Category Archives: Thoughts

A GYM… for your KIDS!

As a mum to three kids (two busy boys who are play-school going) we all know the importance of gross motor development and the scary stats about the number of kids in Occupational Therapy. I think partly, it’s due to the fact that we can’t just allow our kids to run up the road to their friends house or let them cycle to the nearest park to play until we call them in for dinner (sigh…). Facing the reality of OT can be a scary and intimidating thought for many parents. While neither of my kids are in OT – I have left a meet-the-teachers appointment with a sheet of gross motor exercises in my hand. Best I get on it then…

So I was PUMPED about this! A couple weeks ago we were invited to the launch of The Kids Gym, a brand new and FANTASTIC first-class gym space, designed with only kids (aged 0-15 years) in mind. KIDSFIT size treadmills & bicycles have been imported from America, and it has everything you can dream of in a gym – barring weights – on purpose (that could get dangerous). There is a range of specially designed equipment for age appropriate movement activities to improve balance, coordination, strength, flexibility & rhythm.

My kids had a BALL! They could’ve played for hours and hours and hoooooooours. I’m not over-exaggerating when I say that I had to drag them out of there. The range of exercise/play equipment is so vast, you’ll need a few visits to enjoy it all.

A gym with HEART:

This is not another ‘money making activity’ aimed at parents who feel the need (guilt) to take their kids out somewhere fun. This gym was created by a father whose daughter was born with a neuro-muscular disorder. He struggled to find a place to go to help her. It ignited his passion to create a place where kids can go to build muscle tone, strengthen their bodies, develop stronger gross and fine motor skills all while have a ball and building their self confidence at the same time.

I can’t help but think how PHENOMENAL a place like The Kids Gym will be for kids who:

a) need a place to get their energy out (or can’t stop moving),
b) need help with gross motor strength,
c) want to build self-confidence,
d) want an awesome adventure day out, or simply
e) a place parents can take their kids instead of plonking them in front of the tv.

The Kids Gym offer’s a non-competitive, non-judgemental environment for ALL to find their own “zone”.





But don’t be fooled – this is not a place where you dump your kids and hit up an awesome flat white at the Ninja Bean Cafe (…and there are AWESOME flat whites at this cafe). No one ‘works out’ alone – there is always a trainer to teach and supervise.


The gym is safe; with turn styles, a top notch security system, cameras and linked tv screens and an impressive number of trained assistants constantly watching and helping. Guys. I mean!

Price you ask? Take a look at the incredibly reasonable membership options below:


Check them out:

Address: Sable Square, Cnr Bosmansdam & Sable Road, Century City, Cape Town
Email them: fun@thekidsgym.co.za
Cell: 082-900-4480

Get social with them: www.thekidsgym.co.za, Facebook, Instagram.

R3000 Challenge: Pauper to Princess 

I promise I had this weeks meals planned.
With my R40 left, my meal plan was as follows:

Basil, cherry tom and chicken pasta,

Roast Chicken with veg,

Toasted sarmies with leftover roast chicken and cheese,

Soup (with whatever Food Lovers veg are on their mad Wednesday special).

And then this.


A gift.

You know when you settle for second best and then out of nowhere you land up hitting the bulls eye? Accepting that humble vulnerable spot, only be be bumped unexpectedly to first place?

That was us. Today. I’d counted the apples and pears for lunchboxes, gone 2 days with no milk in my coffee, eaten the crusts of my boys’ leftover peanut butter sandwiches (okay not really), but I was crawling apprehensively towards the finish line, nervous.

But it takes a village, and it seems my humble public meekness around our food budget brought out some of the most wonderful and generous acts of said village. Today we received THREE days worth of Day to Day meals (not even two as seen in the text above) as well as home-reared free range eggs, biscuits, dried fruit snacks AND jelly tots for the kids.

This evening we had steak, tomorrow we’ll be smacking our lips with smoked chicken and the next day pork chops. Fresh, healthy, local, nutritious family meals, when I was absolutely mentally prepared for (and content with) leftovers on toasted sarmies.

