Posted in Ordinarylife

No more ordinary!

I have had this blog for nearly 8 years and over that time I have mentioned many times that I find it difficult to “label” myself.  I never call myself a “triathlete” a “runner” or an “artist” and yet this whole time I have been labelling myself as “ORDINARY

No more.  I am not ordinary!  My daughter is not ordinary!  She is not Little OL and I do not live “An Ordinary Life”

I did not do a word for 2014 but I am going to for 2015 and it is going to be “AWESOME”.

I have a VERY wise friend and she once said that you teach people how to treat you and she is so right!  I have let people treat me as ordinary, I have even labeled myself as ordinary, so how can I expect any different.

My reason for my blog title “An Ordinary Life” initially was not that I thought my life was ordinarily, it was that I thought it was anything but.  It was that I, a girl from an ordinary town, an ordinary family could live such an extraordinarily life.  And an extra ordinary life I do lead.  I make it that way.  And my family is also anything but ordinary.

My confidence levels over my 30’s and 40’s have sunk!  But I am reclaiming them. I have done some AWESOME things and intend to do a lot more.  I will not be called ordinary and I will no longer be treated as such.

So, firstly – for those of you that don’t know here are some of my some  achievements!

I am a MOMMY! (to the most extra ordinary 4 year old)

I am an IRONMAN

I am a ULTRA DISTANCE RUNNER

I am an ARTIST (and have actually sold quite a few paintings)

I am a WORLD TRAVELER – I have been around the globe, right around.  I have worked in 6 different countries and traveled to a lot more.

I am a UNIVERSITY GRADUATE.  I put myself through UNISA after returning to South Africa in 2000 and have a B.Com.

I am CLEVER – no explanation needed.

I have climbed KILOMANJARO, my sister mom and I climbed it to celebrate my mom’s 60th Birthday (yep, no ordinary family)

I once READ 365 Fiction books in one year.  I was in Std 9.  They were not all literary greats but it was still a book a day for a year….. Not including set works or text books.  Some books took me more than a day, but I read a quick read in between to make up. (yes, there were quite a few Mills and Boons in there – I was 16 ……) I read quickly – I still do.

I obtain provincial colours in ROLLER SKATING…. And came second in my age group on South Africa (I was 12)

At one stage I could speak, write and read SWEDISH fluently

I run my own COMPANY

I own several PROPERTIES

So, that is it for now… I am sure there is more stuff that I have done, accomplished and achieved!

My business is all about celebrating achievements and it is about time that I celebrated my own.

So from now, NO MORE ORDINARY!  I am not ordinarily, I have never been ordinary and I have no intention of ever being ordinary!

In the words of Anaïs Nin “Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments.”

An ordinary life

I am sorry I can’t credit the photo – I am not sure who took it.

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Posted in Gardening, Ordinarylife

A little bit more than “carried away”

So “a little bit carried away” might have been a little bit of an understatement.

Totally obsessed with succulents might be a little bit closer to the truth.  This weekend I took another small bed and filled it with succulents as well. This time, at least I did not pull out other plants – I had already managed to kill these a few months ago.  (I love gardening but don’t really have much of a green finger)

I bought the plants (except the air plants which we have in abundance) but everything else we had in the garden in other areas.  I think I like this one even more than the last – let’s see if I can keep them alive…..

More succulents

The plant in the cracked pot is supposed to be one that drapes over.  Lets hope it does.

 

Somebody else in our house also approves of the new gardens.

Cat Nap

Having this amazing weather in the middle of winter makes the garden the best place to be.  27 degrees today, not bad for Midwinter

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, Cats, Children, Chocolate, Comrades Marathon, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Running, Training

Currently I am….

I have seen this on a few blogs lately and have decided to do it as well.  Mostly as a catch up but also as some badly needed inspiration

 

Currently, I am…

Reading:  Running and Stuff by James Adams on my Kindle.  My sister worked with this man in London and suggested I read it.  I have only just started so can’t really comment but so far so good.  It is about ultra-running and if you are into that, then you will probably enjoy this book.  I have read a few books lately but can’t think of what they are.  I am terrible with titles and authors.

Listening to:  Whatever is on in my car, normally “The wheels on the bus……”  I used to listen to 5 FM but since Gareth Cliff left I have not been listening to it much. Also I spend a lot less time in my car now that I work from home.  I still take Little OL into school, but she has started requesting “her movies”  She means her CD.

Laughing at:  Little OL – I love how her language is developing and how she describes things and the stories she tells. She is like her father though, and does not talk that much, so when she does its really cute.

Little OL

Swooning over:  Succulent gardens….. I can’t even believe that I am writing that!

 

Planning:  On hiring a new nanny, although now we are looking for less of a nanny and more of a cleaner.  Possibly only 2 days a week although I don’t know what we will do when I travel to the various expo’s.  My mom normally comes with me but we might have to hire somebody to work the expo and have my mom stay and look after Little OL.  I hate having to interview people!

Eating lots of:  Lindt 70% Chocolate……..  LOTS!!

Excellence 70%

Feeling:  Excited, happy, nervous, proud, betrayed, stupid and cross all at once.  The excited, happy, nervous and proud part are life in general. The betrayed, stupid and cross part is just last week – nothing serious and I will get over it in the next week or so.

Discovering:  That I love Ultra-Running, but I am not good at training.  I need to get my butt back into gear and hit the roads again.  Please don’t tell anybody, but I think I want to run Comrades Marathon next year.  I just need to figure out a way to have a stand at the expo and run the marathon and have somebody at home to watch Little OL.  Unfortunately with Mr OL’s job it is not possible for him to take the time off to watch here and as he works 40km outside Port Elizabeth, in Uitenhage, he is not able to get back in time to fetch her from school.  Thankfully I have a year to figure all of this out.

