Posted in Family, Medal Display, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, Medals, Ordinarylife, Paintings, Parenting, Property, Running, Trail Running

2015 – A review

The highs and lows…..

This year has had some serious lows but also quite a few highs.

The lowest of the lows was getting divorced!  Clearly not something anybody wants or plans on happening and as one friend pointed out I hate to fail and to me this is a failure.  Which brings us to low point number 2 Comrades….. See point one for reasons of not finishing…..  At the time I was on a bit of an emotional roller coaster and my mind was not in the race.  I knew before starting I was not going to finish but I wanted to start all the same.

 

The then highs, of which there are many.

The biggest high is how proud I am of myself.  I feel like I have taken control of my life and I bought and renovated a house which Kaylin and I now live in.

When I first showed my brother my house he looked at me and asked what the hell I had done.  It was a dump!  The before photos don’t really show just how bad it was.

I called in the professionals for the heavy stuff – replacing the kitchen, the bathroom, the flooring and bricking in a doorway but other than that I did it all myself.  In 5 weeks I totally renovated the inside of a smallish 3 bedroom double storey townhouse.  I painted it from top to bottom myself, this included the ceilings and skirting’s; and when I say by myself that is exactly what I mean.  I prepped, I filled, I sanded and I even plastered one section.  I worked FLIPPEN hard!  My brother helped me put up the curtain rails but I put up everything else – the towel rails, pictures etc. The only thing that has me stumped a little is upstairs is drywall and I am not sure how to hang pictures on that…. (so far the ones that are up use double sided Velcro tape).  I will do a more detailed blog post with before’s and after’s.  The day we moved in I fetched Krypto from Animal Welfare…. Don’t get a puppy the day you move house!!!!  Having him in our lives is a high though.

Ok, so I didn't do it all by myself.  I had a little helper.
Ok, so I didn’t do it all by myself. I had a little helper.

The other high was finishing the Otter Trail Run in 10h25 a full 35 minutes under the 11 hour cut-off…. I realised then how motivated I am by a medal.  At one stage when it did not look like we were going to make under the cut-off I said to my sister “I have to have this medal, I have had a disastrous year, I NEED this medal”  So we ran – thank goodness it is a flippen big medal because we worked hard for that damn thing!  I am very pleased I did it – I won’t EVER be doing that race again (this time I am serious NEVER EVER)

The Otter Trail - at the start. Before the torrential rain, gale force winds and pain began
The Otter Trail – at the start. Before the torrential rain, gale force winds and pain began
The MEDAL.  Just as well is is BIG!
The MEDAL. Just as well is is BIG!

 

Other highs… I love having a 5 year old (most of the time)  She is still hard work but getting better.

Doing Micro Nippers and loving it
Doing Micro Nippers and loving it

My gorgeous sister got married to an awesome guy in April.  The 3 of us ran  did the Otter Trail together and at one point near the end when we were actually running he said to me.  “We are doing so well, we are going to make this.  Pamela, you are setting a cracking pace……” which I felt I was, until I looked at my watch…. 8:40m/km  It was however our fasted kilometer in the whole race.

Krypto – my cute street puppy….  I went to a second hand furniture place and outside the door were these guys selling a little puppy… I wanted to try and get them to give it to me as it had a chain around its neck too tight and they were carrying it around by that but they wouldn’t. They then put him in the back of a bakkie and were about to drive off.  I could not let that happen so I asked them how much – R150.00  I said I only had R100 so they said ok an gave me the dog…. But now, what do I do with it?  Besides the fact that we had a German Shepherd that is not very social we had also had a puppy visit us a few months before that unfortunately passed away from Parvo Virus. The virus can stay alive for up to 6 months on your property and can then infect anther puppy in that time, so I knew I could not take him home. So I took him to Animal Welfare.  I said to them that I really wanted him and I knew I was moving in about 4 – 5 weeks’ time and could get him then abut at that moment I just could not keep him.  If he found another home they must let him go, but if not I will come back and adopt him.  Which I did 6 weeks later – the day we moved.

