10 Must-Watch Series

Netflix

Our favourite way to decompress after a long day has to be a serious couch session with whatever we’re currently watching. Over the years we’ve watched some spectacularly good (and some less so) series, and a good murder mystery rarely disappoints. So if you’re currently inbetween series, perhaps you’ll enjoy some of our favourites:

  • Designated Survivor

This one came first to mind, as Netflix is currently torturing us by releasing an episode per week making binge-watching it impossible. The basic premise is that someone with no political ambition has become the president of the US during a very troubling time with a very limited support system and bad guys all around.

  • The Killing

We loved binge-watching this older muder mystery as it really took us along for the ride. One of the key features of a good mystery is one where you can’t predict the outcome, and this one takes it to the next level. I also appreciate how thoughtful the two seasons have been linked and how the lead characters each has their own flaws.

  • True Detective

The first series of this show was gruesome, in some instances scary, and very freaky but also incredibly intriuging. The second season never really drew us in, but the first definitely provided a few good hours of watching and contemplation on whether it really was bed time.

  • That 70’s Show

Unlike the others mentioned, the 70’s Show is one of our go-to series for light entertainment. Even though it has been around for a while, we love occasionally re-watching a favourite episode for the laughs. Other favourites not currently on Netflix are The Office and Parks and Recreation.

  • The Crown

If you liked Downton Abbey’s portrayal of British Aristocracy then you’ll love The Crown’s depiction of the British royalty. It meets the basic needs for drama, beautiful costumes and British accents.

  • Marcella

Getting back to the mm category, Marcella portrays a confused detective seargent who has to investigate the disappearance and potential murder of a victim of which she suspects herself. Cue the confusion on both the audience and lead’s part.

  • The Bletchley Circle

Set in the 1950’s this series isn’t just a straight-up muder mystery, but also addresses issues of gender equality and sexism as a group of of war-time codebreakers find themselves struggling to settle in to the bland lives expected of a woman and wife at the time.

  • Hinterland

This is one of the more gruesome muder mysteries and provided a few jump-in-your-seat moments, but is more palatable than True Detective and leaves you on the edge of your seat the whole time.

  • Shetland

I appreciate series set in alternative destinations, like this one set in Scotland. Top of the Lake (set in New Zealand) and Trapped (set in Iceland) are also firm favourites in this category. The murders aren’t too gruesome, but the mysteries are well kept secrets only allowing the audience to uncover the answers with detective Perez.

  • Dexter

An oldie but a goodie, Dexter will make you root for the muderer all the way until the end. Not only is the storyline interesting and unique, but the character development plays an important role in the winding up of the story. A few years ago there were talks about a movie, and lets just say I’d love it it were taken further.

P.S.  I nearly titled this blog post Netflix & Chill, but a quick Google revealed that it definitely does NOT mean what I thought it did! I’m clearly getting old…

 

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Life Hacks

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Often it is the small things in life that gets us down, like not being able to find your ringing phone between all the slips in your bag. So to prevent a mini breakdown, I’ve found implementing these easy tricks really makes life simpler. Now if only there was a way to make it easier…
1. Store your socks in pairs
This trick wasn’t the easiest for me to addopt, but eventually Ryno convinced me that it is worth the few extra minutes spent sorting the laundry. Besides saving on time when searching for socks and knowing that you’ll always wear a matching pair, I also find that it helps me track down missing socks before the washing machine has a feast.

 

2. Buy in bulk

Think of what you are always using, especially things like cleaning products that don’t have an expiry date, and stock up when it is on sale. No one has every bought too much toiletpaper!

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3. Keep everything you need when leaving the house by your keys

There are two spots in the house that I always check before leaving: the wall hooks where I keep my bags and jackets and the shelf where we keep our keys. This is also where I drop my phone and lunchbox before leaving for work each morning, which helps me ensure I leave nothing behind. Designating one or two areas where you drop and pick-up everything before leaving is essential to staying on top of things, even when you’re leaving at 04h00 for that business trip.

