Humpday confessions

Giraffe to end with Final

It is that time of the week when we get to do humpday confessions.  Shall we get started?

Confession no.1:  I still haven’t switched over to my new blog.  I’m hesitant and making silly excuses when I just need to take the plunge.  Watch this space.

Confession no. 2:  Last week was so busy that I feel I’m still recovering!  By Friday evening all I wanted to do was get onto the couch with some sitcoms and a glass of wine.  I usually have more energy this time of year but last week took it out of me.

Confession no. 3:  This week has been full of lazy dinners.  I know today is only Wednesday but I don’t feel this trend will change tonight.  This time of year is busy.  Eating out is easy.  I’m making excuses but so be it.

Confession no. 4:  I gave a friend of mine her birthday present early because one part of it had been eaten and replaced so many times I was worried the shops wouldn’t have stock after my second or third replacing attempt.  I always include a tube of Milky Buttons in this friend’s gift bag and I always have to replace them because hubby and I eat them before I can give it to her.  And yes we do buy for ourselves but we eat those first.

Confession no. 5:  I’ve unashamedly wrapped birthday presents for two friends in Christmas paper this month.  And one farewell gift for a colleague.  What can I say?  If you are celebrating anything from beginning of December to end of January expect to see Santa and Snowmen wrapping.

xx

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Friday gratitude

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I am so happy that Friday has arrived (and we have a 3 day weekend).  If I thought last week was busy, this one was insane!  I feel like I have rushed around from the moment I opened my eyes on Monday morning and now as I sip coffee (step aside tea – I need liquid fuel) I feel relieved it is over and I go on leave in a few days.

I made time to go to yoga and a mindful session afterwards on Monday.  Got home just before 10:00pm.  Tuesday evening we had a work function at the office.  Wednesday I met a friend for tea, then went for a run, had supper and went to the in-laws for cake and tea and to exchange gifts.  Thursday I finished up quarter end at work – day passed in a blur.

Last night we got home tired and instead of going to gym or yoga or catching up on housework I suggested a date night.  It was great.  Delicious food and wine and catching up with my ❤ was just what I needed after a hectic week.  Came home, showered, got into jim jams and dozed off watching a movie.  It was a wonderful evening.

We’ve got our department lunch today so ending work early and then 3 days ahead to chill!  I cannot wait.  Tomorrow we are going to Langebaan for a day trip and I managed to get a last minute appointment at the spa.  We are having a braai in the evening and we have no set plans for Sunday and Monday.  Bliss.

Friday means linking up with the lovely Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/ with a weekly gratitude list.

  • Wonderful weekend.  Went to a dinner at a bowls club with colleagues on Friday.  Yoga and brunch on Saturday.  Took a drive on Sunday.  Napped.
  • Going to another yoga class and loving it
  • Beautiful flowers and a chocolate from a friend.
  • Getting super spoilt with a gift voucher from Woolies.
  • The Christmas tree and decorations at home making me feel festive wherever I look.

How about you?  What is on your list this week?

xx

Self care during the festive season

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Our Christmas tree last year.  Haven’t had time to take a pic of this years one.

So lately I’ve been reading a lot about the importance of self-care.  I’ve seen it mentioned on blogs and when commenting I always say how essential this practice is.

How we need to take time out for ourselves and how we are able to be kinder to others when we’ve nurtured ourselves.  It isn’t selfish it is downright necessary!

I recently signed up for yoga.  I had been wanting to do a 2 week trial which meant I could attend various lessons and choose to have a transformation session or a private yoga lesson included.  For months, I just kept putting off the signing up.  First I had backache and so I didn’t sign up.  Then I went on leave.  Came back from leave.  Things were busy.  I was tired.  I kept finding excuses until the end of November when I just made the payment, filled out the forms and went to my first class.

And I loved it.

But the next week was busy and I put off going back until last Saturday.

And I loved that lesson as much as the first.

