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

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Book Thursday: Will by Christine Bernard

A book by a local author - yay for Saffa's :D

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Blurb


No power comes without a price! A supernatural thriller that will make you wonder, "What would I have done?"

What would you do if you stumbled across a magic eight ball with all the answers? Would you ask it for lottery numbers? Would you ask about the love of your life? That’s what thirty-six-year-old Will Pearce did. However, nothing good comes without a price. Will learns that with the good, comes the bad. How much is Will prepared to pay for the answers that he seeks?

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My thoughts

A dark and twisty 4 star read.


I'm starting to wonder if Christine Bernard just doesn't like people ;) Her poor, poor characters are always being tortured. They're given a taste of the good life, and then bam...she pulls the rug out from under them.

I enjoyed this story more than Unravel. And it's far more dark and twisty. So worth the read.

*I'm a lucky fish and on the author's ARC team*

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

A look at the year that was 2017

So Zoe used these questions, to look back on her year. They're pretty great, so I'm totally making use of them :p


WHAT’S BEEN THE BEST AND WHY?

1. What are you most proud in terms of what you achieved, accomplished or brought into being this year – in life and work?

The biggest thing is that I made it another year with keeping K all good, healthy and happy.

Aside from that, I finished my thesis. Which was all kinds of scary, and is quite surreal actually...it's so so strange to me that I actually got it done.

Another thing was getting the group together that makes our #Fab5. While Zoe, was the only one who did all 30 days of yoga the group became and is so so much more than what it started out as being. I'm a very, very lucky fish to have these great women in my life.

2. What did these achievements or actions in turn make possible – for you, your family, your organisation, your financial situation, and your health and well-being, for others? Why did they matter so much to you?

Well, happy, healthy kid just makes everything easier...so ummm it made it possible for me to focus on my thesis?

The thesis mattered so much because I'd tried that M thing before and it didn't go well. So you know getting it done this time moved that enormous sense of failure to the either. It's also meant that I need to really challenge the way I see myself. Which is not an easy thing at all.

In terms of the group, it's given me belonging, fitting in. And as mentioned before, my sense of self has been challenged by it.

3. What makes your heart warm just to think about it today?

Hugs, seeing the group, and actually finishing my thesis.


WHAT’S BEEN THE HARDEST?

4. What event or experience represented the “worst” of the year, and why exactly?

My thesis - yes, I know I said it was a good thing, but it also represents the supervisor struggles. And so so much of my self doubt and impostor syndrome. I'm still waiting for my mark, and am convinced it's a failure of beyond epic proportions, it's going to prove true what I've always know. Additionally, things around it and around writing it up half opened my eyes to a lot of things I put up with from some in the name of friendship. 

5. What action(s) did you take that you want to eradicate from your behaviour forever?

Therapy. Always therapy to help me figure out how to do things better. Well therapy and the right people. The right people make all the difference.

6. What makes you feel ashamed and “less than,” or even toxic to others?

I hope that I'm not toxic to anyone. The less than is hard to answer, because my default tends towards being less than. It shades everything I do and how I interact with others. So whenever things go odd, it's my fault...which is not ideal. Shame comes from not handling things with others in the way that's best for them.

7. What brings tears of unhappiness and feelings of shame when you think about it?

The way I speak to myself/think about myself. How I let people who are supposed to be friends treat me in ways that I don't deserve, because I think of myself as less than/unworthy. That I just couldn't make eating better and exercise stick...it then keeps on feeding into the never ending cycle of "not enoughness" that is me.


WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACCENTUATE AND AMPLIFY IN YOUR LIFE NEXT YEAR?

8. What outcomes or achievements do you want to build on next year?

Totally want to build on/keep the happy and healthy Keiden thing going. Build on from the thesis into a PhD, some article, getting an academic career going. Do better by Jerall, and my people.

Next year is to be the year of positive transformation - mentally and physically.

9. What parts of yourself do you wish to expand and strengthen, and let out in the world?

Ummm, caring in a way that doesn't hurt me. Kindness not tempered by my cynicism would be a great thing to do too.

