Tag Archives: life

Kids say the cutest things ever

Please read this post on cute things that kids say and then look at the comments as well. Below are some stand-out gems:

  • Setting the scene: peaceful Saturday morning. Cup of coffee, book, couch, blanket, fireplace, spouse taking care of the baby, bliss.

Suddenly the 4-year-old pipes up: “Mama. When are you and daddy going to die?”

  • I got in a 30 minute heated argument with my 4 year old once over who took care of her when I was a baby. (I had shown her a newborn picture of myself and it blew her mind to pieces.) She shrieked… “BUT MOM!!!!!! When you were a baby, and I was a baby, who was taking care of me??!! You couldn’t take care of me if you were a baby. Gasp! Oh no, was I all alone?” No matter how much I explained, the more upset she became. We finally settled on… Grandma. Grandma took care of all of us. And with that, the argument was over haha.
  • “Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.“
  • Sometimes I overhear a kid say something funny at a store and start laughing. And then one of my kids screams, ‘why are you laughing? Tell me Tell me!’ And then it gets awkward.
  • My son was at about 2 years old when he saw me coming out of the shower and said “mumma, I love your bajina.” I could not have laughed harder.
  • The other day, my 5-year-old daughter looked at me sweetly and said, “Mama, when you get old and die, can I have your phone?”

All this reminds me of a conversation with my 2.75 year old niece at the time who in a public bathroom asked me rather loudly whether I have a vagina and how I wanted to eat her up whole because I was not sure what would follow my answer! Urrrghs kids 🙂

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Values I admire in my Parents

old couple walking while holding hands

Photo by Noelle Otto on Pexels.com

Today, I want to focus on my parents and the values they have imparted in me that I admire and hope to replicate with my children.

  1. Their work ethic. My parents inspired my sisters and I to work hard, to be our best and not to be limited by gender, our circumstances or other life setbacks. They themselves came from such humble beginnings and accomplished so much that by their actions and choices, you were inspired to try your best.
  2. Their relationship with money. As far as I know, my parents never bought anything on credit. If they couldn’t save and get it, they did not get it. Also, to save all your money, save even if you have no immediate plans, just save.
  3. Family first. My sisters and I always knew (know) that we were important and that we mattered to them, that they gave us their best and withheld nothing from us. They loved and even, liked us, and we never doubted this. We are our parents best investment and choice and there is something comforting in that.
  4. I love that their parenting style did not require them to compare any of us. To them, we are unique, we are individuals and each success was celebrated on its own and each failure dealt with separately. As a result, all five of us are friends and continue to do the same thing with each other to date.
  5. Faith and the role of God. He is over and above all things, always has and always has been.
  6. Choice. Marry when you want, there is no pressure to marry or in fact conform because we are women. Study what you want at school – whether Physics or Home science. Learn how to slaughter a chicken or change a tyre, just because you are only girls, you still need to know.
  7. A love for books. Yes!!!

 

 

What Matters Most To Me

I recently went through an exercise to define my top values in life and it made me very reflective because values are something you never think of until someone crosses it then you realise, woah! something is off here.

  1. My faith in God is something that I feel very strongly about and hope that people realise when they meet me. It guides my decisions, my reactions and my feelings through life. I believe in One God, the Father the Almighty, One God in Three Persons, He died and rose again and will return. That God, even when things in life go against this thinking, my prayer is I stand in my belief in God.
  2. Family is very important to me. Loyalty to family, love for family. Enjoying your family. My sisters are truly God’s best gift to me and if we weren’t related, I would still want to know. My folks are the bomb.com. I always say that I would pay good money to live with them for a month some where. With the Mr, the idea is to make our home a home so we both have this enabling and loving environment where we both return to and just want to dwell in and enjoy each other. As you get older and refine your circle of friends, you ostensibly end up with friends that are like family and it is important to cherish those as well and invest in them. Friendship is important.
  3. Serving God and fellow man is another thing of importance to me. If I do not give back to those that are less fortunate, if I am not moved by the plight of those less fortunate than me, then what I have is not worth it. Serving in Church is an expression of my faith and that must be done but I also still delight in that.
  4. Working hard and being my best given my constraints is important. I love to set goals and work towards them and that feeling of meeting them and sometimes even exceeding expectations is so refreshing. I am not so concerned about being the first or the best, but being my best is good enough.
  5. How I work hard is by being resilient. I take stock of the failure or the setbacks and then moving forward. I care about meeting my goals and not giving up when things are tough or not going as well as I expected.
  6. Stability and Freedom that often comes from being educated or being financially stable. Also, from having family or friends do what they say they will, when they will do it. It helps clarify life and make things much simpler for you to really perform at that optimum level. As a worker, I also find that I like the autonomy to make my own decisions and work at my own pace as opposed to being micro-managed.
  7. Fun and Play because you need to refresh, slow down and enjoy the successes otherwise they are useful and you do not perform at your optimum. For me this looks like reading books, listening to music, hanging with friends and family, journaling, watching telly or traveling.

