Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Favorites 2012

I don't know about you, but I felt that January just flew by! I know people always say that, but I really really feel that way. For me it was a very relaxed month. Here in Taiwan, we had a week off for Chinese New Year, so I got to catch up on some lost zzz's.

Let's jump right into my favorites of the past month. I've been eyeing the Tory Burch Sophie wedges for a while. I'm so glad I got them, because it's so comfortable. I usually wear flats because I hate wearing high heels, so the wedges have been perfect for a more "grown up" look.

I usually smell a LUSH store long before I spot it, and ended up purchasing the American Cream conditioner. It smells amazing! Even though I don't prefer this conditioner over my Masquintense from  Kérastase, I like to use a little bit just for the scent.

My sister sent me a care package from Dubai which, among many other things, included Urban Decay's NAKED palette, some comfy bootie slippers from Accessorize and Kelly Cutrone's latest book, Normal Gets You Nowhere

If you are familiar with the NAKED palette, you will know how awesome it is, by far my favorite palette. I can't wait to try NAKED2 that was released last year. The bootie slippers and book was from my Christmas Wishlist 2011 and of course, I've loved both of these great gifts. 

I wrote about by phone that got stolen on New Year's Eve, and went a week without one. There was no debate on which phone I would get next. I've always been a huge iPhone fan, and got the latest iPhone4s, which really is worth all the hype.

I hope everyone had a good month. What was your favorites for January?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 49 - A picture of where you live

For almost four years, Taipei has been my home away from home. I came here originally to teach for a year, and that year turned into a year and a half, and that turned into indefinitely. I fell in love here, not just with this place, but also with The Boyfriend. Taiwan has been good to us and we are very happy living and working here.

Taiwan is a great place to live. People from all over the world come here, most of the time to teach English as a second language, which is what I do. I would probably have never met so many people from different countries if I didn't grab that chance to move to Asia.

My favorite thing about living in Taipei is that it's really a very interesting place, especially if you can't speak the language and get by mostly with charades and pointing at things, and that you never know where the day might take you. I love the public transport system here, and that there's always something fun going on. Also, I like the fact that I can travel around Asia easily. 

Sometimes I can't believe where I live. Here I am, just a small town girl from South Africa, doing my thing in a huge city in Taiwan. But I love every second of it and wouldn't have it any other way!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 48 - A picture of your favorite actress

No way I can choose just one. There are quite a few actresses that I love, not just because they're gorgeous, but also because they can truly act. Sometimes I'll just watch a movie because they're in it, not because I have any clue what it's about.
I've always adored Scarlett Johansson, I think she's an amazing actress. She's around my age, but I always get the feeling that she is just so much more mature than me. She did lose a few points after divorcing Ryan Reynolds. I mean, who divorces Ryan Reynolds!?
Zooey Deschanel has become one of my favorite actresses after I watched Yes Man, also starring Jim Carrey. Even though I probably fell in love with her character more than her, she's playing a similar character in the TV show, New Girl. Quirky and cute is how I'd describe her.
Last, but not least, is Natalie Portman. She obviously needs no introduction. I really don't know anyone who doesn't like her.  Well, maybe people that are jealous of her. She's one of the few child actors that actually made it to their twenties without a drug overdose or landing in jail. Wasn't she amazing in Black Swan?

Who's your favorite actress or actor, and why?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 47 - A picture of your favorite place to shop

Oh geez, if you know me, you'll know that girl loves to shop. I will shop anywhere, whether it's cheap or high end, just hand me my purse. When I visited my sister in Dubai for the first time back in 2009, I nearly lost my mind.

Now let me tell you about Dubai. First of all, they boast some of the world's largest shopping malls, which is great. But did you know that they have an annual shopping festival there when all the stores have ridiculous discounts of up to 75%. I know you're thinking; It's like the USA's Black Friday, right? Nope, it's so much better! It lasts for a month, and even the high end stores have crazy discounts. Apart from that, it's also tax free.

