Two Drifters

Two Drifters has written 268 posts for Cheap Luxury

What to do with those spare voyager miles.

What to do with those spare voyager miles. There are not enough for a trip and you’re not flying anywhere soon to acquire more. Airport taxes hardly make it worth taking a trip to Cape Town . . . so what to do with the jolly things before they expire?

My husband made inquiries about how to use these up and Voyager had with a wonderful solution for all these odd air miles. Have you ever thought that you could use them for a Spa treatment? Through the auspices of Voyager we discovered a wonderful spa, not far from Bronkhorstspruit called Klippenbosch Spa. The entire experience was paid for with air miles.

Klippenbosch-Spa-3

We booked a full day’s treatment for two and for afterwards, so that we didn’t have to drive home through rush hour traffic we also booked two nights in their delightful cottage which is available as a self-catering hideaway.

Situated in a private game reserve, this spa is a wonderful place to be pampered, to get rid of the build-up of tension knots, to be pummeled and massaged and treated to delicious meals ( no ‘lettuce leaf only’ lunches!) and then the day is rounded up with a superb cup of coffee and the Chocolate Platter!

Klippenbosch-Spa-2

It is billed as a stress-relieving spa, not a beauty spa (so, no manicure pedicures, facials etc. my husband didn’t feel uncomfortable as the only male client amongst eight women) just a wonderful relaxing time at the hands of highly trained team of masseuses.

And afterwards, when the other clients were packing up and driving away, we ambled down to the beautifully appointed cottage to sit on the patio in the gathering dusk to have a glass of wine and listen to the sounds of the night, jackals calling, night birds waking up and to our delight, a troop of bush babies (or nag-apies, as they are called in Afrikaans) appeared in the trees above us. What a privilege to see these delightful creatures in their natural habitat!

Unfortunately, we didn’t see any of the game although we were told a herd of giraffe passed very close to the cottage early in the morning. We went for a walk and only saw tracks of large kudu and the giraffes but it was restful just to be out in the fresh air. There are zebras and wildebeest and other large game, none of the big five of course but that makes it easier to relax and enjoy a walk. The bird life will delight any bird lover too.

We certainly will be going back to this wonderful sanctuary as soon as we can manage it (i.e. accumulate enough Voyager Miles)

Enjoy the Cheap Luxury Life!

x

Elaine

For More Information:

www.klippenbosch.co.za

Contact Voyager for information of other options for those spare Air miles.

Klippenbosch-Spa-1

Please can someone tell me what happened to April…!!!??!!

Go-BAckIs it just me or does anyone else feel like they have skipped a month? One moment it was the 1st of April and the next moment I blinked and it was the 1st May. So what happened to April? Besides the fact that it sounds like a pretty good title for a murder mystery, I have no clue what happened to the time, but I have a sneaky suspicion that it disappeared under a pile of tissues and doctors visits. It has been a nasty beginning to winter and made me more determined to up the defenses and make sure I don’t lose another month to the flu gremlins. So with very little left to write, having hardly left the house for three weeks, here are 3 pearls of Cheap Luxury wisdom that I managed to glean from the world, despite the groggy mist that made up the month;

Smile1. Always ask your doctor for generic versions of the drugs. You can save a fortune and get the same results. All you are doing it buying a brand name and the name is not what makes you better. Just remember to ask your doctor, they don’t do it automatically.

2. Another thing I found out, thanks to my budget conscious doctor, is that if the doctor includes non-prescription medicine on the script the pharmacy adds an extra “script fee” (I suppose it’s for printing the little sticker) on the price. So ask the doc to leave off any over the counter meds and ask the chemist for them yourself.

69448_550504601632616_845301432_n3. On benefit of staying in bed was having nothing else to do but lay there and watch movies and documentaries. Here are three documentary gems are the kick in the pants I needed to get my life/health back in order: The Happy Movie, Food Matters and Hungry for Change. There is nothing like a bunch of healthy, happy people lecturing you about the benefits of a healthy and happy life, while you lie on bed feeling anything but, to get you moving in the right direction. If you have an hour or two they are really worth a watch. Anyway I was sold, so expect to see some healthy, happy posts SOON!

So lets forget about April and make it happen in May!

