Weekly gratitude

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Happy Friday everyone!  Goodness but this week was a full one (trying to find a more interesting word for busy)!

Tuesday evening I met a friend for dinner and we had a great catch up.  I really need to make more time for good friends and I’m glad she is planning a girls night next month which I’m looking forward to.  Wednesday evening I started a meditation course and it was so good.  Thursday after work hubby and I went to a photographic exhibition where one of his photos was being displayed.  .

 

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It was very exciting seeing his work on the wall – I love the photo that they chose because so much time went into this particular picture last winter.

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People often see a photo without seeing the work that goes into making it a memory.  They don’t realise the time spent planning and hiking to a location to get the photo they are looking at.  Last winter we had a lot of rain which was amazing and hubby spent hours waiting for the water levels in this particular photo to be just right.  Timing is so important in photography and when one gets it correct, it can be spectacular.

Fridays mean linking up with Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/  with my list of what made me happy this week:

  • Baking last Friday after work and having chocolate cupcakes to snack on all weekend.  They lasted just until late Sunday afternoon.
  • Going to yoga on Sunday morning
  • Le Creseut containers for our tea and coffee.
  • Making time for 3 gym visits this week even though it was such a busy one.
  • A good friend who is always there to listen.
  • Learning so much in the first session of the meditation course I’m doing.  4 more to attend and I’m really looking forward to learning more.
  • Fun evening in Town last night.  The exhibition was beautiful  and I was so proud of my hubby.
  • Date night at one of our favourite restaurants.  Good food and a lovely evening with my ❤
  • Nachos
  • Cutting out coffee and drinking lots of water this week.  Realised that I’m craving tea less when I drink water.

This evening is take out, TV and couch time!  After a busy week we seriously need it.  Tomorrow I’m going to a yoga class in the morning and we’ve got some shopping to do in the afternoon.  Hubby’s golf on Sunday was cancelled so we have a free day now.  With autumn here we need to make the most of what is left of the warmish weather.

xx

Humpday confessions

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Wednesday!  Humpday!  Time for some confessions!

#1 I love the picture above even though it totally makes me crave donuts seconds after looking at it.  It reminds me it has been a while since we went to Dunkin Donuts and need to fix that!

#2  I admit that as much as I love gym I’ve found an added incentive in the fitness reward I work towards weekly.  I accumulated enough points recently, redeemed a voucher and now just need to go shopping !  I was always a couch potato growing up and discovering running and the joys of fitness as an adult has been amazing.  Shopping vouchers added to the endorphins?  Yes please!

#3  This week has been insanely busy with plans most evenings and I’m already thinking about Friday, a take away and a glass of wine in my hand with the weekend ahead.

#4  I always think of such good topics to post about on my blog when I’m not in front of my laptop.  In the shower/as I fall asleep/first thing in the morning/as I go into a meeting etc and then when I log in, I’m sometimes like a blank page.  Why is that?

#5  I completely forgot about an orthodontist appointment a few days ago.  Got the days wrong and happened to look at the fridge to see I was supposed to be there at 5:00pm.  Realised this at 4:55pm.  Blamed traffic.  Still got my appointment.

Well nothing too shameful this week!

xx

Winter 2019 bucket list

Winter

The collage above was from last winter and I have to say it was one of my best winters so far.  We visited new places, tried new things and had a great time.  Summer is my favourite season and I used to feel a bit meh when the seasons changed and I had to take out my warm clothes and pack away dresses and pretty sandals.

But autumn has brought with it so far some cooler mornings and evenings (meaning better sleep) and I’m hoping this year we get alot of rain to help the dam levels even more.  Making a bucket list for the season is something I started last year and I enjoyed putting it together.  My list this year is as follows:

  • Visit somewhere we’ve never been before
  • Cycle 45km’s
  • Get a new winter jacket
  • Plan a getaway to Wilderness and visit the market in Sedgefield again
  • Read “The life changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo
  • Get new yoga clothes
  • Do a workshop through the yoga studio I attend
  • Make soup from scratch
  • Embrace the season change like I did last year and make the most of the cold weather
  • Go to bed earlier during the week

Do you make seasonal bucket lists?  If so, what is on it?

xx

Hooray for Friday!

