Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Recycling more than just junk.

So how do you feel about getting second hand clothes for your kids? We grew up getting clothes from cousins and passing on.

I for one, love it! If they are in good condition it's truly a blessing. It's more about saving a couple of rands for not buying  a few outfits, it is also about being "green" - using stuff over again, reducing our carbon footprints. The other great thing about it is having some clothes to add to my sale loot bought at the previous year's sales so that you have clothes ready when unexpectedly, for instance, summer arrives very soon like this week. Yes, I do support giving clothes for charity, and that is where most of my kids' clothes go, but some are in such great condition - still perfect, or really high end nice stuff that I would wish someone else that I know could use it.

The situation at present is that no one passes clothes on to me - I have never had a friend with an older girl, the cousins are way older. As to the boys, I used to have a friend that had a boy about 2 years older and I got quite a bit for her -but now they have a little boy in the family and that has stopped. I am fine with that -we do not really need it, but I would surely not mind getting some passed on.

As to passing on, my mom's church supports a family that has twin boys exactly a year younger than mine - I pass everything on to them and some to Lucy for her one grand child. The really best things goes to a friend's son - she is also more than grateful. I have kept the best of the girls stuff,  the rest goes to the same charity I send the boys stuff to or to Lucy's church. Imagine my shock when the intended recipient informed me on Thursday night that he would rather I give the clothes to someone who really needs it. We are talking about a Woollies' brilliant knitted coat, two stunning Naartjie outfits, a Pumpkin patch jacket and some good quality Woollies stuff. The only thing he took was one Keedo dress.( I have to admit it is beautiful). To be honest, I felt rather foolish. I know they refuse to buy expensive clothes for their girl and often shop at PEP or Ackermans so I did not expect this at all.I am not sure if he just did not want to have more to pack?

On Saturday night we had our good buds (who has 3 girls) over for rugby and as we usually do, after the game, we gave the boys a bath in our bathroom and the 3 big girls in the kids bathroom. So I and I sat chatting on our bed while they played and she noticed that one of her girl's PJ top was not in the bag she brought. I took out the bag of clothes that was discarded to get her some PJ's there - they fitted perfectly. Now they have no shortage of money, in fact, they are more comfortable money-wise than any of our friends. Fancy house, top of the range 4x4 etc - they surely do not need to save. She asked what I am going to do with the bag of clothes and I told her the history. I offered the bag if she wanted it, as I was just going to pass onto charity. She was so happy to take every single item. For exactly the same reasons I love to get hand me downs. I mean, why not save? Why not save the planet too? When she is done with them she will in turn pass them on to charity in any event. Do we live in such a consumer society that everything has to be the best and brand new?

So what is your opinion? I really want to know. Am I old fashioned to subscribe to these principles? Be honest, I really want to know.

Monday, 30 August 2010

July 2009 - Book 19

The Road Home by Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen
A modern version of the age old story of Ruth portrayed against the background of Las Vegas and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania's Amish and Mennonite communities. The book features many very likable characters and manages to wield the charm of a rural lifestyle by pure descriptions- I could form clear pictures in my mind as to the countryside, buildings and people.

I would have never bought the book in a shop,. but I guess that's one of the advantages of belonging to a  book club - you get to read books that surprise you quite often.

Well written is is really worth the read.

Cat's opinion: a solid 7and a half/10

The best Idea ever!

Playing along with Cheryl.
 My word girls, this is the best idea ever! This is a special edition magazine by Ideas/Idees magazine and was published on the 16th of August. I have not been able to find out if it was also published in English. The magazine features a menu with recipes for every weekday of the year, starting in January and right through to December. Every week has a selection with a vegetarian option, fish meal, pork, red meat and chicken. Some weeks even has a shopping list. Now I am the first to admit that some of the meals will not be a hit with my almost 3 years olds, but hec, with the amount of recipes you just swop out with another week for that night. I have made quite a few - all have been easy, relatively fast and tasty. This is really amazingly brilliant. And so makes my Monday - this week we will be eating a week from this mag.

To all my dear blogging friends, an apology. I am not getting around reading blogs like is used to. Work is hectic, time at home is limited. Especially the overseas girls with time differences - I still sometimes get around the local time ones as I see updates while working, but there's no way that I get around reading all the updates in one shot. I will get to you, I promise. And thanks for your kind comments.

I also have a new book review up at Cat's Bookclub - The Road Home

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Van Gaalen Cheese farm

Unknown Mami
Hosted by Unknown Mami
It's the very first time I am participating in this little "event" . Last Sunday we went out to Van Gaalen Cheese farm on Mom again @40's recommendation. It was a really great day out that we as a family desperately needed together. Just a comfortable drive to the small little nook of Skeerpoort, it provides a great restaurant, cheese shop and space to walk and spend time in nature. For the more energetic there are plenty of mountain bike trails. 

