Weekly gratitude

I’m linking up with  Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/ with my weekly gratitude list.  I meant to post on Friday but am doing today instead.  I actually have more to add from the weekend so here goes:

  • Going to the gym last week even when I felt like having a lazy evening after a very busy day.  I was so glad after I’d been!
  • Having dinner with a friend on Tuesday evening.
  • Watching Johnny English 3 at the movies.  Even though I didn’t find it as funny as the first 2, there are some hilarious parts.
  • Ticking everything off my weekly to-do list.
  • Hot chocolate with marshmallows
  • Making it to my goal weight.  I set a goal for myself in April this year and on Friday morning I reached it.
  • Going on a hike on Friday – it was great.
  • Meeting a friend for tea on Saturday and chatting for hours.
  • Having a productive Sunday yesterday.  Had breakfast out, did a quick shop, came home and did some gardening, decluttered and organised the study, went for a drive and had supper in front of the TV watching My Kitchen Rules South Africa.  A busy but wonderful day.

Now it is Monday lunchtime and I’ve got some things to finish before hometime.  Then off to the gym, grocery shopping, shower then it is dinner and couch time 🙂  We are watching Manifest at the moment and only seeing episode 1 so far.  Looking forward to the next one, along with MasterChef Australia starting later in the week.

Hope everyone has a great week further.

xx

Humpday confessions

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Confession no. 1:  As excited as I am for spring and the warmer weather, I am not complaining that we’ve had some chilly mornings and evenings.  I love pressing snooze in the mornings and snuggling for a few more minutes.

Confession no. 2:  I have serious case of buyers remorse.  More like non-buyers-remorse over a pair of shoes.  I saw a navy pair of wedges a few weeks ago and didn’t buy them.  I know the chance that there is stock at the shop I’m going to this evening is non-existent. Why didn’t I just buy them when I first saw them??

Confession no. 3:  In April this year I started watching what I ate and according to the scale this morning, I’m 9.5 kg’s down.  I started by bringing my own lunch to work instead of ordering one of the options at the office.  The lunches we get here are super delicious so I started by ordering fewer days a week before cutting it out completely and just bringing my own.  Now I eat as healthily as I can from Mon – Thurs and treat myself on weekends.  My appetite has definitely decreased over the months and my clothes fit so much better.

Confession no.  4:  Along with a smaller appetite I’ve noticed that I haven’t had wine in ages.  At first it was because of my sore back and painkillers but my back is feeling better and haven’t needed anything for the pain in weeks.  Now I just feel like iced tea instead of a glass of rose (or a cider) lately.

Confession no. 5:  I sat at 3 different tables last night before having dinner with a friend. I felt like Beverley Goldberg in the episode of the Goldbergs where the family go to a restaurant and Beverley keeps asking for a new table.  Wherever I sat I was cold!  The table we eventually settled on was perfect and I’m so glad the waitress suggested it.

xx

Hello October!

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I cannot say that September was my favourite month this year.  The back ache that appeared with no warning and then hung around for over 2 weeks wasn’t fun.  Work has been incredibly busy and I’ve been feeling quite stressed since the end of August.  Alot of September felt like I was constantly trying to catch up with the previous day – often felt like I was running in circles and not getting anywhere.  I took a days leave on Friday and what a difference a long weekend can make!  Hubby also took leave so we decided to have a much needed quiet weekend.

Waking up on Friday morning and getting to sleep in felt SO good!  I made tea and read a bit and hubby went to Kirstenbosch to take photos.  When he got back we went to have brunch and then I started organising our cupboards.  The Ryder Cup was on so hubby was happy with the golf and we had tea and milktart while I cleared out 3 bags of clothes to donate.  I moved all the summer clothes out, packed the winter ones away (so obviously today is cold and I’m shivering in a dress haha).

Saturday we had a late breakfast and then I started on the cupboard in our study.  Found some of my scrapbooking goodies which I’d forgotten about!  We took a drive in the afternoon to Chapmans Peak and then had a relaxing evening.

Sunday we went to the Spice Route and had lunch at La Grapperia.  It was a super hot day and we were lucky to get a table in the shade.  Hubby had pizza and I had the Farmers salad which was delicious.  We spotted 2 owls while we were having lunch!  Afterwards we went buy some chocolate and then finished off with an ice-cream.  I loved the salted caramel I chose and hubby had mint chocolate with macadamia nuts.

We made our way home feeling very full and tired – couldn’t believe the heat!  While the golf was on I had a nap and then tackled the ironing when it was a bit cooler in the evening.  We had a super lazy supper and it was a really enjoyable weekend.

And now it is October!  Spring is here and I’m looking forward to the warmer months.  Taking some leave later in the month and cannot wait!  I love this time of the year.

