I had a thought a few minutes ago while trying to think of what to write for Wednesday’s post. And then I had an idea.
What if i did a weekly wrap up post on Wednesdays?
Since I’ve dedicated more time and energy into Good Health Buzz and Steer Career Success, I’ve been a lot less active on here. This is a place to share my thoughts, and as much as I love doing that, my life really isn’t that exciting to be blogging about it every single day.
So I’m going to share some pictures here on Fridays that I’ve taken from the week of things I’ve been to, seen, or been doing, and on Wednesdays I’ll write on some stuff that’s coming up or that’s happened. I’ll try and keep it interesting, and short and sweet.
I was thinking of giving up Scribbles over the last few days actually…
Because I need to spend more time focusing on submitting articles to magazines, writing books, and blogging for the other two sites which I hope to get a lot more exposure to soon. Basically I need to be spending a lot more time trying to bring in money.
But then I realised that I love it here because I get to share a part of who I am.
I get to be creative.
So I’m going to keep it, but I’m changing it up a little.
Not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’ve changed the header and a few other things around here. I’m thrilled with the new look. It’s a lot cleaner and not so cutesy scrapbookish.
Anyway, this post is a Wednesday wrap up post…so here’s what’s going on…
- COOKING CONTEST COUNTDOWN...Oh my word. It’s in 10 days time….yikes! I’ve been reading a bit about how to pair wine with different types of food because we don’t really cook like that. I’ve even started a spreadsheet and plan to do a few memory tests. Yes, I’m that eager not to look like a complete idiot on the 1st. We’ve been a bit more experimental in the kitchen too. I’ll share a picture on Friday of something Geoff made for supper last night…it was soooo good!
- BEACH TRAINING...We start this today. Once or twice a week when Geoff is on the early shift at work (ending at 3pm) we’re going jogging on the beach or in the park. Never done it before together and we’re both not as fit as we used to be so it should be rather interesting…
- PHOTOSHOOT…My friend Kylie who I did a shoot with in January has asked me to be a model in a photoshoot this coming weekend. Can’t wait to see what she has in store, she won’t give away anything. All the models know is that it’s at 4pm on Saturday. I’m a little nervous. Okay, a lot. But I’m sure it’s going to be fun. Getting out of my comfort zone again. It’s good.
- VERTIGO…Have you ever had this? It’s not fun. You feel dizzy and nauseous, and feel like the room is spinning. I had it 5 years ago and was booked off for two weeks by the doctor and I’ve got it again this week. I’m trying to ignore it and hope it will go away.
- BOOK WRITING….I’m realising how hard it is to market the book I’ve just written. But after chatting to a few authors, I’m taking it in my stride and learning to have some patience. It will sell, and I will get some reviews, and I will write another one. Speaking of which, I have a very hazy idea for a fiction book involving animals, and I’m busy working on the next non-fiction book that’s a little different from the one I’ve just published. Geoff and I are working on it together. Very excited about that one.
This post was a lot longer than I expected, but if I’m only really blogging on here twice a week, it’s not going to be that short and sweet all the time.
It’s hump day…yea! Hope you have a brilliant day!
I was interviewed last week by Karen, a fellow writer on HubPages. Even though I don’t really write on there much anymore because of all the content theft that’s been going on lately, it was nice – and an honour, to have been asked for an interview!
One of the questions Karen asked me was what my dream workplace would be if I could write from anywhere in the world and money wasn’t an issue.
I love these types of questions!
They’re fun little escapes from reality and this is something I daydream about often.
I’ve got a vision in mind of what this place would look like.
My ideal workplace would be…
- A huge room in an attic of our dream house that we’ve designed and built.
- This room would double as my home office and art studio.
- Wooden floors, high ceilings, and large windows overlooking a breathtaking landscape. (We’ll be living somewhere just on the outskirts of town…)
- A giant Persian rug covering some of the floor and bamboo blinds on the windows.
- Colourful paintings and blown up photographs on cream-coloured walls.
