Superwoman Turned Me Into Wonderwoman

As you may have noticed I’ve been on a bit of a mindfulness journey in an attempt to centre myself a little and get myself to a point where I no longer feel like I’m losing my mind or my health. A tall order, perhaps. Of course, as I go through this journey, I do find myself looking at the women around me and asking myself that all important question: How does she do it?

Without a doubt, the woman who inspires this question in me the most is Tersia Muston from Geek World. Never have I seen anyone hustle like this lady does! And boy do I find her inspiring. I’m even coming to the conclusion that she’s pretty much clothed the entire geek population of Port Elizabeth. Because seriously! Just ask a question about where to get some crazy design printed on a T-shirt and there’s Tersia, sticking up her hand to help. All the while running an online shop and frequently manning a  geeky stall at various markets around town and navigating the trials of motherhood. AND she has a photography business as well.

Tersia: for all of this I salute you! (more…)

NuTan: More Than Just a Tan

My friend Amelia from Voxate and Suddenly a Mom does some freelance work for a company called NuTan, and when they were looking for some folks to try out their new tanning patches I’m quite sure she told them that she knows a girl who, despite living in sunny South Africa, is whiter than the Irish. And then surely they went “well if we can make the snow lady turn brown then we are the greatest company ever”. And so it came to be that I found myself gifted with a box of tanning patches.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Nadine? With a tan? Haha! And there you go just laughing and stuff. Honestly that just makes you a mean ol’ meanie… You should stop that… I’m just kidding.

I’m aware that “tanning products” are not really my speed (I suck at even those spray fake tanning products that are supposed to be fool proof – I mean really does everyone get those things as wrong as I do?) but I have been doing the whole Learning to Girl thing so I accepted the gift with some significant excitement at the idea of potentially being milky-tea coloured instead of just milk-coloured. You know?

Anyway, I completely screwed up using this product! Basically, NuTan has these little patches that you can use to get yourself one of those brown-as-a-berry tans naturally. Of course I’ve never been brown as a berry (nor do I know of many berries that are actually brown so seriously our South African slang needs some work) but I’m keen to try on the look. (more…)

How does coffee work?

I’m a freeze-dried coffee girl. I’m sure if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you probably are under the mistaken impression that I am some sort of coffee connoisseur. I assure you I am not. My only coffee snobbery exists in the form of judgement upon those who pronounce espresso with an X. Otherwise I’m just a chick who digs boiling the kettle and indulging in a cup of instant.

I have a bodum. I have a drip filter machine thingy. I even have one of those cute pots where you put the water at the bottom and then it bubbles up into the top. Who even knows what they’re called? And my friend Michele, who is always way too generous with me, even gave a fancy as hell pod machine which makes some seriously good tasting coffee.

But, as Michele knows, I am a freeze-dried girl. So lately Michele (who runs a coffee machine repair business) has been giving me giant 500g bags of freeze dried coffee as well.

And this is where my confusion comes in… (more…)

What a Difference a Day Makes

It’s crazy what a difference a day makes. Two or three weeks ago, I made a financial decision that I sort of thought was ok to make at the time. For the first time in a while I was feeling kinda solvent. Or solvent-adjacent at least. Like the potential for solvency was just within my reach. It was the kind of financial decision that spans over a few months and takes a bit of dedicated attention. I felt almost ok with going with it, and decided to err on the side of bravery. Because I have this thing where I am trying to be bolder. Living bolder. Eking out an existence that I can look back on and smile about. It’s hard work. It’s hell on my anxiety issues. But it’s worth it.

And then in a day it all came crashing down. Because what a difference a day makes. Suddenly our rent went up again (seriously: how on earth is anyone supposed to handle a yearly 10% rental increase? Our rent is double what it was when we moved in already! Our salaries have definitely not doubled!) and for March our grocery budget is now half of what is usually is because in addition to the increased rent, overtime on Ty’s part usually kind of makes up the “can we or can we not eat this month” portion of our lives and last month his overtime was a little on the low side. And then our bedroom TV died, which is not that huge a deal except it kind of is because I escape to my room a lot and kind of just do things with the TV on in the background and I find it soothing and it keeps me sane. But it’s dead now. Replacing it is definitely not an option.

