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.

 

A Wintery Mini-Getaway.

Writing this post on a stormy winter-like evening wrapped up in a blanket in front of a fire, sipping on a hot, creamy cup of Milo is quite possibly the best way to relive our mini-getaway to Riverstone House over the weekend. When I heard that it was going to be stormy mid-week, I actually decided to wait until now to write about our time away, because I figured that I would be able to play with my mind, and take it back to Saturday evening out in the rainy Wolseley.

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Five years is a decent amount of time with a partner. Add a child into the mix, and you might as well triple that time. Your relationship becomes THAT much more serious, and life becomes so real – financially, and emotionally. Life runs away with us, and we often forget to prioritize our relationships – one on one time with our partners. Something that is so incredibly vital not only for ourselves, but for our kids too!

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Olly was born 2 years and 9 months ago, and I’m embarrassed to admit that David and I haven’t spent a night away (together) without him since he was born. We’ve had the occasional date night, but we’ve had such a desire to actually go away, but just haven’t taken the step.

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So, our 5 year anniversary arrived, and we decided, what better way to celebrate US than to go away for a night, just the two of us. I hunted high and low, and just couldn’t find a place that stood out to me. I didn’t want to go somewhere that would have 100 distractions, but I also didn’t want to end up feeling bored…

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I came across the gorgeous Riverstone House which is situated in Wolseley. For those of you (like me) who had no idea where that is, it’s close to Ceres, Tulbagh, Riebeek Kasteel and Worcester. Just a short hour and a half drive from Cape Town. I booked without thinking twice, not only because of the friendly response I received from Candice, their booking agent – but also because of the trendy, up to date interior of the beautiful home.

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I was so looking forward to our time away, and the day finally arrived. It felt so strange simply packing two bags and not having to pack an entire car with kids toys, clothes, toiletries, etc. We took a slow drive up, stopped at a cute farmers market to get some groceries (as it is self-catering) and then arrived. We drove up the dirt road, past their blueberry tunnels and drove up our drive way between their pear trees. We pulled up to the house, and I couldn’t get inside fast enough.

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Walking through the front doors, directly into the open plan kitchen which looks into the lounge and dining room. I was actually in awe – honestly, I think I spent the first day just talking about how beautiful the house was, and about what I loved most, and how I would do anything to live in a house just like it. I then made my way through the house so I could decide which out of the four bedrooms we should sleep in. The two main bedrooms have fire places, which was PERFECT for the windy, rainy night we were about to encounter.

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We cooked a delicious dinner, made so incredibly easy with the kitchen being so well equipped. I kid you not, if you ever got stuck there, you would have everything you’d ever need, from general cooking utensils to coffee plungers to baking utensils – even cookie cutters! We didn’t have to wash a single dish as we could simply pack the dishwasher and forget about the mess! The kitchen is huge, and just so gorgeous. Perfect for if you went away with a family or with a large group of people.

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We had so much fun cooking together, chatting and laughing about silly things. Something that so rarely happens for us when we are back home for some reason.

I think I potentially had one of the best baths I’ve had since having a child. I spent about 40 minutes having a candle lit bubble bath, while sipping on a hot cup of coffee.

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With there being no tv, we actually spent time after dinner TALKING to each other and focusing on just the two of us over a glass of wine, enjoying the gentle sound of rain. We snuggled up and went to bed early, both feeling totally content and relaxed. We fell asleep quickly in such a comfy bed. There’s just something about down feather duvets!

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We woke up early the next morning, but managed to fall back asleep and had the first opportunity in years to sleep in until about 9:30am! Magic! We had a slow morning, made french toast for breakfast and then went for a walk around the farm. We walked down to the river and then up between the pear trees. The crisp, fresh air leaving our noses bright red. Laughing while we walked hand in hand together, feeling like kids fresh in love again as we breathed out ‘smoke’ from the icy air. I was truly content.

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We then made our way back to the house, and just relaxed in the lounge area, drinking yet another cup of coffee, and just taking in the beauty surrounding us, our time together as well as the amazing decor that had so thoughtfully been placed in their particular places.

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I found that it was the simple things that really made my heart skip a beat. The bowl of lemons between two beautiful lanterns with white candles placed on the wooden dining table. The fresh palm leaves in the over sized jar on a little table in the corner of the dining room. The deer head on the wall between the bedrooms and the one bathroom.

