Why Did Nobody Warn Me?

It felt like just yesterday that I waited in anticipation to return to the bathroom to look at the pregnancy test to see if there would be one or two lines. It felt like yesterday that I saw two faint lines, and was flooded with emotions – scared and excited. It felt like yesterday that I experienced a million changes in my body – from growing a belly with a baby inside, to the many other changes my body encountered.

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It feels as if it was just the other day that I gave birth to a healthy little boy, held him in my arms for the very first time, and nursed him through long, dark nights. Then he turned one, then two, and uncountable milestones greeted us in between. We felt as if he was such a big boy when he started playschool at the start of the year, and then when he told us he was ready to get rid of nappies, and then turned three. And now, last night, he decided that it was time to go to bed at night in his undies, and no more nappies.

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How have we reached this point of independence already? Where did my baby go?
Nobody explains to you that this, too is one of the challenges of parenthood. It isn’t only exhausting moments, the tears, the tantrums and the constant debates we have with them when they are little. It isn’t only the sleepless nights, the struggle to get them to latch when they are newborns. It isn’t only all of that that leaves us in an emotional state. It’s also watching them grow up right before our very own eyes, and not quite understanding how they got to that point so quickly.

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My little boy can have full conversations with me – telling me exactly what he wants or needs. He wants to do everything on his own. Snuggles are less – but when they do get handed out, they’re shared with meaning and so much love. He doesn’t just mimic me by returning the ‘I love you’, but says it when he really feels it’s the time to use the words. Instead of just asking me for help, just because – he now only asks me when he really feels that he has tried hard and truly does need a little bit of assistance. He doesn’t always need me to read stories to him anymore, but I get to sit around the corner quietly, listening to him repeat and make up words to his favourite stories that we once read together. Once we would tell him what activities he would do, but now he chooses what he loves, and it’s such a joy watching him giggle and to see the happiness beam through his eyes as he takes on these activities, and watching him thrive in what he has chosen.

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It’s truly beautiful, and as emotional as it can be – I feel that we choose how to deal with our kids growing up. And, my goal for the rest of the year and for next year is to live more in the moment. I am 100% one for taking photographs and little videos of cute moments – and that is my way of storing memories for him to look back on when he is older. But, I am also going to be putting away my phone and camera to truly live in these precious moments. Because if we aren’t living in the moment, where are we really?

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I love having a three year old, and before I know it, I will probably be chatting about how I love having a four year old, and then a five year old. And that’s ok, too.
So — although you will encounter many people everywhere you go (especially when you have a newborn) who tell you ‘Enjoy this moment, because they grow up so fast’, smile – and believe them. Because it does. But you get to choose how you will enjoy it.

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Toddler Stimulation – Hello Shongololo

Ladies, I don’t know about you, but I have a nature lover on my hands. Come rain or shine, my little guy wants more than anything to just be outside, exploring – toys or no toys.

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He will return to our big sliding door with mud dripping from his hands to his toes, with mud marks wiped across his face as if he’s just returned from being lost in a jungle. And the tales he has to tell from his adventures in our garden are worth writing a book about.
I’m not one to spend money quickly. I’m THAT mom who does research on a product before I purchase it. I feel that kids don’t need a lot of toys, because the imagination really happens when you place them in what’s already surrounding them. Also, being a stay at home mom that only earns an income from my blog, I don’t have extra money lying around to just spend every time I see a cute toy.

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And then, low and behond – I heard about Shongololo. Huh? You may be thinking, or may have even blurted out loud to yourself, with your kids most likely hollering: “What? What’s huh mommy? Whaaaaat?” (That’s if they’re anything like mine.)
Let me explain quickly – Hello Shongololo is home to a range of beautifully packaged activities for toddlers and pre-schoolers.

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Now, I have once before ordered a box for Olly which was created with a similar idea in mind. It arrived (late) and arrived with literally three rubbish products in the box. Let me just say that it stirred not even an inch of stimulation and was not at all educational. It was overpriced and the products seemed to have been thrown in after being purchased from China Town. There was no theme and just no care involved. It definitely put me off.

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BUT.. there is always hope, and sometimes one just needs to do a little bit of research – and that’s what makes my blog useful to other moms. I make the mistakes for you, and then help you SAVE money and prevent you from making the same mistakes that I did.
So, here is your go-to for an activity box, and I will tell you why now!

