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THE 6 minute Chocolate Cake….

December 19, 2011

This cake always gets rave reviews…
Christmas time always brings many visitors, and this is the perfect last minute cake to serve them! Rich and chocolatey, and it takes just 6 minutes to bake in the microwave (yes, really.)

You need: 1 cup (250ml) flour, 1 cup (250ml) sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 & 1/2 tsp baking powder, 3 TBSP Cocoa (or cornflour for a white cake)

50ml oil, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla essence, 1 cup (250ml) warm milk.

And it’s this easy:

  • Lightly mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Do not beat.
  • Pour into a well-oiled silicon ring form.
  • Bake in the microwave for 6 minutes on high.

Voila!  Then turn out, allow to cool and ice or decorate just as you wish. I’ve used sinfully delicious caramel on my cake today – in South Africa we can buy this in a tin at the supermarket. But you can also make caramel using a tin of condensed milk – Not So Humble Pie has an excellent tutorial here.

I also added the mandatory vanilla and caramel sprinkles and finished with some chocolate malt puffs in the middle. Very wicked, but delicious!

Note: Microwaves may vary – this cake baked for 6 & 1/2 minutes in my old microwave but needs only 6 minutes in my new one, so I would suggest a practice run.

 Enjoy, and let me know how it turns out…

Merry Christmas,


Christmas Stocking Gift Tags printable…

December 17, 2011

Christmas is upon us and my plans to give you an early Christmas freebie quite obviously never quite happened… ah, the best laid plans! Please accept then a late Christmas freebie – Christmas stocking gift tags designed to hold a note or a sweet (that’s South African for candy), to use on your last Christmas gifts. (On Wednesday I will be braving the crowds for my last gifts – we live about 30 minutes from the closest shops so it will be a full day event to make sure I have everything before I make my way home.)

There’s a little cutting and pasting involved in making these tags – nothing too complicated and the directions are on the file which you can download below.


There are 3 different designs on the download file. (By the way, I love this snowflake border above – as I write we are in the middle of our Southern Hemisphere summer but I’m dreaming of a white Christmas too…)

The back of each tag has a “to” and “from” area for names and a small message.

Download the Christmas Stocking Gift tags here: My Everything & Nothing – Christmas Tags

I hope you enjoy these – let me know what you think! Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas,

Living in Africa…

October 21, 2011

I am always reminded how lucky we are to live in Africa, and at a beautiful resort in Africa at that! So when our Dylan in preschool goes on a school outing there are so many choices; none of which are ordinary. Last week they went off to the Elephant Interaction – an activity where they get to meet, touch and feed the elephants – how extraordinary is that?!

Dylan has been to meet the elephants before so he knew what to expect – it also meant “I HAVE TO wear my Game Ranger boots Mom!” My special boy has such a huge imagination – he’s a game ranger for the Ellie outing, changing to “Chef Dylan” that night to help me cook supper and “the Gardener Boss” the very next morning to tell us where to plant his tomatoes! So Ranger Dylan went to the Elephants Wallow to visit the elephants…

The littlest Ellie is Tidimalo – now 2 and a half years old!

Having a swim in the hot weather.

Facing a herd of Children!

Dylan feeding the Elephants (note the boots!)

You may feed the elephants through their trunk or directly into their mouths.

Mother and Baby

If you’re interested read more about the Pilanesberg Elephant-Back safaris here.

One day soon I will post a little about the resort where we live – it is truly remarkable and we love living here. We do indeed have many blessings to count everyday.

Have a great weekend!

How on Earth did you get here?

October 10, 2011

I’m suitably awed by what brings people to this blog. In fact, checking the Search Engine Terms on my site stats may well be my second-most favourite activity. Here are some of my favourites:

  • “who is designer cam shaw?” – Really, that brought you here? I mean, I googled it – and no me.
  • 523 vistors searched for ورق قديم. My response: الشكر لكم   (Ok, ok, I admit I had to Google Translate it – that’s “Old Paper”  & “Thank-you”)
  • I must be writing in my sleep because I had to go back and review all my posts  (now where did I write that?) because  “dad pool”,”dad asleep”, “dad on pool” and “old dad” were popular terms,
  • 3 people searched for “old website design with old paper” – Ouch!
  • “photos of people making lists” –  yes, just yesterday I wanted a photo like that!
  • “you are my everything” – Ok, I say that alot so I’ll give you that one.
  • “how to make a paper jet” – I have obviously neglected the paper-folding part of my blog – instructions will follow shortly 🙂
  • “my everything purple” – no. words.
  • “wonderful boy picture” and “beautiful five year old boy” – yes, indeed they are!
  • “my love bedroom” and “get your pink on”  – Ooh. la. la!
  • And today’s winner….. “Vintage Burger Ad.” Yes, you read correctly and I have no answers for this.

But, please, before you think me an ungracious hostess – I am not mocking my visitors and friends! Welcome to my blog and thank-you so much for stopping by. As I write my blog has had over 228 000 wonderful visitors and I enjoy meeting and hearing from you all! If you got here by accident, I hope you stay a  little while longer. And, if you got here by typing “Green haired Beer monster” – well, thanks for the smile!

The Photoshoot….

September 28, 2011

We took our boys for a photoshoot just before their birthdays and I’ve been meaning to share the pics for a while, firstly because it was the first time I’ve ever taken them for formal photos and secondly, I think (as their M.O.M) that they turned out quite well…… under the circumstances. Our five year old Dylan was the seasoned “I’m cool as a cucumber, I can gooi (throw) a pose” professional – “You want sexy, I’ll show you sexy!”  One year old Connor, however,  took one look at the photographer, the camera, the lights and the 3 adults dancing behind the photographer pulling  faces and decided that this was, in fact, a punishment that was being dealt out, and that the reaction should be worthy of all the attention. Poor little boy! The best pics from the shoot are below…. taken once the drama had passed. 🙂

My big boys – I love them both to the moon and back. I think we’ll have MOVIE NIGHT tonight so that I can get my snuggles on the sofa!

More Vintage Butterfly Freebies…

August 31, 2011

So many of you stopped by for the Vintage Butterfly Notepads – it was a pleasure to see how many people downloaded them! (You can find the notepads here.)

I’ve also had great fun with some more Vintage Butterfly goodies so here they are…

I couldn’t wait to put these little butterflies on some gift tags for Spring gifts. Yes, the trees have begun to blossom and our Southern Hemisphere spring has arrived!!! There are 2 Gift Tag sheets which have 6 different tags apiece.

Get the tags here: My Everything & Nothing – Vintage Butterflies Gift Tags

I’ve also made some Vintage Butterfly gift wrapping bands that you can use for any small gift; you could wrap it around a soap or small box. The blank bit is for a name or a short message. I love getting (and giving!) a pretty gift – I used mine to wrap a soap, some bath salts and a bottle of hand cream for a friend.

Get the Gift Wraps here: My Everything & Nothing – Vintage Butterflies Gift Wraps

The last printable is a sheet of Vintage Butterflies; yours to use as you please. I used mine to decorate some gift boxes but the options are endless. I saw a great idea for a butterfly mobile a while ago so I might try that for something girly in my own room.

Get the sheet of Vintage Butterflies here:  My Everything & Nothing – Vintage Butterflies

I hope you enjoy these – all comments are welcomed…

Take care, have a great day!

Food photos…

August 29, 2011

My search for some gorgeous pictures to frame for our new kitchen has led me onto the wonderful world of food photography. These are my favourites so far – can’t you just taste and smell them? Yum…

Let me know what you think?