#DineInTheSky

A couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail from Diners Club International about a Dine in the Sky competition…..as per usual my attitude was “why the hell not” and I entered without giving it so much as a second thought. Then at the end of May, during my first few days spent on engagement in Cape Town I was bombarded by a bunch of missed calls from a number I did not know and a desperate voicemail plea to return a call as they “do not want me to miss this great opportunity”.  I did not recognize the details of the company calling me but I took a chance and returned the call and it turns out it was a representative of SABC3’s Afternoon Express.

What I had not realised was that the Diners Club International competition was hosted by both them AND the Afternoon Express and I was chosen as one of 3 lucky winners. <insert excited squealing and jumping up and down here>

The prize?  Myself and a partner was invited to join one of the Afternoon Express presenters, representatives from Diners Club and 2 other winners to enjoy a beautiful champagne breakfast high up in the sky at Val Bonne Country Estate one saturday morning.

Guys…it was amazing. The view…the experience…the people..the goodie bags:P and everything else was just fantastic.

We arrived early in the morning in order to ensure that our hair and make-up was done to perfection as it was all being filmed for the Afternoon Express in HD.  We were then strapped in and hoisted 40m into the air by crane where we dined, chatted, were interviewed and enjoyed the amazing view.

I had expected to be super nervous as I am normally pretty scared of heights.  But a few years ago I had adopted a new approach to things that scare me. How often will I be presented with the opportunity to do something again in the future? I guess the fact is my fear of missing out is FAR greater than my fear of heights and even though I sometimes want to DIE on the inside I insist on pushing through…simply because life is too short to be scared.

Surprisingly enough I was calm, confident, even slightly dare devilish…twisting around in my seat…leaning out to take selfies with most of the table and swinging my feet out of bounds of the platform. What was even more surprising is that the Gypsy, whom I took as my + 1, who is usually so chill and very rarely gets freaked out was a nervous wreck once we reached roughly 20m. The most entertaining part was that while they were interviewing him 40m up he was all calm and confident but the moment the cameras moved he was back to secretly gripping the table and glaring at me for carelessly swinging around in my seat.

We had an absolute blast though and were proper spoiled the entire time.  I have no idea when this is supposed to air and even if I did know I probably wouldn’t tell anyone as I’m fairly certain I sound like a complete chop:P But it was a truly fantastic and fun experience:)

Being totally silly post make up and before the big hoist
I loved this random photo i took by accident of our shadows….I’m keeping it!
Breakfast (40m up in the sky) is served…..this was also accompanied by bubbly which is sadly NOT featured in this pic.
Just one of many splendid views from the top
The crew doing their thing at 40m
Cause when you’re dangling 40m up in the air selfies are important
His smile is a complete lie I assure you….
Pulling faces when the camera crew can’t catch me:P
DON’T LOOK DOWN!
Half a table selfie….the camera man managed to take a shot of me taking a selfie of them taking a shot of me taking a selfie of them……inception at it’s best.
My size 4 feet look like they belong to a giant in comparison to the buildings and tables at Val Bon Country Estate

P.S. This is most certainly not a paid for or sponsored post.

Come dine with me…..

So this past weekend we took part in a “come dine with me”-like competition with another couple.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t originally consider it to be a bit of a silly idea, but as we got closer to the time and as we worked on our menu (which had to be submitted together the Wednesday before) I got super excited about the idea:)

So the two of us brainstormed and we also got a lot of input from other people, using some ideas and discarding others and this is what our final menu looked like:

Aperitif

Stuffed eggs with cayenne pepper

Wrapped Asparagus

Starters

Spicy butternut and bacon soup with a dash of cream and home-made buns

Main Course

Incredible baked lamb shanks on a bed of root vegetables with a fresh garden salad

Dessert

Decadent chocolate mousse with home-made vanilla ice cream and a berry coulis

Digestifs

Assorted coffee varieties

Assorted dessert wines

Looks super yummy right? Below is the menu submitted by the other couple:

FullSizeRenderWe were convinced that even just on menu alone we clearly already had the upper hand here. So Friday night came along and we happily went off to enjoy a night of fine dining and doing nothing. It was FABULOUS! The starter was pretty amazing,I won’t lie. They definitely scored major points on that. Camembert backed in white wine with rosemary and garlic served with cheesy breadsticks…..I would happily have eaten only that all night.

