5 Things I refuse to feel guilty about

Lets face it we have enough to do each day.  Adding guilt to that to-do list is just not on.  Life is short!  Here is my top 5 things I refuse to feel bad about:

  • My shoe collection. For as long as I can remember I have loved shoes. My earliest shoe memory involves a pair of yellow, red and blue sandals (this was the late 80’s by the way). They gave me blisters but did I take them off? Nope. My love affair with these beautiful feet decorations had started. And it hasn’t gone away.  I’m always on the look out for the next perfect pair.
  • Having a cheat/treat day. You know how some days you wake up, plan to hit the gym, make a healthy dinner and read some self-improvement magazine or book before going to bed at a decent hour? And then life happens and you drive past the gym, stop at the grocery’s store bakery counter and binge watch a reality show for hours.  Well tomorrow is another day (at least that is what I tell myself).  Yesterday I skipped gym so today I’ll work extra hard.  I’m learning balance as I get older.
  • Me time. I love to read. I love to drink tea. Put the two together and you have a blissful form of escapism.
  • When a friendship fizzles out. We live in a world where social media expects us to have a huge circle of friends. But I’d rather have a few close, genuine and honest friends I can be myself with. I cannot handle when a friendship is forced on me. You politely accept a dinner invitation and before you know it, you’ve unwillingly joined a supper club that is okay for the first couple of months and then gets old. And you cannot escape. Your (numerous) hints are not received.  It took ages for this monthly event to fizzle out and the relief was enormous.  I vowed never again to let myself (and poor hubby who got dragged into it as well) get involved in things we are not interested in.
  • Not being able to walk past a stationery or book shop. I’ve tried. I’ve not succeeded. I don’t know if it is possible.

What is on your list of things you refuse to feel guilty about?

xx

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The week that was

It has been a busy week and I’m thrilled that the weekend is less than 3 hours away.

Each Friday Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://www.thebethnextdoor.com/  host a link up called What’s up weekend?  Bloggers take stock of what made us happy during the week and it is a wonderful way to start the weekend as we share our gratitude lists.

My list this week included:

  • Exploring Arniston and Cape Agulhas last weekend.  We went through extremely early to Arniston and were in time for the sunrise then we walked around I got a few snaps.

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Then off to Cape Agulhas which is the Southernmost Town in Africa.

We then headed to Hermanus where we stayed the night.

  • Eggs Benedict.  Had mine with salmon on the side at The Bistro the next morning.

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  • Buying the perfect pair of navy high heels. Finding a pair of navy shoes is like looking for a unicorn, a mermaid and the Loch Ness Monster.
  • Old favourites for dinner – boerewors rolls and oven chips made my Monday!
  • Rain this week. Our dam levels are still critically low so we are so grateful for every bit of rain.
  • The wonderful community of bloggers I’ve discovered in the last few months
  • Hearing from my colleague who left at the end of last month. Miss our laughs but at least we have e-mail.
  • Read “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom. Brilliant.  Loved Morrie’s attitude and beautiful view on life and how it should be lived.  Determined to stress less over rubbish and live more in the moment.
  • The heater
  • Watching sitcoms that make you laugh after a long day at work.

What is on your list?

xx

Currently: August

This year is going far too quickly and I cannot believe that next Friday will signal the first day of spring.  Every year just flies faster than the previous one – it is scary!

Currently:

Loving: My hubby. His patience. His ability to make me laugh. His way of looking at the bright side of life even when I am being an old grumpy pants!  I love that he sees the good in people and situations.

Trying:  to be more positive and count my blessings before complaining about silly things.

Eating: Yoghurt with salted caramel. Felt I needed a treat after a healthy lunch.

Drinking: Not enough water, too much tea.  Oh well.

Craving: sushi.  I cannot get enough!

Feeling: very proud of Mark’s photography and so glad that he set up his website a few months ago.  He has always focused on wildlife and avian photography and recently added landscapes to his portfolio.  You are welcome to check his website out http://markbooysen.com/

Reading: “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom. I’ve heard many people talk about it – glad I finally got around to reading this.

