Friday, December 01, 2017

Cheers from this upholder!

This space hasn't been sparking joy for me for a long time.

We all know that nobody reads normal blogs any more and if I'm sharing, I feel like I want others to share too otherwise I'm speaking into the ether (kind of like how I've always hated Twitter). And I still really like my time investment to be worthwhile.

But for some reason, possibly my Upholder-ness, I felt like I needed to continue since I started blogging 11 years ago. This is post 2420. Way too much talking.

However, here's the great thing.

Since I read the Four Tendencies, I realised that this is an Upholder thing - this continuing with a self-imposed goal even when it no longer makes sense.

And interestingly, that was all the awareness I needed to stop doing many things in my life.

One of which is blogging here. I briefly entertained the idea of ending this year first but why have another random date in the future.

I'll be sharing life (mini-blogs!) on my personal Instagram so those on Instagram can connect with me there @marcia0608 or on my OrganisingQueen feed.

And of course, I'm still blogging over at OrganisingQueen if you are interested in living life more intentionally, goals, organising and so on.

The nice thing is that the friendship containers that exist outside of the blog are still there so now I get to connect with friends in real life/ on the phone when we want, which actually sounds quite.... perfect.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

{Friendship} An Initiator Mantra and a solution for me

Guys, I took such a long time to read this book, purely because it reads more textbook-y than I'm used to.

Still, there are a lot of good things I highlighted (15 pages worth!) and I wanted to share this one quote with you.

"An Initiator Mantra 
I am the primary initiator in my relationships—not because there is something wrong with me, but because there is something right with me. 
I initiate because I value more connection in my life. 
I initiate because a relationship requires it in order to get any momentum, and I can give that gift. 
I initiate because this world needs more people who prioritize relationships, and I'm willing to be one of them. 
I initiate because I'm the one who knows the benefit of more connection. 
I initiate because I am brave, because I value love, and because I am ready for more." 

(from "Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness" by Shasta Nelson)

Start reading it for free:

Where on the scale do you currently fall with initiating in friendship?

I probably used to be a 9.5. Now I'm a 5 - this is what I meant with how I'm sooo not busy these days.

D told me I need to decide on what my happy medium is and just do that. E.g. if I'm prepared to initiate with a friend 4 times a year, do that and be happy. And if no other initiation happens, then at least that makes me happy.

I think that's where I'm going.

What do you guys do? Where on the initiating scale are you? Do you have lots of Christmas socials to look forward to?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Let's talk about Christmas

A post shared by Marcia Francois (@marcia0608) on

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?

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.
A post shared by Marcia Francois (@marcia0608) on

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?


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.



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?


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