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

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

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

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

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

10665953_809592035727989_94755286876806267_n1978640_921048057915719_4611716614160035416_n10649817_801307063223153_8722001384031206108_n

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

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

SAMSUNG CSC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You have the power to save a little life.

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

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

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

https://twitter.com/CarseatFullstopxx

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

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

Sign up for our newsletter

www.carseatfullstop.org

support@carseatfullstop.org

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

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

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

Advertisements

The Only Thing I’ve Judged Another Parent For.

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

20376037_1534690849884767_7658176252426404882_n

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

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

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

IMG_3957

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

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

IMG_6922

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

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

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

I can’t express myself enough.

Do the right thing!

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.

3T6A0515

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.

3T6A0203

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.

3T6A0312

3T6A0344

3T6A0410

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:

03

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.

 

 

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.

IMG_5235

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. 😉

IMG_5139

IMG_5084
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!

IMG_5347
You can find them on the Clever Little Monkey website: https://cleverlittlemonkey.co.za/product/woven-hammock/

IMG_5220

IMG_5377
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.

IMG_5394
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/

IMG_5003IMG_5013

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!

IMG_5036IMG_5064 (1)

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

IMG_5094

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

SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSC

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

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.

Aveeno_0929

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.

Aveeno_0984

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.

18077424_1442436792443507_806109997332948265_o

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.

Aveeno_0891

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!

A Toddlers Essentials – Mumu & Me

Funnily enough, for a change Mumu & Me stumbled upon me and wanted to find out more about my blog. I sometimes am quite reluctant to review brands that contact me – but went over to their website to see what their brand was about.

SAMSUNG CSC

I logged on, and instantly felt a content feeling rush over me. Beautiful, clean photography that showed off their products well. An easy to navigate website that was simple and uncluttered, and lovely products.

SAMSUNG CSC

I chatted to Elizabeth, mom and owner behind the brand – and wanted to find out a little bit more about her company. After a few emails, I chose a couple of products I wanted to try out.

I love everything about stripes on kids. The navy and white striped long sleeve tee won it’s way to my heart immediately. They had his size! Yes!!! Add to cart. I then went on over to the toy section and fell in love with the wooden ‘ABC Sorting’ . Olly is surprisingly quite good with his letters, even though he calls them numbers – but knows the alphabet off by heart and can even fill in the gaps when I sing the alphabet to him and stop at random numbers. But seeing letters is of course a totally different thing. I was curious to see how he would react to the activity.

SAMSUNG CSC

He loved it! He squealed with delight when he opened the box and immediately found the closest seat, sat down, put his head down and got stuck in. I was honestly quite surprised to see how well he did at such a young age. I am a sucker for educational toys, and I must be honest by saying that I was really hoping that there wouldn’t be any little splinters or anything in the wood, and that the wood would be neatly sanded down. IT WAS! Joy.

Olly continues to love this activity, it’s a toy that he won’t ever lose interest in. He always goes back to it.

SAMSUNG CSC

The long sleeve is stunning. The stripes make those gorgeous blue eyes stand out and there’s just something about the cut that really makes him look so cute! The top is flawless, and I love that on the inside tag, Elizabeth has taken the time to add a little scripture verse. I love it when people add a little something that not only makes a product unique – but tells the buyer a little bit about who they are and what they stand for.

SAMSUNG CSC

Their entire range of products are lovely. I felt that they had some handmade toys that are available elsewhere, but made beautifully – such as their kids wooden cameras. They have made them beautifully and with a bit of a twist.

There are stunning birthday party gifts for kids available – such nice ideas for kids between the age of 1-5 (to be safe). Their products are handmade with care and with every little detail worried about.

SAMSUNG CSC

They are totally child safe, and I love that I don’t have to worry about having Olly choke on anything that may fall off.

I am so happy that Mumu & Me got in touch with me, I would have lost out and have been so sad to not have the opportunity to share such a lovely small, local brand with you.

SAMSUNG CSC

Definitely get your hands on some of their long sleeve tees for your little ones for this Winter. They are a winter wardrobe essential and unisex!

Check out their social media platforms:

Instagram: @mumuandme_shop
Website: www.mumuandmeshop.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mumuandmeblog/

 

A Morning of Appreciation.

