Introducing the LG NeoChef

The last microwave I bought, and have been using faithfully, was an LG. I had broken up with a boyfriend who I was living with and had sold all my furniture and appliances when I moved in to his place, and so upon starting fresh I had to go and re-buy everything. I don’t know why I remember it so clearly, but I got it from the House and Home in Sandton City. That trusty silver LG microwave has seen me through breakups, get togethers, house moves, 2 dogs, a fiancee, countless dinner parties, a marriage and 1.5 children.

When LG sent me the brand new LG NeoChef microwave a few weeks ago, I was really really excited. Growing old(er) is both exciting and depressing. Suddenly, new appliances and gadgets far outshine the thrill of clothes and toys, and I’m not ashamed to say I Googled the NeoChef the second I heard I would be receiving one.

I could wax lyrical about all its benefits – including a tempered glass front, a refined matte exterior and intuitive sliding touch control – but to be perfectly honest – the thing that wowed me the most was the sound it made when it finished cooking something. I think I pushed ‘Quick Start’ seventeen times just to hear the little jungle it would sing to me. I never thought I would enjoy waiting for a microwave to beep as much as I do now.

A microwave becomes part of a household and for most of us, is as necessary as a fridge and freezer. We use it daily to heat, re-heat and defrost, and I suppose for 90% of households, that’s good enough. We were the ‘heat and re-heat’ kind family until our NeoChef arrived. One of the biggest reasons I’m loving it, is that it helped with 2 problems – one temporary and one permanent. The first issue was that the day it arrived we were mid re-flooring the whole house, which took ages longer than expected (you may have heard about the #RankinRenovation drama on my Instagram and Facebook pages) and, because of the delayed building, we were living like gypsies, with all all our furniture (including the oven) outside on the patio for over 2 weeks. It was such a battle to cook anything that wasn’t takeaways, so when I found out the microwave had a built in air fryer and roasting option, I suddenly felt like I could resume semi-control of my kitchen. Eventually, furniture and appliances were moved back inside, but the one thing the LG saved me from was what I now refer to as ‘oven guilt’. We have a gorgeous gas oven, but because it’s a double size one, I always felt bad about turning it on and heating it up to cook one small dish. The NeoChef gives me the option to cook pretty much 80% of the food I would use my oven for, in a faster and more economical way.

Oven-less living

However, the proof really is in the pudding. Or, in my case, the chicken, To really test the capabilities of the LG NeoChef I invited my brother (an excellent cook and intimidating chef) round for lunch. The catch? Everything had to be done in the LG NeoChef.

I made an (according to them, as I have been vegetarian for 23 year) incredible roast chicken (I mean, the reviews were positively New-York Times bestselling), roast butternut salad, lemon-chilli angelfish and gravy – all using the NeoChef.

 

To prove just how delish everything came out, my brother – AKA ‘Masterchef’ sent me this message the following day:

As a soon-to-be family of 4 I am really keen to start making bigger, better and more inspired meals for my family – and the NeoChef has given me the perfect excuse to do just that. In my follow up blog post I’m going to be chatting about some new ‘ICan’tBelieveYouCookedThatInAMicrowave‘ recipes that I’ve made, just using the LG NeoChef.

 

 

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Actually, It Gets Harder.

I dropped Carter off at school this morning and it was so buy that I had to park on a road down the street. It’s day one of school for all the bigger kiddies which meant hordes of smartly dressed children in oversized skirts and shorts, crisp white socks and heavy backpacks. The moms on the other hands looked like me – disheveled, eye bagged and a bit teary.

Have you guys seen how much stuff a Grade R and Grade 0 kid needs for school? Apart from 27 tubes of Pritt stick (do they inhale them that they need so many?) it’s the bags and books and uniforms and individually labeled pens and swimming towels and lunchboxes and things to go inside the lunchboxes and and and. It’s exhausting. Mothers formerly known as composed are losing their shit over A4 lined books and sew in labels for dri-macs. I’ll take my current situation of only having to remember nappies and a change of clothes, thanks.

