Live In Levi’s

It has been months since I last posted, and not because I haven’t wanted to, but rather because life has been so busy – holidays, Christmas, work. My son is finally back at school and I’m able to catch up a bit.

I wanted to share this awesome press drop we were sent from Levi’s South Africa a few weeks back. I’ve never really thought of ‘matching’ with my little boy, but just jumped at the opportunity to do a little ‘Mother and son’ Levi’s shoot showing Olly’s first pair of Levi’s.


I feel that anybody can wear a pair of jeans, but the little patches that they sent with the package allowed him to add some OLLY to his pair – enabling him to be unique. This was such a fun touch, and I really love how it’s added that childlike touch to them.


I know it’s quite a random statement really, but I love how my Levi’s didn’t restrict me. Being a mom means you’re up and down throughout the day. What may start as a day at home, may find you at the grocery store, and then playing Lego on the floor before running alongside your child as they squeal with happiness riding their bike down the road. This specific day, we had gone down to the lighthouse and were exploring the rock pools. I didn’t once feel like I needed to stop to pull my pants up because they’d started sneaking down or that I couldn’t jump from one rock to another. They fit like a glove. They move with me, fit my body the way it is and are incredibly comfortable. Also, what Mom doesn’t love a piece of clothing in her wardrobe that hardly ever needs to be washed? Because Levi’s cares for our planet, they have created a pair of jeans that needs to be washed LESS!


He’s a fussy shopper (already) and is quite specific when it comes to picking out clothing and shoes. I was curious to see his reaction when he opened his box to see what they had sent him. All I can say is that it was a hit, because he now likes to point out everyone who he thinks is wearing a Levi’s tshirt (if it has the same colours).


We sort of decided on behalf of him, that these would be his special occasion jeans – you know, that pair that come out when you’re going somewhere nice for dinner, or to watch a special show. But he very quickly disagreed, and said that Levi’s would be sad if he didn’t wear them all the time. I had to agree.

At the end of the day, Olly was to get into the bath and to get ready for bed – he looked at me and said – “Mommy, I had such a happy day with you in our Levi’s.” My heart smiled. I also had such a happy afternoon with him in our Levi’s. Maybe we should #LiveInLevi’s. Maybe it’s the magic touch to keeping our hearts content.


Then again, if my summer evenings ended like this – my heart would also be bursting at the seams. Thank you to Jacques from for the beautiful images!


Girls Weekend Away In Paradise: La Bella Vita Studios.

I think it is safe to say that all girls need a weekend away here and there. A few nights away from the kids and hubby makes a good opportunity to unwind and to go back home with a clear mind and ready to take on a new week.


Lauren and myself were invited to visit the beautiful La Bella Vita Studios out in Paarl. Now let me just begin by saying that the Winelands have never really pulled me in – I am not a huge wine drinker, and we normally head out to the seaside for family holidays.


But, this time around the Winelands caught me off guard. I think because we were staying at such a beautiful place – it set the scene and the mood. Also, being newly engaged, it was an opportunity to dream a little.

We drove up on the Friday afternoon, just a short drive from home – and checked in at the Studios. We were really lucky to be given a little tour of the 8 studios (as well as the two new studios that will launch THIS month), because it really showed us the full vision of the owners, as well as the talent of the interior designer, Elsje Schonken. So much love has been poured into each studio – but I am going to leave the interior talk to Lauren from Lauren McCreath Interiors who will cover it from every angle. What I would like to mention though, is that each suite has a huge bathroom with a shower and bath, a small kitchen which is well equipped with beautiful crockery and cutlery, as well as a fridge and microwave AND Nespresso machine – so you can bring your own food (there is no oven or stove though, so as long as it is food that can be heated/cooked in the microwave), as well as a fire place, TV, lounge area and balcony. So it is fully equipped, and we didn’t once feel that it was lacking anything.


You never tire of looking around the studio – each corner of the room is filled with high end finishes. The coffee table is neatly stacked with interesting books which are all relevant to the room. Nothing has been spared in terms of style. There is more than enough WiFi, and everything has been so thoughtfully done and considered which all adds to the overall experience.


