So there is phase of motherhood that no one really “tells you about”… You know all about the milestones and a little about the burping and sleep patterns, but everyone fails to mention those first 8 weeks, where as a new mother, your body aches in places you never knew existed. If you have chosen the breastfeeding route, you feel as if someone has put you through 12 rounds of a boxing ring. The one thing you don’t see in those cosy cute pictures of mammas breastfeeding their babe’s is the thousands of mamas screaming in pain!

So let me set the record straight, Breastfeeding, in the early days is PAINFUL! Your breasts are adapting, they are full, hot, swollen and bruised and then dealing with a baby learning to latch correctly you can get all sorts of issues happening with your nipples (I looked for a more kosher word but sorry, there isn’t one 🙂 ). Let me say this does only normally last for about 3 weeks, the pain does go away, but in that moment, it can feel like a lifetime.

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This blog is focused on products that can help you through that, and hopefully, get you on track to one of the most rewarding experiences ever. I managed to exclusively breastfeed both of my boys for over a year each (I don’t have anything against formula, I personally just found it more convenient to breastfeed.) Here are some of the things that helped me through:

A lanolin based salve can do wonders for sore, cracked nipples in the early days. I tried both Medela and Lansinoh. My personal favourite was Lansinoh – it has no horrible “stickiness” to it.

Seamless nursing bra – A good nursing bra is a God send, you will literally spend 24 hours a day, and then some in them 🙂  Personally I used “Carriwell”, and used both the normal t-shirt ones and the ones with extra padding. The extra padding can really help especially when baby starts sleeping for longer stretches.

Electric pump – Personally for me, this was my best friend and I would never have lasted so long in my breastfeeding journey without my Medela swing pump. I actually started off with the single swing pump, and after spending 20 mins each side expressing thought I should switch to the double. Ironically, the single pump was waaay more effective and remains my staple. Going back to work when expressing is always fun, I would hide myself in a locked interview room pumping while interviews were taking place in the rooms around me J. I will say I HATED the time spent pumping, I felt like I was wasting time (though I know the end result was far from that), often I considered pumping on the way home whilst stuck in traffic and I know many mums that successfully do so. Pumping also helps to stimulate milk production if you have a dip in your supply.

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Nursing pads – I started off using the Phillips range and to this day that was by far my favourite. Soft, non itchy and disposable but for some reason I couldn’t find them anymore in South Africa, so I switched to Pigeon. Once your milk is more settled and more of a routine formed I switched to cotton based, washable ones which were a big cost saver.

Cooling Gel Pads – Can be used hot (to stimulate your milk production) or cold (to soothe the pain). I will be honest, I didn’t use mine . I found them a bit uncomfortable and heavy, and in the early days the ONLY thing that worked for me was warm wash cloths and cabbage leaves J YES, Cabbage leaves. However I know a lot of new mums that swear by them.

Extra Vitamins – This is a must! breastfeeding, coupled with lack of sleep, or rather broken sleep, drains you! You need essential vitamins to promote healthy supply. Continue with your prenatal vitamins even after birth. You need all of those extra vitamins for breastfeeding. Personally the found the hugely popular Preg-Omega disagreed with me, the Salmon Oil content (or something) was too high and made me terribly nauseas. I switched early on to a generic pharmaceutical brand and that worked like a dream. My best breastfeeding tonic was Vitaforce’s Schlehen Blackthorn Berry Elixir (with my firstborn I swore by it). I would make up litres of jungle juice to store in the fridge. With my second, I just took a good old tablespoon every time I felt I needed it. The other thing you desperately need is WATER, and lots of it!

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C Shaped nursing pillows – These are life changing. They take all the weight off your arms and baba sits at the perfect position, so no wriggly awkwardness. If you have had a c-section, it also protects your scar.

Nursing Cover/ Breastfeeding blanket – Debatable … Ummmm I will admit I never really used it. Nothing that a good old muslin blanket won’t quickly cover up when you need it to and IF your baby doesn’t mind the cover over him/her.

