Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Book Review : Callie & Kayden by Jessica Sorenson

I have read the two books from this series in less than a week. I have had sleepless nights in the last week just because I wanted to find out what was next and to see how it was handled.

I do not want to go into the details of the story line, essentially Callie Lawrence and Kayden Owens both come with their own special bits of baggage.

Callie views herself as fragile, but in truth she's stronger than most people I know. Whereas Kayden thinks his tough - he almost crumbles at the sight of receiving a random act of kindness.

I picked up the first book, the Coincidence of Callie & Kayden based purely on the use of the word "coincidence" in the title. Now I know, you should never judge a book by it's cover but it's the second time it worked in my favor.

The story also touches on a lot of taboo (albeit sensitive) topics and it made me draw on people I know who have been in similar situations which is both sad and eye-opening.

You can know someone has been through an event and think you understand the pains that they feel. The truth is, I had no idea but this book allowed me to have a deeper understanding.

Seth, Callie's best friend, also reminds me of so many men I have come to know. The follow up to the Coincidence of Callie & Kayden aptly called The Redemption of Callie & Kayden was good. Really good. I was so invested in the characters that I couldn't wait to buy the physical book and downloaded it to my kindle and then I finished it in two days.

I am so happy that this book reignited my love for reading!

What are you currently reading?

Monday, 27 January 2014

Music Monday :Grammy Fashion

Hello there! Here we are with a brand spanking new week ahead of us and why not have some fun with the Grammy Fashion?

Growing up, the Grammy's Awards Show was the one award show I would always watch because I sorta love music!

So here we go.

Katy Perry in Valentino - OMW! Love! I am a  bit upset that it didn't photograph as fantastic as it looked on TV.

Paris Hilton -  House of Milano - This dress is stunning. I like that from the front it's covered up sophisticated and then she turns and it's super sexy. Definitely one of the best dressed of the night for me!

Taylor Swift - Gucci - Unfortunately this is another dress that did not photograph as well as I think it looked but even though Taylor is known for her sparkly dresses, I really liked this one especially that she pulled her hair back. It's simple and pretty.

Colbie Caillat - Ezra Santos - This is so dainty and subtly sexy

Austin Mahone - I don't really know him, but I watched him in his red carpet interview with Giuliana and he was so cute!

My favourite couple - Chrissy Teigen and John Legend

While I'm sure I've missed some great dresses but I decided these are my favs. Also, in the spirit of the new week I am not going to post the dresses I didn't like or rather the dirty hair look (cough Sara Barrellies) because I am hoping she is never a repeat offender!

My Music Monday post needs some music, so here is one of the winning songs 

Anyway.. hope all of you have an amazing week - January 2014 is almost over!!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Someone is getting older...

I mentioned the other day that it's my birthday soon. Well soon is the upcoming Tuesday, as in TWO days time. I'll be 27 years old. I know, I'll say it again so it sinks in, I'll be 27 years old! How the heck did that happen?

So my birthday has been playing on my mind a lot (obviously) and I got thinking, at what stage did I stop being extremely THRILLED for birthdays and new years with new beginnings to now, anxious, nervous and scared. However, I think I have it sort of figured out. 

My 25th birthday was the hardest birthday yet because it was a milestone which ended up being a pebble in retrospect 

When I was younger, I had set these (somewhat unrealistic) goals for myself that by 21, I would be A and 24 I would B etc and then I didn't meet those goals and it's ok that I didn't because had I met them I would have been a completely different person to who I am now and while I am not the "perfect" (almost ) 27 year old Natalie, I think on most days I like myself and the person I have developed into. And while I definitely don't have it all together and I am not the married with 2.5 kids living in my dream house, I have accomplished things I would have never thought possible. At all.

Do you get this way about your birthdays? How do you usually feel about them?

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Bay Harbour Market

On Sunday my mom wanted to try out a craft market she had heard about and it was not what I expected, at all.

We took a drive  through Cliffton to Hout Bay which is ordinarily a beautiful drive but when this drive lead to this market I was so surprised. I have been to Hout Bay so many times and never noticed this place. In fact, from outside, you can't imagine that inside is very similar to the Old Biscuit Mill or Neighbourgoods.

