Friday, 5 August 2016

Spilling the Beans


Around the time of our first year anniversary, I was under heavy stress and in full swing of a most hectic production that offered me no spare time to arrange an anniversary present until pretty much the day before the big day.. I had these beautiful ideas during the year, where I discussed them with my huzzband, figuring that maybe we could do a joint vaaib to alleviate the additional pressure on both of us for individual xmas presents. Although mostly for my sake since it happens to be his birthday in December too.

Because the first anniversary is paper, I thought it a great idea to commission art for this and ran it passed Markstry who merely murmured hmmm mmm maybe at the time.

So come the day before the anniversary and I still haven’t a paper present having not had a moment since October to arrange anything particularly extravagant like the art I had in mind earlier in the year. Also, feeling particularly flush at the time having worked some, I decided an airplane ticket would be (albeit a bit predictable) a good and quick idea.
And maybe a guide book and map.
Or maybe just the guide book and map after seeing the ticket prices to Greece.

But then I remembered how we’ve always wanted to traverse the winelands of the Cape and quite immediately I knew this was the not so predictable airplane ticket - accompanied by a wine diary and map. Not to mention the lining up of dates in April, several public holidays dotted over a week enabling us a week’s stay in the winelands without needing to worry too greatly about missing out on any work. Not that advertising cares much about holidays but I took the leap anyway.

So the morning of the big day, I was too chuffed to present huzzband my fabulous, well thought out gift which was met with much enthusiasm.
And then of course, he had to up me with my very own idea and gifted to me a paper drawing of us by the wonderful Koos Groeneweld. Cheeky, clever huzzband.





So as the time approached for our WinelandsMoon (I’ve started to just add the “Moon” part to every holiday we take) I was feeling rather flush again when booking the accommodation.. Initially playing with the idea of staying over at a different wine farm every night, I decided that I didn’t fancy living out of a suitcase so much and opted to stay in a central hotel in Stellenbosch. And so it was that I found the boutique hotel, Coopmanshuijs. One of the oldest buildings in the town, with the most charmingly decorated rooms, I begun to worry whether my huzzband and his luxurious tastes would actually like it or not.
Up until this point in our marriage, my huzzband had handled ALL accommodation bookings - which does two things. One, it allows me the freedom to complain if I don’t like it and secondly he forfeits that privilege. Maybe that’s just one thing. Either way, it made for a much more costly stay in Croatia than I expected as he chose all the lodgings. In all my previous trips outside of my grandmother’s house, you’re able to find some pretty affordable spots but I digress.

Back in Stellies, at first we were shown to the what I imagine is the smallest room in the hotel and I was dumbfounded. This was not what I was expecting at all. I pleaded with the manager on duty that evening and asked him if we could please have a different room, at least one with a bathtub as we were here for our anniversary.
It always helps to handle situations like these in a calm and pleasant manner, although it does take a lot of self control to not lose your shit over it either, so this lovely gentleman showed us to another room, much bigger and with the coveted bathtub.


The following day we set out to Franschoek after a most delishis breakfast at the hotel. The continental spread was impressive and once I found my omelette of choice, this was me err’day.

Our first day out in the winelands and we hit the famous Haute Cabriere, sampling all of the wines on offer. This was the day that we discovered we quite enjoy Chardonnay which is quite big news considering that neither of us are really big white wine drinkers.
We witnessed the owner of the farm performing the slicing of the top off the bottle of bubbles with a sword and pretty much ordered a case of everything we tried bar the sweet wine.
And even after a week in the winelands, wine pairing at dinners, we still aren’t so keen on this type of wine, or at least enough to buy it for home.

On this day we also visited Moreson and delighted in the Chardonnay on offer here. The Mercator, the flagship, was like an explosion of sunshine in your mouth, I felt like I was eating the sun. Dr Reason Why was an unwooded Chardonnay that was aged in three different containers and then blended together, those being steel, terracotta and concrete. I mean, who could resist buying a case of that?
And then, as if we didn’t have enough, they offered a Cabernet Franc which is rare to find on its own as it’s only really used in Bordeaux blends, of which there were only 2000 bottles of that vintage that made it, being quite the tricky grape to grow.
After this we indulged in a 2 course lunch at the restaurant on the farm, Bread and Butter and the food was exquisite.

After day 1, we were 40 bottles in and we were only getting started. And it appeared that we couldn’t get enough of Frranschoek either and kept coming back for more - La Motte, L’Ormarins and Rupert Rothschild, Zorgvliet (which is more Pniel but close enough) to a name a few.







Every restaurant we visited was a monumental foodie affair. We were basically eating three course meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner never mind the copious amounts of wine tasted and purchased. But life is short, and you only live once, so waste not a moment! And there’s always diets and detox when we get back home right?

