Saturday, 30 August 2014

The 7 Deadly Sins of Falling in Like: Private Parts

I really love this next sin and the concept of being classy. Hardly ever mentioned, but a key player in this whole concept of falling in like with someone, are private parts...

Private Parts

The Simpsons
This is a bit of a funny one and was actually the first one I stumbled upon, before I clicked to the idea of the sins. It involved cleavage and a slightly awkward moment. It was an interaction with something private and I recognised it immediately as a mistake and a throwback to former classlessness.  

This might be a bit of a childish sin. There is also a lot of circumstantial forgiveness mostly involving the trifecta of lips, room and state of undress. 
This, much like grand gestures, is just an unnecessary risk and a solid perk of a relationship. It is an important thing to remember, both in showing class, and being mature. Risking it with private parts is really more of an indication of how frivolously you are prepared to lose someone.

The Simpsons
If you missed the previous posts, here they are - enjoy!

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The 7 Deadly Sins of Falling in Like: Guilty Cornering

We all know that backing someone into a corner will inevitably result in them doing something crazy to try and get out of that corner...and so Guilty Cornering is the next topic of something to avoid when Falling in Like with someone. 

Guilty Cornering

Emotional blackmail is probably one of the most regularly broken sins. This is mostly because it can be extremely subtle, often reliant on the instantaneous way they feel about us at that moment, and is often about asking the same thing in different ways. 

“Would you maybe want to do something on Saturday, or maybe Sunday?”
If they are not sure they want to see us, then we’ve cornered them into both days, and anything cornered will naturally react badly. (As some homework think about better ways to ask the same question.)

Equally, making someone feel guilty about anything is just as bad. Again this comes down to grace, and a thick skin. The ability to see the good in every situation and focussing on that. As already mentioned, we are not the most important thing in their world, despite how amazing it would be for both if we were. However much they should want to, they don’t have to see us. Conversely seeing someone does not necessarily mean we are leading them on, if they are in a position to take each moment as it comes. There is discipline to be shown here, and real, not blind, courage by both parties.

"Maybe you could just give me a list, of all your ex's, just so
that I know who is going to beat my ass into the ground next."
- Scott Pilgram vs The World
If you missed the previous posts, click on the links to read them:
IntroSympathyRelationship Perks, Grand Gestures and The Word Love

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Friday, 29 August 2014

The 7 Deadly Sins of Falling in Like: "Love"

Love is the topic of our next sin. At some point in a relationship you say "I Love You". Say it too soon and you could scare your love interest away. Don't say it at all and maybe your love interest thinks you're not serious, when actually, you are. If you've missed the previous posts by this weeks Guest Poster, click the links to see what you've missed before you dive into today's post. Intro, Sympathy, Relationship Perks and Grand Gestures.

Breakfast At Tiffany's...

The Word Love

This is the most obvious mistake, and the most rookie error. Often sadly just a knee jerk reaction to how awesome we think someone is, catalysed by pretty much every song ever sung, every book ever written, every movie ever made and every play ever performed. Saying these words, or even hinting at the fact that it could one day become a reality is a deadly game to play. It might not even be that badly received with the borderline crazy ones, but more often than not will just back a person into a corner. They should never be used to try save something that is on its way out. 

There is no need to put too fine a point on this one. It should be obvious. Real love is kind of depressingly rare, and really is unshakable, found over a long time and together.

...slightly adapted to prove a point

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Thursday, 28 August 2014

The 7 Deadly Sins of Falling in Like: Grand Gestures

Grand Gestures is the topic of our third Deadly Sin of Falling in Like. Written by one of my good friends, he is the first guest poster on Practical Cookie. After all of his hard work, I decided to run these sins as a series of separate posts. I hope you're all enjoying them so far! Just so you don't get confused, my own comments are added in, in italics and brackets.

If you have missed the first few posts of the series, click on the links to see the Intro, Sympathy and Perks of a Relationship.

Beware of Grand Gestures

Touched on briefly (and purposefully) above, this is one of Hollywood’s great lies. Grand gestures should not really have a place in being in like. Playing their favourite songs outside their house, waiting for them in the rain, getting a flash mob involved, most of us will have had the ideas pouring through us  at some point when things have started going badly, or we don’t know how to move forward. 

The simple truth is that a grand gesture will only ever push them to the side of the fence on which they are already sitting. If they really like us then it will probably work out amazingly. If they are close to the fence or on the wrong side, then it will probably be soul destroying and ruin things more than we can ever imagine. It is a high risk move to play, mostly for our own hearts, and sometimes it is worth the risk to break through to them, even though there is an equal chance of ruining it forever. It is just that we should not have to risk so much. A grand gesture to someone you truly love, when they are not expecting it is so much more amazing than one for someone you are in-like with and who is perhaps preparing to deflect a bold move. (From a female perspective, Grand Gestures are either amazingly romantic or just plain stalker-ish. And as it's been pointed out here, the way that you interpret that Grand Gesture really does depend on what side of the fence you're sitting.)

