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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Spree’s New Baby : The Index

A quick confession – one thing that really drives me insane is when non-parents assume that just because a woman has become a mom, it means that for some unknown reason that we are incapable of being fashionable.

Someone recently asked me what I do, and when I told them that I was a blogger, their eyes lit up and they continued by asking me what I blog about. I responded by saying: “I am a parenting, lifestyle, fashion, beauty and at times, a travel blogger.” She looked confused, and said – “That’s so cool that you can write about fashion as a mom.”

I was actually feeling slightly puzzled by her response. What does that even mean? I may be a mom, but it doesn’t mean that we lose our sense of style. It may mean, that for a short while – we may have to purchase a size up, BUT, we can still follow the trends and buy clothing that any other woman would buy.

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Rant over – I want to introduce you to Spree’s new baby – ‘The Index’.

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The who?

The Index is a new online sneaker and street wear destination for Men, Women and Kids. They are home to some of our most loved sneaker brands, such as Adidas, Puma, Converse, Fila, Reebok, Vans & New Balance.

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I like to say that my little family is pretty trendy, perhaps you beg to differ – however, we are also a very casual family. We each have our own personal style, and it’s been fun seeing the style that Olly begins to sway towards as he gets a little older. As beach lovers, and a family who spends a lot of time outdoors, we found that The Index was a perfect shopping destination for us. Plus, as parents – who has time for shopping malls anyway?

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We each chose our own pair of sneakers from The Index & were literally overwhelmed with the variety to choose from. If you don’t find at least 5 pairs of sneakers you fall in love with, then I must say that I have a sneaky suspicion that you aren’t much of a sneaker wearer in the first place…

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We also each chose an outfit from Spree, so what you see is all available at www.spree.co.za

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We have all been going on with our lives with an extra bounce in our step. Do yourself and your families a favour and check out the trendy, the exciting, the amazing – THE INDEX: https://www.spree.co.za/the-index?

WHAT ARE WE WEARING?

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Olly is wearing Guess Knit Shorts: https://www.spree.co.za/guess-knit-short-mid-blue/product/W65A28K?ref_catid=1257 and the Gunner Crew Tee by Guess: https://www.spree.co.za/guess-gunner-crew-tee-dark-red/product/F9IYARQ complete with his red Chuck Taylor High Top Sneakers by Converse: https://www.spree.co.za/converse-chuck-taylor-high-top-sneaker-red/product/322Y256?ref_catid=4823

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David is wearing a grey Essential Tee by Guess paired with the New Balance Essential Sweatpants complete with these Adidas Seeley Sneakers.

3T6A0425And lastly, I am dressed in Mango, in my Print Detail T-shirt and Cropped Bow Detail Trousers complete with my Adidas Originals White Stan Smith sneakers.

Now, please! I dare you to look me in the eyes and tell me that I can’t be trendy as a mom. And for those of you who struggle to put together an outfit, or who struggle to keep up with what is trending, Spree makes it so simple for you. Their photos for each garment show their model dressed in a full outfit put together with garments that are ALL available on their website. Obviously, the sneaker choosing is the easiest, yet most difficult choice – because you just want them all.

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CREDITS:

Wardrobe & Sneakers: Spree & ‘The Index’ – @spree.co.za
Photography: Radiefa Peters from Radz Photography – @radzphotography
My Hair & Makeup: Daff Kansley – @thedrk.makeup

To see the rest of the photos from our shoot, follow me on Instagram: @onemodernmom

The World Of Wazoogles.

Wazoogles.
Wazoogles.

Your turn to say it.

This time, try to say it without smiling…

Now tell your little one to say it, and try not to burst into a fit of laughter.
To the point…

If you aren’t aware of my slight change of lifestyle, then are you even following my blog? I’ve always tried to promote a healthier lifestyle, and I’ve been lucky that Olly has always loved healthier food and snacks, but as he has gotten older, he’s realizing that there is such a thing called ‘choice’ and he has realized that sometimes he can just pull a face and moan for 10 minutes when I’m overly exhausted and I might just change my mind and give him an alternative to what he was initially going to get for that meal/snack. He’s also been to parties, been exposed to what I call ‘party food’ and has found a new love for sugar (what child doesn’t love sugar?).

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And then Wazoogles came along, barging through my doorway one morning – and it just decided to change the way things work in my home. Sneaky! You’re probably by this point thinking, ‘What the heck is Wazoogles?’

Well, apart from having the best name ever, and being a powder in a sachet covered in unicorns – it’s actually an organic plant-based superfood protein shake which is suitable for vegans and is gluten, sugar and dairy free.

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As they say, “Every scoop is bursting with antioxidants, living enzymes, essential minerals, plant-based protein, and a wide spectrum of vital nutrients, yet is completely free of added sugars, chemicals, colourants, flavourants, or fillers.”

In my home, I have found that Wazoogles has refreshed my urge to be creative in my kitchen in a healthy way. It begs for everything you create with it to be fun. My son and I have had so much fun baking and creating healthy smoothies and snacks with the full range of Wazoogles. And everything we have made has so far been a hit with him, and me.