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It was a 4 day week for us but it felt a lot longer!  I’m so glad Friday has arrived and the weekend is nearly here (less than 3 hours but hey, who is counting?) 🙂

I’m linking up with Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/  with my list of what made me happy this week:

  • Making fitness a bit part of our weekend.  Was great and I had so much more energy.  Even played squash on Sunday evening.
  • 4 day week
  • Not having to get up early yesterday morning.  Sitting with a cup of tea and reading for an hour was wonderful.
  • An amazing nights sleep.  Cooler weather means our super comfy duvet.
  • Cutting down on coffee and feeling better.
  • Hot cross buns and cheese for breakfast this morning
  • Clean home and empty laundry basket.  I love starting the weekend with an organized house.
  • I haven’t yet watched “This is us” – saving it for the weekend to enjoy with some chocolate!
  • Books you cannot put down. If you are on Goodreads, give me a shout!
  • Visiting a library earlier today.

I’m looking forward to this evening.  Going to hit the gym, do a grocery shop and pop into Le Creuset (their range is so gorgeous) and then chill out with boerewors rolls and chips.

Tomorrow we have a road trip planned – thinking Hermanus where we’ll have lunch and I’ll do a spot of shopping afterwards.

Sunday, I’m thinking of going to a yoga class but if I don’t, I hope to do an hour at home.  Next week is going to be a super busy one and I need to start it feeling calm.

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

xx

Workout recap

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I’ve seen Katie http://www.talkless-saymore.com/ do these posts and today I’m joining in with one of my own.

Over two weeks I’ve tracked my workouts because I’ve wanted to see if it had an impact on my mood (which it absolutely did).  I have noted down 2 weeks of workouts and they are as follows:

4th – 17th March:

Monday 4th:  Played bowls for one hour and 45 minutes

Tuesday 5th:  1 hour Vinyasa hot flow yoga

Wednesday 6th:  4.2km run

Thursday 7th:  4.7km run

Friday 8th:  REST DAY

Saturday 9th:  35km cycle

Sunday 10th:  5km run

Monday 11th:  1 hour yoga

Tuesday 12th:  4.5km run

Wednesday 13th:  REST DAY

Thursday 14th:  REST DAY

Friday 15th:  4.2km run

Saturday 16th:  6.3km run (outdoors)

Sunday 17th:  4km run

30 minutes playing squash

What I found interesting was how much better my mood and energy levels were with exercising often.  As opposed to reaching for a chocolate or a glass of wine after a busy day.  I slept better, felt better and didn’t let random stresses get to me as much as I’d usually have.  I’ve not had a run or been to the yoga studio for a couple of days and can instantly feel the difference.  I’m more irritable, battled to sleep last night and feel a bit meh to be honest.

Anyway today is another day and the opportunity to make good choices.

What about you?  Do you keep a list of your workouts?

xx

Weekly gratitude

I usually do these link ups on a Friday with Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/  but I’m a bit later this week with my list of what made me happy.

  • Cycling with hubby the weekend before week in Langebaan.  It was SO windy and not the best cycle I’ve done.  I rode 35km’s (best distance is 45km’s) but I did manage a super steep hill which I hadn’t been able to before.

Cycle pic

  • Breakfast afterwards at Ginja Beanz which make my favourite omelettes.
  • Hot cross buns on a lazy Sunday morning with coffee
  • Rain on Sunday evening and quite a bit last Monday.
  • Making time for yoga (and been glad I did)
  • Not skipping gym last week – even when I could think up a long list of excuses
  • Date night on Wednesday
  • Reading an amazing book called “How to be happy” by Eva Woods.  Laughing, crying and loving the beautiful messages and lessons in each chapter.
  • A mid morning cappuccino – great for an instant energy boost
  • Signing up for a workshop at the yoga studio I attend and feeling so excited about what I’ll learn.

Here is to a great week.

xx

What I read – February 2019

Today I’m linking up with Steph  https://www.lifeaccordingtosteph.com/ and Jana http://janasays.com/ for Show Us your Books.

Books

Our House by Louise Candlish

Our house by Louise Candlish

Plot:  Fiona arrives home one day to find strangers moving furniture into her house.  Confused she tries to find out what is going on and learns that they have bought it.  Knowing she didn’t put her dream house on the market and has no idea who these buyers are, Fiona tries to get hold of her husband who seems to have disappeared.

My thoughts:  This book was a real page turner and there was no way I’d have guessed the ending.  It is told from both Fiona and her estranged husband Bram’s point of view in an interesting way.  There are loads of surprises along the way.

