*Everything happens for a reason*

For the last few months our every movement has been dependent on whether or not Charlie would get into Clinical Psych Masters or not, and if so where!?

The whole process is a huge waiting game, from sending in your application, to waiting for a reply, to hopefully getting an interview, to then hopefully going on the so called interview and hopefully the next few after that, to even more hopefully getting in. It's been hurry up and wait for us since March. Something we thought we were adequately prepared for.

However when the clouds felt as though they were losing their silver lining, and phrases like "everything happens for a reason" became an every day occurrence, the few months we had previously made peace with, started looking like another full year (if not more) of playing the waiting game.

All things changed however, when Charlie went to interview with the last university he had received an invite too. 5 days of interviews, a roller coster of emotions and the happiest, proudest Charlie I had ever seen, he'd made it in to the top 12 Clinical Psych Masters class for 2013.

I can honestly say that it was truly one of the happiest days of my life. My fiance had achieved something he had been working towards his whole life. He was ecstatic, I was overjoyed. Life is perfect.

After a few days of floating on cloud nine, reality sinks in (in a good way) and Charlie and I had to start considering all the things we would have to sort out before starting the Uni year in January. Top of our list, me find job, us find new house, us get second car!

Well my big news is that as of last week I officially have a new job in Joburg, and in three weeks time we will be packing up our worldly possessions and heading to Gauteng! Charlie is on the hunt for a new apartment, whilst I finish up working at my current job! And a new car will hopefully be on the cards within the week.

If you told me even three weeks ago that we would be where we are now, I would never have believed you. Sometimes it really feels that life knows how to pack those punches. I've always thought I was a believer in "everything happens for a reason" but a few weeks ago I had really begun second guessing that little motto.

It's easy to say in hindsight, now that everything has worked out even better than we could have ever hoped for, but when I think back on little things that have occurred all year, that have ultimately lead us to where we are, I am more of a believer in that little saying than ever.

So if you're having a bit of a rough time at the moment- don't worry, EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.


The Wedding Expo!

Do you know what I love? Well among other things, weddings and expos, so imagine how absolutely excited I am about the upcomming wedding expo which will be held at the Coca-Cola Dome in Joburg this weekend the 25-26th of August. Tickets are R100 and can be bought online or at the gate.

A Wedding mood board with love*

The one key ingredient that I've really been missing during my wedding planning process is having my girlfriends close-by. With the closest ones more than a 2hour flight away, I've been missing them hugely! While phone calls and emails are great, they just can't compare to a face-to-face chat while enjoying a delicious cup of coffee!

One of my beautiful bridesmaids made and mailed this to me a few days ago and I just think it's the sweetest thing ever. Plus I absolutly adore ever single image she chose.

Thanks so much Lau, this means so much to me! xox

What a lucky fish! My Diana dream comes true

You know when your just having a royally poo day, where nothing seems to be going your way and you being to wonder why you bothered getting out of bed?! Well last week, that was me. On the brink of tears and feeling particularly sorry for myself I was trying to pull it together- when the postman knocked on the door.

Not accustomed to getting mail I flippantly flipped though the post to see who to give what to, when a little postage slip with my name on it caught my eye! Intrigued I looked a little closer to see if I could see any hint of who sent it, or where it came from.

My curiosity grew even more when I saw it came from a close friend in Korea. Not expecting anything from anyone, and desperately needing a short break, I quickly popped out of the office. And there I was greeted by a lovely brown box. I ripped the tape off the box only to uncover the most heart-felt and wonderful post-card with a Diana mini attached.

I can't even put into words how touched I was, and still am by the gift. Months ago, before I left Korea, this particular friend and I saw a Diana in the shop and I 'oohed' and 'aahed' over how much I wanted one, at the time Charlie and I were frantically saving every last penny before coming back to South Africa and I had to put my wish on hold. Even more sweet is that my friend had remembered that I love 'Hello Kitty' (I even have the cell-phone cover) and had bought me a 'Hello Kitty' themed Diana.

The package was so much more than a camera, it was all the thought and kindness that went into it. I'm so blessed to have so many thoughtful and wonderful friends.

Can't wait to get snapping!

Meghan & Namha's 'Save the Date'

Have you ever just met someone and known from the very second you first saw them that you were destined to be friends? Well thats how I felt when I met Megan for the first time about a year and a half ago in South Korea. We we're both teaching english at the time, and had both recently gotten engaged.

