Essential Oils 101 – Juniper – Lemongrass


  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Balm (Mellissa)
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass

Juniper Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Juniper essential oil has long been known as an antiseptic, sudorific (induces sweating), antirheumatic (slow rheumatoid arthritis down), depurative (purifying and detoxifying), antispasmodic, stimulating, stomachic (promoting the appetite or assisting digestion), astringent, carminative, diuretic, rubefacient (causing redness of the skin to increase blood circulation), vulnerary (wound healing) and tonic.

Health benefits: It protects wounds against becoming septic, increases sweating, cures rheumatism and arthritis, purifies blood, eliminates spasms, stimulates functions, is good for the stomach, makes gums stronger and stops haemorrhaging, reduces excess gas, promotes urination, brings colour to the skin and promotes quick healing of wounds.

Lavender Essential Oil (Middle/Top)

Properties: Lavender essential is calming, sleep inducing, analgesic (pain relief), aphrodisiac, disinfectant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antifungal.

Health benefits: It is beneficial for treatment of issues with the nervous system, insomnia, pain relief, urine flow, respiratory disorders, skin care, hair care, blood circulation, indigestion and immune system health.

Lemon Balm (Melissa) Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Lemon balm essential oil is commonly used as an antidepressant, cordial, nervine (calm the nerves), emenagogue (stimulates or increases menstrual flow), sedative, antispasmodic, stomachic (promoting the appetite or assisting digestion), antibacterial, carminative, diaphoretic (inducing perspiration), febrifuge (reduce fever), hypotensive, sudorific (induces sweating) and a tonic.

Health benefits: It reduces feelings of depression, cures nervous disorders, opens blocked menses, sedates inflammation, reduces spasms, and is good for the stomach. It inhibits bacteria, removes gas, increases perspiration and removes toxins, reduces fever, lowers blood pressure and boosts the health of your immune system.

Lemon Essential oil (Top)

Properties: Lemon essential oil is an antiseptic, antiviral, astringent, aperitif, bactericidal, disinfectant, febrifuge (reduce fever), restorative and a tonic.

Health benefits: It protects wounds becoming septic, inhibits viral and bacterial growth, strengthens gums, and stops hair loss, lifts skin, induces firmness in muscles, stops haemorrhaging, fights infections and cures fevers.

Lemongrass Essential Oil (Middle/Top)

Properties: Lemongrass essential oil is an analgesic (pain relief), antidepressant, antimicrobial (kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth), antipyretic (prevent or reduce fever), antiseptic, astringent, bactericidal (kills bacteria), carminative, deodorant, diuretic, febrifuge (reduce fever), fungicidal, galactogogue (increases the flow of a mother’s milk), insecticidal, nervine (calm the nerves), sedative and a tonic.

Health benefits: It relieves pain, fights depression, inhibits microbial growth, reduces high fever, protects wounds from being septic, strengthens gums and hair, reduces haemorrhaging, kills bacteria, eliminates gas, reduces body odour, promotes urination, reduces fever, stops fungal infections, increases milk, kills insects, strengthens nerves, soothes inflammation and nervous disturbances.



Information provided is for personal information and interest only, it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and does not offer medical advice or treatment for any condition. It is recommend you consult your doctor or aromatherapist if you are pregnant, nursing, take medication, have any health/medical conditions and want to include using essential oils.

Essential Oils 101 – Geranium – Jasmine


  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit
  • Helichrysum (Immortelle)
  • Jasmine

Geranium Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Geranium essential oil is an astringent, aphrodisiac, haemostatic (stops blood flow), cicatrisant (skin healing), cytophylactic (protects cells), diuretic, deodorant, styptic, tonic, vermifuge (destroys or expels parasitic worms) and vulnerary (wound healing).

Health benefits: It is used to induce tightening of the gums, muscles, skin and blood vessels and in stopping haemorrhage, scar healing, promotion of cell growth and increased urination. It stops body odour, tones up the body and kills intestinal parasites and worms.

Ginger Essential Oil (Base/Middle)

Properties: Ginger essential oil is an analgesic (pain relief), antiemetic (preventing vomiting), antiseptic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, carminative, expectorant, febrifuge (reduce fever), laxative, rubefacient (causing redness of the skin to increase blood circulation), stimulant, stomachic (promoting the appetite or assisting digestion), sudorific (induces sweating) and tonic.

Health benefits: It relieves pain, stops vomiting, protects wounds becoming septic, relaxes spasms, inhibits bacterial growth, eliminates gas, improves brain and memory function, expels phlegm and catarrh, breaks fevers, clear bowels, brings colour to the skin, improve stomach health, promotes sweating heling remove toxins from the body.

Grapefruit Essential Oil (Top)

Properties: Grapefruit essential oil is a diuretic, disinfectant, stimulant, antidepressant, antiseptic, aperitif, lymphatic and a tonic.

Health benefits:  It stimulates urination, fight infections, reduce depression and uplift spirits and mood, protects wounds from becoming septic while increasing the elimination of toxins.

