Status Quo

If you spend a few hours on social media most days a week, you start realizing that there are loads of people who never left high school and get their kicks from bullying people, in every way they know how.

Of course, no one is pushing you up against the wall and demanding your lunch money but they are undermining your knowledge and experience because you can’t possibly be more than what they have fitted into a (mental) box.

Status Quo

A food blogger who comments on politics? Sit down Poppie. Rather go back to being a trophy wife and spending your husband’s money. A beauty blogger that questions ethics? No dear, rather go paint your nails, okay?

The underhanded, vicious comments come from all sides and what it boils down to, is that people have made assumptions about your life based on what they’ve seen on the internet, and they feel that they have the right to judge.

The “experts” love passing comment about your parenting style. It’s especially fun when people who don’t have children feel they could do it better. How dare you say that about your child? Don’t you know how vulgar it is for a woman to swear? You commit that “parenting sin” (according to me)!? What kind of a mother are you?

It’s the shame game, folks and it is the grown up’s way of making you question ever, single decision you make instead of going with your gut. They give no consideration to the fact that blogger, yes even food bloggers, are often doctors, lawyers and actuaries but the minute you stop talking about the main focus of your blog and delve into other areas, you are shut down and told that it’s not acceptable.

Maybe this is why blogging is dying. Where is the incentive for us to keep creating content? Very few people bother to engage so, after a while, it feels a  lot like an all take and no give relationship.

Well, I refuse to be silenced! I am more than just one thing. I just happen to love baking but I am a working professional who has knowledge and experience. So, I will talk about whatever I feel like on this blog and continue to do my bit to make the world a better place. The End.

Breastfeeding in public

Okay so here’s the thing, look at these two pictures. Which woman is showing more boob? I’ll wait. breastfeeding, breast feeding breastfeeding, breast feedingEvery now and then this “breastfeeding in public” saga comes up and I roll my eyes and sigh. Again! Really? In this day and age where we are well aware that you shouldn’t be fat shaming, thin shaming, fashion shaming etc our fellow women and yet, here we go again.

Why ladies, why? Why do we clutch our pearls when we see a woman behave in a way that we feel is appropriate? Since when should the fact that we are offended, mean that she should “change her ways”? That’s like saying, I don’t like what I see so you should stop. Not, I should just look away if what she is doing isn’t hurting anyone.

We don’t seem to mind when people drive around like lunatics with their toddlers roaming freely on the back seat, but we see a woman feeding her child using the tools they were designed for and we think it’s perfectly okay to gasp and splutter? It sounds like you are the one who has sexualized those feeding tools, doesn’t it? So how about you address that problem with yourself.

If the woman in question was feeding her baby a burger and Coke, no one would expect her to be banished to a smelly public bathroom so that no one gets offended. So why is she expected to make herself invisible when her baby needs some nourishment? So that your sensibilities aren’t bent out of joint?

Come now. Let’s all realize that there is more to life than getting caught up in this nonsense. Breastfeeding is the cheapest, healthiest, most convenient food to feed your child. Let’s give the mom a pat on the back and hand her a glass of ice cold water. Okay?

Titanic – The Artifact Exhibition

titanic expo, cape town, exhibition, titanic, history, school, display, ship, south africa

**UPDATE** Winner Announcements

And the winners of the Titanic giveaway double tickets are:
Nicola George
Niel Swart
Frano Loots
Lindie Kuhn
Olivia Williams
While the following people will receive single tickets:
Jasper Louw
Susan Damster
Gail Steenkamp
Elize Skriker
Ashley Flint

I will email you shortly about your tickets. Congratulations!! :)

If you’ve Walked with the Dinosaurs and shivered your way through the Ice Age (expos), news of Titanic – The Artifact Exhibition won’t come as a surprise to you. Because you probably like expos like these and you’ve been waiting for the run in Joburg to finish.

Titanic – The Artifact Exhibition 

This expo boasts a number of historic artifacts that have been recovered from the wreckage on display. None of them hit closer to home then the gold pocket watch that belonged to one of the passengers, Thomas William Solomon Brown, a Cape Town native. Did you know that? I didn’t!

Thomas was a successful hotelier who decided to relocate to Seattle where his sister-in-law lived to pursue other business ventures. He was travelling with his family in second class, when tragedy struck. His wife and daughter were rescued, but Thomas died on the sinking ship and his body was never recovered.

Titanic – The Artifact Exhibition will be housed at the Watershed V&A Waterfront in Cape Town,  from the 22nd November 2015 until March 2016.

