Hooray for Friday!

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I love Fridays not only because the weekend is hours away but also because it means linking up the lovely Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/ with my weekly gratitude list.

This week was a good one.  Got back into our gym routine, had a date night, did some gardening and visited the spring one morning to fetch water.  We are currently on 70l per person but using spring water means conserving more at home.  The water we collect is not treated so we don’t drink it but we use it around the house.

This weeks gratitude:

Had a fun girls day on Sunday and shopped up a storm with a friend of mine.  She found me the exact top I was looking for in my size.  I swear if shopping was an Olympic sport my friend would win gold!  I spoilt myself with some new pj’s and slippers from Woolies which are so pretty and summery.  Also found a navy pair of shorts and two other tops that I know will go with everything.

Date night on Monday with my hubby.  Went to one of our favourite restaurants for a delicious dinner after a long day.  Great start to the week.

Hubby’s calendar arriving yesterday.  I was so excited to see the finished product.  12 beautiful pictures of waterfalls and streams in the Western Cape.  I’m looking forward to putting the calendar up in 2019!

Had 2 great workouts this week.

Recycling, filling up at the spring, spending time in the garden.  Feels like a green week!

Looking forward to this weekend and another adventure up the West Coast.  What about you?  What are your plans for the next 2 days?

xx

Things I don’t justify #2

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I started this series a while ago and keep meaning to do another post on things I don’t justify.  Here is my first one from earlier this year:  https://my30somethingadventures.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/things-i-dont-justify-1/

No. 2:  NOT doing group holidays

Hubby and I have done quite a few holidays with both of our families over the years.

I know that holidaying with relatives can be fun and we’ve enjoyed quite a few.  But I also know that there are times some of us do a lot more planning, preparation and running around on certain holidays.

Some of us need a getaway after a group getaway.

Do you get where I’m going with this?

Hubby and I work hard enough at the officeSo holidays that require additional work are not very relaxing.

My parents have always been very fair when it comes to getaways and I appreciate that.  In the past we’d book accommodation in the same holiday complex as them and it was pleasant with everyone having their own space but still enjoying meals and outings together.

Holidaying with my in-laws meant everyone in one house or apartment and not as much space and privacy.

I love our holidays.  Just us two.  We have our favourites we adore visiting but always enjoy trying new places.  And when we are away, that is us time.

If we want to spend hours in nature we can.

If we want to get up early or sleep late we can.

If I want to take out a book and read quietly I can.

We can eat whatever we choose at whatever time we decide.

And neither of us have to make 40 cups of tea a day and wonder when it is acceptable to open a bottle of wine.  Which was what the last group holiday 2 years ago consisted of.  My hubby is very patient.  I’m not always as polite when I can see someone is being deliberately lazy.

I will never know why for some people a holiday is the excuse to become a well read library book and simply check out from the moment they check in.

I’m more relaxed on an “us only” holiday.  I enjoy it from start to finish.  And I refuse to feel guilty for that.

We went up the West Coast the weekend before last for a fun stay in Langebaan.  Mentioned our spontaneous trip over a dinner recently and got “the look” with a side order of silence.

I just calmly continued eating because saying what I was thinking was as follows:

We had a fabulous stay thanks for not asking!

The braai we enjoyed in the evening was delicious thanks for sulking the moment something doesn’t involve you!

We could relax the entire time, not running after anyone who thinks groceries buy themselves, meals are cooked on their own, drinks pour themselves and snacks magically appear from nowhere.  Thank you to the wine which made the last group holiday bearable. 

I am not going to justify the quality time my husband and spend relaxing together.  So the silences, sulks and snarky comments are quite entertaining.

What about you?  What do you refuse to justify?  Please share 🙂

xx

Happy Friday!

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Hello Friday!

It has been a good week – busy but I’ve ticked a lot off my to-do list and now I’m counting down the hours until 4:00pm.

My gratitude list this week includes:

  • A wonderful time in Langebaan over the weekend.  We came back feeling super relaxed.
  • A clean home – always feel so much more organised when we come home after a busy day and everything is clean and tidy.
  • Clean, fresh sheets.  I slept SO well this week.
  • A crisp glass of wine after a long day.
  • My mantra for November.  “You do you and I’ll do me”.  I’m sick of happiness vampires who cannot be happy for others.  Kept thinking this phrase a few days ago when hubby and I shared our weekend recap up the West Coast at a dinner.  We’d seen amazing birds and enjoyed being in nature before watching rugby and having a braai.  But because this didn’t involve our dinner companions we were met with some sour expressions and what I’ve come to expect: “The Look”.  I sat there happily tucking into my main course and refused to let them take anything away from my joy.

