Ceramic Loving.

I’ve been slightly, and strangely (is it strange though?) obsessed with buying special mugs, plates, bowls, and cups lately. Home-ware overall, actually! Maybe it’s because we are living in our own home now, and finally aren’t renting anymore. Preparing for renovations and finally creating our dream home in the next few months. Or, maybe it’s just because I am growing up, and am starting to appreciate the beauty in things we use on a daily basis or when we entertain and have people over for coffee or dinner.

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I’ve always been in love with the home-ware from Country Road, and I do have quite a few items from there, but I have also had fun browsing small, local stores at markets and online. My latest favourite is a small company run by a beautiful local, soon to be wed lady, Kate. Her full time job is a manager at Zando, and her secret love affair is Potsicle Ceramics. The name defines her and her business perfectly! ‘Potsicle’, just the sweetest name to go hand in hand with some of the most gorgeous, imperfectly perfect ceramics that she hand makes herself.

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I sent Kate a few reference pictures of what I like, and told her to be creative as I love her own personal style. I was so eager to see what she would create, and oh my goodness, am I in love! It arrived on my door step a couple of weeks later (it’s a process), and let’s just say that Kate is a bubble wrapping queen! My package arrived all in one piece, and I giggled as I unwrapped all of the bubble wrap! I’m sure I actually gasped when I first held my complete pieces in my hands. They are beautiful.

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I’m so excited to have some girls over for tea so that I can fill the plates up with home baked treats, just so that I can show them off! The quality of my ceramics are phenomenal, not a single flaw.

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These would make such wonderful gifts for a wedding. You can do your very own custom order if you wish, and create something personal and special for either yourself, a friend or a couple getting married. I think I may even be placing an order before too long for a little set to be made for a special baby that is soon to be born. We were gifted with a Jamie Oliver set that included a small ceramic plate, bowl and cup. And I just loved the idea. But, to be able to choose what you want yourself, to make it personal and special just wins over my heart!

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Kate, you’ve made me one happy lady with these beautiful Potsicle Ceramics. I can see through your work that you love what you do so very much. Thank you!
You can browse her already made products here: http://www.hellopretty.co.za/potsicle-ceramics
Or you can check out her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Potsicle/
And her Instagram here: @potsicle_ceramics

Back To School.

It feels bizarre that three weeks has gone by in a flash! I can’t believe that my little guy is back at school today. It has been a successful holiday. We managed to complete the three tasks we really wanted to get out of the way – 1. Potty Training 2. Painting our room. 3. Clearing out the outside room from when we moved a year ago.

But there was one more task that I knew I wanted to work on the week before Olly went back to school, and that was getting his mind prepared for the return to school. It’s a huge thing for their brains and emotions to have so much change in such a short period of time. It’s almost as if the moment they get settled into school, and the routine that goes with it, school holidays arrive and throw them off. It’s all totally confusing, and I can completely understand why – honestly, it sort of catches me off guard too!

The whole of last week, I spent (without Olly even realizing) preparing Olly’s mind for returning to school. Last term was a tricky one – I found that he would moan the night before school and in the mornings before school saying he didn’t want to go. But, once we arrived, he was content – and I know that he loves being  there. So, I didn’t want a repeat of that. I would chat about the exciting things about school, his friends, the fun things he does there. When he seemed slightly bored at home, I would use that as an opportunity to chat about ‘when he goes back to school next week, he’ll probably be doing some exciting messy artwork with his friends..I wonder what it will be.’ And, when we would chat about a certain topic, I would mention that he would probably learn about that at school this term. All of these opportunities that arose were used to the best of my ability to get his emotions ready and excited to go back to school.

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We also worked hard on getting him back into routine. We printed out a very special chart for mornings and afternoons/evenings so that he knows himself by looking at the pictures exactly how each day will go from the moment his head leaves the pillow in the morning until it hits the pillow at night. From putting his jarmies under his pillow after he’s dressed to bath time. This has worked phenomenally well, and I am so content with how he has swung back into routine, and settled so nicely into the new routine I’ve created which involves little chores (things that he did anyway, like packing away his toys and putting his dirty clothes into the washing basket, etc.) which gives him the feeling of being independent and responsible.

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Breakfast, lunch and dinner all happen at the same time each day, and he will help me pack his lunch box the night before, which also stirs up some excitement for school. Mornings start with a healthy, brain fuelling breakfast. Oats, or egg or even a protein packed smoothie if he doesn’t feel like eating. There is NO TV time before school, but sometimes we have a little time left for a story, puzzle or even a snuggle.

