A cockail in the hand is worth two in the bush

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

There are a few mysteries in life that will probably never be solved. Why are we here? How big is the universe? How come the alphabet was written in the order it was written? Why do people put salt on the rim of their cosmopolitan cocktail?

I guess it will never be solved, but what I can tell you is that it tastes a million times better without salt, and if it comes out of a box. Yes, you read right. I have had a couple of cocktails in my 26 years of life - a very little known fact was that I worked as a bar lady in a posh club post-varsity and had to have drink with the clients. Yes, had to. It's a cultural offense to deny free alcohol, especially from an already inebriated guy who has some cash to spend, ya know.

Getting back to my point, the Original Iced Cosmopolitan spirit cooler, which is a mix between cranberry, mandarin, lime juice and vodka is perfect! Did you know that the company uses 100% fruit juice for its blends? And you know what makes it even more delicious? Enjoying it in the bushveld, because it is absolutely portable and ready made! Take that bar people and Carrie Bradshaw! She wishes she was this cool.

We went on a game drive in the morning, Cosmo in tow and saw so many animals! We believe the scent of the Cosmo attracted them.

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Now, what better way is there too cool down after searching for animals, than taking a plunge! With the mojito by our side, Idele and I hit the pool for a refreshing afternoon.

My friend, Idele, who joined me for the weekend couldn't get enough of the cosmo and I quote: "I'm usually a devoted Mojito fan, but I must say that the cosmo came out on top this time. With its fresh  taste that is a fine combination of sweet and sour, it makes for an excellent game drive refreshment. Nevertheless, the Mojito still stood its ground, with a few added elmons and mint leaves, it is the perfect drink for an afternoon swimming pool expedition."

I couldn't have said it better myself. However, we didn't have all the sides for our mojitos. It was still refreshing and tasty!


Leave a comment below on what your favourite flavour Orignal Ice cocktail is! 
And tweet the following: I want to win an Original Ice party pack with @original_iced and @waitingformeg : www.waitingformeg.blogspot.com
The products in this post was sponsored by Orignal Iced

Kalahari Oasis

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Years ago we had a series in South Africa about three guys that said 'Ja, Boet' all the time. You can have a look over here. It was set in Mabalingwe. It was also used in a couple of ads. But, when the series ended, it was transformed into a pub.

Being the brilliant researcher I am {because I always google places before I go there. Ja right.} I was, like so many times before, surprised to learn that it was in the reserve itself. I am terrible. It was pretty cool, but closed on the day we were there. I still took a few snaps.

All of this, in the middle of a game reserve? I think it's pretty legit! Would've been even better if we had a drink or two.

Mabalingwe {weekend trip}

Thursday, January 23, 2014

If there is one thing in South Africa that it doesn't lack, it's nature reserves. I mean, we have so many stunning animals on this continent and us city folk love to see them close up. So, last weekend, Flip and I joined my parents at Mabalingwe Nature Reserve. We arrived late Friday evening, owing to horrible traffic all the way from Johannesburg, and spent the rest of the weekend relaxing on the 12 500 ha game farm.

Now, Mabalingwe means spots of the leopard - the words itself is a combination of Zulu and Setswana and would be pronounced Mabala ya Ingwe. But I think that the reserve should rather have been called Mohatla, which is the Setswana word for the tail of a warthog. We saw so many of them, and on Friday evening was greeted by a couple of warthogs right at our house. He came back the next morning and when I spoke to him, he cocked his head from side to side, like a dog! He also walked to the stairs on our stoep and allowed me to scratch him behind his ears, which he loved! Another frequent visitor was the cutest little squirrel! I could just eat him up!

The reserve also has an abundance of antelope, including kudu, nyala, impala, zebra and a whole lot of antelope we didn't even see. We did spot one giraffe though! It was still a baby, but his mom was nearby. Everyone except for me could see the bigger giraffe.

Upon arrival, I asked if I'm allowed to jog in the lodge area where we stayed, called Ingwe camp, and was told by reception that I am, but if an elephant or hippo pitches, I'll have to run really fast. They told me that elephants had visited the reception area just the night before, and that hippos were there the morning.

