Friday, 27 February 2015

Random Reasons That Make Me Reach Out For A Cigarette

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, I say it takes 21 years to forget a bad habit. You would think that after 21 months of not smoking that the cravings would have gone for good and I would no longer be reaching out for that cigarette - not so!!! It's starting to drive me insane and lately I have been craving so badly for a cigarette - all day everyday. I keep reaching out for a cigarette and then like someone with senile dementia I do a double take and have to really think about what I am reaching for, tell myself I no longer smoke and get quite disappointed and then get angry with myself, because I do not want to start again.

The other morning I had to sharpen my lip liner and after spending who knows how long looking in my messy drawer for my sharpener, I then grabbed at, lifted stuff, moved stuff and in my confused dementia wondered what it was that I was looking for and slowly it creeped out of my subconscious - I was looking for my ashtray!!!!!!!!!!!  Twenty one months and counting and I am STILL reaching out for my ashtray to throw my pencil shavings into. The other one that goes hand in hand with the shavings is burning the tip of my makeup pencils with my lighter to smooth them over - especially my eyeliner, which incidentally I have not used for months and months. Something that I never left the house without putting on, from when I was in high school. I am not sure why I don't use it anymore or if it is related to not smoking and not having a lighter to smooth off the edges of the eyeliner pencil..

Yesterday (maybe the day before - this dementia you know) Mark and I were sitting in the office and he said he would never employ a smoker. I had to lift my jaw as my mouth dropped open in shock. Like why would he say that - oh because the people in the unit next to us are permanently standing outside having smoke breaks. I asked him if he would fire me if I started smoking again - let me rush off and buy some smokes quickly. He asked if I would ever start smoking again (not so I can get fired) and I said in all honesty I don't believe I will. As much as I bitch and moan about giving up, I cannot see everything I have gone through go up in a ball of smoke just to start again, when I hate the smell so much.

My doctor told me that I lost my best friend - it was more than a best friend. Smoking was there through everything I went through for most of my life - for my whole adult life and most of my teenage life. The good, the bad, the celebrations, the tragedies; the mundane, the exciting - everything. I could rely on my cigarettes no matter what, but it was a toxic "relationship". It was manipulative, bad, brought me down; made me ill whilst letting me believe that it was making me feel good. Adding to my stress, whilst pretending that it was helping me cope with that stress. I am done with  I am hopefully over that toxic relationship for good now. These past 21 months, I have been through so many stressful situations, scary situations and extremely heartbreaking situations, like when Pluto died. Dealing with Clint's dog's death, whilst living everyday grieving for Clint was touch and go to lighting up, but I didn't. The cravings come in short waves and I push them away.

I have managed for just under two months to stop reaching for sweets and chips and junk - I think that is why I am craving more and reaching out more than ever before, I have stopped the junk and eat tubs of Orbit Gum now. Its almost two years now and I am starting to feel that energy everyone talks about getting after they gave up smoking. It took a long long time, but I think it is finally here. I have said it before and I will say it again, I am sure so many people start again because, firstly they did not really want to give up and they had false expectations of how they would feel once they had given up. Some people do feel much better, I think it is mind over matter for those who feel better. Mark gave up and had no complaints - he had also only smoked for just over 10 years and was not a chain smoker - big difference.

I know my bitching and moaning has (surprise surprise) given one person inspiration to give up and well done and well done to anyone else who is trying. I would never tell someone to give up and tell them if I can do it anyone can, because everyone is different, but I can honestly say that I am shocked that I have managed to go without a cigarette for so long. I am shocked that I gave up, I was never going to EVER give up, so yes if you have taken the giant leap, hang in there, it is easier than you think, but not as easy as some make it out to be. My long quitting smoking and smoke free journey is proof that I would be lying if it was easy.

Oh and how about that Budget Speech every year, wondering how much cigarettes would go up by. Everyone always groaning about the increase, some saying they going to give up. Well now I just have this broad grin on my face, because it no longer applies to me - one less tax to worry about paying :-D

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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Strange But True Coincidences

For as long as I can remember I have been buying the Animal Anti-Cruelty League Personal Home Organiser. There were a few years when I missed out, the days before Google and I had lost their number or my number had changed or I missed the call - the days before Voicemail and answering machines was a luxury I did not own at the time. You get the point - I have been buying it forever. The format has changed since those very first days, yet still remained the same.