So, while two weeks ago, these little glitches would have felt surmountable, this week they did not.  (more…)

With A Little Help From My Friends

My cat is going to be the death of me. Ok, perhaps not the death of my physical body. But the death of my sanity at the very least. Some of my brain cells will definitely die. And perhaps my sense of humour as well. That one will be the first to go.

Without going into too much boring detail, he’s been having severe bladder issues since the end of December. His bladder keeps forming crystals, which I now understand to be the result of his kidneys being unable to process minerals in his food. At first I was under the impression that it was just a cheap food problem that would be resolved by feeding him better food. Alas. He’s just had to go in and have his bladder rinsed (or something) again.

This pet madness is undoubtedly driving me mad. The first time he had this problem the bill was R3600.  At the same time, Angus had to have a surgery on his leg that cost me just under 10 grand.

And the only reason I coped at all was because my friends rallied around me and made it work. Something I still feel completely undeserving of.

The craziest part is this: here I am, not yet done reeling for the last time this happened, and it’s happened again. Again at a frustratingly bad time. But then I guess that’s what credit cards are for, right? Of course. Unless they’re maxed out because sometimes you make bad decisions that seem like a good idea at the time because hey, you’ve got all your financial capabilities worked out, right? Wrong. Because you forgot to factor in The Universe and the fact that she has a dark sense of humour sometimes…

I am, however, super lucky because I have an amazing circle of friends who have rallied around me when I needed them most and even though my anxious mind will never feel deserving of this much love, I am certainly ever so grateful!

Strangely Perfect Timing

Yesterday I mentioned that I had an experience that had me questioning the merits of faith and Godliness after an encounter with a man in the hospital where I was with my friend and her son. Something else happened that day and it took writing down yesterday’s story to kind of question whether they may not be tied together. Probably no, but anyway. Sometimes when you’re a writer you think weird things.

The man that who approached us in the waiting area said these words to us:

“I think God put us in the same place for a reason.”

He seemed to be quite convinced that God wanted him to talk to us. And I thought, that’s a bit of an over-romantic notion, dude. I’m not really of the sort to believe that sort of thing. After all, in the wake of my severed relationship with the The Almighty, I have myself tried to revive my own faith. I even chose to read a book by a Jesus-y woman. A very un-me thing to do, I’ll have you know. And I still go to church. And I still love gospel music. Although I’ve pretty much resigned myself to, you’re broken, chick, just go with it. (more…)

Who is your rock?

Yesterday was a tough one. I woke up to a message from a close friend saying she’d taken her teenage son to the emergency room after he had (accidentally) overdosed on something. They were worried about organ failure and brain damage and she was terrified. My blood went cold.

It’s going to be ok. I should let you know that from the start. Between kind and efficient doctors and nurses and the kid having a mom who hustles to make things happen when they need to happen, he’s going to be just fine. (though he may have a bruise on his ass when he’s well enough for me to kick it)

Something happened though, while we were waiting for him to wake up, that has been on my mind for a while. When I got there my friend poured her heart out to me. And because we were in the emergency room, the privacy wasn’t exactly top notch, so people could hear us. And then as her child was being moved, a man came up to us and asked if he could speak to us. I let me friend follow her child’s bed, and myself and her boyfriend stayed behind to listen to the man. (more…)

Style is Art, I promise…

I’m having a little giggle because my friend Eleanor from JustEllaBella is doing a collaboration with Label Collections at the moment and I poked her a bit and made her show me the results of what she is doing. Of course what she is doing has come out stunningly and of course I had to gush in response with how talented she is.

“Talented?” she asks me, as if her Eleanoresque talent has nothing to do with it.

But yes, talented. I won’t tell you what she’s done (you’ll have to stalk her on her blog and on Instagram if you want answers to that question) but since Label Collections is mostly a clothing company, her current project has to do with style. And boy does she have tons of it!

