I’m tired all the time, my hair is falling out in fat chunks and I’m living on wine and carbs. No, not pregnant (thanks everyone, for naturally jumping to that conclusion) just exhausted and in a bit of a quarter year slump. Not surprising that the last few months have been CA-RAZY! In the last 4 months so much has happened and gone down that I’m not surprised my scalp resembles a Chinese Crested Powder Puff (Also, does the dog on the right not look like Bon Jovi??). Here’s whats been happening:
1. We got Married (Two piccies, because, I can)
2. We got back from Honeymoon to the news that my mom in law had suffered a very bad stroke after the wedding. The next few weeks were severely stressful with tears, hospital visits and scary ‘what ifs’. (Side note – she is 100% recovered :))
3. We were broken into on Christmas.
4. So…. we decided to sell our house
5. I turned 30 and felt like this (except I didn’t even get a cake)
6. I sold my house on my 30th birthday
7. We found our dream home, put in an offer, lost the offer, put in another offer, and got it!
Look – garden, pool, space for actual people!
8. We are moving to said house. Tomorrow. And I’m working. Which means poor husband is going to be multitasking the bejaysus out of the day.
15 days into the year and we are all officially in the swing of things. Work is manic, schools are full and our roads are saturated with already-frustrated drivers.
One of the good things about a new year – apart from attempting almost impossible resolutions – is testing out new products and items. This January has seen me using, reading, watching, listening and doing some new things.
Here is my top 10 must haves of January 2014.
1. MAC Extreme Dimension Mascara
I love anything MAC and about 90% of my makeup kit consists of their products – their mascara however has always left little to be desired. Until this bad boy came along – it’s so effective (and trust me, when your eyelashes are sparser than a metro cop at a broken traffic light you need all the help you can get!) that people have asked me if I’m wearing extensions. It goes on clump free, its semi waterproof – I know this as I’ve had my fair share of meltdowns wearing it and the packaging is fab! Available for 215 ronds from Macs new online store .
2. Burts Bees Lip Balm
OK, so this isn’t a new obsession. I have been endorsing and promoting Burts Bees for years – in fact it is the only lip balm I will use. Unfortunately it’s not available in SA yet – so if you happen to be traveling overseas… wink wink.
3. Scanner Pro
I’m a bit of an app whore – I download everything and use noting. Until I came across the Scanner pro app for my iPad – and can’t stop using it. We are currently sitting without a printer at our office, and therefore getting documents to clients has been a nightmare. With this bad boy its a matter of using the camera function to scan, saving the document and emailing it. Honestly one of the most useful apps I have come across in ages.
4. Avicii – True
My love affair started with ‘Wake Me Up’ – it became my anthem for every moment in 2013. Currently I’m loving ‘Hey Brother’. If you enjoy a bit o’ country, you will enjoy this new offering from the band.
5. Chef ‘N Veggie Chopper
This was one of those ‘filler’ items on our wedding registry and has now become a daily necessity during cooking time. I love it because it honestly does what it promises – chops and dices in a few blade rotations. Barry loves it because it mimics the motions of starting a lawn mower with its pulley cord. Friends – spoiler alert – you will all be getting one for your next birthday/wedding/batmitzvah or baby shower. You are welcome.
We were robbed …. again…. on Christmas last year. For us it was the final straw – why live in a security complex when security is clearly lacking? I now spend my free time browsing house porn on property24 and weighing up selling my body for extra cash or robbing a bank in order to afford it. There’s also a property24 app which handy for a techie like me.
Never has murder been so attractive. We watched Series 1 through 7 in about 2 months towards the end of last year. To say we are obsessed is an understatement. I need Season 8, in my life, right now.
8. The Night Circus
I’ve just stared reading this book after rave reviews from everyone I’ve spoken to. I have no idea what happens or what its about. All I know is that I’m loving it. Also, magic.
9. Online Shopping
I swore to myself I would find a better work life balance in 2014. One of the things Im doing to help with that is try and do most of my shopping online. 3 of my faves? Mr Price (delivery in 24 hours) Pick n Pay and Yuppie Chef. Sorted.
