Winter bucket list recap

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It seems like yesterday that I made this list and I’ve mentioned that this winter was one of my favourites.  I just embraced the whole season with open arms and now that spring is here (although today is so cold, it doesn’t quite feel like it) I am doing a recap of my winter bucket list:

  • Go back to the Quiver trees. 
  • Have a weekend in Wilderness.
  • Visit the market in Sedgefield again  
  • Continue going to gym – winter is not an excuse! Could have gone more often but did go!
  • Cycle 45 km’s and increase speed from previous cycle
  • Go to a class offered by the gym instead of only using the treadmill Played squash so I’m still ticking this one off!
  • Do a proper winter shop. Stock up on spencers and thick stockings.  Actually make a list so I don’t return with a pair of sandals on sale.
  • Make soup from scratch – Nope
  • Read both “The power of now” by Eckhart Tolle or “The life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo and put into practice – Read one (Power of Now)
  • Keep up with my book goals – I’m aiming to have read 40 by the end of the year
  • Try a new recipe – savoury or sweet.   Savoury – we took a favourite dinner of ours and made it healthier.
  • Say no to things that don’t interest hubby and I.  Our weekends are precious and I’m putting us first. 

A lot of my overseas friends are going into fall/autumn now as our seasons are opposite.  What was on your seasonal bucket list?

xx

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If you and I had coffee

Hello Friday

Today I’m linking up with Lecy at A Simpler Grace https://asimplergrace.blogspot.com/

If you and I met for coffee I’d suggest a restaurant on a wine farm nearby.  The views are stunning and they have a beautiful outside area at the restaurant where we can sit and relax.

I’d order hot chocolate.  Spring is around the corner but the weather is still chilly and if we are sitting outside, this will warm me up instantly.

If we met for coffee I’d tell you that this winter was the first one that I embraced and actually enjoyed.  I’m not a fan of cold weather but since we need the rain, this year I loved every storm, every thunder shower, every drop!

I’d tell you that I didn’t have a great week last week.  On Wednesday night I had the worst backache I’ve ever had.  Was actually sick from it which was not fun.  Stayed home on Thursday and felt better.  Went back to work on Friday and in the evening the pain was returning but worse.  Saturday morning I was so much pain – went to get an anti-inflammatory from the pharmacy which worked but knocked me out for hours.  Sunday was better but I’m hesitant to keep taking the anti-inflammatories.  I had to cancel plans with a friend on Saturday which was really disappointing – I’d been looking forward to our catch up for weeks.

If you and I met for coffee, I’d take a deep breath before sharing something personal.  It isn’t something I advertise to anyone who isn’t extremely close to me.  Growing up I didn’t have the most fantastic childhood.  For most of it I didn’t feel very valued in my family or anywhere near number 1.  My sister has special needs and so she required a lot of love, patience, time and understanding from my parents.  And I understand that.  But while I didn’t need as much of the above, I didn’t deserve so little of it.

In my family other people were always seen as incredibly important to my parents.  So a relative, a friend, a neighbor – anyone that had a need of any sort was welcomed with open arms.  Our house was always full of people – I can honestly say that being surrounded by people is no guarantee against loneliness.  I had a Gran who loved me unconditionally and I know she knew I wasn’t always having the most amazing time at home while growing up but it wasn’t her place to say anything.  She later told me this as an adult which made me realise that I wasn’t being oversensitive to things.

I grew up and assumed that this unfortunate baggage could be left behind.  But it didn’t.  It required (and still does) a massive suitcase which I lug around each and every day.

And it is exhausting to say the least.

Talking about it with my folks has never worked.  They think they did a sterling job and nothing I say will ever change their mind.

I thought that being an adult would mean I’d stop caring about my past.  But somehow feeling invisible and constantly sidelined has made me terrified it will happen again.

And it sucks.  Immensely.  Those who love me don’t deserve to be bled on by me because of others who did the hurting.  And it is an uphill battle to remember this.

As an adult, I’ve readjusted my expectations of my parents and every time I lower them, I think to myself that they cannot hurt me again.  I went out of my way in January when my Mom was in critical care in the hospital – spending days in Worcester to be near her hospital.  The only request I had afterwards was that they kept me updated with health issues.  Health has always been something they have kept me guessing with.  I literally will know my mother has had an operation after she has had an operation.  I’ll find out she was ill or in pain after she has landed up in the hospital.  And just excuses get given each time.  In April when this happened I was upset but I lowered my expectations yet again and kept up daily contact via Whatsapp on my mother’s hospital visit in June.  I knew which day she was being released from hospital and my phone battery that morning started beeping that it was low.  I sent a frantic message saying I’d catch up later, all the best for the day.  Heard nothing.  Checked e-mails each hour.  Rushed home and charged my phone, no messages, sent another.  No answer.