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The gorgeous, over-sized cushions on the couch that begged you to just dive onto it and sink in while reading a good magazine. Each bedroom being unique in its own way… the jar with everything in that you may have left at home, be it a razor, plasters, tablets, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. The little hand picked purple flowers that were delicately placed in each bedroom on the towels just to make you know that you’ve been thought of as they have made up the house for you.

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I’m struggling to explain in words just how perfect and wonderful the Riverstone House truly is. I wish I could just take you all with me. You all know that I’m about supporting local, and something that made me so proud was that in different spots in the house, they have framed photographs that show selected nearby businesses. For instance a wall featuring beautiful horse back rides, and a little note telling you all about them and how you can get in touch with them to book your ride while you’re there. I love this!

Riverstone House is a free standing house with four bedrooms – two main rooms with a double bed and a fire place, and other bedrooms (one with three single beds; and one with two single beds). This means that the house sleeps 9 people – that’s two families. There are also two huge bathrooms, both with a shower and a bath, one toilet and two basins. The kitchen has two washing machines, and a dishwasher. A gas stove, with a gas kettle as well as a normal kettle. A huge oven which begs have a home cooked meal or some baking done in it, as well as a microwave and a large fridge.

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There is a fenced off grassy area outside, which is perfect for when you have kids with you, as just down the stairs is a river. This way, you know that they are safe when they are playing outdoors. It is also pet-friendly which means you can take your dogs with you (they even have a dog bowl in their cupboard!!!) and you know that they have an area that is secure if need be. They are allowed indoors too, but aren’t allowed on the furniture, and if they mess on anything, it’s at your own expense. But, I think that it is quite amazing to be allowed to take your dogs into such a beautiful home.

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I found that this was just the perfect place for David and I to escape to. It was quiet, secluded, and peaceful. And it encouraged us to sit down and to focus on US.

Whether you’re looking to go away with just your partner, your entire family or with a group of friends – this is such a perfect place! It’s even a cool idea for a Bachelorrette or your honeymoon! Spacious, open plan and totally inviting for memories to be made.

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If you are a lover for good decor – then this is the place for you! Seriously. My photos do NOT do it justice. I have taken a little video tour which I hope to get up early next week – but for now, I hope that my explanation has given you a good idea of how amazing it was. I wish we could have stayed longer! But, we had a little munchkin to get back to, and we also had to get back to reality before we decided to stay forever!

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Thank you Riverstone House for your amazing hospitality, for understanding just how vital it is to focus on your relationship, for your personalized note and little treats. We left feeling so spoilt, relaxed and ready to take on the next five years! We hope to see you again soon. Til next time…

I just saw that they have a third fireplace that is being installed inside the house.. that’s THREE fireplaces in one home. Perfect for winter! And it’s also a perfect place to stay this winter being so close to Ceres!

Head over to their social media platforms so that you can see their own video of their stunning location:

Website: http://www.theriverstonehouse.co.za/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theriverstonehouse/

Please do subscribe so you don’t miss any of my posts, and especially so that you don’t miss any upcoming giveaways!

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

 

Rebuilding Lives.

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!

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Knysna has always been one of my favourite places to escape to. It’s beauty leaves me breathless! It was the first holiday destination we spent a weekend at as a new family of three. As a child, we often visited Knysna for a weekend, because it’s just perfect in so many ways.

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My heart breaks. Not only knowing of the destruction, but all that SO many people have gone through in such a short period of time. It hits home even more now having a family of my own. I can’t even begin to fathom the heartache of losing everything and having to somehow rebuild your life from the beginning all over again. Homes that people have spent an entire life building and creating.. but even more so – losing memories and sentimental possessions that they will never have the opportunity to get back.

I’m inviting YOU, any small or large business to sponsor a product, voucher or subscription of ANY value towards two hampers I am putting together as a fundraiser for three particular families who have lost everything. They need our help to get back onto their feet for the sake of their families.

I am aware that there are countless people who need help, and I know that there are SO many who are helping in any way that they can. I know of many people who are collecting things for the animals, but I am feeling the need to help these three families.

That being said, I am creating two hampers – one for adults and one for kids to raise money for them. Once I have these hampers together, I will be creating two raffles, and will then have SA based people buying raffle tickets and the money raised will be split as needed and sent to these families.

But, I need YOUR help to make this possible.

A huge thank you to the following companies who are already involved in making this possible:

Zana Schnooky Pie baby and toddler apparel Alex & Marla YogiBlocksSprouts Kids Co. Minimi Atelier

Let’s work some magic to help these families recreate their lives!