Do I need to go on about this retail heaven? Surely not. Just thinking about this makes me want to plan a trip to Dubai again. Who's with me? Ladies, for my own safety, please don't tell your man where you got this information. I'll be getting a lot of accusing stares on the street.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 46 - A picture of where you wish you were right now.

I would give anything to be back on the beaches of Thailand right now. This past week has been so cold here in Taipei, and I could definitely do with some rays. I could also do with 24/7 cocktails on the beach or by the pool, cheap shopping in the markets and eating delicious Thai food.

These photos were all taken in Koh Samui. When I went there for the first time in 2008 I just fell in love with the place. What's not to love? Clear blue water, soft white sand and a very relaxed atmosphere. I realized I could easily become a beach bum, no prob. 

Last year, The Boyfriend and I went back to Koh Samui after visiting Bangkok and Koh Phangan as well. We stayed in a lovely resort called Iyara, where we were treated as VIPs and had a beautiful suite overlooking the ocean.

Thailand is only a four hour flight for us from Taiwan, which means that technically I could be on the beach sipping cocktails by sunset. Let me just grab my swimsuit! Who's coming?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 45 - A picture of your room

Earlier when I read what today's post was about, I had to groan. Of course my room looked like a tornado went through there this morning. I was definitely not going to post a picture of that, then everyone will know what a slob kebob I can be sometimes.

After making the bed and removing objects strewn all over the floor, I could take some pictures. Don't be fooled, my bedroom almost never looks like this. There's always something on the bed, and a gazillion things on my nightstand.

As you can probably tell, my room is miniscule. It can only fit a bed, nightstand and a table by the window. That's basically the only con of our apartment. But, I do love the walk-in closet that leads out of my room, which by the way, is almost half the size of the bedroom, and I'm okay with that.

I'm still not finished decorating the room (are we ever?) and I want to add some rugs, pictures on the wall and a coat rack to hang my bags. Also, I want to get white curtains. What would you add or change in this room?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 44 - A picture of someone you're told you look alike

To be honest, I don't think anyone has ever told me I look like someone else. I'll take that as a compliment? But I remember this website I once stumbled on a while back, where you upload a pic of your face, and it will find a celebrity that you look alike.

Well, I uploaded an older photo of myself with blonde hair, as my darker hair has faded back to blonde again. And.... ta dah! The result was that I look 73% like Jessica Alba (say what!?) and 71% like Naomi Watts. Well, there you go.

I can't say that I agree with the Jessica Alba look alike, maybe just our eyebrows or dark eyes? Naomi Watts is a little more believable.

The name of the website is Picadil, and all you have to do is upload a close up photo of your face, and it will generate your lookalikes. If you decide to check it out, please post your results here, and whether you agree with it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 43 - A picture of something you can't function without

A month ago I would've probably posted a picture of my iPhone for this one. That's when I still thought I couldn't function without it. But, then having to be without a phone for a week because it got stolen, I realized that it's not actually the worst thing in the world, and that I can, in fact, function without it. Sure, it makes life a teensy tiny bit harder without it, but it's not impossible.

Now, the one thing I really can't function without is a computer. I need one for work, to keep in touch with my family, to find information, to keep up with the latest news and to post on my blog. Even when I'm on vacation I'll try to find a computer at least every three days just to check what's up with the world.

I'm curious, what's something you can't function without? And have you ever, like me, been forced to be without your phone for a week? How did you handle that?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 42 - A picture of your dream house

Oooh, love this one! I may or may not have spent almost two and a half hours online last night looking at pictures of beautiful homes. There are just so many, it was hard to choose. 

In the end, my dream house would be by the water, either the ocean or a beautiful lake or river. The house would have a swimming pool as well, and a nice area outside for barbecues and cocktails at sunset. There would be lots of trees, plants and flowers, and also big areas of grass for all my dogs to run around on.

