Monday, 18 May 2015

And Chad Is 18.............

So Chad turned 18 with as little celebration as possible. We took him out for shooters supper on his birthday. He had the waiter lining up the shooters and before our food arrived he was already quite tipsy. Chad does not drink, but wanted to get drunk on his 18th birthday and he did. We had the coolest waiter who also organised ice cream and the waiters singing happy birthday to him. We went to the Cattle Barron for dinner.

He went down the menu ordering shooter after shooter....

He had plans to go out all weekend with his friends, celebrating being 18, but then changed his mind, because he has to do his driver's licence test tomorrow morning (Monday). Preparing for his driver's licence was far more important and he needs his wits about him on Monday as his booking is for 9 am. I have had sleepless nights the whole week, because if he fails he is going to be devastated.

Having a fancy car and being chauffeur driven by your dad is no fun and other than being able to buy a lotto ticket and ordering shooters in a restaurant, turning 18 has felt no different to turning 17 or 16.

He has already planned on who is getting a lift to and from school on Tuesday and I am holding my breathe until I hear whether he has passed or not - this has been more stressful than when he went for his learners.

I can't even focus on typing up this blog post that is how stressed I am about tomorrow, never mind the stress of him then being able to drive around everywhere on his own. Mark told me the other day I stress too much - I know I do. Fortunately, Chad's car has tracker in it and I can log on at any time and see where he is and how fast he has driven. Chad does not err on the side of caution and he has his dad's DNA hurtling through his veins so he is not happy about being tracked by me or tracker.

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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Happy 18th Birthday Chad

Wow 18 years old today Chad, where has time gone. Some days it seems like a lifetime ago, other days it seems like yesterday, either way it is crazy to think that you are 18. So where did time go - here is a small montage of your young life. On the 12 May 1997 at 11h40 you made your grand appearance, feisty and screaming. You were supposed to be a girl according to the doctor and his fancy scanning equipment, as fancy as what equipment was 18 years ago. The fact that you were a boy and not a girl was met with much excitement and happiness. Clint told everyone he was so happy and excited when he heard that he had a baby brother that he couldn't yawn. I am not too sure what he meant by that he could not yawn, I don't think he knew either, but I would guess he was so overwhelmed with excitement that he battled to breathe.

You were the sweetest happiest baby ever. You were always laughing and smiling and hardly ever cried. You loved your sleep even then and the doctor told me that I had to wake you up every 3 hours and feed you day and night, because you had jaundice. We thought it was the jaundice that made you sleepy, we didn't know that it was just you that loved to sleep and once asleep so difficult to wake up. You were having none of bathing in a baby bath and had to be in the big bath just like Clint. Everything Clint did you wanted to do.


You were always in amongst the big kids, determined to keep up with them and do whatever they could do. There was no babying you and you were far happier roughing it with the big kids than being mollycoddled with the babies.

You were always running - you didn't start walking, you started running. I remember buying a strap to tie around your wrist, because you always ran away from us in shopping centres and whilst I was putting it on your wrist, an old lady said gee I wish they made those when my children were small and next thing you were running off, the strap dangling in my hand.

You said the funniest things, like "My dad is not a birthday cake" when we were on holiday (in this photo below) and his ears were blocked and we put ear candles in his ears to try and unblock them.

Look at that mischievous face - that was you always laughing and looking for something naughty to do.

Remember when you used to take the TV remote with to the shops (and lost a few remotes) because you did not want anyone to change the channel whilst you were at the shops. You were TV mad and still are. The only time you ate all your food was when we plonked you in front of Mr Bean reruns and you sat in front of the TV not saying a word just spooning food into your mouth.

You loved clothes even when you were younger and any man who wore a suit was a lawyer, because he was wearing lawyer clothes.

Remember when we used to spell out things so you did not know what we were talking about and you decided to try it out too and said "Dad you don't know what we bought you for your birthday we bought you a "B - R - I" and he said ha you bought me a braai and you got so angry and asked how he knew it was a braai.

Its hard to believe that you started grade one just the other day and now you are in Matric - so much happened in between. You have a ton of cheek and sarcasm, but we have been so fortunate in you not being a typical teenager, out in the streets drinking and smoking and taking drugs.

Now that Barney, Power Rangers and Bob The Builder are all long gone and packed away and now I have to rely on Licence photos of you as you shy away from my camera and no longer pose for photos, you have loads of the new and exciting adventures to look forward to.

