Sunday, 30 June 2013

June Book Review : The Alchemist

I am happy to report that I have managed to get somewhat back on track by finishing Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist" within this month. I must be honest with you I thought I would have finished the book much quicker due to the length of the novel but looks can be deceiving and I really had to work to finish the book.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that the book is difficult to read but I do think you need to be prepared for the mental task. As I mentioned in my previous post the Alchemist was not the sort of book I was intending on reading this month and there was little to no light-heartedness which was my intention for the June book.

The plot of the book is that a boy, although I have no idea how old he is, has a dream - a literal sleeping dream - about him going in search of treasure. The book takes you through his journey and his emotional growth.

While I will not give you a run down of the book and spoil the surprise for you, I will admit that this is a book that all people should read. The themes throughout it can teach any person, young or old, that you can only benefit in forging your own path in life. 

Yes, it is difficult to make decisions but in retrospect, your hardest decisions have more than likely shaped you to be the person you are and if you have in fact chosen to not make a decision, that in itself is a decision.  Everything that we do, every step that we take leads us to where we need to be, at the right time. We have to take responsibility for the decisions we make, even if our options are unattractive - we should pursue our destiny.

While we may continue on a path in life that our parents or teachers or spiritual leaders have taken us to... it is essentially our own mind (or soul) that shapes us to be who we were meant to be.

I found an article which you should read if you have time to expand the themes I have mentioned.

Have you read this book? If you have, tell me what you thought about it? I'm intrigued to hear different people's opinions.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Football Friday : Iker Casilias

I promise, that Football Friday won't all be about the Spanish National Team but in light of last night's match (Spain beating Italy 7-6 on penalties ) and the huge role that the Spanish Stallion captain and goalkeeper played deserves some recognition.

Iker, is hot but also somewhat of a loner which is probably what makes him that much more appealing for me.

While I have always been aware of him, since I started supporting Spain in 2006, he was solidified as a firm favourite man candy after he lead Spain to winning the World Cup in 2010 in my lovely country, South Africa.  Here is the video which pushed him to the "I want a guy like that" list:

He is so incredibly endearing in this video and I know you just went  "Aaaaaahhhh" even if it was in your head.

Apparently there was a whole lot drama by the Spanish press for his average performance in the Spain v Switzerland game where he conceded a goal and she was blamed as a distraction.

He has also recently experienced some difficulties with an injury and now what sounds like a difficult relationship with Jose Mourinho who was the Real Madrid coach ( now Chelsea FC manager) but he is now feeling like a new man and it showed in his game last night. He pulled of the most incredible saves that had me on the edge of my seat.

An interesting story is that when he was younger he forgot to post his father's predicted team wins which his father had predicted correctly which lead to them missing out on over One million Euros! I'm sure he was now repaid his father on that lottery ticket....

If all of that didn't convince you he is a sweetheart and worthy of this post, maybe these will assist...


As a side note, I was feeling a bit.. off yesterday and even though I stayed up later than usual to watch the game and I feel as if I have sand in my eyes today, watching my team win an important game on penalties was exhilarating and stressful at the same time. It reminded me of my passion for the game. Do you have anything that centers you when you feel off like I did?

OH! And I promise I will be featuring other players who are neither Liverpool or Spanish, if you have any ideas as to who I can feature please let me know

Have a wonderful weekend

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Right Now

I saw this post and loved the idea of sharing exactly what is happening "right now".
Feel free to tell me your "right now" situations!

What I am doing
I just baked Choc Chip Cookies for the first time and they are gooey and soft inside but crispy on the outside

If you remember my previous post on Sing you Home you will remember that I also said I wanted something light hearted. Well, walk into your closest Exclusive Books and tell them that and you know what they reccommend? The Alchemist! So That's what I'm reading at the moment. It's not light hearted by any means and is completely opposite to what I wanted to read but on the upside I am finally reading a book I've heard so much about. I'll be posting my review soon.

I've been going to the movies a lot, but the movies haven't been great and I didn't want to review them just to give them average reviews but I will tell you I have recently watched "After Earth", "The Hangover Part 3"and "Spud 2". Spud 2, was the best of the 3 and while you can easily watch all of them, none will change your life and none of them are likely to leave a lasting impression.
On the TV front, I am watching the usual Greys Anatomy, Masterchef, Girls and the Bachelorette. Although a new show I am watching is Political Animals and I am quite enjoying it. Have you watched it?