When I heard Megan and Namha had set the date I insisted I design their 'save the dates.' With Megan originally from America, and Namha's from South Korea I knew they wanted something that would incorporate both of their cultures.

Megan and Namha celebrated their wedding in Korea a few months ago, and are having a second reception for their American family and loved in the USA in a few days time.

I wish I could be there to celebrate with you two! I hope you have the most amazing day.

Above Megan and Namha are pictured wearing traditional korean clothing, called Hanboks

Tip: Post cards are a great idea for 'save the dates' and wedding invites, not only are they very in fashion, they also save a bunch on postage fees and envelopes.

Love Celebration: your personal wedding planner

With our wedding date and venue decided upon and secured, wedding planing and fantasising is in full swing!

But I must say, I feel a little like Alice, tumbling down and endless rabbit hole, as I slowly but surely discover how much thought and planning actually goes into a wedding. Not that I'm complaining, quite the contrary, I'm thoroughly enjoying every moment (well except for trying to fit our seemingly never ending growing guest list into the small and intimate idealised number of guests we had hoped for!)

Last week however my job was made incredibly easier when a surprise package was delivered to my door from Charlie Brown who had been away in Joburg for what felt like a never-ending seven days.

The package contained a "Love Celebration" wedding planning file, which offers an a-z on everything you may need advice on regarding the big day and more. It comes in a stunning ring-bound file, and can be purchased in either white or black (although the white is currently out of stock.)

With tons of additional downloadable's like scrap-booking templates, and the fact that its ring-bound so you can add whatever you want to it, I think it makes the perfect wedding planning guide, or an ideal present for any future bride.

You can purchase your own love celebration file by going to http://www.lovecelebration.co.za/

Making more time for me

Blogging is something I really enjoy, sometimes I wonder who exactly I think I'm writing to, but there is something about it that I just really take pleasure in. Since being back from korea, I haven't been blogging nearly as much as I had hoped, I picked it up again for a while, and then let it fall by the way-side again.

It's not that I go off of it, it just doesn't seem to make my 'things that have to be done list' and it feels like as soon as I've managed to to tick all the things off that have to to be done, it's time for bed or to add more things to the "have to do' list.

A few weeks ago I made the resolution that if I wasn't going to be able to find time to blog during the week, I would set aside some time on the weekend to make a few posts, I guess because more than anything else I blog for me. All reinvigorated by my new idea, I started to 'freshen' up my blog page, and added it to my new design website which you can go check out here. I cleaned up my pintrest boards to make them more user friendly for lovers of all this weddingy like me, and waited for the arrival of the weekend!

We'll it's been several weekends since then, and here I am. For the first time in ages putting aside a few minutes for me. I'm swamped with work at the moment (a good thing) and I wont have gotten round to writing any content to post during the week. But hey, at least I made the time to write this!

So hopefully sooner than later I'll be posting frequently again!

In the meantime, why not go visit my Pintrest boards!

Packaging for a bridesmaid's gift

I made sure that the name tag was easy to remove, so that they could use it as a book mark at a later stage.
What you'll need:
  • A ruler
  • Glue
  • A pencil
  • Scissors 
  • A printer
  • Pretty paper
  • Letter stickers
  • Little diamante
  • Ribbon
About 6 weeks ago I made a trip to Joburg to catch up with two of my closest Uni friends. The three of us haven’t all been together in over two years. So there was no doubt it was going to be a really special weekend.

Although it's literally months until our wedding, one of my two friends was vising SA from England, and not knowing when I would get to see her again I felt the time was right to pop the question  to her and my other friend simultaneously as we’ve been some-what of a terrible trio since fourth year.
So I did, on Saturday morning after the 3 of us had woken up and devoured a delicious breakfast that consisted of preserved figs and yummy Woollies croissants, I handed them each a little hand-made paper bag with a small gift inside (I’ve only gotten round to asking two of my bridesmaids so far, so I’m going to have to leave out what the gift is until I’ve asked everyone who needs to be asked.)
Surprised they asked what the gift was for, but I said nothing and waited for them to read the writing on the package.

I will treasure the smiles on their faces and the warmth of that moment for the rest of my life. Making the paper bags took hours, but made the whole thing that much more special.

Thanks so much Lau and Cath for saying yes! I’m so glad I’ll have the two of you (and a few other special girls) by my side on the most important day of my life.
  • I fond the butterfly stencil I used for the name tag here.
  • The name tag stencil here. (I had to manipulate the length and width a little in word, but it's easy enough to do)
  • And I can't remember where I fond the template to make the bag! But I found a similar template that you can use to make your own bag here.

