In Sync With Your Body & Mind.

Being totally in sync with your body and mind is an incredibly challenging task when you aren’t even quite sure when you last managed to get up from your desk to get a glass of water. I sometimes find myself frantically scanning my brain to try and remember if and what I ate for breakfast.

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Life gets so busy, and our bodies are such complicated things, that sometimes we need a little hand to keep in control of things. I’ve tried a couple of gadgets in the past, and I always felt that there was something missing. There were still things that I felt slightly out of control of – there were still aspects of my everyday health and wellbeing that I felt puzzled about.

So when I heard about the Bellabeat Leaf I needed to know more. Smart jewelry created just for us women. Something that looks chic and beautiful rather than colourful and sporty. A versatile piece of jewelry that can be worn in three ways. It works for every different personality. Pretty from the outside and intelligent on the inside, just like us women.

You’re probably starting to get curious, and I am sure that if you are anything like me, the questions are starting to roll in your mind.

The Bellabeat Leaf can be worn as a bracelet, a necklace or a clip. It is lightweight and comfortable. I was worried that I would maybe find that the area of skin beneath it would feel sweaty, but it doesn’t at all. I am personally not a fan of necklaces – so I always wear my Leaf as a bracelet.

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There are two designs which are home to the same features. The Leaf Nature which is natural wood, splash proof and 48x30x13mm and then there is the Leaf Urban, which is the one that I have – it is wood composite, water resistant and 48x28x11.5mm. They are both made of hypoallergenic stainless steel.

WHAT DO THEY COST?

The Leaf Urban retails for R2999, and the Leaf Nature retails for between R2599 and R3249 depending on which one you choose.

I love that my Leaf simply sync’s to my iPhone. The app is easy to use and very easy to read. So you most certainly won’t find yourself struggling to understand what is going on. You can easily connect with Apple Health or Google Git to sync all of your data in one place.

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What does it track?

Features:

– Tracks your steps, daily activities and calories burned
– Monitors your sleep quantity and quality
– Helps you manage stress through guided meditations and breathing exercise (you can also set alarms that remind you to do this).
– Enables you to keep track of your menstrual cycle (Probably one of the most beneficial parts to me, and one of the selling points – this is something I struggle with, having PCos).
– Gently wakes you up with soothing vibration
– Reminds you to stay active with the Inactivity Alert
– Made with natural, sustainable and hypoallergenic materials
– No charging – powered by a replaceable battery which only needs to be replaced every several months

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How does it work?

Packed with highly sensitive movement sensors and with secure data backup, Leaf runs 24/7. While you are sleeping, meditating, or being active. When you’re ready to see your results, it wirelessly syncs with the Bellabeat app, available for iOS and Android.

My thoughts?

I have found that I have wanted to be more active and healthy in order to see positive results. I have always felt that seeing results always motivates me. I love that I can keep track of how much water I drink and how much sleep I get. Being a mom, I guess I find this fascinating as no two nights of sleep are the same. I also find that I sometimes sit for half of the day, purely because I need to get work done on the computer – now I can remind myself to get up and move by simply setting an alarm. This is great for women who work in the office, as we can get so carried away with the task in front of us, that we don’t get a moment to get up and move – whether it is just going up and down the stairs or walking around the office to wake up a bit. I also often find myself forgetting to drink enough water – resulting in me feeling nauseous or with a migraine, so I love that I can set an alarm to remind myself every hour or so to get up to drink some water.

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For me, as I mentioned above, the fact that the Leaf tracks my menstrual cycle is a major selling point. Now I can learn the ins and outs of my body’s internal clock and I get valuable feedback about my reproductive health. Leaf’s innovative ovulation calculator and fertility charts allow me to view my ovulation, premenstrual, and period days at a glance. This is incredible! And I am so excited to learn more about this, as it has always been something I have been so unfamiliar with! I’m sure that so many of us can relate to this!

I also really like that it can predict stress before it even happens. This means that you can tackle it head on. They explain that your activity levels, sleep quality and reproductive health all affect how stressed you feel. By simply monitoring your daily habits, Leaf can detect patterns that may cause stress before it swoops in.

 

The Leaf is compatible with the following:

-iPhone 4s and newer, iPad Mini and newer, iPad 3rd Gen, and newer models
-Android 4.3 and newer with Bluetooth 4.0.

I have received uncountable queries and compliments on my Leaf! I’ve even had a lady follow me down a couple aisles at the grocery store as she just needed to find out what it was because it looked so beautiful. She couldn’t believe what was happening inside such a minimalist piece of jewelry! But, apart from the compliments – it truly has benefited me. I feel like I am finally on the right path. Fitness and health is one thing, but actually understanding what is happening on the inside of your body is a totally different ballgame – and I’ve finally found the perfect solution that can help me with exactly that. And I am now more determined than I have ever been.

