So I turned 25…

10 04 2012

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter filled with love, laughter, happiness… and chocolate… or whatever 😉

Our weekend started off with a near-literal bang. My Significant Other’s car gave problems on Thursday, thus necessitating that (a) he take it in to be looked at, and (b) I work from home. Not the worst thing to happen… although we then found out they’d be ordering the new parts for his car after Easter weekend, and that the parts would only arrive on Thursday *huff*

But despite being carless for two days, a bit of family ‘drama’, borrowing my brother-in-law’s noisy little Golf from Saturday to Monday (and much, much more!), we managed to have a great weekend.

When it was just after midnight and ‘officially’ my birthday, Smudgy woke me up about 6 or 8 times. I think she was grumpy/frustrated that it was cold and wet outside and she didn’t know what to do about it since she obviously really wanted to be outside, but I’d like to think that she was being affectionate and excited about my birthday.

Here’s a basic rundown of my day: lemon & poppyseed muffin (sans candles, since my Significant Other couldn’t find any) plus a warm mug of tea in bed; a visit from my parentals and younger sister Addy, with gifts and a suprise; tea, cupcakes and gift opening; lunch at Ocean basket with my Significant Other, parentals and sis; curling up on the sofa under a blanket with my Significant Other and watching series; dinner at the Hildebrand (V&A Waterfront) – so fancy and romantic 😉

Exquisite orange roses from my Sweetheart

Lindt chocolate bunny! This little guy has been in the kitchen cupboard for a few weeks already

Pretty little forks to aid in the cosumption of treats

Smudgy was trying to escape/go outside when I snatched her up for a photo with her mommy

Addy baked birthday cupcakes! I had to assemble the stand myself - it was part of the 'fun'

Addy & the parentals baked me a super awesome Scooby-Doo birthday cake! 😀

All my gifts assembled on the livingroom table

Sushi for two: my Significant Other and I decided to share a Rising Sun sushi platter and added extra salmon roses & rainbow rolls. Mmm, sushi...

Such a happy couple! Ready to head out for dinner

Here Smudgy's more accepting of having her picture taken. She even struck a pose for the camera! Isn't she just the loveliest little thing?

Taking a nap on daddy's jeans after we arrived home ❤

PS: Did I mention that we went to watch THE HUNGER GAMES last night??! *happy dance*





Happy birthday, Libby!

6 01 2012

Another family birthday for the week: first my husband, and now my older sister!

Haaaaappy Biiiirthday, Libby *big hug*

As always, I wish that abundant happiness, prosperity, love, success, and all those other lovely sentiments will be bestowed upon you this year, and in all the years to come… Two more years, just two, then you’ll be 30 😀

But for now, just relax, enjoy the last bit of your leave before it’s back to work, and make the most of what is, after all, your Special Day. If we lived in the UK, I would definitely have bought you a Simon’s Cat cake!





Christmas is a-comin’…

28 11 2011

Good morning, blog readers

I hope you all had a nice weekend. I spent some time with my family, baked some goodies (chocolate cake, cupcakes & cookies!), and had to help my Significant Other move our entire bedroom around because he bought a second air-conditioner (this included making cupboard space by unpacking, repacking and sorting what I would or wouldn’t need/ use anymore).

So the ‘countdown’ to Christmas has begun. Truth be told, I have yet to hear any Christmas music playing in the shopping centres or grocery stores. Some people say that they have heard the carols playing and angel choirs a-singin’, but I’m not sure how much of it we’ll be hearing this year. There’s been a movement to have Christmas music banned/ toned-down since people find it offensive (or use it as an excuse why they’re spending so much). I think it’s quite sad… I myself am not religious, but neither is all Christmas music, and Christmas isn’t just about religion. It’s a time for family and friends, a time to be together and be grateful, to show what others mean to us and just have a nice, relaxing, feel-good time. It’s the one time of year that you ‘have’ to do aforementioned (though we should be aiming for this throughout the entire year).

My Significant Other isn’t a big fan of Christmas music, anyway, so I foresee many evenings and weekends of me sitting with my headphones on 😉 At least he doesn’t mind a Christmas tree in the apartment.

Speaking of the festive/ holiday season, I’m halfway with my shopping. I’ve bought Christmas gifts for my two sisters, my Significant Other and my mother-in-law, plus a birthday gift for my mum. That just leaves Christmas gifts for my parents and my sister’s husband, and a birthday gift for my older sister. Perhaps I should try to find something for Smudgy, as well… *laugh*

There’s the gift of giving and the rapture of receiving, but the most important thing of the festive season is being together and showing that we care. Like Garfield says:

“Christmas: It’s not the giving, it’s not the getting – it’s the loving.”

