General Life Tips, Other

South African Travel Tips From A Native | Part One | Garden Route

South Africa is truly a beautiful country even if I do have to say so myself but I don’t because once you see it you will completely agree with me. It has the mountains. It has the sea. It has the wildlife. It has the great food. It has so much more but I can’t really come up with them now but seriously it’s a pretty good deal. Take a look at this video that the YouTube channel ‘We Travel The World’ made. It’s pretty well done.

youtube video for south africa

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUwTTTVCDqA

Now that you’ve watched the video (hands up if you actually watched it!) and you’re interested in the country here is a few things you should know. I first want to say that even though I would love to be able to sugar coat things and really sell you on my home country…I’m not going to do that because I want everyone to enjoy their visit there but most importantly stay safe. As horrible as it is, South Africa isn’t that safe anymore and tourist are the top victims. I’m sorry but it’s true and not just for South Africa it’s for every place in the world.

The other day I was talking to a friend who showed interested in visiting South Africa. I just started to lists great places to go too and what you should keep into account and etc. It was a lot and I’m not even sure if most of it settled so I figured a blog post dedicated to travel tips.

I’m going to start off in Cape Town mostly because that’s where I spend most of my life and I actually know my stuff in that area. So like most countries you can go through a travel company but I’m writing this blog to those who are do it on your own types of travelers. Renting a car is incredibly important. Public transports isn’t a thing. There is Ubers but not in all the small towns and can be quite expensive. Car rental companies are luckily all over the place, heck there is one right at the airport. Now because you don’t know the area GPS is going to make a massive difference. I would recommend you spend the extra money on insurance. There is a lot of hit and runs, or scratch and bumps in South Africa. You could’ve parked your car and went out and about and come back with a massive scratch on the side or a bump in the back. The last thing you want is to have that type of damage on you. Luckily the petrol isn’t that expensive with most rental cars so really, get that insurance.

Okay so there is a lot to see and experience in Cape Town itself, there is probably a lot of information about all the tourist sites in the city on the web. Here is a link to one — http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-cape-town/ — I’m going to talk a little more about the towns and experiences close by. I will be up front, you will be traveling a lot via the car but I promise you some of it will make it worthwhile. I will also recommend you try to find a place to stay outside the big cities. Cape Town hotels can be quite expensive and you can get just as great sea view on the side of a mountain with a hour drive. Don’t worry. I will tell you all about it. There is a small beach town really close to Cape Town, Hout Bay, you can look into staying there. The views are pretty amazing.

The main thing I would recommend is the table mountain I mean just look at this view.

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I’m going to recommended  a small but sweet beach town called Gordon’s Bay. It’s where I used to stay so I can tell you that it’s a pretty great spot to spend some time. The drive from Cape Town to there is very short, here is a screenshot from Google. There is a few things I want to tell you about driving in South Africa. We drive on the left side of the road. We have stop streets and we call traffic lights robots. We also have taxis which are famous for being the worst drivers around. They’re not like you’re imagining that I can tell you now. It’s like a mini bus – always over crowded, painted with graffiti art and a little beat up – and they drive however they want too. They will speed up next to you, half push you out of the road, go in front of you and then suddenly stop on the side of the road to drop someone off. It’s very annoying but just keep an eye out. Also while we’re talking about pigs on the road. When a traffic light turns green of red, don’t immediately floor it and go for it. Give it five seconds and double check there isn’t a straggler trying to make it through the red light. I almost got killed once. Seriously just look. Don’t trust the other people on the road.

cape town to gordon's bay

Try to avoid driving on the highway in the middle of the night and never stop. Never go into the townships, you will know what it is when you see it. I mean no offence but that’s the last place you want to be as a tourist in the middle of the night. Unfortunately there is a lot of people who would steal that nice car and all your belongings right under from you. I really don’t want to scare you but all countries have areas where bad folk gather a little more. Just keep your doors lock and don’t stop on the side of the highway if you can help it. Awhile ago the people from the township would throw rocks from the bridge over the highway to get the cars to stop. Once the cars stop, friends waiting on the side of the road pounce.

Okay the drive to Gordon’s Bay is quite nice. Close by you have Stellenbosch which is small little university towns that’s famous for great wine and going out to party. Somerset West is just as close, which has a great nature reserve if you want to go for a hike. Here is the pictures I took when I hiked that nature reserve. It’s a hike I’ve done quite a few times and I enjoy it every time.

 

Strand is next to Somerset West, it has a nice beach but Gordon’s bay is literally a throw away with a small beach too. Here is a picture I took when I was still there.

