My year captured in 12 pics

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1. The year started with us finding out that Annie had a tumor on her adrenal gland. It was successfully removed, however the remaining gland has not been able to do the job for two glands, so Annie remains on high levels of cortisone.  2. Track sessions with the Running Junkies continued.  3. There were many races run this year, including Two Oceans half marathon. My times were not so great.  4. A few of my running buddies left SA to take on adventures overseas in Munich & Dublin. I miss them!  5. I learned that I can hit a golf ball.  6. KK ran another Comrades race. He shaved off even more time and now is determined to kickstart his 2017 training.  7. We holidayed in the beautiful Drakensburg with Dan & Linda. This photo also won me first place at camera club.  8. I ran my first trail run. Without proper gear, my feet ached for days.  9. I went back to Mari, my bio to help me with my running form. I’ve since scaled down on running such far distances & focus on 5kms and 10kms.  10. I commissioned my first rooster from a street wire artist.  11. KK ran his first Otter trail run. Again, the bug has bitten and I can’t see any other race coming close in terms of fun, views and organisation.  12. We renovated and I painted my walls blue. I absolutely love the colour! I’m so proud of myself for being brave and different!

Here’s hoping 2017 brings even more ‘firsts’ and exciting surprises!

I loved Tokyo because of…

I had the most awesome opportunity to visit Japan for my 40th birthday. I wanted to visit a country and experience a lifestyle and culture completely different to mine and Tokyo did not disappoint. Since returning I’ve had lots of family & friends asking how my trip was and so I thought I’d capture a snapshot of my ‘Top 10 things I loved about Tokyo’:

  1. The people: No matter where we went, people were so friendly, so calm, and unpretentious. If we stopped to look at our map, guaranteed someone would stop and offer to help us, even if they struggled to speak English. They live a simple life and respect one another, time and spaces. I think out of everything, I will remember the people the most. They are just wonderful!IMG_8196IMG_8267
  2. The shopping: There is just so much to buy in Tokyo! From wonderful clothes to electronics. I found some of my favourite brands along the busy streets of Ginza and Shibuya.IMG_8102IMG_8288
  3. The noodles: I must have eaten noodles almost every day and started to perfect the art of eating with chopsticks. So divine!IMG_8310
  4. The efficiency: Things just work in Tokyo. Trains run on time. Everything is in its place. It’s magical! Especially for my engineering husband.IMG_8116IMG_8567
  5. The little things: It rained a lot while we were there and when they packed our shopping, an extra plastic bag was wrapped around our shopping bags so that our shopping didn’t get wet. It’s the norm for them but we felt so special.IMG_8414IMG_8328
  6. The wide variety of options: Everywhere we went, there were just so many varieties of things, so many options to choose from. For example, an entire floor dedicated to selling different head phones!IMG_8280
  7. The free wifi: For a socially-obsessed tourist such as myself, this was a winner. I could check in and share my experiences in real-time with family & friends as well as search maps for places to go.IMG_8257
  8. Attention to detail: Everything is meticulous and thought-out.IMG_8237
  9. Cleanliness: They are obsessed with cleanliness and are constantly wiping and disinfecting. Most things are automated including the doors to taxis, entrances to shopping malls, even flushing the toilet (which had heated seats)! IMG_4539
  10. Cherry blossoms: Breath taking beauty, everywhere!IMG_8347IMG_8290IMG_4577Thank you for a wonderful holiday KK! When can we go back?

Keep calm, you’re turning 40!

I turn 40 years old on Saturday. There, I said it. I know, right! The Big 4-Oh as most of my family & friends like to call it. I’m dreading it. It suddenly feels as if my youth will be gone and I’m stuck in that middle place between being young and old. When people say, “Agh, it’s not that bad! Life begins at 40!” I’ve been unsure what they mean? But as the big day draws closer, when I take a step back, I realize I’m already pretty much deciding on what that so-called ‘life’ needs to look like.

It’s almost a week since I ran my 5th Two Oceans Half Marathon. The new route is slightly tougher than the old one, that’s for sure, but when I look back on my times, I am really pleased with the progress I’m making with my running Coach. I’ve come a long way since that DNF (Did not finish) in 2010 and I’m not afraid of that 3 hour cutoff anymore. And yes, as Coach Dave told me a while back, “You’re turning 40. Stop comparing yourself to runners half your age!” *ahem*

Surprisingly, I am happy with my body. I’ll never be skinny but after two years of living on a LCHF lifestyle, I’m in control of my weight and love the way I look. In fact, down in Cape Town I was brave enough to sun tan on the beach in a bikini sans a wrap tucked around my waist! The grey hairs, well let’s not go there… I digress.

Trust me when I say that it’s also the biggest relief to know that at the overly-ripe age of 40 that I am still happy with my decision not to have kids. It would’ve been scarier to be in a situation where I wasn’t sure and that clock was ticking.

I have a close bunch of absolutely amazing friends – You guys rock! I have a wonderful wonderful wonderful family – I love you’z so* much! And I’m blessed to have a job which challenges me to grow & learn every single day. My house is beautiful. My dogs love me to bits…

Tokyo in Spring

The best part is that it’s the night before I leave on a fabulous adventure with KK. I wanted to be somewhere totally different & exotic for my birthday and decided Tokyo was the place to be! Cherry blossom season. Mount Fuji. Sushi, sushi, sushi. Celebrating it all with the man I love.

Happy 40th Big 4-Oh Birthday me! X

A December to remember

As colleagues return to work, the first thing they do is ask one another how their December break was. My reply has generally been “great!” and I really do mean it. For a change KK and I weren’t rushing around planning for Christmas eve, we had loads of time to ourselves and each and every day we did well… pretty much nothing but lie at the pool, watch TV and veg. The perfect holiday in my mind!

I flicked through some of the photos I took during my time off and it’s a great reminder of the fun we had…

Lots of braai’ingBraai2Lying next to the pool and swimming (and yes, even I swam with my head fully dunked!). This was the view most days of the sun beating down on us. I’m not as pale as I was last year. 😉PoolJo’burg is so quite over December, we managed to eat out at some of our favourite restaurants, including the Mexican restaurant in Illovo, Peron. The food is superb!Peron eveningTalking about food, a Domino’s Pizza opened up around the corner from us so we decided to try it out. Not bad, but I don’t think we’ll be back. I much prefer Andiccio’s.Dominos pizzaChristmas came around so quickly and we celebrated with KK’s family on Christmas eve and with my family on Christmas day. But it’s our own Christmas tradition of putting up trimmings in our home which I look forward to the most. We dedicate an entire evening where we have a kickass supper and then have fun placing all our ornaments all over the house with carols playing in the background. Xmas 2014Speaking of Christmas, this year we also visited the Bryanston Organic Food Market at night. There were carol singers and the most divine food on sale. The market is just down the road from us and I’m ashamed to say that we’ve never been before. We promised to return after a really relaxed evening out.Bryanston organic market eveningFor New Year’s eve, we slipped away to Mount Grace for a few days of pampering. We entered the new year with massages, food and snoozes.New YearIt wasn’t all relaxing. During December, we both managed to get great training under the belt attending as many track sessions as we could. I clocked up over 120km’s of running during the month which really prepared me for the races I’ve just completed now in January. TrackKicking the year off with some wonderful memories is just such a great way to start a new year!