St Lucia: THe bay of light

Friday, August 31, 2012

When my family, Flip and I trekked the nine hours down to St Lucia, in KwaZulu-Natal, I did not know what to expect, as I have never been there. We arrived after dark, so I had even less of a clue. Then I awoke before the crack of dawn on Saturday and rushed to the beach.

This seven street coastal town, serene and lush - with littoral shrubberies, sand & sea, crocodiles and hippos - has captured my heart.

Although the wind had made the better of us in the first few days, chasing us untimely from the shores, as sand stung like caustic bees protecting its picturesque territory, we still dipped our toes in the jagged, dark sea.

I should add that this feat in itself might be the bravest thing I have ever done, as this part of the coast has not been safemade by shark deterring nets.

The playing field was open and even, and I constantly checked the water for movement. Not that I could see much through the turbulent waves.

But I prefer it this way, it keeps the tourists at bay. {excuse the pun}

Road tripping tips!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I thought I would share these little pearls of wisdom I picked up on our recent road trip.
1 – When you are passing through a town, use this opportunity to empty your bladder and stock up on everything you might need.
2 – Always have a roll of toilet paper in the car. See where I’m going here?

3 – If you skipped the first rule, and you have to pee next to the road, choose somewhere scenic.
This is where the second rule also comes in handy. Yes, I did it in a twilight scene.
4 – Always have a good compilation of music, as it makes time appear to fly.
5 – Anticipate the worst and it won’t be that bad.
If you are going on a road trip in South Africa, especially long trips, you will find trucks and road works. It will slow you down. While waiting at roadworks, use this opportunity to get out and stretch your legs.
Also, use this opportunity to stock up on food, if you don’t have anything in the car. There are always opportunistic locals trying to sell nuts and fruits.
6 – Don’t rush. It’s better to get there later than never at all.
7 – Travel with someone you love, or at least like, a lot. If you’re going to travel for hours on end, you’re pretty much stuck with the other person.
Luckily, I kinda like Flip, so the trip was bearable.
{side note: if I had to travel with a sworn enemy, I would probably try and make friends with them}
{extra side note: if it is someone who irritates the living crap out of me, I would probably shout a couple profanities at them and travel in absolute silence all the way.}
8 – Don’t wear shoes. Just. Because
9 – Remember sunglasses. It gets sunny on the roads, although Mpumalanga normally lies in a cloud of mist.
10 – Switch off your phone. {except for emergencies}. It’s relaxing. Believe me, I had to sit for nine hours and listen to Flip’s phone constantly ringing. Instant bitch mode was unleashed.

In conclusion, no matter how you travel, just relax and enjoy yourself and try and be safe.

Dogs are our links to paradise

Monday, August 27, 2012

Coming home to your pups after a hiatus is like hurdling yourself into ecstasy.

That one step closer to heaven.

Flip made a little video of us coming home the other day, but for some reason, I just cannot upload it. Damn you iPhone!

As I alluded to in my last post, the pups had to stay home. I had no idea what a shock this would have been to my system. I am used to them sleeping in bed with me, and here I lay, in this vast, gargantuan single bed.

Flip was right next to me, but I felt so alone.

And then I started sobbing, like I lost a family member. They are my children.

Flip didn’t complain, because he didn’t have to fight with Mila for blankets for once.

Needless to say, I was elated to have them back in my arms again.

My Mila and my Jethro.

{On a sidenote: thank you to all the comments and extra followers I received in absentia,  it made me so happy!}

Beach babies

Friday, August 17, 2012

In the last hours of that Friday I went to Durban for work, we decided to have a few sun downers at the beach, as our flight was still a few hours away. Enter the scene, Balitto and the eccentric bar-on-the-beach Beach Bums.

I wouldn't have wanted to end a busy day any other way.

Also having sundowners with her people was this lovely little lady. I believe her name was Sheila or Sasha. Any which way, she was such a sweet little puppy and she kept me busy for a few minutes. She was so friendly and well behaved. Like Mila. Mila just isn't well behaved.

Quick Poll: 

Below I have two pics, exactly the same, except for the editing. The first one is the original and the second is the edited image. Which one do you thinks looks best?

Let me know in the comments!

