Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Ballito photo session aka getting in photos with your kids

The ONE thing I want from every "memorable" occasion is at least one nice photo.
 
Is that too much to ask?
 
I've spoken before about how important it is for me (AND YOU!) to get in photos with the kids. It was a journey for me in 2011 but I'm there now and I get a good haul of about 100 decent (made the cut) photos every year.
 
Isn't that awesome?!
 
Anyway, so when we went to Ballito to celebrate my 40th birthday, I wanted nice photos against the fabulous grey wall.
 
At the time I thought the photo session was a disaster.... then again, I always do.... but I got some beautiful photos and some weird ones that I LOVE!
 
Here is just a small selection of photos from the 4th day and the photo session against that wall!

setting out


 


Essence - Berry (R24,95 from Clicks) It is my "normal" signature shade.




this is actually what it's like trying to take photos with 5-year-olds - ZERO focus

unexpected great one!



Do you consciously get in photos with your kids?

(if not, let's set a goal, just get in 3 photos for the months remaining of 2014, one a month. So this is something I'm willing to do a link-up for. Will you participate? If you're nervous, start with all your feet or hands, and then profile shots, til you get comfortable with a "proper" photo)

PS I have a photo of my mother and I when I was THREE, and I made sure to get one of her now I'm FORTY! Nothing in between except wedding photos.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Some nerdiness of the Fitbit kind

It's Goals Night - woohoo!

Tonight I'm sharing some Fitbit stats with you.


Sadly I only reached 89% of my steps goal :(

(to be honest, it's better than I thought it would be!)

This is what the trend looks like so far. May is not a true reflection as I only had the Fitbit for 6 days.

The dip in June is due to me sitting still at my desk working very hard on the Help! I need more time course (which was WELL worth the bum in seat time - it is some really, really good work).

And then you can see it's much of a muchness.

My best month was August and that was due to the week at the beach. My highest number of steps in any one week ever... 52 000. Yay beach walks.

This is, of course, nothing for you runners. But it's a lot for me!

I really need to break that 6000-step barrier. On the bright side, those 67 steps at my work will help........ and make me sweat :)

I also need to get moving more. My Saturday gym is just not enough and I'm starting to not enjoy my Zumba as it feels too hectic because I'm less fit!

In other news, I'm considering going back to Weigh-Less. One of the things on my lovely things list is to do W-L for 2 weeks without cheating........... I'm a moderator, not an abstainer so this is SUPER hard for me. But I can at least give it a good shot.

What are your health and fitness goals for October?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Photography with children and this month's Snapshots theme

Just a quick reminder that we're moving Saturday Snapshots to the FIRST Saturday of the month. That's this Saturday, the 4th.

Our theme is patterns.

This is such a fun topic - I do hope you'll play along. In fact, I think I have enough for two posts!



I'm SO enjoying taking photos WITH the kids.

Maybe I should write a post? Or an ebook?

Because it's like I can see their little minds open up and take in the world first, because of the camera, and second, because they're learnt to look for details, etc.

Such fun!










 


We've also decided which streets are horrible in the neighbourhood - either because there are too many crazy dogs or there is literally nothing exciting like a tree or interesting wall, etc.

In Joburg, everybody has 6-ft walls so at least the wall, or the number or a tree poking out has to be mildly exciting for us.

The kids love to take photos with this Sony Cybershot, and with my camera, which I happily hand over on 3 conditions:
  1. I get to take photos of them first
  2. They stand with feet firmly planted on the ground - no fancy footwork
  3. They hold the camera with two hands and the strap around their neck.
How easy is it for you to hand over your camera?

PS I know I've said it for years now but I really think THIS year is the year I'll buy them their own cameras for Christmas.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Around here... some horrible books

So the massage place sent me one of those automated feedback forms and I gave my feedback... nicely but I was very clear.

The next morning I happened to look at the pants I was wearing and they had huge oil splotches everywhere, probably from being pushed into that bed with dirty sheets.

Anyway, we'll see if anybody bothers to respond.
 