But last night after a quick shower I was chatting to hubby and I told him I felt I had signed up at the wrong time.  Quarter end at work.  Trying to catch up with friends after hours.  Work functions I’d replied to ages ago.  I felt like everyday was busy busy busy.  This morning I sat at my desk looking at the week ahead and felt tired before the day had begun!  I e-mailed the studio about a session I was interested in and afterwards thought about putting it off.  So much to do this week.  So little time.

And then I realized something.  The numerous times I’ve told people to look after themselves I had meant it.  So why was I looking for excuses to put off doing something for me?  Hubby said he can see how much I love it and I must make time for it.  It is advice I’d give to others so why was I finding it difficult to take?

I’ve chosen the perfect time to sign up for yoga.  If ever there was a time I needed to relax it is right now while my head and diary is full and I’m in need of some me-time.

Tomorrow I’ve got a work function at the office after work.  Wednesday I’m meeting a friend for coffee, then seeing my in-laws for a games night.  Thursday is for catching up on the housework, going to gym and wrapping presents.  Friday is a department lunch and then it is a 3 day weekend.

So yes a full week ahead but like I’ve been telling so many self-care is essential.  For us all.

Time I took my own advice 🙂

What about you?  What advice do you find easy to give out but difficult to practice?

xx

Friday at last!

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I’ve always been a tea drinker but this week was made for coffee!  I think I had quite a few as it was a really long and busy week and I’m so ready for the weekend to begin.

This week was just one big rush and I’m really tired.  Had to replace our geyser (a big thank you to hubby for taking care of everything) <3.  We made it to gym once.  We spent ages in traffic rushing around to get my contact lenses and then last night went to finish our Christmas shopping.  Thank goodness that is finished.  I opened a bottle of wine and had a very lazy dinner afterwards.  We also had to replace a friend’s birthday present because one evening we ate it for dessert.  Not the greatest week!

Does anyone else buy edibles to put with presents in advance, eat some and then have to replace it?  We cannot be the only ones.

Anyway it is Friday at long last.  Today I’m linking up with the lovely Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/ with a weekly gratitude list.

  • A wonderful weekend. Went to a yoga class on Saturday and felt super calm afterwards.  Made a delicious brunch with hubby when I got home.  Standing in our kitchen with the sunshine pouring in, drinking tea and waiting for the flapjacks and bacon to cook was great.  We visited Hermanus on Sunday and had breakfast at Brassiere South, bought some more Christmas decorations.  Putting up the tree was so enjoyable and I bought new Christmas decorations as well as some Christmas bowls (to go with the cups and side plates).
  • Enjoying yoga SO much.
  • Waking up to rain on Monday morning.  And getting more on and off in the week.
  • Date night on Wednesday.  Dinner at Cattle Baron was delicious.
  • CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IS DONE.  I just need to wrap the presents and that is it.  Not going through the stress of last minute shopping in busy malls was worth all the running around this week.

Tonight we are going to a Christmas dinner at a Bowls Club which we were invited to by my office.  Then tomorrow I’ve got another Yoga class and I’m thinking a brunch should be in order.  Sunday is unplanned and that is fine with me.  Like a blank page just waiting to be filled with adventure.

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

xx

How to feel less stressed at Christmas!

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I’ve always loved Christmas time.  The decorations that make me feel festive.  The delicious food.  Presents.  Festive music and movies.  Going on leave and returning after the New Year starts.  I love it all.

Yet a few years ago I also found this time of year a bit stressful.  I felt like hubby and I were running around with an endless to-do list trying to get everything done in time.  Saying no is difficult for me at times and I remember feeling exhausted by the time my December leave arrived.

A while ago I felt like giving back and asked some relatives to donate to a charity instead of giving us gifts.  The charity had a list of what was needed and I offered to save family time and do the shopping myself, then drop it off at a collection point.  So I had presents to buy and then the shopping for the donations to do, dropping off the gifts at family members and getting the donations in on time, get-togethers to attend (and baking and prepping for these), trying to fit everyone into a busy schedule and I decided enough was enough.

