Posted in Brands we love, Covid-19/ Coronavirus, Family Time, Parenting

Krazi Awsum pandemic Tees

Krazi Awsum gifts and goodies recently launched their online gift shop with a fabulous line of keepsake Tshirts that perfectly depicts life in a pandemic.

The superior quality Tshirts are avaliable in sizes for the whole family making them suitable for fun photoshoots.

This range, which uses the slogan #shareaslogan,would also suit bloggers wanting to express themselves, parents looking for unique gift options and to keep in a time capsule.

Pandemic range

The range comprises of the following designs :

1. My first Pandemic

2. Quarantine and chill

3. I stayed home 2020

4. Stay homie

5. Lockdown survivor

6. Wash your hands

7. Straight outta isolation

8. Most dramatic season ever

9. This is my quarantine shirt

10. Stronger together 2020

11. You matter

12. Homeschool 2020

Price

The Tshirt prices are affordable and compare well to other brands.

Krazi Awsum gifts and goodies also offer the option of personalised prints should you wish a custom design.

Order your Tshirt today and share a slogan.

Facebook : Krazi Awsum gifts & goodies

Instagram: @KraziAwsum

Posted in Family Life

Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings – a Netflix series

I love a good country song and often find myself humming a familiar ” country road” tune as I go about my day.

A love of country

My love of country music started when I was increadibly young. My grandmother and I would sit on her bed and we would sing along to the country songs playing in the radio.

Long into winter nights and early on summer mornings we had a song for every occasion, feeling and moment.

As I grew up and had my own children these songs perfectly described so many moments in my life.

I think that is most likely why I love country music so much …because everything I want to say is already in a song.

I would find myself singing Coat of many colours to my children when they were babies.

I absolutely love this song and out of the numerous songs Dolly Parton songs, this one is my favourite.

Now, if you are not familiar with the song it speaks of how they were so poor that her mother takes a bag of rags and sews a special coat just for her, but how the other children do not understand just how special it is.

This became my lullaby for my own 6 children and I would softly sing the end with a little lump in my throat.

But they didn’t understand it
And I tried to make them see
That one is only poor
Only if they choose to be
Now I know we had no money
But I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me
Made just for me

Legends

Naturally there are many great country singers who stood out but my favourite was Dolly Parton.

Dolly with her flowing blonde hair and Barbie doll figure. As a young girl I wanted to dress like her, walk like her and sing like her.

To me she represented everything that was wholesome.

As I grew older I discovered just how much more there was to this woman whom I only knew as a country singer.

Dolly Parton is so much more than just an American country singer … she is also a song writer, multi-instrumentalist,record producer, business woman, author and humanitarian.

Songs

This dynamic and talented lady is not only a song writer and country singer but has crossed over into other genres.

Her songs also list in the following categories:

  • Country
  • Country pop
  • Gospel
  • Bluegrass

It’s hard to list the numerous songs Dolly Parton has sung but if I had to list my top 10 they would be :

  • I will always love you
  • Jolene
  • 9 to 5
  • Coat of many colours
  • Love is like a butterfly
  • Please don’t stop loving me
  • Travelling man
  • My Tennessee mountain home
  • Sweet summer loving
  • Save the last dance for me

Throughout our lives, whether we love country music or not, we all have a favourite Dolly Parton song.

As Sam Haskell, executive producer of ‘Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings’ says ” She is an International icon beloved by the world because she loves the world back.”

Netflix

Last November Netflix released Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, an 8 part anthology series about this amazing woman.

Each episode is based on a story from one of her songs and they share more about the inspiration and memory behind each of the 8 songs used.

Whilst each of the episodes has a different cast you can expect to see seasoned actress Kathleen Turner in one episode, as well as Jullianne Hough, Melissa Leo, Delta Burke and Timothy Busfield.

Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings was directed by Dolly Parton and Sam Haskell.

A Netflix series I personally, as one of Dolly Parton’s fans,can’t wait to see.

Posted in Family Life

Ignorance is the biggest prejudice

I recently viewed a house with an estate agent friend and kept hearing how amazing this house was because the woman who owns it has 5 children.

Now as a mother of 7 of my own children there are three things that were very wrong in that statement….

