101 things IN

and other things thrown in between

101 Things in 1001 Days: May 2006

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Sold Out!

I am filled with a kind of restless excitement today. I guess I am still feeling heady from making my first sale/s and not only that, selling out and getting orders for more. I’d best explain.

After many months procrastinating and questioning whether I should or should not, I finally decided the time was right to launch my ‘label’ and I knuckled down to producing my handbags. It’s been a gruelling 2/ 3 weeks of sewing, ordering work materials, emails to potential suppliers, cutting out patterns  sewing some more but finally I had produced six gorgeous handbags (even if I do say so myself!).

As a tester, I decided to take them along to a friend’s BBQ on Sunday and my goodness, was I overwhelmed by the response! They were ALL SNAPPED UP! And orders were placed for more!! I am so astounded by the response but also pleased that my work is loved and people are prepared to pay to own one of my handbags. Talk about that giving you a high.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the bags to post on the blog I am setting up specifically for my handbags/accessories (www.olivegirlthings.blogspot.com – it’s still at the ‘coming soon’ stage). I thought I would take pictures of them when I returned home from the BBQ (not expecting to have made any sales, but how wrong could I have been). SOLD OUT – suddenly those two words have a nice ring to them.

However, sourcing the materials to use in making the handbags often prove difficult and when I do find them they are always at a premium. As a result of this I have had to source many of the little accessories abroad. I am now beginning to understand why manufacturers are turning increasingly to Asia for the production of goods and delivery of services – it’s amazing how much cheaper you can get stuff over there. Over here (England) a simple accessory like a magnetic fastener can set you back a small fortune.

All in all, I am still glowing from my new found status as an entrepreneur (albeit still a budding one). Now I have to work towards giving up my day job now. Hehehehe.

And in all this, I have learned a few lessons:

  1. BBQ’s make a great venue to market handbags!

  2. To believe in myself and my talent more.

  3. Hardwork does pay off.

  4. SOLD.OUT. are two beautiful words.

  5. Feel the fear but do it anyway.

For: Life’s Little Lessons

Friday, May 26, 2006

First Love

It was hot
It was sweet
It was short
It wasn't meant to be
It hurt
It still does...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Mum's Job Description

How true is this mum's?


Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy, Ma


Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an, often chaotic environment.
Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.
Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities.
Travel expenses not reimbursed.
Extensive courier duties also required.


The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs a couple of bucks .
Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.
Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.
Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices.
Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end pro duct.
Responsibilities lso include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.


Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your Skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you


None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.


Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.


While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


It’s been pouring with rain for the last four days and this morning was no different and for some reason, rain always means traffic – I wonder why? Anyway there I was stuck in a queue of cars waiting to turn out onto a major road when I suddenly noticed a cloud of steam rising from the bonnet of my car. I instantly went into panic mode – I scanned my immediate surroundings, spotted a nearby pub and manoeuvred my way out of the queue ( I was three cars down from the traffic lights after waiting about 15 minutes to get to that spot!!) and into the car park of the pub. Parked and realised I didn’t know how to open the bonnet (my excuse is that it’s my husbands car). So I called up hubby (thank God for cell phones) who told me which lever to pull to open it. Found said lever, pulled and bonnet popped open. Got out of the car, stuck head under the hood and saw …. Nothing! False alarm.

Figured out that : hot engine = hot bonnet + cold rain = steam

Duh! number one.

So back into car, drive out of pub, try to turn into the queue again, block half the road and on coming traffic, look sheepish, hit reverse and turn car in opposite direction. By this time my blood pressure is rising - I can feel the blood pumping at my temples.

Anyway, I charge off down the road hoping to turn into a side street and find a short cut. No chance. Traffic EVERYWHERE. So I turn round once again heading in the opposite direction to whence I came and joined the queue- again! This time though I was about the fiftieth car down from the lights. Grrrrr!! Anyway, to cut a long story short finally made it out onto the major road, to my daughters nursery (yes she was with me all this while) and dropped her off.

Jumped back into the car, pulled seatbelt on, slotted car key in, pushed the start button – silence. Removed key, slotted it back in, pushed start button – silence, not even a grunt. Repeated this procedure about six more times – finally sunk in that car was a dead as a dodo. Called hubby again, I mean what other options did I have, huh? Then called the office to say I’d be late and settled in with my iPod listening to Anthony Robbins (I needed the motivation at this point).

