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Showing posts from 2014

Eurotrip 2015

A "cousins road trip". To Europe! The only New Year's resolution worth keeping, if you ask me. "I'm so excited and just can't hide it."

(Contiki European Highlights Tour)
Update: Still super excited, but due to unforeseen circumstances, Eurotrip 2015 plans have changed. Hubby & I will be taking the leap to the UK instead with Trafalgar's Britain and Ireland Highlights tour in June:

A Belated Post About A Belated Honeymoon

George International is the smallest airport I've ever seen. You exit the boeing right where it stops on the asphalt; and walking through the whole airport - from baggage carousel to arrivals - will take about as long as it would to walk through my garden at home. On first impact, the entire airport premises felt like someone casually inserted a landing strip on a lush, green farm in the middle of nowhere. Quite charming, really. Far removed from what I expected (because my frame of reference is limited to the international airports in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban & Abu Dhabi).
Driving to our hotel, everything seemed so far removed from each another - and so quiet. Now I believe that the establishment of the towns were probably just as laid back as its inhabitants. Please don't mistake this to mean that everything around here is dingy or uncivilised. Not at all! It's just not as big & clustered as the metropolitan areas I've grown used to back home.
Habit d…

I'm Just Not That Into It

Who am I kidding? I'm not that girl. I don't stick to routine journal-like posts or 'Dear Diary'-type entries. I don't like being hugged and I often enjoy spending time away from other people. My marriage isn't traditional and I love the fact that we both instinctively knew that watching Guardians of the Galaxy in 3D was the perfect choice for celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary (yesterday).

I'm not saying that I am somehow "wrong" for not being that into it, or that we should all be cookie-cutter people, because I have no problem with being a bit off-centre. It should be celebrated! I just want to apologise for subjecting you to such half-ass attempts at normality over the past few weeks. I'll try to write better.

Wintervention Week 3

This video about Finishing What You Start is just what I needed to hear/see this week.



I'm on antibiotics for a respiratory infection & for the first time in 3 weeks had a more legitimate reason for not exercising the way I wanted to. Over the past few weeks I have been more invested in how good I feel in what I wear & how I look (opposed to anything that would make anyone else happier/more comfortable), but exercise was waaaaaaay down on my list of priorities already and so this additional time off from gym compounded into a slipperier slope towards giving up completely.

To be honest, I have no idea what type of time frame I should/want to give myself for my Wintervention, but to break it down & get re-focused, my first mini goal is the 5km Colour Run at the end of November; and to get my body ready for the shock of actually moving around for more than a few minutes, I need to up my cardio a.s.a.p. Even if it is just enough to have me finish walking a 5km by then.

Wintervention Week 2

Day 1
I'm starting to realise that one of my biggest obstacles is my fucked up work/life balance. Time & energy spent on work is overpowering everything else. How do you find the perfect balance without compromising your work ethic? I'm desperate for some advice!
Day 4
Somehow I lost 3 whole days, but how?
Day 5 Instead of working late (again) or going to the gym (what's new?), I decided to unwind with my BFF. Brilliant idea! I laughed so much it surely counted as an ab workout.
Day 6 Spring Rain arrived - with gloomy, wet & snuggly reading weather on its back. And although a sedentary activity, reading keeps me from bingeing. So EsteƩ 1 - Winter Weight 12.
Day 7 So exciting! We went honeymoon shopping today, so I got some cardio in & can't wait to fly to Knysna in 3 weeks...

Wintervention Week 1

After a very motivational chat I've decided to make a change (and since I've practically been hibernating through all the 2014 cold fronts, I've christened it my Wintervention). I've vowed to myself that I will get more active & start caring more for ME. I'll get up earlier & do some weight training, but I will also accompany my money to the gym more often. Here's what actually happened:
Day 1
I set my alarm for 5 am. Took me an hour to get up, so epic fail there. Then - because I was focusing too much on forgetting my phone on the bedside table on the way out of the house, I managed to also completely forget that I wanted to go to the gym after work & drove straight home. At least I walked to the shop to buy my lunch sandwich. Let's try again tomorrow (although I'll probably only be home around 10 pm from picking up my brother & his wife from the airport).
Day 2 Once again my alarm was set for 5 am. This time it took me 1 hour + 10 min…

Pinterest Trial #3

The Tutorial:
(Also on Pinterest)

My Attempt:
Footnotes: Seriously, one of the EASIEST hairstyles I've ever tried on my own. Just watched the tutorial above & then tried it - about 5 minutes & done!

If I could just get started, I'd be unstoppable!

So I'm supposed to be working... I think I'm suffering from Worker's Block. It's the same old procrastinating trait I had in school during exams, when - suddenly in the midst of study hour, I just HAD TO move every piece of furniture in my room. I know I'm supposed to be putting time & effort into doing the things I never have time for during my normal work week so that I can still make the deadlines, but I can't bring myself to do them. Straight down into every fibre of my being I just don't. Want. To. How am I supposed to get past myself?

