No Longer A Follower

I did it.

I think I finally cut my Facebook addition chain!

Several times over the past few years, I have realized that I had an ever-scrolling Facebook addiction and then proceeded to demand that I quit by deleting the application off of my phone. … only to find myself logging in on the website instead for a few weeks before re-installing the app.

I read a few years ago about a lady who said she unfriended everyone on her facebook other than her husband so that she didn’t lose her data and could use it as a scrapbook. (referenced here) While that takes gumption and is admirable in its own value.. it also takes an immense amount of TIME to unfriend everyone one-by-one!

But yet still… I found myself realizing that I spend an immense amount of time continuously scrolling on Facebook in any and every spare second I have. And if you asked me to recall ONE thing I read, I honestly don’t think I could. I’m sure that since the start of the year, the amount of time I have spent on Facebook could have been used to read like 20 books or more! And that would have been information that I could retain –  and by doing so would do me good for improving my overall concentration and vocabulary.

Side note: Have you noticed that we have become a skimmer society??? We read 300 word Facebook ‘articles’ and STILL SKIM over the information. If it’s not a meme we don’t even read every word of what we are reading! We have become LAZY PEOPLE – our eyes and our minds! It’s EXHAUSTING and FRUSTRATING that I frequently spend the time drafting a beautiful email with great information just to have NO RESPONSES to it because it was ‘too long’ to read! SKIMMERS! (although I am included in this visa-versa as well)

So, I was faced with a dilemma. I didn’t want to unfriend everyone (or take the time to do so) because I DO want to be able to interact with them… but the addiction also had to stop.

So.

There is this nifty little settings feature called ‘newsfeed preferences’. You can UNFOLLOW any friend or page by tapping on the profile photo on this LOOOOONG list of everyone you follow.

So I did it.
I unfollowed everyone.

Okay, I didn’t unfollow my husband or the pages I manage (three), but I DID unfollow EVERYONE ELSE.

So now, if I really have something I want to share or post, I can still do so and all of my friends can interact with me and I with them… but i’m NOT constantly updating and refreshing my newsfeed – because – there’s nothing but ‘suggested posts’ and advertisements there! Who wants to scroll through that? Not me!

Ha! I win, Facebook!
I. WIN!
I’m cutting my addiction off and reclaiming my right thumb as mine!
(Maybe I will save myself from a few years before I get carpal tonal or arthritis.)

…it’s only been 18 hours or so, but i’ll let y’all know how it fares. So far, so good! :)

33 Weeks 5 Days Pregnant – Update

Nesting-brain is REAL.

No joke. It has literally overtaken my life the past few days.

My husband and I made a deal that I wasn’t allowed to purchase anything for the baby until after my baby shower. I felt like that day would never get here.
(I only cracked once with a 4:00AM 20% off Bed Bath and Beyond purchase on the most amazing product ever – the Doona carseat.)

Two weekends ago, the board of directors for the organization I work for, surprised me with an amazing baby shower! I was so excited to have teeny tiny clothes and blankets to wash, and supplies to put away! I went out and bought special baby detergent (I really tried to justify using our normal detergent, because i’m sure my baby clothes weren’t washed with a different detergent… but apparently baby skin is super sensitive, as all of my mama-friends preached to me when I asked their opinion) just to wash it all with, and finally the mini chest of drawers in the corner of our bedroom was not empty!

I am forever grateful for the love and support of so many people in our lives, and even more so for a supportive work environment and co-workers/bosses (of a sort).

The planned baby shower was this past weekend and put on by my 1st cousin (our mothers are sisters, although I think we are closer than your average cousins – she’s more like my sister).

It was amazing! We decided to forego the corny baby shower games, and instead just mingle. ..and of course open up presents! There were so many!

That afternoon when I got home, I started un-packaging and putting away everything, and yet again washing teeny-tiny clothes and blankets in special detergent, and then continuing to put away and organize. Husband put together the mini-crib while I sat nearby with encouraging words. (Honestly, I think building put-it-together furniture should be a marriage pre-requisite. If you can survive that, then you’re good to go.)