Not really so much when it would seem the consistent array of couriers arriving to deliver box after box of wines. 130 bottles to be exact.

And before I leave Stellenbosch, after all, I haven’t really touched on many of the little gems we found hidden behind the more well-known farms, I must impart the story of our return to the hotel after our first day out. It’s quite a lovely service, leaving the car outside the front of the hotel and having one of the concierge park it for you and bring it out front again when you need it.
After our return from Frranschoek that first day, we were greeted so pleasantly by the reception desk and congratulated on our anniversary. When we stepped into our room, we discovered a complimentary bottle of bubbles (from Haute Cabriere even!) on ice, a slice of cheese cake and rose petals everywhere. It was as sweet a gesture that I will soon not forget - you have to admire the hotel’s attention to detail here.

So now back in Jozi, dealing with courier company phone calls all day and imminent arrival of wine, having eaten and drunk our way through Stellenbosch I was feeling rather plump and inflated. But as it would be after such an indulgent holiday, right?

Still, I was feeling rather depressed about the whole thing, especially since I couldn’t face the idea of a diet when I had been eating so richly - I constantly felt like I was starved. It was also difficult to try and attempt any detox when there were so many pleasant wines to choose from, and it was just one glass at dinner anyway.

I begun feeling the usual erratic array of emotions that accompany those days before the monthly flow, the swollen breasts and month-on-month-off desire to eat all of the chocolate, this time more than usual. I even tweeted about it, wishing for my damn period to arrive so I could feel better about the despicable way I was behaving.

And then I started experiencing a single cramp like I’ve never had before. 20 seconds of sheer agony about twice a day. I’m never late, I may be a day or two off every month but never late. Huzzband offered to go and buy tests and I laughed and told him to go right ahead. We’ve been “reckless” since our wedding night and so I wasn’t particularly thinking that anything was a miss.

It was not even 10 seconds that the second line appeared on the Clicks (pretty damn accurate) test. Nothing can ever prepare you for how you feel when you see that. I’m almost 29, married to a great man, in a fabulous place in my career but when I saw those double lines I felt like I was 16 and going to be in the biggest trouble of my life. Shaking controllably (it’s a thing) I told Markstry and the beautiful beam of happiness that washed over him only made me feel worse.

“I was going to be disappointed if you weren’t.”

Well damn, what now? Slowly, logic made its way back to my mind and started to help with the “is this really happening” thoughts. We popped the final bottle of champagne that I would have over the next 9 months and celebrated. We discussed telling our families when we would all be together in NiceNa in a months time and I went to bed feeling so very strange.

I woke the next morning and it was like I was a different person to the semi-neurotic mess from the afternoon before. I was elated. I couldn’t believe that I had felt any of those doubts the day before. This was the best fucking thing that could have ever happened to me, I am amazing! I am a vessel, I am growing life inside of me! And only me and Markstry know about it. It was the best secret in the world to have. But definitely not one I could keep from my schmommy. As soon as the doctor confirmed it for me, clutching my first picture of Little Bean, I made the most teary phone call. I asked her to keep it a secret because of our intention to tell everybody in a month.



Jeepers. There’s no more mammoth task than trying to keep the news of a pregnancy to yourself. And so despite our best intentions to wait a month, along with Schmommy’s daily calls “I’m dying, please let me tell Dad” we took to tell all the future grandparents that very weekend.

Suddenly I felt like spreading the news like wild fire in a pine forest. We sat our close friends for dinner to break the news. It was against all the rules of waiting till the 12 week mark, but I couldn’t stand the idea of everybody guessing because of the clear lifestyle change. Not to mention how many of my dearest smoke damn cigarettes - already I’m some kinda helicopter parent.


Now, rather beyond the 12 week mark, I am still safely cradling our little lion cub in my womb, feeling my uterus ever stretching and getting told off by the doctor to watch how many carbs I eat. Dammit, and Schmommy told me to enjoy my pregnancy and not worry about such things...

And so begins my latest journey with my wardrobe obsession, each day finding an outfit that fit and then as if it wasn't enough, outfits for our little lion cub :D 

xx


Friday, 20 May 2016

home improvements

It appears that it is common knowledge that renovations end up costing you twice as much as what you were initially quoted. and this is only true because once you’re in that strange, theatrical world of bashing and tiling you figure, hell, might as well get that done also. Oh and yes, I’ll take those real, oak wooden floors too. Le sigh.



My one sincere regret in all of it, has to be that I didn’t replace the one and only bathtub in the whole apartment. Goddammit; R10 000 never looked quite so affordable as it would have in my brand spanking new bathroom.

before.. (also please note, all same finishes used throughout previously, kitchen / bathroom? same same)
after.. with the same tub shame.


Another universal truth is how we as humans, manage to accumulate so much clutter and crap in less than a year of living in a space.

