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!

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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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Story Time

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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Story Time

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

 

Story Time

A Wedding Before My Wedding (My Pre-Wedding Experience)

Every girl dreams of this day. It’s the day that they prepare for since their pigtail days. It’s the day that’s perfectly planned out from the tune of the bells to the clear silk of the dress. Every bead, every rosebud and every silver wear perfectly aligned in their rightful place. I can only be talking about one thing. Oh yes. There’s nothing alike. Her W-E-D-D-I-N-G day! In my case it my Pre-Wedding and to explain it briefly; It was basically a wedding without the legal part of it. It was for my family and friends in South Africa before I immigrate to the Netherlands. Obviously because we want our union to be recognized in the Netherlands we had to wait till I was abroad before we could take the steps to tie the knot for the real. It’s on the 22nd of August in the court. Afterwards we’re going to enjoy a lovely meal at a pizza restaurant that serves gluten free food. Something I wanted in the first place.

My time arrived quite early in my life in a time where my adult mind could make decisions that my child self would never come to. One of these decisions is that no, I don’t want the fancy dress, all the flowers, the big event and food that no one really enjoys. What I do want is to spend the rest of my life on this earth with the man I love. I don’t need an over top ceremony to make this possible. Unfortunately I’m a great person and listen to the wishes of my parents. One of those wishes was an over top ceremony that I managed to compromise to something smaller but the bells, rosebuds and silky white dress I couldn’t escape. The idea that I, a woman that loves wearing princess dresses doesn’t want a wedding was something no one could wrap their mind around.

I wish I can say everything went smoothly and I enjoyed every last second of the entire process, but I had frustrations left and right. The first thing that comes to mind was the venue. I’ve never dealt with a business that I loathed more. The memory of the horrors they pushed me through is enough to make me clench my teeth. Then came choosing the dress, it would come to no surprise that I had no cooking clue what I wanted as the entire wedding ceremony was all a smokey haze. I was lucky enough to have a father willing to buy my wedding dress but unlucky enough that his wife is a controlling woman that felt like it was her right to choose my dress. As I only had three months to put the entire thing together, a lot of things I would’ve enjoyed to have on the day wasn’t possible, but let’s move away from the long list negatives.

The positive thing was that I saw most of my cared for family and friends. I made lovely memories.  My uncle’s ceremony. Onno’s vows. My parents speeches. My grandma’s speech. My first dance. My dances with my parents. Oh and I got some great pictures out of the thing so there is that too. But honestly, I encourage you to take control of the situation and celebrate your marriage to the person you love more than anything as YOU TWO wish it to be. Don’t compromise. Don’t let anyone ruin or change this special moment. Don’t please them, please the two of you. Your happiness is important.

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General Life Tips

How To Make A Long Distance Relationship Work

Relationships aren’t always easy. Its filled with great memories and pointless arguments. The other day my husband and I was arguing if the pasta in the container was gluten free or not. We went into great detail with references and we still couldn’t come to a conclusion. Onno still stands by the fact that it was gluten free pasta. He’s dead wrong in case you were wondering. We’ve been together for two years now and more than half of that time we spend apart with 10 000km between us. We weren’t even in the same country. Onno is born and bred in the Netherlands and I came out of a little hole in South Africa. After my VISA came to an end and I had no other choice but to go back home. There I  stayed for a year. Long distance relationships are ten times harder and you need to work double as hard. Doubts that you would never have in a normal relationship starts to pop up. Trust will go a long way.

  1. Stay in touch

This one probably sounds silly but you really need to stay in touch. Every morning send that lovely good morning message, update them throughout your day and then obviously never go to bed without a goodnight message. Include them in your day, tell them about the cat you saw or that weird person you saw on the train. You really need to put in the effort every day even if you both work 8 hours per day and nothing exciting happened..

     2.  Video call as much as possible

Really make it a habit to video call as much as possible. Seeing you loved one’s face can really make all the worlds of differences.

  1. Go on Dates

This probably sounds absolutely ridiculous considering I just mentioned there was 10 000km between us but hear me out. Oh the power of technology. We watched movies together which means we basically watch the exact same movie while Skype is on. We mute it and when we want to say something about the movie we signal the other one to pause. We did this at least twenty times. We also played games together (not as much though) which is basically the same concept as the movie date. You play the game and see who has the better score and etc. If I went to the beach with my family I would record a video. There was a lot of videos in general.

  1. Stay patient and talk about your feelings

As in any relationship you need to stay patient and open. Understand that there will be frustrations and the struggle will be real sometimes. Be completely open with your partner. Tell them when you’re having a bad day because you miss them more than anything in this world.

  1. Have that end goal

Having a date on when you will see each other again will make a massive difference. It’s something to look forward to and something that will make the distance feel a tiny bit smaller. Make it fun, plan what you’re going to do when you see each other again (after the welcome back cuddles obviously) and get that countdown going. The longest countdown we had in between seeing each other was 6 months.

It’s difficult but not impossible. If your love is true than it will work.

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