Sutherland Birthday

As tradition goes, my husband took me away for my birthday last year. The only catch, I did not know where we were going.

The Friday morning he loaded me in the car and off we went. I knew we were going to be on the road for some time so we left bright and early.

We had breakfast just on the other side of Ceres next to the road at one of those cement tables and chairs. As we were getting ready to leave again and collecting our stuff, I was standing next to Etienne, he was still sitting down finishing up his last bite, and briefly looked down, just to find a dead snake! It was cm’s from my foot. I froze and almost passed out. It was not just a snake, it was a puff adder (Pofadder). His head was smashed in and it was pretty fresh. He had to be very naughty. I think it was murder but the body was moved. There was no blood spatter around the scene.

At this point I was fairly convinced we are going to Touwsrivier, but we made a u-turn and took off on the gravel road.

I saw road signs indicating the distance to Calvinia and Sutherland. I thought to myself no, we will not go to Sutherland because this is something we want to do in Winter one day to see the snow.

As we drove I figured out, well, I think Sutherland it will be. At one point Etienne looked at me and asked if I now have any idea where we are going and I looked at him with a smile on my face and said yes, I think we are going to Sutherland to watch the stars. He asked me if this was my final answer and then he confirmed.

I was excited.

I have always wanted to go to Sutherland. Sutherland is always referred to as one of the coldest places and when the weatherman predicts the weather and indicate the temperatures for sure they are always either real cold or super hot.

They also have the cleanest sky and that is one of the reason why the telescope is there. On a cloudless night you can see to infinity, not really but you get the idea.

It really is a very small town. There is not much to do. They do have a few restaurants, a PEP, liquor store, police station, a beautiful church, Primary- and High School and the observatories.

There are more than one place in town where you can go do stargazing, this is the reason after all why most people come here, but we were referred to Uncle Jurg, he is one of the best in town.

Friday was a very chilled day. After we arrived in Sutherland, eventually, felt like we drove for ages, we went for lunch and then back to our camp site and had a quiet evening. Accept for the cars leaving and entering the town.

Our campsite was just outside of town, but it felt like we were next to Kyalami. It was very noisy. There were road works and workers driving in and out from different work sites outside of town. They all seemed to stay in Sutherland. The hotels were pretty much fully booked.

On my birthday the Saturday Etienne filled some balloons with air. He said he want our camping site to look festive. We had a lovely homemade breakfast and we spent some time in town.  We had something to eat and drink at different places, we went to two of the shops that sells some handmade- and or  second hand products and had a lovely conversation with one of the ladies in town.

I had to ask her how she kept herself busy because there was really nothing to do around there. She laughed and said that she is involved in some small projects and groups with the older ladies in town. She loves it.

I even had some left over cake that I baked myself.

So, on my birthday the Saturday night, we went to go star gazing with Oom Jurg. It started with a presentation and showing the constellations and which ones we will be looking at. This guy really have a passion for stars. It started as a hobby and now he does it full time.

We also had a chat with a young man who is a palaeontologist. We saw some pictures and very interesting fossils they have dug up

The way this evening was presented kept me listening and had my interest. I enjoyed the stars immensely, but I was waiting for the moon. Yes, maybe I have a bit of a thing with the moon. No particular reason it just fascinates me how much of an influence the moon have on the earth and one cannot really fully comprehend it.

Oom Jurg had this neat trick to take a photo with your cell phone and we got some pretty cool shots. I was very impressed.

We stayed a little after everyone left and had a chat about photography, particularly night photography and Oom Jurg had some good tips.

It was really wonderful. I really enjoyed it and would like to go back.

Go have a look at their website HERE, it has all the info on how to book and activities available.

Have you gone star gazing before?

E xx

Hubby Say it Like it is

Maybe it is not always a good thing, but I love myself a questionnaire. Not only to answer myself, but I like to “questionnaire” my husband too.

This is his unedited (accept for spelling mistakes) answers.

1. Where did we meet? At a mutual friend’s house, while still in a relationship

2. Where was our first date? Went to Newlands for Proteas vs Sri Lanka t20

3. What was your first impression of me? What do my friends think of me? Is this wanna-be emo chick, full of tattoos and with a (gross) nose ring. suppose to be my type?

4.When did you meet the family? A week of two after we went on the cricket date, I surprised her at home during the week.  She was helping her dad in the garage, him being his funny self called her by saying the pastor is here for you. Her response: What the hell did I do now?