The Notebook
An example of a Grand Gesture gone right...but imagine if she hadn't loved the guy.
I think that would have made for more of a horror story!

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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The 7 Deadly Sins of Falling in Like: Relationship Perks

In the Seven Deadly Sins of Falling in Like, sin number 2 is Perks of a Relationship. If you missed the other parts of the series, click on the links to see the Intro and Sympathy

Perks of a Relationship

There is so much excitement at the beginning of something new, there always should be, even if it is favoured more to the side of those in the right place to feel it. The risk is always of excitement becoming investment. There is such an important distinction to make between the two, and mistaking them for each other can cost us more than we know, whether we are the one in like or the one on the fence.

Seeing them off at the airport, meeting parents, getting random texts just mentioning how much they like you, getting them to come out and jump a battery or change a tyre (for the girls), getting bleak when they don’t call or message, sympathy, grand gestures, or whatever else. These are all perks of a relationship that does not exist. Expecting them, asking for them or being bummed about not getting any are perfect ways to freak a person out. It also takes away a bit of the mystery and reward of actually moving toward a relationship, even if it never gets there. 

It takes so much discipline to keep the mind in check. We have to be so careful about losing ourselves in the idea of someone, in the idea of what could be. It is so easy to forget that we aren't there yet, and more often than not, will never be. 

The perks should be held in mind as a reason for fighting on - they are all silver linings of the cloud we should be fighting for.

from the movie No Strings Attached

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The 7 Deadly Sins of Falling in Like: Sympathy

The first of the 7 Deadly Sins can be found below. If you would like to see the introduction to these sins, click here and then continue reading below. I've added a few of my own comments in italics.


By this point we've all been hurt before, if not then you haven’t tried hard enough. We might even be sad about something legitimate, so few of us have all our ducks in a row. However tough it is though, appealing to someone new, a person who you've fallen in like with, for sympathy is dangerous. It is the wrong place to look, and in the end is a very humanising thing at a time when we have to be superhuman. Discipline should be spent on being a rock, albeit a funny, intelligent, charming and amazing one. 

Especially when meeting someone who is in a strange place themselves (being in like is a strange place sometimes) this is such an opportunity to be gracious, but not blasé. Grace, now that I finally begin to understand what it actually is, is one of the most amazing and truly heroic qualities to have. A part of it is the ability to understand someone’s needs, and happily put them before your own. 

Gaining sympathy of the one you like is comparable to fighting the world with a long-standing partner. Fighting the world together is something that must be earned. It is a perk of a relationship which has to be discovered together. Instead of appealing for sympathy from the one you like, instead battle through your condition bravely, accept where the other person is at and give them everything they need, while hoping, but not expecting, that they will slowly give you little bit by bit in return. It is meaningless and frustrating when people say you have to be happy with yourself before you can be happy with someone else. This task is baffling, the path unclear, and the goal borderline impossible. What they really are trying to say is that it is only when we've learnt to rely on ourselves for getting through, that others will begin to see that strength and gravitate toward it.

"I'm a little more guarded...I guess it's because...I've been hurt before..."
Sean Colfax - Fired Up

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Monday, 25 August 2014

The 7 Deadly Sins of Falling in Like: Intro

You may have noticed this picture come up on the Practical Cookie Facebook Page (if you didn't see this come up go and like the page to stay up to date with Practical Cookie Posts). And yes, it's true, Guest Posts are coming to Practical Cookie - in fact, they are starting right now!

A few months ago, after girl troubles had got him down, one of my mates was chatting to a group of us about his list of 7 deadly sins that you can commit when falling in like with someone. We thought it would be awesome to share this list with the world and decided that Practical Cookie would be a good platform for this. About a week ago he sent me the text version and I'm going to be sharing these sins over the course of the next few days, so keep an eye out for them.

And now, as typed penned by the writer himself, an introduction to:

The Seven Deadly Sins of Falling in Like

None of us are shallow. No matter how we might look on the surface there is a great swirling sea of emotion within all of us that will never be fully understood, controlled or influenced. 
I don’t necessarily want to go down the road of what drove me to start trying to understand the sins, and put them down. All I will say is that it turned out simply to be an answer I found within myself, to a question we have all faced. It was a self-reflection on the definition of insanity, of repeating the same mistakes and expecting a different result. They are some of the most important ideas I could ever figure out. Now that I have finished writing them I am kind of embarrassed by them, much like it becomes embarrassing to carry on using fingers and toes when we’ve learned to count, but the truth remains that thinking about them in this way is a good short cut to knowledge usually gained through a lot of heart ache. Some people understand these intrinsically, and it is easy to scoff. Some get lucky, and it is easy to be grateful. For the rest of us though, understanding this idea is paramount to no longer thinking that the world is against us, only ourselves. That idea is hopeful.

