Monday, July 26, 2010


I think I like a modern country style kitchen. I like a cozy kitchen. It will be the place where I lovingly prepare meals for my family. I don’t want it to look too surgical, so color would be welcome. I would assume our kitchen won’t be too big so even though I love a dining area connecting to the kitchen, I probably won’t have that, yet. Sun is always a must in a kitchen for me. Also, clutter and knick knacks are not welcome.

Me likey: 
  1. The green walls. The simplicity.
  2. Feels very light and sunny in here. It is also very clean without looking too surgical. The cupboard door style is also something I like a lot
  3. This screams “gramma's farmhouse!” to me. It looks very cozy and I like the colors of the backsplash tiling.
  4. The purple accents = awesome. Very clean lines and also neat. I think this one is a little more modern than the rest.
  5. What not to like! Open! Sunny!
  6. This feels very girly to me, but in a good way. It also seems like it would be easy to switch colors if you get sick of it. Small but I think if kept tidy, it won’t matter.
 Next up, bathroooooooms!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bedroom #2

So, we saw how adorable this color combo works and also some inspirational rooms. As I’ve said, my husband is not too thrilled about it, so I have made an optional collection:

Yes, grey is still in there, also yellow, but I am a ninja and I changed the name as to disguise it from my husband. “It’s not yellow honey, its marigold!” Also, purple doesn’t fly in my house so “plum” made an appearance. I do not enjoy the word cream at all so I said “wheat”. Just sounds so much richer doesn’t it?

Again, everything I love about the respective rooms:

  1. Wheaty awesomeness. Those colors look so rich together! And what an awesome duvet cover? Simple retreat.
  2. Although I wouldn’t dare do it myself, I really like that headboard. Something different. And those pillow cases? C’mon! I want some! I love how royal the grey and plum look together.
  3. That bed is perfect. See it has no headboard, so adding a padded one would be so easy. And then just making an extra brace in the middle of the top frame, drape some fabric…perfection! Also, that gold-ish yellow color and the purple together? Yum! Love the rug as well.
  4. The headboard! Simple, cushy, stunning color. What more do you want? This room is the equivalent to my previous favorite. Everything about this room is welcome in my house. No poster bed though, but I will live.
  5. This room is very chic. Clean lines and I do love that bedside lamp’s color.
  6. This is husband’s favorite, apart from the wicker. I do enjoy myself a piece of yellow and blue together so yes, this is very nice. Also, the layout of the room? Bed in front of the window like that? Very unique. Do like those curtains, the rug, the floor and the all around beachy feeling this room has. It is a very strong contender, minus the wicker.

So, even though it can be overwhelming, I am thoroughly enjoying the decoration process of my future home.

I have made some similar inspirational boards for the rest of the rooms. Next up, the kitchen.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bedroom #1

I have been trying to get myself excited to move. All can agree, moving sucks! So, to make things a little more interesting and exciting, I have been making inspiration boards for every (future) room of our (future) home.

First up, is our bedroom. I need our bedroom to be our mini vacation spot. We love sleeping and just laying in bed. We already have a king size bed waiting for us back home. As for the rest of the room, we have nothing. Daunting to think about, but also kind of thrilling. It is a blank canvas! I can do whatever I want!

I get very happy when I see this color combination:

It is relaxing but the yellow gives it a little zoosh. We will have to get a bed frame and both of us love four poster beds. But, when you’re lounging in bed you would like your back to have a cushy part to rest on. So a padded headboard would be perfect. I’m hoping we can combine their powers to make one super bed. What I like about each picture, besides the colors:

  1. The striped sheets! That cute cushion!
  2. The bed, the deliciousness of the yellow trim combined with the stripes. The amazing light streaming from those wonderfully big windows are also making me salivate
  3. The white nightstand is just adorable, and a refreshing change from the normal wooden ones. The textured wall gives an interesting feel. Those pillow cases with the ties on the side? Cute! The bedside lamps are also keepers.
  4. Good lord that bed! The soft drape of the fabric on top is so romantic. Once again the nightstands, white again. Also, here they have sort of incorporated the padded headboard, although it does not lend any cushiness to the back. So if you could remove the wooden back part of the poster bed and somehow combine the pad-y part with the poster part.
  5. How cute is that cushion? Love the bed as well and adore the curtains
  6. This whole room is yummy. I love everything about it. So much so, that I will overlook the lack of pad. It makes me smile like an idiot when I look at it. Heaven!
  7. This one caught my eye purely because of the window treatments and pad-y-ness. I’d like to have a similar shutter but also some curtains to make it more comfy and warm
  8. I will steal that dog! Also, the bed? Nice! It will be like crawling into your own little cocoon. Maybe instead of the stiff fabric over, I would have it more flowy?
I think it would be easy to create the perfect bed. Maybe if we could get a beautiful four poster bed and construct a padded headboard covered in some nice fabric? Attach a top frame and drape the soft fabric over. Et Voila! I could change the fabric from white to yellow to grey. And we could make a few headboards too. And this way when I get tired of the color combo (which I undoubtedly will), we could just make some new headboards and get new fabric to drape.

