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

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Five for today: Catch up edition

Hiya folks, welcome to today's word babble catch up :p

  • The year is speeding by, and it seems faster and faster with each day. In just over 3 weeks I'm sending my thesis for editing 0_o That means in 3 weeks it needs to be done...which includes a new chapter. So that's umm interesting.
  • All the thesis work, and you know me actually getting things done for it has meant some interesting thoughts for the way in which I see myself...therapy has gotten tough.
  • Therapy while being a grown-up [and thesising] is something I think everyone needs.Yes, the thesis is pretty much dominating my life.
  • I just found a piece of Lego in my bag - a sure sign that my kid is into Lego :p
  • This song, has been on loop this week. No idea why, but it works...check it out.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

So let's chat hair

My new do
Hiya folks, gosh does it seem like I have hair vent moments here a lot. This morning I got a haircut...I went from my hair just past my shoulders to what you see in the pic. The thing I got a lot of talking to about my hair while at the hairdresser. It started with the person who washed my hair saying she would do so much if she had hair like mine, why don't I blow dry and flat iron it, why do I want to cut it. Going to the hairdresser, who knows I don't want any chemical treatments to straighten my hair to the person who was assisting the hairdresser making comments about how I need to do x, y, and z with my hair, and that I'm going to miss the length.*

And I'm just so freaking over it. Seriously, my hair, my hair is good hair. My hair is GOOD hair because I say it is. I am working so, so hard to work with the hair I have, and not go for some idea of what others thing good hair is. My hair will never be that hair. So if I can deal with it, then you whose hair it isn't, should just suck it up.

And you know hair is just the tip of the iceberg. Why is it that people think they can talk to you, not with you about things related to - well if you want to chat about it. Seriously, we got to get over ourselves, and think that it's okay to carry on like this. The choices others make, if they don't endanger others is not is only those folks business. NO ONE else.

*There is a big difference between giving me info to make sure my hair is healthy versus telling me things because you believe everyone must have straight hair.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Five for Friday: Keiden Edition

Instead of giving my standard answer of "Full of nonsense" when asked how Keiden is doing, I'll give you a little more ;)

  • His love of Lego and Star Wars just keeps on growing and growing. My youtube suggestions are full of things related to both of them -_-
  • He got given a set of alphabet cards - upper and lower case with animals - to play GoFish and since he's gotten it we've been playing every day. It's a lot of fun to see him enjoying it, and getting more into games that is fun enough for us to play with him.
  • Food and cooking is still one of his things. He and Jerall are baking nearly every weekend.
  • Last weekend while driving somewhere a song comes on the radio and Keiden just starts singing-along. Jerall and I looked at each other wondering how he would know this song. Keiden then said "I like this song. We dance at school."  It was ridiculously cute, because he was just singing his own words and not fully the words of the song.
  • He has taken to running like a ninja 

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Book Thursday: Review The Sullivans Boxed Set by Bella Andre

It's been a while since there's been a book Thursday post here 0_o  And the return comes with a review. I'm so glad to have found the occasional read thanks to taking part in book tours. First there'll be my review, and then this time I've included the blurb bits. I've realised my thoughts tend to not include those. Please, let me know what you think of this format.
The Sullivans Boxed Set Books 1-3 (Contemporary Romance)The Sullivans Boxed Set Books 1-3 by Bella Andre
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An utterly enjoyable introduction to an interesting family. I'm a big fan of a series that isn't quite a series, each story can be read as a stand alone, but with a family as invested in each other's lives as the Sullivans you can't help but want to read them all.

They remind me a smidge of the Bridgertons.

This set includes Chase, Marcus and Gabe's stories. Each story has great interactions occurring amongst all 8 siblings. You become invested with each book because you get to see more of the clan.


The Sullivans Boxed Set Books 1-3 banner

The Sullivans Boxed Set Books 1-3The Sullivans Boxed Set Books 1-3 (Sullivans #1-3)
By Bella Andre


Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she's convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he?

As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women, and whenever he's home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is--until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love--and protect--her, but will she let him?

For thirty-six years, Marcus Sullivan has been the responsible older brother, stepping in to take care of his seven siblings after their father died when they were children. But when the perfectly ordered future he's planned for himself turns out to be nothing but a lie, Marcus needs one reckless night to shake free from it all.

Nicola Harding is known throughout the world by only one name - Nico - for her catchy, sensual pop songs. Only, what no one knows about the twenty-five year old singer is that her sex-kitten image is totally false. After a terrible betrayal by a man who loved fame far more than he ever loved her, she vows not to let anyone else get close enough to find out who she really is...or hurt her again. Especially not the gorgeous stranger she meets at a nightclub, even though the hunger - and the sinful promises - in his dark eyes make her want to spill all her secrets.

Gabe Sullivan risks his life every day as a firefighter in San Francisco. But after learning a brutal lesson about professional boundaries, he knows better than to risk his heart to his fire victims ever again. Especially the brave mother and daughter he saved from a deadly apartment fire...and can't stop thinking about.