Watching: “This is us” “Doubt” old reruns of “Mike and Molly”

Enjoying: the much needed rain.

Missing: My Gran. Next month will be 10 months since she passed away.

Grateful: for a thoughtful friend who Whatsapped me to ask how I was feeling the other day – she knows how much my Gran meant to me. Grief isn’t something everyone wants to talk about – I think sometimes people think there is a time limit or they just assume you have moved on and don’t want to talk about it. Grateful for my friend’s kindness.

Marvelling at: 3 snapdragon plants that popped up in a flower box the other day. I loved these when I was younger – my Gran used to have them in her garden. Ages ago I planted some and they didn’t last long. So you can imagine my surprise at 3 of them growing when I didn’t plant any seeds.

Need: to stop eating so much cheese.

Smiling:  at a selfie taken a few days ago on a day trip.  I find Canola fields to be so bright and cheerful 🙂

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xx

Weekly gratitude

Happy Friday everyone!  Each Friday Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://www.thebethnextdoor.com/  host a link up called What’s up weekend?  Bloggers take stock of what made us happy during the week and it is a wonderful way to start the weekend as we share our gratitude lists.

It feels like it has been a long and busy week but there were lots of good things and excitement along the way.  My best friend had a baby yesterday and I’m so happy for her and her husband.  Wendy and I met when we were 5 years old and have known each other for almost 3 decades.  Her Mom kept me updated on Whatsapp – starting on Tuesday when it looked like baby was getting ready to meet the world.  Wendy moved to the States quite a few years ago and it is times like this that the distance feels huge and I miss her even more.  Yes we have Whatsapp and FB to keep each other up to date but it isn’t the same as walking down the street to see your bestie (growing up we lived in the same road.)

  • So my gratitude list starts with my bestie becoming a Mom – I know her and her hubby are going to be awesome parents to their bundle of joy.
  • Wendy’s Mom keeping me updated with the exciting news from Tuesday to yesterday and sending pics of their beautiful grandson.
  • Whatsapp – I have a new appreciation for it after the past few days.
  • The landscape photography Mark is enjoying – a few pictures from last weekend had a rainbow which was really beautiful
  • Rain – we had some on Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Awesome bloggers on the Peaceful Posse https://www.facebook.com/groups/ThePeacefulPosse/
  • Books that you just want to devour and find impossible to put down.  Currently enjoying “The Food of Love Cookery School” by Nicky Pellegrino.  The scenery sounds so beautiful and the food is described with such enthusiasm.
  • My new candle which smells incredible.  Usually I save pretty candles for special occasions but not this one.  I enjoyed it on an ordinary Wednesday evening and it made the lounge smell amazing.
  • Chilling last night after a busy day.  Stopped at the shop after work for an easy dinner and some treats and watched sitcoms and relaxed.
  • The weekend is just over 2 hours away……

What is on your list today?

xx

 

5 things I’m bad at sharing

I like to think of myself as a kind and generous person.  And I am – most of the time.  However there are 5 things I’m rather selfish with – I’m not proud but at least I’m honest!

1.) Books.  I’m very protective over my books.  I do lend to an Aunt of mine but that is because she is as fussy as I am when it comes to returning things in the condition they were lent in.

2.)  Weekends.  Spare time is precious!  We all have busy lives and I feel weekends are a precious commodity I sometimes need to be stingy with.  Obviously hubby and I enjoy spending time with family and close friends.  But I draw the line with random people that want to fill your social calendar.

The same goes for weekends away.  This is Mark and I time.  I don’t understand people who WhatsApp the day before asking if you will be in the same area.  Family and friends are different but not some arbitrary person who has chosen the same weekend to be away and wants to meet up for an unplanned catch up.

No thank you.

3.)  Leftover pizza.  I love it the next day and have unashamedly eaten my husbands leftovers twice in the last month 🙂

4.)  Stationery.  I know it might sound odd to be territorial over cardboard folders and plastic sleeves but I love stationery. Even if the company bought it and I don’t technically own that box of paper clips and staples I feel the need to squirrel it away for winter. Or more accurately quarter end.

