Thursday, January 19, 2012

Moving Day!

We moved! Actually, Blairadise has moved!
Thanks to the help of my brother in law Hennie, I have made the giant leap from Blogger to Wordpress. I am still busy finding my way around and working out the kinks, but I'll get there. So from here on out you can find me at, wait for it...
Hope you'll come on over for a visit. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Key To Life

Source: via Joy on Pinterest

 Never in my life have I had as many keys as I do now, living in South Africa. Let me count them for you. Remotes included, because they are just as annoying.

  • Front Gates = 1 remote, but for two gates.
  • Garage Doors = 2 keys, 1 for each door
  • Garage Door into house = 1 key
  • Back Door = 2 keys, 1 for the door, 1 for the security gate
  • Storage Room =  1 key
  • Front Door = 2 keys, 1 for the security gate, 1 for the door
  • Patio Door = 3 keys, 2 for the security gate, 1 for the door
  • Hall Security Gate = 2 keys, 1 for the top lock, 1 for the bottom lock
  • Office Room Door = 1 key, yes it has it's own key
  • Guest Bathroom = 1 key
  • Ava's Room = 1 key
  • Our Room = 4 keys, 4 keys for our room alone. 1 for the door, 2 for the security gate on the door to outside, and of course, 1 for the door to outside.
  • Front Door = 2 keys, 1 remote, and access card
  • Post Box = 1 key
  • Inside Office = 24 keys, 2 keys to each of the doors to our patio. (Not going to include these into the final total as it's just ridiculous, we are on the 4th floor)
  • In Laws House = 3 keys, 1 remote. 1 key for the front door, 1 key for the front door security gate, 1 key to the garage.
  • Post Box = 1 key

 32 locks that need keys, keys that I have to worry about, so it's no wonder I found myself locked in the house, well the perimeter of our house, this morning.

 As I slammed the security gate shut, my heart sank and I knew, my main house keys and remote, along with the house phone and my cell were on the other side. I was locked in, or out, let's go with in. Locked in with no way to call, the husband for help!

 Then it dawned on me, duh, spare gate remote in the junk drawer, and I can go out the back door, one day without my cell won't be too bad. As the rain started pouring down, I opened the gate at our house, pulled down the driveway and pushed the button for the lower gate. Nothing happend. I pushed and pushed, to then realize we just reset the gate motor and must have forgotten about the spare remote. AGH! I rang bell for the neighbor, no answer. @#$*!

 Flustered, I ran back in the house to think hard on my next move. A few minutes later I heard the neighbor and ran to the window and was banging, hoping she would see me, as of course I had no key near by to open the security gate and then the door to shout at her. Thankfully she saw me, I ran to her, gave a break down of my morning, asked if she could please opened the bottom gate and send Skip a text message saying I had been locked in. Upon my arrival at work was an email.
Mandie called. She said you were locked IN the house. Can't wait to hear this one.
Oh what a morning...

 For the next 45 minutes it took me to drive to work I cursed South Africa and South Africans. Why must we live behind gate after gate, locked doors and security gates? It's unfair to have to be scared all the time that someone is going to break in. So scared that you must have slam lock security gates installed all over the house. When I lived alone in Charlotte, I sometimes forgot to lock the door at night. Here we check every lock and there is still a gun next to the bed.

 Is this how I want Ava to grow up, when I know there is a safer place across the big pond, also full of people who love us?

 It's a rough day in Africa my friends. I @#$*! hate keys...

And THEN, I get this in my email from

 How do they know I need this?!?

 On a lighter note, Ava turns 1 in 9 days! Yay for Ava!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

10 Songs That Remind Me of My Youth

  1. Meatloaf - I Would Do Anything for Love
    • If you knew me or still know me, you know this has been my all time favorite song, since I can remember.
    • What won't he do for love?  Ah, the poor boys I use to ask this question to.
  2. Michael Jackson - Will You Be There
    • The Free Willy soundtrack was the first cd I ever bought, the year was 1993. Still to this day I catch myself singing the words to this song. Hold me, like the river Jordan and I will then say to thee, you are my friend...
  3. Pearl Jam - Jeremy
    • The second cd I remember buying, especially for Jeremy. No, I've never loved a Jeremy and this song is actually creepy. Why I loved and still love it, I don't know.
  4. Dixie Chicks - Goodbye Earl
    • My friends and I use to listen to this song on repeat and sing our little hearts out. Sill do, to this song and every other Dixie Chick song.
  5. Tori Amos -  Silent All These Years
    • I tried so hard to learn the words to this and every other song on the Little Earthquakes cd, just to be cool like my older sister Amanda, and her friends. Still can't believe Amanda and I didn't go see her when she was in SA last year. Stupid.
  6. Reba McEntire - Starting Over Again
    • This song always takes me back to memories of a friend's mother's car. Only now it registers that her parents were going through a divorce then, no wonder her mother loved this song. I still love it.
  7. Garth Brooks - Friends in Low Places
    • Cause I got friends in low places. I don't think I fully understood the words to this song when I was 12 and fell in love with it. No backup music needed for me to belt out this beauty.
  8. Toby Keith - How Do You Like Me Now
    • But it was Toby Keith's How Do You Like Me Now that converted me into the country music fan for life.
  9. Aerosmith - Crazy
    • Every girl wanted to be Alicia Silverstone back then. If it was this music video or Clueless. She was the IT girl.
  10. David Grey - Babylon
    • This song is my 20s.
Honorable Mentions:
    • Tracy Chapmen - Fast Cars
    • Jewel - Foolish Games
    • Hanson - MMMBop
    • Nelly - Ride Wit Me
    • Notorious B.I.G - Hypnotize
Awe, the younger years. I wonder what songs will remind Ava of her youth? Hopefully, not Justin Bieber.
What song takes you back?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Blog Birthday

