Ceramic Loving.

I’ve been slightly, and strangely (is it strange though?) obsessed with buying special mugs, plates, bowls, and cups lately. Home-ware overall, actually! Maybe it’s because we are living in our own home now, and finally aren’t renting anymore. Preparing for renovations and finally creating our dream home in the next few months. Or, maybe it’s just because I am growing up, and am starting to appreciate the beauty in things we use on a daily basis or when we entertain and have people over for coffee or dinner.

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I’ve always been in love with the home-ware from Country Road, and I do have quite a few items from there, but I have also had fun browsing small, local stores at markets and online. My latest favourite is a small company run by a beautiful local, soon to be wed lady, Kate. Her full time job is a manager at Zando, and her secret love affair is Potsicle Ceramics. The name defines her and her business perfectly! ‘Potsicle’, just the sweetest name to go hand in hand with some of the most gorgeous, imperfectly perfect ceramics that she hand makes herself.

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I sent Kate a few reference pictures of what I like, and told her to be creative as I love her own personal style. I was so eager to see what she would create, and oh my goodness, am I in love! It arrived on my door step a couple of weeks later (it’s a process), and let’s just say that Kate is a bubble wrapping queen! My package arrived all in one piece, and I giggled as I unwrapped all of the bubble wrap! I’m sure I actually gasped when I first held my complete pieces in my hands. They are beautiful.

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I’m so excited to have some girls over for tea so that I can fill the plates up with home baked treats, just so that I can show them off! The quality of my ceramics are phenomenal, not a single flaw.

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These would make such wonderful gifts for a wedding. You can do your very own custom order if you wish, and create something personal and special for either yourself, a friend or a couple getting married. I think I may even be placing an order before too long for a little set to be made for a special baby that is soon to be born. We were gifted with a Jamie Oliver set that included a small ceramic plate, bowl and cup. And I just loved the idea. But, to be able to choose what you want yourself, to make it personal and special just wins over my heart!

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Kate, you’ve made me one happy lady with these beautiful Potsicle Ceramics. I can see through your work that you love what you do so very much. Thank you!
You can browse her already made products here: http://www.hellopretty.co.za/potsicle-ceramics
Or you can check out her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Potsicle/
And her Instagram here: @potsicle_ceramics

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Creating Simple Stories with Fable Lifestyle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Little Dreamer

I live in my slouchy pants at home, and sometimes I even get away with sneaking out to the shop without anybody noticing me leaving the house in them. Truth is, this post isn’t about me. So let’s get to the point!

I am OBSESSED with these sweet mustard boys linen shorts from ByRoeline. Mustard is so trendy at the moment, and such a practical colour for kids. It also goes with EVERYTHING. So, you can’t go wrong with this garment in your kids wardrobe.

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These shorts have become a staple in our house. This clearly means that they are comfortable! Olly refuses to wear pants that are too tight around the waist. I love that these have a drawstring, as it means that as he grows, his shorts will grow with him. He also has the tiniest little waist. We always struggle to find pants that fit him, especially because he is tall – so having an adjustable waistband is fantastic, and so well thought through.

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I have a soft spot for garments made from linen. They look beautiful and high end, and almost leave you with a feeling of exclusivity and sophistication.  The beauty of linen is that it gets softer with each wash. The linen is so soft, and is breathable, which makes them perfect for these hot summer days.

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I love that you can dress an outfit up or down with these shorts. Olly doesn’t often have clothes on in summer at home (HAHA), but when he does he can happily, and comfortably prance around stylishly in his shorts with a loose vest or tshirt on, and when going out somewhere a little more formal, we can pair it with one of his gorgeous button up tops.

The quality is wonderful, I can see that these will be a favourite again next year, and the wonderful news is that they will still be in good enough nick for them to look brand new when he wears them again next Summer!

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These sweet shorts come in Mustard and Black (you can read Angela’s review on Elijah’s black pair soon), and retail for R180 each. They are available in 6-18 months as well as 2-3 years – still feeling a bit sad that they don’t come in an adults size Small!
You can get your stylish hands on these (quickly, might I add – before they sell out) right over here: http://byroeline.co.za/product/linen-harem-shorts-mustard/

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ByRoeline has also recently launched the sweetest pair of Lion Bum leggings, which are too cute not to own! So make sure you check out the website to see EVERYTHING! For mom, baby, kids and gifts. And MAYBE, they’re even currently having a sneaky sale happening. YOU’RE WELCOME.

In closing, it is truly always such a pleasure being in contact with Roeline. She is the sweetest soul who truly has such a passion for every single garment she creates. It has been such a treat getting to know her and her business over the past few months. Watch this lady – she has some amazing things up her sleeve… I can just feel it. Follow her on Instagram: @byroeline and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ByRoeline/

— Lisa

I would love to know what your staple garment is in your kid(s) wardrobe! Let me know in the comments section below:

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Let Them Get Messy.

