Monthly Archives

December 2015

DIARY, READ

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

26th December 2015
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Happy Christmas everyone! We hope that you had a day filled with love, happiness and peace. We hope the rest of your holiday is fantastic, restful and filled with loads of laughs. We are taking a short break and will be back on the 4th Jan… be ready for some fantastic posts in the new year – including one on “me time”, what Cheska regrets about Francie’s birth and a beautiful nursery.

PS. Follow us on Instrgam if you want to stay up to date on what we get up to:

@Kimmyandbear

@Buryanddiscover

@CheskaStark

In the meantime, here are a whole lot of links for beach reading… 

What ever mama needs to know: How to fake-tidy your house.

10 reasons to ban handheld devices for children under 12.

What you have to know about postpartum anxiety.

What a week for South Africa! Here one mama shares why she is staying in our beautiful country – for her kids.

9 magical birth instincts 

Best books for mindful parents

Talking about SLEEP!

The beauty of breastfeeding.

How much sleep does your babe need?

Don’t text while parenting.

Work out tips from a pregnant model – ya, right!

10 teething remedies.

STOP doing that for your kids. 

Cup of Jo’s motherhood mantra.

Talking about a miscarriage.

Let’s chuck the phrase “wrok-life balance”

Will Star Wars effect baby names?

And I know these ones aren’t baby related but still:

What was Googled the most in 2015

A funny description of air travel. 

Can you justify these lies?

The Pantone colour of 2016.

EAT

THE MOST DELICIOUS CHRISTMAS SALAD

22nd December 2015
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If you are spending Christmas with us this year then expect to me served this salad. I’ve made it too many times this December. In December if I host you for a meal it will be Christmas themed and this year this salad was served. I love it.

So this is all you need:

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  • Mixed greens
  • Chopped pears
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Dried cranberries
  • Pomegranate rubies
  • Goats cheese

Add it all together in a big bowl and voila! Christmas freshness, ready to serve.

