Hey friends. Happy 2018 to you!
Before we officially kick off 2018, I’d love to share my Top 10 Favourite Things of 2017 with you.
2017 started with a bang for us! Within the first six weeks of the year, my 75-year old dad had a serious freak accident. This shocked us all because we saw his fragility for the first time ever. Obviously, this also took a toll on my mom. Mix that up with a death in the family, a start-up business & Ernie commuting between Jo’burg & George, & you will understand the stress & madness.
By February, we realised that commuting was not for our family & decided very quickly to relocate back to Jo’burg. We found tenants, a new Joburg abode & started packing by mid-February.
By the time March 2017 arrived I really felt like I’d seen enough of 2017, but it got really so much better as the year moved along. So, here are my favourite moments & things of the year that was – in no particular order:
1.My Ice-Cream Eating Birthday Party in February
After buying an ice-cream maker I became a bit obsessed with making my own iced treats. So for my birthday, I decided to have an ice-cream eating party! It also doubled up as our last get-together with our dear friends in George. My initial idea was to make this a really Pinterest-pretty / Instagram-worthy get-together. But in reality, I was on such a roll with making my six different flavours of ice cream (which takes forever) that the get-together never made it to Pinterest. Or Instagram. Haha. Can anyone relate?
It was still super fun & oh so yummy in the end. The lychee frozen yoghurt, rooibos ice cream & fresh fig sorbet were the hits of the afternoon.
2.Date Nights & Days
After 15+ years together & 10 years of marriage, you would imagine that dates should be something that is a non-negotiable every week. But very often we still battle to fit them in. Silly us. They’re so fun. Why don’t we go on more dates?
When we get round to taking a night or weekend or day out though, we try to make it count. Like recently when we had a babysitter for a couple of hours, we sped off to dinner & a movie. There wasn’t really much on the circuit, so we chose a silly Christmas comedy. Six years ago we would have probably gotten up & left this kind of B-grade movie, but we so loved being out, that we just sat, munched our popcorn & enjoyed being on our own for a change.
Some other awesome dates this year included an impromptu sleepout in Herold’s Bay, sipping delicious Gin cocktails at Tonic in Linden, dinner at The Pop Lock Club in Maboneng. & our awesome night spa experience at The Residence in Houghton.
3.Making, Baking & Creating
Looking back at my camera roll made me realise again how much fun (Oliver &) I had cooking, baking, creating & crafting fun things. Not all with the same amount of success, but the joy factor was a constant. And these type of activities probably kept me out of the cuckoo’s nest too…
I am especially proud of a little Unicorn Pinata that I made. Took me forever, but it came out so cute!
And then I did a shoot, recipes & table setting for Garden & Home magazine. So much planning & work went into this, but it was a great experience for me. I cannot reveal too much at this stage, but the feature will be published in the March 2018 issue of Garden & Home, so don’t forget to get your copy.
4.Eating Lunch Cooked By Jan
Oh my word. I don’t need to bore you with the details (again), but an afternoon spent watching Jan-Hendrik was the best gift to myself.
5.Our George Home Shoot
Please forgive me if I’m telling you about our home for the gazillionth time now. I won’t get into the details again apart from saying that the shoot was such a joy! Ever since we moved into the house I wanted to get it featured in a décor magazine, but there were still a number of projects on my list.
When our move came so suddenly I realised that I had to do my own shoot, so I got in touch with Melanie Mare (whom I didn’t meet until the day of the actual shoot). It was crazy to get a home styled amidst packing, but Melanie was such a great choice & the whole day turned out to be both exhausting & amazing.
6.Oliver’s New School & New Little Friends
Having relocated twice in just about 24 months meant packing, unpacking & all that jazz. But it also meant changing school for Oliver which I found super stressful. But God really showed us such grace & favour with Oli’s school, his teachers & the little friends he made.
We have a deep-rooted love for the city & when we moved back we felt right at home again. It was a bit like meeting an old friend again; it takes a while to catch-up on some small things, but essentially you simply catch up where you left off. The friendly faces, the can do-ness of the city & the general buzz really gets me excited! We are homebodies. Or at least, Oliver is a homebody which means that we spent lots of time just discovering our home & complex. Some days this drives me mad, but we also managed to get out a bit. We specifically spent time discovering the REEA Centre & Delta Cafe, ate at old favourite restaurants & new yummy places.
Reconnecting with old friends & getting to know new kind souls & neighbours was awesome.
Finding a wonderful helper in Luzile is such a blessing. Luzile is honestly one of my best things about being back in Jozi. She is eager to learn, kind at heart, loves to cook & try out new recipes.
8.Exploring New Parts Of The Country
Our camping expedition to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was actually fun & full of memories. Initially, I dreaded this camping trip but I was pleasantly surprised that I survived it!
And then, my solo trip to Durban was so awesome (read more here & here).
9.aZestyLife Christmas Workshops
It is no secret that I love having people over, so when some friends asked if I could involve them in my annual cookie baking & cracker making activities, I decided to see how workshops will work. I’m pleased to say that it worked our very well, so with some tweaks in mind I will probably host more of these for 2018 too.
More exciting workshops & things are in the pipeline for this year, so watch this space for more!
10.Fun Times With Oliver
I will be the first to admit that I find life with a toddler very intense. The afternoons (that we spent together) can be super long. But there are & were also such cute & fun & memorable times. Oliver is four & has a serious fascination with Lego, Paw Patrol & Cars.
He recently started to enjoy swimming.
Some, not such proud moments of 2017: realising that I morphed into very much of a couch potato towards the end of 2017 & bad sleeping habits. I have managed to improve my sleep (since this post), but still haven’t gotten over my insomnia completely. One day at a time.
And now, on to 2018. The year of more. Eat more clean. Have more quiet times. Work more – busier is much better for me. Move more – I’m amped about looking & feeling great. Create more – decor, crafts, cooking, backing. And share more awesomeness (online & offline).
Wishing you a healthy, blessed & safe 2018.