Pregnancy | Hospital Bag Checklist – For YOU

TweetPacking for the hospital can be tricky. Especially if it’s your very first baby. However if you’re in the position where you’ll be giving birth at a private hospitals you will probably be informed on what to pack during your maternity tour (some hospitals provide a packing for two checklist). Check out Mediclinic’s packing for

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Pregnancy | A few things I plan on doing differently with baby no. 3

Tweet5 Things I plan on doing differently with baby number 3! As parents, we are constantly learning from our mistakes. It’s just part of being a parent. There is no set plan. I recently read a post on Bad Mammy (published May 2017) on things she planned on doing differently with baby number 2. This

Continue reading Pregnancy | A few things I plan on doing differently with baby no. 3

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

Currently

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Feeling and Loving

Can I be a Drama Queen for a moment and moan about my aching lower back, no, well I didn’t think so. Moms can never be sick, we have too many people depending on us. This is something all Moms know and all soon to be Moms and new Moms will learn.

Other than that, I’m feeling grateful. Grateful for my job, grateful for the positive environment I’m in (I loved my previous job but it was a struggle every day, to get up, to be happy and cheerful to give my all when I literally had no more of me left to give) and being able to just focus and get on with my day, the only thing missing is the people. I met and made some amazing connections and those are the faces I miss.

I’m grateful for having healthy kids, apart from the odd cold and little bit of snottyness, they’ve had a good winter. Thank you JC for keeping your hand over them! They’re thriving at school, they’re growing nicely, and their ability to learn just amazes me. They may be a handful and challenge me at every turn and give me wrinkles before my time, but I will wear them proudly. I simply adore being their Momma, in the good times and in the trying times.

I’m grateful for my Husband, I’m no doubt his biggest supporter (also probably his biggest critic) and over the last few months he’s helped me with so much. From taking over the morning routine so I can leave for work at 06:30am to washing the bottles while the boys have breakfast (yes I do notice my Love), it’s the small things that speak the loudest to me. Thank you for being my rock, my sense of balance, my guide and the Head of our Home. Whoop whoop its almost your birthday Old Boy. So happy I get to spend another birthday with you.

Doing

Last weekend we attempted another canvas painting session. It took me longer to put makeshift aprons on the boys, lay down the floor covering, pack out the paint than it took those 2 to tear through their task. I think it was 7min to be exact and the gorgeous Pinterest inspired vision I had ended up being a 1.5m long brown stain, lol. Carl think it looks cool, I feel like a monkey wiped its bum all over the canvas.

So this weekend I’ll be entertaining them with the Surpriso box I recently received. I love that someone else has gone through the effort of creating wonderful activities for my kids to do this weekend. All I need to do is guide them. Cannot wait to see the results, post will follow next week.

Other than that, on Sunday my Princess Bella is having her baby blessing so we’ll be famdamilying with the siblings and Papa. I feel like I have the coolest family in the world! Side note, my baby Sis was by us last night and I got schooled on how to be more cool. Lol (Apparently I’m Instagramming too much and my filters are terrible, this was then followed by a Selfie shoot with my sister and a detailed lecture of VSCO Cam).

Making

Need to get my bake on this weekend, I have not baked anything for my family in forever. So in preparation for the upcoming birthdays (we have 4 in August and 2 in September) I thought I’d make something this weekend. I’m thinking cupcakes should do and for me, date and cranberry muffins. Yum!

Trying

Completely not family related, but trying out the Benefit Porefessional and yes its good and nice and all those great things but it doesn’t do as an amazing job with my pores like I thought it would. I’m a tiny bit of a makeup addict, which was NEVER me. My makeup routine pre kids consisted of, washing my face, applying moisturiser and ending it all off with labello (for years, I kid you not). Post kids, I need to conceal very very dark under eye circles (that have probably been around for 6 years) followed by a whole bunch of other things.

Planning

2 posts for next week, one of which will be our review of the Surpriso box and another is a lovely Momtrepreneur I stumbled upon recently from Dandy Lion.

The months of August and September in our home mean 3 out of the 4 people are celebrating birthdays. I absolutely love hosting birthday parties. Last year Carl had his 30th bash at home with 30 of the most important people in his life. Drinks, food and family were plenty. This year I’m sure he’d prefer a more low key evening, but its on a Friday night which means we will definitely be doing SOMETHING.

Then we jump to September were our baby boy will be celebrating his 2nd birthday which makes my heart burst. I cannot believe its been 2 years since Josh’s birth. I can remember every minute of that day and still picture his perfect little face as the Doctor handed him to us. It was the day my heart grew in so many ways. You never really know how you will handle more than one child and how you will love that second or third one, until you’re there. I just could not stop smiling, he was worth all the tests, scans, blood work, monitoring, medication, miscarriage, tears, heartache, everything.

Last year he had a “Under Construction” and this year I’m thinking “Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs”.

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We still not officially sure if we’ll be hosting a party. Side note, I actually think my body grew in order to accommodate this huge heart I now have (justification of being a little chunky accepted).

The next week is our wedding anniversary (whoop whoop) followed by my birthday on the 25th and I don’t want to do anything except go away with my family and our besties. Which is the plan.

Watching

We recently started watching Secrets and Lies, which has us hooked for now. Then Carl is into Suits again and jointly we watch Big Bang Theory. Anything else worth watching?

Reading

I’ve read this book probably more times than most people. And I love it every time. Its literally something you can read cover to cover in one sitting.

I Dared to Call Him Father is the fascinating true story of Bilquis Sheikh, Sheikh was born in 1912 to conservative Muslim parents. As she grew up, she did not reject her Muslim faith, but acquired a disdain for anything spiritual or supernatural. If she could see it and explain it, she would believe it.

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Married to General Khalid Sheikh (for a time Pakistan’s Minister of the Interior), she was active in politics and social work. After her marriage fell apart at the age of 48, she retired to her family’s land in Wah, Pakistan, where she lived the life of a hermit, aloof and alone. It is here that the book begins the story of her search for God and how she found Him. Through a rash of super natural occurrences and strange dreams, she begins to read the Bible for herself. As she continues to read the Quran alongside of it, questions arise in her mind. How can the Quran and the Bible both be true, if they disagree with each other? Why does the Bible insist on pointing to Jesus? Why does the Bible bring her peace, which the Quran never did? Can she really call God Father? Finally, determined to get answers, she goes to the house of some American missionaries.

She shares the heartbreak of being ignored and shunned by her family, but also the goodness of God in providing her with so much more spiritual family—brothers and sisters in Christ—than the natural family she lost.

Ok, so that’s me for July!

Its Friday, so have a wonderful weekend!

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