Last day that I’m 34!

So tomorrow is my birthday and I’m turning 35.

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It seems like the other day that I turned 25 and I’m amazed at how quickly time goes. 10 years ago I was a newly wed, hubby and I had bought a home the previous year and I’d been in my current job for a year and a half.

So much has happened in 10 years. There have been wonderful times and happy memories that were made along the way.  Birthdays, anniversaries and celebrations.  Great holidays and adventures with my husband. I love discovering new things with him and with Mark’s photography he is always finding new places for us to visit.

There have been very sad moments as well, as that is life.  We lost my Gran and years before that a very special Uncle passed away. There have been health scares that put things into perspective. Stress and worries. Weight gain and new wrinkles! But I think it is the experiences as well as your view on life that ages one. Not just the years.   I know of people a lot older that are more young at heart than some people half their age. And vice versa. Age is just a number – you realise this as you get older.

There is work I need to do on myself because being an adult is about taking responsibility for yourself.  I’m not the most patient person at times and a terrible habit is that I enjoy getting the last word.  I need to put the important people in my life first more often.  I need to take things less seriously and let go a lot more.  I hope that in a years time I get to look back on my year as a 35 year old as the turning point where I finally became the best version of myself that I could be.

I hope that I’ll never stop looking forward to my birthday because I don’t ever want to stop celebrating the day that marks me as a year older.  Each year brings with it laughter, tears, good times and bad but it brings with it experience.  Lessons.  It also signals a start of a new year to make new memories. I’m hoping to make loads more awesome ones from tomorrow!

xx

ps that pic was taken 2 years ago and I really wish I’d just left my hair as it was.  Add that to the lessons learnt in the last decade.

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Book review: The people at number 9 by Felicity Everett

Book

Sara and Neil are a conservative and sensible couple that play by the rules.  They have 2 young sons, an organised home and steady jobs.

Life is pleasant if not a little predictable.

Gav and Lou are new to the neighbourhood and have just moved in next door to Sara and Neil. Gav is an artist and Lou is involved in film directing. They are relaxed, make their own rules and if they seem a little lazy, Sara believes it just adds to their charm.

Meeting Lou one afternoon and hearing her share a personal story makes Sara want to know more about her mysterious neighbour. As time goes by the two couples become friends and spend more time together. Sara’s old friendships fade away as she makes space in her life and schedule for this new couple and their young family.

Sara is so in awe by her new friends that she starts questioning her own life. What she once found appealing now seems dull.  And the more time she spends with Lou and Gav the more changes she feels she must make.

I found this book enjoyable in the sense that the reader feels like an invisible viewer the entire time.  Watching an unhealthy friendship unfold and grow more disturbing with each chapter made it difficult to put down.

xx

Happy Friday

Happy Friday

Hello Friday, thank goodness you decided to show up!

I am counting down the hours until 4:00pm because I’m exhausted, in desperate need of wine and craving some serious couch and Masterchef binge time.

This week was long but there were good things along the way!  This includes:

  1. My Mom getting better. Moving out of ICU and into a General Ward just made my Monday!  Then on Wednesday she was discharged from hospital and knowing my Mom is back home is so awesome.  I cannot wait to see her.
  2. Mark’s support over this difficult time.  I’ve been worried, stressed, tense and so much more and his support was so appreciated.
  3. My Dad and how calm he stayed throughout my Mom’s hospital visit.  There were moments we were so worried and my Dad just plodded on and got things done.
  4. Alison Pearson’s “How hard can it be?” what a brilliant sequel to “I don’t know how she does it?”  I loved this book so much.
  5. Frozen yoghurt on hot days
  6. “This is us” is back.
  7. Date night on Wednesday – had dinner at one of our favourite restaurants.
  8. My birthday is next Thursday
  9. Still loving my Garmin watch
  10. Waking up this early morning and realising it was Friday and we still had an hour and a half to sleep 😊.

Hubby and I are going up the West Coast for a day trip tomorrow. Then Sunday is going to be busy, shopping, getting my birthday present, catching up on laundry and cleaning and hopefully going somewhere for a sunset.

What are you up to?

xx

Book review: How hard can it be? By Allison Pearson

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Can I just say that I absolutely LOVED Allison Pearson’s besteller “I don’t know how she does it”.