10. What role models and supportive people do you want to connect with more deeply?




My therapist and my people. 

Monday, 25 December 2017

Friday, 22 December 2017

Five for Friday

We're officially on holiday. It's stay-cation, which works just fine for us.

I'm pondering a year of blogging come the first of Jan. I know I can do it, but I'm not to sure how much I want to do.

Today, I found out that nearly eight weeks after handing in my thesis for examination there has been no word from the external examiner. This is with my mark supposed to have been given to my department within six weeks. So, more added onto the frustration pile.

I don't think that I'm ready for K being four. Especially, considering his behaviour of late. It's ridiculous just how much he doesn't listen to me, and how often I need to repeat things. 

I just don't understand people at all. I don't know if I ever will.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Book Thursday: Snowbound with an Heiress

Oh look another review :p Almost like I love reading or something ;)
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Snowbound with an HeiressSnowbound with an Heiress
by Jennifer Faye
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:
Stranded in the snow—together!

Heiress Serena Winston has gone off the grid for the holidays! She's staying in a remote cabin in the Alps, looking to get away from it all…

Since losing his wife, Christmas isn't the same for TV presenter Jackson Bennett. He goes where the work takes him, this time to Austria. But when an American beauty runs him off the road in a blizzard and a storm leaves them stranded, it seems like a disaster. Until their time alone turns into an unexpected Christmas to remember!

You can find Snowbound with an Heiress on Goodreads
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Review

This is a 3 star sweet read for Christmas. 

To get my quibble out of the way, the title is a misleading - while the heroine is an heiress, that's not why she was off hiding from the world.

What I really enjoyed was the way in which the characters worked with each other to make sense of what was going on between them. Well it didn't always work - the thing that pushes them apart an example thereof, they did give each other understanding of why they behaved the way they did.


Friday, 15 December 2017

Five for Friday


So I have 18 physical books in my TBR pile. I want to finish reading them for the end of the month. So far, I've finished two of them...so progress is happening.

Speaking of books, I'm thinking that my goodreads challenge for next year should just be 100 books. I know that I can, and will read more but I don't want to turn reading, that is all about taking the moment to enjoy into a speed through it all thing.

The Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar is amazing. Keiden - well Jerall and I too - are having fun with it. Much better than a daily chocolate - for Keiden, I'd take the chocolate :p

Speaking of my goose, he's dealing with some big allergy stuff. So far he's been great with taking his meds. It helps that he's reasoning is better, and that he sees Jerall and I take daily antihistamines. 

He also now has a base for his single mattress. So far so good, he's loving and has taken to reading his books there.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Book Thursday: Right Under Your Nose

One of the ways I manage to sustain my reading habit is by doing the read and review thing. Today's post is one of those.
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Right Under Your NoseRight Under Your Nose
by Holly Tierney-Bedord
Genre: Chick-lit

Blurb:

Ariadne Daniels seems to have it all: A successful career as a pastry chef, a Victorian home in a trendy neighborhood, and her dedicated boyfriend Scott who she's been with for years.

Her life is great until the day she stops by Scott's apartment to surprise him and finds out that he's not so dedicated to her after all. Shocked and too depressed to celebrate, she decides to skip Christmas. Her best friend Jess does his part to convince her otherwise, but Ariadne's determined to wallow in her misery, at least until spring.

Life has other plans for her, however. Some helpful meddling from a new friend at a local bookstore, along with some questionable behavior on the part of Jess’s girlfriend, turn Ariadne’s ho-hum holiday plans on their head.

You can find Right Under Your Nose on Goodreads

You can buy Right Under Your Nose here:
- Amazon
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Review

This is a 2.5 read really, but it's given a boost by being one of those reads, that are best read during Christmas...magic just fits better now. As far as the story and characters go, it's the run of the mill friendship with romantic hints, but always happening at the wrong moment.

I'm not a fan of how the love interest treated the person he was with - even if she was not on the up and up.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Five for Friday: Happy Things Edition

So here's the thing, I like hats...a lot, but I've not quite been brave enough to go with it. Until last week. Last week I bought myself this wonderful big hat, and wearing it has been amazing.

