Books/Movies, Inspiration, Slider

2018 Franschhoek Literary Festival

June 1, 2018

I’ve always wanted to go to the literary festival in the Franschhoek valley, I just never got around to it, and then finally decided this will be the year!

There honestly couldn’t be a more perfect town to host the festival with its picturesque beauty. Franschhoek is home to many historic buildings, no-doubt telling stories of their own, and blowing new life into these historic buildings every autumn, are the many interesting book discussions with acclaimed authors, and live performances by other local and international artists throughout the long-weekend.

In the wine valley of Franschhoek you can sip on anything from a merlot to champagne while taking it all in on the green, lush lawns.  You’ll be delighted by the rows of quaint coffee shops, boutiques,  restaurants, and art galleries while strolling down the main road painted brightly with Autumn leaves. This fille française also has no shortage of grand guest houses, and provides a tranquil escape from the bustling city life for locals and tourists flocking to the valley year after year.

For our stay we chose the gorgeous Val d’or Estate Country Guest House to be our home away from home, and received a warm and welcoming reception from our hosts. The rooms are modern, cozy, spacious and the entire place just downright gorgeous. We really couldn’t fault a thing.

The Franschhoek literary festival is a wonderful opportunity not only for authors and artists to interact with the public and promote their wonderful work, but it’s also a great way to encourage reading in both young and old.

Until we’ve seen more of our youth get involved, it’s not fully achieved its goal yet.

 

For more information about the Festival, and to get involved, email Sheenagh at help@flf.co.za


As always, I’m leaving you with a few pictures taken by my talented husband, photographer, and my muse.

 

 

Yours in books,

 

Entertainment, Inspiration

Indoor Entertainment So Fun, Kids Won’t Know They Are Learning

May 26, 2018

If kids can’t play outside due to bad weather, it’s tempting to just plop them in front of the television and let that be their day, but kids need both physical and mental stimulation for healthy development. Of course, our children don’t want another day going over the same kind of lessons they do all day at school. However, I’ve put together some fun indoor activities to trick them into learning.

 

Playing Real Estate

Kids love activities where they get to use real-world applications and pretend they are adults. A great sector to tap into for these kinds of activities is real estate. Real estate is a complex field that requires skills in math, science, English, social studies and home economics. By incorporating real estate-based lessons into your curriculum, you can help students gain valuable skills in practical math application, presentation giving, forming a persuasive argument, earth science and so much more. Plus, learning about the real estate market is the kind of real-world knowledge schools just don’t pass along. From decorating a room to playing Monopoly, there are plenty of ways to incorporate real estate into your rainy-day activities.

 

Experiment with Household Objects

If you are looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon without having to run to the store for materials, there are tons of awesome kids’ science experiments you can do at home with common things you likely have lying around. For instance, this rainbow magic milk experiment only requires whole milk, dish soap and some food coloring for fun. You can teach your child all about the miracle of molecules and chemical reactions, but they’ll also love how much fun it is to swirl and mix the colors in their solution.

 

Online Art Lessons

Both kids and parents alike have to love visual arts. Not only are they a great medium for creative expression, the arts have plenty of developmental benefits for children. Young children develop fine motor skills and coordination while older kids help fine-tune their concentration and focus. While you may not be a Bob Ross yourself, you can encourage your children’s artistic endeavors through online art lessons that help them create beautiful images. Have your kids do at least one art lesson then let them have free time afterwards where they can use the skills they picked up in a new way.

 

Fun with Music

The melodies and rhythms in music have a way of catching a child’s attention and creating interest in a subject he would otherwise not care about. You can find all kinds of fun lessons that incorporate music online. From sing-a-longs that teach a foreign language to animated stories that spark the imagination, there are tons of options for younger kids. Older children can also try out learning to play an instrument with online lessons that teach them the basics. If you play an instrument as well, join them in their practice to encourage their development while providing an awesome opportunity for bonding.

 

Yoga for Kids

Yoga has boomed in popularity over the past couple of decades for a reason. In an increasingly hurried world, yoga forces us to slow down, breathe and listen to our bodies. Showing your child some yoga lessons for kids online can teach them about mindfulness techniques while improving flexibility and balance. Best of all, yoga is appropriate for kids of all ages from 2 to teens.

 

Being stuck inside doesn’t have to be a drag. You can entertain kids on bad weather days with the help of educational activities. Not only will you help pass the time, but also you will positively contribute to your child’s development.

 

Guest Writer: Jenny Wise
Jenny Wise created Special Home Educator as a forum for sharing her adventures in homeschooling and connecting with other homeschooling families.

Inspiration, Lifestyle, Slider

Why moms are just so freaking fabulous

May 24, 2018

I always say it – moms are freaking fabulous! But why do I feel so strongly about this?

If you know a mom or are one yourself,  you know exactly what I mean. Just like anyone else, many of us moms have full time jobs we do not necessarily love, but we stick it out, not only for ourselves, but our families.

Besides our “role” as governess, we have hobbies, dreams, desires that we often sacrifice, not because we lack the ability, but in pursuit of spending more time with our family. We would love to go to the gym every day so we too can look like those perfectly-figured moms we ogle during drop-off at school, but Saturday mornings are just so much better staying in bed with a cup of coffee (and that’s okay!), especially when the kids have been fighting for our attention since 5am. So instead, we give our best attempt at working out at least every other week or so.

