Friday, September 30

Happy Birthday Gloss

It's Glossary's second birthday today. Happy Birthday al bloggo. I'll probably die a death of cringe when I look back at all the awkward posing, ridic ramblings and sketchy photo editing but at least it's been fun! I've never been able to keep up with diaries so I'm chuffed I've kept up blogging for two whole years. To be honest, it's a bit of a strange time for me to be blogging as I'm going through a sad season in my personal life. I won't be chatting about it online but I wanted to mention it by way of explanation if I seem, well, not all myself for a while. I thought about closing Gloss for a bit but I know this blog brings me a lot of joy and I love sharing inspiration and documenting the good times. My Tumblr on the other hand, will probably be fill of emo quotes and pics! I think fellow bloggers may agree that sometimes blogging can also be, well, a nice distraction from the weightyness of real life. And in light of Gloss's birthday, I've given it a little revamp. Thank you to everyone who has commented and tweeted to say you like it - I'm so chuffed to hear it! Owing to what will also be a skint season in my life, I have decided to add a couple of blog sponsorship spots. Please feel free to email me about those. And yeah, thanks to all of you who pop in and reply with comments. I appreciate every one of them. These pics are oldies but here's to future snappin'!


Wednesday, September 28

Interpret Durban (my un-entered snaps)

Last Friday was the 2nd annual Interpret Durban Party/Exhibit at the City Hall. I blogged about last year's one here. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend this year's event but these are two pics I snapped the day before submissions were due. To be honest, I hadn't realised there was a photography category this year until a week before...probably due to laziness on my part. By then I had run out of time to plan a shoot of shorts but as I was driving home on Sunday, I saw these kids playing about with a public telephone on Umbilo Road. The theme for this year's event was Rediscover, Reconnect, Reveal - and I thought these cute kids using a phone sort of spoke to that theme. I hopped out of the car to snap them but unfortunately, I didn't get the best pics - the kids were adorable but my lighting and compositions were off. Spontaneous snaps on sketchy roads aren't the easiest I guess! I was a bit shy to enter them because I knew the standard would be really high. Silly of me really because the spirit of the event is more celebratory rather that judge-tory! I believe the proceeds of the event auction went to Umthombo Street Children which is awesome. Anyhow, here are the pics. The kids were wonderful and sweet to let me snap 'em. Props to everyone who entered and helped co-ordinate the event. I think it is a brilliant thing for Durban to look forward to.


Tuesday, September 27

Rachel's DIY storage gem

I absolutely LOVE this record-storage/seating idea of Rachel's. 
She posted some pics on her blog and the full tutorial on Elsie's blog. 
These girls probably have tool boxes to rival those of the huskiest men!


Monday, September 26

Kitchen Pen Pals: Creamy white wine and asparagus pasta

Howdy guys. Sorry for the delay in getting this recipe up. Thing is, my Kitchen Pen Pal has been busy getting engaged! Congrats Siân. I am so happy for you girl. Like I tweeted ya, the next recipe will have to be some sort of wedding tower of treats! I'm pretty sure after kneading that dough, I'm ready to tackle three tiers of eclairs?

Well today's recipe is a heavenly bowl of steamy, creamy goodness! <------Doing my best to channel Nigella vibes. But seriously, this pasta is flippen amazing. It could actually be one of the scrummiest meals I've ever tucked into - I think! 

Like last time, I've scribbled my notes throughout the recipe below. It occurred to me that if you wanna print the recipes and shop for the ingredients, you surely won't want the extended-Lauren-rambling version so I will bung the original recipes from Siân somewhere on Gloss for you to download. Just need to figure out where...ok, let's begin!


500ml fresh cream
 ½ cup white wine 
I went with Woolies' Zesty White because I quite liked the idea of some 'zesty' wine bottle coming to life and dancing 'round the kitchen! Ridic but true. Was also pleased to discover my months of working in an Irish Pub (in South Africa) during my college years have paid off. I can still uncork a bottle 'o plonk!
1/2small onion – finely chopped  
I followed Siân's tips on chopping an onion and I am pleased to report there were no waterworks this time! Just knowing how to chop an onion has reduced my cooking anxiety by half.
1 bunch fresh green asparagus
Spar - my initial shopping destination - didn't have any so I bought pre-trimmed stems from Woolies. Convenient, yes, but I can definitely see the appeal of grabbing a handful of fresh stuff rather. I felt a bit snobby paying for my pre-trimmed stems. To posh to trim, ha.
Half a handful of fresh dill
Woolies had everything but dill - maddening! Had to drive back to Spar and rummage through a million herbs. None of them were labelled so I had no choice but to ask the veg lady what dill actually looked like. Turns out there was none on the shelf but they got me some from 'upstairs.' Didn't know there was a herby upper level at Spar!
Half a handful of fresh chives
Again, the posh packaged stuff at Woolies.
Salt and black pepper
250g of your choice of pasta – tagliatelle, penne, fusilli, linguine etc. 
I went with penne because I love when sauce does it's saucy thing in the tubes! That sounds a bit sick but you know what I mean, fellow penne lovers. Haha, that sounds worse! 'Penne lovers.'