20 minutes later, hubby arrives and starts to do impressive looking things to the car – jump start leads hooked up, covers being unscrewed and generally a lot of poking around going on under the bonnet. I am asked to try and start the car a couple of times in-between – nothing, nada, the sound of silence. After a few more minutes, he sticks his head in through the car window to ask me something when his eye catches the gear stick. His face takes on an incredulous look and he asks, very quietly, – ‘has it been in the drive position all this while?’ Yes, I say confidently, head nodding vigorously. He didn’t have to use the words but fool and idiot sprung to mind when I looked at him.

‘Darling,’ he says through gritted teeth ‘in order to start an automatic, the gear stick always has to be put in the Park position.’

Talk about a Duuuuhhhhhhhh!!!! moment for me.

I can still feel the donkey ear’s sticking out of my head.

So, the five new things I learnt this week are...

1. The fact that steam rises off from the bonnet of your car doesn’t necessarily mean the engine is on fire.

2. Always put the gear stick back into the Park position before you try and start an automatic.

3. How to put 'previous and next' buttons into the blogger template.

4. How to cook a mean Jamaican curried goat.

5. and last but not the least, How to do this

For: Life’s Little Lessons

100 Things I Love Today

I got this idea from Jennifer
my husband, summer days, journals, beautiful paper, GOD, strappy leather sandals, terracotta pottery, my blog, writing, quiet walks in the park, simplicity, people watching, friendships, my daughter, getting a letter through the post, sunflowers, hot chocolate, BEING LOVED, unexpected blessings, sewing, books, watching Oprah, making a connection, gel pens with brightly coloured ink, a good bargain, UNUSUAL JEWELRY, the countryside, linen, being organised, quirky soaps, having a meal cooked for me, time alone, learning to cook a new dish, having friends round, creating things, freedom, a hot shower, travelling to new places, cheese cake, authenticity, my home, SURPRISE PRESENTS, get togethers, switching off, warm fluffy towels, Pitaschio nuts, freebies, being happy, nice clothes, hearing my daughter laugh, black and white photos, watching my herbs grow, MAKING LISTS, Joni Mitchell, woven baskets, the smell of coffee, bratwurst, watching a good movie, GAP, my iPod, the beach, LIFE, funny shaped post-it notes, airports, train journeys, Silver jewelry, Birkenstocks, the idea of working for myself, Sunday Scribblings, Maya Angelou, looking at my finished handbags, selling my finished handbags, crossing things off a to-do list, MY FAMILY, eBay, Indian cotton tops, Bookshops, childhood memories, wooden floors, peppermint tea, fresh HOT moin-moin, my own company, figuring out ways to enhance my blogger template, Being HEARD, people and things that motivate me, Listening to radio four, uplifting music, Prince, shopping, the great outdoors, me, blog crawling, tulips, Amazon, wooden hairbrushes, hugs and kisses from my husband and daughter, lilac, day dreaming.

A New Discovery

Just found a lovely little blog project called Life’s Little Lessons . I think it's novel idea and will be participating.

What Is This?

Life's Little Lessons is a social experiment encouraging you to learn something new every week, and pass it along to others! Whether it be something interesting you learned in school, a tid bit of advice you received from family or friends, something you overheard from another’s conversation or words of wisdom passed through generations…share your experiences here every week.

How Does This Work?

Every Monday thru Sunday create a list of 5 things you have learned the previous week and post this to your blog.

Feel free to be as creative as you like…include photographs or artwork that relates to what you learned that week. Please keep postings PG, and postings containing nudity or inappropriate content will not be posted. E-mail your permalink for your post into Life’s Little Lessons and we’ll post it here on the site.

The list of participants will be refreshed every Monday, so make sure you stop by each week to send us your link. You can read past weeks in the archives.If you do not have a blog, comments will be enabled on each weeks post so you can enter your information there. Each week Life’s Little Lessons will also offer a topic of interest to get you started as well as 5 picks of the week selected from random submissions. If you are chosen for the weekly Top 5, a link to your entire blog will be listed under your lesson.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Three Wishes

... my three WISHES be CAREFUL what you wish for ... it just might come TRUE.........

I used to think I wanted to be wildly rich.
I wished to be wildly rich.
But then I stopped and asked myself…

Do I always want to question the authenticity of people and wonder what their real motives are behind their wanting to be friends with me?

Do I want the constant influx of requests for favours that can only be granted through the signing of a cheque here or the purchase of an item there?

Do I want the worry of wondering what will happen to my fortune when I die?

Do I want to deal with the hangers on, the sycophants, the bum kissers?

I stopped and I asked myself these questions and my answer was always NO.

I used to think I wanted to be wildly famous.
I wished to be wildly famous.
But then I stopped and asked myself…

Do I really want to be recognized wherever I go? To be pawed at and screamed at and hounded?

To have the paparazzi hiding behind every bush or dune or tree just waiting to take a picture of me as I sunbathe topless, or pick my nose or make a fashion faux pas?

