Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

No, I am not single. Thank the pope. I am not sure that in this day and age I could handle being single (Single mother to boot) on a quest for love – Let’s be honest, it’s a mine field and I sure as hell like the use of both of my legs.

Sick, war jokes aside, the dating game is rough to say the least. There is nothing wrong with being single and NOT looking for love, in fact, if you are not lonely this may be the easiest way of life possible. However, I also know some singletons my own age ready to mingle, looking for love and wanting to settle down… So where do they start? Where on earth do you find a suitable partner to settle down with?

I thought I would take a comedic look (No disrespect meant to anyone) at the ten various hiding places of potential life partners…

1. The local pub.

I am not so sure that this is the place to be meeting and finding soul mates, that said it is not impossible and I am sure there are some lovely personalities to be found at the bar night after night racking up unpaid bar tabs and reeking of a tobacco pipe. Ok, so I am generalising. Not every man or woman sitting at the bar has absolutely nothing to live for and it is quite possible that a lone stranger could truly be out on the hunt for romance – I am yet to come across one but no doubt there are a few (two or three) out there. I guess my concern here would be the guys and girls strewn across the bar counter most nights of the week having come in alone and leaving shortly after closing (because that is how long it took to throw them out) with nothing else to do and nowhere else to go… sadly, if one of these questionable characters tickle your fancy you may be barking up the wrong addiction tree and could end up spending more time car pooling AA meetings than having romantic dinners for two that don’t involve take away pub food. Pub food is only ever good when eaten at the pub anyway… Despite all of the above, pub crawling groups on the sporadic occasion could hold substantial promise for singletons everywhere. My advice – Look out for the guy or girl singing along to the classic pub tunes, mixing it up on the jukebox or dancing with a crowd (Not alone and not swaying, that is just creepy). Try stick to the potentials that pay their bills, do not go to the toilet in groups and make sure they have a safe ride home – in case you go home with them to of course!

2. Church

While this can be a really great place to meet people with common values, interests and goals – It really is not beneficial if you yourself are not an avid church goer – If you prefer sleeping in on a Sunday then this option probably is not for you (No offence intended). If you are not an active member of church and happen to meet a really nice guy on that one day of the year that you did go to church (Easter / Christmas – Insert holiday here) then understand that his/her expectations may be that you do not only attend church once a year and this could make things a little awkward. That said, do not discount church as a meeting ground for awesome people completely – If you really are into someone, religious compromise can always be worked into the relationship. My husband studied to be a pastor and I am a Pagan, it is possible – We did not meet at church though…

3. Online

In fact, we met on the Interwebz. Can you imagine? Thanks to the internet I met my husband so I will not knock online dating completely (if at all). Be prepared for dodginess to creep out of all woodwork possible if this is how you intend to meet the future Mr or Mrs you. There are various aspects of online dating that come into play here. Online dating option 1 is social media – All these free and easy to use tools at your disposal, why not use them to troll the pages of your friends and family – I recommend sending a ‘Like to meet’ list to the owner of the Facebook page you have just trolled and if they love you enough, I am certain they will fulfil your little request at the next gathering they arrange. You can always do what my husband did and add every female possible on the internet to his Facebook friend list (Don’t I feel special) to infuriate a certain person, only to meet the love of his life… RIGHT husband??? :) Option 2 would be subscribing to free or paid for online dating sites – I recommend a paid for site because if you are too cheap to actually pay for a decent profile, how on earth will you afford dinner? Don’t diss online match making, there are people that actually get paid to make Discovery reality TV shows about this stuff so it must work.. you hope. You are always going to be succeptable to the online wierdos so be ready for a few creepy messages and profiles that do not have pictures – Whatever you do, do not entertain those profiles – They do not have pictures for a reason. I am not saying the profile creator is a swamp donkey, it is not about looks anyway, I am just saying that if he says he is 35 and has not uploaded a profile picture of himself then he is probably 65 and freaky – I mean, why lie? If you do happen to cross the path of a profile that tickles your pores then why not set up the meeting? Meetings should always be in a public place, always have an escape route and always have a friend sitting anonymously watching to make sure nothing goes pear shaped. Make sure they give you the tell tale sign / what they are wearing and not other way around so that you can make a quick escape if necessary and make sure that if you do meet your soulmate, he or she DELETES the online dating profile once you get together. If you find out that he or she is married at this point, I am sorry, I cannot help you – Perhaps an SA ID home affairs check for marital status may aid in the decision making process.

4. The office

This is NEVER a good idea. Let’s be honest – If you meet someone at work and continue to work together, surely you would just get sick of each other? Surely after a full day at work together, a car ride home and possibly even living together, you would wear the relationship out before it starts? I am not discounting seeing if the sparks are there but my suggestion would be to avoid dating work colleagues and if you really cannot do that, start typing up a resignation letter and find somewhere else to work so you and Mr or Mrs Right can continue in ignorant bliss while your careers do not suffer in the process.

5. The zoo

This is just odd. If a person is going to the zoo ALONE and you spot them and are interested, you have to ask yourself what the hell YOU are doing at the zoo alone. If there is any form of attraction to a lone zoo visitor, you may have just fallen for a paedophile. I do not recommend this. If, however, the zoo visitor is not alone and has taken his or her kids out for the day – feel free to flirt and fraternise.

