#100HappyDays ROUND 2: Days 11-20

Hey Everybody!I’m back today with my latest update on #100HappyDays. It is going quite well at the moment with this challenge, although I really am stretching at times to find something specific to photograph and record. Of all the skills I possess, I have to say that photography is not one of them. It is such an enviable trait, but alas, not for me. Anyway, here is my rundown of what went down in days 11 – 2011

Day 11: The humor in Harry Potter is so fine. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the antics of Ronald Weasley in The Half-Blood Prince. Gosh, I’m having such a great time working through these books again!

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Day 12: I’ve been having some really bad toothache lately and finally forced myself to go to the dentist. I have a pathological fear of them since on broke a tooth in my mouth as a teen and had to extract it twice. The news was not good, and I will have to return. I vented my irritation out in the shops, and at least got myself a nice new toothbrush and toothpaste for sensitive teeth. That sentence there is some insight into the joys of getting old, kiddos. I also bought L’Oreal’s Extraordinary oil, and it is the best hair treatment I’ve ever used at home. Thoroughly impressed!

1314Day 14: I bought Stars of Fortune for R60 bucks on a sale. I’ve been somewhat avoiding this book, sure it would be on the same (bad) level as the Dark Witch series. I am enjoying the last of the three books in The Guardians Trilogy now, and I’m still having the greatest time.

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Day 15: I went out for sushi with my sister. It was so delicious!16

Day 16: I have such love for this doggo. She’s the best and I love spending time with her.

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Day 17: Everyone celebrated International Women’s Day and naturally I was game. I do feel the need to mention though that the plight of the female empowerment should not be an activity for one day, but for 365 days per year.

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Day 18: I’ve been having a real little sulk after finishing Daredevil. I want more, and I want it now. So I essentially forced myself to watch a film, and chose Southpaw. I’m really against Gyllenhaal as a general rule – don’t ask me why, he’s just irritating, but I really enjoyed the film and will send my bill for emotional trauma to the director. 19

Day 19: I really usually do eat a large amount of junk. In a desperate determination to not go up a dress size, I’ve gone cold turkey on all things carb and junk related. I’m actually doing really good right now, and celebrated reaching the end of the week by not eating an entire slab of chocolate and grabbing biltong instead. It was delicious!20

Day 20: I confess that this is one of the times where I really didn’t have a pic ready. We spent some time together as a family and it was really enjoyable.

There you go. Till next time friends!

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#100HappyDays: Days 63 – 68

Happy Monday everyone! This challenge is heading along nice, even with all my numbering faults. (I managed to have day 63 twice this week, which makes no sense, but I think I may have skipped a day somewhere – sure I did – so it will balance out!)

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Day 63 (1):

Love my eldest sister!

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Day 63 (2):

I watched Shakespeare in Love for the first time all the way through and crocheted on a top secret project. I do hope the recipient of this project loves it when it is finished!

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Day 64:

There are some things in this world that makes me ridiculously happy. Two of them are: Free things and Loyalty cards. Our – amazing – canteen at work has a loyalty based point system and I got a delicious meal out of it last week!

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Day 65:

To say that the past week was hectic and full of stress is the understatement of the year. However, I somehow pulled through in one piece, and my managers thought I was amazing. It is a really good feeling to finally work in a place where recognition occurs.

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Day 66:

Yep, more food. This chicken wrap was divine!

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Day 67:

We spent Saturday with some friends that we’ve known for ages, and it was a lovely experience. It is the best feeling to just completely be yourself, because everyone at an event knows you from when you were in your primary school clothes.

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Day 68:

Instead of resting AS ONE SHOULD on a Sunday, I finally took the time to super clean my room. Things were moved, repacked, thrown out, cleaned, new bedding was put up and curtains were hanged. I am SO happy with the results!

What made you happy this week?

#100HappyDays: Days 57 – 62

Happy Monday, folks!

I am back with another update. Today, spot the mistake! 😀

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Day 57:

When the challenge gets tough, take a picture of your food. This was delicious though!

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Day 58:

I’m such a fan of this nude Iced Mocha color from Revlon. Definitely one of my favorite colors!

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Day 60:

Our office has a coffee maker that makes the most delicious and strong cappuchino. There are very little that I find more offensive than weak flavored coffee, so this cancels out the negative day-to-day feels impressively!

