14 December 2012

13 Thing Before 2013


24 November 2012

Life has cracks

When I was a child we attended this one church for many years; I grew up with these people around me all saying that 'The Lord had spoken to them' and 'Pointed them to their path'. In my youth I actually thought that there had been this great voice of God speak to them from the ceiling answering all their questions and calming their fears. I could not understand why God never spoke to me, was I doing something wrong?

It was only as I got older and realised the pretence behind their words that it became clear to me what the truth was, and what lengths people would go to fake it.

Here it is ready or not....

There is no answer to all our questions. There is stress and concern needed in all paths of life because that is our test in life. Its not always about something being right or wrong, but rather a choice that is given to each of us... turn left or right? If we each truly have our hearts in the right place to be encouraging to each other and are ever striving to do what is good and right, then will we not find forgiveness for our stumbling and mistakes?

There is not always Gods voice from above telling us what we should do. When did it start getting drilled into us that God always expects us to make the right choice? Before long you are driven to stress and a kind of depression in thinking that you can never measure up to all these fellow 'brothers' around you who love to read their bible five times a day, and can recite the whole book of John from memory.
When did we start believing that we could ever measure up, or that it was even required of us to?

God requires two things of us, to believe and love Him. He loves us for what we are, mistakes and all. And despite what the pompous would have us each believe, you cannot do anything else to earn or gain more of Gods love. He already did that for us.

Life has cracks, but beautiful things can grow in those cracks.

03 August 2012


Hello Sweeties, 

You know those days when you have a thought on your mind that wont shake? Well, today this was on my heart...

Courage is a strange thing. It can be there without us knowing, yet a lack of it can hold us prisoners in our own lives. 

Sometime courage gets mixed up with stupid, yes I'm talking to you skydiver, wild animal tamer, hornets nest poker. True courage can be disguised as showing up, finding it within your heart to forgive. It takes courage to follow our dreams, when all odds say we will fail. Courage is taking that first step, its allowing your voice to speak your truth. The biggest illusion I have found is people think that courage takes a long time. Yet the honest truth is it only takes a few short seconds of courage to change your situation. What follows is the worlds reaction to a moment of utter fearlessness. 

Taking that second of courage doesn't mean that you suddenly don't fear the things that have kept you bound, it means that you have made a choice to no longer allow that fear to keep you from where you want to be. 

If there was a way I could harness the amazing freedom of courage, to remind me how wonderful it feels to take charge of your own way. That I might be more courageous in my every day. Instead of the lukewarm wimp I know my heart to be. Courage is believing in something enough to do it despite the negativity of reactions. Courage is standing up for something, deciding that no matter what happens after this moment of discomfort in admitting your truth, in standing up to your daemon you will follow your heart. 

Courage is not proud, nor does it gloat. Courage hides in small moments, it doesn't always let you know that its there. 

Thank you for listening to (reading) my rant. 

20 May 2012

Graphic Novels

It has been no secret throughout my life that I lean on the nerdy end of the scale. Upon arriving home the other night I broke it to my parents that I'd just tipped the scales a little more in favor of nerds.

This I have achieved by the new (to me) discovery of the awesomeness that is graphic novels.

I know to many friends of mine in the nerd realm this sounds totally absurd to only having realised this great national treasure... But hear me out.

In a book shop I am in my top element. Many are the hours I have spent going up and down aisle searching for my next favourite author. However, cross the threshold of a comic book store... Get bombarded by superhero's to the max, or some crazy cult series that I'd have no hope of ever truly enjoying. The honest truth, its been pretty daunting in there!

But all that has changed now, as new amazing comic nerd friend at comic book shop has opened my eyes to the amazing world of graphic novels. Where Neil Gaiman and Jane Austen have a place on the shelves. And the Wonderful Wizard of Oz is brought to life with the cutest of illustrations. 

Needless to say, I left there a with bag in hand.
My loot consisting of,
Mouse Guard - Fall 1152 by David Petersen. Gosh what a great story it is thus far. The art work is nothing short of adorable!

Wonder Struck by Brian Selznick. Same author who brought out Hugo. This book couldn't be more beautiful. The drawings within a perfect blend of lead to paper. Greatly looking forward to reading this one, quite certain there will be a review when I'm finished.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Baum - Shanower - Young. How could I resist?!

