When Parenting SUCKS!

“Parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, financial, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood.”

I LOVE being a Mom, before I had thought about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I knew I wanted to be a Mommy. I love my kids with my whole heart all the time, however that doesn’t mean that at times I don’t feel overwhelmed by Parenting.

Right now, Parenting SUCKS and there’s nothing much I can do about it. Certain things are completely out of my control however they affect my little ones and that sucks.

Highlight / Lowlight / Summary of why Parenting sucks right now

  1. Joshuah’s sleeping

Little Joshuah, as sweet as he can be (which is not all the time) he is a terrible sleeper. From day one Josh would do short power naps throughout the day, and that was it. There was NO 2-3 hour stretches, his sleeping lasted 20 – 45min at a time and that was all he needed. This was draining and frustrating but soon we adapted and 2 years later not much has changed. So WE are sleep deprived and that sucks. On average (on a good night) Josh will wake up between 2 – 3 times, either to moan, or want his dummy which he is too lazy to get himself or will want to come to our bed. On a bad night he will wake up every 45 – 60 min and then its full on tantrum and he’s restless, and wants no one to touch him and screams and and and then he passes out. For no reason. THIS IS DRAINING. And the problem is when he wakes up (not by choice but by being woken) he is miserable, and it’s completely understandable because he is tired! I’m not too sure if you know what it’s like to deal with a miserable toddler / kid first thing in the morning. This however falls on solely on Carl as I leave earlier than them, some mornings its good and they happily chat and laugh but other mornings it’s a crying tantrum filled start to the day. Bless Carl’s heart, he deals with it so well.

Parenting sucks when you’re so exhausted and sleep deprived that you flip at the smallest things your kids do and then shout and swear and hours later feel like a dog because of the way you reacted. Depriving a person of sleep is a profound assault on the entire biological system at the foundation of that person’s mind and body.

  1. Joshuah’s schooling

Joshuah is attending the crèche which Danny attended. Logistically where they were situated was on our morning route and they staff were awesome and the school great, however they were leasing the premises and the owner had decided to sell the plot to a developer. This meant the school would be moving (this was in 2013). As far I know there was no meeting with Parents and the only communication I had received was a letter in the boys bags to say that they will be moving within the next month to new premises.

There was nothing I could but move with the school, which was / is COMPLETELY out of our way as Carl drops the boys in the morning and works in the Southern Subs. So he sits in traffic (±20 min) to get to Durbanville then sits in the peak hour traffic to make his way to N1 / R300.

School

Last week we received another letter, 2 million guesses what’s happening AGAIN. Yip, the school is moving in December. Actually correction, they are combining, our school with one of their other branches. I’m so over it! Can you imagine, 2 schools who are operating at full capacity now having ALL those kids under 1 roof. Ugh! So from January this is what’s up. Now… we sit with the decision. Do we move him to a new school or keep him in this deurmekaar situation. Side note, I’m not a fan of the other branch but each to his own I guess.

Parenting sucks when you are forced into a situation like this again.

  1. Daniyal’s schooling

During Feb / March this year we applied at the 2 Primary schools within our area for Danny for Grade 1. A mere 2 and 3km away. However they advised me that we don’t fall into the direct feeder area (a big WTF) but we don’t fall out of their feeder area (double WTF), we fall into a grey area.

EPS

GLPS

Moral of the LONG story, we applied when applications like the rest of the world in the North and HE WASN’T ACCEPTED AT EITHER SCHOOL. For the record, there are NO other schools in our area. None. Unless you go into Bellville which is over the N1 and not in our area. According to those schools, we also don’t fall into their feeder area, and we’re 10 – 12km away from the closest Bellville school which by now are all jam packed full.

Following a discussion with a few parentals who will be attending these schools I found out that certain kids who reside in completely external areas out of the feeder zones etc. were accepted to the schools. The Mommy in me contacted the WCED and spoke to the Superintendent who deals with these schools (not about the other kids but because my kid doesn’t have anywhere to go next year) and I can assure you I will get NOWHERE with him. I completed the forms, in order for him to open an enquiry into the schools and when I called a week later he had still not made contact with either schools. He basically told me to wait till 16 November and contact the schools again, if I had no joy I should then make an appointment to see the Principals and we take it from there and if that didn’t work then he would contact the Principals. Hello, its already NOVEMBER. This is ridiculous.

