Entertainment, Inspiration, Lifestyle

Experiencing District Six

January 19, 2017

As a coloured who grew up in Cape Town and admittedly always loved to seek out all the interesting places in and around town,  I am ashamed to say that I only recently visited the District Six Museum. Of cause, while growing up, I have been told many tales of the now almost mythical district, and as I listened to these stories, or rather memoirs, I imagined myself walking through the narrow streets, hearing the laughter of children playing in the streets and eventually felt myself being swept away by the sweet sounds of jazz.

Almost 50 years after the removal of more than 16000 families from the only home they knew for many generations, I decided to, along with my best friend, pay homage to an era and culture once known as the heart and soul of Cape Town.

Nadia and I started our expedition with a hearty Mediterranean breakfast at Seelan on the V&A Waterfront, to celebrate the joie de vivre (joy of life) as they so nicely put it.

 

 

later the morning we excitedly boarded the City Siteseeing bus (our first time) where we were treated to some cool, some funny and some sad facts about our culture rich city. We got to chat to the friendly staff and fellow tourists and although the clouds of mist were fast rolling in as table mountain was being covered by the famous “table cloth,” we enjoyed the cool breeze as we savoured the breathtaking views we so often take for granted.

 

 

Because it’s a hop-on-hop-off bus, we decided to hop off at Charlies Bakery for a sweet treat and obviously to meet Charly’s Cake Angels from the 2011 docu-reality TV series.

 

 

  The District six museum located in the heart of the Mother City, serves as a remembrance to the culture and history of the area before the removals.

 

 

On entering you are solemnly greeted by a large street map of District Six, with handwritten notes from former residents indicating where their homes had once been

 

 

Street signs from the old district tell a heartbreaking story of the lives of the District Six families

 

District Six also contributed mightily to the distinguished history of South African Jazz

 

 

Oh how this takes me back to my early childhood! The games we use to play, the fun we use to have. The things our kids will sadly never know.

 

 

The remains of the slave tree – where slaves were sold and leased at public auctions.

 

 

Continuing our journey around the peninsula

 

 

Just another Summers day at Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens

 

Thank you Wiki for helping me piece together this post and bringing to life my photographs taken during my visit to the museum. I encourage every South African, and otherwise, to visit the district six museum on your visit to the Cape.

Love,

Inspiration, Lifestyle, Slider

What it’s really like raising three toddlers

January 17, 2017

I hear allot of questions and debate and even fear around whether or not to go for baby #3 while the other two are still so small. As a mom of a 6 year old, a 4 year old and a 3 year old, I agree that these moms have good reason for their uncertainty and their need to be completely sure before taking the giant leap of growing the family tree. And it’s our maternal instinct to always want to reassure these moms that everything is going to be just fine, even at those times when we are not sure of this ourselves.

I therefore also hear many moms urging these parents on to have another baby.  They claim the other two kids will have another ‘friend’ to play with and, my absolute favourite, they will have more kids around to look after them when they’re old and grey.  Maybe these are somewhat true, but they are certainly not be the basis on which you should make your decision.

So, here are my ten proven facts of what life is really like with three little ones.

1. You know the phrase that goes something like this: ‘you gotta have hair on your teeth’? Well, with three toddlers this is definitely a requirement. You’ll want to murder them all.the.time! But you don’t, because even though they terrorise the living hell out of you (and each other!), they are the most precious beings to you and you would literally walk over molten lava for them.

2. Everything is a competition. Everything. Which is not a bad thing at all, however it does tend to push you to the edge when the one wants to sing louder than the other, or swim faster, have the last goodnight kiss, when all three compete to sit next to mom, hold mom’s hand in the mall or be the same movie character. Not to mention they all have their own taste in movies, which mean three movies all at once unless your negotiating skills are on point. Which it unfortunately as to be most times. It really is THAT crazy and the only thing keeping you sane is to remind yourself of your unconditional love for them ruckers. #woosah

3. Speaking of keeping sane. You HAVE to make time for just you and hubby at least once a month. This is non-negotiable. If grandma will allow you once a week or you can find a babysitter twice a month then all the better. Raising three toddlers is HARD work and like sponges they suck every bit of energy from you. All three require individual, undivided attention all day, every day. You may think I’m exaggerating right now, but I’m only giving you the cold hard facts. What keeps me from completely losing my mind is a sunset walk on the beach after work, a Baxter theater show and the occasional Tuesday date night at HQ.

