Sunday, 22 January 2012

Cousin Kit

I believe a great cousin is probably one of the best assets to have in life, all the love of a sister but all the fun of a best friend, they allow for the perfect balance between love and laughter! The great thing about cousins in the Portuguese community is that you can never have to many, even 6th cousins qualify as family. My family is rather small compare to most, I have several cousins but there is one who stands out above the rest. She is a cousin that I have spent my entire life with sharing some of the funniest and craziest memories. And yes, you have guessed it, we are only 4th cousins, but she is closer to me than any other first cousin could ever be. Her name is Nikita Da Silva, a black haired, brown eyed beauty with a heart of gold. She just turned 21 and is officially older than me until March. 21st birthdays are very important in our Blackpanndjat crew, most of the girls turned 21 last year but Nikita, Paulina and I were born a year later than them. Each girl has received a surprise gift from the crew, and Nikita's birthday was no exception. I had to hear about how much she wants an iPad2 for almost over a year, so what better present to give her. With the help of Blackpandjat, Renaldo, Darryn and her Mom we were able to make her wish come true. I put the iPad into a kettle box and wrapped it just so that should wouldn't guess what we got her when we handed the gift to her. 

The girls from Blackpandjat wanted to give her something extra as well, so we came up with an idea to create a fairy-tale book for her. Everyone wrote a little story to her, decorating their own page, and giving their own title, we also added in a glossary page filled with words that can only be understood by the girls in the group. We decided to try and make it look like an authentic fairy-tale book. The name of the book is The Adventures of Miss Da Silva.

With my pages I tried to keep it old looking so I decided to hand write and sketch pictures instead of using the computer. I must say it felt amazing to draw again, not that I am any good at it. The name of my story is The Fox And The Hound, there is no better title to describe our friendship.

We gave her the gifts at her party which was held on Saturday, she started crying after she saw it and that was truly the icing on the cake, no better reaction than that. 

I was also lucky enough to be asked to design her invite for her 21st, It had to be elegant and young at the same time, the colour theme was purple white and silver, this is what I came up with:

I could ramble on about how truly special Nikita is but I already did a speech for her at her birthday. Instead I will give you some fun facts about her:
  • She's the Man: not only is it her favorite movie but she literally acts like a man sometimes, she throws a mean punch
  • She brushes her teeth in the shower
  • Her favorite food is her moms veggie soup and Greens ceasar salad and she hates any cooked fruit
  • She laughs at anything, which is awesome because I always feel like a comedian when I talk to her
  • She wears a size 7 shoe which is terrible because I can't borrow any of her awesome heels
  • She is still a kid that acts like a retard in public, watches Disney Channel non stop and has every single Justin Bieber song.
  • She always shotguns the front seat of the car before anyone else can
  • If a Beetle drives past be wary that "Punch Bukkie Blue" will follow shortly with one huge pounding to the arm or leg 
  • She is Kourtney Kardashian's doppelganger
  • Her favourite colour is black 
  • Her favourite singer use to be Britney Spears but now she loves Eminem more than any other
  • She would choose savory over sweet any day.
  • She never reads your bbm's
  • She would literally sleep the entire day if she could
  • Her best sleeps are when she drools and she makes a funny squeeling sound when she does a stretch after she wakes up.
  • Her mom is her life
  • Hubbly is her favourite pass time
  • She was mean't to be my sister

Always keep your family close because in the end they are the reason for living. Love you Keeta!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Die Hollensche Mollen

Die Hollensche Mollen is a popular family resort tucked away in Franschhoek, South Africa. We visit the resort every year on Boxing Day, and I am truly fond of the fact that my family has formed this tradition. R100 gets you in for the day, one might think it is very expensive but fact is the resort is very well kept and summer is the only season they make all their money. You can also purchase a membership which means you will pay a significantly cheaper entrance fee every time you visit the resort.

A typical trip to Hollensche Mollen comprises of making food for your picnic and preparing the meat a night before so that one can leave early in the morning, by early I mean hitting the road at 8am. Why so early one might ask, well hundreds of families flock to the site particularly on Boxing Day, so in order to find a good spot to picnic and to park the earlier you leave the better. It is possibly the only place when Portuguese and Afrikaans people dominate the area. If it is not Espetada on the braai then it’s boerewors either way it makes out for one hell of a fun day.

The resort’s main attractions are their overly large swimming pools and the river that flows right through the resort. I prefer swimming in the river over the swimming pool, because I can actually stand in the river. The swimming pool is so deep that I am often left swimming with the kids in the shallow end or holding on to the edges of the pool for a quick rest. The famous diving board also keeps everyone occupied. I have slowly advanced to the highest diving board; well I would rather call it a plonking board because I usually just jump down.

When we aren’t swimming we spend most of the day sun tanning, playing cards or Uno and smoking Hubbly. This year we forgot the coal for the hubbly at home so Binx and I were walking around looking for people who were willing to sponsor us. Sad I know, but we eventually found one.

The resort hosts many competitions for their visitors such as karaoke competitions and Mr and Mrs Hollensche Mollen to keep their visitors entertained. They also have a bar with a t.v. so that important Boxing Day football games won’t be missed. Right next to the bar is a café where they sell almost everything. It is possibly the only café left that still sells Slicks (ice-cream in a triangle bag).

I am not a fan of their website design at all, but because of its history and loyalty of customers, I doubt anybody really visits their site. I is always a good idea to brand yourself properly though particularly if they want people to rent or buy a place at the resort. 

Take a look at their website: Yes I agree it’s gross, if they are going to pay for a domain name they might as well have a nicer looking website designed.

I had a lovely time at Hollensche Mollen over the holidays; it is the perfect way to spend the day with your family. 

