A lifetime of love <3

4 04 2012

“Love? Above all things I believe in love. Love is like oxygen. Love is a many-splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong – all you need is love!” ~ Moulin Rouge

It’s a beautiful day outside. The sun is shining, there’s a cool yet refreshing bite to the air, and the leaves are starting to cover the pavements in all their autumn splendor. What makes this day even more special, is the fact that my parentals-in-law are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary today!

Since my Significant Other and I started dating over four years ago, they have accepted me into their hearts as a daughter, adding joy both joy and love to my life. They have been caring, supportive, down-to-earth… the list goes on and on. Their marriage is proof that you can live happily ever after – as long as you nurture your love, grow together as a couple through shared experiences (and, yes, hardships), accept that you’ll have your differences, make honesty and communication a priority… In a nutshell: if you love someone so much that you are willing to make mutual sacrifices, don’t take one another for granted, and work to make it last.

Marriage is hard work, dedication and perseverance – just like anything else in life. There are so many people who get divorced nowadays that it’s nice to find a couple (or couples, rather, since my parentals will also have been married for 30 years come the middle of the year) who have stuck together for so long and whose love is evident for those around them. [Okay, soppy little mini-rant over now!!]

So, to ‘celebrate’ what can be deemed as a lifetime of love, here are some quotations about marriage that just might serve as some food for thought…

“A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year.” ~ Paul Sweeney

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” ~ Mignon McLaughlin

“Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end.” ~Author Unknown

“Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.” ~Michael Leunig

“An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow.” ~ Author Unknown

“The highest happiness on earth is marriage.” ~ William Lyon Phelps

“Are we not like two volumes of one book?” ~ Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

“Love is not singular except in syllable.” ~ Marvin Taylor

“A happy marriage is a long conversation that always seems too short.” ~Andre Maurois

“There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage”. ~ Martin Luther

“Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years”. ~ Simone Signoret

“One man by himself is nothing. Two people who belong together make a world”. ~ Han Margolius

“The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret”. ~ Henry Youngman

“The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent and it must be equal”. ~ Frank Pittman

“Married couples who love each other tell each other a thousand things without talking.” ~ Chinese Proverb

“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.” ~ Dinah Craik





Holiday cheer?

5 12 2011

I’m not sure how festive this season will turn out to be…

We’re standing at the 5th of December, and I have yet to hear any Christmas music blaring in the shopping centres. The closest I’ve come to this was when my Significant Other and I were sitting in a restaurant last Thursday evening and a total of two (if even) Christmassy songs played softly in the background. The only thing going on in the shopping centres is absolute madness. This past weekend proved it, and I am glad that all my Christmas shopping is done… because if it was bad last weekend, it’s only going to get exponentially worse once schools close this coming Friday. Having the kiddies around the complex is going to be a reeeaaal treat for my Significant Other…

One of the local radio stations launched the Boney M Acclimatisation Program (BMAP) in November. Every other morning, they play a Boney M song, allowing people to get used to the so-called ‘brainwashing-waves’ (brainwashing + brainwaves, get it?)  in hopes to help them from spending all their money on gifts when their ears are assaulted by the festive tunes. Although this is cute and funny/ silly, I find it rather hard to swallow how people use aforementioned music as an excuse for their excessive shopping. ‘Oh, it wasn’t my fault – the Boney M music started playing, and it was like I lost control of my mental faculties. Really, I couldn’t help myself!!’ *roll eyes*

Okay, everybody, let's put more spendy frenzy into the chorus!

Great, so now everybody is against Christmas music… religious nuts, shoppers, my Significant Other… I started listening to some festive tunes yesterday, then felt ‘guilty’ because my S.O. doesn’t much care for it (even though I had my headphones on and he wasn’t there), so I turned it off.

