Wednesday, December 24, 2008

All I wanted for Christmas....

was a humungus Christmas tree for our house! Every Christmas time I put up our tree which was about half a metre high and it took me all of an hour to put it up and decorate! Well, my wish came true 3 days ago when we went shopping at one of the big shops here called Carrefour (a supermarket chain from France). They were having a 50 % discount off on all their Christmas decorations and I managed to get the last tree (just waiting for me!) on the shelf which was 2.4 metres. It almost got stolen out of my trolley too!

Not thinking much of how big a 2.4 metre tree was when buying it until I got it home and put it up the next day! The thought when buying that yes, it will be big but boy...that big! It took me about an hour to just put it together - luckily the branches are colour coded. Not like the small trees you buy where you just fold out the branches and start unfolding the smaller, not that easy!

Anyway, the point is I am still very happy about my Christmas tree, it also took about 3 days to decorate. The decorations were also on a 50 % discount so all in all I was quite chuffed about my bargains!

Thanks Row and Fi for the loan of your small Christmas tree (compared to the humungus one!) while you are holidaying in South Africa with Dad and Mom...lucky buggers!

So, this is what the tree looked like without the decorations (yes, that is a bird in the tree! Our new addition to our family, a parakeet, called Belladean (that story will be blogged still!)

and this is what it looks like decorated (lucky for high ceilings!)

So on this Chrismas Eve I would like to take the opportunity to wish all our family and friends the merriest Christmas and may 2009 bring you lots of happiness and may all your dreams come true....

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Miss you alll!!! XXX

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas card ideas!

I am back, and it only took me a week! Whew! Life is way to busy and I think for everyone, this time of year gets to be the worst ever! The silly season is upon us! So here are a few Christmas cards to get you going - merry Christmas and happy New Year to all my friends and family! Just in case I forget to tell you! (ha, ha, ha!) - you never know! So some inspiration for those card follower friends of mine - hope you manage to get your Christmas cards out in time! I cannot believe that it is 15 days to Christmas and I have not done one Christmas shop! I have made all these cards and I hope this year I get to post them!
As you can see, loved the snowman! The background was done with an embossed plate with a cuttlebug.

Until later...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oh my word!

Has it really been that long since I last did a blog entry!! We are almost at the beginning of December and it has been over two months! So really sorry to the "followers" of my blog - I am certainly going to make a concerted effort to not leave it so long! So where do I start...!

Lots of things have happened in the last two months so I am going to put the highlights and blog them separately as the week goes by.

Firstly, I can't even remember October besides our Halloween party (that will be a whole other post!) so lets start with November! Secondly, It was Peter's birthday on 07 November - happy birthday, babes! We spent a relaxing afternoon at a place called Dubai Creek Park, the boys had lots of fun just running wild and spend most of their time at the Creek catching crabs! Bryce's ultimate goal is to catch anything that is alive! Peter does what he does best and caught a nap (he doesn't know I took this picture!).

Thirdly and lastly (for now!) one of my highligts for November was to spend a wonderful evening with our friends, Bruce and Celeste and we went to go see a live cooking show with Ainsley Harriot! It was fabulous! We arrived and were given glasses upon glasses of delicious Moet champagne with sushi type snacks. The show started with Ainsley at around 20h30 and he was hysterically funny - he is even better live than watching him on his shows "Ready, steady, cook!" - my cheeks were so sore from all the laughter!

Celeste and I managed to get our books signed my Ainsley - unfortunately, Peter had to babysit so Ainsley wrote - "thanks for looking after the sprogs (kids) - get cooking"! Here is a picture of Celeste and I with Ainsley and I have also added a video - Ainsley with Brian Turner doing a impromptu karaoke number. (That is Celeste's comments and laughter in the background!)

I had a very successful scrapbooking crop day which a friend of mine, Tracey and I which we organised this past weekend! 35 ladies all cropping and it was fantastic! Such good feeback too! Will blog about that and post some pics a bit later!

