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BABE, BUMP, MAMA

MEET THE BUMP: JENNA MC ARTHUR

30th May 2018
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I am so excited about this meet-the-bump! Jenna and I met when we were both interns at Elle magazine back in 2009! And now she is 34 week pregnant with her first babe. Of course, she also happens to be super stylish leading me to having serious maternity wear envy throughout her pregnancy. Jenna is now looking forward to being a mum as well as continuing to be a content creator for select brands.

How are you really feeling?

Excited, nervous, emotional – all the feelings really! I’m not really surprised as although pregnancy is a blessing and a miracle, growing a human being takes a lot out of you mentally and physically.

What was the thing that surprised you the most about being pregnant?

The preconceptions around pregnancy led me to believe this would be an easy ride – that I wouldn’t eat any sugar, that I would gym my way through the 40 weeks, that it would be all glow and tummy but what came as a surprise was that you just don’t know how you will handle pregnancy – each pregnancy is different and it is OK to say you know what – I love my baby and am so excited to meet him or her but the carrying part is actually not for me or I find this really hard. For me it is important to be open and share on this because during my pregnancy I have found so many other women who have battled with post-partum depression, difficulties through their pregnancy, finding it really challenging to breastfeed, hard truths that women feel they can’t share or talk about, that its supposed to be all roses. I think it is important for women to support each other and share / talk out about this so the ride is not so lonely.

Jenna

You recently closed your company, so describe the new normal day in your house?

It was a tough decision to close my first baby but the right one I know to be a first time Mum. I love working so to be honest a few projects have crept up which I am busy with as well as a few collaborations – I have begun sharing my pregancy and my journey on social media – sharing on products I love, baby tips I have picked up, dressing the bump and just really hoping to inspire and inform other women in some way be it big or small. A typical day for me starts with a stroll to Bootleggers for a coffee (I allow myself one a day) then I’m on mail doing a bit of work in the morning and then its full on organisation mode. We have recently moved into our new home in Greenpoint so between preparing for the baby and a new space I am always doing something. Full on nesting mode really. I’m not one to sit still so my days are full and this new phase is about sharing, connecting with people and taking time out to create be it on the home or work front. The weekends are all about family time. These last few weeks my husband and I have really tried to cherish this time together before there’s less of it with a newborn baby!

Take us into your babe’s nursery?

You’ll have to wait till the full nursery reveal on my blog for all the details! But what I will say is that I have tried to create a really still, elegant and peaceful space. Much to other Mums horror it is all white. We don’t know our babies gender yet but even if we did I would have kept the room in neutral hues. We had the compactum, crib and rocking / feeding chair custom made with Baby Belle – these pieces give the room a French / old world feel with a handcrafted crib which exhibits all the hallmarks of an antique crib with its classic curves and detailed carvings and deep button hole upholstery. These pieces add a sophisticated feel to the room while I balanced old world with a modern touch by adding a gold and mirrored side table, a beautiful icelandic sheepskin and a white linen toy box stacked with handcrafted knitted animals and toys. As much as I tried to keep the nursery all local there were a few pieces we picked up on our trip to NYC – a Trousselier sheep musical mobile, prints from the Animal Print shop. Oh and one of my fave finnishes in this room that brings in such warmth and feminity are the French lace curtains I found in Franschhoek at Masquerade.

How has being an expectant father changed David or given you a different insight into who he is?

You know what is interesting is how little others talk about the impact on Dads and what they go through on this journey. They may not have the constant reminder of carrying around a big bump but they too go through changes. There is a lot of pressure to provide as a father, how the new arrival will impact on their work, life, balance, how they will handle the birth itself. I would really recommend couples going to an ante-natal course as this provides a journey for both of you not just mums-to-be and it is a really lovely thing to do together. We are attending Thula Baby Centre classes and it gives us a weekly opportunity to ask questions, learn about pregnancy, birthing, breastfeeding and most importantly is just such a great support network to meet other mum and dads to be and connect with the right professionals from midwives to lactation specialists. The Dads connect and have a space to chat and bond over their thoughts and what if’s and its really important that the Dads are involved. David is beyond excited, he has been so involved and supportive from the beginning – he has definitely showed me a more gentle side but also a very strong side in that he takes his responsibility seriously and has prepared for his role by reading, reasearching and asking the right questions. For Dads to be – do get your hands on The Expectant Father, The ultimate guide for Dad’s-to-be and he also has enjoyed reading The Bump app.

