Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Friends for a season and friends for life

The first best friend I remember having was a red head boy whose name I won’t mention on this blog.  At 4 to 5 years old he was the fastest runner I had met and he was my “boyfriend” in the way a 4 to 5 year old could be a boyfriend.  I remember meeting him at play school and then we were in the same class again in what they now call kindergarten or Grade 0.  In Grade 1 we went to separate schools.  I went to a girl’s only school (Balmoral Girl’s Primary School) and he went to a boys only school (Queens College Junior School).  We lost touch after that and haven’t spoken since my birthday party in Grade 1.  Last I heard he moved to Australia with his family.

That was my first experience of a best friend for a season.  Over the years other friends have come and gone and I have lost touch with them.  I’ve seen some of them again and I’ll admit it was awkward in many cases.

Then there are friends that I see as friends for life.  Maryann is one of them.  We became friends in Grade 3 and she moved away with her parents in Grade 5.  Every time we talk to each other or see each other it is as though we have never been apart.  It is just the way it is.

Another friend who I had this experience with is a boy who became like a little brother to me from Grade 2 to Grade 6.  He was 2 years younger than I was, so there was never any awkwardness between us (of the boyfriend-girlfriend variety).  His family also moved away, and when my dad suggested we go and visit them during my first year out of High School.  It was like we had never been apart.  It was fun riding motorbikes with him on their farm.  I haven’t seen him since then, but we are friends on Facebook so I keep an eye on what is going on in his life.

I believe God brings these people into our lives for a reason and for the season.  The people I feel are the closest friends to me are the ones I don’t have to text/phone every week, or even every month, but when we do speak again it’s like we were never apart.

The friends for a season all serve their purpose though.  The toughest thing is to realise which friends are for a season and which friends are for life, and making sure you don’t feel hurt when the friends for a season drift away. 

New friends usually come along pretty quickly, so don’t worry, learn what you need to from the friends for a season and move on from them. 

Build friendships instead with the friends for life – you can recognize those friends because they are “Low-Maintenance”.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On My Mind … 29/08/2012

My new clothes arrived yesterday.  I’m so excited about it.  Definitely not my normal style, but after trying them on last night, I couldn’t wait to wear them to work today.

It’s deviating from my dresses only policy a bit, since the outfit includes a pair of dark pants, but I love it, and I feel pretty wearing it.  I even gave myself a French Manicure last night.  Zoey was not happy because I locked her out of the bedroom while I did it.  She didn’t stop scratching at the door the whole time.

I’ve been wanting to take so many pictures to share, but my camera’s batteries are dead and I can’t find the battery charger (story of my life!). 

I redesigned my kitchen a little.  I put all the glasses onto the book shelf, as well as the plates.  I moved the coffee mugs above the kettle.  Mark helped me hang the paintings I got from Aunty Molly.  I filled the book case with the lead glass doors that I got from Aunty Molly.  I also want to take photographs of the outfit I bought so I can show everyone.

Now I need to get ready for work.  I just know that today is going to be a great day!

Cooking Hints and Tips

A few things I learned this week:

  • If you find a recipe with anchovies in it, but don’t like anchovies, you can swap them for sardines and vice versa in most cases.
  • Crushed Cream Crackers can replace breadcrumbs in a recipe.
  • Got lots of leftovers bits and pieces of fresh foods?  Stir-fry it in a wok and serve on cooked rice with salt and pepper.
  • Minced/Ground beef can be replaced with vegetarian mince in any recipe, and vice versa.
  • Tomato Soup can be switched for Cream of Mushroom Soup in most recipe’s to vary the flavour a bit (and vice versa).
  • Marinate meat the night before use (and store in a fridge) to allow it to fully absorb the flavour.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Grocery Cupboard and Fridge Basics

Today I was reading a magazine which listed a couple of basic items that should be in your grocery cupboard.  I noticed a few differences on that list compared to mine, so I thought I would share my list with you.  With these items you will be able to make at least 3 decent dinner meals from scratch…


  • Frozen vegetable mix
  • Frozen stir-fry mix
  • Minced / Ground beef
  • Chicken Fillets
  • Fish Fillets


  • Milk
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Bread
  • Margarine / butter
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Fresh Baby Potatoes (they last a week or two in a fridge)
  • Fresh Carrots (also last a week or two in a fridge)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Peach Chutney

Dried Herbs and Spices:

  • Italian Herbs
  • Thyme
  • Sweet Basil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Garlic Flakes
  • Mild Curry Powder


  • Can Shredded Tuna
  • Can Tomato and Onion Mix
  • Can Peach Slices
  • Spaghetti
  • Ramen Noodles (two-minute noodles)
  • Macaroni
  • White Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • 1 Box long life milk (for emergencies)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Bovril
  • Honey / Syrup
  • Custard Powder
  • Jelly Powder
  • Can Condensed Milk

And with these items I can make the following meals:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

In my thoughts… 27 August 2012

Saying goodbye is a hard thing to do, luckily this time it is only for 13 days, or 12 nights.

