Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cappuccino Art

How cute is this ?

Cappuccino Chronicles - Vovo Telo, 4th Avenue, Parkhurst

 The hubby and I decided to check out Parkhurst on a Friday night instead of the usual Sunday Morning. It sounds a bit crazy but I want to nom at every single eatety on 4th avenue and blog the experience I really wanted to try Possums but it was super full. In the end we settled on Vovo Telo - an artisanal bakery that is  also has a thriving restaurant.

Service was semi- friendly but I must admit a bit slow . Watching all the waitrons ( how's my non-gender specific-ness) - an eclectic bunch that were friendly, too friendly, morose, high-pitched, annoying. SO we're a bit "iffy" about the place. It was nice but . . . (said with a  sort of croaky-doubtfulness). The food was good , yummy but I just wasn't feeling the place. I can't really put my finger on it.

Good Coffee but it took ages to get to us

Great Menu Idea - on brown paper. Sorry for the picture quality
It was taken from my dying-a-slow-death Blackberry. I did have
a Sony Cybershot in my bag but I thing the Hubby would have been embarressed.

We had this as a "starter"  Cheese and cold meat platter
The olives were very good and the mushroom doing a solo act
- 1 solitary 'shroom. Olive bread was nommy

I did not like my Mimosa

The Pizza's are uuhhh-mazing. May consider going back
for this. The hubby said there is too much foliage on the pizza but
the rest tasted nommy.

All the dessert were polished off so I decided to try their
chunks of chocolate and nuts. It may look "rustic" but it tasted good.
I was thinking about it the whole weekend but then again I am a chocolate
addict - I really  do have a problem. Salty  mixed nuts and milk and dark chocolate
shards - nommier that you may think.

Yey the Smoo got me a rose

A cool thing happened in the middle of the meal - A Flash Mob of Cyclists in Full Gear
with lights and a boom box rode down the street. The next day on Twitter I asked @Parkhurst_JHB
what that was about - eventually after many many people got involved in the conversation we discovered
it was a group called Critical Mass  Check it out   :  http://www.jhblive.com/kultcha/features/critical_mass_movement/10003

Cobbles Centre,
4th Ave Parkhurst
Parkhurst, Johannesburg

011 447 5939


Monday, January 30, 2012

Reebok Easy Tone

So the hubby bought this for me a while ago. You can definitely feel the difference in the tone of your calves but there's no easy
way out - you still have to exercise peeps.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Exercise in a bottle?

Could scientists have finally found the key ingredient for an "exercise drug?" A recently discovered hormone seems to play a role in turning unhealthy "white" fat into calorie-burning "brown" fat. The hormone is named Irisin and, in mice at least, it seems to do what we've only known exercise to be able to accomplish. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) or brown fat is one of two types of fat or adipose tissue (the other being white adipose tissue) found in mammals. I’m not sure how that is possible since if the embryology is investigated it shows that BAT is related to skeletal muscle not white fat.

Brown fat is especially abundant in new born babies and in hibernating mammals. Its primary function is to generate body heat in animals or new born babies that do not shiver. In contrast to white adipocytes (fat cells), which contain a single lipid droplet, brown adipocytes contain numerous smaller droplets and a much higher number of mitochondria, which contain iron and make it brown.

In neonates), brown fat, which then makes up about 5% of the body mass and is located on the back, along the upper half of the spine and toward the shoulders, is of great importance to avoid lethal cold (hypothermia is a major death risk for premature neonates). Numerous factors make infants more susceptible to cold than adults:

 The higher ratio of body surface (proportional to heat loss) to body volume (proportional to heat production). Heat production in brown fat provides a baby with an alternative means of heat regulation.

 It was believed that after infants grow up, most of the mitochondria (which are responsible for the brown colour) in brown adipose tissue disappear, and the tissue becomes similar in function and appearance to white fat. However, more recent research has shown that brown fat is related not to white fat, but to skeletal muscle.

