For the love of lists

Each Monday I plan my week.  I take a few minutes while e-mails are downloading to give some thought to the 7 days ahead and what I’d like to achieve.  Some of it is work deadlines.  Some of it is housework that I’d like to stay on top of.  I schedule which days we are going grocery shopping and any after hours appointments or get togethers.  I also plan our gym workouts, see when I can fit in a yoga session and anything else that we need to do during the week goes into my diary.

Then I finish my tea and get on with the morning, the day and eventually the week.  I love ticking things off each day.  I’m a list maker and have been ever since I discovered my love of stationery and pretty pens.

But last week when hit with the flu I had to take a step back.  I couldn’t go to gym.  I couldn’t go to yoga.  I had to cancel my meditation session on Wednesday.  I battled to stay on top of the laundry.  I barely had the energy to do anything other that switch my laptop on and work from home.  I felt like I got nothing done and my diary looked so empty!

They say we are human beings and not human doings but why do we find it so difficult to take a step back and put that list down?  As much as I enjoy my list making, it does add a sense of pressure.  If I have a week where I don’t leave a massive amounts of ticks and completed notes why do I feel that I haven’t had a productive week?  I felt super meh about not being able to gym last week (and again this week) but the truth is you can do damage if you work out when sick.  Sometimes ticking something off a list simply isn’t worth it.

So this week while I recover and take it slow I need to remind myself that list or no list, it is still a good week.  Our evenings have been pretty quiet and unrushed.  Last night instead of doing the grocery shopping we got take aways and had a lovely evening on the couch just catching up on our favourite shows. 

And just because my planner isn’t filled with ticks and everything isn’t completed doesn’t mean a week hasn’t been good. 

And I need to remember that.

xx

Easter weekend recap

Last week seemed to just go on for ages.  I was off ill on Monday with this horrible flu.  I thought it was an allergy then gave in and admitted it was a cold and then it went and had the audacity to get worse and turn into the awful flu (seriously – how rude!) 

I couldn’t stop coughing and on Tuesday I worked from home.  Came in on Wednesday and then worked from home on Thursday.  Hoped I could get rid of this by the long weekend as we had planned a trip to Wilderness up the Garden Route.  I felt better by Friday morning but packed in my various flu remedies just in case.  We left around 5:00am for our long awaited Easter weekend and arrived to stunning weather (sunny, warm with zero wind) in Wilderness.  Had breakfast at Flava and then drove to Brenton-on-Sea. 

It didn’t feel like autumn at all and we were walking around in shorts and t-shirts.  Drove back and checked into our favourite B&B Mont Fleur (it is always such a treat staying here and we always feel so welcome). 

We walked down to Cocomo which is a super relaxed restaurant with live music each evening.  Had a chilled afternoon and enjoyed some jalapeno poppers (they taste SO good) with our drinks.  Then made our way to Pomodoro which is over the road and has the best pizza I’ve ever had.  We always go to this restaurant when we are in Wilderness – the food is outstanding.

It was getting chilly when we left and walked back (grateful I packed in a warm top).  We showered and then ate chocolate and fell into bed exhausted after an early start.

Saturday the weather was a bit cooler but still beautiful.  Hubby went to take some photos at Brenton-on-Sea and I stayed in bed with a cup of tea and a book!  We had breakfast at the guesthouse and then went to the market in Sedgefield.  I bought another pretty mosaic tortoise for the garden – they actually sell the kits to decorate your own but I went with the ready-made one!  Will post a pic soon.

We had a relaxed afternoon much like on Friday and it was great.  Took a slow walk to Cocomos and had a great table next to the fireplace while we had some drinks.  Dinner at Pomodoro afterwards – like I said you cannot beat their pizza 🙂

It poured with rain after we got to our cottage while we were having tea and more chocolate.  Great timing as we would have been soaked if we were walking back.  Sunday we had a lovely lie in and then breakfast before checking out.

Made our way back to Cape Town and had take away nachos for dinner.  This weekend was about lots of good food and chocolate and next week will be about getting back to gym haha!

Monday was a quiet day.  Did some shopping in the morning, caught up on laundry and then watched movies and ate hot cross buns and chocolate most of the day!  Bliss.

It is back to work today and I’m still in weekend mode! 

What about you?  How was your Easter weekend?

xx

Humpday confessions

Tea and book

Today is almost like a Thursday 🙂

Still, I love a good confessions post so lets see what I have this week:

#1 This allergy/cold/flu (it got worse with each day since Sunday) has been so energy draining.  I got to work yesterday, packed up my laptop and went home.  Worked from home and it was great because I could sit in my gown, under blankets and still answer e-mails and keep on top of things.  The downside is not being able to switch off and I was still checking my inbox after 8:00pm.  All about balance I guess.

