Friday, 20 November 2015

Making Mango Smoothies!

As you may have read in my last post, I managed to melt my little blender recently. This made me very sad. My Grammy read the post, and offered to give me her big blender. Very sad turned to very glad, very quickly!

Francois and I picked it up yesterday, and I've already gotten very busy with it. I made strawberry ice-cream and chocolate ice-cream last night, and mango smoothies this morning!

We didn't have much mango juice left, so it was a gently flavoured smoothie.
What you see in the picture is everything I used for the yummy drinks.

  • One amazing blender 
  • Three frozen, chopped bananas 
  • That amount of mango juice 
  • A bit more than that amount of milk - maybe double the juice amount? 

I put it all in the blender, pulsed it a few times, and then blended on the gentler ridiculous speed setting. 

It churned out two very full glasses of very filling mango smoothie. 

A very big, very happy thank you to my Grammy. I'll post ice-cream pictures soon. :) 

By the way, for anybody interested in the latest Carrie Lion news, I've set up an account with Payhip and you can now buy the ebook through my blog

I'm waiting for printers to get back to me with a quote, and then I'll set up crowd-funding for getting started with actual printing of actual real-life copies of 'Carrie the Limping Lion'! Eep! :D 

I'm also offering everybody the opportunity to earn money by being an affiliate seller of my ebook. If you'd like to sign up, just click here

After I approve you, I'll send you a coupon for one free download of the book, so that you know exactly what you're promoting, and can write a pretty review or something. 

Well, that's all, folks! 

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Everything is Breaking!

Three things are refusing to act as they should, at the moment. All of them make me sad. And all of them will cost / are costing me money.

Broken Thing #1: Smashwords 

Carrie the Limping Lion was meant to be released on Monday, and while you can now buy the ebook directly from Smashwords, Kobo has cancelled all of the pre-orders (NOOO!), and neither Kobo nor Barnes and Noble are selling it. Kobo still lists it as a pre-order; and I've just checked on B&N, and they've completely removed the listing, now. Aaaaaah! Time to look at a different distributor, methinks. (UPDATE: You can now buy 'Carrie the Limping Lion' through my blog, thanks to Payhip!) 

Broken Thing #2: My Piano :(

When I started playing a little while ago, Francois pointed out that the sound was wavering. It improved when we plugged an external amp in (or used headphones), so we assumed it was a finicky connection to the built-in speakers, and we set it up permanently with Francois' small amp.

But yesterday, while practising, it started wavering BADLY. And I could hear it through the headphones, too. And it isn't a gentle waver. It's very, very distracting. Which means getting somebody to try to fix it for me. Which costs money.

So much of sad and tears and NOOOOOOO! :(
I'd MUCH rather buy a new keyboard, with USB out, and new speakers that sound lovely on their own, and optional portability... Like this Yamaha (so pretty!!), or this one. But as you can see if you follow those links, they come with a bit of a price tag. Just thinking about it makes my chest hurt.

Broken Thing #3: The Blender 

I've been seeing this one coming. It's very, very hot today. Again. Candle-melting hot. So I decided to make ice-cold smoothies for breakfast. Now, as you might be able to imagine, the frozen bananas that I use to make the smoothies so cold are kind of hard... And today, my little hand-held blender just couldn't take it any more, and promptly melted.

Insert optional profanities here.
It's so disgustingly warm today, that I was more disappointed about the smoothies not being made properly, than I was about the broken blender! This is something that needs urgent replacement, because I won't be able to survive summer without those smoothies. I'll invest in a tougher machine this time.

Well, many visits to our cool shower are in order until we go shopping. At least that isn't broken! (I hope I didn't just jinx it.)

Monday, 2 November 2015

Dangerous Bargains

Important Notice:

Darn it! We're having technical difficulties getting Carrie the Limping Lion to release properly to the retailers. I've contacted Smashwords about the problem, and will let you all know when it's been fixed. (Kobo is canceling the pre-orders which SUCKS! I'll let you know when you can buy it again, and will organise coupons wherever it's necessary.) 

And now for today's blog post. 

Do you remember that post I wrote about making ice-cold smoothies because of how bloody HOT it was? Francois suggested I share this photo with you, to demonstrate just how hot it got:

Yeah. Now you understand. Those smoothies were entirely necessary for our survival. 

Anyway, here's what I really want to tell you about in this here post:

On Friday, Francois and I saw an advert for a marble chess set, in excellent condition, for R80. It was being sold at a garage sale, and we WANTED it. We were going through to his mom's house anyway, so we decided to stop at the sale on our way. 

Guess what? The people who advertised it couldn't find it. Sob. :( They didn't realise they'd already sold it, and apologized profusely. 

BUT, they did have some other really cool stuff, so we decided to look around anyway, and see if we wanted anything. 

And yes, we found some really cool stuff. Here's what I found:

Look at all of the pretty things!
I love garage sales for this reason, in particular: All of these pretty glass plates and bowls cost me R70. That's it. Score!! 

I also bought a copy of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which I last read a long time ago, and can barely remember now. Francois bought an old Canon film camera for R50, and an almost-new tripod for R30. He may or may not blog about that. He wanted to buy a battery for the camera, so we stopped at the next shop along the way, which happened to be a Checkers.

And THAT'S where we found THIS beauty! 

The price tag was R150. Francois and I looked at each other, and started walking away... And then walked back to the shelf. 

I said: "I think we have to have it. We have to have it right now." Francois grinned and picked one up. 

I think that's the first time we've both been as excited about buying a mostly decorative item together. 

Actually, it's the first time we've bought a mostly decorative item together, regardless of the mutual silly excitement. 

Isn't it lovely? Isn't it nice? 

We're planning to use it during our wedding, to serve the mead from! We'll stand a tall bottle of ice in the middle to keep the tasty beverage nice and cold. 

Anyway, after our fun shopping trip, we headed through to Glentana. We spent the night at Francois' mom's house, and after four hours of sleep (with Francois kicking me in those few short hours), we got up at three in the morning to head over to a mountain biking and trail running event. (Francois stayed home and played with his new tripod during the sunrise.) 

No, I didn't cycle or run. I did timekeeping and a little bit of MC'ing. And then I wrote a media release for the whole thing, which you can read on Trisport's website, if you like. 

Right! I was playing piano before I started writing this, and I don't think I played enough... Time to carry on practising. I might upload a recording of myself playing, if I get good enough!