Will it Stop?


Will the craziness ever stop?

Ever tried kicking a habit? They say it takes 21 days. I don’t know who they are.

I just want to say that it would be great if I could get to day nr 3 without giving it up as another useless exercise I focused on for three days.

I wonder where the magic lies in sticking to it for 21 days to begin with ??  It is THAT part that gets me off track… not the staying on it after you have kicked it?

Every next day there is something that throws you off the wagon…. be it kids issues, boredom, overscheduling, lack of sleep, lack of willpower, lack of planning, over-committments… you name it – every new day has a different rock in the road that makes me hit a bump and bounce me back.

The key might be to not want to wait for the perfect day to start implementing. To not have it all sorted out before opening up to new things. To not have to understand everything before taking action on it.

As you long as we do something that is better today than how we did it yesterday…. then we should consider it success, progress and moving in the right direction.

There is a whole wide ocean behind the little island I see in front of me staring out the window. But all I see now is the mountain. It is blocking the view behind it. Thankful for the knowledge that there is something beyond it. Because if only we could see the mountain and not know there is something behind it, Life would have been a completely different story.

Life is a journey. Enjoy it. Don’t despair if you only see the bump. You can go around it. And it doesn’t matter if you decide to pass it on the right or on the left. Both will take you beyond it and then the whole wide world/ ocean will then lie ahead of you.

The important part is to make a choice, take a decision and take action to get beyond it or you will never see what lies behind.




I stopped blogging


Because I think people don’t read blogs anymore.

Well, I don’t for starters. Everything has just become more instant, quicker, 2 second snapchats is the thing…

But I miss it. And maybe there is something in writing even if nobody is reading ?!

I am reconsidering.

To blog or not to blog !!

That is the question for today.


FRUSTRATION and how to not be ‘that’ person


Frustration inflicted upon yourself by others can rob you from you own peace, productivity and positive outlook.
Regret, rebellion, resistance against ideas are things you can control, because you are responsible for those.

But Frustration is usually forced onto you by another source or person.

A person who says they care but they really don’t.
A person who needs help but wont really accept it when offered.
A person who should follow instruction but every now and then follow their own head as soon as you take your eye off the ball.
A person who promise they will do something but then never deliver on that promise.

Those are things that people push upon you and you have no choice but to deal with it.

You can ignore it – usually doesn’t work very well – it has the tendency to come back up like a bad reflux when you see them or speak to them and usually at times you thought you have forgotten about it.

You can confront them – causing conflict that might take even more energy and effort than what you really have time or will for. And usually people who frustrate you will also defend themselves in such situations, so it might not even be worth the try.

You can process it –  you have no choice but to work through the feelings and the thoughts that other people’s actions stir up in you. That is the point where I started this discussion at the top today…..

But it takes away the peace and productivity from other things you had planned for yourself. It takes hours away from other things that you intended to do…or that you needed to focus on. And that in itself compounds the effect that the initial frustration initiated.

Suddenly a S-N-O-W-B-A-L-L effect occur and everything seems and feels bigger and bigger as you go along and you get more and more frustrated about your own unproductiveness, sad about your own ideas that fled your mind while negative thoughts were taking their place in your head.

Today’s challenge is then in the spirit of people starting to think about New Years’ Resolutions. Maybe we all should just take a moment and think about how we frustrate others.

Unfortunately I don’t always know who I frustrate or why. Sometimes I do know and feel regretful about that.
But being on the other end of it today, I don’t want to be that person who frustrate others.

How about you?

Instead…. I suggest…..

Let’s work those words a little and become a




1. Be authentic – don’t pretend something that you are not. You are really only fooling yourself. Show you caring in your doing not in your saying.
2. Follow the instructions – if you are not suppose to follow them, you wont be getting them. If you are in a position where you need to listen and act to someone else’s guidelines, don’t tempt them.
3. Accept help even if you think you don’t need it. It wont hurt. It MIGHT just help despite you being so clever thinking you know it all.
4. Make good on your promises – and if you can’t – explain, apologize, follow up and come to an agreement with that person who now need to alter their expectation.

