Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday, the Irish version of miracles

So I decided, after looking at my list of photo projects, that there are one or two more important things than making albums of us with the kids....

Like tackling the backlog - the pre-kids overseas trip backlog.

We, like everyone else, went crazy with our digital cameras and came back, stuck them on a disc and did nothing.

My trick is always to get some quick wins first so I tackled the one-week, pre-baby holiday in Dublin in 2009.

I'm now working through the 3-week, 4-country, UK trip from 2008. On the bright side, Wales is done, I'm nearly done with Ireland. Scotland is also done but somehow I only transferred the small versions to the laptop. England is going to be hard because we saw about 10 friends......

But look what I found.....




A day after we celebrated our 14-year wedding anniversary..... and my lovely Woolworths maternity jeans - I may still have these too...


Yes, I'm wearing the same top - it's my warmest fleece, okay? And I still have it....hmmm, at least 6 years now!

But isn't that amazing?

11 months apart, same place, first non-pregnant, just before I came back to have my laparoscopy and Dr G told me definitely IVF, and then 2 IVFs later, and 23 weeks pregnant with twin babies.

WOW - God is good.

I'm believing for such miracles over the next year again. I want to post and write "can you all believe I went through all that hell, and LOOK at what's happening now!"

:)

When I look at the photos, I really, REALLY want to go back to Ireland to take some photos again. But not with the current Euro/ Rand exchange rate!

At these currency rates, it's Thailand all the way :)

What kind of miracles are you hoping for in the next year?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter plans?

I changed my phone cover back because I felt like something sparkly again :)
Well, hello.

It feels like a Thursday today because of the long Easter weekend.

5 days left!!!

I officially finished my time in the CBD but I have about two hours of work left which I'll do from the mother ship.

We have zero Easter plans.

Have I told you before how much of a wuss I am with seeing Jesus on the cross? Yes, well, because of my issues, I haven't been to see an Easter play for about 10 years (once I stopped feeling guilty).



So D will go to church once this weekend, we have a last-minute party invite which we'll go to because I like the mother (is that weird?!) and I would like us to go to Thava (lovely Indian restaurant) as a family. That's it.

If I feel like overachieving, I may throw some Easter eggs around the garden and chase the kids with a camera while they hunt them down :)

(I joke - we are going to hide a few eggs outside (weather permitting) otherwise inside the house but I'm not bothering with baskets... unless I have a fit of enthusiasm on the weekend)



I can't make pickled fish (do you do the pickled fish thing?) but I will definitely be eating toasted hot cross buns with tea the entire weekend.

I'm indoctrinating my kids because last weekend Connor said to me, "Mummy, can you PLEASE make me some tea" and my heart melted.

How cute! I'm creating little teapots!

What are your plans for Easter?

PS I have BIG plans for once I stop working... as in I'm going to ATTACK this house. D's already started hiding his things.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Our first autumn photo walk

I'd be happy if it were autumn forever :)

I love the leaves, jeans and a t-shirt, with a sweatshirt, and TEA!!!!

Mind you, in these photos I'm still wearing shorts and flip-flops... and it was a mere month ago. The first decent weekend after all the rain.












Which is your favourite?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Random Monday thoughts

This morning when I got to work, I was copied in on a very sad email - my colleagues' dad died this morning, unexpectedly from the sounds of it.

Very, very sad.

This is the one that "made me cry" when I had my breakdown in July last year. Interestingly, we get along well WHEN we're not working together.



I decided today that I want to set up something job-searchy for every day next week so I have two interviews with recrui.tment agents on Tues and Wed morning, and lunches after that with good networkers....

I also sent an email to follow up on something I'd previously sent out. He emailed me back already to say he would discuss it with his senior.

I have another two recrui.tment agents to contact and then I'm taking a break for our holiday.

new phone cover (well, not that new - I bought it on my last day in CT - 28 Feb)
So I went to "see the someone" today. The session was weird.... but validating.... and that's all I'm saying for now. Still processing :)

But the traffic was way too awful - rain, highways, more rain.... at least in Jhb we know how to drive :) (can't resist the dig at CT drivers)


I heard on the news while driving home that there are people CAMPED outside schools to hand in application forms.

When I got home, I was very tempted to drive past a popular school in our area to take photos (all in the name of Instagram documenting!!!) but I was too tired.

D and I decided "what will be will be" and that we are not prepared to go to these lengths to get to the tops of the lists.

I hope this doesn't come back to bite us in the butt :)

Either that or my career plans will include homeschooling. That is a BIG joke - you all know that, right?

How was your Monday?

PS 7 days left!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

8 days

Well, I have 8 days left at my job and thank goodness, I'm mostly feeling excited now.