Some years I would also buy the Desk Calendar and the only reason why I bought the Desk Calendar was for the beautiful pictures on the back of each month. I never framed them or did much with them - they were just there. Same as with the Personal Home Organiser. I don't use it anymore and just ordered it, because it was for a good cause. The last couple of years I gave mine to Sheila, because I saw she was using one of my old ones to write stuff in it. I don't know what she writes in it, but when I asked her if she wanted the new one the first year I gave it to her, she did not even hesitate with her yes.

It is a lovely Organiser and has so much information in it - from Healthy Eating Habits to caring for your pet to toxic products - measurement conversions - it is so much more than a diary, but last year when they phoned to ask if I would take one again this year, I had to decline. I never even use the calendar on my phone or laptop to note my appointments. I don't have that many appointments - I don't have any at all really. Chad is in high school and I don't have a long string of school activities to stay on top of, besides we are inundated with email and text reminders from the school and I forget them anyway. Like the email I received yesterday  (and text message) about getting an important Matric document from Chad to complete and return today, I remembered in the middle of the night when I was woken by the bad windstorm and then promptly forgot about until Chad went flying out the door with Mark this morning, because he wanted to get to school early. So it is now lying in my laptop bag to hopefully complete and hand in this afternoon when I fetch him.

So I declined the Home Organiser in around September/October last year and forgot all about it. I did feel a bit bad, but I had added the Animal Anti-Cruelty League as one of my beneficiaries on my school card, along with our local SPCA and the Highveld Horse Care Unit, so they do get more from me now than previously with just the proceeds from the diary.

On the day that I went to collect Pluto's ashes, my birthday as I drove away from the Vet, thinking about how the Tuesday before I drove away from the Vet upset but believing my dog would be OK and there I was driving with his ashes on my seat a week later. What popped in my head among those thoughts was that Pluto probably got sick, because it was Karma because I did not support the Animal Anti-Cruelty league by buying the Home Organiser. Mark told me I was being silly, but you know how guilt and what ifs just take over all rational thought. Well I know, because all what ifs and if only's also clouded all rational thought when Clint died as well. Totally irrational things, but made sense to me.

Of all the weirdest coincidences, the "you won't believe this" happenings, the following night, after my birthday and collecting the ashes and the crazy thoughts of bad karma, our land line rang and it was a lady from the Company who coordinates the Animal Anti- Cruelty League Personal Organiser sales asking me if I would please reconsider and buy an Organiser at a reduced price. It turns out that due to the SA Postal Strike so many Organisers were returned undelivered and they were now trying to recoup the money by selling them at a reduced price.

Well I ordered one and received it yesterday - it won't bring Pluto back, it won't take away the sadness that his death brought, but I have it now and even if I don't use it, the money went to a good cause and that is what counts in the end. I can't say what it was or if it was just that a coincidence, but in all probability had I ordered it last year it would have landed up on a dump somewhere as our wonderful post office staff took out their frustrations by trampling and trashing all depots and the mail in the depots.

This year it has a beautiful picture of a dog and a cat on it, a ginger cat just like our Garfield. Each year the diary comes with a CD, this year the CD is called "On My Walk" 4 Jacks & A Jill. The Organiser even comes ready to wrap and give as a gift with wrapping paper and a gift card. Out of all diaries sold in aid of Charity, in my opinion this one is the best and comes with so much care and thought from the content in the diary and the re-gifting of the diary and I won't be declining it again.

If you would like to support the Animal Anti-Cruelty League and order a Personal Home Organiser for R189.98  Click Here or bookmark for next year.

This post is not sponsored in anyway, it is my honest and genuine opinion and recommendation of a good product and worthwhile charity to support.

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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

January Rubybox

After my December Rubybox disappointment, I was thinking of stopping my Rubybox subscription and did not even take much notice of my January box when I received it. I opened it, glanced at it, packed it in my cupboard and there it stayed - I was not even intrigued in the least bit.

I unpacked my January box last week on Saturday with my February Box and I was not overly impressed, but my interest did peek a bit when I saw the Mavala Nail Product. I bought Mavala White in November last year and it is quite a nice nail product. This product was called Mavadry - a quick dry product, but I have used Quick Dry products before and they have all been gimmicks.

