My Summer Wardrobe Essentials.

If somebody told me to think about the ideal outfit for me, I would say something that is comfortable and flattering for a postpartum body. Something that shows the curves, but hides the lumps and bumps.

I have to admit that I really struggle to find garments I would be confident going out in to a special event, or for a night out. However, finding Sitting Pretty and their new range – it was like I finally found home.

I have fallen madly in love with the Coco Double V Neck Jumpsuit. It is incredibly comfortable, and is elasticated in all of the right places. It really suits my body type and shape, and I have had uncountable compliments when I have been out. I’ve paired it with a pair of sneakers, and also wore it to an event  with a pair of wedges. It is so easy to match with absolutely anything that you already own, and you can dress it up or down with ease. The quality is phenomenal! Jumpsuits and dresses with pockets are a winner for me! Made from 100% Rayon Linen, this garment keeps you cool on a hot day, and is just flawless!

Photos: Angela Rea Photography

The dress caught my eye because of its delicate detail. The little bit of lace really caught my attention. I love the way the dress flows as you move. The guava shade is quite a rare colour, but I couldn’t resist. It is fresh and perfect for Summer. I love that the dress has three quarter sleeves – it is ideal for cooler summer days or evenings. The dress is also elasticized around the waist area, which really creates some shape and emphasizes your good curves. It is so comfortable, and is also perfect for mom bods. Again, the quality is phenomenal, so this is a piece of clothing that will stay fashionable and maintain its quality for many years.

Photos: Criene Images

As I mentioned, I struggle to find clothes that really stand out from the rest. I struggle to find designers who get their sizing correct when buying online. And one of my flaws is always having high expectations, often leaving me disappointed – however, my expectations were blown, and I was highly impressed and happy with my order.

You can most certainly find some gorgeous essential garments to add to your wardrobe. Add them to your wish list for Christmas, or just simply spoil yourself! You deserve it! Their entire Spring/Summer 2018 collection is flawless!

It has been wonderful watching Sitting Pretty grow from strength to strength having started in 2009

Have a look at Sitting Pretty’s social media handles:

www.sittingpretty.co.za

Instagram.com/sittingprettysa

www.facebook.com/SittingPrettyApparel

What is that one staple garment in your wardrobe?

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Introducing New Christmas Traditions – The Elf On The Shelf.

This year is the first year that we have agreed that Olly is the perfect age to introduce the Elf on the shelf as a Christmas tradition in our home. I’ve done some research on them, and found that they have many benefits. Parents can use them for many different things – discipline, rewards, incentives, etc.

I must admit that when I stumbled upon some in the stores, I found them a bit creepy. I also didn’t really understand them. But, when I found this very special Elf on the Shelf over at Jefferey Stein (Pty) Ltd, which came with a book and DVD, I understood it so much better. I also sort of fell in love with the entire story and concept.

This sweet Elf, now named Nunu – isn’t just a cute soft toy that comes in a box. It comes with a story book that tells the story which explains not only to you but to your kids how special he/she is. It creates a very unique story in their minds and imaginations of why they have chosen your home, and your family and also encourages good behavior, and a sense of looking after and loving it as it becomes a part of your family for their entire childhood.

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The book is beautifully written and illustrated and has a whimsical and magical feel to it. The DVD that comes with it is a lovely length. Again, beautifully put together and Olly was so captivated watching it. He keeps asking to watch it again and again, and in just a short week, it has become an incredibly special part of our festive season. His elf, Nunu moves around each night to a new spot in the house, and monitors his behavior. The objective is that he reports to Father Christmas.

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Olly often chats to him once he’s found him that morning, and tells him stories and also secretly whispers in his ear what he would like for Christmas for him to pass on the message to Santa for him. Every time he glances up when he’s being slightly mischievous, he quickly adjusts his bad attitude because he doesn’t want the Elf to tell Father Christmas that he has been naughty.

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I love buying something that stands out from the rest. A product that you can see is created with so much love. Something that goes above and beyond. And that is this gorgeous Elf on the Shelf set that we received. I have no doubt that Olly will be sad to pack it away once Christmas is over. But it will be something that we will so look forward to unpacking each year as the festive season begins. It retails on their website for R499.90; but remember you only need ONE for their entire childhood. So you will never have to purchase another one. Also, what I like is that there is nothing breakable about him. It can be popped in the wash before getting packed away.

And just as you thought it couldn’t get any sweeter, any better. Along came a change of clothing for his Elf. Of course, every toddler is semi-obsessed with Super Hero’s, and seeing that this Elf has magical superpowers of his own, naturally he needed a super hero outfit. They also have, as shown below, a hoodie outfit you could choose instead.

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It comes separately to the Elf. And actually makes a nice little reward for good behavior. Something that they can be given in the holidays when they’ve done something that really stands out to you. I thought it was such a fun idea!

