Friday, 26 October 2012

Friday facts


1) Having a car without a working air-con system in 26 degree heat equals a sweaty Betty.
2) My sunglasses give me a red mark on my nose that makes me look like I’ve been punched.
3) I’m in love with white wine at the moment especially Jordan’s 2011 Unoaked Chardonnay
4) I’ve been looking at kitchen designs because we want to renovate. If I had the space and of course, the gold, this would be my dream kitchen.
5) You can’t teach a Labrador not to dig.
6) Dombeya wine estate has the friendliest and most helpful staff. Period.
7) I really want one of these wall tattoos for the bedroom.
8) Christmas is 2 months away! This year has got its running shoes on and is kicking us all in the ass. 
9) I miss my parents. I keep having vivid dreams of traveling to the UK to see them.
10)  If you can't win the argument, win the dance-off.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

How to: Have a kick-ass wedding


Your wedding day is pretty much one of the biggest days of your life. A day that takes immense planning, time, tears and often a few tantrums. It has so many intricate details that there are bound to be some things that don't necessarily go the way you planned. Here's a few tips that you might have overlooked:


1) Plan for the weather. If you’re wanting the ceremony to be outside under the floral gazebo, remember that the weather can be mercurial. If it’s too hot, people will burn and sweat and there is nothing sexy about a woman with streaky foundation and sweat beads above her top lip. Provide parasols and fans for comfort. Likewise, have a back-up for the potential of rain. Minced hair is a tragedy.
2) Keep the formalities fun. Photos are an important part of the wedding day as you want to document each second but don’t let that become the main focus. The day itself is central and ‘being in the moment’ is vital. Don’t destroy everyone’s souls by taking hours to capture photos and leaving your guests to wonder aimlessly about.
3) Don’t over entertain. Packing in an itinerary of fireworks, marimba bands, petting zoos or acrobatics can turn your wedding into a spectacle rather than a celebration of you as a couple. Entertaining everyone present and featuring something special is great but don’t make it into a circus.
4) Eat, drink and be merry. People are happy when they can eat well which doesn’t mean having an extensive array of food options nor forking out thousands on drinks. Don't make people or yourself wait too long for food. Fainting and headaches come to those who don't eat or drink.
5) Can you pee? My mum came to look at a lot of venues with me and we always looked for two things, air-con as February in Cape Town is hot and secondly, were the toilets nice enough and big enough for me to get in, hike my dress up and wee? You can forget about the small things but trust me, having to pee in a small-ass cubicle whilst wearing a meringue is not pleasant.
6) Don't be bullied. Families have a way of being your best friend and your worst enemies and nothing shows this more than a wedding. If you don't want children at your wedding but your cousin is sulking because that means her 3 year old demon can't attend, don't give in. Don't allow yourself to be emotionally blackmailed because you want a small wedding and your Grandma wants her ancient friends to be present or your father-in-law wants to bring his trashy new girlfriend. Put your foot down. If they don't like it, then they aren't worth it.
7) Make it personal. Inject your personality and that of you're partners into the day. Don't be tempted to copy another wedding and don't be afraid to do something truly 'out-there'. 
8) Give yourself a day to relax after the wedding before you head off to your honeymoon. I guarantee that once the wedding is over, your emotions will be going haywire and you'll need some time to just calm down and gather your thoughts.

In the end, the day is all about you and your partner and celebrating the start of your future together as husband and wife.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Farewell

She stares out over the bay in Hermanus her lips barely moving but I know she is whispering her goodbyes. One more piece of South Africa that will be confined to a memory. She turns around and smiles brightly at me and I look away to keep the tears from free-falling. My Mum is leaving me, taking my sister and flying to the UK to live there for the imminent future. My Father and Brother leave on the 27th and then who knows what will happen. If it wasn't for Mr H, I would be under the duvet drinking cheap vodka and eating mass amounts of chocolate.....that isn't such a bad idea though.

