The raw and the random of Snapchat

I signed up to Snapchat years ago, when it started, so that I could try it out. At the time I wasn’t enamoured by the app, and eventually deleted it from my mobile.

Then a few months ago, I installed it again, and I’ve tried to get into it.

I now snap every day, sometimes more often than my posts to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram… and I religiously check up on my friends snaps.

I find the content to be raw and random… hence the title of the post. Because you have to take the photo or 10 second video from your phone as you snap, the content tends to feel raw. You can’t over edit it in fancy editing software, the closest you can get to an edit are the filters provided by Snapchat… and they’re fun, but not amazing.

I tend to post random stories about my life there… with photos that would never make it to my other social pages. I’m finding that the people I’m following are doing the same. Some take it a bit far, and I really do wonder what they do in their day, with their endless ramblings on Snapchat and then there umpteen tweets that I read from them too! My word, some people talk A LOT!

I find it random because I think people post stuff there knowing that it’s going to disappear in 24 hours… and that’s part of the appeal, although I didn’t get that in the beginning. Everything else online is online forever, and I love that I can always go back and see old stuff, but there’s a certain appeal knowing that your content will disappear.


What I like:

  • The fun filters. I love that there are new filters every day. They are so much fun, and Connor is loving it too! He generally posts a video a day with a new filter.
  • The content only lasts for 24 hours. If I’m not feeling too passionate about something, I put it there knowing that it’ll disappear and only a handful of people get to see it.
  • I can download my favourite content to put onto my other social media channels so that my other friends can actually see it.
  • If my day is particularly good, or is memorable, I can download the whole day into one video. A snapshot of my day’s randomness.
  • 10 second video is actually long enough. I’ve learnt you can say more in 10 seconds than you can convey in 140 characters, so it works.

What I don’t like:

  • My biggest issue is that you can’t find the tweeters or Facebookers you follow easily… you have to know their handle or need to be connected to your email account. That’s a pain and a half. No wonder so many people have changed their Twitter avatars to their Snapcode (the yellow keyhole with their photo if you’re wondering what that is)
  • Snapchat is a battery and data hog! I reckon it’s partly because you end up watching active content for longer periods than you would on other social media sites, but still…
  • There’s no real engagement on the platform. Any comment you make is a private message that only goes to the person whose snap you’re commenting on. As a result, the chatter and engagement about the snap moves to Twitter generally… I suppose Twitter loves that though 😉 I don’t mind seeing the tweets though, because it makes me curious and gets me to go back to Snapchat to find what people are talking about.

If you want to follow my raw and random snaps… my handle is JENTYSA


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The horrible mommy and the strong little viking

I was showing Connor snaps from the previous evening earlier today (meaning I’d posted them on Snapchat). One of the videos I posted was with him creating a helmet for his viking outfit for school.  In it, I said that he was making a helmet because he’d lost the helmet that we were initially going to use for the outfit.

I’d been so mad at him! He drives me absolutely batty. He loses everything. I can’t tell you how many ties, school caps, blazers, shoes etc I’ve had to replace. Just this week I had to buy him a new tie and school cap before school one morning. And then he went and “lost” the old dress-up helmet between my mom’s house and our house.

So, we found a website that explained how to make viking helmets from cereal boxes, and that became the new plan. And we had fun making it. We even got Bradley involved in the crafty exercise.


What I didn’t need to do was record that video.  My word I hurt his feelings so very much… and in the process my heart got squeezed.

And in the end, after all that missioning and heartache and shouting and screaming… we actually found the original helmet in his room… tucked away in a tiny drawer for some very bizarre reason.

This morning, when he got ready for school… he decided that he didn’t want to wear either of the helmets after all…

I wonder if it was because of me.

In hindsight, I only realised how badly I spoke to him when I watched the video again. It was good that I video’d it… it made me realise how wrong I was.

I told him this evening that I thought I’d acted really badly, and asked whether he thought I’d been nasty. He nodded. Wow that hurt. And yes, before you ask, I did apologise.

Poor kid. I feel so awful.

I need to try harder at being a mom.

Thankfully snaps only last 24 hours and I didn’t save it.

Now wondering whether I should post this…

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Running like a duck

When I started running just over 2 years ago, I did as I was told, and went to a specialist running shop to buy proper shoes. If you’ve ever done this, you’d know that they watch you run in your old shoes, and based on that and looking at your feet and the wear on your old shoes, they work out which shoes you need to buy.

This guy made me run up and down the street, and then promptly told me that I run like a duck!

Lovely hey?

I’ve been self-conscious about my running style since then. Not that I can change it, that’s how I run.

