Some thoughts and ramblings of late.

I feel like my heads been floating in the proverbial clouds recently. I’m not too sure, I just feel pretty unfocused and all over the place. And there’s just stuff going on.

I’m hosting a Murder Mystery birthday party on Sunday, somewhat belated, for my birthday (it’s because all my friends have university and this is the only time I can do it because they’re actually on vac – accommodating, right?). If I had more time to really think about it, I’d be super freaking excited. It’s next to impossible to find a free Murder Mystery online, let alone one for over 20 people. Once I’d surrendered to the fact that I’ll be paying for one, I went in search of the best  one I could afford.

I came across a great company and paged through all their different mysteries. I was so confused as to which one to choose I literally emailed them asking “Hi. I can’t decide between these mysteries. Please can you tell me which would be the most fun?”. They were so incredibly helpful and respond to my emails so quickly (including a time difference because they’re in the States). I’ve been super impressed with the quality of the file I downloaded. Now we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes! (I’ll be sure to blog about it. Well, hopefully)

Character bios, goals & objectives are ready for Sunday's Murder Mystery!

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Life is also super busy because September is practically “hell month” for a working Jew. All the High Holy days seem to be squished into September. Not that it would change much from year to year, because they’re always a week apart from each other. There really are just too many. You’d think God would have planned this stuff a bit better for religious humans of the future. Apparently not, and so here I am. Greg will be reading from the Torah and blowing what we call a Shofar (it’s a ram’s horn, please don’t ask me the details of how or why, I’m sure Rabbi Google will be able to explain). Even thinking about September exhausts me. Sjoe.

Casual Sunday morning. #myhusbandtherabbi #jokesnotreally

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Also, my dear friends who got married a few weeks ago – went back to Israel today. We went out last night for a little farewell dinner. I’m pretty sad about it. Having them here was like they never left South Africa in the first place, and it was great having extra married friends for a little while. Another friend who was working in Cape Town for the year with the Jewish agency is leaving soon, and it also breaks my heart because the two girls this year were like our family. Like my sisters. In recent years a lot of my friends have left Cape Town, and in January so many more will be doing the same. I’m really hoping that Cape Town won’t be getting lonely in the years to come. It kinda makes me sad thinking about it. We really love it here.

And on a totally random note: Greg collected my matric certificate recently (and I finished school a good number of fingers ago). It came with a full recommendation letter too, which really got me thinking about things. Hopefully I’ll find time to share those thoughts with you too.

This seems to be one of those posts where your fingers just do all the typing, and next thing you know, there’s a page of writing you don’t quite remember putting together. But I think that’s ok too sometime.

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100 wise words.

Sometimes, you just need some wise words passed down to you from those more experienced in life and such. I stumbled across this list on Facebook, which is said to be the list compiled by a teacher of 100 of the wisest words. The truth is, I’m really not one for inspirational quotes. Those people on Twitter’s who’s entire timeline is a quote collection – need to be slapped in the face with a fish. But some of it just really spoke to me. It’s more just truth that “inspiring”. It’s those little things you think you know, but you forget when it counts. Some are more funny, some a little more serious but they are things we should all aspire to keep in our memory bank.

Go on, have a read and spread the wisdom.

1.There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs is not one of them.

2. Never cancel dinner plans by text message.

3. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

4. If a street performer makes you stop walking, you owe him a buck.

5. Always use ‘we’ when referring to your home team or your government.

6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.

7. Don’t underestimate free throws in a game of ‘horse’.

8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

9. Don’t dumb it down.

10. You only get one chance to notice a new haircut.

11. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack.

12. Never park in front of a bar.

13. Expect the seat in front of you to recline. Prepare accordingly.

14. Keep a picture of your first fish, first car, and first boy/girlfriend.

15. Hold your heroes to a high standard.

16. A suntan is earned, not bought.

17. Never lie to your doctor.

18. All guns are loaded.

19. Don’t mention sunburns. Believe me, they know.

20. The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if it’s only once.

21. Take a vacation of your cell phone, internet, and TV once a year.

22. Don’t fill up on bread, no matter how good.

23. A handshake beats an autograph.

24. Don’t linger in the doorway. In or out.

25. If you choose to go in drag, don’t sell yourself short.

26. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.

