SPARKLE ELLIE TURNS ONE THIS MONTH!
And it has been one exciting sparkle rollercoaster week-after-week packed with many late nights, a few tears, some disappointment, many personal victories, a few breakthroughs for the blogs and too much joy (as if!).
Anyhooo! Here is why you are actually here – to get the lowdown on the fan favourites. Here are the Top 15 Sparkle Ellie posts voted by you – the most cherished fans – split into the three Sparkle Ellie categories for your viewing pleasure. Oh, and then there is a bonus five, that are Sparkle Ellie’s favourites but were seriously “under-read”.
OH, MY SPARKLE
Let the sparkle times roll
I had a fantastically tumultuous teen stretch and most of my twenties were categorically dismal too. This was largely aggravated and boosted due to my own destructive behaviour, terrible self-esteem, anger, unforgiveness and allowing toxic people to speak into my life. It was an ugly and selfish time of my life with large stretches of despair, disappointment, hunger for something more and a constant striving for busyness – because in silence you can’t hide from the state of your soul – anguish cries out. Don’t get me wrong – I had fun, made friends, created everlasting memories and had many wonderful highlights during these years. What I am talking about is the deep-rooted feelings and the general state of my heart. Death… death… death … Read More
I may not be a love expert. And I certainly don’t claim to be a guru in the realm of independence (aka singledom). But I do have four cats, a horse and been flying solo since 2012. No comment. What this does make me, is fairly familiar with being single during the “month of love” or THE MOST “couple-y” day of the year (coming in just before weddings) – VALENTINE’S DAY. It was 14 February 2012 – my first seriously single Valentine’s Day since I was like 12 (so over a decade). And I didn’t know what to do with myself – a newbie at being alone, no clue of who I was, heartbroken and no-one at home. Read more…
Do You Sometimes Feel Like You Are Not Enough? Every day, do you feel the pressure that you should exercise more, should find a husband, should spend more time with your friends, should spend more time with your not-so-dying grandmother, should save money, should be more, should eat less, should sleep more and party less? And every time you don’t exercise, or don’t eat-almost-nothing, or don’t find a mate for life, or have children, or earn more, or have a bigger title or travel more or own more and do more, be a better or more supportive friend – do you beat yourself up over it? Over and over and over… Do other women make fun of you for all those insecurities; making them seem like truths? Do you make fun of other women for being single, broke, fat, in a terrible relationship/marriage, chronically-ill, depressed, childless, uneducated, a drunkard, a snob, too-ghetto, skanky etc.? Read more…
Oops, I am a sugar addict. Yip, I said it. I love sugar in any way it manifests its delicious self. I love baking with it; sharing it with others and consuming it in many forms (from artificial to natural – in bread, in wine or the brownies I bake for my loved ones). I just downright L-O-V-E it. And people often tease and say they love coming to my house because they leave feeling satisfied and possibly with Type Two Diabetes. But like most adults, I am aware that just because I love something doesn’t mean I should shower in it, inhale it or throw all my money at it. Neither should I let my adoration for sugar in all its forms become a spiralled-out-of-control-freight-train catapulting me in the clutches of addiction. Read more…
Words… can you remember the first time someone whispered the words “I love you”? Or the first time someone had a crush on you and expressed it? How about the first time someone announced the winner of a prize or competition and it was your name? Or the first time someone said: “we are not friends anymore”, “I hate you”, “I am no longer in love with you”, “you are a disappointment”, “This is wrong”, “You should try a little harder” or fill in the blank “You are not __________”? Read more…
SPARKLE BELLY CORNER
Get ready to sparkle your belly, with Sparkle Ellie
These brownies are the talking point of every party because they are just that yummy. And it has nothing to do with the hands that make them. I dare the worst baker to make them and be hailed as Cake Boss – well, at least Brownie Boss. What is super about them is that you tailor-make them to your sparkle crowd – Crunchies, Rolos, Peppermint Crisp, Lunch Bar, Milk Chocolate, KitKat (white, milk and dark), cookies, Smarties, BarOne, hazelnut chocolate – you name it – any filling or combo of fillings work! It’s all yum. And these brownies, make an excellent gift (especially if you pair it with Sparkle Nut Brittle, Oh, My Sparkle Balls or Sparkle Crack) – EXTRA BROWNIE POINTS. Read more…
It’s fascinated me for a while, how Americans have taken the grilled cheese, known by us (South Africans) as a toasted cheese sarmie, and elevated it to gourmet heights. It got me thinking how would I elevate my melted cheese toastie to be fancy pants? And hence, this recipe was born in my fantasy food brain. Read more…
Salticrax? Yes, as in the Salticrax you put caviar on while enjoying your glass of bubbly on the side! Or perhaps you prefer cream cheese and beer with your Salticrax. No matter, one of Baker’s finest is the deliciously salty Salticrax and with Sparkle Belly Corner where there is salt, there is sweet usually chasing after. In this case, the salt married the sweet and the result is three separate yet equally yummy chocolate Salticrax sandwiches. This recipe is easy, fun and lip-smackingly moreish…Read more