Off to do some reading now... 

12 May 2012


Meet my darling niece, Keiralea Anne.
By far the most placid baby I have ever come across. She has stolen each of our hearts, and holds them just as strongly as she holds eye contact.

 Please excuse my absence here, many personal / emotional things have been happening around our household of late. I'm sure you might understand that, I mean just look at this cutie! Definitely takes after her auntie! (LAUGHS)

Hoping you are all well, as I have truly missed the land of the blogging.
Coffee soon?!

02 April 2012

Sunshine and rain

 This past month has been nothing short of trying. Every day a new challenge, every day a new trial of my faith and strength.
April teases us with events beyond our control, we have only the option to wait for said events to come to pass.

Any day my brother's baby is due to meet us, and what a welcome blessing she will be to our family. My brother was the last baby in our family, and here he is being the first of us to have his own child. I'm going to be an Auntie guys!

This same week my Mam is heading in for her own operation. Though the idea of hospitals is not the most pleasant thought, we know that this will make Mam much better, and that alone out weighs any doubts.

Forgive my absence, as my days have blended into each other of late.
My love to you, through sunshine and rain.

28 February 2012

Wardrobe LOVE: Black & White

Would you guess its summer here?! (Someone forgot to tell the weather of the current season) Much before its due I have been pulling jumpers out of hiding and adding extra layers to my bed.

I love layering with dresses, though this outfit contains much more black then I would normally wear outside of work hours. (I'm a bright colour kinda gal)

Doc Martins! Yes, you guessed it, you'll be seeing a lot of these bad boys over the next few months.

Hoping February has treated you well,

14 February 2012

Our LOVE: My Boo

I want to tell you of my Boo and I.

Cameron and I met through our jobs. I temped at a function where he worked, and during our time spent blending into the walls, we talked and early on sparks flew.

On our second function together Cam asked if he could call me and for my number,  in my shocked embarrassment I stuttered something along the lines of "are you a creepy stalker?" which quickly saw him putting his phone back in his pocket and avoiding eye contact with me for the rest of the night.

But as luck would strike, our third and surprisingly last job together, we did exchange numbers and started a friendship that has taken on many different twists and turns.

Moving forward to now, Cameron and I have been best friends for the better part of three years.
Despite all the changes that have come and gone over that time, he has always been the first person I want to tell my excitement or sorrow to. Though often he has been there to share those moments with me. Hopefully we will have many adventures in our tomorrow to explore together.

Cam has been working with my Dad and Brother for a year now. This very day he officially starts as an apprentice under my Dad.

My apprentice Valentine.

13 February 2012

Our LOVE: More Than Twelve Short Stories

 If ever I was to point out an adventitious soul there would be no need to look further than Shell. Whether its taking you on a morning walk, to the beach with her family, or in her home with coffee (tea) and delightful eats spread across the kitchen table; every story Shell tells pulls you in till your sure you are there. 

More Than Twelve Short Stories is where Shell shares her many aspects of a poetic life.

Love Story - Jamie and Shell

The first time I saw Jamie, I was both terribly impressed, and totally convinced that somebody that well bred, well read, with a face that perfect, and a heart that kind, could never become a beau of mine!  So therefore I didn't giggle or pose, or play any games, I just spoke to him - and we became friends.  There was a light which awoke inside me when we spoke, and before long I knew that he was to be my rescuer.  And soon after that he did become that beau of mine, but it ended up being a case of two very best friends, falling in love.

We were to do the rest of our growing up together as a couple, having being married at ages eighteen and nineteen.  For us this was the natural next step for our friendship, love and commitment - it was wonderful!  We were blessed to be able to live together in a gorgeous little historic cottage on Jamie's parent's family farm.  Our days and nights were filled with love and laughter, and learning every part of who each other were.  Our cares were not for money, possessions or anything except time spent together - this was our treasure, and in that we were rich indeed!

The creative thread which runs through our partnership is music, and we have had the most amazing adventure so far being able to work together as musicians in our band and tour overseas.  But perhaps the most special gift has been becoming parents to five special and amazing small people!  Making a home with them and living the good life where family comes first, and love never fails. 

