2015 has come and gone

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Hello there! I hope you are having a fabulous Festive Season.

Wow … I cannot believe that I am actually writing this post! 2015 has certainly been a rollercoaster for personal and professional reasons and I am so content and grateful for the many blessings that has come my way.

The year started off with so many changes. Alyssa started her first year in the toddler class at a Montessori school which was quite a big adjustment – more for myself and K than for her actually. She settled in so quickly!

Settling in on the first day

Settling in on the first day

Just look how tiny she was! OMG

Then just 2 months later we welcomed little Aidan into this world and boy oh boy did things change after that!!!

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The transition from one to two kids was really tough on me, even harder on Alyssa. I mean come on, what did I expect? Alyssa like just turned 2 a few weeks before Aidan was born so she was literally a baby still! It was difficult for her to see me breastfeed Aidan, it was difficult for her to not have Mom jumping instantly for every little request and it reached a boiling point when Mom had to stay a week with Aidan in hospital while he recovered from RSV.

Things have certainly got easier since then! Alyssa can’t even remember life before Aidan was around. He is her little brother and she is a very proud big sister.

On a professional level, I still hold a full time job which I love. The last few months since I’ve returned to work from maternity leave has been a bit of a blur. It’s just been crazy juggling work, kids, blogging and being a mom/wife/friend/daughter but we are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

My blog has also progressed and opened some new opportunities my way – some of which I wasn’t even looking for but I am loving so much right now. We heard from some awesome and inspiring Moms in my “Celebrating Baby’s First Birthday” series and  I was also able to bring you some great giveaways which has really been great working with these brands.

2016 is going to be even bigger and better, I have a really good feeling about it!

From a blog point of view, I’ve decided to make it REAL lol…. I’ve gone and bought by own domain and from January you will be redirected to my new site!

I wish you and your family everything of the best for 2016 and I hope that it will bring you whatever your heart desires!

See you in 2016

xxx

Hayley

Cape Town Kid-Friendly Stay-cation Activities

Schools out, Santa’s sleigh bells are ringing and 2016 is knocking at our door. There’s about 5 weeks where we need to keep the kids entertained before schools open in the new year and if you are lucky enough to be able to get out of town for a vacation, that’s half your problem solved.

However for those of us who are having a stay-cation we will need to get creative to keep the kids entertained and free from cabin fever. Day trips will be the answer to this and we are so blessed to be living in Cape Town as there is just so much beauty and adventures awaiting! You don’t have to be a hundred miles away to have fun 🙂

Here are a few ideas on my list to keep Alyssa and Aidan entertained this holidays

1. Picnic at Kirstenbosch Gardens

Last month I accompanied Alyssa on a school outing to Kirstenbosch gardens. I hadn’t been there in many years so I really looked forward to it. The gardens are just magnificent and there’s even a dinosaur exhibition currently on display (I believe it will be there for another year or so) which the kids really loved. After a tour through the exhibition we sat down and enjoyed a lovely picnic under a gorgeous tree and the kids ran around chasing the Egyptian geese lol. There’s also a Moyo restaurant in the garden with a kiddies play area which we will most probably check out the next time we are there. Entrance to the garden is R55 per adult, R15 for children between 6 and 17 years and its free for children under the age of 6.

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2. Root 44, World of Adventure in Stellenbosch

Remember I told you about the numerous parties Alyssa attended in October and November? One of the parties was hosted at the kiddies play area at the Root 44 Market in Stellenbosch. Open on Saturdays and Sunday’s, the market boasts a wonderful selection of food and drink as well as a number of arts and crafts, clothing and jewelry stalls. Why not find some Christmas gifts there, while you’re at it!

Entrance is free to the market, there is however a charge to enter the kiddies play area.

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3. Ice Galaxy at Canal Walk Shopping Centre

On the 3rd of December, my whole little family was lucky enough to attend the launch of the Ice Galaxy in Canal Walk. Kurt and I had a fab time test driving the biggest 90m slide, Alyssa cruised down the baby slide while Aidan watched us with amusement. There’s also another “in-between” sized slide for children who are not yet ready to take on the big mama of slides.

