Thursday, 28 August 2014

Sweet potato fries, baby!

I'm a chef.

Jokes, I just watch The Food Network all day long and experiment with new foods on any guinea pigs (humans) I can find.

I'm sure you've experienced the sweet-potato-fry-craze, or at least heard of it. Yes, little lambs, peek-a-boo, I see you. Yes, yes, you there, come out from that rock you're under!

Sweet potatoes are these purple-ish (colours may vary) skinned oblong veggies that are dug out from soil. I honestly think their shape resembles poop but hey, they're purple (sorry! Foot in mouth disease)! These little Barnies are high in nutritional value and lower than potatoes in carbs. You know what that means, eh eh eh eh eh (points at Tim Noakes)?!!!!

I've always eaten sweet potatoes in a sweet, syrupy sauce flavoured with cinammon and although it sounds heavenly, I hated it. I just don't like overly sweet things. My palette needs some spice and heat, riiibbbbbaaaaaaa! After seeing the sweet potato fries craze sweep the world, I did nothing. I'm lame and I only tried them out now, but I LOVE THEM!!!!

Here's my recipe for sweet potato fries. Test them, try them, and love them. Okay no, you don't have to love them. Just try them :)

Comment below and tell me what you thought of them and what flavour variations you used. Maybe we can share a chippie sometime.

Method below!



You'll need:

-  Sweet potatoes
-  A knife and chopping board (this veggie tends to be extremely hard to cut, so you'll need yourself a sharp knife)
-  Baking tray
-  Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Garlic and Herbs (OPTIONAL)

The thing to remember when making these is that sweet potatoes, when cooked, have a soft, mushy texture throughout. We DON'T want that. We want a crispy skin, like the skin on those few tiny shavings of fries everyone dives for. Also, you don't need to prepare this well in advance. An hour before serving and you're good to go.

Step 1:
Wash and dry the sweet potatoes. Keep the skin on for crispiness, colour and extra flavour. Make sure that the vegetable is COMPLETELY dry or you'll have mash instead of fries. Preheat your oven to 230 degrees celcius/ 450 degrees Fahrenheit (high, I know. Just do it, trust me).

Step 2:
Chop the potatoes into fry-sized rectangles as you'd like them and chuck them onto your baking tray. I prefer thinner ones so they get extra crispy and they aren't thick when you bite into them.

Step 3:
Coat the fries in olive oil. I just poured a little onto the pile of raw fries and jumbled them around like a clown. They shouldn't be drowning in them or again, you'll have an oily mash (haha, see what I did there? Oily mess.. Oily mash?).

Step 4:
Season the fries with course salt and fresh black pepper. Season well!

Add some crushed garlic to the fries, as well as some dried herbs of your choice. This should jazz the fries up well.

Step 6:
This step is agonising but crucial. Arrange the fries so that they aren't touching each other and have enough space to absorb the olive oil and spices. If they're touching each other or piled up, it creates too much moisture and they won't crisp up at all. See the pic below of how I did mine.

Step 7:
Shove your potato babies into the oven for around 15 minutes on the first side. They'll be cooked within 10-12 but to get them crispy, you need to leave them in a while longer. This is as per preference - I love them super crispy and charred. You'll understand once you've tasted them!
Once they're done on the first side, remove from the oven, flip over and allow around 8-10 minutes on the reverse side.

Step 7:
Remove from oven, taste for seasoning, and serve immediately!


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Airplanes in the night skies

Visited the airport today for some important stuffs! Glad that today was the day, however.

At this time of the lunar year, many Muslims across the world are making their way to Saudi Arabia's Holy Lands for the Hajj Pilgrimage.

Seeing all of them made me wish my trip was longer and in their direction too.

The heart is God's, isn't it?

Anyway, here's the OOTD deal:

Jersey: Top Shop South Africa (Sandton)

Pants: Cotton On Body  (Sandton)

Kicks: Chuck Taylor's (limited edition) - not sure if it's still around but I recommend creating your own pair on the Converse website!