Megan Harris knows she owes the heroic firefighter everything for running into a burning building to save her and her seven-year-old daughter. Everything except her heart. Because after losing her navy pilot husband five years ago, she has vowed to never suffer through loving - and losing - a man with a dangerous job again.

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of The Sullivans Boxed Set Books 1-3. One winner will win a special Bella Andre swag pack. Open International.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Friday, 28 July 2017

Five for Friday

It's been a time of feelings...all the feelings. I've been reminded yet again just how important therapy is. Anxiety and stress means dealing with things and experiences I've  never dealt with before.

This post, by Laura is just wonderful. I think we forget that not everyone gets the parenting moments - but don't be mistaken we do love it.

August is shaping up to be very busy, on top of busy...and really I just want to shout for it to stop.

Keiden is being all kinds of sweet, and his hugs and cuddles are helping lots. Even with all his silly moments...and man are there very many silly moments.

Next week we're having a department conference...ja, that's going to be interesting.

What's up with you?

Friday, 21 July 2017

When it becomes too much

When it becomes too much, and the dog is heavy on your back please, please find someone you can tell.

In SA you can use these numbers from SADG

Dr Reddy's Help Line
0800 21 22 23
Pharmadynamics Police &Trauma Line
0800 20 50 26
Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline
0800 70 80 90
Destiny Helpline for Youth & Students
0800 41 42 43
ADHD Helpline
0800 55 44 33
Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline
0800 12 13 14
SMS 32312
Suicide Crisis Line
0800 567 567
SMS 31393
SADAG Mental Health Line
011 234 4837
Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit 24 Hour
0861 435 787

Friday, 7 July 2017

Five for Friday: Tiny Desk Edition

I recently found this awesome thing on NPR - Tiny Desk. It's a 3 songs set performed at the NPR offices. Charming, raw, delightful. I've come across some new to me musical acts, plus a few performances by musicians I've enjoyed before. Enjoy the 5 I've looped a few times.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

An interruption to your regular reading

There I was, getting a hair treat - deep conditioning, and blow - and while the hairdresser was busy with my hair the other customers started to chatter away in Afrikaans. Here's the thing Stellenbosch is an Afrikaans town, I read, write and speak it too...but not often, I tend to English. As a result I chat to my hairdresser in English because my Afrikaans is just too English. 

So for some reason  - the "you speak so well" bullshit, plus my accent that I get told is not South African, these other customers at the hairdresser decided I obviously don't understand Afrikaans. So they decided to have a big, fat chat with each other and the hairdresser about how my hair now looks good. And she is getting a workout trying to get my hair to look good. I walked in with big, curly fro going on. Now my hairdresser knows I know Afrikaans but she did not a damn shut them up or anything.

Yes, I didn't say anything because I AM FREAKING TIRED of always having to be the PoC calling white folks on their ish. It is not my job to stop you from being an idiot. Get a freaking clue.

This brings me to a few things.

Is it your business what I do with my hair that doesn't meet your bullshit idea of what "good" hair is? NO!

Is it your business that I speak better than you expect someone of my skin tone to do? NO!

Is how I dress any of your business? NO!

Is my weight any of your business? NO!

Is any part of my life/journey/thoughts your business? NO!

So how about this stay about of my business, when I want your opinion I'll ask you. And trust me, I know it goes both ways.

Take your stupid, heteronormative, hegemonic bullshit views and get them away from me.


Friday, 23 June 2017

That one time I went to a thing

Yesterday, this lucky fish got attend a launch for Baby Dove SA, and oh my goodness was it a good time.

One of the very pretty displays showing off the range.

The venue was gorgeous, the products all kinds of cool...and the people were both.  The all kinds of awesome Chereen - who very kindly was my ride - and I arrived a smidge late, but we weren't the last to arrive, so we got in some chatting with folks before things got going. I grabbed some coffee, and said hi to those and I knew, including some of my favourite people, found a seat and learnt some great things.

The event started with a panel, with the ladies on it sharing their parenting journey and story. The focus was very much on how we feel judged about how we mother, and that we should trust ourselves, and be real. As such we were asked to write down our wish for ourselves and other parents when it came to parenting. You can see mine in the pic below :0

My wish for parents, we were asked to write and share these

Throughout the venue - a rather gorgeous house - were framed sayings, and letters from moms to moms. It was a cunning plan to have this happen in a house, because we were being introduced to something we would bring into our own homes for our families. Post the panel we moved to a different room where there was a large table in the middle. The table was used to demonstrate some aspects of the products, the demonstrations were part of a fascinating information session with some of the kick ass ladies on the research and development team. Dove took great care in working with pediatricians who know their stuff. Everything is hypoallergenic, pediatrician approved, and just lush. 