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There is many great places there so really try to look into staying there for a bit. For day activities close to Gordon’s Bay you can go to crystal pools which is a beautiful waterfall hike. Here is a link for more details — https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1020231-d9828027-Reviews-Crystal_Pools_Waterfall_Hike-Gordon_s_Bay_Western_Cape.html — While I’m in Gordon’s Bay. A restaurant I would hundred percent recommend is — https://www.facebook.com/The-Thirsty-Oyster-Tavern-763767090329474/ — Try their pork roast. My dad had it on my 21st dinner and it looked delicious. I was seriously considering ‘glutening’ myself for a bite.

After you seen and done what you wanted to do in Gordon’s Bay here is a great drive I want you to take. It’s in the mountains. It’s a beautiful ride. On the one side you have you mountain and on the other side you have you ocean. There is many beautiful small towns that you can stop and maybe even stay a night. Look on airbnb for a possible place to stay but there is hotels if you’re feeling fancy. The dollars/euros/pounds compared to the ZAR is quite nice. You can go all out for a lot less money in South Africa.

gordons bay to hermanus drive

You make this a day drive trip as there is quite a few pretty small towns. Betty’s Bay is beautiful small beach town. You will find penguins there! Kleinmond also has it’s attractions to tourist but I want to take you too Hermanus. They are pretty famous for their whale watching points (although they’re only around certain times in the year. Find more information here — http://www.hermanus.co.za/whale-watching —) but they also have some great fish food. The restaurant on the edge, wait let me find their website (—http://www.bientangscave.com/ —) has the best fish food I’ve tried in a long time. Their prawns is magical! The view from the restaurant is also pretty beautiful. Seriously if you’re in Hermanus GO THERE!

Here is some of the views you can find on this drive.

 

From Hermanus I’m going to take you down a very famous drive in South Africa, the garden route. It’s a drive I’ve taken so many times in my life its actually almost painful. After this route I’m going to take you down a little bit more before I end this part one. As you can see you can’t see the entire country in three weeks. I would break it up if I were you. I mean we’re just touching the surface but you’re seeing quite a bit of the Western and Eastern Cape. Alright let’s go back to the garden route.

garden route

Here is a website that has a ton of information about everything. I mean why would I go through everything when this website has already done it for me. — http://www.gardenroute.co.za/ — I would recommended you stop in as many towns that pulls your attention as you can. My favourite places that I would recommend a overnight stop is Mossel Bay, Knysna (Sedgefield and Plettenberg Bay is just as beautiful and a short drive away), Jeffrey’s Bay and Port Elizabeth.

Mossel Bay is a harbour town with many great tourist stops. Knysna is beautiful with its forest walks and so much more. I would recommend you go to the heads and this restaurant. They’re food is amazing — http://www.sirocco.co.za/ — Sedgefield has a great flea and farmer market every Saturday right on the outside. You have to drive through but you can’t miss it. Let me see if I can find a link to it — http://www.wildoatsmarket.co.za/ — Plettenberg Bay has a beautiful beach and let’s not even begin to talk about all the little tourist parks on the way there. There is a elephant park (Here is the link for you — https://knysnaelephantpark.co.za/ —), a wolf sanctuary (Here is the link for you — http://wolfsanctuary.co.za/ —) and so much more. Google will probably give you more information. There is also a great nature park just outside Knysna. Here is the link — https://www.sanparks.org/parks/garden_route/  — You can even stay inside the park and I’m sure it would be a wonderful experience. Just look up ‘knysna tsitsikamma national park’ for more information. There is some great actives you can do there.

I personally went to the wolf sanctuary a few years back with my dad and I loved every second of it mostly because I’m obsessed with wolves. Here is a few photos from that day.

 

There is so many things you can do that I would seriously recommended you plan the drive and look up every town and see what there is to do that you would like. It’s a big country hey. If I have to go through every single town and what you can do there this would become a very long post (it already is but still). Also stop in Oudshoorn if you can because this — https://www.gardenroute.com/Cango-Caves-Garden-Route-South-Africa_content_op_view_id_41 — There is so many other places I could go into detail that it’s almost difficult to decide on one thing. Maybe I should make a separate blog and go through every town…someone probably did that. Google will probably pull through where I don’t. I mean I found this website after one second of searching — https://www.goatsontheroad.com/top-stops-garden-route-south-africa/ — so just take the time to look into everything. The last stop I want to recommend is Port Elizabeth. They have a small elephant slash game reserve park there that I would recommend. You drive through in your car and you might just sit between elephants.

Here is the photos we took when we went there. It was amazing.

 

Here is the link to the park — https://www.sanparks.org/parks/addo/

You can also stay inside the park and do tour through them which is probably an experience by itself. It’s a smaller park I mean if you think game reserve park in South Africa you think — https://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/ — but that’s on the other side and can be a completely other trip all together. otherwise you can also just trade in your rental car at Port Elizabeth, catch a plane to Johannesburg, get a new car and go from there. Depends on how you want to go about it. From Port Elizabeth you can go to East London but I have never been there personally so Google will have to fill in the blanks.

