Saturday, 4 August 2012

I've moved!

Hello lovely visitor! Thank you so much for stopping by. Cake crumbs & beach sand has now moved and lives at its swanky new residence at Please pop over and say hello. If you drop in via Google Friend Connect you’ll need to pop over to my new site and subscribe. 

Please do, I love it when you drop in!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Moving house!

cake crumbs & beach sand is currently relocating to its new home. We will back to spread positivity and inspiration in a few days and we will let you know our new address once we're settled in.

In the meantime have a lovely weekend, don't forget to smile!

Thursday, 12 July 2012


Image by Anna Inghardt

I am not much of a morning person. Nor am I a fan of winter. Combine the bleak morning chill with darkness before dawn breaks and I am at my least creative, least constructive and least friendly.

I returned from living in the tropics in 1996 and I have quite uncomfortably grappled with the winter months every single year since. I try to deny the fact that winter is approaching once the heat of summer says goodbye, and when the chill does hit I pretend to ignore it. If I don’t acknowledge it, it doesn’t exist. Except the constant pain in my neck from a childhood head-on-collision injury and the ache in my bones are fierce, stark reminders that winter in fact is upon us.

I don’t much like winter. Dry skin craving moisture, garden craving sunshine, bikini craving beach visit; everything around me tells me the cold is here. I rug up to keep warm and get too hot. I dress down to cool down and get too cold. I have a scarf permanently attached to my neck to humour the old neck injury. I cover my ankles to keep the chill away and then smile at the mockery of the pink ugg boots adorning my feet. How did I become so dorky? Winter is how. My pink fluffy dressing gown keeps me company at dawn, so what of it? My bikini is laughing at me from the spot I left it hanging over my shower screen some months ago. I gaze at it some mornings, like a lovesick lover pining for what once was. I know my bikini will come to life again soon. Any day now.

I don’t like to count the days away, God knows time flies by way too fast. But secretly, oh so quietly, I do count the days until spring. After I down my second cup of coffee for the morning I peer outside and smile when I see the sun smiling back. Still grateful for the small things such as a winter that barely reaches below zero degrees, a winter that in some countries can be classed as a mild summer. But when it hits 40 degrees and I am perched on the sand in my long lost bikini I won’t be thinking of this brisk winter morning. I will humbly count my blessings that I live in a country with such a beautiful summer and that I was born a summer child. And very quietly, oh so begrudgingly, I will be dreading the fact that in the back of my mind I know, as sure as the sun is shining, that winter will be back again someday soon.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Midweek bliss

Image by Krista Keltanen

 Long drawn out morning coffee  Jeans and t-shirts  Ugg boots, not stilettos  Dinner cooked at lunch time  Daytime TV (I know, probably won’t happen, but it could)  Writing all day  Afternoon naps  Midweek laughs with my bestie (I can’t wait to sit on her deck in the sunshine and whittle away the hours chatting)  Breakfast sitting down, not eaten on the run  Dog walks, shop runs  Afternoon tea in the sun  Phone chats  I might even get through my email for once!  Reading, oh I can’t wait to lay on the lounge with a good book, during the day, midweek (this is so novel I can’t even imagine what this will feel like)  No rushing  No peak hour traffic  No watching the time every five minutes for the first two hours of my day  Phone on silent. House silent. Head silent. 

Three weeks and counting. My life as I have known it for 23 years will change and my heart and soul cannot wait. I can't stop smiling, thinking of the freedom that will prevail. I have loved my career and feel incredibly blessed for the opportunities I have been presented with (truly blessed), but I am ready.

At one point, when I first started to realise I no longer loved working full time, I had planned to retire when I hit 50. FIFTY YEARS OLD! That is nine years away, how would I have lasted another nine years of full time, five days a week work? Impossible. I have been ready for this for a long time. I am so glad I listened to my authentic self.

Three weeks and counting.

Monday, 9 July 2012


Image by Gokturk Ayan
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. ~Dr Seuss
How much do we overthink things? I am a tragic over-thinker by nature. I, well actually my head, likes to dissect things and toss them around a bit and consider all possible scenarios and outcomes. In some situations this is great, I don’t get stuck on one idea and can inspire myself to see things in different ways. In other situations, not so much.
Sometimes when questions arise it is best to answer them off the cuff. Difficult decisions are often based on so many ‘what-ifs’ that we can tend to overload the decision down with unrealistic possibilities. I have started to respond to questions and my own choice options with whatever first comes to mind. I realise that not digging too deep but rather answering with what first comes up is in fact my authentic self responding. When we start to dig and delve for the ‘right’ response the what-ifs come to fruition guided by our false self, our safe side reminding us we need to be responsible. Of course we do, our false self will always remind us of that. But if we listen to our intuition, to our instincts, we tend to dig less for conscious reasoning.