The only other option we have is to put Danny in a Private school, which is what we have done but still waiting for feedback from them whether he was accepted. So please hold thumbs for us.

Parenting sucks when you have to deal with WCED and have no support and no one fighting for your child!

  1. Daniyal’s behaviour

Right now Danny has entered a challenging phase in his development, behaviour wise. It’s not that he’s acting out, it’s just that he doesn’t give a sh*t (sorry but I’m calling a spade a spade and not a tool with a sharp-edged, typically rectangular, metal blade and a long handle, used for digging or cutting earth, sand, turf) what anyone says lately. He’s irritable, he’s moody and not his normal happy behaving self. Strange!

Parenting sucks when you child looks straight at you and says, “NO” when you ask / tell / command / beg him to do something i.e. make your bed, pack away your toys, acknowledge your brother who’s been trying to get your attention for 5min and has now gone into full on tantrum mode because you won’t play / talk / look at him.

parenting-i-quit-i don't like you

parenting-i-quit-toys

parenting-i-quit

  1. Daniyal’s behaviour at school

In the last 3 weeks I’ve received 2 calls from his teacher regarding his behaviour, personally I also think she could handle situations better and needs to realize when you have an overcrowded class, with many energetic boys they WILL play rough, they WILL be loud, they WILL all seek attention. It’s part of their development, in saying this however Danny has changed. And after the call yesterday I said to her, in the nicest possible way I could SHE needs to investigate what is happening in her class. On more than one occasion Danny has come home saying that boys in the class and aftercare are bullying him, teasing him and fighting with him and this is something I have addressed with her and the aftercare teachers previously. Following this call, she had a class talk about bullying. I mean really, she wanted to blame my Danny for being a fighter (ANYONE who knows Danny knows that this is rubbish) and like I pointed out to her, has this ever been an issue? No. Something must have triggered this. According to Danny, after many conversations, he said he’s not fighting but protecting himself, however I’m the parent who is called. Bull dust!

Then the nerve, a Parent actually approached my little 6 year old at the school to ask him about bullying, this made me FLIP and I explained to her that if I EVER hear that this has happened again I WILL PERSONALLY CONFRONT that Parent and I can ASSURE her that it will definitely not end well. Do not mess with my child. Ever. How dare an adult intimidate my 6 year old and then they only report it to me a day later. When I asked Danny he said that he didn’t say anything because he didn’t want me to get angry. All because the boys were doing a Chinese bangle (hold wrist firmly and with our 2 hands & kind of twist) and this little *insert rude word here* ran to his Mom and said Danny hurt him. I would never approach another kid without speaking to the teacher first and asking my kid to explain to me what happened. That’s just not on. So lady, if you ever stumble across this know that without a doubt in my mind I WILL CUT YOU, and you have no idea how intimidating I can be. Vent over.

Parenting sucks when you have a feeling that there’s a little *insert rude word here* boy (s) at his school that are bullying your kid and others but have no proof and you’ve discussed with the teacher and nothing happens except your kid gets blamed (yes Danny is sorry for punching your giant in the nuts last week but he was defending himself, yes Danny did choke your child yesterday but this is because your kid and his 2 friends held his arm and legs while another smacked him on his head but the teacher happened to not see this as always). We don’t condone fighting but we do encourage Danny to defend himself if he is being hurt or feels scared. So I will not punish my kid for doing exactly what we have told him to do.  

So right now, Parenting SUCKS! And Parenting has kicked me hard in the hypothetical balls, and left me frustrated, overwhelmed and helpless. But this is just a phase and I know it will pass, after all, everything happens for a reason.

We will be moving…

Watch this space

Good Morning Lovelies,

As most of my readers are aware I recently ventured into the Small Business world. In saying this I have definitely neglected my blog for a while, due to no time, no energy and no inspiration.

This being said I have decided to merge my babies, What Happened to my Body and Love Made Me.

So watch this space, soon I will be launching my website and if you’re still keen on reading what I have to say then you can follow me there.

Till later

LT

Supporting Momtrepreneurs : Meet Radhia from Treatmesweetlie

Relationships don’t always start with face to face interactions, sometimes the social media forces bring people together.

