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…)

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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.

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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.

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Spekboom

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.

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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.

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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…

Exhausted

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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 | www.parent.co/dear-husband-im-not-the-person-you-married

— Emily

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skincare routine

I’ve had a few conversations lately with a selection of different friends who all seem to be practising the same skincare routine as me, bar one or two small differences. I’m not saying this routine is the best, because I don’t think my skin is one of those that people look at and think, wow… but this simple routine has kept my skin free of blemishes, healthy and in the best condition it’s ever been. So I thought it may be good to share it.

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Here’s the lowdown…

  1. Cleanse morning and evening with Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Face Wash
  2. Apply Cetaphil Moisturising Cream and Bioderma SPF 50+ Tinted
  3. Apply make-up
  4. In the evening before going to bed, apply AHA Cream after cleansing

Yup, that simple. And effective! Sometimes I use almond oil on my face too, it’s natural and nourishing. Plus, a good facial every 4-6 weeks doesn’t hurt either. When I struggled with bad skin in my 20s, my dermatologist put me onto Cetaphil and told me to use SPF 50 on my face every day, no matter the weather, and I have never ever looked back.

How does your skincare routine work for you?

Photo: Pinterest

— Liza

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missibaba’s new backpacks are just so rad

As a mama, it’s sometimes not practical to lug a big handbag around, especially when travelling with your littles or when you’re out for the day and need to pack a million supplies. It’s also not practical to use an ugly bag, because well, just because you’re a mama doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice on style.

That’s why we like the idea of Missibaba’s new Palermo Backseat Bitch Backpack collection. Not only are they practical but they’re good looking too. The backpacks feature five sets of magnets, making it easy to whip them open and closed in an instant. And they’re locally made – each bag requires six people’s crafty hands to create the final beautiful product.

We love this new collection! Buy them in the Missibaba store today 🙂

Backpack Scarlet Turq Snake. High

Backpack Green croc Ghecko Gold 1

Backpack Yellow croc scarlet Inside High

Back Pack Yellow Scarlet High

— Liza

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fun family things to do in cape town for the winter holidays

We’re in the last week of Term 2 and we’re heading towards a long, cold, winter school break! It’s always a bit daunting imagining how we will keep our little people from going crazy with cabin fever. We don’t really want them glued to the TV or the iPad all day, so if you’re not heading off to warmer climes or taking a mini break somewhere nearby, here are a few ideas around Cape Town that will help keep you all happy…

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Table Mountain Cableway
Luckily, Cape Town offers gorgeous, crisp clear winter days too, so it’s a brilliant time for a family outing up Table Mountain on the cable car. Especially when you can take advantage of their Kidz Season special offer which runs until 30 September – one adult ticket gives two kids under 18 a free ride. Bonus!

Watercolour Workshop
A stalwart in Cape Town, Hi Ho Cherry O in Tokai is an institution when it comes to all things educational and fun for children. For the holidays they’re offering 30-minute watercolour workshops for little ones between the ages of 6 and 12 years old, at their store from 27 June – 1 July and 4-8 July. The workshop will teach your kids how to mix palette paints properly and how to produce certain effects in free-style painting. It will cost R50 per session, there will be morning and afternoon slots with two children per session allowed, and your child will receive a set of Italian Giotto watercolour paints too. To book, call Hi Ho Cherry O on 021 715 9033 or pop into the store.

Mini Masterchefs
The Table Bay Hotel‘s Executive Chef, Jocelyn Myers-Adams, has been running cooking classes for kids since April, and for the winter holidays she will be teaching mini chefs-in-training how to make Tomato Beef Bredie (on 2 July) – the perfect dish for a cold, rainy day! The two-hour session costs R300. To book, call 021 406 5988 or email tablebaydining@suninternational.com

Theatre Time
We’ve been to many of the children’s theatre shows at The Artscape and they are always so brilliant. This time you can look forward to an adventure with Noddy and his friends (27 June – 9 July). It’s a lovely morning outing. The Playhouse in Somerset West will also be showing The Wizard of Oz and Little Red Riding Hood.

Sweet Treats
For a milkshake treat like no other, head to the new MyShake Milkshake Bar at Canal Walk. Little ones get the opportunity to build their own milkshake creations from a creamy vanilla base. With over 100 toppings and treats to choose from, they’re bound to enjoy it! Or head to Crumbs & Cream in Sea Point for the ultimate ice cream sandwich – a scoop of their choice of ice cream flavour sandwiched between two giant cookies of their choice. Yum!

There are many more fun things to do in and around Cape Town, but we can’t list them all here. Let us know what you have planned!

— Liza

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a great date night idea

It was hubby’s birthday on Friday and I booked for us to go to The Crypt for dinner and jazz. We haven’t been since we were dating (about 15 years!), but I’d recently heard that it was still a really good night out. If you’ve never been to The Crypt, it’s located in Wale Street in the basement of St George’s Cathedral, and it is just the most wonderful place. The Cape Dutch Connection were the band for the evening, and they blew us away – brilliant music played so incredibly well. We ate steak and chips, drank some good red wine and had a perfect night out. Go for your next date, you’ll love it!

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— Liza

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lunch in the winelands // boschendal

We visited Boschendal in April on a blistering hot day to picnic with friends at Werf Picnics. It was in the 30s with not a breath of wind and it was heaven to just laze around under the trees sipping wine and kicking back in those comfy bean bags while the kids ran around. The service is great, and once you arrive you literally do not have to lift a finger. The staff bring your picnic baskets and drinks to you. The baskets are filled with fresh bread, dips, meats, cheeses and preserves. And the kiddies baskets are great too – yummy pies, jelly, fruit and more.

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Bailey and her friend Sam 🙂

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We visited that day with the intention of taking some family photos afterwards. The kids were tired and hot, we were tired and hot! But we managed to get some lovely shots in the end, like this one 🙂

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— Liza

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