Thursday, 31 July 2014

Fashion Update: Rough it up sleekly

People are more violently opposed to fur than leather, because it is safer to harass rich heiresses than biker gangs. That said, let's cut the cliche, because leather has been making a classic statement in the fashion world for decades now.

For years it has always been about the perfect black leather jacket, to add an edge to an otherwise casual or feminine outfit, but what about incorporating leather in other manners?
Adding a touch of the old tanned skin, can really elevate your outfit. It is a fine line between casual chic and Texas tomboy, but the examples below show perfectly how it can and should be done.

Forget black, your leather jacket can be any colour from tan, dark brown, ox blood or baby pink

Add accents of leather for an understated, but interesting design detail. 

Leather pants can look great if the fit is right and it's paired with contrasting textures.

You can never go wrong with a simple tan or black shopping style handbag.

Ox blood, staying for another season - the colour that is.

Leather incorporated on the runways, in delicate shades and shapes.

The classic.

However you choose to incorporate it, wear with confidence and cool. Beware of perspiration versus the non breathable material and if you are vegan or do not support the wear of animal skins, there are great pleather and vinyl options available out there.

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Eat Up: Spinach Power Salad

Bikini bodies are made in Winter, as the saying goes, but I'd like to state that healthy bodies are not made but kept well throughout the year. A healthy lifestyle is key including a good nutritious diet and cardiovascular exercise, no juice cleanses or colonics.

On days when I have long class hours and no time for a meal after class and before a run, I pack a salad. Not a lettuce and tomato salad, but something that I know will keep me going for the day, without causing a sugar spike.

The spinach power salad was a mix of a few recipes that I tried and tested until I found what worked for my tastebuds as well as my body.

Spinach Power Salad - 2 Servings


-3 cups spinach, rinsed and shredded
-1/2 cup chickpeas
-100 ml feta, crumbled
-1 avo, cubed
-smoked chicken, size of your palm, cut into cubes(omit for a vegetarian option)
-handful of pomegranate seeds(replace with green apples, if not in season)
-chilli flakes
-balsamic vinegar

1. In a bowl with a lid, place spinach, chickpeas, feta, avo and chicken.
2. Close the bowl and give it a shake, tossing the salad well.
3. Open and scatter with pomegranate seeds and chilli flakes.
4. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, replace lid and shake again.

This salad will keep well for up to three days, if stored in a airtight container in the fridge.

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Cheese Laweez: let's Wine & Dine

See that's the thing about wine, it doesn't matter whether it's cold outside or the sun is shining; it doesn't matter whether you are celebrating or just had a rough day - you can always uncork a bottle of vino.

Bonus! There is a wine to go with every type of food, be it fish, cheese or even chocolate. So now I ask you, what better way to spend a date, celebration or sunny afternoon, than with a good wine and cheese platter? You choose your wine and then just match the cheese to the wine palate, add some fruit, crackers or cold meats and you've got lunch on your hands.

A simple guide to pairing  your cheese and wine:

My personal favourites to put on my cheese platter, based on what my dining partner and I find palatable:

-salticrax or provitas
-grapes or fresh strawberries
-dried apricot
-pesto princess's Greek pesto
-crusty bread
-olive&fig jam
-Simonsberg's chive flavoured cream cheese
-rosa tomatoes and cucumber crudite's
-parma ham and green olives

I also find that when entertaining a beautifully set table and snacks, can set the mood for a great evening. It doesn't need to be extravagant, a simple wooden chopping board and artistically arranged food can make a big difference, have a look at the examples below.

If you are sold on the idea, but just too damn lazy, you can simply browse the websites of the wine farms, from Cape Town, to Stellenbosch to Franschoek, many offer ready made picnic baskets for you to enjoy with a partner or a group of friends. So what are you waiting for? Let's wine&dine our way to summer.

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Thursday, 10 July 2014

Gear Up: Flash to train

Flash your sneakers that is, no boobs please - there are enough accidents on the road as is. I am talking about the latest technology in running shoes and training and fitness apparel. Designed to up the safety of the runners, walkers and cyclists on the road, with built in technology that reflects the lights of the cars shone on them. These are just one of many latest inventions in the training and fitness world where technology meets fashion, to enhance or protects fitness fanatics.

Why this sudden jump from fashion to fitness, you may ask?
Two reasons. At the end of last year, I moved slightly further up the mountains of Cape Town and slightly further away from my place of study. I could no longer walk to class and count those 4 km as part of my daily exercise. I needed a new way to stay fit and healthy - lucky for me my new place was closer to the mountains and ocean. It didn't take long to come up with a reachable new years resolution. I was going to take up running again. In 2014 I wanted to be able to run a 10 km under an hour and complete my first half marathon. I accomplished my 10 km goal in April and this weekend I am participating in the Knysna Forest half marathon.

The other reason my focus shifted to training gear was because of the great opportunity I had these past three weeks to intern at the PUMA Cape Town office in their merchandising division. I got a behind-the-scenes look at why they are selling the shoes and apparel that they do, how it helps the runner with their work out and why there is a need for great looking training gear.

That was a big puzzler for me in the beginning: ' Why do you want to wear beautiful clothes when you are sweaty and tired?'

After six months of being sweaty and tired, I came to the following conclusion.
It isn't always easy to put the TV remote down and head outside to train, but dressing in a matching sports bra and tights combo or a sleeveless shiny puff jacket and great looking trainers, makes it a little easier. You take more pride in your workout and the old saying applies that, 'when you look good, you feel good'.
And thanks to leading sport apparel companies such as PUMA we are not only getting better looking training gear, but also gear that helps you perform better.

If you don't believe me, just take a look at these shots.

PUMA FAAS 500 V3 trainers

Training set by Nike

Nike asymmetrical sports bra and hot pants set

Tights by Roxy

PUMA purple set

PUMA spring pink set

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Friday, 4 July 2014

Eat Up: Weekender Breakfast French Toast Muffin

No, you're not still drunk from last night, you read the caption correctly - It does have both the words french toast and muffin in it and I am going have to state that this recipe takes the best from both these delicious breakfast orientated foods, to give you the ultimate weekender breakfast. I say weekender because, you'll try this recipe once and crave it erey day son, until Monday comes along to rob you of your happiness.

Not only do these look adorable, there is perfectly hard and crunchy streusel on the outside with a delicious moist inside. I know the photo above features a fork, but they are best eaten with your hands, tearing apart the French Toast Muffin and enjoying it chunk by chunk, I just didn't want people to think that I'm a raging maniac that doesn't know how to use my utensils.

Ingredients: For the french toast muffins (12)

1 loaf french bread cut into cubes
2 cups milk
6 eggs 
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon.

For the streusel:

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 butter cut into cubes

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and spray a 12 tin muffin tray with cooking spray.
2.  In a large bowl combine the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
3. Fill each muffin hole with a handful of bread cubes and pour egg mixture over the bread cubes, pressing        down the bread cubes to allow more liquid to be absorbed.
4. Cover the muffins with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
5. For the streusel, in a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and butter.
6. Mix through with your finger until coarse crumbs form.
7. Sprinkle streusel evenly over the muffins.
8. Bake the muffins for 25 min or until golden.

Serve warm with syrup and a strong cup of coffee.

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