27. Never get your hair cut the day of a special event.

28. Be mindful of what comes between you and the Earth. Always buy good shoes, tires, and sheets.

29. Never eat lunch at your desk if you can avoid it.

30. When you’re with new friends, don’t just talk about old friends.

31. Eat lunch with the new kids.

32. When traveling, keep your wits about you.

33. It’s never too late for an apology.

34. Don’t pose with booze.

35. If you have the right of way, take it.

36. You don’t get to choose your own nickname.

37. When you marry someone, remember you marry their entire family.

38. Never push someone off a dock.

39. Under no circumstances should you ask a woman if she’s pregnant.

40. It’s not enough to be proud of your ancestry; live up to it.

41. Don’t make a scene.

42. When giving a thank you speech, short and sweet is best.

43. Know when to ignore the camera.

44. Never gloat.

45. Invest in good luggage.

46. Make time for your mom on your birthday. It’s her special day, too.

47. When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.

48. Sympathy is a crutch, never fake a limp.

49. Give credit. Take blame.

50. Suck it up every now and again.

51. Never be the last one in the pool.

52. Don’t stare.

53. Address everyone that carries a firearm professionally.

54. Stand up to bullies. You’ll only have to do it once.

55. If you’ve made your point, stop talking.

56. Admit it when you’re wrong.

57. If you offer to help don’t quit until the job is done.

58. Look people in the eye when you thank them.

59. Thank the bus driver.

60. Never answer the phone at the dinner table.

61. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.

62. Know at least one good joke.

63. Don’t boo. Even the ref is somebody’s son.

64. Know how to cook one good meal.

65. Learn to drive a stick shift.

66. Be cool to younger kids. Reputations are built over a lifetime.

67. It’s okay to go to the movies by yourself.

68. Dance with your mother/father.

69. Don’t lose your cool. Especially at work.

70. Always thank the host.

71. If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late.

72. Know the size of your boy/girlfriend’s clothes.

73. There is nothing wrong with a plain t-shirt.

74. Be a good listener. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk.

75. Keep your word.

76. In college, always sit in the front. You’ll stand out immediately.

77. Carry your mother’s bags. She carried you for nine months.

78. Be patient with airport security. They’re just doing their jobs.

79. Don’t be the talker in a movie.

80. The opposite sex likes people who shower.

81. You are what you do, not what you say.

82. Learn to change a tire.

83. Be kind. Everyone has a hard fight ahead of them.

84. An hour with grandparents is time well spent. Ask for advice when you need it.

85. Don’t litter.

86. If you have a sister, get to know her boyfriend. Your opinion is important.

87. You won’t always be the strongest or the fastest. But you can be the toughest.

88. Never call someone before 9am or after 9pm.

89. Buy the orange properties in Monopoly.

90. Make the little things count.

91. Always wear a bra at work.

92. There is a fine line between looking sultry and slutty. Find it.

93. You’re never too old to need your mom.

94. Ladies, if you make the decision to wear heels on the first date, commit to keeping them on and keeping your trap shut about how much your feet kill.

95. Know the words to your national anthem.

96. Your dance moves might not be the best, but I promise making a fool of yourself is more fun then sitting on the bench alone.

97. Smile at strangers.

98. Make goals.

99. Being old is not dictated by your bedtime.

100. If you have to fight, punch first and punch hard.

— one high school teacher’s list of 100 wisest word

Are there any up here that particularly resonate with you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on these or if you have any other wisdom you’d like to share.

My personal social media “stats”.

During University I got into this extra special course that would teach me coding and super web-skills (to go alongside my academic BA degree). In this one difficult programming section we had to make an infographic using South African household statistics. It was awful, and possibly the worst part of my entire 3 year degree. But it’s ok, because it opened my eye to the beauty of infographics which even today I kinda love.

Wwhen I first graduated I had this dream of making a super cool infographic styled CV, so I signed up for this website called visua.ly which can help you do that. I didn’t really like the automated infographics they provided (hence, my current CV is just a pdf) but I stumbled across them again today. It’s been a while.

I don’t usually like 3rd party apps logging into my social media profiles, especially my Facebook. But when a colleague sent this through to me, I really couldn’t stop myself from trying it out.

I thought it was pretty darn nifty. For all you twitter peeps, you can make your own little twitter character which they “accessorize” (I guess?) by your tweets!

I kinda made a “faceoff” between Greg and myself, because why the hell not? Notice how my lovely friend/colleague/desk-mate Darling Claire features between both of us? We laughed. Also, I really don’t understand this “gamer” profile. Or why Greg seems to be holding a basketball? Either way – fun to laugh and observe.

