Thursday, September 30, 2010

~ Delicate Stones ~

Delicate stones.... is that possible??

Yes, it is!

See below these cute crochet covered stones, such a neat idea! And a great little project for maybe one of your children?? First find some smooth looking rocks or pebbles... that means a day to the beach or river... so 1 day of the weekend covered.
Then look for some funky threads, a crochet pen and start your fun work... another day of the weekend covered! (Just in case you don't know what to do with your time...)

What do you think, great or not?? Easy or not? Funky or not? A project that you will do or not?? LOL

By the way, the idea came from Margaret Oomen of Resurrection fern. You can buy these beautiful prints at her Etsy shop! Or go to her BLOG here, and see what else she makes from natural materials, so much fun! Check it out! It will be a great inspiration for you to have some fun crafts with your children.

It was time to share some fun project since I am always on the look out for unique, groovy, sassy, swanky, hip, bright, bold & funky stuff that gives you the wiggles & giggles!

From there to here, from here to there, Funky things are everywhere!

So start crocheting, this is NOT your grandma's craft, this is a fusion between old and new, it is retro fun!

Go well!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

~ Grrrl Power ~

It's National Daugher's Week... and it got me thinking.

3 Years ago...
They were still so small, only 5 years old, but without any inhibition in front of the camera... that is different these days! More aware of their environment and opinions of others. I wonder how it will be in another 3 years, when they are 11??

Do you have daughters and how are they developing, getting more shy or just the opposite and more confident of themselves?

What has the environment to do with it? The country you are living in? How do they see and treat girls? How much has the TV and other media an impact on the role of girls? Pop culture? The World Wide Web? Is it easier to be a girl these days, or harder / more pressure??

What do you think of Lady Gaga and all those other celebs like Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus... a good influence for girls or not?? Being young and pretty is not enough these days anymore, you have to be famous as well?? Right or Wrong??

Let's hear how you feel about it! What has changed since you were a girl?

Have a good day!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Camping in Limpopo

This weekend we went with 3 other families to Kwalata Wilderness camp. We had a great time! The lodge was just beautiful, rustic and rugged, but ideal for 8 adults and 11 children!!

The lodge was build in a circle, the main house had 7 bedrooms, a kitchen, extra showers for girls and boys. A huge boma with a campfire in the middle and a bar area with a breakfast table, seating and entertainment area. Then a big garden with a nice size pool and an overview at a watering hole, which we were hoping we would see some wild animals drinking from it, but I guess we were too noisy and we didn't end up seeing any animals there....

We stayed 2 nights, and each family made a meal, so there was no pressure on any of us, just prepare either breakfast, lunch or dinner and then you are done for the weekend. We of course had all the dinners on the huge wood fire, because that is what you do in the bush!

But we also made stock bread on the fire and roasted marshmallows and s'mores on the fire, one of the highlights of all the kids!

Here the kids around the fire place in the boma. Jakob, Joachim, Tobias, Noah, Elliot and Chan were the boys.

The girls are: Clara, Jeongwoo, Juliet, Jasmine and Friia, but in this picture below you will see also Elliot & Chan.

The second day we all went on a safari, it was a fun drive, although we didn't end up seeing that much animals, just the drive through the Waterberg reserve is nice. We only saw some Blesbucks, Impalas, Kudus, Gemsbucks and lots of Giraffes, which I think are one of the finer animals anyway!! So gracious, I love to see them!!

But just to hang out with all these friends and their children hanging out with each other, doing games, dance and sing together while sitting around a huge campfire at night and during the day just hanging out around the pool, having some good meals and fab drinks was already enough to make this weekend a FAB weekend!!

This is the fun part of living in South Africa, you are so close to nature, bush veld savannah is only a few hours drive from our home, so it is easy to go away on a weekend trrip and feel you are totally out of the city and enjoy and relax in complete silence in the bush. This bush camp lodge was so far away from everything, the only thing that surrounded us were the wild animals. Although they were hiding from us...

A nice and relaxing long weekend...

What did you do during the weekend?
Ciao, Mireille

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

~ Moon or Mid-Autumn Festival ~

The Chinese Moon Festival is one of the four most important Chinese festivals in Thailand, this year it takes place today on Wednesday, 22 September.

Thailand’s Chinese-descendant community annually celebrates one of the oldest of Chinese festivals on the 15Th day of the 8Th Chinese lunar month.

pic source here

The Mid-Autumn Festival, usually referred to as the Moon Festival, or Zhongqiu Festival, is also known in Chinese as Zhongqiujie, or in Vietnamese as “Tet Trung Thu”. It is a popular harvest festival long-celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese communities dating back over 3,000 years to the practice of moon worship, in China’s Shang Dynasty. It was first called Zhongqiu Jie (literally “Mid-Autumn Festival”) in the Zhou Dynasty.

In Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, it is also sometimes referred to as the Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival. In Thailand, the Moon Festival is called “Wan Wai Phra Chan” and is considered a Chinese festival.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a lunar calendar event (which means the Western calendar dates change annually) that is held on the 15Th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar. This is usually around late September, or early October, in the Gregorian calendar.