I always get excited for a girls weekend – I know I can just let my hair down and relax. La Bella Vita Studios allows you to do EXACTLY that. It was quiet, and we were surrounded by beautiful mountains and nature. We’d wake up each morning and go out to our private balcony, and just sit and drink coffee while watching the ducks and birds on the pond in front of us. We honestly could have spent all three days just sitting in our studio or outside on the deck.


On arrival, we were gifted with a basket of delicious bread from Babylonstoren (literally a 5 minute drive away), some butter, jam, honey, cheeses, strawberries and wine. All fresh and divine. This allowed us to just totally chill on the first night with soup and bread, and we didn’t have to go anywhere.


I truly believe that hospitality is shown in the little details – in this case, the basket of treats, as well as the beautiful tray of bath salts, bath bombs and scents that they use in the studio (each studio gets a different scent).


We had a divine bath that night (they have their own water supply), and each climbed into our own bed, which was literally MAGICAL. I haven’t experienced such comfort in a bed! There’s nothing like bundling up between beautiful linen sheets and sinking into plush feather pillows after a long day of adventuring. We watched some TV, laughed and chatted and fell asleep quite contently.


The next morning we woke up, and had a slow start to the morning before heading out into the Winelands. Breakfast and some exploring at Babylonstoren, then off to a few other beautiful spots before heading to Blaauwklippen for a glass of wine, and then to Boschendal to finish off our day of adventures with a late lunch.


We headed back to the Studios, and it honestly felt like getting home after a long and busy day. That says a lot about a place. We finished off the day with a glass of wine and a bike ride around the estate. This was the most fun we had had in awhile!!! So much laughter.


On the Sunday, we decided that we would spend our last day just relaxing and hanging out at ‘home’, because we just wanted to absorb what was around us. It was also incredibly hot, and neither of us had thought to bring our costumes, not realizing that there is a gorgeous pool. We then booked a spa treatment at Sante Wellness Retreat and Spa which is right next door to the Studios, within walking distance, and in the same Estate. I found that this was perfect for a girls weekend, and was also a highlight of where La Bella Vita Studios is located. Note that there is also a restaurant based inside of the Spa, so you don’t even need to leave the Estate when staying at the Studios. My facial was amazing, and Lauren had a full body massage which she also raved about. There are also uncountable amazing places just a stone throw away which are begging to be explored. Mark my words, you won’t ever feel bored!


My mind keeps switching over to the beautiful interior and décor of each studio, but I know that Lauren will be covering all of that in the next article. But, I do need to say that it is refreshing to stay at a place that has put so much thought into creating each studio unique and totally different to the next. One studio may not be your ‘vibe’, however, one of them will be. I have about three others on my list for when I return, one of them being their brand new studio, which is breathtaking, and may even be my new favourite.


I love that each studio has a ‘theme’, the one we stayed in being the Mare Studio. Each theme represents a charity or cause that they support – so when you stay, 3.5% of their annual profit from each studio goes to that specific cause. This is really something amazing, and you don’t get many places that do something as selfless as that.


La Bella Vita Studios isn’t just a weekend away. It is staying in luxury, rebooting, and an experience. A perfect spot for a girls weekend, your honeymoon, or even the spot to stay the night before your wedding with your girls, as it makes for beautiful photos for getting ready. But mostly, it was the ideal place to escape to for me to chatter away to one of my best friends as a newly engaged woman about all of my dreams and visions for planning my wedding day.


I hope to be back soon with my maid of honour too for even more fun. This is one of those places that will never be forgotten. And I am excited to return to stay in one of the other Studios for a different experience! A few key words to describe La Bella Vita Studios in closing would be: Upmarket, contemporary, comfortable, and luxurious. It was such a treat being surrounded by the simple beauty that nature offers, and we were so sad to leave that we even stayed one extra night.

Thank you for having us! Your hospitality was refreshing and your Studios magical! Keep an eye out for the interior review by Lauren McCreath next week.

Do yourself a favour and head over to their beautiful social media accounts that are bursting with gorgeous photographs of their studios and also have loads more information on each Studio:

Instagram | Website | Facebook

*Please note that the majority of these images were used from the La Bella Vita Studios website shot by Sheldon Moultrie Photography.

I decided to use their images because mine just didn’t do the beauty of La Bella Vita Studios justice!




