Cosy Quarters & Content Tips at the #CTMeetUp in April

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Hey lovelies,

Gosh, what a fun time it’s been recently with little lady and her late nights. I’ve been a bit behind on blog posts, but had to do a quick mention about the #CTMeetUP held at Eat on Main – a chic little spot found in Observatory with the cutest wall decor I’ve seen in a long while.

While I’m a bit too sleep deprived to find my wordy self and paint you a beautiful picture, I did happen to take a ton of photographs, so please scroll down and take a peek at what the day entailed.

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My iron levels were taken by the lovely gentlemen featured above. 🙂 I was quite surprised they weren’t lower considering I haven’t had an iron supplement in ages (but I have been munching loads of spinach recently …so yay to that.) image

imageMassimo, the lovely owner of Eat on Main, was a delight to chat to for a few minutes and I have to say that the food we were served was absolutely delicious – and well worth returning for (I plan to bring hubby some time soon)!

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The BabySense ladies were utterly charming and as I’m a huge fan, it was nice to get some one-on-one chat time in to ask some questions about various products.

With the lovely Mira from Hot Oven Marketing!

Seeing Mira from Hot oven Marketing and getting to chat and catch up with her was so much fun – I absolutely adore this sweet lady! Some other fantastic ladies I met and got to chat to include Julie from Heart Mama Blog, Meg from Boring Cape Town Chick, Bea from Madam Nomad, Mandy from Pregnant in Cape Town (who was the reason I picked Constantiaberg as my birth hospital), Juwayra from Curly Heads and Dimples, Nicola from 3 Trolls Mom, and Leigh from Red Lips and Darling Adventures.

Love these two ladies! ^_^

Selfie with MadamNomad

Thanks for the selfie together Pregnant in Cape Town! :)

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We got a very humorous and informative talk from Webfluentials Sam and Ruan who each gave two passionate and completely different approaches to knowing your worth when dealing with brands, becoming an influencer, and a whole lot more (thanks again guys!).

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While I don’t have a snap of them yet (I’ll post a few in here soon – promise!) the Brandrocket photo printing booth was absolutely phenomenally fun!! It worked by searching the event hashtag and printing the pics out on the photo booth (say what?! It’s that easy? Yes, yes it was!).

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Dessert was decadent and delicious – and don’t you just love the sunlight highlights?! Seriously, I couldn’t have planned how beautiful that would look – and it’s made me so hungry all over again! ^_~

imageA huge thank you to Cindy Alfino and author Derryn Campbell for my Absolutely Awesome South Africa prize. As a travel blogger I adore learning new things about our vibrant, exciting country and this book is packed chock-a-block full of interesting insights, facts, stats and beautiful artwork and images. It’s a new coffee table favourite (and even my 4-month old loves sitting with me as I read excerpts to her and show her the pictures).

Thank you so much again Cindy and all the amazing sponsors – the gift bags were a surprising treat with some great brands and items I can’t wait to try! What kinds you wonder? There were a small selection of items from African Extract Rooibos, a Better You B12 Boost Spray, Cape Flora Mints and magazine, Bach Flower Rescue Pastilles, Playboy deodorants, as well as a plushie of Xander the dinosaur (my little one has already claimed him as her favourite new teething / cuddle buddy).

All in all it was a super event where I got to meet some lovely people, learn a few tricks of the trade and spend an enjoyable afternoon out and about. I can’t wait to start applying some of the practical tips provided and definitely look forward to attending future #CTMeetUP events.

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Easter in Yzerfontein

Hi lovelies,

I’m happy to say that we headed out on our first family holiday over Easter this year – and it was our 6th anniversary too … which is why I absolutely love the month of March. 😉

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We were quite excited to take some time out and be away from home as we’ve had an almost non-stop stream of visitors coming round to see Amelia. I won’t lie, it was pretty fantastic to have friends popping in and keeping me company – as I didn’t have time to get lonely – but it was only recently that I realised I haven’t had a single week to myself with just Amelia at home (gasp!).

20160319_10115920160319_10120620160319_11081420160319_110930So with the long weekends of Easter coming up and our anniversary, we decided to spend a whole, blissful week with just the three of us – before inviting my parents to join us on a family holiday.

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We enjoyed board games, home cooked meals with some Tangled Tree wine, and even a few trips to the beach – though sadly, the weather didn’t quite cooperate. In short it was heavenly!

