Happiness is…


It’s been a while since I last did this…the five things which have made me a happy girl recently are:

5. No more engagement parties, bridal showers,  weddings, etc. etc. etc.

Two close friends got married one week apart from each other and I somehow managed to survive it all and still retain my friendships with both girls (even though my budget took a beat down :/).

This is what happens when your Nigerian friend asks you to be a bridesmaid:


And this is what happens when an Ugandan marries a South African (as borrowed from @aaliac):


Fun times ladies and congratulations to you both!

4. Lillies

I had these “little” beauties in my place for a while – the flat smelt amazing.


3. Laundry week-ends at my mum’s house

It’s been a month since I moved out of home but I still go back over the week-ends to sort out my laundry. LOL – I am spoilt yes. The best part of the laundry week-end is going home to mama’s cooking. I definitely appreciate it more now that I don’t get a home-cooked plate of food every night.

And yes, I never leave home without stock-piling on enough cooked food to last me until Wednesday (sometimes even Thursday if I only nibble at something…)

2. Furniture!

Growing up is not moving out of home and finally living on your own.

No, no.

It’s when you finally buy a couch and dining table – that’s when you have finally grown up. In between shopping for the constant stream of gifts for the above mentioned weddings, I have spent my weekends trawling the clearance centres of various furniture shops to find pieces that I love AND meet my very tight budget constraint. Glad to report that I have succeeded and even though the flat is still not up to standard, I at least no longer have to host “bring your own chair” parties 🙂

1. TTO

The Tall One,

The one that makes me laugh,

The one that picked me up and swept me off my feet (literally and figuratively!)

My go-to guy,

My furniture mover,

My best friend,

My shoulder to cry on, and

Now soon to be life partner 🙂



Happiness is…

Books, books, books!!20140526_103737

Books for a special cause make me happier


But working with colleagues that support charitable causes that involve books make me an incredibly happy girl.

We started a book-drive at work to help the SiyaKhula Education Foundation collect more books for their library in Diepsloot.



In a matter of eight days we had collected over 80 books and R3000 cash (equivalent to 30 books written in English and 20 books in Isizulu/Sepedi)



A very good way to start the week I think 🙂


Happiness is…

happiness is

5. Home improvements
I spent the past week in a house looking like this…


My bedroom 😦


My mum’s room…

Painting is the worst thing to have happened to us. THE WORST.

Thank goodness we are done with it for the next two years :/

4. Delayed election updates
I should have posted this two weeks ago when all South Africans were riding on the election high but alas, number five happened to me.
Voting day was quite a special day. We waited in line for close to two hours before making our mark. And unlike the clever lady below – we were completely unprepared. No camping chair, no umbrella, no sunscreen, no water – nothing.

The super-prepared young lady came ready to make her mark

The super-prepared young lady came ready to make her mark

3. Weekend in KwaZulu-Natal
This is one province that I don’t get tired of. If I could earn a Johannesburg salary in Durban – I would move in a heartbeat. How can you not be at peace in such a beautiful part of the country?





2. Autumn in Joburg
Even though this means I can no longer run in the evenings and always need to have a cardigan in the handbag, Joburg is looking gorgeous.


1. Cooking class fun
A detailed post on this night will follow soon. I am proud to say that I can now make prawn fritters and Thai coconut pudding! Wuhoo!!!

The wonderful palte of food at the end of the night!

The wonderful plate of food at the end of the night!

Forget the fact that I burnt meat in the kitchen – the smoke was so bad that half of the class was coughing hysterically while I tried to figure out where the stove switch was…
No lies – this unfortunately did happen.

Totes embarrassing.

Happiness is…

The list of five things which have made me a happy girl this week.

5. Four day work weeks

#Nonproductivity all week
Need I say more? I think not 🙂

4. Dinner parties
A dear friend and her husband invited a group of us to their humble abode for a small dinner party on Thursday. Lots of fun was had by all – good food and drinks all around as well as a record player made for a fun night.



Oh, and that flat was amazing. It was like stepping into one of those flats profiled on Top Billing. I made a mental note to NOT invite this couple to my place. Seriously, if that is their definition of humble, I am afraid to see what the flat will look like once it is fully furnished.

3. Cooking, baking and all things domesticated

Contrary to popular belief (*sides eyes my mother and brother*), I am not the world’s worst chef. And ok, ok, I don’t stand in front of the stove often but I at least know how to switch it on and boil rice (which hopefully won’t burn!). Ok, fine I will admit it – I’m slightly allergic to the kitchen. But it’s not my fault that I have a mother that cooks like Nigella Lawson every day. I don’t want to be a bad daughter and stop her from doing what she loves 🙂

My usual avoidance of the kitchen slightly changed this week – not only did I make amazing fish and mango curry but I also baked a whole chocolate cake. Don’t fall off your chair, I honestly baked a whole cake.

