Thursday, 21 July 2011

My Baby Singing The Blues With Me

In this video Kelsey was 10.5 months old and surprised me by singing responses to her Favourite Blues tune, I didnt really expect to be showing this to the world and so... my singing is a bit... special... and I also started laughing because I couldnt believe what I was hearing! If you like this then message me on Facebook 

Sunday, 17 July 2011

A Wonderful Birthday!

[Pictures: The birthday cake 'Snail' and Kelsey playing on and with the box that her present came in...]

And so,... Kelsey had her 1st birthday party today - Daddy is exhausted, the two girls are passed out and Mommy,... Well, Mommy ate too much cake and can't sleep.

Thank God for bbm, FB and blogging ; )

It was a stunning party and the people we love were there - we were truly blessed :)

Take Care,

Sandy Bigara
(Cake Boss Extraordinaire)

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Thursday, 14 July 2011


Taken from People Magazine.

What is the world coming too??

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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Censorship of the Arts Seminar - ‘Sit down and Shut up’

Censorship of the Arts Seminar
'Sit down and Shut up'

13 July 2011


DUT City Campus at the Arthur Smith Hall.
Bernice Stott

Guest speakers include:
-Internationally renowned sculptor, Andries Botha.
-Community relations officer for the Forum for the Empowerment of Women, Zanele Muholi


Apartheid and other repressive government have feared art, artists and the right of all people to enjoy free artistic expression.
The KwaZulu- Natal Society of Arts Gallery, together with local artist Bernice Stott, is hosting a Censorship of the Arts Public Seminar.
'Sit down and shut up' is an awareness raising event which will gather together eminent affected artists and art commentators as speakers in a seminar and discussion. It is aiming to reach the South African art community and the government to work together against Censorship.
The seminar will have five guest speakers, two of which are artists whose work has been censored. Zanele Muholi, has worked as a community relations officer for the Forum for the Empowerment of Women, a black lesbian organisation. The other artist is internationally renowned sculptor, Andries Botha.
The KZNSA Gallery's seminar is partnered by the following organisations: Africalia, The Human Elephant Foundation, Durban University of Technology, Bartel Arts Trust, Art for Humanity, eThekwini Municipality and The Centre for Creative Arts.
'Sit down and shut up' will take place at the Durban University of Technology, City Campus at the Arthur Smith Hall.
For more information you can contact the curator, Bernice Stott on 031 209 8436 or 083 343 8994.

Hope you can make it.

Sandy Bigara
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Damien Strydom: Profile and Introduction


I have found a 'Fashionista' from the City of Gold who is happy to ramble on about fashion occasionally :) yay!

I decided to introduce him with an interview - he is young, vibrant and seems to really have his eyes and heart set on taking the fashion scene by storm. He has an unusual style and his Motto is "Be Yourself No Matter What They Say" (yes, I know its a Phil Collins song but it says it all!! Be yourself!!)

So here it is: Watch this space for Damien's Ramblings when and if he feels like it!

1. Let's get the ball rolling! What is your name?

"Hi There I'm Damien Strydom."

2. Tell us, what is your FAVE accessory and why?

"So many! Eyeliner is probably the best. It can make you look amazing in seconds without fuss and mess. Plus it's small so can fit anywhere really."

3. Awesome tip! I can't LIVE without my eyeliner! Ok, so... Your fave restaurant?

"In Johannesburg there is a local pizza/pasta restaurant called 'Pizza Luna' it is based in Sandton. It's extremely healthy and so delicious! They use the freshest toppings and the most delicious bases! Plus 2 Large Pizza's For R105.00! The service there is amazing!"

4. Yay for great food! And now,... where are you based?

"In Johannesburg, West Rand. But still have Durban Blood!"