So if you want to be one of the cool kids you can make your own monster or twitter person on visual.ly.

When the mind is not at rest.

I had a really bad night’s sleep last night, and I haven’t been sleeping so great recently either. I’m really not sure why. I’ve also been waking up super early. I used to get heart failure when my alarm would go off at 7:40am, now I’m tossing and turning for an hour before at least. Sometimes even before Greg is awake, which can sometimes be as early as 6am. I’m not the person who ever has trouble falling asleep (I mean, Greg was laughing at me dozing over my book last night) and I’m not the person who can’t fall asleep because things are on my mind. But last night was just particularly disruptive. But these are a few things that I woke up thinking about:

  • The mess on my side of the bed has seriously piled up. Every time I woke up, tossing and turning, I told myself I can’t live like this and need to tidy up.
  • There was an sms I needed to send. So I’d periodically wake up reminding myself to do it. But who’s going to do that while they’re half asleep?
  • For some reason I woke up unsure what day it was. I was kind of hoping that it was actually Friday night/Saturday morning.
  • There’s an email in my inbox I need to reply to. I need to ask a question. It’s never nice when you’re not sure of the answer. Also, it will involve decisions. And I really don’t know what I’m meant to be doing.
  • My Murder Mystery birthday party. Greg seems to think it’s really simple, but somehow I’m the confused one. I guess that’s ok, because he’ll be running the night anyway.
  • I had a strange dream. I was in Israel. I was late. I was running around. And I was carrying food. It was one of those dreams that you almost didn’t remember, but something in the morning triggered the memory.
  • And on top of all that – there was general tossing and turning. And the fact that Greg was still in bed didn’t help either – I just knew again that it was way too early.

OK, maybe when it’s written down it’s not that much. But it’s more than enough to be on my mind through a night’s sleep. Can some of it go away now, please?

Greg is going with his family to see Rocky Horror tonight, so I get the night off to vegetate and do my own thing. To celebrate I’ve downloaded the rest of The Carrie Diaries which I never got to finish watching, and have also begun downloading the rest of Pretty Little Liars season 3. Sometimes I miss mindless vegetation, but seriously – who has time for that these day?

Either way: Here’s to a more restful night’s sleep.

A picture speaks a thousand words.

Isn’t it sad how these days, we walk around with our camera’s less, relying on our smartphones more, and being content with our memories living on our harddrives, cellphones or instagram. When did you last get some of your memories printed?

At the end of a long story, Greg and I had credit at a photo/camera store and decided it was time to use the opportunity to print some more pictures for our home. We received a massive frame for a collection of photos for our engagement, and I promise you we only filled it after our first anniversary. I bought Greg for his birthday last year, a beautiful frame with the word “memories” and space for 6 pictures. It’s sat on our wall unit for well over a year – empty.

One of my favourite wedding gifts were from a core group of university friends. It was a set of Live, Laugh, Love photo frames. I don’t care for all your haters of the sentiments, but my philosophy is you can never have enough photo-frames. Never have enough memories around your home. The greatest thing is that these girls actually filled the frames with pictures of us (Thank you Facebook, you make life so easy for people). We decided – enough – these photos need updating!

There's nothing quite like updating the photos in your home.

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It took us a year and a half to fill this frame!

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We looked so good at my friend's wedding, I bought a frame to especially house the pictures ❤

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I guess there’s something so special about a printed photograph. You get to see it all over your home, and relive memories more than just looking at them on your computer. It’s funny, our wedding photographer’s package came with 100 prints. We didn’t really want them but he said they cost him so little, we may as well get them. We’ve kept them in the beautiful red box we got them in, and I’m so glad we have them. We didn’t get a wedding photo album done (don’t worry, I will still one day) so I’m thankful we have these hard copies to page through.

I love photos and I love memories. Greg and I were expert photo-takers and self-timer evangelists in the years we dated. Things have toned down since then, but I think after our weekend in Hermanus, maybe we’ll start taking more pictures again. We got a photobook voucher for our anniversary from his parents, because they knew we didn’t have a wedding album. We decided to make a book of the years we dated, which I think was such a good choice. We like to laugh at how young we look.

Our photobook has FINALLY arrived!! 😀 cc. @the_GregGelb

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As much as the wedding is a pivotal and beautiful day in your lives, it really is just one day. For me, I like having a handful of wedding pictures up, but I also like celebrating the fun and memories we’ve had as a married couple. So I’m so happy that we printed so many more pictures.