That in a very short summary is how I met Radhia, and how our relationship has grown. Now she’s one of my first go-to girls when I need advice or guidance.

So if you haven’t checked out her blog, Treatmesweetlie then shame on you. I’m biased, but she’s awesome!

Treatmesweetlie Family

  • So tell us a bit about yourself, who you are, your background?

Hmm, I must admit, I am not fan of this question. Only because I never know what to say and because I end up replying with the normal responses….I am 29 years old, live in Cape Town, married to an amazing man, mother to a beautiful little girl, chartered accountant by profession and work for a giant South African retailer.

  • Do you have any kids? Be biased and tell us how awesome they are.

I am a mother to an absolutely gorgeous little princess! She is my world and provides me with all the inspiration I need.

Treatmesweetlie
Mom’s best customer and biggest inspiration

Baby A

  • How, when and why did you start your small business?

I started my business while I was maternity leave. Zieyaad’s (my husband) twin siblings both got married during this time, and of course my little girl needed to look exquisite. I managed to find the prettiest of outfits, but I could not find any pretty pacifier clips that were sold locally. All of the pacifier clips that I wanted needed to be imported, and there was just no time for that. I therefore decided to make them myself, and voila, Treatmesweetlie began!

Brown and Grey

Grey

  • Starting a business has its rewards. What has been one of the highlights of venturing out on your own.

One of my biggest highlights since starting Treatmesweetlie has to be my first sale. It was a sale of a pacifier to clip to someone I did not know, who found me on Instagram and ordered via email. This first order has given me the courage to continue. I thank that person for my first sale, as I benefited so much more from that sale than just the income earned from it!

  • When doing new designs, what do you look for. Comfortability, affordability, latest trends? Where does the inspiration stem from?

The Treatmesweetlie Handmade Pacifier Clips are fairly new to the market in South Africa. I have a few plans regarding new designs and expanding my product, however I am not ready to launch them yet.

Treatmesweetlie Treatmesweetlie

  • Can one only order via the catalogue you have available on Facebook or do you do custom orders too?

The pacifier clips comes in a variety of different colours. Colours (or colour combinations) not available can be made to order.

  • What are some of the challenges you have experienced with starting a small business (be it time, suppliers, huge orders etc.)?

The biggest challenge I have experienced is time! All pacifier clips are handmade and packaged by myself. As you can imagine, having a full time job, being a mother and wife, and trying to run a small business on the side is really time consuming. It has taken much dedication from myself and my family, in starting Treatmesweetlie and continuing with it.

  • Any upcoming markets or events we can come and support you at?

Treatmesweetlie will be exhibiting at the Mama Magic Expo in Cape Town! The Expo will be held at the CTICC on Friday 30th October to Sunday 1st November. All pacifier clips will be available for sale at the exhibition. This a huge commitment and I am really looking forward to it. And I am really looking forward to meeting all of you!

  • Where can one find your awesome products?

The Treatmesweetlie Handmade Braided Pacifier Clips are currently available to purchase via email (treatmesweetlie@gmail.com)…

BUT

watch this space, I have a few tricks up my sleeve!

  • Care to share a piece of advice with other aspiring small business owners

Commitment and patience. You have to be committed to your business and you have to be patient while watching it grow. These are two of some of the most important things I have to constantly remind myself of.

Thank you Radhia!

Hop on over to Treatmesweetlie Facebook page or over to her Treatmesweetlie blog and show Radhia some love, then go and place your orders. If you’re CPT based, why not pop in at the Mama Magic Expo and show your support.

Dealing with pregnancy loss

They say having a baby is one of the most enjoyable and amazing experiences of ones life, an event that brings a couple together.

But thats not always true.

Having Danny was both amazing and hard.

Having Josh was unbelievably amazing.
But there was a time in between. One of the most challenging and hardest times of our marriage.

Falling pregnant came with its own challenges. We battled.

There were countless tests, Doctors visits, monitoring cycles, many negative pregnancy tests, needles, medications and eventually we received our first positive.

I’ll never forget sitting in the bathroom of our tiny flat with Carl by my side waiting to see 2 pink lines and when they appeared Carl had the biggest smile on his face. It was lots of laughing, smiling, hugs and kisses.

This explained the sudden fatigue and lack of appetite I had for a few weeks.

We were finally there!

I called my Docs rooms and scheduled an appointment for that week.