Monday, 9 January 2012

Always Sunny in Cape Town

Blouberg is possibly one of the most stunning places in Cape Town. Not only do you have a view of our stunning mountain but there are some of the most amazing restaurants along the Tableview strip. I tend to go to Tableview on a regular basis even if it's just to watch the sunset while eating some delicious soft serve ice-cream. There is something about the ocean against the back drop of Table Mountain which completely soothes me. One can enjoy a visit to well-known restaurants like Primi Piatti, Ocean Basket and News Café or visit the local club called Medleys which all overlook the beachfront. The beachfront is enjoyed by Kite Flyers, dog owners and the local public alike.

Blouberg Eden on Bay is a popular spot filled with restaurants like Moyo, Cappello and Café Sofia as well as vibrant bars like Tiki Bar. There are many other convince and clothing stores. Take a look at their beautifully designed website: . It is clean and inviting, just the way any website should be. The logo is also simplistic yet beautiful.

Another one of my favourite places in Blouberg is definitely The Blue Peter Hotel. They have a restaurant at the front end of the hotel which faces the ocean. The vibe of the restaurant is amazing, and they are always packed to the rafters. To find a seat on a sunny day is a mission on its own, but the struggle is worth it! One can enjoy a drink on their lawn or if you lucky enough you can grab a table and try out their pizza, I can honestly say they have the best pizza in Cape Town. The Blue Peter has been around for many years and its popularity has never faded and I doubt it ever will. Take a look at their elegant website:

I took the photos at a beach close to The Blue Peter, whilst enjoying a lovely ice-cream on Christmas Day. Cape Town has so much to offer and I am blessed to be living in such a beautiful city.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Klondyke Cherry Farm

So it is back to the grind stone as usual therefore this is a great time to reflect back on my superb two week holiday. It is kind of ironic that these holidays have left me feeling more exhausted than the year itself, late nights and early mornings made for little relaxation time. Even though I have lived in Cape Town my entire life, it never gets old. There is so much to do here, I spent less money than most who went on vacation to other places in South Africa, yet I probably had a better time than they did.

Klondyke Cherry Farm

The yearly trip to Klondyke Cherry Farm near Ceres is sort of a family tradition, it is truly such a lovely outing provided that you know the shortest route to get there otherwise you could spend half your day in the car trying to find the place like we did. The Cherry Farm is hidden in the valleys, surrounded by beautiful scenery it truly makes for a wonderful setting. One often sets up a picnic there, Espetada is put on the grill and a couple of card games are enjoyed by the family. Cherry picking is an art! Usually Nikita climbs to the top of the trees like an ape and I stand at the bottom with our buckets in hand trying to catch the cherries which she throws down. They say we are not allowed to eat cherries while picking, but because we like to be rebellious we often end up stuffing our faces with as many cherries as possible so that we don’t have to pay. We have learnt that the best cherries are the dark purple ones. The light pink and red ones have no use but for cherry fights, I know wasting is frowned upon but it is kind of hard to resist. The Cherry Farm is open during the summer but there is plenty shade for those who can’t handle the heat. I would recommend this place over and over again without a doubt!

Their website is in dire need of a revamp and their logo is just as bad. The colour and type combination is not appealing at all and the photos of the farm on the website doesn't entice you to go and visit them. It is such a lovely place to visit yet the branding of the farm does not show that. They have probably relied on word of mouth for most of their advertising as it is near impossible to find a picnic spot over the weekend in summer.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Rezonance NYE festival

The expectation for New Years to be the best party of the year has always been a let-down in the past. My New Year’s used to involve last minute trips to Langebaan where we spent most of the night sitting in the car waiting for something interesting to happen and then eventually settling for a below average evening at Flamingos. House parties were also always on the agenda for New Years and jumping in the pool with my clothes on was possibly the most exciting part of the entire evening. This all came to an abrupt halt when I was introduced to the fascinating world of outdoor music festivals. I went to some amazing festivals in 2010 but Rezonance was the best by a long shot, I’m not sure if it’s because it had the NYE advantage but I do know that partying with thousands of people is way better than partying with a couple handful.

I decided to embark on the Rezonance adventure this year again, with my very best of friends it promised to be just as amazing as the previous year. One of the best things about Rezonance is that it is literally an 8 minute drive from home, which allowed for shower and sleep during the day while we waited for the nights to arrive. We decided to give Friday night a skip as we needed all our energy to go full out on NYE and Sunday night. We arrived Saturday afternoon and the parking was already full. There must have been several thousand people there already. After a quick trip to my friend’s tent to load off our stuff we headed to the dance floor. The layout of the stalls and stages were exactly the same as the previous year. We spent most of the evening at the Technodubfest Arena as we all have a great love for the electro music scene.

The beauty of the Prizm Stage however gets me every time and the amount of people who were dancing there always left me in awe. The lighting and set up of both stages was stunning as always. When the clock struck 12 pm all my close friends were at the electro stage, while some cried, I ended up hugging everyone thinking we might not have this moment again if the Mayans have anything to do with it. Towards 4 am I was left wondering Rezonance on my lonesome I lost most of my friends as they all decided to fade so I decided to party by the front left speaker at the Prizm stage till the sun rose. I don’t remember much but I do know I had one hell of a time. The Nutella Crepe was the icing on top of a perfect night.

After a good rest and refresh at my friends home we headed back to Rez for Niskerone and friends. We were all so tired but stuck it through thanks to our dear friend Red Bull, the rain started pouring down so everyone huddled under the Electro Tent. The music was better the Sunday night and I literally didn’t stop dancing until we left for home. I am now waiting anxiously for NYE to arrive once more!

I am truly blessed to have some of the craziest friends in town; after all it is not where you are but who you with that truly makes any experience worthwhile.