May 2017 empties

Not such a big cache of empties this month. I am pretty close to finishing up a whole stash of products, but they’re just not there yet.

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Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze – I swear they’ve changed the formula on this. I like it as a tan top up or just for that little bit of glow during the dreary winter months. On my pale skin if gives a very natural looking tan which lasts about four days to a week. It doesn’t cost much, I just wish it had a guide colour as you can miss areas when applying it. Make sure to wash your hands after application.

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L’Oreal Skin Perfection Advanced Correcting Serum – I’ve lost count of how many bottles of this I have used up. I use it every morning as part of my skincare routine and I love the look it gives my skin – very plump, healthy and fresh. It sits well under makeup and that’s all I have to say really. I have a new bottle on the go now.

Justine Baby Botanicals Baby Oil – This is our moisturiser of choice in the winter for Miss Willow. The smell is divine and it’s now something I associate with little babies. It always leaves her feeling soft and it soaks in like a charm – no sticky or slippy residue. I have used countless bottles and have just cracked open a new one. Love it.

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SNP Sheet Mask – This was one of my beauty purchases while I was in Hong Kong. It’s very hydrating and absolutely saturated with serum. It was so soaked that I could feel the serum dripping a bit while I had it on and the mask kept slipping – I don’t know if it was designed for my giant Caucasian head. It’s one of those fun ones which makes you look like an animal while wearing it, in this case, an otter. It left my skin feeling really hydrated and plump. I had zero bad reactions to it and my skin looked lovely for days afterwards. I wish I had bought more.

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Colab Extreme Volume Dry Shampoo in New York – I took a travel size bottle of this with me to Asia and it stood me in such great stead. It gives my hair crazy volume and works so well as a texturizing spray. If you’re looking for something to give your hair a little oomph then give this one a go.

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L’Oreal Infallible Fixing Mist – This is a lovely, affordable makeup setting spray that really works. I use this everyday to set my makeup and it helps things stay in place and fresh-looking all day. It also has a great spray. Just be sure to mix it up really well. I’ve just finished my third bottle and have recently popped open a new one.

Sewing project: pyjama pants

One of the things very high on my list of things to learn this year was sewing. I have intended learning for years, but have always found it to be incredibly intimidating.

My parents bought me a sewing machine for Christmas a while ago and I’ve used it a handful of times, but never on my own. I always had visions of sewing my fingers, which put me off in a big way.

This past weekend, I finally bit the bullet. My mom and I headed off to Chamdor Fabrics, bought a couple of patterns, bought some fabrics and got our act together for a few projects. First up was a pair of flannel pyjama pants for me.

I felt like PJs were safe because if I royally screwed up, no one would see. Turns out I’m not as bad at this as I thought I’d be.

My mom had a huge hand in helping to figure out the pattern and cut the fabric. But I did a fair amount of cutting myself and didn’t do too bad a job. I did mess up a bit on the cutting, but not so much so that we weren’t able to complete the project. You live and learn.

The actual sewing turned out to be the easiest part. I’m really proud of how these turned out. The owls on the front are upside down, a result of how I cut the pattern out, but I really don’t mind. They’re super soft, really comfy and have pockets! I now feel all pyjama pants should come with pockets. I’m going to use the leftover fabric to cut Willow some pants too.

I’ll take more photos for the process next time

Friday Favourites: June 16

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Chilly evening cuddles with my other baby girl (The cat)

This week was tough. Exhibit A, this post is going up on Saturday! It was one of those weeks were all the deadlines, all the meetings and all the appointments seemed to happen at the same time. It also doesn’t help that I’ve been feeling under the weather all week.

It was one of those weeks were all the deadlines, all the meetings and all the appointments seemed to happen at the same time. It also doesn’t help that I’ve been feeling under the weather all week.

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This is how we watch TV these days…

It was also a four day week as we have a public holiday today. I have gotten to the age where public holidays are more of an annoyance. Don’t get me wrong, the three-day weekend is great. But the mad panic of having to fit my work week into four days makes me wonder if it’s worth it. By the time the public holiday rolls around I’m exhausted.