Putting away all of those gifts must have set some serious suppressed hormones in motion, because since that point I have been on an unending spree.

A shopping, buying, preparing, scouring, organizing, crazy spree.

I bought shelving for under our kitchen sink (and it’s beautiful).

I have re-folded and re-arranged every drawer in our dresser.

I have scrubbed our baseboards and vacuumed out my car.

I have an amazon wish-list that scrolls for days with all sorts of items to organize our life with.

I made a rash decision and bought an extremely heavy antique buffet I was convinced was a good price and could be refurbished into a changing dresser and table. ..and then spent the difference of what I could have bought a brand new one for online, in paint and painting supplies… I am my mothers daughter, evidently. 🤦🏼‍♀️
(Husband has since made me see the light of my mistake and thankfully the antique store owners are letting me return the piece tomorrow. This experience has also inspired him (after a he witnessed a few hours of crying and freak-out nesting-brain) to build a changing table for me! (and i’m holding him to it. Update on it to come (hopefully) very soon!)

The nesting-brain is strong, y’all.
It has overpowered my every thought for only four days, and it feels like a month.

Don’t. mess. with nesting-brain.

Meal Planning Reality Check

I feel like I go to the grocery store all the time. Seriously.

Lately, every two days or so I end up needing a main ingredient to make for supper – at 5:30pm. This is pretty equal parts due to getting settled in a new living area, and lack of planning..
With classes starting up in a week and a half (eek! *heart palpitations*), I’m going to end up having even less preparation and organization time.
So something’s gotta give.
The solution is that i’ll be hopping on the meal-planning-bandwagon.

There are all sorts of benefits that come from meal planning – budgeting being an obvious one, but also only buying groceries once or twice a month, eating more healthily, and mostly, just having an easy, already thought out meal that’s ready to be tossed together in my kitchen.
So much easier than going to the grocery store at 6:00pm and eating at 8:00pm – and better for you, too!

I just downloaded the Paprika App for Mac, and although I haven’t added in any info other than having a bag of potatoes in my pantry, it looks AMAZING already.Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 1.03.53 AM

I’m so excited to use it tomorrow! (It might be 1:00am as I type this, currently. whoops…. time management out the window with the night owl.) One of the reasons this app is so popular is because of its simplicity and effectiveness. I can add and save recipes that I either type out myself or that are pulled onto the app directly from the web, then add them to certain days of the month for particular meals (I will probably plan the whole rest of the month), and then the app generates a grocery list for me! Pure. Genius.

I think that the key for our utilization with us being a family of two, is going to be understanding where in our plan that we will eat leftovers, and ensuring that the recipes I choose aren’t too savory and amazing- resulting in a very expensive grocery store trip. You can’t eat a roast three times a week, you know? You have to throw in some lighter meals with less expensive cuts of meat.

I also think that this app may be a way for us (me) to experiment with a lot of recipes that I wouldn’t normally try. Yay for variety!

You’ll definitely be hearing how it goes in the near future!
Do you meal plan? How do you do it?!

 

P.s. Did you notice that I changed my blog logo from my (beloved) giraffe picture with the overlay of the flags, to just the flags?! I love it so much! I also added in an aqua vector pattern background. :) Oh, so much happiness!

Blogging Tips and Tricks

Hello, there! Are you a blogger, or new to having a blog?
Whether it’s your New years’ resolution, you’re coming back to a dormant page, or you’re an avid post-maker, here are some tips for all bloggers alike. :)

Now, I don’t have the most ‘successful’ site, in the eyes of others – I don’t have sponsors, or over 1,000 followers, but I have posted 46 heart-felt posts and interacted with some pretty awesome people across the globe because of it since September 2014. Throughout the short lifetime of my blog, I can reflect on some learned tips that could be of use to others.