I think that’s about it for part one. There is just a few things I want to recommend for the entire country all together. Mug ‘n Bean is a restaurant you will find all over. They’re food is high quality and pretty great. Woolworths almost always have the nicest fruit and vegetables (they are very strict with they’re quality). I would also recommend you buy some clothes there if you need some because they’re quality is quite nice. It’s like a cheat. We bought work pants for my husband when he was in South Africa and for the price of one here in Europe we could get two to three really great quality ones. There is Truworths too but use your own judgement. It’s quite easy to see which is great quality clothing and which is not. For the ladies you can stop at Foschini for makeup and perfume. They have some brands that paying in ZAR can save you a bit of money. YOU NEED TO TRY A BRAAI, there is probably some restaurants that can give you something similar but I’m sure if you go to a park or something the opportunity will arise. It’s a barbeque (but don’t call it that) but South Africans are quite passionate about their meat on the fire. It’s really great though. I saw some airbnb places offer a Braai with the package. Safety wise don’t walk around in the dead of the night in side streets. Lock your car and don’t leave valuables in eye sight. Hold tight onto your handbag and don’t walk around with a phone in your hand (outside) if you can help it. Don’t leave your wallet or phone on the table at a restaurant where someone can grab it. Just be conscious about it and you will be fine.

There is so much more I can tell you but I should probably end it here before this gets ridiculously long. I’ve never really explored the countries at the top but I will do some research and ask friends and family and make a part two sometime in the next few weeks. If you end up going to South Africa I hope you would enjoy it fully. It’s truly a beautiful country with great food, people and experiences.

I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

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#dutch, Dutch, General Life Tips

Translating My First Blog Into Dutch

This upcoming week is my last full week to prepare for my second round with my Dutch test. I’m hard at work trying to study for the two tests I failed and have wracked my brain on how to incorporate my Dutch studies with my blog at least once. It’s a two birds one stone type of thing. I need to write a blog for tomorrow and I need to study. So what better way than trying to challenge myself with my Dutch writing abilities. I’m going to attempt to translate my first ever post here on my website. As I know not all of my readers can read or understand Dutch I’m going to add a little footnote of my thoughts in between parts (read sobs, rants and frustration but I will be funny about it). I will also underline what words I had to Google translate or call a friend (read ask husband). This should be interesting! Here goes!

—Body Best Friends Forever / BBFF

You are your own best friend.

What I mean with this is quite simple. When you’re feeling down in the dumps and filling your own head with negative thoughts stop yourself and ask this question: “Would I say any of this shit to my best friend?” Over my dead body honey. I will never tell my best friend they’re fat or make them feel guilty about their binge. I will never judge them for something they’ve done that I maybe don’t agree with. That’s not me so why on earth would I say any of this crap to myself?—

Licchaam Beste Vrienden Voor Altijd | BBFF

Jij is je eigen beste vriend.

Wat ik bedoelt is eigenlijk heel simpel. Als je slecht voel en je eigen hooft met negatieve gedachtes vulden, stop jezelf en vraag jezelf deze vraag: “Zal ik ooit deze slechte woorden tegen mijn beste vrienden zeg?” Oor mijn dode lichaam schatje. Ik zal nooit voor mijn beste vrienden zeg dat zij vet zijn of ze (hul?) laat schuldig voelt over een binge. Ik zal nooit ze oordeelt over iets wat hul heb gedaan wat ik misschien niet mee zaam stem. Dit is niet mij zo waarom zal ik deze slechte woorden voor mij zelf zeggen?

***

Lord that was anything but easy. I have no idea how this going but that was anything but easy. It will be curious to see how right or wrong that went…will ask Onno to rate me below…Stay tuned. That short little paragraph took me five minutes to translate. It’s nearly 11pm. Damn I’m going to be here for awhile. Okay let’s continue!

***

—When I catch myself with any negative thoughts about my body I imagine my best friend’s face and that I’m saying these words to them. In two seconds flat I’m beyond angry and over protective. I’m like oh hell to the no! Who the hell do you think you are with saying this type of bullshit to my friend? It doesn’t take me long to have a big Ahaha moment and just like that I snap myself out of the negative thoughts. I then proceed to tell myself what I would tell my best friend if they were saying these type of things about themselves.—

Als ik mijzelf betrapt negatieve dingen over mijn lichaam denken dan zal ik mijn beste vriendin voorzinnen en mijzelf zien deze woorden voor haar zeggen. In twee seconden ben ik boos en over beschermend op haar. Ik was net nee, net een groot vet NEE. Wie denk je is je om deze onwaar en negatieve woorden voor mijn beste vrienden te zeggen? Dit neemt mij niet zo lang om een goot Ahaha moment te hebben en zo snap ik mijzelf uit de slechte gedachtes. Ik zal dan doorgaan voor mezelf te zeggen wat ik voor mijn beste vrienden zal zeggen als zij deze woorden over zijzelf (ze?) zeggen.

