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Packing and Travelling Tips

I love to explore. Always when I drive in my car and see the glimmer of the sun on an airplane in the sky, I wonder where they are headed and itch to go along! But traveling can bring its own set of frustrations! I dread having to live out of a suitcase. I hate searching for things in my handbag, while the rest of the items I’m trying to carry falls to the floor. But to give up on traveling is not an option, so I have written down the little things I do to make it more convenient and fun!
 
  1. Take a handbag which you can sling around you, so you don’t have to carry that as well. Buy strong, see-through bags to categorize your handbag. Monetary, medical, vanity 🙂
  2. You will only really need your driver’s license and your credit card. There is no need to take the rest of your cards along.
  3. Keep passports and airfare tickets separate, as you will need them often and you won’t want to dig for them in your handbag.
  4. Print a map, you will need an internet connection for electronic maps, and that might be a challenge in remote areas or when data roaming is off.
  5. Choose accommodation with Wifi, especially when traveling abroad.
  6. Never travel on unfamiliar roads in the dark…..
  7. Always try to find a local brew of beer or coffee. Or maybe a soft drink unique to your destination! I remember in Malawi we had Sobo Cherry Plum and in Germany, Johannisbeer, which is made from a Johannisbeeren berries!
  8. Stay hydrated. Small sips. Public loo’s are the enemy.
  9. Try to take travel size amounts of everything – Label them!
  10. Pack only two pairs of shoes if possible.
  11. Unpack immediately after arriving at your destination and put the bags out of sight. I HATE tripping over shoes and bags when I travel. I HATE IT!
  12. Pack random things for your toddlers to play with. Do not forget their toys there, like I tend to do! Jurgen’s Lego truck that I forgot at a guest house last year will forever haunt me.  Pack healthy snacks. When they see an M sign, they are somehow instantly hungry.
  13. Stick to their routine, it really makes them feel secure after an over-stimulating day and being in different surroundings.
  14. Tidy your house before leaving. It makes all the difference to arrive at a tidy home after a long trip. Home sweet home…
  15. Unpack immediately after arriving back home. Yes, you will probably be tired, but it will be more annoying when you want to take a shower and dry your hair, with nothing back in its place!!!
  16. I have found that if you pack everything in categories, it takes just about 5 minutes to unpack at home. I take a big plastic bag along for the dirty laundry. Then all the messiness is contained and your suitcases aren’t cluttered.
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All You Need to Know About Lash Extensions

Referred to as semi-permanent eyelash extensions, they are glued one by one to each natural lash and should stick around for the remainder of the lash’s life cycle until it falls out naturally. That is if they are maintained and taken care of.

lash extensions

Take your pick

You can choose the thickness, length, curve, and density of your lashes. Most salons will be able to offer the following options.

 

Length

Anything from 5mm to 15mm. I find 11mm to be the sweet spot, but it all depends on the shape of your face, brows, and eyes.

Density

Usually, they range from Classic 1:1 or from 2D to 6D, which refers to the volume of the lashes achieved by applying more extensions to each natural lash. Lighter lashes are then used to avoid heaviness.

Curl / Curve

 

Prepare

Arrive for your appointment without any makeup. The technician will clean your eyes, but it is good to be sure that all mascara is completely out of the way and won’t land in our eye during the procedure.

If your eyes are irritated for any reason, whether it be from crying, a cold or hay fever, rather move your booking along. If your eyes tear during the procedure, the lashes will fall off right away.

The technician will be placing a patch between your eyelids to separate the bottom and top lashes. It will touch your eyeball. Just so you know!

Some technicians use collagen patches and I can barely feel those.

 

Maintain

Avoid taking a shower with your new lashes. If you do, keep it out of the direct stream of water. When washing your eyes, be gentle! Don’t pull on your lashes or touch them too much during the day. Preferably use the lash brush which you can get from your technician.

Don’t wear mascara. The lashes will stick together and then pull out when brushing them. If they stick together they also pull on each other. Lots and lots of pain. Some say you can wear non-waterproof mascara, but this contains oil and will lift the lashes.

