August 13, 2014
Two days ago, Jon and I officially didn’t celebrate the fact that we’ve been together for 5 years. Firstly, because everyone keeps telling us that our old anniversary doesn’t count anymore, and secondly because actually we forgot. Marriage, the real romance killer. Haha, I’m just joking – we’ve decided that we’ll still go all out, but focus on our new, proper, married anniversary. So bring on June 21 2015 – because I got schnaaed out of being spoilt rotten since our last anniversary was up to me to arrange. NERT KERL, JERN!
In the 5 years we have been together, and in the 4-odd years we’ve lived together, Jon’s mom has never been to our home. She lives in CT now, so that’s probably the biggest reason. But now, we’ve convinced her to come up and visit – so she’ll be here on Friday, the day before my birthday, for one night and then the following Thursday for another night or so. I AM SO NERVOUS!
Basically, it means we need to renovate the entire house. Also, we need new curtains and linen and carpets and a better bed and OHMYGODLETSCHANGEVERYTHINGJONSMOMISCOMING!
- What if she finds a spec of dirt somewhere?
- Thank god I don’t smoke anymore*
- What do I feed her? What if she hates my food? (How often do Mothers In Law need to be walked**?)
- Are there enough Jon-family photos in our house? Oh shit, there are way more of my family photos. MUST REARRANGE ALL THE PHOTO FRAMES IMMEDIATELY.
- Has Thembi dusted the pantry shelves recently?
- Do I get rid of all the evidence of sexual things in our house like Lube, the un-used condoms from 2011, my lingerie? God forbid she knows her son has S.E.X. That would be terribly embarrassing.
- GET RID OF ALL THE PORK IN THE FREEZER!
Of course, in my brief to Thembi this morning, I asked her to start making everything perfect. So she cleaned the carpets of the bedrooms and forgot to air out the room and now everything smells like sour milk up in this place. THANKS THEMBS! She came into the room with her nose blocked now just before she left for the day and apologised and blamed her pregnancy brain. We’ve all been there, I suppose.
Any advice for me, you guys?
*Oh, yes, btw, I’m no longer a smoker. 5 weeks free and counting from cigarettes. Thanks, Twisp!
** That’s just a silly joke to showcase my ignorance of how to host a Mother In Law, this is my first one you know! I’m totally out of my comfort zone here, people!
July 28, 2014
There’s nothing quite like the post-wedding-blues. Like, what’s it all mean? What is life even about now? HOW AND WHAT ON AM I MEANT TO SPEND MY TIME?
My heart: just chill. You don’t always need to run towards the next big thing ohmygahdjustrelaxandenjoy.
My brain: Buy a new car, maybe. Trade the Audi in for something with iOS7 compatibility, perhaps? Why spend my moneez on a super expensive sports car that I can’t even sync to my iPhone? Really, it’s stupid. Also, as much as I love my car, I don’t love the debit order that goes with it. If I could choose, I’d want to keep my A3, but be able to plug in my iPhone and have my calls via bluetooth and my music as a playlist, but pay at least 2k less.
Right now as I tweet, I’ve got a bunch of dudes advising me on which car I should replace it with. And here’s my super informed and well researched response to their suggestions:
Holy schmoly THAT’S THE CAR EDWARD DRIVES! #TeamVampires
Sooooooooo pretty. Sooooooo expensive.
Never gonna happen ever.
As much as I will always have the softest of soft spots for MINI, it just doesn’t suit my lifestyle plans right now.
Love to, not quite ready for that leap just yet. Also, see reasons above about moneez.
So help me, internetz, what car would you replace an Audi A3 with, if at all?
PS: Husband, do not perish from perspiration and anxiety. Am just looking. With my mouse on the internet. *side eyes*
PPS: I’ve only had my A3 for just over a year. In the interests of full disclosure I thought I’d mention that.
July 24, 2014
You guys, it’s no secret that I buy all my clothes at Mr Price, it’s my addiction. And then when they opened up their online store, I basically THREW my credit card at them. Now, every month it’s my little treat to myself to order a little something that gets delivered to my desk. It’s become an office ritual for all the girls to stand around while I unpack my special somethings so they can oooh and aaah. You should’ve SEEN what I was like leading up to the wedding. I was all, “oh I need this candle and that frame and 13 of those sunglasses (not even lying), and this pair of sandals and ohmygodlookatthisthingalso!”.