I sit here, on my bed, writing this, STUFFED. And grateful. While it may seem like I’ve been carried across the finish line (and maybe I have), there is a deeper lesson I’ve taken away from today. It’s that people are awesome. Share your journey – the hardships, the struggles, the challenges, the achievements. Be vulnerable. Accept gifts, give gifts, share. Share life, share food, share tears, joy, conversation, thoughts, ideas, generosity, abundance, privilege, concern, love.

Marcelle. You’re a great example of someone who shares. Thank you x

R3000 Challenge: I’m in trouble… 

YOI! I’m in trouble. I did a quick shop yesterday. (I’m surprised at how often I need to go to the shops, as it turns out – 5ppl can eat quite a lot).

I spent another R300, which, in my vague calculation (still unsure of total GFC order) leaves me around R600 for the rest of the month. 😳 I have meat, and staples. But today my confidence may have superseded the reality of my situation because I might have made some rash decisions.

I bought 2 x 3kg bags of butternut. Why 2? Did I need 2? I’m not so sure. I also needed tea. So I bought a box, of 107 teabags. Do I need all 107 teabags? Can I even drink that much in 15 more days? Not a chance. But the bulk buyer in me came to the party.

The saver came to the party too and I couldn’t refuse the Jungle Oats on sale, nor the Bubbly chocolate. If Bubbly is ever on sale, it’s almost sinful to say no. Surely? So I caved, and as I grabbed two slabs off the shelf I thought twice about my budget. And naively took the hit. 


I seeeeeeriously need to tighten the purse strings. Because I have a birthday boy coming up, and cake (and school party treats) will be a necessity shortly.

RIGHT! Two points that have been raised by numerous readers: FREEZING GLASS JARS.

Yes, I too believed one could never freeze glass, but, it turns out you can. A friend showed me or else I would’ve been way too scared to try. They must be decent glass jars and you must be sensible. Don’t freeze HOT food, straight from the oven into the freezer, and take care when defrosting. Don’t take it from the freezer and pop it straight in the microwave/oven. Go easy on your glass.

I buy my glass jars from Bonpak in Prime Park, Diep River. They’re the same size and shape as the Oh Mega Nut Butter jars.

RETHINKING FOOD:

A friend messaged me today, and she was reading my mind. Her message was as follows:

I love the challenge blah blah because… you “buy what you need, no need to overdo elaborate meals EVERY night, good for the hips, good for the world / enviro (cause not over consuming in this consumer crazy society etc etc). Every time I have made my “normal” purchases I think of you and how you’re exercising such restraint and it makes me see the “normal” purchase as a super spoil.”

Someone else (talking about something similar but different) spoke of our consumer culture like this: shopping (unnecessarily, in our case maybe for food/eating) is a way of “filling voids, eradicating boredom, fostering laziness, thwarting creativity, not to mention draining our bottom line“.

I sometimes imagine asking someone from the early 1900’s to watch our western culture. And I wonder how sensible popping into the same shop every 2nd day would seem? Especially in today’s unbelievably demanding lifestyle, when we don’t actually have the time to spare? Does buying a takeaway coffee look cool, indulgent or irresponsible? Is it a prerequisite to your morning? (Coffee is ABSOLUTELY a prerequisite to mine, and I thank the Good Lord for the creamy sweet nectar every morning as I sip it). Pre-cooked meals? Are they convenient, or necessary, or have we barely stopped to consider the joy and creativity involved in cooking we’re blindly robbing ourselves of? Nooooooo judgement here guys – I’m asking myself these exact questions… (and I could’ve fueled a small country on the amount of take away coffee I had last month…)

What is food? What have we made it? Where have we been sold a lemon by society? I’m ALL about good food. I’ve said this already. I love what it represents; different textures and colours, what humans are able to create with micro greens and edible flowers, the complexity of flavours and beauty and satisfaction in a delicately prepared meal. But when did we put it on autopilot?

R3000 Challenge: What we’ve been eating…

All you faithful readers – you’re keeping me going this month. There is so much accountability and interest in this 3k challenge, I’m so inspired. And whether we make it or not – lessons have already been learnt which have been so good for me.

