Posted in Halloween

Halloween Activity -How to carve an orange

As Hamish is still young I find as much as he really wants to try his hand at everything, there are still some things he needs to be a little older to do.

Carving pumpkins is one of those things.

Pumpkin, squash and butternut are just too hard for his little hands to try to carve right now so we substitute our pumpkins for oranges.

How to carve an orange

Carving the orange is pretty easy and a child of about 4 or 5 should be able to do this with minimum supervision.

You will need:

  • Oranges
  • Black marker
  • Cutting board to work on
  • Pairing knife
  • Bowl to pour the inner in
  • Tea lights ( optional)

Method:

  • Cut the top off of the orange and hollow out the flesh.
  • Wash and dry the orange
  • Draw a face with marker
  • Use the pairing knife to cut out the face.

You can fill the carved orange with fruit or sweet treats as a Halloween suprise.

Or as a decoration on a plate or at a Halloween party.

These also look really pretty lining a path with these little carved out oranges that have tea lights in them.

Posted in Christmas

A complete Christmas Check list

I love Christmas. It is my favourite time of the year.

There is always good food, lots of activities and happy kids. It is a time of holidays and family.

But it can also be costly, especially to a big family like ours, and stressful as moms take on the extra burden of trying to achieve a Hallmark Christmas for our children to remember.

To make this year smoother I’ve compiled a checklist to break down the monstrous list of things to do and help you achieve a stress free Christmas season.

The Christmas check list

October

  • Decide on a family plan for Christmas. Where will you be spending the holiday? If you do holiday themes what theme are you choosing? What type of meals do you want to serve?
  • Book reservations to any restaurants if you are spending Christmas eating out.
  • Make any travel arrangements and book both tickets and accommodation.
  • Start a family WhatsApp group or email if you do not have one to communicate easily about holiday plans.
  • Use a Google calendar to start scheduling holiday events to allow the whole family to schedule items and keep each other informed.
  • Keep a print calendar on the fridge will help to keep track of school plays, carol services and that Christmas lunches.
  • Start baking the items you can freeze like un-iced cookies.
  • Prepare your fruit mix for cakes and puddings.
  • Make a holiday card list
  • Book any professional photos
  • Have holiday card photos taken
  • Design your holiday card to send out
  • Gifting -Purchase or make gift tags, Christmas cards and Christmas wrapping.
  • Send international cards and gifts
  • Measure your family for clothing size and shoe size. Make a list of this to help you shop or to send to grandparents.
  • Order any personalised items to ensure you recieve them before printers shut down for the holidays.
  • Famlly holidays-Make plans for family that will be staying with you. Do you need more linen, sheets, ect
  • Book any leave needed from work.

November ( 6 weeks before Christmas)

  • Decide on a Christmas budget
  • Make a holiday gift list
  • Buy gifts for Secret Santa events, neighbours, friends,teachers and work colleagues
  • Keep several small gifts of chocolates or biscuits for those unexpected people who pop in or gifts you recieve and need to reciprocate.
  • Start Christmas shopping for family. You may want to take advantage of the Black Friday sale for any big items you are planning to buy.
  • Do any online shopping .Make a note of delivery days when online shopping to ensure you recieve items in time.
  • Wrap gifts as you buy them. This will save you time during the busier days leading up to Christmas.
  • Charity– decide on the charity and causes you will support over the season

6 weeks before Christmas

  • Buy a Christmas eve box
  • Buy an elf on the shelf
  • Plan elf antics and get a box ready with activities for the elf to do throughout Christmas