The truth is, it gets expensive to print masses of pictures sometimes. For that reason I’ve been in the process of creating a yearly photobook (note how it’s August 2013, and I haven’t yet sent our 2012 book in for printing). I think it’s such a great way to keep memories off your harddrive and a great way to increase your chances of picking them up off your coffee table for a bit of a browse.

I guess we’re lucky for our credit note at this store and that they didn’t just give us our money back – otherwise we probably would never have updated the pictures in our home. Now we’re just running out of places to put the pictures 😉 I don’t know if this all made sense, but it just made me really happy to have updated our frames with beautiful pictures and the thought of memories and photobooks.

I hope this inspires you to get some photos off your harddrive and onto your walls.

A weekend by the sea would be a grand idea.

Going away for a weekend is really such a treat, a treat that unfortunately we haven’t been able to take advantage of in 1.5 years of marriage. You see, Shabbos just comes in too early on a Friday for us to get anywhere out of town to go away. Factor in Friday-post-work-traffic, needing to shower and setting up food on a hot-tray, and you’d understand why we haven’t been able to do this. Long weekends (that start on a Friday) are really such a blessing.

We weren’t going to go away at all over the Women’s Day weekend (right before my birthday) and a week or so after we decided not to – Greg drops the bomb that he’s found us a nice little place in Hermanus. It sounded perfect. Shabbos, sea, whale watching, bits of exploring – we’d actually never been away for Shabbos before, so that in and of itself was exciting. Imagine compulsory relaxing time by the sea?

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We left midday on Friday and arrived many hours later due to emergency roadworks. Either way we did some last minute shopping (like when you forget to bring bowls and spoons for your soup…) and a little exploring in the shops. There was the loveliest old school type bookshop. Tons of classics, tons of old books, so many bookshelf it seemed like a maze – I wish I’d taken photos, but I was a bit nervous of the little old man at the front desk. Eventually we got to our little rented apartment and it was so perfect. A great size for 2, sea facing, a braai and so tastefully decorated for a seaside home!

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We showered, the food was on the hot tray, we played rummikub and monopoly deal while we waited to eat dinner, we ate, I raved more about the wedding, we read (I finished The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, which is a seriously beautiful book. Again, my genre of “books that get made into movies”.) and eventually crashed while reading and went to bed at the grand hour of 10pm (I lie, it could have been earlier.)

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Shabbos morning was the greatest ever. We woke up late, we lay in bed reading and napping and playing more games. Greg even spotted some whales while I was reading in bed, calling out “show off for me, baby” while he watched through his binoculars. I couldn’t help but giggle at this boy. Before lunch we took a walk down to the sea. I think it was one of my highlights of this little weekend. It was a complete break from life and the world. It was completely secluded and there was no distraction of cellphones or social media. Not even the temptation, as it’s kind of what we do every Saturday. It was utterly relaxing. It’s what I’m sure most people want from a getaway break, and go to remote locations without signal. We didn’t even need to try for that. It was like a super shabbos on steroids. I wish that everyone could experience such a break to really take the time and connect.

We sat on the balcony watching the sunset as we waited for Shabbos to come out. We braaied (always a luxury when you live in a flat), switched between watching Come Dine With Me, George of the Jungle and Footloose before reading, and bedtime. In the morning I woke up while the sun was still busy rising, and because we were up on the third floor, and level with the horizon I could still kind of watch the beautiful colours of the sunrise. I snuck out for a photo in the cold, and then got back in to bed and continued to watch the sun rise and the day begin with Greg from our bed. What a seriously special moment.

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On our way home we stopped at a lookout point, overlooking the sea, high up from the rocks. We picked a bench, looked out to the sea, and took plenty selfies (“I love taking photos like this, it reminds me of back when we were dating.” – Greg. I think this means we need to do it more often, fun things shouldn’t stop just because you’re married.). And we chatted of course, before we headed home. It was such a refreshing weekend and just the greatest time to just reconnect and absolutely hang out with my +1. If you’d like to stay at this little apartment we stayed at (we were in a 1 bedroom, but the owner has plenty bigger options) please get in touch with me so I can put you in touch.

Weekends away like this are things I hope we will be taking much more advantage of in the coming years. We might not be able to afford a big overseas trip quite yet, but these little trips will do. And hey, I kinda like exploring my backyard.

Cape Town, you beauty.

And what a lucky girl to have a guy like this to share it with.

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Here is to many more times of fun, exploring, enjoying each other’s company, and photo’s to document it all.