Author: Courtney Quartz

Best Boyfriend

Here’s a sappy post about my best friend who also happens to be my boyfriend. So corny, I know, but it’s true.

We’ve been together for nearly a whole 365 days now. Which may not seem like a huge deal to those of you out there who are married or have been with your partner for 6 million years, but it’s a big deal for me, and this happens to be my blog.

I’ve answered most of these, however Dylan’s answers are in italics and quoted

Where did we meet? If Im perfectly honest, the answer embarasses me, so I’ll have to give it some background. I was studying at the time, and having a night out with the lovely women I studied with. There were some big age differences between some of us, and some of the 25ish women were explaining Tinder (a dating app) to the older women. I then said I had heard of it, but never bothered to try it out. They then decided to download it on my behalf, and create a profile for me. I thought nothing of it until a couple of days later when I had to spend an entire day waiting for my mom to come out of surgery at the hospital. I saw dylan, swiped right and the rest is history. **We had a few mutual friends, and actually found out we were in the same primary school, I had aftercare with his grandmother and it really was a strange thing that we hadn’t ever met sooner.

First DateΒ I don’t think we had an official first date, but the first one I can remember is going to my favorite vegan cafe, Plant.

First impressions I first met him at my house, after fetching my mom from the hospital to bring her home after her week stay there, she was very drugged on pain medication and he spent most of the time talking to her and making sure she was ok, so he came across as the perfect gentleman, friendly and polite. I also noticed his playful and fun personality, which are all the things I then later fell in love with him for. “You were very kind to your mom”

When did you meet the family He met my mom on the first day, and then the rest of my family a few days later. He then met my dad and stepmom about a month or so down the line. I met his family after a few weeks, they’re all incredible people and I’m genuinely glad they were all included in the package deal.

Any weird habits He sleeps like a starfish and it’s near impossible to move him once he is asleep. “Naps often and for long hours”

Just another day of love with you and I'm so lucky. Thank you for everything πŸ’•

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First thing you noticed about each other I first noticed his hair, he has big, magical curly hair. “I first noticed that you were shy”

Things that annoy you about each other He eats on the bed (crumbs or food in my bed are the worst thing that could happen to me) and sometimes plays games on his phone when I want cuddles.Β “when you are miserable or upset you go into your own little world”

Who wears the pants This is an outdated and very sexist question in my opinion, but I do believe we both have one leg in the pants, or the skirt, or the dress, or the jumpsuit, or the shorts.

What does the other watch on TV He watches The Flash. “Geordie Shore or Game of Thrones”Β 

Any Traditions “not yet really”Β 

Talents the other person has Dylan is incredibly patient and able to learn new things quickly, he is also musical and he juggles very well. “Baking and you can ride a unicycle”

Happy Dills 🌞 @iamdylanpf

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What could the other person spend hours doing He could spend hours playing guitar or being in the ocean. “Napping, cuddling or baking”

🌊 my favorite boy checking his ocean #mancrushmonday

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Foods the other person dislikes Dylan dislikes whole tomatoes and seafood, but not sushi. “any meats”

Foods the other person loves Chicken “cauliflower tacos”

And there you have it, for all you nosey weasels out there, Love Courtney (and Dylan)

Welcome to the family Blaziken (Blaze) 🦁

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bonus fact: We adopted a little ginger kitten together and Dylan named him Blaziken (like the fire pokemon)

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Lindt & Le Creuset

My mom and I got to attend the Lindt and Le Creuset “perfect pairing” demonstration at Silwood kitchen this week. I studied there last year and will take any opportunity to be back there.

These are two of our most favorite things. I am a cotton, chiffon pink, soleil and cool mint lover, while my mom prefers classic cherry red and carribean blue. On the lindt side, I am a firm believer in 85% lindt, as well as a good ‘ol faithful red lindor ball. My mom on the other hand loves the white chocolate lindor balls with a great passion.

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These were added into our goodie bags, The lime flavor is new and Im excited to try it, I do prefer the flavored chocolates with little pieces in them, like the “Touch of sea salt”

We also recieved recipe cards with the recipes demonstrated to us. All the recipes are specially designed to use a 100g Lindt bar and are portioned out to fit perfectly in certain Le Creuset items (a perfect excuse to expand your collection)

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I even got to see my friend, Fudge at Silwood. He was friendly and as handsome as ever.

