On The World’s Best Chocolate Cake. Mine

It always surprises people that I cannot bake. I can cook – really well, I like to think – but I can’t bake. I can’t be arsed to exact-measure and follow a recipe to the letter. My baking always flops. Except for, like, three things. Apple crumble, baked cheesecake and this chocolate cake.

It’s not just any chocolate cake, it’s the best damned chocolate cake in the whole world. Moist beyond belief. And really easy. I make it for every birthday and special occasion, and so far I have only flopped it once. That happened because I tried to halve the recipe, and it didn’t really work.

So here’s a recipe for ridiculously moist, super chocolatey large chocolate cake that I have made my own:


  • Milk – 3 cups
  • 1 big slab of chocolate
  • Butter – 200g
  • Oil – half cup
  • Cocoa Powder – 1 cup
  • Self Raising Flour – 2 cups
  • Egg – 2 beaten, room temperature
  • Baking soda – 1 tsp
  • Sugar – 500g

(Baking temperature – 180degrees)

  1. In a large pot, heat together milk, butter, oil, chocolate and cocoa powder till the butter melts.
  2. Let it cool to room temperature and then add flour, baking soda, sugar and the beaten egg to the cooled wet ingredients.
  3. Mix it all really well. Don’t be alarmed if it’s very runny. This is right.
  4. Pour the mixture into a standard-sized springform pan. It might be smart to line it with tinfoil or baking paper.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 mins. (Mine is fan-forced and 45mins was just right. Keep an eye on it. It’s done when a toothpick comes out mostly clean)

In those times where I have been too lazy to ice the cake, I just melted 2 slabs of chocolate and poured it over the top of the cooled cake. Absolutely indulgent. I’ve also used this recipe to get rid of excess Easter eggs, when the kids can’t face another piece of chocolate.

Recipe adapted from Maria’s Menu.

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On Mix-Ups: Robin Hood vs Jesus


This Kid. Has been told the Easter Bunny will not be coming this year, unless he has a serious change of attitude. He might only be 7, but he’s already showing me exactly what kind of teenager he’s going to be. A difficult one.

He can be obnoxious, hard work and stubborn. Doesn’t want to bath. Doesn’t want to get dressed for school. Doesn’t want to eat breakfast. Doesn’t want to do homework or go to karate. Just wants to roll his eyes at me and play video games.

He’s also been having a few impulse-control issues lately. Example? This week he stole R100 out of my purse. I didn’t realize, I thought I’d just left it in another handbag. It was only when his teacher sent me a note asking to see me, that I realized something was up.

Turns out he’d stolen the money from my wallet that was in the door of my car, while I was dropping Toffee off at the daymother. But what did he do with the money he’d stolen? Handed it in for Lent collection at school chapel service.

My Kid. Stealing for Jesus. I don’t quite know what to do with that one.


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Never Say Never

Ten years ago Friday nights consisted of getting hammered with my friends while joking about how we would never be foolish enough to get married and have babies.

Now I spend Friday nights liking photos of my friends’ kids on Facebook, lying next to my husband while basking in the happy hour that exists between my sons’ bedtime and my own.

Would I change it? No. Not even for a minute.


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Mr Price Online Store – Review & Voucher Giveaway

mrp shoponline

I have two boy children. One aged 7, and one who has just celebrated his first birthday. Now, I don’t know about girl children, but my boys grow like weeds. It feels like we’re constantly buying new clothes and shoes for them – because they’re outgrowing what they have, so quickly. My firstborn has had such a dramatic growth spurt in the last year, that he’s gone from wearing 5-6y sizes, to 9-10y. He’s enormous.

This growth spurt has necessitated an entire new wardrobe. Everything has been packed away, for The Toffee to wear when he’s older. Winter has also arrived and brought with it the need for warm, comfy clothes.

I don’t have much time right now to spend shopping in malls for clothes for my kids. It’s impossible. The Kid hates shopping, and I try not to subject him to it. Also, it’s damn near impossible persuading him to try something on. So what do you do when you have zero time to hit the mall? You shop online.

Mr P recently sent me a voucher and invited me to review their online store, by having a shop for my kids. Perfect timing, given the wardrobe/growth spurt crisis I just described. So I shopped on their website, placed my order and would like to share the following about my experience:

  • The entire shopping experience took less than 30 minutes. It was heavenly not to have to wander the aisles of a store, searching fruitlessly for the items I’m after. Everything on the store is laid out/categorised so as to make it as easy as possible for me to find what I want. 
  • I didn’t have to hunt the racks for sizes. Searching for bigger/different sizes on a clothing rail in a store is completely annoying and time-consuming. I could pick the items in the size I needed (and be informed right away if the size I wanted was out of stock).
  • I got a lot of stuff for the money spent. I got 2 hoodies/sweatshirts and 2 shirts for The Kid and a warm, fluffy onesie for The Toffee, for under R500.
  • The range of items is pretty decent, and it’s stuff that my Kid will love. From Phineas & Ferb branded stuff, to Spiderman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – there’s a good mix of cool and functional/practical clothing.
  • There’s a variety of convenient payment options – from using your store charge card, to credit/debit/gift card facilities, you can also pay cash on delivery.
  • As is usual, with Mr P, their returns policy is great. If you’re not happy with anything – they’ll take it back.

