Quote of the day
“The bags under my eyes are Chanel.” — Anonymous
What you have to know this week
The biggest trends for 2024
- Metallic — dresses, jackets, tops, suits, handbags, belts and shoes. Men too (see Timothée Chalamet's sleeveless sequin top at the Wonka premiere. If you've never had the confidence to sparkle, 2024 is your chance, Mister.
- Furthermore, the rest of your wardrobe is discreet and classic with an emphasis on durable materials, good cuts and thorough finishing. (Check the quality of the lining before you buy.) The same principle still applies: buy less, but better.
- Great basics that will go a long way: pant suits, pencil skirts, trench coats, white shirts and good jeans.
- The colour of the year is red.
- The accessory of the year is pearls.
- Ballet slippers are back. Even Adidas is bringing out ballet shoes.
The Secret of Cooking: Recipes for an Easier Life in the Kitchen by Bee Wilson is a jewel. It's not a recipe book, although it has wonderful recipes. It is a guide to kitchen shortcuts to make delicious food big on joy and low on pain. Nigella Lawson says of the book: “A genuinely game-changing cookbook … there's not a kitchen that should be without a copy. " We agree. Available for R685 at Loot.
A great little recipe
Wilson's chapter on cooking with carrots is a perfect example of this book's gentle genius. She suggests different ways to transform a humble bowl of grated carrots. We love the Burmese-style dressing (for 500 g): 1 t lime juice, 1 t fish sauce, a handful of salted peanuts, a pinch of salt, one fresh chilli deseeded and chopped, 2 t chopped mint and a handful of fried shallots at the end.
Our favourite little recipe (which she says is hers, too) is the great French chef Raymond Blanc's butter-poached carrots. You cut carrots into 1 cm coins and pop them into a pot with a small amount of water, butter, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on a high heat for 5 minutes. The result is bright orange carrots in a silky butter and water emulsion. Delicious.
Things we found (and love)
We love the simple little candleholders from PEP Home. Available in black and white. What we especially like is that normal supermarket candles fit perfectly. R38.99 each. We also loved the retro design of these cushion covers. R59.99 each.
As the summer heat starts to really get to us, two great aluminium-free deodorants are on our radar: Dr Teals at R119.95, and from the South African brand Pure Beginnings we love the Mineral Rose Germanium for R64.95. Both are available at Dischem.
This souvlaki seasoning from Woolworths is brilliant (R19.99) — an excellent, authentic taste. And as we are all for the shortcut here in the FOMO kitchen this week, we used it to make the “Lazy one-pan souvlaki" from Sabrina Ghayour's Persiana Everyday (see her demo video below). (The tzatziki seasoning in this range also comes highly recommended.)
Movies and series ...
You Are What You Eat (Netflix documentary series) is compulsory watching for everybody. It’s the first season of a scientific experiment by Stanford University on a group of identical twins who change their lifestyles and diets for eight weeks, designed to explore how different foods and exercise affect the body. One group ate a plant-based diet (free of meat, seafood, eggs and dairy) while the others ate an omnivore diet. We won't reveal the outcome, but it might not be what you want to hear. It provides an intimate look at how animals are bred for food. Don’t miss it. PS: one pair of twins is from Durban.
Society of the Snow, new on Netflix, is a true story about one of man's worst nightmares: that your plane will crash. It is an adaptation of Pablo Vierci's book with the same title, which tells the story from the point of view of the 16 survivors of the accident in which Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed into a glacier in the Andes in 1972. There were 45 people on board, many of them members of a rugby team on their way to Chile. In addition to the trauma of the crash, the survivors had to make drastic survival decisions about cannibalism. It's brilliantly filmed and this is a movie about man subjected to the most extreme trials imaginable. The theme is difficult and sometimes impossible to absorb. We highly recommend it. It would be interesting to watch an interview with the survivors today to hear what long-term effect such an experience has on a person. TV at its best.
And if you get the opportunity, watch the movie One Life. It is a tribute to Nicolas Winton, a British humanist who helped smuggle more than 600 Jewish children out of Prague on the eve of World War 2. The movie shows him as an old man (he's 106) looking back on his life. Brilliantly played by Anthony Hopkins. Helena Bonham Carter is also masterful in the role of the young Winton's mother. The Rotten Tomatoes rating is 88%.
Laureen’s 20 hints
Laureen, our lifestyle editor, has compiled a checklist of 20 small lifestyle changes she swears by.
- Eat at home more. It's healthier and you save money.
- Stay active throughout the day. Take every opportunity to walk somewhere rather than drive — move for 20-30 minutes every day and make sure some of that exercise increases your heart rate. Cardiovascular exercise is extremely important.
- Start the day with lukewarm lemon water — it helps with hydration and digestion.
- Take a cold shower — it improves circulation, immunity and alertness
- Eat more green vegetables — spinach, broccoli, celery, kale. Make smoothies for yourself. Green vegetables are high in fibre and zinc.
- Use the stairs (and walk backwards sometimes). Good for the heart and mobility.
- Stand on one leg when you wait for the kettle to boil — it strengthens your core.
- Eat protein with every meal — it stabilises blood sugar. And you won't get hungry that quickly.
- Eat or drink something fermented — amasi, kefir or sauerkraut, for example. Fermented foods are easy to digest and contain lactic acid bacteria that help repair the digestive system.
- Try sleeping at least seven hours a night and to go to bed at the same time every night. It will improve your mood, reduce stress and give your body the best chance to recover.
- Take Vitamin D supplements to improve serotonin production.
- Drink green tea instead of your first cup of coffee every morning — this prevents you from getting tired before noon.
- Use smaller plates for better portion control — they reduce the possibility of overeating.
- Roast your vegetables: healthy and with more flavour. Season them with herbs and olive oil.
- Make meat an occasional food: it lowers your blood pressure.
- Snack on fruit — healthier, less sugar.
- Drink water. If you don't like it, make a pot of rooibos tea that you drink black or a pot of iced tea with lemon. Always keep it close — for hydration.
- Eat dark chocolate — with a cocoa content of 70% or higher, it's a good antioxidant.
- Take an Epsom salt bath for relief from muscle pain. Small amounts of magnesium help relieve chronic pain in people with arthritis.
- Get a dog or a cat — unconditional love and extra walking time.
♦ VWB ♦
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