My Postpartum Hair Transformation – Spoilt Hair.

Looking back on my hair before falling pregnant, I want to slap myself for ever complaining about having a bad hair day. From the start of my second trimester, my hair was growing at a rapid pace, thickening by the day.

But then my tiny miracle baby was born, and as if it was all a dream, that new hair all started to evacuate, as if it realized it had checked in at the wrong place, and feeling slightly embarrassed, they packed up and left, never to return again.

I’ve never experienced hair loss the way that I did, and still do after pregnancy. I’ve never known my baby hair to be quite so stubborn – it grows out, and then regrows, and the cycle is never ending. My hair dry and brittle and the waves now seemingly totally uncoordinated – departing in every direction, except the way I wish for it to go.

Rewind a year, I was gifted a day at the salon. I had them do the ombre look which was so in at the time. I was this new semi-blonde bombshell, and I adored it. And then…it grew out. Weeks turned into months, months turned into a year. And then here we were. It took multiple days where I burst into tears when looking into the mirror. My hair drove me insane, and being a busy mom, I just couldn’t find the time each day to make it look good. I would still have my frequent hair cuts to try to keep it healthy, but would never leave happy. The tears would stream again. I felt that all hairdressers were out there to get me – to ruin my hair. They never listened.

Then, I heard about Spoilt Hair Salon in Green Point. I heard wonderful things about the salon, as well as the hairstylists, and I had to try it out for myself. Look – once one or two hairdressers mess up your hair, it’s incredibly hard to trust anybody again. But the hair was in dire need of saving, and this was my last hope.

I arrived to the friendliest faces. They welcomed me in as if I belonged there. A salon that has regulars popping in just to say hi to their stylists. A well behaved dog seated as if it wasn’t there beside his owner. Fresh greenery brightening up each mirror. A salon that has been around for so long, that their clients become their family.

Zainab was my stylist. I don’t usually enjoy chatting too much when I’m having treatments done, as I use it as my time away from my child to just relax and read – but I so loved chatting with her. She knew when silence was desired, and would just continue with the job at hand.

I requested a wash, treatment, balayage (to bring in a dash of blonde) and a blow-dry. My previously incredibly dry and tatty hair was transformed. There were no traces of the previous colour left behind, and looking in the mirror, I was lost for words.

It is a lengthy procedure, because they do it properly. But, not once did I feel like time was dragging on. I enjoyed every moment of being there, from the time I arrived, until the time I left. They are a water conscious salon, which means that they limit the length of time your hair is washed, and the amount of times they wash it. I am so impressed by this, as it can be a challenge at a salon.

They also have a nail bar in the salon – many women were having their nails done while their foils were in their hair, which is such a lovely idea. They do have wifi, so I also noticed quite a number of ladies getting work done while having their hair done.
They are also known for their Easihair Pro extensions, which are 100% Remy Human hair extensions. They have the incredible ability in matching them with your hair colour, and making them look totally natural.

I have no words to describe the smell of my hair once it was done – as they use only the best products in your hair. A mixture between toffee and finished off with a light spray that smelt like I had just stepped out of the Carribean – coconut and pineapple.

Imagine having your hair done in California, New York or LA. This is the feel that I get when visiting and stepping out of Spoilt. It was just the change and time that I needed to reboot, get my confidence back and to face life as a busy mom again.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the vibe in the salon, the music wasn’t too loud, and everyone was happy and passionate about what they were doing. The compliments are still streaming in when people see me. I really do love my new look – and I am so happy to have FINALLY found a new stylist and hair salon that I feel I can trust with my hair. Something that we so take fore granted, and often neglect.

Take this as a reminder to book your next hair appointment. If funds are tight, put some money aside each month so that you can look after yourself. As moms, and busy women, we really do need to invest in ourselves more often. Our wellbeing is what makes us the person that we are.

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I can’t recommend Zainab at Spoilt Hair adequately. I of course, cannot give my honest feedback on any of the other stylists because I haven’t had my hair done by them yet, but everyone leaving the salon looked gorgeous, and they certainly do keep coming back.

They love to share transformation photos on their social media sites, so check them out here:

Instagram / Facebook / Website

Thank you Zainab for such a wonderful afternoon, and for restoring my hair and my confidence. Shoneez, you should be incredibly proud of the phenomenal hair salon you have, with the most incredible stylists.

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A Letter To My Wild Three Year Old.

To my wild three year old boy,

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This feeling. It is intense. Thinking back to holding you as a newborn baby, I would have never thought that there would be days that I just did not like you. I feel guilty typing this, but I feel that somebody has to air the laundry.

My blood has boiled so many times over the past week that I feel any medical professional would tell me to take a step back because it’s dangerous to my health. I didn’t know that a human as tiny as you could be quite so powerful. How is it possible that I can say no to somebody my own age and stick to my guns, yet with you, a three year old – you have the power to somehow get me to sway.

