An unforgettable Paper Anniversary

Unbelievable that a year has gone by

Wow a year already? Just feels like yesterday

A whole year and you two are still so much in love

I heard these statements, and the like, rephrased in many different ways over and over by loved ones for the last week.  I just have to smile because I can believe it has been a year, a wonderful year of being married to my best friend…my soul mate…the first of many years ahead.

Our wedding was small and intimate, as intimate as 80 people can be, we focused on sharing our joy and happiness with the people closest and dearest to us. With one of the best wedding teams in the country, St Francis Links Golf Estate exceeding all our expectations.

angie roux wedding 21012012

angie roux wedding shoes 21012012

But you all know the story of our wedding…now for the story of our first anniversary.

Monday past, being our first wedding anniversary, represented by paper, I had in my mind that I should expect a gift voucher of sorts – maybe to the day spa or the bookstore…but I am blessed with a very romantic husband.

Sunday afternoon, Justin arrived home from work with 3 envelopes.  I at first took no notice of them as I was very concerned he had forgotten to pick up the odds and ends that were essential to my dinner preparation.  Picking the envelopes up to move out of my way while I frantically dug in the shopping bag, I noticed the one said “1st Anniversary” which obviously grabbed my short attention span away from the shopping packet.

angie roux anniversary part 1 21012013

There in my hand were 3 envelopes marked “1st Anniversary”. The first one, Part 1 was to be opened on Sunday.  Anyone who knows me, knows I love surprises, and even more so, I love the game that goes with a surprise.  Part one was bullet point instructions to pack essentials.  This got me even giddier as not only was it a surprise but it was a going away surprise. I was in my eliminate right there!

Part 2 of my envelopes were only to be opened when Justin told me to do so.  I was dying inside as I needed to know what the next part of the surprise was. But I had to wait…I didn’t do so very patiently, asking every 5kms if I could open the envelope. Eventually the go ahead was give, Part Two was instructions to please help the driver with directions, a map was fastened to the letter.

angie roux anniversary part 2 21012013

Arriving at our destination I was overcome with such love for this man.  He knows the internal workings of my mind so well, he understands how I love being isolated and in a natural environment, yet don’t do the camping / hiking or any general outdoors type activities.  He knows just the right spots.  Our anniversary destination was Misty Mountain Lodge in Tsitsikamma, situated between Plettenberg Bay and Jefferys Bay. The resort is based on a cliff and overlooks the ocean with the most picture perfect scenes.

The afternoon of just being together –  laughing and sharing, the joys of no phones…being surrounded by peace and calmness and simply enjoying each other’s company was the perfect way to spend our anniversary.  We explored what the venue had to offer, followed by a relaxing bubble bath, building up to the delicious dinner shared over drinks and much happiness.  The staff of Misty Mountains was amazing, very welcoming and so efficient.

angie roux misty mountain lodge 21012013

Part 3 was only allowed to be opened on Monday morning, the day of our anniversary.  Justin wrote me a love letter, filling my hearth with warmth and my eyes with tears.  I am so fortunate to have the unconditional love from this man.  Every day that goes by, I count my blessing.  Along with my love letter was an “IOU” for the next time we are in Port Elizabeth to go pick out jewellery…a romantic weekend away with my amazing husband and jewellery…sorry ladies, he is all mine!  Can a girl get any luckier?

angie roux anniversary part 3 21012013

Secret Santa and the joy of giving

Secret Santa is such a great game…I love how buying something for someone else is always such a  challenge, then throw in the obstacle of not knowing the person at all, and you are just completely baffled.

This year, in a quick conversation with Tandy, I asked about doing Secret Santa, the sad reality is that some people take part but don’t play the game right.  They are happy to receive gifts but never send gifts, this is not on.  Hence why Tandy was a little skeptical about doing it again…however, after short notice, it was all put together.

The best part about the whole Secret Santa things for me, the fact that I found new blogs that I would not normally have discovered!  I had to buy for a blogger who I didn’t even know existed, so an even bigger challenge, but having said that, I did get the opportunity to explore a lovely blog and get to know a new fellow blogger.

My gift I received was lovely.  Sometimes it blows my mind how us food people think…I had just posted off my gift when I received my Secret Santa and low and behold, we both had a spice mix in our little care package!

Other little things I received in my parcel…

secerte santa

So I want to say a very big thank you to my Secret Santa, your parcel was lovely and will definitely be used well in my kitchen!

