Book Review – The Year of Less by Cait Flanders

All I can say is wow wow wow!  I pre ordered this book on my kindle when I came across Cait’s page on Facebook and knew straight away it was a book I needed to read.  Well I read the book in two days, I was even reading whilst cooking, my girls were like, “mum!!!  why are you reading and cooking?”  I actually could not put the book down.  I think the book struck a cord with me because it aligns with what I am trying to do with my own life and our lifestyle as a family.

So many things in this book resonates with me, a lot of our actions of over indulging is usually due to us hiding or masking our feelings.  Emotional eating, retail therapy, social media pressure, etc.  In the past whenever I was really angry with my husband I would go out and buy something to either piss him off or make myself feel better.  The thing is I thought I was hurting him, but in actual fact I was really just hurting our family by taking away money that could have been used towards other things, because it’s not his money or my money, it’s ours.  By Cait not spending any money for a year, when she had negative feelings surface she couldn’t drink it away, shop it away or eat it away.  She had to face these feelings head on.

Now I am not sure yet if I can ban shopping completely for a whole year, but I think I will try and do it on a month by month basis and see how I go.  Since starting on changing my families lifestyle I am definitely more aware of everything we are spending money on, I’m okay with going to the mall and not buying anything or actually not going to the mall at all!  Unless we need something that is going to serve a purpose or if something need replacing because it stopped working then yes we will look at buying it.

Today I went to Kmart and you all know what happens when you go to Kmart!  You go looking for one thing and come out with about 10 things.  I made a list of exactly what I needed, I bought just those 2 things only and we were out of there, and this was shopping with two kids as well.  I wasn’t even tempted to look at the clothes, shoes or homeware stuff.  So I am pleased that my mindset is starting to shift.

I want to travel more with my family and those memories created from these trips are priceless and I would rather spend my money on that instead of material things.

If you want to come out of debt, lead a life of less stress and just be more happy, I would highly recommend you read this book.  I cannot believe the journey that Cait has been through and how her story has just inspired me so much more now with what I am doing.

Happy reading!

R x

Advertisements

Living a Minimalist Lifestyle

Last year in October I came across a documentary on Netflix called Minimalism by The Minimalists (Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus).  They have a website as well so you can check them out here.  I also listen to their podcasts which are fab!  My husband and I both watched it and it was one of those light bulb moments.  For so many years I have been caught up in always wanting more and now looking back I think to myself, why the hell did I want more???  I got caught up in the whirlwind of social media, it is full of advertising and influencers whose job is to make us feel like we need everything they are promoting and they do a pretty good job because many of us fall into that trap.  Also you get a snapshot of people’s lives and what they have in their homes etc and you start to think that you need those things too when in fact you don’t.

So we began our journey of living a more minimalist lifestyle and keeping things simple.  First step was we needed to declutter our home, you know the saying, “Cluttered house, cluttered mind”.  You’re probably thinking there is no way you can declutter with kids, well we have so it can be done.  We tackled their rooms and either threw out a lot of junk that didn’t add any value and we donated a lot of stuff too.  As for the toys, we sorted through them all and they kept their really special ones and the ones they use on a daily basis, because at the end of the day they are still kids and it’s okay for them to have some toys to play with. We then donated the rest to kids that are less fortunate.

img_4761

We went through every box that we had in storage, and reduced the number of boxes we have by only keeping things that we use like our camping gear, suitcases, etc.   I had a massive storage box that was filled with books for the last 10 or more years, just sitting there collecting dust.  Boxes and boxes of dvd and cd collections, toys, clothes, etc  For 5-6 weeks straight every weekend I was dropping off boot loads of stuff to the charity shops, and every time I looked at the stuff I was donating I was shocked at the amount of money I spent on things I didn’t really need.

Decluttering is not easy, it’s not a process that happens quickly and may take some time. The problem is people have a lot of things that are handed down to them or they collected over the years, however no item comes with sentimental value, its human nature that we attach feelings to everything, which in turn makes it very hard to then let go of things.  At the end of the day it is just stuff, and in actual fact it is the memory that’s attached to that item which is important.  So if we give away those items, we still have the memories and that’s what stays with us forever.

