Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Simple solutions

Hello beauties!!

Ever wonder if things could be simpler? We've all heard the words 'keep it simple, stupid' at least once in our lives, and sometimes the simple answer is the best one. Today I've got a roundup of simple ideas to make your life easier, and I'm ending it off with a video, which has some of the best ideas I've heard all week. Check this out.
















Here are some more cool ideas.


And then, just to round it off (and if you're a fan of My big Fat Greek Wedding or Harry Potter) :


Haha!

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,

Yolandie

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Keep Calm

Hello beauties!!

First of all, I'd like to start off by wishing my father in law a happy birthday! Dad, I hope you have a great one and you get spoilt rotten. I'll be over for some coffee later!! :)

As many of you know, I'm pregnant. In the past month or so, my belly has suddenly exploded into a pretty impressive dome, proclaiming this fact to the world at long last. Because I didn't really have anything to show before 20 weeks, people didn't believe my claim to pregnancy even halfway through this journey. But then, I suddenly started to show, and in the past four weeks, my stomach has expanded like mad. Now, it's pretty obvious that I'm expecting. And that's what I want to talk about.

Beware, this is a rant in the making.

I need to get a t-shirt made with these words.


You see, I'm pregnant. And that, apparently, makes me free game. Because as I've just explained, I suddenly have a pretty unmissable pregnancy tummy, and this causes something in the human brain to break. Or something.

Four weeks ago, I could walk into any mall, store or event, without the hands of strangers inevitably making their way to my baby bump. This has changed completely. Now complete strangers will see me, notice the bump and almost squeal in delight. This makes me glad, because I'm glad the people are glad about the coming of my little girl. But then, they reach out and start to pat, rub or simply polish my stomach (as if a genie could pop out and grant some wishes) and will usually say the following, while they're touching me :
"You don't mind, do you?"
"When is baby coming?"

This completely blows my mind. And it makes me not-so-glad.

The answer to these questions are as follows :
"Yes, I mind. Please remove your hands from my person!"
"I'm certain I could answer this question a lot better if you unhand me."

You see, my predicament is this; I don't like random touching. If you're my close friend or member of my family, I can hug it out just as well as the best of them. I don't mind friendly, playful or family/friend-love contact. I don't mind you punching my arm, taking my punches, wiping my tears, allowing me to comfort or hug you, or even hugging me, when you're in my inner circle. But if you have no idea who I am, or if you were just introduced to me, I really, REALLY, don't want you touching me. Any time, anywhere, except if you're saving me from a fire, or some life-threatening event.

Why is it that because I have a baby bump, random strangers have the right to suddenly touch my stomach? Especially considering that it would be harassment when I'm not pregnant? I honestly don't get it. And most people will only ask if you mind their touching, after they have actually touched you, and that's if they're considerate enough to actually ask. Don't even think that only ladies do this baby-bump-touching-thing! Random men don't mind random touching either. They can rub your belly just as well as any lady I've ever met. Even with my husband present. And it's downright disturbing.

I have no idea how to stop this, because the touchers don't ask, they just do. I absolutely hate it and some people don't even stop when you ask them to. I'm sure they'd object if I touched their bellies, baby or no, but then I'd have to actually touch strangers! :)

How do you feel about this? Am I completely overreacting? And have you actually experienced this unwanted touching thing while pregnant (or even not)? Let me know.

OK, rant over. :P

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,

Yolandie.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Kitchen Teas and Ugly Veils

Hello beauties!

Here's to a brand new week. I hope your weekend was fantastic and you had a lot of fun. It's been busy over in my neck of the woods, with the full onset of nesting-fever (aka the need to get everything clean and ready before going into labour).

Bride to be
We also surprised my cousin Larissa this weekend with her kitchen tea. The theme was High Tea, the place was River Cafe in Sandton, and the crowd was a lot of fun. Leatitia and the other bridesmaids (my cousins Anschke and Tanja) joined forces with the mother-of-the-bride, aunt Karin, and arranged this get-together all spy and secret like. When Larissa arrived, they dressed her in white and added a hat to her attire, so she would fit in with the theme.