***

Over protective was difficult to translate into Dutch. Husband got stumped and we had to Google. It really wasn’t as hard but hey it’s late and our brains are currently fried. I doubted so many things while attempting to translate this one but I’m somehow got through this one. I also feel that I cheated a little bit because Google translate saved the day twice although I only added one extra letter. Licchaam is lichaam. Negatiewe is negatieve. I’m learning hey! Which was the purpose of this post. I wanted to work on my Dutch and write a blog post. Two birds one stone remember. Is this even entertaining for you all?

***

—“I’m fat.” Fat is just a substance in your body and guess what without fat you won’t be alive. So what if you carry a little extra fat? You are soft and great to cuddle with.

“I’m ugly.” No honey those thoughts are ugly. You are anything but ugly. You are a wonderful human being so don’t you dare dill your sparkle.

“I’m a horrible person.” Are you kidding me? Serial killers, child molesters, rapist and puppy kickers are horrible people.

“I ate two chocolate bars. I basically ate all my hard work away.” What type of chocolate was it?

So snap out of it. Look at yourself in the mirror and repeat after me.—

“Ik is vet.”  Vet is alleen een inhoud wat in je lichaam en raad eens zonder vet kan je niet leven. Zo wat als je een beetje extra vet om je buik dragen? Je is zag en geweldig om mee te knuffel.

“Ik is lelijk.” Nee schatje deze gedachtes is lelijk. Jij is enige behalve lelijk. Jij is een wonderlijke persoon zo je durf niet om je fonkeling te doffen.

“Ik is een verschrikkelijk persoon.” Grap je? Seriemoordenaars, kinderen molesters, rapits en hond schoppers is verschrikkelijke personen.

“Ik heb twee een chocola reepjes gegeten. Ik heb eigenlijk al mijn harde werk weg gegeten.” Wat zoort chocola was dit? Was dit lekker?

Zo snap uit dit! Kijk jezelf in the spiegel en herhaald na mij.

***

Damn that was hard. My brain is fried at the moment but I’m almost there. Onno is questioning my constant what is this word in English but it’s too fun to write this without him knowing. I must say this is challenging but I’m getting there. Let’s get through this last part! I’m just too excited to find out how I did. I want to see my rating!

***

I’m WORTHY!

I’m BEAUTIFUL!

I’m FABULOUS!

I’m AWESOME!

I’m a magical unicorn…

Ik is waardig!

Ik is beeldschoon!

Ik is fabelachtig! 

Ik is geweldig!

Ik is een magische eenhoorn 

*** 

I laughed so hard when i looked up what’s fabulous in Dutch. It’s hilarious. Unicorn in Dutch is also pretty funny. It makes me think of a squirrel and I just couldn’t stop imagining a little squirrel with his mouth stuffed full or nuts and wearing a pink sparkling tutu and homemade DIY unicorn horn. It’s magical. Now for the moment I waited since the beginning. My grade!

Drum roll please…

“Cassandra did very well! I was very curious what was happening behind me with all the questions…Of course there is small area’s to improve in but most of it is smaller details. I give her 8+ out of ten!”

grade

Insert happy squeal! I’m feeling quite proud of my score! I’m getting better! Pretty soon I will be writing long novels in Dutch (not really) but it’s a skill I need. Dutch is after all the main language in my new home country. Oh the test is on the 7th of March so think of me on that day! Hold your thumbs please!!!

Oh here is the link to the original post if you want to give it a read without my Dutch translations. It was quite nostalgic to read it again. — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/08/09/body-best-friends-forever-bbff/

I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

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General Life Tips, Other

Hair Care Advice | From Double Bleach To Kind Of Okay Hair

My oh my have I done so much shit to my hair these last few years. I’ve bleached it. I’ve colored it more times than I could even count. I’ve heat treated it to a point of extreme damage. My hair was falling out with handfuls at a time. I’m not even being over dramatic either. I was truly shedding like no other. My hair was dry and felt like grass. It wasn’t a pleasant look. Styling my hair would cause even more breakage. It came to a point where no matter what I did, I was having a bad hair day.

I’m not a hairdresser nor do I have a large amount of information on healthy hair and all that jazz. All I know is that once I started to incorporate these few things into my hair care routine, my damaged hair made a complete u-turn. It’s not 100% but every month it gets better. I do notice that if I’m less consistent with my hair care routine my hair quality decreases.