What are your top picks that you pack to keep you comfortable yet super stylish during your pregancy?

Shoes, shoes, shoes – when you are expanding in every which way and are having a blah day and nothing fits, an amazing pair of shoes can change everything

Have fun with your choices and don’t feel you HAVE to resort to maternity wear. Definitely invest in a few beautiful dresses, a classic white shirt and a really great knit – just get bigger sizes and don’t feel you have to wear maternity clothing only.

Having said this, there are a few items that I had to get in maternity- a pair of maternity leggings (coming from someone who thinks leggings are a fashion sin, trust me, you’ll thank me later) a pair of dungarees and maternity jeans – H&M have great options that are comfortable but still stylish. I find in the last trimester a chunky knit or white longer length shirt goes perfectly with a pair of maternity leggins and leopard print loafers (my current wardrobe staples).

Before you think outerwear make sure you are being kind on your skin – I am obsessed with all the Mamma Mio products as well as Bio Oil – I alternate as I love how they make my skin feel and will continue to use both post pregnancy. I am also a huge fan of Africology anti-ageing SOS spray – in the last trimester I tend to wake up with a puffy / swollen face and the spray soothes, hydrates and moisturises the skin beautifully.

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We know you are always on the look out for amazing products, what have you bought already for your babe that you cannot wait to use?

I can not wait to use my Artipoppe leopard print baby carrier – it is made from cashmere, wool and cotton and carries baby from 6months – two years and I can not wait to wear it!

My Bugaboo – my husband is a bit of a nerd so we spent days test driving different prams, he researched different brands to within an inch of his life  – he took this very seriously and the result was the Bugaboo Chameleon 3. We got the navy one with cream quilted detail interior.

Mums swear by the Nurture One Nesting cushion – it is locally produced and an amazing sleep aid that is safe. It holds the baby securely and assists with snug position for sleeping which in turn encourages calm and relaxation. It also allows for a smooth transition from breast feeding to crib, pram or cot without changing position.

Anything Mustela.

My Woolina sleep sack which is a wearable blanket made from merino wool which regulates the babies body temperature keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter.

Im also excited to try out my Wubbanubs – part plush toy, part dummy the Wubbanub is designed to stay in place and comfort your baby. It’s attached to a sweet toy that’s easy for babies to grasp and close to impossible to lose. It will probably be my baba’s first little friend – I ordered the lamb, baby giraffe and ele from Amazon.

Ewan the Dream Sheep – I bought mine from Kids Living. It calms the baby and lulls them to sleep – it has actual womb and heartbeat recordings that are combined with either vacuum cleaner, rain or harp sounds. After 9 months in the womb your baba is accustomed to the mothers heartbeat so Ewan the dream sheep immitates these sounds and provides a calming and comforting affect on your little one.

Oh and last but not least – I am so excited to try out my sheepskin – it has such amazing benefits – the merino wool is super gentle against baby skin, has natural temperature control abilities, can result in better sleep, reduce stress and colic and, and and! Love that you can use it as a play mat or in the crib or pram – I got mine from Baaa Sheepskins.

If someone could have given you one piece of advice before falling pregnant what would that be?

Slow down, take a long deep breath and pause. Pregnancy is such an individual experience so it can be hard sometimes to get good advice and trust me, everyone has an opinion. Listen to your own body and do what feels right for you. On a practical front I would really suggest spreading things out nicely – don’t wait until the end to do the nursery, to buy all the essentials – do it as early on in your pregnancy as you feel comfortable doing it. For me the last few months have been exhausting so to have everything ready and organised has been so wonderful and less stressful.

Jenna High Res-7-2

For more of Jenna make sure you follow her on Instagram and have a look at her blog, Jenna Mc Arthur.

BUMP, MAMA, WEAR

WE LOVE: MOMSY

28th November 2017
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When we were pregnant there were so few options in South Africa for great maternity wear (I basically wore my Yummy Mummy dresses everyday). So when I saw this new brand: Nursing Momsy I immediately messaged all my pregnant/breasfeeding friends and alerted them to this must have dress.

