Friday at last!

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I’ve always been a tea drinker but this week was made for coffee!  I think I had quite a few as it was a really long and busy week and I’m so ready for the weekend to begin.

This week was just one big rush and I’m really tired.  Had to replace our geyser (a big thank you to hubby for taking care of everything) <3.  We made it to gym once.  We spent ages in traffic rushing around to get my contact lenses and then last night went to finish our Christmas shopping.  Thank goodness that is finished.  I opened a bottle of wine and had a very lazy dinner afterwards.  We also had to replace a friend’s birthday present because one evening we ate it for dessert.  Not the greatest week!

Does anyone else buy edibles to put with presents in advance, eat some and then have to replace it?  We cannot be the only ones.

Anyway it is Friday at long last.  Today I’m linking up with the lovely Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/ with a weekly gratitude list.

  • A wonderful weekend. Went to a yoga class on Saturday and felt super calm afterwards.  Made a delicious brunch with hubby when I got home.  Standing in our kitchen with the sunshine pouring in, drinking tea and waiting for the flapjacks and bacon to cook was great.  We visited Hermanus on Sunday and had breakfast at Brassiere South, bought some more Christmas decorations.  Putting up the tree was so enjoyable and I bought new Christmas decorations as well as some Christmas bowls (to go with the cups and side plates).
  • Enjoying yoga SO much.
  • Waking up to rain on Monday morning.  And getting more on and off in the week.
  • Date night on Wednesday.  Dinner at Cattle Baron was delicious.
  • CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IS DONE.  I just need to wrap the presents and that is it.  Not going through the stress of last minute shopping in busy malls was worth all the running around this week.

Tonight we are going to a Christmas dinner at a Bowls Club which we were invited to by my office.  Then tomorrow I’ve got another Yoga class and I’m thinking a brunch should be in order.  Sunday is unplanned and that is fine with me.  Like a blank page just waiting to be filled with adventure.

What about you?  What is on your gratitude list this week?  Anything exciting planned for the weekend?

xx

How to feel less stressed at Christmas!

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I’ve always loved Christmas time.  The decorations that make me feel festive.  The delicious food.  Presents.  Festive music and movies.  Going on leave and returning after the New Year starts.  I love it all.

Yet a few years ago I also found this time of year a bit stressful.  I felt like hubby and I were running around with an endless to-do list trying to get everything done in time.  Saying no is difficult for me at times and I remember feeling exhausted by the time my December leave arrived.

A while ago I felt like giving back and asked some relatives to donate to a charity instead of giving us gifts.  The charity had a list of what was needed and I offered to save family time and do the shopping myself, then drop it off at a collection point.  So I had presents to buy and then the shopping for the donations to do, dropping off the gifts at family members and getting the donations in on time, get-togethers to attend (and baking and prepping for these), trying to fit everyone into a busy schedule and I decided enough was enough.

As an aside, can I just ask what is up with people always expecting others to drop off gifts before Christmas?  Does everyone retire their cars around the festive season?  Just asking because this irritates me immensely.

And then there are the pre-Christmas gatherings.  I remember one year running around to the shops and doing hours of baking.  The starters cost a lot to put together as did buying the cheeses.  I was hot and bothered from baking in the middle of summer and then transporting everything to the person hosting the dinner took time.

So now if anyone wants to do a pre-Christmas get together I’ll see you in a restaurant.  Thanks in advance.  It costs so much less and I save time by not swearing at our oven.

And that is something that mystifies me with this time of year.  The frenzied planning of seeing everyone you’ve spoken to in the last 10 years and sitting down and having a catch up.

Why?

I’m becoming a lot more of an introvert as I get older.  I’m finding I enjoy spending time with close friends one on one.  Meeting for a coffee and catching up is preferable to meeting in a group and trying to fit in months of news over a dinner in a busy restaurant where everyone else has the same idea.

I thought it was just me being grumpy but I’ve asked around and a lot of people get annoyed with the “we HAVE to meet up before Christmas” mentality.

So I’ve simplified things this again year.  And I’m pretty impressed if I do say so myself.