I did my nails on Sunday afternoon (last week - 15th). I let each coat dry for 10 minutes. I am a messy painter and my layers are always thick and take forever to dry and they never dry properly. They always look smudgy and messy and I do another coat the next day to fix the chips and smudges. I finished off with one coat of Mavadry and waited 10 minutes and my nails were not even slightly sticky - they were dry and bright. The colour so vibrant.

Six days later (this past Saturday) I had no chips. I always touch up my nails during the week and by Friday, they usually look like a 3 year old got hold of a felt tip pen on my nails. Below is the photo of my nails on day 6 with Mavadry and not a single touch up. All I can say is - Where has this magic stuff been all my life??? It costs R74.95 for the 5ml bottle, but I would pay double - that is how fantastic I think it is and it deserves a 20/10.

I completely overlooked the other products in the box, so can't give much of an opinion on them, except to say that:

  • The emery boards are mini ones, but are not bad for emery boards - you can buy them for R24.95
  • The candle is a massage candle, I haven't used it, but I wouldn't spend R95.95 on a candle - massage or otherwise, but that is my personal opinion and not a reflection of the candle. Maybe after trying it I will change my mind.
  • The Attimo Salvatore Ferragamo Perfume is quite overpowering and I don't think I will buy it for R849.95. Perfume is personal and this is not really me.

Was the January box worth it - without a doubt yes. I found a brilliant product, the Mavadry that I would not have otherwise bought, based purely on past disappointments with similar products.

All opinions in this post are my honest opinion of the product and all products have been paid for and I have not received compensation to write this post.

To read more Rubybox reviews Click Here and to read more Makeup Monday posts Click Here. Have you tried any of the products or similar products, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Friday, 20 February 2015

Valentine's Day - Chivalry Is Really Not Dead...........

OK, so it probably was dead........... BUT......... it raised it's beautiful generous head this Valentine's Day and I discovered that my baby boy is no longer a baby, but quite the romantic. He organised the sweetest picnic at the Botanical Gardens for his Valentine on Saturday morning.

With only the help of mom's wallet and time driving around to buy the stuff, Chad planned the entire outing. It started off on Friday at school with the cutest fluffy toy - a big fluffy Husky Dog. He also bought a Rose for THE special lady ordered from school - the Matric Valentine's Fundraiser. [Chad and his friend did red balloons with messages (secret and not so secret messages) and they made R1000.00 for their Matric Fundraiser - just as a side note].

There was lots of food and water and eats - the picnic basket was totally my idea. I saw it at Mr Price Home and just had to have it and the reason excuse for buying something I didn't really need, was so Chad had a basket for his Picnic. The bonus was that Chad did eventually think it was a cool basket for an impressive Valentine's Day Picnic. Oh and the serviettes were bought by me when I bought the basket and are they not just too cute. I was like "It's 2015 Chad - you should both be bringing stuff"   and he was all like "No, the man should buy all the stuff - that is the right thing to do"  "OK Chad". Maybe if I was a girl's mom I would agree.

All the food came straight back home, flutterbies and hearts filled the space for food and drink. It started off a bit rocky, first with a hectic rainstorm during the early hours of the morning, which Chad thought would carry on throughout the day, but it didn't and then load shedding caused traffic backups, but that was the only negatives of the day.

The picnic was very successful and lasted the whole day and at some point they joined her brother and sister in law and the romance is totally official now.

I so know that I am going to be THAT mother in law one day, as much as I know that I must never be like that unless I want to lose my son. My boy is growing up and growing up too fast, but I have to accept that and embrace it and allow it and not harbour resentment and jealously and everything typical of monster in law behaviour. I have to genuinely love and respect whoever he chooses in life one day.

This was THE most stressful Valentine's Day of my life :) - stressing that his day would be perfect and it was, because he is more than perfect. Shame and the other night he was bitten by a spider on his arm, in the crook of his arm. He thought nothing of it, but last night it became so sore and inflamed, he was in so much pain, we kept him out of school and took him straight to the doctor this morning. He wanted to go to school after the doctor, but I suggested he rather get the medication to work and he can go tomorrow even though he is booked off until Monday. It is much better tonight and not sore, but that could be the Myprodols working, hopefully it will be better in the morning.