  • Firstly –Choose your blog name very wisely! – You can’t change this– so even though I am the ‘Texan in South Africa’ that is now back in Texas, that will go back every year for an undisclosed amount of time back to South Africa…. I really think that in hindsight, even though it seemed such a perfect name at the time, I could have picked a less concrete name to have gone with. If you know of a way to change your blog name on your blog- please do tell! I have done a bit of research and it seems the only way is to potentially upgrade to the paid platform or create a whole new blog- which is not an option for me- too many dear posts to lose!
  • Write down a blog schedule – Topics should be those that will inspire you and be easy to manage. Drafting a schedule makes goals- so start with just two posts a week on specific days – do that for a month and then increase to three. And you don’t have to sit down on the Tuesday you want to post- you can do them both on the same Sunday evening and schedule them to post on the days you want!
  • Interact with other blogs! <– This is a biggie! The only way you are Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 12.05.48 PMgoing to increase your blogging confidence (therefore blogging more and completing your posting goals) is by getting a tad bit of traffic and feedback (comments) on your blog! And the only way that is going to happen is to go visit other blogs on your reader – follow a topic, (preferably one that is similar to your blog) pick one (I always pick blogs to read that don’t have thousands of followers- helping the other little guys out!), read it a bit, and then click that follow button – they will be sure to check yours out and then reciprocate that follow to yours! And don’t forget to join in on the conversation and COMMENT on a post! As a blogger speaking to a fellow blogger- comments are the hugs of the blogosphere, are they not?! They are the warm little notifications that someone has read your post you potentially spent hours on, enjoyed it, and taken the time to give you their thoughts back! Which brings me to our next bullet…  Continue reading “Blogging Tips and Tricks”

Happy 1st Day of 2016!

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Except for the fact that it is today instead of tomorrow, and it’s a leap year this year, Brad. ;) so 366 pages.

Oh, happy day! A whole year has come and gone, and a new one has taken its place. People all over the world for the next couple of weeks will be using that eraser to scratch out the ‘5’ and replace it with a ‘6’ for 2016 – I know I will be! I have to remind myself for weeks on end that it’s a new year- almost until the point that it’s the end of that year with a new one on the way again!

Did you notice on the home page? I changed the year on the copyright! It looks like i’m entering my third calendar year of blogging! Whoop whoop! I can’t wait for all that 2016 will bring- good and exciting things indeed- and I wish the same for you, too!

 

As far as resolutions are concerned, I can’t remember the last time that I sat down and wrote some out on a January 1st, so why not now? I am sitting, after all…

Victoria’s 2016 Resolutions/Goals:
Be more patient.
Be more kind.
Be less critical of myself and others.
Develop better time management. (Although i’m sure this will come on its own as soon as this school semester starts- yep, you read that right- school semester- stay tuned for that update..)
Bring pilates back into my life as a daily routine. – this will require the purchasing of some mat equipment.
Start running. (cliché, yes, I know… i’m sure that of all of the lists written across the globe today, this is probably the most common one, but it’s always a good one!)
-Hunt more. (duh)
-Join a Texas IDPA group
-Get my concealed handgun license.
-Curse less. (it’s a problem, i’ll admit)
-Take. More. Pictures!!
-Become a more confidant swimmer.
-Take a beach vacation.
-Read more (going back to time management…)
-Wake up earlier
-Stop settling for throwing my hair in a bun- appearances matter!
-Eat out less.
-Plan our meals- and buy accordingly.
-Create a financial budget.
-Get more crafty.
and last but not least,
-Blog more!

What are your New Years’ resolutions or goals? Do we have any that are the same?

Until next time!
I hope you had a most blessed and wonderfully refreshing January 1st, 2016!

P.s
As previously mentioned (again), I have been absent as of late due to the crazy busyness of life. A couple of things that I (we) have done in the last couple of weeks, includes remodeling a small house, surviving family encounters throughout the holiday season, and going hunting (although unsuccessfully) a couple of times. It even snowed while we were in the blind- in Del Rio of all places!

