Of Men and Cufflinks

So I always have really liked a guy in cufflinks. A guy in a shirt is rather smart. But add in cufflinks, and it’s a total sealed deal! Greg bought his first cufflink-able shirt for our wedding – the only problem is that he doesn’t have any cufflinks (aside for those material, round, knobbly, ball ones – he borrowed a friends’ for the wedding). Him not having cufflinks is probably something I should remedy myself.

So I came across this link today of some cool cufflinks. Would you ever put your guy in some of these?

If I had my way…

If I had my nerdy/childhood-takes-the-better-of-me way, he’d be wearing cufflinks like these!

But I feel like these are more Greg’s vibe. Y’know, if we’re going unconventional and all.

He’s a superhero fan. Iron Man and Spiderman in particular.

And here are some other cufflinks which are cool enough to get a mention:

This is as far as Greg would be allowed to take part in any MOvembering.

As cool as these are, I feel I’d prefer my guy in more traditional, smart cufflinks. But you can’t deny they’re pretty cool 😉

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A short(ish. ok, not quite…) life update.

It’s been a while since I last posted anything, so here are some updates of what’s been going on:

1. I FINALLY got the brownies right! I don’t know whether it was the oven temp (remember, it was 20 degrees too hot!), the overmixing, my crappy skills or a combination of all of the above… but I finally got them right when I made them for Greg’s uncles birthday. They were just as chocolatey, gooey, and fudgey as I always wanted! I just wish I had more time to bake again.

2. I got my first *big girl* pay slip yesterday! The money only comes through tomorrow, yet I never thought a white sheet of paper could ever mean so much to me. I have the odd inclination to frame it, but know I would never do it (no, really, I promise I wouldn’t).

3. My friend is getting married on Sunday, which is REALLY exciting. It’s a crazy busy week though with the kitchen tea last week, bachelorette this week, shabbos kallah and then the wedding on Sunday. But hey, nothing wrong with keeping busy – especially when it’s for such a great cause!

4. On the note of weddings, I actually have 4 weddings scheduled in the next 3 weeks. 2 of them are in jhb, and unfortunately we couldn’t afford to fly up for either of them. The one wedding is today actually, so I’m kinda bleak to be sitting in my office in Cape Town when I could be in jhb celebrating with them. It’s hard, but that’s life I guess. I it’s a good thing, Jews clearly like to get married (and get engaged, and have babies – so much of this stuff going on!)

5. My mom is turning 50 this week (which really isn’t as old as she thinks it is.) and on Saturday night we got a party bus for her and all her friends. It was really fun! I never realised how cute my parents were, or how funny they were, or where on earth they found all these friends that I’d never seen or heard of… seems there is much I don’t know.

6. Greg has finally sorted himself out for work next year, which means we could finally book to go on holiday! (One of his options wouldn’t give him leave over December). So we’re in the process of looking. It’s crazy trying to find a place with under a month to go to Christmas… but we’re keeping our hopes up for the time being 😛 I may only have been a working girl for a few months, but I already feel I could use a holiday!

7. I cannot WAIT for Lady Gaga next Monday! Granted, it will be straight after a mad weekend of wedding madness, but hey. I can sleep on Tuesday night 😛

So that’s my life at the moment. 🙂

A special kind of people watching.

There is something so fascinating about people watching. Sitting back in your own world, watching people go by in their own, and thinking what makes them tick or what makes them who they are. I like to look at the different people, the “normal” people, the “strange” people, those “weirdly dressed”. I like people who are interesting.

There’s a fantastic photography project online called Humans of New York, started by photographer, Brandon Stanton, who posts portraits of some of the more interesting characters he has come across in NYC.

The thing is, it’s more than just a picture. He talks to these people, and posts a snippet of what they had to say, or what they were doing. The posts are always endearing and show insight into the lives of these different people. A couple of days ago he announced he wanted to raise funds through HONY for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. His goal was $100 000, which he reached in a matter of hours, and in 3 days he’s reached $165 000.

Have a look at some of these, including the captions.

https://i0.wp.com/25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mdgfwtapQN1qggwnvo1_1280.jpg

Celebrating the big “One Week” anniversary

https://i0.wp.com/25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mcoe3epVHH1qggwnvo1_1280.jpg

My first hurricane

https://i2.wp.com/24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mcbjs5cVil1qggwnvo1_1280.jpg

After they finished kissing, she took off her blue cape, and laid it over a woman sleeping on a nearby bench. It was such an unbelievably poetic moment, I actually chased them down to fact-check my own eyes.

“Excuse me. Was that your blue blanket?”
“Yes.”
“And you just gave it to her?”
“….Yes, why?”
“Oh nothing.”

https://i0.wp.com/25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mcf5ztd31X1qggwnvo1_1280.jpg

“Where are you hiking to?”

“The liquor store!”

These are just some of very, very many incredible portraits. If you don’t yet follow Humans of New York on facebook, well, you really should!

