Category Archives: Woman

How I upgraded to junk-status

Junk-status – the word of the moment…or maybe it has been for the last few months.

As an ordinary South African, I have some idea of what it means for our country. In a nutshell, it means that we have been flushed down the credit drain by a plague of bad leadership decisions. And a reshuffle.

This news spread unwanted doom and gloom in an already unstable economy. Instead of wallowing over something I have no control over, in a strange way, this news immediately reminded me of my own downgrade I experienced about 10 years ago.

I was blacklisted and cast out of the credit system through a bad financial investment. This caused me and my family many years of financial trouble and sleepless nights. Inadvertently, our lives changed forever. For many years it was a struggle to survive…we literally lived from hand-to-mouth.

About 6 years ago, I started building furniture for my own home, out of necessity. Guess what I used to build it with? RUBBISH…JUNK!

The strangest thing happened – out of lack and with some creativity, I started my business, Lilly Loompa.

I decided to use the resources I had and started building beautiful, useful pieces that made my home better. It made me feel better about my situation. These pieces made out of junk, was the manifestation of the mess I found myself in.

Unknowingly, I UPGRADED to junk-status, and I loved it! This is what this experience has taught me:

  1. Use what you have! I am a firm believer of this and it has become one of my life-values. When you have nothing in your grocery cupboards, start growing a food garden! Live off the earth!

Made with junk! Tin can lamp by Lilly Loompa

  1. Stay positive – It is so easy to become downcast and depressed when you find yourself in an unwanted situation. Read motivational books and autobiographies of people that inspire you. Exercise more and eat healthier.

 

  1. Downgrade your lifestyle – Do not even attempt to keep up with the Jones’. Learn to live with less. Sell your fancy home, and buy a more affordable one. Eat less at restaurants, and have more picnics.

 

  1. Live simpler – Get rid of complications in your life. Try to break away from the rat race by going to the park after work. Why not try to cook outdoors tonight? Instead of being cooped up inside the house?

 

  1. Be creative – Creativity grows more, through adversity. I have said this before and I still believe it now more than ever. Being strapped for cash should be an opportunity to start multiple income streams. Make a list of your skills and investigate and pursue income opportunities in those industries.

 

  1. Be content in the situation – Be happy. Laugh more in spite of what your reality says. See the lighter side in every situation…a good laughter session can cure the saddest heart.

 

  1. Don’t let depression rob you – I remember clearly many days I just wanted to get under the covers and stay there. I wanted to wallow and sulk. I felt like I was entitled to be depressed. Surround yourself with positive people that will decline an invite to your pity party.

Made with junk! Block lamp by Lilly Loompa

 

  1. Rags to riches – believe it can happen to you. Believe the unthinkable. Believe that through hard work and commitment, you story can change. Also know that your success story can free someone else from their prison!

 

“If people throw stones at you, pick ‘em up and build something.”

Lecrae

In my case, I have adapted it to read:

 

“If life throw stones at you, pick ‘em up and build something.”

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Guess my favourite colour…

Turquoise: {Is the name of a greenish blue colour, based on the gem of the same name. The word turquoise comes from the French for Turkish, as the gem was originally imported from Turkey. The first recorded use of turquoise as a colour name in English was in 1573}

Turquiose

I fell in love with this colour a few years ago…and I cannot seem to shake it. I think it is the freshness and pop that attracts me. I probably have loads more turquoise items in my cupboard…but this is what I could find.  I even incorporate it into my décor and design whenever I can.

What is your favourite colour?

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“Why don’t you do it yourself?”

How many times in frustration and sarcasm have you said this? Maybe in a fit of anger at someone who made a comment about your sad attempt of frying an egg!

But I refer specifically to DIY. Do-it-yourself.

We live in an era of empowerment. “Empower yourself”, they say. Who are they…the media and all those other people. They say find your own way in life!  Drill your own holes … do not wait for a man!

