Wednesday, 31 July 2013

3 Things I Recently Learnt

This weekend was so much fun and so much happened that I am certain that almost all this week will be full of blog posts from it, however I thought after my previous post, I would add to my list and include three things I recently learnt.

1. How to apply make up for someone else. This may not sound like a big deal but I am actually getting really good at this.

2. How to tie a Sari. It's crazy how difficult it seemed until I watched it a few times and then saw this Youtube video.

However, I incorporated a whole lot of different styles and came up with these Saris.....

3. Always have a back -up plan. I had planned to go to the hairdresser and have my hair done in a 1920s bell wave but when I got there, the lady made excuse after excuse as to why she couldn't do it and eventually I left the salon with straight (ish) hair but then after throwing a pity party for myself, I decided to go past Accessorize and buy a hair clip... how pretty is it? And I did my own hair.
I think the back- up plan reminded me that people will throw curve balls at you but you have to shake it off and find another way.

Have you learnt anything new recently?Why don't you share your lessons with me?


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Wedding outfits which push your out of your comfort zone

WHAT? A second post in one day?!Another update on the wedding I attended, it was seriously fun to dress up.

On Thursday, to the Hurdee, which is an indian ritual where certain ladies rub tumeric on the bride as an act of clensing her, I wore this purple, black and grey sari and when I say I "wore"the sari I am exaggerating. The tying of the sari was so complicated and was just NOT working for me. I promise this trial run was a horrible experience BUT it actually looked ok in the pics...

On Friday I decided to add some colour to my hair.. can you see it?

Also it was my first time in full indian ware. This is the finised product, not bad, I might add?!

Then on Saturday, after some drama at the Hairsalon, we managed to finally get to the reception and it was a really gooooooood party. I wish I would have taken more pics of the food and the decor but the truth is I was enjoying myself so much that the thougt of having to stop and take in the details was too much effort.

After the reception, we didn't want the party to stop so we went a club and I must be honest it's been a while for me.. either way, we eventually left the club after 4am and after a mid night/ early morning snack we got to bed around 05h20 Sunday morning.

The ride home was slightly rough but oh so worth it!

It was a good weeked and I wish the Bridal couple all the best for the future. More pictures from my beautiful country will be coming up soon!

What's your favourite thing about weddings?

A cultural experience... Mendhi is not just for henna tattoos

So as I have been saying in my previous posts I went on a road trip this past weekend.  The road trip was for a childhood friend's wedding but I must say that it was most definitely a cultural experience for me as I can count the amount of Hindu weddings I have attended.

As promised in my twitter post, here is more details about the Mendhi. On Wednesday evening the bride had her Mendhi night but I missed it so my cousin, Charne, and I went and got ours done at a salon in Springfield Park. I wasn't really sure what pattern I wanted but we discussed it and eventually we came up with this...

This is the progressive pictures:

And then Charne had her turn:

This is how the Mendhi looked when she was done and then we had to sit and wait for it to dry and take to our hands.

When we rinsed it off, this is what it looked like and I must be honest I forgot that the Mendhi gets darker the next day.

This is Day Two:

This is Day Three:

We were applying Eucalyptys oil and Vaseline to get it darker more quickly. Now it's days later and the Mendhi is starting to fade but a lot of people at work have noticed it.

FYI: Mendhi aka Henna is used for the bride and the groom but apparently the
popular beliefs that are associated with this tradition:
  • The darkness of the mehendi colour on a bride’s hand represents the deep love between the would-be-couple.
  • The mehendi colour also shows the love and understanding between the bride and her mother-in-law.
  • The longer the mehendi retains its colour, the more auspicious it is for the newlyweds.
  • Mehendi is also deemed to be a symbolic representation of fertility. 

Have you ever applied Mendhi? Would you ever apply it?

Monday, 29 July 2013

Music Monday : My 7 favourite Road Trip Songs

As you know, from my previous post, I went on a road trip and I was really excited to get out of Johannesburg and to get moving.. Here's one of the pictures from my road trip but I promise I will be putting much more up during the course of the week.