For eg: Yesterday I popped into Checkers (a spare minute away from my kids) and I did a quick price check on some regular items. Some were more expensive, some were less. Saffas reading this, Checkers confuses me. Either way – I left with milk sachets, ginger, lemon (my winter drink of choice/necessity) and Bovril (for R39.90 the cheapest I’ve seen it). Total spent at Checkers R93.77.

Here are some tips and trick and what I’ve been eating:

I’ve fed my sweet tooth with the (massive) block of fondant that has been sitting in the freezer for over 2 years. I kid you not. It was taking up room, and with no spare budget for chocolate, ice cream, cookie dough etc. this was it. I’m glad to not have to relocate it after each new frozen food shop.


The boys have not had cracker bread this month. A quick simple snack – but at R21+ a box. Not this month. Also the juice boxes we spoke of? None of that either.

I’m limiting us to 1 big bulk bag of coffee beans and 1 tub of hot chocolate per month. That way we need to ration it all. Self control.

All in all, I’m much less impulsive in my shopping. Much less. We are not living on bread and butter (quite yet), but because I really don’t know what the end of the month will look like, I question my needs vs. wants.

This past Friday was Market Day at my Good Food Club. As I arrived to fetch my goodies, I saw this: a special. It is hard for me to refuse a special.

Yes friends, this is TOP quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil at such a good price. And I refused. Because it would’ve been too much for the budget. See my self control?

Saturday we scored huge. After a crazy busy morning with play dates and builders, we dropped everything (in my brother-in-law’s hands) to attended my cousins funeral. Hubby and I had barely eaten all day, so grabbed a handful of post-memorial snacks. Hungry again and on our way home, our brother and sister-in-law invited us to the Spur. We don’t frequent the Spur, but they had promised their kids a Spur treat and (super generously) offered money towards our bill. (How amazing!) My first thought was “for suuuure!” and my second was “oh wait, this is going to eat in the budget hard“. Pondering the situation we found ourselves in, hubby kept telling me to – quote – “tell your readers, we’ll take it from the Building Budget”. Pah, as if there is a building budget. 

So, because I feel so committed to you all and this challenge my conclusion, “right, it has to come out the 3k budget”. I was prepared to take the hit. Hospitality, remember? Long story short, our super generous family covered the whole bill, so Saturday was covered. Mahala.

Tips and tricks: find old sugary treats to keep you going and hint at family members to take you out.

WHAT WE’VE BEEN EATING:

Breakfast: Good ol’ fashion Jungle Oats, with a splash of milk and drizzle of honey. I have 3.5 kg’s of honey from my Good Food Club (paid for by this months budget). Brea has fancy yoghurt with some fruit and I usually have 7 cups of coffee. Or 1 cup, heated 7 times.

Lunch: My girlfriend and I joke about deconstructed meals.”I had a deconstructed fruit salad” she’ll say – when she means she had an apple, pear and orange, for eg. Ha. So I usually take a handful of paleo friendly goodies to work. First prize is always leftover dinner, otherwise I’ll grab some boiled eggs, butternut and avo, apple, carrot and cucumber sticks, cherry toms, banana etc.

Boys lunches: Always, a sandwich, cut up apple and cheery tomatoes. Their snacks are either raisins, dried mango (when on sale at my GFC), dates, sometimes nuts, boiled eggs, cut up cucumber, fruit etc. And water. All fresh. No prepackaged snacks.

Afternoon snack: Anything I can find in the fridge, tea (and fondant). Often fruit.

Dinner:

  • We’ve made 2 massive batches of soup and frozen them in jars (I buy glass jars from Bonpak).
  • We’ve had cheese, tomato and basil (home grown) toasted sarmies.
  • We’ve had chicken and cheese quesadillas with homemade salsa.
  • I cooked 500g of mince and added almost anything I could think of to beef if up (carrots, mushrooms, peppers, 2 cans tomatoes, and lots of lentils). I also divided the mince into jars and have frozen them for quick meals.
  • We’ve had cous cous with chicken (1 chicken breast), butternut, mint, feta and toasted almonds.
  • We’ve had chicken sausage (Elgin) on roasted sweet potato and rosemary chips.
  • Last night we had the pre-cooked frozen mince over sweet pot mash. Yum.