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Whatever your breastfeeding journey is, or for however long it lasts, remember each day is an accomplishment. You have given your baby precious anti bodies and created a beautiful bond. Try and join your local la Leche league to invaluable advice and encouragement.

Id love to hear your breastfeeding stories, one thing I have learnt is to talk about it more. Every woman who has had children and gone through the same thing but for some reason, the struggles around breastfeeding aren’t spoken about enough.

Posted by: inthesestilettos | June 9, 2017

Empowering our future, making South Africa a better place.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela

There is nothing more that breaks my heart than the fact that around the world there is STILL no balance in terms of education. I was fortunate to grow up in a country where we didn’t have racial divide, or rather, social issues CREATED BY racial divide. As such we didn’t see “townships” and at that point, our main concern was helping orphans. As such it really makes my blood boil to think that not everyone has an equal right to education, this is the very founding of our future. 

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Every single child deserves the right to a full education.  That, as a society, is the LEAST we can do. This is how we can start by building a better nation, this is how we eradicate social injustice, this is how we can alleviate poverty.

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 Our adventure clubs outing this week took us to the Kya Sands Container Pre School, created by “Build the Future”. Build the future has 3 projects within South Africa, a preschool in KZN, Gogos Soup Kitchen in Soweto and the Kya Sands preschool.

I really feel it’s important to instil in my children, from as young as possible, that we are all one, and as human beings we should always try to do our best and give to those that have less than us. So before we went the boys went to their toys to pick out ones they don’t play with any more and to choose books that they thought other children would like to read. My 3 year old was so enthusiastic about it and proudly wanted to give his SOME of his toys to children that had less than he did. (Proud mummy moment). They then took the selected toys along with some soup and bread to give the children at snack time and together they enjoyed story time and a competitive game of soccer.

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But more on the fantastic work that Build the Future is doing:

Build the future was founded in 2006 and since then they have made tremendous ground in establishing early learning development in informal settlements in South Africa. Their mission is to plant container schools throughout the country. Children are given a safe haven in which to play and learn and they are also fed healthy meals twice a day. If memory serves correctly, they started off with one container for 40 children and now have 3 classrooms with over 100 children. At Kya Sands they have their own vegetable garden, teaching sustainable development, which had a fantastic array of green beans, spinach, and cabbage to name a few.

 So how can you help?

There are a number of ways to assist the preschool. Firstly you could sponsor a child for R350 per month, this covers the costs of food and education for one child. Secondly they often host “Work days” which are great days where you can get involved in the community. Food donations are always welcome and they are always looking for nutritional food donations and cooking supplies. Lastly of course, get in touch with them to see if you can volunteer your time or expertise. The children loved having visitors and you could sing songs, do puzzles or get involved on a weekly basis with some of the preschool projects.

Build the Future is also always on the lookout for artisans to volunteer their time or expertise. Even if you are not able to make a financial contribution, maintenance and upkeep of the schools is always needed.

Being in containers and exposed to the harsh elements, winter in particular is a harder time. If you can knit beanies or can give a donation of warm clothes/ shoes this would also help a great deal.

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 So with all the uncertainty of the world happening around us, and South Africa officially being in a “recession”, lets all work together to improve our lives, one child at a time. Nelson Mandela so truly quoted again, There is no better judge of society than the way in which we treat our children.

Lets Rise up and create a better future for ourselves, and our children.

Contact details for Build the Future:

Director of Build the Future Phillip Shapriro 0823438886 or visit the website to donate through there at www.buildthefuture.org or email info@buildthefuture.org.za

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So I keep getting people asking me for tips on where to go and what to do with their kids. I’ve been trying to sit down and write a list for a while now but as any multi-tasking, working mum would know every day seems to escape me and my to do list just keeps getting longer.

Firstly I have to pay homage to the Adventure Clubs app. What an absolute life changer that was for me.

