24 May 2017

I'm Moving...

This isn't the kind of post where I tell you that I'm packing my bag and moving down the street. I'm not moving across town, either. I'm moving to a whole new continent, in another hemisphere, on the other side of the world. I'm moving to London.
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23 May 2017

My Take on Terror

In the early hours of this morning, I woke up like I do on most nights; Met with the darkness and loneliness of the 2nd or 3rd hour of the new day. I rolled over, as I always do, to check the time. This morning, I was half way between the two hours. 02:29. With some form of insomnia creeping over and into my body, I couldn't sleep. Unusually, I decided to seek companionship in my Facebook timelines, which at every odd 3AM visit, consists of cat videos, photos from the late night partyers and Trump. This morning was different- minus Trump.
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21 May 2017

Quick and Simple Blog Makeover Tips || Blog Tips

Blogs are so much more than writing. They don't just have to sound good; They've got to look the part too. Aesthetics can make a huge difference in upping the way that people perceive your blog. Your blog is your creative space. You should use design to add value to your blog.
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18 May 2017

How I Started Blogging || My Story

How I started blogging?
The Tour de France.
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16 May 2017

60 Blogs to Follow

I've been blogging for nearly two years now, but I've only come to learn of the most important aspect of blogging in the last few months- community. There are a handful of people whom I have come to grow very fondly of; They are listed here. Some blogs have made me laugh from joy, others have shocked and surprised me and some have riveted me, they too can be found here.


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14 May 2017

Beginner's Guide to Pinterest: Step-By-Step

I remember creating a Pinterest account and having NO idea what the hell was going on- not one clue. I was probably as clueless as a new-Pinterest user gets. However, I'm very glad to tell you that I've come a very long way from Steph circa. 2013. 

I've spent a lot of time on Pinterest lately, figuring out the tricks and tools needed to optimally use the seemingly confusing site. I've spent the time navigating Pinterest so you don't have to. If you're a new Pinterest user, or interested in becoming one, here's a step-by-step guide, which I promise offers insight into the world of Pinterest (which isn't as daunting as you may think).
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12 May 2017

My Life In Numbers

We don't think about it often (or I don't anyways), but numbers largely influence our life. Letters help tell us things about ourselves- like through writing- but numbers can do the same.
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10 May 2017

Blogging Tips || How To Improve Your Blog Writing

Essentially, a blog post is most often the arrangement of letters to make words. It goes without saying that behind every great blog, is usually a great communicator. Great writing capabilities can definitely be a useful arsenal to have in your corner.
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3 May 2017

18 & Never Been Kissed

As a naturally curious being, I often used to ask my friends when they had their first kiss (a particularly frequent question in my early days of high school). Often, and to my utter disappointment, I'd be met with answers like "when I was 11, Steph" or "when I was 13". Eventually, I stopped asking people because, at 18 years and 210 days old I've never been kissed.

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30 April 2017

Blogging Tips || Blogging Essentials 101

IMAGE: PEXELS
I've been blogging for nearly 3 summers now. Over these years, I've definitely learnt a thing (or six) that make the process easier. With no school or uni to attend this summer, you have free time to really hone in on your current blog and make it extraordinary, or create a blog from scratch; It's never too late to begin.

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26 April 2017

Quitting the Blog

 "Steph, I'm putting you in the 1,5km run on Friday" hollered my coach. "Um.., sure, sir" I mumbled in return not so confident about his athletic plan for me.
Friday came around (miraculously faster than any other week) and the massive stadium was full as far and wide as my then 13 years young eyes could see.
My coached piped up again, "You got this, Steph". In less confidence than before, I answered him again, "sure, sir".

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23 April 2017

36 Questions To Lead You To Love (& My Answers)

Science says that if you and another person- a friend, a lover or a stranger- read and respond to 36 particular questions, the chances of you falling in love increase drastically. Trust me, it's not me saying this- it's science!
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19 April 2017

What Am I?

I'm not fully South African. I'm not fully Greek. I'm a conglomeration of both.

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16 April 2017

Sit Down with Steph || Friends & Student Budget

It's Sunday which means that I'm back with the second episode in my new series where I give thoroughly thought-through advice to questions that you have sent through to me.

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12 April 2017

3 Quick and Easy Spring-Styled Looks

I don't venture much into the beauty and fashion world of blogging- which just so happens to also make up most of the blogging world. I'm not quite sure what blogger I am yet (feel free to let me know if you've already figured it out for me) but I'm definitely sure that this post falls into the blogging land-mass that is 'beauty & fashion'.
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9 April 2017

Sit Down with Steph || Anxiety & Relationships

 My idea for a Q & A series was met with such warm and open arms. Thank you for opening up to me and letting a stranger into your thoughts, worries and hearts. I really hope that I'll be able to effectively offer you my shoulder to lean on. 