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TELL ME WHERE I CAN GET IT…NOW!

To place your order, please head over to labelcollections.com
For any enquiries you can pop Nadia an email at nadia@labelcollections.com

 

Visit their social media platforms to see more:

Facebook: BellaBeat SA
Instagram: Instagram.com/bellabeatssa

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Fun fact: The Bellabeat was founded in 2014, and is one of the top 5 recipients of the 2014 Y-COMBINATOR. The world’s most powerful start-up incubator.

 

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A Year Of Adventure.

I had first heard about the Adventure Clubs app that had recently made its appearance in South Africa shortly after Olly was born. It sounded like such fun, but there were a few things holding me back from actually giving it a try…

Firstly, I was a younger mom. I wasn’t sure that I would connect with any of the other moms who had booked to go on the same adventure. And, secondly, I was a bit nervous to go on an adventure without knowing anybody else.

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I had downloaded the app on my phone, and would frequently check out the new adventures loaded for my sons age in our area. I found myself feeling really bummed that I was missing out on so many fun activities happening so close to home. Things that my son was bound to love! I was also stopping myself from making new friends.

Believe it or not, it took me over three years to finally choose an adventure to go on, and boy, am I glad I finally took that leap! We chose a surfing adventure at one of our local beaches with Surf Emporium, where not only did they get a surf lesson with a trained instructor, but were also taught some important lessons about our environment and looking after our beaches. We chose the surfing lesson because it is something that is part of our lifestyle, and I was so keen to have Olly have a proper lesson with an instructor to give him some extra confidence. It was such a fun morning! We made some new friends, and of course, the kids just gel with the others without second thought.

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I honestly cannot believe that we hadn’t gone on an adventure sooner! Every week, there will be multiple adventures added to the app in different areas, ages and categories. The festive season had the App packed with baking gingerbread houses and making Christmas decorations as well as special safari rides and outdoor activities. You generally find that you get a discount for the activity in comparison to what you would be paying to do it if you didn’t go through the arranged adventure, and you may even find that the adventures are very specially arranged, and you wouldn’t be able to do it without it being through the Adventure Clubs.

The App is FREE to download, and then you simply add in your details and you can get ready to browse the list of adventures in either Cape Town, Johannesberg or Durban.

I wanted to give one of you the opportunity to WIN and experience an adventure valued at R300 (you can choose which adventure you would like to do) in your area.

Simply download the App and tell us which adventure you would choose if you won the prize! How simple is that?

And, you have an entire year (2018) to use your prize!

I hope that you enjoy the adventures as much as we have. And maybe we will even be on an adventure together soon!

— One Modern Mom

Images by Anneke Jagau

Shimmy Your Way Through Summer.

It has been awhile since I last visited Shimmy Beach Club. Probably about 4 and a half years since the last time to put it into perspective. I clearly remember dressing up for a night out with some girls, and having the best night ever!

Fast forward to today, I had kind of pushed the thought of revisiting out of my mind, because I just wouldn’t have a chance to with a kid in tow. There had been times when we visited the Waterfront where I saw the turn off to Shimmy at the circle, and imagined how perfect a place it would be to take my toddler to. With a divine swimming pool and beach sand – as well as it being outdoors and spacious. What I would do to return.

I was then told that Shimmy, in fact, has been misperceived as a venue that only caters for the rich and famous, as well as a venue for parties. I suppose I was one of those who once felt that way, having only really visited in the evenings many years ago for that very reason – to party!

I couldn’t wait to return – WITH my toddler this time.

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We had the best day ever! Words cannot actually begin to describe how relaxed I felt. That rarely happens. With two swimming pools – you’d think that being a mom with a toddler, you’d be stressed out more than ever, but with there being a lifeguard at each pool keeping close watch over your kids for that extra bit of safety, I was totally at ease knowing that if he happened to make his way to the pool without me seeing, there was somebody there to watch him.

 

They also have a large jumping castle set up in between the two pools which is directly in the middle of all seating areas. That way, parents can keep an eye on their kids from their tables or the pool. My 3 and a half year old son just loved this – especially once he was wet from the pool which helped him slide faster. There was a large variety of ages of kids, and they were all just as happy as the other!