Now, I wait for my order to be delivered – so I can share with you what I got for my boys. I’m pretty sure I won’t have long to wait, as I’ve only heard good things on Twitter about Mr P’s delivery times. Until then, I have a little giveaway to share with you.

I’m giving away a R200 Mr P voucher for mums (and dads!) to spend on the Moresome Awesome range for kids online, so you can try the online shopping facility for yourselves.

To enter:

  • Have a look at the online store (shop girls or shop boys) and leave me a comment on this post, telling me who you’d spend the voucher on and what items you’d buy. (for example: I’d buy my 7year old son the dinosaur onesie and a Superman shirt)
  • Share this on Twitter using #moresomeawesome and tag me in your tweet (@ExMi) – you don’t *have* to follow me, just tag me, so I can see it. (You can use this: Want to win a #moresomeawesome R200 @mrpfashion voucher to spend on your kids? @ExMi is giving one away: http://wp.me/p3Khdn-Gs)

I will pick a winner on Monday the 30th of June, and this winner will be announced on Twitter at 8pm. Winners will be selected at random. You will need to DM me your contact name, number and address, after which I will hand over these details to the marketing agency to get your voucher to you.

Happy shopping!

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The Toffee’s First Easter

This is a post inspired by Woolworths.

Last week I received a gorgeous delivery, to draw attention to Woolies’ Easter amazingness. When it comes to special holidays, Woolies always does them extremely well – never failing to put on a serious spread of goodies, edibles and irresistibles.woolworths, easter, #wweaster

This Easter hamper? Really blew me away. Mostly, the beautifully personalised card. It may or may not have given me a lump in my throat. The Toffee’s first Easter? #wweaster, woolworths, easterThe fact that it’s almost Easter, means that the Toffee has been around for nearly a year. This month is his first Easter and next month is his first birthday.

This year, we’re having Easter at our house. We now have a garden big enough for a proper Easter egg hunt, so we’re having the family over for breakfast and a hunt. This Easter drop from Woolies reminded me that I no longer have any excuse to ignore or play down special occasions – my Kid enjoys them immensely, and I should be doing my utmost to make the special days as special as possible for him. We spent the weekend doing this giant 6 x A4 colouring-in project and he’s very proud of the outcome. Took it to school this morning to show his teacher. As for how much of this was coloured in by mom, well, I’d say it’s about 60:40. But I’m ok with it. This was pretty much the most challenging thing he’d ever coloured, and he managed pretty well.

The plan for this giant easter egg that we coloured in?

It will eventually be framed and hung somewhere in the house, along with photos of our first easter as a family of four, in our new home. Photos like these:

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Bad Movie Bingo: For movies so bad they’re good

bingoBad Movie Bingo: For movies so bad they’re good

Make movie nights even more fun with this easy-to-play game

Last year, indie filmmaker Jordan Liebowitz wrapped up shooting on his 20-minute comedy short film, Bingo Night. The film, which stars Lynne Stewart, Mindy Sterling, and Brenda Pickleman, tells the tale of bingo-playing grandmas who plan to rob their local bingo hall to help a friend in danger of being evicted.

Liebowitz, who had turned to Kickstarter to fund post-production for the film, planned to bring Bingo Night to the festival circuit. Earlier this month the short film finally debuted with a bang, with tickets selling out in 24 hours when it hit the Wisconsin Film Fest.

The short film’s success fuels a belief that has been going on for a while now: bingo still resonates with audiences even in these high-tech times. Of course, bingo has kept right along with the times, with the BBC reporting that the number of online bingo sites has ballooned to over 350 – a far cry from the 20 or so sites ten years ago.

A lot of the game’s popularity has to do with the vast amounts of money that gaming companies pour into their advertising budgets. UK-based gaming giant Gaming Realms alone spent over $13 million for its bingo site FoxyBingo, and that was just during the first three months of 2014!

A notable side-effect of the old game’s popularity is the prevalence of bingo “remixes”, or bingo games that substitute the numbers on bingo cards with anything from pop culture. Music bingo, TV show bingo, NASCAR bingo… the list goes on and on.

What we want to focus on, though, is Bad Movie Bingo. Not just because we talked about films in the first part of this post, but because everybody loves bad movies – but only if they’re bad enough to be funny, of course.

There’s actually a site aptly called Bad Movie Bingo that has everything for the bingo-playing bad movie aficionado. The good part is that it’s chock full of ready-made bingo cards and even has a few movie recommendations. The bad part is you have to buy the cards, plus the site seems to be defunct. The recommendations are still there, though, and they’re pretty good—er, bad.

Of course, you could always go down the DIY route by using a free bingo card generator like Print-Bingo.com. Make the cards online, print them out, and use them at your next movie night. Have fun!


This is a guest post

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I Can’t Believe We Made This

Every now and again it hits me that I have a six year old. That he’s only six. I’m so busy treating him like a mini-adult and regiment every aspect of his life, that I often forget he’s only a little boy.