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Day 61:

Love the scarf I got on a sale here in Johannesburg!

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Day 62:

I’ve mentioned before that it is weddings everywhere for the next month, and Saturday was the first one. It was so lovely and fun. Happiness is so contagious, don’t you think?

What made you happy this week?

#100HappyDays: Days 25-30

Yoyoyo.

We’re back! Welcome to the mundane existence of your work week. I DO hope it is a fantastic one. Here is the continuation of my #100HappyDays challenge. It is coming along very nicely but I must say it has become challenging to keep on. It takes dedication and recording, and I can really suck at both. Well, here we go!

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Day 25:

I really like my family. They drive me insane as all family’s do, but I do love them quite a lot. Pictured here from my birthday dinner for immediate family was my sister, brother in-law, younger sister and her boyfriend, myself and my mama too.

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Day 26:

The cafeteria was closed for lunch so I had a packet of NickNacks for lunch. Although not the end of the world, it did feel like breaking my diet, and I made sure to go for a run when I got home. I was entertained by some beautiful skies while jogging leisurely through our complex.

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Day 27:

Reading some Nora Roberts, even though my 2016 reading list was waiting for me.

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Day 28:

Got some lovely thoughtful gifts from a friend as a belated birthday gift, which is always awesome when you are reminded that people that you spend time with remember your dreams, as well as registering for a parkrun

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Day 29:

Went for the parkrun (I really need to document these things). The 5km was not easy, I’m not going to lie, but I enjoyed the vibe thoroughly. I went for a movie and dinner with my little sister, and that, and the pictured cappuccino, made for a pretty decent Saturday.

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Day 30:

Had a nice family braai at my sister’s house. We have changed so much and it is great – usually our plates would have been filled with carbs and meat, but we actively choose salads these days!

What made you happy this week?

Life Lately

Social media causes fights. I was in the most intense disagreement on Facebook last Friday. It is so ridiculous that people seem to think they can attack you on your (very innocent) status and then get a fit when they are put in their place. Said person has since unfriended me, but I am completely okay with it. BUT I am still astonished to see how bigoted and idiotic people are. I am gobsmacked that people don’t realise that what they put on Facebook and Twitter can negatively impact their careers. That putting something out there can say something about your country or race when the majority really doesn’t feel that way. I am shocked that people who I grew up with, who had exactly the same opportunities as I, raised in the same social-economic environment, can become so completely weird and blind. It makes me truly, truly sad.

A Trio of losses.

Three greats died this week in three important circles: Paul Walker in Entertainment, Baby Jakes Matlala in sport, and then of course the colossal President Nelson Mandela of my home country, South-Africa. I am so honoured that the world is grieving with us. Currently, 70 heads of states are flying in for his funeral, which is the greatest amount of leaders ever gathered for a funeral. That, in itself, speaks of his legacy. This past few days I have witness our great nation once again showing the world who we are: Broken, sure, but mending and refusing to be told who we should be. We are once again united, and stand firm against the grief that threatens to overwhelm us.

Moving on

I have been trying to block out most of the Mandela coverage now. Save for news bulletins and tweets, I am trying to function. It is very difficult to actually read other news too, and rightly so, but I don’t want to get caught up in the frenzy. It has been exhausting this weekend, and I am too much affected by any news, always. So this weekend we went to Monte Casino, played ten pin bowling (I SUCK at it), watched Catching Fire and then ate and the Met Grill. It was lovely and I felt much better for it.

Unisa Results

The final release dates for all results is now the 20th of December. It irritates me to no end. I need to plan my syllabus for next year, you know. And who keeps results till 5 days before Christmas?!

I seriously need to buy Christmas presents. Like ASAP and I have no idea what to get. Perhaps I am slower than usual because I still can’t get my head around the fact that it is DECEMBER.

Movies: I finally saw Catching Fire after weeks for delays, and it was so amazing. This weekend I will hopefully watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I hope it is good. I wasn’t overly impressed with the first movie (A lot of theatrics and very little loyalty to the book) so I will reserve judgement for now. Also, I re-watched one of my favourite movies, PS, I love You. I have always enjoyed that film and to me, that is Gerard Butler in his prime. He is gorgeous, and kudos to Hilary Swank’s Holly for getting over his death – just not sure if I would have done it.

