The best Christmas gift

December is always a crazy busy month for us and this past December we were expecting some exciting news. We had been waiting for this news since October. It was by far the hardest three months of my life, just waiting. Thank goodness for Vince, he was my rock, he kept me sane and made sure I was always ok. Best husband ever!

You see, we had finally been approved for adoption and we had been matched with the cutest baby boy.

I wanted him home asap. I felt like I was missing out, I cried a lot, like everyday. I desperately wanted to hold him and love him. Things were taking way too long. So much admin and red tape. I was convinced we would only bring him home in January. But on 21 December we got the call. We needed to fetch our little boy on the 23rd. Hooray!!! So after a long journey to Upington (10 hours there and 10 back), we finally brought our little boy home.

This is our first family photo. I know it’s blurry and we look exhausted but I absolutely love this photo. It makes my heart so happy.

I will write a more detailed post about our adoption journey. It was hard but now I get to hold my baby boy every single day.

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Bitter sweet

I’ve been such an emotional wreck lately. We’re going to Cape Town for a few days and although I’m super excited, I’m also dreading leaving my four-legged babies. I worry about them so much and I’m going to miss them terribly. They’ll be in VERY good hands but I’m such a worry wart, it borders on chronic paranoia (eish). Vince says I’m going to drive myself crazy! So in the spirit of keeping myself sane, I will make a special effort to enjoy my time away. Deep breaths (in and out), deep breaths…

So while I will be missing these three little munchkins

babies

 

I will be enjoying this spectacular view

table mountain

and maybe, just maybe I will squeeze in a little shopping.

Our new baby

Yip, you guessed it. Our home is plus one bundle of fur! This brings our grand total to three. Three four-legged creatures that bring so much joy to our lives. We love them to bits. My parents even refer to them as their grandchildren! So funny!

Our new little addition is called Tiny. He is so cute and fits in like he’s been living with us forever. I first saw Tiny on the SPCA facebook page, he was found at a local shopping centre and nobody ever claimed him. Some say that he was dumped there, but I find it hard to believe.  He has so much spunk and personality! Anyway, I fell in love with him and just had to have him. Vince filled in all the adoption papers and two days later, Tiny was happy in his new home. As for my other spoilt brats (Peanut and Tyson), it took them a while to get used to him, but two weeks later, I can say that we are one big happy family :).

Blooming marvelous

I hate winter! It’s cold and miserable and the days are way too short. But, there’s one good thing about winter in South Africa, the blooming of the aloes. Oh, such a beautiful site to behold. I have a garden full of these majestic plants and when they bloom, they make my heart happy. See how gorgeous they are! Like a little ray of sunshine on a gloomy day…

The aloe is a flowering succulent. There are about 500 species of aloe (can you believe it), the most common and well known of these is Aloe vera, or “true aloe”. The aloe is native to Africa, and is common in South Africa’s Cape Province, the mountains of tropical Africa, and neighboring areas such as Madagascar, the Arabian peninsula, and the islands of Africa. I only have three species of aloe in my garden and I plan to collect more, much much more. Hehe. Think I’m going to have an aloe overload! My love of aloes is a bit sentimental since they are my Dad’s favourite plant. 99.9% of my aloes were given to me by my wonderful father :), the most amazing man. Here are two photo’s of us together. One is from my wedding day and one is from my 21st birthday. Aaaah happy days.

Me thinks that these posts are getting a little bit soppy. Will update you on some home decor soon. Got a lot up this sleeve of mine.

If anyone has any tips on how I can improve on my writing, please feel free to comment. I’m a designer, not a writer, so in essence I have NO IDEA what I am doing…

13 going on 40!

Why do teenagers think that they know EVERYTHING? My 13 year old niece knows everything and her opinion is the only one that counts. On a recent shopping trip, I held up a pair of jeans that I thought were quite cute, Jade turned to me with her little hand on her hip and politely said “Oh my word Aunty Cands, you can’t be serious, I would NEVER wear that!” I’ve gone from being the cool aunt, to the boring aunt who has no idea about anything. How sad is that? When she was 9 years old she told me that she wants to be just like me when she grows up…  Not anymore :(.

Years ago, Vince made Jade some beautiful plain white frames for her room, he made them in a way that the pictures in the frames could be replaced as she outgrew them. At the time I put in pictures of the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana, which she loved, but now, not so much. Those old pics were way overdue for a makeover, and since Jade is redecorating her room, my timing couldn’t be more perfect. But I had no idea where to start, I had to find inspiration somewhere (eeeeeck), the pressure was on. How do I impress this all-knowing teenager?

And then it dawned on me, LOVE… that would be my inspiration. I love Jade, love her like she is my own daughter, she even calls me her “other mother”. So sweet, my heart melts when she introduces me to her friends.

So, with my new found inspiration (and a little help from Pinterest), I got busy designing! This is the end result 🙂

This artwork will look amazing with Jade’s new purple colour scheme, and hopefully she won’t outgrow it anytime soon.

Winter, be gone!

It was such a cold weekend here in East London, South Africa. We froze!!! I don’t know exactly what the temperature was but it was fra-eeeezing. Apparently it was snowing on the mountains in Hogsback (about a 2 hour drive from us) and when it snows on those mountains, boy does it send us way into the lower temperatures. Winter is not my favourite season, AND we still have two cold months ahead of us!!! How will I ever survive? I wish I could hibernate, just like a bear. Oh what a life that would be…

My dogs were out on the deck lying in winter sun, desperate to warm their cold bones. Here are a few shots of them lazying about enjoying the warmth. Excuse my sausage dog, Peanut, he’s not much of a poser. I think he might be camera shy, he’s a very sensitive little chap.

