Saturday, 28 January 2012

For better or for worse

Hi, my name is Paula and I'm a Pinterest addict.

I've had an account less than a month and I am obsessed. Honestly, I haven't had this much fun with my clothes on since, oh, at least 1989.

I saw a great pin yesterday, of a personalised print you can order on Etsy, showing dates that changed your life. I just fell in love with the concept, and the vintage letterpress style of the artwork.

But besides simply re-pinning, it got me thinking about significant events in my own life. And if I had to re-create a similar print for my own home, the top five dates would have to be as follows:

13 March 1994 - Lee and I hooked up
13 March 2004 - Lee and I got engaged
11 June 2005 - Lee and I got married
6 June 2010 - Goran was conceived
20 December 2010 - Goran was born

All kind of bizarre considering that marriage and motherhood were about the furthermost blips on my radar whilst growing up. As cheesy as it sounds, and as painful as it is for me to admit, I once dreamed of being a Carrie Bradshaw. A writer-slash-fashionista, with a deliciously spicy sex life, living somewhere fabulous like Manhattan. Hah! Seems the Universe had other things in store for me. And not necessarily for the worse, I might add. Turned out I met my Mr Big when I was only 19. I had no idea then that he would end up being "the one", that 10 years later he would slip a ring on my finger, and six years after that we would bring a new life into this world together.

This post is dedicated to the man who changed my life. If you're reading this, Lee Gruben (unlikely, as I know you have better things to do with your time than read my silly little blog), I just want you to know that I love you - truly, madly, deeply - not only as my partner-in-crime, but as the father of my child. You really are an incredible dad to your son, and when I think of how much I have been blessed with, my heart smiles.

I also thought this was as good a time as any to share some of our wedding photos (which I'm going to be pinning to Pinterest straight after this!)

Above: My point of departure in terms of colour scheme (for invitation and flowers) was this orange silk scarf by local fashion label Hip Hop that caught my eye whilst mooching about one lunch break in Hyde Park Corner.

Below: The wedding invites, which I made myself. We had 90 guests: 30 of our friends, 30 of my parents' friends and family, and 30 of Lee's parents' friends and family. Nine tables with 10 people at each.

Above: Tulips are my favourite flower, and although they didn't feature as much as I would have liked (the florist told my mom they would wilt too much as centrepieces on the tables), they managed to incorporate a few into my bridal bouquet instead.

Below: Shortly before my Gran died she gave me a vintage ruby and diamond ring that my Granddad had given her for their fortieth (ruby) wedding anniversary. Lee had the stones remodelled in a more contemporary setting for my engagement ring. It holds great sentimental value for me, and is one of my most treasured possessions.

 At that time, before I moved onto Thierry Mugler's Alien, and most recently Paco Rabanne's Lady Million, I was doing the layering thing, creating my own signature scent, of Hugo Boss Intense (above) and Ghost Deep Night (below).

 Beautifully comfy grey suede boots (above) to go with my grey faux fur wrap (below).
The choker is actually a re-purposed detachable halterneck strap that came with the dress, which we bought off-the-rack from Fabric World and Bridal Centre on Musgrave Road.

 My gorgeous sister-in-law and maid-of-honour, Kim, wearing the all-inspiring orange Hip Hop scarf.

 Carrot cake

Our mate Mervin's Beemer

The wedding venue, Braeside, where we had both the ceremony and the reception.

Wow, it seems like ages ago already. And who would've thought that five years later - to the week, mind you! - this insanely cute rugrat - a living, breathing symbol of our union - would be conceived. I took these pics last night, after his bath, in his new glow-in-the-dark Baby Gap PJs from his adoring Aunty Kim.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Daytrip to Magaliesberg

Today Lee, his folks, Goran and I piled into the Range Rover and set out north-west, on the Magalies Meander.

Amongst the various pit stops we made en route to Melon Rouge (the spot I had chosen for lunch) were Barton's Folly and Goblin's Cove, neither of which impressed us much. The former is now just a guesthouse (the restaurant facilities apparently closed two years ago), and the latter is extremely pram-unfriendly, a veritable death trap for the elderly, and no place for those who suffer from claustrophobia, acrophobia, or amathophobia.

Thank goodness Melon Rouge lived up to its expectations! The burgers were brilliant, and the quirky, tongue-in-cheek, arty ambiance of the whole set-up really appealed to my sensibilities. 

After lunch, in search of some cooldrinks to quench our thirst in the searing highveld heat, we stumbled across Askari Game Lodge and Spa, which looked like a phenomenal place to have weddings, conferences, weekend getaways, and the like. Definitely a place we'd like to re-visit in future.

From there we decided to head across to Harties, stopping off at the Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij en route, where we picked up some fat slabs of cheese and some stroopwafels to bring home with us.

After dropping off my in-laws, the boys and I made tracks back to Haus Gruben where they immediately stripped off and hit the pool, while I collapsed on the couch (I washed my hair this morning, and didn't fancy getting it wet).

All in all (bickering and backseat driving aside), a truly wonderful way to spend a summer's day!

Above: At Barton's Folly

Above: At Goblin's Cove

Below: At Askari Lodge

Below: At Hartbeespoort Dam

Below: Home sweet home