A couple weeks back I found an invitation to the Kids Emporium Bloggers breakfast in my email inbox. Having always loved Kids Emporium since my journey through pregnancy and motherhood, it was more than that – it was two other more important things. Firstly, I remember back to about a year ago, my mom had visited and left behind a little cut out of Lauren’s (founder of KE) inspirational story of how she started Kids Emporium, and her journey to becoming such a successful ‘mompreneur’. Back then, I felt motivated and encouraged by her article in the newspaper. Secondly, being recognized as a blogger felt totally rewarding.

SAMSUNG CSC
Lauren De Swardt inspiring us!

Fast forward to today. Leaving the house toddler-less, and having a reason to slap on some makeup, straighten my hair and to feel pretty felt pretty damn good. Arriving at a beautiful location, and being greeted by a room full of amazing bloggers was magic! Knowing that we all had totally different stories to tell, but one thing in common – being moms was refreshing. All open, raw and real moms who aren’t afraid to speak about the realities of parenting – the good, the bad and the ugly.

SAMSUNG CSC
With the beautiful Cassan Ferguson from http://www.leatherjacketfoxes.com

I think I experienced about 20 emotions in the three hours I was there. I felt appreciated, respected and honoured. I felt that for one of the first times in my three years of blogging, was it actually seen for what it truly is. Being a blogger is hard work. With it being one of my main forms of income, and where I spend many hours of each day – I finally felt like somebody understood what it takes to create a platform for moms to turn to to feel like THEY are understood and where they can relate and realize that what they are going through is absolutely normal and that they are NOT ALONE!

SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSC
Lauren has honestly left me feeling like I am worthy. That WE are worthy. This morning wasn’t all about blogging. It was about us. The real moms that are sitting behind the computer screens. The moms that juggle kids, school drops, errands, work, cooking, home maintenance and still try to keep themselves remotely sane. The moms that find themselves awake at night rocking their crying baby to sleep just praying that the other kids in the house won’t wake up because of the noise. The moms who work so incredibly hard and have to sacrifice time with their kids because they need to earn a salary. The moms who work from home, and the moms who stay home with their kids. She made us feel that none of it is easy, and none of it should ever be underestimated – because no matter which mom you are, you work bloody hard each day.

SAMSUNG CSC

I still feel emotional even typing this, but I felt like I needed to touch on today, because I truly did leave feeling like I haven’t felt in such a long time. It was a power house in that room today. Women that were not afraid to speak about their feelings. Strong women from all walks of life, together, in one room all motivating, encouraging and helping one another.

SAMSUNG CSC
We walked away with not only have had one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had, good coffee, and mimosa’s. It wasn’t the divine gift boxes we received or the gorgeous cactus. It was about the personalized notes of encouragement – it was about the support and the words that we left with that will remain with me forever. New friendships, and support groups.

SAMSUNG CSC
From today onwards, I pledge to always be real on my blog. Because if I can encourage, motivate or give ONE mom some advice that will change her life – then that is enough for me. We all deserve to feel worthy and loved as moms. We all have our days that we feel like crap, days where we feel like we are the worst moms to our kids, maybe a terrible wife/partner – but even we have our bad days – and that’s ok! And we need to know that it’s ok.

Thank you to Lauren De Swardt and the Kids Emporium team for leaving me feeling appreciated and respected. For a beautiful morning that I will never forget. You ladies are gold! And to the sponsors – Nutribullet SA, Elizabeth Arden & Thompsons Holiday, THANK YOU!

 

— One Modern Mom x

A Cowboys Wonderland.

A bedroom fit for a royal cowboy, built by an empire of local companies was created just a few months ago. Set in a little castle on a hill with the view of the ocean and the mountain became home to little Oliver.

His mommy spent months and months doing research on the best local, mostly mommy owned home and decor companies that were based in South Africa. Having picked out what would work the very best for this magical land of Olly’s with the help of the very talented Lauren McCreath, we set to work. First working on a story behind the bedroom that would be a true reflection of the little cowboy himself, we decided on a wonderland that would be authentic to his life.