Helichrysum (Immortelle) Essential Oil (Base)

Properties:  Helichrysum essential oil is antispasmodic, anticoagulant, antiallergenic, antimicrobial (kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth), antirheumatic (counteracting swelling in the joints), antiphlogistic (reducing inflammation or fever), nervine (calm the nerves), anti-inflammatory, antitussive, cicatrisant (skin healing), expectorant, febrifuge (reduce fever), anti-septic, cholagogue (promotes the discharge of bile), emollient (softens the skin), mucolytic, fungicidal, hepatic (liver), diuretic, splenic and cytophylactic (protects cells).

Health benefits: It reduces spasms, maintains the fluidity of blood, fights allergies, inhibits microbial infections, dissolves and clears blood clots, reduces inflammation from fever, and is good for nervous system health, reduces various other types of inflammation, clears phlegm and reduces coughs, heals scars, protects wounds from becoming septic, stimulates proper bile discharge into the stomach, makes skin smooth and young, dissolves mucus, and kills fungus. It is good for the liver and spleen, while stimulating urination and the regeneration of new cells.

Jasmine Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Jasmine essential oil is an antidepressant, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, antispasmodic, cicatrisant (skin healing), expectorant, galactogogue (increases the flow of a mother’s milk), emenagogue (stimulates or increases menstrual flow), parturient, sedative and uterine.

Health benefits: It fights depression and uplifts mood, protects wounds, cures sexual dysfunctions, and increases libido, reduces spasms, heals scars, gives relief from phlegm and coughs, increases breast milk, and regulates obstructed menstrual cycles, eases the delivery of babies and labour pains, while sedating inflammation and nervous disturbances.



Information provided is for personal information and interest only, it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and does not offer medical advice or treatment for any condition. It is recommend you consult your doctor or aromatherapist if you are pregnant, nursing, take medication, have any health/medical conditions and want to include using essential oils.

Essential Oils 101 – Clove – Frankincense


  • Clove
  • Coriander
  • Cypress
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fennel
  • Frankincense

Clove Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Clove essential oil is antimicrobial (kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth), antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, aphrodisiac and stimulating in nature.

Health benefits: It is used in treatments related to dental care from toothaches to cavities, as well as for infections, skin care, stress, headaches, respiratory problems, earaches, indigestion, nausea, blood circulation issues, blood purification, diabetes, immune system weakness, premature ejaculation, cholera and sties.

Coriander Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Coriander essential oil is an analgesic (pain relief), aphrodisiac, antispasmodic, carminative, depurative (purifying and detoxifying), deodorant, digestive, fungicide, lipolytic (breaks down fat for weight loss), stimulant and stomachic (promoting the appetite or assisting digestion).

Health benefits: It reduces pain, increases libido, reduces spasms, eliminates excess gas, purifies the blood, decreases body odour, promotes digestion, inhibits fungal growth and infection, reduces fat by breaking it down through hydrolysis, maintains good health and tone of the stomach.

Cypress Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Cypress essential oil is an astringent, antiseptic, antispasmodic, deodorant, diuretic, haemostatic (stops bleeding), hepatic (liver), styptic, sudorific (induces sweating), vasoconstrictor, respiratory tonic and a sedative.

Health benefits: It strengthens gums and contracts muscles, protects wounds against infections, clears spasms, removes body odour, increases urination, promotes perspiration, strengthens the respiratory system and soothes inflammation.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Top)

Properties: Eucalyptus essential oil has a number of important qualities, including anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial and stimulating.

Health benefits: It treats respiratory problems, wounds, muscle pain, mental exhaustion, dental care, skin care, diabetes, fever and intestinal germs.

Fennel Essential Oil (Middle/Top)

Properties: Fennel essential oil is an antiseptic, antispasmodic, aperitif, carminative, depurative (purifying and detoxifying), diuretic, emenagogue (stimulates or increases menstrual flow), expectorant, galactogogue (increases the flow of a mother’s milk), laxative, stimulant, stomachic (promoting the appetite or assisting digestion), splenic, tonic and a vermifuge (destroys or expels parasitic worms).

Health benefits: It protects wounds against becoming septic, clears spasms, increases appetite, removes excess gas, purifies blood, increases urination, and promotes a regulated menstrual cycle,  defends against coughs and colds, increases milk secretion, helps clear bowels and constipation, stimulates systems and is good for stomach and spleen health.

Frankincense Essential Oil (Base)

Properties: Frankincense essential oil is an antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent, carminative, cicatrisant (skin healing), cytophylactic (protects cells), digestive, diuretic, emenagogue (stimulates or increases menstrual flow), expectorant, sedative, tonic, uterine and vulnerary (wound healing).

Health benefits: It protects wounds from becoming septic, fights infections, induces contractions in gums, muscles and blood vessels, removes excess gas, heals scars, keeps cells healthy and promotes their regeneration. It promotes digestion, increases urination, regulates menstrual cycles, cures coughs and colds, soothes anxiety and inflammation and ensures good health of the uterus.