In the first weekly installment of this new series, I will be answering questions sent to me regarding anxiety and relationships. In hopes of creating a safe space, I have decided to make all the questions anonymous.

Anxiety 

 'When did you notice that you had anxiety?' - Anonymous
To pre-face my answer to this questions, I would like to say that I do not suffer from anxiety. I do have anxiety (with varying severity) in different situations- but social situations particularly. However, I would not go so far as to say that I 'suffer' from it. My anxiety, at times, definitely makes me feel uncomfortable- uncomfortable to talk to people, to ask questions and sometimes to look at people, but its never been a crippling or debilitating feeling.

As I hit puberty and entered my 'teen years', I became aware that I was more anxious when meeting new people- particularly boys (and more specifically, good-looking ones). I realized that before speaking to new people, like a shop attendant, I would sometimes rehearse over and over again what I was going to say like "just this please". 

I guess, somewhere between adolescence and becoming a young-adult, I became more sensitive to what others thought of me- the way I spoke, the way I looked or the way I dressed- which may have caused and still causes my anxieties.
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'Did your friends and family support you or did they act as though you had made it up?' -Anonymous
I've mentioned my slight anxieties to my mom, who sat with me and tried to rationalize my fears. A good tip that came from our chat was to remember that whatever interaction i'm afraid of or anxious about would only last a couple of seconds, or a couple of minutes but not a lifetime (although it may feel like it sometimes). That soothed me a lot (and still does). I don't think my friends are aware of my feelings but that's because I've never led onto it- and possibly because, physically, it never hindered me.

If your parents or friends act as if you've imagined your anxieties, my advice would be: to confide in someone else. Your parents and friends want the best for you, but that doesn't mean that they will always understand what you're going through. There is always someone who will listen to you, you just have to take some care in finding them and possibly extend yourself beyond your friendship circle. Your anxieties become easier, more manageable, when they're not yours alone.

Your anxieties are very real to you. Even if others fail to see the hold that it may have over you, does not take away or eliminate the value of what you feel. 
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'Do you think you need to get a formal diagnosis to be able to say that you have anxiety?' - Anonymous
I firmly believe that a medical diagnosis is not necessary to say that you have anxiety. If I have a cough and a runny nose, I can assume that I have some sort of flu- no doctor needed. I can make that reasonable assumption based on my symptoms, intuitions and experience. Anxiety, in my opinion, is the same.
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'What are your favourite ways to keep your anxiety in check?' -Anonymous
I think that anxiety arises from fear, nervousness and vulnerability. To keep my anxiety in check, I try to remember the root cause- fear of judgement, fear of flying in case the airplane crashes, nervousness to talk in front of a crowd (both small and large) in fear of messing up. In most instances, I remind myself that this will only take up a few moments of my life. If I'm performing or speaking to strangers, I'm always comforted by the thought that if this goes incredibly wrong, the probability of ever seeing the people in the crowd again are stacked very much in my favour.

For different people, different methods will work. You should try several mental tools each time panic or anxiety arises within you. You'll begin to figure out what works for you and what doesn't and make appropriate adaptations from there. Take a moment to step away from your situation and rationalize your feelings.
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'Do you think mental health is dealt with well, or at all, in the media currently? If not, then how can we help that?' -Anonymous
I do think that more can be done with regards to supporting, encouraging and creating an inclusive community in mainstream, traditional media platforms, like TV and traditional newspapers. There are programmes and articles on mental health but they are few and far between. Media outlets need to balance the need to sell and market their product with improving quality of life by creating awareness for issues, like mental health. The media is largely dictated by its target market, because ultimately, they have to sell papers and advertisements. If the people, the viewers and readers, show interest in topics such as mental health, it will likely become more prevalent in the media, as that is what people will be interested in reading and hearing about. It seems like people's voices need to grow louder, stronger and in unison, to be heard.

Non-traditional media, like Youtube, are more effective in dealing with mental health. Youtubers (in this example) are in direct and constant communication with their viewers who are real people to them, and hence, alter their content to offer guidance and support to those interested in their content. Positive interactions on those platforms encourage people to speak up and begin a positive and uplifting dialogue on mental health.

Relationships

'I'm currently 17 and I've never had a boyfriend. Fortunately, my friends don't care and like me for who I am. I know that it's a stupid thing to worry about and I know that having or not having a boyfriend won't change anything about myself. But still I sometimes feel bad and I feel like boys are just not interested in me. 
Right now, I have a crush on a boy with whom I am acquainted with, so I feel like it would be weird if I went up to him.
Obviously, I don't want to try too hard to get a boyfriend just to have one. I just don't get why I'm so insecure about it and it makes me made that I don't care less.'
What do you think about the whole situation?' -Anonymous
Guess what Anonymous, I'm 18 (going on 19) and I've never had a boyfriend either. I'm telling you that, not so you think I'm more unqualified to offer advice then I probably already am, but because I know exactly what you're feeling and you should realize that you're not alone. Heck, I'll take it one step further and admit that at 18, I haven't even had my first kiss. You're not as alone as you may think you are. I have many friends that are in the same boat as us.