First scan confirmed I was just over 6 weeks along and there on the monitor was a tiny little sac with a bean.

A few weeks later I started to feel strange, since this was not my first pregnancy and I know my body well I could feel something was different. Insteaded of my preggy symptoms increasing they started fading slightly and I knew it was too soon for this.

That Sunday, we joined Carl at Koeberg Nature reserve for his weekly cycle with his Dad and brothers. I was 10 weeks along and counting down the days till I was in the “safe zone”. Later that afternoon I started spotting.

To me this wasn’t too much of a concern as I had it with my first pregnancy too. But it definitely raised a flag.

By the following Wednesday it was still there and I called my Doc and scheduled an appointment. She could see me the very next day.

Unfortunately for me Carl couldn’t join me due to work commitments and I didn’t think anything would be wrong. I was wrong.

My Doctor confirmed that there was no longer a heartbeat, and just like that. It was over.

The next few minutes with her are still a blur. I don’t remember anything she said apart from “I’m so sorry Lindsay”. Somewhere between Week 10 and 12 our Angel baby returned to heaven.

She booked me for an evacuation procedure the following Monday.

I walked out, gutted, heartbroken and in shock. I called Carl and cried, I ugly cried. Then I called my Mom and cried some more.

As I laid in theatre that Monday at Vincent Palotti the Anaesthetist held my hand as I cried. He told me he knew what I was feeling and that it would be ok. I may not feel it but I’d be fine. I could feel myself drifting away and crying. And when I woke up, it was over and Carl was sitting with me. I burst into tears again. I never knew I could cry that much. Then I demanded to leave. I needed to get out, to get away from the Hospital, the staff, the crying babies in the passages.

In the 3 months that followed Carl and I fought daily. We woke up angry, went to bed angry, shouted at each other, ignored each other, I became ugly towards him and then we decided to just STOP. Stop the fighting, the shouting, the swearing, the rudeness and put having a baby on hold.

We needed to forgive each other, to grieve together and focus on us or our marriage would not survive.

I stopped all the meds, I stopped checking temperatures, weight and cycles. I cancelled my follow up appointment and shredded my Pathcare forms.

This is what my marriage needed. We needed to be healthy and happy again, free from the added stresses in our lives and when the time was right, we’d venture down the fertility path again one day…

We got iur relationship back on track, we were happy and communicating better than ever before. But the baby thing… well…

Well God had other plans… and a few weeks later we were pregnant with Joshuah. Completely unplanned, and medication free.

But we survived, and we were in the right space in our marriage.

GOD’S timing is ALWAYS perfect!

Its hard when life doesn’t work out the way you envision or expect, but its how you handle the storm that makes the good times so much more memorable.

So just hang in there!

Series : Supporting Momtrepreneurs – Meet Sam from Smallschoollove

Good Morning Lovelies

I ABSOLUTELY love doing these posts!

Do you know what grows businesses? Word of mouth and supporting our local companies!

This morning I’m so excited to share my latest find. I love all things Pinterest and love searching through Facebook for awesome baby and kids related products, so when I stumbled onto Sam’s Facebook page I fell inlove!

I have always loved wooden toys and accessories for my kids, I just feel they last so much longer and they’re just so different. Each one is unique, no 2 pieces of wood will ever be the same.

I recently asked Sam if I could do a feature on her and she jumped at the opportunity, I love that inbetween the busyness of running her own business and raising her family she still had the energy for me and my questions.

So here goes….

So tell us a bit about yourself, who you are, your background?
I’m a mom to 3 gorgeous kids and I’m a teacher running a small playschool from home. I have a background in graphic design.

So now that we know you have kids tell us a bit about them
Yes – 3 amazing kids! Our eldest is 17 – a beautiful young lady with only 1 year of high school left – I seriously can’t believe this!! Our middle is a boy of 13 – gentle kind funny and very sporty. Our baby is 2 going on 15 – incredible little guy who keeps us all busy and involved in each others lives… Talk about blessed – its a great privilege to be involved in their lives.

How, when and why did you start your small business?
As a mum and teacher I’m always on the look out for natural wholesome toys for the children. I’m drawn to wooden toys and love the natural textures…I also feel they stimulate the senses and are durable which is important in a school environment. While there are a lot of beautiful wooden toys out there most of them are painted and imported. I stumbled on a tutorial one day while I was searching for wooden toys and it was a lady making her own and I thought yes – I can do that!