My September goals were:

  • Go to a yoga class – unfortunately my back was so sore for most of September so this was a no 😦
  • Make time for close friends
  • Declutter wardrobe and donate clothes I don’t wear
  • Read 3 books
  • Blog 10 times – blogged 9 times!
  • Be more mindful
  • Less time online – 2 FB free days a week

October goals are:

  • Continue being more mindful
  • Read 3 books
  • Update Goodreads (need to update the reading challenge!)
  • Go to gym more often
  • Leave work stress at the office

What about you?  What are your October goals?

xx

 

 

Gratitude list

Today is Thursday but it is a Friday for me.  I’ve taken a days leave and cannot wait for my 3 day weekend to begin.  4:00pm:  you can arrive now!

We have no big plans – literally just a weekend where we’ll see what happens and I’m really looking forward to it.  This week was a short one – Monday being a holiday but it felt like a much longer week.  I felt like I was constantly catching up with the previous day.  I’m super behind on housework, need to get on top of laundry and hoping do a bit of pottering around in the garden.  More rain is expected next week so hoping to plant some flowers over the weekend.  I also want to do a wardrobe switch and move summer clothes out and pack away some winter ones.  The weather is slowly warming up but today is quite overcast so I won’t be packing all my winter clothes away just yet!

I cannot believe September is nearly over and Monday is the 1st October – time is flying. To end off my week I’m doing my gratitude list a day earlier:

  • A 3 day weekend that was awesome. Did day trips to Hermanus and Arniston.
  • Seeing Blue Cranes on Sunday. Such beautiful birds
  • New hair! Had highlights and a cut on Monday.  I feel ready for spring!
  • Spoiling myself with shampoo and conditioner from the salon (I usually buy from the supermarket but felt like giving my new highlights a treat).
  • Hot chocolate with marshmallows.
  • Naps over the long weekend.
  • Old episodes of Modern Family
  • Rain
  • Letting go of something I cannot control and focusing on the good stuff in my life instead.
  • Weather has been less cold in the mornings and evenings. Spring is here!

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

xx

Mindfulness

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A few months ago I read “The Power of Now” By Eckhart Tolle.  Reading this book made me realise how important mindfulness is in everyday living.  It also highlighted how non-present in the moment I can be. For instance, lately while watching TV, I’ll find myself doing other things as well.  Checking up on FB for instance, or paging through a magazine or adding to my to-to list.  Instead of just sitting there and enjoying the movie/sitcom/series I’m watching.

At work, I’ll be on the phone and while talking, I’ll often be typing something to save time.  Sitting with a phone gripped between my ear and shoulder isn’t comfortable and how much time am I actually saving?

We are constantly told ways to get more out of our day and given loads of tips on multi-tasking.  But how many extra hours in the day are we getting out of this?  Are we adding or subtracting time and stress in each situation?

So lately I’m trying to just be in the moment.  Present.  I’ve packed my phone away more often.  I think I posted for the first time in months on FB the other day.  I’m aiming to be more in the here and now.  Rather than floating in cyberspace waiting for approval of a photo I’ve taken of my cappuccino or a witty status update.  And you know what?  It isn’t all that difficult.  Because the more present I am, the more content I feel.  In fact when I take my phone out for a photo these days, it is to save something to share on my blog or just to remember the moment by.  Not 3 different snapshots of my rapidly cooling coffee.

At work there are times when multi-tasking is essential and then I give juggling 100%. But after the morning rush, I try tackle one task at a time and know it is done perfectly when I tick complete.

And this mindset has spilled over into other areas of my life.

I feel more engaged and present these days and it feels really good.  My aim is to spend less time fretting over the past, less time worrying over the future and more time living in the here and now.  Instead of mulling over something that happened years ago which I cannot change.  It is a work in progress – I do find it difficult to let go of things but realising that you cannot change the past is the first big step.

So that is where I’m at right now.  Being more here and appreciating the present moment as a gift.  Not brushing over it or taking it for granted.

These days when we are out, enjoying our weekends or time off work, I keep my phone in my bag and my mind in the moment.  And you know what?  I find I have more time to enjoy my cappuccino….while it is hot.

xx

My spend vs save list

Spend vs save

I saw San at http://www.theinbetweenismine.com/ did a similar post last month and I wanted to do something too.  Years ago my list would have been very different – I used to have to have the latest cellphone and I could spend ages in craft shops.  Putting this list together was fun and interesting and I encourage bloggers to make a list of their own.

Spend list:

Food and eating out

Our food bill is quite high for 2 people.  Hubby enjoys cooking (thank goodness as I’m a disaster in the kitchen).  Eating well (and healthy) is not cheap.  I prefer the meat we get at our butcher – so we end up doing grocery shopping in a few different shops.  We try to eat relatively healthily during the week and then treat ourselves to 2 – 3 meals out on weekends.