Bonus points, none of the products were tested on animals, and the grey bathwater can be used on your plants. And here in SA there is also a petrolum jelly, a product just for the South African range - it turns out it is something the market wants here.
Pretty packaging ftw!
I had a great time, with some great food, friends and all the learning about the many layers that make up our skin - why yes, I'm a bit of a nerd :p We also got products to take home and try. J, K and I tried the wipes - which don't tear, and come out of the package one at a time. Yes, ONE AT A TIME, and they're not overly wet or dry..pretty much a perfect wipe. FYI, the normal wipes got my mascara off pretty well. You don't try all the wipes too? ;)  Keiden tried the sensitive lotion last night, and it worked a treat.

The range to try out.
The range is already at BabyCity, BabyBoom and BabiesRUs stories, and will be in all the usual stores come the start of July. It is a premium baby product, and as such is priced a bit higher than some other baby products, but it's worth it.\

And of course a great big thank you to all the people who made this happen. It was a great time :D

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Book Thursday: Book Blitz All The Glitters by Tracy Krimmer

Hiya folks, by now you know the drill for these book blitz posts. As seems to be the norm for these book tours there is a giveaway attached.

My thoughts on the book

All That GlittersMy rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodness this was a tricky read, and as such it's a 2.5 read. I think this was the first instance of getting both central characters points of view, where it didn't serve the story well.

The first chapter has you starting with Dory, and you end the book with Harris. And as such for me it felt rather incomplete. This is Dory's story. Yes, Harris is part of it, but any growth and change in him was minor. Especially, when compared to just what Dory was dealing with.

Part of the two of them getting together include the "unfinished" high school elements. That read as very contrived to me.

That said, Dory's story would be very different for not some of the way in which having Harris there impacted her actions. And the same for Harris. I appreciate that the author did clearly establish both characters as separate people, and not just add-ins to the stories.

Still more Dory, in her story...and some more Tammy and Dory's grandmother moments would have gone a long way.

*I am a lucky fish and received an ARC of this book*

You can find All That Glitters on Goodreads

You can buy All That Glitters here.

Tracy KrimmerAbout the Author:
Tracy's love of writing began at nine years old. She wrote stories about aliens at school, machines that did homework for you, and penguins. Now she pens books and short stories about romance. She loves to read a great book, whether it be romance or science fiction, or any genre in between, or pop popcorn and catch up on her favorite TV shows or movies. She's been known to crush a candy or two as well. Her loves include fitness, reading, coffee, dogs, and naps (not in that order), and her dislikes are blue cheese, cold weather, and burpees.

You can find and contact Tracy here:
- Website
- Twitter
- Facebook
- Goodreads
- Amazon
- Bookbub
- Instagram
- Newsletter

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of All That Glitters. One winner will win a $10 Amazon gift card!

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

On some of my favourite people

Hiya folks, here's a random post for you from the ether :p

A bit ago the five of us (the five of us are me and the four awesome ladies you see with me in the pic to the left) were having one of our random chats. This one came from a guest post thoughts tangent. We figured everyone do a guest post for each other's blogs. 

And while I'm still figuring out what I would actually write for their blogs, I was immediately hit with an idea of sharing why each of them is one of my favourite people. And as such I'm going to indulge myself and talk about some of my favourite people - who I talk to daily. People who have the very rare gift of being able to speak Cassey - which may or may not be why they're some of my favourite people :p

I'm going to go in reverse alphabetical order, because I figure Zoe hardly gets to go first with things :p

Zoe, (who you can find here) is one of my favourite people because she talks geek, baby wearing, has a quirky sense of humor that matches mine. I can send her messages just containing emojis and she gets what I want to say. She has the most wonderful gift of being a listener who knows how to get you to see all sides of something. She applies rationality to things with a massive extra portion of love/get-it/understanding of who she is speaking to.

Mandy, (who you can find here) is one of my favourite people because she's a great big squishy of love, believe-in-others and goodness. There is no one I know that has such unwavering faith in others, who chases after dreams and just cares as much as her. Mandy always, always speaks with love...even when there might be situations that don't deserve her love, it's still there. Love and care makes her.

Jonelle, (who you can find here) is one of my favourite people because she makes plans and follows through on them. She is and will always be unabashedly herself. She will speak the truth to you - even if you think you don't need it, she will have you see it. Her see to the heart of something gift, is all kinds of mad skills.

Ella, (who you can find here) is one of my favourite people because she is also a truth teller. She tells you the truth in a different way to Jonelle, but between the two of them the truth shall be had. Love and care is also baked into what she does. Ella is just all kinds of amazing, and her story has you seeing it. And the way she parents her A...all the love.

