Friday Delight: Animal Spotting

South Africa is an interesting place. There are daily challenges here that I never considered when I was living stateside and unfortunately, most of these challenges sit within social issues and a government that is so corrupt, your faith in humanity can’t help but die a little. On the other hand, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world, is culturally rich, is home to some lovely people, and has a big piece of my heart.

Living here for 5+ years in cities and globalized areas like Cape Town and Sandton, I’ve often forgotten I live on African soil. Now that we’ve moved out of the city and to the country, I get little reminders almost daily:

zebra

These guys were chowing grass outside our bedroom window the other day.

giraffe

I encountered this beauty and her friend while I was on a run this morning

I basically go into tourist mode every time I see them, they are just amazing 🙂

Enjoy your weekend!

xo,

Natalia

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Friday Delights

Happy Friday!

 

Any plans for Mother’s Day? Mother’s are so special, and definitely have one of the hardest jobs. I’m lucky to have a mama who always let’s me know she’s close even though she lives in another hemisphere. She’s a special lady, with one of the biggest hearts, and is someone I continue to learn from everyday. Here are a few delights that I have on mind in honor of Mother’s Day:

parents

(my parents <3)

1) This recipe for Raw Chocolate Brownies. My mom would probably roll her eyes and say “let’s just make the real thing”, but I have a feeling she wouldn’t turn these down… Chocolate is chocolate.

2) Tulips, mine and my mom’s favorite. I know it’s Autumn here in South Africa, but to me Mother’s Day means spring flowers, specifically Tulips. How gorgeous is this arrangement? Tulips, green snowball viburnums, peonies, and geraniums.

3) This cocktail… Blood Orange Tyme Paloma. I love a good Paloma, but this is a lovely spin and perfect for a sunny lunch.

4) Ceviche. I would love to share my mom’s recipe for this delicious Peruvian dish, but she has yet to share it with me! It’s such a tasty, fresh, and healthy dish, I could eat it daily.

5) This video. No words, just watch it.

 

Before I go… A little cuteness overload. Check out our little house guests! Their new mom (Matt’s mom) will be collecting them this weekend, but she might have to pry them out of my arms.
puppies

 

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to give your mamas some love 🙂

 

xo,

Natalia

 

Friday Delights: Summers in South Africa

Happy Friday! I trust everyone is looking forward to the weekend? Si? If you’re in Johannesburg, I hope you’re embracing this heat wave with a little love rather than allowing your body and mood to roast like I did yesterday in my un-airconditioned car….  Side story: when I first got Diego (my car) insured, the insurance lady was properly SHOCKED that I lived in Joburg without air conditioning in my car, I told her it was the only thing I didn’t like about summer. Anyway, this weekend Diego and I will give each other some space, and I will stay cool with some vino and hopefully a pool. No-air-conditioning-in-Diego aside, I love summers in South Africa and felt like they deserved their own post especially amidst the heat wave.

When I moved to South Africa 4.5 years ago, I wisely chose Cape Town as my new home. Cape Town is my favorite place in the world, it encompasses everything that I love yet never ceases to amaze me or introduce me to something new and special. I think what really did it for me, was the combination of the outdoors and nature, with also completely being a lifestyle city. I became a wino and outdoorsy all at the same time, and both have stuck with me.

The city sits against mountains but along the sea and beyond the mountains are the famous Cape Winelands, and along the sea are little seaside villages, both are truly breath taking. Imagine living in a city where no matter where you lived, you had a million-dollar view. That’s Cape Town. Some of the best parties, beaches, hikes, and restaurants that I’ve ever been to, have been in this gorgeous place. Cape Town, you will always have my heart.

V&Awaterfront

V&A Waterfront with Table Mountain (source)

Franschhoekwinelands

Franschhoek, Cape Winelands (source)

Eventually the wind took me to Johannesburg… the opposite of Cape Town in so many ways, but not without its own unique perks. Joburg is a business hub and in some ways the capital of Africa. Work-wise: awesome. People-wise: great. Very cosmopolitan. What I love about living here though, is that when summer shows up, so do the thunderstorms and the unbelievable sunsets. The thunderstorms are HECTIC but so beautiful and the sunsets are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. African skies are something else, and I’m not sure why, but in Joburg they really are out of this world.

joburgsunset

Sunset over Joburg CBD, photo by Walter Knirr

lightning sandton

Lightning over Sandton (source)

Between the lifestyle, good wine, fresh foods and weather, South African summers are delightful and very very special 🙂

Have a great weekend!

xo,

Natalia

Friday Delights: 4 things

Happiest Friday to you all and I hope all you South Africans are staying warm… talk about a cold front!!!

