The Girl Geek Dinners in Johannesburg have proved to be an extremely successful initiative, which continues to grow from strength-to-strength.

The Girl Geeks have shown their support for the Dinners and our May event was no exception.

Our venue was the gorgeous Grand Central Cafe in Melrose Arch. The food was fabulous and guests raved about the meal.

Mardia van der Walt-Korsten, Regional Head for Middle-East & Africa region at T-Systems gave an inspiring talk on being a woman in business and her personal journey.

Some key insights from her talk:

  • The fundamental job of a leader is to bring hope to those around you
  • Do something special to differentiate yourself and move from success to significance
  • Balancing work with being a mother is difficult

As always, our Girl Geeks received a lovely goodie bag. A huge thank you to our sponsors:

BodythrillsTLC wipes, Amajoya Sweets, First for Women, Butterfingers cupcakes and Get Smarter. A special mention must be made of Worker Ant, who assist us with all our presentation and design needs.

If you would like to see more pictures from the event, have a look at our Facebook page.  To keep up to date with all our Girl Geek events and news, sign-up to receive our newsletter, follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page.

We look forward to welcoming you at the next Girl Geek Dinner to be held in July.

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My First 21k!

I have been running for the past few years, but had never taken it more seriously than a casual jog.

Last year, I had this crazy thought and I said to my husband – “Why don’t we enter the Two Oceans half marathon next year?” – which we promtly did.

I started off in Janaury with the best of intentions. I stuck to my training programme diligently. I even entered a few 10k races. As the year wore on and life started to get busier, it was harder to stick to my training routine. As the race drew near I was terrified.

I considered dropping out. I did not tell anyone what that I had entered the race because I was sure that I would not finish in the allocated time.

Once we arrived in Cape Town, it was even worse. I do not like to run in the rain – and there seemed little hope of a dry race.

On the morning of the race, I decided to do my best and at least give it a try. The day started off well, with dry conditions.  The first hour did not seem so bad at all.

Then the rain started. Not just a tiny drizzle, but as anyone who was out there on the day will tell you, it poured! I was completely soaked – the wind and rain did not let up.

I must admit that I considered quitting – but all I wanted to do was finish.

Which I did – I was so proud of myself. Just under the cut-off in 2:48! I am so proud of my medal!
My Medal!

Will I ran another 21k? I am not sure. At the moment I am just pleased that I finished this one – I proved to myself that I can do it. If I could complete a hard race in awful conditions – it can only be easier the next time.

During the race

Yummy, healthy Chicken Korma

Since I have taken up running, I have tried to embrace a healthier lifestyle. The downside is that I often find myself at a loss as to what to cook for dinner (and I can’t face another grilled chicken breast)

In my quest for healthy, tasty cooking options, I came across this fantastic Chicken Korma recipe found on BBC Good Food 

I was really impressed – it was delicious. I will definitely cook it again – yum!

The ultimate makeover: Chicken korma

The ultimate makeover: Chicken Korma 

Recipe by: Angela Nilsen, BBC Good Food 

  • Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions , chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • about 2cm piece fresh root ginger
  • (to give you 2 tbsp finely chopped)
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 600g boneless, skinless chicken
  • breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 ½ tsp garam masala
  • ó tsp ground mace
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 150ml natural yogurt , not fridge
  • cold
  • 100ml full-fat milk
  • 2 small green chillies , deseeded
  • and shredded
  • handful coriander leaves and
  • stems, coursely chopped
  • 1 tbsp flaked almonds , toasted
  • 250g basmati rice , cooked with a
  • generous pinch saffron

