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

Humpday confessions

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It is Wednesday which means we are halfway through the week and it is the perfect time for a session of humpday confessions.

Confession #1:  I’m so happy with our new washing machine that I cannot complain that our old one gave up the ghost.  The day before our holiday I did one final wash before we flew the next morning and the machine gave its final spin.  I had all our clothes ironed and holiday outfits packed so wasn’t too bothered.  Thought maybe it was just tired and I tried to coax it back to life when we returned.

It was like Nope, I’m done.  The new one has all these fancy extras so it was out with the old and in with the new.

Confession #2:  I don’t care how middle aged this makes me sound, new appliances make me happy.

Confession #3:  Easter is next month but already we are well into the Easter egg eating.  Bought one of those packs of the 6 hard coated eggs which are so delicious.  Had to be careful with my braces but YUM!  I do suspect hubby ate an extra one but I was feeling generous 🙂

Confession #4:  Was easy to feel generous when I was spoilt with a new Smeg kettle earlier this week.  Been wanting one for ages and love how retro they look.

Confession #5:  I had such a great time playing bowls the other evening.  It was hubby and his Mom on a team and his Dad and I on the other.  Towards the end I go the hang of it and even learn some lingo!  Got to shout out “we are holding” which means my father-in-law had the bowl (also called a wood) closest to the jack.  Hubby and his Mom won and I’m looking forward to a rematch.  Competitive much?  Um…..YES!

So that is my list of confessions, nothing to scandalous haha!

xx

TBB Asks: Shop ’til You Drop Edition

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Today I’m linking up with the Blended Blog http://www.theblendedblog.com/ on a topic I love 🙂

1.)  Top 3 Shops:

Truworths and Woolworths

Red Square

Pandora

Yes, I’m aware that is 4.

2.)  In-store or online?

In-store. 

3.) Favourite thing to shop for:

Clothes, shoes, perfume and cosmetics.

Cannot chose just one.

4.)  Hate shopping for:

Jeans.  I have to try on so many pairs before finding the perfect fit. 

5.)  Favourite thing ever bought:

My Polo handbag.

6.)  Shopping alone or with others?

With others.  I have a friend who is the best shopping pal in the world and we plan a shopping day a couple of times a year.  She’ll find exactly what I want, in my size and won’t rest until we find it. 

7.)  Best bargain

I’m good at waiting for Clinique gift with purchase promotions before stocking up on what I need. 

8.)  Thrift store shopping?

When I was younger I’d look at book stores and find the odd bargain but haven’t in years.

9.)  Best cities for shopping

Cape Town

10.)  Style or fashion icon

Sarah Jessica Parker

xx

March goals and mantras

goals and mantras

Hello March!

February flew by far too quickly for my linking!  It was a wonderful month as I celebrated my birthday in Wilderness and we went to Sun City (got back Friday evening).  A blissful week spent in one of our favourite places and hours each day in Pilanesberg National Park looking at the amazing wildlife (plus so many beautiful birds).  I’ll do a post soon but today is the first Monday of the month which 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

My February goals were:

  • Go to yoga as often as I can
  • Read 3 books
  • Do a birthday recap post on my blog
  • Blog 8 times – updated my blog 7 times. 
  • Organise bathroom cupboard
  • 1-2 days offline a week

I would have liked to have attended more yoga classes but February was a very busy month and I’m glad that I did at least go when I could.  I spent my entire holiday with my data OFF and it was BLISS.  What is up with people that KNOW you are on holiday but think they can Whatsapp you to make plans, share quotes/jokes or e-mail you and basically eat into YOUR time off?  Can someone please tell me what is up with that?  I now always switch my data off and since most people don’t sms but use Whatsapp it is instant peace and quiet.

My March goals are:

  • 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.
  • 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

My mantras for February are being carried over to March.

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with – Jim Rohn

Your circle should want to see you win.  Your circle should clap the loudest when you have good news.  If they don’t, get a new circle – unknown.

With one new one:

I no longer have the energy for meaningless friendships, forced interactions and unnecessary conversations – Joquesse Eugenia

xx

Birthday weekend recap

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My birthday was at the beginning of the month and I’ve been meaning to do a recap ever since.  Is everyone else finding their February fly by?

One of my favourite spots to visit is Wilderness which is up the Garden Route and it is absolutely stunning.  We drove up on the Friday morning and when we arrived had breakfast at Flava.  Drove on to Knysna before check in and walked around.

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I love this verse and message ❤

Made our way back to Wilderness and checked into one of our favourite B&B’s.

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We stayed in one of the cottages and they made such a fuss of my birthday.

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The cottage we stayed in had a lovely deck outside which looked out onto the pool and pretty garden.

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Cocomo restaurant in Wilderness is a favourite of ours to visit when we stay there.  They have live music in the evenings and the vibe is just super relaxed – you feel instantly chilled when you arrive.

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Had some birthday drinks.

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Some more…….

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We had some poppers to snack on before dinner.

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We made our way to Pomodora for dinner afterwards.  Their pizza and pasta is simply amazing and I highly recommend them for great food.  A friend suggested them years ago and now we make sure we have all our dinners there when in Wilderness.  Booking is essential because they are so popular.

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The next morning at the guesthouse, this was my breakfast plate 🙂

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Afterwards we went to Sedgefield and visited the market and bought some goodies.  I LOVE my mosaic tortoise and he looks great in the garden 🙂

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After the market we drove on to Brenton-on-sea.

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We were very fortunate with the weather which stayed sunny until just before dinner that evening.  There was some heavy rain (which when you are from Cape Town you don’t complain about) but the rest of the weekend was sunny and warm.

Had another dinner at Pomodora and made our way back to the guesthouse.

After another delicious breakfast the next morning we packed up, said goodbye to our lovely hosts and made our way back to Cape Town.

A great start to being 36!

xx

Weekly gratitude

On Fridays I usually link up with Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte  http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth  http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/ with a weekly gratitude list.

This week I’m doing it on a Monday for a change.

  • I went to yoga last Monday and LOVED it.  I did find the class tougher than the last time but enjoyed it thoroughly.
  • Day trip to Langebaan – had a delicious breakfast at Ginja Beanz.  Their omelettes are so good.
  • I managed to get a last minute appointment at my favourite spa for Saturday.  Got a French Spa pedicure and it was so relaxing.
  • Clinique free gift with purchase – the bag is so cute!

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  • Smarties.  Ate boxes of them this week.
  • Good books that draw you in and make it impossible to put them down.
  • Adding a bird to our lifer list (Wood Owl) they are adorable!
  • Orange Lindt chocolate
  • Going to gym after work even though it would have been easier to get on the couch with the rest of the Orange Lindt Chocolate haha!
  • Having a cup of tea now at the end of a really busy day.

Have a great week everyone.

xx