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Health, Health/Fitness, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Slider

Let’s talk about Mental Health, Moms

March 6, 2017

Moms are superheroes, no doubt. We are the masters in homemaking, we have thriving careers and work long hours, while also making time for our families and friends. Although sadly the latter are more often neglected than not. It is true we can do just about anything we set our minds to; however, we cannot do it alone, because I have learned that it takes a village.

The most bad-ass superheroes have sidekicks and not all wear capes, just so do all moms need a strong support team of family and friends to step in when we not only need to see to our physical health but our mental health too. I always say, a fabulous mom knows when to ask for help.

Whenever our kids fall ill, who do they seek out first for comfort? MOM. When they’re feeling hurt, whose reassurance do they depend on? MOM. And when they’re uncertain, at least they can be sure of mom’s unfailing love and care for them. But how are you going to do all that when you’re battling depression or alcoholism. I believe it is in these tender moments when our kids are leaning on us for support and guidance,  that the foundation of their mentality towards the world is laid.

A healthy outlook on life starts at home and often with us. Therefore, if for none other than the well-being of our children, we need to unite in the battle against mental illness attacking our women and in so doing raise a healthier generation.

The more we speak about mental illness in our society, the more we will learn about its symptoms and treatments. Only then can we start to heal and remove its ugly stigma.

Only after my mother had a stroke while alone at home one night, tragically resulting in the loss of too much oxygen to the brain, causing severe brain damage and her ultimate passing, did I realise she’d been suffering from a mental illness for possibly my whole life. Mom was an alcoholic. 

Did you know alcoholism is a mental illness? Well, it is, and it is curable. For mom it was too late, but it doesn’t have to be too late for anyone else. Which is why this post means so much to me. Many of the most common mental illnesses are curable if treated correctly.

Gita Harie, executive director of the Durban and Coastal Mental Health Association, said: “Mental health is the nation’s wealth. We take it for granted and we forget that there is an interrelationship between our physical and mental well-being.

If you know someone with a mental illness or someone you think may possibly be suffering from a mental disorder, remember to be understanding, compassionate and supportive.

Sources: Women’s Mental Health In South Africa by Alison Moultrie research psychologist & Dr. Sharon Kleinjes Senior lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town; South African Depression and Anxiety Group Sadag;  Health Systems Trust

Love,

Health, Lifestyle, News, Slider

How to best care for your Sophie the Giraffe: From its SA distributors

February 10, 2017

So I was recently contacted by Pyrelle, the sole local representative for Vulli, the manufacturer of Sophie la girafe© in Southern Africa.

This came after I voiced my concerns about the hygiene safety of the popular teether, at a baby boutique launch the other night, and the store subsequently removing the toy from its shelves.

I am not here to badmouth any product I have never had my kids use before and therefore have no personal experiences with, good or bad. I am however here to make sure moms are kept informed in order to make informed decisions when it comes to their precious little ones.

If you feel you want to get your child the beloved Sophie la Giraffe, then, by all means go for it! But, be sure to read the handling instructions carefully. Here’s why the brand’s distributor says it’s important to do so:

Based on the assessment made by the Sophie la girafe quality department, they say that “it is not possible that saliva could cause the type of mould formation shown in the pictures that went viral a few weeks ago.

Internal studies have been conducted and indicated that it is improbable that saliva can transform into mould. It seems that the inside body of the giraffe is still wet, which leads us to believe that there was presence of water inside the giraffe, which caused the mould. This situation is often seen with bath toys. We can furthermore assert that this situation occurred after the product was purchased. Therefore, it is important to be careful while cleaning the toy to ensure that no water gets inside the giraffe.”

Following the articles published in the US and the rumours that quickly spread on the internet, the BBC in the UK, some major TV and radios in the Netherlands and the US Today TV show all researched this mould issue in Sophie.

They have interviewed various specialists in their countries and physicians specialising on the immune system. Those specialists doctors explained that fungus is actually everywhere, it flies in the air. It is in everyone’s mouth and in any baby drool!

The immune system specialists said parents should really not throw away or cut open their Sophie as it would be such a trauma for a baby to have their favourite toy taken away from them!

Dr. Ferda Arca-Sedda, PhD from University of Pierre & Marie Curie provided the following statement “Sophie la girafe is safe, it is unlikely that the mould growing inside Sophie is coming from saliva. It is known that saliva is acidic and contains several enzymes like amylase, pepsin, lipase that play a significant role in breaking down food particles. In addition, saliva contains antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-fungal enzymes that kill bacteria, fungus or other microbes. The mould inside comes from submerging Sophie in water and not saliva.”