Their phones were off.

I spent a night worried out of my mind, sent more messages in the morning and got a cheery reply that they were home already the day before.

You’d think I was used to the mind games after over 3 decades but there is still this crushing hurt mixed with disappointment.

They chose to move last year.  It was their decision.  But it has been my husband and my responsibility to visit them each time we’ve seen them.  And I expect nothing and ask less but still nothing I do earns the right to be kept in the loop regarding health issues.  They’ve done this for years – why am I not used to it?

We’d say goodbye and I’d thank you for listening (and promise I’ll be in a better mood at our next coffee date).

What about you?  What would you discuss with a friend on a coffee date?

xx

September mantras and goals

I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that we are in September!  While many bloggers are talking about fall/autumn we are getting ready for spring and I’m looking forward to the warmer weather and not having to wear layers of clothing every day!  The weather is still quite cool at the moment and I’m sitting with the heater on full blast as I type this 🙂

My August goals were:

  • Look into doing yoga Well I sent an e-mail enquiring classes – does that count?
  • Continue to meditate Not as often as I should have
  • Declutter one area or room Nope
  • Put OLW for 2018 into action Not really
  • Read 3 books  Read 2

Yeah I know – terrible.  August just seems to have gotten away from me.

September goals:

  • Go to a yoga class
  • Make time for close friends
  • Declutter wardrobe and donate clothes I don’t wear
  • Read 3 books
  • Blog 10 times
  • Be more mindful
  • Less time online – 2 FB free days a week?

My mantras focus on gratitude and mindfulness this month:

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Tell me, what are your goals and mantras for September?

xx

Sentence a day: August edition

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I got this idea from Lindsay  http://theflynnigans.com  You sum up a month with a sentence (sometimes more) per day and it is basically a snapshot of your month.  Remembering a month day by day is not easy so I keep an electronic record and each day just add the previous day’s highlight or happenings and there you go – 31 days condensed.

Wednesday 1st August: Woke up just before 4:00am and finally fell asleep just minutes before the alarm went off.  Busy day.

Thursday 2nd August: Another busy day.  So glad the weekend is around the corner.

Friday 3rd August:  Decided spur of the moment to have a weekend in Hermanus!  Hubby left early to pack (did a great job), fetched me and we went Hermanus from work.  Did grocery shopping and checked in and had an awesome braai.

Saturday 4th August:  Went to Greyton and did a walk.  Then chilled out and had another braai.

Sunday 5th August: Hubby got an amazing waterfall picture at Harold Porter Botanical Garden.  We had breakfast then made our way home.

Monday 6th August:  Had zero sleep and felt awful.  Stayed at home.

Tuesday 7th August:  Better nights sleep, migraine gone, back to work.  Really busy day, got home and caught up on laundry and ironing and had a delicious dinner.

Wednesday 8th August:  So awesome knowing tomorrow is a public holiday.  We got something ready made from Woolies, drinks to enjoy and had a great evening knowing we could sleep late the next day.

Thursday 9th August:  Public holiday!  Lunch at Cattle Baron then had a long drive and came home and watched a movie.

Friday 10th August:  Back to work.  Busy day, did an assessment for a course I’m doing through work and I got 80% so I was rather chuffed!  Date night with hubby in the evening.  Went to Louis for pizza.

Saturday 11th August:  So nice to lay in after a busy week.  Had brunch at the Rambling Rose and then took a long drive afterwards.

Sunday 12th August:  Super chilled pajama day.  Bliss.

Monday 13th August:  Visited my in-laws after work and then went to Cattle Baron for dinner.

Tuesday 14th August:  Really cold!   So grateful for the heater in the office!

Wednesday 15th August:  Had drinks on our bench outside after work.

Thursday 16th August:  The 2 year anniversary of my blog!

Friday 17th August:  Freezing!  Getting out of bed was such an effort this morning.  Went out for dinner in the evening and had delicious pizza.

Saturday 18th August:  Went for a cycle – I managed 45 km’s which is my longest ever.

Sunday 19th August:  Had a lie in, then caught up with laundry, had a late breakfast, watched movies, napped and went for a drive to Camps Bay.

