Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Just for fun

I’m ‘stealing’ todays post idea from the fabulous Lena! Cause I’m hoping that some of her fabulousness will rub off on me. Also cause I really don’t feel like doing any real work today. Be honest, do you?

Okay, so with a month to go before Halloween my girlfriends and I have been discussing our outfits. So I thought these Buzzfeed quizzes might just help you decide what you can dress up as for Halloween this year.
ake the test & post your results in the comments.

O you want to hear what my answers was, well okay, I’ll do the test.

My 80s costume: Rainbow Brite
My 90s costume: Winifred Sanderson
And of Himself were to dress up as a couple we would dress up as: Remus Lupin & Nymhadora Tonks – say what???

Okay, your turn:



Monday, September 29, 2014

Getting paid

The first time I baked a cake was for Cat’s 1st birthday. It was, in a word, a disaster. In fact, it was so bad (about 10cm high) that my brother-in-law baked a new cake the morning of the party.

I am glad to say that things have improved over the years. In fact, baking cakes is now something that I do for fun. I try not to do it too often though cause, if I did, I would roll around not walk around.

For the most part I bake for the kids birthdays and have baked a couple of cakes for friends,  or for the office. But, I got my first ‘official cake order’ from one of the mom at the school. 

She sent a message via her daughter via Cat: ‘Would I mind baking a cake for her youngest’. I sent a message back, ‘sure, what kind of cake and for when?’ Well, on Thursday evening at swimming Nelly told me that her mom would need the cake on Saturday and can it please be a Ben10 themed vanilla cake.

So on Friday, while I was at work my very handy/helpful/kind brother-in-law baked the cakes for me. Then, while Himself was at swimming with Cat, Cliff & I frosted the cake. It really does help to have a second pair of hands when you work with fondant, not to mention that it is really nice to have a man who can roll it out for you. 

I was pretty happy with the outcome. Of course there are many things that I can find fault with but, the ‘client’ was happy. Also, it turns out that I could have charge more for the cake which would have been nice since I gave ½ my earnings  Cliff. Hey, he deserved it.

The big question is, will this be the last order? I have to bake another cake on Friday for Tiger's birthday party but it is going to be dead easy in comparison since all he wants is a football shirt (hope this doesn't turn out to be a case of famous last words).

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hi, my name is Jo

and I am a bit of a TV addict, especially in fall!

I can’t wait for some of my favorite shows to come back and the news shows, ooh there are a couple that I can’t wait to see.

So, which shows am I talking about?

Here are some of my favourite returning shows:

And here are some of the news shows I'm quite excited about:

How about you? Which shows are you excited about?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Girls day out / Belated birthday celebration

Just over 12 years ago, these two girls were born a couple of hours apart. The one,  a couple of days after her due date, the other,  two & ½ weeks before her due date.

It is quite a funny story. I was on the phone with Noreen on the Monday, listening to her bemoan the fact that she was still pregnant. Only, I interrupted her every once in a while to deal with my ‘braxton hicks’. She sat on the other side of the phone timing my ‘braxton hicks’ which were coming a steady 10 minutes apart and suggested that I get myself to the hospital. 'Why?' I asked, 'I’m not due for ages yet'.

Anyway, long story short. On Thursday evening her husband Jan rang us say that Alannah had been born only to find a message on their answering machine telling him that Cat had been born.

We moved back to South Africa when Cat was about 5 months old and then moved back to Belgium the Christmas after her 4th birthday. So, since their 5th birthday the girls have had a combined birthday party. This year was the first year that they didn’t have one.

To make up for this we had a girls day in Brussels yesterday. Lunch at the Hard Rock where they got free ice cream. Followed by walking around down town Brussels. 

Cat & I took them to go and check out the peeing statues which Alannah has never seen before. 

The Manneken-Pis, the Jeanneke-Pis and the canine Zinneke pis

It was also car free day in Brussels. Once a year the entire city is car free (cept for the free busses and a small number for taxis). Everyone takes to the streets on their bicycles, roller-blades or just walking. 

There were all kinds of stands up all around town handing out free stuff... there was a free spin class outside of the Central station, marching bands and girls handing out free hugs etc,  etc …
Free hugs and a spin class ... all on offer just outside Central station

Car free street

One of the Pilgrims shells which marks the route the pilgrims took to Santiago de Compostela in Spain

Husband came home early? - one of the many comic strip mural paintings which can be found all around Brussels

Despite the moody/sulky start to the day (Cat) it turned out great and both girls had loads of fun. I can’t believe how big they are getting.

Monday, September 15, 2014

While the kids are away the parents will ....


Well that is not entirely true, we both had to work but we didn't have to rush home after work to sort out dinner for the kids etc. Plus, when you own a pub, or rather when your husband owns a pub going there doesn't feel like work (for me at least).

July was also nice and sunny so we spent long evenings sitting outside the pub, going for dinner and just hanging out. I think during the six weeks the kids were away I cooked a grand total of two times. We also went to a 60th birthday party and stayed out till 5! Whoever said you are too old to party by the time you turn 60 never met Michael!

Hanging out with friends


But we didn't just sit around drinking and eating, we worked on the house & garden, cleaning, painting, planting etc. All those things we don't have time for during the rest of the year.

We were also getting ready for the 5th birthday party of the pub. We had gotten permission from the town council to close of the street next to the pub, put up a stage and have a street party. It was a huge success.

Bru House party

I also got to meet a blog friend, Sarah, her husband Cory and very sweet daughter Lexi. They popped over for a visit to Belgium and the poor people were blessed with the best of the Belgian weather. It rained, the whole entire time they were here.  I felt so bad for them cause as much as I love Belgium it really is so much better when it's not pouring none-stop!  I don't think Belgium made a very good impression on them.

Night out in Brussels

Lunch in Gent (see Sarah this is what Gent looks like when it's not raining)

okay, I admit, we did do some drinking

Weekend away

Life is just better with great friends

And yes, I'm well aware that there are no pictures of the work we did around the house but when we work, we work. No time for selfies and photos :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

6 Weeks without the kids

Where the heck has the time gone? It feels like it was just last week that I was packing the kids stuff for their trip to South Africa!

The 6 weeks the kids spent in South Africa just flew by. Yes, I put my kids on a plane, all alone, and sent them to the other side of the world for six weeks. The were perfectly happy to go and not so happy to be back at home. Cept for the food, turns out they prefer my cooking to their Nana's (luckily she doesn't read my blog so I don't have to be worried about her finding out).

We arranged for them to keep up with their training while there. A friend of ours is an ex Commonwealth swimmer for South Africa so she was the perfect coach for Cat. And as luck would have it her boyfriend is a professional soccer coach so that was Tiger sorted. And it all paid off cause getting back into training here at home has been seamless.

Himself & I really missed having the kids around. The first couple of days it feels like you are on honeymoon, only having to think about yourselves but then you start to miss the little buggers. Not that they cared, getting them to talk to us on Skype for more than 5 minutes wasn't easy to do.

The great thing about them being is South Africa is that they got the chance to hang out with some of their cousins (they also have cousins in Australia but so far we've only manged to talk to them on Skype). Their aunties and uncles and their last remaining great-grandmother. 

As happy as I am about living here in Belgium, the one thing I am sorry about is the fact that they are growing up without their family around them. Some of my best memories are linked to my cousins.

Anyway, I thought I would add a couple of photos to show you they really were happy to be away from home for 6 weeks.

cousins going bowling

someone was kind and skilled enough to replace Mr. Brown's eye

The boys at the dino expo


Playing in my brother's garden

Hanging with Nanna B on her 83rd birthday