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

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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

Introducing New Christmas Traditions – The Elf On The Shelf.

This year is the first year that we have agreed that Olly is the perfect age to introduce the Elf on the shelf as a Christmas tradition in our home. I’ve done some research on them, and found that they have many benefits. Parents can use them for many different things – discipline, rewards, incentives, etc.

I must admit that when I stumbled upon some in the stores, I found them a bit creepy. I also didn’t really understand them. But, when I found this very special Elf on the Shelf over at Jefferey Stein (Pty) Ltd, which came with a book and DVD, I understood it so much better. I also sort of fell in love with the entire story and concept.

This sweet Elf, now named Nunu – isn’t just a cute soft toy that comes in a box. It comes with a story book that tells the story which explains not only to you but to your kids how special he/she is. It creates a very unique story in their minds and imaginations of why they have chosen your home, and your family and also encourages good behavior, and a sense of looking after and loving it as it becomes a part of your family for their entire childhood.

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The book is beautifully written and illustrated and has a whimsical and magical feel to it. The DVD that comes with it is a lovely length. Again, beautifully put together and Olly was so captivated watching it. He keeps asking to watch it again and again, and in just a short week, it has become an incredibly special part of our festive season. His elf, Nunu moves around each night to a new spot in the house, and monitors his behavior. The objective is that he reports to Father Christmas.

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Olly often chats to him once he’s found him that morning, and tells him stories and also secretly whispers in his ear what he would like for Christmas for him to pass on the message to Santa for him. Every time he glances up when he’s being slightly mischievous, he quickly adjusts his bad attitude because he doesn’t want the Elf to tell Father Christmas that he has been naughty.

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I love buying something that stands out from the rest. A product that you can see is created with so much love. Something that goes above and beyond. And that is this gorgeous Elf on the Shelf set that we received. I have no doubt that Olly will be sad to pack it away once Christmas is over. But it will be something that we will so look forward to unpacking each year as the festive season begins. It retails on their website for R499.90; but remember you only need ONE for their entire childhood. So you will never have to purchase another one. Also, what I like is that there is nothing breakable about him. It can be popped in the wash before getting packed away.

And just as you thought it couldn’t get any sweeter, any better. Along came a change of clothing for his Elf. Of course, every toddler is semi-obsessed with Super Hero’s, and seeing that this Elf has magical superpowers of his own, naturally he needed a super hero outfit. They also have, as shown below, a hoodie outfit you could choose instead.

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It comes separately to the Elf. And actually makes a nice little reward for good behavior. Something that they can be given in the holidays when they’ve done something that really stands out to you. I thought it was such a fun idea!

I know I have already mentioned this, but this is the most traditional and classic Elf on the shelf set I have seen. It truly has become apart of our family, and I feel that the perfect age to start the tradition is at 3 years old! They really do seem to connect with their Elf, and they just love it!

You can get yours here: http://www.jeffreystein.co.za/brands/the-elf-on-the-shelf

Please let me know if you purchase one, and how your kids and family reacted and responded to it being introduced in your home. You can do so in the comment section below. Do look out for my Christmas giveaways coming up weekly!

A Christmas Tradition

Traditions are near and dear to me.
Perhaps it partly has to do with being adopted, and grasping onto special memories that really made me feel like we were finally ‘home’ when we moved in with our parents.

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Or, maybe I am just more of a soppy person.
Having family in the States, and have had the opportunity to have a couple of white Christmases with a huge family that filled up the room.
Going on tours of the towns seeing all of the over the top light displays while the snow flakes fall to the ground.
Attending Church services with the most amazing Christmas plays, Christmas carolers stopping by your home, and food – so much delicious food!
Visiting shopping malls with Christmas music, and sales and decorations everywhere!!!


A house overflowing with family – all having driven in and flown in from different states around America – all to be in the same place for Christmas.
All of the kids sleeping on mattresses around the tree on the night of Christmas eve, watching Christmas movies with popcorn, hot cocoa and cookies.
The memories leave me wishing to be my five year old self again, back in this moment.