Soup recipes here: Sweet Pot & Bacon Soup and Roasted Butternut and Rosemary. 

Here was my initial meal plan idea – before this challenge was official. Friday night is movie night in our house so, hence the popcorn.

And as we stand, I’ve spent R1171.93 (EXCLUDING my Good Food Club food which should come in at around R1000ish). So I’m sitting on just under R2200.

How you doing? 🙂

R3000 Challenge: Where we shop, and how… kinda

You’re back! Nice to have you here… if you missed the intro, you can read it here.

Let’s start off with a few general thoughts. Follow me will you? These will come through again and again as we tiptoe through this month on our teeny tiny budget.

Firstly: I LOVE food! I LOOOOOOVE goood food; the flavours, textures and how communal it is. How creative it is, how delicate and bold, how it can inspire, fuel, satisfy and be enjoyed in so many ways. So this is exceptional and intentional and not long term. It’s intended to open our eyes and have us think a little more about our usual grocery-buying habits. Here we go…

I think, in general, we can eat less. Eat when hungry, and not spontaneously. I shop the sales, ALWAYS, esp at Woolies. I try not buy more than we need (something I put into practice intentionally today as I’m so often loading my trolley with 5 cans of tomatoes when I could easily do with only 2 or 3, or say 6 slabs of chocolate when I only need, well… less than that). The less you have the less you consume. Choose your purchases well, and buy different goods at different shops. It’s a pain I know, but if I can do it with 3 small kids, so can you. Food is very often a ‘you get what you pay for’ situation – so keep that in mind. Sometimes paying more for something is necessary and important, sometimes not.

Let me share how we usually do things around here. I generally shop at my local Good Food Club, Pick n Pay, Woolies, and our Elgin Free Range Chicken store.

I start the month at my Good Food Club: (Sorry, I know you don’t all have a Good Food Club – it’s buying direct from the farmer. Often cheaper-ish, sometimes not, but the quality of the food is way up there.)

Here I get 2 large trays of free range eggs, and hormone free cheese, butter and yoghurt. I usually buy dates and raisins (kid snacks), meat, olive oil, wine (but not this month!), honey, natural nut butters, bio wheat flour and some household goodies such as eco washing power/dishwashing liquid etc.

Next I shop at PnP for things such as:

Bread (for kids lunchboxes; hubby makes our own bread with the bio flour from our GFC), milk (usually in sachets unless the bottles are on special). Things such as some fruit and veg (see Woolies list below), wraps, cans of tomatoes and tomatoes paste, sauces, sandwich spreads, balsamic vinegar, spices, oats (our designated winter breakfast), and usually chocolates and treats (but not this month!) etc.

Then I hit up Woolies:

I’ve actually found that many Woolworths items (BARRING their pre-made, deli or specialty foods) are cheaper than PnP (and Checkers). At Woolies I buy almost all their specials – ALWAYS cherry tomatoes (my kids eat them like sweets) and apples (I can’t handle bruised floury ones I usually end up with from PnP). I get the lettuce packs (unless my garden is thriving) and COFFEE BEANS. I always buy the silver Organic bag – but alas, the budget is calling me toward the dark roast Italian beans at R40 less. The yoghurt tubs are often buy 3 for price of 2 and I prefer their yoghurt to PnP. At Woolies I buy the 4 huge bags of vegetables for R125 deal. I know PnP is cheaper but I can’t find large bags of sweet potatoes at PnP for the same deal. So I usually buy 2 x huge bags of sweet pot and 2 x huge bags of butternut – those are my BASE STARCHY VEGETABLES for most meals.

Elgin Free Range Chicken: I buy chicken breasts, whole chickens and their chicken sausage. It’s cheap.

A couple guidelines to our month of cheap. There are certain things I CAN NOT live without/will not compromise on:

Decent coffee beans, hormone free meats (for the most part), free range eggs, real butter, apples from Woolworths and avocados.