So I'm sure you can see with these four amazing ladies around, it certainly makes my day better. They are my truth tellers, the ones who believe in me, who offer support and get-it-ness. Sure we have our silly goose moments, but goodness is it worth it. The care, love and cheerleader-ness is one of the best things, #thatisall :p

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

That one time...I busted my ankle

Last Friday, Keiden and I had left the local library and were on our way to get some hot chocolate. Sadly, that plan went a bit pear shaped. Keiden wanted me to carry him for a bit, and while doing so, as we were walking past town hall my foot wobbled. End result, my foot went one way and I the other aka a big fall 0_o

Fortunately, I manged to keep Keiden from getting hurt. Me...not so much. It hurt, it hurt in a "I can't brush myself off and walk this off way." So I phoned Jerall - whose office was really close by. Thing is this happened outside town hall, Keiden was crying from fright...there was a security person not more than 10 steps away from us, but no one helped. Wait, there was a stellar person who offered to help move me, but I was afraid to move and was just about to call Jerall. Big yay you to that person.

So Keiden and I waited for Jerall for about 10 minutes. During that time groups of people walked past us and just stared, or averted their eyes...but they just carried on. AND MY KID WAS CRYING! Not a little cry, that I'm scared cry. The anger though certainly kept me from crying. I managed to get K calm and said he had to help me see when daddy was coming to us.

I don't know about you, but I'm not the ignore people person. So this was utterly ridiculous to me. How, just how could people be ignoring this?

Anyhow, Jerall arrived and had to convince the security to let him drive up to us because you know, I fell. He got Keiden into his car seat, double checked him out - parenting means check your kid first - and then we managed to get me in the car. At which point I could kinda start crying, no big sobs like I wanted to - didn't want to freak out K.

We went to the doctor, he checked me out and said I needed x-rays because of where my extra sensitive pain was - he touched the outside of my foot and I cried. But we had to go to the hospital for the x-rays. This meant more find a wheelchair, get in and out of the car shenanigans. And after the x-rays at the hospital back to the doctor for another round of shenanigans. Through all of this Keiden was a superstar, a bit shook up, but such a star. When I was in a wheelchair he got to be the pilot of the spaceship and steered using the force (Keiden has a great skill to bring everything back to Star Wars :D ).

Back at the doctor's office he said I had ruptured and torn ligaments, and he couldn't see a break. But, the swelling could be hiding a small crack, so he would wait for the radiologists report to make the final call. In the meanwhile 6 hours of icing the ankle, and all the foot up resting until he knew if I needed a moon boot or an ankle brace. Folks, icing your ankle during winter, is just cruel punishment for being clumsy.

It turns out I'm not so happy with spending all day in bed if it's not my idea. Not to forget that I'm not the best at doing work at home, so I'm now 5 days behind on my thesis work :( Fortunately, yesterday doc confirmed from the report no bone injury. So now I have this hardcore ankle brace, called a speedbrace, that I'm to wear every day for 6 weeks. The kicker it takes 3 months for your ankle to heal fully. *fun times*

Hopefully, I've learnt my lesson and won't keep on taking full use of my body for granted. Also, Jerall's mad budget skills are great - the emergency doc appointment, x-rays and brace were not covered on our medical aid plan, so everything was out of pocket. I'm so glad we could make that out of pocket work. Also I think my kid should become an orthotist - I saw him for less than 5 minutes and it wasn't a cheap visit :0

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Book Thursday: Blitz and Review Keeping Kyler by Siobhan Davis

I'm sure that by now you know how I feel about Siobhan Davis, and why when there's a chance to spread the word about her books I do. If not take a look at all of these posts :0 

Below you'll see the blurb, under that my review, and last but not least there is a giveaway running during the entire book tour/blitz.


Nothing or no one will keep them apart… 
Kyler Kennedy is in the wind.
Shocked and upset, he has taken off on a solo mission—to track down his mom’s ex and demand answers.

Faye understands what it’s like to have your world turned upside down. Determined to support her boyfriend, she gives chase. Yet nothing could prepare her for the ugly truth. Ky has always been plagued with inner demons, and as he falls apart, Faye finally discovers what he’s been hiding from her—from everyone.

When serious accusations arise, Kyler’s future hangs in the balance. But Kennedys stick together in times of crisis, and they rally around him now.

At least there is nothing to prevent Faye and Ky from being together. They go public with their relationship, but not everyone is thrilled for them. Enemies reappear, and fresh battle lines are drawn, but Faye is ready to fight back.

No one is taking her new family from her.

Especially not a manipulative ex.

With time running out for Kyler, Faye takes matters into her own hands.

But when you play with fire, you risk getting burned.

You can find Keeping Kyler on Goodreads
You can buy Keeping Kyler on Amazon


Keeping Kyler (The Kennedy Boys #3)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a tricky review for me. You see, I love, love reading a series. The characters become friends, and each book is a catch-up session with friends. And while there was some of that, there was also a lot of new things happening.

Which works when I remember that this is book 3 of The Kennedy Boys, and not book 3 of the Faye and Kyler story. Yet, this book is both. And it's when I think of this as book 3 of the F and K story that the book goes from a 4 star rating to 3. There is a degree of new details that need to happen to keep the concluding part of a story ticking over well enough for a third book. I just feel that the amount of new to keep the story going was just a few too many.