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But, the part that stands out the most to me is FAMILY.

The years that we weren’t in the States, our Christmas was small, intimate and quieter.
They were still just as special, just different.
We would attend the Carols by Candle light service at our Church at the seaside, in short sleeves, because we aint got no white Christmas here in South Africa.
Christmas morning would mean unwrapping gifts from Father Christmas and our parents.
And then we would rush off to Church for the Christmas Day service.
We would then return home or to whichever family members home and have a Christmas lunch.
When we were younger, we would alternate different family members homes. And then it became just a handful of us as everyone immigrated or after some of the older folks passed away.

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And then, my very own sweet family grew by one.
And, the meaning of Christmas changed oh so much for me.
There was a new spark that was added to Christmas. This year has been amazing to start really teaching Olly some of the Christmas stories. He just adores them.
He attempts to sing along to Christmas carols, and we write down his Christmas wish list for Santa together.
Christmas comes up daily from the day he sees the first Christmas decorations in the malls.

It has become exciting all over again.

Amazing what a little soul can do.

As you can see, traditions are something very close to my heart.
Each year on Christmas we bake Christmas cookies together. It is something I did with my mom, and something I really wanted to do with Olly.
The Christmas music plays throughout our home, and the smell of freshly baked cookies makes its way through our home.
Cinnamon, and peanut butter cookies come out tray by tray as if we are trying to break a world record.

The home turns into a mess. Colourful icing, sprinkles and flour everywhere.
Faces are filled with batter and fingers filled with sticky cookie dough.
The sink filled with mixing bowls and baking utensils.
Trays of imperfect cookies cover the counter.


It really is a happy day. And one that will always be a special memory to me. And I hope one that Olly has as a happy memory of Christmas Day as he grows older.

I know for many, Christmas isn’t a happy time of the year. And I do sometimes feel selfish for loving it as much as I do.
It reminds me of happy times with so many people who are no longer here with us.
It reminds me of times spent with family and friends who live thousands and thousands of miles away.

But mostly, it is a reminder of how many amazing memories are yet to be made with this family I get to call my very own.

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So, here’s to the countdown to Christmas. I must be honest by saying that I’m not sure how we are already here!
BUT, it certainly is the most magical time of the year for me.

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A huge thank you to the incredibly talented Carina at https://www.crieneimages.com/ for these magical photos of Olly and myself in the (early) spirit of Christmas.

I also have to add – the beautiful and fun products available for Christmas these days is just amazing. It really is a fun time to shop for Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, and bits and bobs for Christmas. The featured products were sourced from the following places:

Typo, Woolworths, Clicks and Hirsch’s Homestore to name a few. And, Olly was dressed by Dandylion Kids.

I love to hear about other families Christmas traditions. If you have one of your own, please do let me know in the comment tab below. And, keep an eye out for the exciting Christmas giveaways I have coming up weekly!

An Extra Daily Boost.

Thinking back on my childhood, I vividly recall my Dad having a shake each morning. I would be up for school early, and my Dad would have returned from gym or from a run, and he would be drinking the most amazing vanilla shake. I remember getting a sip every now and then, and I think I would occasionally have the chance to have my own. To this day, I remember the smell and taste. I loved it!

Fast forward, probably about 18 years, and I finally have my own Vanilla shake in my cupboards. The Xcell Mind Boost and Junior shake by Tempus Dynamics, to be precise. I use these shakes as an additional supplement to my diet and I really have noticed a major difference in mine and Olly’s energy levels. I often find that my energy levels drop severely around 12pm. My body craves some kind of pick me up. My fatigue can be so intense at times, I once thought I was pregnant because of how similar it was to that first trimester fatigue!

I have tried so many things, however found that the Xcell Mind Boost works really well for me. These shakes are packed with so much goodness! Plus for Olly, the Junior Shake allows me to give him all the essential vitamins and nutrients that his growing body needs, easy peasy, no fuss or effort!