5.)  Make up. I put this on at home and never carry it on me during the day. This way I can be honest and say I don’t have any if asked. I’m sorry but I don’t:

a) share my Clinique treasures

b) want another person’s bacteria on my mascara wand.

It may be selfish but it is certainly hygienic.

I cannot be the only person who feels this way about random things which are a pain to share! What are yours? Don’t be shy!

xx

Weekly catch up

 

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Happy Friday everyone!  Each Friday Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://www.thebethnextdoor.com/  host a link up called What’s up weekend?  Bloggers take stock of what made us happy during the week and it is a wonderful way to start the weekend as we share our gratitude lists.

My list this week includes:

  •  a mini-break to Hermanus last Saturday.  Hubby and I left early and were thrilled that the whales are back!  We walked around and saw 3 before we went to The Bistro for breakfast.  Afterwards we went for a drive to look for Canola fields.  Mark wanted to try out his landscape lens before we headed back to Hermanus for more whale sightings, drinks, rugby and pizza.

 

  • On Sunday before we left I treated myself to some goodies from Pure (the shop which is part of the restaurant we visited the day before.  The candle and soap smells amazing and I chose a lavender oil which I’m looking forward to using.

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  • Went back to gym on Monday and managed to go 3 times this week.
  • Public holiday on Wednesday and we decided to do a day trip to Hermanus (yes we seriously love the place).  Left before sunrise and I took some pics along the way.

After breakfast there were 2 whales which we spotted while going for a walk and we just stood watching them in awe.  My cellphone obviously didn’t pick them up but I’m hoping to get a photo which Mark took to show next week 🙂

  • Rain!  And the most beautiful rainbow this morning.
  • Enjoyed 2 meat-free dinners this week and 2 carb-free days
  • More energy from going to gym.  Last night I cleaned the fridge and tackled a big pile of ironing.
  • Did the grocery shopping yesterday so dinner for tonight and tomorrow is sorted.
  • Ticked loads off my to-do list this week.  Just feeling more productive and motivated since going back to gym.
  • There is an unopened packet of zoo biscuits in the kitchen cupboard just waiting to be enjoyed in less than 3 hours!

What is on your gratitude list for this week?

xx

Monthly Mantras and goals

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Today after work I’m dusting off my gym card, putting on my running shoes and heading for the gym!  Really keen to get back into my running and perhaps doing a park run sometime.  I need to stop putting it off.

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I’m over letting people who cannot be happy for others into my life and having them try steal my sunshine at every opportunity.  I’m so tired of sharing a story or weekend anecdote and having someone (who I ironically I don’t even consider a friend) try get some unnecessary comment in or take the conversation over and make it about them.  I did a post on these energy vampires in June https://my30somethingadventures.wordpress.com/2017/06/  and need to set boundaries.  Unfortunately this is easier said than done.

Goals:

Go to gym 2 – 3 times a week.

Eat more meat-free meals

Try a new recipe

Blog twice a week (minimum)

Read 3 books

Recycle as much as possible

Leave work stress at the office

Surround myself with positivity.  Stop letting toxic people get to me.  Set boundaries and limit contact.

Declutter for 15 minutes twice a week.

xx

 

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Happy Friday

Hello Friday.  You took your time this week!

It is lunchtime here and I’m really looking forward to the weekend.  Feeling tired and ready for some relaxing (less than 2.5 hours to go).  My list of things that made me happy this week are as follows:

  • Celebrating Mark’s birthday last weekend in the Garden Route.  We had an amazing time and cannot wait to visit again.
  • Eased ourselves back into the week on Monday with biltong and wine before dinner.
  • Rain
  • My husband and how he just gets me.  With some people I sometimes feel I have to justify stuff but I never have to with Mark.  He just accepts me for who I am, flaws and all!
  • Pizza for dinner on Tuesday evening.  I needed a treat after a mortifying moment – tried to climb into the wrong car after work.  Thankfully my colleague and her son were understanding.  Hubby thought it was hilarious 🙂
  • Losing myself in a book.  Finished book no. 23 for this year.
  • Morgan Taylor nail polish – going to use my sparkly one for this weekend.
  • Clinique goodies.  Treated myself to some much needed products and got a gift with my purchase in a groovy bag.
  • Yoghurt with honey
  • Today I’m using a hand cream which just smells amazing.  This was the last thing that my Gran gave me before she passed away last year.  Whenever she visited she would always have a gift or a treat in her handbag.  I’ve put off using this – it was the last gift I got from her and just felt extra special.  It was just sitting in a drawer for some time now but this morning I packed it in and brought it to work to put on during the day.