Currently reading: Beautiful Creatures (my 74th book). It is odd, but still good enough to try and finish it. I am nearly on holiday, so then I will most likely be closing in on 100 books if I have nothing else to do but read. Which is unlikely, since it is December and everyone and their aunt has a function, but I will do my best.

Speaking of holidays:  This is my last week at work, and between power-cuts, closed off roads (for the Nelson Mandela memorial at Soccer City FNB Stadium) and dumb nurses, life is going to be interesting. I apologise for any rants that may occur, blog or elsewhere. I can’t wait for the holidays. I am planning a visit to my best friend, who lives in the hottest place on the planet (okay, that is slightly exaggerating but Nelspruit is pretty toasty) and furthermore just relaxing back home. I really, really need it. I am at that point where I am likely to snap quickly.

What happened this weekend, feeling sorry for myself and such matters

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Image source

Truly, nothing much happened this weekend. I devoted my entire Sunday to reading. More on that to follow.

Saturday I saw my one uncle. My extended family aren’t close, and I really don’t care much for it, but I arrived to say hi on my grandmother’s request. Which she turned around so it seemed I was dying to see him. Queue extreme irritation.  It was nice to see him, but also very obvious why my mother isn’t interested in staying connected with them. I am content with the family I have, as cold as it sounds. I don’t need people who only deign to show their faces every seven years.

Afterwards, I went to the shops, spent money I shouldn’t have, and got a new book. My little sister found a DVD she has been searching for ages for – Letters to Juliet. We also got Breaking Dawn Part one. That night we watched both. I will be posting reviews sometime during the next couple of weeks.

Books read

Last week I read about four books, and turned towards madness when I read Nora Robert’s the Witness the entire day yesterday, and finished it. 488 pages.

I think I will be giving reading a break, even if it is only for a few days.

PS: it was an amazing read

Feeling sorry for myself

My newly married sister and her husband are returning from Mauritius from their honeymoon, and it means I am back at home. I love home, but it is very crowded at the moment. I will miss my freedom and quiet so much. It is true motivation to get in a place where I can live in my own place.

Diet, exercise and studying

The three things I really need to get done. Like right now.

Starting with exams the first of November, and it is extremely close.

Chemistry, here I come.

5 things Friday – 5 things

This week went by fast – I only started working again on Wednesday, so it wasn’t much of a week. For a quick one it has been quite eventful. Here are Five things that either happened to me or in the world this week.

Independence

While my sister is on her honeymoon, I am taking care of their flat. It is unbelievable how free it makes me feel to be completely on my own. The independence is staggering and very educational. It isn’t so easy to take care of yourself, is it? Funnily enough, I miss my parents. It is natural to want to live alone after a certain age, and I can’t wait to be out on my own, but I still miss them when I don’t see them after a certain period of time.

Friendships

I mentioned last week that I recently got contacted by a person who I banished from my life a few years ago. The banishment was justified, and in the last while I haven’t given it much thought – it is natural for people to go on with their lives. It was all well until the contact happened. I am supposed to see said person tomorrow. I think I will only be certain tomorrow if I will do it.

Then there is another person who is extremely close to getting an earful from me. She has been my friend since we were seven years old, and I really thought we would be friends forever. I am in no way saying that people should put their relationships before friendships, but there has to be a balance. We had arrangements this week to meet up, and once again, she cancelled. Not only did she cancel on me, she cancelled after she told me at the wedding she would certainly be there – I suspect that she knew then she wouldn’t come. There is no way to say this nicely, but her new boyfriend is an ass. He is most definitely behind this as I know he dislikes me. So for once (apart from a slightly childish Facebook post from my side) I walked away. I discussed my feelings with someone I trust, and just left it there. I am not sure what I am doing right now about our friendship, but I have mastered the ability to keep my mouth shut – no small feat.

A quote from my diary at work – very apt.

“Wisdom is divided into two parts: (a) having a great deal to say, and (b) not saying it” – unknown

So, the idea of friends and what it means have been bugging me. My friendship group is big and complicated, full of fights and drama, but also of love and laughter. These two people above are not part of my intimate group of friends, for which I am grateful, but shutting them out permanently will break my heart. I really have no idea what to do with them.

