Tuesday, 15 November 2016

By Thirty You Should... blah blah blah

I turn 30 years old in the next few weeks. Technically, next year, like ten weeks from now. It almost physically pains me to say that not just the back ache that must be coming with age (or actually the nasty fall I had a couple of years ago) but emotionally pains me. When people meet me or whenever I mention my age people are always shocked to find out my age. Most would say "What? You look about 23".I know a lot of people say things like this to be kind but I genuinely believe them because I think I just stopped aging around 23 (can this please hold off for the next 20 years! I feel like one day I'll wake up and realize how time has finally caught up with me and I went from a 29 year old looking 23 to a 29 year old who looks 40! Then I have a mini monologue prepared for myself wherein I remind myself that both my parents and all my grandparents have aged gracefully and I use sunblock so surely, I should be able to age a very slow but beautiful pace, right?

I digress. What I intended discussing in this post is that I watched my closest friends and cousins turn the BIG 3-0 and all of them went through slight panic attacks regardless of what stage of their lives they were in. Now, now, I went through my quarter life crisis at 25 and it was tough but this feels different and although I thought I was avoiding the usual 30s paranoia of "is my life good enough?" I find myself reading or pinning almost every article there is to offer about how you should be doing by the time you hit 30.

To be honest, I am not doing that badly considering the global standard of what life should be like at (almost) 30 in the emotional/financial realm. Where I am lacking is the physical (I still can't do a yoga head stand) or the family department (still single and childless here) but then I had this epiphany we'll call it... who the hell cares if I am as fit as JLo is at 40 plus or whether or not I'm on tinder or not or if I have managed to make it to this milestone without falling pregnant "accidentally" or not. My 26 year old cousin didn't even get a shot at getting to 30 so why should I complain about the things that I have not yet done or the goals I have not accomplished when I can celebrate just getting through my twenties which no one is guaranteed to do?

Please don't misunderstand me when I say "who cares?" have goals, smash them out of the park BUT don't feel depleted by the fact that you are not "where you are supposed to be".  The lesson I've been learning (and I'm still trying to get better at it) is to not get caught up in where I am supposed to be or who I am supposed to be or what I should have been able to do by now but rather,  I ask myself these questions;
1. Are you happy, all things considered, with who you are?
2. Are other people happier when you are round?
3. Are you making healthier choices for yourself?

Most days I just need two "yes" answers to know I'm doing okay. 

I may be oversimplifying this but all I'm really doing is trying to convince myself that it's okay to turn 30 and still be making major changes to your life ;)

BUT readers, what do I really know? I mean, I'm just a twenty-something year old.. haha 

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

It's Been A While

Blog comeback a real thing?

Last year, when I put my blog on a break I honestly thought it would be for a few weeks, 3 months tops but then life happened..

It sounds dramatic for me to say this year has changed my life forever but it would really be inaccurate to pretend I am the same person I was there. So I'm going to do a really quick catch up and I'll probably expand on it in my upcoming posts.

1. I used to live in Durban, I've relocated back to Cape Town and this time it feels different. I'm more comfortable and independent and ready for the magical mess that is Cape Town to engulf me.

2. I moved from Durban because of work but also, my neighbor's domestic worker and her husband arranged for mg neighbour to be robbed and she was subsequently suffocated to death during the robbery. I thought this was the absolute worst thing that could happen and the fear of living a city I wasn't comfortable in and a complex where the security was already compromised was too much for my nerves. For months I was a bag of nerves and was commuting to my parents on a weekly basis.

3. My nephew was born! He is the most adorable little boy and he just keeps stealing more and more of my heart.

4. My beautiful car started giving me issues. It's like the car just started pushing me away and after fights with the manufacturer I negotiated terms, cut my losses and sold it.

5. In Number 2, I said I though this was the worst thing that could happen or at the very least the very worst thing that could happen this year. I was wrong. On the 12th of July, my 26 year old cousin, who was basically my little brother with the most beautiful soul was taken away from us. He passed away after suffering heart failure at home. This, this is what has practically broken me. I'm in the very messy middle of pushing through the mourning and grief period.