5. Do I have any weird obsessions and if so, what? She will definitely become That cat lady, when I’m gone one day.

6. How long have we been together? 4 years

7. Do we have any traditions? We take leave on our birthdays and go away together.

8. What was our first road trip? Went to Saldanha, Jacobsbaai and spent the weekend at my brother’s in Vredenburg. You can read about it here.

9. What was the first thing you noticed about me? Her nose piercing. Thought she didn’t wipe her nose clean after she blew it.

10. What is my favourite restaurant? Asami’s

11. What do we argue about the most? Nothing specific, but we do disagree from time to time. 

12. Who wears the pants in the relationship? Me.

13. If I am watching TV, what am I watching? Some kind of kiddies movie. 

14. What is the one food I do not like? Aubergine

15. What drink do I order when we go out to eat, accept coffee? Coke Sugar Free or Chai Latte

16. What size shoe do I wear? 6

17. What is my favourite kind of sandwich? PB without the J

18. What is one talent I have? Remembers where I out my stuff.

19. What would I eat everyday if I could? Caaaaaarbs! Potatoes, fried, mashed, baked, crisped. Just not raw. Yet.

20. What is my favourite cereal? Oats with sweetener, cinnamon, vanilla essence and a little butter.

21. What is my favourite music? Club, Trance and Gospel

22. Who is my favourite sports team? She prefers tennis and motor racing

23. What is my eye colour? Grey

24. Who is my best friend? Me. But Marizanne nearly ties for first place

25. What is something that you do that I wish you didn’t? Touching her belly button.

26. Where am I from? Brackenfell

27. What kind of cake would you bake me on my birthday? Dark chocolate with ganaché

28. Do I play any sports? Nope.

29. What can I spend hours doing? Knit and read

30. If I could live anywhere, where would it be? Canada

Did anything surprise you?

E xx

Eating Low Carb with The Insulin Type

Leah and I have met on Instagram a few years back and since then we have had many discussions. She is also a Type 1 Diabetic.

She has been a huge motivation in my Diabetes Management and I like to call her The Low Carb Queen.

I asked her some questions to share her mountains of knowledge around eating low carb and how it changed her Diabetes Management.

1. How long have you been a diabetic?

I have had type 1 diabetes for 12 years. I was diagnosed when I was 14. It’s crazy to think that I have had diabetes for almost half of my life!

2. Your diagnosis story?

Well, it was pretty similar to a lot of other diagnosis stories. I was showing symptoms for at least three months prior to diagnosis. A few highlights: I ate and ate and ate and ate and ate…and drank and drank and drank. I would wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, but would get such horrible calf cramps that I couldn’t walk and felt like I needed to scream. I once peed behind a bush in the middle of the city because I had to go so bad.

There were rumors going around my high school that I had an eating disorder because I was so thin. Despite being an A student, I got detention because I left a class to go to the bathroom (I was out of potty breaks). I remember struggling to stay awake in classes too. So yeah, I was exhibiting all signs of type 1 diabetes. Hunger, thirst, tiredness, constant bathroom. I went to the doctor, not because I didn’t feel well, but for a physical so I could play hockey in school. Receiving a diagnosis like type 1 diabetes and leaving the hospital the same day was extremely overwhelming. 

3. When and why did you start eating low carb?

After I got married in 2016, I started to think more long-term in life. I thought about future pregnancy, and also how my diabetes impacts my husband. Diabetes can turn us into monsters, and the mood swings from out of control diabetes are a real thing! So at that point I knew I needed to start taking better control of my diabetes.

I tried really hard, but taking insulin and just eating seemingly healthy is actually really hard to do. I was sick and tired of chasing blood sugars. I actually stumbled upon someone with diabetes on Instagram. They were eating “keto” and posting a lot of their blood sugars. So I read more about low carb/keto and decided to give it a go. Shortly after, I bought Dr. Bernstein’s book, Diabetes Solution. I haven’t looked back once!

4. What happened to your bg levels when you started eating low carb?

When I started to eat low carb, I noticed an IMMEDIATE improvement with my blood sugars, and it hasn’t let me down yet! There’s no denying that carbohydrates have the single largest influence on blood sugar, so by reducing carbs, it reduces the likelihood of fluctuating blood sugars. It’s science. Less carbs, less insulin, less fluctuation.