South-Africa blushes – again

SA is known for many things – braaing, beautiful scenery, crime, and corruption, a president without basic education, Oscar Pistorius, crime, corruption, and crime.

After the terrorist attack in Kenya at the Westgate mall, where more than 70 people were killed, it is rumoured that a woman nicknamed the White Widow was one of the masterminds. There is now a red alert issued from Interpol to find her. What does this have to do with South-Africa, you ask? It would seem that this woman lived in SA with an illegal South-African passport for three years, while she was still being searched for by the United Kingdom for suspected terrorist involvement there.

Let’s all just hang our heads in shame, SA. Our country is not only a hotbed of criminal activity, but apparently also a convenient hideout for terrorists.

*I really love South-Africa. This just seems like a bit much.

Branding

Last week Friday my blog broke its record for most views in one day – thank you! It was amazing to see when I logged back on after the weekend. I am so excited about my blog – it is constantly growing. I finally have an outlet for all the opinions I have.

I have been playing with the idea of a second blog, focusing on fashion and beauty. I love both, and would be incredibly happy to start a blog for it. I am still planning and organizing my thoughts, as it would probably triple the amount of work and writing I am currently doing.

Personal branding is very important, especially on the internet today. I want to find a name for my work that will be instantly recognisable – I don’t think my blog’s title is very memorable right now. That said; I am worried if I change the title again, it will confuse my current users. Any comments or suggestions?

Love for RPattz.

I am watching all the Twilight movies again, and I have been reminded how much I liked Robert Pattison. For some reason, I forgot how looky he is. I have been reminded. Thank you, Twilight.

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Have a good one!

Ode to my parents

My sister asked me to make a toast to my parents on her wedding. A terrifying thought, but not impossible, as I truly admire and respect my parents. I never went through a rebellious phase, and they never needed to lock me up and hide the key. I think that means they are truly outstanding parents. Not to gloss over our relationship – because sometimes I want to murder them like any other twenty year old – but they both have qualities that I find amazing. My dad is amazingly intelligent and well read. He knows something about everything. What I admire the most is his religious knowledge – he isn’t a Christian because he was raised as one, but because he has researched and studied the Bible and related theology for years. My mom has a rare and terrifying gift – she is able to take care of children. You might think it sounds like something small, but she is able to take care of 20 kids under the age of two effortlessly. I am not a kid person – they scare me senselessly. So I really admire her talent.

Here is the wedding toast, translated into English. I left the Afrikaans part as well, as tomorrow is Heritage Day in South-Africa.

Wedding Toast

Evening everybody

My name is Natasha Stander, and I am sure everyone here knows I am the bride’s sister. My toast tonight is to two people who is directly responsible for raising the amazing person who married Stefan tonight – my parents Jan and Theresa Stander.

I searched for a quote to describe good parents – the closest I could find was a quote by H. Jackson Brown.

“Live so that when your children think of fairness and caring and integrity they think of you”

These wise words describe something about my parents – they were always fair and honest. We never had to doubt their love for us, or that they care. We always had everything we needed. They taught us that you could have anything if you worked hard enough for it.

So this is not only a toast, but a thank you ask well – thank you for the love and wisdom and advice of a lifetime.

To Jan and Theresa!

Heildronk

Naand almal

My naam is Natasha Stander, en ek is seker meeste van julle weet Theranne is my sister. My heildronk vannaad is op twee mense wat direk verantwoordelik is vir die fantastiese mens wat met Stefan vanaand getrou het – my ouers Jan en Theresa Stander.

Ek het gesoek na iets wat verduidelik wat goeie ouers is. Die naaste wat ek kon kom was iets wat H. Jackson Brown Jnr gesê het:

“Live so that when your children think of fairness and caring and integrity they think of you”

Hierdie wyse woorde verduidelik iets van my ouers – hulle was altyd regverdig en eerlik. Ons hoef nooit te getwyfel het dat hulle vir ons lief is nie, of dat hulle vir ons omgee nie. Ons het altyd alles gehad wat ons gekort het. Hulle het ons geleer dat jy enigeiets kan wees as jy hard genoeg daarvoor werk.

Hierdie is nie net ‘n heildronk nie, maar ‘n dankie sê ook – dankie vir die liefde en wysheid en raad vir ‘n leeftyd.

Op Jan en Theresa!