I will be blogging again shortly, I promise! For my cardmaking followers, I made a few cards and scrapbook pages too so will add those soon!

Until next time...!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

An update and our move....(again!)

Can anyone explain to me where September has gone, in fact, where has this year gone!

So it has been a while since I updated you with the going ons in Dubai so here we go...get a cup of tea/coffee this could be long update!
We sadly left all our family and friends in Cape Town after a lovely, long holiday (well, for the boys and I anyway!) and arrived back in Dubai on 28 August at 05h45, a tired husband and two boys in tow and not the best of flights but that is another story to be told! We headed off home to wait for the movers who arrived at 09h00 to move our stuff to the new villa. Luckily they did most of the packing besides the boxes I packed before I left for Cape Town! It was an extremely long day for all of us and this is how Logan and Peter coped (sleeping on the lounge floor in amongst the packers!).

We left the old villa at 15h00 and the movers left at around 18h30 and I was left to the job of unpacking boxes, etc. I would recommend this way of moving anytime. The packers packed and unpacked the heavy stuff and put it all in the relative rooms and all I really had to do was unpack our boxes and personal stuff. So the move went relatively smoothly and we are now all very happy in our new house. It didn't take me long to unpack all the boxes (the advantage of not accummulating years of stuff but it is amazing what you can accumulate in months too!). It probably took about 4 days to unpack everything but we are sorely lacking cupboard space! So we need cupboards for the boys bedrooms and new curtaining as we have 4 windows in the lounge/dining room area, compared to only 1 in old place! So here are the pics of the villa:
1st pic - Front of the villa
2nd pic - Front courtyard with swimming pool (front door)
3rd pic - Dining room/lounge area
4th pic - Logan's room
5th pic - Bryce's room
6th pic - Bathroom
7th pic - Our bedroom
8th pic - En-suite bathroom

The villa is lovely and large and very bright which I love! The boys have their own bedrooms now, which are also very big, our room is the only one with cupboards which Peter and I have to share (another advantage - can't buy more clothes because I can't fit them into the cupboard!). We have a huge kitchen (and I mean huge!), three bathrooms, a lovely garden with grass and we have just put up a portable pool for the boys in the front patio area which they are loving!

Bryce and Logan have also settled in really well at school and seem to love it, which I am very grateful for! Last week I spent time in the school library volunteering my services of covering their library books! So far I think I have covered over 250 books! I am going to help them out every now and then as they are so desparate for help! The boys are on school holidays again! They start school on Sunday because of Eid and Ramadan. Eid starts today (hip, hip hooray!) life is back to some normality! The month of September is Ramadan which has made life really interesting in Dubai. We cannot eat or drink in public at all, no smoking or chewing gum for those that do those habits and life really only begins after "iftar" when the sun goes down! The shops open late and close at around 12h00/01h00 in the morning but it really is something to get used to as you cannot even take a sip of water in public. If you do and offend someone you could be heavily fined or put in jail.

I am gearing up to teach card making classes in October. Just hope that I can get a couple of ladies interested so that I can get started and make some money but we will see how that goes! Peter's Dad and Cassandra arrive on Friday which we are all looking forward to so we will probably be doing some sightseeing with them. Friday night we are having a spit braai to celebrate the end of Ramadan (yeah! another party!) so I am looking forward to that.

I am still missing SA but seemed to be settled back in the way of Dubai life a little easier than when we first arrived. I think it is because I can drive the boys to school, the villa is a lot more spacious and my brothers are nearby. Only disadvantage is that we are almost on the flight path so we have planes flying over every couple of minutes, somtimes I am aware of it and sometimes it is that "white noise" in the background! I now say we don't need an excuse to drink anymore as there is always a boeing flying over!