The house will have about four or five bedrooms, so that each of my kids can have their own room, with en suite bathroom, and an extra guest bedroom. My bedroom would have a huge en suite bathroom with soft carpet, a big tub and shower. Also, my room would have a walk-in closet and a powder room.

The rest of the house will be comfortable and modern. Of course, there will be a "man cave" for my man, with a big screen TV to play video games, hang out with the guys and have some beers. The kitchen will be decked out with the best of everything, including a live-in chef.

A girl can dream, can't she?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Day 41 - A picture of your pet

These two mongrels are my dogs, Jenny and Jessy, and they live with my parents back in South Africa. They are both very old now; can't see anything and can't hear anything. Luckily, my parents consider them as their babies, and they get treated that way, too.

I was in grade 4 or 5, not sure, when I got Jenny. She was just a little ball of black fluff. Jessy followed a year later. They are such a big part of my life, and I hate that I live so far away from them.

Last year, I wrote about Jenny in my "Something that means a lot to you" post, you can read it here. She's my little baby and I would do anything to be able to hold her in my arms right now. 

Since The Boyfriend and I decided to stay in Taiwan for a while, we wanted to get a pet. Definitely a dog, we are so not cat people. Unfortunately our landlord said no. That means we will have to move if we want to get a dog. Well, that could be arranged...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Day 40 - A picture of your favorite Disney character

I don't know about you, but I adore Disney movies! I can't wait to buy all the movies for my kids one day. I have a soft spot for Eeyore, the gloomy donkey from "Winnie the Pooh". He just knows  how to always keep it real.  But I will have to go with Ariel as my favorite Disney character, the redhead mermaid from "The Little Mermaid".

"The Little Mermaid" is my all time favorite Disney flick. When I was a little girl, my friends and I used to pretend we were Ariel and her sisters living in the ocean. When really we were a bunch of elementary school kids, splashing around in our school's over chlorinated pool. Anyway...

A few weeks ago, I was watching "The Little Mermaid" with some of my students. Nowadays with all the special effects and 3D movies, I didn't know if they would still be able to enjoy this old classic. I couldn't help but smile when I saw how much they loved the movie. They even asked me if we could watch the part with the song, "Under the Sea" again. Well, hell yes! (Don't worry, I didn't say that.)

Who's your favorite Disney character?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 39 - A picture of your favorite movie

I don’t like to make these types of decisions. Ugh! Recently I posted a list of my favorite chick flicks, which you can check out here. But my favorite movie of all time!? That’s tough!

How do I make this decision? Well, I guess it should be a movie that I want to watch over and over, and that I will make my children watch one day.

Of course, the Harry Potter series! Even though they can’t match the awesomeness of the books, they are still pretty amazing. The last movie was my favorite out of the bunch, although I enjoyed all the others, too.

What’s your favorite movie? Can you choose only one?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My favorite Spring/Summer 2012 nail polish collections

The past few days we've been having lovely weather in Taipei City, and it's getting me really excited for spring. I'm thrilled when companies announce their new collections, and these are the nail polishes I can't wait to get my hands on. (pun intended!)

1. BUTTER LONDON - Spring/Summer 2012 collection

Colors: (Left to right) Bossy Boots, Disco Biscuit, Knackered, Slapper, Trout Pout

2. OPI - Spring/Summer 2012 Holland collection

Colors: (TOP: Left to right) Red lights ahead... Where?, A roll in the hague, Vampsterdam,  Thanks a WindMillion,  Did you 'ear about Van Gogh?, Kiss me on my Tulips
(BOTTOM: Left to right) Dutch ya just love OPI?, I don’t give a Rotterdam!, I have a herring problem, Pedal Faster Suzi!, Wooden Shoes like to know?, Gouda Gouda Two Shoes

3. ESSIE - Navigate her Spring/Summer 2012 collection

Colors: (Left to right) Navigate her, A crewed interest, To buy or not to buy, Tour de Finance, Ole Caliente, Orange it’s obvious

4. CHANEL - Spring Harmony 2012 collection
Colors: (Left to right) April, June, May
5. DIOR - Garden Party Spring/Summer 2012 collection

Colors (Left to right) Forget me not, Waterlily
I can't decide which is my favorite yet, I really love all these colors. Which ones will you be getting your paws on this spring?