If you would like to be part of this educational, emotional experience you’ll be pleased to know that I’m giving away 10 double and 5 individual tickets to  Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. Come and take a journey through the life of Titanic and pay homage to the indomitable force of the human spirit in the face of tragedy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This competition will run from today, 16 November 2015 to Friday, 20 November 2015 at 12am. I will pass on your names and email addresses to the PR company and they will sort the tickets out for you.

Winners will be decided by a random number generator and the judge’s decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into and the prizes cannot be exchanged for cash or anything else.

The expo is in Cape Town, South Africa and transport to and from the venue isn’t included in the prize.

But if you don’t win a ticket here, visit WebTickets  and find a ticket that will suit your needs.For your convenience, I have listed the ticket prices below. The 30-minute time slots are there to indicate the time at which you would like to arrive. This helps prevent overcrowding at the entrance and during the exhibition. Once you are in the exhibition, you may stay as long as you like within operating hours.
(18YRS +) R135
FAMILY PACKAGE OF 4 R80 per person

10 ways to strengthen your marriage

anniversary, marriage, relationships, 10 ways to strengthen your marriage, south africa, mixed race couplesAnton and I married at Morgenhof Wine Estate 14 years ago today. We met in 1995 and started dating when I was almost 17 and he was 21. By the time we got married in 2001, we had dated for 6 years and I had just turned 23. I share more about our story from an interracial perspective over here.

Since we were both so young when we got married, we hit rocky patches a number of times but we battled through and emerged stronger on the other side. Marriage takes WORK and commitment from both sides. If one person has one foot out the door, the relationship won’t stand a chance.

The media may portray relationships as that continuous warm and fuzzy feeling but real life isn’t always like that. There are a number of times things just feel normal and maybe, dare I say it, just a little boring? People may chase after the “thrill” that comes from being in a new relationship and move from one person to the next without realizing that a real relationship takes a lot more effort and tenacity to last.

But instead of focusing on the hardships, here are 10 ways to strengthen your marriage.

TALK – you need to be free to talk about anything at any time. This is often the largest hurdle to overcome because many guys don’t like using their words. Try a few strategies and find what works for you. You have to know where the other person is on an emotional level and keeping the lines of communication open helps a lot
PDA – again, I’m not going to paint everyone with the same brush because I know everyone is different but even holding hands will go a long way to keep the physical spark alive in your relationship. If he likes having his back tickled or she likes it when you play with her hair, make sure you incorporate into your day at some point.
Find a common interest – whether it is gaming together or shouting at the local rugby team in front of the TV, make a point of doing something together at least once a week. It doesn’t have to be pricey or take you away from home.
Acknowledge your issues – and start working on them. Get help if you need to. People come into relationships with all sorts of issues. Heaven knows I’ve only just recently started dealing with my own. The first step is to acknowledge your issues and have a very frank discussion with yourself before you tackle the dissatisfactions you find yourself faced with in your relationship.
Marriage isn’t 50/50. It takes 100% from both sides.
Share the load – most couples both work full time and running a house takes a lot of work. There is no reason why both of you can’t cook, clean and do laundry. We are in 2015 after all.
Do things separately – maintain your friendships once you are married. You are not only a husband or wife, you are a person too. Negotiate what will work for your relationship and keep things balanced. If you are spending more time away from your partner (work excluded of course) than with them then you are taking a huge risk in terms of the health of the relationship.
Guard your marriage – all it takes is a few weeks of fighting or unresolved arguments for outside forces to start affecting the relationship ecosystem. There is always someone out there who will see and acknowledge what you saw in your partner in the first place. Temptation is real.
Laugh together – maintain a sense of humor and don’t take yourselves too seriously.
Marriage takes WORK and commitment from both sides. If one person has one foot out the door, the relationship won’t stand a chance – Yes, I know said this before but it needs to be said again.

I know life is hard. There are all sorts of reasons why marriages don’t make it. And if you’re in a physically, emotionally or mentally abusive relationship, WALK AWAY and don’t look back. Your partner needs professional help and no amount of love will change that.

I certainly don’t have all the answers. But maybe the fact that I shared some relationship realities will help someone who is trying to make some tough choices. I’m all for putting an end to the pretense and having some real discussions over here. Who’s with me?

anniversary, marriage, relationships, 10 ways to strengthen your marriage, south africa, mixed race couples

Dash Restaurant Review

dash restaurant, review, queen victoria hotel, v&a waterfront, table bay, cape town, restaurant, eateries, deliciousA little while ago, I received an invitation to a 3 course meal with wines at Dash Restaurant in Portswood Ridge near the V&A Waterfront. I immediately agreed because Anton and I haven’t been out on a date in absolute ages and I really love good food.