5. Where is your dream holiday and why?

"Tough choice! Probably New York City. I really enjoy seeing all the energy in Time Square during the day. The fashion is another reason. I would love to go during NYC fashion week. Also to grab a hot dog on the side of the road seems pretty impressive. I would die to go and watch a Broadway Show. I've always watched the Broadway Shows on TV since I was young... And of course to go and dine in The Statue Of Liberty at night time and overlook the city."

6. For all of our readers,... Fashion tip of the week??

"Black Blazers (mostly shoulder padded) with black studded leggings are a must have.
This compliments your figure while making you look like a million dollar bill.
Add a white or black top underneath - mostly white - so you can add some chunky necklaces (colourful of course!) to brighten up your look.
Add a pair of heels that either match the black or colour of the jewellery. Or if your prefer add a pair of flats, or studded/jewelled flops.
With this look you can run errands during the day or hit the town with this look at night.
Remember to be yourself! You have to love what you see in the mirror!"

Thanks Damien!

Damien is part of the alternative youth scene in South Africa and will give us all a good idea of emerging fashions and places to shop! He will be on the prowl doing undercover critiques of Fashion Boutiques everywhere... And I'm sure that a restaurant critique or two will creep in somewhere *insert evil laugh* looking forward to some fun reading!

Welcome Damien!

Ta xxx

Sandy Bigara

PS. If YOU would like to write for 'sandyramblings' I'm looking for a Durban 'Fashionista' and a Durban 'Music Scene Queen'... Leaves me to do all the yummy FOOD stuff *sigh* :)

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Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Chicken, Carrot & Celery Pan

Hey everyone, I was experimenting again and came up with this baby...

This is a refreshing light meal and the ingredients below serve two, I feel that this meal is best served on a bed of soft brown or wild rice with a glass of your favourite wine.

Chicken, Carrot & Celery Pan

2x skinned deboned Chicken breasts (diced into 1/2cm cubes)
1/2 Onion (chopped finely)
1x large Carrot (shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler)
1x Celery stalk with leaves (chopped roughly and washed)
1x Knorr Chicken & Mushroom Pan
1/2 cup fresh Milk
1 cup Water

1. Chop Onion and brown in some olive oil.
2. Add diced Chicken breast and fry until tender.
3. Add ribboned Carrot and chopped Celery (incl. chopped leaves)
4. Add Knorr powder and mix to coat ingredients.
5. Quickly add milk and stir, then add water and stir.
6. Simmer on low heat until serving.

I found that adding a little bit of Ina Paarmans Masala Spice made it really *pop*!

I think it tastes wicked.

Hope you like it!

Sandy Bigara
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Monday, 11 July 2011

Hot Chocolate with Peanut Butter : TRY IT ONCE

Alright, so I am successfully off the tasty brown crack that is Milo (Hot malt drink) and I'm on the prowl for a yummy alternative... The entire time we were in chilly Capetown I guzzled Nestle's Hot Chocolate (Red tub) and couldn't get enough! But, at R40 a tub it is a little bit on the expensive side...

I have just tried this mix-mash as my 'before bed' treat - try it and let me know if you think it's a 'Hells yeah babycakes!!' or a 'What were you thinkin' girl??'

Here it is, please don't kill me if you hate it:

Hot Chocolate with Peanut Butter

1 level tsp Cocoa (I like Bourneville)
2 heaped tsp Sugar (Go on, you deserve it)
1 tsp Smooth Peanut butter
1/2 cap full Vanilla Essence
Pinch of Salt

1. Add ingredients to a standard coffee mug.
2. Pour rapidly boiling water over the mixture (until the level is as hot as you like it) and mix until the peanut butter has melted.
3. Add Milk or Fresh cream to taste.

Shoot me and call me a liar but I like it! Not sure if I'd have it every night but yes, it was interesting!

Have a great night xx

Sandy Bigara
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Saturday, 9 July 2011

SAPS Greenwood Park Police Station - An Honest Critique

Yes, this is an article about a Police Station. Read on and pass it on, it was a very interesting visit...

