Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cake money

I had a chat with a close friend today about her precious little halflings and what things for nursery school and school cost. I haven't been in school now for, well, a long, long time and I really don't know these things.

One of the things that I was absolutely astonished by was parents being forced to pay a compulsory cake fee! No really! They were paying money for their kids to have cake every Friday.
She told me that a child must bring a cake every Friday and then everybody pays R5 to have a piece! R5 for a slice of cake! In a restaurant, you'd go nuts but a cake bought from the local Spar isn't worth R5 a slice in my opinion. Plus, if parents already have to pay for a cake to be brought in the first place, surely they can say, "O.k, well, Jimmy is entitled to 8 weeks worth of cake, including this one, because the cake cost R40 and it's not like anyone's paying me for the cake" but I think they call it "Fund Raising." What's worse is that the poor kids who can't have their cake and eat it, still have to pay! I hope those kids insist on having their cake, even if it's to squish it into balls and make figurines out of it.

O.k, if we had a cake Friday at work, I would not object, I'd be the first to grab a plate and cake fork but Al can handle my sugar rushes. My poor friends who have kids, however, are tired and having bouncing children until all hours because they're high on cake isn't fair.

I'm going to tell Al about this cake story tonight and I just know he's going to say "Well feed them Froot Loops and Lollipops for breakfast and send them to nursery school with a sugar rush and make it the school's problem!"

I'm glad that nursery school children don't read my blog or I'd have squashed cake mailed to me for sure!

Flowerdew's Beauty Salon

Last week Friday, my mom phoned me and asked me to come to her house because she wanted us to give each other facials. It sounded like such an awesome idea and so I asked if I should bring anything but she insisted that she had everything, I must just pitch up.

Upon arriving there, I found the long plastic table where she sits and does her knitting or sewing or anything really, covered in a blanket and a pillow, and an A4 handwritten sign on the door frame saying "Flowerdew's Beauty salon."
For those who don't know, I loved my gran but I don't know what her and my grandfather were thinking when they named my poor mom Flowerdew Alma Elaine! My mom hates her first name and so everybody calls her Elaine. But we do refer to her as Flowerdew in certain circumstances, where nobody can hear and we want to tease her a little, and so this was funny.

She first scrubbed my face with something so rough it started burning. She even scrubbed the inside of my ears! It turned out to be course salt and maize meal. O.k, so my face was really clean and free of ANY dead skin cells and possibly a few living ones too.

Next came the vitamin E mask which, the fan blowing on my face, dried really, really fast.

She forgot to tone my skin but on we moved to the moisturizer. It smelt!
"Mom, what smells like peanuts?"
"It's this oil."
"What oil? Cooking oil?"
"No man! Sesame seed oil!"
"On my face?!"
"Yes, it's very good for your skin!"
"Are you sure it's not cooking oil? Like sunflower oil?"
"Yes, man, just keep still! I didn't have moisturizer for your skin, only for wrinkles."

And so she made me promise to keep what I still swear was cooking oil on my face until the next morning, which I did, and it was fine.

It made me feel like a real facial though and so I booked one for February at this amazing place that use amazing products that smell nothing like peanuts!

Nothing beats a proper facial at a real beauty salon but nothing beats the company and atmosphere of Flowerdew's Beauty Salon!

The quest for the ultimate Valentines Day

I've always been superly into Valentines Day. Not in the way that I get chocolates and flowers and teddies, etc but in that I get to make something for the person that I care about.

I try to be as creative as possible while trying not to set myself up for failure in my extremely limited artistic ability.

O.k, now I know one of my exes reads this and well, o.k, you'll find out now I suppose; I used to recycle my ideas. Why? 'Cause they took so long to come up with and they were good! But I never will use a recycled idea on Al and so this has prompted me to get them wheels turning and think of something new and fun and not cliched and cheesy.

If you're stumped for ideas, feel free to grab one of my "recycled" ones! Who's going to know? Lots of people have already and nobody's ever been the wiser.

Idea 1 - Chocolate basket.