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I know that many will read the label and perhaps be put off by the Soy in the shakes, however, I’ve learnt that the soy in the Xcell product range is certified GMO free! Also good to know is that the Xcell products are developed and are based on 20 years of research in cellular nutrition. It is specifically formulated for today’s stressful lifestyles, that so many of us can relate to and it feels good knowing that you nourishing yourself at a cellular level.

Many families and individuals think that ‘Hey, I take my dose of vitamins each day, I don’t need anything else.’ Or, ‘My kids eat enough fruit and veggies, and also take multi-vitamins each day, they’re good to go!’   What I’ve learnt is that MSM is often missing and is such an important component to our overall health and these shakes include MSM.

Here’s what I’ve learnt about MSM, it’s an essential nutrient has been overlooked by most leading health products. MSM is present in every cell of plants and animals but, somehow tends to be overlooked in the essential role it plays in human nutrition.

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MSM is good for so many things, Tempus Dynamics explained the following:

This forgotten nutrient is the 3rd largest component in your body and is very necessary to maintain optimum health.

Your body uses MSM on a cellular level to ensure that nutrients are delivered into the cells and that toxins are removed.  MSM is essential for the replacement of old cells with new healthy ones.  Your body is in a constant state of repair and supplementation with MSM ensures that your cell perform this function – but if you do not have all the essential nutrients the end result will be less than perfect.

MSM has even been termed nature’s beauty mineral because of its ability to maintain glossy hair and a clear youthful complexion.

Indeed, researchers have claimed that supplementation with MSM may alleviate the following;

  • Reduce stiffness and swelling
  • Improve joint flexibility
  • Alleviate stress and heartburn
  • Increase alertness and brain function
  • Improve circulation
  • Alleviate dehydration thereby improving detoxification
  • Reduce scar tissue
  • Inhibit chemical carcinogen
  • Discourage micro-organism infestation (including Candida Albicans)
  • Help with gum disease
  • Protect the sinuses from nasal congestion
  • Improve brittle hair and nails
  • Alleviate acne
  • Help with depression and memory loss

 MSM is a component of insulin, which regulates the uptake of glucose by the cells for use as energy.  Athletes may find MSM particularly useful in the reduction of lactic acid build-up.  Studies have shown that in athletes, along with reducing leg cramps, the recovery time of cramping in marathon runners who were given MSM dropped by 75%. 

I often wonder what Olly’s reaction to a new product that needs to be drank will be. He is like me in the way that he is a bit tactile intolerant. I struggle to eat, touch or drink things with a specific texture. I am physically unable to eat certain porridge or drink things that have bits in. But, we both loved the shake. I use this phrase a lot – You can’t taste the ‘health’ in it. But, it certainly seems to benefit both of us with our energy and concentration levels.
The benefits above are enough for anybody to be tempted to buy the product – but from my own personal experience, I do feel like it is really worth buying and having your family drink a shake each day.

They can choose between Chocolate and Vanilla flavor. I just always prefer vanilla drinks over chocolate, so I am unable to tell you what the chocolate is like, but if it’s anything like the vanilla flavor then it will be divine!

**I must add in that kids tend to be so much fussier these days when it comes to what they are willing to eat. It can be a battle in many homes to get kids to eat their veggies. And for some, it’s easier to just give in. As parents, we want what is best for our kids, and sometimes just making sure they have eaten something so they don’t go hungry is what is important to us. This means that they full up on things that don’t feed their brains. They go to school, and they are unable to concentrate, they’re tired and they get hungry quickly. For kids like that, this Xcell Junior shake really is a perfect substitute for kids aged 1 to 10. You could probably even add it into a smoothie for an extra kick!

You can get your hands on these products here: http://www.tempusdynamics.co.za/product/xcell-junior-1-10-years/

And

http://www.tempusdynamics.co.za/product/xcell-mind-boost/

Also, follow their social media handles to keep up with their range of products for the entire family:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tempusdynamicsSA/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tempusdynamics

A Healthy Start To Your Day.

