Monthly Archives

September 2016

BABE, BUMP, MAMA, READ, TRAVEL

FAMILY ALBUM & THIS WEEK’S READING LIST

30th September 2016
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Grace Kelly and her babe

Oh my goodness I am off to Paris tonight. We’ve been planning this trip for a while and now I feel like it has suddenly sneaked up on us. I am a bit nervous for the flight – from Joburg to Munich and then onto Paris with 18month old Francie Sugar but she likes it best glued to me in the night so hopefully we will be fine, wish me luck! Then I am going to have a week of Paris parks, too many croissants, museums and playtime with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend.

Here are 10 links that caught our eye this week:

5 moves for mamas to stay fit during and after pregnancy

WOW! This school replaced detention with meditation.

The Benefit of Being the Big Kid on the Playground

What Really Happens to Your Breasts After Pregnancy

How to Raise Kids With More Empathy

Do Mothers Really Have The Choice To Breastfeed?

To the husbands, here is what we forgot to tell you

How ‘twisted’ early childhood education has become — from a child development expert

One mama’s story: I was a tiger mother

18 Under-the Radar French Baby Names You’ll Want to Steal

BABE, MAMA

WORK/MAMA BALANCE: LIZA FROM STORYTIME CLUB AND COPY INK

29th September 2016
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Today we chat to fellow mom blogger Liza West. She is mama to Bailey who just turned 7 and Robbie is 3 and a half. She been freelancing since Bailey was born – in a fateful turn of events I was retrenched from my Managing Editor role when I came back from maternity leave and that pushed me to go out on my own. Copy Ink (www.copyink.co.za) is my freelance business and we offer copy writing, copy editing, proofreading, social media management and project management. More recently I started another business with Emily (my best friend for 26 years) called Storytime Club (www.storytimeclub.co.za) – it’s a subscription-based book club for children aged 0-6 years and we are SO excited about igniting the love of reading from an early age.

What’s your work schedule?

I try to do all my work in the mornings when Bailey and Robbie are at school. This includes meetings which eat a chunk of my time so I’m often on my laptop in the evenings to catch up, especially when it comes to blog posts, which seem to fall by the wayside.

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How do you handle childcare?

We have a trusty nanny/housekeeper who is a wonderful, reliable woman that I couldn’t live without. Robbie told me the other day that she is his best friend!

When do you typically hang out with your littles?

The afternoons after school, if I’m not working, and weekends. I’ve started a little ritual with each of them because they finish school at different times, so on the days when we have a bit of time between each pick up, I’ll take one of them out for a smoothie date or for lunch. It’s a good way to spend some quality time with each of them.

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Do you have any family rituals?

We have a few. Friday night is pizza night. Some Saturdays we make flapjacks. We also like to try and go for a hike / dog walk in the mountains, the forest or the beach. Weekends can also get really busy – we’ll often have a party or a get together with friends, but we like to try and plan one fun family outing where it’s just the four of us.

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What do you enjoy most about your current set up?

The flexibility and the freedom of being able to manage my own time, make money and still be around for my children every day. It’s important to me.

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What’s the biggest challenge about your current set up?

It’s rather stressful and exhausting to always be on the hunt for work and worry about making enough money every month.

What about time for yourself? Do you take timeouts? What do you get up to and how often?

I use the mornings to take time for myself as well. I’ll go for coffee on my own, walk the dogs which I find very therapeutic, go running or to gym.

Let’s talk about dinner – who handles dinner in your home?

It’s usually my responsibility to handle dinner, even though my hubby loves cooking he’s often working too hard to think about it. When he cooks he can whip up anything from the fridge, but I like to meal plan and I way prefer cooking from a recipe book.

Top tip for the work/motherhood balance?

Find the balance that works best for you! We are all different and don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for the way you juggle being a working mama. It’s a tough job!

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BABE, BUMP, DIARY, MAMA, NEST, PLAY, READ, WEAR

ROCK-A-BABY 2016

28th September 2016
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We had the best time at Rock-a-Baby two weekends ago. It was such a fantastic event – how amazing to celebrate South Africa design and meet such cool mamas along the way. Thanks to everyone who came out to support us, and to shop the beautiful products. Here are some snaps from the weekend:

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{Photos by Robyn Davie}

BABE, NEST, PLAY, TRAVEL

THE CUTEST TRAVELLING SLEEPING BAGS

27th September 2016
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We just came across these Travelling Sleeping Bags by South African brand Krokenoster and love them. Made by mama and daughter team these (easy to fold up and carry) snuggly sleeping bags “double up as watchdogs against monsters, boogymen and baddies, when you’re at home or on the go”. There are three characters: a lion, a frog and bunny and are available online at krokenoster.com.