I do a room at a time or a cupboard at a time, and slowly the process begins.  I had a linen cupboard filled with about 50 towels, who the hell uses that many towels, NO ONE!!!!  I found 3 towels from when my 6-year-old was a baby and never used it since she was 1 but they just sat there in the cupboard taking up space.  I can now say that the linen cupboard is no longer cluttered! The kitchen is another place that things just get stored or thrown into cupboards that we never use.  But because kitchens are usually big, I do a cupboard at a time rather than the whole kitchen because I am certainly not insane to tackle that whole space in one go!

I then moved onto other aspects in my life that I could declutter like emails for one! Over the years I have signed up to so many different newsletters and all they did was clutter up my inbox!  I installed an app called Unroll.me which helped sort through my emails etc, and now I have unsubscribed from 236 mailing lists.  This is a good thing for the wallet too because I am no longer tempted by the numerous sales or specials.  Now with smartphones we have all sorts of apps that we can get on our phones, I went through these and deleted all those that I don’t use.  If you’re like me and are part of many chat groups, for example What’s app, Messenger etc then it may be time to review those.  I have removed myself from a few groups not because I don’t want to talk to people but my phone was just blowing up with messages non stop and all I hear is ding, ding, ding and half the time I barely read them! I would now rather message them directly or actually pick up the phone and speak to them.  Facebook – how many friends do you really need and how many of those friends do you actually engage with?  Do people just follow others these days to be nosy or what?  If they are genuine friends then by all means keep them if not you know what to do!

I even looked at my relationships with people, and found that it’s time for me to also let go of some friendships.  There are friends who over the years I have learnt to be fake and are only nice to me at face value, friends that only need me when they want me to do something for them, and also friends who we have just grown apart over the years.  I now have just a handful of friends that I know are my true friends, I don’t need hundreds of friends, because it just becomes too complicated.  Also I find having too many different groups of friends is hard work and there has been lots of research that show’s physically our brains can only cope with a certain number.

m 1

I can honestly talk forever about this topic I am so passionate about it, for me now I am going to focus more time on myself, reading more books (on my kindle or borrowing from the library),  going for walks etc  I am going to focus on showing my girls that living a simple life is the richest and happiest life you can live and that we don’t need all the mod cons and extravagant things that the world tells us we need.  We will give them more experiences over material things.  I will no longer spend money on buying stuff I don’t need or doesn’t fulfill a purpose or add value I have already wasted too much money on that.  I think that life is pretty simple we just over complicated it.

Ronell x

585285f179f7236f19072eb2edb40e88--simplicity-quotes-simple-living

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Migraines! Is there any escaping them?

What is a migraine headache?

A headache of varying intensity, often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.

That is what a migraine is in a nutshell.  But it can feel so much worse that just that simple explanation.  I have suffered with migraines for a long time but off course they have gotten worse over the years.  My migraines vary from tension migraines, where it feels like someone is squeezing the hell out of my brain and I can feel it get tighter and tighter.  Then I sometimes get cluster migraines, where those are right in and around the eye.  The other night I was sitting in the lounge and my husband looks at me and says, “Oh no I think you have pink eyes, as they are really red”, well I didn’t have pink eyes, it was my migraine that was right behind that eye and the pain was extremely intense.

Then after I had my second child I experienced vertigo migraines.  I had no idea what they were at all or that there was even such a thing.  I remember it was in the middle of the night and Chloe had woken up in her cot and was crying.  So I got out of the bed only to sway to the left and fall on bay window seat.  Seriously if someone had seen me, they would have thought I was drunk as anything.  I couldn’t walk straight at all,  but I managed to make it to my door.  Then I walked down the hall pretty much leaning into as it was propping me up, instead of falling.  In the back of my head I thought, shit something is gone wrong with my brain!!!!  I made it back to my room and then straight to the dr’s the next day! Now and again, when I get migraines my vision is also blurred by thousands of stars flying around.  So I pretty much get all the types……unlucky me!!

Type of headache

The worst part is when I have a migraine, and someone’s ask’s,  “what’s wrong?” and I go on to say that I have a migraine.  I always have this feeling of guilt like it’s not a valid illness and that they are probably thinking migraine…pffft you’ll be fine it’s just a headache.  But it’s so much more than “just a headache”, it’s hard for people who don’t get migraines to actually understand what a migraine is and the pain you experience.  I always say to my husband, “I wish that one day, you get a migraine, just once to fully understand what it is like”. But I think over the year’s he now knows how bad they get.  It is completely debilitating.  I can hardly open my eyes because of the light and the pain, all I want to do is sleep in a very dark room.

