Things I have been cooking lately #145: Creme Egg brownies

Creme Eggs are one of my favourite things about Easter. I mean it’s probably overkill that they’re already in the shops in January considering that Easter is like the last weekend of March but I’m not exactly complaining. If these sweet, gooey treats weren’t enough on their own, it’s become a little bit of a trend to combine them with other things… just to bring the heart attack that much closer… like brownies and OMG these are literally crack like. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Film Friday #264

God Help the Girl (2014)

Eve (Emily Browning) is a recovering anorexic who has just been released from the institution where she has been dealing with a slew of emotional problems. She moves in with James (Olly Alexander), a fellow musician who has been teaching Cassie (Hannah Murray) to play guitar. The three bond through their issues and decide to form a band, one where Eve will write the majority of the songs. As the summer continues Eve and Olly get closer but is it time for her to break out on her own? Read more…

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The bump chronicles #8: Little O makes its presence felt and the joys of pregnancy fitness

Weeks pregnant: 19
Baby size in fruit: 🍅 (I am not sure how we have gone from a turnip to a pepper to a tomato. I can only imagine it’s one of those big ass beef tomatoes)

I have a colleague that sits right by me at work whose wife is due this week Friday. He told me that her bump popped out in stages and I am starting to think that the same thing is happening to me. Over the last four weeks or so the bump has stayed much the same size but suddenly in the last week it had a bit of a boom and is poking out a lot more. bigstock_Striped_Beefsteak_Tomato__Nor_2312063 Read more…

Things I have been cooking lately #143: Avocado and lime sorbet

Some time ago I bought an ice-cream machine with the intention of making my own ice cream. I am a complete fiend for ice-cream. It’s probably my biggest weakness and I wanted to experiment with healthier, less processed ingredients but of course I just left it in the box.

Anyway… a couple of weeks ago Mr O and I went for Sunday lunch at one of our favourite local pubs and I had their peanut butter pie with raspberry sorbet for dessert, remembered that I was going to make sorbet and asked Mr O what flavour would appeal to him. Turns out it was lime so over the weekend I made this dairy, sugar and gluten free sorbet. Avocado might seem like a strange choice for a dessert but the texture is amazing and you can’t taste the avocado at all. It just tastes of honey and lime.

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Film Friday #263

Paper Towns (2015)

Quentin (Nat Wolff) has lived across the road from Margo Roth-Spiegelman (Cara Delevinge) since he was a young boy and in that time he has always loved her. Unfortunately for Quentin their childhood friendship has unravelled over the years as he’s become a bit of a dork and she’s become the rebellious queen of the school. That is until one night when Margo takes Quentin on an adventure that will completely change his outlook on life and make him believe that there is hope for the two of them yet. Read more…

The bump chronicles #7: On my hyperactive baby and my least favourite question

Weeks pregnant: 18
Baby size in fruit: Bell pepper (still no emoji… what do the WhatsApp developers eat)

Last week I went for my somewhat belated 16 week midwife check-up. Apparently I travel too much and therefore my schedule doesn’t fit in with my local health centre’s clinic hours, so 17+3 instead of 16 it was.

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Baby O is now the length of a bell pepper… not sure if it’s with or without stalk

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BOOK REVIEW: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

For months I have been hearing that The Girl on the Train is the next Gone Girl/Before I Go to Sleep, one of which I really liked… one of which I liked until it turned to crap. But I figured that I wanted to know what everyone was taking about so I might as well give it a go. Plus there’s going to be a movie of it later this year and you I have to have something to compare it to. Read more…

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Adventures in Berlin

A couple of weeks ago I went to Berlin for a work conference where I was “fortunate” enough to get to present to almost 2,000 people about innovations in Instant Notifications. Let’s just say it was nerve-wracking. It did give me the opportunity though to stay on in Berlin for a couple of days though and explore the city.

I decided to stay in the Meininger Hotel right next to Hauptbahnhof, which is the largest station in Europe. I have stayed in a Meininger Hotel before and I like the fact that they’re a bit of a hybrid between a hotel and a hostel and ultimately very good value for money. It was also a perfect location for getting around because it was so central and there is a direct train from both airports. Read more…

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Film Friday #262

Joy (2015)

Since she was a young girl, Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) has made and invented things and been told by her grandmother, Mimi (Diane Ladd) that she was destined for greatness. Unfortunately the divorce of her somewhat unhinged parents, Rudy (Robert De Niro) and Terry (Virginia Madsen) and an unwise marriage to a Venezuelan musician (Edgar Ramirez) leaves her with two small children and few prospects. Read more…

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BOOK REVIEW: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

I love cooking shows. Especially competitive ones. Especially ones that involve Gordon Ramsay yelling at people. On one hand I love the creativity that some chefs have in coming up with dishes and flavour combinations as well as the artistry of creating a beautiful plate. On the other hand a professional kitchen seems like a fascinatingly feral place that very few diners ever get to see inside. It was this that drew me to chef/author, anthony Bourdain’s “warts and all” memoir.  Read more…

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The bump chronicles #6: On feeling like a bit of a goddess and the costs and benefits of being pregnant

Weeks pregnant: 17
Baby size in vegetables: Turnip (again there is no emoji for a turnip)

Before I got pregnant I wasn’t convinced I was going to like having a pregnant body. I spent the largest part of the last three years changing my body completely and controlling and molding its shape. While I really wanted to have a baby, I didn’t expect to like actually being pregnant and losing control of the shape of my body… and let’s face it, based on my previous posts during the first trimester I didn’t like it much.

