Posted in Baby OL, Children, Comrades Marathon, Crafts, Family, Gardening, Medal Hangers, My New Business, Running, SA Medal Hangers, Trail Running, Two Oceans

An update…… (Yes really)

After a bit of “encouragement” from some fellow blogging friends, I have decided to update my blog.

I have no excuses except life and a new business got in the way.  I love blogging and stopping was not intentional.  I used to blog during working hours (my lunch break if any of my ex bosses are reading…..) and now that I am at home I don’t get that opportunity.

So, here are few things that have happened over the past couple of months

  • Business is going well and I LOVE working from home.  I am finding it a lot more stressful, and I am a lot busier than I was when I worked a full day.  I am not exactly sure how that works but I seemed to be able to fit more in back then.
  • I ran Two Oceans Ultra Marathon and LOVED IT!  It was tough, I was not sure I would finish at about the 15km mark but as soon as I got passed halfway I started to enjoy it.  I fell over one of the stupid cat’s eyes in the road but I think it might just have been the shot of adrenaline I needed.  Even though I hurt my hip, shoulder and elbow I had no grazes which was lucky.  I just wanted to finish under the 7 hour cut off and I did 6h53 so was very happy.
Halfway!
Halfway! With my running partners.

 

  • I am travelling more.  I should probably just say I am travelling.  More implies I did a little bit before.  I didn’t.  Now I do.  I am going to all the large sports expo’s around the country and having great fun.  My mom came with me to Durban for the Comrades expo and it was awesome.  It is so nice to meet up with so many people that I have only previously “met” via my Blog, Twitter or Facebook.  I will be coming up to Johannesburg again in November so hopefully I can make a plan and meet up with a few people when there.
  • Myself, and pretty much the rest of South Africa seem to be following a lower carb diet.  I dropped sugar from my tea and coffee about 2 years ago and am now consciously trying to eat less carbs.  Through this, I have realised that wheat and me don’t work well together.  It has been a very interesting experiment of one (me).  I started following the LCHF way of eating in January and have lost 8kg since then, although weight loss was not my primary reason.  I had not been feeling great for a while and although I did not realise it, I was having digestive issues.  By removing most carbs from my diet and then by reintroducing them (cheating) at various stages I noticed that I felt really awful after some things but perfectly fine after others.  I am still doing the LCHF thing unless Mr OL makes mash potatoes.  He makes great mash.

 

Then a few random things:

  • I still love trail running and my sister and I have entered the Dryland Traverse again – this time as a team. I am so glad its trail running season again.
  • I have decided after 42 years of not liking the look of succulent plants I want a succulent garden…… I went to a wedding and they had succulents as centre pieces and it looked amazing.  I have been collecting plants from various places so will keep you updated.
  • I want to learn how to crochet again…. I learnt at primary school but have not done any since.
  • Little OL is growing – and 4 is a gorgeous age (so much better than 3)

I must be getting old – succulent plants and crocheted items alway makes me think of old people – yikes

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Posted in Baby OL, Baking, Children, Children's Parties, Crafts, Family, Food, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Airlines and Teddy Bears – a 4th Birthday party

And just like that she was 4!

I know parents say this all the time but wow. Time really does fly.

When we first started discussing themes for her 4th party, Little OL was very into aeroplanes so I began the planning early.  Unfortunately she saw the photos of her 2nd birthday party (teddy bears picnic) and said she wanted teddy bears again.  As I had already organised some of the stuff (and really wanted to do aeroplanes) we compromised.  I put teddy bears in the aeroplanes…. It worked quite well.

So, the theme of her party was and Airline theme (with teddy bears as the pilots)  Here are a few photos

I created the invitation using a template  I found HERE.  I also made the cover, but forgot to take a photo of that.  I created the logo on Inkscape, using an image from HERE

Boarding Pass Invitation

I think just Goggled and checked Pinterest for the rest of the ideas. Here is the link to my Pinterest Board.

 

Baggage Claim
Baggage Claim

I really wanted those old fashioned brown cardboard school suitcases that we used to have and thought I might find some when the “back to school” stuff was out, but no joy.  In the end I found this little lunch boxes and fortunately in the colours I wanted so I bought them.  (Pick n Pay)

 

Cupcakes with marshmallow clouds
Cupcakes with marshmallow clouds

The cupcakes were a disaster, but thank fully with the icing and the best out of 5 batches I managed to get enough.

 

Cake with Teddy Pilot
Cake with Teddy Pilot

The cake went a lot better – I used my favourite cake recipe, the Rainbow cake from the Whisk Kid, but only used shades of pink this time (once again, I forgot to take a photo of the inside).

 

Aeroplane Cookies
Aeroplane Cookies

I also made teddy bear biscuits to go alongside the planes, but Little OL ate them before the party……

Delicious Aeroplane food....
Delicious Aeroplane food….

 

For the adults Mr OL made some awesome sandwiches.  We did Chicken or Beef , poor  Mr OL kept asking if he couldn’t do some salami or ham etc and I insisted it had to be Chicken or Beef…. LOL.  I did do a few vegetarians ones though.