6. WODAC

Only recommended if you love dogs, cats, reptiles (trouser snake?) and animal hair on your couches because no doubt the man or woman you meet here is in obvious love with their animals. The downside, you will be competing with an animal. The other downside, this expo only happens once or twice a year at the most so you have long waiting periods between opportunities.

7. Pick up a hobby

A hobby, not a hubby – I do not advocate the breaking up of homes or marriages. My suggestion? Decide on an instrument and then take classes to learn how to play it, chances are the teacher is not bad to look at and perhaps a fling or romance will ensue. Remember, you are not the only student so don’t think that you are the only one having a fling but perhaps, if the teacher is serious about you being the only student, you could work together to teach the instrument of choice. Ok, that sounded totally awkward. How about sewing?

8. War gaming conferences

I had to throw this one in there because my husband is a war gamer though I am not sure that we would still be married today if I had met him at a gaming conference of some sort. The truth is, most attendees are just happy to see a female, if they see you at all. I say this because most of them only look up from the table long enough to throw the dice, take a sip of their cold coffee and page through a rule book. I do not recommend getting too close to a table in fear of knocking over a model or two, this is strangely frowned upon and your cos play outfit will not even save you now. If you do manage to get the attention of a war gamer and he does more with you than reads you his codex, be prepared for a very expensive and time consuming hobby which he will attempt to teach you unsuccessfully and then moan about having no one to play with. On the up side, there is never a shortage of birthday or Christmas gift ideas. Oh, and apparently it is a convention and not a conference.

9. At a festival

Just no. You are at a festival to have a good time, get wasted, watch your favourite band you paid the money to come and see and drink copious amounts of alcohol subconsciously trying to avoid alcohol poisoning and remembering where you parked your tent. While not recommended for meeting new potential mates, I would suggest taking along a few friends that may have a future as your partner – They will get to know you extremely well in this type of setting and if they are still interested once you have gone back home, I am certain they are a keeper. If he or she is the person feeding you beer and carrying you to the porter loo, marry them the minute you reach civilisation – Except if they are in the band, they are probably music teachers.

10. A sports game

If you meet someone at a stadium and you are still interested in them when you leave, they should marry you immediately. Lets face it, there is something about a sports game that gets a supporter overly passionate – The obscenities become more obscene, the aggression more aggressive and the voice box suddenly manages to reach levels of screaming you may not even hear in the bedroom. Stay away from the guys with the combs in their socks, that is never cool and you will probably have to go home and milk a cow. Avoid the guys standing in the queues for beer all the while the game is progressing, only to get back to their seats and the plastic cups have been emptied – You never want to be just a ‘designated dickhead’. I am completely PRO meeting a potential husband or wife at a sports game if you are into sport, remember that when you take the supporter home he or she will continue to support from their couch (Couch referee?) and it is advisable to have SS1 to SS3 at home. Try to avoid planning your wedding on the day of a Super 15 semi final and you should not have any problems… Wish I had read this before I got married.

So by the time I had finished writing this, I have already thought of five more potential meeting places and so a definite follow up piece will be written but in the meantime, I would love to hear how and where you met your partners if you are not single and if you are, have you had any success at the places listed above or do you have any ideas for me to add to the follow up? Let me know, I would love to hear from you!

Happy hunting

Shevy

Eating in silence.

Posted: July 11, 2014 in Family, Friends, Random

Sitting at a restaurant for dinner last night, it was hard not to notice the apparent over usage of mobile devices in a social environment. I have always advocated social media and the use of technology, I am in fact an addict and find it very difficult to sit and do nothing when there is a Facebook news feed to be read. That said, I know where to draw the line and one of those lines is drawn at dinner where I choose to have actual human contact and engage in conversation – Surely that is common sense? Alas, it is less common to interact with your dinner partner and more acceptable to eat with your fork in one hand and your other hand scrolling through your Twitter updates.

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Out with the girls, we had our phones out, obviously. We spent some time playing with the camera’s and taking selfies, air brushing our skin after a long day at work and accidentally taking pictures of the diners at the next table which prompted some friendly conversation and quite a few laughs. It was easy to see that we were the most social table in the section, surrounded by human beings devoid of any human interaction or emotion. The saddest part of it all – a young couple behind us having dinner that I spent much time ogling (In a non stalker way – I hope). They sat down shortly after we did, each with their phones on the table, one hand scrolling and the other hand being used for refreshment. The couple did not share one word, not one look, not a nod or a grin for the entire time they sat there. It was obvious they were scrolling through their Facebook and Instagram accounts from the time they sat down, pausing to order from the waiter and not so much as looking up when the food arrived. They continued to peruse their mobile devices as they ate and after they were done, all the attention was once again devoted to their social media.

Excuse me, but when did it become acceptable to leave the house with someone but not say two words to them because whatever is happening on your phone is far more important (For over two hours!). I ask you, with tears in my eyes, what is the actual point in leaving the house? You are probably better off ordering take away dinner, staying in doors and giving each other the silent treatment in the comfort of your own home – Without all of the restaurants patrons judging you?