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I made a quick honey and yogurt loaf on Friday morning. It was quick, easy and delicious

But, I have to say that I feel a huge sense of achievement this week. I cleared a lot off the ole to-do list, the house is in order (mostly), the windows are clean, we ate healthy meals all week, I got some good quality time in with Willow, I dropped off a sizeable donation of clothes for the Knysna fire victims and I managed to do some time knitting. Sometimes the week rules you, but every so often you get to be on top of things and it feels amazing!

I hope you all have a restful weekend. Chat soon! Xx

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Product of the week: My skin has been freaking out recently and has been in need of some serious TLC. So I spent my Friday evening in a face mask while knitting and watching Masterchef Australia. Glamourous. One of the masks I used was a strawberry infused smoothing and brightening sheet mask from Innisfree. This morning my skin is a lot calmer, hydrated and radiant. I’m really impressed.

Random: I feel a little down after my orthodontist appointment on Tuesday. I was really hoping for some good news as to when the braces will come off. You can read all about it in my post. But I’m trying to pull myself together. There has been some terrific progress and my teeth are going to look awesome when they do come off. I just have to keep on keeping on.

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Project of the week: I made Willow a little dressing gown over the weekend. It is a little huge for her (the pattern was for a three-year-old) and I had a few challenges, but this is my first solo sewing project and I’m so proud of it!

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Best moment: Sitting on my bed just made up with clean sheets, in my tidy  room taking in the afternoon sunlight shining in through clean windows. *Gives self a high five*

Looking forward to: I have some tasks I need to tackle this weekend, otherwise, I plan to spend a nice quiet weekend with my family and friends. A has requested flapjacks for father’s day, which should be a whole lot of fun.

Adventures in Adult Braces: June

Let’s rewind to last month when I was so optimistic that there was light at the end of the braces tunnel. Those hopes were dashed on the rocks of this month’s appointment.

Last month we put more focus on addressing the tooth that was out of alignment. Well, that tooth is extremely stubborn and refused to be moved. It moved minutely, but not enough to satisfy my doctor. So this month we threw the entire arsenal at it. The block on that tooth was replaced with something a lot strong to force the stubborn little thing into place.

Currently, the block is a bigger annoyance than the tooth because of where it is situated. My canine keeps knocking it and I can’t close my teeth properly. I have been assured that this will only be for a few days as the tooth settles and moves. Here’s hoping.

The only other adjustment that was made was that I now only have to wear my elastics at night and not 24 hours a day anymore. This is all well and good, but I’m worried that I will forget to put them in. I have to try and be extra vigilant.

My orthodontist was incredibly happy with the progress he is seeing. He says the treatment is a huge success – his exact words. But there is still no word on when they braces will be coming off. He did mention in passing that the length of treatment was until March next year (this is news to me!!) and that at this rate I could be finished by December.

He did mention in passing that the length of treatment was until March next year and that at this rate I could be finished by December. This is all news to me. I was under the impression that treatment was only 18 months long and I have been holding out to have the braces removed in October at the latest. I feel a little despondent to learn that I may have so long to go still.

 

 

The great haircut fiasco

It’s taken me a while to write this post. I’ve had to come to terms with how I feel about everything before I could commit it to words.

A while ago, my darling daughter decided to give herself a haircut. I can see all the moments leading up to this grand event in mind, it’s now becoming pretty comical, but at the time, not so much.

A couple of weeks ago I had given her fringe a quick trim. Her hair was getting in her eyes and it was time. A few days after that I decided to rearrange Willow’s toys and make room to store all my wool, knitting needles and sewing stuff. I had repurposed a plastic storage bin for this and locked everything up tight and put it under my desk.

These two incidents may seem unrelated but wait. You’ll soon see how they fit together. My parents had come to visit for the weekend and my mom and I decided to leave early on Saturday morning to go to the fabric store. We left A in charge and headed out before Willow had woken up for the day.

While I was getting my fabric cut A called me to tell me Willow had cut her hair. Apparently, she had gotten out of bed without calling for anybody, climbed upstairs in her sleeping bag, got into my neatly packed up and (I thought) locked craft box, found my sewing scissors and hacked her hair off.