Wishing you many many happy more years and many safe miles now and in the future.

Happy Birthday Boy

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Thursday, 7 May 2015

The Power Of The Mind

Sometime ago - a long time ago, if I really give it some thought, like around 2012, Mark won a Bosch Coffee Machine. It was a business lucky draw. We never opened it, because for one I have one at home I hardly use and I am the only one who drinks coffee, so Instant is easier and quicker. This whole time the coffee machine has been moved from Pillar to Post and as often as it has been moved around, Mark has wanted to give it away to every second person he sees. I didn't want to give it away, because I was going to use it eventually - at work and of course there was that time that we were buying a small farm and I would need a second machine. The farm did not work out and the Coffee Machine was dumped at home, still in the box when we moved work premises the first time.

The other day, I was sitting in my office and I had this sudden and strong craving for coffee. I was tired and just needed coffee. I still hadn't brought a kettle and cups to work when we moved here in January. It was Summer and hot and I didn't really need coffee at work. So here I am craving coffee when I thought about the coffee machine dumped at home and how nice it would be to have a coffee station in my office upstairs.  That evening I found the coffee machine, washed it, took out mugs and spoons etc, bought coffee the next day and set up my coffee machine in my office. Mark had a cup of coffee and said "This coffee is awesome and we wanted to give this machine away" "No I didn't want to you wanted to". Never the less, I have coffee on tap in my office and  it staves off not only my hunger pangs, but also my boredom - paperwork and figures, so not me anymore. Mark who never ever drank coffee until about 4 years ago and then only when it was very cold, comes up and has coffee a couple of times a day.

Every single time I walk up or down the stairs to either wash the jug, cups etc or to bring them upstairs and bring the water upstairs I say to myself and sometimes to Mark that one day I am going to fall down these stairs with cups in my hand. I don't know if it is the stairs or my clumsy self or my back pain that radiates into my leg, but I have almost tripped down the stairs a couple of times. I carry the water for the machine in the glass jug - it is easier. Without fail when I walk up the stairs I imagine falling down the stairs and breaking the jug. I have had the coffee machine here for two and a half weeks, it has been in a box for two and a half years. Yesterday morning, the last step going up, I missed, hit my shin on the edge of the step and smashed the jug down onto the floor - water and glass everywhere.

Needless to say, as much as Mark tried to hide it and pretend he was more concerned about me than not having his newfound best beverage anymore, you could see in his face, the coffee was a priority. He looked like a kid who had his lollipop snatched out of his mouth. I called Bosch South Africa to see where I could get a jug from - my nightmare of a day started before 9am and my day just got progressively worse. I went off coffee for a long time after giving up smoking, but now drink it more than ever. There was the coffee right there, but way out of reach and I had to deal with the staff at Bosch parts that had no interest in even answering the phone let alone listening to my problem. My shin was aching, my back and chest was aching and I could smell coffee, but not drink it and I was tired.

Well turns out that Bosch does not make replacement glass jugs - I mean it is glass for heaven's sake, I doubt that I am the only one who breaks jugs - you don't have to fall to break a jug. What is worse - Bosch's innovative technology does not allow you to use any other jug. Mark had to go home to check on the builders and I asked him to bring the jug from my machine at home - its only a jug. The water fills up in the filter holder and doesn't drip through, because it has a built in drip guard and stops flowing if the lid is not there. I did manage to hold the lid right under the drip guard yesterday, after discovering that the filter was overflowing. It worked yesterday- it didn't work this morning. The filter was overflowing and messed everywhere.

Turns out that we can get a glass jug that will work for R298.00 or a new machine for R399.00. The Regional Sales Manager has been great in resolving the matter that his staff where not interested in, but to think a glass jug costs R100.00 less than the rest of the machine with all it's innovative technology that prevents another jug from being used. Two weeks use from a free gift now costs R298.00 or throw it away.

The moral of the story - repeatedly telling yourself you are going to fall down the stairs will result in you falling up the stairs.

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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

March Rubybox

I haven't done a Makeup Monday post in forever and I am almost sure my May Rubybox will be dispatched this week and I haven't blogged about the March Rubybox yet. Well I am finally getting to it and this is also a scheduled post so I am guessing that being trapped in bathroom renovations may just as well be a good thing.