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BABE, MAMA

MEET THE MAMA: ELIZABETH FROM BONTON EVENTS

26th September 2016
View More: http://helloharbour.pass.us/baby-william

We are the hugest fans of BonTon Events, which is all about the most stylish, sophisticated events you can imagine so we are super excited to introduce you to Elizabeth, the creative behind BonTon and super mama to baby William. Elizabeth and her husband Pierre live on their farm, Usana Farming Estate.

Favourite product for babies and why?

For our baby specifically, the best thing we could’ve bought him is his Thule Urban Glider/ off-road pram. Since we live on a farm, our favourite thing to do is to go and visit the chickens and the cows with his pram. The big wheels and suspension allow us to travel the gravel farm roads and pastures without bumping and jumping around too much, William loves the slightly bumpy roads though.

View More: http://helloharbour.pass.us/baby-william

How has your style changed since becoming a mom?

My style hasn’t really changed, but the amount of time spending to get dressed in the morning has changed immensely- no more trying on a few different outfits before getting the winner for the day. I just take the first one (never mind what I look like) and there we go! With regards to shopping, I only shop at places where I am allowed to return garments, I don’t have time to try things on and hmmm and aaah. Try it on at home and return if it doesn’t work.

Best gift you have received for your baby?

William was so spoilt with loads of gifts received, but the best gifts are the home made things. Things that people took time to knit, sew or quilt- knitted jerseys, knitted dolls and hand made quilts are some of the things William got from oumas, aunts and friends. The biggest gift you can give someone in today’s life is time, and you realise this even more as a mom as time is all of a sudden extra precious.
View More: http://helloharbour.pass.us/baby-william

Favourite book to read to your babe?

The Little Prince – I think he will still hear this story a few times in his life

Where is your favourite place to go hang with your children? 

We live on a farm, so we are lucky enough not to have to travel too far to get out into nature. Farm walks and visits to the chickens and the cows with William are the best.

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Favourite meal to give your child?

MILK…The biggest blessing for me is being able to breast feed my little one, to be able to provide him with all the nutrition he possible need and giving him such a big advantage to start his life with. I will do anything to breastfeed for as long as possible.

View More: http://helloharbour.pass.us/baby-william

What is the biggest surprise to you about having children?

The emotions I experience are stronger than I ever thought was even possible. Such a cliché, I know, but I didn’t know it was possible to love so strongly. My heart still melts with every “coo” and every smile.  I’ll never forget those early morning hours in hospital where I just sat and stared at my brand new, perfect little human, being in total awe (and I still am).

View More: http://helloharbour.pass.us/baby-william

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

I am very lucky (or very clever for choosing him), but I have a husband who has been incredibly hands on with William since day one, and I know this is not just a phase. Pierre always said he does’t mind what gender our baby is, but I think that secretly he did the happy dance when we found out we are expecting a boy.

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I love watching the two of them play, some times I have to hold my breath when William is flying through the air, or doing “baby gym” sessions with his father- it’s sometimes hard not to interfere, but I am making a point of not interfering or correcting him and let the two of them just have their time. I would find my husband peeping through the door at 3am when I’m feeding William, just checking if we are okay (secretly he just wants to have another look at his little boy). It is amazing to see Pierre so in love and being so affectionate towards William.

You have a successful business in the events world. Any advice on balancing motherhood and work?

It’s incredible how your how outlook on the world change in a flash when you see that little body for the first time, how you think about things, about work, relationships, faith, everything! I was terrified about the future as a mom and a businesswoman, I was terrified of the unknown. How much work would I be able to manage? Would I still want to work after having a baby? Everyone tells you different stories of how difficult it is to cope with a baby alone, never mind work and baby.

I must say, so far so good. I have an amazing wing woman, Meagan, who has been working for me for two years, she knows the BonTon Events inside out. At first I was terrified to step back for a while (not because I didn’t trust her, but more because my work used to be my no.1 baby and I have built up a brand to where it is today). My work used to be my everything and I spent most of my time behind my computer or running around at events, work used to rule my life, and I loved it. In a flash, my priorities changed, my work can take the back foot, my family comes first, before anything.

I took two months of complete maternity leave, whereafter I slowly but surely got back into the swing of things. I have a lovely nanny and I moved my office from town to the farm so I can be close to William. I have one day a week that I don’t book any meetings so I can spend an entire day with my boy.

View More: http://helloharbour.pass.us/baby-william

What one thing do you want to teach your child?

His dad says William will have to learn how to fish… apparently while fishing you get to think about things/life and learn to have patience (as long as he doesn’t come home smelling like bait!).

From my side there is so much, I don’t even know where to start, I want my child to have a happy, kind heart and a firm belief in God.