10. Boschendal Blanc de Noir
The weather has been hotter a Pool Party in hell – so red wine most of the times is out of the question. White wine is niiiice but I’m currently loving the slightly off white blush from Boschendal. Ugly new packaging aside, its the perfect sun-downer drink. Cheers
I went for my second chemical peel today and left writhing in such agony that I thought I had to share it with you, dear readers, for as they say – a problem shared is a problem halved right?
For those who don’t know, a Chemical peel involves walking into a Dermalogica and OPI scented spa, being greeted by a generally prissy owner slash receptionist. Then, while lying face up on a very comfortable bed, and drifting off to the sound of mating sperm whales and Enya a friendly beautician tells you to lie back, close your eyes and “just relax” before pouring what feels like volcanic larvae on your face. At this point my eyes are scrunched up like a newborn fresh from the womb, my fingernails cutting into my hands so hard I’m bleeding all over the Calibri towelled bedding and my face, is now on fire, literally. I’m convinced the red mood lighting is in fact the flames licking at the ceiling.
It’s at this point that the sweet beautician is possibly curled up in the corner of the room laughing hysterically at my screams and pleas to just “let this hell end and kill me now”. Maybe it’s sympathy or the sight of my tears ruining her perfectly applied death cream on my skin but she finally turns on an industrial sized fan (possible stolen from the inside of a Boeing 777) and blasts its coolness mercifully on my face. Finally, after what feels like a multiple birth sans anesthetic, the pain subsides and the fan gets switched off. I sniff back the snot, tears and manage a feeble “am I dead yet” before she utters the words I never hoped to hear: “lie still sweetie, we’re doing a double layer today”.
I have memories of being a little girl and falling asleep while my parents were conducting themselves in a rather uncivilised manner at some sort of dinner party. There would be loud music (I remember a lot of UB40), dancing on tables, bottles of wine (corked, not screw tops, I’m talking way back ) and my brother and I passed out on the couch or under a table depending on the situation. At the end of the night we would be bundled up, popped on the backseat and would wake up the next morning in our own beds. We always woke up in our own beds. Safe and sound. Understand, my parents are not bad people, and weren’t bad people back then, they were just doing what everyone back then did.
Does that mean it was OK to drink and drive then? Definitely not. They just didnt know any other way.
Ask your parents how ‘green’ they were back in the 80’s and I can guarantee that the answer was ‘not very’. Nowadays we follow those ‘Three Rs’ ilke the gospel and most of wouldn’t dream of just tossing a recyclyble item into the bin. It has become the norm to re-use and recycle as much as possible. Just ike recycling options have grown in the past decade, so have the alternatives for drinking and driving. Sadly, these options are pricey and often unreliable and force most of us to just take a chance after a night out.
Please don’t for one second think I am pointing fingers or preaching, I am guilty of having driven drunk many times and have always breathed a small sigh of relief upon reaching my destination safely. I am however a lot more conscious now and a several years back I swore against texting and drinking while driving because I could think of no bigger nightmare than being responsible for the injury or death of someone else, due to my actions. We are very fortunate in that my fiance’s company offers a cab solution to all of its staff free of charge. (Are you listening, corporates?)
So, what are our current options?
– Cab and taxi services such as GoodFellas and Roadtrip and becoming increasingly popular…and increasingly expensive. With the cost of rising fuel prices it’s hitting us where it hurts most, our pockets.
– Inner city bus and train options are few and far between and not yet a viable option.
– Tuk-tuks are becoming fairly popular, yet these generally only run during working hours. I dont know about you, but when I need a cab the most it is definitely not on a Monday at 3 pm.
– Phone a friend. Always wise, yet something most of us never do for fear of inconveniencing that person.
Looking at the above options it’s easy for us to shrug our shoulders and say ‘well, then there’s nothing we can do, is there?’ but I think there is. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by some very smart people, be it in work environment or in my social circle and I believe that there is a solution out there, but I need your help.
