May 31, 2007

May Day Weight Loss Challenge - Week 2

I weigh in on Wednesdays because that's when I started.

And sadly, there is nothing exciting to report - instead, I am up 0.8kg.

Michelle did this on her blog and I liked it, so...

Starting weight: 55.4
This week's weight: 56.4
Since WL challenge: +1kg

Hopefully next week there's some action downwards!

The June newsletter's out!

Hi everybody

In this month's newsletter...
  1. Message from Marcia
  2. Financial Freedom coaching programme & e-course - special subscriber offer ends at midnight!
  3. Upcoming workshops
  4. Great way to promote vital life skills and ea.rn some c.ash
  5. E-courses galore
  6. 8 steps to conquer your paper

Remember a few years ago when we all got excited about a paperless society? Well, I don’t know about you but I seem to have more paper now than ever before.

Read the rest of the article...

Until next week, enjoy

Love and success!

Missus Smarty Pants is a doll!

Remember this post?

Well, I sent the link to Leslie (Missus Smarty Pants) and she emailed me back, thanking me for the exposure on this blog.

AND she extended my membership for free for another 3 months. Now that is so kind of her.

So you guys must go over to her site and sign up. It's for free and you will learn such a lot just from her weekly newsletter.

Do yourself a favour and go on over. And if you buy your profile (only $9,99 for 3 months) remember to tell me what your style is. I'm a C.

May 30, 2007

Time travel Tuesday - first dates

I'm a whole day late but here you go, Coach J (or Jen-Jen), just for you.

Since I've only ever had very few first dates and only one long-term relationship (2 years) besides Dion, I'll tell you about our first date, shall I?

The short version is we went as friends but returned as a couple.

There you go - short and sweet!

Okay, seriously now...

The thing is that Dion loves movies (I can't explain how much - it's an obsession) and in fact, he studied TV and Film (more on that later). I studied science (microbiology, remember?) and we only had our practicals in the laboratory. My best friend majored in English and always had papers to write on this book and that book and so she couldn't go see many movies with me.

So I wanted to see a movie (Mississippi Masala) and I was begging her to come with me so he pipes up and says, "I'll go see it with you." Cool - so we made a plan for Saturday and he came to my res to pick me up.

Well, everything was just normal as we were walking to the movie theatre (nobody had cars in Gtn - v. small university town) but once inside, we were doing that thing where you're very aware of exactly how far your arm is from his and so on... And I think I stumbled in the dark so he reached out his hand to steady me...

Anyway, nice movie and afterwards, he wanted to go back because he had to film a lot of stuff the next day for an assignment, and edit it all. In those days I was a huge party girl (dancing on tables and so on...) so I said, "where's your sense of adventure?" Now you know guys and a threat to their manhood.

So we went to the Spur quickly for a drink and a plate of chips, then to the Vic where we did the dancing-on-the-table thing and then back to res where we exchanged a few kisses and decided to become a couple. Remember we'd been chatting up a storm every day for about 4 - 6 weeks.

Now interestingly enough, the next morning when I told my res friends, "Dion and I are now going out" (which is what we called it in those days - 1992), everybody said.....FINALLY.

Apparently they could see that we were headed that way but we had no idea. And so started a beautiful love story!

This was taken in front of Drostdy Hall when we went to Grahamstown in December 2006 for a friend's wedding. It's exactly where the magic happened all those years ago and that's why I love this picture so much.

May 27, 2007

Weekend cooking - spicy tomato lentil sauce

200g cooked lentils/ kidney beans/ chickpeas*
50g onions
225g tomato (from a can is just fine)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp garlic & chilli
1/2 tsp curry powder
salt & pepper to taste

* pulses are a great source of low-fat protein

Heat oil.
Add onions and saute until translucent.
Add tomato.
Add garlic and all spices.
Then add cooked lentils/ kidney beans/ chickpeas
Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes.

Serve over a +-200g baked potato.

If you want, you can sprinkle cheese on the top and zap in the microwave for 30 seconds. Enjoy!