‘Minimi Atelier finds its essence in Spain, a land where tradition, craftsmanship and innovation merge to create beautiful, timeless garments that are one of a kind.  A land where children dream big and have little adventures… while looking and dressing like children.

At Minimi Atelier, we believe in smart, quality clothing. We enjoy “classics with a twist”, in other words chic garments but also casual pieces for an elegant-relaxed-contemporary style. Finally, we source and design with comfort in mind, so that the only limit to having fun is the exhaustion that comes after hours of play!’

Angela and myself were each sent one of the new Play2Learn Overalls for our boys (aged 2.5 years) and we are so excited to share our views on them!

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My thoughts (Lisa):

Why toddlers don’t come with some sort of manual or ‘care kit’ is beyond me. If we could only use a couple of hashtags for kids my sons age, it would be #destruction or #mess. Thing is, if we just knew that an activity such as painting could be made easier with one simple product, we’d be funding the art stores for supplies because we know it’s something our kids love doing so much, and it’s so great for their development!

I often find myself with a throbbing headache when taking on messy tasks with Olly. Being a work from home mom, the couple days Olly is at school, or when he naps during the day, I frantically rush around the house vacuuming, picking up and doing laundry. So the thought of encouraging a task that is just going to create more mess stresses me out. It leaves me feeling anxious, and constantly on edge which always seems to start the activity on a bad note for both of us.

 

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When Marina from Minimi Atelier contacted me with information on her brand new Play2Learn Overalls, I instantly felt a sense of relief. Olly has a little apron that covers the front of him and his shoulders, but it just doesn’t cover ENOUGH, and because it is plastic, it’s super uncomfortable. He fights me when I try to get him to wear it, and I feel irritated before we’ve even begun.

 
These beautiful overalls make so much sense in my life! Since receiving ours, we do a messy activity every single day! It has made such a difference in so many developmental areas for Olly. Being slightly sensory, Olly needed to be doing messy play. Shaving cream, different textured feels in bowls (jelly, rice, cereal, sand, seaweed, etc), and finger painting. He is all of a sudden doing so much better, and it makes my mama heart so happy. Apart from the fact that he’s clearly improving, I’m enjoying watching him enjoy these activities so much, but also because my mind is at ease knowing that his overall can get messy, and I can simply toss it in the wash without worrying about his clothing beneath getting stained and ruined! It also means I don’t have to wash him down in the bath after every messy activity (even more YAY because of our water crisis).

 
Made from 100% cotton with natural fibers, the kids are kept cool while covered. And I love the fact that they don’t have buttons, not only due to choking hazards but also because it makes it super easy for your child to dress themselves. These Play2Learn overalls were inspired by Spanish Pre-schools. Marina, owner of Minimi Atelier, being Spanish herself has really seen how these have impacted the schools in Spain!

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The other amazing thing is that 1 size fits all: 2Y – 5Y which means that these are such wonderful and necessary investments for your home. They make a wonderful gift for a child who loves doing art or baking. The quality is phenomenal, and I struggle to get my son out of it when he’s finished painting because they are just so comfy! Funny, as boys aren’t used to wearing dresses which I thought would possibly frustrate him with his legs being limited, but I was wrong!
Two styles for girls (check out the review by Following The Bean: http://www.followingthebean.com/activity-overall/2017/2/12/activity-overall-minimi-atelier), and two for boys, they have all been designed and manufactured with so much love right here in South Africa. So, here’s to having enjoyable, mess-free art and baking sessions with your kids, thanks to Minimi Atelier.


Angela’s Thoughts:

Elijah is quite a whirlwind. His teachers have warned me that I must watch him all of the time as he is into everything and wants to try everything out! This includes seeing what a slimy green paint colour will look like smeared over his shorts and sticking his craft glue all over his new (I shouldn’t tell you, but designer) t-shirt.

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Which is where this awesome Minimi Atelier Play2Learn overall comes in. I just love it! It is ideal for crafts, painting, baking (we do a lot of baking in this house) and even for when you are about to give your little one something messy to eat and don’t feel like having to change their clothes afterwards.

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They are made from a cotton blend, exceptionally comfortable garments designed to be thrown over whatever your darling is wearing. Or over just a nappy when you don’t want to have to hose your child down outside after eating a messy treat like an ice lolly.

Elijah has the pale blue overall which I really adore him in. He looks so sweet in his overall that I just want to eat him up. Plus, it;s so easy to pull on and off that never has he once complained about me putting it on him. And, we all know how toddlers can be, right? If you are looking for an overall for your child, I would definitely consider this one.