The hardest adjustment is being able to say no to carbs. It was at this point, where I truly struggled with saying no to carbs, that I realized how addicting they actually are. If they are that addicting, that I can’t NOT eat them, then something is wrong! The human body does not need carbohydrates to sustain life. That’s a fact. It can take a while to truly be able to say no, and I’m thankfully at that point. But this journey has proven to me just how toxic carbs are.

5. How did your body benefit from starting a low carb diet?

Basically everything has improved. My skin is clearer, my mind is clear (no brain fog), I have more energy, I am less moody. I also worry a lot less about my diabetes. Because of eating low carb, my blood sugars rarely fluctuate. This means that I don’t need to focus on rollercoaster numbers, worrying about going high or low, or anything else. Eating low carb has made my diabetes predictable. That in itself is worth it!

6. What do you classify as carbs or “bad” carbs?

Oooooh! Basically, any carb that will raise blood sugar quickly is what I would classify as bad. So, any flour, grain, starch, sugar, fruit, etc. Gross! I look for low glycemic vegetables and fruits. Some great examples: cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, peppers, strawberries, blueberries, etc. 

7. You have a few Keto recipes-how do you incorporate this with the high fat levels?

Well, I actually don’t eat “keto”. I aim for more protein than I do fat. The key to any meal is to be satiated! I don’t count calories, ever. I eat real food until I am full, and by eating adequate amounts of protein I feel full until my next meal. There’s a GREAT book called, Why We Get Fat, by Gary Taubes. He basically addresses why carbs are the reason that we gain weight, not fat or calories. Insulin is a fat storing hormone, and insulin is produced when we eat carbs. It’s a truly fascinating book.

8. How did you go from eating high carb or “normal” to low carb eating? Was it a process or was it cold turkey?

I wish I could say that I went cold turkey. I didn’t though, it was a slow process for me. The reason that I say I wish I would have gone cold turkey is because it is incredibly difficult to say no, but only sometimes. It is incredibly difficult to eat just one piece of chocolate, or one bar, etc. And for a long time, I said I would just limit myself to “some”. But that’s super ambiguous and doesn’t work for a lot of people. I made so many exceptions and so many mistakes because I simply said, “oh just this once”. Most people are like me and can’t actually control, even though they want to. That’s why I would recommend the hard stop and just say no. Period. Thankfully I’ve reached that point now though!

9. Million dollar question. Me myself have a huge struggle with carbs and I have a wild sweet tooth. I want to go as low carb as possible. What is your advice (for me and newbies)? 

That’s a hard question. I think it depends on your personality type. Gretchen Rubin wrote a great book called, Better Than Before. She discusses how some people are moderators and some are abstainers. A person with a moderator trait is able to truly take things in stride and not fall back because of this. Moderators could truly eat one piece of chocolate. An abstainer on the other hand, needs an absolute. I am definitely an abstainer. It is easier for me to say no, than to say sometimes. I think if we are honest with ourselves, most people are abstainers. But who wants to admit that they can’t say no? It sucks.

So if you’re struggling with being able to say “sometimes”, try saying an absolute no! You may be more successful when you simply say no! It does take time to get to this point though; I don’t underestimate that.

On another note, I can totally relate. I LOVE chocolate and never in a million years thought that I would be able to give it up. For me, I spent time (and money) to find healthy alternatives to the foods that I love, or I make my own sweets. My blog has a lot of links to great recipe websites! So part of the whole process is finding alternatives that don’t make it seem like you’re actually giving something up.

10. Please any idea and comments if you think something should be added!! 🙂 

I think it’s important to be honest with yourself. It took me a very long time to get to where I am now, and I wish it wasn’t this way. I was making too many exceptions, even though I knew they weren’t going to work. But embracing the journey is key. Realizing that you’re doing the right thing, and that you’re on the right path is half the battle! You have a willingness to change, so don’t beat yourself up too much along the way. 

How lovely does all these food look? They are all low carb and all which Leah prepared for herself.

You can reach out to her on the following social media sites:

Instagram // Facebook // Twitter – click on any of these.

Her Blog has valuable information! Click: The.Insulin.Type

Thanks for sharing your knowledge Leah!

E xx

Anél – An Interview

Anél and I come a long way. She has helped lower my Hba1C, loose weight and just overall motivate me. I trust her completely when it comes to dietary requirements and advice.

I asked her a few questions.