From what a lot of people said to me, their favourite thing about road trips is the music! So I thought, why not dedicate this post to seven of my favourite road trip songs...

1. Alexis Jordan - Happiness

2. Justin Bieber feat Nicki Minaj - Beauty and the Beat

3. Fun - We are young

4. Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines (This is a new addition)

5. Spice Girls - Spice Up Your Life

6. Mariah Carey - ANY song

7. Any Version of I Will Survive

What are your favourite songs to listen to on a road trip?

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Road Trips

This week/ weekend I am going away for a wedding. I am sure I will blog about the outfit and the overall experience sometime in the future but what I wanted to tell you about is that I was going to only take Friday off work but then decided to take Thursday as well... you know why? Because I would get to take a road trip.

Now the trip between Johannesburg and Durban is about 4 and half hours and I have taken this trip about ten million times before (Ok, not that many, I haven't been alive that long) either way this will be my first trip to Durban and my first road trip since I started blogging.

While I am aware that a lot of my readers may not actually be South African so it is more than likely that you are not like me because you are in the middle of your summer while I am in the middle of Winter! Durban is known to be warmer than Johannesburg throughout the year and I especially hope that is true this weekend.

I am currently wearing stockings and jerseys and I hope I get a chance to wear something sleeveless and sandles this weekend so I am super happy and I think I have given into taking time off work and enjoying  my time off. I'll let you know how well that goes.

Either way, I'm looking forward to going on the Roadtrip, I have my book and loads if music... Plus I'll have my crazy family to add to it all!

What's your favourite part about Roadtrips? Do you have any favourite Roadtrip games/ song or rituals? 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Restaurant Review : Aarya

In case you've missed it, I am a huge Masterchef fan and on Friday Night, I finally got to visit South Africa's first Masterchef winner, Deena's restaurant - Aarya.

Firstly, I like the name, I believe he named it after his daughter which also adds a sentimental element to the already emotional chef.

Secondly, I must be honest, I was told not to go to the restaurant because it wasn't "that great" but being the avid Masterchef fan I am I just had to give it a chance.

I went for dinner with my mom and aunt, we didn't order any starters because the bread was given to the table and we were already starving so we went for the mains.

My mom and I both ordered the Butter chicken with Jeera rice and I can safely say, it is worthy of an award. You have the option when ordering to ask for it to be more hot as it is served as a mild dish.
I eat hot food often so even with my request for it to be hot, it was still mild but still very tasty.

For dessert, we all had different options as you know, you can never have too few many options for dessert.

I had the Missisippi Mud Pie, my mom had the malva pudding and my aunt had the fudge picasso something....

Here are the pics from my experience but I was sitting underneath a heater and all the pictures have an orange undertone * SAD face*

Also, a couple of weeks ago, we went past Aarya and met the Deena, see.....

So my overall opinion is, the butter chicken is simply delicious. The desserts were ok but nothing to memorable, the service was a 9/10 and I would go back. I would like to try the butternut soup for starters. 

And another thing I like is that the "doggy bag" is environmentally friendly which is always a plus...

Have you been to his restaurant? Or have you eaten any recipes by any of the other Masterchefs? 

Ps: sorry for the crappy picture quality all of them are from my iPhone.


The Royal Baby has arrived

I must be honest, I did not picture myself ever dedicating a post to the birth of William and Kate's new born but like so many people, I now find myself completely engulfed on all the little details about the little prince.

It's strange because I remember thinking why would anyone out of the United Kingdom care about their wedding but then found myself on Yahoo! the whole day watching and reading highlights about the dress, the kiss etc and this time, it's no different.

I didn't really care to follow much on Kate's pregnancy other than noticing she always seemed to look really nice but now I keep reading articles on all the news that the Royals have let out on the Prince's arrival.