BABE, DIARY, MAMA, PLAY, READ, WEAR

REAL LIFE CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

21st December 2015
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Isn’t Christmas the best with children? Here we chat to a couple mamas about the Christmas traditions that they’ve started with their children.
Bailey (of Kimmy & Bear) and mama to twin toddles, Anna and Florence
Having children makes the festive season extra special for me because of the excitement and joy they bring to it. This is the fist year my toddler twin girls are aware of Christmas and it’s been fun starting little traditions with them which will grow with us as a family.We had a festive season morning where we decorated our little tree, hung our wreath on the front door, put up Christmas bunting, and set out our nativity scenes. This has created a lovely feeling in our home and the girls ask to hear the nativity story at least once a day. I also gave them each an advent calendar with tiny treasures to discover each day – This is one of their favourite things to do in the morning. We’ve also been teaching them carols and I find it very nostalic singing all these songs which remind me of Christmas as a child.
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There are four things I’ve done every Christmas with my babes which still remain:
1. We give them a new set of pyjamas on Christmas eve which they wear to sleep in that night and wake up in on Christmas morning.
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2. We give them each a different book as part of their gift, with their name and date written inside. These books are forming part of their collection which I hope they will pass on to their children one day.
3. Cheska made them gold leaf wreaths just before their first Christmas when they were only a few months old. Each year I’ve taken a picture of them wearing these wreaths and I have used it as our Christmas card.
4. My parents have a tree-decorating session at their home on a Sunday early in December. We each have to bring a Christmas decoration for each child with their name on. The tree grows each year with a wonderful collection of grandchildrens’ decorations.
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Liza (of We Heart Your Outfit & Storytime) and mama to Bailey and Robert
I just love Christmas time. Not for all the chaos that starts to ensue in all the shops and the constant bombardment of ‘specials’ and ‘must-buys’ but for the festivities that we as a family create and of course the real meaning of Christmas!
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If we are home for Christmas, on 1 December we make sure we put the Christmas tree up and decorate the house. I feel that 1 December is officially the first day of Christmas so it cannot happen one day sooner or one day later! We hang festive bunting, decorate the tree, play Christmas carols, fill the advent calendar and watch Christmas movies. Bailey and Robert are at the perfect age to just have the most fun with this so I like to make it a real party. The stockings go on the end of their beds and we hang the dogs stocking on the wall near the tree. There is something so romantic about watching TV in the evenings with the Christmas tree twinkling away. My mum also gives us a new handmade bauble for the tree every year, so we have quite a collection now. And JL’s sister found the sweetest little bell Santa’s with ‘B’ for Bailey and ‘R’ for Robert.
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The one movie that JL and I watch every single year at Christmas time is Love Actually. It just doesn’t get old, it’s the best! And this year we have invited some friends over for a ‘Love Actually’ evening of supper and movie watching.
Christmas Eve we usually spend at my parents home with all my brothers and sisters if they are not away and the children each get to open one present! Then back at home before we go to bed we leave a note for Santa and his reindeer with some milk and cookies, and carrots too. Christmas morning is spent at home with just the four of us, we then go to church and after that we host a big lunch at home with family and friends. And the last tradition which JL won’t ever let me stop doing, is making the yummiest traditional Christmas trifle!
Caley (of Ellie Love) and mama to Sophie Jade and Ellie Nicole
ALLABOUTME
  • Personalised Advent Calendar for the 24 days before Christmas (fun activities include decorating the tree, making a gingerbread house, Christmas arts and crafts, Christmas baking, reading Christmas stories and watching Christmas movies).
  • Friends Secret Santa – we have a small group of families with kids the same ages so we get together for a Christmas braai and have a fun secret santa for the kids who exchange presents.
  • Buy our real tree and decorate it as a family, with Dad placing the star on top at the end and Mom switching the lights on.
  • Personalised tree ornaments – we love finding new ornaments around the world or for different phases in our lives and placing them on the tree each year, as special memories.
  • Writing and sending our letter to Santa – so much for the kids
  • Family Christmas Shoot – we have a fun shoot for Christmas with just the four of us and we use a favourite photo for our Christmas card.
  • Christmas cards – we print our own cards with the family photo and send to friends and family around the world. I love this old school tradition.
  • Placing cookies and milk for Santa, and carrots for the reindeers on Christmas Eve. Much excitement when it is all gone in the morning.
  • Christmas PJ’s – we all sleep in matching Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve and wake up in them together on Christmas morning.
  • Opening presents. We open presents as a family of four bright and early on Christmas morning and then open family presents with other family members later in the day.
  • Christmas Stockings. We each have a stocking that is filled with small pressies that we open first on Christmas morning.
  • FOUR Presents. This year we have decided to buy four presents for each person: something they want, something they need, something they wear and something they read.
  • Christmas Church Service – we attend the Christmas morning church service on Christmas Day. A lovely sermon and singing carols.
  • Christmas Lunch – we host Christmas lunch outside with our immediate family on Christmas Day. This allows to open pressies together in the morning, attend the church service and then prepare a lazy lunch for our family.
Chereen (of For the Beauty of It) and mama to Noah. 
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We have a few little Christmas traditions that we’ve started since Noah was born, but one of my favourites is an idea shared with me by my friend Kathryn, from Becoming You. Kathryn mentioned that she started buying her kids a special ornament each Christmas, so I started doing the same for Noah. His first ornament is a bright, red bauble with his name on it, which I ordered for him when I was still pregnant with him. Each year, we buy him a brand-new ornament, and the idea is that one day, when he moves out, he’ll take all his little ornaments with him and he’ll have a lovely, sentimental ‘starter’ kit to decorate his own tree. This year has been especially fun, as he’s finally old enough to pick his own ornament (he chose a merry little Santa from Hamley’s). Another tradition that I adore is gifting each other with a DVD that we get to open up and watch on Christmas eve. This year, I plan on buying Noah The Charlie Brown Christmas DVD, which I loved as a child, and I’ve asked for Love Actually. Such a fun way to spend Christmas eve. My love language is gift giving, so I’ve always known that my children would be spoilt rotten when it comes to Christmas presents. In an effort to keep things reasonable, my husband and I made a rule before Noah was born – we would buy four gifts only: something to read, something to wear, something he needs and something he wants (that’s excluding the Christmas eve DVD, of course!) Last year, we made our own gift wrap by stamping Noah’s hands and feet on plain white or brown paper – it was so much fun to do, and our friends and family (especially the grannies!) absolutely loved their gift wrap. This is definitely something we’ll do again this year – and I’d like to continue with this little tradition for as long as possible! So much fun, and it helps ease pressure on the budget, too!
Rochelle (architect) and mama to two boys, Anton and Hendrik
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We spend our Christmas holidays with alternative grandparents every year and with this comes different traditions.
So far one thing is constant –  we try to spend it with as many family members as possible and we usually spend our holiday down at the coast! I have grown up in a household where the religious traditions take preference above all else, but we still like to make it fun and special – especially for the little ones! So far Ewoud and I have taken the same route!
As this is a special family time Anton was christened on the first Sunday after Christmas and this year we will do the same for Hendrik – with so many family members present and everyone being in a festive mood we think it is a great time for this special event!
At our own house we have already set up a Christmas tree and put up a few Christmas decorations – this got us all in a joyous mood and sets the tone for the festive season to follow. As Anton is now at and age where he is starting to understand a bit better I though I would start a tradition with an advent calendar this year – it will be something diy, I will let you know once I know exactly what it entails.
We celebrate with a big Family dinner and exchange gifts on Christmas Eve (24th). A church service on the morning of the 25th followed by tea and cake usually with friends and family that live along the street in Stilbaai – we are very lucky that our family holiday homes are located only 3 houses apart!
The rest of the day will be spent lounging around – playing bull, dad making a potjie or some sort of roast on the fire, swimming and generally overindulging in good food and snacks.
Come the 26th the general consensus usually is that next year we will not eat as much… Only to do it all exactly the same the following year.
MAMA, PLAY, WEAR