Whatever you do, just enter the competition. Because you can buy some of the things that I love, just LOOK AT ALL THESE AMAZING ITEMS!
I just got lost in the world of Mr P and have racked up a basket of amazingness, what do you think? I love, love, love the bow aliceband.
Anyway, I want you to have a taste of my Mr Price addiction, so I’m giving away a R1500 fashion voucher. And it’s far too easy to enter, just click on the banner below.
Ok, if you don’t like that banner, click this one instead:
Oh fine, if you don’t want to click a banner, just click this writing:
July 23, 2014
30 7 things before I’m 30
1. It’s a funny thing. I’ve written a birthday post every single year since 2006 and every year the posts could not be more different if I tried. Sometimes I am actually amazed at the changes I’ve gone through since all the way back then when I first discovered the world of blogging.
2. One of the things I’ve realised is that I’m really good at starting things way before their time, often too soon, often inappropriately, often before the world was ready to embrace it. For instance, NerdMag, which was one of the very first geek / tech / social media websites in SA. It did super well, and then it didn’t. So I closed it when I got bored. Blogger meet ups happened back in the day too, before they were branded ‘Tweet ups’ like they were a few years later. Another thing I started (and got super bored of) was Nerdies awards – where online people voted who their favourite other online people where, and to secure their votes, they donated things to other online people. Like Briget’s flower aerial off her pretty pink VW, or charity drives, or a hot girl’s bra. It was randomly arbitrary, but fun. I wish I could still do things like that, start something that lots of other people jump onto and have fun with. I just don’t have the inclination or energy.
3. I’m 30 one month from today. It feels so old and so young all the same time. On one hand I’m all “OH MY GOD, WHERE DID MY TWENTIES GO!?” and on the other hand, I’m all “OH LAWD, PLEASE LET MY LADY BITS WORK, I’M SUPPOSED TO BE A MOMMA BY NOW!”. And then I have days like yesterday where I just don’t care and bury my head under the duvet ALL DAY LONG.
4. If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ll know I have very… eclectic tastes. One of the things I absolutely love is Heather’s blog, called Mortuary Report. She’s a mortician, my age (ish) and one of the best innernet writers out there, and she lives in ‘Mericahhh. Read her, she’s insanely interesting.
5. I’ve uploaded a lot of crap over the years. I’ve spoken about over-flowing toilets, hijacking my own car, my family, living on the South Coast, living in Durban, moving to Cape Town, not moving to Cape Town, moving to Joburg, living in Joburg, my engagement, my wedding, and then also, I’ve uploaded this shit too:
6. I’m going through a bit of a life crisis at the moment where I’m not sure what I’ve done, what I’m doing, what I’m going to do. It’s a little post-wedding blues, a little holyshitimgonnabethirtysoonthatshalfofsixty, so I know it’s nothing to worry about. But I fleet from wanting a dog, to buying a house, to moving to Cape Town, to buying a holiday home, to breaking out on my own professionally, to wanting nothing at all to change. It’s quite exhausting for that husbank of mine, I’m sure.
7. I just got bored of this post. I’m ending here.
HOW ARE YOU GUYS?!
July 11, 2014
She spent years teaching my brothers and I how not to sit on the fence. She believes that we should stand for something or fall for everything.
She was always the loudest at all of the sports games. To the embarrassment of my brothers and I.
She used to get more nervous than we did for parent/teacher night. I think because she still felt the way we did at school. Authority sucked.
She helped me forge her signature so she didn’t have to write excuse letters for me at physical education lessons every week.
And when I got caught out by the PE teacher, she stormed into school and demanded the teacher apologise to me, even though she knew I was guilty but believed that the humiliation I got weekly outweighed the forgery.
She has lived the philosophy that she could discipline or criticise her children, but god help anyone else who tried.
During rough times, she’d make sure we ate before she did to ensure we never went to bed hungry and that there was always enough food in our bellies. For a long time we were vegetarians because meat was too expensive, and so when my eldest brother was really pining for meat, she came home with one piece of boerewors and helped him braai it over a candle.
She stood up at my first disco when I was 14 years old and embarrassed the hell out of me by doing all the moves to Greece with my friend Travis’ mom on the dance floor.
When she was training to be a beauty therapist she forced me to be her guinea pig and managed to cock up waxing my eyebrows so badly she removed one half of my eyebrow entirely.