{beautiful view top left}

Yesterday we went to the most fabulous party ever. OH MY GOSH, a kids' and big person's heaven! And it wasn't even a venue, it was a private home.

I will write about it some more when I post the photos because they are AMAZING. The views, not necessarily my photos.

I said before that Old Company (OC) had the best views in all of Joburg; well, my God has come through for me because these ones are just as amazing and I'm so taking her up on popping over anytime for photos or reading :)

And not much makes me have house envy but this house did.

"Why do we have to live in a boring flat house?" One with views of.... the house across the street. :)



Also, look at those 67 steps going up to our new building...... which we move into on Friday.... I was POOPED going up and down in the midday heat. I guess I'm staying put during summer and seriously there's no lift or anything. Apparently the owners don't want visitors :) because it feels very visitor-unfriendly to me. I dread to think what's going to happen when the lifts from the parking basement don't work - up 8 or 9 flights with a rolling laptop bag................

D was very helpful with his advice: "keep deodorant in your bag".

The other views are from our divisional MD's office and the open plan section. Alas, my desk doesn't overlook that view.


Also, if you're a fan of Ce.celia's, don't get that book. I felt it was really not worth it at all. I read another terrible one just before that one - also terrible (check my goodreads!). Today I finished one slightly better but nothing to write home about. Here's hoping to FABULOUS reads in October. Sam, I'm starting your birthday book right after I hit publish on this post :)

And last but not least, my 31 days of enough time is all planned out. Til I change the topics on the spur of the moment as I do :)

Please follow along in October on the Organising Blog.

Now what's been going on in your world?
Read any good books lately? ;) (SERIOUSLY!!!!)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Thoughts on the traffic and how denial is a good thing

Well, I've been working at New Company (NC) for three weeks now and things are still good.

So NC is only about 8 km further than old company but the traffic is much worse.

If you read this post on the traffic, you may be wondering how on earth it is that I'm actually calm...

Well there's a back story.

When I was first approached about this job, I thought definitely not but I sent through my CV anyway since the job looked interesting, at least on paper.

I suspended all judgement til after I'd met them (first interview) and then I prayed a strange prayer, "God, if this is from you, then open my mind to the TRAFFIC but if it's not from you, shut it all down super quickly".

Boom, boom, boom. I'm now working here.



I decided to use my fabulous denial skills so I'm not thinking about the traffic at all while I wait for my new neural pathways to kick in.

In other words, I'm creating new traffic habits that my brain and body are getting used to. I mean, the other morning I didn't even stress in the traffic.

BIG news for me!

We've had bad traffic once (Praise the Lord!) but the rest of the time it's been (honestly) fine.

We leave home at 7:30 ish (kids!), drop kids and then hit the roads. And I'm there latest 8:20 except for that one day which was an 8:45 day.

I'm also employing some other tactics to help me, like this:

My previous commute was 25 - 30 minutes so I now tell myself that I can't even THINK about complaining for the first 30 minutes. And then it's the not-too-bad part for the last 10 - 15 minutes :)

So all my mental tomfoolery is working for the moment.

I still haven't driven in the rain yet so I might have to come back and do a rebuttal then!

Do you play mind games in the traffic?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Life in South Africa and some {really great} reading for the weekend

This is my 15th "some reading for the weekend" post - amazing since I only do them once a month!
 


 
 
Anyway, I've got some good ones for you today.... and I constrained myself to only share 7 links!
 
1. I could have written this post....because this is one of my tricks too :)
 
 
 
4. I seriously LOVE this idea. When can we start?
 
5. It turns out I love the Bored Housewife type of books. What about you?
 
6. 10 career lessons from my favourite new (to me) blog, Cup of Jo
 
 
 

On one of our recent walks, I noticed that Connor was a teensy bit obsessed by electric fences. He talks about all the different types, etc, etc. (I just like flowers peeking out from amongst them...)

It then occured to me that this is probably not normal for kids outside of South Africa.
 