Other collections worth checking out:
Sally Hansen
Deborah Lippmann
China Glaze

Don't forget to enter my

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day 38 - A picture of the best part of your day

My morning coffee, maybe? Not only do I consider it as one of the best parts of my day, I also view it as a necessary part of my day. I really don’t know how anyone can wake up without coffee. What's your secret!? But that’s not the bestest best part of my day.

The best part of my day is when The Boyfriend comes home from work. We have opposite work schedules and I can only see him if I stay up very late. By that time I’m usually only half awake, in my pj’s and wrapped in a blanket.

So this picture shows a typical night after The Boyfriend gets home from work and I get to jump in for a cuddle. He tried to enforce a rule of me waiting ten minutes after he gets home before I can pounce. (He wants to settle down and relax, not have me jumping in his arms from excitement the moment he sets foot in the door.) I get it... Actually, no I don't. I can never wait ten minutes. Maybe 3 minutes… tops!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day 37 - A picture of the people you spend most of your time with

I consider this bunch to be my "Taiwan Family". I definitely spend most of my time with them (not counting my students, whom I actually spend most of my time with, but I'm pretty sure I can't post their pictures online).

All of our paths crossed when we came from each of our different parts of the world to Taiwan to teach and study, and we've been inseparable since. I'm very blessed to have friends from all over the world. We learn so much from each other, because even though we enjoy similar things, because of our different cultural backgrounds, we are actually all so different.

I'm thankful for this group, because not only do we have the craziest and most unforgettable experiences together, I can call any of them at any stupid hour of the day and I know they'll always be there for me. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 36 - A picture of your "other half"

The Boyfriend last year on our vacation in Thailand.
Last year I introduced everyone to The Boyfriend when I wrote my “Someone you could never imagine your life without” post, which you can read here. I’m happy to say that he is still my “other half”.

In my previous post about him, I told the much loved and, maybe, over told story of how I met The Boyfriend. What!? I love telling it, okay! I almost can't believe it's been three years since that night we met. Time really flies when you're having fun!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 35 - A picture of your favorite place to eat

Mom's food, the BEST in the world
My favorite place in the whole wide world to eat is at my parents’ house. My dad makes a mean barbecue (in South Africa we call it “braai”), and I can never get enough of it. Anything my mom makes is the most delicious meal I’ve ever had! Just look at the picture, how can this lovely spread not make your mouth water uncontrollably?

But alas, I live in Taiwan, so this deliciousness only comes, maybe, once a year when I get to go home. Luckily, The Boyfriend and I have found a fantastic Indian restaurant here in Taipei that we love. I could eat it every day if I wouldn’t get “Delhi belly” (that’s our code word for diarrhea if you didn’t know…)

This saliva inducing little place is called “The Spice Shop”. We try to go there once a week and we order the exact same thing every time. (We’re wild like that!) I love everything about this place and tell everyone I meet that they have to go there, and if they don’t like it, well, FRIENDSHIP OVER!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 34 - A picture of your currently most played CD

It’s been a while since I’ve bought an actual CD. And by “a while”, I mean ten years. It’s just always been very hard for me to spend that much money on an album if I’m going to end up listening to only four or five songs on it anyway.

I know many people get their kicks out of collecting their favorite artist or band’s actual album, and I think that’s really good. Thank goodness for iTunes and Frostwire for providing us with the option of downloading individual songs. That works for me!

I guess if I still bought CD’s, I would probably have purchased Adele’s latest album. She has an amazing voice and all her songs are beautiful. That would’ve been my currently most played CD.