After our move back to Johannesburg from Cape Town I was at a loss of what to do with my boys in a big city and struggled to find a mums group like I had in Cape Town. In Johannesburg I find most mums have less flexibility with their working hours …. Until a friend suggested a download the adventure clubs app and our lives changed forever 🙂 It’s opened up my eyes to a whole new Johannesburg, discovering hidden gems and unique places to take my boys. So thank you thank you thank you!

That being said, here’s my list, together with some of the places we have discovered with Adventure Clubs, of fun things to do, with your kids in the big city:

 

Lion and Rhino Safari Park (Lanseria Side) – New and improved, the recently re-opened Lion and Rhino park is bigger, better and has a lot more interaction for kids.

Crocodile City (Just before Lanseria) – We had such a good time at our outing to Croc City. They boys got an educational talk on crocs, on how thick their skin is and got to hold and observe their eggs. They also house a number of reptiles and much to my horror my boys lined up to hold the snakes L.. After a tour of the croc park the kids ran around counting and feeding as many tortoises as they could. The play area of course provided hours of entertainment.

Old MacDonald’s Farm Yard (Lanseria Side) – This is a true hidden gem. Home to the Fat Olive restaurant and a Beach bar, Old MacDonald’s has free roaming Zebras, geese, duck and a whole mini farmyard for kids to feed/interact with. It doubles up as a party venue as well as a restaurant. Theres even canoes to take out on a paddle on the small lake.

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Old Macdonalds Farm

 

Crazy Kids Farmyard (Randburg) – A diamond in the middle of a bustling city. Crazy Kids has also recently had a bit of a refresh with some new animals (including another pony and a friendly pig), Crazy Kids is literally smack bang in the middle of a residential area in Randburg. It has a huge variety of play equipment for kids, a ton of bikes to ride around and an epic sandpit. This is a winner, everyday of the week.

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Feeding the Pony at CrazyKidz

 

 

Clay Café (Irene) – About twenty minutes out of Johannesburg Clay Café is opposite the iconic Red Barn in Irene. Kids can choose from a large variety of ceramics to paint with lots of accessories to add patterns/ shapes to their masterpieces.

Pappachinos (of course – Broadacres seems like the biggest, Clearwater mall also has a bike track)

Lori Park Zoo (Midrand) – Holds a nice variety of crocodiles, predator birds and of course lions/ leopards – though I do feel for the bigger cats as their enclosures are very, very small.

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Lori Park Zoo

 

 

The Johannesburg Zoo – A timeless classic and always good for a family day out.

Delta Park – Probably holds the best play area out of all Joburg parks. It also has glorious walking paths with gigantic trees shading them.

Lonehill Park – Between Lonehill Park and Angelo’s Restaurant you are guaranteed a good time with the kids. Lonehill Park has a beautiful enclosed play area for kids and Angelo’s Kitchen borders onto the park with additional jungle gyms, bike tracks and games for kids

Raspberry Picking at Fieldberry Farm (When in Season) – A morning spent in the fields at Fieldberry farm is a morning well spent. A beautiful day out for the entire family, kids will have an amazing time selecting and picking the juiciest berries to pick. After all their hard work mum and dad can relax on hay bales around the play area while sipping on a handmade smoothie. SO much fun. Raspberry season typically ends around April.

Alliepad Alpakkas – A bit of a drive out of Johannesburg, Alliepad Alpakkas is just before Magaliesburg and has the most adorable fluffy Alpacas to go crazy over. Make it a weekend drive or wait for one of their festival days when you can get a tour around the farm, learn more about how they get wool and feed the Alpacas.

Willow Feather Farm (Pretoria) – Originally started off as an Indigenous tree farm, Willow Feather now hosts a nursery, tea garden and awesome Farmyard for kids. They have a number of interactive activities for kids and the number of animals in the Farmyard is exceptional. Alpacas, pigs, bunnies, cows. Kids can get up close and personal to the animals and of course participate in feeding. There’s also a wonderful kiddies play area to keep little ones busy while mums can enjoy hot tea and scones.

