Tag Archives | Cape Town

plant love

Compliments of the season to you and yours. I hope it was a wonderful, relaxing and restful time with family and those you love most in the world. Mine was, and I am so grateful.

Back to work now however and our gorgeous holiday in Rooiels and Knysna is starting to recede in my memory as we focus on getting back in to work and my littles starting play school (eek!) and the big excitement of moving house on 1 February. A total dream come true! We’ve started collecting boxes and clearing out already – if anyone has tips on moving with littles, we’d be very grateful to hear your advice as the thought is as overwhelming as it is exciting. After this I am sure we will have some and I’ll be sure to store them up for a future post once the chaos has died down.

I have started my Pinterest board for the decor, of course, and one thing I am decided on is to have a house full of plants. This brilliant guide below has helped and inspired me, as I am helplessly watching my beloved split leaf philodendron wilt and die before my eyes (I’ve had it for years, but it suddenly doesn’t look well.. I moved it to a bigger pot and it’s not adjusting to the space. Anyone know how I can perk it up?)

Plants are the easiest and most affordable way of making a house feel like a home. Take a look at the below for some inspo (I have a major crush on the black and white rug too).

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Please bear with over the next few weeks as I share our packing and moving journey with you. As a full-time working mother of two little ones I am sure it’s going to reveal some interesting sides to my character. Let’s hope they are positive ones!

— Emily

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it’s the most wonderful time of the year

Although we’re both completely exhausted from a very busy 2015 (no time for curated gift guides over here!) this is such a special time of year for us and we have many festive traditions.

For Liza…
On 1 December, no matter what is happening on that day, I have to decorate the house and put up the Christmas tree. This ritual also includes playing the cheesiest of carols while we don our hats and sing along. My mum hand makes us a new bauble for the tree every year, so we have quite a few lovely ones now. Bailey and Robert get to fill their advent calendar with sweets and in the evening, we play a Christmas movie. This year it was The Cat in the Hat Knows a lot about Christmas. We hang the children’s stockings on the end of their beds, and the dogs’ stocking gets hung near the tree. Last year we started the tradition of all the girls in the family (sisters, cousins, aunts, grannies) going to watch the ballet at the theatre – it’s The Nutcracker this year, can’t wait! On Christmas Eve we usually go to my parents for a traditional dinner if we are not away, and the littles get to open one present each. Then back home before we go to bed, we leave out milk and cookies and carrots, as well as a little note, for Santa and his reindeer. Christmas morning is chaos – Bailey and Robert finally get to open all their pressies – stockings first and then the bigger ones! We go to church and after that usually host lunch at our house. This year we have 13 adults and four children coming over, so it’s going to be super festive. Lunch will be a variety of cold meats – gammon, lamb, chicken and beef, along with some Mediterranean-inspired salads. And then Christmas pudding, fruit cake with slices of cheese (my fave!) mince pies and my traditional trifle which I make every year without fail for my husband – it’s his favourite! Another treat we absolutely cannot go without is White Christmas, you’ve never tasted anything quite so yummy. And last but not least, we always haul out Love Actually and this year we’re starting another new tradition by having some friends over for a Christmassy supper and watching it all together.

Filling the advent calendar

Filling the advent calendar

Getting all the decorations out

Getting all the decorations out

Hoping to eat some treats now?!

Hoping to eat some treats now?!

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Bailey looking rather pleased with her lopsided angel 🙂 *She’s standing on a chair incase you wondered how she grew so tall 😉

 

For Emily…
Growing up in England, I am still amazed by how a hot Christmas still just feels weird. No matter how many times I experience it. I’ve always been a stickler for tradition however and therefore did what I could to make sure the routines of my childhood were carried through. At least I did… until I married a man who cares not one wit about tradition and, well basically I had to start all over again. I have let go of almost all my childhood Christmas traditions, but there are a few that stick.

We put up the tree (I always vowed I would never buy a fake tree…. but now we have and secretly I love it) listening to carols and belting them out at the top of our voices. Jimmy generally denudes the tree as quickly as we decorate so it’s a process, although now he’s two he is actually getting more involved, which was so lovely this year.