I’m actually curious to know; do you still buy actual CDs or know of anyone who does?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Day 33 - A picture of the house you grew up in

On Google Maps, this is the Street View of the house.
This room overlooks some of the backyard.
I couldn’t find a photo of the front of the house, so I snagged this one from Google Maps. (By the way, I think that the Street View option on Google Maps is one of the greatest, yet creepiest, inventions ever. Don’t you?)

When I was one and half years old, my parents moved into this house in a small town in South Africa. Twenty five years later, they are still living there.

I have many fond memories of growing up in this house. We were lucky to have a huge front- and backyard, where we could run around with our friends.

My parents love gardening and my dad even has his own vegetable garden next to the house. They have also renovated the house over the years, adding another living room, a swimming pool and they recently redid the guest bathroom, the kitchen and their bathroom.

I will always consider this house as my home, even though I live almost 13000km (about 8000 miles) away now. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 32 - A picture of a crazy night

With my eclectic group of friends, most nights seem to be crazy nights. Never a dull moment with this bunch. But immediately, the most recent crazy night comes to mind. New Year's Eve.

It started off as most New Year's Eve parties here in Taipei. We all went to a friend’s apartment’s rooftop, had some champagne, took hundreds of photos and laughed as we excitedly awaited midnight. Finally, the clock struck 12 and the city, together with the Taipei101 fireworks, exploded!. It was magical! We screamed “Happy New Year!”, hugged, kissed and took some more photos and everyone had a smile on their face.

One hour later, I was standing in front of the police station, balling my eyes out. After the rooftop party, we went out and my bag got stolen. With my cell phone, apartment keys, ID card (with my address on it!) and my beloved lip balm.

The fact that my bag got stolen was crap, yes, but I was mostly worried that the person who had my bag could easily get access to my apartment and all my information on my phone. And we couldn’t get into our place that night. By that time it was too late/early to contact our landlord.

The Boyfriend and I ended up wandering the streets in our neighborhood looking for a locksmith and a miracle. The Boyfriend ran out of credit on his phone, and we had almost no money on us. We were miserable and made our peace that we would maybe have to sleep in the park by our house, as we couldn’t contact anyone. Luckily, our friends called us and offered us a warm place to sleep. We had to walk for 25 minutes to get to their place.

We slept for about three hours and tried to contact our landlord. His phone was turned off, so our friend arranged a locksmith to open our door. As luck would have it, he could only open one of our locks, and we had to get a second locksmith to open the other lock. 2300NTD (about $80) and 3 hours later, we were in. The sound of that door clicking open was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard.

Needless to say, The Boyfriend and I made a pact to never go out on a New Year's Eve again. It’s just too crazy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 31 - A picture of a tradition you have

Me and The Boyfriend in Cape Town, South Africa 2009

Me and my sister, Lynette, in Cape Town, South Africa 2010

Me and The Boyfriend in Cape Town, South Africa 2011
As some of you know, I've been living and working in Taiwan for almost four years. My parents still live in South Africa, and I try to visit them as often as possible. Which turns out to be maybe once a year.

I know I'm home when flying into Cape Town International Airport on a beautiful, cloudless and sunny day, and seeing the spectacular Table Mountain on the horizon. 

It has become a tradition for me to take a photo with the famous Table Mountain in the background when visiting Cape Town. (By the way, did you know that Table Mountain was just voted as one of the new natural wonders of the world?)

It's just so special and always makes for a fantastic backdrop for people to drool over on Facebook. Cape Town is one of my favorite cities in the world, and it's really a place worth visiting. I'm definitely continuing this tradition!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

30 Days of Reflection (Part 2)

When I started blogging in June 2011, I'll admit, I had no clue where to start. I knew I wanted to write about my life, my travels and my adventures living in Asia. So I turned to my very good friend, Mister Internet. I discovered the "90 Days of Reflection" challenge, and knew it would be the perfect way to introduce myself to my new readers. I finished Day 1 to 30, and decided to keep the rest for later.