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Olly excitedly opened up his beautifully packaged box, and out popped a gorgeous little bag with a zip complete with a gorgeous wooden Shongololo. He carefully unzipped it with beaming eyes, and shouted ‘WOOOOOAH, COOL!!!’ Out tumbled a bunch of ‘Shongololo In The Garden’ themed goodies that had been chosen and placed in the box with so much thought and care. A desire to enhance your kids hand-eye co-ordination, to encourage creative play and to improve dexterity.
The Shongololo In The Garden box specifically teaches kids about the wonders of nature found in our very own gardens. It contains the following:

– Bug Kit
– Scavenger Hunt (This is my favourite part, and such a fun way to spend a beautiful day outdoors with your child).
– Seeds and Planting fun
– Butterfly Craft
– Felt Tip Pens
– Exciting Story Book
– DIY Gooey Snail Slime (Great for kids with sensory issues)
And the best part is that every one of these products is great quality! They aren’t cheap products that your kid is going to loose interest in our break while playing with them.
Olly has loved his box so far. We haven’t had too much of a chance to go through all of the activities yet, but looking through it has been so much fun, and I promise to post some more photos of him enjoying his Scavenger Hunt and doing some bug catching.
The boxes are wonderful for rainy days, but even for beautiful summer days to go outside and explore! Kids need to get their hands dirty and to potter around the beautiful garden in order to learn, and in order to truly experience what is around them.
As I say, my little guy is happiest when he is outside!

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Now onto the facts – the activity boxes are split between two age groups. 1.5 – 3 years and 3-5 years. We ordered the 3-5 year box.

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The boxes cost R350 which is such good value for what you get! This includes delivery and it takes between 2-7 working days to be delivered. They make wonderful birthday gifts too! You can even order one of their travel kits (GENIUS!!!) to keep your little ones busy on a long flight or on a road trip. Those are priced between R165 and R240, however that cost does not include delivery.

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Do yourself a favour and read the ‘About Us’ section on their website. I always love to learn a little more about the face behind a brand, and it truly shows the passion and love that Natasha has for what she does.IMG_6752-300x300 Another thing that is obvious is that she has a little one and is so educated on what little bodies need to stimulate them and on what they can learn from without even being aware.

You can order your box at Hello Shongololo
Also, follow their social media platforms to see all of their latest news:
Instagram
Facebook

What To Do When Extended Rear Facing Car Seat Isn’t An Option?

I have often found myself in a situation where I have felt guilty about having my three year old son in a forward facing car seat rather than in a rear facing car seat.  This feeling generally occurs after I have had a discussion with another mom whose child has been in a rear facing seat since birth. I’ve found myself feeling very anxious and perhaps even slightly uneducated when it has come to car seat safety – so I decided to brush up on my knowledge.

And, for those of you who may be in the same boat as me – with a child who is in a front facing car seat, I actually have some good news for you.

Did you know that a high end forward facing car seat may very well be safer than a 123 seat that can rear face?

As a parent, we always want to do what is best for our kids, yet sometimes it can all be quite overwhelming and confusing. But, sometimes we just need a gentle nudge in the right direction. Being a new mom is even more overwhelming and I recall so vividly being on the verge of an emotional breakdown when car seat shopping for my newborn. There was far too much to choose from, and I just wanted somebody with the correct knowledge to tell me exactly what I needed. My belly and myself did not do a good job at walking down the car seat aisle of the local baby stores because truth is, it isn’t all about the price – but about the tiny details of each car seat that is so incredibly important. Why didn’t anybody tell me this?

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I had my son in a rear facing car seat from the moment he left the hospital until the day he outgrew it. With money being tight, I wasn’t able to afford a decent rear facing car seat. My heart sank. Now what? I had seen so much about the benefits of a rear facing seat for your kids until they were much older than what my son was at this point, but I just couldn’t afford it. I settled with a higher end front facing car seat, and oh how comfortable my little man was.

I made sure that our chosen car seat installed safely in our car and that it matched the weight, height and age of my son. Always be sure to try to have the seat you are buying fitted into your car and have your child sit in the seat before you purchase it. Most stores will allow you to do this. Some seats do not fit your car or your child, which is the first no-no! Having a seat that doesn’t properly fit in your car can be incredibly dangerous. So even if you can afford a rear facing car seat, make 100% sure that it fits safely in YOUR car. If it can’t install properly, according to the manual; it offers no protection in a crash.