Friday, 27 August 2010

Friday - 27 August 2010

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily

  21 August 2010:

Miss Kaitlyn at Greenlyn shopping centre.

  23 August 2010:

Two little men got their first pair of slip-slops.

  24 August 2010:

Often the first sign of Spring - our jasmine bush in full bloom.

  26 August 2010:

Low light in the last rays of of the afternoon on my kitchen counter.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Boston Kitchen Deli

I favor the little independent coffee shops and restaurants in our area. I love to go to a truly unique little place and sit (preferably) outside(depending on the weather) than a chain or franchise option in a mall. That is just one reason why I love Boston Kitchen Deli just off Brooklyn road in Hazelwood. The fact that the food is pretty stunning too and that we girls get to eat just veggies at their weigh-in buffet if we feel like it, adds to the pleasure. In fact, one feels quite European sitting on the sidewalk an watching the cars go by. Lots of interesting bits to see too.
Each light has it's own identity.
These little crochet brooches and hair clips are fabulous.
Families spending a public holiday reading and eating together.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Another family favorite.

This recipe is a firm favorite in Hunter's family. I remember having them that very first Christmas I spent with his family in Port Elizabeth. Super easy and very fast to make, they are great just as is, but also good heated and served with ice-cream and chocolate sauce for desert. And containing a good helping of oats and not so much sugar, they are a great bit healthier than most cookies.
My MIL's chocolate oats cookies.

2 cups raw oats
2 cups self raising flower
2 cups coconut
half cup sugar (the original recipe called for 1 cup, but a half is really enough)
350 grams (12,5 ounces) butter or baking margarine
4 desert spoons cacao
2 desert spoons cacao
1 cup icing sugar
boiling water

Heat oven to 180 C (350F)
Melt butter - do not boil.
Mix in all the other ingredients for the cookies.
Press into a well greased oven pan.
Bake for approx. 20 minutes
Cool down slightly and pour over topping. (make it runny enough to pour but not too runny.)
Cut into blocks and store in an air tight container.

Spud - learning to fly.

For a review of this completely lovable book - go read here.

June 2009 - Book 18

Spud - learning to fly by John van de Ruit
If you have not read the other two Spud books, please do so before reading this one. They are so worth it too!

This book really fulfilled on what it promised to be - a well deserved third book in the series. 'n Great read with a laugh a minute, and the inevitable tear to match. Filled with awesome real over the top characters that grips the imagination you are truly entertained on every single page. As with the previous books it documents another year in the life of Spud and the crazy eight in a school filled with more than it's equal share of  slightly crazy people. To top it all, Spuds own way dysfunctional family continues to entertain us through out.

I am sure that through the years I will read them all again, and so will my children. I also can not wait for the film of the first book to start showing- John Gleeson will simply be the best Guv possible.

Cat's rating: a stellar 9,5/10

Monday, 23 August 2010

June 2009 - Book 17

The Irreverent Mother's Guide by Sam Cowen and Lee van Loggerenberg
I read Sam's "Waiting for Christopher" when I just had the princess and thoroughly enjoyed it. This one is even funnier. Consisting out of emails between Sam and her BFF Lee, it covers nanny's, toddler sex education, newborn woes and second time around pregnancy thoughts.

A light must read for all of Sam's fans and all moms and moms to be.

Car's count: 7/10

Monday musings

We had a good weekend - really good. I went to my ever so fab. hairdresser on Saturday morning and feel revived, as is my hair colour. But I will have to leave the weekend report for tomorrow as clever me left the camera and memory card at home. 

So this week I really want to get the decluttering program going at home I am going to try and do one small area each night - this may be over ambitious, as I am often really tired in the evenings, but wish me luck!

Bookclub will be at my place in the beginning of September and I need a few suggestions from you, my friends for books to buy, but also for dinner ideas. A lot of the girls do lasagna or bobotie etc, soup in winter or salads in summer. I want to do something different. Last year I did chicken pie and salad, the year before my famous homemade pasta with carbonara or seafood sauce. Any suggestions? It is the start of Spring, but as we all know the beginning of September can be nice and warm, but also freezing.

So, onto some blog fodder - I was tagged by Blackhuff for this. 

1. What is your signature color?
I don't really have one, I wear heaps of colours - a bit of a peacock really. But my favorite is a light blue with purple undertone - I believe the correct name is Periwinkle. You almost never find clothes in that shade - if I see it, I buy it. My lounge in my flat used to be painted in it.
2. Your most embarrassing moment?
There are many - I am really clumsy. But falling with my handbag in Woollies and spilling everything all over the floor is pretty much up there.