I know I have already mentioned this, but this is the most traditional and classic Elf on the shelf set I have seen. It truly has become apart of our family, and I feel that the perfect age to start the tradition is at 3 years old! They really do seem to connect with their Elf, and they just love it!

You can get yours here: http://www.jeffreystein.co.za/brands/the-elf-on-the-shelf

Please let me know if you purchase one, and how your kids and family reacted and responded to it being introduced in your home. You can do so in the comment section below. Do look out for my Christmas giveaways coming up weekly!

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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Toddler Stimulation – Hello Shongololo

Ladies, I don’t know about you, but I have a nature lover on my hands. Come rain or shine, my little guy wants more than anything to just be outside, exploring – toys or no toys.

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He will return to our big sliding door with mud dripping from his hands to his toes, with mud marks wiped across his face as if he’s just returned from being lost in a jungle. And the tales he has to tell from his adventures in our garden are worth writing a book about.
I’m not one to spend money quickly. I’m THAT mom who does research on a product before I purchase it. I feel that kids don’t need a lot of toys, because the imagination really happens when you place them in what’s already surrounding them. Also, being a stay at home mom that only earns an income from my blog, I don’t have extra money lying around to just spend every time I see a cute toy.

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And then, low and behond – I heard about Shongololo. Huh? You may be thinking, or may have even blurted out loud to yourself, with your kids most likely hollering: “What? What’s huh mommy? Whaaaaat?” (That’s if they’re anything like mine.)
Let me explain quickly – Hello Shongololo is home to a range of beautifully packaged activities for toddlers and pre-schoolers.

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Now, I have once before ordered a box for Olly which was created with a similar idea in mind. It arrived (late) and arrived with literally three rubbish products in the box. Let me just say that it stirred not even an inch of stimulation and was not at all educational. It was overpriced and the products seemed to have been thrown in after being purchased from China Town. There was no theme and just no care involved. It definitely put me off.

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BUT.. there is always hope, and sometimes one just needs to do a little bit of research – and that’s what makes my blog useful to other moms. I make the mistakes for you, and then help you SAVE money and prevent you from making the same mistakes that I did.
So, here is your go-to for an activity box, and I will tell you why now!

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Olly excitedly opened up his beautifully packaged box, and out popped a gorgeous little bag with a zip complete with a gorgeous wooden Shongololo. He carefully unzipped it with beaming eyes, and shouted ‘WOOOOOAH, COOL!!!’ Out tumbled a bunch of ‘Shongololo In The Garden’ themed goodies that had been chosen and placed in the box with so much thought and care. A desire to enhance your kids hand-eye co-ordination, to encourage creative play and to improve dexterity.
The Shongololo In The Garden box specifically teaches kids about the wonders of nature found in our very own gardens. It contains the following:

– Bug Kit
– Scavenger Hunt (This is my favourite part, and such a fun way to spend a beautiful day outdoors with your child).
– Seeds and Planting fun
– Butterfly Craft
– Felt Tip Pens
– Exciting Story Book
– DIY Gooey Snail Slime (Great for kids with sensory issues)
And the best part is that every one of these products is great quality! They aren’t cheap products that your kid is going to loose interest in our break while playing with them.
Olly has loved his box so far. We haven’t had too much of a chance to go through all of the activities yet, but looking through it has been so much fun, and I promise to post some more photos of him enjoying his Scavenger Hunt and doing some bug catching.
The boxes are wonderful for rainy days, but even for beautiful summer days to go outside and explore! Kids need to get their hands dirty and to potter around the beautiful garden in order to learn, and in order to truly experience what is around them.
As I say, my little guy is happiest when he is outside!

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Now onto the facts – the activity boxes are split between two age groups. 1.5 – 3 years and 3-5 years. We ordered the 3-5 year box.

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The boxes cost R350 which is such good value for what you get! This includes delivery and it takes between 2-7 working days to be delivered. They make wonderful birthday gifts too! You can even order one of their travel kits (GENIUS!!!) to keep your little ones busy on a long flight or on a road trip. Those are priced between R165 and R240, however that cost does not include delivery.

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Do yourself a favour and read the ‘About Us’ section on their website. I always love to learn a little more about the face behind a brand, and it truly shows the passion and love that Natasha has for what she does.IMG_6752-300x300 Another thing that is obvious is that she has a little one and is so educated on what little bodies need to stimulate them and on what they can learn from without even being aware.

You can order your box at Hello Shongololo
Also, follow their social media platforms to see all of their latest news:
Instagram
Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You have the power to save a little life.