    Let the wedding venue hunt begin!

    Well today I am overly excited to announce we will be going to do our first wedding venue scout-out! My-mom-in-law, Charlie and I are heading to two of the most popular wedding venues in PE, Lake De La Vie and The Plantation! I'm so excited I can hardly concentrate on anything!

    With our plans for next year all up in the air we haven't decided yet on which province we'll be getting married but we've narrowed it down to Port Elizabeth or Gauteng. So today I'm starting the PE hunt, and on Saturday I'll be exploring some of what Gauteng has to offer with my mom, dad and Charlie, starting with Oakfields (who coincidentally happen to be having a big bridal expo on this weekend too!) followed by The Moon and Sixpence.

    The Grahamstown National Arts Fest

    After attending fest I realised this is an old image and this year fest is 11 days of amazing!
    What are your plans for this weekend? Or the one after that for that matter? If you're anywhere near the Eastern Cape you've got to make your way down the the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. Great food, live music, ballets, stand-up comedy, exhibitions, street artists, markets, magic shows and so much more you will never be anywhere and have so much to do and see anywhere else.

    Pants on Fire is a comedy written and performed by Martin
    Evans and Rob Van Vuuren is a laugh a minute
     and a show I would definitely recommend!
     Image source.
    On Tuesday Charlie and I got together with a few mates and went and watched Pants on Fire at the little theatre in Port Elizabeth, and if that was anything to go by, fest is going to be just as awesome, if not even more so than usual!
     'Cause we're on house sitting duties this weekend and in Joburg next weekend, we'll only be able to make it to Grahamstown for one day- TOMORROW- but words can't explain how much I'm looking forward to a day trip with Charlie Brown, back to the place where it all began and I first got to meet my future husband! Grahamstown in my opinion has always been and will always be a magical place, but even more so during fest.

    Will you be heading to fest this year? What shows are you going to see? Charlie and I hope to squeeze in 5, but have pre-bought tickets for 3, Bridezilla!, Body Language and The Chilli Boy.

    The Festival runs from the 29th of June until the 8th of July. Info regarding the festival and shows can be found here.

    A Sixpence for your Shoe!

    I recently got the amazingly exciting news that I have the most incredible privilege of being a bridesmaids for one of my longest and closest friends.

    There is nothing quite like the warm and fuzzies one gets when you know you are that important to someone that they want you to be standing there next to them on potentially one of the biggest, if not the biggest days of their lives.

    I intend on being the best bridesmaid I can be and thought I'd start by conjuring up a list of things that could make any bride's day that much more special. Starting with a sixpence for her shoe. Apparently there's an extra part to the good ol' tradition something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and it should end with and a sixpence in her shoe!

    According to Mon Amour Boutique, "the silver Sixpence was minted for English Kings and Queens, and is said to bring the bride and groom good luck and prosperity to their marriage. Tucked in the brides left wedding shoe for the big day, the coin is meant to be kept as a keepsake and reminder of the day you were wed until it is passed on to your daughter for her wedding day!"

    For more info on this lovely little gift go here. A sixpence in her shoe cards come in a variety of colours and can be tailored to suit any bridal parties' colours. Please note all photos are taken from the Mon Amour Botique Etsy page.

    Adding a little extra sparkle to your wedding day!

    Mon Amour Boutique has these stickers in a variety of fonts and colours, but I love how the blue ticks something off of the Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue list :)
     If you have been anywhere near me in the last few weeks, you would know that I've caught a serious case of wedding fever. Even though Charlie Brown and I have been engaged for over two years now- we were basically in Korea for that whole time so we put plans on hold until we came back to SA.

    It all started with a wonderful engagement party held for us by my lovely mom and dad (but more about that in another post) anyway- that's where I caught the bug, and now I fear I may be contagious!

    The am overly excited as our wedding date has finally been provisionally decided, (it will be confirmed when we decide on the venue.)

    My pintrest wedding board is now in full bloom- you can go have a look at all the things I love here,
    and my bloglovin feed is bursting with blogs dedicated to wedding ideas. It was here that I stumbled upon this amazing etsy shop Mon Amour Boutique. I have fallen in love with their unique little "I do" and "Me too" stickers, and will definitely be getting some for our big day.

