Tag: Event Inspiration

Baby Shower Inspiration – Tropical theme

Baby Shower Inspiration – Tropical theme

I thought it was well overdue to write a blog on the beautiful baby shower that was thrown for Baby Raya and I, by my incredibly talented bestie, Megan. I was hesitant with Raya Maryam being our third baba whether to have a shower or not, but she is our first little girl and Megs didn’t take no as an answer 🙂 She jumped at the chance to handle all the decor and has been there every step of the way in planning all my special days. Its events like showers, hen parties and milestone birthdays that make me realise what special people I have in my life. I am so truly grateful to each and every one of the incredible ladies in my life. Every single friendship has a chapter and season and I am a firm believer of everyone being in your life for a particular reason. So before I dive into the detail; thank you to every single person for your contributions and being so special to me. Now onto the shower.

When Meg’s asked me about a venue, the first one that popped into my head was of course, Killarney Country Club. Not only is the golf course my husbands second home, but the gardens and views are so incredibly beautiful, its the perfect place for a “garden” party. We sat outside their newly renovated section under the terrace overlooking the little dam. We could bring in all our own Halaal food and treats and has a few appetizers ordered from the restaurant. They have a fab new outdoor area with some 5 aside soccer fields as well, perfect for the kids to play. I’m just sad they got rid of the “putt-putt” area as the younger kids had a blast playing there.

My favourite part of any event is of course the decor and I knew with Megs being in charge of the styling it would be incredible. I went with the tropical theme for the nursery, so this was the chosen theme for the shower. I am not a “pink and glittery” fan, (and I know Megs would shudder before styling a party like that anyway :)), all I knew about the day is that it would be tropical with pops of gold. Meg created (and her husband built, thank you Dyl), a fantastic frame out of spray painted PVC piping to frame the dessert station. The beautifully lasercut “baby” sign acted as a center piece to the frame. Leeandra, from Fields of Colour , stepped in with the floral arrangements. She did the most incredible tropical leaf feature on the backdrop and transformed the table with her table wear and gorgeous tulips and vases. Lee; thank you so much you have no idea how much I appreciate your efforts.

No detail was overlooked, and each place setting has gorgeous little Maverick and Jane Popcorn as take homes with thank you labels printed and tied with natural rope. All of our parties feature caramel popcorn, so this was a special touch! Tiny alphabet blocks that were lovingly spray painted with Rustoleum added “pops of pink” to the tables.

The Dessert table with a treat with a few of my friends contributing baked goods and savouries. The delicious cake (and mini masterpiece), was created by Cara, from Aristocakes. An incredible pink ombre cake with flecks of gold. It was a super yummy pink ombre sponge inside as well, with a strawberry filling. Thank you Cara for the time spent creating this beauty. Its was so elegant and chic. No party of mine (or Megs), would ever be complete without getting Sugar & Paper involved. Liezl made jaw dropping tropical leaf-themed cookies. Liezl, you blow me away and leave me dumbfounded with each new design. Every single set gets better and better, and trust me, she makes the best tasting sugar cookies as well! Its no joke when I say I often cant eat them because they are too pretty. I literally want to frame them and put them up on a wall!

Corinna, from Corinna Tannian Photography, was on hand to capture all the delicious detail and moments. Corinna, you always capture the most incredible detail, thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving up your time and being a part of all of our special moments. You bring so much joy and happiness to our special occasions and your photographs speak for themselves. Memories to last a lifetime.

Finally to Megs, as your Bunting and Blooms journey and new chapter starts, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for always being there for me in my life. Through all the ups and special moments, to all the hard and darker and frustrating times. I thank God the day he placed us in the same Res, and for all the memories we have shared. You are my second sister and always willing to go above and beyond. I’m grateful beyond words for all you do for me, and you did the most incredible job at styling Raya Maryam’s shower.

For anyone looking for incredible event styling in Johannesburg contact Megan to make your vision a reality. For all your styling needs contact Megan:
+27 72 298 5553

Supplier details:

Styling and Design: Bunting + Blooms

Venue: Killarney Country Club

Floral Design and Hire: Fields of Colour

Photographer: Corinna Tannian Photography

Cake: Aristocakes

Sugar Cookies: Sugar & Paper

Party Inspiration – Carnival Theme

Party Inspiration – Carnival Theme

The Carnival theme has to be one of my all time favourite themes. The colours, the design elements, the food, you can really go absolutely wild with this one!