Travel

Hubby and I love discovering new places and if we enjoy a holiday or weekend away it quickly becomes a favourite that needs to be re-visited. Hermanus, Langebaan, Wilderness, PE and of course Sun City is on our list of favourites.

Courses:

I’ve always enjoyed writing so I’ve done 2 courses over the years.  A feature writing course as well as a creative writing one before that.  Learnt loads and while they weren’t cheap, they were enjoyable and I’m glad I’d enrolled.  Obviously I’d love to put them into action but who knows what the future holds right?

Cosmetics

I’m addicted to Clinique. Have worn the make up since I was in my early 20’s and doing the 3 step for over a decade now.  I love their range despite the price tag.

Nail polish is another weakness of mine and I am a huge fan of the Morgan Taylor range. Currently wearing one of my favourites ‘Sweater Weather’ as I type this.

Summer clothes:

I adore spring and summer so I always have more clothes for my favourite seasons. Dresses, skirts, pretty tops, shorts and sandals – love love love.

Save

Cellphone and techno goodies.

I used to have an amazing Samsung but after having it stolen I went back to an older model and don’t get a fluttering heart at the latest phones.  The price of cellphones (and the data they chew through) is not cheap and I cannot justify spending hundreds of Rands each month on a contract that barely gives me enough data for the first few days of the month.

Maybe I’m maturing with age.  Maybe I’ve just gotten old.  Who knows.

Craft goodies.

I’ve done so many crafts over the years.

Lets see, there was the baking and cake decorating phase.  The scrapbook phase.  The crochet phase. The knitting phase.  The journaling phase.  The colouring in phase.  Need I go on?  I spent a small fortune on each and apart from journaling haven’t done much on any of them in years.  Now before I dive into something creative, I do my research, ask myself if this is something I’m going to actually do for more than 10 minutes.  If so, then I price the necessary and take it slowly.

Winter work clothes:

I have a very boring winter wardrobe for work.  The thing is, I have a cardigan collection that I’ve built up over the years and thankfully they have lasted quite well (bar the one that has shrunken over the years and now sits 3/4 up my arm).  So each winter I’ll add a cardigan or two (had to replace the shrunken one as it was winter and arms get cold!)  But I don’t go wild with knitwear or have a fabulous choice of coats and boots.  I don’t have a clue on accessorising with trendy scarves and hats.  Just let me be (in a cardigan) until spring.

Spa days:

I went through a manicure and pedicure phase at the beginning of the year but now I prefer to do my own.  I often get asked where I have been to get my nails done when I’ve painted them myself in front of the TV.  It is very important to treat yourself (and I love going to these places) but if I visit a spa it will probably be for a special occasion or if I’ve received a voucher as a gift.

What about you? What is on your spend vs save list?

xx

Friday at last!

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Oh my goodness but was this the longest week or what?  I’ve had terrible back pain which I got seen to at the Dr on Tuesday.  The pain is muscular and I’ve got painkillers and some stretching exercises to do but it keeps sneaking back.  Last night, I was so sore that I got out of bed to do windmills to relax my left shoulder and neck which was aching.  There have been times this week when I’d wake up in so much pain that I couldn’t roll over.  Just lay there like an upturned beetle on my back.

Poor hubby didn’t get much sleep thanks to me.  I’m not a good patient – I’m cranky when I feel dreadful and my husband has the patience of a saint to put up with me!

I had to cancel plans with a friend last weekend because I woke up on the Saturday feeling so awful and then dinner with a friend on Tuesday as well.  Thank goodness for understanding friends who were happy to re-schedule for when I’m on the mend.

Work has been so busy, we have finished quarter end but there seemed so much to do this week that I feel I’ve been juggling continuously since I sat down at my desk on Monday morning.  I’m exhausted to say the least.

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

  • Hubby treating me to a new camera.  I love my Canon SX740 SO much!
  • Getting peace of mind regarding my back from the Dr.
  • Mark and his endless patience.
  • The heater in the office
  • Blogging and opening up about something that has weighed heavily on me.  I shared this on Monday and am grateful for the support and love from fellow bloggers. ❤
  • The longest week ever coming to an end and a 3 day weekend to look forward to
  • Jane Fallon’s books – currently reading “Faking Friends” and it is really good
  • Dam levels being just over 70% – so amazing!
  • Date night after work yesterday
  • Being spoilt with a spa voucher at work this morning.  Cannot wait to use this!

I’m so looking forward to our 3 day weekend – tonight we are going for a drive before dinner at Louis.  Tomorrow I want to take some pictures with my new camera and Sunday we might take a day trip somewhere.  I’ve got a hairdressers appointment on Monday morning.  I’ve had the same hairdo for a while now and excited (but a bit nervous) to change it.

What about you?  What is on your gratitude list?

xx

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

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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Quote 6

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

xx