Best of 2019

14 January 2020| ,

Two of my favourite women and bloggers to follow are Emily and Rhiannon. Both these ladies live their lives by faith, with fervent intention and are a great source of inspiration to me. Recently, they shared a post titled: Best of 2019 naming their best few items and moments from the year. A post like this is a wonderful way to look back and reflect on the year gone by and amidst the chaos and craziness of the end of the year, to sit and remember the fun times, the greatest lessons learnt and all the sweet memories made.

Best adventure: Our family holiday trips are my greatest adventures. We were blessed with two incredible trips this year with our girls – to Mauritius at the beginning of the year and Phinda Safari at the end of the year. Time as a family, uninterrupted quality time, trying new activities and exploring the world – definitely our greatest adventure.

Best book: It’s hard to choose between The Life-Giving Home by Sally Clarkson and When Less Becomes More by Emily Ley . These two books have changed the way I think and behave as a mom and both authors are strong, faithful women that believe in making the most out of the lives we have been blessed with.

Best movie: This is quite sad but the only movies I have watched this year have been Kids Animations and I didn’t really love any of them – and yes, they included: Mary Poppins Returns, Toy Story 4, Frozen II, and The Lion King. One of my 2020 goals is to watch new release movies in the cinemas.

Best album/song: These two songs have been on repeat in our home: This one is our very car/home Worship song: Raise A Hallelujah – Bethel Music and this one is our after-dinner-dance-song: Samsara by Tungevaag & Raaban.

Best follows on Instagram: I love Instagram and I have found incredible peace with following people to keep in touch, follow their lives and pictures and find all sorts of inspiration. These beautiful souls are a constant source of faith, intention and inspiration to me online: @emilyley, @laracasey, @shaycochrane, @ashleeproffitt@rhiannonbosse, @lizdenfield, @nashvilletash, and @sarahgtucker.

Best kids milestone: This has been an incredible year for our girls, and one of the most progressive for all three of them. SJ started off the year in Grade One writing her name and reading one or two sound words, and now at the end of the year, she can write a full letter or page of news, and she can read a full book and has started reading chapter books too. Mind blowing!

EN started off her year relatively shy and reserved, not a huge fan of swimming under the water and ready to tackle her Grade 00 year at the right age (she repeated as last year she started Grade 00 a year to young) and she finished the year off with reciting a full five paragraph poem for her Speech & Drama Festival, swimming a 25m pool length without stopping and being so confident and a shining star in her school and acrobatics concerts. Proudest moments.

ZB has changed so much this past year – and she is so full of love, joy and craziness. She really is the perfect piece to complete out puzzle. She has developed the cutest little vocabulary with her little husky voice but her biggest milestones this year, were just in the past two weeks. Finally potty trained and given up her nap time and night time bottles – with very few potty training accidents but zero tears with no bottle. Where has my baby gone?!

Best faith grower: Plugging into our church and church community more this year. I took very small steps and often thought I was stepping into unknown territory and often on my own, but these were the boldest steps I took this year and it left me feeling so much love, joy, faith and enriched by the most incredible people, groups and projects. We spent many occasions and even a getaway with the beautiful souls in our church, MC mentoring and opening his heart to people and spaces, I poured my heart into giving back during our Linc Love Week and I crave our weekly Connect group meetings that we dived into too. God is so good.

Best trend you tried: Eyelash extensions. I put them off for so long because I have sensitive eyes and I didn’t want to keep up the maintenance but I have never looked back… I absolutely love having longer lashes and never having to use mascara. Thank you La Belle Vie for my monthly long lashes.

Best beauty purchase: Haha this is a tough one for me because I’m not a big beauty person. My newest find is my switch to a new foundation and I am loving the Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless foundation.

Best family memory: We have had so many wonderful moments and memories together. But our holidays have been our best… Watching our girls’ faces light up on safari game drives and exploring our African bush was my best memory.

Best habit you created: The first half of the year was a tough one for me, debilitating fatigue and chronic chest pain leaving me not forming the greatest habits. I have been relatively consistent with my 5am morning wake up – to get myself some quiet time and making lunches and breakfast before the rest of the house. But also disappointed that I haven’t managed to keep any other good habits going – like fitness, drinking water and taking vitamins. Self-care and wellness is on the top of my priority list for 2020.

Best new recipe: A spin on the delicious Waldorf salad from my little slice of heaven, Brookdale Health Hydro. I will have to share it soon.

Best life or mom hack: Definitely my holiday packing plan – see full post here. Choosing outfits and pre=packing them into little bags for each day or night of our holiday helps in such a big way. It makes packing, daily dressing, unpacking and laundry so much easier. Best way to start and end a holiday trip.

Best mama moment: How do you choose just one?! The happy smiles on my girls faces, the way they love school and are thriving in a happy environment, the compliments from friends and strangers on their behaviour and manners, their peaceful faces when they sleep at night, and their genuine love for Jesus. These are all my best mama moments.

Best home improvement: We recently re-decorated our girls bedrooms as ZB moved into a big bed, EN got SJ’s two single beds and SJ got a new double bed. The creative, Kirsty from Lindley & Co Interiors did an incredible job of bringing our ideas to life, and my girls are obsessed – they each love their little havens. Each room is perfect for their little personality, from colours to little reading corners and desk spaces. I promise to share these in the new year.

Best little luxury you’ve enjoyed: This luxury was by no means little – by our trip to Bali in February. A yoga & Pilates retreat in Bali with my bestie and the most life-giving women. It was an absolute treat and somewhat life changing. Forever grateful to my MC for not only making this happen but being the driving force behind me booking the trip and making the time for me.

What are your best moments in 2019? Would love for you to share them in the comments.


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About me

I'm Caley a thirty-something wife & mummy from Durban, South Africa. Ellie Love Blog is all about me, my family and our beautiful life.


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