Instagram needs normal pictures too

Just a normal picture of me. Like many other pictures I have of myself, that gets lost on my camera roll. Never to be seen again.

But I like this picture.

Why?

I don’t know.

I think cause it’s a normal picture of me. I don’t expect any compliments. I know there’s no Instagram filter. No crazy makeup.  Just a moment freezed in a busy lifetime.

Instagram needs normal pictures too.

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Lies we tell on our resumes

As motivation on my resume, I always include ‘I work hard and I persist.’

I often times ask myself, do I really?

In my mind, I imagine someone who works hard and persist as a world-class athlete. A Caster Semenya.

Or someone that climbs Mount Everest.

They work hard. Often many people see it and praise them for it. They have something to admire.

What do I have to admire?

I know I work hard and persists. But when I’m asked to write about it, I feel like I’m lying on my resume.

My subconscious tells me: You finished school, you wrote 4 books, you are enough. But then I remind my subconscious of all my failures. because sometimes we see so much failure that the small success doesn’t take much space up in our brain. We compare our lows to other peoples highlights.

Tonight I got the answer. I agree that I’m enough.

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Working hard and persisting is also for us ‘normal’ people. With everyday life obstacles, persisting in quiet times when no one sees. No news broadcast of our heroic day. No Mount Everest picture on Facebook.

Working hard and persisting can occurs in small things.

For me, one of the times, it occurred when I applied to university. As a South African student, applying to a Dutch university, took effort.

Acquiring all the documents, scanning it, uploading it, waiting for the reply.

It seems easy enough. No hard work or persistence. Not quite right. It’s been 10years since I left school, so it’s obvious that some things have changed, and some documents I have lost.

I emailed the government, the education system, everyone with an email address. I’ve had telephone calls and ‘please wait’ repeated to me a dozen times. Just to be re-directed to a new number.

‘Good day, I’m inquiring if it’s possible to get these documents after 10 years?’

‘Yes, but it takes 8weeks and you have to donate a liver and a heart in order to get it.

The universe came through and I had all the necessary documents authorized by the proper authorities.

Time to scan.

My scanner broke, I was broke. The deadline is getting closer. Finally, I got my salary and went to scan the documents.

Time to upload.

My wifi always works. But on the day I need it the most, it failed me. Murphey’s law.

Not a problem, my friend has wifi. I get there and my computer decided it doesn’t want to charge.

I end up using my friend’s computer. My husband, that’s in The Netherlands, uploaded half of the documents that I’ve sent to him via Whatsapp because my wifi on the phone didn’t want to work.

All of this seems like it should’ve taken a day, but I’ve learned in life, things that are supposed to take a few minutes, can end up taking a month.

Last week a friend of mine asked me to help her with her resume.

I said: ‘Yes there’s an app for that. It takes about 5 minutes’.

It took me three hours.

The app kept closing every time before I was almost done. I started over 6 times. Then switch over to typing it on the laptop. Of course, the laptop went off and didn’t want to start again.

At this point, you probably wondering if my laptop has issues. It doesn’t. It works perfectly well when I watch a random youtube video, but the moment I need it to work, it acts up.

I managed to get the laptop on and retyped the resume. My friend was getting impatient.

“Chantal, you said it will take 5 minutes. I have to be back before my kids come back from school.’

I could feel the tension in the room.

…And then it was done! Just to send it to her email. I’ve sent it 3 times and she didn’t receive it.

At the time I felt like a failure. My cheeks and ears were red. What was happening?

She let me know the following day she received it.

Thinking back, I consider it a success. I worked hard on it and persisted.

These are small occurrences in my daily life. I know I’m not a suffering refugee.

I can tell you about the time I applied for my residency permit for The Netherlands, but I think you know how it went.

Bottom line: In our everyday life we work hard and persist, that failed fries that was supposed to be crispy, the failed Pinterest DIY.

But you make food again and try Pinterest diy’s again.

So, the next time you write a motivational letter or update your resume, feel free to write ‘I work hard and persists.’

When they ask you in the interview why you consider yourself a person that works hard and persists, mention a day in your life you thought you’d never live through, and there you are sitting in front of them.

Sometimes surviving a day, shows you work hard. Continuing doing it all over the next day, shows you persist.

