Monday, April 24, 2017

Yay, it's freedom week!



Three things make this freedom week:

1) my one friend has resigned from work and she finishes on Wednesday - so excited for her :)

2) it's Freedom Day on Thursday. For the non-South Africans, here's a write-up from Wikipedia

Freedom Day is a South African public holiday (its national day), celebrated on 27 April. It celebrates freedom and commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held on that day in 1994. The elections were the first non-racial national elections where everyone of voting age of over 18 from any race group, including foreign citizens permanently resident in South Africa,[1] were allowed to vote. Previously, under the apartheid regime, non-whites had only limited rights to vote.


3) we're going on a little break this week too - woohoo - our first holiday since moving into this house and high time, if you ask me!

Of course, freedom is my number 1 value so I'm very passionate about the concept of freedom. Turns out it's important to God too. This is my favourite scripture about freedom:

2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” NIV


This blog post is short and sweet because it's pay day tomorrow and I need to do my budget recon before all the new money comes in :)

But tell me, what does freedom mean to you? What are you planning for Freedom Week?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Easter!


It's the end of the Easter weekend and it's been a really lovely one.

Relaxing, even!

I had this bright idea to invite D's mom for Good Friday lunch. Well, I said sometime over the weekend, and D said, "let's do it on Good Friday so it's over and done with". He is a keeper and comes up with the best ideas!

So that's what we did and our only people commitments were over and done with.



A few notable moments:
  1. church on Good Friday morning
  2. family lunch afterwards
  3. RAIN!
  4. running around the garden with my camera after the rains - this is my best!
  5. reading, reading, reading my Jenny Colgan
  6. gym as usual on Saturday morning
  7. supreme chilling and pottering
  8. playing with my website for hours and hours and hours (some of this was pure torture but needs must... and the one thing is still not fixed - my picture was linking to an old domain I've let go and I can't find where to change that in the code)
  9. Remembering that Jesus rose from the dead! 
  10. An Easter egg hunt - this is Connor's favourite thing of the whole year - he's been talking about it since January.... and they had such fun. We have a much bigger garden so they were occupied forever.
  11. more chilling
  12. a power outage, short walk and "the best supper ever" (French bread with cheese/ apple slices/ yoghurt and a mini doughnut in case you want to replicate :)) by candlelight
  13. the power came on after two hours so I RAN to the kettle to make tea and jumped into bed with my book 
and here we are - Monday.



We're going to see a movie later - Boss Baby. I adore Alec Baldwin, especially his voice, so I can't wait.

But the best news for today is.....tomorrow Alec Baldwin's memoir releases. Of course I pre-ordered so I will get it at midnight!

How was your Easter weekend?

PS My children have just discovered Siri and it's the most fun ever!

Friday, April 07, 2017

I'm falling into completely bad habits



I once successfully started a good habit of cleaning my face every night before bed. I remember I started that habit on 21 March (of whichever year) because we went to see Michael Buble that evening.

And then in July when we went on holiday, my good streak was broken and I never started up again.

I've been in a great sleep habit for a long time but I do track it which is the magic pill for me.

Anything I track I do well :)

But last week I read past 1 am on two nights because I have no discipline to go to sleep instead of reading.

But I confessed on Instagram on Monday and it's been good accountability for me because I've been in bed by 10.30 this whole week.

However, the weekend is near so who knows what'll happen :0



Last month, March, I had a spectacularly great reading month with 12 books.

I finished my Maeve Binchy on the Wed night, the end of the month was Friday and I posted on Instagram "wondering" if I'd just relax or try to read another. All while I was charging my Kindle. It's like my body knew before my mind had been made up.

So I checked the books available (still 31!) and selected the Lisa Hall, a psychological thriller (I think that's what you call these books). I read and read and read, and finished it outside of work, kids, school meetings and coaching calls, after 1am.

I was knackered the next day but it was great to completely dive in for a long stretch. Like the pre-kids days :)

The stats
12 read
5 non-fiction; 7 fiction
Most books read in one day, 14th March - 2 books (while on flights to and from Cape Town)
Audible: Kindle: Physical = 1:5:6

Noteworthy
I read my first Jodi Picoult and I loved it despite some hot-button topics!
I of course loved the Liane Moriarty, the Hypnotist's Love Story. She writes such great books full of discussion topics, perfect for book clubs :)

I'm currently reading Friends like us, Irish fiction by a new-to-me author, and I'm listening to Jen Hatmaker's For the Love, which I got through the free Overdrive app through my library membership.

What are you reading and listening to?

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Let's talk about comparison

Guys, it feels like forever since we've chatted even though it's not even been a week!

Ha - my standards are low these days.




Anyway, I want to talk about comparison.

This has come up 4 times for me recently:

1. Our podcast club had this come up as a question on our parenting, like do you compare yourself with other mothers in your parenting?

Both of us said no. Great!

Do you compare yourself in that way? How?