Serves 2

May 26, 2007

Weekend reflections - 26 May 2007

Click on picture to go visit Judi

This week was the start of winter in Jhb. While I absolutely love the cold weather, I couldn't help but be really sad at the 54 people who died due to the cold this week. Makes me so grateful for heaters, my electric blanket and warm clothes.

baby news
My sister's baby boy was born yesterday. Both mom and baby are doing very well. I'm so happy for her. She is a little sore from the caesar but everything else is fine. Oh, and his name is Kadon.

date night
Dion and I went to see Fracture last night but because we could only get seats in the first couple of rows, we decided to see something else - Employee of the Month.

Jessica Simpson was a lot better than I expected! The movie was light entertainment, just what we needed after a long week.

I went to the gynae this week to get my weird cycles checked out. I'm going to do a bit of coaching here - when was the last time you got checked out? Have you had your PAP smear done? Do you need to get a mammogram done?

If you haven't been for more than a year, please go get your planner.... I'll wait..... and make a note to phone for an appointment. Let me know if you took my gentle proddings and did it.

I launched a new coaching programme this week - Financial Freedom. Yay!!! And I booked two new clients - coaching and organising!

I also got a great new idea from Suzanne (which went onto my Great Ideas list). I regularly run workshops and of course, develop material to work through in the session. I saw from Suzanne that she sells the material separate to the workshop if people want to buy it. Great idea, Suzanne.

I loved reading all the time travel posts that were hosted by annie. And seeing her gorgeous keychains.

Also enjoyed reading the eating out posts from the tagged bloggers, Suzanne, Beth and Ali. Ali's post made me drool.

And I'm working on my 100th post over at the organising blog.

I really need to start getting up earlier. I am blogging and emailing too much, and then reading very late.

I also need to get moving more so I can actually lose some weight on the challenge.

spring reading thing
I am so behind on the non-fiction. So this week I am going to be reading Organizing my Life.

things I am grateful for this week
my gorgeous husband
heaters, electric blankets and gloves
blogging friends

May 24, 2007

High drama at the library/ Spring Reading Thing #10

Dion and I love books. Of course our favourite places are bookshops but since I refuse to pay for any fiction (since I fly through them so fast), we make a trip to the library every 3 weeks.

So the last time we went, the librarian starts arguing with Dion because of the outstanding fines. Dion had phoned in previously to renew the books and was told one amount on the phone. So he says to her in a very nice way, "but I was told Rx on the phone" and she starts flipping out. Oh my word. "Fine, pay me Rx but if I go to jail, you better come visit me". Trying to lay a guilt trip on him so he'd pay the higher amount.

I'm not a fan of screaming matches myself although I don't mind one but Dion? He hates any sort of confrontation. The good thing is he had his dates when he phoned. So I very calmly walked away because if she had to start on me, I'd tell her, "no, I am not visiting you and I don't really care if you go to jail or not".

Their system is flawed as we soon found out (and no, I didn't offer to sort it out for them but I was very tempted) because soon after we paid the reduced fines and walked away, something similar happened to another man. They wanted to know where some other books were and he said, "when were they taken out?" Turns out he wasn't even in the country on those dates.

But here's the thing. She shouts to her colleague who is filing books at the other end of the library, "Joseph, from now onwards we are changing the rules because of this man". He naturally takes exception to having the rules changed because of him because he is not even at fault and so the two of them start arguing properly. High drama in the library of all places.

Of course, everybody is pretending there is nothing out of the ordinary... la la la ...but everyone is listening and watching this spectacle out of the corner of their eyes.

You can't relax in such a tense atmosphere so we quickly selected some books and zapped it out of there.

So what are we going to do differently?
I said to Dion, from now onwards we are going to have a system. We are noting down time, date, who spoken to, exactly what was said, and taking that notebook with us every time. I'm not having some disorganised librarian getting on our case again.

Dion didn't even want to go back... but seems like he's reassured by my system ;)

Book review
Making your mind up - Jill Mansell

This is not officially part of my SRT list but hey! I read it during the specified time period.

I always enjoy Jill Mansell. This is not heavy literature - it is definitely chick-lit, but enjoyable chick-lit. I got a little irritated with Lottie Carlyle because how can you let your (very young) children tell you who you can and can't date?! Grrr.

However, it all works out beautifully. This was a nice weekend read to relax with and I gave it an 8.