It started when two friends mentioned it was unattractive for guys to look for sympathy. With a smile I, quietly inside, realised in that moment that I was definitely guilty, had been at least, in my own justifiably small way.
I finally began to understand where among the convoluted mess of lines, so trivial to the rest of the world, I had gone wrong. I realised that maybe it might also be possible that I was guilty of other things and bit by bit these things grew into a list. 

In the end it was a list of seven mistakes to avoid when you have met someone new and found yourself in-like. It is a survival guide for that moment when you tragically figure out they are on the fence about you, maybe even fairly far on the wrong side. Conversely and in hindsight, it is also a guide to maintaining our own cool when we are not in the right place and giving people a chance to make mistakes without crucifying them for it. The world does not have to be so black and white.
It won’t help win someone over who isn’t right, but avoiding the sins will, in theory, let a person stay in a place mentally where they will give the other a real, appreciable chance. And I think that is all any of us really want. 

So, without further ado, or oxford commas, the list...

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Friday, 22 August 2014

Defining Decade and Being A Twentysomething

I'm sure by now, you all know that I love myself a good TED talk, so when I came across this talk in my facebook news feed, I thought I would take a look. It seemed relevant to me. I'm a twentysomething. I find the media's my peers general public's trivialisation of the twenties years frustrating sometimes. Every day there's another facebook post popping up about why The twenties are the best times of your life. Thirty things to do before 30. They're entertaining up until a point. Taken with a pinch of salt, they're fun. But not for one second do I believe that they're really true. Take a look at the talk below. 

Meg Jay: Why 30 is not the new 20.

The twenties is a big step up from varsity. You need to start growing up. You need to start thinking about things you didn't necessarily have to worry about before. You have to start dealing with rent. And a job where you probably know nothing. And maybe you will probably paying off some sort of debt, maybe multiple debts. You dive into a world full of unknowns and somehow you need to start swimming before knowing how to float.

For many twentysomethings, even though you have a piece of paper behind your name (degree, diploma, course certificate), you have to start out life on a salary (if you're lucky!) that can barely cover your rent, let alone debt repayments and grocery bills. And if you're not getting paid a salary, you're expected to be appreciative of an unpaid internship that allows you to get experience so that you can get a paid job. 

No wonder twentysomethings don't want to grow up. It's expensive to grow up. But it's more expensive not to grow up! After watching Meg Jay's Ted Talk, I actually went and read the book that her talk is based on - The Defining Decade by Meg Jay. She speaks so much sense and puts into words, thoughts that have been roaming in and out my head for the better part of a year. She also (and this is the kicker) explains WHY twentysomethings sometimes find growing up difficult. She also explains that it's normal for the twenties to be a time of feeling unsure, insecure and uncertain about your future. And it's precisely because you're feeling these things that it's the perfect opportunity for you to grab on, persevere and grow into the adult that the twentysomething years should be moulding you into.

Friends, family, strangers reading my blog for the first time, twentysomethings, pre-twentysomethings, post twentysomethings  - I really do recommend that you read this book. And once you've read it, please let me know what you think.

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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Adventure Time: Cederberg and Wolfberg Arch Hike

As all good adventurers must, we have started challenging ourselves. About two weeks ago, we spent the weekend on our first team adventure. With a few honorary Adventure Time members, we set off to the Cederberg, stayed at Driehoek Guest Farm, in their Groothuis. Fireplace, kitchen, place to braai and space to hang your hammock (if you bring one!) made for a lovely stay.

We spent Saturday hiking to Wolfberg Arch. We drank wine and cheese, braaied, rode horses (very slowly!) and rock climbed. All in all, a pretty adventurous weekend. 

The sun peeking over the hills on a beautiful winters day in Cape Town

Our weekend hiking group

Nothing says "Adventure" like climbing to the top of a rock for a photo shoot!

The cracks that you pass through, on the way to the arch

Dusty comfortable old shoes
The most awesome hiking shoes!

Wolfberg Arch hike flat
Our first glimpse of the arch!

Wolfberg Arch with people underneath
We made it!

Speckled bird with orange belly
My in-house hobby-ornithologist informs me this is a Cape Rock Jumper.
A bunch of these guys joined us while we were having lunch. They proved
to have discerning tastebuds and loved the Camembert cheese that one of
our party had brought along - eating it out of her hand! 

Me and Frosty in front of the arch

Wolfberg Arch Hike Information

The hike took us about 8 hours, round trip. And we walked slowly - the photo session on top of the rock was at least half an hour and we probably had at least another hours rest at the arch.

