The Coffee and Chocolate Expo is back at Montecasino for the second time and is said to be a WHOLE lot better than it was last year. I was invited to the opening yesterday afternoon/evening and
my sweet-tooth I definitely wasn’t disappointed.
The expo is being held in four marquees setup at Monte’s outdoor event area. Each marquee is an adventure in discovering which companies have stalls, and all that is on offer. Don’t let the title of coffee and chocolate fool you, there is so much more than just coffee and chocolate (though there is a lot of that too). There is fudge, toffee, crepes, burritos, pancakes, Body Shop goodies, beer, ice-cream, and a whole lot more!
I absolutely adored this old-school Ford that had been turned into a mobile coffee shop.
I then found the most amazing pancake stall called Choco Kebab. It’s an idea originating from Italy where there is this giant kebab of solid chocolate. The pancake is layered with Nutella, then whipped cream, then shavings from the chocolate kebab, then nuts and fruit, and finally topped with some more chocolate and a sprinkling of icing sugar. It was a little difficult to eat, but totally worth all the chocolate that ended up on my face.
Another fabulous discovery was that of chocolate moulded into high heels! This is one chocolate I don’t think I could ever eat…
If you are planning on heading to the expo this weekend, be sure to check out the following stalls… Tasha’s Fudge where six different flavours of fudge are on offer with a great deal of buy 5 and get the 6th one free. Le Pain de Vie which has the most delicious pizza (both savoury and sweet). Chocolaj for their delicious cupcakes and macaroons. Gayleen’s Decadence which boasts healthy chocolate free from all dairy, sugar, preservatives etc and sweetened only with raw honey.
My sweet tooth is really happy with the amount of goodies I bought. Now the hard part will be rationing these out over the next few days…
For more information on event times, ticket prices, etc, head over here.
Remember this post where I found out I had an incorrect restriction on my drivers license and then wrote to the papers because it seemed like my last option? Well a month and a half after the letter was published my drivers license woes are no more, and it’s all thanks to Estrelita the manager of the testing station!
She has been a life-saver in all of this! Many phone calls back and forth. Emails back and forth. And a lot of admin on her side. But it’s finally sorted!
She had to start with tracking down a copy of my driving test to prove that I did it in a manual car but with glasses/contact lenses. This proved quite tricky as apparently the hardcopy records are destroyed a few years afterwards so she had to sift through the softcopy records on the database. (Thank goodness for this database!) She finally found the correct records and had to get these through to the Transport Department along with a copy of my ID which I had to fax through. A week or so later she called to say everything was sorted and I could go and get my license renewed again.
I went through to my closest licensing department in Randburg this Monday and sat in the queue for 2 hours before the electricity went off and I gave up. I went back again on Tuesday and decided to speak to the operations manager before joining the queue. He was most unhelpful telling me that the restriction hadn’t been changed on the system. I tried to explain to him who I had spoken to, what the process had been, etc but he just wouldn’t listen. He just told me to go to Roodepoort where I did my license as they would be the only ones that could help me. So I got in my car and drove the 30 minutes to Roodepoort.
And oh my, Roodepoort was amazing! I was in and out in 5 minutes without having to wait in a single queue. The team there were so helpful in ensuring the error had been changed that I wanted to hug them all.
It’s all sorted. A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
Today I drove through to the Florida Testing Station to meet Estrelita in person and to give her a little something to say thank you. It was the least I could do after she helped me so much.
Last night I attended the VIP launch and book signing of Zelda la Grange’s book “Good Morning, Mr Mandela” at Skoobs in Montecasino. In case you didn’t know, Zelda is the former private secretary to Madiba and her book is about how she spent her adult life working and travelling with, caring for, and supporting Madiba. The book is said to “touch your life and make you believe that every one of us has the power to change”.
I am really glad I chose the spot I did to stand and wait for Zelda to arrive as I happened to be right where the book signing table was which meant I was fourth in line to get my copy of the book was signed, and there were a LOT of people at the event.
Judging by Zelda’s face/reaction here, you’d swear I had said something horrific! Although I have no idea what I was saying when the pic was taken, I promise it was really uninteresting like what my name was or that I was happy to meet her.
I’m looking forward to reading this as I have heard so much about the book since it arrived on the shelves.
The book is available in hardcover or softcover and you can buy it from your nearest book dealer, or log onto Kalahari to order online.