#2  I am back in the office today and didn’t put a lot of thought into my outfit.  I look like I’ve fallen out of bed and am wearing a once smart cardigan that shrunk in the wash over the years.  What seemed like a good idea when the alarm went off this morning looks completely awful in the mirror in the ladies toilets.

#3  Because of the above, I might just not leave my desk today.  Tea and coffee plus loo breaks are highly overrated.

#4  I thought about doing an Easter post about how I spent Easters growing up vs now.  But I feel I came across as quite snarky sounding and rather anti-social.  I’m glad hubby and I celebrate just the two of us because frankly Easters surrounded by family is just stressful for me.

#5  As ill as I’ve been feeling I still managed to devour a lot of Lindt chocolate on Monday night.  Even with a blocked nose and sore throat it still tasted awesome.  Roll on weekend!

Okay, nothing too awful there.  What about you?  Any humpday confessions?

xx

Hello Friday!

We made it!  Friday is here and hooray for that!

New pic

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:

  • Great weekend.  Nachos, a lovely drive, yoga, gym and some pottering around at home.  Productive but still relaxing.
  • Reading an amazing book about eating for your blood type – so interesting!
  • After a long Monday we had a delicious dinner and chilled evening and it was a good start to a busy week.
  • Yoga at lunchtime on Tuesday at work.  A colleague who has qualified as a yoga teacher gave us a session.  Felt so relaxed and calm when I got back to my desk.
  • Going to gym and pushing myself on the treadmill after work on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Did a decent run and felt great afterwards.
  • Having a turning point regarding being mindful.  Taking a step back and then putting things into perspective really makes a difference.
  • Also realizing that overthinking solves nothing and is a huge waste of time.  Took 36 years to learn this but better late than never.
  • Meditation lesson on Wednesday evening and I was able to completely relax.  I actually got into the Yoga Nidra state for the first time.
  • Coffee on days when tea just doesn’t cut it!
  • Doing a few link ups this week and enjoying getting to know bloggers from around the world.  Such a special community we have here and I’m always filled with gratitude.

I’m posting this super early today as we have a short day at work.  Going out for an office lunch and then it is weekend time afterwards!  Tomorrow I’ve got yoga and a girls night in the evening.  Sunday we are planning on going for a drive – we’ll see what the weather is up to.

xx

If we had coffee

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I’m linking up with Lecy today from https://asimplergrace.blogspot.com/ for a coffee date post.

If you and I met for coffee I’d suggest a restaurant which has so many different teas and coffees to choose from and serves breakfast all day.

I’d ask how you are and tell you that I’m busy with work and even though I’ve been here for over 12 years I’m still learning new things.  Today was a great example and the time has flown as I’m making notes of a new process I’ve learnt which will save me time in the future.

I’d tell you that I’m loving the meditation course I signed up for.  Going again tonight and looking forward to learning new ways to calm my mind.  This morning I realized that I’m putting into practice my resolve to be more mindful.  I had a terrible nights sleep and was a bit cranky this morning.  Felt really meh about silly random things and then forced myself to take a step back.  I reminded myself I was in a bad mood because of lack of sleep and to put it into perspective.  It doesn’t mean this morning was going to be a bad one.  Or the day.  Or the week.  Yes, I was cranky but yes, I felt better after having a cup of tea at my desk and reading quietly for a few minutes before the day started.

I’m also trying to overthink less.  I made a comment to a friend this morning about somebody we know.  Immediately felt bad and thought I should send an explanatory e-mail about why I felt like that.  Again took a step back.  If someone gets off on bragging and treats it like a national sport I am allowed to be unimpressed and keep my distance.   Why am I feeling like I need to justify my reactions to inappropriate behavior?  The days of me justifying how I feel and finding a list of explanations are time consuming and unnecessary.

If we had coffee, I’d tell you that I am reading a book on eating for your blood type and it is SO fascinating.  For years I’ve been eating foods on the ‘avoid list’ and telling myself they are good for me.  I’m making notes as I go along and this week I changed hubby and I’s grocery list to only include foods that were on the suggested lists.  Early days (started Monday and today is Wednesday) but we’ll see.

As we finish our drinks and breakfast, we’d agree to meet again soon.  Next time you choose the place.

xx

What I read – March 2019

Books

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

How to be happy by Eva Woods

How to be happy

The plot: Annie has a lot to be unhappy about.