Information provided is for personal information and interest only, it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and does not offer medical advice or treatment for any condition. It is recommend you consult your doctor or aromatherapist if you are pregnant, nursing, take medication, have any health/medical conditions and want to include using essential oils.

Goodbye sweet beautiful girl <3

I remember as clear as day the evening our precious little girl showed herself to me in Mauritius.  I was cooking dinner and she walked in from the patio and meow’ed hello.  I went down on my haunches, extended a finger and she immediately walked over and sat on my lap and never left it since.  She sat on my lap every day while I ate breakfast and while I sat at the computer and she slept, if not on me, next to me every night – under the covers in winter.  Poor island girl really felt the cold.  

Recently, she seemed a little flat; I initially put it down to the cold weather and she seemed happy snuggling and sleeping in her blankie.  Then I smelt a strange smell on her breathe and realised she was sick.

Pete was home and he too noticed the small changes in her.  A week later we took her to the vet who diagnosed her as having tick bite fever and feline aids.  It was a terrible shock but her prognosis seemed very positive.  We immediately started her on medication and special immune boosting food.

For 2 weeks we went to the vet if not every day, every other day.  They saw a lot of fight left in her and continued to inject her with antibiotics, liver support and saline.  I was now feeding and watering her every 4 hours using a syringe with small amounts of food and immune building muti as she was too weak to eat on her own, even though she desperately tried to, bless her little heart. Most times, we made it outside in time for a tinkle then she was too weak to even attempt to go outside.

The last 48 hours of her precious life were horrific as she was crying out in pain, battling to get sufficient oxygen and fitting.  I couldn’t bare seeing her suffer so.  It has been the most traumatic thing to endure and there was nothing I could do to help her or stop the gut wrenching pain!  I kept telling her how much I loved her and it was okay to let go, to go peacefully, to be pain free and I would be with her and hold her until the end. I did.

Rest gently sweet beautiful girl, you were very loved and the most wonderful dear companion I could ask for.  I miss you desperately and home is incomplete without you.  I love you. ❤

Essential Oils 101 – Black Pepper – Carrot Seed


  • Black Pepper
  • Cajuput
  • Camphor
  • Caraway
  • Carrot Seed

Black Pepper Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Black pepper essential oil is a digestive, diaphoretic (inducing perspiration), carminative, aperient (relieve constipation), antispasmodic, antirheumatic (slow rheumatoid arthritis down), antiarthritic (relieves arthritis symptoms), antibacterial and an antioxidant.

Health benefits: It aids in digestion, increases perspiration and helps remove toxins from the body, removes gas from the intestines and does not let them build up, acts as a purgative, cures spasms, treats arthritis and rheumatism by removing uric acid and other toxins from the body. It inhibits bacterial growth, fights premature aging and neutralises free radicals.

Cajuput Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Cajuput essential oil is an antiseptic, cosmetic, bactericide, insecticide, decongestant, analgesic (pain relief), expectorant, febrifuge (reduce fever), vermifuge (destroys or expels parasitic worms), antispasmodic, anti-neuralgic (pain in the distribution of nerves), carminative, stimulant, tonic, sudorific (induces sweating) and emenagogue (stimulates or increases menstrual flow).

Health benefits: It protects wounds from becoming septic, takes care of skin, kills bacteria and insects, cures congestion in the respiratory system, reduces pain, cures coughs, reduces fever, cures spasm, and gives relief from the pain of neuralgia. Cajuput, removes gases, stimulates secretions and nerve responses, tones up organic systems, increases perspiration, gives relief from obstructed menses and regulates consistent menstruation.

Camphor Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Camphor essential oil is a stimulant, antispasmodic, antiseptic, decongestant, anaesthetic, sedative, nerve pacifier, anti-neuralgic (pain in the distribution of nerves), anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, and an insecticide.

Health benefits: It stimulates, cures spasms, protects wounds from infections, eliminates congestion, desensitises and acts as local anaesthetic, calms nervous disturbances, cures neuralgic pain, soothes inflammation, fights infection and kills insects.

Caraway Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Caraway essential oil is a galactogogue (increases the flow of a mother’s milk), antihistaminic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, stomachic (promoting the appetite or assisting digestion), disinfectant, diuretic, emenagogue (stimulates or increases menstrual flow, expectorant, aperitif, astringent, insecticide, stimulant, tonic and vermifuge (destroys or expels parasitic worms).

Health benefits: It increases milk in the breasts, curb histamine to fight coughs, protect wounds against becoming septic, and is very good for the heart, cures spasms and cramps, removes excess gas, promotes digestion, maintains stomach health, fights infections, increases urination removes toxins from body, regulates menstrual cycles, cures coughs, increases appetite, contracts gums and muscles, kills insects, stimulates secretions, and increases overall health.

