Monday, 29 April 2013

determined beats perfect

I wrote a post a while ago about being perfect. About how we try so hard ALL the time to be perfect, look perfect, act perfectly, not shout or get blemishes or cry at Masterchef or eat three pieces of Mich's amazing milk tart. And how it's so silly to be that way because it leads to decision paralysis. It stops us from loving ourselves and our lives.

Did I take any of my own advice? No. Don't be silly. But my hubby did. This is himself:

Photo by Estefania Romero

I am so unbelievably proud of him. After 4 tries, 5 YEARS he has passed his Board exam. The second last hurdle to becoming a CA. (The last exam, Board 2, can be written as many times as you like until you pass). This was the biggie. It was a relationship and life-defining exam. You'll think I'm exaggerating. I'm not. Nic has been writing this exam for our ENTIRE relationship.

I had the fortune of passing this exam on the first go. Some may say - perfectly. But I didn't learn from it (other than that auditing is mind-numbingly boring). I didn't grow into a stronger person, someone who now knows it's okay to ask for help. I didn't show grit and determination and an unwillingness to give up, even when looking down the barrel of failure. I didn't cry like a baby when I passed. It didn't change my life.

Lesson learned. God gives us failure to teach us something, even though we kick and scream and yell WHY ME!

Nicky, you are my hero.

New year fireworks in Jozi - BBC News

Sunday, 28 April 2013

dove real beauty sketches

If you haven't seen the Dove real beauty sketches, watch them on youtube now. Right now.

I watched the video with tears streaming down my face. I think, as a woman, the sketches can't help but strike a nerve. My husband is constantly telling me how beautiful I am, and sometimes the way he describes me seems absurd, crazy. Nowhere near the way I see myself. I think ahhh bless him, he's just my husband, he loves me for my personality, he doesn't see me for the way I really am.

But maybe he does...

This is Kela. She is beautiful, I immediately loved her pretty blue eyes and chic haircut. Watch the video and see how she really sees herself. Crazy!

So my promise to myself this week is this: every time I think a negative thought about my appearance (my bum is enormous), I will replace it with what my husband says about it (my bum is pert with a good shape). See, that makes me really uncomfortable. And it shouldn't. Well done Dove.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

four dogs and a dam

Last weekend we went to visit my brother-in-law and his girlfriend at their house in the Kamberg Valley.

That's the view from their front garden. Beautiful place, freezing temperatures! The photo above will be the last of its kind as the government is building a new dam that will eventually be 15m from the edge of the grass above! It's a unique experience for them to watch the progress of the water. 

While we were there, we hung out in hammocks on the patio:

Saw beautiful skies:

Took our four pups (they also have two furry kids) to the growing dam. They had so much fun tearing around the swampy veld. Those are mine on the left tag-teaming a large stick:

Oh and we drank the most delicious gluhwein. It was bliss. Can't wait to go back!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

favourite winter boots

Winter in the Southern Hemisphere is arriving the hubby spoiled me today with two pairs of drool-worthy winter boots. Yep. Two. No wonder I love the man.

So this means I need only one more of my Top 3 must have boots for winter (it doesn't look good because Hunters are beautiful but rather expensive):

the combat

Jessica Alba - my boots from Woolies

the ankle boot(ie)

Lauren Conrad - tan ankle boots from thisnext similar to mine from Woolies

(high end) wellies

Liv Tyler - Hunter boots in Dark Olive

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

travel dream: macchu pichu

One of my (many) travel dreams is to do the Inca Trail up to Macchu Picchu in Peru. If only we had endless money and time! Obviously it is really popular with tourists, so the Peruvian authorities have cut down the number of people who may be on the trail at any one time. Imagine this trail being eroded away - tragedy.

I saw this comparison of Macchu Picchu then and now on National Geographic and it amazed me. Hiram Bingham, who took the "Then" photos in 1911 and 1915, is the bemused looking fellow who claims to have rediscovered the ruins (although the Smithsonian disagree - academics seem to love a good barney over Who Discovered What). I never thought about having to keep the lawns cut etc, imagine being a mower on Macchu Picchu as a job!

While I'm dreaming of Macchu Picchu, how awesome to be photo bombed by a llama, like this. He may even pout for you...

Check out another wild place from National Geographic. I am definitely still a nerdy little kid inside :)

Saturday, 13 April 2013

real life blogging

I love blogging, no doubt about it. But when I read Keri's post about honesty and blogging it totally changed my perspective. She is one smart and funny lady, and her honesty about her life and feelings and love on her blog makes it so special.

So I've decided; no more hiding behind what interests me. I've been so afraid to blog about myself and my life in case its...well...BORING and in case I reveal too much, that I've only been blogging about what's outside me. Not INSIDE me. So prepare yourselves people. There is a lot going on in there.

When I think about why I've been scared there are so many reasons. What if no-one likes me? What if my writing, MY writing about MY life, really sucks? What if nothing happens in my life for months on end...wait...who am I kidding? Nic and I are the Leaders and Co-Presidents of the Anti-Comfort Zone. But still. What if I write something that hurts someone? Or gives someone the impression I'm stalking them? Or, worse, copying them?? What if I don't write for weeks on end because I have crazy deadlines at work or a new baby (before you get all excited, we are thinking the end of next year but that's a whole post on its own).

But these fears are something everyone feels about EVERYTHING in their lives, so best I suck it up and do something I love with no fear. OK, let's not go too far...let me do something I love while ignoring the fear. As Mrs Midlands Musings says:

"Let’s bring blogging back to what it’s supposed to be: raw, honest, human emotion.  Storytelling.  Over-sharing.  Connecting.  Bonding.  Truth."

Much love xxx

This is Keri on her wedding day, isn't she beautiful? (and no I am not a stalker she IS). Photography by Bright Girl Photography.

Monday, 1 April 2013

masterchef and other obsessions

I wish I was a more motivated cook, but man do I love watching cooking programmes...Masterchef (the Aussie version is my absolute favourite), Jamie's 30 minute meals, Great British menu, Sophie Dahl's one (a fantasy of boho-chic cooking if there is such a thing) and of course the First Lady of Chocolate and Butter Nigella.

I would love this kitchen from Sophie Dahl's show

There is something calming about watching other people cook and then nibble, I often wonder who eats all the delicious results? Cameramen? Sous chefs? Groupies?

So DO NOT spoil the current Masterchef Aus (season 3) for me! I very carefully did not google season 3 so the winner would NOT invariably come up. I am very much enjoying perving over Hayden - the blonde surfer who can cook pastry and is miraculously un-fat - and tearing up every time some poor soul goes home at the ends of a Heston Blumenthal burger and fries (that takes 3 hours to compile so fair enough) or a pressure test where they accidentally overcook a scallop. Man I love it. Although I have no desire to become a chef myself. More than happy to live vicariously through the show.

I am gunning for Kate in the show (will NOT link to her just in case) because obviously we share a name, and she seems so stable and nice. We could totally be friends.

Nigella's Italian Christmas pudding cake

Oh and Delia Smith is teaching people to cook via her Online Cooking School (you should have seen her on Graham Norton's Show she was livid that people in the UK live on tikka masala and kebabs), check it out here.