1. Job Title and Qualifications

BSc Dietetics (2002), Masters in Nutrition (2011) – Stellenbosch University

2. Who is Anél?

I am a private practising dietitian, wife and mom to 2 very busy boys. I studied BSc Dietetics at Stellenbosch University and qualified in 2002. After completing my compulsory community service year in Potchefstroom, I then travelled to the United Kingdom where I lived and worked for 4 years as a locum dietitian and later on worked as a Specialist Paediatric Dietitian. I gained a wealth of experience during my stay in the UK – consulting paediatric patients in the Allergy, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes and Feeding clinics as well as patients on ward level, stroke rehabilitation and adult ICU.

We returned to South Africa in 2008 to persue a career in private practice and joined Stellenbosch & Vergelegen Nutrition Centres. Furthering my skills in adult and paediatric nutrition and dietetics.

I continued my studies and completed my Master’s Degree in Nutrition (2011), Stellenbosch University – my thesis focused on Childhood Obesity.

In 2013 I opened my own private practice, Paarl Dietitians. ​I often present talks to the public and other health professionals – keeping them up to date with the latest nutrition-related topics and research. I also consult regularly for the media and has contributed to publications such as Baba & Kleuter and Women’s Health magazines, as well as online magazine Parenting Hub, on various nutrition related topics.

My time in private practice has provided me with special skills to treat and manage weight loss, insulin resistance and associated metabolic syndrome. I have worked closely with multi-disciplinary teams in the past, to treat eating disorders and is another special interest. Other special interest includes Nutrigenomics (DNA testing) and Women’s health (pregnancy, polycystic ovarian syndrome).

I have a passion for helping people. I like to socialise with friends and family. I love to watch a good ‘Series’ on TV and I might be slightly addicted to online shopping.

3. What made you choose to become a Dietician?

My grandma was a diabetic and she saw a dietitian back in the 80’s. It fascinated me that there are people (i.e Dietitians) out there that can tell you what you should eat and should not and in such a manner improve your overall health and manage disease.

4. What is the best part about your job?

The best part of my job is that every day is different because people are all different and come in with so many different personalities and lifestyles and I feel that I can make a difference to someone else’s life. It is truly a privilege to work with others and help them to be a healthier version of themselves. By changing their lifestyle and dietary habits for the better and seeing their self-confidence improve or them feeling heathier and better.

5. What is the worst part about your job?

The worst part is when I meet new people or in social settings and they say something like “don’t look at my plate, I’m being bad today’.  Quite frankly, if you’re not my client, I don’t care what you choose to eat. It’s your choice, and the less attention you bring to it, the less I’m going to notice. O and yes, it really annoys me when people ask for free dietary advice!

6.Name one thing you can not love without.

I know it is cheesy, but my husband, kids, family and friends.

7. To Fruit or not to fruit

Often people with diabetes are told they can’t eat fruit because they are too sweet or contain sugar. The concern has been that because fruits contain sugar, it makes your blood glucose go up.

All fruits contain natural sugar (fructose), but it also contains very important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fibre.

Fruit in small amounts and in correct portion sizes can be eaten by diabetics. Portion size is very important when considering the biggest effects on your blood glucose levels. A portion of fruit contains about 15-20g carbohydrate on average, which is similar to a slice of bread. To put things in perspective, just a can of cola contains 35g carb and a medium slice of chocolate cake contains 35g of carbs as well. So, if a diabetic have fruit – stick to one portion at a time in order not to exceed 15-20g carbohydrates – and then the effect on blood glucose levels won’t be so dramatic.

Considering the above-mentioned – when fruit are eaten as a snack, it is also important that fruit intake should be distributed throughout the day (not eaten ALL at once).

The best fruit options are fruit that have a low GI (glycaemic index).

Fruit juices on the other hand are very high in natural sugars and they have less fibre than the whole fruits. Because you can get through a lot of juice within a relatively short period of time, compared to eating the actual fruit, you may end up loading up with a lot of carbs over that period. Depending on how your diabetes is managed, this can result in your blood glucose levels going up. That is why you are better off eating the actual fruit and avoiding juices. If you want to drink fruit juice, then my advice would be to limit it to a maximum of a small glass (125ml), once a day. Ideally, I would recommend staying off the juice and using it as a way of managing “hypo’s” (very low blood sugar levels)

8. And the Keto Debate: Is high fat low carb good for Diabetics or not?

Few studies have shown that Ketogenic diets are very effective at achieving two common aims of diabetes control, lowering blood glucose levels and reducing weight.