The mains included a rib eye steak braaied to absolute medium-rare perfection served with roasted potatoes, vegetable skewers and served with a berry sauce. It was good and hearty and scrumptious but, in my opinion, not a “come dine with me” style of meal.  Mains was followed by dessert which was mango slices covered in sweet cream and caramalised sugar. Pretty yummy, but once again not a fancy dessert. I’ll leave out the part where I tell you of all the yummy wines we had along with the meals….:P

And then, just like that, it was our turn. Our table was decorated to perfection with a beautiful Ruby themed bouquet of flowers and all the detailing being red and black and white….it was beautiful! We prepped everything so that when the time came we would just have to pop the various things in the oven to reheat or cook (depending on what it was) without leaving our guests unentertained for longer than just a minute or two at a time.

Upon arrival we served them some sherry to warm the cold bones followed by the Aperitif of stuffed eggs and bacon wrapped asparagus…an instant hit.  I secretly popped my rolls into the oven (home-made, as the rules specified) and as soon as the hot, fresh bread came out the oven it was time for the starter…..a spicy and bacon filled butternut soup with fresh buns. All the noms and just perfect for the cold weather. I paired the soup with a lovely Chenin Blanc from Beau Joubert which complimented the various tastes perfectly.

We proceeded to spend some time chattering away to give everyone a chance to rest in-between courses and to give us a chance to heat up all the food.  The break was just long enough to enjoy some more wine and to let the previous course settle and then we served the mains.  Guys…most of the work here was done by the guy person and he did an exquisite job. The lamb shank was falling off the bone and went so well with the creamy mash and vegetable bed it was cooked on. It was truly amazing and I paired it with a beautiful blended red and a Pinotage.

More rest time and wine drinking time was given, and then it was time for our dessert.  Home made ice cream and home-made chocolate mousse…..heavenly!  Our guests declined the Port and Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest on offer and opted to drink more wine, which was eventually followed by yummy Nespresso just before home time.

Then of course it was time for the scoring and OF COURSE WE WON! Did anyone EVER have any doubt? This means that we’ve got bragging rights for days and they also have to take us out to a restaurant for dinner:D

All in all a really fun and yummy weekend was had by all. I suspect we will be doing this again:)

It’s been a while..

So as I’m sure most of you realise by now…I haven’t exactly been doing my part when it comes to this blogging thing.  Hell…I haven’t even been around on twitter or any other platform all that much lately. The thing is…life has this way of getting in the way sometimes.

I’ve also adopted a far better attitude towards all forms of social media.  The guy person isn’t into it…like AT ALL and as such he’s hardly ever on his phone.  So out of respect for him I put my phone away when he arrives or when I arrive at his home. We talk, we watch movies, we laugh and we live in a time where cellphones didn’t exist. My phone stays in my bag and is only pulled out every so often to check if I’ve missed a call or a personal message that may be important. Anything that doesn’t appear to be important or life threatening can wait..face to face time is simply more important.

Then of course….work. I think by now we’ve established I’m a complete and utter workaholic…I’m ok with that. It means I work hard when I need to and delivered an excellent result in record time. It’s my thing and I’m happy with that. The guy person also seems to get this for the most part.  I don’t understand people who don’t try to be the best at what they do….people who do a job just for the sake of having one and earning a salary…people who don’t get passionate about what they spend most of their time doing. I realise they probably don’t understand me either…but seriously…what is wrong with you?

So the new job has been great for the most part. Big corporate life and being a permanent staff member is far different from being the contractor and I’m trying to adjust to the changes with a smile….I’m successful at it too…for the most part. Certain things frustrate me and the red tape and office politics irritate me on occasion but for the most part I’m totally rocking this corporate thing. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with a true legend in my field and he has been a constant source of wisdom and support and for that I can’t possibly thank him enough.

Obviously I can’t go into any work related details…the job description pretty much says “hush-hush”, but what I will tell you is that rest assured…the bad guys…we be catching them:)

In other news…life is sometimes hard, but I’ve gotten pretty good and faking a smile till I make it. I’m dealing with a lot of emotional and human related issues at present…not to mention shouldering the struggles of the people I care about (I do that). Life is by no means moonshine and roses…but it is mostly good and I’m mostly happy and I’m infinitely grateful for all the amazing people and things in my life.

