Happy Friday

I know I probably say this every Friday but TGIF!  First full week back for 2018 and it was a very busy week.  The weather has been hot and today is thankfully a little cooler here in Cape Town.  I battled to fall asleep last night because it was still so warm and I felt like I’d just drifted off when the alarm sounded.  So I’m a bit tired and have relied on many cups of tea to get me through today so far!

Each Friday there is an awesome link up that takes place with Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/  called What’s up weekend?  Bloggers share their gratitude lists and it is a great way to start the weekend as we look back on the positives of the past week.

  • Date night on Monday. We went grocery shopping and the shop was sold out of a couple of items so we went out for dinner instead.  Delicious food and wine with my ❤ – great start to the week!
  • Went back to gym.  It was an effort but worth it!
  • Dinner with a friend on Tuesday evening.  It was wonderful to catch up over good food and plenty of laughs.
  • Old episodes of “Mike and Molly” and “Friends” which I find funny all over again.
  • Finished reading an amazing book on Monday and did a review within a few hours because it was that good! https://my30somethingadventures.wordpress.com/2018/01/08/book-review-the-pool-house-by-tasmina-perry/
  • Super relaxing Wednesday evening sitting outside in the garden and enjoying the warm weather.
  • Wine in my new wine glasses.
  • Alison Pearson’s book “How hard can it be?”.  Cannot put it down.
  • Frozen yoghurt. Summer berries is currently my favourite. It was strawberry a few days ago so it changes regularly.
  • Air conditioning in the office.  Sitting with it on at the moment and feeling super chilled!

We are heading up the West Coast this weekend for a day trip, hoping to add new birds to our lifer list and stopping off at a favourite restaurant for brunch.  Then tomorrow night we’ve planned another braai.  We’ll see what Sunday brings – need to catch up on housework and still need to get my organise-the-kitchen project off the ground.  Opening the cupboard the other day and moving bowls around did not achieve much.

What about you?  What have you got planned?

xx

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Letters to the universe

Dear hubby, thank you for all you do for me. Even when I’m being a grumpy pants. I love you to the moon and back. Thank you for a fun date night on Monday – it was such a great way to start the week ❤

Dear Garmin watch, you are the best present ever.  I love how you set daily and weekly goals, record so many things and remind me to move.  You are so clever.

Dear Alison Pearson, your book “I don’t know how she does it” was amazing and I am so excited that you’ve just released a sequel. Cannot wait to read “How hard can it be?”

Dear hair, I know you had a massive trim at the hairdresser in October but please grow a bit faster. I’ll reward you with highlights. I promise.

Dear gym, yes I’m back. Doing a lot of huffing and puffing on the treadmills.

Dear weekend, I cannot wait for you to arrive! 2 more sleeps!

xx

Book review: The Pool House by Tasmina Perry

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This was the first book I read for 2018 and I finished it just a few hours ago!

Jem and her husband Nat have moved from London to New York for Nat’s career. Unfortunately Jem has found the move to be less satisfying than she had hoped for.  She’s finding it difficult to get a job and to make friends in her new environment.  When Nat suggests a house share in the Hamptons for the summer she’s excited at the prospect.

The weekend housemates are glamourous and career-focused but friendly.  Jem is made to feel welcomed by the other 3 couples sharing the house for the summer.

The house is beautiful with breath-taking views and it looks like a wonderful time full of fun in the Hamptons is ahead for Jem and Nat.

Until one evening when Jem asks about the couple whose place they are taking in the summer house share.   David and his wife Alice were the 4th couple in the group the previous year.   Until a terrible accident took place in the pool.   David became a widow and Alice’s mysterious death at the house is something nobody wants to talk about.

Along with an Author who wants to write about Alice’s mysterious death, Jem delves into the previous summer and learns some startling facts about Alice.  As well as the housemates she considers her friends.

I couldn’t put this book down and enjoyed how the author moved from the present summer to the previous one where Alice was alive and could give her version of events.   Jem and Alice are the opposite of each other and the characters definitely keep your attention!

A brilliant read filled with suspense and surprises, I highly recommend it!

xx

Friday smiles

Hooray Friday is here!  It was my first week back at work (okay first 3 days) and I’m back into the routine of things.  Wasn’t the greatest week ever but I’ve settled back in and it has been a relatively quiet week so catching up from being away went smoothly.

I love Fridays because there is an awesome link up that takes place with Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/  called What’s up weekend?  Bloggers share their gratitude lists and it is a great way to start the weekend as we look back on the positives of the past week.