4. Then just when you think your life is about to become a whole lot more peaceful with the firstborn finally outgrowing the tantrums or terrible two’s, the other one starts the exact same sequence, followed by the next. I’m afraid, honey, it doesn’t get easier, you just become better at controlling the situation, your kids and yourself. Which is what makes us moms so fabulous.

5. Going on holiday is not so easy anymore. In my vain attempts to book family holidays, I noticed most places offer free flights and accommodation for two kids under 12. With three kids I still have to pay full price for the third child. Not exactly the end of the world, this only means our plans might be slightly delayed and we’ll have to save up a little longer.

6. School fees and study policies are always quadrupled. So when deciding on baby number 3, think of your career goals and which schools you would like your kids to attend. They may seem like minor details but has the potential to cause serious implications on not only your pocket, but also your relationship with your spouse.

7. Everything comes in threes. Clothes, toys, life stages, I love yous – you name it. And bath-time takes forever!

8. Oh, and you’ll sadly have to say goodbye to your beloved 2 door sports car or the 5-seater family sedan for that matter. With you, hubby and three kids, all still in their baby seats, I recommend you find yourself a more reliable 7-seater fast! Although your family of 5 may still easily fit into the 5-seater, it unfortunately does not allow any other family members or friends to join in on the ride. Which we discovered is a big problem for us. So 7-seater it is. They are however costly, in value and petrol, so be sure to do your research carefully before deciding on baby number 3.

9. Three is such an uneven number. The buy-one-get-one-free concept means little to nothing to you when you have three little ones. On New year we bought tickets on daddy’s deals  for bugs play park  – 2 tickets, including all kiddies rides, for the price of one ticket. Great deal, except we then ended up with one extra ticket we could not use. This is just one example of many, but you get my point. I’m almost tempted to say that having 4 kids instead of 3 may make more sense.

10. You have more kids than hands. Any mom would agree that having just one child is already physically and emotionally demanding. Having three, even more so. Sure your kids now have each other to occupy. However the sibling ‘bonding’ thing only lasts so long or until one pisses off the other and then it’s right back to mom and dad to give all the attention.

This is the reality. My accurately, MY reality. These facts are not meant to scare you, but to prepare you. It’s tough and it’s messy, but through it all, I wouldn’t want to change a thing. The truth is we are never going to be ready. You simply have to ask yourself if you are ready to become a stronger version of you, a wiser one, grow a bigger heart.

Love,

Inspiration, Lifestyle, Slider

Four things to consider when saving for your children’s education

January 16, 2017

When I was growing up, my parents used to encourage me to set my sights on one of the big five careers; Doctor, Dentist, Lawyer, Teacher or an Accountant. Your options were limited and your path set at an early age.

Fast forward 30 years and consider how you’re reading this post. On the internet, probably on a cellphone – social media didn’t exist 15 years ago, and it spawned an entire new industry in the last decade.

The point is – we’re preparing our children for jobs that don’t even exist yet. And their best tool will undoubtedly be a good education.

Below are a few ways that you can start planning today in order to ensure their success tomorrow.

1. If you only start saving when your child starts Grade 1, it’s already too late!

We know you’ve heard this plenty of times, however it can’t be repeated enough! The earlier you start saving for their education, the smaller the impact is on your budget. Depending on the institutions’ fees (best your little one not end up at Julliard, because then you’ve got problems) and future education inflation, a new parent needs to save at least R800 per month, preferably more, to confidently cover the total cost of a High School Education at a good school. If you only start saving when your child starts Grade 1, you’ll need to put aside almost two and a half times as much every month from then on.