This could be fun.

Although I love this color combo, husband is NOT convinced. So next I will show something a little different, and also very doable.

**All pictures were taken either off of or
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Life List # 27 – Go quad biking

3year Anniversary Celebration

This was Dave’s idea and I have to admit that I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it all that much. Fine! And I was a teeny tiny bit scared. I’m not an excellent driver and I am terrible at making a good decision in a panic situation. So in my mind, quad biking was probably not the best activity for me. I was right. Well, kind of.
First off, I look ridiculous in the gear:

Glasses + Helmet = DORK much?

We were taken for some practice and instructed on the use of the machinery. I am pretty good at driving in a straight line, no turns, no inclines, no fancy schmancy hills and slopes. Yes, well, our route was not just straight and level. But, it was exhilarating! And quite the workout:

Red and happy to be alive…and standing still

We went through orchards, up a hillside, down some slopes, over rocks and through streams. I struggled some, sometimes going off the beaten track. I like speed. Speed + Retarded Motor sense = Disaster. Dave on the other hand was a pro. He LOVED it and did not break a sweat:

What are YOU smiling at?

It was actually pretty awesome and the landscape was also very beautiful. I eventually got the hang of it and was speeding along. We went through a stream and I almost got KO’d. When in doubt, slam on the brakes!

In the end I loved it and I wished we could do it all day. We had tons of fun. Next time I will try to get an all day trail with long stretches of straight path so I can speed my little heart out.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I seriously hate talking on a phone. I tend to stutter and just rattle off whatever I was calling about and then having to REPEAT it because the person on the other side didn’t understand my mutterings, which makes things worse for me because now I’m forced to talk twice as long on this damn contraption. And all I can think of is how idiotic I sound on the phone and that I really do not want to be doing this and “can’t I just e-mail you?”

When I moved to the US with my husband we were poor and my parents would send us some cash. I’d have to go to the money gram kiosks and talk on the phone with a machine. (This is even more horrific than talking to a living, breathing person) So I would talk to this machine and they ask you numbers and yes and no questions, except, well, they didn’t understand me. The machine didn’t understand me. And it’s not even like it didn’t understand me saying something like Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. It was not understanding the word NO. It was so bad that I would have to ask my husband to reply to it. So I would be listening to the question and then hand my husband the phone and he would say yes or no. I know this sound like tons of fun but I assure you it was not. Thus my hatred/fear of conversing on the telephone worsened.

Take this and mix it up with my shyness, inability to make friends/talk to strangers and total spinelessness and then ask me to call a client, whom I’ve never seen nor spoken to, and ask where your money is that they owe you. Doesn’t that sound like a recipe for success?
For me to be able to even think of doing this, I have to:

1. breathe slow deep breaths for about 30 minutes
2. stare at the number and name of the client for another 30 minutes without freaking out
3. try and string some sentences together that would convey what I would like to say
4. write these sentences down and go over them in my head and then repeat them to myself about 20 times
5. enter the number into the phone and stare at the number for about 10 minutes before scraping what little guts I have together and press the call button
6. pray to god I don’t get an answer
7. get an answer and panic
8. stare at the sentences, now blurry, on the paper
9. finally start muttering something about an invoice and money and being sorry to bother
10. repeat it because I am an idiot
11. not hear a word the person is saying because I’m trying not to cry
12. ask then to please repeat what they said
13. listen this time
14. say thank you and good bye
15. almost cry

This is so much fun that I have to do this again for another 2 days, with the same person , because apparently this person does not know about my little problem and they also do not pay their bills.

Obviously I am totally fit for this job. Kill me now.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Life List #51 – Move back to USA (Part 1)

OK, so long story here, but I will try to nutshell it.

I am married to a US citizen. I am a South African citizen. We got married in South Africa in 2007, and after trying hard to live here we decided to move to the States (skip horrible experience at customs*). We lived in the States for around 2 years. I missed my family and friends. A lot. I felt alone and like I did not fit in. My husband, wanting me to be happy, suggested we move back to South Africa and try to make it work. So we did. And it didn’t (work out).