If you've ever had a 'fling' then you know that it feels good to have someone to talk to, someone who asks how your day was and someone to send those flirtatious emojis to. It's human instinct to want to be liked, needed and desired by another human. It's as natural as water.

It's okay to care. Everyone around you could be getting into relationships, moving further and further through the bases and you feel stagnant, left behind. I felt that way. My insecurities arose because I wasn't doing what my peers were doing, so I thought that obviously something was wrong with me. I had to be different from the others. The only way to over come your insecurities is to give love a chance. Go up to your acquaintance and show him what an incredible person you are. If the feeling is mutual, you'll be natural friends and can take it from there.

A good way to become friends with your mystery man is to talk about something that you have in common- like something you both enjoy doing. I know you've done that stalking and sleuthing...we all do it. Bring up something that you've noticed about him that you enjoy too. If you're both comfortable, it will show in the ease of conversation. If things don't work out, put yourself out there by meeting new people. The more options in your dating pool, the more likely you are to find a match.

Not having a boyfriend doesn't make you less anything- less desirable, less pretty or less smart. But, you seem to already know that.

I've really enjoyed giving advice. Thank you to all of those who sent through emails with questions. If you have your own advice on these topics, please do offer it in the comments below. Round 2 will be back next Sunday. Till then, send through your questions to socialspying@gmail.com, and you'll be featured in episode 2 of this new series. Remember, your anonymity is promised. The topic is yours to decide.

Till next time-
Steph

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you're feeling up to it, follow this blog on Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin', on Instagram or Twitter. Drop me an email or a message in the Blogger Contact Form and I'll get straight back to you!

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6 April 2017

I NEED YOU!

Hi there!

I hope you, are having the loveliest of days filled with cupcakes, rainbows and glitter...or maybe a rainbow cupcake with glitter on top! If you're not into that, then I hope today is filled with your favourite novel and a cup of tea.

I'd like to start a bit of a series on my blog. I do love a good alliteration, so I'm thinking of calling it 'Sit Down with Steph', a weekly advice column, on Sundays. I'd like it to be a interactive Q & A and advice session. 

Now, I don't claim to have a boat-load of experience in every aspect of life, but, after 18 years of life, I've learnt a thing or two. Just in case you need a recommendation, my friends have said (and many a time) that I offer great advice/ motivation.


If you have a question, relating to anything from school, blogging, sports, anxiety, love, lifestyle, being a girl, fairies, books, chocolate, habits, organization, (I'd stay away from cooking) or any other imaginable topic in between, I'd like for you to send me through a question. If I feel like I can't offer you the best advice- I'll track down someone who can.

I won't promise you life-changing advice, but I'm offering an ear for you to speak to and a virtual shoulder to lean on. We need a supportive, inclusive and more community-driven space. So, I'm starting with what I know. This.

If you have your own words of wisdom to share, then please be around on Sunday to offer your advice in the comments.

I'd like this to be a positive, safe and honest space--so be kind.

If you're interested, send through your questions to socialspying@gmail.com. Please include Q&A in the subject!

Till next time-
Steph


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3 April 2017

My Thoughts on Blogging Statistics

They matter.

I have quite a controversial view on blogging statistics. Here's my candor: Every morning, I wake up hoping that the number of views on my latest blog post has gone up from the number that I painstakingly memorized the night before- even if it's just by one view. Sometimes I'm met with an unchanged number and infused with disappointment, like this morning. Other mornings, I awaken to a magically re-moulded digit; A number changed (sometimes drastically and sometimes hardly) from the one that was there 8 hours and a whole day earlier.

Blogging statistics excite me. I'm filled with immense joy knowing that someone out there took the time to read the words that I wrote. Blogging statistics serve as validation and an indication of something good that I've done. I'm devoted to my blog; I've involuntarily invested my heart into this space. To me, a comment isn't just a comment and a view is not just a four letter word. To me, it's a 'thumbs up', a pat on the back and a job well done and you should see it as that too.
I don't see statistics as numerical values. Technically, statistics are a combination of  just 10 digits. However, I see each value as a person. Each number represents two eyes, a nose and a mouth. I'm also starting to think that people who say that 'statistics don't matter' already have their desired statistics.Your dream stats may vary from mine, which is perfectly human. But, to put sweat, love, dedication and the occasional tear into your blog, your baby, and then go on and say that the way it is received doesn't matter isn't how I see it. You'd be lying. Or I know I would be.