ALL. BY. MYSELF. See proof below because I know you think I am making this up.

Mango and fish curry


My attempt:

Yoh, this looks good

Yoh, this looks good



Chocolate Cake

The inspiration from www.yuppiechef.com

The inspiration from http://www.yuppiechef.com

My attempt:


Chocolate cake!

My first chocolate cake!

All within the same week – yum! 🙂

2. Falling in love with Chimamanda again
We are reading “Half of a Yellow Sun” for book club in anticipation of the movie release in June/July of this year. I first read this book three years ago coming home from my first trip to Cape Town.  This was the first “contemporary/modern” African fiction book that I read that wasn’t about apartheid. Yay! It made me angry, it made me laugh and sad at the same time. It made me reflect on how far we have come on this continent. This book also made me want to pack my bags and go to Nigeria to learn more about the Biafra War. I fell in love with Chimamanda and have subsequently read everything she has written, listened to all TED talks and speeches and tirelessly defend her to anyone that dares says anything negative about her. I’ve felt all of these emotions and more since I started reading it again.

For all the non-natural hair bloggers/blog followers – BC stands for “Big Chop”. Yes, I cut my hair. Finally.

My hair :(

My hair 😦

I walked into the hair salon early this morning and told the lady that I wanted to cut my hair. She took one look at my hair and advised me against it. Lol, the nerve of these hairdressers! I then had to carefully explain why I wanted to cut my hair and after my very thorough demonstration of all that is wrong with my crowning glory – she unwillingly took her pair of scissors and started snipping it off 🙂

All gone!

All gone!

And as cliched as this will sound, I honestly feel so liberated. It’s amazing how much baggage we hold in our hair. It took me close to ten months  to accept that my hair was really unhealthy. A split end is one thing but hair breaking as it grows is a whole different ball game. So here I am, short hair and all – feeling slightly scared and apprehensive but ready for a fresh start. Exciting times lie ahead!

Happiness is…


The five things which made me a happy girl last week.

5. Finding a “healthy hair” salon (finally!).

Eva hair salon in Germiston may be the saving grace my fro’ desperately needs. I’m following a few natural hair blogs to get advice/tips/ideas on how to salvage my crowning glory.  I’ve kept my hair covered in protective styles for a while – not only out of convenience (and sheer laziness of dealing with my hair) but to hid my damaged hair :/ The hair drama is that bad – it may just warrant a separate post. Anyway, Eva hair salon is owned by one of the ladies blogging on Frochic and I decided to head out into dodgy Germiston yesterday to try fix my hair. And ya, they confirmed my suspicions – my hair is not in a good state but I felt slightly better at the end of my consult, I finally feel like there is hope!

4. Pizza at YOLO

Discovered this place a month ago with the book club ladies (separate post will follow…) and ya – we were blown away. Best Pizza in Joburg right now. One piece of advice though – order and eat the pizza in the restaurant. I ordered a take away two weeks ago and didn’t enjoy it as much at home 😦

3. New blogs on my blogroll!



Yes, I have been thinking about my hair a lot (I’m a girl – hair is important to me ok?).

2.  Lunch with mummy dear celebrating her 20yr work anniversary

Yes you read that correctly – my mother has been working for twenty years in one organisation. Yoh. Even though this was spent in different positions within the organisation (she really started from the bottom and worked her way up – maybe I’ll share that story one day), I am amazed at how the generation before us can spend so much time in one company. One of her colleagues and friend at work has been with the blue bank for 22years!

Double yoh.

I’ve had discussions with friends asking if they can see themselves working for one organisation for so long. Almost everyone said no- we are clearly the generation that can’t see themselves in one place for more than five years. A quick internet search found that the average worker in the States stays for 4.4years in one organisation before hopping on to the next one. And in South Africa, research has found that 65% of black employees changed their jobs once every three years. Interestingly enough, money was not the only reason for the high job-hopping rate but factors such as “personal growth, recognition, and the desire to acquire a broad range of skills and experience in order to – ultimately – start their own business and create wealth for their families and communities”.

Any thoughts on this? Have you recently changed your job? What motivated this change? 

1. Long phone conversations with a friend

I had an amazing conversation with a friend last week about everything under the sun. It was really good to laugh so hard that my tummy hurt and to talk to someone that isn’t afraid of telling me exactly what they think. But it was especially nice to actually talk to someone on the phone and not send a SMS or whatsapp message. Hearing someone actually laugh out loud is way better than getting the “LOL” message.