Another something making me happy, is getting my 2018 diary. It's a red bundle of delight, especially because I managed to find the layout that works best for me - week to view on the left, note page on the right.

Keiden enjoying his first advent calendar, it's all the delicious feelings of awww. 

While this time of year can get all busy, busy...there are still these perfect pockets of joy to be spotted. It's all kinds of happy making.


This song, is just hitting a happy note for me.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Book Thursday: Rescuing Prince Charming


Rescuing Prince Charming banner

This is my stop during the book blitz for Rescuing Prince Charming by Edward Hoornaert. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 28 November till 11 December. See the tour schedule here.

Introduction price!
For a limited time only Rescuing Prince Charming is available to purchase for only 1.99! You can buy your copy here on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes and Smashwords.
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Rescuing Prince CharmingRescuing Prince Charming (Alien Contact for Idiots #4)
By Edward Hoornaert
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 4 December, 2017

Blurb:
Dusty Johnson, a self-styled ordinary, everyday woman, responds with extraordinary heroism to saboteurs trying to bomb the prototype of Earth's first starship. She wants to return to anonymity, but her moment of courage propels her ever deeper into danger that tears the scabs off her dark past—and thrusts her into the arms of the unattainable man of her dreams.

Reese Eaglesbrood, an alien prince, yearns to restore his tattered reputation by guiding the starship project to completion, but his fascination with the unassuming heroine threatens to undermine his fragile authority. Shunning Dusty is necessary, yet unthinkable—and when the saboteurs strike again, she may be his only ally against Earth's darkest enemies.

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Review

This is a 3/5 star read for me.

On the surface of it this story should have everything going for it, but it didn't quite hit the sweet spot to get four stars. I liked Dusty, especially the ways in which she battled with being a heroine...yet there were parts of her characterisation that rung hollow. No way did she not pick up on some of the things she missed. 

Another reason why this didn't get to four stars - the overplayed trope of younger sibling needing to atone for something, with the atonement meaning he must ignore who he truly is.

I did enjoy the manipulations of the "bad guys". And am intrigued by the backstories of the guard pair.

Worth the read? Yes. Would I read the rest of the series? Depends on which character's story it is.

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Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Rescuing Prince Charming. These are the prizes you can win:
- Grand prize: e-book copies of the other three books in this series: Alien Contact for Idiots, Alien Contact for Kid Sisters and Newborn
- 2 winners win an e-book of their choice from any of the following three books: Alien Contact for Idiots, Alien Contact for Kid Sisters and Newborn

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

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

What now? Life post thesis

Photo by Chris Karidis on Unsplash
Life post thesis is so so strange. I don't know what to do with myself...and there's no guide book for what to do. Why can't life come with a guide?

So it's been about 5 weeks since submission, and it's actually only really now sinking in that I have submitted. My MA is done...and life without it is so strange. This has been a significant part of my life for so long - almost three years. There was the year spent figuring out which way to go, then the diploma year, which was get it all going and this year.

That's years of everything I do or don't do being directly related to thesis progress. Years where a part of my self has been defined by what I'm working on, how to understand it, how to fund it...literally every single thing has tied back to it.

And now it's gone...and I just don't know what to do with myself. Enjoy the free time is quite often something I get told, but how do I enjoy the free time. It seems endless, it seems meaningless without it being free time from something.

I don't know how to enjoy free time properly anymore. Actually is there such a thing? I mean I could work on that fitness journey thing...but folks, it just isn't clicking as the right thing for me right now. 

The slowing down of the year isn't helping much either. Immediately post submission was the get PhD plans going push...and the expansion of my idea is now sitting with potential supervisors. I'm waiting on some feedback before submitting applications. I'm waiting for thesis feedback before even trying to figure out article writing/submissions.

It just feels like a massive cycle of wait, wait and wait some more. Why does no one warn you about this? It's ridiculous how you're just supposed to cope and adjust from this all encompassing, intensive stress filled driven life to...nothing. 

