Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in pictures

2012, you beautiful, crazy, frightful year. you've been hard and wonderful, my favorite so far, for sure.
got engaged 1st of Jan in Central Park NYC

27th bday

save the date

engagement shoot in downtown Spokane by Melissa (need to get her full name)

ferry ride from San Juan Island. March

Stagit, Washington State

spending quality time with my long distance fiance

more amazing time spent with this guy 3 months later in Glacier Park, Montana

oh hey Istanbul, one day stop over

oh hey Moma and New York City and friend, one day stop over

fiance visa interview readiness  

13 October, obviously the best day ever (ingrid marais photography)

oh cool, my favorite people. (ingrid marais photography)

Cape Town

newly wed, first home together, 'never thought i'd be so excited about a couch'

yay Manito Park, i like you a lot.
gorgeous Christmas morning

2013 i'm so excited about you!

Friday, December 28, 2012

skinny girl problems and the festive season

dilemmas of the sort of skinny girl...

people who have known me since school years are rolling their eyes at me... *1st problem.
seriously guys, there's a couple of winter warming, festive season, newly wed paddings around that i'm just not used to.

blissfully chomping down ice cream, in a bikini 10 YEARS AGO

i'm not fishing for sympathy here, i've tried that before, usually it ends with me getting punched in the face for complaining about my weight in, what i thought, was a safe circle of sharing.

"man these skinny jeans are sitting a little tight"

"turns out the small was too small so i bought a MEDIUM (sobs)"

"seems like i can't get away with eating an entire tub of chocolate-chip-fudge-cookie-sugar-butter-calorie ice cream with out having to run it off the next day (dramatic sigh)"

"does my ass look b..

 i get it, having lived a mostly skinny life you're sentenced to a life of "you can do with a little more weight", "shut up you skinny moron" "i'm going to punch you in the face if you say one more fatty fat thing about your thighs"

the problem:

while trying to fit in here (no pun intended), here as in the USA i have completely (or mostly) given myself to the ways of the locals.  well not really... i honestly couldn't be bothered by the fast food, drive thru's, deep fried of the diners, so snaps for that.  it's this darn festive season you see.
in South Africa, the only problem was the actual Christmas day, where you do an epic braai (BBQ) after the gift opening. As in epic man, like 3 to 4 kinds of meat, all starches and plenty of pudding.

but here, different story,

brunch at the Davenport, cause that's how we roll, and why i now, uhm, roll. #lamejoke

it starts with Thanksgiving, which basically seduces you into forsaking all healthy consciousness till about the day or so after Christmas, and here i am... in stretch pants.

so just to be clear here ... I DON'T THINK I'M FAT, so don't send me mental face punches (people who know me).  i just can't seem to fit into my skinny jeans that well...

plan of action:

the "Christmas-New Years"  "diet", which basically means:

-you have to eat all the cookies/Christmas bread in your house.

-eat all the left over chocolate chips that weren't used in said cookies.
working on it
-buy more fruit, to slowly reintroduce this concept to your body
liking it

-use fruit in new smoothie maker, so slowly start feeling like a health rock star again... your body will like this feeling, making that new years resolution that much easier come the 2nd of January
-hide festive candy in bottom drawer for emergencies.

-invest hours in pinning healthy recipes and tips on your 'new me, happy me' pinterest board.
many hours invested.
-make detox water as seen on pinterest.
nailed it

-find ways to burn more calories while doing house work #newhousewife
sock on the floor, LUNGE and up and continue until all laundry is gathered.
wash the dish, BACKWARD KICK that will totally contribute to getting back into skinny jeans
 browse more Pinterest and suck in your stomach... and so forth.

i'll keep you updated on how this is working out for me. but seriously, i do like living healthy and feeling confident. it's not about a perfect body, or even body image or self esteem, it's about taking care of myself and my husband.
 be kind to yourself, don't count almonds or cut out wine, don't obsess, just cultivate a balanced healthy life, that's all. well for me, for now at least

Monday, December 24, 2012

yay for white christmas

how confused i'd be if america did not produce the most beautiful white christmas for my african enjoyment. thank you x

have a merry and beautiful Christmas everybody, hope it's filled with family and love and old school Christmas carols.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday: impressive blog title here

excited for snow tubing this weekend, i have almost three decades of missing out on 'snow joy awesomeness' to make up for.

baking some more. these choc chip cookies and these shortbread cookies, apparently eating a serious diet of only cookies around Christmas doesn't make you fat. right?

thinking that i need to be physically outside of our apartment as much as possible this weekend.

avoiding most kinds of shopping till the day after Christmas, and when i return the merry music better be done, done i tell you.  there's only so many times 'i saw mommy kissing Santa' is cute... no more!

loving that there is a little bit of sunshine action going on out there, and that the snow is still pretty solid on the ground, watching the bad ass crows patrolling the neighbourhood, that most of the wrapping is done... and the smoothie maker i got delivered to me this week. dankie sussiekie xx!

hoping  for a Christmas miracle, where my green card magically appears with no more hassles, no talk of how many months it will still take to get it and... while i'm at it, a 90% off coupon for the whole deal. how about it bureaucratic America?

wanting Johannesburg South African beaches to not be so freaking far from Spokane...

remembering mannamemarak... if you are Afrikaans, between 26-28 follow that link!!! if you are not, then, uhm, don't.  While you're at it might as well listen to Mina Moo, and hopefully you too will be inspired to call someone a 'ramkat'... just me?
(this exactly the kind of random things you find when you go down the You Tube rabbit hole of your nostalgia)

singing, humming my favorite Christmas carrol despite being such a humbug about the whole festive season.

