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

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Let's chat: Boardgames

Recent-ish Marcia, Cat and Laura had been chatting about boardgames they play with their kids. They tended to focus on UNO and Monopoly - which fair enough are boardgames, but are definitely not the best examples thereof. So I figured now, with the rainy and cold weather setting in, would be a good time to mention some boardgames you can play with your kids. Most of these are great for 5 and up, but you know your kid best...so decide for yourself. On a cost note, yes, boardgames can be on the expensive end, but you pay the price once...and then you have hours, ad hours of entertainment for years.

A great game that works for parties and all ages is Dixit. With Dixit everyone gets some cards, each card has an illustration. You take turns to give a clue of a phrase/a word that works with the image you have. You put your card face down, and everyone else adds a card (face down) that they think works with the clue given. The cards are shown, and then everyone picks the card they think lead to the clue. The results tend to be hilarious.

A great co-op(co-operative) game is Forbidden Island. Everyone works together to find treasures and fly off the island before it sinks. It sounds deceptively easy, but too many waters risings in a row can really, really hurt. What I love about this game is the working as a team element. The difficulty of the game can change, but I recommend playing on easy mode for your first few games.

There is also the classic; Settlers of Catan. As an added bonus you can get this in Afrikaans as well. There is a junior version, a family version and many, many expansions for it. You have areas, get supplies, and trade them with others in order to build up the area you have settled.I find that the Cities and Knights expansion does add a lot to the game, so it's well worth checking out.

A really great, can fit in a small bag game is No Thanks! The aim of the game is to end with the fewest points. It's a number sequence game, but there are cards randomly removed at the start of the game so you're unsure if the given sequence you want to create can be done. Then there are always the other players to worry about as well. It is a lot of fun, and it plays really quickly, so you can get quite a few rounds of play of this when you have limited time.

I highly, highly recommend that you check out TableTop. It'll give you more game ideas, and also demonstrate the way some things are played. I know there are many I missed, what would you add to this list?

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Zombie Prompt 13

What are you ready to let go of this year?

Self doubt/lack of self esteem. There is so much I don't think I can do, and a lot I've set up this year to prove to myself that I can do. I'd really love to have the same belief in myself that others have in me.

What are you ready to let go of?
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Prompt from her, image from her.



Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Currently

It's been awhile since I did one of these. And really what better way is there to return to your regular viewing - :p -  than with a currently post.

Watching: Daredevil season 2, and the other super shows. Other than that we've not been watching much - too busy.

Reading: Articles, articles, articles. My for fun reading has taken a dive this month :(

Listening: Audio books, still The Art of Asking.  But I have also rediscovered Kelly Clarkson, Prime Circle and Freshlyground.

Doing: Reading, writing, anguishing over essays, virtual cheerleading, trying out Imzy, and gaming with friends.

Contemplating:  My complaining to positive comments ratio. Anyone else hit the point of thinking you're just complaining too much?

How is your currently going?

Monday, 28 March 2016

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Gratitude


This week I'm grateful for:

  • Having somewhere, warm and dry to call home while the wind is howling, and the rain is coming down
  • Amazing friends
  • Hugs
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Meeting a friend in person for the first time - such an age of the internet thing :0
  • Fluffy gowns
  • Spending time with my love without our child around
  • Interesting reads that help me better understand people
  • Keiden taking more of the many, many tiny steps to being an independent person
  • The chance to make use of resources available to me to do better at this studying thing
  • Boardgames
  • New meal ideas
What is topping your list this week?

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Friday, 25 March 2016

Five for Friday

Yesterday, I got my mark and comments on my first academic essay in 8 years. I was convinced the essay was a hot mess, it seems I was wrong. I got 75% And what makes this extra sweet is that it was from one of the stricter markers in the department. This lecture has told us that in his 11 years of teaching he has only once given a mark higher than 80% Needless to say I'm pretty much still shaken by it, and now extra worried about the essay I had to give in yesterday.

There is something to be said for not having the usual morning rush this week. It has been good for us.

What has also been good for us is the holiday programme at Keiden's school. This meant that Jerall and I had time together.

I am also still very, very pleased to I somehow managed to luck out and make some great friends through the internet. People can be all kinds of great.

Banana pancakes for Friday morning breakfasts are great.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Zombie Prompt 12


What is one new thing you want to learn this year?

I could take the easy way out and say social research methods :p But that's not quite it, the big thing for me, is I want to learn that I can do what I find scary, and seemingly impossible. So yes, it does include social research methods, but that's just the top layer of proving to myself that I can start,and finish something well.

What do you want to learn this year?
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Prompt from her, image from her.


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Recent reads that got me thinking


Folks, you know I'm a big fan of The Establishment, so it's not surprising that a few of these come from there ;)

This one is about body neutrality being the goal, and that it's okay not to love your body all the time. And this one has the writer sharing her story of how in order to get her to read Jonthan Franzen, she'll need to be paid.

