Story Time

My Second Date With My Husband (His Perspective)

Insert the romantic music with slideshow of every couple picture we have. While I’m here insert some romantic poems.

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Okay now that is behind us here is Onno’s journal entry of our second date. Reading this gives me so many warm and a fluffy feelings. It was also the day we kissed for the first time and also our first selfie together ever. The ball really started to roll after this date and in a blink of an eye we were girlfriend and boyfriend. Nevertheless here is what you all came for. Onno’s thoughts. I’m sure you will miss my brilliant words but no worries I will be back tomorrow.

19 July 2015

The day started quite early for me, it was our 2nd date and I remembered being very excited, saying we had a great first date would be an understatement. I had high hopes it would only get better. We went to Blijdorp on Saturday and its literally been years that I went to the zoo, Cassy also was very excited about it, there were some animals that are seen in the wild in South Africa.

The action started around 12, we had been texting all morning and I picked Cassy up from the station. We went by Starbucks and I introduced Cassy to my favorite drink. The weather wasn’t ideal so I got an umbrella and we started walking to the zoo. It was a small 5 minute walk and we just spend it chatting away and further getting to meet each other, a short walk felt even shorter and before I knew it we were at the zoo. There we’re some animals we really wanted to see, Cassy was excited about the lions and I wanted to see the aquarium and Polar bears. We had a lot of time so we could take it chill and just spend the day. There was almost too much to mention but time passed quick, we spend some time sitting near the pond with the birds and it was just perfect. I felt completely happy and just so comfortable already, it was an instant connection.

Next we’re the little piggies, I’m not sure anymore which species it was exactly but they stuck their noses thru the fence and could lick your fingers, it was adorable and the feeling was very ticklish! We moved on past the Gorilla’s, and giraffe’s. Next we’re also some tropical animals including birds and crocodiles! As we moved thru the zoo we slowly got hungry and Cassy introduced me to something I, in hindsight embarrassingly, didn’t know about before. It was a potato on a stick that got fried off and dusted with a flavor mixture.

After this it was off to the polar bears, there was a female with 2 little cups and it was super cute! Our next move was the Aquarium, this is where we shot our first selfie! Little did I know there were so much more to come, although at this point I was very much hoping there were. Just look at how pretty Cassy looks, I was mesmerized. After the aquarium we ran into the gift shop and there were a lot of fluffy stuffed animals, I wanted to give Cassy something to remember this day by so was happy to look around and pick something out. The polar bear looked cute but we decided on a little gorilla, I saw a little heart and couldn’t help myself and wanted to give it to Cassy. She loved it and said she would never take it off! Little did I know she truly kept this promise.

At this point we crossed the zoo and planned our return journey thru the zoo, there was still the lions, and this was perhaps the first disappointment of the day, Cassy had really looked forward to them but there we’re only 2 very small ones, not what we were expecting at all. After the zoo it was time to go back to the apartment, we walked the same way back thru the central station and just chatted about the day and the rest of the plans. There was also some mental preparation for the stairs! We managed to climb it easily and were back on the couch. It was around 5 and we we’re deciding what to do for dinner. Eventually I thought it would be best to go to a simple restaurant down the street. There wasn’t much special about the food, it was a Vietnamese place and we ordered a bit much thus we took the chicken wings back home again.

It was now around 20:30 and we were back on the couch, we cuddled for a bit and I knew at this point how much I liked Cassy’s company and the whole day had just been perfect. I got a bit nervous as I realized how much I wanted to kiss her, in the end it wasn’t the perfect moment but a moment I will not forget for the rest of my life anyhow. It felt significant and I’m not sure how much skill I managed to show in the kiss as the nerves did get the better of me. We basically spend the rest of the evening perfecting our technique though and by the end of the evening I felt a lot more confident. Overall it had been amazing but Cassy had to leave soon as she had a curfew and an early morning with the kids. We walked back to the station and shared a great last kiss of the evening, it had been a truly amazing day and I was just in the clouds with my head.

It would be a while till I see Cassy again and the feeling I felt just made me realize how much I loved spending time with her. A week just felt so long, Cassy had to work and then had a trip planned to Berlin. I knew I was gonna miss her a lot, and couldn’t wait for the next time I saw her.

