Thursday, April 26, 2012

Selected as a Guest Editor for Essentials Magazine

When I got the call that I was chosen as one of the 7 editors I was ecstatic. I was one of seven Essentials Readers chosen and we all were going to be shot for the cover of the Essentials May 2012 Issue. We were told to be at the studio 8am with no make-up, no products in hair and to bring a gown and there they would reveal who was editing what section of the magazine.

The shoot was on a Friday so I had to take a day off work but I was ready to have a good time on set.  It didn’t matter that this Guest Editor Position was temporary ....I was going to make it real coz it was moments like these that get me excited – something different, something that breaks my everyday 9-5 job. I was also excited to meet the other ladies who were chosen…what did they look like? What was their typical 9-5? How did they get chosen?

The other women were just as excited about this opportunity as I was and it was fun getting to know each reader. We were all unique in our own ways –long hair, short hair, curly hair, tall, short ect. It was funny seeing how uncomfortable most of the ladies were with not wearing make-up and being in public.  Some said they would never leave the house without makeup yet they were all looking really good (in my opinion)….that is why I sneakishly took “before make-up pictures.” It was comforting to know that I wasn’t the only one there with a child under 1 year old. Angela (33) had a 10month old son who she had left at home for the first time….I thought she was doing good on an emotional level. I remember crying my eyes out when I first left Kayla.

During Breakfast Darren had us all listening as he announced each person’s guest editor position....and “Guest Editor for Fashion is Kanya!” I got a choking feeling in my throat and I was sure my heart skipped a beat. Because deep down I didn’t believe I was a real fashionista....maybe I had over acted for my interview.....maybe I was so good at convincing Darren that I had style and funk....when the truth was I generally have no thought to my outfits really...and I have no clue what is IN and HOT, I just go with whatever works. “Ooops Kanya now you have done it!” were the words that went through my head. Why Darren? Why Guest Fashion Editor?
Then he proceeded..... “Because of your bubbly personality and style and funk, we at Essentials thought this would be good for the Fashion Editor who will be dressing 5 other readers in a different photo shoot next week.” I thought “Could personality be good enough for such a position?” I had a brief moment of anxiety.  But I had no doubt that I was here for a reason and if this was where they wanted me to edit...then it must be where God wanted me to be....So I Jumped with excitement as if I had won the Lotto …because you gotta embrace every experience.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Essentials Guest Editor Interview

A couple of months after applying to the Essentials “You are Amazing” competition, I had concluded that I surely was not amazing enough to be on the front cover of the magazine. Then I got an email from Darren, the Essentials Editor saying they received my application for the “You are Amazing” competition and would like to interview me for a new competition. This was the Essentials Guest Editor Competition which was only going to be open for one week and they had wanted some of the top candidates from the “You are Amazing” competition to also be included as candidates.

Instantly I went to the Essentials web page to find out what being a Guest Editor would involve. Basically 7 Real ladies were being selected to guest edit certain sections of the essentials it could be food, fashion, beauty, shopping etc. I got a bit anxious as I started to realise what was involved in this competition. I mean the competition I had applied for was just ‘beauty’....this one was now beauty and brains. I was going to have to Think...or do something. Yikes ... I was going to have to up my game.

I decided to treat the interview with Darren like a casting call which basically involves dressing and acting for the part. I had remembered an audition I had gone for earlier that month and they were looking for a funky, arty mother! To me this seemed along the lines of what Essentials might be looking for. For that particular audition I got tips on how to dress from my good friend Naomi Kelly who is an Art director for some really hip print ads and commercials. So I thought I couldn’t go wrong wearing the same outfit and going with the same vibe. In this acting industry you really have to be confident about the position you are casting for. So dressed and ready, I looked at myself in the mirror and said “Kanya you are a funky, hip Mom, with style and fashion!!! You are the EDITOR of a Magazine! Now go and be that women!”

My idea of Hip, Funky Mom...brrrrr ended up going with the far right outfit!!! Thanks Naomi

Meeting Darren was very refreshing he just radiates energy and passion for Essentials magazine and for its readers....Real Women. It was suppose to be a quick interview but we chatted about a whole lot of interesting topics. I really got a chance to hear what it was like being a Magazine Editor and even got to ask my own personal questions like “what is the maternity package like? What does a typical day involve?  How do you enjoy your job Darren?” I figured I better take this interview as an opportunity to see what life was like on the “other side!” Was it greener than my 9 - 5 job as a GIS and Remote Sensing specialist?  Could I really see myself in this industry if I ever got the opportunity? During the interview I thought to myself “How amazing is this Kanya? You are getting an insight into the life of a real Magazine Editor’s Job.” I mean you see their faces on the first pages of a magazine and read their editor notes... but this ...this was an Editor Live moment and Darren was so real, present and quirky in his own way.