Yours in Happiness

Natalie

- now where can I find a juicer.

Other Cheap Luxury articles that might interest you:

My Four Favourite Flu Fighters

Good Ol’ Homemade Remedies

The Pursuit of Happiness

My Four Favourite Flu Fighters

Favourite-Flu-Fighters-1My apologies for not posting, the last week has been swallowed up by mounds of tissues and multiple visits to the chemist for my poor husband who has been sick in bed all week. It’s that time of year I guess, the cold mornings and chilly evenings combined with sweltering midday’s wreak havoc with ones immune system. Add to that a good dollop of stress and surround yourself with other snotty noses and coughing companions and you don’t have much of a chance.

I always try my hardest to avoid expensive doctors visits, so here are four of my favourite flu fighters that are available over the counter;

Favourite-Flu-Fighters-21. Viral Choice  & Corenza C

These are great for kicking the emerging cold in the butt.  I take them when I feel a bit run down and start to feel a bit on the icky side. The Viral Choice combined with a Corenza C help you give that cold a good wallop before it gets the better of you. If you don’t like the fizzy you can get the ordinary tabs too.

Favourite-Flu-Fighters-32. Echinaforce Tincture

When my throat starts scratching a couple of drops on the tongue can make a world of difference and can really help fight a cold as long as you start taking them early enough. You can also get Echinaforce Forte tablets which can help boost your immune system.

Favourite-Flu-Fighters-43. Infagard - Sportron

Infagard is also a tincture like Enchinaforce. I must warn you that it is vile tasting – the combined flavours of garlic, orange peel and mint are enough to scare away any cold. Sometimes just the thought of having to take it is enough of a cure. Before I put you off completely – it is really worth a try if you can get over the horrendous flavour. Always remember what Mary Poppins says; “Just a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down…”

Keep warm and stay healthy.

x

Natalie

P.S.: If you like the more natural route; here are some of my favourite home remedies.

PPS: Please remember  when all else fails to go and see the doctor…

Celebrating ONE year of Cheap Luxury!

FB-Logo-BIRTHDAYi

Dear Fabulous Followers

It is with much gratitude to you, our wonderful readers, that we celebrate our ONE year blogging anniversary!

These are some of our best moments from this past year….

OUR FIRST POST:

Our first post was The Wonder Mask a cheap and luxurious face mask made from egg white and my old favourite. It feels like ages-ago that we posted this. Since our first post on 02 April 2012 we have written 265 posts! It is your inspiration and encouragement that keeps us at the keyboard :)

THE POST WE ENJOYED WRITING THE MOST

To celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee last year we made traditional coronation chicken, cucumber sandwiches and scones and cream. We dressed up and drank tea with our pinky’s in the air. Oh so la-di-da and oh-so much fun!  You can check out the posts and get the recipes: Tea with the Queen , The Diamond Jubilee and The Original Coronation Chicken Recipe.

OUR MOST POPULAR POST

Mock Crab: The Ultimate Comfort Food. This simple little post became our greatest success story. One day about a month after it was posted I logged onto WordPress as I usually do and to my surprise I had received over 690 hits overnight all for my Mom’s Mock Crab recipe. Nearly all of the hits came from Japan and after a little bit of investigating I discovered that the tag “Mocking Like a Crab” was trending on Twitter in that part of the world and leading people to our site. Who would have thought…( it is a fab recipe too ;P)

OUR TOP FINDS

One of the great things about writing this blog is searching for hidden gems and sharing them with you. Here are our top four “finds” :

The Neighbourgoods Market

Past Times

The Peach Cafe

Moyo Ushaka

SOME OF OUR BEST RECIPES

It has brought us so much joy, inviting you into our kitchen and sharing some of our favourite recipes with you! It can make even the most dreary day bright.

The Best Chocolate Cake

Prawn and Avo Salad

Minestrone Soup

Caramelised Red Onion & Cream Cheese Canapés

Watermelon Salad

Pink and White Coconut Ice

So here is to ONE fabulous year of Cheap Luxury. Thank you for your support, likes and comments. We celebrate every person who follow us so please keep sharing the love. You have made our dream come true, so here is to YOU!

X

Natalie and Elaine

PS Thanks to WordPress for this amazing platform that allowed us to create our little world of Cheap Luxury!