Every now and again I get this feeling – this momswoon thing – of intense love and admiration for what I made, accidentally. (And yes, I purposefully use the word ‘accidentally’ and ‘mistake’ when thinking about my Kid. He was definitely an accident and definitely a mistake, but a beautiful one. One I don’t regret in the least.)

It’s hard not to take it all too seriously, this being a parent thing. It’s far too easy to forget that he’s only going to be a child for a short while, and that I should let him enjoy it. I’m always on his case to pick up his toys, stop messing juice on the couch, dry his feet before he comes inside from swimming and getting annoyed at his constant questions.

I forget that children only learn through asking questions, and that he’s not trying to purposefully irritate me – he’s just exercising his curiosity. That forgetting to make his bed is simply because he was too busy having fun doing something else. That yelling at the top of his lungs isn’t intended to wake his sleeping baby brother, it’s just an expression of his excitement or happiness in that moment. Just a vocalisation of fun.

Fun. That’s the whole point of being a child, isn’t it? Learning while having fun. Growing while having fun. It’s so easy to get caught up in being an adult and a parent, that you forget that important part of life. Fun. There’s no time for that, in between commuting and making dinner, packing lunches and sitting in meetings. There’s barely even time for enough sleep, let alone fun.

That’s got to change, and the only one who can make it happen is me. I need to find my fun again. I need to make time for fun. Make time for my family. I will soon be in the process of making this happen. All I want is some time. Time to enjoy this, before it’s grown up and moved out of my house.

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On Being A Chicken-Shit Scaredy Cat

I don’t know when it happened. This whole me-being-a-scaredy-cat thing. It seems to have gradually snuck up on me. I’m not fearless and I really don’t like being scared.

I can’t watch scary movies. It’s not fun. I don’t dig it. In fact, Scream is about as scary as I could handle. Texas Chain Saw Massacre? Couldn’t do it. Just couldn’t. That panicky feeling that I get from watching a suspense-filled movie? Can’t cope.

Can’t do rollercoasters. Can’t even do the spinning teacups. Got so panicked on the teacups that my Kid started screaming and crying. Thought I was going to diieeee on the Log Ride at Gold Reef City. May have even peed myself a little and definitely had a little sob once the ride was over.

I don’t like being scared. I don’t know if it’s a since-I’ve-been-a-mom thing, or a since-forever thing, but honestly – I don’t get why people PAY MONEY to be scared. I don’t wanna.

I reached an all-time cowardly low this morning. Am actually snorting hysterically (read: panicked laughter) as I think about it. I walked down the passage to discover The Toffee playing on the rug. He was quiet, content and very absorbed in what he had in his hand. I looked closer. It had legs and feelers.


I did the only logical thing I could think of. I screamed and ran. I shrieked so loud that my husband came running, convinced that the end of the world was nigh. Or something. I shrieked so hard that my Kid started screaming and burst into tears, too. I can’t remember what I shrieked at my husband – UUUUUUUUGH IT’S A PARKTOWN PRAWN. AAARGH. TRAVIS IS TOUCHING IT. AAAARGH (was probably it) but he calmly removed the offensive creeper from The Toffee’s hand and deposited it safely outside.

The Toffee was pissed he’d had his toy taken away, and The Kid needed a hug to calm down and my husband was once again completely gobsmacked at what a bangbroek (scaredycat) pansy he’d married.

I didn’t even hang around to watch my husband remove the bug from the house – I’m always too scared he’s going to think it’s funny to chase me around with it, and that he might (HEAVEN FORBID) throw it at me and it MIGHT TOUCH ME.

It would seem my maternal instinct to protect my children does not extend to Parktown prawns. Or amusement park rides. Hell no. In these circumstances, it’s every man (woman and child) for himself.



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On Fudge. No Other Words Are Necessary.

Last night I made fudge. The end result looks nothing like the recipe I used, however. Could have had something to do with the fact that I used condensed milk, butter (not margarine), vanilla, brown sugar and maple syrup. (I didn’t have golden syrup).

I also made the mistake of not stirring it for about 5 seconds once it had reached the soft-ball stage, so it set prematurely, before I could pour it out of the saucepan and into the baking tray. Rescued it by adding more milk and melting everything again. Wasn’t as creamy as it was the first time I made it, but still pretty damned amazing.

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It’s Happiness And It’s Found In Togetherness

10af7edc868811e3a0851240c301e87e_8We don’t often get a chance to get together like this. But when we do, it’s like we’ve barely been apart.

Having been in our new house for almost a year now (can you believe it?) I thought it was time to have my sisters and nephews over for lunch. Two sisters, three nephews and one Granny Jill, plus two of my own children made for a very loud, happy day.


We had a chilled lunch in the shade of the bottlebrush tree while the kids ran and swam and shrieked and played on the jungle gym. The Kid loved having other kids to swim with and The Toffee loved having another baby around. Mason didn’t want to go home at all.

Half an hour after everyone left, this one was fast asleep on the couch with a Hulk movie playing – completely blissed out.

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