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A few facts for when you are buying a car seat:

1. The base of the seat should not move more than an inch in any direction when you give it a firm shake.

2.The harness height on a forward facing seat should be in line with or just above the shoulders.

3.The head rest should be easy to adjust, so that your child’s head and neck are always protected.

4.You should never put a child under 13kg’s or 1 year old in a forward facing car seat. They need to be in a rear facing seat designed specifically for infants until 13kgs, or 75cm. Their bodies cannot withstand a crash at any speed forward facing when younger because their neck is incredibly weak and their head is a huge percentage of their body weight.

I’ve sadly come across moms who tried to keep their baby or child in a car seat for as long as possible to try and save money, however, you cannot keep your toddler in their baby car seat, nor put a baby in a toddlers car seat because they have each been created for specific weights and lengths for the safety of your child.

When browsing for car seats, you may come across seats that say they are from birth to 36kgs. These seats are much higher up to allow them to be used for older children. What this means is that the child is closer to the roof of the car than they should be, which can be incredibly dangerous in a roll over.

If you find yourself in a situation, like me – where you really cannot afford an exclusively rear facing car seat, then you need to use the above tips to ensure that you find the safest front facing seat for your child.

Moms, what I am saying is that your child’s car seat safety will never come cheaply. But it is worth every cent of investing in the best car seat that you can afford for your child. And if you find that the your best investment is in a front facing car seat, like I did – then make sure that you get the safest one that you can find that is in your budget.

Do your research, and follow a trusted source such as #CarseatFullstop. I find that just because another parent is suggesting one or another car seat brand, it is vital to do some research of your own with your own child.

With statistics saying that up to 93% of people aren’t strapping in their kids… We ALL know somebody who is adding to that number.

You have the power to save a little life.

One share, seen by one person, who straps in one child, saves a life.
#CarseatFullstop. Every child. Every time. No matter what.

Please follow us on our social media channels and share them to encourage others to follow along too.

https://www.facebook.com/CarseatFullstop/

https://twitter.com/CarseatFullstopxx

https://www.instagram.com/carseatfullstop/

https://plus.google.com/+CarseatfullstopOrg

Sign up for our newsletter

www.carseatfullstop.org

support@carseatfullstop.org

If you have an old unused car seat gathering dust in your garage, please consider donating it to our very favourite NPO, Wheel Well. You can drop your seat at your closest Renault dealership and they will get the seat to Wheel Well. They will clean and safety check it, before giving it a new home with somebody in need for a small donation.

What kind of seat do you use for your little one? And please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below!

– One Modern Mom
http://instagram.com/onemodernmom

Spree’s New Baby : The Index

A quick confession – one thing that really drives me insane is when non-parents assume that just because a woman has become a mom, it means that for some unknown reason that we are incapable of being fashionable.

Someone recently asked me what I do, and when I told them that I was a blogger, their eyes lit up and they continued by asking me what I blog about. I responded by saying: “I am a parenting, lifestyle, fashion, beauty and at times, a travel blogger.” She looked confused, and said – “That’s so cool that you can write about fashion as a mom.”

I was actually feeling slightly puzzled by her response. What does that even mean? I may be a mom, but it doesn’t mean that we lose our sense of style. It may mean, that for a short while – we may have to purchase a size up, BUT, we can still follow the trends and buy clothing that any other woman would buy.

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Rant over – I want to introduce you to Spree’s new baby – ‘The Index’.

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The who?

The Index is a new online sneaker and street wear destination for Men, Women and Kids. They are home to some of our most loved sneaker brands, such as Adidas, Puma, Converse, Fila, Reebok, Vans & New Balance.

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I like to say that my little family is pretty trendy, perhaps you beg to differ – however, we are also a very casual family. We each have our own personal style, and it’s been fun seeing the style that Olly begins to sway towards as he gets a little older. As beach lovers, and a family who spends a lot of time outdoors, we found that The Index was a perfect shopping destination for us. Plus, as parents – who has time for shopping malls anyway?