So that's me, in a nutshell. Well of course I also went to the Czech Republic and Italy for Christmas and New Years and I'll be sure to share some travel stories if you'd like to hear them... so I am putting myself out there(here) again and am going to try writing myself to a better place.

So please come find me on all the different social media platforms :Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat on Nats21J. I plan on updating my about me page shortly. 

I'm extremely excited and nervous to be back and for you to be here with me now... I look forward to reacquainting myself with my readers so please tell me what's been going on with you? Also if you're a blogger leave your page or social media links for me in the comments.

Welcome back!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

I'll be seeing you...

It breaks my heart to have to put this blog, this space, my space on break but the truth is that I am neglecting it more I ever have neglected anything and because I love this space and blog community I feel that I have to officially stop blogging for now. 

You see, it's not that I don't have anything to say, I just don't have time to say it and when I do have time to type up whatever is on my mind, it's that I don't have time to tweak it and and make it pretty or anything like that and while I could just keep clicking on publish just to get myself out there, I didn't start blogging just to be heard, I started blogging to be me. 

I have repeatedly said that I started blogging to express myself and when I started blogging and really engaged with the blog community I found out that blogging here in South Africa is totally different to other places, especially the US and that's not a bad thing it's just a thing...

So, I think that CTP will be on a break until early 2016. I thought about closing this blog own and then opening a new one when I felt like it but I really like this space, this name and this community. I think I follow a lot of my blogger friends on different social media platforms and I'll continue to read all about what you are sharing on your blog but for now, I need this break. I need to not feel guilty that I am not consistently sharing with you guys and I need to take the time out for myself and my blog. I want this to be a space which represents me and right now it's not.

Okay, enough with making excuses... I'll be seeing you...

If you feel like keeping in touch please do so on Twitter or Instagram please do!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Literary Ladies - Challenge Over

Ladies (and gentleman) I woke up this morning a little groggy and bemoaning my early morning but suddenly, I dare say, things started falling into place. I remembered my dad is still visiting with me, I was starting the squat 30 day challenge (and have subsequently added in the ab challenge) and that I actually completed the literary ladies Summer reading challenge.

I first mentioned it here and I updated you in July and then August. I actually completed it about two days after my last check in but I read a few more books so I decided to change up my reviews and share the most appropriate and/or the books I liked most. I'm so excited about this so let's get into it!

1. A YA book - To All The Boys I've Ever Loved by Jenny Han 

I initially said I would be reading Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell but I didn't have a chance to get a copy and I didn't like the narrator's voice for Audible. 

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm not sure if I'm being a bit generous with the rating of 4 stars but the truth is, I really enjoyed this story, Laura Jean grew on me as well as her sweet family. I'm not exactly taken with the perfection of Margeux but I found the rest of the characters endearing in their own ways. Kitty is definitely the show stealer with her sweet mischievous yet helpful ways... Can't wait to read the next installment

View all my reviews

2. Non- US Author - What Alice Forgot by Alice Moriarty

Initial choice By Any Means by Kurt Ellis same reason as above, I couldn't get a physical copy but there was no audible book option for this one... Oops!

What Alice ForgotWhat Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think this book was/is slightly overrated but at the same time the things I loved about it I really loved. It got me thinking where would I be in 10 years time and how easily things change. I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about this book but I didn't hate it...

The one thing I will say is the first half of the book dragged and I don't understand the huge relationship Alice has with a certain friend it's actually a bit weird

View all my reviews

3. A Book Recommended by a friend or blogger - Where We Belong by Emily Giffin

Recommended by Kate and I loved it.

Where We BelongWhere We Belong by Emily Giffin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I LOVED this book! It was a little slow in the beginning but once we got a quarter of the way in I just wanted to spend all my time reading (which I couldn't) but Kirby is a lovely lead character as well as Marian. To follow the natural progression of their relationship was touching. My only criticism would be that I wish there was an epilogue or something because I just want to know how the characters developed and where they ended up.

