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…)

Come and Get Us by James Patterson and Shan Serafin

Come and Get UsCome and Get Us by James Patterson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Again just another ok read, though I will admit that it was less formulaic than the last one I read. I liked that it wasn’t predictable in that there wasn’t really anything to predict. It was just an easy read that was gentle on a tired brain which is just what the tired brain needs sometimes. Like right now my brain needs someone else to type this review because I am so tired guys….

View all my reviews

Black & Blue by James Patterson with Candice Fox

Black & Blue (Detective Harriet Blue, #0.5)Black & Blue by James Patterson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m going to admit that my first experience with Bookshots was a little disappointing. I feel kind of bad when I don’t enjoy a book…like I’m being mean. It was kind of a little bit bland though. Kind of like the CSI of crime fiction. Like it’s cool and a little mindless so you don’t have to think too hard and it’s something to keep you busy, but it’s not the height of brilliant entertainment, you know? A bit on the formulaic side but not so terrible that I at all felt like I needed to put it down and give up. It was actually a pretty decent choice for while I was on vacation.

View all my reviews

Review: The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry

The Library of Unrequited LoveThe Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This little book is a sweet soliloquy by a librarian woman as she converses with a man who accidentally spent the night in the library. If nothing else, the idea of the book intrigues me and I have to admit that I currently feel inspired to attempt something similar. I love the style of it. It’s so different. I made a couple of notes for how I would do mine and I do love my idea already. Let’s see if I actually complete it!

View all my reviews

A Long Night at Abu Simbel by Penelope Lively

A Long Night at Abu SimbelA Long Night at Abu Simbel by Penelope Lively
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A Long Night at Abu Simbel is a sweetish collection of some stories that involve cats. Which I suppose is why there is a cat on the cover? This book is tiny which is kind of what drew me to it I will admit. Like “look how cute and tiny the book I’m reading is”. I might be a silly human. But I do love short stories. And this book had three of them in it so that was lovely.

View all my reviews