30 May 2011

A Quick Glimpse of the Weekend

This past week has been crazy with the semester coming to close, but I'm so happy to announce that on Wednesday I have my last exam and then no more night classes until mid-July!  I'm so excited to have evenings and weekends open for myself and also to finally get the chance to invest a little more time into the blog and catching up on all of your lovely blogs :)  Jurgen and I also have a couple of trips planned over the break (to places I haven't visited before), so it should also be a wonderful chance to get to experience a little more of what the country has to offer (and then of course share it with you guys)!


But, before I delve into our weekend, I first want give a BIG thank you to Jillian at Cornflake Dreams for creating such a beautiful new layout for my blog and twitter pages.  I'm absolutely smitten with the final product and cannot stop refreshing the page just to admire it :)  Thanks so much Jillian!  If you look at the right-hand column, Jillian has also added a link to my pinterest page - if you have an account feel free to follow me and I'll be sure to follow you back!


This weekend involved a lot of rugby since Jurgen was lucky enough to borrow a work colleague's season tickets to the Bulls Game on Saturday evening.  The game was great (the Bulls won!) and we had an awesome view of the field.  What was even more exciting was that we were able to sit just a few metres back from where the team sits so it was nice to get to watch them run out on the field and all that jazz.

The vibe at Loftus is always awesome - to say the fans are die hard would be an understatement haha.

Such a fun, but freezing night! - By the end of the game, it was close to 0 degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit)!

Danie Rossouw walking onto the field after half-time.

All the other players running onto the field :)

On Sunday it was back to the books and gearing up for the week ahead since it's exam time for me and Jurgen also has important deadlines coming up for his doctorate.  But come Wednesday I'll be finished with my first semester of post-grad which will call for a little impromptu celebration with dinner and drinks!

What did you do this weekend? 
Anything exciting planned for the week ahead?

24 May 2011

Virtual Coffee (Weekend Edition)

I had planned this post to go up Monday night, but then the internet went out so it instead had to be combined with Virtual Coffee - which is also ok :)

What's it going to be for you today?  I think I'm going to go for a chai tea latte.


If we were really having coffee I would tell you that this weekend I had SO planned to work on my final term paper of the semester, but (as per usual) I got distracted by a variety of things like nice weather, rugby, pumpkin pancakes and Jack Sparrow.  I can't claim full guilt though, since Jurgen fully supported (even encouraged) these distractions... especially the last three.

Saturday morning started out better than expected with these delicious pumpkin pancakes.  Jurgen found the recipe in one of his Men's Health magazines and I couldn't resist trying them.  They were beyond delicious, best pancakes I've ever had - hands down (sorry Mom).  Recipe to follow soon!

And... the afternoon only got better with a much needed win from our rugby team (Go Bulls!)

Sunday morning was another beautiful, sunny day, so we decided to pack up our books and go study at the Design Quarter - which is one of our favorite places to lunch and study over weekends since it has such a nice open air feel to it and has ample restaurants to choose from.

(Yes that is Jurgen in the left-hand corner of the picture, straight sporting his backpack)

This time we chose to eat at Woolies - for all the South Africans reading this, it's a toss up between the prawn and avo baguette and the seafood stir-fry - they are both uh-mazing!

The one chocolate mousse we got to split very quickly turned into ordering another - after all dessert is the most important part of any meal ;)

Sunday evening the slacking continued and we decided to go watch the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie.  It wasn't as good as the first three, but was still definitely worth seeing.  Going into it I thought it might be weird with Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom missing, but Jurgen and I both agreed that we hardly even noticed they weren't there.


As for this week, if we were really having coffee I would tell you that most of my time will be spent writing my last term paper of the semester and getting ready for my stats exam next week.  Even though I know there will be some pretty late nights in the next few days, it feels good to know that I'm only one week away from having a nice little break from studying. :)

What did you do this weekend and how is the week ahead looking for you?

