Baby bedtime routine that works

Baby bedtime routine from 2 months to 6 months old.

Andrew started sleeping through the night at 3 months old.  The first night I thought I was just lucky, but when it happened 3 nights in a row I realized that the baby bedtime routine we started when he was 6 weeks old was finally paying off.

I read an article over on Baby Center called “Establishing good sleep habits: newborn to 3 months” and it helped me realize that a child can be taught to sleep through the night at a young age.  I learned that starting the routine when your child is between 6 and 8 weeks old is important.

At 8 weeks, it may seem pointless because the rewards are not immediate, but there is a saying:

“It takes 30 days to make a habit”

I found this was true with Andrew.  At 12 weeks he slept through the night, 21:30 until 6:00.  You may be wondering what my “magic” routine is.

Continue reading “Baby bedtime routine that works”

Getting Things Done Workspace at home

Desk at home, reorganized.
My desk at home before cleaning it
My desk at home before cleaning it.

On Saturday I cleaned up my workspace at home to minimize the clutter and make it more functional.  It was my intention to create a functional home workspace using principles from David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done”.  I have limited space to work with at home, since I only have a small desk that sits against a wall between the living room and kitchen.  Our living room and kitchen has an open plan design.  On this small desk I need place for my 3-tier inbox, writing surface and computer. Continue reading “Getting Things Done Workspace at home”

Getting Things Done: Office Workspace

Yesterday I decided that I needed to completely re-evaluate my office and home workspace.  My goal is to minimize clutter, get rid of the items I don’t need and make sure that I have easy access to the things I do need.

The most basic getting things done office workspace

In David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, he describes that the most basic workspace has a writing surface and place for an inbox.  This surface can be expanded to also contain a computer and anything else you need to be productive.

I came up with a list of items I need to be at my maximum efficiency while I work.  These items are:

  • Computer
  • Headphones
  • Writing surface
  • 3-tier inbox: in, reading and filing
  • Pen and Pencil holder
  • Mini note paper
  • Post-its
  • Pens and Pencils
  • Sharpener
  • Paper Clips
  • Binder clips
  • Stapler and staples
  • Paper punch
  • Sticky Tape
  • Rubber Bands
  • File Folders
  • Dustbin

My office workspace before I GTD’d it

My workspace was seriously jumbled, as you can see by the before photograph below:

My workspace at the office before I tidied it
My workspace at the office before I tidied it.

My office workspace after I GTD’d it

Here is an after photograph:

My Getting Things Done Office Workspace
My workspace at the office after I had tidied it

Spot the difference!  The printer is still on the desk, but it is hidden behind the laptop.  I moved the laptop to the left hand side and put the second screen in the center back.  I cleaned out the inbox, and repacked the stationery drawer.  I actually didn’t remove too much stuff, I simply reorganized the stuff that was there.  What I love is that I now have the whole right hand side as a writing surface.

I have easy access to my writing surface, inbox, pen holder and computer.  In the top drawer I have mini note paper, post-it’s, headphones, paper punch, stapler and staples.  I also ordered paper clips, binder clips, a sharpener and sticky tape from Takealot, it is due to arrive on Thursday next week.  Under the desk is a dustbin.

I need to bring rubber bands and file folders from home.

Next, I must set up an identical system at home and put together my “office in transit”.


2 weeks ago Mark and I put our first advert up on OLX.  I saw “Sweeny Todd: The demon barber of fleet street” for sale on Takealot, but it was part of a box set containing “The Corpse Bride” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, both of which I already owned.

Buying the single DVD was more expensive than buying the set because the set was on sale.  So Mark and I decided to sell or trade the two DVD’s we already owned for 2 movies we didn’t own.

We posted our advert on OLX on the Friday, offering our DVD’s for sale or trade.  On Saturday evening we had a response via Whatsapp, with a photograph of various DVD’s.  We chose to trade our two movies for Dodgeball and Faster.

I was surprised at how easy it was.  I hope that this will be a great beginning to getting rid of more items on OLX.

Have you sold, traded or given away anything using an online “classified” advert?  I’d love to hear about your experience in a comment below.

Painting of Queenstown, Eastern Cape by J. C. Marshall


The painting shown above belonged to my Grandmother, Eileen Peter (maiden name Keys). I remember it hanging in the little living room of her apartment.

The painting is of the Berry Reservoir and Bowkers Kop in Queenstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa and it was painted by J. C. Marshall.

Queenstown is my hometown. I was born there and spent the first 18 years of my life in that town.

When we lived in 3 Chamberlain Street (before my birth until 1991). My parents and I would go for walks around the Berry Reservoir almost every evening.

I have many fond memories of the dam, mostly from when I was very young, below the age of 5. I remember a church picnic that took place there with three-legged races, sack races and an egg and spoon event. I remember a little white shoe that got stuck in the mud when the dam water was low (not my shoe) and wondering for years afterwards if it was still there or if it had been fished out.

I remember the time my cousin, Glynis, found a dead crab on the edge of the dam, during one of the few visits their family made to Queenstown. I think they were there to see our grandfather (Edward Peter) before he past away in 1991.

I remember taking our dogs for walks there when we stayed at 78 Livingstone Road (1996-1999).  To give them a good workout my dad would let them chase the car as we drove around the dam 2-5 times.  Don’t worry, they were off of the leash at the time, and there were no other cars on the path.  Our Jack Russell Terrier (Scamper) would get tired before our Irish Setter (Flash), and often we would put her in our car and allow Flash to have a few extra laps.

BUT… The strongest memory I have of the dam was the time I discovered what a downhill was. I was riding my handed-down bicycle soon after I had learned to stay balanced (no training wheels). I was seeing how fast I could go, so I was peddling on the downhill. Then I looked around and couldn’t see my parents. I tried to stop by putting my feet on the ground like I used to do. The right hand brake brake didn’t work at all. That was when I realised how fast I was going. I panicked and reached my one hand over to the other hand to try and pull the working brake. It was too stiff for the strength in my one hand to pull it by itself. That is when the bicycle went side-ways and I crashed into a tree. I can still see the tree in my mind today, and I have a slight scar on my chin to remind me of the incident.  My next memory (after seeing the tree) is my dad running up to me and carrying me home.  I must have been about 3 or 4 years old when this happened.

I am not sure how long it was after that, but I woke up one morning with a brand new red BMX in my bedroom.

My verdict on the painting: keep and I think I will have Mark move it to the living room (it is currently in our bedroom).

Telling the story

Necklace that I wore to the Grade 12 dance at Queens College
Necklace that I wore to the Grade 12 dance at Queens College

I believe that a great help to getting rid of stuff is to take a photograph and tell the story behind the item. So there may be a whole series of blog posts in the future where I will tell the story of the item I am deciding to keep or give away. At the end of the blog post I will share my final decision as to whether I will keep the item or give it away.

The picture above is of a necklace that I wore to the Grade 12 dance at Queens College (the brother school of Queenstown Girls High).
I went to the dance with a young man whom I had been dating since Grade 9. We broke up when High School was over.
There are good memories and bad memories of our relationship. Unfortunately the dance itself isn’t a good memory for me.  Since I have chosen to forgive and forget the bad memories, and this necklace sparks a bad memory, I have decided that the verdict on the necklace is GIVE AWAY!