Monthly Archives

August 2014

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family album & this week’s reading list

29th August 2014
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In celebration of Brad and Angelina finally tying the know last weekend, we had to share this snap that Brad took of Angelina with one of the twins a few years ago.

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How to be the perfect mother
10 Steps to make your kids smarter
Are you following us on Facebook? Make sure you do. 
The most useful free printable

I never thought I’d find a baby sloth cute
And because it is so chilly we expect of weekend of reading stories, here are some of our favourites that you may have missed:
On our bookshelf: Mr Tiger goes Wild
5 favourite bedtime stories
Every adult’s favourite story book
BUMP

Our favourite pregnancy apps

28th August 2014
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Expectant mamas often ask us what our favourite pregnancy apps are so this post answers just that. We rounded up our three favourite because let’s just admit between the morning sickness, nursery decorating and baby grow shopping we don’t have time for more than three apps.

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1. What to Expect When You are Expecting (we also recommend the good old fashioned book) but this is a great app for a summary on developmental stages of your growing babe, along with an exact day counter – with this app you are not just ’22 weeks’ you are ’22 weeks and 4 days’ which we love. We also love all the links to related articles and their ‘daily tips’. 
2. Sprout offers byfar the most pictures of your growing babe. Each week hosts one image which perfectly shows how your baby is growing and developing. The images are amazing. We also love the ‘touch points’ which give you interesting facts about how your babe is developing, for example, ‘your developing baby can now hear your heart beat, your stomach churn and hear the sound of your voice.” On certain weeks you have the 3D option to see your baby from all sides. 
3. Nurture is a pregnancy app which requires your involvement, basically a journal app. There is an option to include a photo each day and completing the log requires you to fill in how much water you drank, if you took your prenatal vitamins and how you felt. There are also links to interesting articles and gives you appointment reminders but the best part? There is the how many days to go feature which adds a whole new level of excitement.
Love apps but love books more? Here are our “Must reads for mamas-to-be
NEST

This nursery has a chalkboard and gold stars

26th August 2014
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There are so many elements that we love about this nursery – the cool chalkboard wall which has fun messages like “dance in the rain”, the piles of books, that big round mirror, the gold star decals and of course that beautiful rocking horse. 

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MAMA

Meet the mama: Amy

25th August 2014
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Our cousin, Amy, is mom to the gorgeous Josephine Anna who is now five months old. You will find her walking her babe through Parkhurst most afternoons, where she lives with her husband Martin.


Favourite product for moms and why? 

I love my Lou Harvey Nappy Bag. It comes equipped with a waterproof changing mat as well as tons of compartments that can store and make easy to find an extra dummy, phone or a wet wipe.

How has your style changed since becoming a mom? 

I love not having to wear heels and corporate wear everyday so I’m fast becoming a jeans and flats girl! It’s been winter so I put a scarf on every morning which I think just makes an outfit. It’s just nice being comfortable.

Favourite product for babies and why?

I’m a less is more kind of person so I haven’t gone overboard with products. We keep it simple with aqueous cream and water mostly. Josephine was born with a head full of hair so we use Eucerin Calming Shampoo which is fragrance free. It makes her hair stick up like a rock star after baths!

Best gift you have received for your baby and why?

My mom in law and my aunt each crocheted us a beautiful blankets for our babe. Josephine has slept with them every night since she was born. They are so special and I love using them.

Favourte book to read to your baby and why?

Josephine is still very small so doesn’t have a favourite book yet, but I am starting to get all my childhood favourites out which we’ll read together. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is on the bookshelf already.

Favourite song to sing to your babe or their favourite song to hear?

I’m a bit of a country music fan so we listened to a lot of Dixie Chicks when I was pregnant and I have started singing these songs to her at bath time. It’s lots of fun and something I hope we can share as she gets older.

Where is your favourite place to go hang out with your baby?

We walk the streets of Parkhurst most afternoons and often land up at the dog park if the dogs are with us. I am sure we will spend a lot of there as Josephine gets older.

Favourite meal to give your child? 

At this stage we are only on breast milk. I can’t wait to start trying out different flavours with her wehn we start introducing solids.

Naming your children always has a story. How did you pick your daughter’s names?

Once I’d convinced Martin that Lappies was not an option, we knew we wanted traditional names. As we didn’t find out the sex before Josephine was born we had a few boys and girls names that were possibilities. Once she was born we both knew immediately that her name would be Josephine.

What surprised you most about being a mum? 

The absolute love that I feel for my baby girl. It is instinctive and overwhelming and perfect and right.

What do you love most about your husband being a dad?

I love listening to the conversations Martin has with Josephine. They plan her whole life while he changes nappies. It is so precious to listen to.