5 weeks before Christmas

  • Celebrate Stir it up Sunday and make your Christmas puddings
  • Check your christmas tree and ornaments and make note of anything you need to replace.
  • Stock up on batteries.
  • Make an intinerary of holiday activities to enjoy with the kids
  • Book kids Holiday Clubs
  • Buy advent calendars or the items to fill reusable ones
  • Wrap 24 books to read 1 a night throughout advent. These are traditionally Christmas themed.
  • Neaten garden and outdoor areas.
  • Clean outdoor furniture
  • Stock up on braai items like charcoal, firefighters, ect
  • Put aside table settings. Items such as the table cloths, name tags, christmas crackers, ect for the Christmas meal. Getting this ready now will save you running around looking for matching serviette rings on Christmas eve.
  • Buy christmas crackers
  • If you are travelling over christmas book a service for your car, plan your route and pack emergency items in the boot.
  • Arrange pet sitters or house sitters
  • Have any photos you need printed
  • Buy instax film
  • Check board games and buy new ones to add to the family board games stash.
  • Bucket list – make a family holiday bucket list of things to do

4 weeks before Christmas

  • Test your Christmas lights . Replace any that do not work and see that you have enough.
  • Set up outside decorations
  • Enough to feed everyone – Take stock of your serving dishes, cutlery and crockery. Purchase what you need.
  • Write your local Christmas cards
  • Book any hair, annual medical or beauty procedures you will need until the end of January.
  • Stock up your medicine cabinet
  • Clean windows
  • Put up window decals or fake snow
  • Download a christmas ring tone or wall paper for your phone
  • Play Christmas Carols
  • Have photos taken with Santa

3 weeks before Christmas

  • Mail cards
  • Let the kids write to Santa
  • Christmas tree – Decide on your Christmas tree. Will you use one you have? Do you need a new one? Are you having a fresh tree?
  • Buy or make your tree skirt
  • Decorate your tree
  • Start your Advent calendars
  • Put out the Nativity scene
  • Decorate your home
  • Purchase any greenery or wreaths to decorate with.
  • Finalize your menus
  • Order your Christmas meat
  • Shop for groceries you can freeze and store.
  • Send any out of town gifts
  • Start your elf on the shelf activities
  • Let kids write a wish list
  • Make gingerbread men
  • Make gingerbread house and train
  • Put together a christmas day playlist
  • Fill any gas cylinders
  • Drive to see the city Christmas lights

Two weeks before Christmas

  • Purchase alcohol and beverages
  • Break out the Christmas crafts with the kids
  • Plan your christmas Caroling events
  • Print out free colouring pages and staple together to make a colouring activity book to keep kids busy.
  • Buy Christmas day outfits and Christmas eve pjs
  • Bake or buy Christmas cake

One week before Christmas

  • Spring clean your home
  • Line the oven with foil to prevent too much mess while cooking for Christmas day.
  • Clean out any unwanted or outgrown clothing, toys and books to donate
  • Clear out the refrigerator and deep freezer
  • Plan spaces for guests and clean the linen and towels.
  • Purchase any gift vouchers you are gifting.
  • Have a christmas movie marathon. Dont forget the popcorn.
  • Bake or buy mice pies
  • Christmas dress up – wash , clean and replace all christmas hats, stockings and Santa suits

3 days before Christmas

  • Shop for fresh ingredients
  • Make life easy – Stock up on paper plates, paper cups, serviettes, tin foil
  • Do any baking
  • Buy fresh flowers
  • Dry oranges, pears and apples to make potpourri and hanging strings
  • Go see christmas lights
  • Christmas light scavanger hunt – these are a lot of fun.

2 days before Christmas

  • String popcorn for tree
  • Make pomanders
  • Make a timeline for Christmas eve and Christmas day
  • Go caroling
  • Put fuel in the car
  • Double check all gifts are bought and wrapped
  • Make Christmas deserts
  • Purchase Christmas candles
  • Buy Santa’s cookies and Rudolfs carrots
  • Watch the nutcracker