Actually this is not a difficulty I experience with work alone. My long term struggle with my weight is also a byproduct of this dysfunctional part of me. I hate the position I'm in health-wise, but I continue sabotaging any hopes of changing the situation. Why? In the end I do not believe the answer to that question is even relevant, I just think I should stop overanalysing & get down to business.


Pinterest Trial #2

Tutorial via Pinterest:

My Result (after about 10 minutes on towel dried hair):
P.S. Yes, I am in urgent need of photography lessons. My photos are never quite what I'd like them to be.

Good Idea/Bad Idea - The Office Edition

Z is for Zombie

Oh, I know...you probably started thinking Ibecame a zombie (having disappeared from my blogging profile for over a month). Fortunately (unfortunately?) not! Today I'm back with a list of the most entertaining zombie movies out there. According to me anyway (& in spite of the fact that what I should be working on, is my Blog's overall look & feel).
I find it extreeeeeeemely difficult to recommend movies without giving away too much of the plot and/or without the use of verbatim script quotes, but I'll try my best. For you.

Zombie Movie Line-Up (Note: I thumb-sucked the scene titles.)
Shaun of the Dead will forever be one of the funniest zombie movies I've seen so far!!! Those Brits just know exactly how to tickle my funny bone and I have not yet met anyone else who saw the film & disliked it.

This film also proved to be one of those that my sister & I immediately adopted as a cinematic educational tool. Everyone we knew, heard about it as soon as we saw …

Pinterest Trial #1

Everyone who knows me well, knows that I am dangerous in any kitchen - even if only equipped with marshmallows. I have made chicken breast you could stone someone to death with, baked a chocolate cake of which the topping had to be cracked with moderate force using the handle of a bread knife (so we could break off the "slices") & I've also almost set fire to the entire office with an unfortunate 2-minute noodle incident earlier this year.

Then my culinary courage was renewed after starting The Yuppiechef Online Cooking School's Art of Baking course; and hubby's birthday on May 4th created the perfect opportunity for me to try baking something all by myself. Without my mother's help (not even a phone call to her or my Mother-In-Law). For the first time EVER.

I had no idea which recipe to take on, so just like we all turn to Google for answers these days, I turned to Pinterest for ideas. It had to be a regular sized cake according to Step 1 of the Course,…

Wedding Blues

When planning to get married I, like most gals, went all out as far as our finances (and credit cards) allowed. I wanted it all: the unique dress, the decor, our theme to be different from anyone else's that we've ever attended, mind blowing food, etc. I even ended up with a 100+ guest list despite the fact that we wanted to keep it below 80. On paper I got what I wanted, I guess, but thinking back it feels so impersonal. My focus that day went into how everything had to be fun & comfortable for those who attended instead of the love I have for Franscois. Except for the vows we wrote ourselves & then read to each other during the ceremony, I can't remember a single intimate moment spent with my husband on our big day. On top of that, my dress didn't stay as fitted as it should have throughout the rest of the day (my beaded straps even snapped off). I only recall worrying about what everyone was thinking around me and didn't get to taste anything from our c…

Think Before You React!

So often we revert to expecting the worst in a situation or people around us, because we forget that our own perceptions, opinions & personalities are not necessarily reflecting reality objectively.
It's natural. We base our expectations on our personal frame of reference (ie our on-board library, which our brains so efficiently maintain as we grow & learn through life) & when our most recent experiences were negative, they form the basis for our current state of mind, because they are usually the first sources our noggins access - so don't beat yourself up about it, but please be conscious of it next time.
Why? It's unfair to strangers, eg. the person holding up traffic at the intersection probably did not expect their car to stall & did not purposefully do it just to delay everyone or to ruin your morning commute. That colleague you're so angry with for doing the job halfway - maybe she really thinks she's doing it right, so don't reprimand, …

If Enough Is Enough, What Is Enough?

I'm sure you've all read the general tips on how to know when it's time to make a change to a relationship you're in (be it one of lovers, friends, employers)? You know the ones I'm talking about!  They're usually published in glossy magazines, often structured as Quizzes & all come down to the basic guideline that you should quit/leave when you are no longer happy and/or fulfilled. Excuse the facetious tone, because I actually agree with this. Basically.
What I have not figured out for myself yet, is whether it's time to shake things up when you enjoy the situation (most of the time) and you are still happy with what you've got, you're just really tired. Really, really tired. Of drama and added stress and other people's issues.
Fortunately my generation caught the coat tails of the internet revolution & I can simply ask the Universe (aka Google). THIS is what it said, so I guess a serious internal discussion is the order of the day...

Horror Never Gets Old

Only two critical factors can impede my enjoyment of any given horror film:
a) The acting and/or lighting must be so acutely terrible that I literally cannot continue watching the full first 5 minutes of it witout an OCD level of need to get up & switch it off;  and
b) I must be in a very distracted mood (ie unable to get lost in the story by activating my selective hearing powers*).

But I've proclaimed my love for Horror before.  Then Braintainment Magazine's article in their 15/2014 issue titled 'Outdated Horror' (with additional info on this Dutch site) got me thinking about the top 10 scary movies (and mini series) I will probably love forever (and will re-watch any time), so I simply have to share them with you:











P.S.  If you don't know which horror films are worth watching, have a look @ Maynard's blog.