This is a specially “designed dress for nursing moms making nursing easy and more accessible, leaving moms feeling confident and stylish.” We love that it looks beautiful over a growing bump and then works perfect for breastfeeding. And of course the colour options have us insisting everyone gets more than one!

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Visit Momsy Facebook page or follow them on Instagram.

BABE, BUMP, EAT, MAMA

WE LOVE: HERBIVORE

11th October 2017
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I know that they have been around for a while but we absolutely love Herbivore products, they are so delicious and super healthy too, making great food and snacks for the whole family.

FYI:

  • All Herbivore products are raw vegan in formulation, dehydrated at low temperatures to ensure they retain as much of the nutrients supplied by mother nature as possible.
  • All Herbivore products are also free from any animal products, contain no added cane sugar, are naturally gluten free and without preservatives or additives.
  • They strive to use ingredients that are organic, farmed sustainably and harvested fresh.

Here are the products:

Kale Chips in Birds Eye Chilli, Sour Cream & Onion and Cheezy.

*Our fave is the Sour Cream.

birdsEye cheezy sourCream

Super Cereal in Coconut Cacao, Fig & Cinnamon, Gingerbread and Vanilla Pecan

*Our fave is the Coconut Cacao

What’s in the cereal? Sprouted buckwheat, sprouted quinoa, dates, banana, pecan nuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, chia, Himalayan salt, vanilla bean

coco fig ginger pecan

And we cannot wait to try the Power Porridge which will be launching soon.

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BABE, BUMP, MAMA

MEET THE BUMP: JUDITH BELLE

18th May 2017
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Lovely photographer Judith Belle is due any day now. Here she shares a bit more about her pregnancy with us.

 

Are you finding out the gender of your baby and why or why not?

I’m having a little girl! So excited to be a girl-mom! The pregnancy was enough of a surprise, having certainty about the gender helped me to prepare for this journey.

Tell us one thing you can’t live without while pregnant.

Comfortable shoes!! I’m a wedding & lifestyle photographer and need to move and walk a lot for my work! I bought the most gorgeous BluBetty All Season leather lace up ankle boots and wear them almost every day!

What is your favourite beauty product while pregnant?

My mom gave me Happy Event, it’s a wonderful lotion to moisturise and soften the skin, filled with olive oil and vitamen E. I’ve been using it every day since I got it at 15 weeks. It also smells amazing! I’m not saying it’s the lotion, but I have no stretch marks yet.

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What is your favorite food or are you having any cravings while pregnant?

I’ve had very healthy cravings, thank goodness. For the first 20 weeks everything made me nauseous, except fruit. I could eat any and all fruit without feeling sick. Pineapple is still my favourite.

What preggy books or apps are you using?

I’m reading Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman, since I adore and admire everything French (fashion, style, interior, living, food, photography) it only makes sense to learn a bit of insight from the French and their parenting style. I was actually also an au pair in France 10 years ago, so a lot of what I’m reading only makes sense now that I am also preparing for a baby.

How would you describe your pregnancy style and where do you shop for preggy clothes?

My style have always been influenced by a bit of boho chic. I’ve been incredibly lucky with not gaining weight other than around my bump, so most of my things actually still fit me. I’ve only bought 3 pairs of comfortable leggings and one white preggy specific oversized shirt. All 4 items from the lovely preggy range by Mea Mama. I’m all about a capsule wardrobe and keeping things very simple and stylish.

What I’ve enjoyed most, is taking my weekly self portraits. The idea behind that was to find my favourite outfit of the week and document what I can still wear in that particular week of pregnancy. Looking back at my series of now 13 photos (I started it on 19 weeks) I am really glad I documented the growth, journey and my style like this. I’m sure my little girl will love it one day!

You can see them here and with this hashtag: #LumenBelleBump

What’s your exercise regime at the moment? And how has it changed  with your pregnancy?

I have a very physical job, squatting, moving, walking a lot when I photograph weddings and other lifestyle shoots. Additional to that I try to walk at least 4-5 times a week with a friend. (good to catch up on each others lives too) and I attend the Preggy Yoga Classes once a week at Conscious Birth in Illovo.