Fabulous Easter Fun

Last year some friends of ours from Parys organized a Easter Weekend by the river complete with egg painting and Easter egg hunt. I have never seen adults, all dressed as bunnies, have so much fun. Actually we had so much fun looking for eggs that we collected all the ones we hadn’t eaten and hid them so we could look for them all over again. Any chance to feel like a kid again I guess. So if you feel like letting go of some of your adult inhibitions put your bunny ears on, paint some eggs, hide them around the garden and invite you friends and family to join in the erm… hoppiness :) Oh… and it is also fun for kids… :)

IDEAS FOR AN EASTER EGG HUNT:

  • Invite your friends and family for tea over the weekend. (Bunny ears and tails a must!)
  • Have tea laid out with porcelain cups and complete with sugar cubes and hot cross buns.
  • Ask everyone to bring Easter eggs, the more you have the merrier the hunt will be.
  • Nominate a chief bunny who will hide the eggs around the garden.
  • Then let the bunnies loose to see what they can find.
  • You can also incorporate some of the other Cheap Luxury Easter craft ideas. Get some here…

 

HAVE AN EGG DECORATING STATION:

  • Hard boil white (brown eggs work well too if you can’t find white) eggs. You can use white chocolate ones if you prefer but then don’t decorate them with anything you can’t eat.
  • Set up your decorating station  with glitter and crayons, watercolor paints, Easter printables and any thing else you can think of.
  • Add a couple of drops of food colouring into a mug and fill half way with water. The food colouring is a great way to dye eggs.
  • The wax crayons make a lovely resist technique.  Just draw your pattern on the egg and the dip into the food colouring. The longer you leave it in the food colouring the more intense the colour will be.
  • Then go crazy and get creative! I got the family to do some last weekend and everyone had a ball.

x

Natalie

P.S. We are taking a break for a couple of days so we will see you next week.

Have a lovely safe Easter

x

Natalie & Elaine

Quick & Easy Easter Bunnies

EASTER-BUNNY-5I designed these bunnies to be used as place settings for Easter lunch or to give away to friends and family filled with delectable Easter treats. I got the whole family – my Dad included – involved in making these for the shoot.  Everyone got a bunny with their name on it and some felt tip pens (you can include glitter pens or other forms of decoration) and were able to decorate them how they liked. You can use this idea for entertainment around the table, we had a lot of fun seeing what each person came up with. They can then be taken home as gifts. It’s a great way of keeping everyone busy while you do the last minute touch-ups on the meal :)

Enjoy!

x

Natalie

YOU WILL NEED

A4 coloured cardboard (1 page per bunny)

Bunny template (Download here: EASTER BUNNY TEMPLATE)

Metal tumbler  (1 per bunny.) or Polystyrene Cup

Tissue Paper

Tasty treats – ( Homemade Coconut Ice)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Fold the A4 coloured cardboard in half.

2. Cut out your bunny template

3. Place the nose of the bunny on the fold of the paper.

4. Cut out the bunny shape making sure that the nose and the feet are still joined.

STEP-1-EASTER-BUNNY

STEP-2-EASTER-BUNNY

5. Open out the bunny and cut a 3.5cm slit from the tail down.

6. Do the opposite on the other side (as in the picture) 3.5cm from the foot up.

7. Slot the one slit into the other to join the back. You can secure this with a drop of craft glue.

8. You can decorate your bunny now or just write the name of your guest on it and leave them to decorate it around the table.

9. Place the tumbler or cup into the middle of the bunny.

10. Fill the tumbler with sweets and decorate with the tissue paper.

11. You can use these as place cards or give away as gifts.

EASTER TREATS: Pink and White Coconut Ice

HOMEMADE COCONUT ICE

Nothing makes me feel more like a domestic goddess than making homemade sweets. There is something magical about creating something decadent with nothing but sugar and milk. With the Easter weekend coming up there is nothing better than a house filled with tasty treats, I thought that coconut ice would be the perfect addition. This recipe uses homemade condensed milk it is more effort to make but I promise you it is well worth the extra sweat cause it tastes divine. I got this recipe from The Love of Cooking by Sonia Allison that was published in 1972. I have copied the recipe as it was and then added my comments in italics.