With it throwing me for another loop as a lot of the new, isn't something I see as needed for the next story. It is the strangest thing to me that I think there's too much story. Like how can there be too much story? Yet, somehow it is.

There is a lot of the story that feels like a daytime soap of the young, rich and beautiful. Which if that is your thing makes this work - and yes, soaps are my thing :p

Aside from that series of odd thoughts, as always a story from Siobhan Davis makes for the happy. She is an author I always enjoy reading, and this book doesn't change that.

*Lucky fish that I am, I got an ARC of the book*



There is a giveaway during the book blitz for Keeping Kyler. The giveaway is open Internationally. These are the prizes you can win:
- a $10 Amazon gift card
- a signed paperback copy of Finding Kyler by Siobhan Davis
- a paperback copy of Fallen Crest High by Tijan

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

Friday, 26 May 2017

Five for Friday

In a recent post, Ella used a phrase I'm loving: "drowning in life". And that, folks is me, so me right now it's all kinds of ridiculous.

My big girl dreams - another thanks to Ella phrase - are kicking my ass. My timeline for my thesis got moved up. I'm to give my supervisor a completed final draft in the first week of September. So ummm excuse me while I cry in the corner while not really sleeping and living on coffee and carbs.

On a happier note, Keiden is counteracting some of the worst toddler moments with extra cute ones. He recently told me in the midst of me being mid grump with him over his behavior that he likes lying with me at night and that he likes me (all the awwww). Sure, it was most likely a moment of manipulation too, but it was just all kinds of mommy heart melting.

This on the establishment is just all kinds of an amazing read. It's that kick start we all need to take a good look at why we believe what we believe/what got us thinking along a certain path.

And to end on a smile, yesterday morning Jerall made cake for breakfast :D

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Book Thursday: Blitz and Review Saying I Do by Tracey Alvrez

Two guesses as to who signed up for a book blitz in order to get something great to read? Yip, me. This is my stop during the book blitz for Saying I Do by Tracey Alvarez.

Saying I DoSaying I Do (Stewart Island #8)
by Tracey Alvarez

Marriage and happily-ever-after are for suckers…
Joe Whelan was fooled once on the way to the altar, and the Irish doctor isn’t about to be an eejit over a woman again. Especially not one who witnessed his broken-hearted humiliation years ago. He won’t be swayed by the sparks that fly whenever his eyes meet MacKenna’s or distracted by her sweet kisses. The only thing Joe cares about is preventing his sister from making the biggest marital mistake of her life.

MacKenna Jones loves a good wedding—so long as she’s sewing the bride’s gown, not walking down the aisle herself. Falling for Joe Whelan’s sexy bedside manner wasn’t on the cards, neither was a seven-day road trip with him to Las Vegas, the Marriage Capital of the World. When the stakes are so high, will these two gun-shy cynics ever say I Do?

You can find Saying I Do on Goodreads

Listen to the soundtrack for Saying on I Do on Youtube

You can buy Saying I Do here:
- Amazon US
- Amazon UK
- Amazon CA
- Amazon Australia
- Barnes & Noble
- Kobo
- iBooks
- Smashwords
Here's what I thought of the book.

Saying I DoSaying I Do by Tracey Alvarez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There is just something about a series, that sense of calm when you return to a familiar setting. The saying hi to friends and catching up. And just a little bit of all round feel good magic.

This book, did all of that and then some. It was just such a great read. I love the peaks at others from previous reads in the series, but mostly I love Dr Joe and Mac [or MacKenzie because I'm not sure if we're friends ;)].

I'm not normally a fan of flashing back scenes, but they were used very well here. The filling in of details in a show, not tell way is always appreciated. The flashback scenes further added in helping me understand just why and how certain things were issues.

It wasn't all super serious. As I've come to expect from Tracey Alvarez, there was tons of laughs too. Laughs, steam and an oh so happy story made this a great read :)

*I am a lucky fish and received an ARC of the book :)*

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Saying I Do. This giveaway ends May 25th.

One winner will win a prize pack (over $65 value) which includes:
~ Playing For Fun signed paperback (Playing For Fun is Book 6 in the series, and features Mac's cousin Holly)
~ Fun NZ theme tote bag
~ New Zealand Wild Ferns Pure New Zealand Manuka Honey Rejuvenating Face Pack
~ New Zealand Wild Ferns Pure New Zealand Manuka Honey Conditioning Lip Balm
~ Alpine Silk Manuka Honey Hand Cream
~ Alpine Silk Manuka Honey with Propolis Triple Milled Luxury Soap
~ Handcrafted in New Zealand woven Hessian Kete with feathers
~ 4 New Zealand Paua Shell Wine Glass Charms
~ Author magnet (not pictured)
~ Author bookmark (not pictured)
Saying I Do giveaway graphic

Giveaway rules
* Prizes are not exchangeable for cash or anything else.
* All due care will be made in ensuring the prize arrives at the winner’s address, but the author is unable to refund prize value in any way should it not arrive due to postal disaster.
* Entries close on May 25th and winner will receive a direct e-mail from me shortly after – so please ensure Tracy Alvarez’s e-mail address is added to your safe/contacts list. If the author doesn’t receive a reply from the winner in 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below.