I have said this many times before – I love social media. I use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. I do update my Facebook status at least once a day, I have occasionally tweeted about bad service I have received, I have Instagrammed a pic or two of dinner, I have a Pinterest board for my cats and like to update LinkedIn on more business related topics. I do it all and I am proud of it – I am just as proud, if not more so, of the fact that I understand when enough is enough. I know that when what is happening on my phone is more interesting or important than what is happening in my life, a change needs to be made. Life was not made to live through a device – By all means, share what you do with those you love but as my good friend mentioned in his recent blog:

In my opinion you should be posting about experiences with friends, not experiencing posts with “friends”! – Chris Huntingford

(Click here to read Chris Huntingford’s full blog on Social Media)

This brings me to another sore but pertinent point, social networking and gaming – the destroyer of relationships.

When Candy Crush came out, we all downloaded it. We played it until we were ill. We sent numerous requests on Facebook for extra lives and bonus sweets to see how far we could get. Candy Crush morphed into Pet rescue, despite how much we all moaned and groaned about Farmville. Then, if you’re like me, you went and blocked every game app on Facebook to stop receiving requests and invites and made sure that all the games had been deleted from your devices… The phase was over. I realized that I was spending far too much time ‘playing’ these online games that it was actually taking away from my day to day human interaction. Hours would pass in the quest to build my Ice Age Village (Which I was mighty proud of after many hours of hard work) and it was only a matter of time before my dragons were levelling up in Dragon City – Then I sat back and realized how absolutely absurd that all sounds when I have far more important things to do like spend time with my family, converse with my husband or get my chunky ass to gym (Like I am always complaining about).

In a world where we already battle to separate home from work, where we constantly struggle with living to work versus working to live, how did we think that we were so evolved and mature to incorporate yet another split to struggle with – Quality time versus Game time. Well, that is exactly my point. Unless your life is perfect and you can balance every aspect without fail, stress or anxiety… unless your family gets enough quality time and you give your all in everything you do (lacking nothing), the last thing you should be doing is spending hours each night on your phone levelling up. When are you giving life a chance to happen?

I have had to ban the use of mobile devices for game purposes in my home from Monday to Friday. Though my husband will not admit it, he is addicted to social gaming (The latest being Hearthstone or something like it). When did I realize he had a problem? When he got up and walked to the kitchen to make me some hot chocolate and took his laptop with him – he continued playing while the kettle boiled, while he poured the mug and after bringing it to me he quickly raced back to the kitchen to see what was happening. The tell should have been the fact that he upgraded from his cell phone to his laptop… that’s commitment.  While annoyed with me for the ban, he will eventually see the point when we are interacting as a family more and worrying about the games less. When instead of coming home to him couch bound in front of his laptop gaming, perhaps a conversation will take place instead.  He wont get snippy retorts over the work or personal work he cannot get to at the expense of his gaming habit and he will value the weekend game time he has more so than the brief interludes he was getting midweek – The love affair with online gaming. The social mistress.

I have only one request… consideration. Be considerate of those around you when you are staring at your phone or device. Be considerate of your family when it is interaction time and you’re fiddling on your phone. Have some consideration for yourself and the valuable things you could be missing out on – Life is short. Too short. Don’t be remembered for the amount of time you spent online, be remembered for the amount of time you didn’t…

It is all about balance, balance takes practice and practice makes perfect. Don’t be upset with those of us implementing bans, we only want more of your time.

(PS. Thank you to my husband for inspiring a portion of this blog)

(PPS. Here is hoping that somehow, that couple at the restaurant gets to read it).

 

The theme of the month is change, ongoing and never ending change.

“Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies.” – Robert Kennedy

Embracing change is a difficult thing for all, no matter if you are willing to admit it or won’t. For example, I am extremely open to change and yet every time I go to a particular restaurant I will order the same meal on the menu. I know that I like that particular meal and I know that I will not be disappointed, therefore have no need to change the meal I order. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it right? Heaven forbid that restaurant take that meal off of the menu, the change would be quite an upset. That said, there are changes that are a lot less important than others. Some change is necessary, the biggest changes are the most important.

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In life, changes occur whether we initiate those changes or not. Some changes, though our own choice, can be just as stressful if not more so than the change we do not foresee or expect. With my current stress levels at an all-time high, I have been reading up on the interesting ‘Holmes and Rahe stress scale’ which I found extremely interesting and understandable – It helps put a lot of changes into perspective.

The Holmes and Rahe scale looks at various life events / changes and ranks them in terms of Life change units (ie. Death of a spouse is ranked at 100 units whereas Christmas ranks at 12 units) These events are then ranked in order of most stressful to least and the scale was then used to determine the link between stress and illness, dating back to issues that were noticeable stress factors in the 1960’s and 1970’s. (Why not take a look at the scale at the end of this blog and access your own stress / illness levels?)

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So why all the change, stress and blogging silence?

