The top 3 things to do in Gauteng, with young children!
Having 2 young girls who are as active as they are vocal about what they want, like and need (their needs are more like wants, but to them it’s a need) means that I need to ensure that there is always something fun and exciting, active and hopefully educational for them to do!
Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens
Just this past weekend, with winter on its way, I decided that some fresh air was just the thing we all needed. Along with a great friend and her two young children we set off for the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. The goal was to hike to the top of the water falls. I remember this hike, from back in the day, however on this day I was put to shame by a 4 and 6-year-old, who led the charge up the precarious 3.5 km hike to the water fall. This hike was not what I recalled, and though the struggles were real for me, not having exercised in longer than I can remember, the fun, the perseverance I saw in these young children reminded me that giving up was not an option!! This fun journey should be one that everyone should try at least once. The tranquil gardens, the educational aspect, the fresh air and the quality of time spent with my daughters was an amazing experience.
Second on our list is the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa otherwise known as the Pretoria Zoo. What can I say but WOW. Animals for Africa, huge. A great time out for the entire family! My daughters were able to spot animals all over the place! Unlike the Johannesburg Zoo which feels very run down and desolate, you will find every animal imaginable!! Even the Kangaroo! and leopards, Guerrilla’s, tigers. A fun time, also walked for hours, a gold cart may have been better, but the chance to spend that time enjoying the looks on their faces was the highlight of my day. Revisits are definitely in the cards!
For the young at heart where coordination is not a problem, we Roll eGoli! Roll skating! Not for the feint hearted as demonstrated by myself, where my butt was more on the rink than my roller skates. An immensely fun time, learning a new skill, the music is great, the friendly staff are amazing and the pizza to die for! Parties, or just a casual visit will have you revisiting the 80’s!
I’ve learnt the hard way that trying to find things that we all enjoy need not be the most exhaustive thing to do! With google only a tap away, and my daughters eager and excited faces as we head off on yet another awesome journey is worth more than words can ever tell!
And I did have an ice-cream or 2! How can I not!
Spend a day in my life as an efficient Virtual Assistant
When I became a VA, the thought of working from home seemed idyllic. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy being able to get up, go for a run and have coffee before firing up the computer? Not to mention being able to catch up with friends or wear comfy clothes all while tending to your family and work.
It didn’t take me long to realise that I needed to set myself boundaries and a routine if I were to be a top notch VA. I know that I crave structure and social interaction in order to be productive. As race walking has always been my go to “happy place”, I start my day with a 8km walk, breathing in fresh air and starting my day off on a positive note.
After a long walk I fire up the computer, whilst I have a well-deserved cup of coffee. For me the need to dress for success is vital, one cannot be productive if you do not dress for success, I don’t have to don a jacket and high heels, but being clean and presentable does wonders for one’s self esteem and allows me to feel motivated throughout the day.
As I sit down at my desk strategically placed in front of the window, first thing I do is check my emails, as this will determine the type of day I will have. Normally, whilst the emails are loading, I look out of my window at my goose splashing in his pond and that is when I feel truly blessed to be able to work from home. I have found that setting specific work hours has helped me to establish my own unique work style.
I have learnt that I cannot be in front of the computer all day and I need to take regular breaks. Going out during the day, goes a long way to keeping me connected with the world, a trip to the grocery store or a chat to friends at lunch time always lifts my spirits and allows me to come back to my desk after lunch refreshed and ready for what the afternoon might bring.
Every day I have a “to-do” list that I strive to get complete, this ensures that I don’t procrastinate and I maintain a steady pace throughout the day instead of a mad rush at the end of the day. There is nothing as satisfying as crossing off a task on your list (“tick”). Working from home allows me be able to have dinners cooked and the house cleaned as this is all part of my daily routine. There is no greater pleasure than having the kettle boiled for when my daughter comes home in the evening.
It takes dedication to stick to a routine when there is no one there to hold you accountable, however, if you are committed and have support, a day in the life of a VA can be a wonderful experience.
For more information on Annie please visit our team page.