Linking up with:

http://theflynnigans.com/

http://mypixieblog.com/

http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/

xx

November goals and mantras

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I’m linking up with Lindsay and the Peaceful Posse http://theflynnigans.com/ with my monthly goals and mantras.

October goals were:

  • Continue being more mindful  This was made easier by spending more time offline.
  • Read 3 books
  • Update Goodreads (need to update the reading challenge!)
  • Go to gym more often Could do better.
  • Leave work stress at the office  Getting there.  Room for progress but I’m getting better at this.

November goals are:

  • Read 4 books
  • Go to a yoga class
  • Sort out bookcase
  • Do 30 days of gratitude (update gratitude journal every day for November)
  • Make time for creative writing – 30 minutes, 3 times a week
  • Get Christmas shopping done so there is no rushing around in December.

Mantras for the month:

“You do you.  I’ll do me” – Unknown

Somebody mentioned this quote to me the other day when I said how sick I am of letting negative people get to me.  There is no shortage of happiness and energy vampires (toxic people who cannot be happy for others) in my life and I’ve gotten tired of it.  It doesn’t cost to be pleased when someone in your life is happy – seriously how difficult is it to say “that is nice, enjoy” or the equivalent.  These are the same individuals who will blatantly enjoy anything bad that happens.  They literally will smile when things don’t go smoothly for you (after a theatrical gasp for effect while they store up the story to go blurt to others). 

It is a really mean trait to try drag others down and in a nutshell I’ve had it.  So this is a quote which I’m going to be chanting all month long. 

What about you?  What is on your list of goals for the month? 

xx

Friday gratitude

Giraffe to end with Final

This was one of those weeks that flew by so quickly.  After being on leave, our first day back was Monday and the days have just whizzed by!

Yesterday we went to get our eyes tested after work.  I’m looking forward to my new spectacles and trying out new contact lenses.  I sat on my glasses earlier this week so they aren’t sitting all that well and I had such a headache!  We were due for an eye test anyway so it was well timed.

My Mother-in-law turned 80 yesterday so we went to visit after seeing the Optometrist and we are going to celebrate with her on Monday.

My gratitude list today includes the following:

  • Mark’s 2019 calendar.  I mentioned this a while ago that hubby was putting together a calendar with photos he’d taken of waterfalls and streams in the Western Cape.  Well it looks awesome and I’m not just saying that as a proud wife but also as someone who appreciates the beauty of nature.  Here is a sneak peek if you’d like to have a look http://markbooysen.com/2019-calendar-waterfalls-streams-of-western-cape/
  • Cooler weather this week.  We even had rain on Monday which was very much appreciated.  Last weekend was such a hot one it felt like summer was in full force so this week has been a pleasant surprise.
  • Date night on Tuesday.
  • Smarties.  Had a box for dessert last night.
  • Gellish manicure that I had last week in Sun City still looking great over a week later.  I love when my nails are painted – it just brightens up my outfit instantly 🙂

We are going for an adventure up the West Coast tomorrow and I’m looking forward to that.  What about you?  What are you doing this weekend?

Linking up with:

http://theflynnigans.com/

http://mypixieblog.com/

http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/

http://www.ktcupoftea.com/

xx

Sun City holiday

Selfie at Lost City (2)

Apart from yesterdays book review I’ve been quiet on my blog as I was away in Sun City last week.  We flew back on Friday night and returned to the office on Monday.

It was a wonderful holiday with amazing animal sightings in Pilanesberg National Park which we visited each day.  Mark bought me a new camera which I tried out and while I still need to practice a bit more, I was pleased with my photos.

Something that really added to our holiday was the fact I kept my phone off the entire time.  No WhatsApp, e-mail and Facebook.

It was bliss.  Do you know the level of relaxation you achieve when you aren’t on glued to your phone?

I felt refreshed when we returned – sometimes you need to unplug to be fully mindful and present.

Anyway, here are some pics of our vacation:

Blue Wildebeest

Wildebeest

Eland

Eland

Elephant

These Elephants were on their way to a dam to drink – we parked and just watched them make their way after a long hot day to the cool water.

Croc 1

This massive Crocodile was at the Crocodile Sanctuary which we visited.  They have so many and a separate section for baby Crocodiles.

Giraffe Final

I love Giraffes and took so many pictures of them!

Warthog Final

A Warthog looking for a snack.

Lion 2 Final

These Lions were eating a Wildebeest.  They were so close – just a few metres away.  It rained that morning so the visibility wasn’t great but seeing them was amazing.