I have had tremendous trouble putting into words what my love story means to me, it's so hard to explain without a poem or a piano near! other than to say that I know I was rescued by that well bred, well read, beautiful man (both inside and out), and as we enter into our fifteenth year of marriage I can honestly say he is still my best friend.  And I am still his.  

And we're just getting started!

12 February 2012

Our LOVE: My Latest Obsession

Today's story comes from Sam who blogs at My Latest Obsessions. Sam's blog has been a relatively new find for me. However I love her style, and the great projects she posts. You cannot help but feel drawn to Sam's happy outlook.
Hello, I’m Sam from My Latest Obsession! I’m a mother of a two year old daughter and am engaged to my love, Brandon. I have store on Etsy called Sam Wish where I sell vintage & handmade goods, I like to call it my little treasure trove! I’m here today to share a love store, my love story in fact! It’s the story of how I met my fiance, and how our daughter came to be. Enjoy!

Once upon a time, I was just a meager high school student. I was involved in the theatre at my school and it was like my own little world, a magical place. Whether you were on stage or backstage, there was a certain ambiance about the theatre that just made you feel light and filled with adrenaline. Everyone was so nice and extremely accepting, we were all creative and… different. During the last half of my junior year, we put on the play of My Fair Lady. Before My Fair Lady, Brandon and I had never really spoken; maybe a few sentences here and there but I can’t recall anything more. He played football up until his sophomore year when he decided to quit and pursue theatre. He was popular and I was just kind of a wanderer between “cliques” at my school. Brandon was an extra in the show, he sang and danced (very well I might add).  I worked backstage during My Fair Lady and boy was it a job! We had these giant room-sized sets that had to be rolled on and off stage between scenes. I have this one memory (my first memory of us ever… connecting), backstage during one of the shows. He was wearing this really handsome Victorian beggar costume with a little flat cap. In all the hustle and bustle backstage, I walked up to him and said, “You look so cute!”  I didn’t even mean it in a flirty kind of way (not my intentions at all) but when I said it, I remember feeling so familiar with him even though we didn’t really know each other. After that moment, any spare time we had during the show we would “coincidentally” be doing nothing in the same place. Brandon and I would meet on one of the giant set pieces backstage and just talk in the dark. I was really not looking for a boyfriend but somehow we just cliqued and before I knew it, we were head over heels about each other! We would text 24/7 and then when I got my driver’s license, we went everywhere together. One time, I got in really big trouble and my mom read through my text messages. She found one from Brandon that said he was going to climb through my (second story) window… Being a mom, she kind of freaked out but I finally convinced her that it would never happen…. And it didn’t…. kind of. ;)

 Brandon and I became really close, our Mom’s even became friends too! Then during our senior year, I got pregnant. We tried to keep it a secret for as long as possible but after about a month we told our parents and then the news slowly spread to everyone else. Our friends were super supportive though and backed us up through all the high school drama that ensued. I couldn’t of asked for more. I ended up directing my own show that year and of course, Brandon was the star! I graduated 8 months preggo and had my daughter a month later! It’s weird to think of us as “high school sweethearts” but I guess that’s what we are. I’ve always believed things happen for a reason and although I would never wish for anyone to get knocked up in high school, I really think it was just meant to be. I love my life and my little family! And I can’t wait to see where this will take us.

11 February 2012

Our LOVE: Yellow Bird, Yellow Beard

When I first came across Janee's blog I knew straight away that I would come back as often as she posted. As if the name 'Yellow Bird, Yellow Beard' was not enough to get me curious, upon reading through the countless posts of inspiration and flicking through photos of said Yellow Bird; I knew I had found a delightful soul. Yet before now, I did not know that the tale behind the Yellow Beard was as heart warming as ever a love story heard... 

(I give you...)  
Greg and Janee, A love story::: 

To begin this story we have to start way back before Greg and I were born. You see our grandparents worked at a Christian camp in the mountains together. Then his mom and my dad attended the same one-room log schoolhouse together. Greg and I grew up going to the same church, being in all the same Sunday school classes. We were part of the "consistent group" and knew each other well our whole lives. I never paid much attention to him though, he was kinda nerdy... and I was well, lets face it, super cool. Hahaha. I think we can go ahead and replace "cool" with "prideful" now and move on. 

