Friday, 30 March 2012

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Little bits of wisdom #4

Image from Pinterest

"Be Thankful" Tuesdays

[Due to a wobbly internet connection, here's a belated "Be Thankful" Tuesday....]

Some of the small and big things I love and am thankful for

  • The fact that I have an internet connection (in Africa, that puts me in a small minority)
  • Funding for another year of my MSc!
  • All my amazing friends in the Chemistry department (even those who are graduating this week and leaving Stellenbosch...)
  • My chemistry actually starting to work again!
  • Taking time out from an unbelievably busy few weeks to just relax and recharge
  • Making the most of the last days of summer - wear ALL the sundresses!
  • My supervisor taking an active involvement in my project
  • Dressing up for no reason other than it's a beautiful sunny day
  • Dry shampoo - lifesaver now that I'm growing my hair again!
  • Neelsie coffee breaks with friends
  • Frequent customer loyalty cards - free coffee and lunch once every two weeks!
  • Fervently reading "A Clash of Kings" in time for Season 2 of Game of Thrones
  • Getting the opportunity to go on my first Organic Chemistry conference in three weeks time

Monday, 26 March 2012

Thought for the Day #5

Image from Pinterest

And that's the reason why I never leave the house unhappy with my reflection.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Afternoon at Vergelegen

After a typical Sunday morning (Church, breakfast at Willowbridge, followed by grocery shopping), I joined my parents and some family friends for an afternoon out visiting one of my absolute favourite estates: Vergelegen. Honestly, spending several hours walking through the beautiful grounds (from manicured gardens to the wilder forests), taking in the history of the place, is my idea of a perfect afternoon.

I just wanted to share with you guys some of the photos I took today :)

Looking out over the herb garden from the new tasting room.

Enjoying the last days of summer sun (and the infamous Cape South-Easter wind!)

Sitting at the Rose Terrace and enjoying one of the best cheesecakes I've had in ages!

The rose garden is absolutely amazing - most of these rose bushes are as tall as I am, and are covered with huge, old-fashioned roses that fill the air with a heavenly scent!

The estate's famous 300 year old camphor trees :) (These always seem to remind me of the Ents in LOTR...)

Exploring the forest... this tree's branches seemed to extend forever!

Sitting at the edge of a babbling brook...

 Bamboo forests...

There's something eerily beautiful about the creaking and moaning of bamboo forests in the wind 

Well-traveled feet

 Taking my newest sundress out for the first time!

 The "Royal" Oak

The Manor House, as viewed from the entrance to the Octagonal Garden.

Looking the other way...

Some of the detailing around the Manor House (no photography allowed inside, unfortunately).

So, what's your idea of a perfect Sunday afternoon?

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

"Be Thankful" Tuesdays

Sunset in Stellenbosch, as viewed from my living room
Some of the small and big things I love and am thankful for
  • My beautiful apartment!
  • The bursary funding which I am so blessed to receive, which allows me to have the opportunity to live and study in STELLENBOSCH!
  • Being involved in our University's Chemistry society, which I helped start.
  • Sitting on my balcony in the evening, enjoying the last days of summer and watching the stars.
  • Taking a break from my busy day to have lunch in town with some awesome friends I love.
  • Walking everywhere I need to go in Stellenbosch.
  • A well made Cosmopolitan.
  • Warm fuzzy socks and comfy pajama pants.
  • Accessories, accessories, accessories! (A girl can never own too many)
  • Reading! And discovering new series' that I can love and obsess over.
  • Painkillers. Lifesavers.
  • That feeling of pure joy when you finally isolate the molecule you've been trying to make for ages!
  • My iPod. Can't live without my music.
  • Painting my nails bright magenta, and smiling every time I look down at my hands :)
  • Lipstick.
  • Fountain pens. 
  • Flipping through old photos, and feeling blessed while remembering all the amazing moments.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

T-Rex hates Push-ups

Now that I'm growing my hair out again (this time last year, it was a chin-length asymmetric bob), I'm having so much fun experimenting with updos. In particular, I think I'm addicted to sock buns (so easy for rushed mornings!).

After much deliberation, I decided to get over-sized black-rimmed glasses, just for the hell of it...

In the middle of a completely crazy week, I managed to meet up for lunch with three of my oldest friends (going way back to our first days at varsity!). It's always awesome to get together, but our schedules are all so busy that we don't get to all get together nearly often enough. Nevertheless, we eventually had a great midweek lunch at Nook.
My very delicious Thai sesame chicken ciabatta, with coriander, tomato, rocket and avocado mayonnaise.
Quaint decor...

Saturday afternoon I headed to my parent's house for the night, so that I could go to Sunday morning mass with them. The weather took a (apparently temporary) chilly turn in the evening, so the best thing to do was to pull on warm pjs and get out the board games!
Kicking some ass at Scrabble...

After having my eye on this beautiful throw for ages, I finally could afford it thanks to some birthday gift card generosity. It's purple! And so unbelievably warm and soft (words cannot describe, only touch...)! Can't wait for more cold nights so that I can snuggle up in bed under this...

More birthday gifts... Grey wool beret from the parentals...

Grey scarf with pink and purple butterflies from Mom...
The beautiful tag (it's from Poetry)...