- Small speakers built into every corner of the room so that I can listen to calming music when I write, and pumping energetic music when I paint.
- A few pot plants will be scattered around the room in different shapes and sizes.
- One wall will be dedicated to built in bookcases and filled with all kinds of books.
- I’ll have my own coffee maker on a small table with funky coffee mugs, and incense sticks on my desk.
- There will be a giant sofa bed looking out to the window where I can lie in the sun and read a book or get inspired.
And as for where in the world this would be….that’s an easy one. Somewhere in Italy near one of the big cities and surrounded by vineyards.
This is what I picture…
Well that was fun. Gosh, it’s GOOD to dream!
What about you..what would your dream workplace look like?
Tell me about it in the comments below!
Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net
Woohoo, it’s finally Friday! We made it…. I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to this weekend.
Especially since I don’t have to spend hours formatting a book again. I plan to start working extra early today so that I can clean the house this afternoon and have the whole weekend to just chill.
I thought it would be fun to show you a few photos I took over the past week seen as it’s Friday.
Here’s a bit of my week in photos…
Ginger and lemongrass tea, and spiced fried pineapple with yoghurt…
(A tea time snack because I was bored with plain yoghurt and coffee.)
The view from my desk…
(Is it just me, or do you also feel some motion sickness if you scroll up and down here really fast?)
Our weekly box of organic fruit and veggies…
(Every week is a surprise and we never know what we’re getting. Last week was awesome: we got chilies, avocados, AND eggplant!)
The view from our bedroom window…
(I’m really going to miss this view when we move.)
Sassy enjoying the warm autumn sun on the stairs…
(She goes crazy when she’s cold…poor girl, she’s 15 already!)
Autumn trees on the way to my parent’s house for Mother’s Day…
(Not the best picture, but I was hanging out of the window while in the passenger seat!)
We also celebrated my Granny’s 90th birthday…
(Here she is with her two great-grandchildren, Ryan and Maya. I love this photo.)
Geoff having a moment with Maya…
(I think the picture says it all!)
Sunset while waiting in traffic…
(I didn’t like the cars in the way at first, but now I quite like this shot.)
Have a great weekend!
I’ve really been out of the loop lately – both online and around the house (I eventually hauled out the vacuum cleaner yesterday) – while trying to finish this eBook.
I don’t know about you, but I get all kinds of irritated and stressed out with mess all around me. But I didn’t have time to clean these past 2 weeks. I HAD to finish this book. I know…I’m my own worst enemy. There was no deadline. Only the one I’d set for myself.
Anyway...it’s finished now.
It’s finally over and I can get back to normal life again. Thank goodness.
Yesterday I published my first online book. It’s a non-fiction book about exploring your dreams and making yourself happy, and how to go about doing it. I share tips and advice from research and past experience. It’s not a wishy washy book (well, at least I hope not!) and it’s set up over 10 short chapters.
It’s FREE to download for the rest of today (Wednesday, 15 May) so if you’d like to take a peek, here’s the link: Make Happiness Happen: How to Quit Daydreaming and Just DO IT!
This was quite an experience. Writing a book online isn’t as easy as it looks. Or maybe that’s because it was my first one? Anyway, whatever – the point is, I learnt a lot while doing it.
- You can write a book while you’re sick in bed. I wrote half the book while I had the flu. You probably didn’t need to know that, but just in case anyone thinks my book sucks, I’m going to blame it on that.
- GIMP isn’t like Paint.NET or CorelDRAW, but there are tons of helpful tutorials online to help you if you want to do your own cover design, like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LmW5ndnEqw
- Writing a book will take you on a roller-coaster of emotions. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for me. I had a bit of a meltdown and almost gave up on the whole thing on Saturday after spending 8 hours reformatting the entire book over and over and over again.
- That I should have read the free Style Guide on publishing on Smashwords BEFORE starting to write. It would have saved me hours of extra work.
- Fancy fonts, pretty tables, and tons of images don’t work here.