This week the following made me happy:

  1. A wonderful time on leave with my ❤
  2. Short work week – only 3 days 🙂
  3. Date night on Wednesday. Had a very long day – first day back in the office and going to one of our favourite restaurants was a great start to the evening.
  4. Tea. Drank gallons this week!
  5. Making birthday plans – under a month away and I’m excited 🙂
  6. Morgan Taylor nail polish. Treated myself to 2 new bottles.
  7. New Polo handbag and purse I bought a few days ago.
  8. Whatsapps from my Mom.
  9. Chilling on our bench in the garden after work last night.
  10. Frozen yoghurt

We have a quiet weekend planned and I cannot wait.  Going to have a braai tomorrow night and we need to do a grocery shop after work tonight.  Going to try get to gym after I dust my membership card off!

What your plans this weekend?

xx

January mantras and goals

Mantra 1

Mantra 2

Both quotes tie in perfectly with my word for 2018. This year my word is release and it is something I plan to do going forward.

My goals for January are:

  • Get back into a fitness routine. Run a couple of times a week.
  • Look into gym classes to shake my routine up (once I get into one that is)
  • Plan meals for the week
  • Declutter kitchen cupboards
  • Read 2 books
  • Blog more often and schedule posts ahead of time.
  • Plan birthday – my birthday is in 4 weeks 😊

What are your goals and mantras for January? Feel free to share on Lindsay’s link up http://theflynnigans.com/2018/01/01/january-mantra-goals-currently/

xx

My word for 2018

Last year I blogged about this concept. https://my30somethingadventures.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/why-im-swapping-new-year-resolutions-for-one-little-word/  I was inspired by Ali Edwards and you can visit her blog here https://aliedwards.com/blog if you’d like to learn more about this.

My word for 2017 was content. I feel we live in a society that urges us constantly to achieve/accumulate/spend/see and quite honestly be more. More has become the norm. From more time spent on social media to more money spent on things we don’t need, it is exhausting keeping up with the endless cycle of ‘extra’ we are supposed to be adding to each day.

I know that I could have done a better job living out my word last year. However it seemed that the moment I got the hang of it, a toxic comment from somebody really threw me. The rude insult made me re-think my word and my actions. After talking about it with my hubby, my Mom and a couple of friends I realised that the comment was fuelled by jealousy from someone who cannot stand it when I get spoilt by my husband and family.  There are people who are incapable of being happy for their family and friends and so they blurt out crap comments to make themselves feel better.

The snarky comment was not a reflection of me or how I lived out my word for the year. But I wasted a lot of time feeling upset about it. I think a lot of us over-think things and I don’t believe it is healthy.

I gave my word for 2018 a lot of thought and decided on it recently.

My word this year is RELEASE.

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I plan to release:

  • Myself from unnecessary expectations and pressure.

This year I didn’t buy a personal diary for 2018 and didn’t make a looooong list of New Years resolutions.  I’m planning on being more mindful and if I can get this right then it takes care of a lot!  Each month I’ll make a list of goals I hope to achieve but those not ticked off can be crossed off or just added to next month’s list.  Less pressure is a happier me.

  • Stress.

Yip this is a big one. In a nutshell I let loads of things get to me.  I sweat the small stuff.   I adore getting the last word. I can keep a grudge like nobody’s business. These are all huge stress contributors that need to be released.

  • Negative thoughts

Super draining. I need to stop mulling over rubbish. Replaying random things over in my head and wondering if I should have done this or done that or said this or that differently. Negative thoughts are awful and it is a downward spiral. If I make a mistake I need to move on. Not come up with an A4 page list of different things I could have done.

  • Toxic people

Life is too short to spend it with people who genuinely cannot be happy for others or have to say something nasty just to feel better about themselves.  Putting others down is a pointless yet hurtful habit and yet some people make it their full-time hobby.

No thank you.

I also need to release the hold that toxic people’s throw-away comments have on me.  In time I hope to get to the point where I can instantly recognise a barbed comment for just that – an array of unnecessary words from an unhappy person with nothing better to do.

  • Clutter

A fresh and uncluttered space immediately feels fresh and calming.

  • The need for perfection

Life is real and the best moments are when you just sit back, relax and enjoy it. Not everything needs to be Pinterest and Instagram worthy to be fun and memorable.

For the record I’m not on Pinterest or Instagram but I see a lot of ‘it has to be perfect’ moments displayed on FB and all I can wonder is how many pics had to be snapped before the ‘perfect’ one was posted.  By then the magical moment is lost.