Did you have a fantastic Valentine's Day or are you also of the belief that it is only for Young Love and New Romance

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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Marc Anthony Oil Of Morocco Argan Oil Treatment

Last Tuesday, after posting about my December Rubybox, I arrived home from work to find my February Rubybox had already arrived. Yes, Yes, I have barely peeped at my January box and my February one had arrived. I opened all of them on Saturday. I had ordered Marc Anthony Oil Of Morocco Argan Oil Treatment as the bottle I bought in November finished in January, so I had two parcels to open.

I highly recommend the Marc Anthony Argan Oil Treatment. I have used other Argan Oils and as good as what they are, the Marc Anthony one is way better. It seems pricey at R144.95 for 50mls, but it lasted just a few days short of three months and I did not use it sparingly at all. The only time that I did not use it was when we went away for a week in December. I used a different Argan Oil that week - review to be posted some time soon.

The only negative is the dropper - the reason why I left it at home when we went away. It is not a dropper as such, but a kind of tube and the product does not get sucked into the dropper, so I just pour a bit into the palm of my hand, rub my hands together and run my hands through my hair. [Update - Friday morning 20 May 2015 - Call me crazy or insane or even an idiot will be acceptable. I opened my new bottle of Argan Oil this morning and as I was about to pour it into my hands like I did with the previous bottle for almost 3 months, I noticed that the lid that I had removed to use the "dropper" was actually a lid over another lid. The bottle has a Pump Action lid - no wonder the "dropper" did not work. Either the lid from my previous bottle was faulty and did not have the Pump Action top  or I am 90% short of having full blown dementia. So ignore the drivel about the lid, the pump action works perfectly and I used three tiny squirts on my hair this morning.]*** It is quite a thick oil, but does not make your hair feel or look oily at all. I put it in my hair wet or dry and I let my hair dry naturally into curls or dry it with a hair dryer and flat iron it straight. Sometimes I put some in my hair at night and sleep with it in just to give my hair and extra nourishing treatment. It makes my hair really soft and manageable. It withstands the high humidity we have been experiencing in Joburg this summer. Even when I leave my hair to dry naturally, you can tell when I have used the Marc Anthony Oil Of Morocco Argan Oil or not. When I use it, I have soft manageable curls, opposed to wavy messy hair.

This post was not sponsored in anyway, this is my personal and honest opinion of the product and I paid full price for it and ordered it, because I honestly love it. This post was done for my Monday Makeup series and you can read more Makeup Monday posts over here.

Have you tried it - let me know in the comment section below if you have and what you think of it or let me know of any other great hair products you use to make your hair more manageable.

*** In light of my update re the bottle, I give this product a 10/10.

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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

December Ruby Box

I tried to do this post last night, but we had no Internet whatsoever. I am not even going to go into how MTN is worse than Eskom when it comes to service and getting what you pay for - I know its hard to believe that you get worse than Eskom, but yes MTN is right up there with them. If you not from South Africa, you can read all about who/what Eskom is in this post.

 Well back to my Makeup Monday Post posted on a Tuesday, because well it must be still Monday somewhere in the world and my February Ruby Box is already on its way and I have not done my December Review yet. These Ruby Box Reviews are my personal opinion of the Ruby Box Subscription and also totally my own decision to review the boxes on my blog. You can read my other reviews over here.

I won't lie I was disappointed in the December Ruby Box, especially since they advertised that it was a bumper box in December, so I was looking forward to getting it. I am sure other subscribers found it to be a real bumper box of great value, I just did not like the products - they were not for me. That is what Ruby Box is all about - trying stuff you would not normally buy or trying stuff out that you want to buy in future.

The Ruby Box Beauty Nailed It Lacquer, however made up for the disappointment with the other products. I absolutely adore the colour. It is Pink and unfortunately, they don't have the name of the colour on the bottle. A bit of a fail on their part, because there are a few pinks and it is hard to match a colour to something on a screen, but I think it is In Sync In Pink. I am not a "Pink" person and never have been, but I love this Pink - it is like a "watermelon" pink and oozes Summer carefree holidays. Maybe I am becoming a Pink Person in my old age, because I also love this Pink from Essence.