I've had lots and lots of mixed emotions, and I responded to some of your comments to pray for me.

Something that I hate doing but always helps with these things is I wrote some things down.
  • What is really going on?
  • Why am I still so torn?
  • How can I let go and move forward?
  • Etc.

Right after that, I heard an AWESOME message last Sunday at church on breakthrough and that's when I wrote out my two project life cards with all the promises God's given me (and you!).

This is my last couple of days on a project and that I could not be happier about, even though the best part of this work is the people (on the project!) I get to interact with.

Then after the Easter weekend, I have about 4 things to do, team-related, which I can technically do from home, so I'm going in on the Tuesday for a lot of meetings and then maybe I will work from home the rest of the time.

We'll see because I am taking nothing for granted til I hand in that laptop and access disk.



I will say it is still very hard being on that campus. I love it so much.

Which is why I dragged all of them there yesterday. It was actually very therapeutic which is what I'd hoped for.

As you can see, even Thursday and Friday came with us.

Tomorrow I am "seeing someone" to talk through some of "my issues". This is a milestone for me. I've never needed to "see someone" (sorry, I can't resist all the "") so it's going to be "interesting".

8 days to go...

One thing I am not looking forward to is my farewell on Thursday...... two things I am looking forward to this week is lunch with Louisa and facilitating another one of those fin.ance workshops.

I'm up so late because I slept for 1 hour 40 mins this afternoon til.....5.35!

What are you looking forward to this week, and not looking forward to?

PS let's keep Cat in our prayers. She has a shoulder op scheduled for Thursday!
PPS I'm really not sure how to or if it's appropriate to announce my leaving on FB.... any ideas? Jeanette?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Project Life - the first quarter

Aaaaah, I'm loving Project Life this year.

Can I just say this? I clearly don't have any perseverance because I really like different things in my albums all the time.

In hindsight I can see I got a bit bored with Seafoam and really what I needed was one or two fillers from other kits to keep it exciting.

I think I made an EXCELLENT decision to buy just the filler kit for Honey and Sunshine at the end of last year.

They cost me $3.99 each (less than R90 total) and each came with 50 cards on them. So I just printed out all 100 on cardstock and cut them out (that was the only painful part but I just did it over a few days and now I'm set for the year!).

THIS in my opinion, is the way for South Africans to do Project Life. We will always pay customs duties and exorbitant shipping on the proper kits so it's a nice affordable way to do this.

I was put off for a long time because I'm not a digital scrapbooker (I don't even edit my photos except for a colour change here and there, and a crop now and again) but hey! you get the files in png (for the ones who know what that means) and you get PDF files for the rest of us :)

Anyway, you can see how nice and bright and HAPPY my layouts are this year. I LOVE THEM!

Organising my stuff

I sorted all the cards into colours, whether Honey or Sunshine - so there's yellow, black and white, pink, red, blue, green, brown, etc. and based on the photos I choose, I get out the co-ordinating set of cards, choose a few, write down something (sometimes) and I'm good to go.

EASY!

(I'm using all the other PL stuff but honestly, for lists, labels, for the kids to draw me something on a specific date to put into a memory box of sorts, labelling photo album pages and for "pre-holiday" sets so people know this is the Plett holiday, this is Ballito, etc.

Opening

Jan 1

Jan 2

Feb

March (taken right now with iphone as I dropped my camera and it's not focussing properly... but fortunately JUST after I was done at my work this afternoon. It's the kit lens because the other lenses work just fine)
So that's where we're at.

I LOVE IT!!!

I'm also really glad shipping is so expensive over here because if that obstacle was removed, I'd be buying boxes of the cards because they really are gorgeous. And there is NO way you could even go through all the cards in a core kit in a year, of that I'm convinced.

How is your memory-keeping for the year coming along?

Right now, I'm you tubing Casting Crowns (THEY ARE COMING HERE, Mandy! YES< we've bought tickets) and getting familiar with the other stuff besides my favourite album ever #untilthewholeworldhears

Then I want to make a mini album (24 of my favourite black and white photos) and start selecting pics for a new album "Mummy and me" for the kids :)

I love my projects :)

What are you up to on this Saturday night?

Friday, April 11, 2014

{Fashion Friday} Let's talk about BB cream

So back when I was looking for that wonderful Wet 'n Wild foundation (which unfortunately Mrs FF wasn't able to get for me), I started keeping my eyes open for other things that could also work.

I get the Clicks magazine for Gold Clubcard holders which is nothing special, just that you spend a lot at Clicks, and saw a product in there which I went to check out.

It wasn't worth the bother BUT... BUT.... I saw this new thing, BB cream, and decided to try it.