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We each chose our own pair of sneakers from The Index & were literally overwhelmed with the variety to choose from. If you don’t find at least 5 pairs of sneakers you fall in love with, then I must say that I have a sneaky suspicion that you aren’t much of a sneaker wearer in the first place…

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We also each chose an outfit from Spree, so what you see is all available at www.spree.co.za

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We have all been going on with our lives with an extra bounce in our step. Do yourself and your families a favour and check out the trendy, the exciting, the amazing – THE INDEX: https://www.spree.co.za/the-index?

WHAT ARE WE WEARING?

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Olly is wearing Guess Knit Shorts: https://www.spree.co.za/guess-knit-short-mid-blue/product/W65A28K?ref_catid=1257 and the Gunner Crew Tee by Guess: https://www.spree.co.za/guess-gunner-crew-tee-dark-red/product/F9IYARQ complete with his red Chuck Taylor High Top Sneakers by Converse: https://www.spree.co.za/converse-chuck-taylor-high-top-sneaker-red/product/322Y256?ref_catid=4823

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David is wearing a grey Essential Tee by Guess paired with the New Balance Essential Sweatpants complete with these Adidas Seeley Sneakers.

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Now, please! I dare you to look me in the eyes and tell me that I can’t be trendy as a mom. And for those of you who struggle to put together an outfit, or who struggle to keep up with what is trending, Spree makes it so simple for you. Their photos for each garment show their model dressed in a full outfit put together with garments that are ALL available on their website. Obviously, the sneaker choosing is the easiest, yet most difficult choice – because you just want them all.

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CREDITS:

Wardrobe & Sneakers: Spree & ‘The Index’ – @spree.co.za
Photography: Radiefa Peters from Radz Photography – @radzphotography
My Hair & Makeup: Daff Kansley – @thedrk.makeup

To see the rest of the photos from our shoot, follow me on Instagram: @onemodernmom

Birthday Pampering – Rouge Day Spa

The hype from my 25th birthday two weeks ago is finally fading away, and the fatigue has set in after my sons third birthday last weekend. I think I was on some sort of high, perhaps some supernatural Adrenalin that ad kicked in that kept me going. Birthday party planning and semi-renovating our home at the same time. Call me crazy.

But, the one thing that hasn’t faded is my beautiful gelish nails that I had done as an early birthday treat at Rouge Day Spa a couple days before my birthday. What better way to spoil a girl and mom? Some down time, to herself to be pampered!

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Rouge Day Spa has always been my go-to Spa. And, no! I’m NOT being paid to say that. Having been an old home before they bought it and transformed it into a cozy day spa, it’s just exactly what they call it: ‘Your home away from home’. It has become just that to me.

I get to sip on my HOT coffee in front of a fire without being interrupted by a toddler 46 times. I don’t have to get up even once to help him use the loo or to get him a drink, and then change the cup because it wasn’t the correct one. I can just close down the brain temporarily and be ALONE! It’s wonderful!

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On a hot summer day, you can have your treatment and then stay for as long as you like after (get a babysitter!!!) and sip on a glass of champagne and have a swim in their gorgeous salt water pool.

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They’re also home to my absolute favourite organic, natural spray tan – Vita Liberata!

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And, it gets better – you can even join them for a girls movie night with your girlfriends to watch chick flicks and have your nails done while munching on some popcorn. The benefit is that, again – you don’t have to worry about any small humans bothering you or having your husband changing channels while you’re watching your movie.

Rouge Day Spa is just a treat. It’s my escape, my place of sanity, and it’s all I find that I need once in awhile to reboot my energy and my sanity. Every mom needs a little time to invest in themselves in order to be a good wife/partner and mother.

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On a side note,I also find that in comparison to the walk in spas that you find in shopping centers, my gelish stays fresh at least a week longer after having it done at Rouge. They use quality products and really do a fantastic job.

I’ve had many treatments at Rouge, and every single one of them has been flawless! I’m comfortable, relaxed and leave feeling sane and ready to face the world again.

Rouge Day Spa is located in Kenilworth, Cape Town and you can find their price list and treatments on their website:

http://www.rougespa.co.za/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/RougeDaySpa/

Instagram:

http://instagram.com/rougedayspa

PS. They also have loads of weekly specials and sell some amazing products at their salon!

Finding My Confidence As A Woman, Not Only As ‘Mom’.

