Friday, June 23, 2017

Which 5 things are always in your fridge or pantry?


There's quite a lot swirling around my brain (a death of someone I used to do ministry with this week; another divorce; too much work) all of which just stops me in my tracks.

Instead, let's chat about a fun topic like we did in this post.

This question is from the Shauna Niequist podcast but I'm going to tell you 5 food in
I'm going to break it down since that's the way my mind works.



Things I always have in my fridge:
  1. Granny Smith apples
  2. Cheese
  3. Eggs
  4. Yoghurt
  5. Orange juice


That sounds quite boring but it's true - I always have those things. On the rare occasions when I'm sick and I have no appetite, I know I can always eat a yoghurt and apple to be able to take my meds.
 
In fact, Tsh used to ask on her podcast if you had to choose one type of food for the rest of your life, what would you eat? I can't say for sure - some days I think Thai, some days I think Mexican, some days I think Italian.

What about you? What would you eat for the rest of your life?



Things I always have in my pantry:
  1. pasta
  2. cans of tomato 
  3. many, many litres of long-life milk
  4. rice
  5. a can of baked beans/ sweetcorn/ kidney beans/ tuna, etc.
So I can always whip up some supper!

What's always in your fridge or pantry?

PS Connor's list of his 10 favourite foods:
  1. sweet things
  2. curry/ biryani
  3. eggs
  4. pizza
  5. jasmine rice
  6. pasta
  7. juice
  8. water
  9. cucumber
  10. cauliflower

Monday, June 19, 2017

My kids went away this weekend

taken about two months ago


So I've had low-level dread for weeks about my kids going away without us this past long weekend. They went camping in a caravan somewhere in the Pilanesberg.

Three full days and nights is a long, long time for me.

We've been separate from them for this long before but that was when we went to New York. And it's different when you're the ones left in the quiet house and the kids aren't there.

Aside from that time, they've slept out once for 2 nights but we were away too, and everything else (probably 5 - 6 nights in their nearly 8 years) has been a night here and a night there.

Of course D had no such qualms. He always says we all talk too much, and he likes the quiet.

I'm pleased to say I survived, and so did they.

We went out every day, I had friend dates on two nights, read, shopped, etc. and the weekend passed quickly.

I'm still not keen to repeat that a lot but at least I'll know I can do it. 

reunited at last!

Of course yesterday after our reunion, there were lots of tears because they then missed MIL and SIL.

Poor things!

Do you like having your kids go away?
If yes, how long and how often do they go away?

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Reading, reading, reading

Before I tell you about my May books, please tell me if you're on Goodreads....

And if you are, do you use the stats feature? 

Click on My Books, and then Read, and then on the right, you'll see Stats.

Click and play around. If you love numbers, you'll love seeing all the lovely stats.

E.g. Most of this year's books have been read on Kindle.




Okay, onto the books in May:

Most unexpectedly delightful book ever - Sophie Kinsella's Finding Audrey (highly recommend!)

Most discussed book - The One-in-a-million Boy - Monica Wood. This was our book club read, and I also highly recommend it, but do set aside good reading time, not just before bed because you need to sink into it.

Most book with aha moments - Let it go, which is for the control freaks and recovering control freaks among us. I learned that , most notably the section on tools, toys or tangents. I should possibly write a blog post just on that section and social media, since I'm into talking about it these days.

Book I learned the most from - Eve Schaub's The year of sugar. Excellent read but it may scare you away if you love food.

Book I want to hear from people about - At home in the world. Everyone on the internet loves it and for me it was "meh". So am I weird? What is the * factor everyone is getting and not me?

Now, over to you.

Which book have you had the most learning moments from recently? Otherwise which book has been simply delightful?

Friday, June 02, 2017

{Friendship Friday} Uninvited and social media

You all know I'm obsessed with audio books, but I have some internal rules/ boundaries for those too.

I almost always prefer to hear a book read by the author unless they have a terrible voice.

I also noticed that I enjoy hearing Christian non-fiction much more if I listen to it (God's word penetrates my heart more by listening) than if I read it.



(I get about 3c - R0.42 - if you buy the book through this link - too sad!)

So when I read last year that Lysa Terkeurst released a new book, Uninvited, I was so excited but she does not narrate the book.