Lion 1 Final

Zebra

Zebra chilling out!

Hare Final

A Hare having a nervous nibble!

Health breakfast

We ate brunch (and sometimes a late lunch as well) at the Lost City Golf course and the view was stunning.

Selfie at Lost City

Vervet Monkey Final

This Vervet Monkey found sugar packets on the floor, jumped up to sit at the table and merrily ate away without a care in the world.

Selfie - VOW2

Visited the Valley of the Waves.

Mark - VOW

Selfie on balcony

I loved the apartment we stayed in at Vacation Club.  The balcony looked out onto loads of trees and there were birds building nests and Peacocks walking around strutting their feathers.  Mongeese would run around and Vervet Monkeys would often sit on the grass or play around metres from the apartments.  You can hear the birds from early in the morning and it was the perfect start to my day listening to the sounds of nature while sipping a cup of tea.

In the evenings we’d braai on the balcony, enjoy a crisp drink and look back on the day we’d just enjoyed.  We saw a Leopard and while I didn’t get a photo, it is always magnificent to see these beautiful animals.  The one we saw had eaten recently and was sitting calmly letting visitors get a look at her.

The weather was amazing – only rained on the Sunday and we didn’t complain because it cooled the park down while we drove around.  We saw the Lions and Leopard during the same morning which was the overcast day.  The rest of the week was sunny and hot.

I treated myself to a gellish manicure at the Spa upstairs from the Gary Player Country Club and have had pretty pink nails since.

As you can see preparations are underway for the Million Dollar Golf Challenge which takes place from the 8th – 11th November.

Gary Player

The week went so quickly but we enjoyed every moment.  I cannot wait to go back – I mean where else can I see the Big 5, chill by Valley of the Waves, get treated at a Spa, look at crocs, visit a casino, be spoilt for choice on restaurants and do shopping in one amazing place?

Giraffe to end with Final

Sun City is simply awesome.

xx

Book review: Those Other Women by Nicola Moriarty

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This book tackles the huge issue of women tearing each other down and includes social media which cleverly fits into the story.  While the fighting takes place both on Facebook and the real world, it serves as a reminder that nastiness both on and offline can be equally hurtful.

The book starts with Poppy who finds out her husband is having an affair with her best friend.  Key word having – as they are not intending to end it.  The marriage is over before she can even fight for it.  To add to Poppy’s bewilderment and anger, the reason her husband is leaving is because he’s decided to start a family with her bestie.  Poppy doesn’t want children and always thought her husband was in agreement.

The double betrayal gnaws at her until she has an idea to start a Facebook group of non-mothers.  Unfortunately after a ranting session she regrets posting an angry vent and the group starts changing.  Some members leave.  Some share their own stories agreeing with her.  And some take her challenge to stand up for themselves into the real world.

Before long it is evident that there is an imposter in the group.  Someone who the group has opened up to has written an article warning a mother’s FB group about Poppy’s new movement and the trouble her group is causing.  It isn’t too long before emotions are running high and loyalties put to the test.

The book includes two other characters whose side of the story is shared.  Annalise, a single woman who keeps everyone shut out but seems to be Poppy’s new best friend.  The other lady is Frankie who is a colleague of theirs and a mother to two.  Frankie is tired of being judged for being a working mother and feels the pressures of trying to do everything closing in on her.  She tries to be a part of Poppy and Annalise’s social circle but they push her away.  Until she finds a way in…

It is a fascinating look at both sides of the story.  What I found interesting is the judgement that isn’t just between the two groups of women – those with kids and those without.  As a woman who has chosen to be child-free I’ve received rudeness, prying questions and unnecessary comments over the years.  But this book delves into the downright meanness that some of the mothers have for each other.  The judgement  between working mothers and those who stay at home for instance.

I can honestly say that the sisterhood we are supposed to embrace and share is not something that is always evident in real life.  And I’ve seen how some mothers have pulled other mom’s down with nasty comments in the real world.  Judging child-free women is a trend that some will openly do but mom’s judging other mom’s is done behind closed doors.

This book doesn’t just explore the age-old problem of women tearing each other down.  It also raises the question of why so many feel the need to do this in the first place.

xx

Book review: After the last dance by Sarra Manning

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I’ve been a fan of Sarra Manning since she wrote for J17.  Back in the day when I was a teenager I’d go to Paperweight which was a shop that sold lots of overseas magazines.  J17 was one of my favourites and I loved Sarra’s articles.  Being an angst filled teen I used to love reading her series “Diary of a crush” and sometimes the magazine would include a book of hers.