This may not mean much to you, but if you’re a mother – maybe something about this will hit home. Becoming a mother shouldn’t mean that you lose your identity as a woman. It shouldn’t mean that you lose your confidence because your body has changed shape and gained a few extra stretch marks here and there.

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I lost so much confidence in myself. Having done a lot of modeling before I fell pregnant, in fact my first swimwear editorial in the Zigzag Surfing Magazine when I was 5 week pregnant (I didn’t know yet) – that was the last shoot I did on my own apart from my maternity shoot. Olly then started to become my ‘comfort blanket’.

I declined shoots that would be of only myself because I didn’t feel confident without him.

I recently had a thought cross my mind. I am not just ‘Olly’s mom’. I am also a partner to my man, and a woman. I have so much more that defines me, and that makes me who I am that just being a mother.

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When Terence Orpen and I started chatting about collaborating on a shoot while he was down from Joburg, I couldn’t give up the offer. I knew that this was my time to get raw and real as a woman, on my own. It had been almost four years since the last time – and although I felt nervous, I knew that it would boost my confidence and teach me to learn to love myself again – all of myself.

I had the most incredible afternoon – one that was about adventuring, driving around the peninsula and finding beautiful spots that represented me as a person. The wind in my hair, the sand between my toes. Raw emotion that was captured so perfectly.

Here are just a few photos that I have received so far. And I love that they are imperfectly perfect. That they represent every inch of me, and of who I am now.

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Thank you Terence for helping me see myself in a new light. I found my favourite photograph from this shoot from my entire existence. Something I would have never have had if I didn’t take the leap of faith and just do this.

You can see his work here:
Website: www.porterfilm.com
Instagram: @terence_orpen

A truly talented man who has recently started to follow his heart by doing portraiture. He is often in Cape Town, but resides in Joburg. Him and his equally talented wife, Derryn also travel abroad to shoot and video weddings.

You can see their work here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OrpenFilmCo/
Website: http://www.orpenfilms.co.za/

This Is Three!

Three years old. How has 1095 days gone by in what feels like a blink of an eye? It felt like just yesterday that I was nursing a newborn baby, living in a daydream, in what I refer to as ‘the slow life’. 21124086_1557967274223791_1340569444_n
 
It felt like yesterday that we were praising him for rolling over, sitting, getting his first teeth, starting solids and taking his first few steps. Then talking and starting to run.
 
He then turned one, and then two and then started play school. Single words have now transformed into beautiful sentences and words longer than I can count. Such a smart, happy and active little boy! No more a baby.
 
It’s tough and happy writing this, because watching them transform from a baby into a child is so bittersweet. Three, to me has been the cross over. He is officially, 100% a little boy now.
 
What a joy it has been to be your mother, to watch you grow and blossom. To watch you learn new things and see you become such an intelligent little person. Your desire to always try something new is such an inspiration to me, sweet boy!
 
Three years ago, I got to hold your little body in my arms for the first time, and I pray that God will grant me with the opportunity to celebrate uncountable more with you as you grow up.
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I love you so much, Olly! Thank you for changing my life. ❤️ Happy third birthday!

 

The World Of Wazoogles.

Wazoogles.
Wazoogles.

Your turn to say it.

This time, try to say it without smiling…

Now tell your little one to say it, and try not to burst into a fit of laughter.
To the point…

If you aren’t aware of my slight change of lifestyle, then are you even following my blog? I’ve always tried to promote a healthier lifestyle, and I’ve been lucky that Olly has always loved healthier food and snacks, but as he has gotten older, he’s realizing that there is such a thing called ‘choice’ and he has realized that sometimes he can just pull a face and moan for 10 minutes when I’m overly exhausted and I might just change my mind and give him an alternative to what he was initially going to get for that meal/snack. He’s also been to parties, been exposed to what I call ‘party food’ and has found a new love for sugar (what child doesn’t love sugar?).

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And then Wazoogles came along, barging through my doorway one morning – and it just decided to change the way things work in my home. Sneaky! You’re probably by this point thinking, ‘What the heck is Wazoogles?’

Well, apart from having the best name ever, and being a powder in a sachet covered in unicorns – it’s actually an organic plant-based superfood protein shake which is suitable for vegans and is gluten, sugar and dairy free.

