September 28, 2007

How to understand South Africans!

My friend, Nana, sent this to me and I had to share.

Nana is a South African who emigrated to Las Vegas last year to marry her fiance. They got married on 1 Jan 2007 - isn't that sweet?!

Anyway, here goes. I'm not posting the entire list but this gives you a good idea of South African lingo (Ali, you can confirm :))


Edited to add: a braai is a barbeque. This is a true South African pastime :)

'Excuse me?' or 'pardon?' when you have not heard something directed at you, you can say: 'Hey?'

If you want to use it at the end of a sentence, you can say something like 'Ag donner, this mieliepap is very hot, hey'

Is it?: This is a great word in conversations. Derived from the two words 'is' and 'it', it can be used when you have nothing to contribute if someone tells you at the braai: 'The Russians will succeed in their bid for capitalism once they adopt a work ethic and respect for private ownership.' It is appropriate to respond by saying: 'Isit?'

Jawelnofine: This is another conversation fallback word. Derived from the four words 'yes', 'well', 'no' (q.v.) and 'fine', it means roughly 'how about that.' If your bank manager tells you your account is overdrawn, you can say with confidence: 'Jawelnofine. '

Jislaaik: Pronounced 'Yiss-like', it is an expression of astonishment. For instance, if someone tells you there are a billion people in China, a suitable comment is: 'Jislaaik, that's a lot of people.'

Klap: Pronounced 'klup' - an Afrikaans word meaning smack, whack or spank. If you spend too much time at the movies at exam time, you could end up catching a sharp klap from your Dad. In America, that is called child abuse. In South Africa , it is called promoting education. It's what you do to the guy who gave you the hot mieliepap.

Lekker: An Afrikaans word meaning nice, this word is used by all language groups to express approval. If you see someone of the opposite sex who is good-looking, you can exclaim: 'Lekkerrr!' while drawing out the last syllable. You might, however, get a klap.

Takkies: These are sneakers or running shoes.

Sarmie: (I actually detest this word) This is a sandwich. For generations, school-children have traded sarmies during lunch breaks. If you are sending kids off to school in the morning, don't give them liver-polony sarmies. They are the toughest to trade. Definitely not lekker.

Bakkie: This word is pronounced 'bucky' and it is a small truck or pick-up. Young men can take their 'cherrie' (g/friend) to the drive-in flick in a bakkie, but it is not always an appropriate form of transport because the seats usually don't recline and you may be forced to watch the film. This is never the purpose of going to a drive-in flick.

Howzit: This is a universal South African greeting, and you will hear this word throughout the land. It is often used with the word 'No' as in this exchange: 'No, howzit?' 'No, fine.'

'Mrs Balls' Chutney: We don't know if the lady ever existed, but if she did, she has earned a place of honour in South African kitchen history. Chutney is, of course, of Indian origin and is pickled fruit prepared with vinegar, spices and sugar. South Africans are known to eat it with everything, including fried eggs. Some even put it on their mieliepap.

'Now Now': In much of the outside world, this is a comforting phrase: 'Now, now, don't cry-I'll take you to the bioscope tomorrow.' But in South Africa, this phrase means a little sooner than soon: ' I’ll clean my room now now, Ma.' It is a little more urgent than 'just now' which means an indefinite time in the future.

Tune grief: To be tuned grief is to be aggravated, harassed. Be selective about using the term. For example, if your bank manager calls you in for an urgent chat about your overdraft, you should avoid saying: 'Hey, listen. You're tuning me grief, man.' That would be unwise and could result in major tuning of grief. There are variations. You can say about your boss: 'This oke (guy) is tuning me uphill.'

Boet: This is an Afrikaans word meaning 'brother' which is shared by all language groups. Pronounced 'boot' as in 'foot', it can be applied to a non-brother. For instance a father can call his son 'boet' and friends can apply the term to each other too. Sometimes the diminutive 'boetie' is used. But don't use either with someone you hardly know - it will be thought patronising and you'll probably get donnered, hey.

Skop, Skiet en Donder: Literally 'kick, shoot and thunder' in Afrikaans, this phrase is used by many English speakers to describe action movies or any activity which is lively and somewhat primitive. Clint Eastwood is always good for a skop, skiet en donder flick.