R400 9 piece
R400
9 piece
R400 15 piece
R400
15 piece

Starting a business has its rewards. What has been one of the highlights of venturing out on your own.
The actual process of making the toys has been a major highlight – sourcing the sustainable local wood, making patterns and packaging up a final crafted piece is so fulfilling…I love that my kids can be a part of the experience and play around experimenting with their own creative journeys…

When doing new designs, what do you look for. Comfortability, affordability, latest trends? Where does the inspiration stem from?
I get a lot of my ideas on line. I also try to think about what children would like to play from their perspective and then experiment on my own kids! I often start off with an idea and it turns into something completely different that I hadn’t even considered…

R160 4 Piece Approx. 15cm X 39cm
Table Mountain Stack R160
4 Piece
Approx. 15cm X 39cm
R160 8 piece
R160
8 piece

Can one only order via the catalogue you have available on Facebook or do you do custom orders too?
You can order via facebook catalogue and I do make custom orders!

What are some of the challenges you have experienced with starting a small business (be it time, suppliers, huge orders etc.)?
I definitely underestimated the amount of time and work that goes into each piece and finishing it off. So time is definitely a challenge for me and I do get carried away on each piece making sure they are perfect to send out!

Any upcoming markets or events we can come and support you at?
At the moment I’m just making orders that I get through facebook and I will be doing one twilight gift market at St Stephens church in Claremont on the 4th of December.

Where can one find your awesome products?
For the time being on line as I make to order! 

R400 13 piece
R400
13 piece

Packaging Packaging bag Bunny Family

Care to share a piece of advice with other aspiring small business owners
I suppose the best advise is to just give your ideas a go – I never thought I could make my own toys but with the support and help of my amazing husband and family I was brave enough to try and the outcome far exceeded any expectations I had. You should also love your product or the hard work involved will put you off!!

So now that I’ve blown your mind with Sam’s amazing goodies, hop on over to her Facebook page or email her at smallschoollove@gmail.com and place your Christmas orders!

Bird Teether R00
Bird Teether
R100

Teether Packaging

Elly Teether R100
Elly Teether
R100

Some FAQ about the products

Do you use paints, varnish, or stains on toys?
No! All we ever use is non toxic beeswax and organic flax seed oil. Did you know wood is anti-bacterial & non-allergenic?! If you want RAW local woods just let us know. We use local sustainable farmed gum and pine.

How does postage work?
We are currently posting at about 1 week lead time. Once I have your location and order I can supply you with an exact postage price. All prices on the site exclude postage. We deliver your items in natural-style packaging.

Do you do local delivery or pick up?
Yes! Please email me for details.

How can I pay for these natural toys?
We accept eft’s.

Do you make custom orders?
With pleasure. Just ask us. We can make you something really special according to your specifications. (Two week turnaround on custom pieces.)

Will you make a personal love note for the little one I am sending this gift to?
Yes! Just ask. We love to personalize your gift and make it extra special.

Whats the best way to care for my special toy?
Each toy comes with a little care guide! It will give you information on how to keep that toy ready to play with for many generations.

Christmas is Coming….

Keep Calm

Its no secret that Christmas is by far my most favourite time of the year.

Growing up I had the most amazing Christmas’s, from the tree decoration, to the atmosphere in our home around this time, till watching our annual movie (tradition). I love everything about it.

Its great growing up in a big family, all these wonderful events means a BIG family gathering. And since coming from a blended family we’ve had the annual tradition of celebrating with a Christmas eve dinner hosted by my amazingly awesome Aunt Karen (if you’ve ever been to one of her gatherings then you know what I’m talking about) followed by a wonderful Christmas lunch either by My Mom, Dad, or in-laws.

This year I thought I’d get a head start with the Christmas planning and do a few posts on ideas for Christmas. These will range from Christmas Eats, Christmas Treats and new traditions.

Since last Christmas our little family has grown with the addition of my perfect little niece Izzy – Rose Petal. Guys she’s beautiful and super bonus is she loves her Lala as much as I love her.

So without further a do… Lets kick off with some Christmas Treats.