Apart from that, there is also an indoor play area at Shimmy. Believe it or not, they have an au pair that looks after the kids. The play area is complete with everything a child could possibly need to keep busy and entertained. Jungle gyms, soft play, a ball pit, slides, an imaginary dress up corner and even an arts and crafts section. The au pair was divine, and each time I went back to check on my son, he had her close by helping him with the sand art he was busy with.

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The food was out of this world. I have never eaten so much, and having had the opportunity to taste a variety of options from their menu, I can confidently tell you, THERE IS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!

I tried the following, and all were out of this world:

 


– Margarita Classico with fior di late , fresh tomato and basil (their pizzas are on the most decadent thin base, I have never tasted anything like it before! They do have a cauli base too).
– Burgers were all homemade and the patty was light weight and very tasty – I also enjoy mine well basted, which they were. Absolutely divine!
– We had veggie and cheese spring rolls which were the nicest I’ve ever had in my entire life. The pastry was crispy and fresh, and very thin. It came with the most incredible dip!
– Chicken kebabs (fresh, well-seasoned and extremely tender!)

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– Kids had the chicken strips with chips – it is a generous portion of both, and the chicken wasn’t oily which I love. It will definitely full up your little ones tummies!
– The kids then finished off their day with a bowl of ice cream & chocolate sauce – it’s not just any vanilla ice cream, and again – the portion size is generous. The chocolate sauce is melted dark chocolate which I even licked out of the bowl after pouring it over his ice cream!!!

*The table was also given a sushi platter, but I don’t eat sushi – so I can’t rate it. But it looked amazing. Shimmy is also the first restaurant in Cape Town to offer carb conscious sushi – which means that they change the sushi rice to cauliflower rice which has been raved about!

The menu offers a wide variety of food which means that nobody gets left out! They have incredible cocktails, which is what I loved about Shimmy when I used to visit before I fell pregnant. I personally find their prices to be affordable (after having experienced the value for money and the amount of food and quality of food you are getting).

I have to admit that I was worried that I would feel a bit self-conscious getting into my costume with the group of people I imagined being there – but within the first 10 minutes, we were in our costumes and joining other families in the pool. There was a lovely group of people – tourists, families, grandparents, older couples and ladies coming for a cocktail and some tanning. Not once did I feel that it was superficial. I actually felt as if I was on holiday at a resort. It sort of reminded me of being in Mauritius as a teenager.

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I will definitely be back. I think Shimmy has moved to the top of my list for sunny weekend mornings with my family. We really did have such a wonderful day, and my son is already asking me when we can go back!

If you are visiting Cape Town, or live here – do make sure to visit Shimmy when you are in Town area. They are just around the corner from the V&A Waterfront. You won’t be sorry! Your kids will thank you, and you can finally have that much needed glass of bubbly to reward yourself for all of your hard work as a parent! Take advantage of the au pair, and be sure to take your swimming togs and kids armbands!

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You can see their menu ahead of time, as well as any other information on their website: http://www.shimmybeachclub.com/

I hope you do go and visit, and also hope that when you do, your experience is just as wonderful as our was today! Can we go back now?

#ShimmyFamily

Our Community. Our Safety!

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Growing up in Cape Town has been one of the greatest privileges. With uncountable beaches and mountains in every direction of our home, we are honestly spoiled beyond belief. White sand, crystal blue oceans. Beautiful sunrises and unforgettable sunsets. Some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world.

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How are we allowing for that to be taken from us right beneath our eyes. We are beginning to live in fear. Fear of taking our children to the beach with the uncertainty of ‘are we going to leave unharmed?’. Are we being watched? Can we let our kids run and play freely? I’ve started feeling anxious whenever I go to public places with my son. That fear of the unknown of what the result of the outing may be.

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Our economy and country needs every foreign visitor we can get to keep people employed, to bring money into our country. But why would anybody want to visit a place that they need to fear? The crime that is happening right on our doorstep is making international news – tourists being stabbed and left fighting for their lives doing something that every human being should feel safe doing – going for a walk on the beach.

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One of my favourite things to do with my son is taking him to the beach. He dreams of being a surfer like his Daddy, and loves more than anything, to go down to the beach for a swim and to build sandcastles. Truth is, I can’t always have somebody with me. This very beach pictured is one of the beaches where the crime rate is the highest. This is the very beach that people have been stabbed and harmed at. This is one of ours, and many others favourite beach.

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SO.. what now? Do we just sit back and allow for this to happen? What happens next? Are we just going to settle with the fact that these horrific people are taking something so special away from us? The mountains the surround us. The beaches that we love so very much? How do we stop this from happening to the next innocent victim? How do we take back the beaches that we grew up on? How do we make them safe again?