The first was that all mothers of many liked the same thing!

That all children are the same.

That big families fit a certain mould.

As, I swallowed my need to interject I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt …after all I was sure it was a sales technique to make me feel like I should automatically bond with the house.

Omg! How was this a house for every mother of many?

None the less we arrived at the house and I was horrified.

Aside from being increadibly run down with no cupboards ( how did a mother of 5 live without hiding everything in cupboards to keep the house neat?) It was messy!

Now, I may be the mom of many but I hate mess. I can’t stand clutter and we live with an increadibly minimalist feel to our home because of this.

The house was cluttered, busy and unbelievably messy. The poor dogs were everywhere and I dodged landmines of dog sh*te just viewing a yard.

The inside was spacious but not comfortably and would never suit us as a family. But here the point of many kids was brought up again.

As we left, after I politely informed the agent I really disliked the house, I started to replay a lot of the prejudice I’d heard throughout the short viewing of this house.

Many topics from the size of my family to our financial situation and I realised this was not a first ….

This was not the first time someone had made an assumption on me, my life or my choices on their own preconceived ideas, comfort zones, prejudices or ignorance.

Society dictates and we follow

Many times we grow up in homes that set our values, morals, comfort zones and thinking patterns.

Generations of prejudice filter down in silent daily messages like :

” Don’t hang out with Bob his mother is a ….”

” You can’t go to that party it’s not the right part of town”

” How could you buy that brand and not this one?”

” Good men/ woman don’t….”

” All men will ….”

” we don’t. …”

Whilst a lot of parental advice is to keep us safe or stop us from accidentally getting ourselves into situations they know will be hard for us to navigate, there are also many conversations and view points that set the standard and blinkers onto our adult lives.

Society moulds us in this manner.

What if we don’t fit the mould?

We are conditioned to grow a certain way, at a certain time and achieve just the right amount of goals to make us successful.

But successful to whom? And at whose standards?

And

What if we don’t follow the mould or achieve in time? What if we change the rules and do things differently?

Well, society teaches us to dislike these people. We call them rebels . We turn our backs and we start to break them down, verbally with our own preconceived prejudices.

Why?

But why?

Why is the general population afraid of those who do not look like them, sound like them, dress like them or live like them?

Ignorance!

Ignorance

You see we are taught to help the homeless but not to talk to them.

We are taught to feed and clothe the poor but not to ask how we can really help.

We are taught to lable, brand and generalise people into boxes but not to be respectful of those who do not fit that box.

We are taught to have patience with our families but not to teach them tolerance.

We are taught to not laugh at the disabled but not include them.

We are taught to hate people whose skin differs to ours but not to get to know them enough to love them.

And

In our ignorance we fill our minds with a multitude of prejudices.

We don’t open ourselves to learn more about people who do not look like us or act like us. We do not truly emphasize or understand their lifestyles or choices.

We are not tolerant of their differences and we do not respect that their views, opinions or life choices which may differ from ours are not wrong just because they do not look like our own.

So like that estate agent , who most likely was just trying to make a sale but communicated his thoughts ignorantly we too, are guilty of very often ignorantly hurting the feelings of others.

Posted in Family Life

Beautiful entertaining made easy with Tableart

I recently had the opportunity to use some of Tableart’s beautiful floral design disposible placemats to style some of my meal times and was totally blown away.

Just by adding a few carefully selected items I changed the ambiance of our normal table settings into elegant meals.

The response from my family was instant smiles and my husband wondered if he had forgotten a birthday or special event.

About Tableart

Tableart manufacture a contemporary range of disposible placemats, trays, glow lights and other accessories to bring a touch of elegance to your home entertainment and add that special ambiance to your functions.

Just add your flowers, crockery and cutlery and you instantly transform your ordinary table into a beautiful memory.

All products are environmentally friendly and all packaging used by Tableart is recyclable and compostable.

Why I love these disposible placemats

These beautifully designed disposible placemats are not just functional saving your table linen but also make cleaning up little spills easier and as the mom of a threenager I especially love that I can use the good tables cloth and not worry about the spills on our tables.


The placemats are so pretty that they can also be used to line drawers, wrap flowers or gift wrap a special gift.

