Monday, November 20, 2017

Let's talk about Christmas



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1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
 I'm not really into movies but by co-incidence, one of my favourite movies, The Holiday, is actually set at Christmas. 

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning after church. I believe in first things first, and our kids have never known any different so they don't feel like they're missing out.

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
These days my favourite memories are of us decorating - the tree and house - while I play a couple of Christmas CDs. It is the best. 

4. Favourite festive food?
My mother's roast potatoes, Christmas mince pies with custard, and so on :)

5. Favourite Christmas gift?
I like to keep my expectations very low.... but I'll admit that they're usually the To Marcia, from Marcia gifts :)

But actually, I do remember one Christmas I received two Christmas mugs and a packet of Woolworths shortbread biscuits from a friend. Obviously the biscuits were eaten very quickly but every year I use those mugs for about 6 - 7 weeks and I'm so happy when I use them. And every year, I take a pic of my mug and a mince pie, and send it to this friend :)

6. Favourite Christmas scent?
Food?

Favourite Christmas CDs?
I added this question in as I can't believe there's nothing about music.
The Plain Truth's Christmas CDs - all of them - there are 3. I've gifted them to friends and I don't know if they were a hit, but I LOVE their version of O Holy Night. I also sent just the single to a few people, never heard back, so not sure if they couldn't redeem it or just didn't like it and didn't know what to say, or what. Oh well. It truly was the thought :)

I also like Mariah Carey's one (get it!), Michael Buble's one and Rod Stewart's Christmas CDs.
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7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Does cooking count? I always seem to be either cooking or cleaning.
 
8. What tops your tree?
An African angel that my friend, Roz, bought for me. She bought one for a lot of us that year, and I love using mine each year.
 
9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
We never had expectations around gifts so I can't remember anything.
But as an adult I always ask for experience or consumable gifts and I never get any.
 
10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?
Jesus. Seriously. It's not Christmas for me until I've been to church and sung O Holy Night. 

Idea for this post from Laura and from this blog

Tell me about your Christmas - just the first thing that comes to mind :)

Friday, November 10, 2017

{Friendship Friday} What do you enjoy these days?

Hello everybody

Let's do something fun for the few Fridays we have left this year.


What's one thing you're celebrating or enjoying these days?

I'll go first.

I've been going through a thing with glasses (drinking glasses).

I kept eyeing these lovely blue glasses at Mr P Home and then I cracked one day and bought 4.

Love them.

Then on the weekend we went to Checkers after church and I saw these gorgeous ones. I wanted to buy 6 but Connor told me to get 8 :)


That's what I'm particularly enjoying these days - my new drinking glasses. It makes having a glass of water so much more pleasurable.

And if you follow me on Insta, you'll know I'm celebrating jacaranda season, big time :)

What's one thing you're celebrating or enjoying these days?

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Listening, Cringing, Wearing - what's going on in your life?

Hello!

I'm trying a new thing where I'll be writing about my books on OrganisingQueen, mainly because of how I mostly talk about books on that Instagram.

So, here's what I read in October, with my top fiction and non-fiction reads.


Loving: seeing the beautiful purple carpets of jacaranda flowers in Joburg.
Pondering: on how my life seems to be getting smaller and how I'm not okay with that, but not sure how to change it.
Listening: to podcasts, audio books and my kids bickering
Considering: how to change up my freebie for next year. If you don't have the Time Management Purpose Pack yet, get it now. Also, any ideas welcome.
Buying: new specs for a child whose specs were stolen at school
Watching: the view through my window at work


Hoping: the kids adjust to the mini-cricket quickly. There is no problem waking up early but they get super grumpy and tired in the afternoons. Like suicide hour, but early!
Marvelling: at how quickly I online ordered something and
Cringing: at how that thing was exactly what I did not expect (I asked for a refund and that's been processed
Needing: a break. I'm feeling quite short-tempered with some clients which is my "sign"
Smelling: my new Nivea oil-based vanilla body lotion (it is DIVINE)
Wearing: lots of ballerina pumps and flip flops.



I thought that might be a fun way to catch up quickly with what's going on in my life.

