~Written and edited by Veronica Clark ~

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

By Invitation Only ~ Cruise Essentials.....

Hi Dear Friends



This Month's By Invitation Post is fun and light. Thanks to Marsha at Splenderosa and Tina at The Enchanted Home
















So, here's the deal....


We are off on a cruise and we have to name the ten items we cannot leave home without. On a cruise ship, it matters what you leave behind at home...understand?

With autumn setting in, I cannot think of a better plan than to sail off to warmer weather and have a last fling before enduring a long, wet and stormy Cape Winter...sigh (loudly)









Well here goes..... I'm sailing off into the sunset with my ten items....


First and foremost, as I 'm am a snap happy chick......I NEVER leave home without my trusty lil Canon!!!! It fits into most of my handbags and goes absolutely everywhere with me to capture life's lil moments and memories. (um, even to the theatre!!) I have been know to leave home without my purse of money, but at least I had my camera to capture the embarrassing moment... I kid you not!!!! It goes in before anything else......













Second of all, since I am going to tropical islands a sexy bather is absolutely a must for endless dips in the pool and of course for lounging about on a deck chair snapping away with my camera at the passing parade of people. I'm sneaky like that!










This sexy number has very little fabric but mine has a bit more and is a leopard print! When my son returned from Amsterdam to the heat of January and  when he saw my new acquisition he exclaimed...." Heavens Mother, that is a Bond girl number that you have there!!!"....blush blush...wish I had the Bond Girl Body.....







Thirdly. I have what I call a healthy obsession with beautiful things and so..... of course, I have an addiction to glossy magazines......No holiday is complete without a couple of the latest glossies to keep me drooling and dreaming....Can you imagine....reclined in the sun, hiding under a floppy hat, cocktail in hand and paging leisurely .....perfection in my mag!










Number Four. And here I am probably cheating, but hey...... its one item in the end... My toilet bag filled with my make up, sunscreen and pamper products for a daily spa treatment in my cabin! This one below reminds me of my grandma"s hat box and it looks like it has lots of space....







And of course my ever present favourite perfume falcon.....Jean Paul Gaultier's Classic goes in the minute I have packed my camera!!! This is in the bag above, by the way and not extra....









Number Five. A great pair of heels!!! Practical or not, they go with me even if just to stare at them lovingly. Chances are though, that they will definitely be worn to dance away a night or two or three.... Heels not elevate my short self into a taller subject but can also elevate any outfit, even a sarong to glamour. So says I!










Number Six. A red dress is always part of my holiday repertoire, no matter where I go, and of course with my black heels this is a winner for almost any occasion....







Number Seven. A note book and pencil to write down all the thoughts and stories that is bound to enter my head in such surroundings. And yes, old fashioned paper and pencil please, nothing  else will do....








Number Eight.  A good sturdy bag to lug about all my holiday essentials!






Number Nine. My spirit of adventure! I would love to return from my cruise with a load of good memories, new ideas and inspiration. 





and as Matisse said....






Lastly but most importantly, excellent company without which no adventure could ever be complete!!! That one person who is fun, full of ideas, ready for anything and always a source of excellent conversation, endless humour and boundless energy. I would take my best pal in the world!!!



So there, I am all packed....



Expect loads of pics on my return....




Bon Voyage







Now that we are packed, sail on over to Splenderosa to see who packed what.....and for a good dose of day dream believing!



I am sailing, across the water.....*drifts of to sleep*



Live Well

Veronica

xxx


Your turn...chat to me below in the comment box, I am all ears....


All these gorgeous photos are from Pinterest

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

December Cocktail Party ~ By Invitation Only

Hi Dear Friends
 
It is 6:36 pm here in the shadow of Table Mountain. I have had a day of prepping for my book club's Christmas function and am quite footsore and tired. I am hosting eleven gals on Thursday eve for a eight course tasting menu!!! The house is looking festive and a bit tosy turvy. You know that look, when you are putting up decorations, laying tables and there are boxes of décor and stuff strewn everywhere ....
 
So, here I am at my desk with a glass of wine, the sun is still up and the temperature is soaring!
 
 
 
 
 
Our monthly "By Invitation Only" theme, which Tina From The Enchanted Home choose for us, is to host  a December Cocktail Party. As per usual, our glam lady Marsha, from Splenderosa will be hosting us. So hop on over and take a look at what all the other gorgeous ladies are up to...
 