We, as a family, are delving into the possibility of immigration. In order to do so we are having to frequent places like Home Affairs in Umgeni rd and... You guessed it. Police Stations...

Now, I existed within rather turbulent 1990's (with a few family issues not of my doing) We had need of Police assistance a few times... Now, I have no real concrete memory of all of the events. But as a result I am always nervous around Police officers or Police Stations. Silly really. The Police helped us. But still, the fear is there nonetheless. Now in 2011, we are constantly hearing horror stories of Police brutality, of corruption etc. in the upper echelons of the Police rank... which does nothing for my little irrational phobia of the men in blue.

On Friday (after avoiding it successfully for at least 6 weeks) we went in to the Greenwood Park Police Station SAPS. As we approached I was so nervous, but hid it well via incessant chatting... My first impression was an auditory "Mmph!" of pleasant surprise - beautiful red brick buildings set in a green and neat garden setting! We walked into the first room, high ceilings, yellow wooden floors - finger printing - and were made to feel so comfortable. So comfy in fact, that our one conversation went like his:


Officer: Mr Bigara, have you ever stolen anything?

Sandy: Yes, he has.

Officer: *awkward silence*

Sandy: He stole my heart ten years ago.

Francis: Never getting it back! *laughs*

Officer: Now that's no crime!!

All: *Cue laughter*


So, I can say, I was much happier.

We then had to make a payment of R117 cash. Exact amount only. We had R200 in 2 R100 notes... The lady in finance thought we were mentally insane when we came back with "Car Guard Coins" and, giggling like idiots, managed to scrape together R116.74 - She said it was fine (whew) and we giggled our way back to finger printing. We were treated with respect.

After prints we needed to get about 16 or so documents certified and get some affidavits drawn up. We made our way into the general enquiries room and were met by the friendly Constable Erick Zenzele Chonco. Now Const. Choncho was patient, friendly, assisted us properly and even found us a pen(that worked). By the time we had verified everything, stamped everything, written out two affidavits and chatted up a storm, getting good advice - we had also met some of the other officers on duty - all were friendly and made us feel so very welcome.

By the time we made our way back to the car we were relaxed, happy and were even waved off by the efficient Const. Chonco.

As a person who has spent 15 years in fear of the SAPS and Police Stations - I must extend my hand and say "THANK YOU" for taking time to help two bumbling artists who didn't *really* know what they were doing. Your hard work and attention to detail made sure that we got everything done properly, your kindness left us literally stunned and so pleased.

Thank you to all who helped us. More Police Stations could learn a lesson from Greenwood Park - you guys are fantastic and we commend your work.

Pop in to have a look at their website:

Have a great day!

Sandy Bigara
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Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Profile: Michele Batchelder - African Artist

This is a profile on a incredibly talented local South African artist Michele Batchelder - her art is 'out of this world' and if I could fly to the Cape right now just to 'look' and 'feel' one of her paintings I would!! (I kick myself because I was in the Cape for two weeks and didn't know she was right within my grasp!)

The best alternative to actually going to her Gallery is to visit her site or facebook profile and gorge your eyes on her visual feast... Her art is fresh, whimsical, fun, tasteful, creative, flamboyant, poignant, and at times, a touch sad - she makes environmental commentary with some of her works.

I have thoroughly enjoyed looking through her artwork and I know that you will too.

Here are some of her contact details:


Email: for ATT: Michele


BLOUBERGRAND, 7441 Cape Town, South Africa

Facebook Profile:
Michele Batchelder

Facebook Fan Page:
Michele Batchelder - African Artist

Current News:

Friday July 8th 10:30am till late
Sunday July 10th 10:30am till 4:30 pm
Open from around 10am till late evening.

Atlantic Beach Golf Estate
Melkbosstrand, South Africa

Artists Exhibiting:

In support of:
The JUKANI WILDLIFE PREDATOR PARK fundraising effort. 10% of all sales will be donated to the fund. Visit to learn more about the park and see how you or your organisation can get involved in fundraising.

