Day 120 30 April – schnips

I have been struggling a lot with hair loss these past few months. I usually loose hair with the change of seasons, but since December last year I am too scared to touch my head as I literally loose hair by the handful. I have naturally curly hair, big spiral curls so I don’t brush my hair very often but I do use my hands as ‘combs’ and daily put them through my hair to loosen the curls. I don’t know if my hair is thinning due to always having it in a bun, or due to having a deficiency. I know iron deficiency, which I suffer from, is a known cause for hair loss but I can’t see how my iron levels could have dropped so dramatically. I am too scared to go to the doctor with this.

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Today I had a much needed hair cut and I am hoping that by cutting my hair short (it is a short uneven bob) it will have time to thicken and hopefully grow.

They say a change is as good as a holiday. And those head massages they give when they wash your hair is the best part of visiting a hair salon!

Has anyone had similar problems? Or know of a natural remedy to combat hair loss?

Day 119 29 April – hipster hippies

My husband and I were invited to his work mates wife’s 40th birthday party. The theme: 70’s and yes it’s a dress-up.

I don’t mind dressing up. It is the preparations that I don’t often have time for that bothers me. I certainly didn’t want to unnecessarily spend money on buying our outfits as these dress-up kits can easily cost $20 plus per outfit. I decided to instead purchase 2 white t-shirts from The Warehouse and 1 packet of tie-dye and create do-it-yourself tie-dye shirts. The dye cost me $4 and the shirts were $5 each.

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I had some time to spare during dinner the previous night to quickly tie-dye the shirts. I strategically tied elastic bands around selected sections of the shirts. The dye powder was dissolved in 3.75L of steaming hot water, the shirts inserted and stirred for a short while before leaving it to soak for approximately 45 minutes. Afterwards I rinsed them thoroughly with cold water and put them in the washing machine on a rinse only cycle. I removed the elastic bands and hanged the shirts to dry overnight. We were pleasantly surprised with the outcome and would most likely be wearing the shirts on a casual basis.

The night itself was pleasant. We didn’t really know anyone there but we made the most of our time. My husband even went into a photo booth with me and we have 4 fun and funky photos to show for it!

Peace, love and prosperity to you all.

Day 117 27 April – dessert cups

My daughter’s best friend’s parents happen to be good friends of ours. Two weeks ago she received news that her brother passed away. He was suffering from an infection which had left him in a vegetative state for over a year. She travelled back to her home town in Thailand soon after which left her husband to look after my daughter’s friend and her younger sister.

To give him a helping hand we invited them over for dinner tonight because from what I heard his speciality has been mince on rice 🙂 I prepared a vegetarian lasagne with chicken nibbles and fresh ciabatta bread to soak up the sauciness. The lasagne took a whole lot longer to prepare than the 1/2 hour I gave myself. The vegetable  sauce took the longest to boil down and thicken. But in all honesty, it was well worth it! All 4 children gobbled it down with my son (not a trusty veggie eater) exclaimed afterwards, “It wasn’t good, it was delicious”.

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For dessert I turned a traditional South African peppermint crisp tart into a dessert cup. A peppermint crisp tart is made from a South African chocolate called Peppermint Crisp which is roughly grated and then folded into a cream and caramel mixture. We use a coconut based biscuit called Tennis biscuits to form the biscuit base. You start off with a layer of biscuits, followed by the cream mixture. Repeat the layers until you have the required height/size you want. Top the tart or dessert cup off with left-over pieces of peppermint crisp chocolate. It needs to set in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. The dessert cups were reasonably large and after a filling dinner it was a bit overkill, so I would suggest serving these in small jars.

Peppermint Crisp dessert cups (serves 6)

500ml cream

1 tin Caramel Treat

3 Peppermint Crisp bars, roughly grated

1 1/2 packets of Tennis biscuits, crushed

6 small mason jars

Whisk cream until thickened. Add the Caramel Treat and gently whisk until the mixture is well combined and smooth. Add the grated peppermint crisp (but leave some for the garnish) to the mixture and fold in until well combined. Layer the mason jars, starting with the crushed biscuits and followed by the cream mixture. Repeat until the jars are filled to the top. Garnish with left-over peppermint crisp. Let it set in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Enjoy!

 

 

Day 116 26 April – oatilicious

I am not a huge breakfast eater at home. Now I don’t mind going out to a cafè, sit, relax and eat till my tummy is satisfied but that’s a luxury we don’t have at the moment so home cooked breakfasts it shall be. I usually have egg or avo on toast, and there was a time when I enjoyed muesli, fruit and yogurt but the trend seems to wear off and I get bored with my meals.

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I’ve seen some incredible creations lately of oatmeal and/or smoothie bowls so this morning I tried making something hearty and warm for myself and the kids. Luckily my pantry is stocked with rolled oats as I often use it for baking the kids’ school treats. The rest of the ingredients I sourced from the freezer and fridge. I made a mixed berry oatmeal, topped with sliced plum, almonds and additional berries. I lightly sprinkled cinnamon sugar over as I know my kids will ask if they can add some sweetner.

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Breakfast took me 10 minutes to make and it was filling and satisfying. With winter approaching this will surely become a favorite in the house.

What is your go-to winter breakfast?

Day 115 25 April – sweet treats

We have SO many birthdays in April. Not only was it my dad’s birthday on the 19th, but a good friend of mine celebrated his birthday on the 21st, my mother-in-law on the 22nd and my brother-in-law today the 25th. I arranged for flowers to be delivered to my mother-in-law for her birthday as it is hopeless trying to send something through the post to South Africa. I have used NetFlorist several times this year to deliver beautiful flowers to friends and family and I highly recommend them! Their service is impeccable, their products fresh and they are very affordable having to pay in NZ$.

Today is Anzac Day. I spoke a little about what this day is all about in my post Poppies and I can’t help but get emotional on this day. In 2010 I attended my first dawn service to commemorate the returned soldiers and remember those who have lost their lives to bravely serve their country. These services stir your spirit and awaken a sense of gratitude.

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In celebration of Anzac day I baked traditional Anzac biscuits. I have never baked these before and can’t believe how easy they are. The biscuits are believed to have been baked by the soldiers’ wives who would send them abroad. The biscuits are made from rolled oats, flour, sugar with butter and golden syrup as the binding agent. The more factual story is that they were baked and sold at public events to raise funds for the war effort. They received the name of ‘soldier biscuits’ and it was only after Gallipoli, and with the New Zealand and Australian troops known as ANZAC, that the biscuits were given the name Anzac biscuits.

My daughter also returned today from her 5 day visit in Tauranga and with her she brought a small jar of guavaberry jam which our friend made. I am in love! I served a small teaspoon with our coconut pikelets. It is tart yet sweet and goes well with the maple syrup and dark chocolate. We have a guavaberry bush and I will certainly be repeating this smooth, delicious jam recipe soon!