Wednesday, 29 January 2020

January's Daybook

A recent outing to our local farmer's market was the perfect opportunity for capturing a few sweet moments through my lens...



Outside my window...
Today's deliciously cool weather is certainly very welcome after the few stiflingly hot days we have had this week.
I may even attempt a walk to the park when little Mia wakes from her nap...
But first tea. 

In my cup...
Fruit tea sweetened with honey.
This summer I just haven't been able to drink hot coffee, which means I only drink my morning cup, and then that is it for the day.
As I have been trying to cut down on my caffeine intake, I am so happy about this!

Around the house...
We are so thankful to have Dad home for a few weeks, and the family have been enjoying regular morning beach trips and afternoons spent relaxing beside the pool.

As usual, I have several books on the go at once...
I did a lot of reading over December while babysitting, and if you follow me on Goodreads, you'll know that I checked several titles off my list!
Currently I am busy with Lorna Doone and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

I was thrilled to add a few books to my growing collection which I stumbled upon at a second hand store a few weeks ago.  More on that soon!

Not all that much...although sometimes I watch an episode of something (at the moment I am watching the earlier seasons of Call the Midwife again), or part of a Hallmark movie while folding laundry in the evening.

Listening to...
I was over the moon to find two old Celtic Woman albums while browsing a second hand store a few weeks back.
I did a lot of driving in December, so it was fabulous to have new music to listen to.
I also found Josh Groban's Awake concert which I was pretty chuffed about.

Thankful for...
The month my dear friend spent in South Africa and having my dad home.

From the kitchen...
Preserving season is now behind us, and I am delighted with the full jars we have in our pantry.
Together Gabrielle and I made plum jam, apricot jam, strawberry jam, pickled onions, beetroot relish and more.

With the weather being so warm, we are doing a lot of our cooking outside and enjoying a good old South African braai most evenings.

A couple weeks ago I spent a few days making up a custom order for a client.  
I made seven ellies, each one slightly bigger than the one before.
It was a challenge as I was working with fabric I don't ordinarily use, and two ellies split, which meant I had to start all over again.
I am so pleased with how they turned out and felt they were definitely worth the effort.
Other than that, I haven't been creating much lately...

Out and about...
 After a crazy few weeks, I am relishing these quieter days and being able to simply enjoy resting at home...  Besides work, I don't go anywhere if I can help it.

One of my favourite things...
I am enjoying so much about life that I don't think I could pick any one thing...
However, I do so love having a swimming pool - it makes summer so much more bearable!

Dreaming of...
Buying my new camera and learning how to use it...
Reading the new book which should also be arriving in the mail soon.

I am hoping...
To start feeling more rested.
To resume my daily walks, although now that it is hot, I need to walk before I have to get done for work...around 6am.

Quiet moments...
I have been enjoying plenty of blogging time almost every morning while Mia takes her nap.
I haven't been able to invest much time in writing the past couple weeks, so it feels really good to be getting into the swing of things again!

Well, dear friends...  It was ever so lovely to stop in today.

I would love to hear what has been  happening in your corner of the world this month, so do pop me a little note in the comments section - it is always a treat hearing from you!

Oh, and do stop by Ponderings from the Inglenook where I am guest posting today.
Elizabeth is a dear friend of mine, and it is a true honour to be contributing something to her lovely blog!



Friday, 24 January 2020

Ocean Breezes....

Last week I was delighted to have a whole week off...
A whole week of not having to be anywhere at a certain time or do anything beyond a few household tasks.
It was bliss.

One overcast morning, I drove my my mom and three younger siblings, to the tiny ocean town where we spent our happiest month last year.

Tergniet holds a special place in my heart, as it was where we lived for a month after my family got back from the year they spent in China.
Although it was the middle of winter, we had glorious weather and really made the most of the little seaside holiday the Lord miraculously provided for us.

While living in Tergniet, we met the sweetest older lady who lives across the way from where we were staying, and we struck up a lovely friendship with her...
She is one of the most inspiring ladies I have ever met and a joy to be around.
She also adores the little children and makes such an effort to connect with each of them; something so rare among older people.

So, one overcast morning we decided to take a drive through and pay her a visit...
And of course we had to go for a walk on the beach, although we had to cut it short as it was pretty stormy that day...

 ^A hidden gem, Tergniet

 ^I love how clean and untouched this little piece of coast is.

 ^The perfect spot for a walk...

 ^...And for dipping your toes in the salt water!

^Always wonderful getting to spend time with my little buddy!

It was such a special morning, and I loved being able to spend this time with some of my younger siblings, my mom and our sweet friend.

May the rest of your week be lovely...
With love,


Sunday, 19 January 2020

recently + hopes for 2020

Hello lovely readers and hello new year....