And the chosen narrator doesn't get super excellent reviews.

So I did the next-best thing: I searched for podcasts with her on it, and that's actually how I found God Centered Mom (and have been hooked ever since!).

It was a great podcast (listen to it here on itunes - it's episode 131) and I wanted to share some things that I learned and am trying to do.



The purpose of her social media page is to invite in, not to exclude

This one really spoke to me. All the pics of friends' faces on Instagram can make other friends feel excluded.

I have been guilty of posting pics and have other friends comment and say "I'm jealous". I don't know if it's a cursory statement or if there is real hurt there. So I've been trying to be mindful of that and instead post pics of the food, or something else so that if the friend wants to out themselves, they can, but when I say "had a great lunch today" that is something we can all appreciate (!) without feeling uninvited.


We are addicted to the likes and acceptance, so post and don't look

She said she challenges herself regularly to post and not even look if there are likes for 24 hours.

I took this one up as a challenge and you'll often see me post something in the morning and I don't look again til after work.

You know what happens? You get on with your real life! It's awesome - more books are read, more kids are played with, more kitchens are cleaned, more recipes are tried (I've tried 24 new recipes in the last 5 months!)

(I've disabled all notifications so I'm not at all tempted, even when my phone is out, to see the "engagement" on my feeds)

Sometimes rejection is God's best protection

She tells herself that if she is "rejected" by someone she wanted to be friends with, maybe that is God's best for her life, especially if she knows she didn't do anything "wrong".

Isn't this good? It definitely helped me with my  "unable to let go" personality.



Friendship hurts are real and valid

It's not like a death that does hurt but is at least final, but with a friendship hurt, someone is choosing to walk away.

I can talk forever on this but let's just say, feelings are completely valid.

Don't bash, hash or trash

That's something she lives by - don't bash your friends, don't hash (re-hash/ over analyse things. If you have an issue, deal with it) and don't trash them even in the "sweet" ways women often do, expressed as concern but is actually gossip.


Use your social media for good - to ease the loneliness ache in others.

Do you think about the way in which you post on social media? That it might hurt others' feelings?
Do you keep checking back to see how many likes your post has?
What really stood out to you?

Friday, May 26, 2017

{Friendship Friday} Old friends


Hey, we haven't done one of these for a long time.

I'm in a weird space with friendship. It might be just this time of year but I don't think so.

On the one hand I feel like I'm too busy with friends. That's actually true because I updated my diaries and such two nights ago and with one week left of May, I'd already had NINE socials. And we're not even having book club in May!

Then again, on the other hand, I feel like I'm just not busy at all.

I suspect that this feeling of space in my life is a God-sized hole for ministry! :)


Anyway, as I continue to pray about it, pray with me if you're the praying sort.

Back to the friends.

I've had a couple of old friend encounters lately. Over 9 days, I had 3 "old friend" encounters which was a real blessing.
  • One friend and I met up after two years. And I recommend the fish tacos at Doppio Zero if you're not too hungry - delish!
  • One friend and I ran into each other at church after probably about 4 years.
  • And then while another friend and I were walking to the parking area in a mall after having lunch together, I ran into my old hairdresser after 7 years.

Wow.

It was so nice.

spying on these 3 from the stairs ;)


And the interesting thing for me was that I just held all these encounters loosely. I didn't feel the need to get out the diaries and schedule time together again. I enjoyed the time together and left on a good note. Very unlike me.

We've spoken on this blog before about how, if you see someone in public, some of us will say hello and others just pretend to not see. ;)

For me, I would feel more awkward ignoring (or pretending to ignore) someone than just going to speak to that person.

What about you? Would you go up and talk to the person?
And do you feel the need to invest if you haven't seen a friend for a long time, or do you hold these experiences loosely?

On a lighter note, what do you have planned for the weekend?

PS I have a date with D, and I plan to read and finish our book club book!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Which 3 things are most contributing to your happiness right now?


 

This is the fun thing about podcasts.

There's the topic (which is the thing that's published) but most of the podcasts also have some questions they always ask their guests.