Tickets are available through Computicket at a cost of R80 per person for a full rider ticket, R60 for a mini-rider (ages 2-5), R30 for non-rider snow play only and R20 for non-rider

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4. Giraffe House in Stellenbosch

A firm family favorite – as we celebrated Alyssa’s 2nd Birthday here. The kids just love meeting Jerry the Giraffe and all the other animals too. There’s crocodiles, ostriches, zebra and even a Warthog! There’s also an interactive reptile show which takes place at certain times as well as a kiddies play area. You are also welcome to bring your picnic blanket and basket. Entrance to the park is R50 for adults, R35 for seniors and R30 for children between the ages of 2 and 15. Remember to bring cash with you as there are no card facilities!

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5. Kiddis Carnival, Lekke Neh Restaurant at Weltevreden Restaurant in Stellenbosch

We hosted Alyssa’s first birthday party here just a few months after the restaurant was opened. The restaurant boasts the most amazing outdoor kiddies play area! Kids are also able to make their own pizza’s while Mom and Dad can sit back and enjoy a nice meal. Alyssa and I also had a shoot here for a blog post as the gardens are just magnificent with the gorgeous peacocks strutting around.

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Celebrating Baby’s First Birthday – Lindi

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I’m so happy to feature another little girl in this series!

Little Lindi is so precious … she together with her mom San-Mari has been through so much this past year – they really had lots to celebrate on Lindi’s First Birthday last month. San-Mari was kind enough to share her story with us and this is what she had to say:

1 .What would you say has been the most challenging part of the past year for you?

The most challenging thing would be coming to terms with our little girls diagnoses, as we had to make a few life-altering decisions….Its been a rough year with this lillte one. She was diagnosed with an immune deficiency and i resigned from work to take care of her. I started my own business selling modern cloth nappies to just keep our heads above the water.

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2. What has been the most rewarding part of this past year for you? 

The most rewarding thing was to see her interact with her brother who is 3 years old. Only he can make her laugh non stop!

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3. Tell me a bit about your business and how you got about starting it up and how do you juggle working while being a Mommy? 

I started cloth diapering with Lindi to save us some money as I was no longer working. I soon fell in love with modern cloth nappies, so much so that i decided to sell modern cloth nappies and so Happy Fluff started. I also go to mommies to show them all the different types of modern cloth nappies available. Best to see and touch modern cloth before you buy them. I never thought it would be hard working from home, but I was so wrong. I never thought it would be a mission to play and teach my little baby girl while trying to run a business. I soon realised that I had to set out certain days to focus on business.

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4. Have you done anything special to record baby’s milestones (sitting up, crawling, first tooth etc) throughout this year? 

It actually started when my firstborn little boy was born… no wait when I found out I was pregnant. I started keeping a diary of all the pregnancy milestones. When he was born I could not stop the diary so i continued.  I thought I would stop when he turned one. Yet again i could not stop writing in the diary. So it just overflowed into my baby girls pregnancy and her first year. I still don’t know when i’m going to stop keeping these diaries. I kept the front page open to one day write a letter to them when i do decide to give it to them.

5. Is there anything new that you’ve learnt about yourself since you’ve become a parent? 

 I learned that i can be so determined to do something that i actually lose focus. I really want to make Happy Fluff work but never at the cost of family time.

6. Your baby is now officially a toddler! Are you ready for what this new chapter has to bring – walking, running, talking and the good old tantrums 🙂 ? 

If Lindi is anything like her brother I will be ready with a bucket of water.  She has just started to walk so I have my hands full already. We are super blessed to have both of them in our lives even with all the ups and downs.

7.What plans do you have for your little ones first birthday party (if you are having one)? Are you going with a theme or not?