Then there’s the little matter of Christmas trees. I wrapped all our gifts yesterday (hurray for me!) and will be putting up our little tree this evening, which is a step in the festive direction for our domicile. I’m not sure the same can be said for my parental home. It’s the first year since forever – probably since my older sister was little, which makes it 27 years ago – that my parentals will have a fake Christmas tree. Although it’s nice to have a real tree, it just becomes more and more expensive every year, and if you add all of that up over the years, it’s a lot of money! With a fake tree – nice and tall to fit into their living room with the high ceiling – you save money in the long run, plus you help to save some trees. All that’s good and well, but the reason I don’t think that things are all tinsel and baubles and happy sparkling lights, is the fact that my younger sister Addy refuses to decorate the fake tree… which she calls ‘that thing’ with great antagonism.

My work here is done...

Oh, and did I mention how I was looking forward to the release of the latest edition of the Sarie Kos (Sarie Food) magazine, only to find nothing Christmassy about it? *shakes head* Perhaps I should have some of those ‘Christmas’ truffles I bought to make myself feel better.

I could always spread some of the holiday cheer around the office by baking some cookies! My Significant Other bought me some more cookies cutters over the weekend, so now I have a Christmas tree, snowman and reindeer I can use! Since I’ll be working until the 23rd of December (and I think others will, as well), I’m sure we’ll be needing those sweet treats to boost our morale.

Plus point: summer hasn’t been very summery over here thus far (yesterday’s 37 degrees Celsius excluded), so I’m hoping for a cool Christmas. It’ll sure beat unbearable heat and help fight off sluggishness and irritability (not the best combination for happy faces and feelings of harmony)…

So, how do you feel about Christmas 2011?





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...





Some (well-deserved) leisure time

16 09 2011

There are various reasons for me to be happy today.

– It’s Friday.

– The weekend is slowly approaching.

– I got to see my dad this morning.

– My mum sent me some chilli, salsa and guacamole.

– And my Significant Other looked so cute while sleeping in (he’s on medication)!

But one of the best reasons that has put a smile on my face and has increased my happiness – and trust me, I need it! – is that I will be having some (well-deserved, in my opinion) ‘leisure time’…

…because I put in leave for next Monday and Tuesday!

Mini ‘vacation’, here I come 🙂

Time to relax, not think about work (haha), spend some quality time with my Significant Other, get some sleep, feel good, and have no worries (a girl can dream).

Who knows, I might even get around to baking some more, though I know I shouldn’t… and I’ll have plenty of time to read, since my Significant Other still has to work on those two days (at least he works from home)… BUT:

What will I most likely end up doing?

– Cleaning.

– Exercising.

– Thinking about work.

– Checking my work e-mails.

– Worrying.

– Catering to my Significant Other’s needs (because I want to… and yes, haha, I know what you’re thinking when I say ‘needs’; stop being so base *shakes head*).

It’s all good, though. As long as I’m able to stay in bed if I want to, read a lot, and be with my Significant Other (and Smudgy!!), my time off from work will be worth it.





Home Employment

19 01 2011

Home employment, you may ask? As in working from home without having to deal with the ‘stress’ of being in an office around others?

Do not be fooled by the title of this blog post, bystander – for it is a great and noble thing I take upon myself to ensure that the innocent are protected and that all that is good (and hygienic) stays intact…

…when I am employed at my parental home… to do some heavy-duty cleaning.

My mum sent me an e-mail over the weekend with the subject being (you guessed it) ‘Home Employment’. That is how I found myself to be there early-ish this morning, ready to take on the task at hand while hoping that the accumulative dust factor would not get to me.

I hung my mum’s washing out to dry and washed two of my bathroom mats. As luck would have it, aforementioned mats released a vast amount of beige and orange fluff, causing me to have to clean the washing machine twice before I was satisfied with its non-fluffy state. I did the ironing, ensuring that not a crease was to be found upon intense scrutiny…

And then, of course, I had to dust and vacuum… The. Entire. House. :-O

Four bedrooms. Two bathrooms. The study. The kitchen. The hallway. The living room. The dining room. A pretty big house with a far-less-than-pretty amount of dust and the like. It’s no wonder I was sneezing like a red-nosed reindeer (why else do you think Rudolph’s nose looks like that? It’s a combination of awful hay fever and a sinus problem!!)