Please contact me at onemodernmom@hotmail.com if you would like to get involved.

THANK YOU! ♥

#KnysnaFire #Fundraiser #Sponsors

Swinging Into Winter.

Some of my most relaxing memories of my childhood were swinging in our family hammock out on the balcony of our house on a sunny day. I’d often find myself dozing off after finishing my homework, while reading a book or even while studying! That feeling of gently swinging while listening to the birds singing, or the cars drive past on the distant streets, I always just found it all strangely therapeutic. I’m sure you can relate.

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I decided that Olly was old enough to enjoy a hammock now too. And although these photographs only show him enjoying it outdoors, I’m working on getting hooks put indoors so that he can enjoy looking at books while swinging in his hammock when it’s too cold or wet outside. I always wished to have one inside, as there were so many times I couldn’t use our hammock in the cold winter months.


I love this one in particular. It reminds me of a fishing net. Its a nice clean colour, with an organic, wooden looking detail. It’s so easy to have in any home because it compliments anything you already have. I did find that toddlers are tricky in hammocks simply because they are unable to shift their weight like we do. But, it’s almost a blessing in disguise because he keeps still deliberately. 😉

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I wouldn’t leave him unattended it the hammock yet just because of the above. I still like to check to make sure that his weight is even so that he doesn’t fall out, but he loves it, and asks to go in his ‘mock’ all the time. I must just suggest that with this particular hammock, you need to pull it as tight as you can to attach to your hooks, as it does sink quite low once you apply weight. It is strong enough to hold adults too, so it’s a great investment as your entire family can enjoy it!

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You can find them on the Clever Little Monkey website: https://cleverlittlemonkey.co.za/product/woven-hammock/

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I actually wish hubby would get our hooks up for us with this crazy, stormy Cape Town weather. There’s nothing like a gentle swing in a hammock, wrapped up with blankets while reading a good book listening to the rain pour down. But, we will have it up soon, and have an entire, long winter ahead of us.

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Also featured in the photographs are the following:

Fox Scatter: https://cleverlittlemonkey.co.za/product/fox-scatter/
Little Bear Scatter: https://cleverlittlemonkey.co.za/product/little-bear-scatter/

Adventure Tribal Scatter: https://cleverlittlemonkey.co.za/product/adventure-tribal-scatter/

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Keep checking regularly for updates on Clever Little Monkey, as there may be another giveaway coming up before too long, and they really do have the most amazing collection of goodies!

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Instagram: @cleverlittlemonkey
Website: http://www.cleverlittlemonkey.co.za/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cleverlittlemonkey

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PLEASE NOTE: The hammock DOES NOT come with the wooden stand shown in some of the photographs!!!

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A huge thank you to Lerone’ Lazenby from LaBelle Vita Foto for the photos of Olly in the hammock next to the pool. The other photos were taken by me: @onemodernmom

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaBelleVitaFoto/
Instagram: @labellevitafoto

Creating Simple Stories with Fable Lifestyle.

It’s not often that I find something that I love so much once it’s in my home that I want to have more so that I can replicate it’s beauty in more than one room in my home. We have been renovating our main bedroom, just with some coats of fresh paint, and removing stuff from the bedroom, changing lights, etc for now. We moved into our mother-in-law’s home as she so generously offered us such a good deal for the home that we couldn’t resist it a year ago.

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With her own personal plans being approved, and all the behind the scene work for her, we are still two families combined in the main house while we await the building of her home to begin and to be complete.

It’s been challenging for all of us, yet wonderful too. But, one thing I have missed tremendously is having my own little family represented by our home. We have been waiting to do major renovations (i.e. bashing down walls, extending bedrooms and putting in new flooring, etc,) just because it makes more sense to do it all while it’s already happening on our property, as she is building a house in the back garden. For those of you who have renovated, you know you don’t want all of the mess, builders and dust around more than you need to.

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So, to cut to the story – I desperately wanted to create just one room in our home that I felt my own personality shine through. A place that I could escape to, comfortably when I just needed a break or to just have a bedroom that felt a little bit updated for my younger style. We slapped on a beautiful charcoal colour paint, painted the window frames white, placed in some brand new dimming lights and in the corner next to my bed, I placed my brand new… WAIT FOR IT, simple, but absolutely beautiful Fable Belly Basket. The organic feeling, dipped white belly basket that has just so many purposes.

