Bietjie bietjie, y’all.

6 weeks into the new job and things are lookin’ good!
I did survive the voicemail system (thank goodness for phone technicians) as well as our annual banquet, and am getting a handle on all things ‘Chamber’!

If you are wondering what the title of this post means (or whether I just made up some words), the Afrikaans translation of ‘bietjie bitjie’ is ‘little by little’ – and y’all translates from Texan to ‘you all’. ;)
Little by little, I am making 2017 progress. From new job tasks to joining a new church, to improvements on our little house, things are going well and I am so thankful! Now if only I could start a habit of working out. Ha. We just can’t win everywhere. :)

While there is still a huge mound (Huge. Major. *in Trump voice) of general work to get through at the chamber, I am focused this week on working through the logistics of implementing a new spring event: Corks and Kegs Queso Fest.
Yes. I know. It’s awesome – and I hope it will be a roaring success!
Food trucks, Vendors, Music, Texas Hill Country Wine and Craft beer, and a Queso Competition?
Sí, por favor.  .

While they have big ol’ wine fests farther north in the Hill Country with German themes, we are going to South-Texas-fy it and have mariachi music, folklórico, Mexican imports, enchiladas, empanadas, queso, and a fiesta of a good time. (Matter of fact, Fiesta winery is on my invite list.)

Stay tuned for updates on this amazing event! Logo, Facebook page and all, coming soon!
(Date set for Saturday, March 25th, 2017)

In the meantime, check out this video for a briefing on some of the things that make Uvalde County great!

The ‘Six Day Notice’ Wedding

Oh, the wedding that I had six days to plan…
It turned out to be amazing!

I did accomplish everything on my checklist- and it all looked so beautiful.
As with all weddings, we ended up having some logistic problems (crises), but they were sorted out as well as could be, and sometimes you just have to remind yourself: “que sera, sera”.

They exchanged their nuptials under our custom-built cedar and chiffon chuppah adorned with a beautiful spray of flowers, and drove off into the sunset on our Abbott Tank. Continue reading “The ‘Six Day Notice’ Wedding”

“We’re getting married… in SIX DAYS.”

Six. Seis. Ses. Sei. Sechs.
SIX. DAYS.

I’m currently on planning day #2- Sunday the third of July is their wedding date.

While I am so excited for us to have our first wedding on the property- there is so much to do! Continue reading ““We’re getting married… in SIX DAYS.””

Event Coordinator? Why, that’s me!

Hello there, long lost blogging world!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted in almost five months!
Life can certainly get busy and change – and quickly, too! Continue reading “Event Coordinator? Why, that’s me!”

Cowboy Mardi Gras!

In case you didn’t catch my Instagram feed blow-up: We went to Cowboy Mardi Gras this past weekend, and almost needless to say with those words put together- it was so much fun! Although Mardi Gras is traditionally done by those over in that coastal area of Louisiana, when you give us Texans a party theme- we’ll probably do it bigger (and maybe better).

So, should you happen to find yourself in the San Antonio, Texas area during the next Mardi Gras time- I strongly suggest moseying on over to the little weekend town of Bandera. (The town has a resident population of 861- until Friday afternoons when it can skyrocket up to the thousands.)

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Cowboy Mardi Gras was originally started by the famous 11th Street Bar – which they argue is the ‘Biggest Little Bar in Texas’.

This year’s festivity marked the 11th annual Cowboy Mardi Gras! Each year there is Cajun food cooked by food trucks hauled in from Louisiana, Costume Contests, Live Zydeco and Country Music, and the ever-anticipated Mardi Gras Parade. This year marked the first Gumbo cook off- and man did that food look good. Continue reading “Cowboy Mardi Gras!”

Baffin Bay Speckled Sea Trout

As mentioned previously, we spent the weekend a couple of weeks ago with some (great) friends at their house on Baffin Bay, just south of Corpus Christi, and as all do when you have a pier right outside your door- you go out fishing- a lot.

Luckily, we love fishing!

But, before ending up in Baffin Bay, we met up in Corpus Christi at potentially the most amazing fishing shop known to mankind- Roy’s Bait & Tackle Outfitters!

I mean- look at all of that inventory! They have any and every thing you could dream of needing for any kind of fishing! I even found a hook they use for Great White Shark fishing (permit required)!

Once the first light came up the next day, we were in the boat and out on the bay until sundown. Unfortunately, we didn’t have so much catching luck – we only caught one little Speckled Sea Trout, that was too little to keep.