Monday 20th August:  After work we had a games night at Mark’s parents.  Had so much fun laughing our way through 30 seconds.

Tuesday 21st August:  The dam levels are 60.1%.  Praying for more rain so that by summer they are fuller.

Wednesday 22nd August:  Lovely surprise from my boss’s wife – sushi for lunch.

Thursday 23rd August:  Left my keys at home so I was locked out of my drawer (with work diary, stationery etc) all day.  Very busy and long day.  So glad I’ve got a 3 day weekend!

Friday 24th August:  Hermanus weekend!  Went to look at the Canola fields and Stanford along the way.  Had breakfast at The Brassiere South and then went for another drive. Went to look for whales and spotted a few! Checked in, did grocery shopping and Mark went to take photos of the Canola fields in the afternoon sun – stunning.  Had a delicious braai and was glad we made the most of the beautiful weather because the wind picked up and a storm was on the way.

Saturday 25th August:  Seriously windy day.  We had breakfast and then took a drive along to De Kelders and then to Pearly Beach.  Got back and I was so relaxed I had a nap. Hubby made us an amazing braai and as he finished it started pouring with rain – great timing.  Watched rugby while it poured with rain.

Sunday 26th August:  Woke up to hail!  Had tea in bed while hubby went to look for whales and then came back for breakfast.  We packed up and went to the Spur for nachos – YUM.

Monday 27th August:  Freezing weather!

Tuesday 28th August:  Work function after work.  Had a great evening at a stunning restaurant in Gardens.

Wednesday 29th August:  Really busy day at work.

Thursday 30th August:  Even busier day!  Hello Friday?  Are you there?

Friday 31st August:  Hooray for the weekend!  Date night – went to have pizza at Louis – delicious!

xx

Hello spring!

Winter

It seems like just the other day it was autumn and I was filled with envy for those going into summer.  I’m not a winter person and wasn’t looking forward to the long cold months ahead.  But then a few weeks in I decided to make the most of the season and focus on the positives and you know what?

I loved this winter.

I changed my mindset from someone who used to complain “it is so cold” numerous times a day to that of gratitude.  I made a winter bucket list of things I wanted to do during the season.   I loved every moment of the rain because it meant dam levels would increase and often when it poured outside, I’d take a few minutes to watch it.  The other day at work, I took a moment out of a busy day to just sit and watch the rain and felt so grateful.

The rain has meant beautiful waterfalls which Mark has been taking stunning photographs of.  He is going to make a 2019 calendar with these photos and I cannot wait to see the end result once it is printed.

Our winters are not as cold as those that some of my overseas friends experience.  When we talk about snow, it is on top of the mountains not our gardens.  However we’ve had some cold weather and I’ve been very grateful for heaters!  At night after a quick shower I would get into my jim jams and thick gown and get comfy under blankets on the couch.  On days with good weather we’d go for a cycle or plan a day trip and make the most of it.  There was no hibernating and waiting for spring!  We went on adventures and spent loads of time in Hermanus.  Had a great weekend in Wilderness and visited the Northern Cape to see the Quiver trees.

I genuinely loved this winter.  I’m not saying I loved the cold temperatures but I did make the most of the season.  Now that spring is here (although it doesn’t feel like it just yet) I’ll admit that the time flew by very quickly.   It is amazing how changing my mindset (and attitude) made the last few months so different to previous winters.  I spent the cold months feeling content instead of wishing the time away and I focused on simple pleasures.  Sitting a few days ago drinking tea in bed while it rained outside was a wonderful way to start my day.

The collage at the top of this post are highlights from snapshots over the past few months.

Seasons are like life….it is what you make of it that counts.

xx

Weekend recap and weekly gratitude

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I usually do a gratitude list on a Friday with the weekend starting just a few hours later.

However, today I’m doing one on a Monday afternoon as I’m filled with gratitude after a stunning weekend (and was on leave on Friday).

So my gratitude list for last week includes:-

  • Great date night the Friday before
  • Breakfast at one of our favourite coffee shops the Saturday before
  • Cycled 45 km’s. Was exhausted afterwards but proud!
  • The most delicious pasta which hubby made us
  • Game night with my in-laws one evening after work.  Had so many laughs!
  • A crisp glass of wine
  • Dam levels reaching 60%. The restrictions will be in place for a long time but at least the dam levels are improving.
  • Realising that multi-tasking just adds stress and finding ways to be more present and in the moment.
  • Morgan Taylor nail polish.
  • 4 day week!

