“Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?”

Catch up, catch up, catch up.

How time flies when you’re deeply stressed and trying to figure out your life.

But HURRAH, I’ve actually managed to squeeze in some “me time” in this deadline-ridden life of mine. (Mind you, I am currently in bed rather sick right now… but I’ll take the “me time” where I can get it…)

Come fourth of July I am, with out doubt, temporarily American. (In preparation for my possible future residence in the US perhaps? – You know? The American dream? Picket fences and all?) My lovely American friends throw a fantastic Independence day party every year. (This is obviously an ideal way to feed my love for American pop culture and such things.) I am always guaranteed a dessert spread of note when visiting Miss Gina or Miss Megan. This year was no different.

Although Miss Megan was enjoying July fourth in AMERICA (Jealous…) Miss Gina made sure there were no rumblies in our tummies. Cupcakes in cones (Such a cute idea! Will definitely be making these sometime.), American-style choc chip cookies, ice-cream sandwiches and the ever famous Keip chocolate brownies. (Oh, how I long for these brownies on a weekly basis.)

Happy independence day to all the American peeps out there! (And especially my American buddies here in SA.) :] – even though this blog is almost a month overdue…

While we’re speaking of cakes and such delights… I thought I’d show y’all my second cake-y creation. This one was a request from my aunt who wanted to surprise my cousin with a Spongebob Squarepants cake for his 19th birthday. (What 19 year old doesn’t want a Spongebob cake?!)

My initial response was obviously (As it usually is, in my case) panic. What if my first cake was a case of beginner’s luck and now every cake hereafter will become the disaster of all baked good disasters?

However, I am glad to say, my panic was unnecessary. My skills seem to be improving! *Pats self on the back*

I’ve decided that I’d be quite happy to take orders from this day forth. Keep my little cakey business in mind, if you ever need some customized baked yummies.

As usual, I will attempt to update more often!

Until then…

Much love and light…

Zozette

xoxo

“Working nine to five, what a way to make a living…”

(Well actually, working nine to five-thirty…)

And so employment is finally upon me.  (Cue the Hallelujah chorus)

This is the main reason why I’ve been so quiet recently… The art of juggling work and well, anything else, is a pretty tough one.

But here I am, and I am very happy to be here, spreading a little blog-love. Let’s catch you up…

Firstly, a little while ago, Charlie Chaplin’s birthday brought on many new readers to my small, little, strange blog. Which was a fantastical surprise. Scary, but wonderful! I’m quite pleased as to how many different parts of the world accessed my blog. Very interesting to see. 🙂 With many supportive and lovely new readers, came a few painfully rude ones. Luckily, the rainbows out-weighed the rain… and so I’m not really bothered about any negative feedback I may have gotten. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Let’s just keep the comments polite though, if you please?

In between the horrors of work, I’ve managed to squeeze in a few fun outings and whatnot. Exhibit A: The Market on Main.

In the middle of town, (“town” being the central point of Johannesburg. A little dodgy now, but quite spectacular in its heyday) I found it incredibly surprising to discover a lovely artsy fartsy market, filled with quirky and lovely stalls. My buddies and I enjoyed a wholewheat pancake, then browsed the thrift and food stalls. Some really interesting people out and about. (Including the dude with dreadlocks down to the floor and his equally “dreaded out” girlfriend.) Reminded me of my Camden market days. (Speaking of, I need to go back there soon, I think.)

Then we took a little walk up the road towards our parked car and stopped off at an art gallery. It was closed, but we got to see the rather interesting outdoor decor. (Including shoe-planters walking up the walls!)

As per usual, a fun day, surrounded by fun people. Hurrah!

Exhibit A – The day the coolest kids ever attacked the market on Main

A week later, my little sister celebrated her 14th birthday and I decided to channel my inner “Cake Boss”. (Which I thoroughly enjoyed!) Seriously considering doing a cake decorating course of some kind! Ladies and gentlemen, presenting to you…. My Homer Simpson birthday cake – complete with squint eyes and a giant doughnut. (Exhibit B). Chocolate cake and chocolate butter cream. Yummmmy….

