Thursday, 30 July 2015

5 Questions to the Featured Blogger: Juggling Act of Life



Just before July slips into oblivion, here's 5 questions I asked the Featured Blogger of the Month, Cat at Juggling Act of Life!

- What was the best thing that happened to you in your life?

Meeting my wonderful hubby - he was the start of everything that I hold dear in my life right now. 


- What is the worst thing that happened to you?

My dad passed away when I was 7. I so wish I actually knew him as a person.


- What is the funniest thing that happened to you?
Oh my word, there are plenty! One that will always stay with me was the day a colleague at work accidentally poured some carefully pumped out breastmilk into his coffee. I noticed the bottle empty in the basin and immediately realized what happened when he complained that his coffee tasted weird. I never told him what he actually did.

- What is your best me-time activity? 

Reading without a doubt.


- What music starts playing on your phone when pressing the play button? 

Toe vind ek jou by Francois van Coke and Karen Zoid.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

27 Boxes

 

Shipping containers turned into a shopping experience at 27 Boxes in Melville, Johannesburg.

We had only one hour during lunch-time on Friday to check it out!
There is the cutest little shops with gifts, and clothes, and food...




"Stadstal" (city stall)




In a quaint coffee shop

Croissant at the coffee shop which name I did not get
What a lovely edition to Melville, the and I especially like the extra parking that has been created!

I will be back!

Monday, 27 July 2015

A proper introduction to the weekend with a pajama party!


I don't know if we can still call it jet lag two weeks later, but we came back from summer to winter and from green to grey!
From holiday straight into work!
We are still feeling shell-shocked!
Do we really REALLY have to do this?

Last week we had two evenings of *load shedding, of which one was not on the schedule. We also waited for load shedding to start on Saturday, but it never happened. And we did not put washing in the washing machine on Saturday afternoon, because of the same expected load shedding... (Which made us battle with winter wash loads yesterday, and of course tonight again!)

What can we do to move to America? Tomorrow, if possible?

And it's winter and cold here!

Little Miss had a Pajama Party on Friday night, organised by the Voortrekkers. We spent more than an hour in traffic on Friday afternoon following Waze directions (love this app), but it turns out I was the one who put in the wrong street name. (Blame the operator!)

We got there in time, and could buy the last of the **vetkoek which is always a winner! Of course we are always glad when we make the effort, because the little ones always enjoy the activities.
Little Miss loved going in her pajamas, and organizing her blankets and cushions on the floor to watch the movie, and keeping place for a fellow Voortrekker.
And the parents could also watch a not-too-bad Afrikaans movie, Strikdas.

The thunderstorm did not dampen the spirits, and we were home in time for another movie on the box while listening to the rain!

Fridays are the best! (4 sleeps to go to the next one!)

How was your weekend?


* The South African Power Provider Eskom load sheds power by blackouts in certain areas according to grid schedules.
** A traditional South African fried dough bread common in Afrikaner cookery (Wikipedia)

Thursday, 23 July 2015

A birthday at Hard Rock Cafe in San Antonio


The Student celebrated her birthday in San Antonio. She knew what she wanted. To have lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, and to buy herself and a friend Hard Rock Cafe t-shirts.
The Hard Rock Cafe in San Antonio is situated on the River walk.
Each Hard Rock Cafe the world over has their own t-shirts with the name of the city printed on it!
It is a a thing: To collect Hard Rock Cafe t-shirts from all over!

Inside Hard Rock Cafe San Antonio

In the Janis Joplin booth

Little Miss got a whole booklet with colouring pencils to keep her busy

And a kiddies meal in a guitar (guess what she brought home?)

The birthday girl with her drink.
She also got the Hard Rock Cafe glass as a souvenir.
Little Miss was not impress with this birthday celebration. She thinks each birthday should be like the 21st birthday party we celebrated the previous year. We could not convince her otherwise!

Little Hoots

Next time we want to check out the Hard Rock Cafe in Sandton.
(Why have we not been there yet?)

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Skating for the first time



We only discovered the skating rink at Cradlestone Mall this last weekend. We have never introduced Little Miss to skating before this. Although she has nagged us about it. (I don't know why! I used to love to go ice-skating with my eldest.)

The skating is done on a plastic layer which made it the best way to start learning how to skate. There are no wet clothes, and it feels a bit less slippery. (Unfortunately the Skating Rink was only functioning until the 19 July.)



Next time we will be going to the real ice-rink.
Little Miss loves it!

A video posted by Karen Du Toit (@karentoittoit) on

Monday, 20 July 2015

Winter is to blame for all the sniffles



We were all battling colds when we left for our holiday in summer. Johannesburg was going through a nasty frosty spell, and it was lovely to walk out from the San Antonio Airport in hot humid weather.
We had a holiday of two weeks of summer, and all our sniffles disappeared after only two days.

I have come to the following conclusion: Winter is definitely the culprit of most of our sniffles!
I wish that we could migrate to warmer climates like the birds.
Not even the jet-lag prolonged our colds!


I got this Karvol package delivered with the Woollies slippers after we came back.

The Karvol Decongestant Chest Rub has always been a favourite since our Little Miss was small.


I was not aware of the Karvol Decongestant Capsules, nor the Karvol Decongestant Room Spray.

The Karvol Decongestant Capsules can be used for the whole family from as young as three months old. It contains a unique combination of natural aromatic oils, including menthol, cinnamon and pine to gently relieve nasal congestion, head colds and bronchitis.