Enjoy

x

Natalie

P.S. You can get some other ideas for Easter crafts here.

PINK AND WHITE COCONUT ICE

Makes about 54 pieces. I don’t know how tiny their slices were but I ended up doubling the quantity (one batch white and one batch pink) and using a standard 35 x 25cm baking tray and I only got about 35 slices!

YOU WILL NEED:

125ml Milk

500gms Sugar

150gm Desiccated Coconut

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

Red food colouring

Homemade-Coconut-Ice-2INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Grease a 20cm square baking tray well. I used spray and cook it works like a charm. In this recipe preparation is key, have all your ingredients ready and measured before you start.The last thing you want is to be managing a pot of hot sugar and trying to grease your tray at the same time.
  • Put milk and sugar into a large heavy saucepan on a low heat
  • Heat slowly stirring all the time until the sugar dissolves. Don’t scrape the edges when you stir this will make the mixture gritty. A way to test if the sugar is melted is to look at the back of the spoon, when the sugar is melted the texture will be smooth.
  • Bring to the boil and cover with a lid. I found that the sugar dissolved just as the mixture started to boil.
  • Boil for 2min then uncover.
  • Continue to boil steadily, stirring once or twice, until the mixture forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water. I found that after boiling for 2min my mix was already at soft ball stage and didn’t need to carry on cooking. Remember if you over cook it the coconut ice will be really hard, if you don’t cook it enough it will not stick together.
  • Remove from the heat and add coconut and vanilla
  • Beat fairly briskly until the mixture begins to turn cloudy and thicken.
  • Pour half into prepared tin, Once you have poured the mixture on the tray quickly tilt the tin so the mixture covers the surface easily. Do this fast as the mixture starts to set quickly.
  • Colour the remainder pale pink with food colouring and spread quickly over the white layer. I just used the whole lot and then did a new batch for the pink.
  • Leave until cold and firm then cut into squares. Enjoy! Or if you can control yourself give some away as Easter gifts to family and friends. You can get some ideas of ways to wrap them here.
  • Recipe from The Love of Cooking – Sonia Allison – 1972

Homemade-Coconut-Ice-1

Good News for Sushi Lovers

..It’s Sushi Friday at Food Lovers Nicolway!

Get your sushi loving self down to The Market Cafe at Food Lovers in Nicolway for 1/2 Price sushi! From 4-8pm on Fridays. Eat as much as you can cause you can’t take any home with you.

Enjoy!

Natalie

Sushi-Special

Easter Craft: Candy-Cones

 

Easter Craft: Candy-Cones

I have made these cones to give away to family at Easter but you can also make them for wedding favours or to hold the confetti. They are really quick to make and don’t cost much at all.

YOU WILL NEED: (makes 2)

1 piece of A4 coloured card board cut in half.

2 x paper doilies

2 x 20cm square of coloured tissue paper

2 x Easter stickers (Free Easter Printables)

And the all important sweets or mini eggs.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cut the A4 coloured card board in half
  • Roll each half into a cone shape.
  • Secure with sticky tape (I use the scraps of contact paper from the printables.)
  • Around the cone wrap a doily in the same cone shape.
  • Secure the doily with one of the Easter stickers
  • Place a small handful of sweets in the center of the tissue paper.
  • Gather up and twist to create a parcel.
  • Place the parcel into the cone and …ta-da.

Quick , easy and rather cute – even if I say so myself.

A great way to keep the kids busy over the long weekend.

Enjoy!

x

Natalie

Who has the Hottest Buns…?

HOT CROSS BUNS THAT IS :)

Easter isn’t Easter without a hot cross bun. It is funny, but the taste is so entwined with this time of the year, that if I eat one try say in November I find this festive treat almost impossible to eat. I don’t know but it doesn’t taste right. I feel the same about Christmas mince pies, it is just not right to eat them after New Year. I hope I am not alone in this craziness…

…Anyway this Easter I am making sure I get my fill of hot cross buns while I can, so we decided to do a Cheap Luxury taste test to see who has the hottest buns this season (I will find any excuse to eat them). We did a blind tasting, with four very eager volunteers,  a range of buns from five different stores (a sample each both toasted and plain.) The stores we covered were; The Food Lovers Market , Woolworths, Checkers, PnP and Spar. To be fair we bought all the buns on the same day, with the exception of one, which we handicapped for its freshness advantage. We rated each on the following criteria;

(each worth a total of 40 points)

Look & Appeal

Taste

Freshness

Number of Raisins

Spiciness

And these where the results: (The numbers on the pictures were for the tasting and were given in no particular order)

THE WINNER with 154/200 was SPAR however they were handicapped 10 points because they were bought on the same day as the tasting (10 March), the penalty meant they were tied with the runner up Woolworths with (144/200).