20 May 2011

Friday's Fancies #4

I'm so excited to link up again with {av} at Long Distance Loving for her weekly link-up Friday's Fancies!  For those of you who don't know, Friday's Fancies is a chance to dream up whatever outfit you'd like to be wearing on a Friday night if money were not an option.

Tomorrow evening we'll be meeting up with friends for a nice end-of-summer braai (South Africa's spin on a BBQ) and if money were no option I would be sporting the outfit below.  Since summer, warm temperatures and sunshine are quickly beginning to disappear down here in the southern hemisphere, I want to take full advantage of the nice weather we've been getting this week and try and soak in as much vitamin D as possible! 


Pretty pretty please also remember to fill out my little poll at the top right-hand side of the blog if you haven't already!  I'd love to hear what you think and what you'd like to see more of :)

19 May 2011

Not Your Average Cup O' Tea

In Tuesday's virtual coffee post I mentioned that I had recently started drinking green tea in the morning instead of my usual cup of coffee.  To my surprise many other bloggers commented that they had also recently made the switch and were reaping the rewards.

It all came about a couple of weeks ago I read an article in the April issue of Women's Health South Africa about the various benefits of different teas.  Never having been a tea drinker, I thought I would give it a try. 

Looking over the different tea varietals I decided to give green tea a try since it's the one that's most often linked to good health and also because Women's Health dubbed it "The Fat Fighter".  And, I must tell you, from day one I could feel the difference.  Since high school I've always felt tired during the day no matter how many hours of sleep I got the night before.  Not in a fall-asleep-in-class sort of way, but more in a I don't feel totally on my game sort of way.  Ever since I started adding green tea to my morning routine, I can honestly say that I feel completely alert and ready to tackle the day ahead by the time I walk out of the door.  What's even better is that I can make it through the afternoon without that mid-day crash that coffee seems to give me.  It is wonderful.

But not only does green tea pack the punch in terms of getting you ready for the day ahead, it also has numerous other health benefits:

Even on top of all of these benefits, the article in Women's Health went on to say that green tea lowers your BMI (Body Mass Index), reduces your chances of skin cancer and also helps to prevent stokes.

And when I picked up the new issue of Women's Health yesterday, green tea was one of the main ingredients listed in their longevity diet noting that:

"Green tea may be the single most life-prolonging substance you can put in your cup."

Do I have you sold yet???

How about you guys, do you have a favorite type of tea?

When you switched over to the tea world, did you also notice immediate benefits?


On a completely different, but equally awesome note, hop on over to over to Joelle's lovely blog, Where We Love Is Home to enter her amazing June Must-Haves Giveaway!

17 May 2011

Virtual Coffee

It's been so long since we've been able to meet for coffee, but I'm so glad that we were able to meet today!

So what's it going to be for you?  I think I'm going to go for tea today (oddly enough)... since I've been on kind of a green tea craze the past few weeks and am finding it to be much more effective than coffee in getting me out of bed in the morning and, more importantly, keeping me awake throughout the day.


If we were really meeting for coffee I would probably start by apologizing to you for missing so many of our coffee dates.  I would tell you that my life has just been crazy this past month or so (mostly in a good way!) and that I have been playing catch up at work and with my studies after my little impromptu trip to California.  I would tell you that the trip was totally worth it though and that I had such a wonderful time getting to see friends and family.

If we were really meeting for coffee I would probably ask you to fill me in on what's been happening in your life and whether you have any exciting plans coming up in the future or whether you did anything crazy since we last had coffee.  I would tell you congratulations if you were one of my many friends graduated with their Master's this past weekend and ask you what your future plans are... whether you'll be trying to go straight into a career, or whether you will be taking some time off to travel or do volunteer work.

On the subject of graduations, if we were really having coffee I would tell you how proud I am of my Mom for graduating with her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from CLU (my alma mater!).  She has been working full-time and studying for the past couple of years now and I'm happy (and I'm sure she's even happier) that all those extra hours finally paid off.  I'm pretty sure she also graduated with a cum laude so she sure is one impressive lady :)

I would probably then go on to tell you that my new job is going really well and that, while I still have a LOT to learn I'm really starting to get the hang of things and have even been able to bring some of the things I learned at my previous job into the business.  I would also tell you that at first I found it so weird having to "dress up" for work every morning, but that now I'm actually starting to enjoy it.