It's all just nothing. Nothing and waiting...made worse by your actual capacity to really handle anything at a low. There is barely anything in the well of spoons...so the wanting to do something is hampered by the inability to do as well. 

I wonder if this is just another part of what drives us all to endlessly consume, consume, consume...an inability to find the right way to replenish ourselves. To be our self. To just be. That is another question as well, why are we so uncomfortable with just being...and not having plans?

Let's chat about teacher presents

So here's the thing, I had no idea teacher presents was a thing until recently. Growing-up there was never anyone given gifts to anyone - there just wasn't money for such thing. Sure there were amazing teachers, but the best I could do was write them a note.

And then I started reading mommy blogs, and I was all hold on, what is this think about teacher presents? In no way am I saying that the people we entrust our children to, the ones who can help keep the flame of learning bright don't deserve all our thanks. But, I've noticed that teacher presents has just become another thing that reinforces certain ways of thinking and being...ways of thinking and being that can hurt.

What is the point of giving a gift to your child's teacher? To express thanks, but does this mean that we automatically need to reach for our wallets? Is there no way to express our appreciation for all that the person does not automatically mean going to a shop? 

While there are those who spend a lot of time on finding the right gift for the right person, not all of us invest that in gift giving. And what are we teaching our children, that the only way to say thank you for something profound is with money? Surely, as people we are so much more than just what we can spend on others.

And what about those children at nursery - like my Keiden. There is more than his class teacher, and the two assistants who are part of his day and school experience. Every adult at his school knows who he is, and he who they are. How dare we ignore those who focus on the kitchen or buildings and grounds? All of those people matter to your child's experience at school.

I have no clear answer, but I do know that it's important to me that the person I want Keiden to be recognizes all who make a difference to his day. And that while giving gifts is lovely, what's important is the recognition and appreciating of what someone has done. How you make someone feel is far more important than what you give them.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Five for Friday: Quick Thoughts Edition

Today, Keiden started opening his first ever advent calendar. We got the Lego Star Wars one...it's amazing. He has though told us that tomorrow we'll open day 2, 3, 4 and 5 :0 Hopefully, we make the one a day thing work out.

Sunny skies, great for the mood...less so for my feet that are always hot.

Good friends are the best.

Applications are such work, but then some reference letters just make you want to cry.

How is it December already? This year seems to have done a big woosh-by.


Friday, 24 November 2017

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Book Thursday: Review Deck the Malls with Purple Peacocks

Hiya folks. It's a book review day. Still playing around with how I want this to look. This time blurb bits first then my review. Let me know which works for you :)

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Deck The Malls with Purple PeacocksDeck The Malls with Purple Peacocks (Alice Chronicles #2)
By Amy Gettinger
Genre: Chick-lit/ Women’s Fiction/ Sweet Romance

Blurb:
It’s Christmas in Orange County, California, and the mall is full of purple peacock decorations, large and small. Department store employee Aracely Martinez has a goofy Cuban friend, Quito (who’s awfully cute in his mall Santa suit), distracting her from her night-shift restocking job. But Aracely has a long-held secret, which her supervisor at the store, Jacob Thinnes, is holding over her head to make her do his bidding.

Which is too much bidding.

Enter Aracely’s oldest friends: Alice Chalmers, Georgette Jones and Julie Bowers. The group’s “Venus Warrior” bond from the 2003 production of The Venus Monologues at Garden Beach Community College is still very strong, and these women are ready, willing, and able to kick some butt to help Aracely out of her difficult bind. Join Aracely’s “Three Wise Women” plus her ever-present trickster hunk, Quito, in one adventure after another as they work against the odds to give Aracely a fabulous, nearly impossible Christmas gift: the life of her dreams.
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A generous 2.5 stars rounded up.

On the surface there was a lot I wanted to like about this read, and initially when it just focused on Aracely with moments of Alice and the gang it seemed an enjoyable read. But then, I started noticing small things that were irksome. And the story just took a massive dive away from Aracely - who you're with for about most of the first half. I was so not prepared for the change.