Christmas eve

  • Prepare Christmas eve meal
  • Watch christmas family movies
  • Have photo taken in matching family pjs
  • Put out children’s Christmas eve box
  • Leave milk and cookies for Santa and Rudolf
  • Read the Christmas story
  • Drop christmas cookies at neighbours
  • Place gifts at tree
  • Christmas day box -Set out bin bag and box with batteries, scissors , ect ready for the mornings excitement
  • Fill stockings or Santa sacks
  • Make trifel
  • Make eggnog
  • Take any meats out to defrost
  • Pre cook some food
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Track Santa on Google tracker
  • Place luminaries in the yard for Santa to find his way
  • Leave out magic key for Santa
  • Charge phones, cameras and laptops
  • Hide the pickle and Rudolfs nose for the children to find in the tree
  • Leave flour Santa and Rudolf prints on the floor
  • Take elf away
  • Bite the cookie, eat the carrot and drink the milk so that it looks like Santa did it
  • Mull your wine

CHRISTMAS DAY

  • Make hot chocolate for the morning
  • Open gifts
  • Cook lunch
  • Take family morning photos
  • Read the story of Jesus birth
  • Kiss under the mistletoe
  • Family- phone, Skype or text family to wish them
  • Send out digital Christmas cards

Posted in Life with my bears

Hamish turned 4 and we went low key

In January I started planning a big party for Hamish. Knowing that he would turn 4 and remember this birthday I wanted to plan a fun day with lots of spoils and all his friends.

After all…you only turn 4 once.

Pandemic

Then March happened and we entered into quarantine as Covid turn the world upside down.

Months of financial strain on so many, assisting family, a huge move and change in lifestyle has a way to help you reflect on much.

And I started to rethink how we would celebrate Hamish’s birthday.

Quarantine birthday

Now, we could have whipped him up a cute quarantine birthday or organised a drive through party.

We could have zoom parties with his friends or even taken him out, as we are now on level 1 …

Indecisively I asked him how he wanted to spend his birthday.

A humble request

He asked for balloons and a cake!

That was it.

Nothing more!

I was taken a back. The simpleness of balloons and a cake would be enough to make his little heart happy.

A plan in action

So, we decided that if all he wanted was the simpleness of balloons and cake then that is exactly what he would have.

For the first time in the history of Hamish’s gifts, Brent was tasked with choosing a gift and getting a cake to bring home.

I would take care of balloons and a day of spoils.

An evening before

The night before. I blew up a packet of balloons. We don’t have balloons in our home often because of their environmental impact so this was a huge sacrifice in integrity for me… but it would make him happy and the only thing he wanted, so I closed my eyes and blew up those balloons.

I’ve since discovered that you can buy eco-friendly balloons at Cape Town balloon & event

Happy birthday

Hamish woke early to a bed full of balloons.

The happiness was immediate and he came rushing to our room for a balloon fight.

We sang happy birthday and he started to recieve the multitude of wishes you all sent to him.

My mommy heart was so moved at the beautiful and thoughtful messages from so many of you who took the time to show him some love on his birthday.

He was so excited he wanted to make a thank you everyone video, which we posted to Instagram.

A day of fun

The day past in a series of fun games and a friend over for a playdate.

The two kids played so nicely and ran about the garden.

After his friend left, he reluctantly had a nap, but by then he had depleted his energy completely and needed to recharge those birthday batteries.

A cakesplosion

Throughout the morning Brent had called me a few times about the gift and cake.

He settled on a chocolate cake and I got a frantic call to say that the cake had been squished when Brent had to break suddenly for a car.

I told him not to worry, I would try fix it when he got home.

Thinking the worst I was getting ready to re-ice the entire cake.

Dinosaurs to the rescue

When Brent got home, I was relatively relieved to see that the cake was not totally messed up. Infact it was just the corner.

I quickly ran to the toy box and grabbed a few dinosaurs.

With a little creativity I placed them so that it looked like the dinosaurs had gotten to the cake first and taken a few bites.

(First tip they teach you in the mom manual …when in doubt add dinosaurs.)

The birthday fairy

In our home we have fairies for everything…and I do mean everything.

From tooth fairies to bedtime fairies, there is always a new fairy around.

I had told Hamish that the birthday fairies were dropping a gift off at Brent’s work and that he would get it when Brent got home.