We are not big on birthday celebrations but now that we have kids we love that birthday excitement they have. She is still so small and she cant really play on her own, but we planned a birthday party for her, because she turned our lives upside down and showed us what it really means to believe!

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Skinny laMinx – The Perfect Christmas Gift

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It’s that time of year again. The time for giving and receiving. We literally have just 3 weeks left to shop for all your Christmas needs.
The holiday season is a time to celebrate with parties, family gatherings, and end-of-year functions. Whether you’re hosting a warm and cosy get-together around the fire, or whiling away an afternoon under the trees near the swimming pool, Skinny laMinx invites you to celebrate in style with an array of party perfect décor pairings. Make the Skinny laMinx Christmas catalogue your celebratory go-to guide this festive season!
Whether you will be celebrating indoors or enjoying the warm summer of this Christmas 2015, the Skinny laMinx catalogue has something for you!
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Soft Bucket Palmetto_Tarmac 01Look 01
ALEX SACK_Gridly signal-steel 1
Pinny Apron Brancusi Inkspot
CHANGE PURSE Orla
Pinny Apron Bowls Persimmon
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O V Optics Real Kids Shades has something new… and there’s a giveaway too – Competition closed

Remember my review about the O-V Optics Shades earlier this year? These shades offer the best protection ever and it’s so stylish! O-V Optics (Pty) Ltd is the Company bringing you Real Kids Shades and implementing the Sunglasses at school initiative in schools across the country.

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Real Kids shades now offer a Retail Range of premium children’s sunglasses. 6 styles, 4 sizes, a wide variety of colours suited for kiddos from as young as 18 months – which comes with a removable strap.

The same flexibility, durability and quality as The Sunglasses at School Program are now available at Kids Emporium Stores nationwide in colours such as Cherry Pink & Lime, Graphite & Orange, Navy & Red (is your little one channeling Spiderman and Superman..?) Check it out at realkidshades.co.za.

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With summer upon us, and school holidays here remember that your child will be spending much more time outdoors; especially around water at the beach and pool where 200%  damage is done to their vulnerable eyes due to direct UV reflection. Every time you wear your shades, remind them to wear theirs too.

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Want to win a pair of Real Kids shades for your kid?

All you have to do is:

  1. Follow me on Twitter here
  2. Follow Real Kids Shades on Twitter here
  3. Comment on this post with the answer to the following question: How much of your lifetime exposure to UV takes place before 18? (Hint: the answer is in the infographic above)

South African entries only. Competition ends Friday 11 December and winner will be announced Monday 14 December 2015.

 

 

 

 

Sebastian Baby Wear opens First Stand Alone Store

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Exclusively designed and proudly locally made, Sebastian Baby Wear has officially launched their first location store, supplying consumers with an exclusive range of baby wear and accessories. I attended the launch together with some familiar faces and it was a really awesome celebration.
Owner Tessa Lakhani welcomed us and gave us some insight into where it all started. “What started as a hobby in 2014, has blossomed into a fully operation business, forcing us to open our first showroom, which will hopefully snowball into a national roll out, bring SBW boys and girls wear to the entire country.”

Continue reading

Summer/Spring 2015 with Converse

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Thanks to Converse and Styling Concepts PR agency, Alyssa got to complement her sporty side with a really cool outfit. A perfect complement to the brand’s footwear, the Converse Kids Apparel Collection offers classic lifestyle silhouettes, including sweatshirts, raglans, bombers, joggers and jerseys that have been treated with striking print motifs and bold Converse Chuck Taylor All Star logos.

Alyssa loves frilly dresses but at the same time she can be quite a tom boy and enjoys being in a pair of sneakers. I think we share this trait. For the past month or so she insists on wearing a dress to school and it seems that she along with her two besties at school are in competition as to who’s dress can twirl the best! She also likes kicking back in jeans and track pants. Just like me she also likes wearing dresses with sneakers. If I could wear my corporate skirts and dresses with a pair of Chucks I would be so happy and comfortable! Continue reading