What I am not is a Red Lipstick person - red nails I love - red lips not at all. So I was very disappointed with the Smooch Stick - Red My Mind. It is definitely for a young person and for someone who rocks red lips - that is not me. The Smooch Stick costs R129.95 if you buy it from Ruby Box and the Nail Lacquer is R74.95, so from a cost perspective the December box was a bumper value box. The Nail Lacquer is a bit pricey, considering that you can get Tip Top Nail Chic for about R40.00, but I will buy it again, because I really do love it.

The Natural Lab Face Cream is a tinted face cream with an SPF 30, but it has an awful smell and I just cannot use it. It also does not feel like a nourishing day cream. A 50ml tube costs R199.50.

The final item was a sample of Emanuel Ungaro L'amour Fou EDT. It is quite a nice floral fruity scent. It is not overpowering, but does linger for most of the day. At R845.00 for the bottle, it is quite pricey, but in line with most good perfumes.

To read more Makeup Monday posts click here and for more Ruby Box Reviews click here. Have you used any of the products in this post and what do you think of them - let me know in the comments section below.

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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Another Year Older

Yep, I am another whole year and one week older today and my birthday is but a long forgotten memory - almost forgotten without acknowledging it. When Pluto collapsed and we tried to save him, before finding out just how ill he was and even afterwards I told Mark that I did not want a birthday present. Unexpected and unbudgeted vet bills are bad enough, in January, when there has been no income for 3 weeks, even worse and when your dog cannot be saved it is even worse. I really could not expect to still get something I did not need, just because it was my birthday. Mark had also arranged for Pluto's ashes to be returned, so they can be with Clint - that was added to the vet bill. That was more than enough for a birthday present - not a nice present by all means, but a present none the less. Mark then told me that he was arranging a weekend away for my birthday, but thought it not appropriate to go away when Pluto was so ill, so he cancelled the arrangements. This was a weekend that a client sort of owed us for almost a year in lieu of payment - the accommodation only and it just never works out. He arranged that Mark do a whole lot of work to his car and we stay at his luxury self catering unit at the Kruger Park for a weekend and every date Mark has given, there was some reason on this guy's part that we could not go, so Mark thought it would be nice for my birthday and then Pluto died.

There was no drama or build up to my birthday like there normally is, or like last year. I was awake for an hour before I remembered it was my birthday. Then Mark woke up and no happy birthday, Chad woke up no happy birthday - they both forgot. Mark went to work and still nothing and I said nothing, but reminded Chad that it was my birthday and he was all "I am so sorry mom - your birthday is the hardest birthday to remember, because it is the 27th" "No Chad it is because I am the one that reminds you and your father of birthdays" sheepish grin and off to school we go. The day before I received a message from the vet to say my precious little box of memories has arrived and I could collect them. I decided to go the next morning. OK I forgot it was my birthday the next day - hopefully Mark is not reading this as he has been reading my blog lately. The reason why I decided to go on the Tuesday before work was because I needed to speak to our gardener about plants to be planted and he starts at 8, so I could go to the vet after dropping Chad off then go home and speak to the gardener. I eventually arrived at work at around 9 and still no happy birthday.

By then I was so mad, other than the fact that I was upset after having received my dog's ashes ON my birthday (another thing Mark forgot - that I was going to fetch them) . He eventually asked why I was in such a mood, so I told him it was my birthday and swore at him. He said he thought it was "tomorrow" - that was even worse - what he meant was that he thought that "tomorrow" was the 27th and I said I didn't want a present. Well excuse me I did not say I did not want to be wished for my birthday and comforted after fetching my poor little dog's ashes.

Mark then disappeared and I just steamed and fumed and then he came back with a present - the cute little Teddy Bear (the photo above)  which I am assuming is the result of a conversation I had with Chad a few nights before, telling him not to be like his dad (in front of Mark) who is so unromantic, who never bought me fluffy toys and jewelry (the jewelry part was a joke) ever. because he also bought me this lovely diamond pendant below - guilty much. He really shouldn't have because I am not a jewelry person and I didn't want a present - just an acknowledgment that it was my birthday.

We did not have cake or go out for dinner, because I was not ruining our healthy eating routine just for a random birthday making me another year older.

..... AND ......... That was my 2015 birthday - done and dusted

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