Saturday, December 31, 2011

Why thank you, 2011

2011 came and left, and like the winds of summer, brought with it adventures unexpected, moments unforgettable, dreams fulfilled and trials overcome. Last year for me was a time of growth and expansion of borders and boundaries, both physically, spiritually and emotionally. It was a time of black, white and many colorful seasons and has been the best and toughest year of my life. From uncertainties and leaps of faith to seeing promises fulfilled and dreams realized. Of all the things I've learnt in 2011, amidst the laughter and tears shared with family and friends old and new, it's that God is good, and all his plans have my best interests at their core. I learnt over the year that His voice, whether it be loud and resounding everywhere and in everything or still, small and seemingly silent, can always be trusted. I'd bet my bottom dollar on His guiding hand because it always leads me to spacious places and calm waters. Throughout the year, His presence was my consciousness, His face my pursuit and His arms my embrace. 2011, thanks to you for shaping, defining and refining me in a way no other year ever has. Here's to you.


My 2011 experience in a nutshell:
- Pockets full of adventures. Both planned and sporadic.
- Learning how to keep peace amidst a storm
- Filling up the pages of my passport with stamps from foreign lands
- Caution thrown into the wind
- Feeling at home in the big wide world
- Enjoying the feeling of my pen gliding across a page giving substance to my thoughts
- Planning parties
- Burning holes in the dance floor
- Jumping for my dreams
- Leaving and cleaving
- Mastering the art of doing my own laundry
- Seeking Him and finding more of myself along the way
- Wandering down unchartered avenues of creativity
- Building friendship foundations
- Learning the ways of transparency
- Being on the receiving end of ridiculous generosity
- Becoming a regular face in the crowd at local gigs
- My first proper job accompanied with a swivel chair
- Paradigm shifts
- Appreciating the gift of hindsight
- Enjoying moments whilst they're busy unfolding
- Learning what it means to rest
- Enlarged borders. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally.
- Spending endless hours lost in Photoshop
- Exploring the extravagant dimensions of grace
- Belly laughing with best friends
- Seeing snow fall for the first time
- Waking up each morning with a grateful heart and a smiling face

Friday, December 30, 2011

Thought for the day

Just in case you happened to forget:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Diary of a Daydreamer gets a magazine feature

A few weeks ago I got an email from an employee at a South African lifestyle Magazine called "Get It."  She wanted to know if she could do a feature on my blog for the January issue, so being highly thrilled with the offer, I sent over all my details, and lo and behold, we have ourselves a magazine feature. I am very excited and very honored to have been given this opportunity, and I think the article turned out lovely. As you can see, my blog was featured along with 3 others. Here are their links if you'd like to have a little peek at what some other Saffa bloggers have been getting up to:
Tom Basson - tombasson.wordpress.com
Olivia Villet - www.oliviavillet.com
Ask Ashe - askashe.wordpress.com


I "did it myself" this Christmas

A shoestring budget and a crafty mood saw this Christmas being a very D.I.Y one. 
I spent endless hours at the dining room table, cutting, sticking, painting, glueing, and these were the Christmas gifts that became of all my efforts:
- An old book convert into a jewelry box by cutting out the inside of all the pages (Tedious and time consuming but oh so rewarding)
- Mason jar candles
- Jar of words of encouragement, scriptures and prophecies
- Framed cutouts of map pages. (My friend Hannah was born in Kentucky but is now in Redding, so I cut out the map of Kentucky and the map of Redding and framed them both. Just a little sentimental something for her to hang on her wall)
- Framed water-colour paintings done on doilies.


Materials Used:
- Thrift store frames
- Old Fairytale book from thrift store
- Doilies
- Water-colour paints
- Old maps of the USA (Thrift store)
- Mason jars
- Various colored ribbons
- Stamps (from cutetape.com and Cavallini & Co.)
- Scissors
- Box cutter
- Glue
- Modge
- Paintbrushes
- Old book pages
- Cath Kidston craft tape

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas baking and cookie decorating

If there's one thing these Americans know how to do, and do well, it's celebrate the holidays. Here are some shots from a memorable afternoon baking and frosting Christmas cookies with beautiful friends from around the world.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oh, to be a kid on Christmas day again.

 5 sleeps until Christmas. I was oblivious to this until just a few minutes ago when I looked at the date on the calendar and got a little fright when I saw the number "20" next to the word "December". Funny how it goes. 
Just a few years ago, you could have woken me up in the middle of the night on any day in December, asked me how many sleeps until the big day and without hesitating I would have blurted out the correct number. Funny how it goes. 
Sometimes nostalgic moments come knocking at the door disguised in insignificant occurrences, and just like that, you are are sent walking down memory lane with no choice in the matter. 