It is a date that parallels the autumnal equinox of the solar calendar, when the moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest.

The festival is one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar, the others being Chinese New Year and Winter Solstice. It is observed as an official holiday in several countries. Farmers celebrate the end of the summer harvesting season on this date.

The traditional food of this festival is the moon-cake, of which there are many different varieties.

Traditionally on this day, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat moon cakes and pomelos in the moonlight together.

Accompanying the celebration, there are additional cultural or regional customs, such as:

~ Putting pomelo rinds on one’s head
~ Carrying brightly lit lanterns, lighting lanterns on towers, floating sky lanterns
~ Burning incense in reverence to deities including Chang’e (pinyin: Cháng’é)
~ Planting Mid-Autumn trees
~ Collecting dandelion leaves and distributing them evenly among family members
~ Fire Dragon Dances

In Taiwan, since the 1980s, barbecuing meat outdoors has become a widespread way to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Shops selling mooncakes before the festival often display pictures of Chinese goddess Chang’e floating to the moon.

In addition to the tradition of the delicious mooncakes, there is normally an altar decoration competition, a Miss Moon Beauty Contest, and parades and processions.

A lovely holiday, although we don't really celebrate it. The girls are Thai-Birmese and not from Chinese decent, but in 2 days we will celebrate heritage day here in South Africa. More about that later.

And since I have some very dear friends Hyun-Kyung & Stella from Korea here in SA, I learned that they too celebrate Korean Thanksgiving, which is called Chuseok 추석 originally knows as Hangawi (한가위). So I wanted to show some pictures of this celebration as well, see below.

In modern South Korea, on Chuseok there is a mass exodus of Koreans as they return to their hometowns to pay respects to the spirits of their ancestors. People perform ancestral worship rituals early in the morning. They often visit the tombs of their immediate ancestors to trim plants and clean the area around the tomb, and offer food, drink, and crops to their ancestors. Harvest crops are attributed to the blessing of ancestors.
One of the major foods prepared and eaten during the Chuseok holiday is songpyeon (송편), a crescent-shaped rice cake which is steamed upon pine needles. I had these yesterday, and they are very special!! Other foods commonly prepared are japchae, bulgogi and fruits. And ALL of these Korean specialties I have eaten or better even; know how to make it, it is so yummy and so much fun to have some Korean friends!!

Have a festive holiday for you who DO celebrate today!!
And wherever you are in the world, LOOK UP at the MOON today and be THANKFUL of your friends, family and prosperity!
It should be full and round!

Let me know how and if you celebrate!

Monday, September 20, 2010

14th Anniversary!

We had a busy but fun weekend!

First on Friday night we had 5 couples over for some Friday night drinks. I decided to have an Asian theme, so we made Singapore Slings, Beijing Bellini's and Red Lotus' to start off with. Dirk also bought some Indian, Japanese, Chinese and some other Asian beers. And the snacks were all Asian, like Chinese sausage & wasabi and sesame nuts, some dumplings and wasabi salmon on crackers. We even had some chicken feet to nibble on, but we didn't dare to try them, it looked too scary!
A fun night, but we ended up all having a major headache the next day, so that was a resting day.... while the girls had a Bday party in Gold Reef City an amusement park located on an old gold mine, so it was very convenient for us to have them not around.... ;-)

And yesterday we had a picnic at the Rhino and Lion park with 9 other families and their children, in total we were with 40 people! We all brought food and meat to braai, drinks and snacks, so we had PLENTY! First we drove through the enormous park and saw Rhinos, Lions, Ostriches, Wildebeest, Buffalo's and some different kind of Bucks and Impalas. So great to see all those wild animals so close to our house. Just 30 minutes drive.

We even saw some cabins you can rent and stay in the park for a few days, that would be fun. The girls immediately wanted to do that next weekend, but we already have some other camping plans for next weekend! Equally as exciting!

Then we headed over to the braai areas. Each has their own picnic table with grill, in total there are probably 30 of these braai areas, and it was packed!! Full of people having a fun time, grilling their own meat, having drinks and chats, while the children play at the playground or go to the petting area, where you can see snakes, and baby lions.

We had this huge ugly looking stork standing next to our food... and we tried to chase it away.. but it would NOT go!! We were quite scared of it and didn't know what kind of bird it was at first.. we thought a vulture, but now I know it is a marabou stork (also called ugly old man)... so maybe one of our families is having a baby soon!! LOL

We had such a fun day! And we are planning to do these kind of BBQ's or Braais as we call it here in SA more often!!
We celebrated our 14Th anniversary with lots of friends, so a great time to remember!!

Tonight we will celebrate it only with the 4 of us with pink champagne (that's what we had in 1996 after we said our vows in the City Hall of Breda, the Netherlands). I even promised the girls they could have a sip, they are so excited!