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Little O’s current size but hopefully not constitution… unless it takes after my Oupa Roy (maternal grandfather)

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Film Friday #261

The Good Dinosaur (2015)

The Good Dinosaur explores the premise of what would have happened if the earth was never hit by the asteroid that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. In this imagined universe dinosaurs like Arlo (voiced by Raymond Ochoa) live together in families and even farm. When Arlo, the runt of his family and somewhat of a coward, is separated from his family he has to find his way back with the help of a dog-like human boy named Spot (voiced by (Jack Bright). On the way he will learn how to stand his ground as well as the true meaning of family. Read more…

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The bump chronicles #5: Little O’s extensive wardrobe and an overdue confession

Weeks pregnant: 16
Baby size in fruit: Avocado (there is unfortunately no emoji for an avo)

After yet more travels Little O and I are now back in the UK along with Little O’s extensive wardrobe. I am honestly blown away by the generosity of my friends and family and I think there is a pretty good chance we won’t have to buy any clothes until he/she is more than three months old. To put things into context, my bag weighed 18kg on my way to South Africa. While I was there I offloaded 23 gifts as well as just over a kilogram of vintage car parts (don’t ask). When I came back my bag weighed 22kg.

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Little O’s current size

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A Brief History of Seven killings

BOOK REVIEW: A Brief History of 7 Killings by Marlon James

My book club picked A Brief History of 7 Killings as our most recent featured book mostly because it won the Man Booker Prize for 2015 and it appeared to be about Bob Marley. Initially we almost immediately regretted it and I think I am one of only two of the six of us that actually finished it. I realise that this makes it sound like this is going to be a negative review. It’s not. It is going to be a challenging one though since Marlon James’ latest novel is a very challenging book. Read more…

Farewell to The Thin White Duke

It’s rare that the death of a famous person genuinely affects me but when I found out this morning that David Bowie had lost his 18 month battle with cancer I  was genuinely devastated.

A timeless icon of music, film, art and fashion he has never stopped reinventing and challenging himself – becoming ever more relevant year after year, decade after decade. He was the ultimate king of effortless cool. I guess I kind of thought he’d live forever and the idea that he is no longer with us breaks my heart.

Rest in Peace Ziggy Stardust. Gone but never forgotten.

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The bump chronicles #4: wardrobe malfunctions, bonding and the mega belly

Weeks pregnant: 15
Baby size in fruit: 🍏

Little O and I are still on tour. Right now we are in East London airport. I was born in East London but that won’t stop me from admitting that it is the arsehole of South Africa and considering that it’s almost 40 degrees and they have no airconditioning it’s a very sweaty arsehole. But let’s not dwell on that.
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Film Friday #260

Mansome (2012)

Infamous documentarian, Morgan Spurlock, takes on the concept of masculine “beauty” with the help of his good friends, Jason Bateman and Will Arnett. By exploring topics such as moustaches, beards, body hair, head hair… and just really hair in all places I guess Spurlock tries to get to the bottom of what it takes to be a modern man, why men have become more obsessed with their appearance and how this affects traditional masculinity. Read more…

The Bump Chronicles #3: On tour, first clothes and the start of the baby disco…

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As you might know from my previous post, Little O and I are on tour… unfortunately without Mr O who is working. It’s been some time since I’ve travelled on my own and I have to admit that I found the prospect quite daunting. Let’s just say there were lots of tears at the airport (not just from me). I have a suspicion that pregnancy hormones were involved but even if you’re not pregnant, two weeks away from your partner is a long time. Read more…

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And I’m off…

So tonight I am flying to South Africa to visit my family. I am spending a few days in Somerset West, near Cape Town with my dad, where I will also get to see my brother, his partner Nikki and my furry nephew, Colby. I will also get to see my friends, Emily and Oli get married in Franschoek on New Years Eve.

Then I am heading off to Queenstown for my Ouma’s (grandmother) 90th birthday and to see my mom, aunt and cousins.

And finally four days in Johannesburg with my friends.

While I am very excited to see everyone, I am also feeling a bit apprehensive. Mr O is not coming along as it’s a very busy time at work for him. It’s been quite some time since I did a long trip on my own and since I am flying Kenya Airways I get to stop off in Nairobi both ways… at 14 and then 16 weeks pregnant. I have been feeling quite emotionally fragile over this last part of my first trimester and I’m hoping the travelling won’t set me off.

But anyway… I am going to be using the time to take a little break from social media and the Internet in general. So if you don’t hear from me much or don’t see me popping up on your blog or liking your Facebook posts… I’m not dead. I am just taking a breath.

Happy New Year!