PS: Guess what happened when I tried to upload this post up the first 6 times 😉

But if you’re reading this, it means uploading the blog post was a success!

 

 

My thoughts & Wykeham Lodge review

Most of the places in Worcester have great accommodation, but the workers are not trained.

So far I’ve visited Zonneweelde, Wykeham lodge, Cumberland Hotel, Linga Longa, Van der Westhuizen guesthouse and Merwida Manor and only two of the places had good customer service, although their accommodation was really good.

I’m left to wonder, are they hiring untrained people so that they can pay them less? Businesses make decent money with their accommodation, why not send their workers on a training course, to know how to work with the guest.

The workers don’t answer the phone properly, they don’t know how to converse with the guest and they are unfriendly.

So, when you visit a place, would bad service stop you from going there again, although they have good accommodation? Would you rather go to a different place with good service and not so great accommodation?

I’m reviewing Wykeham lodge today.

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Wykeham guesthouse had okay service. The manager was friendly and helpful with the wifi password.

The room wasn’t the best, I’d give it a 3 out of 5. But the service was okay. Better than the rest of the places.

ROOM
It came with a double bed
Kettle, tea, coffee, and sugar.
Free wifi
Tv with m-net channels.
A shower, and a toilet.
Garden-side with balcony

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All for the price of $41,83/ 34.37euro/ R520
Is this a reasonable price for South Africa and what they are offering? How much do you pay for a similar room in your country?

Extra services available for a fee.
– Secure off street parking
– Dinner on request
– Honesty bar
– Laundry service

DISCOUNT CODE:

Get 10% off when you use this code: https://www.booking.com/s/34_6/md0ege38

You can get 10% of on any accommodation you book world wide through bookings.com

Wykeham Lodge Information:

They say free breakfast but I did not receive any breakfast.

Bookings and Enquiries

WYKEHAM LODGE – The guesthouse

168, Church Street
6850 Worcester, South Africa

E-Mail: wykehamlodge@telkomsa.net
Phone: +27 (0)23 347 3467
Fax: +27 (0)23 347 6776

Our Accommodation rates
(including a full English breakfast)

From R360 per person sharing
From R520 for a single person 

 

Here is some video footage of my room.

If you like guesthouse and hotel reviews, stay tuned cause I have a lot more coming.

Travelling again- Zonneweelde Guesthouse review

 Many people say ‘I’ve wanted to travel but never get to’.
Me on the other hand, hate traveling.
It makes me anxious.
Since my life had taken a different path and I travel often, the best way for me to look forward to traveling is changing into my sleeping robe and experiencing the guesthouses.
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I visit many guesthouses and hotels, so it seems fit for me to review them.

This week I’ll be posting 5 reviews on 5 guesthouses.

In South Africa, Zonneweelde Guesthouse has become my favorite guesthouse. I’ve done a review on one of their rooms already, but today I want to show you my favorite room in the guesthouse.

If you are a traveler or just love to see what’s out there, you will like this post. Mostly because it’s a luxury room that’s ‘normal people’ affordable. If you are thinking about going or traveling to any other destination, at the end of the post I’ve left a 10% discount code!

In my previous review on Zonneweelde, I’ve given information about safety, the culture of the town, etc.

Today I’ll go more into detail about the first things travelers want to know about: Are the mattresses good? How big is the wardrobe? Do they have a bath or shower? Is there free parking? Etc. And I have video footage!

ZONNEWEELDE GUESTHOUSE:

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Zonneveld is a guesthouse situated in Worcester, Western Cape, South Africa. It is situated in town, close to all the local food stores, clothing stores, banks, and entertainment.

ROOM:

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I like this room the best because it’s spacious and private.

When I arrived there, I took a refreshing shower, put on a robe, dried my hair, got into bed and watched a good movie on the tv. It gave me a luxurious feel, a feeling of peace and rest.

Another surprise was, the pictures don’t show how big the room really is, so it was a pleasant surprise when I arrived.

