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

Friday, 30 September 2016

Five for Friday


It's pretty interesting to me that there are people who are able to very clear say what their favourite book/tv show/movie/song/game of all time. I can't nail down any of those for myself, what I love about something changes...especially so as I learn more, live more. So yes, there can be something that I love, love, love, but calling it a favourite is tough. Am I the only person who thinks like that?

We've started using a star chart for Keiden. So far, some mixed results. He loves the idea of getting a star, but doing something to get the star - packing away his toys - not really going to happen. Or he starts intending to, but then gets distracted.

Parenting in general, has lately just been extra grind moments and fewer awesome ones. The challenging twos is really pushing my mettle. Although, hugs, kisses, love you helps some.

All of the recent #feesmustfall stuff has been heartbreaking. The poor UL students who had to sleep on the street because the university closed indefinitely. Then there's also going to be the knock on affect on health services that rely on grads doing their community service year. It's terrifying thinking about what will happen to all the communities that won't be serviced properly due to a lack of people to do so.

And on a geeky note. Happy Luke Cage day folks :D


Thursday, 29 September 2016

Book Thursday

The Great Balloon Hullaballoo  words by Peter Bently and illustrations by  Mei Matsuoka  


If you’re looking to get your child interested in space, and help them imagine new and exciting places this book will go a long way to helping you do so. Simon the Squirrel is sent to the shop by his mum, he has a very clearly list, and is told not to forget the cheese because they’re having pizza for supper that evening.


Simon heads off with his friend Rodney Raccoon, they decide they should go to the moon, because everyone knows it’s made out of cheese. They jump into the lake, have Bethany Bear laughing at them, and figure out that they need to fly to the moon. They trio do just so, in Ol Uncle Somerset’s special balloon. At this point in the story, your child is mostly likely to start chanting balloon and pointing at it all the time - if not, you’re a lucky fish.


The trio fly off. A comet alters their path, and they find themselves shopping in outer space. Visiting various planets, meeting some aliens and stopping for snacks. In this book, Pluto is still a planet. They have a great time, head home and Simon discovers they forgot to buy something...the cheese. But his friends show up for dinner with some.


The illustrations are what really makes this story shine.  Each planet they go to, and each new species of aliens they meet are utterly distinctive. There are so many little details to pick out with each read. Which is very helpful when your toddler demands it five times in a row.

It’s another 5/5 from both Keiden and I.

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This review first appeared on tums2tots.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The last of the Zombie Prompts



So the prompts have been great in keeping my Wednesday posts easier to do, it's time to let them go. Especially, as there are only two left that I was happy to do. Or that I haven't done one since August 0_o

What do you do when you are home all alone?

Besides the household chores that are easier to do when K isn't around, I tend to listen to music I enjoy loudly - so that I can sing-a-long. Watch me shows or read. It's wonderful to have those moments to myself.

What three things do you want your children to learn from you.

I want Keiden to learn how to be friendly, how to do the friendship thing and how to be empathetic from me. Granted two of them are aspects of empathy, but being able to use empathy goes a long way in helping you with people/the world in general. It's something that I think a lot of folks are choosing to not use in order to spare them from hurt. But without it, we're all just walking wounded anyway.

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Prompt from her, image from her.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The brain fog is thick

I'm sick again. Ugh. While chatting to a friend about it - I can't recall being this sick, this often ever - it clicked that K is in school now. Thus the sickness.

A horrid by-product of the sickness is the brain fog. Such fog, and lack of will to do anything. Although, I just clicked, that it could also just be a lack of rest in general at play here. Either way brain fog is the suck.

How do you deal with it? I'm looking for all the tips and tricks...I've got far too much to get done to just keep on hanging out in this fog.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Mondays have become...well Mondays

I hadn't really given into the Monday Blues thing, but lately things have gotten ugh. So here's a short, but not sweet post for you. Monday = ugh.

Hope yours goes better than mine.

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Oh in a not so bad note, I am to submit my proposal for department ethical approval. Which has its own set of headaches before I move onto the next step.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Gratitude



Topping the list this week:

  • coffee
  • friends
  • good books
  • hugs
  • random moments of just hanging out
  • people who get you
  • therapy
  • cute K moments
  • watching K growing, learning, changing
  • antihistamines
  • finding just the right veg burger for a braai
  • watching J and K interact
What's topping your list this week?