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4. A book from my TBR list  for more than a year-  Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

I was supposed to read I am Malala by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai, I don't have a reason why I swapped this one out but I will read it one day, soon!

Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns (The Devil Wears Prada, #2)Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was disappointing, I was so excited when I realized I hadn't read the follow up to The Devil Wears Prada but I'm also glad I didn't until now. If I wasn't listening to this book I probably would have stopped or read at an extremely slow pace. I'm not sure why Lauren Weisberger choose to write this book because pretty much anyone who enjoyed the first book (or the movie) wouldn't have really appreciated the complete change in style of this novel. Sad because the revenge of Miranda Priestly had the potential to be best chick lit ever.. Instead it's just ... Blah

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5. A kickass Female Lead  - Seamless by R.L Griffin

Seamless (By a Thread, #3)Seamless by R.L. Griffin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a brilliant way for this series to end. The evolution of the characters was seamless. Although I thought this last installment would be a predictable end but it was anything but. I am so sad that this series is done because Stella, George, Patrick and Millie have become part of my everyday life at times they almost drove me to drink right along with them but for the most part they were just good people. Love Love Love!

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6. A book that will be/ is a movie or show - Paper Towns by John Green

I did in fact, read Diary of Wimpy Kid and included in my previous reviews but I really didn't enjoy it so I am blocking it out from my memory! haha

I recently watched the movie but I'll save that review for another day..

Paper TownsPaper Towns by John Green
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I didn't love this book, to be honest I'm not sure I really liked it either... It's strange because I don't want to be the odd one out not absolutely loving Quentin and Margo and all the extras but I just felt like I've met these characters before in so many other books and movies and I just don't think there was anything particularly special about this story. I of course will watch the movie but this may be one of those rare gems where the movie will exceed the book's expectation... I'm sorry John Green but this just didn't do anything for me.

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7. A book written by a comedian or celebrity - Going off Script by Giuliana Rancic

I was't sure if I would read this one or Kris Jenner and all things Kardashian and being the overachiever (I wish I really was) I read both!

Going Off Script: How I Survived a Crazy Childhood, Cancer, and Clooney's 32 On-Screen RejectionsGoing Off Script: How I Survived a Crazy Childhood, Cancer, and Clooney's 32 On-Screen Rejections by Giuliana Rancic
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To be honest I wasn't sure if reading this would make me hate G, I'm happy to say that isn't the case.
This isn't a book which the celebrity is fluffy and fake about her feelings, G shares personal stories and more insight into her life and her heartaches over lost pregnancies as well as the joy of her husband. I loved her and Bill before reading this but the truth is after this I respect them so much more for sharing their story. Giuliana is beautiful, naughty and an inspiration ...

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8. One Word title -  Grey  by E.L James

Grey (Fifty Shades, #4)Grey by E.L. James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In some ways EL James achieves her goal by letting the reader understand more of why Christian is the way he is but on the other hand, it's strange because Christian is "50 shades of F*%#ed up" and seeing things from his POV is odd. I found it difficult to remember the story from Ana's POV because I read the first book so long ago but at times it felt like the story didn't link up however I could be wrong about that..

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9. A suspense or thriller - The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

 This book I found by accident and really enjoyed it! I am still reading Big Little Lies but it's taking a while.

The Good GirlThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this story, it had mixed reviews which made me skeptical but I immersed myself in this story and characters and loved it. It's suspenseful, interesting and at times extremely realistic.

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10. A title with the word "Summer" in it - The Boys of Summer by CJ Dugan

The Boys of Summer (Summer, #1)The Boys of Summer by C.J. Duggan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Technically it's a 4.5 stars rating.. I really enjoyed this book, I got it for free from Amazon so I wasn't sure what it would be like but I loved it.

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I just want to take a moment and really appreciate this challenge set by Kay, Kristin and Kari. I loved every second of it and I am super proud of completing it.


So tell me, what have you been reading recently?