Addicted to Pinterest

Hi my name is Plum, and I’m addicted to Pinterest.

When I say addicted I am not being funny. I am being dead serious! Pinterest is a site I spend HOURS on every week. I get completely lost in a world of great ideas, fashion, beauty, amazing photos, home decor, tattoos, fitness, storage, gift ideas, yummy drinks, places I’d love to visit. (My mom is also addicted to it and loves looking at all the different pins.)

Below are some funny ecards I saw relating to Pinterest addictions and some are so true to me! Especially the one that I just want to look at a few pins while enjoying my morning coffee and 3 hours later I am still pinning.

If you haven’t tried out Pinterest and you love being inspired give it a go. You’d be amazed what you can find there. Look for me on >> flutterbyplum. As of 16 Feb 2014 I have 52 boards with 4980 pins and I am following 590 people. I can’t wait to pin more!

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My new beginning

New beginnings are pretty cool things. They give you the chance to try something new, close the door on negative energy in a toxic environment and start again. With that comes new choices, challenges, opportunities, excitement and happiness. Think about it, how often do you get a chance to start over? Not often.

Today was day 1 of my new chapter in life. I must admit my body was feeling a little tired and sluggish because the high levels of stress, anxiety and adrenaline have now subsided. I am hoping after a second good night’s sleep that I will feel refreshed and back to my normal self again.

Tomorrow my mom and I are going to the Nan Hua Buddhist Temple in Bronkhorstpruit for Chinese New Year. I absolutely love going there and sitting inside the temple. I feel so at peace and a lot less weighed down by life in general. Nan Hua is the largest Buddhist temple and seminary in Africa. I’m definitely taking my camera with so I will share some photos with you of the day’s events.

don't be scared

don't resist

you create

Life is never dull

One thing I have come to realise over the last 2 years is that my life is never dull. I am always on the run to see someone, look after someone, fetch something, buy something or meet a deadline. Part of me would love a ridiculously boring week with zero buzzing around, but I know I would probably get bored very quickly. I am however looking forward to change that is coming to my life in 9 days and am going to embrace it with a very big hug!

Doing a French braid is really easy

I’ve done a French braid in my hair a couple of times lately and have had so many people ask me how to do one. Here is a video where Lauren Conrad does a great job of showing you how simple it is. I don’t usually put an elastic in the top but if you are starting out and would like the extra help then definitely use one. When you get the hang of it then try do a braid without out one in.

Follow your dreams…

Follow your dreams…

I just want to say a huge thank you for all the positive feedback I received after my blog post about my big decision. I really have some awesome people in my life! More and more I’m seeing signs that … Continue reading

Back online

I am happy to announce that I am finally back online after being disconnected for a week. Annoying thieves stole the phone cables in our area which meant that I came home last Tuesday to a dead landline and zero Internet connection. Our landline was finally reconnected on Friday only for us to discover that they had connected another house’s landline number to our house. After my sibling sat on hold numerous times trying to sort things out we finally are connected once again and I have Internet. I no longer feel cut off from the rest of the world! Yippeee! Hope you all have a wonderful week ahead and hopefully it will fly by.

x

2 books I can’t do without in 2014

diary 2014 copy

I can’t get through life without a daily planner. It helps me stay focussed,  plan properly, remember important events like birthdays and keeps my important info all in one. I know all smart phones have electronic planners and many people use those instead of hard copy planners but I’m still quite old school and like to write things down in mine and carry it around in my bag. Over the last few months my short-term memory has become almost non-existant all thanks to my stress levels which resulted in high cortisol levels. You could tell me something, I’d respond and in 10 minutes I wouldn’t remember it at all. I would mentally make a note of groceries I needed and as soon as I’d grabbed a basket and started walking down the shopping aisles I wouldn’t be able to list anything that I had needed! Hopefully my memory will get back to normal soon.

Another important book in my life is a food diary. I have a fast metabolism and have to eat small meals about 5 to 7 times a day. When I have time I plan meals and pack lunches for work and generally eat well. Over the last couple of months this didn’t happen. On days at the office when I was under immense stress I would live off 2 cups of coffee and a can of coke (yip that is all!) for a whole day while working furiously at my desk. Not healthy at all! As a result of that delightful “meal” I would leave work on those days with a headache, feeling sluggish and grumpy.

2014 is my year to get fit and focussed and that calls for a food diary and healthy eating. In my food diary I list the food and drinks I consume in a day. By doing this I get to see a list of how well/poorly I have eaten which helps me be more aware of what I’m putting into my body. What you put in is what you get out afterall. When I’m tempted to snack on junk food I take a look at the list, I feel guilty and that helps me say no to those nasty cravings. Some people also write down their feelings when they eat certain foods and keep a record of that in their diary. I don’t do that. I do however know that when I consume potatoes, chocolate and coca cola I instantly feel better. These are things I need to work on cutting out of my diet, especially on days when I feel tired. When my stress levels are super high and I crawl out of bed and have zero energy it is so easy for me to reach for coca cola in the fridge even before I’ve had a cup of coffee or tea. Again a big no-no and I need to get back to starting my day off with a cup of hot water or a tall glass of chilled sparkling water.

