Wednesday, July 23, 2014

{Wordless Wednesday} Winter walk 2!

This day, the kids chose which way they wanted to walk. So we went another way and I was so glad because we found a gorgeous background which we went back to photograph properly.

There was a tantrum and only two of us finished the walk after dropping off the one child at home. Amidst much screaming.... but I have to be consistent.

Golden hour

I LOVE this one.

Do you have a favourite?

PS This is the blue that's "my colour"

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Let's talk about traffic!

Let's talk about the traffic.

I was driving home this afternoon and it took me 33 minutes to get from the mall to my house.

33 minutes!!!!!!!!!

Please bear in mind that I left at 3:30 ish, there were parking problems (the machine was swallowing my money so I had to go to centre management. The manager there asked the security guard to check the machine to see if it had, in fact, swallowed my money, so I told her, "I'm not very happy that you're accusing me of lying for R9!" She looked taken aback and told the other girl to just let me out. Hell!) but I got out of there at 3:40.

So here's what I was thinking in the traffic.

1. I can't believe there's traffic this early!!!! What happened to 4:30 ish?

2. How is it that other people find it okay to sit in this crazy traffic day after day? Is there something wrong with me? I can't BEAR it!

Is it that I like to be productive too much? I was about half way home and I was thinking OH MY WORD, still so far to go.

First job - I took a bus to work.

Second job - I still took a bus to work. I lived on the bus route and my work was also on the bus route. So I literally walked 2 minutes in the morning and the bus dropped me at my building. Afternoons were the same story (even more buses than in the mornting).

Actual commute 20 - 25 minutes but I read on the bus so I was happy as Larry :)

I did that happily for 5 years and then got my licence when I wanted a new job because I realised I didn't want to be stuck choosing a company on the bus route again!

Third job - I had the car and the licence but the company was 15 minutes away, maybe 20 in severe traffic :)

Happy for five years.

Fourth Job - Secret Company was an HOUR away (I'd interviewed at another building) and I told them I didn't want their job. No kidding. The recruitment agent begged me to reconsider and said the magic words... "they're moving to ______ in two months". It turned out to be 3 months but still. I endured that long commute for 3 months. Torture!

This business of leaving 5 minutes later and being 20 minutes late is for the birds.

I was happy, happy, happy when they moved and I then had a 20 - 25 minute commute again for the next 9 years.

And now I've started to think about driving again as I verrrrrrry slowly dip my toes onto the job websites.

Do I just rule out everything more than 30 minutes away? I WANT TO!

But seriously people who travel far every day, help me to readjust my attitude! How do you make it okay in your head?

I'm just not sure thousands of rands is worth sitting in the traffic :) :)

And then 3, it's quite sad when it THRILLS me if I let someone into the flow of traffic (which doesn't happen in CT!) and they actually thank me. I am delighted!

Tell me your traffic stories!

Monday, July 21, 2014

{Messy Monday} Washi tape teacher's gift

K's teacher from last year resigned ....and we love her so we wanted to make her a little gift.

With the kids (actually, and for me) I like creative boundaries.

I often bring a colouring book with just pencil crayons (colouring pencils) or just markers or just crayons, so they have to get a bit creative instead of having every artsy thing under the sun available.

Anyway, for these sorts of things I let them choose 3 colours. So these are the ones she chose and then I guided her so she did some diagonally and some straight.

All you need are:
  • mini notecards
  • mini envelopes
  • washi tape
  • scissors
We decorated both the cards and the envelopes.



And best, some time for Kendra and me to play with some crafty stuff.

When was the last time you got creative?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Saying yes to all the important people things

So remember that post I wrote on the effects of just resigning?

3 things happened as a result of that post:

1. I decided to do some "work" on myself. I am currently not working with a coach but since I am a coach, I pretend I'm coaching someone else and give myself occasional homework and make myself answer the hard questions.

2. I objectively looked at where I've clammed up about my plans because I don't want to talk about things too much while still figuring them out vs where people have genuinely not taken an interest in me when I thought they would. This was revealing in itself.