    I blame it all on Bobbi! My new love affair with Estee Lauder

    It's no secret, I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I love MAC, but there are a few products where I find MAC just doesn't cut it for me...and I've been forced to cheat on my one true love. One such product is Bobbi Brown's corrector, it's perfect for eradicating blemishes and dark circles under the eye, I came across it a few years ago in Korea, and have been swearing by it ever since.

    As Port Elizabeth doesn't have a Bobbi Brown stockist I was forced to wait until a recent trip to Joburg to buy a hit of my corrector crack. So imagine my disappointment when the sales woman at Bobbie Brown said "sorry we don't stock your colour (porcelain bisque) anywhere in South Africa". My face began to flush, my mouth became dry and all I could blurt out was "What now!"

    Ok, so I'm over dramatising the above a little, but luckily I had two of my besties by my side, one who is a loyal fan of Estee Lauder, who suggest we go have a look there, and grudgingly I agreed.

    Well am I glad I did. Nearly R1000 later and I'm a believer. (Ok, I know R1000 is a HEAP of cash, but make-up is the only thing I really love to splurge on and I know this stuff will all last about 3 months, so don't judge). I invested in three of their products, their lucidity translucent pressed powder, double wear stay-in-place flawless wear concealer and double wear maximum cover foundation. In foundation I'm using Very light, and in the powder and concealer I'm using light.

    When it comes to foundation it's really down to personal preference, I am lucky enough to have pretty good skin and have never really suffered from acne on my face, but I personally like to get as close to a flawless completion as possible. Please note here that flawless is my goal, not natural. If you want to look natural, maximum coverage is not for you! But if you want flawless this little baby is a gold mine!

    I use all three of the products simultaneously so I'm going to mark them as a team...and I'm giving them 10 out of 10.
    (Well for now anyway.) Time will tell if it darkens with age- the way that I feel Mac's Studio Fix foundation does after a month, leaving me with over half a bottle of foundation that no longer matches my skin tone. Or if it's concealer will provide the same long term cover for my freckles that I get from Bobbie's corrector. I am also a big fan of Bobbies shear finish pressed powder, as I really get good bang for my buck with how long it lasts, but I was swayed by an excellent and very helpful sales assistant at the Estee Lauder stand at Sandton Edgers who persuaded me to just go with the whole range- I'm a total sucker for all things matching.

    But for now, I am very impressed, I don't think I have ever been as happy with a foundation set as I am with this one. It gives me great coverage, lasts on my face for hours and doesn't leave my skin looking flaky, plus it seems to be a perfect colour match, which with my pale skin tone is rare!

    What foundation are you using? Are you in love? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


    Goals for 25

    Getting Mashi, one of the best things we achieved this year
     I've noticed a hot trend in the blogesphere is documenting goals you hope to achieve in your birthday year. And as my birthday falls so close to the middle of the year I think its an even more fantastic idea, I mean how are you supposed to achieve anything if you don't know what it is that you hope to achieve?

    Anyway, before I get to carried away with my new goals I thought I'd take a minute to reflect on my New Years Resolution goals progress...
    • Worry less in general!
      I can honestly say that I'm doing pretty well with this one. I mean don't get me wrong I'm still a total worry wart but I feel as though I'm constantly improving and getting better at this, and trust me the last few months have been trying.
    • Get a job that inspires me and encourages me to grow (I've felt a little stagnant here)
      I think (naively) I thought that I was going to come home (to South  Africa) and just somehow land a job. I didn't expect it to be the best job, I mean I was realistic about probably starting at the bottom of the bottom of the food chain for a next to nothing salary. But I wasn't expecting not to be able to find a job at all! In three months I literally found one job posting in the graphic design field and although I got called back for a second interview I didn't make the final cut. Anyway back to my goal progress, no I probably haven't found my dream job (I think it's to soon to tell), nor have I found a job in the field I thought I would be pursuing. But I have managed to find a 6month part time job and I am definitely inspired and challenged to grow. Everyday I learn something new and try my best to be the best I can be.
    • Blog more and get more followers
      Grrr, this goal is NOT going very well, in fact if anything I have blogged less. But being so preoccupied with everything else in my life has made me realise just how much I miss it! So hopefully I'll be pulling my socks up and getting my act together!
    • Give Charlie more hugs and kisses ( he's so wonderful and I never want him to forget how much he means to me)
      I could never ever possibly let him know how much he means to me, but it is something I work on everyday.
    • Take time to appreciate life
      Hmmm, I've had a few down in the dumps moments this year, but I think I've been pretty good at pulling myself up and focusing on all that is good.
    • Always place travel as a priority in life
      Having visited Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong so far this year, I'm going to give myself a big tick for this one.
    • Spend as much time with family as possible (spending two years away from them was two years to many)
      No amount of time is enough time- but I have managed to get some really good-quality family time in this year! And hopefully will continue to do so!
    • Take more photos!
      I think this is something that needs more work...
    • Be less hard on myself and more confident in all regards
      This is something I'm working on, but is easier said than done
    • Be more healthy
      I'm not going to lie, I think I've dropped the ball on this one...
    • Get a pet, a puppy hopefully, we want a little french bulldog desperately
      Done, done and DONE. We didn't get a frenchie, but we did get a Boston Terrier- who we are totally in love with. In my opinion getting him was the best decision we've made this year so far. He's just completely changed our lives for the better.
    • Floss more, its definitely something I have to work on
      This is a work in progress, but I'm doing a lot better!
    • Be as happy as possible because I really believe that you are in charge of your own happiness
      I think this is important, and something I don't always remember.