* A trait for which I'm quite famous for amongst my friends & family.  I can literally block out everyone & everything around me regardless…

Over-Communicate Much?

Ticking through Lynn Gaertner-Johnston's list of quations, I came to the conclusion that I definitely am an over-communicator. This new awareness feels the same as when I came to understand that I'm not an emotional eater per se, but that I  binge-eat.  [I also binge-watch and now, embarrassingly, it has been theoretically proven that I also binge-mail.]

My staff must surely hate seeing my name in their inboxes by now! Shame. I thought I was being clear, concise & helpful by keeping them in the loop & teaching them what I know as I go along; and also staying on top of deadlines as expected by those at the top. All the while I was just interrupting their days by lobbing more electronic sludge at them to dredge through.

In case you are wondering, it is not at all difficult to grasp why I started doing it. The first lesson I recall picking up from my office mentor was to change my thought process into one which is constantly & automatically focused on finding a solut…

Here's Looking At You, Kid!

Yes, I know - it's been forever since I logged on to talk to you (myself).  Let me try and explain why...

My sister was hospitalised with meningitis last month - and the emotional toll it took on all of us is indescribable. At first, she was just feeling a bit under the weather the Friday morning, but we just thought the worst it could be is one of these stomache bugs that often do the rounds. That night she became totally unresponsive & no longer recognised any of us. I've never been that scared in my life! You could see her & touch her & talk to her, but when she looked at you there was just this empty look in her eyes. We feared that it meant brain damage since that is a common complication of the disease if not treated fast enough and at one point I was just sitting in my lounge (waiting for the time to pass so we can go back to the hospital) and I just pleaded with God not to leave me behind without her. I panicked. I lost my dad on 13 July 2011 and didn'…

I've Found the Fountain of Youth!

Based on a little convo between my cousin & I on Facebook today, I realised how easy it is becoming for me to fall out of touch with current news & trends. Ageing carries with it an increase in responsibilities & I therefore do not always find time to watch news (or daytime tv) or go out as often as I did when I was even younger, but social media channels (my favourites at the moment being Twitter & Pinterest) obviously make it easier for me to see/experience what I might be missing out on while working my ass off - and then it hit me:
Social Media is the Fountain of Youth! Unfortunately I cannot coin the philosophy. A quick Google search proved that some others have come to the same realisation already (eg. see Fastblink's 5 Reasons). Darn it. Darn it all to hell! Luckily, the fact that I'm - once again - a few steps behind others, does not mean I'm not allowed to travel along the same route, so cheers to that at least ;)

If You See My Husband, Tell Him This...

We've been seeing very little of each other lately. Other than the few minutes before & after we sleep, we've been drifting by each other through the fog created by our social activities, which are almost all aligned with our affinity for contrasting pastimes (he's much more into anything & everything "geeky" and/or related to off-road cycling than I will probably ever be) as well as the difference between our normal working hours.
I'm not too perturbed. Yet*. I just find it very difficult to hint towards what I want when not in his personal space. And this year, for Valentine's I want the whole shebang:  flowers delivered to my office, candy, dinner AND a movie...bar the stuffed toy.
Yes, yes, yes. Valentine's day is such a commercialisation of what everyone else wants love to look like; and maybe wanting - so badly - to be a good feminist & believer in equality means that I shouldn't really care about it, but I can't help it. Be…

Gnash Baby

We had to say good-bye to Gnash today. It was especially heartbreaking this morning, because she was having one of her good days today.

I've never before been this hurt by the passing of a pet, because throughout my entire life (until now) I've managed to not really get attached to any of them. It was easy. They were always my dad's, mom's, sister's...

Gnash was one of my favourites, because she had such a gentle & lovable personality. She was also extremely well behaved. The only times I struggled with her, was when I wanted to have her return to the backyard after her Front Yard Exploration Trips;  or when I wanted her to get up from a comfortable nap on one of the bean bags.

About a month ago, her energy levels seemed to have been entirely depleted. Her highs were average & her lows were shockingly low. We couldn't figure out what was going on & over the past few weeks we struggled to get her to eat anything, which meant that she literally start…

Life Lessons

I initially started writing this little list as a fun way to get myself into the spirit of celebrating my 30th...but shortly before my birthday my cousin, Annika, committed suicide. She was just 17 years old. This post is dedicated to her...
Thirty Life Lessons I Would've Loved Teaching You:
A girl with ABSOLUTELY NO FEMALE FRIENDS OF HER OWN* sends up a red "Do Not Trust Me" flag. If she cannot nurture relationships, which do not rely on sexual attraction in any way, she's not true to you or who she is. I've experienced that the ladies whose female friends are all somehow connected to their partners, tend to be bitchy & two-faced. Do not waste much of your time/energy on them & definitely do not let whatever they do/say affect how you feel/think. *My rule of thumb - of course - excludes all introverts who have very little social interaction in general and/or find it difficult to make friends regardless of their gender.]
Many people underestimate the time &a…