In general – think about the impact on others.

And if I frustrate you, please tell me.

I don’t want to be that person who steals your joy this season. I really don’t want to.

To a FESTIVE SEASON ahead and spreading some INSPIRATION not FRUSTRATION in the New Year.


We can never go back


It’s a Public Holiday. No School. My kids all home. I am Home. Domestic Helper is day off. Husband is travelling. Literally ON the plane for a few hours. And the extended Family is in a time zone where they are all asleep at this point….

No better time to be in a No-Phone-Zone for the morning ! I don’t have to keep it by my side the whole time for the incidental call from the nurse’s office or an appointment reminder or keeping tabs on the kids who need me or some favour, making sure I wont miss any emergencies or meetings or being available for whatever comes up. We are all set !

So I left it upstairs, went down to lie in bed with the kids – told them – NO bringing DEVICES into this zone now.

As if it was our little “Achievement” for the day. I was almost wanting to get an Award for the bravery to do that. To shove it in their face when those braggers who can do it, challenge the rest of us to do the same. To put down our phones and LIVE LIFE.

It felt good to be “that Mom” – who could put down the phone, leave it, not checking it, not getting distracted while the kids were talking. You know – that one that all these ads on facebook or youtube are designed for – to make us feel guilty for our attachment and slavery to our smartphones.

Yes – that one – who feels bad whenever that phone is attached to my body or never a few meters away  – for reasons which I felt were valid….but who all those people said were  just “excuses” for being absent, ignorant and a bad parent.

No one cares when you say you have to do it because everybody gets upset when you are unreachable or unresponsive. Even my little one has been brainwashed enough by the media to complain that my phone is always with me….and then complain if I dont respond on the spot when anybody tries to reach me. That is after all why my husband got me an Apple Watch – so my phone could be “on me” when I say – I’m not ignoring you – I just dont carry it around in the house !

Hours into this no phone fantasy of feeling good about myself for not missing my phone – with peace and calm…I went to take a bath. Put on a facemask. Lie back….

Not taking a selfie #metime #facemask #sillyface #relax …..

Child comes crashing into the bathroom…where ARE you.??!!! The helper sent a message that we must check our phones because somebody is trying to get hold of you and nobody is checking or responding to any of the text messages all morning. It just says – CHECK your imessages.

Seriously?! Who the heck….

Oh- it’s Daddy. Daddy ??? How…. he’s on a plane??

And then she hands me the phone – there he is. Face-timing me….yes, from up there – up in the air, thousands and thousands of miles away…. me ducking and diving to make sure the guy next to him does not see me in the bath, facemask and all?!! …. He’s asleep – don’t worry, my husband says and I peek back over the side of the tub.

Well…. I am done with feeling guilty about having …. or feeling good about not having, my phone.

Our phones are not evil. Stop blaming having your phone on your side all the time as taking away your peace. Stop feeling bad about being labelled a bad Mom for always having your phone on just in case…… Its just annoying to have all these strings attached to technology and to have to live with all these labels and generic guilt trips.

We can’t ever go back. Technology is here to stay. We should use it in a good way.

Don’t get me wrong – I am super, super concerned about cellphone use and its effects and social impact. We should not be addicted to it or slaves to it. And messages like this one – well, I totally get it and support the notion that it could be a serious illness if you don’t have your special guards up against it.


But dont feel like a winner when you can put it away for a few hours. It might just be the time where it means that having had the phone by my side would have caused less hassle (less stress?) for my husband, would have let the helper had her day in peace, not trying to be in the middle of it all…..in trying to connect us all.

The truth is. Our phones and devices are our connection nowadays. We just need to keep perspective on those ads.. And go guilt-free. We dont need one more thing to cause us stress – such as feeling bad for having your phone.

I will have my devices close by…..when I want to. Not putting it away because I feel like I HAVE to ….because that is what the guy in the video is asking me to do so that I can “connect” on a human level.

Instead – I am going to put it away when I WANT to.