Scarf: Gift*

Neck Scarf: Valentino (stolen from my father when I was a kid - like I could afford a Valentino scarf by myself - jokes!)

Makeup: Colour Trend (Mr Price) and MAC

Wishing all the Holy visitors a safe and prosperous Hajj Insha'Allah, as well as any other religious groups and pilgrims preforming Holy visits and pilgrimages!

Love always, no matter where you are or what religion you follow.

(PS: Let me know what you think of today's look!)


-Zaahira Y'elena

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Green with Envy


At the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Birthday Banquet (see previous post for more info), AKF youth management and members had to wear staple black pants and AKF T-shirts for representative reference, and well, I couldn't be dressed plainly for such an event!

I decided to wear a deep green blazer, paired with gold accessories and nude heels. I finished my outfit with a vintage purse and gold-embellished belt.

Here's the OOTD deal:

Black pants: Forever New

Black Top: Nicci Boutiques

(Contact me if you'd like to purchase one)

Green Blazer: Vintage


Gold bangles: American Swiss

Gold Earrings: Gift

Angel wing cartilage earring: Mr Price

Ball stud cartilage earring: Iron Fist

Shoes: Gianmoarco Lorenzi - nude heels;
              Aldo - nude pumps
              (I alternated my heels and pumps
               for when I was working)

Red printed snakeskin purse: Vintage

Makeup: MAC and L'oreal

It was amazing rubbing shoulders with icons that I look up to, and being part of the hosting party. I wish Mr Ahmed Kathrada a happy year ahead, and I can't wait for all the events we have planned till then and after!

What do you guys think of my look for the banquet? I loved the blazer! Stolen from my Mom and transformed by me.


- Zaahira Y'elena

Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Birthday Banquet

Yes, it was as amazing as it sounds.

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, to which I belong, hosted a fundraising dinner celebrating politic veteran and former Robben Island prisoner Ahmed Kathrada's 85th birthday at Image Lifestyle Banquet Hall, Fordsburg. This followed Thursday's school event, a launch at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and Friday's WITS celebration.

As AKF members, we wore staple black-pants only, and obviously worked our hands to the bone for the event! It all paid off because our trees of fundraising bloomed (literally - we filled a tree with commitment cards of donations as leaves), and the party was absolute fun.

The food was delicious, and the entertainment such a thrill. With Uncle Kathy being a Whitney Houston fan, a special item was performed in her honour for him. Guests were adorned in finery, and mingled the night away.

Veterans and attendees ranged from Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to Max Sisulu, Emma Mashini, Dr Essop Jassat, Advocate George Bizos, and of course, Ahmed Kathrada and his life partner, Barbara Hogan (see below). Amongst the crowd were many political figures and their families, as well as television and media figures, companies and community leaders.

Guests paid tribute to the great man that is Ahmed Kathrada, acknowledging the trials and tribulations that he underwent in an effort to a achieve a free South Africa, unbounded by the shackles that Apartheid placed the currently in. Mr Kathrada received many gifts from guests, included a handmade quilt from Michigan State University. The quilt's design represented a famous picture of the 12 convicts of the Rivonia Trial at the time of their arrest at Lilliesleaf, as they attempted to escape whilst in disguise.

Uncle Kathy teased that he'd have loved to chat to the crowd for the night and make up for his 26 years of lack of freedom of speech, and teased his fellow guests and veterans with jokes and funny memories. Many say that he shows his love through teasing and making jokes.

The event went off flawlessly, ending off with desserts and music.

We hope to see Mr Kathrada's next birthday with even more celebrations and guests, especially youth.

For published books, DVDs and CDs of Mr Kathrada's life, the AKF Youth Programme 2015, or if you'd like to donate to our foundation, please visit the Kathrada Foundation at

Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

REVIEW: AVON Nailwear pro+ and Nail Experts Liquid Freeze

Is it just me or do nails look more defined when painted? Nah - it's the truth!

I'm a SUCKER for a good nail polish. Stripes, spots - anything, and I'm yours.