I was lucky enough to help Meg, from mommalikeme, plan this wonderland for Oli’s 6th birthday and the end result was absolutely breathtaking ! It was held at our favourite family friendly venue, Killarney Country Club, and again the team were absolutely accommodating, you’ll remember that I held Yusuf’s 3rd birthday there too.


My Favourite Elements?

The eye-catching colour scheme – Red, Turquoise and Gold, I adore this combination.

The magical three-tiered masterpiece of a cake

The cute hot dog cart, complete with hot dogs and candy floss

The slush puppy machine – what a huge hit!

The gold elephants set atop the ticket and popcorn pedestal

The insanely creative backdrop created from paper flower fans and material


Now over to Meg to give you all the finer details:

Venue – Set amongst the lush and picturesque surrounds of the Killarney Country Club, throwing the party here was a no-brainer. We set up outside the grandiose Gazebo Room (and could have moved inside should the weather have turned). With a well-equipped play area – a jungle gym and slide, a sandpit, roundabout and putt-putt course, the kids were never bored! KCC bent over backwards to accommodate my every whim (like arriving before 7am on the morning of the party to get the Slush machine going!) and graciously hosting Oli’s 6th birthday celebration and all of our guests. If you’re looking for a venue in Johannesburg, with a difference, this is it.


Photography – What a blessing it is to have a birthday party captured for you – otherwise I would have walked away with the one and only photo I took before I chatted to friends and family and got to enjoy the moment. My most favourite photographer, Corinna, from Corinna Tannian Photography was there to capture all the details and happy moments. Besides from being one of the nicest people I know, she is such fun, and extraordinarily talented. If you’re looking for a mini photography shoot for your party setup – chat to me, we’ve come up with some special and affordable photography packages. Corinna is your lady!

Cake – Cara, from Aristocakes, arrived to deliver the cake before the birthday boy arrived. When he walked up to have a look at his candy table, he immediately spotted the cake (how could you not miss four tiers of sugary perfection?!). His jaw dropped and he literally gasped, speechless. It’s exactly the kind of reaction you hope for once hours and hours of work have gone into baking and creating a masterpiece like this. Every detail right down to the little blonde-haired, brown-eyed magician was impeccable. Besides from being a piece of edible art, the ‘art’ tasted incredible – best chocolate cake! I cannot recommend Cara highly enough.

Candy table – We filled apothecary jars with red strawberry liquorice, turquoise chocolate beans, red jelly beans and whole peanuts all from Party Spot – the best one-stop party shop in Johannesburg. As always, we made my kids’ favourite party treat – red jellies – and adorned them with caramel popcorn. Easiest way to tie in a theme? Add iced sugar cookies! Allyson from Sprinkles made the cutest Carnival-themed cookies, from iced hotdogs, to ellies balancing on balls, popcorn boxes, tickets and Oli’s name, this disappeared faster than a magic act! We accented the table with a golden ferris wheel loaded with caramel popcorn, and flanked the four-tired masterpiece of a cake with golden elephants balancing on upturned popcorn barrels. I absolutely loved the red rock candy from Party Lady that we added to the table – their online shop has some amazing products! Vicky, from Bake My Day, made the most gorgeous cherry-red toffee apples and dipped Oreo’s with turquoise ‘frosting’ to look like mini ring doughnuts – how cute are they?! I absolutely adore doing candy stations at parties, I think having it as a focal point is the perfect way to accent a theme – but my biggest piece of advice is to have scoops on hand for the jars and take-home packets so you’re not left with mounds of sugary sweets and your guests can help themselves.

Catering – What’s a Carnival without hotdogs and cotton candy? For that matter – slushie drinks, soft giant pretzels and a popcorn bar! KCC served up some gourmet mini chicken and beef burgers to add to the spread, which we topped off with some airfried-on-site chicken pops that were gobbled up as fast as we could airfry them! How handy was it that I could bring along my Philips XXL Airfryer to whip up hot chicken pops just in time for some hungry guests?!

Water bottles – Once again I used Kidz Cardz for the customised water bottles. These ‘Carnival Quenchers’ were a hit with the busy little carnival attendees in between rounds of putt-putt, fun and games! Kidz Cardz also designed the fabulous personalised individual popcorn packets that went to school for Oli’s birthday ring (round two after the hospital stay) – there’s nothing Elizna can’t do!

Party packs – Where would I be without TOWER Kids? You might remember I used them for Sophie’s party too (link) as the take home gift, and they were so popular, I used them again! We used a variety of five different elephant-themed educational art kits for each of the kids to take home – that ranged from sand art, to scratch and sticker, dot-a-picture, mosaic by numbers and foam art – happy kids and happy adults!