I made a few different signs and added in a few extra elements, like globes, Captain’s hat etc and all in all I am very happy with how the party turned out but, there are a few things I have decided.  From now on we will not be having the party at home. As the kids get older they need more entertainment (and space) and I will also be outsourcing some stuff.  I will not be making cupcakes etc next year.  I probably won’t bake the cake either, although I might make the topper (I enjoy that part)

 

Posted in Baby OL, Crafts, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife

My word for 2013 – DO

A couple of years ago Lynette wrote that she chose a word for the year.  I think she has started a trend as I have been seeing it more and more.  This year I have decided to join in – my word for 2013 is “DO”.

At the end of last year I hired a life coach The Coachman – for a few sessions, it was one of the best decisions I have made in a very long time. I would highly recommend him.  One of the things he does is hold you accountable, so for example, if you say you are going to do something you need to “DO” it, at the next session he will confirm that you actually did it.  It can be one step in a process or a goal or whatever.

This resonated with me.  I often have an idea, or a thought, something I think I should do, but after a couple of hours or months I have done nothing about it.  This year I am going to “DO” something about those thoughts.  It is not that I want to do more stuff – in fact I actually want to do less, but I want to really focus on the ideas that I have.  I want to work out if they are viable, if they will add to my life, my marriage and my daughter.  If not, throw them out, but I want to have worked through them in a systematic way, step by step. The same with craft projects – I want to “DO” them. (no more unmade Christmas gifts)

So to this end I need to get organised.  I can’t function when there is chaos around me.  My first action this year was to declutter.  My second was to organise my home office and my 3rdwas to organise a crafting notebook.  I am going to write down all my craft projects – what it is that I require to finish them, when they need to be finished by and any other problems or requirement I might have along the way.  I also now have a file that has work in progress projects in it, so that I can easily go back to them as I get the time.

I love organisation, I love processes, I love to work through things – so this is what one of the things I mean by “DO

I also want to “DO” more life.  Mr OL and I are going to travel a bit this year and I would like to “DO” some races in different parts of the country.

However one of the things I am NOT going to DO this year is Ironman.  I must admit I was very tempted.  It is on my Birthday, my brother and sister are both probably going to do it again and I have a good fitness base.  I am however very happy with my decision (as I am sure  Mr OL will be when (if)  he reads this….)

 

PS:  The Coachman (Erich Jordan) is based in East London, but I did all the sessions over Skype so you can do it from anywhere.  His website is http:www.thecoachman.co.za.  I would highly recommend him.

Posted in Baby OL, Baking, Children, Cookies, Crafts, Family, Food, Ironman 70.3, Quilting, Sewing, Training, Washi Tape

A handmade Christmas (almost)

This year I decided to make a few of the Christmas gifts, I however ran into a few snags along the way. Actually that is not entirely true, I only ran into one snag but it was pretty major, I ran out of time.

Next Christmas I need to plan better.  This year, although I knew what it was I wanted to make I underestimated the time required to make them. That and the fact that I left it all to the last minute, I am training for a ½ Ironman and I decided to take cookie orders all kind of played against me.

I am however very happy with the gifts that I did manage to make, the others, oh well, the intended recipients will never know that there were actually a few other gifts planned for them.

For both the grannies I made a cushion cover each, out of clothes from Little OL’s first year.  I intend to make a quilt out of the blocks I cut, but realised that I have a few blocks extra, so made 2 cushion covers.  (I still need to make the quilt)

Baby Clothes cut into blocks

I personalised each one a little by making sure at least one block was from an item of clothing that they gave to Little OL.

Baby Clothes Quilted Cushion Cover

Baby Clothes, Quilted Cushion

For my mother-in-law I also baked biscuits.  I saw this tutorial on line with this colour scheme and idea for the Christmas trees and thought it was stunning.  I deviated a little as I was trying to do it from memory but am very happy with the way they came out.

Pink and grey Christmas Cookies

For the Blog Secret Santa that Stiletto Mum was running on her blog I also made a couple of handmade items.  The first item is a notepad I covered.  I used a normal cheap notebook then decorated the cover a bit using dress-making pattern paper, paint, washi tape, printed letters and a fineliner pen.  I am very happy with the way it turned out and hope that the person I gave it to like it.

Handmade notebook cover

The second is a “Best of my Days” calendar using a printable from Ashley at Under the Sycamore.  I printed quite a few of these and gave them to some of my friends and family as well.  Follow the links to have a look – I did not take a photo of them.  (also just a note to add that Ashley’s blog is one of my favourites!!)

There were a few other items that I made as well, but forgot to take photos off – like Christmas Cookies for Little OL’s teachers and cards.

I had planned on make more Christmas Cards but…. next year. My word for 2013 is going to be “DO”

I hope you all had a very good Christmas and a that 2013 brings all you hope for.