May Day Weight Loss Challenge - my week 1

Well, I'm late to post but I weighed yesterday and ....drumroll please... I am 0.2kg up! This is the only time in the world when it's bad to be up!
No excuses but I'm not too concerned though because of these things:
  1. I am choosing healthier foods.
  2. I had a lot less chocolate and no chips this week.
  3. I only had a little bit of cake.
  4. It is cold so I am drinking mugs and mugs of tea and coffee.
  5. Most important, I am back at my dance classes. Went on Monday and again on Wednesday.
Good thing I don't compare myself to others because those other ladies are kicking butt!

May 22, 2007

Time Travel Tuesday

Annie, thank you for hosting this.

As with most other things in my life, I made a really quick decision on blogging and just jumped in! I also wanted a place for my church ministry (I help people to discover their God-given gifts and passion in my “spare” time) to post pictures, notices, and so on so I jumped into the whole blogging thing without much thought. In retrospect...I probably would have done it that way again but I would have given just a tad more thought to the blog name and URL.

I first stumbled across a business blog (incidentally, that blog fizzled after about 2 – 3 months) very late in 2005 and that was my entrance to the blogging business. I started reading mommy blogs immediately. I thought that blogging was a great idea and set mine up early in 2006. As you can see, not much has changed in terms of fancy layouts and all the fun stuff ;)

In the beginning, I'll confess that blogging sometimes seemed like more of a burden than a pleasure. And yet I really love writing. I’ve always been really good at keeping in contact with friends through letters (in the old days) and then through email. Late last year, I eventually got my blogging rhythm going and now I’m comfortable and I enjoy it very, very much.

Here is my first post – no great shakes, just playing around…

Now if you're still reading... I want your advice.

1. This was my first blog and still is my main blog in many respects.
2. I started the organising blog shortly after this one because I like categories in my life as you may have guessed ;) and I wanted a place to put my tips.
3. I actually have been feeling a bit torn lately with blogging as I would like to have only one blog. Since blogger beta arrived, I can now categorise to my heart’s content.
4. I have the two main blogs and an anonymous one (I know a couple of you have found it but thanks for keeping quiet and pretending you don’t know about the other one!).Thing is, the organising tips blog is now very popular (by my low blogging standards and in comparison to this one).
5. But this one is on my business cards and I still have a lot left!

So what do you think?
Would you combine the two?
Which blog would you move everything to?
Would you start a new blog?
Any other suggestions?

May 19, 2007

Weekend reflections #1

I mentioned to Annie that I should start doing these weekend reflections so even though I forgot, I'm going to jump right in.

We were without water from Friday to Monday so had to go to Jhb Connect to sort out the problem. Fortunately by Mon evening it was sorted. We don't realise how much we take basic, basic things for granted. I realised last weekend that there are millions of people in this country who don't have running water and live like that permanently. And at least I had the luxury of jumping in my car and going to shower at the gym!

We stuck to our menu plan the whole week!

Bea came to clean on Thursday - huge excitement.

Health & fitness
I skipped my dance class both Mon and Wed. Mon there was this whole water thing and the house was a mess so we needed to get it all in order. Wed I did not feel well (flu) and didn't want to get worse.

I am not 100% better - am sleeping on a huge pillow so I don't wake up coughing - but so far, so good. Haven't had to take off any time from work.

However, I dropped some grams since last week, weigh-wise and now I've joined the challenge, that will keep me accountable. Today, I even refused cake. Cake, people!

Read a Jill Mansell - loved it!

Coached someone on Tuesday. I do love the ones where I help them with starting up new businesses. Thinking of starting a mastermind group for self-employed people.

Org challenge is done!
Loved getting to know Military Mommy a bit better.
Am up to date with Google Reader.

Had a friend over for coffee and pancakes on Thursday night.

Date night (thanks for reminding me, Jenny)
Dion emailed me on Thursday at work, "let's have date night on the couch in front of the TV. There's a romantic movie on SABC3". Of course I was keen! Guess what we watched? Something's Gotta Give. Wow - that house is beautiful. This time around I recorded it.

Our church is having farewell services this weekend because we're moving to a new building.

We went tonight and we'll go again tomorrow night. It was sooo emotionally draining. There were pastors there who have since started their own churches and who I haven't seen for years and years. They've been in this building for 26 years (and we've been there for 13 1/2 years) and they showed DVDs where the pastors were SO young! I cried and cried. Dion and I got married there 12 years ago!

Things I am grateful for
My health
My husband and best friend
Belonging to a church that is impacting people in a big way

Cinnamon love

One of my favourite things in life is cinnamon. I love it on anything. The more cinnamon, the better.