Have a great Monday!





Kicking the habit (and taking up new ones)

21 10 2011

So yesterday (last night, actually) was interesting.

I had a particularly nasty headache. All I wanted to do was get home ASAP after work (check) and have a lie down (that’s a negative) before driving to a restaurant in Blouberg for a friend’s birthday.

Once we arrived there, my Significant Other insisted that we should each have a cocktail. I managed to make it through two-thirds of my pineapple & blueberry daiquiri before we went home (almost three hours with one drink/ beverage).

The only thing the girls seemed to be able to talk about, was gym (the closest I get to this is doing 15 minutes on our elliptical trainer every night) and dieting (said person already being thin and taking headache medication that has weight loss as a side effect)…

…so I ended up ordering a salad (lettuce, red cabbage, a few green beens and slivers of baby marrow & cucumber, about 2 or 3 halved cocktail tomatoes, and a minimal amount of chicken strips)…

…and exercising for 10 minutes when I got home.

I exercise my BRAIN by reading a lot - does that count?!

To top things off, when we parked the car in the garage, my Significant Other leaned over, kissed me (as is tradition), and told me that he wanted to tell me something upstairs. Fair enough – I though he was just going to be all cutesy and say that he loves me. But no: when we were in the apartment, he started this odd little speech about how’s he’s been thinking about something over the last few days and that he’s made a decision, et cetera – enough to make my heart start pounding with anxiety and to feel a heavy weight dropping in my stomach (ah, nausea, you sure have great timing).

And what did he end up telling me?

That he only had one cigarette left (he took it out of the packet and showed me)… and that, after that, he was going to quit smoking!!!

Apparently I didn’t look/ seem as overjoyed as I was ‘supposed’ to. I don’t have a problem with him smoking. I am glad that he made this decision for himself and will thus support him, but if he starts smoking again, so what? It won’t be the end of the world. (Though it’ll be tough when we go visit his parentals, because pretty much his entire family smokes.)

Since he’s decided to kick the habit, I think it’ll be a good idea for him (or us, actually) to start taking up a few new ones. For one thing, he can start using the elliptical trainer again. We could even get weights, and/ or do those exercises his physiotherapist gave him long ago (which he thinks is boring… so I’ll have to work out a rewards system *laugh*) It’s also a good thing that summer is coming, because that means more fruit and salads 🙂

I’m just hoping that this ‘new’ lifestyle will include plenty of sleep!!

Have a great Friday/ Fried-day, everyone.





Sunday lunch for the Parentals

11 10 2011

I love doing special things for other people – especially when it comes to my parentals.

My Significant Other and I (i.e. little old me) decided to invite the parentals for lunch/ dinner at our apartment last weekend. We initially had it set for Sunday evening, but due to ‘scheduling’, we moved it out to Sunday afternoon.

Cue myself worrying about what to serve… I’m obsessive-compulsive like that *laugh*

You have to understand: until a few months ago, we didn’t have (a) decent couches or, more importantly, (b) a dining room table. The parentals recently bought themselves a new car – did I ever tell you how some stupid girl rammed into their old car, wrecked it, and that they didn’t get much out of it? – so the fact that they now had their own transport made it even more ‘necessary’ for us to finally have them over for a meal.

The weather has been a bit strange over here. It’s supposed to be Spring, yet it’s only starting to warm up now – venturing between cold (about 15 degrees Celsius) for a few days, then uncomfortably hot (for me, at least, at 32 degrees Celsius) the next. This weekend was sunny, with the heat making me feel exceptionally headachy, and not really helping to keep the apartment at an acceptable temperature since I was busy cookin’ in the kitchen… But I survived. The fan helped to cool things off a bit… And at the end of the meal I ditched the dress I was wearing in favour of short shorts and a t-shirt 😉

We had a great afternoon, with plenty of feel good moments and happiness all around!

So, here’s what was on the menu – it wasn’t a five-star meal (definitely not the most impressive dishes), but it was very nice:

STARTER

– Pastry ‘bowls’ with sautéed mushrooms (my mum doesn’t eat mushrooms, so I made hers with a cherry tomato, bacon & yellow pepper filling instead)

MAIN COURSE

– Homemade rolls

– Roasted green beans

– Marinated chicken breasts

– Garden salad (incl. baby potatoes + bacon)

DESSERT

– Fruit cocktail

– Jelly (made in silicone cupcake moulds)

– Mini, star-shaped vanilla sponge cakes

– Chocolate mousse with sliced strawberries

[I made/ baked the pastry ‘bowls’, rolls and mini cakes myself!]

