Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Counting Blessings

1634) my sweet nephew here, baby kisses and giggles and fun 
1635) gift learned: a weekend away, paid for about 3 years ago but not taken... 
still available and booked for a weeks time
1636) a morning of mosaic and chatter with a dear new friend
1637) delicious dinner made by my almost 13 year old boy
1638) a nap when much needed
1639) treat of a free Mandela Day haircut with friends
1640) wonderful to "give back" with kids this afternoon, packing stationery for underprivileged little people
1641) blessed by my doctor giving me a free consultation today
1642) a lovely surprise gift from my dear sister
1643) my new and amazing friends, seeing them and catching up
1644) my brother, his insight and hospitality when I needed it most
1645) chai lattes and breakfast with my dear cousin and aunt
1646) a warm fire and family conversations 
1647) a day resting and relaxing after a crazy busy week
1648) dinner made by my dear hubby
1649) long distance conversations with my mum and older sister
1650) wonderful worship in church this morning and an encouraging message
1651) beautiful weather and an impromptu neighbourhood braai this evening
1652) being able to laugh at ourselves
1653) hearing the words "I missed you".... filled with so much meaning for me
1654) a surprise blessing from my dear sister
1655) sharing with a dear friend

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Beautiful Cape Afternoon

Last week we had the pleasure of a beautiful and rain free winter's afternoon at the waterfront. My friend needed to be there and I played taxi . It was a wonderful unplanned afternoon and very unusual for a Monday. But aren't some of the best adventures unplanned?

The water lay smooth and glassy in the harbour. 

We enjoyed some of the best chocochinos ever.

Robust and sleepy Cape Fur Seals lazed about peacefully, hardly noticing those who stopped to stare and take photos.

A cheeky Cape Gull perched nearby and chattered away noisily as if begging for some food or reprimanding those working on a nearby boat.

We were lucky enough to have a quick whirlwind trip around the 2 Oceans Aquarium. Tropical fish with their beautiful colours and patterns never cease to amaze me.

The predator's tank was mesmerising with Ragged-tooth Sharks swimming peacefully by.... as if to the music playing in the background. I think I could have sat there for hours.

The children enjoyed the viewing tunnel enormously, watching and waiting excitedly for sharks and rays to swim around the corner.

All in all a wonderful and care free afternoon!

Culture Swapper

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Winter Garden's Delight

Despite the rain and cold weather.....

Yes, very sweet and satisfying...

Mandela Day 2013

Image of Nelson Mandela Day

Yesterday as proud South Africans we honoured Mandela Day and our former President's 95th birthday!
This day is a global call to action, celebrating the idea that each of us has the power to make an impact and transform the world. Mandela fought for social justice for 67 years, and we are called to make a difference for 67 minutes on his behalf.

I was very excited to find out that Step Ahead Salon, owned by a friend, was offering 67 minutes of free haircuts in honour of this day. I have been needing a good cut for a while! 
Two friends and I were privileged to receive excellent haircuts and enjoy lots of happy chatter and laughter while enjoying our treat.


We are all thrilled with our new look, thank you Step Ahead Salon!

Another customer who enjoyed the benefit of Step Ahead's generosity wanted to "pay forward" the cost of her haircut to a worthy cause. I was thankful to be of assistance to her, taking her generous donation and handing it over to the Chaeli Campaign in the afternoon.

The Blue Route Mall hosted the Chaeli Campaign for Mandela Day. Their goal was to wrap and pack as many Early Childhood Development school readiness boxes as possible, between 10h00 and 17h00.

On arrival, we discovered that they had run out of stationery and were waiting for more supplies.
 There were numerous beautiful brightly coloured boxes already wrapped and packed. But wasn't long before supplies arrived ,and we had fun getting stuck in and packing these boxes which will go a long way towards helping make some little people ready for "big school".

394 boxes were wrapped and packed in total yesterday.
It was a great honour to spend some time, making a difference, however small, in the lives of some of these precious little children.

Culture Swapper

Monday, July 15, 2013

Perfect Gifts

Over the past week there has been so much to be grateful for......