I remember bouncing out of bed with high-octane exuberance just so I could open a window revealing a chocolatey surprise. Then there was the too-much-to-handle excitement as we dusted off the old decorations and put up the tree, of course there was much sibling rivalry surrounding who's turn it was to get upon dad's shoulders and put the porcelain angel at it's summit. Then there were fits of hysterical giggles as we watched dad get into a foul mood with the tangled Christmas tree lights, eventually ending in mom having to unknot those cheeky chords. 
Drafting letters to 'Ol Santa Claus was always a very detailed procedure executed with much precision, God forbid I should forget to leave a very important and necessary toy off the list. Christmas day was the only topic of conversation on the playground and guessing who would be the kids to get coal in their stockings that year was the height of school-time entertainment. 
Christmas eve was always the longest night of the year. Every hand on that clock seemed to tick in slow motion. After staring up at the night sky for hours and after yet another consecutive year failing to see the sleigh and the reindeer weaving between the stars, the milk, cookies and carrots (for the reindeer) would be nicely set out out somewhere easily accessible for the big man in red. I would dash off to bed, knowing that the sooner I was asleep, the sooner I would be awake. Oh, but Christmas eve was always the height of insomnia for my excited little self. If I managed to sleep at all, I'd awake at one hour intervals throughout the night, spring to my feet, and then drag my heels back into bed as that darn clock told me I wasn't supposed to be awake. When 6am finally made it's appearance, I would sprint to my parents bed, yelling "it's christmas," and then we'd run down the tinsel cladded staircase and stare speechless with awe as we beheld the mountain of presents in all it's glory. "Santa has been, Santa has been," we would chant until everyone found their name scribbled on the tags, and began the unwrapping frenzy.
Comparing gifts with all the cousins at the annual Christmas lunch was both fun and competitive as we measured who had been best behaved that year according to the volume of presents they were given. Oh, to be a child again!


It brings a little lump to my throat to think that those days are no longer. I miss being a bouncy pre-schooler most during this time of year. Being an almost-adult is not even half as fun as a kid on Christmas day. This will also be my first Christmas away from family, friends, home comforts and tradition. While I am embracing an all-American Christmas with arms wide open, I wouldn't mind reliving just one of my childhood Christmases so that I could properly savor the moment before it's gone forever. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Craftin'


1. Old picture frame with lace used as a jewelry hanger
2. Deck of cards converted into "52 things I love about you" cards
3. Mason jar candles covered with old maps and book pages
4. Mason jar candles
5. Memory jar
6. Sewing kit
7. Water colour art (can be framed)
8. Handmade year planner

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas cards sent to faraway lands

I am spending my first ever Christmas in a foreign country away from family, friends and all forms of familiarity, so to spread some Christmas cheer their way, I sent a bunch of cards overseas to all my loved ones that span the globe. These cards will be traveling as far and wide as Australia and South Africa, and I sort of wish I could slip into an envelope and arrive at my family's door as easily as these cards can. Oh well, I guess words on paper will have to suffice this year. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holiday Gift Mail

I am convinced that my love language is receiving letters and packages in the mail, so when this parcel arrived at my door from my family all the way over in South Africa, my love tank was spilling over. 
I ripped it open and inside were tones of individually wrapped Christmas presents as well as a Christmas stocking full of wrapped gifts. I have been told I am only allowed to open everything on Christmas day, so there will be no peeking until then. 
Seeing as though I'm going to be away from my family over Christmas time, being able to open gifts from them all will be such a treat, and probably a highly emotional moment too. I cannot wait, but until then, I'll be setting the presents under the tree where they'll await me until the 25th. 
I also sent my family a little package full of American goodies such as Hershey's chocolates, Starbucks Christmas blend coffee, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Peppermint Cocoa, and Gingerbread. I can't bear the thought of me getting to eat/drink all of these delights knowing my family back home can't taste them too. So now we can all enjoy the same treats whilst we spend Christmas on opposite ends of the globe. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas music for the indie heart

This Christmas I would be nowhere without "A Very She & Him Christmas," an album by the M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel duo. The only thing better than Zooey Deschanel, is Zooey Deschanel singing Christmas songs. It melts my heart. If you haven't already, buy this album by clicking here
{All images from the She & Him website}

I Heart Winter


Saturday, December 3, 2011

I'd rather be thrifting

Yesterday I went with some of my best friends from ministry school to one of Redding's best thrift stores on North Market street. Our mission was to find the most hideous sweater ever knitted for our Christmas party, and we really stumbled upon a goldmine at the store 'Second Time Around.' They had a section of the store dedicated to the most pant-wettingly funny sweaters I have ever laid eyes on, and we had many laughs as we browsed around. Thrifting enhanced by good company is my idea of an ideal Saturday.