Inexpensive Christmas ideas

Gifting Ideas:

  • A few years back, due to the ever growing family we decided that the adults in the family would draw names for presents and all the kiddies would get presents. Its been so much easier this way as the ever growing family just did not fit into everyone’s budget. So score.

The idea is you make up a gift for the person to the value of R300.00. This should include something that they have put on their want list (yes we do 3 ideas for the other person so that they have an idea), and then maybe something else small. Last year I was the lucky person to pick my Hubbys name, perfect for me as I knew exactly what he wanted for Christmas.

  • If you’re feeling creative then make something. Since I’ve taken up a side hobby (Crocheting, yes I can see my little sister rolling her eyes at me) this could be useful when coming to gift ideas. There’s patterns readily available online for the cutest goodies i.e. headbands, cushion covers, placemats, coasters, blankets etc.
  • Have a special photo framed.

One of the most special gifts I’ve received was from my Dad. He gave me a photo of us from my wedding day in a beautiful frame which I display proudly in our lounge.

When embarking on a new project I always check on Pinterest for some inspiration before I get started. I’ve done a quick round up of some of the things I’ve pinned.

Something for the chef in your life

Gift 1 - For the Baker or Cook

For the one with the Sweet Tooth

Gift 2 - Sweet Tooth

For the Grandparent who loves to cook / braai why not get the kids involved and do a custom hand painted Apron

Gift 3 - Hand print Apron

Monogrammed Totes

Gift 5 - Monogrammed Tote

Personalized Christmas Baubles

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Personalized Christmas baubles

DIY pillow (see tutorials below)

Gift 6 - DIY Pillow

Pillow - Puppy

Pillow - Cactus

Arts and Crafts:

  • Salt Dough Ornament

How to make salt dough:

1 cup salt

1 cup plain flour

Up to 1 cup of water (add gradually)

Method:

Combine the salt and flour then pour in the water gradually, stopping when it has become dough-like and not too sticky. There should be no residue left on your fingers when you touch it.

Knead it on a floured surface for a few minutes to make it soft, workable and stretchy, like you would with any dough.

This step is wonderful for strengthening those small hand muscles essential for writing and cutting!

Choose a range of cookie cutter shapes and simply cut straight from the dough. We used Christmas trees, stars and hearts. Poke a straw through the centre, near the top, of each shape so that ribbon can be threaded through later.

Lay them on some greaseproof or baking paper and on a baking tray. Cook them on a VERY low heat (around 100ºC) for up to 3 hours. If the shapes are over 1cm thick then they will probably need to be turned over during baking.

It is VERY important not to have the oven on too high. This will cause the salt dough to bubble up and fill with air, as essentially it is being cooked. What you are really aiming for is to dry them out thoroughly, over a slow period of time.

As soon as they are out of the oven they can be left to cool while your child chooses which colours and decorations to add! We used acrylic paints which adhere to the dough really successfully. Ordinary water-based children’s paint does work, but the colours are not as vibrant and the paint can flake off eventually.

The acrylics work as a sealant and keep the colours strong and beautiful!
Once the paint is dry, spread on some PVA (runny) glue and sprinkle over some glitter for a wonderfully Christmassy effect!

When they are dry, thread through with thin ribbon or twine and hang on the tree! You can write the date in the back to remember when they were made too, adding a special memory to the occasion.

And then finally, add a new tradition to your Christmas this year. Why not build a Gingerbread house together!

Sets are available from :

Gingerbread House Kit

Sweetly Does It

R219.00

Sweetly Does It Gingerbread house kit 3

Sweetly Does It Gingerbread house kit 1

Sweetly Does It Gingerbread house kit 2

DIY Kit – Gingerbread House

Harck & Heart

R350.00

Pre-made

Included

ALL YOU NEED IN ONE BOX:

  • easy step-by-step instructions
    • ready baked gingerbread house panels
    • gingerbread door and window
    • gingerbread trees and stepping-stones
    • cake board
    • icing sugar
    • piping bag
    • assorted sweets

Easy to assemble.
Great family fun for all ages

Harck & Heart 2Harck & Heart 1Harck & Heart 3

Let me know what you thought, and if you have any special Christmas traditions!