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As they say, “Every scoop is bursting with antioxidants, living enzymes, essential minerals, plant-based protein, and a wide spectrum of vital nutrients, yet is completely free of added sugars, chemicals, colourants, flavourants, or fillers.”

In my home, I have found that Wazoogles has refreshed my urge to be creative in my kitchen in a healthy way. It begs for everything you create with it to be fun. My son and I have had so much fun baking and creating healthy smoothies and snacks with the full range of Wazoogles. And everything we have made has so far been a hit with him, and me.

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We’ve added it to uncountable smoothies, to protein balls and ‘nice’ cream. But they can also be added to a smoothie bowl or to a quick recovery elixir shake for post-workout which I will be doing today after my workout.

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I’ve found that it has been a fantastic, fuss free way to get all of the superfoods into my toddler and my own body. With it being the season of horrible germs and with my son being at school where kids are always sick, I must say that he’s been pretty well considering. He’s been ill, but nothing worth antibiotics. Which is such a change from last winter.

I am such a fan for products that are made to make life easier. And I am a fan for products that promote health especially for the entire family!

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Wazoogles comes in different pack sizes.

Mini Pack: (2 servings)
Medium Pack: (15 servings)
Large Pack: (30 servings)

There are also five different flavours, so there really is something for everyone.

– Kungfu Coffee
– Chocolate Moondust
– Vanilla Sky
– Unicorn Berry
– Plant Power

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I’ve found a use for every single flavour in at least two recipes I have played around with so far, so the sky is the limit.

Such a great product to have in your home for everyday use for the entire family! We all love it.

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If you enjoy being inspired by beautiful, healthy food – then be sure to follow @wazoogles on Instagram. Their instastories are hilarious and the content is just delicious!!!

You can also follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wazoogles/

Shop: http://www.wazoogles.com/ (PSST – free delivery within Cape Town!!!)
They also have the most amazing recipes to inspire you on their website as well as an easy to understand description of the world of Wazoogles.

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And more than anything, I love their story – brothers that both have the same beliefs and desire to provide people like you and me with a product that will keep our families healthy, and to create an honest product. Lovers of nature, and such rad guys. So give that a read too! Not only will you be inspired, but it will also give you a good view into Wazoogles itself.

TO A HAPPY  & HEALTHY MONDAY!

— One Modern Mom

 

 

The Only Thing I’ve Judged Another Parent For.

Driving back home from one of the best weekends I’ve had with my little family at our old family farm up at the Breede River, we decided to take the longer, scenic drive back through Robertson instead of our usual route back through Caledon. We weren’t even the tiniest bit phased by the toddler tunes on repeat blaring in the car, or the extra bit of traffic. We were just in our element.

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Dark crept upon us, and we made our way through the Hugenot Tunnel just after Worcester. Still happily chatting about exciting family events to come as well as our special weekend away; a sudden chill hit us as we saw a car that had recently drove over the edge and was smashed up. Added to the scene were emergency lights, and a crowd of people – paramedics, etc. One of my least favourite things to see, especially on a long, happy journey home.

Not even having a chance to get that visual out of my mind, I glance to the left on a road that one can drive 120km/hr and literally find myself taking a second look. My heart sinks, I feel my blood pressure rise at a rapid speed. A little girl younger than my own son – couldn’t have been older than two running back and forth on the back seat of her parents car, jumping forward between the driver and passenger seat. This sounds terrible, but I wanted to get out and just shake her parents. Didn’t they just see the accident? What if that was them? It could have been, and one day it could be!!!

I am shaking, and I feel sick even typing this. If they can afford to have a car, and if they can afford to put petrol into their car – they can afford to prioritize a car seat for their precious little girl! They can afford to protect their baby girl from an accident that can so easily happen. It doesn’t matter how good a driver you are, these things happen in a heartbeat!

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You know, I often find myself feeling anxious when we go on long trips, and we have a great car seat! I find myself nervous because I know that accidents happen, and my child is securely fastened in his car seat! I find myself praying throughout our long trips because I know that there could be someone who is texting or drunk and an accident can happen, and we spent thousands on a car seat for our son to protect him.