***

Oh this is our first selfie together. So young. So new. So fresh. So innocent.

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Story Time

My First Date With My Husband (My Perspective)

The first year of our relationship I documented everything. I had my journal with photos, tickets and a little journey entry on every day we shared together. I would write the journal entry on my phone and every two months or so I would spend the entire weekend catching up with my entry. I’m so far behind I’m not even sure I can catch up. I’m 6 months behind on making a journal entry on my phone and now that I live here and see my husband every single day I can’t even try to catch up. I would have to pick the good days out and where do I even start with that one. To make matters worse the last entry I made in the journal itself is somewhere in March 2016. Yeah…Catching up isn’t an option. Well I guess I can try but I would rather not thank you very much. I still save every ticket and instant photo we take together. Old habits die hard.

Anyway my point is I have our first date in our journal and I wrote it just before we celebrated our one month anniversary but I’m probably going to add a few details here and there to make it into a nice story. The actual journal entry is in the cursive writing and the new bits and pieces I added to have the entire thing make more sense for someone who wasn’t on the date themselves, is in normal writing. I’m not sure if I explained that correctly but you will understand once you see it.

I love being able to look back at the beginning of our relationship. It’s so sweet and it makes my insides all warm and fluffy. The journal entry itself is quite cute. I mean the time I wrote it I had no idea we would get married. I knew I wanted to spend my life with him somehow. I just had a feeling but putting it in reality wasn’t going to be easy and it sure as hell wasn’t. Anyway I’m getting slightly off track. I use the word anyway quite a lot in my blogs. I should whip out Google and see if I can find anything else. Regardless, however, nevertheless, anyhow and probably so much more. Nevertheless back to the topic at hand. Oh that makes me sound so posh. Like hello my dear would you like a cup of tea? I’m seriously so far of track I’m going a different direction. Let’s return to the first journal entry. Oh the second journal entry is our second date (now duh!) and later on I made Onno write a journal entry for that day too! I should definitely make that into a blog. I mean he already wrote it. Score! Nevertheless here is the journal entry you had to wait so long for.

14 July 2015

Our first date was perfect, magical even. Onno and I haven’t been texting very long when we decided it was time to meet. We met on Tinder only weeks before and although Onno was busy with his thesis and wasn’t an active texter we still felt like there was something there. Something worth going on a date and seeing what happens. So he arranged the big date. I had no idea what we would do till the day before. I for some reason thought he wouldn’t even show up so I got ready and decided if he doesn’t show up I will buy some snacks and go back home but he was there and awkward. He immediately pulled me in close and did the Dutch three cheeks kisses which completely freaked me out as it’s something that never happens to me. He picked me up with his mom’s little red car. We drove to Rotterdam, the conversation flowing. We just clicked. It felt so right. With a few twists and turns, a wrong turn here and there, we finally made it to our first stop of the evening. The escape room. The first 30 minutes went smoothly. I found all the math clues and Onno worked the math out. Along the way we got stuck on the math problem that would open the last lock, the white lock. And I on the other hand couldn’t wrap my head around what the short pipes could be a clue for. It didn’t mean anything in the end (the guy who gave us clues every now and again used the pipes so we could hear a new clue coming in after the tubes ran out), but we both agreed it was a valid thought process. Afterwards we went to a very nice restaurant where we enjoyed a great pizza and I impressed Onno with my excellent knife skills. (I fidget with my hands when I’m nervous and flip the knife around so I would constantly try to cut the pizza on the dull side.) Closer to the end of the dinner Onno exclaimed that he forgot to pay for the parking. It was our first lucky moment as a couple. Just as we walked to the car, the car guards arrived and we got away with +2 hours free parking and no fine. We wanted dessert (restaurant ran out of yummy ice cream flavors) next and so Onno parked his car close to his apartment and his excuse was that he has to pay the parking ticket on his laptop. (PS it’s a completely valid excuse. He gets a discount if he parks it through the one website as he lives on the street.) So I of course said: “Sure, let’s go upstairs.” It was clear that I liked him because the stairs to his place (75, we counted later) is hell. There we spend the rest of the night eating ice cream (I got stomach ache in the car on our way back) and cuddling on the couch watching some boring old movie, that only Onno would remember the name of. Eventually it got late and I had to go back home. On the way home, the conversation was smooth and I felt like I would see this guy again. I remember thinking that maybe I don’t dislike his annoying nervous chuckle. I would say it was a pretty good start to a great relationship.

