The Reality Of Sugar.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— One Modern Mom

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

 

The New Trend On The Block – Zach & Lily

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

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

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

Want to know how to make them? So simple.

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

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

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

Behind The Lens With Radz Photography

I recently shot with the very talented and creative Radiefa Peters from Radz Photography along the beautiful Sea Point Promenade. What a wonderful, strong team of women to work with – Hannah Kruyer from @shewolfsa who did my hair and makeup (I’ve never felt so beautiful) and my wardrobe from Movepretty.

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What I wanted to achieve was a special bond between mother and son. I do try to live a healthy and active lifestyle, and I try not to let being a mother and having a busy life with a toddler, being a work from home mom as an excuse to not have the time to be active – because it is so easy to include them in your workouts, especially from home or not in a gym environment.

I was nervous to climb into gym clothes and in front of the camera – exposing my jiggly mommy tum and prancing around showing it off in one of the most active areas in Cape Town – along the Promenade. But, WOW! I was immediately made feel comfortable and beautiful working with Radiefa (who just knew exactly what she was doing, the best angles and poses). The shoot was quick and simple. We were also blessed to have Hannah on our team who was fantastic to have on set. I think all in all, it was just the best group to work with.

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I got my photos back within the next few days, and was actually blown away by the photos. She just captured us beyond my expectations. Radiefa generally shoots weddings and fashion, and not so much children. But, she is incredibly talented and was just so gentle and guided us so well, that I would highly recommend working with her as a family.

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I was bursting with excitement to share this Behind The Lens with you. So, do keep reading to find out more about Radiefa and how she started in this highly competitive industry as a photographer:

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1. When did you first realize that you could make magic with a camera?
I’d say this was in 2011 after I shot my shot my first wedding! So much people commented after I posted my first wedding pic! Well let’s just say the rest is history lol or atleast still in progression.

2. How old were you when you picked up your first camera?
Hmm probably around 11 years old, My dads old compact camera.

3. What inspires you to keep going in this industry?
There’s obviously so much competition and it can become tough at times but I the fact that it’s my dream to be a photographer,travel and become internationally known, that’s definitely what keeps me going! Also, my lovely clients 🙂

4. Three facts about you…
Go Getter, Love to laugh & Be around happy people

5. A little paragraph on family life.
Family, something so close to my heart, the tears, laughter, fun, secrets.. things that are shared mostly with them.Family is enjoying each other’s company and spending a lot of time doing things together! Family is love. Family is Home.

6. What is your favourite content to photograph?
Happy People! I mostly photograph weddings but I thoroughly enjoy the random Family Portraits 😉

7. If you could choose one wedding to photograph, whose would it be, and why?
I haven’t thought about who yet but someone who would fly me over to Italy/Switzerland even Some tropical island! Yup,that will be EPIC hehe

8. We did a family, lifestyle shoot together, and you were amazing with my son, do you often do kids photography?
When I get asked to yes, I use to do it every weekend but lately I’ve been so busy shooting weddings

9. Your favourite memory since you’ve been in the industry?
Definitely when Kwaito legend Doc Shebeleza called me to shoot his surprise Wedding Anniversary gift to he’s wife! He asked her to re-marry him and he flew her down from Jhb to CPT just to do that! Eek how cute.

10. A few words of advice for someone starting out in the photography industry…
Shoot Shoot and Shoot some more! It’s the only way you going to perfect your lighting and techniques. Also, watch a few tutorials online and give yourself shooting goals!

11. How can we keep up to date with your latest work, specials and news?
You can find me on Facebook under –Radz Photography– , Instagram @radzphotography_cpt or simply email me on info@radzphotography.co.za

12. Lastly, what social platforms do you use to showcase the beautiful moments you capture?
Instagram Mostly but I’m quite active on Facebook as well.

 

 

Love Your Laundry – Ecoegg South Africa

I was just beginning to think that we possibly have some kind of washing powder thief that makes it’s appearance each month living in our home somewhere. It feels as if I have washing powder on my shopping list every time I go grocery shopping, and quite frankly, I’m a bit over spending half of my salary on washing powder, out of all things!