My diaries both looked pretty drab so I added some washi tape to their covers to add some fun to them. Now comes the big job of writing in all the important information I need to have with me daily.

Big decision and a new start. Happy New Year!

Good riddance to 2013! I don’t know about you but I didn’t have a particularly good year in 2013. There have been many ups and downs over the last 12 months and as I headed towards the end of the year I realised the downs far surpassed the ups. I thought I was the only one who’d had a particularly rough year but it turns out I was wrong. I’ve chatted to various people who all feel the same way and couldn’t wait for a new start in 2014. So as I sip on my mint green tea I’ll give you a run down of what I went through and what I’ve decided for my future.

2013 started off well with all the excitement about my op I had been saving up for. About 2 years ago while eating sushi with a friend and chatting about her boob job she’d had I decided there and then that that was exactly what I wanted to do for myself. I saved up, booked an appointment with the surgeon and knew as soon as I met him that he was the doctor for me. I wanted to do the op for my 30th birthday and that was my present to myself – new boobs. I had the op and endured the pain and today am thrilled with the results. I don’t regret doing it and am so glad I did this for myself.

Before the op things at work had been chaotic and I was exhausted by the time I went on leave for the op. I couldn’t wait to sleep as much as possible! As I could travel after the op my mom and I went to Dikhololo Game Reserve for a week to clutch out in the bush. We arrived there unpacked and relaxed immediately. We spent the week reading, watching TV, chatting and doing cross stitch. I realised then that I was finally feeling like my old self again. I hadn’t seen that side of me in months! I found myself  laughing, relaxing, less moody and irritable and a nicer person to be around again. It was also great spending quality time with my mom. We went for game drives in the afternoons and saw some animals up close. In the evenings we were treated to visits by zebra and kudu while we were sitting outside quietly next to the braai. When the week was up and we had to pack up and leave I was really sad that the holiday was over and that I had to get back to reality again.

zebras

On the way back to Pretoria I didn’t have time to be depressed. My brother’s big day had arrived that day and he was graduating from his bachelor degree. We were all very excited and rushed non-stop to get a whole bunch of things organised (one of which was to fetch his surprise cake) before we went to the ceremony. We were all extremely proud of him and took him out to dinner afterwards to celebrate.

family graduation

In June my 30th birthday finally arrived. We had a great day out at the Neighbourgoods Market and I loved spending time with friends and family who mean a lot to me. The highlight of the day out was that Drew Barrymore arrived at the market with her bodyguard. The crowds were surprisingly calm and no one harassed her. I know a few people who have been really depressed around their 30th birthday and I am happy to say that turning 30 didn’t upset me. What did feel strange was that every year my brother and I fly to Bali to meet our folks there (they live in Papua Indonesia) and that was the first year that we didn’t do that. We had delayed our trip to the end of the year because I needed more leave and my brother was busy completing his honours and thesis. We were both a little depressed as there wasn’t any excitement to get packed up and escape the SA winter for 2 weeks. We were both tired from work and studies and just wanted to escape a little.

30th

In the beginning of June I was booked off with exhaustion and anxiety again.  I’d been booked off at the end of 2012 and thought things were under control with my stress and anxiety levels at work but unfortunately not. The doctor advised me to start taking anti-depressants to cope and I refused. I told her I didn’t want them and would try deal with the depression on my own. I was suffering from situational depression and it was not a great place to be emotionally. Gym has always helped me with that and I knew I needed to get back there and get fit again. I made sure I got back to the gym, started classes again and already started feeling better thanks to the endorphins at the end of a tough gym session. I met a new friend at the gym in Katabox and we started motivating each other which was great! We also realised we had lots in common and were happy chatting for hours over coffees and dinner.

A few months later, after numerous break-ins at the complex in Pretoria where my parents’ house was, we decided to sell and buy in Joburg rather. We put the house on the market and in 24 hours our house was sold. Great excitement! And then a bit of panic because we needed to buy somewhere in Joburg and fast! I have always wanted to live in one particular suburb and we were very lucky to find the perfect house there. We thought it would take weeks to find a house and luckily everything just fell into place! My mom had to fly back to SA 3 weeks after she had left to help sign all the papers etc. The the huge job of packing up began. We were all glad when the removal company had moved everything into the new house and we could slowly start unpacking and getting settled. My mom couldn’t stay for long and had to leave so my brother and I continued. While unpacking we also had builders here to renovate Shaun’s cottage which as you can guess meant the renovations took much longer than they had assured us, which caused added stress around the house as Shaun needed somewhere to stay while he was trying to finish his thesis and honours.