Listening to
I haven't been listening to much new stuff but I am loving the new Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines, Daft Punk's Get Lucky and some of my favourites One Direction's Take Me Home and The Script.
I love that RnB appears to making a comeback and I am really hoping I get an album soon that I can listen to, to death. I usally buy an album and then play it all day, everyday and then switch but for a while now, I've been in limbo. Do you have any suggestions for some good albums?

Thinking about
So many things.. mainly I'm thinking of Nelson Madela, his health, his family, his contribution to the world and what exactly is mine? I'm thinking where will I be in 5 years time? Will the exchange rate be so ridiculous that I have to alter some of my future plans? Like I said, I'm thinking about a lot of things. I'm always thinking. I am guilty of overthinking.

Sad about
Nelson Mandela and some family members who are not well. That I am not getting enough sleep! That there is a fear of the aftermath of Madiba's passing and that I'm not entirely convinced that there is no basis whatsoever for the fear. That One Direction have not announced that they are coming to South Africa, yet (Seriously guys, come here!!!) and that I am so caught up in my thoughts that I may ir may not be reaching my full potential.

That I get to layer clothes in winter. That despite all the drama, I am proud to be South African. That Fernando Torres is scoring anf hopefully he will continue with that tonight in the semi-final of the Confederations Cup against Italy, that Steven Gerrard said that he is feeling better (Hate it when he is injured) and I am loving this.. blogging - it truly is the sunshine at the end of my days.

What is happening with you, RIGHT NOW? Tell me about it?

Also I have included my favourite song of the moment (and current ringtone) , in case you've been under a rock and haven't heard it: -

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

What's your guilty pleasure?

So I went for lunch with some of colleagues at Trabella a few weeks ago and we start chatting about Sex and the City because I had just lent my colleague " Sex and the City" season one while she is the middle of preparing for her assignments and she said watching it really improved her mood and got her in a crazy mood with singing and dancing in the shower. Maybe you should understand that she is really traditional or reserved, for lack of a better term so SATC is somewhat taboo?

Anyway, from her dirty confession of loving (and now being slightly obsessed) with SATC, it got the conversation going as to what shows are our guilty pleasures and as stated previously, I am a huge TV addict so there is just about nothing that I wouldn't be willing to watch however there are some shows that I have absolutely no interest in watching but perhaps they are your gulity pleasure? Honey Boo Boo anyone?
Maybe you're obsessed with all the Big Brother series?

I would have to say that Masterchef has become my guilty pleasure, it's not necessarily something I'm afraid of advertising but I am seriously obsessed with it, in fact, to a large extent I think it aided my renewed love of baking and I must say, I am getting realllllllly good at it :)

However, I think my true guilty pleasure, that I don't know anyone else who is watching it, is GIRLS . I must be honest, this is one strange show and even though I find it completely odd, I am completely addicted. I have watched every episode (M-Net is currently showing Season 2) so far and it's still strange. This is the one show I won't watch with anyone else, perhaps because it could be uncomfortable or because no one I know would actually sit through it with me..

Also - I am a sucker for any Bachelor/Bachelorette shows. I get so emotionally involved to them, despite the fact that more than likely I already know who is picked.

My favourite bachelorette was Ali but I wasn't completely into the guys in her season although I was sad to see that her and Roberto split up.
Some of the Bachelorettes are not my favourites when they are on the Bachelor but when they become the Bachelorette, I think they are able to show more of their personality for example Jillian from Jason's season and Ashley from Brad's season. It baffeled me that both ladies made it as far as they did but on their seasons I got to see their "real" personalites and they are really lovely ladies.
I managed to be surprised by Ashley's choice and I was ecstatic! Ashley and JP make a wonderful couple!

Regarding the Bachelors.. I liked Matt (perhaps it was the accent which helped him) and I actually liked Brad.

My favourite contestants were Kasey B, Melissa (Can I have a delayed rant about how Jason could pick Melissa and then break up with her and go after Molly! Thank goodness all of them have settled ,with their significant others and babies otherwise I would have hated Jason forever) and Chantel O. From the guys, I liked Michael Stagliano and Jeremy. I also liked Jake when he was on Jillian's season but I found him annoying on his own

Whether you judged me or not for the guilty pleasure confessions, you must have something that you're afraid people will judge you for watching? Come on, tell me about it???

