Thursday, 27 November 2014

Instagram Challenge Week 3

I've got a bit distracted last week, but here is my indieBerries Instagram challenge round up from week 3 (the last week of the challenge). It was great to see what people came up with from a simple prompt! I had such fun doing this challenge and now have a bunch of new apps and techniques for making stuff myself and being more creative - thanks indieBerries!

Shadow Play
Day 11 - Shadow Play using Studio Design app 
Fake Calligraphy
Day 12 - Fake Calligraphy
An Arrangement
Day 13 - An arrangement of things I had
with me at work

~~~~~ Follow Practical Cookie ~~~~~
~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pintrest ~ Instagram ~

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Tips for Visiting Cape Town

The Mother City is a place that many people fall in love with when they visit her. Complex and many-layered, she offers something for everyone - the foodie, the theatre buff, the outdoors enthusiast, the holiday-maker, the student and anyone in between. No matter what type of visitor you are to the Cape, there are a few things that apply to everyone - here are my top 5 tips for visiting Cape Town. 

5. Leave Your Umbrella At Home
Cape Town is notoriously windy and while an umbrella may seem like a good idea when the rain is bucketing down, it's not always practical because it's inevitably also windy whenever it's raining. I've seen way too many umbrellas lost to crazy Cape Town winds and they're more a hindrance than a help in the Cape. Instead of bringing your umbrella along with you, rather bring along a rain coat with a hood.

4. Drive In The Right Lane
When driving in Cape Town (especially along Main Road) stay in the right hand lane as much as possible. This will help to minimise your frustrations with taxi's and buses who notoriously stop right in front of you without warning, usually in the most inconvenient places.

3. Don't Drink and Drive
Apart from the obvious safety implications, there is a huge police presence in Cape Town. At night (and sometimes during the day) there are often road blocks along the roads and while you may get lucky and get waved through a road block, drinking and driving just isn't worth it. It's much easier to catch a taxi. Or use Uber (which means you don't need to worry about cash!). 

2. Make Flexible Plans
The best laid plans can be blown to smithereens when Cape Town weather doesn't play nice. If you're planning to do something "outdoorsy" during your visit to Cape Town, I would suggest having a plan B which is geared towards more indoor activities. Since the weather changes at the drop of the hat, you need to be prepared to be flexible. Wine-tasting is always a good alternative. Alternatively, the weather is sometimes completely different on the other side of the mountain, so you could always try going for a drive to the other side if the side you're on doesn't have the weather you're hoping for!

1. Always take something warm with you
This is hands down the best piece of advice I have been given and if you remember nothing else, then remember this. I clearly remember being told by a relative, just before I started at UCT, that no matter where I go in Cape Town, I should always take something warm with me. Especially if it's somewhere that takes you from afternoon to evening. I have been saved many an evening of chattering teeth by this simple piece of advice.

Cape Town Mountains and Clouds
The view driving through Constantia Glen wine farm.

~~~~~ Follow Practical Cookie ~~~~~
~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pintrest ~ Instagram ~

Friday, 21 November 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Bits

A few weeks ago, on a fine Sunday afternoon, I suddenly got this incredible craving for cookies - something warm and hard-soft-gooey. I quickly browsed through some recipes for peanut butter cookies and then found one that mentioned peanut butter choc chip cookies. I was sold on that idea. I decided to use this classic peanut butter cookie recipe as my base and then added my own twist to it.

Here's my version of the recipe above.

1 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bar of chocolate (optional)
a handful of some real peanuts and raisins (optional)

Ingredients for Peanut Butter Cookies
Peanut butter cookies ingredients
Peanut Butter Cookie mixture
Peanut butter cookie mixture

1. Cream the butter, peanut butter, white sugar and brown sugar.

2. Add the eggs and beat until everything is mixed.

3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Then add the dry ingredients, chocolate pieces and peanuts and raisins to the batter and mix.