Restrictions: This month I have HAD to cut out chocolate/snacks (hubby and I LOOOVE chocolate), and… wine. I know. Sigh. Wine and chocolate will only appear should I have leftover cash (I’m not holding my breath).

We are also NOT eating out, or getting take out (unless it’s genuinely cheaper than cooking something). If you track spontaneous buying, you’ll be amazed at how much food is bought spontaneously. No coffees or nibbles on the go. Thanks to Discovery, I’ll still be able to grab a weekly Vida or Kauai – mahala.

Baking this month will be considered a luxury. Baking uses a ton of butter which is expensive, and all sorts of deliciousness which adds up FAST. But let’s remember, we’re not on diet, we’re saving money. And by not baking, my body will thank me later.


Hospitality Clause: There is always a hospitality clause. Hospitality always trumps a diet/budget/restrictions. People matter more.

Drinks: We don’t ever drink carbonated bevvies, unless it’s tonic for gin or Appletizer on special occasions. We are water, coffee (GOOD COFFEE) and wine people. Sometimes tea. The only time I buy juice is when I buy box juices for picnics or outings with the kids. Sorry kids – it’s water this month.

With no wine this month, cheaper coffee beans and water from the Newlands Brewery Spring means I’ve already saved around R550. Boom.

Next post: what we’re ACTUALLY eating…

How I’m keeping our grocery budget to R3000 this month. 

Anyone else feeling slightly nauseous at the prices of groceries recently? I get that I’m now buying for a (solid food eating) family of 5, but it seems like every trip to the shops seems to deplete my bank account more than it should, and it’s significant. And I know others feel the same.

We recently had veeeeery dear friends visiting us from Vancouver. Despite paying for 4 doctors appointments and numerous meds in 6 days the week prior, we decided that we’d enjoy the holiday and have fun and not be scared off by our growing credit card bill. We’d also endured a car break in (in hubby’s car), the need for new brakes on my car, new glasses for our son, and random renovation payments. But whatevs. We were going to have fun. Oh, and FUN we did! I’m sure I’ll blog alllll about it another time. Cape Town is spectacular.

Right, so on Sunday evening through tears we bid our friends farewell. Our time together had deeply satisfied our hearts, our minds, our emotions, certainly our stomachs, and most definitely the ones reaping benefits from the interest we pay on our Discovery Card.

And so, in the spirit of FUN, and not despair (this is important) we decided that we needed to replenish the available funds and be HARDCORE about it. So I set myself the most ridiculous challenge of keeping our food budget this month to R3000. We’re only allowed to spend R3000 on food this month. Can we do it? When I shared my new challenge with my girlfriends, one actually texted back “that’s impossible”. Maybe it is, we’ll soon see.

Before anyone throws any eye-rolling judgemental glances my way – I have a few DISCLAIMERS:

1) This does not include the existing food I have in my house (although I assure you there wasn’t heaps – if I did it would defeat the point).

2) While I will do my best not to deplete EVERYTHING in my pantry before 1 July, I do want to rummage through and use things that have been there a while. Use up before buying new.

3) This is not an exact science or mathematical formulae on how much each meal costs. I have given myself a R3k limit, but obviously, as with most lessons we teach ourselves, it’s more about opening our eyes to how we do things (in auto pilot) and then rethinking them…

4) Since we eat mostly paleo, we will have to be reaaaaally flexible when it comes to what we eat. Some nights very well might be bread and butter (not margarine, NEVER margarine).

5) I know that for some, R3000 for food alone can seem like a LUXURY. Budgets and money are sensitive topics – but most people in my demographic easily spend more than double that on food. Again, it’s bringing into question numerous thoughts and ways of doing things which deserve attention from time to time.


Let’s get into it, in the post to follow. This is not a bait-and-switch, I just know the most people don’t like to read long posts… so keep your eyes peeled for the next installment.

Join me! This will be fun.

Waste-Free Living 101

Every Wednesday morning around 7am, we hear the garbage truck drive up the road. My boys jump up, scream for me to open the front door so they can run outside and watch the garbage men grab our bin, toss it into the truck, empty it of all our waste and drive off again with great gusto, all with a smile and a wave and a “good morning!”