For some families, breakfast comes easily. I’ve always been one who has struggled to eat breakfast too early in the morning, which for a long time left me feeling slightly stumped as to what I should prepare for Olly in the morning.

Oats has always been a favourite along with our tradition of having flapjacks on the weekend, but some mornings I just find he doesn’t want that, and so I found myself on the hunt for another healthier alternative.

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When I heard about Kasha by The Fry Family, I knew that we had to give it a try in our home to try and change things up a little bit at breakfast time. It has very quickly become a new favourite with Olly.

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It comes in two flavours – Vanilla & Chia, and Cacao. The high protein instant cereal is not only gluten free, but also suitable for vegans and is a non GM product, high in fiber and Low GI.

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They recommend two options on how to use it – either as a meal or as a shake. I must admit that I prefer adding mine to a smoothie in the mornings, purely because I don’t enjoy eating breakfast, so I would much prefer to drink mine. Olly loves both options equally.

We enjoy ours with some cut up fruit and some nuts and seeds sprinkled on top. Divine! I must add that I have really noticed a difference in how long I can last between meals. And it’s great that Olly also stays full for longer with him being at school in the mornings.

You can mix your powder with water, but I do enjoy mixing mine with almond milk to make it slightly creamier.

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What are the ingredients?

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Oat Flower, Maize, Soy Isolate, Vegetable Oil (Coconut Fruit), Natural Cane Sugar, Cacao/Chia Seeds, Buckwheat, Vanilla Flavour, Salt, Moringa Olifeira Sweetener (Steviol Extract).

You can find the Kasha range at Pick ‘n Pay, Shoprite, Checkers, Dischem and Spar! And you’ll find it really does last a decent amount of time. The carton that your Kasha comes in is also re-usable which I love!

Check out their social media handles:

Facebook
Instagram
Website

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Have you tried any of the Fry’s Family products before? If so, which ones? And what did you think? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment tab below!

— One Modern Mom

Also, a huge thank you to Angela Rea Photography for the beautiful photos.

Summer With Topshop.

Today, I am sharing something slightly different with you. This isn’t a product review nor a competition, but rather just a few outfits I love from Topshop SA that I shot with Tegan Smith Photography.

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The skirt has such a beautiful movement when the breeze catches it, and I really found that the monochrome stripes just complimented my body so well – making me look slim and tall! The slight flare to the arm of the black top was subtle but gorgeous. And the pastel pink shoes – I am obsessed! The entire outfit is perfect for a night out with the girls. Daff did a casual half up-do hairstyle and very natural makeup for this look.

This second look was a little edgy in comparison to my usual choice of outfit, but I loved it! I was a bit skeptical about wearing a dress that had a small opening, however, it is in the perfect position, which means it flaunts the non postpartum part of my tummy. The floral print is perfect for summer, and the leather jacket just ups it’s edginess a little. I loved the cute pastel pink clutch which complimented my shoes perfectly. I just wore my hair down for this look and again, my makeup is simple.

If you are a mom who is reading this, DO dress up, and DO sometimes follow that urge you have to get a little bit adventurous with your outfits. I had so much fun.

All of these looks (head to toe) are available at Topshop SA. So, it is super easy for you to get the complete outfit by simply popping into their store.

Look out for the next 3 looks coming soon!

Photography: Tegan Smith Photography
Wardrobe: Topshop SA

Hair & Makeup: The Dr K Makeup

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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Christmas Shopping With UncommonGoods

There’s something exciting I’ve been dying to share with you, and right in time for Christmas. Before I even begin, visit UncommonGoods to see their incredible variety of unique products. They have some AWESOME ideas for filling Christmas stockings , some really unusual Christmas gift ideas and who doesn’t love being gifted a personalized gift?