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Something needs to change. We pay so much attention to the small, petty issues that are happening in our communities. We spend too much of our energy worrying about what is happening in the back yards of our neighbours. But instead, we should be coming together as a community to fight for the safety of our people. We all deserve to be able to walk the mountains and beaches without feeling unsafe!

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That being said,  nothing will ever change if we just sit back and wait for the next person to do something about it. There’s no good in simply moaning about it, and telling our family and friends never to visit again from overseas. There’s no point in planning your exit route to immigrate. I can’t tell you the amount of conversations I have overheard about people deciding it is time to get their gun licence. But how is that going to make an impact to our community as a whole? This is our country. It is beautiful. We just need to take control. It is time to stand together as a community to create some kind of plan.

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Truth is, I am not quite sure what my plan is myself. I am far from politically clued up. But I just wanted to create this post to make YOU think.

I just wanted to take an exert out of a book I have been reading, ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell:

“There was a time, not very long ago, in the desperately poor New York City neigbourhoods of Brownsville and East New York, when the streets would turn into ghost towns at dusk. Ordinary working people wouldn’t walk on the sidewalks. Children wouldn’t ride their bicycles on the streets. Old folks wouldn’t sit on the stoops and park benches. The drug trade ran so rampant and gang warfare was so ubiquitous in that part of Brooklyn that most people would take to safety in their apartment at nightfall. Police officers who served in Brownsville in the 1980’s and early 1990’s say that, in those years, as soon as the sun went down their radios exploded with chatter between beat officers and their dispatchers over every conceivable kind of violent and dangerous crime. In 1992, there were 2,154 murders in New York City and 626,182 serious crimes, with the weight of those crimes falling hardest in places like Brownsville and East New York. But then something strange happened. At some mysterious and critical point, the crime rate began to turn. It tipped. Within five years, murders had dropped 64.3% to 770 and total crimes had fallen by almost 355.893. In Brownsville and East New York, the sidewalks filled up again, the bicycles came back, and old folks reappeared on the stoops.

The New York City police will tell you that what happened in New York was that the city’s policing strategies dramatically improved. Criminologists point to the decline of the crack trade and the aging of the population. Economists, meanwhile, say that the gradual improvement of in the city’s economy over the course of the 1990’s had the effect of employing those who might otherwise have become criminals. These are the conventional explanations for the rise and fall of social problems.”

A page later, he explains: ” The fall of New York’s crime rate is a textbook example of an epidemic in action. It gives a clear example of an epidemic in action. It wasn’t that some huge percentage of would be murderers sat up in 1993 and decided not to commit any more crimes. Nor was it that the police managed magically to intervene in a huge percentage of situations that would otherwise have turned deadly. What happened is that small number of people in the small number of situations in which the police or the new social forces had some impact started behaving differently, and that behavior somehow spread to other would-be criminals in similar situations. Somehow a large number of people in New York got ‘infected’ with an anti-crime virus in a short time.”

The book goes on explaining some incredibly logical and interesting examples of what had happened in New York City. But, to finish off, I wanted to share this last little bit: “These three characteristics – one, contagiousness; two, the fact that little causes can have big effects; and three, that change happens not gradually but at one dramatic moment.”


I feel that the above is a perfect example of how we CAN make a change in our community. Now, let’s just figure out how, and create a tipping point so we can take back the safety of our community!

How are you going to get involved?

A Young(er) Moms Christmas Wish List.

If you don’t have a Christmas wish list at this time of the year – are you even human? I have put together my list of Christmas gems that are ALL from local South African companies. I truly believe that it is so important to browse and support local businesses who create such beautiful products. You can check out my list below, which I have attached links to so that you can shop that way if something catches your eye.

Earrings - Lichen and Leaf
Chandelier Earrings – Lichen & Leaf
Beautifully handcrafted and unique designs from local creative, Cynthia Edwards. Price: R400.00
Shop: http://lichenandleaf.com/tags/earrings

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Watch – Isabis
Beautiful vegan watches versatile enough to pair with anything in your wardrobe!
Shop: https://www.facebook.com/isabiswatch/

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Seasoned Candle – Amanda-Jayne
Beautifully natural scented Soy Candle, hand poured in Cape Town
Price: R350.00
Shop: https://www.amandajaynecandles.com/

 

Body Scrub – Kahve Skin
Coconut Matcha or Coffee Cinnamon
Price: R280.00
Shop: https://kahveskin.com/collections/all

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The Everyday Face Cream For Face & Body – Skin Creamery
Coconut Jojoba Baobab Oil 200ml (Organic Oils)
Price: R295.00
Shop: http://www.skincreamery.co.za/product/everyday-cream/