Special offer

Tableart products are avaliable from Hello Pretty and are running a special until the 5 August 2020


For just R200 , Tableart have coordinated 8 of their current design ranges to offer you:

  • 1 x pack of 25 disposible placemats
  • 1 x 12 pack of linen-feel paper napkins
  • 1 x 2 pack of tall taper candles to match your colour theme
  • 1 x gift tag to add a special message

You can shop the special here:

To add to your beautiful settings you can also shop the specials on

A tray and coaster combo

Glow light / lanterns

Beautiful entertaining made easy.

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Life with my bears

Moving journal….Part 2 : we move

I was super excited at the thought of all the new space, moving after so many years and the adventures that come with discovering a new town.

I couldn’t wait to start packing.

For the next few weeks, I sorted, cleaned and packed daily.

Mercilessly nothing was spared as I savagely threw away, gifted or donated the accumulation of 5 years worth of living in one home.

Hamish donated many of his bigger toys that he had outgrown to our local charity and I gave away furniture we knew we wouldn’t need in our new house.

Soon the entire house was packed and sorted and we were living out of suitcases, counting down the days …to moving day!

Giving notice

Because of our lease, we gave a full months notice and set to work repairing any damages, painting chipped paint, ect before moving.

We knew we would move on the 27th which was a Saturday and started rallying the kids for help.

Let the games begin

The Friday night, our last in the house, my eldest son popped by and we had fetched Kerri who then decided to sleep at her brother ( 5 minutes away from our flat) promising to be back by 7am the next morning.

The two boys who were moving with us had hardly packed up their room and were also not home that evening. I was starting to stress that we wouldn’t all be on schedule to start moving at 6am the next morning.

Chaos reigns

The next morning Brent and I woke at 5am and started taking down our bedroom curtains, moving the last few things in our room downstairs to get ready to pack.

I discovered the milk finished and with no coffee and me frantically trying to get hold of the kids to help us, with no luck.

Things got panicky.

At one point I remember telling Brent if we were on The Amazing race, I was picking another side. My mom nerves were frazzled.

It’s also a good thing most marriages are stronger than the vocal power of annoyed spouses.

Why rush?

We had to move everything downstairs and into the garage before the carpet cleaners arrived at 8am.

With the kids who needed to move their still half packed room MIA , I considered throwing their stuff away.

Eventually at 7.45am all kids returned home.

By then, both Brent and I were working on complete separate teams, each with our own agenda and the kids had their own plan on how this move was going to go.

With total chaos, rain plastering down, no one working together and the carpet guy continuing to trip the electricity, my older kids still missing in action,I finally agreed to let two of the kid’s friends help us.

Move it! Move it!

Somewhere after 8am the landlord and his painters also arrived and he finally understood that he wasn’t going to get much done before we actually moved out the flat and until the Monday when the carpets were dry.

By now I was ready to abandon ship and move with no belongings.

At 10am, with us finally getting everything into the garage and ready to load, the truck arrived.

Loading up

We managed to use an open truck from Brent’s work, which sounded so awesome at the time of our romantic dream move plans but was looking like a really stupid idea as the rain kept pouring down on is.

Thankfully as we loaded up it stopped raining for a bit.

The young adults were awesome and loaded our entire home in minutes.

By 10.30 we were loaded and on the road to our new home.

Part 3 …A journey over the mountain

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Blog posts

Thinking of buying your house…we are!

We have recently moved to the most gorgeous house in the small town of Kommetjie in the Western Cape.

The house is a huge upgrade from the tiny apartment we were renting and I have fallen in love with our new house.

With it’s huge yard and big spacious bedrooms, we fit very well into this home.

The next step in our relationship,obviously after 3 years of marriage and nearly 6 years together,we are now looking at buying a home.

In fact we are talking very seriously about buying this home.

Rental vs home owning

We have been renting for 5 years. We rented for many reasons and honestly were not too keen on buying a home.

Personally I now think it was because neither of us were ever really settled in Tableview and did not anticipate the changes in our relationship that would go from us both being single to married with a little red haired boy.