The Unforgettable Surprise Birthday Cake.

This year, as birthday party planning approached, as parents, we craved simplicity. The past three years would come around and our lives felt absorbed by birthday party planning. Budgets gave me anxiety, worrying about the party pleasing the parents, and I just longed for a day that wasn’t about anybody but my little boy.

Strangely enough, when we actually sat down with our almost 4 year old and asked him what he wanted to do, he rather bluntly blurted out that he didn’t want a big party this year. His explanation was: “Because big parties are all crazy, and busy, and noisy, and there’s so many people.”

I responded, quite taken back by his very mature thoughts by saying: “Well what would you like to do then?”.

“I just want to go and spend time at a farmyard with animals.”, and that is exactly what we did. We found the most magical place called SA Farm Sanctuary out in Stellenbosch which we booked and visited with just close family and his best friend.


Leading up to the day, he begged for a farm cake. We wanted it to be a surprise, so I chatted to Leeanne from Crumbs & Frosting to see if she could fit us in to make his dreams a reality for his special day. We wanted her to create The Farm Sanctuary as a cake.

For weeks before, every time he brought up the topic of a cake, we just told him that because he was having special cupcakes made for school, we weren’t doing a fancy cake. He said he understood, and again, it just made my heart so full seeing how accepting he was.

I used Leeanne for a whimsical woodlands baby shower cake a few years ago, and it was pure magic. There was so much detail, and every single person raved about it.

The cake arrived on the morning of the party, and still being a secret, we managed to hide it until we had it set up on the table at The Farm Sanctuary. He closed his eyes, and we led him to the surprise. My heart! His eyes opened wide, his mouth dropped open and he grinned this cheesy smirk for longer than I could count. He took in every tiny detail, and was just in utter shock.




The cake was perfection. The painting pig (Pigcasso is a world famous pig at The Farm Sanctuary, look him up on their website), and the cow. The beautiful barn, butterflies and flowers. It was honestly magical.


Now what I do feel is incredibly important to point out is that more often than not, pretty cakes don’t always taste good. BUT, the Crumbs & Frostings cakes are delicious. They remind me of my grannies baking, and that is a compliment. And out of all honesty, every single person who tasted the cake commented on that exact thing.


We went with straight vanilla, and I don’t regret it for a second.

They are based in Noordhoek and need to be collected, but they come in a sturdy cake box to keep your cake in place and in one piece.
If you want something magical created for any occasion – I really can recommend Lee-Anne. She has gone over and beyond both times I have used her, and she has a wonderful reputation with many others too!

You can have a look at her Facebook page where she posts photos of most of her delicious orders.

Thank you Leeanne for making my little boys special day that much more memorable, and to Angela Rea Photography for capturing these moments.

The Misunderstood Life Of A Blogger/Influencer.

So you want to be a blogger???


I often have people asking me about how they can start their own successful blog. My first response will always be to ask them why they want to start one in the first place?

8/10 they will say because it looks like such a great lifestyle, and it is an easy way to get freebies and earn money. They want to quit their 9-5 and work from a coffee shop or the comfort of their own home.

If they were standing in front of me, instead of being behind a screen, I’d most likely give them a little mid forehead tap. This is almost never the case. So, let’s put the assumptions aside.

Want to start a blog?


Firstly, prepare to work hard. Understand that for the first while you won’t be getting paid to do a thing. If writing and blogging isn’t a natural passion of yours, you aren’t going to be inspired or driven. I am often switching on my laptop at 10pm to work on reviews and articles. There is no off button.

If the desire is purely stirred by what you see plastered all over social media by the influencers that you follow who are jetsetting around the world, being sent designer clothing and shooting massive campaigns, know that they had to get there.

Do you feel that you are incredibly passionate about something in particular that you wish to share with the world? Be it a life event that has changed your life – for me, being adopted and becoming a mom. For you it could be something else. Do you have a love for fashion? What makes you different to the next? What will make you stand out? There’s no point in just copying another influencer’s style or trends just because he/she gets thousands of likes on their images. Because, once again – they built their empire, and worked towards getting that response. Do you love to travel? Are you willing to cover your own travel expense to share your favourite places with your readers? Because in order to be invited to review beautiful places around the world, you need to have a portfolio before anybody is going to be inviting you to stay free of cost. And even then, for a long period of time, you’ll be covering little bits of your trip.

