A secret all women should know!

Boxer briefs!

*PSA – Some of the links may be NSFW if you are not allowed to look at womens bums in underwear ūüėČ

Not boy shorts. Not even boxer briefs designed for women (mostly they still look more like boy shorts in my opinion and are probably just as ‘climb up the bum’ uncomfortable as boy shorts).

No, I’m talking about men’s boxer briefs.

I found myself in need of a pair of sleep shorts/summer pajama bottoms and a light bulb went off. Men’s boxer briefs looked soooooo comfy. And they are.

I bought myself a few pairs and let me tell you, I’m going to be wearing them all the time now. No pinching, no pulling, no climbing up the bum, just soft, cotton, comfy undies.

briefs

You may recall I posted about my pear shape. Well, I fit into a men’s large boxer brief due to the bottom of my pear. But that’s ok, they are so comfy and they look good too.

#HappyGina

I’ve been cheating.

This last week has been a little hectic. ¬†It’s been Pesach and the kids have been on holiday and I’ve been home with them. ¬†I’ve done some work, we’ve gone to the park, we went shopping and as one does on a Jewish holiday, I’ve cooked. ¬†A lot!

And I’ve cheated on this blog with my other blog, You Cooked What.

Take a look at some of the recipes I’ve made this week over here:

Im going to be added lots more recipes going forward, I feel like I’ve neglected my little food blog and thats going to change. ¬†I hope you enjoy the recipes and please let me know how they turn out if you try them.

Did you know?

Today I found out that the word for pomegranate in Hebrew, rimmon ◊®◊ô◊ě◊ē◊ü, is also the word for grenade.

I also found out that in a variety of languages, pomegranate and grenade are the same/similar word.

According to {Wikipedia}, its all the fault of the French.  They named the military grenade after the pomegranate (because of its shape) and the name seems to have stuck.

*image from Wikipedia
*image from Wikipedia

I resorted to Google Translate to test this out (keep in mind that Google Translate is not always the most accurate so please correct me if there are any mistakes).

  • In Afrikaans it is granaat for both words.
  • In Dutch it¬†is granaat and¬†granaatappel (grenade apple).
  • In French a pomegranate is a grenade, end of story.
  • In German it is granate and granatapfel (again, a grenade apple).
  • In Haitian Creole both are¬†grenad.
  • In Hugarian a grenade is a¬†gr√°n√°t and a pomegranate is a¬†gr√°n√°talma (once again a grenade apple).
  • In Latvian you have¬†granńĀtńĀbols and¬†granńĀta (you guessed it, grenade apples again).
  • In Norwegian can you take a guess? Granat and…¬†granateple (in case you missed it that would be a grenade apple again).
  • In Polish you get a granat for both.
  • In Russian you have¬†–≥—Ä–į–Ĺ–į—ā for a pomegranate and¬†–≥—Ä–į–Ĺ–į—ā–į for a grenade.
  • In Spanish they are granada.
  • In Swedish we have the ever original granat and¬†granat√§pple.
  • In Welsh they are¬†gren√Ęd and¬†pomgranad (and are surprisingly easy to pronounce!).

There you have it, your useless fact of the day.

Keeping Kosher: Almost a year down the line.

Yesterday on FB, Angel asked if our new Israeli apartment was {already kosher} when we moved in.  She remembered what a huge process it was when we initially decided to make our {home (in SA) kosher}.

First off, its been almost an entire year of keeping kosher.  Im so impressed with us.  Mostly its been easy, some days its been a challenge but all in all its been a fantastic journey so far.

Now, almost a year down the line, we are living in the State of Israel, the Jewish homeland. This definitely makes keeping kosher so much easier.

Firstly, no, apartments here are not automatically kosher, you still need to make the counters and sinks and ovens/stoves* kosher.  Even if the previous tenants were kosher. Rather safe than sorry.

As for buying kosher products, a large majority of stores/supermarkets/butchers in Israel are kosher.  There are a few stores that are not kosher and that sell non-kosher meats such as pork and shellfish which is also not kosher, and these stores are also usually open on a saturday (shabbat) while strictly kosher stores will be closed over shabbat.

For example, the {local supermarket} down the road from us is kosher.  They close on shabbat and all the products they carry are kosher.  This makes keeping kosher so much easier than in South Africa.  In SA there is one store that is strictly kosher, aptly named {Kosher World}, and quite a few of the big supermarkets like PnP and Woolies stock kosher items (sometimes in specific kosher sections) but you have to check each item to make sure it is a kosher product.  There are also a few strictly kosher {delis}, {restaurants} and {butchers}, mostly in Jozi.  But the percentage of kosher to non kosher items/stores/places to eat is not in your favour.

On the subject of kosher butcheries, in SA, kosher meat is very expensive, especially kosher chicken. ¬†Here, since everything is kosher, I don’t seem to notice the price as much, it is what it is, except to say that beef is way more expensive than chicken. ¬†This is because 99% of beef is imported into Israel, cows in Israel are pretty much dairy cows (as an aside, dairy in Israel is UNBELIEVABLE! Cheese, cheese, cheese, all the yummy cheese!).