This morning was smooth sailing. He rushed into his classroom, leaving me trying to catch up behind him. He was very excited for us to tell his teacher that he’s at school WITHOUT A NAPPY!!! (HOORAY) and he was even more excited to be STIMULATED with puzzles that he hadn’t seen every single day for three weeks, but most importantly, his mind had already been put at ease for the past week, so that it wasn’t all too overwhelming for him today.

I’ve learnt that parenting is ALWAYS a process. Nothing ever just happens. We need to prepare ourselves and our kids for big, scary emotional roller coasters that they will encounter. They are too little to understand and work on their big emotions on their own, and we need to be sensitive and understanding of that. And we can so easily give them a helping hand.

How have you helped your kid(s) be emotionally ready for going back to school today? Do you find that a solid routine helps in your household too?

— One Modern Mom x

Competition Day: Win With Clever Little Monkey

If you don’t know this little fact about me by now, then do you actually even know me at all? I am obsessed with special pieces of decor that get their special spot in our home. And, over the past year – I have loved being on the hunt to find unique and trendy bits and bobs as well as larger pieces of furniture and home decor pieces that fit in beautifully for Olly’s bedroom and play area too.

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I’ve been really blessed to work hand in hand with Clever Little Monkey over the past year, and we always find the most magical things on their website. You have also had many opportunities to win some of these products over the past year! And, today is no exception! It’s another chance for you to WIN!

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This time, we are giving away a Lorena Canals Bubbly Basket that are brand new to their website. They are valued at R550.00. Which colour would you choose? https://cleverlittlemonkey.co.za/?s=basket&post_type=product

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It’s super easy to enter, and you can gain three entries into the giveaway!

Right here!
Right there:  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/onemodernmom/photos/a.1413740795622584.1073741829.1409931466003517/1811840692479257/?type=3&theater
And over here too: Instagram: @onemodernmom

How to enter here:

1. Subscribe to my blog!
2. Head over to like Clever Little Monkey on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cleverlittlemonkey/
3. Leave me a comment below telling me which colour Lorena Canals Bubbly Basket you would choose from their website (link above).

 

 


TERMS & CONDITIONS:
You need to be residing in South Africa.
The prize will be couriered directly to the courier at our expense.
The prize may not be redeemable for cash or exchanged for anything else.
The giveaway will end on Friday 28th July 2017 at 15h00, and the winner will be contacted via email.
If you have not claimed your prize within 5 working days, a new winner will be randomly selected.
If ALL steps are not completed, your entry will not be accepted.

 

That Postpartum Self-Image.

When you look at yourself in the mirror, with your pregnant belly or postpartum body staring back at you, how do you feel?

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Without even being entirely aware of it the majority of the time, and rather finding myself in a little bit of an emotional place in my life at times and then thinking back to life since falling pregnant up until now and sort of waking up to the fact that I’ve been feeling this particular way for much longer than I thought, rather than just going through stages of feeling like this.

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It is so challenging learning to love your body with all of the changes that have come with it since falling pregnant. It truly is something that I have struggled with more than I have even been aware of. I love my body for what it has allowed me to achieve. I love my body for blessing me with the opportunity to carry a baby, to birth a baby and to be mostly healthy. But, I also struggle on a daily basis with 100% loving what it now looks like.

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I sometimes find myself in a bit of a negative place. I get frustrated with myself for complaining to myself or to David about weight that I have gained, and then not doing anything about it. I get irritated with myself for getting my mind so set on eating better, and then failing. I get so cross with myself when I spend so much time trying to feed Olly healthy food, and then I give into a quick microwave meal because I’m just so exhausted at the end of a day.

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I find myself feeling overwhelmed, but know that I can so easily avoid that by just planning and preparing weekly meals for my entire family on a day that isn’t quite so overwhelming.

I know I’m totally normal. I know that every mom feels this way at some point or another, and I know that my body has been through uncountable changes, some that I will never truly understand since falling pregnant.

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And then… then I did this photo-shoot with Radiefa Peters from Radz Photography. I threw myself in the deep end by choosing two dresses that I wouldn’t usually choose purely because of how I feel about my body. I took the leap, I did it. And when I got my photos back, it was almost like something triggered in my brain for the very first time since I can remember. I felt beautiful. I looked at the photographs, and for the first time in a very long time, I liked what I saw. Not the story behind the photo, or how Olly looked – but I actually smiled when I zoomed in and looked and re-looked at myself in the photos.