Lulu and Marula

Refreshing Tonic Mist – Lulu & Marula
For all skin types (Organic)
Price: R300.00
Shop: https://www.luluandmarula.co.za/collections/face/products/refreshing-moisture-mist

Mandarin Lip Balm - Wass

Mandarin Citrus Reticulata – Wass Skin
Repairs, Hydrates, Moistures. For dry lips and cuticles. Providing protection against harsh environments.
Price: R100.00 (15g)
Shop: https://wassskin.com/collections/skin-body/products/lip-balm-mandarin-peppermint

 

zana makeup bag

 

Makeup Bag – Zana
Features 100% cotton exterior screen printed with our original design, waterproof lining and a brass zipper.
Price: R180.00
Shop: http://zanaproducts.co.za/shop/gold-triangle-makeup-bag/

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Mini Desktop Calendar – Fable Lifestyle
Beautiful water colour 2018 calendar with a wooden stand.
Price: R280.00
Shop: https://fable-lifestyle.com/collections/2018-botanical-calendar

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Large Pouch – Lichen & Leaf
Perfect to use as a toiletry or makeup bag, or even for stationary.
Price: R240.00
Shop: http://lichenandleaf.com/products/large-pouch-klee

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Pink Specks Toiletry Bag – Zana
The perfect travel companion. A fun toiletry bag with waterproof lining for all of your beauty, hair and skincare essentials on the go.
Price: R240.00
Shop: http://zanaproducts.co.za/shop/pink-specks-toiletry-bag/

 

oil milk cleanser skin creamery

Oil Milk Face Cleaner – Skin Creamery
Sesame Oil Baobab Melon Seed (Organic Oils)
Price: R320.00 (200ml)
Shop: http://www.skincreamery.co.za/product/oil-milk-cleanser/

Temple Oil - Wass Skin

 

Temple Day Oil – Wass Skin
Complete morning boost & concentration for the day ahead. Use daily when energy levels are low.
Price: R100.00
Shop: https://wassskin.com/collections/temple-oils/products/temple-oil-day

 

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New Floral Gin & Tonic – The Duchess
The brand new, and incredibly refreshing Virgin G&T has officially hit the shelves!
Shop: https://www.yuppiechef.com/the-duchess.htm?id=24627&name=The-Duchess-Non-Alcoholic-Gin-and-Tonic

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Festive Feast Box – UCOOK
This one should really be at the very top of my list! Who really wants to be in a shopping mall trying to remember all of their ingredients during the festive season? To me, that’s an absolute nightmare. My dream gift this Christmas is this Festive Feast Christmas Box that is bursting with the most decadent Christmas meal for your family and friends. That’s certainly one way to impress your guests!
Price: Dependent on how many people you are catering for!
Shop: https://feast.ucook.co.za/

PLEASE NOTE:

None of these photos are my own. I have taken them from each companies website.

My Summer Wardrobe Essentials.

If somebody told me to think about the ideal outfit for me, I would say something that is comfortable and flattering for a postpartum body. Something that shows the curves, but hides the lumps and bumps.

I have to admit that I really struggle to find garments I would be confident going out in to a special event, or for a night out. However, finding Sitting Pretty and their new range – it was like I finally found home.

I have fallen madly in love with the Coco Double V Neck Jumpsuit. It is incredibly comfortable, and is elasticated in all of the right places. It really suits my body type and shape, and I have had uncountable compliments when I have been out. I’ve paired it with a pair of sneakers, and also wore it to an event  with a pair of wedges. It is so easy to match with absolutely anything that you already own, and you can dress it up or down with ease. The quality is phenomenal! Jumpsuits and dresses with pockets are a winner for me! Made from 100% Rayon Linen, this garment keeps you cool on a hot day, and is just flawless!

Photos: Angela Rea Photography

The dress caught my eye because of its delicate detail. The little bit of lace really caught my attention. I love the way the dress flows as you move. The guava shade is quite a rare colour, but I couldn’t resist. It is fresh and perfect for Summer. I love that the dress has three quarter sleeves – it is ideal for cooler summer days or evenings. The dress is also elasticized around the waist area, which really creates some shape and emphasizes your good curves. It is so comfortable, and is also perfect for mom bods. Again, the quality is phenomenal, so this is a piece of clothing that will stay fashionable and maintain its quality for many years.

Photos: Criene Images

As I mentioned, I struggle to find clothes that really stand out from the rest. I struggle to find designers who get their sizing correct when buying online. And one of my flaws is always having high expectations, often leaving me disappointed – however, my expectations were blown, and I was highly impressed and happy with my order.

