12

With a little bit of TLC

We are a little infatuated with the History Channel at the moment.  Between Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, American Pickers and American Restoration, we decided to start our own little refurbishment project at home last month.  I love the idea of taking something old and inexpensive and giving it new life and purpose.

Our mission.  Take a vintage item and turn it into its original condition, hopefully by adding a bit of our own style to the mix.

The vintage item in question would be an old school desk.

Image

So ladies, this is what you need:

  1. Find an old school desk.  We found our antiquated desk on Gumtree.
  2. Tell your husband about your idea and make sure he buys into it, as he probably needs to do a lot of the hard work (thank you babes!).
  3. Drag your husband to your local Builders Warehouse and invest in brightly coloured spray paint that preferably has a primer in it and lots of sandpaper.
  4. Check that the electric screwdriver and sander has been charged, and then carefully remove all screws, nuts, bolts, hinges, and other metal hardware on the desk.
  5. Begin with the tedious job of sanding everything down.  Including the rust off the metal legs and initials carved in by bored students. This took a painstakingly 6 to 7 hours.
  6. Fill in any holes with wood filler.  We made our own with wood glue and the sawdust from the sanding.
  7. Once the above is done, then the fun starts.  You can start spray painting!  This was one of the most rewarding parts of this job.
  8. Once dry, you can start reassembling. And Voila!

With a little bit of work and TLC, we turned this classic old school desk into a charming homework desk, that will hopefully last another decade or two.

Image

5

Almost a year

It’s been almost a year since I last updated this little blog of mine.  So much has changed, but so much has stayed the same. 

In a year…

We celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and life.

Image

I worked hard and I was promoted.

 I struggled to find a balance between work and home. I still do.

I jumped into the Indian ocean and swam with dolphins. It was exhilarating.   

I still love taking photos.  It’s my passion and outlet. 

I traded in my trusted Yaris for a trendy little Fiat Convertible.

Ethan has transformed into such a caring sensitive child.  I am so proud of him.

I travelled to Welkom, Mossel Bay, Pietermartizburg and Langebaan.  For business.

Image

I met new Clients and Projects went Live.

I travelled to Mozambique, Kei Mouth, Clarens and Cape Town.  For pleasure.

Image

Image

We made lots of new memories.

Zoe learnt how to write and say her ABC.  She keeps us on our toes.

A crazy night in Long Street over a few drinks turned into promises of a tattoo. I love it and don’t regret it.

I battled insecurities and anxiety.  I prayed.

We lost touch with people but other bonds were strengthened.

Most of all, in a year we lived.  We tried to make the most of every situation.  We battled demons.  We loved.   We were there for each other.  There is no time for regret.

Instead I look back grateful, and I look forward hopeful.

4

Bits and pieces

Wow. What an insanely crazy and busy birthday month it’s been.  I got totally spoilt by each and every friend and family member.  And what makes my little heart beat a little faster is knowing that people get me.  The presents had my name written all over them, it’s as if they know me better than I know myself sometimes.  A multi-colored crochet blanket, a girls night away at a lodge next month, retro wooden canvasses of old camera’s, a bottle of Tommy Girl, an old style red minibus piggybank, a fleecy Woolie Onsie, a bottle of yummy home-made tomato bredie, a smart bag, a really trendy Polaroid camera and two very funky picture holders for the polaroids.

blog 1blog 2

blog 4blog 5

Not only did I get to tick a lot of things off on my want list, I was also lucky enough to create some really special memories.  Here a few things we did this month.

Parkhurst’s Christmas in July.  I love it when Christmas comes twice a year!  It’s a night of pavement socializing, christmas jingles, home-made cookies, gluwein and fine dining.  We settled on having dinner with friends at Possums.  The décor, the food and the company didn’t disappoint.  Thank you for the mid-year festivities.

Pretville. It’s small, it’s charming and it takes you back to yesteryear.  This little Fifties Town boasts it’s very own town hall, a diner, a salon, a sweet shop, a bioscope and a collection of classic vintage cars.  In a nutshell it’s madly colourful and full of fun!

Come Dine with Me Finale.  Five Dinner parties.  10 Votes.  1000 Cash Prize.  1 and ½  hour edited video.  One Winner.  It was epic!  We are officially the CDWM Winners for 2013, even though no-one will let me live down that I forgot the serviettes.

Secret Eats.  The lead up to Secret Eats was all very hush-hush and cloak-and-dagger.  The venue was undisclosed until the day of the event and the menu was top secret until a few minutes before taking our place at the dinner table.  The mystery and enigma of it was all very exciting.  There is nothing like a build up to a dinner like the way Secret Eats hosts one.  We had a fabulous evening with my sister and brother in law!

Melville Music Festival.  We landed up at the Music Festival quite by accident two Saturday’s ago.  The plan was to take friends to one of our favourite quaint little French restaurants in Melville for a quiet lunch of pizza and their house wine, but instead we found ourselves in the middle of a magnificent French Music Street Party.  The little streets and avenues were brought to life by jazz bands, dj’s, live bands and a full on orchestra.  It was music to our ears and food for our soul.

All in all it’s been a month filled with love and gratitude.

17

I am not that mom

I’m not that mom who always has tissues in her handbag for snotty noses.

I’m not that mom who reads her child a bedtime story every night.

I’m not that mom who thinks home-baked is better than shop bought when it’s time for baker day.