If its rainy (or sunny) – Yeesh for Kids in Woodmead is a firm favourite of ours. With a huge soft kids play area, Yeesh goes the extra mile by hosting cupcake/cookie decorating sessions, as well as an art corner where kids can paint a range of items ranging from t-shirts to canvas to ceramic ornaments.

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Ball Pit at Yeesh!

 

 

Tres Jolie (Ruimsig) – Traditionally thought of as more of a wedding venue, Tres Jolie actually is a littler wonder world for kids. They offer a touch and feel farmyard, giant sand pit, pony and camel rides, and a big jungle gym. You can bring your own food to feed the animals or buy packets at the Kiosk.

 

These are just some of the places I’ve explored with my boys and I know there are probably hundreds of more hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Where are some of your favourite places to go?

Posted by: inthesestilettos | March 13, 2017

Cloud dough/ Moon sand recipe 

It’s been a while since we did this one, in fact shockingly, I don’t think I’ve ever made it for my youngest ! (Hides behind hands).

Moon Sand or Cloud dough as its sometimes referred to in the USA promises at least 40 minutes to an hour of exploration for my little ones. With a consistency similar to beach sand (obviously alot softer), the possibilities are endless. You can make cakes, or castles, pies or if you’re a mum of boys like me, everything turns into a quarry and the sand will end up being transported in dump trucks!

Another idea is to create a sensory tray and hide treasures at the bottom, little ones can then dig through the sand to find the treasures.
Recipe takes less than 5 minutes with common ingredients.

8 cups flour to approximately 1 cup of oil. You can either use a vegetable oil or baby oil. I’ve used both and obviously vegetable oil is safer with smaller kids. Just mix it together in a bug bowl until the right consistency.

Have fun 🙂
Ps. Excuse the pyjamas I always like to do messy play in the mornings before we get dressed for the day 🙂 

A while back, together with a group of friends, we headed out to Fieldberry Farm, just South of Johannesburg for a day of raspberry picking fun.

I had heard a lot about Fieldberry, but I have to say it surpassed all expectations. If you are looking for a fun outing as a family, it doesn’t get much better, or fresher then when you’re walking through a field picking them yourself.

A morning spent at the farm transported me straight back to the Wine Farms in Cape Town. Friendly faces, hale bales to sit on and quirky farm stalls selling everything from raspberry preserves, smoothies, to homemade samosas.

 

What I didn’t know about this gem is that it is run by Lungi, who spent many years employed on this farm as a domestic worker. When the children she looked after had grown up and her employers were looking to hand over the business, Lungi took over and became a farmer.

Its been a hard journey for Lungi, and Fieldberry, battling droughts and government grants but thankfully with the recent rains and social media exposure, this season has been extended until April!

If you attend the weekend berry picking, you pay about R30 for a bucket (children under 10 free) and pick to your heart’s content (or as much as your bucket allows). Your berries then get weighed and you will pay per weight to take home. Prepare to get your hands (and face) tickled pink with sweet, sticky berry juice (mind the bee’s) as you fill up on the juicy fruit. You can bring along your picnic blankets and your own snacks, or you can order some nibbles and treats from their farm stalls.

I went home and divided our loot into 3. I froze a bag, we ate a bag, and I made a Vanilla and raspberry cake with the rest. Recipe to follow shortly.

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The boys absolutely loved it and I’m super excited for our adventure there with the “Adventure Clubs” tomorrow, to take other kids around, see their excitement and of course drink some of their delicious smoothies again.

Joburg has all these incredible gems, we just have to share the love !

Directions are here. More information at +27-79-719-0793 and thefieldberryfarm.wordpress.com.

Posted by: inthesestilettos | February 21, 2017

Rainy Day Fun – Play dough and Slime recipes

I try to limit screen time for the kids to early mornings (when I’m usually too tired to think and just want a cup of tea in peace). My eldest son is now going to playschool 3 mornings a week but there is still plenty of time left in the day to be filled with crafts and endless energy for ball games.

