Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Honesty Entering 2015

What is a blog if it isn't honest? I think a lot of us bloggers set up an account, brag about our outfits or latest beauty products, share bits of our materialistic lives and gush about how fabulous and glitzy we can be (I'm just generalizing here by the way. There are many of you that I absolutely love to keep up to date with that have actual interesting things to say!) 

Well, it's a new year in 1 day and 11 hours and I have something to admit. I haven't been honest with any of you.

You see... 2014 was a pretty shitty year for me for lack of better words. In fact, they are the perfect words - because it was shitty. Yet here I was trying to coax you into trying some silly horse shampoo or publishing a post about buying a pair of bad quality shoes every month to show to you like it really even mattered?! 

There were a small collection of 'real' posts I suppose - although I never really gave too much away. For example, there was the time back in June when my best friend in the world left and I wrote THIS.
Then there was a nice little slice of positive words to myself HERE shortly after that. 
I even posted a video clip back in August where I was in tears after being mucked around by yet another smelly git of a man... watch that NOW.  
I think the idea of posting real life struggles and perils is such a great idea in the blog world because we all have them but we try so hard to blanket them with all this bullshit. 

So here, in short, is a small summary of what REALLY happened in 

It was my first year as an Auntie. 
Jenson Charles Preston Wright was born on the 26th December 2013. 

Being an Auntie is incredible. It's a love like no other and this little guy has stolen my heart. 

I got a tattoo of cherry blossoms on my foot to symbolize mortality when my dad was given three days to live. 

I got my first novel, Walk With Me, published and it sold like hot cakes. The experience of publishing it was incredible but hard as hell. It did give me so much inspiration to complete my second novel entitled, The Other Woman, though. 

I had my first freelance journalist gig - which was a HUGE milestone in my career as a writer. It was for a site called Bored.com and it was about unique ways to wrap up your Christmas presents. 
As a writer, you can't help but feel so incredibly stoked when you see your own work published! So to see not only my first novel but also my first article published in 2014, that was pretty damn cool. 
You can check the article out HERE

I've been battling with living back at home with my folks - who although try to deny it, are big lovers of getting absolutely pickled every night in front of the television. 
I don't know how life could ever end up like that... sitting on the couch, slowly passing out from too much alcohol while watching mindless junk on the TV. 
I'm scared of that happening to me..... and I am willing to do just about anything to prevent it. 
I get angry and grumpy with them and become a terror of a person. I bitch and moan and shout at them... me... their daughter... the one they used to rock to sleep at night and sing lullabies to. 
I get so churned up inside seeing them like that. 
If it was once a week, on a weekend... then why not? But it is every single bloody night. But as hard as I try to tell them they have a problem... they just don't stop. 
I don't know if they ever will. 

But I still love them both... dearly.

As for friends..... well... to be honest with you it's been a pretty lonely year. 
I've never been great at making friends. 
Back in high school I was the biggest freak show and nerd you could get... of course it affects you. 
I have a few wonderful close friends like Lucien and Ashley... but the others seem to come and go. 
A lot of the time I make great friends but then they move to a new town or to a different country and slowly we lose contact. It's how it works I suppose.... but I have been needing to find a 'group,' if you will..... 
It sucks so much to see all these photographs on Facebook of girls nights and barbecues, going out and having FUN. 
I have them too - at the end of every month I show you photo's of me enjoying my evenings with people.... but do those people really care or know me? Not really.... not if I'm honest.
I miss having friends - friends that keep in touch and check in on how you are. Friends who make the effort and go the extra mile to let you know they are there for you. 
I don't have many of them left anymore.

Surfing? There hasn't really been much of that. I have probably done it a handful of times this year - and actually, as I write this, I am struggling away with some seriously stiff muscles from a couple of hours in the water on Sunday. I caught about three good waves but I definitely need to pick it back up again if I have any hope of surfing Indonesia in 7 months time!!! 