Chickens here are cheap and huge and yummy. ¬†I bought a whole chicken to roast last night, 1.8kg for about ‚ā™32. ¬†Thats R96. ¬†The same kosher chicken in SA would be on average R135. ¬†I spiced it with salt and pepper and roasted it for an hour and a half, it literally fell off the bone and it was so yummy!

I cant wait for our first {Pesach}, stores here will only stock items that are kosher for Pesach, everything else will be removed from the store or covered up, so you know that if it is on the shelves you can eat it. ¬†I’ve also been told that the bakeries here make the most amazing rolls and breads that are totally pesadik (kosher for Pesach) and that you cannot even tell that they don’t have yeast and flour and other non pesadik ingredients.

Oh, Angel mentioned my cutlery and crockery. ¬†Since all that stuff was already made kosher last year, we don’t have to make it kosher again. ¬†Once our lift arrives (its actually on the water, finally, and should arrive at the end of March) we can just unpack everything into the kitchen.

So, do you have any questions? Please ask in the comments and I will try my best to answer them.

*Most apartments in Israel do not come with a stove/oven included in the rent.  You usually buy your own and take it with you when you move.  Our landlords were very nice and bought a brand new oven/stove unit and included it in the rent.  Of course this means if we ever leave this apartment we would have to buy a new unit or possibly buy this unit from our landlords.

These boots were made for walking…

…or not.

We don’t have a car. This is not an issue. ¬†With excellent public transport (trains and buses) and most things well within walking distance, we don’t really need a car.

That being said, my poor takkies (sneakers/running shoes) are taking a beating. ¬†And don’t get me started on walking in my boots or ballet flats.

And my feet! I gave calluses on calluses.

On Friday Paul and I walked around running some errands.  Everything was within a kilometer or two of our house, but everything was in different directions.  We walked over 13km and only took the bus in the afternoon when the kids were with us.

Yesterday there was a kite festival in Modi’in. ¬†It looked like fun so we decided to go. ¬†We mapped out our walk on Google Maps and in theory it was a 35 minute walk over 2.8km. ¬†We have a cram (Crappy pRAM) that we push Faith in, there is no way we would walk anywhere further than 500m without Faith being in the cram, she is slower than a turtle walking behind a snail. Going backwards.

Things started looking wrong when Google (bless it) decided to take us up a rather long flight of stairs instead of on the road. ¬†We changed over to ‘car’ mode and the directions switched. ¬†To a road on a very very steep hill. ¬†I did get to take this awesome pano of our beautiful city though.

290

 

Ultimately it took us about an hour and 4km of walking to get there.  But once we were there we had fun.  we bought kites for the kids and some popcorn and drinks and spent a good hour or so flying kits.

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The walk back was about 4km too but Paul managed to find a route without Mount Everest in it.

In total we walked almost 8.5km yesterday.

Most of the time I dont mind not having a car. ¬†The last two days though… Yup, I would have LOVED a car!

It’s actually pretty easy being green.

With the limited resources the country has (you know, being a desert and all), Israel is all about doing things the most economical way possible.  This has led to quite a few fantastic inventions, specifically in agriculture.

Drip irrigation is one. Technically around before Israeli Statehood, it has been updated and perfected by an Israeli engineer, Simcha Blass.  There is even an Israeli developed kit call <Tipa> that is used in South Africa as well as other African countries such as Kenya, Niger and Senegal.

You see drip irrigation everywhere.  People’s gardens, flower beds along the road and even trees all have irrigation pipe wrapped around their bases.

Photo taken by Paul
Photo taken by Paul

Another great invention is <reusable plastic trays> developed by Tal-Ya Water Technologies, where the plastic trays collect dew from the air and use that to irrigate the plants.

Keeping Israel green and sustainable also involves people on an everyday level.  There are recycling collection points on nearly every main intersection and outside schools.  The main things being collected are plastic and glass (you can also take certain empty bottles to the grocery store and exchange them for a small refund).  Interestingly there are also many collection points for old clothing.  You pop the clothes in the collection bin and they are cleaned, sorted and distributed to those that need them.

Another thing that is big (especially in Modi’in) is bio-degradable waste.  We have a small brown bucket under our sink, any fruit or veggie peals, egg shells, wood, grass/leaves and any leftover organic matter is collected into the brown bin and then that gets thrown into the big brown bin in the communal rubbish room. The large bins are then collected and the contents used for composting.

My favourite thing though is the solar geyser. Most houses have them, especially new houses as it’s a building requirement. The geyser does come equipped with an electric element for those cold, cloudy, rainy days when the water temp needs a boost.  Ours is on a timer set for about half an hour prior to when we usually bath/shower.  The best part is that in summer we will be able to switch off the electrical component and use only the solar side.  Even now, in winter, the difference in water temperature on the days when it is not overcast is amazing.  On rainy days I have to switch the tap to the hot side as far as it will go and the water is hot but not boiling and we have to be careful we don’t run out of hot water.  On days when the sun is shining I have to put the tap in the middle of hot and cold and even the water is sometimes too hot and I have to run in some cold water.