We all know the death tolls on our roads are high (Research from Arrive Alive shows that drunk driving is one of the biggest threats to Road Safety in South Africa. Research indicates that 50% of people who die on the roads have a blood alcohol concentration above 0.05 gram per 100 millilitres) yet even that isn’t enough to make us stop. So what is?
The frightening stats as displayed in this visual (courtesy of www.sadd.org.za)
I’m not sure if you have noticed a shift in attitude towards your peers lately? I guess it’s called ‘growing up’ but I’ve noticed a trend towards a healthier lifestyle in Jozi. Several years ago we would spend our weekends boozing at the pub or hitting a club, then sleeping it off the next day. Nowadays my friends and I spend our time growing organic veggies (dont mock it ’till you’ve tried it) running, cycling, taking part in adventure races, camping (still undecided on that one) and just generally living healthier, fitter and happier.
Understand, I still drink wine by the gallon and believe a life without champagne is a life not lived, but I want to balance that with a life lived responsibly. I am never going to cut alcohol out of my life so what I’m proposing is a small change that could potentially make a huge difference.
“The dinner club with a twist” involves one person staying dry and sober for the night – and acting as a designated driver as well. In return, their dinner and drinks (alcohol free) are sponsored by the group – perhaps a Redbull thrown in the mix if you’re like my friend (I’ll call him Jim) who becomes a fun sponge when sober. This duty then gets rotated per group member for each outing. My advise – find a lot of friends to ensure you wont have to be Sober-Sandy every 3 weeks.
Another perk – drinking makes you fat! Think of this plan as a fitter physique one (If you’re anything like me then less love handles is always a strong motivator)
Jokes aside, the stats are scary. According to SADD the death toll of drunk driving has now risen to 12000 people, per year. I have lost a friend through drunk driving, and I’m sure you have too.
There are some things we cannot control, like taxes, in-laws and seasonal flu. Drinking and driving is something we can. Think responsibly act responsibly and let’s all try to make a difference on our roads.
I would love to hear any ideas you may have for lowering drinking and driving stats. Please share them in the comments section.
I’m a guilty person by nature. I feel bad about everything!! Bump into me with your shopping trolley, and I will apologise profusely. Look at me and whisper to your companion and I assume you are judging my entire being. (Back fat, food in teeth and split ends included). Last week my car was keyed for no reason and I berated myself for days, wondering what I could have done to deserve it. Turns out it was a common occurrence in that specific parking lot, and I happened to be an unfortunate target. I had done nothing wrong, yet I assumed I had. I’m that person who smiles sheepishly at a waiter when the table next to me shouts from bad service, and then tips them extra when the payer isn’t watching
In November I got engaged. Cue happy tears, laughter, too many Facebook congratulations to count and a general feeling of euphoria. Which lasted for 48 hours. Within days of bouncing back to reality I had been told how awful wedding planning was by friends and acquaintances, told to keep everything wedding related to my private life by certain work people and treated like yet another cash injection by everyone ranging from venues to photographers and in everyone inbetween.
Because of this, 3 months later I have been too afraid to even start getting excited about my big day. When people kindly mention it I joke how I would rather elope. When someone shows an interest, I brush them off and say ‘oh gosh, it’s ages away, lets talk about you’ and when I realise that weddings are indeed a business and things get booked, fast, I tell myself there are a hundred other more imprtant things to focus on than A WEDDING.
Just yesterday I was talking to colleagues, (indulging in a few minutes respite from my desk during their smoke break. Amongst these trusted colleagues I brought up the taboo issue of my nuptials, mentioning the exorbitant price of the venue and all the homemade and DIY things I wanted to do to offset that. One of them (colleagues) mentioned – but that’s what your bridesmaids are for! Never! I exclaimed, having been a bridesmaid more times than I can recall – I would never ask them to get involved this early on. Then I clicked – why is it that I would put more hours and effort into my friends wedding than my own? Why do I feel guilty about wanting to plan a day which is all about me? I feel guilty about the attention, I feel guilty about people making me feel special for a change and I feel guilty that this event has sucked me in, and captured my attention.