4. You can cool the batter in the fridge or deep freeze if you don't want your cookies to "ooze" too much while baking.

5. Take pieces of the batter and roll into balls, put them on a greased baking tray and bake at about 180 degrees C for 10-15 minutes (or until the bottom of the cookie edges start to get brown). I chose to make small cookies, but you can choose to make bigger ones too!

Peanut butter cookies ready for baking
Peanut butter cookies ready to go in the oven.

~~~~~ Follow Practical Cookie ~~~~~
~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pintrest ~ Instagram ~

Monday, 17 November 2014

Instagram Challenge Week 2

This is my round up of week 2 of the indieBerries Instagram challenge, which is encouraging people to be more creative and to make their own content instead of using someone else's stuff. It's not too late to join - you can follow indieBerries on Instagram to receive each day's prompt. 

If you don't want to join, but would like to see what I come up with, you can follow me on Instagram (or Facebook). Alternatively, you can look for the #myoriginalawesomeness hashtag and see all things created under this challenge!

MyOriginalAwesomeness Day 6
Challenge Day 6
MyOriginalAwesomeness Day 7
Challenge Day 7
MyOriginalAwesomeness Day 8 Part 1
Challenge Day 8 - Image 1
MyOriginalAwesomeness Day 8 Part 2
Challenge Day 8 - Image 2
MyOriginalAwesomeness Day 8 Part 3
Challenge Day 8 - Image 3

MyOriginalAwesomeness Day 9
Challenge Day 9
MyOriginalAwesomeness Day 10
Challenge Day 10

~~~~~ Follow Practical Cookie ~~~~~
~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pintrest ~ Instagram ~

Friday, 14 November 2014

Weekend Cycle and Camping Trip

Friends cycling and smiling
A blended picture I made of our cycling group picture and
a few of us in action.
This past weekend a friend of mine organised a cycle around Cape Point with an overnight stay in Kommetjie - this was such a great way to spend a weekend, especially since the weather held out for us and we had beautiful views for our entire ride. 

We started off at 7.30 from Rondeboch and took a very chilled cycle past Kirstenbosch, Hout Bay, up Chappies and eventually ending up at Soetwater Camp Site in Kommetjie. After stopping off for a delicious breakfast about 3/4 of the way through our ride, we got to the camp site at about 12.30 and spent a great afternoon setting up camp and watching the ocean (which was way too cold to swim in). 

The following day, we left at around 09:30 and cycled all the way through to Kalk Bay where we stopped off for some amazing ice creams and then had a drink and bite to eat before catching the train back home. 

All in all, a really great weekend outdoors enjoying summer!

Group photo of cycling friends
Group pic
Cyclists admiring sea view
Everyone admiring the beautiful sea view