Mark has left to go and play guitar in a concert in another city.  There will be 1 week intense practice and 1 week of performances.  The final concert is on 8 September, the night before my birthday on 9 September.  Mark’s promised he will be leaving at the crack of dawn on my birthday so that he can at least spend the afternoon with me.  So sweet of him!

Otherwise, I have a long To Do list of about 16 things for work.  No need to worry that I am not busy there.  Seems that I tick one thing off the list and I am given 2 more items to put onto the list.  I know that I’ll get there eventually though.

In other thoughts, I ordered some clothes over the weekend.  They are a bit different to my usual style, but I love the look so I thought I would give it a try.  I’ll post a picture when I receive it, but as a warning, it includes Jeans.

I say this is a warning because I’ve been trying to move over to wearing more dresses/skirts for a few months.  I feel more feminine in them, but when I saw this outfit online, I loved it and I have decided that I was going to buy it.

Final thoughts… I think it’s time to get dressed and ready for work.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Recipe: Breakfast Scones

Makes:  about 8 (depending on size)


  • 1000ml (4 cups) cake flour
  • 2ml (half teaspoon) salt
  • 30ml (3 heaped teaspoons) baking powder
  • 80ml (4 tablespoons) margarine or butter
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml (1 cup) buttermilk
  • 125ml (half cup) water


  1. Preheat oven to 240ºC (460ºF)
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
  3. Rub in the margarine, handling as quickly and lightly as possible.
  4. In a separate bowl beat egg together with buttermilk and water.
  5. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients about half a cup at a time, mixing with hands or a wooden spoon. 
  6. Do step 5 until all the liquid has been added or until a medium to firm dough is formed. 
  7. If the dough becomes sticky then add flour until it is neither crumbling or sticking to your fingers.
  8. Pat or roll (with a rolling pin) the dough on a floured surface and cut scones 3cm thick.  I use a drinking glass coated with flour instead of a cookie cutter.
  9. Place on a greased baking sheet some distance apart (the scones rise) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  10. Take out of oven and allow to cool enough so they can be handled with your hands.
  11. Cut in half, spread with butter and serve with jam and whipped cream or grated cheese.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Egg & Cheese Toast

I made these for breakfast some time back. It is really nice, much like a fried egg on toast, but without all the grease from the oil.

Ingredients (this is per person):

  • 1 slice of bread

  • 15ml Margarine/butter (1 tablespoon)

  • 1 egg (separate yoke from white)

  • salt to taste

  • 25ml cheddar cheese (grated) (about 2 tablespoons)

  • Parsley and paprika (optional)


  1. Toast the bread lightly

  2. Spread the bread with margarine (or butter)

  3. Beat the egg white until stiff

  4. Spoon the egg white over the bread, sprinkle with salt and hollow the center of the egg white (like a little valley!).

  5. Place the egg yolk in the center/hole and spread the remaining white over the yolk.

  6. Sprinkle with cheese.

  7. Place the bread under the top element of the oven and toast until brown and the egg yolk is cooked.

  8. Garnish with parsley and paprika.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Biting off more than you can chew

Don't bite off more than you can chew.

No, this is not a blog post about food. Although it is advisable to not put more food into your mouth than you are able to chew because you will then look like a barbarian as the pieces of food drip down your mouth and onto your lap. Definitely not the behavior expected of a gentleman or lady.

This blog post is rather about not over committing yourself.

Has anybody noticed how when there isn't all that much to do, and you are becoming slightly “bored” with life, you start to find things to do. You create commitments to activities and then suddenly, instead of finding yourself in a light drizzle of activity, you are in a downpour and seem to not get to everything you are now committed to doing?

