Last week, Faith asked if we can bake a cake, we decided on chocolate and earlier this week I found a really great, one bowl, recipe that worked a treat.
Now, when it comes to icing/frosting the cake, we usually just do a simple icing sugar and water drizzle, but I had just bought a rather large bag of mini marshmallow and I got a bee in my bonnet about making a marshmallow frosting.
I searched online and couldn’t find a simple recipe so I asked The Cupcake Lady, Angel, if she had any ideas, and she pointed me to a pretty simple recipe that came out great.
Roughly 6 months ago, I was let go from my job of 4 and a half years. In that time I have been job searching, reading a ton and learning front end web development by teaching myself HTML and CSS.
Its been an extremely wild 6 months. It was fun. It was stressful. It was enlightening. I got to spend time with Paul, even though he was working during the week. I got to eat lunch with my entire family, every day. I played games with the kids, took them to the park after school and helped with homework. I got to spend the entire summer break and all the Jewish holidays with the kids and Paul. I fell into a funk, especially after each rejection email from a potential job opportunity. I worked through each funk. I started running (and need to get back into it). I taught myself a new skill. I read. A lot.
As of today, the job searching has come to an end since I am now employed in an amazing company and am happily working in my new job!And Im going to be utilising some of the new skills I’ve learned!
The process of being (f)unemployed and searching for a job was hard. It certainly wasn’t quick and it took a hell of a lot of work and constant vigilance. It was at times demoralising and at times it was quite a bit of fun. I learned a lot and met some amazing people. The entire process is a post in and of itself.
I definitely could not have done it without Paul and the kids support. They held me up when I thought I would never find a job. They encouraged me to apply for jobs outside my comfort zone. They cheered with me for every interview gotten and hugged me for every position lost. And now here we are on the other side.
And now, the numbers:
90+ jobs applied for
30+ telephone interviews, skills tests, Skype interviews, psychometric tests and in-person interviews undertaken, from the…
13 companies interviewed with
3 offers made
1 awesome job accepted!
In the last 6 months I have also done the following:
Read 194 books
Averaging 32 books a month (1 a day!)
Averaging 9000 pages read in a month
Took various classes on Codecademy in HTML and CSS
Peel and slice the apples (or pears) into small chunks.
Place apples, lemon juice, sugars, cinnamon, salt and flour in a bowl and toss with your hands until all the fruit is covered.
Cover bowl of fruit with plastic wrap and set aside for an hour or more.
Take your frozen pastry dough out and let it defrost until it is manageable but still cool, I left mine in the fridge for 1 hour and it was ready when the fruit was ready.
When you are ready to assemble the pie, turn your oven on to 180C.
Once fruit is ready, take your dough and roll out a piece big enough to cover the bottom and sides of your pie dish.
Place the pastry inside the dish and push the sides up a bit so they stick to the dish.
Take your fruit and layer it into the pie dish, making sure the entire bottom is covered. Keep layering the fruit until in reaches the top of the dough up the sides of the dish.
There will be some liquid left in the bowl, pour no more than 3/4 of a cup of this liquid over the top of the fruit before covering the pie with more dough.
Roll out more dough and either place a full round piece on top of the pie or cut into strips and create a lattice top. You can also roll out the dough and cut shapes with cookie cutters, then create a patter with the shapes.
If you place a full piece on top, cut a few slits into the dough to allow steam to escape.
Brush the pastry dough with a bit of beaten egg.
Once the pie is ready, place in the oven at 180C for about 30 minutes.
Keep an eye on the pie and if you see the edges starting to burn you can cover them with a bit of foil molded to fit the pie dish.
The pie is ready when the pastry is brown and the fruit is bubbling around the edges of the pastry.
Allow to cool down before slicing. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
My children love yogurt as a snack. They particularly like a Danone yogurt that has mini Smarties type chocolates added to it.
But… we can only find this particular yogurt at one particular store and even then stock is limited and we may not get.
So today I hacked the snack. Not only did it work out cheaper, it also worked out much healthier and my kids love it.
The original contains 155g of sweetened yogurt and 25g of generic Smarties. It costs ₪4.30 on average.
The hack consists of a tub of plain yogurt. This is unsweetened, probiotic yogurt and is 200g a tub. Each tub costs ₪3.50.
Then we add a small packet of mini Brand Smarties or generic Smarties. The original Smarties come in a pack of 13 bags, each bag is 14.4g and each bag costs ₪ 1. The generic Smarties come in a pack of 10 bags and each bag is 17g and costs ₪ 1.29.
