A short life update on little things that don’t get their own blogpost

Phew. Where has the time gone? Can it really be almost the end of December already?

I’d like to say life has been all sorts of busy, but it hasn’t really, and I think it just hasn’t left me with as much time to blog as I’d like. My lunch break just doesn’t seem to be long enough to get anything done, resulting in tons of half-written blog posts sitting in my drafts waiting to be finished and hopefully one day published.

Work really has been busy though. For the last week or so I don’t think I’ve stopped much between 8 and 5 (except to eat, because eating is important.) Actually, last Friday was so busy I didn’t have a moment to think about food. We’ve got campaigns starting left-right-and-centre. and while I’m not sure who usually does that so close to the end of the year, well, actually, clearly I do know. So work has really been busy, busy, busy – and I’ve only been here 2 months! Don’t know what I’d do without my team though. My parents said to me I’m so lucky to always have such nice colleagues in the work place, and they’re really right.

So I haven’t even had a chance to upload anything since my weekly photo update of my 365 project. It’s going pretty well, and I’m kind of proud of it. I’ve been connecting with a whole lot of women all over the internet who cover their hair, it’s really quite something. You don’t realise how quickly communities can form. The designer on our team actually came to chat to me about my project, and gave me some advice – which was really nice and appreciated. So I think I’m going to try out some of what she suggested 🙂 I just don’t want it to be the focus of my little blog, so I need to be a little more proactive on the writing part. Don’t want to be losing followers or anything.

Last night we went to see an 80’s tribute show with my parents. It was really fun. Another thing I plan on writing an actual blog post about. I hope it happens (and that I actually remember the songs so I can tell you!)

I’ve also come up with a blog idea that I plan on doing with my best friend. I’ve set it up, but that’s just about all there is right now. I’m really hoping to get it up in the next week or so (providing I find time). I think it’ll be such a fun project to work on together considering we live in separate cities 🙂

In more exciting news: we’re going on holiday next week! Isn’t it strange how you wait an entire year for a short 1 week break? We’ll be going to Knsyna along the Garden Route. We did go there last year, but it was lots of beach time and exploring. This time we’re doing our research a bit better and actually going to look in advance for some of the cool things to do. Don’t worry, it’s in one of those blog posts in my drafts folder. It’ll get out eventually.

(See, I just had to take a break now for work.)

In other exciting news (my not-so-exciting life is coming across as a lot more exciting than I expected), I won a Yuppiechef voucher from taking part in their Simple Summer Cookathon. You can read the winner roundup here (see, they loved Greg’s star shaped watermelon. I knew it was worth it). Guys, I really didn’t think we’d win anything. After the week we had, leaving out an ingredient, and throwing a date night instead of a dinner party, I was super happy to receive a R500 voucher for my favourite online store.

That’s all the news I really have. Well, for now anyway 🙂

Oh, the neighbours. A story about apartment living.

Living in a flat feels similar to living in dorms. There’s an interesting bunch residing with us in the heart of Sea Point (the predominantly Jewish part, I might add), and it seems to be popular with older residents.

Let me tell you some stories about our neighbours, and you’ll easily understand why I sometimes refer to our flat as a dorm for old people.

Margaret and Dorothy

*not their real names:

Let me set the scene for you. Our floor consists of 1 corridor, and 4 apartments. 2 on each end, and 2 in the middle. We live in the middle. Margaret and Dorothy live on either end. Behold some snippets overheard while they communicate with each other while walking up and down the corridor. You’ll soon understand why I make dorm/old age home references.

“Marge – marge – would you like some tea, Marge?” (while walking down the corridor)

“Marge – I have your shoes” – lady, why do you have her shoes in your flat?!

“Marge, do you have a phonebook? I seem to have lost mine.” – see, who uses phone books?!

Dorothy: “Marge, can you smell that? Someone is baking.”

Marge: “Mmmm, yes, it smells like bread.”

“Dorothy: “Really? I thought it was cookies. Where do you think it’s coming from?”

Marge: *points to our flat* I think it’s her. She’s a good cook. Very domesticated. The Jewish women HAVE to be.”

I kid you not.