***

Cue romantic music with a fade out on a wedding photo.

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Recipes, Story Time

Life After One Month Of Marriage | Lemon Meringue Recipe

They say once you get married everything changes. I don’t know who this ‘they’ is but I don’t see their point. The only thing that changed is now Onno wears a ring.

Excuse me while I get sappy for a few sentences. Onno is truly the best thing that ever happened to me. I met him when I was 19 years old. I just started to discover myself as an adult and he pushed me (gently of course) in the right direction by encouraging me to always follow my dreams and never apologize for being quirky. I learned from him and I taught him a few things as well. We grew together. I’m in no way the same person I was when I met him but that’s not a bad thing. Onno once said that he had a feeling before we met. He just knew that this was it. I’m truly so grateful to have found my soul mate so early in life. Each moment we spend together just makes my life oh so much brighter and I look forward for all the memories we will make together.

You’re only married for one month once so I went all out with the celebration. My morning started with running to the shop to get ingredients for my special lemon pie and balloons. I made lemon meringue (lemon pie with meringue on top) many times before and boy did I get cocky. I didn’t feel like it was necessary to follow the recipe. Happily luck played in my hands and I managed to save the pie and follow the recipe before things went south. As the pie cooled down and cleaned the kitchen before it was time for the balloons. It was a full time job and absolutely draining to blow up the balloons and hang them with Speculoos around. He found the entire process very now what’s the word…it angered him. How dare I spend so much time on this air pumping machine and not cuddle with him? I took me a hour and a half to set everything up. My thumb is still numb from the balloon pump. Afterwards it was time to start with dinner. I wanted the food to be ready five minutes after Onno gets home as I know my husband comes home starving. I also made one of his favorites, lasagna. As the food did it’s magic in the oven I rushed to get ready.

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PS that painting in the background was a gift from one of my host kids (sorry for the white lie. Onno painted it a year or so ago and he doesn’t want people to know so shhh don’t tell him! The host kids did actually paint something for me. It’s in the office.)

I never did my makeup and hair that quick. Just before Onno arrived I put on a very romantic fireplace video which brought everything together. The timing was perfect. Onno arrived and boy was he surprised. I think he expected a nice cooked meal but the house fully decorated? Why would I go so far for our one month mini-anniversary? Well because I love my precious Dutch boy so much and his been so great to me. We immediately devoured our food and damn did it taste like heaven. My taste buds had a field day. It was so good. I’m not even tooting my own horn it was that good. Ask Onno. His my husband…he won’t lie. After dinner we enjoyed the fireplace and talked. It was amazing. I went on and on about babies and kids (Onno is no longer scared) and our plans for the next few months. Dessert was heaven and the perfect touch to the evening. It was truly a great evening. Private, romantic and delicious.

It’s been a wonderful first month and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my husband. I figured I can’t have this post without my precious husband making a guest paragraph. Hence why this is going up so late on a Friday. Onno is a very busy working man and he needs to proofread my entire blog before it can go up. Enough of me. Onno’s turn!

“I came home so surprised! This was all so unexpected but then again knowing Cassandra you could expect the unexpected. I loved the surprise and the amazing decorations in the house. Oww and the food… now that was literally the best I’ve had since I can remember. The lasagna was heaven, that lemon cake (which I now know was a close call) was a dream. I had the most amazing evening. Let me also use this time on Cassandra’s blog to echo her sentiments, I have to excuse myself for the sappiness as well. Every time I see my wife, coming home from work or just lying next to me in bed, it creates a little spring in my heartbeat. Cassandra has enriched my life with a sense of purpose and a future to work towards together. I love you so much my sweetheart”.

PS I only read Onno’s paragraph just before posting this and I’m blushing!

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Here is the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDfjXj5EGqI

Lemon Meringue Recipe

lemon meringue

Crust

1 packet of marie biscuits. The brand isn’t that important as long as it is thin vanilla cookies.