I’m not that mom who doesn’t bribe her kids to eat dinner.

I’m not that mom who doesn’t switch on the Disney Channel while I make dinner.

I’m not that mom who has a lot of patience when my kids eat with their mouth open.

I’m not that mom that doesn’t mind the mess of an untidy bedroom.

I’m not that mom that cooks vegetables every night.

I’m not that mom that takes her kids for their annual dentist checkup.

I’m not that mom who carts soccer boys in her SUV every afternoon.

I’m not that

But

I am that mom that will make sure you won’t go to bed with an empty stomach.  I am that mom that will work every night so you can have a good education.  I am that mom that will make sure you won’t have to go without.  I am that mom that hopes and prays that you are happy.  I am that mom that loves you like no-one else.  I’m that mom that will fight for your safety and well being.

I am that mom that hopes one day you will realize that I did my best.  And I hope it’s enough.

022

17

A mandatory rest period

I’m taking a mandatory rest break today.  My body aches, my throat is on fire and my chest is closed as tight as a treasure box.

Our kitchen counter boasts a range of Med Lemon, Disprin, ACC200, Vitamin C Immune Booster, homeopathic flu granules, Stilpayne and asthma meds.  It’s a concoction of hope.  Hope that anyone of these might just be the cure to magically feeling better.  But it’s an empty basket of hope if it’s missing one thing, rest.

Rest that eludes me.  I lie in bed and I feel guilty.  I feel guilty that Ethan is in the room next to me, just as sick, and I haven’t made him breakfast.    I feel guilty for not calling the school to setup our 10 minute Parent Teachers meeting on the 19th June.  I feel guilty for not doing my banking.  I feel guilty for not picking up a Dora package at the post office for Zoe that’s been there since the 24th May.  I feel guilty for all the unread emails in my inbox that I haven’t gotten to.  I feel guilty because my colleagues are at the office and I’m at home.  I feel guilty for failures that aren’t my own.  I feel guilty that we haven’t gone back to the SPCA to look for Vixen.  I miss her, the kids miss her.  Were we not responsible enough.  Why didn’t I get that chip put in a long time ago?  I feel guilty for the long to do list I have that I haven’t ticked off yet.

Guilt

At the end of the day the only answer to all the above is time.  There just isn’t enough time to do everything.  I don’t even have time to blog anymore.  To take photo’s.  To play.  To discover our city, and there is so much happening and it’s killing me that I don’t have time to do anything!  I want to register for this Underground Dinner.  I want to go to this Open Air Cinema in Juta Street.   I want to book a picnic Off the Beaten Track.  I want to be available. I want to be here, in the moment.  I am battling with this.

So as of right now I’m going to try take some time to rest, even if it’s for a short while.  The banking, the post office, our lost cat, work and PTA’s can wait a few more hours.

So can the guilt.

4

Our life in pics

May Collage

1. It was a long tedious 2 and a half hour wait just to get into soccer city to watch JB.

2. An old Beetle parked outside Ethan’s guitar lesson yesterday.

3. Long winter dresses, gum boots and pretty autumn leaves.

4. My old trusty trunk.  She is filled to the brim with crafts, old records and vintage books.

5.  Mr Teddy Bear chilling out on Ethan’s bed on a Sunday afternoon.

6. An old petrol pump we discovered at a quirky diner a few weeks ago.

7.  Ethan’s 11th birthday present.  May you have many rocking and jamming hours on her <3

8.  Soccer City through the eyes of our boy.

9.  Our kitty cat hasn’t been home for a few nights now.  There is an empty spot in my bed now and my heart.

10.  What’s on my kitchen windowsill. Words to inspire.

11.  Babytee’s was an absolute hit at the baby expo.

12.  Zoe sporting her big brothers flat cap.  So much attitude, so much love.

6

Come Dine with Me

Five couples from Johannesburg.  All amateur chefs, competing against each other to host a top notch dinner party for the other contestants. Each competitor then rates the host’s performance with the winner winning a R1,000 cash prize and more importantly bragging rights.  Bragging rights to the title of the ultimate dinner party host.

It sounded like a great idea whilst enjoying our High Tea at the Fire and Ice with a group of girlfriends.  So we decided to execute it then and there.   Names were drawn out of a tea cup and dates were decided.  I drew the unlucky number one and I hosted first, this week.

It took weeks of planning and I finally settled on a Menu that I was happy with.  It looked something like this ~

Starter

Seared beef fillet with chocolate chilli and Amarula sauce

Main

Prawn & Cashew Nut Curry

Dessert

Home-made Romany Cream Ice-cream

Once the menu was out of the way, it was time to sort out all the other final details that make up the ultimate dinner party.  Two dinner tables, 10 dining room chairs, 5 metres of table cloth, old records for place mats, table decor, scoring cards, video cam and entertainment.

come dine with me 1

come dine with me 2come dine with me 3

Dinner parties don’t necessarily need to be expensive.  I believe it’s more about the experience of the night.  And what a night it was!  I had such fun with the organizing, planning, setting up, cooking, serving and entertaining but the cherry on the top, were the guests.  If you know our group of friends then the snide remarks, the constant teasing and making fun of one another, only means one thing.  It was a success!

come dine with me 4

So Good luck to the rest of you.  I’m looking forward to seeing what you’re going to put together.  I have no doubt each of you will try out-wine, out-dine and out-class me.  Until next week…

come dine with me 5