We can never go back.

But we can go forward – maybe I should start wearing my Apple watch when taking a bath.

JUST KIDDING !!! I can hear you say – that’s ridiculous ??!?!!

And yes – who wants to be THAT person….. 😉

But the point is today – if you are a MOM, like me. Stop feeling guilty – have your phone if you need to. Put it down if you want to. You know your reasons. They don’t.

Our devices are here to stay. Same as criticising others for doing something – without having a clue what their reasons might be. It might be their only connection to their loved ones for all you know !!

Let’s just always keep perspective people !!





Show and Tell – Surgery and Tumors


Finding out you have a tumor in your hip just hours before you get on a 14 hour flight for a 2 month long holiday, is not exactly part of anyone’s vacation planning. And it was not on mine either.

But Life Happens. And then you have to deal with it.

The question I get asked most is… how did you FIND it?!! A bone tumor is after all tucked away deep into your body and not something you just “feel” one day like a lump.

So, today I decided to share my story here in case that would maybe encourage one other person to act on a subtle message that comes to you in some way or the other …

It is after all other people’s stories that made me find mine !

After a rant (totally instigated by me) on facebook about my lack of a proper exercise routine ( a long story  – not for my blog), my friends encouraged me to take action. So I did.

Some weeks into it, I felt a dull pain in my hip, but nothing too serious and I definitely had no incident that I could recall causing injury. I ascribed it to the new fitness regime and carried on. After all – it was fine when I exercised, but would wake me up at night and I had to use my fist to push myself up and around in bed. I didnt pay much attention to it during daytime as the pain subsided during the day.

During that same period, I got news that a friend’s husband was diagnosed with cancer, at a very advanced stage – and without me asking, the person sharing the news told me (unbeknown to my hip pain) – “….apparently he just felt a pain in his hip.”  (probably not that simple, but that is how the story came to me). Him being a very active, healthy, fit person who did the Ironman competition amongst many other races and marathons, it was a big shock and bothered me a lot. But for other reasons – not because of my own situation. Strangely I did not even relate it at all to my own hip pain. Just carried on.

Soon after that,  I met up with another friend for lunch – casually told me that since she last saw me (which was not too long before that), she felt a pain in her hip and found a tumor after they investigated. For a brief moment, my mind did flicker up with a thought of…oh my… I have had pain in my hip?! But again – I just left it there.

A routine visit to the doctor to schedule my mammogram etc… with the normal line of questioning resulted in my doctor asking if everything else is ok. Yeah, sure – can’t be better – it is after all holidays soon..but um…. well… I don’t know….  I have had a pain in my hip for about 2 months now. Maybe I should just get up more and move around.  I felt kind of silly to report on this “pain” and almost left it out. She said that best to check it out if it is not injury related and has been there for more than a month. At this point I was getting ready to leave for the holidays, busy finishing an interior job for somebody, having a guest that I needed to take around town and all the other year-end scrambling that required more hours than a day offered. I was very tempted to simply not go.

I probably would have still considered putting it off for a later, more convenient stage in the hope that it would be gone by then if it had not been for these friends’ stories in the back of my head. So I agreed to go for an MRI – still with not the least of a worry that it could be ANYthing.  I was still putting the blame for the pain on the new exercise routine that was too much too soon for my deteriorated state of physical being!! The little voice spoke up and said – JUST GO !

I was about to get ready for the airport, when the results came in and the nurse from the doctors office called for me to come in and see the doctor. I could simply not go in, at risk of missing the flight, but she insisted that the doctor wanted to speak to me before I leave and preferably in person. I explained my situation and the fantastic doctor I have, came to my house and brought the set of MRI’s to me!!!! With the news that I had a tumour found on the top of the femur, right where everything gets together in your hip area, I had to zip open my suitcase and make space for this pack of unexpected news that now invited itself to go on holiday with me…..for follow up.

Maybe it was a good thing I had to get on a plane. Because God knows I would have googled “bone tumors” straight away if I had time to sit on the internet instead of in the air.

