Friday musings

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This week was a good one.  Had an awesome date night with Hubby on Tuesday.  I went to gym and started running again.  Ate healthy meals.  Slept better than I have in months.  The scale took note of me putting my running shoes on and not eating a packet of biscuits just because it was in the kitchen cupboard.

So all in all it was good.  And it is about to get better because today is Friday and the weekend is exactly 2 hours and 10 minutes away.

Each Friday Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://www.thebethnextdoor.com/  host a link up called What’s up weekend?  Bloggers take stock of what made them happy during the week and it is a wonderful way to start the weekend as we share our gratitude lists.

This week I have lots to list, so let me get started:

  • An amazing time in Hermanus – stayed in the penthouse at our favourite hotel on Saturday night.  I’ll do a post next week but in the meantime will say I am grateful for the lovely getaway Mark planned for us.
  • 2 x 30 minute runs after work this week.
  • Date night with my love on Tuesday
  • Doing a guest post on Lecy’s blog https://asimplergrace.blogspot.co.za/2017/11/asg-creative-corner-anthea.html

This was the first time I was a guest on a blog 🙂  Lecy explained everything perfectly and it was wonderful to share something creative with other bloggers.

  • Wednesday evening was just one filled with contentment. Did grocery shopping and came home and chilled on the bench in our garden.
  • Mark planted a tree in our garden and it finishes it off perfectly.
  • Hot chocolate – yes I know it is summer but I love hot drinks all year round
  • Getting more sleep. Haven’t been sleeping great and it was wonderful waking up feeling refreshed rather than utterly exhausted.
  • The wonderful blogging community that I’ve been fortunate to join. When I started my blog it was just a little creative space for me and I feel so blessed to have gotten to know fellow bloggers in the process.
  • Healthier meals this week.  Been experimenting with different vegetable and chicken stir-fry combinations – delicious.

Hubby and I are going out for dinner tonight, tomorrow we are having a braai and I’ve got shopping with a friend on Sunday so a good weekend is just waiting for 4:00pm to roll around.

What are you grateful for this week?

xx

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A trip to paradise – our Sun City and Pilanesberg National Park adventure

Last month Mark and I had a super holiday in Sun City and enjoyed hours in Pilanesberg National Park which is an amazing place to visit.  I’ve finally downloaded my pics so I can share them in a post.

We flew to Lanseria on a Saturday and stayed in a stunning B & B in Rustenburg for 2 nights.

Each day we drove to Pilanesberg National Park which was 45 minutes away.  We spotted elephants, lions, giraffes, zebra, warthogs, kudu, wildebeest and numerous birds (our lifer list is currently 217!) and kept hoping we’d see a leopard.

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On the Monday (after a delicious breakfast) we set off for Pilanesberg and saw many beautiful animals but the leopard continued to elude us.  We went to check in at Sun City, went to the shops to get supplies for our braai and wondered if we should return to the Park before coming back for supper.

Were we glad we did!  Our first sighting of a leopard took place that evening (around 5:20pm) and it was out of this world.  I was speechless at this magnificent creature and hubby positioned our car perfectly which meant that this male leopard walked directly up to our car.  After pausing he stopped within 2 metres of our vehicle before he walked away from us towards some trees.  The sighting must have been a few seconds but time stood still as we just watched this majestic member of the big five.  I am so grateful that hubby grabbed his camera and took this amazing picture (albeit with shaking hands).

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That evening we had a braai on our balcony (Sun City has great self-catering apartments at the Vacation Club) and just sat re-living the amazing moment of finally seeing a leopard!

Tuesday brought with it more beautiful sightings in Pilanesberg.  We had brunch at Lost City Golf Course, walked around and soaked up the holiday atmosphere.

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The Gary Player Country Club was gearing up for the Nedbank Golf Challenge but the salon and spa were still open.  I decided to treat myself to a new hairdo while we were there.

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We were so lucky with the weather – it was hot every day – we were so glad we’d packed accordingly as the weather was still chilly in Cape Town when we’d left.

Later in the week we spotted Cheetahs which was magnificant!  Another early morning drive brought with it a lion which ran directly towards our car!  Sightings wise this was our best holiday to this amazing place.

