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*


Bling it on: some (pretty) gift ideas

2 04 2012

Hullo readers!

Did you all have a good weekend? Have fun? Take time to relax? Do something for yourself or others? Whether it was leisure time or tending to admin/ cleaning/ humdrum activities, I hope that you’re all ready for the new week… and a new month.

So my birthday is coming up on Sunday. I’m still not sure exactly what we’ll be doing, although (1) I’d really love a birthday cake/cupcake/some sort of confectionary with a candle stuck in it and (2) a cup of tea to start my morning off with… even though I know I’m usually up before my Significant Other and will thus end up making my own tea 😉

Birthdays are a great occasion to show your appreciation for special people in your life, which is why I love buying gifts (in general). The only ‘worrying’ factor when it comes to birthdays is deciding on what to get the other person. Gift cards come in handy, but it’s nice to know what that person’s interests are so that you can buy something the recipient will be genuinely pleased to receive.

That being the case, I’ve decided to share some trinkets that someone such as myself would love to receive:

I enjoy baking, which is why this bracelet *cue lame pun* is CHARM-ing

Not sure if this ring will ward off kitchen disasters or if it'd serve as a bad omen/ warning...

Nothing says 'domestic goddess' like wearing a bottle of cleaning liquid around your neck

Bring out your inner sexy librarian/ hipster with this ring

Some days you cannot help wishing for a bit of immortality... Harry Potter readers will recognize this as the sign of the Deathly Hallows

More Harry Potter love with the trademark lightning bolt scar ❤

Last Harry Potter pic: golden snitch bracelet

While I wait for THE HUNGER GAMES film to be released here in SA, these earrings can help to psyche me up some more

The couple who builds/plays together, stays together! I'm pretty sure my husband would want to turn it into another gadget by adding some buttons and switches...

These earrings are the closest I'll ever get to being a (mad) scientist

Gifts for a cat lover

28 03 2012

Morning, blog readers!

So I ‘survived’ my first day back in the office yesterday by reading the last third of the novel I was busy with plus two thirds of another novel (and I don’t feel guilty about it… not really…) It looks like today is going to be pretty much the same. There isn’t much for me to do besides archiving, which I am definitely not in the mood for.

Other than that, I’ve been thinking about how quickly the year is going by. I mean, it’s the end of March already. I’m at the end of my fixed term contract at work. Soon by younger sister will be turning 21. Doesn’t it feel like we were just celebrating Christmas yesterday? Or like I got married & went to Scotland a few days ago?? I don’t think time flies by any more – I think every year, the speed increases so much that, not too long from now, we’ll be reaching warp speed or something… Perhaps I am having weird mid-twenties delusions, instead of a ‘crisis’ – I sound a bit crazy even to myself!

Anyway. Next week is going to be a busy one: my parentals-in-law’s 30th wedding anniversary; Pesach; my father-in-law’s birthday; my ‘cousin’s’ birthday… oh, and my (25th) birthday, of course. On Easter Sunday. Don’t I just feel special.

So, in ‘anticipation’ of another increment (which doesn’t really matter to me anyway, nothing special, but protocol dictates I at least portray an outward air of excitement), here are some gifts that a self-proclaimed cat lover would find *cue terrible pun* absolutely purrrfect.

Enjoy the pics, and happy Hump-Day!

No cats were harmed in the making of these treats

This dancing kitty would distract me from 'normal' life for hours... if I had an iPhone

Doctor Tinycat to the rescue!

I love kitties, AND tea, AND cookies - this ring is a WIN

Hypnocat says you must love the cute

If there's space for my cell phone & keys, I'll take it 😉

These would make super wedding rings... though I don't think my Significant Other would EVER agree to wear one!

Some days you're good, some days you're evil. Show your mood with a Longcat or Tacgnol scarf. Who hasn't ever wished they could wrap their warm, soft kitty around their neck? ...even if it sounds creepy/inhumane...

Nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan

Face it: girls who wear glasses can be smart, sassy & cute (not sure whether I fall into any of those categories, though). Forget hipsters and their faux coolness

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?

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 with Friends

20 12 2010

Typing the title to this post got this stuck in my head:

“Come on in, come to the place where fun never ends… come on it, it’s time to party with Garfield and Friends”.

And you wouldn’t be far off in saying that we had fun at our little Christmas dinner get together thingy yesterday.

Fifteen friends, an assortment of wine/ champagne glasses that didn’t match (I ‘sponsored’ seven), festive paper plates, Secret Santas and a hearty home-made meal served for an absolutely lovely time with amazing people… despite the fact that the to do was schedule for four-o’clock and the last two people only pitched up when it was nearly six-thirty (you know who you are…) 😉 At least my Significant Other and I pitched up at two-thirty to help with the preparations (not to mention supply 14 steak knives, at least).

We had an assortment of cocktail rolls, tender (succulent!) meat, saucy cauliflower with cheese, a potato and green bean dish, mini potatoes, sweet potato (mmm), jasmine rice… Quite a treat, and no mean feat to prepare for 15 people – so much love and appreciation to the three special ladies who made and organized everything!! Dessert was cantaloupe and watermelon with vanilla ice-cream, and the tastiest baked peach halves with chocolate biscuits and sherry. The girls were trying to figure out who each person’s Secret Santa was (apparently we weren’t allowed to tell each other, not even afterwards), while the guys were busy playing with one of said presents, not too bothered much with curiosity and such.

Just so ‘sad’ that, after such a wonderful, relaxing time, it’s back to work for three more days *sigh*

It seems like Christmas with Friends is going to be a yearly thing – though, in all fairness, next year should be the guys’ turn…

…however, they’ll probably opt for the easy-out solution and simply have a barbeque.

So pretty...

Notice all the different glasses?

Festive plates, Christmas crackers, place cards...

I baked and iced dove-shaped cookies, plus I made little bags with chocolate balls in for each person