Sunday, September 30

Home Tour: Come on in!

Now that I've told you a little about my humble home, I thought it might be fun to do a tour!
Sandra also did one the other day. Her apartment is dead charming.
Mine is alot smaller but we'll take a peek anyway.
This little creature will greet you at the door.                           
So will this guy. The other plants committed suicide :(
The first room you enter is the kitchen. It has a kinda modern-meets-retro vibe. 
I have a two-plate hob which is fine because I only have one pot. Lols.Photobucket
I love these cheery spoons. They were a prezzie from Nads.  Photobucket
I like sticking fun, new stuff on the fridge. Here is a postcard from Islington, London. 
I stayed there on holiday with my mom once and loved it.
 On the counter, you can find stuff to make heart-shaped eggs and tea :)Photobucket
And cute spices to cook and bake with. As you can see...I've never used any of them. Ha.
Polka dots of course.Photobucket
 A postcard from Notting Hill. The magnets are from Mr Price Home.  Photobucket
Stripey straws and party cups are a household must:)
Above my fridge is a very impressive collection of invisible vintage wines. 
Also living there are some cameras and an epic tea set that I found in a second-hand store.
Thanks for popping in! More pics to follow soon. x

Wednesday, September 26

"I Love" at The Galleria

Friends, thank you so much for your comments, tweets, emails and whatsapp replies to yesterday's post. I was so touched by your kind words and support. I felt nervous posting something so personal but I'm glad I did. Thank you very much.

When I headed back from the South Coast a few weekends ago, I popped into Gen's new store called I Love at The Galleria in Toti. It is packed to the hilt with beautiful crafts and pretty things. Gen is such an amazing person and her precious little Olive is adorable. I'm so happy for Gen. Imagine owing your own shop like this? How totally epic! Here's a peek inside. x


Tuesday, September 25

365 Days (my story of starting over)

Warning - marathon post ahead! I don't usually post personal stuff on Gloss but I thought this scribble might resonate with someone who may be in a similar situation to the one I found myself in a year ago. If you fancy reading it, grab a Red Bull now! 

This time last year, I moved out of the flat that I had shared with my husband. It was a seriously sad season of my life. I moved out with a suitcase of clothes and a few boxes of records, books, thrifted cameras and ornaments. I had no furniture or appliances. Also, I had never lived alone before.

I didn’t have a good feeling about the first flat I moved into. It was dark, empty and I never felt safe there. After two weeks of sleepless nights, I realized it was infested with termites! Charming little suckers they are.

I remember packing up my stuff again and thinking, "I wish it could just be a year from now."

Fortunately, my parents invited me to stay with them while I looked for a new flat. After two weeks, the search was getting dismal. I didn’t have a lot for rent but I prayed that the right spot would come along. Then one day, I logged onto Gumtree and a new flat appeared. It was newly renovated, beautifully furnished and in a road I had always wanted to live in. I was the first person to view it and my landlord offered it to me right away! I’m still living here and I love my little flat. It has a white, wooden roof, dusky lavender walls and a view of gently-swaying trees. We were meant to be together.

While I was relieved to have found a home, I envisioned myself being perpetually broke and living on beans on toast. Nadia said, “Lauren, if your survival depends on it, you will find a way to make enough money.” She was right. I worked hard and in addition to my day job (which is a two minute drive from my flat) I  freelanced for magazines, newspapers and a bunch of creative businesses.

For my birthday last year, my friends both here and abroad, all chipped in and surprised me with a pile of gifts including appliances, cutlery! I was so moved, I burst into tears in the middle of a crowded bar - lols. And as time went by, I kitted out my little flat with thrifted bits and pieces.

I didn’t have TV or internet for most of the year so…I read. A lot. I would climb into bed and read about everything from relationships to nutrition to psychology. If anything, I'm alot more knowledgeable than I was a year ago! I also wrote alot. I started writing even more when someone pointed out that I seemed to have alot of breakthroughs when I write.

Before I moved out, my friends said, “Lauren, you will learn so much about yourself when you live alone.” I couldn't imagine what all these learnings would be. I thought I knew myself pretty well. Ha! Well, when you have most nights to yourself, you get to thinking. You take many walks down memory lane and examine all the decisions and choices you've made. I feel like there were certain lessons I was meant to learn in my twenties and most of them were crammed into my 29th year! It has been a time of epic personal growth. 