What else is news - oh yes, I had my first fender bender in Dubai! I was going around a traffic circle and some dose of a cop stopped me as I was going around to let the flow of traffic come in and the guy behind me never stopped in time. Interesting experience! In Dubai you have to wait for a policeman to come so that they can give you slips so that you can get the cars fixed and no one arrived! The stupid police guy who stopped me headed off without coming to check, probably thought he would get fired, he just shrugged his shoulders when it happened!
%&$@%!!!! Anyway, no damage to my car because the guy hit the bumper but his fender and bonnet was damaged! A nice guy from the UK who has only been here since April and his car was brand spanking new. My 1998 jallopy with all its scratches seemed to have survived. Although the clutch is going and because it is manual Peter decided to buy another car so we are getting a 2003 Nissan Pathfinder with a 3.5 litre engine which will probably suck the juice but being in Dubai it only takes about R 200.00 to fill the tank so I suppose we should enjoy the big 4x4 cars while it lasts!
So I think that is all the updates for now. Will add some more soon...hopefully I can be more disciplined and add updates on a weekly basis, saves you having to take the time to read such a long story but thanks for reading it anyway! Hope you didn't get too bored?!
So until next time...sooner than you think...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Well as they say...

in South Africa, "min dae" (in english "few days") or "all good things eventually come to an end"! The boys and I have had a wonderful holiday in South Africa and we have 4 sleeps to go before we head back to, probably, a very warm Dubai! Our trip to the Eastern Cape was great! We spent lots of time with Nan (my grandmother, the boys great grandmother), who turned 87! It was also nice to spend time with all my aunts, uncles, cousins and friends - miss you all already!

We took a trip down to the Transkei for a few days, unfortunately we missed having lunch with Richard Gere and Hilary Swank! They were in the area shooting a new movie called "Amelia" - I mean - how much closer can you be to celebs than a couple of kilometres! The cottage we stayed in was awesome. Situated almost on the beach with no one in sight! Great weather but unfortunately the fish were being a bit evasive! Not to mention that I was also very creative and managed to make over 35 cards! Anyone looking at renting the cottage for a couple of days let me know! My aunt and uncle are responsible for the renting of it. You cannot ask for a better holiday - all you can do is relax as shops and people are miles away! Here's some pics:

Pic 1 - Going over the pont at Kei Mouth
Pic 2 - View from the cottage
Pic 3 - The cottage
Pic 4 - What a view from the braai area!
Pic 5 - ...not forgetting the seagull named "Nelson"
Pic 6 - Me trying to fish
Pic 7 - Dad, Bryce and Logan in front of the "Jacaranda" a ship that lost its way along the coast in 1973 - not much of it left now!
Pic 8 - Bryce and Logan having fun swinging

On our return Logan unfortunately contracted what we think might have been tick bite fever! The little bugger bit him on the head and he was sick with a fever and swollen glands for a couple of days. After hectic anti-biotics he was well on the road to recovery! He was absolutely fine during the day, no headaches but come night time a fever would start...but we got through it! Amazing how resilient kids can be - can't have any playtime interrupted!

Peter arrives in Cape Town on this evening. He arrived from Dubai on Tuesday and went up to the bushveld with his brothers and friends, at least he is having some good r&r (rest and relaxation!) and we all fly back to Dubai on Wednesday, 27 August - boo hoo! On top of all that we are also going to be moving into another villa when we get back, either on the day we arrive or just after but that is another story which I will get into some other time!

So... I am off to enjoy my last few days of the cold weather and our time in Cape Town...where has August gone!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Guess where I am...

Okay I know I was behind on my "blogging" but this is seriously too far behind! So have you guessed yet where I am....

Well, as most of my South African family and friends know by now, myself, Bryce and Logan are back "home" in Cape Town for a lovely, long visit. Almost 7 weeks, woo hoo! Not so sure if the grandparents ie, my Mom and Dad are coping with the noise levels of the two boys, the fighting, the friends visiting, etc but they need some excitement in their lives for a while. Sorry, Mom and Dad won't be for too much longer!