You've changed your blog's nappy, cradled it, fed and fuelled it and loved it. You've taken it to its first day of school, hand-in-hand, picked it up when its cried and put a band-aid on its grazed knee. You've seen it go through heartbreak and triumphs and in the end, you just want it to graduate cum laude. You want the best for it.

Caring about blogging statistics does not mean that you're blogging for the wrong reasons. I often don't see my statistics changing, but I've never quit blogging because I enjoy the process of writing, meeting other bloggers online and being a part of this inclusive, supportive and dynamic community that I've come to love. It's possible, and dare I say normal to care about your blogging stats and still be blogging for the 'right' reasons.

So, yes, I'm going to press publish on this post in a few minutes from now and I'm going to keep scouring my statistics for indication that I'm doing something right, something good and something worthwhile. I'm unashamedly going to cross my fingers and hope that someone values my words enough to leave a comment because I'm selfish and it fills me with an incomparable joy to see interaction within my blog, my space- my baby.

What are your views on blogging stats? Do they matter to you or not? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments (remember, I'm crossing my fingers). If you disagree with what I've said, please do let me know! 

Till next time-
Steph

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Today, I reached 100 followers on Bloglovin' which I am so, so incredibly grateful for! Thank you so much to you- for supporting my writing and love for blogging.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you're feeling up to it, follow this blog on Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin', on Instagram or Twitter. Drop me an email or a message in the Blogger Contact Form and I'll get straight back to you!
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29 March 2017

More Than Just An Old Faded Photograph

36 years ago, her red Opel cadet broke down and he came to the rescue. 4 years after that, in December, they got married and 13 years later, they had their fourth and final little one- me. Some people call them 'Peter' and 'Sophia' others call them 'sir' and 'ma'am'. Me? Well, I get to call them 'dad and mom'.

I never considered my parents to be in love. Their relationship never matched up to what romantic comedies had brainwashed me to believe was love, but then again, I expected that maybe that's what more than 30 years of marriage would do to a person. Before work, my dad pecks my mom somewhere between her lips and her cheek (and some days are closer to the one than the other). When he returns from work, it's the same. I'd never see them share passionate kisses, or use affectionate terms like 'babe' or anything embarrassing like 'baby-waby-woo' and hardly ever saw a cuddle (which made an odd pinching of the buttocks at breakfast a discombobulating sight). I'd never even heard them say something as so seeming simple as 'I love you'.
Then, I went scouring in a cupboard- which I remember being a light oak colour which has since been partially discoloured by a fine layer of dust. Inside I found an album with this photograph of my parents, before they were anyone's mom and dad, when he was just hers and she was just his. The photograph was taken on the day of my mom's graduation. I was dumb-founded; If I had been standing on a ladder, for all purposes of metaphor, I would have been knocked right off. I realized how my parents had changed- how 30 years, 4 kids, taxes and a business could change a person.

Mom: For starters the person in this photo isn't my mom now. It looks like her, but it's not. In place of the dainty, lady-like red and well manicured nails are now un-moisturized, naked,  half filed and half eaten nails. Her hair is flat now- which is her natural hair minus the perm, but I guess the 80s called for big, curly locks. My mom hates wearing make up. She never wears the stuff... except for an odd dashing of blue on her lids for special occasions, and her almost ritualistic application of a garish red lip that hasn't changed in all 18 years of my life.

 Dad: Wouldn't you say my dad looks debonair? Today, he wore a casual, cobalt blue cotton shirt accompanied by a gentle-cream colored pair of pants. His shirt had several ambiguous splatters and stains varying in size and consistencies. I don't think I've ever seen him in a waistcoat.
This photograph is my favourite because it captures a fleeting moment of my parents in love. My dad is carefully and thoughtfully adjusting my mom's gown with his other hand confidently in his pocket. My mom is reaching for my dad's tie with a nail polish that just manages to compliment the speck of red among the silky blue, even if inadvertently. It's such a natural and loving scene. Maybe it's my favourite because they're not like that anymore.

However, idealization aside, my mom doesn't fix my dad's ties anymore (if he's ever wearing them) and he definitely doesn't tweak a loose shoulder pad here or a button over there when it comes to my mom's dresses (when she's wearing one...which is hardly ever). Instead, I've seen other indications of love; I've seen my dad make tea, every single morning, seven days a week, in all four seasons of the year, for my mom, I've noticed how 'Peter' has shortened to 'Pete' which in my mind is some sort of substitute for another endearing term, like 'babe' and I've heard my mom boisterously demanding that my dad remove his multiple stains from his shirt before heading out, which substitutes the re-adjusting of his tie. 

After 30 years, there's still love...and just to prove it, when I was asleep on a nearby bed, in a hotel recently, awake at a jet-lagged induced, ungodly hour, under the covers of dawn and dew, I heard him whisper to her "I love you".

Till next time-
Steph

Please do comment below letting me know what your favourite photograph or memory is. I'd love to hear about it! Also, feel free to share this post on social media or tell a friend (I'd really appreciate either).