I know some people love living alone and could happily go a month without seeing another soul but me…I’m still getting the hang of it. I've always been pretty independent but I miss coming home to a hug on a bad day.  I'm sure you girls can relate to that. Hugs and having someone to fix your kitchen lights. Ha. 

And there have been sad days. Nads slept over when I was feeling particularly anxious. My mom whatsapped me about a hundred cute dog pictures. Candi took me down the South Coast when I needed to get away. Cath wrote me letters and made sure I always had dinner. After I hadn't slept properly in two weeks, Nikki came over and read magazines while I napped. (Me = most anti-social host of all time.) Sometimes you just sleep easier knowing that someone else is there :D

But there have also been epic, happy times. I experienced so many awesome things this year. I met new people and hung out with friends I hadn't seen in ten years. I went camping. I built a snow panda. I jumped off a dam wall! And as for my little flat - there was Friday night dancing, jumping on the bed, guitar-jamming, egg-frying, wine-drinking, 30-Seconds playing….I've had some great times here :)

I guess what I wanna say is…if you have the opportunity, take the time to live on your own for a while. You will learn so much about yourself. You'll grow in your emotional independence as well as your physical independence...if that makes any sense? I'm still on my journey but I'm stronger than I was 365 days ago. I think the living-alone thing is harder for us girls because we love to share our lives. We love nurturing those we love with cups of tea and packed lunches!

I don't tend to socialise in big groups but I get pretty antsy after spending a day alone. I like talking to people. If I had a cat, I would probably talk to it all the time - "Ok Mr Kitty, this recipe calls for a splash of milk. Would you care to do the honours?" Lols.

On a less ridiculous and more practical note, living alone has also taught me to be tidier! Mama Gloss is relieved, I'm sure! I cook more. I work out more. I manage my money better. I'm more organised. Alot of good has come out of it.

So now I'm single and about two weeks away from turning thirty. It feels strange in a way but I feel like I'm living an important chapter of my life. I'm open to whatever the days bring and I know there's good, fun stuff in store.

I just wanna say a big thanks to my friends and family for their love and support over the past year. You guys rock my world. Every day.

Thanks for reading along friends. I love being able to capture all the fun bits on Gloss. And I appreciate your kind comments. Also, I now feel completely naked for getting so personal here. Eep! x

My bathroom tiles made a good, few appearances on Gloss this year! 

Sunday, September 23

The Rhino Run

The short story:
Nads and I did this fun run and the organisers are giving all the proceeds to rhino conservation.
A fun event for a good cause!


The long story:
So...I've been trying to adopt a more healthy lifestyle over the past couple of months. No crazy diets. Just working out more. Eating better. Lost eight kilos. Eight more to go. Oi.

Nads and I have also been trying to challenge ourselves and encourage each other to try new things. We did abseiling. We did rap jumping. And now we've done a fun run! I had only ever done two fun runs in my life and I came STONE last in both of them. Not even joking! I am not a runner. Nads on the other hand is a running machine - see above! So she has very kindly been training me and helping me progress from walking to jogging. She has kicked my butt in the nicest possible way and I am so grateful.

We did this trail run and I am proud to say we did not come last! I'm not sure if I'll ever become a runner but I am enjoying jogging and I want to get fitter and faster.

Our other forthcoming challenges include self-defense classes, dance classes, more trail running, kayaking, hiking, extreme thrifting (lols, not really) and Nads wants to swing off the stadium!
I think I shall erm, pass on that one.

Thank you Nads for training me, encouraging me and not abandoning me in the Umgeni bush!

PS: Well done to my friends Taneal and Lynne who ran too and were amazing!

Thursday, September 20

Highschool & College Days!

Hey hey!
Bridget gave me a heap of old pics to scan the last time she was here. 
There are sooo many to get through but here's a couple I've done so far. x

 No idea where this was taken. But we look awesome. And sunburnt. Ha.
 Tam and Pix smiling so sweetly. Me - I don't know.
 A picture of us with an evil-looking dog and a fan.
Ah, the 90s. So much denim. So much angst. So much Di Caprio.
 Sleepover at Jody's. Classic expressions all round :D
 We must have been quite taken with this genie style lamp pot.
 Standard Nine dance.
Apparently I thought it was the height of style to go out with half your dress cut out. Ha.
 A quick snap at Shongweni before we headed out on an epic exploration.
And to think these were the pre-wine days!
Busting the tie-dye vibes! Think this was 2000.
The final New Year jol before everyone went overseas. Sad face :( Miss you and love you girls!