Pretty flowers to brighten up the table - my Significant Other bought them for me

The 'spread', excluding dessert

Starter: pastry bowl with sautéed mushrooms

Starter: pastry bowl with cherry tomatoes, bacon + yellow pepper

Homemade rolls... which had more of a scone-like consistency... oh well

A nice salad 🙂 My Significant Other's contribution to preparing the entire meal? De-shelling the hardboiled eggs...

Roasted green beans. Sorry the pic's a bit blurry

Grilled chicken breasts & baby potatoes

Desssert: fruit cocktail, jelly, choc mousse & strawberries. I forgot to add the star cakes to the plates...

This is how the dessert was supposed to look -- I took this pic yesterday

My Significant Other & my mum

My dad! ...and me, of course...





Smudgy the cat loves… (Part 1)

5 10 2011

Smudgy really seems to take after her human mommy – she LOVES books.

Perhaps not in the same way that I love them, since kitties cannot read, but it’s the thought that counts.

Ever since she was a tiny 7-week-old fur baby, she’s been fascinated with books. Hardcover, paperback, magazines, recipe books, e-books (on my NOOK)… none of these are too good for her to have a sniff (or gnaw!) at. Probably ties in with the whole curiosity cat thing.

And, of course, she does love sleeping on my bookshelves (her being a cat and all). I’ll even admit to feeling sleep tugging at my eyelids and making them droop while immersed in my reading late at night – just shows you the kind of example I’m setting for Smudgy *laugh*

Or, perhaps, she’s the one setting the example for me…?

Either way, books play an important role in both our lives, forming part of our personalities and bringing us closer together *awww*

We might not share genes or the same species, but she’s my little fur baby, part of our little family, and I wouldn’t have her any other way…

Here are a few photos of Smudgy ‘enjoying’ some books.

Have a happy Meh-day/ Whensday, everyone!

Filling in a sudo-x-word. She was sooo tiny!!

Delving into poetry and Shakespeare at an early age

Helping me fill in a number crossword

Selecting a book she can sink her teeth into... literally!

Proud kitty protecting 'her' Stephen King collection. She's really into horror/ mystery/ suspense (i.e. all things King)

Breathing in that 'real' book smell

Immersed in the magical world of Harry Potter

Smudgy gets tired while reading "The cat who turned on and off" - seems fitting

Smudgy in one of my bookcases (bottom shelf) - she's quite partial to napping in front of Chelsea Cain & Dan Brown novels

Sleeping on the middle row of a different bookcase. She's working her way to the top 😉





Thankful for Family

1 09 2011

I am thankful for my family.

And you know why? Because they are always there for me. They support and love me, care for and listen to me, look out for and advise me, and – most importantly – they are people who live, love and laugh even when things are looking glum. How many people are still truly connected with their families? How many of them have lost touch or aren’t interested in building/ maintaining familial relationships?

I’m lucky. I am part of quite a big family: I have my mum and dad; four uncles; three aunts; one brother-in-law (i.e. my sister’s husband); and all the cousins (myself and my two sisters included, of course) come to a total of 17. Now that I’m married, I also have my Significant Other (I love you, Sweetheart!); my parentals-in-law; my four brothers-in-law (i.e. my husband’s brothers); and even more uncles, aunts and cousins. I even have a grandfather now!! 🙂

So here’s to a large family who enrich my life and who I love very much! I’ll be adding a few photos that were taken at our wedding, but before that, here are some quotations about family that I’d like to share with you.

“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!” – Albert Einstein

“The family is a haven in a heartless world.” – attributed to Christopher Lasch

“An ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship.” – Spanish Proverb

“To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.” – Barbara Bush

“The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.” – Thomas Jefferson

“The family – that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to.” – Dodie Smith

“If the family were a fruit, it would be an orange, a circle of sections, held together but separable – each segment distinct.”  – Letty Cottin Pogrebin

“Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.”  – Anthony Brandt

My beautiful sisters, Addy & Libby

The parentals. Aren't my mum & dad lovely?

My parentals-in-law (who truly see me as the daughter they never had)

All the parentals

My Significant Other (second from the right, aka the guy wearing the white shirt) with his father & three brothers

My dad with his two brothers. They're standing from oldest to youngest (left to right)

Have a cigar! -- love this photo 🙂

My Life, my Love, my EVERYTHING ❤