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Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Liebster Award – Questions and Answers

Kirsten Doyle of Running for Autism nominated me for the Liebster Award and asked the following questions:


1. How much time do you spend on the Internet each day (no judgment, I promise!)  About 1hr or so

2. What is the dumbest thing you ever did?  I ignored my intuition and agreed to date a “man” who abused me

3. What is the smartest thing you ever did?  I got out of said abusive relationship

4. If you had to entrust one person with a winning lottery ticket, who would it be?  My husband

5. What is your earliest childhood memory?  Being disappointed that the little sister I was waiting to play with was a crying infant instead of a child my age!

6. What one thing (if anything) would you change about your physical appearance?  I’d love to weigh about 40kg less than I do.

7. When did you last hand-write a letter to someone?  I can’t remember for sure, but probably about 20 years ago.

8. Have you ever had a falling-out with your best friend, and did you make it up? One of my best friends is my husband and we did have a rough patch a few years ago.  Everything’s great now!

9. If you could have any job in the world (regardless of qualifications needed), what would it be?  Author  (ideally of a best-selling fiction title)

10. BlackBerry, Android or iPhone?  Android

11. If you could have dinner with any famous person, living or dead, who would it be and why?  Oprah, because she’s the one who first encouraged me to “live my best life”.  I’d like the chance to thank her.


My questions for the people I nominated are:

1.  If money was no object, what would you do or stop doing?  Why?

2.  What did you want to be when you grew up?

3.  If you had a “do-over” what would you change about your life?

4.  What do you want to be remembered for?

5.  What is your pet peeve?

6.  What is your star sign?

7.  Do you believe in horoscopes?

8.  What is your favourite food?

9.  What is your favourite beverage?

10. What is your favourite colour?

11. If you were granted 2 wishes, what would you wish for?


The Power of Positive Feedback – The Liebster Award

Truth is I don’t feel I’m good enough.

I read other people’s blogs and love their way with words, witticisms and wisdom.

I don’t think I measure up … so I fall back into my old habit…I stop trying.

That’s where I was when, to my immense surprise, I received a Liebster Award from Kirsten Doyle of Running for Autism!  Kirsten is one of the bravest women I know and I love the way she writes, so getting mentioned by her in the same post as some of my other all-time favourite bloggers is HUGE for me!

“The Liebster Award is a very neat thing that bloggers do for each other. When you receive the award, you acknowledge the person who gave it to you, and then pass it on to seven other bloggers that you love. It’s a way for bloggers to give each other a shout-out.”

Here are my nominees:

1.  Running for Autism by Kirsten Doyle:  Maybe I’m breaking a rule since she’s the one who nominated me, but I truly enjoy her perspective on everything!  I have learnt so much through her posts, especially about the challenges and delights of parenting a child with autism alongside a neurotypical one.  With her brilliant sense of humour, Kirsten never fails to entertain and instruct her readers.  I feel extremely fortunate to be counted amongst her friends.

2. Kloppenmum by Karyn van der Zwet:  This New Zealand mom has her priorities straight!  Her favourite quote is: “There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings.”  (by Hodding Carter Jnr  – Pulitzer Prize Winner) I love her fierce determination to do what’s best for her boys, no matter what.  We share a love of coffee and smart humour.