- I’m way more of a perfectionist than I thought.
- Writing is the easy part. Editing, proofreading, formatting, and publishing…that’s the hard part.
- The idea you start with in your head might not be the finished product of your book.
- Not telling people what I’m writing about equals a published book, (as opposed to NaNoWriMo in November last year).
- Having a published book that you’re proud of is worth all the tantrums, panic, stress, sweat, and tears that went into creating it.
To celebrate, I’m borrowing the car and treating myself to a middle of the morning gym session today – no queues of people, no traffic, no rushing to get home before Geoff has to leave for work….heaven.
Have a good one!
On Saturday I went to my first baby shower ever.
And I’m sure it won’t be the last for quite a while…
It feels like there’s something floating around in the air.
Everywhere I look women are either walking around pregnant, or old friends have just given birth.
One of my very good friends is scheduled to give birth at the end of the month.
It was her baby shower this past weekend and she - well, her little bundle of joy really – was spoiled rotten.
I had no idea of all the presents you got at these things! Nice…
Here are a few pictures I captured from her special day, and part of ‘Wordless Wednesday’ today.
Hmmm….what’s in here?!
Note to self: Don’t buy baby grows for your own baby. You’ll get plenty!!!
This is my favourite one. A very special gift from her sister.
A lovely group of old friends and family members. It was a fun baby shower.
AND….there was even a present for the new mom to be!
The gifts….it doesn’t look like much, but every bag was pretty much overflowing.
I certainly hope I get as many presents when it’s my turn some day!
Well, no – not a huge problem that requires psychiatric attention or anything like that…
It’s more of a mild obsession / addiction…
It all started a few weeks ago when I decided to finally set up that health blog I’d been meaning to since January.
The cool thing about this blog was that it had a focus: health. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it and what I wanted from it. I spent a few hours putting it all together, including the first post. So that was Good Health Buzz sorted.
Then I thought I’d be able to focus on other things. Haha…
Next on the list was redoing my portfolio website. It was looking very sad, and honestly, I didn’t know what the point of having it was. Plus, that wasn’t what I wanted people to see when I applied for writing posts and what not. So I redid it. Pages, tags, categories, images, headers – the works. That also took a few hours. Happiness.
Then I thought I’d be able to get going with other things now that the professional website was taken care of. Noooo, not quite…
The major revamp
You might remember a post from a couple of weeks ago where I mentioned that I’d be closing down my career website, Steer Career Success. Mostly because my heart wasn’t really in it from the get go. I closed down the Facebook page, but for some reason I left the website up…unintentionally. After chatting to a few people and hearing their honest opinions (which was very much needed – thank you Julie, Chris, Michelle, Clark, and everyone else who added their 2 cents), I realised what the problem was:
It needed some love.
So I redid the entire website last week. A new colour scheme, a new theme, new pages, and a lot more focus. I focused on keywords and researched other career websites to see what people were looking for. I’ll also be writing 95% of the posts myself, as I’ve had guest bloggers write the last few and I think that was also part of the problem – why I didn’t feel connected anymore. The post I wrote on there today is an example of the type of topics that I’ll be posting. Exciting stuff…that blog is going to see a whole lotta love from now on.
I’m proud of all 3 of these sites because I did them on my own. I’m no coding genius and by no means tech savvy, but I’ve learnt a hell of a lot in the past few weeks. Mainly because I refused to ask questions, and instead tried to find out how to do things myself. (Sometimes being impatient is a good thing!). I played around with whatever I could find until the end result was exactly as I’d imagined it to be.
And guess what?
Now I want to redo this blog as well…
Sigh. When will it end?!
Well there are no more blogs after this – at least none of my own anyway. I want to change the theme and give it more focus. Did you notice that I’ve taken down a few of the pages? That’s because they’re now on my portfolio website. I don’t need to have them here too.
You’ll probably see some changes here over the next week or two so bare with me.
As for the problem?
