Today is Awesome


I saw this print on Etsy’s Facebook page on Wednesday. The artist’s description says, “Today is awesome. Say it twice and you can feel it happening!”. 

It totally works! I’ve been repeating that mantra in my head all week and it completely changes my attitude. My smile is a bit brighter. My step, a bit lighter. These long, busy days at work, not so bad. Freezing weather, awesome.

Imagine if everyone repeated, Today is Awesome, twice a day? The world would be such a better place. Try it and let me know how it works!

Last weekend the Scheepers’ had a lazy weekend at home. It was nice, but not my normal cup of tea. Here is my Bucket List for the weekend ahead:

buy here

  • Cook at least one dish from my new cookbook, Notes From My Kitchen Tablean awesome bday gift.
  • Take a hike – like a real hike, on a mountain or hill.
  • Learn how to use our new (bought in March) Nikon D3100 – so I can become a professional, not.
  • Read, at least to chapter 3, of Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail I want to sound more intelligent at my upcoming work event.



Things I Am Loving Right Now Part-1

Today is Voting Day here in SA, and in true SA fashion, a public holiday. It was only in 1994 that black people were allowed to vote, so today is actually quite a special day for many South Africans. And rightfully so. Unfortunately for me, I am not a citizen and therefore, not allowed to vote. But, at least I still got the day to spend with my family! So while the baby naps and the husband completes some chores, here’s a blog post to kill some time. A list of the things I am loving right now.

Have you heard Adele’s new cd 21? Amazing! I don’t really relate to the songs, as they are mostly about heartache and I’ve never been so happy or in love in all my life, than I am right now. What I am loving is how good my voice sounds when I sing her songs. Ha! I am serious. It is like they were written for me. Someone Like You is on repeat as I learn the words. Coming soon to a karaoke bar near you! Well, near me. Actually, I’ll probably just belt it out to myself in the car. Or to Amanda on BBM.

Ava’s got a new bird house! A big thanks to Mrs. Boger! She sent the house with Natalie and it was such a nice surprise. We are still pondering on how we will attach it to the wall, because we want all sides to be visible. Such a thoughtful gift!

Ava’s Ruby Slippers and Mommy’s

Little Ava is growing so fast and the best part is her new clothes!! Here are some of my favorite outfits she’s worn out of her 3-6 months clothes.

Thank you Mrs. Boger for my purple Polo dress!

Compliments of Aunt Stacy!

This is the first outfit I purchased for Ava. A Polo layette velour coverall. Precious.

 I read the Millennium series in less than two weeks, I was totally obsessed. We saw the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in the theater and watched The Girl Who Played With Fire last night. Cannot wait to see the Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest. Will rent it this weekend. Hollywood has got nothing on these movies. I am also dying to see Water for Elephants and The Help (which isn’t even out yet).

Just started reading Hot Six by Janest Evanovich. Gotta love Stephanie Plum. Eagerly awaiting One For the Money movie release in 2012…

Do you Goop? I do. But only to torture myself.

Tomorrow Isabella arrives. Another girl added to our clan. We are extremely excited to meet her. I know her and Ava will be the best of friends. They are already sharing clothes! Will post pictures soon!


The Library

Can you imagine a world without books? Me either, but it seems like these days every Tom, Dick or Harry has a Kindle or an ipad. Coffee shops are full of people on their laptops, instead of reading books. Some people no longer even buy hard copies of books, newspapers or magazines. Why would they, if they have the world at their finger tips? It’s so convenient to buy an ebook, why would you even bother going to a shop? If people stop buying real books, then they will most definitely stop frequenting libraries. What then? Are real books and libraries soon to be a thing of the past?

I was so upset yesterday when the family and I pulled up to the public library and found it closed. At 13:00 (1:00) on a Saturday, the library was CLOSED! I couldn’t believe my eyes. And then, hearing from my friends to not even bother with the libraries here because all the books are so old. I couldn’t believe it. What if Ava doesn’t get to experience life with proper libraries?

Some of my fondest memories of growing up are of days spent at the library looking through all the books and struggling to decide on which to check out. The smell of a book, old or new, can take you places before even reading a line of the story. The shelves packed full of adventures just waiting for you. I was so proud of my library card when I was little. It ranked right up there with my season pass to Carowinds.

Growing up in Charlotte must have spoiled me because there were so many amazing libraries within miles of our house. Even the tiny library off highway 51, by Catholic high school had loads of books to choose from.  And now, is there a better place to take your child than ImaginOn downtown? A child’s imagination must run wild there.

I know even in Charlotte, the government is cutting back on funding for the libraries. Do they not know how important the libraries are for our children? It saddens me to imagine Ava growing up without proper public libraries. I hope I am wrong, and someone can point me in the direction of a library filled with old and new books that will one day spark her imagination.

Nevertheless, I still want a nice library at home as well, and we have the most perfect little nook where we plan to build one.  Unfortunately, there are few more important items to be finished before I can have my library, but it will happen.

The other day I stumbled upon this gem of a site, Shelterness and their article on 20 Cool Home Library Design Ideas. I want something like the picture below, floor to ceiling shelves with little treasures scattered here and there.