I’m sure by now you’re catching my drift. What is the point of starting a blog full time when you are just trying to become someone that you may idolize? Social media is a world that more often than not, shows you the wonderful things of life and forgets to mention all of the in betweens.

To the younger girls that are reading this, HALF OF IT IS FAKE. There is an entire world that isn’t being shown. These days, someone could share an image of the Eiffel Tower, but in reality, they could be sitting on their couch at home reminiscing of their trip 10 years ago.

I’ve had readers messaging me saying that they so wish they could also have beautiful clothes given to them – but, in reality, some of the wardrobe I shoot in is just borrowed for photoshoots.


Back to the point…

You want to start a blog? You want your blog to be a success. Before you quit your job, and jump into this industry, consider the following.

– Do I have the passion?
– Do I LOVE to write?
– What would my niche be?
– Do I have something to share with my readers that will impact them in a positive way?
– Can I accept being turned down by companies?
– Can I earn money from this?
– Who would I be targeting?
– Am I wanting to blog just to replicate the influencers I follow with over 50k followers?
– Is this a hobbie, or could I actually turn this into a full time job?

Now, if you’ve answered those questions, and are still wanting to go ahead with it, let me share a few tips with you.

1. Don’t quit your 9-5… yet!
Don’t quit your job that you are earning a salary from until you start earning money from your blog. First get your blog established and make sure that you  are earning enough over the period of a few consecutive  months.

2. Just start.
Start by reviewing things that you already own. Maybe it’s a perfume that you love. Perhaps you just bought that new product from Lush that you are obsessed with. Perhaps you travelled somewhere recently and you feel it was amazing. This helps you build up a blog with decent, quality content. Tag those brands in your posts as this also helps you get recognized.

3. Be true to yourself.
Don’t write about anything that you do not believe in. Don’t review a product that you don’t like and say that you love it just to get brownie points by a big brand. Write about things that inspire you, help you get through a day. Being authentic is admirable and invaluable. This is what draws readers and followers. When they feel that they are connecting with another person that they can relate to. Let’s get real- you aren’t a celebrity. People don’t know you until you create a platform that allows people to get to know you. On this note, don’t be that person who buys followers and likes just to grow their following. That doesn’t work anymore. It ain’t real, so if it’s making you feel better about yourself, you have bigger issues than learning how to run a blog.

4. Share beautiful content.
It’s all about being real, and everybody loves seeing in the moment snaps. But, try to keep your feeds looking professional. Brands want to work with bloggers who have a high standard – photos, written content, etc. I’m not saying you need to go out to invest in a camera if you can’t. I’m also not saying you need to spend thousands on working with photographers. I AM however saying, that take time to consider a photo before you push the button. Have a focal point and share a little story behind it. Let the photo tell the story – especially for Instagram as many people don’t read captions unless they have a reason to.

5. Set your bar.
I feel that I have learnt so much since I first started blogging. I too started on the first step. I also misplaced my footing a couple times on my way up. And, I am far from the top of the staircase. But, I do believe that it is important to figure out what type of brands you want to work with. Write a wish list of who you’d like to work with – maybe not now, but someday. Don’t ever let your bar slip for a product you want, because someone has influenced you or for any other reason. Know what quality work you are content sharing with your readers. Give yourself a reason to have pride in it, and don’t let it slip.

6. Give yourself a time limit.
When working out a plan for your blog, write down what your dreams are for it. Give yourself a year, or a year and a half, for instance, to create a platform that will stand out to brands. Once you start getting contacted by businesses, you can pat yourself on the back because that is your time to shine. I always say that that is when you can start unpacking your rate card, and you can start charging brands for your reviews.

7. Know your worth.
When it does come to the time to start charging brands for marketing, don’t get overly ambitious. Understand that you charge dependent on what you are able to offer them. If you have 1000 followers, start small. Once you get higher and know that your blog is reaching a good amount of readers, that’s when you can start raising your prices, because the brands are getting more exposure from you. I change my rate card once a year, unless I have a huge rise in followers. Brands are normally happy to pay when they feel that you are being reasonable and not trying to rip them off. Also, understand that there are some brands out there who do take advantage of bloggers. If you firmly believe in the rates you charge for the quality of your work, don’t let them intimidate you into waiving your fee. Your time and skill is valuable. Many brands promise to work with you again and to pay you the next time, and you never hear from them again.