Although we didn't see any elephants, it was a blessing in disguise. My mother is deathly afraid of big animals, unlike her brave daughterchild who pulled on a crocodile's tail in her youth. Case in point, she freaked out when we were almost 700 m away from the hippos at one of Mabalingwe's dams. They were just lazing in the sun.

This weekend, we are off to another famous reserve: Mabula. Hopefully I'll see some lions and elephants there.

Suzani van der Merwe :: illustrator {feature and giveaway}

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A long time ago, okay not that long, I had a guest post by a girl named Anja. She spoke about her crushes on other people's pets and currently even has a series on the topic. One of these pet crushes included Suzani's Wolfie, and thus sparked my interest in Suzani. Later, I would discover that Suzani is an amazingly talented illustrator and just had to feature her today!

She also shares a passion for animals and uses her illustrations to depict this passion! I am in awe!

Suzani, you are one  talented illustrator! How did you start and how long have you been doing this?
I've always drawn, since I was a kid. I had Art as a subject in High School, where I learnt which mediums I enjoyed best & since then I've never really stopped, so I guess I can say I've been doing this most of my life.

Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
I find inspiration in other illustrator's work, photography & everyday emotions and events.

How do you perceive the South African creatives/design landscape?
I think it's amazing how much diversity and talent we have in this country! It's exciting to be part of something like this that it is constantly growing & developing, especially with Cape Town being Design Capital of the World this year. There are so many opportunities for creatives in South Africa.

What is your favourite colour/ material to work with, and why?
My favourite mediums to work with are fineliners & watercolour, and I often combine the two. I love how watercolours can give life & emotion to work, but the honesty and the impact of a black & white illustration is timeless.

What would you do if you won the lotto?
I would quit my day job as a designer & become a full-time illustrator!

Where to from here?
Since I'm working full time, I'm trying to take on more illustration projects in my free time, whether it be personal or for a client.

What has been your proudest moment since you started?
My proudest moment would be when my work got complimented by a South African artist that I have been looking up to for years. :)

Check out more of her work here: http://www.behance.net/suzani_

Now for the fun part! You can stand the chance to win one of her custom illustrations.
Click on this link to find out how.
The Sun House facebook page 

For those who do not have facebook, don't fret, you can enter via rafflecopter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Coffee & Cookies

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Everybody loves it, has tried to quit it once or twice in their lives, craves it, needs it to wake up in the mornings. It has an amazing aroma and gives you that kick you need. A French writer, named Balzac (if you are Afrikaans, you would find this surname very funny) was rumoured to have had up to 50 cups of it a day.

Of course, I am talking about coffee. I have a love/hate relationship with the substance, sometimes going months without a cup - but other days, I just have the urge to down mug after mug. Especially if it involves a great homemade cookie or two.

One of my other love/hate relationships is doing-it-yourself projects, which usually frustrate the living daylights out of me. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to these projects. Anyway, I found some great DIY's on the interwebs lately and needed to share it with you.
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A little indulgence never hurt anybody, so why not try these terrific cookie recipes to go with your awesome new mugs?

The big Staycation {Van Gaalen}

Monday, January 13, 2014

So last year was our big staycation. While most of our province's inhabitants have planned their yearly coastal holidays, we had to stay home. Weddings are not cheap! But before you pity me in my parity with the lesser-privileged - this girl does not sit still for a minute. As soon as I felt I had the strength to do something, after my stint with lung disease, Flip and I set off to the Van Gaalen Cheese Farm in Skeerpoort.

At the foot of the Magaliesberg, the farm has hiking and biking trails, which is a great hit with the offroad bikers from Joburg. We sat down for breakfast just as most of them came back from their early morning ride. I overheard some riders saying that it was a tough ride, they left at five in the morning and only came back at 10ísh. The scrapes, mud and bruises on their arms and legs, paired with red and sweaty faces, further testified to the difficult path. With 60 km of trail to trek, I'd think I'd look far worse off than these experienced riders. Kudos to them!