I shouldn’t feel bad about wanting a beautiful day, a day filled with things I have planned, created and imagined. A day when Barry and I are surrounded by the best people in our lives. I’m a smart, grownup woman, capable of many things, multi tasking included. I can manage time better than Big Ben and even the ‘W’ word won’t turn me into a dithering wreck. This will be my day, and going forward I vow (pun intended) to ensure that when I smile at an idea or spot a dress I love, I won’t hate myself for not focusing on what other people want me to, but rather enjoy the experience. I mean, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, right?
Brides, fiancées and just those dreaming of your big day – I would love to hear your feedback on your experiences and emotions during this time of your lives.
I’m not a huge one for New Years resolutions as ultimately my ideas are too ambitious for my brain and I end up failing most of them before the month year is out. This is not to say that some resolutions aren’t valuable; a mate of ours has been waking her hubby at at 4 am every morning to go running (she’s been eyeing out those skinny jeans), a colleague has finally taken the plunge and decided to start his own company, another friend of mine has decided to do the Half Iron Man in 2013 (hopefully inspired by my buff bod in a tri suit hey Tash? – I joke) and Barry, my fiance has decided to start studying to further enhance his skill set. And to make loads of money and buy me shiny things.
All very do-able goals, and ones which I approve of. But what about me? I find lately I’ve become that person who gets home and grumbles about the bad stuff – traffic, deadlines, workload, horrible people and taxis and I’m beginning to think that if I had nothing to complain about, I wouldnt speak much at all. I realised that a resolution doesn’t have to be something huge – it can start with the smallest action. So, with that in mind, here are several of my 2013 resolutions that I would like to achieve and stick to, not only in this year, but for all the rest.
– Do one good thing a day. It doesn’t have to be donating a hefty sum to a charity, or volunteering your time at an orphanage – although thats really good), it can be something small such as replacing the toilet paper for the next person (I have a habit of folding the loopaper into a little triangle, hotel style), bending down to retrieve something that someone next to you has dropped, letting someone in, in traffic – even though you’re already late, complimenting a stranger on their perfume/top/smile. Returning your food purchase to the shelf when you decide you dont want it anymore, instead of leaving it the trolley, starting a conversation with the bank teller, even though you hate the bank, politely declining a telesales call or reminding a friend about another friends birthday (instead of wanitng to take the friendship credit for yourself). Not huge things, right? But all (hopefully) guaranteed to bring a smile to the recipients face.
– Do something physical every day. I have realised, I am a grumpy b*tch when not full of endorphins, and even though it’s hard to hit the treadmill seven days a week, it’s not hard to walk the dogs, clean the house (jokes, thats very hard), play with a toddler near you (in a non creepy school drive by kind of way) or plant in the garden. Keep moving, Keep happy.
– Cook more (interesting and new dishes) then invite wonderful people to come over and eat them whilst drinking good red wine.
– Buy an SLR and learn to take magic photos. Then learn to edit them
– Learn design and actually make what I pin (personal PR – follow me on Pinterest here)
– Save money.
– Dont let bad habits rub off on me. Someone I know snaps at me when I make a comment or a suggestion. What do I then do? I snap back. I’m going to train myself how to smile and be the bigger person. I THINK THIS IS THE HARDEST OF THEM ALL
– Lastly, ask more questions, get more involved and be curious.
22 days into 2013 and I have yet to upload a blog post. So much for new years resolutions! I do however think that this post will make up for my absence, well, for me at least 🙂
I’m sure by now you are all aware that I have been training for the past several months for the Iron Man 70.3 which was held this past weekend in the thriving metropolis (I jest) of East London.
To avoid any further suspense, I will tell you now that I finished the race (7 hours 35 minutes) and that I could not be happier or prouder of my achievement. Boastful perhaps, but when I think back on the past 8 months and the early mornings, late nights, tequila sacrifices and lack of lie-ins, I think Im allowed some bragging rights 🙂
And so begins the longest blog post in the history of blogging. Sorreee.