The tumor was of considerable size and the pain could or could not be as a result from that. See – I did have an inflammation in the muscle around it, and the tumor was thus an incidental finding. Had I ignored the pain and the inflammation later healed, I probably would have never found it….unless it became aggressive, had spread or had some other way of presenting itself……but the stories of my two friends prompted me to go ahead and have an MRI instead of brushing it off as aches and pains from a body that has fallen out of shape.



As a mother, of greater concern to me, was the effect that worries of this kind would have on my children and being wheeled into theatre… I left the girls with some tears welling up in their eyes. I kept mine till I was behind the doors…where the lady on the left wipe them for me… she saw them standing there and just whispered…don’t worry – they won’t see. My husband took these photos…. he knew I would have done the same. He knows me too well.

This week I ditched the crutches…after 5 weeks on them. My surgeon took the decision to have a pathologist present inside the theatre to do some immediate tests while they did the biopsy as well as to freeze some bone marrow at the beginning of the procedure for lab testing afterwards. I had great confidence in the specialist under whose care I was and while in theatre they decided to remove the whole tumour that was inside the bone, for reasons that played out under the procedure. Afterwards, I was thankful for that decision they took.

I made the journey back home with flight socks and in a wheelchair and looked oh so fashionable ! But I was grateful that it was all removed, with great positive results and nothing but crutches as a reminder to this little detour life took. The crutches was to support the weight for the artifical bone/ cement that they had placed into the space where the mass was so that it would have time to settle and the bone density could return to normal strength.


This is what I learnt in this process though:

  • Life can change dramatically in one phone call. Be grateful for every day of good health. So cliche – I know. But still.
  • When you get unsettling news – don’t panic. Just deal with it one step at a time. Panicking about the outcome and the future would have just added an incredible amount of stress on top of a situation that I had no control over. 
  • To share or to keep it secret? Many people wonder what to do while going through difficult and uncertain times. I choose to share simply because it opens up an opportunity for those who love and care for me, to show their support and send me their love and hugs which helps me cope and carry on. That is what people are there for. There is no right or wrong in either approach though. Do what is right for your own best state of being.
  • People sometimes say to not say anything in public – because people don’t care – they are just curious. That be true to some extent, but sometimes when you speak out you realize who are the (simply) curious ones and who are the caring ones and often get taken by surprise how caring some people are that you did not realize before.  And by the way – nothing wrong with curiousity – it makes people understand your situation better, it educates, inform and help them in their own circumstances or help them know in which way they can support you.
  • Focus on a positive outcome. I had such encouragement from the girl lying in the bed next to me. She had a rotator cuff pain that kept bugging her. Turned out to be a bone tumor. The biopsy showed it malignant. Her shoulder blade was removed and replaced with a new one and as a result she could not use her arm for the next 4 months. She had a 2 yr old who skyped her and was eager for Mommy to be home. It broke my heart…but she assured me – even with all that…. it was a good outcome. The tumor is gone and all removed. She made me think of a positive outcome and that made me less worried going into theatre that day.
  • If you do have some ailment that does not settle in a couple of months, have it checked out. Go to your doctor and discuss it. If that little voice speaks up – go for a scan/ MRI/ x-ray. Bloodtests are not always indicative on its own. 
  • I was wondering if it wouldn’t have been better to have not know about it and  just not find it?! It was after all all good in the end but I had to go through the ordeal and it was painful and unsettling. But sometimes there are byproducts from a process like this… like slowing down, putting life in perspective and re-prioritizing. Try to look for those reasons and meaning of it all beyond the obvious.

Today I am thankful for the stories that were shared with me. And I hope that maybe if somebody read this and had a little voice that was telling them to go look further and deeper into it, then hopefully this will encourage you to do so. Even if just for peace of mind.

I share this humbly and with deep sadness - my friend’s husband was laid to rest this week. May his soul rest in peace for he touched many lives on his journey.