Understandably decisions often have responsibilities attached, there are things we must consider, however a lot of smaller decisions can rely purely on what we feel is best. The authentic self will always tell you what you truly want to do, what your heart wants. When we allow our false self to step in, we fill ourselves with self-doubt and fear and we tend to make decisions based on what we feel we are expected to do. I don’t want to live my life based on what is expected of me, I would rather live my life how I want to live it. That won’t always please others or live up to the image they have carved out of and for me, but that’s okay. I can live with that.

I am all for keeping things simple, it is the mantra that I aspire to live by and I often need to remind myself that things do not need to be so complicated. I just need to stop complicating them. 

Friday, 6 July 2012

Be kind to your boss.

** Disclaimer – this is not directly or indirectly about any individual I have worked with, it is about me and my account on behaviour related to being a supervisor/manager. If you have worked with me in the past, this is not intended as a message to you. As for my current staff, if you are reading this please know you are absolute angels. Also, you are already kind enough. 

Throughout my 23 years of working I have experienced aspects of staff management from both ends of the spectrum – I have been managed and I have been a manager. While I don’t like to write about my ‘job’ on my blog (this is about me, not my job) I would like to share my insight on how it looks from a manager’s perspective. You know, in case you have never been one and are wondering. Also if you have a boss they may appreciate your newfound knowledge and acts of kindness that may follow as a result of your newfound knowledge.

I have supervised staff from when I was 23 and worked in the casino. Something you may not know about me, I was a croupier, and then an inspector (she who supervises croupiers) and I have worked on a cruise ship as a pit manager (she who supervises the inspectors). I loved working in casinos, not only did it open my mind to a whole other world I got to work with some amazing people. It was probably my favourite job to date after writing.

The difference in supervising in a casino environment to an office environment is you supervise hundreds of staff, not the same staff daily. I think I enjoyed this type of management most as you get to work with such a broad array of personalities and I learnt so much about people. I am a very, VERY good judge of character, I credit this to my casino days. Also as a result of having to deal with various personalities (staff and punters) I am also incredibly thick skinned, I am rarely offended.

One thing I didn’t understand as one who is supervised that I do now is, the person supervising has a lot more on their plate than the one being supervised realises. With increased responsibility comes, well, increased responsibility. While a manager needs to undertake their own role be it manage a business and take care of accounts/clients/debtors/creditors/staff/all of the above etc etc etc, or purely manage staff, there are a multitude of responsibilities the supervised aren’t privy to, and won’t ever be. On any given day a manager may have requests from clients, deadlines to meet, month end, payroll, contracts and manuals to research and draft, and then throw in grievances, more requests from clients and staff needs to be met. While a manager gets remunerated accordingly for the extra work, with that comes extra responsibilities. And often a lot of them!

While we spend half of our week at work we can often think it is all about us, about ‘me’. Well I can assure you, it isn’t. Yes chances are, as an employee, you make up a very large proportion of the picture, but there is still a much bigger picture that involves all of the above and then some. On top of that, you may sometimes think your boss doesn’t care, of course they do. They are just like you, blood and bones and EVERYTHING, but they also have deadlines and demands and surprise, surprise, a life.

I have had the extreme pleasure of working with some of the most inspiring and kindest people I have ever met. My ongoing personal relationships with some of the staff I have supervised and managed over the past two decades is testament to how much they have impacted on my life during our working days together. I have grown very fond of people I have previously (and currently) supervised, I respect the work ethic of many much younger than me that I have had the pleasure of working with.

Be kind to your boss. When you down tools and go home to your family at the end of your day, chances are your boss is still thinking about you well into the night. While they may not be physically able to fix your problems instantly, they are trying. They are. And even though they have constraints (and believe me there are always constraints) they are trying to solve that issue for you, in their own way, in their own time. It may not be instant or perfect to you, but they are trying.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Photography inspiration - Krista Keltanen

You may be aware that I am an avid but very amateur (ie I just wing it and have had no formal training - yet) photographer. I am in the early stages of learning about the craft that is photography, and am inspired every day by beautiful images. One photographer who has caught my attention is the very talented Finnish photographer Krista Keltanen. Oh my stars, just look at her dreamy photos!

{Images courtesy of Krista Keltanen}

You can find more of Krista's beautiful images on her website and blog, and you can follow her on Facebook. For your daily glimpse of whimsy I suggest you head on over there, stat!