This season actually felt a bit short but it could be because I unintentionally spent all my days and nights sleeping and only got out the house when I really had to or really wanted to. I did a lot of reflecting on the past and felt like I was transitioning to yet another chapter in my life. I learnt that there is so much for me to be grateful for and really just enjoyed all that I have and didn’t worry much about what I don’t have. In as much as I was super lazy to even pick up my phone when it drops, I still managed to note down every tiny moment that made me happy…
• MANICURE DATE
Amanda and I decided to treat ourselves to a manicure after exams. Before this day, I had been telling Amanda that I want to do short nails for once, but did I even? Nope, long nails as usual.
• ART JOURNAL
I had been planning on creating an Art journal but just didn’t know where to start. Once I started, I realised that you really don’t have to think about what to do – just keep cutting and pasting. Personally, having an Art Journal helps me unwind and to stop thinking, it’s really one of my favourite things I own mainly because I generally enjoy creating things and making a mess.
• KNEE-HIGH BOOTS
What I absolutely love about passing all my modules after every semester is that I get to blackmail my mother into buying me just about anything I want just because I did well. This time all I wanted were knee-high boots and boy do I love them!
• GRANS FOR THE WEEKEND
On one of the weekends during vac, we went to my grans house and I had been anticipating on that trip for so long because I knew everyone would be there and it’s always a good time when my aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews are home. It feels good to be away from the world for a while and not seeing anyone else but your family.
• UNFOLD APP
You guys, this app makes things appear boujee AF! I have been using this app to create aesthetically pleasing Instagram stories and little notes for my Pinterest account. It’s an app with templates for stories and pictures, you can even create a folder of stories on the app and save/post them all at once when you need to. This app literally makes me want to take pictures of anything and everything just so that I can play around with the templates.
• MARVEL MOVIE MARATHON
Okay, the initial plan for this night was actually to watch the new season of 13 Reasons Why but the folder with the episodes couldn’t open so my brother, my friend and I ended up watching Marvel movies. Well, we started off with Jumanji then we watched the Marvels – Antman, Thor (Ragnarok), Civil War and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I was low-key glad we couldn’t watch 13 Reasons Why because instead of laughing like we did, we probably would’ve cried.
• HAIR GROWTH
Realizing how much my hair has grown and how healthy it is made me so happy. Last year July, I cut my hair as part of my Self-Care challenge and a year later my hair had grown way too long, it is pretty unrealistic. I also realized how a lot can change in a year and I am grateful for everything that has happened, all that was bad turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
• FIRST JOURNAL MEMORIES
Haha. This was pretty fun for me and funny too. I read all the things I used to write in 2015 and 2016 – all the plans and all my goals. I remember how I used to draft my blog ideas on that journal, trying to come up with a name, tagline, figuring out how often I will be posting and the whole blog set up. It made me happy to see how far planning took me, although now I am way ahead of where I had planned to be, I am super happy I decided to create this blog.
• ACTUALLY FINISHED READING A NOVEL
A whole me finished reading a whole book! Haha. For a person who enjoys writing so much, I really find it hard to commit myself to reading a book. I started reading Yours Until Death back in 2017 June! Imaaaagine! I used to read like one page a month then completely gave up! Well, when I finally got to finish reading this particular book, I realized that I don’t really find it hard to read, it’s the book I was reading that wasn’t that interesting. You’d assume that with a title like that, a fire story-line will be presented but wow nothing out of the ordinary happened. Greatly disappointed but still proud of myself for finishing what I started.
• ANTMAN AND THE WASP
After watching Antman, I desperately wanted to watch Antman and the Wasp and I was lucky enough to get the chance to watch it with my niece and we just couldn’t stop talking about it afterwards so basically our family knows the whole movie already because we spoiled it for them.
• FARMERS MARKET
Wait, I didn’t discover just one but two farmers’ markets in one month. Honestly, I had no idea we had those in this city. This farmers’ market is hosted every Saturday morning at Botanical Gardens and the farmers sell diverse fresh products. Well, me being me, the only thing I kept buying there was the biltong – 1, I love biltong and 2, it was hella cheap and nice so I just kept going back for more.