Décor – The first thing I thought of when we started planning this party was how much I needed a Carnival Cart! Sue and the team at ProDecor made all my dreams come true and delivered the most phenomenal cart, hay bales, giant red marquee arrow, crates, sign, and suitcase – making styling this party a cinch! The cart looked amazing with our fabulous black letter board from Curated South Africa – the perfect accent! I wanted to do the candy table up against the big black board as it’s a lovely shaded area (can’t have a melting cake and puddle-like jellies), but I wanted to create something of a backdrop. We, or rather my husband, devised a setup to suspend the striped red and white ‘curtains’ from the ceiling and hang the backdrop of fans I’d made, with a hint of black board peeking through creating a magical carnival-like effect. I bought various paper fans (some that had to come all the way from England with Grandpa and Ouma) and attached them onto plastic mesh fencing in a triangle formation, and adored them with glittering golden circles. The final result was quite striking I think – a great and relatively cheap space filler. With wooden crates and white plinths, I created various levels for focal points – the most important thing to know about setting up candy tables. An upturned crate became the perfect element to showcase deliciously sticky toffee apples on and house ‘O L I in marquee lights. I had a fabulous crushed red velvet table runner made by Bush Lily, as well as red and turquoise bunting to finish off the area. Golden lions on crates, red and white striped table runners, popcorn barrels and a pyramid of cans decorated the benches where the adults could relax.

Signage – Laura from Toogela Creative designed all the signage at the party – from the directional arrows and ‘Welcome to the Carnival’ to the Concession Stand, Step Right up for some Tasty Treats and Thanks for Poppin’ by and more! Toogela can do pretty much whatever your heart desires, so go check them out! Ambari did all the printing for me – vinyl mounted on board so that we can reuse the signage should anyone else need a Carnival party styled for them!

Activities – As per Oli’s stipulations, we just had to have a repeat performance by his all-time favourite magician, Stevie and his Big Red Box of Magic from The Wow Factory. Oli genuinely believes he can do magic by reciting Stevie’s magic words – “wiggle your fingers, wiggle your thumbs, that’s the way the magic comes”! The kids watched and whooped with rapt attention, hanging onto Stevie’s every word. If you’re looking for a magic act, Stevie is it! My fabulous friend Sam (from Sam and Tam link) generously lent us her jumping castle – always a hit at parties, thank you from the bottom of my heart, you’re always so willing to share and help where you can. Since it was a carnival, we just had to have some themed games – we made a pyramid out of big tins and had the kids knock them down with a bean bag and then a ring toss! There was also the fabulous Boom Blast Stix from Prima Toys that Oli was so thrilled to finally show his friends, and it had them in fits of giggles.

List of suppliers/stockists:

Venue – Killarney Country Club www.killarneycountryclub.co.za

Cake – Aristocakes – Cara Brynard

Magician – The Wow Factory

Photography – Corinna Tannian Photography

Apothecary jars, vases etc. – Mr Price HomeHome Stuff at Brightwater Commons

Sweets – Party Spot & Party Lady

Décor items – Pro Decor, sewing by Bush Lily, So Where 2 Events, Party Spot and Westpak

Balloons – Party Spot

Sugar Cookies – Sprinkles

Toffee Apples & Dipped Oreos – Bake My Day

Catering – Killarney Country Club and Fournos Bakery

Party packs – TOWER Kids

Water bottles & personalised popcorn packets for class party – Kidz Cardz

Jumping Castle – Lopes Bouncy House: sam@pinkdustevents.co.za

Black Letterboard – Curated South Africa

Design elements – Toogela Creative

Printing – Ambari: Preven ambarip@telkomsa.net or 083 381 7470

XXL Airfryer – Philips Home South Africa

Party Inspiration – Lightning Mcqueen

Party Inspiration – Lightning Mcqueen

Its been a while since I last shared party inspiration (apart from the last Golf themed party). Racing is always a hot theme and when its lightening Mcqueen you are guaranteed a win. I shared our last racing party here but we recently attended one that took my breath away! Liezl’s attention to detail is impeccable and as always her baking skills are on point. You may remember that I used her to make Yusuf’s birthday cake, cake pops and chocolate dipped oreos.

I have so many highlights from this party:

The Chocolate Dipped Oreos

Insanely detailed Cake, have a look at that checked inside!