  1. Limit all heat

Heat is something that can truly damage your hair. Hair straighter, curlers and blowers WITHOUT any heat protection is definitely not doing any wonders to your hair. I read somewhere online for ultimate hair growth rinsing your hair with cold water just before your shower can work miracles. It closes the hair follicles. Something smart like that. I haven’t tried it but hey the internet get some things right? I saw awhile back Buzzfeed had some of their people shower in cold water for a month. They noted a difference in their hair. It’s worth looking into if you really want to grow your hair. Fast.

  1. Limit chemicals

Strong chemicals, as logic would tell you, are anything but healthy for your hair. So stay away from hair dye –avoid bleach like a plague- and strong products promising this and that. Read the back of the product and make sure they use natural products. This will make a difference.

  1. Limit shampooing

This is one can sound a little fun but you have to give your hair time to create its own natural oils. Study has shown the time between washes should be longer instead of shorter. Luckily dry shampoo and even baby power can save the day if your hair is just too oily. I grew up with the idea to wash my hair every single day. Now I wash it every four days. I feel like there has been a difference.

  1. Treat your hair

This one at first glance seems to be counter predicting my limit chemicals but the key here is natural hair treatment. You want to get products that feeds your hair the nutrients it needs to grow strong. From what I understand after damage, your hair doesn’t hold onto oils as it should so it is your job to supply oils to it. I’ve been treating my hair every four days with a massive treatment on the weekend for over a year now, heck I’m nearing the two year mark and I’ve noted that my hair is making its own oils. I don’t need to treat it every day for healthy looking hair. I’m making progress. I apply most of the product on my ends and the rest on my roots. I massage it into my scalp for the best result. I will go into that one more in one second.

  1. Massage your scalp

Massaging your scalp while washing and during treatment can make the worlds of difference. I read somewhere a long time ago, well when I was trying to grow my hair fast, that if you massage your hair for two minutes every single day while your head is upside down makes your hair grow super duper quick. I don’t know if this is ultimate bullshit. I’ve never been able to stick to it every time I’ve tried it. I saw a YouTube video once about someone trying it. I guess what I’m getting at I’ve noticed a positive response when I was massaging my scalp. Even if it doesn’t encourage growth it was definitely encouraging oil production. It was worth a try.

I’m going to insert a picture of my blond hair and my hair now. I doubt you can see a massive difference in the quality of the hair as the pictures isn’t of the best and I was treating my hair quite often back then so you couldn’t always see the damage but it was definitely there. Oh while I’m on the subject the bleaching broke my hair like a mother of all holy. The parts where it broke off takes ten times longer to grow in and is ten times more damaged than other parts.

Here is a few more pictures to really show how damaged my hair was from the blonde dye. Also it took me a hour of deep searching my computer for these images and using one just isn’t enough. I do have to add that this was AFTER treatment. It was just constantly DRYYYYYYY, brittle and well damaged.

I wish you all the best and see you in a click!

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General Life Tips, Other

Nail Care Advice | From Nail Biter To Oh Mamma Mia That’s Sharp

My nails has gone through many stages in my life. They’ve been damaged. They’ve been brittle. They’ve been chewed at. They’ve seen it all. However thanks to these few tricks they’ve recovered into the beauties they are today. Let me just insert a picture so you know what I’m talking about.

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I can’t pinpoint the moment I started biting my nails but I can pinpoint the exact moment I stopped. I was at school on a very random day. I was about two classes in and I was walking to my next class. This girl in front of me, she opened the door so her hands caught my attention, was absolutely beautiful. Long –way too long for our school standards- and healthy. It made her fingers look dainty. I looked down to my own nails who were chewed to the point I was nibbling on skin. It was horrendous. I don’t have a picture but I’m going to see what Google has to compare. Wait my husband’s nails is basically how mine used to look like. I’m going to insert the picture now. If your squeamish please look away –or well scroll away.

img-7154.jpg

Okay his nails aren’t that bad. It used to be a hell of a lot worse but recently he has been better. I threatened to paint his nails if he doesn’t consciously try to stop. And by paint his nails I mean bright red that he needs to carry around for a week. Anyway I’m moving slightly off topic. You’re probably wondering how I stopped…how that one glance at a random girls hands made me rethink years of serious nail biting. It was quite simple really. I didn’t like how my nails looked and I vowed to myself at that very moment that I’m done. I’m not going to bite my nails anymore. And I did actually stop. After that day I never bit my nails again. It’s funny really. Before that moment I’ve tried so many things. That disgusting tasting nail polish you put on. That rub chili pepper on your fingers. It never worked. My conclusion is that it was all in the mind. Before I made the conscious clear decision that I won’t bite my nails anymore I only went into the anti nail biting things with oh it would be nice if I could stop kind of vibe. Is this even making sense? You won’t stop till you WANT to stop. You won’t change till you WANT to change. Sometimes you will need help from others but sometimes your decision alone to stop or change is ENOUGH.