Unfortunately though as a mum, I never always get time to just lay down and sleep it off. I use Nurofen Plus as it’s the only thing that seems to help get rid of them, but because I still have to go on with everyday things like going to work, kids, cooking etc my migraines seem to last longer as I never take the time to really just rest and do nothing. There are so many things that can trigger a migraine, for me it can be lack of sleep over a few days, I can manage one or two days of broken sleep but after that, hell no!!!!  Also, if I don’t eat at regular times and skip meals because I am too busy that’s when I get them too. Recently I have noticed that my migraines are also hormonal, because every time it’s you know, that dreaded time of the month, well hello…… here’s a migraine to go with that too! So over the next few months I will be skipping my inactive contraceptive pill (the white pill) and I will see if that makes a difference to them or not!

There is no cure for migraines, like so many other things in the world.  So if you suffer from migraines, I would love to hear if you have any tips or is there anything that you do to manage them better.  At this stage I will take all the suggestions and tips that I can get.

To all the migraine sufferers out there, I truly feel your pain as you do mine!

Ronell x

 

 

 

 

Despacito Lyrics

Okay so I love this song, and every time it comes on the radio we crank it up in the car and try really really hard to sing along.  If you guys are like us, and just make up the words as we go then fear not, here are the lyrics to the song.  I may not know spanish but at least seeing the word and trying to read might actually help my singing ability the next time this song comes on.

Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee feat Justin Bieber

Come on over in my direction
So thankful for that, it’s such a blessin’, yeah
Turn every situation into Heaven, yeah
(Oh, you are…)
My sunrise on the darkest day
Got me feelin’ some kind of way
Make me wanna savor every moment slowly, slowly
You fit me, tailor-made love, how you put it on
Got the only key, know how to turn it on
The way you nibble on my ear, the only words I wanna hear
Baby take it slow so we can last long

[Verse 1: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee]
Oh, tú, tú eres el imán y yo soy el metal
Me voy acercando y voy armando el plan
Sólo con pensarlo se acelera el pulso
Oh, yeah Ya, ya me está gustando más de lo normal
Todos mis sentidos van pidiendo más
Esto hay que tomarlo sin ningún apuro

[Coro: Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber]
Despacito
Quiero respirar tu cuello despacito
Deja que te diga cosas al oído
Para que te acuerdes si no estás conmigo
Despacito
Quiero desnudarte a besos despacito
Firmo en las paredes de tu laberinto
Y hacer de tu cuerpo todo un manuscrito
(Sube, sube, sube
Sube, sube)

[Bridge 1: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee]
Quiero ver bailar tu pelo
Quiero ser tu ritmo
Que le enseñes a mi boca
Tus lugares favoritos
(Favorito, favorito, baby)
Déjame sobrepasar tus zonas de peligro
Hasta provocar tus gritos
Y que olvides tu apellido

[Verse 2: Daddy Yankee]
Si te pido un beso, ven, dámelo
Yo sé que estás pensándolo
Llevo tiempo intentándolo
Mami, esto es dando y dándolo
Sabes que tu corazón conmigo te hace bang-bang
Sabes que esa beba está buscando de mi bang-bang
Ven, prueba de mi boca para ver cómo te sabe
Quiero, quiero, quiero ver cuánto amor a ti te cabe
Yo no tengo prisa, yo me quiero dar el viaje
Empecemos lento, después salvaje

[Bridge 2: Daddy Yankee]
Pasito a pasito, suave suavecito
Nos vamos pegando, poquito a poquito
Cuando tú me besas con esa destreza
Veo que eres malicia con delicadeza
Pasito a pasito, suave suavecito
Nos vamos pegando, poquito a poquito
Y es que esa belleza es un rompecabezas
Pero pa’ montarlo aquí tengo la pieza
¡Oye!

