Marriage is really hard work.

Before you get married, you know that it’s going to be hard work and that it’s not going to be fun and games. Even after the wedding, you have little bits and pieces to adjust to and it all takes time. But you don’t really understand how hard you have to work at it until things go wrong. Everyone is so used to seeing the happy couple, “they’re so cute” etc etc. Yes, that’s because we don’t parade our private lives out in public. It’s not for you to know.

Fighting is normal, and as a friend pointed out to me: healthy. A part of me knows she’s right. But I hate fighting. I hate admitting I’m wrong. I hate the shouting, the crying, the extreme emotions, the puffy eyes the morning after. I’m a pretty hard-ass person when I’m angry. I put my bitch face on, and God help you if you attack me because your head WILL be bitten off.

The thing is when you’re married, you’re not just fighting with any old person. And I’m learning this step by step. I’m learning how to watch what I say to people when I’m angry, how I say things to others, and the impact the things I say can have on someone else. You should never go into a relationship in attempt to change someone to be how you want them to be, but it’s something else entirely when you work together and through discussion come to realise things about yourself and how perhaps there are small things you should/could change. It’s not that the other person is trying to change you, they’re only trying to help you be a better you.

I feel like I’m growing up. I’ve realised that fighting and arguing isn’t just about who is right and who is wrong anymore, as it was when we were all children. There can’t always be a winner or a loser. At the end of an argument, you want to come out with a better understanding of each other and learn something new about yourself, your spouse/partner, how you handle situations. Arguing isn’t about winning, it’s about coming to a mutual understanding, and learning more about yourself from it.

I only recently turned 23, and have only been married for a mere 6 months. But there really is a lot you can learn is such a short amount of time. I’ve been told that the first year of marriage is the hardest, and it really has been challenging so far. No matter how much you love your spouse to the end of the earth and back (and probably more!), you will not evade a big argument, no matter how perfect your relationship. This may not seem like wisdom to those who’ve been married for years and years, but perhaps it could serve as a gentle reminder.

How Pinterest taught me to be organised.

Greg wasn’t so impressed when I first joined Pinterest, probably because I spent hours fixated by my laptop instead of spending those hours talking to him. But since I’ve gotten a day job I’ve learned to curb my pinning, and don’t pin quite as many cupcake designs/recipes as I used to.

I’d kinda gotten sick of the one shelf of our pantry cupboard. It was the one where “everything” went ie it wasn’t pasta/grains, or crackers/tuna, or tins… but random things that couldn’t quite get grouped together. Enter my saviour: Pinterest. Where I found a way to clear this clutter, as well as some other very smart organisation tips.

space-saver

This is what saved my cupboard. A simple magazine holder (which we have plenty of considering his love for Men’s Health, and mine for Cosmo) to hold the glad wrap, foil, baking paper etc. This was all just thrown on that bottom shelf. Now, in all of one minute there’s just so much space!

Store your sheets and linen in pillow cases. Keeps it all nice and orderly.

This pin explains that when folding and packing away your linen, you should pack them all into the corresponding pillow case. I told Greg about this last night as we folded up the linen… he didn’t seem to think it was as smart as I did.

Use an old ketchup bottle to fill your cupcake pan with no mess. This would be a great for the kids.

Use an old ketchup bottle to fill your cupcake pan with no mess. So smart! Especially considering scooping batter into cupcake trays is my worst…

Pinned Image

This is something my dad should totally do…

For those who can’t stand the scrunching and bunching: how to perfectly fold a fitted sheet.

For those who can’t stand the scrunching and bunching: how to perfectly fold a fitted sheet.

Some of these may just change your life…

Pinned Image

And we can all thank Pinterest for teaching us how to be master organisers 🙂

When you’ve been a Mrs for 6 months.

It really is an awful cliche, but time really does fly when you’re having fun.

Its hard to believe that 6 months ago was our wedding day. I had my best friend sleep over at me the night before, we spent the morning running around getting nails and hair done, rushing to the hotel, having photos taken with all my lovely ladies, dashed over to Suikerbossie… boom. Wedding. We were married.

It was without a doubt one of the funnest days. Friends and I have often joked that it wasn’t a wedding, but rather a “massive party” where I happened to wear a white dress. Neither Greg or I cried, and spent our time under the chuppah throwing comments about our hunger and giggling to the Aramaic reading of our Ketubah. The dancefloor was electric, and the whole hall was just filled with the biggest and best vibe I’ve ever seen at a wedding (which doesn’t mean anything considering I am clearly incredibly biased.)

But the wedding was just 1 day. The whole engagement period I was ready to forgo the wedding and all the planning just to have it over and be married already. And it really has been all sorts of fun! That’s not to say there haven’t been fights, or issues that needed solving, but that’s just how life and real relationships roll.

We’ve really enjoyed the past 6 months, learning to cook together, learning to live together (my mom was right – I am as messy as she always told me.), having friends over, making our little flat “ours”, making sure we have “date nights”, slipping into a real-life/work routine, grocery shopping and learning to budget, making a cleaning schedule of the flat (we’re very proud to say we don’t have or need a domestic). I suppose none of this sounds too “fun”, and mostly just like domestic duties, but either way, its great to have your best friend doing all these mundane things at your side.

Below see a very brief history of our 3+ years together.

Years before we started dating, when Greg was in love with me.

One of our first dates

Out and about

Galavanting Cape Town

Big life events

We got engaged!