During the year I had gone to a few events with my friend Vanessa. I always enjoy these as we have a lot in common and both enjoy getting dressed up and spending the evening out. As soon as she sees an ad for an event or I do we immediately message the other one and make sure we get a booking. It’s become quite a tradition for us and one I’m glad we started. Vanessa and I met through twitter and I’m really glad we did! She convinced me to start my blog, something  I had been talking about for ages, and I finally sat down and started it. I loved putting posts together! However, as things got busier with the move and at work, and I felt increasingly more down in the dumps, I ended up neglecting my blog.

chanel event

Once we had moved in and settled down I realised that the depression and anxiety were getting worse again. I’d reached a point where I was miserable at work and it started having a very negative effect on my daily life. I would come home from work and be increasingly irritable, aggressive, negative, tired and in general I was not a pleasant person to be around. My poor brother had to deal with me which was not fair on him. I lost all interest in getting to the gym at all – the one anti-depressant that works wonders for me. I would come home and lie on the couch and not want to talk to anyone. I rarely replied to whatsapp messages and became terrible with emails – never replying to them. I often sat down with the intention to reply to them and then just couldn’t write so I just kept adding them to my list of things to do. And as my friends know I rarely got to mailing them back. My hair started falling out, my skin had really bad breakouts again, my nails wouldn’t grow and kept peeling and ulcers were forming in my mouth. All very clear signs that my body was not happy and my mind was not in a good place. The scariest place my mind has been over the last few months is where the suicidal thoughts started surfacing and the tears and unhappiness.

The week before I went on leave again (to see our parents in Indonesia) was an incredibly trying one for me. I was exhausted and my patience was being tested daily. I think deep down I knew I had to make changes in my life. At the end of that week I came home on the Friday and had been pushed to my final limit. I just wanted to run far away and not come back! Shaun and I rushed around to get the house sorted, packed early the next morning and then the taxi came to fetch us. We were both ready for the upcoming holiday and time out from life here. He had finally finished his grueling honours and was ready for a well-deserved break. By the time we got on the plane I was ready to put my head back and sleep. I slept for most of the flight and couldn’t wait to get to Bali, or second stop over before we got to Papua. As soon as we got to the hotel Shaun and I had a beer and took a long walk down Kuta beach which helped us both unwind and find our happy place. Bali has always felt like a second home to me and I am my calmest when I am there. We got to our folks the next day and both spent the first few days sleeping and recovering. I’m going to do a blog post on our trip so I won’t go into the details now of our adventure in Papua and Vietnam.

kuta beach

One thing I did realise while I was away was that I finally felt like myself again. Again I found the old me when I was no longer in that toxic environment. I was relaxed, happy, excited about life, laughing, interested in what people had to tell me and a pleasant person to be around. I think on that Friday before we flew out I had decided that I would come back from holiday, give it a week or two at work and then I would decide what my next step was. Our holiday was amazing and I walked back into the office on the Tuesday morning. Instantly all of the irritation, frustration, anger, anxiety, depression and stress that I had felt before the trip came back. After 3 days I handed in my resignation. I needed to break away from the toxic environment that was killing me and start over somewhere else. As soon as I handed in that letter it felt like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders!

I can happily say that one of the best decisions I’ve ever made was resigning. I decided to put me first. My happiness has to come first. My mental and physical well-being has to come first. After handing in that letter the old Plum is back again! I have crossed off a whole bunch of things on my to do list that have been there for months! I gardened and planted seedlings in the veggie patch, sorted through my craft things and unpacked the last few boxes from the move. I have started taking an interest in my appearance again and am blowdrying my hair instead of just crawling out of bed, washing it and tying it up in a top knot. I now make time to paint my nails and have fun with colour. I finished reading a book and immediately started the next one which I can’t put down at the moment. I am back in the gym and seeing some results! My friend Lexie and I have decided to do gym club and focus on getting fit. I’m really looking forward to this in 2014! I am making an effort to see old friends and keep in touch and have even met new ones and spent time with them which I have thoroughly enjoyed.

rihanna

I am out of that dark place I was in and finally enjoying life again. Life is too short and I refuse to stay in that unhappy place. I am looking forward to following a career that interests me and learning new skills. Over the last 2 years I’ve definitely grown and now have a very clear idea of the type of writing I would like to do and am going to pursue that. I’m looking forward to spending time with friends, old and new, and sharing their company. I believe 2014 is going to be an exciting year for me and I am looking forward to everything it has in store for me! I’m grateful for everything I have and the people who are in my life.

I ended 2013 off at the Jolly Roger pub with my brother toasting to a new year where we both have much to look forward to! My brother is my best friend and was my no. 1 choice to spend toasting the new year with. I don’t know what I would do without him.

siblings old year's eve 2013

I hope you all have an amazing 2014 and are happy! Do what makes you happy and put yourself first. Life is too short. Take that giant leap and have faith. Everything happens for a reason and that which does not kill you will make you stronger. And remember, don’t let someone or something take your happiness from you.

soul