I stopped biting my nails when I was about fifteen or sixteen. It was all hanky dory. I would get into trouble at the school for long nails and I would be forced to cut them. My nails were growing without any problems. They were healthy. Oh I should probably explain the whole school being an asshole about my nails. In South Africa all public schools follow a strict uniform structure. There was a large amount of rules of how you look and dress for school. The length of your nails was never allowed to be longer than your finger. So if you turn your hand and you can see nail bits sticking over, it’s too long. There was exception to the rule however. On special events if you get your nails done two days before you were allowed to wear the said pretty nails to school. It was only once and around our school prom. It was my second time getting acrylics. The first time was the year before in my summer holiday. It was a disaster. The job was quite bad as in it took literally two hours for the one nail to chip and ruin the whole look. Removing the acrylics was a disaster too because I was on holiday in the middle of nowhere. There was a professional at hand to remove the nails. So I did it at home and let’s just say my nails was in the worst condition I’ve seen it in YEARS. It was thin, brittle and just well brittle. It wasn’t a good look. It took my nails months to recover and return to its healthy self prior to the acrylics. So after the second time I went to a professional to remove them as I thought this time around my post acrylic nails would a hell of a lot better. It wasn’t. Same thing. Thin and brittle. I tried acrylics two more times in the next two years. It was the same old thing. Thin and brittle. The last time I wore it, I vowed to never touch the things again. It was extra thin and brittle. It took me a year to healthy nails again and I had to do a lot to get there. I will get to it in a moment. Just after my nails recovered I went to get my hair done and they offered a free gel nails with the package. As it was free I was all for it. The nail technician promised that gel is a hell of a lot better for your nails than acrylics. I figured it was worth a try at least once. REGRET. Post gel nails was thin and brittle. It took another few months of treatment to recover and as I sit today I can tell you I won’t be doing that again. Lesson learned. I will stick to the good old nail polish and my nails thank me for it.

Here is what I did to recover from all the shit I did to my nails and how I got it so strong, long and healthy today.

To treat my thin and brittle nails I would apply nail hardener once a week. I did this for years. Eventually the treatment had my nails strong and hard. Almost too hard. If your nails are too hard one wrong move, too much pressure will break your nail. My natural nails were growing in strong enough. I didn’t need to apply the hardener anymore. So I switched over to nail oil to moisturize and keep my nails healthy between nail polish applications and daily life. It worked like a dream!

My main piece of advice is to stay consistent with the right treatment your nails need at the time and be patient. It’s going to take time. Before I leave here is a video link to my favorite nail YouTuber and her advice on the matter. Her handle is Simply Nailogical and she is the holo mother to many. It’s a nail thing. Here is the link. It is a very helpful video and I would definitely recommend it if you’re trying to grow your nails.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Mn-5pWLErg

That’s all the advice I got. Best of luck and I will see you in a click!

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#education, General Life Tips

Education Can Be Free

When I was in high school I knew going to university to study simply isn’t an option. We were struggling to make ends meet so higher education was the last thing of our worries. Things in my life changed and I have more opportunities today than I could ever dream off.

I discovered this website a year ago and I would hundred percent recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more. It has almost anything you can think off. You just need to take the time and study. Internet connection would be a bonus but there is ways around it where it shouldn’t be a game changer. If you really want something, then make it work. Do yourself a favor and check out the company called; edX. This next snippet is from their about page.

*Quality education for everyone, everywhere

Our Mission: Increase access to high-quality education for everyone, everywhere. Enhance teaching and learning on campus and online. Advance teaching and learning through research.

Our Story: Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere. With more than 90 global partners, we are proud to count the world’s leading universities, nonprofits, and institutions as our members. EdX university members top the QS World University Rankings® with our founders receiving the top honors, and edX partner institutions ranking highly on the full list.

You, Our Global Learning Community: Our students come from every country in the world! Whether you are interested in computer science, languages, engineering, psychology, writing, electronics, biology, or marketing, we have the course for you!

Our Difference: We were founded by and continue to be governed by colleges and universities. We are the only leading MOOC provider that is both nonprofit and open source.*

Click on this link to learn more — www.edx.org

I’ve done one course through them and let me tell you, I learned so much! It is definitely worth it. I did however take the verified option as I thought it might be a smart move to take. This did cost money. I also feel the need to add that I was very disappointed when I got my certificate and it didn’t show my grade. Throughout the course I worked very hard to get a good grade. I wrote it in myself as life was just being an asshole in week 5. I needed to see my grade. I also want to note that I’ve seen a few courses that is not in fact free but do keep an eye out. It is very easy to see if it’s free and etc. It is very easy to join and enroll. I also want to add that I prefer to take courses from a verified school as I feel like the information can be trusted. I really hope this helped someone.