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Not many people are capable of making somebody feel that way about themselves. And I also have to hand some of the credit over to Daff Kansley, the talented makeup artist who partly gave me the confidence to actually leave the house in the first place. And to Jody from Flock Fashion & Accessories for the beautiful wardrobe that you provided me with.

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Getting these images back, and seeing how happy I looked in the photos has just given me the desire I needed to get myself back in shape – to stick to my exercise routine, and to stick to preparing healthy meals for my family. Why? Because a healthy self-image creates a healthy, happy individual. And me being happy means that everybody who crosses my path will leave feeling happier too.

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You can follow the talented team behind these photos on Instagram here:

Radiefa Peters: @radzphotography_cpt
Daff Kansley: @thedrkansley_mua
Jody: @flock_it
One Modern Mom Blog: @onemodernmom

The Reality Of Sugar.

Did you know that over feeding your kids sugar from a young age can create an incredibly unhealthy sugar addiction for them as adults? Also, did you know that rewarding your kids with food isn’t always a healthy idea either. I find that people often laugh at me or shrug off the intensity of sugar. I often find myself cringing when I see the food that kids eat on a daily basis. I’m not judging, but rather wish that I could educate them on how desperately kids need a healthy diet for their tiny bodies and to help their brains work at their full capacity.

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Here’s my own personal story:
SUGAR & TODDLERS = MINIATURE MONSTERS

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Without exaggerating, it was literally three minutes ago that I gave my son two teenie tiny SweeTarts. (My absolute favourite candy that my dear friend brought me back from the States.) I couldn’t resist sharing with Olly, because, of course, they remind me of my own childhood visiting the States to see my family.

My mistake! He had been happily playing outside in the mud, when he came inside to ask me to roll up his sleeves. I then handed him two of these little sweets. One for each hand. Within a matter of minutes – three to be exact, he turned from a sweet little boy who was happily entertaining himself, to literally screaming, spitting, and just being ugly. Define ugly: shouting, not listening to me, making horrible sounds, and just being all round RUDE.

It is mindblowing what sugar can do! And I think that we underestimate the power of it. I’ve done an article on healthy eating before, and I have always been quite strict on what Olly eats. From a young age, he had a gluten intolerance, which meant that we had to be careful about what he ate. But, as he’s gotten slightly older, it isn’t nearly as severe as what it used to be, thankfully! However, at the same time – it seems that we have sort of loosened the ropes on steering away from sugar.

Olly will generally choose water over juice. He will never get any juice apart from 100% fruit juice that we dilute mostly in water. For school lunches and at home, he will generally get fresh fruit and nuts with his rice cake or sandwich or sometimes dried fruit. He also, surprisingly LOVES having baby tomatoes in his lunch box. Strange kid.

BUT, he’s a kid, and somehow he manages to persuade us to give him the BAD treats. That’s the kind of treats that are okay at a birthday party on the odd occassion. But, NOT to have on a daily basis. I never reward with food – for instance, he will never get sweets or a biscuit or snacks if he goes potty on his own, or does something good. I’ve learnt that it’s a no no, thanks to Munchkins parenting coach, Celeste Rushby who I used to au pair for and learnt so much from over time.

The problem is that when he catches David or myself munching on a biscuit, or a peice of chocolate or somebody happens to open a packet of chips, he comes running from the other end of the house (where he couldn’t hear me calling him from) to see ‘what we have for him’. I know that the immediate and obvious solution would be to just not eat that kind of thing when he is up and about and to rather save it for when he is asleep, and look – it isn’t a daily thing. I’m making it sound as if we constantly have junk food in hand, which isn’t the case at all. We never prioritize pudding for him after dinner. Every now and then he will have a yoghurt with a banana, or stewed apple which is home made with a drizzle of custard.

But – WHEN HE DOES have sugar – it’s as if I have a totally different child in front of me. And it scares the living daylights out of me. I do not like the child he becomes. The high is short and the low is long and dreadful. Totally not worth it! It’s the worst thing you can give your child – honestly.

I want to suggest that you (and I) replace the junk treats for healthier alternatives. Dried fruits, rice cakes coated in carob, dark chocolate, biltong or droerwors – you catch my drift. I struggle to wrap my mind around why I feel the need to give Olly sugar when he’s totally content, happy and polite (you almost feel as if you want to give them something nice as a treat to secretly reward their behavior) just to turn them into the opposite of what they are.

Olly LOVES his healthy snacks. He honestly does, and always has! And so, my July resolution – OUT WITH THE JUNK, IN WITH THE HEALTHY.

