A blog about life - the good, the bad, the people, the books, the games, coffee, and food.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Goodbye 2015

Goodbye 2015, it's been interesting.

We've had a few ups, lots of downs....but mostly I'd say we're averaging a good relationship. You've helped me drop some unnecessary people, pick up some great new ones. And probably figured myself out a bit better.

Thanks for the books, shows, food, music and movies. Thank you for all the new things, and fun firsts to see of Keiden's. I appreciate that I haven't killed any plants this year, that my need to create Sims and have them lead awful lives was at one of the lowest it's been at since I started doing that. The new knowledge has been cool too.

Bye, bye.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Zombie prompts

So Megan, had this great idea. She put together a list of 52 prompts for blogging next year. A few folks are going to join in on the fun too. I'll be doing my post every Wednesday.


Cupcakemummy created the awesome logo/pic. I think a few folks will be using it, I most definitely will.

Here are the prompts. Feel free to use them, just don't forget to link where you found them.

  1. What do you want your great-great-great-grandkids to know about you?
  2. What DIY projects are on your spring to-do list?
  3. What do you consider to be your biggest achievement?
  4. What do you lie about?
  5. What are your top 5 pieces of clothing?
  6. Share a DIY Tutorial for handmade Valentines.
  7. List the best movies and TV shows for binge-watching on a rainy weekend.
  8. Create a series of date night guides for your city.
  9. What do you love about your current life?
  10. What are you looking forward to right now?
  11. Share your goals and resolutions for 2016 and discuss what you want your life to look like one year from now.
  12. What is one new thing you want to learn this year?
  13. What are you ready to let go of this year?
  14. Share your best soup recipe.
  15. Write the beginning of a scary story and let your readers decide what happens next.
  16. Show your readers 5 different ways to decorate pumpkins.
  17. What are your biggest long term dreams?
  18. If you were to run a kickstarter campaign, what would your project be?
  19. Keep a gratitude journal for a week and share the entries.
  20. Share some old family photos.
  21. Do research on your family tree and share what you find.
  22. What is one holiday tradition you want to start in your family?
  23. Share things you have pinned that you want to try before the end of the year.
  24. Best on-the-go breakfast recipe.
  25. 10 songs I love right now.
  26. Pet peeves.
  27. Whats in my handbag?
  28. Whats in my fridge?
  29. If I won the lottery…
  30. An average day.
  31. My 5 favourite blogs
  32. Half way through the year, how are the goals coming?
  33. Happy Fathers Day! What is awesome about your dad and your kids’dad?
  34. What tips do you have for a newbie gardener?
  35. Favourite coffee recipe
  36. What books do you want to read before the year is over?
  37. What about people’s cellphone habits drive you nuts?
  38. Share a home made ice cream recipe
  39. What’s in your beach bag?
  40. 24 July is national tequila day! Share a recipe for a tequila cocktail!
  41. Share a Christmas DIY tutorial.
  42. Share a series of photos that tell the story of your Christmas.
  43. What is on your giving wishlist for this year? What cool things would you want to give to someone else?
  44. What do you do when you are home all alone?
  45. Things I would do if I was brave…
  46. Other lives I would want to live if I had nine lives…
  47. A picture of you, last year and now, what has changed?
  48. What three things do you want your children to learn from you.
  49. Five ways to win your heart.
  50. Post your zodiac sign and whether it fits you.
  51. If I could have any celebrity chef prepare dinner for me who would it be?
  52. List 3 things I would like to do differently for Christmas this year…

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Monday, 28 December 2015

I don't care, I ship it

I was chatting to someone and said, oh I ship them. I got a blank stare in return. So for folks who don't know it, shipping isn't just what ships do, it's when a fan of a relationship (specifically in books, movies, anime and tv series) is for the relationship. They ship it.

For a fun take watch this:


Another great look at the world of fandom and shipping can be seen in Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl...such a great read. I see shipping as a giant part of fandom...particularly for those heavily invested in those worlds.  My current ship is a bit of a spoiler if you haven't seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

DO NOT CROSS THE LINE (unless you don't care/have seen the move)




And just for fun:





Sunday, 27 December 2015

Gratitude

This week I'm grateful for:


  • being able to give presents
  • being able to spend time with the family I built
  • love
  • being able to have a break from work
  • food
  • trifle
  • friends
  • that presents are some needed items given with love
  • books
  • more reading time
  • health
  • having a plan for 2016
What tops your list this week?

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Friday, 25 December 2015

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Quick sticks

A short and sweet one. Pretty much to keep my post everyday quest going. It can, and shall be done. The season is in full swing as the visits have started. We saw the sil and her family today, tomorrow visiting friends, Thursday we do our Christmas Eve thing...and then it's Christmas.

Isn't this just lovely.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Sometimes people just stagger you with kindness

When I checked my e-mail yesterday morning I wasn't expecting any special beyond the usual newsletters. But there was something amazing. Marcia, had sent me something wonderful and amazing, and staggering in it's kindness.

The gift itself - an audio book set with workbooks, and other extras - is great. But the staggering part was that someone who is a blogging buddy, took the time to get something just for me. That, because it was related to me asking her thing about my big idea, should that someone who only knows me through my words has a belief in my doing something...and is helping me get there.

It was/is absolutely staggering in kindness. 

Thank you so much lady.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Gratitude

This week's big moments:


  • getting to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • an amazing idea
  • saying yes to scary things
  • afternoon naps
  • hugs
  • coffee with a friend
  • Keiden coming more and more into himself
  • Jerall's leave starting
  • random phone calls
  • good books
  • being able to be there for folks
  • good news for friends
  • being able to do something that made someone's day
  • good folks doing the unexpected
  • new music finds
  • chocolate
What makes your list this week? 

Saturday, 19 December 2015

An interesting link or four

This, has really been staying with me. It could be the 300 hundred book estimate...pretty scary to think there's not enough time for all the books I want to read.

