Dance, dance, dance … Dance some more!

Now that i have all my fellow South African’s singing the Mango Groove song (sorry!) here begins my new post…

This past weekend was the busiest EVER, but also the most wonderful! It was filled with farewells, welcomings, celebrations, birthdays, dedications, engagements, markets, and an absolute highlight: the ‘Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’ concert, which i attended on Saturday night at the ‘Town Hall’ in New Town.

MOST of the time people say ‘What’s this Clap Your Hands thing’. So, for those of you who were wondering… they are an Indie Rock band from my beloved New York, USA. You can listen to their toe-tappin’ dancey fun beats here:

http://www.myspace.com/clapyourhandssayyeah

I was also overjoyed (but not surprised) to hear that my favorite SA band ‘Desmond and the Tutus’ were opening for them, and let me just say that with a line-up like that, fun is a GUARANTEE!! Oh, and you can listen to the Tutus (as they’re nicknamed) here:

http://www.myspace.com/desmondandthetutus

Never in my entire life did i think a night like this was possible, and i couldn’t help but say a little prayer of gratitude when i was squashed against the barrier in the front of the crowd! Pity i fell down the step in my garden a few hours before the concert and busted my ankle ūüė¶ It slowed me down a little but i still managed to dance. One can’t help it when such wonderfully fun music is blasting through your earlobes.

I only got into bed at 3am sunday morning, and remembered a time when that happened every weekend. I really miss the good old days when we always had a party to go to. It’s harder to do in your 30’s though let me tell you! I started yawning at about 10pm, running on nothing but the pure excitement of seeing one of my favorite bands!

We are CLEARLY older now, something made obvious when we all soberly left the venue, stopped in at the 24hour Wimpy for a toasted sandwich and coffee, and had a discussion about  the health effects of eating at such an unusual time of the day.

My, how things have changed! But i haven’t had that much fun in a long time ‚̧

La Vida es un Carnaval (Life is a carnaval)

I just love dancing, and have practiced some form of it my whole life basically. Like most girls I started ballet at the age of 4, which i did for a few years, then moved on to modern; free-style; hip-hop and had learned the basics of ballroom etc for my my matric farewell, so i figured i could dance…. until i met Carol and Alex.

We became friends while all working in the Hamptons as au pairs. Carol is from Brazil, and Alex from Costa Rica. We got on like a house on fire, and it didn’t take long at all for us to be joined at the hip. One night Alex invited to a salsa club in South Hampton called 75 Main. I knew the basic steps and was feeling pretty confident… until we walked into the club, and realised i was sorely, sorely mistaken. I wasn’t even sure if we were speaking about the same dance.

Carol (being Brazilian) took to it like a fish to water, and with the ease and confidence that left me staring, mouth agape, and awkwardly aware of how “white” i felt at that moment. Lucky for me, people knew to expect this reaction from a fair-haired South African girl, and soon there were a few Hispanic men volunteering to give me a lesson *wink*. Thanks to my previous dancing history i picked it up pretty easily, and was dancing the night away, being twirled this way and that, although still a far cry from the kind of moves Carol pulled. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and it didn’t take long for the three of us to be recognised as “regulars”.¬†75 Main remains one of my favorite memories of my year in New York.

I’ve longed to go dancing since then… ¬†PROPER dancing! Not just standing around in a circle, bopping up and down to music… And this week my friend Brett invited me¬†to go check out a social at a dance studio in Sunninghill! Man alive, was i excited!

Last night we went to the Dance Cafe. It’s a studio, so it wasn’t like the club i was used to in New York, but we had such a blast doing the Rhumba, Salsa, Samba… even the Waltz and the Jive. Boy was it a good work out too! Definitely my FAVORITE way of burning a few calories! There were group dances too, which i particularly enjoyed… reminded me SO MUCH of the wonderful times i had with Carol and Alex.¬†I can’t wait to go again, and drag some of my friends along with me ūüôā

My feet were a tad sore and legs slightly stiff when i woke up this morning, but one of my favorite salsa songs is still stuck in my head. It’s sung in Spanish, so I’ve never known what the words meant, until this morning i when i decided to googled them. They are so wonderful and inspiring that i thought i HAD TO share! Last night i was reminded how much i love to dance. How much i love music… and music from all over the world. Brett said it’s sad that dancing isn’t as much part of our culture, and i 100% agree. So this song not only reminds me of my year in New York, but also reminds me of the kind of life i want to live… Free, fun, and full of dancing!