Also, when she was learning how to do permanent make up, no one was brave enough to volunteer to be guinea pig, so she learnt on herself, and managed to tattoo her own eyeball. Such is the bravery of her.
She was the world’s proudest, happiest, caring, granny. To not only Kiera, but to Abu the monkey, Pixel and Elvis the cats, and all of Baboo’s dogs over the years.
When I ever felt sad or down, she would go out of her way to make me feel happier, even if it meant she had to throw away her dignity and put on an accent. One day, not even that much long ago, we were driving behind a taxi who had cut me off and she pretended she had tourettes and screamed, shouted and swore in a high pitched voice at the taxi until we were crying with laughter.
She stood at my wedding and BEAMED. The entire day. In fact, the morning of, we stopped at a shopping center to grab photo print outs and coffee and she managed to yell into the parking lot and tell everyone, including the car guard, cashier at Pick n Pay and the photo print-out dude, that her daughter was getting married.
Growing up I absolutely hated being told I looked and acted just like her. Now, I wish I looked more like her and I embrace opening my mouth and hearing her words spill out of me.
Today, it’s her
49th 25th birthday.
She’s beautiful, funny, completely insane and more loving than anyone on earth I know.
Happy birthday, mommabear.
I’m so glad you chose me.
I love you more than I ever have, and less than I will tomorrow.
July 8, 2014
10 steps on how to plan a wedding in 3 months
Jon proposed to me on Feb 28th and we were married on June 21st. That is just over 3 months of planning a wedding. Of course there were moments of bridezilla craziness, but mostly, it was pretty damn easy to pull off our wedding in such a short period of time. There are a couple of things I learnt about planning a wedding, they could be useful if you’re looking for tips. Here they are:
1. Get a wedding planner.
The planner will ask you all the right questions and point you in all the right directions. This is especially helpful if you, like me, have never been married or had to plan a wedding before. For instance, did you know that unless you want to be married in Community of Property, you must arrange your ANC contract with an attorney at least a month before the wedding day. Also, a lot of wedding venues charge one fee and then add on a whole bunch of things they never discussed, like use of cutlery and cutting your cake. If not for our wedding planner, we wouldn’t have known any of this. Our wedding planner angel, aptly named Angel, saved us a lot of trauma in the end. She dealt with all of our suppliers, handled a trillion email requests, made all the phone calls and negotiations leading up to the wedding, and on the day – she did all the running around making sure people were in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing. In fact, on my special day all I needed to do was rock up and look pretty, quite frankly. I’ve heard horror stories of brides running around on their day trying to do last minute fixes and arranging suppliers themselves. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
2. Get married in winter!
We were lucky enough to want a winter wedding. It was an extra bonus when we realised that most wedding venues have a major discount for the winter months, and the dates are also a lot more flexible. For instance, our wedding venue gave us a 40% discount, and they added in a whole bunch of freebies, such as:
- My make up artist on the day (including a trial before)
- Canapes between the ceremony and reception
- Welcome drinks
- Champagne for speeches
- The honeymoon suite & two extra rooms for our parents
Not only that, but if you live in Joburg, winter is almost a guarantee that you won’t get rain, plus you get to add a winter flair to your wedding, like fireplaces, blankets, gluwein, soups, hot chocolate and warm puddings. To replace the usual greenery in the outdoor area, we had fairy lights in trees and coloured lanters. It was a winter wonderland. Near the fireplaces, we had couches and coffee tables with photos of friends and family, as well as board games for those who weren’t so much into the dance scene.
3. Know what you want from your suppliers.
One of the few regrets I have from our day is that we ran out of time on the day to get the few shots I really wanted from our photographer. Of course everything was a blur so I only realised this afterwards, but it would’ve been great to work off a list on the day so that I didn’t forget anything. Unfortunately we just ran out of time and it slipped my mind. Also, and this might just be me saying this as a super duper control freak, I wish I’d been more strict on the music the DJ played. We opted for no cheese, yet that’s what he opened up with after the first dance. When asked to change the music, he went from Abba to rave music. Quite disappointing.
4. Have no seating plan.
We reserved the tables closest to us for immediate family. The rest was open to everyone else, and it worked out great I think. Also, it solved the issue of inviting single people without plus ones, they got to choose who they wanted to sit with and things were less awkward. I think. I hope. Oh god, now I’m all insecure and wondering if it was all an illusion and that everyone was so uncomfortable THE WHOLE TIME.