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I placed my pot plant into the belly basket to add a little decor and greenery into the corner of my bedroom next to my bed, and it literally made my room turn into magic. “I need more,” I said beneath my breath as I gasped as I saw the magic take place right before my own two eyes. Honestly, and secretly, I embarrassingly felt quite proud of myself that I had put that little corner together on my own. But, actually it was so simple and it just made my room pop.

I could buy another five of these, and I would never NOT have a place to use them. There is so much that you can do with these belly baskets. Olly has one in his big boy bedroom which has become home to his soft animals, but one could also use them in their lounge for their blankets, toys, or any other accessories that need some form of storage. But, at the moment – I just love how plants look in them, so that’s how mine will stay for awhile.

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Fable Lifestyle & Baby is not only home to these gorgeous, and incredibly trendy belly baskets; but also have lovely prints and blankets. The thing that stands out to me most, apart from the wonderful, professional customer service is the quality of their products. If you have a peek at their website, you’ll see that they aren’t bursting at the seams with stock, but rather have a handful of carefully picked products that suit their brand perfectly.

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Their blankets are all made from 100% Merino Wool, and they have a large selection of colours of their belly baskets as well as a wide variety of sweet prints that could work perfectly in your babies nursery or child’s bedroom or even just somewhere in your own home.

Do yourself a favour and check out their website and social media platforms, and you can also often find them around Cape Town at the best of the local markets!

Website: https://fable-lifestyle.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fablelifestyle/
Instagram: @fablelifestyle

Thank you Fable Lifestyle for helping make my house a home. As you say, “Create your own stories with your belly baskets.” This has totally happened right before my eyes.

 

Take A Moment For YOU (& Win)

I find it quite rare to find skincare and beauty products that truly work to the extent that they have been promoted to work. I am often very weary about what I buy, and whether I should or shouldn’t spend money on something I don’t know enough about.

A local mom, Lauren has recently become a distributor of AP24 and NU Skin. I’ve watched from the distance as she slowly started her own little business called ‘Flutter Me Pretty‘ so that she could stay home with her sweet baby boy, Luke. As time has gone by, she has posted her own personal photographs of how the products have helped her along the way, and I’ve been so amazed. I love seeing personal photographs as I feel that it feels real and honest.

So, Lauren sent me a couple of her personal favourite products that she knew would be relevant in my day to day life. I received the following in the crisp white boxes, and I honestly felt like it was a spa day.

  • NU Skin Polishing Peel
  • AP24 Whitening Flouride Toothpaste
  • NU Skin Creamy Hydrating Masque

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I’m amazed at how much money I actually waste on buying different beauty and skincare products because I spontaneously buy something that I’ve seen adverts on TV for, and then find it does nothing good to my skin, so it ends up piling up in my drawer because it actually doesn’t do what it says it will.

  1. NU Skin Polishing Peel

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I have only used this product three times since I received it and its really interesting. You rub it onto you skin as if you are applying moisturizer, then leave it for a couple of minutes and then rub your skin in circular movements and the dry polishing peel just falls off. It is an amazing product that isn’t harsh to your skin like many similar products are. With my sensitive skin, I didn’t find that it reacted negatively with my skin at all. My skin was left feeling smooth and fresh. As Lauren explained to me, microdermabrasion is becoming the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure available, and this polishing peel offers an alternative to the professional treatments which delivers a fresh, healthy complexion. The peel features pumpkin enzymes to resurface, soften and polish the skin and the Bentonite Clay to remove the dull/dead skin cells and toxins. You can use this up to 3 times a week.

2. AP24 Whitening Flouride Toothpaste

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Ok, so this product out of all of them is my magic! I was a smoker before falling pregnant and I love my coffee. My teeth, however hate me for both. I am lucky to not have teeth that are obviously stained, but I obviously notice it myself. I honestly cannot believe how well this toothpaste works. I’ve tried all of the whitening toothpastes on the market, and none ever actually work. But over two weeks, I can clearly see a difference. Lauren suggested I do two dry brushes with the toothpaste first, and then to continue using as usual. The toothpaste tastes great, leaves an amazing aftertaste – almost like you’re chewing minty gum and keeps your breath fresh for ages. It’s a nice thick toothpaste which I like, I can’t stand the type that are thin and watery. Definitely consider ordering this if you find that your teeth are discoloured! A bonus is that it has no harmful peroxides or bleaches added which is a huge pro to me. Obviously toothpaste is an essential in every household, and you might as well be using something that is going to fulfill what you buy a product for.