Fast forward many years and I was thrilled to find “After the last dance” in a bookshop.  I had high hopes and was not disappointed!  The book is about 2 women – Rose whose story begins in 1943 and Jane who is living in the present.  They are linked by Leo, Rose’s great-nephew and Jane’s new husband.  When they meet there is zero love lost between the two but then Rose and Jane’s stories unfold and we see the events and circumstances which moulded them into who they became.

I found Rose’s story was my favourite – she was so likable, strong and determined.  Loyal and loving – I wanted her to have a happily ever after from the start!  She was a young woman growing up during world war 2 and ran away from home to go to London and dance at Rainbow Corner.  Her story is both fascinating and heartbreaking.

Jane grew on me after a few chapters and it is clear she is running away from something tragic.  She isn’t as likeable as Rose and in the start I was impatient to get back to Rose’s story.  However as the story unfolded I warmed up to Jane.  The story behind her pain is a mystery for most of the book but readers do find out at the end.

This was an enjoyable read that I couldn’t put down.

One of those books where you think okay, one more page.  

Alright just another few. 

Maybe just to the end of the chapter…. before you realise it is almost finished!

xx

 

Hello Friday!

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We had some really hot summer days recently and now it is back to spring with cooler temperatures – I’m not complaining, I know the very hot weather will arrive and in the meantime I’m enjoying this can-wear-a-dress-without-getting-cold-but-don’t-need-airconditioning-just-yet weather.  My Friday pic above was taken a while ago when we were in Hermanus and I never get tired of looking at the ocean.  It is getting me into the weekend mood!

My highlights from this week include:

  • Garden is looking amazing! Hubby and I went to buy plants and flowers and it is looking so much like spring outside. I love looking out at the window box and seeing petunias when I’m doing dishes.
  • Finding an old book I’d forgotten I’d bought and reading it now. After the Last Dance by Sarra Manning.  Cannot put it down.
  • Getting an appointment for a pedicure tomorrow.  Left it quite late but so pleased they could fit me in at the time requested.
  • Rose petal and vanilla tea by Woolworths.   A friend gave this to me over the weekend and it tastes so good.
  • Being more mindful.  This week we spent a lot of time pottering around in the garden in the evenings.  After the planting we sat outside and just enjoyed the cool evening.  There was chores to do and dinner to start and we just sat on our bench until we realised the stars were out and it was getting late.

Tomorrow we are going to Langebaan for the day.  I love a spontaneous road trip!  I’m getting a pedicure (haven’t been to a spa in ages and felt like a treat).

What about you?  What is on your gratitude list today?  Anything exciting planned for the weekend?

Linking up with:

http://theflynnigans.com/

http://mypixieblog.com/

http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/

http://www.ktcupoftea.com/

xx

If you and I had coffee

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I’m linking up with Lecy today https://asimplergrace.blogspot.com/

If we met for coffee I’d suggest a restaurant nearby which has a lovely section outside which sits in the shade – great with the warm weather we’ve been having.

I’d order a red cappuchino and ask how you are and what you’ve been up to.

As our drinks arrive I’d tell you that I’m on a decluttering streak.  I organised our wardrobe for summer recently and went through old clothes we haven’t worn in ages.  It felt so good to donate 3 bags of clothes that were just sitting there and not being enjoyed.

We’d order some cake and I’d choose the lemon meringue.  I’d tell you that something I’ve needed to work on has become easier with time.  I find balance is something that isn’t always easy to achieve.  For instance if I skip gym I usually eat something unhealthy.  Then I’ll probably miss gym the next day and finish the cheese in the fridge before supper.

Point is, balance is one of those things that sometimes elude me.  Shopping is another thing.  I go for one item, somehow end up buying three.  Or nothing – weird how all-or-nothing thinking works?

But a few days ago, I felt like I’d started making headway.  We have been putting off the garden for a while and our driveway had so many weeds that kept sprouting up through the bricks.  So we tackled this and part of the back garden over the weekend.  But we left one section of the back garden for an evening after work when we could plant some water-wise plants.  Usually I’d want to push through in the heat and finish the job we started but not this time.  I wanted us to enjoy the rest of our Sunday afternoon and take our time choosing new plants instead of rushing it.

And last week I did skip gym a couple evenings after work and still managed to eat a healthy dinner each time.  Balance can be achieved, it just takes practice.

We’d enjoy our cake and talk about how quickly this year is flying.  You’d tell me about the place you are choosing for our November coffee chat before we say goodbye until next month.

xxx