Vrot Pronounced - 'frot': A wonderful word which means 'rotten' or 'putrid' in Afrikaans, it is used by all language groups to describe anything they really don't like. Most commonly it describes fruit or vegetables whose shelf lives have long expired, but a pair of takkies worn a few times too often can be termed vrot by unfortunate folk in the same room as the wearer.

Also a rugby player who misses important tackles can be said to have played a vrot game - but not to his face because he won't appreciate it. Pasop. We once saw a movie review with this headline: 'Slick Flick, Vrot Plot.' However, it is mostly used to describe the state of the drunk boets at the braai who finished all their dop.

Catch a tan: This is what you do when you lie on the beach pretending to study for your matric exams. The Brits, who have their own odd phrases, say they are getting 'bronzed'. Nature has always been unkind to South African schoolchildren, providing beach and swimming pool weather just when they should be swotting for the mid-summer finals. If you spend too much time catching a tan at exam time, you could end up catching a sharp klap from your Dad.

Rock up: To rock up some place is to just sort of arrive. You don't make an appointment or tell anyone you are coming - you just rock up. Friends can do that but you have to be selective about it. You can't just rock up for a job interview or at a five-star restaurant. You give them a tinkle first - then you can rock up. You can, however, rock up at a braai.

Of course, as with any other country's slang, most people actually DON'T speak like this all the time.

P.S. Please ask me if I need to clarify anything - I can see there might be other terminology which may not be familiar to you.

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September 26, 2007 beaded bookmarks!

I'm so excited - I've started selling my beaded bookmarks over here.

At the moment, they are all R40 each ($5.70) which includes shipping and handling. (South Africans pay R35 each)

They make great gifts that you can use in books, journals, planners, etc.

Here are just a couple of examples but go here for the list as it now stands. I have to finish taking photos and uploading!

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September 25, 2007

Be inspired

It was my birthday nearly two months ago and I received this photo frame and card from a friend.

The card really, really, really meant a lot to me (and I told her so) so instead of just putting it in my memory box, I decided to use the photo frame and frame it.

It now stands next to my computer so I can be inspired while I work. Thanks again, Angie.

The friends magnet is part of another birthday gift and also makes me smile ;)

I'm posting this second photo because you can see me in the reflection if you look closely. My attempt to be creative LOL :)

What kinds of things do you do to keep inspired?

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September 21, 2007

Why I always need to be coaching on time management

I recently signed up a new coaching client specifically for time management.
She's a busy professional who works both out of an office and on the road, interviewing people. She chatted to me a few months ago but finally decided to get serious a few weeks ago and booked me for an initial 3-month coaching programme.

I have so enjoyed coaching her not just because I love coaching and I get along well with her but because I am giving myself a refresher every time we chat.

It is absolutely great reinforcing principles I fully believe in and have seen the benefits of in my own life and in the lives of countless other people.

I'm a very productive person generally but over the last couple of weeks, I'm amazed at what I've been able to do. I've completed the first draft of my How to become a professional organiser e-book with Suzanne, I have written and completed a Christmas Planner, and I've been blogging like crazy over on Clutter Control Freak and on the Organising Queen blog.

And I've been reading lots (finished 10 books in August and 5 already for Sept).

So I decided that I always need to be coaching a time management client - it's clearly a win-win situation :-)

Seriously, if you do need help, email me personally on marcia @ takechargesolutions. org and I'll be very glad to help you!
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September 19, 2007

What it looks like around here...

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Investment or expense?

Last month I went to the dentist for my normal check-up. Imagine my shock when she told me that I needed to come in for 3 (!) subsequent visits:

1. root canal needed to be redone
2. crown preparation and a filling
3. final fixing of crown (whatever this is called in dental-speak)

And do you know why? Because I don't floss regularly.

The thing that upset me more than having to go back THREE times (because I hate dentists) is that this could have been prevented if only I was more disciplined with flossing. That, and the R3500 (divide by 7 for US$).

(This was the day Annie made me this signature which cheered me up beautifully)

Our medical aid will pay for it but ours works like a savings account and you know how I am about money? I hate wasting money.

I usually think of money and time in the same terms.

You can spend time and you can spend money. You can invest time and you can invest money.

With this dental issue, I could have invested just R25 for a roll of dental floss and saved R3500!

