember, street parking in Cape Town CBD after 1pm on a Saturday is free and yes, WIFI is available!

 

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Steam train trip to Vredenheim

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsI don’t know about you but I have a list a mile long of all the things I want to do and the experiences I want my children to have. I managed to check one of those things off the list yesterday and we took the steam train to Vredenheim as a family. Once we got there the children also managed to see zebras, ostriches up close and lions for the first time but more about that later.

Steam train trip to Vredenheim

Someone tweeted something about this trip about 6 weeks ago and my interest was piqued. I immediately went to find out some more and boy, was I glad I did! I had no idea that Atlantic Rail  runs 2 steam train trips every month mainly going from Cape Town to Simonstown but every now and then they include a Winelands trip as well. To be honest I sort of knew about” Jenny” the steam train going to Simonstown since I’d seen pictures of the train going along the beach but I didn’t know about “Katie” and her wine route.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs  cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsThis was the first time that Vredenheim made up a package where the return journey by steam train included lunch in their restaurant and a tour of their lion park and I hope it won’t be the last. What I lovely day out. We had beautiful weather and I’m glad we chose to have lunch at the earliest session of 11:30am. I chose this because I wanted to explore the grounds at my leisure afterwards and not have to rush through anything to get to back to the train in time for departure at 3:15pm.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsWait, let me backtrack a little. We took the MyCiti bus into town at about 7:30am (just in case there were any delays on that service) and got to Cape Town CBD just after 8am. This made us WAAAAAYYY too early for the departure of the steam train at 9:35am but I hate being late for anything. It was a lovely walk to The Train Lodge just behind Jaguar on the Foreshore and it was nice to see that part of the city while it was still cool and quiet.

Getting their so early meant we had time to see “Katie” pull into the station and then had time to take loads of pictures before everyone else arrived. It was a full train with coaches 1 and 3 being reserved for those disembarking at Spier and coaches 4 and 5 for those of us going to Vredenheim with coach 2 being the “restaurant coach” for snacks and drinks.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsMy daughter quickly made friends with the family seated across the aisle from us as they also had a little girl of around the same age and this gave the kids the benefit of swapping between the windows on either side of the train as they followed the activity of the rails on both sides.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsAfter about 90 minutes on the train we were getting excited for what we would see at the wine farm and lunch couldn’t come fast enough. After disembarking at Vlottenburg station we were led across the tracks and down a path for a walk through the reserve.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsAfter admiring the views for a while we were just starting to get a bit tired and then we saw an ostrich. We wondered why she was giving us the beady eye until we saw the pile of eggs she was guarding. After taking a few pictures we moved along swiftly as it looked like she might make a run for the fence at any moment. Across the path we were met by the curious sight of a dazzle of zebra (or is it a zeal of zebra?) …which included an ostrich…and a donkey.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsWe were glad to see to parking area of the wine farm up ahead as we were all gasping for a comfort break and some water. Once we had refreshed ourselves we headed out to the patio where tables had been allocated for each family or group. We had a choice of bobotie and rice with sambals or chicken schnitzel with basil mayo and fries.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsThe kids could choose between pizza, calamari, chicken strips or schnitzel and chips with a dessert choice of Italian kisses or ice cream and chocolate sauce. Once we had placed our orders the kids ran off to climb trees or explore the garden. We were offered wines to taste while we were waiting for our food and the kids could “taste” grape juice. I love it when a venue includes children in the experience rather than expecting them to be seen and not heard. A major plus in my book!

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

Once we had finished a leisurely lunch it was time to go see the big cats. So much awe and so many aaawwws. The majesty of the lion, the lionesses lounging in the shade, the Bengal tigers drinking from their pool and the leopard purring and growling at the same time. Have you heard a cheetah “talk” before? Seriously! The cutest thing ever!

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

You have to experience this for yourself so book the next available wine route trip on the 2nd of November. Vredenheim  is planning to put together another package for the day and it is well worth going.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsIf you don’t want a package deal but just need the basic info, tickets for the train are R250 for adults and R150 for kids with entrance to the lion park at Vredenheim  costing R50 per adult.cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsThe package is only slightly more than that and includes a 2 course lunch (from a set menu), wine/grape juice tasting and entrance to the lion park so I would recommend that you keep an eye on Vredenheim’s timeline  for more details.

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Playstation vs Playing Outside

playstation, playing outside, gaming, getting fresh air, parenting, 10 year old, which is better, gadgets, tech, tablets, how much, advice, boys, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsMy brother-in-law was horrified that my almost 10 year old couldn’t drive on X-Box. It made me think that I’m probably raising my kids a little bit differently than most. We don’t have iPads, gaming consoles or hand held gaming devices in our house. At best our kids are allowed 10 minutes each on my husband’s Lenovo Yoga or my HTC Desire where they scribble to their hearts content using digital paint brushes and canvas or see how many bananas they can collect in Banana Kong.

Playstation vs Playing Outside

I quite like the fact that my kids still wreck the garden digging up sand and filling bottles of water from the hose to make “potions”, jump on the trampoline or climb trees. On windy days they beg their dad to walk them to the park so they can fly kites or hang on the monkey bars.

My son battles to process overwhelming amounts of sensory input. This means movie theatres are too much for him to handle with the loud noise and bright flashing lights. Even TV is limited to Saturday morning cartoons from 7-8am (none at all on school days). When it comes to cellphones and tablets the same applies. We try to teach him coping mechanisms to handle the overload and he is managing admirably but it is hard for him.