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Friday, 23 September 2016

Five for Friday: Keiden Edition

Recently, Keiden learnt the "How much is the doggie in the window?" at school. It's resulted in us needing to sing it all the time. We've also had to include cats, fish, mommy, daddy, him,  and his friends in the song. I have though gotten him to say silly goose for all the people ;)

We've been having a lot of bedtime fights lately. The fights are then followed with many wakes...it has been horrid. We're just riding this wave, and hoping things settle down soon.

Fortunately, while that has been going on he has also become extra affectionate. There have been many requests for more hugs and kisses, lots of love yous happening. I'm loving all this affection, it's all kinds of heart filling stuff, and it goes a long way in keeping the grumps in check.

Keiden, and his wanting to cook all the time, is still going strong. He is loving it so much. I'm sure that a big part of it is that it's something he does with daddy. I'm told to go do something else, because he and daddy are cooking.

He is all kinds of stoic. I'm sure this is Jerall's genes influence. Last week he feel off a wall, he was walking on, he cried for a minute and then he was done. It was a bad fall, massive split list, scrapes on his chin, and bruises on his knees. There were no tears while cleaning the open cuts, and no moaning about them as they've been healing. He does though want lots of plasters - which he takes off and plays with.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Book Thursday

Max at Night by Ed Vere


Max at Night is the follow on of Max the Brave by Ed Vere. Sadly, we don’t have Max the Brave, but it is something we’ve added to our list of books to get. The list seems to have no end.


Max is a very tired kitten, he has already had his milk, brushed his teeth, cleaned his ears, and now he must say goodnight to everyone. And so he starts saying goodnight to everyone, but he can’t find Moon to say goodnight. The story follows him as he looks for Moon to say goodnight. He walks all over, and becomes a very tired kitten.


The illustrations are done in the shades of night, with the text fitting in either between parts of branches, buildings, and clouds or what would be the night sky.


This book is a definite read for the 18 months and up crowd - it’s very clear that Max has a bedtime routine, something which all toddlers will easily identify with. Keiden especially enjoys mentioning the milk, then teeth cleaning that Max does.


Another part that Keiden enjoys, and which I’m sure most littles would, is the calling out of “Moon. Moon, where are you?” that Max does while looking for Moon. As Keiden gets older he becomes more, and more involved with the book being read. So any book that gets him excited, and involved is a big plus for us.


On the Keiden rereading scale this gets a 5/5, and on the parent one it also gets a 5/5.


Have you read any of the Max books? What did you think?

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This review first appeared on tums2tots.


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The perfect storm of something right

I had a great therapy session this morning. It's the second time I didn't cry! But that's not what made it great. What made it really amazing was the realization that between therapy, antidepressants, a supportive academic environment and find my groove...I've reached that magical point people talk about. That one where in your 30s you let go of what others say and how it impacts you.

Remember this, and this? The aftermath from that was a big part of my realization that I reached that point. It's not that things don't matter, or I don't care. But only now, once I have done my best, and clearly seen where I fall on it, I'm done therewith. No more wasting time and energy on things that I can't control/change.

This space of resilience is new, and strange. And hopefully something that becomes more familiar to me. Just as the process of knowing myself, and standing up for myself becomes something I'm getting better at; so to should the process of knowing that I'm no longer the person who crumbles at emotional slights/digs/hurts become something ingrained.

So all in all, things are on the up and up. Here's hoping that perfect storm of good for me things keeps on keeping on.

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I'm a silly goose. A beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeg thank you to Cath and Sharon. Had those two not encouraged me as much as they did to get help, this point would have been a long, long way off.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Monday, 19 September 2016

Oh look, another Monday

Some Mondays go well, others...not so much. Either way there are only 14 of them left. So that's something. Currently, this Monday and I are not getting along that well. But there's still time for it to shape up.

Right now, K is in the midst of a tantrum that has been going on for 15 minutes. *such* fun. My budget and I are not getting along. And I realised I've left it a bit late to have a great present idea for our niece M, happen.

The world seems to have gone to pot. Watching, reading or listening to the news is not for the fainthearted.

On the plus side, there has been coffee :0 And the 27th of December will be a public holiday.

How has your day gone?

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Friday, 16 September 2016

Five for Friday

My baby sister is getting married tomorrow 0_o It's the strangest thing to think that the little baby who unpacked all the cupboards, cut her ponytail off when she was 4 is now all grown-up, and getting married.

Yesterday, Keiden fell while walking on a wall. He tripped over his feet, yet I still feel like it's all my fault :(

I loathe the be grateful for what you have, so you can't moan or expect more argument. Knowing and appreciating what you have does not preclude you from recognizing that it can be better. Making it better though, is up to you.