So let me be an example to you - please FLOSS REGULARLY!

(On the bright side, she told me I brush my teeth beautifully - they can tell this apparently - but the non-flossing results in my cavities between teeth).

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September 16, 2007

Live well

Oprah did a show on Living Well where she featured party planner expert, Colin Cowie. He said that living well has nothing to do with having lots of money; it's about valuing yourself. Hmmm.

Reminds me of that email doing the rounds a couple of years ago where the lady died with all her good clothes and underwear still wrapped in tissue paper, never used.

After that email, I started using all my nice, luxurius towels for everyday use and not only for travelling.

There were some things that really impressed me about Colin. I even wrote them down so I wouldn't forget them.

  1. When he gets a bottle of wine from someone, he writes the person's name on the bottle. Then when he's enjoying it, he drinks a toast to the person. The next day, he'll send a note to say, "I was thinking of you last night". Isn't that nice?

  2. Even if he has supper by himself, he sets a beautiful table with good cutlery and crockery.

  3. He has a gift shelf full of wrapped gifts so that he's always ready for a hostess gift. (I have my shelf but only upcoming birthday gifts are wrapped).

  4. He has personalised stationery at the florist and wine place (?) so that when he sends flowers or wine, they can write his message directly onto the correct stationery. Now that is a great idea!
When I watch programmes like this, I am always inspired to use my good stuff and celebrate life.

  • I've started using beautiful journals for normal notebooks whereas before I'd only use a R10 notebook.

  • I've thrown away most of my grungy gym T-shirts and am using nice ones now.

  • I'm using my expensive shower gels for everyday use, not just special occasions.

  • I'm using beautiful mugs at work even though I know the likelihood of them getting chipped and broken is high :)

How are you living well? Let me know in the comments.

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I'm getting serious about shedding those last few kg's so I've decided to stop baking these...

I baked that batch last weekend and so far I've been good! If I don't bake them, I can't eat them, right?!

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September 14, 2007

Special announcement - the Organise your Business system

Sticky post - scroll down for new posts

Small business owners and work-at-home moms

Is this you?

o Do you wish you had more time to implement all your GREAT ideas?
o Do you feel overwhelmed by all there is to do?
o Are you stressed out and frazzled?
o Do you struggle to find a piece of paper, an email or a document on your computer in a minute or less?

That's why I designed the Organise your Business system, which consists of a
1. Business Control Journal (18 pages) and
2. Organise your business e-book (50 pages)

When you've worked through the Organise your Business system, you will have a business manual which will help you…

  • with Big Picture planning so you keep track of your goals and dreams
  • set daily routines to put your business on auto-pilot
  • declutter and sort out your emails and Word/ Excel documents
  • get control of all the paper!
  • prioritise and get the important things done so you have more time for your family
  • create defined business processes and policies
  • organise all your general business functions
  • increase your productivity
  • organise your client contacts
  • create free time for self-care so you don't get burnt out!
  • de-stress as you become more organised

The whole thing is ready for you – all you have to do is invest a few hours upfront to put it together and a bit of discipline every day so that it becomes a habit!

You get all the templates, checklists and tools you could possibly need

Your investment
The entire Organise your Business system costs just R230 (or $US32,95) and consists of:
Business Control Journal (18 pages) and
Organise your Business e-book (50 pages), with sections as follows:
o How to organise your office
o Planning forms – big picture, monthly, weekly, daily
o General Business forms
o Clients
o Personal

What are you waiting for? It's time to Organise your Business!

Email me personally with any questions at marcia @ takechargesolutions . org and I'll be glad to help you, or alternatively

Buy the Organise your Business system now

Thanks for reading! :-)

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September 12, 2007

Sun and shopping!

Trying to stay silent ;)

  1. Beautiful spring day

  2. Local fair

  3. 9-year-old girl selling these gorgeous items

  4. I couldn't resist - have to support budding entrepreneurism

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September 11, 2007

My first job

Jeepers, this is taking me back.

My mother didn't believe in children working because "there'll be enough years you have to work; why hurry it up?" In retrospect, I understand this perfectly ;)

However, I managed to convince her to let me take a couple of two-week jobs in the holidays in my matric year (final year of school).