Each year, Christmas itself is different. Since my beloved dad passed away we made a decision to not stick to the things we did when he was alive, it was too painful and we missed him too much, so now we do everything different but one thing that has to stay the same is that we are together. My mum and sister Alice, my brother Charles and his wife Barbara and their three kids (and normally about five dogs). This year we are going to Barbara’s parents for three days in Rooi Els and it will be a glorious chaotic time. I am insisting on making turkey (no one really likes it much but I am the only one with any respect for the traditions of our youth) and of course, the much looked forward to White Christmas chocolate dessert that Liza posted the recipe to above.

It’s going to be another break from tradition, another first, and although it’s still hard for me it is okay, I am accepting the fact that it’s just the way we are now and as long as we are together it’s all that really matters. Happy Christmas everyone!

And because you’re not going to find any gift guides here, we suggest you visit our blogger friends who are much more organised than we are. Take a look at Kimmy & Bear, For The Beauty Of It, Hey Mama and I Want That.

Wherever you are this Christmas and whoever you spend it with, we hope that you are happy and blessed and relaxed!

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We’re going to be taking a little blogging break from 11 December till early next year. See you then!

— Liza

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fun at the V&A Waterfront this December

Cape Town is just overflowing with awesomeness in December. There is literally no end to the things going on. The V&A Waterfront is obviously a major hotspot and if you have friends down for the holidays or just want to get the kids out for the day, these are the things you can look forward to at this Capetonian landmark!

Christmas Light Shows: Thursday, 10 and Friday, 11 December

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The first day of extended trading hours, Thursday 10 December, will be marked by a Christmas Light Show to dazzle Victoria Wharf shoppers with a beautiful display of coloured light patterns, all set to Christmas-themed music, carols and performances to instil traditional Christmas cheer.

Light Shows will be held twice daily on Thursday, 10 December and Friday, 11 December, at 8pm and 9pm. The Light Show is new to this year’s V&A December schedule and aims to delight young and old alike.

Meet Santa: Wednesday, 16 to Thursday, 24 December (excluding Thursday, 17 December)

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Santa will fly in from the North Pole to meet with his legion of young followers at the Victoria Wharf Centre Court on Wednesday, 16 December, between 11am and 12.30pm, and later return at the same time each day from Friday, 18 December to Thursday, 24 December.

With a ho-ho-ho and a belly full of fun, Santa will personally receive children’s letters and hear directly whether they believe they have been naughty or nice this year.

Carols, choristers and Christmas bands

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The V&A Amphitheatre audiences can also get into a cheerful, festive spirit with an array of entertainment. Lovers of big bands and Christmas songs will appreciate the carols, choristers and Christmas bands scheduled to ring in the festive season at the V&A Amphitheatre the week before Christmas.

· Tuesday, 15 December: Rocking Carols and Nativity Play at the V&A
· Tuesday, 22 December: Mitchell’s Plain Crusader Christmas Band & Apostle Choristers
· Wednesday, 23 December: Salvation Army Band & Cape Town Gospel Choir

For any further enquiries, please contact the V&A Info Centre on 021 408 7600 or info@waterfront.co.za.

Pictures supplied by the V&A Waterfront

— Emily

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Adventure Boot Camp – the journey begins

I have long been feeling the need for some kind of kick up the ass when it comes to exercise.  I was always a faithful gym member, but having two babies very close together meant I could hardly get out the house, let alone to gym. I started to lose motivation, along with my self-esteem (and my gym membership, sob).

I recently shook off the lethargy and started running. But I wanted some kind of resistance training to go along with it. Something to help tone up this mummy-tummy that just won’t budge.

So, when Adventure Boot Camp (ABC) approached us about doing a month of boot camp it was like a message sent from above. GET YOUR BUTT INTO GEAR, it said. Loud and clear. So here we go!

We started at the beginning of August at a local school with an average of about 12 other women. 6pm sharp come rain or shine. Luckily so far it’s been uncharacteristically balmy winter evenings and each session has been a pleasure.