Do I want flashbulbs going off in my face the minute I open my front door, or have my ‘private’ lunch interrupted by a fan who wants an autograph?

Do I want to live in fear of stalkers and kidnappers and worse?

I stopped and I asked myself these questions and my answer was always NO.

I used to think I wanted to be wildly powerful.
I wished to be wildly powerful.
But then I stopped and asked myself…

Do I really want people to tremble with fear as I walk into a room?

To be respected but not liked?

Do I want to hold a persons future in my hands knowing I can make or break with the stroke of my pen?

Do I really want to be that uneasy head that wears the crown?

I stopped and I asked myself these questions and my answer was always NO.

However, after much thought and many questions later, I realize that my wishes haven’t changed much. I still wish to be …

But not wildly so.

Just rich in wisdom, kindness and compassion.
Rich in forgiveness, happiness and love.
Rich that I can give as I have been given.

But not wildly so.

Just famous for my loyalty and honesty and warmth.
Famous for my big heart and open home and laugh.
Famous for giving as I have been given to.

But not wildly so.

Just powerful enough to effect positive change.
Powerful in character, integrity and foresight.
Powerful enough to give as I am being given to.

So my three wishes are to be…

Rich. Famous. Powerful.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Ways to turn down men

Here’s something for women in need of some laughs (and men who appreciate good humour)

HE: Can I buy you a drink?
SHE: Actually I'd rather have the money.

HE : I'm a photographer. I've been looking for a face like yours.
SHE: I'm a plastic surgeon. I've been looking for a face like yours.

HE: Hi. Didn't we go on a date once? Or was it twice?
SHE: Must've been once. I never make the same mistake twice.

HE : How did you get to be so beautiful?
SHE: I must've been given your share.

HE: Go on, don't be shy. Ask me out.
SHE: Okay, get out.

HE: I think I could make you very happy.
SHE: Why? Are you leaving?

HE: What would you say if I asked you to marry me?
SHE: Nothing. I can't talk and laugh at the same time.

HE: Can I have your name?
SHE: Why? Don't you already have one?

HE: Shall we go see a movie?
SHE: I've already seen it.

HE: Where have you been all my life?
SHE: Hiding from you.

HE: Haven't I seen you some place before?
SHE: Yes. That's why I don't go there anymore.

HE: Is this seat empty?
SHE: Yes, and this one I’m on will be if you sit down.

HE: Hey baby, what's your sign?
SHE: Do not enter.

HE: Where have you been all my life?
SHE: Where I'll be the rest of your life - in your wildest dreams.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The books I would write ....

...and this week its the books I would write... heres to FAMILY and DIVERSITY...

When I saw the prompt for this week my brain froze. Absolutely nothing came into my head as to what to write. It was far from the 'this is a fun stress-free brainstorming exercise' that was suggested in the write up. On the contrary, it had me biting my nails and scratching my head. In fact, I thought I would skip Sunday Scribblings this week. Yep, it was that bad. But never one to give up a fight easily, I decided to step away from my screen for a few hours (which turned out to be 24hrs!) and quit stressing about it. And I am glad I did because while in the middle of some mundane daily task, I had a light bulb moment and here it is...

The books I would write... will be about my family and the different individuals who make up who I am.

Ah, that's a little vain.
Perhaps not.

You might also say, puzzled, but there is nothing interesting about your family or your life for that matter. Ah, I would say in reply, there may be nothing interesting about my life but there is plenty interesting about my history.

As I grow older and take more and more interest in my roots, I am constantly amazed by the things I discover.

For example, the other day I asked my mum to draw up her family tree whenever she had the time. 'Oh, she said, 'your grandparents already did that. They had to before they got married because under the German Nazi rule, couples had to prove that they didn't have any Jewish blood in the family before they were allowed to marry'.

I just thought Wow! Wow! Wow! I NEVER KNEW THAT. As shocked as I was to hear this, I also found it fascinating. You mean stuff like this really happened - and this is part of my history? Not something I watch as a documentary on TV?

And so it is when I make my weekly telephone call home to my parents who live 6000 miles away - snippets of my history, my background, my heritage get dropped into conversation in such a matter of fact way. And when I express a hunger for more, my parents are genuinely surprised. And pleased.

My family comprises of these nationalities: German, Nigerian, British, Estonian, Jamaican, and when you dig even further - a bit of Indian and Chinese. How fascinating is that?! And we are still growing.

And I don't think I would write this book for public consumption - it probably won't be as fascinating to a stranger as it would be to me to read about my family and how it came to be so diverse. I will write this book as a beautiful gift for my daughter who is herself, made up of a mish-mash of three different cultural ethnicities. She is truly multi-continental child.