 

It is recommended that you fill every two weeks, but I with 5D I can usually stretch it between three to four weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weird Pregnancy Behaviors Explained

Much recognition is given to visible pregnancy symptoms. Like nausea for example. They physically see you puking so they don’t question the legitimacy of your suffering.  But what about pregnancy brain, where you can barely remember what you’ve said seconds ago, or cravings, or moodiness, or the nesting phenomenon, where at 37 weeks, you get an inexplicable surge of energy and motivation to spring clean your entire house, prune every single bush in your garden and sanitize every doorknob and light switch in sight.

pregnancy, research, behaviours

Now I have set out on explaining these behaviors so they can finally make sense to us all.

 

Pregnancy Brain

Research done by MRI scans at the University of Barcelona shows that women lose grey matter during pregnancy and that activity is heightened in areas associated with picking up emotional cues and needs of others – more specifically – our children. (This, however, has no measurable effect on our memory or cognitive abilities.)  Ever wondered why you know exactly why your newborn is crying and what he needs when your husband seems to be oblivious? God rewires our brains during pregnancy to be more attuned to our children, but be less attuned to the rest of the world, or even to our own needs. We don’t simply just forget things, our priorities change, on such a deep level that it can be seen on brain scans!

A decrease in the production of neurons in the hippocampus (area of the brain responsible for memory) has been observed in pregnant mice, but those who exercised regularly showed no disposition to virgin counterparts. We might not be mice, but it might just be worth it to hit the gym every other day!

 

Moodiness

When your brain is flushed with pregnancy hormones, it directly impacts the level of serotonin and other mood-regulating neurotransmitters in your brain. The same can be observed when we are severely pms”ing.  As our hormone levels fluctuate, so do our neurotransmitters and so does our mood.

Serotonin deficiency can make you feel that you are not coping. With anything, whatsoever.

Not the best position to be in with a toddler on your hip and a baby in your belly.

Remember that this is too, is completely normal. Taking Omega 3 Oils, probiotics and doing exercise can go a long way in keeping the rage under control.

 

Nesting

Research done at McMaster University in Canada found that it is a built-in urge to prepare for and protect your unborn baby. They also found that during this time, pregnant women are more selective of the company they keep. This is often also accompanied by not wanting to leave the house later in pregnancy. We revert right back to our mammal instincts before our babies come!

Sources: Scientific American, Molecular Psychiatry , Mood swings during pregnancy, Nesting and Cleaning,
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What white can do!

painting repainting

 

I was about to throw out this old frame while cleaning out our garage and then I remembered I’ve been looking for something to paint white for a while now!

I headed to the hardware store, picked up All Purpose Acrylic White paint with gloves, a mask, and a paint brush. Because this particular pot was water based, I was able to wash my brushes and bowls with water afterward, no need for turpentine.

I applied two coats and after it had dried, I gave it in at our neighborhood Glass and Framing shop, Le Nor Picture Framers. They fitted it with a mirror and fixed it with a strong back cover with horizontal and vertical hangers at a reasonable price.

Now my dining room wall is transformed by something I was about to chuck away!

 

 

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Bathroom Decor – 7 Easy ways to ENJOY your bathroom!

Bathrooms are by far my favourite rooms in any house.   At home, this is where I am revived, where I unwind and have my alone time.

This is the one room in your house, you can almost always be certain will be visited by guests!

 

 

LIGHT

Nothing can really replace natural light. Keep windows open for fresh air and natural light – all day.

Colours such as whites, creams or pastels always seem to have a calming effect and makes any space look bigger.

Darker towels tend to fade quickly and look old within a year or two.  I avoid black and navy blue.

 

 

KEEP IT CLEAN

Baking soda mixed with vinegar can do wonders to clean tiles and lift dust. Nothing freaks me out more than those brown missions that build up between bathroom tiles.

Remove labels –  Call me weird, but if there are too many products with labels I get information overload. I just want to relax and not have too much information thrown at me – ever. Removing labels will also give a classic, more expensive look and feel to your bathroom.

Chuck empties!!! Did you know that if a bottle is empty, you can actually throw it away!!! Make a point of finishing every product before opening a new one and be sure to chuck the empty bottles. Clutter is the enemy.