In April I made a rather big decision to change jobs… In our personal lives, circumstances meant that my own stress levels were at a very high level. The decision to change jobs partially stemmed from that but partially because I needed to be selfish, I needed to support my family while going back to my roots. I needed to make a change to re-evaluate what I am doing in my career and why. So in the beginning of June I started my new job in a new place with new people and a very different way of doing things. It has been the hardest and most humbling experience in my career so far, I have made a change that has truly challenged me and put me to the ground running. I realize that I had become complacent, I thought I knew all there was to know. I received awards and was nominated for others, I was revered by my colleagues and managers and I felt like I was truly needed but I had no idea that it was actually me needing them to fuel my complacency, to allow me to believe that I knew everything when I barely knew anything. What an amazing change it has been so far and I am certain will continue to be… I am learning so much about business and people but more importantly I am learning so much about myself. Learning that I am still willing to learn, learning that I am willing to change and learning that I am willing to share everything I have been taught with anyone willing to listen.

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In the midst of my career move, I have been experiencing a fair amount of change in my personal life as well. Finally, an ongoing issue that has been in our lives for over 4 years has come to an end. In all the time that I have been with my husband, we have had a matter hanging over us which has finally been resolved. What this means is that we can finally live freely without worry and uncertainty, a weight of anxiety has been lifted and we can change the way we live because of our emotional freedom. It is an amazing feeling…

With emotional freedom and stress caused by change, comes a time of re-evaluation. Who am I? Where have I been and where do I want to be? What do I want for my family, my children, for myself? Very important questions that we should be asking ourselves regularly, constantly changing and evolving with our priorities and responsibilities. I am confidently able to answer these questions, I have plans for our future and I am motivated. I want to work hard and do my utmost to excel in my career, in turn allowing me to be successful and fulfilled at home, being able to provide for my family and for myself. I no longer enjoy the drama that comes with certain weekend socializing and honestly could not be bothered to find a babysitter to go out to a pub, instead I would prefer to spend time with my husband and with my children. I want to get to know these people, my family, more than anything in the world. This does not mean that I want to become socially inept and turn into a hermit, far from it actually. What it means is that I am learning that there is a time and a place for everything. I can enjoy a ladies day every now and then free from familial responsibilities, my husband and I will go on our date nights, I may enjoy a sporadic night out on the dance floor, all of these healthy social activities. The beauty in my mindset change is that I understand there is a time and a place for everything, I understand what I like and what I don’t like and I know what I want to be around and what I don’t want to be around. With these realizations come social upsets, people that may no longer agree with your plans, people that may no longer fit into your plans. Sadly, this is natural – As we grow, we change, we learn that we want to be surrounded by people who can stimulate and motivate us towards the goals we set for ourselves, there is no room for naysayers and those that will bring you down. Those people do not belong in your life, you do not belong in theirs.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

There are so many changes apparent and occurring day in and day out in all of our lives. Some of them suck, royally. Others make us nervous and anxious, some allow us freedom and relief… other changes are as insignificant as the colour change of a traffic light. No matter the change, know that the only constant is change. We live in a world where we cannot sit still or we get left behind, instead we need to make the choice to constantly change for our own good and the good of others.

Good luck to you and all of your change, know that when the changes end, it is time to start making your own change.

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The Holmes and Rahe scale

Life event

Life change units

Death of a spouse

100

Divorce

73

Marital separation

65

Imprisonment

63

Death of a close family member

63

Personal injury or illness

53

Marriage

50

Dismissal from work

47

Marital reconciliation

45

Retirement

45

Change in health of family member

44

Pregnancy

40

Sexual difficulties

39

Gain a new family member

39

Business readjustment

39

Change in financial state

38

Death of a close friend

37

Change to different line of work

36

Change in frequency of arguments

35

Major mortgage

32

Foreclosure of mortgage or loan

30

Change in responsibilities at work

29

Child leaving home

29

Trouble with in-laws

29

Outstanding personal achievement

28

Spouse starts or stops work

26

Beginning or end school

26

Change in living conditions

25

Revision of personal habits

24

Trouble with boss

23

Change in working hours or conditions

20

Change in residence

20

Change in schools

20

Change in recreation

19

Change in church activities

19

Change in social activities

18

Minor mortgage or loan

17

Change in sleeping habits

16

Change in number of family reunions

15

Change in eating habits

15

Vacation

13

Christmas

12

Minor violation of law

11

Score of 300+: At risk of illness.

Score of 150-299: Risk of illness is moderate (reduced by 30% from the above risk).

Score <150: Only have a slight risk of illness.

Look up.

Watching ‘Look Up‘, the latest YouTube sensation by Gary Turk, I’m reminded of just how much our lives are influenced by technology. Not only technology, but the hundreds of thousands of little people that live in our devices, our social media networks. Over 39 million views were received by this video so perhaps we are all identifying with the same issue, the ongoing battle of balance between real life and living in the interwebz.

I remember getting my first MySpace page, jazzing it up and for the first time putting myself out there on the internet. Keeping up with my favorite musicians online and finally bridging the gap between my insignificant life and the rest of the world. Global society was so close, I could almost reach out and touch it. Friends were mouse clicks away. MySpace truly was my little spot on the internet, my tiny little 10011011 on the worldwide web.