As you know, Sophie la girafe is composed of 100% natural rubber, so the cleaning instructions have to be carefully respected. As indicated on the packaging and in an explanatory leaflet inside the packaging, we recommend to clean the surface of Sophie la girafe with a damp cloth. It should not be immersed in water nor rinsed off, to prevent water from getting inside, as she may become damaged.

We would like to emphasise that it is important, while cleaning the product, not to get water inside the hole.

Additionally, Sophie is intended for use by only one child. We have also seen pictures of people altering the toy by cutting its legs to change the toy’s design. This a big NO!!! This is then considered damaged and unsafe. Sophie is designed especially for the safety of the child and complies with all worldwide safety standards. Sophie can’t go in the microwave to be sterilised, it is not a bath toy, harsh detergents shouldn’t be used. As usual with babies, this toy must be used only under adult supervision.

We have had many parents sharing their disappointment with us because they have been lured into cutting their Sophie open only to find no mould inside. They now have to buy a new one because their child loves Sophie. Rather frustrating! The safety of children and satisfaction of their parents is the manufacturer’s main priority. For the past 55 years, they have always strived to exceed security standards and all of our products comply with the most stringent global standards.

Pyrelle also invite you to watch and share our video to see how Sophie is made, here.

Love,

 

 

 

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,

fabmom_logo

Health, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Slider

Happy sex life, happy relationship

August 26, 2016

By now everyone’s heard the story about Maraget Van Wyk. The mom who texted a raunchy photo of her you-know-what- down-there, intended only for her husband’s enjoyment according to reports, but was instead sent to a group of parents on her whatsapp called  #hokkieouers. What’s worse, this group includes the parents of her daughter’s hockey team. Ouch.

I cannot say that this has ever happened to me during any of my raunchy rendezvous, but I can imagine her humiliation. Not only was the flaming image sent to the wrong group, it also caused a riot on the internet when it almost immediately went viral. I almost want to hug this poor woman. Luckily most people commended Margaret for keeping the fire in her relationship alive, while others warned to double check the recipient before sending private whatsapp messages.

It was a bad thing that happened to a good woman with the right idea. Just not the right audience.

Fabmom is however inspired by this story. I am all for re-igniting a dead flame and spicing things up in the bedroom, besides this is the stuff successful marriages are made of. So yay Margeret!

“I don’t always dress up, but I make sure I always look nice. You don’t have to be dressed up to look nice. Although I do it for myself because it makes ME feel good, I also love seeing the reaction on my husband’s face when he realises for the gazillionth time what a gorgeous woman he’s married to.”

The very existence of this blog is to support all women and moms just like her.

Thankfully we have better ideas of going about doing so. Although letting your inhibitions out and into an innocent text message to hubby is great, with the cyberworld being so crowded, it’s not always the safest option.

There’s a scary, but, in most instances true fact that after the kids arrive, sex basically goes out the door. And it’s not so much because we don’t want to do it anymore, but kids literally take up most of our time. Especially us moms. We are the comforter when they’re sore, the doc when they’re sick, the teacher, the cook, the referee, the taxi, the cleaner (of house and kids). Oh, and then, for most of us there’s our day job too, and for me, blogging, which is in itself another job. Imagine working three jobs in 24 hours.

It’s insane and it makes complete sense that we’re so exhausted at the end of the day. To be honest, all I want to do when the kids’ lights go off at eight every  night is to do absolutely nothing. Not even think. In fact I may need to hire someone just to take off my make-up and put on my pj’s.

Yes, I wear make-up. I don’t always dress up, but I make sure I always look nice. You don’t have to be dressed up to look nice. Although I do it for myself because it makes ME feel good, I also love seeing the reaction on my husband’s face when he realises for the gazillionth time what a gorgeous woman he’s married to.

Men are men. Always has been, Always will be. They feel with their eyes. Believe me, if you take care of yourself and make sure you put on something sexy for him every now and then, he is going to see it. For us moms, and everyone else for that matter, it’s really not about having the time, but making the time. So make the time girl! Live, love and laugh!

Us mommies understand why we let go a little (or allot) of ourselves when the kids come along. It’s okay to take some time out, as often as you must, but be careful to never lose yourself so completely that you no longer surprise and literally wow the pants off your husband. These are after all, what broken relationships are made of.

If you need someone to confide in anonymously, or just need advise, I recommend you go visit a sex boutique. I have quite a selection of the best recommended in SA on my blog post here.

I recently visited one of them and wrote a lovely review on The bedroom. I was blown away to say the least. Nicky spent more than an hour of her time taking me through the entire shop detailing every single item they have for sale. All of which the sole purpose is to bring you maximum pleasure and excitement and to help spice things up in the relationship.

Whatever your ideas to keep the energy alive in the bedroom, I say keep it up, it might save your relationship. I would love to hear your ideas, so do share.