When he called me I was under the impression that she had just cut a small section. When I got home and saw the devastation that was her hair the full impact of what had happened dawned on me. She had basically shorn about a third of her hair off. It was cut so close to the scalp that it still amazes me that she didn’t lose an eye, the tip of her ear or manage to scalp herself. It was the parenting fail to end all parenting fails.

I took her to the hairdresser to see how we could salvage the situation, but the only thing to be done was to cut it all off with the hair clippers. She now has an ultra-modern hair style and it’s changed the way she looks completely. She looks so old now!

The further we get away from the incident the more I cringe about it. I honestly thought that everything was packed up safely in the box that was locked with some pretty hefty clips. It never dawned on me that she was strong enough to open the box. The sewing scissors and all over scissors for that matter are now all stored up on high shelves out of reach. Its bolting the stable door after the horse has fled, but what can I do about it now. I am just consoling myself that it was just her hair and hair grows back!

Friday Favourites: June 9

What. A. Week. In fact what an intense few weeks. I feel like activity on this blog has been few and far between and it’s been because I have been so busy, it just slipped down the list of priorities. But things are starting to settle down and get back to normal… I hope.

I feel like activity on this blog has been few and far between and it’s been because I have been so busy, it just slipped down the list of priorities. But things are starting to settle down and get back to normal… I hope.

This week has been cold, cold, cold. We’ve been feeling the effects of the intense cold front that has been ravaging the Cape. I have been watching the news on what’s been going on down there and my heart is so sore for those who have been affected by the fires and storms. I have been trying to rally people to donate to the relief effort. If you can check out this site. I’m pretty sure this will be an ongoing problem and they can use as much help as they can get.

I feel like there’s so much to catch you up on that I don’t know where to start. I’m going to just update in a series of photos, and start again from scratch.

I hope you all have a great weekend! Chat soon xx

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My friend’s wedding photos are finally done. How gorgeous is this shot? Obsessed

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A gorgeous piece of art by Miss Willow

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Miss Willow’s favourite thing right now: Her Snow White outfit

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Sunday morning snuggle session

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The whole family in bed enjoying some Moana on a chilly afternoon

Product of the week: This week I have become firm friends with Baking Soda (Bicarb) and a toothbrush. It amazes me how versatile baking soda is. I have been on a mission to clean water marks and the grouting in bathroom and it’s been working like a bomb. I also used it on a pot that had food baked onto it, and voila! it lifted like a charm. Its my new favourite thing.

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I treated myself to some snazzy new shoes! These brogues are from Jessica Simpson and are so incredibly cute and comfy. Love

Purchase of the week:  I treated myself to these shoes as a payday treat. They were on sale for 20% off at Edgars and I’m in love!

Random: I have been obsessed with cleaning my house lately. I don’t know what it is but I’m making hay while the sun shines. I have sorted out water marks, I have been cleaning the walls (courtesy of the toddler…) and I’m now on a mission to get the carpets and upholstery sorted. Not my usual type of obsession, but I’m rolling with it

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I made myself a pair of pajama pants!

Project of the week: I’m determined to learn how to sew. I went fabric shopping with my mom and have a few projects in mind. But the one that we completed on the weekend were these cute pajama pants. I love them ad I’m really proud of myself.

Best Moment: I have been making good progress at finishing things, but my proudest moment was putting on my new PJ pants that I had made myself.

Looking Forward to: We’ve got a quiet weekend planned. I’m hoping to make Willow a dressing gown and spend snuggling with her. She’s a little poorly, so we’re going to take it easy.

The Incredible Philippines

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This is part two of our recent holiday to South East Asia. It has taken me far too long to get this post up, but life has a way of getting in the way of your plans 😉

You can read the first instalment here. Like part one this post is long.

Wow, the Philippines. I have been struggling to come up with the words to describe how utterly incredible this place is!

We stayed at a resort on the Panglao Peninsula on Bohol Island and it was everything you would imagine a tropical island to be. I loved it so much. I would go back there in a heartbeat.