Book from Mom, in case I need a break from all the chemistry reading...
Clear lamp with purple shade for my new room... (goodbye old desk lamp, hello beautifulness!)
One of the richest body lotions I've tried in a while... (part of a whole pamper set from the chemistry birthday club, with some vouchers for Exclusive Books, so more shopping in my future :) yay!)
My birthday orchid is receiving much love and care, and nearly all the buds have now opened up :)

Combining my love for Spongebob and geekiness...

(Looking at all my birthday presents, almost all of them are purple, pink or grey. My friends and family "get" me. So much love for you all!)

In recent purchases, my favourite clay mask has been discontinued, so I'm looking forward to trying out this one (yay for the Woolies sale!)...

Best new lipstick I've bought in ages. It's "Amethyst Shimmer" from Rimmel - the pigmentation is beautifully intense and lasts for ages, plus it goes really well with my skin tone :)
My mom and I went shopping for flowers and herbs for on my balcony...
My "T-Rex hates pushups" tee finally arrived in the mail! (For the record, things take forever to get from the US to Africa...) I love it so much! (Ask people who know me, I have a thing for T-Rex jokes...)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Laura's Links

I spend far too much time on the internet, particularly late at night and early in the morning when I have trouble sleeping. An advantage of this: discovering all sorts of interesting things that I would otherwise never had seen!
  • Nutella sandwich cookies: possibly the most mouth-watering cookie recipe I’ve seen in a while. Can’t wait to try this one out! (pictured above)
  • I’ve recently gotten addicted to wearing all sorts of scarves. While I don’t normally do a lot of DIY (mostly because I don’t have the time), this tutorial for converting t-shirts into scarves caught my eye…
  • Speaking of scarfs, if you always end up falling back on wearing yours the same way, watch this video – 25 adorable and different ways to tie/wear your scarf.
  • More DIY that I’d love to make some time for: braided charm bracelets. Sort of a grown-up version of the friendship bracelets we made as kids.
  • Ice-cream and wine – two of the best things in life. Handcrafted ice-cream’s paired with heavenly wines available for tasting? I’m in. Stellenbosch peeps – don’t miss this unbelievable tasting from Clos Malvene (I did their summer one and it was amazing – now just to find some peeps and some time to go do this again!)
  • For a new way to look at how we live our lives, check out Why Don’t You? I’m always finding myself in a rush to get through my life, so I can definitely learn a thing or two...
  • For my fellow single girls, check out How to Date Yourself in 10 Ways. This was posted just after Valentine’s day, but it speaks to everyone who’s ever gotten into that negative thought spiral about their lack of a love life. It’s amazing how some small things can make your day infinitely better.
  • I’m an unabashed stationary nerd, and am always looking for an excuse to buy more, so when I saw 54 Uses for Binder Clips my fingers started twitching! I’m already implementing a few of them!
  • In need of feeling more fabulous? Take a look at The Charmed Life Challenge. I’ve printed this out and stuck it inside my closet, and am slowly ticking things off!
  • Now that I have my own flat, I find myself cooking every day. While I did help cook at home, suddenly having to do things without being able to ask Mom for help has been a learning curve! If you have ever found yourself screwing something up in the kitchen – small or big – check out this list of the most common cooking mistakes (and, importantly, how to fix or avoid them).
  • And, to end of with some amusement… If, like me, you stay in apartment, there has undoubtedly been a time when your neighbours have gotten you utterly mad. For a giggle or two, scroll though some of the most entertaining notes people have written to their neighbours, who have subsequently put them on the internet for us.

PS: I’ve also been spending far too much time on Pinterest lately – you can check out my boards here J

Life at the Moment

Been really swamped at varsity ever since my MSc supervisor returned from his sabbatical. Deadlines are starting to come in fast and furious, so blog posts might be a bit irregular for a while (but I'll do my best!). Thought I'd share this comic - one of my favourites from Cyanide and Happiness. I'm pretty sure anyone who's ever had their work edited and returned covered in ink will feel this resonate!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

"Be Thankful" Tuesdays

Some of the small and big things I love and am thankful for
  • The feeling of accomplishment when you complete something before the deadline.
  • That butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling when you see THAT person.
  • Oversized sunglasses.
  • My hair finally being long enough to braid again.
  • My "Turn the Wheel of Time" tote bag that I got through Facebook.
  • Super-hot showers.
  • Having my own bedroom, after sharing with a roommate for 5 years.
  • Being selfish and blowing off an evening's plans to spend the night on the couch with series, chocolate and wine.
  • Fresh summer fruit. Currently addicted to strawberries and peaches!
  • Flowers everywhere! Especially my birthday orchid, and the pink pot plant on my desk at work.
  • My chemistry reactions finally working again!!! :)
  • My brother and flatmate. Who puts up with my nonsense 24/7 - and still washes the dishes.
  • Red wine ♥
  • All the crazy and amazing chemists I work/study with. Some mornings, the only thing pulling me through is the thought of lunchtime in the quad.
  • My smartphone (a Samsung Galaxy SII). After going through 10 dumbphones in as many years, this one has changed my life!
  • Going back to the parental homestead for Saturday/Sunday, spending time with the family, going to church and just relaxing. Best.
  • Camembert with preserved figs/watermelon.
  • Free perfume samples!
  • Raiding my mom's wardrobe for vintage gems.
  • My folding fans - a chic way of staying cool in the Stellenbosch heat.
  • My MSc supervisor being back from his sabbatical in Germany.
  • Cream.
  • Being a fairly competent baker.
  • Sitting on my balcony and watching the stars.