Shauna Niequist (she wrote Bittersweet - still on my Kindle! - Bread and Wine (joint favourite non-fiction of 2014 with the Nesting Place), Savor, Present over Perfect, and my favourite essay about using your stuff) just started a podcast (this Monday was episode 3!) and in addition to the usual stuff, she asks her guests fun things about food, cooking and the question above.

Since I don't have my own podcast, let's just pretend you're all my guests.



The 3 things that most contribute to my happiness right now are:

the gorgeous visuals of autumn (I can't get enough!)
I've been on two dedicated photohunts already and still, I keep driving by trees and thinking, "oh! I really should come back with my big camera to take more pics!"

(Jeanette, if you're still reading, the place where we met for lunch on Rivonia has AMAZING leaves!)

podcasts
I decluttered about 15 in April, and I found a ton more. Maybe I had to let go to find new good ones?

I've discovered a thing - I can actually fast forward when there's too much preamble I'm not interested in. I always knew this could be done but I was too much of a good girl to actually do it.

new jeans
I bought some new jeans at Pick 'n Pay clothing and they are tighter so I don't have to roll the top over. So much happiness!

This is not a "what I wore on Friday" blog so you'll just have to see them in person.

So, tell me.

Which 3 things are most contributing to your happiness right now?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

New work rhythms




I've been working from home 1 day a week probably for just over a year now.

This only happens if there is a day with no meetings, so during busy periods there just are meetings every day, which kind-of sucks :)

After one of the holiday weeks, I think it might have been the week after the Easter weekend, we had meetings daily and it about killed me. I was exhausted on the Friday.

It's fascinating to me how quickly I got used to that extra day out of the office. Because whether that day is a Tues, Wed or Thurs, it does mean that I never have to go to the office for more than 3 days in a row.

Before you all think I'm extremely spoiled, let me remind you that a good day in traffic is 45 minutes one way.

Yes, it's long but it's good podcasting or audio book time.



So let's talk about my work rhythms when I'm at home.
  1. I take it super slow in the morning. What I should do and only do about 20% of the time is read. Mostly I scroll Instagram.
  2. I shower, dress, etc. at my leisure (while listening to a podcast) and eat breakfast while reading.
  3. Then I get to work and I make sure I do all my good work until 2.25 til I have to leave to fetch the kids. One of my delights in life is doing the mom thing. 
  4. I walk to fetch them and we chat while walking back. It's very sweet to see their little friends and hear them calling to me as C's mom or K's mom.
  5. I then quickly make our lunch (my love language is acts of service, so I love doing this kind of thing) , take my food back to the computer and eat while I continue working.
  6. I usually end a bit early - around 4. But sometimes it's like a full day and I end at 6ish. I'm task-oriented so I know what I want to get done and I work til it's done.


Today was a work from home day and I went on a quick photo hunt for autumn photos at lunch, and when I finished work, I went to the shops for (more) long-sleeved school shirts. On other days, I might run an errand or two, or meet a friend for lunch or tea. Next week, I need to go get two small things sorted on my car.

It's actually the absolute best of both worlds.

I love being at home because of all the above... and I love being in the office because... people! and stuff going on! and sorting stuff out with internal departments. And if the people there annoy me a bit, I tell myself, only a day or two til I get a break and get to work from home :)

I'm writing this mostly to remind me of how much my current role suits my skill set and my lifestyle, especially as this is the start of Busy Season.

So what do you like about your current job? Does it work with your introvert/ extrovert self?

Monday, May 08, 2017

A complete mixed bag :0



So I'm having a fabulous reading year.

I consciously starting spending fewer hours on social media each day last year, and that habit has thankfully continued so it's translated well to my reading.

And I realised I could actually read much more if I didn't listen to any podcasts or I didn't blog on Organising Queen.

But as it stands, I'm really happy with my reading life at the moment. I'm listening to enough books, and reading a more or less equal number of physical and Kindle/ Overdrive books.

How happy are you with your reading life on a scale of 1 - 10?
 

These were my April books.

I read 12 in total - 1 audible, 7 Kindle and 4 physical books.