Carrot Seed Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Carrot seed essential oil is antiseptic, disinfectant, detoxifying, anti-oxidant, carminative, depurative (purifying and detoxifying), diuretic, emenagogue (stimulates or increases menstrual flow), stimulant, cytophylactic (protects cells) and a tonic.

Health benefits: It protects wounds from becoming septic, fights infections, removes toxins from the body, neutralises free radicals and reverses the effects of oxidation, removes excess gas and does not let it build up in the body, while purifying blood by removing toxins, increasing urination, opening and regulating menses, stimulating secretions, and promoting the regeneration of new cells.



Information provided is for personal information and interest only, it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and does not offer medical advice or treatment for any condition. It is recommend you consult your doctor or aromatherapist if you are pregnant, nursing, take medication, have any health/medical conditions and want to include using essential oils.

Essential Oils 101 – Anise – Bergamot


  • Essential Oils and Their Properties
    •  Anise
    • Basil
    • Bay
    • Benzoin
    • Bergamot

Anise Essential Oil (Top)

Properties: Anise essential oil is an anti-epileptic, anti-hysteric, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, aperient (relieve constipation), carminative, cordial, decongestant, digestive, expectorant, insecticide, sedative, stimulant and vermifuge (destroys or expels parasitic worms).

Health benefits: It treats rheumatism and arthritis, protect against septic, relax spasms, acts as a purgative, removes gas, warms the body, clears congestion and eases breathing, facilitates digestion, expels phlegm and catarrh, kills and repels insects, worms and lice and relieves nervous afflictions.

Basil Essential Oil (Top)

Properties: Basil essential oil is carminative, anti-spasmodic, analgesic (pain relief), antibacterial, and ophthalmic (eye).

Health benefits: It has long been used for skin care, indigestion, respiratory problems, infections, stress disorders, blood circulation issues, pain and vomiting.

Bay Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Bay essential oil is an antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-neuralgic (pain in the distribution of nerves), anti-spasmodic, analgesic (pain relief), astringent, cholagogue (promotes the discharge of bile), emenagogue (stimulates or increases menstrual flow), febrifuge (reduce fever), insecticide, sedative, stomachic (promoting the appetite or assisting digestion), sudorific (induces sweating) and tonic.

Health benefits: It protects against septic, inhibits microbial growth, relieves neuralgia pain, relaxes spasms, provides pain relief, increases appetite, tightens gums & muscles and helps stop hair loss.  Other applications have been for the treatment of haemorrhage, promotion of bile secretion, relief of obstructed menstruation, and reduction of fever. The essential oil also kills and repels insects, sedates inflammations and nervous afflictions, and is good for the stomach, while increasing perspiration and the elimination of excess toxins in the body.

Benzoin Essential Oil (Base)

Properties: Benzoin essential oil is an antidepressant, carminative, cordial, deodorant, disinfectant, relaxant, diuretic, expectorant, antiseptic, vulnerary (wound healing), astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic and sedative.

Health benefits: It uplifts moods and fights depression, eliminates gas build-up, warms the respiratory system, reduces body odour, cures infections, relaxes, promotes urination and the subsequent removal of body toxins, strengthens gums and stops haemorrhaging, cures inflammation, improves circulation, cures arthritis, calms anxiety and relieves tension.

Bergamot Essential Oil (Top)

Properties: Bergamot essential oil is a deodorant, vulnerary (wound healing), vermifuge (destroys or expels parasitic worms), antibiotic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, sedative, analgesic (pain relief), antidepressant, disinfectant, febrifuge (reduce fever), cicatrisant (skin healing) and digestive in nature.

Health benefits: It removes body odour, relieves spasms, suppresses pain, improves mood and fights depression, heals cuts and scars and promotes efficient digestion.



Information provided is for personal information and interest only, it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and does not offer medical advice or treatment for any condition. It is recommend you consult your doctor or aromatherapist if you are pregnant, nursing, take medication, have any health/medical conditions and want to include using essential oils.

Essential Oils 101 – What, How & Benefits of EO’s


  • What are Essential Oils
  • How Essential Oils Are Extracted
  • Benefits of Essential Oils
    • Detoxify The Body
    • Aid Healing
    • Emotional Well Being Support
    • Enrich Physical Health

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the fragrant, highly concentrated natural constituents that are found in plants. They are what give the plant its characteristic odour and contain the healing power of the plant from which it was extracted. When used correctly, essential oils bring a wide range of health benefits since unlike modern drugs, they have no side-effects.

A typical essential oil will contain more than 100 different chemical compounds, each of which exhibits a specific therapeutic property, and it is for this reason that many essential oils can be used for such a wide range of conditions. Virtually all essential oils possess antiseptic properties, but many also have antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Essential oils are located in tiny secretory structures found in various parts of plants such as leaves (eucalyptus), berries (juniper), grasses (palmarosa), flowering tops (lavender), petals (rose), roots (angelica), zest of fruit (orange), resins (frankincense) and wood (cedar).