Granted had I read the first book in the Alice Chronicles, this would most likely be a different review. But when the next book in a series spends as much time as this one does with a different character, and gives you no lead into the main character of the series, it's not a good sign for me.

I expect more from a series. It's not supposed to rely on you coming to it from the previous book. Or at least that's been my experience with series where I've often started with later books in it.

*I am a lucky fish and got given a copy of the book*

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Friday, 17 November 2017

Five for Friday: The Watching/Watched Edition



The Good Place, is an all kinds of delightful comedy. It's smart and funny...something I'd happily recommend. 


Do I really need to tell you anything about This Is Us? I love this show, there has not been an episode where I don't at least sniffle. Randal and Beth are just such an amazing couple, hands down my favourite of the Pearsons.



Jerall and I watched Thor: Ragnarok yesterday. It's an all kinds of fun watch. Really enjoyable, and more Guardians of the Galaxy than Guardians :p


So Stranger Things 2 took a bit to really get going, but when it did it was all kinds of good. I really enjoy how the characters all got to develop - Steve for best tv mom. And I'm in awe of just how talented the younger members of the cast are, especially the actor playing Will. I'm blown away by him.


I'm late to the wonder that is Jane the Virgin, but at least I can watch it without cliff hangers :p I'm currently on the 8th episode of season two. So no spoilers please. Team Michael all the way! It's funny, it's smart, it's utterly enjoyable and the first 2 seasons are on showmax :p

What are you watching? Seen anything great lately you're happy to recommend to others?

Friday, 10 November 2017

Five for Friday: What I Want to Do Before the Year Ends Edition



  • Before the year ends I want to hit a few goals. The first read 300 books - currently I'm on 289, and really getting to 300 is totally do-able. I suspect goodreads counting boxed sets as one book is part of why I'm not there yet.
  • Get this getting fit thing going. So far I've hit 5 days of yoga, but spread over two weeks. It should be better.
  • Complete PhD applications.
  • At least one blog post a week.
  • Get my coffee drinking down to at most 2 coffees a day.
Do you have anything you want to get done before the end of the year?

Thursday, 2 November 2017

A ramble of thoughts

So this not having something urgent, and demanding of all my time and focus is a strange state of being. It's letting all sorts of thoughts in that I'm not keen on dealing with, at all. As such, I've been catching up on some of the youtube channels I watch. And then there was this:


And this, this idea of 80% that Hank is talking about is just all of the things. So I'm a perfectionist, and one that has a lot of the negative things that come with it: trying new things brings me all kinds of anxiety because what if I'm the worst at it, I try and don't follow through on a lot because I know I can't do it perfectly and if it can't be perfect what is the point, I hold myself to a harsher standard than I do anyone else etc. 

The fear of not doing something well is a large part of my inertia.

And here comes this video, that really says a lot of what has been said to me before, that at this moment has hit me in a way that may change things. I'm taken with this notion that going from the 80% to a 100% will take more work and effort than getting to the 80%. It just sounds so ridiculous and not at the same time. 

Because I know, I know that I never get to the 100%, I'm never satisfied with what I've done, so I never get to that 100%.  And am then never done, never able to move onto the next step.

So here I am, making it a public-ish thing. I will work at not going for the 100% anymore, I will work on being satisfied with getting to 80%. What does this mean in practice?

Well for now, that 30 days of yoga I want to do? I'm giving myself 5 weeks to do it. I'm not going to hit day 10 and just be done because it's too hard. Buffers make things more achievable. And getting things done is more important than it being perfect.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Five for Friday

  • Life post thesis is so so strange. No one warned me about the daze you go into. So here's a warning for those thesising or planning to do so. 
  • I have in the 2 days since finishing watched season 1 of Jane the Virginrearranged a few drawers, had a much needed massage and just been super sleepy.
  • Next week, will be the great find funding week. And thereafter I'll be at a data carpentry workshop for three days. I'm thinking being busy might just help with this meh feeling.
  • I'm also got to get that 30 days of yoga thing going...if I stick to it this time, then this will be the year I achieve. Which is just a strange, strange thought and feeling. Changing my self narrative is so hard. It's one of the hardest adulting things yet.
  • Mostly, I'm still in shock about this all. So distract me with some news from your side please.