3. Shannon Lell:  The tag line of her blog pretty much sums up why I love her posts. “When we are our authentic selves, we give others the unspoken permission to be the same. In Truth, there is freedom.”  Shannon inspires me to become the best version of myself.
4. The Alchemist’s Blog by Purnima Ramakrishnan:  Purnima has a heart of gold.  She lives in India and I love seeing things from her perspective.  She’s the proud mom of an awesome little boy who often provides inspiration for her posts.
5. If By Yes:  written by “Owl’s” mom who describes herself as “an introverted bookworm dog-trainer-turned-mother”  this blog is both funny and thought-provoking.
6. and 7.  World Moms Blog:  I owe a huge debt of gratituted to Jennifer Burden (founder of WMB).  If it wasn’t for her encouragement, I would never have started blogging and would never have “met” the wonderful women whom I now consider my friends.  The mission statement of WMB is: “World Moms Blog hopes to inspire mothers and help them to feel that they are not alone in mothering in the world!  We strive to share ideas, entertain and expand geographical and cultural awareness.”  I believe they (we!) do this every day!
The next thing I’m supposed to do as part of receiving the Liebster Award is tell you eleven random things about myself.”
1.  I’m the proud mom of a 20 year old son and 17 year old daughter.
2.  I’ve just celebrated my 22nd Wedding Anniversary and my relationship with my husband keeps getting better with time.
3.  I love reading.
4.  I love coffee.
5.  I love dark chocolate.
6.  I’m fiercely loyal to my family and friends
7.  I battle daily against my inferiority complex and Fibromyalgia.
8.  I was born in Italy but was raised in South Africa where I still live.
9.  I believe Cape Town is the most beautiful city in the world and can’t imagine living anywhere else.
10. I have a phobia of fire and am unable to light a match or lighter.  My children learnt to light their own birthday candles from a very young age!
11.  I’m a work in progress and strive to be better every day.


Our Dark Demon – By Victoria Rinfreschi

The following is an original post by a 16 year old.  It is published uncut and unedited.  The photo credit also goes to this multi-talented young lady.


As plain as the nose on my face. Accepted, admired even. But underneath, something rarely acknowledge. A dark demon. An eater of souls. It’s our greatest defeat.


6 years, and not a word. No happy birthdays or loving charismas cards. No I miss you and I love you.

6 years.

During that time I grew up, just as the black hole of emptiness grew darker, wider. Only one person could have filled that hole. But she abandoned me. At the insecure age of 12 my “grandmother” returned into my life, disappointed at the lack of a bouncy, bubbly, loving, trusting presence. The presence of a little 6 year old girl.

My greatest defeat. Her lack of acceptance. My greatest defeat. Her lack of approval.

My greatest defeat.

One year.

A year of puppy love and misplaced innocence. A year filled with laughs and stupid conversations. Belonging. A modern day Romeo and Juliet. Except this Romeo was a fake. My misplaced trust and naïveté landed me in a romance destined to fail.

“Hi, my name is Tristan.” The only truthful statement he ever made.

Now here we are, 12 months later, the morning of my granddad’s death. The perfect time, don’t you think? To air his dirty laundry.

My greatest defeat. His lack of honesty. My greatest defeat. My wasted love. My greatest defeat. My stupidity.

My greatest defeat.

Behind every smiling eye, is one filled with tears.


Everyone has one. Showing it off to the world. We celebrate it. And when cracks start to show? We plaster over it. Covering the darkness, because we wouldn’t want anyone to see. And if someone happens to catch you at a moment where your cracks are starting to show? Well they don’t dare to ask. It’s not accepted. It’s not wanted. No one cares. After all they have their masks too. The ones they are busy patching up.

An endless loop, one with no break. The more we ignore it, the more the demon is able to feed. It feeds off us every day. And one day. We won’t be able to cover up the cracks left behind after the earthquake. One day a tsunami will arise. Unstoppable. Uncontrollable. And that mask will be gone. And so will everyone else.

We try so hard to protect ourselves. Certain things, no one cares to know. It’s been decided, by someone with a self-proclaimed importance. It has been decided, so it shall be.

But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Our demon feeds on our darkness. On our unheard cries, our unsaid thoughts. It feeds off our lack of acknowledgement and our misconceptions.


It feeds off our isolation.


I think it’s time to starve our demon. It’s time to stop plastering up the cracks. It’s time to let the demon out, because once he is gone, onc犀利士
e you are able to let it go, he will no longer have control over your life.

So I’m going to take off my mask, and let my face feel the soft, warm touch of the sun. I will let myself truly breathe for the first time.


I will revel in my freedom.


Will you?