Till Later

LT

Supporting Momtrepreneurs : Meet Ella from Just Ella Bella

I first heard about Ella on one of the SA Mom Blog Facebook pages and immediately popped over to her blog to read a bit more about her story, I spent hours reading through her posts on Child loss and her son Logan. And then one day she reached out to me after reading one of my posts and asked me to feature in her WAHM Series.

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I am always taken a back when someone asks to feature me, I mean really, who am I? This will never change, even small things like people commenting and liking my posts makes me smile from ear to ear.

  • So tell us a bit about yourself, who you are, your background?

I’m a journalist who has ventured into newspaper design and layout and am trying to turn my hobby of making things into a kid’s accessories business called Oh!Boy kids

  • Do you have any kids? Be biased and tell us how awesome they are.

This is always a bit of a loaded question for me, I’m a mother of two, but one, Logan, is with God, the other, Aidan, is giving me grey hair. He is 2 and a half but is such an old soul that I find myself arguing with a toddler way more than is considered normal. He plays air guitar while belting out twinkle little star and has been known to try and bargain with me “three last ones please” and makes my heart so happy.

  • How, when and why did you start your small business?

Earlier this year, just after my 30th birthday, I resigned from my job as a reporter and decided to change my life. I love making things for my son and have had requests for some of his items so I thought why not branch out. I believe girls are much more spoilt for choice when it comes to accessories so wanted to do something “for the boys” but also found that girl moms are quite eager to order so I do make pink and pretty from time to time. I now work in layout three days a week and spend the other two creating things for my online store.

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  • Starting a business has its rewards. What has been one of the highlights of venturing out on your own.

Every time a mom sends me a pic of their child enjoying something I made, I could just burst with pride, it makes the late nights worth it.

  • When doing new designs, what do you look for. Comfortability, affordability, latest trends? Where does the inspiration stem from?

I have a toddler son and my sister has a 6 month old boy, along with all the other little people in my life, they are my inspiration. I make things I feel they could do with. So far its kid’s accessories like bibs and snoods along with busy bags (stylish toys you can take along to keep kiddo busy) and I’m now venturing into more practical items like storage bags and reusable lunch bags (in time for Christmas). I also have people making special requests and love a challenge.

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  • Can one only order via the catalogue you have available on Facebook or do you do custom orders too?

I have an online store Oh!Boy Kids but most of my things are custom orders, and I love that, I hate making too much of the same thing and prefer small batch items.

  • What are some of the challenges you have experienced with starting a small business (be it time, suppliers, huge orders etc.)?

I used to have a problem with saying no and have taken on way too many orders at one time. I have learnt my lesson though and realised my clients are not unreasonable so everything doesn’t have to be done right this second.

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  • Any upcoming markets or events we can come and support you at?

None yet but watch this space

  • Where can one find your awesome products?

Through www.ohboykids.co.za through www.facebook.com/ohboykids and through my blog www.justellabella.co.za

  • Care to share a piece of advice with other aspiring small business owners

Do what you love, the rest will fall into place

The time we ran away from the kids

Its been exactly a week since our 2 day getaway and I’m still living on cloud 9!

To celebrate our Anniversary (24 September) and my Birthday (25 September) we were gifted with a stay at Mofam River Lodge and it was amazing.

Carl and I haven’t really ever gone away alone except for our Honeymoon which was 4 years ago, and since having Josh join our little family there just hasn’t been time or energy to plan something like this.

When you have kids, its just so easy to let the “US” time move to the bottom of the priority list or fall away completely.

BUT let me tell you, after this breakaway, this is definitely something I want to do more of.

For so long, I’ve wanted to do a romantic weekend away with my Hubby (who doesn’t) but when I get around to checking out places and comparing prices the Mommy Guilt kicks in and I set it aside for another time (like when the boys are older, or when Josh is off the breast, or during school holidays or or and and and). So this was definitely a welcomed and appreciated surprise when we were told by my Mom that she had made all the arrangements and there was no turning back.

(Side note, Mom if I haven’t said it enough, Thank you so much for all you do and for the best gift ever)

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Situated on the shores of the Palmiet River, Mofam River Lodge is the perfect laidback, luxury getaway. You’ll find them deep in the Overberg’s Elgin Valley where the natural backdrop is unrelentingly beautiful.

Mofam River Lodge

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Our comfortable four-star bed and breakfast chalets provide sweeping mountain and river views. We make every effort to ensure your stay with us is as comfortable as possible. This includes super-comfortable mattresses, cotton linen, and good quality pillows so that you wake up fully rested.