Have you watched any of my guilty pleasures? Are you judging me, be honest, I can handle it ?

x Natalie

Monday, 24 June 2013

3 Reasons to love Winter

You know, the blogs I follow are mostly from America and all of them are bragging about the arrival of Summer and what it means. So I thought about it.. and why shouldn't we, in the Southern Hemisphere, celebrate the arrival of Winter?

Here's my list of what we can enjoy in the winter months:

1. It is extremely unlikely you will have any run ins with Parktown Prawns (if you're not sure what these are click here .) or any other weird bugs which the rain and heat bring. And you get to save on doom.

2. Great fashion - I don't know about you but I love winter fashion. Boots and scarfs are my favourites. In fact,  I've just come back from shopping where I picked up some really cute grey ankle boots which you can see here. Also I love the idea of layering clothes. Mr Price has some really pretty scarfs.

3. Soups! My mom makes the most delicious beef and vegetable soup, I'll post the recipe soon enough. (It's actually my late grandfather's recipe) However, if you feeling lazy, you can always opt for Woolies soups, I'm a huge fan of the chicken, sweetcorn and noodle soup :) Do you have any favourites? I am searching for a good homemade chicken noodle soup, do you have a recipe to recommend?
I found this really nice picture, and I hope it's true.. I could always do with more wisdom

And for those of you who are not crazy about the frosty mornings, layers of clothes or lack of sandals here's a song which you can sing along too

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Soulful Sunday : Wishing

No matter who you are, no matter where you come from or how much money you have there is always something (or someone) you wish/long for

For some of us wishing may just form part of our day to day routines like "I wish I could travel the world"  or "I wish I could have had more time with him/her" or "I wish I could land my dream job". However, let's be honest our wishing doesn't necessarily have to be so serious but it's incredible how our thoughts become our words and ours guide our actions

Today in church, the sermon was somewhat similar to what I'm talking about - at the beginning of the sermon he said "be careful what you wish for because you may just get it" and while I won't go into further detail about what the sermon was..  it helped develop my thinking which I went into church with.

You see, when I woke up this morning , I was feeling really despondent about a certain situation where I felt like luck just was not on my side and I felt... uneasy. 

But in church, I was told about this lady, Helen Keller* who was born(or at a very young age) was blind, deaf and mute yet she still manged to obtain a degree and lecture to others. I don't know the full details but I plan on looking up her background online the thing is that amazes me is that against all odds she accomplished what a lot of able bodies persons cannot. How? How did she manage to do that?

I think she wished on it... Then did whatever she needed to do to get there.
The question is, how far are we willing to go out of our comfort zone to get our heart's desire?

Friday, 21 June 2013

Football Friday for Four Times Scorer Fernando Torres

Last night, Spain beat Taiheti 10-0 in the Confederations Cup 2013. That is embaressing and sad and even though I am a Spain support I found myself hoping the game would just be called off early to spare the team the embaressment.

However that was not to be and one of my favourite men, Fernando Torres, got to score four times.

Onto Fernando Torres, for those of my readers who know me (in person) it is more than likely that you will know that I love this man. So much so that I cried my heart out when he left Liverpool FC.
Please understand (before you judge me) two things
1. When I am passionate about something I give my all
2. It is not only that he left for Chelsea it's the way in which he left that was heart-breaking.

So back to my story, Torres is this cute and very shy Spanish player that was a born and bred Atletico Madrid player, who moved to Liverpool FC and captured the hearts of the city as well as all the fans worldwide.

Some facts about him (by the way these are all facts I know off by heart):
* He has green eyes and blonde hair but he changes his hairstyles a lot
* He is superstitous so when he beleives he is having a bad luck streak he will change his hair
* He has scored in the following finals: Euros, Champions League, Europa league and World Cup
* He has a lot of medals
* He adores playing with Steven Gerrard (do I blame him? NO :) )
* He married his childhoos sweetheart
* He likes kids and kids like him
* He has lots of tattoos
* He has these amazing thighs....

AND I love his neck, I can't explain it but his neck, is so manly.

Here are some pics of him BUT word of warning I will do another post of him in the future because I love him like that.

Have a great weekend all


Thursday, 20 June 2013

Home remedy to thicken your hair

Hi Everyone,

I was thinking about posting about one of those very sensitive topics which all ladies can relate to - our hair and when I was reading Meghan Silva's blog , I knew I had to share this!

When I was younger I had the most amazingly thick long hair (picture below) but then somewhere along the line (and a few dietary mistakes) my hair started thinning.