- Core i5
- Windows 8 Pro
- 14″ anti-glare screen
- HDR webcam
- Backlit keyboard
- 1.57kg in weight
- Up to 8 hours battery life
The TravelMate P6 series is a light but hardy notebook that was designed around the needs of business people looking for a laptop that is robust, secure and powerful. It has a carbon fibre cover, a Magnesium-Aluminium frame and a metal alloy hinge ensuring it is strong and robust for any user. The Core i5 processor with Windows 8 Pro ensures it has all the power needed to get the job done.
The TravelMate is much the same as any other Windows-based laptop. It has a slim tile keyboard, a multi-touch touchpad, ports of various kinds and sizes and a simple user interface. For its size, this laptop is packed with 3 USB ports, 1 HDMI port, 1 ethernet port, 1 VGA port, 1 SD card slot, and separate jacks for headphones and microphones.
The touchpad has dedicated left click and right click buttons as well as a fingerprint reader placed between. The dedicated buttons make it easier to select what you want, how you want, when you want. By positioning your finger on the very right part of the touchpad, you can use your fingertip as a scroller removing the need to click endlessly on the scroller within a programme.
The black keyboard is is backlit and spill-resistant. The keys are well-spaced and are quite shallow so you don’t have to press hard when typing. On the right side of the keyboard are keys for Home, Page Up, Page Down and End which make it easy to navigate the web or use in conjunction with Outlook, Word or Excel.
As with most laptops, the TravelMate allows you to choose between a Balanced power plan and a Power Saver power plan. The power plan can help you maximise performance or conserve energy. So if you’re working solely on battery power, choosing Power Saver will help make your battery life last longer.
The TravelMate is the ideal notebook for any business person. You will be hard-pressed to find a well-priced laptop that is lightweight, has a phenomenal battery life, has a sleek, no-fuss design, and the processing power to keep up with you and your business requirements.
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Backlit keyboard
- After hours of working off my lap, the laptop did not overheat or burn my legs.
- Fingerprint marks on the lid after a lot of use
Score: 8 out of 10
From the beginning of the year I have been trying to step away from the ordinary and routine and find something new and different to enjoy once a month. I was most disappointed that my To Do Item for June had to be postponed due to the uncharacteristic rain we endured and that there weren’t enough days left in the month to plan anything else. Luckily the end of one month is followed by the beginning of the next which means Sunday Lunch at Katy’s Palace Bar in Kramerville.
Katy’s hosts a lunch at their venue every first Sunday of the month from 10h00. There is a phenomenal harvest table of food made with love by the team at Fresh Catering, a fully-stocked bar, and some fabulous live entertainment. I have wanted to go ever since I first heard about it, but every month I ended up having plans for the first weekend of the month. Until now…
I decided to make the most of being free this past weekend and invited a bunch of my girls to join me. I arranged to meet them at 11h00 and despite this being only an hour after they opened their doors, all of the indoor tables were *booked when I arrived. Thank goodness I arrived earlier than expected as I managed to secure a couch area on the balcony. It was glorious out there to begin with as it wasn’t as noisy, but soon the crowds gathered and the wind picked up (but not before we’d enjoyed the delicious feast that was on offer).
The serving station was opened at 12h00 and there was quite a rush to get a plate of food while it was still piping hot. The lunch works on a pay-and-weigh system where you dish up what you want from the food provided, weigh your plate at the end and only pay for that amount at the tills (with card machines) provided. I found it was a lot quicker to pay with cash but I suppose if I was paying for two or more plates it would make sense to pay with a card rather.
The lunch was heavenly! It filled the void in my stomach from having arrived early (and hungry) and was so hearty that I had a very happy “food baby” at the end. It was so lovely spending a Sunday chilling, catching up with friends and watching the people.
*The Sunday Lunch doesn’t allow bookings or reservations, so it’s first come, first choice of seating. I’ll remember this for next time.
This was one of the things on my list to do this year. See what else I’ve got up to or what I plan to get up to over here!
At the beginning of May I went to the Randburg Licensing Department to renew my driver’s licence card. I arrived early one Thursday morning and took my place in the relatively short queue. I had no issues with the change in my surname or outstanding fines that needed to be paid, which were two of my major worries.
When renewing my licence, I have always gone to the Randburg branch because it’s nearby. Over the years they have updated their systems and when I went this year I discovered that before you pay the amount due with the cashier, they print out a page with your details that you then sign to confirm. In reading over my details I found that there was an incorrect restriction listing me as only being able to drive an automatic. Since I did my driving test in a manual car, this was obviously an error. The cashier advised me that this error could not be rectified on his system, only the testing station where I did my test could do that.
I got back home and called the testing station hoping to get a positive answer. The lady that answered the phone laughed at me and told me that since I had done my test so long ago the records had been destroyed and if I wanted to rectify the error I would have to redo both the learner and driving tests. I put the phone down and promptly burst into tears that I had yet another thing to deal with now.
