Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thought of the day

I've been thinking today about why God would love us. Not just why he'd love the worst parts of me, but why he'd want to love us at all. I mean, who makes a bunch of people who don't give a crap about you, just to love them? I believe it, but it doesn't make much sense to me.

My friend Matthew jokingly said it's because God doesn't have anything better to do. Theologians would probably say it's because he created us, but that really doesn't answer much. And my mom would say I don't need to know why he loves, just that he does. (Gotta love those mom-answers!)

I kept mulling it over, and I think Matthew may just be right in a way about him having nothing better to do. Not that God is somehow divinely bored, but that this is actually the best thing he could have done. That, somehow, loving us, even when we hate him, seemed like a better option than forcing us, or not loving us at all.
Strange, isn't it?

Yeah, so that's what I've been thinking about. Somehow I don't mind that's it isn't resolved. We can't always aim for understanding everything.

Sidenote: With the busyness that is my life there isn't much time for upkeeping the blog as I had hoped when starting it. So, I'm just keeping it open and random, for anything I feel like saying. Please comment if you read this & want to tell me about it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Partying it up 50's style

As most girls I love a good dress up, so I jumped at the chance when invited to a 50's party last night. It was the annual meeting of our student newspaper (of which I am the new Arts & Entertainment editor, hurrah!). They went for a Mad Men inspired 50's newsroom theme and it turned out so well. 

Mignon (my favourite wingwoman and soon-to-be roomie) and I went all out in beehives and red lipstick. She wore a high-waisted skirt over a pretty lace top.  I was in a polka dot dress with a red belt. It was originally a hilarious looking pantsuit that I picked up for cheap cheap and altered into a dress. One of my favourite second-hand bargains I've had in ages.
Everybody looked so stylish- fedoras, pearls and paisley suspenders borrowed from grandpas. 
I wish we could dress like this every day!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The road calms me.

"Do you want to go home yet?" 
"I never want to go home yet."

I brought my car down to the university this term in the hope that it'll help me break out of a small-town life that's slowly becoming routine.
My friend Mignon and I took a long detour tonight, just because we can, and ended up snaking our way through the suburbs high above the city. In the spirit of whimsy, we took turns in choosing to go left or right and promised to only talk about things of no consequence.

I know we all have those amazing, big road trips in life and see amazing places, and I ppreciate it as much as the next travel-fanatic... but sometimes all you need to calm down and get perspective is a little a bit of road on the slope of a hill.

Wishing you something unexpected,

Monday, July 25, 2011


10 Lessons I Learnt the Hard Way

1. Never tell an interviewer you're not sure.
2. Never wear sandals on rainy days because you think you can defy the Weather Channel.
3. Never speed when trying to cross a border. Especially not when grumpy French people are involved.
4. Never talk about people in front of them because you assume they don't understand your language. 
5. Never skip washing day.
6. Never forget cake in the oven.
7. Never think you'll have infinite time.
8. Never bite your dentist back.
9. Never think 'that looks dodgy but I'll eat it anyway.'
10. Never forget to say goodbye.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Vovo Telo

I always look forward to meeting my friend Karin when I come home for the holidays, especially because she always takes me to the sweetest new coffee shops. Last week she took me to Vovo Telo, a great new bakery that just opened in Pretoria (with more branches in Port Elizabeth and Joburg).

There's good coffee, a variety of breads and cakes, and that great hot chocolate that comes on a stick.
The atmosphere is light and airy, which makes it perfect for breakfast or coffee.  
Go check out their adorable website for more.

Have a great week!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Brazil: the good stuff

During the first week of The Travel Project I've peeked into the facts and places of Brazil, but this is where is gets interesting. This is the stuff you remember later whenthink of "that one time in Brazil, when..."
Capoeira Practice on Dili Beach
The first time I really fell in love with Brazil was when we covered capoeira in anthropology at college. This is the most graceful and powerful sport I know, with an amazing mix of dance, acrobatics and martial arts. It started out as a way for slaves to train themselves, yet look like they're dancing, and has evolved into a wonderful discipline that brings communities together and keeps kids out of trouble. It's development was also closely linked to the creation of various Afro-Brazilian instruments and their usage, which is also fascinating.
Check out this stylised video and this more realistic vid to understand why capoeira is on my must-experience list for Brazil.
Passagem dos Gigantes pela Rua de São Bento

The biggest tourist draw and arguably the biggest event in Brazil is of course the carnival about a month before Easter. Although Rio and Sao Paulo have the most famous carnivals, the big and sparkly festival takes place all over Brazil and with variations across the country. Although this isn't the biggest pull for me, if you're going to go to Brazil, this is definitely something you can't miss. I'd probably stick to the sea-side carnivals, especially those with lots of audience-participation. And of course, the carnival is a great place to see and experience the iconically sexy samba

There is so, so much more to explore, and I feel like I barely even touched on Brazil this week. But, after all, this project is not about knowing everything- it's about exploring what's out there and being enchanted by possibilities.
Week 1 is over and I'm quite glad I'm doing this project, even if just for myself.