Best piece of advice you could give moms of baby boys.

There is a little human, with loads of feelings and emotions, just as yourself…some days, this tiny human will be having an off day, or just not be in such a sunny mood, just like you, he will have better days and not so good days. Sometimes you just have to let him be, you can’t always get a medical explanation for him crying or being a bit offish, those days all you can give him is even more attention, so stop Googling and give him some love! Oh…and growth spurts are very very real!

View More: http://helloharbour.pass.us/baby-william

Follow Elizabeth and BonTon on Instagram and Facebook.

{Photos by Lad & Lass}

BABE, BUMP, MAMA

SOME OF OUR ALL TIME FAVOURITE POSTS

20th September 2016
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Francie Sugar at 9 months, pic by Lad & Lass

We are up to our ears this weeks – post Rock-a-Baby has us packing up orders round the clock which is super exciting but has also resulted in us neglecting our blog a bit. We promise we will get back on track asap with loads of new, interesting, fun content.

But in the meantime here are some of our most popular posts, enjoy!

This second birthday party causes serious #partyenvy and this one is perfect for spring!

Mamas talk about being a triplet mama, the hardest obstacle as a mama, being a surrogate mama, breastfeeding 3 year olds, post natal depression and adoption.

Some practical advice: 5 Favourite mom apps.

This post about my mom body got everyone talking and so did Bailey’s post “Motherhood isn’t a competition

Our guide to Cape Town

The best preggy shoot ever!

Birth Stories: Francie Sugar‘s and the twins.

BABE, DIARY, MAMA

AN WINTER’S AFTERNOON

19th September 2016
View More: http://helloharbour.pass.us/liackman-family

Pretty much every Sunday we all pack up our things and head to Kimmy & Bear for a big Sunday lunch. We eat late – whenever babes are asleep or awake, we sit under the big Oak tree and the babes play for hours in their grandparents’ magical garden, we eat, drink, laugh, cry… it’s my favourite day of the week.

A couple weeks ago we invited Emma and Dylan of Lad & Lass to come and spend the afternoon with us to take a few pics of us as a big family. We love how they turned out.

View More: http://helloharbour.pass.us/liackman-family

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BABE, COURSES, EAT, MAMA, READ

FAMILY ALBUM & THIS WEEK’S READING LIST

16th September 2016
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Julie Andrews and her babe on the beach. 

There is nothing else happening this weekend except Rock-a-Baby – we are so excited to be part of the fair this year, launching Kimmy & Bear clothing and can’t wait to shop, shop, shop! Please come and say hi at our Kimmy & Bear stand, we would love to meet you all.

Once you have shopped up a storm at Rock-a-Baby and are feeling all shopped out, here are 10 links to read:

Why Parents Aren’t Vaccinating

Co-sleeping after you swore you would never

Are you worried about your babes penis?

Reimagining the Modern Classroom

Children friendly restaurants in the wine lands

Mom version of Hallelujah goes viral – I love it!

How to Kid-Proof Your Home WiFi

8 Mistakes Parents Make When Raising Bilingual Children

How Getting Rid of My Stuff Saved My Motherhood

The Autism Epidemic

BABE, MAMA, READ

WORK/MAMA BALANCE: REBECCA OF FANCYPANTS

15th September 2016
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Last year we featured a Work/Mama Balance series and we received such great feedback on this topic so we thought we would do it again. Over the next few weeks we’ll be featuring a whole lot of super mamas who balance it all.

Today we chat to Rebecca Stürmer she is the co-owner, co-creator and co-designer of the Fancypants brand of cloth nappies and other eco-friendly baby and toddler products, she is also mama to two babes; her daughter aged 7 and her son is 5. Here is how Rebecca balances it all:

What’s your work schedule?

I get up in the mornings and sort out the kids and do the school run etc.  By 8am I am back at my desk or on my way to a meeting.  I work until 12.30pm and then start the school pick-ups and take kids to their extra activities.  I plan, plan, plan and then plan some more to make sure that I can get everything I need to get done in that precious 4.5 hours everyday.

How do you handle childcare?

I do not have any family nearby, nor do I hire it in so childcare can be tough sometimes.  Luckily carefully planned playdates and the occassional aftercare service at the school allows me the flexibility that I need sometimes to work longer hours.  I also have a very supportive husband who steps in when really needed and no other options present themselves or for the occassional weekend event or if I am travelling to JNB or Durban.

When do you typically hang out with your littles?

Every afternoon in some way, shape or form.  The afternoons are also when I have to get my chores done – the usual food shopping, endless tidying up, washing clothes etc so they do have to come along to do those things.  But I make sure that I spread them out and still have time to kick a ball, visit the park for a swing or play monopoly – their current favourite 🙂 I think it is good for them to see the work that goes into running a home, business and family so that they can appreciate what I do for them…….it is painful sometimes, it would be so much easier to do the food shopping without them.