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However, under the green light (after I left the cold-bearing fishing crew and fell asleep) they caught several more Speckled Sea Trout that were above the length limit and were able to be kept.

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So we (husband) kept them, and they came all the way back to our house- where we cooked them that night! (Recipe below)
Maybe our next trip I will get to catch a Red Drum, or a Flounder!

 

Speckled Sea Trout Recipe:

First, you gotta do what husband did and clean the fish- I was asleep for that part. Then, keep them on ice until you are ready to cook them- two days max on ice i’d say- then put them in the freezer for up to two months until you are ready to cook them.

Ingredients:
Trout
Baking Pan
Foil
Olive Oil
Sprigs of either fresh Dill (which we used), Tarragon, or Rosemary
Salt and Pepper, freshly ground to taste
Two large lemons, sliced into wedges
Additional deep pan, filled with warm water, to keep fish moist. (This is referred to as a ‘water bath’ when baking, mostly used with cheesecakes.)

Preheat oven to 400*F
Line your baking pan with the foil. In a bowl, mix together the olive oil and  seasonings. Rub most of it on the inside of the fish, making sure to get some on the bottom so that there is a surface of oil between the fish and foil. Place the lemon wedges along the inside of each fish cavity. Use remaining oil/seasoning mixture to cover tops of fish, and garnish with additional lemon wedges and sprigs of herbs.
Bake on the middle rack (with pan of water on bottom rack) until done- about 20 minutes. When the meat starts to easily flake off, it is done.
Make sure as you are eating that you don’t get any little bones- but ours easily fell right off without any problems.

Easy, pleasey, lemon-squeezy!
We enjoyed our trout with fresh broccoli and couscous – It was delicious!

Have you been saltwater fishing? What is your favorite fish??

Happy 1st Day of 2016!

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Except for the fact that it is today instead of tomorrow, and it’s a leap year this year, Brad. ;) so 366 pages.

Oh, happy day! A whole year has come and gone, and a new one has taken its place. People all over the world for the next couple of weeks will be using that eraser to scratch out the ‘5’ and replace it with a ‘6’ for 2016 – I know I will be! I have to remind myself for weeks on end that it’s a new year- almost until the point that it’s the end of that year with a new one on the way again!

Did you notice on the home page? I changed the year on the copyright! It looks like i’m entering my third calendar year of blogging! Whoop whoop! I can’t wait for all that 2016 will bring- good and exciting things indeed- and I wish the same for you, too!

 

As far as resolutions are concerned, I can’t remember the last time that I sat down and wrote some out on a January 1st, so why not now? I am sitting, after all…

Victoria’s 2016 Resolutions/Goals:
Be more patient.
Be more kind.
Be less critical of myself and others.
Develop better time management. (Although i’m sure this will come on its own as soon as this school semester starts- yep, you read that right- school semester- stay tuned for that update..)
Bring pilates back into my life as a daily routine. – this will require the purchasing of some mat equipment.
Start running. (cliché, yes, I know… i’m sure that of all of the lists written across the globe today, this is probably the most common one, but it’s always a good one!)
-Hunt more. (duh)
-Join a Texas IDPA group
-Get my concealed handgun license.
-Curse less. (it’s a problem, i’ll admit)
-Take. More. Pictures!!
-Become a more confidant swimmer.
-Take a beach vacation.
-Read more (going back to time management…)
-Wake up earlier
-Stop settling for throwing my hair in a bun- appearances matter!
-Eat out less.
-Plan our meals- and buy accordingly.
-Create a financial budget.
-Get more crafty.
and last but not least,
-Blog more!

What are your New Years’ resolutions or goals? Do we have any that are the same?

Until next time!
I hope you had a most blessed and wonderfully refreshing January 1st, 2016!

P.s
As previously mentioned (again), I have been absent as of late due to the crazy busyness of life. A couple of things that I (we) have done in the last couple of weeks, includes remodeling a small house, surviving family encounters throughout the holiday season, and going hunting (although unsuccessfully) a couple of times. It even snowed while we were in the blind- in Del Rio of all places!

The air was so pretty filled with all of the dainty dancing white specks, and the Whitetail Deer looked to be having some fun with it, too.

 

Update; NaBloPoMo Results

Well hello, hello there, long-lost friends!

