Author Archive | Emily

plants I haven’t killed yet

Nothing turns a house into something warm, welcoming and full of great energy like plants. When we moved into our new home in February it was a pristine, clean, empty space just waiting for us to stamp our personalities on it. My husband and I have very different ideas about what this means. He likes clean, open spaces and I like to fill every up every gap with something. We’re working on a happy medium here, but 6 months later I still feel like our home needs a bit more “stuff” (he’d be horrified).

A happy medium in this ongoing debate is plants. They are an affordable, tangible way of filling up a gap without adding clutter. It’s working for us so far… although our new puppy has been methodically stripping the rubber plant of its leaves (sob) and I don’t know how much longer it will be able to survive the abuse.

To combat this I have been getting creative with displaying plants above ‘puppy-seek-and-destroy’ level. We mounted a trellis on an outside wall and attached pots of herbs (Cole destroyed our other herb garden in mere minutes), I’ve also bought some hanging plants and macramé plant holders to hang from the ceilings. Ha! Now, he has to content himself with slippers (and anything else he finds on the floor, which is a lot… and the rubber plant…)


Budget friendly herb garden

A trellis on the wall, some pots, wire and herbs. And a husband with a drill. I’m loving my new herb garden. Will be adding to it over the next few weeks.


Sansevieria (also known as Mother-in-Law’s tongue)

My dear entrance hall plant is a delight. It doesn’t need or want much water and just gets on with being cool. It hasn’t grown much since I bought it, but I’m adding plant food and hoping for the best – I want a tall, architectural wonder there in a few months. Fingers crossed. Oh, and it’s in a pot holder well out of puppy reach.





My dear little Spekboom happily gets on with things too. It was on the TV cabinet for a while, but that is within reach of little hands and the branches are so incredibly fragile that they kept snapping every time one of my kids looked at it. It’s much happier up on the shelf. Plenty of natural light and not much watering required.


Hanging plants

These two hardy plants have had nothing but tough love. I completely neglect them for weeks, until the ball is shrivelled and I’m sure the plants are dead, then I soak them for days in plant food. They are fantastic and hanging on to life. I love them and am determined to start treating them with more respect.


My (utterly non-expert) tips on keeping plants alive

1. Don’t get a puppy (kidding)
But really….
2. Mist your plants
I am either forgetting to water my plants, or I’m drowning them. If I keep a mist bottle on hand then I can putter around with water when I feel like it, without completely submerging them.
3. Dust your plants
Dust them with a slightly damp cloth to keep leaves happy and looking their best, it also helps your home feel cleaner.
4. Build collection slow and wisely
Chat to the peeps at the nursery about your space and what will work best. Read what it says on the pot and purchase some pot plant food. Start off slow and gain confidence as you learn how to care for them. It’s enormously satisfying watching your plants flourish!

— Emily


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Dear Husband

I read this blog post on Parent Co and I wanted to share it here. It’s raw and real and so many aspects of it rang true for where I am right now and I know, where many of you are too. Being a mother is so full on that something has to give, and that is most often your relationship with your partner.

Today is our 9th wedding anniversary and I’m exhausted, we’re both exhausted. But tonight we’re going out just the two of us, and it’s going to be awesome…



Dear Husband,

I am sorry.

I’m sorry that you’ve been neglected for the last four-and-a-half years. I’m sorry that your needs are secondary. I assure you, you are still one of my top priorities – you just aren’t on the top of the list anymore.

I know that you have needs, wants, dreams, and desires. When I tell you that I want to be the one you lean on, I mean it. I know yo2u are tired of my excuses of being tired, having a headache, or am already snoring when you snuggle up next to me. Trust me, I wish I had the energy I had five years ago. Hell I wish I had the energy I had two weeks ago when I washed, folded, and actually put away all 10 loads of laundry.

I know that some days it feels like we have a business partnership. And you’re right. Some days – even weeks – feel that way. Know that I want better for our marriage, for us. Because together, we are damn good.

The problem is, my life, my brain, and my body are so wrapped up in being a mother to those little boys who look exactly like you. Even after they’re sound asleep and we’re sitting on the couch watching a movie, my brain is still in mother mode.

I’m thinking about tomorrow; I’m thinking about 10 years from now. I’m wondering if you have work clothes for tomorrow. I’m worried about money, milestones, and milk. Do we have enough milk? I can’t turn off being a mom. It is who I am now. And it is physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting.

I don’t want you to think you aren’t as important as you once were. I couldn’t live this life without you and I wouldn’t want to, either. But the simple fact is, you’re an adult and you can do things for yourself. You can vote, so you can make your own lunch. You are legally able to drive a car, so you can figure out how to make a doctor’s appointment.

When you come home from work you, unfortunately, are getting the worst version of me. I gave our children the best. A little secret: sometimes, some days, there just isn’t a best version of me. There just isn’t.

I can’t worry about your health, the boys’ health, the pet’s health, and my health. Who do you think gets ignored? It’s not you. It’s not our children or our pets. When I say I don’t feel well, when I say I haven’t been sleeping, it’s because I haven’t been taking care of me.