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It was quite a mission to get to. We left Hong Kong at 8.30 in the morning on a two hour flight to Cebu. After the super efficiency we experienced in Hong Kong, Cebu was a little bit of a shock to the system. It felt a lot more rural and disorganised. We spent forever in passport control and then even longer waiting for our bags to come out at baggage claim. It was such a mess.

My sister had arranged for a shuttle to collect us at the airport and take us to the ferry terminal. Once again we were faced with chaos. Thank goodness Carmen had bought our tickets online. But we still had to get our bags checked through, pay our terminal fee and then get on the ferry. Once we were on we could sit back and relax for the hour and a half it took to get to the city of Tagbilaran.

What we found in Tagbilaran made Cebu look like the height of organised. Getting off the ferry was a challenge, and then we still needed to try and locate our luggage -all in stifling heat and humidity. Again, my sister, the queen of organising had a shuttle waiting for us. So once we got out luggage we were able to sit in the air-conditioned bus for the 20 minutes it took to get to out resort.

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The resort itself is like something out of a movie. They are currently upgrading their facilities, but we were incredibly comfortable during our stay and I would have stayed in a hovel if I could have that view. It was breathtaking!

But our room was no hovel. We had a sea facing bungalow with an incredible view and a Jacuzzi in our own private grotto. It was lovely.

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That first evening we all just chilled by the pool, waiting for my parents and Kyla to get there (they came on a different flight). We also got to meet up with two more of Ricky’s friends, adding to the surprise that had been going on all week.

We had an incredible dinner on this gorgeous deck with incredible sea views. But most of us were worn out by the intense journey it took to get there so we all turned in early for the night.

The next day we went to town after breakfast. We had decided to go buy some snorkelling gear and when we saw the centre the sports shop was located in, a few of us decided to stay to do some shopping. The prices in the Philippines are incredibly good and we ended up buying quite a bit in that centre.

After shopping, we decided to find some local food for lunch. We walked around the town for a bit and discovered this magnificent church, but could find the food we were looking for. So we decided to head back to the resort. Our little group split up and A and I and our friend Andrew ended up in this little burger joint for lunch. After that, we took a tuk tuk back to the resort. The afternoon was spent snorkelling on the little reef they have and hanging out by the pool. In the early evening, the final two people in the surprise joined our party, making it complete.

The next day was Ricky’s birthday and he had organised a day trip to go explore more of Bohol. We went to the town of Carmen where the Chocolate Hills are located. As you can imagine, there were jokes for days about this and my sister being the mayor of Carmen. The Chocolate Hills are a world heritage site and a natural wonder of the world. I hadn’t heard of them before this trip, but they are really cool and I’m glad we got to see them.

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After that, we went to an adventure park where the others did zip lining and an obstacle course. I’m not great with heights so I kept my feet firmly on the ground. My mom and I wandered through the butterfly garden and then I took photos of the others on the skateboard zip line.

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Our final activity for the day was a buffet lunch and river cruise on the Loboc River. It was spectacular. The food was incredible and the river cruise was so chilled and beautiful. There was live music and we got to see people who lived on the river banks swimming, kids were jumping into the water off of trees and such. It was such a lovely afternoon.

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That evening we had Ricky’s birthday party on the private island in the lagoon in front of the resort. We were taken to the island on a little boat and were treated to the most spectacular sunset. The dinner was, again amazing, and I even got to try sea urchin for the first time.

We danced, and chatted and had a great time. A and I left a little early to walk my parents back to the beach. By the time it came to go home the tide was so far out that the boat couldn’t get back to the island. So we walked in the warm water all the way home. A and I ended the evening by chilling in our Jacuzzi listening to the music from the party.

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The next day was quite chilled. The main group went snorkelling at a reef about 10minutes by boat from the resort. My sister, Kyla, and I as well as two others decided to go to a nearby dive resort to scuba dive. Unfortunately, I had problems with equalising my ears and wasn’t able to finish the dive, but I had a great time chilling on the boat chatting with the skipper. I also saw a school of flying fish, which blew my mind!