Thursday, 26 October 2017

Book Thursday: The Breakup Support Group Review

Oh hello there,

It's a Book Thursday post, the first in ages. Just below are my thoughts on the book. And it's followed the the blurb bits.

Books ftw!
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In a nutshell this read is cute, predictable...and leaves you wanting your own support group.

In a little more detail, for some reason the pronunciation guide Isla gives for others stayed with me as the funniest part of the story. Totally a strange thing to stay with you, but for me it sums up the book as whole. The story is cute, you know what's going to happen between Isla and Emory...but there are moments (staircase) that stays with them.

The support group folks are amazing, and need their own stories.

*I'm a lucky fish and received a copy of the book.*

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The Breakup Support GroupThe Breakup Support Group
by Cheyanne Young
Genre: Romance
Age category: Young Adult

Blurb:
After four years of first love bliss, Isla Rush just got dumped. Any hope she has of winning her ex-boyfriend back is shattered when the town rezones her neighborhood, forcing her to spend senior year at a wealthy high school in the next town over. With a broken heart consuming her soul, Isla can’t focus on anything in class. Hell, she can barely get out of bed each morning. Her new school has too many confusing hallways, unfriendly faces, and Emory Underwood—a ridiculously hot guy who dates a new girl almost every day. She can’t help but crush on him, even though she knows it’s wrong.

When memories of her ex make her cry in second period, the school counselor sends Isla to a club that meets during lunch. The Breakup Support Group is a collection of broken-hearted misfits who are all trying to help each other heal. For the first time since her break up, Isla’s heart is on the mend now that she has the support group. Then Emory shows up, forced to atone for all the broken hearts he’s caused over the years. While hiding her massive crush, she helps him understand the seriousness of breaking a heart and he helps her get back on the dating scene.

Part of her peer-prescribed therapy is to learn the art of dating around. Emory offers to be her fake date for the homecoming dance, and she’s happy to accept. He’s just a crush, after all—she can handle a night of playing pretend. When the date ends with a toe-curling kiss on her front porch, all of her well-placed boundaries come crumbling down. After months of therapy, the pieces of her heart are finally healed. And now she just handed it over to a guy who only knows how to break them.


You can find The Breakup Support Group on Goodreads

You can buy The Breakup Support Group here:
- Amazon
- Barnes & Noble

Monday, 23 October 2017

A moment

Hiya folks.

Currently, I'm in a state of panic and worry and stress. It's the week before thesis submission...and it's just all kinds of what is even going on/ I have the stressed out shakes and all sorts of panic...and I'm so heading for a funk.

In a bid to not get all funked out, I'm taking a moment to take stock of some good things. So this is kind of a gratitude post, but also a ramble.

I'm a lucky fish in terms of the people I get to call friend. Yesterday, one dropped of a treat bag to survive this week. And then she and her kiddie stayed for a spontaneous visit. It was a lovely, lovely end to the weekend.

The editor for my thesis has such mad skillz...I know it was money well worth the spend.

We now have access to Showmax, and season 1 and 2 of Star Wars Rebels is on it. Keiden is very happy about it.

I have a friend who knows me well enough to figure out a way to help me - and her - get this exercise thing working.

Jerall is an excellent cook, and my tummy is very happy about it. Plus, not having to always cook is so one of the best things.

Keiden is such a bookworm already. He pretty much just wants to read all the time, we've had to institute a no reading while we're eating together rule :D

I'm just such a lucky fish, with the right people in my life. It's wonderful.

How are you doing?

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.

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*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.
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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.

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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


Blurb:

THE LOOK OF LOVE
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?

FROM THIS MOMENT ON
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.

CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE
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.


Giveaway
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:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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.

MY JOURNEY IS NOT YOURS. YOUR JOURNEY IS NOT MINE!


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.

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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*

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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

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Giveaway
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:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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

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

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