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We had a glorious tea break where we were served “The Grasshopper” a mint infused hot chocolate, along with various treats provided by Silwood as well as some chocolates.

I had a salted caramel cheesecake, and a beautiful little vanilla tea cake.

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We were shown how to make this chocolate tart as well as a chocolate fondant, and the mint hot chocolate.

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We all got beautiful golden boxes as well as a goodie bag to take home with us

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The morning ended off with us being served an incredible chocolate fondant, served with a white chocolate lindor ball in the centre. It was a liquid chocolate delight.

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We each received a mini fluted pie dish with our own chocolate tart inside the golden gift boxes. Mine was a gorgeous Soleil yellow dish, and my mom received an elegant white Cotton on.

We both thoroughly enjoyed the morning and I would highly recommend signing up for the Le Creuset newsletter to hear about these incredible customer events.

Love Q

21st Season

It’s the 21st season in my life now. Ive gone through the sweet 16’s, the 18th’s, the matriculating and now it’s this.

This is the year that everyone I went to school with turns 21. It got me thinking about all the other seasons that will come along soon, engagements, 30th’s, weddings, baby showers,second children, divorces, 40th’s, second marriages, 50th’s and then deaths I suppose.

That’s slightly morbid, but in reality life does move through certain phases, and if we all surround ourselves with people in similar life phases, or of a similar age, we are going to end up in some kind of natural rhythm with each other.

Thankfully I’m still young, and right now it’s just 21st birthdays, but I hope I can live a life where I feel like it’s been a long time in between the phases, and I don’t just feel as though they all just follow after one another. I’d hate to wake up one day and suddenly being going to a long list of 50th birthdays, with no idea how the time flew by so quickly.

What season are you in now?

Love Quartz

Four & Twenty Cafe

There are few things I love more than a good breakfast/ brunch spot. Four & Twenty has been on my list for a long time, and I was in the area recently and decided to pop in with Dylan. I loved it, had an amazing brunch, bought one of all the cakes to take home, went back about a week later and did the same thing, but brought my mom along too.

The two owners actually studied at Silwood too, and the attention to detail in everything here warms my heart.

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mmm homemade lemonade. This is a big must.

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as “posey”as this photo looks, this is a genuine candid photo of my Dylan

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Avo Sumptuous breakfast- Ciabatta, smashed avo, caramelized onion, danish feta, poached egg and a balsamic drizzle.

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Caramel popcorn eclair !! this one went home to my mom who loves eclairs

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This pink beauty went home to my sister, The lemon curd centre is incredible.

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If you’re in the area, I would highly recommend stopping by, they can get quite busy, but you can leave your number and have a wander through the park across the road while you wait for a table. You can get more details or see the menu here

Love Quartz

Unicorns Exist

After a very slight quarter-life crisis, and a little chat to a good friend, I decided to throw all caution to the wind and make myself into a real life unicorn. Why? Because I’ll soon be old and boring and then I won’t be able to do things like this, and because It’s been on my Pinterest board of life for years. If I can’t dye my hair 4 different pastel shades when I’m 20, then when can I?

After some serious research, asking around, and general investigatory work, I settled on going to Scar Hair in Cape Town. I walked in to have a little chat and was introduced to Leandi, who in my opinion is a genius hair magician.

I have incredibly stubborn hair, and she magically managed to halve the time I usually have to sit with bleach on my roots for, and my hair ended up looking brighter, lighter and way less brassy than usual. I was in awe already with the beautiful snow white canvas she created, and then she started with the colours. She blended purples into pinks, blues and greens like a true artist and I can only say I was shocked with how beautiful it turned out.

I now have “my little pony” “unicorn” or “princess” hair and I’m loving it.

You can contact Scar yourself here

Lots of Love Courtney x

Oranjezicht City Farm – Market Day

I’m house-sitting this month which has got me feeling particularly grown-up and “domestic goddess-y”

That being said, I spent my saturday morning at a famer’s market, and LOVED it. Im vegetarian and try to avoid dairy and eggs where I can, so all the fresh, organic produce was an absolute dream for me. I am very concious about what I put into my body and Im always looking for more natural options for the beauty products I use too.

