Wednesday, October 22

A new chapter #datcottagelyfe

Hello guys! So as most of ya know from my excitable tweets, I am with Tall One!
 That's it in a nutshell but here's the long-winded ramble if you fancy some bedtime reading...
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Jon and I were buds back in 2000 (oh yeah, we're going back that far) but our lives went in different directions during the ten years that followed. Waaaay different directions. Thankfully, social media - I mean, life - flung us back onto each other's paths! Shortly after getting back in touch, I told him how much I love crunching through autumn leaves and he declared, 'Well then we have to go for a walk in Winston Park! "Where is that?" I replied? Well, he took me to this picturesque tree-lined avenue with great big piles of colourful, crunchy leaves. It looked like something out of a movie! I couldn't believe I'd never been there before. As we wandered down the road, I noticed that the houses were pretty freaking fancy, and I remember thinking, "How many companies do you need to be CEO of to live here?" It was beautiful but far from anything I could ever afford or suit really, being the misfit that I am!

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Sounding sort of romantic, right? Ha. Well, life decided we had to part ways again. Bummer! But I'd still drive through Winston Park now and then and take in all the leafy goodness. My current flat is based in Durban, and I love it to bits, but more and more, I'd find myself heading up the hill to visit the markets and second-hand stores. Eventually, I started day-dreaming about living up there in a little cottage - you may remember me blogging that about 50 000 times!

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A little after New Year's Day last year (I remember that being quite poetic for some reason!) I was tucking into breakfast with friends up the hill and Taryn said, "Your dream of living up here? It's totally gonna happen one day," and I was like, "Yeah, that'd be awesome but it's too far and expensive and I'll be all alone..."

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Then, not long after that, Jon came back into my life (huzzah!) and before I knew it, he was living with me for two months while his room was being renovated. Despite my studio being about the size of a shoe box, we got on amazingly well! I was having so much fun that I suggested turning it into more of a permanent shindig. I don't wanna speak for Jon but I think he was pretty taken aback by that! He sort of awkwardly replied, "But this is working so well as it is..."

I won't lie. I was GUTTED for the first 24 hours but then I thought, "You know what, that's totally chilled. Living alone has tons of perks and we'll just visit each other and it'll be fine." I wasn't in a rush so I never mentioned it again.

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A couple of months later, I decided to cottage-up on my own and went to view a place in Kloof. Jon asked to come with and afterwards, he calmly said, "So that looks like a place I'd be happy to live in too." I was like, "WOAH. What are you saying here?' See, Jon has lived with his current housemate for thirteen years - thirteen years, people - so I knew this was a pretty big deal. I was super stoked but then my brain short-circuited and transitioned from excitement into, 'UH-OH. COMMITMENT. COMPROMISE. CHORES. Where will his hiking gear go? What'll happen to my weird, gold pineapple? HOW WILL THIS WORK? Am I ready for this?'

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After going through every emotion in the rainbow, I remembered that Jon is in fact the most easy-going, helpful, practical and kind-hearted human being on the planet and I chilled the heck down and got excited again. We started cooking up plans and thinking about where we could live. FYI: not that place below. That's a cottage from a holiday jol we go to!

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Rental prices are kind of ridiculous so I couldn't believe it when we spotted a listing for a cottage in Winston Park for a bargalicious price! We hurried over to view it and told the landlords we'd love to be considered for it. There was one hitch, though. It didn't have a bath. And I am all about the baths. We hadn't been looking long so when the landlords offered it to us, we decided to turn it down and look a little longer.

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Well, we looked and looked and looked but everything was either too pricey, too dodgy or not remotely private. For some reason, my mind kept drifting back to the Winston Park cottage - so much so, that I began dreaming about it! And while it only had a shower (and some serious 80's style cabinetry going on and a couple of cracked tiles), it had a garden! Now, I haven't had a garden since I lived with my folks back in the day. It was also spacious with two bedrooms and a great big lounge. The back door led onto a sweet patio with an awning covered in greenery. I could just see us getting hammered sitting out there with friends on warm summer evenings.

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Over a month went by and eventually I suggested to Jon that we contact the landlords and ask if it was still available. He just laughed and said, "Don't be ridic, that thing would have gone the next day!" I decided to chance it anyway and popped them an email - lo, and behold, it was still available! The people who were going to take it after us had changed their minds at the last minute. And now we're moving in super soon!

People keep asking me if it's the "Pinterest" cottage of my dreams. And no, it doesn't have shiny subway tiles, wooden floors and white floating shelves but it has plenty of character and it's neutral enough for us to put our own stamp on it. Most importantly, it felt like home and I can't wait to move innnnn! Although, if you have a bath, I will be visiting....

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Because we've both only ever rented furnished places, we own absolutely nothing! So we're going to have to buy everything from beds and couches to chairs and major appliances. It's gonna take time (and a shed-load of money) but we'll get there. We'll get there...

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As excited as I am to move, I am having a rather emotional time saying goodbye to my flat. I put myself back together here after getting divorced. It's been my safe-haven over the past three years and I've made so many wonderful memories in this little studio with it's lilacy walls and wooden floors. I think I'll have to write another post to pay homage to it!

