06 June 2016


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It's been a long sad six months since my last post.

In my previous post I told you about Mitzi's deteriorating health and that she'd had a seizure. Thankfully that didn't happen again, but the inevitable did. At the start of February we said goodbye to Mitzi. She was 18 and we knew it was going to happen. I'd been preparing myself for it for a long time, but of course it was still one of the worst days of my life. It broke my heart.

And then exactly two months later little Twiggy also died. It felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest on that day. She was 16, but still very much full of life and energy. She was so tough and it was a complete shock. We thought we'd still have a year or two with her. She had extreme kidney failure and we only had a few days to say goodbye.

With Mitzi at Fernkloof Nature Reserve in Hermanus.

Mitzi all fluffy after a bath.

 in the car with Twiggy on the way home after a beach walk.

 Cuddling with Twiggy.

This year has been devastating. I'm not the same person I was a few months ago. It's something I'd been considering for a while and now I'm convinced that it's time to stop Bamboo Blossom.

We also moved to Stellenbosch and I turned 30 this year. It feels like a natural point in my life to stop this blog. I'm not going to delete it because I enjoy looking back at it and still often use it to find recipes I've shared before.

It's been 6 years since I started. It feels so much longer to me. Thank you to everyone who read my posts and commented. I appreciate every comment and loved meeting you.

If you want to stay in touch:
- I will be back on my personal Instagram at some point in the future if you want to stay in touch.
- I'm also blogging at Terrapin and Toad and run our social media over there.

Best wishes

05 December 2015

Life update

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Hey guys.

It's been more than a month since my last post so I decided to let you know what's been going on in my life and why I won't be blogging regularly any time soon. I'll start with the good things.

Mitzi relaxing in the garden after a bath.

  • Terrapin and Toad started selling at a pop-up store in Hermanus. Since we usually make our products to order, I had to make enough stock to fill our space. You can read more about it on our blog.
  • Martinus fractured his arm. This is the busiest time of the year for his caricaturing business and he can't drive with the cast. I've been driving him around the last few weeks and we haven't had much time at home.
  • Mitzi had a seizure last week. Her health hasn't been perfect for a very long time, but this was just horrible. I was with her when it happened and I don't want to risk her ever going through that alone. I've cried about her so much.
Right now our number one priority is spending time with the dogs so there won't be much blogging over here. 

22 October 2015

Santa Shoebox Project

I'm taking part in the Santa Shoebox Project for the first time this year. 

I'm putting together boxes for two teenage girls. It's been fun going shopping for teen girls, but I really struggled in the clothing department. I have the sizes of the girls, but body shapes can differ so much so I decided dresses would be the safest option. I decided to get casual dresses so that they can get a lot of use out of them.

One of the required categories is "Toys". This can also seem like a difficult section, but the Santa Shoebox Pinterest page has very helpful boards with suggestions for al the different age groups. I bought a handbag and some cosmetics for both the girls.

I'll share some photos of the finished boxes on Instagram if you're curious to see what I got. I hope I can fit everything in! :)

Update: I bought way more than can fit into the boxes so I'm going to get pretty tops instead of dresses. I wanted to pledge an additional box, but the quota has been reached for Hermanus so I'm going to take along the extra items to be added to boxes with items missing.

You can read all about the project below. 83% of the target of 100 000 boxes have been pledged so far. This year you can even buy a pre-packed box online making it so easy to contribute even if you don't have time to pack a box yourself.

The Santa Shoebox Project kicks-off on the 1st of September, with the goal to collect 100 000 gifts for underprivileged children across the country and Namibia this year.

Over the past nine years, this inspiring non-profit organisation has collected almost half a million (456 004) ‘Santa Shoeboxes’ for children from vulnerable social backgrounds. With the support from sponsors PEP Stores, StorAge, Laser Logistics, the CTICC and Pick ‘n Pay, this year’s target is once again 100 000 gifts, which will be dispatched to a thousand orphanages, children’s homes and care centres across the country, and as far as Namibia, just in time to place a smile on as many young faces over the festive season.