I love MandyE's comment on that post. It echoes much of what I'd been feeling. While I'm all for being flexible, adaptable and such, I'm definitely not about being a doormat and I do require reciprocity. This was hard because it meant admitting to myself that in some cases, I'm simply putting too much effort into relationships.

I'm not desperate. It's just that I care, I try to be a good friend and I suppose I do expect the same in return. So when it doesn't happen, it hurts. Bottom line - God is my source and He really is the only one who can fulfill all my emotional needs, and He does!

3. Last, I decided to take a more active approach. This was somewhat in response to 1 above. So when people have asked, I've said YES more knowing that I both need the interaction and that I'd enjoy it afterwards even if a big schlep to organise babysitters, arrange my schedule and such.

Back to number 1 on that list.

When I was working through some personal development things, I wrote down my core desired feelings.

Yes, I mind map everything. EVERYTHING. Blogging for the month, planning out a talk, goals for the week, EVERYTHING.

The next question was which 3 things would I have to do to bring more of those core desired feelings into my life.

And so I grabbed a PL card (freebie) and wrote this down:

I love this little card.

So I stuck it up with washi tape on the top of a photo frame.

Real people are people face-to-face, or who engage properly with me in person, email, phone (so rare). In other words, when there's a real person in my life, they're always going to trump IG/ FB and computer stuff.

How this translates - I'm saying yes to friends who want to meet up if it makes sense for me too. I'm taking time when I'm out and I get into conversations with people at the gym, shopping, kids' school, etc. And I'm trying hard to be brave, vulnerable and ask for help if I know I can trust my heart with them. I had a situation a few weeks ago when I reached out to someone who absolutely came through for me. I can't tell you what that did for me. It was just great! But I can't share like that with many people and that's ok too.

I feel super accomplished when I'm doing stuff. Creating content, courses, products, but also creating an organised area, photographs, memories with my family, food, etc.

I've been coaching for 11 years and from my work with clients (and personal experience), it's harder than ever before to stay intentional with the onslaught of information, social media, etc. Not impossible, just harder.

If I work with my phone next to me, I'm constantly distracted by messages popping up even if the ringer's turned off. So I leave the phone in the bedroom while I work in the study and when I use the loo, I'll quickly check if I want to see what's happening.

That's the quickest way for me to be fully present with my family.

I'm personally a fan of small, constant steps rather than big, dramatic ones, and keeping the balance throughout the day and week is key for me rather than a crazy big unplug when it all gets too much. In fact, that's how this stuff never really gets too much for me (the social media stuff).

How about you?

This post is already way too long but I want to finish off by saying this:

I (and you) always have choice.

I am not a victim of circumstances. If I don't like something about my life, I can change something - either my response to it, or I can change the circumstances.

What are you saying yes to these days?
What do you need to say yes to?

PS Amazon sent me a gift card to my account which will be used super soon as, despite my best intentions, I still seem to be buying about 3 - 4 books a month.
PPS just realised this could tie into the new book, Let's all be brave, by Annie Downs.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Well, yes!

Indeed, I spoke too soon because it was cold today. Brr.

I've already had about 4 mugs of tea/ coffee and am cradling another one now.

I just checked my Goodreads and how in the heck have I only read 2 books for the month so far?

I know I've been reading Proverbs too but this seems wrong. So I'm going to read the books I want to, instead of the ones I feel I should read (books that have been on the Kindle too long).

Speaking of books, I bought a Kindle book for a friend today. Then I used the back button on my browser to go buy me a copy too since I thought maybe she'd want to read together. In any event, I wanted the book.

I think I was sidetracked because I bought another copy of the book.... again for her.

At first I thought no way... but WAY. Amazon didn't even tell me something like "you've just done this 2 minutes ago". (like FNB tells me when I want to pay the same person - my savings account - twice a day)

I went into my account to check and yes, two different invoice numbers. How perfectly annoying.

Nevertheless. Moving on.

My study is a MESS.

