Thursday, February 28, 2013

What's your super crazy passion?

I'm knee-deep (arm deep?) in my goals review and planning process because this is my favourite night of the month.

Can you tell I love it?

I have Feb goals page out, my 2013 goals nearby, my friends and goals spreadsheets open (of course I track them) and a new doc open for March goals.

Bliss :)

I wholeheartedly believe that everyone has something they're passionate about.

And that area of their life is kind of super crazy to the rest of us (I know a lot of you think I'm MAD!) but makes perfect sense to them.

D is like that with books and movies - lists, etc.......

And I'm like that with goals.

I once had an organising client. This person's house was so full of clutter... but let me tell you about one cupboard in her kitchen.

Her baking cupboard was SUPER organised. Absolute perfection.

In fact, I caught a tip from her that I still use today with my own baking things and this was a good 7 years ago....

So what is your mad thing you're super passionate about?

Cooking, baking, scrapbooking, reading, fashion, politics, what????

PS my second thing is finances :) LOVE! I have a post in drafts which I need to finish and post!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Snippets of my life

after gym last Monday night. My shoes are falling apart but they're SOOOO comfortable and sentimental (bought in Dublin, Ireland, in May 2008)
the little cottage I instagrammed last week - this is the other side (I don't know how to link a specific pic but it was 21 Feb)
guava on a random branch on the work property
the AMAZING sunset last week in Jhb - this pic taken with the lens poked through the security gate of my back door
Valentine's gift on my bedside table
my study/ guest bed
new pillows from Mr P Home - I LOVE THEM
pic by Connor
pic by Connor - he's getting very bossy. "No, Mummy, sit like this, not like that
Ï grabbed my camera because I loved the last bits of sunlight streaming through with the babies relaxing on my bed
I love when people do posts like these because it gives me a chance to virtually snoop :) Don't you agree?

Which pic did you enjoy the most?

PS ideas for a photo theme for 9 March?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Instead of focusing on my sick child and my non-existent internet, let me tell you about some of the gifts in the midst of life.

This is my newest watch.

I bought it for myself on the Saturday before Christmas. i learnt this from my friend Suzanne - that you should always have something, ANYTHING, but something you really, really like under the tree, just in case you get nothing else you love :)

So I have something for me under the tree every year.

Isn't it beautiful?

I bought it at Swatch Eastgate but I saw it and couldn't make up my mind at the Swatch on Time Square and once I'd decided yes, I didn't have time to go back.

Another gift is about the job I've been holding out for. That team has finally had some resignations. Woohoo! The TRUST paid off and I didn't have to wait the whole year.

The HR person told me to send her my CV if I wanted to apply (of course I do - I sent the job profile to Julia who confirmed that yes, it is indeed ME :)) so I spent about 30 minutes this afternoon tidying up my CV and I sent it in.

Let's see.

I also had a little meeting with my HR rep yesterday and she advised me to have the personality tests redone if the way the discussion went last time is freaking me out. So I'll do that sometime this week.

I feel good but I've heard someone say to me now (twice) that the manager is a slave driver. It doesn't really bother me very much because I'm the same and no-one drives me harder than I drive myself, but it is a flag for me to question more thoroughly at interview stage.

One more - I had a goal to run a love languages teleseminar this month. I advertised in my newsletter and blog but sadly, not enough people registered so I'm refunding money.

I don't know quite how to feel - I'm partly scared to try again, I'm hugely disappointed but yet a part of me is also relieved. Workshops and teleseminars are a HUGE amount of work for very little money.

To go all businessy on you, these are my lowest profit margin activities. Being booked for proper speaking events is obviously the highest and then coaching. I make almost nothing on books - I wrote the book purely to add to my visibility and because it's a life list activity. Workshops are a tiny bit better than books but the pure amount of work makes it less attractive. If only I didn't enjoy getting up in front of people so much!

And last but not least, you, Caren, are a gift in my life. I appreciate all the effort you're putting into all those arrangements :)

What have been the gifts in your life lately? Physical but more than that, the intangibles.

PS after I publish this post, I'm writing one more on the organising blog and then diving into my book. I fully intend to finish one more on or before Thursday :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Daddies and their girls/ toilet duty

I've wondered a lot lately how parents of two littles of the same gender do the toilet thing.

When we're out, D takes Connor and I take Kendra to the loo. Of course if one parent is out with both kids (rare), I squish us all into one stall (the Bedford Centre's newer section has the best family toilets) or I keep the door open but block other people from seeing the peeing child.

I've seen signs at the gym that kids of the opposite sex are only allowed in the ladies' change rooms up til the age of 4. So I'm not really sure what Connor and I are going to do come July.

But more to the point - do you ladies of two girls have to do all the toilet duty? Crikey, it would do my head in.

Already, I go a bit mental saying, "don't TOUCH! No, it's DIRTY" so imagine that with two kids...

How do you deal with the toilet thing?

In other news, my little girl has a little infection and can't pee without screaming the house down. Oh, it's terrible.

This started last night at supper time, she woke up three times trying to pee (screaming all the time) and so on the DOT of 8 am this morning, I phoned for a dr appointment.