I just loved this, Can two people be in love forever? Although to be honest there is very little by Janelle that I don't love.

A must read for any Sound of Music fans with a sense of humour.

And while still on the humour track, this is just all kinds of funny - if you watched the Great British Bake Off.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Dear Keiden

Monkey, it was with some shock that I realised that today was the last day. The last day, of it being you and I together at home all day during the week.

Daddy, just got home from week, and is now officially on leave. And he'll still be on leave when you start school. The closer, and closer it gets to the 4th of January...the more and more nervous I get.

I know that this will be one of the best things we can do for you, and me. But I'm going to miss you and how we are now a lot. We're also going to have to move tickle time from the morning to the afternoon when you get home from school.

Love you lots, always.
Mommy

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Maybe my therapist wasn't quite all wrong about this

A recent therapy session was one of those "Don't make me look at this, do we have to?" sessions. And I cornered in on a realisation that I'm sure my therapist saw - it explains a lot that she'd been saying to me, especially about how I see things.



I blame Inside Out for this, by the way. We had watched it the weekend before I the session in question here. At my core, a core memory, an island of personality is the belief that I am a bad person. No amount of telling me otherwise will change it. And everything that seems "good" actually isn't and just adds to that.

My therapist says this isn't so. She says I'm not, and that my words do help. That part matters because I tell her about how I say yay you for folks, and do other words of encouragement things, but that it doesn't make me a good person. Because it takes very little for me to do that. And that I'm sure that anyone who thinks to do that, does it just so. And that it is what must be done, because that's how you help people.

Recently, I asked Cath (of the magic words) to help me with something. She did, because she is awesome that way. And I realised that maybe my words do mean something, because if she of the magic words says my words are magic...then maybe they are? (insert all the shocked no way, that can't be so thoughts and expressions you have, and that's me times 10000000)

Then there have been moments of reaching out to different folks...just with my words, just over a screen connection. And I think I've helped briefly. So maybe my therapist wasn't quite all wrong.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Monday, 14 December 2015

What Keiden would do for scooby snacks

Yesterday, we took Keiden to see his first show. I won tickets for us to see Scooby-Doo Live from Maz. It turned into a double lucky win, as our seats got bumped up and we were a bit closer to the stage.





Keiden was full of wows for everything most of the time. He even responded when the audience got asked questions. Granted it was his go to of no, but it was still pretty cute. We were so pleased to see him having fun. There was no moaning, asking to go or saying he was done. 

It was a fun show, and I still have some of the songs stuck in my head. All in all, it was a fun something different to do with him. And if you're on the fence about taking your almost 2 year old to a live performance, I say go for it :)

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Gratitude

This week has been all over the place. And this is just the right thing to do to help me see the good for the trees.

Topping the list this week:


  • love
  • friends who find the same things I do fun
  • wining a competition that is letting us take Keiden to his first ever live show
  • the willingness of others to spend their time on me
  • that I learnt how to ask for help
  • books
What tops your list this week?

Saturday, 12 December 2015

I've changed something

If you read my blog through a feed reader, chances are you won't have noticed. I changed a few things here. Not that much, so don't panic.

I just added some colour, and changed the font, and...hmmm ok. Maybe the change wasn't that small.

Take a look. Tell me what works and doesn't work. I'm just glad to have done it, with my extremely limited skills :p

Friday, 11 December 2015

When plans go awry

Lately, I've been managing to prep posts the night before and have them good to go in the morning. Only, that didn't happen yesterday. I had no words to share.

So, I figured I'd do something in the morning about that. And still, no words, no ideas. It was probably still a hangover from the general feeling off that was yesterday. Yesterday was a bad day.

Today though, is much better. And I did have an idea for a post. I was going to change the template of the blog, and go "Look everyone, new look." Sadly, I haven't yet been able to find just the right thing. So I'll keep on looking.

In the meanwhile you get this light, breezy, and slightly odd post. Tomorrow, should be better.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

On flat panics and happy dances

It seems I've hit the point that I thought the daily post would bring me to. It's a share...which is scary for me. As most of you guys know, J and I have been all one and done since K arrived.

And then my period was late. I've never been late before except for that one time. I had all the cold panicked sweets, and thoughts for a week. A WEEK. 7 long, long, oh so long days.

And then, aunt flo started her visit and all was right with the world again. Much happy dancing was had by me. It just reaffirmed for me, one and done. I'm just so happy to have it reaffirmed to myself. And confirming what I knew at the start, I can't do this again.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Five for today

Keiden is meeting his teacher today. I hope it goes well, and helps me quell the panic of when I think about Jan 4th, and leaving him with someone new.

I've been back into my reading groove, which is great. I should keep better track of how much I've read in a year. I'm guessing this year is somewhere around the 60 or so mark. I had a month of 20 reads.

Mini, book reviews. I'd use the blurb, so it wouldn't just be my two sentences. Yay or nay?

I've been mulling going pescatarian. Any thoughts or things you thing might be worth reading?

How often do we say yes to things that scare us? Do you ever? I can't think of anything I've done this year that counts. Have you?


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Amazing finds to help my book quest

Thanks to the wonder that is twitter, and folks sharing amazing things I've come across two finds to help my diverse books for Keiden book quest. Both are free to print! This means that not only can you get great stuff for your kid, but you can share it with your local library.

So go look around Book Dash, and African Storybook Project. And find a way to support them as best you can.

All the books for everyone!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Sometimes I wonder

If my struggle to quiet my mind has something behind it. Is this my mind pushing, and pushing at me to look deeper and harder? What does it want? What am I hiding from myself? What don't I want to see?

Am I the only one who does this? How do you quiet it in the middle of the night when you can't read/watch something to drown it out?

Is it even possible?