Yet, another parent, their childs life just as precious and fragile as my own child, couldn’t care less to take the precautions to potentially save their daughters life. One doesn’t even need to be educated to know! If you can drive a car, you are educated enough to work out that a child needs to be in a car seat! If you can drive a car, especially one like this family was in, YOU CAN AFFORD TO BUY A DECENT CAR SEAT! Your child’s life is far more valuable!!!

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I am not a judgmental person. And I will never put another parent into a situation where they feel like they are not good enough. Whether you formula feed or breastfeed, whether you had a natural birth or a c-section, you are good enough. Whether you rock your baby to sleep or let them fall asleep on their own, you’re perfect. BUT, the one thing that I will voice my incredibly strong opinion on is putting your child in a car seat! If you are reading this, and don’t and feel offended, or guilty – I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry.

Being a parent means that you need to do what is best for your kids. Sometimes having to invest in something like a car seat is just something that you need to do. Sometimes you have to let your child cry even when they don’t want to be in their car seat, or sometimes your already long trip means stopping an extra 10 times because your kid needs a break from their car seat. But, there are no excuses.

STRAP YOUR CHILD INTO A CAR SEAT.
EDUCATE YOURSELF.
EDUCATE OTHER PARENTS.
SPREAD THE WORD TO PARENTS TO BE!

I can’t express myself enough.

Do the right thing!

My Child, My Rules.

Raising a child is HARD work. There is nothing easy about it. Every single day is a challenge. A well behaved child with manners didn’t just wake up like that. Behind every child is an adult that has worked hard on teaching them those manners. If I think of the amount of times I have to give Olly ‘the look’ before handing him something, or after giving him something which reminds him to use the ‘magic words’, I lose track.

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However, I must say that he has gotten so much better about remembering to use manners at the right times, and even remembers to excuse himself from the table. There were two things that stood out to me over the weekend, that made me think that it’s a good idea to write this post.

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Firstly, Olly had a birthday party over the past weekend, and I wasn’t able to go because I had a kitchen tea which clashed. His Granny took him instead. Later that evening, I got a message from another mommy saying that Olly is so polite. He had such good manners, shared with her younger daughter the entire party and really looked after her, because she was younger than the rest of the kids. My mommy heart wanted to burst at the seams with happiness.

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Another situation, which happens SO often – we went for a play date over the weekend, and 5 minutes before we were leaving I told Olly that it was time to pack away his toys. The mom, so kindly, told him not to worry. I feel that we all do this, because our kids play with them too, and will probably continue to do so once the guests leave. But, I work so hard at having him pack away his toys at home once he’s finished playing, and because it is the polite thing to do at a playdate, I always try to encourage him to do the same.

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Then there are the daily challenges that we face with other parents and adults. Topics such as the food we allow our kids to eat, routine at home, screen time, the list could go on. I get so mad when I ask Olly to do something, or tell him ‘no’ about having something, and right in front of him, I get challenged by the other parent/adult. I’ve raised a child who knows that what I do is best for him, and he doesn’t question it – and then to have another adult question and say ‘Shame, he’s just a child’ in front of him, it creates doubt in his mind. Doubt that I have made the wrong decision for him, and often leads to an argument where he then begs for whatever it may be, and it turns into a battle; whereas without that parent even saying a thing, my son would’ve been quite happy as usual to just go on without it.

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Might I add that this often happens with family members too! Remember this, they’ve had their turn at raising their kids and now it’s your turn!

The amount of time it has taken me to get to this point, where my son knows exactly what he is allowed to have, how much screen time he is allowed, that he chooses water over juice 99% of the time, and his overall manners – it has taken years to get here. (We aren’t perfect, and SURE, we have our bad days). To have somebody else carelessly ruin that for you, and to set you back is just MEAN!

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We all know what is best for our child, and as you’ve put months or years instilling rules and manners for your family – we have all done the same. MY CHILD, MY RULES.

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And I feel that this is such an important thing to remember when you feel like opening your mouth. You never know the full story behind a family or individual. So, instead of putting your foot in it, rather keep out.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences on this topic. And may I add, that I am in no way saying that myself nor my child are perfect. We are far from, and there are days where he tests me beyond my capability. I just thought that many of you can probably relate to this and wanted to chat about the topic.

— One Modern Mom

Photos by Angela Rea of My Sunshine Journey: https://www.facebook.com/OurSunshineJourney/