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Crafts, Family, Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

Random photos

Little OL trying to distract  us from the fact that it was bed time by being super cute.
Little OL trying to distract us from the fact that it was bed time by being super cute.
The pony tail lasted a whole 30 mins.  Which is about 29.5 mins longer than ever before.
The pony tail lasted a whole 30 mins. Which is about 29.5 mins longer than ever before.
We spent a morning hanging out here!  Plett - one of my favourite places
We spent a morning hanging out here! Plett – one of my favourite places
Ready for some early morning swim training....
Ready for some early morning swim training….
my silhouette cameo arrived. Can't wait to use it!
my silhouette cameo arrived. Can’t wait to use it!

 

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Crafts, Family, Ordinarylife, Sewing

No Sew Tutu – EASY!

Little OL had a princess part to attend so I decided to make her a “no-sew tutu” and bought her a little tiara crown to match.

It was really easy to make.  Measured some elastic to go around her waist,  took a safety pin and pinned the ends of the elastic together and then just tied strips of tulle over the elastic in alternating colours.  I used turquoise, purple and green.  It was so easy I got carried away and made a matching one for her teddy “Door Stop”

So where are the pictures of her looking cute and adorable in it?  There are none – my little tomboy point blank refused to put it or the tiara on.  I managed to get the teddy’s one on for all of about 3 seconds before she pulled that off. Apparently boy teddies don’t wear tutus!

HERE  is a tutorial and photo of one very similar . (using an elastic headband is pretty clever)

Above image from http://www.skiptomylou.org/2011/11/01/no-sew-tutu-tutorial/

Posted in Crafts, Ordinarylife

Secret Santa List

Things I love

I am participating in the Bloggers Secret Santa hosted by The  Stiletto Mum and after THIS blog post by Cat at “Juggling act of Life” I was reminded that I need to post a list of things I like.

Well, here goes.  I love:

  • Note books – any kind
  • Actually paper of any sort or variety
  • Craft supplies – pretty much also any kind.  At the moment I am into stamps.
  • Home-made stuff.
  • Recipes – especially a compilation of a person’s favourite recipes with notes about why they are your favourite – or tips on how to do them best.
  • Anything cookie related.
  • Candles
  • Picture frames

In truth I am not all that fussy and love getting gifts that are unexpected and am generally happy with whatever it is that I receive so if you “get” me to buy for then I am all for surprises so don’t feel like you need to stick to my list.

Posted in Baby OL, Books, Children, Crafts, Family, Nursery Decor, Ordinarylife

Another fun project – a bookshelf

I posted a while back (HERE) that I had bought a spice rack that I intended to use as a bookshelf.

It is finally up and being used.  I actually spray painted it a while back, but it only made it onto the wall this weekend. Here are some before and after photos.

As you can see it was in a bit of a state when I bought it.

Before – needing a bit of work.

I had been looking for one for ages after seeing something similar on Pinterest.  I eventually found this one at a charity shop.

I sanded it and spray painted it. And am very happy with the result.  It is very narrow and fits perfectly below the window in Little OL’s bedroom.  When the curtains are closed you would not even know it was there.

cleaned, sanded and spray painted

 

Spice rack turned bookshelf!

 

Little OL doing an inspection. I think it passed.
Posted in Crafts, Family, Ordinarylife, Washi Tape

Another easy Washi craft

Here is another EASY washi craft.

Requirements:

3 or 4 magnetic strips  (I pulled mine from the back of old Mr Delivery menus)

Washi Tape

Sissors

This is so simple.  Clean all the paper off the magnets if using old ones, then stick the washi tape on top.  I had to trim my magnets down the side a bit to get them the same width as the tape, but it cut really easily with sissors.  I then angled the ends a bit just to make it look a bit better.

Magnet strips with Washi Tape

Find your favorite photo or post card.

Put on fridge.

EASY

Washi tape magnets in action

The post card is from Russia with love from my sister-in-law.  It took over 2 months to get here but finally arrived.

I found the washi tape idea on THIS BLOG Twirling Betty

Also just a reminder that I am selling Washi Tape at R25 per roll, excluding postage.

Posted in Crafts, Ordinarylife, Washi Tape

Washi Tape – Tea light candles

Here is another REALLY easy thing to do with Washi Tape.

Required: Washi Tape, Sissors (or craft knife), Tea light candles, Pillar candle

Step 1 -( the hardest part)  Chose your washi tape

Step 2 – wrap around around the metal part of the tea light.  If wrapping around a pillar candle, make sure you put the washi tape quite low down so it does not catch alight.

Step 3 – cut.

Yip as easy as that.

Tea light Candles

 

Tea lights and a pillar candle

I tried wrapping washi tape around a normal pillar candle too and it looks great.  I love the idea that you can remove the tape and add different ones to match your tea light candles and table decor.

2 warnings – always put your candles on a heat resistant surface and make sure your pillar candle does not burn down to near  the washi tape.

Inspired by this post:  http://factorydirectcraft.com/factorydirectcraft_blog/so-pretty-so-simple-washi-tape-tealights/

I am selling the tape at R25 / roll, excluding postage.