I was granted the great fortune of working solidly since the January 8th until the end of April on some really wonderful projects (more on that later, much later or possibly not at all as my blogging seems to have slowed down to a backwards sort of hop) which kept me busy and temporarily living outside of my city.

Upon my return, and every return is also experienced this way; the absolute joy and reverie to be in our apartment again. To sleep in my king size bed (no, standard, not extra length; jeepers who can afford that linen…)

So now in my down time; home in Johazardousburg, I’ve been tackling some home projects that we’ve been threatening to do. Before we moved to Millie’s we lived in a 2 bed 2 bath, 80 odd square meter apartment in the heart of Sandton. The second bedroom was literally my wardrobe room and here I had immersed my clothing onto many magical items; like the spiral clothing rail you’ll find at shops, an antique 3-door wardrobe and numerous disposable (I say this because these things always, without fail, break) rails to house my incredibly gluttonous collection of clothes.

herewith the empty remains of my wardrobe rail contraptions at Grayston. Also, I totes upgraded that little seatee you see.


Now, cut to moving day into Millies. A 3 bed, 3 bath apartment where we chose to use the master suite as a private lounge rather than our bedroom. And the cupboard situation is quite dire. But this you don’t realise when renovating a place without having actually lived in the space first. The cupboard in our bedroom could only just fit my huzzband’s wardrobe; and his, although not quite the same quantity, gives me a good run anyhow.

So this left me with the cupboard in our private lounge/master suite. No problem. I’ll just use the antique wardrobe and one of those disposable rails for the over flow.
Okay, I’ll also use spare room’s cupboard for the coats; just like we did at Grayston.

Yaaaas. Which brings me to the spare room. Gosh, these spaces are never nice. Always the door you keep closed and usher guests very far away from.
Which would be just fine if this room wasn’t situated adjacent to the powder room.

With so little storage space, one becomes limited as to where the hell to keep all those ugly items; like vacuum cleaners and ironing boards, step ladders and tool boxes.
Oh and, let’s just keep our old, mix and match bedroom suite in here; exactly as it was. Broken feet on the bed base? No problem, leave it on the floor. No head board? No problem, just keep using the rickety room divider from Markstry’s old bachelor pad. Oh and here’s every old laundry basket/bin thing that you ever owned ever, you know just incase you thought the room wasn’t crowded enough.

Anyhow. What I’m trying to relay here, in the long winded fashion that is my only way to do so; is that the spare room was my number one project takedown in this uncommon free time.
Not that I haven’t had free time before.
It’s just now I have free time and cash money.
Storage space (and all this docu-drama of fair trade) has curbed my spending on clothing so this is my new, almost-30 way of spending copious amounts of money; on house things. Also, they don’t care if you get fat; they look pretty and beautiful just the same.



First thing, and I would be misleading here if I didn’t mention that this was done first up a while back, was to get my huzzband to install new feet onto the base of the bed. Ta-daaaaaa, already a world of difference to the space, suddenly appears to have room although still containing much of the above mentioned cleaning and drilling equipment.

Next, call Enock.

Here is where I am devoutly self-claiming, that I am a wonderful caring and sharing person because I will gladly share Enock’s details with anyone who asks. Enock is this incredible human who paints miracles.
I owe a lot of home transformation items to him, all the wonderful paintwork at Millie’s is thanks to him.
Together, we took an old piece of rather ugly office furniture and created a pretty damn awesome display cabinet that now proudly exhibits the fancy china.

before, in its office furniture like glory..


during..

the final and beautiful result
So Enock comes round to gift me quote on the few things I had in mind for the transformation; and of course, not wanting to be left out, I also added a few bits for my bedroom too. Enock tells me that this what I want is actually wallpaper. But anything is possible.

And so it is to be that I sneak some suspicious pink like colour passed my huzzband and completely recreate the vaaib that’s going on in the spare room. I decide on a very quick upgrade to the BIC and we paint that too. I use a drill for the very first time and install the new handles myself. (Not the easiest task for me and my weak little hands, but I was determined to do it alone and show off to the huzzband later)
Spring/Autumn clean everything; get rid of that which we do not need anymore and find space in the cupboard to hide as many ugly tools. Choose one laundry basket to stay. Get mirrors into the tennis rackets purchased 5 years ago.

Now all I am waiting for is the chosen headboard. I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll update this later when I have a pic of the glorious finished product.

couldn't resist sharing a little sneak peek..

So now, my project is complete. Well, sort of. Minus one head board that we still wait for. 
And then there’s the two chairs for the head of the table that we are restoring. But I can totes talk about that another time. Pictures to follow even.

had to share a snapshot of our master bedroom. master because this is where we sleep.


k thanks bye.

xx

Monday, 19 October 2015

where to from here?