There is this and this read on how to become more productive; changing your language and focus were the key points I took away. And this amazing talk from Wait But Why on how procrastinators work.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Gratitude

Topping the list this week:

  • Getting ahead on work, so that I could do academic work during the day instead of at night
  • Coffee
  • Gaming
  • New friends
  • Moments of realisation
  • Learning that Keiden has settled in well at school, that he has friends.
  • Having a moment to read
  • A moment to enjoy a comedy
  • Time to myself
  • Having plans to see friends
  • Being able to just phone a friend, as she's back in SA
  • Hugs
  • Being thanked for doing some cheerleading
What's making your list this week?

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Friday, 18 March 2016

Five for Friday:Things I've been wondering about

I am astounded at just how rude people can be. It seems that we have forgotten that we are dealing with people. On Wednesday a classmate was rude to the lecturer in front of the entire class - and it was for no good reason besides said classmate being in a bad mood. Why do we forget that everyone is deserving of basic degrees of kindness when talking to them? Whatever happened to treating people the way you want to be treated?

Are we letting the cult of busyness get in the way of connecting with folks? How often do we use the excuse of being busy as a reason to not make a few minutes to just say hi and check in with friends?

Are people inherently kind or selfish? Do we start out one way and then get shaped by the world into being the other way?

What can I do to keep kindness at the forefront of my interactions with others?

What can I do to keep kindness at the forefront of the way I treat, and speak to myself?

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Do you have any answers/thoughts on this?

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Reminding myself to focus on the good

This parenting gig is hard, and one of the harder things for me is to keep in mind that it's not about me. And what Keiden does or doesn't do is not about me, it's all about him.

Today we got Keiden's first assessment report. It's scary. The school has a letter before you get to the part about seeing how your child is doing which reminds you that each child develops differently - a much needed reminder, I'd say. Keiden falls in with the senior babies - 24 to 36 months - and they use a grid with items under cognitive, motor and social/emotional development.

So as I'm looking at it, in a bid to remind myself not to obsess about it I'm reminding myself he is 25 months, and this is things he must achieve by 3. So any ticks he has are good thing. The best thing seeing his report has done for me, has laid to rest my fears about his social development. The only tick he doesn't have is one for expressing his emotions with words. Something we can help him with by using more words to describe feelings - and you know, just wait for his language ability to keep on improving.

I'm so beyond proud that K has his social skills down. And in the past week he has taken to greeting everyone clearly. And by everyone, I mean everyone. He doesn't quite have as many ticks in the other areas, but then they're things to achieve by 3. He doe though have tower building down pat - school says towers need to be at least 6 blocks high, Keiden has been building towers that high, and higher easily for at least the past 6 or so months. Towers are his thing.

There is still plenty of time for him to reach all the other milestones. I just need to remember he does things at his own pace...and his social game, and tower building skills are on point.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Zombie Prompt 11

Share your goals and resolutions for 2016 and discuss what you want your life to look like one year from now.

I won't share all. One was getting yayyou! going, which I did. Sadly, it's not gone on as well as I wanted...studies happened. Another is to get my plans for my masters sorted, which also seem to be on the up and up. One other I will share is want to cum my diploma this year. Not so sure on how that is going, but I am working at it.

Clearly, I want all of the above to have been achieved as part of what next year will look like for me. I'll add the extra of getting my time management better.


Any you want to share?

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Prompt from her, image from her.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

My enthusiasm is not a liabilty

And I will not let others push me into believing that it is. I've been getting a lot of push back from randoms about my general enthusiasm about things - lately, in particular it has been about academic work. And I'm so over it.

It is ridiculous the manner in which we deem it okay to find more and more ways to use micro aggressions to belittle each other. Have we really forgotten that it is kindness and treating each other well that makes things go better. How does my enthusiasm about class, about learn hurt anyone?

The worst of it all, is that I let this snide, little comments get to me. It is far, far easier for me to take in the negative I get over any positive. Yesterday, I got a horrid little remark from someone, and it had me realize that I've just been letting folks get away with treating me poorly, because it is easier to believe the worst of myself and just go along with things.

So, no more wasted mental energy and time on them. The best f you, is the one where I do well and just don't even bother with snot nosed punks anymore.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Gratitude

Topping the list this week:

  • Being paired with great people to do a group presentation with
  • Coffee
  • Therapy
  • Ideas for my thesis
  • Amazing highlighters
  • Cooking shows
  • Yummy food
  • Sunday pancake mornings
  • Truth tellers
  • Keiden saying is name
  • Keiden using his manners more
What's topping your list this week?