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There is so much to do at Sun City – we visited Valley of the Waves, the Casino, walked around the Lost City golf course and then post afternoon drives in Pilanesberg we chilled on our balcony with a drink and enjoyed a braai.  There are loads of restaurants, 2 golf courses, many shops, a maze, a crocodile farm, cinemas, a spa and hair salon, putt-putt and of course all the game drives and outdoor activities on offer.

We left on the Friday afternoon after lunch at Lost City and made our way to the airport.  It was a fantastic holiday and we cannot wait to return.

xx

All images are copyrighted to Anthea Booysen 

Weekly catch up and gratitude list

Hello Friday.  You certainly took your time.  I’ve required vast amounts of tea, patience and – well lets be honest – wine but I’m really glad you’ve rocked up and will be bringing the weekend in a few hours.

Each Friday Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://www.thebethnextdoor.com/  host a link up called What’s up weekend?  Bloggers take stock of what made them happy during the week and it is a wonderful way to start the weekend as we share our gratitude lists.

  • Awesome weekend. Delicious breakfasts out, long drives, a nap and chilling with hubby. Bliss.
  • I sorted out our wardrobe – moved the winter clothes so there is space for the summer ones. Looks so organised and I’ll be honest I feel rather smug everytime I open the doors and see everything folded and hung neatly.
  • Fresh linen.
  • Reading with a cup of tea each morning.
  • Started a new gratitude journal this week.
  • Dinner at Cattle Baron on Tuesday evening.
  • Lunch with a work friend on Wednesday.
  • My husband and his endless patience.
  • Mark planning something awesome for us this weekend…..cannot wait for tomorrow.
  • Going back to gym last night and running for 30 minutes – felt exhausted but awesome afterwards.

What is on your list today?

xx

 

Hello Friday

Well it is about time!  I thought Friday would never arrive!  The week started well but won’t go down as my favourite week.  Or anywhere near the top 100.  Still struggling with letting things go, finding it is easier to make mountains out of molehills and reaching for a glass of wine instead of my gym shoes after a long day a couple of times this week.  Not my greatest attempt at adulting.

The weather is warming up here and we had thunder and lightening on Wednesday evening.  I’ve been battling to sleep properly for ages now – I wake up for no reason at odd times and then toss and turn until falling into a deep sleep just before the alarm goes off.  And that is without a storm outside!

So I’m not feeling my greatest at the moment.  I climbed on the scale this morning and promptly climbed off.  Good grief!  The comfort food this week came with a price!

Anyway it is Friday and that means sharing what made me happy this week:

  • Meeting a friend for tea and cake at a beautiful wine farm on Saturday afternoon. We chatted for hours and the time just flew.
  • Breakfast at Fraiche Ayres with hubby.
  • Got so much done on Sunday. Hubby trimmed a tree, we bought new doormats, hand towels and a dishrack. I finally decided on an orchid for the kitchen (each time I got to the shop I tried to choose one and they all look so pretty so I couldn’t decide). We had lunch and then took a long chilled drive before going to Cattle Baron for dinner.
  • Flowers that bounce back in the garden with just a bit of rain.

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  • Making Monday evening a chilled one.  Postponed gym and has a slow and enjoyable evening with a delicious but healthy dinner.
  • That Tuesday went well. It was the anniversary of my Gran passing away and so it was the final ‘first’. For ages I’ve been dreading that day but Tuesday went surprisingly smoothly and I felt a lot calmer than I have in a while. Got such thoughtful and kind messages from friends and I was filled with gratitude. My Gran was an amazing lady and I will always miss her but she has left me with such wonderful memories and for that I’ll always be grateful.
  • Boerewors rolls and chips – comfort food after a long day.
  • Getting on top of the laundry.
  • Wine. Tea can only do so much.
  • Finishing another book so I’m on track for my goal of reaching 40 books by the end of the year.

What is on your gratitude list right now?

xx

Book review: Without you by Saskia Sarginson

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It is 1984 and teenager Eva is missing.  She is presumed drowned after her father and her were caught in a storm while sailing.

Eva’s father survives and the guilt he feels is overwhelming.  Eva’s mother is grieving the loss of Eva but also angry at what happened.  Not being on the boat she has unanswered questions and needs to know why Eva wasn’t wearing a lifejacket.

Eva’s younger sister Faith refuses to accept that her sister has drowned and is determined to prove everyone wrong.

There is an island close by but it is out of bounds.  What nobody knows is that Eva is in one of the deserted buildings being held captive.  She is desperate to escape but it is impossible.