What an unusual name you may think! What on sparkle earth is a muff-cake? A muff-cake is the lovechild of a muffin and a cupcake. You see muffins have gotten the bland reputation of being boring cupcakes. That may be so – but muff-cakes certainly aren’t boring at all. Read more
Crunch, crunch mmmm… actual verbatim phrasing of someone enjoying nut brittle. So, I thought why not turn crunch, crunch mmmm into sparkle-crunch-crunch-wow-mmmm! And so, Sparkle Nut Brittle was born. Nut, and not just peanut brittle because – nuts are awesome. And Sparkle Belly Corner is all about options – the nuttier, the better. Read more
SPARKLE PAWS AND GLITTER TRAILS
Because fur-kids sparkle too
Cat people don’t need a blog to convince them of the awesomeness of cats. We… I mean they… just witness these little four-legged miracles, perfect quirkiness daily and document it by taking waaaaaaay too many pictures of them. But the 50 Jaw-Dropping Cat Facts below won’t just wow cat-fans; but will woo and challenge even the most avid anti-cat-grumps into being at least – a little impressed with our little feline halves. Read more
“Meow, Meeeeeooooow, I said MEEEEOOOOW you loser! Give me ALLL the tunnnaaaaa!”. A rough translation of what my cats say to me when I open a can of tuna, or the few things I do make or open that they are interested in. Cats aren’t like dogs. They tend to be more particular with what graces their palates. Some refuse to eat chicken and others refuse to eat a certain brand of food. And everyone that doesn’t have a cat or love a cat will say – put food in their bowl; they’ll change their mind when they are starving. No, no, no they won’t. But they will find a snake, a bird, a tarantula or something yuck and leave it half-eaten on your pillow until you change your mind and change their food. Read more…
I was actually reading an article that mentioned that four million cats get eaten in China each year, and that cat dishes are seen as a comfort dish (like mac-n-cheese) in winter… when I thought I should do a post on historical dog “tails”/facts. Quite a jump from felines to canines, right? Too much thinking…Anyway, I realised that we pet owners can be in such a love bubble with our – Ruffs, Bellas, Jakes, Benjis, Cocos and Tinas; but seldom question the legacy, history or unusual pasts and facts of our Ruffs’, Bellas’, Jakes’, Benjis’, Cocos’ and Tinas’ ancestors. And so, the 39 Absolutely WOW Historical Dog Facts/“Tails” post was born. Read more.
Somewhere, some jealous dog snob* spread a rumour and for some reason, it stuck. And this rumour still circulates social media, tea break rooms and the like, to this day. The absolute horrendous fallacy/ aberration of a rumour that cats don’t love their owners. The people who believe this has 1) never owned a cat or 2) have never learnt how to speak fluent cat. But have no fear this blog is here to expose the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the meowriffic truth. Read more.
You are sitting in front of the TV with all your favourite yumminess on one plate. Your best buddy, your fluffiest darling fur-friend runs in panting and places his head on the couch. There is something irresistible when your pup gives you the eye when you are eating, and you say– “Aaaaaaa are you hungry boy/girl?”
And proceed to share your plate because that’s what best buds do, right? Well, perhaps not. Here are 21 Human Foods That Can Kill your Dog… Read more
SPARKLE ELLIE’S FAVOURITES
A world of sparkle awaits…
Oh my, nothing quite hits the sweet spot like Choc Chip Fookies aka Choc Chip Fudge-Centred Cookies do. A glorified fudge centre sandwiched in-between dark chocolate chip cookies. Hashtag Fookie-Yum-Yum is right. Fookies are super easy to make and hit the tick boxes of crunchy, soft, sweet and if you choose to “a-salt” it – salty. Read more
Who doesn’t love balls? Like in seriously – meatballs, Oh My Sparkle Balls, doughnut balls, rugby and soccer balls. And now, Cheesy Couscous and Curry Balls. It has everything people love in a ball – crunch, saltiness, cheesiness, sweetness, stickiness and with a yummy meaty mild curry centre. Oh yeah! Read more…
Crack is right… yes; it’s not a typo. Often when I make it and people ask, “what is it called”; they get a weird expression on their face and ask me to repeat what I just said… “Yes, Sparkle Crack”. After you have had a handful, you will understand why it’s called crack – it is highly addictive. Read more
There is that overused adage that often truth is stranger than fiction. Well, that certainly is true for some of these bizarre animal laws. From bizarre dog to cat, to combined pet and other animal laws – you’ll certainly say huh?! at least once during this blog. Read more
As my students used to say years ago “honesty time chommie(s) …” – most of us are a little messy. Yes, you get the people that put the “Devil” in “The Devil Wears Prada” to shame. But the majority of South Africans are a little messy in some way, and some… well, some are just shamelessly scruffy, dishevelled and “nogals” shabby. Although appearances aren’t everything; it is at least important that you know what is messy; so that you can make an informed decision when you next exit your safe-haven known as home. Read more…