We met up with everyone else for a fish barbeque on the beach. It started pouring down with rain while we were there, so we were moved to a covered deck area. The food was great and we had a great time chatting and laughing. Most of the people had hired scooters for the time we were there, but I did the sensible thing and went home in the taxi, leaving A to drive the scooter with the rest of them in the rain 😉

On Thursday the main group when to go see the dolphins at the marine sanctuary. Normally you are able to swim with the dolphins, but due to the fact that the pod had babies, no swimming was allowed, but they got to go snorkelling in the marine sanctuary.

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A and I stayed behind along with my sister and a few others. Kyla’s boyfriend was joining the group that day, so we decided to wait for him. A and I decided to drive our scooter into town. We had a few errands to run and we wanted to explore more. Kyla and Dave joined us and we found my parents in the centre buying souvenirs a little later on. It was awesome to have Dave with us. He’s lived in South East Asia for a while and knows how to find the local haunts. He found this awesome little restaurant that served local Filipino food. We had seaweed salad, Jackfruit, chicken stew and more. It was awesome!

We got to drink some more awesome cocktails, eat another incredible dinner (by this point I was struggling to eat food. I had eaten so much that there was just no more room!). A and I went back to our bungalow to pack after dinner then found the others for a game of Jungle Speed before saying goodnight. It was the perfect way to end off our final day.

The next morning, we managed to get the boat to take us to the reef for one last snorkel before we headed home. We saw giant clams as big as a table, seahorses, so many different kinds of fish and starfish and moray eels. It was lovely. They give you bread when you snorkel so you can feed the fish and get them to come right up close to you. It’s incredible.

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Once the boat got back to the resort I had to hot foot it to the shower, finish up the last of our packing and then go to check out. There were four of us leaving on the early ferry, with another group leaving later in the afternoon and the rest leaving on Saturday.

This time the ferry ride was not as intense as the first time. I think we had more of an idea of what to expect and were able to negotiate it quite well. Once back in Cebu we found a taxi to take us to the airport. We wanted to have plenty of time because the traffic can be hectic. Once you’ve driven around in the Philippines you’ll understand. There is no discernible system.

It was a really long travel day. Our flight out of Cebu was delayed and we had a really tight window in Hong Kong to catch our connector. We were met at the end of the gangway by a Cathay Pacific air hostess who marched us through that airport at lightning speed (Hong Kong is not a small airport!). At one point we were literally running to keep up with her. But she got us through all the various check-in points and onto that plane in good time.

And that is the grand tale of our tropical adventure. It was a time I will treasure for always and I will go back to the Philippines in a heartbeat!

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Five days in Hong Kong

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Victoria Peak

Before I start I feel I need to warn you that this post in incredibly long! You’ll definitely need a cup of tea or coffee before you get stuck in.

Part of the reason we travelled to Hong Kong was to celebrate my brother in law, Ricky’s 30th birthday. The part that I have been keeping under wraps is that this was a surprise birthday and that my sister had managed to arrange that his family and friends come out to join us as well. Due to the major logistics involved with such a surprise, it was impossible for all of us to surprise him at once, so it turned into a rolling surprise that went on for the better part of a week!

I have to admit, Hong Kong felt very surreal to me.

I have heard so much about it and have seen so many photos that when I actually got there it almost felt familiar to me. There were quite a few places I felt like I recognized. It left me feeling a little odd.

Our time in Hong Kong felt fast paced and frenetic, just like the city itself. I have never seen so many people in my life! I don’t do well with people in my personal space and at times I felt incredibly claustrophobic. But when I had the time to sit quietly to one side and watch the sea of humanity it was so foreign and startling that I could only marvel at it!

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The flight from South Africa to Hong Kong has just about perfect timing. No long-haul flight is going to be perfect or comfortable unless you fly in first class. But the fact that the flight leaves at around 12 noon SA time and lands at 6am Hong Kong time, made it easier to adjust, in my opinion.