      I think my goals for 25 include all the above mentioned, except getting a puppy as we already have one. But I want to add that I would like to spend more time on me and taking time to work out where I want to go in life, while learning to appreciate where I am right now. Oh and starting to plan my wedding! But more on that later!!!

    Turning 25: my quarter life crisis!

    On the 28th of May I turned 25. twenty five. OMG TWENTY FIVE! I would be lying if I were to tell you it was a birthday I was looking forward to. In no uncertain terms it was not. In reality is there any difference between being 24 and 364 days old and being 25. I mean there shouldn't be, but I just wasn't ready to face that quarter-of-a-century milestone.

    I saw the above picture on Facebook the other day and it just resonated so loudly with me. Having always been such an organised and planned person, I have to wonder how exactly I got to the point where I am now (which if you're wondering, is desperately just trying to stay afloat.) I guess I just thought I'd have more life answers, you know?!

    Anyway, the point is that I don't. I don't have all the answers I thought I would. I don't know where I'm going to be living in 6 months time, and I don't know where I'll be working, or what I'll be doing. I don't know if Charlie will have been accepted into masters, or where he will be accepted if he does get in. And all these big unknowns make me panic.

    But I feel life is trying to teach me a lesson, and that lesson is to be patient. There is a plan in place, I just don't know what it is yet, and maybe while I'm waiting for all of my questions to be answered (and don't worry I realise that all of lifes questions will never all be answered). I should focus on the ones that already are. Like knowing I have an amazing fiance, that I have a lovely place to live, the cutest little puppy ever and family and friends who love me.

    I think that the thing to realise is that no-one has all the answers, and no-ones life is perfect, but the key to being happy about where you are in life is about trying to focus on all the positives and good, even though that's often easier said than done. So if I have one goal for my year of being 25, it's going to be to be patient and focus on the good.

    Transforming our house into a home

    The last month or so has been predominantly occupied by two things, transforming our little cottage into a home, and finding a job. Although I have not had much success in regards to the latter, the transformation of the cottage is well on its way. And I can't wait to show you!
    How cool are these Roses? They are real, but have gone through some kind of chemical treatment so they last for at least 6months as long as you DON'T water them. They set me back R35 a stem, but I recon that's well worth it when you consider how much 'real' roses cost and they fact that they only last a week if you're lucky. I bought these from a woman based in Port Elizabeth, you can email her at elsavanwyk@telkomsa.net
    The vase is from Mr. Price home and cost R130 if I remember correctly.

    I have to say the thing I splurged most on was cushions. If you stepped into Hullabaloo in Port Elizabeth, you'd understand why. Hullabaloo has got to be my favorite shop at the moment, the staff are so helpful, the product quality is fantastic and there's a little something to suit everyone's taste. 
    This pot/ urn is another little treasure I found at Hallabaloo, it's an early birthday pressie from my soon-to-be mother-in-law, and I'm totally in love with it. 

    The canvas is from @home, and is hand painted. It's especially close to my heart as it was an engagement gift to Charlie Brown and I from his mom and dad. <3
    So that's all for now, what do you think?

    Our little bundle of joy!

    Finally Charlie Brown and I have found our feet back on South African ground, and not a moment to soon if you ask me! As Dorothy once said "there's no place like home," and boy was she right!