  • It has a king-sized bed with a great mattress.
  • The room comes with a mini-fridge, microwave, and a kettle. An iron is available on request.
  • Free unlimited wifi is available
  • A two-point plug is available.
  • It has a flat screen tv with selected DSTV channels. (South African cable)
  • It has an air-con, which I needed for the summer’s heat.
  • The room is equipped with two beautiful chairs that looks like it came from the Victorian age.
  • It has a big wardrobe and it has plenty of mirrors.
  • Linens and towels are provided.
  • Hair dryer is provided.
  • Coffee, tea,cups and teaspoons are provided
  • Daily cleaning of room for free

BATHROOM

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I like the bathroom sink the most. It’s plain white and beautiful. It has a shower (hot & cold water) and a toilet. The bathroom is spacious.

(This bathroom is good, but it’s not my favorite bathroom in the guesthouse. The room next to it (the double room) has, in my opinion, the best bathroom. But that room is smaller, so that’s why this is my favorite room at Zonneweelde guesthouse.

BALCONY:

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I love this room because the balcony is huge! You share the bacony with the next room, but every time I’ve been there, I’ve had the balcony to myself.
It has plenty of couches and a coffee table. The view from the balcony is the garden and the pool.

POOL & GARDEN
The pool at Zonneweelde guesthouse is located in the garden. The pool is small. It has pool chairs underneath the shade of the trees. And the garden has different flowers and plants.

PARKING SPACE:

Zonneweelde guesthouse doesn’t have garages, but they do have parking space inside the yard. I’ve never left my car there, since I don’t travel by car, but I’ve asked other guest if their cars were safe and they’ve said yes. I’ve asked one worker if they’ve ever had problems with car safety and she said no.

THE OWNERS & THE WORKERS:
The owners of Zonneweelde lives at the back of the guesthouse. I’ve only met the husband (I forgot his name) and he was very friendly and helpful. One of his children works at the guesthouse and she is also friendly. They have two cute dogs.

The workers are very friendly and helpful. Sometimes I’ve arrived at Zonneweelde without booking beforehand and they’ve helped me with no stress at all.

THE FOOD:
I was served a British breakfast (check out the video below) plus a variety of cereal, coffee, tea, and juice was available. The breakfast is 4,70 euro/ $5,79/ R70

DISCOUNT CODE:
If you decide to go, tell the owner I said hello! Also, if you book through bookings.com you can save 10% on your accommodation. Not just to Zonneweelde but to any place you book through bookings.com

Here’s the code: https://www.booking.com/s/34_6/md0ege38

ZONNEWEELDE GUESTHOUSE INFORMATION:
Address: 127 Church St, Worcester, 6850
Phone: 023 342 6953
Book here

I’ve sent my husband a quick video over WhatsApp to show him how the room looks since he is in The Netherlands. I decided to post it. I find it’s always better to see pictures and videos. I wasn’t planning on reviewing the room on my blog, so excuse if the video is so short.

I’m going back next week again, to the same room, perhaps I’ll take better footage. Also, if you want to see anything else or have any other questions, please do let me know and I can ask the owner when I’m there again!

PS: Did you enjoy reading this review post?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginner bloggers: 2 ways to make money

In the past week, some of you have asked me about mainly two things: What my thoughts were on Affiliate links (can you make real money with it) and what my thoughts were on Ko-fi (a link where your readers can buy you a ‘coffee’/donate $3.)

In this post I will tell you of 2 ways I know makes real money.

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Back in 2014 and 2015, I use to add affiliate links to my blog.

After that year, I stopped with most affiliate links because I did not see growth. If something doesn’t work after a considerable amount of time, and I’ve done my best, I simply move on to the next.

Now in 2017 I only do affiliate links that work for me and might work for you too, because there is logic in the method.

Tips on selecting affiliate links:
1. Go the website that you shop at the most, most companies have affiliate programs on their website. Sign up.

Why use a store that you shop at? Because if you are the average person, you don’t buy overly expensive things on a daily basis.

Most affiliate links that people put up, is overly expensive and so people don’t click on the link because they can’t afford it.
And if they do go to the website, mostly they don’t buy anything which influences your sales.

2. If you are thinking about selling a specific item, choose items that cost less then what people pay for currently in other stores.

Example: I found a company that sells human hair for extremely cheap. First, I bought the hair to see if it’s good quality. Once I saw it was, I contacted the company, told them I have a blog and would like to advertise their hair on my blog with an affiliate link.

I had the hair on my blog for a while but took it off once my blog content changed more to fashion rather than beauty.

(I’m getting back into beauty soon, so I might contact a few companies again.)