What are your top values? What defines you and makes you unique?

Work Advice I Live By

I just read this post and the comment and felt prompted  to respond with some of my own career advice.

woman in red dress using laptop on table

Photo by Ree on Pexels.com

  1. Think of your career as a jungle gym not a ladder and it’s OK to change your mind about your career path, your objective, it’s OK.
  2. Fake it till you make, most of us are.
  3. Find that thing that distinguishes you from everyone else on the team and perfect that.
  4. Show respect to everyone from the most junior to the most senior and do not compromise your personal beliefs for anyone.
  5. Demand respect from all the people you work with and it will follow.
  6. Identify the person at your level that the management loves and replicate what you can of this winning formula. Caution here though, you might not get the same feelings they do but it could help with your overall feedback and perception.
  7. Work is work, give it your best but don’t kill yourself for it. Unless you are self-employed, we are all replaceable.
  8. Listen to feedback and then decide what works best for you and work on improving that.
  9. Trust your instinct when it is time to move on.
  10. Go into each job with a specific goal or lesson that you would like to learn and then compare this with your specific career objectives or goals.
  11. Be the kind of senior that you wish you had at each stage of your career. Ths has meant extra work for me at times but is personally aligned to my core beliefs and so it’s also been a source of great joy.

Whatever you work at, work as unto the glory of God

What professional advice do you live by?

 

Book Review: Always Another Country – Sisonke Msimang

Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home by [Msimang, Sisonke]
 Buy here

I read this book over the December holidays and was sooo excited, I am not sure what happened and it’s almost four months later that I am here gushing about it. Urgggh!! Please see below my thoughts under the different themes, page numbers are provided in brackets for you to follow.

General

  •  This is a book for us women, refugees, blacks (6) and I totally totally agree.
  • I love that our time in Nairobi overlap – when she returns from Canada. I know all the landmarks she mentions of Nairobi. It felt so good to read a book about a place that I knew and know of so intimately. Double yay!!
  • I thought it was odd that she kept referring to her folks as Mummy and Baba??? So odd coz those are two different languages in my head and I would have gone with either Mummy and Daddy or Mama and Baba.
  • I wondered also why she protects the names of her own kids but not Simon’s eldest two. Not sure what that’s about is it maybe that they are adults and the other two are minors?
  • The things said to them about a male child being preferred to daughters. And how this is often blamed on the mother in a way that gives the husband carte blanche to stray in the name of looking for a son (pp 7 – 27). I know this reality all too well and all I think is Biology lessons are important for all.
  • It’s so subtle but her talking about not participating in the street games and fights as much as the local kids do coz it could turn on you:

“I had to choose how I would distinguish myself and I knew that it had to be safe.”(9)

  • The plight of house girls and domestic workers – all too relatable ( 50).
  • Having read Pumla’s Rape, it resonated with me how she spoke about the incident of being sexually attacked: her response and that of the adults around her (52 -55). Also, in the light of #MeToo, I thought it quite bold that she opened up about this incident.
  • The urgency for them to receive their citizenship. Yeah, I get that (67 – 68).
  • I remember the following events but was probably too young to consider their true impact on history: Chris Hani, Mandelas release, the IFP-sponsored murders and the election.

Growing up Foreign

  • Being called an African monkey. While that did not happen to me, I know about being called a refugee almost as though it was a dirty swear word.
  • And the rules that their mom had them follow because growing up in another country with parents working full time, there is not a big social infrastructure to support the parents. So rules are key or in young people speak, rules are bae.