Welcome 2013…you are going to be a fantastic year

And so 2013 has arrived.   Christmas celebrations came and went, followed by the big decision as to what one should do for New Years, all through our busy little town the big discussions of where, what and how while buzzing around and getting in your last bit of 2012 before that first day of 2013’s hangover sets in and you spend your day lazing around.

Sitting now and watching the news, you really take in all that happened last night, from the tragedy of the fires in Cape Town, to the tradition of the Annual Malay Choir Parade being cancelled due to Mother Nature’s wrath.  All this makes you really think hard about your year that has passed, and your year ahead, waiting for you to embrace it all.

I had a wonderful 2012, I started the year by marrying my best friend, my soul mate and the one person who never judges my choices, who supports me and loves me unconditionally. Babe, you bring a smile not only to my face, but also to my heart…every day I fall in love with you more and more.

0119 IMG_3874t IMG_4055 IMG_4192 IMG_4275 IMG_4432

Mid-way through the year I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Food & Wine Bloggers Indaba in Cape Town, little did I know that this was the kick-start to so many new challenges, goals and dreams that will be accomplished in 2013, along with this, I spent the day with my wonderful friends, catching up, drinking wine and enjoying delicious food.  This needs to be done more often girls!

Along with these two events, so many other wonderful moments for 2012 spring to mind…

IMG_0437 sky meadcafe001omelett

Now all long 2012 was not always sunshine and roses, there were a few tears, a few days of feeling defeated…there were days of internal screaming and shouting in my own head, but with each one of these days, came the unconditional support and love from my wonderful family and friends, who makes even the darkest clouds have a silver lining.

I do not have any New Years resolutions…this explains it all…

249877_579303162085957_405465329_n

So…with this, farewell 2012, it has been great, thank you for not ending.   2013, the year of the snake, this year is the first year since 1987 to have all its digits being different numbers. I embrace you and cannot wait to experience all you have to offer.

Book Review – On The Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

So what is the story?  (Taken from http://www.goodreads.com)

When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family’s summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day. T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He’s almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn’t bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family – and a stack of overdue assignments – instead of his friends.

Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.’s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island.


When I first looked at this book, I kind of put it one side, thought when I have nothing else to read, I will pick it up. I wish I never did that! I think I have only ever given one other book five stars, that being Water For Elephants by Sara Greun.

This story is broken down into 3 parts.

The first, you are introduced to Anna, and immediately you like her bubbly personality that hides her sadness, and then T.J is introduced and you have this feeling of sorrow for him, they meet at the airport where his parents have organised flights for them to join on a holiday in the Maldives, where she is spending her summer tutoring T.J.  I love her character, she is kind, caring, and genuine,  she has taken this job for a few different reason, thinking it will be a few weeks and she will be back to her normal life.  After weather conditions causes them to have a few hiccups in their travel plans, finally getting a seaplane to charter them, the pilot suffers from a heart attack, but what got me the most was Anna, and how that caring and genuine concern comes through in her character, she is concerned, she wants to help and most importantly she helps without thinking too much of herself. The plane crashes and proceeds to sink, Anna & T.J are the only survivors.  They have hopes of being found and for the first few days hang on to the possibility that the planes that fly overhead will see them.

Part Two of the story is the adjustment, the accepting that they now live on this island, how the two of them become bonded not only in tragedy but in the fact that neither of them would want to survive the island without the other.  Together they work on building proper shelter; they work out how to eat, gather water, keep hygienic and how to keep themselves occupied during the days.  Together they get through storms, through shark attacks and through T.J’s transition from being a 17 year old boy and becoming 20 year old man, and Anna growing older, being in her early 30ties, and how her dreams of having children and being married might never be a reality. The fear of T.J’s cancer coming back, the illness’s that are easily picked up on the island. The emotion from the two characters individually fascinates, but the emotions that the characters are when together are just electrifying.  As the days go on, Anna & T.J develop a connection that is so strong that saying they fall in love would not justify the true feelings.

Part Three, and if you don’t want the spoiler, you need to stop reading here!

One day a storm is brewing on the island, turns out a Tsunami hits the island, and Anna & T.J are finally rescued.  And now, for them to adjust back into a world that they were ripped from 4 years ago, so much changes in 4 years as they discover, Anna must deal with more sadness, T.J must deal with being a 20 year old “kid” again, together they have to adjust, wanting to help each other but Anna not wanting to hold T.J back and keep him from missing out on the life he should of been having and would still be having if they were never stranded on an island.  T.J doesn’t know how to be what is expected from him, and the journey of the two characters letting go and rediscovering their bond and now for their friends and family to adjust to who they are.

