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Monday, August 29, 2016

My little Dolce Vita

It's been absolute ages... I was looking back on my blog and the last time I posted was almost a year ago..
Much has changed....partly due to my "empty nest" and the longing to feel fulfilled..
It took a programme airing here on television.."Debbie's Building of  La Dolce Vita" to inspire me to write my own story..
Sort of a journal that began on the 8 January this year saying goodbye to my dearest youngest...
This was not to be just an hour or so's flight or a great little stop over to's on the other side of the top of Africa!
I was devastated but tried to put on a brave face whilst waving him good bye with his little lass.
I think if not for her, I would have wanted to go along to "tuck him into his new apartment" but that was not to be..
So there I sat, my eldest now happily married to a beautiful soul both inside and out and my youngest with his gorgeous girl happily getting along in their new found happiness and settling into their careers.

My darling did not know how to handle me and days went by sitting in a tiny corner of this huge home that we had just shared with 20 odd people at Christmas and lovingly completed for happy reunions, laughter of the many younger generations, dogs, birds all brought together by gorgeous food in celebrating our love for life!
Gone in an instant...I had lost all sense of purpose as a mother..what now!!

Well it took a walk outside the gate one Sunday to discover a charming estate agent that I have known for years to twist my arm and in the blink of an eye this sprawling cocoon of mine was gone together with all my furniture! My next post, I will write of my thoughts and emotions on packing up the  family home.

The kids and my friends were shocked but not so much, as they all know this is a familiar trait of mine...

Where to now....

Well, I've found my "little dolce vita"...
It's half the size, it's old and crumbly and has family history too!
And as I sit here bashing out the old story of my married life...There's the old familiar bashing going on upstairs as we begin the 1st of 3 phases of restoration.

I'm in my happy place and will hopefully try to bring you updates of  DIY, bashing, restoring, living and cooking in the downstairs of my little townhouse and hopefully, God willing, the end result next year sometime....

So come along and journey with me....

I moved into this place in April and had 2 months to buy a complete home's worth of furnishings..
this was quite a challenge as I love to layer but for the now, was faced with  trying to inject some"Shel' into it before we started restoring; as our children were coming home for 2 weeks

I worked with a great ladywho had to put up with my distraught calls most days. The end result is exactly how I had, beachy and understated and it had a lived in look from the beginning.

Some of my pics still have the plastic layers over the furniture..

Moving onto my food scene, I've enjoyed cooking up some great comfort on a plate, courtesy van Loveren wines....
It's been quite a kind winter to us, however, we have had the odd very cold day and on those days I choose comfort, one pot meals whilst I work, food that "sees to itself"...
I think I'm also battling to cook for 2...yet another challenge of mine...

Here's the recipe for the venison mincemeat pie~

  • oil for frying, e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 700g venison mince
  • 2 streaky bacon rashers, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled & cut into small dice
  • 2 celery sticks cut into small dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 250ml  van Loveren Pinotage red wine
  • splash Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp dried thyme or 2 sprigs fresh (leaves only)
  • 200ml beef stock or water
  • 1 heaped tsp cornflour
  • salt & pepper

  • For the pourable dough..
  • 250ml milk
  • 250 ml cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 430 ml AP flour
  • 20ml baking powder
  • 3 ml salt
  • 1 onion cut into rings
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. 
  • Mix the milk, eggs and oil together and incorporate the flour mixture. Pour over the mincemeat and arrange the onion slices on top.
  • Bake at 180deg C for around 30 minutes until the crust is risen and browned.
  • Delicious!

                                                          See you soon!    


  1. Well, if your family isn't shocked, I am. Boy, what a decision maker. That would have taken me years. It was hard on me when all three of my children left the nest. It had been my life's work. It'll get better and then you'll be happy when they leave for their home because of all the work. I enjoy my quiet time now. Love the decor and will watch for more. Would love to see you post more and that pie is gorgeous. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Donna

  2. Thanks for the lovely comment and inspiration.

  3. I too felt bewildered once the girls moved out.
    I missed the life they injected into our home..but all of a sudden I fell into place..and like Donna..I actually enjoy being quiet.
    And it felt like for the first time in my adult life..I had much fewer responsibilities.
    It takes time..but we settle..and before you know are twelve instead of 4!
    I love what you are it on a beach Shel?
    Whatever,wherever..I know you will make it beautiful..that dish looks so pretty.
    You know..I am so grateful our children are safe..independent and good people...wonderful parents..My favorite aunt wrote me once..and said we give them roots to grow then wings to fly.

  4. Thank you for this lovely reply. Yes, I'm sure I will feel better soon Monique. I must say I enjoy the quiet too although there's not much of that around with the renovations here! 😂 I'm looking forward to picking up now on my blog too.. Your family is beautiful and I pray that this happens to me as well in the not too far future. Lots of love and take care xxx