I managed to clean everything, of course, even if it meant breaking my back and having to go down on my knees to reach a certain spot sometimes… And all of this by lunchtime, don’t you know.

Now (three hours later) I still feel dirty and sweaty and various shades of unsanitary. At least I’ve managed to get all the dust and ‘grime’ out from under my nails. All I want to do is sit down with a cup of tea and read THE COLORADO KID – by Stephen King – on my NOOK *sigh*

On the job front, I applied for a position yesterday, though it seems to be magazine publishing (whereas I would like to stay in book publishing). Nothing to worry about – while I’m searching for a job, my freelance copy-editor/ proof reader status (which, of course, I’ll be doing from home at the moment, thus still making me home employed) has already secured me my first ‘client’… said client being a friend of mine who needs me to work through her entire Masters thesis.

Even if I charge ‘minimum wage’, that amount times the extent of the document will be sure to bring in a pretty penny. I don’t really want to charge her for it, yet she insisted on making an ‘appointment’ with me on Monday and that she’s going to pay (thus I won’t feel bad asking her for the smallest amount possible per page).

Things are sure to look up soon…

In the meantime, I don’t want to see a vacuum cleaner or a dust rag for an extended amount of time! Thank goodness I cleaned our apartment earlier this week: cleaning the two bathroom sinks, scrubbing the two toilets, washing the bath and scrubbing the shower floor, and…….





And so we get presents :-D

27 12 2010

Happy day-after-Boxing-Day-which-is-a-public-holiday-since-Boxing-Day-fell-on-a-Sunday, everyone.

I hope you all had a wonderful time with your loved ones from the 24th to 26th (sorry for my absence from my blog for two days) – I just hope you’re still able to move after all the festive meals. All I know is that I don’t want to see food until New Years Eve…

…since we’re going to Lagoon Beach Hotel with my future parentals-in-law.

We spent Christmas Eve with my parentals. Want to see the pile of presents under the tree for seven people?

Pretty impressive, huh?

Are afternoon usually plays out as follows: arrive, talk to everyone, help with preparations in the kitchen, lay out everything on the table so it looks ‘attractive’ (it’s all about presentation with my dad), sit about a bit and watch the Garfield Xmas Special, eat, help clean up, hang about, then open gifts (and eventually bugger off ;-p )

For quite a few years now, my dad makes the most amazing finger foods – from cold cuts and chicken strips to ribs and mini frikadelle (meatballs). This year, however, he decided to try something new and ordered three platters, instead… platters with a selection of Chinese goodies! Spicy green beans, noodles, mini vegetable springrols, bite sized pieces of beef and chicken and ribs, triangle-shaped ‘pancakes’…

…and a whole platter full of sushi!!!

I’ve never eaten much sushi – I had a few pieces on my 21st and 22nd birthdays (this year I was at my parental home for dinner, hence no going out and ordering sushi) – thus it was quite a treat to be able to ‘indulge’, as it were. There was no raw fish in it, mind (mostly crab and avocado), but it was still tasty. My younger sister didn’t like it; she tried one piece, then spat it out because she thought the seaweed tasted funny.

In any case, let me not regale with the details of the meal – let me tell you about what was in store for yours truly under the tree. Talking about (and showing the) gifts is always fun.

From my parentals

My mum and dad bought me my own teapot, milk jug and sugar bowl complete with eight coffee/ tea cups. They also got me two sets of cutlery (which results in 8 teaspoons, 8 knives, 8 forks and 8 table spoons) and a big cookie/ sweetie jar in the form of a cupcake (aforementioned jar was filled with sweets). The joys of being part of a ‘we’: you usually get stuff for your kitchen/ home.