5. Do a sweetheart table.
Jon and I had a sweetheart table for just the two of us which was … strange. In one way, we got to appreciate little moments together and didn’t miss each other at our own wedding, in another way, it was a bit odd and we felt that we were missing out on good conversation. What can I say, we suffer from FOMO, okay? This meant that the minute we’d finished eating whatever course was in front of us, we split up and mingled. Which was fun, actually. See – I’ve got all the mixed feels about it. Sweetheart table = strange, but not bad.
6. Use Pinterest.
Pinterest is AMAZING for ideas, keeping track of a theme, looking for inspiration and also a very handy tool to sell your soon-to-be husbank on why pastel colours are going to be ahhhhhmazing! I used Pinterest to come up with a whole bunch of ideas, and then added Angel and the bridesmaids to my secret board so they could collaborate and give opinions. Together we planned the entire wedding using visual images and it was SO exciting.
7. Use a magical unicorn Google docs spreadsheet*.
And inside of this magical unicorn Google docs spreadsheet invite your Angel and your soon-to-be husbank to share and edit. Together, you can track budget, to do lists, assignments, RSVPs, the big day’s plan and music requirements. We called ours the KretzGate Wedding Bible, and it truly was. If it wasn’t in the bible, it wasn’t allowed. Except for random Typo purchases, because who can resist Typo, honestly!?
* Hat tip to Goose, who sent me hers to use as a template. I’ll never forget how Jon reacted and said that we were not allowed to be as pedantic as her, and then he went on to make it even more detailed and OCD a few days later. Ah, wedding planning – it truly brings out the best in people.
8. Do everything in digital.
We had no print out save the dates, invites or menus. Why bother? Our save the dates and invites went out via email, and all the info about the wedding was on a website. It saved a feck load of money, and effort. We used mailchimp to do the bulk mailing and tracking of who’d received, opened or deleted their invites. That helped a lot in terms of following up for RSVPs. This is what they looked like:
9. Set guidelines and boundaries up front.
For a period of about two weeks, all Jon and I did was scowl at each other whenever the wedding was discussed. Designing our wedding website was HELL, people. We couldn’t agree on anything. First my head was too big in the photo, then his was too small, then the orange colour wasn’t quite right, then we hated the theme we’d chosen so we got a whole new one… anything and everything we could argue about, we did. Until we looked at each other late one night, burst out laughing and decided we needed a break. After telling me I was a bridezilla, Jon then admitted that he was also becoming slightly irrational, and so we ignored the fact that we were getting married for a few weeks and carried on with life. It was blissful. Once we’d both calmed the fuck down, we then set boundaries about how much / when / why and where, with anything and all things wedding. Things were a lot easier after that (and after the website was published).
10. Enjoy the process.
I think so many of us can so easily get caught up in the drama, the insecurities, the insensitivities of it all, that we forget what the wedding is all about. I’m completely guilty of this, I’ll admit it openly. There were moments where I felt that a bright neon suspender belt on Jon would RUIN THE WHOLE WEDDING. WHY NEON ORANGE, JON, WHY?! But I’m clearly quite over that now. Ahem.
My point is, it’s your wedding day. It’s the day where all your lovely people get their shit together so they can honour you, and your love, and your unity. More importantly, it’s the first day of your marriage, which is waaaaay more significant than fairy lights, a hay spiral aisle and pastel themed buttons and balloons. Remember why you’re doing it all, and it’ll all fall into place.
If you’d like to add your own tips, please comment below, I’d LOVE to hear them.
July 7, 2014
One of the most surreal things one will ever do, is change their name. All your life you’ve been known as one name, and then just because you meet someone you decide you’ll grow wrinkly with, the expectation from society is that you’ll change your surname. I was always against this. I felt like I was my own damn person so I’d keep my own damn surname and that’s that. Why go through all the admin. Why put myself through hours of torture at Home Affairs, and then hours of torture waiting for SA Post Office to deliver all my new documentation.
And then I filled in the marriage certificate and I knew with all my heart, that I wanted the new surname. I wanted the admin. I wanted the weirdness of getting used to a new name. Because it is the name of my husband. It it the name we will share with our children. It is the name that immediately tells people something major in my life has taken place. It is the name that says he chose me, and I chose him. It’s the name where I declare that I’m only ever going to make sexy times with one person for the rest of my life.