It has been great to be back! So wonderful to see all the family and friends and to play "catch up"! Even managed to do some cardmaking and scrapbooking shopping this past week - not sure how I am going to fit it all in my suitcase! Husband, be warned, I think on your visit at the end of August before we leave to go back to Dubai you might have to pack just an overnight bag so I can use all your kilos!

Tomorrow we leave for the Eastern Cape to see all my aunts, uncles, cousins and my grandmother who is turning 87! Looking forward to that. We will be gone for about a week and a half visiting East London and then going to the Transkei to relax at a cottage, situated right on the beach! What more can you ask for.
Anyway, need to get back as we are leaving at 06h00 sharp!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Scrapbooking page layouts...

Below are the scrapbooking layouts I have done in the last week. Four of them are of Bryce's birthday party at Ratanga Junction and the last layout is of my Mom taking the boys down to the sea in East London. It was so much fun actually eventually getting down to actually spending some time doing these pages. I also realised I have a long way to go before I catch up. I suppose this is a start...
I invited two scrapbooking friends who are both South Africans! Amazing how in a foreign country you tend to gravitate to the people of your own nationality. I have come to realise that when you discuss things they know what you are talking about! So Tracey and Janine it was great fun spending the morning with you and I hope it won't be long before we get together and do it again! The motivation and company was truly great! Don't worry I didn't do all the layouts at once but got the first two pages done in the morning and felt so inspired I finished 3 more in the evening!

Some more card ideas to come soon...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Some creative juices flowing...

So for all my creative cardmaking and scrapbooking friends out there...I has been a long while since I put anything creative on the blog so this entry is just for you!

On Friday and Saturday I was at a craft market in Dubai prompting scrapbooking and cardmaking and you cannot believe how many South Africans I met popping past the stall. It was a lot of fun but exhausting. I was there from 12h00 - 19h00 on both days and I taught a class doing a Tag Card Booklet - three people on Friday and two on Saturday. It was a lot of fun and it reminded me of my teaching days back home! When I come back from "summer break" I am hoping to get classes up and running here as there has been a lot of interest.

The tag card booklet consists of the following:

  • 2 pieces of chipboard/frameboard for your cover measuring 8 x 12.5 cm. You will then need to cut two pieces of scrapbooking paper or cardstock to cover these pieces that are slightly larger. On one of the pieces attach a ribbon across.
  • Cut cardstock to measure 12 cm x 30 cm (the black piece in this picture) and a piece of patterned paper to measure 7.5 cm x 30 cm. Put these two pieces together and measuring at 7.5 cm intervals score a line from top to bottom (on a ruler across this should be at 7.5 cm / 15 cm / 22.5 cm).
  • Put a strip of double sided tape along the length of the cardstock measuring 12 cm x 30 cm and strips along the scored lines on the patterned paper. Put the patterned paper onto the black carstock, this will create pockets. Fold the scored lines. Working from the left side fold the cardstock in, the next fold will be behind (creating a valley).A
  • Attach the back of the folded pockes (right side of the cardstock) to the ribbon piece of chipboard/frameboard (your covers).
  • Carefully attach the front piece by aligning it with the back piece.
  • Embellish the front cover and then tie the ribbon.
  • The tags were creating by cutting cardstock to measure 5 cm x 9 cm and then cutting off a piece of either side to create the tag. Embellish the tags.

Hope this all make sense! Very quick instructions. All I can say is "good luck!" and if something is not making sense email me! Would love to see your creations so once you have made them please scan and email them to me.

The other creative thing I was up to was making door hangers (the type you find at hotels that say "do not disturb!") for my two nieces, Ella-Rose and Madison Grace for their rooms. The template I just made up and then just embellished them using scrapbooking paper and ribbon.
It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed making them.

Okay I am off to be more creative so watch this space!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Our first Dubai Party!