I thought it was written with such feeling and when it was made into a movie I didn’t begrudge the usual inaccuracies that accompany the book-to-movie journey.  It was brilliantly written and I think Kate Reddy is a woman that so many could relate to.

Well, Kate is back!

Sequels are always full of expectation and can dissapoint at times but this one is a huge exception.  I could not put this down and the book felt like a long and overdue catchup with an old friend.

The book allows one to just continue where we left off at the end of the “I don’t know how she does it” even though many years have passed.  Kate is 49, her husband is unemployed and training to be a Counsellor, her children are in their teens and addicted to social media and her mother and parents-in-law are elderly and frail.  She is the epitome of a member belonging to the sandwich generation.

To generate an income, Kate decides to return to work.  She was a successful Fund Manager in the first book and goes back to the original company she left years ago.  She feels it necessary to give herself a new age (42) and pretend she’s new to the company.

Kate has plenty of challenges – non-communicative husband and kids, a mother-in-law with alzheimers, a house that is falling down and then one day an e-mail arrives from Jack…….

I loved the way Kate dealt with things.  Her attitude to peri-menopause, lunchtime lipo, her daughter’s shocking selfie and her mother’s phonecalls about anything from house decorating to her incontinent dog.  It isn’t necessary to have read the first book to enjoy the second – I’m sure many will love Kate, no matter which book you find her in.

xxx

 

What a week!

This past week (and 2 days) have been an extremely difficult time to put it mildly.

The Saturday before last my Mom was rushed by ambulance to hospital where she stayed in Critical Care until a few hours ago.  She was being treated for Septicaemia and we found out afterwards that when she arrived at the hospital her heart, kidneys and lungs were busy shutting down.  I cannot put into words what it felt like standing in the hospital and seeing my mother with an oxygen mask on, tubes everywhere and a machine monitoring everything while confirming how bad things were.

Seeing a loved one ill is so incredibly difficult.  It is genuinely one of the most dreadful feelings – a mixture of fear and helplessness.  There was nothing we could do but wait for blood results, scans, x-rays and tests to come back and tell us what was wrong.  Even worse was the awful realisation that growing up my Mother always made us better when we were sick and all I could do as an adult now, was hold her hand and pretend not to be terrified that something bad was going to happen.

We came home last Sunday evening feeling stunned – my Mom is the sort of person who doesn’t sit still for long.  Always on the go – which made seeing her in bed unable to breathe on her own so scary.

Mark phoned a guesthouse the next day and we drove after work on Monday so I could be close to the hospital.  My Dad and sister had checked in the day before and the guesthouse was so conveniently situated, we could walk instead of driving.  The infection was really bad but the antibiotics started working and my Mom was able to have a procedure on Wednesday to get rid of kidney stones.

The waiting was the worst.  Waiting for visiting hours to start in the morning.  Waiting to hear if my Mom had a good night and had eaten something.  Waiting our turn to see her (2 visitors at a time in critical care).  Waiting for test results is awful – the time felt like it was standing still.

I checked out on Wednesday and Mark came to fetch me in the afternoon.  I missed him SO much and hardly slept while I was away – I was exhausted on Wednesday night.  Thursday my Dad sent good news that my Mom was looking better, still on oxygen and tired but getting better.

We went to visit yesterday and were so happy to see the improvement in my Mom.  She was still on oxygen but not the full face mask which makes talking tricky.  We could chat to her properly which was awesome.  I’ve heard from my Dad today that my Mom has moved out of Critical Care into a General Ward.  Now we just wait for her to be able to leave the hospital.

So that was our week – scary and stressful but with good news at the end.  I’m so grateful for prayers, positive thoughts and all the support we’ve received as a family.  Phone calls and messages constantly reminding us that we are in people’s thoughts and prayers made this terrifying journey a bit easier to navigate.

I’m so grateful for the endless support from Mark who made 8 trips to Worcester and was there for me constantly at a really scary time.

If we had to believe the movies, advertising and social media then we’d think that love is about roses, expensive presents and constantly smiling faces with romantic theme music in the background.  But real love is weathering a massive storm together and being made to feel safe the entire time.

Thank you Marky.

xxx

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

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