Cook pasta to packet instructions.
Trim ends off asparagus and cut into 2cm lengths 
I had to google this! Wasn't exactly sure how to cut asparagus so I followed a video tutorial - forgot to bookmark the link though - soz.
Place asparagus into a pot of rapidly boiling water and cook for 1 minute until bright green 
Easy enough
Remove and place in a bowl of ice cold water 
Easy easy
Drain and set aside
Gently fry the onion in a small saucepan until soft and golden 
Felt all smug after chopping my onion ala Siân.
Add the white wine and reduce until there is about 2cm of liquid left
This part smelt glorious! I've always wanted to cook with wine because I have visions of French chefs casually chucking it into big steaming metal pots.
Place cream in a saucepan and boil until reduced by ½ 
WARNING: Do not be an idiot like me and boil the cream on the highest heat. It will scald into minging bits. Fortunately I was able to whip mine off the heat in time and salvage the rest. Turns out cream can quite happily boil away safely on the gentlest heat. Also, Siân, please can you teach me the ways of reduction!
Add the onion and white wine mix once the cream has reduced and finally add the asparagus, chopped dill, chopped chives and fresh black pepper. 
This part is lots of fun! All that greenery bubbling away in the cream - I can see why these TV chefs get so jacked up in the kitchen.
Season with salt.
Mix with pasta and enjoy!
I surely did. Thanks so much Siân! I would be proud to cook this dish for dinner guests.

I also just twigged that this is another veggie meal. I think Siân is surreptitiously trying to turn me into a vegetarian. Been there. Done that. Got busted eating a burger! No seriously, I would prefer to eat less meat and these recipes are proving to be just the scrummy alternative.

A while back, I asked if you guys would be keen to hook up with a Kitchen Pen Pal too. A couple of you replied, 'Ay, hook me up!' So I will try to figure out the logistics of that. In the mean time, happy cooking and don't forget to look out for Siân's version of this recipe on her blog!

Oh my word, I just remembered I burnt a till slip while cooking this! Told ya I was a hazard in le kitchen.


Thursday, September 22

Spring Break


Howdy guys, I'm going on leave for a bit. On my to-do list: Catch up on everyone's blogs!
Also received my second Kitchen Pen Pals recipe today so will try and blog that when I can. x

Wednesday, September 21

Pearl Jam Twenty

Just got back from the premier of Pearl Jam Twenty. Wow. Wow. Wow. I haven't seen alot of big bands in my life but even though it was a docco, I feel the same as I did after seeing The Breeders. Just - mind blown. For those of you that haven't heard about it (I hadn't till a few days ago), it's a two-hour docco/film about the band's career, written and directed by Cameron Crowe. Afterwards, everyone was talking about how their teenage memories just came flooding back. Cue my personal indulgent flashback! I vividly remember buying my first Pearl Jam cassette. My folks and I were strolling through this random market that used to take place beside the bay (harbour? I shamefully no nothing of Durban's erm, watermarks) at the end of Point Road. Anyway, I was thirteen and just loving life! Not. Up until then, I'd only heard a handful of Pearl Jam singles but I knew they were one of the cool bands to know. Not cool as in, impress the popular kids at school, but rather, cool as in, impress the couple of kids that were into alternative culture. This market was seriously random but there was this guy flogging cassettes at a table. I spotted Pearl Jam's Vitalogy and asked my mom to please buy it for me. I think it was eleven bucks. Honestly, I felt like I'd stumbled upon a piece of secret gold. On the way home, we stopped at a garden nursery. I stayed in the car to listen to the cassette and it was just...disturbing and dissonant and great. That cassette sleeve with the anatomy diagrams freaked me out! While Pearl Jam never became my all-time fave, Vitalogy was one of many albums that got me through the first few years of highschool. But enough rambling, I just wanted to tell you that if you are a Pearl Jam fan, you should definitely watch this docco. I had no idea what down-to-earth sweethearts these guys are. I'm too knackered to go into the detail but every scene was one awesome surprise after the next. Alot of these band doccos tend to sensationalise the drug-fuelled dramas of the time but this one was quite the opposite. It's just really moving and interesting with a couple of lols thrown in to break the tension! There's also HEAPS of incredible backstage footage including snippets of Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Nirvana. Gonna be erm, jamming to them (sorry) all week now!

Tuesday, September 20

Getting my kilt on (I guess!)