Which leads me to the not-so-new but oh-so-true- realisation that I think we have it all wrong. Wrangling children gets harder, and actually not easier. I bumped into a social media acquaintance this morning and he was lamenting about his lack of sleep. He has a 5 week old. I hated to be that person but I gently reminded him that newborns are in fact the easiest age. Sure, they are very demanding for something the size of a large margarine tub, but if they aren’t eating they are sleeping. If my 20 month old son isn’t eating he’s either sitting in the dog food bowl, scaling an electric fence, eating a dead spider, trying to break into the pool gate, unraveling a dishcloth, cleaning up the rain with said dishcloth, taking the (still wet) washing off the fence, stealing salticrax and their accompanying weavils out of the pantry, re packing the coffee cup cupboard or yelling his chosen word of the day while zooming up the passage chasing the dog. FYI, todays word is ‘key’

You also can’t just put them down and leave them – they’re incredibly fast and incredibly sneaky. Like very small, very adorable magicians. I lose Carter, on average, once a week. They’re also incredible strong, both physically and in willpower. My newborn never kicked my uterus from the outside and my newborn also never jumped on my boobs so hard that a nipple shot out my arsehole. My newborn didn’t smear banana onto my new couches or hurl a Le Creuset mug at a flying insect. My newborn couldn’t cling onto my leg/neck/foot like a wet spider monkey and my newborn also never bit me, hit me, shushed me or smashed a wayward foot into my head.

My newborn was also dull in comparison. He couldn’t ‘help’ feed the dogs (read, drop one pellet at a time into the metal bowl because he enjoyed the sound of it). ‘help’ hang the washing or ‘help’ with other chores around the house. He didn’t communicate with me and couldn’t tell me what his needs and wants were. He didn’t stamp his little feet in a Michael Flatley impersonation when I was peeling a banana too slowly, demand all the music goes ‘off’ if it wasn’t to his liking or stop in his tracks and stare with wide-eyed-wonderment when he saw hail for the first time.

I’m both loving and despairing at this age. 20 month toddlers are tricky – they can talk but cant really communicate, they love other small humans but they don’t as yet play very well – which means there’s a lot of tugging on mom or dad for everything, and they are incredibly needy. They also don’t sleep through all that often, and don’t for one second tell me they do, because I belong to a Whatsapp group of 13 moms who will attest to this fact. They do not sleep through. Final.

So, if you are a mom to a newborn or a tiny baby and reading this, I implore you to embrace the easiness of your babies age. Get out the house, take them with you, go to dinner and parties and social gatherings. Before you know it they will be running yelling shouty things with minds of their owns and opinions of one. And then, before we know it we will be mourning the loss of our tiny little running yelling thing as we pack their oversized back pack with individually labelled pens and 27 Pritt glue sticks and sobbing into our cold coffee because our children are growing up, right before our eyes.

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Shield It’s Your Move – It’s A Wrap!

At the beginning of August I wrote about a blogger/lifestyle challenge I was taking part in with Shield. The challenge was all about seeing how people – from different industries kept moving – and stayed fresh while doing it. The idea was simple – a bunch of bloggers and influencers from around SA were given a fitness tracker and a supply of Shield and told to go about their normal lives. Shield then tracked our movement for the month, and an event was held on the 27th of August to celebrate the month of moving and announce the winner.

The event itself was amazing – the Shield SA ambassadors Unathi and Janez Vermeiren hosted us as we all took part in an intensive movement filled morning of Boxing, Dancing and Yoga. Sorry, Most people took part in boxing, dancing and yoga. I have 3 left feet so pretended to admire the view while everyone got rhythmic with the music.