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Friday, 11 March 2016

Five for Friday: Things Keiden Says


  • His name, as from Tuesday morning he has started to say his name :D
  • More regular use of please and thank you. It certainly helps dealing with all his requests for things when he remembers he manners. He asks so nicely for bubbles, that there have been a few more bubble baths happening than normal.
  • How are you day? It makes me smile, and squee inside every time.
  • Yes, has shown up. Although he still uses okay and ja. The way he says okay is just the cutest.
  • And there have been some mispronunciations of things: fox sounds like f*ck, and duck like guck or kak.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Found: My Academic Groove

Surprisingly, after the disaster that was my essay things seem to have ticked upwards on the academic front. This week the class readings felt more in the realm of familiar - they were on culture, and came with easy to apply to previous knowledge here examples.

Then this morning I was part of a group presentation, and it went well. We had spent 3 hours chatting about the work together, then did our individual parts, checked those with each other and just enjoyed how well it went. The lecturer even made a comment to me, that he could tell I was really enjoying it. So, that was a good thing.

And then this afternoon I had a moment of perfect clarity for my thesis next year. Things are coming together. Now just to keep that momentum going.

How are you doing?

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Zombie Prompt 10


What are you looking forward to right now?

Right now I'm looking forward to getting to chat to some lovely folks tonight. The Easter break - I might just manage to catch my breathe. The brief moment in mid April when I won't have classes - I'll get to focus on writing essays.

My list is a bit boring. What are you looking forward to?
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Prompt from her, image from her.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

I remembered just in time

Nearly forgot to post for today. Yay for still going strong on the posting everyday thing. Big news from today, Keiden said his name for the first time :D Now just to catch him doing so again, and record it. Also voice notes ftw! They have been incredibly helpful in making sure I don't let being busy get in the way of staying in touch with folks.

Hope your Tuesday has been good. Off to read more articles I go.

Monday, 7 March 2016

I had forgotten

I had completely, and utterly forgotten just how hard academic writing is. I had to turn in my first essay in years yesterday, it was touch and go. It's a hot mess, but there's nothing I can do about it now.

We got given the question on Thursday afternoon, with a deadline of 23:59 yesterday. So there was no time to edit, or rewrite...or change my mind about the question I wanted to answer. At least now, that muscle has started to get a work out again...that means the only way left is up.

I'm cringing about just how poorly it went. But I also know that I am a much better writer now, than I was before. So I *just* need to find a way to make sure that it goes better the next time.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Friday, 4 March 2016

Thursday, 3 March 2016

My February reading month

I was looking for something quick and easy to get ready as a post, and then I remembered that I should share how my reading month went :)

I am 32% to my reading goal, with 15 books being read in February. My pace has slowed down quite a bit compared to January, and I know that it's because of the steady increase in academic reading.

Here are some reviews from the Feb reads that I enjoyed the most:


Anchored: Finding Hope in the UnexpectedAnchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected by Kayla Aimee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was a reader of Kayla Aimee's blog before this happened. And during the time when Scarlette was in hospital I was always astounded by her strength. This book, just confirmed that during it all, despite feeling all that she was feeling...she still had an amazing strength. She has given her daughter another rung on the ladder of the powerful legacy she wanted to give her with naming her for her grandmother.


View all my reviews The Cathedral of Cliffdale (Guardians of Summerfeld, #1)The Cathedral of Cliffdale by Melissa Delport
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This books is an amazing start to what seems will a knock it out of the park series. I love the protagonist, Quinn. She is all that you would expect from someone who has lead the life that she has. Her fierce determination to protect, and care for those she loves is shown time and time again as a core part of who she is that drives her actions.

The parts of the book that dovetails into other stories, isn't for me. I want this to be the Quinn and Drake show all the time ;)

It's a wonderful read, that keeps you reading. I finished it in a day, and can't wait to get the others so that I can do another deep dive.


View all my reviews Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half DragonAcne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon by Rena Rocford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An all-round fun read.




View all my reviews How (Not) to Kiss a Prince (Cindy Eller, #2)How (Not) to Kiss a Prince by Elizabeth A. Reeves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A light, fun, easy read. I wouldn't say no to reading more by this author.






View all my reviews The Vampire's Mail Order Bride (Nocturne Falls, #1)The Vampire's Mail Order Bride by Kristen Painter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A cute, fun and easy read.





What was your Feb reading month like?

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Zombie Prompt 9


What do you love about your current life?

The big thing right now, is probably my studies. Despite the challenges and feeling overwhelmed so often, it is really, really great to be using my mind for more, learning new things and applying myself in a way I haven't done in a long time.

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Prompt from her, image from her.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

About Me

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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

2017 Reading Challenge

Cassey has read 1 book toward their goal of 200 books.
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2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Cassey has read 9 books toward a goal of 100 books.
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