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Gratitude

This week, besides the obvious, I am grateful for:


  • coffee and cake with friends
  • friends remembering something small you needed, and getting it for you
  • snazzy sun hats
  • words
  • hugs
  • being able to be around for big Keiden moments
  • having a post appear in a newsletter
  • answers to questions
  • staff rebates approved
  • cooler days
  • dim sum and boa
  • post ideas
  • the smell of tea tree oil
  • being able to take my kid to the hospital when needed...medical aid ftw!
  • modern medicine


    What makes your list this week?

    Saturday, 5 December 2015

    Friday, 4 December 2015

    Five for Friday: Keiden edition

    Keiden has picked up some cute new words. My favourite of them is broekie though. For some unknown reason J and I called his swimming costume his swim brokeies. Then K got some underwear from his ah-ma, we call them broekies. And now he says it too :)  [Broekie is a Afrikaans word for underpants]

    He had a big boy moment, and pooped in the toilet. There was much gushing from the parents when that happened.

    Keiden is a lavender fiend. Whenever he is near the plants, he will grab the leaves to smell them.

    He has taken to wanting his room door closed when trying to fall asleep for his nap.

    One is a new favourite word. He loves saying one, and having you carry on counting for him. It might come from us doing count downs, counting steps as we go...and other random counting moments. One probably also stuck because of folks asking how old he is.

    Thursday, 3 December 2015

    Tips to make retail easier this year

    There is the easy one, where you can, shop online. And shop in advance.If it's too late for that for you these tips should help you a smidge.


    • Remember that the person working in the story, is a person. That means you acknowledge their greeting, and greet back. Trust me, acknowledgement of the person assisting you means they will be more friendly too.
    • Use please and thank you.
    • Don't treat the person you're dealing with like they're an idiot or less than. There are many people working retail with a degree or two - sometimes a job is better than no job. When I worked at book stores, 80% of my co-workers were people with degrees.
    • If you lose your cool with the person, take a deep breath and apologise for losing your cool over a THING. Take a moment, crack a weak joke and try again, or ask to speak with someone else.
    • If you're in a mood, rather not shop. If you can't avoid shopping, then tell the person in the store that you're crabby. It'll make it easier for both of you.
    Notice a theme yet? 

    If you treat the person working in the store with the respect and care you would like everyone wins. Trust me, they don't want to be working the long shifts they have to work at this time of the year. They don't set out to mess anything up. And more often than not, they're juggling at least 5 other requests besides yours.

    Just be as kind as you can, and you will get kindness in return.



    Wednesday, 2 December 2015

    Take a moment, hear people

    Last night, Cath tweeted about listening to the stories of those you meet.  And I remembered StoryCorp, for stories about moments in the day to day lives of people. I mentioned them before in a TED Thursday. The are their to share stories and keep oral history alive. It's just lovely.

    So take a moment and go listen to the stories.


    Tuesday, 1 December 2015

    Thoughts on grandparents

    With the recent visit of his ah-ma, and just how happy seeing her made Keiden I've been pondering grandparents. And more specifically, how I limit any interaction he has with my mother.

    Do you think that just as there are people who shouldn't be parents those same people shouldn't be grandparents? Are we supposed to expose our children to those we know have a greater than average chance of hurting them?

    I don't see it as responsible parenting, if I knowingly put him in the ambit of someone who can be unspeakably cruel. Or is there something I'm missing.

    For now, I'm glad that he has ah-ma, and a mim, who love him to bits, and get big smiles when we tell him we're going to see either of them.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Monday, 30 November 2015

    Traditions

    We have a Sunday morning breakfast tradition, we always have pancakes. I was the one who made them, before my preferred pan went wonky. After that, Jerall took over. I wonder when Keiden will take a turn.

    Our tradition of Sunday morning pancakes is so ingrained in us, that even when we're away from home it happens. On our PE trip ah-he made them for us. It's a small thing that makes our family, family.

    We don't have many others. Our Christmas Eve one is to get lots of yummy nibbles, and watch what we call Christmas movies. We also have some movies that we watching during the month.

    And then there's bedtime story time. It's part routine, and part tradition. And it's one we all enjoy a lot.

    Oh, just remembered our birthday one. For their birthdays, and birthday month the person celebrating gets to pick where we're eating out, if we do that.

    What traditions have you built into your family?


    Sunday, 29 November 2015

    Saturday, 28 November 2015

    Tis the season

    To be filled with wants. And it's so easy to get lost in that feeling, of wanting, lusting, needing. We then forget what this time of year reminds us of.

    And no, I'm not talking religious stuff here. I'm talking about taking stock of what we have, of being grateful. It's hard I know to not get caught up in the want of it all, but we should try.

    So while we're spending time trying to find just the right way to express to those we love how much we love them, let's try to remember to be glad for to have them too.

    Friday, 27 November 2015

    Five for Friday


    An upended tree we found in the nature reserve on our Sunday walk.

    Someone couldn't resist all the rocks and stones.

    Post walk coffee, at Schoon De Companje (or Oude Bank for the locals). I love the wooden saucers.

    Some quirky decor at Schoon.


    My scooby snakcs, I haven't had these since our trip to Canada. The aunt we stayed with was her on holiday, and she brought me these :).

    Thursday, 26 November 2015

    What I'm currently reading.

    I'm still processing what came out of therapy. Thus, I don't have many words. So be distracted by my current reading list.









    I dip in and out of each as the right mood hits. Am almost done with Furiously Happy as it's making me laugh when I need it.

    What are you reading? Are you a one book at a time person, or more?



    Wednesday, 25 November 2015

    Sometimes you just need to sit in the sun

    Yesterday, was a pretty great day in parts. Jerall's auntie Jan, who we stayed with when we had our Toronto holiday is in SA for a visit. She and the mil came down to Cape Town on Monday.

    Yesterday, they, us, my sil and her family all had a picnic lunch at Warwick Wine Estate. Our niece M, and Keiden had such a blast running around, and playing in the fountains. The grown-ups sat under the shade, just being it.