The closest I’ve ever come to an Iron Man is watching my fiance tacking a wrinkled work shirt on a Monday morning (yes, I’m a modern day women – I let him do the ironing) so I was blown away by the entire event, from start to finish. The amount of organisation, man power and effort that goes into the event is insane, and I now know why they charge so much money for the entry.
This event has cost me a small fortune, so when we saw the price of plane tickets to East London (R18 000 return, cough splutter!) we decided to drive down. We left at midnight on Friday and drove through the night, arriving (exhausted) at 10am to blue skies and a buzzing environment. Our hotel, like something out of the 1970’s, was to be our home for the next 3 days and we put up with horse sized cockroaches, broken aircons and foreign hair in the shower.
We spent the day on Friday registering, attending the expo and briefing session and then hitting an early dinner with the crew. I felt like such a noob, and honestly felt like I had neon red ‘VIRGIN’ lettering stamped across my forehead. It was much to my relief then, when I found out that 53% of the athletes were 70.3 virgins. That meant 2000+ doing this race for the very first time.
FYI – 70.3 stands for a total of 70.3 miles which is the distance of the race – I’ve had a lot of people asking.
On Saturday morning I woke up man down with a migraine. I was devastated to miss the training swim in the sea but had no choice but to take a small country’s worth of meds and try sleep. The crew went on without me and I managed to get one in a few hours later. I must stress that the sea swim was my nemesis, so getting a practice one in was imperative. Thank god for modern day medicine!
Feeling much better after the swim we headed off on a short ride to test the bikes and make sure everything was in working order.
Saturday afternoon consisted of racking bikes and sorting out our bags in the transition area.
Considering my tendency for nervous insomnia, I passed out on Saturday night and woke up fresh, excited and terrified at 4 am on Sunday. Race day. I think the photos speak for themselves, and I was contemplating not posting some – especially the post-race red face teary ones and mid run sweaty and cellulitey ones – but what the hell. I just did Half Iron Man, Who cares how shit I look, right? (Disclaimer, I did ask coach Barry if there would be time to apply foundation before the finish line and nearly got a smack)
The race was staggered in age groups, and the boys left us to go start their swims
The swim (1.9km) was my biggest fear and I have a dismal track record for not crying during an open water excursion. My game plan? Keep calm and walk in last. In the below picture I am the third last person from the back, taking my sweet old merry time. It helped a lot, and even though the water was as unstable as Brittneys music career, I made it out (unscathed apart from a wave/person induced black eyed) in 45 minutes. Yay me.
I was NOT going to show this pic – but in the spirit of baring all and having mentioned the black eye – this is what I looked like post swim. (I also look like this first thing in the morning. I must have a great personality)
The ride was tough! I pushed hard to do it in the allocated time limit, and eventually finished the 90kms in 4 hours and 10 minutes. Broken, but excited to get my bum off the seat and start the run. I also wasted 7 minutes in transition looking for my lost chip (apologies to everyone who was SMS tracking me – I know I went AWOL for those 4 hours!)
Finishing was such a surreal experience and I actually did a dance up the red carpet, and subsequently burst into tears at the finish line. It was also then that I heard about the tragic deaths of two of the swimmers in the mens category. The news put a massive dampener on the day and I am still in shock that it happened I never knew them, but the news hit me, and everyone there, hard. I’m sure I echo the sentiments of all the athletes and supporters when I extend my deepest condolences to their friends and families. The official press release can be found here.
I also wanted to use this platform to say a huge congratulations to each and every person who took part, finisher or not, as well as the supporters along the rote. To the ‘other Kate’ who kept me going on a tough hill on the bike route, to Tim who walked with me up Bunkers hill, to Shaun for his words of support just before the swim and to my friends (old and new) who did the race for the first time – Eryn, Xavier, Nick Dax and Pete as well as the support crew – Louise, Darryl, Tash and Meggyn. You are all flipping amazing and I couldn’t not have asked to be surrounded by better people this weekend. To Dean the mean pasta machine, and Shaun, congrats on yet another 70.3 notch in the belt. To all my friends and family for bugging the hell out of Barry on the day (it shows you care :)), for the messages, calls Facebooks and Tweets – it got me through the hills and wind and Bunkers Hill! Lastly – to my number 1 supporter on the day, as well as ‘Coach’ the man who got us through this entire thing. Thank you for the training programs, the Whatsapp groups, the organising of the numerous runs, rides and swims and for keeping me sane leading up to this race (even though i know there were times he wanted to kill me). Barry – my love – thank you! I can’t wait to be your biggest supporter for Iron Man next year March.