8.Connect with your readers.
Nobody likes to be ignored. If you want to have a successful blog where people interact with you, you need to set time aside where you prioritize thoughtful and genuine responses to your readers. If it wasn’t for your readers, you wouldn’t have a successful blog in the first place. This is also a great opportunity to inspire further. Brands also like to see correspondence between influencers and their readers. I am also so often inspired by my readers through their comments on my posts, and have found many special friends and connected with inspirational women through my accounts.

9. Go easy on yourself.
It isn’t easy being a blogger. One month, I have bookings and big campaigns streaming in. The next month I’m twiddling my thumbs. Not really. That’s when I take time writing articles for my blog and creating content. But, understand that just because you aren’t being contacted by brands, doesn’t mean that you and your blog aren’t worthy. Brands also have budgets that are allocated to marketing and working with influencers. Once that is up, it’s up. Don’t beat yourself up over the quieter times, instead, spend that time creating valuable articles and reflecting on how you can make changes. You can also take this time to do research on new brands you’d like to work with, prepare strong proposals and get in touch with them to let them know what you can offer them.

10. Last, but most certainly not least – understand your social media platforms.
Nobody wants to work with someone who doesn’t even understand what they’re doing. Do research on the platforms you will be using – for me, it’s Facebook, Instagram and WordPress. Do weekly research on how these platforms have changed. Understand SEO’s and google analytics. Know when the best time of each day is to post as well as which days get the best response. This is incredibly important for when you are being paid by brands. Keep educating yourself, and keep yourself updated. Also, understand algorithms. One day you could be reaching 1000 likes, and the next day only 500. Don’t kick yourself, just understand that Instagram and Facebook is a business too, and they have made changes so that people like you and me feel that we need to pay to sponsor posts.


There is so much more that I could share, but time is money, and I’m applauding you for getting this far anyway without having to switch screens as your boss walked by.

For me, blogging happened by accident. It wasn’t planned. I wanted to create a platform that I could turn to to get support from other moms after my son was born. It escalated from there, and I am incredibly grateful for that. I love blogging. There are times where I have writers block. There are times when I just don’t feel inspired. But, it’s all part of this industry, and every single influencer and blogger will hit a halt at some point.

I want to take a moment to encourage you to take the next step if after this article, you feel inspired and still feel ready to take on this next chapter. If you’re wanting to take on blogging full time, don’t quit your job until you’re making enough money to support yourself. Give yourself some time, and be gentle with yourself. Putting yourself out there is brave, and sharing parts of your life with others to inspire, motivate or help them is incredibly courageous. But, also keep in mind that even if nobody comments or you only get a few likes – there is always somebody that you have inspired.

I truly hope that this post has helped guide you in one way or another.

All the best for your journey!

– L

Images: Criene Images

Birth Series: A Scheduled Gynae Appointment That Caught Them All By Surprise.

20171116_224005Episode 5:

I am so excited to share the birth story of baby Oliver, which belongs to the beautiful Cat. Not only is she a fellow blogger, has a baby boy with the same name as mine, but also happens to be my next door neighbour. Cat had been put on bed rest at 34 weeks due to her amniotic fluid being low. They were hoping that bed rest would help keep her baby baking for a few more weeks until they got to 37 weeks. Cat and her husband went for their scheduled checkup, and from that moment, the plan

This day. A day that passed in a blur of emotions, nerves and adrenaline but yet one that I can remember every detail leading up to the moment time stood still and my whole world changed. There is not a single book, blog post or conversation that could ever have prepared me for the overwhelming tidal wave love that hit me the moment I met my tiny human for the first time. I don’t think I will ever forget how soft his little forehead was beneath my lips as I kissed him for the first time, how tiny his little hand was wrapped around my finger. Now, a few months later, I sit here writing this post with one hand while he sleeps so peacefully in my arms. Where the weeks have gone, I couldn’t tell you but as I look back on those first few newborn weeks, I can feel the tears as I think about the rough start my tiny premie had but at the same time, I’m blown away by how far he’s come.