17992102_1432565373430649_3260156855473888252_n

Cue, hand crafted rocking horses, whimsical origami horses that gallop around with the gentle breeze that invites itself in through the window, and a magical light that enters the room late afternoon. The white curtains delicately blow on a sunny afternoon while he exits reality and enters his imagination station. With the wooden blocks being built high, and all of his beautiful, handmade soft toys being unpacked, I sit quietly on the soft rug, sipping on my tea whilst watching my toddler play so contently in his own world.

room

The tiny details still have me take second glances and leave me with a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. The wooden book ledges, filled with all of his favourite stories that we love reading together oh so much, some having been mine that I remember reading with my mommy with such fond memories, that I can now retell him without even looking. The wooden memory blocks that have his birth information on piled up one on top of the other complete with three scripture verses that have molded my life, that I hope to influence his too as he grows up.

_H7A5894.jpg

Little Olly can be heard from downstairs racing his cars or playing with his plastic animals up and over the beautiful hills and forest that were hand painted by the incredibly talented Nadine from Sugar Knox. Having been requested to do the mural just two days before the shoot, she created this masterpiece without a second thought.

There’s the little touches of greenery that were purposefully placed around the room, to bring in some life, some nature – some natural beauty. The sweet glass jar with a dinosaur just to add a touch of something unique. This room, it’s magic. Every corner you look, you will find yourself mesmerized by something new that will jump out at you and catch your attention. Each shelf, uncluttered, but complete with truly beautiful, special things that are personalized, but are available right on your doorstep!

A tent bed hand made by little Olly’s daddy, perfect for stories and adventurous dreams – complete with an inside light for stories and chats. A little wooden desk and bench placed purposefully with educational activities in mind, as well as a sweet wooden bunny stool which he loves to sit on when ‘reading’ stories to his soft toys.

image2

A task that was completely new to me, but one of the most exciting adventures I’ve ever been on. My dream for the bedroom was not only to create something truly magical, but to support these smaller companies, and to hopefully gain some extra exposure for them. My wish was to end up in a magazine that would show off their work, their talent. We all end up shopping at the huge stores, and we forget that there is so much available right on our doorstep. You can literally shop online, with the right resources and create an entire bedroom by simply clicking ‘add to cart’.

I had absolutely no idea how much was actually available out there until I really educated myself by doing the research. So, I have decided to do the work for you. You can find below the list of companies who I collaborated with to make this magical bedroom come alive. This being said, I couldn’t have gotten past Day 1 without Lauren McCreath Interiors and Leslie Hochfellner by my side. You two literally saved my sanity, and helped create something truly spectacular. Thank you.

SAMSUNG CSC

So, last but not least, our dreams came true and Garden & Home came in to shoot the bedroom. We are so blessed to have been featured in such a well loved South African magazine. You can also see more of their features on their website: http://www.gardenandhome.co.za/

But, please do get your hands on the May 2017 (available now) issue to see the complete article on how we managed to transform the bedroom.

Bedroom Photography: Karl Rogers



Stockist List:
You can find most of these stores on Instagram & Facebook

Rocking Horse: My Little Woods
Chalk Board: Simply Child
Lorena Canals Aztec Rug: Clever Little Monkey
Black Crochet Rug: Dragonfly Twist
Wall Mural: Sugar Knox
Origami Horse Mobile: Mononoke
Floating Shelves: Simply Child
Block Shelves: Simply Child
Wooden Stump: Coral & Hive
Teepee Cushions: Kideroo
Indian Floppie Darling: Floppie
Racoon: Lily & Grace
Personalized Blocks: Work of Heart
Wooden Rainbow: Sprouts Kids Co.
Bunny Stool: Dovetail
Desk & Bench: KE Manufacturing
Macrame Wall Hanging: Tigerlily Tots
Monochrome Soft Pot: Scandi Home Decor
Round Playmat: LittleME Decor
Campfire Plushie: Clever Little Monkey
Horse Stool: Fox & Moon
Pallet Crate: The Storage Studio
(INSIDE CRATE)
Monochrome Bear: Panda & Frost
Brown Bear (Front): La Fede
Brown Bear: Clever Little Monkey
Fox: Clever Little Monkey Monochrome
Monochrome Fox: Squiggle & Squeak
Lamp: Illumina Lighting

Bed: Timbertouch
Duvet Cover: Clever Little Monkey Green
Blanket: H&M Monochrome
Cushion: Bunny & Clyde
Terracotta Fox: La Fede
Mustard Cushion: Clever Little Monkey
Back Cushion: H&M
Monochrome Felt Garland: Simply Child

Fake Tree: Mr Price Home
Paper Storage Bag: Little Love Kids
Cactus Prints: Homie
Monochrome Soft Pot (on shelf): Scandi Home Décor