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Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you're feeling up to it, follow this blog on Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin', on Instagram or Twitter. Drop me an email or a message in the Blogger Contact Form and I'll get straight back to you!
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24 March 2017

8 Full-Proof Ways to Get Over Any Guy



 Let me tell you my track record when it comes to love. My heart has been broken once and I've done the heartbreaking, once. Hence, by analysis of my age and experience, I am no where near qualified to give advice on romance- not one bit qualified. But I'm going to do it anyways.

That one time that my heart was minced into a million pieces, was enough heart break to last me a life time. On account for that single heartbreak, I'm writing this. If I consider that, then maybe I am qualified; I'll leave you to be the judge on that.


#1 BLOCK HIS NUMBER




 Sometimes, it's worse knowing that he can call and text you...but has chosen not to. The blocking doesn't have to be a life-term sort of sentence. It just has to be for as long as you need it to be. Unfortunately, 'out of sight, out of mind' doesn't really apply here. It's going to take a bit more than pressing 'block' to 'block' him from penetrating your daily thoughts...but it's a start that has definitely helped me.

#2 DON'T TRY CONVINCE YOURSELF THAT YOU'RE OVER HIM...YOU'RE NOT


Me in February: "You know, I really think I'm over him"
Me two weeks later: "...Now, I'm done. I've moved on"
Me in June: "I swear I don't even think about him anymore"
Me in October: "Niall who?"
Me four years on from that first February: "Truthfully, I'm not over him"



The first person who treated my heart like a pinata- continuously hitting it and hitting it until there was nothing left to splurge out, was Niall (a pseudonym for all purposes of anonymity). He shredded my pumping heart to the extent that I didn't have any more 'like' in me for at least four years. I should probably mention that I was 13 when this happened. But, it affected me long into my teenage years. It was the kind of love that intruded my thoughts at the most non-sensible times, and a kind of love that enlivened me, but left me hurt
.
I tried so, so incredibly hard to re-stuff myself with thoughts of someone else- anyone else. As hard as I tried to sew my heart back together, the thread kept breaking. Niall was the first person I loved. When I stopped fighting my 'first-love' feelings along with a self-imposed vicious need to stop liking him, I started thinking about him less: From every morning, to just before I went to bed at night, to once a day, then once every other day and now, hardly ever. 

If you're having to convince yourself that you're over him. You're not. However, one day you'll be able to look back on him and say "now, I truly am".

#3 PRESS PAUSE ON THE MEMORIES- NOT DELETE OR REWIND

I'm not sure about you, but I tend to over think things- seriously overthink things. Once I knocked it into my brain that getting over Niall would be the best thing, I had to make a conscious effort to stop replaying the conversations- both in person and online. Hence, I deleted months worth of chats. That part was easy. Getting my brain to press pause, was a bit harder.

Memories are important. They're snippets of our lives that we get to look back on. As time went by, I found myself returning to memories with Niall but they were vague and distorted. I'm sure memories are still stored between the convoluted grey matter housed in my skull, but pressing pause made it easier to the extent that pressing rewind means nothing to me, anymore.

#4 GET OFF SOCIAL MEDIA (HIS PAGES,TOO)

I guess you could say that this one goes along with blocking him. The ideas are the same. However, don't block him online. You'll just create bad vibes and make bumping into each other, in the future, down right awkward...and no one wants awkward!

Take some time off social media. Log out of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and whatever else you have yourself logged into. It's not pleasant when you see him tagged with other people, shirtless, on a beach. It doesn't help you get over him. Your social media break will also prevent you from doing the stalking that I know we all like to do.

You don't have to quit cold turkey; The break can be taken at particular times- so you don't miss out completely. Allow yourself 15 minutes in the morning and the afternoon to have a scroll through the online world. This way, you're more likely to miss his posts but stay connected.


#5 TAKE YOUR TIME GETTING BACK 'OUT THERE'...OR NOT


I once knew a girl whose sister passed away. The next day, I saw her at a club. After my initial shock and disbelief, I learnt something: people handle loss differently. 


If you're the type that goes to the nearest bar, has a few drinks and dances the night away with her pals then that's what you gotta do. If you don't mind a Saturday night in, with Netflix (and without the 'chill' then do that).


Some people can bounce back like a ball on the trampoline, others bounce like a brick (I know I do). Take as much time as you need to get back out there. One month is apt time, but so is four years. People love differently and therefore should heal differently. You do you, girl!


#6 LOVE YOURSELF

The easiest way to get over someone else, is to fall in love with yourself. Put your time into your education, fitness, cooking or community service. So whatever will see that you grow and flourish. Take time to learn to love yourself and to love being single. Acknowledge and praise your strengths and carefully work on your weaknesses.