What kind of (normal to you) things are your kids obsessed with?








 


 
Which is your favourite link?

This heat is no joke

I walked to the mall yesterday and back because I've been coughing like crazy (to the point where I feel like I could vomit) at random times through the day.

No other symptoms of anything else; just the coughing.

But yesterday I'd had 3 coughing fits by 9:30 in the morning. My colleague kindly suggested that I might want to get something ;)

Anyway, so off I go to the mall to Clicks. I detoured to Mr P home and to Woolworths (got some RED flats!) - but that's not part of the story.

I got some cough syrup and eventually headed back.

Guys, this heat is no joke. Probably 10 - 12 minutes total walking in the heat and I was finished.

Also, I had the beginnings of a heat headache which abated somewhat (Panado!) but then started up again.

I just about managed to sort the kids' clothes, feed all of them and myself and then I jumped into bed.

I slept for over 9 hours last night but my Fitbit app tells me 36 minutes were restless/ awake so it puts the actual sleep time at 8 hrs 44.

Note to myself - no more walking around in 28 - 29-degree heat in Jhb.

We have a party tomorrow so I'm going to be chugging away from my 800 ml water bottle in the shade with my big sunhat and NOT running around the kids at all.

Except for the odd pic :)

And of course, some pics to go with the heat post - Ballito day 3.








this is going to be my new "Marcia" pics - I had the one taken at the old work, in the Drakensberg, and now at the beach :)

thank goodness for D's long arms!

LOVE this pic!

Casting Crowns' new album on my mind... it's a good one!

this is so us! I don't like tea or coffee but reading in bed forever? yes please. With a child or two? Double yes!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A hot bath and a Panado



I went for a massage tonight.

I thought it was going to be nice and relaxing, and I'd come home, blog, read and go to bed.

Instead it was super painful.

I'm the person who asks for very light pressure from a massage therapist so you can imagine.

OH MY WORD.

I screamed out a few times, she said, "oh, it's sore" and carried on!!!!

Once I was dressed and came out, the receptionist said to me, "are you okay? she's very worried about you".

(well then, why didn't she go easier???)

They said to take a Panado and have a hot bath tonight otherwise I may be in quite a bit of pain tomorrow.

Just what I wanted from a relaxing evening... not!

So I'm taking her advice after I write another quick blog post.

How was your Heritage Day? Or Wednesday for my US friends?

PS My Instagram's been acting up. When I click post (or whatever), it throws me out completely and of course, loses my post. And only if I reeaaallly want to post will I go back in and retype it all. Also, no wifi in building is cramping my IG style. That and the fact that this is a very normal work environment. No one walks around with their phone looking important (except me - can you believe it? :)) so it just looks weird to be taking photos all the time.... so I sneak into the bathroom and take photos of my clothes.

Anyway, I deleted it this afternoon and reinstalled it so hopefully it will now work. At least the two posts I published didn't throw me out!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Look for the light... and going back



I'm also getting a teensy bit obsessed by ugly electricity boxes (what are these things called?)



ooooh, I do love chipped paint!





The thing that most struck me when I was looking through these photos was the light.

We went for this walk a little earlier than we normally do because I didn't feel like walking in the cold later :) and I was amazed at how different everything looked - bright and vibrant, not faded and cold.

It's also interesting how, when you put on a different perspective, how your life can also look different.

I think I mentioned once how my ex-colleague who cried solid, every day for the first 5 months in that job, went back to our ex-team.

Well, I told her I think she's absolutely mad. Another ex-colleague of ours told her exactly the same thing.

Recently we had a conversation about it again now that she's back there, working, and nothing's changed (of course) but she said she's not as miserable because at least she's in the same city. At the other job she was working in other random places around the country. I think she said it was 4 months solid of M - F travel.

Which was interesting to me because her perspective of the job changed and it's more palatable to her this time around.

I want to make something quite clear just in case it wasn't clear before - I am most certainly not mad and I will never, ever go back to that kind of work. EVER :)


What would make you go back to an old job you hated?

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