Fat Thighs, Flabby Arms {Hormones influencing weight gain beyond 40}

fat thighs, flabby arms {hormones influencing weight gain beyond 40}

Perusing through old photographs brought back memories of when I was skinny. Those were the good old days. The reality is I will never look like that again. As a child, I was super skinny with no fat thighs or flabby arms and certainly no hormones that had an influencing effect on my weight.  I was never weight conscious and I could eat what I wanted without gaining any wait.  Very active in playing netball and could easily clock in a good 8 – 10 hours of sleep.

Remembering that my weight annoyed the dressmaker who made my matric ball dress.  My waist size would be smaller every time I went for a fitting. Resulting in the dressmaker having to make the necessary adjustments. As a shy and very naive teenager, I would just smile and accept the criticism of my skinny shape. It didn’t bother me at all. Life was then carefree and my weight was certainly not an issue.



Unproductive Day

unproductive day

Today, I called in a sickie.  Yes, I did feel a bit under the weather but most of all I think I just needed a break. The past couple of weeks have just been so busy and when your body gives you signs, you need to listen to it.  Today, I wanted to be lazy and have a very unproductive day.

I didn’t wake up to do my girls’ hair for school, or see them off by the door. They came into the bedroom to kiss me good bye. I opted not to fetch them from school either.

Guess what, I got out of bed at 09h00. Think it has been 12 years since I allowed my body to sleep so late.

But everything about sleeping in just felt so good. No housework or extra little chores that I tend to dig out when I’m at home. I chose not to work on any future blog posts. The car stayed parked in the garage as I had no intention of going anywhere. This day was not about going out and pampering myself or doing retail therapy.

Today, I just didn’t want to get it together. Instead, I browsed social media sites, slouched on the couch and watched television. I snacked and drank so much coffee.

It was such a beautiful day that I sat in the backyard a little and spoke to the dogs.  Call me insane but dogs give you all their attention and they are really good listeners.  They didn’t nag, tattle tale, backchat or give instructions – they just sat there listening and wagged their tails.

Then I caught up on some reading and the best thing ever – I took an afternoon nap. When last did I do that?

…and you know what, I am not feeling guilty about it not one bit.

Today was about me, not about taking care of anyone else, not about deadlines, writing reports or research articles. No thoughts about work or what still need to be done. In fact, I had no productive thoughts. These few hours spent alone were about me, myself and I and it felt so good. It was a time to reconnect with myself. Something I haven’t done in years.

Having this unproductive day did wonders for my mind, body and soul.  Now I’m ready to tackle tomorrow and slave away at things I didn’t today.  I will post probably regret it tomorrow as I’ve just stared at the pile of washing and ironing.

I guess, another unproductive day will be scheduled in the near future.  Try it, it does wonders.


Chilli Con Carne Recipe

Chilli Con Carne Recipe

This chilli con carne recipe has slightly been adapted by my husband and is based on Jamie Oliver’s Recipe. It has become one of my favourite dishes. This spicy dish is delicious and if you want to make it slightly mild for kids to eat – hold on the chillis.  A healthy alternative to your usual mince meal. It is a one pot wonder. Best served with a baked potato or nachos, sprinkle of grated cheese or gaucamole.

Chilli Con Carne

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A spicy Mexican dish best served with a baked potato or nachos.

Prep time: 15 min

Cooking time: 1 hour


    • 2 medium onions, chopped
    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • 600gr lean beef mince
    • 4 chopped chillies (deseed if you serving to kids)
    • ½ tsp chilli powder
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 2 celery sticks, chopped
    • 3 large carrots, chopped
    • 1 can chopped tomatoes
    • 2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped
    • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
    • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 1 can red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
    • salt and pepper to season
    • ½ bunch fresh corriander


    • Place a large non stick pot over a medium heat on the stove. Heat the oil.
    • Add chopped onions,carrots, celery, chillies, red peppers, garlic, cumin, cinnamon and season with salt and pepper.
    • Cook for 10 minutes.
    • Then add tomatoes, black beans, red kidney beans and 300ml water and cook for 5 minutes.
    • Add the lean beef mince.
    • Cut the coriander stalks and add with the balsamic vinegar.
    • Season with salt and pepper.
    • Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 45 minutes with lid slightly adjar.
    • Serve on a baked potato, nachos or rice, sprinkle with cheese and chopped coriander.




Raising Born Free Street Smart Children

Raising Born Free Street Smart Children

Street smart is a skill learnt generations ago but can we pass it on to our children

My parents would always tell us tales of their upbringing in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. They could walk the streets of various suburbs to visit family and friends during the day and late at night. Back then they were raised to be street smart children. They knew everyone and no matter where they were, knew their way back home.