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Have you decided on a birth plan, are you going natural or having a caesar?

I’m hoping that all goes well that I can have a natural birth with no pain medication. I have a wonderful doula (Katrina Meek) that is helping me with breathing, exercises and positie birth affirmations. A doula is there to be the emotional and physical support from the very first contractions until you hold your baby. I believe the women’s body is strong, but the mind is stronger. So for me it’s also about getting myself in the right headspace to do this the way nature intended.

In preparation for your baby what are your most over whelming thoughts/ worries/concerns?

Time management. I love my lifestyle and my work. I’ve been taking things a lot slower this year and not traveling and shooting as much as I would have. My hope is that I find a balance to be the mom I envision for my girl and also still manage a level of career and job satisfaction.

What has surprised you the most about being pregnant?

How strong I am. Emotioinally & physically this has been my biggest challenge of my life, but I am determined and happy with my choice to go through with this journey. The most amazing thing is to see how your body change and adapt every week. I’ve been following my gut instincts with regards to food, exercise and big decisions and it is actually amazing how your body and your instincts guide you.

What is the best pregnancy advice you have received?

Be kind to yourself. Do things on your own time, in your own way, don’t be influenced by partners/friends/family/doctors. It’s of course to hear everyone’s insight and suggestions, but in the end you are in charge. It’s your body, it’s your choice, it’s your baby.

Follow Judith on her two Instagram accounts: Judith_belle and Themeasureoflight

{photos by Robyn Davie}

BABE, BUMP, MAMA

MEET THE BUMP: AMY

18th April 2017
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Meet lovely, super-glam,  Amy, she is 33 weeks pregnant with her first babe. This growing little family live in an apartment in Illovo.

Are you finding out the gender of your babe? 

We haven’t found out the gender as we have always said we would leave it as a surprise. Our feeling is that so much in life is known, planned and controlled and it is the one thing you can leave to surprise. Having said that, every time we come back from a gynecologist visit, I secretly spend hours analyzing the scan photos and comparing them to gender scan images on google to see whether I can determine the gender. I still have absolutely no idea!

Tell us one thing you can’t live without while pregnant and why not?

My pregnancy pillow which was loaned to me by a friend from work. It is the most underrated pregnancy tool and helps me sleep a good eight hours every night. It is incredibly comfortable and takes the pressure off your back, pelvis and legs. My husband has taken a liking to it too and tries to steal it from me at night!

What is your favourite beauty product while pregnant and why do you love it so much?

I am obsessed with the Elemis Japanese Camellia oil, which was recommended to me by an Elemis beauty therapist. I was sold when she told me Victoria Beckham had used it for all her pregnancies. It’s incredibly light, not sticky at all and makes your skin feel beautifully supple and well-hydrated. I have been using it as an all-over body moisturizer in addition to focusing on areas where possible stretch marks may appear. I even use it on my face when I am in a rush to get to bed and don’t feel like doing my whole night-time beauty routine. Apparently you can even use it to massage your new baby. Suffice to say, I am on my third bottle!

What is your favourite food and have you had any cravings while pregnant?

In the first trimester, I craved  potatoes and would take a gourmet baked potatoes to work every day- I think everyone thought I was a bit mad. I have also kept a continuous supply of frozen grapes in the freezer (Woolies has a great deal on these!) and have a handful every night after supper when that sugar craving hits. I think they taste like sorbet and absolutely love this clever little treat.

What preggy books or apps are you using?

I haven’t been religious about following them but I use Nurture to follow my weeks and baby weight and What to Expect for informative articles. What to Expect has some great insight into the different pregnancy weeks, how your baby is developing and how you are feeling. It makes you feel a little less anxious to know that you are going through the same emotions as everyone else.

How would you describe your pregnancy style and where do you shop for preggy clothes?

I have a friend who was about 6 months ahead of me and she gave me a whole bunch of hand-me-down, tight but casual  long dresses from Pick n Pay. She looked gorgeous in her pregnancy wearing these and encouraged me to do the same and show my bump . I have lived in these over the weekends! Dressing for a corporate role has been more tricky. I bought a whole bunch of shin-length, high-waisted skirts from H&M and River Island which I wear with silk blouses and heels to look professional and feel comfortable.

