Eid Mubarak

Growing up in the Eastern Cape my interaction with Muslim peeps was somewhat limited.  In Std 5 at St Anne’s Convent we had Riad Masoet join us for the last year of Primary School. Ironic hey? A Muslim boy at a Convent but that is the makings of a whole other blog post.

My next encounter was the fact that the Gatti Ice-Cream shop in East London was owned by a Muslim gentleman.  I would often get it wrong and head over on a Friday at lunchtime to stock up on ice-cream, only to find the shop CLOSED.  Seriously? Do you not want my business?  Who closes shop midday to head off to the mosque on a FRIDAY?  Don’t you use a Sunday like the rest of us to exercise your religious activities?

Then it all happened.  Seven years ago we relocated to Cape-Town.  So my introduction to the Muslim culture started, kinda like a baptism by FIRE.

The start of a new job and new colleagues. Very exciting.  I get myself involved in all sorts of activities and soon we have a Staff Social Club going and I arrange our first event.  A braai at the office.  I will bring our Weber, buy some meat & beers and we will be good to go.  Or not!  I quickly learnt that things were not that simple.  Not only did we need halaal meat but also a halaal braai/Weber.  The beers were literally put on ice until after hours once our Muslim colleagues had eaten and left the event. Although this seemed a little odd, it was the way things got done in Cape-Town and I soon adjusted my way of thinking.

Over the last year I have had the privilege of sharing my office with the most insane bunch of ladies,  two of those being Muslim. It has allowed open conversations regarding our religious beliefs and a greater understanding on my part of how and why certain things are done.  It also affirms for me why I love this country so much – DIVERSITY!

So a massive “Happy Eid Mubarak” to  my specials, Fatimah and Raeesa. You have not only taught me what “Haram” is but also that perhaps I should try a little self sacrifice next Lent.  I am just not sure which would be worse, no coffee or no social media?

eid-mubarak-cartoon-character-share-with-kids

 

Who’s the Boss?

I read an interesting article on HuffPost, written by Greg Savage who is a leader in Global Recruiting.  He speaks about how people don’t leave companies, they leave leaders.  This article is worth a read if you are leader of any kind.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-savage/people-dont-leave-companies_b_4277535.html

Combined with this article and having had a flurry of colleagues recently leave to take up  various new challenges, it got me thinking. Is there such a thing as a dream job?  Or is this as rare as the unicorn?  Do people still stay in a job for 20 years and wait to get their gold watch like our parents did?  Have corporate and business structures become so “flat” that if you desire any form of growth you need to job hop?  And of course the Million Dollar question, money?

After many conversations at “book club”, around the table at a braai or from various comments on social media I firmly believe that ONE of the main reason why people leave their employment is due to the leaders.

Here is a list of Bosses you could encounter in the workplace:

The Typewriter Boss

The Typewriter Boss has had the same job for 30 years.  He hates change. He likes to reference “the good old days”.  He still has a box of floppy discs which he uses to back up his DOS.  Social Media is foreign to him.

The Black & White Boss

The Black & White Boss works strictly by the book.  No initiative.  No sense of humour. No grey area. When presented with a question he will answer by quoting paragraphs directly from the Constitution.  Approach with patience and perhaps even a dictionary.

The Grey Area Boss

The Grey Area Boss is the exact opposite of the Black & White Boss.  This man only works in the grey area and pushing boundaries is his strong point. No task is impossible.

The Martyr Boss

The Martyr Boss lives for the company. He has no life. He works every Public Holiday and averages a 12 hour work day.  How do you know this? Because he tells you, everyday! He insists on coming to work no matter what state of health he is in.  In fact, even though he broke his arm while cycling, he still managed to SUP to work during the floods.

The Jargon Boss

The Jargon Boss is all about what is on trend.  Whether it be about what he’s wearing, what he’s driving or what device he’s using.  This boss attends many conferences and seminars.  He likes  to justify that by chucking in “terms” and phrases he might have picked up.  Even if those have no relevance or context to the conversation.  “So although our GP might be down it is due to the influx of data which was determined by the algorithms of which I will bring the analytics to at our next meeting.”  Makes no sense but sounds impressive, at least in his own mind.  If you are not a lover of cheese, this boss will be a challenge.

The Rarely Spotted Boss

Here the name really says it all.  This boss floats in and out when need be.  His sporting code, which is normally golf, takes priority over most things.  That is one appointment in the diary that can never be changed.  He leaves his team to carry the can and swoops in for the good stuff.  Not the worst kind, especially if you are not a fan of the “micro manager”.

The Hollywood Boss

This boss has his name and title everywhere. On the door, on the email signature, on the business card.  He has all the fancy gadgets that are needed to be successful (in his eyes).  Apple/Mac stuff adorning his desk. Montblanc pens to sign those “deals” with.  He does not have the modest Nespresso machine in his office, he has his own Barista.  Lip service aplenty here.