This happens to me time and time again. When I was younger, I started pen palling. I made friends with people all over the world through snail mail letters. I was bored during a December holiday and I wrote a letter. Then I read somewhere that only 1 in 10 letters you send out generate replies, so I sent out 10 letters. After a month, I was coping quite nicely with my 2-3 pen pals, and decided I wanted more letters in the post, so I sent out 10 letters to new people again, and then suddenly I had 14 pen pals before I knew what happened. You see, about 7 from each batch of 10 replied. I did not expect that.

I was coping quite well with the 14 pen pals, until I started working and studying at the same time. So I was faced with a scenario where each pen pal demands 1 hour of my time once a month to write a decent length letter, I was spending all my free time (the time I wasn't studying or working, writing letters to pen pals. It became more of a chore than a fun experience and that is when I said “ENOUGH” and cut off my pen palling.

But I still missed writing, and hence why I started this blog. I love writing. I express my thoughts much better through written word. And here is a little secret... I dislike talking on the telephone. I'm much more comfortable talking in person or through an email. That is why you won't catch me phoning somebody “just to chat”. I'm not sure why this is, I just prefer it that way.

Back to biting off more than you can chew. Yeah, I sort of did that with this blog. For a while I was trying to make an update or new post every day. You know what? That isn't working for me. Life moves quickly, a person needs to live in the moment. I'm busy all the time, and I'm blessed that the things which make me busy are things I love to do.

I love the work I do. I love programming and solving logical puzzles. I love finding creative and fool-proof ways of doing things. I love the time I spend at home, I even love doing the laundry and washing dishes (not too fond of ironing clothes though). I find that working with my hands is relaxing for my mind and working with my mind is relaxing for my body.

I'm sure everyone has experienced moments when they have bitten off more than they can chew, so I'm just asking readers to put up with me on this! I'll be sure to have a recipe every Friday, but until further notice, all other posts will come up as I feel inspired and as I find the time to write them.

We need to live a life in order to have a life worth writing about!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Developing a Princess Character Part 1: Sing with Joy

This is the first in my series on developing a princess character within yourself.  Some of you may know that a while ago I did a series on Disney Princesses.  I mentioned some admirable character traits of Disney princesses.  Well this series is going to expand on that series.  I’m going to be mentioning Bible verses that encourage the traits I mentioned in the Disney Princess series, as well as some hints on how to develop them within yourself.

The first trait is one that many of the princesses shared, and that was singing.  They would sing with joy, sing with longing and sing with love.

The Bible says that we should be joyful always:

“Be joyful always”

1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NIV 1984)

Most of the Psalms are songs.  There are songs of praise and songs of desire, songs expressing thanks and songs expressing heart-ache.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

- Psalm 100:4 (NIV 1984)

Something I have noticed is that people are the music they listen to.  I don’t know if you have noticed how much music can change your mood.  I’ve noticed a few things with regards to the music I listen to:

  • Praise and Worship – makes me feel closer to God’s heart.
  • Old school hymns – make me stand in awe of God’s glory.
  • Alternative Rock music – makes me feel confident and strong, like nothing can break me down.
  • Soft romantic music – makes me feel in love
  • Celtic folk music (and big band music) – makes me want to dance
  • Music with heart-ache lyrics – makes me want to reach out to people who feel that way and be there for them.

If music makes such a difference in my heart and mind, how much can it influence everyone else on a daily basis.

So my recommendation to develop a heart of joy, is to do this one thing:

Limit the music that makes you feel negative. Listen to music that makes you feel joyful.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cheesy French Toast


  • 4 slices of bread
  • 25ml cheese (grated)
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 125ml Margarine (for frying)


  1. Place cheese on 2 slices of bread, sandwich with the other 2 slices.
  2. Beat eggs. milk, salt and pepper together.
  3. Dip sandwiches into egg mixture.
  4. Melt margarine and fry slowly on both sides until bread is golden.
  5. Serve hot!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Plan for the day… 9 August 2012

Well, I’m already half-way through the day here.  So far I’ve done the grocery shopping.  It is a public holiday in South Africa so I’m not really up for too much in the lines of being productive.  I’ve done my menu planning for the week.  With every intention to sticking to it.  So here is the plan for the rest of today:

12:30 Pack away the groceries I bought
Organize the kitchen towels and turn holey ones into rags
Toss old sponges and rags from the kitchen
Shine the sinks
13:00 Make the Apricot Cinnamon Cake for tonight
Read and reply to emails while it bakes
14:00 Shine all the sinks in my home
Sweep kitchen floor and mop
Organize and declutter pantry
Declutter food storage containers
Clean out under the sink
15:00 Scrub kitchen counters
Wash the window in the kitchen
Straighten kitchen drawers and cupboards
Wash knicknacks in the kitchen
Clean stove / Oven
16:00 Get ready for the Braai
16:30 Enjoy the evening with friends.