3. Would you ever get anything pierced other than your ears? If yes, what?
I have no others, but if it was not for those bloody post twin extra skin rolls, I would have loved a belly ring.

4. Are you a social butterfly or a homebody?
None of the two really.People often think of me as an extrovert, I come across like that, and in business I say my say. But walking into a room of strangers is really overwhelming. I am seriously nervous about going to my first ladies on lunch. I am much better on a one on one level.
 I do like to spend time at home, but do get cabin fever - in fact, our whole household is prone to cabin fever.
5. Are you done having babies or do you want more?
Really, really done.

6. Are you loyal to your hairstylist or are do you try out every salon in town?
I would possibly rather change my gynea than my hair stylist. (although I think I will keep Dr Barbie as well). Mariette is the only person that knows what number my natural hair colour is ;-)
7. How many times have you moved in your life?
Only 8 times since birth - so as I am almost 42 I guess it is not too many. But I hate moving.

8. If you could plan your dream vacation with just you and your love where would it be?
I would love a second honeymoon to an island - Zanzibar sounds great. We were planning one for our 10th anniversary at the end of the year but we have decided that it is not feasible with the boys. Maybe in a year or so. Touring through the Italian country side (Tuscany etc) would also be great.

So I am not tagging someone specific, but please take it if you need some blog fodder.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Friday - 20 August 2010

  • Ok, so I did this whole post last night to just add one picture here this morning and publish, and by the click of one button I threw away the whole thing. I. am. not. impressed.
  • Last night was the first night in two and a half weeks that I slept through. I am feeling very crappy today. WTH?
  • Tomorrow morning I am going to my ever so fabulous hairdresser!
  • On Sunday we are planning a drive to somewhere countryish for lunch and a outing. Any good ideas fellow Gauteng dwellers? Space for kids to run an essential.
  • I can feel my cold moving to sinus. Ugh!
So onto:
PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily
Hosted by Chris

The princess on her way to the tea party.

  16 August 2010:

 This is a very special un-portrait portrait of the princess. Meet Blankey - bear - her constant companion since birth and now a bit worse for the wear. She actually justifies her very own post and was once couriered overnight across the country .

 A very rare flash photo.
  18 August 2010:

 With a new sand box and sand it is all of a sudden the new again flavor of the month.
  19 August 2010:

Now why do they not make these in ladies sizes? Come on Woollies - they are soft and comfy and so very very pretty.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

June 2009 - Book 16

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
I have looked at this book for years, thinking to buy it and always choosing something else in stead. I was simply not ready for another story of liberation in Africa. So when I saw it in the Book club, I also took a few months before I actually borrowed it and read it. And boy, was I wrong about this book - it is not about politics in -Africa at all, but more about politics right in every home.

When a borderline deranged missionary decides to take his family to Africa to "save the savages" the real savage in him comes out to play. A brutal and disillusioned man, he influences the lives of his daughters until the end of time.

Excellently written and a great story with very real and unique characters, this is simply a "must" read. Even if you do not feel like another African read.

Cat's rating: 9/10


When Cat decided on pink for this weeks theme I was delighted.  My littlest is a pinkaholic so I knew there would be no shortage of subject matter.  Then I went of my photo course and all my ideas went out the window.  I then had visions of a stunning pink karoo sunset - which my teacher agreed with.  But then we did some portrait shots in the location and I came home with this shot and loved it.  Granted there is only a dash of pink, but the I love the expression on her face (Anelma was her name) and the soft morning light.  She loved posing for us and I felt that her face was so full of character. She has the most beautiful smiley eyes and laughter lines and is a beautiful woman inside and out.  I feel honoured that she allowed us into her home and to capture her and her family as we did
I chose pink from the lovely cloud reflections on Shayne's picture last week. This is the latest tutu I made, with the picture taken when the early morning sun hit it as it was lying on the dining room table very early Saturday morning. I immediately thought the light was great and only later realized that I had my "pink" picture
I have to say that Shayne's picture is excellent. Absolutely excellent.  My favorite of hers thus far.
For some more team-ups:

The Poisonwood Bible

For a review of this great book, have a look at Cat's bookclub.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A brilliant tea party

 It's been a while since I have played along, so to brighten the day:

On Saturday morning the kids had a tea party birthday party. They all had to dress up with their best Mrs and Mr hats. The table was fabulous (this mom's parties are always stunning - she has a party planner friend).
The fabulous invite.
They each got their own cupcake to decorate and had "tea" (strawberry milk) in real porcelain cups.The girls had little handbag party packs.
Check the great detail on the cake - cake made by the granny.