I left the interview feeling very positive but didn’t want to get too excited coz just like an audition...there is no guarantee that you have got the spot. I drove home saying – “Lord if this is Your will...then make it happen!”

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sneak Preview to the Secret Competition

So every now and again I love to enter random competitions…I do it just to spice up my life. Sometimes I win and either way, it’s always a whole lotta fun – some competitions you will just laugh at me for entering …but this competition is worth blogging about because it evolved into something.

About 5 months ago a friend of mine recommended I enter the Essentials “You Are Amazing!” competition. The Magazine is catered to young, hip mothers of all races and all walks of life. For this competition you had to write in under 500 words why you think you are amazing. And guess what!? If you win you get to be a cover girl for their magazine. Now I ain’t going to lie - being on the cover of a magazine is a bit of a fantasy of mine. Call me vain or self centred but it is just one of those things I’ve always wanted. …So I thought WHY NOT?....even though at the time I was the largest I had ever been in my life. SO WHAT! Large and proud I entered the competition…with the help of my wonderful sister maita.

On a random maternity leave after noon, maita and I sat for probably 2 hours trying to figure out how to tell Essentials Magazine that I was amazing. I didn’t think it would be difficult but I really struggled with trying not to sound boastful and self centred. Why don’t you try write down why you are so amazing in 500 words?...........

No go ahead DO IT! NOW! ….stop reading this blog and write down why you think you are so amazing! It may just help you with your self-esteem! I think this is what Essentials really wanted to achieve – To try and help women to see themselves as amazing women and in turn ignite a sense of confidence in them to push for their dreams.

I know you are probably wondering what I eventually said? Well after a whole lot of frustrating typos and paragraphs I decided to write exactly how I normally write in my blogs. …which is really the essence of who I think I am. ….Readers I hope you have written yours before you read on…..

So here is my exact entry form and photos (one headshot and one full length photo):

Don't Ask why I posed with a Garden Fork!
Name: Kanyadzo Middleton

Age: 30

Height: 1.64m

Top size: M

Bottom size: 36 (gosh haven't bought clothes since I gave birth a month ago>>> so hope that is right)

Shoe Size: 6

I know I am amazing but gosh how do I tell Essentials this? Maybe I should say I am amazing because I am a charismatic, contagious-energy type, crazy 30 year old who chooses to embrace every aspect of life, the good, the bad, the ugly?… or how about …I am amazing because I have a masters degree, or that I married the man of my dreams or the fact that I once took the time to listen to a complete strangers story which turned our lives around for the better? Mmmmm, I got it! Essentials what really makes me amazing is giving birth naturally to my first daughter (a month ago), with no medication! Heck if you know the pain of child birth…I think that’s pretty amazing. For details check out my blog Nah these are all insignificant amazingnesses (ya that is a word) because honestly speaking I am amazing because God created me to his perfection….Tada, that is totally amazing.

Me trying to be natural!

Thanks Essentials I feel amazing.



I can’t tell you if I won or what I won as yet…..but I can tell you that something exciting did happen and for a Hint you gotta turn to page 82 of the April 2012 issue of Essentials! The details will be revealed towards the end of April 2012!!!! Whatch the Shelves for the May issue of Essentials.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Letters to Kayla: Your First Easter

Dear Kayla

You are 6 months and two weeks old now and developing at a rapid rate. Last week you started actually saying Da-da-da-da. Dad is sure you mean to say Da-Da I think you are just copying what Liam, your play mate at the day care says. It was so funny coz your friend Jade can only say Ma-ma-ma-ma and on Easter Sunday at church you both were having a baby talking competitions during the service. You both kept repeating your own words Da-da-da-da from you and then Jade – ma-ma-ma. Everyone around us couldn’t help but laugh.

Easter Weekend was a blast. We took you to a couple of picnics and parks with friends and family which was a lot of fun. I didn’t think you would enjoy the playgrounds because you are still so young, but wow you just loved every moment on the swing and enjoyed dad holding you while you slid down the slide.

Last night Dad and I decided to shave your hair off. Well your hair-do was getting a bit crazy because you had a bald patch at the back of your head and then some super long bits at the top and random curls at the side. Most Indians I meet advise me to just shave your head. “It will grow back nice nice!” So we figured it would be better for us to cut your hair now before it gets too cold. Gosh and what a mission it was to get you to sit still in the tub. By the time bath time was over you had a Mohawk hair-do. I was nervous that you wouldn’t let us cut the rest and was thinking that everyone would think you were a boy for sure. But once you got your mouth on mommy’s booby you didn’t care who was shaving your head. In fact you fell right asleep. You looked so cute with all your hair off and I think you still look beautiful. Dad says you’re the best looking bald baby he’s ever seen.