What is your exercise regime at the moment? And how has it changed with your pregnancy?

I used to be a regular runner but stopped running at about 12 weeks. Since then I have done a few gentle walks and lately have been attending pre-natal yoga classes as well as incorporating some pre-natal yoga at home (I use the YogaGlo app). Exercise has probably been the most challenging transition of my pregnancy and in the beginning I found it extremely difficult not to be able to run, have a good sweat and get that post-exercise endorphin high. However, I am now loving the gentle yoga and long meditative walks.

Have you decided on a birth plan, are you going natural or having a Caesar?

I would really love a natural birth but am not hung up on it. If I have to have a caesar for whatever reason, I am okay with it.

In preparation for your baby what are your most over whelming thoughts/ worries/concerns?

Only that the baby will be healthy and well and that I will have a good birth experience.

Dream babymoon destination?

I would love to go back to our honeymoon destination which was Lamu in Kenya. But it is a bit far to travel to and we have opted instead to spend a few days at Oakland’s Country Manor in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

What has surprised you the most about being pregnant?

How well I have generally felt and how much energy I have had. I feel as though I have had a really great and easy pregnancy which I have really enjoyed- I think I have been incredibly lucky not to be sick. I will miss my bump when it is gone!

What is the best pregnancy advice you have received?

To really listen and connect with your body. When your body is tired, let it rest. When your body is out of breath, slow down. When you body needs energy, eat well. And when your body needs engagement, connect.

BABE, BUMP, MAMA, NEST, PLAY, READ

FAMILY ALBUM & THIS WEEK’S READING LIST

13th April 2017
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Liv Tyler with her babes Sailor Gene and Lula Rose

Happy Easter weekend mamas and bunnies. Wishing you one filled with family, love, sunshine, laughter and Easter bunnies and egg hunting that brings endless joy.

Here 10 links that we book marked this week:

Ford Designs Car Simulator for Babies That Will Help You Sleep

Becoming a stepmom

Let’s talking about pumping!

How to naturally die Easter eggs

Toy-free kindergartens in Germany

Kids who do chores become more successful adults

Create a pocket playground for your kids

16 Ways to Travel With Kids (And Enjoy It)

Great DIY free printable bunny mask for Easter

Love Emily Henderson! Here is her babe’s nursery

BABE, BUMP, MAMA, READ

FAMILY ALBUM & THIS WEEK’S READING LIST

7th April 2017
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Beyonce, Jay Z and Blue Ivy visit the Grand Canyon.

WOW! What a day in South Africa – it was inspiring to see: matches, protests, and peaceful tributes.

I’m off to Cape Town this weekend for a little family get away… hence the busy bag post coming up next week and keep your eye on Instagram for what we get up to.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Here are some links from around the web for when you get a moment to read…

How To Teach Kids Where Their Food Comes From

The Day I Decided My Daughter Will Not Choose Her Own Friends

Music Lessons Were the Best Thing Your Parents Ever Did for You

I’ve always wondered: Do Dairy Foods Cause Mucus Production?

The Day I Fell in Love With Having Two Children

Everyone is talking about this essay: You May Want to Marry My Husband

IVF: One Couple’s Funny, Heartfelt Story

People have seen my boobs 

Are you spoiling your kids?

Sing to your bump: lullabies to babies in the womb decrease crying when they are born

How much should stay at home moms earn? Work it out! 

Raising Gifted Children: 6 Simple Tricks to Maximize Happiness

Having Kids Means Less Sleep For Women, But Not For Men

BABE, BUMP, MAMA

MEET THE BUMP: NATASHA PALIN

5th April 2017
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This gorgeous mama, Natasha, and her husband Mat live in Cape Town with their two and a half year old daughter Pepper (you may remember we featured Pepper’s birthday party on the blog last year). This little family is expanding by one soon as Natasha is 33 weeks pregnant.

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As your second pregnancy, how is this time round different from your first?

Not much has been different the second time round. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had two very healthy and uncomplicated pregnancies. If I had to really nitpick, it would be that I have felt a lot more movement with this pregnancy. It feels like our babe never stops moving.