The day I found him and took him to AWS
The day I found him and took him to AWS
Finally taking him home
Finally taking him home
He has made himself right at home - that is MY bed!
He has made himself right at home – that is MY bed!

This year has also made me once again realise how awesome my family and friends are.  Especially my sister – there nearly a 10 year age difference between us but we still manage to be great friends.  I am not sure I would cope so well without her.

My running highs are that fact that I had a PB in nearly every distance this year.  10km, 15km, 21.1km, Marathon and Ultra Marathon.  I have been running for 10 years and am getting faster in my 40’s   (training more probably helps)  I also did my first Trail Ultra – the ADDO 44km and it was AWESOME  I have entered that one again for 2016.  My 2016 race calendar looks pretty similar to my 2015 one except I am NOT doing the Otter Trail.  I might go back and do Dryland.  I really missed it this year.

I also finished a couple of paintings this year… in 2014 I didn’t finish any.  They are both acrylic on canvas and small 20 cm x 30 cm.  I am quite proud of both of them.

An exercise in skin tones
An exercise in skin tones
556
Early morning outside The Friendly Stranger in PE.

So, all in all I had a good year.  I am however hoping that 2016 will be much better!!

How was your 2015?

Posted in Baby OL, Family, Medal Display, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, Medals, My New Business, Ordinarylife, SA Medal Hangers, South Africa, Work

This week I am proud of…..

This week I am really battling to think of something I am proud of….

 

I know there are some things I probably should be proud of, but mostly I am pretty disappointed in myself.  I let a ball drop and now it feels like the whole lot are about to come crashing down.  I know I will probably look back in just over a month and realise it is not nearly as bad as I think (I HOPE), but at the moment it seem pretty terrible and getting worse.  But, it does not affect my family, health or anything that is really important to me so I will just have to deal with the problems as they arise.

 

So, what am I proud of??? This week I am very proud of my daughter. I was away all of last week in Cape Town for the Cape Cycle Tour Lifestyle Expo and she stayed behind with Andrew,  our nanny and my mom.  She coped remarkably well, even though she was sick.  I felt terrible about leaving her, but could not do anything about it. I am proud that she is such an independent soul.

photo (3)

I am also proud that even though I was having a major pity party last week Wednesday, when my stand at the expo came crashing around me about 30 seconds after I had finished putting it up, I managed to give myself a stern talking to and pull myself together, rebuild the stand and have a great expo.  At that stage I really just felt like coming home.

photo

What were you most proud of last week?

Posted in Baking, Camping, Children, Children's Parties, Chocolate, Family, Food, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Camping themed 5th party

Camping was not my theme of choice for this year, but Little Miss K wanted camping and I liked the theme so camping it was.  I initially wanted a Book Worm party.

Quite a few of my friends said I was insane to go with Camping…Maybe insane was not quite the word they used, but mad was mentioned more than once, as was tempting fate. Our family record with camping is not a good one. We have been camping 4 times since Kaylin was born and 4 times we have ended up either at the doctors or casualty or both.

I decided actual camping and a camping theme party were vastly different and went with it anyway.

Here are the photos.  (I am quite proud of how it turned out)

The Birthday Girl and Door Stop
The Birthday Girl and Door Stop

She was very excited that I made them both out of icing and that they were both on the cake….

The Party Table - Camping
The Party Table – Camping
Camp Kaylin - Camping themed Cake
Camp Kaylin – Camping themed Cake
Mix your own Trail Mix
Mix your own Trail Mix
The party pack Backpacks (each guest was given a little torch inside)
The party pack Backpacks

 

The backpack party packs, there was little torch inside each
The backpack party packs, there was little torch inside each

 

I made these little backpacks using a little paper bag and some ribbon.  It was actually much easier than I thought it was going to be.  Just make sure you find the paper bags with the flat base.

Campfire Flames aka NikNaks
Campfire Flames aka NikNaks

This is a disposable braai – but the grid was unnecessary as were the legs – so you could just use an aluminum roasting dish.