Lat night I attended a lecture given by Dr Mamphela Ramphele. She discussed heritage, re-imagining spaces, and the sharing of stories. What stood out for me was that the connections between us has been fractured, we owe each other humanity, but do not give it to each other. You can read more on it here and here.

Other than that, this week has been odd. How has yours been?

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Book Thursday


Destiny Rising (True Calling #3)Destiny Rising by Siobhan Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this series, but Beyond Reach was most definitely the star of the series.

I was beyond eager to read this, I mean it was the end of an amazing story. The hitch though, was that there was just far too much story to still cover. We'd meet so many interesting characters that were treated with such care in Beyond Reach, that not giving them their moment - well and letting us know what happened to them - would have felt lacking.

I think that it would have felt less rushed had there not been a lot of time spent on a fight between Cal and Ari that was quite frankly, unnecessary. That said it was great to get more time from Cal's perspective. [Remember, I'm team Cal ;)]

A great story moment for those who have read Saven Deception already, was that you can see where a lot of the idea for the city came from - the new base that our heroes find themselves in. The character development of all we meet, and care for, has been wonderful to read. I enjoy that none of the characters remained stagnant. Getting to learn more about what makes the characters who they are was wonderful to read.

If you've not read any of the short stories that are tied to the series you should check them out. They add more to your enjoyment, even though they're not necessary reading. Oh, I almost forgot. The epilogue was great, mostly because I'm a big fan a tied up endings where you're reassured that your book friends are doing well.

*Another lucky fish moment for me, as I received my copy from the author.*

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Dragons, magic and fight scenes ftw!

I just finished a  book series I loved, loved, loved. There is just something for a series of books - more world building, more to discover about different characters...really just more of everything good.

Awhile ago I got to read the first book in the Guardians of Summerfeld series in exchange for a review. To say that I enjoyed it is an understatement. Since then I've been trying to do budget tricks to be able to buy the rest of the series. And then, something wonderful happened, the ebook boxset was marked down for a week to just $0.99, that's under R16 folks. Guess who bought the books :p

You don't need to have a kindle to read them, you just need the kindle app on your phone. Yes, I use my phone more for reading than anything else. I'm putting my reviews (don't worry they're short, sweet and spoiler free) for the books in this post, to help convince you that you really, really should get these books. Added bonus, you'll be supporting a local author.

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 be 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.


The Fight of the Fallen (Guardians of Summerfeld Book 2)The Fight of the Fallen by Melissa Delport
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holy cliff hanger. I have no words to explain just how much I enjoyed the read.

Although the Drake and Quinn happenings suck, but given that there are more books in the series I can hang onto some hope. Not surprised at knowing more about Isiah, but he's backstory person...now that was unexpected. I know I should be team Q and T, but no...it's just wrong.

Can't wait to read the next one. Hopefully we'll learn some more about the other Guardian's, the traitor is found...and the Drake and Quinn story works out the way I want it too.


The Hope of Hawkstone (Guardians of Summerfeld , #3)The Hope of Hawkstone by Melissa Delport
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my hat, the hits just keep on coming. Isaiah :(

I'm enjoying getting to know the other guardians more. My eternal shipping love though is all Quinn and Drake all the time. The happy moments were just the right touch to save everyone from utter despair. Also dragons ftw!




The Balance of the Blood (Guardians of Summerfeld Book 4)The Balance of the Blood by Melissa Delport
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I need more of this world.

I'm going to miss all of the characters so very, very much. The fight scenes were awesome. I did not see Drake's family history coming...I suspected there was something, but not what it was. I loved this series.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Monday, 12 September 2016

You are what you love, not who loves you


Title and thought brought to you by Fall Out Boy and Elton John :0 

It's an interesting thought, and one that needs to be explored [only not right now, work needs to get done]. It's also something that has been making an appearance a lot lately in what I've been reading/listening/watching.

It boils down to, do and be what makes you happy. You can only be yourself, that's all you get to be. Being anyone else does not lead to happiness. Or is there more to it that I'm missing?

Have you had a phrase making showing up a lot lately? Are you listening to it?

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Gratitude


It's been a week, that taking the time to do this is really important. So amongst other things this week I'm grateful for:

  • love
  • friends who get me
  • hugs
  • unexpectedly getting to see friends
  • waffles
  • coffee
  • phone calls
  • whatsapp chats
  • a great supervisor
  • both our standing gaming sessions happening
  • rain - and with that somewhere warm and dry to be
  • a morning alone at home
  • musicals
  • books
What's topping your list this week?

