Wednesday, January 30, 2013


this is my happy 100th blog post!

this may be a little more exciting to me than to you.

i should take this special post to reflect on what this blog has meant to me so far. dream of the direction i want to take and share the thoughts i have towards my little space of the internet.


because, it seems like a good idea. share a little 'behind the senses' of lanlettie if you will.

first, a random photo:
because i like sharing my photos with you. do you like it?

then, some thoughts:
things i say to myself often with regards to this blog:

"maybe i should do a post on baking cupcakes"

"what should i blog about next"

"wow, i didn't think that post would get so many reads"

"meh, i thought more people would read that post"

"maybe i should blog more often"

"i don't know what to blog about this week"

"i hate the word 'blog', it make me think of snails and slugs"

"is that a good blog topic?"

"i wonder when my mom will start reading"

"let's just delete the whole thing"

"should i start advertising?"

"do people really want to know about my SAD condition" (something about being depressed by the lack of sun)

"at least i know belinda will like this post"

"why didn't belinda like that post..."

"is this stupid"

"i wish i had a better photo for the blog"

"what am i trying to prove with the lack of CAPS?"

"i love you blog, i would have gone crazy in my unemployment housewife state"

"is blogging about dreams you had a thing?"

"what am i trying to accomplish here???"

"i found this cool photo in my archive... how can i turn it into a post?"

anyhoo, just some insight into that side of things, moving on.

not without another random photo of course.

to be honest the need for this blog has changed a few times over the past year. notice?

i started lanlettie because i needed some kind of outlet, something to do.  above all because i thought it would be fun, and for the most part i really enjoy is... for the most part, to be honest every now and then i think this is all bullsh*t and i should invest my time in other things. like ..... like..... (stares at screen blankly)...

over these past 99 posts i shared everything from my puppy (in sa), wedding diy, lunches, walks, my room, traveling to the States, moving to the States, exploring Spokane, being a new cook, being skinny, being cheap, being a little overwhelmed by these Americans every now and then.

so i'm a little attached see.

i'm also taking this momentous occasion of the 100th post to think about the future of lanlettie.

let me think as i search for another, you guessed it, random photo
it just felt right
 i wonder if i should just take it post for post, like i have been. i wonder about my 'blogger voice' (argh that sounds cheesy), should i continue with the mostly snarky commentary?
or maybe try and be more useful?
can our weekends ever be as exciting to just take photos of the whole deal and post them on monday?  i think about this EVERY monday. 

i have a few favorite blogs that inspire me, see here to the right ------->
and just copying them would be of no use.  i could never be as witty as the everywhereist, show you beautiful photography like afternoons & coffeespoons or chasing heartbeats or write as beautifully as rose and crown and exquisite banana.
and i'm okay with that.

i guess what i'm really getting at is, this space (i say space because i seriously can not use the word 'blog' one more time)... this space is still figuring itself out, and i'm very curious to see where it will go from here.
will you still be here lanlettie once the green card arrives and you've found useful employment?
will your main purpose be to somehow keep those back home up to date on your daily life here?
those who want to know...
will you keep me busy and distracted from winter? cabin fever? the dishes? homesickness? 
will you add some usefulness?
will you grow and grow and someday become the notes for that book written about your life?

lanlettie is like "uh... i don't know"

for those of you who do check in every now and then, thank you sincerely.

that's all for now.
well that and ANOTHER random photo yay!
the sun is shining! the sun is shining! i'm freaking out.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

why i (still) LOVE winter #32

and yes i'm a little sarcastic..

but seeing as those flirty months of spring, not the mention the sexy months of summer are SO far away i need to rather focus my thoughts and wonder to the greatness that still is winter.

a great reason for me to personally "love" winter right now is because here at almost mid week, i'm still suffering from a horrid flu spell.
so miserably stuck on the coach curled up into a little ball of sadness, i at the very least feel no guilt of wasting a perfect day, a gorgeous weekend, no out doors really beckoning me for walks.
So there's that, for the fourth day in a row, i've forgotten what being cold even means...

what else? reasons i need to find you!

as i find them i will share them, they're out there somewhere.

the rest of you down under, continue to enjoy your summer, which according to facebook is turning out to be a nice scorcher. soak it in kids, soak it all in (after you've applied your sunscreen that is).

sun... what's that? 