That's the OTHER thing... those of you who follow me regularly (thanks for that by the way!) will obviously know how passionate I am about travel. 
There was non of that in 2014.... barring a few little jets to the cities in South Africa, which I'm not really sure counts... but at least I was on a plane. 
There's something about being way up there in the sky.... and it's not just the fact that the altitude makes drinking wine just that much more fun! No... it's knowing that when you touch ground again it will be some place else....
I get SERIOUS cabin fever. 
I'm a nomad... a gypsy... or as my mother likes to call me, a bit of a waif and a stop-out............... (thanks mum). 
I go bat-shit crazy without experiencing the joys of a new country and culture. 
I could have traveled, hell, I've saved up enough! But I'm saving up so that next year can be my travel year... I have big plans and slowly but surely they are all coming into fruition. That's the only thing keeping me sane right now... knowing soon, I'll be somewhere else on the map, with a rucksack on my back and a passport in my hand. 

Now here's the real deep one....

I slit my wrist. Yip. Now there's some honesty for you. 
I had an absolute breakdown - went on anti-depressants and started suffering from major anxiety. 
Why did I do it? There are many reasons. 
Depression is a hard pill to swallow on top of the CiLift or whatever happy drug you're taking to help you out.

I think more often than not, we are so afraid to show who we really are... to show our weaknesses and fall-backs because we are petrified of judgement. 
But you know what??? Judge me if you want to. I don't care anymore. 
I got weak and I fell. I'm left with a stupid scar across my left wrist from something I did because I was ashamed with myself. Why???
Because I nearly killed someone. 
I got involved with a married man - fell in love with him, adored him, almost bloody worshiped him.... and he loved me back. At least I think he did. But then his wife found out and she didn't take it well. Who can blame her??? It's the worst thing I have ever done - to have continued something like that.
I should probably clarify that I didn't actually KNOW he was married until I was already to deep in into the doomed hole.... I really didn't. If I had, things would have ended up VERY differently. 
She slashed her wrists... badly. It wasn't just a plea for attention, but a genuine suicide attempt - and when he told me about it, it gave me such a fright. 
I was devastated. How could I have done that to someone??? And so I wanted to feel that pain. Somehow I thought that if I punished myself I could make it better. I fell back into a depression so deep and hurtful that I was experimenting with drugs and harming myself so much.... not letting anyone in to help. No one even really knew what I was doing.
One of the reasons I finally moved back home to my folks, was because I was having a problem with drugs. I told my folks everything. What I'd thought was just fun experimental teenage shit actually got really ugly......... and I made the huge decision to come clean to them.... and for AGES I had done so well at cleaning myself up... but after this happened.... I fell down again. 
Falling into this black abyss of depression and self-loathing very nearly killed me. 
I tried to apologize - I tried to make amends. But how can you ever really do that? How does someone ever forgive you for that? And how do you forgive yourself???

That weight has been resting heavily on my shoulders all throughout 2014 and I don't know when it will go away - or if it ever will. 

That story is what my book, The Other Woman is based on. 

Have you ever done anything so awful that you don't know if you could ever forgive yourself? If so... how did you overcome it? 

And lastly - I started dating the handsome bearded fellow... Sam. 

I think what is different about us is that I actually finally stopped caring. That sounds like the most unromantic thing I've ever said but let me explain....
Throughout my life, I have been with over a handful of absolute knob-heads... which in no way means I am any kind of a Saint... but from drug-addicts to beaters, manipulators and cheaters, even obsessive and possessive. Throw a couple of crazies in there and you've spelled out my life story! I can tick them all off. So eventually, I just felt like my heart had been so destroyed that I genuinely couldn't love again. 
I tried. 
I had one or two absolute GEMS that I tried DESPERATELY hard to love. It wasn't them. It was me.... as cliche as that sounds. I just couldn't open my heart - though I tried so hard it seemed like I did love them. I tricked myself and I tricked them into thinking I was in love. As evil as that sounds, I really didn't mean it to be. 