2. Then, I listened to this podcast and this guest said her reading had started to feel competitive because of Instagram. Like you start judging the books you read - are they cool enough, literary enough, up to date enough?

I get that. I don't care what Instagram followers think but I realised that I actually don't listen to that very podcast because I compare myself to those guests and feel like my reading is not literary enough.

Then I started listening again.

Really weird.



3. Design Mom linked to this post where he talks about the way to be happier.

Do you know what that is?

To think like a bronze medalist and not like the silver one. The thinking is that when you're the silver medalist you compare up, and say "oh, I missed the gold. I should have been faster" but when you're the bronze medalist, you compare down so you're grateful to place 3rd.

I, of course, thought of instagram, which is the gold medal. Everything is perfect and all are in the top 1% of experiences - perfect holidays, houses, clothes, families, etc.

We look at that perfection and we're unhappy because we don't have that - or maybe you have.

What we should do is think about all the things we do have that others don't. Some people don't even have houses, families, jobs, money for new clothes, etc.

It all comes down to perspective but it's a great reminder.



4. And then this post.

This post says that basically we're confident until we compare. That's also true.

We've all had instances where we were quite happy with a situation and then we found out more information (someone else's salary, job title, what they drive, etc.) and then suddenly we're unhappy with our lot.

Tell me what you think.
Do you battle with comparison?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bookish things a whole month late

I was looking for my Feb post and realised.... I never posted about my books.

February was a great month for reading for many reasons:

  1. We had our first book club.
  2. I discovered Overdrive (free digital and audio books that are actually things I want to read, not the cheap stuff from Bookbub) 
  3. 11 books!

Let's talk about the books:

8 fiction; 3 non-fiction
3 Audible; 3 Physical; 5 Kindle books


  • The one that delighted me the most - Parenting without Power Struggles (but listen at 1.25 speed)
  • New-to-me author that I'll definitely read again - Clare Dowling's Just the three of us
  • Old but loved author - Carole Matthews's A cottage by the sea, and....
  • Our book club read - I let you go, a solid 4* book
My word of the year is GIVE. And yes, I've been giving but I've been receiving a lot too. God is so fun!

One friend sent me a $10 Amazon gift card :) :) (imagine the Spanish dancing girl emoji)


Have you read a new-to-you author lately?
Or an old but loved author?

I'll be back next week with my March books ;)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Let's talk about lunches... yours, not kids

The other day I read a post on Cup of Jo about work lunches and this, of course, prompted a discussion in the office, because I am fascinated by the daily minutae of other people's lives.

Or inquisitive. Take your pick.





I generally see food as "breakfast", "lunch" or "supper" food and I don't like to mix my categories unless I'm super lazy.

So I never eat cereal for anything other than breakfast (unless there was food at a 9 am meeting and I had that instead of my cereal).

If I eat too many "lunch" meals which I actually define as "supper", I'll get bored with supper meals and that is not a good thing...

I typically bring a sandwich of some sort with a protein and veg, and then fruits and a yoghurt for my snacks.


Carb - always wholewheat bread, otherwise on a Monday, I may bring a roll if we have any left over from the weekend
Protein - tuna/ egg/ ham/ cheese (rarely, because then I have to bring a grater to work too)
Veg - usually tomato, sometimes cucumber, sometimes carrots



Favourite winter lunches:
  • Garlic roll, my homemade soup (which is lentil and vegetable - always at least 1 P/ 2 V on Weighless)
  • Toast, oodles of cottage cheese, Weigh-Less tomato and roasted pepper soup/ my own homemade soup
  • Wholewheat toast, baked beans and soup
  • Leftover pasta :)
Favourite summer lunches:

Wholewheat toast with
  • tuna mixed with onion, tomato and a smidge of mayonnaise (and a mint sweet for afterwards :))
  • eggs (I either make an omelette with onions, or I "boil" the eggs in the microwave at work, and slice them with tomatoes)
  • cottage cheese mixed with avo, and cucumber slices
Now that I'm looking at my lunches, no wonder I'm so bored.



I'm not the type of person (there are plenty, I've found) who can eat the same thing for lunch day in and day out. I'd go mental.'

And I'm soooo not a salad person. I need salads on my sandwich, not in place of :)

So, some ideas from the comments on Cup of Jo...
  • one lady said she takes supper leftovers for lunch and the fact that she needs food for the leftovers is a great incentive to not overeat at supper. LOVE this idea (in theory) because there are only ever leftovers if I make pasta, and in winter I do take this in maybe twice a month.
  • some people cook a lunch meal on the Sunday and eat the same thing Mon - Thurs... 
  • smoothies...

In our office, some buy a salad from the trolley (pasta for the boys and greens for the girls), some pop to the mall to buy lunch, some bring leftovers and some bring a bag full of stuff to assemble lunch at work (me!).

What do you typically eat for lunch?

PS a post from 4 years ago on the kids' lunches. And another one specifically on school lunch boxes.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Things that are making me super happy

I just checked on the date of my last post and.. it was two weeks ago.