I collected her from school, we went to Dr P and the best? She can now tell the doctor everything herself. Aren't talking kids fabulous? I love the talking more every day!

We went to get meds, K screamed a couple of times in Clicks (good thing I don't get shy!) and we eventually went home.

At home, I bribed her to eat something with a jelly tot (I love that a tiny jelly sweet is good enough) because she had no appetite and I needed to get her anti-biotics into her.

So she goes...

Connor I love you
S I love you
Mummy I love you


(exactly like that - screaming)

I guess she was in such pain that only Daddy would do. I must add that D is GREAT with sick people. I love him the most when I'm a little sick because he takes really good care of me :) So I'm not at all insulted or offended that she prefers Daddy. I'd prefer his care over mine too.

Oy, Daddies and their girls.

He emailed me - should I come home now? I said NO, you keep on working, and just make sure you get home on time :)

It was beautiful to see when he got home.

She heard the gate open and FLEW to the door.


And then she was happy, poor little thing.

She hasn't woken up yet (2.5 hours later) so I think she's on the mend. By this time yesterday, she'd woken twice already.

Are you good with your sick kids? Or with sick people in general?
PS these pics are from a photowalk we did in our neighbourhood last weekend. Remember I put 6 photowalks on my goals list, and somehow I've already done more than 6. The power of intention....
How are you doing on your goals for Feb? 3 days left...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

{Project 25 recipes} A food blogger I am not

I've been having the worse time in the world with iBurst.

Crikey -  the most I can get in my house at the moment is 60% IF I stand at one spot in the kitchen.

Right now, I'm typing this out and then when I'm ready to publish, I'll go stand at that spot and publish, quickly send all my emails and then go plug the laptop back into the bedroom.

Very, very annoying.

On the bright side, my house is Super Organised (because what is there to do if no computer???), I've cooked 3 meals this weekend alone (double portions of course) and I've been crafting - some of you will get some things from me soon... and playing with pics. My photo goal is to be 90% done with my Feb photos on the 28th.

But again, this is all very annoying because I can't stand and comment on blogs so that's waiting for Monday lunch time at work.


I've also realised that I have zero patience for food blogging. First of all, I cook from 6.30 onwards (my kitchen is a furnace in summer) but then the light is terrible for taking photos. Afterwards I also don't feel like taking the time to style photos.

That's my disclaimer for no pics or iphone-ography :)

Remember in January I posted my first 3 recipe attempts?

Then the weekend before we went on holiday I made a (4) mince (ground beef) hotpot. It was terrible. I don't ever throw food away so I had to rescue it and while it was passable, we were all glad when we were done with it all so we never had to see it again :)

On holiday for lunch one day I made (5) nachos with baked beans and pita bread - a recipe from the Pick & Pay magazine. Delish but a bit too high maintenance for me for just a lunch.

I also made this spicy sausage pasta while we were on holiday - since I first tried it, it's a firm favourite.

That was all in January.

(Yes, I realise I need to post more regularly - it's the photo thing. I keep thinking I can't possibly post without a pic...)

In February I also tried 5 recipes.

1. Thai mussamen chicken curry

This was from a paste they sell at Spar. Totally delicious. If you shop at Spar, get a sachet - it is divine. I even made it for guests - it was that good. And yes, this gets a star from me.

(just pretend there's a pretty pic)

2. Taco mince

Another one from a Pick & Pay branded sachet. My work colleagues tease me because when anyone talks about something to do with food, I say, "can I get it at P&P?" If not, it kind of doesn't exist for me. (The Spar curries are from the Ballito Spar!)

Easy-peasy. Onion, mince, can of tomato, sachet (tiny sachet about R9), 200 g black beans/ kidney beans. Of course I had black beans from my supplier :) :)

DIVINE - we've had it twice already in .... P&P tortillas :) Good thing I made a HUGE pot - there's still one portion for me and D.

3. Fish pie

Again from the P&P magazine :)

Very easy and tasted good but I don't think I will make again as Connor wasn't a fan (I think because of the potato). He normally eats anything so I let this one go. I do want to try make a chicken pie though - something I have also never made.

4. Sausage pasta

click to enlarge and try if you want :)
Again, from the P&P magazine. It's actually ridiculous. But now you can at least see I'm working through them all.

This one was a weird recipe - as I was cooking I could see there was too much spinach (150 g is a LOT) so I halved it - was still too much as my children told me.

They also had only one can of tomato - I put two in and the sauce still seemed skimpy to me.

Or maybe I should have only cooked half the pasta. Recipe called for a whole bag of fusilli (500g) - I probably should have used half.

5. Indonesian chicken curry

Today I cooked this recipe, yet again from the P&P magazine. However, this one is a readers' choice one so it is actually excellent.

Oh man, just the smells are DIVINE.

I've tasted and it is good but it's for a week-day meal.

I added 1 tsp coriander paste (I use John West minced coriander) and 1 very flat tsp salt, no pepper. When I read recipes, I consider 1 chicken breast to be 100g so this is for 600 g chicken breast cubes.