Well, that is the plan for today.  I’m looking forward to it!

Menu Plan for 9 August 2012 to 15 August 2012

In my attempt to be a better homemaker, I’ve come up with a menu plan for myself for the week ahead.  Here is what will be cooking in my kitchen.  Recipe’s can be found by following the links.
Breakfast Lunch Supper
Thursday Cereal / Toast / Yoghurt Sandwiches Braai with friends
Apricot Cinnamon Cake
Friday Cereal / Toast / Yoghurt Sweet and Sour Noodles Macaroni Cheese
Saturday Cheese Puffs Easy Savoury Tart Leftovers from Saturday Lunch
Sunday Farmhouse Omelette Potato Bake
with Braai Meat and vegetables
Leftovers from Sunday Lunch
Monday Cereal / Toast / Yoghurt Leftovers from Sunday Lunch
Leftovers from Sunday Lunch
Tuesday Cereal / Toast / Yoghurt Leftovers from Sunday Lunch Mashed Potato and Chicken Casserol
Wednesday Cereal / Toast / Yoghurt Mashed Potato and Chicken Casserole
Broccoli Mashed Potatoes

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Women's Conflict

Lately I have been researching a topic that is extremely interesting to me. I've noticed an unspoken trend. Modern women, who are married with children, appear to have conflicting hearts.

On one side they wish to be stay at home moms, dedicating their time to maintaining the home and providing a safe-haven for their husbands and children.

On the other side they feel guilty about this desire because they feel it unfair that their husband is the only one out their earning a living. They feel guilty because quite often they are more qualified than their husbands (academically) and could probably earn a larger salary. Women feel guilty because the slightly older generation puts so much emphasis on being independent and being able to provide for yourself.

I'm sure that any woman who becomes a wife and mother will go through this conflict. I've been reading blog after blog written by women who either want to be stay at home mothers, but financially they cannot afford it, or alternatively have given up a career outside the home to care for their families.

Many women in the second group still work, and work extremely hard, just in different ways, in ways that society doesn't always deem acceptable for a well-educated lady.

These women are up at the crack of dawn preparing breakfast for their families. Can you imagine sitting down to a healthy full breakfast every morning rather than just a bowl of cereal and some toast?

These women pack lunches for their husbands to take to work with them so that their husbands don't have to spend money on buying a meal (and I'm sure the packed lunches are much healthier).

Many of these women home school their children. Who can know a child better than a parent? Where in the school system the teacher has only a year with the child to learn their likes, dislikes and learning style, a parent can learn these about their child and build them up over 18 years!

None of the women who live at home, working in their household have maids / domestic workers to help them. The woman is solely responsible for cleaning and doing the laundry. Some of these women even maintain the gardens.

And who is always available to listen to the problems of those in the household? Who is available to advise? Who comforts the sick? These wonderful women who stay at home to care for their families.

Some of these women, even run small businesses from home for extra income, cleaning, baking, making and selling stuff online, writing blogs, writing books etc.

So in essence these housewives have more than one job... They are chefs, maids, teachers, psychiatrists, business women, managers, nurses and gardeners! A woman who stays at home is many things.

Sometimes I wonder if this is why women have a harder time (in general) focusing on a specific career. Women seem to want to do it all because they were made to do it all, and they know they can do it all.

Now, in this post I was speaking of married women, especially married women with children. I didn't mention anything about single women.

I personally don't think you can compare a single woman's duties to that of a married woman. A single woman needs to be able to provide for herself, so as not to be a burden on her parents or other male relative. This post is specifically about married women.

So if you are single, I feel that it is your responsibility to be able to live independently. However, I feel that a married woman's number one priority is to be a help meet to her husband, in whichever way that may be.

Well there you go, that's my opinion on this topic out in the open!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Luke 18:17 - Child-like Faith

Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” ~ Luke 18:17

Have you ever met somebody who has a child-like faith? A person who just seems to believe in God without questioning?

I remember a friend from grade 1 who firmly believed that raisins were made from dead flies because her brother told her so. She trusted her brother without questioning him at all.

Our faith in God should be of a similar kind. We should have a child-like faith that God exists, that God only wants the best for us and that God is in control of everything.

Naturally we should question everything that teachers of God's word say, and we should be weary of false teachers and prophets, but we need to be sure in God's word as we read it. Trust it and have faith in him.