As an aside, can I just ask what is up with people always expecting others to drop off gifts before Christmas?  Does everyone retire their cars around the festive season?  Just asking because this irritates me immensely.

And then there are the pre-Christmas gatherings.  I remember one year running around to the shops and doing hours of baking.  The starters cost a lot to put together as did buying the cheeses.  I was hot and bothered from baking in the middle of summer and then transporting everything to the person hosting the dinner took time.

So now if anyone wants to do a pre-Christmas get together I’ll see you in a restaurant.  Thanks in advance.  It costs so much less and I save time by not swearing at our oven.

And that is something that mystifies me with this time of year.  The frenzied planning of seeing everyone you’ve spoken to in the last 10 years and sitting down and having a catch up.

Why?

I’m becoming a lot more of an introvert as I get older.  I’m finding I enjoy spending time with close friends one on one.  Meeting for a coffee and catching up is preferable to meeting in a group and trying to fit in months of news over a dinner in a busy restaurant where everyone else has the same idea.

I thought it was just me being grumpy but I’ve asked around and a lot of people get annoyed with the “we HAVE to meet up before Christmas” mentality.

So I’ve simplified things this again year.  And I’m pretty impressed if I do say so myself.

    – Limited gift giving to family and friends.  Hence I only have 2 more presents to buy.
    – Donating directly to the charities of our choice.  If I have time I’ll buy some things on a wishlist but if time is running out I often do a direct donation.
    – I say no to get togethers I simply don’t have time for.
    – I refuse to feel guilty when some people expect others to run after them for Christmas.  I watched my mother do this thankless task for too long and vowed I’d never be the person that hosts Christmas or does all the cooking and gets minimal thanks.  So grateful that our anniversary is close to Christmas and we celebrate both – just the two of us.  Drop hints all you want – we are NOT available for Christmas.
    – Drop off gifts long before necessary and say “see you in the new year”.  I’ve already done this with a friend and we are both happy.  I’ve got one coffee catch up with another and she is getting her gift then.
    – Getting the shopping done nice and early.  A couple of friends have birthdays in December so I add their gift shopping with my Christmas list.
    – Plan ahead.  I’ve got our favourite gammon recipe printed and ready.  A list of what we bought for last Christmas’s lunch and the crackers were bought on Sunday.

I love Christmas done our way which is relaxed, fun and full of food and laughter.  Stress is overrated all year round but especially at Christmas!  What about you?  What tips do you use to keep stress levels down this time of year?

xx

December mantras and goals

December mantras and goals

I love this time of year!  On Saturday we put up our Christmas tree and set out all our Christmas decorations.

I feel so festive and just want to press pause on this month!  I know that the festive season can be busy and expensive but I have always loved December.  We have some leave planned, looking forward to celebrating our (12th) anniversary and then it is Christmas and New Years Eve.

Each month I link up with the fabulous Peaceful Posse and we recap our goals from the month before, list our new ones and include a mantra or two.

Lets see how I did in November:

  • Read 4 books
  • Go to a yoga class  Went on Saturday (which is technically the 1st December but I’m ticking this off). 
  • Sort out bookcase – Didn’t make time for this unfortunately.
  • 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.  2 presents left!

Not bad.  My goals for December:

December goals

  • Read 4 books and complete Goodreads reading challenge (goal for the year is 40 books)
  • Go to another yoga class
  • Finish Christmas shopping
  • Blog at least 8 times and do more link ups
  • Organise bookcase
  • Have a wonderful time on leave and an amazing anniversary and Christmas with my ❤

My mantras for December are about gratitude.

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough” – Melody Beattie

“If you want to find happiness, find gratitude” – Steve Maraboli

Here is to an awesome December 🙂

xx