And ‘Poof!’ Just like that, our mess, our waste; broken plastic toys, styrofoam trays, plastic bags, food waste, takeaway containers, greasy tin foil, plastic wrap, and and and is taken off into a magical land, never to be seen again. Right? Wrong. Oh so very wrong.

I first heard of Lauren Singer’s Blog, Trash is for Tossers in 2014 and was completely inspired by her approach to producing no trash/garbage/rubbish. This is the amount of trash she has collected over the years.

This was made even more real for me after spending some time on Galiano Island off the west coast of Vancouver. A fully functioning island (with views you could stare at for years), but a warning: that you take back to the mainland (Vancouver) what cannot be recycled, composted or is biodegradable. So, you literally pack your garbage in your boot for the ferry trip home. Reality check.

There are two sides to this way of thinking: by reconsidering ease and convenience, and being more proactive in caring for our ever-faithful environment.

What’s clear from the ever-increasing solid waste in the world, and the phenomenal and escalating expense of dealing with it, that while important, the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) are not enough. This is the driving force behind the emerging trend towards waste-free living. But looking at how much waste Lauren Singer has accumulated, how do we do it

The key to waste-free living is to prevent waste coming into your home in the first place. Here are 5 easy ways to move towards waste-free living:

  • Stop buying, using and discarding single use items.  Believe or not, there are easy alternatives to paper towels and tissues, plastic bags and wrap, aluminium foil and baking paper, even dental floss, plasters and ear buds. In this stage of my life, many of my reusables involve breast pads and cloth nappies.
  • Eliminate all the disposable items you bring into your home, and replace them with reusables. A simple example of this for women waste warriors is to replace tampons and sanitary pads with the increasingly popular menstrual cup.  When you consider that each woman over her lifetime may dispose of as many as 12 000 tampons, changing this monthly habit can greatly reduce your waste.
  • Buy without packaging by shopping for second hand goods and clothes rather than new; and buying bulk food items using your own glass containers and reusable bags. This is a new way of thinking for us here in SA, but it common practice in most awesome first world countries. 
  • Stop accepting freebies. YES! For real! We’re often on autopilot when someone hands us something, and most often out of politeness accept things we then want to get rid of. By being conscious about what you agree to accept from others you can prevent taking into your home what are essentially unwanted and unnecessary items. You can say ‘no thank you’…
  • Add another R for ‘Rot’.  Your green food waste is nutrient dense and can sweeten the place where you live if you compost instead of throw away. If you don’t garden at home, find a community garden or school food garden in your neighbourhood and contribute your kitchen waste to their composting efforts – or build a worm farm.
  • Ensure you have reusables ‘on the go’.  Go out and about in the world with the reusables you need on hand.  Always have reusable shopping bags with you.  If you can’t live without your favourite takeaway coffee, get a travel mug. Carry your own reusable water bottle or flask, and bring along a reusable strawIf you regularly eat takeaways make sure you have your own reusable plate and cutlery. If you are not sure how to get this together, see this Waste-Free-Living starter kit from Faithful to Nature which provides you with a glass water bottle, stainless steel straw, bamboo coffee cup and two mesh Fresh Bags for your groceries.

While these five steps might seem small, they go a long way towards waste-free living. Four of the biggest polluters of our environment are plastic bottles, bags and straws, and disposable coffee cups. These items used just once, but so frequently and by so many, result in phenomenal accumulations of completely unnecessary solid waste.  

Essentially, waste-free living doesn’t have to mean doing without. It’s most often about working out what is really important to you, and then switching to the waste-free alternatives. The pioneers of waste-free living often attest to a life greatly enriched by the simplicity and peace of mind that they experience through their commitment to embracing the eco-friendly options.

YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN one of these very cool Waste-Free-Living starter kits of your very own from Faithful to Nature.

All you need to do is comment below/on the Facebook comments thread and mention what reusables you love using in your home using the hashtag #wastefreeliving. Tag a friend on the facebook post for an extra entry…

Thanks for entering. Good Luck!