Up to the next 14 years, I wonder if we can top all the adventures and travels we made these last 14 years.... We will see what life will bring us :-)

Have a good week!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Camping in the Bush veld

It is time for a new adventure!
We are having a long weekend off from school the weekend of September 24-27, so we have decided that we are going to camp! First time for the girls! So we are not doing our usual 5* safari trip, but back to basics! I am quite looking forward to it. Having campfires under the stars, eating simple meals that are prepared on wood fire, hearing the lions roar in the back while we are drinking our Amarula by the fireplace.

We are going with 3 other families and 11 children in total, so enough company for all of us!

Kwalata is situated in the heart of a biosphere reserve in the magical Waterberg region of the Limpopo Province. This means that Kwalata is not only the premier wildlife area, in fact a sanctuary for rare and endangered animals, it is also one of the worlds richest ecosystems. Our camp is named Zingela, and built in a semi-circle. Life at Zingela inevitably ends up revolving around the huge log fire that dominates the center of the camp. This area provides the perfect place for a shaded afternoon doze or an evening spent sitting around a mesmerizing blaze sharing bush tales.

In contrary to the other safaris we used to do before where the meals are catered to us, this time we have to make our own meals. So preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner in the bush on a gas stove or campfire. We are still sleeping in a lodge, but this time not a 5*, but not completely back to basics and in a tent, that will be the next step! The girls are ready for a more rustic adventure, but we will take baby steps :-)

The activities we can do are, although we probably not have time or even wanting to do all, but it is there!
•Game walks
•Game drives (included)
•Elephant back safaris
•Quadbike safaris
•Photographic safaris
•Spa & beauty treatments
•Trip to the goat farm for cheese and wine tasting
•White lion breeding project
•Curio shopping
•Paint ball
•Bass fishing
•Hot air ballooning

And the sunsets are just stunning this time of the year, so hopefully we will have some great sights!! There is just no better and more gorgeous sky than AFRICAN SKY!!

Go well,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

* Freak or Geek? *

Remember those sweet little innocent faces.....

Then the teenage years start to kick in, and the girls want to have one of these....

And to even it out, the other one comes home with this...

On top of that, their boyfriend looks like one of those...

Or maybe even like this?

What would you do??

Rather have a FREAK or a GEEK as a son in law??

I am dreading those times ahead of me....
My mother always told me: "You get what you deserve!" ... and she meant it in a way that sooner or later it is pay back time!
She said this because I gave her a REAL hard time when I was a teenager.

Although I didn't look like a freak or a geek, my hair was purple, or cherry red, or greenish and my clothes were very very colorful, but in a way you don't really want them to mix. I am thinking of dragon green with deep purple or bright orange, vintage pumps with 10-inch heels that I sawed off, so the nose would tip in the air, because now the design of the shoe is completely gone, and this all wearing on a regular day to SCHOOL!!

So I have my time cut out for me... having DOUBLE the FUN in a FEW years!!
Let me tell you in advance... I will have a hard time!

But I need to let go and let them explore, be themselves and let them FIND themselves. Experimenting is good, finding out who you are doesn't come in ONE day.... It can takes YEARS!!

Please GOD, let my children stay those SWEET little innocent girls and don't let them come home with a boyfriend till they are THIRTY and they have a good sense of themselves and know who they are and who fits well with them before these FREAKS or GEEKS ruin my innocent girls!!

These thoughts are running through my mind... did you have such experiences with your sweet innocent girl?? Or where they just GOOD girls, who like to dress up just the way you like to see them??

Tell me!! I NEED to KNOW!!

Have a good day... I will... I am still fine.. with 2 sweet innocent EIGHT year olds :-)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

~ Nail Art ~

Okay, let's talk about hands... no even more specific; Nails, and even more in detail: Nail Art!

I have acrylic nails, already more than 10 years and the bad thing about this is, because I have it already for so long, my nails are brittle and weak... so when I take them off, they break, split and I can't stand it, so I go back to the nail salon and put them back on again. But it is such a hassle to keep it up, going about every 2-3 weeks to the nail salon to refill it and to keep them neat and more or less looking like this.

And if I feel Funky or I am going to a party, or it is Valentine's day or some other fun holiday I might go for this look with some glitter on it, sometimes in the color of the season. Still subtle, but a little bit more fun.

Maybe with a swirl like this, but I don't like the add-on's... so NO gems for me! But this still looks decent and fun to me...

And these are fun for a girls night out in the town... yes I can see me doing that! Just for the evening though...

And I can even see if you have such a cute pink hairstyle that you want to match your nails to complete the look!

But then it gets more extreme....

and although these are works of art, I wonder how these women can work with those nails!

In Asia there are nail art conventions with prizes to win, like this woman below she won the first prize in Singapore.

I wonder not only about working with those, but doing anything at all??

It's a booming business and of course Japan is one of the leaders...

and maybe these girls don't work?? .... Like me, maybe I should go for an extreme look like this?? LOL

Oh, and they even have it for toe nails...

How do you feel about this art form, something you would do, maybe even just for a weekend??

Have a great day!


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