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You can shop them here: https://minimiatelier.com/collections/play2learn and make sure that you check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MinimiAtelier/ and Instagram feed @minimiatelier to be the first to find out about all of the exciting products they will be launching before long!


You can also follow us on our social media handles:

Lisa: @onemodernmom / https://www.facebook.com/onemodernmom/
Angela: @angievictoriarea

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That Leather Scent.

There’s something about leather that just hits home for me. It sends me walking through a visual time warp back into my childhood. Why?
I’m not completely sure, to be totally honest. It could be little visits as a child to my Grandparents or to my Great Uncles house. A home complete with leather couches, leather covers over his interesting books he hand wrote about his travels across the world?
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When attending a kids market out in Durbanville late last year, I waltzed past a stand called ‘Joey Fashion & Interior’. Neatly laid out on the bottom shelf made from pallets, lay the most beautiful little pair of Leather Shoes called ‘Gracies’. I think I must have walked past to take a second, third, maybe even fourth look. My heart broke when I saw that they only had small sizes available.
Being the person that I am, I got nosy, and decided to find out more about these shoes and who made them. I was directed to the sweetest lady named Melise. Melise and her husband, Francois own Grace Leather, and not only do these leather shoes, but also a handful of other products. All handmade, and high quality. They decided that indeed, bigger sizes were needed, and started working on a bigger size, custom made to the measurements of my own sons feet.
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Photo: Angela Rea
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Photo: Angela Rea
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Photo: Angela Rea
I have never had such friendly service from a business before. With such a passion for what they do, every little inch of love is poured into every tiny pair of shoes that are created.
They started doing leather work as a hobby when they were still working full time. The first items they made were a shoulder bag for Francois for work, and a small purse for Melise from a skin that came out of her grandfather’s garage.
From there, they started making more belts and bags, as well as various other custom items on request. The leather shoes were no different; they initially made them on request for Joey Fashion and Interior to sell with her beautiful range of baby clothes. However, the shoes are a very unique product because of being predominantly hand-stitched, and therefore they all soon concluded they would work better for Grace Leather to sell them.
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Apart from my two and a half year old son calling them his ‘fancy shoes’ and clip clopping around the house in them with a cheesy smirk on his face, they truly are just such beautiful shoes. They compliment almost every outfit he wears, and they are comfortable and safe for his precious feet. The fact that they were made to his foot measurements was just the cherry on top for me!
The shoes are available in sizes 1-12 (11cm-19.5cm foot length). Currently, they have one style, ‘Vellies’, for boys, and one style, ‘Baby Dolls’, for girls. Sizes 1 and 2 have a soft sole, and sizes 3-12 have a hard sole. Their Baby Doll shoes literally have me daydreaming about having a baby girl someday.
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Good customer service, a friendly delivery and a perfect product, you can never go wrong with!
If you want to get hold of a pair of shoes, you can contact Melise and Francois at http://www.facebook.com/graceleatherproducts/ or you can email
them directly at graceleatherproducts@gmail.com.
Depending on where you are located, they can refer you to your nearest stockist, or if you are not close to a stockist, you can order a pair directly from them. They will be bringing out some gorgeous new styles very soon, so make sure you like their Facebook page to be the first to see announcements like that.
What is your favourite thing about leather shoes? Tell me in the comment section below!
Lots of love,
Lisa x

Tropical Treats

Once upon a time, not so long ago, I stumbled upon a gorgeous 100% natural skin food company, Lulu and Marula. Not only are they local, but they also have the most amazing labelling and packaging I’ve ever seen.

If you’re anything like me, seeing any product placed in a dark glass bottle with a tropical, fresh label to complete it leaves me feeling happy, relaxed and longing to have it! Lucky for me, this soon became a reality.

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Summer has been a little confused this year so far, however we have already experienced some incredibly hot and dry days in Cape Town. As a busy mommy whose life is go, go, go on a daily basis – I often find myself feeling hot and flustered! Lately, I’ve been keeping the Refreshing Tonic Mist in my bag when I head out for the day when it’s hot and I’m good to go for the day.

Lulu and Marula describes this wonderful product like this: “More than a toner, not quite a serum, this hydrating mist gives your complexion an instant boost of fabulousness. A tasty blend of rose, cucumber and aloe vera tones and hydrates skin, while rosemary and ginko biloba stimulates both skin and mind. Use it throughout the day or just after cleansing to make you look and feel like you’ve spritzed yourself with a refreshing dose of awesome.”

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One of the things I love is that these products are true to their word. They exceed your expectation. The packaging does NOT mislead you. I simply spray a couple sprays of the Tonic Mist when I’m feeling hot and flustered (even over my makeup), and I instantly feel slightly refreshed and ready to keep going! The fragrance is pleasant, and what makes it wonderful is that the product is 100% natural, which means every single ingredient is safe and healthy for your delicate skin!