The vibe inside is fun with lovely mix of locals and tourists dancing along to the free live band.

We had had breakfast in the morning and we instantly regretted it because the food looked amazing.

I decided to embrace the experience and let the lady braid my hair with a little bit of pink and to be honest, it made me miss my pink streak!

If you're in and around Cape Town, you should definitely go by the vibe is contagious and you are guaranteed to leave there in a good mood!

Anyway, go try it out and let me know what you think? Do you know any other places in Cape Town I can try?
Oh did I mention that I am still in Cape Town??? What am I doing here? Being a nomad and it's a story for another day.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Golden Globes Fashion 2014

I will be the first to admit I am not that big a fan of watching the awards ceremonies but I love to watch E! Live From the Red Carpet because then I get to see all the dresses and well, while I am NOT a fashion blogger I really enjoy it.

Here are some of my favourites:

Mila Kunis - Besides being extremely beautiful, she clearly exercised great taste. This dress is elegant and effortlessly sexy. I love the detail at the top of the dress and thin silver belt. I can't wait to see what she wears to the Oscars (if she's going) if this is what she wore at the beginning of the Awards season.

In Sarah Hyland

Olivia Wilde - This woman is beautiful and her pregnancy has only enhanced her beauty. She looks as sexy as ever and super confident in this green dress. While I am not crazy about the length of the sleeves, which are neither here nor there, she still pulls it off.

In Gucci
Sofia Vergara - Is there anyone who is sexier than Sofia? Even in a long poofy (yes I used the word poofy) dress she is super sexy! I adore the inclusion of the turquoise statement necklace.

In Zac Posen

Sarah Paulson- Sarah is definitely wearing one of my favourite dresses for the night. She is simple, elegant and yet captivating. This is the perfect Golden Globes dress.

In Chrisitan Louboutin

Giuliana Rancic - Giuliana's long past just being a presenter, she is a star in her own right and she dressed the part. LOVE!
In Lauren Sarbou

And while I love to spread some positivity, I have to be honest, there are some dresses that were cringe worthy.

Emma Watson - What is this? Are we calling this fashion because the actress is young and safe but edgy? I hate this outfit. I know there are lots of people who will disagree with me, my question is simple... is this even a dress?? Besides the half dress being offensive, the pants is ugly.

In Christian Dior

Sandra Bullock - let me just set the record straight, I love this woman. She is funny, beautiful and smart but this dress looks like my 8 year old cousin sewed it together. I actually like the structure of the dress, the material is not flattering and that's what I don't like about this dress. However, good on her for taking a risk.

In Prabal Gurang

Which was your favourite or least favourite dress? Do you watch award shows or are you only interested in the fashion?

Friday, 10 January 2014

Movie Review : Mandela, Long Walk To Freedom

Yesterday I did something I love to do, but loads of people judge me for, I went to the movies by myself. It doesn't matter how much alone time I have had there's something gratifying about being in the movie house by yourself. I think it may be because I am a crier and at lease if I watch a movie by myself, I can cry without any judgment.

In saying that, I am definitely glad I watched this movie alone because I cried. I cried a LOT. I found the movie to be painful to watch because, it's my country's history and because it's true. It reminded me how lucky I was to be born when I was and to be able to live the life that I do.

I heard rumours that a few of the older generation refused to watch the movie just because it would make them more angry and feel more hurt. I thought that was ridiculous because surely we have moved forward and can watch a movie without leaving there with no hard feelings. However, I left the cinema feeling a lot of things. Although I did not leave angry, I left sad, hurt and I hate to admit, filled with a lot of pity.

I haven't read Nelson Mandela's book and when I wanted too, my dad's copy had gone missing and then I thought it would be better to move forward and not hold onto the past because I knew that reading about the past struggles would stir up pain.

The movie managed to do that. I don't know if the movie is an accurate depiction of the book or if the book is an accurate depiction of the struggle of Madiba's long walk to freedom but I know it was difficult to watch. Difficult to not feel sorry for Winnie Mandela. Difficult not to feel for all those people who gave their lives for the good of the nation and the generations to come.