And so I wait for home affairs to register our marriage, so that I can go and get me a new surname. Because I’m still my own damn person, but I’ll get me a new surname and that’s that.
On that note, our wedding was amazing. It was everything we wanted and more. It was epic having all our loved ones under one roof. It was just as weird as I thought it’d be having our families meet for the first time. I laughed, I cringed, I cried, I danced, I giggled and I snogged my brand new and shiny husband. He looked very handsome, and my heart just about bungee jumped to my spleen when we did our first look photo shoot.
Some of the highlights of our day:
- I was so preoccupied with the bloody bra that I spent R900 on which didn’t fit me, that in the few minutes I had before walking down the spiral aisle, I spent them changing bras instead of remembering to prepare my notes for our vow exchange. Wasn’t awkward at all when I stood in the middle of everyone and had to grab my iPad, log into my blog, load my draft and then read the vows all in a breathless voice.
- We said our I Dos to the words “Until death or zombies do you part”.
- As part of the wedding ceremony, we became FBO, and our friends did a Facebook thumbs up in real life. Because, dorks.
- The beautiful Goose rapped Eminem as part of her MCing of the wedding. To ease Jon’s very frazzled nerves before his speech. Watch it here. How amazing?!
- I had both my parents walk me down the aisle:
- Watching our loved ones play with the participation packs throughout our ceremony (my favourite bit was the party flutes that sounded like a giant swarm of bees, blown in celebration of the I Dos).
- We had balloons and buttons instead of flowers:
- Both Jon’s dad and my daughter’s photos were just above and behind our table during the reception, watching over everything, it was very special.
- This special little dude who lead the wedding team:
- Our colourful wedding team (this one is a bad quality pic, sorry):
- Our first kiss (before ceremony started):
- Our spiral aisle (we wanted to get married while surrounded by all our favourite people):
- The beautiful (and delicious!) wedding koek:
- We had a selfiebooth filled with all sorts of props and signs:
- And this moment with my beautiful bridesmaid, Tam:
June 6, 2014
Cheesy or not, I don’t care, today I woke up and realised that it’s 15 sleeps until I get to marry the man of my dreams. It’s funny how everyone’s got an opinion on weddings, I’m finding the most common thing is for people to absolutely make sure I know that I shouldn’t spend all my time focusing on the wedding, but rather I should realise it’s the marriage that matters most. As if I hadn’t realised.
It’s the marriage that I’m ecstatic about. I’ve said before I never imagined myself as a married woman – the concept was just so foreign to me. At first I felt like I’d never find anyone who would pick me to spend the rest of their life with. And then it became a whole lot more about me thinking I would never find someone I would pick to dedicate the rest of my years to. I couldn’t ever see myself not getting bored with someone. I always pictured myself on the bench at 84, wrinkled yet full of energy, and next to me was always one of my girlfriends. We’d drink wine and be merry and scare younger men as they walked on by. I never stopped to think it would be a man.
Until I met Jon. That day, almost 5 years ago now, sitting in his car on our way back from a Durban road trip, I just knew. I remember distinctly promising my mom before he picked me up from her house, that I wouldn’t be mean to him and test him, I’d give the Jewish boy a chance. I wouldn’t scare him away on purpose. I’d let things go and I wouldn’t force anything. I’d let him be the driving force, and I wouldn’t try control everything like I always have.
And before I knew it, a few weeks later I had a boyfriend who was normal, polite, well read, educated and exciting all at the same time. He introduced me to a new way of life, one without drama, deceit or sadness. Everything just worked. Five years later, I still find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s like it’s too easy. I’ve struggled all my life (this is not meant to be a ‘oh poor me’ post, I promise) and I kind of got used to it. Except that after I met Jon, things in life just got easier. I found my dream career, I met new friends very easily, I felt more comfortable in my skin than I ever had. And I’m not saying it’s all his doing, but a bit of it is. He’s given me a safe bubble where I could go out and explore, experiment, try new things, meet new people, and more importantly, he’s encouraged me all the way.
It also helps that his smile makes my tummy do back flips and that he is funny as hell.
I really did win the jackpot.
So for me, it might seem as if I’m only focusing on the wedding day, and I am. But it’s because it’ll be the first official day I get to say I’m his wife, for the rest of my life. So the wedding is kind of worth focusing on, because that’s the day we solidify our mutual weirdness forever and ever, and that’s pretty fucking cool.
IN FIFTEEN SLEEPS TIME!