So there you are all caught up.

10 recipes done of project 25 and I promise I'll try to do better :)

The asterisks are the ones we love and will repeat.

So what have you cooked lately? Any good recipes to share? 

PS Strongblonde, I'm making your recommendation next weekend :)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

{Create} Valentine's Teachers Gifts

This is what I did for the teachers' gifts.

While it wasn't full on creativity, I'll take the snippets I can get. And it was so nice to play with colour, bakers'twine and paper labels.

Confession - I enjoyed taking the pics far more :)

not the fliip-flops, but the taking pics outside on the grass :)

Mr P Home

I love it - 5 gifts for R60 - you can't beat that... and they were super cute!

seriously, from my very backyard!
top right corner of the pic

Julia, these are strawberry fluffs - I love them..... these ones are minis so were extra cute :)
I love taking pics like these

Have you signed up for Superhero Photo yet?

Don't you love these little jars?

I've bravely resisted buying more because I'm still on that simplicity kick!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Kids' school outings - I was that mom!

We've spoken before about pre-school and I remembered I touched on the fact that I'm not all that breezy about other people driving my kids around.

Anyway, so on Friday last week we get a note to say there's an outing on Thursday this week and on Monday we got indemnity forms.

So off I go to the school on Tuesday morning to "discuss" this matter :)

Can I just say again how much I love this school?!

I was open and honest (as I am) and said that no-one other than D and me, and on two occasions, his mom, has ever driven (sounds wrong?) my kids around and I'm nervous.

She told me it is literally to the next suburb (a whole 3 kms away) and that if I feel more comfortable, I can bring car seats for them.

Or one of us can come and drive them myself - not really a viable solution as we can't do this the whole year, now can we?

So I signed the indemnity forms with my proviso (!) and on Thursday, told D to drop off the car seats with the kids.

He phones me - "Marsh, they say it's not necessary" (which shows men don't listen properly because I told him the story after I visited the school).

I say, "D, I know it's not necessary but it's that or nothing" so off he went back to the school to drop it off.

Now I have no shame and I feel no shyness but D is not like me so I know it kind-of killed him to be that dad.

Of course, my kids were the only two in the WHOLE SCHOOL who had their car seats accompany them on the outing!

Again, I couldn't care less - as I said to D again last night, if anything were to happen, I don't want to have to deal with grief PLUS guilt.

Cat said before and it stuck with me... eventually you have to let go (and this is the thing I have the most trouble with) and TRUST that God will look after your kids. Um, yes. :)

However, I'm not the only parent who was freaked. My friend, C, emailed me on Thursday to say, äm I the only one stressed out by this outing?" and of course she wasn't.

I also emailed the principal to say could she please email me the minute my babies are back safe and sound and she did! She said it's really no worry when I apologised for being a nag.

When you wait 14 years for babies, I think it's okay to be a little paranoid. Right???

(that's the story I'm telling myself)

However, the kids had FUN, were back at school at 12:15 and are no worse off than before. Shew!

So how often do your kids go on school outings? And are you okay with letting go? Who drives your kids around?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I'm craving simplicity

I've told you before how, when I get a bee in my bonnet, I just go full force and get something done.

So I've been craving even more simplicity in my life.

And I put on my 2013 goals list to redo this blog and my organising blog.

As an aside, I'm thinking I should just move my organising blog back to blogger (all the Wordpress fanatics GASP!) because I don't like WP and, as a result, I do NOTHING with that blog. I can't move things around, can't change anything like you can with blogger.

It's always easier to get a designer for a blogger blog - not only is it more cost-effective, but there are TONS of options.

So I spent a couple of hours on Monday night browsing etsy to see if there was any designer who resonated with me.

I landed on Chelsea's etsy site, sent her a quick conversation, she replied, I saw it on Tuesday morning, was happy, paid and we were in business.

I had a draft on Wednesday, made a few final changes, Chelsea emailed it all just after midnight our time last night, and today it's all installed.

That, my friends, is the beauty of the internet... and fast decision-making :)

I am OVER THE MOON happy with the result.

It is exactly what I had in mind - very clean, simple but still some colour. Nice big template for my photos and a vastly decluttered sidebar. Look -------->>

I love the hello there and the social media icons - they take up so much less space than gadgets for each of those and now you can also see what I'm pinning, if you're so inclined.

I made those buttons on Monday night and a ton more for create, friendship friday, etc. I need to add a few more and I'm not sure about the font yet so I'll be tinkering around a bit.

If you're in the market for a little blog spring clean, I 100% recommend Chelsea. Her designs are beautiful and elegant, she was super fast, very helpful and her systems and processes are fantastic. As an organiser and systems specialist, I am very, very impressed!

I often get questions as to why I use the services of people from other countries - this is why. The time differences SO work in my favour :)

What do you think?
Is it me?

PS another goal crossed off!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

{Wordless Wednesday} 2012 Christmas pics

isn't it gorgeous?
loved the special Christmas stuff for the kids
of course the doll needs a place too


elegant simplicity
love this pic
I don't know what they're looking at
my reluctant elf
Which one is your favourite?


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