Logan...the guest of honour and Bryce

On Thursday night we hosted our first party in Dubai in honour of Logans birthday (any excuse to have a party). We invited all our friends in Dubai (and that is not many, well...not as many as we have in Cape Town!) and my brothers and sister-in-laws and a lot of fun was had - I had fun anway not sure about everyone else!

It was roasting that evening so much so that we couldn't even go outside (unforunately for the smokers they had to endure the heat!) so we had snacks and drinks inside! A braai (aka barbeque) or a potjie (aka "pot of stew" made on a fire) were out of the question otherwise Peter would have melted into nothingness!

Well, after most people left around 10pm we had our friends Bruce, Celeste, Yolandi and Darryl staying for a long while after (until 02h00). We ended up having a ball singing karaoke (using your imagination) - our hands as mikes - belting out the words to 80/90's music and dancing the night away. We were in hysterics most of the time, especially with Darryl who was in his element when he heard a song of Snaps called the " Rythm of the night" and the likes - he said he hadn't heard "top treffers!" like these in a long time (only if you come from South Africa you can relate and especially if you lived through the 80's and early 90's as a teenager!). Well, that just had me going, I haven't heard that saying in years! Which got us reminiscing about old times! Awesome party and lots of fun! Not sure what the neighbours thought!! So here are some pics of everyone having fun!

Anyone flying over Dubai soon? Please can you throw a bucket of water out your window...desperate to see some rain coming out of the sky sometime! (Just had a look online and it is 31 degrees with 79 % humidity at 21h00 at night - tomorrow is 40 degrees during the day - humidity off the charts!)
Sue and Andy
Me, Darryl & Celeste
Peter Darryl & Celeste - the professionals!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hip hip is Logan's Birthday

Hello, well all I can say is that I cannot believe we are now sitting in June 2008! Where has this year gone! So today we are celebrating Logan's birthday, he turns 4 (he is telling everyone that is asking him that he is 1!) Confused child...maybe!

He was so excited for this day to arrive. I had to count it in the number of sleeps for him and we we started from about 7 sleeps and then after I said 2 more sleeps to him two days ago and he said, "Mom, one sleep and then another sleep and then it is my birfday!" Glad, he has the concept of counting now at 4! Last night, he said that when he get his presents he is going to have a big smile on his face! So cute they are when little people can understand the concept of birthdays! All Logan wants is a play-play quad bike! So we bought him a real one - well, actually a battery operated one. He was so excited when he saw the box with a big grin on his face. He got up this morning at 06h00 (yuck!) and opened his presents (except the quad bike which we gave to him this evening so Dad could put it together and spend time with him). We went out to lunch and Peter managed to join us as well as our friends Celeste, Sue and Luke and then Logan went back with Peter to work which was so nice for him to spend some time with his Dad!
Having lunch!Painting a shark! My new quad bike!

So the mercury is hitting around 40 degrees or more a everyday now (today predictions is 40 degrees with 66 % humidity but I got into the car this afternoon and it was 45!), with the humidity not yet off the charts but if feels like it for me (everyone just keeps reminding me that it will just get hotter - I don't know if I will cope!) I am looking forward to going home for winter!
I am very happy to say that I will be home with the boys around 12 July (so look out family and friends, we are going to party up a storm!) Really looking forward to our six weeks back home and on the first day it rains I think I might just stand out there for about an hour to draw in the water and coldness! Can't wait!

So off to bed - a very exhausting day (for a change!)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The new arrival...

...of our niece, Madison Grace on 25 May 2008 at 18h45. An absolutely beautiful baby girl weighing in at 3.780 kilograms. Fiona - you go girl!!! The birth was done naturally and I mean naturally! No epidural or spinal block!

Some pics of Madison

Congrats Row, Fi on the birth of your baby girl! We are so glad to here to share this joyful occassion with you.

I will be back soon to update you on some cards I made recently...