“… the immigrant child knows that outside is one thing but home is another country.” (83)

“The immigrant child knows that the key to survival is in the inflection points. … The key to survival is in blending in first, in learning how to be just like else as a first step to freedom. You have to know how the inside works before you can stand outside and make everybody laugh.” (90)

“The immigrant child doesn’t make any noise. … She is preparing for the day when she will have mastered the art of being normal so that she can stand out.” (90)

Sisterhood

  • How she always talks of her sisters, so beautiful and in some way the story is as much about them as it is her. Yay sisterhood.

Race

  •  I understand when she talks of her discovery of her race in the States. The same thing happened to me in RSA.
  • Being foreign in South Africa has shown me that White ones are still preferred to Black ones. Sad but fact!

Moms: 

  • On discovering that your mom is not just a role – mom, wife, friend, daughter – but actually a woman with dreams, feelings and thoughts quite apart from me even. GASP, SHOCKING.
  • How their mom almost became like an older fourth sister but their dad remained a dad. I find this to be the truth with us too.

“To know your mother as an adult is to finally see that she has lived many more years as a woman than you have been alive. To be a grown woman who loves her mother is to understand that it is no easy thing to raise children so beautifully that they don’t worry about you until they are grown up and ready to carry the complex burden of that anxiety.” (304)

  • Class: I enjoyed reading about her relationship with her nanny especially when they were both pregnant. I thought it was the most honest tale by a middle class Black woman that I could totally relate to.

So please go out, buy the book read, it, share it and enjoy it.

Now, to make friends with her in real life?

Sunday Reads

Recipes

I Knew I was Married When …

  1. We unpacked our wedding gifts and as we reminisced about the little parts of the wedding.
  2. I went back to living with my sister and nephew and something was missing and I knew it was the Mr.
  3. My family would ask whether I had checked with the Mr before doing …
  4. His aunts would thank me for all sorts of things.
  5. His family would ask after me when he went for family stuff solo.
  6. It just made sense to clarify our plans before committing us socially.
  7. We hosted our first set of people at our first place.

Some days are better than others but most times I do feel married and I can’t even say what it is that makes it more than just when we were dating.

 

Three Recent Experiences

  1. I recently went to the Zeitz Mocaa and had my breath blown away, it’s a lovely experience and has quickly become one of the top things to do in Cape Town.IMG_9468
  2. A pal celebrated his birthday and we went to the Reverie Social Table. Had such a great time while there that I immediately begun to plan the return visit. Do check it out. Below was the first fish course. IMG_9502
  3. Went with the Mr for our first spa day and we enjoyed it so much, we promised ourselves to do it often enough. Afterwards, we had a nice health lunch.img_9511.jpg

 

Sunday Reads

 

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.

 

Books read: January – April

I happily enjoyed all of these books that I would happily recommend any of them.

Is goodbye possible if you have their number crammed?

lulu

When we first started dating, the Mr had this theory about how girls shed friends in their 20s. Shed. His word, not mine. And always, I would scoff at him and state how I am too loyal a friend to ever lose a friendship. See, I know of myself that I am a particularly loyal friend. Loyal to the point of abuse or pain.

As a result, I am fairly ready to make amends and walk a mile in someone else’s shoe, try and be there for them, and basically to be the type of pal that I would want to have and the type of friend that they also talk of wanting in their life. As a result, I often struggle with when to let go of a difficult/ trying/ unfulfilling relationship. To be honest, I always start with never, you can try a bit more, come on, give it another go.

However, I currently find myself  pondering over this issue with a friend that I have known for over 10 years. In truth, the struggle was to allow myself to walk away and I am now at that place.

The best part of this friendship has always been the fact that we are two peas in a pod, kindred spirits in a sense. She and I have the same outlook in life. She has that gentleness in her that I know I can trust and that she will never take advantage of me. Which I totally loved and will always cherish about her. Having said that there has always been this doubt of my motives, what I say or don’t say and this has been the undertone of our entire friendship and led to many instances of not talking to each other or a lot of misunderstandings/conflict. This has been tiring and taken an overall toll on the friendship particularly now that we live in different cities and often rely on texts and emails that often don’t generally convey true meaning.

