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Happy Anniversary /Ode to Marriage

Today marks our third-year anniversary and I am not sure what it is about marriage that makes each year feel tougher and harder than the previous one yet the returns are just as fulfilling. I love being married and I love my husband and even after all these years together (nine this year) I am still remarkably happy that we are together. He is certainly my person.

What have I learnt so far?

  • Communication, yes, it’s great and truly the key. Half of communication however is being mindful of how you deliver the message. It is possible through how and when you say something to break the other person or get a response that you were not prepared for. True Story.
  • Regarding in-laws, that can be managed. There is a happy coexistence that you can attain. A fine line between respect for them and firm boundaries for your relationship. Also, one of the ladies that spoke to me before I got married reminded me that I can never be the best daughter in law and so I should not work on that but focus on being respectful.
  • Marriage is better when you have a crowd with whom you experience it together. This calls to mind mentors, other happily married couples of all ages and even people that are dating and hoping to also settle down. Being surrounded by happy couples in different seasons of life keeps you connected and encouraged to strive more within your marriage.
  • The move to the Mother City was also beneficial because it helped us build a firm foundation for this new phase of our relationship and to help the “crowd” around us begin to see us as a unit and to respect that.
  • Though we had known each other since our early twenties, we only got married in our late twenties and in the last three years we have spent a lot of time integrating our single lives into our new entity. In true us style, this has involved a lot of “business” meetings to plan, dream, forecast and review our future plan. Although we are closer now than when we started we are still not done. Urggh.
  • My husband is my best male friend and probably someone outside of my family that knows me best BUT having said that, I still believe it is important to keep other friendships going strong in your lives and to continue to meet new people and maintain old friendships. This is important because of the “crowd” I spoke of earlier but also the fact that when we interact with other people it draws out another side of you and also allows you to miss your partner that you look forward to seeing them.

Having said all the above, it is a fact that marriage is work. You only reap what you put in. Also, that both of you must work on it or the other party eventually gets worn out and might lash out. Each year has brought us something additional to work through / focus on and that has been interesting and kept us both connected.

What will I work on this year?

Firstly, on the words I use. I know that as a wife, I can either build him up / tear him down and I have to be very careful not to do the latter. Secondly, in the Love Dare  the authors speak of  guarding one self against spending time in your mate’s depreciation room. This is basically the place where we keep stock of all of his bad traits and all those things you do not like about him. I also have a depreciation room that he could dwell on but that won’t take us anywhere if we both fixate on it. Lastly, to work on making more couple friends and hanging out with those we currently have.

In closing, one piece of advice we received that I always remember is that marriage is what you make of it. Just as no two marriages are the same, you can get out of yours the things that you want and that works for the two of you despite what other people out there might feel/ have to say.

So here’s to many more and loads of love.

 

A Relationship I Still Love

All of this week I am thinking a lot about relationships and one long-term one that I have is with my dreadlocks.

After seven and a half years, I really really still love my hair. It is now waist-length and just as exciting as when it was first locked. After all these years, I still get excited at having my hair washed, twisted and then styled. Before that I delight myself by looking at pictures online and choosing an appropriate style and then looking forward to the big reveal at the salon. When I see someone with dreadlocks that either have a style I would like, that are dyed beautifully, longer and sometimes even shorter than mine but just look so good, I get the worst dread envy.

And all of the above is how I know that I made the best move and I still don’t regret it. Nah, nope, I am still good. CONFESSION: Come Summer, I do want to trim them slightly shorter, just an itsy bitsy bit.

In the meantime, below are some styles I am looking forward to in the next couple of months.

Loc updo and custom color by Shawn Lamar Daniels, Atlanta Ga

For a wedding or special date night

The Beauty Of Natural Hair Board

I love the braid at the front, it elevates an otherwise boring style

I love the take on the traditional morehawk – but a part of me keeps thinking of the weight on your head.

Sunday Reads

 

Concluding Thoughts from the Book of James

It is quite funny how we can pick to do something and then later find that God had actually purposed for us to learn from that experience. Well, I picked James as I had just finished doing John and wanted something light for the BSF break. How very wrong I was as James turned out to be the very thing I needed to continue with the lessons learnt from the Book of John.

What character traits of God did I see?

  • God as sovereign, ordering all my plans and in control of my future.
  • God as Judge. Reading James 5, I learnt that the coming of Christ is imminent and that in all my plans I have to remember the eternal plan for mankind’s salvation.
  • God as transformer who is able to change me from my fallen self through to the daughter that He would have me become.

What actions/thoughts do I need to stop?

How has the study encouraged me?

  • I was encouraged by the fact that by abiding in Christ and remaining in His words and teachings, I will grow.  This was brought out through the likening of God’s word to a mirror. (James 1: 22 – 25)

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

So be encouraged!!

Dear Future Daughter

I generally hate letters written to future whatevers but today being Women’s Day in South Africa and because I just watched an advert of ladies giving advice to a younger self, I thought I would give it a try.

  1. Stand tall and work on fostering positive self (body) image. There is so much advise to women today about how they ought to look/ weigh/ what they need to do and this piles on the pressure. Filter out all of these and work with your body type, your likes and bring out the best in yourself.
  2. Work hard at school. Push yourself  extremely hard and do not dim your light so any guy around you can feel better about himself. Keep learning and challenging yourself to greater and better heights.
  3. Surround yourself with female friends that push you to your best and that you can do life with. Female  friends rock! FACT. We are not all in competition with each other (female) and do not all like to gossip and bring down a fellow sister. Work on being a good  friend.
  4. What makes you tick and brings out your inner feminine self? Don’t worry it varies from one lady to the next, find what works for you and foster that. If you wanna be like mummy, I love to read and to get my hair done.
  5. Work on your relationship with God. That’s the most important  and constant relationship you will ever have.