The first job was as a sales assistant in a curio shop, Eyethu, at Walmer Park Shopping Centre in PE! I have no idea what I earned but I learnt a few lessons very quickly:

1. I hate being bored.
2. I loved interacting with customers.
3. There is only so much dusting and rearranging of little pottery pieces a 16-17-year-old can do :)

I did that job for just under two weeks when I had a phone call one night from a friend.

"Would you like another job?".......and so the head-hunting began

I jumped at the chance because it was (1) a much busier store, (2)closer to home and (3) paid more money.

I loved the new job (in a clothing store) because I was SO busy from the time I walked in until I left every day. This is what I learnt there:

1. I'm a really hard worker.
2. I loved helping customers.
3. I loved being busy and challenged the whole day.

Now tell me, have you had an experience where you switched jobs quickly? What happened?

But more importantly, what have you learnt about YOURSELF because of the types of jobs you have, or have had?

I learnt that I can trust my gut/ intuition and my decision-making skills. And if I'm wrong, so what? It's better to take a risk than not to try anything at all!

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September 09, 2007

Weekend cooking - Spicy sausage and potato one-pot

This recipe could NOT be simpler and it is delicious!

700g baby potatoes, halved
225g spicy sausage, cut into 2.5cm chunks (I used Russian sausages)
1 yellow pepper (I used half an onion instead because we don't eat pepper)
410g tin chopped tomatoes
100g spinach leaves, roughly chopped
50 ml sour cream (I skipped this to make it healthy)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon Italian herbs


  • Put potatoes in a large pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes or until soft.
  • Heat a large, non-stick frying pan until very hot.
  • Add oil, onion (or pepper) and sausage.
  • Cook for about 3 minutes until browned - I like them to even burn just a little bit :0
  • Add spinach leaves and cook through until wilted.
  • Add chopped tomato, salt, pepper and herbs.
  • Add cooked potatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Serve with a dollop of cream (if you want the original version) and with a slice of focaccia bread.
Easy as that, you are done.

Serves 4.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

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September 07, 2007


This picture is from the back of Keri Smith's book, Living out Loud

A cool thing happened the other day...

Someone from our marketing dept phones me.

She: you know that funky email you wrote about our evacuation procedures?
Me: um, yes…
She: can I put it on the intranet?
Me: of course

So she did and now my funkiness is out there for all the world to see, at least all 1200 staff ;)

I get quite a kick out of being called funky :)

When I was at school, a friend (Gillian) also used to call me funky. I have no idea why.

What do you get called that you get a kick out of ?

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September 06, 2007

Thursday 13 - being positive about the hot weather

It's no secret that I LOVE winter and so as the weather warms up, I really really miss it.

I thought I'd make a list of things I am focussing on to keep me positive about the weather.

13 things I'm enjoying about spring

  1. wide open windows and doors
  2. crisp white bedding
  3. salads
  4. flip flops and painted toenails
  5. sexy skirt suits (they were actually normal "power suits" but since I have 2kg to lose, the skirt rides up and is shorter than usual, hence the sexy bit ;) )
  6. waking up easier
  7. ice-cold glasses of water with lemon - yum!
  8. wearing shorts to gym
  9. beautiful blue skies
  10. gorgeous flowers
  11. the sound of children playing outside
  12. cool kitchen tiles under my bare feet
  13. the gentle heat of the sun on my arms while I'm in my car
What do you need to be positive about today?

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September 05, 2007

Works for me Wednesday - Bible reading

This is my current favourite Bible.

It's an NCV New Testament called Becoming and it is written like a magazine with little snippets like The must-have for your wardrobe and Men: The inside scoop.

You can see more on the pages here in the photo.

My goal this year is to read the Bible every single day. Because usually I'm okay Mon - Thurs and then get lazy on the weekend.

And so far I have read my Bible every day.

You know what helped?

I took the pressure off me by saying I don’t have to read a whole chapter – I only need to read a bit. And so if a chapter has 30 verses, I read that one chapter over 2-3 days. Little, bite-sized pieces are helping a lot.

And you can see the result because I haven’t missed a day yet.

What's working for you today?

September 04, 2007

What confidence can do

I wrote about the Pursue the Passion tour some time ago...

Since I love reading about anybody living FULL OUT with passion, I immediately added them to Google Reader and have been following their stories.

Today, I found this beautiful post about confidence. Do yourself a favour and go read it.

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