While there are obviously more people that were involved in the struggle, it is humbling to see that Madiba was a) not perfect and b) a born leader and c) he truly loved Winnie (click here to see the letters he wrote to her).

It's no wonder people in South Africa and the world were concerned what would happen when Madiba dies because he was a man who forgave his perpetrators despite the abuse, violence and unjust which was done onto him, his wife, family and fellow comrades.
Movie Still: When Madiba is sentenced to life imprisonment 

The movie was long but not long enough to illustrate the intricate details of the struggle. When I walked out the movie (after many tears) I just felt an immense sadness for the love between Madiba and Winnie and how Winnie was so warm glowed before she was immersed in the struggle that it changed the very core of who she was.

Real Life : Mandela after his release with Winnie

Movie Still : Madiba after the release

Have you watched the film? How did you feel after watching it? Do you feel inspired to make your freedom more worthwhile (because I do)?

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Writers Block

Can I even call myself a writer? I mean writing here, in my little space of the cyber world, is that "writing"? I know it's no Shakesphere... but it's something, right?

So I am sort of freaking out because in two weeks time, I turn 27 years old. How the hell did that even happen?

In all honesty I tend to freak out a bit towards my birthday, much more that I do compared to any other event because I always used my birthday as the benchmark for where I saw myself by a certain time.

So anyway, while I deal with the inevitable freak out of what it means  for me to be 27 all the while staying present, I'll leave you with this simple question.. is this what life is about now?

Am I asking for too much?

This is my life, in it's simplest illustration

I found all the illustrations in this great article about 27 Shocking and Unexpected Facts You Learn in Your Twenties.

Anyway, I just realised that I didn't actually mention the fact that I am suffering from writers block due to the impending birthday however... let me go on with my day... have a good Tuesday all!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

A Resolution? I think not...

For those who know me outside of the blogging world, you know I have the tendency to reflect on the past - a LOT. It comes with the fact that I am an over-thinker, at times to my detriment so this year, while I have made a list of resolutions I've decided to keep them to myself.

Last year, without planning I aimed my year against a search for "SERENITY" and while it wasn't complete success I definitely moved closer to living a more serene life.

Therefore this year, I gave this some thought and I decided the thing I needed most this year is to " BE PRESENT". To the best of my ability, I need to keep in the present and stop harping on the past and what could have been.

I know just about everything is going to change this year and I want to enjoy it.

If you could pick one word or term you would aim 2014 around, what would it be?

Also, I wanted to say I wish that the best moment of 2013 be equivalent to your worst of 2014. Expect greatness, it's coming!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

2014 According To My iPod

Happy New Year Everyone!! If you didn't see my tweet I just wanted to wish all of you the very best for this year, I can feel great things are going to happen!

I do this thing with my iPod, I keep it on shuffle and the first song I hear for the day will be an indication of what my year turns out to be like and in a weird way, it usually works out.

I realised I hadn't listened to anything for the year so this morning, I thought the first song I play will be my song for the year and then I decided to check the whole year out.I did not plan on my first post for the year being another list this one is a list with a twist. I have so many different genres on my phone from Spanish lessons to Kriss Cross to Adele to Drake and these are the results!

While I realise it is not a science or anything which can be predicted, it was fun so here it goes.

What I should expect for 2014.I was going to include some sort of commentary but once you see the songs you'll understand why I did not.

Song of the year  - The Script "I'm Yours"

January - DJ Kent feat The Arrows " Spin My World Around" 

February - Amy Winehouse "Rehab" 

March - One Direction " One Thing" 

April - P!nk "Family Portrait" 

May - P!nk "There You Go" 

June - Justin Bieber "Baby" 

July - One Direction " I Would" 

August - Spice Girls " 2 Become 1" 

September - Hillsong "Still" 

October - Monica " 'Cross The Room" 

November - Pitbull " Don't Stop The Party" 

December - Justin Bieber "Never Say Never (Acoustic)" 


And if that isn't a random enough - the first song I heard for the year (that I remember) is this one.....

Seems like this is going to be one interesting year!!!!

Side Note: Today is my mom's birthday and she's the bestest in the world! I aspire to more like her everyday!

What do you think of the year ahead according to my iPod? Try it and tell me what may happen to you!