Saturday was my last full day with my Mum and Sister and we spent it in Hermanus eating fish and chips and getting ridiculously excited anytime we saw a speck in the water. It was a beautiful day. Some might even say magical but it still didn't numb the acute sense of loss.

I've been given the prep. talks "Oh now you have an excuse to visit", "At least you can chat via skype" and,"Just think, you have a place to stay when you go on holiday". Yes, because that is the extent of my worries; God forbid I should have to travel to Europe and pay for accommodation. No, the extent of my pain lies in not seeing them. Relying on technology to bridge the gap between real-life contact. Having to hear about my siblings growing up rather than seeing it happen first hand.

I don't want people giving me their best wishes and their words of advice. I don't want to be pitied....much. Okay, now I sound like a bitter old hag. I mean, thank you for caring and the love but do allow me to wallow in some self-pity and depression before trying to feed me your 'all wounds heal with time' mantra.

This is why this week you will find me staring blankly into space. Forgetting the most basic of things, looking longingly at photos of Ol' Blighty and missing my favourite females in the World.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

How to: upstage the Bride

Wedding party shot.



Mr H and I are attending a wedding on the 20th. It's the wedding of Mr H’s best man so it’s going to be pretty magical. Fortunately, I have my dress picked as before I left the UK, I bought quite a few dresses and so I’m prepared for at least 3 more weddings. What struck me though was that, had I not already got a dress and should I have had to buy one, at the fore-front of my mind and the mind of self-respecting females the world-over, is the command, ‘don’t choose a dress that will upstage the bride’. Indeed, they should make it a law because there is nothing worse that spending months planning your special and perfect day to have some trollop rock up in white, layered in diamonds and flirting with your groom. Don’t worry, that didn’t happen at my wedding, family upstaged me instead *cough*. Anyway, I got to thinking of ways that one could upstage the Bride (because I’m funny like that) and here’s my list:

Wearing white. It’s almost sacrilegious and though it’s been said for decades, it is still number one. There are exceptions of course when the Bride and Groom set the colour palate or when the Bride herself wears a colour dress but in any other circumstance, don’t do it. The Bride is to be a shining angel.
Wearing a ridiculous amount of 'bling'. Flashing your huge-ass diamond ring in every one's face and gently shaking your head so people can hear the tiny chimes of crystals and pearls hanging from your ears is just showing-off. I remember reading in a Bridal magazine about a bridesmaid who hired jewellery to stand out from the other bridesmaids. It didn't go down well.
Flirting with the groomsmen. Just because you look hot and you're single does not mean you can take the focus away from the happy couple by having all the guys ogling over you. Your bum doesn't need to be told if it looks perfect in a dress and your bra straps don't need any help in being tightened.
Bringing up the grooms or the brides exes. This could very well start a war and they should never ever be mentioned. A story that begins with 'remember when you were dating that guy/girl...' is a que for evil stares.
Starting drinking games. Throwing back the tequila, wobbling towards the bride with a shot of something horrific and then half spilling it over her will make you look like an idiot.
Complaining. It's not your day so get over the fact that they are dancing to a cheesy 80's track, the cake has fruit in it, the wedding photos are taking forever and their isn't any alcohol. Force a smile and be happy for the couple.
Not dancing. Sitting there looking like a slapped arse and not trying to have a little fun is pathetic. Wedding's are a chance to look a little idiotic and let your hair down. It's a happy occasion, one to be remembered.
Not bringing a present. We had this at our wedding and I'm not saying that it's all about the presents but even a card would have been nice, something to save for future years. Don't be a cheapskate and come for the free food because believe me, the Bride will not be forgiving and she'll think twice about inviting you to future birthdays or baby showers.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Married girls guide to: Being without your Husband



alone

At 4am in the morning I said goodbye to Mr H as he set his course for a 2 ½ week stint in Gauteng. Part work and part Bachelor party, the house became horribly empty. I struggled sleeping and awoke to a mountain of pillows but no husband. At least I have the dogs to keep me company and I’ve been reminded to look at the positives so I’m keeping my head up and have constructed a list of things that I can now amuse myself with until he returns.