It’s by Celia Cruz, and it’s called “La Vida Es Un Carnaval”. Here are the english lyrics, and the song for you to have a listen to. I hope it gets you to jump of your chair and dancing the day away!

http://lyricstranslate.com

Anyone thinking that like is unfair,
Needs to know that’s not the case,
that life is beautiful, you must live it.
Anyone thinking he’s alone and that that’s bad
Needs to know that’s not the case,
that in life no one is alone, there is always someone

Ay, there’s no need to cry, because life is a carnival,
It’s more beautiful to live singing.
Oh, Ay, there’s no need to cry,
For life is a carnival
And your pains go away by singing.

Anyone thinking that life is cruel,
Needs to know that’s not the case,
That there are just bad times, and it will pass.
Anyone thinking that things will never change,
Needs to know that’s not the case,
smile to the hard times, and they will pass.

Ay, there’s no need to cry, because life is a carnival,
It’s more beautiful to live singing.
Oh, Ay, there’s no need to cry,
For life is a carnival
And your pains go away by singing.
For those that complain a lot.
For those that only criticize.
For those that use weapons.
For those that pollute us.
For those that make war.
For those that live in sin.
For those that mistreat us.
For those that make us sick.

Ignorance is bliss!

I (as a rule) NEVER get involved in politics or general news. Every conversation i’ve ever had on these subjects usually ends in me wanting to scream until my face distorts. I can never manage to stay calm, or collected. I become the Hulk! ¬†I also hate just about all sports, except for soccer; tennis typical girl stuff like gymnastics and figure skating.

This works out very well for me, until i actually end up (to my disgust) in a conversation about any of these topics and then find myself unusually quiet, staring at the ceiling or daydreaming about whatever thoughts are occupying my head at the time. Some people think it’s¬†completely¬†stupid to not know anything about “world we live in” and “what’s going on around you” but if ‘stupid’ is what it takes to have a good day, then i’ll do it. I’ve always said my EQ ¬†is far higher than my IQ, and to me that’s more important anyway. I’d much rather know how to relate to God and people, than know the price of gold and who’s hiding who where.

I TRIED listening to the news on the radio the other day, and it only took about a minute for my blood to start boiling! Litter in my beloved Joburg city after the Cusato e-toll strikes… pregnant Rhino’s found dead because of poachers…. it’s enough to put anyone down in the dumps. The CARE BEARS would need Prozac after listening to that news broadcast! So now i just Google the weather.

Of course my ignorance has lead to hilarious conversations like: “Jolene, you know Trevor Noah?” to which i reply “is he the rugby player?” Now let me just say, that this was AGES ago, i DO know who he is now, AND I even think he’s funny. (i’m a bit of a comedy snob too).

Just the other day a friend explained to me that the “Chiefs” are a rugby team, and she wasn’t referring the the “Kaiser Chiefs”. ¬†Meanwhile i’m thinking “you can just be glad i know that the Kaiser Chiefs aren’t only a cool band from England”.

So yes, i have NO idea what’s going on in the news, on the fields or in the war – if that’s even still happening – but i’m happy, and calm! And in order for me to stay this way i’ll just keep ¬†my head in the clouds, with the birds and the rainbows, and have a great day.

 

Thank you Jo’burg <3

Phewy! My legs hurt from all the walking, but my eyes hurt from all the AWESOME!!!

This morning at 8am sharp, my friend Brett picked me up, handed me a¬†cappuccino (God bless him) and off we went on our adventure to Jo’burg CBD.