Contact Faithful to Nature
(t) (021) 785 3268
Web: www.faithful-to-nature.co.za

Terms and Conditions

The competition runs from Tuesday 18 April – Tuesday 25 April 2017.
This competition is open to South African residents only.
The winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via email.
Winner will be announced on the Our Greenish Life website and social media channels on Tuesday 25 April.

Visit www.faithful-to-nature.co.za to find more solutions that will help you on your green journey.

Image credit: crushmag, Galiano Inn & Spa.

3+ months in with 3 kids… and this is what I’ve learnt 

Had you told me 5 years ago that I’d have 3 kids under 5 I would’ve laughed AT you (that crazy, ‘you’re ridiculous’ kind of laugh). But here we are. And I’m so fortunate.


Looking at my littlest bub, I’m OVERWHELMED by her perfection. Her beautiful strong fingers, the perfect veins on her eyelids, her chubby legs and gargly smiles. Ah. I’m completely smitten. My kids are just incredible. And I remind myself of this often, especially during the times of silently and inwardly screaming pretty profane language in my head.


And so it’s becoming more and more clear, as we grow into this family rhythm of 5, what exactly I’m learning. I’m winning at times, and failing a lot. I’m drinking a fair amount of wine and am currently completely addicted to Masterchef Australia. It’s ‘mommy’s show’ and the family knows not to bother me. Well, all except for Brea.

So here it is. My list of what I’ve learnt in 3 months with 3 kids.

It’s loud. Kids are loud. It’s like they’re attached to amplifiers. They scream. A lot. My kids like to scream to the North Pole for Father Christmas. Yep. Noise. All the time.

The demand is high. Physically, be it for a toy, or some water, or to be fed, changed, or carried. To be rocked, or bounced, or sung to. Mentally, to negotiate eating noodles and salad and sibling rivalry. The logistics and importance of eating at the table, answering hard and ridiculously unrealistic questions while treating them as important, all the while encouraging number and letter recognition with a smile on my face. How to remember the wipes, nappies, a blanket, dummy, suncream, extra clothes and wrap before an outing. And that’s only for one kid. The bag packing, laundry folding, dry-Pronutro-stuck-to-the-bowl washing. It goes on, and on, and on… You get the point. Tip: just don’t ever sit down. It saves you inevitable disappointment. Trust me.


– The child in the middle seat of the car can quickly learn how to put the dummy in the newborns mouth. Win.

– Have a First Aid kit on you at all times. Your chances of needing it have skyrocketed exponentially.

Know your priorities/goals and gather as much energy as you can muster to CHASE THEM. Want to lose weight? Don’t even think about the run before hand, just throw your shoes on and walk out the front door. Grocery shopping: take a list (because baby brain x3 is outrageous) and hit it hard. Want to eat healthy? Just don’t waste time wandering down the sweet aisle. All it will result in is recognizing your incredibly weak self control and another voice message from your hubby of a screaming baby.


– As a mom, you can say no. “Can we watch TV/eat chocolate/beg for more treats/be demanding?” NO. And that’s that. Invigorating. (Why is this so hard to do?).

– You will love #3 as much as #1. It’s mathematical. It works out. It’s miraculous.

Expectation management. Be VERY realistic about expectations of outings, yourself, patience levels, frustrations with your hubby (internal ‘who is doing more’ calculations), potential sleep-deprived grumpiness, how much you can and can’t do in a day, how often you’ll have to reheat your coffee or never finish a sentence. We are not all Erin Brockovich.


– Always, always, always, ALWAYS use a breastfeeding pillow. I’ve learnt this the hard way THREE times now. Your functioning wrists, neck and back are essential for life. In case you were wondering. Also a yoga ball. Take my word here – just buy one.

– Make it a RULE to have ‘me time‘. Shopping, a massage, a haircut, a run, coffee or drinks with your girls. It.WILL.save.you.

Laugh at yourself. Enjoy a good cry in the shower. Roll with it. Wear that mom-bun with pride. Sleep with white noise on. Allow yourself to dream. Grow a Village. Pray. Sleep at every given opportunity.


Now I’m sure there are way more really deep, meaningful and profound things I’ve learnt, but obviously I can’t remember them – because I have 3 kids. That’s enough to remember.