The day pass to the Cracks would put you back R50 per person. If you want to go all the way to the arch it will cost you R100.*

There is one place to collect water - in the wet season. I would suggest taking enough water for your entire hike if you go in summer.

It is suggested that if you want to get some amazing pictures of the arch, that you start late and spend the night up at the arch. The sun sets on one side of the arch and rises on the other. Maybe one day I'll be adventurous enough to try this!

There are some steep sections with a bit of scrambling at the beginning of the hike, but once you have passed through the Cracks, the rest of the way is pretty flat. Make a note of where you come out at the cracks - we may have got lost missed our mark by a little bit on the way back, luckily Runtastic helped us figure out where to go!

* At the time of writing this is correct - cost may vary over time, so please don't quote me on this to the people who issue the passes!

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Sunday, 17 August 2014

Adventure Time

So, when I moved back to Cape Town, one of my mates started a whatsapp group with a few of us and aptly called it "Adventure Time". It originally started out as a way for us to organise a few movie nights. However, as time passed, our group grew. More adventurous people joined us.

Now, instead of finding ourselves going to chilled movies and sushi or tea with my cheese muffins, brownies and other yummy things, we found ourselves doing a lot more adventurous things. Like going to musicals and walking out to dinner (which resulted in me spraining my ankle...too much wine of an adventure too soon, perhaps?).

Birthday Brownies

There was also that one time when two of our members decided to wake up at 4am to go and hike to the top of Table Mountain in the HOPE that they would see snow when they got to the top. That proved to be way too adventurous too early in the morning for most of us. They got lucky and it started snowing while they were exploring the top of the mountain!

Think it was worth getting up at 4am to see this amount of snow?

We've been a bit more adventurous recently and last weekend we managed to spend a weekend in the Cedarberg, which was great! I'll be posting more on that weekend soon!

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Thursday, 14 August 2014

July Christmas

A few weeks ago my friend, Kelly, hosted an amazing Christmas in July at her new flat. There was a great mix of people and we had such fun getting into the (July) Christmas spirit. Here are some of her decorations - personally, I think the melted snowmen were great! I also think that, since by birthday is in winter, I know what I want to do for my next birthday! Take a squiz at these pics...
Christmas decorations
Table Decor

Fun Sticks

Who doesn't love July-mas

Great photo accessories (and Frosty finally picked his nose!)

Melted snowman Christmas decor idea
Who doesn't sometimes need a little bit of melted
snowman to keep you hydrated!

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

What Fruit Best Describes You?

"What fruit best describes you?"





Kinda strange? 

Only when you spend a good amount of time thinking up an answer, only to be told (when you ask the person originally doing the asking exactly the same question) that they don't know and they only asked you that to break the ice... 

About a week ago a bunch of friends came over to our house after a dinner out. The topic of an app called Tinder came up. I had no idea what this app was, so after having it explained to me (it's an app that helps you connect with people but is mainly used for dating), we got to chatting about it. 

It was rather interesting chatting about the different ways of starting a conversation with a person over a dating app. My friend who was asked the fruit question wasn't too impressed when they didn't get a reciprocal response to the fruit question. I don't think I would have been too impressed either. 

I can't say I've ever used any of these apps, but I would say that, if you were to use an app like this, a far safer opening line to break the ice would be a line given to me by another friend who uses this app: "Hey :)" 
(It's apparently much less threatening, a lot more genuine and doesn't come across as creepy). 

What are your thoughts on using applications for dating? 
Worth it or waste of time?
How would you approach someone using some method of virtual-connection?

Orange and yellow flowers against a wall

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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Procrastination List

So, now that I've hit the 1 year mark with Practical Cookie, I seem to have hit a rut in terms of my blogging. I thought instead of trying to think up new posts, I would share what I do when I'm procrastinating trying to think up new posts:

  • Trying my best to finish this course from Udacity (a site which offers free and paid courses on a variety of topics). I'm on to the final strait but every time I think I've solved the problem, the automatic markers returns my code with a message saying that my code doesn't work for a certain code case. I've been stuck on this for about a week and just want to get it working so I can start my next course!
  • Getting completely and utterly lost in the world of words (aka reading).
  • Preparing for and getting ready to finish off the HCD course that we started a while back as a team building exercise for EWB-WC.
  • Sleeping. Or else thinking about sleeping.
  • Cooking because I'm going away this weekend with a bunch of people and I'm sorting out dinner for Friday night.
  • Watching cool plays (like Oklahoma at the ArtScape Theatre) and going out to dinner with visiting friends and cooking dinner for other friends.
Hopefully I'll have an epiphany be back to more consistent posting soon!

blowing snow in the air

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