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

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

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

https://twitter.com/CarseatFullstopxx

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

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

Sign up for our newsletter

www.carseatfullstop.org

support@carseatfullstop.org

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

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

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

Spindel – Sanity Saver

In this generation, if you aren’t finding ways to save money – then you need to start opening your eyes to the reality of our economy. With water running out and electricity becoming less available, it’s time to start taking precautions in our households.

For awhile now, we have worked out ways to save water. Our monthly water bill is often at R0 and we try to save electricity as much as possible. I find so many advertisements of products new to the market who have their selling point being that they are eco-friendly or that they save water or use minimal electricity. BUT… how many of these things actually work as they promise?

The Spindel crossed paths with my a few times. At first, before doing my research, I was, like many of you, skeptical as to whether it would actually work and if it was worth investing in. But, I finally took the leap, and my Spindel arrived.

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What makes Spindel unique?

‘Spindel is a specialist laundry spin dryer that uses centrifugal force instead of heat to quickly remove excess moisture from laundry. It also extracts residual detergent and mineral deposits from the fabric, so laundry dries cleaner and feels better too. The Spindel can be used with machine or hand washed laundry and is safe for all fabrics’.

That being said, it uses far less electricity than a tumble dryer, however, keep in mind that The Spindel doesn’t totally dry your laundry, but rather dries it to the point where it minimizes the hung up washing time. You run your Spindel for 3-4 minutes, and then turn it off and hang up. Some of your laundry can be ironed immediately depending on the fabric.

Nothing will shrink and no garments will be ruined or be left with bobbles as they tend to when being tumble dried.

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My Thoughts?

With the confusing weather that Cape Town has had over the past couple of weeks – one day sunny, and the next pouring with rain, I just never get my timing right with when to do laundry. I kept finding that it would start raining while I was out which resulted in my laundry soaking wet, and sometimes needing to be rewashed. Such a waste!!!

Since having my Spindel, I can pop my washing directly into my Spindel from the washing machine, and then I can hang up inside or outside for half an hour or so between having to rush back out to run errands/fetch Olly from school, and I know that I can bring it in and it’s ready to be folded and packed away as soon as I have a moment.

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Any Other Pro’s?

I love that I can see the quantity of water that gets pulled out of the laundry – you can also see the amount of detergents that get removed from your garments. This is incredible! When using a tumble dryer, the detergents remain in your laundry which can cause problems for children and people with sensitive skin or eczema. This has been a huge saving grace in my home because of that very reason.

The Spindel isn’t too noisy which is great as we don’t have a closed off laundry room. It makes a quiet noise (does that make sense) but only runs for such a short amount of time anyway!

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Where Can I Get One?

Takealot is having a great special on The Spindel from today! You can save R300 by ordering online! I know that for some it may seem like a large amount to spend, but it really is worth every cent. It also comes with a 1 year limited warranty, and there is also free delivery available when purchasing through Takealot!

A Few More Facts:

• Spindel spins at 2800rpm – double the spin power of most washing machines
• Removing up to 80% of moisture from laundry in just 3 minutes
• So you can:
Air dry in a fraction of the time,
o   Iron certain fabrics immediately,
o   Or run a much shorter cycle in the tumble dryer

Saves Energy:
• Uses 100 times less electricity than tumble drying
• No hanging space? Spindel can reduce your tumble dryer cycle time and energy costs by up to 70%

Preserves Fabric:

• No heat damage, stretching or shrinking
• Safe for all fabrics – even hand washed delicates such as woolen jerseys
• Removes residual detergents that can damage fabrics, fade colours and cause skin allergies

Please do feel free to message me with any questions.
You can find any other information here: https://www.takealot.com/spindel-laundry-dryer-6-5kg/PLID32584893?gclid=CjwKCAjw_8jNBRB-EiwA96Yp1tlIHnGBWulEPhLM3ORQNVLeyqyOnpGjy96dewktv5fIGShOlf1xEBoC-hwQAvD_BwE

And on the Spindel website: http://spindel.co.za/

Do you have one? And what are your thoughts? Please share below.

Birthday Pampering – Rouge Day Spa

The hype from my 25th birthday two weeks ago is finally fading away, and the fatigue has set in after my sons third birthday last weekend. I think I was on some sort of high, perhaps some supernatural Adrenalin that ad kicked in that kept me going. Birthday party planning and semi-renovating our home at the same time. Call me crazy.

But, the one thing that hasn’t faded is my beautiful gelish nails that I had done as an early birthday treat at Rouge Day Spa a couple days before my birthday. What better way to spoil a girl and mom? Some down time, to herself to be pampered!

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Rouge Day Spa has always been my go-to Spa. And, no! I’m NOT being paid to say that. Having been an old home before they bought it and transformed it into a cozy day spa, it’s just exactly what they call it: ‘Your home away from home’. It has become just that to me.