When we travel, we always go try out any cinnamon buns at new places. Of course, this is largely due to me. My dear husband doesn’t have as much of a sweet tooth as I seem to have.

We were in Malaysia when we saw first saw Cinnabon – absolutely delicious – and my heart almost stopped beating just from the delicious smells.

So when I heard that Cinnabon opened in Sandton, I immediately asked Dion to get me a bun. The first time he went he got lost there so brought me a cinnamon croissant as a consolation prize. Which did not console me!

Anyway, a week or two later, he came home with this…

Eat your heart out! It is every bit as good as it looks - cinnful!

They are R15 each! More than double what we should pay. But I said to him, “let’s pretend we’re overseas and paying in US$. Then the R15 suddenly looked cheap ;)

P.S. This was before I joined the May Day Weight Loss Challenge!

Edited to add
Here is the Clone of a Cinnabon recipe that Ali mentioned in the comments

May 18, 2007

May Day Weight Loss Challenge

Look what I found happening in the blogosphere! Just what I need - some accountability. And can you believe that over 200 ladies have already signed up?! This runs from 8 May to 18 September. Just in time for Spring here in Jhb.

I won't bore you with the details but I haven't been on Weigh-Less for 2 months. I think my body's used to everything so I need to shake things up a bit, go do some more exercise, something!

I can't seem to comment on Typepad blogs for some reason (it's always been the case and is nothing new) so once I've posted this, I'll send Beth an email to join up.

I currently weigh 55.4 kg and my goal weight is 52kg. Quite honestly, if I get to 54kg, I'll be happier. That's where I was before Thailand last year and I felt very comfortable at that weight - healthy and full of vitality.

BTW, I have a small frame so even 1,4 makes a huge difference.

But obviously, the intention is to go all the way...

Let the games begin!

I use a health chart to keep track of my exercise minutes, fruit and veg portions and water consumption. What do you use?

Make a life list

Get a life list at SuperViva and live your dreams

I found this great site through my friend Beth and I've just started compiling my list of 101 life goals.

So what do you want to do with your life?

You don't have to go very long-term if you don't want to. You can make things to do this summer or goals for 2007, etc.

Now go over there and make your list. Or at the very least go have a look at the things other people have on their list.

And if you want to take it a step further, may I suggest my goals book, 12 days to goal-setting success, where I show you exactly how to set and achieve your goals.

What do you have to lose? Nothing!

May 16, 2007

Spring reading thing #8

The Seed Handbook - Lynne Franks

Lynne Franks uses the example of a garden to talk about the different aspects of a business. For example, you have to prepare the ground before you can plant your seeds.

It's all about the female way of doing business intuitively. Which can be new-agey. I tend to gloss over stuff I don't believe in and look for the nuggets. Which there is some of in every book.

I think I should have read this when I actually bought it (a good 2 - 3 years ago) so that it could benefit me more.

For those of us who have been going awhile, I don't think you'll get much out of this. Or maybe you will. I didn't.

But if you're thinking of starting your own business, this covers a lot and is a really good place to start.

If you'd like this book, leave a comment below and tell me. All I ask is that you pay your own postage or come get it from me (if you're in Jhb).

May 15, 2007

Boost your body confidence

I forgot to mention last week that I have an article in this month’s Get-It mag titled “Boost your body confidence”

It’s on the second page 1 (on the six-page Body Beautiful insert).

They also did a profile on Angelique Roos (my partner on the Fabulous You! Workshops) and that is featured on pages 18 & 19.

I scanned both of these in and you can read them here.

Book your place NOW on the next Fabulous You! Workshop on Saturday 2 June.

May 14, 2007

Weekend cooking - Easy lemon fridge tart


1 pkt tennis biscuits (any biscuit that will make a nice base)
1 tin condensed milk
1 tub cream
½ cup lemon juice
Use a square dish - mine takes about 3 X 3 biscuits

Beat cream (I use low-fat), add lemon juice and condensed milk.
Keep one biscuit aside for sprinkling on the top
Arrange one layer of biscuits
Pour half the mixture
Arrange second layer of biscuits
Pour rest of mixture
Put the one biscuit in a ziplock bag and mash it fine with a rolling pin – good stress relief too ;)
Sprinkle "biscuit dust" on top

Put in fridge to set for about an hour

As easy as that – you are done.