Last year on the 6th of January, Blairadise came alive.

My friend Graylyn over at The Rodrigues Family gave me the idea. Her beautiful blog captures all the wonderful moments of her family's journey through life. The ups and the downs. Watching sweet James grow from afar has been such a wonderful treat and I love looking back at her posts to see where James was and where Ava is now. Not to compare, just to relate. So, I would just like to say thank you to Graylyn, for your inspiration.

In the beginning, the blog was just for fun as I only told my sister Amanda and Johan about it. Then one day in March, I got brave and posted a link to Facebook. Since then I get surprised every time someone likes a link or posts a comment. I appreciate everyone of you who are following along on our little journey. Watching me figuring out life in a different county, while learning to be a wife and mother.

Blairadise is a place where I come and share all my thoughts and our photos with friends and family all around the world. Tell a bigger story than what I can offer in weekly emails or Facebook posts.

Again, thanks for following along with us and we hope there are lots of exciting things happening in 2012... Like Ava's first birthday!

Here is a look back at the few of the first posts of Blairadise. Most importantly, the Foreword...


As a fore warning to anyone who will read or follow this blog, I would like to inform you that I am not a writer. Therefore, you may encounter poor grammar every now and again. With lot's of misplaced commas and run on sentences. Although, I am not too worried about it. This is my space to share my thoughts with whomever cares enough to read them... Hence the title, Blairadise.

Over the past few months I have become absolutely obsessed with reading blogs. If I had to pin point the exact date I would say it was the 3rd of June. The day after I found out I was pregnant. Since that date I have been scouring the internet looking for pregnancy and parenting advice. Seeking out what is the best stroller, car seat, birthing method, sleep routine, etc. that is best for my new arrival. Upon doing this, I have stumbled across many mommy blogs. Mommy's that have inspired me to start my very own blog.

So I have created this blog as a journal for my daughter to have when she gets older. It is for our family and friends around the world that may not get to experience all her 1st's with us. Or maybe even her 2nd's and 3rd's. Plus, keep them up to date with all the other crazy things happening in our lives.

This blog is told looking through rose colored glasses out onto the world that is know as Blairadise.

Nommer Een

Skip and I are about to start 2011 off with a huge BANG! Like a really HUGE BANG! Any day now our first baby will take Blairadise by storm. These past 8 months have flown by so quickly, if only the last 4 weeks would hurry up and also pass by. We can't wait to meet our Little Miss Ava.

It's summer here in South Africa and getting hotter every day. As am I. Larger and hotter, everyday. And I am so over being pregnant. Some women bask in the glow that is pregnancy. I've never had that "glow". At first my face broke out like a 15 year old boy. Oh and the things I would do for a nice cold lemonade. One that I didn't have to squeeze the lemons myself and add sugar, water and ice to. A nice super sized Lemonade from Chic-fil-a. On the other hand I am quite glad I am not back in the US of A. At this moment there is no way I could pull up to that window and just order a large Lemonade. With that would come a #5 super sized, please. And this tiny little, excuse me, this once tiny little behind, would be 10x larger instead of the 8x larger it is right now. I am not doing fat well.

So please Miss Ava, please grace us with your presence soon. We really can't wait to meet you.

Here is a photo of Miss Ava on Monday, 3rd Jan.
Unfortunately she was misbehaving the two times we went for her 4D photo shoot. So this will just have to do.

Yay! My first post on my blog!