• BREAKFAST AT FLAVOUR CAFÉ
Before I get to the sad part… Flavour Café is like the best café my family and I have been to in Pietermaritzburg and my mother kept saying that it is literally a hidden treasure because wow you really have to hunt for that café since it’s in a secluded place. THE AESTHETICS! My goodness that place is gorgeous! Very quiet, very relaxing and when we got there I was feeling a bit cold so guess what the manager did… they gave me a fleece blanket! Can you imagine? I always want to cry when someone is being kind to me. The waiters are also friendly and welcoming. Okay, so are you ready for the sad news? It burnt down 2 weeks after I visited it! I know right! Yeah well, apparently they are fixing up the place and it will be up and running in no time.
• BANK LADY’S ADVICE
I will never forget how stressed I was this day. I had just realized that a huge amount of money disappeared from my bank account, literally disappeared and that was like 90% of my money by the way so yeah, I was freaking out. I went to the bank to trace where it went and while this lady was helping me she shared some advice with me which she probably assumed I needed to hear. She told me to enjoy being young, not have babies yet, not get married it, travel, break hearts (yuup, she said that), date whoever I want to date even if it’s multiple partners at a time (yuup, that too) and leave them when I’m tired of them, finance myself and be independent. I was literally in tears from laughing at her silently (since we were at the bank) but I mean, I understood what she meant and I saw how serious she was about what she was saying which made me laugh even more because it’s really not what a typical black parent would preach. I appreciated the advice nonetheless and I will continue to enjoy my youth but on her behalf too now. Haha.
• NEW JOURNALS
I feel like if you ever want to buy me something but don’t know what, just get me a journal (or 17). I don’t ever run out of ideas but I do run out of pages quite often. I spent all my spare time walking into TYPO, hoping that confetti will just pop as I step in and the staff would come running to me telling me that I have won 10 TYPO journals just for being the 50 000th person to visit the store, yeah but that never happened. So, I went and bought some cute affordable journals at CNA.
• BOUGHT HOMELESS PERSON A MEAL
Listen, I don’t ever get emotional but when someone does one little kind thing for me or when I do one little kind thing for someone then they thank me too much… I get super emotional and think about it the whole week or longer. This one time I thought of sacrificing my lunch money to buy a homeless lady some KFC because I normally see her but I had never seen her eat… not even an apple. Yeah, so I bought that, gave it to her and the way she thanked me just really got to me.
• CHANGED INSTA HANDLE AND BLOG TAGLINE
I literally feel different just because I changed my Instagram handle and blog tagline. Previously, my Insta handle was @umbalenhle_k but I changed to @imbalenhle_k purely because I felt like a ‘beautiful flower’ isn’t just my name, it’s also what I am. Ever since I created this blog, my tagline has been “Every flower grows through dirt” I still like it but I started to feel like I relate more to “A self-watering flower” and that change is a story for another day.
• GOT MY PASSPORT
• FACIAL PRODUCTS FROM PRONOIA
My current obsession! A friend of mine is super multi-talented, she can create just about anything and now she is making facial products. All the masks she makes contain essential oils like tea tree oil, peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil which can contribute to an overall healthier skin by clearing the face and even preventing future breakouts. I apply the sandalwood and coconut oil scrub every 4 days and it feels so good when you are actually rubbing it in to exfoliate the skin. I also have the clay and charcoal mask which hardens seconds after applying it and forces you to just relax and the turmeric mask makes my skin feel like it is breathing afterwards. These face masks are worth having if you care for your skin.
• CHARLES AND KEITH SHOES
Yass b*! Okay, so my cousin randomly bought me these nice shoes and since then, I have been feeling so boujee. Haha. I mean, at this point in my life, Charles and Keith is one of those stores I walk into if I haven’t cried in a while and just want something to trigger my tears. I haven’t even worn them anywhere yet, just patiently waiting for an invite from friends and when that day comes they better believe I will be sitting there with my legs on the table.