I made it my mission to collect a boat load of face cloths of different shades. Every month I bought about 3 or so. Then you can dry your hands once and drop it in the laundry basket. Fresh, crispy, clean face towels – every time!!! Happiness.

 

GOOD VIBES

I am no new age activist but the reality is, that energy is a, well… a reality! Fresh plants and living pot plants generate a whole lot of positive energy and oxygen. I am of the opinion that anything natural, like plants or wood absorbs negative energy – For me it takes away that wound-up feeling after a long day. There is a reason why spending time in nature fights depression.

Candles are a must. No energy connection there, I think.  I just like them. They give light and romance! 🙂 Good vibes!

 

bathroom decor

 

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Wedding Vibes

This wedding was unlike any other I have ever attended! Gabrielle, the girl my brother in law chose to make his own, is quite the go-getter! She is an ambitious career woman who strives for perfection in every area of her life and their wedding was no exception!!

From a band playing at the wedding, straight through to a pony carrying confetti, they spared no expense. This wedding was so much fun!

Okay, I’m all for true love, romance, and expensive taste, but this was shamelessly the highlight for me! Oh, and having a rock star babysitter with our panda at home!

 

 

Liezl Oelofsen, my close friend, it is clear that we have many common interests!

 

Liezl and Claire. 🙂

Liezl van Graan

She hates photo’s, but always looks the best in them!!

 

 

 

Eagles Eye Country Estate

What I loved about this wedding venue is that all of their reception halls have these big windows which could open completely. Where there were no windows, there were mirrors, creating an open spacious feel!

 

 

Liezl van Graan Those brown leather shoes!!!!!

 

 

Gerhard & Este My favourite couple! Gerhard and Este. xxx

 

table setting

photo booth
Got to love the photo booth! When our 2 yr old saw these photos he thought it was someone else and not his momma! he said “Tannie en Oom!”!! Ha!

 

Mother in lawMy beautiful mother in law.

Saving the best for last  🙂 Mr. and Mrs. Kruger!

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Mom’s Birthday Celebrations

 

Holtzhausen Women
Yes!!

These two just have the most beautiful love story.

Gerhard and Este were dating in high school and got engaged, Life and reality happened and they parted ways for a little over a decade, still remaining friends.

I remember many nights of conversation with Gerhard, were Este came up. The connection they share could not be broken by time or circumstances.

They got married last year September and are now expecting a baby boy!

The joy and contentment on these faces! I can’t wait to meet my nephew!

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International Day Of Happiness

Many of us seem to think that happiness is sparked by money, fame or driving the most recent car, or rather a life event. “I will be happy as soon as I graduate, get married, or have children .”

Ironically enough, many people still end up unhappy or unfulfilled.

Here are a few points to ponder in your pursuit of happiness…

ARE YOU ON THE CAUSE, OR EFFECT SIDE OF LIFE?
Happen to life, instead of letting life happen to you. Get rid of the idea that you are a victim of outside circumstances.  You are empowered to influence your life and the lives of those around you. God has created us in His likeness – Meaning that He created little creators. He expects us to multiply the resources He has given us into something extraordinary!

LIVE YOUR VALUES
Wealth is not having money; it is being able to fill the greater amount of hours in your day with things that really matter to you. Family, creativity, contribution…

SIMPLIFY
De-clutter and simplify your life! Prepare for each following day, so your routine can run more smoothly with less frustration.

APPRECIATE
This is a widely known law of nature. The more gratitude you have, the more good things come your way. If someone really appreciates what you do for them, you will almost always want to do even more. This is the same way God feels when we notice and appreciate the blessings in our lives. The giggle of a toddler, the smell of wet soil after summer rain… it is usually the smallest things that bring the most joy.

LET GO
God loves your children more than you do. The weather obeys when he speaks. The Bible says, like streams of water, he directs the thoughts of Kings! This is the God we serve – the One we get to have a relationship with. This is the sole purpose for our creation, to stand in an intimate relationship with Him, only then will we know true joy and contentment – the seemingly elusive state of mind, called ‘Happiness’!

(Guest post for RO3 Oasis Water)