    The gourmet picnic they offer is pricey, but well worth it. And it's a lot of good quality foods. Jerall, Keiden and I shared one, and it was more than enough - even with our eat all the food kid. Drinks are extra. Also, remember to book. And that the experience is so much more than the picnic. Sometimes, just sitting with no rush to finish at the venue you're at makes it all just perfect.

    And it turns out it was just what I needed after an intense morning at therapy. All the feelings and things come out when I go to a session tired. More on that another time.

    If you're stay-cationing in Cape Town and the surrounds, Warwick is a lovely spot to just sit in the sun.

    -------------------------------------
    The winner of the Book Owl giveaway is...Cindy. Yay. I'll be e-mailing you soon.

    Tuesday, 24 November 2015

    Monday, 23 November 2015

    This might just be one of my odder ideas

    On Friday, I had the strangest thought. I wondered what if I blogged every day for a year. Then panic and fear set in. Why would I want to do that to myself? Could I even pull it off? Am I just being swayed by the fact that my NaBloWriMo seems to be going well?

    So yes, just when it seems that everyone else is pulling away from blogging. I'm deciding to dive-in in the deep end, which is all kinds of ridiculous given I can't swim.

    I've chatted to some friends about it, and I figure the best way to do this is in smaller pieces. I know I can do a month of it. So I'll be taking it a month at a time. And I need to remember to be kind to myself while doing this. That means scheduling posts ahead when I have the urge to write everything, and to not be hard on myself if I miss a day due to sickness. I am hoping though that the scheduling ahead, when I have the write all the things urge will help avoid those moments.

    I've realised that what I will get from doing this, is a sense of accomplishment - finishing a big-ish year long project would be good for me to know that I can do it. Also, much as I call this my space, and say I should write for myself, I think writing everyday for a year will help me feel more as if this is my space where I write for myself.

    The thing with blogging is that although it is self driven you are aware of an implied audience. And as such I know that I unknowingly started not writing about all my interests. Which is all kinds of ridiculous. This way, with the expectation of putting up something everyday I won't be able to shy away from all that makes me me.

    It should translate into more gaming talk, and as my diploma course starts next year probably some more academic discourse. Guys, I have so many thoughts and ideas on gender, identity and the performance/performative nature bouncing around in my head, in e-mails, chats and notes that I have no idea why it isn't here. So here it will be.

    What do you think?

    Sunday, 22 November 2015

    An attitude of gratitiude

    I'm working on my attitude of gratitude, so this I think will become a regular thing for Sundays. And probably on those days when I just need to be more aware of what I have instead of focusing on what I don't have.

    I'm grateful for Jerall. Especially, because we had some ugh moments recently...we're past those. But nothing like a bad moment to remind just how good things normally are.

    Keiden. Yes, he is pushing so many buttons, but those love yous and hugs help. Not to forget that I'm glad that he feels safe, secure and loved enough to push his boundaries without fear of losing us. I am so glad that he feels secure in our love for him.

    Friends. Ones who get my particular brand of quirk. Renewing relationships with those from before, and those who are close enough for random tea visits.

    The work that I do have. My client is fortunately someone who doesn't care too much when the work happens, just as long as it happens. It is such a great thing to have when working from home with a toddler.

    That Keiden got into our preferred play school. That we can send him to it.

    Twitter, it helps me not be surrounded in an echo chamber that confirms my confirmation bias.

    That I'm open to looking at different points of views.

    Amazing online retailers that help make my life easier.

    Opportunities coming my way.

    Coffee, the lifeblood of parents.
    --------------------
    Any moments of gratitude for you recently? How do you maintain an attitude of gratitude?

    Saturday, 21 November 2015

    Friday, 20 November 2015

    Five for Friday

    My brown thumbs and I, now have three new plants to look after. We have lemon grass, chocolate mint and lavender. Keiden is enjoying watering them. And it helps me feel like we're not wasting water, because we put his watering can in the shower to catch some water.

    The water crisis is heavy on my mind. We're doing as much as we can think of to be careful with our water use, but any and all tips are most welcome.

    We recently received the information pack for school for Keiden. And I must say going through it all has been a great reminder of why we were so excited about the school in the first pace. They strongly discourage party packs on birthdays, fr one. They're all about learning through play, and fostering independence. And parents have homework, reading to our little every day :D.

    I'm considering carrying on with blogging every day for as long as I can manage it. What do you think?

    And what are your thoughts about me talking about my rpg characters? We're currently playing this, with some friends...and I need to talk about my character, her love-love interest, and the difficulties when your team doesn't work as a team. (If you have any rpg questions, go check out Abigail's series)

    Thursday, 19 November 2015

    Today, I was

    That mom. You know, the one you see walking along with the crying toddler.

    As Keiden and I were making our way to the library he wanted to carry the book bag. Not a problem, but all he had to do was say please when asking for the bag. He refused to. So I didn't give him the bag. He carried on whining, moaning and crying all the way to the library.

    It was not pleasant.

    I could feel people staring. The "What is she doing?" looks, and people actually told him to stop crying 0_o. I just really, really wanted to tell them to make like a kite and fly away. That this is what happens when you're trying to teach your kid manners. That he's pushing boundaries now. I didn't say anything, just carried on.

    Parenting is hard.

    Wednesday, 18 November 2015

    Scattered thoughts

    I'm a bit scattered today, we had a poor nights sleep. K was having a bad night. I read some interesting things on love recently. Check them out here, and here.
    I'm utterly moved by this twitter account. Every massive tragedy needs this. It is so humanizing, it reminds us that it was people who died. Not numbers, but people. I'm retweeting it, and sharing it here, as I hope it will remind folks to always chose kindness. Each person who dies in a tragedy is someone to someone, they are the ripple in the webs others have woven.

