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.

 

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A Wintery Mini-Getaway.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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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Break In’s & Blessings.

I’m feeling quite emotional this morning. We woke up to finding that our car had been broken into last night. That always leaves one feeling unsettled, especially when it has happened at your own home. The thought of some stranger invading my personal space, leaves my skin crawling.

Olly’s bedroom is very close to the entrance of our house, which means that all of this took place just a few short steps away from where he was peacefully sleeping. It must have happened at early hours of the morning, as these things usually do. Wow! How things change when you have a child.

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Once the break in was brought to my attention, I instantly scanned my brain of what could have been left in the car of Olly’s. I feel that we often take things in the car that are special to him, as he always loves taking them along for the drive. As I went to put on his shoes for school, he moaned, and begged to wear his new Shooshoos he got just last week. Just then, I got this anxious feeling in my gut. I jumped up and went to the car, knowing that we had left them in the car when we had got home the night before because he was so tired and his shoes were just lying on the floor of the car.

I got back into the house, and Olly asked me again for his shoes. I responded by explaining to him that somebody had got into our car and took his shoes. He burst into tears and asked me multiple questions about who, and why would they take his special shoes? My heart just broke as I saw how something that meant something to him could affect him just so much. Only being two and a half years old, and knowing that, at the end of the day, they are replaceable, it didn’t matter – the point is that he totally understands a situation and can still be hurt by small things that don’t matter to so many people.

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We never leave valuables in the car for this very reason, but it seems that lately, robbers just want whatever they can get their hands on. They then resell for an insulting cost so they can earn some money. GRRR!!!  However, over time, we all get a bit slack, and we were more worried about getting our overtired toddler into bed. But, we certainly have learnt our lesson.

At the end of the day, what matters is that we were all safe, and thank God they didn’t intend on coming into our home last night. I am so grateful that it was only materialistic things that were taken and that my little family is just fine.

I feel as if this post hasn’t really all made too much sense, and I also feel that it has no flow to it, but I don’t care today. Today, my point is that family is so much more important than materialistic objects. The emotions I am experiencing are no doubt attached to the thoughts of evil and bad being so close to my child. But THANK YOU GOD for placing your Angels to protect and guard our home and family last night. It humbles me and really makes me realize that no matter what we have, our family is priceless.

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So here is a lengthy reminder, to never keep anything in your car at night, no matter how safe you think your area may be.

 

HAPPY MONDAY!!!

— Lisa

My Feelings On Valentine’s Day After Losing My Soulmate.

I would just like to put into words how I feel about Valentine’s Day as much for you all, as well as a form of therapy for myself. All my friends worry so much about me on special occasions such as this, but perhaps this is one in which they should not. I am writing this late at night with tears streaming down my face as I am feeling particularly raw at the moment after completing my first half marathon and that night promptly coming down with a horrendous bug. My small son is asleep in bed (my bed) finally. And I at last have a few moments to catch my breath. And what a breath it is to catch.


Darrell always used to say that we weren’t actually soulmates but part of the same person and that is why I now am not quite whole. It is not something you get over but rather something you learn to live with. It stays with you all day, everyday. While you are going about your chores, working, going to gym, you know that a part of you (a big part) is no longer there. I cope with it in the best way I can and spend a lot of time day dreaming about the past.

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I feel Valentines Day is less about that romantic meal out and big bunch of flowers and more about feeling loved. Yes it is the Day of love but I feel it is more of an actual feeling than an event. It is quite a sobering and thought provoking thought knowing that your person passed away at the absolute height of loving you. And because of that I think I will always feel loved. I looked at the beautiful child we made together and I felt loved. I looked at his long, long legs and feet that were so yours and I felt loved. I looked at the way he held his little pouty mouth just so and smiled and I felt loved. I remembered the happy, happy times we had together and I felt loved. I know that he  will love me till eternity and that makes me feel loved.

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And because, therefore my Valentines Day this year was not as traumatic as people thought it might be. In actual fact, the whole time Darrell and I were dating, and then married, we never once celebrated Valentines Day. I got extra cuddles and kisses from him every day of the year. And I always felt loved.

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So ladies go out and love that special person in your life. Kiss them for that little bit longer, hold their hand while watching that episode of the latest series. Make them feel wanted, needed and that they count.  I can promise you that that is the secret to a very happy relationship.
Lots of love
Angela – @angievictoriarea

DIY Valentine’s Day Makeup

In case you mama’s didn’t realize today is Valentine’s Day. I hope you all have lovely plans. I am going to be cuddling up with my main little guy Elijah, letting him give me extra kisses.
So I wanted to do a little makeup tutorial for those of you who are going on a date and are stuck for ideas. I shall be doing Lisa’s makeup as she is going for a dreamy, romantic picnic on the beach. I am going to keep it as simple as possible as most of us have at least one baba hanging of our hips and another sticking jam covered hands through our makeup collection.

Starting with clean, clean skin, I prefer to use a micelle water so as not to strip the skin, load your face up with a moisturizer best suited to your skin. Once that has sunken in, apply a primer. I used Stila HD Beauty Balm on Lisa. I then used my beauty blender by Real Techniques to smooth a glowy foundation over her skin. I used Stila Aqua Glow in light as a beach picnic is all about the shimmer! As this is a quick makeup application I am using the foundation over her eyelids and under eye where I would normally use a concealer or correcter. Next I quickly set the foundation with Essence Stay All Day translucent fixing powder, a direct dupe for MAC’s Prep+Prime transparent finishing powder (I have both in my kit).

 

Then it is onto eyes. Eyebrows are a must but please no Kardashian caterpillars or Frieda Kahol wannabe’s. I lightly filled in Lisa’s brows with Essence ‘How To Make Brows WOW’ with the colour Love ’em all. Next I used Palladio Crushed Metallic Shadow in Meteor over the lids going half way up to her brows, blending very well, up and outwards with my MAC 217 blending brush. I find this is one of the most important steps to getting a flawless makeup finish. I then ran the brush with the same powder lightly under Lisa’s eyes as we went for a no liner look for the perfect beach vibe.
Then mascara. Loads of it. I used Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express mascara and boy did it do the trick. Cheeks next. I used my very faithful Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Sticks. Run the darkest shade along the cheek from the middle of your ear to just before your mouth and blend! Either with your fingers or a beauty blender. Then draw the bronze shade above that and blend again. Then taking the faithful highlighter one draw on the top of your cheek bones where the sun would naturally hit your face. And blend. Then I used MAC Mineralize Skinfinish powder highlighter in Soft and Gentle  with my beauty blender over the lightest part to create an extra glow. I used Stila Convertible Color creme blush in Lillium over the apples of Lisa’s cheeks to give a little bit of that “I am so healthy and run every day” look. Which I am sure she does anyway!
Last is lips. I did a red lip of course as it is the day of love and kissing. When wearing red lipstick you need smooth, flake free lips which is why I started of with a sugar lip scrub from Beauty Treats. Then I took The Body shop New Orleans Scarlet Matte lipstick and rubbed it into Lisa’s lips to make a nice stain. I told her to take along a good lip balm to use to reapply during her date.
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Mama’s, Valentine’s Day is about having fun and feeling beautiful. Even if you don’t have special plans, why not try this makeup look to surprise your partner when he gets home? Or if you don’t have a partner do it for yourself to see how truly gorgeous you can be.

 

Enjoy this day of love.

Lots of love,

Angela