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Friday, 9 September 2016

Five for Friday

Yesterday, was the first time in  nearly a month that I was home alone in the morning. It was glourious. Sometimes we just need time away from people...and time to sing-a-long to musicals at full tilt :D

Thank goodness for supervisors. My back and forth with admin about me doing an MA Sociology has finally, finally been resolved. I'm so glad that sense has prevailed. All that's left is the work :p

Submission season is in full swing. This means many requests to drop my rates and edit a thesis over three days *sigh*. It's interesting that the need for an edit is recognized, but the need to pay someone fairly for their time and skills is not.

I have learnt so much this week. The biggest being that therapy has helped/is helping me so, so very much. So yay for therapy.

Waffles, ice cream and coffee with a friend, is sometimes just what you need to recenter things.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Book Thursday


Beyond Reach (True Calling #2)Beyond Reach by Siobhan Davis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my goodness, did I ever enjoy this book. For me, it read much better than the first book. It's probably because I'm unabashedly team Cal. And there was a clear answer for his sudden aggression - something I really appreciated.

Everything picks up not long after the end of True Calling, with an infuriating moment of doubt creation about Cal. I did mention that I'm team Cal, right? ;) The way in which Ari's gift was developed was interesting, so much so that I can even forgive the "But of course she can do something super special that other special people like her can't do."

It was great to get Zane's point of view. Unfortunately, it still didn't get me to change sides. His moments of whining and self-pity just because such an ugh thing. I wanted to slap him upside the head, often. The reveals about him and Clementine were pretty interesting and unexpected.

The book doesn't shy from some darker elements, but they're items that are part and parcel of a dystopian world.

I can't wait to read the next book, it'll give me some answers...and hopefully more Cal moments ;)

*I was a lucky fish and received this book from the author*

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

So here's the thing

We all have ugly, every single one of us. The trick is that we don't unleash that ugly on folks. We make the active choice of not doing so. We actively pick kindness. Or at least I try to.

So it was all kinds of horrid when someone who knows me well decided to stick the knife of ugly right where this person knew it would hurt the most. And said person didn't forget the extra twist for a flourish of pain.

It was such a challenge to not let my ugly out. I did let some slip, in a passive aggressive way*. But I didn't unleash it all. Because really what would the point be? How would it help anything bringing on more tears, even if they weren't mine?

Really, I'm just tired of how we can't seem to talk to each other anymore without ugly being there. Why are we so fixated on people being a certain way, so that when they change it makes us uncomfortable, and we call them inauthentic? How when someone is doing their best to grow/change/do better does it read as being inauthentic?

Why are we so obsessed with making ourselves feel better by hurting others? How does it help? I know that when I let my ugly out, I do briefly feel better. But not long after that, I get upset with myself for doing so. I'm supposed to fight my ugly, not let it show, and be there. I'm better than my ugly, I am more than my ugly...we all are.

We are fully capable of finding different things wrong/right, and caring or not caring about a lot. We are not binary's. Caring about how broken the system is does not preclude me from seeing that I have things going well in my life. But it is precisely because I can see the good and bad that I do have that I have the responsibility to speak out, get others to see that just as they have shitty stuff going on in their life, they do also have some good things.

Freaking hell folks, be aware of your privilege. Be aware of the privileges you do and don't have. Think about why you think and act the way you do. And most importantly, don't be a dick!


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*Yes, I see that this post is some of my ugly showing in a passive aggressive way.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

And this is why I should write down my ideas

Guys, I had a great post idea. Sadly, it's run away. It's a solid reminder about why I really should write the posts as they occur to me instead of waiting till I have a moment to write the post.

So for your entertainment you can have a random stream of thoughts :p

In some of the NerdHQ panels I've been listening to Zachary Levi makes reference that you are what you reach for. That's a big thought that deserves some pondering. What do I reach for? How often? Is it who I want to be?

In a different panel Yvette Nicole Brown mentioned something along the lines of choosing kindness. Which gets me pondering if kindness really is a choice that can be made? If it is a choice, then it means that it can be taught. I'm unsure if it can be taught.

Which leads to me wondering can all of those good qualities we want to be in possession of be taught? How far can they be taught? Or do you need a natural inclination to doing some of those things anyway? Are they like habits, you do it 60 days continuously and, boom you got it?

And just how many people do get that 60 day thing right? And how? Where's the magic trick for that? Because it's a trick I need. How do you stay motivated to do it? I mean I'm getting the veg thing right, but exercise? Geez.

Also read this happy story, and this one that makes me wonder about people.