Please do on your blog, if you're still blogging, or tell me a bit about what's going on with you in the comments.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Let's talk about hair

I've been doing Brazilian Blowaves for the last 6 years.

The lady I've been going to for the last 3 years or so suddenly changed her products. I don't know if I wrote about it here but the first time I was hesitant to confront her because I've been going there since I was pregnant....I even take Connor to get his hair cut there.

Anyway, eventually I said something and she was hugely apologetic, and when I went to get it redone, she said two other customers complained after me.

Right.

Sorted.

Then it happened again and again.

Well, if my hair were uniformly curly, no problem, but half my head was curly and the bottom third was straight. Disaster.

Eventually, I decided not to go back. I don't have the time to sit there every time for additional 2-hour blocks of time.

So I went to Sorbet, explained my story and they tried to sell me on their things too.

Too much info so I left (this is what I do) but then there was a special of some sort and they got me back in there for a blowdry and a very nice lady explained just 2 options to me.

I was back and forth about it (R1200!) but eventually I decided that they said if I'm not happy, I don't have to pay, so off I went.

I was/ am thrilled!

Took me 2.5 hours on a hot Saturday afternoon to get a KST for long hair, but my hair's been lovely ever since.

That's the one thing.

The next thing is the grey.

I've mentioned here before that I've been going grey since I was 25. I colour my own hair but am lazy because my Spanish ladies told me they do theirs every 3 weeks. Way too much hassle.

I have no issues with moral/ feminist/ whatever the current cause is - to colour or not to colour. I colour because personally I don't want to be grey. That's it. I have a colleague at work, 3,5 years older than I am, who is growing out her grey. She says she's sick and tired of the hassle. It's a good 10 cm out now and she got quite a bit of comments at first but people are used to it so no-one says anything anymore.

There's no denying it though; it's a huge schlep to colour. So I colour, and then I wait until I cannot take the sight of the grey roots anymore, and then I'll colour again. Probably about 6 weeks.

But..... I discovered a thing at Clicks called Loreal Magic Retouch for R99. You spray it onto your roots (not very well, in my case) but it works great. Washes out but it isn't too transferable. E.g. if I smooth my hair, no brown colour comes off on my hands, but if I scratch my head, I will see brown colour. In other words, you have to put a bit of effort in to remove some colour.

I have no point to the story but just wanted to tell you about my hair :)

Tell me about your hair - are you happy with it? Do you colour for pleasure or necessity? Do you think about growing your grey out?

Friday, October 20, 2017

What a great month of reading


Last month I had a great month of reading. About 8 - 10 books are average for me, but the additional is definitely due to not having the internet for 24 days :)

The stats
Fiction/ non-fiction: 8/5
Physical/ Kindle/ Audible: 3/2/8

The fiction highlights
  1. Every last one - Anna Quindlen (my first Anna Quindlen novel and it won't be the last - absolutely beautiful writing)
  2. The Park - Gail Schimmel (this was a gift from a friend and I loved it! This is how I like a South African novel to be written, not like Tannie Sannie. But it's really a novel about friendship and boundaries, one of my favourite topics)
  3. Uncoupled - Lizzie Enfield (I just really liked the story. This is about marriage. I'm loving stories about this stage of life - marriage, kids, career, and how they all fit together)


The non-fiction highlights
The Four Tendencies - of course. I adored this book, have 15 pages of notes and I can't wait to start blogging about it. I listen to every single episode of Happier, have read all her books and still, I learned such a lot about me, and about my family. Do I have any upholder friends reading? I want to discuss some things 1:1 with someone who has the same tendency besides my husband. D and I are both upholders, but I lean towards Questioner and he leans towards Obliger.

I enjoyed almost everything but these were just the 4 that stood out above the rest.

For full reviews and star ratings on all, check out my goodreads :)

What were the highlights of your reading month?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Wishing, looking, making and drinking

  
 

Making: myself go crazy trying to choose a diary for next year

Cooking: newish things like fish tacos and reverse cottage pie (fish tacos were in my instagram stories on Monday night)

Drinking : water with a squeeze of lemon juice. Alternatively, tea.