The second product I have is the Energising Body Balm which costs R270, but is going to last you forever! This product comes in the form of a hard ‘wax’, but by simply rubbing between hands to warm, it’s ready to be rubbed all over the body. Perfect for kick starting circulation to ease muscle pain, cellulite, and varicose veins – as a mother, can you think of anything more practical and magical? Oh wait, I can – the fact that it’s totally organic, natural and safe for you to be using!

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It also smells divine! Lulu and Marula describe the fragrance as ‘a zesty blend of citrusy ingredients like lemongrass and naartjie’.  My two year old son sniffs me every time I apply this, and comments ‘mmhmm, you smell num num mama!’ – This says a lot – kids are totally honest!

My skin begs for extra moisture in summer, and up until now I have never found a product that keeps my skin perfectly moisturized, especially when spending days on the beach or in the sun. Finally, I have found one that actually works like it promises.

Organic, natural, local, delicious – a product that is worth every penny!

Lulu and Marula promise us the following:

“We don’t use fragrances, preservatives, or any other whatchamacallits. Each jar and bottle is full to the brim with only good stuff that actually works. This makes our range ideal for all skin types, even the most sensitive of skins. “ – I totally believe in this promise. And this radiates from each recyclable beautiful bottle!

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Placing an online order with them is an absolute pleasure! And the arrival of your product leaves you feeling as if it is Christmas Day! Your products will be packaged beautifully! Perhaps nudge hubby in this direction for Christmas so you can pamper yourself each day!

PS. They don’t test on animals! (Extra brownie points).
PPS. These products are totally safe on your little ones!

You can get your hands on these products at the following stores and online stores, but also on their very own online store:

Stockists: http://www.luluandmarula.com/pages/stockists

To my foreign mommies, you can ALSO find them in New Jersey, Portland, Hamburg, Berlin and Zurich! So you aren’t left out this time round. If you have family or friends in any of these places, do share the word with them! They’re in for a spoil!

Lulu and Marula always share the most wonderful content on their social media, so check out their Facebook page and Instagram feed to treat yourself to some tropical beauty:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/luluandmarula/?fref=ts
Instagram: luluandmarula
Website: http://www.luluandmarula.com/

A Walk Down Memory Lane.

The Wood Story is a modern take on the toys we had as children. I grew up zooming wooden vehicles around houses, roads and structures my brother and I had spent hours building. School days were spent dreaming of the story we would bring to life the moment we got home, and we would leap out of bed to finish off the last chapter of that story we had been ‘living’ in the night before.

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My parents didn’t spend much money on plastic store bought toys. I had a great Uncle who was a carpenter. He made the best toys for us. Rocking horses, cars, wooden doll prams. These are all things that were used and played with on a daily basis. They were toys that couldn’t be broken. They had meaning, and a purpose in the land of toys.

You can imagine my joy when I stumbled upon ‘The Wood Story’. The name was captivating in itself. Every piece of wood has traveled a journey. You work that out. I clicked back and forth between the Facebook page and their website. I wanted to know more, see more, and I wanted to have it! For my child has to retrace these steps that I walked every single day in in my childhood. My dream is to relive these moments so close to my heart by spending rainy days playing with these very toys with him.

I am all for supporting companies who promote families to live an environmentally free lifestyle. The Wood Story of course, is one of them! They are durable, recyclable, and have no toxins! What more could a modern day mom possibly wish for? Being finished off with a splash of a gentle and relaxing pastel shade, they are easy on every Childs eye. All of their products which include wooden toys, puzzles, play dough and even wooden storage crates (to keep it all in order) are perfect for quiet play, and noisy play. They can be marched outdoors on a sunny day or used indoors on a day like today where the raindrops chase each other around the windows.

Handmade & designed by the very talented and creative Jason Selby in Cape Town. As he says himself, “These products  are made with an aim for sustainability by offering quality products that can be handed down from generation to generation.”  Now, how’s that for a walk down memory lane? A good opportunity to get a ‘when I was your age’ story brewing!

Now is your chance to educate your child from home through play. You can pop onto http://www.thewoodstory.co.za/ for a visit where you can browse and place your order. A cool idea is to order the products individually if you can’t afford a set, or you can buy a set and give them as gifts each birthday and Christmas. This gives them something worth collecting and looking forward to!

You can also follow their journey as a new company on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thewoodstorytoys/?fref=ts or on Instagram @thewoodstory

Support local talent and shop small!

Read more about them in my upcoming Q&A with Jason Selby – the mastermind behind The Wood Story.