I’m also sick of constantly worrying about what the laundry detergents are doing to not only my skin, but my toddlers skin. Apart from the usual washing powder, it freaks my out when I need to get stains out of Olly’s clothes. We spend a small fortune on clothes for our kids, they mess on them, we use harsh chemicals on them in hope to get the stains out, and half the time it doesn’t even work!

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A couple months back, I found that where I had used that stain remover, on the chest area of one of Olly’s jerseys, his skin went red and dry. He complained about it being itchy, and then it clicked – the products I was using was bothering his skin!

Just like me, having sensitive skin – I find that using the washing powders, fabric softeners and other laundry products, I get dry, itchy patches on my skin. The cheaper products are an absolute no-go for me! I recall so vividly, one night staying over at a friends house. They were students – so were on a tight budget and were using cheap products. They were also the type that used their fabric softeners over enthusiastically – and my entire body broke out in a rash. The only thing that could take the extreme itching away was practically burning myself in the shower with mostly hot water only. It was dreadful. Having sensitive skin has opened my eyes to the ingredients that are actually used in these day to day products that we buy for our household, because we can’t live without them… or can we?

So, naturally, when somebody spoke to me about Ecoegg I was a little hesitant, but curious. We got chatting, and I did my research. The research led to me excitedly calling my mom to tell her about the product and to find out her thoughts on it, too. She told me that she had once received one as a gift from somebody, about 20 years back. (NOT THE SAME BRAND), and she found that it didn’t really take odours and stains out of clothes. This obviously left me ready for a battle to prove her wrong about the Ecoegg.

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And, obviously that I did – hence me being here writing about it today. Guys! It is literally magic in a ball! I detoxed my machine (which comes with the pack), and I don’t plan on buying laundry detergents EVER. AGAIN! Mark my words. I’m planning on creating a tin with the funds I save for the next half a year from not having to buy washing powder! I’m sure that by the end of  the year I would have saved about R600 with not having to buy the powders, fabric softeners and stain removers!

OK, so let me tell you about the Ecoegg, because I’m sure many of you are actually wondering what on earth I’m even rambling on about.

‘Ecoegg produce a range of eco-friendly laundry and household products that contain no harsh chemicals and is kind to your skin. Developed in conjunction with Allergy UK and endorsed by the National Eczema Society UK, our Fragrance Free Laundry Egg is our flagship product for people who want use natural products either on their own or their children’s skin.

The Laundry Egg is unlike anything on the market. Placed inside your washing machine, the egg-shaped device contains our natural and powerful cleaning pellets which activate in water and is scientifically proven to lift away dirt and grime. Some fragrances are known to be a skin irritant and residue left on clothes from traditional detergent is a contributing factor in aggravating certain skin conditions. Our Laundry Egg leaves 73% less residue so is particularly perfect for a baby’s delicate skin.

Our Laundry Egg also has many other positive side effects. The fact that our Laundry Egg lasts for up to 720 washes means that it will cost an average family of four just under 60c per wash! This money saving aspect is music to the ears of many parents with the endless rounds of washing baby clothes. Furthermore, traditional detergent requires that you have to do an extra rinse to try and combat the build-up, but the Laundry Egg cuts out that extra rinse, saving both water and electricity.

The Ecoegg South Africa range now includes Dryer Eggs (for your tumble dryer) and our very much loved Stain Remover which is so gentle it can literally be applied with your finger, which is fantastic for mum’s (no harsh chemicals) and great for messy kids!’

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If you saw me during laundry time in my home, you’d probably take a video of me and upload it to Youtube in hope that it would go viral with the title ‘crazy laundry lady.’ I was pretty much in shock after the first few washes. My sons clothes get DIRTY! My hubbies clothes get EVEN DIRTIER (he’s a carpenter that works on building sites, daily). I was frantically examining for dirt that didn’t get removed, I was sniffing to see if any odour was left behind. And, I was using their stain remover, and literally looking from close and far to try and find any proof that there ever was actually a stain! Magic!