THIS IS HOW EACH OF THEIR BUNS FARED:

5-SPAR

1st Place went to SPAR and….

 

1st SPAR

(Store: Ferndale Village)

Price: R13.99 for a tray of 6

Made: 10/03 Sell by date: 10/03

Look & Appeal: 38/40

Taste: 33/40

Freshness: 36/40

Number of Raisins: 29/40

Spiciness: 18/40

TOTAL: 154/200 ( -10pts for Freshness handicap )

WINNER 144/200 pts

COMMENTS: “Looked like a bun from my childhood”

1-WOOLWORTHS

….Woolworths tied in joint 1st place

1st Woolworths

(Store: Nicolway)

Best Before: 10/03 Sell by date: 10/03

Price: R15.95 for a tray of 6 but discounted to R10.95 if you bought 2 trays.

Made: NO SELL BY DATE.

Look & Appeal: 27/40

Taste: 35/40

Freshness: 30/40

Number of Raisins: 26/40

Spiciness: 26/40

 TOTAL: 144/200 pts

COMMENTS: “Delish”

2-PNP

In second place was Pick’nPay

2nd Pick’n Pay

(Store: Douglasdale)

Price: R12.99 for a tray of 6

Made: 08/03 Sell by: 09/03

Look & Appeal: 21/40

Taste: 20/40

Freshness: 16/40

Number of Raisins: 26/40

Spiciness: 29/40

TOTAL: 112/200

COMMENTS: “A bit heavy on the spices, but toasted well”

In third place came Checkers

In third place came Checkers

3rd Checkers

(Store: Nicolway)

Price: R12.99 for a tray of 6

Sell by: 10/03

Look & Appeal: 18/40

Taste: 23/40

Freshness: 21/40

Number of Raisins: 16/40

Spiciness: 16/40

TOTAL: 94/200

COMMENTS: “No eye appeal, too few raisins, bland taste”

The bun from Food Lovers didn't get much love

The bun from Food Lovers didn’t get much love

4th Food Lovers Market

(Store: Nicolway)

Price: R12.99 for a tray of 6

Sell by: No sell by date.

Look & Appeal: 28/40

Taste: 10/40

Freshness: 12/40

Number of Raisins: 11/40

Spiciness: 10/40

TOTAL: 71/200

COMMENTS: “Coulda, Woulda  but just didn’t”

Who makes your favourite?

x

Natalie & Elaine

Hello Fabulous Followers

I'm Natalie, creator, writer, editor and sometimes photographer of Cheap Luxury. I created this blog as a project to discover my passion. I write it with my darling mom Elaine and it has evolved into something beautiful and I am very proud of what has been created. I love amazing food, shopping specials and living a fabulously fugal life. Thank you for visiting our blog. Please feel free to pour yourself a cup of tea, make yourself at home and indulge in our recipes, tips and meanderings. x Natalie

Visit My Blog x Elaine

For the last seven years or so I have been wrestling with writing a novel and what a fierce tussle it is. My ambition is to be a published author before I’m seventy! This is a blog of my journey and bits and pieces that I have written....I hope you enjoy! x Elaine

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Meet Our Photographer

Meet our in-house photographer Steven, who I happen to have the privilege of being married to! I just want to say how grateful we are to him for all his hard work and creativity. Without his pictures our blog would just be a thousand words. x Natalie & Elaine

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Copyright & Conditions

All of the content and photos on this blog are ours unless otherwise stated. You are more than welcome to re-blog both content and photos as long as you credit Cheap Luxury and provide a link back to our blog!

We are not paid for what we write. All articles are based on our own opinions and should be treated as such. Any adverts that appear on the site will be clearly marked as such.

Happy Blogging x

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