I had a pretty good flight there. I adjusted my watch immediately and pretended to be on Hong Kong time from the get-go. This made it much easier for me to deal with the time difference. I watched a movie, ate dinner, then headed to the bathroom to get comfortable and go through my usual night time routine. I then took two natural sleeping aids, put my noise cancelling headphones, my neck pillow and my eye mask on and went to sleep. I won’t say I slept perfectly, but I definitely got more sleep than the rest of my family.

Once we got to Hong Kong, my sister did a stellar job at keeping us going. We rode the train in from the airport, and then got a taxi to my sister’s flat. My mom and dad went with my other sister to her place. At Carmen’s place we got to shower, have a cup of coffee and chill a bit before we popped into the grocery store to buy some supplies for the week.

Once all the admin was done we rode the MTR into Central (I think, I’m still learning all the districts) so we could have lunch with my brother in law close to his office. We were meeting the others in Wan Chai for Peking duck for dinner (which was amazing!) but wanted to do a bit of exploring first.

My sister had wanted to do a hop on hop off bus tour, but it was pouring with rain. So A, Carmen, my mom and I went to the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lia, Garden, which was so incredibly beautiful. After that we went to the flower and gold fish markets.

While we were out we found a random little street market. I did buy a few things, but I was trying to pace myself. I have to say, I think I was incredibly restrained on this trip in general and have given myself a huge pat on the back.

We met the others at the Peking duck restaurant (it’s one of Kyla and Dave’s favourite and for good reason.) The food was incredible. I’m not a huge fan of the pancake they put the duck in, but the duck in plum sauce was beyond description! As were all the side dishes that we ordered. I relied on other people to order for me all week and it was simply amazing.

After dinner we headed off to tick an item off my bucket list – Egg Waffles. I had quite a few during our time in Hong Kong, but on this particular night we had egg waffles from a Michelin starred street vendor. They had chocolate chips in them, which melted when they cooked the waffle and they were just amazing!

Day two we had a free morning, which was really nice. Carmen had to go in to work in the morning and A and I got to sleep in a little bit. We then headed off to meet Carmen and my mom and dad so that all of us could go have lunch with Kyla close to her work.

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The restaurant they took us too was another Michelin starred restaurant (I think we went to three or four while we were there. One thing is for sure, the food in Hong Kong is out of this world!). This time we had dim sum. The restaurant we went to is the sister of that famous one where you queue for dim sum and they only give you 30 minutes to eat it as they are so busy. This place was in a shopping centre and not nearly so busy. So we had time to really enjoy or food.

It was amazing (you’ll probably hear me say that a lot). We ordered a huge variety and shared them so everyone got to taste the different types. My favourites were the cucumbers with chilli oil and the pork mince and tofu noodles (I’m getting hungry just writing this!). The little chicken dim sum with the soup inside was also a big hit.

After lunch A went with David to this huge electronics market (he ate squid on a stick while he was there and said it was really good. I never got to eat squid on a stick and I’m still upset about it 😉 While Carmen, my parents and I caught a bus and headed to Stanley.

Stanley is a quite, more rural district of Hong Kong, that is right on the beach (it feels like a little seaside town). A lot of expats live there and the Stanley Market is there as well. The Stanley market is really great for those who don’t like crowds or haggling. I loved it. I loved the whole vide in Stanley. It was so chilled and you could really explore the different stalls and find things you really liked. I bought some jewellery from a vendor Carmen highly recommended.

We split up again after that. My folks when to meet Kyla and David and Carmen and I headed back to her place to meet our husbands. We grabbed a slice of pizza and some beers from the 7/11 (there is no law governing drinking in public in Hong Kong and the cheapest beer is at the 7/11). Once we had our men, we went to the Happy Valley Racecourse to see the horse racing. Again, I have never seen so many people. Gambling is illegal in China, so a lot of people from the mainland come to Hong Kong for the races. It was a pretty awesome experience. We placed a few bets, but didn’t really do well. It seems I have zero talent for horse races. After the races we went to a tiny, hole in the wall restaurant in the wet market for dinner. It was simply incredible. It was a real, local restaurant and a great opportunity for people watching.

The next day, we were ushered out of bed pretty early. This is the day that the surprise guests started arriving. We met with two of Ricky’s mates at Times Square. We had the whole day to spend together, before surprising him that evening.