The Sadistic Boss

On the outside all looks good. Staff are provided with lavish events, they are signed up for motivation courses and on a rotation system get to be “flavour of the month”.  This boss keeps a scorecard, not necessarily in his head, it could  be a physical one.  The staff need to fall in with all he is experiencing.  So if said Boss is cycling the Epic, for argument sake, the whole staff must be active, happy and healthy. If said boss is in a slump and besides to go on a bender, the whole staff must join in.  If you don’t, you can be sure that you struck of the favourite list, never to be placed back.  This boss also likes to shout from his desk to get staff into his office.  The idea of using the phone has never been an option for him. If staff members are to be disciplined, this is done with the door open, in full view of other staff.  Kind of like a very “subtle” warning of who is actually the boss. If this boss is encountered, revert to BizCommunity immediately, I repeat, immediately.

The “I have faith in you” Boss

This boss is a rare gem and a keeper. Hang onto him with both hands/arms/legs.  He sees something in you that you perhaps don’t even know exists.  He has faith in the team he has chosen. He does not micromanage, he merely meets with his team on a weekly basis to touch-base and add pearls of wisdom.  He uplifts his team and leads by example.  Winner!

Have I missed out a boss that you have experienced?

Disclaimer:

** Feminists please note that all the bosses were referred to as a “HE” only for ease of reference.

** Some people might well tick more then one box here and be a multitude of bosses

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Heaven has taken my Hero

Dear Pops,

Happy 67th birthday!

Mili-Flyn never had the privileged of meeting you.  All she knows of you are the stories we get to tell, so she knows of you through our wonderful memories.  We always look up at the evening sky and pick out the brightest star, which is you, looking down on us.  She knows you are in Heaven looking over us constantly.  She asked the other day why you couldn’t visit us from Heaven.  The idea that is was too far didn’t seem to matter to her, she said you could simply take a plane. If only it was that simple.

So while you look down on us, I have no doubt you are kicking up your heels in Heaven and having the best celebration.

Miss you always,

Nix

Pops the Legend

Pops the Legend

Do you want to build a Snowman? Mili-Flyn turns 4

Once I got my head around the fact that my little baby and LAST BORN is turning 4, I slotted into party planning mode and took to Pinterest.  Which I am sure every Mother does?  I then presented Mili-Flyn with a list of options for themes, which was such a rookie move on my part.  No amount of negotiations could persuade her to change her mind.  So the theme for this year was: Frozen!

Besides the joys of looking for ideas on Pinterest, most of the ideas and inspiration came from the stunning parties that Melinda Connor of  Pretty Things For You works her magic on! When I grow up, I want to plan parties think she does.  My sister needs a massive round of applause for always being an excellent wing woman for these parties and cutting out copious amounts of snowflakes, Olaf noses and other things.

Even though I was dragging my heels on this theme, it was loads of funny to organise.  As Melinda Connor mentioned, finding blue sweets is the most challenging thing.  Flip, I could not find any blue fizzers or blue fizz pops.  Frozen parties are big business.

Eskom did however add too my stress levels.  Load shedding was scheduled in my area during the Frozen party time slot.  So scratch jumping castle off the list.  Make coffee and tea beforehand in flasks and your problems are solved. Oh, and add a swimming pool for the adventurous kids to wade (unplanned) on the steps. As you can see from the photo’s below the birthday girl had the BEST time! What made it all worthwhile was when the birthday girl saw the table all set up she said it was BEAUTIFUL!

With today being this little person’s actual birthday, I want to wish her the happiest of birthday’s.  Ruling our house with an Iron Fist is no easy task and she manages it seamlessly.  Happy Birthday beautiful child xxx

 

Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl

 

Behold the party table.

Behold the party table.

 

 

Pin the nose on Olaf

Pin the nose on Olaf

Thank-you goodies

Thank-you goodies

Olaf noses

Olaf noses

Yummy cake

Yummy cake

Melted snow

Melted snow

Reindeer droppings anyone?

Reindeer droppings anyone?

in the words of the birthday girl, the table looked "beautiful"

in the words of the birthday girl, the table looked “beautiful”

All partied out!

All partied out!

Say what? A Liebster Award, nogal!

During all the chaos and focus on my hood that is burning down around me, I missed a tweet from the lovely Sarah over at The Mommy City. She nominated me for a Liebster Award, which is kinda cool, right? Thank-you so much for the nomination Sarah 🙂  I love the way Bloggers come up with ways to interact and find out more about each other.  So here are my answers to Sarah’s questions.

 

♥ If you could have a whole day just to yourself, what would you do?

I would have to take the selfish route here and say I would spend it ALONE with my husband (sorry Tribelet’s).  A day out in Franschoek would be great.  Take walk through the town and check out all the quaint shops, then enjoy a lazy lunch.