He is on Ritalin during school hours only so the rest of the time he has to use every bit of self control he has to behave well despite his challenges. He is the most amazing little boy I know and I am so proud of how far he has come and how much he has achieved. It makes me think that many grownups have probably become so used to the sensory overload that we rarely stop and think what loud noises and big flashing pictures look like to a little person who still has so much growing up to do.

More often than not my kids have their noses in books or are playing imagination filled games together in their rooms on days where the weather is not ideal for outside play. They love going puddle hunting on rainy days and scootering on the non motorized transport path built between the MyCiti Bus stations.

I do wonder if they are missing out though. There were loads of things I didn’t have when I was growing up like Lego and TV games and while I knew I was missing out, I grew up to be a fairly well rounded human being. All parents worry about doing enough for their kids. The last thing I want is to make a decision that will disadvantage them in the long run.

There are so many amazing apps available for tablets and educational games available for gaming consoles. Would they be better off if I incorporated this into their lives? Does playing outside with friends not teach them enough for them to be well rounded individuals in the real world? I would love to know what you think!

 

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The Market Barrow

market, barrow, the market barrow, free range, produce, delivery, cape town, free range produce delivered to your door, online orders, great deal, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsA few weeks back I tweeted about a fantastic new service available in Cape Town. It’s called The Market Barrow and it delivers free range produce to your door. You can expect to find all your market favourites like big ass, delicious chickens from The Fowl Woman, chorizo, pork grillers, free range lamb (half a lamb at R77/kg) and a tray of 30 (THIRTY you guys) free range eggs for R50!!

I’m pretty sure no one can beat those sorts of prices and you never have to come home from a market disappointed that you didn’t get there in time to snatch up the best stuff. The deadline for orders  is every Wednesday for delivery the following Wednesday. The owner is super awesome and will do his best to get everything you need but will let you know before delivery if there wasn’t any stock of a particular product. You are only invoiced the night before delivery and payment is only expected once you have received your goods (cash or EFT).

I bought a number of items and once I tried the chicken I was sold. There is no way I am ever buying chicken from a shop again. The whole free range chickens are R66/kg and 1 medium – large (1.8-2kg) chicken made a roast, a pie and chicken mayo toasties. I mean really now!

I’m making The Food Fox’s Orzo Salad with Chorizo tonight with the chorizo I bought from The Market Barrow and I’m salivating already. My next order was going to include some of that free range lamb but when I found out they actually give you HALF A LAMB (i.e. 10kgs of it) I realized there is no way I have enough space in my tiny freezer built into my fridge. Anyone want to go halvsies with me? ;) *Note to self: Buy a chest freezer*.

I hope you’ll give this service a try and let me know what you think if you do.

DISCLAIMER: I was not asked or paid to write this post. I wrote it because I enjoyed the service and I think you will too.

 

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#CTMeetUp and a Giveaway

#CTMeetUp, Cape Town, blogger, event, Cape Town bloggers, Lifestyle, Food, Parenting, I love my Laundry, dim sum, out and about,give away, iPhone 5 cover, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

Want this IPhone 5 cover? Willing to collect in Cape Town? Comment below!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was pretty sure my next blog post would be about #CTMeetUp. After debating backwards and forwards for a while I decided not to take my camera along as I was going to use public transport into Cape Town CBD after most stores had closed for the day and I was wary of the SLR making me a target. I chose to rather travel light and it was a good thing I did as I was accosted (not touched though, thankfully) by a man who wanted to tell me his life story so that I would give him some money. Thankfully I had nothing valuable with me to draw more attention to myself and got away safely.

The other reason I didn’t take my camera along was because I sometimes find my approach to events like this is less about having fun and meeting people and rather being “the photographer”. I’m trying to find a balance here and it was an interesting experiment as to how different my experience was when I wasn’t seeing the opportunity as “work”.

Since there were around 50 bloggers at this awesome event at I Love My Laundrythere will be loads of blog posts going up within the next few weeks so I’ll keep this post short. My fellow bloggers Se7enRobyn and the organizer Cindy have already put together lovely posts and you are welcome to go and read about the event some more. This will probably give you some serious FOMO if the #CTMeetUp hashtag didn’t already on Saturday so I look forward to seeing you at the next one.

The goody bag was amazing. The sponsors were generous. And the event was loads of fun. It was great to put faces to Twitter handles and it was so nice to chat face to face rather than over the internet. We are a great bunch of people. Super nice and friendly and we are ALL approachable. No egos allowed here thank you very much. It would actually be great if loads of brands and PR people can attend the next one…not to schmooze but to see how nice we are in real life. I think a lot gets lost online depending on how well we write and brands would see a whole other side to us that would make them want to partner up with us for campaigns. We are a friendly, fun and a little crazy (we are “creatives” after all) and we don’t bite, I promise.

**GIVEAWAY** Out of all the wonderful things in the goody bag, the only one I couldn’t use was the iPhone 5 cover you can see in the picture above. I am an HTC girl through and through and this is highly unlikely to change anytime soon. So, if you have an iPhone 5 and you would like the cover, so the 1st person to comment that they want it will get it :). Since you would have to come and collect it from either Tableview or Cape Town CBD, this offer is available for Cape Town readers only. There is also a complete goody bag up for grabs on Cindy‘s blog so be sure to enter ASAP.

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