The bridesmaids, Anschke, Tanja and Leatitia.

The rules of the day were simple. There were three forbidden words; wedding, bride, and the name of the groom, Eugene. Anyone who said these was forced to wear the ugly veil until someone else said one of the words. Of course, we got to ugly-fy the veil as we went along, so the thing got heavier, more lopsided and even more hideous with each transgression.

These pics show some of the victims of the veil. My aunt Flora had to wear the thing most of all, and kept it on for looong periods of time. Of course, without even being guilty, the veil was plonked on my head as well. But I wore it with pride, even if I was framed!! :D And eventually, even Larissa got to wear the veil. See it as practice for the actual event, cuz!!









Also, Larissa spent the day with her squeeze (in South Africa that's slang for date-of-the-day), Genie, and believe me when I say she got VERY comfortable with him. Eugene would have had a fit if he saw all the antics they got up to.

Handsome, aint he?

We had tea (or coffee), yummy savoury snacks and all kinds of delicious sweets from the sweet table.




She got some awesome gifts!
After we'd eaten, Larissa got to guess about her gifts. She was asked either who gave her the gift, or what was inside the package. If she guessed correctly (which happened far too little), good for her. But if she didn't, she got punished. Tam tam taaaam!! :P

First, she was asked questions about Eugene, and the bridesmaids obviously got the answers to these questions from the groom-to-be before the party. One again, if she gave the right answer, she got off without further consequences. But if she didn't, she was forced to do all kinds of things from the moon walk, to push ups, to having her makeup done and dancing with her date. We had a good laugh at her antics!! Especially when she started singing 'I'm a little teapot'... And that kiss!!

Smoooooch

Larissa being beautified. I'll try my best to re-capture this look for the wedding!!

Wasn't she extra gorgeous after Anschke's makeup was completed?


25 push ups in heels and a white dress couldn't get Larissa down!

Before we went home, we got our pictures taken with the bride-to-be. These are some snaps of the family and my bestie. Isn't she just a glowing mommy-to-be? :)

Larissa and me mommy.

Auntie Flo and Larissa, smiling for the camera.

Look, it's me! 

Sisters.

Liani and Larissa, with Anschke in an epic photo-bomb in the back.

Mother and daughter. Brings a tear to the eye.

And here's a pic of the cousins! Anschke, Tanja, Leatitia, Larissa and moi.

I can't believe the wedding is only two weeks away. Larissa and bridesmaids, good luck with the final preparations. I know it's going to be a beautiful event for two beautiful people. You're going to be a stunning bride, and that groom of yours is going to be absolutely breathless when he sees you. I love you both from the bottom of my heart! Blessings!!

Hope your Monday isn't blue!

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,

Yolandie

Friday, 26 July 2013

Part Twelve

Hello beauties!

Today we go on with part twelve of Roxanne's story. I'm sorry that I have no poll this time, because I honestly have no idea what to have you vote on. So if you have ideas for how the story should go on, please leave your suggestions in the comment section, email them to me, post them on Facebook, or whatever. Now on to the story!!


Part Twelve



Roxanne's friends had weapons drawn instantly, ready to fight if need be. But the black-clad men slowed as they neared them and came to a halt a couple of paces away.

"Greetings, friends." one of them said.

"Friends? Who are you?" Dusk demanded.

The man laughed. His skin was caramel, and obviously toughened by the relentless sun baking down on it every day. His hair and eyes were obsidian and they glinted through slits in his black face mask as he regarded them. He pulled the mask down to reveal his full face, which was bearded and smiling. "I am Samir of the Sand Tribe. These are my brothers. We were informed of your coming."

"By whom?" Oliver wondered.

"Your father, the Storyteller." Samir answered. "Word came to us to look out for a party of your number and description. He told us to aid you if the need came. Well, there is need now. A storm brews in the east and you are in need of shelter before it hits. And by the looks of you, you've run out of water."

"How do we know we can trust you?" Rocket asked, arching an eyebrow.

"You'll have to take my word for it." Samir answered with a smirk.

Roxanne stepped forward. "I apologize for my companions, Samir. We've had some bad luck and the Blacklands have drained us of courtesies. If you would offer us shelter and water, we humbly and gratefully accept."