Clearly, Dorothy is the culprit. Truth is, we don’t even know her real name! Funnily we needed toothpicks last night (I was stuffing chicken for the first time an needed some help), and our friend in the block wasn’t home, so Greg kindly went over to Marge to ask if we could borrow some.

“The Deaf Neighbours”

These two kill me. They live directly below us and are clearly incredibly hard of hearing. How do we know? Well, you’d make an informed guess too if you could hear their TV playing through your floor. Their hearing is so poor that they obviously watch TV at an incredibly loud volume. I remember when we first moved in, late one night, I could clearly hear Celine Dion through the floor, and who can forget Who Wants to Be a Millionaire at 7:30 every evening (and we don’t have a TV to even know this).

Did I ever tell you about the night of the opening of the London Olympics? It was a Friday night, and we were having a quiet Shabbos dinner just the two of us. After eating, ready for an early night we eagerly hopped into bed. But our neighbours had other plans. They were watching the Olympic opening, clearly at top volume. There was no way we’d fall asleep, it was as if we were watching it ourselves in our own room!

So Greg went downstairs to knock on their door. He was down for about 5 minutes before coming back up. They didn’t answer. They obviously couldn’t hear him. Because I asked so kindly, he went down to try again. BANG, BANG, BANG. Goodness, could hear him banging from upstairs! Still nothing. We gave up, somehow fell asleep, and on our way to shul the next morning we hid their doormat around the corner. Because we felt we had to do something.

Though none of our friends approved of us dropping pamphlets for hearing aides in their postboxes. Oh well.

They drive us a little crazy, but we still love it here 🙂

Relationships: It’s not all “what you see is what you get”

Yesterday Greg and I took some time to celebrate his post exam freedom and just reconnect. It was a much needed experience that required some selfies:

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Post exams Vida break 🙂

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Post exam drinking party!

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I was particularly intrigued by the amount of social media “traction” these pictures were getting. So many likes, from so many of our friends.

But no-one knows what really happened that day. How I had such an awful day. How we fought. Had a long crying conversation together. How I expressed my concerns that we’d become boring, and a little bit distant. How I was super vulnerable and weepy and the tears just wouldn’t stop streaming down my face, even once our discussion had concluded. (And listen, I’m really not “that” type of girl)

Because we don’t air our dirty laundry. Nobody knows these things. Our Social Media profiles are like our personal little “highlights” real. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I like to remember the good times and memories. Selfies are for the smiley moments, not the mopey ones. While a difficult discussion and a bit of a cry might shape me into thinking of something differently, I don’t need to remember the sadness.

It just got me thinking, and I found it very interesting regarding what we choose to show the world. I know I do it. I love posting happy pictures of Greg and I. Certain things are for Facebook, some for twitter, some for instagram, some for the blog, and some for a combination of the above. I’ve also come across so many articles in magazines about Social Media envy. You’ve never thought that there could be such a thing? Those feelings when you see someone just got engaged/married/had a baby/bought a house/got a new job? We all see these things.

But you just don’t know, do you. I guess you need to give people the benefit of the doubt. Everybody has their own struggles, and I know that if (as the old saying goes) we all threw them into a pile, and saw the problems of others – we’d very promptly pick our own ones back up, and be very thankful for them.

Some ladies bloggers on twitter the other day hosted #nofilterday and encouraged people to share pictures of themselves first thing in the morning before their coffee, without make up, or that pile of dishes that got left in the sink, the mess in their homes. A reminder that we’re not all perfect, despite what is “perceived” online (and sometimes even in person).

Greg and I are fun people individually, and also as a couple. We like to do fun things and take pictures while we’re out, as little reminders to ourselves. Even in person we are light-hearted, laugh at one another and joke around. But it’s not always like that. Our relationship isn’t perfect. It’s just that you don’t need to parade these things into internet-universe. It’s not about being “fake” or about censoring our lives (and relationship), it’s just that some things are personal and we like to keep them private.

We’re incredibly happy and in love and all that jazz. But we’re also real, we also fight, we also argue, we also cry. Sometimes we’re mean, we make sure to apologise, to acknowledge when we’re wrong and when to listen. And sometimes we get all of that really wrong. We’re not perfect, but I like us a lot.