enjoying  the sunlight that has in fact broken through since. also discovering this blog afternoons and coffespoons.

needing to make time to watch love actually

thankful for; again with the sunshine, the time spent with my new in-laws, the entertaining squirrels outside my window (see why i need to get out more), a successful first attempt lasagne dish, finding affordable drinkable wine, the weekend, that my husband is so darn attractive.

have a happy weekend x

Thursday, December 20, 2012

is it NYE yet?

yes, i know i mentioned yesterday how i don't love christmas. gasp says America (and probably Germany). eh, i don't feel a very strong desire to explain to you why today.

what i will share is this. i love new years eve/day, it might just be my favourite. no pressure, no 'traditions' that have to start weeks and weeks before. just a moment in time, with a bit of a build up to it. 

can you even name three songs about new years eve? can you?

 there's 'new years day by U2' and then the 'still a major hit' in Vietnam 'happy new year by ABBA'. oh yes and 'final countdown' by Europe.
well, i can name three songs.   point is, you're mostly guaranteed not to hear these songs a million times on repeat over the span of 6 weeks. and hell, i'd even listen to these songs on You Tube right now.... hold on....

just linking these songs is getting my pumped up.  especially the the 'final countdown' one, seeing as it might be the end of the world tomorrow, how you doing there East side?


today the post is about loving on the age old event of saying goodbye to the old, and mentally and emotionally preparing for the new of the next year.  i'm a big fan of new and fresh starts.

i love thinking about where i spent the previous new years eve... a starting point of the reflection process, then working my way through the joyous and disastrous events of the year. (which i will share in upcoming posts)

lastly for today here is this fun fact, the last three years have been very eventful as far as NYE locations go.  allow me to share them with you briefly:

-let's start with three years ago, ah yes, 2009/2010 in Hanoi, Vietnam (when Ben should totally have kissed me but got shy and didn't)

-the year 2010/2011 NYE was spent with Ben, who has since the previous year decided to kiss me. so he was around to kiss me for this NYE... in Hong Kong

-and finally, the 2011/2012 together (very much together) in the heart of New York City, in view of the ball drop,

more photographic proof of being in NYC


confession: we stood in our spot from 9pm in order to see the ball drop (and experience the general splendor of a NYC NYE) but in the moment of counting down both of us actually FORGOT to look at the ball... because the countdown can be rather emotional you know... or something

this is the last photo of ben as an unengaged man... here i'm thinking "ben is very attractive and being very quiet at the moment" and he's thinking "i'm planning to propose to this woman, if only she'll finish taking my picture and eat her hot dog so we can go find the perfect spot in Central Park, also, she's adorable"... i imagine.

this year: downtown (or where the champagne is) Spokane... seriously, where can a person go after NYC?
i'm excited.

ps: i love 'happy new year' by ABBA. love it, you and me both Hanoi.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas around

neighborhood lighting up

gifts already sent to far off and unmet family members

taking notes from edgy santa

trusted with the secret family christmas cranberry-nut bread recipe

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here, the kind where baking and family and wrapping of gifts are involved. the parts i like. away from malls and christmas music and old men with white beards.  i'm not biggest christmas fan, but maybe more on that later once i find my misplaced soap box.
christmas decorating at our house

christmas tree at the in laws

Monday, December 17, 2012

a weekend

it's been a gorgeously snowy past couple of days, filled with all of kinds of 'the weekend before the weekend before' Christmas activities.
people going about setting up trees and sending off last minute but on time parcels, baking somethings, making other things, driving to find eagles, looking for the 'right' kind of wrapping paper.
and yet the heartbreaking news of friday morning can not be easily shaken, nor should it.  i can not stop thinking about the newtown families. it feels like more than just the simple and enough of a fact that it's the most heartbreaking reality that a family and community can face here in the free world. i don't know if it's because i'm here, alone during the day, away from most of my loved ones or what. i just feel so deeply for this tragedy.  i know we all do.  it's not that i want to add my own 2cents on the subject, i just can't seem to write to you today about anything else.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

2 months

that awesome moment when you realize you're married to the funniest person you know.

happy 2 month anniversary! you so are my favorite!

ps- again, all photo's here from Ingrid Marais

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

that time i diy'ed my wedding

...i know "diy'ed" isn't a word.

so today, let's step away from the snow and walking everywhere posts and go back in time to honestly the best day of my life. how grateful i feel even to say that.

remember those diy posts? no?

...what do you mean no?

like this one? about how to make easy cheap bunting?

well here is how it turned out on the day:

note, i posted that in May, and was sewing my little heart out till about two weeks before the wedding. but i loved doing it. would i spend another 6-7months sewing and making things for something that will be used/appreciated for 6 hours? YES!

then there was the post about making the name tags if you care to recall?

here is that:
the brown paper bag was for the guests to fill up at the sweet station. edible favors!
i also spent a lot of time collecting any kind of jar, this might have sparked a horder in me, even now, i can't seem to through any away...
as seen on my instagram

anyway, my family and friends and i collected a few boxes full of jars that i laced and handed over to be fillled with all kind of glorious 'veld' flowers. one of my favorite parts of the wedding decor:

then of course there was the personal touches to my dress as well as the seating chart and table names that i'd love to share with you another chilly day this week.

i love to diy, love the idea of making something and saying i made that.  having had such a great excuse and the time to do the projects was just one of the million little things i was thankful for! that and of course this dude showing up...

 ps- all photo's here were taken by our amazing photographer Ingrid Marais.