Giveaway – Little one baby accessories

~~~COMPETITION TIME~~~~

Time to check if you have really been reading again 🙂

In partnership with the fabulous Rameeza Dawood, founder of “Little One” baby accessories, i’ll be giving away an incredible hamper worth over 600 Rand! This hamper is perfect for recent mums or the ideal baby shower gift for mothers to be!

To enter:
All you have to do is make sure you are following both the @inthesestilettos page as well as @Little1baby on Facebook

Comment below on the product range that “Little One” baby accessories offers.
While you are at it why not tag your mummy friends or share this page?

Rules:
1. The competition is open only to residents in South Africa.
2. Giveaway ends on the 28 September 2017 and winner will be announced on the 29th September 2017
3. Delivery of the Hamper will be via courier
4. Winner will have 48 hours to claim the Hamper before a new winner is drawn .

GOOD LUCK !!!!

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LOVE LOCAL – “Little one” baby accessories – Meet Rameeza Dawood

Today marks the first in a series I’ll be calling “love local”. Focusing on local, South African, mothers who are making waves in their industries. Breaking boundaries, creating empires and being the best inspiration of strong, driven women to their children.

I’m pleased to be interviewing a fabulous entrepreneur who is quickly gaining a cult following in baby accessories.

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LITTLE ONE is a South African supplier of baby accessories, offering a Range of Funky Colourful Printed Cotton Blankets, Burp Cloths, Bandana Bibs, Pacifier Clips, Baby Changing Mats & Baby Feeding Rings. Her cotton blankets are comparable to “Earthchilds” at a fraction of the cost, whilst her designs are all on trend and on par with international stores such as “Cotton on”. Rameeza Dawood is, more importantly, a wife and mother of two young children and “Little one” is her third baby.

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Read on below to find out more about Rameeza and her career journey thus far…

 1) Tell me more about yourself and what you currently do?

My name is Rameeza Dawood & I’m a fashion Designer by profession. I’m the second eldest of four sisters and grew up in the Southern Suburbs of Wynberg. I come from a strong fashion bloodline running as far back as my moms aunts. My Mom currently runs an Interior Decorating Business & my two younger twin sisters work as Fashion Designers.  I’m Ten years married & have been blessed with 2 wonderful children, a daughter Ariana 5yrs & a son Raheel 3yrs. I’m currently the Owner of the Baby Accessories Line LITTLE ONE & ”Stay at Home Mom”.

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2) How did “Little one” come about?

I always knew I would love to start up my own business one day & not work in the clothing manufacturing trade forever. After working 13 years in the Industry I gained the necessary insight, knowledge & experience required to venture off to start my own business. I thoroughly enjoyed the fun playful prints, colours & less serious elements of Kids wear. I was inspired while on maternity leave after having my second baby, to start a Baby Accessories Line.

3) What did you study – was it in this field or something different?

I studied at Cape Technikon, a Three Year Fashion Design Course where I received my National Diploma in 2002. I absolutely loved every minute of it, no regrets!!

4) What was your first job and how did you progress to this?

I started working immediately at Monviso Knitwear, a Clothing Manufacturer for Woolworths. My first job title was an Assistant Merchandiser which was great in allowing me to learn what all goes into the process of making up & creating a garment. I then went onto Ladies wear designing to gain design experience.

Three years later I left to work as a Kiddies wear Designer at the well-established Jacques Hau ,a kiddies wear manufacturer for Woolworths, I designed across all departments. As a designer the requirements was to travel overseas which was definitely a great perk, allowing me the opportunity to travel to all the Fashion Cities across the world.

It was after Ten years at J Hau, I decided I want to be a Home Mom & start my Baby Accessories Line. I got straight to work, sourcing, range planning, creating the brand. In December 2016 I took the big leap and Launched LITTLE ONE!
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5) What have been the highlights?

Initially I wasn’t sure what the response was going to be with my products & how people would perceive it, but thanks to the grace of the Almighty, I have gotten an overwhelming & amazing response from people, of how happy they are with the overall finish, designs & most importantly the quality of the products.

6) What’s the best part of your job?

I would say the best part of my job is doing what I LOVE!! Being my own Boss while spending time with my kids. I’ve always been a creative soul, I thoroughly enjoy the range planning, playing around with different prints and creating beautiful stories, and the gift parcelling is just as much fun.