In it, she would read about her great great grandfather who was a gifted sculptor - one of his works stands in Berlin to this day, or her grandfather who traveled from West Africa to study in Europe and there met and married a German girl, her grandmother. She will be able to read about her cousins - who are Jamaican, Estonian, German, and African.

This is my history, her history, our history to be grabbed greedily and hung onto with all the strength I can muster. It is a rich and diverse heritage and one I am fiercly proud of. My family is living proof as well that people from across the globe can come together and be one. As the Jamaicans would say 'Out of many, one'. Isn't that just so beautiful?

So tell me, what better book to write?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Noticing Me

Normally, the mirrors in my home are objects which require far too many hours of cleaning, objects in which I give myself a quick once over just to make sure I don’t have any VPL on display before I dash out the door on my way to work or simply objects which make a small room appear a lot bigger than it actually is.

But today, my bathroom mirror became something else for me. Today it was an object in which I … noticed me. And it took me by surprise.

I marvelled at how lovely, thick and shiny my hair is, I was awestruck at the incredible length of my eyelashes, I admired the fullness of my lips, the way my eyes are shaped like perfect almonds, the perfect arch of my brows, and the sexy curve of my neck. I delighted at the creamy, honey hue of my skin and smiled at the hundreds of little freckles that danced across the bridge of my nose and came to rest on my cheeks.

Yes, today I noticed me. I didn’t see the extra layer of fat on my belly that I have tried (not so) hard to get rid of since childbirth three years ago, I overlooked the cellulite that has taken up residence on my thighs and I bluntly ignored the slight crookedness of my two front teeth.

Today I noticed me – the beautiful me. The woman I don’t look for very often these days, the woman I tend to almost unconsciously neglect as I rush through life being a wife, a mother, a homemaker.

So even if I never hear these words from the people around me, I will hear them from myself – ‘Girl, I noticed you and you’re Beautiful’.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

My Shoes

...my SHOES knee length boots dainty rhinestone encrusted slippers well worn Birkenstocks i love them ALL...

I love shoes, I always have. Right from when I was a little girl. I come from a family of women who all love shoes. My mother has had a life long love affair with shoes and it’s an affair that I have embraced with joyous abandon.

I own, off the top of my head, about 40 pairs of shoes (and that’s because I recently had a big clear out) and it’s impossible for me to pick a favorite pair - from my knee length boots, to my dainty rhinestone encrusted slippers, to my well worn Birkenstocks, to my black flip flops with the fading pattern of circles on them – I love them all. And I have lovingly gathered my collection of shoes over a good few years.

I never walk into a shoe shop knowing what I want. NEVER. But what I do know is that when I find the perfect pair, they SPEAK to me. My heart begins to pump, the blood rushes into my brain, my eyes dilate, my palms become sweaty and I am practically drooling. These are all the symptoms my body displays when I clap eyes on the perfect pair of shoes. It is the point of no return. Those shoes are going to a new home today, my inner voice is screaming – mine!

And because I already have so many shoes, I always have to sneak in any additional pair that I purchase. They get hidden away at the back of my wardrobe away from the prying eyes of my husband, only to resurface a couple of weeks later – on my feet.

My husband will look down, puzzled, and say ‘Those look new.’
‘What?’ I will reply with a little light laugh ‘These old things? I have had them for ages!’ and I quickly change the subject.

Oh, and all my shoes, as far as he is concerned, cost at least 25% less than what I actually paid for them. Don’t look like that! Oh, go on admit it… I am sure y’all have knocked off a couple of pounds/dollars/Yen off the actual price of your shoes when asked by your partner how much you paid for them. We all do. We’re women!!

As you look through my collection of shoes one thing will strike you straight away – they are all flat.

‘Sweetie, why don’t you try on a pair with a little bit of heel?’

This is one thing I have been urged by my husband to do on the rare occasion when he accompanies me on a shoe shopping expedition. He is 6ft 4” tall. I am 5ft 3”. And although it is more of a plea than a question, I never do.

Yes, my shoes are many things to me and if they could speak they’d have stories to tell. They are mood lifters, feet movers, body toners, calf enhancers, comfort providers, walking companions.

Each pair a part of my life: each pair serving a purpose. And each pair much loved.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Make a list of all the sites I am a member of - Done

Goodness!! I didn’t know I had registered with so many online sites!! They are all crucial registrations though (eBay and Amazon being the top two. Heheheheehe)

Take out membership to the Botanical Gardens – Done

Completed the application form and sent it off with the membership fee. Expecting membership card through the post any day now.