    – Limited gift giving to family and friends.  Hence I only have 2 more presents to buy.
    – Donating directly to the charities of our choice.  If I have time I’ll buy some things on a wishlist but if time is running out I often do a direct donation.
    – I say no to get togethers I simply don’t have time for.
    – I refuse to feel guilty when some people expect others to run after them for Christmas.  I watched my mother do this thankless task for too long and vowed I’d never be the person that hosts Christmas or does all the cooking and gets minimal thanks.  So grateful that our anniversary is close to Christmas and we celebrate both – just the two of us.  Drop hints all you want – we are NOT available for Christmas.
    – Drop off gifts long before necessary and say “see you in the new year”.  I’ve already done this with a friend and we are both happy.  I’ve got one coffee catch up with another and she is getting her gift then.
    – Getting the shopping done nice and early.  A couple of friends have birthdays in December so I add their gift shopping with my Christmas list.
    – Plan ahead.  I’ve got our favourite gammon recipe printed and ready.  A list of what we bought for last Christmas’s lunch and the crackers were bought on Sunday.

I love Christmas done our way which is relaxed, fun and full of food and laughter.  Stress is overrated all year round but especially at Christmas!  What about you?  What tips do you use to keep stress levels down this time of year?

xx

December mantras and goals

December mantras and goals

I love this time of year!  On Saturday we put up our Christmas tree and set out all our Christmas decorations.

I feel so festive and just want to press pause on this month!  I know that the festive season can be busy and expensive but I have always loved December.  We have some leave planned, looking forward to celebrating our (12th) anniversary and then it is Christmas and New Years Eve.

Each month I link up with the fabulous Peaceful Posse and we recap our goals from the month before, list our new ones and include a mantra or two.

Lets see how I did in November:

  • Read 4 books
  • Go to a yoga class  Went on Saturday (which is technically the 1st December but I’m ticking this off). 
  • Sort out bookcase – Didn’t make time for this unfortunately.
  • Do 30 days of gratitude (update gratitude journal every day for November)
  • Make time for creative writing – 30 minutes, 3 times a week
  • Get Christmas shopping done so there is no rushing around in December.  2 presents left!

Not bad.  My goals for December:

December goals

  • Read 4 books and complete Goodreads reading challenge (goal for the year is 40 books)
  • Go to another yoga class
  • Finish Christmas shopping
  • Blog at least 8 times and do more link ups
  • Organise bookcase
  • Have a wonderful time on leave and an amazing anniversary and Christmas with my ❤

My mantras for December are about gratitude.

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough” – Melody Beattie

“If you want to find happiness, find gratitude” – Steve Maraboli

Here is to an awesome December 🙂

xx

Hello Friday!

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I always enjoy ticking things off a to-do list and this week was one of those busy but productive weeks.  Got a lot done but also made time for gym, creative writing and staying on top of the housework.  When I woke up this morning I thought it was Saturday – instead it was a day early and the alarm was minutes from going off.  It was just that I fitted so much into this week I honestly thought the weekend had arrived!

On Monday I gave up sugar in my tea and coffee (again).  I did it years ago but lately have been adding a little bit of sugar or honey when my energy levels feel a bit flat.  I am amazed at the difference in how I feel (day 5 now).  I’ve had two awesome workouts after work – running for over 4km’s and afterwards had energy to tackle laundry and tidy up.  I have not had that need-to-collapse-on-the-couch-with-a-bag-of-chips-and-sitcoms feeling all week.

Now I don’t know if this is just down to the no sugar in my tea business as it is early days – so we’ll see!

Fridays mean linking up with the lovely Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/ with a weekly gratitude list.

  • Fun up the West Coast over the weekend.  Breakfast at one of our favourite restaurants in Langebaan.  I got some pampering at a spa nearby and had a pedicure.
  • Going for 2 awesome workouts at gym this week.
  • Rain on Tuesday.
  • Clean home, fresh bedding and being on top of the laundry.  Feeling organised!
  • Completing some training I was doing through work and passing with 79% (not too bad)!

This weekend is going to be about putting up the Christmas tree and decorating at home!  I’m going to yoga tomorrow and then we are having a brunch at home – looking forward to flapjacks and bacon.  We’ve got a braai planned in the evening.  Sunday I plan to finish the Christmas shopping and get everything wrapped.  Hubby mentioned a day trip somewhere so I might try getting the shopping done tomorrow if there is time.

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

xx

Quick catch up!

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Grab a cup of coffee or tea and lets have a catch up!

November is hurtling by at quite a speed.  I cannot believe that Saturday is the 1st of December and time to take out the Christmas tree and decorations.  I’m looking forward to it and yesterday after work we gave our home a thorough clean.  For some reason I always feel it is imperative to run around with the vacuum and mop before any decorating can commence.

Maybe that is just me.