To qualify for the bonus 5 entries, you'll need to purchase Saying I Do and answer this question in the space provided in the rafflecopter. The question is: What is the last 4-word sentence at the end of Chapter 13?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Shades of warmth

On a day where it seems like the hate in the world will just sweep us all aside in its quest to paint everything in a shade of ugly, I figure now is a good time to take a moment for things that make for shades of warmth in the world.

I am grateful for
  • love
  • time with Jerall and Keiden
  • amazing, supportive friendships
  • the tech that allows me to check in with those far away
  • cuddles
  • coffee
  • good books
  • tea
  • funny songs 
  • funny videos
  • learning more
  • playing with blocks with Keiden
  • reading stories with Keiden
  • comfortable silence
  • warm and fuzzy slippers and gowns
  • pancakes for breakfast
  • laughing
What's bringing shades of warmth to your world today?

Monday, 22 May 2017

Friday, 12 May 2017

Five for Friday

Yesterday, I submitted my intent to submit form. It's official, my thesis will be handed in on 1 November 2017 0_o It's scary, but also the right kind of external push for me to get myself working properly again.

Keiden has decided that now is the time to embrace every, single tantrum he didn't throw this year. This morning he lost so many toy privileges *sigh*. I'm hoping that it's all related to him getting back to his self post the stupid chickenpox.

No tutoring and the associated marking for two months. All the happy dancing is going on. It does also mean that I have no excuse to not write.

As coffee has been basically the only thing keeping me going for the past while, this is a great read on where it came from.

This video has just been giving me little happy giggles. I don't know why, but I'm just enjoying it - "Totes whatever, it's not a shocker." :D

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Dear chickenpox

Let me count the ways in which I loathe you. Or rather let me not...I don't have enough words, nor the time or inclination to actually do so.

Rather, let me just tell you folks that chickenpox is the WORST. Really, really it is. And of course the one vaccination we couldn't get for Keiden  - stupid shortages - is the one "kiddie" illness my kid gets.

It has been a very painful, very long, tantrum and whine filled 8 days. I wouldn't even wish this on my worst enemy, no one should deal with this.

Keiden has been so, so unhappy...and seeing your kid so horrid just cuts you to the bone. Not forgetting that your kid not sleeping means you don't sleep.

Fortunately, Keiden is doing better. He's not yet at full health, but healthy enough to go to school and not make other kids sick. See he eats and takes meds at school without any issue. And those are the two things that need to happen to get him to 100%

Part of me is all, "I'm the worst parent in the world; for sending my not yet 100% kid to school." And the other part is all he needs to  eat, I need a break, he needs a break. Long live school.

Parenting is hard, hard, hard.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017


Watching: Legends of Tomorrow with Jerall, Avatar with Keiden and CrashCourse videos

Reading:  As much Bourdieu as I can get my hands on. And the Myths & Legends Boxset.

Listening: This, over and over for some reason

Doing:  Thesis work, prepping for a presentation to my department on my work today. Reading, avoiding writing. And the usual life stuff.

Contemplating: How I'm coming to actively dislike Stellenbosch. I'm so, so tired of J, K and I often being the only PoC customers at places. And then we have people always assuming that we're not from Stellenbosch - as in how can we be from this town when we're not white. It is so, so irksome.

How are you doing?

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Friday, 21 April 2017

Five for Friday

When saying goodnight to K, I often say "Goodnight, my Keiden." I said so to him last night and he responded with "Goodnight, my mommy." I was all kinds of goo then. It was really great, because earlier this week I said love to him, and he followed it with a "No, you don't love me" - it was after I told him to behave.

I'm working on doing daily writing for my thesis. Part of it is building in a way to be accountable about it...which is tricky given my tendency to not stick to things that are to my benefit.

My love of carbs and sugar is kicking my oh, so wobbly ass. And now I'm doing some serious thinking on introducing meat back into my diet. It's a how to work with my ethical convictions and health consideration that needs to happen. It's going to be a long hard think.

Whenever I think I've found the right thing to flick my switch from lazy to not, it doesn't quite work. And seriously, it's been incredibly frustrating that one way to deal with a lot of my ish, would be for me to ditch the lazy habit.And I just can't get it to stick. Ugh.

My favourite podcast is going on a break for 3 months from the end of the month. So any recommendations would be appreciated :)

Thursday, 20 April 2017


You may have seen this #rockingmotherhood tag/post idea doing the rounds. The wonder that is Ella, tagged me...so here goes.

1) I love him like I love no one else. Loving Keiden is a very different love than that of how I love Jerall, which is different to how I love friends, which is different to how I love extended family.