    The last two weeks have been a whirl wind of seeing much missed friends and family and getting a few of our chickens in a row, so expect a lot of new posts coming your way!

    Since returning one of the most exciting things I have to report on is the arrival of our new puppy! His name is Mushita, he's 7weeks old, and he's a Boston Terrier. He is just the most adorable lively little chap and I can't imagine our lives without him in it! I really couldn't be happier, new cottage, new puppy, new beginnings, 2012 is turning into an amazing year!

    The secret behind the Sock Bun! *Loving it*

    Because procrastination is what I do best, I found myself browsing around Pinterest this morning, and stumbled across the most ingenious idea ever! Now I warn you, I may be a little late coming to the party here, but how cool is this Secret Sock Bun mission it seems every one has gone on without me!

    Not only does it create the perfect bun! But if you dampen your hair before you put it in the bun, and sleep on it, you will awake with luscious locks! Brilliant I tell you.

    Check out these two links for the low-down on the how-to. And let me know what you think! I'll definitely be trying this out in the next few days, and will let you know how it goes. Till then, happy secret socking!

    Click here to find out how to make a sock bun, and here to find out how to create luscious locks with a sock bun!

    Celebrating Valentines Day with a movie :)

    I really consider myself one of the lucky ones when it comes to love, which is why doing next to nothing last night was perfect.

    Charlie Brown and I snuggled in for the night, indulged on some junk food (which in itself was a big treat as we're trying to drop some pounds before heading back to South Africa) and watched an old school romance staring a much younger Sandra Bullock, called While You Were Sleeping.

    If you're looking for a feel-good movie make sure to watch this, it definitely has my stamp of approval.

    Don't worry, be happy!

    I am such a stress pot at the moment, between packing up and moving countries, to planning an engagement party, to wrapping up a job, to looking for a new job, all the while planning a holiday. My life is in total chaos. But I haven't forgotten about you, and as soon as life calms down I will write more frequently. Promise.

    In the meantime, I leave you with this, a friend of mine posted it on Facebook, and as I'm probably not the happiest person to be around at the moment, it made me think about what's important.

    So on that note i'll bid you farewell for today at least! Happy Monday

    Should I take my Point and Shoot or DSLR on holiday?

    Going on holiday, something I simply cannot live without is a Camera. But this holiday I found myself in a difficult position, having to chose which of my two loves I would take with me, my Canon S95 Point and Shoot or my Canon D600 DSLR.

    To be honest I hadn't really given it much thought, as I felt the Point and Shoot was the obvious option. Not only is my DSLR a lot bigger than my point and shoot, but it's also a lot more expensive especially with a lens attached. So expensive in fact, that it cost more than our whole holiday combined. I knew losing it, or more likely it being stolen, would ruin my holiday and I just didn't want to take the risk.

    Enter Mike, my photography teacher, who almost fell of off his chair when I told him I wasn't going to take my DSLR. "Why not!?" He exclaimed in confusion. And pointed out the fact that I bought the camera to take awesome pictures with, so why would I not take it with me going on an awesome overseas adventure, where there would surely be countless awesome photo opportunities?

    Lets face it, he made a pretty valid point, so I took it with me instead of the Point and Shoot.

    The Bottom Line

    DSLR's and Point and Shoots serve very different functions in my opinions, I mean obviously they both take photographs, but it's likely with the proper lens and maybe a flash the DSLR is going to take substantially better photo's. That being said a point and shoot is a lot more practical and easy to carry around.

    I don't for a second regret taking my DSLR, it was so much fun to experiment with and take some great quality photos, but I definitely missed the convenience of my point and shoot, especially when I wasn't in the safest of areas.

    For me, the next time I go on holiday the choice will be obvious, I'll take both. Like Mike said, "Why have a camera if you're to afraid to use it," but there were times that I just wanted to take a quick snap of something and almost couldn't be bothered to take my big DSLR out of the bag, put the strap around my neck, take the lens cap off, turn the screen around, turn the camera on and adjust the settings.

    So there you have it, my two cents, TAKE BOTH!

    I'm Back!!!

    Source: Unknown
    After a much needed and well deserved holiday I'm back in South Korea after my 2 week get-away with Charlie Brown to Singapore and Malaysia!

    The holiday was great and it was so amazing getting to reconnect with Charlie Brown. You can expect lots of pictures and details coming your way soon!

    Source: Unknown
    Unfortunately, no rest for the wicked, as I only have a month left of my two year contract in Korea, it's time to start packing, say hard goodbyes, get all my ducks in order, and prepare for the year that lies ahead.

