Category Archives: Inspiration

Goal #100: My jewellery purge

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Every once in a while it seems a drastic mental about-turn hits us, seemingly out of nowhere. Suddenly we see the world through different eyes and shift our values and attitudes in response. Ever experienced that?

Recently I was blindsided by an overwhelming desire to purge my life and home. All at once I noticed the clutter in my little cottage and saw how it was bogging me down. I came home one afternoon from work and just began throwing out years’ worth of junk. It was wonderfully freeing… and I’m not done yet!

Ready for a spring clean? Read more…

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Goal #74: Celebrating Raksha Bandhan 2014

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Namaste, everybody!

I realise I haven’t posted much up till now on my enjoyment of several aspects of Indian culture… but the Hindu celebration of Raksha Bandhan gives me the perfect opportunity to do so.

Hang on a sec! Did you just say Hindu, Zest? We thought you were supposed to be a Christian!

Yes of course I am. But that doesn’t make me afraid to learn about other cultures in the world. So if I hear of a tradition that strikes a chord in me without contradicting my beliefs, well – why not branch out a bit and have a little fun? 🙂

So how DO you celebrate Raksha Bandhan? Keep reading…

Goal #49: Our housewarming party

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Ah, now I know we are well and truly HOME! 🙂

Ninja and I finally managed to arrange our housewarming party, two months after we’d moved into our new place. It took the format of a tea party in the garden, because there was no way to squeeze 20-odd visitors inside our little cottage! In answer to prayer it was a gorgeous day out – clear blue Joburg winter skies; windstill and sunny – and so wonderful to have our dear friends gathering at our new address.

Continue reading…

Faith like… tomatoes?

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Look at this bowl of perfect, ripe cherry tomatoes. There’s a story behind these tomatoes – a story that’s symbolic of my journey of faith.

Tomatoes 1

Read more…

Mouse about the house

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Hello sun-seekers 🙂

You might recall me introducing you to a cute fieldmouse that shares our new garden with us. Yes?

Well that same little bundle is almost entirely tame now! He’s grown a bit bigger (but not much) and he sports a beautiful golden coat with smart stripes.

Handsome striped fieldmouse

Handsome striped fieldmouse

Continue reading…

A Mother’s Day tribute with a difference

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On my bedside table sits a beautiful tealight candle holder, inscribed with the words ‘Some people live their whole life through and never find a friend like you’. It’s a gift given to me by my best friend, El, but the words are just as true from me to her.

El

El

This Mother’s Day, instead of a post about my mom (which I’ve done before), I want to write a tribute to El. As a young mother with a lot on her plate, she deserves a little time in the limelight 😉

Continue reading…

Joyful, joyful – that’s me!

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One of my favourite hymns – one of those I chose to be sung at our wedding – is the beautiful ‘Ode to Joy’, also called the ‘Hymn to Joy’ or ‘Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee’.

It perfectly captures the state of my heart today, even though I am ill with a cold and feeling otherwise rundown. Yet after spending time worshipping my great God, I forget the silly shackles of my weak earthly body while my spirit soars to sing this song to my King.

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,

God of glory, Lord of love;

Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,

Op’ning to the sun above.

Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;

Drive the dark of doubt away;

Giver of immortal gladness,

Fill us with the light of day!

 

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,

Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,

Stars and angels sing around Thee,

Center of unbroken praise.

Field and forest, vale and mountain,

Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,

Singing bird and flowing fountain

Call us to rejoice in Thee.

 

Thou art giving and forgiving,

Ever blessing, ever blest,

Wellspring of the joy of living,

Ocean depth of happy rest!

Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,

All who live in love are Thine;

Teach us how to love each other,

Lift us to the joy divine.

 

Mortals, join the happy chorus,

Which the morning stars began;

Father love is reigning o’er us,

Brother love binds man to man.

Ever singing, march we onward,

Victors in the midst of strife,

Joyful music leads us Sunward

In the triumph song of life.

 

Music: Ludwig von Beethoven, Lyrics: Henry J. van Dyke

101 goals for the next 1001 days

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Note: In case you missed my previous posts relating to this new list of goals, you might like to first stop by here, here and here 🙂 Goals 1 through 47 are adapted from my previous list, and goals 48 through 101 are the most recent additions. Where I’ve been working on an old goal but haven’t quite finished it yet, you’ll see the weird numbers reflect where I’m at today as I begin the new list (applies to goals 6, 9, 12, 16, 23, 26, 27, 30, 33, 34, 36, 40 and 47).