I haven’t updated my blog in over a week but have been doing a lot of writing.  Creative writing – just working on some fiction and it has been very relaxing.  Last night while the floors dried we sat in the study.  Hubby was working on a new post for his website while I did some writing and it was a great start to the evening.

On Sunday morning I did some gift shopping and I’m pleased to (almost be able to) tick that off my to-do list.  We aren’t exchanging loads of gifts with everyone we know and I think this simplifies things so much.

We have a few pre-Christmas lunches and dinners we are attending but all before we go on leave and then we are off until the New Year!

I’ve been doing a month of gratitude and it has been amazing.  Everyday I write down 5 things that I’m grateful for and when the month ends, I’m going to continue doing this.

I’m loving summer at the moment.  You know that lovely weather just before it gets super hot?  Last night we even had some rain which was awesome.

On Saturday I went for a spa pedicure.  A bit of pampering and beautiful toenails – felt great walking out there!  It is essential to spoil ourselves – especially this time of year which can be extra busy.

Do you ever read two books at the same time?  I’m currently reading “This could change everything” by Jill Mansell and have just started “Summer at shell cottage” by Lucy Diamond.  Enjoying both so far.

What about you?  What have you been up to?

xx

Hooray for Friday!

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I love Fridays not only because the weekend is hours away but also because it means linking up the lovely Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/ with my weekly gratitude list.

This week was a good one.  Got back into our gym routine, had a date night, did some gardening and visited the spring one morning to fetch water.  We are currently on 70l per person but using spring water means conserving more at home.  The water we collect is not treated so we don’t drink it but we use it around the house.

This weeks gratitude:

Had a fun girls day on Sunday and shopped up a storm with a friend of mine.  She found me the exact top I was looking for in my size.  I swear if shopping was an Olympic sport my friend would win gold!  I spoilt myself with some new pj’s and slippers from Woolies which are so pretty and summery.  Also found a navy pair of shorts and two other tops that I know will go with everything.

Date night on Monday with my hubby.  Went to one of our favourite restaurants for a delicious dinner after a long day.  Great start to the week.

Hubby’s calendar arriving yesterday.  I was so excited to see the finished product.  12 beautiful pictures of waterfalls and streams in the Western Cape.  I’m looking forward to putting the calendar up in 2019!

Had 2 great workouts this week.

Recycling, filling up at the spring, spending time in the garden.  Feels like a green week!

Looking forward to this weekend and another adventure up the West Coast.  What about you?  What are your plans for the next 2 days?

xx

Things I don’t justify #2

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I started this series a while ago and keep meaning to do another post on things I don’t justify.  Here is my first one from earlier this year:  https://my30somethingadventures.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/things-i-dont-justify-1/

No. 2:  NOT doing group holidays

Hubby and I have done quite a few holidays with both of our families over the years.

I know that holidaying with relatives can be fun and we’ve enjoyed quite a few.  But I also know that there are times some of us do a lot more planning, preparation and running around on certain holidays.

Some of us need a getaway after a group getaway.

Do you get where I’m going with this?

Hubby and I work hard enough at the officeSo holidays that require additional work are not very relaxing.

My parents have always been very fair when it comes to getaways and I appreciate that.  In the past we’d book accommodation in the same holiday complex as them and it was pleasant with everyone having their own space but still enjoying meals and outings together.

Holidaying with my in-laws meant everyone in one house or apartment and not as much space and privacy.

I love our holidays.  Just us two.  We have our favourites we adore visiting but always enjoy trying new places.  And when we are away, that is us time.

If we want to spend hours in nature we can.

If we want to get up early or sleep late we can.

If I want to take out a book and read quietly I can.

We can eat whatever we choose at whatever time we decide.

And neither of us have to make 40 cups of tea a day and wonder when it is acceptable to open a bottle of wine.  Which was what the last group holiday 2 years ago consisted of.  My hubby is very patient.  I’m not always as polite when I can see someone is being deliberately lazy.

I will never know why for some people a holiday is the excuse to become a well read library book and simply check out from the moment they check in.

I’m more relaxed on an “us only” holiday.  I enjoy it from start to finish.  And I refuse to feel guilty for that.

We went up the West Coast the weekend before last for a fun stay in Langebaan.  Mentioned our spontaneous trip over a dinner recently and got “the look” with a side order of silence.

I just calmly continued eating because saying what I was thinking was as follows:

We had a fabulous stay thanks for not asking!

The braai we enjoyed in the evening was delicious thanks for sulking the moment something doesn’t involve you!