Of course now I’m looking at her and how quickly she put all this together and I’m going could I do that? I have no idea. But since I’m Learning to Girl this year (because all life is a canvas and I’m on a mission to paint the whole damn thing now!) perhaps I do need to take a deeper look at my wardrobe and start looking at what tweaks I can make to my sense of style. No, not makeover tweaks. Just enhancements, you know? Like, sure, Nadine. you travel a bit and you therefore have an extraordinarily large collection of harem pants, but perhaps you could either wear them a little less or come up with something new to do with them. Like turn them into dresses or something.

Ok probably that won’t happen…

I’m kind of inspired by her project though, and I’m thinking I should probably ask her to help me copy her at some point because she’s so clever. Although I wouldn’t let anyone take a look inside my closet ever because gosh how embarrassing! I should definitely look into decluttering my wardrobe and making an effort to get more out of less.

Hmmm…. She’s definitely got me thinking…

Ootrey Saved My Ass

So I’ve been putting off getting new glasses for ages. The last time I went for an eye test was just before we went to India and that whole exercise cost me R3500 and it was depressing because R3500 buys a lot of naan bread, you know? But also: sight is NB.

Then last year I met Venean. And she’s just the sweetest thing that exists. You know when you meet someone and you’re just like “oh my gosh I hope that good things in life happen for you because you are so freaking beautiful in every way and I love you” – that’s Venean. Obviously she has magic powers of loveliness.

Soon after meeting her I discovered that her husband (who is just as lovely – I get really excited when lovely people find each other) had started a new business selling prescription eyewear online. Basically you choose three frames and they will drop them off at your door so that you can decide overnight which one you would like and then they fetch them again in the morning. I LOVED this idea. And even better than this idea was the fact that all their glasses have names. One was even called Arwen (which I was bummed about not getting because it’s impractically pink but I might just get it anyway at a later stage – I have pink outfits) and obviously that made my nerd heart happy even though I’m not the biggest Lord of the Rings fan. Again, I found myself thinking aw you guys just deserve success in all your endevours. 

Anyway, back up to last week and Thomas, Bridgette, and I are at the optometrist. The loveliest lady ever, seriously (Torga at Greenacres). She was so great. I was up front with her from the beginning though. I told her I have a friend who has a small eyewear business and I need to support him, I’m only using you for your prescription. She just laughed. I was super relieved: It could have been awkward! (ok maybe it was)

They gave me a quote for our glasses anyway, with no pressure. I have to admit: the quote made me gulp. The total for three of us to get eyewear would pretty much wipe out our medical savings. Granted, those quotes included those lenses that change to sunglasses in the sunlilght (not my style) but still: eeeek!

Well, I contacted Ian from Ootrey and he came right over. And – lucky me with friends in high places! – he left ALL his glasses with me for the three of us to try out. Flip that was fun!

Tom and I just needed standard glasses with UV filters (you NEED those filters when you take as many selfies as I do, believe me!) but Bridgette needed a more specialised pair.

Bridgette’s glasses cost me R1800.

Thomas’ and my glasses cost R899 each.

So…I bought two pairs for myself because obviously a girl needs options!

Thanks Ian (and Venean) for your incredible service! You went above and beyond for us and I really appreciate it. The financial saving was a monumental relief!

A Weirdly Popular Quiche

I’ve been meaning to do this post for ages but only just getting around to it now. It occurs to me that blogging about quiche on a Saturday night might be considered a tiny bit sad. It’s ok. I’m old. And I already spent money on burgers from a random vendor in Westbourne road today so I really shouldn’t go out and do any Saturday-ish things. I’m such a liar. I wouldn’t do that probably even if I was flush. I’d still be home watching bad TV while faffing on my laptop.

Anyhoo…. (haha!)

I randomly posted a picture of a quiche that I made for the 5 Day Challenge that I was doing with JustEllaBella and The Lifestyle Wellness Hub last week and a whole bunch of folks asked me for the recipe which I thought was kind of funny but I promised to do a post about it anyway.

Basically I just put this quiche together so that I’d have something ready to snack on for a few days that was high in protein and low in carbs. Obviously I’m no dietician and I am also not a calorie counter, but I have been trying to get my energy back and focusing on my protein intake seems to be helping quite a bit on that front. (more…)