That’s the beauty of the internet. On MySpace, you could be anyone you wanted to be. Perhaps a shy, antisocial female in the outcast circles of reality but online, a beautiful girl with popularity matched by none and great tastes in everything. Welcome to the internet, welcome to your new life, enter the world of the digital alter ego… Dum dum dum.

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We now live in a world where MySpace was the tip of a Titanic iceberg. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Foursquare have all become part of our daily routines, to name but a few. The fact that you’re reading this means you clicked on my blog link from my share on Facebook or Twitter. Possibly searching key words on Google or scrolling through your followed bloggers on WordPress, a blogger yourself. Each one of the 39 million views of the Look Up video were online, through any of the above social media sites or YouTube directly. The internet and social media does not make it possible to live, they do however make it possible for me to live as I do now. Openly, in view of social network eyes and public scrutiny. I choose this, I created all of these profiles.

Unfortunately, along with freedom of speech and public living, social media came with a very long list of negatives. Privacy? Non existent (though, you’re not forced to have public profiles). Dissociation. Because, why would anyone need real people when the ones in your phone make so much more sense? Crime. Sadly, criminals will always find a way in and so the internet opened up thousands of doors. The list continues and we could be here discussing negatives all day, sadly the one negative bothering me today is not as serious as any of the minuses listed above… It delves a little deeper in to the human condition.

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It’s saddening to me that social media is used in the fake ways they’re used today. You’d think that with the access we’ve been given and opportunities available to us through social media, we’d be using them in more of a truthful way? Alas, no. In fact, isn’t it frustrating how every friend on your Facebook page has the perfect life and relationship. Every Twitter handle a positive one (barring the anonymous ones). Every Instagram picture beautifully manicured and posed and every meal posted, a gourmet one. While being as active as I am online, I do have friends and relationships in real life. Like everyone, I have concerns and hang ups and problems. For every good day, there is a bad day. For every posed #nomakeupselfie, there is a bad acne day. I am human. What is sad to me is that people, society, friends and family choose to portray another life online, a life of perfection.

I am not one who enjoys breeding negativity, I really am not. I’d also probably complain if everyone on my timeline was constantly negative and pessimistic however, I’d like to see a little bit more realism online. I wish people would be more honest.

I know people in real life that constantly whine and fuss, in fact nothing in their life ever goes right in their books and anything more than a grimace is fake. I struggle to understand how those people are the ones posting positive meme’s, poems and updates online. Who are they fooling?
I know individuals that hate their spouse, hate reality. These are the people posting hundreds of happy photos with their partners and overly compensating on their Facebook walls.
I haven’t seen friends in reality for years and yet year in and year out, we wish each other for our birthdays and continue to stalk each other without actually having to see each other… This is sad to me, in fact it’s disappointing.

There is nothing wrong with spending a quality amount of time online, update your status three times a day or tweet a thousand times this year. Update all three meals of the day or check in online at the office if you must. We are all guilty of trying to portray our real lives in the best and most positive light but again I must remind you that we are all human. If you’re having a bad day, don’t be afraid to say so. It’s only natural, isn’t that what social media is about? Sharing?

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Recently, I decided to take a chance and put two of my controversial blogs onto News24. Why did I do this? The truth is, though you’d hope people closest to you would be honest with you, this is not always the case. Friends and family may not agree with your opinions, but to keep the peace these views won’t be aired (Not saying this is true in my case or speaking for anyone, this is a general observation). I thought the best scrutiny to receive was from those who didn’t know me, who could judge me on my honesty and opinion alone. This exercise was a pretty disheartening one, I received over 7000 views online and yet between them maybe 5-7 positive comments and the rest were nasty, angry opinions. At first, this upset me. On a closer read and given more thought, it occurred to me that a lot of these people are those that portray happy fulfilling lives online but perhaps experience repression in reality, everyone needs a release right and their lambasting of my blog was exactly that. Or perhaps they’re going against everything I’ve said in this piece, they’re negative online and off and I’ve just chosen to befriend the correct people. Who knows..?

Back to the point. It’s not enough to be digitally social for me. While I am notoriously active on social media (having received criticism for this in the past), I have a life offline. It’s not perfect. I go through challenges just as frequently as everyone else, but I’m honest about that life (read my previous blogs if you’re unsure of my honesty). I’m not asking anyone to be negative unnecessarily. All I ask is that you be mindful of hypocrisy, chances are if I know how you act in real life, I’ll see straight through your online facade… As will others.. Or maybe that’s what you were hoping?

Shevy

Dear Solange.

Posted: May 13, 2014 in Random
Tags: , , , , , ,

Dearest Solange,

I must thank you for the laughing fit that ensued after watching the brief video clip that was released of you attacking Jay Z. You’ve reiterated once again that celebrities are human as well and we all have our dodgy family dramas, even you. I must admit, I’m intrigued as to why you went at your brother in law like a street hooligan and can’t understand the desire to throw the the first punch in that rather small elevator. For future information, decent space is required to get good air to your kicks and therefore an elevator is not recommended.