We could relax the entire time, not running after anyone who thinks groceries buy themselves, meals are cooked on their own, drinks pour themselves and snacks magically appear from nowhere.  Thank you to the wine which made the last group holiday bearable. 

I am not going to justify the quality time my husband and spend relaxing together.  So the silences, sulks and snarky comments are quite entertaining.

What about you?  What do you refuse to justify?  Please share 🙂

xx

Happy Friday!

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Hello Friday!

It has been a good week – busy but I’ve ticked a lot off my to-do list and now I’m counting down the hours until 4:00pm.

My gratitude list this week includes:

  • A wonderful time in Langebaan over the weekend.  We came back feeling super relaxed.
  • A clean home – always feel so much more organised when we come home after a busy day and everything is clean and tidy.
  • Clean, fresh sheets.  I slept SO well this week.
  • A crisp glass of wine after a long day.
  • My mantra for November.  “You do you and I’ll do me”.  I’m sick of happiness vampires who cannot be happy for others.  Kept thinking this phrase a few days ago when hubby and I shared our weekend recap up the West Coast at a dinner.  We’d seen amazing birds and enjoyed being in nature before watching rugby and having a braai.  But because this didn’t involve our dinner companions we were met with some sour expressions and what I’ve come to expect: “The Look”.  I sat there happily tucking into my main course and refused to let them take anything away from my joy.

Linking up with:

http://theflynnigans.com/

http://mypixieblog.com/

http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/

xx

November goals and mantras

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I’m linking up with Lindsay and the Peaceful Posse http://theflynnigans.com/ with my monthly goals and mantras.

October goals were:

  • Continue being more mindful  This was made easier by spending more time offline.
  • Read 3 books
  • Update Goodreads (need to update the reading challenge!)
  • Go to gym more often Could do better.
  • Leave work stress at the office  Getting there.  Room for progress but I’m getting better at this.

November goals are:

  • Read 4 books
  • Go to a yoga class
  • Sort out bookcase
  • Do 30 days of gratitude (update gratitude journal every day for November)
  • Make time for creative writing – 30 minutes, 3 times a week
  • Get Christmas shopping done so there is no rushing around in December.

Mantras for the month:

“You do you.  I’ll do me” – Unknown

Somebody mentioned this quote to me the other day when I said how sick I am of letting negative people get to me.  There is no shortage of happiness and energy vampires (toxic people who cannot be happy for others) in my life and I’ve gotten tired of it.  It doesn’t cost to be pleased when someone in your life is happy – seriously how difficult is it to say “that is nice, enjoy” or the equivalent.  These are the same individuals who will blatantly enjoy anything bad that happens.  They literally will smile when things don’t go smoothly for you (after a theatrical gasp for effect while they store up the story to go blurt to others). 

It is a really mean trait to try drag others down and in a nutshell I’ve had it.  So this is a quote which I’m going to be chanting all month long. 

What about you?  What is on your list of goals for the month? 

xx

Friday gratitude

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This was one of those weeks that flew by so quickly.  After being on leave, our first day back was Monday and the days have just whizzed by!

Yesterday we went to get our eyes tested after work.  I’m looking forward to my new spectacles and trying out new contact lenses.  I sat on my glasses earlier this week so they aren’t sitting all that well and I had such a headache!  We were due for an eye test anyway so it was well timed.

My Mother-in-law turned 80 yesterday so we went to visit after seeing the Optometrist and we are going to celebrate with her on Monday.

My gratitude list today includes the following:

  • Mark’s 2019 calendar.  I mentioned this a while ago that hubby was putting together a calendar with photos he’d taken of waterfalls and streams in the Western Cape.  Well it looks awesome and I’m not just saying that as a proud wife but also as someone who appreciates the beauty of nature.  Here is a sneak peek if you’d like to have a look http://markbooysen.com/2019-calendar-waterfalls-streams-of-western-cape/
  • Cooler weather this week.  We even had rain on Monday which was very much appreciated.  Last weekend was such a hot one it felt like summer was in full force so this week has been a pleasant surprise.
  • Date night on Tuesday.
  • Smarties.  Had a box for dessert last night.
  • Gellish manicure that I had last week in Sun City still looking great over a week later.  I love when my nails are painted – it just brightens up my outfit instantly 🙂

We are going for an adventure up the West Coast tomorrow and I’m looking forward to that.  What about you?  What are you doing this weekend?

Linking up with:

http://theflynnigans.com/

http://mypixieblog.com/

http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/

http://www.ktcupoftea.com/

xx