Monday, December 15, 2014



Crafting: Braiding white and red yarn for Christmas gift wrapping and rewriting my Chocolate Salted Caramels labels to say 'Keep refrigerated and not refriDgerated' 
Baking: The famous, top secret, only-bread-worth-eating family recipe Cranberry Nut Bread and making the last few batches of Salted Caramels.
Feeling proud: Three weeks later and I'm still very proud of hosting our first Thanksgiving, mix and match chairs, a fold out table, a Walmart fabric make do table cloth... perfectly cooked turkey, South African style green beans, new traditions and string lights.
Listening to: Christmas music, yes, the reformation of the self identified Grinch continues.
Planning: A Whole15 sometime in January, not January 1st.
Dreaming: Of a white Christma... ha ha, no. I'm dreaming of the Italian summer vacation I'm planning with my family next year. Living on the other side of the world as your family does have its perks, like "let's meet half way, oh! half way is Italy"
Wondering: What being a dog owner is revealing about my future parenting style.
Grateful: for the sweet care package I received in the mail from my bestie today. It's insane how happy the word 'Woolworths' makes me. Also feeling grateful for the amazingly wild journey of 2014, it's been weird and hard and wonderful and charming. 
Hoping: to paint my walls white, trim my bangs and learn Swahili soon.
Watching: On season 6 of watching Gilmore Girls the second time around. Parks and Rec with Ben and counting down the days till I can watch Downton Abbey!
Enjoying: Playing hide and seek with Ben and puppy Henry, sneaking in mini hikes before everything is covered in snow and getting into the Christmas spirit.
Reading: Anna Karenina, only about 50 pages in and loving it.
Excited about: The Christmas break and all the crafting and catching up with gorgeous people I'll be doing.
Sharing: These random pictures with you, mostly from our trip to the Jerry Johnson hot-spring in Idaho.  Others from Thanksgiving and others from the Christmas tree hunt, in no particular order:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My house

Hardwood floors, cherry trees. Front porch, plum trees. Dying grass and a dishwasher. Clothes that may be forgotten in the dryer.
No down stairs neighbors to consider when walking in heals. Separate closets. Mirrors for days.
Dog toys and bones strewn about and the kids next door dressed in ninja costumes.
Chalkboard black kitchen walls painted and trips to home depot.
Farmers market and Summer night outdoor movies. 
The happiest yellow front door on the street and a double sink.

I'm smitten with this home living in the suburbs.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Oregon Coast and what feels like home

Oregon Coast Weekend.

Living so far away from home is still something I learn to deal with. It's easier, much much easier than it's been, but still. The last two years I've learned a few things that help with homesickness. (If you're a South African wondering if you're home sick you should read this to double check).

I've learned to listen to South African music, call my mom and drink rooibos tea when I'm feeling far from home. I've also discovered that the ocean is a great comfort.

The ocean is so constant. Standing at the edge of where the waves meet the shore, staring out to the deep, infinite wild blue space I feel like I'm where I've been before. Where I've been with family, where I spent Summer holidays or wild adventrures from my early twenties, it's so familiar to me. The ocean greets me with a magical smell, breeze and sound that's the same whether it's the Indian, Atlantic or Pacific Ocean.

I could for a moment imagine I'm on the beach with my sister, walking along the Jeffery's Bay coastline, or on December school holiday, caravan camping with my family on the East Coast of South Africa. I'm not the stranger in Northwest America, I'm in a familiar and welcoming place.

This trip was my first visit to the lusciously lovely state of Oregon and I'm a fan. We packed our new puppy, our bigger tent and soup cans to spend 4 nights exploring up and down the coast. Again, it was a lot of driving, but we don't mind that so much. The campsites were full, but the beaches where empty. We spent many hours just the three of us walking the low-tide sandy part, discovering washed up treasures and letting puppy Henry have the best day of his life. We even found a washed up bottle cap with Japanese writing on it, from the Tsunami maybe.

Hoping to sneak at least one more camping trip in before the big freeze arrives.