From Addy

Also from Addy

My younger sister, Addy, bought me a cute Spongebob t-shirt that read “Get yer nerd on”, as well as a set of teal-ish/ blue-ish earrings from Honey and two little signs with the words “Peace” and “Hope” on them respectively. The “Peace” one is now against our guest bathroom door, while “Hope” adorns my Significant Other’s ‘office’ (where my four bookcases are).

From my big sis

My older sister, Libby (let’s call her that, since people have mispronounced her name in the past), bought me the first two books of the Beauty Killer series by Chelsea Cain. I borrowed and read her copy of the second book, then bought myself the third book to read. Now I can finally read the first book! Since she owns the first two books, I bought her the third book for Christmas 🙂 She also got me a box of Occasions chocolates (luckily they only have 8 in).

Ironically, she got me the coffee flavoured ones… and I haven’t had a cup of coffee since 18 December 2009.

From my Significant Other

Since my Significant Other bought me a pearl necklace and pearl bracelet to go with my wedding dress, I told him not to get me anything else for Christmas… although, of course, as is evident from the photo above, he did. My first additional (or ‘actual’ gift, because he says that the pearls ‘don’t count’) gift was a cooling rack/ stand/ thingy for my laptop, which tends to overheat and shut off of its own accord for some inexplicable reason. And believe me, this is quite a nifty device – I cannot believe how cool my keys are! He also got me a gift card from Woolworth – so that ‘you can buy yourself some new clothes and nice things’.

Guess I’ll have to buy him something nice for his birthday instead of saying (as was my initial intention) that the Russell Hobbes coffee machine I bought was a conjoined Christmas-birthday gift (his birthday is on the 4th of January).

Mr Jack Daniels and his family (my Tennessee parentals, as it were) sent me something in the post… and I’m pretty curious to find out what it is. I’ve hounded my sister to watch the parental postbox for a slip of paper informing me that I need to go pick up a package at the post office. I just hope it arrives sometime this week (and that the Christmas cards I sent them have arrived, as well).

The greatest ‘present’ of them all is the fact that I got to spend time with both my sets of parentals (genetically and, soon, by marriage) and that we are all safe and happy, with love in our hearts and fond memories forever cherished.

So, did you get what you wanted for Christmas?





Christmas Eve (morning)

24 12 2010

It’s here – the day before Christmas, and tonight it’s time to spread a bit of festive cheer at my parental home.

Yesterday was my first leave day, which saw me going to the shops with my parentals to buy a last few things such as glazed fruit and chicken and what not for our Christmas meal. I ended up helping my younger sister to bake cookies – which is to be expected, what with our genes and all – and even had the ‘honour’ of packing all the gifts under the tree (though my older sister is only bring hers today).

My parentals' Christmas tree!

Baking Christmas cookies is a pretty fun activity, yet my younger sister, Addy – you remember Addy, right? – got a little bit ‘twisted’ when decorating the teddy bears. Not that we decorated all the cookies – we did some trees (I literally decorated them!), and sprinkled 100s & 1000s and chocolate vermicilli over others, but we didn’t put a lot of ‘effort’ into them. With the bears, though, we made them little eyes and mouths…

…and it turns out that they creeped/ freaked us out so much, we dubbed them paedo-bears (surely you must have heard of paedo-bear and seen some pics/ demotivationals around the internet… or are we just weirdos??)

If that isn't creepy, then I don't know what is...

Puts ‘Goldilocks and the three bears’ into a whole new perspective. [Daddy bear fed Goldilocks and made sure that she was comfortable, then sat by her bed and watched her sleep the whole night long.]

Anyway, being silly aside, I’m really looking forward to spending some time with my family. I’m sure the gift I bought my Significant Other will make him very happy (out of all the gifts under the tree, I think it’s the biggest box of them all), and apparently my father has something very special in store for us with the festive meal, so that’ll be ‘exciting’.

In case I don’t blog later tonight or by tomorrow afternoon, I’d like to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas 🙂 May the New Year be filled with love, laughter, happiness, prosperity, and may you find peace and blessings filling up yours days. xxx