Shelf above bed:
Wooden Accessories: Nanook Furniture
Personalized Acrylic sign: Ma Petite SA
Side Table: Stylists Own
Curtains: Woolworths

On Table:
Wooden Nesting Dolls: Tigerlily Tots
Fox Head: Stowe & so
Wooden House: H&M
Wooden Blocks: Nanook Furniture
Wire Baskets: H&M
Blue Wooden Cross: Rose & Vickory

Olly Wears: Romper by Little i
Wooden Crosses: Rose & Vickory
House Blocks: Nanook Furniture
Nesting Dolls: Tigerlily Tots
Bunny Chalk Board: H&M

Illustrations on Wall: Bright Owl
Grey Blanket: Sprouts Kids Co.
‘Lala Bubba’ nightlight: Lily & Grace
Moose Picture Frame: H&M
Leather Shoes: Grace Leathers
Peg Men: Rose & Vickory

Love Them A Little Harder. Live In The Now.

Most of you know Angela Rea by now, beautiful mama to sweet Elijah. She features quite regularly on my blog. But, many of you aren’t aware of her story. Angela lost her husband, tragically two years ago. Darrell was and will remain a hero in many of our hearts. He saved many lives from blazing fires as he sacrificed uncountable hours away from his family to put out fires in a helicopter. Angela has written this very beautiful, yet heart wrenching article on her memories that will remain with her forever, as well as where she is at this point of her life.



I lied at our wedding. When I said I would love Darrell till death do us part I lied. I still love him and always will. Just because he is not here anymore does not mean I love him any less. We never fell out of love nor never got bored of each other, we never wanted to leave each other or in fact. E separated in anyway. We wanted to be by each other’s side forever. Doing life with each other, being each other’s number one. He was my hero, my soul mate, my husband, the father of my son.

Wedding BWFatherhood BW

Two years. Two whole years have passed since I last heard Darrell’s very distinctive footsteps echoing all the way down the passage of our old Victorian house for the last time. It feels like only a second ago he was squeezing my hand while we both cried when we heard our baby’s heart beating for the first time. But also a life time ago. It feels like a life time ago since he looked at me with his twinkly, long lashed, blue eyes, half smiling whilst trying to convince me to make him his morning cup of coffee at 5am. Which I always gladly did. I was always rewarded with a lovely big snuggle in bed and then the most imperfectly made cup of Earl Grey. I never told him. I always drank it.

Tulbagh Home 1
Angela Darryl Selfie
Darryl & Angela Sepia
For those that do not know, my husband, Darrell Norman Rea (I never used to be able to say his very serious sounding name without a giggle and now I cry when I say it) died tragically on duty putting out fires in a helicopter accident on 22 April 2015. He was 39 years old. He was the chief pilot at the company he worked for and was an exceptionally gifted pilot and instructor and just altogether my favourite person in the whole world.

Looking back on these two years I struggle to remember most of it. My head seems as it it has been stuffed with cotton wool and I have acquired a sort of amnesia, grief induced. In that time Elijah has continued to sprout up, at times I feel a bit robbed as I seemed to have missed a lot of it. I will not say that I have grown as a person over these passed years as I feel like I am constantly swimming upstream and periodically having my head dunked under water. But I am definitely more present now. Elijah, the two and a half year old is such a joy. He looks like me but he has his fathers height (thank goodness for that!) and coloring. He has also definitely inherited his fathers charm and is always smiling and saying hello to strangers in the shop.
Angela & ElijahAngela & Elijah BWAngela & Elijah C
Five months after Darrell’s tragic death, Elijah, Floppy the dog, Millie the dog and Dinah, Moses, Spider Pig and I all moved from our beloved Tulbagh, a very small town in the Western Cape to Cape Town. It was ,in hindsight, too soon to make any major life decisions but it was necessary. Life was such a blur at that stage that waking up was just an effort. But it was the right move and it has been lovely reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. When tragedy strikes it really does show you who your true friends are and I am eternally grateful for those of you who picked me up and kept me going. Also who can say no to having three sets of fantastic grandparents close by.


When I think about our idyllic life in sleepy Tulbagh I get so homesick. I miss Darrell so much, but I also miss the mountains, the space, my friends, our beautiful home, our garden. The garden we both worked side by side to create something outstanding out of almost rubble, obviously helped along by Tulbagh’s fertile soil. I miss the vineyards, the orchards in Spring, the place we got married, the crazy Main Road on a Saturday morning. I miss Darrell.