Do you have any family rituals?

Yes, over the years we have created a few.  One of my favourites and I know the kids love it too……is always have cuddles in bed before we get up and start the day.  It may be 6am and it may be quick but before my mind starts racing to my ‘to do list’ and going over the ‘logistics’ for the day we always take time to cuddle and say ‘I love you’.  Pancakes every Saturday morning without fail is also another one 🙂

What do you enjoy most about your current set up?

I get to work in a flexible way.  My business partner and I have always said our families come first but Fancypants has grown so much it does require a team of people to run.  Employing and empowering other people to help in our business has meant that I can work in the mornings and spend the afternoons with my 2 beautiful children who have been with me at every stage of this entrepreneurial journey.  Their bums have tried and tested all our products!

What’s the biggest challenge about your current set up?

Time management – it is always hard to manage your time between work and family.  ‘Mummy guilt’ is ever present but you need to find a system / routine that works for you.  There are always emails, phone calls and things that need your attention however, I have trained myself to only ‘work’ in the mornings.  In the first few years I found myself working long hours at night after the kiddos had been put to sleep, but over time this became exhausting and wasn’t how I had envisioned my entrepreneurial life.  Now, my kids are at school and I have 4.5 hours each day to attend to the ‘biz’.  I have learnt that if you set goals, prioritise tasks and then train yourself to work efficiently – don’t let FB, phones and other things distract you – you can be much more productive with less time.  It is a discipline and nobody’s perfect but by doing so, I get to spend more time with my kids while still running a successful business.  I have a paper diary (I know totally old fashioned) and each day I have already put in tasks that need to get done.  When something new comes up I slot it into a particular morning but only if I can realistically get it done.  If not, then I move it to the next day and so on.  That way, I always complete my daily task list, which feels good, and I am allotting time to important tasks in a manageable time frame so there are no last minute hustles or working til midnight to get something done as everything is planned in.

‘Switching off’ is another big challenge for me. When you work for yourself you never really stop thinking about your business – but you have to try.  Everyone needs a break and when I get down on the floor and play a game with my kids I want to be ‘100% present’, not there physically but mentally somewhere else.  It is a discipline and a challenge but one which I continually have to overcome.

What about time for yourself? Do you take timeouts? What do you get up to and how often?

Absolutely, if I don’t look after myself (physically and emotionally) I can’t do the best job of looking after my family and growing the business.  I do sometimes take time out of my morning schedule to get my hair cut, sit and have a coffee on the stoep, call a friend.  It just requires planning.  And on those days when you just can’t handle another complaint or tantrum or crappy email I just take a deep breathe, go to my happy place for 10 minutes (usually sit outside or read a home magazine because I love those).  The peace is usually restored and I can head back out into the world refreshed and calm.  This happens at least once a week.  I also ‘try’ and exercise; it really is amazing how it clears your mind.  I often solve problems or draft email responses in my head whilst jogging.

Let’s talk about dinner – who handles dinner in your home?

I must be completely honest, it is my husband.  He loves to cook and does such a good job that I usually just let him roll with it.  I can cook, I just don’t do it very often…..there you go, it is out, I have confessed. I do however, play an important role in the kitchen – I am his 2IC and get all the good jobs like cleaning and washing up.  Small price to pay for his amazing meals.

Top tip for the work/motherhood balance?

Spend time at the end of each day/week planning the next (whether it is for work, kids, holidays – whatever it is).  It just helps to free your mind so that you don’t wake up in the night with lists and worries running through your head.  I also find a nice glass or two of red wine when the kids are tucked up in bed helps a lot.

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BABE, WEAR

KIMMY & BEAR CLOTHING

14th September 2016
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We are so excited the announce the launch of Kimmy & Bear Clothing.

Kimmy and Bear clothing is simple, beautiful, and well made. Our materials are handpicked for form and function, and we select only 100% pure cotton fabric. We  also oversee every aspect of the production of our small, limited collection. Our garments are not built for a single season, rather they should be worn again next year or passed down to a younger sibling just learning to walk. Founded by three sisters, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Kimmy & Bear’s first collection is inspired by childhood. By a time when our mother dressed all three of her daughters in matching outfits she’d made from patterns not dissimilar to these, by a time when the garden was our playroom and barefoot mornings stretched into long shadowed afternoons collecting snails and imagining worlds of fairies and forts, when reality was magical, and the magical was real.

Our clothes are reminiscent of those sweet childhood memories you have tucked away in some forgotten place.

Kimmy & Bear Clothing will be launching this weekend at Rock-a-Baby  or find us on Etsy.

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