The oranjezicht city farm market had everything from rooibos espresso, to gelato, beautiful black figs, buckets of fresh rocket and much, much more. I got some pears, crisp green apples, green beans, corn, rocket, caramel rooibos espresso pods for my nespresso machine, rose gold measuring spoons and some gorgeous sunflowers. I also treated myself to a rooibos ice tea while I was there.

The market sells both organic and homemade products, eco friendly homeware and recycled planter bags to sustainable meats, and fresh produce right from the farm itself, there are also “happy hens” eggs available.

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some pre-loved items for your home

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The market is held every saturday from 9am to 2pm at Granger Bay, near to the V&A waterfront in Cape Town, I would suggest getting there earlier to avoid missing out on some of the amazing fresh produce. Bring a carrier bag for all your goodies and prepare to spend the morning enjoying healthy eats and chatting to farmers and stall owners about their wonderful goodies.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this post, and I hope to see you at the next market!

xxx

November / December Favorites

Ive decided to post November and December together for this favorites post as November is long gone and December is just about over too.

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Vitamin E face mist from The Body Shop. Im sure Ive mentioned this pastel pink beauty before, but she needs another mention. Its summer and it’s hot and this is all I want on my face at the moment. Its moisturising, it keeps my skin looking fresh and bright so Im a happy camper.

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Cute christmas cards, this one was from a set I got from In Good Company. They come with tiny temporary tattoos as well. So festive.

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Pretty jewelry “Catherine” bracelet from Cardies. This is a gift I picked out for my mom on my little brother’s behalf. He’s 3 and only wants to buy diggers and trucks for everyone so I had to intervene here…

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Glitter filled baubles from H&M, these seem to be really popular this year, and the more I look, the more I seem to find them. I love glitter and I wish everything was filled with glitter. I’m considering hanging the gold one in my car when I take my tree down this year actually.

The white one has two beautiful feathers inside of it, and makes for a delicate and elegant baubale.

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Wrapped gifts, this year I wrapped all my gifts early and I’ve been thanking myself ever since.

Well done Courtney for getting it together this year, you have no need to go to any crowded shopping centres or inflict any form of stress or anxietyΒ uponΒ yourself. You have all this time to yourself now, good on you.”

I chose all kinds of pretty wrapping papers and then finished my gifts off with cute tags and twine bows.

There you have all my favorites for these past two months. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post

Love Courtney xx

Shiny, Glittery, Sparkly Baubles

Here are some of the christmas tree decorations and baubles Ive picked up this year. Our plastic tree magically grew overnight and we needed a LOT more baubles to fill up the bigger one…

I didn’t go with any set theme or colour, I just picked out what looked nice and they ended up looking quite good all together.

I got 99% of them from stores in Canal Walk shopping centre in Cape Town.

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from the top: Wooden snowflakes- @home

table confetti- Cape Arts and Crafts

Pack of 4 snow filled baubles- @home

Gold sequin baubles- Woolworths

Glass moroccan baubles – Woolworths

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gold dot plate- Woolworths

Chocolate hanging decorations- Woolworths

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Unicorn and Reindeer – Accessorize

Copper Reindeer – Typo

Ceramic Feather – The pause room

Confetti Baubles- Woolworths

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Paper stars- Woolworths

Copper bells – Cape Arts and Crafts

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Old school bulb lights- Game

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Decoupage star- Woolworths

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Fairy and Fox – Accessorize

Pearly Unicorn – Typo

I hope you enjoyed this post and that this inspires you for your own Christmas tree decorating…

Love Quartz xx

Cookery School

I completed a one year certificate course in Patisserie this year, and it’s been a rollercoaster ride. I’ve made everything from rustic artisan breads, to teeny tiny delicate little petit fours. I’ve learnt that you can make anything in a thermomix (literally anything) and that you definitely can mash avo or potatoes with a sturdy kitchen whisk…

but most importantly I learnt a true love for food. I’ve always loved baking, as I was surrounded by home bakers growing up, both my mom and gran bake often and I’ve never ever had a store bought birthday or celebration cake. This year has really opened my food world up to seeing everything in a new light, I have so much respect for people who put time, effort and love into the goods they create, and I find so much joy in a perfectly baked, all-butter croissant. Before studying I would have been happy with just about any cake or sweet treat, now Im a little bit of a food snob and Im so much happier for it.

