Thursday, November 24, 2011

I ❤ Fridge Magnets

I have, perhaps, an unhealthy love for fridge magnets.
My refrigerator is COVERED in them.  I am ashamed to show you the entire refrigerator, so I have limited it to just four of my favourites, with a little story behind each of them.
My husband and I make a point of getting a magnet from whichever city we're visiting when overseas.  We have a few others, but we decided to leave up our two favourite city magnets.
Since Ottawa and Boston have special places in our hearts, we had to leave them on there.  These magnets had a special place on our fridge in our apartment in Boston too :)
The first magnet I ever made, which is a scalloped magnet with texture (can't see so well in this picture) is holding my first business card  :)
I bought the launch issue of the SA version of Good Housekeeping simply because I had to have the fridge magnet. How could I not resist?  It has macarons on it!  It has come in handy though, it's got a little notepad on it and has some conversion tables too.
Oh, did I mention that the obsession isn't just limited to my fridge?  
My overhead stove extractor fan gets some love too.  That's a custom made Lucky Packet magnet up there.  This also shows how much I love Bosch. ;)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I ❤ Food: Breakfast - Poached eggs and then some (salmon).

In my attempt to eat a bit healthier, I've recently delved into the world of poached eggs.

In my first attempt I tried the poached-in-a-pod method (cheat method), which I didn't enjoy the taste of very much, and today I tried the popping-the-egg-directly-in-the-water method.  After all, how can I go to cheat method without trying out the original method?
So I read up Smitten Kitchen's tutorial on poached eggs and tried it out one Sunday.
It was pretty simple enough and it came out exactly like SK's picture.

Ok so I didn't want just an egg on toast, I decided that my egg needed a friend.  
So I popped over to Woolworths, bought two freshly made croissant's from their bakery section (it tastes different to their prepacked croissants), sliced them open and prepared to add some fishy bits to it.
By fishy bits, I meant smoked salmon slices, of course.  Since I use any and every excuse to add smoked salmon to something, this was no exception.

I added some smoked salmon slices to the croissant, then topped it off with low-fat cream cheese, bits of rocket and sliced onion with just a sprinkle of lemon juice, black pepper, salt and a hint of dijon mustard.

Yet, here I was, still felt like something was missing.  

Then it hit me.  Fruit!

I added a bunch of gorgeous blueberries to each plate, and it was perfect!

Did I mention that it tasted good too? :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

I ❤ Workshops: NiQi | living luxe workshops

A few weeks ago The Lucky Packet attended a packaging workshops hosted by Naqiyah of NiQi | living {luxe}.    I love creative things, but I must admit, I tend to hide my gifts in a box or sad looking gift bag instead of presenting it beautifully to the special people in my life.  

The class at NiQi took me out of that mindset and altered my view on gift-giving.

Here are some tips that I picked up on the class:

  • Choose a few items which match up for your gift.
  • Choose a stunning box which match your items colour.
  • Arrange items in the box around a main focal point.
  • Decorate the box with chocolates, flowers or whatever 'fillers' you may have.
  • Don't forget to use the double-sided tape to ensure that everything is secure.
  • Decorate some more :)
  • Cellophane cover your entire box and over your gifts (more double sided tape is indeed your friend here)
  • Don't be afraid to decorate on top of the cellphone.  Use gorgeous ribbons, sticky diamante's, etc to embellish your gift
  • Add note or gift tags.  Go crazy.  Use stamps and punches to achieve a beautiful overall effect.

There's no denying that any gifts that have some sort of time and effort invested in them, will a lasting effect between those who give and those who receive.  Presentation is a major factor in gifting and it can create bonds between people, and, as we have noticed from the traditional South African-Indian-Muslim weddings,  the tradition of gifting is a huge point in the festivities.

The best part of the entire hamper-making process?  The treats Naqiyah provided AND the look on the face of the receiver afterward.

I've recently applied the same techniques now for a dear friend of mine, and my friend informed me that she refuses to open her babies gifts (yes, babies! she has twins) because they look lovely wrapped up!
Judging from that result, I will definitely pay more attention to presentation of gifts more.

NiQi is currently hosting a class on 26 November 2011 in Johannesburg on table decor, menu planning, handmade paper decor, and makeup & personal styling lessons.  

The very creative Saaleha from Soul&Paper will be presenting elements on decor and Rowena from Secrets & Stilettos will be presenting on personal style and makeup.  A HUGE bonus: One lucky attendee will win a free makeover from Rowena!

If you would like to attend the class, please check out the details here.

Update:  Due to the high demand, ANOTHER workshop will be held on 10 December.  Please contact NiQi for the details!