2) Hugs, kisses, cuddles and I love you's are always happening. I believe that physical affection is important, and especially for boys who have the world telling them to be tough. It's something that will stay important, especially in those teen years. So I'm setting it up now for later.

3) I foster his independence. It is so hard to just let him do things, but we do our best to encourage and support him doing things for himself. 

4) I am his biggest cheerleader. It is important to be that he knows he is always supported and loved no matter what. I don't ever want Keiden to feel like he has to earn my love and support by doing certain things. So I cheer when he keeps on trying, I cheer when he succeeds at something and I cheer him for trying and it not working out the way he wants.

5) I let him know that failure is okay. This parenting part of me comes from wanting him to do and be better than I am. I struggle with failure, a lot. So when he tries something and it doesn't work we let him know that it's okay. He can try again. And that different people are good at different things.

6) I teach him respect. This is done by respecting his decisions. I ask for hugs and kisses, and he does the same. It's his body, his decision what to do with it. On the smaller scale, he picks out his clothes, decides from options as to what to eat when out and about, isn't forced to finish a meal, decides on wants to do things with/have at his birthday party and decides from options on what to do over the weekends.

7) I show him that gender doesn't matter. This one is hard, because we're fighting some silly things he gets told at school. Once he said only daddies drive. So although I don't, we made sure to remind him that a lot of the other women in his life do. Jerall and I both do different chores in the house, so he knows it's no one gender/person responsible for something. We show him female heroes, and generally point out how everyone can do cool stuff.

8) I foster his geeky self and other passions.  He loves playing with Lego, cooking and reading. We make sure he has a space to do that. He is currently going through a Star Wars phase - so we listen to John Williams music over and over.

9) I have amazing people in his life. And we make time to see them, so he learns that valuing people and friendships is important.

10) I'm creating an excitement for adventure/exploring/see the world. This is happening with our weekend exploring, finding books, introducing him to new ideas. Adventure is all around us.

 And now I tag you, yes you ;) Use this if you want.

Specifically I'm going to tag MeeA, Marcia and Cat.

  1. Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog. 
  2. List 10 things you believe make you a good mother (this is just a guideline. It can be more or less than 10.)
  3. Tag 3 – 5 bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag. 
  4. Grab the #RockingMotherhgood badge and add it to your post or sidebar.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Book Blitz: Release Day Myths & Legends

So remember this post, and this one? Well today is release day for the box set. And there is a giveaway to go with it.

Take a look :)


Today is the release day for the Myths & Legends boxed set! Get 20 books from 20 different authors in one boxed set for only 0.99$!

Myths & Legends is a compilation of 20 Full-Length Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy reads currently available to buy for only 99c, including works from New York Times, USA Today, Bestselling, and various Award-Winning authors.

You can find Myths & Legends on Goodreads

20 books in one boxed set for only 0.99$!
Buy the Myths & Legends boxed set for only 0.99$ here:
- Amazon
- Barnes & Noble
- Kobo
- iBooks

Myths & Legends boxed set cover

The Authors:
Margo Bond Collins
N.R. Larry
Joanne Wadsworth
J.H. Croix
Madisyn Ashmore
Michelle Madow
Amber Lynn Natusch
Chrissy Peebles
Genevieve Jack
Siobhan Davis
S.L. Morgan
J.L. Hendricks
Lisa Manifold
Corinne O’Flynn
Andrea Pearson
Emily Martha Sorensen
Ever Coming
Sarah M Cradit
Rachael Slate
Olivia Wildenstein
Cael Percy

Release Day Giveaway
Myths & Legends Giveaway banner

The authors of this box set are hosting a big giveaway to celebrate the release of the Myths & Legends box set! One winner will win a $100 Amazon gift card!

For a chance to win enter the giveaway here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Wide Giveaway

During the book blitz for Myths & Legends there’s a tour wide giveaway! These are the prizes you can win:
- 5 Myths & Legends Boxsets
- 3 $10 Amazon Gift Cards
- Various signed paperbacks by the participating authors

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

A little more on the Myths & Legends Box Set

Hiya folks. Yes, it's another post where I'm talking part in a book blog tour. There's one piece of info that should be front and centre. If you pre-order the set, you can get another 17 free reads. Yip, I said 17. So if you're keeping count that is 37 books for $0.99. Which is all kinds of ridiculous.

I've already read two of the bonus books, The Unlikeable Demon Hunter by Sarah Wilde, and Lagniappes by Sarah M Cradit...and they alone are worth so much more than the pre-order price. So treat your book loving self and give this a look.


Myths & Legends banner

Today is my stop during the book blitz for the Myths & Legends Boxed Set. This is the fifth post during this tour. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

I’m introducing a few of the participating authors and showcasing some of their books/back catalogue.