7) What is the most challenging part?

The most challenging part initially was coping with the unexpected product demand as Little One was growing. My other challenge was and still is juggling time with my demanding day as a full time mom, & trying to manage time for work.
8) Describe a typical day in your life.

My morning starts off with dropping my kids at school. Thereafter I have personal gym training sessions. Its very important to have a little “me time”.

My day revolves around my kids school collection times so try to do all my rounds of fabric collections, drop offs, any grocery shopping all before I collect my kids. My daughter has a busy schedule of extra murals of which I take her too as well, so my day involves being on the road a lot of the time. After revisions with my daughter in afternoons, I slot in work & any outstanding admin. Before you know it, the day has already flown by, and it’s already supper time and getting Kids ready for bed. You tend to get the most work done when the kids are asleep, no disruptions & disturbances.

9) What are the “secrets” to your success?

I’m sure all entrepreneurs would agree that the biggest contribution to your business success is passion & drive. My love has always been for fabrics, colours & range planning. I have great support from my family, my husband, mom & sisters. My Husband is my greatest source of advice especially anything business & financially related.

10) How do you balance motherhood with being an entrepreneur?

To be honest, It’s a daily challenge trying to give my all to both being as a Mom & an Entrepreneur…Being a Mom is more demanding of my time in the day, it’s hard juggling, but everyday I learn to time manage a little better. If it doesn’t quite go according to plans (as most days go) then it’s a late nighters for me. I’m someone who makes sure to meet my deadlines, I don’t like disappointing people.

11) What is your dream for little one baby?

My dream for LITTLE ONE is to have my own Beautiful LITTLE ONE Store stocking an even wider range than what I currently do, a one stop shop for all your Baby Accessories needs under one roof. Have Retail stores both nationally and even internationally. To be a well established stockist for the Top leading Baby Chain Stores. You have to dream big 🙂

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Little once couriers throughout South Africa. You can follow them on instagram : @little_one_baby and on facebook : @little1baby

Do you know of any local mama’s following their dreams and doing it for themselves? Id love to feature them and hear your comments below!

Keep your eyes peeled, Little One and In these stilettos have a super exciting giveaway coming soon !

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Living life through the eyes of my children

“If we could see the world through the eyes of a child, we would see the magic in everything…”

Every day when I wake up, feeling a little grumpy because my sleep was broken or not long enough, I look at my children in amazement. Every single day these tiny humans beg me to wake up and jump out of bed. It’s a new day, it’s a new day filled with promise and adventure for them. Endless possibilities lie ahead and their imaginations are eager to take them places.

I’ve often thought I want to live just one day in my life like my children. Filled with boundless energy and hope. Ever wonder how it would change your life or your outlook?

These are some of the things my children have taught me and why I think we should all try and view the world through a child’s eyes.

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  1. Every day is brand spanking new

 

The excitement when you wake up in the morning of what the day COULD hold. Don’t think about yesterday’s problems or issues weighing down your brain, that was yesterday. This is a NEW day, a blank slate filled with possibilities. Today is what you make of it. Clear your mind and handle every task as you receive it. Anything can happen and if you are open to opportunities with a smile on your face, the world often recognises that and throws a little sparkle your way.

2. Positive mind-set

 

My life’s motto is literally from “Finding Nemo”. “Just keep swimming” is without a doubt my take on life. Through it all just keep moving forward. When presented with a situation Children never see the worst. They see the best in people and believe every new opportunity is an exciting adventure. I’m not saying there aren’t bad people out there, unfortunately as we grow older we do see the sad realities of the world, BUT, what I am saying is do not let those “bad things” grey or cloud over your skies. I truly believe there are still way more good people and wonderful things in this world then there are bad. Positive thoughts create real value in your life and instil greater self-confidence. “YES WE CAN”.

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3. Open your mind

 

“Why, why, why, why?” How many times have you heard a child say but why? Kids are interested in learning as much as they can, their brains are like sponges, absorbing everything around them. They don’t take no for an answer because they know there’s something more behind it. Keep learning, keep digging until you get to the origin of something and your mind is truly satisfied that that is the right answer.