I am thankful that I can be back home and put all this behind me. I am extremely grateful for every person, doctor, friend and mostly family who cared for me deeply and wonderfully and my children who stepped up and did the daily duties and the domestic demands I could not take on….telling me to slow down and being understanding on the change of plans this holiday demanded. My husband already knows he is a hero in these situations.

PicMonkey Collage


All’s well that ends well.


Longings of the Heart




I should have called this blog “Living in (at least) Three Continents”….ALL the time.

That is where my mind constantly goes. All in one day.

I have lived as an expat for the past 17 years. That means I am either “home” – which could be the posting where our family currently reside…. with my mind at my other “home” – my birth country where we still go often and have property to take care of.

Or vice versa. I am visiting our home country – which then means – I am either away from my kids and daily household or if we all went – it means the usual dailies go on where the dog, our stuff and our “life” is.

Later years another dimension was added to the mix….. having family or a spouse or a household member being in a place – other than those 2 mentioned already. My sister lives in another country – that already puts my mind on a different time zone for scheduling phone calls, keeping track of different weather conditions and different vacation times etc. So – the clock keeps on ticking sometimes beyond bedtime to make that call to her or keeping up with them away on holiday while we are in school and just finished a holiday. This is not even to mention the friends you keep up with in all those destinations where they have gone since you all met on this expat journey. That just about adds in every possible continent on this Earth!

But as if that was not quite keeping my mind busy enough – expat life usually is because of a spouse’s job and very, very often that means an extensive travel schedule that goes along with that. My husband comes and goes and as a tight, close-knit family who likes to keep all in the loop, he stays in touch several times during his days while away. Completely different locations each time he goes and that means once again – yet another continent’s time zone, weather, travel departures and arrivals to keep track off while carrying on the usual daily routines.

Going to bed, knowing he is on a plane and should arrive sometime before I awake again…. him leaving some mornings before I am fully awake…. and then sometimes showing up in the middle of the day after a long trip are things that sort of constantly shake up the predictability of any given day.

Kids start to travel alone at a younger age these days and that was also added on top of the keeping track of who’s where and who’s here…. all the things a Mom needs to have in constant check when you count numbers for dinner, have a longing for that time together and always wanting to know that everyone is safe and sound at the end of each day.

Besides keeping track of who is where at any given point, there is your heart to take into account. Sometimes you wish to be somewhere you are not. Like missing a certain person, you can also miss a place.

The smell of our holiday house in wintertime when the fire burns all day….

The sense of being surrounded with your extended family all around one dinner table….

The amazing experience of Zebras out on the lawn at our home in Africa…..

The feelings of gratitude I feel when we visit Cape Town and could sip coffee outside on the balcony with Table Mountain unobscured in view…..

Sometimes I wonder if the simplicity of having everything that you hold near and dear in one place wouldn’t have been easier. If having it all scattered all over the universe is really enriching us or tearing us apart to always be all over the place and impossibly ever in one place at a time. Being extremely grateful for all the blessings of seeing the world, having lived everywhere and having loved ones everywhere…. I know what the answer should be. I know it will be frowned upon if I sound unthankful for these opportunities we got and continue to have.

But my heart longs to be in a different place today. I wish I could just close my eyes and be there when I open them again. To be where you wish to be at that given moment. Wouldn’t that be just the most amazing thing that could ever happen? If your travel schedule could be in sync with your heart’s desires on a given day.

Now, to pull myself together. Focus on what I was doing before I started dreaming….

Back to being a brain that feels like an Octopus head with all the tentacles floating all over to try and catch it all….as it goes on and around with the world clock ticking ahead as if it just doesn’t care that we all try to keep up with what is going on everywhere where a piece of ourselves are.

It is Monday and I am going nowhere. My bags will remain where they are…for a few months more…

Not too long and we will be “home” again. Away from “home”…. and keeping up with all the rest that will be in one or 2 or more continents other than those 2….

A never ending cycle.



Why… I don’t know


I love writing…
Why I don’t do it more often. I don’t know.

I will have to fix that.

Before I know another day is gone.

Better make use of those hours granted me each day.