#7 CUDDLE THAT FURRY FRIEND

I have a furry feline friend that goes by the very creative name of Kitty. A stroke of his black-jack filled tail, and I know that everything's going to be A-okay. Not only is this Steph proven, but science has proven it too: petting a furry friend is good for our bodies. So, never fear when a furry friend is near! Pets make for great conversationalists, mainly because they can talk back without actually talking whilst communicating the exact things that you need to hear (and you don't have to worry about your business ending up in someone else's ears); You can just yapper away, and receive a soft, understanding 'meow', or comforting 'woof' in return.

#8 ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR 1%

This isn't really a tip. It's a realization. If the previous advice doesn't help you, then I have some new for you. Brace yourselves. If you're still not over your Prince Charming, then he's what me and my friends like to call your 1%. 

Picture your pumping cardiovascular muscle. If your full capacity to love is 100%, imagine 1% of your heart always belonging to him. So, yes, you'll move on, kiss other frogs and eventually you'll find another prince, but you'll always have a soft spot for your 1%- despite time, distance and humanly circumstances. 

And just in case you're wondering, in high school, I secretly deemed Niall to be my 1% . I don't re-live our conversations and memories, I do have him as a contact in my phone and as a friend on Facebook and often see his shirtless pics without blinking as much as an eye lid, as the saying goes, but if his name ever pops up onto my screen, I still get anxious butterflies.


Let me know in the comments: What are your tips to getting over a guy? Have any of these tips worked for you? Do you have a 1% person?


Till next time-
Steph

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Thanks so much for stopping by. If you're feeling up to it, follow this blog on Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin', on Instagram or Twitter. Drop me an email or a message in the Blogger Contact Form and I'll get straight back to you!
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20 March 2017

Get to Know Me: A-Z of Steph



A-
Accents. Although I've lived in South Africa for all 18 years of my life, when people first meet me, they think I'm from another country because I don't have a South African accent, or a heavy one at least (and I'm not sure why).

B-
Broken Bones. It seems that I tread lightly and on the safer side of life. I've never had so much as a sprain to an ankle, never mind a broken bone in my body

C-
Cats. I have a furry, feline friend that I absolutely love to smother in cuddles and my comfy duvet. He started off as a stray in the garden, waltzed into our house and somewhere between that, walked straight into our hearts.

D-
Daybreak. My favourite part of the day is when the morning teeters between light and darkness, and the first chirps of the birds outside my window sound, before the bustling trucks begin their long hauls for the day and humans haven't woken up for their daily hustle and monotonous routines.

E-
Easter. In a Greek Orthodox family, Easter is a day that does not go unnoticed. Leading up to Easter consists of family, food and fasting which is always a fiesta of fun! It is 'hands down' my favourite holiday.

F-
Frank. I've ventured out to the edge of the shore with a fishing rod, only once in my life. And, only once because once was enough. I did catch a fish, which I appropriately named Frank.

G-
Grandmother. My grandmother is currently half way through her 80s and can still stand on her head, do push ups and I'm sure even the splits! I hope those genes get passed on!


H-
Hair. My naturally curly locks adorn a fusion of dark chocolate and coco. I've always wanted to dye my hair, but I'm too afraid.

I-
Incubator. I was a premature baby which means I needed a bit of extra tender, love and care when the world and I first met.

J-
Jumping. The Masaai tribe, in Kenya, are able known to jump up to a significant distance, during a traditional dance. A dream of mine is to go to Kenya, and witness this.

K-
Kit Kat. Often, you'll hear me saying that one day, if a man ever wants to get down on one knee and marry me, I won't need a ring. I'll just need a lifetime supply of Kit Kat chocolate. Hence, it's fair to say that it's my favourite chocolate delight.

L-
Liquorice. I'm anti all things aniseed. In case you don't know, that's what gives liquorice it's distinctive (and personally detestful) taste

M-
Mail. I have a secret wish; I hope that one day I receive a letter in the mail, that's not a receipt or an advertisement, but a heartfelt, handwritten letter from a friend or a stranger whose heart I have touched.

N-
Nail Biter. As of around a year and a half a go, I can very happily add 'former' to this title.

O-
Obstacle. The biggest mountain that I've had to climb over (in a metaphorical sense, obviously), is a lack of belief in myself.

P-
Princess Diana. If I could meet anyone, dead or alive, it would be Diana Spencer. I think she'd make a stunning dinner guest, with stories galore. I imagine she'd radiate compassion and grace with a perfect sprinkling of sass.

Q-
Quirk. When I get nervous, I'll begin talking in Greek (although I generally communicate my thoughts in English).

R-
Red Velvet. Cue the cliche favorite cake flavour. Say what you like but when the moist, spongy garnet coloured cake and  meets with the sugary snowflake-like white cream, something magical happens.

S-
Sewing. Every Saturday, for three hours, for the first four years of high school, I attended sewing lessons which included cutting Burda, Simplicity or Vogue patterns and stitch by tiny little stitch, creating a garment.