Enjoy! And let me know your thoughts…

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101 things in 1001 days

From 21 March 2014 to 16 December 2016

1. Read through the Bible in a year

2. Knit a couch throw with natural yarn

3. Get to my goal weight and/or goal size and maintain

4. Finish our wedding scrapbook

5. Go on 3 hikes

6. Go on 2 motorcycle rides

7. Work through Love Dare again

8. Get a pretty girly camera bag

9. Paint 4 artworks on canvas

10. Assemble an emergency kit

11. Visit a cave

12. Make a list of 48 things I’m grateful for

13. Complete a 1 000+ piece puzzle

14. Go on a rollercoaster

15. Find a personally inspirational quote and work it into a piece of art or home decor

16. Read 73 books and keep a list of them

17. Make a custom recipe book

18. Visit 5 different museums and/or monuments

19. Have a sleepover party

20. Go for a bicycle ride

21. Take 101 (poster-worthy) photos of my new pet rats

22. Grow a plant from a seed

23. Invite 5 different friends/couples over for a visit

24. Try 5 new cocktails

25. Write a letter to my favourite author

26. Apply henna 3 different times

27. Get 7 more hat badges

28. Navigate a maze

29. Use up a sheet of temporary tattoos

30. Write a list of 25 things I’ve already achieved in this lifetime

31. Leave an inspirational note inside a book for someone to find

32. Take part in a colour run

33. Eat at 2 new restaurants

34. Take 10 photos of 10 different birds

35. Go to Gold Reef City

36. Celebrate 3 obscure holidays

37. Make a time capsule

38. Visit a bird of prey centre

39. Revisit our wedding venue

40. Watch 6 movies I’ve never seen starting with K, N, Q, U, X and Y

41. Read Pilgrim’s Progress in the old English

42. Revamp my lingerie collection

43. Enjoy another spa day with my best friend

44. Photograph 10 old buildings in South Africa

45. Play the lotto with numbers from a fortune cookie

46. Put away R10 for each completed task

47. Write 4 letters to 4 people who changed my life

48. Buy 5 music CDs for my collection

49. Throw a housewarming party

50. Plan my 30th birthday party

51. Buy 3 more legit Bollywood movies

52. Complete a one-month photo challenge

53. Celebrate our 10-year dating anni in a special way

54. Get a good pocket/handbag camera

55. Interact with a raptor

56. Make a classic ‘Sunday roast’ meal

57. Get 5 new movies for my collection

58. Ride in a hot air balloon

59. Donate blood

60. Do 5 random acts of kindness

61. Find 5 inspiring new blogs to follow

62. Investigate becoming an organ donor

63. Plant a tree

64. Plant a vegetable garden

65. Go to the Lion Park

66. Host a Christmas gathering

67. Go to a theatre show

68. Visit an animal sanctuary

69. Go berry picking at Just Darling farm

70. Visit Lindfield Victorian House

71. See a movie at Rosebank’s Ster Kinekor Cinema Prestige

72. Have a ‘pretty boudoir’ photoshoot for Ninja

73. Hire an old car and go for a drive

74. Celebrate Raksha Bandhan in some way

75. Do a SCAD dive

76. Try 5 different natural foods from Organic Emporium

77. Get new running shoes

78. Get glasses frames that suit me better

79. Make or buy 2 decor items for the bathroom

80. Make or buy 2 decor items for the bedroom

81. Make or buy 2 decor items for the lounge

82. Make or buy 2 decor items for the kitchen

83. Get more potted plants

84. Upgrade our medical aid plan

85. Hire or buy another camera lens

86. Pay off our building loan

87. Make my own vanilla extract

88. Visit an organic/farmers’ market

89. Get a new set of bed linen

90. Make my own air freshener

91. Make my own potpourri sachets

92. Make my own jelly sweets

93. Make 5 new desserts

94. Create a photo album of all our pets

95. Cook homemade soup in winter

96. Define my own smart fashion style

97. Define my own casual fashion style

98. Buy 3 completely new smart outfits

99. Buy 3 completely new casual outfits

100. Revamp my jewellery collection

101. Take at least one mini-break away with Ninja

Autumn: a time for change

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Yesterday, 20th March, was our autumn equinox down here in the southern hemisphere. It was a particularly beautiful, quiet and sunny day – a welcome treat after all the rain that the Gauteng province has been receiving for most of March!

As I’ve mentioned before, this is one of my favourite seasons. I greatly appreciate the chance to stop and reflect on life. This autumn feels especially poignant for me as we’ll be spending the season wrapping up our lives in our current flat and preparing to move over to our new home. By the time the winter solstice rolls around, Ninja and the fuzzbutts and I should all be happily settled in our new cottage.

I really love that this year I get to clean out the cobwebs (sometimes literally!) at a time when I’m already feeling inclined to make changes. And because of that, I thought that today – technically our first day of autumn – would be the perfect time to share with you my updated and improved ‘101 things in 1001 days’ list 🙂

As I explained a while ago, the direction of my life has changed so much since my original list (and even my updated version) that I need to redirect my goals to match my new circumstances. So you’ll recognise the first 47 goals, as they all come from my earlier list. But from Goal #48 onwards I’ve added new ideas that relate better to where I see myself heading over the course of the next 1001 days (all else being equal, and Lord willing). I also have a ‘someday’ list that I plan to set up separately (perhaps with a separate blog page of its own) and update and attempt as I’m able.

So here goes…!

PS – By the way, I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet… Remember that my husband was facing retrenchment at the beginning of this year? Well to the glory of our great Heavenly Father, Ninja has been granted another work opportunity! Lord willing he’ll begin at his new job in April. We are very very thankful for this provision; it certainly changes the outlook for our year ahead 🙂

Questions to ask before buying

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Happy Friday all!

I hope you’ve had a lovely week and that you have great plans for the weekend 🙂

Healthy choice

As you know, I’ve been doing some research lately on how to change over to a greener lifestyle. This research has got me thinking about why I buy what I buy, and I’ve come up with 10 questions to start asking myself in future. Some of these relate best to choosing healthy foods, while others could apply to virtually any purchase.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Questions for smart shoppers

  1. Is the item processed or artificial?
  2. Could I make a better version myself?
  3. Will it do more harm than good?
  4. Does it help me to meet my goals?
  5. Does it honour God and care for creation?
  6. Is it habit forming or just a rare treat?
  7. Can I share it with others or use it to bless others?
  8. Why do I want or need it?
  9. Is it in line with my budget?
  10. Am I making an informed, well-researched choice?

There are probably a few more questions we could add, but the longer the list the fewer items will make it into your shopping cart! Even if I don’t remember to ask myself every question every time, I do find it a useful guideline for making better choices.

Let me know what you think! 🙂