Wanchai Hong Kong


I love taking snaps as I stroll on the street. But when you are not on a photoshoot journey – you barely have time to stop, wait for a pose or the perfect shot. Especially if those with you are on a mission to get somewhere else !
But sometimes its good to share what you see just with the blink of an eye, with those who have never been on that street before.
So today, I take you for a stroll around the block in Wanchai, Hong Kong, around the Wetmarket and a few blocks into Causeway bay getting there.
I am also experimenting with some slideshow software. This time using Slide.ly. Check it out. And let me know if you liked it so I can upload some more of those photos that are just sitting in my photofolders !
Enjoy !

Strolling in Wanchai by Slidely Slideshow




Say What?  Yes. Marsala. The new Pantone Color for 2015.

It’s a WINE, it’s a PLACE, it’s a famous Chicken dish….. and right now it is IT !!! THE Color to go for.

And if you keep your eyes open – you will notice it everywhere.. it has been around for a long time…and still will be.
Like the inside of this old Trunk – my version of Marsala – spotted @Kamers earlier this year.
It’s a sophisticated, rich and grounded colour and the items that the owner displayed here actually gives you a good kickstart on what you can do with it in a room to bring out the colour. Either stay with it in the same hues… the beautiful copper, the color of the belts…… or go for something completely different and opposite to accentuate like the white or green in this case.
This is a sort of washed out version of the real Marsala. It gets more intense and deep as you move more to the color of the wine. See these gorgeous Celebrities who immediately embraced the new trend on the Red Carpet here.  Simply Stunning !!!

But I like this one too – the more humble version, washed out, been around and well-loved before ! On the inside of an old trunkcase.

IMG_1949 - Version 2

Poor MARSALA inside of the trunk had no idea it would become this famous…. but it has been around for a long time and hopefully will for many years to come.

So happy it is getting its moment !!

What are your views on it?

Personally, I like it. Actually, I love it. Remember this post from way back when….when I was WISHING for a room I could makeover in this color scheme and then had to find somebody else to give the goodies to?!

Well – that collage fits right into the mode you will enter into when you embrace this year’s Pantone Color Choice.

Ever wondered how they decide or who gets to decide on it? You can read all about it here and watch the video here for some wonderful insight into this process – an watch the Interview with Lee Eiseman – Executive Director of the Pantone Institute.

Would I personally go out and the next thing I buy do it in MARSALA?
Well – the short answer is No. The reason is not because next year it will be something different and you will be stuck with a “so last season” sofa…. it is more a question of it needs to be right for the room – no matter if it is IT and HOT right now.

But the answer is a definite YES if it suits your room, style and the ambience you wish to create.
It is a beautiful colour and if in doubt which direction to go with your next interior move, then I say go for it. Especially in the form of accessories that you can swop around and supplement once the color is not so high trend anymore.

My advice is always that a room and a space should speak to you personally and you should go with your gut and your heart and feelings at that stage and while you are in that room. Right now I have a little thing for Tangerine Orange and Cobalt Blue and it is so NOT the Pantone Color right now?! But I have a room and a couch that I feel is crying out for it…so, that is what I plan to give them now.

But if you are lost, you can certainly not go wrong to take the lead from the Color Experts and do something so hot, so trendy and so beautiful that it obviously spoke to enough people to be on TOP of TASTE for 2015 !!

Have Fun.

Let me know on the facebook page if you like it or not ?! MARSALA.

I like the sound of it – that’s for sure.

If you are still not sure what it exactly looks like …. here you go:

For some more beautiful images, go to Shutterstock here and simply Google MARSALA….. who needs me???!! to tell them what is MARSALA.

Have fun with it !!


A New Year


Hello Peeps

New Year Celebrations are slowly fading.

Does not mean we need to stop celebrating.



But time to celebrate our creativity again this year.

I had such a fun project over the Festive Season. Will share soon.

To a bright and beautiful 2015 ahead of us all !

Let’s celebrate and also try some new things this year.



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Makes me happy that you got this far down on my blog ! See some older posts in the Archives or by clicking back.

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