My Goodreads rating:  4 stars

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Plot:  Nine people arrive to spend 10 days in an expensive health resort.  Looking forward to detoxing and recharging their bodies, they hand over car keys, cellphones and have their bags searched.  The owner of the retreat has prepared something very different for the guests and nobody has any idea of what lays ahead.

My thoughts:  LOVED THIS BOOK.  Took me a few chapters to get to know the 9 characters but once I did I wanted to learn more.  Each one is interesting and has a story that unfolds seamlessly with each chapter.  Told from different points of view (including the owner and 2 staff members at the resort) this was a great holiday read.

My Goodreads rating:  4 stars

The Other Woman by Laura Wilson

The Other Woman by Laura Wilson

The plot:  Each year Sophie sends out a round robin letter to family and friends.  Recently she has been getting one sent back with nasty messages.  The most recent says her husband is having an affair and is going to leave her.  Sophie plans on confronting the other woman but things go horrifically wrong.

My thoughts:  I had such high hopes for this book!  Was rather disappointed and while it was well written it just becomes a bit of an odd comedy in parts.  I really expected more from this book.

My Goodreads rating:  2 stars.

xx

Sun City: February 2019 holiday

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Our February ended on an adventerous note with a holiday to one of our favourite places – Sun City.  Staying in Sun City means getting to spend hours in Pilanesberg National Park soaking up precious time in nature while spotting wildlife and beautiful birds.

The temperatures were super hot and we enjoyed 37+ degrees each day.

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This is close to one of the hides in Pilanesberg.

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Inside a hide.

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The birdlife this trip was amazing.  The picture above is the Yellow-Billed Hornbill perched on top of a tree.   Hubby and I keep a list of birds we spot (called lifers) and we added quite a few this holiday.  The wildlife was spectacular and as we drove around each day we really appreciated the beautiful sightings.

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I shared this hippo showing his bottom last week.  We’ve only ever seen hippos in water so this was an exciting surprise.

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Two beautiful Zebras

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I’ve always had a fondness for Warthog and can never resist taking a picture of them!  This one was happily eating some grass and didn’t mind us parked nearby.

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This Warthog was feeding her young ones under the shade of a tree.

A Black-backed Jackal walking away after getting a drink of water.

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One afternoon drive we spotted a large chameleon crossing the road.  It was a sweltering day and he was just taking his time across the hot tar – not a care in the world!

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Another evening while driving back to the entrance gate, we had a storm which cooled things down for a few minutes.  It quickly cleared and left behind a beautiful rainbow.

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In Sun City we visited the Valley of the waves and went on a water slide.  Twice.

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We visited the Maze on a super warm evening and got some lovely views of the Palace.

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Enjoyed lots of breakfasts and lunches at the Lost City Golf Course.

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As well as at the Gary Player Country Club.

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I visited the hairdresser at the salon at the Country Club for a trim and went to the gym for a couple of workouts.

This is a picture of one of the sunsets we saw early in the week.  We were about to exit the Park and make our way back for dinner.  Such a stunning start to the evening.

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We enjoyed lots of braais in our apartment at Sun City in the evenings.  Sitting on our balcony with a drink while we discussed our day and which part was our favourite.

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We were optimistic that we’d get to see a Leopard again (seen a Leopard on the last 3 trips) but as the days went by we tried not to get our hopes up.

We knew that getting sightings of the Big 5 is no guarantee and so each day brought with it the suspense of wondering what was around the corner!  On our second last day we went to the Park super early and saw…….YES….a Leopard.  Breathtaking experience as always!  Hubby got some photos and the very next day (our last in the park) we spotted another!  You never know what you are going to find when you visit Pilanesberg National Park and that is part of the fun!  I don’t have any pictures on my camera but hubby was lucky to get a few and I’m hoping he puts them on his website soon.

That afternoon, after lunch at Gary Player we made our way to the airport for our flight home.  We’ve been back for just over a week and I’m ready to return 🙂

xx

Friday gratitude

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Hello Friday!

Been a busy but good week my side with lots going on and the days flying by.  Spent an evening with my in-laws, did a new yoga class, got a new washing machine, went to the orthodontist, had some great gym workouts, caught up with work e-mails, started quarter end, grocery shopping, laundry and the like.  When hubby and I woke up this morning we looked at each other with looks that said Friday at last!