Looking at:  Granny square blankets on Pinterest…. How hard can it be???

Wearing:  Boots, it is just about the only thing I love about winter.  That and I totally love the winter sun. Especially when it is cold outside and you find a patch of sun somewhere – I am like a cat…..

Cooking:  Tonight I made an awesome Butternut and Carrot soup – I surprised myself – especially as I just used left overs…. We had a roast meal on Sunday and had left over butternut and carrots.  I put it back in the oven and roasted/caramelised it a bit more tonight.  I then put it in a pot with some cream, milk, veggie stock and a little cayenne pepper.  I boiled it for a little bit and then pureed it.  Oh my word!  The roasting made it taste great.  I really hope it is a soup I can recreate.

 Wondering:  How I can convince Mr OL that his clothes really don’t need ironing….  I would put off hiring anybody at the moment if it were not for the fact that Mr OL wants ironed clothes.  He is fussy like that 🙂

Trying out:  Various recipes from the Tim Noakes Real Food Revolution and Low Carb Living for Families.  Who knew you could do so much with cauliflower….

That’s about it from me for now.  What are you up too?

Thanks Julia, Mrs FF, Lynette and Robyn for the inspiration

 

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 Cycling, Ironman, Medal Display, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, Medals, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Running, SA Medal Hangers, South Africa, Trail Running, Training, Training, Triathlon, Two Oceans, Work

November – quite a month

So, its been exactly a month since my last day of official employment and BOY OH BOY what a month.  I have never been this busy or this excited or this stressed.  And I have loved it!

It started with me trying to get ready, not only for the Dryland Traverse but also the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge Expo.  The timing was not good as there was no cell phone reception at the De Hoek camp site where the Dryland was based, but thankfully they had set up Wi-Fi, if a bit temperamental at times.  I was going to be away for 4 days and then back for only 1 day before leaving for Johannesburg, so I needed to get everything done before I left for the run.

I was also worried about driving from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg by myself and then concerned about actually driving in Johannesburg.  Both of which were fine.  It took me about 80km to remember that I LOVE driving on my own.  I turned the music up to the max and had a blast.  I did get a few odd looks at some of the stop and go’s with my music rocking the Kombi. Not sure if it was the volume or my dodgy taste in music though…..

Thanks to Firefly for the recommendation on a accommodation as it was less than a kilometre from the Coca Cola dome and very easy to find when coming in from the N1.  No problems there.

Then the expo – I was not sure how it would go.  It was totally foreign territory to me.  I did not know how much stock to take, if people would buy or just want info.  I just hoped I sold some…..  which I did.  Not as much as I would have liked but the interest was high and as custom orders are our biggest seller most people wanted info to order later.   Which thankfully a lot have done.  That has totally exceeded my expectation.  In fact I am bouncing around on Cloud 9 at the moment.  I know a lot of the medal hangers ordered are for Christmas presents so January will be really quiet, but considering I have only just started I am ecstatic.

Here is a photo of the SA Medal Hangers stand at the expo.  What do you think?  As it was our first expo, I learnt a lot of stuff.  I will do the stand slightly differently next time, I will take less stock but have more staff and hopefully I will be a lot less stressed…….. Our next major expo is at the Cape Argus Cycle Tour in Cape Town in March and I can’t wait.

081

Then, did anybody spot SA Medal Hangers in a few of the magazines……  We got write ups in the Runner’s World and the RIDE SA magazines .  I had sent them the info but had no idea they would use it – happiness is

SA Medal Hangers Runner's World  Gear New Stuff

So, what can I say! This has been one heck of a year.  My work goal for the year was by the end of 2013 to go half day in formal employment and to try and to have found something else on the side, which hopefully by the end of next year would be enough to take over.  Being retrenched kind of kicked that goal out the window, but it was replaced by something so much bigger.  My word for the year was DO and I think I have done just that.  2013 has one month left and I am excited for it and then even more excited for 2014!

Posted in Ordinarylife

My little star

Yesterday was Little OL’s first school concert. Oh man was it cute (and yes, I am going to carry on as if I have not taken over a month’s break in blogging)
She was a star – a very cute little star whose head band kept falling down over eyes. They sang about stars and planets and continents and the earth and other similar things. I loved the fact that the only things we as parents had to do was get them dress predominately in once colour (hers was white) and pitch up. That was it. No finding costumes or making things. Have I mentioned before I love her school!
I cannot believe that this year is nearly over. After the first 6months which were a total disaster while she was at after care to the past 6 months which have been a bit of a breeze. I am really looking forward to next year. I will be working from home and hopefully the routine we have set up over the past month works. Yip, can you believe that it has been a whole month that I have been self-employed. I think that deserves a whole post of its own. It has been quite a month!

Being a star - tiring work

Posted in Ordinarylife, Running, Training, Training, Two Oceans

2014 – My goal!

I need a challenge. I train better when I have a goal and it must be enough of a challenge that I won’t be able to just cruise through it, but not too much of a challenge that it totally scares me off.
So… I have decided on and entered Two Oceans Ultra marathon in 2014 – 56km! Scary yes, but very exciting. My goal for this year was to run a marathon – now it is more than just a goal, I actually have to do it to qualify for the Ultra. There is a local one in December that I plan on doing.
To say I am excited is a bit of an understatement. Initially I had not planned on doing it as I thought I might take my medal hangers to the expo – but the prices of the stands where published and they don’t have any of the smaller options – so I am running.
Yay for a Birthday weekend in Cape Town.

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)