Sensational Sugar Cookies

Custom made frame made from used tyres

Inflatable tires in the Front

Red, Yellow and Green Traffic light toothpicks

Over to Liezl and her fantastic Mcqueen Party:

Ka-Chow! Diego turned three and celebrated with an awesome Lightning McQueen party! 

The party was held at the Randburg Junior Traffic Centre, (our favourite for anything racing related) where kids spent the day racing their bicycles around the kid-sized roads, even stopping at the traffic lights too.

As a freelance Graphic Designer and part-time Party Planner, I tend to always go a bit crazy when it comes to my children’s birthday parties! Diego is mad about the Cars movies, so it was a no-brainer to include the racing references like checkered flags, McQueen’s signature red and yellow, as well as cacti for Radiator Springs. The food was also Cars-inspired and guests appreciated the special touches, like traffic light toothpicks of cheese, tomatoes and cocktail onions, as well as the themed baked goods.
In lieu of the typical candy-filled party favors, I opted for traffic light playdough packs and Cars stickers, and I think the parents appreciated them just as much as the kids did!
Suppliers details below:
Decor, Food platters, Jelly, Cake, Sugar Cookies, Cake pops, Chocolate Covered Oreos – http://www.sugarandpaper.co.za/
Printed temporary tattoos – https://nutmegpartyboxes.co.za/
Pin the teeth on Tow Mater & Ramone Tattoo Sign – http://www.sugarandpaper.co.za/
Playdough for party favors – http://www.partyplaydough.co.za/ 
If you have any party’s that you would like featured you can email any submissions through to inthesestilettos@gmail.com .

Weekend MasterChef Experience

So for my family far and away I thought i’d document my MasterChef experience.
Frame the Scene:

I got home from work at around 19h00 Friday night, thought i’d take a “quick nap” only to re-open my eyes at 23h00 still having to make my “trio of summer desserts” eek! Menu plan was Mini Pavlova’s, Mini Strawberry Cheesecake and a Mini Vanilla Pana Cotta drizzled with Raspberry Coulis.

Panna Cotta is easy breasy:

  • 2 cups cream (I use one thick cream, one normal)
  • ½ cup full cream milk
  • ½ cup double cream greek yoghurt
  • 1 Masterfoods vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup (115g) caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp gelatine powder
  1. Place the cream and milk in a saucepan. Use a small sharp knife to split the vanilla bean lengthways, then scrape the seeds from inside the bean. Add the seeds and bean to the saucepan. Slowly bring to the boil over a medium heat.
  2. Discard bean from cream mixture. Add sugar and return to a low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until sugar dissolves.
  3. Sprinkle gelatin over warmed milk (I pour it in a glass bowl and hold it above the steam from cream, adds to dissolving). Stir into cream mixture till dissolved, then add yoghurt
  4. Lightly oil 6 x 1/2 cup (125ml) dariole moulds or ramekins. Place on a tray and pour in cream mixture. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
  5. To serve, break the seal by inserting a small knife between the Panna cotta and the mould. Turn onto a serving plate and shake to release. Serve with Raspberry Coulis (basically just 300g raspberries plus about 1/3 cup icing sugar pureed together).

The Strawberry cheesecake is quite complex – I will need a whole blog just for that. Its got about 5 different steps from making the base, to making a strawberry syrup, to the topping (each stage needs to cool which is tedious). Pavolva is also quite simple.

Cut a long story short I went to sleep at around 05h00 am. Alarm set from 06h20 to get up and get ready to go through to auditions.

I bought a nifty cooler box on wheels from Cape Union Mart, along with around 10 ice bricks. Your dish HAD to be between 0-4 Degrees Celsius, if not then you get turned away. *Paranoid* I got there at almost 09h00 on the dot. The queue was INTENSE, I never thought I’d reach the front, however, I did meet some pretty awesome people in line. All of us abolutely focused on our “Ice” NOT melting, trying to keep cooler boxes in the shade. My 3rd dish was the Pavlova, and I had visions of getting to the front only to realise all the cream had melted and fallen off the meringue.

Props to all of the organizers of MasterChefSa, the auditions were exceptionally well organised. WoolworthsSA had people handed out free drinks and mixed snack packs (awesome thanks guys). There were some extremely theatrical ushers along the way to keep us entertained. The queue moved fairly quickly, reached the front at around 11h00. Plated up and entered the room of terror (now my hands were really shaking, did not aid me in trying to plate up the dish).

