5 Reasons I enjoy being a bookworm

I’ve always loved books and cannot remember a time I haven’t been a bookworm. Here are my top 5 reasons why I wouldn’t change this:

  1. I can be transported anywhere in seconds.  Pick up a book and it can take you back in time or send you ahead into the future. You can be whisked away on your lunch break to somewhere far away and I love that. It is really my favourite form of escapism.
  2. Bookshops make me happy. I always say I’m just going to browse but I know it isn’t the case. I have to buy something. I love to walk into a bookstore and not know what I’ll be purchasing. Just walking along waiting for the right book (or 2) to catch my attention
  3. It is the quickest way for me to relax.  Long day? Work stress? Need a break? Pick up a book. It goes wonderfully with a cup of tea and is the perfect way to de-stress.
  4. I get book hangovers of note and then I know I’ve really enjoyed a book (and could re-read it in future). You know when you read a book so fantastic that you feel super sad when it is finished? That is me. Sometimes I need to take a moment to reflect before delving into the next book.  Sounds dramatic but it is true.
  5. Discovering new Authors and then trying to read everything they have written. Recently I started reading Cathy Kelly’s books and they are awesome. I love a feel-good book.

xx

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Quick catch up

I have been on leave and hubby and I spent a week exploring Pilansberg National Park and relaxing in Sun City.

First day back to work today and finally got through sorting my e-mails.  At least it is lunchtime now and I can relax with a cup of tea 🙂

As we were away I missed the weekly gratitude posts but better late than never.  Here is mine for last week 🙂

  • The lovely B & B we stayed in when we landed on Saturday last week. Great start to our holiday.
  • Seeing a leopard for the first time was beyond amazing!!  It was our 3rd day on holiday and we’d visited Pilansberg National Park earlier that day. Hubby felt like going back and I’m so glad we did.  It was a breathtaking experience seeing one so close.
  • Being in nature just relaxed us so much.  I wish I had that chilled feeling on ordinary days too.
  • The amazing weather. It was so hot each day and I was thrilled I’d packed in lots of summer clothes!
  • Spending hours in Pilansberg National Park each day and then returning to have a braai and drinks on the balcony was bliss.
  • Getting a haircut and a tint. I haven’t cut my hair since December last year.  Now it is short and I’m a brunette again!

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  • Making memories with my husband. He always makes our holidays awesome.
  • Fun in Sun City – so much to do there.
  • Taking a break from social media was wonderful.   I had my phone on but didn’t spend any time on Whatsapps, didn’t log into FB or Twitter and it was so peaceful.
  • A quiet weekend after we flew back on Friday night. We had breakfasts out, went through our photos, took a long drive yesterday and it was a great end to our leave.

xx

Book review: My not so Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

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I’ve been reading Sophie Kinsella’s books for over 8 years now.  The first was the start of the Shopaholic series which I loved and I’ve read other stand alone books of hers and enjoyed each of them.

My not so Perfect Life was brilliant and didn’t disappoint. As someone who is feeling rather over social media I knew I’d enjoy this. The book spoke volumes about society’s obsession with having it all while enjoying a perfect life. Or at least having others think that is the case.

Katie (or Cat as she is now known as) has a great job, stunning apartment and is having the time of her life in London. That is what her Instagram account tells people. The reality is sadly very different.  The truth is she’s struggling to make ends meet, barely has friends and she lives in a rented room so cramped she doesn’t have space for a wardrobe.

However to her best friend overseas and her family she is thriving and they only have to look at her Instagram pics to confirm this.

Katie’s boss is a woman called Demeter whom she idolises. Demeter doesn’t sound particularly warm, tactful or friendly but she has everything that Katies dreams about and she feels she can learn a lot from her boss. If only she can get a chance.

When Katie loses her job she is forced to return to her family home. Instead of telling them what has happened she keeps up the pretence and impresses on them she is taking a sabbatical. Katie’s father and stepmother have set up a family business on their farm and Katie helps to run this, designing brochures of their glamping business and eventually assisting with the day to day duties.

When her ex-boss Demeter rocks up with her family for a week of relaxation, Katie is horrified. Will her cover be blown? Or is this an opportunity to get her old job back?

As the days go by Katie is forced to realise something she hadn’t pondered before. Things are not always what they seem and nobody has a perfect life.

I really enjoyed this book and the lessons the characters learnt. For instance society’s fascination with everything being 100% perfect 24/7 – I’m sure many readers will relate to their timelines being filled with life-is-awesome, best-day-ever, #soblessed updates. The lengths Katie goes to so that others will think she is having a fabulous time must be exhausting. But she does it because she feels being honest isn’t an option. Even her father and stepmother have little idea of what she is really going through.

I found the book humorous and recommend it as a fun read.

xx

Happy Friday

Yippeee it is Friday 🙂

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 them happy during the week and it is a wonderful way to start the weekend as we share our gratitude lists.