This is what I know so far, he is a big baby - 3.75kg is bigger than I was (which is apparently big), he was born yesterday, the 22nd of July, which makes him a cancerian and they have managed to follow old school protocol for the "reporting"of a royal baby's arrival.

I am not sure what it is that has everyone so fascinated in the birth of the new prince but for me, I think it's the old traditions and the idea that HELLO THERE IS A NEW PRINCE  and say what you like, how can I hold anything against a little baby prince?

I am sure we will be hearing the news of his name soon and we can bet (as I am sure they are doing in the UK) that it will be a name which carries history of previous Kings because as much as this little guy is third in line to the throne, he is more than likely going to be the King.

Arb question - will they change the national anthem to say "God save the King"?? I am serious about this question, I don't really follow royal protocol so it's all new to me.

I tappears everyone is sending their well wishes to the Duke and Duchess from President Barack Obama to the Muppets.. Good on them, let's spread the love!

Are you excited by the birth of the latest Royal? Do you care? If you do care, why do you? I want other people's opinions... let me have it readers....


Sunday, 21 July 2013

Soulful Sunday : Good things come to those who wait

As much as this is a lifestyle blog I try to keep a lot of my personal happenings private because I haven't figured out what exactly I want to allow into the public but I suppose it's one of the things I'm learning as I continue to grow my blog and myself.

So what I want to say is that things this year have been challenging to say the least and very little has gone according to plan but I must be honest, just letting go and allowing God to choose my path has been the most gratifying thing.

I have previously mentioned that I own a racehorse, Uptothemoon and I promised I would be blogging about her more in the future.. well the future is here! Yesterday she ran a handicap race and she WON :) And yes, today I feel like a proud mama!

Uptothemoon is beautiful and I know she is not a pet in the conventional form but she is somehow so deeply connected to me that we just get one another. We often joke in our family that she has my personality which is a good and a bad thing. You see, she can be extremely warm hearted - which is what her usual temperament but I think over time I have spoilt her with lots of visits and pictures and quality time so in recent months when I have failed to visit her she felt sad, neglected and angry. So yesterday I missed her race, through many dramatic moments, but Candice and I got there just before she could be paraded into the winners circle.

Initially she was ok but then when her adrenaline calmed down for a bit she realised it was me standing in front of her and she lost her cool. I have NEVER seen her react like that. She was angry and tried to bite me to make me let go which I did. Now you must be wondering what this has to do with Soulful Sunday but the thing is she was written off by a lot of people, gamblers or just spectators which said she was injured and would never come back to form and I am so proud of her that she has proved them all wrong.

Also, I need to schedule time in to go see her because the truth is, I miss her. I think she may be my twin animal soul... if there is such a thing?! Am I rambling? This feels like rambling....

Well, point of my story is
1.) I hurt Uptothemoon but she still won ;
2.) Even when people write you off, you can always show them that they were wrong to count you out before they got to three ; and
3.) Life will not always go your way but the earth is round so if you just bide your time.... your turn to be on top will come because things can only get better.

Either way I am really glad to have a little time to myself to blog and to read my blogs because I miss reading about what's happening with everyone. This will be another intense week because I will be going away for a few days so let's hope I get some posts in! What's happening in your life? I've missed hearing from you!

Unfortunately I have lots of pics but they aren't uploading... so be warned, some time this week I may have a post dedicated to Uptothemoon .....

Friday, 19 July 2013

3 Great Things I accomplished this week!

I must tell you when I thought I was going to have a hectic week this week I had no idea how busy I would be! This is the longest I've gone without posting or reading any blog and I really missed it!

I'm rushing off to dinner but I wanted to share three awesome things I did this week.

1. I celebrated Mandela Day by baking and raising funds for an awesome cause, the Walter Sisulu Hospital, specifically the pediatric cardiac unit!

Here's my red velvet cupcakes which was a huge hit!

2. I sold my first cake!!! It's chocolate with a spiderman inspiration. It wasn't what I envisioned but all things considered, I'm happy with it... 