Wraps or Bedding Rolls
Wraps or Bedding Rolls

 

Bear Poop......
Bear Poop…… (chocolate, need I say more)

So this is what I did differently this year, than any of the other years.

Firstly – the biggest I did not have it at home.  Oh bliss – why did I ever do them at home before.

Secondly – I paid a little extra for the decor.  I looked through their themes, and then chose the closed to the theme I wanted. This is actually the venue’s fairy theme but I told them I did not want any fairy stuff just the woodland look.  I then made everything else to suit – red and green.

Thirdly – all the baked good are box mixes. I love making the little figures for the cakes, but dont actually like baking.  I find it stressful.  This was a lot easier.  Next time I might even just buy a pre-made cake and decorate it.

And then that is about it – once it is over you just pack up and go….

I have also realised that my daughter is nearly as bad as I am when it comes to planning birthdays in advance. She has already told me what themes she would like for the next 3.

Posted in Family, Gardening, Ordinarylife

I got a bit carried away….

Mr OL should know by now not to leave me alone in the garden with a pair of gardening shears….. It is pretty much the same as leaving me alone with a paint brush in my hand!  I tend to get a little bit carried away.

What started off as a gentle trim back of a slightly overgrown Plumbago ended up with this……..

 

My new succulent garden.  🙂

Succulent Garden

 

The gentle trim ended up with me hauling the whole bush out.  I had a few of the succulents already and bought a few more.   I also bought the white stones but the rest of the stuff I just repurposed from other areas of the garden.  The old gate I found at one of the properties I bought and it has been lying around here for a few years now.  I loved the shape but had no idea what to do with it.  The pots and rocks I had, and the air plants we also had.

I love how it turned out.  Hopefully it fills out a bit soon.  I also bought some draping succulents to put on the gat but then could not figure out how to attach them, so the air plants will just have to do for now.  At least when they flower they are a magnificent purple.

I don’t have before photos – as this project was slightly unplanned……

 

After I hauled out the Plumbago and other the plants that were hidden by it
After I hauled out the Plumbago and other the plants that were hidden by it
I put down a sheet to stop the weeds and so my stones did not disapear
I put down a sheet to stop the weeds and so my stones did not disapear
Trying to get the design right.....
Trying to get the design right…..
The planting starts (and I have already managed to kill one of them – one lost all its leaves just after this photo)
The end result
The end result
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

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 Cycling, Duathlon, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Medal Display, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, Medals, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Running, SA Medal Hangers, Swimming, Trail Running, Training, Triathlon, Work

SA Medal Hangers – New Blog

I cannot believe that we are mid-way through December and I have not even started my Christmas shopping yet…… YIKES!!!  My family is easy – we do a Secret Santa and so only have to buy for one person.   I happened to get Mr OL, which is a bit of a problem as I now need to get him 2 gifts.  We also all generally give my mom something additional as well – but she likes hand made stuff so that’s done.  At least Father Christmas is on the ball so Little OL is sorted.  My in-laws…. hmmmmm I really need to get to the shops soon.

I have a good excuse for not having gotten to the shops earlier… I have been working hard!  So many people have contacted SA Medal Hangers for custom made or personal medal hangers – it has been awesome.  I love coming up with the new designs.  But because of that , I have decided to create a new blog.  This will showcase SA Medal Hangers’ custom-made or personalised medal hangers.  We have created so may awesome one off designs and they won’t all get displayed on our website, so to give people some inspiration or ideas when ordering their own medal hanger I thought this might work.  What do you think?

Please feel free to visit and follow that blog.  It is http://medalhangers.wordpress.com

In the meantime here are a couple of the ones we have made recently – I am so proud of them.

SA Medal Hangers - Personalised Princess

 

 

SA Medal Hangers - My Race Bling with stars

 

SA Medal Hangers - Triathlon

 

If you are interested in ordering anything similar please contact me on pamela@medalhanger.co.za  You can also visit our Facebook page for more photos… SA Medal Hangers

Posted in Family, Medal Display, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, Medals, My New Business, Office, Running, SA Medal Hangers, Swimming, Trail Running, Training, Triathlon, Work

Last day!