So I may be a little scarce sometimes…but I’m always here. And maybe soon I’ll return to regular updates and all kinds of drivel on this here blog:)

Dear Negative people

Sometimes I wonder how many of us stop to think about what we say/tweet/blog.  I wonder if some people even realise just how negative, whiney and full of complaints they have become.

I’m (mostly) a very positive person.  And even though my job often makes me cynical with regards to trusting people and just how screwed up the justice system is everywhere, I tend to be the person who sees silver linings, generally sounds annoyingly chirpy and also the one who gets stupidly happy at the tiniest things.  Don’t get me wrong…some days I too feel down in the dumps, some days I complain and some days I whine (especially when I’m sick…I’m completely miserable and pitiful when i’m sick) but this is not an everyday occurrence. And everyone is entitled to complain or a whine or to a negative day from time to time.

But I’ve noticed that more and more people are constantly negative, constantly complaining, constantly whining and constantly a pain in my ass.  Every single word that flows out of their mouths/fingers laced with the toxin more commonly known as negativity. If you let it run your life for too long you stop realising that you’re being negative, you fail to recognize the amazing things in your life and you spread negativity to the people around you.  You become an increasingly horrible person to be around.

There are few things that annoy me as much as someone who has amazing people in abundance, amazing opportunities and just honestly so many blessing rained on them only for them to not once be grateful, not once say anything positive or happy…just negative negative negative!  The sad part is that the external parties are not the only ones to notice.  These amazing people who you have in your life…they notice it too.  They feel that you don’t value them and that you take them for granted, because if you’re this miserable all the time, surely the people who surround you must feel that it is somehow their fault? And not only that..spending too much time with a negative person is emotionally draining, exhausting and quite frankly unpleasant and because it is so toxic, some of these people will, in time, also become negative. A negative person is also often extremely self-centered.  Everything is a crisis, everything is horrible and in everything they ARE the victim, not because they’re actually the victim, but because they choose to act like the victim. There are days when I feel like saying “Get your head out of your ass, it’s not a hat” (to quote Pitch Perfect).  I mean if your head is up there to begin with, I suppose it makes sense that you have such a crappy outlook on life.

After putting up with a lot of the negativity from a lot of people over time I have finally come to the conclusion that I need to do what makes me happy.  I need to, at least to an extent, distance myself from the negative people in my life. Guys, I love you dearly, but realise for once that life is not that bad.  Make a point of noticing at least one good thing a day, because I can guarantee you that your life does not suck, you just choose to see it that way.

Love
Ruby
xxxxxx

Dear MINI

Everyone who knows me KNOWS that ever since getting my MINI last year I have been MINI-crazy.  I absolutely adore my car.

On Friday night I was super excited to be attending the launch of the new Limited Edition Bayswater.  I had no idea what to expect, but they wowed us with a 3D Projection in Nelson Mandela Square.  I think they stressed a little bit as Jozi decided to grace us with an epic rainstorm shortly before the event was due to start, but the rain finally cleared and the program could go ahead. For those of you who didn’t get to see it…..there is a YouTube video here 🙂

And the cars were BEAUTIFUL! I’m not going to go into the technical details here…we ALL know it’s not my strong point but you can find all the details on their website:) I will however show you some pictures to tease 🙂
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All in all I think everyone had a really fun time and I got to meet some interesting new people, which, at the end of the day, is my favourite part of any event I get to attend…well that and the wine:)

Love
Ruby
xxxx

 

 

Dear Glacéau vitaminwater

Thank you so much for the goodie bag I received today:) I just said earlier this week that I don’t have a laptop bag for the little HP Folio I won the other day and then today you guys pitched up at my client’s offices with not ONLY a laptop bag but also some free Vitaminwater goodies…my co-workers were also thankful for these:P The gifts are very much appreciated:)

Ruby
xxxx

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Dear HQ Sandton

I would just like to pop you a quick note to say thank you for hosting my party on Saturday:) Throughout the process I was assisted by competent and friendly individuals (specifically Riaan and Bruce) and their advice and help was highly appreciated.

The food, as always was divine and my only complaint involves one of your staff members breaking the stiletto shoe on my cake *sulks*. Other than that I am one happy and satisfied little customer.

I’ve included a few snapshots of the night…I have so many pictures, but sadly I can’t put ALL of them here.  I’ve included only a few with some of my friendsters.  Thanx again!

Ruby
xxxx

Poutypants