A Quick Look At The Artist:
The following are excerpts from her Biography, they capture her character so well:

"I am an artist, I have breathed art, dreamed art and done art since I was about 3yrs that is a long, long time. I was born in the desert of Namibia in August 1958, and some how still remember the millions of pink flamingos on the white beaches. I must have been about 18 months old then... Hey! I think the 'pink thing' must have started then... maybe... just thought of that now!..."

"...Most of my life was spent in KZN where at the age of 15 I began a 3 year Fine Art course, which I completed in 1976..."

"...Although I continued to paint and do all sorts of arty and crafty stuff, my career really only began after I had my two gorgeous kids... who are now 27 and 24.
Around 1989 life threw a few curved balls my way, and I was forced to either go out and find a 'job' or create my own income from what i knew i could do..."

"...I LOVE my job, wouldn't have it any other way! No traffic jams, usually no alarm clocks... but I still put in at least 12hrs or so a day, which is more than most people I know..."

"...Once i had started painting, and sold the first few little paintings I had done... and being the Virgo that I am, I decided that I had to create my very own distinctive style... something which was recognisable as my work. So I played and painted, and played some more and FINALLY purely by accident "it" happened!
Something I'd visualised since the age of 12.... I did it!..."

"...I think, being a true "born to be" artist means that your head works 24/7/365... you never really stop 'working'..."

"...I am totally inspired by the wide open spaces of the West Coast... (Cape) The stark landscapes which explode into colour in spring... the turquoise, aqua, cobalt, azure, etc. etc. etc. of the sea... The wind that transforms the shape and the direction of the growth of a tree! (they all look like they're heading!)..."

"...I have a Gallery... A small one on the beach... I have rented a stunning apartment, where I can gaze at the ocean, smell the salt air and have (almost) uninterrupted views of the sea..."

"...My patio is my studio... So summer is wonderful... winter a little fresh, but plans get made. I can gaze at the ocean and paint all day... way into the evening..."

"...I have also started teaching... different classes to all the existing ones around..."

Michelle encourages freedom and expression in her classes and has quite a waiting list. Contact her to find out more.

I hope that you 'friend' her on facebook, 'like' her page and encourage her! 'Local' is, in this case, extremely 'Lekker!'

Sandy Bigara
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Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Spog Weni Flem Festival 2011 - Tickets, Info & More

There is something happening up the North Coast... Muso's are stirring, hoping, waiting to hear if they are 'in'... If you haven't heard about it... well, where have you BEEN?


Spog Weni.

Spog Weni Flem.

Spog Weni Flem Festival.

Let it roll off your tongue, you won't forget it. I hope to see/hear LOTS of people supporting and motivating this - we need more platforms like these for our artists! Well done to Maryse Goodwin and Byron Love!
One fun fact: If you want to see MELANIE LOWE and KINGS AND QUEEN performing, then go to the group and motivate!!


Music Festival:
Spog Weni Flem Festival 2011

06 October at 14:00
09 October at 14:00

"By the Way"
18km Inland from Ballito
(Kwazulu Natal)


(Some of the artists appearing at the festival)
Axel Batsch
Krystle Temmerman
Rob Warren Band
Rowan Stuart
*Approvals are being announced LIVE on the Facebook Group wall. Very exciting!

The following quote is taken from the Facebook Group that has 1353 members ...and growing every day.
"Spog Weni Flem Festival was born and created to host a platform for our home grown talented Bands and Musicians, after months of location hunting, local North Coast muso Byron Love showed me a venue that totally took my breath away and I knew there and then I wanted to share with all, and that is where Spog Weni Flem Festival was born. The meaning behind the Festival name is "Spog Weni" - Comes from the days many years ago when there was a railway line and all the sugar cane farmers sent their cane from the different farms for transport to the Sugar Mills. So the actual word Spog Weni means junction. Hence a place of "Meeting"

When I asked the following questions:
Toilets? Food? Family friendly? Day/Night performances? Amatikiti? I got these fantastic answers:

- Yes, toilets will be there.
- There will be food stalls and a crafters market.
- The Festival is definitely family friendly!
- There are day-time and night-time performances.
- Please check out or the Overtone website for tickets and prices. See you there!