Life is BUSY. It’s INSANE! And being a mother is a mammoth task. What really puts moms above the rest, though, and the reason I believe moms are so fabulous, is our innate and superhuman ability to just get shit done! Life throws many things at us, sometimes all at once, and random people constantly ask us how we do it – our answers may vary from vague to in-depth, from surety to uncertainty. The truth is really way beyond our comprehension and the answer is WE JUST DO!

Whoever told you being a mom is easy was lying and needs a good smack, but one thing’s for sure, if ever they should do a test on the ultimate depth of human endurance, motherhood will be the benchmark.

 I often suck at being a mom. Every day I learn something new about myself and it’s not always pretty, but then I remind myself that I am my own person with my own set of attitudes and my actions are not determined by my past or the mistakes of my parents. Think of how the caterpillar one day transforms into the most beautiful butterfly – this is what happens when you become a mom. A brand new you, for a brand new journey ahead. 

So, there are plenty of reasons why I believe moms are fabulous – one is how selfish we sometimes are. We know when to take time out and take care of ourselves, because if we don’t take care of ourselves, how are we going to take care of our children? We often have thriving careers, are students, and are completely aware that our kids are watching our every move so we try really hard to be half-decent humans.

Follow your dreams, mom!

Go on that anticipated holiday…without the kids!

  Go to the gym!

And go have that coffee with the friends you always disappoint with a “next time”!

Keep the spark alive in the bedroom and keep loving hard!

We are fabulous and fearless women. It’s what makes us moms so fabulous. It’s in our DNA. 

Till next time,

Entertainment, Inspiration, Slider

Best Places To Lunch With Mom this Mothers’ Day

April 22, 2018

It’s that time of year again when we pull out all the stops to show the women who raised us, just how incredibly special they are to us. Yes, just in case it slipped your minds, on 13 May we celebrate Mothers’ day, and if you’re not sure where to take mom for some spoils, then don’t worry, because I’ve taken care of that for you.

Our mamas absolutely love quality time with their children, so it will no doubt blow her away when surprised to a lovely afternoon tea or lunch at her favourite restaurant with the most beautiful views. Whether your mom loves to just relax with her tea while she takes in her surrounds or whether she prefers long walks after, one thing we know for sure is that when it comes to mother’s day celebrations, we never compromise.

 

Tea by the sea at The 12 Apostles

Leopard Bar & Conservatory

Victoria Road, Camps Bay
Reserve:  021 437 9000

 

Shimmy Beach Club

12 S Arm Rd, V & A Waterfront

Reserve:  021 200 7778 / info@shimmybeachclub.co.za

 

Vineyard Hotel

Colinton Rd, Newlands

Reserve: 021 657 4500

 

Grand Africa Beach Cafe

Haul Rd, V & A Waterfront

Reserve: 021 431 5888

 

Vista Bar & Lounge at The One & Only

Dock Road, V & A Waterfront

Reserve:  021 431 4511 or 021 431 5888 or email: restaurant.reservations@oneandonlycapetown.com

 

Signal Restuarant at the Cape Grace 

W Quay Rd, V & A Waterfront

Reserve: 021 410 7080

 

High Tea at the Mount Nelson

76 Orange St, Cape Gardens

Reserve: 021 483 1000

 

High Tea or Gourmet Picnic at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Gate 2 Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Rhodes Drive Newlands

Reserve: 021 797 4883

 

Long Sunday Lunch at Boschendal 

R310 Pniel Road Groot Drakenstein, Franschhoek

Reserve: 021 870 4200

 

Full Day and Half Day Spa Treatments at Bakwena Spa

Zevenwacht Wine Estate, Langverwacht Road, Kuils River

Reserve: 0861 222 928

 

Whatever you do, have a Happy Mothers’ Day!

Love,

 

Fashion, Inspiration, Slider

Weekend Style Crush: Velvet

April 13, 2018

I’m not sure how long Velvet has been around, but it’s been around for awhile, and for a long time was considered so high-end that it was worn only by royalty and the very rich, due to the complex and time-consuming technique to create it.

Thankfully those days are now where they belong…in the past. Velvet or Valour (its knitted sibling) can now easily be found in department stores and fashion boutiques everywhere and at reasonable prices.

There’s no doubt that it’s this, and every other season’s must-have fabric, and in recent years saw many celebs sporting the trend – From Nicole Kidman at the BAFTA’s, to a very pregnant Blake Lively at the Cannes Film Festival, and Victoria Beckham in the streets of New York… because she’s Victoria Beckham.

Although Velvet has always been synonymous with glamour, it can very easily be toned down with denim or a t-shirt for date night, a meeting or work lunch. It’s also super comfy and soft, a definite plus for us moms, and perfect for adding just the right amount of fab to a usually drab outfit.

 

How to rock the trend

 

 

Image: thelist.com

 

Sources:
Zando, H&M, Spree, MRP, YDE

 

Remember to ALWAYS read the care label on your velvet before cleaning, and when in doubt, dry-clean!

Yous in fashion,