I can only hope that after I’ve redesigned this blog that I’ll be happy to leave it at that.
Because honestly, if not – then I don’t know. I might just start another blog and I really don’t have time for that. But, you know…it did get me thinking about something. There might be a gap for me to do this for other people as well.
- I can easily put together a self-hosted wordpress blog and a theme.
- I can design images and text and create headers, logos, images, etc.
- I’m a writer, so I could write or rewrite pages such as “About me”, etc.
- I know quite a bit about widgets and plugins, etc.
But it’s just a thought. A back burner thought…
Anyway, enough of my rambling…sorry, it is Monday after all.
Hope you had a good weekend?
Mine was filled with a baby shower, a sheer hatred for The Following after watching the ending (Don’t worry, I won’t spoil it if you haven’t seen it yet….grrrr), delicious sushi, an amazing gym workout (my fitness is coming back, yay!), lazying in the autumn sun in the garden, and reading about cannibals and vampires in ‘Dexter is Delicious’ (there are HUGE differences between the books and the show!)
Oh, and I finished my first ebook! I just have to design the cover, proof read it a few times and add in a few more things, and then….publish it! I haven’t told anyone besides Geoff what it’s about yet. I’m not sure why. I think I just want to hit that publish button and make sure that it’s really there and finished before I tell people that I’ve written a book. Again.
I’ll let you know once it’s up and available. :)
Have a good one!
Those evil Facebook updates that just sit there looking all pretty and suck us right in.
You know what I mean…
You open up Facebook and there you’re asked silly, ridiculous things like, “How are you today?”, or “What’s on your mind?”
It’s like it wants us to open up the floodgates…
When I opened a Facebook account in 2007 I was very seldom on it. I caught up with a few friends from primary school and that was about it.
A few years later, I got somewhat bolder and started sharing some info and images of my gift hampers now and then. Then every day. Then a few times a day. It got a bit much.
People started ignoring me or unfriending me….and for good reason. How irritating to be flooded with that stuff all the time.
Anyway, it was a lesson well learnt. Or so I thought…
Being a freelancer isn’t easy – anyone who works for themselves or has to promote their company will tell you that.
But trying to market yourself when you’re just starting out on social media today? That’s a joke. It’s horrible and I hate it.
It’s like you’re waving this huge banner around and screaming, “Look at me, look at me!!”
I realised that I’ve been sharing a bit more than I wanted to about my writing on my profile page, so I’m going to try and stick to only posting that on my Scribbles and Smiles page – which is what it’s there for.
Oversharing on Facebook…
I get a little irritated when I read about how ‘so and so’ was sick all night and is now lying down with a bucket next to the bed and it’s the third time they’ve thrown up, or how someone wishes someone else would just “wake up and see what’s going on”. Facebook isn’t a venting station, but some people seem to think it is…
And I can see why.
I try and keep my Facebook updates to a minimum – I don’t over-share or talk about things like fights I’ve had with family, or friends that are annoying or upsetting me.
But last week I did….
Someone who I’d considered to be a friend of mine and who I’d gotten to know over the past year, just up and left without saying goodbye.
I was beyond hurt. I was cooking supper, and my phone was lying on the counter next to me. So I grabbed it and angrily started swiping words across my screen. “Update status”. Done.
Strangely, I felt good after I’d sent it. I hate moaning or complaining on social media, so I tried to end it off with something that wasn’t depressing as hell. Still, I was pissed.
But what good does a vent like that do? Yes, I got a few comments which was nice, but I didn’t really feel any better and it still feels like I lost a friend. It also feels like I over-shared way too much.
The real me…
My brother told me the other day that he thought I was always happy and cheerful because of all my updates on Facebook and Twitter.
I was like, “Um….nooooo I’m not.” I have really bad days and moods just like anyone else. I just don’t like to post my bad side all over the show.
And then one or two bloggers I follow mentioned something interesting in their blogs earlier this week. They spoke about how people get put off by others who share their achievements and goals too much.