3. What’s your demographics? Which country visits your blog the most? Check your stats. Once you know, you can choose affiliate links catering specifically to those people. Get affiliate links from stores in those countries.

4. What do you post about? Fashion? Parenthood? Writing? It’s important to know this because the people who follow you are attracted to that topic. Choose an affiliate link that sells something related to that topic.

If you blog about being vegan, but your affiliate links are for meat products, you won’t make any sales.

Some readers asked about Ko-Fi
Let me first explain what Ko-Fi is.

It’s a platform where creators can set up a free account and link back to their website for readers to buy you a ‘coffee’.

It’s not an actual coffee but rather a donation of $3 (the average price of a coffee ) or more (if they want to give more) In this way, your readers can support you.

How do they pay and how do you receive it?
They choose an option to pay via their bank card or PayPal and you put your bank details or PayPal into your account.

Ko-Fi will let you know when you’ve received the money and it will be available to you immediately. No threshold.

I set up my Ko-Fi account last week and have received some caffeine from some of you, THANK YOU. It’s an incredible feeling to receive a notification that someone actually clicked on the button, and decided to support my blog in that way.

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Screenshot of how it looks when you receive a ‘coffee’

 

If my posts have helped you consider buying me a ‘coffee’ click here.

Questions to the readers:
Do you use affiliate links? What’s the most difficult part for you when you think about affiliate links?

If you want to read more posts like these, I made a whole series of beginner blogger tips. Click here.

See you in the comments, happy living!

Chantal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the blogger Minakshi Dewangan

Today we are meeting a lovely new blogger. If you would like your blog to be featured click here. Don’t forget to include your blog website because otherwise I can’t link to it!

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Meet Minakshi Dewangan

  • What’s your blog about?
      -My blog is about fashion and lifestyle related stuff. I love doing fashion and makeup and hair and everything but I wanted to do in a way that people can adapt easily in their life.😊
 
  • Would you consider yourself a…- I am a beginner blogger of course. As I am still learning and working on everything.
 
  • What’s your vision for your blog?
        To connect, to reach and to grow           more as a Blogger with whom people can relate easily. ☺
 
  • If your wildest fantasy came true regarding your blog, what would it be?
To get maximum number of beautiful followers as my blogging family who found my blog interesting so that it will push me More to serve them better.
 
  •  What are your worst fears about blogging?
 That people will not get bored and uninterested towards me and my blog.
 
  • Wild Cards!
1. If you didn’t have to sleep then what would you do with the extra time?
I will explore the world beyond my shell and write about them.
2. What is the most annoying habit that other people have?
All people in this world are one of a kind so it’s difficult to say which habit to put in annoying category but sometimes i do get irritated when people shouts to prove themselves right.
 
3. What skill would you most like to master?
I love Dancing and I wanted to learn more and more about it.

Meet the blogger Daisy Chain

This is a section of my blog that I introduce new bloggers out there. If you would like to join in the fun please check out the details here and email me beginnerbloggertips@gmail.com.
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 MEET DAISY CHAIN
Hi! I’m DaisyChain and I’m a beauty/lifestyle blogger! I’d love for you to visit my blog and see if you like it. It would mean so much 😊
1. What is your blog about?
My blog is a beauty and lifestyle blog. I love makeup and fashion alot so that’s why I wrote about it 😄
2. What type of blogger are you?
 I’m a beginner blogger but I am quite proud of my blog.
3. What’s your vision for your blog?
My vision is a place where I can share my ideas and people read and like them. I’d love to have a following who appreciate my blog and love to read my posts!
4. If your wildest fantasy came true regarding your blog, what would it be?
My wildest fantasy would be to have a following of 1,000 people by my birthday  (June) or my long term dream would be to get a comment saying: “You are amazing! I love your blog so much 😄” that would just be amazing.
5. What are your worst fears about blogging?
They are that no one enjoys reading my posts and that my blog is considered boring.
Wild Cards!
1. If you didn’t have to sleep then what would you do with the extra time?
I would write more posts and spend more time with my family
2. What is the most annoying habit that other people have?
I don’t really find things other people do annoying cos you know it’s there life, they can do what they want but I cannot stand it when people click their pens. It is so annoying.
3. What skill would you most like to master?
I would love to master the skill of photography. I’m not that good at taking photos so I’d really love to be able to take good photos.