But there are many benefits to renting a home:

  • Lower costs on rental
  • No extras each month like taxes
  • Home improvements or repairs are the owners responsibility
  • A shorter commitment is required enabling you to move provinces or countries faster.

As there are also many benefits to owning a home:

  • You have more privacy in your own home
  • You are more stable
  • Buying property is a good investment
  • You can build strong community ties
  • You can build onto the home to accommodate your family size or style

Why buy?

For us buying does seem like the right choice right now.

We are in the perfect area for Hamish to fall into the school of choice for his foundation years. We both love the town and lifestyle.

The home itself is one we both love and one that we could build onto to accommodate any future needs.

We are also not young parents, so the stability and investment of property right now would be a benefit to us both.

Finance

Naturally we would need to apply for a bank loan and bond to buy the house.

And so,we have been looking into how to apply for loans, the types of loans available and which is the best financial institution to approach with regards to home loans.

These companies are very willing to assist you with the requirements needed and information as to how to go about applying for a loan to purchase a house.

Many of the loan companies like Associate home loan also offer easy to use online applications making it easier for you to get the necessary information by filling in forms on their website.

You will be required to fill in an affordability form to first determine if your income and current expenses allow you to purchase a home and then to determine how much you can afford to pay back in each monthly payment, according to your salary.

It is also important to ask your financial adviser or loan company about the type of interest you could expect annually when purchasing your home, as these are sometimes forgotten topics in the goal to purchase your dream home.

Conclusion

So, here we are finally about to commit to the long term payments of a home that we will call our own.

Obviously there are many things to consider, some of which are if our negotiating offer is accepted by the current owner and if the finance is approved by the relevant banking institutions.

We are careful to check our affordability, so that we do not find unexpected financial demands and work in the costs of transfer, any legal documents needed and any alterations we may want to do.

We have currently invested in security for the property and I’ve mapped out what I hope is our long term vegetable garden.

9 weeks ago we decided to move from Tableview to Kommetjie.

8 weeks ago we signed our lease and gave notice on our flat.

3 weeks ago we moved to our house in Kommetjie and yesterday we made the concious decision to buy.

Some houses are just meant to be home.

Posted in All about Mamma bear

Fidem …. a gift of Faith

For mother’s day I won my dream prize from Moms notes magazine.

A custom necklace from violet and Rose jewellers

I have always wanted a disc with my initial and birthstone, so this was a dream come true and I was elated that I had won.

Lockdown

I’ve never waited for a prize with so much longing and then Covid-19 happened and we were forced into lockdown. This meant I would need to wait until couriers were open again before recieving my prize.

The entire time, Victoria & Rose were amazing. Keeping me updated on the progress of my necklace as I drooled over the stunning pieces on their facebook feed.

Fidem

Last week as we waited for an engraver to open I asked if they could change the text …asking them to inscribe the word Fidem.

Why Fidem ?

People often question the Latin inscription of the purple tattoo blazed up on my left wrist.

A single word -FIDEM, tattooed in old style Gaelic purple ink.

The word itself means Faith, but to me so much more than just a word.

Years ago, I sat battered, broken, alone and defeated nursing a dislocated, fractured hip, squashed vertebrae in my back,a broken heart and 6 children to love and care for.

I cried for hours, screaming and swearing at God. What as he doing?What had I done to deserve this punishment? I loved my husband. He wasn’t perfect, but none of us are. I tried hard to rationalize and comprehend the events that had lead to him becoming the monster I’d faced.

It was in these moments, alone and petrified on an isolated farm that I came across the word -Fidem.

I had prayed for an answer and this was the word God gave me.

I didn’t understand. It made no sense. I needed a concrete plan. One that involved knowing how I’d care for my children as a single, unemployed mom who couldn’t walk for the next month or so.

The events that followed included me giving my husband a second chance , and 3 years later looking back at all the doors God opened through my faith to allow me to leave him.

By then I knew God had a better plan for my future, and whilst I don’t always understand where he leads I am always reminded that (jer:9.11)’ He knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper not to perish.’

So, its with blind faith that I follow His lead and whilst you may not always find me sitting in the front pew of church or baking cakes for ladies teas my faith in God never falters.