This made a lot of sense.
I know that I post a lot of pictures and positive updates on Facebook. That doesn’t mean that I have the perfect life. There are things which people don’t know about me – things that would shock them, but I don’t share that because it’s too personal. Only my closest friends know this about me and that’s the way it’s going to stay.
But, it got me thinking about what type of person I come across as online.
Do people think I’m being fake, or bragging too much about what a wonderful life I have working from home, or the fact that I live in a fantastic part of the world, or because I feel good most of the time?
I hope not.
And if that’s who I’m perceived to be, then those people don’t know me very well at all.
So I’ve decided that as much as I enjoy Facebook, I’ve become a little too dependent on it for my own liking. I’m going to try and limit my time on there – especially since it’s almost the first thing I check in the morning before I even get out of bed. How sad is that?!
I hope I’m not on my own here…tell me what you think…
On Sunday morning the weather didn’t look so great. It was overcast and grey….gloomy looking.
But it didn’t matter.
I needed to get out – and into nature. Walking along the beach is my soul food, and my soul was starving.
I bundled up like it was the middle of winter to stretch some muscles, and breathe in some salty sea air.
I love it when it’s grey and overcast outside. You also almost always manage to get great pictures in this weather.
I snapped a few pictures of some buildings, a few fishermen, and a jogger. I didn’t get far enough to catch the surfers before my flu decided to pop up and say hello.
I’ve started getting more and more interested in taking photographs lately.
Yes, I know I’m only using my Samsung Galaxy SII to take them, and yes I know I’m not a photographer….because I don’t have a proper camera or whatever, but you know what? It brings me joy and it makes me feel good. It’s another type of soul food and I’m loving it.
Why I use photo credits…
Does it look weird putting my name on the photos if they’re only cellphone pictures? Maybe. But so what? I’m done with people stealing my written content (I spent hours setting up Google alerts for all my articles and changing each and every photo to a free image or one of my own), and I’m proud of my photographs – so why shouldn’t I put my name on there to try and deter people from stealing them?
I put a lot of creativity and love into taking these photos and editing them – even if they’re just from my phone…
Anyway, enough blabbering, this is meant to be a “Wordless Wednesday” post….I hope you enjoy these few photos taken from a ‘non’ photographer…
It’s a holiday here in South Africa, and we’re off to a braai later today. Hope you have a fantastic day, whatever you’re doing!
After being cooped up indoors for 2 weeks, I finally felt normal enough drive down to the beach on Sunday morning.
The weather was awesome: cool and grey. I got some great pictures too which I’ll share over here on Wednesday.
We’re definitely feeling the pinch this month-end – which is weird because we haven’t felt it this much in a long time. We ended up having glazed carrots and rice for two nights this weekend. And OMG, it was sooooo good! Not ‘healthy’ good – I definitely can’t post it on the health blog, but wow. Carrots chopped and fried in butter and sugar? Comfort food heaven.
Semi “MasterChef” Cooking Contest here we come!
What I really wanted to tell you about was that we’re going to be taking part in a cooking contest on 1 June!!
Geoff got an email on Friday to invite him and a partner to compete against 7 other couples.
We’re VERY excited. (Okay, I’m petrified…but that’s just the introvert/anxiety in me panicking). What kind of fool would I be to say, “Sorry honey, you should take someone else, I’m just too scared to cook in front of / with other people.” Are you nuts? How often does something like this come around?!
It’s a cooking and wine pairing contest.
Yay me who doesn’t eat meat or wheat, or drink any alcohol….
What this means is the next 4 weeks are going to look something like this:
- Trying out new recipes using….yes, meat (Geoff will sample), and wine. Obviously.
- Watching the cooking channel like it’s going out of fashion.
- Scouring the Internet high and low for all different kinds of recipes.
Yes…we could just wing it. But we won’t.
Maybe because one of the judges trying our food is one of the MasterChef South Africa judges…yikes!
Haha…not quite, BUT we’re gonna give it a go!