Instagram Update

I justify my use of instagram by saying that one day I plan on actually printing them. It’s great that there are some really great and affordable services that actually print these little square vintage images. I also get a lot of comments from people (in real life) about how they know so much about my life because I’m always putting pictures online. I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. If it counts, not all pictures go on all my social media platforms. There’s actually a thought process as to what goes on where. So if you’re friends with me on Facebook, chances are you haven’t seen most of these. Twitter on the other hand – sorry guys.

My baby

This is my new baby. My deep freeze. I love her dearly, but she’s giving us a bit of problems. Making a noise and all that. So we’re trying to work out what to do with her.

 

Yuppiechef, I love you.

I randomly won a free voucher on twitter from Yuppiechef. I was super amped (obviously) and quickly snapped up this cookie cutter set I’ve wanted for a while. I’m a big Yuppiechef fan, I bought the most incredible salt & pepper shakers with a wedding voucher, and it’s still a conversation starter. Especially love the personalised card – coincidence with the magic reference?

 

Homemade hummus for the win.

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Fresh, homemade hummus.

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That is all.

 

I want presents too.

Greg’s brother has just gone on holiday to visit their cousins and travel and stuff, so we couldn’t not send gifts for the kids. 4 of them, 2 boys, 2 girls – all with very different interests. It was really fun shopping for them.

 

Now you see me

I have never been a girly girl, but recently I’ve started liking eye-shadow. I’d be lying if I told you I actually know how to apply it properly, but I just mess around for now. One day, I want to be able to do an uber sultry smokey eye. Send tutorials this way please.

 

I’m famous! (joking, not joking)

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I'm famous! Thanks @CosmopolitanSA 😉

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Greg buys me Cosmo magazine every month, and in the most recent issue – they published a tweet of mine! They edited it (I mean, who tweets like that?) but that’s ok. It was just a whole lot of articles about changing jobs and stuff which really put my mind at ease about this switch.

 

Wallpaper, wallpaper.

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I just love this wallpaper at work.

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So in love with this wallpaper on a wall nearby me at work. What’s not to love?

 

Mini artist

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My dad found some of my old artwork.

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My dad was clearly cleaning up old stuff at the house last night and sent me this picture I sent my mom. It’s pretty sweet. Until I saw at the bottom “from the werst person.” Shame, I wonder what I did.

 

Mini-me/Lee

Another beauty my dad sent me. I think I need to trawl my parents house and find old hilarious photos of myself. And now that our printer is also a scanner… Oh Lee-Ann, stop while you’re ahead.

Thanks for spotting by, guys 🙂 Feel free to follow me on my instagram too: @leelipman89 (I promise it’s not all food)

Some “late night” blogging.

I don’t know when I became the person who is happily in bed at 9pm.

(Side note: I wrote this up last night, but wordpress was giving me probems. I decided to keep it all in the tense it was written in just to keep the “authenticity” of it. I dunno, I just needed to write stuff down on digital “paper”. So read away – and remember, this was written Monday night)

I’m feeling very tired today, and I didn’t really do all that much. Last week I decided I need to get myself back into gear with this whole gymming thing, I feel like I’ve really let myself go with this lack of exercise (I actually cannot spell that word, I have to use spellcheck every time) thing. So my mornings are starting earlier than ever before, I never even got up this early to go to school.

And after getting into a routine I need to rework it, because I started a new job today. I start a little earlier which means I need to leave the gym a little earlier too. It was only the first day, but I am exhausted. It’s a little hard from knowing exactly what you’re meant to be doing day in, day out, to not really having a clue, and having a lot to read and research before you can prove yourself as functional. I didn’t even do much, but the amount of information you have to take in, and all the adjustments that need to take place – I guess they really can take their toll.

And here I am typing at 9:30pm on a Monday evening.

In other news, I’m kind of living the single life at the moment while Greg is focusing on exams. Not in the lonely way, but more in a this-is-rather-empowering kind of way. Like on Sunday I went shopping at Mr Price alone for a full hour. I tried on too many things. Went to the changing rooms a handful of times and walked the aisles more times than I have fingers and toes combined. I was in no rush. (Shame, that’s not to say Greg rushes me, he’s ever so patient. Sometimes it’s just nice to do things alone, and I don’t remember when I did it last. I usually prefer to do things in Greg’s company).