Cyclist being hardcore
Frosty playing with his bike

~~~~~ Follow Practical Cookie ~~~~~
~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pintrest ~ Instagram ~

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Some High School Memories

I've recently been in touch with an old friend from high school who I haven't been in touch with for ages. The night after I chatted with her, I had the most vivid dream of being back at high school. 

It was early morning and time for Chapel - the only problem was that I didn't have my school uniform! Luckily I had my car and keys to my car on me and since I lived literally 5 minutes from school, I figured no prob, I could zip home, put on my uniform and still be back in time for Chapel. 

When I woke up that feeling of being back at school and ready for Chapel lingered with me for ages and it got me thinking to some of my high school memories, so I figured I would share some of them with you:

  • 5am swimming training where we would all pitch, bleary-eyed and dive into a cool pool. Walking back up to the house after training with our slops squeeking the whole walk back.
  • Sitting on a blanket on Front Lawn with a few friends during rest, just chilling, chatting, reading, drawing.
  • Lining up for Chapel on cold Winter mornings when the bell went, bundled up in our tracksuits, various coloured house ties peeking through our scarves and breathing out clouds of white "mist" that would fog up my glasses.
  • Finding my friend, Alice, who had the warmest hands and standing there with my cold hands between hers, warming them up.
  • Walking arm-in-arm to lunch, chattering away with a friend or two, hoping that lunch would be yummy.
  • Monday morning art practical sessions, where everyone would share what happened on their weekends - exciting stories and plans already forming for the next weekend out.
  • Being busy from the moment you open your eyes until the moment you go to bed.
  • Friends taking "runs" in the vlei. Which meant they were actually coming to visit me and be in a home. We would sit on the veranda, drink some tea or coffee and eat some yummy home-made treats. Sometimes, we would have an early supper and then sneak people back in time for prep.
  • The interhouse activities: swimming, athletics, drama, music, public speaking...
  • Sports events in the afternoons and over weekends with our busses often stopping off at the Mc Donalds for us to get some sort of treat, before heading back to school.
  • Giggling during maths lessons - trying to understand what everyone else was talking about. It was probably one of my least favourite subjects, which is ironic considering my career choice!
  • Debates during english that got heated but were always interesting.
  • Learning about different cultures and lines of thought during our art history lessons and our art teacher encouraging us to always draw our weekly sketches from real life objects, not photographs, so that we would learn how to read and interpret form from 3 dimensions in to 2 dimensions.
  • Drawing a leaf for every single first biology lesson of the year from grade 8 to matric and the big purple book that we used in grade 11 and matric.
  • Chats with our afrikaans teachers where we discussed a lot more than afrikaans. Those dreaded afrikaans orals.
  • Science lessons where we our teacher taught us that a good way to learn was to listen, read his notes from the blackboard and then copy them into our own notebooks so that by the time we came to learn for tests, we had read the information at least 3 times before that. And experiments.
  • One-on-one Comp Sci lessons (I was the only girl to take the subject for matric) where I would finish off my work quickly and then spend the rest of the time chatting with my Comp Sci teacher about other interesting technology or whatever happened to be of interest that day.
High school friends
My friend, Alice, and I at some fun school event :)

~~~~~ Follow Practical Cookie ~~~~~
~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pintrest ~ Instagram ~

Friday, 7 November 2014

Instagram Challenge

So, Indie Berries (one of my favourite bloggers) has started a creative challenge that I'm taking part in on Instagram. It's under the hashtag #myoriginalawesomeness and people have been creating some amazing stuff! What's even cooler is that one of my creations get a mention on one of her blog posts - scroll to the bottom and look for the first "Awesome!" link! :) 

This is how the challenge works: every day Indie Berries is posting a prompt on Instagram along with suggestions on how you can create something similar and what tools (apps) you can use to be creative. It's not too late to join - you can follow Indie Berries on Instagram here and if you want to follow my own progress on the challenge you can follow me on Instagram here.

I've been posting my creations on my Facebook page on an (almost) daily basis, but I thought let me share what I've created so far, as well as some other awesome creations from others.

Windswept Skies
Day 1 Challenge

Day 2 Challenge

Day 3 Challenge
Food colouring and flowers
Day 4 Challenge
Be kind text image
Day 5 Challenge

~~~~~ Follow Practical Cookie ~~~~~
~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pintrest ~ Instagram ~

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Rocky Horror on Halloween

A while ago, Adventure Time and friends decided to make the most of the second showing of the Rocky Horror performance on at the Fugard Theatre and so it was decided that we would go on a Friday night. But not just any old Friday night. We went on Halloween!

Brad and Janet Dress Up From Rocky Horror Picture Show
All dressed up as Brad and Janet
The night was incredible! The show was amazing and the way that some of the scenes were portrayed was incredibly clever. I would definitely suggest getting an audience participation pack as well - it's about R20 and you can share one between two people, it makes the experience that much more interactive. 

After the show
We also had some pretty cool seats - I'd never been to the Fugard before and booked two sets of seats. One set was top level at the back and the other set was top level, but along the side. We sat in the seats along the side and had a really good view of the stage which I would recommend.

Outside the Fugard Theatre

~~~~~ Follow Practical Cookie ~~~~~
~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pintrest ~ Instagram ~