You can most certainly find some gorgeous essential garments to add to your wardrobe. Add them to your wish list for Christmas, or just simply spoil yourself! You deserve it! Their entire Spring/Summer 2018 collection is flawless!

It has been wonderful watching Sitting Pretty grow from strength to strength having started in 2009

Have a look at Sitting Pretty’s social media handles:

www.sittingpretty.co.za

Instagram.com/sittingprettysa

www.facebook.com/SittingPrettyApparel

What is that one staple garment in your wardrobe?

Hello Vegas!

Two weekends ago, myself, Olly and my friend Angela and her three year old son, Elijah drove through to Sea Point for an exciting weekend at the Los Vegas inspired Flamingo. The boys were squealing with excitement, and due to it being so close to home (just a 25 minute drive), as moms, we were obviously totally content with the fact that we weren’t having to travel long distance with two three year olds.

We arrived to a beautiful apartment, complete with 4 very modern en-suite bathrooms, a spare bathroom as well as a gigantic open plan kitchen, lounge, dining room and bar area. Again, being moms, we were thrilled to be greeted with a tiled living area knowing that any spills could be easily wiped up, but also for health reasons.

The entire apartment being air conditioned, we could have happily stayed in our entire stay. It was a warm weekend, so having fresh, cool air in the apartment was such a treat. The boys love how spacious the living area is – they could play games on the floor, play games and run around without being restricted.

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We obviously didn’t have much of a chance to use the bar area, but it is well equipped, and it also makes the apartment that much more suitable for a bachelor or bachelorette weekend. With the amount of people the home sleeps, it is so reasonably priced.

I have always said that it isn’t really a holiday if the place you are staying doesn’t have a dishwasher. Who wants to have to wash dishes while on holiday, right? First world problems, I know. But I was so happy to see a dishwasher on arrival, as well as a coffee machine and even washing machine! Woo hoo! Perfect for families that stay for awhile. I really appreciated the fact that they didn’t have any bath tubs due to our water crisis, however, with young kids, it could be a bit of an issue. I know I have a child who isn’t a huge fan of showering.

The main bedroom, which I stayed in had a TV, aircon, an extra length King size bed as well as a single bed, which was perfect for me as it meant that Olly could be in the same room as me, but didn’t have to share a bed. My bathroom also had a Sauna in it, which is divine for some down time to just relax and unwind.

The boys loved watching the paragliders from the window and we had a beautiful view of the mountains. It is in such a great spot, as we had such fun adventuring out to the Promenade and the V&A Waterfront. And our journey back was so quick. There is a wonderful variety of restaurants, coffee shops, etc within walking distance. Once you arrive, you honestly don’t have to drive anywhere!

I love the Sea Point life. I feel it is such a vibrant, active lifestyle. We all felt so happy and refreshed after our stay, and were sad to leave. The boys both asked us:  “When we come back again, can we stay forever?” and in conversations since then, both have spoken so much about ‘Sea Point’ and would go back in a heart beat.

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As moms, we found it was highly suitable for kids, the only noticeable con would be no baths. The entire apartment and rooms are spacious with no breakable décor which makes it that much more kid friendly. It would be a lovely go-to place for families and friends to meet that is central to many kid friendly places in the Atlantic Seaboard, as well as being so close by to some of the most pristine and beautiful beaches in Cape Town!

We were absolutely spoilt with vouchers for a donut and coffee for each of us downstairs at the Dairy Den. There is also a petrol garage with a shop, conveniently across the road. And lastly, we loved the security of having an alarm that we could set when we left the house. Knowing that our belongings were safe left us all feeling more relaxed.

We will be back again, as we found the experience of booking, checking out and checking out such a pleasure. We found the apartment in pristine condition, and the owners are on top of any little things that need to be sorted out.

You won’t be sorry, and will too leave feeling totally relaxed and rejuvenated after your stay at Flamingo. I must add that I will definitely be heading there again next year for a girl’s weekend WITHOUT my son! I’m sure it will be a fantastic experience too, where we can let our hair loose and enjoy it in a different perspective.

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Do have a look at their Instagram page yourself to see what you are in for. And you can also read more reviews on their Airbnb account.

We loved staying in a place that was minimalist, clutter free and in with the times, and we cannot wait to return, or as our boys say – move in forever!

Photography: @radzphotography_cpt
Also featured: @oursunshinejourney

Should Potty Training Really Be Dreaded?

I quite honestly can’t take much credit for these Potty Training tips, because I have to admit that I was one of the lucky ones who wasn’t really the one who decided it was time. But, I often find myself in conversation with other parents who are struggling with getting their kids potty trained, and I thought it would be a good topic to touch on.