[Coro: Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber]
Despacito
Quiero respirar tu cuello despacito
Deja que te diga cosas al oído
Para que te acuerdes si no estás conmigo
Despacito
Quiero desnudarte a besos despacito
Firmo en las paredes de tu laberinto
Y hacer de tu cuerpo todo un manuscrito
(Sube, sube, sube
Sube, sube)

[Bridge 1: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee]
Quiero ver bailar tu pelo
Quiero ser tu ritmo
Que le enseñes a mi boca
Tus lugares favoritos
(Favorito, favorito, baby)
Déjame sobrepasar tus zonas de peligro
Hasta provocar tus gritos
Y que olvides tu apellido

[Verse 3: Luis Fonsi]
Despacito
This is how we do it down in Puerto Rico
I just wanna hear you screaming, “¡Ay, Bendito!”
I can move forever se quede contigo
¡Bailalo!

[Bridge 3: Daddy Yankee, Luis Fonsi & Justin Bieber]
Pasito a pasito, suave suavecito
Nos vamos pegando, poquito a poquito
Que le enseñes a mi boca
Tus lugares favoritos
(Favorito, favorito, baby)
Pasito a pasito, suave suavecito
Nos vamos pegando, poquito a poquito
Hasta provocar tus gritos (Fonsi)
Y que olvides tu apellido (D.Y.)
Despacito

So, go on and sing along!!!

Ronell x

source: Direct lyrics

 

Social Media Detox

I have been meaning to do this post for a while now and I’m not sure what has held me back but I am doing it now.  The whole thing might sound like I am just having a big rant and maybe I am.  I signed up to Facebook many years ago whilst living in Australia, and for me it was a great way to stay connected to my family and friends back home in South Africa.  However, over the years how we use social media has completely changed and I’m at the point where I am kinda getting over it.  To me it seems like now you have to disconnect to actually connect with people.  Make real connections.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, you name it, it all just seems to have become a bit competitive.  At one stage I too was a social media addict and posted photos of everything and anything, like seriously who cares what I eat for dinner not many people to be honest.  I eat food just like everyone else.

People just seem so superficial now and that’s just my opinion, you can choose to agree or disagree that’s your choice.  When people post stuff now,  I don’t even know if it’s real, or is it just there so everyone else can think that their lives are just so amazing and awesome, compared to everyone else’s normal lives.  I think it has become a platform for people to show off a bit, look at my kids dressed in “Country Road” clothes or whatever designer wear, seriously I dress my kids in Warehouse, Kmart or Cotton on and even hand me downs, really whats the point dressing them up in expensive stuff when they grow so fast!

IMG_2005.PNG

If you look at your “friends” on Facebook, how many of them are truly your friends, and when was the last time you actually spoke to any of them?  I know there are some that I have not spoken to in years!  Every so often I go and do a clean out of who I actually share things with and now I am going to do an even bigger clean out, please don’t be offended if I remove you, it’s nothing personal, but if we haven’t engaged in a long time then it makes sense.

Here’s a great little video that you should watch!  Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

I think there is definitely a place for Facebook, it can be very good for community pages, businesses, support groups, school groups.  Those are exceptionally useful.

Instagram holy moly, I mean there were days that I spent ages trying to bloody do a flat lay photo, or raid the house for black and white stuff so I could do a monochrome photo. It all has just become far to time consuming.  Again, these little tiles of square can sometimes get you feeling a bit down, because you look at other people’s feed’s and think wow look at the stuff they have or the places they go (admit it you feel that way too, it’s called being human), but then reality slaps you in the face, and reminds you once again, it’s all styled and edited.  We cannot go through life with everything being styled or in the perfect light, and don’t get me started about Instagram stories and Snapchat…for fucks sake, like seriously, how long do some of these people spend recording themselves talk???

Imagine, if people actually didn’t spend hours looking at themselves talk all day about what they are doing, and how they wish their hair was straighter or had more body, or about them getting their eyebrows feathered.  They will be astounded at the amount of spare time they have up their sleeves, try it people you might be surprised.

The worst one is when people are out walking/exercising and they are videoing themselves talking for such a long time and I think to myself, have they ever thought what they look like to onlookers, here they are walking holding a phone out in front of them talking!  It’s fucking hilarious and ridiculous.  I am so sick of seeing people constantly going on about all the packages that are arriving at their doorsteps, I got a few things given to me to promote by brands, but I am so glad I don’t get a shit load of stuff, because quite frankly I can’t be arsed. There are some people who spend all day running from one PR event to another, it’s just crazy to me, but hey they love it and so that’s their thing.