Greg started forming a crush on me many years before I had the slightest inclination. In high school we spent a little more time together and formed a close friendship. Junior year he asked me to date him but I just wasn't ready and I told him so. Completely broke his heart. I was a bit evil, I'll admit. Then between Junior and Senior years we both went on a 3 week trip to Russia with our church. I guess at that point I'd started to regret being so determined to date every "bad boy" I could find and begun wish I'd taken up the offer to "see what a real relationship could look like" {that's what Greg said to me when he asked me to date him previously}. 
 My best friend took notice of my subconscious happenings and began to subtly hint them back to me. By the end of the trip she was relentless, "you want to date Greg and you're just too stubborn to admit it!". She was right. Shortly after we got back from Russia my dad took up my best friend's cause. Within two weeks Greg and I were dating. We dated from September 2, 2004 to March 2, 2010. 
After high school he left for college and I followed him. After we graduated we went through some really hard times trying to get jobs {majoring in Art isn't always a glamorous as it sounds}. Finally Greg had saved up enough to buy me a ring and when he proposed to me on a very extravagant day date in San Diego I of course wailed "Yes". Then after the most fancy dinner we've ever had he took me to a surprise party where all our friends were waiting for us. It was the most magical proposal ever. Four months later, July 18 2010, we were married. 

Every day since then has been the happiest of my life. That's not to say we never fight or have rough days, but I love my husband with all my heart. He is my best friend and I'm his. I can't imagine my life without him and I'm SO grateful he was patient enough to wait for me. 

10 February 2012

Our Love: Diamond In The Dark

Today I have the lovely Jacqueline from Diamond In The Dark sharing with us a glimpse of her love story with her William. Not only does Jacqueline host a delightful blog, but she makes the most adorable robot-animals. You must stop by to say hello!

My name is Jacqueline and I'm a blogger, a crafter, and, as of recently, an artist too! I make robot stuffed animals called Lovebots and sell them in my etsy shop, The Lovebot Factory. I live in Nevada with my best friend and boyfriend, William. I am so honored and happy for Sarah to have asked me to share our story with you all!

William and I met in 2008 through my boyfriend at the time. They had been friends for a year or so and we became quick friends as well. We talked on msn and texted all the time because I was living in California and he was living in Nevada. Although quiet and a little reserved, we became close friends because he is such a goof ball. He is constantly joking around and joking about things you just don't expect! 

Fast forward two years to 2010, I'm single and William has suddenly become my best friend. We started talking on the phone all the time and talking about more serious things than just joking around. We'd never been so close and we had started talking on the phone almost all night every night. Now I have to admit that I have been attracted to William since the day we first met in person in early 2009. He is really my dream man and I'd had a crush on him for a long time. To be honest, when I talked about him to my friends, I called him my "hot friend". I know it's a little embarrassing but it's so true! Now imagine my surprise when, on a late night phone call, he asked if I had feelings for him. Little did I know that he would say he had a crush on me for years as well. It was my dream come true. A few weeks later, December 11, 2010, he would ask me to be his girl and made my life so much better. 

Now a year later we're living together and working on growing our lives together. We both work at Fry's Electronics and spend all our spare time together. We spend most days playing videos, window shopping, and always go to sleep watching the food channel. After a whole year of long distance, being together is a dream. A year of visits that always ended too quickly and lots of lonely nights apart. I love waking up to my best friend everyday and having someone to support me who will always love me. He's my best friend because he is the funniest man I know and makes me feel like I'm the only girl who matters.  I truly have the best man in the world.

08 February 2012

Our LOVE: The Machinist's Wife

Simply put I HAD to start of this little love series with a love story that although not my own is very close to my heart. I am of coarse talking of my parents love story. My Mam, also known around blogland as The Machinist's Wife, has ever been a sorce of love. And together my parents have shown me all that love is... Please check out Helen's (Yes, MAM'S) blog here. And enjoy....

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Twenty days after my birth, in a freezing, sleet and sloshy England, my husband was born into the humidifying heat of South Africa. Miles apart, yet  already hand-picked by the Creator of all. 