For my first fondant covered cake, I don’t think I did too badly! 😀


Exhibit B – Homer in his doughnut, being demolished by some hungry savages.

So, whose birthday’s next? I need to bake another one! (No, seriously…)

Hopefully work will allow me some more blog-time soon… I’m having withdrawels!

Until next time…

Zozette

xoxo

PS: Market on Main photos courtesy of Mr Danny B… 😀

“Sweet like chocolate boy”

Naughty, naughty me.

Long time, no blog. After getting a good rap on the knuckles, I am back to sharing the goings-on of my fabulously eventful life. Mind you, “eventful” doesn’t necessarily refer to productivity of any kind. It matters not. The universe has something rather amazing planned for me, I can tell. The things I do in the meantime, are but preparing me for the awesomeness that is to come!

In other news: My waist-line put it’s foot down a few weeks ago… (Foot…?) No more baking for a while… I can’t roll into job interviews… It just doesn’t look professional. (This philosophy may change, should a sudden cooking inspiration strike. Apologies to my hips in advance.)

Here are a few of my recently baked yummies:

Cookies! After my Valentines eats, I decided that I really wanted to try Annie’s eats Chocolate cookie recipe. It was a slightly stickier dough to work with, but they were, in my opinion, yummier. Not too sweet, but still cocoa-ey. I made them for my brother from another mother who has been confined to a hospital bed for over a month (Now finally home – Yay!), due to a few broken bones all over the place. Hopefully they helped reduce a bit of the crapness that hospital life brings. Feel better Massi!

I also had to make a billion (Okay…50) little gingerbread men for my sister to take to school. They were kinda adorable. (And delicious!) You can see how small they were in relation to my hand… and if you know how small my hands are, you’ll be even more impressed! – Note: Y’all should be careful. The kitchen is a scary place. (See the above collage for a photo of my tragic injury.)

Also on my list of fun things I have experienced/baked recently… My dear friend Mathapelo just celebrated her 22nd birthday (It’s ok Mattie, we’ll be geriatrics together…) and a few of us got together to surprise her with a lunch. :] The days events included; A yummy fondue outdoors. The rain pelting down onto our yummy fondue. Mathapelo deciding that “The rain’s not that bad!”. The rain finally driving an extremely soaked party indoors. A revealing of my not-so-successful-but-successful-enough-to-devour Glee themed Birthday Cupcakes. And a full-on attack of Glee karaoke.

A highly recommended day plan. Such fun!

So don’t expect any more baked goods to grace the pages of my blog for a while. Instead, I will find many other amusing things to talk about… (Trust me- endless talking is no problem for me.) Coming up soon: I have no idea, but it’s gonna be good.

Stay tuned.

Zozette

xoxo

“Happiness hit her like a train on a track.”

Greetings, greetings; what few readers I have.

It’s another glorious Wednesday in my little world of unemployment. But, alas, I do not let it get me down… For, though I am poor, I am also resourceful. I have found little things to do to pass the time in between interviews and such.

First and foremost, I’ve been bitten by the cooking bug. I’ve surfed so many food blogs and recipe books, that when I close my eyes to sleep at night, my dreams take on the appearance of little blogs and books, filled with cupcakes and macarons. I can do nothing but give in to this power that food has over me.  In the upcoming days/weeks, I’ll share a few of my most recent endeavors. However successful/unsuccessful they were.

Other than my obsession with food, I have also dug up my grandmothers sewing machine from storage. Been fiddling with that for the first time and managed to get an entire handbag out of it. (Please ignore the EXTREMELY skew stitches. I am ashamed enough already. What will the towns-folk say? “The grand-daughter of a seamstress?! Preposterous!”)

Also, my cashlessness hasn’t stopped me from keeping my style up to date. I got a free birthday haircut from my hairdresser (How cool is he – right?) and I bought myself a little home-dye to shake things up! (And cover up the blonde. Contrary to popular beliefs; while blonde, I did not have more fun.)