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Have I ever mentioned how much I love Yzerfontein as a town? For those who don’t know it, it’s a perfect seaside village outside of Langebaan with secret beaches, family-friendly restaurants with lovely owners that were completely okay with me breastfeeding Amelia which is a big plus in my books.

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Easter morning was a quiet affair at home before we decided to head back to Cape Town to beat any kind of crazy traffic. I naturally went a bit crazy with the camera and took a million pictures. I whittled them down to the below. You’re welcome. 😉amelias-first-easter-18amelias-first-easter-17amelias-first-easter-19amelias-first-easter-2120160327_132700amelias-first-easter-25amelias-first-easter-2720160327_13193920160327_132531

I honestly can’t wait to return and suspend time as we enjoy baby giggles, amazed stares at seagulls, wrinkled noses at the scent of braai food, and happy cheer and togetherness with those I love.

Things I’ve learnt during my first 100 days of motherhood

It’s funny how time takes on a whole new meaning when you’ve got a little life depending on you for everything. And how easy it is to get so wrapped up in your own world of snuggles and cuddles, late night feeds and hours of walking or rocking that little angel, all the while praying that they’ll fall asleep so you can rest your weary eyes.

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Days seem to slip away as you stare at tiny eyelashes, smiling at contented sighs and feeling your heart start to melt as five little fingers curl around one of yours. As that little head rests softly on your chest and cuddles close to you, heat and heartbeats shared.

So it’s with some amusement and much love that after the first 100 days of motherhood, here are a few of the things that I’ve learnt:

* The motherhood glow is real – though I have a sneaky suspicion that mine was caused by cuddling a beautiful little furnace – during the 40°C heat wave we had.

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*Mommy brain is also a real thing. Ever had it? No? Well, it’s the sort fog that draws over your brain as you stare in awe at your little gift at 3 in the morning as they nuzzle into you, and then you try to form coherent sentences to your significant other at 7am as you cook breakfast over a hot plate, despite having been awake for close to 24hrs. Oh what fun that is. Now repeat it every day for close on two months.Yep. There’s a peek at mommy brain for you. Also, I feel mildly cheated of this fortitude back during the odd all-nighter.

* Post pregnancy hair loss is a myth – or at least it was for me. I never once woke to strands on my pillow, or wound up having my drain clogged by clumps as a horrified friend informed me I would. Boy, did I feel smug about that one. Instead, what I did find was that my sweet little dumpling loved to reach up and tug with her tiny fists, which though adorable also slightly terrified me as it hurt to have her yank out single strands out of my head where they were firmly attached. She started to do this all. the. time. And it was so painful!! Seriously though, aside from tugging by my little darling, the rest of my hair stayed firmly where it belonged on my head. Smugness intact. 😉

*Friends will pop in almost daily to visit and meet your little angel, which is great because it’s good for them to start learning who their aunties and uncles are (and let’s face it, adorable baby snuggles and cuddles are too good an opportunity to pass up on regardless of heatwaves).

 

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*You will never be afraid of any kind of bodily fluid your little one may provide. Which is both heartwarming and terrifying considering the coming years and the dreaded potty training. Luckily, there are many, many, many moons still to go before that happens.

*Baking mini breakfast cupcakes with bacon and cheddar, spinach and feta, and carrot and cinnamon, becomes a soothing and a lovely way to grab a snack in the morning if you don’t have time to do a full breakfast of any kind.

* Washing and arranging tiny, cute outfits doesn’t get old – or at least, just over 100 days into motherhood, it hasn’t yet. It still brings a smile to my face as I tip in those teeny tiny little pants, tops, dresses and blankets into the washer and run it through the rinse cycle twice. Because since she’s inherited my sensitive skin, I can’t be too careful.

*Gummy smiles are the cutest things in the whole world. Especially when you realise that they look like an angelic Nights Watch member  … you doubt? Humph. You know nothing Jon Snow!!!

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* Possibly too TMI but at some point everyone will ask you if you can tell when your milk comes in. To anyone wondering: yes, yes you can definitely tell when your milk comes in. Though it’s name “Let Down” may fool you into thinking it’s some kind of gentle process – in the early days, it’s not. Instead, it’s a thousand tiny fire-hot needles stabbing you that lead to you knowing when your milk for the baby has arrived. Yay.  Word to the wise: feed the tiny human asap because engorgemegive is an even worse feeling  … (I told you tmi). However, it doesn’t last forever and it really does settle into a normal ‘feeling’ of “oh, the milk is here” after the first two months or maybe I’m just cursed special.