One day she meets Polly who is a bright force full of cheerfulness and positivity.  Polly is terminally ill (she’s been given 100 days to live) and has every reason to be angry and miserable.  She chooses instead to see the positives in each situation and she challenges Annie to 100 days of doing things that make her happy.  Some are very simple and some require bravery but Annie learns a lot about herself along the way.

My thoughts:  I LOVED this book so much.  I laughed, I cried, and I was reminded of a lot of good life lessons in each chapter.  Life is what you make it – this book just confirms it in a beautiful way.  Polly and Annie both have tragic stories to tell – they’ve been through so much heartache and yet both look at situations completely differently.  I cannot recommend this book enough.  It is amazing.

My Goodreads rating:  FIVE Stars

Did you see Melody by Sophie Hannah

Book 2

The plot:  Cara Burrows has left her family for 2 weeks and checked into a luxury resort and spa for some quiet time.  Upon arrival she walks into the wrong room which is occupied by a man and young teenager.  The receptionist apologises and upgrades Cara immediately but something doesn’t seem right.  She soon learns that the girl she heard and saw in the hotel room is a victim whose parents are sitting in prison for her murder.

My thoughts:  This was a real thriller which kept me guessing from the very beginning. The story is told by Cara and various characters and is easy to follow in different formats (including interviews and articles about the case).  We are given insight into what Melody’s childhood was like before she became a famous murder victim in 2010.

Cara was not an instantly likable character for me but I still thought this book was brilliant.  I think Taryn (another guest at the spa) was one of my favourites!  There is a real shock at the end – it isn’t often that a book gives so many surprises along the way – quite a rollercoaster.

My Goodreads rating:  FOUR STARS.  Main character was just missing something.

A little course in yoga by Nita Patel, Dave King

Book 3

I’ve been doing yoga for a few months now and wanted to learn more about it.  This book gives lots of advice and tips and is great for beginners.  The pictures of various positions are easy to follow and put into practice.  I enjoyed learning more about yoga.

My Goodreads rating:  FOUR STARS

xx

Bookworm confessions

Midweek confessions 2

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a bookworm.  I love books.  The feeling of losing yourself between chapters provides a form of daily escapism.

Sometimes I actually get book hangovers.  A book has ended and I feel a bit miserable for a day or so as I wasn’t ready for the book to be finished.

I wanted more.

I was not ready to say goodbye to the characters.

The worst is when I think there is more to a book but the last few pages are an extract to the Author’s next book.  Oh gosh – I’m not a happy bookworm in those cases.

I thought I’d list some bookworm confessions and encourage you to share some of yours too.

  1. I’m dreadful at lending out books. I get quite anxious giving out my precious books and often assume the worst (that I will never see them again)!  It irritates me when you lend something out and then have to repeatedly ask for it back.  This is stress I don’t need.
  2. I only joined Goodreads last year but better late than never.
  3. You do not want to go to the movies with me to see a book that has been made into a film.  I sit and point out every single thing that makes the book different.  I tut tut A LOT and then when the movie is finished I’ll roll my eyes and launch into a very long list of reasons why the book was better.  Don’t invite me to movies that were once books.  You have been warned.
  4. I’m a book hoarder of note.  I don’t know how to part with my books.  “I might read it again” is my mantra.
  5. I can never walk past a bookshop.  Nope!  Not possible.
  6. I love giving book gift vouchers as gifts but there is always that moment of “I wish I could keep this for myself” before I hand it over.
  7. This feeling is cured by a trip to a bookstore.
  8. I’ve never been in a bookclub. I’ve heard they are fun and keep meaning to look into it.  Wine and books?  Sign me up!
  9. Once I start a book, I have to finish it.  It pains me because even if I’ve started a book that puts me to sleep I HAVE to struggle through it to the end.
  10. When I’ve read a book but see it with a different cover and title, it really gets to me!  I got all excited for a book by an Author I adore and thought she had brought out a new one as I hadn’t seen the cover before.  Realised it was the same book I had read a while ago but with a new cover.  And changing the title?  I sometimes see that when readers review books on Goodreads.  Why does a book have two different titles?!

Your turn – what are your book loves and peeves?

xx

Friday happiness

New pic

Happy Friday everyone!  Bit chilly today (cardigan and heater on as I type).  I’m still wearing dresses and pretending that it isn’t autumn.

This week wasn’t my ultimate favourite.   I’ve signed up for a meditation course which I mentioned and just felt like irritations from the day followed me there in the evening.  I wasn’t able be as relaxed as I was in the first session which annoyed me.  I’m an overthinker of note.  Trying to stop it.  Work in progress.