Here is the courses I’m going to take somewhere in the next year (or two, or three, its endless). I’m back to studying Dutch –insert a groan from pure frustration- so till that is behind me these courses will have to wait.

I’m going to take six courses in psychology offered by the university of British Columbia. Followed by many nutrition and human body related courses offered by many respected universities. I’m going to take course on human health and genetics. I’m also interested in a course on the science and practice of yoga. I’m also going to look into a lot of mental health courses and so much more. So even though I don’t plan to go to an university and get a degree I plan on learning everything I find interesting that will benefit and improve my way of life. I’m always eager to learn more, and more, and more. You get it!

I wish you all the best and see you in a click!

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#education, General Life Tips

Too Study Or Not Too Study

Fifty or so years ago many women couldn’t work. It was frowned upon. It was expected of them to stay home, look after the kids, clean the house and just be pretty for their husbands. Many women came together to be the voice for us and fought for the right to be equal, to work. Today it is almost frowned upon if a women doesn’t work. Oh you’re a housewife? Your husband works his ass off while you sit pretty at home all day, how lazy.

It’s fucking ridiculous. EVERY person should have the right to CHOOSE what they want to do with their life without some person forcing their opinion  of the right way to live down their throat. DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY because in the end of day this is YOUR life. You should be able to say at the end of your days that you lived how you wanted to live. I guess what I’m trying to say is the last thing you want to do is spend your entire life living a life that someone wrote for you. To play a role every second of all your days. Write your own damn story.

I’ve been thinking about my future for a long time now. I felt so conflicted because I knew I should study. Its expected from me. You can’t just not study and decide to stay home and leach off your husband. Women fought way to hard for this right for you to decide not to use it. The thing is…I don’t want to study. I don’t want to work a nine to five job. I want to do my own thing. Be my own boss. At first I thought that maybe I haven’t found the right study that fits me just right. Maybe once I figure out what career I can balance while working from home and finding a study I’m passionate about…it just doesn’t feel right.

When I first found out I have celiac I thought that something in the nutrition field would be the perfect fit. I would be able to relate to my clients and learn more about the celiac disease. It felt like a good fit. I even did a short course on the subject. It was interesting but after a few months I came to an conclusion that being a nutritionist won’t satisfy me completely. I tried to explain this to my husband before. He didn’t quite understand it but let’s try it anyway.

Life is more about my nutritional health for me. I want to incorporate mental and physical health. After all the three of those needs to be in balance for perfect harmony and happiness. There is three baskets (nutritional, mental and physical) and six eggs (daily energy/time). You can’t add three eggs into one basket, two in another and only one in the last basket. Eventually it will wear you down. Every basket needs three eggs to have harmony. To avoid burn out or possible mental breakdown. I’m not sure if any of that makes sense but it makes sense to me. So I searched the net trying to find a study and career that would balance those three things. Becoming a vital couch seemed be the perfect fit. You learn about mental health (stress counselor, mental coach and mindful analyst), physical health (basic coach, weight consultant and personal trainer) and nutritional health (natural food adviser and hormone specialist). If I do decide to study this would most likely be the study that I choose as it’s something I want to do my entire life. I want to find a way to balance my three baskets evenly and help others.

BUT it doesn’t feel completely right. I’ve been writing since I turned twelve. I also started to read around that time. When I was younger reading and writing was my escape of reality. After that difficult time passed it was my therapy, my way of dealing with what happened. Writing has a soft spot in my heart. When my writing started to improve and I started to share my stories online, the little flutter of becoming an author start to bloom. When people all over the world started to respond to my stories, sending me messages how my story was helping them through difficult times or just making their day, it sparked something big. I want to be an author. I want to write. I want to spend my day creating a new world with characters that readers can relate too. As time passed I forgot why I enjoyed writing so much but after starting the blog I reminded myself why I started writing. Why I never truly stopped.

Basically I’m sitting in front a cross road. I need to decide if I want to study or if I want to follow my dream and become an author. I can’t have both. I’m not entirely sure what exactly is holding me back. I guess if I’m hundred percent honest, society expects me to study and have my own career and I just don’t want to disappoint my family, friends…myself. I want to make the right decision for myself.

I want to be a writer.

I don’t want to study just because other people think I should.

I want to live my own life.

I’m not going to study, well I might take a few wellness courses to improve my own way of life and learning more about nutrition, physical and mental health will only help me, but I’m not going to get a degree.

I’m going to write.

I’m going to create new worlds.

I’m going to create characters that readers fall in love with.

I’m going to follow my childhood dream.

I’m going to study in the world of literature.