Super easy and fun!!
You will need:
A basket
Red cellophane
Red or silver or white ribbon
2 slabs of cooking chocolate
A tray or 2 of your choice of chocolate moulds
A clothing peg or two.

O.k, melt the chocolate in a bowl that is partially in hot water that is in a pot on the stove. Don't let the water boil over and use a bowl that won't crack with the heat.
Pour the chocolate into the moulds and close with a clothing peg. Put in the fridge.

While your choccies are setting, take some scissors and cut an A5 (half an A4) size piece of cellophane off of the roll and cut thin strips of it into the bottom of the basket.
When your chocs are set, place them nicely in the basket on top of the shredded cellophane bits. Place the entire basket on a flat sheet of cellophane and wrap the tops of the cellophane sheet around the top of the basket and tie closed with a ribbon. Curl the ribbon with the scissors blade. Ta-dah! Not enough chocolate in the basket? Well then add a mug or a bottle of wine or juice or whatever. Easy and pretty!

Idea 2 - The photo collage

If your significant other has a hobby that they absolutely love and they have photos of themselves doing this, or even of the two of you doing this together, get hold of the pics, scan them in or take them to a printing shop and ask them to help you, and make a collage and frame it for them! Easy but very personal!

Idea 3 - The boxes

O.k, admittedly, this one isn't entirely my own but I've used it anyway and it's really fun to do.

You will need:

3 boxes of varying sizes that you can write on. It would be great if they fit into each other but mine never have.
A teddy
A chilli
A chocolate (just buy one) A sweetie pie perhaps.

If you can't find boxes, make them. Ja, I can't remember how but I made my boxes and painted them and put glitter glue on them and stuck little stick-on roses on them and everything.

So, you take the biggest box and you write "You're cuter than..." and you put the teddy inside.
You take another box and write "You're hotter than..." and put the chilli inside.
Can you guess the last one? "You're sweeter than..." and the chocolate inside.

One of my friends added a fourth box and wrote "The only thing I love more than you is..." and the box was empty. Very cute.

Idea 4 - The picnic

Easy enough. Go and buy picnic stuff, lots of grapes and strawberries and anything you need to eat with your fingers and not just with cutlery, and have a picnic.

Idea 5 - The cooking supper thing

Also easy. Make their favourite dish for supper. Then as dessert, run them a candlelit bubblebath. On the sides of the bath should be bowls full of chocolate truffles, strawberries, grapes and something to drink be it juice or wine or whatever and let them relax while you get them dishes out the way.

Idea 6 - The storybook

This one was such a disaster for me that I never recycled this again but maybe you'll have better luck.

You will need:
A book. Any sort of blank book. Mine was wooden.
Figurines you can stick in your book so fabric figures or something like that.
So you get a few of the same figurines and you write a sweet little short story or poem (I did an adaptation of "Roses are red" but for the life of me, I can't remember it) about the two of you around the figurines. You can include other things too like benches or houses or whatever's applicable to you.

Idea 7 - My idea for Al this year.

I have to admit that all the above ideas were met with raised eyebrows, shaking of heads and immense giggling. Only once I got a "Wow!" response and so after the last one, I felt that I was wasting my efforts, despite it being fun to do, and no matter how much I tried to say "But I had fun doing it anyway, even if you think it sucks", it DID matter that the other person didn't like it and so I gave up.

In 2009, I went to Clarens with friends and my mom to try and deal with my dad's passing and did nothing for Al.

In 2010, we didn't even see each other as he had to work late and so I stayed in and watched Titanic.

In 2011, I bought him every single heart-shaped chocolate I could find at Clicks and felt very ashamed at giving him something so thoughtless.

This year is going to be different. Al is different to anyone else and while he may think my artwork is humorous at best, he's the type of guy who appreciates effort and thought and so it is that that I am putting into this years Valentines Day as it will be the first since we've been married and he is going to be my one and only Valentine for the rest of my life. He deserves the effort!
I am so excited about what I have planned to do. Now just to think of something unique to make...


I have much to say but I will start with this:

It's a new year with promises of new and happy things and the air is tingling with excitement and anticipation of what's to come. I hope you all share my sentiments and have the same excitement towards the future!! :)