He looked her over with a flash of recognition in his eyes and he nodded his head to her. "I can understand your distrust. If the Trickster were hunting me, I wouldn't be eager to accept aid from anyone either. But I swear to you, on my life and my Tribe, we are loyal to the Storyteller still, and we would see the Trickster brought to justice for his deeds. We are isolated here and many of our people have fallen prey to the Trickster's bandits. No one would see him pay as happily as I would.

"But we have talked too long. We must move on to shelter, before we are trapped here when the storm comes. I do not wish to be buried alive in the shifting sands. Follow me if you would, or stay and face death, whatever you prefer. But choose swiftly, for it is coming." Samir finished, turned his back on them and began walking off.

The others seemed routed in place for a moment, but followed as soon as Roxanne started moving. Oliver came in close to her, taking her arm in his hand. "Are you sure about this?"

She shook her head. "I don't see that we have much choice. It's either trust him or face the storm."

"What if there is no storm, and he's tricking us into going to our enemy?" Oliver insisted.

"I thought that was the reason for starting this journey in the first place." Roxanne answered, trying to sound brave. "Let's go with them and find out. Even if we're their captives, it's better than this sandy hell."

Oliver had nothing to say to that.

They followed the Tribesmen for what felt like days, but couldn't have been more than two hours, before they reached a small, sunken cavern. It formed out of nowhere between the moving sand and its mouth opened into a winding, lantern-lit tunnel.

It seemed to Roxanne that they were moving deeper into the earth, and the farther they went, the darker and cooler it became. After some time, the tunnel started to fork and opened into dark caves. They realised quickly that they were in some kind of underground cavern system, and silently followed their guides further inward, knowing they would get lost on their own.

They had been moving in the tunnel for about an hour when the voices and light started to drift towards them. There was the slow, insistent tap of water dripping somewhere, and Roxanne was stunned to think they had any access to water at all.

The main cave opened before them suddenly, after a last turn in the tunnel. It took their breaths away.

Millions of clustered crystals lined the walls, shining and glinting in every source of light they could find. They were mostly white, casting rainbows on the rocky walls and each other. Some of the crystals were of the palest blues and pinks, and these gave off a feint glow, which was one of the main sources of light creating the rainbows.

Many finger-like tunnels lead from this main cavern, and looking into some of them, Roxanne could see doors hanging at regular intervals in these. They must live there., she thought. Buckets of the blue and pink crystals lined these tunnels, serving as a source of light.

Looking around, Roxanne realised that all of the other guides had left them, and they were following Samir to one of the doors. He pushed it open and invited them inside. "Welcome to my home."

Seating and surfaces had been carved out of the rock, crude pillows on the raw stone serving as chairs for them to sit on. On the 'tables' were crude bowls and utensils of rock and many objects of glass. Rocket picked a glass sculpture uo and turned it in her hands.

"When the lightning strikes the sand, it creates these. We dig them up and use it in our homes." Samir explained.

A fat, homely woman came to greet them, her eyes as black as Samir's, but her hair shot with grey. "I see my son has brought guests. I must prepare the cook!" she said with a laugh. "I am Madra, and this is my family house. Be welcome and forget your troubles for a while. Tonight you will be safe and sleep without troubles."

Roxanne and her companions each introduced themselves and were ushered into seats, where they waited silently until the meal was served some time later. Scorpion and snake soup, served with scarab-shell bread sounded much worse than it tasted, and Roxanne ate her share quietly.

She was so tired that she fell asleep soon after dinner, her head resting on Oliver's shoulder and her eyes shutting of their own accord. She didn't hear anything her companions spoke about, and didn't even wake when they carried her to a small, but comfortable, bed.


And that's all for this week!

Have a fantastic weekend, stay beautiful and be kind to animals,

Yolandie

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Weekly favourites

Hello beauties!

It's that time of the week again where I share my favourites from Pinterest with you. I have a couple of cool boards up there, so check it out and follow me if you like! But on to today's roundup.


















Tune in tomorrow for a new instalment of Roxanne's story.

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,

Yolandie