While I had the best of intentions of publishing several posts over December, I am afraid the last month of 2019 exploded.
I found myself barely keeping my head above water with all the activity in our busy household!

Let's see...what did we get up to in December...

We were blessed to have dear friends stay with us for a weekend early in December.
The orchestra Nancy plays violin for, put on their Christmas concert on the Sunday, so our friends were able to join us for an evening of music.
We also managed to squeeze in a rather rainy beach walk and ice cream!

 That weekend we also set up for our annual gift market which ran for six days...
It was a crazy week as I was also still working.
By the time Saturday rolled around, we were pretty exhausted.
Around this time, my dear friend, whom I hadn't seen in a year and half, arrived from the States, and we spent as much time together as we could!

 ^Beach walks with one of my favourite people in the world.

 ^I am so grateful for the few weeks we had together!

The next day I started a new temporary job babysitting for a family vacationing at the beach.  
Initially I was only meant to work between 4-6 days, but I ended up being with them for ten days in total .
I loved every moment of babysitting for this family.
My job was to look after their six week old baby girl which I really enjoyed.
Plus, their house overlooked the ocean and I spent most of my days holding the baby whilst sitting on the deck watching the waves crash upon the shore or reading a book.

I also celebrated my 23rd birthday in early January...

 ^We kicked off the day with homemade baked cheesecake and tea

 ^What a blessing to have this amazing friend celebrate with me!

 ^The two little ones enjoying their tea and cheesecake.

 ^This beautiful tea set was a gift from another dear friend!  
My collection is growing...{{smiles}}

 ^Cheesecake is my favourite, so of course I had to bake one for my birthday!

And this Sunday past my dad arrived home from China!
We just didn't think the day would ever arrive...
He will be home for a little over a month, so we are making the most of every moment.

After a short week break between jobs, I am now back with  Mia till the end of the month.
My heart breaks when I think of having to move on, but I feel so blessed to have this time with her.

Towards the end of last year a new position as an au pair for a sweet homeschooling family opened up.
From February I will be with this family for a whole year.
I am excited about this opportunity as I feel it is a good fit and will really help me put some more roots down.

I have so many hopes for this year, one being taking my interest in child photography to a new level.
Thanks to the extra work the Lord provided, I was able to save what I needed for a new camera. 
The lenses and other necessary equipment will have to follow, but I am thrilled to be making the first step.
I have wanted to start doing photography as more than just a hobby for years now, but only now does the time feel right.

Apart from au pairing and photography, I intend to grow my vegetable garden (we are still enjoying fresh cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, herbs and zucchini every day!) and spend more time sewing for pleasure.
I intend to fill my bookshelf and my mind with good, wholesome books and cut down even more on screen time.

 ^The best place to clear my head...the ocean

My hope is to take things a lot slower this year and to create a healthier, gentler way of life.

This year will bring about many changes with my dad returning home for good in July.  Pray for him please as he makes this transition and looks to the Lord for wisdom and guidance.

I learnt so many valuable lessons in 2019 - things which I intend to take with me into 2020.
I will be sharing about this soon, so stay tuned!
Dear friends, as we step into a new year, I pray that the Lord would have His hand upon each of you.
I pray that He would lead and guide you and draw you closer to His heart.

Thank you for joining me on this journey - I am excited about a whole year of blogging ahead!

With love,

Monday, 2 December 2019

The perfect gift…

 The sweet little girl in my care has just turned six months old and was christened this past Sunday…

I have grown so fond of baby Mia and the two of us have a special bond…  I love the big smile she gives me in the morning when I arrive, and how she laughs when we play peek-a-boo.
Or how excited she is when I hold her wee hands and let her stand for a bit on her wobbly legs.

Thus, it was a true honour to be invited to attend her christening service.
I had actually never been to a baby’s Christening before – as babies we were dedicated, and as we grew older we made our own decision to be baptised.

After talking with my mom, I realised it would be proper to take a gift.  I knew I didn’t want to buy anything, but had no idea what I could make that would be special enough…
Thankfully my mom again came to the rescue and suggested I make Mia her own Miss Lettice Rabbit for the occasion.

I set to work straight away…
It was lovely making something with a specific person in mind, especially this little girl whom I have become so attached to...

 I embroidered Mia’s name on the rabbit’s ear…

I am so pleased with how this Miss Lettice Rabbit turned out and loved being able to give a handmade gift.

When I first started looking after Mia as a three month old, I had no idea what a blessing this au pair job would be...
True, it has been extremely challenging and tiring at times, but it has also been a great joy playing a role in Mia’s life, and I am making the most of the time I have left with her!