    We need each other. We need to honour those who have been lost. And we need to remember that we are all humans, with quirks and foibles, with love, with passions, with people who we make the world a brighter place for. Choose love, choose hope, be love, be hope.

    I've shared this video before, but it just feels like today is a good day to share it again. You made it.

    Tuesday, 17 November 2015

    500

    Woo hoo, here I am with post 500. Yes, I know taking almost 6 years to get here is a bit of a long go, but hey no one told me there were cut off dates ;)

    In celebration of 500 posts, the oh so amazing Kirsten from The Book Owl (which we all know I love with all my book loving heart) has agreed to help me do something special for you guys.

    First, a 10% discount on orders placed up until the 28th of November, all you need to do is use the code bitsandpieces when checking out. The Christmas orders cut off date is also the 28th, see what I did there :0

    And then the big one, one of you lucky folks can win a box. I sense a Christmas present win :) All you need to do is leave a comment telling me which book your little is loving. The competition will run till the 24th and I'll announce the winner on the 25th.

    Good luck, and thanks for reading.

    Monday, 16 November 2015

    An author I've been enjoying lately

    Rainbow Rowell, is a recent-ish find. I discovered her work last year, I read Fangirl, and Eleanor & Park. And recently, I discovered Attachments - her first book. I'm looking forward to getting to read Carry On. Carry On is a stand alone book about the series that Cath from Fangirl is fangirling about. I'm hoping I get to read it soon, I think it'll be a joyous romp. Yes, I said that :p


    Be sure to give her a look. And let me know what authors you've been enjoying lately.

    Ps. I may write a review of Attachments soon-ish. Also tomorrow is post 500!! There'll be something special in it for you :)

    Sunday, 15 November 2015

    Saturday, 14 November 2015

    A few links to some interesting things

    The Establishment, is an amazing recent find. They have some great thought provoking essays, and some light hearted fun things too. Just look at the about page.

    I've mentioned it before, but really if you're even vaguely interested in the X-Men, check out Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men.

    Into It with Elle Collins, is great to listen to just for how her guests geek out over topics. Elle and her guest/s chat about something they're seriously into. The newest episode is about Bring It On, only the greatest cheerleader movie ever.like.seriously.ever.

    And, Secret Convergence on Infinite Podcasts, is a cross-over event on some podcasts. Thanks to it, I now have some more podcasts to check out.

    Friday, 13 November 2015

    A look at Kids Book Club

    It's probably not much of a surprise, but we really, really love books in our family. And because of that I figured why not give this Kids Book Club thing a try, when the opportunity to do so arrived.

    At R145 a month, for two books for your kid, two magazines for you, and a lovely, lovely bag for your little to do all the things they do with bags, it is a great deal. Sadly, though the first two deliveries left me underwhelmed.

    To be fair, we go to the library every week, and Keiden has tons of books - and a really great collection of Priddy books he got as a gift. Priddy books are amazing, and you get one of those in the delivery, a big win. But because of those it wasn't really anything new for us, besides the bags, which Keiden loves - he is always packing it and saying bye-bye.

    It turns out though those first two deliveries were just a bunch of teething problems. Because today's delivery was great. The magazine selection has improved - full disclosure they are a month old, but who has time to read the current ones or buy them? - and the Priddy book is this great treasure hunt book. Keiden really enjoyed the page with food, no surprise there ;)

    If you're looking for some way to get new books for you kid, with a little treat for yourself this is a great way to do so.

    ----------------
    This is not a paid for post, but I did receive the delivery to try it out.

    Thursday, 12 November 2015

    Getting to know me

    Mandy, tagged me in this meme doing the rounds. I'll tag some folks at the end of it.

    Are you named after someone? 
    Nope, but I was supposed to be Casey. Due to a spelling error I'm Cassey, just not spelt in the traditional was of Cassie.

    When was the last time you cried? 
    On Monday, while watching Downton Abbey.

    Do you have kids? 
    One, huggable, snuggable little monkey, Keiden.

    If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?
    I think so. I like to think that I'm good at this friendship business, and generally pretty friendly.

    Do you have a guilty pleasure? 
    I'm working on not applying guilt to enjoying what I enjoy, just because it isn't for everyone else. It's hard not having what others think spoil what I enjoy, but it is my quest. So the short answer would be no. I like what I like.

    Do you like handwriting? 
    Most of the time. I love taking notes, and writing letters, but don't always get to do so.

    What is your favorite cereal? 
    We don't really do cereal, so I suppose oats with fruit toppings.

    What is the first thing you notice about people? 
    If they acknowledge those who greet them. For my, the most important step in taking to not being a douche is to acknowledge everyone who acknowledge you. Look that homeless person in the eye who took the time to greet you.

    What color are your eyes? 
    Brown.

    Scary movies or happy endings? 
    Happy endings, scary movies mean tons of anxiety for me.

    Favorite TV show? 
    Ummm I love tv, not as much as I love books, but close enough. So I tend to rewatch BSG, Hart of Dixie, Greys Anatomy, and Ouran High School Host Club (anime seriously counts as tv).

    Summer or winter? 
    I was a summer person, and then I was pregnant during summer. So winter all the way.

    Hugs or kisses? 
    Hugs, all the hugs.

    What’s the furthest you’ve been from home? 
    On holiday, Toronto, Canada. To live, for a bit, Den Haag, The Netherlands.

    Do you have special talents? 
    Ummm I'm friendly, and remember birthdays?

    Right, I choose you (pikacachu ;p) Abigail, Briget, Cat, MeeA, and Megan.


    Wednesday, 11 November 2015

    Five for today

    I was so excited about this show. And if you're looking for gritty, it works. I was hoping for easy story, and something that showcased how dancers are the ultimate athletes. 

    Despite the title, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, is a delight of a show. It has filled the musical comedy gap, that I didn't realise I had. The songs are amazing, it is just a great show.