This to me is not a romance novel; it’s more a novel about change, the loss and sadness one can feel, isolation and survival, about finding out who you are when you are taken from a world you know, and finding that real human connection with someone.

Favorite flavor combinations & home made pizza

I think one of my all time favourite foods to create at home is a good home made pizza, and I know I have blogged about this before, but I think another home made pizza blog is definitely in order.

For the wedding, my lovely friends Liza & Gerrie gave a great present, a pizza board and cutter.  And let me tell you, this has made a few appearances at dinner time.  I think its just such a great way to not only whip up a quick pizza for us, but also for when entertaining!

These pizzas were kind of “what I have in my friend” type of pizzas.  Today on in the world of Twitter, the question was raised…what is your favourite flavour combinations, and it’s such a great question. These pizzas has so many great combinations…

Bacon, feta, mushrooms and spinach
Green fig, camembert & bacon
BBQ chicken, feta , peppadews & roasted peppers

Now the best part of pizza, and again the reason why I love it so much, is just the versatility of it, you can create so many different flavours, there is no right and wrong when it comes to pizza, from the toppings, to the sauce to the dough.

Why not add some excitement t your dough, maybe a little beer dough, or if you like to spice things up some garlic and red chilli flakes.  Another something and something I like is to add extra cheese to the dough, always brings that “double cheese” flavour though.

So now the question that @lusciousCT raised, what is your favourite flavour combination

 

30 before 30 list and new hobbies

My latest hobby, knitting. I have knitted before, don’t get me wrong, I know the 101 of knitting, however, I can’t say with pride that I have every created anything from a ball of wool and 2 needles…well until now. So far I have created a beanie, which I have to say I am madly in love with, and I am about three quarter way through a winter scarf, which I shall make a matching beanie.

But I am guessing the real question going through your mind is…why knitting. Well, I have a 30 before 30 list which I have been trying to knock out of the way. I can happily say that I am on a roll! I am currently 29 and 3 months, and only have a few items left on my list. I know one or two will be pushed onto my 35 before 35 list, but that is January’s worry.

My 30 before 30 list is as follows

Learn to play golf – Since I am married to a golf pro (and been working in the golf industry for 5 years), this is done and dusted. We go out to the driving range once a week, I now not only can drive the ball, I can keep up with the lingo and even watched parts of the Masters with my husband.

Learn to scuba dive – this needs to be done still – I have a plan in motion, when it warms up.

Experience Victoria Falls – I have been to Niagara, so I have to see Vic. Hopefully this year.

Go on a cruise ship – Again, hopefully this year

Knit a scarf – This I have completed. My Mother in law was such a great help!

Own a brand new car – This has been achieved when I bought my brand new car last year August.

Do a wine course – I often look at the Wine Academy of Cape Town…I want! I need to find a way to do this! Anyone know of a correspondence course or one in the Eastern Cape?

Own a bonsai tree – My lovely husband gave me a Weeping Boerboon last year to celebrate our 1 year of dating. She is beautiful, she is so well loved and is still full of luscious green leave

Touch a dolphin – Now I know this sounds somewhat suspect. It was originally swim with dolphins, but I really want to go to a place like ushaka marine world – I got this from their website – Meet a Dolphin Get up close and personal with one of the ocean’s most incredible mammals. You will be able to meet, touch and feed a dolphin – a once in a lifetime experience.

Plant a tree for my 30th birthday – This I will complete the day I turn 30

Go to the FBI2012 and spend time with all the inspiring foodie friends – this plan is in motion as we speak!

Be able to converse in a foreign language – I have 2 years of very basic German under my belt, I would like to carry on with this.

Complete a photographic Diary for a month – I have now done 2 of these, and I love it!

Make a scrap book – Now people who know me know that I am not very sentimental, but I would like to make a scrapbook of our wedding…maybe

Play Bingo with a crowd of “Bingoers” – This was awesome. I “bingo’ed” with the best of “bingoers”. When I was in the USA I use to watch this, and never had the courage to do so, until there was a bingo night and we went, had loads of fun. Didn’t bingo at all though

Have an inspiring blog – I like to believe that I inspire at least one or two people out there, so I feel I have achieved this!

Host a traditional Japanese tea party – For our wedding we received the most beautiful tea set from my brother & his wife, this is just about done and dusted, just need to find people who like to drink tea.