How Essential Oils Are Extracted

Mostly, essential oils are obtained by steam distillation although other methods are used. Citrus fruits are cold pressed by mechanical means, and the oil from delicate flowers is obtained by a more sophisticated method that produces what is known as an absolute – not an essential oil. This special process is used because delicate flowers cannot withstand the high temperatures needed to extract essential oils by steam distillation.

After extraction, the resulting essential oil is a highly concentrated liquid that contains the aroma and therapeutic properties of the source from which it came.

Benefits of Essential Oils

Essential oils are a deeply intricate part of the plant and actually have a very similar makeup to our own cells.  Essential oils are beneficial to our bodies and move quickly into our bloodstream and cells to provide numerous health and wellness benefits for a number of different problems.

Detoxify The Body

Essential oils help move toxins out of our body while also increasing our oxygen intake we need to keep cells healthy.  They also extract toxins out of our skin as well as internal organs and tissues.

Aid Healing

Many essential oils contain anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antivirus properties which help support the natural healing process of the body and can be used in different ways on cuts, bites and muscle aches.

Emotional Wellbeing Support

Some essential oils help soothe our senses when we are stressed, while other give us energy when we are run down and to treat anxiety and depression and others to energise our soul.

Enrich Physical Health

Our cells absorb whatever essences the plant contains and this helps heal certain aspects of our physical health, from boosting our immunity and others to prevent diseases and to relieve symptoms from ailments.

Essential Oils101 – Introduction

Over the coming weeks I will share with you all I have learnt and gathered and put together into my go-to essential oils booklet aka encyclopaedia which is ever evolving and being added to. ♥

If you have anything to add, please let me know, I would love to share as much information as possible, after all, as we know, sharing is caring. ♥

I will cover:

  • What are Essential Oils
  • How Essential Oils Are Extracted
  • Benefits of Essential Oils
  • Essential Oils and Their Properties
  • Carrier Oils
  • Perfumery Notes
  • Mixing Ratios
  • Undiluted Application
  • Methods of Application
  • Safety Guidelines
  • How to Store Essential Oils
  • Other Products used with Essential Oils
  • Over 40 of my own Formulas



Information provided is for personal information and interest only, it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and does not offer medical advice or treatment for any condition. It is recommend you consult your doctor or aromatherapist if you are pregnant, nursing, take medication, have any health/medical conditions and want to include using essential oils.



Can’t believe it has been 3 months since I last published a post.  I have heaps of them lining up in my mind but alas that is where they stay.  No excuse really other than normal day to day life getting in the way of writing plus travelling back and forth to Kenya to be with my Pete. ❤

I am thinking about starting a series on Essential Oils.  I’ve had loads of fun compiling my own little EO booklet which I want to share plus I have “perfected” a few serums which I am thrilled with.  

What do you think?  Is that something you would be interested in?  🙂 xo


Crème Brûlée

Whilst I have always been thrilled with my Crème Brûlée recipe, I am always happy to find an excuse to try a new recipe and when I saw this gloriously simple one over at Giovanna’s  I knew it wouldn’t be long before I found a reason to try it.

This is also one of those wonderful desserts you can prepare the day before needed.

Crème Brûlée

As seen at:  Blue Jelly Beans


6 egg yolks
3 or 4 Tbsp sugar – I used 3 caster sugar
1 vanilla pod or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or natural essence
600ml cream
4 Tbsp brown sugar – I used caster sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C.
  2. Beat  the yolks and sugar in a large bowl until creamy and light in colour.  I used electric beaters whilst Giovanna recommended using  a wooden spoon to prevent air bubbles while baking.
  3. Heat the vanilla and cream until before boiling point.  Remove from the heat and slowly add to the egg mixture, stirring continuously.
  4. Divide the mixture between 8 ramekins (You could also strain the mixture before pouring into the ramekins to prevent excess air bubbles) and place inside a baking tray and add boiling water until it reaches half way up the ramekins.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes until the custard sets.
  6. Cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. When ready to serve, sprinkle castor sugar over each custard and caramelise using a blowtorch or by placing them under the grill.

Weekend at Diani Beach, Kenya

If ever you get the opportunity to get as far as Kenya, I highly recommend a trip to Diani Beach or close to.  The coast is magical; the beaches never ending and the weather, well, summer all year around, with the humidity you would expect in the hotter months.

Arrivals at Ukunda airport is a very simple affair of a tarpaulin and a few plastic chairs.  😀


Pete and I enjoyed the most glorious weekend having fun in the sun, eating our own body weight in glorious food and enjoying cocktails in the pool, as you do.

It was rejuvenating for the soul.

diani-feb-2017-30 diani-feb-2017-24

When the tide is low, the beach stretches and stretches and then stretches some more.

We enjoyed 2 trips on antiquated dhow style boats dug out from mango trees and patched sails to the coral reef to snorkel amongst the many wonderfully coloured fish of every shapes and colour you can think of.