As you can see, Tyson loves the camera. When he noticed that I was taking photo’s, he quickly ran inside, fetched his teddy and jumped straight back into position, ready for the next shot. He even managed to keep his tounge inside his mouth this time :). Notice in this next shot how his little tounge sticks out. It’s like that 99.9% of the time. So precious!!!

I love these two so much, they make our lives very interesting 🙂 and there’s nothing better than arriving home from work to see these two happy little creatures waiting for me at the gate. xxx

A Beautiful Morning

I woke up to the most beautiful morning. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and everyone was in a great mood. I took my time getting ready for work, I pottered around the house doing washing and spending time with my two furry babies, until Peanut decided that sunning himself on the deck while enjoying the scenery was a way better idea than getting loves and cuddles from his mom.

I love my Peanut with all my heart. My special boy. xxx

Picture Picture on the Wall

A few years ago, I went to my cousin’s house for a visit. It was the first time Vince and I had been to visit her and her hubby in their new home. They have a beautiful old home with high ceilings and the most amazing wood details. Things I would love to have in my home. People with more modern boxy homes like myself have to add those details by scouring antique stores to find old wooden treasures (at a decent price)that add character to a home.

Anyway, to cut a (very) long story short, when we were served tea in their lounge with oh-so-gorgeous old hardwood floors, yummy, I couldn’t help but notice one glaringly UGLY painting on the wall. And when I say ugly, it was uuuuuggggllly. A lizard of some sort with bulging eyes. It was so ugly and I told my cousin so, I just couldn’t help myself, it just slipped out of my mouth. Vince just gave me a look as if to say “Did you really? Really?”. Well I did and she wasn’t offended. She thought it was ugly too. So being the great cousin that I am, I offered to take the ugly lizard home to make him more beautiful. So I made him more beautiful by making him disappear completely. I started to paint with no idea of what I was going to do, and then it suddenly came to me. Here is a tiny glimpse of what I have planned for this amazing work of art.

As you can see there is a lot of texture and detail involved. It should keep me busy for a while but I will post a pic of the complete artwork. 🙂

Way TOO Long

It’s been waaaaaaay too long since you guys have heard from me. I know, I’m bad. Life has been very hectic and I’ve had all these deadlines looming (I’m a graphic designer, well that’s my day job). Now that I have a gap in my oh-so-busy schedule, I thought I would fill you in on whats been going down lately.

Well, firstly, let me tell you that my life has become a whirlwind. If anybody is selling time, I would like to buy some please, because I am running out of it, FAST. I work for a communications company which is hectic, we are so busy! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. In these economic times it’s a privilege to work for a successful growing company who appreciates every single ounce of hard work that you put in on a daily basis. I thank God everyday that I work for such great company.

By the time I get home from work I am so tired, but then there is cleaning and ironing to be done. Eeeeek! Lucky for me I have a wonderful husband who helps with cooking and cleaning. He works super-hard too, he is my superman! He read my blog for the first time a few weeks ago and was so proud of me. I didn’t know if he would like it or not, but he loved it. Wow!!! Vince encourages me in everything I do and motivates me 24/7. He is always singing my praises, sometimes he makes me feel all shy.

Between all the working, cleaning, cooking and ironing, we actually do have a social life. I have a wonderful group of girl friends. We get together for an all-girls dinner once a month. This is our time to chat about girly stuff, you know decorating, shopping, clothes, shoes, children, food, pets, etc. Seriously, we talk the hind leg off a donkey. Some more than others (love you Shan). Sadly our group has been touched with some bad tidings lately. A little life was lost and a life was saved. I am grateful to the Lord for every single day I have on this earth. Never take anything for granted, life is too short. Below is a pic of us girls last Christmas, love these crazy chics.

Despite all the things happening in my life, I just wanted to let you all know that I have been doing a bit of DIY on the side and I do intend on sharing that with you. So please don’t stop reading my blog. I WILL BE BACK 🙂

Kitchen Demo

One day, I said to my hubby “Lets open up the kitchen to the lounge, we can just take out the counter and cupboards, and knock down that funny wall and remove the arch. It will give us a lot more space”.

Easier said than done. The cupboards and counter were a piece of cake to remove, and we saved all the wood to use on a different project. Score!!! Wood is expensive in our parts. Now, I thought that the wall and arch would be just as easy to demo. I was wrong, so very very wrong. Like a good DIY wife I was there helping, and oh-my-word, it was such hard work! I spent the next few days in agony, my whole body hurt. Here are a few pics to show you how the whole deal went down. I should have taken more pics to illustrate the whole process but in the midst of it all, I forgot.

My hubby starting demo on the brick wall :). My job was to carry the bricks to the wheelbarrow waiting outside the backdoor. It sounds like an easy job but man oh man was it tough. Especially for a small girl like me.

As you can see, my house was in a mess. I don’t like mess, I should have been born with a dust cloth in my hand, I just loooove wiping things and making them sparkly clean.  I think I got that from my mother (love you Mom). As you can see from the pics below, we now have a lot of patching up to do, like tiling and painting and moving one or two cupboards. Sigh… it never seems to end…

I will post some updated pics of the kitchen. We have done a little bit of the touch-up work but there is still a long road ahead. Nobody said DIY was easy.