So when Sam came around I was literally done. 
Ca-put with love. 
We went out a few times... both of us fresh out of relationships and feeling a bit lost... and he reawakened a certain spark in me that had been missing for so long. 
He challenged me. He wasn't over-the-top romantic or nauseatingly mushy. He was real... strong and manly.. yet so incredibly gentle. The definition of a big teddy bear (OK... Maybe more of a grizzly bear)... but he's my bear. 

It was the first time I entered into something with all my cards on the table. I told him EVERYTHING... and by everything, I mean everything. What did I have to lose anyway???? And Sam accepted it. He chose to love me with all of my flaws and imperfections.. the real ones. The ones that we try to hide away from even those that are closest to us. 

Have I found the guy I am meant to spend the rest of my life with?
Who knows - I'm not claiming to know the future. 
But I am happy - and I make him happy - and together we are growing and learning and being... as we should be. 
It's as simple as that.  

So that was pretty much my year. 
Not all it seemed to be cracked up to be from so many of my showy posts, was it??? 
We all have things behind the scenes. 
It's called real life... and I think we need to start facing it. 
Stop hiding it.
It's almost as bad as photogshopped models. They DO have stretch marks and cellulite and a bit of a wobble.... but people edit themselves so much... it's such a lie. 

This is life... now stop editing yours and worrying about being judged. 

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter... and those who matter don't mind!" - Dr Seuss. 

See you all in the New Year.

Peace, love and harmony to all.... and to all, a goodnight. 

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Monday, December 22, 2014

7 Cool and Quirky Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas

I know... I KNOW..... I was supposed to be taking a break from the blog world.

BUT.... I have pretty much the most exciting news EVER. 

My first ever article just got published!!!!!! A huge milestone has just happened in my writing life! 

So I have to share it with you all. Please click the link below to check out my article. Please also like it, share it and enjoy it because if the stats are good then I get a bonus payment!! 

It's all about different ways to wrap up your Christmas gifts! A great article to read considering Christmas is just three sleeps away!

Enjoy it my friends. 

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Farewell.... For Now

This is going to be my last post for a while.

Not only is it Christmas time which means peak season at work as well as there being lots of family and friends to catch up with – but I have also broken my hand. 

This makes typing pretty hard to do; in fact it makes absolutely everything pretty hard to do. I can’t even squirt toothpaste onto my own toothbrush or tie up my hair. 
I’m not even going to mention trying to DRIVE! I-m-p-o-s-s-i-b-l-e.
It makes me wonder how people live with one arm. 

I love doing things for myself and having my independence – it’s important to me. But now I am completely buggered.

Barring work, I plan on spending the next couple of weeks healing up and enjoying the approaching Summer in my brown bikini that I bought in a tiny street market in Thailand a number of years ago. 

I have also started to hand-write my second novel (luckily it was my left hand that broke, not my writing hand!). 

I'm feeling like I need a bit of a break from the blog world.

I just want to focus on my second novel for a bit, get it done. Polish it up and let it fly from the nest. It's such an incredible book and I cannot wait to share it with you all.

I'm even contemplating publishing a chapter once a week onto this blog once it has been copyrighted.

If any of you would be interested in reading it that way please let me know as right now it's just a thought in my mind.

Also, if any of you out there are also novelists, then I'd really appreciate hearing your thoughts on publishing chapters of your book onto a blog. 

Is it safe? Is it OK? 
I have no idea???

If I get a positive feedback regarding sharing my book with ya'll, then maybe I'll still stick around to post a chapter a week or something. Let me know!