Friday, January 25, 2013

a little confession (just a little one)

how i want to look like on social media:

"sup, guys, i'm just over here typing away at my blog... beautifully, no big deal"

 how i actually look most of the time:

"yeee haa, let's talk about flowers, americans and how this winter is not making me go crazy" (runs in the family?)

hey, now that you mention flowers...
look at my happy little daffodils grow. it's practically spring

-first photo by Ingrid Marais, second from my mamma's collection and third as seen on my instagram

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

post wedding blues. i'm weird?

i've not heard many new brides bemoan the post wedding blues.

is it because it's just me?

or, is it because we're not supposed to be sad about anything again, seeing as we've had our 'best day ever' and should now be so deeply involved in wedded bliss?  happily married, no time to think back on how much fun dress shopping was, or late night DIY projects, spa treatements, psshhh what ever.

for the purpose of this theme i need to make the distinction between the wedding day and the marriage for the sake of not getting a flood of private e-mails from concerned friends on the state of my wonderful new marriage. marriage is awesome! that's what i'll say about that.

but, come on...

wedding day, happiest day of a girls life, be a princess, generous gifts from all sides, not even mentioning the anticipation of a honeymoon... pamper sessions, kitchen teas, hours and hours spent on wedding blogs, attention, oh so much attention.

i'm not the only weirdo here that's sad that it's all over.  i might be, hence the need to write yet another 'self help for me from me' blog post on how to deal with given situation... i'm sensing lanlettie taking on form here. 

 so here are my helpful tips on dealing with the post-wedding blues...

*start having babies....


...hold on there ever striving human nature, we both know well the last thing i should be doing now is giving up wine for a year.

let's try again:

*add wedding photos between tips! great idea (self high five)

  *make a point to relive a special or funny moment with ben every now and then.  for now this needs to done with intention.  it's very easy for us to get caught up in other things and can go weeks without even thinking about our wedding day.  we still have the advantage of that blessed day being rather fresh in our memories, and sharing with each other will only intensify our memory of the day.

*print my favorite wedding pictures and purposefully decorate these part empty walls.

*wear my self made veil while washing dishes

*ask friends to send pictures they took on our wedding day... with that,
"dear awesome friend who made it to our wedding, please be so cool as to e-mail me all the pictures i look good in.  thank you sincerely"

*have a post wedding interview with self (like they do on the real wedding sections of the pretty blog)... consider posting this as a blog post, or at least just write in journal for future autobiography reference.

*insist to my unmarried friends to invest in a videographer for their wedding day. if only one bride heeds this important piece of advice i might start feeling less like kicking my self for deciding not to hire videographer...

*take time to deeply enjoy thinking about my wedding day, and then stop, take more time to deeply appreciate the fact that i'm married to my best friend, days with him, even the meh days, are the best days, always.

*bake chocolate cake. bake cheesecake. bake some more chocolate 'red velvet' cake. our wedding cakes. 
   hey this is part of the therapy...

*play our first dance song on anniversary days.  and be reminded that the best is SO yet to come!

in the end, i realize i have so much to be thankful for. i know this. i'd also way rather be married to ben than not be married to him, apart from him.
still, the 13 of October was the most amazing day and i guess i'm just not ready for that simply be a memory.

all wedding photos taken by Ingrid Marais

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday, around here, outside

here with proof that i do in fact leave my house:

how amazing is freezing fog right? so pretty.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I'm in America now, 12 things to 'get over'

moving to a new country is by no means easy.

nope, not at all.

new everything. new home, new (at some stage)job, new people, new rules, new language, new favorite bar, new favorite tv station, new seasons ... the list goes on.

i love new, really i do. but what often gets me is not that everything is so 'new' but more what 'isn't no more'.

no more family home, no more job i know and love, no more friends close by, no more afrikaans, no more sushi with belinda or sunday church with rosalye and karlin, no more sunshine, no more many things.

and this for me is what gets hard.

i find myself often complaining/noting/whispering/sarcastically pointing difference out to ben.  who by law is now obliged to listen my many observations of 'this is different in Johannesburg South Africa'. bless his heart.

recently i discovered how annoying i've become about certain issues or differences or what ever they are.  so i've made a list of things that are just different here, not always for the better, not always for the worse, it's just how it is. and by saying something about every time is just holding me back.

time to deal woman.

1. it's winter
yes, it's summer back home, and people are complaining about some sort of heat wave or whatever, but for me, it's winter, it's freaking cold, and will remain so for, what, the next 4 months?
deal with it.

2. wine and fruit are more expensive.
no need to roll your eyes at the paying R60 for a bag of clementines, or R45 for strawberries. Even the usual R60-80 for a bottle of wine.

what am i saying, we discovered the 2buck chuck at Trader Joes... it's less than R20... what was i sulking about again? never mind... oh, fruit! yes, comparatively it is pricey. and will remain to be so.
so get over it and drink more wine.

3. they drive on the other side of the road here.
as they did in Hanoi, so seriously, i should get over this too. stop walking all the way to the driver seat... every time.

4. people have bigger space bubbles here.
i've mentioned this before, and while it still strikes me as odd i do need to get over that too. i've discovered that i'm actually getting used to saying 'excuse me' when i walk with in earshot of strangers.

5. green card
it's expensive yes, but we've paid sent it all off.  stop sulking about how expensive it was, and how nerve wrecking the wait is. it's my own fault for falling in love with an attractive, adorable American. get the card, move on... to happily every after.