I read this interesting article regarding daily smartphone consumption and even though a lot of people don’t like to admit to it, accessing social media was found to be the number one mobile activity among mobile phone users. I know I definitely fall into the trap of Facebook stalking/instagram envy/reading twitter updates at least three times a day – and this increases by a significant amount if I’m having a slow day at work.

What do you guys think? When was the last time you called someone on the phone (for more than two minutes!)? Do you prefer to SMS/Whatsapp or call?

Happiness is…

  1. Holidays with the family.

Long road trips, daily braais, days spent lounging at the pool – yes, it is December in South Africa.

  • Bela Bela
Beautiful Bela- Bela

Beautiful Bela- Bela

Younger brother and friend

Younger brother and friend

We can't have a week-end getaway in Africa  without the random giraffe pic right?!

We can’t have a week-end getaway in Africa without the random giraffe pic right?!

  • Ndwendwe/Durban


Durban road-tripping

Durban road-tripping

2. The amazing spirit South Africans have.

sarahjoygirdwood instagram pic

sarahjoygirdwood instagram pic

I’ve always heard about this, vaguely felt it over the World Cup but really felt it over the last two weeks.

South Africans always manage to come together at times when it is least expected. We forgot about the racial issues, economic issues and Nkandla issues to remember Nelson Mandela.  I was lucky/stupid enough to brave the rain and spend the day at the FNB stadium for the (now infamous) Mandela memorial service. We sang and danced together as one (yes and even booed together…), we were all moved by Obama’s tribute to Mandela and had a moment to reflect on one of the greatest sons of South Africa. It really was an amazing day – cold and wet, yes but I’m really glad that I could be part of that history.

aali_ja instagram pic

aali_ja instagram pic

3. Boerie rolls

My all-time favourite holiday meal – reminds me of primary school. I used to get tuck money only on Fridays and I would wait for the lunch bell to ring so I could run off to stand in line for a R5 boerewors roll. Sigh, those were the good old days. Now, I have to beg my brother to make it for me and instead of the cheap mustard sauce the tuckshop used, I sparingly spread my wholegrain mustard on the roll 🙂

LOL, life is tough at the “top”

4. THAT dress.

It fit like a glove 🙂


Nice little prezzie to congratulate myself for the hard work on the time trails and morning gym sessions 🙂

20131214_080825[1]5. Mornings spent at the beach

Woke up to this view on Monday – yes, it was very cloudy and slightly depressing but for a girl who has grown up in a land-locked city the sight of the beach (regardless of the weather) still makes me very happy.

View from the hotel

View from the hotel

Me being my usual stupid self

Me being my usual stupid self

Happiness is…

A list of a few things which have made me a happy girl over the past week:

1. Johannesburg Zoo Trot

10k sunday morning run around the zoo? Yes, I (stupidly) agreed to join my friends for a 10k run early Sunday morning.

The heat was unbearable, let me not start on the amount of walkers(!!) or the overeager 10 year old boys who sprinted the whole time (and consequently made me feel like a very old granny). The actual run was fun though – instead of the usual drab scenery I am accustomed to, I saw lions/elephants / peacocks etc.

Not a bad way to start the week.

2. Birthday celebration in Harties


Drove out to Harties  last week Monday  to spend the day up on the Magaliesberg mountain. We used the aerial cableway (I know, I know – super touristy) but it’s a nice fast way to get to the top of the mountain without the unnecessary huffing and puffing.

At the top, you find very beautiful views of the area. You can even see the Joburg skyline and if you have VERY good eyesight – Pretoria.  Unfortunately once you get to the top of the mountain, there isn’t much to do but take a stroll around the designated walking area and perhaps have a drink or two. Luckily, I didn’t spend the day alone and had a very talkative someone to spend the day with. 😉


Turning 26 has not freaked me out as much as turning 25 did. Maybe I’m just in a better state personally/emotionally etc.  Lol, or maybe I’m just finally growing up and accepting that the number on my ID book is exactly that – a number.


3. Chilli poppers


 Jalapeno peppers stuffed with cream cheese then deep fried. Wowza.

4. Delayed birthday celebration with the RASTA girls

Mama mexicana is a new fave.



Last time I had Mexican food, I was in Barcelona surrounded by very picky Mexicans 🙂 So it was quite fun to spend a night with friends eating way too many chilli poppers and tacos. This is a really cool restaurant. It is relatively new, which means that the chef/owner personally comes out to give you recommendations on what to eat. The chilli poppers are the house speciality – as stated above – they are amazeballs.