2.Education inflation is real…

Education costs have historically risen by between 9% and 10% each year. Therefore it is possible that the increase in school fees will be more than your salary increase each year. Your first goal should therefore be to save so that you can make up this difference without education taking a bigger bite out of your household finances.

3.Funding the grade gap

Your second goal is to fill the gap between high school and primary school fees, as you will be paying around 20% more once your child starts high school. In fact, even primary school fees often increase with each grade, over and above the normal annual inflationary increases.

As soon as your child starts Grade One, immediately increase your savings by the difference between primary and high school fees. You will then be setting aside a realistic percentage of your salary for your child’s 12 years of education and the savings will supplement the annual fee increases in high school.

 4.Protecting the future

When planning for your child’s education; you should also consider an insurance policy to fund any shortfall should the worst happen to you (touch wood it doesn’t) before you’ve put enough aside.

Liberty offers education cover through the comprehensive EduCator benefit which pays school fees directly to your Child’s institution up to their first tertiary degree should you pass away or become permanently disabled.

If you have not started an education savings plan yet, it is not too late. Visit www.liberty.co.za for more information on Liberty’s education investment and policy products.

 

Love,

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Entertainment

Dino’s Alive Expo – Cape Town Launch

November 17, 2016

The kids have been looking forward to the Dino’s Alive Expo for a long time, so when the day finally arrived, they could barely contain their excitement. The thunderous roar of the dinosaurs hit our ears as soon as we drove into the parking lot at Cape Gate Mall last night which made the kids, and ourselves, even more excited.

On arrival we were greeted with champaign by the friendly staff, and popcorn, candy floss and photo vouchers for the kids. By this time they were ready to storm the exhibition which gave a fine impression of the much loved (and feared) Jurassic Park.

We were then treated to a tour with the tour guide mostly interacting with the curious little ones asking them all kinds of questions about the prehistoric majestic giants.

There was a light atmosphere which I savoured and so much for the little ones to do and see. In-between cupcakes, mini pizza, mini burgers, popcorn and candy floss, the kids also got to enjoy dino-rides, baby dino petting, digging for fossils in the sand and bouncing around on the dino jumping castle.

Prepare to be taken on a journey to a time where dinosaurs were the rulers of the planet. Tickets are available through Computicket or at entrance 5, Cape Gate. Doors officially open today! You can also purchase your tickets at any Shoprite, Checkers, Checkers Hyper or House & Home branch.

Call: 081 011 1718
Email: etienne@expoafrica.co.za
Website: dinosalive.co.za

 

Here’s a peak at all the fun we had 🙂

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Roarrrrr

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Health, Inspiration, Lifestyle

10 Best Mobile Apps For the Busy Mom

November 17, 2016

I don’t have to tell you just how busy a mom’s life can get. Not to mention how forgetful some of us, most of us, are. In fact I believe I lost a few brain cells with every child I’ve birthed – and I’ve birthed three of ’em!

But no matter how understandable our porridge brain syndrome may be, we simply cannot afford to forget the important things such as collecting the kiddies from choir practice or soccer; Or forget to eat healthy meals and do our weekly workout. We most certainly cannot afford to get lost because that’s just dangerous. And even though we really really do not want to or have the strength to, we cannot forget to clean the house. This, and many other reasons I did not mention here, is why I have put together a tried and tested list I know you will appreciate and want to thank me for. Although that won’t be necessary 🙂

We live in a time when cell phones have literally taken over our entire lives. Everything we do, we do on our cell phones. And that’s okay! I’m guilty of this too. If my phone could feed and bath me, I’d be happy. What we shouldn’t do, is become slaves to our mobile devices. Our phones are arguably the most amazing invention of our time. Let’s make it work for us and not the other way around.