Method

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a deep sauté pan or wok. Tip in the onions, then fry over a medium-high heat for about 12-15 mins, stirring occasionally, until a rich golden colour and the pan is sticky on the bottom. While they cook, chop the garlic and ginger. Make a slit down the length of each cardamom pod just deep enough to reveal the tiny seeds. Remove the onions from the heat. Transfer a third of them to a small blender along with the garlic, ginger and 2 tbsp water. Whizz together to make a paste that is as smooth as you can get it. Set aside.
  2. Return the onions in the pan to the heat, add the remaining oil, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick, then stir-fry for a couple of mins. Stir in the chicken, ground coriander, 1¼ tsp of the garam masala, mace and black pepper, then stir-fry for another 2 mins. Reserve 3 tbsp of the yogurt, then slowly start to add the rest, 1 tbsp at a time, stirring between each spoonful. When all the yogurt has gone in, stir in the oniony paste and stir-fry for 2-3 mins. Stir in 150ml water, then the milk. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 20 mins, scattering in the chillies for the final 5 mins, by which time the chicken should be very tender. Remove the cardamom pods and cinnamon. The flavours mellow all the more if refrigerated overnight. When gently reheating, splash in a little water if needed to slacken the korma sauce.
  3. Finish by stirring in the chopped coriander. Taste and add a little salt if you wish. Swirl in the reserved yogurt. Spoon the korma into bowls, scatter a few almonds over each portion with a sprinkling of the remaining garam masala. Serve the saffron rice on the side.


The Second Girl Geek Dinner in Johannesburg!

The second Girl Geek Dinner took place on 21 February 2012 at Higher Ground Restaurant. What an amazing venue! Gorgeous view, amazing food and a stunning welcome drink – the restaurant dazzled us.

It is amazing to see the success of the Girl Geek Dinners Johannesburg and how we have grown from our first one – Geek Girls (and Guys!) of Jozi turned out to show their support and we more than doubled our event attendees.

Our first speaker was the dynamic Lana Strydom, who heads up Digital Marketing and Media for FNB. She gave a very interesting talk on FNB’s approach to social media and how it has helped grow their brand and sales.

Second up was the fabulous Tiana Cline, Editor of Girl Guides. Tiana is passionate about women in tech and she  gave an amazing overview of some of the new gaming devices on the market. It certainly got people talking and we look forward to having Tiana speak again at future events.

All in all a stunning night was had with many ladies chatting, making new contacts and simply enjoying a night out!We look forward to the continuing success of the Dinners in Jozi!

2012 – A New Year Begins

It is that time of year again – people are slowing getting back into work and real life. For some of us, it is exciting with a renewed sense of energy. For others, there is a slump, the realisation that the holidays are over and real life is upon us once again.

I am somewhere in-between the two – excited for the year ahead, although part of me still wishes I was on holiday! The new year has started off with a bang – life gets so busy it is easy to forget that you even have had a holiday.

This year, I have set myself a new goal and entered the Two Oceans half marathon. This scares me because firstly, I am a very slow runner and secondly, I really don’t like failing. At all.

So I am going to take my new found energy and focus on my training programme. I will take it one day at a time. Hopefully, I will be running through the finish line in a few months time.

My December Glambox!

Glambox Review

For those of you that don’t know, companies like Glambox and RubyBox source cosmetics –  each month you receive a beautifully packaged box delivered to your door with a range of wonderful goodies. The costs vary but most sites do offer a trial option. The idea is that you can try a range of products and see what you like before commit and buy. Nice idea, right? Well yes, but the boxes have received compliments and complaints with customers not happy with the goodies that they received.

I received my December Glambox – I am impressed! There is a lovely range this month and there are some good size products too, which is great.

The Glambox Packaging

Inside, there is a beautiful custom-made card by Julia Rowand and a handy sticker for you to cover over your Glambox should you want to give it to someone else – I love this idea!

Products this month:

  • Bourjois Mascara – full size
  • Cacherel Fragrance – Anais Anais – sample size
  • Elancyl Toning Foaming Scrub – sample size
  • Suntra Nail Polish – full size
  • Mama Mio Boob Tube – sample size
  • Pedi – relax regenerative cream – full size
  • Toblerone chocolate – yum!

I am very excited to try all of my new products!

When I received my November Glambox,  I have to say that I was underwhelmed but I am very happy with the December one. The November one, had a few sample size goodies, with only one larger item and the products (for me) were not very exciting.  I know many people have been trying competitor boxes, such as RubyBox and there have been mixed reviews there too – again, people are not happy with the type and size of the products that they receive.

Ultimately, each month (and box) gets different products and I think it has to do with individual preference whether they are happy or not. I think the boxes are a great idea, I love getting a range of products delivered to my door each month – even my husband wants one (for men obviously).

With increased competition in the market place,  I think that there will be improved  products and service. For now, I am sticking with Glambox – the service has been great, my December box is fantastic and I haven’t seen great reviews on RubyBox.