You are still not sleeping through the night. But I am okay with that because I love just cuddling with you and letting you suckle yourself back to sleep. It probably isn’t the best of methods to get you back to sleep tho. Dad thinks you should be in your own room already, let alone sleeping through the night.

This past weekend you got to spend time with Grandpa Howard. He has been so excited to see you. He says he has a blown up picture of you on his fridge. I think he was a bit nervous that you wouldn’t go to him because during Christmas you were scared of his voice. But this time you didn’t mind hanging out with Him, squeezing his nose and talking to him. Kayla-talk that is.
You fell right asleep while we shaved your head...the white stuff is powder
Well I don’t have too much else to say. Just thought I would drop you a line and keep you posted on your developments and activities.

Keep shining my angel.

Love always - Mommy

My Affair With a Mercedes!

So one of my husband’s passions is Cars - he blogs about them, films them, photographs them and oos and aaass about them. He could tell you the in’s and out’s of the latest wheels on the street like it was general knowledge. I on the other hand, am far from a car chick….thank goodness this was not why he married me :). For me cars are about getting me from A to B comfortably and reliably. ….i.e. the car shouldn’t make any scary noises and it doesn’t need to go to fast. Well all this changed when I had a one-day-stand with the Mercedes Benz C-180 Blue EFFICIENCY something something.

You see the Pug, our loyal 9yr old Peugeot family car, finally made a sound that was too scary for me to drive to work….yup the clutch broke, and it just so happened that that week Avon was test driving the Mercedes Benz C180 something something. I don’t normally drive the cars he evaluates for his blog simply because I never really felt the need to. But also because deep down I have a fear that it may ignite the materialistic-Kanya in me. As much as my husband loves cars and everything about them, he has this wonderful skill of detaching himself from making the car His identity. He can appreciate and respect a good fast and furious car, and still say to me “Kanya at the end of the day…it is just a car!” I must say for a wife this is quite comforting to know coz I have some faith that he wouldn’t rock up one day having spent all our savings on a Red, two-door, Ferrari something, something.

So back to my Mercedes experience – It was 6am and time for me to hit the N1 North to Pretoria. The white clean Mercedes C180 sat silently waiting for me. I opened the door and slipped into the comfortable seat which hugged my bum with that feeling of “Morning Kanya!!! You feelin good today?” I smile then buckle up and the seat belt sucks me in with some automated system which felt like the car was actually grabbing me for a morning hug and whispering “Girl are you ready for this?” My heart gets fluttered. I start the engine and drive out of my complex. As I hit the streets at this early hour I feel myself get excited with each acceleration. This automatic system made me feel like the car was driving me and not that I was driving the car. I stop and tell myself … “Kanya relax it is just a car!” But the sound of the car was telling me “No Girl I am sooo much more!”….I needed help because I could feel myself falling into temptation with every turn and hill. So I try to find Impact Radio…thinking that maybe listening to some good Christian music would calm me and help me humble myself.

But by the time I had found Impact radio I was already halfway through my journey and I was so far gone in Mercedesness (Yup I said it). I was now “Kanya the sexy, smooth Merc-Morning-driver, Queen of the N1!” Cars were moving out of the way for me like I owned the highway and I wasn’t even going fast. I was cruising with the cool-cats….the Audi-what-nots and the Subarus-who-knows…These were the cars I used to move out of the way for when I drove the Pug. Wow Life felt good even though it was a Monday morning…I didn’t feel Blue at all. I felt Blue Efficiency. lol

Sho then I reached my final destination, I wanted MORE Mercedes. I wanted THIS MERCEDES and I wanted it NOW. How much could this car possibly be? Surely God could bless me with a good car like this? This Car is Soo me soo Kanya?

I stepped out of the car and reality hit me! BAM! I felt like I had just had an affair with another car – a One-day-stand, like I cheated on the Pug or something and wasn’t quite sure how to respond. I never thought I could feel like this about another car. I could finally understand what my husband appreciated and respected in Mercedes cars. But as great as the experience was I suddenly realised how vulnerable my heart was to idolising this beauty…I want! I need! I deserve! It all caught me off guard...I wasn’t expecting to fall into the idolising trap like this…so early in the morning too. I guess it is like how any affair starts – it catches you off guard….when you least expect it..and when you are at your most vulnerable.

So my heart to heart with God goes like this. Lord you know the desires of my know my every need and weakness. Forgive me for ever thinking I deserve the things of this world because really I deserve nothing when I look at the price Jesus paid for my sins. Yes I would love to be blessed by the finer things in life – like a Mercedes C180. But I pray that you only grant me these things when my heart is ready to accept them. …I think I am ready now. :) Amen