I now resemble (unintentionally, I swear.) Agnes from Despicable Me. I still can’t decide if this is a good or a bad thing. Oh well. As Shakespeare would say in times like these, “What’s done, is done!” (Although, I can’t imagine that ol’ William used to dye his hair and go for free haircuts and… what.. what… yes, you know what I’m saying.)

Tomorrow, I bake! (Again)

People who are to see me in the next few days are in for a treat! (Unless everything flops… In that case I can only offer a spoonful of sugar – Which is not all that bad. Apparently it helps the medicine go down.)

Until next time!

Zozette

xoxo

“Happy Birthday to ya! Happy bi-irth-daaay…”

Happy Birthday to me!!! I am 22 now… and so I think that I must be old.

My most amazingest cake EVER! (Ok, it was from my 21st last year – but isn’t it amazing?)

“All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, ‘Oh, why can’t you remain like this for ever!’ This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.”

– J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)

Peter Pan and Wendy


Zozette

xoxo

 

 

“Today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic…”

What to do while one is unemployed (and willing to spend the last few pennies in their wallet…)

Have a picnic!

Grab a handful of close buddies, a blanket, board games, some yummy goodies – and stick em in your picnic basket. Skip off to your nicest botanical garden (In our case – The stunning Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden) and enjoy a nice day in the sun.

Heeeey! Look at me! Imma picnicing!

Get everyone to bring something to cut costs and make sure you take your student card with! Discount!!! – YEAH. (Let’s not mention that my student card is actually not valid anymore. I graduated over a year ago….)

Check out the spread!

Danica and Taboo (The bestest, noisiest game for a bunch of Europeans and an American to play)

Who’s happy she came on a picnic?! Vivi is! Vivi is!

I can see you Megan… (Taboo brings out the ninja within)

Yummy yummy peanut butter cups!

See? Picnics make you happy. Even when you’re broke. Join us!

Extreme Super fail at a multiple jump shot. Danica’s all “High School Musical” and Viv’s kinda celebratory. I, on the other hand, seem to be squatting. In. Every. Single. “Jumping.” Photo.

What fun indeed!

Zozette

xoxo

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…”

Imagine my surprise when my dream of a white Christmas came true this year…

In summery South Africa!

Ok, mind you, it wasn’t snow…. It was actually hail… But honestly now, marshmallows could have fallen from the sky and I still would have been happy. (Actually, probably happier…)

Anyhow, back to hail.

It fell. From ye sky. In buckets.

Hours later, there were still piles of it in my driveway… so my sister and I went out and played in it, while singing Christmas carols. It was little bit sad, but we felt festive all the same.

Ch-ch-check it out:

Our “snowy” garden. 🙂

HAIL FIGHT!

I hope everybody had a fantastically superb Christmas and ate themselves into a coma. (I definitely did.) – Now for the New Year celebrations tomorrow! (Can you believe it’s 2011 already??? – WHAT?!)

Zozette

xoxo

“We get to carry each other, carry each other.”

I had quite the enlightening experience a few weeks ago when I went with a few lovely people from Virgin Atlantic (The South African department) to a very underprivileged, but very deserving school in the middle of Ennerdale Johannesburg, Sibekiwe primary School.

The few days before our visit, I sat with the family in our dining room making up 600 Christmassy packs to hand out to the children. The packs were made up of different candies, crisps and a cool drink. Quite a mission, but once we got our production line going, it went quite quickly.

The full reward, however, came when we got to the school. It’s in the middle of a township and is nothing more than a small plot of land with two or three small classrooms on the property. (For 600  children!) A few months ago, Virgin Atlantic had visited them and organized a bore-hole water pump and the start of a vegetable garden for the community. Before that, they had no running water for kms. We visited their veggie garden and helped fix up a few of the plants that needed attention and a bit of watering. It’s amazing how much good a community can do with a positive attitude. The school’s choir performed a few songs for us and then we got down to planting a few trees in their barren yard with Trees for Africa.