For those of you who have children who suffer from eczema, or who suffer from it themselves, definitely give this a try! As many customers have mentioned that theirs has cleared up since replacing their laundry detergents with the Ecoegg!

We live in a generation where we just spend, spend, spend. It’s so challenging to save money, especially when you have a family you need to provide for. This is step one, guys! Seriously! The Ecoegg is a perfect way to not only save money and water in your home, but to also create a more environmentally friendly awareness, starting right here in your home.

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A product that is going to last you up to 720 washes (so basically, lasts up to three years), will cost you R425.00! You also can purchase the detox tablets, laundry egg refills (once you have the egg, you don’t need to purchase that again, you can just buy the refills), the stain remover and the dryer eggs, which I hope to try out and tell you about soon!

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It isn’t often that I am actually (can’t say speechless, because I’ve been rambling on forever!) but just totally amazed by. And this works! It is a fantastic product, that is available here: http://ecoegg.co.za/

They also have a Facebook page which is really insightful, and an easy way to share the info on the product with your friends or family: https://www.facebook.com/ecoeggsa/

AND, they even have an Instagram account too: @ecoegg_southafrica

I thought that you should probably read another review about the product so you know that I am not getting carried for no good reason! So check out the Caffeine and Fairydust Facebook page so you can find out her thoughts when she does her review: https://www.facebook.com/caffeineandfairydust/

 

 

 

 

Just Me,You & The Love Box.

Your relationship – It’s golden. It’s valuable. It’s something that you couldn’t imagine your life without.

We threw a kid into the mix quite early into our relationship. Pressure. Emotions. A new tiny, perfect being to adjust all of our attention to. All of it. We get the love, cuddles, and feeling of being needed by someone that we once craved and received from our partner. Conversations become revolved around his day at work and my day at home with baby. And on weekends we spend our day taking turns on napping so we can catch up on sleep. And it goes on. It’s as if our relationship is on repeat. Instead of moving forward.

A relationship was never meant to be easy, just like most things in life. The things that are valuable always need to be worked towards. And, in this case – money cannot buy a healthy relationship.

As a couple, we found that something was lacking in our relationship. We just weren’t talking quite as much.. you know that happy chatter that naturally takes place when you’re driving in the car. The sweet conversations about nothing in particular. It’s quite normal really. So, it’s not like there was anything bad going down in our relationship.

We just realized that we needed to start investing more time and attention on one another. Something that is such an essential in a relationship. Talking, focusing, paying attention and listening to the other person. We change so much as time goes by. We change when we become parents. Our passions, desires and hobbies change. We make new friends, we stumble across new things that interest us. And, without talking to our other half, we lose out on knowing what is going on in the others life.

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I came across The Love Box. A fellow local blogger, who owns a blog called Date Nights. Her blog is packed with the most real and beautiful content. She provides advice on date night ideas, chats about her journey and shares the most insightful information on all sorts of things that are relationship based.

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One can order the Love Box on her blog for R595 (FREE DELIVERY NATIONWIDE). The purpose of the box is for it to come out on date night with all sorts of goodies inside which can add a little spark, and intimacy. Intimacy isn’t only sexual by the way. The box has a little voucher book inside as well as a pack that is labeled ‘Let’s Talk’ which has mini cards inside with really important questions to ask your partner. This starts a really valuable conversation and gives you both the opportunity to understand the other and to learn something new about the other. I was honestly amazed at the answers I received.

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We enjoyed our Love Box while we were away (See article: https://onemodernmomblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/a-wintery-mini-getaway/) We enjoyed our slab of dark chocolate with the candle burning, chatting away through the questions, and then enjoyed a massage with the divine massage oil that was also included in the box. I even got a chance to have a divine candle lit bath with the bath salts (David is too tall for the bath, hahaha) and felt so relaxed when I got out. There is so much thought put into the boxes, and I think that something like this is such fun, and so beneficial to a relationship.