Imagine my surprise when I found out, there are men out there who cannot DIY. Do not misunderstand me, these men are successful in their careers and short nothing in terms of material things. But for some strange reason they never got a chance to develop their DIY talents, if any!

However, where there is a woman, there is always a picture to be hung … or curtains!  Aaargh! A nightmare for any DIY dummie!  Take my friend, actor, Solomon Cupido, as an example.  Last week he called in a bit of a panic … he must hang a curtain rail.  This is a newlywed … and the pressure is on!  His wife expects him to hang the curtains, and perhaps she doesn’t even know that he is clueless!  He needs to impress!

So my otherwise quiet Saturday afternoon was recently interrupted when I heard him screaming at the gate … he must learn drill today!  He and his co-actor, comedian, Bradley Olivier, came along for moral support … really?  

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Solomon and Bradley

I realized the depth of Solomon’s problem when he asked what a “bit” is. My husband jokingly explained to him step-by-step on how to use the drill. Solomon listened attentively while Bradley chirped background… “I knew that man!” Yah right…!  We know you know everything Brad!

Eventually they leave, equally proud and empowered!  And believe it or not … he gets it right. And just to prove he did it … he sends me a photo:

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Solomon shows us he can drill!

The whole debacle made me think. The whole era of self-empowerment has always been focused on the woman. Have we become so empowered that we never let the men do anything for us? It may be part of the problem.  

We are often referred to as the “fatherless generation”. The reality is that a lot of young men grow up without their fathers around to teach them the skill.  But there is hope! Nowadays you can just “Google” your problem and immediately there are thousands of videos and tutorials to show you how.

Why don’t you do it yourself?  Or if all else fails, come around and we’ll show you!

*This post was also written in Afrikaans

 

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My first Afrikaans post: Hoekom doen jy dit nie self nie?

* Today I surface after more than a week of blogging silence. (slightly embarrassed about it…)  Today I also pay homage to my mother tongue, Afrikaans.  This is my very first post in Afrikaans…somethings are just better said in your native language!  Don’t worry…I will post the English version as well!

Here goes…

HOEKOM DOEN JY DIT NIE SELF NIE?

Hoeveel keer uit frustrasie en sarkasme het jy al dit gese?  Miskien in ‘n bui van woede omdat iemand ‘n opmerking gemaak het oor jou treurige probeerslag van ‘n gebakte eier!  In my geval meesal vir my suster en broers (toe ons nog jonger was) en miskien my man tot onlangs.  Maar ek verwys spesifiek na DIY.  Do-it-yourself.

Ons lewe in ‘n era van self-doen.  “Empower yourself”, sê hulle.  Wie is hulle?   Die media en daai ander mense.  Hulle sê…”Bemagtig jouself, magtig!”  Bepaal jou eie koers in die lewe!  Boor jou eie gate…moenie vir ‘n man wag nie!

Verbeel jou tot my verrassing toe ek uitvind, daar is mans daarbuite wat nie kan self-doen nie.  Moet my nie verkeerd verstaan nie, diè mans is suksesvol in hul loopbane en kort niks in terme van materiele dinge nie.  Maar vir een of ander snaakse rede het hulle nog nooit kans gekry om hulle self-doen talente (indien enige) the ontwikkel nie.  

Nietemin, waar daar ‘n vrou is, is daar altyd ‘n foto wat gehang moet word…of gordyne!   Aaargh!  ‘n Nagmerrie vir enige dom self-doener!  Neem my vriend, akteur, Solomon Cupido, as voorbeeld. Verlede week bel hy in ‘n bietjie van ‘n paniek…hy moet ‘n gordyn reling ophang.  Diè is ‘n nuutgetroude man…en die druk is aan!  Sy vrou’tjie verwag die gordyne moet hang, en dalk weet sy nie eers dat hy eintlik “clueless” is nie!  

So my andersins rustige Saterdag middag was onlangs onderbreek toe ek Solomon hoor skree by die hek…hy moet vandag leer boor!  Hy en sy mede-akteur, grapjas, Bradley Olivier, kom saam vir morele ondersteuning…regtig?  