 I would love for Ava to have a bookshelf in her room just like the one in the photo below. Aren’t all the colors so fun? I’ll even let her have the little puppy too, as long as he doesn’t destroy any of her books.

Ava’s own little library is already growing. Mostly gifts from family and friends. My Aunt Ava gave my little Ava the most beautiful book, On the Night You Were Born, by Nancy Tillman. Such a sweet story with absolutely beautiful illustrations, every child deserves to have a copy of this book. It begins with:

 “On the night you were born,
the moon shone with such wonder
that the stars peeked in
to see you
and the night wind whispered,
‘Life will never be the same.’
Because there had never been
anyone like you…
ever in the world.”

Just stunning. I have always loved reading and really hope Ava does too. As much as I want my own Kindle and/or ipad, they will never replace my real books. I’ll be honest, I have actually bought books just for their cover, that is how much I love them.

Keep reading!

Items to be Resolved in 2011

I don’t think I have ever been successful with any of my New Year’s Resolutions. It is not that I set goals too high to reach, it’s that I have no sense of self control. Why would I want to stop smoking or drink less? And who wants to go running in the cold? I don’t even think I’ve made it past the 12th before I’ve forgotten about the resolutions I wanted resolved. But 2011 is a new year and I am about to become a New Me. The New Me, mostly because of this little person growing inside of me, not because it’s a new year.

Unbeknownst to her, she helped me complete one long outstanding resolution last year, smoking. The moment I found out I was pregnant, I quit. Who knew it could be so easy? My body thanked you then Ava, now it’s just ready for you to come out. Me and daddy are too!!

Seeing as I about to become a New Me I think I am going to make a list of New Year’s resolutions and try to actually accomplish at least some of the them this year. The New Me wants to:

  • Read 24 books this year – I have never actually counted the amount of books I have read in a particular month or year. This year I will start. At least 2 books a month can’t be too hard. Even with a new baby. The rule will be that the book is only counted in the month it was completed. So for January, I have one down and one to go. Just finished The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Amazing, even after watching the movie first. The search for the next book is on. Suggestions welcomed.
Front cover of the first edition
  •  Work out – This is so cliche I know. But honestly, the good Lord blessed me with a small frame and a fast metabolism so I never really had to work out to stay thin. Now that I am older, I understand working out isn’t just about being thin, it’s about being healthy. And I have a feeling it’s not going to back that way it was so easily. I am really looking forward to pushing Little Miss Ava around the neighborhood in hopes of getting my pre-baby body back. But, just in case that doesn’t work 100% I am going to invest in a Cherished Belly. I’ve read lots of reviews on products like this and the women say it really works. I’ll keep you posted.

  •  Make fresh pasta – I’ve read countless recipes on how to make fresh pasta but have never stepped up to the task. Now that Skip and I have been making pesto from our herb garden, I want to try and conquer making our own pasta as well. Some of the recipes are quite daunting, but I will start out simple. Just need to purchase a nice rolling machine and a drying rack…
Imperia Italian SP150 Double Cutter Pasta Machine
Kitchen Craft Italian Collection Pasta Drying Stand
  • Grow my garden – Growing up my parents always had a garden in our backyard with loads of flowers and vegetables. My grandmother as well. I want that for Ava. I want her to grow up outside helping me in the garden. I want her to walk out the back door on a summer’s day and pick a handful of strawberries like I did. Or learn how to make pesto from the ingredients right there in her own backyard. Thanks to my mother in law the flower beds are in order and looking beautiful. Thanks to my dad, my herb garden is steadily growing. All Skip and I need to do is enlarge it a bit and throw in a few more veggies and fruits and I will be happy.
Not me, but sure looks like me when I was small. 80’s outfit and all.
  •  Print pictures – The Skipper and I have been married for a year now. Well, unless you consider the little mishap with Home Affairs then it’s only been a month or two. But I won’t go into that. Anyway, in God’s eyes we have been married for over a year now and the only picture I have printed and framed is from my mother in law. An amazing woman, I must add. Oh, and the two I put on our refrigerator of our families. It’s mostly our fault because we took the cheap package and opted out of the book and the all the photos to save money on the wedding. So I spent most of last year talking about how I am going to make a book or even just get a few framed for the hall. Blah, blah, blah. Now, Ava is almost here and still no wedding photos printed. I can’t let this happen to her childhood. It can’t be stored away on some computer that can only be viewed when the power is on. Seeing that power is quite an issue here in SA, that’s not such a good idea. So my resolution is to make a little photo book for each month of her life. The rule is that all months must be complete before the end of February 2012. 
This one is definitely getting printed.
  •  Write/See our Grandparents more – One of Skippy’s grandmothers past away this year and it really made me sad that I didn’t get to know her better. It was quite hard due to the language barrier and the many miles between us. Plus she hasn’t been well for a long time, so visits were a bit tough. I say the many miles between us but a four hour drive isn’t actually that far when compared to the 18 hour plane flight that separates us from my grandmothers. My grandmother’s were such a big part of my life growing up and still are today. They are both amazing and inspiring women. It saddens me that I can’t see or speak to them more often. This year I want to change that. I want to go see Skip’s grandparents more often. Call and write mine more. Send them all photos. Not because it’s Easter, because we love them.

Now, let’s see if I can remember to resolve these resolutions.