What one thing do you want to teach your child? 

I want to teach my child the value of family. I am part of the most precious family and I want her to know and understand how important family is.

Best piece of advice you could give moms of 5 month old babes?

I would say that you should treasure every minute. I can’t believe how fast it’s going and how quickly she changes and I just want to savour every smile, every nestle in my neck, every sneeze and gaze and grasp.

READ

family album & this week’s reading list

22nd August 2014
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We absolutely love this pic of Paul McCartney with baby Stella. How cute?

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Here is what we are reading this week:
Hello stranger, please tell me how to take care of my baby
Baby North appears in her debut modelling shoot… what do you think? 
Coolest tee for a cute kid. 
Parenting classes that don’t exist, but should. 
A baby name website that we love. 
And some Kimmy & Bear links that you may have missed:
Baby food by numbers
The happiest bump pics we ever did see
One of our favourite children’s books
MAMA, NEST, TRAVEL

Mamas around the world: Bronwyn from North Carolina

20th August 2014
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Bronwyn Drummond is a South African friend who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband Max and their one year old son Samuel. Bronwyn is proud mama to Sam and also owns Wags2Whiskers a pet sitting service. Here we chat to her to learn more about being a mama in North Carolina: 

How did you ended up living in Raleigh, North Carolina?

I met my husband while on a mission trip from Canada (where I was doing a year long internship) to Raleigh. I was staying with the local church pastors for the weekend. They invited Max over for Sunday lunch. We spent the afternoon and evening chatting but I sadly had to leave for Canada the next morning. We exchanged contact details and skyped for 6 months. I moved to Raleigh in the January of 2012, we were engaged in the February and married in the May. It was love at first sight. 
What is the best thing about living in Raleigh, North Carolina?

The weather and location. I love that no matter what the temperature is the sky is always Carolina blue. Raleigh is a 2 hours drive to the mountains on the one side and the same distance to the beach on the other. Raleigh is known as the “City of Oaks” . It boasts a large number of trees, lakes and green ways.
Describe your house?

We live in a 3 bedroom house in a townhome complex.
Do you have a housekeeper/nanny/babysitter? What is the culture in your city regarding help with babies and child rearing? 

No, I am the housekeeper/nanny/babysitter! Only a small percentage of parents employ a housekeeper/nanny/babysitter. If moms can financially afford to stay at home they will otherwise they will send their kids to daycare.

At what age do you send your kids to school or kindergarten or play group in your city? Are they public or private? Is it difficult to get into these schools?

Kindergarten starts at 5 years old. There are private or public options. Acceptance to private schools is more difficult than to public schools, which are accessible to everyone
How do you get around town with your little one? 

I use my private car to get around the city. I use my ergo carrier or jogging stroller for walks to the park/greenway which are on our doorstep.
Where do you hang out with your babes for play time?

We have a neighborhood pool, which we use most days in the summer. We live walking distance from Durant Nature Park (Lake and hiking trails), our backyard or we go out to my in laws farm which is 20 minutes from our home.

Do you have pets?

We have a miniature horse, Impi (Zulu for warrior), which we stable at my in laws farm. We don’t have a dog of our own, but dogs surround us because of my pet sitting business.

Do you have a favourite coffee/lunch spot to head to with your babe?

I don’t usually go to a restaurant with my son, because he is soo busy and loves to be outdoors. We usually pack a picnic and head to the park.
Do you have a favourite spot to head to when you need some “me” time?

I love to go shopping, get my nails/hair done and go for long walks. I know this isn’t really considered “me” time, but I don’t like being alone for too long, so a fun date night with my hubby is my best. 
What is your little one’s favourite food?

Watermelon , he is obsessed. If he sees it, he won’t eat anything else.
What is your favourite “North Carolina” thing to do with your babe?

Pullen Park (one of the 5 oldest parks in the country) –  The park features picnic areas, a concession stand along with several small rides including the Carousel, train and kiddie boats.

Describe a typical Saturday. 

We usually spend the morning at the pool. Samuel loves water and will spend all day in the pool if he could. After Samuel ‘s nap, we head out to the farm to visit Impi.  He enjoys riding him and feeding him carrots.
He usually spends most of the afternoon in the dirt, chasing the chickens and just being a boy.

What languages do you speak to your baby?

American English and South African English and a bit of Xhosa.
Where do you go on holiday as a family?
We either come to South Africa to visit my family and friends or go to Beaufort, a beach destination on the North Carolina outer banks.