With all this rain we have been having, you have to get creative when it comes to keeping the little ones busy, and I’ve gotten a lot of requests on how I make my play dough and slime recipes for the boys so I thought I’d just put it out there for all to share, honestly, these are so quick and easy, you can have homemade fun and banish boredom in less than 5 minutes:

Playdough:

I have my friend Zelda to forever credit for giving me this recipe.

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • Between 1 and 2 cups warm water (you keep adding until it feels right)
  • food colouring (optional)

I usually do the initial mixing here while the water is still a bit warm, and then I hand the bowl over to the kids and let them get stuck in there. This should keep up to about 6 months in a sealed container. There is honestly no reason to ever buy playdough ever again!

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Slime

  • 1 bottle art and craft glue (clear or white – I used Bostik’s art and craft glue) (100ml)
  • 100 Ml Water (pour the water into the empty glue bottle its easier)
  • ½ tsp of borax dissolved into ¼ cup warm water
  • A drop of food colouring

Mix together the water and the glue, in a separate bowl dissolve the borax into the quarter cup of warm water, and add a drop of food colouring. Pour this mixture into the water/glue bowl and stir. You will immediately see a gloop ball start to form, keep mixing until it all comes together. (There may be some excess water which you can just discard). You can also add glitter to the slime to really create an intergalactic experience.

TIP: Ive made this 3 times before, a pinch more borax and you can end up with a more solid “bouncy ball” consistency, if this happens you can try adding a little more glue and seal it in a bag to absorb.

TIP 2: Try to avoid getting this onto carpets or clothes, the longer it sits, the more in soaks in. If it does a brush and some vinegar should get it right off.

I hope these two recipes give your kids as hours of endless fun as they do with my boys ! Happy playing!

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Posted by: inthesestilettos | April 26, 2016

My top 15 list of Child Friendly activities around Cape Town

  So yet another hiatus taken after yet another baby, I became a proud member of the two under two club (2 boys now) but I’m determined to get my blog back on track. There’s so muc…

Source: My top 15 list of Child Friendly activities around Cape Town

Posted by: inthesestilettos | April 26, 2016

Vredenhof Organic Estate – Food and Fun !

While its still fresh in my mind I thought I had to write a review on Vredenhof Organic Estate. What an awesome experience! Just off the R44 in Firgrove, Somerset West, this gem of a farm is a must see! We had our mummies meet up there this week, if only I knew this place was 5 minutes from my house earlier! Wow in every way!

 

 

The first thing that struck me walking around was the attention to detail, it was impeccable! Service was fantastic, the Owner came out and chatted to us, the staff were friendly, welcoming and extremely helpful. The menu at the Café was outstanding! A rainbow selection of exotic juices and smoothies and superior organic, wholesome dishes on the menu. For once the food actually met up to the standard described on the menu, if not more and the presentation was incredible, again attention to detail was second to none.

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The kiddies play area is like something from an enchanted fairy tale, there is a big wooden “pirate ship” 2 decks high, a Rapunzel Tower and Snow White’s Castle with a slide. A wooden carriage, a sandpit, see-saw and a multitude of ropes and ladders to climb. The sand was freshly raked and clean. My son had a blast talking to the “Captain Hook” painted on the mural on the wall. The ONLY fault I could find with the entire place would be that the Ship and the Castle aren’t the Most “Toddler” friendly, the steps and ladders are a little steep to climb on their own. That being said there are other activities to keep them busy in the play area and it certainly didn’t stop our brood.

 

Once the kiddies finished playing there they could explore the “secret garden”, each area having a slightly different theme. The Gardens have a wishing well, a Koi Pond and the most unique “Harp” water feature I’ve ever seen! Look a little closer and you will see lawn mowed into the shape of a heart and a hidden putt putt area. In the far corner is a giant chess board, and opposite that all the kiddies favourite – Animals! Goats, Chickens, and possibly the biggest pig I have EVER seen in my life!

Swiss Perfection in EVERY sense and I would certainly recommend it to any family with young children, anyone looking for incredible food as well as people wanting to buy organic fare from their shop. 5 stars all the way, thank you Vredenhof for an awesome last play date!