Karvol Decongestant Room Spray is suitable for children over the age of two. It is used to spray in a room just before sleeping.



I can't say that I can't wait to try them out, but it seems like a great arsenal of winter necessities to keep handy in the cupboard!


(Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this, but I received the package as shown above.)

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Things that are not so nice about America - travel insights from San Antonio

I
- The heat in summer. You can't spend too much time outside. With temperatures of over 30 degrees it gets very uncomfortable! A braai (barbecue) outside for the whole day is not possible! The heat and the mosquitos make it impossible!

- As much as there is the most wonderful food options available, I found myself saying "disgusting" many many times to all the processed and packaged options that are available! Where have you heard of a hamburger with a waffle on top with syrup accompanying it?

- Most of the coffee in the restaurants are not good! They also don't do cappuccinos very well. Starbucks gets my best vote!

- There were fireworks each and every night. The poor animals...

- The president did not deliver on his promises (say the locals).

- Although they celebrated their independence there were a lot of discussion going on in the blogosphere about the fact that they are not free!

- The education system is also not of the greatest. Teachers are not paid decent salaries, and home schooling and private education seem to be the way to go!

- They are still debating gay rights, although gay marriages are allowed since only very recently!

- The air con in all the buildings is a necessity, but it detaches from the outside world.


This is the best negative list I can come up with. The positives of America that we experienced in San Antonio still far outweigh the negatives.

It looks like a great lifestyle to be living!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Things we love about America - tourist insights about San Antonio

San Antonio residential suburbs from the air

We are still jet-lagged after we arrived back in South Africa from our two week holiday in San Antonio. We visited my brother who is staying and working there.

It has been a fantastic holiday and we had so many great experiences!

I feel the same way about America after I have watched Avatar and walked out of the movie theater. Earth did not look as great as the planet portrayed in the movie...
South Africa looks a lot less inviting now...


10 Things we love about America

1. Everything is BIG. The houses, the cars, the shops, the products, the food...

2. There are no fences and no security gates. It is safe there! We could walk in the middle of the city without eyeing every passersby with suspicion that they are going to grab our bags.

3. The streets are clean. They even had a campaign "Don't mess with Texas!", which are still reflected in badges and t-shirts and advertisements.

4. The people are extreme friendly, and a "Thank you!" is always met with a "You're welcome!" (No, we are not as friendly as they are, although we think we are!)

5.  The weather is HOT in summer, but there are air-con everywhere! (It's a hot humid temperature!) The sun also sets at about 9 pm in the evenings, which gives them a very long summer's day each day!

6. Everything works there. There is wifi in every restaurant, shop and even the cars have wifi. We stayed connected the whole time!
Online orders get delivered the next day, and you pick it up on your porch.

7. The shops have a huge variety to choose from. The biggest sizes imaginable are available!

8. The highways are going everywhere, and they are big! (No signs of tolls there!)

9. It is green everywhere in summer, and it feels like bush veld when you drive out of the city.

10. There are restaurants everywhere, and it seems the locals like frequenting them. We even had to wait early on a Monday morning to get a table at a favourite breakfast spot, The Pancake House!


They really have a great lifestyle going on there!



Related posts:

- Initial thoughts about America

- Wordless Wednesday #274 - NASA in Houston

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Things a little girl gets upset about, or when she's an asshole


Little Miss has been extremely good on the flight to America. We have been preaching her for months about not throwing tantrums in that confined space... 
The in-flight movies and games and Ouma's colouring book helped tremendously! She also slept quite a bit during the 24-hour one-stop trip. (Huge sigh of relief!)

There has been a few episodes here that got her upset: 

- Not getting anything/something in the shops that she wants. (A couple of times! We are working on it!)

- She had to spend her pocket money immediately. It burned her pocket until it was finished! 

- She does not have anything to wear. (Although she packed the biggest selection of outfits!)

- She cannot decide on the shoes she wants to wear! (She is Six, people!)

- She HAD to put her stuff in a handbag, but not the one she has. A plastic shopping bag saved the day!

- She was upset that her sister did not have a "real" party on her birthday! She said Big Sister did not turn 22 after all. Although it was her sister's wish to celebrate at Hard Rock Café in San Antonio and get a special t-shirt from the shop. It has also been our most expensive restaurant outing so far.

- She accidentally dropped glow sticks at the Rodeo that we could not retrieve...

- She could not play in the stunning children's area at Bibliotech, the first digital library in the world with no books! It is only available to the locals. 



A work in progess...
I hope I do not have to add that much more!
We are also not making excuses for her any more. When she's an asshole, we say so! 

Little Miss, you keep us on our toes! 
(And humble / and feeling like bad parents all the time!)

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Featured blog of the month: Juggling Act of Life




We are back with the Featured Blog of the Month.
Carla from Mommy & Baby Wellness Blog did the pairing for the month of July!

I got Cat whom I have been following since I started this blog. I had the pleasure in meeting her in person at a blog function this year, and it felt like we knew each other like old friends!

Cat at Juggling Act of Life is mom of a primary school girl AND fraternal twin school boys AND Labradors. She calls herself the wife of a wonderful man, daughter and architect. She is juggling the craziness of life in Pretoria. On the blog she captures their daily lives with photography and Project Life.

She always takes the most beautiful photos, and has the most creative ideas with regards arts, crafts and school projects!


I will be following up with a couple of questions on the blog.