Further, recent studies using Positron Emission Tomography scanning of adult humans have shown that it is still present in adults in the upper chest and neck. The remaining deposits become more visible (increasing tracer uptake, that is, more metabolically active) with cold exposure and less visible if an adrenergic beta blocker is given before the scan. The recent study could lead to a new method of weight loss, since brown fat takes calories from normal fat and burns it. Brown fat cells and muscle cells both seem to be derived from the same stem cells in the embryo. Researchers found that both muscle and brown fat cells expressed the same muscle factor Myf5, whereas white fat cells did not. This suggested that muscle cells and fat cells were both derived from the same stem cell. Furthermore, muscle cells that were cultured with the transcription factor PRDM16 were converted into brown fat cells, and brown fat cells without PRDM16 were converted into muscle cells – How cool is that!?

Getting back to this miracle drug- in the lab, researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that when mice spent three weeks doing free-wheel running, their irisin levels increased 65 percent.  With more irisin, the mice developed more brown fat, the desirable fat that helps the body expend energy (rather than the unattractive white kind).

Could this hormone, if developed into a drug for humans, be the answer to our growing obesity and diabetes epidemics? Why can’t we just exercise people?

Any way I've decided to look like this which is going to take some hard
exercise work but I am determined! Except I would like more anatomical looking boobs - my natural boobs are fine (I think).

Cappuccino Chronicles - Cafe Fino @ the Glen

Very Good Coffee! There was also a tiny nommie
biscuit (not biscotti) .

The Bang Bang Thai Chicken Burger  with Satay peanut Sauce- very juicy and Nommie!
Decided to try some noms here in-between shopping. The service is alert and friendly, there are the day's newspapers to read and the food was pretty good. The chicken burger was huge! It tasted yummy - liked the presentation.

Blogger Dream Spot - Isle of Skye (Scotland) - Fairy Pools

There are numerous aqua-blue pools, known as the Fairy Pools, great for cooling off on a hot day. Keep a close look out at the river - there is an underwater arch at one point; this really is an enchanting spot. Continue on the well made path as it runs along to the left of the stream.

Blogger Dream Spot - LUX Resorts - The Maldives

There will now be a flurry of Blogger Dream Spot Posts since I need a holiday . I recently made a vision board and most of the pictures were of dazzling, blue oceans and cool,dark rivers.

This place looks amazing - formally know as Diva Resorts it goes under the banner of LUX now.

Maajin Buu and other Kitchen disasters

The Golden Book of Patisserie

What I had visions of

Red Velvet Cake made by moi. I envisioned it being,well,red.
It does look more scarlet-hued in real life though

Orange zest and Coconut nomminess (those were my own additions to
this Plain Jane Vanilla cake)
I can't help experimenting.

Giant Syringe Icing contraption . I obviously can't seperate work from

So cute!

I forgot that "hello kitty" is white and usually wears
a skirt. Instead I have made  baby Maajin Buu from Dragonball-Z

                                                                Maajin Buu
An Even Worse version - but the icing tastes yummy - all orange zesty-esque
My mum-in-law said that they were very yummy

The look I was going for. This is from an iced biscuit from
Woolies food. Warning : Avoid. It tastes hideous and erases all
good memories I had of those Iced Zoo biscuits from my childhood

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The Hello Kitty that turned into a boozy dessert on New Year's Eve

Please excuse the teeny bracket things hovering around any pictures , I've tried my best getting rid of them but they just reappear - maybe they are the work of teeny HTML gremlins.
Recently I've been bitten by the baking bug . . . with disasterous consequences. Well , these creations taste great , I think I just have to work on the aesthetics.

In our rumble-tumble bookcase full of books and Buddha statues we have the Golden Book of Patisserie that actually does have gold-edged oages. It is the hubby's book.

Last year I had been lusting over the Red Velvet Cake , there was a recipe in almost magazine I bought, it was the new Christmas cupcake, people were just talking about and blogging about it and Facebooking pictures of their Red Velvet creations. It was driving me crazy. So I decided enough of nagging the hubby/Smoo to take me to Life , I love Cupcake or some other cupcake heaven in "the North" (you can't find a red velvet cupcake in Bassonia) as well as not willing to entertain visions of myself driving there alone - I decided I will make my own.

It was such an anti-climax - the cake looked and tasted good , although the whole cream cheese thing didn't please everyone. It is just a super rich choclate cake that is a bit red. I know the original recipe has raw chocolate and by some mystical chemical reaction it oxidizes and cake is RED. Yada , yada , blah , blah. Maybe I expected too much.