Tulbagh HomeA & D C

If I close my eyes tight enough while sitting in my new house in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town and listen to all the suburban sounds around me I can almost imagine I never left Cape Town for Tulbagh, never married Darrell, never truly felt loved or knew what it is to be in love, and that all frightens me so much. This is what keeps waking me up at night. Literally my worst nightmare. And then I open my eyes and I just want to remember. I want and need to remember all the mundane things, every time he changed Elijah’s nappy, every time he cooked me dinner, every time I fetched him from the airport, every time I went to meet him at his helicopter with his favorite ice lolly. Every time he made me smile. Every time he held my hand. Every time I said goodbye to him and told him to fly safe.

Darryl Eating Out
Darryl Elijah Newborn
Darryl Millie Sepia
Fire Together C

A Faithful To Nature Lifestyle.

Faithful To Nature is a local, Cape Town based company that sells a large variety of organic, health conscious products. Ranging from food, beauty, child, home and pets – they really do have everything you could possibly need when experimenting with perhaps moving into a healthier lifestyle, or continuing with your healthy life, easily. Faithful To Nature is an online store, packed to the brim with the best products you can possibly find. Each product has a clear description of what it can be used for, it’s benefits and most importantly, the ingredients. I love this! If it weren’t for that, it would be totally overwhelming – but with everything laid out so informatively, I really enjoyed educating myself on what is out there!

I placed my order on their website: https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/ on the Thursday morning – by Friday afternoon it had arrived on my doorstep. The glass products safely wrapped up so it there was no possibility of breakage. It honestly felt like both my birthday and Christmas day combined! I excitedly opened my box, and pulled out each of the products I had ordered.  Not only was I excited to see everything in true form – but I was really excited to actually try things out.

I ordered in categories that would obviously be most beneficial to me.

My skin has been breaking out around my chin area more than it has before. As a sufferer of PCos (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), it seems as if my menstrual cycle has become a lot more regular in the past couple of months (THIS IS A GOOD THING!!! Yay). My hormonal imbalance has obviously been a little out of the norm which has resulted in slight acne in that area. So, I wanted to try a few GOOD, and trustworthy, organic acne products.

SAMSUNG CSC

  1. HOMESPUN APOTHECARY HIMALAYAN & ACTIVATED CHARCOAL MUD MASK : https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/homespun-apothecary-himalayan-activated-charcoal-mud-mask

SAMSUNG CSC

SAMSUNG CSC

A natural, vegan product which I have used twice since I received it. It recommends adding honey or yoghurt instead of water to create the paste if you desire, and so I added a little plain yoghurt. I was amazed at how it cleared out all of my pores, especially around the nose area. It also did a great job at drying out the pimples that I had on my chin. It left my skin feeling very soft. I like that you can easily see when it is time to wash the mask off, as the charcoal very obviously changes to a lighter colour once totally dry.

  1. ANGEL FACTORY BLACK DETOX FACE WASH:
    https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/angel-factory-black-detox-face-wash

SAMSUNG CSC

 

Do yourself a favour by following the above link to read up in depth about this product. I’ve been so turned off of the face washes that you buy at the local supermarket. The amount of rubbish pumped into them is just insane! This product has done an amazing job at drying out my zits and leaving my skin feel fresh and free of toxins, pollution and bacteria it is exposed to each day (as they mention). It doesn’t burn my eyes, and it removes my waterproof mascara without any effort. It has a slight aniseed scent, but with sensitive skin, it doesn’t dry out my skin, or leave it stinging or itching!

  1. SIMPLY BEE NIGHT CREAM:
    https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/simply-bee-night-cream

SAMSUNG CSC

I’m sure that each of us have beauty tips that we have learnt from our very wise mothers. My mom swears by her Simply Bee products. She has always used the Simply Bee Day Cream and the Simply Bee Night Cream. Every time I stay over at her house, or visit – I won’t leave without having used a little myself! This stuff is magic, it’s like the everlasting moisturizer! It seems to last forever. But, does it do the trick? 100 times yes. At 60 years old, my mom has beautiful skin. It is hydrated and beautiful. I apply this moisturizer after washing my face, before bed – and the moisture is still there when I wake up in the morning. There’s nothing like waking up with fresh skin! Because it is beeswax, you can imagine – it smells amazing!!!