We got married!

And this is us!

5 Minute Arts and Crafts

Look what I made! It’s a really cool/cute/awesome stand to store hair clips on!

The other night while cleaning the flat, I got distracted (as usual) and landed up doing arts and crafts. I have so many pretty clips, and other standard clips that I use every day, that lay on my bedside table (or land on the floor) and I found this craft a while back on Pinterest that I’ve been meaning to try make for ages – just to see how it comes out.

The craft uses a photo frame, and we have so many leftover from our wedding because we used them as table numbers. It was so simple, literally  took 5 minutes, and came out great!

You will need:

  1. a photo frame
  2. ribbon
  3. scissors
  4. a stapler

Instructions:

  1. Take out the back of the frame and the glass, put to one side.
  2. Cut your ribbon to the size of the picture frame, and simply staple it on either end.
  3. I really liked it just like this, and would have liked to have hung it up just so, but was a bit of a mission without the utensils, and with renting not being able to really make holes anywhere you like in the wall.
  4. I put the glass and the frame stand back in place, and voila!
  5. (I actually added a piece of black card, just to cover the brown backing. Fiddle and you’ll find something you like.

And presto – a beautiful little way to store all your hair clips neatly next to your bed 🙂

10 things I’d be doing right now, if it were a year ago.

This time last year, I was in my final semester of my final year at UCT. The hours were long, the work got tough, weekends were non-existant, and my social-life was limited to whoever I saw in lectures or bumped into in the library. Despite it all, it was fun. But I’m seriously surprised at how we all make it past University.

Well, lets just think about what exactly I’d be doing if it was around this time a year ago…

  1. Sitting in the freezing cold dungeon, that is the Mendi lab.
  2. Stressing over some assignment or other.
  3. Watching awful foreign films for my film course, mostly German, but also including Japanese, Korean and Mexican.
  4. I’d have Fridays off, and possibly Thursdays too.
  5. Sundays would not be counted as “weekend” and public holidays would be “exciting” only because you can get extra work done.
  6. I was probably stressing about he engagement party, let alone all the wedding stress that was still to come! (Thankfully, we pulled both of those events off, and rather well.)

    “Dude, I tried to call you, but you were engaged!”

  7. I’d be doing plenty more walking than I do these days. Lots more exercise walking across campus than sitting at my desk at work.
  8. I’d be gymming more, because I had the time.
  9. No matter what time I ended lectures, I’d always be on campus in the library/in the Mendi lab working, sometimes til as late at 7pm (makes ending work at 5pm a breeze.)
  10. I was probably counting down to graduation 🙂https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/?ui=2&ik=61e47932ad&view=att&th=13953569e9df3aa6&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P-DebtnfxQmvY3nZbmVMpOk&sadet=1345723779025&sads=OjWSpCyG9GG3x6c885a8snAwots&sadssc=1

Paying for Chocolate with Good Deeds

I really like this concept that I saw on a friends blog. The “Generous Store” and the concept was created by the chocolatier Anthon Berg. Instead of prices attached to the boxes of chocolates, there were pledges for good deeds such as “making breakfast in bed for a week” or “not talking behind my girlfriends back for a month”. Then at the “till” you signed onto Facebook via the provided iPads and publicized your purchase for the world to see 🙂

The shop was only open for a day though, but still. The video is really worth the watch. It would be cool to see chocolate being bought for pledges of bigger and grander gestures of good deeds. Perhaps one day. Even so, for one day only, chocolate made a change in someones life 🙂

Red Lentil and Butternut Soup (oh how very shmancy pants)

So Winter may almost be over, but the fact that us newly weds made soup, for the first time ever is certainly something newsworthy. We really love to eat soup, we knew (via hearsay) that it’s incredibly simple to make), yet is a journey we were far too wary of embarking on.

Enter: the half a bag of red lentils.

When friends of ours left South Africa to go back to Israel (at what the end of what essentially was their “gap year”) they gave us two full shopping bags of anything that was half open from their cupboards. They couldn’t leave it for the next group of girls coming to live their, because it would go off by then. We went home with plenty baking supplies, tons of rice, bread crumbs, and who knows what else. As well as half a bag of red lentils.

Now they’ve been gone over a month and we needed to find something to do with them. We remembered Greg’s mom once making a yummy red lentil and butternut soup, so we decided this was it, and we were breaking our soup-making virginity. There’s only so many times you can go to the Kosher counter at Checkers and stock up your freezer with their soups before realising it’s probably far cheaper to make your own soup.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 chopped onions
  2. 2 cloves of garlic
  3. 2tbs oil
  4. 2TBS sugar
  5. 1tsp cumin
  6. pinch of paprika
  7. 50g tomato paste (bless my Gregory, he did’nt know we had tomato paste, and used tomato sauce instead…)
  8. salt & pepper
  9. 1 cup red lentils
  10. 6 cups of chicken stock
  11. 1 butternut, pealed and cubed.

Instructions:

  1. Sweat onions, add garlic, spices etc, lentils and butternut.
  2. cover with stock.
  3. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. leave to cook for half an hour.
  5. Zjoozj it with a zjoozjer until smooth. (By zjoozjer, I of course mean hand blender…)

(OK, the real instructions we received were: Cook 1/2 hour. But for soup-making newbies such as ourselves, they needed to be expanded on a bit.)

It’s a super yummy recipe, and totally recommend.

Photos will be added when I get home from work 🙂