We placed the box on the floor and after his bath, He dived straight in to reveal a monster ramp and car.

He was so excited.

Big reveal

And then we revealed the cake he had waited for.

His face was magical as he scolded the dinosaurs for eating cake before him.

A revelation

The day was nothing like I had originally planned.

There was no big party or hoards of children.

There was no big budget or bright decorations.

There wasn’t a mountain of gifts. ..

But

There was one increadibly happy little boy who was showered in love and who spent his birthday exactly as he had asked to.

What a perfect birthday !

So many times we plan a child’s party for ourselves, for the gram or to meet up to the expectations of the neighbours, our friends and the school WhatsApp group.

What if instead of large lavish parties we ask our children how they want to spend the day.

What if we make the day completely and utterly about them and the things that make them happy?

This may not look the same as what we had envisioned and that is ok!

After all you only get your birthday once every year …surely it should be the happiest day of your year.

Posted in Family Life, Fun mamma Rainbiw kids club, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers

A spring scavanger hunt

September brings the first day of spring and although Cape Town was certainly not showing any signs of spring weather in early September, I compiled a spring scavanger hunt to keep Hamish busy.

The hunt is designed to use on a walk about your neighbourhood but you could also use this inside your garden.

Scavanger hunt.

Look at your garden/park or beach and draw or write a list of things for your child to find.

We started nature walks and hunts when Hamish was about a year old and would collect things onto his pram.

Give each child a copy of the hunt and a pencil to mark off what they find.

I’ve found that this activity works well for smaller children if you attach your print out to a clipboard. This makes it easier for them to carry around and ensures the wind does not blow it away.

You could also give younger children stickers to stick on to mark off what they find instead of a marker.

If you know that you will do the hunt on a regular basis, you can save paper by laminating the print out and use a white board marker to cross off as white board markers will just wipe off the laminating.

Things to find

I put together a list of 20 easy to find items in nature.

  • Bird
  • Thorn
  • Ant
  • Spiders web
  • Leaf
  • Pine cone
  • Flower
  • Log
  • Rock
  • Mushroom
  • Cloud
  • Dandelion
  • Grass
  • Bug
  • Stick
  • Mole hill
  • Earth worm
  • Tree
  • Sand
  • Caterpillar
  • Bark

Happy hunting ….

Posted in Brands we love, Family Life, Fun Mamma SA Toy of the Week, Parenting

What you need to know about Nerf blasters for younger children

As parents we took a stand to not let Hamish play with guns.

As he has gotten older and his comprehension has grown we have relaxed that rule to not letting him play with guns that look realistic and to include educating him in the very real dangers a gun can possess.

Boy toys

As much as we, as a society of parents,have started to move to a more open minded parenting culture many of our children’s toy manufacturers still have a vast amount of violent and traditional toys aimed at boys.

Shops are still divided into boy and girl sides with the boy shelves full of guns, army men and play sets that involve harming others.

It is also natural that many family members and friends still gravitate towards these gifts when buying for boys.

Nerf guns

This led me to openly look at what type of toy guns we could allow.

Bright blue, green and yellow water guns seemed safe and then I saw his eyes dart towards the nerf blasters.

These certainly don’t look like real guns but are they safe for small kids ?

What is a nerf gun?

A nerf blaster is a colourful toy blaster made by Hasbro that uses soft foam darts to shoot.

What does Nerf stand for?

I was confused as to why it was called a Nerf blaster but it seems the term describes the foam darts. Nerf stands for Non- expanding recreational foam.

At what age can a child play with a nerf gun?

The core Nerf range is suited for children aged 7+Although, Nerf have developed a range designed for an older market of 14+ (Nerf Rival)

I was interested to discover that they also have elements for a younger audiences including Nerf Nitro and the Nerf Microshot series.

Each Nerf product has a suggested age suitability on the packaging to guide you, the parent, in making an educated choice as to which blasters are recommended to suit your child’s age.

Which Nerf product would be best for a 4 or 5 year old?