For the girls it was all about jewelery, make up and the such. Real little ladies, I tell you!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Some random Tuesday thoughts

  • Firstly thanks for all the kind words yesterday - I really appreciate your love and support.
  • Today I am just angry - with the world. I don't quite know why. Mainly it's work and clients thinking you press three buttons and presto! New design done.
  • I am taking 2 boys to the doctor, again! Little man C's 3rd visit in 2 and a bit weeks. His cough is not getting any better. And Little man L had an earache and stuff running out of it.Got to check those ears and grommets.
  • I am tired - I worked until after 11 and got up twice in the night for the boys. I need sleep.And I need a night of not working at home - it is not going to happen tonight though. Tough deadline for tomorrow.
  • The princess had a terrible headache yesterday - so bad that the school called like the previous time. This time no puking though, so hopefully we do not have a migraine sufferer.
  • I miss my friend Nanna in Canada. Terribly. 
  • Actually, I just miss spending time with friends.
On a happier note - the latest tutu I made for the birthday girl on Saturday was a hit, as per usual.

Dis koue kos, skat /Just dessert. dear.

For a review of this really entertaining read, available in English and Afrikaans, have a look here.

Monday, 16 August 2010

August 2010 - Book 22

Dis koue kos, skat deur Marita van der Vyver 
also released in English as Just Dessert, Dear.

Clara Brand, food journalist's husband cheats on her with a pretty blond colleague and friend.When they are caught in the act, he makes the decision to leave his wife and 3 children for the pretty seductress. Clara fights to find herself again by finding solace in whiskey, chocolate and opera music, just to move to Cape Town and find herself in a brand new life. In the end, through a set of circumstances and a horny ex husband, she finds he own form of poetic justice. From insanely angry at the start to strangely in control at the end, we walk the path with her and see her grow.

Written with a lot of humor by means of letters and emails, the story is told without any character ever really "saying" a word. Clara writes to her ex husband, her sister, friend and the writer of the book who almost becomes a character herself, and to Griet, the very famous main character in the writer's best know work, "Entertaining angels/ Griet skryf 'n sprokie".

A great entertaining read, it is truly unputdownable.  I am truly a fan of her work.
Cat gives this one a great 9,5/10 for entertainment value.

And the first person voted out of Survivor...

This weekend has been brutal. I feel outnumbered, outplayed and outsmarted. By my kids and life and general. I would not survive my own little suburban version of Survival much longer unless we make some changes. Or rather, just implement the changes that both Hunter and I agree on fully. I need to find myself again because at present I feel that I am not the wife I need to be, not the mom I need to be and also not the person I need to be at work. Most of all, I do not feel that I am the person I need myself to be.

You see, I am a person that needs my own space and time. It's not a luxury - it's a necessity. Hunter is much the same. It's not that we do not want to spend the time with the kids, or each other. It's just that we feel ourselves somehow left behind, caught in that ever present little wheel that the hamster is running on. If this is a result of our personalities or the fact that we had our children so late in our lives is a debate I would rather not have. So we give each other the time and the chances, but sometimes in the hectic rush of life we even forget to plan this release for ourselves. Like this weekend. Purely by chance Hunter managed a small bit of what we call "Time Out" - but it was not planned. I never managed the whole weekend. From next weekend, this is about to change. In actual fact, maybe weeknights are the first step too.

It's more than just finding time to go for lunch with a friend, or doing your hair. Or the once a month Book club, although that is something that brings me great joy. It's also about getting my groove back - finding something that will excite the inner me. My horse riding really did not do it for me any more. It's not enough. Maybe I need to find something creative, maybe the early morning Zumba class will do it for me. I really do not know right now. Give me some time on that.

And now I am not even touching on the fact that we desperately need time together alone as well. We need to find a time when we are not both just so tired and run down that we can almost not have a proper conversation. Such is life I guess, but we are surely going to try and cheat the inevitable and live life according to us.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Friday -13 August (a day late)

Hosted by Chris  
Once again I am a day  late - what can I say? Hectic times.

  6 August 2010:

Another spot of peacefulness at La Campagnola's courtyard.

  7 August 2010:

 A huge tortoise at Bester birds

  8 August 20101:

This year our Coral tree only has these few flowers - the frost nearly killed it.
  9 August 2010:

I had lunch with a friend at Boston Cafe Deli 

  11 August 2010:

 Our Azaleas are starting to bloom beautifully.

  12 August 2010:
The Woolworths sale - I always buy some clothes for the kids for the next season - this year the pickings was pretty slim, mostly PJ's.