3. NU Skin Creamy Hydrating Masque

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I’ve really enjoyed using this. As mentioned above and in every skincare review I do – I have very sensitive skin. If a product is fragranced or made with bad ingredients, the tender skin area beneath my eyes burns and goes red and rough. This product is stunning. It is easy to rub in, but is reasonably thick – but the right consistency for it to be rubbed in without feeling like you have a heavy layer of moisturizer or. Also, I always moisturize before applying my foundation and I’ve used moisturizers before that are so thick and almost leave my skin feeling too dry to apply my foundation on top of it. So this is perfect! It has a lovely, gentle scent to it and also leaves my skin feeling healthy and glowing! The beauty of it is that as it moisturizes, it infuses soothing nutrients into the skin at the same time!

What I’m trying to say here is that we are all moms and women who live very busy lives. One of the things I can’t stand is waking up each morning and seeing these dark rings and bags beneath my eyes. I always look tired and it’s just not a pleasant feeling to always feel that way. We need to look after our skin and our bodies now so that we don’t regret it when we are older and begin to age.

These products aren’t CHEAP, but they are worth every cent spent on them, because they actually do their job. They aren’t rubbish products, and they will last you a long time. They will also actually be used and not packed away in your drawer, because firstly, they look beautiful, and secondly, because you’ll be using them so frequently.

I’m so excited about my find that we are giving away a hamper with all of the above products valued at R800 in on my Facebook account. You can earn yourself three entries into the competition. The first step HAS to be completed, but the second two are just extras if you have the time.

1. Enter on Facebook:
2. Follow both @fluttermepretty90 and @onemodernmom on Instagram
3. Subscribe to my blog and leave me a comment on this post to share your thoughts with me on the above.

I can’t wait for you ladies to give these products a try because my skin and my teeth are thanking me for religiously using them over the past two weeks!

XX – One Modern Mom

The Power Of Touch.

Hands up if, as a parent, you’ve heard something along the lines of ‘stop smothering your child’. Well … don’t! Today I talk about how important the power of touch actually is, and how it differs from child to child.

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If you’re anything like most parents, you don’t want to stop kissing, cuddling and feeling your baby’s delicate skin. Truth is, this rarely changes as your kids grow from babies to toddlers to young children. Many parents have mentioned that they’ve heard remarks like ‘stop smothering your child’. Well… don’t!

Want to know why? Touch is the first of our senses to develop. Touch is a love language. Touch plays a huge role for babies even before they enter the world. Think back to the days you spent lying down and stroking your belly, enjoying the little flutters in your stomach. Then, as baby grew, they started responding to your belly strokes and tickles.

Once a mother has given birth, direct skin-to-skin contact has proven to provide a number of benefits for your infant. Months pass by and the story doesn’t change… a simple kiss on your little one’s stomach can have them cooing with a toothless smile on their face. I loved massaging my little boy after his baths, and I continue to do this. He often goes from wild child to completely calm in a matter of minutes.

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Touch gives you a sense of security. How do you feel when you’re scared or anxious, and your other half gives you a tight hug? Or when you’re upset or happy and a parent or family member holds you close? You feel safe, calm, and loved.

Some children get over stimulated by too much touch, so be sure to understand your child’s body language so that you know when to stop. Light touch (stroking, rubbing etc.) is more likely to make a sensory sensitive child reach his brim faster, but firm pressure (hugs, rough-and-tumble play, massages and playful squeezes) are calming and reassuring for almost all children – and adults for that matter.

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Many believe that a parent’s touch wears off as a child gets older. False! An older child needs your physical attention just as much. The way you administer it just changes a bit, like a hand on the back, a bear hug or even playing a game with your child that requires skin contact. Skin contact releases positive brain chemicals which will leave both you and your child feeling happy and loved.

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The power of touch is a mind blowing thing. Sometimes we struggle to describe how much we love our child in words, yet a simple hug can explain it all in a matter of seconds. Holding their hand can trigger an out pour of emotions which could have been trapped inside before. A gesture as simple as placing your hand on your child’s shoulder and saying ‘I understand’ or ‘I forgive you’ can move mountains.

So, I encourage you to ignore opinions on how much touch is too much for your child. You know your child’s needs more than anybody else – positive touch is healthy and crucial for children, just as it is for you and me. Touch is a powerful healing tool and is vital for building your child’s confidence, self-esteem and sense of self-worth.

XX – @onemodernmom

PS. Be sure to click ‘subscribe’ if you’d like to get an email when a post gets published. I would hate for you to miss out on any new topics or giveaways!

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments tab below!