Reading: Frientimacy, Present over Perfect, and The Chocolate Lovers Wedding

Trawling: through CNA and Exclusive Books

Wanting: my kids to stop fighting

 

Looking: at the beautiful jacarana trees outside my window (not in my garden, but in the streets outside)

Deciding: menu plans over and over again, it seems. And I don't even have a lot of kids but it's like mine always want to know what's for snack or supper...
 
Wishing: for reasonable accommodation in Cape Town. I'm dreaming, right?



 
Enjoying: catch-ups with friends

Waiting: for prayers to be answered

Liking: my Barre180 class because even though it feels a bit boring too me (I like high energy exercise), I'm seeing results

Wondering: about the Enneagram, and if it typed me correctly!


What are you wishing, looking, making and wondering about?

Monday, October 09, 2017

Monday musings

I could do with some avocado toast right about now :)


Hope you had a great weekend!


1. We've had the best 3 - 4 days recently. Grey, rainy, overcast, interspersed with a few hours of sunlight and completely hygge-worthy. I've been working, reading, drinking tea, and taking walks outside just after the rains, because those are my favourite times ever. I love the smell of the earth after the rains and the light is just gorgeous. The reflection of the sun on the green leaves gets me every time.

Have you been enjoying the weather?



2. My washing machine broke. I said on Instagram stories that it was after 17 years because it's at least that. I need to take out the household file to check. Because of the machine being a Defy (You can rely on defy), I'm partial to Defy but I bought a Bosch last night. Let's hope it lasts forever too :)

There is a story with the washing machine. A few weeks ago I came down into the kitchen to pick up my lunch before going to work and the washing machine was making this knocking sound.

me: what is that sound?!

nanny S: (very casually) oh, it's the washing machine. it always makes that sound.

me: that's not normal, S.

(but I was rushing and didn't remember til she announces on Friday afternoon that the washing machine is broken, to which I said, "that's WONDERful")



3. I finished reading Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. Don't say anything about it yet.... so my brain is untarnished by opinions until book club :)

Speaking of book club, we're expanding. If you're interested in joining us, let me know personally or in the comments.

What's on your mind this Monday morning?


Friday, September 22, 2017

Friendship Friday - on being the initiator (part 543, or so it feels)



I feel like we've spoken a lot on the blog about being the initiator.

I have gone through so many iterations of initiating and before listening to the podcast I spoke about here, I think I'd finally settled on being the initiator in my mind like this:
  1. Yes, it is true that I do take action quickly so to get the item ticked off my list, I'm happy to initiate so that it's done. The whole dance of "yes, we must get together" over and over gets old for me real quick.
  2. If I initiate, I can first check my calendar and make sure the time and date suit the rest of my life before proposing a date.
  3. My one introvert friend told me that the introverts don't like reaching out, so I give extra grace for the introverts ;)
  4. I have completely stopped initiating with friends where there is zero reciprocity. That's not to mean we're not friends, but I am free from using my energy to reach out. And I do feel free.




All of that sounds good, right?

It is good. Mostly...

Since I stopped initiating so much, I’m obviously much less busy with socials. I've also found that my world is getting smaller; I realised the other day that I'm never out at night anymore, because I no longer see the two friends I used to meet for supper. I only drive 5 minutes to Spanish while it's dusk and back again in the dark.

I don't think this is good because I don't want to become one of those people who lives in a tiny bubble and never ventures further than 5 minutes away, as convenient as that is.

That's the one thing.



As I mentioned above, I'm not completely cutting people off because (1) that's not my style and (2) in the podcasts I listened to on the Never Unfriended book, she said that we can pull back but we shouldn't shut the door, which I love.

I recently felt that God was therefore saying to hold all this stuff loosely and really only do things from a good heart. God loves a cheerful giver, right? So if I’m feeling resentful about reaching out, maybe that’s not the best time to do it. But when I do think about someone, to use that impetus and contact them there and then.

This seems to be working for me.

What do you think?

I know most of you reading this post do not enjoy initiating.

My questions are: 1) do you still see your friends enough? or are you happy to only see your friends rarely? or 2) are your containers so well set up that that is the reason you don't need to initiate? 3) how do you make it all work for you?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Books I read in August, the Iranian version


Despite having the very best intentions for my birthday month's reading, I did not have the best month for reading (I tell you, it's all the socials!).