Have a great Sunday

photos by Timor-Leste at  UN Photo/Martine Perret and Prefeitura de Olinda

Friday, July 15, 2011

Beautiful illustrators

One of my favourite things about the internet is that it gives so many fantastic artists a chance to showcase their work. Among these are some great illustrators, whose work I would love to share with you. Due to copyright and such great things, I unfortunately can't actually post any of their drawings, but do yourself a favour and brows their galleries.

Sebastian Foster is simple but special gallery of artists and illustrators from around America and the world.  From Amanda Blake's whimsical paintings to Diana Sudyka's quirky animal prints, there are some real gems here. Also, I quite like Hollie Chastain's graphic design-like technique.

Krista Schneider's illustration portfolio is filled with simple but adorable drawings, from toasters to giraffes. Her black and white sketches would be an awesome alternative to the traditional colour-in books for kids. Which kid wouldn't rather want to colour in a penguin with earmuffs?

Lastly, Marc Johns is not only iconic, but simply hilarious. From pipe-smoking rabbits to radios with antlers, he's the king of quirkiness. Having coffee with him must be fantastic.

Go check it out!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Brazil: the places

What's this about? Find out more about the Travel Project first.
I understand how important the big cities and tourist attractions are when traveling. You can't go to Brazil without seeing Rio de Janeiro, with it's famous beaches and iconic landmarks, like the Cristo Redento sculpture and the Sugarloaf peak. I wouldn't miss out on the impressive architecture of the capital, Brazilia, or the buzz of São Paulo.

The highlights are great, but I'm just not that kind of traveler. If I went to Brazil (when I go to Brazil), I'd rather hide out on the luscious islands of  Fernando de Noronha, with it's stunning nature and little towns. I'd want to see the breath-taking Iguaza waterfalls and spend as much time as possible with the locals of the culturally rich Ouro Preto or the sleepy shore town of Paraty.
A week is clearly not enough to explore this fantastically vast and diverse country, and the internet certainly does it no justice. But, just looking into some of the amazing places Brazil offers, makes me itch to get on a plane. 
For some great line-ups of Brazil must-sees, check out the Brazil travel blog and the coolist.

Thanks to Bonoboi for a great account of Fernando de Noronha
photos by Monica Indelicato and

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DIY: Easy fabric flowers

When my friend Shirley recently asked me to fix up a canvas shopper for her, so I came up with these fabric flowers to make it a little more interesting. They're so simple and versatile, I made a headband and broach while I'm at it. Here's how...

All you need are some scraps of fabric, needle and thread and a nice button. Any fabric works, depending on the effect you want, but the shiny thin lining for the brown flower worked the best. I kept it simple here, but try mixing colours and prints.Cut out 5 circles the size you want your flower, and four slightly smaller ones.

Fold a big circle in four and sew the quarter on another big circle. Do this with the other three and then layer the smaller circles on top. Cover the stitches by sewing on the button. Don't finish off the stitching at the back just yet, but leave a long thread at the back.Use it to stich the flower onto whatever it is you're making pretty.
The flowers are great for a bunch of things, but instead of making ten different ones, here's a easy tip for making them more versatile: Glue or stich one side of a square of velcro onto the back of a flower. Then take the other side of the velcro and glue squares on hairbands, broaches or anything else you want. Now you can use the same flower for a bunch of different things without having to make five. Nice, huh?

It's that simple!
Now Shirley has a pretty new bag and I have a versatile little flower.
Isn't happiness simple when it's made of fabric? :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Brazil: the facts

Cristo Redentor (Christ Redeemer)
It's the start of my Travel Project and I'm excited to kick it off with Brazil. I'm starting the week with some basic facts everyone should know. You know, to look smart at dinner parties and general knowledge quizzes.

Firstly, Brazil is huge! With over 8 million km2,  it hogs most of South America and is the fifth largest state world wide. Maybe that's why it's cheeky enough to be the only Portuguese speaking country on the continent.? Or it could be the centuries of Portuguese colonialism.
Things have been rocky since independence almost 90 years ago, but now Brazil has their first female president (yay!) and reminds people of cocktails and bikinis, not military dictatorship.

Brazil is all about carnival, culture and a coast line that goes on forever. It has beaches, the Amazon and the second longest river in the world. Clearly a stunning place for nature lovers.
It's also a country struggling with deforestation, severe human trafficking and one of the most unequal economies in the world. This is definitely a great place to go with a volunteering agency and help out.

This was just the meet-and-greet, but tomorrow I'll start looking at the tourist-y part of this monster of a country.
Have you been to Brazil?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Oh, Hello world: new beginnings

I've been plotting this blog for a while now and I feel excited into my big toe that it's finally up and running. I've been in the blogosphere on and off for about 6 years and have been inspired so much lately that I'm giving personal blogs another shot. 

As you'll see in those nifty tabs up there, this blog is mainly about two things. It's my little contribution to the world of blogs that adore all things pretty and special in life (For more of these mystical blogs I speak of, check the bloglove tab). I'm planning to do some DIYs when I can and mix in some beautiful things I happen to come across. 

The big catalyst to start this is the Travel Project. I'm hoping that if I bring this personal challenge of mine online, it'll motivate me to stick with it. Also, sharing it with you all will hopefully teach me even more about our crazy world. 

The Travel Project starts this week with a peek into Brazil, a country high up in my Must See list for no particular reason other than seeming exotic. 
So, here goes this little adventure.
Stick with me, will you?