A CHRISTMAS TABLE

15th December 2015
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This year I am hosting 3 Christmas dinners! One for our friends, one for my inlaws and one with my family on Christmas eve. Of course it’s all about the eating – I absolutely love Christmas food! But, for me, it’s also about a festive table setting – completely with tinsel, crackers and candles.

Here’s how I decorated the table for Monday night’s Christmas dinner…

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DIARY

FRANCIE SUGAR: 52 PORTRAITS – NOVEMBER ROUND UP

14th December 2015
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Week 33: Just as I think I have you all figured out things change! The story of motherhood, isn’t it? This week you decided that you are not so keen on any food except double thick yogurt and avo. I try and disguise pretty much anything I can into either of these two staples but I can’t help but wonder when you will enjoy your chicken, lentils, fish and veggies again. You also developed a new movement which we have named the inch worm. It’s not crawling as your entire body stays flat against the ground as you inch (quickly) towards your desired object. Your inching is usually accompanied but an over excited grunting as you make your way across the room.

On Sunday we christened you. We chose the Catholic Church where your great grandpa and great grandma were founding members and then celebrated in Kimmy and Bear’s garden, feasting under the big Oak tree and listening to live music, surrounded by all the people we love. It was a wonderful day.

1 Peter 3:3-4 “If is not fancy hair, gold jewellery, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from within you – the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. This beauty will never disappear , and it is worthy very much to God.” 

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Week 34: As you mama, you have always known me. I have nursed you and put you to sleep. I have fed you, bathed you, soothed you and played with you. I have been the source of many giggles and heard many cries but this week you suddenly showed others that you choose me. It is a big milestone and it is one I adore. Your soft, tiny hands grip me and you turn into the soft part of my body between my collarbone and chest. You bury your head in there and hold tight. The world can see you would rather be with me in that moment and I love it.

Your inch worm continues, you have sped up substantially and I have now had to block up plug holes, baby proof a few cupboards and protect some dangerous corners. You are able to get anywhere you wish, especially onto my lap within seconds, again a wonderful feeling for me. After a visit to the chiropractor you are now sitting like a super star, legs out and back straight… often looking at me for praise, of course I give it to you continually. This week you also learnt to wave, but only for hello, you don’t seem to find the same excitement for goodbye.

You also discovered the joy of your cousins’ dolls. You shriek with excitement at the sight of them, the same shriek you give your baby cousin, Jack, each time you spy him. We use your tippy cup more and more, it’s too sweet to watch. As you have never had a bottle, to see you suckling away like a calf tugs at heart.