Christmas Cards on Etsy

I have been scavenging the web as of late in search of cute Christmas cards to buy and send to all the special people in my life that live in all four corners of the globe. Etsy never disappoints, and are a few of the cutest Christmas cards I've found...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I Love It - December

Festive season. Snow. Winter woolies. Sitting by the fire place. HunCal Peppermint Mocha. Cosy Starbucks. Christmas. Holidays. Houses that glisten with green and red lights. Decorating trees. My first wintertime Christmas. Sending cards in the mail. Ben Howard. She & Him Christmas album. Turkey dinners. Gingerbread. Ugly sweaters. Knitted scarves. Snowboarding season. 2011 draws to a close. Red and white stripes. Leg warmers. Plaid shirts. Chunky boots. Baking from scratch. Belly-laughing. Hot springs. Ecstatic encounters. Winter wonderland. Warm drinks. Wooly gloves. Chick flick marathons. Decking the halls. Gift exchanges. Words of affirmation. Supernatural Ways of Royalty. Skype dates with South Africans. Communion. Leadership. New levels of responsibility. Falling into the arms of Grace. The mirror translation. Enjoying the present. The Biebernator's Christmas songs. Receiving parcels in the post. Game nights. Chrismukkah. Sugar-frosted cookies. Spending days in my pajamas. Urban Outfitters. RAC New Year's Eve party in San Francisco. Vivid dreams. Vintage photo effects. The Christmas spirit. My family all around the world. Cherry pie. Sigur Ros. Divine Romance. Life-long friendships. Communication. Giving thanks. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

West Coast Wandering

For my very first American Thanksgiving, I went on a road trip along the I-5 from Redding to San Diego armed with trail mix, Starbucks and good company.
It has been a dream of mine for ages to wander along the Southern California coastline, so I was in awe with my surroundings when we finally reached the palm-tree plentiful coast. 
During my stay in San Diego, I had an authentic thanksgiving meal with a fun and very charismatic family, and ate myself into food coma. Success. 
I got involved in the Black Friday action and went shopping at Fashion Valley which quickly made it onto my list of favorite shopping destinations. I also saw the beautiful ocean for the first time in 3 months and it felt just like seeing an old friend. While living in the country has it's benefits, I am still a beach baby at heart. You can take me away from the beach but you can't take the beach out of me. 
Then there was roadside cafe dining, boutique store browsing on Coronado island and quality time with friends. Thank you Orange County for showing me a good time and I hope to see you again very shortly. Stay classy San Diego. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pumpkin Flavored Fun


My amazing new friend Hannah and I decided to join forces on Halloween night and bake pies, carve pumpkins and drink obscene amounts of chai tea. Mission accomplished.
In between handing out candy to visiting trick-or-treaters, we whipped up two delish creations, and considering the fact that we were both pie-baking rookies, they turned out ridiculously well. Whilst they were still warm to the touch, we dolloped whipped cream onto our slices, and sat with our feet up sipping chai and watching Amélie and Bridget Jones. You know, just reveling in the glory of single life.

The first one to hit the oven was the pumpkin pie, and being from South Africa, I had only ever tasted this once before in my life, so I was most excited to actually bake my own from scratch. 

Pumpkin Pie:
We originally only intended to make one pie, but seeing as though we had an extra pastry dish, we scoured the fridge for anything that remotely resembled pie ingredients. In the end we conjured up an apple and mixed berry pie, which was ironically the more delicious of the two.
We added apples, mixed berries, raisins, sugar, cinnamon and then topped it with an oat, sugar and honey crumble. Mmmm mmmm.