 

Opening times – Tuesday – Saturday, 8am – 4pm Contact 021 855 0363, vredenhof@telkomsa.net

Posted by: inthesestilettos | April 14, 2016

My top 15 list of Child Friendly activities around Cape Town

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So yet another hiatus taken after yet another baby, I became a proud member of the two under two club (2 boys now) but I’m determined to get my blog back on track. There’s so much I want to say and share and so much that has happened.

In addition to adding another little boisterous boy to our family we also relocated to the beautiful Western Cape, and what a year it’s been! I actually can’t even fathom why anyone with children would want to live anywhere else in the world. This place literally has it all!

I thought I’d summarize the top places to take kids too, and bear with me as this list is quite long. Jozi you have A LOT to learn when it comes to making things kid friendly. There is an abundance of places to take the kids and almost every farm is child friendly. After living in Johannesburg for so long I really am left in awe.

I will  write longer reviews on each place, but for now, here’s my top 15 list (in no specific order).

  1. World of Birds – Constantia – This is the largest bird park in Africa and its home to something like 3000 birds and quite a number of reptiles! All of the owls and predator birds are adopted and none of them have been bred in captivity. My toddler was in awe of all the colours and the monkey interaction is entertaining for everyone!1741
  2. Butterfly World – Stellenbosch – Best to go on a sunny day when all the glorious butterfly’s fly about in their element! There are also a number of other animals on display including reptiles (some colourful iguanas), tarantula’s, birds, small monkeys and LOTS of guinea pigs. BEST part is kids under 3 are free!

     