Another element of a great friendship is that as both parties get older, there is natural room for both parties to grow, experiment and come to terms with themselves in the new phase and both parties have to allow for this to naturally play itself out. Friendship cannot be rigid or imposing or it naturally dies away. As we have gotten older, I have also struggled to embrace all her choices and some of the decisions she has made have made me quite uncomfortable and I am struggling to be the friend she needs in this phase of her life.

More than that however is the fact that our friendship is steeped in the past. We are not generating new memories, we are hanging onto old memories but none of us is invested in going forward. In fact, if we did not have friends in common, we wouldn’t really know what the other was doing or what they were up to. I honestly think ten years has been great but we truly don’t need each other that much any way and so although painful, its probably the right thing to do.

Making friends as an adult is tough

{sisters} #PardonMyFro #freelancer #digitalart #blackgirlmagic #illustration #afroart #naturalsisters:

This post on friendship has been doing the rounds which got me thinking about friendships in general. I love this quote:

What I’ve been telling my daughter is this: Yes, pray for and hope for new and closer friendships. That’s a good thing to want. But also don’t be so idealistic that you don’t see the opportunities for friendship right in front of you. The person in your life that you least expect might end up the answer to your prayer.

It looks like taking the initiative when we’d rather wait to be invited. It looks like pursuing that person already in our life instead of waiting for someone who might not exist. It looks like looking out for who might need a friend more than me. It looks like keeping healthy boundaries when we feel particularly vulnerable about all this (I’m looking at you, social media).

It looks like continually keeping our eyes peeled for someone who fits our bill, but it looks even more like keeping partial solutions at the forefront of our mind when we desire companionship.

In turn this got me thinking about my friendships and I would like to reflect on this over a couple of posts.

The Promises of God

Today is not an easy day, but I will choose to focus on the following truths about God:

  1. He is the Creator and Sustainor of Life. He made all things, visible and invisible for His pleasure.
  2. God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He will change His mind.
  3. Our greatest need is for salvation, and that He has already finalised on our behalf.

Yet, I will focus on God. Even today.

 

 

No. Not today. I just can’t.

Some days never make sense and the more we try and make sense of them, the harder the truth we face is.

Today is one of those days.

I can’t.

I find comfort in the following: God is our creator and the sustainor of all life and in him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). In the song “What I thought I Wanted” Sarah Groves talks of wanting to get to heaven so she could go and ask Job what he knew about faith and being able to remain focused on God through tough and trying times. Today, I wanna ask the same hard question. Thankfully, we worship a might God that we can directly approach with such questions.

 

Sunday Reads

  1. Quick lunch/snack recipe: Chickpea “tuna” salad 
  2. Cooking with lentils & beans
  3. Don’t really like vegetarian burgers but these lentil meatballs sure look yum!
  4. This article made me realise why people do not share the names of their babys before birth, but clearly once they are born, the name is not safe either!!
  5. Pics of the beautiful Cape Town.
  6. Beautiful pics of the Festima Festival in Burkina Faso.
  7. Some non-traditional baby gift ideas.
  8. Breaking up is hard. Breaking up in the day of Facebook, is something else altogether.(NY Times Article)
  9. A better way to think of your to-do list.
  10. Get Tested. Be Faithful. Remain Faithful. Otherwise, always use protection.
  11. On buying friendship in Japan. Read this and thanked God for my genuine (free) friendships.
  12. This lady did what I always say to my single pals about putting themselves out there in order to meet a guy!
  13. Sad that the recently legalised Marijuana business in the states has a colour preference.
  14. How do you feel about motherhood?

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Book Review: Happiness is a Four Letter Word v Men of the South

Following this summary of what is currently on my to-read bookshelf I have a couple of books that I would like to review.

Happiness is a Four Letter Word – Cynthia Jele

I loved this book, it deals with two things that I am particularly passionate about: Johannesburg and female relationships.