Apple and Berry Pie:


While the pies were in the oven, we teamed up to carve our first ever pumpkin, and it's a lot more of a risky ordeal than I had imagined, but we managed to do it and leave fairly unscathed. 
I was impressed with how great our girly-looking pumpkin turned out, and once the tea light candles were placed inside, it made the perfect Halloween decoration for outside our front door. This was a truly American experience for me, and I wish my childhood had been filled with more pumpkin-carving!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

To Market , To Market


Living in the Northern Californian countryside has it's perks, especially considering the well-stocked vintage markets that have been popping up this fall.
A few weeks ago, I went with a few friends to the bi-annual Roses and Rust market just outside of Redding. Considering the fact that roses, trees, antiques and hand-made anythings are a few of the things that make me tick, I was in my absolute element. We spent a beautiful afternoon in the fall sunshine browsing all the divine booths that showcased everything from weathered furniture and books to collectables and clothing. The only thing holding me back from spending obscene amounts of money on old suitcases and furniture was the fact that they wouldn't fit so well on the plane going back to South Africa next year. 
My ministry school revival group pastor was actually one of the vendors at the market, and her stall 'A Royal Life' was a british-themed booth that sold intricately hand-crafted crowns as well as refurbished furniture which was absolutely beautiful. A Royal Life actually won the runner up for the best stall of the day. Well done Trisha!


 Last weekend, I went with two wonderful women to another market in the countryside town of Willows, and it was most lovely. Although it offered fewer vendors than the Roses and Rust market, I'll definitely say it was a lot more refined. Every single booth had the most incredible items on sale, and I happily found myself some vintage crafting supplies to stock up my collection. The venue was gorgeous, and a day of unwinding, browsing, and appreciating all things vintage was exactly what I needed. 


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thought for the day


Original image - click here
Image modification and typography - done by me

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I love it - October

A few things I'm appreciating this October...

Fall. Living in a foreign country. Pumpkin flavored anything. The sound of rain on windows. School. Salt of the earth people. Late night bicycle adventures. Ed Sheeran. Blazers. Snow-capped Mount Shasta. Trader Joe's. Angelic voices. Being nocturnal. Exploring new avenues of creativity. R-I-S-K-S. Trying new recipes. Butternut soup. O.P.I nail polish. Freedom. Beige. Skype dates with the fan-damily. Nerd glasses. Forever 21. Managing budgets. QT with new friends. Roses and Rust market. Pumpkin carving. Dancing. Bethel. Revival group gatherings. Chai before bed. London fog. Living out my dreams. Trusting in things I cannot see. Answered prayers. Journalling the journey. The art of appreciating moments as they're busy unfolding. Twinview. BSSM worship sessions. Boys who wear boots. British accents. Cookie dough. Cinnamon. Trick or treating. Unleashing my inner artist. Kris V's humor. My world aflame. Words of affirmation. Quality time. Gossip girl. Paint. Writing lists on my hands. "You had to be there" moments. Julia Stone's voice. Live music. Leaning on him. Online shopping. Laughing fits. Life-changing homework. Polka dots. Knee high socks. Grocery shopping. The secret place. Ecstatic encounters. The Song of Solomon. Trail mix. Singing "this is the life." Fallen leaves. Match-making. The colours of autumn. Intimacy. Letting go of fears. Socks and slippers. The beginnings of lifelong friendships. Pine trees. Sunset cloud formations. Sandpointe shenanigans. French braids. Ellie Goulding. Fonts. Land of the free. Life as I've never known it before. 


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

So long sweet summer

It looks like fall has finally fallen, and these past few days the skies of Redding have been churning out  thick clouds and sideways rain. As a memoir of the brief yet wonderful Californian summer I experienced, here are a few snapshots that I captured whilst living it up under the Cali sunshine. 
Locations: Whiskeytown Lake, Sundial Bridge, Turtle Bay, 44 Highway. 


Monday, October 3, 2011

Phone Wallpapers by The Notebook Doodles

The talented blogger {slash} doodling extraordinaire behind the website "The Notebook Doodles" has created a collection of beautiful cellphone wallpapers that are available to be freely downloaded. Score. 
Follow this link here, and get downloading! Enjoy. 

Cali Road Trip #1

My 10 hour San Francisco experience in pictures

Friday, September 23, 2011

TDCC BABY

Let's just say I am about to start manifesting with excitement at the thought of the events that are in tomorrow's line up.
A bunch of new friends and I, who are also fellow music enthusiasts, are all road tripping down to San Francisco to watch the Two Door Cinema Club concert. This has got the words 'time of my life' written all over it. I am more than just a little in love with this trio's vibey tunes, and cannot wait to jam like there's no tomorrow. Oh, and of course getting to see San Francisco for the first time is going to be a an experience and a half. Man, I love being a foreigner.
I am going to take an obscene amount of photos, and don't even mind looking like the tourist I am.

