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.


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 What are you proud of this week

What are you proud of this week?

A friend and fellow runner ran an amazing race this weekend and she posted about it on Facebook, but she started her post “I am genuinely not trying to brag…”

I totally understood what she was trying to say but it has been bugging me!  Not the fact that she posted about her awesome run, not the fact that she has achieved so much, but the fact that she felt she need to clarify or play it down.  She was proud of what she and had achieved and how far she had come and wanted to tell people about it and rightly so, but….

But what!  I see this so often and I am guilty of it myself.  I am in the business of celebrating achievements but often don’t mention my own for fear of being thought to be big headed, or boastful or that I make somebody else feel bad that they have not achieved the same.  I will often get orders for medal hanger from friends of family members who are proud of each other, but less from people buying it for themselves.  I will also get orders from people who tell me all about their friends’ achievements and how proud they are of their friend only to find out that they have achieved just as much if not more.

And so, in keeping with blog theme and THIS post, we should all be proud of ourselves, no matter what the achievement.  Our first 5 km, our first 100m swim, our Mtb ride, our first Ultra Marathon or even the first cake that did not flop.  If somebody else has not quite gotten there, then we should encourage them to achieve, but not by downplaying our own achievements.  Our achievements should motivate them, not make them despondent.  When did it become a bad thing to brag a little?

So, what are you proud of this week – it does not have to be sports related.  I am very proud of the cake I decorated and party I threw for my daughter.  I think it turned out great.

And for the record I have given up baking from scratch – far too stressful.  The cake was a box mix.   I love decorating cakes but do not like baking…..


I think should be a regular (hopefully weekly) feature… What are you proud of this week?  What do you think?

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

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  You can also visit our Facebook page for more photos… SA Medal Hangers

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 Charity, hiking, Hiking Trails, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, South Africa, Trail Running, Training, Training

The Rhino Run 2013

On Sunday there were various Rhino Runs held around the country and there were 2 to choose from in our area. One at Kenton-on-Sea and the other at Crossways Village near Van Standens. I did that one. It was a lot closer to town, and I love that area.

(Its an annual event – so next year why not find one in your area.

Photo by Willi Lawson
Photo by Willi Lawson

As you know, I have not been running much lately, my furthest run as been 11km so I was not really sure what distance I should enter. There was a 6km, a 12 km and a 20km. As I have the Dryland coming up in November and I really need to get some distance in I chose the 20km. Yikes!!! But it was fine. Or at least it was fun up until my Garmin said I had already done 20km then my mind said I needed to stop. Those last 1.8km were tough!!!

The view from the top
The view from the top

All in all though it was a stunning race – tough but stunning. You know you are not out for a walk in the park when at the race briefing they say “and then you run around and up the back, over the top then down the front of Lady’s Slipper Mountain to the finish”! When “hilly course” and “over the mountain” are mentioned in the same race briefing you know you are in for some fun!!!

Photo by Willi Lawson
Photo by Willi Lawson

You see the “hill” behind me…. Yip, I had just run over it! (this was also at the 20km and the legs fell off in about 5 steps from here……)  EDIT: I think this might be the first photo of me EVER where both feet are off the ground at the same time and I actually look like I am doing something resembling running!

I managed it in just under 3 hours and was extremely happy with that time (I even stopped and took a couple of photos). Even if I had been training it is pretty much what I would have expected. In fact it is a lot better than some of my runs of a similar distance. I am now very excited for the Dryland – I know I need to work on hills a bit more but my foot gave me no hassles when I was running and I am loving my new trail shoes – (Innov8)

Posted in Art, Baby OL, Baking, Children, Children's Parties, Family, My Art Work, Ordinarylife, Paintings, Parenting

A party planning compromise

So my brainwashing plans are not working so well……
It is 4 (and a half) months to go before Little OL turns 4 and she has decided that she no long wants an airplane party! Hmph…… That is itself is not too much of a problem. I am adaptable (kind off) but she wants a Teddy Bear party!!! She’s had a Teddy Bear party! Her second Birthday Party was a Teddy Bear’s Picnic party.



I guess I should be flattered – she liked it so much she wants it again! But somehow I suspect it is less to do with her remembering her party and more to do with the fact that Door Stop (her teddy bear) never leaves her side.