    Tuesday, 10 November 2015

    Monday, 9 November 2015

    Dear Keiden

    This weekend past tannie Lize got married. And at the reception you did something that made me both happy and sad. I know mommy's are silly sometimes.

    At the venue there was an amazing play area, and two lovely ladies to keep on eye on all the kiddies. You were very happy to play there, and then the thing that made me a little sad was that you didn't mind when daddy and I went away.

    Daddy and I were very happy to see that you were ok without us. It was great to see this, it let us know that come January when you go to school you'll be ok.

    You were a big fan of Elize, so much so that when we went inside, and you and daddy went out again for a walk, you just ran away from him to her 0_o.

    Love you much,
    Mommy

    Ps. Make sure you pick friends who don't just remind you to drink water, but actually give you a glass  of it to drink.

    Sunday, 8 November 2015

    Saturday, 7 November 2015

    Friday, 6 November 2015

    Meet my friend in my computer: Abigail from The Triangular Room

    Abigail, is a massive Pathfinder, The Sims and Pathfinder nerd. What she doesn't know about The Sims isn't worth knowing. She is a gaming geek, loves to colour, read, and collect all the mini figs. Always ready with some advice for Sims problems, and her current series on Pathfinder for beginners is a great ready for anyone just starting to play. 


    Her unbridled full enjoyment of what she loves is something we all need. She inspires me to write more about gaming here. Hopefully, I'll do so :p.
    ------------------------------------------
    Hi there, this is my friend Abigail. Let's chat


    How did we meet?
    I believe we met on Twitter. I must admit I don't remember the specifics, but I suspect you came into my timeline via Tally or Noelle. I know I had previously come across your hubby's Pathfinder stuff, so I remember it being one of those small world moments when I figured out the connection between you and him :) We have yet to meet in person, but I hope to change that one day!

    What is blogging to you?
    This is actually something I've been thinking about a lot lately. I enjoy writing and putting my thoughts down on (virtual) paper, and having my own blog allows me to share whatever thoughts I want, without some editor looking over my shoulder and telling me what does or doesn't belong on their site. The fact that people enjoy reading some of what I write is a really nice bonus. It does mean my blog covers some rather disparate topics, but it works for me at the moment.

    Current Favourite Series: At the moment I'm really enjoying Star Wars Rebels. For a show that's more or less aimed at kids, it contains tons of little details that make my inner Star Wars geek squee. The fact that the show reminds me of Firefly and has top notch voice acting is a nice bonus!

    Current Favourite Book: The Lorien Legacies (I Am Number Four) series by Pittacus Lore has me eagerly awaiting every new book to find out what happens next. Another great book I read recently was Stephen King's Doctor Sleep (awesome sequel to The Shining), as well as On Writing, which is a great read, even though I usually don't like non-fiction.


    Current Favourite Game: Besides the obvious choices of The Sims and Pathfinder RPG, I've really been enjoying Disney Infinity 3.0 - it's the best Star Wars game that's been released for about a decade. For non-digital games, one of my current favourite board games is Takenoko.

    Warrior, rogue or mage?
    Tough one. I think mage for ultimate power and flexiblity.

    Collecting figs or colouring in? 
    As much as I enjoy art and colouring, I'm a packrat at heart, so collecting would probably win this one.

    Food or sights when travelling?
    Definitely sights. I'm such a fussy eater that the thought of eating meals where I don't know exactly what is in it is rather terrifying!

    What does a day need to be good for you?
    A good day for me is one where I don't have to get up too early, there are no demands being made of my time, so I can just chill at home in my pajamas all day. Some yummy food and a good book are always nice as well!

    Thursday, 5 November 2015

    Meet my friend in my computer: Liezel from Hello August

    Liezel, is so crafty, and into gorgeous stuff. She loves throwing parties and dreaming up ways of making spaces beautiful, it's a great thing to behold, and chat to her about. For those of us who aren't crafty, knowing someone who is, and has an eye for beautiful things is a great find.

    She is brave, she went off on a teach English overseas adventure, friendly, sparkly (yes, this can be used to describe someone) and just all round lovely.
    ---------------------------------------
    Hi there, this is my friend Liezel. Let's chat.


    How did we meet?
    We 'met' on Twitter bonding over motherhood tweets. I eventually got to meet you in real life at a blogger meet up.

    What is blogging to you?
    I've always dreamed about being a writer/journalist but I dont actually have the skills to cut it in the industry, so to me blogging is a way to live my dream. Having this creative outlet is what saves me somedays.

    Current favourite series, book and game
    Gosh there are so many series I love at the moment. Grey's Anatomy is still a favourite after all this time. I love Modern Family, Vampire Diaries, The Good Wife and Friends reruns. I miss Dexter and Breaking Bad every day. I love Gillian Flynn books and read Pride & Prejudice and Mansfield Park almost every year.

    Your dream job?
    Working at a Fashion or Travel Magazine. Being an interior decorator. Mainly doing Baby & kids rooms.

    You and Ben 15 years from now, mommy and son adventure, where, when and how? 
    When my husband was in high school the family rented a sailboat and sailed Greece & Turkey stopping at all the little towns to explore. Doing this with a teenage Ben is our dream.

                                         Coffee or tea?
    Coffee all day long!

    Food or sights when travelling
    Ooh I love sight seeing and exploring, but my brain is always on food so I will have to go with food.

    What does a day need to be good for you?
    Family, sun and good food. I love that at this age we can just hang with my parents drinking G&T's and having a good laugh.

    Wednesday, 4 November 2015

    Meet my friend in my computer: Maz from Caffeine and Fairydust

    Maz, is someone I wish I could be like. She is supremely confident, creative, stylish and very clearly knows what she wants and how to get there. She is passionate about using eco friendly products, and is in fact one of the reasons why we've started the slow process of switching to more earth friendly products.
    ------------------------------------
    Hi there, this is my friend Maz. Let's chat

    How did we meet?
    On Twitter if I remember correctly? :D

    What is blogging to you?
    Cheap therapy... It is my voice in a world where I am not often heard.