The Judges give NOTHING away, you cannot read their faces at all and all they do is tick a “symbol” (we are still trying to decode them 🙂 ) and then you move through to the next room! “CONGRATULATIONS YOU ARE THROUGH !” WOOO HOO! On to the next round! (That alone was enough for me 🙂 ). 5 of us got clumped together and had a “Group Interview”, Not going into detail from this point as KZN and CPT still need to audition but finally finished at 21h00 that night.. Looong Day.

Typical me I forgot to take pic’s of my dishes plated up!! GourmetGuys, wish you could have caught me, I would have had backup!

I will tell you what the prize is though !!

  1. R250 000 in Cash to realise your culinary dream
  2. Hyundai Elantra 1.6 GLS
  3. An all expenses paid trip to Italy for 7 days , including an Italian Cookery Course (read my previous blog to see how much I love Italy)
  4. A Customised Sommelier course
  5. And ….. The MondoVino restaurant at Southern Sun’s Monte Casino

Now the wait begins.. Final Results out around Christmas…Its going to be a long wait.

The Next day, Sunday the 4th was my Love’s Birthday ! YAY! I love getting a whole day as an excuse to spoil someone !

Due to the lack of sleep the night before woke up LATE and went through to Cassalinga in Muildersdrift area. Beautiful long lunches, rolling green grass and fresh, fresh vegetables. Order of the day was a combination of Pesto Lasagne, Fresh Kingklip, Baby Marrow Soup and the most divine Crème Brulee. The glacèd Fruit they bring at the end is just the cherry on top!


So everyone who reads this, keep sending positive thoughts my way (There is nothing more I can do except wait. Maybe if people Retweet the blog one of the producers will see it and ill get the “final” final cut 🙂 ). And also HAPPY HAPPY Birthday Ahmed! You are my love, my life, (and without you saying “puulleaase I want to see you on MasterChef”, I would never have done it 🙂

One Step Close to living MY Dream !



Hi everyone! I am totally aware of my silence in terms of blogging this past month. My day job is unfortunately taking over; gotta pay those bills after all. ..

I’m so delayed, I didn’t realise that there was a deadline to register your blog for the “SA’s blog awards”; sadly I missed this by about a week. C’est la Vie, there is no way ill forget next year!

So I have a completely jam packed weekend coming up and looking forward to every second! Tomorrow is our Christmas Party at work ( I cannot believe its that time of the year already),  and every year we have a theme. This year is “rock”, my leather jacket is ready, “pleather tights” are out! Oh yes its sure to be good…. I’ll post lots of pics!

On Saturday we are celebrating one of my friend’s birthday, and while I may not be gracing them with my presence for the cycling (there is a 2 hour cycle tour around Soweto before hand) I will be parting it up at the “after lunch”. I have always wanted to go to a restaurant in Soweto! Ill definitely give feedback!

Then on Sunday it’s time to celebrate Eid-Al-Adha which is directly translated into “The Festival of Sacrifice”. Every year Muslims across the world go off to Mecca in Saudi Arabia to voyage on the holy pilgrimage, or “Hajj” as it is known. At the very end of this pilgrimage all Muslims (those who have been lucky enough to make the trip as well as those who have not) celebrate Eid-Al-Adha. It is celebrated to commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Holy Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him (source) Muslims slaughter an animal on this day as the holy prophet Abraham did.

Its been a busy month in general; went to the Cold Play concert as well a few weeks ago.

The night was astounding, starting off with “hurts like heaven” accompanied by flying beach balls, psychedelic lights and confetti not to mention, an incredible atmosphere. We took a journey through all our favourite Coldplay anthems like “Yellow” and “Fix you”. Some 62,000 people packed into the stands and field to witness the band’s first tour in South Africa and I was two people from the front! Directly in front of the oh so good looking Guy Berryman.
Some other memorable moments include the crowd chanting “Viva La Vida” and Chris Martin screaming “you guys are fucking awesome”.
Martin told the Johannesburg crowd that they had been shooting a music video in South Africa, saying: “It’s so much sunnier and warmer than where we come from.” He then asked the crowd: “Would you like to be in the video?” The stadium exploded into cheers and screams. “Paradise” was part recorded in the Karoo and part at the Joburg concert (I still haven’t managed to watch it to spot me though)The mood remained upbeat through the set with a Mexican wave of cellphone lights around the calabash stadium, the same place used to host the Soccer World Cup final.

Completely awesome night from start to finish.

Ending off is Thankful Thursday, what are you grateful for in your life? “Be Kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”. I’m thankful for all the people in my life who genuinely care for me and love me. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word or the smallest act of caring, all of which have potential to change someone’s life”

Pictures from coldplay below:

all the beach balls


filming for the Paradise Video