• A HEARTWARMING MEET UP
Let me try and type this without smiling. I met this cool guy on social media a while ago (January is so not a while ago) and it’s super wild to me how I was so sure that we will never meet because he doesn’t live in South Africa but long story short, he actually came to South Africa and I got to meet him. You know what’s cooler? That he was just as cool and handsome in person too. I overused the word ‘cool’ right?
• COFFEE DATE WITH MY BROTHER
While my brother and I were waiting for mom to come out from work, we headed to Coffeeberry for coffee. Omw! It was a disaster. Haha. So, I usually like ordering new things and after that day I decided to stop. Listen, I ordered this coffee called Mocchiato and wow I literally had to force myself to finish it just because I paid for it. Did my brother ever stop laughing at me that day? But he tasted it too and made the most precise description of what it tasted like – you know when you burn your toast too much, yeah scrape off that burnt stuff into a mug and mix it with boiled water… that’s how a mocchiato tastes like. Haha. But that experience was pretty funny.
• BUTTERFLIES FOR AFRICA
On a Saturday morning, I dragged my mother and sister to a new adventure with me. Well, I didn’t really drag them but they had nothing planned so I added them to my plans. I had known about Butterflies for Africa for almost a year now but because I am kinda cared of butterflies, I just never really thought of going there but I recently felt the need to just go and check it out. Let me tell you this, it’s really not what I had imagined it would be – it is such a beautiful, peaceful place. When you walk in, you get a tour guide and you might be thinking, “what’s there to learn about butterflies?” but take the tour and you will see. What’s odd is that although I am scared of butterflies, I was quite comfortable with having them fly all around me there as I walked through their habitat.
• DISCOVERED ANOTHER ART GALLERY IN TOWN
Anything that has to do with art has my heart. Every now and then I check out the internet for more things to do and more places to go to and while I was at it, I actually found out that there is another art gallery in Pietermaritzburg called Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery. It is quite small compared to the well-known Tatham Art Gallery and the lady at the reception mentioned that they hardly ever get any visitors (well it could be because it is in a hidden and random area) and she also told us that they get more online visitors and art consumers (who see the art from their website and buy them from there). We actually had quite a long chat about the gallery and if you are ever around Pietermaritzburg or get a chance, then you should head over to Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery.
37 Willowton Road Pietermaritzburg
• EATING WITH PEACOCKS
Yeah, peacocks. Haha. My close friend took me out to Tea on 23 and do you know how exciting it is to have peacocks just casually walking by as you eat? Yeah, that’s quite unusual hey. Well, at first, we literally just stood there staring at them while everyone else walked by as if they have peacocks too in their homes but as time went by we also relaxed as if we were totally used to this.
• JESMOND DENE’S CRAFT AND FARMERS MARKET
Remember when I said I didn’t just discover one farmers market? Yeah, this one is the second one I was talking about – Jesmond Dene’s Craft and Farmers Market. Woah! There are so many stalls here because literally anything is sold at this market. As mom and I were strolling past, we got hooked on some lavender fragrance and we couldn’t help but get ourselves one of their products. Also, my favourite part of it all, I finally got myself a succulent pot plant to take care of. This market takes place in Hayfields every second Saturday and you will definitely go back home with something.
• BLOG STATS
Wait, what? My blog has been viewed in almost all the countries in the world? Do you know how crazy that is? Do you know how happy I am? It might not be that obvious but I really enjoy sharing my thoughts, motivating, promoting self-love and individuality and realizing that my voice is being heard from all around the world really means a lot to me. Your support is immensely appreciated, helps me grow and keeps me going. Thank you!
• BEACH BREAK
Is there anything as calming as the beach? Just walking on the Golden Mile in Durban and watching the waves crash on the shore is relaxing on its own. I went there on a Thursday afternoon and there were a lot of people around as usual but even those people were happy, laid-back and taking it easy. It was a well-needed break from all the school stress and a great way to close off winter.
That’s it for now,
I hope this season has been just as good to you and if you try to think of all the little happy moments, you will realize that it wasn’t bad at all. It’s so easy and natural for us to focus on the bad days but reality is that there are more good days than bad. At the start of each day, prepare yourself to receive good luck and to have a good day and even when things don’t turn out that way, just try to stay positive and brush off the little things that weigh you down.