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Solomon en Bradley

Ek besef toe die diepte van Solomon se probleem toe hy vra wat is ‘n “bit”.  My man reageer toe met ‘n grapperige opmerking en verduidelik vir hom stap- vir- stap hoe om die boor te gebruik.  Solomon in ruil luister aandagtig terwyl Bradley heeltyd tjirp in die agtergrond.  “Ek weet al die goed man!”, snuiter hy.  Ja jong…ons weet jy weet alles!

Uiteindelik loop hulle, ewe trots en bemagtig!  En glo dit of nie…hy kry dit toe reg.  En net om te bewys hy het dit gedoen…stuur hy my ‘n foto:

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Solomon wys hoe hy kan boor!

Die hele debakel het my laat dink…die hele era van self-bemagtiging was heeltyd gefokus op die vrou.  Het ons so bemagtig geraak dat ons glad nie eers die manne kans gee om vir ons iets te doen nie?  Is dit dalk deel van die probleem dat sommige mans nie kans gekry het om hulle op te skerp in hierdie area nie.  

Ons word dikwels verwys na die “vaderlose generasie”.  Die ander realiteit is ook dat baie meer seuns en mans sonder hulle pa’s grootword wat gewoonlik hierdie vaardigheid oordra.  Maar daar is hoop!  Deesdae kan jy net jou probleem “Google” en onmiddelik is daar derduisende video’s en self-leer programme om jou touwys te maak.  

Hoekom probeer jy nie dit self nie?  As jy nou rerig nie kan nie…kom kuier, ons sal jou wys hoe!

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Thrift stores and surprises

I love Kensington!  *It’s my neighbourhood.

Yesterday I had some time to wander and explore.  Kensington is filled with interesting history and places.  One of them is Queen Street.  It is lined with loads of coffee shops, thrift-shops etc.

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I love rummaging through antique shops.  I love looking at items of years gone by…and even better when I can buy them!

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Where to look?

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Love these art deco light fixtures

My photographer friend, Michael Abrahams would love this antique camera collection.

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Vintage camera collection

And to my surprise…I found a vintage tea set!  Just like mine!  Wow…was shocked to see the price!

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Growing up, I used to admire this tea set my granny had.  She kept it locked up in her sideboard. Remember those sideboards?

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Sideboard

She knew I loved it, so on my wedding day…she gave it to me!  God willing, my granny, Ryce Damonse, will turn 100 years this year!  I love her!  Thanks Mamma!

I love my tea cups.  I’ve lost a few during my moving years.  😦

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I love putting it out when I receive special guests…like my girlfriends.

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Me (on the left) and some of my girlfriends…

Good times…and I will guard my tea cups and save it for my daughters to enjoy one day!

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Does that mean I am complicated? Little foibles you didn’t know about me…

**A few years ago I was utterly shocked and dejected when a friend of mine called me complicated.

Complicated ~ [Difficult to analyse or understand}

This after I told him and his wife I don’t eat cereal during the summer season.  Yah well…I don’t! The mind is powerful.  When I was pregnant, like many other women, I suffered from morning sickness. The smell of cereal triggered my nausea.  Whenever I get that smell…it immediately takes me back to that feeling.  Does that make me complicated??  It made me think about all my habits and foibles…many that are kept hidden from judgmental human beings.

I love Sunday afternoons…mainly for napping.  It’s a highlight in my week.  * That’s one thing you didn’t know about me.

Sleeping is a very personal thing.  When settling into bed I realised how many habits and mannerisms I have.  I am very fidgety…another thing you didn’t know about me.

Firstly my bed has to be squeaky clean.  I have Contact Dermatitis.  Little dust particles and sand-grains irritate my skin.  Thus it takes me at least 20 minutes to settle.  My husband and kids are the culprits here.  Our bed is the gathering place for our family.  This is were all the cuddling and love happens.  They jump in bed without dusting their feet and it can irritate me immensely!  Literally and figuratively!