 In my opinion, a Ketogenic diet could be beneficial in the case of type II diabetes but one should be more cautious in type I diabetics.

There is generally a lack of long-term studies into the safety and effectiveness of ketogenic diets in type I diabetics and, this is why a doctor’s opinion is needed before starting the diet. Some physicians are of the opinion that individuals with type I diabetes, often have some degree of renal impairment, and handling the build-up of ketones and acids in the body may cause too much stress on the kidneys.

Ongoing monitoring is needed if you do decide to adopt this very low carb approach to eating. Seeing your doctor regularly is important to make sure that your blood pressure, lipids, blood sugar, mood, and medications are within normal ranges as you lose weight. Adjustments are likely going to be necessary from time to time.

One should keep in mind that diet is a very individual thing – what works for the one person doesn’t necessarily work for another person. Therefore I encourage an individual approach since there is no ‘blueprint’ diet that will work for everyone.

9. Where can we find you?


Facebook and Instagram: Paarl Dietitians

Paarl/Franschoek Wineland Outing

We try and always go away around our birthdays. We like to make it special and each one can choose on their birthday where they would like to go.

This birthday was before Covid times. I have always wanted to visit Franschoek and spent time there. I wanted to go on the wine tram and visit the wine farms and go to the famous Babylonstoren. I also wanted to visit the French Heugenot museum to double check if I am in fact part of the clan and another stop was The Spice Route.

This birthday weekend was filled with precious moments and wonderful memories.

Let’s call this a photo dump, because there are a lot!


1st Stop: Alpaca Loom

Who could resist these faces! Just beware, the do spit if they are in a bad mood, but what an experience. There is a shop where you can have a cup of coffee and something to eat. They also stock hand woven products and it is so beautiful, a bit pricy to my standard, but so beautiful. I will save up and visit again.

You purchase your food at the counter and then off you go to have some fun. . I fed them, walked around with them and just had the best time.

For more info, please visit their website H E R E

2nd Stop: Spice Route

So many smells and tastes to experience! This is a foodies dream.  We had ice cream and coffee, ye together and we enjoyed a lovely lunch outside on the terrace at Barley&Biltong. Visit Spice Route for a feast of taste and shopping experience.

More info H E R E

3rd Stop: Die Afrikaanse Taalmonument – Paarl

We spent some time here walking around the monument, enjoying the view, learning about the history of the Afrikaans language.

It is really beautiful from up there. They have some hiking trails, but that we left for next time.

Find more info H E R E

We made our way out of Paarl, stopping for some essentials and then made our way to Franschoek. We stayed in a villa just off the main road and the next day we ventured to find tickets for the wine tram, see the French Huguenot Monument and visit Babylonstoren.

4th Stop: Babylonstoren

We could have done this with the wine tram, but you need to make a day of this visit on its own. It is a very large farm and there enough to keep you busy the whole day, which was the case here.  It was well worth all the walking.

See for yourself H E R E

The next day, it was wine tram day! This was an experience on its own. I would advise to wear comfortable clothing, comfortable shoes and have water with you. Plan your trip as there is no way to visit all the farms on the route, so choose those you really want to visit and do some research.

More info H E R E

I love this photo so much. The way he is holding her hat so the wind does not blow it away. The sweetest thing!

We had a lot of fun that weekend and I would love to visit again soon.

Have you been, and if so what would you recommend?

E xx

*Links not affiliated. Opinions my own.

Befriend, Date, Engaged to a Type 1 Diabetic

Not long after we started dating, I asked my now husband, then boyfriend, to tell the world what it was like being the partner of a Type 1 Diabetic.

I asked if he wanted to update this for a more recent post and he was very adamant, no, this is what he wrote and I should re-post it.

So, here it is.

With mutual friends pestering me to take a friend of theirs out on a date, I met my soon-to-be wife Elré. I was told beforehand that if things look to be getting serious I should always keep in mind that she’s a T1D all of her life and that it will be difficult at times.

Well, being an open minded and resourceful guy, I thought ‘How tuff could it be?’. Well, let me tell you.

I knew nothing.

If not for being totally in love with my fiancé and feeling and seeing the heaps of love that she has for me, I would probably have wanted to run away.

What I thought I knew about diabetes was absolute rubbish. In fact I still don’t know a lot about diabetes. What I do know now is that the perception of what diabetes is, is totally wrong. There’s different types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2.