Christmas holidays for us means sun, sea and sand!!!! We avoid the kitchen like the plague if at all possible!!!! So, in keeping with that I have decided to keep it cool....
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This enchanting garden will be the ideal setting for a festive outdoor soiree....
 
 





Music will be provided by the abundant bird life and from indoors all the Christmas Carols will waft out on the evening breeze....just to tickle the ears....and you may burst into a spontaneous "Rudolf the Red Nose  Reindeer" if you get swept away with the Christmas spirit....
 
 






To start, I have decided on these  Blackberry Prosecco Popsicles to bring the temperature down a bit...
 





Cocktails will include.... Champagne Peach Bellini, Minty Mojitos, Tropical Ice Tea Punch, Orange Sherbet Mimosa and of course Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Champagne....




 
I have opted to wear this red number with my favourite open heels....they will probably be kicked of soon enough...







An ice block mounted with prawns and a spicy dipping sauce is enough to keep those taste buds in a perpetual state of anticipation of what's to come....
 




 
Figs wrapped in Parma Ham...




 
Summer melon encased with slivers of smoked Salmon....





Tuna Tartare and refreshing cucumber....





Lobster rolls...
 
 



Terrine of Rainbow Beets....




Spicy Asian Meatballs....






For Dessert..... Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet....
 
 




Heat or no heat, we absolutely have to have chocolate!!! So, how about these Mudslide Truffles served in shot glasses....
 
 




Summer fruit abounds, and so sugared peaches and cream is a must!!!
 
 




The heat is on, so I am heading over to grab a glass of bubbly....to toast each and every one of our fabulous bloggers who contribute monthly to our festive "By Invitation Only" event! A Big Thank you to Marsha for hosting us all at the glamorous Splenderosa . Please head on over to join the party!!!




 
I would like to which each and every one of you a wonderful month of holidays. Amidst the flurry of parties, shopping, cooking and all things festive, let us remember the Reason for the Season and all those less fortunate than us...
 
So dear friends..... Keep Calm and Love Christmas!!!!





Live Well
 
Veronica
 
xxxx
 
 
Please regale me with a comment down below...I am all ears....
 
 
Please also visit my Pinterest board for all photo credits and to see what else I had in mind to eat, drink and wear....
 

Monday, 4 November 2013

An African in Amsterdam ~ By Invitation Only

Hi Dear Friends!!!
 
As you all know, I have been away from blogging!!! I have however, always been kept in the loop by my dear friend Marsha from Splenderosa about what the topics were for our monthly "By Invitation Only" posts. And, when she decided that we had to have someone write us a blog post who is NOT a blogger, I thought this was the perfect opportunity for a re-opening post!!!!
 
 




 
My son, Byron is studying towards his Honors in Philosophy at Stellenbosch University is on a student exchange to Amsterdam University for six months. So, I have naturally been keeping in touch via Blackberry Messenger, Whats app, Skype, Face Book,  email...you name it!!!!! What would we have done without the wonder of technology!!! I even receive pics of him shopping, his dinner, his washing...you get the drift.....sigh.....
 
I also receive regular updates on the partying, the weather, and requests for recipes, etc! So, I asked Byron to write a lil something of what he gets up to over in Amsterdam...apart from party vibe, that is....
 
 
 
 
 
 
So, over to Byron
 
 
 
 
 
 
I don’t blog!!!! I am so painfully self-reflective that I’m likely to write more about the emotional experience of journaling than I am to actually journal.... But, having left behind my friends, family and home comforts to study a world away in Europe’s most liberal city, the compulsion to write something about it is well, irresistible…
 
Here Byron is with his sister Jacqui in Johannesburg en route to Amsterdam via Munchen!!!!
 
 
 
 
            The first thing that hit me about Amsterdam, after dealing with the stress of picking up my moolah at the airport, is the many means of transport… this may seem mundane but I assure you it is not, especially coming from a country whose public transport is often harrowing at best. Better than Amsterdam’s impeccably clean trains and busses are Amsterdam’s trams which seem to glide miraculously over the cobbled streets like busy blue centipedes… (they always seem more animal to me than machine). The other famous Amsterdam transportation machine of course are bicycles which are everywhere… by the third week my motley crew of international student friends resembled a dangerously drunk and bewilderingly cosmopolitan bicycle gang, cycling en mass (there are about twenty of us) from bar to bar…



 
 
 
 
 
 
I would have much trouble locating my bike, I struggle to remember where I parked my car when I come out the mall!!!!!
 