They also announced who had done the most steps for the month, and that person was…well…me. Blush. You guys! Apparently my competitive streak is an actual thing, and that, combined with gym, running, dogs, a 15-month-old and my accountability towards my activity tracker meant that I won the overall event. And I walked away with a snazzy new Apple watch (that I won’t be paying off monthly like my husband a lot of people I know…)

I absolutely loved this event – keeping active and moving is a huge part of my life’s mantra, plus I’ve been wearying a fitness device for ages now, and it really does keep me accountable. I’m also a massive Shield fan – it was the only deodorant to see me through my sweatiest of days – my wedding.

A massive thanks for the Shield and Tribeca PR team for one of the most fun campaigns I’ve been a part of!

Check out more from the campaign here:

Interview with Pete from The Sports Eagle

Channel24

The Media Update

Spice4Life

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Catch my interview with Peter Stemmet from The Sports Eagle about winning the competition: http://thesportseagle.co.za/tse-live-episode-2/

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To Thai For – Win One Of Two Experiences with Enmasse Massage!

Guys, I hardly ever do the spa scene. I am truly the most awkward spa-goer there is. Firstly, I always wear the wrong things, I feel completely lame in front of the therapist and I generally lie there as stiff as a rod wondering if my feet smell from the pumps I was wearing that day. Don’t even get me started on bikini waxes – when suddenly my cellphone becomes the most important thing in the world while the therapist pulls and yanks things that not even my husband has seen. So, it was with slight hesitation that I agreed to accompany some friends for a Thai massage this week.

I’m so glad I said yes though – because Enmasse is absolutely amazing. It’s not your typical spa – all burning incense and humming dolphins. It’s beautiful; dark, stark and minimalistic – with modern music, a tea bar and extraordinarily friendly staff.

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Assuming this would be the typical spa experience – where one emerges as oiled up as a Brakpan mechanic, I arrived suitably prepared with 3 day old unwashed hair. Awkies. One remains clothed and un-oiled the entire time. (Because, according to Enmasse, it’s not that kind of party). The massage process, for want of a better word, is neat and clean, there are no standing beds with head cutouts, instead the massage areas are partitioned off by white linen walls and patrons lie on the floor on fancy feeling duvets and pillows.

My masseuse, Thandi, was lovely – she didn’t even snort when I apologized for being fat. She simply made me feel totally at ease while she bent and manipulated every part of my body. I didn’t even worry about sweaty feet. Alas, the loser in me reared her awkward head at the end of the massage when Thandi left me lying on the ground. Do I wait here I wondered? Ya, I’m sure I wait here. So waited I did, as still as a plank. After 5 minutes with no return of the Thandi I started hissing for my friends. ‘Lauren!?” “Jasmine??”. “Guys?”. Eventually I stood up, only to find all the massage areas completely empty and made up. No sign of human life remaining. I skulked into the main parlour and found them giggling (not at me, they promised) on the couches drinking herbal tea, or ‘betrayal beverages’ as I now call them.

Check out their website for their offerings. They even do pre-natal massage which is something I desperately needed when I was preggers. Sadly, asking my husband for a foot rub didn’t quite do the trick.

So, even though I may have overstayed my welcome a tad, no-one made me feel uneasy. Not even when I dropped an earring under a chair and had half the staff on hands and knees looking for it. I am not kidding when I say I’m that person.

The fabulous owners at Enmasse would now like you to experience what I went through (minus the sweaty feet and awkwardness, of course). I’m giving away two 60 minute massages valued at R420 each.

Entering is easy:

  • Like Enmasse on Facebook
  • Follow Rupert Approves
  • Leave a comment on this post. Any comment will do, but I will be swayed by bribery of ‘You’re so pretty’ and ‘Gosh you look thin today’.

The Ts and The Cs and the thank you pareese.

  • Enmasse is located on Corlett Drive, Sandton. Winners must make their way to and from the venue
  • The competition closes at 5 pm on Friday
  • The prize is not transferrable
  • Competition mechanics must be followed in order to stand in line to win
  • I was only kidding about nice comments. Kinda.

As an added bonus. Enmasse is offering R100 off a massage for every Rupert Approves reader. Simply use the top secret code word ‘Rupert Approves’ when claiming and booking.

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