Moving on : Exhibit 2

Hello Kitty disaster x 2. I got these Hello Kitty mini baking tins for my husband but I was dying to make a Hello Kitty anything so I decided to use them. I thought I would make some Hello Kitty  cakes for our New Year's do. Sadly the Hello Kitty didn't "form" - got stuck in bits. So I squeeshed all the cake in a glass container, poured some boozy Amarula over it, cut some syrupy peaches super thin, slapped some cream over and Cadbury's Flake. Shoved in the fridge to chill. It tasted really good - we had it for breakfast on New Year's day . Thankfully my friend Tanusha made a great Dark Chocolate Lindt dessert.

The nest time the kitties were well formed and I added my own twist of lemon zest and coconut but the decorating was not-so-Ayoba. Sigh.In my defense I did start making them at 11:30PM and during my Digital Detox Phase. Although I'm not one to give up - I will make an awesome Hello Kitty.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

KLS Hairdressing And Beauty - Good Experience :)

Last week Friday I got a much needed hair cut from Sylda at KLS. I was starting look like cave-girl. Sylda has been doing my hair for almost three years - she did all my hair for my pre-wedding ceremonies (2009). I posted some pics of that as well. She made all those months trawling through Asiana Wedding worth it.

Any-hoo , I had the fab haircut but my hair was sooooo boring (being it's normal brown self - I haven't coloured it for yonks) and I wanted to inject some fun into it. I also am extremely low-maintenance in terms of hair - wash and go- even though I have a fantastic hair dryer, a GHD and loads of high-end hair products. I just don't use them (I'm not being lazy- I don't seem to be great with doing my own hair).To inject some fun into my hair I'd been thinking of  doing some undercolour/Peek-a-boo highlights. I had them done ages ago when I was in 5th year Medschool but the colourist completely misunderstood me ( I had a picture!) and made me completely blonde. I knew Sylda could do it and I explained it to her and she knew excatly what I wanted (she showed me a pic). I made an appointment for the next Monday and voila! Peek-a-boo. I"m still getting used to it and can't decide if it looks trashy or not but it's very well done. I also had one of their awsome K-Pak Joico treatments (a 4 step process including a great head massage from Kylie. Busi is also cool and fun - really great people ). Initially I was also like WTH is Joico ? (http://joico.com/)

 Where is the /Redken Logo

Anyway , I've had two Joico treatments there already and it's great - hello super-soft hair! It is a great product - here's to trying out something different!

I've decided that I might like to try something different every month - why not!

The wash station

The Style Area. They really look after you at KLS. Also besides the
usually Cappuccinos and Juice, there are wines, teas and champagne (or MCC)
Colour and Brazilians. Didn't take a pic of the snazz
reception but it is snazz.

The Peek-a-Boo Highlights

The Ultimate Self Shot

Me, as the Asian Bloggers put it, "camwhoring". She coloured my
hair a deep chocolate brown which took a bit to get used to because my real hair colour is
lighter than that

Bad Pictures Taken by hubby

Not sure if this is meant to be artsy but he shouted at me for moving
One of my pre-wedding ceremonies

Yip real flowers
Can you tell there is a giant roller in my hair. I was trying
to go for the whole "OM Shanti OM - 60s-Bollywood movie look"
Miracle by Sylda

Hair as high it can go. (with the Bestie)

You see the little jewel thing going down my path - I made it. My Necklace
is dying from all the extra beads and Swarovskis I've added. Amisha is helping me out.

The whole red thing was my own doing. Stupid thing to try the week
of your wedding

When else do you get to wear a tiara- another
pre wedding ceremony

Loving these curls and the cut Sylda did- this is
about 3 months after the wedding

A cool hair cut that Sylda did. I did the whole red thing myself
after the whole curly hair-ness

MMMmmmmm - I think I want to do this

What I'm going for

Or maybe this

Maybe this- this is nice:

Update : So we decided it was too much of a "skanky look" and I'm not really comfortable with it so
I'm going to try and get my real hair colour back .It was very well done but I can't deal with the contrast.
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