I was so upset about it because everyone always spoke about my hair and touched it when I was near and now it was ruined. I even went so far as to cut it short ( also pictured below) in order for it to appear thicker - that didn't really work and I hated my hair short.

So I started using Horse Shampoo at first which I purchased at a pet store (but now Dischem also stocks it) but since then I buy a number of products to add to it, namely:

1. Bergamotessens

2. Placenta

3. Bay Rum

4. Normal Shampoo

So you mix about 2/3s of horse shampoo, one placenta vile and about 1/4 of the Bay rum bottle and then fill the rest with your other shampoo and shake it all together.

You can apply this to your hair, ideally you should leave it in your hair for a few minutes but I don't really get the chance to wet my hair before I shower to then leave it in for longer so instead I only put the mixture on my roots and then condition the bottom.

This mixture will make your hair feel hard when it is wet but once you've dried it, it will be soft! My hair is not as thick as it was before but it is definitely improving!

Let me know what you think? Do you have any remedies you would like to share?

PS: I have just reached my first blog milestone with 500 pageviews so THANK YOU for taking time to read about my random thoughts

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

3 Random Memories by the girl in the "white jumper"

I've had a rather strange day because as the day has gone on, I have had flashes of memories in the top I wore today so I thought if share them with you...

1. Memory One
The first time I met my baby, Uptothemoon, in the picture below, you can actually see how frightened I am of her. I thought she was big then but now I look at her and see how tiny she was here. I think it's sort of awesome how I actually have the moment I met her and she's my kindred animal spirit. I'll be sure to blog about her soon!
2. Memory Two
A day which brought me much joy.. This is the day that Alicia and I went to Malahide Castle , the Jameson Factory, dinner at O'Neills and then drinks at Citi-Bar (or "C-E bar")  This is possibly one of my favourite days of my entire life.


2. Memory Three
Is the first time I experienced snow, which was part of Memory Two but somehow in my mind I don't associate them together
Those are the random three things I remembered today.. Did you have any random memories today? Or do you have an item of clothing that brings back memories?

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Dis'llbetheday We Say Goodbye

It's unfortunate that we've decided to sell my baby, Dis'llbetheday.

Dis'llbetheday was purchased in September 2011 and my dad was really excited to finally have a colt (or boy for those that don't know horse terminology). We had already owned Uptothemoon for a year and she was making money and earning her keep that deciding to invest in Dis'llbetheday was a no brainer.My dad was introduced to the horse through an ex-colleague who wanted to partner with my dad over Dis'llbetheday.

Some background, Dis'llbetheday was originally named Plinius (I have no idea what that means or the significance) he's dad is Daylami and his mom World Premiere. All the owners decided we needed to change his name to something more suitable of a champion, we submitted names and then voted on it and were left with Dis'llbetheday.

It's strange that when we got him and during our first meeting he was calm and allowed me to pet him just a little bit and then he would walk away, aloof and unaffected by me standing there waiting for him. The next time I visited him he had grown soooo much and he was bursting with testosterone so much so that all he wanted to was bite EVERYTHING!

Either way, his testosterone left him with loads of energy and despite his brilliant talent, he kept picking up little injuries. He finally started running and always seemed promising but he picked up injury after injury and finally it became my dad's financial decision for us to sell our share in him.

Although I am extremely saddened by having to sell him, I will always, back him (remembering that I'm not a gambler) and I hope he goes on to win lots of races because especially after his sterilization he's become so calm and lovable.

So although today it hurts, I know it is best for him and for us.
I don't have pets and my horses have taken the place of my pets and even though Dis'llbetheday doesn't belong to me any longer I will always love his feisty temperament :(

Monday, 17 June 2013

For Fathers

Yesterday was Father's day and I was fortunate enough to spend the day with my own father, not many people have that same opportunity and it reminded me that I should relish the time that I get to spend with him.

I have always been a daddy's girl and at 26, that - has not changed. My father is the one person in the world who can infuriate me and push my limits but he is always going to be my father. He is the man who taught me the love of football/soccer and has connected me with my baby Uptothemoon and he is the man who has showed me what I should expect from my future husband and father.

I saw this on Barack Obama's Facebook page and I think it is so accurate.

Also, although I am lucky enough to have both my parents in my life, there are a lot of single mothers out there filling in both mom and dad roles so those woman deserve to be recognised over this period as well!