What tip would you give a family with a babe the same age as yours if they were visiting your home town?
Raleigh is full of beautiful parks with awesome playgrounds for kids and most neighborhoods have pools. Most libraries have story time, every morning for each age group. This includes songs, stories, puppet shows etc. This is a great way for moms and babies to meet each other.
What is the one not-to-be-missed activity to do/place to visit with a baby in your home town?
Marbles Kids Museum is a hands-on, minds-on museum that inspires imagination, discovery and learning through extraordinary adventures in play and larger-than-life IMAX experiences.
What is the biggest difference in raising children abroad? 
You are the only one raising your child until they go to school. I grew up on a farm in South Africa, where our “sisi”/nanny was with us for a large chunk of the day. My child is with my husband  or myself 24/7 which I love but it is definitely a challenge sometimes. However, we are extremely blessed to have hands-on grandparents and siblings just down the road from us.
What do you miss the most about home?
As I mentioned I grew up on a farm, so I was very spoilt having a housekeeper every day.
I miss this. I am a very neat person for the most part, but would really love someone to do the deep cleaning once in awhile and prepare a yummy meal, every now and then. Oh and having perfectly ironed clothes and sheets and most of all beloved Bovril …
MAMA, NEST

A quiet newborn shoot

19th August 2014
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Isn’t ‘quiet’ the perfect way to describe this newborn shoot? I think that this newborn and his parents are clearly in their newborn bubble of quietness at home, which we think was captured perfectly. 

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MAMA

Meet the mama: Lauren

18th August 2014
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Entrepreneur mama Lauren is an actress, social media manager, make up artist and acting coach. She lives in the leafy suburb of Parkhurst with her husband Marc and their beautiful 15 month old daughter, Sofie.

Favourite product for moms and why?

My favourite product for house and for Sophie is called Naturcare Swipe. All cleaning products are biodegradable & safe for babies- they all have various uses too. I use my dishwashing crystals for any white clothing too- AMAZING! The skincare range has been amazing for Sophie. It is PH balanced and she has never suffered from cradle cap. I wash her hair and body with the same body wash. We also have an aloe gel which works wonders for nappy rash but I also use it for teething and any other kind of cuts/ scrapes. I want to do a ladies breakfast to teach moms about this incredible product.
How has your style changed since becoming a mom?
I must say- I had an internal battle for a while. I felt I need to be a little bit more mature since becoming a mom and for a little while I lost my dress sense altogether. But now I feel I still have my little bit of personality coming through. I am a little less “out there” – not brave enough to wear my bright red lipstick or crazy hats anymore- also I wouldn’t be able to kiss the dot if I did. But dress style wise, I think it is the same- maybe a little more covered up 😉
Favourite product for babies and why?

Again, it is the naturcare. I just love it!
A baby essential you couldn’t live without and why?
Her little snuggle bunny. It is her favourite sleeping companion and it soothes every little moan and groan. We do not leave the house without it and she can’t sleep without it!
Best gift you have received for your baby and why?
I received a “survival box” when I was preggy and at the time I didn’t know what half the things were but at each stage of her development, inside that box was what I needed. From the snuggle bunny, to teething gel, to nipple cream. There was also a lovely little hand written book and once of the best things inside was “trust your inner- mommy” and that to this day is still the best advice I have received.Favourite book to read your baby and why?

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar “Touch and Feel” Playbook. Sophie loves the pictures and has now started to point  and say “there!” when asked where a particular thing is.
Favourite song to sing to your babe or their favourite song to hear?
Sophie’s favourite song to hear to fall asleep is “twinkle twinkle” and my favourite song to sing is “itsy bitsy spider.”
Where is your favourite place to hang out with your baby?
We love our little park in 2nd Street (Chelsea Park, Parkhurst) otherwise definitely her granny’s garden.
Favourite meal to give your child?
Sophie loves Annabel Karmel’s apple and sweet potato balls or hake and avocado.
Naming your children always has a story. How did you pick your babe’s name?
I have always loved the name Sophie. All the Sophie’s I have ever met, have also always been beautiful and happy. It was a very positive name for me. I had to convince Marc a little but once I did, we couldn’t think of any other name that better suited our little girl. It also means wisdom which we loved!

What is one thing we will never catch you doing as a mama?
Smacking my child.
What surprises you most about being a mum?
The overwhelming love you feel for them from before you have even met them.
What do you love most about your husband being a dad?
The gentleness that overflows.
What one thing do you want to teach your child?
Only one thing? There are so many! I think this quote best defines one of the things I wish to instil:
“lift up your head Princess, else the crown falls.”
 
Best piece of advice you could give to moms of 15 month babes?
Trust your inner- mommy! You know your child the best. Any decision you make with their interests at heart, will be the right one. 
 
So lovely to meet you Lauren. You can follow Lauren and glimpses of her life on Instagram: laurenmlevi

 

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