*Taking photographs of those moments, along with other moments is a great way to pass the time and make memories to cherish. If you ever find time to print them for that album and scrapbook.

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*Sleep deprivation may make you cranky, but you’ll find ways around it that work for you which sadly, usually don’t include sleep. I found drinking something after every feeding session, coupled with having something to eat every three hours did wonders at improving my mood throughout month two (those midnight snacks were sooo good!!). What did I drink, you ask? Well Schlehlens tonic with water, apple juice and rehydrate sachets for one, along with healthy dolings out of coconut water, regular water, water with lemon cordial and that single, aromatic first cup of coffee. Oh coffee! I miss you so …

*Watching your partner cuddle your sleeping child suddenly becomes the most magical sight in the whole world. Especially if they both snore softly together.

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*Tiny finger nails are deadly weapons that give you the human equivellant of paper cuts. One minute you’re happily chatting with your tiny person in arms, the next your finger (or arm, or face, or cheek) starts to ache and there’s a tiny red line going down it from the talons of terror (not even joking). Cutting them while your child is asleep is the only safe way to do it that I’ve found.

*Soft sighs of contentment into your neck make everything worthwhile.

* My little lady had colic – and while it seemed to last forever, it does finally pass. It’s not pleasant (in the rocking in the corner crying with them way) but it does become more manageable over time. While my daughter didn’t have it as badly as some babies, it was a series of late night unsettled cries that were pretty impossible to soothe. Long story short, we finally realised that she had a dairy allergy and after I eliminated all milk products from my diet for a few weeks (which also cut down on the amount of gas Amelia had), her nightly cries pretty much vanished. So if your baby suffers from colic, and though it’s not a popular solution nowadays, chat with your paediatrician about doing an elmination diet if you breastfeed or switching to a different brand of formula and see if that helps. Because being told by everyone you know that it’s normal for all babies to cry when your gut says somethings wrong means ignoring convention and going with your instincts.

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* Cradle cap is the most annoying thing in the world once the tiny white bumps (milia) have done their rounds on your babies beautiful skin. After trying baby shampoo, gentle brushing, olive oil, and even aqueous cream to remove it, nothing worked and it was as stubbornly staying put as ever. Eventually I tried coconut oil which cleared it up in a week! I seriously can’t recommend it enough as your first option.

*You can never have too many spare nappies in the car, despite however many you pack in the diaper bag. Likewise, another pack of baby wipes and a spare outfit in the car can’t hurt.

*The baby superman pose of arms being held high above the head when sleeping doesn’t get old. And somehow seems to grow more adorable the longer you gaze at it.

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*There are plenty of people who’ll give you advice, from the lady in Woolworths to the parking attendant. Best scenario: Take in all advice graciously and apply or disregard it as necessary, especially as you know your baby best and what will work with your lifestyle.

*You will at some point think that your child looks like a cranky old person and you’re not wrong. They definitely get that “what do you think you’re doing, whippersnapper” look in their eyes a lot once they start focusing.

*That first bite of those forbidden foods you couldn’t have while pregnant are so. So. SO worth it. Here’s looking at you, sushi.

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*You’ll never forget the first bathing experience you have with your baby. Mine had a look of wonder on her face as I put her in the water and she started crying when I took her out. It made bathtime so much easier than originally anticipated and it’s now an activity we both love at the end of a long day of play.

*If your baby is sticking out their tongue, they’re most likely hungry. If you’re wrong, they’ll likely be hungry in 20 minutes. It’s how it goes.

*If you’re inclined, read up on baby language (also called the Dunston method)  which consists of five basic cries: neh, heh, ah, eair, eh. For our little girl, it helped a heck of a lot in the beginning when trying to figure out what could be wrong. It could also have been complete hogwash and I’m just completely and utterly  in tune with my little angel, so there’s that too. 😉

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*When you leave that hospital room and the comfort of people checking in on you, to go out into the world with your precious gift and start the journey of being mom and dad, at some point you’ll realise, “I’ve got this”. It’s not a wondrous, terrifying journey anymore but a happy, comforting reality of daily diaper changes, cuddles, playing, feeding, bathing, laughing, crying and cuddling. You’re in a place where time doesn’t matter and the points you assign to various things don’t mean anything (yep, I’m a huge Who’s Line fan).