    Exciting times:)

    A travel tip or two

    I have done my fair share of traveling in the last 2 years, specifically around South East Asia and thought I'd share some of the things I find helpful.

    Secret Money-belt
    Image source: unknown
    Now I know the very mention of the word money-belt has most of your cringing. But the secret money belt really is my top tip. I bought one in the airport on my first trip out of Korea, and have stuck with it ever since. If your not staying in the classiest of establishments and worry about your money and passports safety, this is a great buy. Take a little money out each day for your daily spending and place the rest of it in the money belt along with your passport or credit card. Put the belt inside your pants/skirt/shorts so that no one but you even know's it's. That way, even if  you are mugged or your bag is unfortunately stolen, your important documentation  and majority of money is safe inside your pants:P

    Roll your clothes
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    That's right ladies and gents rolling your clothes tightly instead of folding them not only lessens the chance of wrinkles but it also saves a lot of space. Try it out, you'll see.

    Cash passport or global ATM card
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    If you're like me and don't own a credit card things can get a little tricky! I find travelers checks are such a burden these days, especially when going to more rural destinations, changing them can be a pain in the bum. But at the same time as saying that, who wants the responsibility of all that cash! What Charlie and I like to do is split the spending money carrying some of it in cash and the rest of it in a cash passport or global ATM card. If you are currently living in Korea KEB bank offers a great global ATM card that works at any ATM that sports a 'Plus' logo. * Cash passports are not available to foreigners living in Korea.

    Take some over-the-counter medicine with you
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    Take a basic medicine with you, traveling in South East Asia your risk of getting an upset tummy, or headache from the heat is likely.  We once got caught without pain killers in America, and had to pay a hefty doctors bill just so that he could prescribe some.

    Take a towel
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    Having been used to traveling with my parents and staying in "fancier" joints, it never occurred to me that in a less fancy place I might need to take my own bath/beach towel, so that's just a heads up.

    Pack sensibly
    If you're traveling in South East Asia, (well traveling like me on a budget), it's really not a fashion show, take some slops/thongs and maybe a pair of trainers. But seriously- you don't need those stilettos! Most of the time it's pretty humid so take light and comfy clothing and a few beach wear items.

    The less you take, the less you risk losing
    Traveling has its risks, and maybe I'm a little overly cautions, but I try to avoid taking any unnecessary special/ expensive items. If you want to accessorize take some costume jewelry that you don't mind losing to much. Or take items that you will ware every day. Don't take expensive/lavish jewelry changes.

    Leave space in that bag
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    It's easily to cheaply shop up a storm in South East Asia, so make sure you haven't reached that 20 kilogram luggage limit before you've even left your house.

    Think safe
    Send a family member/ close friend your travel schedule, including flight details, hotels, dates and a copy of your passport. So that if anything happens someone will be able to help, or at least know where you are.

    Carry a bottle of water
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    Hot weather conditions and site seeing will often leave you thirsty. Make sure to carry arround a bottle of water, not only will it keep you hydrated but it will save you money not having to buy a drink every time you're a little thirsty.

    Happy Traveling

    A well deserved winter break!

    While the rest of the world seems to be settling down into the new work year, most foreign teachers in Korea are getting ready for their winter break. Charlie Brown and I are no exception to this and will be taking flight this Saturday! 18 days of bliss await us and I really can't wait!

    First stop, Singapore, followed by some Malaysia exploration, we'll be heading to Penang, Langkawi and of course Kuala Lumpur.

    Excluding the traveling in-between destinations, we're trying to spend roughly four days in each spot. Four days is not a lot of time in one place, and I don't want to miss out on anything important, which means I've spent days searching the internet for must do activities and must see destinations. Keep and eye out for some of my findings!

    25 ingenious little ideas

    Source: unknown
    I came across this awesome post on The Daily Buzz today, and as I'm a firm believer that caring is sharing I couldn't help myself!

    If your interested in helpful tips to uncomplicate the little things, go here!

    Scavenger hunt fun

    Looking for a fun activity for your kids or students? Well look no further! Scavenger hunts are so much fun to participate in and cost barely anything to put together.