Super, SUPER, sneaky camera angles ahoy!
Wish I could have all my pics snapped from ridiculous, flattering heights.
Thrifted this lot recently at one of Durban's sketchiest thrift stores. 
The lengths I'll go to for a cute collar, eh.

Oh ya, my mom is chuffed with all your kind blog comments - thanks guys!
One last thing - fancy a laugh? Check out "How to be a Hipster" if you haven't already.
Just about lolled myself to death - so many hipster cliches in my life!
I bet there's a little Garden-State loving hipster in you too!? x

Sunday, September 18

A wooly rainbow!

 At last...the transition from 28-year old to granny is complete. Yes, my friends. I am now the proud owner of a traditional granny blanket. About two weeks ago I walked into a little haberdashery and bought about every bright colour they had. Then I decided that was probably going to make for one helluva mad blanket and went back and scooped up some pastel bundles and some beige for the edging. My sweet mother spent two weeks crocheting this puppy together for me and yesterday I picked it up! Isn't it a masterpiece?! It's better than I ever imagined it would be. And I'm sure I will cherish into my years at Shady Pines. Thanks Mama Mia - I absolutely love it! If you would like to make one too, here's the tutorial my mom followed. It's from the Yvestown blog which is full of amazing food, decor and craft ideas. Enjoy! x


Friday, September 16

Friday drinks anyone?

How marvellous are these guys!? Only want voddies in a carton now.
Reminds me of the good old days when Yogisip came in a carton. 


Wednesday, September 14

Kitchen Pen Pals: Flatbread with Coriander & Lemon Butterbean Hummus

Two girls. Two countries. One recipe. Here we go! Siân emailed me my first recipe yesterday. I must admit, as soon I saw there was yeast involved, I had a mild panic attack. "Where in the world does one buy yeast from?" I thought. Also, I didn't know you could buy actual "fine sea salt." The thought of me kneading dough was down right hysterical but Siân assured me these flatbreads would be a doddle to make. Fancy a peek at the recipe below? Peek away friends!

So off I went to Spar clutching my recipe! I must say, it was quite nice being able to walk around the store with a plan. Usually I just wander around aimlessly like a bewildered kid. A couple of lols along the way - I nearly started cursing Spar for not having any Parsley or Coriander. Then I discovered they have great big troughs of the stuff a little further from the neatly bagged herbs. I had no idea what to do with the herbs so I asked the Fruit and Veg lady if I had to weigh it. She replied, 'No dear, you buy it by the bunch.' Who knew! I wasn't sure what to do with handfuls of greenery so I stuffed 'em into those plastic packets you put potatoes in. I didn't see anyone else do that but you surely can't chuck fresh herbs into a minging basket! Oh, and the flour. I must have manhandled just about every brand and type on the shelf! Finally I found a brown bag of organic looking stuff and hoped to heck it was 'unbleached.' Oh, and yeast comes in tiny purple packets - not giant ones like flour!

Usually I hate it when people take nosey peeks into my basket at the till (the shame of the Caremello Bears etc) but I was feeling quite proud yesterday! The little voice in my head was saying, 'Yeah, check out this yeast. I'm gonna bake actual bread from scratch when I get home! There's gonna be a whole lotta kneading going on.' Dare I say, a vision of me and James Martin chuckling over a mound of dough flashed before my eyes!

The whole lot (including Olive Oil and other things that regular cooking folk probably have to hand) came to about 80 bucks. Not bad considering I wasn't going to use 'em all up in one meal. But onto the cooking! I have scribbled in purple next to the steps below so let's continue this thesis of a post!

Le Recipe

200g unbleached strong white bread flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 level teaspoon dried yeast
170ml tepid water (I used cold tap water - Soz Siân! Guess I should have run warm water in hindsight.)
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 230C

Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the water (woops, forgot to dissolve!) and then pour the oil into the water. Now pour the water into the flour, a bit at a time, while mixing. (I used a whisk. Bad call! But my wooden spoon was caked in scone mix. Scandalous!) When all the water is added, transfer to a floured board and knead well. Continue kneading for about 5 minutes until the dough is ever so slightly tacky, but soft, elastic and smooth. (That's alot of adjectives! Wasn't sure what 'tacky' is supposed to feel like but hopefully that's what it became.) Let it rest for 45 minutes covered by a tea towel. (Emailed Siân and said I was too hungry to wait that long. She said 20 minutes would be fine. Excellent! Also, bought a new tea towel. Was certain mine were too toxic for such a delicate task!)

Divide the dough into four, and roll into balls. On a generously floured surface roll each ball to 3-5mm thick. You should have rough circles 15-20cm in diameter. (I don't know if I duffed my dough but it was kinda hard to flatten it out but I think it flat enough.) Top each round with a little olive oil. (Just realised I didn't do that!) Place on a flat oiled baking tray and bake in the top of the oven for 5-10 minutes. Each bread should partially bubble up and colour slightly yet not be totally crisp. (One of mine started to resemble a vet koek more than a flat bread but hey ho!)