Now, because I am a big fan of HONY, I was rather excited to see a local taking on a similar project with Humans of Durban. While having a look into the lives of New Yorkers, are “foreign” and “exotic” as they are, there is something so much more heartwarming and inducing a feeling of family and community than Humans of Durban. I literally discovered the page and the blog about an hour ago, so I haven’t even had the chance to look trough all the photos, but what I have seen so far has already impressed me. These pictures are taken off the Humans of Durban facebook page, and I take no credit for them.

“The woman who raised me is not my mother. I only found my mother last year – but I love her. She’s the only one I knew.”

“These tears are for my dad. He died when I was 10.”


“What’s the biggest problem facing the LGBT community in Durban right now?”

“It’s actually the community itself. It’s so segregated, it’s like high school all over again.”

“Only if I can take your photo?”


“We play soccer for a team, Amandla abadala (The Power of the Old People). Our team is going to Swaziland next month to compete”.

I am so impressed with Micaela who started this project. If I perhaps were a better photographer, or got out a bit more, maybe it’s something I’d be tempted to start in Cape Town. Either way, it’s a fantastic local project that I know will give me as many smiles as Humans of New York! Makes me pretty proud to be a South African.

Read this if you’re a walking disaster in the kitchen like me

A link on Pinterest caught my eye this morning as I was wondering about the state of my oven (for baking update, see below), it lists a whole lot of common cooking mistakes (which is quite nicely phrased, I would call them something along the lines of “Culinary Catastrophes”). Thankfully, I was not victim to any of them. Though, it never helped me with my brownie problem (I was quite bleak about that). Nor did it tell me how to make the perfect fried egg, which Greg and I cannot seem to get right.

 

How to melt chocolateHealthy Baking SubstitutionsUnderbaking breads and cakes

 

Preventing mushy vegetables

Lumpy GravyOne test on this link did catch my eye, its a check to do on your oven to check out if it has hot/cold spots. Basically, you line a baking tray with white bread, put it in the oven for 10 minutes and see where the bread turns darker or lighter. Obviously the ideal is for it to all be the same amount of crispiness across the board…

So we tested our oven yesterday, we didn’t have much time and I would have liked to spend more time doing more extensive tests. We left the oven on for like 15min at “180” degrees… after the allotted time, the thermometer read 200 degrees… showing that our oven could be 20 degrees off.

Bakers of the world, does this seem like a drastic issue?

I’m only asking, because the packaging of the thermometer said that it could be 10 degrees off, which could make my oven only 10 degrees off… or 30 degrees off… This baking thing is really proving to be more of a science (or one big problem!)

I’m just really craving a chocolatey, gooey brownies. The baking Gods are clearly not impressed with me.

The Charitable Post.

There’s this new thing that I like to do these days. I’m really enjoying helping people out when I can. (I say this at the risk of sounding like an uncharitable snob, which I’m totally not, I’m a really nice and caring person). This isn’t things like giving money to people in the streets, it’s just small things to help people out who could really use it, and things which are totally manageable and at the end of the day, really make my heart feel good (which is not the reason I do it, it’s more like a by-product).

Small things have happened recently. Like Greg’s colleague who has been about to pop with her child for about forever (She actually finally gave birth today!). The Friday night before she was due, I was wondering where her and her husband were having Friday night Shabbos dinner. I assumed they’d be home, because walking anywhere would be a bit of a mish in her state. So we invited them over, because we’re just a little bit down the road, and told them to freeze whatever food had been made for once she has the baby so she won’t have to worry. I just wanted them to have a night off. She gave birth this afternoon, and we already have food waiting to be delivered to them (I think I’m starting to show symptoms of Jewish Wife Tendencies, with the constant need to feed people.)

Our shul also has a new Rabbi, him and his wife were actually my madrichim (counsellors) on summer camps. They moved down from Durban with their almost-newborn, and were staying in a flat for a week waiting to move into their flat. We figured we’d invite them over for dinner. We’ve also invited other friends over here and there, usually friends who moved to Cape Town to study and would otherwise just have to cook for one (probably more of a mish than just cooking for 2!).

(We also just heard that a friend from jhb is down in CT in hospital, so we’re visiting this evening with some goodies, just to make her smile. Because everyone deserves to smile, even when they’re sick and in a hospital room.)

The intention is in all these cases, is that we would be cooking anyway. We just want to give someone a night off to not worry about making dinner, because who wants to worry about these things when you’re about to pop with a baby/just moved across the country/a student living on your own. Each of these instances where we’ve had people over were just so great. We haven’t been able to cater big shabbos meals, as the costs get too high, but we really love having one or two people over at a time. I love it on the one hand because it’s so intimate, we were able to have such high quality conversations with each of our guests. Yet I think I love it even more because I know that something not so big for me, probably meant a whole lot more to them.

Maybe I’m sounding self-righteous (because who knows, they may have just thought of it as a polite dinner invite), and I really started this post with a point… About how the small things to us, can mean so much more to others. Well either way, they say that charity starts at home. So this is my home, and in it, we’re trying to be charitable. By inviting others in.

The time has come…

Alright, so we got an oven thermometer the other night from Greg’s parents. Which now means we have to check our oven.

This is make or break for me.

If it’s not the oven, it means it has to be me, which is a considerably heartbreaking fact.

I don’t want it to be me.

Hopefully there will be an update soon. Eeeek. Fingers crossed!