I'm struggling to write a single post today as there about a few hundred that are circling my brain right now.
But there is this urgent pressure to put something out there, incomplete as it may be.

I pushed my wedding up by a year and after 30 days of crazy..
I got married.
Then.
I renovated our apartment.
Then.
I embarked on the honeymoons to end all honeymoons with my huzzband.
the #MegaMoon

Now I'm back home after 6 magical weeks and I need to share all these ancedotes but I have no idea where to begin even.
I have experienced so much in the last year and all I want to do is share my learnings, from the reality of being a Bridezilla, to transit in Croatia, to shocking truths about fair trade and the garment industry it's really hard for me to decide where to begin.

so.


perhaps my best way forward is to quite simply, write my intentions.
that's it.
let's get stuck in.

how to plan a wedding in 30 days.

the mini moon part 1: all of the h's
the mini moon part 2: graaf reiniet
the mini moon part 3: eastern cape

#projectmilpark

#megamoon : munchen
#megamoon : berlin
#megamoon : paris
#megamoon : croatia

and this list will grow and be updated. and it will not appear in any particular order but I'll be sure to tag it correctly so that ya'll have some sort of choice as to what you would like to read ;)

oh, and also, please bare with me with the new arrangements of the look of this here blog. I was told that the "dynamic" template I was using earlier just didn't reflect enough of me. Hence, I am currently trying to renovate this look too and my skills at CSS, HTML and other #BSTechJargon are limited at best but I'm trying here :)

okay bitches, be back soon!

xx

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

LET ME EAT CAKE


It is Day 25. And I would love to say that I stayed strong throughout, and of course I could lie but even in the written word I am a terrible liar. So yes. I cheated. I had cake over the weekend. But now that I’m back in the 011 area code, I have taken control of my self discipline.

Funnily enough, I had started writing this post last week and it began with all self-boasts and flattery about my strong sense of determination and discipline. Whilst “pffffffff" is what I have to say to that now…

But not so much on day 6 (yes, don’t linger on that number for too long now, a temptation is still a temptation be it four days or forty years) when I spied the cutest baby pirate pants I had ever seen. Of course, the infant clothing is certainly not a temptation but merely a distraction from the real problem at hand. That being that I had chosen to attend the Collective that morning with Caraki.

Ordinarily, my bestie is who you would call your eternal fountain [of praise] — the gift that keeps on giving; that friend that insists you purchase that skirt that makes your ass look like an idol upon which all of mankind will worship. Yes. Exactly the kind of friend you want around for a HUGE shopping spree. Except that this was entirely the opposite kind of situation. I remember finding the most delicate necklace from The Makery -- I have become completely preoccupied with the colour of sunshine and sea of which said neckpiece had both— but more so the vivid memory of reluctantly passing into the hands of Caraki who most eagerly purchased it. Self discipline yes, but sometimes it’s enough to kill me.

So I left the Collective bursting with self-pride at having left without purchasing anything for myself. Boom, going strong bitches! And going strong despite the impending trip to Cape Town for the Loeries. I sit wondering at the precision of my timing here, I have this impeccable flair to choose the most inappropriate dates for my ban on shopping vaaib. Not only have I forced myself into a corner whereby I cannot buy any new outfits for the AWARDS, but also Cape Town is known to have the WORST weather over that weekend EVERY year.
What’s a girl to do but pack everything? Four days, 19kg compromising of: 5 pairs of heels, three different coats (a girl’s gotta have options yo) and a multitude collection of outfits for every occasion and weather report.

And then.

Well then, then I got to Cape Town.

But fuck it, I lasted 20 days of zero shopping and it had to be an all black, beaded and wired protea brooch that let my walls cave in. I’m such a fucking tourist. Thank you Cape Town, thank you for proving for the umpteenth time that you are the city of sin where I’m concerned.

And because I’m the worst liar in the world, I have to tell you that it didn’t stop there. Nope. I visited the Woodstock Exchange and despite my valiant efforts to avoid a particular store, markstry convinced me otherwise. “C’mon” he coaxed, “look at their mirrors, I know they’re your favourite thing..”
and so it was that I found an armchair.
a most magnificent and beautifully re-upholstered seatee that was desperate to join his friend the glass display cabinet back in Apartment 177.
I sat glued to it.

“Do you deliver to Joburg?”
“Yes, we do.”
“DONE! What’s next?”

But it wasn’t to be dear friends, for the very next day I was grievously informed that they could no longer arrange the courier to Johannesburg. So instead of holding a glorious quote in my paws, I was now calculating a plan to get the chair to JHB myself. The first problem being my rental car not having enough space for my suitcase let alone an armchair. Second problem being that the store is closed on a Sunday. Gah.