100ml of melted butter (unsalted)

Crush the biscuits, you can make it completely fine or you can have so bigger bits in for that extra bit of crunch. Mix the biscuits with the melted butter and spread it out even on your pan. Pop it in your oven at 108˚C for 5 -7minutes. Keep a close eye on it. You don’t want your crust to burn!

Filling

1 can condensed milk

125ml lemon juice (You can buy this or you can freshly squeeze a few lemons. For a extra zest you can add some fine grated lemon skin to the filling. Do this at your own very lemony risk!)

2 eggs (You gonna have to divorce the egg yellow from the white. I’m sorry to be the bringer of bad news.)

50ml caster sugar (Super fine white sugar.)

Grab your mixer for this part! Throw your condensed milk into a bowl and add the lemon juice steadily while mixing the batch. Keep your mixer on a low speed. Mix till it’s a stiff pasta. In a separate bowl mix the two eggs yolk (yellow) and mix till it’s lightly and spungy. Mix the two batches with a spoon. Be gentle. You don’t want to disturb the mixture or mix out the air. Now add this mixture onto your crust (this after the short bake in the oven) and pop it back into the oven for 10 minutes (still 180˚C).

Meringue

It’s time to use those two eggs whites (depending on the size of the pan I will use one more egg white just so everyone has enough to go around) and caster sugar! Make sure they is no egg yolk in the batch or your egg white won’t work. Clean your mixer (oil and egg whites aren’t friends) before you start. First beat the egg whites on a low speed. Once the eggs are close to the soft peak stage you steadily add the sugar. You want hard peaks so make sure to time it all right as you don’t want stiff peaks. Spread the mixture evenly over the top of your pie and use a spoon to make little designs or peaks in the meringue. Pop it back into the oven till it’s nice and golden. Let it cool for 30 minutes before digging in. I prefer a few hours of chilling in the fridge before I dig in. Mostly because I feel it gives the crust a bit of crispiness. I hope you enjoy!

***

22 August 2017 || Never in a million years did I think I’d find someone so utterly and completely perfect, someone who would make me happier than I ever dreamed I could be, someone that would touch my life so profoundly and just give me a whole new reason to breathe. But then I found you and realized that everything I anticipated you to be doesn’t even compare to who you are.

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Self Love, Story Time

My Husband Chose My Look For The Day | Bucket List

I’ve brought up my age and bucket list on here before, all in one title if I’m being specific. It’s been awhile since I’ve ticked something off my list and as we have quite an empty weekend I figured why not now? This is kind of a challenge floating around on YouTube but I’m also genuinely curious to see what my husband would put together.

So the challenge is basically my husband will go through my wardrobe, throw an outfit together but it doesn’t end there. He also gets control over my make-up, so what look I will be going for my eyes and lips. He also gets to choose how my hair is going to look; straightened, curled, up, down etc. He also needs to accessorize my outfit with some type of jewelry. Afterwards I need to go out and about in the public eye for a minimum of two hours.

The Outfit Process:

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We started with pants. I laid down all the long pants I own which I might add is on the low side and I asked Onno to pick his favorite three. He took his task very seriously and took his time choosing. “I don’t know the next round yet so I need to pick strategically.”

It was quite cute if I’m honest. The top three options was my black, dark blue jeans and my black leggings. Next up I took out all possible shirt options and asked him to choose his top three. It was interesting what colors he moved towards.

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He ended up choosing a three quarter sleeved light blue striped shirt – a shirt I often wore in South Africa in the colder weather. He also chose a long sleeved grey shirt which I have had for years now but I don’t wear that often. It’s a bit tight on my arms. Last but not least he chose a very summery and cool flow and large orange shirt that I stole from my mom. It’s one of those with the big little wings on the side. I then asked him to choose the actual outfit.

“I’m leaning towards the black with something colorful at top.” At this point I was really just hoping he won’t go for the orange shirt because well it’s raining and cold outside. He chose my leggings and the light blue shirt. Two things I would never put together as a public outfit. It’s very casual. Usually I go for a shirt that’s long in length that would cover half of my butt or a dress. Mostly because I want to hide possible canal toe or panty lines.