Well done team! We deserved the tequila that followed!
Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock – today is 12/12/12 and the next time we have such a matchy-matchy date we will all be dead.
This date also means we are 12 days away from Christmas and 19 days away from 2013. So, I thought this was as good a time as any to recap on the year that was, and summarise 12 big things (some good, some bad) that happened in my year.
1) I ran and finished my first Two Oceans Half marathon
2) Two of my best friends got married
3) My blog made a profit! (Yay)
4) My brother got engaged
5) I got engaged
6) We lost a vibrant friend
7) I took part in, and finished, my first 94.7 cycle challenge
8) I took part in, and finished my first Triathlon
9) We got Bella AKA ‘Pig’ our second addition to the furmily. (Who subsequently got bitten by a puffadder, put us through weeks of stress and sadness and has pulled through like a champ!)
10) I lost a dear, kind, wonderful Uncle
11) My Fiance ran and completed his first Comrades (in under 9 hours let me tell you!)
12) I made some fabulous new friends, and removed some not so fabulous ones from my life
What were the highlights, and lowlights of your 2012?
I have a massive case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) or in this case KIHMO (Knowing I Have Missed Out) that I wasn’t able to take part in the Energizer Night race this past Saturday. As this time of year goes our diaries were fuller than a Christmas stocking and we had another engagement on – an early Christmas with my fiances family.
As irony would have it – my brother and his fiance both took part – and their feedback only added to my envy. I decided to do a fun QnA with my brother John and one of the winners of the hamper Kate Els.
– Which race did you take part in?
(Kate) 10km run
(John) 10km trail run
Was this your first night race? If not which other ones have you done
(Kate) Not my first, but my furthest night race so far. I take part in the Kinetic Night Trail series once a month and will be running the 8km in December.
(John) Yes, first running race and a night trail run at that!
The entertainment lineup was diverse – who was your favourite performer?
(Kate) I loved the drummers! Code Red Drum Corps I think they were called? They were fantastic and made me bounce up and down a little in the cold wind before the race
(John) Most definitely ‘Code Red’, the drumming show. Real talent and coordination. Apart from that just watching the runners freezing their butts of in the cold waiting for the start!
*Seems we have a definite favourite here!
Would you do it again?
(Kate) Definitely, I think next year I’ll organise a big group of friends and spend more time at the venue though. And won’t be as nervous!
(John) Definitely! Can’t wait to do other trail runs as well.
Did you dress up? If so, in what?
(Kate) Ha ha no! I was far too nervous about running 10km with a headlamp on to even consider dressing up. Made sure that I had lots of reflective neon strips on my clothing though. I loved the guys dressed up in morph suits that looked like tuxedos. They were winners!
(John) No, very boring in my running clothes and Salomons.
Summarise the event in 3 words
(Kate) Energetic, fun, totally-worth-it
(John) Challenging, Rewarding, Entertaining.
Did you take part to compete or just have fun?
(Kate) A bit of both. I want to take part in a half marathon early-ish next year so I’ve started trying to improve my fitness and my 10km personal time.
(John) A bit if both, I told myself it was just to take part, but once I started I felt strong and decided to compete as best I could.
What was the toughest part?
(Kate) Trail runs are harder mostly because of the uneven ground and the winding path, making it more important to concentrate on where you’re running. But even though it makes it tougher, it also makes you a better runner and strengthens your ankles, so less chance of an injury in future!
(John) Waiting in the cold to start! Not the events fault, the weather just decided not to play the part but luckily the rain held out.
Thanks to Kate and John for answering the questions – sounds like a freezing but fun event! Also, Happy Birthday to my big bro for today – see, you can teach old dogs new running tricks 😉