I have to be completely honest here and tell you that I had never heard of the restaurant before and I actually had no idea that it existed let alone where it was. If that makes me a bad blogger then I guess I will just have to accept it. Thank goodness for GPS because the directions were very confusing.

Basically, you need to drive into the Waterfront using Portswood Road. That’s the one close to the MyCiti bus Stadium station. You will drive past a Protea Hotel and The Commodore Hotel and, just after that; you will see a sign that says “parking available”. Turn right here and instead of driving down the ramp, head towards the left. This will take you to the Queen Victoria Hotel parking area and Dash is the hotel restaurant.

Dash Restaurant Review

dash restaurant, review, queen victoria hotel, v&a waterfront, table bay, cape town, restaurant, eateries, deliciousThe restaurant is light, bright and airy and it would make an ideal spot for a boozy lunch date with the girls or a family birthday lunch. In terms of location, you could send the hubby and kids off to the 2 Oceans Aquarium (Dash overlooks the Aquarium) for the day and not feel like you’re too far away to get to them if you are needed for any reason.  The lunch menu is concise to the point of feeling a bit limiting but the wine list is quite an encyclopedia. You will definitely find something that will appeal to your needs.
dash restaurant, review, queen victoria hotel, v&a waterfront, table bay, cape town, restaurant, eateries, deliciousAnton chose the strawberry, beetroot and goats cheese salad (R70) while I went for the Asian style salmon salad (R110). Flip this salmon salad was delicious. I had to stop myself from licking the plate. I could easily have had that as my main course and been more than satisfied. Seriously yummy! I tasted some of Anton’s salad and felt the balsamic reduction was a bit overwhelming for the other flavours but hey, he enjoyed it so, to each his own.

I must admit that I was disappointed with my lamb burger (R110). The halloumi didn’t compliment the other flavours at all and I actually gave up eating it half way through. I would have sent it back to the kitchen but I was a bit too full from the salad to bother. Anton practically gloated about good his fillet (R180) was and kept finding little hidden treasures like caramelized onions under the steak and a pool of honey at the bottom of his sweet potato fries.

dash restaurant, review, queen victoria hotel, v&a waterfront, table bay, cape town, restaurant, eateries, delicious

Dessert was a winner though. I had the pineapple and sage tarte tartin (R95) despite feeling a bit wary about the sage component but it was sticky, beautifully caramelized and perfectly balanced with beurre noisette ice cream and pot au crème. DELISH! Anton had the crème brulee (R65) and I have never seen such a pretty plate before.

dash restaurant, review, queen victoria hotel, v&a waterfront, table bay, cape town, restaurant, eateries, deliciousThe crispy caramel topped custard was drowned in fresh berries and the shortbread sandwich was filled with fat, sour cherries. Anton joked that he would happily get a room to sleep in so that he could have another crème brulee with his supper.

dash restaurant, review, queen victoria hotel, v&a waterfront, table bay, cape town, restaurant, eateries, deliciousI am so glad this restaurant is open for lunch, so few hotel restaurants are.

Lunch seems to take place between 12-3pm before the staff starts setting up for tapas and cocktails before dinner. If the V&A Waterfront is the most central meeting place but no one feels like dealing with the hustle and bustle of the mall, I would highly recommend that you make a booking at Dash. You won’t be sorry.


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Sugar Free ChocNana Cake

gluten free, sugar free, chocolate cake, chocolate banana cake, banting friendly, dark chocolate, baking, recipesGluten free baking has become a bit passe lately and, as much as I would like to call this a banting friendly cake, it was pointed out to me that bananas are a no no. So, I can call this a gluten free cake with only the tiniest amounts of honey for little extra sweetness.

I actually blogged this recipe before as a recipe for LCHF friendly banana bread, but after adding cocoa and honey to it, I found that it made the most delicious cupfakes (fake cupcakes). This past weekend I turned it into a large cake which I then topped with dark chocolate ganache. Whether you make cupcakes or a large cake, just adjust the baking time to 20 minutes for cupcakes and 35 minutes for the large cake. As always, the timing is very dependent on your own oven so test the cake with a toothpick skewer inserted in the center just to be sure.