Books that received 4 out of 5 * (I have probably given only 2 - 3 5* reviews per 100 books read)

  1. Mad about you
  2. Two Fridays in April
  3. My husband's wife
  4. Oxygen (our book club read)
  5. Little Beach Street Bakery (Jenny Colgan
  6. The Marriage Lie
Most disappointing read
Recipes for love and murder

Books that were really well-written (and that also made me happy - English/ Irish setting?)
Mad about you and Two Fridays in April

There were a couple of books where I'd invested too much time in and would have abandoned if not for that little fact because it's not like you can add up all the half-read books :)

Still, hopefully this month will be a great reading month too.

I already read a fantastic non-fiction which I talked about a little on Instagram if you want to see.

But back to you.

Tell me about your most disappointing read in April, and one that made you super happy.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

So hey, it's May!



We've just been away for 5 days and I feel like I want to write before I forget things.

Driving there was easy-peasy. Still took us 5.5 hours because we stopped at the Dinosaur Park on the way. This was part of our bright idea to make the journey part of the holiday.

This is not my usual style - I really like to Get There and I don't like Faffing Around while travelling :)

Yesterday it took us 6.5 hours to get back. Only one stop but LOTS of roadblocks. Remind me to not travel on a public holiday again.

I'll put up a post with pictures when I finished deleting all the duds :)



April was good, wasn't it?

It feels like it was both busy and relaxing, which is super weird. Maybe it feels busy because of all the public holidays because I don't feel like I had many socials. I did get to see two friends I haven't seen the whole year so that was really, really nice.

Book club is going well. So well I'm seriously thinking of starting another book club - this time for children.

Am I mad? 

I've started a Goodreads account for Connor (I still have to do Kendra's one) and they tell me what they like and don't like. Granted, it's like pulling teeth but I want to get them used to enjoying books. I keep telling them it's the best thing in the world to have time to read :)



Other than socials and reading (which I'll of course write more about), I've been thinking a lot about friendship and such. That post is still percolating but I'll write when I'm ready.

Aside from that, I had a Brazilian Hairdo that didn't work. The lady is cross about it (I was very nice but I whatsapped her 2 videos of my non-straight hair...) so now it's awkward to go back. For the love!

So how was your April? Did you go away? How was the trip? And how's your hair looking?

PS this was the first holiday in years (maybe 6 - 7 years) where I didn't take my laptop!

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?



Friday, February 17, 2017

{Friday Five} The "I can't stop talking about" edition

I loosely decided that I need to give myself some boundaries around Instagram otherwise I'm going to end up in an Instagram coma every morning.



Some mornings I go with D to work so there's no break, other mornings I read for a bit looking out the lounge window, with a cup of tea, and other mornings I decided I should write up a quick blog, like today.

So here we go: things I can't stop talking about:


goals
Oh my soul, I love talking goals, intentions, how to get at them, how to get better at them. It's my passion :)

Goals night is my favourite night of the month!



traffic in Jhb this year
I'm boring myself but honestly, I don't remember when last the traffic was this awful. I wised up after a few days and arrive at 9:30 - 10:00 these days and leave at 3.30 to miss the traffic. Even the 3.30 didn't work the other day :o

It's good but it means I'm mixing my lives (working at home) which I'm not a fan of, because I'm a clear compartmentaliser.


podcasts
As I typed that word, I thought I should write up a full post on Organising Queen because I've realised I have podcasts for a Friday, podcasts for the shower, podcasts for editing photos, podcasts for listening with D, podcasts for driving, podcasts for cooking and also, podcast topics I simply delete once I see the topic!

Any new podcast listeners? (I'm going to keep asking) This is year 3 for me.



books
Okay, to be fair, I've always talked a lot about books but I think the book club has accelerated my bookish-ness.


Also, you know my friend Se7en builds a library every year, right? Please see if you can donate a book or three. They are gifts to these kids (and over 1000 others) so should be in gift-condition or new. For my US friends, if you shop from Readers Warehouse, Takealot or Loot, they will deliver (for low minimums, completely free shipping!) directly to the address so it's no fuss!

Read more here!



Afrikaans
The kids started learning Afrikaans last year but it was very mild compared to this year. I'm the only one who actually speaks Afrikaans so I'm the one who has to listen to Gouelokkies being read a million times a week.

And that's it for today!

I'm looking forward to a quick lunch today and then.... weekend!

What can you not stop talking about?
Will you donate a book?

PS It feels like an orange day today so I looked through my favourites for orange pics :) Which is your favourite orange pic?

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