Because in the end, as long as your baby is growing well and you’re doing fine, you really can say to anyone who asks how you are: “I’ve got this”.

Amelia’s First Christmas

Hey lovelies,

Is there any time of year that’s more magical than that of Christmas? For me, not really. I love the lights, the festive cheer, the happiness on peoples faces as they get to unwind and enjoy a few days off with loved ones, and this year is even more special because of the tiny angel we’re sharing it with!

Amelia is now just over 2 weeks old and I’m so completely and utterly in love with her it’s almost ridiculous! Her tiny hands, perfect nose, beautiful eyes … I could go on and on. 😉 I’m not sure how it is with most new parents but we feel quite lucky to discover that Amelia likes routine. She wakes and watches us and her surroundings – and her favourite thing other than me is the bedroom fan (who’d have guessed?!). She likes to breastfeed every two hours before falling into a tiny puddle of snores that I call her milk coma, and then the cycle is repeated every 3 hours without fail. Though I do long to sleep for longer than 2 hours at a time, I can’t consider not having her cuddled up close to my chest as I breathe in her soft, warm baby smell that just makes my heart feel so warm and glowy – and fit to burst!

I know you’re probably wondering how Christmas this year went, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite pictures from Amelia’s first Christmas. We tend to run around every year and see family, so the pictures below are of our Christmas at home, our Christmas at granny and grandpa, and our Christmas at ouma and oupa. ^_^

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I hope you had a happy Christmas everyone and that you’ll have an incredible New Years Eve too.

Welcome Amelia

Hi lovelies,

Sorry for the delay in getting this up, but it’s been an incredibly busy last few days as hubby and I finally got to meet our beautiful little girl! Though it was via an emergency C-section and not a natural birth as planned (despite an 11 hour labor), I’m really over the moon at finally meeting my little girl!

My little angel (C) Rambling with Rose

Instead of keeping you in suspense, here are a few photographs to tide you over, until I have time to update properly. 😉

Born at 5 minutes to midnight (C) Rambling with Rose

Being prepped for surgery and cracking jokes (C) Rambling with Rose

Getting to hold my daughter (C) Rambling with Rose Amelia being checked out (C) Rambling with Rose The wonderful surgical team (C) Rambling with Rose Holding Amelia after her first feed (C) Rambling with Rose Daddy and daughter (C) Rambling with Rose  Our little super girl!

This tiny little angel has definitely brought a whole lot of love with her! ❤

Country Anniversary: Breakfast at Peregrine Farm Stall

 

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Hello lovelies,

If you’ve noticed I’ve been rather  absent around here lately it’s because I’ve been away celebrating my 4-year anniversary in the nearby valley of Elgin.

It was a very special time, so picture if you will: autumn days, winelands flowing out over hills and into valleys, country-scented air (that smelled of pine forests, orchards, freshly churned dirt, and country cuisine), shaded green farmland and cute animals, coupled with warm sunshine and crisp, cold evenings with clear skies.

Naturally, our stay at Old Mac Daddy in the middle of all of this was a dream come true. ^_^

So since I’ve been gone a while, I’m going to show, rather than tell, you what we’ve been up to – starting with our breakfast at Red Tractor Café  (found within Peregrine Farm Stall, in Grabouw).

Though we don’t visit often, the attached café restaurant at Peregrine Farm Stall is our go-to first choice whenever we have to head over the ‘berg.

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The rebuilt restaurant is very airy and free-flowing (and done, we think, in a style inspired by Brinny Breeze, the restaurant at Old Mac Daddy). With friendly staff, hearty food, and an easy-to-read blackboard for those seeking takeaways, we’re happy to report that the food is divine and oh-so-fresh! ^_^

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After sating ourselves and doing a quick trip through the shop to get some snacks, we walked the grounds and viewed the mini Duncan Roses nursery before setting off to find Old Mac Daddy (I cannot wait to show you pics of this beautiful spot!) ^_^

Coffee and a Catch Up

Hello lovelies,

This past week and weekend has been a great pick-me-up.

From date night with hubby, tackling my new year’s list, and having breakfast at Cafe Knead in Muizenberg, to family bonding time and finally sorting out my spare room, writing space, and desktop, I’m feeling far more motivated now than in the past month.