Poor-Sleep

After I’ve cleaned the bed, I plump up the pillows.  Some nights I cannot find the sweet spot on the pillow.  This takes me another five minutes to get comfortable.  After all of that…I cannot sleep without a pillow between my knees.  Not just any pillow…it has to be the right one.  This habit developed when I was pregnant and I have been unable to shake it since then.  So much so, I take my pillow with me wherever we travel.  I cannot sleep on my back or stomach…I only sleep on my sides.

* I don’t drink milk.

* I hate peanut butter but love peanuts…talk about being complicated.

* I suffer from Motion Sickness, but only when I’m a passenger.  Don’t get it at all when I drive myself.

* I am a very light sleeper.  I wake up to the littlest sounds.  I only buy white bedding.

* I have a phobia of snails.  Because they come out during the rain, this means I don’t like walking in the rain although I love the rain.

* I loooooovve cheese but don’t like cheesecake!  Call me complex!

This made me wonder if anyone out there also have silly habits or foibles they feel embarrassed about…or am I alone?  Anyone out there? Come on share!

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Do it yourself Woman!

Info courtesy of: SOUTHAFRICA.COM

Each year on the 9th of August, South Africans of all backgrounds, races and cultural groups join together in celebrating National Women’s Day. This annual public holiday commemorates an eventful day in South Africa’s history – 9 August 1956.

What makes this day so special to South Africans? It was on the 9th of August in 1956 that a large group of women began a campaign to bring an end to the pass laws enforced by the government of the time. The pass laws meant that all black people were to carry a special “pass” or identification document which they had to produce to prove they were permitted to enter a certain area designated for white people. This was a major law of the apartheid regime and greatly restricted the freedom of movement of black people.

Read more here.

So tomorrow marks a public holiday.  So in the spirit of liberalism it is the perfect day to: “Do it yourself woman!”   We women can do anything we put our minds to!

Why not try this super-easy craft project:

Quick and easy!

Now before you make a cuppa coffee remember to wait a few minutes for the mug to cool when it’s out of the oven!

Enjoy!

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Weekly photo challenge: Hope

Hope ~ {Be optimistic; be full of hope; have hopes}

In her shoes...

Little girls epitomize hope.  They have huge ambitions of one day becoming like their role-models. They dream of one day walking down the isle to marry their ideal husband.  They might want to become a teacher today and next week a hairstylist.  Although they don’t have any life experience yet, we can certainly learn from them.

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You may kiss your bride!

That might be one of the most nerve-racking moments in your life.  The Preacher finally pronounces you husband and wife. Now while you know your new wife’s lips from end to end, suddenly the pressure is on.  After all, your Mom & Dad are watching, the Pastor and all your friends.  Usually you kiss in private and now you have to stick your tongue in her mouth and woo her as you supposedly share your first kiss.  It is quite a show to behold!

Kiss your bride!

So this is another wedding post because I just love weddings…especially coloured weddings!  I attended one this weekend.  It was great.  Many congratulations on your special day, Randall & Lydia!  We had so much fun!  We wish you loads of happy years together!

Mr & Mrs Gordon!

I hate differentiating between the races, but there is just something special about coloured weddings. As usual you meet up with people you haven’t seen in some time.  It feels like a reunion and everybody is happy and expectant…looking forward to a “lekker” reception and a free meal!

Usually the Master of Ceremonies is a funny guy.  He could be a friend or family member.  He’ll crack up everyone with advice and jokes about marriage.  He might be daring and might even dish out the dirt on either one of you too!  So be prepared!

One thing is for sure, there is always a joker around.  He stirs up the crowd and gets everyone laughing.  He might also get on some people’s nerves.  Then there is always a girl (or a few) that likes drawing attention.  She will be wearing a daring outfit and all the men will be checking her out.  Also, be warned!  There is always an Aunty trying to “take” something home.  If you’re not careful, she’ll take home the vase you hired or even a glass.  She will definitely use a serviette and pack some food in her bag for the kids at home!