Friday means linking up with the Peaceful Posse a blogging group run by Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/

On Fridays we list the things that made us happy.

Often it is easy to get caught up in a routine as deadlines, to-do lists and responsibilities fill our inboxes and heads.  But with this group we list what made our week special. What made us smile.  It is a reminder to look for the good in every day.  So here is my list for the past week.

  • Brunch with my ❤ on Sunday.   Hubby fried the bacon and mushrooms, I made the flapjacks and we potter around the kitchen having coffee and a laugh.  I treasure these happy weekend moments.
  • Rain on Monday and Thursday!
  • Fun with my in-laws on Monday evening after work. Rain had cleared and we played some bowls before going out to dinner.
  • Slightly cooler weather. Autumn is on the way and (despite an amazing summer) I’m not fighting it. We’ve had such hot days that the cooler temperatures are so refreshing.
  • Trying a new yoga class.  Did Vinyasa hot flow and felt SO relaxed afterwards.
  • Braces are working – amazing the difference in just over a month.
  • Hot chocolate and marshmallows after a busy day.
  • Going for a run on Wednesday and Thursday after work.
  • Slowly getting on top of the laundry after our holiday.  Love our new washing machine.
  • Ugrading my WordPress account – yay!

This weekend we are planning on going for a cycle and I plan to have a brunch and hopefully a braai tomorrow.

What about you?  What is on your gratitude list today?

xx

February 2019 recap – what’s new with you? Link up

Link up

Today I’m linking up with the lovely Kirsten from http://www.seeyouinaporridge.com/

February was an awesome month – we celebrated my birthday in Wilderness which was great and a few weeks later we visited Sun City and Pilanesberg National Park.  I’ll do a post on our holiday early next week but here is 2 pictures from our vacation:

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We love Sun City – it is seriously one of our favourite places to visit.  Pilanesberg National Park is where we spend hours each day whenever we stay in Sun City – couple minutes and you are in the entrance gate.  We were fortunate to see amazing wildlife (and some beautiful birdlife as well) and TWO leopards towards the end of our trip.

This was very exciting as well as the hippo which just walked merrily down the road in front of our car on the last day of our holiday.  They are amazing!

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We tried new things on holiday – the Maze which we hadn’t explored before.  It was fun but really hot on the evening we went.  The weather was super hot each day and I loved the 37+degree heat but am actually now prepared for autumn.  I adore summer – my favourite season – but  I’m looking forward to cooler temperatures and getting more sleep.  I always sleep better in colder weather!

I went to a yoga class last month and (as always) felt super relaxed afterwards.  I know that I need to make time to attend classes more often.

My braces are working well.  I don’t think I’m going to have to wear them for long.  I do miss popcorn and missed chewing gum on the plane but my ears were surprisingly not too blocked when we landed.

Last month I kept up my running routine (and also when we were on holiday).  I joined the gym at the Gary Player Country Club.  Ran a couple of mornings while looking out onto the beautiful golf course.  Bliss!

In February I spent more time offline and it was wonderful.  I told family and friends that we were away before flying to Sun City and switched off my data (because some people do not respect your time off and think being on WhatsApp is an invitation to keep sending messages).  I’m not going to apologise for the fact that I find being in nature with my camera on and my phone off a great way to relax.

In my January recap I mentioned that I’m re-thinking my circle at the moment and I continued this in February.  There is a quote which explains that a ship doesn’t sink because of the water around it, it sinks because of the water that gets inside of it.  I’m determined to not let other people’s issues and negativity get to me.  I’m not making the effort for friends who think generosity is a one way process.  I’m not putting my needs to one side to keep others happy – it is a sure way to end up empty.  And again I say – we are all busy but some of us just make the effort because it is expected.  Looking back at some friendships I can see that even though I’m an introvert, I have had to put what I wanted to one side to keep certain introvert friends happy.  Do stuff I’m not interested in (cannot possibly cancel plans when they’ve chosen what to do) but radio silence when I mention stresses from last year or I have a birthday (too much effort to act like a human and send a birthday wish).

There is actually a difference to being a non-people person and a downright shitty friend.  I am so glad I figured this out and look forward to strengthening my inner circle with genuine people and letting go of those just taking up space on my FB timeline and Whatsapp contact list.

What about you?  What is new with you?

xx