I chose to inscribe the word in old style Gaelic as I believe those with blind unquestionable faith are a beautiful,selective few, just as the old manuscripts handwritten in calligraphy styles of print are.

Words have been my solace through many of my lifes hardest trials and I wear my scarred memories with pride.

The purple represents my God. His presence in my life and His grace. Purple is also the colour of the bruises left both physically and emotionally. A reminder that through my faith I can over come anything.

I wear my word of courage and belief on my left arm, because when I feel defeated and alone I am always reminded that my faith is what I have left.

Faith that this too shall pass.

Faith that tomorrow the sun will shine and the day will begin again.

Faith that I am capable, that I will overcome and that my God has a plan that will lead me through and guide me to my purpose and His desired plan for my life.

Fidem has become my word for each year, my reminder that ” this to shall pass”, acknowledgement of the trials my God has brought me through and a testimony to the faith I have in myself to reach my dreams.

At my vision board workshop with The creative space with sonja I wrote the word fidem, to represent a faith in myself to achieve my dreams.

My prize is delivered

And so on Monday, the first day of our new journey in our new home, as I unpacked the work needed to launch my new business later this month and as I was feeling slightly overwealmed with the new house, cleaning it and the 7 gazillion things I need to do to catch up taking a week off from my blogs and Blogboss …my message arrived at my door ….

FIDEM!
HAVE FAITH 💞

In conclusion

To Moms notes magazine and Violet & Rose thank you for the most amazing prize.

Posted in Family Life, Life with my bears

Hamish gets his first pet

We have been wanting to get Hamish a pet for about 6 months now.

Not something boring like a fish, which he has owned before, or anything, like hamsters or mice, that he might snuggle the life out of.

A pet that was a bit more active that he could cuddle, play with and start learning responsibility from.

I was thinking a dog or even another cat, as ours moved to our neighbour when Hamish was a baby but still visited us all the time.

No dogs

Hamish’s allergies mean choosing a pet needs to be a careful process.

Nothing with too long a hair or that would jump on his bed.

But still I thought a small dog, maybe like a Jack Russell. They have little hair.

Our new lease unfortunately wont allow dogs so I was a little bumbed at that, especially as a dog in a house is a great source of security.

But I was determined that somewhere along the way he would find the right pet.

Just another dog in the park

A few days into moving into the new house we went down to the local park to play.

Hamish discovered the cutest little dog to play with and lost all interest in any of the kids or playground equipment.

In my mind I sat wondering if our new landlord would reconsider that no dog option.

He was so gentle and loving with the little dog and for a boy with a fear of dogs he was increadibly brave.

I was determined to fix this. My boy needed a best fury friend.

An intruder in the garden

The next day, there was a lot of noise outside as the boys called me.

Panicking I ran out to find they had found a tortoise in our garden.

No stranger to tortoise I know that they only have a 3km radius which means this little guy had been in the bushes since we moved in.

Hamish was elated.

He had found a new animal friend.

We automatically set up an open shelter for it and that night I left it outside.

Being a wild animal, I didnt want to disturb it too much and wasn’t really sure we would find it in the morning.

By the next morning I had joined an online tortoise group for people with pet tortoises, so we can learn more about caring for Buddy.

I’d also started to enquire about a licences as you may not just keep tortoises. You have to apply for a special permit. Apparently we can only apply after lockdown.

I’d also prepared myself to explain to Hamish that wild animals need to live in the wild and I was sure Buddy would come back.

Not going anywhere

But there, in his shelter was Buddy, frozen.

The poor tortoise was ice cold when I found him and so we decided that he is obviously keeping us and we will love him like our pet.

Each morning Hamish helps to neaten Buddy’s shelter, throw the old food out and replace it with new food and we let Buddy roam the garden.

I’ve taught Hamish about camouflage and how to find Buddy in the leaves.

We’ve also spoken about respecting nature, hibernation and why Buddy needs the sun to warm up during the day.

Occasionally Hamish will grab Buddy for a cuddle or play alongside him, telling the tortoise made up stories.

Then at night, we bring Buddy in to his little open container bed, that once was a toy box,to keep him warm and Hamish makes sure he has water and food on his soft bed of warm leaves before we settle in for the night.