Years later, due to my father’s love of travel, and the complete optimism of my mother, I met my husband after a Saturday matinee in the small country town of Dundee, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa. The minute I met him, I knew he was different.  I knew I would love him.

We were on school holidays and it was the typical summer romance:  we swam and went to the picture theatre, drank milkshakes at the local tea room and took long walks.  We also sparred and debated everything. He carved our names on an old English oak tree, just outside my old junior school grounds. For years, I kept an acorn from that same tree...

We married in Dundee, too.  We couldn’t afford a fancy wedding, so we donned our brand new grey suits and met at the local magistrate’s office.  It was a tiny room and we could hear ‘business as usual’, as one does in a court house. The magistrate began the ceremony and all I could think of in those moments was how strong his Afrikaans accent was.  I had to concentrate really hard.  He asked us a few questions, which were a blur to me and then announced “I now pronounce you husband and wife”.  Those words made me sob with pride!  I was now a Mrs.  I shared my sweetheart’s name...

Our early days of marriage were filled with excitement. Our ‘furnishings’ were very few; a piece of carpet on the floor (which we used as our bed), a couple of blankets and one pillow. We slept fully dressed in winter.  Our main diet went according to an apprentice’s wages and consisted of a staple diet of rice with onion gravy, (usually boiled and burned in brown and orange enamelled pots), followed by coffee and Ouma's rusks (which she would make in bulk. She knew..).  Occasionally, we would treat ourselves to a chocolate (either a Turkish Delight or a Cadbury’s Creme Egg) and a trip to the two Rand drive- in, where we would park the Honda 175 and lie under the stars, enjoying every minute of being together.

There's much to be said in building up a home together. Building it together. Not moving straight into a fully furnished, pantry well-stacked, efficiently heated home. Building the home together and doing it Hard Time. This definitely bonds in a way like no other.  We knew then, as we know now, that it is never about the wedding, but the marriage...

Before long, we discovered that I was carrying our baby.  Emma was born with large, dark eyes and little hair - blonde fluff, as we called it. We weren't in hospital long; we wanted to be home. The three of us were together just three weeks before my husband had to leave for a three month 'border duty' camp, in the then compulsory South African Defence Force. Each day, I would write to Emma's daddy. Each day, Emma would sleep in her pram next to me, while I wrote and told him of every little insignificant thing that we lived through. And then, as the letters were completed, we would post them, hoping that there would be a return letter for us in the mail. Letters from my husband were few and far between. Those that we did receive were censored by army officials.

After completing his National Service in the middle of his three year apprenticeship my husband qualified as a Fitter and Turner or Machinist, as I still fondly call him. This meant more in his pay-packet and a chance to get ahead in life. We were able to buy good food and lots of it. We were able to buy a new bed. We were able to buy many items that we had waited so long for. Despite our house developing into the cosy home we had long desired, it wasn't enough. My feet were itching, just as my father's had years before. My husband's feet caught the same fever. We wanted more.....

"It's the land of milk and honey, Helen...." my father would tell me, referring to the country in which we now live - Australia. "Things are going to get worse here. You'll have no regrets. We'll follow you soon. I promise."

Three years later, we had packed up our home and were waiting at my parent's home for the day that great silver bird would take us to a foreign land. My parents and brothers promised me that they would only say a 'quick' goodbye on our day of departure. They lied! I felt as if my heart was about to be ripped out of my throat. My mam slipped a book of verses by Helen Steiner Rice under my arm, as she squeezed me and implored me to "...go now, Helen".

Time is a great healer.

Today, we have a house full of young adults, as we were blessed with another two children – Sarah Mechelle and Samuel Thomas. All three live at home with us and we are joined by Hayley, who is our Sam’s young lady.  Very soon, there will be a grand-daughter.  I know she will be gorgeous.  My parents are in their eighties and live ‘just down the road’.  They kept their promise!

The Machinist, my Machinist is still as loving, romantic and exciting to me as the day we first met. Every day, he asks how I slept and how I am feeling.  He makes me laugh without trying.  He says what’s on my mind before I can utter words. We look forward to tea and lunch times, as we will be seeing each other.  We work together and anticipate who needs what / what needs to be done.  We no longer spar, as although we are – well padded – we know we could do ourselves an injury.  We still debate, and oftentimes, the debating turns into heated arguments.  But they never last long.  We ‘miss’ each other too much without the One Heart.