I have always LOVED this city. I remember my dad bringing us to Jo’burg when i was a kid. I’d remind him to wake me up as we came into the city on the M1, and just the sight of ¬†all the tall buildings would get me SO excited. He’d drive us around, pointing out all the places he and my mom used to go to when they lived here … of course even then, the run down buildings and brothels weren’t exactly what they remembered, but it was exciting just the same. So when i was presented with the opportunity to go and explore this wonderful city, i immediately cancelled my hair appointment and set my alarm for ¬†7am ūüôā

Our first stop was the Carlton Centre …

My parents used to hang out here all the time back in the 70’s. There weren’t as many shops open then, but it was definitely THE place to be. We made our way up up up to the very top, where there’s a little cafe (which no one has ever seen open) and the most spectacular views of the city…

It’s R15 per person to go up here, and we’re thinking it would be just wonderful to have a little something involving sundowners up here one evening!!! (woohhooo)

After that we headed on over to the Anstey’s apartment block, a beautiful old building with the sweetest little apartments that they’re busy renovating (and i’m dreaming of buying) which also has a gym and a salon! Can you believe it?? Too cool!

We spent a huge chunk of the day walking and walking and walking some more around the city, and i took a heck of a lot of photos so i won’t post them all, but here’s my absolutely favourite building which they’re also renovating, the City Hall …

The house of the Gauteng Legislature, it also boasts a beautiful pipe organ which, until a few years ago, was the largest one in the southern hemisphere. (yes ways!!) and it. is. BEAUTIFUL!!!!

I can’t wait to see what it will look like once the renovations are complete. Those guys are so busy in there, painting, building and polishing, i hope it happens super soon!! We had a wonderful little tour of the building thanks to one of the workers, and the more i saw the more i loved this building.

After walking for so many hours, we stopped at a little coffee shop called Cramers in Harrison street, for a DELICIOUS vanilla frappe. Very highly recommended!!

As we were walking back to the Carlton centre where the car was parked, we found a small,¬†independent movie theatre, where you can watch TWO movies for R12! Imagine that! One movie – interval – another movie, and on a sunday it’s R8!!!! So we stuck around and watched “Last 3 Days” with Russell Crow and Olivia Wilde. It’s good! Intense, but good, and also has a great soundtrack (FYI) ¬†ūüôā

And then we came back to suburbia. Both with dreams of living in a newly renovated apartment in the city (which is a lot less ‘dodge’ than people think). We came home unscathed. Cameras, phones and money still in our¬†possession. ¬†We didn’t even get sunburn … just the occasional odd look and very, very tired legs ūüôā

Thank you Jo’burg for a really wonderful day!!

Is the turkey burning? No, it’s my butt!

That’s right! This festive season it won’t only be Aunt Mable’s turkey burning … my muscles will be ON FIRE!!! I don’t really know how it happens, but as soon as i’m out of my regular eating routine/exercise schedule my “balanced diet” becomes more¬†messed up¬†than Russel Brand’s hair-do! But i’m going to do my best to maintain some sort of self control, and Aoki will help me get off my butt and go for a walk, but here’s something else i found that will help…

While i was Christmas shopping in CNA the other day, i came across this wonderful book. The Pilates Plan.

If your Pilates instructor is on holiday or, you enjoy doing some extra exercises at home like me, it’s a wonderful book to work through. It show’s exactly how to do the exercises, gives you tips, and gives alternatives in case of injuries etc, and the pictures are easy to glance at to follow the routines.

It’s my Christmas present to myself. I think i’ll put it under the tree, right next to my box of Quality Street chocolates ūüėČ

 

My Favorite Man

Richard Ayoade. Oh boy….

If you’re a fan of British comedy then this face should be nothing new to you. Since i was introduced to his show, The IT Crowd a few years back, i’ve been a HUGE fan of his, but the more i saw his face appearing in programmes like the Mighty Boosh with Noel Fielding and the Big Fat Quiz of the Year (2010) the bigger a fan i became.

Now if you know me, you’ll know that there are 3 things i love…

1: Afro’s

2: Caramel skin

3: a very clever, witty sense of humor!

Combine the 3 of them and you get…

this 34yr old Norwegian/Nigerian film director and actor. AMAZING.

From directing music video’s for the Arctic Monkeys and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, to his film Submarine (2010) ¬†and many acting appearances, this talented man with his nerdy appearance has stolen my heart, and quite a bit of space on my Mac. LOVE.

So if you’re reading this and you’re thinking “i haven’t got a cooking clue who this dude is” then you had better watch these links below to educate yourself and prevent further bullets of judgement shooting from my eyes next time i see you.