4. Dry clothes on hangers

This might seem obvious to you, but it wasn’t until a friend suggested it to me that my ironing life became so much simpler. Now the clothes are already stored on hangers (no need to go in search of them) and the creases are reduced ever so slightly.

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5. Add to your shopping list as you finish things

I keep two lists, one on my phone (to which only I add) and then one on the fridge to which my husband can also add. I try to update my phone list from the one on the fridge before going out shopping, but often I just remember what has been written on there. This prevents hubby from finishing the milk without me knowing or forgetting that I opened the last toothpaste.

6. Have snacks handy

I like to keep a loaf of fresh rye in the freezer (not everyone’s cup of tea, but it works for us) as well as a few avos and eggs on hand. So when hunger strikes or I realise that there is no leftovers for lunch, I have something quick and fairly healthy to grab to prevent me becoming hangry or overindulging in crisps. We also try to keep snack bars, drinking yoghurt and dried fruit on hand. These unfortunately don’t always survive the wait…

7. Save a list of fool-proof meals on your phone

Cookbooks are nice for inspiration, but when I am meal planning for the weekdays I like to fall back on my tried and trusted recipes. Thing is, I often find myself stuck – which is where my list of “Astrid” recipes come in handy. Think lasagne, chicken pie, beef pie, spagetthi, bacon carbonara, chicken wraps, etc. This is my go-to reference and I have over 30 dishes named and saved. So there is no recipe involved and no excuse to repeat the same meal each week!

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8. Store travel mini’s and mini containers in one easy-to-grab spot

Ryno and I both hoard our travel minis in one bag, making it easy to quickly grab what we need before heading out. Whereas previously we might have wasted  a lot of time decanting things and ignored the minis provided in hotels, we now keep everything ready for impromptu trips.

9. Keep a plastic bag in the car

The only way I am able to prevent my whole car from turning into a rubish bin is by having a bag handy. As I am always carrying a shed-load of stuff to and from the car, the chances of me emptying my car on a daily basis is slim. This way I empty the car once a week and have everything in a small bag instead of scattered around the car.

10. Use spare minutes to clear your phone & bag

Whenever I am wasting time in line or waiting somewhere, I like to take a few minutes to sort through my phone and my handbag. I like to sort through the image gallery on my phone and have created multiple albums. I also take this time to delete old texts and emails.

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11. Check traffic on your phone before departing

This is another useful tip I’ve picked up from my husband as this could potentially save you hours! Not all accidents will be indicated, but the bigger traffic jams should show.

12. Schedule monthly to-do’s in advance

Indicating when you need to flea dip the cat and feed the roses etc will help you stay on top of things. I find if I don’t do this and set reminders on my phone, I’ll get panicky a few weeks later and won’t be able to keep up a regular schedule.

I would love to know which life hacks you implement to make things a little simpler. Please share you tips in the comments.
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June Favourites

Helo,

I hope everyone has been enjoying the month so far! I know, I know, this is seriously late! But in all fairness, I do feel like June is only starting now. Anyone else feel like May just wouldn’t come to an end? (No? Just me!?) Anyways I am finally getting around to telling you what has me excited for the second half of June! Hint: It is not the weather!

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27 Random Facts About Me

 

DSC_3088Last week was my birthday and I still haven’t gotten used to saying that I am now twenty seven. I find approaching thirty a little bit scary, but anyway with age comes a few good things as well! You get to know yourself better each year, you grow more comfortable in your own skin and just like a good wine your music taste matures. I thought it would be fun to commemorate the occasion with 27 random facts about me and at the same time afford you the opportunity to get to know me a little better.

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May Favourites

May usually signifies the start of winter, at least weather wise. This winter I’ve started a love affair with sweat tops. Mr Price has a pretty decent quilted selection, but Cotton On has the best ones with quotes. I’ve already added one blush one from Mr Price, but am considering one in my favourite tone, melange. I’ve also been looking for the perfect trench coat (finding the perfect fit, colour and material at right price has proven nearly impossible over the last two years!), but I’m seriously lusting after this khaki green one.

They always say April showers bring May flowers and my favourite are ranunculus. I haven’t planted any bulbs this year, but  I was considering giving tulips a chance. They would look amazing in these hexagonal vases from ferm living.