T-
Tooth- I really don't want this one to gross you out! Your average adult human has 32 teeth. Turns out, I'm not your average adult human. An X-ray almost 7 years ago revealed a super numeral tooth (that's jargon for a spare tooth). I didn't even know that it was there. It was hiding in my palate. It's out now, and I'm average again...or my mouth is, anyways.

U-
Underwear. This ones about to get personal; We're skipping the clothes and going straight to the under garments. I wear bikini-styled underwear, usually covering my lady parts in a non-translucent cotton but now and a gain a fancy lace.

V-
Valley of the Kings. Since discovering a disc about the discover of Tutankhamen, the child King and pharaoh of Egypt ,when I was younger, I have wanted to take a tour of the Valley of the Kings, where his burial site was excavated by Howard Carter.

W-
Warts. This ones about to get personal (and possibly disgusting if you're freaked out by fungi). At one stage of my life, possibly a decade or so ago, I had up to 13 tiny fungal hills across my 10 fingers...or warts. Don't worry though, they're all gone now and have yet to make an appearance since.

X-
Xin-Xan. There was once a guy in my high school who had this name.I never knew how to pronounce it. The day he left, I learnt. It's 'Zin-Zan'.

Y-
Yosemites. I had no idea how to pronounce this word (seems like a trend), up until my dad mocked me for pronouncing it as YO-SE-MITES. Turns out, it's way more elegant than that.

Z-
Zodiac. My star sign is a Libra, if you're into astrology and that sort of thing. I, personally, am not.


Till next time-
Steph

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can find me here:

Instagram: @socialspying
Email: socialspying@gmail.com
        
Thanks so much for stopping by. If you're feeling up to it, follow this blog on Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin', on Instagram or Twitter. Drop me an email or a message in the Blogger Contact Form and I'll get straight back to you!

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16 March 2017

Being Alone

Past Day Steph

I don't do much alone. On the odd occasion that I eat breakfast, it's with my mom. Lunch is probably with my dad and dinner is a feast with the whole family. I'm still a 'learner' driver, which requires a licensed passenger beside me in the car, so even when I'm driving I'm not alone. I wasn't even in the womb alone. Somehow, I still came out a some-what independent person, however, in saying that, companionship (in fur or flesh) is definitely preferable.

Today, I took a big step. Or, I took many little steps which culminated in one massive step which ended with me in central London. You guessed it- alone.

 I'm currently staying in a shoe-box. I'm used to open space, large gardens and a good distance between myself and my neighbour in the Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western boundaries which I acknowledge is a privilege enjoyed by few. The student accommodation which my sister has kindly made to be 'home' is by all means livable yet simultaneously discombobulating. A trip to her university workshop (and the fumbling of a pressure pump) resulted in an over-blown mattress which I have the privilege of calling my bed...or 'slippy slide' for the next two weeks. Its taken some getting used to; sharing a toilet with 3 people is one thing...sharing a toilet with 8 others with varying needs and preferences when it comes to hygiene (or lack thereof) is another. I am very grateful to have a roof over my head and food on the table with several running taps- things again afforded to few- however, I still feel out of place.

Crumbled up, snotty remnants of what was once crease-less tissues litter the little space between my right shoulder and the off-white wall beside me. University has begun for the day,which once again leaves me alone to enjoy and find comfort in my own company, accompanied by the odd chirp or melody of surrounding birds. The Thames, slowly meandering through a small tribune gently hums and accompanies the birds in low toned melodious harmony, whilst I sniffle and harshly cough, disrupting the pin-drop silence which does nothing but remind me of my loneliness.

Present Day Steph

Once again, I'm alone. Comforted and accompanied by the 'clicks' my fingers make when meeting with the letters beneath them. Looking back on the last three weeks, I am fulfilled and content. I like to stay within my perimeters, and now and again dip my big toe into the unknown- but I don't go beyond that. On my recent trip to London, I dunked my whole leg into the unknown and dived in head-first straight after. I took trains and buses alone. I passed airport security and boarding, a new feat to conquer as a 'one man wobbling band' at Heathrow and again in Frankfurt, all on my lonesome.

 I meandered through a whole city, tremulous and terrified at times and lazily ambling along at others but I made it. I'm now back in the comfort of my room snuggled up with Kitty, my trusty ginger companion. I am now left to reflect with unbounded pride at all I accomplished. Alone.

Till next time-
Steph

                                                                             -----

You can find me here:

Instagram: @socialspying
Email: socialspying@gmail.com
        
Travelling can be a scary ordeal. Travelling alone can be even worse, when you're not only carrying your luggage but anxiety too. Have you ever traveled alone? If so, would you do it again and if not, would you want to try it? I'm now just starting to unpack my bags, which means metaphorically unpacking and 'letting go' of my anxiety too! What a weight off my shoulders.