My list this week:

  • An awesomely lazy Sunday. Hubby made us a delicious breakfast and we lounged around. It rained so he didn’t get the photo he was hoping to get but he stopped off at Dunkin Donuts 🙂
  • Reading Sophie Kinsella’s “My not so perfect life”.   I loved the Shopaholic series and her stand alone books are also wonderful
  • A boss that appreciates my work
  • Going back to gym. Had an awesome workout on Monday after work.
  • Tried a new biltong on Tuesday – delicious
  • Dinner with Mark’s parents on Wednesday
  • Tea with honey – soothing when you’ve got a sore throat
  • Saying no to something and the world not ending
  • Mark’s new phone – this means I get his current one 🙂
  • Weekend is 3 hours and 10 minutes away!

What is on your list right now?

xx

Book review: The House of New Beginnings – Lucy Diamond

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I am a HUGE Lucy Diamond fan. The first book of hers I read was many years ago called “Me and Mr Jones”. Since then I’ve enjoyed her books and the way they sweep you up in the story from the first chapter.

The house of new beginnings was no exception. I liked the characters from the start – Rosa, Georgie and Charlotte who all have a flat at St Duke’s Square in Brighton. Georgie is the newest tenant and has travelled to be with her boyfriend Simon while he oversees a big project for his work. She lands her a job working as a journalist where she is appointed as an agony aunt. Unfortunately she quickly runs into problems when she has a little rant about Simon and accidentally sends it to the editor (who invites readers to give their input).  From there the trouble just builds!

Rosa has moved to get away from a romance that ended badly. The source of the hurt and betrayal she carries with her is not clear from the start – readers learn more with each chapter.  She left her job in advertising for a new start as a sous chef as she has always loved cooking and throwing dinner parties. When she helps out a neighbour Jo who has to go to hospital, she gets to know her daughter Bea and ex-husband Gareth.

Charlotte has relocated to find a new start away from the pain of her failed marriage.  We soon learn about the tragic loss she and her ex-husband have suffered.  She is a fragile character and is befriended by her neighbour Margot – an elegant French lady who has a passion for life even though she is terminally ill. She takes Charlotte under her wing and readers watch as she slowly blossoms back into her old self.

Georgie, Rosa and Charlotte get to know each other their friendship grows and they realise that they all have the opportunity for new beginnings.

That even when life has dealt you a blow, good friends will always give a reason to get back up.

I finished the book in days and really enjoyed it. I did guess what would happen in certain parts but I recommend it to anyone looking for a light and easy read.

Weekly gratitude list

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 them happy during the week and it is a wonderful way to start the weekend as we share our gratitude lists.

I’m a day late with my list but since I was off ill yesterday I feel I have an excuse!  My throat is feeling much better – amazing what comfort food, lots of tea and reading can do 🙂

My list for the past week include:

  • Hubby graduated from his business college – I’m very proud of him
  • Breakfast with my Aunt last Saturday.  We chatted for ages and just had a wonderful catch up over good food.
  • Shopping with a friend on Sunday.   I bought 2 new outfits, pumps, sandals and pj’s.
  • Relaxing Monday evening after work.  Biltong and wine outside in the garden.
  • Rain
  • Fun date night on Wednesday – dinner at one of our favourite restaurants.
  • Dunkin Donuts.  They arrived in Cape Town a little while ago but this week was the first time we tried them.

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  • On track with my book goal for the year.  I aimed to read 40 books and I’m about to finish no. 32.
  • A spotless home.  When our home is clean and tidy and I’ve tackled the laundry I instantly feel more organised.
  • A compliment from a client.  Always such a good feeling when your work is appreciated.

The weekend so far has been good.  Had breakfast at the Rambling Rose, did grocery shopping and then when back to Dunkin Donuts for treats for later 🙂

What are you up to this weekend?

xx

October mantras and goals

How is it possible that it is October already?  Spring is here and this year is flying by far too quickly!

My September goals were:

Go to gym twice a week (minimum) nope.

Limit sugar

Read 3 books

Write 8 Blog posts for the month (minimum)

Continue surrounding myself with positivity. This is a work in progress. 

Post less on Facebook and focus more on my blog. Obviously will still log on to catch up with blog groups. 

Stay on top of housework and laundry.  I wish

Make Monday to Thursday healthier eating days with treat/cheat days on the weekend.  Nope, pretty much made treat/cheat days almost everyday.  Very disappointed in myself.

Try a new recipe Nope.  Goal should have read:  print new recipe and let it lay around gathering dust.

Declutter for 15 minutes twice a week.  Nope. 

I feel I had a very crap time adulting this past month.  Feel very flat and energy levels are terribly low.  I hope that October is a better month and so here are my mantras and goals:

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October goals:

Go to gym twice a week minimum.

Read 3 books

Write 8 blog posts minimum

Drive more often.  Stop letting nerves get to me.

More meat free dinners

Stay on top of housework and laundry

Practice patience

Stop lazy suppers! Make a proper grocery list each week and don’t let the vegetables just sit in the fridge while we have pizza.

xx