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We’ve added it to uncountable smoothies, to protein balls and ‘nice’ cream. But they can also be added to a smoothie bowl or to a quick recovery elixir shake for post-workout which I will be doing today after my workout.

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I’ve found that it has been a fantastic, fuss free way to get all of the superfoods into my toddler and my own body. With it being the season of horrible germs and with my son being at school where kids are always sick, I must say that he’s been pretty well considering. He’s been ill, but nothing worth antibiotics. Which is such a change from last winter.

I am such a fan for products that are made to make life easier. And I am a fan for products that promote health especially for the entire family!

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Wazoogles comes in different pack sizes.

Mini Pack: (2 servings)
Medium Pack: (15 servings)
Large Pack: (30 servings)

There are also five different flavours, so there really is something for everyone.

– Kungfu Coffee
– Chocolate Moondust
– Vanilla Sky
– Unicorn Berry
– Plant Power

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I’ve found a use for every single flavour in at least two recipes I have played around with so far, so the sky is the limit.

Such a great product to have in your home for everyday use for the entire family! We all love it.

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If you enjoy being inspired by beautiful, healthy food – then be sure to follow @wazoogles on Instagram. Their instastories are hilarious and the content is just delicious!!!

You can also follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wazoogles/

Shop: http://www.wazoogles.com/ (PSST – free delivery within Cape Town!!!)
They also have the most amazing recipes to inspire you on their website as well as an easy to understand description of the world of Wazoogles.

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And more than anything, I love their story – brothers that both have the same beliefs and desire to provide people like you and me with a product that will keep our families healthy, and to create an honest product. Lovers of nature, and such rad guys. So give that a read too! Not only will you be inspired, but it will also give you a good view into Wazoogles itself.

TO A HAPPY  & HEALTHY MONDAY!

— One Modern Mom

 

 

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.

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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!

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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!!!

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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!

Back To School.

It feels bizarre that three weeks has gone by in a flash! I can’t believe that my little guy is back at school today. It has been a successful holiday. We managed to complete the three tasks we really wanted to get out of the way – 1. Potty Training 2. Painting our room. 3. Clearing out the outside room from when we moved a year ago.

But there was one more task that I knew I wanted to work on the week before Olly went back to school, and that was getting his mind prepared for the return to school. It’s a huge thing for their brains and emotions to have so much change in such a short period of time. It’s almost as if the moment they get settled into school, and the routine that goes with it, school holidays arrive and throw them off. It’s all totally confusing, and I can completely understand why – honestly, it sort of catches me off guard too!

The whole of last week, I spent (without Olly even realizing) preparing Olly’s mind for returning to school. Last term was a tricky one – I found that he would moan the night before school and in the mornings before school saying he didn’t want to go. But, once we arrived, he was content – and I know that he loves being  there. So, I didn’t want a repeat of that. I would chat about the exciting things about school, his friends, the fun things he does there. When he seemed slightly bored at home, I would use that as an opportunity to chat about ‘when he goes back to school next week, he’ll probably be doing some exciting messy artwork with his friends..I wonder what it will be.’ And, when we would chat about a certain topic, I would mention that he would probably learn about that at school this term. All of these opportunities that arose were used to the best of my ability to get his emotions ready and excited to go back to school.

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We also worked hard on getting him back into routine. We printed out a very special chart for mornings and afternoons/evenings so that he knows himself by looking at the pictures exactly how each day will go from the moment his head leaves the pillow in the morning until it hits the pillow at night. From putting his jarmies under his pillow after he’s dressed to bath time. This has worked phenomenally well, and I am so content with how he has swung back into routine, and settled so nicely into the new routine I’ve created which involves little chores (things that he did anyway, like packing away his toys and putting his dirty clothes into the washing basket, etc.) which gives him the feeling of being independent and responsible.

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Breakfast, lunch and dinner all happen at the same time each day, and he will help me pack his lunch box the night before, which also stirs up some excitement for school. Mornings start with a healthy, brain fuelling breakfast. Oats, or egg or even a protein packed smoothie if he doesn’t feel like eating. There is NO TV time before school, but sometimes we have a little time left for a story, puzzle or even a snuggle.

This morning was smooth sailing. He rushed into his classroom, leaving me trying to catch up behind him. He was very excited for us to tell his teacher that he’s at school WITHOUT A NAPPY!!! (HOORAY) and he was even more excited to be STIMULATED with puzzles that he hadn’t seen every single day for three weeks, but most importantly, his mind had already been put at ease for the past week, so that it wasn’t all too overwhelming for him today.

I’ve learnt that parenting is ALWAYS a process. Nothing ever just happens. We need to prepare ourselves and our kids for big, scary emotional roller coasters that they will encounter. They are too little to understand and work on their big emotions on their own, and we need to be sensitive and understanding of that. And we can so easily give them a helping hand.

How have you helped your kid(s) be emotionally ready for going back to school today? Do you find that a solid routine helps in your household too?

— One Modern Mom x

The Reality Of Sugar.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— One Modern Mom

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

 

Behind The Lens With Radz Photography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Love Your Laundry – Ecoegg South Africa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Just Me,You & The Love Box.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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/

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