The concoction of hilarious friends, good music, and a road trip to a foreign city is the most perfecto recipe for a memorable day. Let the good times roll.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I apologise if you're standing too close and I happen to leak happiness

There are those few-and-far-between moments in life, when you happen to catch yourself taking a step back, looking at your own life as an outsider would, and thinking "I wasn't aware that it was allowed to be this good." You know those times when you even feel slightly guilty at the degree of bliss you get to partake in daily? Yes, well I've been having one of the above-mentioned weeks. No wait, I think it's been a month. Yes, that's correct.


The root of my 'joy unspeakable' in this season can be wholeheartedly attributed to the goodness of God which has been like the big red ribbon banding together all sorts of fulfilled dreams into one package of answered prayers. 
Just a few months ago I made a decision, and while I am not one for giving God ultimatums, I knew that if he did not radically show up on the scene, I would have had to watch all my plans slip through my fingers. But of course, God-of-the-11th-hour came through as I knew he would, and here I am living a life that is tipping the pleasure scale. 


Why so elated with life and times? Well I think it's one part due to the fact that I get to wake up every day in a foreign country that I have fallen in love with. Another part because I get to 'study' subject matter that my heart burns passionately for, and then of course there's the fact that every person I get to do life with this year fits into the highest caliber of 'legendary.' Oh, and I'm also watching my dreams unfold before my eyes as I live and grow in this 'greenhouse' environment of love and honor. Heaven on earth? Something like that. 


The moral of my own story, is simply this: Do what makes YOU happy. Find out what it is you truly desire, burn for, yearn for, and then take a risk along the road leading to dreams fulfilled. There isn't enough breath in our lungs to entertain the thought of wasting time doing things for which we lack passion. 
People-pleasing can be expensive. It can cost you your dreams or better yet, your happiness.  


So here's a toast to life, times, happiness and the wonderful thought that we are still yet to live some of our best days. La Bella Vita. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge

I found this interesting 'challenge' on the Bright Wishes blog, and am considering doing it, especially due to the fact that I am in a foreign country which may make it that much more fun. 



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chronicles of a rookie bicycle rider

Ever since I arrived in America I have been dying to get my hands on a bicycle for more reasons than one. I guess it's partly due to the fact that my bicycle riding childhood was partially non-existent due to South Africa's unsafe roads, and also partly because I am currently car-less and have been starved of freedom for longer than I can bare.

This afternoon my South African friend and I made it our mission of the day to find ourselves bicycles, and Walmart did not disappoint. After a few laps around the store and many sideways glances from shoppers, we made them our own. 
Shoving 2 large bikes into one smallish car caused me to go limp from laughing. Never a dull moment. Never. 

This evening at sunset I took that puppy for it's first spin in the hood, and it rides like a charm. Most excited for the adventures that await Janice and I as we explore Redding on two-wheels. I predict laughs, grazes and many trips to the Starbucks "drive-through." 

So here's to sore bums, legs of steel, and saving the world one environmentally friendly mode of transportation at a time.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nineteen


I turned 19 on Friday the 9th of September, and spent my second consecutive birthday away from my family, friends and home country. Nevertheless, it was a grand day full of all kinds of wonderful things. 

A bunch of my new friends that have also moved here to Redding, California, knocked on my door, and then proceeded to throw balloons at me, shove a cupcake in my face and then make me blow out a bunch of candles. It was hilarious. 
The crew and I then decided to take advantage of the fact that it was 42 degrees, and went cliff jumping at Clear Creek. I don't remember how high the jump was, but by my calculations I would say it was "flippin' high." What's a good birthday without an adrenaline rush?
We spent the rest of the afternoon body rafting down the creek, and I laughed a ridiculous amount the entire way along. 
California is beautiful, and it's landscapes blow me away. 
After an amazing church service at Bethel, we burnt the midnight oil at the sundial bridge under the full moon's light, and I lost count of all the times everyone embarrassed the heck out of me by signing happy birthday in public places. 

New friends. New places. New adventures. I would say this was by far the most uncanny, yet lovely birthday I have had to date. 



Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Birthday {slash} Farewell

On the 29th of August, I had a pre-birthday celebration slash USA farewell with some of my favorite people on the planet. It was an afternoon of blankets, trees and good company, and one I won't easily forget. The talented Julie Patrick {click here to see her photography blog} captured the memories, thanks Jules you lovely lady. 
Megs Carrie and I had a fairly successful attempt at a cupcake recipe from the "Always With Butter" blog {click here to view the recipe}

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