-Happy Birthday Blairadise!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Web Obsessions

By now you all know I an internetaholic and my iPad only fuels my addiction. Lucky for you, I spend loads of time on the net finding cool stuff, so you don't have to. Here's my latest web obsessions. sends out The Daily Muse emails, well daily. It's a short email, one picture of a cool new product or idea with a brief description and a link to said products site. Actually, to and then to the products main page. is geared toward women and offers of blogs and articles to read on their site. To be honest, I rarely visit their site, it's a bit too busy for my liking. However, I am a huge fan of my The Daily Muse emails, even if they are daily.

A few of their latest, and my favorite.

What a Croc!

Let’s face it – when we hear the word “Croc” one’s fashion muse usually does not come-a-callin'. But theses rain boot Crocs inspired by classic Wellies are an entirely different story!
~ The Daily Muse

*I mean baby Croc rain boots. Yes, please...

Proud as a Peacock

Clutch a little flair for the New Year with this fabulous Cascading Peacock Clutch Purse from Mermaid’s Dream and bring in 2012 with pride.

~ The Daily Muse
*Anything peacock I just love and this clutch is fabulous.

A Little Birdie Told Me

Let Anthropologie’s Woodpecker Knocker announce that your guests have arrived in playful style.

~ The Daily Muse
* Okay, I love all thing birds, see here and here. And all things Anthropologie, see here. By the way, have you seen their iPad app? My friend Mia introduced us. Plain torture for those living outside the United States. Check it out here.

Coffee Mate

If you’ve ever burned your tongue with a cup of coffee, then used it to cool the burn minutes later, you need to know about Coffee Joulies.

Filled with a special phase change material, they absorb the heat and release it back as the coffee cools keeping it just right.

An idea so hot, it’s cool.

~ The Daily Muse
*These little guys would make a perfect gift for any coffee lover or a husband who likes gadgets, like mine.

Valentine's Day is roughly a month away. I keep wondering if Ava's classmates are too small to receive Valentines or if they even celebrate the holiday at school. I keep forgetting to ask her teacher. I think I am just going to send some anyway. I am so excited about helping Ava make Valentines, I just can't wait until she is older and we can make them together.

Look at these awesome V Day cards from Modern Parents Messy Kids, the best site to go for crafts for children. A healthier option than candy and a way to teach children about the different animals.

DIY Animal Herd Valentines

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you must have Instagram. If you have Instagram, then you must check out StickyGram. For $14.99, worldwide shipping included, (I mean just make it $15 folks) they turn 9 of your Instagram photos into magnets. How cool is this? My only issue is deciding which 9 Instagram photos to have printed. I love them all so much.
Instagram love

Instragram all time favorite. 

Oh Pinterest, thank you for changing my internet experience and taking bookmarking pages to a new level. My obsession for Pinterest is as strong as ever. When we first met in September, I didn't realize how much joy you would bring to my life. Please, please update your lame iPhone app to a really awesome iPad app!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Just recently I have come across a quite a few crafts using paint swatches. Great ideas that I can't believe I never thought of. Hehe. Check these out:

Source: via Blair on Pinterest

You can also check out Broke and Healthy's50 fun things to do with paint chips. Super cool projects.

Happy Surfing!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Holiday Wrap Up

As we settle back into the normal pace of things, I look back over the holiday season with great joy in my heart. God has blessed with much more than we could ever ask for. Our first Christmas as a family was so wonderful, even if little Miss Ava didn't like Santa Claus, it was still a wonderful time spent with family and friends. Loads of good food and even more laughs.

The Advent calendar was a nice addition to our Christmas decorations and we are really looking forward to using it again next year. Johan and I will then have memories of this year and the bible verses we read. Best of all, Ava will be able to enjoy the treats and activities along with us. Even though we plan on spending December in America, I plan on taking the calendar with us, minus the red board, of course. 

Christmas was spent in the Free States with Johan's family. I really love going there and have spoken about it many times on the blog. Here, here and here

There were about 47 of us, aunts, uncles, oumas, oupas and cousins, lots and lots of cousins. We made the trip down with Johan's brother Hennie and his family. 4 hours, 4 adults and 4 children under the age of 4. That was quite an adventure to say the least. 

I am very proud to announce that my Afrikaans has come along way and I can now actually enjoy and contribute to the conversations around me. Still only responding in English, but understanding much more. Singing Silent Night and the other carols in Afrikaans was a wonderful experience for me. Finally, I am starting to feel less as an outsider and more apart of the family. It's a bit uncomfortable when everyone is relaxed, and then you see that they have to switch to another language just for you. 

These photos are from Christmas Eve at Johan's cousin, Charl's house. Not too many pictures of the food, as Johan and I were too busy stuffing our faces. The starter was mussels in a white wine and garlic butter sauce with fresh brown bread. I ate so many, Johan's aunt came up to me and told me I needed to save room for the main course! Red faced, I had to admit I thought those were the main course. They were so good, I could have eaten the entire pot, and almost did! For the main course, we had beef and chicken shawarmas, in the States we would call them gyros. Yum. 

singing Christmas carols

part of the clan

I love this little person!