I get to sip on my HOT coffee in front of a fire without being interrupted by a toddler 46 times. I don’t have to get up even once to help him use the loo or to get him a drink, and then change the cup because it wasn’t the correct one. I can just close down the brain temporarily and be ALONE! It’s wonderful!

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On a hot summer day, you can have your treatment and then stay for as long as you like after (get a babysitter!!!) and sip on a glass of champagne and have a swim in their gorgeous salt water pool.

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They’re also home to my absolute favourite organic, natural spray tan – Vita Liberata!

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And, it gets better – you can even join them for a girls movie night with your girlfriends to watch chick flicks and have your nails done while munching on some popcorn. The benefit is that, again – you don’t have to worry about any small humans bothering you or having your husband changing channels while you’re watching your movie.

Rouge Day Spa is just a treat. It’s my escape, my place of sanity, and it’s all I find that I need once in awhile to reboot my energy and my sanity. Every mom needs a little time to invest in themselves in order to be a good wife/partner and mother.

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On a side note,I also find that in comparison to the walk in spas that you find in shopping centers, my gelish stays fresh at least a week longer after having it done at Rouge. They use quality products and really do a fantastic job.

I’ve had many treatments at Rouge, and every single one of them has been flawless! I’m comfortable, relaxed and leave feeling sane and ready to face the world again.

Rouge Day Spa is located in Kenilworth, Cape Town and you can find their price list and treatments on their website:

http://www.rougespa.co.za/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/RougeDaySpa/

Instagram:

http://instagram.com/rougedayspa

PS. They also have loads of weekly specials and sell some amazing products at their salon!

Finding My Confidence As A Woman, Not Only As ‘Mom’.

This may not mean much to you, but if you’re a mother – maybe something about this will hit home. Becoming a mother shouldn’t mean that you lose your identity as a woman. It shouldn’t mean that you lose your confidence because your body has changed shape and gained a few extra stretch marks here and there.

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I lost so much confidence in myself. Having done a lot of modeling before I fell pregnant, in fact my first swimwear editorial in the Zigzag Surfing Magazine when I was 5 week pregnant (I didn’t know yet) – that was the last shoot I did on my own apart from my maternity shoot. Olly then started to become my ‘comfort blanket’.

I declined shoots that would be of only myself because I didn’t feel confident without him.

I recently had a thought cross my mind. I am not just ‘Olly’s mom’. I am also a partner to my man, and a woman. I have so much more that defines me, and that makes me who I am that just being a mother.

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When Terence Orpen and I started chatting about collaborating on a shoot while he was down from Joburg, I couldn’t give up the offer. I knew that this was my time to get raw and real as a woman, on my own. It had been almost four years since the last time – and although I felt nervous, I knew that it would boost my confidence and teach me to learn to love myself again – all of myself.

I had the most incredible afternoon – one that was about adventuring, driving around the peninsula and finding beautiful spots that represented me as a person. The wind in my hair, the sand between my toes. Raw emotion that was captured so perfectly.

Here are just a few photos that I have received so far. And I love that they are imperfectly perfect. That they represent every inch of me, and of who I am now.

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Thank you Terence for helping me see myself in a new light. I found my favourite photograph from this shoot from my entire existence. Something I would have never have had if I didn’t take the leap of faith and just do this.

You can see his work here:
Website: www.porterfilm.com
Instagram: @terence_orpen

A truly talented man who has recently started to follow his heart by doing portraiture. He is often in Cape Town, but resides in Joburg. Him and his equally talented wife, Derryn also travel abroad to shoot and video weddings.

You can see their work here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OrpenFilmCo/
Website: http://www.orpenfilms.co.za/

This Is Three!

Three years old. How has 1095 days gone by in what feels like a blink of an eye? It felt like just yesterday that I was nursing a newborn baby, living in a daydream, in what I refer to as ‘the slow life’. 21124086_1557967274223791_1340569444_n
 
It felt like yesterday that we were praising him for rolling over, sitting, getting his first teeth, starting solids and taking his first few steps. Then talking and starting to run.
 
He then turned one, and then two and then started play school. Single words have now transformed into beautiful sentences and words longer than I can count. Such a smart, happy and active little boy! No more a baby.
 
It’s tough and happy writing this, because watching them transform from a baby into a child is so bittersweet. Three, to me has been the cross over. He is officially, 100% a little boy now.
 
What a joy it has been to be your mother, to watch you grow and blossom. To watch you learn new things and see you become such an intelligent little person. Your desire to always try something new is such an inspiration to me, sweet boy!
 
Three years ago, I got to hold your little body in my arms for the first time, and I pray that God will grant me with the opportunity to celebrate uncountable more with you as you grow up.
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I love you so much, Olly! Thank you for changing my life. ❤️ Happy third birthday!

 

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!