I’ve been on my hands and knees wiping up spills since before the sun came up, and until after the sun went down. And, IT’S SUMMER! Which means that its light for more hours than it’s dark… I’ve muttered ‘Are you kidding me?’ more times than I can count. I’ve shouted, I’ve cried, I’ve had a migraine from your screeching, and I have even had to finish off your dirty work of shoving your poop down the drain in the bathroom basin because it was too far gone to save it. You woke me up this morning (on YOUR mattress on MY bedroom floor, might I add) after a sleepless night (because of you) by spraying me in the face with water from the handheld fan and spray bottle you somehow stole from your grandmothers bedroom. I have stood by the stove making your favourite pasta that you begged for to have you say that you are full after two bites purely because you insisted on hunting down a banana and a hot crossed bun that you shoved in before I could say ‘not before dinner’.

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You know, this is motherhood. Some days suck. Some days I find myself laughing hysterically at the end of the day looking back on it, wondering if and how the day that has gone by could have actually happened, and then end up in a heap in tears because motherhood is a whirlwind of confusing emotions. I love you so much, but you also make me so mad sometimes.

But then, then you go to sleep. And I tiptoe in to tuck you in and give you your final kiss for the night, and that crazy, wild three year old boy who is just oh so independent now – he’s just an innocent little boy. Your resting body leaves your lips in the position that they were as a newborn baby. Your face angelic again. And I wonder how I allow myself to dislike something so perfect.

Some days I don’t like you. But, I will always love you – and there will be days as you grow up where you don’t like me either. It may be because I do something you don’t like or because I don’t allow you to do something you’re so wishing to do. Maybe I won’t let you go watch a movie with your friends because you have school the next day. There will be days where we simply disagree and bash heads.

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But know, that I love you. I love you as big as the world. But, some days – I just don’t like you. Never misinterpret that. Dig deep in your heart to understand what that phrase truly means. And someday, when you are a parent – you will finally click and say: “Oh! That’s what she meant.”

 

Your Mama x

My Child, My Rules.

Raising a child is HARD work. There is nothing easy about it. Every single day is a challenge. A well behaved child with manners didn’t just wake up like that. Behind every child is an adult that has worked hard on teaching them those manners. If I think of the amount of times I have to give Olly ‘the look’ before handing him something, or after giving him something which reminds him to use the ‘magic words’, I lose track.

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However, I must say that he has gotten so much better about remembering to use manners at the right times, and even remembers to excuse himself from the table. There were two things that stood out to me over the weekend, that made me think that it’s a good idea to write this post.

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Firstly, Olly had a birthday party over the past weekend, and I wasn’t able to go because I had a kitchen tea which clashed. His Granny took him instead. Later that evening, I got a message from another mommy saying that Olly is so polite. He had such good manners, shared with her younger daughter the entire party and really looked after her, because she was younger than the rest of the kids. My mommy heart wanted to burst at the seams with happiness.

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Another situation, which happens SO often – we went for a play date over the weekend, and 5 minutes before we were leaving I told Olly that it was time to pack away his toys. The mom, so kindly, told him not to worry. I feel that we all do this, because our kids play with them too, and will probably continue to do so once the guests leave. But, I work so hard at having him pack away his toys at home once he’s finished playing, and because it is the polite thing to do at a playdate, I always try to encourage him to do the same.

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Then there are the daily challenges that we face with other parents and adults. Topics such as the food we allow our kids to eat, routine at home, screen time, the list could go on. I get so mad when I ask Olly to do something, or tell him ‘no’ about having something, and right in front of him, I get challenged by the other parent/adult. I’ve raised a child who knows that what I do is best for him, and he doesn’t question it – and then to have another adult question and say ‘Shame, he’s just a child’ in front of him, it creates doubt in his mind. Doubt that I have made the wrong decision for him, and often leads to an argument where he then begs for whatever it may be, and it turns into a battle; whereas without that parent even saying a thing, my son would’ve been quite happy as usual to just go on without it.

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Might I add that this often happens with family members too! Remember this, they’ve had their turn at raising their kids and now it’s your turn!

The amount of time it has taken me to get to this point, where my son knows exactly what he is allowed to have, how much screen time he is allowed, that he chooses water over juice 99% of the time, and his overall manners – it has taken years to get here. (We aren’t perfect, and SURE, we have our bad days). To have somebody else carelessly ruin that for you, and to set you back is just MEAN!

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We all know what is best for our child, and as you’ve put months or years instilling rules and manners for your family – we have all done the same. MY CHILD, MY RULES.

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And I feel that this is such an important thing to remember when you feel like opening your mouth. You never know the full story behind a family or individual. So, instead of putting your foot in it, rather keep out.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences on this topic. And may I add, that I am in no way saying that myself nor my child are perfect. We are far from, and there are days where he tests me beyond my capability. I just thought that many of you can probably relate to this and wanted to chat about the topic.

— One Modern Mom

Photos by Angela Rea of My Sunshine Journey: https://www.facebook.com/OurSunshineJourney/

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

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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