Complete 1 Open Course Program – This is important to me, open course is free online programs from different colleges in the USA which you can do at leisure. You don’t get a degree or anything, however, it’s a learning experience, and you can never take away knowledge

Cook the national dish of 2 countries from every continent – I think this would be such a wonderful research project

Write a letter to my “Old Self” – This was inspired by a book I read, and it’s so true. I want to write a letter to my old self to tell her not to worry, you have not only succeeded in your career, but in life as well, you have a wonderful husband, a lovely home, live in a great area, and have a wonderful family and FYI your parents don’t hate, they only want what’s best for their little girl.

Read more – at least 15 books this year. I have achieved 7 so far, so I think I am well on my way to finishing this one.

Start drawing & Painting again – I have done one drawing so far this year, I am not putting much punch behind this to task, however, I know I have time. I want to complete at least one painting this year, and at least 10 drawings.

Travel somewhere completely new – This has been done when my husband took me on honeymoon to Umgazi Rive Lodge. I have not experienced the Transki before, so this was such a wonderful journey, and I got to share it with him.

Eat something so different it will make other people go WHAT?!?!? – I achieved this when I ate deep fried pig brain. It was actually very tasty and I have since at it twice.

Blog for an entire month everyday – not a photo diary – would be awesome to blog like I use to, where I would sometimes post twice a day.

Be more daring with my makeup – I have always done the casual look, be as natural as possible, and being in the kitchen means I don’t often get to glitz myself up. Lately I have been experimenting with bold fun colours on my eyes and I am loving it!

Have professional photo set done – Done this when we had our engagement photos done as well as our wedding photos It was so much fun, Heather from Heather Stevens Photography is absolutely wonderful.

Visit the top of Table Mountain – I want to sit on top of the mountain and overlook Cape Town with my wonderful husband.

Jodi Picoult’s latest offering, Lone Wolf, a must read

I was first introduced to Jodi Picoult books when I went on a trip to Washington DC and I desperately needed something to read on the plane, so I grabbed the first book available to me off the bookshelf at home, which was My Sisters Keeper. I never really started reading until after the trip as it was just to fun filled, but once I opened the book and read the first page, I was hooked!

When I heard the news that Jodi Picoult was launching a new book in February 2012, Lone Wolf, I was super duper excited. I really enjoy her work, for one reason alone…the emotions. I find with her books that you become each character, you have strong feelings for each character, whether it positive or negative feelings, you feel!

I so often read a book and don’t really connect with the characters and you kind of feel like you just reading the book, going through the emotions.

Lone Wolf, Picoult’s latest books got me from the start. It tells a story of Luke, who not only researches wolves, but integrated his life into a wolf pack for 2 years by living with them a pack, his daughter, 17 year old Cara who lives with him, his son Edward who left when he was 18 due to an argument with his father, and Georgie, his ex wife. Their stories entwine when Cara and Luke are in a car accident, and Edward needs to make the decision of whether or not to keep his father on life support or to take him off, and donate his organs.

The story unfolds very quickly, when Edward makes the decision to remove his father from life support, yet Cara believes their father has a chance to come out of his vegetative state, their fight with each other involves Joe, Cara’s new stepdad (Georgies Husband) who defends Edward, in the legal battle of who has the right to make the decision. Edward, who has not seen his father in 6 years, or Cara who is only 3 months away from being legally allowed to make this decision, yet who has lived with Luke and organized their daily lives together.

The story come out of how the car crash really happened, and why Edward really left in the first place, and the uniting of two siblings who were once very close, who now go to court to fight over whether to “kill” their father or not. To throw the mix out a little, a guardian of the state is called in to give a recommendation as to who she thinks is best suited for the decision.

From the get go, I disliked Cara simply because she is a typical teenager who thinks she knows it all, her lies and deceit is apparent from the get go, Edward kind of grew on me, as the story goes deeper, you realize he is just following his fathers last wish, but the best part of the book for me is Luke, and his story through all of this. He reveals his life, living with the wolves, a lot of research he has put into wolves. From the get go I knew the outcome for Luke, so that was no surprise, however the interaction of the two siblings captivated me and every now and then I thought one way and the story went another way.

I don’t want to give away too much of the story for those who want to read the book still, all I can say, this is definitely one of my top 5 Jodi Picoult books.
In no particular order, other recommendations of her books are My Sisters Keeper – the movie does NOT do it justice, Plain Truth – again, the movie does no justice to this book, Sing You Home, Harvesting the Heart and Nineteen Minutes.