Chapel

When the DJ opens with the first song everyone will be rushing to the floor.  Hopefully he plays some classics that get the crowd going.  Classics include a track from the Jimmy Hendricks band, definitely a Grease song and Brenda Fassie’s “Weekend Special”.  You can bet yourself that there will be a middle-aged guy, who will pull out some dance moves that we haven’t seen ever.  It is evident that he might suffer from a mid-life crisis.  He will be trying to dance with that girl with the short dress and she will happily oblige!

Aaaah…you gotta love weddings.  It did however get me thinking about the general etiquette that goes along with the order of a wedding.

1. Firstly let’s talk about dress code:  Depending on what the bride and groom indicated the wedding invitation, it is usually a formal affair.  Ladies can wear smart cocktail dresses and gents usually a jacket and smart pants.  However ladies, please do not wear a white dress or a veil!  Try not to steal the show as it is the Bride’s day.

The Mother of the Bride usually has first option for choosing the style and colour of her outfit after the Bridal party has chosen theirs.

2. Seating at the ceremony: The bride’s family sits on the left side of the aisle while the groom’s family sits on the right.  The mothers always have the best seats…usually in the front row with the fathers beside them.  The Bridal party joins them in the front row.

  1. The Processional: When the bride is ready, the appropriate wedding music starts and the procession begin with the youngest attendant. Flower girls, ring bearers and young bridesmaids enter first. They can walk in pairs or alone, although it is often best to have the smaller attendants in pairs, closely followed by a bridesmaid.  Older bridesmaids and maids of honour (married bridesmaids) follow.  The bride enters with her father (or close male relative) as her escort.
  1. The Recessional: At the end of the ceremony, the celebrant will pronounce the bride and groom married and might introduce them as husband and wife. At this stage the ceremony is over.  Before they leave they have to sign the wedding register.  After this they are ready to leave the church.  The couple walks back down the aisle first.  Then the flower girl and ring bearer and then the bridesmaids and best man.  The parents of the bride should leave next, followed by the parents of the groom.  The remaining guests leave row by row. If there is an usher, this can be organized from the front row to the back.

Here are a few general tips:

  • Turn your cell phone off in the church.
  • Make sure you don’t run out of food or drink!
  • Don’t walk off with the flower arrangements on the tables unless you’ve been given permission to do so (especially if you leave early).
  • Stay sober for the formal bits – like speeches and photographs (and the wedding ceremony).
  • Don’t seat divorced parents who hate each other side by side.
  • It is poor wedding etiquette if the groom is not standing at the bottom of the aisle when the bride arrives.
  • Do not interrupt the preacher/minister whilst busy with the wedding ceremony.

That was a mouthful.  A wedding is also the joining of two very different families.  Keep in mind that each of you grew up with different traditions so learn to accommodate each other.   Above all…enjoy the day, a wedding is a celebration!

PS: Apologies for skipping a post yesterday.  I had endless problems connecting to the Internet.  

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The last decade

I received a suggestion:

Highlight each year I have been alive in a single sentence.  That would be too long a post so I decided to break it down to the last 10 years:

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2001  – Started a new job at Santam Head Office in Bellville
2002 – Got married to the love of my life and started our new life together
2003  – Bought our first house in Kuilsriver, Cape Town
2004  – I quit my job and started Lilly Loompa.
2005 –  We went backpacking through Europe.
2006 –  Acquired another property
2007 – Gave birth to Chelsea, our first-born
2008 – Graduated as an Interior Decorator
2009 – Gave birth to Kirsten, our second daughter.
2010 – Packed up and moved to Johannesburg just before the 2010 FIFA World Cup
2011 – We moved into this house in Naturena and the renovation is still in process.
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A woman of noble character

In honour of women’s month, I thought it fitting to quote the passage on the wife of noble character.  

Proverbs 31:10-31

New International Version (NIV)

 Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

 10 [a]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

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