Anyway.....

I'm using the writing of this post as a warm-up for my "real" writing on OrganisingQueen because I have a goal to write 5 posts this week.


1. It's practically a public holiday today

I feel very strongly that when a public holiday is on a Tuesday or Thursday, it's almost a sin to not take the Monday or Friday as leave :)

I always take these days off unless I'm out of leave...

Sadly, D is working but I did have a date with my cuties instead.



2. Book club

Oh my gosh, book club is making me so happy. We've started, we've had two meetings and people are reading!

I'm so enjoying all the bookish talk and really, why did I not do this earlier?!



3. Nanny S is back

Nanny S's sister died last weekend so she was off for the week again (that's three weeks in the last month). That part is not happy at all.

But she was back today. I told the kids if she's back then we can have the date mentioned above but if not, probably we'll be working.....probably doing laundry.

We did work on the kids' rooms because they want to share a room and not have their own rooms.

We'll have to see how this goes because their neatness personalities do not align...

Is anything making you happy today?
Share in the comments!

Monday, March 06, 2017

Losing your identity

So I've just read this awesome post on Design Mom about losing your identity (or not) once you become a mother.

Go read.... I'll wait.



I'll tell you what happened with me if you're interested.

I think I lost some of my career ambitions and drive while trying to fall pregnant. I honestly don't know how others get through infertility with everything intact :)

It feels like my 30's were taken up trying to fall pregnant (4 years), being pregnant, having babies, surviving the twins and then I blinked and I was 39 in that awful job.

I'm fine now but I don't think our marriage is even close to what it was pre-twins and I certainly feel like I've lost a lot of my ambition.

I love my children with an indescribable amount of all-consuming passion but I also know I love when I'm engaged in client solutions at my workplace.

I could never be a SAHM and I'm not sure if that's a brain thing or a personality thing; all I know is that I've had 5 months at home for maternity leave, 4 months on sabbatical and .... it's not for me.

Do you feel you lost your identity when you became a mother?
Or has it, as some of those commenters said, moved you towards your identity?


Tell me what you think.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

We've just about survived!

Here I sit on a Thursday night and Nanny S is due to come back on Monday.

Things I've noticed while she's been away:

she's much, much better at keeping up with the laundry than I am


D took all his shirts and two of Connor's school shirts to an ironing service on Monday because I simply don't iron. Ever.

I've been doing a load every two days - first colours, then whites, etc. I did a whites load today and there's enough for another whites load tomorrow but I'm going to just ignore it until Saturday so D can help.

our food lasts so much longer

for some reason, we have only had to buy fruit (the same fruit we usually buy every week) once every two weeks.

I go through cleaning cloths super quickly



I have a love relationship with microfibre cleaning cloths. I have a ton so I use one a day and toss in the wash because I can't stand the slightest bit of smell :)

the kids are getting away with murder with her

She's definitely picking up after them a bit too much. We don't do that at all and find ourselves telling them to pick up their stuff, wipe down/shake crumbs off placemats, put clothes in the laundry basket, etc.

Connor really loves a star chart

Every day he asks me for his list and tackles that list with singular focus. He's super motivated by a goal like I am.

Kendra is motivated by chilling :)



She couldn't care less about stars but just wants to be done so she can laze around (this is Francois blood!)

So while we're excited to have Nanny S back, it does make me think we could probably do with only 3 full days or half days!



We've planned to go eat out on Sunday to celebrate all of our hard work these two weeks :)

What are you excited about these days?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wet laundry, nanny stuff and weight

I fell into the Instagram coma this morning while having my tea and watching the rain with one eye.... so I'm taking 15 minutes at work to quickly bash this out while I wait for a client to arrive.


1. It's been pouring with rain for two days now and I'm loving it. I love, love, love rain.

What I don't love is getting my laundry dry. Today when I get home I think I'll use the tumble drier for 20 minutes.

Do you have a tumble drier? I first fell in love with these amazing appliances when I was at Rhodes. I was smitten and we had one before we even had a washing machine!

A pity electricity is so expensive otherwise I'd use it more :)


2. Our nanny's sister is very sick so she's gone home to Zim for two weeks.

We are bribing the kids with a weekend treat (movies this week and restaurant for all of us next weekend) to keep them responsible. But it's actually a lot - working, cooking, cleaning, chasing kids, etc. I was pooped last night and I just collapsed with my book.

I realise that Nanny S does way too much for them simply because it's easier for her. However, it doesn't teach them independence.

3. I need to do something about my weight.

I'm not prepared to do banting or other such stuff. I have no insulin resistance - the two dieticians I consulted about this said this is really the only group of people who should bant.

So I guess that means cutting out something.... I suppose carbs at supper is the obvious one but oh my word, carbs are my love language.....

I don't want to lose a lot - 7 kg is enough - but I also don't want to have to radically alter my life :)

Tips? Tricks?

Anyone else want to share a few things on their mind?



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