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Week 35: Another tooth appeared this week. I could tell it was on it’s way and then suddenly there it was. To be honest Kimmy spotted it before I did. I know the next one is imminent too, I can see it pushing. Poor baby. You have also decided that you, once again, like a variety of food. Thank heavens – I was beginning to wonder if for the rest of your life you’d only eat yogurt or avo. So I am back to chopping, steaming and experimenting with recipes. I love watching you as you taste, or squish in your fingers, something for the first time. You are absolutely loving nectarines and yellow cling peaches (just like your mama). You find pasta strange to eat but it provides entertainment throughout a meal. You prefer mama’s made sweet potato mash to the Woolworths packet one – thank you my baby. You like toast with cream cheese, you not sure about peanut butter. You love water, especially drinking it out of a glass.

Your sleep seems to have fallen into place this week too, you are having a delightful two and a half hour nap over lunch time, which allows me time to be productive or indulge in a nap. And you are waking only once at night, around midnight, I feel like a new person, although now that I only have 1 a night, part of me is already mourning our quiet dark feeds.

Everyone tells me what a happy baby you are. You don’t make us work hard for your smiles, smiling up at me all day. Giggling with excitement as I come into your room each morning to pick you up out of your cot. Thinking peek-a-boo is the most hysterical thing. If you are playing on the carpet on your own and you catch my eye, you grin form ear to ear. But it is not just your mouth that smiles, your entire face shows off your happiness and your eyes truly light up. Sometimes you your smile up at me when you are sucking your thumb or breastfeeding, still feeding but you manage to smile at the same time, it’s cheeky but it’s my best. You are ticklish too, you cannot control your laughter if I pretend to much your bare feet and under your left arm, along your ribs is extremely ticklish. I wonder if these things will change?

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Week 36: We’ve had a busy week filled with Christmas parties and birthday celebrations. You seem to have suddenly woken up to the fact that birthday parties are something special and you stare wide-eyed looking at everything from the balloons to the presents but what fascinates you the most are the other children.

All your movements are more developed and I can see that you are moments away from crawling. You get into the perfect position and hover before falling flat as you try to move forward. I know you will get there any moment. You are getting more and more attached to me by the day, constantly nuzzling into my neck, not willing to be passed over to someone new and often looking at me for reassurance when someone plays with you or shows you something. Often you even check whether I am laughing before you crack a smile.

We have been attending a swimming workshop which is a great relief each morning in the hot weather. You seem to love the water and the rhythm of the songs that we sing while swishing you around. You don’t mind getting splashed and all the exercise makes you build up an appetite so when we get home you gobble down your lunch before crashing for the longest nap.

GIFT GUIDES

GIFTS FOR LITTLE GIRLS WHO BELIEVE IN FAIRIES AND DREAM OF BECOMING ASTRONAUTS

11th December 2015
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  1. Tori Dress, Jane Sews (R699)
  2. Djeco Fair Flowers of the Fields Tattoos, Collerette (R60)
  3. Colour-in personalised tote bag, Love Letter Stationery (R185)
  4. Handmade teddy, Simply House (R280)
  5. Bunny scatter cushion, Little Love Kids (R160)
  6. Hape Gourmet Kitchen Starter Set, Faithful To Nature (R399)
  7. I Love You More Than Ice-Cream print, Simply Child (R90)
  8. Florence & Watson and the Sugarbush Mouse, Faithful to Nature (R165)
  9. Wooden camera, La Fede (R160)
  10. 10. Mini Baker Set, Monkey Moo Creations (R400)
  11. Creative activity box, Explore More (from R225)
  12. Personalised Santa sack, Panda Love (R250)
GIFT GUIDES

GIFTS FOR MOMS WHO ARE EVERYTHING FROM COMFORT TO CLOWN AND ALL THAT FITS IN BETWEEN

10th December 2015
GIFT GUIDE FOR MOMS
  1. Block printed scarf, Skinny la Minx
  2. Juno blanket, Mungo
  3. Lulu and Mara Luxury Facial Kit, Lulu and Mara
  4. Delicious Monster bracelet, Henriette Botha
  5. A super cool hat, Simon & Mary
  6. Gown, Bena
  7. Copper candlestick, The Artisan
  8. Delicious monster umbrella, Victoria Verbaan
  9. Famous on the Internet Laptop Sleeve, Zana
  10. Gift cards, Liberty Bespoke
  11. Cha Ching Core #3 bag, Missibaba
  12. Jungle placemats, Aurem Design
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