We headed out to Lantau Island to see the big Buddha and explore the temple afterwards. We found the statue representing our Chinese zodiac signs and gave its foot a rub for luck then took in the incredible architecture and art work and then lit some incense.

After another incredible dim sum lunch we went to Mong Kok Ladies market. I found it incredible overwhelming to be honest. I didn’t cope well with having to haggle, even though I left most of that up to Carmen. The vendors are incredibly pushy and kept shouting so I could make a decision about anything. So in the end I left without buying much.

That night we were meant to take part in a quiz night, but plans fell through at the last minute. Instead we had the most incredible Thai dinner of my life and went up the Peak to take in the view. It had been raining all week so far, but it miraculously cleared up for us when we went up the peak. The view was insane. I managed to get some epic photos of it. It was so clear you could even see the Aqua Luna sailing in Victoria Harbour. We were also able to ride the tram down, as it was pretty late and there was no queue.

Even more surprise guests arrived the next day. After greeting everyone and giving them time to check in and grab a quick shower we headed to Lee Tung Avenue to see the lanterns and to stop past this incredible bakery for croissants and coffee. We consumed these in a really beautiful roof top garden. After that we went back to Central where we stopped at the Shangri-La hotel to see where my sister used to work, buy Ricky’s birthday cake and to see the largest silk painting in the world.

After a quick walk through Victoria Gardens we found ourselves in Admiralty (which is the finance district). We had crazy good Ramen for lunch at a restaurant called Ippudo. A and I then got a moment to explore the city by ourselves before we met up with the others again for a tram tour of the city.

The tram tour was made extra fun because my Aunt and Uncle joined us. They flew out from Singapore to surprise my dad (I lost track of how many secrets I was keeping that week). My aunt and uncle also joined us for the ferry to surprise Ricky surprise and dinner in Cheung Chau. My folks, A and I were the distraction. We were waiting for Ricky to get off work and join us at the ferry terminal to escort us on the ferry to the restaurant where we had dinner.

The others were waiting on the ferry with champagne and birthday cake. The surprise went off flawlessly and we had such fun at the seafood restaurant. I left a little earlier with my aunt and uncle, parents and sister. We went to her place, which was great for me, as up until that point I hadn’t seen where she lived, we just drove past it. I stayed for a couple of drinks, then rode a taxi back all by myself #adulting.

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The next day was our final day in Hong Kong. We all had breakfast with Ricky at the Football Club, before we got ready for an afternoon on a yacht at Lamma Island. I managed to grab an hour by myself to go to the Sasa – the largest beauty store in Hong Kong. I bought a few things, but to be honest, like everything else, the huge variety available was a little overwhelming. On the way home I stopped at this epic toy store where I bought a gift for Willow.

I met up with the others at Carmen and Ricky’s place to help prep food for the yacht. Then we all headed to the ferry terminals again. The yacht ride was cool because we got to meet a lot of Ricky and Carmen’s friends. We had a great time chilling out. The yacht headed back to shore to drop off my mom and dad and my aunt and uncle and I got off too. We met up with Kyla and headed to the Shangri-La for canapés and champagne (this is very fancy and we felt a little out of place in our super casual yacht clothes. But I’m so glad I got to experience it.) We ended off the night by watching the Lions – Force Super Rugby match at Kyla’s place and eating Vietnamese take out. I then caught eh taxi (again by myself, look at me!) and headed home.

The next day we caught a ridiculously early flight out of Hong Kong to Cebu in the Philippines. It was at the airport that the Ricky’s family joined us adding yet another dimension to the surprise.

Adventures in Adult Braces: May 2017

 

Another orthodontist appointment has come and gone.

It has been quite a while since my last one due to all the public holidays we have here in April. But I must be honest I wasn’t expecting too much in the way of good news this time around.

 

I was a little bit lax in wearing my elastics while we were away. There was so much delicious food to be eaten and the elastics just get in the way! They’re a pretty effective weight loss tool from that perspective because I find them such a faf to take out when I want to eat something, that I generally by pass little snack and stick to standard meals.