I’m as human as the next person, for that reason I understand the motive of jealousy (If that was your MO at all). Yes, your sister is undoubtedly one of the most successful pop stars of all time (A career you’re trying to develop) and she’s married to one of the wealthiest music moguls of present times. I get that you may have been a little upset but can’t possibly understand why you chose that particular time and place to have a physical go… It probably was not a smart idea to beat your family member in full camera view for the public to see, causing much upset at the use of your expensive handbag (tragedy!)

The funniest articles are saying it was a ferocious attack, though I’m uncertain as to what was feral about it. You were pissed off (obviously) and the guy probably needed a smack. I’m sure he has to pay people not to hit him a lot of the time, but I don’t believe it’s good practice to be beating your sisters husband. No doubt future family lunches may be a little awkward after this debacle.

The hotel is shocked at your behavior, what’s even more shocking is the free publicity they’re receiving after the Knowles vs Carter lift showdown. They’re so perplexed they’re releasing statements, well done on giving them 100% occupancy from now until well, forever. Rather strategic of them, releasing that ever so private video footage and not laying claim to the ‘leak’.

Whatever the reason, well done for being human.
Keep us smiling
Shevy

My husband will be the first to tell you that I have a shopping problem. While I don’t look at it as a problem, he sees this as me spending money unnecessarily on clothes or shoes I don’t plan on wearing or that I have already in another color. Well, this is not true. I make sure I wear every item of clothing or pair of shoes I buy, even if it is only once.

There isn’t a lot in the world that I spend money on, the list is short but to me extremely important. First and foremost I choose to spend money on my tattoos, I like to think of my skin art as jewelry that I can never lose – never a wasted cent. Then, tie for second, comes vests and shoes (and yes, even my friends know it). My wardrobe is fairly simple, I have a few pairs of jeans in various styles and colors which I rotate with a vest of some kind. I believe I do have a vest addiction and even throughout winter remain in vests with a long sleeve or jersey over the top. I have recently cleaned out my cupboard and donated my unworn clothing and after this I’m left with over 30 vests (34 I believe) in all variations, colors (okay maybe more black) and designs from various clothing retailers but most of all Jay Jay’s, I pop in for a look and they greet me by name! Along with vests are boots and shoes for which a clean out also occurred leaving me with 24 pairs of pumps, heels and sneakers and 10 pairs of boots. Paris Hilton has thousands of pairs of shoes so I don’t think this is over the top at all? My only problem is becoming where to keep them all!!!

I am not the girliest of girls but it doesn’t mean I don’t like certain things and go moggy while acquiring them. Tattoos, vests, shoes and boots are my thing… I don’t wear a lot (if any) jewelry, I don’t spend thousands on make up and skin care regimes monthly (though I probably should), I replace my handbag when the existing one breaks and I try painting and doing my own nails over having them done regularly in a salon (cost-conscious). When you’re down on a diet and are not spending as much money on shopping for junk food, eating out and takeaways, there isn’t much else to spend money on and let’s be honest, we all like to spend a little money right? So today I bought a new top that reads ‘I don’t have a shopping problem, I’m helping the economy’ and that’s exactly how I’m choosing to see it.

Shevy*

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It takes a little while to process the emotion and shock of actually falling pregnant. It is a time that no one understands what you are going through, you burst into tears for no reason and you struggle to fit into your non-pregnancy pants, for as long as humanly possible. At some stage, you hope the crying stops but it doesn’t and the only way you can wear those pants is by leaving the top button undone and pairing them with a long loose top. This is about the time you have no choice but to adjust to and accept being pregnant.

When I was pregnant I received mixed reviews about what the next few months of my life would be like. Contrary to what MANY people told me, I did not glow with either pregnancy. Any glowing was caused by severe internal heat sending messages to my sweat glands, just like any other person suffering from an almost spontaneous combustion. Some told me that it would be the most beautiful experience of my life while others told me how much they hated it. I loved and hated both of my pregnancies, despite realising that a pregnancy was not like in the movies, I didn’t always look beautiful and for the rare moments I could keep my eyes open, my spare time was spent eating to feed the little being growing inside of me.

Coming to terms with a being growing inside of you is a pretty amazing thing. Sometimes, it feels like you are harbouring an alien from another planet that finds joy in kicking the crap out of you from the inside and other times, all you can think about is that this is a little person, a person that has not yet been influenced in any way, a blank canvas, a clean slate and a new start… a second chance. There was nothing better with either baby than to feel her kick…in the beginning. I remember early in both pregnancies wondering when these babes would start kicking and all I wanted was for someone to feel it, for someone to confirm what I was feeling. What nobody tells you is that once they start kicking and frolicking and learning how to waltz inside of you, all you want is for them to stop. A decent night’s sleep is no more, a quiet dinner out cannot happen, a comfortable cinema movie a distant memory. That little baby is going to kick the being out of you, get used to it and while they take pleasure in mommy abuse, the minute anyone else lays a hand on your belly to get a feel it’s as if you have never been pregnant… I can hear the little voice in their ‘in utero’ heads saying ‘PSYCHE’!