♥ What makes your heart skip a beat?

The husband (cheesy, I know) and then those precious Tribelet’s have a way of pulling at my heart strings, little buggers.

♥ Where was your best holiday?

A trip on the train with my family when I was still in Primary school.  We went to visit my Nan in Pretoria and spent a week in the Kruger Park.  Amazing memories of fun times spend with my Pops.

♥ If you had a choice of car, what would your dream drive be? 

So I am a HUGE VW fan.  I have had in excess of 6 VW Beetles during the course of my life.  If budget allowed I would pimp my ride with a brand new VW Beetle.

♥ Tea or coffee?

Easiest question I could be asked. Coffee. no debate, no reason, simply coffee.

♥ What do you always have next to you when you blog?

My phone, my blog book where I scribble down loads of ideas that are yet to be translated into blog posts.

♥ What is your favourite cartoon to watch with the kids?

Without a doubt The Smurfs, loved those little blue guys and Smurfette.

♥ What is your favourite post you have ever written?

There are a couple but the stand out for me is How I Met Your Father .  It was fun taking a trip back down memory lane and I surprised myself about how much I remembered.

 

There seem to be a couple of “rules” out there regarding this “award”, so I thought I would do it my way.  I am nominating 2 bloggers: 3 Kids, 2 Dogs, 1 Old House & se7en + 1.  These are 2 of my favourite blogs to settle in with a cup of coffee and read. So here are your questions ladies!

♥ What is currently inside your handbag?

♥ Is a there topic/subject you would NEVER blog about?

♥ What is your favourite quote?

♥ Bath or shower?

♥ Charity of choice and why?

You see, easy peasy!!

 

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Howzit 2015

Jeez, well that went quickly.  2 weeks of leave, GONE!  And just like that 2015 has arrived.

2014 will go down as one of my best years to date.  After a very crappy 2013, I had an epic year to follow and I have no doubt that 2015 will be even better for me and our family.

I am not one for New Year’s resolutions.  They tend to last about as long as Lindsay Lohan’s sobriety. Having said that I have decided that my resolution mantra for 2015 is going to be:

Be kind to Yourself (1)

 

This is my thought process behind the mantra.

As a Mom, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Colleague (the could keep going with this endless list) there is always something to be done. Before you know it, you are caught up in all sorts, from school projects, to entertaining, to playing Mom’s taxi.  I figured if we were all a little kinder to ourselves, the rest would follow automatically.  So I am going to do my best to feed my soul with all the good things.  Here is a list of food for my soul:

♥ Take time to read that book.

♥ Have a long bubble bath undisturbed my the kids as often as possible.

♥ Make time to exercise because I have learnt it does make me feel better.

♥ Dedicated “date night” with the husband on a monthly basis.

♥ Take that road trip with my 2 primary school besties that I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with.

I am hoping that the above makes for a happier Nikki all round.

So here is too an insanely good 2015.  May you all have enough of what you require to feed your soul!

 

Pug Life. Thank-you Anton Taylor

I have wanted to get a friend for our legendary Snowy Dawg for ages now.  I fell in the love with the idea of having a Boston Terrier and planned to find one to give the kids in the December holidays so that we could spend time with the puppy and ease it into this crazy Tribe.  That was until I saw this video that Anton Taylor posted Pug Dash.  There went my heart, to the Pug.

So the search began.  We thought we were in luck when we found a puppy in Port Elizabeth that could be collected on 12 December.  We made contact, booked the male puppy, when next thing we received a message to say all the male puppies (3) had been sold to one person who paid in full.  Although I was bleak about this, it made me think that this wasn’t the right place for us to get a puppy from if the owner/breeder was all about the money and a bulk sale.  So the search continued.  I eventually found a lady from Oudshoorn who was advertising puppies, although they were yet to be born.  We struck an instant Whatapp’s friendship and she kept in informed of when the puppies were born and gives me daily updates and sends photo’s.

Our new addition arrives in January.  Right now the family debate revolves around a name for this little tyke. We tried looking for a Chinese name since the Pug originates from China but that didn’t pan out well.  My only guideline (or rule) I gave was that it needed to be an actual name.  I didn’t want a Peanut or a Biscuit.  So friends, this is where you come in.  I don’t need anymore confusion by adding to the list, I just need your vote as too what name you would give him.

Potential names for Puglet:

Cooper
Harvey
Monty
Humphrey
Mushu (little dragon from the Mulan movie)
Anton (I added this without family consensus but he lead us down the Pug path)
 
Vote for a name for this Puglet

Vote for a name for this Puglet

Please cast your vote by leaving a comment below.

 I am going to make Anton Taylor the honorary Godfather of the “Puglet” and perhaps even convince him to train “Puglet” for next year’s Pug Dash in Muizenburg.

Loads of Pug cuteness to be found on Tumblr

Loads of Pug cuteness to be found on Tumblr