  • The book is what would happen if Sex and the City had been cast in a cosmopolitan African city. If you would love to see that, check out the YouTube series, An African City.
  • The themes are easily recognisable: love, family, beauty, work/ career advancement, marriage, female friendships.
  • The book is a really easy read, I started on Friday at 7 and finished the next day by 12.
  • Having said that, it is definitely a conversation starter and will have you thinking deeply about some of the issues dealt with for instance, what would I tell a dear friend that was cheating on her husband because she did not exactly marry him for love? Or a friend that rekindles communication with an old ex?
  • Only concern and I guess because of my personal views, I feel like the author portrays a very negative view of (Black) relationships and someone that is not acquainted with any Black people might take it as a given that this is how our love dynamics play out. Yes it’s a novel, but their portrayal is definitely very one-sided, what happened to “normal“?
  • Would I recommend it? Definitely yes!! I actually cannot wait for the author to release a second book.

Men of the South – Zukiswa Wanner

A bit of a preliminary disclaimer is that I read this book on the back of Happiness and the after-glow it gave me.

  • The book’s main theme is love and relationships (gender dynamics, hetero- or homosexuality, family and friendships) and it definitely deals with each of these in turn.
  • The book is set in Johannesburg and Cape Town, cities that I can safely say I am familiar with which makes the reading that bit enjoyable when I can understand the physical setting.
  • The book provides an entry point to have some difficult conversations for example, being a Black homosexual in a culture where one is expected to get a wife and settle down or what if I earn more than my husband and can take care of him, should he stay home while I work?
  • However, I think it attempted to do too much in a few pages and fell short. Hence, it was not as memorable as it could possibly be. I also felt that the first person reportage was not too helpful either.
  • Overall, the book was quite predictable and I would not recommend it unless you maybe had a few hours and did not want to be wowed but wanted to tick a book off your reading list.

Rachel’s Blue – Zakes Mda

I tried to read this book and failed to get into it despite trying. In light of my recent advice on how to read more books, I am giving up and will mark this is a non-read on my part. My biggest issue I suppose is that I love it when he writes about various aspects of South African people and the setting of this book was too different for me to adjust my expectations accordingly.

 

 

 

 

Each one help one

LiftEachotherUp_libbyvanderploeg.gif

Source

We all have those days when we need a little boost, each one help one!

Happy Human Rights Day South Africans.

Late Sunday Reads

  1. Google for kids? Kiddle
  2. Yummy tamarind chicken.
  3. Yummy Lemony Cream Cheese Pancakes with Blueberries.
  4. This colour thesaurus is so beautiful to behold.
  5. On how female friendships change with time.
  6. This is what it means to truly love someone. It’s a verb.
  7. Of the first AIDS patients and how most of them are now are in their late 60s and 70s.
  8. Oatmeal latte, anyone? REALLY not sure.
  9. Carrot cake for two?
  10. Welcome to poaching fruits.
  11. I happen to live with someone that could eat eggs for three main meals and as snacks in between. Here are some lovely dishes to try out.
  12. Sometimes our best motivation is external.

    Often, our best work happens when we’re in a situation we wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves. The hard part is choosing to be in that sort of situation in the first place, the uncomfortable one where we have no choice but to do better work.

  13. Which would you want in a job, freedom or responsibility?

    Freedom and responsibility aren’t given, they’re taken

  14. I have friends with whom I share goals.

    A common trait among successful people is that they have friends who expect them to move on up.

Sunday Reads

Afternoon me

Some lovely reads this week as you can see below.

  1. Goodbye Downton Abbey
  2. A Vietnamese coffee cake
  3. Cooking with cauliflower. Ten recipes.
  4. … specifically this cauliflower risotto. YUM!!
  5. Go big or go home in relation to Nigerian Weddings. Thank God we did not have that pressure way back when …
  6. Restoring the world’s oldest library.
  7. This broke my heart this week. Teenagers who kill in order to become famous or get a following. JUST SAD!!
  8. I am really keen for Fuller House. Nostalgia, much?
  9. Again, why women friendships are the bomb diggity!

Historically, friendships between women provided them with attention, affection and an outlet for intellectual or political exchange in eras when marriage, still chiefly a fiscal and social necessity, wasn’t an institution from which many could be sure of gleaning sexual or companionate pleasure.
For many women, friends are our primary partners through life; they are the ones who move us into new homes, out of bad relationships, through births and illnesses. Even for women who do marry, this is true at the beginning of our adult lives, and at the end — after divorce or the death of a spouse.

Enjoy and have a lovely Sunday.

xoxo