As previously mentioned in my last post – we have been so busy since landing back in Texas- and I mean exceptionally busy! We have done our own tiling, flooring, paving, and all sorts of other remodeling projects. We are still getting our clothes out of a suitcase every day, but I do finally get a kitchen sink and cabinets installed in TWO days!
Bietjie bietjie maak baie! (← one of my most favorite Afrikaans sayings, and it translates to ‘little by little, makes a lot’!)
Moving to another country always has its little battles! Still on my list is to sort out medical insurance and university documents- but I am registered for classes! Bachelors of Arts of Interdisciplinary Studies, here I come! ….but give me a year and a half. :)

As for NaBloPoMo: Continue reading “Update; NaBloPoMo Results”

We Are Here!

So, as it turns out, there was zero airport entertainment in the way of quirky passengers or otherwise during our travels this time. So sad.

I apologize for my lack of posts- and yes- I technically failed at NaBloPoMo since my last November post was on the 23rd, and only managed to crank out one post on the ‘Thankfulness Challenge’. Whomp whomp. :( NaBloPoMo was still a really great try and a wonderful experience! My upcoming stats post is going to be pretty mind-blowing!

We literally hit the ground running once we landed back in Texas and have been excessively busy ever since- and there is STILL so much to do! We did make the wise decision to get away from all the madness this weekend and visit some friends at the coast- Baffin Bay. I’m so glad we did!

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It’s just past 11:00pm here now, and everyone except for me and a very attention-seeking Maltipoo (Maltese/Poodle cross) named Honey are outside fishing off of the pier. Continue reading “We Are Here!”

“Excuse Me.”

Alright. You caught me. I missed posting yesterday. 😩 and I was doing so good! Two whole weeks! Only to have my lazy Sunday interrupt my perfect cycle. Ah, it’s still a personal record, anyway. NaBloPoMo is really just there for inspiration, and inspire me it has!

So, here I am today, at the Brooklyn Mall here in Pretoria sipping on some yummy coffee from the not-so-South-African Seattle Coffee Company. Lol This will probably be my last time at Brooklyn for at least six months, so you’d think I’d go and get coffee at TriBeCa, but no, I came here. I just didn’t want to walk further, okay! 😉 Continue reading ““Excuse Me.””

Aunt June’s Peach Cobbler

Because it’s Friday, we had company over, and in preparation for that I spent most of the day getting the house and everything else ready for making lots of pizza, so I didn’t really have just a whole bunch of time on my hands to sit down and think up a subject for a post much less write one.
So, you all get the recipe for what I made and served for dessert.
Lucky you, I made my Great Aunt June’s Famous Peach Cobbler.

Now, if you aren’t from Texas, you may not know what a cobbler is. My friends that just left our house here in South Africa told me it was like a pudding…. If you are from Texas, don’t take offense to that- they have odd ‘puddings’. Think bread pudding. :)

Regardless of what you do or don’t know about it, trust me when I say it is pure awesomeness and you need to make it. It’s super easy, and you probably have everything you need right in your pantry and fridge.

Now, just one more note… I failed completely at getting a final product picture. :( It got gobbled before I thought about taking one. Sorry about that…

Continue reading “Aunt June’s Peach Cobbler”

Picadillo: Mexican Hash

Picadillo Tacos are one of my most favorite go-to lunch tacos.

When growing up in Southwest Texas, tacos are a staple for breakfast or lunch, and usually run you at about $2.00/taco and no more than five minutes drive away.
It wouldn’t be far from the truth to say I was raised on them.
Working out on the ranch all day, we would have breakfast tacos after rounding-up sheep, goats, or cattle, and then a variation of either bean and cheese or meat and rice tacos for lunch after a good amount of livestock had been worked. Most of the time, it was my grandmother or a workers’ wife who prepared these in the wee hours of the morning, or even the night before. So, it’s safe to say I have a fondness for tacos. ..I may or may not have had a taco place on speed dial in High School. Continue reading “Picadillo: Mexican Hash”

The Versatile Blogger Award: Facts About Me

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An award?! Someone nominated me for an award?!

I am so flattered- not only that I have been nominated with my few amount of posts, but also that someone diligently reads and enjoys my blog! So, thank you ever so much, Natasja of Her Arrow Points North! Be sure to check her blog out- it’s California awesomeness.

The Versatile Blogger Award was put together to “Honor those bloggers who bring something special to your life whether every day or only now and then.”. My blog nominations below are just a couple of my favorites. I always look forward to reading their posts because of the great information they share, awesome pictures, life blunders, new products, as well as finding out the similarities we may have in common even though we come from completely different backgrounds.