Ever Coming

Filled with the desire to write books she wouldn’t want her mama to know she read, much less wrote, Ever Coming was born.
Ever Coming is the pen name of an international best selling author who simply wanted some heat with her sweet romances. When she is not reading and writing romances, Ever is usually found enjoying time with her kids and husband.
You can learn more about Ever Coming on her website.

Check out her book Riding Her Unicorn!
Riding Her Unicorn

One broken Jaguar.
One sexy Unicorn.
A whole lot of yummy goodness.

Can a broken Jaguar and a smexy billionaire Unicorn have more than just a hot fling?

Sarah M Cradit
Sarah M Cradit

Sarah is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Paranormal Southern Gothic series, The House of Crimson Clover, born of her combined passion for New Orleans, family sagas, and the mysterious complexity of human nature. Her work has been described as rich, emotive, and highly dimensional.
You can learn more about Sarah M Cradit on her website

Check out her book St. Charles at Dusk!
St. Charles at Dusk

A father’s threats. A tragic accident. Unanswered questions. Oz Sullivan has finally moved past the tangled web surrounding his brief, but intense, relationship with the young, impetuous Adrienne Deschanel.

Then Adrienne unexpectedly emerges, with no memory of the life she once led. Her desperate attempt to flee the confusing and dark influences in the bayou instinctively propels her to the one face for which she has a name. Oz’s world is once again turned upside down, as he must decide how to help her without losing himself entirely.

Rachael Slate
Rachael Slate

Rachael has explored forgotten temples in Cambodia, kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland, and stood inside the Roman Coliseum. She loves studying people and cultures, current and ancient. Her appetite for romance began with Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, which she later nurtured with a healthy dose of Jane Austen.

As a writer of scorching hot fantasy romance, Rachael blends the lines between mythology, reality, and fantasy. In her worlds, you'll encounter strong, sexy alpha males and the capable women who challenge them. If her heroines can't meet their heroes toe-to-toe, then they'll bring them to their knees.
You can learn more about Rachael Slate on her website.

Check out her book Earth Borne!
Earth Borne

Melita's shadowed past holds a secret that could shatter the centuries-old peace between centaurs and Lapiths. But trusting her heart to Thereus isn't a risk Melita is willing to take twice, even though he swears he's now more wicked than wild. As her enemies close in on the truth, Melita and Thereus will have to choose between protecting her race...and saving his.

Olivia Wildenstein
Olivia Wildenstein

Olivia Wildenstein grew up in New York City, the daughter of a French father with a great sense of humor, and a Swedish mother whom she speaks to at least three times a day. She chose Brown University to complete her undergraduate studies and earned a bachelor’s in comparative literature. After designing jewelry for a few years, Wildenstein traded in her tools for a laptop computer and a very comfortable chair. This line of work made more sense, considering her college degree.
You can learn more about Olivia Wildenstein on her website.

Check out her book Rose Petal Graves!
Rose Petal Grave


Founded two centuries ago by a powerful tribe of Gottwa Indians, Rowan was a quiet town, so quiet that I fled after graduation. Staying away was the plan, but Mom died suddenly.
Dad said she suffered a stroke after she dug up one of the ancient graves in our backyard, which happens to be the town cemetery. Creepy, I know. Creepier still, there was no corpse inside the old coffin, only fresh rose petals.
As we made preparations for Mom’s burial, new people began arriving in Rowan, unnervingly handsome and odd people. I begged them to leave, but they stayed, because their enemies—my ancestors—were beginning to awaken.

Cael Percy
Cael Percy

Cael Percy is a #1 Bestselling Romance Author. Her Time Travel Romance Novel, Starlark, reached #1 in multiple categories. When she's not binge-watching boxsets on Netflix, Cael spends her time dreaming up her next book's plotlines - ones all guaranteed to involve: hot, possessive, alpha-men and the captivating women that drive them wild, ensuring that all of Cael’s books are electrifying page-turners that will hold your attention from beginning to end...
You can learn more about Cael Percy on her website.

Check out her book Starlark!

On the morning of her wedding, Roma awakens to find that a 21st-century eclipse has swept her through time and space to medieval Ireland—a land bedevilled with strife, conflict and danger at every possible turn.

Soon caught up in an intricate spider’s web of political intrigue, Roma is forced to ally herself and marry a man she passionately hates—a cocky, rugged, silver-tongued Irish warrior—and the only man who can protect her from the dark forces at work on the Emerald Isle…

Myths & Legends

You can pre-order Myths & Legends for only 0.99$ here:
- Amazon
- Barnes & Noble
- Kobo
- iBooks

Myths & Legends facebook party

Join the Myths & Legends Facebook Party and have a chance to win tons of cool stuff and meet some fab new authors! Join the Facebook party here.

During the book blitz for Myths & Legends there’s a tour wide giveaway! These are the prizes you can win:
- 5 Myths & Legends Boxsets
- 3 $10 Amazon Gift Cards
- Various signed paperbacks by the participating authors

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

2016 Reading Challenge

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

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