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Firstly, for us parents living in the Northern Hemisphere, we are currently the ones who have the perfect opportunity for Potty Training! Why? Because your kids can happily prance around the garden in undies or bare botty without getting cold and sick. Why do I mention this? Because this is exactly how it happened for us!

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Secondly, we get a long Christmas holiday (6 weeks), so it means that you are home more, and I will touch more on this shortly.

Olly came home from school at the end of second term with a report card. On that card it said: “Oliver uses the toilet independently at school…” Hold on, he what??? That’s when I knew that it was time. He had shown a very keen interest at about one and a half, and I know that many kids do, however, it fades. So at two and a half, we were all ready to rid of the diapers! I was, quite honestly at that point where I totally wouldn’t miss those poopie nappies, and having to cart around hoping that I remembered to pack some every time we left the house. The expense of nappies is a topic I am not ready to discuss!

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So, because the holidays were a decent length, I decided – THIS IS IT!!!

David took Olly on a special boys trip to Woolworths to choose his very own ‘big boy undies’. I think that trip in itself was an incredibly significant part of the whole transition. I can highly recommend this as the first step. (Keep in mind, you need to make sure that YOU are in it one hundred percent). Create an exciting thing out of what is happening – after all, it is a sign that your little one is reaching a level of independence that you should ALL be proud of. Give them the light – let them shine! Olly returned from the mall beaming. He had chosen three packs of undies (YOU DO NEED A LOT!!!) – some with patterns, some with pictures. They were all important and special to him.

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We tore open the packs and from that moment, he put on his first pair, and he hasn’t worn day nappies since. I decided that we were going to hibernate and be home bodies for the first week of the holidays, and it is honestly the best advice I have for parents who are potty training a toddler. Encourage them to go to the toilet or potty every half an hour. But, with him playing outside most of the time, it was a less messy experience. If he couldn’t make it to the toilet, he would pull down his undies and wee outside in the garden (Gross? Not at all! We all did it).

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Three days into Potty Training, I had to pop down to the store. Without even thinking, I took him without a nappy on. As we were in the queue, he looked with big eyes and said: “MOMMY, I NEED A WEEEEEE!”. Interestingly enough, I asked him if he could hold it in for five more minutes, and he did. We used a reward chart by Munchkins for every time he used the actual toilet (Olly has never wanted to use a potty). This made the process that much more exciting.

We of course did have a couple of accidents, but he learned very quickly that the feeling of wee running down his leg, or wet undies was uncomfortable.

I think that many parents make the mistake of trying to force potty training. Just as we, as adults hate being forced to do things – almost creating a negative bubble around the specific thing, our kids feel the same way. Instead, take them on that trip to the store to choose their special set of underwear. Create a positive mindset on it so that it doesn’t feel like it’s something they have to do, but rather something they want to do. Let them do it for THEM and not for YOU.

Alternatively, if you have a stubborn potty trainer, work out a system that works for your child. Perhaps, tell them that the money from the bag of nappies you would have used can instead go towards a special toy or experience they have been begging for once you get to the end of the month/end of their reward chart. It is a huge deal for them. And if you were going to be spending that money on nappies, you can put it towards a special reward.

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In closing, I really did just feel that this is the perfect time of the year, for the families who are in the Summer countries. It worked for us, however, it may not work for you. But it is a length process, one that you all need to be 100% on the same page for. Be persistent. Rome wasn’t built in a day. This is all new to your child. They’ve been in nappies since Day 1, and it’s a bit scary for them. But, the day will come where you will see why it was worth the process.

I have to add – a week after Olly stopped day time nappies, he wasn’t interested in wearing them AT ALL! We just don’t allow him to drink fluids half an hour before bedtime, and he goes to the loo before he goes to sleep. The only two times in about 5 months that he has wet the bed, was when we had come home at night from being out and he was already asleep and we didn’t wake him to use the loo! Totally our own fault.

It can be done, and it can be a fun and exciting transition for the entire family!
Good luck!

I would love to hear your potty training success stories, and I would also love to be entertained by some funny potty training fails! So please do share your stories!!! I have a prize for the best tip or story as long as you are a South African resident! But, don’t let it stop you sharing your stories if you don’t!

*Note: You DO have to SUBSCRIBE in order to enter – which is super easy peasy to do! And then you won’t miss out on a thing! It will also be the only way you will be notified if you are the winner.

*On a side note: DO buy a couple pairs of nappies that have some toweling. Shown in the photos are a pair that I purchased about a year ago. They are great for any little drips.