I would be lying if I said I loved the March Rubybox, because I really didn't, but the good thing about life is that we are all individuals with different likes and tastes and what I don't like someone else may and will love. The product that I did love was the sample of  Marc Anthony Morocco Argan Oil Treatment - I can never get enough of that stuff. I am also not lying when I say that a 50ml bottle lasts me 3 months and I use it almost everyday. This little bottle lasted just under a month, so although R149.95 for 50mls seems expensive, it isn't.

Then there was the Mascara and initially I was happy to see that there was Mascara in the box, because I needed new Mascara, but although this Mascara is called Va Va Volume, it doesn't live up to it's name. I have short barely there eyelashes and it doesn't work for me. I use Maybelline and this Mascara does not come close to Maybelline in volume. It is cheaper than Maybelline at R139.00 and if you don't need a Mascara that makes your eyelashes thick and dark then this may be for you.

This month we received the Attimo L'Eau Florale Eau de Toilette and I really liked this fragrance compared to the Ferragamo perfume from February's box. This is the product description from Rubybox 

 "What’s this?

An Eau de Toilette with white floral, fresh and aquatic accords.
What does it do?
A fragrance that exudes the most graceful side of femininity, with a touch of seduction and sensuality.
What does it smell like?
Opening with luscious and crisp Nashi Pear, colourful hints of Kumquat and delicate watery Lotus Flower notes. The graceful and naturally elegant  of the fragrance is a triumph of rosy and subtly spicy Peony with a sophisticated touch of Bulgarian Rose and soft Jasmin. Why we ♥ it
It’s truly feminine, summery and would make a great gift for lovers of nice light floral scents!".
Less is definitely more when it comes to this fragrance and the R849.95 bottle will last forever or you can buy the sample 1.5ml to try it for R20.00

I did not enjoy the Beaucience Cleansing Gel at all. I use Nivea Cleansing Gel and there is no comparison at all. I used it once just to try it out, but was not impressed enough to even just finish the sample.

 Dove Deodorant - who doesn't know Dove. I use Dove Roll On Deodorant, because I prefer roll on and then perfumed body spray or just perfume. I tried the Anti-Perspirant a couple of times and then forgot about it, but still prefer the roll on. There was a full size spray in the Rubybox, but I think R24.95 is a bit more than what you would pay for the spray in stores.

Then finally there was a R50.00 discount voucher for an Ipad Sleeve or Charge Purse and I can't comment on this as I don't have an Iphone or Ipad and didn't even look into it.

March Rubybox was a disappointment, but that is my personal opinion base on my personal taste and preferences.

I was not compensated in anyway for this review, neither financially nor in free products. As of the 1 May 2015, my blog is totally advert and sponsor free as per my updated Disclaimer and Terms and Conditions.

Have you used any of these products, please do let me know what you think of them if you have used any of them or if you subscribe to Rubybox. To read more Rubybox posts click here and for more Makeup Monday posts click here.

Thanks for reading

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Congratulations - Stars Banners Drum Roll Please

Yea, you guessed it or maybe you didn't, because no one else gets so excited about ......... wait for it, no not the bathrooms - TWO YEARS SMOKE FREE. I know thousands, if not millions of people have given up smoking with no fanfare or blow by blow account of the torture, but this is huge for me.

When I sat down on Saturday the 4th of May 2013 at around 17h30 with a Cappuccino and my last cigarette... it was the best cigarette I EVER smoked - as I type this I can taste it and feel it between my lips and fingers as I inhale deeply and just enjoy every last draw. OK, I am back to 2015 and as I was saying when I sat down that day there was no reason to believe that I was giving up smoking for good and that I would succeed. I was NEVER going to give up smoking EVER and then I did. I somehow knew that I was going to give up for good and that I was going to succeed. It did however take me five days to write about the end of an era on my blog and from then on I was determined not to fail.

The time was right and it was a long time coming. I first started thinking about it just before my birthday in 2012 when I was doing a Sevens List, which was an online thing at the time. It's a list of goals instead of New Year Resolutions, the reality... it was just a different name for News Resolutions, because Resolutions are cheesy and stupid and no one sticks to them and I never stuck out my Sevens List either - I had given up before I had even typed them out.

Then when I landed up in hospital with an abcess in my jaw and I was too sick to smoke {the first time ever in my smoking life that I was too sick to smoke}, I started giving it a lot of thought, but at the same time knew I would never give up - I loved smoking far too much. I still do and the other night I had a dream about smoking and dreamt that I was at a stage that I could have a smoke and be OK - that is NEVER going to happen. If I have one I am going to be 40 plus again, but yes I STILL have those smoking dreams.