However, as I’ve got stronger and my feet, ankles and hips have got stronger I definitely don’t look as bad as I used to. But still… that comment has stayed with me.

It’s not like I can escape looking at my running posture. Photos are generally taken of you at races. When I train at RWFL, Rene often takes photos. When I do long runs with the Boskruin group over weekends, photos are generally taken there too.

And I actually go hunting for them now. I tag myself in them, no matter how bad I think I look, and I do share them.

I think photos of myself running are pretty awful to be honest.

I can see my big bum and my thighs that are bigger than I’d like them to be. I see that I slouch, especially when I run uphill. I see that my feet are still duck-like, although they are straighter than they were. And I always notice that my knees still cave in a bit, which means I need to strengthen my hips.

When I mentioned this on Twitter this weekend, Mike commented saying that everyone runs badly in still photos, and I run just fine 🙂

But, this is what I love about them:

  • I got up at the crack of dawn to run a race, which I finished
  • This weekend, I ran over 17km in the freezing cold… and I loved every km. I love being on the road and meeting and chatting to other runners
  • I can see I’m stronger than I ever was
  • I can actually run, which I didn’t think was possible 3 years ago
  • I’ve lost weight without really trying
  • I can achieve anything I set my mind to
  • My kids are more active now, because Lance and I run… and that’s a huge bonus!
  • I think I’m a better role model now for the boys
  • I’m working towards my goals
  • I’m on my way to running a marathon.

So, bring the photos on!


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Kids inspired by Fifa Xbox games

The kids have played soccer at school for years. They’ve been keen on it, but not obsessed.

That was, until the boys clubbed their pocket money together and bought themselves FIFA 16 for Xbox. They’re now properly obsessed.

If they were allowed to, they would play FIFA about 20 hours in a day, with an hour playing soccer in the garden and the rest napping to gather their strength for the next day.

Other than playing soccer, almost every discussion in the house now revolves around the game. They know every single player in every team, every coach and they even understand the transfer windows! Lance is so pleased that he doesn’t have moaning kids when he wants to watch soccer on TV now… and in fact they stayed up willingly on Saturday night to watch the UEFA finals, and of course dissected every moment of the game yesterday. 

Bradley has subscribed to soccer YouTube channels and sports news sites and every morning Lance is greeted by “Dad, did you hear…?” and the chatter about injuries and soccer scores and who is hired and fired starts all over again.

Inter school soccer BW 002

I’m not complaining too much though, because this new found passion has made them play outside more.  It’s also vastly improved their skills at the sport, and they’re loving the game at school now too. Connor played in his first night-time schools tournament in Pretoria on Friday, and it was a hit… he LOVED playing under the floodlights!

We have soccer nets at home, which are put to use every evening when we get home, and most of the weekend too. When they come with me to RWFL, they play soccer on the field with their friends, so they’re way more properly active than they used to be.

It’s actually made them fitter!

I certainly did not expect this to happen from them playing an Xbox game!

It’s just a huge pity that most high schools don’t offer soccer. So this is the last year Bradley will be able to play it, unless he joins a club.



This is 13

His thirteenth birthday has come and gone. It was a whirlwind of the weekend filled with friends, and long nights… just what he wanted. We organised a sleepover with two of his friends… well “sleepover” is a stretch, because they played Fifa on Xbox for the entire night, lounging around on a massive bed we’d […]

A marathon on the horison

I know, I know, I said I’d never run one… but I’ve gone and done it… I’ve signed up to run my first marathon. You may remember in my Two Oceans blog post this year, that I added right at the very end, that I’d like to run the full ultra next year… well plans […]

Cycling around Soweto

I spent Friday afternoon cycling around Soweto, eating bunny chow and having fun with colleagues. We went to Lebo’s Backpackers in Soweto for a cycling tour around Orlando… and some of my colleagues opted for the tuk tuk option. When we arrived in at Lebo’s, we started with bunny chow. I was starving by then, and […]

Having fun manning a water point

Yesterday was a Mothers Day like no other I’ve experienced. Instead of sleeping in and cuddles with kids, or being out on an early morning run, I got the kids up at 4:30am in the icy Gauteng cold and we headed out to man a water point. Our Run Walk for Life branch manned the […]

Quickest way to make me cry…

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The new HealthyFood Studio at Discovery

I went along to the media launch of Discovery’s new HealthFood Studio in Sandton this evening. What a gorgeous place to learn how to cook! The HealthyFood studio that has been built in the Discovery offices in Sandton, and anyone can book a cooking class there. They have 3 hour long evening classes and 4 hour […]