Saskia Sarginson has the ability to describe things so vividly that you feel transported to each scene and like a silent visitor watching the characters.  Readers get to understand how each character is feeling as their story is shared.  Eva’s parents and how they met is described as the book moves back in time and the secret that they kept from Eva is revealed bit by bit.  The grief they feel is heartbreaking – they are experiencing this nightmare together but don’t feel as if they can turn to each other in their darkest hour.

Eva’s experiences as she is held captive is described vividly.  The bleak days and long nights, her hunger, her longing to escape and see her family again.  The comforts of home she remembers are vastly different to the harsh existence out on the island.

Faith watches her parents and is enveloped in the sadness that sits in the household but she is determined not to give up hope.  She believes Eva is alive and just needs to get to the island to save her.

I highly recommend this book and I couldn’t put it down!  Another brilliant page-turner from Saskia Sarginson.

xx

November mantras and goals

October really flew by in a flash!  I cannot believe we are in November already – every year just seems to speed by faster than the one before.  Tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of my Gran passing away and we will have officially have had all the sad ‘firsts’.  The first Christmas, New Year, birthday, Easter, all the first occasions without her.

I’ve felt absolutely awful before the first of everything and tomorrow will be the last first.  A friend sent a beautiful quote to me last night:

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It was just what I needed to be reminded of.

My November mantras are:

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This ties in with a post I did on letting go https://my30somethingadventures.wordpress.com/2017/10/04/on-letting-go/

I’ve been trying to put it into practice.  I have so much to be grateful for and yet I continue to let the past upset me at times.  Sometimes you need to close a door.  I’ve tried this before – tried distancing myself to certain family members in my life who want me to constantly think I’m in the wrong no matter what I do.  Nothing I do is good enough and sometimes I seem to forget that it doesn’t matter!  Because I am good enough.  I have wonderful people in my life who love me unconditionally.

And you know what else?  I’m good enough for me.  I don’t need disinterested family members to compliment me to know I’ve done something to feel proud about.  I did it well without their feigned interest while I was growing up – I certainly don’t need fake enthusiasm while I’m a grown up!

My second quote:

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I really need to be more mindful and live in the moment more.

My goals for October were

Go to gym twice a week minimum. Nope!

Read 3 books

Write 8 blog posts minimum

Drive more often.  Stop letting nerves get to me.  Still need to work on this.

More meat free dinners

Stay on top of housework and laundry

Practice patience. Could do better!

Stop lazy suppers! Make a proper grocery list each week and don’t let the vegetables just sit in the fridge while we have pizza.

November goals:

Continue healthy suppers – less red meat!

Go to gym more often

Read 3 books so I can reach my goal of 40 books by the end of the year

Practice patience. Learn to let things go.

Spend more time offline

Take time to appreciate the simple things in life

Here is to an awesome November 🙂

xx

5 Reasons I enjoy being a bookworm

I’ve always loved books and cannot remember a time I haven’t been a bookworm. Here are my top 5 reasons why I wouldn’t change this:

  1. I can be transported anywhere in seconds.  Pick up a book and it can take you back in time or send you ahead into the future. You can be whisked away on your lunch break to somewhere far away and I love that. It is really my favourite form of escapism.
  2. Bookshops make me happy. I always say I’m just going to browse but I know it isn’t the case. I have to buy something. I love to walk into a bookstore and not know what I’ll be purchasing. Just walking along waiting for the right book (or 2) to catch my attention
  3. It is the quickest way for me to relax.  Long day? Work stress? Need a break? Pick up a book. It goes wonderfully with a cup of tea and is the perfect way to de-stress.
  4. I get book hangovers of note and then I know I’ve really enjoyed a book (and could re-read it in future). You know when you read a book so fantastic that you feel super sad when it is finished? That is me. Sometimes I need to take a moment to reflect before delving into the next book.  Sounds dramatic but it is true.
  5. Discovering new Authors and then trying to read everything they have written. Recently I started reading Cathy Kelly’s books and they are awesome. I love a feel-good book.

xx

Quick catch up

I have been on leave and hubby and I spent a week exploring Pilansberg National Park and relaxing in Sun City.