What is on your list this week?

xx

Wilderness weekend

Last week was Mark’s birthday and we celebrated in Wilderness.  We left super early on the Friday morning and it was freezing.  I was so glad I’d packed in so many warm clothes until we arrived to what felt like summer!

We had breakfast at Flava Cafe which is a lovely restaurant we always go to when travelling up the Garden Route.

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Afterwards we visited Wilderness National Park – Ebb and Flow.  The weather was stunning – sunny and hot which was very unexpected for the end of July!  We were at reception when hubby noticed a bird through the window and rushed outside, camera in hand.  It turned out to be a Greater Double Collared Sunbird!  We keep a list of birds we’ve sighted and this was a new one – great start to our visit!  The park is beautiful and so tranquil so we took our time walking around and could not believe our eyes when we spotted 5 (yes FIVE!!) Knysna Louries.  This beautiful bird left us speechless last time we visited Wilderness so you can imagine the excitement seeing 5.

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Obviously my phone camera cannot do this sighting justice but hubby was ready with his camera and managed to get a beautiful picture of this magnificent bird which is on his website http://markbooysen.com/

We took a drive to Sedgefield afterwards both stunned at the sighting and wondering what else the weekend had in store.

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Making our way back to Wilderness we checked into our favourite B & B in the Garden Route called Mont Fleur.  We’ve been there a few times and the hosts are so welcoming it is like visiting family.

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Off to Cocomo afterwards we strolled (hubby pleased he’d packed in a t-shirt, me feeling very warm under my thermal vest) and enjoyed drinks and jalapeno poppers (absolutely delicious).  It is a tradition of ours to visit Cocomo – the restaurant has a relaxed vibe that just leaves us feeling chilled within minutes of arriving.

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Dinner that evening was pizza at Pomodoro which is just over the road from Cocomo.  Their pizza’s are delicious!  I tried the Carne for the first time (bolognaise, feta and pepperdew) and I was not disappointed.  Hubby opted for the Amore (bacon, feta and avo).  Booking is essential as they are very popular.

We made our way back to the B & B and fell into bed exhausted.

After breakfast the next day we visited Ebb and Flow again and I heard Mark’s cell going off.  He subscribes to SA rare bird news and receives e-mails when there are sightings.  A White-Browed Scrub Robin was spotted at the Reflections Eco Reserve which wasn’t far so we made our way there and were able to visit the reserve.  We ran into fellow birders who gave us the latest news on the sighting and drove to the area where the bird had been spotted.  Walked and waited.   Unfortunately we didn’t see the White-Browed Scrub Robin but we did see (and hear) a Fish Eagle which was stunning.

Making our way back, we were sorry we didn’t spot the bird we’d been looking for but glad we’d tried and also got to see this stunning Eco Reserve.  We were so caught up in the moment of searching for this elusive bird that we realised afterwards we didn’t take a single picture of this beautiful place.  Well, that is a brilliant reason to go back and re-visit!

After another visit to Cocomo and some more tasty jalapeno peppers we made our way to dinner for another delicious pizza over the road at Pomodoro.

Sunday was our last day and hubby was thrilled that we didn’t leave without another bird sighting.  A Chorister Robin Chat which he’d been he’d been wanting to spot for ages (and looks out for each time we are in Wilderness) flew across our car! We enjoyed another scrumptious breakfast and then had to bid farewell to our hosts.  Visited Ebb and Flow again and before we made our way back to Cape Town.

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What a weekend!  I cannot wait to go back 🙂

xx