The daily telegraph shares the following tips with us:

For lasting sexual intimacy you need to keep talking, communicating your changing needs and finding new ways of caring for each other and giving pleasure.

Good health is also vital to an active sex life. Keeping fit, not putting on weight and avoiding smoking helps keeps the juices flowing.

Men — if your equipment starts to fail, talk to your doctor. This health warning needs checking out to protect you from future heart attacks and strokes. Plus there are good treatments to help restore your sexual functioning.

Women — there’s plenty you can do protect the ageing vagina and avoid painful sex.

This includes visiting a professional sex boutique 😉

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Always keep the spark alive! Xx

Health, Health/Fitness, Lifestyle

Do you know your health status?

August 6, 2016

You may or may not have wondered where I disappeared to and why I’ve been so quiet for so long.

Unfortunately this year, Winter decided he was going to be a big old mean bully. So far, I’ve been temporarily half blind for almost two weeks when a huge abscess decided to manifest itself on my eyelid. It was so painful I lived on nine pain killers a day, which in the process gave me the tummy ache from hell, I literally felt I OD’d myself and was going to die. For a week I could only see through one eye and was unfit to drive which led to major frustration. During the healing process things got a little worse before it finally got better. I am happy to report that I have now fully regained my binocular vision

According to my general practitioner, the abscess was brought on by my hey-fever which had been acting up pretty bad at the time. Who knew a simple case of hey-fever have the potential to cause so much agony.

Winter was however nowhere near finished beating me up and just two weeks later, after a case of extreme nausea and thinking I might be pregnant, which couldn’t possibly be since hubby had been snipped for almost three years, I was diagnosed with a severe bladder infection. My second round of antibiotics in one month. Fabulous!

As the saying goes, they always come in threes and one week after recovering from the bladder I am now stuck with the flu. It’s safe to assume that I am overjoyed Winter is getting ready to leave.

Although it has been a nightmare experience, I am thankful for my health. It did however make me think a little longer about just how important regular health checks are for us women, and moms especially. We so naturally and diligently care about the well-being of our loved ones, yet just as easily forget about our own. It’s time we realise that although we are super-human, we are human.

I’ve always been a little, even secretly proud of my “I  never fall ill” status. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times I saw the inside of a doctor’s waiting room, much less a hospital, while growing up. My first real memory of seeing the inside of a hospital was when our neighbours’ stray dog decided I’m no longer welcome there and bit a hole in my 7 year old arm. My best friend at the time cried her eyes out when she saw me, I was just way too chuffed with my new arm brace. That was the end of hospitals for me.

Until I had kids and lost count. Now a trip to the doctor and the ER with them is as routine as the seasons. Winter with its colds and flu’s and so many other viruses and infections, Summer with its heat-related breakouts and fevers and Spring with the ol’ faithful sinusses and hey-fever.

The best way to take care of our family and to continue taking care of them, is to take care of ourselves also. It’s a medical fact that every woman, at least over the age of 20, should make time for healthy habits like regular exercise, stress management and routine health screenings. The hard truth of the matter is that regular doctors’ visits can literally mean the difference between life and death.

Here’s where you can get started:

Breast self-exam: Check your girls for unusual lumps or bumps monthly so you can stay on top of any changes. The best time to do it is a few days after your period ends.

Skin self-exam: The Skin Cancer Foundation strongly recommends that you check out your body once a month for any new or unusual spots or marks. Just remember your ABCDEs: asymmetry, border irregularity, uneven color, diameter bigger than 6 mm, and evolving shape and size.

Dental check-up: Make sure to hit up the dentist’s chair twice a year for cleanings and other preventative maintenance.

Full physical exam: This annual check-up should include a height and weight check, a blood pressure screening, a clinical breast exam, and any blood tests your doctor deems necessary, says Moore. These may include tests for blood sugar, blood count, hormone levels, and other crucial markers.

Pap smear: If you’ve had three consecutive normal pap smears, are in a mutually monogamous relationship, and have no other risk factors, you could technically go three years between screenings. However, most doctors still suggest women see their gynecologist once a year and get a pap smear while they’re there. Your pap tests for any changes or abnormalities in the cells in your cervix, which is a way to screen for cervical cancer.

Other regular screenings include eye exams, cholesterol and blood count, diabetes and mammograms to name but a few. Read more on Women’s Health

According to the South African Medical Journal; “The Discovery Health screening programme offers a paid screening benefit to its members for mammograms, Pap smears, HIV tests, glaucoma screening, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) for prostate cancer screening, random glucose and cholesterol tests, ’flu vaccines and pneumococcal vaccines, irrespective of the type of medical plan members belong to.”

So, in the spirit of Women’s Month, let’s make sure we know our health status!

 

HAPPY WOMEN’S MONTH FABMOMS!!