Naturally after a day out at sea one needs to enjoy a cocktail or three in the pool before getting ready for sun downers and dinner.


As much as I love baobab trees, I have never seen one in real life until now.  They are beyond impressive and I could not resist hugging the first one I saw.  Amazing to think this tree is hundreds and hundreds of years old!  It is HUGE!  diani-feb-2017-71A lot of you know how much of an arachnophobic I am and it truly took a lot of courage to hold this sea spider on my hand.  Even though they only have 5 legs, the name spider is etched in my brain and this critter moved too quickly for my linking. 

Beautifully bright star fish were everywhere!  diani-feb-2017-85 Glorious ankle deep water for a good 500 meters before you get to knee deep water.  Truly amazing.


And no matter where we go in the world, a kitty or four always find their way to me withing 5 minutes of being somewhere new!  This sweet little one was very happy to snuggle on the ground next to me.


Cannot wait to go back in a few weeks time. ❤  This time with special friends.

Mango Torte

I guess I should have posted this recipe in the holidays but this is a wonderful summer recipe for any occasion.


Sorry about the mobile phone photo



100g digestive / tennis / marie biscuits crushed
50g melted butter
¼ cup sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch
1 cup evaporated milk
2 egg yolks lightly beaten
1 Tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 mangoes sliced
Strawberries halved to decorate (optional)


  1. Combine the crumbed biscuits and melted butter and press into a shallow pie dish and refrigerate.
  2. Mix the sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan.
  3. Gradually add the evaporated milk and cook over a medium heat, stirring until thick.
  4. Add a heaped tablespoon of the milk mixture to the egg yolks and combine, then place into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture and cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla essence.
  6. Place custard mixture into the pie crust and top with the mango slices forming a rose pattern from the middle outwards.
  7. Decorate with strawberries (optional).
  8. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

The Unthinkable

If like me you are a sensitive animal lover, this is not an easy read.

It was a happy day.  I was counting down the sleeps until Pete would be home and had baked birthday cupcakes for my Aunt and Uncle for their birthdays.  I opened the garage and packed the boot ready to head down the road to the folks and my aunt and uncle to celebrate.  Pulled out the garage and hit the remote to close it, set the alarm and another click to open the gate behind me.


I reversed and realised something was not right.  Reverse a little more and there laying in the driveway was my girly in pain, suffering because I had reversed the car over her.  I screamed and flew out of the car.  I sat next to her – what have I done!  I went hysterical all the while calling Pete, my folks and trying to get hold of our vet.  What have I done.  This is inconceivable!  This can’t be real.

I did not see her while packing the boot.  How could I not see her if she was laying sleeping on the driveway.  How did I not see her in the reverse camera of the car.  How did the sensors not pick her up!  How could this even be a possibility!

The dear old thing is somewhere between 18 and 19 years old and is mostly deaf, her muscle mass has withered away and for the most part has no voice to meow either although she has the faintest of purrs and even though she tries really hard, misses her litter tray sometimes.  She can’t always get onto the bed either and now this!  I am in a state of complete and utter disbelief trying not to vomit from shock and disgust with myself.


The vet (not ours – he was too far away so the folks raced me to the nearest one) – I did not like him, told me to stop shouting at him!  What’s wrong with this man.  Can he not see I am hysterical and in distress from what has happened!  He assessed Tree (Pete named her Tree as he found her in a tree in the garden) and said her injuries weren’t as bad as they looked – the looked awful, they still haunt me but considering her age and fragile state, he felt the best option would be to let her go but was happy to operate if her little body could take the 2 hour operation after which would be a tough recovery and rehabilitation.  It was all a blur although I had a moments reprieve when he said her injuries weren’t as bad as they looked and asked him to ring Pete in Kenya to please explain all he had just explained to me and the folks.

The hardest decision of life was made and I sat and held onto her as the vet injected her.  She went so peacefully while I screamed and cried uncontrollably.  I brought her home and buried her under a yellow wood tree.  I sit and talk with her and ask her to forgive the indescribable thing I have done.  I am battling to live with the guilt and pain and hope by sharing this will fill me with some peace and solace.

I have the most incredible family and friends who are all telling me how it was all just a horrible accident and how I could never do anything to hurt any animal.  I know that logically but emotionally I am completely broken, shattered and sick to my stomach.


I hope I will one day be able to forgive myself for what I have done and be able to get the image out of my mind of my girly laying on the driveway.  It kills me!  It is in my mind all day.  Pete has taught me as soon as the image comes into my head to immediately replace it with another one of Tree, a happy love filled image of her.  It helps.

Girly, I am so incredibly sorry for what I have done.  I am broken and sick over what happened.  I am always so careful.  I have no idea how something like this could have happened.  Please forgive me sweet darling Tree.  I love you.

Miss Podgy gets jogging

Horror of horrors its been the better part of a year since I ran.


Enough is enough!

No more toxic thyroid holding me back – now just unfit and slightly softer around the edges from not running nearly 12 months.