    Current favourite series, book and game

    Gilmore Girls was, is and will always be my absolute favourite series! My favourite book is The Covenant by Naomi Ragen and my favourite game is Boulders Gate! I know it is old, but it is so awesome!

    Designs that move you
    Few things move my tar black soul... haha. My daughter's drawings ♥

    Style something you're born with or something you need to work on?

    In general, I believe it is something you need to work on. You are influenced by your parents, your heritage, the people that surround you, your financial circumstances, etc. etc. etc. Anyone can be stylish if they want to be.

    Coffee or tea?
    Coffee!

    Food or sights when travelling
    Sights, with snacks in hand!

    What does a day need to be good for you?
    Sunshine, happy vibes and my gorgeous family ♥

    Tuesday, 3 November 2015

    Meet my friend in my computer: Fazila from Chasing Dreams

    Fazila, is in one word DETERMINED. Yes, I meant for it to be all caps. She goes for what she wants and keeps at it till it's done. I love, love her stick-to-it-ness. Her attitude is inspiring, seriously guys I really just want to gush about her, but words fail me.

    She is lovely, principled, hard working, speaks her mind and just all round awesome-sauce. And in something I consider amazing, has found a way to balance family, work and what she wants out of life.
    ---------------------------------------
    Hi there, this is my friend Fazila. Let's chat.

    How did we meet?
    At the Mommy blogger CT get together on 9 May 2015. I remember you grabbed me and hugged me and I was like whaaaaa’ and then I just went with it. (It's because I had just read her story about her mom, and wanted to give her all the hugs, I did ask first)

    What is blogging to you?
    A way to spread knowledge and connect with people. Sometimes an introspective outlet.

    Current favourite series, book and game. 
    Haven't read since I birthed. But one of my favourite recent book series is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrson and then there's Angelfall (also a series) by Susan Ee. TV Series: Scrubs is my all time favourite – I watch season 1 till 8 every year!!! I like Awkward (don’t be judging ) and Parks and Rec. I love comedy series (obvi) because life is already full of human drama RIIIIIGHT

    Favourite "it's amazing how much this works" exercise step/routine? 
    Brent's bootcamp at Constantia Virgin Active on a Saturday morning. He BREAKS my body every week no matter what (and I workout everyday). He is the ONLY instructor who can kill my body every single class. Its amazing. This week every muscle was aching so bad for THREE DAYS AFTER his class and get this – we only used body weight. He is effing magical.

    Dream home gym/exercise space 
    On the grass in the yard….I'm basically LIVING MY HOME GYM DREAM

    Coffee or tea? 
    Neither: boiling water with lemon. I have even started (much to my husband’s annoyance) requesting this at restaurants.

    Food or sights when travelling
    Food: I like trying different vegetarian dishes. Im not vegan or anything. But I just like to see how creative different places are with their veg dishes. Sights: ocean, forest, outdoors, fresh air. That’s what I look for

    What does a day need to be good for you?
    It has taken me a long time to realise, a good day does not depend on events, how I look, or when things go or do not go according to plan. A good day depends on my attitude and my faith in my Creator that it has been ordained for me thus, even what appears to be negative on the surface includes a positive lesson for me. No matter what, have a positive attitude towards each day. To help me fall asleep at night I think about all the things I should be grateful for. Things I never ever dreamed possible 13 years ago are now a reality for me. And for that I am forever grateful. How could the day not be good then?

    Monday, 2 November 2015

    Meet my friend in my computer: Megan from Mama Zombie Mumbles

    Megan, is someone I see as so proudly herself, although she might disagree. She throws herself into anything she wants to do wholeheartedly . Is extremely passionate about things that seem completely unrelated, but in her world it all makes sense - My Little Pony, nails and animals being an example of it.

    She is great to chat to, and has a not so hidden cheerleader side ;).
    ----------------------------------------
    Hi there, this is my friend Megan. Let's chat.

    How did we meet?
    We met via twitter

    What is blogging to you?
    It started as a way to vent my feelings, but now it's more of a way to share whatever projects I am busy with

    Current favourite series, book and game
    I am watching a bunch of stuff right now, my favourite sitcom is hands down Modern Family. Game of Thrones is one of my loves, but I always end up watching Grey's Anatomy when I have down time (or I am home sick). Mr Robot BLEW my mind recently and I have been enjoying Lost Girl too (cheesy, easy watching). Book wise, I am busy reading the LAST Pratchett, Shepherd's Crown (SOB) and as for gaming, not much of that happening now, so it's mostly smartphone games like 2048.


    A restore pony station or nail station?
    Most of my pony restoring happens in the kitchen as I need boiling water and a sink and I spend a lot more time doing my nails than I do restoring Ponies, so I would choose a nail station. In a perfect world it would have a couple of shelves to display my ponies and other collectibles and would have to have really good lighting and lots of storage space. I need more of a mani cave than a station haha.

    Free handing, stamping or stickers?
    Stamping ALL the way! I have to make an actual effort to NOT stamp every mani I do now!

    Coffee or tea?
    I should say coffee because I love the stuff, but I was recently introduced to flavoured rooibos, so I think I may be developing a tea obsession.

    Food or sights when travelling
    Oh, that's a tough one. I love food, but I also love sight seeing... I love nothing more than exploring a museum or a landmark. History fascinates me, so any chance I have to learn more, I'll jump on it. Once I've seen the sights though, lead me to the good food!

    What does a day need to be good for you?
    I'm pretty easy to please, so as long as I have coffee in the morning, leave the house on time and don't forget to put shoes on, I'm pretty happy. If I get left in peace to work while listening to some good music, even better! A weekend that involves the beach, friends, braai and sangria is my ideal :)
    Mostly these days, any day that is peaceful is good. My days of entertaining drama llamas are long gone.