For younger kids the smaller more compact models would be better suited as they are easier and more comfortable for them to manage and handle.

The Nerf Nitro has a recommended age from 5 years and comes with cars to act as targets for your child to shoot at. This is definitely the Nerf blaster we would look at for Hamish.

What safety precautions do we need to take with a Nerf blaster?

Nerf blasters are relatively safe. They have few movable components, limited power and shoot foam darts.

But as with any toy that could hurt someone, however slightly, it might be best to teach younger children:

  • Not to look down the barrel of the blaster
  • Keep the blaster pointed down and your finger off the trigger if not shooting
  • Don’t leave the blaster lying about loaded
  • Never shoot someone in the face
  • Never shoot at animals
  • Wear safety glasses

Final thoughts

I mostly like that this toy “gun” is known as a blaster allowing children to identify with it being a toy straight away.

I also like that the manufacturers have ensured that there are age restrictions to the blasters and that most sites I visited spoke of the Nerf blaster as a safe toy.

I like that the blasters are brightly coloured and even discovered a pink one on Amazon.

Overall, i can see that Nerf blasters encourage children to play with each other, providing action-packed and safe fun, indoors and outdoors.

Would I let Hamish get one?

Yes.

Being little though I would only encourage to him aim at inanimate targets and naturally teach him set of rules for play.

I think Nerf wars seem like good fun as he gets older. ( with the correct safety eye wear) and I can actually see my older boys joining in with this.

For more information visit here

Note:

For younger children especially adult supervision is recommended.

Posted in Family Life

I once dated a man who couldn’t let go of his past .

I once dated a guy who just could not let go of his past.

You remind me of my ex … Are you serious?!

Everything from how he wore his hair to the drinks he ordered me were based on what he had done for his ex wife.

He would remark so often how I reminded him of her, which to me was not a compliment. It had me constantly question if he saw me or her when we were together.

He would order me her favourite drink and obsess if I wore a perfume or skirt that twigged his memory of her.

Thinking I would be flattered he would voice all the similarities we shared. I once snuck a look of her on his Facebook and was horrified as I saw very little resemblance to us physically and even less to us as individual women.

A past life

To make matters even harder to bear were his conversations. They were full of his past life, his childhood and the mistakes he had made. He would fill our time together with his memories about his friends and his life. At no time interested in mine and not once was there talk of a memory we had shared.

He held on tight to his regrets and his memories of these. They consumed him. Devoured his days and kept him awake at night with nightmares and the agony of “what ifs”.

A penance for your sin

He would dissapear at all hours and leave no note of where he had gone. Then on his return he would be prone to fits of anger or succumb to hours of heart wrenching tears as he tried to process his daily penance of sins for crimes long forgotten by everyone else.

He was emotionally empty and to me emotionally draining.

With a wall of moments I did not share and no way to penetrate them, I would turn over and leave him withering in the tortured weight of his past.

A little bite of reality

I was unable to process why he chose to relive moments gone by instead of making new memories.

In holding on to his previous life he was unable to live in the moment, plan his future or invite anyone into his life.

No matter how hard I tried to understand, I was angry and resentful. I had opened my heart and offered my hand in a new journey, and he was not willing to even try to move forward on this path with me.

You see, it became so obvious in my frustration to try get him to become more present that the moment he invited someone to share his day, he would suffocate the moments and shut the other person out by only talking about his past.

Memories are important

And while all of our past memories are precious and deserve a special place, if the past was your best life and you are not open to discover what life still has to offer you then you are stuck.

Stuck in a void that will never allow you to truly feel happiness, excitement, joy or life again.

Stuck to be trapped in the moments you relive over and over and over again.

This future’s not looking so bright

Very soon into our relationship, it was evident to me, that he needed a therapist not a partner.

Now, don’t get me wrong,he was a great guy and honestly I most likely could have endured a few years of trying to fix him and struggling to understand why only his memories were ever good enough for him.

You see, without my self esteem and my love of life, I could have gotten stuck with him.