And then the worst news came at 10pm on Monday. The chair had been sold to somebody else. Probably to somebody who had a house in Blouberg and drove a Toyota Fortuner. Needless to say, I did not wake up a happy girl on Tuesday morning.

Cheaters never win.

October 1st, it is SO on.

xx


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

hair extraordinaire.. a journey

I'm currently working on a project about hair and it's reminding me to tell ya'll the story about my hair. yessssss, I have finally made peace with my hair and I am ready to share my story. 

It was the summer of 2013 and I had broken up with my hairdresser. By broken up I actually mean that I silently never went back.. there's a small chance I may be averse to confrontation.. and then I found Guinevere. Oh sweet Guinevere. My hair was just passed my shoulders, burnt and varying shades of yellow gold. I love yellow gold, LOVE it. Around my neck, around my fingers and wrists but not so much as a hair colour. 

So Guiny told me like it is, that we were going to have to chop it, but mermaid length and shiny hair was the goal which would be in reach within a year. So we chopped. And we chopped every month after that because I preferred the sleek bob to the potential stripper barbie hair that I was initially hellbent on having -- guys, I even tried to do the extensions vaaib. Tsk tsk. 

So it was with heavy heart in February when I left the salon with a slightly yellow tinge to the usual ash white blonde I had grown accustomed to. I was assured it was the lighting. 
Yeah. Okay.
I checked in every fucking lighting source available, sunlight, tungsten, fluorescent, cold, warm. It was fucking yellow. And I couldn't deal. 
Barely a week since my last bleach bath, I forced the ladies to fix it. Who came first, the chicken or the egg kind of question, but the result was frizzed, totally fucked and dead hair. My beautiful white blond hair, dead. Wintour's matted knots that I pull out of her fur were more lively than my limp hair on my head. 
And that wasn't the worst of it. 
Yeah. Perhaps it's not as harrowing a story as the floods in Serbia but this was a devastating event in my small life. 
I could sort of deal with the limp dead hair. Sort of. 
But coupled with broken pieces? My world was shattered. 
Especially if I saw the photographs taken of me. I considered sharing the ones taken of me on a shoot in March but I want to forget that time. And even more so when I recall the make up artist piping up "OH SHAME. What's going on with this dead hair, shame!"
(Needless to say I haven't hired her again).

And then that which I had been avoiding became so suddenly clear. No amount of treatment is going to bring back the hair that broke off. Nor is it going to revive the pathetic strands that still remain. 
I was going to have to chop it.
Chop it short like a boy. 
Chop it short like a buzz cut.
And all I could think of was the time my mother cut my hair like a boy. Like a buzz cut. When I was four. I'm not sure if I actually have that memory or if I made it up from seeing the ID photos of my four year old self sporting a very short and spikey do. But I remember hating it. I've never wanted short hair, apparently even as a four year old, so this was not going to be easy. 

But there I was. I was ready. Bring it. Bring on those scissors.
Guiny and the girls tried to comfort me.
With red wine. 
Much red wine. 
Guiny doesn't mess around friends. She starts in the front. Boom. 
Like a stab to my gut. 
Boom. 
Oh gawd, why didn't she start at the back?
Red wine.
Chop.
Red wine.
Done.
Okay.
It's all gone. 
Okay.
Everyone around me is ecstatic. 
Except me.
I am numb. And I've a party to get to.
Okay.
Everyone around me is ecstatic. And I just want to get drunk. I cant deal.
I come home to @markstry and as the words "you look beautiful" are out his mouth, I am collapsed in body-wrenching sobs. 
"I HATE IT"

That was the first night. I didn't care that everyone was so encouraging, that everyone thought it suited me. It wasn't my choice, I wasn't trying something new, I wasn't brave. I was distraught. It didn't help that @markstry always said I wasn't allowed to cut my hair short like a boy.

Gawd, I am so dramatic. 

Guinevere did a spectacular job on the colour and most importantly the cut. Despite my initial melodramatic reaction to my haircut, my hair on the other hand was LOVING life. It felt so alive and healthy, it stuck to the style without much persuasion from my part. It is literally the easiest hairstyle in the world, and all the while giving me a more elegant and grown up vaaib.

It's been two months now. Two months since the cut, and two months since my hair has seen bleach. And I'm hating on my hair now for it being too long. I'm going to the salon on Friday and I'm wondering if I'm still sticking to growing it out..

xx


ha! like I would ever leave you without showing you the hair cut

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Illicit Affairs with Local




If there is an outfit I was dying to write about, it would be this one. Caraki let me in on the fabulous of fabulous secrets, the launch of the Anisa Mpungwe's collection for #mrpricefashion. The excitement friends, it was at the Sandton Protea Court store - so close to home, happy face. That night I was channeling my inner ballerina, wearing a blush mesh shirt paired with a gentle pastel rose print skirt. I had my hair up and wore those spectacular #Melissa's I picked up in München. I love having 'excuse' to use my hot pink leather tote, goodness when I found that bag I couldn't leave the seat I'd needed to take when I first laid hands on soft leather.