I am also dreaming of upping our coffee table game, with a colourful tray and beautiful crystals. I’ve already paid a visit to the Scratch Patch, but everything I fancied was unaffordable. I also really like this fringed chandelier and am planning on DIY-ing something similar.

And finally as this is my birthday month, I think a burger and cake party would be appropriate!

I am really looking forward to this month, cozying up on the couch and planning on making our home easier on the eye. Hope you have anamazing month!

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April Favourites

April marks two very significant things for me, as we moved in on the 1st exactly a year ago and April is also my husband’s birthday month! Which is why I’m already starting to dream up which cake to bake and cheesecake is looking like a good option.

As the last two weeks have been really cold, almost uncharacteristically so, I’ve already started assessing my winter wardrobe and adding a few things. Besides the annual hunt for black skinny jeans I’m also wanting to add another great knit and possibly replace my black coat (which lasted a solid ten years).

This month we’re really taking things slowly with only a short weekend break and gearing up for the months to come, as for the next six months we are solidly booked on baby showers, birthdays, kitchen teas and weddings (making some name tags ahead of time will save me some time and these are the cutest!). To go along with that, I’ve also really enjoyed making my own bath salts (for which I’ll be sharing a quick DIY later this week) and they make a perfect last minute gift.

Ahead of our busy schedule, I’ve decided to take the plunge and booked highlights at the salon later this week. I haven’t ever gone lighter so I have nothing to really compare this too. I find it super scary, but you probably won’t even notice the difference.

Colder weather is always a good time to catch up on Netflix (who am I kidding, we’re almost running out on things to watch!) Luckily Game of Thrones returns to our screens again this month! I’m really looking forward to seeing what the future holds for some of my favourite characters who have already catched up to their book plotlines. Now if only we had a big fire place to make it all worth it!

Finally, since I’ve really been enjoying gardening I thought I’d share a few things I’m looking forward to this month and what I plan on doing to ours. My raspberry plants finally started bearing fruit a week or so ago and I got to bite into my first fruit which tasted pretty amazing. It looks like I’ll have berries for the next two weeks or so, so I’ll continue to inspect daily to pick the ripe ones either early morning or late in the afternoon. Roses wise, I’ll give one last dose of rose food and plant food before pruning back for the winter in May/June. Spraying throughout the year prevents insects and other pests taking root.

What are you looking forward to this month? Always look for the things that bring joy and chase them!

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March Favourites

I’m trying very hard not to focus on how fast this year is blowing by, and rather trying to take it one week at a time and try to squeze in as much of what I love as I can. I was feeling a little bleh last month and didn’t blog for about two weeks – each time I thought of powering up my laptop after work my eyes started twitching. Luckily it was nothing that a little break couldn’t cure and I’m really looking forward to March.

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February Favourites

For many, February is the month of love. For Capetonians, February is the month we try not to melt. It means that ice cream is a more suitable Valentines gift than chocolates (although who can resist to do so anyway) and spending time outdoors isn’t always advisable.

As we’re on the topic of love, I’ve been dreaming about far-away destinations in France of late. This pink cafe will be filed away for one day. Planning and gathering information on destinations helps to keep me content until I next board a plane.

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December Favourites

 

As you probably know by now, I love December! It is by far my favourite month. All the glitz, the braais and the weather. Of course the end-of-year atmosphere also contributes. There are just so many fun things to look forward to this month.

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November Favourites

November marks the start of my favourite season with the festivities usually starting early in my home! The first usually kicks off some Christmas tree decor. This is my first Christmas since moving out of my parents home, so I am finally starting my own Christmas decor collection. It is growing slowly but surely!

Ryno and I have four different garden roses planted in our backyard (one didn’t make it) and they are finally blooming at the same time. It really does look magical and I love the scents from the roses and herbs when working in the garden. Sometimes I even imagine that it is what it must be like to be a nose for a fragrance house – not that I’d ever know! This summer is marked to be the hottest one in a while, so I plan on taking plenty of picnics (probably not dressed like a lady) in nearby parks.

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