Guess what? I'll give you some clues.  It involves four wheels; an amazing compilation of music, even if I dare so myself; a few unplanned stops; some early mornings and the beach. Yes, we are roadtripping down to the east coast again. This time I won't be alone and I won't be there for a day.

We are heading down to St Lucia for a week.

I'm getting my everything fake on. Already had the acrylic french manicure nails. Got my fake tan this morning. What? Don't judge. Even though I'm a sunny South African, which should automatically make me tan, I normally just burn.

I am so ready to just kick up my feet and relax. Unfortunately, we had to leave the pups behind. A friend of mine will look after them. I'm going to miss them. Sad face.

Remembering the small things

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Relationships aren’t always the fairytale story you see in romantic comedy films or those stories your mother read to you when you were just a little girl, dreaming of your prince charming. Please show by raise of hands how many of you actually kissed a frog after hearing ‘The Frog and the Princess’.

I didn’t. I did play with frogs though. And apparently, they gave me warts.

I digress. Relationships are about the little things we do for each other, the stolen kisses, the knowledge of his or her favourite drink, that little pick-me-upper on a bad day. It’s also in the great gestures.

I received these lovely flowers from Flip about a month ago. He delivered them himself, at my office. He likes to surprise me like that.

The romantic that I am, I just melt everytime and fall in love all over again.

The protea in the middle lasted a whole month. It’s just such an amazing robust flower. And it’s South Africa’s national flower.

The funny thing is, I used to dislike proteas. I thought they were ugly and old people’s flowers. But as fate would have it, on our very first date, Flip bought me a massive protea from a vendor and mixed in the euphoria of being in love and all over mushy, I got stuck on it. It’s now my favourite flower and I just love having them in my house.

Strange how emotions can change your perceptions over something, no?

Today, we celebrate another monthiversary and I couldn’t be happier.

In other news, today is also my mother’s birthday. I have already sent her a couple of messages wishing her the best year ahead and thanking her for being such an amazing mother and friend. Hip hip hoorah!

 My mom and I at my 21st

And the winner is!

Congratulations to Laura!

You have won this amazingly cute hamper from ForgetMeKnot. I will contactly you shortly.

On the east coast again

Monday, August 13, 2012

Durban is quite a spectacular place. Besides being known for its attractive seaside, its uber-popular sport stadiums and uShaka Marine world, it is also a melting pot of different cultures. This stunning city is the home of bunny chow, colonial history and some fierce sharks. Put your hands up for Durban, I love this city. 

Next on our trip was the actual event we were invited too. I'm not going to write about that, because that's my job, which I get paid for. haha. While we were waiting for the event to start, we hung out at Durban City Hall. It was built in 1910 and is still a hive of activity.

On this particular day, besides our event, there was a strike, which I landed in the middle of. Quite exciting.
There was also an outside party hosted for all the people who could not attend the formal side of the event and was there a bunch of colourful people!

I got the chance to ride a rickshaw, something I haven't done since I was two years old. In Durban, this is quite the tourist attraction. Although not very ladylike, I was squealing from the moment I got on it, it's fun but also scary when the rickshaw puller jumps, it feels like you are going to fall out!

Read this last part in an intrepid colonial explorer's voice. It will make it more fun.

"Yesh, I do believe that this is Felis Catus, the domesticated version of those ferocious African cats. Usually a furry, domesticated, carnivorous mammal that communicates with humans through a series of purrs and other vocal sounds. Quite an interesting creature, I dare say. This particular subject was however not of the domesticated kind and would hiss and show its teeth in a feat to intimidate passerby's."

I realise that there has been a surplus of cats on my blog the past two weeks. Two cats count as two too many. Audible gasps all about, yes, I hear you. But I am not a cat person. 

Having a day off & raging over snow

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Today is Women's Day, which means that we get to lounge around at home and stay out of the cold. Speaking of cold, we had a snowday on Tuesday and I got a chance to play around in it.

Like I mentioned in my last post, it's extremely scarce, as in it has only snowed 22 days in Johannesburg in the last 108 years.

I have no idea why I am pulling this funny face. Oi vey.

Remember this pictures I shared in my owning the city post?
My work's resident photographer snapped the same park on the snowy day.
Winter wonderland isn't it?