 

Now, I’m not sure about you, but I often feel quite overwhelmed not only about Christmas shopping which, yes, I am already thinking about – but also about online shopping for Christmas gifts. I spend hours online, day after day browsing various online stores, and end up not purchasing a single thing because it’s just too much for me.
Another thing that I find with online shopping for a gift or product that you need for a specific date is not being certain that it will arrive in time. And… will you even ever get it?

 
South Africa does have loads of variety to choose from when shopping online, but I do find that things can get a bit repetitive, and who doesn’t love a unique gift which has been carefully selected for them from overseas? I love receiving a special gift that not every other person will have.

 
I came across an international online store which I have fallen madly in love with. How incredible is it for a company to know the story behind each and every product they stock on their website? They support emerging designers, artisans who are working collaboratively in low income countries or seasoned artists who crafts each of their pieces by hand.

 
UncommonGoods also attempts to minimize their environmental impact by working with artists to use sustainable or recycled materials whenever possible, choosing environmentally friendlier packing materials, and printing their catalog on FSC certified and recycled paper. They are also building relationships with NPO’s through Better to Give, a program that allows their customers to choose a partner to donate $1 to with every order.
I also love that along with sustainability, supporting creativity and the artist community is extremely important to them. They choose many of their products through online product submissions too. And their buying team works hard to hand pick treasures from all over to create an online store stocked with the best.
I have spent hours browsing the website to put together my families Christmas wishlist from UncommonGoods. There is so much to choose from, and it was so much fun looking at products that aren’t available yet, here in South Africa.

 
The reason I am sharing this all with you, is because UncommonGoods has just started SHIPPING TO SOUTH AFRICA! So you too, can order products from their website and have them delivered to you! Is this not the best news? The quality of the products is incredible, and the service is phenomenal. I have been blown away. I love purchasing unique products.

 
Check out our wishlists below, and you can check out all of the deets beneath each of the wish lists.

Olly Moodboard

  1. Construction Plate & Utensils
  2. Personalized M Is For ‘Me’ Book
  3. Nursery Rhyme Blocks
  4. Ice Cream Truck Play House

Do also have a look at their section for babies and older kids. There are some incredibly beautiful products available for the younger and older kids. And, stunning gifts for birthdays and baby showers too!

moms wish list

You can’t forget about yourself this Christmas, and sometimes you just need to tell your hubby or family members exactly what you want to ensure you receive something special and useful too!

  1. Solar System Bath Bombs Set
  2. Homemade Gin Kit
  3. Chai Tea Concentrate
  4. Custom Sand Bijoux Bracelets

I loved being able to see who the designer/artist was on some of the products I found above. And being given the opportunity to find out more about the person behind creating the product you are purchasing makes you feel as if your order isn’t coming from halfway across the world. You also see which individual you are helping do the happy dance by supporting them!

his

I’m not going to lie here, I often find myself in a bit of a stump trying to work out what on earth to give to my man for Christmas or birthdays. Men will often buy themselves what they want, be it clothing or technology – and they always seem to buy it when they see it. I struggle to choose the right shoes and clothes for David as he is incredibly particular. I just never seem to get it right. But, I also struggle to find cool gifts for him locally. I am so excited to have found so many cool things I can give him!

  1. Steampunk Coffee Grinder
  2. Laundry Punch Bag – I’m sure this will be a ‘hit’ with the women to buy for their men. The men can punch the bags in frustration as we remind them for the twentieth time to please put their dirty laundry inside it rather than throwing it on the floor!
  3. Vermont Maple Syrup Sampler – Sunday mornings are flapjack mornings in our home. And my man LOVES his Maple syrup!
  4. Beer Tasting Flight – With craft beers being such a fad at the moment, and of course with David being a lover of Craft Beers, this is a perfect gift!

As you can see, there really is something for everyone over at Uncommon Goods! DO also type in key words in the search bar if you’re looking for something more specific. You’ll be surprised at how much there will be under that category.

HAPPY SHOPPING! And be sure to start ordering for Christmas soon! YOU’RE WELCOME.