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:

  • Chilled Friday evening – just what was needed after a really busy week.
  • Yoga on Saturday.
  • Really productive Sunday.  I cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed and did a load of washing.  After brunch we went to get new flowers for the garden, did a grocery shop for the week, pottered around in the garden and relaxed outside before the rain.
  • Drinking more water
  • Going for a run on Monday when we really didn’t feel like it but feeling so good afterwards.
  • Same for Wednesday (before my meditation session).  It was a really rushed evening.
  • Wine
  • Lindt chocolate that my boss brought back from Switzerland.  I’ve saved it for tonight.
  • Rain!
  • Spoilt myself with some goodies from Clinique.  I purchased some moisturizer, quad of eye-shadow and a lip gloss and qualified for the free gift with purchase and 2 samples of my choice.  Got it delivered this week and it seriously made my day!

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I’ve got yoga tomorrow morning which I’m looking forward to.  I love the hour that I spend at the studio and feel as if it is a gift I give myself.

xx

March 2019 recap – what is new with you? Link up

Link up

Today, being the first Thursday of the month I’m linking up with the lovely Kirsten from http://www.seeyouinaporridge.com/

March seemed to go slower than February for me.  The weather is getting cooler and I had to admit this one morning when I put the heater on in the office as I was shivering in my dress (I wear my summer clothes for as long as possible in the hope that winter won’t arrive.  So far it has not worked).

We played bowls with my in-laws one evening after work, I did lots of running and more yoga classes.  I signed up for a meditation course which I started at the end of March.

We went to Langebaan one Saturday for a cycle and brunch.  Did a day trip to Hermanus and was sorry that one of our favourite restaurants for breakfast had closed.

Hubby had a photo featured at an exhibition one evening and it was wonderful to attend and see all the work on display.  I was such a proud wife ❤

Mark

Photo

I read some really good books and will review them soon.   I thoroughly enjoyed the 2 fictional books “How to be happy” by Eva Woods and “Did you see Melody” by Sophie Hannah.  Couldn’t put either down.

We treated ourselves to new goodies at home a Smeg kettle and some Le Creseut containers for tea and coffee.  Sometimes you need to spoil your kitchen with pretty things 🙂

I gave some thought to studying further – this is something that I’m looking into doing in a year or two.  I’m not saying anything until I’ve enrolled – it is a big adventure and comes with a price tag to match.  I need to know that I am 100% committed before I proceed.  Hubby is saying to go for it and has been encouraging with each step of my decision which I appreciate (so amazing to be with someone who encourages your dreams – I can never say how much this means to me).  I’ve done a few courses over the years and know that studying while working is not easy.  I have studied both through my work before and have done creative courses just for myself and both require time management and dedication.  Our evenings and weekends are precious and I need to know I’m not wasting time and money before I make the final decision.

I did some baking and realised I hadn’t baked in quite a while.  It was a relaxing start to one of our weekends, spending an evening in the kitchen and filling it with good smells. Hubby was making dinner and I was pottering around in my oven mitts filling the baking trays.  The chocolate cupcakes lasted until Sunday afternoon when we polished the last ones off and they were so good!

I had a great dinner with a friend one evening after work and I was reminded what a blessing having good friends in your life is.  I need to make more time for friends because life gets busy and before you know it, the months fly by and you hardly see each other.

And that was March in a nutshell!

xx

April goals and mantras

And just like that we are in April!

Autumn is really here, the weather is getting colder and we have the Easter weekend in a couple of weeks to look forward to.

goals and mantras

As today is the first Monday of the month it means linking up with the Peaceful Posse – Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/ with monthly goals and mantras

First, lets do a recap from last months goals:

  • Go to more yoga classes than February
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Get new washing machine
  • Read 3 books
  • Update blog 10 times, do a Sun City recap post and do more blog link ups.  Schedule at least 2 posts.  Blogged 13 times, done, done and yes to scheduling a few posts.
  • Organise kitchen cupboard
  • Play bowls with hubby’s parents one evening after work
  • Do my nails more often.  ❤ my Morgan Taylor collection.
  • Drink more water

I don’t know when last I ticked everything off my list but damn it feels good!

My goals for April are:

  • Continue going to yoga
  • Complete meditation course I started last month
  • Make time for good friends
  • Go for some pampering at a spa
  • Read 2 books
  • Update blog 10 times and continue doing link ups

My mantras for April are:

“One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change” – Unknown.

“Notice the people who are happy for your happiness and sad for your sadness.  They’re the ones who deserve special places in your heart” – Unknown.

The second quote is something I’ve been thinking about for a while and I’d like to do a post on it soon.

Here is to a great April!

xx