The great thing about this cake is that it is light, delicious and fairly inexpensive to make which means you can go to town on the ganache and invest in the darkest, purest, most decadent chocolate you can afford. Would you believe that something this delicious could be made in a food processor? Well, once you try it, you will never go back to a more complex cake again.

gluten free, sugar free, chocolate cake, chocolate banana cake, banting friendly, dark chocolate, baking, recipesSugar Free ChocNana Cake
560g very ripe bananas (about 5 or 6 big bananas)
125ml peanut/almond or any other butter
50g butter, melted
5-15ml honey, to taste

125ml coconut flour
15ml cocoa powder
5ml bicarbonate of soda
5ml baking powder

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and grease a large cake pan with butter or non stick cooking spray. Place bananas, butters and honey into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and blitz until smooth. Mix dry ingredients together and add to the banana mixture. Blitz well and scrape down the bowl before blitzing again until well combined. Pour into greased cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Pierce the center of the cake with a toothpick to check that it is done before removing from the oven. Cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes as the cake is very light and quite delicate. Cool completely before topping with dark chocolate ganache.

Dark Chocolate Ganache
100ml cream
250g dark chocolate, chopped

Heat cream in a glass dish at 100% power using the microwave until just before boiling point. Place chocolate in hot cream and set aside for 2 minutes to start melting. Stir well until smooth and glossy. Cool on the counter and stir well before topping the cake. After about an hour, the ganache will set to truffle consistency and you can slice it neatly.

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UCT, protest, #feesmustfall, bursaries, student loans, education

Picture from

This #FeesMustFall protest has got me thinking about my memories of high school and Grade 12 at a top girl’s school in Rondebosch. Considering how many of my classmates ended up in UCT, there is a strong possibility that a few of them left my Alma Mater recently.

It’s easy enough to blame poor school performance on laziness but when we realize what a huge gap there is between the “haves” and the “have nots”, you might see things a little differently.  A number of my classmates had professional parents. Whether they were doctors, lawyers or accountants, my ambulance driver father and secretary mother were in the minority in terms of professions. When you have parents who finished school and went on to earn a degree, your children are raised in line with that. Your parents have the ability to help you to study or at least pass on the skills they learned and they will go out of their way to equip you with all the tools you need to succeed.

When I matriculated in 1996, I did so without access to a computer or internet, set of encyclopedias or a library within walking distance of my home. My parents didn’t work in offices where they had access to this kind of information either, so they couldn’t look up something for me and print it off to bring home. When I look at how often my children need my input, whether it is in terms of knowledge or resources, 20 years later, I wonder how they would have coped academically if I hadn’t finished school, earned a diploma and had access to the internet at home.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I am grateful that I was taken and collected from school everyday. I went home and didn’t have a million chores to do before I could start on my homework. I didn’t have to look after my younger siblings and essentially be the stand in parent until my own parents or other responsible grown up came home after work, late at night. I can still consider myself relatively privileged.

I remember walking up and down Rondebosch Main road after I left school and talking to bank managers about student loans. They were less than helpful. My parents couldn’t stand surety for me and I couldn’t find a part time job (and it was not for a lack of trying). By the looks of things, nothing has changed.

When you see who the top students of the Western Cape are in a few weeks time, look at the kind of household they came from. More often than not, these are not the people who need bursaries. They have the means and support to fund their tertiary education thanks to the family they come from. Thanks to their awesome marks, they can easily access student loans and their parents have the means to stand surety for that loan.

So when do the less than affluent stand a chance? How much must they overcome to reach an equal footing with their peers who have access to everything? When will we see the seriousness of the rich and poor divide and do something to change it?

5 things I’ve learned about car insurance

5 things I’ve learned about car insurance, car insurance, insurance, how to, comprehensive, courtesy, car, motor vehicle, protect your assetsInsurance:  one of life’s necessary evils.

Especially if you’ve spent a great deal of money on something that can be taken away in a flash by a dumb truck, which swerved to avoid and accident and thereby taking out 10 cars instead of just the one that swerved in front of him. Do I sound bitter to you? Well, maybe I am.

All things considered, my insurance (which I haven’t claimed from at all up until this year) came to the party when my Figo was written off and I am now coordinating 3 different sets of paperwork to get everything back to where it was 2 weeks ago. Which made me think…maybe you don’t have insurance or you haven’t relooked at your policy in a while; then this could be a life lesson for more than just me?