There really is something special about loving the treats you eat and really appreciating them for being tiny works of art, rather than just an everyday thing.

I could go off to become a patisserie chef in a fine dining restaurant after this, but I wont because that’s not where my heart lies. I’m a baker through and through, I like the smell of butter and I love making people happy with beautiful cookies, perfect cakes or just small sweet treats. Im at my happiest when Im baking and as cheesy as this is, I would really like to think Im “baking” my little world a better place.

here are a few photos from Instagram of my year as a pastry student…

My instructions were "blue and sparkly" πŸ’§πŸ’™πŸ’Ž cupcake Wednesday lives on.

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Hand made dark chocolate hearts with candied orange peel. πŸ’›

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Dark chocolate chip and honey comb ice cream. 🍦

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Happy anniversary to whoever this couple was, I hope you enjoyed the day and this desserts plate πŸ’•

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Inspired by the dancer, Anna Pavlova. I hope I've done her proud πŸ’…πŸ½πŸ’

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Chocolate chiffon 🍫

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My lovely Rosie is busy making some ocean inspired buttercream icing 🌊

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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas πŸŽ„

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πŸŽ„ The family's gingerbread village #lcgingerbreadhouse @lecreusetsa

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Thank you all for such a wonderful year at Silwood. Congratulations to you all on our graduation day πŸŽ‰

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Quick Update

If you read my blog for the long posts with pictures then maybe you should skip this one, I won’t like you any less for doing so.

I haven’t written in a while, *insert some excuses and apologies here* ok, phew thats done. Let me get you all up to speed, since its been almost a month. I got a tattoo, my first one. The tattoo itself wasn’t impulsive but the decision to actually go and get it done kind of was, I went in to ask about the procedure and if they had alternatives for surgical spirits, as I am highly allergic, they did, and also had a cancellation for a slot at that same time. I might go into this a little more in a future post.

I think I can now call myself a fairly confident driver. This is huge as it took me forever to actually muster up the courage to take my drivers test, I passed and now I think I could confidently drive almost anywhere. Except maybe Jhb, those roads scare me (thats an inside, South African joke) I do still panic if a pedestrian walks into the road near me (another South African thing) , or if a motorbike zooms passed very close to me, but I think those are natural things.

I dyed my hair. After swearing that I would never go any colour ever again, except keep my platinum blonde. I finally did an ombre/ balayage type thing. I still sort of have some platinum blonde left, but overall my hair is a little darker than it was. It took me awhile to get used to it, but I do love it. I may go a little lighter next time as I do miss my blonde but I’ll cope.

I started meditating daily, I’ll post a longer post on this too, so keep an eye out for it

I finally bought myself pastel pink, Dr Martens. They’re lovely, the laces are white silk ribbons and I’m obsessed. They also make me feel like I could just stomp my way through anything *these boots were made for walkin* but in a really pretty, girly way.

I met Buddy Valastro, the cake boss at the Good Food and Wine Show. He was unbelievably friendly and genuine, and I really couldn’t have asked for a nicer experience. He was really honest and open, and he’s actually one of the most humble people Ive ever met. He spoke about his life and how he’s gotten to where he is today, and then had children and some dad’s up from the audience to ice cupcakes with him. If my dad was there with me I would have volunteered him to go up on stage, I don’t know how great his piping skills are but I’m confident he could have done a little better than some of the dads there.

Im now currently in the middle of my exams, Ive written two of my theory exams already this week, and a week from now I have 2, full-day, prac exams. I also have an entire file to go with my prac exams, so far its at 6000+ words and I’m not even halfway. While Im on the college topic, I also have a very exciting, work experience/ job shadow/ internship in a top hotel kitchen during my holidays, I’m still not completely sure how I’m going to survive that, as a baker’s shift starts at 4am, that Β means I have to leave my house at 3:45am, and Ill have to get up before 3am… but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. I’m writing this now at 2:30am, so clearly I need to make some changes with my sleeping habits, before this arrives.

I feel that this is going to de-rail and get weird so I’ll end it here. Its late, I’ve taken a lot of flu medication and I haven’t slept. I hope you all feel on the same page with my life, sorry for such a huge gap, I actually have an ever-growing list of posts I need to write but I just haven’t quite got to them yet.

All my love, Quartz