After a morning in the sun and 16 new trees in the yard, all the children lined up patiently and received their little Christmas packages from us. It was so much fun meeting some of these kids. They’re filled with so much ambition and eagerness, I can only wish that their futures are as bright as their dispositions. Very inspiring to hear from the future doctors and policemen of our country.

In a few months Virgin is taking a trip back there to see how everything is going and I’m definitely eager to tag along again. Very rewarding experience. Especially this time of year. 🙂

Here are a few photos from our trip:

Sibekiwe Primary. “Any school is better than no school.”

The awesome choir.

Fixin’ up the veggie garden!

Michael from Trees for Africa explaining what the teachers could do with all those wonderful herbs.

The classrooms.

Myself, not looking very farmer-like, with the kiddies.

The loot! (Well, a very small part of it.)

Beautiful children.

Zozette

xoxo

“Here comes Halloween…”

Righteo. So, besides the fact that I am speaking of Halloween at least a week or two too late… Here is my Halloween-y update.

Firstly, I tried my hand at fondant moulding. I thought I was going to have great difficulty, but I really found it quite easy to use and fun! I used ready-made fondant and coloured it with food colouring gels. The only problem came, the day after Halloween, when I realized that I’d forgotten all about them and had to quickly run out and buy (blasphemy, I know) some ready made cupcakes to top with my creations.

Pumpkin patch! Where Linus van Pelt at?

My little pumpkin and eyeball fondant-kins. Next year I make the cupcakes too!

Halloween also meant a fun costume and an outing of some kind! This year we went to Brightwater commons in Randburg, because they seem to be the most Halloweeny part of South Africa. I love seeing “grown-ups” dressed up in fancy dress. There’s nothing better. I was, the one and only, Queen Gaga this year. A  few people pointed at me through their car windows in traffic… So I’m glad it put a smile on some faces. 🙂 Here are some photos of the fun!

Spot the difference. (Haha – No comment.)

(Insert rather lame magician on this stage.)

My best bud, Viv, joined in on the festivities this year. 🙂

Super heroes wear tight pants.

Bob Marley (My little sister), Iron Man and Lady Gaga out for tea.

Gaga and Wolverine!

Naruto, who yelled something fairly Japanese at me. I have no idea what.

And my absolute favourite! Alan from the Hangover! So funny. (PS: That is an actual real live baby. Talk about dedication to your costume…)

Well, that was Halloween 2010. A few laughs, night-blindness in Gaga glasses and a screening of the it’s-so-bad-it’s-awesome Sorority Boys back at home. Next year, you’re ALL coming with. Hmm. Any costume ideas?

Zozette

xoxo

“Around the world, around the world…”

An EVEN FURTHER 5 things I’ve learnt on my travels to Londontown

My previous two travel entries were based around a trip I took to Greece about a month ago. More recently, I packed my bags up again and took a family vacay to London and Miami. SO Amazing! Here are an even further 5 things I have learnt while making my way across the world. First stop – London!

1. Camden is my favourite place on this planet.

I could swear that Camden is the cooking pot where God stewed our world’s population together. Every kind of stereotype, sub-culture and race of person was represented on my visit to Camden market. Incredible! Just the wardrobe alone kept me thoroughly entertained as we made our way through the many, MANY market stalls.

I could live in a market. Yes, I could.

On the drive there, I first made sure that I unleashed the Harry Potter geek from within. King’s Cross station! I couldn’t help but make sure that we made a stop there, so that I could get a picture and then dreamily envision myself playing quidditch. (Stop judging me…)

“Platform 9 and three quarters?! Think you’re bein’ funny, do ya?”

The market was absolutely fantastic though, when we finally got there. Millions of little vintage stores, punk inspired attire, and food stalls from across the world. I’ve never been to a market with little Asian ladies hanging over the counters screaming “Taste! Taste some yummy yummy bourbon chicken!” It was an experience, I must say. The clothes stalls were amaaaazing! The most stunning garments, kept in such beautiful condition. My favourite dress I saw was this one:

I waannnnnt ittt…..