With ‘Giving for Good’ as this year’s theme, the Santa Shoebox Project offers people from all walks of life the chance to participate in a profoundly valuable and personal experience that enriches both the lives of those doing the giving, and those on the receiving end. This year the goal is to go beyond this challenge with innovative new initiatives that take ‘giving for good’ beyond the boundaries of the shoebox drive, aiming to make positive changes in the lives of these children – for ‘good’, through a number of new pipeline projects. These includes a Virtual Box on-line shopping option managed by Pick ‘n Pay, providing an opportunity for individuals outside of the main centres to take part too, and for corporates to get involved in sponsoring Santa Shoeboxes in larger quantities.

Enter into the spirit of the Festive Season and register on-line at www.santashoebox.org.za. Donors may choose the name of a child or children they’d like to give their Santa Shoebox/es to. Age appropriate gift boxes then have to be filled according to the guidelines provided on the website. These include some practical necessities such as toothpaste and toothbrush, face cloth and soap, as well as sweets, educational supplies, a toy and a clothing outfit.

The Santa Shoeboxes will be collected at central Drop-Off points all over South Africa at the end of October. The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) will once again be the central Drop-Off zone where Capetonians may deliver their gift wrapped Santa Shoeboxes between 23 and 25 October, and donors and their children may look forward to lots of fun and live entertainment throughout the weekend. (Details and directions to be provided on the website)


With ‘share the joy of giving’ as the essence of the project, the Santa Shoebox Project offers people from all walks of life the chance to participate in a profoundly valuable and personal experience, enriching the lives of both those doing the giving, and those on the receiving end. Donors are encouraged to involve their own children in the process of personally selecting the name of a child from one of the centres or children’s homes, and putting together his or her individualized, age appropriate Santa Shoebox gift. Uniquely, this means each participant knows the first name, age and gender of the child. Gift boxes have to be filled according to the guidelines provided on the Santa Shoebox website, and include some practical necessities such as toothpaste and toothbrush, face cloth and soap, as well as sweets, educational supplies, a toy and an outfit of clothing. Donors and volunteers agree that it is this personal touch that endears the project to adults and children year on year.

Register online now as a donor to receive newsletters and 2015 notifications: www.santashoebox.org.za

Christmas cards

I'm very excited about our new Christmas cards. I'm so proud of how much my photos have improved since we started Terrapin and Toad. The old photos really need to be reshot and updated. It's finally starting to feel like summer in Hermanus so I'm going to have lots of sunny days to take new photos.

15 October 2015

Photos from Belgium

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Hey guys.

I haven't had a chance to blog over here, but I did share some of my travel photos on Terrapin and Toad, so I'm going to share the same post with you today. We've been super busy working on new products and we had visitors so it's been a crazy couple of weeks.

My trip to Belgium feels like so long ago. I can't wait to go back again. My memory card was damaged, but luckily I backed up my photos online. I still need to sort through them. Here are some of my favourite paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts in Gent.

The Picture Lover by Henri De Braekeleer

With Mother by Anders Zorn

The Day after the Shipwreck by Paul Jean Clays

Mountainous Landscape at Marche-Les-Dames by Francois Lamoriniere

Landscape near Saint-Jean-le-Thomas by Léon Germain Pelouse

Sunset on the Heath by Adrien Joseph Heymans

Winter Scene in Ghent by Pierre Francois de Noter

Albrecht Dürer Visiting Antwerp by Henri Leys

The Wedding Dance by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Christ Carrying the Cross is a painting by Hieronymus Bosch

08 September 2015

Asian broccoli salad with peanut sauce

I don't have more photos of this salad because I wasn't planning on posting about it, but it was just too good not to share. I've been in a rut when it comes to salads. I just can't think of anything exciting to make and I'm so bored of eating the same salad every day. Last week I bought a few heads of broccoli on sale and found this recipe on my salad Pinterest board.

This Asian broccoli salad with peanut sauce turned out to be just what I needed. Different vegetables, new salad dressing and exciting textures. Unfortunately edamame isn't easy to come by here so it's not going to become a regular.

A photo posted by Natasha Venzke (@bamboo_blossom) on

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