Natural sugar in small doses is totally OK! And every now and then, a sugary treat isn’t a bad thing. But, if you want to see a change in your kids behaviour and attitudes, choose snacks that have no added sugar, no colourants, MSG or flavourants, etc. You catch my drift. Don’t make sugar an expected thing in your home. And for those of you with young babies that aren’t yet there – start your babes off not even knowing what it is – because they don’t need it! They get all of the sugar they need through fruit!

Sorry about my long rambles, I was just actually so shocked this morning watching how such a small amount of sugar made my sweet child turn into a monster in such a short amount of time.

So, I just wanted to raise the awareness about how SUGAR is really a drug when consumed too frequently. And there are so many alternatives that you can rather choose from. Maybe I should do a post on some alternatives that you can choose from that don’t cost an arm and a leg?

Thanks for reading, and I would love to hear your perspectives and ideas on this.

— One Modern Mom

Please subscribe to get notified when I post new content. And you can also let me know your thoughts by commenting below.

 

The New Trend On The Block – Zach & Lily

When two moms put their heads and creativity together and start a clothing label, one specially designed for kids – you’re never quite sure what the outcome will be. HOWEVER, when these two ladies in particular – Letitia Murphy and Tanielle Lloyd decided to start their own line, they weren’t messing around. Zach & Lily Toddler and Kids Apparel was born. And born with a purpose it was.

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A clothing line that covers every single kids size from 1-10 years, all garments a perfect fit per age, which I honestly do find a rare thing these days.

But, I have to admit that my favourite thing about this particular tracksuit I am reviewing is the fun that portrays from the design. I’ve never really been a huge fan of matching tracksuits – maybe because it’s what I was dressed in the majority of the time as a child – and I look back at the photos and cringe. But, these aren’t quite the same. They’re trendy, practical and have cute little features – like the large zip pocket on the front of the tracksuit top.

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I’m normally THAT mom that generally purchases plain, neutral coloured garments for Olly. And his wardrobe is mostly grey, or delicately patterned, with a little splash of mustard or blue here and there. But, these just somehow won their way to my heart with their brightly, in your face – ‘you can’t avoid me even if you try’ patterns that stand out even more on the black.

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But what’s the comfort like? Ask Olly. Or just watch him when he wears them. The first day he wore the complete tracksuit, he slept in it too. He wouldn’t allow me to take it off of him. I finally managed to get the tracksuit off the next morning, however, I ran out of luck to get the long sleeve, hooded shirt off of him for school, so he just wore that with his jeans. It’s WARM, its snug and it’s incredibly comfortable. The neck is wide enough to get over their heads without your kid throwing a tantrum, and the cut of the tracksuit is big enough to wear another warm top beneath for the cold wintery months.

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I love that Zach & Lily promotes kids being kids. When chatting to them, they mentioned that kids only get to be little for so long. So many clothing brands sell garments that are so grown up. And we need to dress them as children and let them be small while they are. And they actually changed my mentality so much by saying this. There really is so little available on the market for kids to be kids. All of the Zach & Lily garments are modest, and do not show off their bodies (some of the clothing designs I see when clothing shopping freaks the living daylights out of me).

Although still a new clothing brand, these moms have created something unique and very special. It makes me so happy to have had a moment to sit down with them and understand why they have created Zach & Lily and their dreams for their business as well as to hear about what their personal meanings are behind each and every one of their garments.

There really is something for every child. And the beauty is that you can mix and match between the range to find the perfect outfits for your child’s wardrobe. There is so much more to come with this new, local brand. This is only the beginning. And they’re coming in HOT!

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They also ship internationally, so if you’re reading this and you aren’t from here – don’t worry. You can head over to their website: https://zachlily.com/

Instagram: @zach_lily_apparel
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zachandlily/

PS: The two cute models that you see on their social media platform are their very own sweet Zach and Lily. Lily, princess to Letitia and Zach – little dude to Tanielle. I just love that they include their kids in something that is so close to their hearts.

 

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

These little guys are simply the best! I get so peckish for a little sweet treat every single day (without fail) around noon. I just crave sugar but had indulging in bad sugar.

These little power balls are delicious and have so much energy packed in every bite.

Want to know how to make them? So simple.

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1/2 cup creamy nut butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons cacao
1 tablespoon Chocolate Moondust wazoogles protein powder
2 tablespoons water

Mix together in a bowl, add more water (one tablespoon at a time) if too dry. Refrigerate for 15 min and then roll into balls.

I love to snack on mine with a strong cup of black coffee. And Olly loves them too! 💪