And ... 
3. My biggest accomplishment this week was that I lead my department to work as  a team in our Mandela Day initiative and when I was asked if I wanted to head up the initiative I was told that I would be met with a whole lot of resistance because my department is known for not participating and today - everyone around the office was buzzing that our team surprised them. I must be honest I feel like a proud mom :)

Anyway off to dinner, I'm actually typing this on my Blogger App in the car... 

Hopefully I'll get more blog time from tomorrow!

Have a great weekend x

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Soulful Sunday : Life is Short

Yesterday I had thought about my next post for today but then I woke up to the news that Cory Monteith, of Glee fame as Finn Hudson, had passed away and to be honest, all my other ideas are now simply blurred out.

While I am Glee fan, I have followed Cory's story from a distance. I remember thinking it was sad to hear that he was struggling with addiction but that it was encouraging that he was seeking help.

I wish I could articulate what's going through my mind about this whole situation but it just got me thinking about how many celebs have been dying at young ages or from 'no foul play' deaths (Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger and Amy Winehouse to name a few) and just how sad it is that fans from all ages are constantly mourning.

I suppose that death is always something that catches us by surprise but when it is a young person, with so much potential and love in their lives it really seems to hit a different spot of your heart.

While I know, Glee, has taken America by storm in South Africa it hasn't caught on at the same level but those that follow it, do love it. Cory's character, Finn is central role within the Glee club but his and Rachel's love story on screen was soon the popular love story that everyone was rooting for.  The best part of Finn and Rachel is that there onscreen love story translated into a real-life love story between Cory and Lea Michele.

I think that love story, although equally as odd as the onscreen couple, makes Cory's death that much more sad. I found this under a twitter feed for #RIPCoryMonteith and #PrayforLea and it truly is heart-breaking to read.
A lot of his old cast mates have been posting on twitter about their loss. It is a sad situation and I wish there was something more soulful to include in this Soulful Sunday post but the most I can add is:-

On a slightly different note, I have a few busy weeks ahead and I hope my blogging doesn't get put on the back burner but I will be working on other aspects of my blog. Have a good week everyone and in case I don't say it enough, THANK YOU for stopping by my little bit of the cyber world!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Help! I just don't get it

I will warn you in advance that I may ramble a bit in today's post.. but that's because it's been one of "those"weeks...
Let me explain : firstly, I fell up the stairs yesterday! SecondlyThe stairs are like fire escape stairs with green paint.. and now my really pretty coral skirt has green paint all over it *sulking*, thirdly I was on my way home and needed to go past the shopping mall but when I got home and my mother called me 20 minutes later to ask me about getting something, I realised I forgot to go to the mall - at all! and lastly.. I've had the most annoying bad hair days - and I won't even explain what my red velvet cupcakes looked like.

Ok, maybe my third issue on the list doesn't sound like much but I am not that person. I am not usually scatter brained so being scatter brained is really annoying me because I feel like I'm on a carousel - moving but getting no where.

Back to my post - there's this guy,  X, who appears to be like a really nice guy. I see him around work and he is always smiling at me and often emails me various chain mails which are then followed up with (in Joey's voice) 'how you doing?' mails. Perhaps maybe Joey's tone is too strong but maybe a more friendly tone. Either way - for a while I have continued to respond to these mails in my usual bubbly tone but not trying to be too engaging because I do not want to lead him on.

However, a (male) friend said that by not actually asking X about his intentions that I am in fact encouraging him because "men like the chase". And if I was to ask X and him to tell me about his intentions I imagine this [Please imagine this awkward conversation]

A few points to note:
1. There is nothing wrong with this guy, he's just not my type.
2. I am not certain I have a type but I do believe in the intial "electricity" and unfortunately for him, we didn't have it. Does number 2 contradict number 1?

Me: X, so... I think you're a great guy (he will want to puke at this stage because no one likes when a conversation starts this way) but I'm not really certain what your intentions are towards me?
X  : Why do you ask?