I may have become just as negative, as lonely or as sad. I may have become trapped in my own few memories and end my life there, simply continuing to breathe and exist.

But who wants to live in that state of limbo? Who wants to be haunted by memories you do not share? Who wants to be that insignificant and unseen by the person holding their hand?

It dawned on me that had I stayed, I may have given upon my own dreams and tried to recreate his memories for him.

Or worse, I may have believed it my fault that he could not move out of the shadows of his own choosing.

So, what if you live in the present?

But, I love life. I love dreaming.

Whilst my memories are important and I often look back, I don’t stay there.

I’m positive and always moving forward with the reminder that if my life was so great at those moments I fondly remember just imagine how many amazing things, how many opportunities and how much still to experience is waiting ahead for me.

I live in the present and often in the future of my goals and dreams.

Breaking it off

And so, I remember sitting across the table from him, before I was about to break the news that we were officially over, and wondering if I would become a memory or if like his life I would just fizzle out until my light had completely gone?

Do you live in the present or in your past?

Posted in Family Life

For the love of a red haired little boy

When I was 8 years old I attended a new school. Like many of the schools before, there was no difference here, I thought, as I sat down behind a little red haired boy.

I would later find out, this school was very different, as after 5 schools before grade 3, we finally settled in a town and I spent the rest of my junior years there.

What made that first term so special was this incredibly mischievous little red haired boy, with his freckles dotted across his face and his big round Harry Potter glasses.

He was, to me, growing up in a very girly household, the most exotic creature I had ever encountered.

He was always laughing. Never backed out of a fight ( 8 year olds fighting over a ball on a playing field are brutal) and he teased me continuously.

No matter how much he pulled tongues at me or told me how yuck girls were, he always had a smile and a hello.

I remember the one day he put playdough on my chair and I sat on it. Mushed playdough neatly smeared all over my school pinafore.

That day after lunch, I waited patiently for him to get to his seat and as I sat behind him, I yanked his chair away before he sat down.

I got 100 lines for that as punishment and he stayed after school with me to write 50 of them.

And so, I always said ….one day when I am a mom I hope God blesses me with a mischievous little red haired boy.

My sons

Now, I was blessed with 4 amazing sons and believe me they are every bit adventurous, courageous and mischievous as the little red haired boy that caught my heart as a child.

With beautiful thick hair of browns and blacks they still tease and laugh and smile and show their hearts in a thousand ways.

I had given up on my little red haired boy and truthfully I think after my first child was born, it stopped being important. I no longer thought of my ” dream” family as one does in your teens.

A little red head

And then I fell pregnant with Hamish.

Now, with Brent having red hair, we knew it was a possibility that he would too but I think in the back of my mind I expected another little boy full of dark hair.

And out popped the cutest little red haired boy.

Each day I grew more and more in love with every inch of this little boy.

His hair has magical powers…some days it’s a dark rich red and other days a light auburn.

The sun shines new light into it and his whole face almost lights up, bright blue eyes giggling with glee.

Other days, streaks of blonde betray him and he carries a natural ombre shade as he plays alongside his siblings.

My little boy reminds me so much of that little boy in my grade 3 classroom.

He is bold, courageous and fearless. He is mischievous and the freckles above his nose dance in delight when he smiles.

No matter the shade of the day I absolutely love Hamish’s red hair but did you know ….

Facts

Red hair first appeared as the result of a genetic mutation with the first documented case of natural-born redhead occurring in Scotland.

* Less than 2% of the world’s population have red hair.

* Scotland boasts the highest percentage of natural redheads while Ireland comes in second.

* Natural redheads are rare,the gene is recessive,meaning both parents must each be carrying the recessive gene for their child to have red hair.

* Natural red hair is less likely to go gray.

* A redhead’s ability to produce a pheomelanin also allows them to have a higher resistance to pain.

So for all those natural redheads…you are extremely rare!

Who else loves red hair?