(just kidding. i can’t shoot stuff from my eyes)

Now do you see why he’s my fav?

All the single ladies.

I’ve tried to do that Beyonce dance by the way, and just so you know, it’s way harder than she makes it look. The only part i get right is “put your hands up”. Not proud.

ANYWAY …

Last year this time i was feeling particularly sorry for myself. Realizing that the possibility of spending Christmas with “someone special” was becoming less and less as the weeks flew by really miffed me out. This year, i must say, i’m in a pretty good space.

It’s no secret that i’ve always wanted to be a wife, and a mom. I played with dolls till an embarrassingly old age, and dressed up as a bride for a fancy dress party when i was 6. The signs were there. I was totally convinced that i was going to marry every single guy i ever dated, and the minute that changed we broke up. Yup, i took relationships pretty seriously, especially as i got older. So imagine my surprise when my plan to get married at 26 and already have all my kids by 32 didn’t work out. How dare God have other plans for us? After all, we know best, right?

Now, looking back, MAN am i glad i never married any of those guys (no offense, on the off chance one of you are reading this… highly unlikely, but just in case). Plus, you never realize how young 30 is until you get there. I still feel about 26, and apparently look even younger!

I’m constantly amazed at how much i learn about myself every year. Would i have learnt all this stuff if i wasn’t single? If i didn’t live alone and get bored,would i have learnt anything about gardening or sewing, or how to fold a piece of paper into a swan (don’t ask)? If i never felt lonely, would i have gotten my precious little Aoki, and discovered my love for dogs? I’m continually learning all these wonderful things about myself, and I’m grateful for every opportunity!

I’m obviously not saying that it’s better to be single, or married. Both have advantages and disadvantages, neither one is better or worse, just different. And those differences effect how you experience yourself, your world and others.

I’m used to sitting by myself in the movies, going to parties alone and having cereal for dinner cos i couldn’t be bothered to cook just for me, or being able to wear whatever underwear i want on washing day , because no one will see it anyway.

The most important lesson i’ve learnt is to just stop waiting and live in the present. We waste our lives waiting for stuff. Waiting to find “Mr Right”, to get married, to have kids, for them to grow up, for grandchildren, etc . I’ve decided to stop sitting around waiting, and to live the life i have. To make decisions based on my PRESENT situation and not on “what if’s” and “just in case”.

Living in the moment has been one of the most liberating lessons, one that can change your life, so you stop living like Bridget Jones, and kick it Beyonce style!

New to Nouveau?

I’m an art retard. I know NOTHING about art. I mean, i know about Picasso and them, but I’m more like “i know what i like but i don’t know what it’s called” kind of person. I know it when i see it.

BUT this i know…

Art Nouveau and i are like …. like popcorn and smarties. Like chocolate and chilly. Like cream cheese frosting and – well – just about ANYTHING. I love it. I have some, and i want more. How beautiful!!

Look>>>

 

Plus, i love french words.

Here’s looking at you, kid!

I love kids. That’s no secret! And since i love kids, i love watching Hollywood moms and their kids… The second i hear these beloved stars are pregnant, i watch them like a hawk!¬†From how they birth them (yes) to how they parent them, and ESPECIALLY how they dress them. ¬†Dressing kids is tricky i think, especially in a country where if you find something nice, you normally have to give up their college savings to buy it. ¬†I’m fussy too, so i hate clothing with cartoons on or ‘statement’ clothes like “if you think i’m cute you should see my mom”. Blegh. I’ve found it’s especially hard to dress boys, since most boys clothing has a stupid car on or some sort of action hero.

There are 3 kids that i just LOVE (stalking) checking up on …. they are so frikkin cute.

One day when i’m big and i have a son, I’m going to dress him like my favorite kid fashion idols!

Mason Dash Disick

Mason with mom Kourtney Kardashian

Levi McConaughey

Levi with mom Camila Alves

Kingston Rossdale

Kingston with mom Gwen Stefani

How adorable are they??

Then End.

put the “art” in “heart”

I’m 100% utterly and completely in love with this Korean artist MINJAE LEE … colour is my weakness, and i find her work utterly amazing!

 

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