    Sunday, 1 November 2015

    Plans, plans and more plans

    I know a fair number of folks who are doing NaNoWriMo. It's a great way for people to push their creative juices, and get something done. No, I'm not taking party, I don't have a novel wanting to get out. But I will be writing a post for every day of this month.

    It'll be my NaBloWriMo as MeeA calls it :) This way not only will I make Quest 500 before December, but I'll also have a way to make sure I put aside time to do this, and not fall into the I don't feel like it trap.

    Another plan is to get back on the no sugar wagon, I've fallen off it so badly. One moment of weakness turned into weeks of have all the sugar :(. Along with that I'm going to do the best I can to finally do 30 days of yoga. The pilates class from last week, was a great push to do this.

    Many plans I know, but I have to get them going. Hopefully it'll all stick better this time and become firm habits.

    Friday, 30 October 2015

    A quick catch up

    My reading mojo has returned with a bang. I'm in the midst of the Old Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness. I am giving up sleep to read more, and just want to finish, but life won't let me.


    I went to a free pilates class last night, and it just isn't for me. It was an easy class. I've been to many classes, and in my peak fitness the class I was attending then kicked my ass. This one was a good stretch session, but not for me.

    Keiden has gotten into our number one play school pick :). This means, I can pick up more work, and get to bed a bit earlier.

    The heat has been horrid. A fringe was a bad, bad idea for summer. Thank goodness for hairpins.

    Today, I'll be donating blood. It'll be the first time since pre pregnancy that I'll do this. I'm so excited to be able to do this again, it is such a small thing to do, that helps others.

    Here's an interview with me on SA Mom Blogs.

    I'm loving orange nails. It's so bright, and happy, and summer.

    #FeesMustFall has just gotten me all over. It so showed so strange beliefs people hold. Whacked out thinking, and a lot of apathy from people I didn't expect. Although my reaction to it has been surprising as well, I hadn't realised just how "political" I am. That said there currently isn't a party for me in SA politics.

    Lately Keiden has been calling everything lovely or saying wow.

    He is also clearly the kid of gamers. Anything vaguely dice shaped gets held, shook in his cupped hands, rolled , looked at carefully and followed by a yay :).

    Meet my friend in my computer will return next week.

    Wednesday, 21 October 2015

    Stray thoughts

    Thirty seems to be the year of life truths for me. Nothing changes if nothing changes. Why not? Does it spark joy? And thoughts on friendship and boundaries.

    I've realised that people don't fully understand what privilege is made up of. Case in point my friends who also bring up that they also grew up poor and didn't have a lot. They're missing the reality of being a person of colour. The constant stream of micro aggressions. They're never looked at suspiciously in shops, or treated like they work there when it's clear they don't. Never told you speak so well. Never squeeing with excitement when they realise that there are finally good mainstream tv shows to show their kid that there are people who look like him in media.

    Something I don't get are people who just moan for the sake of moaning. Vent away, it heps. Then go do something. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

    We attach shame to things to that make us happy. Why? It is ridiculous that we let others perceived conceptions get in our way. So in my small bit to counter that, here's a me truth for you. I read Mills & Boons (and swoons, as I call them). They are light, easy to read with a guaranteed happy ending. Plus they make it easy for me to get back into reading mojo.

    Do you have something like that? If you'd like feel free to share :)

    Tuesday, 20 October 2015

    Meet my friend in my computer: Laverne from Shell Shocked Mummy

    Laverne, made me fangirl squee when she mentioned me in a post. I admire her no-holds-barred directness. Not to mention the way in which she shares so openly and willingly.

    She is a virual cheerleader, who is quick to call you on your self bullying tactics,  and always happy to find a way to laugh at things.
    -----------------------------------------
    Hi there, this is my friend Laverne. Let's chat.

    How did we meet?
    We met via twitter actually, you showed your support for my petition to change the laws surrounding maternity leave and we struck up a conversation.

    What is blogging to you?
    Blogging can be whatever you decided it to be, As I would consider myself a new blogger I haven’t decided exactly what I would like my platform to look like in 3 years. At thuis stage I don’t want the extra pressure because I am goal orientated and I will do everything in my power to reach that goal and right now I just want blogging to be fun. I have been incredibly lucky that it has been so well received and that it has led me to start lobbying for real change and I am thoroughly grateful for all the support I have received thus far.

    Current favourite series, book and game

    Empire, I love urban shows that are trendy and fashion forward but that has a little bit of drama and intrigue. I also like Rosewood. Deep down I am still a fashion girl at heart. Book! None, any book that needs reading at this stage better be 2 pages long or have been adapted to a 30 minute show. Game. I don’t have time for any games either, I usually only listen to the TV anyway because I am busy working while it is on.

    You and Kennedy 15 years from now on a mommy and daughter adventure. Where, what, how?
    I hope to travel with her abroad. I want to show her the world. I want to be able to experience things I have experienced without her again. I hope to show he how to apply makeup correctly and help her pick her outfit for her first date, I hope to be giving her advice on safe sex and she listens, I hope to be helping her pick her matric dress and navigate the first time her heart is broken.

    Whose walk-in wardrobe do you want?
    Cookie from Empire, Olivia Pope from Scandal. Khloe Kardashian. To name a few


    Coffee or tea?
    Tea 100%. I have one cup of coffee a day but I love me some tea!

    Food or sights when travelling
    CARBS are my weakness, practically in any form. The carbier the better, But for right now I am on a Low Carb Diet. So a good soup.

    What does a day need to be good for you?
    Good morning kisses from my baby and I am golden!

    About Me

    My photo

    Me in a nutshell: I game, read, tweet, enjoy good food, have bouts of red pen rage and I'm a coffee snob.

    tums2tots columnist

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