  3. Monkey Town – Somerset West – This place kinda has it all! Yes the park is a little “run down” BUT these places do rely on visitors for funding so go and visit! Not only do they have like 200 different primates, they also have Chimpanzees ! (Don’t worry they have been rehabilitated after various horrible stories). Monkey Town also has a small Petting animal section a huge garden with numerous Jungle Gyms AND you can picnic and braai there.988
  4. The Giraffe House – Stellenbosch – Despite its name the Giraffe house is home to Zebra, Ostrich, crocodile, Jackals and a number of other animals too. We made the mistake of going on a “slight breezy” winters day with a 6 week old baby. Safe to say, dad did the tour with the toddler who was in his element and mum sat in the car for most of the time because the wind was reminiscint of Artic Gail force winds !
  5. Vergelegen Wine Farm (They have the most amazing playground) – Have a lunch at Stables restaurant while your kids play in the most artistic Play area. A little stream for them to splash in , a giants bird nest, and a maze – what more do you need? Oh and they offer picnics in the forest as well.
  6. Vergenoegd Wine Farm (Famous for its Runner ducks and kids activities). Vergenoegd keeps about 1100 Indian “Runner Ducks”. These ducks head out each day into the vineyards and they eat all the snails and harmful pests that destroy the grapes, on their journey the give a little “Parade” which the kids adore! Vergenoegd also has dedicated child minders so you can enjoy your picnic in the most beautiful surroundings while your kids play a number of games and activities.956
  7. Visit the penguins – dependent on which side of Cape Town you are there is the Stony Point Colony at Bettys Bay and of course the famous Boulders Beach in Simons Town. Its not often that you get to swim with Penguins, Ive taken my toddler back 3 times J Did you know that there are only 3 land based breeding grounds for African penguins? Well here are two of them! I find Betty’s Bay a little more quiet as opposed to the ever popular Boulders Beach.
  8. Two oceans aquarium – Aquarium – enough said!Sharks, Penguins, Turtles and Sting rays, what more does a kid want? Right in the heart of the V+A Waterfront its pays tribute to both the Atlantic and the Indian oceans. Visit at about 3pm daily and the kids will get a chance to see the raggies being fed !1465
  9. Cheetah Outreach Program – 2 minutes from my doorstep, and you can take your toddlers in to stroke the Cheetahs ! I was super apprehensive, you can even tell from my picture 🙂 The Cheetah Outreach is an organization that is working to preserve Cheetah in the wild.  Many farmers use traps, poison and hunting techniques to keep the cheetahs away from their farm and livestock, as a result, the cheetah population is dwindling. Here you learn about Cheetah conservation and the Famous Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, These are  very very, VERY large dogs that are used as Shepard dogs and protect livestock.By doing so you can save Cheetahs !IMG_20160229_152516
  10. Spier Wine farm and the Eagle encounters – Another famously Child friendly wine farm. Spier wine farm offers literally the FULL experience. For non wine drinkers like us they offer grape juice tasting, 2 awesome restaurants and a range of activities for the kids. Best part is the Eagle encounters where you can learn more about these glorious predators and get to see them up close.
  11. Green point Park –Seriously, This is where Joburg Parks needs to catch a wake up! Green Points playground is insane ! You can visit green pint for a picnic, walk or run, theres an outdoor gym, s play park and an adventure park for the kids (with about 7 different slides). Evening and Morning Yoga and a whole zen garden section. Did I mention its free?IMG_20160329_130156
  12. The Blue Train and Mouille point park – Probably one of Mouille Point’s oldest attractions, a ticket on the blue train costs just R15 and takes you on two trips around the park. The Blue Train Park borders The Mouille Point park which has a lovely jungle gym and play area for the kids. The blue train park offers yet more play areas as well as a mini ice rink! My toddler loved the choo choo with the sea side views! Afterwards you can ride your bikes and have an ice cream and walk along the famous Green Point Promenade !
  13. Table Mountain Cable Way – Its not Cape Town without Table Mountain. My husband was the most apprehensive about going up Table Mountain with 2 small kids. We prebooked out tickets online (MUST DO) so the line wasn’t that tedious (I think about 45 minutes?) By the time we got to the front my 2 year old was so impatient to go on the “Plane” (the cablecar) that the kind lady in front scanned us through to the next leaving cart. (If you read this THANK YOU!). Much to my husbands delight there were no sheer drops for the pram to roll off at the top 🙂  There was entertainment in the form of a live bank which the toddler loved and we even got to appreciate the views! Once again I am forever grateful as we managed to get a concierge service off the cable car on the way down to the lift and skipped the exit line 🙂758
  14. Root 44 Market – Great Food, Live bands, artisian food and craft and to a huge world of adventure for kids! No less than 5 play areas for kids, a massive indoor soft play area, wate activities and putt putt. SERIOUSLY – Root 44 offers a BUSY day! OPEN EVERY SATURDAY AND SUNDAY FROM 10:00 – 16:00 Tel: 021 881 3052 Email: info@root44.co.za Audacia Wines, Corner of R44 & Annandale Road, Stellenbosch, 7600
  15. The Beaches ! All of them ! There is no explanation needed! Water + Sand is a great combination for any child and it offers free entertainment for hours! The Western Cape offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

 

I must also make honorary mentions to the following places: Tokara Estate (unique little playground and they have heaps of toys around the restaurant for kids to play with), Polkadraai Strawberry Farm for strawberry picking, Helderberg plaas (one of the oldest farms in the region and it has a cute petting farm for the kids to feed the animals).

Western Cape – I am not finished with my explorations and I cannot wait to uncover all that you have to offer (though I don’t think ill ever get through it all!) Are there any places you would mention?

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Posted by: inthesestilettos | June 24, 2014

My Mummy blog – essential items for a newborn baby

Ok, so I have taken a very long hiatus from my blogging. In fact I was actually ashamed to write this blog in a way, I’m very sheepish because of how long it’s been. But this is my blog and my rules right?
I started blogging for my company on articles specifically pertaining to recruitment and career development so a lot of my time was taken by that. And of course this……………….

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My beautiful, cheeky baby boy. I’ve felt the urge to write this blog for a while now, specifically as a new mum. I found while I was pregnant, everyone gives you advice (of course) BUT they forget all the yucky, important stuff!