Recently I have become a huge App. store addict. The genius of the minds belonging to the men and women creating many of these apps astounds me.  We may not have succeeded in making cars fly just yet, but these mobile apps are definitely a close second.

HERE ARE THE 10 BEST APPS CURRENTLY ON MY PHONE:

 

Cozi Family Organizer

Much like Google Calander, this mobile app manage your jam-packed life and keep the whole family in the loop with Cozi  with a shared calendar, shopping lists, to do lists, recipe box, and more, everyone can access on the go.

“Appointment reminders can be delivered by device notifications to iOS or Android devices, or by text or via email. If a family member has the iOS or Android app installed and has device notifications turned on (the default), reminders will be sent by device notification. If a user does not have the iOS or Android app installed, or has device notifications turned off, that person will receive reminders by text if a verified phone number is included for that person in the account, or by email if no verified phone number is included in the account for that person.”

See Cozi Frequently Asked Questions here

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Hydro Coach

I use to go without a single drop of water for days! Sadly I know many others just like me. Drinking enough water a day is clearly a big challenge all round, and even more challenging for us busy moms.  Since downloading this simple-yet-amazing app, I have been drinking far more water every day than ever before. Hydro Coach calculate how much water you need, track what you drink, and gently reminds you when to drink. This is definitely just what the doctor ordered.

Fabulous

I fell in love with this app way before I learned it’s been awarded most Innovative and Best Design Finalist in the Google Play Awards. It is beautiful and smart and unlike many other ‘heath’ apps that simply overwhelm you with tips on healthy eating and exercise , Fabulous focus on your current routine and motivates you to a happier, healthier, more energized and organised you. This nifty app has many wonderful features and as a newby, I’m still finding my way around, but I have already been tremendously impressed. I especially like the motivational letters and the gentle reminders of what healthy foods I should pick up on way home from work.

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Google Keep

As a blogger and just overall think tank, I go nowhere without a notebook. I especially need to make sure I jot down any ideas, because I forget so easily. Lucky for us forgetful, busy and creative moms, there are now plenty of mobile apps that make notes-on-the-go much more convenient and fun. I have been using Memo Pad for a long time, and I have never been disappointing. However, I think I’ll give Google Keep a try since it assures me I will have access to my notes on any device. Score!

Fitberry

From healthy Smoothies to healthy kids recipes and so much more, Fitberry has them all. Quick recipes for the health fundi always on the go. There really is nothing more to say other than you simply must have this app available at your fingertips.

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Uber

This app needs no introduction, but in case you have been living under a rock, you may want to get downloading right away! Whether planning a date night with your man or with your girlfriends, it’s always reassuring to know you have an instant, low-cost taxi at your fingertips.

SweepSouth

Believe me, there will come a day, maybe a few days, maybe more, when you are going to need someone trustworthy and with good references to clean your house for you. And when that day comes, you will want to have the peace of mind that you have this very helpful app. installed on your phone. The Uber of cleaning services.  You click, they clean.  I did a little write-up about SweetSouth on a previous post here. I hope you love this app. as much I do!

TripAdvisor

And for the traveling mom,  TripAdvisor makes it easy to find the lowest airfare, best hotels, great restaurants, and fun things to do, wherever you go.

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Amazon Kindle 

The app for every bookworm. Needless to say I have been the biggest fan of the Kindle app. for the longest time. Although I still love the feel and smell of a hardcopy, Kindle has made it possible for me to read while I am lying in bed, with the lights off. My kids love it too because they can now download many paid and free books at any time. It is definitely great for breeding an environment of book lovers.

PetCoach

Because our pets are our kids too! Ask questions about your pet’s health, nutrition, behavior, or any other topic, and obtain trusted answers for free from verified veterinarians and other pet experts. Important: Although PetCoach is a service that provides trusted answers to everyday questions about your pet’s wellness, it is not a substitute for in-office exams or for regular veterinary care.

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I hope these apps will be as helpful to you as they are to me. Since we spend so much time on our phone (which we probably should not), why not make it fun and productive.

Love,

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