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Crumbs, well done if you made it through all this waffle! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for future homey instalments! And Jon, if you're reading, thank you for putting up with my crazy ways and for being the level-headed rock in my life. You're the best, y'hear.

PS: I don't have pics of the new spot yet but they're coming, they're coming x

Tuesday, October 7

Thirty Freaking Two

Cheezer smile alert! I'm thirty freaking two today! Thank you to Tall One for snapping these pics and to everyone who has already made this day so special. Love you guys. And love you shady characters who didn't mug us when we were snapping these in another dodgy downtown location. Edit: Yeah, I totally had to edit this post - long story! x

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Sunday, October 5

My birthday tea

Holla friendships! I'm turning thirty-two on Tuesday but I celebrated with my besties and family yesterday at Churchills. I was soooo excited to photograph everything and everyone and then my worst nightmare came true - my camera card malfunctioned!!!! In the chaos of prepping party paraphernalia, I forgot to pack my back-up gear. Le sigh. But I still managed to grab a couple of snaps of the table (although I wanted to snap every detail!) My mom baked the killer cake, Madame Macaron whipped up the glittery macarons and Churchills served the most delicious tea and treats. We had so much fun tucking into everything while crazy French music played in the background! Thank you to everyone who came and made my day so amazing. It was lovely to be surrounded by all my special peeps. Pics of me larking about with the balloons are coming up later this week! x

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Sunday, September 28

Part Two of Weight-Gain-Gate!

I've been promising to write part two of the emotional weight gain / loss / gain saga but every time I try to write it, it sounds like I'm complaining. Ugh. 

Well, let's give it another bash. I started a new job in September last year and it's been hectic but amazing. Now, this is where it sounds like I'm complaining (which to any colleagues reading this - I am not - heh.) Like I said, this year has been hectic. Work became my top priority and this meant a lot of late nights and early mornings, plugging away at the laptop. Again, not complaining, sometimes a gal's just gotta get her graft on. (Especially when she lives alone and has bills to pay - if you've been there, you'll feel me!)

But yeah, when I wasn't working, all I wanted to do was sleep or drink wine and eat pizza with Jon. I know people often go, "I don't have time to work out / eat healthy" and it sounds like an excuse...well, I guess I could have gotten up at 5am to work out but I was shattered. All I wanted to do was sleep so I could throw my energy into work and still try to see my friends and family over the weekend. I kept it together at the office but I was often a fragile, exhausted mess after hours. And that's how I regained 9.5 kilos :( I didn't work out and I stopped planning healthy meals. It sucks, and I'm bummed and I bawled my eyes out when my favourite clothes stopped fitting me...but life happens. I'm not gonna spiral into a depression because things could be A LOT worse.

As for today? Things are looking up! Our team at work has grown and life is becoming more manageable. I've got a long way to go in terms of getting my fitness up and sorting out my eating but I know I'll get there. I just need to stay strong and positive. 

Oh, and about losing a load of blog readers (as mentioned in Part 1) - well, a little while ago Jon said, "Why don't you check out what your blog stats are these days?" Now I have NEVER blogged for stats or swag but thanks to a few kind press mentions back in the day, there were quite a lot of peeps reading Gloss at one point. But as my work responsibilities have grown over the years, my spare time has dwindled a fair bit. I was lucky if I got around to posting once a week. I knew my stats would have taken a plunge but I didn't expect them to be as low as they were when I took a peek at 'em. It  made me sad but you know what? This blog isn't my job. A few years ago, I promised myself I would think of Gloss as my happy place to play in when I could. I removed all the pressure to social-media-it-up.

So on those nights when I felt too tired to edit pics and write for Gloss, I snuggled Jon or had tea with a friend. That is what I needed most at the time. And also, while I haven't scribbled here as much as I'd like, I have scribbled for some epic campaigns over the past year. Sometimes I'll be flicking through a mag or walking through a mall and I'll see summin I've worked on and it feels pretty darn amazing. So there's ups and downs with everything, eh! 

I'll blog when I can, I'll gym when I can and I'll hopefully still have a job after writing this! As always friendships, thanks for your kind messages and support.

EDIT: After posting this, I realised I should have gotten into the grittier deets about how I cried into my sweat towel at gym, down the freeway and in the ladies at work after my first gruelling workout but it's all a bit raw for me at the moment. When I'm feeling stronger, I'll share those fun-filled memories! 

Sunday, September 14

My Birthday Trees!

I always get excited when the Jacarandas start blooming this time of year because my mom messages and says, "The Jacarandas are out which means your birthday is coming up!" So when this guy started blooming near my flat, I asked Tall One to grab a snap of me in front of it. When I was a kid, my parents planted me a Jacaranda for my birthday. It was awesome until a million white ants  attacked it but we managed to resuscitate it and it's grown up with me! So if you've got a kid, plant the little one a tree. They make really neat birthday gifts! After the Jacarandering, I headed to the SPCA charity shops for a bit of thrifting. I hope you've had a good weekend. x PS: Part 2 of my emotional weight gain/loss saga will be up soon! 

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