Wave good bye to sleep… not just for a few months but for a few years. If you are lucky, you have a baby that sleeps through or a husband that enjoys all the night feeds but up until the baby is born there is no one who can share in the insomnia, you are on your own with Google (Try not to if you can avoid it). I was tired all of the time, purely because I had a being inside of me whom I loved dearly but was sucking the life lovingly out of me. I have heard of women that do regain their energy after the morning sickness subsides but sadly, there was no energy in my corner. Once I finally laid my head down and was sure I would get some sleep, little feet began running hurdles and before I had a chance to fall into deep sleep I was up and entertaining myself.

The hunger never subsided. Doctors, health professionals and women with children who did it and wished they didn’t, will all tell you not to eat for two. The women who have not yet had children will encourage you to eat for two and will probably buy you food. I did my best, when possible, to eat healthy but I could eat constantly. I would eat the strangest things at the strangest times, thankfully my husband did not deny me and often made a midnight trip to the garage for Coca-Cola and strawberry milkshake, what do you do?

You are going to, at this point, hear about every food that you should not be eating. While I know for certain that there are legitimate reasons for each and every foodstuff and why you should not be ingesting it, I did not listen at all. I was good in terms of habits, I quit smoking for both pregnancies the moment I found out I was pregnant and also stopped drinking any form of alcohol. I did however, continue to eat / drink exactly what I wanted. While I know it is considered ‘dangerous’, I still ate Sushi and biltong and everything the health books tell you. My rationale? Women have been having babies for hundreds of years, our parents were not given the list of what to’s and what not’s and we turned out just fine, right? Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating being a naughty eater but what I am trying to say is go with your gut. You don’t become a mother when the baby has been born, you are already a mother when the baby is forming inside of you. With being a mother comes a mothering instinct and a gut feel that never goes away. The only advice I would like to give is go with YOUR gut. You will know when it is right or wrong to eat, you will know what activities are right or wrong, you will know when it’s time to call the doctor or not and you will know when you want your baby daddy to make the midnight trip. You just KNOW.

Whatever your circumstances, be prepared for judgement, good and bad. With my first pregnancy, I was young and not very well established in a career, I did not have a big house and did not have a lot of money so I was not the ideal mother material. I remember getting a lot of looks or stares when out at shops, while pregnant and once I had my daughter. I remember getting a lot of questions like ‘How old are you’, ‘should you be pregnant’ and ‘are you not married’? I was not married with either baby and you know what? So what. With the second pregnancy, I had a career and a house and a stable (though brief) relationship with my then boyfriend (now husband) and still I got a lot of judgement for being a ‘modified’ mom. I fell pregnant covered in tattoos and piercings, I can assure you that it has no bearing on the health of your baby nor did it damage either of my children in either way.

Now I am going to briefly mention baby daddy. You did not make this baby alone and whether you are with baby daddy or not, he is going to want to play a part in your pregnancy (You hope) and bringing the baby into the world. That said, don’t expect them to be overly interested in every little detail and how in this week the babies heart has formed etc… be prepared for him to switch off. With my own husband, I remember being so frustrated with him. I signed him up for all the babycenter mails to get the weekly updates on the baby’s development only to see him delete without reading. I bought him a ‘Father’s first year’ book which he never even read, much to my annoyance and he was not too keen on watching any tv shows on babies either. That said, he did come with me to every doctor’s appointment and was at my side the whole way through the birth J

If you are pregnant and reading this, now is a good time to take your third pee break. Try not to giggle either, you may not make it to the toilet in time. Working when pregnant was a little bit of a nightmare for my bladder habits, I was getting up to go to the toilet every half an hour. My bladder shrunk to that of a walnut and any joke had to be told with care to avoid unwanted ‘accidents’. With my second pregnancy, D had a hand in squashing my kidneys and giving me a UTI (Possibly kidney stones) and put me in hospital before I even knew what she looked like. Do not HOLD in anything, if you need to go and pee, you go and pee! It is your right as a pregnant woman, do it.

Something I wanted to add in was learning (Or being surprised) by the sex of your baby. While you may be a planner and want to know if you are adding to the world’s male or female population, the baba may have other ideas and you don’t get to see at all. I was fortunate, I had two daughters and both were quite open to showing us their bits very early on in the pregnancy even though both of them chose to hide their faces for the all important 4D scans. Don’t be disappointed, it’s a matter of time before you get to see them in person!

There are a few things that you do need to look at while you are pregnant, you have a few months to sort them out but a checklist is helpful. I was extremely forgetful and made lists for everything, do the same if it makes it easier to remember everything J

  • Pick and choose a hospital, preferably close by.
  • Get a birth plan in place – Do you want to have a C-Section? Will you be going natural? If you go natural, are you going to have any drugs? Things to think about and make your birthing partners aware of.
  • Start sorting out where you would like your baby to sleep when he/she arrives
  • Start making baby shower wish lists
  • If you are working, it is a good time to start thinking about maternity leave and claiming UIF. I went through a company called Life’s Miracles and they were very helpful.
  • Start stocking up on nappies, toiletries and formula – These things will never go to waste.
  • Start thinking of girl’s and boy’s names that you like
  • You can never pack your hospital bags too early
  • I was an over achiever and tried to be very involved in my baby shower – Try not to be. This can be very frustrating for those planning it J Friends and family will generally plan the baby shower for you and it is really a fun day to share stories, spend time with friends and family and allow your baby to be spoilt!