 

Anyway, I was not as good about wearing them as I should have been, the tiny little gap next to my right incisor hasn’t closed up yet and no gaps have opened up on the other side of my mouth. I did notice in the days leading up to my appointment that my midline is almost in the right place now. But a tooth in my lower jaw is out of position and I think that’s skewing the results at the moment.

 

Anyway, enough babble, onto the appointment. My Orthodontist was actually really happy with the way things look. He even praised me for my dedication to wearing my elastics. I chickened out on asking him when they will be coming out again. I just don’t want to set myself up for disappointment.

 

This session he really took notice of the tooth that is out of position and focus in on putting it in the right place. The technician gave me a heavier gauge wire and wrapped a wire around the bracket that will help pull it right.

 

That was an incredibly uncomfortable experience. She had to push on the tooth while she did it and I won’t lie, it hurt like the dickens. My Dr made a note to check it next month. I’m pretty sure its all in my head, but the tooth feels a little straighter to me. I have always felt like it was quite pronounced and often worry it with my tongue when I’m bored. But today it feels like it doesn’t stick out as much as before. I’m not sure if i’m imagining it or if it really has moved a little already.

 

In terms of the rest of the teeth, we are continuing to pull them into place, but now the worry is that they will splay outward due to the pressure. So I have had wire wrapped around the brackets on the teeth we have already moved to keep them in place. Again, that was not comfortable and the pressure on my mouth feels quite intense right now. The clear chain elastics were also put back on along the front of my teeth to continue the work of pulling everything along.

 

I no longer have to wear the elastic across the front of my mouth! That makes me so happy. Instead, I have got an intricate configuration on each side that I have to wear day and night. I won’t even try to explain what they’re doing because I don’t really understand their purpose myself.

 

This session has left me feeling very sore and tender. I have almost zero downward force when I bite down at the moment. Normally it’s my front teeth that are the problem, but my molars have been in full working order. This time my molars are under a lot of pressure and feel very sore. So eating is a bit of a problem. I’m taking pain killers when needed so I can at least get something in my system.

 

It is my fervent hope that the increased level of torture I am going through means that we’re reaching the end very soon. I was asked to come back in four weeks instead of my usual six-week wait between appointments. Hopefully, then I will have good new to report

Willow: the night time yo-yo

Willow has been an exhausting combination of adorable and unbearably clingy these past two weeks. I haven’t slept through the night since we got home. Sunday night was particularly trying as she decided to play night time yo-yo from about 1.30 to 4ish.

She has figured out that she can climb out of her bed in the middle of the night. And in true toddler fashion, comes up with all sorts of creative excuses as to why she can’t go to sleep again. First she’s thirsty, then she hungry, then she needs a new nappy, then she wants a song, then she needs a blanket, then she wants you to take the blanket away.

The evolution of her night time adventures was very cute. We could see the whole play out on the video monitor. At first she just got out of bed and stood at the door for ages, mustering up her courage. She reached up to the handle half a dozen times before finally opening the door.

At first she never actually crossed the threshold. But then the next night she repeated the exercise was repeated at our bedroom door. At 6am on Tuesday morning I was woken by soft knocking at my bedroom door.

Every time she comes out of bed I have to get up, take her back to bed, tuck her in again, sing her song, say good night and I love you, before leaving the room. This goes on multiple times before she is convinced that it is, indeed, time to go to sleep.

It has been a long time since I’ve turned to the internet for help and advice. I can deal with the temper tantrums, power plays, and stand offs. And to be honest most days are just wonderful and Willow is this bubbly, happy little girl who is so silly and lovable. But I must admit that this problem has thrown me for a loop. How do I get my child to go back to sleeping through the night? *wails*

I’m worried that in trying to fix this problem I’m creating another one that will need to be addressed down the line.

In the mean time, I’m more than a little sleep deprived and my patience and tolerance is not what it used to be. All I want is one night of unbroken sleep! Yes, I’m whining. I figured I was entitled to a little bit of self pity. Parenting is not for sissies, yoh!