Well, I think we've waited long enough, haven't we? So, without further ado, here is what I'll be blogging about for the next 30 days:

Day 31 - A picture of a tradition you have.
Day 32 - A picture of a crazy night.
Day 33 - A picture of the house you grew up in.
Day 34 - A picture of your currently most played CD.
Day 35 - A picture of your favorite place to eat.
Day 36 - A picture of your ‘other half'.
Day 37 - A picture of the people you spend most of your time with.
Day 38 - A picture of the best part of your day.
Day 39 - A picture of your favorite movie.
Day 40 - A picture of your favorite Disney character.
Day 41 - A picture of your pet.
Day 42 - A picture of your dream house.
Day 43 - A picture of something you can’t function without.
Day 44 - A picture of someone you’re told you look like.
Day 45 - A picture of your room.
Day 46 - A picture of where you wish you were right now.
Day 47 - A picture of your favorite place to shop.
Day 48 - A picture of your favorite actress/actor.
Day 49 - A picture of where you live.
Day 50 - A picture of your most frequented place.
Day 51 - A picture of your dream car.
Day 52 - A picture of your favorite sport.
Day 53 - A picture of someone you think is hot.
Day 54 - A picture of the one thing you would bring if you were stranded on a deserted island.
Day 55 - A picture of the last movie you saw in theaters.
Day 56 - A picture of something that makes you happy.
Day 57 - A picture of your favorite holiday.
Day 58 - A picture of your favorite animal.
Day 59 - A picture of a random item that you own.
Day 60 - A picture of something you’re excited about

I'm extremely excited to start this challenge, and will be posting Day 31 tomorrow.

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Top 20 favorite chick flicks

I've been so busy the past few weekends, with Christmas, New Years Eve and getting my purse stolen, that I’ve decided that this coming weekend will be one of those relax-to-the-max weekends. For me, that includes sleeping a lot, eating a lot and watching some chick flicks. 

I don’t know about you, but I love me some good ol’ chick flicks. It was tough to choose, but here is a list of my favorites: 

My Top 20 favorite chick flicks
(In no particular order)

1.      Clueless (1995)
2.      There’s something about Mary (1998)
3.      10 Things I hate about you (1999)
4.      How to lose a guy in 10 days (2003)
5.      The devil wears Prada (2006)
6.      Pretty Woman (1990)
7.      Mean Girls (2004)
8.      Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)
9.      My best friend’s wedding (1997)
10.  Father of the bride (1991)
11.  Never been kissed (1999)
12.  Notting Hill (1999)
13.  50 First Dates (2004)
14.  Knocked Up (200&)
15.  Sex and the City (2008)
16.  Bring it on (2000)
17.  Now & Then (1995)
18.  The Sweetest Thing (2002)
19.  Dirty Dancing (1987)
20.  The Notebook (2004)

 Which are your favorites? Anything that’s not on my list?

Monday, January 2, 2012

December Favorites 2011

December itself is one of my favorite months of the year. It's  filled with merriness, good friends, lots of delicious food, presents, Christmas parties and Starbucks' holiday drinks.

By far my favorite Christmas present this year was from The Boyfriend. We usually just tell each other what we want and I needed some rain boots, so he got me these Hunter (Regent Neoprene) boots. I absolutely love it, and they are way cuter than the original Hunter boots, I think.

Still on my mission to fix my damaged hair, I've been using the much raved about MoroccanOil hair treatment. It's really a fantastic product, and I'll repurchase it for sure. 

After my Lavender Vanilla candle burnt out, I got White Christmas from Yankee Candle. I can't believe how long these candles can burn. Truly worth the money. Next I would like to get Christmas Cupcake or Farmer's Market.

I finally got some MAC makeup brushes after years of just using my hands, and I'm in love! Now I just need to figure out exactly which brush is supposed to do what.

My absolute favorite blog I've discovered recently is Recently Roached by newlywed Jena. She is hilarious and writes about her life as a newlywed and the challenges/surprises that comes along with it. Definitely worth checking out!

I hope everyone had a fantastic month, and that you are ready for the new year? Happy 2012!


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