We have been living here for around a year and we seriously cannot live here. I know it is my country and one should be proud of one’s country, but sadly I am not. I feel horrible about this and guilty for some reason. I feel about this country the way I felt about ex-boyfriends, I love what it CAN BE, not what it IS. I love the nature, the animals, my culture and of coarse, my family and friends. But unfortunately, the rest is a big downside.

In the 2 years that we lived in the US, I came back to visit twice. Each time I noticed the deterioration of the country. Each time it was worse. I do not know why this is happening, but it is and it is horribly sad to me. I am sad because I will never be able to show to my children the South Africa I knew and loved. I am sad because everything I know, everyone (OK not everyone but a lot of them) I love is here and I do not want to be here, although I want to be with them. I am sad because everyone is unhappy here, or at least everyone I talk to. I do see some silver linings and I appreciate them, but everyday life is hard and unnecessarily so. People do not give their best in what they do and it seems that they do not care to either. I do realize that there are exceptions, but I am talking out of my experiences.

Another downside is that my husband does not like it here. When you come from a first world country and you try to live and adjust in a third world country, well, you can imagine the struggles you have to go through. He tries hard but it gets him down. He does not understand the language (I am/speak Afrikaans, but not to him obviously. Also, we have 11 official languages. It gets crazy) and people here do not seem to care. It makes him unhappy and in turn affects me and our relationship, which in turn makes him even more unhappy and so on and so on. There are numerous vicious circles in our lives, this is one of them.

So in June 2010 we made the decision to return to the sates. My husband will go back first in August 2010 and after, once again, filing papers for my permanent residency**, shipping our dogs, selling our stuff and killing debt made here, I will follow. It is bittersweet for me, but in the end I feel that it is the best choice for us as a family. I will undoubtedly miss everyone again but this time I know that we tried once and for all and it cannot work. Also, I am not getting any younger and I want to become a mommy. It is quite difficult to think about a family when you are hopping between 2 countries every 2 to 3 years. We need stability and hopefully this will be it.
My family has been taking it pretty well. My mom was the worst but I think she will be fine. It is hard for her because I am her only daughter and her best friend. It is hard for me to leave her (and the rest of my family) but this was the life I chose when I married a foreigner. It is a hard one with even harder decisions to make, but I love my husband so much it is disgusting and he is worth it.

We have problems that normal couples do not have, but then again we do not have to argue over where we will spend Christmas/Easter and what ever other family holiday there is. Our families have never met, and yes this is very sad, but on the other hand, we don’t have to deal with family squabbling. So, bonus there.

Both of us have 2 brothers and both of us have nephews and nieces. Either way, one of us will miss out on seeing these children grow up and being part of it. I will be missing out on my little brother growing up (he is only 11). As you can see this is tough and no choice is fully the right choice. We have to live our lives the way we want to but then again our lives are shared with others as well and it affects others. It is rough. I hope that our choice has the least repercussions on other people. But who knows? Only time will tell.

You are probably asking yourself why things will be better for me this time around in the States. Won’t I get lonely again? Won’t I miss my family and friends again? And the answer is yes, I will. I have no defense strategy against this, yet. I am hoping I will make more friends (which I am horrible at by the way), which will take away the feeling of not fitting in, hopefully. Also, I will have to keep reminding myself why I am doing what I’m doing (also horrible at this). And then lastly, assuming that we can have kiddies, I am hoping that they will keep me so occupied that I have no time to feel sorry for myself. So yes, no strategy at all. I’m just kind of winging it here.

Someone once told me that a piece of your heart always stays behind in all places that you have been. And so, a big piece of my heart will always be in South Africa. I will always come back for visits. But as for making a life here, I do not feel it is possible for me/us. I miss living in the States. Something I didn’t think would happen, but it did.

This story is not over yet, but I feel like I can cross this off my list. I will be continuing with this as it unfolds. I am sure there will be drama (there’s always drama with these things). Next step is to send my 2 dogs over. This is quite the process, lets hope it goes off without problems, unlike the last time***.

P.S. I know that I will probably be judged for this by someone. Undoubtedly people would like to defend South Africa, and you have the right. But if you are uncouth, I will delete your comment. You have been warned.

* I might write about this, but it was a horrifying experience that I am still trying to get over
** Assuming they will let me in again! *nervous laughing*
*** I will write about this, rest assured.