I'm sorting out 4 birthday presents at one time which means gift wrap! cards! washi tape! ribbon! ALL OVER.

And I still have some of the kids' gifts in my study because... well, I don't trust them to not lose bits and pieces so they need to be used under supervision. Nanny S doesn't give a jot about making sure all bits are together if she's with them, so I have to figure out a way to sort all this out.

I thought it was normal to be like me. When the kids pack away anything, I count - are all 18 markers in the set? Are all the puzzle pieces in the correct box? etc.

Do you do this too?

Anyway, I'm going to do a quick tidy and jump into that bed to start a new, fun book.

What are you reading at the moment?

Friday, July 18, 2014

{Friendship Friday} This could have been so much worse

Last week I received an email from a 3 am friend (Louisa and Funso, she was at my birthday lunch two years ago) telling me she'd been hijacked.

Guess where?

In the TRAFFIC in Sandton.

Not to scare any of you who work there, but it was peak hour and the traffic was gridlocked. A guy knocked on her window with a gun and shouted at her to get out of the car.

She has something wrong with the shoulder closest to the door so swivelled and used her left arm to reach over and open.

Well, this man got more cross and banged with his gun on the window.

Long story short, she exited the car, he and his accomplice got in and drove off.

No-one else even stopped!!!! I mean, just picture it - a totally shocked woman at the side of the road without a phone or anything.

A lady in the car next to hers saw the whole thing, let my friend get into her car and did all the phoning for her. My friend was totally calm (too calm - clearly in shock) and could remember nothing except her home phone number.

This Good Samaritan lady was wonderful. Wonderful! Took her to a shopping centre near her home and waited til my friend's son could collect her.

A few days later at work, she had a little breakdown. She said it was so scary. The person on the other end of the phone was saying simple things (something about a client's investment payout) and she couldn't understand a thing. She was shivering, teeth chattering, and just crying and crying. Poor thing.

She's back at work now and interestingly, she is also "seeing someone", the same lady I saw! How freaky.


The people who are from here will know that this story could have ended up SO much worse. The car's been recovered, by the way... it was an Audi. Yes, they shouted and waved a gun in her face and bit off her wedding rings which all made me cry when she told me, but I'm so glad she's physically okay and on the mend to being emotionally okay too.

I saw the email late in the evening (10 ish) so I waited til the next morning to phone her and talk properly. So glad I did that. She spoke and spoke for about an hour solid.

I'm so grateful that God was with her that afternoon and that she was not physically harmed.

What are you feeling grateful for today?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Weather, friends and kiddie playdates

Can you feel it?

For two days now I haven't needed the heater on in the study the ENTIRE day!

This is momentous.

I think it's starting to warm up.

Let's not kid ourselves; it's not spring yet, but it's pleasantly cold. Still cold enough for jeans, sweatshirts and takkies but not so cold you need all those extra layers.

But I didn't say this, okay? Because we know what will happen if I actually say those things.

Yesterday and today, three friends sent me one of those, "so how ARE you emails?" and do you know what, it was at the perfect time because I'd had some "ugh" feelings these last 2 - 3 days.

Perfect timing from them - I love it!

Thank you again if you're reading :)

There's this little girl in K's class. Her father also works from home so he and I run into one another when I fetch the kids.

He initiated a play date between the 3 kids which we did a few weeks ago when his daughter came here for the afternoon.

I've always directed just a little bit (Bryan Adams song :)) and then I leave the kids to get on with things. How this works practically - I leave out beads and ribbon, and then they make their own stuff, etc. That day, there were scissors, glue sticks and lots of different papers/ textures and they got on with it, and then there was pretend play if I remember correctly. I tried to feed them lunch but no-one was really hungry, so it was seriously about 10 minutes of my time in total.

Well, my two went over there on the Thursday before their party and Nanny S and I got the house party-ready amidst baking.

They came home with perfectly coloured in sheets, painted rocks, they had muffins, toys and KinderJoy eggs (I still have never had KinderJoy eggs. You?) and when I picked them up, the nanny said he was just finishing reading them a story. He definitely got no work done that afternoon.