The air was so pretty filled with all of the dainty dancing white specks, and the Whitetail Deer looked to be having some fun with it, too.

 

Update; NaBloPoMo Results

Well hello, hello there, long-lost friends!

As previously mentioned in my last post – we have been so busy since landing back in Texas- and I mean exceptionally busy! We have done our own tiling, flooring, paving, and all sorts of other remodeling projects. We are still getting our clothes out of a suitcase every day, but I do finally get a kitchen sink and cabinets installed in TWO days!
Bietjie bietjie maak baie! (← one of my most favorite Afrikaans sayings, and it translates to ‘little by little, makes a lot’!)
Moving to another country always has its little battles! Still on my list is to sort out medical insurance and university documents- but I am registered for classes! Bachelors of Arts of Interdisciplinary Studies, here I come! ….but give me a year and a half. :)

As for NaBloPoMo: Continue reading “Update; NaBloPoMo Results”

Almost There!

Departure day draws nearer by the minute! We (I) have successfully packed one carry-on case, three hard case suitcases, two large duffel bags, and a bow case with right at 350 pounds of jackets, sweaters, pants, shorts, (many) dresses, shoes, a gilly suit, game caller, binoculars, holsters, hunting gear, fishing gear, books, and 500 brochures. Tomorrow I just need to pack all of our tech and valuables into our last carry-on case and my purse, and we will be ready to go!

I must say, I am so very thankful for the South African work force. Day laborers seek work by the thousands, so house-helpers such as maids and gardeners are very common for just about every household to have. We don’t normally have a maid at our house, mostly because I’m too picky and because we live so far away it ends up being more work to get someone here than for me to do it myself. But today, while going crazy ripping our house and bedroom apart and stuffing them into suitcases, I really needed the extra help to clean the house- and oh my goodness what a difference it made! I am very thankful that we were able to have Dorah come today and help us with the house. I got everything packed and ready- and a spotless house to relax in afterwards! It really is a blessing and I am so grateful for it and her.

Stay tuned for airport entertainment to come soon! 😃

Life in Limbo

It isn’t unusual for the week before our international departure to be a bit hectic; our lives go into a kind of limbo, even more than it usually is…

There are countless things to do:
*Get rid of all of the perishables from the fridge and pantry.
*Clean. the. whole. house.
*Service and prepare our vehicles that will be driven very minimally for the following months.
*Pack all clothes we want to take with us- which is always an immense hoard of winter clothing…
*Decide on and pack all of the other things we do or don’t want to bring with us- Mountain bikes? Bow? Mohair Coat? Play Station? Fishing Poles?
*and, the most difficult of all to manage- Spending time with family and friends. Continue reading “Life in Limbo”

This thing called a ‘blog’.

Hello there kind reader.
Once again, thank you for taking time out of your day to read the words I write.
Speaking of that, do you know how long it takes to formulate a blog post and incorporate all of the niceties such as format and pictures? A long time.

It takes at minimum, about 2 hours per (normal, long) post to get everything done. (Not including the time I spend reloading my own website, re-reading, and editing for the next week…) Now, while I enjoy doing this all, and really do so for my own form of entertainment, it is still really nice to see visitors and feedback to a post. It feels great to know that people are reading my blogs, and even better to get a comment or two.

So, to those of you who have commented previously, I give you a big virtual hug and “Thank You!”- it means a lot to me and provides (sometimes much needed) encouragement to spend another span of time writing the next post. :)

Thanks again for reading!

She’s in love with a MacBook

I wasn’t partial to any specific make of computer- Until I met my MacBook just over a month ago.

It was daunting at first- trackpad gestures and finder to name a few. But oh, how my love has grown.

I must admit, the first couple of days after getting my MacBook, I thought that I wouldn’t ever learn how it all works. But oh my good-golly, it is amazing! After the first week, I had it all down. Now, my phone and computer work seamlessly and efficiently together. If you have an iPhone and enjoy it- I strongly suggest taking the leap and buying a MacBook. Continue reading “She’s in love with a MacBook”