Thanks so much for stopping by. If you're feeling up to it, follow this blog on Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin' or on Instagram. Drop me an email or a message in the Blogger Contact Form and I'll get straight back to you!
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13 March 2017

Where Are You From?

I am...

In the Milky Way Galaxy,
 

In this specific little spot,

on planet Earth,
 

On the African continent,

In a country called South Africa,

In a city called Johannesburg,
 

In my room, on my computer typing this...



I went scouring through Google Analytics the other day which is a brave feat for me; I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing when I'm met with sessions, page views, graphs and other tabulated figures but I thankfully stumbled upon this map, because it is something I could understand!

It's incredible to me, to think about languages, accents and how different accents develop for the same language in different geographical locations. The world is an incredible place.

Since beginning Social Spying, the blog has been visited by people in these blue cities, on the map below. I don't have a large audience, but this representation has made me realize the power of the internet's far-reaching impact- and boy is it far reaching! I post something and a person, whom I have never met, reads my words on a screen to the West, East and North of the place that I wrote them...I'm working on South.

If one of these cities is blue because you've visited my blog before, thank you. If you're visiting this blog for the first time, then you're either adding more blue circles or you're making the circle bigger- your city's circle and the blogging community's.

People always say to be your own biggest fan.You see that non-translucent, dark blue circle that takes up the southern part of Africa? That's me. I swear I'm not as blogging-selfobsessed as I look, I just like to make sure my posts are aligned, my header is straight and my 'about' page is the best it could be- that's all. 

 

I would love to hear what city you find yourself in as you read through this post. Do let me know in the comments below. If you could be in any other city, where would you want to be and why?

Till next time-
Steph

                                                                               ------

You can find me here:

Instagram: @socialspying
Email: socialspying@gmail.com
        
Thanks so much for stopping by. If you're feeling up to it, follow this blog on Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin' or on Instagram. Drop me an email or a message in the Blogger Contact Form and I'll get straight back to you!
 
Images not taken by me: PEXELS                                                                                                                 
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7 March 2017

Lost in London || Week 2

My second week in London took me to all sorts of weird and wonderful places- which included meeting some wacky people. I probably enjoyed this week the most of them all. An early adventure in the week took me to Camden, where I fell down the rabbit hole and landed in Wonderland. Of course, a tea party was in order.

 
 
In true tourist fashion, I hopped onto one of those double-decker red 'hop on-hop off' buses you always see buzzing around on tourist videos and parked behind  famous monuments in pamphlets. I was so incredibly impressed by the architecture, historicism and attention to craftsmanship that I don't see that anymore.








This street art was aptly produced outside of the National Art Gallery, by Trafalgar Square. These artists had painted several country's flags. Being the cosmopolitan city that London is, travelers from each country were urged to put money on the country that they come from- how's that for patriotism, creativity and entrepreneurship in one artwork. Just in case you're wondering, I did put money on the South African flag.

 
 
I love the impermanence of these works. Rain or the rubber on people's shoes will eventually remove all remnants of the work, and the work will be almost non-existent, except for photographic evidence.

 
 

One of my favourite places in London is definitely the Tate Modern. You could leave me in there from opening to closing and I would still ask to stay some more. I think this particular exhibit was so special to me as I had come across many of the works in the museum, over the past three years in booklets or online, whilst studying art at school. It was mesmerizing to see these works or similar works within touching distance.

You know those clich├ęd forbidden 'red buttons' that we're taught from young to never touch? Whilst approaching a Picasso or Warhol from across the room, I was filled with so much temptation to just touch it or to intentionally brush past it. I have so much respect for art and museums, so I obviously did not touch any of the works...but that doesn't mean the temptation wasn't there.


 


 

Fountain signed R. Mutt. 1917. Marcel Duchamp. Found Object.
'25 Marilyns'. 1962. Andy Warhol.
'Weeping Woman'. 1937. Pablo Picasso. Oil paint on canvas.

The tower of glistening lights consist of several hundred radios all tuned into different frequencies and blasting outwardly towards the audience, simultaneously. The concept behind this work is to demonstrate how people are constantly hit with media from all angle- almost attacked- with no way to turn off or away from the constant bombardment of information.






I probably won't end up doing a third installment of this series- it'll just have to be a two-part wonder (the wonder bit is up for debate). London was so incredibly good to me- the food was delicious, the people were lively and helpful and the atmosphere was immersive. Till next time, London!

Till next time-
Steph

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can find me here:

Instagram: @socialspying
Email: socialspying@gmail.com
        
If you'd like more information on any of the places or artworks please do leave a comment or an email and I'll give you all the details that you're looking for. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. If you're feeling up to it, follow this blog on Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin' or on Instagram. Drop me an email or a message in the Blogger Contact Form and I'll get straight back to you!







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