Our little made his rather hasty arrival at 35 weeks on Thursday, 19 October 2017 at 1.29pm. I had been put on bed rest at 34 weeks as my amniotic fluid was low with the aim of trying to keep baby baking until 37 weeks. Oh but did he have other ideas! My husband picked me up from work and we arrived for my weekly appointment at 10am to be told baby would be delivered on Monday as my fluid had dropped and he hadn’t grown in the last week. That was the first surprise and we quickly thought about the weekend away that we needed to cancel and what nursery things we still needed to get! That lasted all of 5 minutes when my doctor then told me I was actually already in labour so my ceaser would be scheduled for 6am the next morning. So much for Braxton Hicks – I’d actually been having contractions (little did I know that I had been making my husband rather nervous the night before when I casually commented that they were a lot stronger than they had been!) Before going home, we went across to the labour ward with the hope of having a steroid injection to help baby’s lungs as he was so early. After about half an hour on the monitors with my husband and I debating where we should go for dinner (and me Googling what time Sorbet was open until so I could get my nails done…) the nurse came in to say baby’s heart rate was decelerating and we had 15 minutes. My head still spins when I think about how fast the doctors and nurses all worked to make sure our little boy arrived safely in this world. Before I knew it, I was laying in theatre and my husband was placing this tiny blue bundle in my arms. Nothing in this world could have prepared me for that moment. A moment that literally took my breath away and time stood still. I became a mommy.

20171116_223826When it comes to babies and your birth plan, everyone always has a plan or a vision of how they see themselves giving birth and I was no exception but natural, Caesar, drug-free, waterbirth, at the end of the day there is only so much planning you can do. I had a Caesar scheduled for 39 weeks and I thought I would stroll into the hospital on the morning I was due and calmly deliver my baby. Oh how wrong I was! I could have managed the chaotic, adrenaline filled arrival because babies do have their own agendas but I was not mentally prepared what followed. Not getting to hold my baby (other than the few seconds in the delivery room) and then only getting to see him again the following day in NICU was exceptionally difficult. Then, seeing this tiny little human hooked up to so many machines and on oxygen broke my heart. I kept thinking to myself that this was just not how it was meant to be. Finally, after three long days, countless trips from the ward to the NICU and an insurmountable number of tears, he was off oxygen and I was able to hold my baby. Before he could go home though, he needed to learn how to feed which meant leaving him behind while I went home and I can honestly say that this was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I cried and cried and cried some more. It didn’t matter that I would be spending most of my days back in the NICU or that I only lived 10 minutes away from the hospital. What mattered was that he wasn’t coming home with me in his cute little outfit I’d packed so many weeks before, he wasn’t going to be with me after having his heart beat alngside mine for almost 8 months… But, before I knew it, I was back at the hospital and with a week filled with scheduled feeds, expressing, trips up and down to the hospital and so many firsts, the week passed by in a blur and after 10 days, just in time for my husband’s birthday, we were able to bring Oliver home.

When I look at him now, my cubby, long-eyelashed, smiling little baby, it’s hard to believe20180714_160625 he’s the same tiny bundle who arrived in such a hurry. I have always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and looking back now, I’ve definitely found a few silver linings. How lucky were we to get so much bonus time with our beautiful baby boy! He couldn’t wait to meet us and blessed us with 5 extra weeks to love and cuddle him. The support and care the neonatal ICU staff gave not only to Oliver but us as new parents, was nothing short of amazing and those 10 days helped us to find our feet and learn a few tricks that made going home with our newborn a little less daunting. My special roomie in hospital who had her premie on the same day as me, was such an incredible support and a much needed hand to hold while we walked the corridors up and down to the NICU every day – we’ve now progressed to coffee dates and sun-downers! And the wonderful group of fellow-NICU mommies – I love that we are all on a WhatsApp group together to ask advice, offer support and schedule coffee dates! And lastly, but the most important, is how close this experience brought my husband and I. I always knew I had a gem but I couldn’t have wished for a better teammate to do life with.

Read more about Cat on her blog, Boots In The Big City.