 1611) gifts in weakness: getting a good rest in when I was tired 
1612) hubby cheerily lending a hand at supper time when I was feeling snowed under
1613) catching up with a friend over coffee and my mom in law too
1614) perfect windless and sunny weather in the middle of winter

1615) my teen son treating me to ice cream at the beach
1616) a gift of growth: my sweet teen girl having grown so much this past week while serving at kids holiday club
1617) gift of life:beautiful life giving words
1618) blessed with a cuppachino machine, gifted by my cousin
1619) girlfriends sharing their pizza and laughter with me
1620) my kind neighbour washing away the grey for me
1621) beautiful gift of a hand made bag arriving from the USA today
1622) a great afternoon with friends, swapping clothing....
my wardrobe getting a face lift and increasing dramatically at no cost!
1623) decadent pancakes shared with the neighbourhood this evening as an end of school holiday treat
1624) a beautiful church service this morning....
encouragement to "live life forward"
1625) my cousin and his wife popping in for coffee 
1626) Bastille Day celebrations with the neighbourhood.....
enjoying delicious French Onion Soup and a selection of cheese and French bread...
 and of course plenty of good conversation and laughter too
1627) a message from my dear friend letting me know she had blessed me with a ticket for an upcoming woman's conference
1628) blessed with pies at lunch, a real treat for the kids
1629) a relaxed and enjoyable first day back at school
1630) thankful for a copy of a new book I have been asked to review... 
beautiful story that I am reading aloud to my younger two
1631) sharing an enjoyable afternoon at the waterfront with my friend,
 enjoying chocochinos while the seals slumbered nearby, 
 happy kids getting to see the aquarium and treated to ice creams....
a car full of happy noisy kids on the way home
1632) thankful for hubby's help at dinner when we got in late and a warm fire on this cold night
1633) seeing His hand in our lives

Craftaholics Anonymous Handmade Gift Exchange

I recently enjoyed taking part in Craftaholics Anonymous Summer 2013 Handmade Gift Exchange.
This gift exchange is loads of fun and takes place twice a year...
 So if you missed this one, follow the link and sign up for the next one!
 It is the perfect excuse to relax and craft for pure enjoyment.
There is no skill or cost requirement either and anyone can participate.
Elfster, a social gift giving platform, was used to facilitate the gift exchange.
I could communicate with the partner I was matched with, as well as interact with other members of the exchange if desired.


It was such fun to get creative and put together a handmade gift for someone I don't know.
 I enlisted the help of my daughter and she made this....

I enjoyed making a set of Christmas coloured serviette rings...

And a pretty beaded key ring charm or zip charm...

The two of us enjoyed making a few handmade cards to complete the gift...

In return, my crafty exchanger sent me this beautiful handmade bag.....

I love the colours and the design of the fabric and can just imagine filling the bag with a picnic blanket, a good book and some snacks and enjoying a peaceful afternoon, relaxing in a beautiful place. 

handmade gift exchange

Be sure to visit Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous where you can find all sorts of wonderful crafty ideas!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Present

Yes, being present is good. I am learning to be present in my body, recognising tiredness and the need to rest, recognising feeling good and celebrating that too. Soaking in the warmth of the sun on my body or a cool ocean breeze or the cold winter sand beneath my feet. 
Present when one of my precious three comes to interrupt whatever it is I may be doing, pausing to stop and listen, taking in what they say, making eye contact and savouring the moments with them. Present late at night when they bubble over with important conversations and share their hearts with me. 
Present when hubby gets in from work, pausing to hug hello and find out about his day.
 Present when chatting with far away family on long distance calls, soaking in their words and enjoying the conversation. fleeing from distractions and thoughts that interfere with the moment.
 Connecting on a deeper level with consciousness of the present and fleeting moment as it will never come again....

"Unscripted, unedited, real" Lisa- Jo Baker
Write for five minutes on the given topic, link up at Lisa- Jo's blog and encourage the person who linked up before you. Have fun!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July's gifts

Each day brings a multitude of opportunities to feel gratitude and appreciation....