Sounds good to me!

Will *you* be going?

Take care,

Sandy Bigara
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Monday, 4 July 2011

CRIT: Eat Out The Box - Artisans of Take Away, Capetown

Out of a desire to *not* do the dishes on our last night in Capetown, Francis suggested that we take a crisp walk along Constantia Main road, and buy ourselves Pizza for a treat...

During our stay we noticed a small take-away called Eat Out The Box - and decided to try this one instead of the standard 'hamster-on-a-treadmill' KFC, Debonairs or Steers... I'm glad we did!

Firstly, we walked in the wrong door and found ourselves on the kitchen side. Secondly, it was 45 minutes before the shop *actually* opened... Instead of sending us packing, Nicole made us feel welcome and showed us around to the correct door. She personally saw to the order, and after a mere 25 minute wait we had two hot Pizza boxes ready to go.

Geek Fact: The acoustics in the waiting area are great! (Savanna «3yrs» did Modern Interpretative Dance while I sang the blues, Kelsey «11mo» did some sideways manoeuvres and 'sang' as well)

Ok, the Pizza:
We ordered the Cape Doctor - Bacon, Feta and Peppadews R62 (We added Free Range Chicken for an extra R10) *Pizza Prices range from R20 - R85
The children had the Leelo - Ham and Pineapple R35

Our Pizza was so full of toppings...we didn't know what to do with it! We are all so used to the mainstream Pizzerias and their "meagre-toppings-lots-of-sauce" rule that to suddenly have a food-laden pizza was a shock! A wonderful juicy tummy-filling shock! They were so generous with the feta, piled on the peppadews and chicken - thank you and well done! My only 'negative' was that the pizza was a tad bland and needed some salt and a shake or two of Ina Paarmans Cheese Spice. But once there was a touch of salt, the flavours really came out!

Savanna usually refuses to eat Pizza, it's like pulling hens teeth... she ate two full slices without a grumble. Our 11 month old ate all of my crusts and most of my bacon. Eat Out The Box got a firm 'num-num' from our little critic. Well done!

Eat Out The Box also make gorgeous burgers as well.
If you want to learn more please click on the following link and pay them a visit! They do Free Delivery for orders over R50.

Interesting Fact:
-The bases are home-made with an option of 'Gluten Free' or '50% Rye' - Nice to have a choice!
-They often run specials.
-They have an impressive Kiddies Menu ranging from R30-R36 (We promise you *will* eat their leftovers)

Call: 0217619839 or order online @
(Capetown Only *Sorry Durban* - based in Constantia)

Take care everyone,

Sandy Bigara
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Pasta with Roast Tomato and Goat's Cheese - Try it!

If you want to attack a plate of food like a fork-wielding ninja... Or, alternatively, if you wish to watch your dinner guests attacking plates of food likewise... Then read on.

For our 7th Wedding Anniversary ( :) ) My darling husband cooked up a treat for us. He decided to make this dish and I have to be honest - I absolutely LOVED it!

The tomatoes, roasted in their own juices and a touch of olive oil, make a divine sauce, the goats cheese (finely chopped or crumbled if possible) simply softened afterwards in the hot tomato sauce, melts in your mouth and perfectly compliments the tomato. We found that the dish was a tad bland but once Francis added a generous sprinkling of Ina Paarmans Cheese Spice (Parmesan and salt will do) sorted that out. I am super impressed with my husbands cooking skills!

Well done love, and here's to another 7 good years... And a few more after that as well ;)

Sandy Bigara
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Sunday, 3 July 2011

Thank You Readers!