Okay but this is not actually the outfit I had in mind to tell you about, oh nooooo, this is only the prologue. That night, I found something that I wish I could just wear every day. The Anisa print skirt. From the ivory cream colour to the magnificent and bold font and incredible cut (Showee, that skirt be making me feel all kinds of sexy woman!) I feel so fortunate to have it hang in my wardrobe.

The following evening was the opening for #RozanneandPushkin and +#BlueCollarWhiteCollar stores in Pretoria so a mini roadtrip was in order. That night I wore another #AnisaMpumgwe piece, a beautiful tricolor shirt with faux leather sleeves. And this is wear I found the top I want to wear ALL summer. Now, there are not a lot of occasions that I feel this way, I love the idea of wearing something different every day, so for me, this is pretty heavy. So this amazing cropped crochet masterpiece, in white to really make that tan pop, oh I love it so much, it's so romantic.

Somewhere along the line, which is also weird because I spent my entire engagement honeymoon looking for these shoes all over Munchen only to find them here. In Sandton City even. Le sigh. I loved the idea of wooden sandals so much, I asked my brother to bring me back a pair of traditional Chinese shoes - those ones with the platform? Obsessed a little bit... So I found these, and there were so many colours to choose from, it was really difficult to choose. It's awesome that the simple change of colour, alters it to an entirely different shoe.

And then let me move so swiftly to my accessories. Note to take special attention of my choice of handbag. The choice of awesome. I wanted a leather backpack that could fit my iPad (or for the most part, giant sunglasses cases but more on that later) and would be able to withstand the test of time to become vintage for my children. So I found this precious cargo at the very start of my summer in Europe, but I'm a professional and I'm just getting started. So of course, I only get it at the closing ;) I chose tan because it's an earthy tone that just gets better with age, classic colour. And it was local, #Picard has been producing leather fabulousness since 1928 in Germany. Their stuff is awesome, me and @markstry also chose laptop covers at duty free -- you gotta love local!


And if you look really closely you might spy some sunglasses casually nestled into the crochet goodness. These are an art piece. Absolutely. Dolce and Gabbana (yesssssss bitches!) acetate frames in that glorious round cateye with lace gold side detail. Flawless. Despite the major baggage to contain them, they are quite simply worth it.

Guysss, this is my most favourite outfit of the season, I'll just keep switching the shoes to make it different.. Which reminds me, have you followed the blog on #Instagram, best get on it @ohSHOEisME

xx

photo credit of the amazing outfit: Ndumiso Sibanda

Thursday, 14 November 2013

An Appetite for Good Reading



A little while back (okay, I'm lying, a way while back) I was asked to review Casey B Dolan's book "An Appetite for Peas". After getting over the initial excitement of being asked to review a book in my professional capacity as a blogger (yeeeeeeeeeee-haaaaaaaaa) and getting over my suitable envy of Casey on the cover of the book, I settled down and begun to read.


The introduction to the book is superb, having no idea that it was Casey writing about herself, I was convinced that it was from a male perspective the entire time. When I got to the very last sentence I was really impressed with how brave those first two pages were. I was hooked.


Many may ask what the point is of writing an autobiography, I for one have never met Casey, nor had I even really heard of her - in the 90s I was a preteen {girl} fixated more with punk music than FHM schmodels. So yes, even to me it was surprising that she would have a book about her life and fame of which I knew nothing of.


Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I found the book so enjoyable in the first place, not knowing anything more than that sometime ago she was something to do with FHM something something dark side. Staying away from using real names, she describes the different faces she came to meet in her life in a similar fashion to a way a young girl would. I believe one of the purposes of her writing this book is for young girls to read, young girls with a certain kind of hunger for more, and a warning label for it. I may be the only example relating, but I'm quite certain I'm not. The first love, the older guy with his fancy (read: as-seen-through-the-rosey-glasses-of-a-teenage-girl) car and bad boy charm that every teenage girl has fancied. And that same bad boy loser that only wants one thing and one thing only from you as a young girl. Yeah that. See, I knew I wasn't the only one. And Casey certainly doesn't shirk about how this experience was for her, and it's something that needs to be admired about this book.


And then there's the experience we've all had as young women. You know, the one where you're not really all that much older but you think you are.. the time when you think you've got more experience than you've actually earned, the confidence in making the right decision. And it's all because of a boy. And I use boy because no matter how old the man-boy actually may be, he's really just a stoopid boy. Speaking of which, as long as you remember that, you will know everything - thank you Coco Chanel.