Being as my fiancé is a Type 1, I’ve read up quite a bit on this. So now I know that we will be reading all of the labels on every food item that we buy, we will do maths daily by counting carbs, testing blood sugar levels, calculating the amount of insulin that she needs to inject, not too little, cause then her BSL (Blood Sugar Level) will rise, which is BAD, not too much, cause then her BLS will drop, which is BAD. Just the correct amount to keep the BLS nice and stable at around 6. So I’ve become Goldilocks!? (Not too hot, not too cold, just right)

Every aspect of our life together is affected in some way by her diabetes. Going for a walk, “Ok, just wait I need to check my BLS”. Making dinner, “remember not to use to many of this or that.” That however is one of the many challenges to our life that I do like, I love to create her something healthy and tasty to eat. It does help that I myself will be eating the same food, and I prefer good food 🙂

So now that we’ve been together for 8 months and living together for the past 2 months, would I change anything? Well I would like to have a little more space on the bed, but other than that, I love my T1D fiancé and would gladly count carbs with her for the rest of our long lives.

Oh, before I sign of, one other thing which is actually 3. I’ve heard and read people saying that their T1D partners have this tendency to be 3 different people all rolled up into one. The “normal” version, the BLS high version, which becomes cranky and irritable without warning, and the BLS low version, which basically just becomes a zombie with no real emotion or response. I can however state that none of the extra “personalities” have got a change in hell against the stock standard PMS fiancé.

I love my soon-to-be wife, and will always do. 

If you have any questions, please do leave a comment. I will organise the answers for you!

E xx

Little West Coast Getaway

We love going places. In Afrikaans there is a sayin “Sy hou van gatskuur” which basically translates to if you are driving I am coming.

So, when Etienne says let’s go explore or just take a short trip, I am always game. I enjoy our trips a lot. Even if it is only around the corner.

One of these little ones we did was up the West Coast. This was a while back and it was fresh after we started dating. So cute. Our end destinations would be his brother’s place in Vredenburg, but on our way we made a few stops.

Our trip started in Yzerfontein and we had a brief stop just to have some breakfast. I realised I did not take photo’s here accept for this one of the seagull. The star of our stop.

Next up was Saldanha

I have been before, but so briefly. We did not really explore or see anything. We walked around the harbour a bit, climb these very steep stairs to get a better look and just see.

There were really good photo opportunities, so I had some fun!

Then off to, Jacobsbaai.

Here we had coffee and something to bite at this cute little coffee shop. Outside the shop there was this chapel looking space where you can sit outside and of course we did. The weather was mighty fine.

They even allowed our little doggie to join us.

We arrived at our destination and the next day we went to Paternoster. A cute little fishing village about 20mkm from Vredenburg.

It is so pretty. It makes me think a little bit of Greece, some of the houses. The style of it. It is quiet and I would love to go back and actually stay over.

There is a big stretch of beach where the dogs can run to their hearts desire. We took the kids and doggie and we spent the morning on the beach.

We had a fab weekend. It was right on our door step but just spending time and seeing places you only know off a bit more in detail is fun!

Now, I have a weird obsession with these wind farms that have been popping up in recent years.

The Sunday on our way home between Vredenburf and Gouda we found not far from the Windfarm, one of the propellers. I asked Etienne to stop because I want to see how big it really is.

I was surprised! They are HUGE!

The size of those things are really deceiving, but here you have it. For reference I am 1.66m in length.

I am looking forward to our next spontaneous trip!

E xx

Tea House in a Tree

We had the privilege to visit this very cute little tea house just before the official opening. We both fell in love with this little gem.

It is built between the branches of an old Oak Tree and it is gorgeous. You do not have to climb a tree, access is super easy from the parking area with mostly level ground.

You have a beautiful view of the surrounding farms and you can even see Table Mountain.

We had a lovely cup of coffee and so yummy breakfast. I really just wanted to hang out there the whole day.

It is is located between Malmesbury and the Riebeeck Valley on the Goedgedacht Farm.

We had a lovely morning in the midst of a pandemic. This was most certainly a bright spot for me.

They offer a function/wedding venue as well with this cute little chapel on the farm.

For more information, please visit The Goedgedacht Website. The tea garden is back in the summer!

I can not wait!

E xx

*link not affiliated, views are my own.

A night at Hawksmoor House

A few years back I won an incentive for my hard work. It felt great to be acknowledged and rewarded.