Jesus himself said that if we do not receive the kingdom of God like a little child, full of child-like belief and faith, we shall not enter it.

Trust God unconditionally. Love God unconditionally. And receive him like a little child.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Week 4: Keeping your house tidy

Today I want to bring up the topic of keeping your homes and possessions neat and tidy.

You may ask why you should keep your house clean. Well, a Queen / Princess won't live in a messy house would she? Think about it like this. You walk into a person's house, there is a pile of dishes in the sink, shoes and socks all over the living room floor and the toilet hasn't been cleaned for weeks. What does that tell you about the other person? It would tell me that they cannot be trusted to look after the possessions they have. It tells me that they cannot manage their time effectively. It also tells me that the person doesn't expect to be treated in a respectful manner.

Many women in the modern world don't have the luxury of having servants to clean their house. Most women are working a full day job, then coming home to a second job as a housekeeper.

Some people wonder how are they supposed to have a clean home without a servant and with children and husbands messing it up all the time. I don't have a perfect system for this. The best system I have found though is FlyLady. A lot of the system needs to be adjusted to suit your needs, but I strongly recommend taking a look.

It is also vitally important to make sure that everyone in your household contributes to keeping it neat and tidy. You are all living in the house so everyone needs to contribute to keeping it clean. A list can be found here on chores according to a child's age. You'll notice that children as young as 2-4 years old can help with certain chores already.

Now, I cannot give advice on how to convince children to do chores, or even another adult in the house (since I am a family of 1 right now). What I can do is give you a few tips on motivating yourself to keep your household tidy.

  1. Pick a spot and keep it clean at all times. Flylady's spot is the kitchen sink. I use this spot too, but I've heard of people using the dining room table, the coffee table in the living room, the spare room bed or even the dressing table in their bedroom. Make sure that whenever you go into that room, or see that spot then it is clean. Most importantly it must be clean before you go to bed at night.

  2. Pick a spot in each room. Once you have your key spot to keep clean. Pick a spot in each room of the house that gets messed up quickly. Work on keeping that spot in each room clean at all times. In my bedroom, it is my bed. In the living room, the coffee table. In the study, my desk. In the bathroom, the shelf behind the bath. In the kitchen, the sink and table. Your spots don't have to be the same as mine, but they can be if it helps you.

  3. Work outwards from that spot. When you clean the room, clean the spot first then work outwards in a spiral from that spot.

These 3 steps usually get me into the mode where I can start cleaning. There are numerous resources out there that give advice on the details of cleaning. A little research through Google will bring up lots of tips and tricks.

Good Luck! I'm struggling along with you on this one!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint-Crisp Fudge

Chocolate Peppermint-Crisp Fudge

Makes: 20cm x 20cm x 1.5cm slab


  • 375ml (1.5 cups) sugar
  • 150ml (0.6 cups) evaporated milk
  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) butter
  • 500ml (2 cups) marshmallows cut into smaller pieces
  • 300g (roughly 3 slabs) dark chocolate
  • 5ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla essence
  • 1 bar Peppermint Crisp (broken or grated into pieces)


  1. Line a 20cm x 20cm (7.8 inch) tin with foil.
  2. Heat the sugar, evaporated milk and butter together in a saucepan / pot
  3. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
  4. Boil for four to five minutes then remove from the heat.
  5. Stir in marshmallows, chocolate and vanilla essence until melted.
  6. Pour into the lined tin and sprinkle the peppermint crisp over the top.
  7. Leave to set in the fridge for 24 hours.
  8. Remove from tin and peel off the foil.
  9. Use a sharp knife to cut into blocks of the desired size.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Persistent Widow

This morning while reading Luke 18, I came across The parable of the persistent widow.  It brought my mind back to another blog post I made over a year ago.  since I have many more readers now than I did then, I would like to bring your attention to that blog post.

As an advanced note.  God did move the chess pieces into positions at exactly the correct time.  My prayer was answered in ways I could never have imagined at that time.  I wrote the blog post in May 2011.  He answered the first part of my prayer in June 2011 (work-related).  He answered the 2nd part of the prayer in November 2011 (heart-related).  He then answered the third part in April 2012 (home-related).  I am still waiting for him to answer the 4th and 5th parts.  I have no doubt in my mind God will answer all 5 parts of the prayer, but only when his timing is absolutely perfect.

Without further delay.  Here is the link to:

God's Will vs. Relentless Prayer