So yes, when Casey broaches the topic of the ordeal she went through at {insert popular radio station name here} you relate on the level that is universal amongst women. He's that guy you want to save, change, love and protect because you're so much older than you actually are. He's just misunderstood and if I love him long enough, he will also love me in return. Yes every woman has been there. I remember my version of this story and going through it simultaneously with my room mate at the time. Every time I decided to end it, it was all too easy to go back if he showed even the smallest amount of human emotion -- how you can find emotion in a text message, you just ask any 20 year old girl. And I remember how much we used to encourage each other to not give up. Silly girls. If only we could be spared that torment by knowing from the first time that things fall apart that he will only love you when it's too late for you to still love him.


Of course, it never happens this way. Ever. There'll always be that emotionally unavailable asshole that steals your heart and toys with it till it breaks into a million pieces along with your self esteem and slim figure. Yes, the jerk who makes you feel utterly useless and disposable. He doesn't deserve you but you just keep going back, convinced that this time, with that small part of affection he showed you to lure you in again, it will be different. You convince yourself that there is a happy ending to this story. Until that girl that convinced you to wait for him begins sleeping with him herself. Okay so perhaps my story's a bit different from Casey's with "So-So" (I approve so much of this apt name for his character) but the universal line is there.
And imagine the victorious feeling of reading about getting that kind of closure that she so desperately searched for.


Whilst a lot of people may pose the question of why would Casey choose to write a book about her life, my question would be when is the earliest age that you could give this book to a young girl to read? Okay so I'm sure the horrible heartaches I went through as a younger tart may or may not have molded some parts of who I am -- after all there is no way that I would allow any boy-man to treat me that way again -- but I cant help but think it would have been nice to have someone else's perspective to save me a little time. Hurt is good to learn from but time you cannot get back.

xx

Monday, 4 November 2013

it's a kind of magic..

this here be an engaged bitch..

Johannesburg is a city that moves very fast. Ask any Joburger and the contemplation of such a statement is very short and usually met with a curt nod. Case point. But really, living in Africa and facing common occurrences like dealing with "African Time" (- I mean, who comes 3 hours late to their own party? Only in Africa) we may be tricked into thinking that it's not but trust me, Johazardburg is a mover and a shaker. 

I have not been back 2 months yet since my escape to sultry and swelteringly hot summer destinations in Europe, whereby I was gone for the appropriate amount of time (think four weeks bitches) and I feel like I haven't been any place at all. This could have something to do with the fact that @markstry has been hoarding the hard drive with all our delicious photo snaps so I haven't done much reminiscing but the fact that the day I landed in JNB I bewilderingly put myself through inescapable traffic to have my roots done speaks for itself. By speaking I mean screaming and trying not to pull out {already} sun-damaged hair. 

I am heading off on a tangent here because the purpose of this post is not to bitch about how I launched straight back into the swift swing of Johannesburg but rather, to capture without the visual aid of photographs (I really am hoping that I can show you these sometime...) my beautiful journey into real adulthood. The kind of adulthood that pays for its own travels and returns perhaps not quite finding oneself but rather the grown-up-ness which a betrothal brings.

It is two days after my 26th birthday. I have awoken without the familiar feeling of a hangover. I now understand why it is concerned bad luck to celebrate one's birthday before the event as my mom had always told me. No-one, and certainly not me, likes to wake up dehydrated in 35+ degrees to the not-so-sweet pounding headache that simply refuses to part ways until MAYBE your next alcoholic beverage.  I blame my cousin Jan (the baaar-maaan) for this misfortune, the man is decidedly obsessed with sambuca (coldest shivers) and flames. And all that sugary shit is for the worst headache-l hangover. 
an extraordinary view from the top..

Either way, I woke up feeling two days after my birthday feeling far better than I did when I was freshly 26 to @markstry asking me if we could visit the island's fortress that day. Okay, settle in for the long story here folks, this part takes a while..
Now, the island's fortress (of which there are two but I refer to Tvrđava Španjola)  has been home to many a nation and event (this is the place my parents met) in its time and is easily accessible by foot. By easily accessible, I mean that this journey should be taken in the early evening to avoid spontaneous combustion. So it was decided that we would depart for the long walk up the mountain at around 18h00. I have to mention that unless we were trying to make a flight or ferry, reaching things timeously is not a priority or strong point on vacation. So when we were still on the beach at 6pm, well the only reason we tore ourselves away was the promise I'd made @markstry that morning; that today we would go to the fortress. 
@markstry's perch during the 'timelapse'

So under the guise of wanting to take a timelapse, @markstry threw me off any trail of romantic proposal by inviting our friend Ryan to join us on our adventure to the fortress. Ryan had joined us in Hvar for a few days to celebrate my birthday before he departed on a contiki boat tour. Ryan had fully embraced the life of an insatiable vampire that only stalked the night during his time in Hvar. I have been coming to the island every couple of years but recently it has become to resemble more and more of a teenage/college spring break you see on reality shows than the idyllic summer holiday it used to be. No matter though, there are 1243 other islands in Croatia that you can find serenity and unspoiled landscapes.
the path around the mountain leading to the fortress..