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The exercises focus on resistance training and cardio. Short bursts of activity that end before you can get bored, forcing you onto the next thing. The hour literally flies and I have never felt that way about exercise before. We even played a short stint of netball the other night. Enormous fun.

If you are looking for the proverbial kick up the ass when it comes to exercise this is the perfect shake up. It’s something different, you meet new people, get outside and get active.

Plus, supper and the glass of wine afterwards never tasted so good!

Check out their website here to find one near you.

— Emily

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swapping and shopping with chic mamas

Chic Mamas is a charity fashion exchange based in Bergvliet (just off Children’s Way). I have been shopping there for ages and have got some real treasures for ridiculously good prices, but last weekend was the first time I’ve attended one of their Swap and Shop events.

It’s a morning where you can take good quality clothes that you no longer wear and get coupons to spend in the store.

Last weekend I finally decided that I have too much nice stuff is never going to fit me again. This mummy bod ain’t going away. Sigh. Anyway, I took about seven items and handed them over where they were assessed and I got an offer on them, which I accepted. I then got a bunch of coupons to spend in the store. My kind of morning.

I bought a pair of amazing black cropped vintage trousers, a thick knit and a clutch of Country Road tops. Basically I scored. I always score when I visit Chic Mamas, but this time it felt particularly satisfying.

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Next time you look through your closet and feel like it could do with a change up, then check out Chic Mamas’ Facebook Page for their next swap or half price sale. Always worth a visit.

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— Emily

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how are the holidays going?

We’re about halfway through the winter holidays in Cape Town, and so far it hasn’t been too bad. Juggling work and a fun itinerary for the littles is no mean feat but we seem to have survived so far. This is what we’ve been up to…

  • Watching Noddy and Fantastic Mr Fox at the Artscape – their shows are always brilliant
  • Lots and lots of playdates 🙂
  • The Two Oceans Aquarium – always a winner
  • Snow White at Canal Walk
  • Disney on Ice
  • Holiday club at Virgin Active
  • Just chilling out at home!

I Heart Your Outfit

Other activities on the agenda include the Cape Wheel at V&A Waterfront as well as the Watershed Play Pad, maybe the Ice Slide at Cape Gate, a Table Mountain cable car ride, The Three Little Pigs at the Baxter Theatre, perhaps a movie or two or a picnic at Kirstenbosch Gardens? There’s lots to do! Let us know what you’ve been up to, so we can have some more ideas!

 

 

— Liza

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i thought he was ready for play school. i was wrong

In the lead up to Jimmy starting play school at the beginning of term 2 I told anyone who’d listen, “he’s so ready, can’t wait for him to start” etc etc.

Now, not for the first time since I started this journey called motherhood, it turns out that I was completely wrong.

I knew he would kick up a bit of a fuss, but I didn’t expect complete inconsolable grief (on his side) and pleading, begging and cajoling (on mine). It lasted for three weeks, until we were told that he really isn’t going to settle and that maybe we should try again next year.

Not even next term. Next year!

We had tried everything. Our wonderful nanny Christina, who he adores, stayed with him all morning, sitting quietly nearby, so he always felt secure. That worked for a session or two. Then it didn’t anymore.

I tried dropping them at the end of the road with the pushchair so as to avoid the whole goodbye and leaving thing, that didn’t help either.

He just cried a lot – loud, continuous crying, and he wouldn’t settle. So at the end of last week we made the call. No more play school.

I have been battling with all this mama-guilt. What will happen if he’s not socialised, what if he is going to be awkward his whole life, what are we doing wrong…? But then I think (in my mother’s tone of voice for extra impact) “for goodness sake woman, he’s only 2!”

It’s hard to step back and allow your children to develop at their own pace sometimes. I’m sure you are all far wiser than I when it comes to this, but I sometimes catch myself thinking “other people’s kids do it, so mine should too”. But that’s rubbish, and realising that is it rubbish is incredibly liberating.

Yours in motherhood,

— Emily

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