Of course it also offers something to eat, with a little outdoor restaurant, shaded by age-old trees. You won't be spoiled for choice with their menu, but I was quite surprised when I received my platter for one. I couldn't finish it, it was just too much. While I had the Chef's Platter, for R89, Flip enjoyed a farm breakfast with tomato and mushroom relish.

With bookings, the folks at Van Gaalen will prepare a picnic basket, which you can enjoy next to a stream somewhere on the trail. I might take that option the next time we go there. It sounds awfully romantic.

Wedding Table Numbers {DIY}

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Our wedding might have been almost three months ago, but I still have so much to share. And with all the time and effort my dear mother put into all the little details, it would just not be fair to her to not share her amazing handy work. We did almost everything decor related by ourselves - and it was hard work! I helped where I can and documented when I was there. Luckily, I could help over weekends and was there for the table number making process.

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Firstly, you need to dive into your local Hospice or Thrift shop and find some sturdy, old - but still decent, books. My mom's church has a little library from which it sells books. There were boxes full. My dad and I delved into a box one afternoon and found these sturdy Reader's Digest compilations. You don't have to choose books that are all the same size, but it does make it more uniform and easier when it comes to the wrapping part, as you can cut a template and go from there.

To ensure that the books can stand open and, to have a space to put your table numbers and menu, you need to stick all the pages together - with the exception of two pages in the middle. We used ponal glue.

So, obviously after procuring your books, you would need to wrap them. My mom and I had a funny system, where we cut out two sizes from the paper and stuck them on. I think we didn't wrap the book as the paper was too thick and it would have made wrapping a little more difficult. We used double sided sticky tape to do the job.

After all the cutting, taping and sticking, we lined the back of the books with green librarians' tape, but you can use coloured duct tape, it works just as well. This was just to round the books off. But, before we did this, we measured and cut our lace pieces. On half the books, we used the lace horizontally, while on the other half, we stuck them vertically. I couldn't decide which one looked better and even asked the ladies on instagram whether I should go with the horizontal or vertical look. They all chose the one I wasn't too fond of, so I went half/half.

Once all the sticking is done, you can print out your table number and menu to stick on the inside, where you left two pages open. And now you can relax.

My mom and I enjoyed looking at our hard work over a cup of tea!

Wedding pics: Kikitography

Maybe I am making resolutions...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hey, this New Year seems to be panning out quite well already. I surprised myself yesterday, as despite not really sleeping Sunday evening – a combination of it being way to hot to sleep, excitement for getting back into the gym and back to work – I still got up at 5:30. Flip woke me and I tried to roll over and do the lazy thing, but eventually got up, got my gear and got my ass back in motion.

Exercising is one of my favourite things to do, I shit you not. While other people might meditate to have their quiet time, I jog. It’s like my inner being wakes up and gets ready for the day ahead. I get time to clear my head of negative thoughts and think of the things I can achieve every single day.

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

And, it really is true that exercising in the morning gives you extra energy during the day. I am hardly ever tired during the day if I go to the gym before the first rooster’s crow. Can someone back me up here?

I’m hoping that I can keep this routine up during this year. I know, luckily, that I am not one of those New Year’s resolutions exercisers – I’ll keep at it, as long as my health prevails. Sinuses, you listen to me and you listen to me close, you will not be my downfall this year! No thank you.

Meanwhile, during the days I wasn’t in bed with some sort of ailment during the holiday season, Flip and I ventured out to interesting and fun places. I like to call it our staycation and will soon share of the spaces and places we saw. For now, I like writing. I want to focus on writing this year. Perhaps I might even have a book by December 31, 2014. I just have to get myself to sit down and physically write the ideas I have, but all too often, I am too lazy to get up. Most of my ideas come when I’m falling asleep, or in the shower.

The other day, just before entering the land of nod, I thought up a story about a woman named Ingrid Spencer. She was pregnant, but wasn’t having a ball of a time about it. I should’ve penned that down. Maybe I am making resolutions after all.

So resolutions: write a book; or at the very least pen down thoughts; have breakfast every single day so I can have a clear mind and be more healthy because of it; drink more water; love more; take my dogs for walks. I’m resolutionised. 

Picture from here

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