Overall, be confident. There is nothing as attractive as a woman who is confident in her skin and who draws out the best in the different people she encounters in her day to day life.

All the best!!

Sunday Reads

Source

Hosting Long-Term Guests?

This blog has slowly become a firm favourite. I thought this was a whimsical post but it definitely gave me ideas of how to prepare our guest room when we have visitors.

What do I currently do?

Growing up, my mom always made us pack a towel a face cloth and other personal items we might require when we go visiting. I have slowly learnt that not everyone packs these so I  have since had to include guest towels when I prepare the room.

I also ensure the guests have a set of keys and boy does knowing that there is extra toilet paper help a tonne.

I also stock the house with food and then on the second or third night when the guests arrive, I take them along to the shops so they can shop for food and personal effects that they might need that I do no have in the house – it certainly helps guests to feel at home. This and knowing where the breakfast cereals, tea and coffee is in the house.

From this post, I have since learnt to include the following items for that home away from home feel.

  1. A luggage rack, I read this and the simplicity but indulgence of it made me happy.
  2. A mirror so that guests can prep themselves once they get up.
  3. A box of tissues.
  4. Clearing out shelf and hanging space and providing a few hangers for use
  5. Stocking up the sugar bowl – I don’t add sugar to my tea/coffee so it’s an

    issue to remember that other do.

    How do you prepare yourself to host guests?

    The Double-speak we give children

    Source

    i’m just incredibly tired of this rhetoric where apparently we have to be super gentle and coddle white children through the shock of realizing they aren’t actually better than everybody else, there’s just been an imbalance in their favor throughout history; that we should be understanding of how hard it is to accept that they may not have earned everything they have

    and yet nobody gives a thought to how painful it must be for children of color to be taught that they have to be on guard against prejudice or violence at all times, that sometimes people will treat them badly for no reason and there’s nothing they can do about it

    no, no, that’s just the facts of life. just standard growing up stuff. being conditioned to handle constant dehumanization is not as hard to cope with as maybe not being as good at life as you thought you were.

     

    Belated Sunday Reads

    We mentally compress our networks when we are harassed, bullied or being threatened by job loss. We close ourselves off, isolating ourselves, creating a huge blind spot where we can’t see our resources, allies and opportunities.

    10 things that make me smile

    1. Discovering a lovely brand of tea.
    2. Sleeping in on a Saturday morning during the BSF break.
    3. A wonderful chat with my sisters and friends.
    4. I read my first Bessie Head (Maru) this week and it was lovely.
    5. Successfully parallel (flash) parking in one attempt.
    6. Trying a recipe and immediately knowing you will do it again.
    7. Enjoying Season 7 of My Kitchen Rules.
    8. Seeing my nephew and niece as they start to interact as siblings.
    9. Really enjoying the study of James. Quite challenging but very interesting.
    10. Discovering a great podcast and then going back to download all 80 episodes Smile 

    Four African Cities

     Of all of them, I would probably only want to visit Luanda and hopefully at someone else’s cost!

    Sunday Reads

    Recipes

     

     

    Some more about me ..

    What’s on your nightstand?

    My bible, two or three books I am currently reading, a bottle of perfume, two birthday cards from family, a coaster (for my nightly cuppa tea), some paperwork I need to file.

    What is an ideal day?

    Predictable i.e it goes according to plan with nothing unexpected.

    What trait do you deplore in other people?

    Dishonesty, lack of conviction.

    What trait do you most admire in other people?

    Honesty, loyalty and ambition/drive.

    What is your greatest extravagance?

    Books, tea and stationary.

    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

    Hopelessness and having nothing to look forward to.

    Who’s your favorite hero of fiction or movies?

    Moses from the books by Barbara Kimenye

    Mountain or beach vacation?

    City, but if I had to strictly choose, then beach.

    What do you most dislike about your appearance?

    My buck teeth.

     

    Sunday Reads

    Source

    Recipes

    Sunday Reads

    17 strategies for the workplace
    The place of the woman in the church: two similar views. One and Two
    Pics of Ethiopia

    Sunday Reads

    other Power plant
    I am in my favourite city, Joburg so enjoy …
    How can we change this? We can start, says Dr. David, by letting boys experience their emotions, all of them, without judgment — or by offering them solutions. This means helping them learn the crucial lessons that “Emotions aren’t good or bad” and that “their emotions aren’t bigger than they are. They aren’t something to fear. (NYT)
    Recipes:

    If this was three years from now ..

    So this is almost 9 years later (where did time go?) and I am happy to say it did get better. I know who the “he” was in this case and I got over all of this. I got over this bump and met someone new with whom it was safe to open my heart to and develop in that safe relationship.

    So yes, it does get better.

    first hand accounts of a former homebody

    The funny thing with being in love or in like with someone is the fact that it is so easy to colour a bad picture and paint it all kinds of lovely. It’s also amazing how time can dull or blunt any memories – with time, it all fades. As the scales drop from mine eyes, I realize now that I’m seeing better.

    Those were all signs and if I had looked more keenly, those were all decision points, forks in the road if you may that I once again chose to ignore. The things I told you in confidence and you later told others, these I thought were all nothing but in truth they were not.

    I feel like I managed to exist a certain way, mingling with many people but somehow detached and letting no one fully in just letting some feel like they were at the doorstep. I think I’m morbidly…

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    An area of growth

    Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3 

    If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. James 1:26

    With those close to me, I love to talk. But equally, I tend to say things that are undesirable or hurtful and so my desire and prayer is that I would learn to restrain my tongue, being slow to speak and anger and quick to listen (James 1:19) starting today and always by God’s strength.

    Courtesy of this journaling prompt.

    Sunday Reads

    Source

    Recipes

    Sunday Reads

    Recipes