3 day weekends are the best.  That one extra day combined with a weekend away felt like a little holiday.  We went to Hermanus and anyone that reads my blog (or has known me for more than 5 minutes) will realise I seriously love this place.  After a super long day on Thursday I was SO ready for Friday.  We packed after work and I was so excited for our long weekend.

Friday morning we set off early and went to look at the Canola fields and stop off in Stanford on the way.  The fields looked beautiful but I must say it is difficult to get a photo that does it justice.  I snapped a few on my phone – obviously Mark’s photos were a lot better as he used his camera.  Anyway I love the bright yellow and it felt like the earth saying “spring is around the corner”.

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We had breakfast in Hermanus at a restaurant called Brasserie South.  The food was delicious and the service excellent.  I enjoy a restaurant that makes you feel welcome from the moment you arrive.

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The weather was cold but sunny and we saw whales which were swimming so close by – always such an amazing sight.

We were so happy with the weather as we knew a cold front was moving in the next day.

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We checked in, did grocery shopping for the weekend and then went back to the Canola fields so Mark could take some more photos.

Drove back, had a drink and then a delicious braai.

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Friday refreshments on a beautiful afternoon 🙂

Saturday morning the wind had picked up and it was quite strong.  Usually Mark goes to the Botanical Gardens to find waterfalls but he got there and turned around.  We had breakfast and then drove to De Kelders and Pearly Beach.  Came back and Mark started the braai – the wind was picking up as the storm was on its way and he timed it perfectly.  As he finished, it started pouring!  We ate inside listening to the heavy rain and feeling very grateful Mark started the braai earlier than usual!

After pudding we watched the rugby and then I took out my book, got comfy and fell asleep.

We woke up to hail on Sunday and it was lovely to roll over and go back to sleep for a few hours.  After breakfast we packed and went to the Spur for nachos before making our way home.

And now it is back to work!  What about you?  What did you get up to over the weekend?

xx

Friday gratitude

Gratitude

Goodness gracious but did Friday take its time this week or what?

It is freezing at the moment and getting out of bed this morning was such an effort.  I just kept reminding myself that tomorrow is Saturday and that means no alarms to be set and a long lie in.

This week just went on and on and despite all my plans I didn’t even make it once to gym.  You know where you have good intentions to go for a run and plans for a very healthy dinner?  But you find yourself with a burger in front of you and a glass of wine in your hand.  And you just think well I’m here now….. like getting to the restaurant had nothing to do with you?

Anyway despite a to-do list that is very incomplete and some guilt at not adulting very well this week, it is Friday.  Which means I’m linking up with Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/ with my weekly gratitude list:

  • Fun date night last Friday.  Had really good pizza with hubby and it was the perfect start to the weekend.
  • Sunday being a really relaxing day where I could catch up on laundry, nap, watch loads of TV, read and drink lots of tea.
  • Visiting my in-laws on Monday after work.  My MIL went for a 6 month check up after her op last year and the result was good.
  • Laughing at old National Lampoon vacation movies.  We watched the Vegas and European vacation and I’m still giggling at random parts.
  • Completing an assessment for a course I’m doing through work and getting 80%.
  • Deciding to take up yoga.  I’ve got the info I need, now I must just go for a session!
  • Realising I have so much work to do on myself but letting go of the past is the first big step in this journey.
  • The 2 year anniversary of my blog was yesterday.
  • Reading Lucy Diamond’s “On a beautiful day” and loving it so far.
  • The heater in the office.  It makes such a difference on cold winter days.

The weekend is a few hours away and I’m looking forward to it.  We are having pizza again this evening and tomorrow hoping to go for a cycle after breakfast.

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

xx

August mantras and goals

Yes I know it is the 13th already but this month is flying and before I know it August will be over and spring will be on the way.

So lets see how July went:

  • Read 3 books  Read 4
  • Update Goodreads with books I’ve read
  • Blog 10 times I blogged 9 times
  • Do more creative writing
  • Drive more often Nope
  • Meditate after a stressful day I need to do this more often
  • Continue being mindful  Work in progress
  • Continue going to gym and don’t use winter as an excuse  Nope
  • Make hubby’s birthday at the end of the month awesome 🙂 Mark had a great birthday and we both had a lovely time in Wilderness

So onto August.  Herewith my mantras:

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These quotes tie in beautifully with my OLW for 2018 which is release.  Each time I think I’ve found the way to live out my word successfully, I take a few steps forward and reverse 5 kilometers.  It is really something I’m finding difficult.  I know I’m an over-thinker and I know I’m way to sensitive but I just cannot let some things go!