So I worked out what the cost would be per 100g for a yogurt with Smarties.
cost per 100g
155g yogurt and 25g Smarties
Bio Yogurt + Generic Smarties
200g yogurt and 17g Smarties
Bio Yogurt + Brand Smarties
200g yogurt and 14.4g Smarties
Funnily enough, the Brand Smarties worked out cheaper per 100g than the generics. Who knew.
And even better than all the cost saving, is the health saving.
The hack is far healthier than the original, with an additional 45g of yogurt, that’s probiotic and not sweetened, as well as almost half the amount of Smarties.
And my kids are happy to eat it.
I’ve got to admit, I’m pretty proud of myself for not only realising I could hack their favourite snack but for getting it cheaper and healthier too.
The veggie draw that had a bag of manky, rotten cucumbers in it. A bag of manky, rotten cucumbers that had been reduced to disgusting, scummy, smelly liquid. Disgusting, scummy, smelly liquid that had leaked into the veggie draw.
Oh, and don’t let me forget to tell you that the veggie draw has holes in the sides at the bottom, so when I pulled out the draw to dump the mess into the sink, it all drained out onto the floor.
So yeah. Today, more so than usual, I truly do appreciate my husband. He who cleans rotten veggies out the fridge and takes out the trash and cleans the toilets and cleans up after the dog because he loves me and knows I hate doing that stuff.
Being funemployed has left me with some time on my hands. So I figured I would put it to good use.
A few weeks ago, I spotted these self adhesive tiles at the local MaxStock (similar to Crazy Store in SA). At ₪ 10 (R40) a sheet I couldn’t pass them up.
The little corner wall where my stove is, was getting really dirty from food splashes as I cook and I have wanted to create a back splash for ages.
So I cleaned the wall, let it dry and snapped this before pic.
It literally took me 5 minutes to open the packs of tiles, peel the backing off and then place them on the wall. I placed 2 across and 2 up and then cut 1 tile in half to add on to the tiles going across.
They were not as sticky as I would have liked and will probably peel off at some stage (I actually used a glue stick to make one side of a tile stick down) but for now I am pretty impressed with it.
And the best part is if I get bored or they do fall off, I can just pop out and get different tiles and replace them. Easy peasy!
Running. Not something I have traditionally been very good at. I recall many tears over athletics in school. Mine and the coaches.
But a little while ago, Wendi mentioned a running app that sounded right up my alley. Zombies, Run! Its a fantastic running app that puts you smack bang in the middle of the Zombie apocalypse. You need to get to one of the last remaining outposts of survivors, and complete missions on the way. As you run, and complete missions, you follow a story by award winning author Naomi Alderman.
I went to download the app and noticed a 5km training version which fits in with one of my 6 before 40 goals of running another 5km. I downloaded the app and went for my first run. Then took 5 days to go for my next one. I was easing my way in, don’t judge!
So, since the 5km training app is a spin off, the first run is an introduction to the original story. Its also a free run, meaning no training, just a run/walk/crawl as you listen to the start of the story.
Today, I did the first actual training run. It took me about 35 minutes and I landed up doing 3km. I was so impressed with myself. It definitely did not feel like a 3km run. Listening to the story while doing the run/walk sprints made it fly by.
A few things that stand out about the app:
You can listen to your own music while using the app. Just start your music before opening the Zombies, Run! app. I used Spotify.
The app and the story are British, so there are some phrases and words that may be a bit confusing but as an ex Saffa, I followed along just fine.
Once you start the app, lock your screen. I didnt and as I was running it paused the app and I was waiting and waiting for my next instruction that never came. Probably added on at least another 5 minutes of running when I should have been doing intervals.
The story is NOT scary. Yes, there are zombies, but besides a bit of groaning and moaning and being told to run cause they are near you, its really not scary at all.
I have a rest day today and then on to my second training session the next day. I cant wait!
Some of you may already be aware but for those that are not and as a recap, the company that I have worked for since making aliyah, recently downsized quite drastically and most of the staff, including myself, were retrenched.
I worked out the months notice that they gave us and as of today I am officially unemployed.
And that’s OK.
I started applying for new jobs straight after finding out, and I have had a number of telephone interviews, assignments and in-person interviews so far. I am confident that I will have a new, super awesome job soon.
In the meantime, I am taking the next few weeks for myself.
I have a few projects I want to work on, including my pallet herb garden, creating a back (side) splash next to my stove, creating throw pillows out of old superhero t-shirts among other things.
Also, Paul and Aaron are heading off to Oz in a week or so for our nieces Bat Mitzvah, so Faith and I are are having 10 days of girl time. I will be home to fetch her from school every day and we will be able to go swimming or to the movies or just hang out.
I also intend running more and taking my yoga mat out to the park across the road. I’m also excited to have time to read more.
For now I am at home, taking some me time and getting ready for a brand new adventure!