I’m loving how being eco-conscious has become such a natural way of life for us. Israel definitely makes it easy to do.

Prepare to be amazed!

Yesterday we went to the municipal building (home affairs) which is 5 minutes down the road from us. ¬†We needed to do a few things. ¬†We needed to change Faiths name on our ID because at the airport (where we received our original ID documents) they spelt it in Hebrew as Fais instead of Faith or Fait (they can’t really pronounce the ‘th’ sound). ¬†We also needed to change our address as they put the wrong area on the ID books and in order to register the kids for school we need the correct address. ¬†We also needed to register the kids in their respective schools.

The first stop was school registration and that office opened at 13h30.  The lady was extremely helpful and got Aaron registered quickly.  We then had to find a Gan (kindergarten) for Faith.  She found one directly behind our apartment.  We can see the playground from our bedroom window! So awesome.

The lady who helped us with the school registration then directed us to the office next door where we had to go to change the address and name details.  That office only opened at 14h30 and it was only 14h05 so we sat around for a bit.  Just before 14h30 a lady came and manned a small desk by the waiting area, she gave us a number and then explained the how the waiting system worked.  Our number flashed up on the screen and in we went.  Now this is the amazing part, we sat down, explained the address change, showed the woman our lease to prove the address, she clicked away on the computer, pressed print and handed us our new document.  In less than 5 min! No payment, no waiting 10 working days to collect the document.  Just done!

We hit a small snag with Faiths name as they wanted to see her birth certificate so we went home, got it and Paul went back and wham bam thank you ma’am, it was done. ¬†No mess no fuss.

Efficiency seems to be a thing here. ¬†We ordered SIM cards from a company called 012 Smile and we ordered home internet through Bezeq. ¬†Not only did the SIM cards get delivered when they said they would, we received a phone call first to make sure we were home to receive them. ¬†The same with the internet connection, the technician called to make sure we were home and in 5 min he was ringing our bell. ¬†The gas guy also called last week before he arrived and in fact he called to say he was available earlier than our allotted time and did we mind if he came early? Hell no we don’t mind, come on in.

Its going to be pretty easy to get used to this kind of service.

A little bit of Jozi!

Walking in Rosebank Mall the other day I came across {I Was Shot in Joburg}. This amazing initiative provides a platform for  youth at risk to learn new skills and generate income.

They also make the most amazing art!

I fell in love with the pillows made from veld and sporting some Jozi slang.

I knew I would be making my way back to the stall to buy some cushions for our Israeli couch!

cusion

 

You can find ‘I Was Shot in Joburg’ at Rosebank Mall and Arts on Main where they have a permanent gallery.

*I was not paid to write this post, I just adore the concept and the products!

Print all the things!

Earlier this month, HP sent me an Deskjet Ink Advantage e-All-in-One printer to try out.

printer

I was going to take it home with me but then I thought to myself, lets see how this works in the office.

It took 5 minutes to set up the printer on our network and another 5 minutes for me and the guys in my office to connect.  Then it was A for Away.

We tend to print a lot of maps and graphs for our work, in packs for meetings and usually have to print one colour copy and the rest in black and white.  We managed to print 10 full packs in colour in under 10 minutes and the last pack was just as bright and fresh as the first one.  And the ink kept going and going and going.

One of the guys came bouncing up to me, waving his phone on the 2nd day.  He had discovered the HP All-in-One Remote app.  What followed was a full hour of playing with all the features, particularly the scan directly to your phone feature.

What I loved was that for such a small machine it is incredibly powerful, not many small machines print and scan double sided pages, this function made life so much easier for me, never mind being more cost effective.  Going back to our regular machine took some getting used to.

Bottom line, we all thoroughly enjoyed using this little printer and are all in agreement, dynamite definitely comes in small packages!

*HP sent me the printer plus an extra set of ink to use for 2 weeks.  I was not paid to write this review.

#TanazWOW

*I was not paid to write this post, in fact my mommy asked me to write it on her behalf ūüôā

Some of you may know that my mom has had a few ops on her hands.  Recently she had a {second op} on her left hand and she was NOT allowed to use that hand at all.  So I suggested she pop into {Tanaz} for a wash and dry at their blow dry bar.

Since then she has popped in twice for a wash and dry and also had her colour touched up.

She loves Tanaz.

Tanaz Logo

In her own words:

“Its such a happy place, I leave there feeling so uplifted.”

And its true.  Every person who works at Tanaz has a smile on their face.  Everyone is happy to be at work and excited about the work they are doing.

Also, they serve the best cappuccinos.

I’ve been a Tanaz groupie for ages but now my mom is one too. ¬†Shelene, you’ve made a fan for life!

Follow Tanaz on Facebook {here}

and Twitter {here}

Hashtag #TanazWOW