Posted in All about Mamma bear

My dream body

As I get older, I obviously notice the parts of me that are no longer as youthful as they once were.

7 children, illness and age have taken their toll on my once agile body and lately I’ve changed my opinions about a little plastic surgery.

Although I’m increadibly squeamish of needles and hospitals, and I’m also infact not really a big fan of surgery, I could see the benefit to having a flaw fixed to restore your self esteem and help you feel better about yourself when you look in the mirror.

I think, especially as women, we are often so critical of every aspect of our physical selves that more often than not we are our own worst enemies and what can happen when a women takes the decision to have plastic surgery is that by taking her shame away she opens herself up to loving herself more.

My flaws

Now unlike most women who welcome plastic surgery and other body transformation options, I doubt I would ever have anything surgically done on my face and I’m on the fence when it comes to botox.

Those lips look amazing but I don’t know that I would like anyone injecting me in my lips or forehead. The thought of the needle and pain makes me suddenly squirmish.

But having said this there are many times when plastic surgery to the face would be important to restoring the confidence and self esteem of a person.

In the event of injury to the face or for someone who may have a concious worry over the shape of a nose or wrinkles and other facial flaws.

In this regard I would think finding a trusted and well reputed plastic surgen would be your best option to ensure that the surgery is a success.

But, I would consider a tummy tuck to remove the excess baby weight that seems to have fused with a midlife spread.

Oh the dream of a once flat stomach without 4 years of yo-yo dieting and constantly trying to fit in exercise along with mom life and work sounds like a dream come true.

And whilst I’m dreaming up my body transformation, let’s talk breasts.

I’m happy with my breast size so I wouldn’t consider an implant but a lift wouldnt harm.

My perky 20 year old breasts would love my more mature 40 year old body ( provided I actually have the tummy tuck that is)

Yes, I think these two procedures are definitely options I would consider right now in my life.

Although my dream body transformation sounds increadibly easy and lighthearted in this post, and I’m not sure I would honestly ever get the courage to have them done.

My opinions on plastic surgery have shifted. I no longer see plastic surgery as a shallow option for women to look good, there are actually many benefits to plastic surgery to those who chose these procedures.

Often it is not an easy choice to make and those who do choose to have plastic surgery still need to spend time in recovery, which can often be painful.

I think for me the biggest benefit I could see in someone using plastic surgery to correct their flaws would be the development of self esteem and confidence.

Some surgery, like rhinoplasty or breast reduction can assist in improving your physical health.

Whilst other surgery, especially to women who are plagued by bad body image, can assist in developing a positive attitude and enhance mental health as they now view themselves as perfect.

So, whilst I bite into my chocolate and dream of thinner thighs and half heartedly Google if my medical aid want to pay for my tummy tuck , I know should I ever decide to actually do this that there is no shame in improving your physical appearance to look and feel good about yourself.

Posted in Family Life

Adding a little smile to your life

As a very little girl of 3, my eldest daughter slipped on an extremely large root growing out of the ground, whilst running.

There was just blood everywhere as she stood there her sobbing and holding her mouth, one front tooth half broken.

Now, i have learnt that mouth and face wounds tend to bleed excessively but way back then my 20 year old first time mom mind was convinced she had half killed herself.

It was a cold Sunday afternoon and I had been helping my father with a garage sale before his emmigration to the Seychelles.

I remember grabbing a kitchen cloth, holding it against her mouth and us all climbing into my father’s little VW beetle and rushing to find a dentist that was actually open.

We eventually found a dentist and he just pushed the little tooth back into her mouth.

I was shocked.

So much blood and yet the tooth was able to just be pushed back into the socket.

It grew firmer again within a week and a few months later, my accident prone child then managed to knock the same tooth on an ice cream fridge. This resulted in it cracking completely, just leaving a small bit in the mouth.

The dentist advised to leave it unless it caused her distress.

So we left it.

At 7 years old her big teeth started to grow in but the little one wouldn’t fall out.

An uneventful visit to the dentist resulted in my hysterical child screaming and the dentist refusing to extract the tooth.