This is a just a quick THANK YOU to all of you who take the time to read my ramblings. I have reached 600 views for June 2011 and have had 100 views in July so far! All thanks to YOU!

Have a fantastic day and keep on reading! It encourages me so much. Send my link to your friends if you can : )

Take care everyone,

Sandy Bigara
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Saturday, 2 July 2011

Deluxe Lentil Bredie (In Cream of Tomato)

Ok, so before you say "Lentils?? Sandy? Really??" Just do yourself a favour. Go to the shops and get these ingredients, then follow the recipe to the letter. Eat the whole pot of lentils and then email me:

This is my latest creation and from the look on my family's faces it is a success!!

"Deluxe Lentil Bredie (In Cream of Tomato)"


1 Red Onion (finely chopped)
Olive Oil approx 4Tbsp
2 Tins of pre-cooked Brown Lentils (drain them first) (do not use fresh lentils!!)
1 tub of Fresh Cream 250ml
1 tin of peeled chopped Tomato (drain half the liquid away)
1 Packet of ROYCO Tomato Bredie Powder


1. Add oil to the pan and allow it to heat up.
2. Add the onion and fry until onion is soft.
3. Add the drained tins of Lentils.
4. Pour Fresh Cream over the lentils and mix it in.
5. Pour the dry ROYCO Tomato Bredie Powder over the lentil/onion/cream mix and stir to spread the flavour and powder evenly throughout.
6. Add the tomato in thirds, mixing thoroughly each time to avoid curdling.
Allow the Lentil Bredie to simmer for a while and then serve!

Please Note: this dish tastes better when it has cooled down a bit, serve on a bed of fettucini or Cavatapi pasta with rocket and feta.

This is a mild tasty dish that even had my fussy 11month old saying 'num num!'


Sandy Bigara
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Friday, 1 July 2011

Diemersfontein: A Farm Worth Visiting

After a lovely drive up the N1 to Wellington/Paarl we stopped by an old haunt of mine (an old childhood holiday home) so that I could explore, wander and generally make a fool of myself: wiping tears from my eyes as my two toddler/monkey children scampered through every puddle they could find. We had the fortune of meeting David Sonnenberg, the owner. A warm and amiable man who made us feel most welcome! (Thank you for the gift of Wine David)

After exploring the gardens and the Manor House (now the central point of a 30 bedroom, 28 En Suite guest house/s) we set our sights on the new and very modern "Seasons" Restaurant. Now, when you want to see the true hospitality of a restaurant - bring small children with you.

The staff are warm and friendly, they have baby chairs available. The 'Soup of the Day' was adequate for both of our girls to share and was tasty! (Tomato and Basil Soup R35) I had the Cape Malay Curry - a light tasty chicken curry served with a beautifully presented popadom, sambals and soft white basmati rice - a real treat at R80. Francis had the Seafood Tagliatelli - prawn and mussels in a creamy Napolitano sauce, gently flavoured with no 'fishy' smell or aftertaste, R92 for a generous portion.

Savanna (3) had a strawberry milkshake - the most authentic strawberry shake I have *ever* tasted! Real strawberries! Kelsey (11months) had a little bit of everything...and left it all on the floor under her chair. Much to our surprise. The staff were very kind and accommodating.

If you are staying in the Cape I would strongly suggest this as an excursion not to miss. Follow the N1 out of Cape Town and find the farm in the heart of Wellington. Diemersfontein is quiet and pleasing to the eye with photo opportunities everywhere. Children can pose for photographs atop a life sized Hippo overlooking the dam. Little guinea fowl dart through the grass and in the distance horses graze. Idyllic! The bedrooms in the guest house are a 'blast from the past' filled with beautiful artworks, period pieces and divine wooden furniture.

Diemersfontein is also a Wedding Venue and Conferencing Centre. There is Wine-tasting Bar and a beautiful garden to view (Featured in 'Gardens of South Africa' 1992)

Let me know if you get there!

Sandy Bigara

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