And the “new portfolio”?
I plan on starting to submit magazine article query letters next week, so I thought it was time to get my freelance website jacked up – looking more professional and in the direction I needed it.
It took me most of Saturday and Sunday to do, and I’m really happy with the end result. It came out just the way I envisioned it.
Not only that, I feel proud because I proved something to myself too: I designed the whole website from the new theme myself. Geoff didn’t touch anything.
- This is the direction I want to – and feel I’m supposed to, head into.
- I hate marketing myself, but I’m going to need to do a lot of that over the next few weeks . LinkedIN and email contact especially. Urg. One of the “perks” to freelancing…
If you feel like having a quick look, here’s the link to my new portfolio website.
Have a great Monday!
I’ve been quite happy working from home since September without having the use of a car.
In fact, it’s made me work harder because I don’t have the distraction of “quickly running to the shop” or taking a drive to the mall.
BUT, when I don’t get out on weekends as well….that’s when I go a little cookoo. I feel like I’m going mad.
I haven’t been out of this house in TWO WEEKS.
Wednesday was the first time in a week that I got dressed and got out of bed. But I still felt like crap. Looked like crap too.
That night at around 5.30pm I was trying to put something decent together for supper, and really – all I want to do was sit down and watch MasterChef before Geoff got home.
And then I heard a knock at the door…
There stood a little boy of around 4 years old. As persistent as he was about knocking three times, I didn’t answer the door. I tip-toed to the back garden and pretended that I didn’t hear anything. Why would I do something so mean? Because I was feeling gross and grumpy, and couldn’t muster up the energy to be all smiley and friendly.
His mom was sitting in the car next to our house for an hour – I checked – so it couldn’t have been urgent or she would have knocked. I’d probably have ignored that too. Unless she started yelling…
I’m really not the friendliest person to be around when I’m sick.
I NEED to get out of this bloody house this weekend.
What about the dancing queen bit…?
Moving on to this week’s ‘Finish the Sentence Friday‘ topic. The topic for this week is to talk about something you’re passionate about.
Anyone who reads my blog already knows that I’m passionate about writing, art, design, animals, food, and my husband.
But what you might not know is that I have a deep down passion for dance.
It started when I was 5 years old and my mom took me to my first ballet class. I did that until I was 12 when I got to that lovely pre-teen stage and the little ballet shoes and sleep-infused music just wasn’t working for me anymore.
Then we moved to Cape Town and I took up modern dance for a few years.
Here’s a picture of us posing before the concert. I was quite impressed that the dance teacher used my suggestion of dancing to Ricky Martin’s Livin’ La Vida Loca. Even though she said “oh nooooo that won’t work” when I first brought it up. Ha! :)
After that I took some hip hop classes and a few funk dance classes at the gym as well.
Dancing is in my blood.
I get told that I have the posture of a ballerina a lot. My friend even told me at one hip hop class that I couldn’t shake those ballet moves, that I couldn’t do hip hop dancing properly. It hurt my feelings a lot when she said that, and it made me kind of angry.
I’d forgotten about that until recently though, when I started to realise that I never really ‘let myself go‘ when I dance another style other than ballet. And that’s what dancing is all about.
The strange thing is, when I go out dancing at clubs (which isn’t very often these days), I get VERY competitive on the dance floor. I feel like I want to be the centre of attention – and no, it’s got nothing to do with alcohol. I push people out the way (helps to be short here) and almost want to be called up on stage with some other girls for a dance-off. It’s very weird.
When I watch dancing movies like Step Up, or shows like Randy Jackson America’s Best Dance Crew, I usually end up crying because the dancing has that much of an affect on me.
I sooooo badly want to be able to dance like that, and I sort of feel like I’ve lost my chance.
So I live through the movies and the club dancing, and the dance classes now and then.
Dancing IS my passion. It’s in my soul and it’s in my blood and I don’t think it will ever go away.
I think I need to join a dance studio or something once this writing takes off a bit more…