I’m definitely going to take a few writing courses as its only going to help me improve. So I guess in a way I’m still going to study but it’s definitely not enough for society. It’s truly funny how things work out. I’m never going to have a bachelor degree but it’s not something I need to be happy. No more limits. I’m going to spread my wings and have words guide my life.

My name is Cassandra and I’m a house wife. I write every single day and I don’t have a bachelor degree. I’m worthy of respect and happiness. Thank you for reading.

I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

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#dutch, Dutch, General Life Tips, Other, Story Time

I Got A Present From My Mommy Dearest | NT2 Update

My Thursday morning started with going online and fighting the internet because for some reason it couldn’t open the website or it will shut down once I click on the ‘see results’ tab. I should explain a little. So remember five weeks ago I wrote my NT2 or Dutch as a second language test. It was finally time to see the results and boy could I hardly breathe while waiting for the internet to finally get its shit together. So I clicked enter after putting in my details, closed my eyes and blocked the screen with a piece of paper. After a few minutes I grew a pair and finally checked. Boy did I get a sucker punch. Please give me a few minutes while I rant. Just skip it but also feel free to read because it’s probably entertaining.

What the actual fuck man. I mean I failed the one test (writing) with 8 points. 8 points. Throw a bitch a bone man. I mean 8 points. Now I have to redo the test just to make an extra 8 points. Like come on! 8 points. 492. That’s a lot of points. The worst part is I have no idea where I went wrong. It wasn’t a test I was that worried about afterwards. The only part that made me second guess the success of the test was the two long questions at the end. They asked for 180 words and I gave them 350 easy. It could go two ways. First they only mark the first 180 words and then leave out the rest or mark everything as is. I suspect they only marked the first 180 words. That’s the only way I could lose so many points and fail. I really can’t think of how else I lost those 8 points. It was just really disappointing if I’m upfront with you. I worked really hard and studied my ass off and now I have to redo it again. What a sucker punch.

I failed the speaking test too. It wasn’t a super close call like the writing test but 37 points from passing is still pretty frustrating if you catch my drift. The speaking test is the one that made me panic and I honestly thought I would be lucky if I get half of the stuff correct but then again it still feels pretty disappointed that I failed. I don’t want to fail. I also really don’t want to retake this test. It was fucking horrible. I hated that test so much and now I have to do it again. It just really was a blow and I know it’s not that big and all but it does change my future plans a little bit. I think the worst part outside retaking the test is just how frustrating it. I just really wanted that part of my life behind me but now I have to wait weeks before I can retake the test and then wait weeks for my results. The positive thing is I know exactly what to expect and can properly prepare myself.

The one thing that really worried me was how this could affect my studies. I’ve been trying to start my studies a few years now. I’ve been ready but there is always something that needs to be done that takes months. My studies start in March and hopefully I can still start even though I won’t have all four certificates by the time I start. Oh that’s a messy sentence. All in all. It would have been wonderful if I passed all four tests but there is nothing I can do about it now. I just need to stand up, dust myself off and make sure I don’t make the same mistakes again. I shouldn’t be too hard on myself either. The test isn’t known to be easy and at that point I was probably actively studying Dutch for four  months. I mean this test is for people who are fluent in the language. I was close, 80% fluent so it really just adds to the frustration. But anyway there is nothing I can do about it and after sulking for a few hours I’ve moved on. I will probably make the appointment for the next test this weekend. It takes six weeks so I have time to prepare.

Now let’s move on to the good stuff. So I mentioned my sulking and pity part already but the results couldn’t have came on a better day because today I was expecting a package from my mommy dearest. I went out in the cold and picked up my package, basically sprinted home, died a little carrying the package up four flight of stairs before switching on Facebook Live and digging in. Boy I was like a little kid on a Christmas morning. My mom went all out with this package. All my favorites treats. Three packets of my favorite soft candy in the world. Two bar of chocolates that’s literally heaven. Six packets of rice chips in a flavor that is home and so much more. Speculoos even got some toys and the husband is just as obsessed with his present. It was truly just what I needed to end my day and got me out of my pity party and into a yay I can’t wait to stuff my face party.

I will be honest. Its hard sometimes to be so far away from family and the country that was your home and all you knew for nearly two decades and it will probably always be hard but festive season just takes it up a notch. I get homesick and I wish I can have my family by my side as I celebrate this season but I signed up for this when I made the big move. I will find a way to deal with the homesickness I’m sure but for now I’m just going to feel what I feel and enjoy my time here with my two favorite boys. (Okay I have three but my dad doesn’t even count. I mean he is my dad. He is included.)

Here is the picture of my big present. Quite impressive isn’t it? I’m so happy right now. I already made quite a big dent in it as I’m writing this and you bet your sweet little booty by the time this blog goes online there will be another big dent in it. I can’t wait. I’m going to stuff my face.

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