There is nothing more beautiful than watching the love between a child and their first pet.

Posted in Covid-19/ Coronavirus, Family Life, Life with my bears

Moving journal ….Part 1: Why we chose to move during lockdown

Somewhere in the middle of May I decided to look at the availability of houses to suit us in Kommetjie.

Now, those of you who have followed us for a while will know that I loved our little apartment in Tableview and although we’ve been on a month to month lease for 4 of the 5 years we lived there, I never actually saw myself moving.

About our flat

Brent and I moved into this little apartment with one of my sons when we were still dating and in the 5 years we were there,the flat has accommodated my whole family.

Somehow this little 2 bedroom flat was big enough.

It had the worst guest bathroom and each winter we would meet the new mice inhabitants,but I loved our little space.

The garden was teeny and the stairs scared me while Hamish learnt to crawl and walk but it was home.

I painted a feature wall with magnetic paint and we filled the house with vinyl murals and mismatched photo frames that spoke of our diversity as a family.

Last year the neighbours pipes burst and we had severe mould and the wall up our stair case started peeling off. But still I was happy.

I felt safe.

I had no plans to move for the next 2 or 3 years.

So why move?

In the same week that we heard of major building that would take place behind us and affect our current flat with regards to noise and neighbours, we were knee deep in Covid-19 lockdowns and my youngest daughter decided to move to her dad to be homeschooled instead of continue at the high school she was at, as there are other teens homeschooling in the home as well.

My older sons, who had needed to stay with us to get on their feet,were now all living away from home and I just woke up one morning tired of the four walls that restricted us.

I’d been feeling very nostalgic for the same upbringing my older children had for Hamish and wanted a space for him to be able to play outside and interact with nature on a daily basis.

I did not want to continue to bring my adventure loving little boy up behind brick walls.

With us choosing homeschooling for the younger children, this opened up the opportunity for us to look at moving further out.

But Komnetjie is so far

Brent and I had been talking about a move to Kommetjie for 4 years…. you know that ” one day when I’m rich” type of conversation.

We had visited friends out here a number of times and each time it felt like home.

If not …why not?

Just to see the house rental prices I went onto the first agents website that came up in a Google search.

I did not actually expect to find anything near our price range. But I found 2 suitable places.

The first one was already gone and the other never got back to us until after we had actually moved.

In between other agents mentioned a house for rental that we should look at and I fell in love…..

From the very first moment, before I had time to explore the inside if the house, I knew …this was home.

It is perfect. The correct size, spacious with cupboards for days and bathrooms to die for. The kitchen is well built and most importantly there is a huge yard with trees and flowers and rocks and mud for Hamish to play in.

Best of all …it was cheaper than our previous rental.

We had started looking at houses on Wednesday, by Saturday we had driven out to Kommetjie and were ready to sign a lease and start a new journey.

Part 2 : our move

Posted in Family Life, Family Time, Parenting

The magic Kinder App – bringing joy to your family

Hamish is not a huge fan of sweets but for chocolate he will go crazy.

Mind you as much as he lives chocolate, he actually really loves Kinder joy eggs.

Those plastic egg halves that contain a spoon of nutty chocolate and 2 wafer like balls and on the other side a DIY toy.

Something I only recently learnt was that there is a Kinder joy app to continue the fun.

The magic kinder App

Designed with learning in mind, the magic kinder app is a magical family friendly place that brings families together to have fun and play.

The App offers a safe environment for your children to enjoy :

  • Games
  • Drawing and colouring tools
  • Activities
  • tutorials
  • Stories
  • And videos

Designed for children aged 3 to 12, it’s an App to keep the entire family entertained.

The activities on the App are inspired by 6 learning areas needed to make up the appropriate skills, knowledge and experience for families to learn and play together.

The Kinder App is COPPA certified and parents have the peace of mind knowing :

  • There are parental controls
  • No advertising is on the app
  • It does not come with an in-app purchase

Parents are further put at ease knowing that Kinder have partnered with the university of Oxford in a 3 year program to develop content and monitor children’s learning.

Other partners include:

  • University of Auckland
  • The Fab kab
  • Interactive kids

You can download the app from Google play Store or Apple App store.