Photos by @criene_images
Top two photos: Melissa Van Riel

A Christmas Tradition – Elf’s Pet

As if having a brand new, cute Elf on the shelf that you can dress up isn’t enough as a special Christmas tradition in your home, they had to go just that extra mile by creating an Elf’s Pet. Because we would hate for Elf to get lonely while we’re out over the Festive Season.

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Having a three-year-old who is already overly excited for Christmas, this truly makes it all just that extra bit more magical for him. As a parent, it is so wonderful to watch his eyes beam as he plays with his special Elf’s pet reindeer. (He was so excited when I told him that, unlike with the Elf on the shelf, he is allowed to play with his reindeer). Sneakily listening into their conversations, and hearing his own understanding of Christmas as they quietly chatter about it between themselves.

For the elf pets, children are encouraged to love their reindeer so that it will help Santa deliver the presents at Christmas, as well as continue to believe in Christmas to create Christmas spirit. And I just absolutely adore this ‘message’ behind the toy.

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The Elf Pets Reindeer is a box set which includes a vividly illustrated hardbound children’s book, which is absolutely beautiful as well as the Reindeer. Having spent some magical Christmases in the States, experiencing a real white, snowy Christmas – I really had a peek into how festive and exciting Christmas can be for a child. This has been one of the first times I have really felt like I have gone back in time to the younger version of myself remembering those moments watching the snowflakes gently fall to the ground with Christmas music blaring in the background. This book took me right back there, which is hard to do.

There are so many Christmas products available for kids these days, but it is still incredibly difficult to find something that really stands out from the rest. Something that has been designed with love in hope to put the magic back into Christmas for kids who seem to be quite a challenge to excite and please in this generation – to encourage them to really use their imaginations and to put themselves into a Christmas spirit just by playing and reading the book.

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It is a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with your kids this Festive season, reading the book, and getting the entire family into the Festive spirit. And, it will be the excitement of unpacking it each year for the next Christmas, and the memories that will be made year after year.

Traditions are truly something wonderful, and this is just one of the ways that I have chosen to enjoy new traditions with my little boy.

You can get yours, while they’re still available at http://www.jeffreystein.co.za/brands/the-elf-on-the-shelf/elf-pets-a-reindeer-tradition

DO give the little movie a watch on this page to get those butterflies going in your tummy as you watch the story unfold. These products really are just one notch above the rest, and it’s so nice to see some original products these days!

Make sure to check in again next week to find out what the last product is I will be reviewing, it’s amazing, slightly magical, and you could even WIN an amazing prize.

Stock Up Your Freezers – Fry’s Give Me Freedom.

We are currently sitting smack bam into a week.
I always find Wednesdays insane.
Half way through the week, but just out of reach of the weekend.

Hanging in there by a thread, longing for the craziness of the week to just slow down a little.
Olly is wild. I’ve started referring to Wednesday’s as ‘Wild Wednesday’,
He’s always a little more clingy, emotional and it’s generally a day of nagging.

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Dinner time arrives, and I used to find myself frantically scurrying through the freezer to find something I could just fry/pop in the oven or microwave.
I must admit that before I started giving Olly meat, I only gave him the Fry’s ‘meatless’ products.
So, they have always been safe in our home. I know he won’t complain, and his tummy will be full.

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That being said, I love having a freezer stocked up with these Fry’s Chicken styled Nuggets. I love them, Olly loves them and so does David.
I just pair them with some fresh baby tomatoes, some carrot sticks and tomato sauce and we are good to go. Everybody is happy.

Dinner time can become such a complicated time in your home sometimes.
I don’t like always feeling like I need to turn to overpriced takeaways when a day gets out of control.
Sometimes, we can plan ahead and stock up our freezers for those days instead.

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These chicken style nuggets are Olly’s absolute favourite out of the Fry’s Family products.
They literally just need to be popped in the oven for a couple of minutes, and BAM, dinner is served! They are also perfect for adults, might I add. They really aren’t just made for kids. They just love them.

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Also suitable for vegans, BUT, not for people who are gluten intolerant. They are packed with the perfect protein replacements, so one doesn’t need to worry about not getting their protein in their meals.

Fry’s has a large range of meat-free products, so there really is something for everyone. You can find them at most of the leading stores. I mostly buy mine from my local Pick ‘n Pay, just because they have a very large range, and it is just convenient for me.

They have lovely, very inspiring and insightful social media platforms that you can check out too:

Instagram
Facebook
Website
Twitter

Thank you to Angela Rea Photography for the photos!

Be sure to stock up, give them a try – and let me know your thoughts!

You’re welcome!!!

— @onemodernmom