The ‘great clean’ was long overdue but I’m happy to say that with two black bags full of items to be donated or swapped, and a wardrobe full of clothes and shoes I’ll actually wear (and I now know what items I need to add over the coming seasons), I’m feeling pretty good about life in general  right now. And the lack of clutter is a very, very welcome change. ^_^

Along with the wardrobe overhaul I added two pretty trays to my desk to organise my writing essentials, deleted bookmarks that I don’t need (who actually goes through the 130+ sites they bookmark anyway?) and did an email purge to ensure the websites and blogs I follow are still relevant to my interests, give me inspiration, and align with who I am and where I want to head to.

The above took an entire day to sort through, but I’m very satisfied that my digital and home detox will keep me on track in the coming months.

Though to be honest, it helped quite a bit that Eskom decided to do a mid-afternoon blackout yesterday – as there were no distractions or social media pings to waylay my day plans.

The Wardrobe Cull

Wardrobe cull round up (C) Rambling with Rose (edited)

The tips I used from A Pair & a Spare were invaluable, and if you’re planning a wardrobe cleanse, you should definitely check out her post series; it’s thorough, concise, and though a lot of it is common sense, it’s presented in such a way you look at it and go “huh, I should have done this ages ago!”.

Though I have a pile of sentimental items still lurking in one of my draws, I’ve decided if there’s anything in there I don’t reach for this summer – or do reach for it, put it on and then hesitate before taking it off again – it’s going to have to go by the end of the season (unless I learn how to do some DIY tricks – any that you can recommend?).

Some things I learnt from doing this include:

  • I have a bad tendency to hang onto makeup that’s way past it’s ‘use-by’ date (that little cream lid with a number in it on most products nowadays stands for how long the product, after opening, is good until – who knew?!?)
  • I have a ton of dresses I don’t actually wear (several landed up in my ‘sentimental’ pile)
  • My jeans buying spree last winter (since I had only one pair then) was a good investment, but 2 pairs, of the 5 I bought, I have hardly worn due to a bad cut and fit – so into the “donate” pile they went
  • I have a ton of comfortable takkie (sneaker) shoes that I’ve hung onto despite cracks & broken soles (why?!)
  • My scarf collection (of 20+ scarves) needs to come out of the boxes and into play in my wardrobe – so any not worn or that don’t work can be gifted, donated, or repurposed
  • I’ve got plenty of great neutral items in my wardrobe. Mainly navy, black and grey – so no more dark colour additions can be added to my current wardrobe unless it’s to replace a beloved item that’s too far gone to wear in public – with brighter colours and lighter neutrals to be added instead

Writing

Writing plans (C) Rambling with Rose

Though I’ve still got a long way still to go with my novel, I’ve been trying to write at least 1000 words every three days (life’s busy, yo!), with plans to up this count in the coming weeks. I’m toying with the idea of creating a “Writing Wednesday” series, so stay tuned ^_~

 

Some TLC for body, mind, and beauty

Drinking more Tea (C) Rambling with Rose

I’ve been investing in my health lately, and with Epsom salt baths, fruit smoothies, micronutrients, a good probiotic, drinking lemon water in the mornings, and at least 1L of water a day. I can now state that my energy levels have come back in a big way (I was a tad worried I’d develop chronic fatigue but that luckily hasn’t happened).

I’ve started drinking more teas instead of that second (or third) cup of coffee – which I used to do but somehow fell off the wagon on that one – in this day and age it’s too easy to put on another coffee pot out of habit, when your body actually needs more hydration and not stimulation.

To go with the healthy inside, I’ve buffed, polished, moisturised, cleansed and started experimenting with nail polish and lipstick shades again (now that I have some motivation to make my outside reflect my inside). After my glandular fever I was sticking to moisturiser and eyeliner as my day-to-day options since having to think about what to add (lipstick, eye shadow, mascara, etc) were far too ambitious for me to attempt last week.

Sunday Plans

Sunday Plans (C) Rambling with Rose

Later, I’m heading out to a braai to catch up with friends and the full cast and crew of Midsummer Night’s Dream, which I’m going to be the production secretary for. I’ve had plenty of experience both on stage and behind the scenes in theatre, but never in this kind of capacity. It’s a little daunting, but it should also be a fun learning curve and I’ll share any tips and tricks I pick up for the theatre lovers reading this later on in the year.

And that’s pretty much my week summed up, with the continual promise of adding more posts here daily now my motivation is back.

I’d love to hear how your week’s gone, and what issues you’re tackling!

With love,
Rose