It sort of all came to me when I was at Adele’s concert and I was standing there in the rain and spending so much time taking videos of her singing, and I am watching her through my phone screen.  I thought to myself like seriously what the hell is wrong with me, I didn’t pay $150 to watch Adele through my phone screen.  I put my phone away and was completely present, and I sang and danced with my daughter for the rest of the time.

I have slowly stopped posting much on Instagram and yes I might have lost some followers but I am at the point now where I don’t really care, I don’t post much on my private Facebook account now either, because I want my life to be mine, and not for everyone else to have a look in on.

Instead now I spend more time reading, listening to music, and dancing it out with my girls!

Happy detoxing!

Ronell x

 

 

 

Beauty & The Beast

Last night was family movie night. Initially it was just going to be myself and Kiara who’s 10. I was sitting on the fence about whether Chloe who’s 6 would be too little to watch it.  In the end we thought stuff it we will all go and watch it, much to Chloe’s delight. 


The movie was amazing! We loved all the singing and dancing in it. I think Emma Watson who played Belle was perfect for the role. I also loved Mrs Pots & Chip. Now the Beast well I’m not so sure about that. I think everyone held their breath when the spell was broken and the prince was relieved. 

I think he looked a bit too clean if that makes sense. He should have had a beard or a bit of stubble or something.  I found him more attractive when he was a beast rather than the prince! Is that weird? 

There are a couple of scary bits but not too bad. Our girls were okay with it they just covered their eyes a bit. 

This movie was one of my favourite Disney movies growing up, and I’m so pleased I got to watch this with my girls. 

All in all we loved it! 


Hope you enjoy it as much as us!

Ronell x

The Bachelor NZ – My Take on it!

This is now the 3rd season of the bachelor that we have had here in NZ.  Season 1 set the bar pretty high, however, it seem’s since then standards have just gone down hill.  Art Green is still by far my fave bachelor.  When I say standards have dropped I’m mainly referring to the girls and possibly a bit with the main guy himself too just a little.

Watching the first episode was just cringe worthy!  Firstly it wasn’t even like a double episode or anything which was a let down.  The girls I must say are beautiful, but some of them, actually most of them come across as being very immature and not that bright either.  The way they were all chomping at the bit on the first episode about “interrupting” they were behaving like hyenas.  I was like, “calm the fuck down girls, and pull yourselves together”.  Who knows maybe being in a fish bowl situation it’s pushing them to act out of character. But geez!!!

bach

Now the Bachelor himself, I think it’s great that they have found someone who is just a regular guy, he’s not a millionaire (not that there are many eligible one’s in NZ), he isn’t an entrepreneur who is going to then boost his business by being on the show and he isn’t a douche bag (aka Jordan season 2).  He’s just a good guy who is passionate about his job.  He come’s across as really down to earth and genuine but I must say I find him very awkward. Just odd thing’s like hand gestures and on the dates, it’s so obvious when he is going to give the girl a rose because you can see his arm just hanging down low and holding it in his hands.  Not smooth at all!  I just wish he was more of a manly man, if you know what I mean.  He come’s across as really shy and he may be different if it was outside of the show, I suppose when everything is produced and you’re told what to do etc, it is a bit unnatural.  Hopefully as the episodes go on he relaxes a bit more.

The girls should be told that one of The Bachelor 101’s of what not to do is, complain to the guy about how all the other girls are being catty and bitchy etc, it just’s makes you look like an idiot. Yes I’m talking about you Katey!  Grow up!!!

The date’s are painful to watch because they just seem so unnatural and rehearsed, and when he says, “he’s put together something special”, does he actually have a say in what the dates are or helps plan them, or is it all just organised and get’s told this is what you’re doing.

My favourites are Viarni & Bel, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  Even though it is painful to watch, it’s one of those things that because it’s so bad you cant help but watch.

At the end of the day it’s not easy putting yourself out there and hat’s off to the girls.  Everyone will have their opinions good or bad, let’s just hope whoever end’s up at the end, they truly love each other and it last’s.

Ronell x