August goals:

  • Look into doing yoga
  • Continue to meditate
  • Declutter one area or room
  • Put OLW into action
  • Read 3 books

 

What about you?  What is on your list for August?

xx

 

Hello Friday!

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It was a short week for us – yesterday was a public holiday in South Africa.  It was lovely having a day off in the middle of the week and we had some great weather which was a win.

Now today is back to work and I have quite a to-do list to get through before 4:00pm.  Still it is nice to know that despite feeling like a Monday, it is definitely a Friday and the weekend is hours away.

And since it is Friday, I’m linking up with Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/ with my weekly gratitude list:

  • Last weekend being extremely spontaneous and fun.  Decided last Friday morning while we were at work to go to Hermanus for another weekend.  Left the office early and had a wonderful time.
  • Having a braai even in the cold weather.  We love it all year round.
  • Wednesday evening – we bought something ready-made from Woolies, got some drinks and had a super evening knowing we could sleep late the next day.
  • Beautiful roses from Mark
  • Being spoilt yesterday – was taken out to lunch and then for a long drive afterwards
  • Rain earlier this week
  • Fresh bedding
  • Bought another candle from Pure in Hermanus over the weekend and cannot wait to use it.  Their candles smell SO good.

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  • A new Lucy Diamond book.  Only 30 pages in but LOVING it.
  • Tea.  This week has been busy and I find I’m just a nicer person when I’ve had loads of tea in between deadlines!

The last few weekends we’ve been in Hermanus and Wilderness so this is going to be a quiet one.  We’re going out for pizza tonight and then tomorrow hubby is going to do some photography in the morning before we have brunch.  We want to do some gardening and replace some plants so that is on our to-do list.  I plan on doing some creative writing – I used to do NaNoWriMo each November for years and miss it.  Been working on something in my spare time and enjoying it so far.

What about you?  What is on your gratitude list this week?  Any exciting plans for the weekend?

xx

 

Weekend in Wilderness

We celebrated hubby’s birthday last month and the time has just flown.  I’ve been wanting to do a post on our weekend since last week but better late than never.

One of our favourite places to stay in, is the Garden Route and visiting Wilderness is always a treat.  We each get to choose where to spend our birthdays and I was super happy when Mark chose Wilderness for his birthday weekend at the end of July.  We got up very early on the Friday so that we could be there for breakfast and make the most of our getaway.

We always go to Flava for breakfast on the first day (we have breakfast at the B&B the rest of the time).  I love the décor and the food is always good.

The birthday boy 🙂

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After a delicious breakfast we drove to Knysna.  Mark wanted to visit Brenton-on-Sea and I’m so glad we did.  It was cold but well worth a walk around.

Couldn’t resist a selfie!

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We then took a slow drive back to Wilderness and checked in.  The B & B we stayed in is called Mont Fleur and is our favourite!

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The owners knew it was Mark’s birthday so they made a birthday sign on the wall.  It is the thoughtful touches like this that keep us coming back.

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Then we made our way to Cocomos for drinks and had a super chilled afternoon.

Later we made our way to Pomodora for the most delicious pizzas.  I was so glad hubby had a great birthday – the weather wasn’t the best but we cannot be fussy in winter!

Saturday morning, Mark went to the Wilderness National Park which is nearby.  I stayed in bed drinking tea and reading.  It was nice to lay late after the early start the day before.  After breakfast we made our way to the market in Sedgefield which was great fun.  We bought some t-shirts and I had a feather put in my hair.  Quite a nice pink and blue one.  We then made our way back and decided to do a trail walk in Wilderness National Park.

We thoroughly enjoyed our adventure and the weather had cleared up a bit so it was pleasantly warm.  To get across the river we had to use a pontoon which was fun!

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On the pontoon

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Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the waterfall at the end of the hike as this falls on private property.

The walk, however was so beautiful and I was glad we’d gone, even if we didn’t get to see the waterfall.

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On the way back we heard a Woodpecker which I always enjoy seeing.  Unfortunately we could only hear this one but it shows how peaceful and quiet it was on this walk.

We then had a repeat of our Friday afternoon and evening and visited Cocomos and Pomodoro’s again.  Seriously when I say that their pizzas are my favourite, I’m not joking.

The next day we had breakfast at the B&B and then packed up and made our way home.  the weather had clouded over and so we were grateful we’d had one sunny day.  I’m glad hubby had a great birthday and must say even though mine is months away, I’m keen to return to Wilderness 🙂

xx