So here are 5 things I’ve learned about car insurance

  • Make sure your insurance is comprehensive. You cannot control what happens to your assets and, when it does, you don’t want to find out there are grey areas and loopholes which would mean that you’re out of pocket.
  • Include a courtesy car in your policy. It costs like an extra R50 per month but without it, you might be stranded without a car on top of having to cope with your car being written off.
  • In the event of an accident, call the insurance company first! Before any of the vultures tow truck drivers can descend on you with their bid to remove your car.
  • Revise your insurance policy often. If you feel like you are paying too much, ask to speak to the retentions team. They might be able to cut some corners for you.
  • ALWAYS insure your car for RETAIL value. The payout will rarely be enough to replace your car with what you had but it is infinitely better than working with a “market value” payout.

When looking at  insurance quotes, remember some things work on a sliding scale. For example, the cheapest premium quote might mean that you will have to pay something stupid like a R4000 excess. If you bring the excess down, your monthly premium might go up by about R70 but at least your excess will be something you won’t need to take a loan out for.

Have I left anything out? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @rumtumtiggs

Our car is a write off


truck accident, table view, cape town, 10 cars, write off, insurance, replacement, retailI don’t know what to do! On Friday morning I parked my car in a parking lot in Table View. An hour later a truck lost control and smashed into 10 cars. One of them was mine. The car was written off yesterday and, since I was covered for the retail value of a 2010 Ford Figo 1.4 Ambiente, I will be paid out around R70 000.

Our car is a write off

I am grateful for the fact that at least I had insurance and no one was in the car at the time. I had even added a rental car on my insurance policy the week before in preparation for our longest road trip ever, for the National Instameet in Graaff Reinet. I have been looking for a car to replace the one I had for the money I will get and I can find absolutely nothing that will suit us. My contract at work comes to an end on 30 November and I can’t afford to start another lease agreement now.

I paid my last installment on the Ford Figo in August. This car has taken us to Cape Agulhas, Sutherland, up the West Coast, the Cederberg and McGregor. We want to do a road trip through South Africa, to showcase our beautiful country for other families like us who feel like they can’t see the world because their budgets are so tight.

Once I send the paperwork through to officially write the car off, the payment will be processed and I will have to return the rental car. I am holding off on submitting the paperwork until we have found an alternate form of transport as we cannot be stranded without a car. Does anyone have any advice? I am at my wit’s end at the moment!

7 things I hate about school

school, parenting, south africa, ADD, ritalin, active learning, opinionLet me start with the following statements before I dive into this blog post. This blog post is specifically referring to South African schools that have been following the CAPS system for the last 5 years. My son started grade 1 in 2010 and has been in the same school for the last 5 years (he is in Grade 4).

My daughter started at a different school in 2014 and is in Grade 2. Both schools are classified as Government schools but I pay fees at both schools. My son is at “the best remedial school in the Western Cape” because of his Attention Deficit Disorder (he is a day dreamer) and he takes Ritalin.

7 things I hate about school

  1. Has anyone else picked up on how often their kids (in similar situations described above) watches TV or movies during the school day? It seems to happen “now and then” during the school term (when a teacher is off sick or if the teachers have a lot of admin to do) but the amount of time spent watching TV increases once exams are done and the holidays approach.
  2. My daughter has a burgundy wind breaker which is exactly the same colour as the one you can buy from the uniform shop but it doesn’t have the school badge. I bought her one from PEP for R80. The uniform shop charges R300 for one with a badge. She gets in trouble every time she wears the one without the badge to school. Isn’t it more important that she is warm and dry so she can learn?
  3. How many times school projects require obscure materials with less than 48 hours notice. I’m not even going to go into detail here.
  4. When the classroom rules are ridiculous (don’t play with stationery, don’t get up from your seat unless your teacher says so, sit still and be quiet because “that’s the only way you can learn”). These kids are in PRIMARY school. Why isn’t active learning encouraged?
  5. The amount of homework they get. They are expected to sit still and listen for 6 hours a day and then sit and do a further 90 minutes of desk work once they get home. Most days of the week they don’t get time to just run around and play.
  6. School seems to take away the kids natural ability to figure things out for themselves. The longer they are part of the school system, the more they seem to need to be led by the nose. School should teach them reason and logic, not just subject matter that they learn “parrot fashion”.
  7. Teachers who categorize children into “good kids” and “bad kids”. If a child doesn’t conform and assimilate into the way the grownups say they have to behave, then everything the child does is automatically seen as “bad”. The child doesn’t get given a chance to explain, they just get punished. My son is in break detention 4 days out of 5 because he isn’t a mindless drone (yet) like the other kids in his class.