Happy first week of December, dear friends!
Summer has most certainly arrived in our corner of the world and we are enjoying the warmer days and the delights they bring!
I spent this weekend in my happy place preserving the lovely fresh blueberries and apricots that arrived!  

What have you been up to lately, sweet readers?



Thursday, 21 November 2019

in my world ~ november

 "Everyone should regularly have themselves overwhelmed by nature."

~ George Harrison

 ^Look how deep the stream is after all the rain we have had the past week!

^The little ones playing "Pooh sticks"

 ^The perfect imaginary airplane!

^Our two young explorers, Rebekah (10) and Sofia (8).

^I love taking photographs at the railway track!

^And it is always wonderful on an overcast day…makes for a dramatic backdrop!

 ^The three littles – Sofia, Rebekah and Caleb.


^We always enjoy our walks in the forest…
Outside my window…

The world outside is dark and rain is threatening.  I had hoped to take little one for her walk, but we will have to wait till the weather clears…
It would seem that winter is not quite finished with us yet with the past two weeks being cold and rainy…

In my cup…

Rooibos citrus tea.  I have started drinking more herbal and fruit teas so as to reduce my caffeine intake…  I think I am starting to acquire a taste for tea and enjoy trying out new flavours.

Around the house…

This past month saw us shifting rooms around so that both Nancy and I now have our own space, which has enabled me to do a lot more sewing in the evenings and early mornings.  I do miss having my younger sister, Gabrielle, in the room with me, though.


Last week I shared that one of my goals for this year was to read more and how I have more than achieved what I set out to accomplish. 
Recently I finished reading Twenty Years After (the sequel to The Three Musketeers) and Bonnie Dundee by Rosemary Sutcliff, as well as Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell.
I picked up The Yearling again and am slowly but surely getting through it.  Although I do think it a wonderful story and really well written, I confess that I am dragging my heels through this book.  I am hoping to start Jo’s Boys this week….

Listening to…

Celtic Woman just released their lovely new Christmas album, The Magic of Christmas.  I know I said I was going to wait till December to start listening to Christmas music…but oh well…I simply couldn’t resist!  {{smiles}}

Thankful for…

It may be almost summertime, but the weather is still pretty cool during the day, and the nights cold.
I love this in between weather and enjoy being able to spend as much time as possible out of doors.  I still walk for about an hour every day with the little girl in my care - soon it will be too hot to do this and I will have to see about squeezing in a walk before work or in the evenings…

From the kitchen…

It is preserving time in our home and I have been spending many a happy hour in the kitchen pickling, preserving and bottling.  So far I have made pickled onions, beetroot relish, tomato chilli jam and strawberry jam.  Soon apricots will be coming in and I can’t wait to start making apricot jam and chutney.
I am expecting a good harvest of cucumbers (I planted so many this year) and would very much like to make my own gherkins with the new cucumbers.


As I mentioned last week, I have been spending all my free time in my sewing room.  I am feeling pretty confident about being finished in time for this year’s gift market if I can just keep up this pace.  I also had an order come in (Thank you, Lord), so I need to fit this in somewhere along the line too.  {{smiles}}

In the garden…

My little garden is growing quite prolifically at the moment…  Soon we will be harvesting cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.  The squash has just begun to flower and we haven’t bought any lettuce, spinach or herbs in a long while.  Of course, with limited space, one can only grow so much.  I like to squeeze as much in as possible and use up whatever containers I have on hand.

Out and about…

With the weeks being so busy, I haven’t been out and about all that much.
We did spend a Saturday visiting the open gardens in our area, though, which you can hop over and read about here.


Some evenings our family gather to watch an episode of Little Men, a series inspired by the writings of Louisa May Alcott.  Despite being quite old, it is well acted and a series we all enjoy watching.

One of my favourite things…

In the evenings once the little ones have gone to bed, Mom and I make some chamomile tea and sit together for a few minutes before bed…I always love winding down my day in this way.

Dreaming of…

There is a good chance my dearest friend will be visiting this December.  We haven’t seen each other in almost two years as her family moved back to the States…  We are both praying that this trip to South Africa will work out for her family.
My dad comes home for a three-week holiday in January, so we are starting to count down to his arrival. 

I am hoping…

That the weather will play along for the camping trip we have planned for this weekend coming.  There will be around fourteen of us going (friends, and friends of friends), so it should be great fun and I know we will make a lot of wonderful memories!

Quiet moments…

My favourite time of the day has always been early morning when the world is only just awakening.  I love to take my coffee outside and sit for a few minutes savouring the quiet while I sip my morning cuppa.  Of course, with little ones in the house who also happen to be early risers, what little peace there is (we live in a very busy part of town) can sometimes be shattered!

Well, sweet readers.  I would love to hear what is going on in your part of the world this November…