I don't like the cheapest of anything so I took something middle-of-the-range (Garnier) and since I'd had good success with their hair colour, I was confident this would be a good product too.

It was... but not good enough coverage for a work day.

On a work day, one (me) needs to be more put together than on a weekend. So I'd use normal foundation during the week and the Garnier on the weekend.

Perfect.

And then one day I popped into Clicks again (I do lots of aimless popping into Clicks which has got to stop) and Sorbet had just launched their BB cream.

How could I resist?!

(this is how it starts with me!)



I bought the Sorbet and I LOVE IT!

It has much better coverage than the Garnier and I've been using it to wear to work.

I saw an ad somewhere for a matte BB cream and now I'm hooked on finding that. This will be IT, I know it will :)

So off I went to Clicks again :)

The sales assistant and I had a lovely long chat about BB creams. She gave me some samples of a Ponds one and they also make an anti-ageing one (not that I need it *ahem*) but alas, didn't know what I was talking about with the matte one.

But did you see Yardley also makes CC cream?!

Come on! Now I've got to try that too.

BB cream is a tinted moisturiser and CC cream is a colour corrector. Here's a post from a beauty blog.

The reason I like them so much is the flat-out convenience. I'm really lazy with my skin and have a super-fast "routine". So in the mornings, it's wash, BB cream, eyeliner, eyeshadow on my eyebrows only, lipliner and lipstick.

5 minutes and I'm done.

In May, I'm going to have SO MUCH time to do more fun posts like actually take photos of my routines and such :)

I now have to give away some unopened "proper" foundation - anyone with my skin colour want them? Because seriously, I can't go back :)

Have you tried BB or CC cream?
Which is your favourite?

PS Terisha, I can't reply to your comments because I can't see your email address. mail me marcia @ the 123blog.com :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I know you all think I'm weird about money

but really, I spent about 2 hours tonight doing budgets and loved it.

It's always been a goal of mine to live on one income and it's a good thing I've been working us towards that for a few years now.

The good news is I could probably not work for years and years (if we don't want to take overseas holidays and upgrade cars).

But that's not practical so it's just years.





The thing I realised tonight is that even though the savings are THERE for just such a time as this (isn't that what I've been saving for the last 16 years - I only started saving in 1998 - the first couple of years working were just getting past survival every month), I actually really don't prefer to dip into them at all.

So I told D I'm taking over his account and will be managing everything to see how we can minimise impact on savings.

He didn't look too charmed by that ;)

Right at this moment, our average groceries are R3200 which I told you before I think is too much, based on the amount of nonsense we buy. E.g On a bill of about R900, R266 was just snacks. At the end of April, I will have a full year of data (NERD ALERT) so I can properly analyse the spending, do graphs, etc.

(go click on that link - there were some really good comments. Also, have any of you changed your habits as that post is dated Dec 13)

I can see I'm really going to have to work hard to stay in the spirit of abundance and keep giving.


I haven't reduced my "spending money" (see my last couple of shopping sprees in the photos - thank goodness you can't see all the Kindle purchases!) but I have worked out properly what I need to cover my (previous) part of the expenses and it's really not very much at all in the grand scheme of things.

So I've decided I'm going to hustle my buns off, take on an extra couple of coaching clients, work on marketing my products a bit more and maybe my side biz can help me STILL not touch the savings.

I realise this sounds totally crazy but when have I ever claimed to be sane?!


How are your grocery budgets looking these days? 

Am I mad to not want to dip into my savings?
Any other ideas for me to make some mo.ney?

PS tomorrow I meet with a financial advisor to chat about my prov.ident fund benefits. I never ever commute any of it (it's like a 401K for the US guys) so it's just to decide where will be best to invest it.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

{Wordless Wednesday} Ballito photoshoot outtakes

well, maybe not outtakes, but photos I liked NOT chosen for the album











I love this one - look how happy she is with her photo :)


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Ole'

I've now had 5 Spanish dancing lessons.



I'm really enjoying it but it's not as easy as I thought it would be. Some of it is... I remember the one dance like it was yesterday but some other things that should be more "obvious" are taking longer to get settled in my mind.

Also, clearly I'm 22 years older because my body doesn't twist into the turns, etc. as easily as it used to :)

The other girl in my class decided to do her exams in June so I'm joining her.

What the heck, right?

And I like a goal :)

So here I am at 39-odd years doing Spanish dance exams I did when I was 13 :)

But it's all good.

Best of all, I enjoy it and it's good to clear my busy mind - I have to keep focussed or I completely lose the rhythm.

Now that all the enrolment fees and gear has been paid for (I just got my skirt tonight), it should only cost R500 pm!

How are you keeping your head clear these days?

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