How bad could it be to get back on the road?

Off I went for my first jog – just 3km to see how I felt.  HAVE MERCY!  What had I done
to myself.  That evening, I couldn’t walk. I could barely breathe.  Is it possible to be this unfit even with walking 5km most days and cycling in between.  Clearly, YES!

R&R for a couple of days, a serious chat with myself and I was back out there.  Still only 3km but walking 200m then jogging 300m for the 3km course.  Much better.  I am in week two now and already I am feeling better for it.  Still unfit and podgy but mentally in a much happier space.

Hopefully by the holidays I will be bouncing around like an energiser bunny again , less podgy and looking forward to being on track with my 5km daily run.

Have you too fallen off the proverbial wagon?

Milk Tart (Melktert)

Good old fashioned comforting childhood memories wouldn’t be complete without milk tart.  Fabulous – well, until I had to make 3 different variations to find what I was happy with.  Childhood memories aren’t always that easy to recreate.  Not that the first two attempts weren’t nice, they just weren’t what I wanted.  They lacked the silky smooth texture I craved.  Also, most recipes make two tarts and I only wanted to make one plus I found baking the tart higher than 180°C caused it to crack.  Round three was perfect.


Milk Tart (Melktert)


For the Pastry

2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs sugar
1 egg
¾ cup self raising flour
¼ tsp salt

For the Tart

2 cups milk
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs well beaten
Ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Blitz all the pastry ingredients together in a food processor until they resemble crumbs and spread evenly and press in a 24cm pie dish.
    (The crust can be refrigerated while preparing the tart but I don’t bother)
  3. Heat the milk to just before boiling.
  4. While the milk is heating, combine the sugar, flour and salt together.
  5. Gradually add the heated milk to the dry ingredients and return to the heat.
  6. Cook slowly while stirring until the mixture thickens.
  7. Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla.
  8. Cool the mixture slightly and stir through the beaten egg and pour into the pastry crust.
  9. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  The center will still be slightly soft and wobbly.
  10. Cool and try only eat one slice. 🙂

Apple Cream Cheese Rose Tarts

I saw a link to these gorgeous looking morsels and just had to make them the same day.  They are worth making with a couple of tweaks.  I will definitely be making these again soon.


Apple Cream Cheese Rose Tarts


1 apple – I used 2
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp water
1-2 sheets puff pastry – one sheet made 6 tarts (see point 5 of method)
1/4 cup cream cheese – I used full fat softened with a ¼ tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp sugar – I combined sugar and cinnamon and recommend using more


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Prepare muffins tins with non stick spray.
  3. Halve the apples, scoop out the core and slice thinly.
  4. Combine the apple slices with lemon juice and water in a bowl and microwave for 3 minutes.
  5. Roll out the puff pastry and cut into 6 even strips.  Moving forward I would roll the pastry thinner to make at least 9 slices, possibly even 12.
  6. Spread the cream cheese on each slice of pasty.  Double the quantity for 12 tarts.
  7. Liberally sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the cream cheese.
  8. Arrange the apple slices overlapping each other on one half of the pastry with the top of the apple just above the pastry.
  9. Fold the bottom half of the pastry up over the top and roll up.
  10. Place in prepared muffin tins.
  11. Bake for 40 minutes.  Reduce time accordingly if you roll the pastry thinner.

I served these with homemade custard.  They made a fabulous dessert.

Things forgotten and changed

I spent a few days with Pete in Johannesburg; my first trip back since my folks moved down to the Eastern Cape.  It was a strange notion knowing I would not be going to the home where I spent majority of my childhood and early adult years.

I did however get to enjoy a special lunch with my brothers.  I would loved to have spent more time with them.  ♥


Looks like I’m storing nuts in my cheeks

Johannesburg is a fast paced busy city.  There is a lingering concrete jungle smell in the air and at the same time a calm quiet in the absence of a breeze.  Living at the coast I am accustomed to the constant movement of air from a glorious gentle whisper of wind to full blown gales – the wind cleansing everything as it traverses and whistles through the trees.  I digress.


Image courtesy:  Jay Caboz

I forgot what it is like to be in a corporate environment zipping here and there at speed.  Do I miss it, maybe just a little, although I am becoming more of a country bumpkin – a bad thing, I don’ think so.  Just the next phase of my evolution.  The trip up north did however rejuvenate my want to write and even though I have always been loyal to my obligations, I am feeling renewed to be more present in my commitments.

I spent a couple of hours catching up with an ex colleague – we commented how lovely it was to pick up from where we left off, almost as if the passed nearly 15 years were like 15 days.

After the hustle and bustle of a few days, the best part was being able to spend albeit short, uninterrupted time with my Pete before he headed back to Kenya and me home.  I did not want to let him go.  It gets harder and harder with each trip. ♥

Finally, THE Vanilla Cupcake

You may remember a while ago I was on the hunt for THE vanilla recipe which works well as a cake and cupcakes, well, I finally got it right after a few attempts.  These are wonderful iced or just on their own with a sprinkling of icing sugar or served with cream and berries.  I have made them a few times and they get rave reviews all around.