My husband and I had the privilege of staying at Hawksmoor House not too far from Stellenbosch.

This property has a very reach history and if you would like to know more about it, I would recommend visiting their website here.

Apart from offering gorgeous accommodation, lovely scenery and tranquillity, they also offer a variety of wine.

Over the centuries the property saw varied types of produce ranging from tobacco to sheep to wine. The still fully operational farm is now producing oats, hay, luzerne, and more recently butternut squash and green beans. It is also home to approximately 90 head of red Angus cattle. There are 28 ha under grape with some vines being 29 years old. The grapes grown at Matjieskuil are used exclusively to make a selection of prize winning wines, mainly Chenin, Pinotage, Mourvèdre, Shiraz and Cabernet Franc under the Hawksmoor at Matjieskuil label.

Note: The above information is an extraction from the complete summarised history found on their website and was provided by Simon Olding and also extracted from a cultural historical report compiled by Dr Matilda Burden in May 2011.

Our room was so comfortable, it was quiet and I felt right at home. Etienne on the other hand, as always, his length presented a little issue with the low light fittings-teehee.

It is bed and breakfast and the breakfast the next morning most certainly did not disappoint, the scenery just rounded it off perfectly.

We would most certainly like to visit again and can most definitely recommend it to get away but not too far away.

*links not affiliated and opinion are my own.

The Day We got Engaged

In South Africa we celebrate “Braaidag” on the Heritage Day (24 September) public holiday. So, Etienne said lets go to the West Coast National Park. It is still flower season, we have a braai, watch the ocean and just have a relaxing day.

Of course I agree, I love the ocean.

We arrive very, very early the morning. We had too as the park is very popular around this time and their braai facilities fill up real quick. We had to wait for Postberg to open and on our way we played 20 questions and we even slept a bit. We were right in front of the queue.

At last the gates opened and we can go ahead. We got a nice little spot with limited wind and a nice view.

This one seagull entertained us a bit. He kept appearing and disappearing behind this giant bolder. Every few minutes you just see his head pop up, almost like he wants to say “I’m watching you”.

Eventually he came closer.

Etienne was looking after the fire and I made some salad. At one point I relaxed so much that I feel a sleep in my chair. We also had a bit of a late evening, but you know the sun just makes you lazy.

At one point Etienne wakes me up and asks me to hand this one particular piece of wood to him. So I got up, annoyed because I was having a great time snoozing, he hands me the piece of wood but does not let go. I am just getting more annoyed. I am lazy and I want to sit down and I do not understand why this man just can not get up and do this himself.

He is in front of me, on one knee I must add, and I am still trying to get the wood into the fire. At one point he asks me if I am not realising what is happening. By this time I am more awake but have no idea what he is on about.

So, he starts. Saying that we already played 20 questions the morning and that I mean the world to him and he wants to make me happy and still I am not clicking.

Still speaking he looks at me and asks “Elré Hugo will you marry me?”. I am knocked over, well not literally, but I squeal like a teenager and can not believe it. I still asked him “Are you serious?!”, “Seriously?!” I am laughing and I am dumbstruck. I had no idea that he was going to ask my hand in marriage to start of with. Of course we spoke about it, but that was so early in the relationship you do not take note.

At last the piece of wood comes out to play. He tells me to pull on it, which I do, but am struggling. It comes apart eventually and inside is the most beautiful ring! It was my mother in laws ring. I am just asking questions, “it is so beautiful, where did you find it?, who make the piece of wood?, where did you find that?” And as calm as Etienne is he just tells me all in good time, put on your ring.

Oh, I am laughing and smiling and I am not able to tell anyone yet because there are no signal in that area of the park. So sneaky. He said he wanted to keep it to himself for a little while.

My mouth was stretching from all the smiles and giggles.

On our way out we got cell phone signal and as sure as the dawn I start telling everyone! We even had some animals make an appearance.

We did not want to go home just yet as we were full of energy, so we decided to make a pit stop in Vredenburg at his brother’s house to share our good news.

The day was perfect. Nothing could be changed to make it better. I still smile every time I think about it and the piece of wood that almost ended in the fire is on the book shelf as a reminder as well.

The day said goodbye with a beautiful sunset, I mean what more do you want?


This is our engagement story.

If you are married now, do you still remember the day you got engaged and were you knocked off your feet?

Tell me in the comments.

E xx