Oh and watch this:

Monday, 5 September 2016

My reading month: August

During August I read 23 books. Which I found rather surprising considering how busy August was. Then I remembered there was a lot of sit and wait time with K, while he was in hospital. I had 8 reads that I gave 4 stars to,  and they were either a retelling of a fairy tale or YA. Oooh, and looking at the list below, some gorgeous covers. Do not under estimate the importance of a great cover.

How did your reading month go?


A Fatal Family Secret (The Morphosis.me Files, #1)A Fatal Family Secret by Samantha Marks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great read that covers a mix of issues while still having a great take on some mythology. Kayleigh and her friends have something about them that anyone could relate to...and that makes this a book an easy recommend for anyone who likes YA.


View all my reviews Drifters' Alliance, Book 1Drifters' Alliance, Book 1 by Elle Casey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun, high adventure space romp with a colourful cast of characters. Does a great job as book one of a series, world building, has you invested in the characters and their stories. Is really just an all kinds of fun read.



View all my reviews Dating on the Dork SideDating on the Dork Side by Charity Tahmaseb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An enjoyable read. I liked the protagonist and the supporting 'cast'. Moments of funny, but really just a great read about finding your space, navigating people and your sense of self with others while tackling the fact that words do matter and shape they way we perceive each other in an engaging way.


View all my reviews Beauty and the Beast (Not Quite the Fairy Tale #3)Beauty and the Beast by May Sage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this take on Beauty and the Beast. It's a light, great read without feeling silly.




View all my reviews Shadows of the Gods (The Unbreakable Sword Series Book 1)Shadows of the Gods by S.M. Schmitz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On a different day, a different mood this probably would have been a 3.5 book...today, it's a bit more than that, so it's getting 4 stars.

I enjoyed that it was a different take on the 'supernatural' things/folks are out there. I also liked that the various gods/demigods weren't all from the Greek and Norse pantheons, but encompassed more with great story bits of the other patheons included.

View all my reviews Sinful Cinderella (Dark Fairy Tale Queen Series Book 1)Sinful Cinderella by Anita Valle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A twisted retelling of a classic story. Aspects of the passing was a smidge off. But I'm rating this story highly because of the godnutter, and because the steps got fleshed out a bit more than they generally do.



View all my reviews The Soul SummonerThe Soul Summoner by Elicia Hyder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A really great read. The love triangle bits weren't for me. I did enjoy her powers, they're not ones I've come across in other books - that's a big plus. I loved that the protagonist wasn't utterly self-pitying all the time, and that she had people to call her on her silly moments.


View all my reviews A little Siren (Not Quite the Fairy Tale #2)A little Siren by May Sage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just really enjoyed this read.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Gratitude


Topping the list this week:

  • an amazing supervisor
  • coffee
  • people who get me
  • therapy
  • hugs
  • seeing friends who are visiting from over-the-sea
  • having flashes of inspiration to make great presents for friends
  • the smell of freshly baked goodies
  • voice notes
  • phone calls
What's topping your list this week?

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Friday, 2 September 2016

Five for Friday

The lurgy has not left our house yet. It's all kinds of ridiculousness, and I'm so over being sick.

I have the best supervisor ever. The sheer support and belief in me is staggering, utterly staggering. Given my previous supervisor experiences this just keeps on hitting me over, and over again. The belief that I can do it, and not just do it, but do it well is just...all kinds of incredible.

I'm having all kinds of fun putting together a birthday present for a friend. It's great to be putting together something for someone that they'll enjoy.

I'm agonizing about the right words to use in a note inviting one of Keiden's friends at school to meetup at a local park to play [like do I say hi L's parents, or hi L's mom...seriously what do I say?]. Keiden tells us stories about what he and his buddy get up to every day. And on the weekends he talks about him. This kid is so his best bud, and we use the fact that he'll get to see his friend to help speed him up when getting ready in the morning.

NerdHQ panels are all kinds of fun. This one is all kinds of fun, for Arrow fans :D And it has talk about the CW smolder.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Book Thursday



True CallingTrue Calling by Siobhan Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really, really enjoyed this. It was hard to put down and get things done. A great, well paced dystopian read.

There be spoilers below

There were a few things that made this a 4 star instead of 5 star book. I was annoyed by the way in which Cal suddenly developed a temper - there was no hint of an uncontrollable temper until there was the other dates, and Zane contention. It's aggravating that he suddenly had issues, just to create doubt and make the love triangle possible.

The other problem for me was that an otherwise intelligent Ari didn't find the 2 hour fertility treatment odd. At first I thought she was sterilised, but given her other symptoms...I'm thinking it's most likely that she is pregnant.

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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.

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