Yes, you tell me to go to the doctor, to eat better, to drink more water, but I am my very last priority. I know I need to change that and I’m not complaining. I’m explaining that when something has to give, because no one person can do it all, I am the thing that gives.

I’m worried about your sleep apnea, your allergies, your knee spasms. I am worried about the rash Alex has, and the snotty nose that Ben suddenly started with. I am concerned about our dog’s ears and what it’s going to cost to take her to the vet.

While I’m thinking about it, I’m worried that the fish have too much algae in their tank and the water needs to be changed. I’ll just add that to the never-ending list of things I will feel guilty about when I am trying to sleep tonight. None of this your fault. I am not blaming you, or wishing you were any different.

You do extraordinary things for our family. You work harder than any person I know. You care more about everyone, including me, than any other human I have ever met. I love you a little more each time I see you help someone knowing you will never get anything in return. You are the kindest, most loving father to our children. There is a reason they cry when you leave for work. Yes, it stings a little but knowing that you are their role model in life fills me with love and pride.

I am not the person you married 11 years ago. I have changed and evolved into a wife, mother, friend, and keeper of all schedules. I am a party planner and a personal shopper. I am a chef specializing in chicken nuggets and pasta. I am a housekeeper that can’t keep a house. I am the cheerleader and the librarian. I am the night and the day nurse.

I wouldn’t change any of it. I don’t want any other life. I love you and I love the life that we created. But I am not the spontaneous, beer drinking, sexy bad girl you met way back when. I am a mother. And it is all of me.

Love Always,

Your Wife

Pic | crystalstarrblog
Original post |

— Emily


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personalised rings by Janine Binneman

I have so much love for my new personalised stacking rings by local jewellery designer Janine Binneman. They are quite simply the cutest things ever.



Janine and her team create exquisite one-of-a-kind pieces, from engagement rings to occasion jewellery and classic must-haves for men and women.

I have a very minimalist approach to jewellery. I’m not a very good ‘accessorisor’, but I do like each piece I wear to mean something to me, almost like a tattoo. I have my wedding ring, I have my Huguenot cross necklace that my dad bought me, which represents my ancestry – and now I have these rings, and they bear my very heart and soul.


I look at them about a thousand times a day and each time I smile. They have that effect on you.

Made from sterling silver, they are also available in rose gold and yellow gold plating (maximum of 9 letters per name). The price ranges from R330 to R380.

— Emily



Meet Cole…

We have a new addition to the family. Cole Coetzee is our sweet, new staffie, who has doubled in size in the month since we collected him. He is a wriggly ball of crazy teeth, claws and soft puppy tummy.

He wakes me up at least five times a night and is harder to toilet train than my three-year-old son… He and Zula (our nine-year-old staffie) get on well thank goodness, although it did take a while. Zula is very gracious, bless her. They rough and tumble all day, and much of the night it sounds like.


The lovely people at Hills Pet Nutrition sent Cole a new bed. He is thrilled with it and Zula is quite pleased to have him out of hers… thank you Hills!


And I could hardly do a post on Cole without including Granny Zula. She’s a gem. So good to know that both of their health and nutrition, at these hugely different stages of life, are covered by an all-in-one diet as reliable as Hills.


— Emily


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new stuff, ikea style

You are all probably way ahead of me on this, but having moved into our new home at the beginning of February I was excited to discover Nevada Furniture and their Ikea range.

I’ve wanted the Ikea spice racks for an absolute age, to use as kiddies bookshelves and storage. When Nevada had a huge, clearance sale last month there they were, just waiting for me. Their service is excellent, they are reliable and reasonably priced. And of course, because it’s Ikea putting it all together is literally easy as 1,2,3…even with a 3yo “helping”.








— Emily


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Win with I Heart and l’occitane // closed

Yes, it’s yet another L’Occitane fragrance that we absolutely love. Fresh, sparkling, and fruity, the Citrus Verbena Eau de Toilette is full of radiant energy. As we head into winter, this fragrance is the perfect reminder that somewhere, in the near future, we will be warm again. It perfumes the skin with the scent of organic verbena from Provence and of sunny citrus fruits. Simply magic!

We are giving away a bottle of Citrus Verbena Eau de Toilette and hand creme. Perfect for last minute Mother’s Day gifting!


To enter all you need to do is tell us in a comment below where in France L’Occitane originated. Competition closes on Wednesday 4 May…

— Emily

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fat pants have never looked this good

This long weekend I have every intention of doing very little. There will be a bit of exercise, a bit of socialising, but other than that I hope to become better acquainted with my couch, and Netflix. How utterly decadent.

Perfectly timed, Cotton On Body‘s Easter range was delivered into my inbox. Just because you’re ‘lounging’ doesn’t mean you want to look like a slob. I totally in love with all of this, just the right time for winter PJ’s too. Makes the prospect of those long, dark chilly months seem slightly less daunting… head down to Cotton On Body for some lovely Easter spoils. You (and your couch) will love them.


— Emily


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