These can also be made on a stovetop. Fry each bread in a little butter until golden bubbles form on each side.

Le Hummus

1 x can butter beans ( I went with Koo - 12 Ronds - because I figured I needed all the help I could get but the Spar brand was only 8 bucks. Any profound difference between the two? Anyone know? Please share your beany knowledge!)
1 small onion, chopped (I LOATHE CHOPPING ONIONS! I'm like Alice Cooper after one slice. All that eyeliner running down my face. Does anyone know how to prevent the waterworks or know how to get that awful onion smell off your hands?)
2 cloves garlic, crushed (Didn't have a garlic crusher so tried to smash 'em with a knife. Was a pretty futile task but got there in the end.)
15ml lemon juice (The one thing I didn't buy cuz I thought we had a full bottle but lo and behold, there was literally only 15ml left.)
50ml olive oil
2.5ml salt (Had no idea how one measures 2.5ml of salt but Siân tweeted me to say it's half a teaspoon.)
15ml finely chopped parsley (Again - the mls perplexed me. I think Siân said it's about a tablespoon. I do not own knives with the ability to finely chop things so I hacked about a tablespoon's worth of herbs -  maybe a bit more.)
15ml chopped coriander (ditto)

Saute the chopped onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the drained beans and simmer for 5 minutes or until warmed through.
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (CRISIS. Do not own a blender! Siân said I could mash forth with a potato masher. Nothing like a chunk of straight garlic in one's hummus - haha!) Remind me to tell you about the time Cath and I attempted to make Nougatini's in her blender. Oh the lols. And blade destruction. And yes, that would be a Nougat cocktail - delish!

So yeah, the whole fandango was quite an amusing education! After I made the hummus, I chucked it in the fridge for a bit. I think one is meant to cut the flatbreads and dip them into the hummus but after the no-blender debacle, I decided to slather my chunky dip onto the breads. They were surprisingly moreish and tasty! "Surprisingly" because I was expecting my version to be a bit of an inedible mess. I did look at the flour-covered kitchen to ponder if the meal was worth the effort but then I decided, hell I kneaded my own flatbreads - the mess is worth it!

Are you still awake? Anyone still reading? You're a sport if you are! Siân will try to post her version of this recipe too so do keep an eye on her blog. I'm so chuffed to have made a Pen Pal in Siân. Thanks friend! And thanks to Craig for snapping some of these pics, indulging another one of my sporadic cooking attempts and asking if there were any more flatbreads to eat!

Oh yes,  please don't hate on my irregular onion and garlic bits. I have yet to master the art of le chop!


Tuesday, September 13

That one time at band camp

Crumbs, you know I'm reaching for content when I dig into the box of old photo discs! Here are some pics from my band days - note the inability to pull a moody muso face! Cheesy grins all the way. Why I choose a stripy top is beyond me. Not the most flattering! I'm really popping in to tell you that I cooked my first Kitchen Pen Pal recipe tonight - and the outcome was edible! Have a zillion pics to edit and a camera to deflour. Ha. That sounds so wrong. Currently buried under a pile of freelance but will get the Pen Pal post up later this week. Stay tuned for coriander madness!


Pictured above is Ian, Stef, Moi and Craig. Cheers Nick for these old chestnuts!

Monday, September 12


All I have to blog is this ginormous pic of the Woolies Scones Mix. But by jove, this is one good mix. And they're made in a moment. According to Woolies, 20 minutes is a moment. For scones this good, I'm cool with that. The tin is another new thrifted find. Tins and Scones. If anything, this random post should boost  Glossary's granny readership!


Thursday, September 8


My Kitchen Pen Pal hasn't had internet access for the past couple of days 
(life in third world Africa!) but we'll do our best to blog a recipe next week. Chat soon friends x


Snapped this pic at Nadia's Birthday Brekkie Buffet. It was such a cute affair!

Tuesday, September 6

Fave Things

This post is really just an excuse to show you my new tin below! Love the smiley pup.
All the other home bits you've seen before but they're new pics edited with Lightroom.
It's a great program to play with once you get your head around the work flow steps. x


Monday, September 5

Typewriter for sale! *SOLD*

I came across this cream typewriter in a recent thrifting adventure and I had to talk myself out of not keeping another one! So I'm selling this fella on for 80 bones. Heh. I got that sayin' from Busy Bee Lauren. I don't know how well this typewriter would travel in the post so I suppose it needs to go to a Durban home. It also comes in it's own black suitcase. I've done my best to clean it up but it does have the odd mark here and there. I'm also not sure if it needs a new ribbon but it came with a tag that said 'Tested and Working.' Pop me a comment if you'd like to buy it - first come, first serve x


PS: Gave it an extra clean after postin' this!