Accomodation

11 Standard Chalets, 2 Family Chalets and 2 Self Catering Units

Family friendly chalet Our Chalet Self Catering Self Catering Chalet Standard Chalet

The drive there was so chilled, I think we were both so excited to be child-free for the next 48 hrs. I felt young and inlove again, I know its so silly.

Mofam is an outdoor adventure paradise for couples and families seeking a glitz-free yet creature-comfort holiday or mini break. Our friendly staff is on hand to serve up all manner of exhilarating on water activities. These include everything from water skiing, wakeboarding, bass fishing and canoeing to sunset river barge cruises.

We arrived early, a bit overexcited only to find out our room wasn’t ready as yet. This worked out perfectly because it meant we could have a nice rustig anniversary lunch at Peregrine Farm Stall.

Peregrine Farmstall inside

If you ever head out that side, this is definitely a MUST experience. The food, the vibe, the staff are all exceptionally friendly and great. We loved it so much we went back the next day for breakfast.

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Established in the sixties, Peregrine has been serving generations of travelers seeking honest homemade fare and warm country hospitality. Situated in the beautiful and fertile Elgin Valley, Peregrine offers an abundance of locally sourced artisanal goods and wholesome, responsibly farmed, fresh produce.

Café

The seasonal menu is a result of the close collaboration of local farmers, artisan chefs, and the demands of our discerning customers. The focus is on café style casual dining in a relaxed but stylish venue, and for those wanting a quick bite for the journey, there is a selection of wholesome and healthy ready-to-eat meals too. Peregrine pies enjoy legendary status, with perfect pastry and generous fillings.

Peregrine Cafe Outside Seating

Bakery

Skilled bakers rise at dawn to continue the age old tradition of carefully crafted breads, pies and pastries. We only use locally sourced unbleached stone ground flour and our own natural yeast starter in our artisanal breads. They are allowed to ferment naturally and slowly before being baked in our wood fired oven.

Peregrine Bakery

Peregrine fresh baked goods

farm stall

The shop showcases a variety of locally farmed and produced goods, from artisanal foods, fynbos honey to fresh cold-pressed juices and champagne style apple cider. The aroma of Peregrine’s variety of freshly baked goods fills the air and teases the senses. The wine shop stocks all the region’s top wines and ciders, as well as a growing selection of craft beer.

Once back at Mofam we settled in nicely and took an afternoon nap (yes we’re that old) in the loungers overlooking the river. It was pure bliss.

There’s just something special about this place, perhaps its being in the thick of nature or the fact that there’s little to no cellphone reception and NO TV’s in the rooms which allows you to completely relax. Whatever it was, it worked and I found the conversation and alone time so much more enjoyable.

Later the evening we made our way to the onsite restaurant for a well deserved anniversary dinner, however I was still stuffed from my AMAZING lunch that I only managed to have a toasted chicken sandwich (such a loser).

Flavours onsite restaurant lures guests with our hearty food, comfortable lodgings and incredible vistas. We’re open Tuesday to Sunday for lodge guests, locals and out of town visitors. Where possible, ingredients are sourced locally to make up an A La Carte and children’s menu to suit various palates. Flavours comfortably seats 60 people indoors with additional space on the terrace overlooking the river. Fully licensed, guests can enjoy a pre or after dinner drink at the restaurant wine bar. Be sure to sample from our superb Elgin Valley cool climate wine list.

The food was great, the view was amazing and although there was no water at the restaurant (as they were doing some maintenance) and we couldn’t have a nice coffee everything else was GREAT!

We absolutely cannot wait to go back!

Some of the Activities you can participate in while enjoying the breathtaking views at Mofam are

  • Waterskiing
  • Large Mouth Bass Fishing (Catch and release only)
  • Canoeing
  • River Cruising
  • Hiking
  • Quad biking
  • Taking a chilled walk through the Labyrinth

Parting words…. Go and have a romantic weekend away with your significant other, it will do your relationship the world of good!

Contact Mofam River Lodge

Tel: +27 21 846 8345
Fax: +27 86 295 0084
Email: info@mofam.co.za
GPS S34°13.709min
E18°159.292min
Skype mofam.reception
+27 21 813 6845
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