My new found singledom has also freed up some time to catch up on series. I’ve given up on half the shows I used to watch while at university. I mostly just watch shows with Greg, which includes Survivor, Masterchef and a handful of comedies. I don’t really watch my own stuff anymore as I just don’t have time (or spend free time checking twitter. Ironic for a community manager, no?). So recently I downloaded a missing season of Pretty Little Liars. I forgot how much I absolutely love this show. I’ve spent many hours in bed, with hot soup, just devouring the episodes. I guess it’s a nice change. Though I’m starting to feel guilty I haven’t read a book in a while…

Now I’m back in the present present, at 8:20 on a Monday morning. At my new desk, at my new job. Let’s do another day.

Everyone goes through awkward life phases, right?

I find myself strangely in one of those awkward-life-phases. It’s not quite the everyone-is-getting-engaged/married/having babies phase, because it’s a) not new new anymore b) I’m genuinely happy when people reach this phase of their lives and c) I guess I was one of the first few to start hitting these milestones. So what is this strange life-phase I’m finding myself in? It’s that all my close friends are leaving Cape Town. It feels like everyone is moving on – except us (or well, me).

Which i kind of ironic. I’ve graduated from University with a degree. I’ve gotten a boyfriend, dated, gotten engaged and subsequently married (I mean, we’re about to hit the 2 year mark early next year!). We both have good jobs and are in a good place financially. These are things that our friends are going and moving in the hope of achieving. We already have all of these, so why do I feel like I’m getting left behind?

People leaving isn’t new though. As religious Jews, many leave the beautiful Cape Town shores for Johannesburg, either for work, the bigger Jewish community or the potential of finding someone to marry. I’m lucky my friends all studied in Cape Town so for those years I had plenty friends to see and socialise with at all times. It was after graduating that people started leaving. Obviously I’ve been ok with it, and happy for my friends. Who is unhappy for a friend when they’re moving on in their lives to greater and more exciting things? I just feel it’s starting to catch up with me, and it’s starting to feel a little lonely.

I find myself in a very lucky position that I see most of my friends on a weekly basis. I think that’s the nice thing about being “frum” (read: a religious Jew). You see a lot of your friends at shul on Shabbos. People come to our community, we go to other parts of Cape Town so we really get to see people. I must say that the added bonus of no internet technology or smartphones over this time really deepens the quality of those hours you spend together with friends. It forces catching up face-to-face, bonding over meals (Jews and food, naturally), and encourages social activities like walks on the beach and playing board games. I’ve made some really special friends over the years.

I think it’s come to the point where I’m on my last handful of close friends, and they’ll be moving at the end of this year too. I’m so lucky I have Greg, it’s true, I’ll be in good company for the rest of my life, sure I know that. But it doesn’t replace girl time, or having a nice big social group to hang out with. Greg and I can’t just be “the two of us” all the time.

Every year the Jewish Agency and other organisations send Israeli’s down for the year, in different capacities. In the last couple of years they’ve sent a set of girls down to work for our youth movement. Greg and I live a stone-throw away from their house, and have become incredibly close with them each year. One of this year’s girls left a few months ago, and the other is leaving on Monday. It’s terribly heartbreaking this whole making-friends-for-a-year-and-then-saying goodbye. It’s almost starting to get old, and emotionally exhausting. These friendships are very different because they’re not based on school, university or work. They really reach so deep. The girls for this year (Israeli’s work on a northern hemisphere “year” ie September – June) have just arrived. They are incredibly sweet, and I know we’ll become great friends. It’s just hard. Greg and I already feel guilty, like we’re “replacing” the girls from years before. Is that weird? Probably. I guess I know I’ll have 2 new friends, at least for another year (until the age-gap grows so big and I’m practically a “mom” in their eyes. Oy. Too soon)

I don’t know where this will leave us in a few years time. Will people move to Cape Town? Will we suddenly make a large new group of friends? Will we suddenly make a whole new crowd of “parent” friends when we one day have kids? Are we just getting old? What on earth is happening here (I’m not even 25?! Is this a quarter life crisis?!). I really don’t know. For now, I’m just so unready to leave Cape Town. I honestly love it here.

Oh life, you funny bugger, you.

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.