I would also tell you that I'm SO excited the semester is ending on the 1st of June because I've never been so ready for a break!  If we were really having coffee I would ask you what your plans are for summer (if you lived in the US) or for the winter holiday (if you lived in SA).  I would also ask if you're looking forward to the break as much as I am :)

Last but not least, if we were really having coffee I would recommend that you cancel whatever plans you have tonight and go watch Arthur (but only if you like silly Russel Brand sort of humor).  Jurgen and I went a couple days ago and almost died laughing and have both been walking around saying "Hobson!" in a really high pitched voice to eachother ever since.  In fact, Jurgen started laughing so hard in one part of the movie that it made me laugh so hard that I almost choked and subsequently had to spit my coke zero all of the floor to prevent certain death.  So, if you're in need of a good pick-me-up go see it :)

I would then ask you if you've seen any good movies lately and also whether there are any movies that are coming out soon that are a must see on you list.

Well my coffee green tea is almost up, but if we were really having coffee, before we went our separate ways I would ask you to pretty please complete the survey at the top right-hand side of the page if you haven't already.  I'd love to get your input on what you'd like to see more of on here!

See you next week!

15 May 2011

Weekend Recap and other Excitement

This weekend was spent the way I wish all weekends could be spent... with wonderful friends and filled with quality rest and relaxation :)

Friday night we met up with our good friends Sheldon and Janine (who we hadn't seen in way too long), for some amazing pizza at Pizza E Vino.  It was Jurgen and my first time eating there and I think we both gave it a big two thumbs up.  The decor on the inside was super funky and retro so I snapped a quick picture, although it unfortunately came out a little blurry.

Saturday we drove to Pretoria to meet up with Jurgen's college roommate and his girlfriend for the Bulls Rugby game at Loftus.  The vibe at Loftus is always incredible, so you can imagine the crowds reaction when the Bulls stampeded over the opposing Rebels team (from Australia) and won the game 47 - 10.  Going to a Bulls game this season also happened to be on my 50 Things for 2011 List, so I got to cross that off which is always exciting :)

Today has been the epitome of a lazy Sunday and I basically did nothing other than catch up on blogs, spend time browsing photos on Pinterest and trying out amazing recipes that I recently discovered on Val So Cal (more to come on that soon!).  I will say though, in my opinion it was the perfect way to spend a Sunday.  I did manage to make it to the gym for an hour, so I guess that also counts for something :)

In other news, I'm so excited to announce that Jillian at Cornflake Dreams will be working on re-designing my blog over the next couple of weeks and I cannot wait to see the final product.  Jillian has some serious skill when it comes to Adobe Illustrator and is also an amazing blogger and beautiful person... so, if your looking for a new design, I would mosey on over to her blog right about now and shoot her an email :)

Also, please take a couple seconds to complete the little poll right there on the top right-hand side of the blog.  With the semester coming to close (June 1st cannot come fast enough!) I will have a lot more time to invest in the blog and I'd really love your input on what you'd like to see more of here.  You can check more than one box.

Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their Sunday!

08 May 2011

Sometimes I'm Spontaneous

Late Easter Sunday I made a very rash decision to buy a ticket for Monday (aka the very next day) to fly to California to spend some much needed quality time with these people...

(Brother, Dad, Mom, Me)

(Isn't my Mom gorgeous?!)

And these people...

(That's my Grandpa on the right, yep, he's pretty much my hero.)

And these people...

(Cousin, Me, Jurgen & Grandparents)

So grateful for the wonderful (albeit brief) time that I was able to spend catching up with friends and family.

Now I'm back in South Africa getting back into the normal swing of things, battling 10 hour time difference jet lag and getting ready for exam week.

I will be back to my normal posting shortly :)