First day back to work today and finally got through sorting my e-mails.  At least it is lunchtime now and I can relax with a cup of tea 🙂

As we were away I missed the weekly gratitude posts but better late than never.  Here is mine for last week 🙂

  • The lovely B & B we stayed in when we landed on Saturday last week. Great start to our holiday.
  • Seeing a leopard for the first time was beyond amazing!!  It was our 3rd day on holiday and we’d visited Pilansberg National Park earlier that day. Hubby felt like going back and I’m so glad we did.  It was a breathtaking experience seeing one so close.
  • Being in nature just relaxed us so much.  I wish I had that chilled feeling on ordinary days too.
  • The amazing weather. It was so hot each day and I was thrilled I’d packed in lots of summer clothes!
  • Spending hours in Pilansberg National Park each day and then returning to have a braai and drinks on the balcony was bliss.
  • Getting a haircut and a tint. I haven’t cut my hair since December last year.  Now it is short and I’m a brunette again!

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  • Making memories with my husband. He always makes our holidays awesome.
  • Fun in Sun City – so much to do there.
  • Taking a break from social media was wonderful.   I had my phone on but didn’t spend any time on Whatsapps, didn’t log into FB or Twitter and it was so peaceful.
  • A quiet weekend after we flew back on Friday night. We had breakfasts out, went through our photos, took a long drive yesterday and it was a great end to our leave.

xx

Book review: My not so Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

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I’ve been reading Sophie Kinsella’s books for over 8 years now.  The first was the start of the Shopaholic series which I loved and I’ve read other stand alone books of hers and enjoyed each of them.

My not so Perfect Life was brilliant and didn’t disappoint. As someone who is feeling rather over social media I knew I’d enjoy this. The book spoke volumes about society’s obsession with having it all while enjoying a perfect life. Or at least having others think that is the case.

Katie (or Cat as she is now known as) has a great job, stunning apartment and is having the time of her life in London. That is what her Instagram account tells people. The reality is sadly very different.  The truth is she’s struggling to make ends meet, barely has friends and she lives in a rented room so cramped she doesn’t have space for a wardrobe.

However to her best friend overseas and her family she is thriving and they only have to look at her Instagram pics to confirm this.

Katie’s boss is a woman called Demeter whom she idolises. Demeter doesn’t sound particularly warm, tactful or friendly but she has everything that Katies dreams about and she feels she can learn a lot from her boss. If only she can get a chance.

When Katie loses her job she is forced to return to her family home. Instead of telling them what has happened she keeps up the pretence and impresses on them she is taking a sabbatical. Katie’s father and stepmother have set up a family business on their farm and Katie helps to run this, designing brochures of their glamping business and eventually assisting with the day to day duties.

When her ex-boss Demeter rocks up with her family for a week of relaxation, Katie is horrified. Will her cover be blown? Or is this an opportunity to get her old job back?

As the days go by Katie is forced to realise something she hadn’t pondered before. Things are not always what they seem and nobody has a perfect life.

I really enjoyed this book and the lessons the characters learnt. For instance society’s fascination with everything being 100% perfect 24/7 – I’m sure many readers will relate to their timelines being filled with life-is-awesome, best-day-ever, #soblessed updates. The lengths Katie goes to so that others will think she is having a fabulous time must be exhausting. But she does it because she feels being honest isn’t an option. Even her father and stepmother have little idea of what she is really going through.

I found the book humorous and recommend it as a fun read.

xx

Happy Friday

Yippeee it is Friday 🙂

Each Friday Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://www.thebethnextdoor.com/  host a link up called What’s up weekend?  Bloggers take stock of what made them happy during the week and it is a wonderful way to start the weekend as we share our gratitude lists.

My list this week:

  • An awesomely lazy Sunday. Hubby made us a delicious breakfast and we lounged around. It rained so he didn’t get the photo he was hoping to get but he stopped off at Dunkin Donuts 🙂
  • Reading Sophie Kinsella’s “My not so perfect life”.   I loved the Shopaholic series and her stand alone books are also wonderful
  • A boss that appreciates my work
  • Going back to gym. Had an awesome workout on Monday after work.
  • Tried a new biltong on Tuesday – delicious
  • Dinner with Mark’s parents on Wednesday
  • Tea with honey – soothing when you’ve got a sore throat
  • Saying no to something and the world not ending
  • Mark’s new phone – this means I get his current one 🙂
  • Weekend is 3 hours and 10 minutes away!

What is on your list right now?

xx