I was still mulling over the situation and what I should do when I met someone at my dad’s house when I went there for dinner. He was a BIG help! First he advised me to go back to the Randburg Licensing Department and see the manager on duty to confirm that the error was not made there when renewing my licence. Once I found out that it definitely could not have been made there, he suggested I email my story through to two newspapers which I then did.
It was so weird that early last week I received a call from the testing station in question and was advised that the manager was working on it and would get back to me. I didn’t quite understand how they knew who I was when no-one had responded to my email. It was only when I saw my letter published in the newspaper on Friday that I put two and two together.
I love how JMPD responded that I may be interpreting the code incorrectly. I definitely am NOT interpreting the code incorrectly as I checked my licence card against my sister, my dad, my uncle…the world basically. The only restriction I should have on my card is having to drive with glasses/contact lenses which is a driver’s restriction. Please do yourself a favour and check your card thoroughly.
I’m hoping the manager at the testing station will be able to help put things right so that I am not forced to buy an automatic car or redo those darned tests.
(If you want to know the ending to this story then click here…)
This past Saturday was my dear friend Sheena’s bachelorette and after a lovely chilled late afternoon of cocktails, snacks and chatting we headed to Teaze-Hers. I have never been to a strip club before and was really intrigued as to what it would be like.
Teaze-Hers is situated in the same building as Teasers in Rivonia except Teasers is downstairs and Teaze-Hers is upstairs. I didn’t know this beforehand so when I arrived I walked straight through and got a bit disoriented when I saw girls dancing on the stage. I then caught someone’s attention who pointed me in the directions of a set of stairs hidden in the corner.
There was such a big difference between the two areas! The upstairs area was dark and relatively cramped with little ventilation, too-loud music, a very small stage, and no microphone to hear the announcements of the next dance routine. The downstairs area on the other hand had well-spaced booths, a double-volume ceiling, less deafening music, and a more visible stage. Perhaps it was my complete sobriety that made the music upstairs appear too loud, but the differences were there nonetheless and the Event Manager in me wanted to change everything and make it work better for us girls!
Despite the cramped, loud and non-ventilated atmosphere, and despite not being tipsy I did have the most awesome time! It made my heart happy seeing the ladies smiling around the table. Sometimes they were smiles of shock. Sometimes smiles of wonder. Sometimes smiles of sheer naughtiness.
We started off the evening choosing a stripper for a special bachelorette package which would see the bride-to-be on stage as the centre of attention. We chose Stripper James and instead of just handing him the money, I counted out the notes while slipping them into his waistband. There were no wandering hands from me!
The rest of the evening was spent ooohing! Ooohing at some of the dance routines. Ooohing at the abs on some of the guys. Ooohing at some of the tables that chose table dances resulting in complete stripper nakedness.
We had a table dance or three. And I seemed to have chosen the “safe” seat as I managed not to be picked on, well until the last table dance… That guy decided to pick me up by my thighs and slam me onto our table. It would have been sexy and hot as hell had I not banged my head so hard on the table from momentum resulting in a killer headache. But it was still fun!
The weirdest part of the whole evening?! In chatting to some of the guys we discovered that many of them are stereotypes in that they took up stripping as a way to make money to put themselves through university or to save money to pursue a specific course. One guy was paying his way through a Biomedicine degree. He wasn’t just a pretty face with abs of steel…
In keeping with my promise to do, see and experience new things this year, I got inked…
I have always wanted to get a tattoo but because I could never pin down what design I wanted or where I wanted to put it, I never got one. With everything I have been through this year (all 5 months of it) and with my thirtieth birthday coming up, now was the perfect time.
Although I decided immediately where I wanted to have my tattoo done (on my right side below my underarm), the design itself took a little while to pin down. I knew I wanted the words Serenity, Courage, and Wisdom from the Serenity Prayer and at first I was just going to have them by themselves – just plain and simple. But then I was put on to the Tree of Life idea/design and I knew I had found my design.
Generally trees are thought of long-lasting and resilient. They are meant to survive the tough times and flourish in the good times. They are considered to be a sign of strength, immortality, knowledge, wisdom, protection, growth, abundance, and forgiveness. This was it! This was perfect!
I asked a few inked friends who they’d suggest I go to and I found myself at Fallen Heroes where La made my tattoo come alive incorporating a tree with the three words in the main branches. I really am so pleased with how it turned out.
If you want to see what else I’ve got up to or what I plan to get up to, head over here!