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You can order your box here: https://datenights.co.za/product/the-love-box-4/
And, also subscribe to her blog so that you can get some ideas and do some valuable reading to help keep your relationship healthy.

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A healthy relationship will leave you and your entire family feeling happier! Check out her social media platforms:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mydatenights/
Instagram: @mydatenights

BONUS: The first five readers who order The Love Box can use this coupon code: OMMLoveBox

I would love to hear about your experience with yours if you order one in the future. They are such fun! And such a clever idea.

 

Winter Immunity For The Family

We have officially arrived at fall speed into the season of sickness. I’m typing this as I’m pausing to sneeze every few minutes with eyes watering I can barely see my computer screen. My two and a half year old son is happily climbing over me while I feel as if I could potentially collapse in a heap and sleep all day. (I promise, I can’t contaminate you through my computer screen, so keep reading!)

It seems that as soon as the seasons begin to change and the rain begins, the germs come out from hibernation to play, energized and ready to attack. No parent wants their kids to get sick, but even more so, as parents we can’t afford to get sick! Our work never ends, and there’s no such thing as ‘resting’, ‘silence’ or ‘taking a break from reality’ to recover as a parent.

I often find myself only taking immune boosters once I’m already feeling like I’ve caught something. I try to take vitamins daily, but at the beginning of winter, it’s just not enough. However, I rock up at the chemist, and generally just give up because of the over enthusiastic amount of choices there are. I don’t understand the ingredients in half of them, and I don’t know what’s healthier than the next.

SO… Instead, I decided to just make my way over to the Faithful To Nature website, because there, you actually can’t go wrong. They have in depth descriptions including the ingredients, what the product achieves, what each of the main ingredients roles are. I just find that this is such a relief, and it makes shopping for meds just that much easier. Especially because I can do this without a hyper active toddler swinging himself from the trolley or begging to go ‘uppy’.

I’ve managed to order a handful of winter remedies for my entire family. Sadly, just not quite in time for this first winter cold which has left me feeling like I’ve been dragged through the bushes…a thorn bush…backwards…maybe twice.

However, it has arrived in time for me to boost Olly’s immune system as well as hubbies before they get contaminated by me! Nobody wants any form of man-flu in the house. So, I may just give him a double dose! 😉

I touched on this topic earlier this week – Winter and illnesses, and just briefly chatted about some of the most important ways to keep your family healthy this winter. So please refer back to https://www.facebook.com/onemodernmom/photos/a.1413740795622584.1073741829.1409931466003517/1790406981289295/?type=3&theater

But, on top of all of that, I wanted to share the products I ordered for my family, and even my fury animals to ensure that we all stay in tip top health this winter:

Pure Herbal Kids Remedy Set: https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/kids/children/supplements/pure-herbal-kids-remedy-set

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Includes:
Kiddies Super Strong
Kiddies Snotty Totty
Kiddies Coughy Geoffy
Kiddies Hotty Dotty
Kiddies Funny Tummy

Colloidal Silver Nasal Spray: https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/silverlab-colloidal-silver-nasal-spray

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Herbivore Super Cereal: https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/herbivore-super-cereal-vanilla-pecan

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KiddieKix Very-Berry Bircher Muesli: https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/kiddiekix-very-berry-bircher-muesli

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KiddieKix Germ Guard: https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/kiddiekix-germ-guard-anti-bacterial-spray

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Wazoogles Vanilla Sky Protein Shake: https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/wazoogles-vanilla-sky-superfoods-protein-shake

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Pets:
Vondi’s Om3 Omega Fish Oil: https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/vondis-om3-omega-fish-oil

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And because tomorrow is a public holiday and the start of a LONG weekend, we thought we would give one reader a R350 Faithful To Nature voucher. So be sure to check in first thing tomorrow morning to find out how to enter!

Keep warm!

xx – One Modern Mom

Website: https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za
Instagram: @faithfultonature
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FaithfulToNature/