It takes about 10 minutes to do and is a hit every single time!

May 10, 2007

Do you menu plan?

Menu planning.

It is probably the one thing I do that saves me the MOST time every week (besides Google Reader, of course, but then you're tired of hearing me rave about this).

It is also going to save you money when you start using up all the freezer food and stuff at the back of the cupboards.

Note - you must do this BEFORE you go to the shops ;)

1. Go to your freezer and cupboards to see what food you have that you need to use, and make a list.
2. Write out a menu plan for a week (if you do weekly shopping) or longer, if you want to do so. Download menu planner & shopping list
3. Add any items that you need to your weekly shopping list and do shopping.
4. Stick the menu plan to your fridge.

Now you don't have to rack your brain every night wondering what to cook. You have a PLAN.

I also have another habit going where I cook something most Sunday afternoons. This is not for eating that day, but for freezing.

So when I have to work late or have lots on the go (like judging the challenge), I just defrost two meals because I freeze individual portions. It's like having a built-in Woolworths, only healthier ;) And when my cupboards are full of plastics, I know I'm not cooking enough!

We went through a stage where we didn't buy any meat for two months while we finished everything in the freezer and started on the cupboards. You see, we all get into a habit of buying the same groceries every week without checking if we really need it.

So this coming week, I'd like to encourage you to menu plan. And if you already do so, then your challenge is to only buy perishables this week and eat from your freezer and cupboards.

So, do you? Let me know in the comments.

May 08, 2007

Bits of randomness & Spring Reading

Are you a writer? Whether you write blog posts, articles or novels, you will love this great, short article on writing by Scott, the Nametag Guy. He's over there in my sidebar too. I love his writing style.

All our holiday photos are now on the travel blog. Go have a look at the world's highest bungee, the gorgeous Knysna lagoon and the Cango Caves.

I read two books while we were away.

1. Hot stuff - Elaine somebody???
Very weak chick-lit. I can't even be bothered to write a proper review because I don't want you to waste your time on this. I give it 5/6 out of 10.

2. Sam's letters for Jennifer - James Patterson
You know how I feel about James Patterson. That readability factor does it for me every time. And this one was no different.

It's not as good as Suzanne's diary for Nicholas (this WILL make you cry) but very enjoyable nonetheless.

I gave it an 8 and finished it on 30 April just pushing it to 6 books for the month. Yes, I know I'm behind.

3. The chocolate run - Dorothy Koomson
This is a classic case of "don't judge a book by its cover". I thought this was going to be another Hot Stuff (see number 1) but it was great!

It is funny, tender, heatwarming - all those good stuff so do get this one. Still chick-lit, but good chick-lit.

This one gets an 8.

And now (like Katrina said) I have 1 fiction left and lots of non-fiction. So I've been forcing myself to read non-fiction this week.

I'm reading The Seed Book (women's guide to business) and if I continue at 20 pages a day, should be done on Friday night - yes! Leaving the weekend free to indulge in my beloved fiction again!

If anybody wants to have The Seed Book when I'm done, let me know in the comments. You are more than welcome to it as I can already see that it won't go on my permanent bookshelf . If lots of people want it, I'll do a draw. The only thing is you'll have to pay the postage.

That's it for now, folks.

May 04, 2007

Missus Smarty Pants

Ladies, you know it's important to take time for yourself.

I wanted to let you all know about a great resource that I use. She is called Missus Smarty Pants and is a friend of Flylady (who you know I also recommend).

Basically, you buy your profile (A – E) depending on your body shape for either 3 months (this is the one I bought because I wasn’t sure if I’d be wasting my money) or 12 months. I’d recommend you go straight for the 12-month one because I’ve been signed up for 2 months now and it is great value for money.

The 3-month option is US$9.99 (R75) and the 12-month one is US$29.99 (R225). Her site is secure and as you know, I buy lots of stuff online.

Anyway, I’m a C-body type (smaller on top than on the bottom) and all the tricks are working for me!

Let me know if you sign up – I’d love to know your type too!

May 03, 2007

We're back from holiday

Dion and I celebrated 12 years of marriage on 29 April by going to Knysna for a few days.

Here is a picture of us inside the Cango Caves, outside of Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape.

More pics will follow on the other blog on the weekend.