Now the conversation can go one of two ways:

Option 1
Me: Well, you send me a lot of emails and are constantly trying to engage me into conversations and I get a certain vibe... *awkward silence*...
X : Well, I'm just a friendly guy, maybe you're the one with mixed intentions?
Me: Um, no, it's just that sometimes when you look at me, it feels like you would move heaven and earth if I asked and that makes me think that you like me more than just a friend because well... most friends don't care if I want earth to move
X : Natalie, I think you are projecting your feelings onto me - what are your intentions?

Option 2:
X :Well, I kind of think you're awesome and would like to see where things could go between us
Me: Well, I'm not sure (although I am sure) because I don't really see us as a couple.
X  : Why?
Me:.......................................because I don't see it.

Then I imagine things getting really weird between us and because unfortunately I don't do very well at a medium - I am either really fun and bubbly or really stand offish I forsee things becoming awkard and I don't know how to handle it! Do you?

Have you had to deal with a situation like this? What should I do? I don't want to be mean to X or anyone but I'm not sure what I can do. I don't want to be chased by him.

PS: I warned you there would be rambling...

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Moving Forward

I received some really great news yesterday. It's not something that I want to share on here purely because it invloves other people who are close to me but what I do want to share is that I have been invloved with, let's call it a project, for a number of years. My involvement began and continued for many reasons but mostly through loyalty to the other persons involved.

Either way, this "project" is no longer mine and I am really happy. It just felt like it was weighing me down because it came with so much responsibility which I didn't want accompanied with very little control on my side. Although the "project"is no longer mine - I will now enter into a period of handover and then I'm free..

I realise that this post makes it seem like I was burdened which I wasn't but what I do feel is that when I am ready for another project then I will do it from my initative and within my terms. I am just glad that I am making movements to letting go which will open me up for other opputunities!

Is there anything in your life that you feel this way about? Please tell me I'm not the only one???

Monday, 8 July 2013

Music Monday : Flashback to Nick Jonas and the Administration

This is going to seem like a strange post but I really love Nick Jonas' voice. Admittedly I am not the biggest Jonas Brothers fan in fact right now I can't think of a single song that they sing. It's not that there's anything wrong with them but for whatever reason, I have just not connected with them except for the youngest member of the group.

In early 2010, Nick Jonas, the youngest of the band members released a solo album.  By solo I mean without his brothers - the album was released by "Nick Jonas and the Administration" and is titled "Who I am". I went on to purchase it for a bargain at Musica one day and fell in love with his voice. I always heard the rumour that Nick was the one who was supposed to record on his own but I suppose selling a brand of 3 cute brothers is an easier sale as opposed to a little boy (Although Justin Bieber has certainly worked in that scenario).

The first three songs of the album are the my favourites. His voice is smooth, sensual and memorable. Surprisingly Nick cut the album in eight days with the producer, John Fields. Rose garden is a catchy tune thus easy to sing a long too. The lyrics are surprisingly sad :(
Who I am is the most popular song on the album. With enjoyable lyrics and a nice tune it was an obvious hit.

However, my favourite song is a toss up between  No.3 and No. 9. No.3 is "Olive & An Arrow" ,in this specific song, Nick's voice is so smooth and sultry. I've been told a time or two that I like soppy music but this is just a really good rock(ish)/folk(ish) ballad.

No.9 is "Vesper's Goodbye" and it is truly beautiful to listen too.

The Jonas brothers' have since reunited for further music albums but the problem I have with that is that Nick doesn't sing enough.

I like his celebrity status and his demeanour which was evident when he assisted Demi Lovato in America's  X Factor season 2 competition. He is clearly the strong silent type and he's grown into a super hot man! He's the second youngest in the family and seems very well put together. He has managed not to get too in the media with every relationship he has or has not been in, which must be difficult for a good looking and successful man. According to the site he doesn't even seem to have a particular type.

Either way, it's great that he's back with his brothers for now but I really hope that he'll release another solo album because there's just not enough *Nick Jonas* in the Jonas Brothers.