    You can create a specific theme or just combine a bunch of random activities.
    • Build a snow man and take a picture
    • Hit a ping pong ball with a bat 20 times without dropping the ball ( if you drop the ball start again)
    • Take a photo of you and an animal
    • Find Bella and Edward ( I made this scavenger hunt for my students and one of the english books in their classroom is Twilight)
    • Sing a whole Karaoke song
    • Build a house of cards
    • Move 3 ping pong balls from one table to another using only a straw
    • Build a tower out of paper cups
    • Design an outfit using only newspaper and scotch tape
    • Read a sentence or paragraph backwards (depending on students age or english capabilities.
    • Blow a bubble with Chewing gum
    • Balance a ball on your head for 20 seconds
    • Drink 5 cups of water in 30 seconds
    • Count to ten in another language
    • Paint a team mates face with face paint
    • Skip on the spot for 1minute
    There are just a few fun ideas, I placed colourful envelopes all arround the school with clues and instructions for the next task. Inside each envelope were numbered stickers. Students had to complete the task and collect the stickers in the correct number order.

    Happy Hunting

    Gel vs. liquid eyeliner

    The two contenders come head to head! 
    On the left, always bold in black, MAC's eye-liner gel competing with the ever sleek, MAC's liquid eyeliner on the right.

    Eye-liner gel
    Don't be mislead, this little pot packs a mighty punch and definitely provides bang for your buck as it lasts forever!

    In my opinion it's much easier to apply than the liquid liner. It allows a greater margin for error when applying and provides more control than one might get from the liquid gel brush.

    Over-all I find the gel provides a slightly softer look than the liquid liner.

    Liquid Eye Liner
    Bolder than then gel liner, liquid liner definitely makes a strong sleek statement. Perfect for nights on the prowl or achieving a clean cat eye.

    It's slightly more difficult to master applying, and hard to correct if you make a mistake. However,
    one of the great benefits of the liquid eye liner is that you don't have to buy (and carry around) a special brush just to apply it.

    Another perk of this magic little product is that I find it lasts much longer on your face and is a lot less likely to smudge than the gel liner.

    The winner
    It's hard to say and I honestly can't chose, I own them both and use them both as regularly as each other. I tend to go with the gel liner when I'm going to work, want a softer look and need something I can apply with ease in a rush (which I often am in the morning). That being said the liquid liner is the first thing I reach for when going on a date, or to a club to party it up with my friends, I like knowing a little perspiration isn't going to send it smudging all over the place and I like the solid sharp line it creates. So I guess the winner depends on what you're looking for from an eye liner.

    Holga camera giveaway from Here Comes the Sun

    Why not try start your year on a winning note by entering this awesome Holga camera and film giveaway from Here Comes the Sun.

    Entering is easy, so click on the above links to find out how!

    My new years resolutions!

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    I'm always reluctant to make new years resolutions, I absolutely loath starting something and not finishing it, or not doing something I set out to do. That being said I think setting goals is really important in order to be successful in life. I like goals, I'm just not sure on setting goals just because it's New Years (mainly because I always set silly goals and never achieve them).

    2012 is going to be a huge year of change for me, well we, Charlie and I. I'm leaving the comfort and safety of a well paying and easy job in Korea, moving back to South Africa to look for my first "real" job (I mean I guess that's not fair, teaching in Korea was a real job, its just that its not what I want to do with the rest of my life, so I'm going to rephrase that as look for my first career job, doing what I studied to do, well hopefully!) We're going from living independently to staying in the cottage on Charlie Brown's parents land which they have generously lent us until we find our feet. Staying in a new town I've never lived in before. Charlie applying to masters. I just feel that everything is up in the air and there is very little certainty. I'm totally excited about our new adventures and new challenges but at the same time if I'm honest with you and myself, I'm pretty adverse to change.

    Anyway, with all this change floating around here's my list:

    • Worry less in general!
    • Get a job that inspires me and encourages me to grow (I've felt a little stagnant here)
    • Blog more and get more followers
    • Give Charlie more hugs and kisses ( he's so wonderful and I never want him to forget how much he means to me)
    • Take time to appreciate life
    • Alway place travel as a priority in life
    • Spend as much time with family as possible (spending two years away from them was two years to many)
    • Take more photos! 
    • Be less hard on myself and more confident in all regards
    • Be more healthy
    • Get a pet, a puppy hopefully, we want a little french bulldog desperately
    • Floss more, its definitely something I have to work on
    • Be as happy as possible because I really believe that you are in charge of your own happiness
    I can tell 2012 is going to be a special year, I've always been lucky and with my awesome support system by my side I know everything and anything is possible.

    Care to share your goals for 2012?