Are you finding out the gender of your baby and why or why not?

Of course we found out! We are thrilled to be having a little boy. I read the end of a book before I read the beginning, so naturally we found out the sex of our babe as soon as we could. 

Tell us one thing you can’t live without while pregnant and why not? 

Without a shadow of doubt, it has been a product called Elemis spa@home instant refreshing gel. It’s like a cold version of deep heat and it is pregnancy friendly. I used this product throughout my pregnancy with Pepper and I am using it again now. It is the most incredible product and instantly soothes sore aching feet and an achey ‘evening’ back, as I call it. 

What is your favourite beauty product while pregnant and why do you love it so much?

I use all of the Mama Mio products as I love how well the creams are absorbed and the gorgeous scents are totally addictive. I also go for regular QMS facials to keep pigmentation and preggie skin at bay.

What is your favorite food or are you having any cravings while pregnant?

I’ve developed a serious sweet tooth over the past couple of months. I live for Chuckles and Chocolate Nesquick and as with my first pregnancy, I have been craving Beer… of all things! 

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What preggy books or apps are you using? 

I’m ashamed to say, nothing! I honestly haven’t even thought about downloading a preggie app or even reading a book this second time round. Any spare time I have these days is spent researching ‘how to potty train’ and ‘why is my toddler moaning at night’ 😂

How would you describe your pregnancy style and where do you shop for preggy clothes?

I’ve been living in T-shirt style dresses and Kaftans from Country Road and a few bodycon style dresses from Cotton On. I am not a fan of anything maternity other than gorgeous soft maternity pj’s which I have purchased from both Anna-Louise and Lila-Rose. As I get bigger I will resort to Cotton On tights and Country Road tee’s. 

What’s your exercise regime at the moment?

I am all for taking things very easy when pregnant. You definitely won’t catch me doing anything extreme… I do weekly pilates, walks on the prom with my family and a swim at the gym every now and then. 

Have you decided on a birth plan, are you going natural or having a caesar? 

I had an emergency c-section with my first babe and although I would love to try for a v-bac the second time round, I think, knowing that I have such a big babe on board, another c-section would be best for me. I just hope it will be a planned procedure and not another emergency. 

 In preparation for your baby what are your most over whelming thoughts/ worries/concerns? 

Without a doubt my biggest worry is that I won’t have enough time and energy to do all the things I usually do with my toddler. I don’t ever want her to feel neglected by me and it is something that I am very aware of. 

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How did you tell your husband you were pregnant? And when did you break the news to friends and family? 

When I was just 3 weeks pregnant, I had a dream that I was pregnant, and I woke up that morning and raced straight to the bathroom to do a test. When it came out positive, I just literally walked into the bedroom and screamed- “we’re pregnant”. My husband had barely opened his eyes! Haha. 

We told our family and close friends as soon as we had confirmed the pregnancy with our doc and the rest of the world when I was about 9 weeks. I’m not one for holding in such life changing news.

Dream babymoon destination?

A 2 week break on the beautiful Island of Mauritius with my Husband and Baby girl was given to me as a gift for my 30th from some very special people and it literally was a dream. 

What has surprised you the most about being pregnant?

Without the risk of sounding vain… I am super surprised at how much I love my body when I am pregnant. Even though I have put on so much weight and I have what feels like thee biggest booty, I absolutely love it and I love being so curvy.  I also feel incredibly healthy and content with life, which I am so grateful for as I know pregnancy can be very hard for a lot of woman. 

Photographs by Fiona Clair Photography

BABE, BUMP, EAT, MAMA, PLAY, READ, TRAVEL

FAMILY ALBUM & THIS WEEK’S READING LIST

11th March 2017
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Chrissy Teigen and baby Luna via Instagram 

Happy weekend mamas. There is a strange autumn feel in the air this weekend and I am not sure I am ready for winter to be on its way. We hit the park this morning and convincing a toddler that she needs shoes and a jersey was like negotiating a high level contract – I couldn’t help but think “how am I going to do this all winter long?”

Here are Kimmy & Bear HQ we are busy busy – working hard on Design Joburg and a couple cool Spaces for some fun clients. I am also starting to prepare for Francie’s 2nd birthday – break my mama heart!