I have to say that these past couple of months I have finally felt healthy and I have felt that spurt of energy people talk about, but it is nothing to write home about and it has to do more with changing my diet than anything else. In November and December I was the heaviest I have ever been and the unhealthiest. Not only was I overweight (still am, but not as bad), but I was so bloated, I think my brain was even swollen and that was because I turned to stodge, and chips and biscuits and sweets and every unhealthy thing you can think of to help with the habit and cravings. About ten days before we went away, I realised that I had to do something as I was out of breath without even exerting myself and just felt awful and went on a detox and then cut out sugar and gluten from January and tried to eat as clean as possible. I feel better now although for the past two weekends I have been eating junk, because it has just been easier with these builders here from early in the morning until after 6 or 7 at night -every weekend.

I haven't saved any money from not smoking perhaps because I didn't take the money and put it in a smoking jar as suggested by the Kickbutt Program. Lets face it we hardly use cash these days in the age of plastic and you can't swipe your debit card in the opening of a jar and drawing cash to put in a jar is just not practical or economical. Besides that any savings and more went straight to my stodge pot of comfort foods and medical bills. As my smoking journey progressed so did my medical journey of weird and wonderful illnesses. I am definitely not knocking the Kickbutt Program, because it has just enough psycho mumbo jumbo to get you through the first six weeks at least. Although there are a couple of points I totally disagree with like thinking of yourself as a non smoker and avoiding smokers in the beginning, it is a very realistic program as far as honesty in side effects and ease of giving up - it is not easy and not a walk in the park. It is a physical and mental addiction and you feel worse long before you feel better. The cravings don't go away, I still crave two years later and you cannot avoid smokers forever. Avoiding them in the beginning is just going to increase your chances of sucumbing to the temptation when suddenly surrounded by the smokers you have been avoiding. I am not a non smoker, I will always be a smoker, a smoker that no longer smokes, but like any addiction and habit, I can start again at any time. I have to always be aware of that and fight the urge everyday.

Maybe it is because I love smoking and really enjoyed it that I feel this way, but I do hate the smell of smoke now - not the smell of a lit cigarette, unless it is one of those cheap nasty strong brands, but that stale old smell that clings to everything and lingers behind you long after you have stumped it out. I have an irrational fear of fire and because of that I never emptied ashtrays at night, I would leave them overflowing until I was sure that there was not a tiny spark ready to burn down the house, sometimes pouring water over the ashtray and cigarette stubs - oh my word you know how that smells. I would smoke my cigarettes right up to and past the filter, because for one reason, as stupid as it is, I didn't want to waste cigarettes, because you know those times you run out and almost climb the wall craving for a cigarette and you don't have - like smoking every inch of the cigarette is going to solve that problem and the other reason was so I knew the cigarette was dead when I put it out - there was nothing left to burn.

Can you believe the brown filter cigarette in the picture above and the two below are toy cigarettes - crazy hey. Chad's friend bought them (years ago) when I was still a smoker. I always thought toy and sweet cigarettes were banned from South Africa. How bad are these photos from my very first blackberry almost as bad as the cigarettes

Well I made 2 years smoke free and I think it is true that it takes 2 years before you feel the benefits of giving up - obviously depending on how long you have been smoking for.  I hope I don't jinx this, because I am scheduling this post,because I know I won't have time to do it on Monday evening - sometimes it is not so much as too busy to blog, but lack of motivation, mainly because there is something better on TV to watch than hash out my life in a blog post.

This is why I disagree about calling myself a non smoker - I am a smoker that no longer smokes, but could so easily start again at any time. EEEEEEEEEEkkkkkkkkkkkk I hope not - having these builders around is not helping, although they smoke outside there is this constant smell of freshly lit cigarettes all the time, which could be why I am craving so badly.

I don't do it often enough, but when it comes to my non smoking I always give myself a well done and massive congratulatory pat on the back and salute.

Oh and in case you are wondering where I get my Tickers from - they are from Ticker Club. I decided to make a new one for this post, with a new design, because I have come from those huge dark clouds of smoke to almost fresh and flowery. My health and my quitting journey. There are Tickers for all events and no this is not a sponsored post, just a sharing fun stuff link.

As long as I stick to my one and only tip, which is NOT to give in to that one nagging craving I should be OK, because just one will lead to another and another and another.

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