1584) beautifully kind and sincere compliments 
1585) healing tears and laughter shared with new friends
1586) wisdom and insight 
1587) exercise that releases tension from the body
1588) my dear sweet neighbour treating me to dinner out
1589) a de-stressing neck massage
1590) winning a prize: a hamper filled with delicious chocolates and other treats
1591) watching a comedy with my friend, good for the soul
1592) a sweet friend preparing dinner for my family
1593) chatting with friends as we did beading together
1594) good coffee and warm blankets
1595) hot chocolate on a cold winter evening
1596) family pitching in to help with household chores
1597) loads of fire wood delivered by my brother
1598) beautiful messages from my mum and sisters
1599) time to just be...
1600) breakfast and conversations with a sweet new friend that lasted 5 hours!
1601) a bad fall but not too badly hurt and managing not to break the mosaic I had worked hours on
1602) a wonderful fun filled day enjoyed with my children
1603) the company of my cute little nephew and his mom and dad, good food shared,
 a warm fire and lots to catch up on
1604) a card and little gift from my mum
1605) home made ginger and melon preserve sent from my far away farm sister
1606) time enjoyed with hubby
1607) watching my almost teen boy enjoying time with his much younger second cousins, 
us mums enjoying each others company too
1608) a book prize arriving in the mail today, perfect to stash away for an up coming birthday
1609) taking care of my delightful nephew, his sweet face brightening my day
1610)  breakfast with a new friend, wonderful to catch up and share each others joys

Monday, July 8, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Beautiful

Beautiful ....friends, new and vulnerable as we share about ourselves and our lives, old friends who stand by me. My siblings who without a doubt are so important to me, and my mum, gracious, encouraging and one of the most beautiful people I know. My dad, wise and gentle. My children, their smiles, their hugs and their laughter and watching them enjoy each other's company. My hubby's face, fuller as he gains necessary weight and his strong arms that hug me reassuringly. My sweet nephew making new sentences and filled with 2 year old delight and inquisitiveness at the world around him.
The pink sunset this evening and a carpet of pink flowers seen on a green field today. The crisp, yet clear and dark diamond studded sky tonight. The tiny birds that busily fluttered in the trees, chattering away, as I chatted to my mum on the phone yesterday.
Most beautiful of all, His grace and mercies which are new every morning. 

"Unscripted, unedited, real" Lisa- Jo Baker
Write for five minutes on the given topic, link up at Lisa- Jo's blog and encourage the person who linked up before you. Have fun!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Slow Living Month 6

June saw cooler Winter's weather with some beautiful sunny days splashed in between.
 As usual it seemed to fly by. 
Once again, lovely to look back on achievements however big or small, and link up with Christine at Slow Living Essentials.


Hubby did most of the cooking this month as I was not well. He did a good job of feeding everyone! My butternut soup was a hit again and enjoyed by all.

Not much here except chillies and granadilla pulp that was frozen for later use.


My youngest had fun making a "smonster" from old Smartie boxes.

 He entered a competition and eagerly awaits the judges decision.


Hubby got around to chopping up the old tree trunk that was cut down some time ago.

 We have logs for winter fires and will be saving on heating our home over the winter. 


The winter garden is not producing to much. I had to get rid of my broccoli as it was attacked by aphids and eaten by worms. Peas are coming along and I look forward to my red cabbage harvest. 

Chillies, peppers, pepperdews and grannadillas are picked often. 
The leeks are looking good and we have been enjoying the last of the black basil.

 There is always spinach and the odd tomato despite the cold weather.
 Broad beans should start to flower soon.

I enjoyed plenty of bead-work over the month.

 Bracelets, ear rings and decorative key chains were made. 

I had my first experience with pottery ever and made a number of items which need to be fired. 
My favourite was a milk jug which I really look forward to seeing when it is done.
 I began a mosaic mirror as a gift for a dear friend too.

 My sister finally got the pair of bright red fingerless mittens that I had promised her. 

This was a month of discovering myself again.
 A time of releasing, letting go and moving forward in a better space. 

We live in a wonderful neighbourhood and enjoyed the first of a new Sunday afternoon tradition....
a lovely tradition for winter....
Sunday afternoon tea time for who ever is around, taking turns to bake delicious treats such as scones with strawberry jam and cream.... 
and a warm winter fire with lots of happy chatter and laughter.

We enjoyed our daughter's first art exhibition at her art school.

 The exhibition showcased all the work done over the first two terms in each of the following disciplines: photography, drawing, painting and mixed media, communication design, surface design and spatial design. 
It was wonderful to see all the beautiful work of the grade 10 students. 
She chose painting and mixed media as her first subject choice and was fortunate enough to be allocated to this class. 


Treated to coffee and cake out by my sweet daughter,
 forest and beach walks with hubby,

 special family times, 
new friends and old friends,
  treated to a girls movie night and dinner with a girlfriend.

Slow Living 2013 - Month by Month

Thank you Christine for the link up.