Even though my “About Me” is quite detailed, here are some facts you may not know:

  1. Ek kan Afrikaans praat… maar ek het nog baie om te leer. ;)
    Translation: “I can speak Afrikaans, but I still have a lot to learn.”
  2. I can make most Mexican food from scratch, but have yet to master the corn tortilla.  Continue reading “The Versatile Blogger Award: Facts About Me”

I.D.P.A. – for all pistol lovers.

To start off my ‘Firearm Friday’ I thought that an introduction into just what IDPA is, would be appropriate. :)

I.D.P.A. – International Defensive Pistol Association.
This organization is one you will want to be a part of!
Originally founded in 1996 in the US, there are now over 22,000 active members in more than 50 countries, with most likely a club near you!

IDPA competitions have stages that solve real-world defensive scenarios using everyday practical carry equipment. The main goal is to improve and test the skill and ability of the individual by combining accuracy and tactical engagement procedure with speed.
Needless to say- it is a lot of fun.

At the Hluhluwe, KZN club shoot in 2014.
At the Hluhluwe, KZN club shoot in 2014.

Continue reading “I.D.P.A. – for all pistol lovers.”

My Wedding Dress

If you haven’t heard the story of my wedding dress: Brace yourself- it’s pretty unique. I knew exactly what I wanted, and my stubborn self wasn’t settling for anything other than what I had in mind. What I ended up with was more than I could have dreamed of.

I did the traditional try-on’s at David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo’s in San Antonio with family and friends, and was sorely disappointed in my options. Every ‘lace’ dress I tried on was just lace appliqué, seemed very mass produced, and were way over my price range. After searching online for inspiration, I found a picture of a designer dress style that was perfect- but it had a designer price and was in Arizona.

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(Designer: Claire Pettibone, Dress: Yolanda)

Continue reading “My Wedding Dress”

5 Reasons My Children Will Hunt

*Gasp! “She said that she will teach her children to be vile, cruel, HUNTERS!”

Yep. I did. And hunters they shall be.
However, my experiences with hunting that define that word for me, connote not one negative word or emotion associated.

DISCLAIMER To The Reader:
Hear me out. 
Have an objective viewpoint.
Learn to live in love and appreciate those that have different lifestyles or opinions than you.

Whew. Now that we are over the modern popular social ideology that we need to hate all hunters…. maybe I can get to the point of this article. :) Sorry about that….

Continue reading “5 Reasons My Children Will Hunt”

Heritage Day and the Billy Goat

     While milling around yesterday in the African younger sibling of Sam’s Club, Makro, I walked by a fellow bulk-shopper. As I walked away from this boot-wearing middle aged man, I felt the corners of my lips twitching- I just couldn’t contain myself, I had to ask him the question I knew the answer to. I gave my husband the i’m-going-to-do-it look and turned around. “Excuse me, Sir. You’re not from South Africa, are you?” He turned to face me, and I glanced at the white cap he was wearing, I instantly noticed it had the state of Texas embroidered largely on the front. “OH! You’re from Texas! I’m from Texas!” He giggled a bit at me, explained the he has lived here for about 3 1/2 years (looks like I will survive), and that there are about 200 Americans living in the east of Pretoria. We, er… I, exchanged contact details and teased him with the allure of my homemade tortillas and enchiladas. Will the overly-friendly, slightly-awkward Texan girl (ahem, me) ever get invited to an American get-together in South Africa by this stranger from Amarillo named Steve? Only time will tell. Continue reading “Heritage Day and the Billy Goat”

An Introduction

Here I am!
Married in March, and only now do I decide to start documenting this transitional time in my life.
Thinking about it, I don’t know at what future date our lives will cease to be transitional. College, dating, moving, paperwork and visas, marriage, more paperwork and visas, moving again, babies, paperwork, babies while moving, paperwork….. Paperwork, changes, dishes, and laundry, are about the only constants we can count on.

I decided to start a blog because it seemed more sensible to me than buying yet another journal, that I will write in approximately 8 times a year. Detailed entries, yes. Good handwriting and commitment to writing frequently, no. However, one thing I am diligent with using on a daily basis, is my handy-dandy, world-connecting, handheld device- my iPhone. So a blog, a public journal, if you will, sounded more reasonably suited for documenting my thoughts and experiences. Plus, there is so much less anxiety in publishing a blog post that was written with a public audience in mind, than carrying around a journal filled with personal thoughts. (Flashback to Jr. High when schoolmates found my journal. *shudder* ) Continue reading “An Introduction”