DIY Peter Pan Costume

Easy DIY Peter Pan and Slightly costume

DIY Peter Pan Costume

Every year my daughters’ school have a dress up day to mark the end of book week.  This year, the theme was “Fantastical Faraway Places”.  Their choice of costumes were that of Peter Pan and Slightly. Slightly (fox) is one of the lost boys from Neverland.  I usually give myself two weeks to figure out how I’m going to make the costumes.  This year, I only had 2 days to put these costumes together. This diy Peter Pan and Slightly costume was super easy to make.



Natural Looking Makeup Essentials

Natural Looking Make Up Essentials

My natural looking makeup essentials

I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I am not big on wearing makeup and don’t wear any at home.  Minimal makeup for work and a full application when I go out. As I never had a problem with acne, oily or dry skin, there was simply no need for me to cover my face in makeup.



Surviving the morning rush

surviving morning rush

Getting through the morning isn’t always a breeze

The alarm clock sounds and you tell yourself just another 5 minutes and hit the snooze button. It sounds again and eventually you get up just to be in a flat spin. For most the morning rush is crazy not to mention a panic. Trying to wake the kids for the umpteenth time, pack lunches, avoid arguments and finally making it out the door only to be stuck in traffic. Leaving you exhausted by the time you get to work. This is what happens in most households.

Not all of us wake up in a good frame of mind. And having a crappy start to the morning, will determine how your day will turn out. Some people loath the morning routine as it turns into total chaos and madness.



Creamy Sago Pudding

Creamy Sago Pudding

Winter is a time for comfort foods and there is nothing more delectable than having a warm dessert. My mom’s creamy sago pudding is definitely a winter favourite. Served with custard this winter dessert is on my list of comforting desserts along with chocolate, bread and butter, apple crumble, sticky toffee and ginger pudding.



Pub Date Night

pub date night

As a married couple with kids we are not so fortunate to have a date night every week.  Therefore we try and schedule one at least once a month.  However our date last night was not scheduled and was just a spontaneous last minute decision. The girls were sleeping over at their grandparents and this was a perfect opportunity for a date night. Brent and I decided to do something very casual and ended up up going to Foresters Arms Pub and Restaurant. Please note this is not a paid or guest review of Foresters.

Scheduling a date night when you are married is very important but it doesn’t have to be fancy and doesn’t always have to be romantic. So last night we decided to do something very casual and ended up at the pub.



Good night, sleep tight

good night sleep kids

Saying good night, sleep tight kids happen at 19h30 at night in my house.

Our kids retreat to their rooms at 18h00 and are in bed by 19h30 Sunday to Thursday. Yes this is not a typo and you are reading the times correctly.

Fridays and Saturdays are an exception then they can stay up late.

Please don’t judge, this rule works for us.  So, each to their own.

Implemented three years ago, this rule is working well.  They display discipline when it comes to their bed time routine.  Touch wood, no tantrums has been displayed regarding this issue as yet.

Their bedtime routine

We have come up with “quiet time” which starts at 18h00.  During this time they can read or write but must be in their own rooms.

At 19h30 they are tucked in and saying their prayers, followed by the usual saying good night, sleep tight and sweet dreams.

This is something that I am very strict on during the week.  And I will not budge or divert from this time.

Believe me by 19h45 both of them are fast asleep. It just shows you how tired they are.

Why they go to bed early

Let me explain why they go to bed early. Ou girls have a very early start to the day. They wake up at 05h30 during a school week and we leave home for the latest 06h30 to do the school run.

Our children are past that stage where they take afternoon naps.  They have a full 13 hour day since the time they wake up in the morning.  During this time they need to focus at school, come home to do their homework and have play and family time.  Without napping in the afternoon, this is a real long day without any rest.

Children need at least 10 – 12 hours of sleep during the night.

Sleep is extremely important for growth and development. During sleep the body releases growth hormones which helps them grow.

Getting enough sleep is vital for their health as it boosts their immune systems.

They need to have optimal concentration at school and not getting enough sleep at night will hinder this.

Enough sleep gives them energy to participate in sporting activities and will prevent unnecessary injuries.

Not getting enough sleep leads to moodiness and behavioural problems.  Adequate sleep helps manage these emotions.

This also leaves quality time for my husband and I to connect and catch up on what happened during the day and have a meaningful adult conversation.

Remember as mentioned before, this routine works well for our family.  We believe that quality sleep = happy kids = healthy kids. Whatever your kids’ sleep routine is, I hope it works well for you.  Sleep tight and sweet dreams.