The first image via Pinterest

Forget Me Knot giveaway

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

::: Johannesburg is having a snow day today! This is quite exciting, as snow in Gauteng is more scarce than a chicken with teeth. I'm hoping it continues so we can play in the snow tonight and build snowmen! :::

Reduce, reuse, recycle. This concept is not new, but recently it has taken over the country, shaping the way we shop, the way we throw things away, and the way we create.

Tanielle Bell, from ForgetmeKnot in Cape Town has used this as her mantra, creating new and amazing things from cast-off products. She can take a simple plastic bag and change it into bowls and coasters! Now, that is talent!


She took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to give us a little more insight into her creations.

Tanielle, why did you start this business?
I started Forgetmeknot because I kept on getting asked "Why don't you sell your creations?"
So I left my job, became a freelance magazine designer and pursued my passion.
I also had an opportunity to train a group of women. But after a few years I realized that was the wrong direction for me, so went solo. Never looked back. 

You are truly inspiring, to give up your safezone and pursue your dreams.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am forever looking on Pinterest, blogs and creative websites. 
I love DIY tutorials, and often find it will inspire me to create something new.
Mostly my inspiration is sparked when I have something (e.g a glass jar) and I want to reuse/utilize it instead of throwing it away, then I will go research what other people have done and experimented with. 

And so you are also reducing your footprint on mother nature. What are you planning to do next?
My next projects I am itching to get stared are Polaroid coasters, cluster wood off-cuts formed into a heart and an image transferred onto that, and I am collaborating with Marzipan Jewelry on an exciting new crochet necklace collar.
Never a dull moment!

****this comeptition is now closed****
It gets even better! Sweet Tanielle has offered Second Floor Living readers the chance to win some of her amazing handmade creations!

By entering, you could walk away with these awesome goodies:
1 x YAY Scrabble-inspired coasters [with red felt underneath]
2 x key chain animals [made from recycled plastic]
2 x bunny badges/brooches [made from recycled plastic, scrap ribbons and buttons]

To enter just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
Give some love to Tanielle in the comments if you like.
MANDATORY: You must be a follower of SFL to qualify.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

On the east coast!

Monday, August 6, 2012

I took a little trip to Durban not too long ago for work. We flew in quite early so we had a few hours to kill.

So we trekked down to the Oyster Box in Umhlanga [which means 'place of reeds' in Zulu] for some coffee. 
You know, to get that wake up shake up.
I did say it was early.

I had my favourite drink in the entire world. A spicy chai latte. I live for these.
I made my mom try it once. Let's just say the love for chai lattes isn't genetic.

This was our view, the famous lighthouse in Umhlanga. This spectacular beacon was built in 1954. I love how the Oyster box has taken the whimsical colours of the lighthouse and interpreted into their outside decor. It's such a happy sight.

A not so happy sight was the hotel's resident cat. On this particular day, Manchester United [the football team], which was visiting the country, was leaving the hotel. This fatcat was wearing a Man U jersey, but it sure as hell didn't look happy about it.

The concierge even warned us not to touch it, as it might go into a fit.
Talk about a tantrum!

 Angry kitty, 
devilish kitty,
huge ball of fur.
Mad kitty,
fat kitty,
purr purr purr.

More of my Durban trip to come soon.

I also featured on The Failtehouse on Friday!
Go check it out!

Celebrate good times!

Friday, August 3, 2012

It feels like I have taken a years break from blogging, because I didn't do anything internet related this weekend. I worked in the garden, bought a few flowers and just had a great relaxing time. Thus, this post might seem a few days late.

We celebrated the opening of the Olympics at the Keg & Crow. Told you I loved this place.
It's like our MacLaren's Pub from How I met your mother. 
And Lily, Marshal, Ted, Barney & Robyn has nothing on us. Nothing!

We also had our own olympics at our table.
These two won gold for the fiercest faces.

Flip and I took first prize for not being able to keep a straight normal face in a pic.

Nico here finished dead last in the chili eating competition. 
He was the only one who competed.

We also had Springbokkies to honour our countries green and gold. Everyone at the pub cheered when the rings were in the air, and there were a few tears, mostly mine. People also cheered everytime an African country would appear. It was stunning!

To quote Nico: "The best thing about events like this is that it unites everyone. Every body just fucking loves each other."

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