Here are some links that caught our eye this week, enjoy! 

Chrissy Teigen opens up about postnatal depression

Dad is not a babysitter, he is a parent

The BBC video that went viral this week – every parent can relate!

You are never going to sleep again

7 Strategies for Empathic Discipline

Did you love enough today?

Interesting read on the vaccination debate

The new preschool is crushing kids

A brave mama and how her daughter changed countless lives (you will weep!)

The dangers of using a sticker chart to teach good behaviour

How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body

Family Vacations Serve as ‘Happiness Anchors’ for Kids

Want to Raise Successful Kids? Do this

Ted Talks for when you’re expecting  a child 

Having a baby isn’t a miracle and doesn’t make you a goddess

Best countries for raising a family (*WOOHOO #15!)

Harvard Psychologists reveal: parents who raise good kids do these 5 things

32 ways to savour your children while you have have them 

My degree was not a waste

This is why Finland has the best schools

Walk slowly mama 

How French schools handle fussy eaters

Music and your baby’s brain 

BABE, BUMP, EAT, MAMA, NEST

GUEST POST: HOW TO ORGANISE MEALS

9th March 2017
View More: http://helloharbour.pass.us/francie-sugar-in-cape-town

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We pride ourselves in organisation but Carla, from Pretty Organised, takes things to a whole new level. Over the next few weeks Carla will be sharing her top tips for how us mamas can get seriously organised. Carla is also mama of 2 year old Nikolaas, so she knows all about organizing meals and meal planning. Here are her tips to make things a little bit easier: 

Grocery shopping trip

In my opinion this is the start to feeding your family healthy meals. Choose a day  to plan meals for the week ahead and a time when you are relaxed and calm to plan. I usually plan on a Sunday afternoon or first thing on Monday morning. Keep a shopping list in your kitchen, best on your fridge, and write down what you run out of  during the week.

Organising your fridge

Make a point to clean out your fridge regularly, every two weeks to one month. This will give you more space to organise new and fresh ingredients. Use plastic containers to put certain items together, for example different kinds of cheese. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when your fridge is over-full. Also, things get hidden in the back, lost behind the mustard. Don’t let things go bad. Keep your fridge airy and light, with a sensible, realistic amount of food in it.

Pantry

Meals are easier and quicker to prepare if you keep your pantry well-stocked. Stock up on basic foods that can be kept like rice and dry pasta.

Collecting recipes

Personally I like to collect recipes from different sources. Create a place to save recipes and keep it simple. Do whatever works easily for you and don’t get caught up in a system. Meal planning is a really personal thing. What works for you may not work for me. The goal, I think, is to find a process that is both enjoyable and effective. Remember to ask your family what they like to eat. I get extra inspired when I feel like I’m cooking a meal as a gift.

Collect recipes that are both easy and a little more difficult. This way you can give yourself a break towards the end of the week with quick meals. Plan ahead to double recipes so that you can freeze some meals for when you know it will be harder to cook healthy meals.

Cooking time

I found that the time I take to cook a meal has a lot to do with how well I prepared the meal. I  set aside time to prepare our evening meal in the afternoon when Nikolaas takes his nap. This way I am focused, quick and efficient with getting the meal prepared. I set the table, fill the water jug and feel excited for our time as a family together.

Having a meal together

As a family we try to have dinner by 18:00. This has been a good routine for us and it has some great benefits. One is that we eat together at a reasonable time, two once Nikolaas is in bed we have the evening to ourselves and can relax together. Some people prefer to cook dinner once the kids are in bed and that is great, if you prefer that way.

Chef night’s off

Having one day a week where you don’t cook can be a real treat and a nice family ritual. If you have bigger kids, let them prepare a meal for the family or have take-out at home. There are so many healthy options these days for takeout and it is great to give the cook a night off .

Let kids help in the kitchen

About a month ago I brought a little plastic step for Nikolaas to stand on. It is not always possible but he loves to help in the kitchen. . Giving a simple task such as  stirring or chopping, putting peas in a pot just before dinner time  can go along way In encouraging a little one to eat. Children enjoy helping to  prepare food and then eating it!

Click here for tips on how to organise all those toys in your house and here on how to organise your baby’s room. 

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