All gushy titles seemed lame – just read this won’t you? 

So, my mom is awesome. She made this beautiful advent calendar and she pops fun goodies in it every night. Each morning the boys wake up and run across the back garden to gran and grandpas for their surprise treat in the advent calendar. Then there are the mornings I can see their alarm is still on and Clay has to wait in the kitchen. DISASTER. If I say he can’t yet run across, he literally melts into a puddle on the floor. And my morning starts with my bucket of patience being stabbed with a searing knife.

You’d swear I’d never mentioned or explained the words contentment or patience to him hey? (The word brat may or may not have also entered the conversation).


To be honest I’m eagerly anticipating the end of all this sugar-filled advent fun. It brings such joy to my folks and the boys, but it’s become an expectation. And you can’t blame them. They’re 2 and 4.

This present giving stuff is complicated man. Family gifts, or individual, or BOTH. Experiences or STUFF, fulfilling needs or wants? Extravagant or minimalistic? Homemade or store bought? So many people I chat to just wish we didn’t have to do it. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE receiving presents, and I love giving presents. But the stress, financial pressure, time, energy and is-it-enough thinking it involves… meh.


I’m inspired by Joshua Beckers take on a lot of it, but as I intentionally slow down towards Christmas I’m more and more inspired to be people orientated. And that looks very different in each situation. Sure I’m personally trying to move towards minimalism, and not over-clutter or store things so deep in cupboards I don’t even know they’re there. Boom. Conviction. You feeling it?

How about donating to the fund of that young mom battling cancer, or cooking a delicious feast for someone who doesn’t have. How about donating to that that crowd-funding project and help someone live their dream (or support local businesses with interest free loans) . What about giving extra thought to the one who is anticipating her first Christmas without a loved one or the single parent who is not really coping right now…

(Because when family, friends and strangers gave money to us as we raised funds for Clay’s first eye op – it.changed.our.world).


How about instead of (like on autopilot) heading to the store to buy, wrap and throw gifts under the tree, challenge yourself to try give differently. WHAT does that look like? Because this intentional stuff CHANGES LIVES. It’s not a toy that’s played with for 17 seconds and then tossed aside.

Think about it…

My Summer Must Have

Summer has hit Cape Town hard! It is hot, and being post-partum, I’m feeling it. Like feeeeeling it. Drought aside, it’s awesome! The sun is bright, Christmas is in the air, it’s time for early morning runs and drinking wine at sunset. Watermelon, grapes, evening concerts, flip flops and sunnies are all a go. But the mozzies. THE MOZZIES.

No idea why God created them. I’ll ask Him one day. Defenseless little Brea is being chowed. Poor thing, she is following in her brother footsteps. Last year I took my son to the doctor thinking he may have chicken pox, but no – it was just mozzies. That’s how bad it is this side guys – it’s BAD.

It was roughly 2 years ago, I put a message out on Facebook saying something along the lines of “Hey yo Cape Townians, hit me up with some natural insect repellent…” (maybe a little less gansta). And it was then that Pure Beginnings entered our world. A friend told me about their insect repellent stick and I have been a RAVING fan ever since. If you know me at all this is not new news to you.

So here is my one and only defense of these wicked, desperately-unwanted buzzing pests. I have a tube of Pure Beginnings Insect Repellent on hand – ALWAYS.

This product is so gentle I rub it on her face. It is made with citronella, lemon eucalyptus, neem & lemon bush. It’s 100% natural, and naturally repels insects and is DEET FREE, so is safe to use on babies and kids.

Pure Beginnings have recently launched a new product – the Insect Repellent Spray – which I haven’t tried yet, but cannot wait to get my hands onto. Same as spray on sun creams – you must ensure the child does not breathe it in, which is why having both (spray and rub) is pure genius.

When we were renovating earlier this year, my dad (who is also one to get completely chowed by mozzies) would spray about an entire can of Tabbard on himself every night and hubby and I could smell this poison-like-stuff a mile away. Urgh. I’m so so so relieved I can use something safe, natural and most importantly EFFECTIVE on our tiny little precious baby girl.