I'm usually easy with nails, black being my staple daily colour (black is timeless!), but I experiment like a little girl with colours every few days. My sister got me this Avon Cosmic Blue Nailwear pro+ and I can honestly say that this is one of the best polishes I've ever used.

I've had it on for a few days and it hasn't chipped at all; the colour is so cosmically beautiful - kinda reminds me of metallic 80's tights. It's out of this world  (see what I did there?)!

The polish is super quick-drying (literally a few seconds), and the texture is beautifully glossy, (not gravelly at all) no matter how many coats you add. With every coat, the colour just intensifies!

I'd definitely recommend this polish to anyone looking for something new or interested in trying out a fresh colour. This one's light years away from being average (see what I did again?! Whadup name reference!)!

I finished off the polish with a spritz of AVON Nail Experts Liquid Freeze. It's a vapourised spritz of freeze spray to make sure your nails dry effectively and ensures that the colour stays. It's slightly oil-based but really makes a difference. It's affordable and so fun to use! I'd recommend it for designs and textured nails, so if you're into that then this is an amazing buy.

Contact Avon here or browse their online brochures! There may also be Avon representatives in your area so look out for them.

I'll be uploading a few of my nail how-to-do's over the next few days so stay tuned :)

What are some good nail products you've tried?


- Zaahira Y'elena

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Tetris Tuesday, and my funeral.

I'm dead.

After the worst weekend, followed by a brutal Monday, 4 hours of sleep over Sunday and Monday, agonisingly gross detoxing (juice) over Monday and Tuesday, no time to gym, and receiving a lashing-lecture that would make you cry for me, these Tetris pants were the only thing that kept me alive.

Here's the OOTD deal:

Pants: Mr Price

Shirt: Levis

Cap: Soviet

Sunnies: Cotton On

Shoes: Aldo

I could sleep for a week. Good night, NIBOWers.

Monday, 11 August 2014

For Khuzaa, Palestine. From Africa.

Hey NIBOWers

As you know, I'm South African (emphasis on the 'African'), and I adore African clothing.

Today's OOTD is inspired by African love for Palestine, and my love for both lands. This outfit is a tribute to Khuzaa, a town close to the Israeli border that has been flattened by Israeli forces. During the Israeli offensive over Gaza, this town was subjected to brutal assaults, executions, and bodies left to decompose for as long as ten days.

My T-shirt says "PALESTINE -Paris- GAZA." The word Paris is scratched through with a red line. These are available for R100 ($10/ £6), of which the entire sum is donated to Palestine. Email for details and other prints - they're selling fast.

The scarf was a gift from my dear friend Sergio from Mozambique (he brings me the best gifts).

Also tried out a new turban style today with my kufiyyeh and digging the outcome. I love the print and tassels plaited together.

Here's the OOTD deal:

Top: See above
Jacket: Nikibiki - (got it from Legit a while back)
Jeans: Cotton On
Shoes: Aldo
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban
Watch: POP Swatch (vintage)
Owl chain: Zuri

Let me know what you guys think! x

Sunday, 10 August 2014

The time she turned 4 and had a pamper party

Zaneera knows she's 4, says she's 5, and acts...  Well, older!

Her birthday party was gorgeous, pink to the tee, adorable as can be. That rhymes, someone rap it for me? 

We had treats more than your eyes could enjoy, and a proper kid's pamper party. Yip, manicures, pedicures, facials, and hairstyling. My toes were itching to be foot scrubbed, as weird as that sounds. Girls just wanna be pampered sometimes, yeah?

Attached are some party pics and my OOTD. If you guys want some more pics of the party (yeah yeah I know you want ideas), drop a comment below!

Here's the OOTD deal:

Dress: Young Designers Emporium (YDE) Rosebank

Shoes: Rage Shoes

Scarf: TopShop

Earrings: RT Mr Price (gift from my cousin/Aunt Farzana! #familyreppin)

Jersey and tights are just old pairs of items that I use all the time.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and these pics bring you some smiles x (I know Zaneera will deffo make you smile! She's a little angel of a sister that has the ability to make you smile till your cheeks hurt)


- Zaahira Y'elena