Like how incredibly sore breastfeeding is in the first few weeks. Or how long you actually take to recover from a c-section and the fact that your scar still hurts 5 months down the line. Various feminine issues going on and how it feels to first actually have a proper bathroom session (I hope no men are reading this 🙂 ) Then there’s the fact, we all know, that newborns sleep all the time yaaaay but what about when they get to 5/ 6 weeks ? Then its like HEELLLLOOOO World! “I’m not sleeping now …”

There is so much advice I would love to give to new mums out there, fact is a lot of it you just learn for yourself. BEST TIP EVER? Certainly the main one I WISH I had taken! Yes, while its so nice to have your baby falling asleep in your arms DO NOT start rocking or swaying him to sleep. While they are still newborn get into the habit of baby falling asleep independently. Its no fun having to walk/rock/sway a 9kg 6 month old who fights every inch of sleep for hours on end…

Onto the lighter stuff. Here are some products that changed my world and I believe are a MUST for new baba’s. Not your standard 6 babygrow, changing mat type of list, rather products that made my life a whole lots easier:
1) Telament-T colic drops – WOW how this saved my life in the early weeks. When baby is crying on end and nothing calms him down? Pop a little drop into a dummy/ pacifier and its like INSTANT calm ! Amazing! Either that or it just gives baby’s a huge sugar rush.
2) Telament- T Gripe water – No other brands worked as well as this did and my Baby B LOVES the taste! Great for when hiccups occur, take about 2ml in a dropper and voila ! Hiccups be gone!
3) A reclining seat/rocker – (For baby not you) I didn’t have a sway chair. Mine was a standard reclining chair with a soothing vibrate function and detachable “friends” to entertain baby. Best place to put baba for a change of scenery and a great place for him to fall asleep when you are busy ironing 
4)Physiogel Lotion/ Cream – Newborns have the most sensitive skins so you cant go lathering on lavender scented aqueous cream straight away. I learnt this the hard way and baba broke out in eczema! These creams were so gentle on baba’s skin. Lotion for body and cream for face.
5) Lasinoh nipple cream – enough said. I found it to be better then the Medela brand (which was too sticky) this was non scented non sticky and super calming.
6) Medela breast pump – If you are a breastfeeding mum this is a MUST have! I bring it down to expressing in those first few weeks that helped my establish a proper milk supply. Its also allowed me in the first few weeks to get extra shut eye. Grannies would do “night duty” and I got a full 8 hours ! Of course when returning to work it also made sure my baby didn’t starve ! They are super industrial quality, easy to use, pretty quiet and compact! I’m lucky enough to have the normal single electric pump and the double swing maxi and both have been brilliant. One word though if you invest in the swing maxi its essential you get the support bra/holder. Otherwise you sit there like a muppet with both hands occupied holding the bottles and you cant even adjust the speed!

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7) Phillips Avent disposable breast pads (in the beginning) were the softest by far of all products on the market. After a while I swapped to the Phillips re-usable (washable) kind.
8) Schlehen blackthorn berry elixir. A MUST again for all breastfeeding mummies. A tonic/ vitamin/ magic juice to increase your milk supply. A God-Send. Mix it up with some rehydrate and juice to make a yummy “jungle juice” that works miracles.
9) Cotton Wool – This simple/ humble item proves its weight in gold with babies. People forget to tell you about the explosive poops 🙂 Funniest and messiest thing ever! I find plain old cotton wool more effective then any “wetwipe” and generally reserve the wipes for when we are out.
10) A Muslin Cloth – I bought a whole lot from “Baby Sense” to keep baby cooler when we went to Botswana for summer. I quickly found it has a multitude of uses and baba loves it! Almost like a security blankie. It’s a changing cloth, a blankie, a shield over the pram, a wiper-uper… the list is endless.

Those are my top 10 things that made my life a great deal easier. I’m sure I’m missing out on a few but the old wives tale around porridge brain and memory is NOT an old wives tale. I’ve lost my mind…but the reward is so much greater 🙂

If you have any more suggestions feel free to comment! Wishing you all happy baby days……………….

Ps x the stilettos? not so high anymore………..

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