Because of this her front teeth would grow skew.

Without medical aid, the option of fixing the teeth in her teens was unfortunately not an option for us and I was not at the time aware of University dental departments that may assist.

Cosmetic dentistry

A few years back she finally visited a dentist to see how she could do to rectify the damage done.

A smile is your most important asset and I’m so proud that in her 20’s she has never let her smile be dimmed by the fear of other people’s opinions.

Her confidence, I’m sure has been affected, although she has never shown it and her photos are as beautiful as a princess but I also know that cosmetic dentistry, which is increadibly expensive in South Africa and in some instances not covered by many medical aid schemes, would be a life changing experience for her.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry involves the fixing of teeth that are damaged, misaligned and stained.

Knowing that not only your confidence but your health as well can be affected by your teeth not being healthy, it is important to acknowledge the good that cosmetic dentistry can do.

Each patient’s mouth is unique and your cosmetic dentist would work with an experienced team and the latest technology to scan your mouth, identify your needs and develop a goal to give you a smile design that you would be proud to flash through a custom treatment plan.

This plan could include :

Conclusion

Many of these options are not covered by several medical aids in South Africa and a visit to the dentist is often more costly than the average monthly salary to many, resulting in many people unable to afford the necessary dental treatments they need.

But there are University dental departments that offer dentistry work at free or minimal payment options to those who find they can’t afford to visit a local dentist.

You can find these by looking up the telephone numbers of your local university.

Posted in Family Life

How a piece of driftwood became a business

As a mom we are always very proud of our children’s artistic expressions.

From those very first scribbles on the back of a piece of card to that homemade volcano and pasta jewellery.

Sometimes we are even shocked at the talent our children actually possess when they have the opportunity to be creative.

A love of crafts

As a child I studied art at Welkom technician and so I value being able to express myself creatively.

As a teen I tried my hand at everything from calligraphy to book binding.

As a young mom I then learnt to rely on handcrafts like knitting and sewing to look after my family and often tried new crafts from clay modeling, beading and scrapbooking to candle making and my latest obsession making bath bombs.

But one of my secret loves is woodwork.

I seem to have passed this love onto Ronan who, is really creative and shocked me the other day by building a longboard…that works.

A walk on the beach

Two weeks ago he took a walk to the beach and came back with the ugliest piece of wood I’ve ever seen.

So proud of his find, he mentioned that he was indeed going to make a longboard from this piece of wood.

I remember nodding my head, not expecting him to ever actually do this.

He has made a few swords, a wooden swing and small wooden items but never tackled a project this big before.

Sawdust and breadknives

The next day I found him sitting outside on the verandah, with my bread knife…My bread knife!

Carving the design of the board. I’m sure I lost my mind and also I was secretly wondering how he was going to cut this wood with a bread knife.

I found him a hand saw and for two full days he sat meticulously cutting the design.

There was sawdust everywhere.

With a set of lino carving tools he whittled corners and then sanded down the rough edges with sand paper cut into tiny squares.

This project took a week.

Everyday you could find him sitting in the same spot focused on his craft and working to get it just right.

Finishing touches

The finishing touches involved us buying some grip tape from a local surf shop and him first drawing the design and then hand cutting each piece of tape to get the desired effect.

Finally, without a drill, he used a hammer and a screwdriver to get holes in the deck to attach the wheels.

Test drive

Two full weeks later he proudly stood before me, his creation in hand and ready to test if it would hold his weight.

Bearing in my that this was a piece of drift wood, I was dubious.

It lasted the first test run.

Next to us, are some young guys who do tricks on ramps with their boards and he handed the board over for them to test.

Tricks up and down rails. Jumps and different weights ….the board held it’s own against their expensive boards and as a mom I’ve never been so proud.

A new beginning

This has prompted me to invest in his little business and we have bought the tools and as I said to him” I will buy the lumber for your next project “because everyone deserves to have someone believe in their dreams and encourage their passions.