Today is my last “official” day at work. I say official because I have only been popping in and out over the past week (trying to get used to unemployment 🙂  )
I must admit that I am quite sad to leave this job. I have been working here for the past 6 years, which has been my longest stretch at one place. Before that my longest was 3 years. I have met some amazing people and have learnt a lot. People have had confidence in me and I have changed positions in the company a couple of times with my latest one being Compliance Liaison Manager, a position I enjoyed and nothing like I have done before.
But, I am also excited to leave. Although it was not my choice it is most definitely time. I have known for a while that me working full time and Little OL being at the school she is at just does not work. The days are too long for her if left in After Care and although I could fetch her at lunch and take her home which I have been doing for the past few months it is far from ideal.
Now I will be working from home, so get to spend the afternoons with her. My hours will be more flexible (set by myself) and it is something that I am passionate about. I LOVE sports, and I get so excited by what others have achieved. It is awesome that I get to see the medals that people have earned and that they are telling me the stories behind them. It also great that I am getting to be creative with the designs of the medal hangers. (can you tell I am excited about this…… lol)
So, today is a mixture of happiness, sadness and excitement. Another chapter begins!

Here are a few photos of customers hangers that they have sent me.  I love seeing them!

SA Medal Hangers
SA Medal Hangers

SA Medal Hangers
SA Medal Hangers – Table Mountain MTB
SA Medal Hangers - Triathlon
SA Medal Hangers – Triathlon
SA Medal Hangers - I LOVE MEDALS!
SA Medal Hangers – I LOVE MEDALS!

 

And I agree – I lOVE MEDALS!

Posted in Children, Family, Ordinarylife, Parenting

My little princess

The other day little OL uttered words that I never thought I would hear a daughter of mine say…. “Mommy I want to wear a dress!”
Thankfully her Great Aunt bought her a beautiful dress for her Birthday in February, which she had not previously worn, so I did at least have something to put on her. She does have a few skirts as well, but they were not good enough – not like a princess.   Sofia has a lot to answer for!!!

 

My pretty princess!
My pretty princess!

Now I have had to go shopping! Urgh, not one of my favourite things to do.  (she does look really sweet in a dress though)

Posted in Comrades Marathon, Duathlon, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Running, SA Medal Hangers, South Africa, Swimming, Trail Running, Training, Wetsuit, Work

An achievement and a giveaway!

I know I have said this before, but I have been blown away by the support I have been receiving for SA Medal Hangers – and I know it seems weird to say, but I am stupid proud of them. I have one up on my wall and I stare at it all the time. I am not sure which I am more proud off, the medals that hang from it or the actually hanger.
I also know it is early days, I know I still have far to go and I know that having a full time job has been a huge cushion for me in starting this business, but I am really proud of myself for taking what could have been a blow and trying to make it a positive.
Before starting this I did keep most of my medals, but they were hanging on a broken clothes hanger in the back bedroom cupboard. I would not look at them, but just add another medal as I got it. It was actually Mr OL’s suggestion that we display them but could not really think of a solution and then I found this idea.
Now that the medals are up and I can see them I realise just how far I have come. I started running again in 2005 and did my first Ironman in 2007. In the past 8 years running and triathlon have become a huge part of my life and I love it!
I know that not everybody wants to display their medals, and a lot of people don’t even take them at races, but since putting them up on the wall I have started seeing them not just as the metal and ribbon, but as something more than that! As an achievement – and something I should be very proud off.
To give somebody else the opportunity to feel that sense of pride and achievement I have decided to run a giveaway on SA Medal Hangers’ Facebook page. The details are all there, so please go and have a look. You could win a 65cm triple bar medal hanger of your choice! (Sorry – Open to South African Residents only). CLICK HERE for details.

SA Medal Hangers