The vanilla cupcake

Vanilla Cupcakes


125ml sugar
125ml cooking oil
2 extra large eggs
250ml Greek Yogurt
5ml vanilla essence
500ml cake flour
5ml bicarbonate of soda
10ml baking powder
2.5ml salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
  2. Beat the sugar and oil together.
  3. Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Add the yogurt and vanilla essence.
  5. Sift the dry ingredients together and fold into the wet mixture – don’t over mix, a few lumps is fine.
  6. Spoon into 18 prepared muffin tins smoothing the top of the mixture.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.  Ice as desired.

Such is Life


Our beautiful Sundays River

We chose to live where we do for the tranquil quality we appreciate and treasure –  to be on the doorstep of a National Park, River and Beach which for a large part are unscathed by man.  City life is just not our speed.

Addo 2014 507

King of the jungle in Addo National Elephant Park

We respect our environment and care for it as much as we can and help annually with a river and beach clean up which incorporates educating the local youth about the importance of reducing, re-using and recycling as well as being part of a team of committed folk who donate food, clothing and the like plus our time once a month to distribute these goods to the youngsters who bring plastic containers and tins to school for recycling further helping to keep our environment clean and encouraging them to be proud of where they live.


There is also my involvement as Chair for our Community Police Forum and Neighbourhood Watch initiatives which boils down to a semi full time job sans remuneration but makes me no less committed.  My resolve is occasionally tested though, as a curve ball gets thrown our way and we have to endure unnecessary stress of people violating our rights by holding illegal protests and burning vehicles which throes me into endless texting and phone calls to determine who, what, when, how and why all the while trying to reassure a village we are safe.

Kinkelbos CPF Logo               NHW logo

It is a harsh reminder of how volatile life can be.  We enjoy the comfort of our daily lives and then in a heartbeat it changes.  I don’t believe we are unique by any means, we just feel it more being such a small community.

Then everything settles and returns to normal and just as I breathe a sigh of relief, the next hurdle gets put in front me to test my resolve  with the news of scary things, things I don’t know how to comprehend or how to deal with so I throw myself at the internet trying desperately to find answers.

Proteas - Copy

South Africa’s National flower – the protea

Dad was diagnosed with kidney cancer and was quickly in surgery to remove his left kidney.  Test results were positive, all the cancer was removed with the kidney, then quickly comes the news of lung cancer.  I have truly never experienced anything as traumatic and scary in my 43 years.  I have never felt such pain.  Deep! Right to my core.  Daddy is both mentally and physically strong and at 73 has never been sick or seen the inside of a hospital  for anything other than visiting someone else.  I can’t begin to comprehend what he and Mommy have felt through all of this.  They are remarkable and nothing will get them down, nothing!  Dad’s positive attitude has been inspiring to see.  We are in the midst of Dad’s treatment and believe he is already cancer free.  Believe it with us, and if you can, please light a candle for Daddy, he is a special man who deserves all the love in the world.

SA vs Ireland 25062016 - Copy

Love, love, love. Mom, Me, Pete and Dad at a recent ruby match. SA VS Ireland – Ireland played a better game but we won in the end

During the same time as finding out about Dad’s cancer, my cousin was involved in a motorcycle accident, which resulted in his left leg being amputated.  What a remarkable young man – his attitude, like Dad’s  is awe inspiring and his being able to get back up and at em is wonderful to see.

My family has been tested the past while, not about how much we love each other and how we all stand strong together but how much we can actually deal with all the while still smiling. ♥

Lemon Drizzle Cake

I saw this recipe over at Passion Fruit Garden and if Glenda says its a winner then it is a must try.  Thanks Glenda, we thoroughly enjoyed this lovely cake, although think it would be as lovely without the syrup over the top.

Lemon drizzle cake 1

Lemon Drizzle Cake



125g butter
Zest of 2 lemons
1¼ cups caster sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup lemon juice
¾ cup natural yogurt
1¼ cups flour
1½ tsp baking powder


¼ cup sugar
Zest of one lemon
⅛ cup lemon juice

Optional:  Powdered sugar for decorating


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Line the bottom of a 20-22 cm cake tin with baking paper and grease the sides with butter.
  3. Cream the butter, lemon zest and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  5. Add the lemon juice and yogurt and mix well.
  6. Sift together the flour and baking powder and add to the main mixture – lightly mix together.
  7. Place batter into the prepared tin.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes or until the cake is firm to touch.
  9. Meanwhile, combine the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and heat to dissolve the sugar.
  10. When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven, allow to sit for couple of minutes and transfer to a serving plate.
  11. Whilst the cake is still warm,  pour the syrup evenly over it.
  12. Once completely cooled, sprinkle with powered sugar.

Lemon drizzle cake 2