The kids thought they were in heaven!

They love going there (this was the second time; first time was her party) and now want her to sleep over. I told them I'm not mad; you two are enough work!

We really like them (the wife is a bit quiet) so we've invited them over for a kiddie playdate and tea on the weekend. Let's see how this goes. #milestonesandsuch

I do know I'll have to have a craft or two ready :)

How are you doing?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Our first winter walk

These photos were taken very late one Sunday afternoon after we'd been out for lunch and got home.

When the kids are crabby, I take them for a walk. Helps to get the wiggles out and it's good for children and all of us to get some of that cold, crisp air on our cheeks :)

We literally had about 20 minutes before darkness so we just did a quick walk around the block.

I love this one - staring down the cat

for the Mandys

these two are so cute when they're in cahoots but not so cute when they ignore their parents and only listen out for one another

I'm sure I planned to use this for some meaningful post about cracks in my life/ thinking/ etc :) Oh well!


love this one - it is one of my favourite 4 of Connor for June
Which is your favourite?
What are your tricks to keep the crabbiness at bay?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

All manner of housekeeping

First, some bloggy housekeeping.

1.Some of you lovely folk leave me comments and I click over to your Wordpress blogs, leave a comment too and I know it disappears into The Cyberspace.

If you've visited and left a comment, please check your spam folder. I would hate to appear inhospitable :)

(especially since I had such a lovely conversation with someone last night about hospitality)

2. And the Google + folks - I don't know how the heck to find your blogs - I just click on something and hope it goes to the right place where I'm leaving comments ...

3. Last but very definitely not least, the normal comments are behaving in a terrible fashion. I don't mind (okay, I do) them behaving badly ALL the time, but I do go a bit crazy when they're erratic in their behaving badly fashion.

So, some of your comments come through to email and some don't. Sam tried to help me decipher this "huge bloggy dilemma" over supper the other night, and we think it's got something to do with people commenting from WP accounts. It would be WP, wouldn't it? Because I hate it something terrible.

Do you know the only reason I blog on Organising Queen using WP is because when I was going through The Crazy Newborn Stage (that lasted a year), I needed a scheduling tool and at the time, Blogger didn't offer it, so I paid my lovely technical VA to move everything to WP all so I could schedule posts. Or use the times of less-than-totally-crazy for good.

Mental housekeeping

This may not be a shock for some of you but it was for me. I realised about two weeks ago that I'm actually never going to go back to work at the old secret place.

Is that strange?

It started when I was trying to make a friend date and I said, "I'll meet you at ____ shopping centre, but not at That Place".

Even when I totally get over the issues, I know I'm the type who doesn't look back. Also, this may be paranoia talking but I'm sure some people have badmouthed me.

So that's that.

Very strange to admit it to myself but totally freeing.

Business-y housekeeping

I went through my mailing list system last week and had a ball deleting things. I went down from about 43 templates to just 6. Yes! I love deleting things!

As part of that process, I also went through printables I'd created, added them to a members site I have going and sent out the link to all previous and current users of my ecourses, and clients, of course. It felt delicious (Sam, I always think of you when I use the word "delicious") to have all that stuff being used and the old things off my site.

I also made sure all my articles are in the online directories I use. When my VA is done uploading them all (this is important but not urgent - we have two lists we work from), there'll be 103.

Real housekeeping

Some of you on IG saw me start the real house stuff. I went through my kitchen and Nanny S went home with half a table of stuff on Friday. That was after the 5 jerseys and two maternity long-sleeved tops I decluttered.

I love my wardrobe with white space!

Next I'm attacking those handbags.

D asked me if I want a bag for my birthday and I said NO!!!! I mean, no, thank you, I have quite enough :)

this is not my house - I need to tell you about this though!

So where have you been doing housekeeping in your life?

PS on my list today, to do the personal budget (business is done and tithe paid) and sort out my My Documents. I've been downloading like crazy and just dumping things willy nilly. It's got to stop!


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