I also want to focus on work and the festive season.
I want to spend some time reading books (I have so may lined up along my windowsill, all waiting to be cracked open!) and catching up on series that I've been missing like Walking Dead season 5 and Bachelor in Paradise,
Since I started dating the handsome bearded fellow, I have been too busy frolicking around in the waves and woods to have time to catch up on things like that. So that will be nice.
It's our 3 month 'anniversary' later this month - it's so strange to say that when it feels like so much longer that we have been together. Although I suppose we have been chums since July this year so we know each other well already.. in fact, it is the first time I can confidently say that someone knows absolutely everything about me. I decided to enter into this relationship with all my cards on the table; sparing no gory details - and you know what? He accepted it all and I accepted him. He knows me like the back on his own hand but yet we are still learning so many beautiful and quirky traits each of us have.

It's wonderful.
One love!

I'll be back in the new year .
So, until then, ciao for now! 

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green | Book Review

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love. 

Blurb taken from: Amazon

This is literally the process of reading The Fault In Our Stars

It was impossible not to want to read The Fault In Our Stars. This book (and movie) got so much hype that even someone that isn't much of a reader got intrigued. 

I'm a slow reader. It literally takes me about a month to finish a book because I'm always so busy with juggling a full-time job,studying journalism, writing my second novel and being a girlfriend. 
Even so, everything else took a backseat as I picked up this book. By the end of the first night, I'd already devoured half of it! That has never happened to me before. 

When I started to read it, I was really skeptical. Cancer and illnesses petrify me. I like to pretend that if I ignore them then they don't exist. After very nearly losing my dad last year, it is a very tender topic for me but I battled through in the hopes of there being beauty in the pain and inspiration in the pages of heartache.
Well, there was all of that and more.

Just because this book is about a sixteen year old girl called Hazel Grace who is falling in love for the first time while she battles through a cancer-ridden life - that in no way means that the target market is sixteen year old girls. I'm going into my mid-twenties and this book touched my heart in so many ways. It is such a special novel that anyone, man or woman could enjoy, no matter what age. 

Hazel is surviving thyroid cancer on a miracle drug which author, John Green, makes very clear does not exist in the back pages of the book once the story comes to the end (if only it did...). 
She is drowning not only literally in her own dysfunctional lungs but also in a painful depression that worries her family and the doctors treating her. 
She walks around attached to a oxygen tank and carting around a cannula every day of her life, with tubes up her nostrils and her head buried in books if not religiously following reality TV shows.  

In an effort to have her daughter make friends, Hazel's mum begs her to go to a Cancer Support Group instead of lounging in front of the television, watching America's Next Top Model marathons all day long. It is there that she meets the charismatic, blue-eyed boy, Augustus Waters, who (spoiler alert but pretty inevitably!) changes her life. 

Have you ever been in love with your best friend? 
It's an infinite and unconditional love. Deeper than all others. That is what Augustus and Hazel structured between themselves, among their meaningful conversations that were well beyond their years
They shared a never ending love that was raw and real; that showed appreciation, support and strength like no other I have seen before. A bond that is so rare that some only ever dream of experiencing it. 

Reading their story was the perfected balance between heart-wrenching and heart-warming - with characters you can't help but fall in love with. 

It is beautiful yet infuriating all at once. 

Green's writing shows you a deeper side to teen literature. So often these days the shelves are crammed with awful teenage ramblings that is pretty vile to be blatantly honest - Green has finally broken past that barrier and with palm forward literally said, 'In Your Face!' 

If a novel could be poetry - this would be it. 

Now I cannot WAIT to watch the film!!! 
Have you seen it or read the book? What were your thoughts on them? 

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Monday, December 1, 2014

November Favorites

My Favorite Purchases: 
The Flower Head-Band and the Indian Bindi

With Summer right on our doorstep in South Africa - I have been in my element, breaking out the sun-dresses, bikinis and sun cream of late.
To better fit the season, I bought a few accessories to complete my Summery Style!