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For accessories I just asked him to choose one type so a necklace, bracelet or earrings. Onno leaned towards earrings and again he picked out his top three before making his final choice. I personally would’ve chosen the pearls or panda because it would suite the casual and natural look Onno was going for. Onno however chose the watermelons. I’m not mad. I love watermelons.

Unfortunately Onno had no choice when it came to my shoes and jacket. I only have one perfect jacket and shoes for this type of weather. It was cold and raining as usual here in the Netherlands in case I didn’t mention it before.

The Make-up Look:

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Next I gave Onno all my eye shadow pallets and asked him to choose his top three. He went for two very colorful pallets with the shirt in mind and one very natural earthy pallet. 90% of the time I always go for the earthy and warm tones for my eye look. He did the same thing with the lip products. He immediately leaned towards bright colors; red and almost all my pinks.

I think he played it very safe by choosing a pallet that I would use normally and matched it with a light brown liquid lipstick. I never match an earthy eye look with an earthy lip and I almost never really use this pallet mostly because it’s not so great.

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I used the bronzer shade on my lid in a oval shape and the purple metallic color in the outer corner of my lid to darken my crease. Now usually I would put a bright glittery color on my lid close to my lash line to brighten up my eye and have my eyes appear more open. I have hooded eyes so this is an important step I always take in my eye shadow routine. None of the light colors in the pallet was pigmented enough to show, so my eye look did turn out very dark.

The Hair Look:

Of course we can’t forget the hair. I really had to help Onno with this one because honestly the man is clueless when it comes to hair. I never really go all out with my hair. I have two looks I mostly rock when out in the public eye and I mostly have braided hair at home. So I just walked him through his options: my natural hair loose, my natural hair in a back pony, low pony, side pony, low side pony with the same options with straightened and curled hair. Two braids, one side braid, French braid, pony braid and all of those in a fishtail braid. Of course I brought up my messy bun which is my usual.

I never really straighten my hair or curl my hair with the iron mostly because I’m trying to grow out my hair and keep the damage to the minimal. Onno loves my straightened and curled hair and couldn’t choose between the two…so my hubby went for both. Bottom part of my hair straight with the top part in wavy curls. It took me a hour to do this. I would never think of specially styling my hair when it’s raining outside mostly because it’s a clear waste of time. What the hubby wants he will get.

Out And About In The Public Eye:

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With the jacket out in the cold I felt a little more comfortable with my leggings. We first ran some errands before going for a small date at a coffee shop close by. There I took off my jacket and I have to say the entire look was a bit too casual for me but because my hair and makeup was all done up it worked in a way.

 

Final Thoughts:

The experience was quite interesting and although I wasn’t entirely out of my comfort zone it was still something I wouldn’t easily put together. I do think we were quite limited with the cold weather so I definitely want to redo this little experiment/challenge in the summer. My summer collection is huge as you would expect from someone who is originally from a warm climate. All in all the experience was fun. It was great to tick something off my bucket list.

This next part is Onno’s final thoughts: “I had a lot of fun choosing the outfit of Cassandra today, it was very interesting to try and combine the different elements into a complete look. The final look was, mostly because Cassandra can pull everything off, stunning. It was also fun for me to think about parts of her look I don’t know a lot off, such as her makeup, and learn something new. Overall it was a cool experience to cross this off the bucket list together!”

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Body & Soul, Body Love, Self Love

Challenging Your Insecurities: Horrible Pictures

We all have that one picture or like fifty we just completely hate at first glance. Maybe it’s the expression on your face, or the triple chin you’ve having going on, or maybe your arms or to chubby, skinny and etc. The list goes on, it really depends on what your insecure about. I’m insecure about my face. I have a very long and oval shaped face and it is something I’m constantly aware of. I was teased about the shape of my face for years and compared to a horse. If I walked by someone would make a horse sound, it honestly was terrible. I would stand in front of my mirror, staring at my face at all angles. What angle do I like? What don’t I like? I eventually learned to pose my face in a certain degree angle as to make my face look less oval like.