In the background is a work in progress painting of Little OL and Door Stop, from a photo taken just before she turned 2.

So it looks like we are going to compromise, a Teddy Bear in Airplane Party it is going to be (for now at least).  Very cute idea actually. I have started pinning stuff.

Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude, Art, Baby OL, Baking, Children, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, My Art Work, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Paintings, Parenting, Running, Sketches, Trail Running, Training

Happy 5 year Blog Anniversary!

I have had this blog for 5 years – wow time has flown.  Before I started here I had an iBlog account for a short while as well.

Over the years my blog has changed quite bit.  It has gone from being mostly about Ironman training to a real mix up of stuff, Ordinary Life stuff!  I have had a baby, I have started baking and icing cookies, I have shown you all some of my paintings and sketches, I have started a new business – SA Medal Hangers.  And very importantly I have made some great friends!

Thank you all so much for joining me on this journey, I am thoroughly enjoying it!

Here is the link to my first post – published on the 1st September 2008

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Ordinarylife

The little things

I am not going to say that I have things sorted with Little OL because 3 year olds change their minds at the drop of a hat, but let’s just say that last week was MUCH better than the week before.

I asked our nanny to come in 30 minutes later, so that we would have already left the house by the time she arrived (I had to laugh to myself about that one, I must be the only woman in SA that asked her nanny to come in late) and I have been fetching her at midday.  This unfortunately takes an hour out of my work day which I can’t really afford at the moment, but it is a small price to pay for a happy child.

She still moans when she wakes that she does not want to go to school but as soon as I mentioned that she would be all alone at home and that her nanny is only coming in much later she goes and gets dressed and ready. There have been no tears (her or me) and no drama….Ahhhhh, I love a peaceful house.

It is amazing what a difference those two changes have made.






Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude, Baby OL, Children's Parties, Family, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Fun times

I was in tears this morning. Big tears – 3 times!

I know other things (see way below) are going on at the moment and it was more than just the school thing but still…. I am really battling with Little OL and schooling this year.  I know a lot of stuff, I know that she is too young for a full day at school (without a nap).  I know that she is pushing her boundaries and I know that the school holidays broke her routine.  I know it is more fun with the nanny who gives her whatever she wants (TV and sweets) and I know at school they put demands on her.  I know all this but it does not make it any easier when your child point blank refuses to get in the car and go to school.  Yesterday after eventually managing to get her strapped in the car-seat, she somehow managed to wind down the wind with her food and was SCREAMING (as only a 3 year old can) at all the passers-by in the neighbouring cars “GET ME OUT OF HERE!” over and over.  Not fun.  I turned the radio on loud, put my head down and drove.  I did see a look of sympathy on one woman’s face though (for me not little OL – the others however were pointing and laughing.  I was very surprised nobody pulled me over and asked me if I was kidnapping her.

Today was a repeat performance – except she figured out how to twist and turn so that I could not get her strapped in…… The escalating frustration level on both sides was not helping and in the end all I could do was burst into tears and walk away…..  I wanted to say “fine, stay with the nanny” but felt if I did that, then I would just have the same thing on Monday.  When I got back to the car she had calmed down, we hugged, she got in her car-seat and we both snivelled the whole way to school.  When I put her in her teacher’s arms I burst into tears again and ran to my car. Can I count that as my first run in 8 weeks?

I drove to work, got myself some coffee and had just calmed down when I received a phone call from her school – I saw the number and my heart sank…… What now – is she sick, is she still bawling her eyes out, can the not calm her????? The secretary said they phoned me because Little OL had told her teacher that she made me upset in the car and she wanted them to phone and tell me she was sorry…. Bring on waterworks number 3!

This however cannot go on….. I actually had a meeting at the school earlier this week – for the next week I am fetching her at lunch time and taking her home to the nanny who we have asked to work full time for a bit.  Hopefully this helps.  I have also asked the nanny to come in later to work so that we have already left the house – on the days the nanny is not there she is perfectly happy to go to school.

Also, in a couple of months this might not be a problem.  I will be unemployed anyway….. –that’s the other stuff that is going on, they are retrenching at work and the PE office will close.  I am trying to take it as a good thing…..