I most definitely couldn’t pull it off, but it was gorgeous nonetheless.

Things took a surreal turn, however, when I came across this store in the middle of the market:

*beep beep boink bleep bop*

Cyberdogs. I felt like I was whipped 5000 years into the future, when I walked into this store. I would have taken photos of the inside, but a rather grumpy little punk at the door told me there was no photography allowed. That’s how all the employees there looked; Extreme neon punk attire, giant spiked or dreadlocked hair and piercings all over. The whole store (two floors of it) was in darkness, the only light source being a UV lighting system. Every garment glowed under the light, from leotards reminiscent of the Jetsons, to make-up that glows under black light, to weird little gadgets that would satisfy any nerd. All-in-all a very surreal, but exciting shopping experience.

2. Real punks don’t like getting their photo taken.

There were so many people in Camden (and London in general) dressed in the most amazing get-ups. I wanted to take a photo of every one and document it, but this becomes very difficult in the hustle and bustle of the London streets.

I saw two awesome looking punks at Camden market and I had a chance to try and take a photo through the crowds. I managed to get this nice blurry one:

Note: The scary punk above is purposefully unidentifyable. This is for my own safety.

The other punk (like he had Spidey-senses or something) stopped walking and turned around to face me across the thousands of people passing between us. The “look” he proceeded to give me, still chills my bones to this day. It was the kind of expression that cuts through crowds. I have never seen a “look” that combines so many emotions before. Disgust, Anger and the intense need to punch me in the face. Needless to say, I almost wet myself and my camera was back in my coat pocket before you could say “Cheese and crackers!”

Never again.

Real punks are scary.

(Shudder)

3. There is no theatre like London West End theatre.

When my mom asked what I would like to do in London, the only thing I was sure of, was that I wanted to go watch a West End musical.

I had read so many good things about “Wicked” online and I had seen it being referenced on TV quite often, so I thought it would be the obvious choice. Also, I had never seen it before and that made it all the more exciting.

The Apollo Victoria theatre… *angels chorus*

What a fantastic choice! The show was incredible. I really, REALLY loved it. It was all about the Wicked Witch of the West telling the story of The Wizard of Oz through her eyes. Lovely music and a really clever script.

I had been waiting for one song in particular, because I had previously heard it on an episode of Glee. (And youtubed a few thousand versions)

Defying gravity.

When it came on, I was so overwhelmed by how amazing the set, costumes and vocals were, I bawled like the biggest musical-loving baby there ever was. Of course, this was then a cue for the lights to come on for interval, only to reveal a wonderfully red and blotchy-faced me. Still, it was SO worth it.

4. Madam Tussauds never gets old.

It really doesn’t. I’ve been a total of three times already, and every time I have a blast. They make new sculptures quite often, so if you only go every few years, there will always be something new for you to look at.

I knew she was real!!!

They’ve also recently opened a 4D Marvel theatre. Such a cool experience and really well done! The storyline involves some of the better known Marvel characters meeting up just outside the Madam Tussauds building, where something goes horribly… horribly… wrong…

Really great effects and a chocolate toffee-apple in hand, I was perfectly happy!

5. I visit museums, therefore I am cultured.

Most of our days were spent in educational surroundings…. Yes, yes, we are incredibly intelligent, cultured travellers.

Our most notable museum visits were…

The Natural History museum:

Where Ben Stiller at?

The Science museum:

The first Apple Mac – front and centre.

And Tate’s Modern art museum:

Whaam! By Roy Lichtenstein – I remember having to analyze this in an art exam. Quite unreal.

Andy Warhol!!! The whole Warhol room was even plastered in his wallpaper design! Cows everywhere.

And that is how I spent 5 days of my globe-trekking… Next stop: Miami! 😀

Zozette

xoxo

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