Why Podcasts are Great & Some of My Favourites

If you haven’t delved into the world of podcasts yet, you are seriously missing out! With so much amazing, quality  content available for free, there is little reason to go about life’s errands in silence any longer. Although I’m still fairly new to the subject, there are a handful of podcasts I listen to on a weekly basis. If you don’t like girly banter or true crime, this list might not be for you, but there is a whole universe out there waiting to be listened to. Standing in line at the grocery store has never been so entertaining!

  • The High Low

British journalists Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes cover weekly news and pop culture topics like Serena William’s court outburst and pressing feminist questions like whether the term “guys” is anti-feminist. They provide an informed take on relevant subjects and have definitely helped me to grow as a feminist. Although the subject matter can sometimes be quite serious, they never seem to take themselves too seriously! Which only makes it an even more pleasant podcast to listen to.

  • The Fringe of It

Bloggers and female business owners Liv Purvis and Charlotte Jacklin share their weekly conversations on the best television, what you need to eat (keep the Lindt close by) and other hot topics. They’ve recently started introducing special guests to provide another take on topics like changing the law to being your own best friend. Unfortunately the sound quality isn’t always too great, so this is a good one to put on whilst going about the quieter tasks in life.

  • My Favourite Murder

Breaking with the theme, if only slightly, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark might not be British but together they manage to provide a humorous take on what is often incredibly dark subject matter. Without delving too deep in the details, they talk conversationally about serial killers and some of the most horrendous crimes. Their stories are often peppered with valuable advice and their laughter often provides some relief during incredibly depressing stories. Some of my personal favourite episodes are when Karen dives into the treasure trove of “I survived” stories. There is nothing like a happy ending!

  • At Home With

Eschewing the typical studio interview, blogger-friends (and now authors) Anna Newton and Lily Pebbles visit their guests in their homes. This unique set-up allows us to take a peak into their guest’s private quarters whilst getting to know them better in the surrounds they are most comfortable in. Whether it is Jules von Hep talking about body positivity or poet Charly Cox sharing her poetry, Lily and Anna know how to balance interiors talk with serious subjects so that you always leave inspired and enlightened.

These are only a handful of the podcasts I’ve listened to and enjoyed. Others worth mentioning include Serial (season 1), Someone Knows Something, The Teacher’s Pet (such a riveting one!), Casefile True Crime Podcast, In the Dark, Bad On Paper and The Emma Gannon Show.

Where can you listen:

Most podcasts are free to listen to. If you have an iPhone, you can listen and download episodes via the Podcast app. Android users can download apps like Stitcher and Acast to listen to podcasts. On desktop, you can listen by visiting the Acast or Stitcher websites or through iTunes.

You can also subscribe to your favourite podcasts so that they download automatically onto your phone. This way you can enjoy it whenever suits you, without worrying about streaming it or remembering to download it. I personally like listening to podcasts on airplanes as it is great at keeping me entertained with my eyes closed.

I’m always looking for new podcasts to listen to, so please share your favourites below!

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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.

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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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