Me, Ava and Juan searching for Father Christmas (Santa)

Keira shouting for Father Christmas

Ava, not so happy with Father Christmas 

Santa gave Ava her first tea pot for Christmas!

Christmas Day was spent at Tannie Igna and Oom Hennie gorgeous farm house. There was so much food, I wouldn't even know where to begin with what we ate. From beef fillet to chicken breast, a smoked tuna starter of some sort and so many salads and side dishes. Beautiful desserts brought by my mother in law. All of it was so delicious. 

love the ornaments in the weeping willow

all dressed in red. 

Ava with her Oupa, my father in law

Toasting those who had passed or were far away.
ps: That's you, Charl and Lee

just chatting about our future... 

We spent New Year's at Zebula, a game lodge / golf estate with three other couples. Again, way too much good food was consumed. A bit more alcohol and loads of laughter. Zebula was our first family trip away with our friends and their families. It made us feel like real grown-ups. With 8 adults and 6 children, we all got along surprisingly well. The house was perfect, the food was perfect and the company couldn't have been better. Looking forward to our next holiday with these folks.

Can we get in the pool now, Mom?

The Girls!

loving my chalk board bunting!

Happy New Year every body!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Back to Reality

Yesterday was back to reality and back to my first day at work in the new year. Traffic was a breeze as most of the country is still on holiday until next week. The office was even more quieter, as I think all of our minds were still in holiday mode.

I am really looking forward to 2012 and the exciting times it will bring for our family. We have quite a few big events already planned.

Any day now, our newest nephew will make his grand entrance into the world. It's a shame he is in New Zealand, but thanks to Skype we will get to see and talk to him often. Hopefully we will get to meet him sooner than later. This little guy is already loved by so many people all around the world, all who can't wait for him to arrive!

stole the pic from Facebook. Isn't my sister in law gorgeous?!?!

Ava turns one in a few weeks and I am still busy putting together her party. You'd think I would be finished, since I started planning in October. Yet, there is still lots and lots to be done. I still need to pay the deposit on the cake, which I am a bit nervous about as it's not like the baker has made before the cake I have requested. But, I've seen her previous work and think she can pull it off. Fingers crossed as we wait and see.

As we get older and our friends begin families of their own, it means lots of more birthday parties to attend. Not sure what's better? The first birthday party or the subsequent birthdays where they actually enjoy their friends and the excitement of the day. Ava's first might be a little OTT (shh! don't tell her dad), but hopefully our friends will brush it off as her mom just being a crazy American... Thank you over the top kid's parties tv shows!

a little message in a bottle

In March, Johan will travel to China for ten days with work. I am so excited (and jealous) for him to see this part of the world. China isn't one of my top places to visit, but nonetheless, I would jump at the opportunity to go. Not really sure how I will cope without him for ten days, but at least I have Ava and my iPad to keep me company.

We also have a friend who is planning on coming to visit in March from the States. Super exciting. I love getting people's reaction of South Africa and where we live. It's my norm now and I love hearing an outsider's opinion and their questions. Watching them try new food and then coming to the realization that it actually isn't so much different from home then they had imagined. Well, except for the Zebras they will see on the side of the road. Oh, let's not forget all the goodies we get shipped to them to bring over for us. Going to start my Baby Gap wish list now!

I want this...
and this...
and she most definitely needs a pair of these!

The seventh of August marks my thirtieth birthday. SCARY! Hoping sparkles are still in style then, as I would like to wear something really sparkly on my thirtieth. Break out of my fashion shell a bit.

 like these pants, out to lunch with the girls

this shirt, on a surprise trip to Cape Town

or this dress, just dancing around the house*

All year we will be trying to save as much money as possible. So if you have any good tips on saving, PLEASE, please pass them along. I, for one, have never been a person who is good at saving. What are we saving for you ask? Our trip HOME to America in December! Oh I cannot wait to introduce Miss Ava to our family and friends!! By then she will be a proper little girl, full of life and personality.

Our plan is to stop in New York City to see my old friend Sherrill, travel down to Washington, DC and meet my brother to do some sight seeing. Then head to North Carolina for about three weeks of fun with family and friends. Really looking forward to Christmas with my brother and sister and their families. And hopefully a grandma or two, my aunts and uncles, and cousins too!

I am in talks with the BFF to organize a massive play date in December, at one of my favorite hangouts and her business, Kate's skating rink. Will keep you posted on the details and let me know if you want to help out!

Well, those are the things we are BIG things to look forward to this year. What do you have planned?

Happy New Year!


PS: Will post pictures of our holiday soon!

*I found all these pics on Pinterest
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