  • Rigid routines

Obviously we all have work routines and deadlines but I’m talking after hours. A spontaneous date night after a long day at the office is awesome.   Sometimes housework can wait 😊   I prefer not to live my after-office hours to a timetable.

  • Social Media and having to be online constantly

I’m over FB. Twitter is still fun at times but I plan on focusing more on my blog than scrolling through a timeline this year.  The other day I realised I haven’t posted on FB (other than posting blog links to the fabulous blog group https://www.facebook.com/groups/ThePeacefulPosse/  and seeing what other bloggers are up to) since November last year.  I haven’t missed it at all.

  • The past

Nobody has one that is perfect but I’m not going to let a stressful yesterday ruin a potentially great today.  Letting go is sometimes a gift we give ourselves.

  • Things that don’t make me happy.

From a friendship that has run its course to attending things I feel obliged to go to but don’t enjoy. I’m not going to force fun just to keep other people happy. If it doesn’t bring me joy, it is coming off my to-do list.  Also I’m going to be upfront about it – my time is as important as others and I’m saving it for those I genuinely love and care about.

Do you have a word for 2018?

xx

December recap!

Firstly Happy New Year everyone!  Hope that 2018 is an amazing year for us all filled with good health and happiness.

Secondly I haven’t blogged for weeks and am seriously behind.  Hoping to catch up today (my last day of leave).  I hope that everyone had a fantastic festive season and made loads of happy memories.

I thought I’d do a December recap – I always love reading fellow blogger’s weekend recaps so this is a monthly version.  December was a really hectic month and just before I went on leave my Mom landed up in hospital.  It was a very scary and stressful time for us all and since my parents are over 2 hours away the distance was really felt.  My Mom had a blockage in her kidney – she’d had back pain and had gone to see the Dr – and was then rushed to a hospital where they did lots of tests.  She had to stay overnight and was on pain meds and then a cytoscopy was booked for that afternoon.

Well the good news was that no cancer and no stones were found.  My Mom’s right kidney wasn’t releasing urine quickly enough which caused the pain and bleeding.  The medical term is Pelvic Uretic Junction Stenosis.  She was able to leave the hospital that afternoon.  She has had to drink smaller amounts of liquid at at time and has assured me she is feeling better.

The weekend before her health scare we visited my parents and sister in Montagu and we had a wonderful time.  My parents showed us around and gave us a tour and we visited restaurants and had a great catch up over good food.  Our anniversary is in December so my parents insisted on booking us a night at a lovely guesthouse walking distance from their apartment.

I took some pics of the weekend.

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The beautiful bedroom and bathroom of the cottage we stayed in.

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The patio was so spacious with stunning views.

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Hubby relaxing outside 🙂

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We had lunch at a restaurant called Die Kloof Padstal.

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After a leisurely lunch my Dad drove us around giving us a personal tour of their new home.  My parents moved recently and I’ve never been to Montagu before.  Then we went back to my parents apartment which has the loveliest of views and chilled out before supper.  My parents and sister had put all the Christmas decorations up and I felt rather festive!  I’m so happy for my parents – my Dad retired the December before last and I can see they are enjoying this time in their lives.  Montagu is a beautiful place.

We had an amazing nights sleep and then we went to Die Boord / The Orchard for breakfast.

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Hubby and my family ❤

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The time just flew by far too quickly 😦  Before we knew it, it was time to pack up and go home.

We went on leave a few days later and celebrated our 11 year anniversary and Christmas in Hermanus.  We had a wonderful time – visited the Danger Point lighthouse.

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We spent our days going for drives (De Kelders was stunning), hiking up Fernkloof Nature Reserve, leisurely breakfasts at nearby restaurants, walking around Hermanus and having cheese and wine before delicious braais.  It was just what we needed.

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The weather was amazing every day and just added to the relaxed holiday feel.

I packed in Christmas decorations to decorate our table for Christmas lunch 🙂  Hubby made a delicious gammon which was out of this world.  We repeated the tradition on New Years Eve at home.  Minus Rudolph the reindeer!

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And now we are in the second day of 2018 and tomorrow is back to work.  This is the first year I haven’t bought a diary and made a list of new years resolutions.  I’ll make a few goals for each month but my biggest one is just to be happy and mindful.  To live in the present more and worry about the past and future less.  If I can get that right I’ll be thrilled!

xxx