The Bindi is also a part of my fashion now as I plan my trip to India - I am embracing the Indian fashion and lifestyle! I even cooked this amazing curry called Chicken Jalfrezi
(I wrote the recipe down and was excited to do a recipe post on here for you all but I got so excited when I'd finished cooking that I completely forgot to photograph the dish before digging in!! Whoops!)
I've started eating with my hands too which the Indian's do - it's so fun and interesting to embrace their culture.

'Jam' Moments 
(yeah... I actually did it. I put Jade and Sam together in one name (you know, like Brangelina...) and it became 'Jam.' Classic!): 

Exploring the Botanical Gardens and forest for wild mushrooms

Favorite Fun with Friends: 

A Girls-Night Out (what a wild one it was!)

It started out mellow - with sushi and a bit of wine.....
but then the shooters were brought out........

and beer pong was played!

Jessie and I are dying to travel and met up at a local pub to discuss India and Bali travel plans for 2015

Celebrating the bosses birthday at River Deck - I do work with the coolest people

I had to include this photo.. because it just makes me laugh so much! Sam knocked my head-band down.

Favorite Compliment: 

I felt so incredibly blessed and special when I got these lovely messages from my friends about my article on India earlier this month!

November's Favorite Idea: 

I found this Barbie creation simply fantastic!!!

Our world is actually such a disgusting place to grow up in - giving a child a sculptured to perfection doll is ridiculous. It gives kids the wrong idea of who they need to be from such an early stage in life! It isn't right... I mean, have you ever heard of bloody Valeria Lukyanova??? She's literally a real-life barbie doll. Awful!!!

To bring out the 'Average-Girl Barbie Doll,' is one of the smartest and coolest ideas I've heard of for a while! 
So chuffed with it.

What are your thoughts on this regular barbie???

November's Favorite Lunch: 

Works been pretty manic lately... so on the last Friday of the month, our boss spoiled us with this deluxe sushi platter and a few bottles of chardonnay. 
It was, needless to say, DIVINE.

Favorite Tattoo Idea: 

I absolutely love the idea of having a palm tree on my arm like this. It's so Summery and Beachey which summarizes every inch of who I am. 
I don't know if I'd ever have the courage to get a tattoo so visible until after marriage (I don't want to be an ink-ridden bride!) but it would look stunning...

Lately I've been absolutely dying to get a new tattoo. Specifically something to symbolize my love for travel. 

Speaking of MARRIAGE........................................................!!!!

A few years ago, I introduced two incredible people to each other. 
Call me Cupid....

Rachel and Michael got engaged at the end of November and I am so filled with love and warmth - it's an amazing feeling knowing that I introduced such special people to each other and now they are embarking on a new chapter in life together! 

Rachel also sent me a little text that had me in literal tears - she wants me to be a bridesmaid!!! 
I am ecstatic and couldn't be more thrilled to be sharing this special time with her. 

November's Favorite Blog: 

I've honestly been SO slack in the blog world this month and have hardly had a chance to read and enjoy anybody's blogs.
There are quite a few blogs that I do go and visit fairly often though - blogs that leave me thinking long after I've clicked that little red cross on the top right hand corner of the computer screen. 

Dayna's Blog is one of those.

It's really just wonderful. So delicately written, so raw and real - touching beneath the surface on all matters from trying to have a baby, tattoo removals, self-mutilation but she's so inspiring and positive.
Her words are beautiful, her photography breath-taking and her blog is just simply delectable. 
I'll always return to her blog to see how she's doing - and it takes a special kind of a blog to get that right, doesn't it??? 
That's why she was November's favorite blog - even though I've been more absent than usual.  

Not many photo's were really taken last month but I can assure you that a good time was had as Summer swoops swiftly in.
I don't take as many photographs as I used to - mainly because I'm too busy just enjoying my time. 
This month I had lots of fun and met some wonderful people. In between being shat on by a bird, stung by a bee, being burnt by a coal and scorched by the unforgiving sun...... it was a beautiful month indeed!
I will try and take more photographs this month though. It's always nice to see them all together and smile back at the memories from the month. 

How was your November???

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