SAMSUNG CSC

 I’ve also been on the lookout for some organic beauty products. I find that the everyday beauty products are mostly wonderful for your overall appearance, however, they do my skin no justice in the long run. I refuse to buy products that are going to make my skin breakout, and I’m just so tired of not being satisfied with how my skin looks without makeup on!

 

  1. DR HAUSCHKA PURE CARE COVER STICK:

https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/beauty/makeup/face/dr-hauschka-pure-care-cover-stick

SAMSUNG CSC

Due to my skin being more acne prone, I’ve been looking for a good concealer that covers up, but will also allow my skin to breath.  So many times I have bought a cover up stick that makes my skin worse. The thing I love about the Dr Hauschka Pure Care Cover Stick was created with more than just one intention in mind. Apart from being used as makeup, it also has soothing and healing properties. I definitely HAVE noticed this when using it. Made with only natural ingredients, this wonderful product is made up with extracts of rose petal, calendula and kidney vetch for soothing & to work to visibly reduce redness. Beeswax for healing and protection as well as to help retain moisture. Tee tree oil for an anti-bacterial and anti-bacterial purpose, and Manuka oil to combat skin irritations and infections. This is one amazing product which I believe is an essential for in your makeup bag. It is worth every cent and it will last you forever!

  1. COULEUR CARAMEL VOLUMISING ORGANIC MASCARA:
    https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/beauty/makeup/eyes/couleur-caramel-volumising-organic-mascara

SAMSUNG CSC

When I’m older, I will be distraught if I start losing my long eyelashes because of the awful mascara I bought and used. Just because a mascara is well-known and expensive, doesn’t mean that the ingredients are good for you. I have bought many well-known brands in the past that leave my eyes stinging when my eyes start to water. Often, even with a good makeup remover, I can’t get it all of my eyelashes before I go to bed. I must admit, it freaks me out a little. So, to find an organic mascara, that works perfectly, and doesn’t do any of the above, is just so great. HAPPY DANCE! This mascara is beautifully packaged, and comes in brown or black. It is also NOT tested on animals and is also packaged in recycled and recyclable materials. SCORE!!!

  1. THEONISTA BUCHU DELIGHT KOMBUCHA:
    https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/food/drinks/kombucha/theonista-buchu-delight-kombucha

SAMSUNG CSC

Not quite beauty related, but it does look after your wellbeing. 😉 I first tried Kombucha at Babylonstoren just less than a year ago. I kept going back for more, and more, and more. I was surprised that I liked it, because it has an unusual taste that is honestly just so delicious. It is referred to by Faithful To Nature as ‘A brew of Health-In-A-Bottle’. Please don’t be put off when I tell you that Kombucha is a drink made from a unique combination of fermented buchu, honeybush and star anise which provides you with an array of living probiotics, organic enzymes, polyphenols, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It is absolutely divine, and totally refreshing. Believe it or not, my son loves it too! I took mine on a hike with me yesterday and enjoyed it beneath a waterfall. It provided me with energy and totally quenched my thirst. They now also offer a variety of flavours, which makes it quite fun if you enjoy Kombucha. It is also a natural energy drink. So, a fantastic drink to keep on hand for when you need a little energy boost!

Enough about me, as a mom, I naturally had to get my hands on a couple products for my two and a half year old son, too. But, before I begin – I have to RAVE about how wonderful the Faithful To Nature selection is for kids. The amount of eco-friendly toys, baby products and food they have is mind-blowing. And, I think I will be doing all of my kids party shopping on here from now on!

SAMSUNG CSC

  1. RUSH KIDS GRIZZLY BAR – COCONUT & CACAO:
    https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/kids/mommies/food/rush-kids-grizzly-bar-coconut-cacao