Every day he wants to please me and make me happy. He will forever be my Valentine, and I will always be his; the Machinist’s Wife.

07 February 2012

Once upon a time...

I have lined up something very special to share with you all this week. For the next few days until Valentines day some of my favourite bloggers have been kind enough to share their love stories with me here.
So stay tuned... SMILES

30 January 2012

The Fault In Our Stars

It is not very often that I would find it within to be bothered to write a book review. I long ago realised that many of the books I hold dear do not fit into other's hearts quite so well as they have mine.

The moment I heard John Green had finished a new book, I could not help myself... I was soon in the bookstore placing my pre-order.
"The Fault In Our Stars", if you ever listen to me and read one book, let it be this one. 
Before reaching the end of the third page I had frightened myself by laughing loudly in my otherwise quite room. This book is raw, yet brilliantly held together with John's wit. By the close of its covers upon reaching the end, I had laughed many more times, allowed a tear to make its way to my chin and marveled in the adventure.

In the words of John himself...
DFTBA (Don't Forget To Be Awesome)

29 January 2012

Sunday Morning

Taking time on this beautiful morning to notice things I pass daily...

My kitty laying on the Union Jack mat that sits below our front door (after I banished her from zig-zagging between my pen and paper)

Australian breakfast tea enjoyed hot, strong enough to stand up for itself and in my favourite mug.

Rouge leaves from the rose above my head drop to land in my hair, the ones under my feet crunch.

Watching the fascinating lives of insects; fascinating so long as they stay out of my mane.

Our newly hung Country's flag so crisp in its whipping. Flying the colours I love for this Country I have been  blessed to call my own.

Painting my nails in my favourite shade of red. (They call it FEVER)

Making mental lists of things I must fill my day with... My eyes taking note of jobs around me.
#Rake leaves
#Pin back roses that have a mind of their own
#Pull weeds from garden beds and those that grow in pavement cracks.

My cat now returns from banishment of the Union.
The bottom of my mug is seen.

18 January 2012

To Every End... A New Beginning

I had so many things I was going to share with you during January. Yet the honest truth is I have been over layed with new, exciting, scary possibilities; yet also going through a sense of lose and heartache. As for new things to start, old things must end.

By end, I am referring to our Pie shop, which after much consideration (and doubt) we have decided to close. To suddenly come to the end of running a cafe, which has ruled my days and decisions for the past 2 years, is like finding oneself without a routine. Be it busy as it was, to suddenly have nothing there, nothing to think to order, or chase. Nothing to prepare... It has been a very emotional couple of weeks. 

In order of starting new things, I have decided to study Veterinary Nursing. (Huge change I know!) I have always known that I would study something 'one day', life moved everything on a whole lot faster than I was expecting is all.

Having The Daily Pie was the best thing that ever could have happened in my young life. How many get the opportunity as I did at my age. If I have learnt nothing else but to cherish what we have been given. I have been truly blessed to have the opportunity to work with my Mother and Sister; To be taught by a master Chef, who showed more patients with us 'shit cooks' than we deserved; To have people come back time and again for our pies. I would not have missed this chance for any amount of money or free time I could have gained.

New things will be happening here, as I fill up my suddenly empty schedule. Bring on 2012, it always did promise to be a year of change!

There is a post on The Daily Pie blog if you'd like to read more...

 I shall always dream in golden crust and tender fillings!

10 January 2012

52 Pictures: ONE

This year I am determined to take more photos and gain a better understanding of my camera. 
52 Pictures will be my favourite photo of the week, shared with you.

Hoping that the new year is off to a good start in your lives,

01 January 2012

A New Book

Ever since I was quite young I have had a need to scribble words over empty pages, as I got older this need hasn't lessened. 
(Though time to do so is not quite as vast)
I can hardly wait to fill this new book with adventures and thoughts of 2012.

It is no secret that I am a notebook junky. I only have one rule, they must only be filled with things that meant something to me. If that means occasionally drawing, or gluing or quoting than so be it.
Do you have rules to writing a journal?

I lift my pen for a happy 2012 to you!