 
            Amsterdam’s traditional “brown-bars” are a treat, but their beers are rather small (a result of the general expensiveness of the city, though some may use it as an excuse to mock a drunken Dutchman for impotence). We made our home at Café de Geiter, a tiny student bar on Korte Leidsedwarsstraat , often crowded, but the best place to get riled up before heading to Melkweg or Odeon to dance… incidentally, be careful of Amsterdam bouncers/barman if you have a sparkling personality like mine. Despite being a de Geiter regular I have regularly been refused service for having had “too much”, something which has never happened to me in my home city of Cape Town where, I can assure you, I can afford to get more slizzard a lot quicker than I can on impotent miniature beer charged in Euros. Without the intervention of one of my girlfrewnds (misspelt for effect) bouncers at clubs are similarly reticent, sometimes before I have even begun the evening… It is one of those Amsterdam dichotomies: open prostitution, and the smell of weed every couple meters on the street, but don’t you dare appear tipsy or at all “out of it”…










            Anyway, Amsterdam isn’t all about going from bar to nightclub (unless you’re 23)… her many magical parks and hundreds of pretty canals make Amsterdam every bit as romantic and relaxing a city as Paris, if that’s the side of the city you choose to see. Ironically the red light district is actually one of the quaintest parts of the city (it is easy to avert your eyes from the prostitutes if you are so inclined). The Venice of the North is a good place to wonder from shop to shop, including the fanciest China-town I’ve ever seen (around Zeedijk) and the coolest little art galleries and café’s in the Jordaan. It is easy to lose sight of all these things though, when one is a South African student living 10 kilometers from the center and juggling university and the incessant partying of European friends on a restricted budget of 600 Euros a month. But I can testify that despite is notorious expensiveness Amsterdam can still rock your socks off on such a budget. Amsterdam it seems is many things, to some it is the heart of sleaze, to others it is bars and parties and to others it is an undeniable cente of culture with Museums and galleries and an indie music scene that one needs to live two lives to keep up with…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
            It is incredible how quickly one is absorbed into the local culture here, I eat more cheese and bread than I ever have in my life, I cycle more than anyone I know, my internal map of Amsterdam is fully updated, and I have a corresponding internal schedule of hippie, hip hop and high art events that I struggle to keep up with (both because cycling 20km’s a day is wearing me out and because every day of the week is party day in Amsterdam)… But if you plan better than me and need less sleep… well, see you on the Dam in a bit? Bring your bike, and a bong…
 
 
 
Thank you B!!!!
 
This is your mother again....
 
I do also get updates on academics from time to time and the last message I got read like this....." Hi Ma, got 92% for my exams....came top of the class, so now I can party with a clear conscience!!!!"
 
My response to that....
 
 
" Hi B.... Wowza that is way cool....SO PROUD of YOU!!!!!!
BUT.....
 
When is your thesis due?"
 
 
I got a one word response from Byron....
 
 
"Eisch"
 
(which is local lingo for....Oh my goodness, don't mention that!!!)
 
 
 
 
So, I live in hope that the thesis is getting the attention it is due and that the due date has not been completely forgotten!!!!!
 
 

 
 
 
 
I am very proud of both my children and am so grateful for the opportunity that Byron has to study abroad! He is a very versatile young man who is passionate about the subject he is studying. He is also doing a film making course and has been chosen as Chairperson for the Humanities  Exchange Student Council at the University of Amsterdam. The life lessons he will learn and the friends that he has made from all over the world as well as the memories he will take with him will just be life changing experience....
 
 
 
I must just diarize the date for that Thesis....
 
and perhaps join the
 
"Mums who needs Wine" club....
 
Missing him so much, but so content that he is happy and having the time of his life.... on a budget!!!!!


Now that you know what students get up to when they are away from home hop over and enjoy all the other posts at Splenderosa
 

Please regale me with a comment or advise on my wine selection until the thesis is safely delivered to the prof, that is....

Live Well

Veronica

xxx


All pic by Byron!!!