SAMSUNG CSC

Too often do we find ourselves ‘filling’ up our kids stomachs with junk. Treats don’t have to be sweets and food that has absolutely no ingredients that are beneficial to your kids health. It freaks me out how companies promote food and drinks as lunchbox fillers and as ideal snacks for kids when they are literally packed with sugar, colorants and a bunch of crap. I can see exactly when my son has had sugar. I can do a countdown from once it has been finished, to when the wild child, with a lack of obedience and a naughty side gets exposed. The high is short, and the low is long and painful for us as parents. It honestly isn’t worth it. I did a little experiment with this product on Easter.  The Easter eggs from family were hidden, and I added this cute little bar to the hunt. The excitement for this was much higher than for the chocolate! I’m not speaking for all kids. I have a child who chooses a few slices of freshly cut mango with plain yoghurt over chocolate ice cream. But he does have sugar and I have just learnt that it isn’t a pleasant experience, ever! These are wonderful treats to keep on hand for when you’re at the shop, or out and about and they either deserve a treat, or need a little snack. They are totally healthy, have natural sugar in and really are just so delicious! They cost about the same amount as a packet of jelly tots, however, they are the CORRECT portion size for a child and you won’t have them screaming for more because it is filling and it isn’t a packet that has far more than what a child should have in a serving. I totally recommend getting your hands on a few of these!

  1. GOODSPOON – ORGANIC SUPERFOOD BLEND FOR KIDS:
    https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/health/supplements-vitamins/kids-health/mr-goodspoon-organic-superfood-blend-for-kids

SAMSUNG CSC

Ironic, here’s me preaching about how my two and a half year old will choose fruit and yoghurt over chocolate ice-cream, but at the end of the day, toddlers will be toddlers and as moms we don’t always win.  But, we can…. I came across this Mr. GoodSpoon – Organic Superfood Blend For Kids. Basically, it is a powder that is packed with all of the goodness your child needs that gets dissolved and simply added to their smoothie or porridge. They won’t even know that it is happening. It’s so tough to get kids to eat their veggies as they start to know ‘better’. Broccoli and peas were once a veggie that we boasted to all of our friends that our tiny baby loved so much..and then the toddler years approach, and just like that – it’s as if they all begin to follow some ‘No Greens’ cult that us as parents aren’t aware of. This is magic, guys! My son loves his smoothies, and has been guzzling them down as usual without a care in the world. Veggies done for the day! Woop. I think I should start sneakily adding this to hubbies meals too!!!

 

  1. HAPE DOCTOR ON CALL:
    https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/kids/eco-friendly-toys/wooden-toys/hape-doctor-on-call

SAMSUNG CSC

SAMSUNG CSC

We very rarely buy toys for my son, as we find that playing outdoors is just so much more beneficial to him. The toys that he does have get carted outside with him and neglected because he has so much fun in his own imaginary world that he forgets about them. Toys can be such a waste of money as if you don’t buy the correct age toys for your child, they won’t be stimulated enough by them. However, I have always loved Hape. They have the most wonderful selection of wooden, educational toys for kids. Toys that have the Wow factor that continues, and not one that is exciting the moment it is opened, and then forgotten. In the past 2 months, Olly has shown a love for playing Doctor, and so when I saw this, I naturally felt the urge to order it for him. It is a set that he will love and be able to use for many more years, and an interactive toy that he can play and share with not only us but his friends. Being wooden, this will last forever, and it can be passed on when the time is right. The toys have been made with so much care and thought and actually WORK like the real thing. Olly just loves this Doctor set, and I am so happy I ordered it for him!

  1. VIRIDIAN BALANCED ZINC COMPLEX:
    https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/viridian-balanced-zinc-complex

SAMSUNG CSC

Again, back to my skin – I forgot to mention these Zinc capsules that I ordered to see if they would help clear up my skin. It always takes a little while for this type of thing to start visibly working, so I am yet to see an obvious change in my skin because of this in particular. Because I am trying three different products specifically for my skin, it’s challenging to know what is working the most. But there definitely has been some changes. Zinc, is however so good for so many different things, so I know that even if it doesn’t work so well for my skin, it’s still beneficial and certainly not a waste of money! I love that I only need to take one capsule a day, and that they don’t have a strong flavor.

Overall, I have had a phenomenal experience ordering through Faithful To Nature, and I will be back to order a few of the same things, and some new things again very soon! I’m so excited to try new products and to see the new products they bring in over time. Do yourself a favour and check out their website for yourself. You’ll be surprised just like I was, I’m sure!



 

I also currently have an amazing GIVEAWAY happening on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/onemodernmom/photos/a.1413740795622584.1073741829.1409931466003517/1763131764016817/?type=3&theater
You can win a R1000 Faithful To Nature voucher by following a few simple steps!

In the meanwhile, follow us on Instagram:
@onemodernmom // @faithfultonature