Today I’m sharing 4 delightful things that I’ve got on my mind at the moment:

1. Have you heard of Lorde? She’s this Kiwi teenager singer-songwriter, who has a really nice sound and I just can’t get enough of her song “Royals”. Here it is for your listening pleasure: 

2. This weekend we’re hosting a lunch and I’m thinking these beet crostinis, and these butternut croquettes might have to happen. Sneaky veggie treats for the meat eaters in attendance. Note: those butternut croquettes are delicious and so easy.

3. Hot Toddies. I’m really loving these at the moment, and I have to say… it’s probably one of the healthiest cocktails out there. I use the juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1 teaspoon of raw honey, hot water and some whiskey. So comforting. I’ve been told Hot Toddies are “good for the soul”, so I’m going to go ahead and keep telling myself that.

4. It’s August. While that’s delightful in some respects (Spring is around the corner, USA trip is coming up, etc), where did this year go??? They say life only gets faster, so even if your weekend is jam-packed, take a minute to soak it in, slow down and really enjoy every moment. That’s my goal 🙂

 

Enjoy your weekend and stay warm (preferably with a Hot Toddy)!

xo,

Natalia

Friday Delights: 6 things

friday-i-love-you1

Happy Friday, lovelies!

TGIF. Am I right? Here are a few things I am finding delightful at the moment:

1)  Sustainability Week in Johannesburg. It is Sustainability Week in Joburg and since Wednesday, there have been various green seminars and events happening at the Sandton Convention Center. These are the kind of events that inspire me and make my heart smile. We’ll be checking out the Green Home and Lifestyle Fair this weekend and I can’t wait. 

2) Paleo recipes. A friend of mine has recently gone Paleo and I am intrigued. Especially in the baked goods, these are happening soon.

3) Peruvian Independence Day. Not as random as it sounds… I am half Peruvian and my mother kindly emailed me to remind me to celebrate this weekend. Aji de Gallina… Pisco Sours… I’m coming for you.

4) Cashew Cream. It tastes so rich and decadent that it’s hard to believe it’s not dairy! This poblano version is happening tonight.

5) In 59 days I get to meet Tara Stiles and take one of her classes. She is my idol.

6) Can summer just get here already. I’d like to walk around wearing this.

 

Have a delightful and hopefully green weekend!

 

xo,

Natalia

Friday Delights: 5 Tips for Greener Eating

Happy Friday! And one more Happy 95th Birthday to Nelson Mandela (even  though it was yesterday), that man is a true legend and hero.

EarthHeart

 

(source)

I think I’ve made it pretty clear that one of the ways I choose to be little bit greener is through the food choices I make. I don’t just do it to for the planet (let’s be serious, while what I choose to eat for dinner might have a tiny impact, it isn’t saving the world), I do it to sustain my body and health as well. Here are some tips for greener eating which are bound to make you feel delightful all around, because they make you and the world a little greener:

  1. Cut back on animal products. There are so many alternatives these days and wholesome plant based meals are so damn delightful that you’ll eventually love and crave them.
  2. Buy local. Check out your local organic markets, and support your local farmers. Gotta have that meat? Locally produced meats are more sustainably and ethically produced than the mass-made meats in grocery stores.
  3. Eat seasonally. Chances are if it’s not in season, then it’s imported… it wastes a lot of energy and resources to get you those juicy peaches in the middle of winter… go for the juicy pears instead.
  4. Indulge in organic and fair trade products when you can. Organic foods are chemical free and fair trade foods are produced with ethical standards in place in terms of workers’ wages, working conditions, etc.
  5. Put some thought into your meal planning. For example, eating raw foods minimizes energy used to make the meal (plus the added health benefits of raw vs cooked); cooking just enough food minimizes waste; and balancing your meals ensures you’ll be satisfied and get the most out of your food.

Want some delightful motivation?

  • While it is hard to calculate the exact number, approximately 200 animals (including fish) are killed per omnivore, per year.  So, cutting back on your animal products can really make an impact.
  • According to a study done by the University of Chicago, going vegan can potentially reduce your carbon footprint by over a ton.

Bottom line: green eating incorporates feel good foods, and the more feel good foods we eat, the more delightful we feel.

 

xo,

Natalia