 

Now enjoy the next few months, this is the easy part.

Shevy

Next up… So you think you can procreate – The birth.

Keep Talking

Posted: February 16, 2014 in Motivational, Personal, Random
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I never want to be made to feel that I cannot express myself. It is imperative that we do keep discussing what matters, it enriches our souls and furthers our education.

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He was the perfect gentleman, as gentlemanly as a 12 year old could be. A school disco in Standard 5 gave us the opportunity to slow dance with each other, realizing that we were ready to date. Though I wasn’t actually allowed to date, a secret boyfriend seemed like a fantastic idea. AG lived only a few roads away from where I did, we went to the same school and we had so much in common. He was everything that a father would want for her daughter, only I was only 11 years old and definitely not ready for a boyfriend.

There were hugs here and there, hands being held at every opportunity while waiting for the bus after school. I was in love. One day after school he asked me to come over to his house to watch Power Rangers, I had asked my dad and he had agreed that I could go and he would fetch me later. I went home first that afternoon and put on the most beautiful dress I owned, a black long sleeve dress with party skirt in three luminous colors, AG then came to my house to fetch me on his bicycle. This wasn’t the most well thought out plan as I was now in a short skirt but we made the ride work, he stood and cycled while I side saddled on the seat of his bicycle for the most uncomfortable bicycle ride of my life.

When we arrived at his house, his mom was waiting. I remember walking into the gate, completely unsure of how to act and what to say. This happened in movies, boys and girls spent time together, things got awkward, I wasn’t sure I was ready for this. I walked through the house into his linoleum kitchen in a shade of canary yellow, to his mother standing holding a homemade jug of ginger beer. She greeted me warmly, poured me a glass of ginger beer and I accepted graciously. I should have known that this would end awkwardly when taking a swig of the ginger beer only to discover the raisins in the cup. I forced the raisins down my throat and did my best to look grateful. AG led us to his bedroom (What?) and when going in I realized he had a television in his room and this was where we were going to watch Power Rangers.

We sat awkwardly on the bed next to each other, he took my hand and we interlocked fingers. Holding hands was familiar to us and I was happy to be there with him, innocently watching tv. I then decided to lay down so he offered to put a pillow on his leg and I could lay down on his lap, not thinking much of this I lay down and we continued to watch Power Rangers. My heart was thumping through my chest, uncertain of what was to come, how I should be feeling and not completely understanding the sweat that was building on my brow. I was facing the television when a light caress across my cheek with his hand caused me to look up into his face, as I did he bent down and gave me my first kiss. He touched his lips gently to mine and time stopped for what was only mere moments, it was then that his mom opened his door and told me it was time to go home.

I remember feeling very dazed, confused but more in love with AG than I could possibly imagine.

Sadly, we didn’t see each other much after this day. We moved to a new house, as did he, and I started high school where we went to separate schools only ever to see each other in brief passing. I did not have a boyfriend for a very long time after AG and instead became a bit of a nerd, dating again only in Grade 10. I did run into him in college, he had let himself go a little bit but still had the same boyish smile of the nervous kid who held my cheek and briefly kissed me, or what we thought was a kiss.

AG was my first love even though I was so young, I will never forget him :)

Shevy

Daily Prompt: It’s Friday, I’m in Love
by Krista on February 14, 2014
Remember your first crush? Think about that very first object of your affection. Oh, the sweaty palms. The swoony feeling in your stomach. Tell us the story of your first crush. What was it about this person that made your heart pound? Was the love requited? Change the names to protect the guilty or innocent if you must! No judgement here. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SMITTEN.
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Comments are always closed on prompts. Pingbacks are enabled; if you link to the prompt post on your blog, your post will appear in the list below the prompt.

Being Valentine’s day and all, I’m sure many people will be going out tonight for dinner and perhaps some romance thereafter but as a female who prides herself in demonstrating good personal hygiene, it still shocks me at how many of these basic points are not followed anymore, basic principles that should be taught growing up and habits instilled from a very early age.

I’m a stickler for good hygiene. I cannot surround myself with people whose hygiene habits leave something to be desired and when leaving the house, I am EXTREMELY judgmental toward people who’ve given little or no thought to their own personal hygiene. It is not attractive to have bad breath, it is not attractive to have dirty fingernails, wearing your jeans everyday for a week is pretty disgusting and heaven forbid you leave the house in slops with toenails that are close to growing their own ears.

You don’t have to be rich to be clean, you do not have to spend a lot of money to take pride in your appearance. I’m not saying go grocery shopping in make up and stilettos but what I am saying is that your hair should at least be washed and brushed and your teeth cleaned, it’s not rocket science, it is common sense. I carry over my OCD into my everyday life and feel the same way about my own living areas, there is no reason that you need to live in squalor, the same way there is no reason to go out looking homeless.

Guys. Girls. It’s Valentine’s Day. Not only today but everyday you should be just as interested in your personal hygiene as you are in finding a valentine.

For some hints and tips of basic personal hygiene, see the link to the doctors blog below : Hygiene basics