So considering this detail, it was to both our surprise that for the one and only hour on his holiday, Ryan chose this hour to not drink beer. Again, I was unsuspecting, as was Ryan who was frettfully hungover and food deprived of what @markstry had in store at the fortress. To get to the fortress, one must climb at least 100 steps (this is a generous underscore, because I am quite certain that there are in fact many, many more than a 100 in number) to the top of the old town. From there, there is a further (possibly) 2km walk around and up the mountain upon which the fortress sits. @markstry pushed me (okay, let's not exaggerate, I don't need any pushing) to wear something nice (all I honestly thought was; PHOTO OPPORTUNITY) so there we were, us three, clambering up a steep path in silky pants (okay, maybe only I was wearing silky pants) without a single groan amongst us. (total lie). And in the hour that Ryan chose not to drink alcohol, @markstry feigned a timelapse shoot. Of course, at the time I had no idea that he was merely pretending to take shots, I was patiently waiting for it to complete its course. Okay, maybe not so patiently. After all, throughout the entire charade, he wouldn't let me look through the viewfinder to at least see what he was shooting -- you can't pull wool over a producer's eyes bitches, I know some things about cameras, just not always how to operate them.. Still we soldiered on and waited for it to hurry up and finish. 
like I said, photo opportunity!

Eventually it was night and there was no longer any light in the sky and @markstry was ready to strike his little setup. FYI this was the one and only time that the tripod was used in the entire 3 weeks that he lugged it around. So we made our way down the mountain path once more and Ryan started running ahead, the hunger had come to a point where hungry human should not be around other humans. At a less hurriedly pace, when me and @markstry reached the stairwell surrounded by bougainvilleas at the entrance of the old town, I watched Ryan's shrinking back. After dating @markstry for four and a half years, I think the amount of times the man has asked me to take his picture, I believe the count may be less than one hand. But here, in this stairwell, he stopped me and handed over the camera and said: "This looks like a good place, can you take a photo of me?"
a very bad and dark photo of the stairwell.. moments before he asked..

Still nothing friends, no sense of what's going to happen next, I take the photo, in portrait, and take a snap of him. But before I hit the fire button, I am incredibly confused as to the dirty frame that is in my viewfinder. Especially in the portrait way that I am holding, I tell him that there's some writing here. I take a quick look at the shot I just took and there isn't any writing on the picture. Lifting the camera up to my eyeball again, this time in landscape, I see that there really is writing. And suddenly, a feeling encompasses me, a feeling I've never had before. 

I lower the camera and see my man gripping onto a small silver box and nervously grinning. He says to me; "say yes please?"

I grab him and kiss him.
"Yes! But right now, I need to sit down."
"oh good, me too"
and we both collapsed on the stairs. Much to Ryan's horror. 

And this was the first time that I looked at my ring. Perhaps it's not the ideal thing for @markstry to hear, his entire plan was to make sure that I couldn't say no and the ring was the largest part of that plan, but I believe it's a good thing. I said yes to the man and not the shiny trinket.
Not that my ring is at all a shiny trinket. It is single-handedly the most beautiful piece of jewellery I have ever seen. And it's mine. And not only is it mine, but it was designed for me.

I always said, the subtle hint dropper I am, that I wanted yellow gold and rubies as my engagement ring, I didn't care if it wasn't the common idea for a ring. In fact, I got a little obsessed with old, antique rings from ancient eras where gold was king and rubies glittered with emeralds and sapphires. So @markstry, during my first business trip to Cape Town (where I purchased my engagement slacks) took my faazha out for dinner to respectfully ask for my hand and show him the selection of jewels that would make up my favourite shiny thing in the world. To which my faazha replied: Overboard. 
Not to leave out any fine detail, my fiance placed my treasure into an antique silver box dated to 1888, a heart shaped silver box that he clutched onto whilst he executed the most nerve-wrecking event in his life. 
so here's a shot of my ring during the day..

And as I stared at my magical finger on the stairs, like I catch myself doing right now as I am writing this, so began what I named our engagement honeymoon. Island hopping, dining in alleyways, trying every variant of plavac wine, swimming topless, tanning topless, exploring old cities, cocktails in old castles, it was the time of our life. In conclusion, we have thus far to date, decided that the year of our marriage will be 2015. Any other detail is just too much to think about right now, we're still enjoying the pleasures of being newly engaged. #happyface.

xx
@markstry's feelings about the betrothal..

PS. Ryan had no idea of @markstry's intentions that night.