However, I read two fantastic books I want to tell you about later.

Total books read: 8
Non-fiction: 3
Fiction: 5

Most disappointing book: My name is Lucy Barton

Despite getting wonderful reviews all over the internet, yes, there were a few things that I loved but I didn't enjoy it very much at all.

The saving grace was it was short.

Other books I really didn't like and the internet loved? The Royal We and Where'd you go, Bernadette.



Moving on to our book club reads...

Crazy Rich Asians 3*- this one is going to be made into a movie and it is perfect movie material.

Glamour, riches, style, love, etc.

The Idea of You 4*- this one made me think about my infertility. I'd forgotten how all-consuming it was at the time. Sigh.

Lovely book.

I posted a quote on Instagram from this book :)

But now, for the two 4.5 star books.



I'd started listening to Funny in Farsi: A memoir of growing up Iranian in America but I listen only in the car (3 days a week) and usually only on the way to work because I'm too tired to concentrate after work.

I'd listened to maybe an hour if that, and then that weekend I happened to read Anne Tyler's Digging to America.

It's the story of two families who adopted kids from China at the same time, and how they stay friends through the years of the story.


This is not a book you read like a thriller; instead it's a beautiful story about relationships. My only regret is that I didn't read this on Kindle because I wanted to highlight so many parts.

Gorgeous book. Terisha, you should definitely read it.


Anyway, so then the following week, I listened to the rest of Funny in Farsi, and I think having just come off another book about Iranian people just made me love this one all the more.

So that was a good week of reading for me.

Tell me, have you read any Anne Tyler? This was my first one. If yes, which do you recommend I read next?

I definitely recommend both of those books very much! And do get the audible version which is read by the author!

What was the best book you read in August?

Friday, September 08, 2017

Friendship Friday - on having friendship containers

Sometimes we don't know until listening to an episode if it's one we want to discuss for Podcast Club. We both loved this episode so much that we each listened to it twice 👍🏼 and immediately afterwards I bought the book. . . One of my biggest aha moments was that you need a container for friendship. E.g. if you're work friends and you haven't cultivated the friendship outside of the work container, it'll probably fizzle if one of you leaves that employer. . . Have you found that this has been true for you with work, or another "container" like church, a class, etc.? . . PS podcast club is a container for us 😊 . . PPS from @jenhatmaker's podcast - episode 3 with @shastamnelson . . . . . . . #podcastclub #marcialovespodcasts #bujo #bulletjournal #bulletjournallove #bulletjournalcommunity #bulletjournaljunkies #schneiderpen
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So let's discuss this podcast episode.

It's Jen Hatmaker interviewing Shasta Nelson on friendship. (you can listen at that link, read the transcript, whatever floats your boat)

This lady says there are three things to a good friendship:
  1. consistency
  2. vulnerability
  3. positivity

 All great stuff. Do take a listen.

The one thing I want to talk about today is on the containers piece.


She said that when we have work friends, for example, and one of us leaves that place of employment, if you haven't built that container outside of work, then the friendship fades/ stops in almost all cases.

The container was work.

This also applies to containers like church, clubs, gym, kids' pre-schools, etc.

It's so true for me. The only friendships from my previous company that have survived are those that already had other containers in place.

The rest - gone. And if you know me, not for lack of trying a bit from my side.

So what she says for friendships to flourish, either a container must exist (go to gym together/ run together/ craft together, etc) or one of the parties will have to initiate the get togethers.

It's kind of obvious but like great insights, it takes someone spelling it out for us!



I have 4 containers in my life - work, book club, spanish dance and podcast club (although since our curriculum ended, it's been a bit loose).

The scheduling for the book- and podcast clubs are on my end so take a little bit more admin, but they work.

And it is true - the friendships that I feel are really satisfying for me are set up with recurring meetings (I have two) and I love not having to think about them, and just knowing that they're there to anticipate and enjoy when the time arrives.

Now I have some questions for you:

What are the containers in your life? Do you have friendships inside those containers only, or have you extended them outside of the container too?

PS This is not all I wanted to say but this post is already too long. Meet me back here next Friday? :) 
PPS Here's an excellent post (well, the excellence is mostly in the comments!) on female friendship

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