Now it makes me beyond uncomfortable when I see a picture of my face dead centre or from the side. It’s stupid really. It’s my face. It’s my first impression. It’s something that carries so much for me. It holds my eyes and with this I can see the world around me. The bright colors of natures landscape. It holds my nose and with this I smell the world. The delicious smell of coffee in the morning or the sweet scent or roses. The smell of the man I love. It holds my mouth and with this I taste the world. The sweet taste of chocolate and pasta. The  mouth I use to kiss the man I love every day. It holds my ears and with this I hear the world. The clattering of the rain and the beep of the oven. All these things I love so what makes the shape of my face so much different?

There’s nothing wrong with the size, the shape or its silhouette from the side. What’s wrong is my ridiculous insecurity about it. Something I want to challenge and change with time.

So here is step one, a photo I hate.

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This photo was taken on my wedding day. At that very moment I was truly happy. Yet when I saw this picture I hated it. It’s heartbreaking to know that my insecurities has such a deep hold on me. This is one of the reasons why I’m challenging myself like this. 

 

#dutch, Dutch

My First Month (Back) In The Netherlands

I shouldn’t be feeling like this. I mean I’ve been in the Netherlands before. I love my husband more than anything in this world. I knew about the move when it became clear just how serious our relationship is. So why was it so difficult?

There isn’t an answer to that question to be honest. A part of me felt lost, confused and so unsure. I was emotional and overwhelmed. Something that came as a surprise to me. I always knew what I wanted in life but the big move threw things off for me. I suddenly started to doubt a few things. Some things didn’t go according to plan and others completely changed directions. It was something I had to come to terms with. Once I could accept that some things are out of my control and it’s okay not to immediately have my shit together; I relaxed. It was a breath of fresh air. I adjusted to the life here again. I found my feet and before I knew it a month has passed.

I spend my time discovering new and exciting things here in the Netherlands. We started bicycling here and there. We explored the city and then some. We got our precious boy, Speculoos. It was a great month. A great start in my new chapter of life.

I’m going to end this blog with a poem that I sucked out of my thumb. Prepare yourself.

New Beginnings

I’m writing this poem because I need more words for my blog.

I know this isn’t even a poem but that is because I’m not a poet.

I’m just going to make things up as I go and hope for the best.

I’m sorry it’s bad but it could be oh so much worse.

At least I can spell with the help of my computer of course.

 I will post an update about my life here in the Netherlands once I hit the three months mark. I will probably have a lot more to say. It’s on the 2nd of September in case you were wondering.

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#dutch, Dutch

The Big Move: Immigrating From South Africa To The Netherlands

This blog was interestingly enough difficult to write. There is only so much I can say about the move and why I did it. I can go into detail that I left my home country to be with my beloved in his country. I can go into detail about the absolutely horror that happens in my home country as we speak. I can do all that, but yet it doesn’t feel like the reason why I left. Yes, it contributed to my decision but it’s so much more than that.

I fell in love with the Netherlands not long after I came here the first time around. One day I took my bicycle and just went for a ride through the country and it stole my heart. I loved everything about it. I loved how safe I felt. I loved the culture. I grew to love the language. I believe that everyone has a place that is home. South Africa just wasn’t that for me. And then I met Onno and it was just a cherry on top. I knew he was my future husband. I also knew that we will choose to live our life together in the Netherlands.

We discussed our options. Onno could move to South Africa. We could both immigrate to New Zealand or Australia. It wasn’t completely impossible for a South African. Onno is Dutch and with his degree he will have options all over the world. We had options. We really did. It just didn’t feel right. I just hated the idea of leaving the Netherlands behind. The country where I found myself.

The process leading up to the move was difficult. It was incredibly long and frustrating. We had to prove our relationship. We had to promise our intentions were pure. We had to endure months apart as we waited. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it. There really isn’t much to say. I love living here in the Netherlands. It was a bit difficult to adjust and I was overwhelmed a few times. I miss my family and friends. I miss my culture and language. I miss a lot of things but I don’t regret my decision and I never will. This is my home now.

I wrote this the day I left as a little memoir.

2 June 2017

(Fun fact: I landed on Onno’s birthday! He truly received the best present he could’ve asked for!)

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Thank you for reading!

xoxo