6. lack of violent crime
there's no point in explaining how certain crimes would not even make the local newspaper never mind the evening news.  i need to stop rolling my eyes at stories like ' sock monkey Christmas wreath stolen' 'man with pants around ankles tries to get into homes' ... crime is never funny. and pointing out how countless murders and violent crime is almost a boring fixture in Jo'burg is not amusing. 

7. friends and family are far.
while this sucks, it's time to get over it. not stop missing them, just deal until they are not so far anymore. this is by far the hardest part.

8.  showing ID when buying wine.
stop saying "now that's compliment", because they have to ask if you look under 40... so the Trader Joe cashier is not flirting, he's doing his job. Also, I should rather be more concerned when not asked for ID.

9. South African slang.
people here don't know what 'braai', 'bakkie', 'tekkies', 'lekker' is. and that's okay. from now on its BBQ, truck, sneakers and __________ no english word can possible have as many meaning as 'lekker'. so, stop it.

10. Measurements.
Learn about pounds, inches, ounces, miles, yards and so forth.  i can not always rely on my smart husband to translate the differences in measurements.  i'm here and that's just how it is.

11. Trader Joe's is the closete things to Woolworths
and i like it.

12. Parking
yes, it's easier to find parking in Johannesburg, congratulations, now get over it.

so there, 12 things to work on for me. so if you'll excuse i'll go give myself a splash of cold water and a slap and continue being happily married, exploring Spokane and dreaming of summer...
  because has hard as adjusting and starting over is, it's totally worth it, now that i've discovered where the 2.5usd wine is now that i'm with my beloved and have proper winter shoes.

Friday, January 11, 2013

friday, around here. shadows and sunlight

you know, there's not much sunshine going on around here, so when it comes around so very occasionally i can't help but think it the most beautiful thing. i follow it from window to window, room to room imagining the Vitamin D seeping into the grey of my skin, it feels like a kiss.

so there's that and a little of last nights impressive gluten free lasagna meal:

wait, what?? ... oh i just miss South Africa.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Spokane on the cheap


what we did last weekend.

i'm so thankful to be married to the kind of person that makes puzzle building for hours fun. thankful because one, it's great for the tight budget and two, well, because i'm sure i'd still pick doing that with him than just about anything else in world without him.  i like that kind of feeling.

being so easily entertained has it's advantages. it makes weekends way more exciting and less expensive, which as newlyweds is useful.

i''ll share here a bit of our last weekend, not because we're interesting, mainly to record and keep this as future reference for winter cheap weekends.

i say winter, seeing as we'll be sure to loose our heads and run outside like crazy people once the summer hits... summer (stop fantasizing!! it's too far still!) ((me, not you))


we hit what's known around here as first friday. very artsy. a number of venues (restaurants, bars etc) host exhibitions or performances by mostly local artists (for free) , so it's a great way to explore downtown (for us newbies) and add a little culture and color to the week.

we started out at the MAC  the Northwest Museum of arts and culture, it's not exactly walking distance to downtown but not too far. the museum is currently hosting a special Smithsonian exhibition: “Buffalo Bill's Wild West Warriors”.   not being american and all i thought the exhibition  fascinating.

i would, being a history nerd and all.


the display had some awesome items:

...and i really really want these items in my closet.

further more, the MAC offers complimentary entry on first friday between 5-8 pm. score! (#sorryforsoundinglikeastudentthere)

 normal entrance costs 7usd per adult but includes a tour of Campbell house

 we had such great intentions of hitting a few more exhibitions of first friday but going to the Steam Plant for the first time was way too amusing to leave after only 15 minutes, so we stayed.

side note: the beer sampling they had with the glass art exhibition had nothing to do with it.

no really it's a fascinating building, were parts smell like dessert beer, true story. completely renovated and i'm sure a true downtown gem.
this was not a sampler (i wish), but probably the best beer i've had all year.


saturday moring teased with a wee bit of sunlight action, limited but much appreciated.

i recently learned that Manito Park is the number one attraction of Spokane according to tripadvisor. and i live a stone throw away, how awesome is that!
so pair that pleasant information with our love of taking long walks and there you have most of our saturday activity, best part, totally free.

we even saw a male dear prance about in the quieter parts of the park. so hello, it was like a safari...and i'm from Africa!

the evening ended with a 1.34 usd Redbox rental (Salmon fishing in the Yemen) and inexpensive red wine from Trader Joe's... because we think we're classy like that. fine the wine cost less than 3 dollars, not so classy after all.


i'll keep it short.


a quick drive to River state park, thanks to our Discovery Pass we can do things like that now. at 10 usd for a day pass and 30-35 usd for an annual pass, it made a great gift and might be abused once we hit the warmer months.

the grand finale of the lovely weekend, and plans to be for the next few weekends was of course the 2 hour season premier of Downton Abbey. yup, i'm one of those. ben not so much so he just read intelligent stuff.
photo found here

sigh, looking forward to next weekend already...