  1. Shower for longer. Mr H complains that I take too long and is quite happy to throw cold water over me. I have decided, because the shower is fairly long, I shall turn it into a soap-rink.
  2. No-more having to hide chocolate bars. I can happily munch in bed watching Say yes to the Dress and Ultimate Cake-off.
  3. Cake for breakfast? Don’t mind if I do.
  4. I’ve picked up my notebooks and am reading through past lyrics and poetry and feeling the tingle of inspiration.
  5. I saw this tutorial on Pinterest about turning a man’s shirt into a skirt. Mr H would never ever left me do it but what he doesn’t know surely can’t hurt?
  6. I’m thinking of turning the kitchen into my own personal laboratory. Bath bombs, body butters, those can all be made at home right?
  7. Eat lentils. So I actually have an intolerance to them but I love black lentils so much. With Mr H gone, I can eat them without worrying about being on the toilet the entire evening.
  8. Flick through my old bridal magazines again. Gaze lustfully after peonies, vintage typewriters and a wedding cake made of cheese.
  9. Plan Mr H's 30th birthday. He is far to inquisitive and I need the time to get everything in order.
  10. Sleep in late on Saturday. I fear for Mr H's life when he wakes me up at the first sight of daylight on the weekend. Now I can keep those blinds firmly shut for a little while longer.

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Married Girl's guide to....

Pinned Image


Cooking. I swore to myself that I would not fit into the housewife mould of cooking and cleaning. Indeed, I could not really cook before I got married. I knew the essentials, Chill Con Carne and Chocolate brownies but I wasn't in to making anything fancy or pouring over new recipes. Leading up to the wedding, I was particularly annoyed with the comments made by the older generation in the vein of 'getting ready to start cooking?', 'has your Mum taught you about how to clean a house yet?' and my favorite, 'make sure you have a good meal waiting for him when he gets home'. That made me even more determined to not cook. But life has other plans and things change.

So here's my married girl guide to cooking:

1) We now both love cooking. There is no place in our house for little Miss 1950's. Mr H gets home before me and we choose what we want to cook. He is the King of curries and does amazing ribs and butterfly prawns.
2) 'If I cook, you clean.' Make it fair. We both work therefore we both can get quite crabby and stressed so making it about team effort helps.
3) Try and stay healthy. No one wants to be part of the couple that let themselves go after getting married. Believe me it’s very easy , especially during winter, to snuggle under the duvet with mountains of popcorn and chunky chocolate cookies. However, I’m planning on being around for awhile and want to be in the best possible shape and state of mind (Hahaha, some say I already lost that) for Mr H. When I’m 74, I still want to be able to kick his ass.
4) Try new things. I like to experiment. New recipes used to scare me but now I just pour over them and Mr H is the guinea pig.
5) Be better than his Mother. Ooh, now this is a delicate topic. In the beginning, I was reminded of all the amazing meals that Mr H’s mum could cook and it was a daunting task to try and beat that. Fear kept me from stepping out but now I realized that my cooking is just different and we cook with different palates in mind plus, Mr H has to live with me so tough titties.
6) It’s okay to have dessert for dinner. I realize that this goes against my original statement on being healthy but sometimes, often actually, left-over chocolate brownies miraculously find their way into your mouth. Rules are made for breaking people!
7) Sit down to eat. With busy lives, the temptation is to eat on the go or apart but that time spent together chatting about the day is important. A lot of the time, we cook in the kitchen together so we air our thoughts, frustrations and ideas before eating which makes dinner time a little quiet however, that just means more attention spent on the actual eating.
8) Have a day off. No need for a discussion there. Try out that new restaurant or go to a food market.