  1. Everyone is a new friend

Ok, we don’t need to take it as far as “friend” but being open to new people introduces us and opens doors to new possibilities. Networking. It’s the basis of all successful businesses. What’s the harm in talking to someone when you are waiting in a line? They worst they could do is tell you to bugger off, but you never know, you may spark a conversation that could lead you to lifelong friendships or opportunities. Children are always open to meeting new people, they want to smile and make friends with people. If we had to embrace this mind-set when meeting new people or running errands your network would expand dramatically.

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  1. You can be anything

Why do we lose this? The ability to dream! Ok so far my children have wanted to be soccer players, golfers and racing car drivers. When I was growing up I was adamant I wanted to be a few things in my life, I wanted to be a “businesswomen” walking down a corridor in a grey pencil suit carrying a grey briefcase (I was very specific), I wanted to be a teacher and I wanted to own my own coffee shop and work with animals in some way. As I got older I still want to do all those things and I still believe that there is a season for all parts in life. I like to believe I have accomplished the “Businesswomen” side of things, now that I have children I often substitute at my kids playschool and who knows as they move through their schooling years maybe I can teach more. Once they get older perhaps ill open my coffee shop and once I hit “retirement” age who knows, maybe I can volunteer my time at an aquarium like I had envisioned. I’ll put it out to the universe now as well that one day I would also love to counsel people, to perhaps further my psychology degree and put it into private practice. My point is we CAN achieve your dreams. Hold on to them. Factor them into your everyday life. Put them up somewhere so you can see them and your mind can work towards them. Too often we pick career paths we “think” we should or because someone told us to. It’s never too late to follow your passion!! If you are stuck in a career you don’t enjoy, obviously one can’t just quit and start studying again, but we can take little steps towards our new focus. Take a course on the side, align yourself more with people in the profession. Do little tasks every day to build up towards it. Life is far too short to be doing something you don’t enjoy. We need to value and appreciate every day!

In my ballet class the other day there was a woman who was 75 years old. She is my hero! If you have a dream, DO IT! The world is full of possibilities and you can get in on any of them.

 

  1. Live without inhibitions

Kids wake up in the morning, decide they want to wear their favourite rainbow striped shirt with polka dot shorts and wellington boots. Why? Because it’s their favourite and it makes them happy. They are proud of their clothes and run into school to show their friends. Imagine how free we would be if we didn’t care as much what people thought? When was the last time you played on a swing set or went down the slide? When was the last time you did cartwheels on the grass or danced around on the beach? As adults we worry too much about what others may think of us. Whilst we need to, to keep society in check at times, it’s also important we let our inner “free child” out to breath. Take the time to live in the moment. I have two cousins that I admire more then they know because they just “do”. They will erupt into cartwheels or song whenever they are inspired, and it’s beautiful!! Take the time to just feel the sunshine on your skin, be in the moment. Don’t let your fears inhibit possibilities and adventure.

  1. Don’t stop moving

Seriously. These kids never stop. EVER. The only time my toddler boys will sit down is when forced to sit and eat, and even then you constantly have to put them back down in their seats. They are on the go from the moment they open their eyes to the second the finally sit down and crash. What happened to that energy? How the world would be rid of obesity if we could all just have an inch of this energy. I made a vow to try and keep up with them wherever they go. Whilst I may not be able to scoot around the house broad sliding my plastic motorbike, I can run next to them when we are outside. I can dance around with them or play hide and seek 200 times. Be in the moment, play with them.

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If you have the chance to watch or be with a child, you will notice the authenticity they live with. They feel and release every emotion (as frustrating as it can be sometimes as a parent), if we can incorporate this child-like behaviour into our daily lives: we can learn to live more from the heart. We can open up and truly connect, smile and feel. Our energy levels would increase dramatically because we aren’t weighed down with negativity. Children naturally embrace being in the moment and not having another care in the world when they are engaged in a certain task. Let’s aim to take these aspects from our kids to make us better people, better parents, better humans.

Tips for a positive potty training experience

So we are in the midst of potty training… round two.. What amazes me is how different one child is to the other. My eldest was pretty much fully potty trained at 2 years and 4 months, the age my youngest is now. The thing is, he is just damn lazy 🙂 . He knows exactly when he needs to go but will purposefully go and run away from you.

So I’ve thought back on what worked with us with my eldest, and we have shown significant progress! SO here are some tips to keep your sanity, and your home, “poop” free.

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Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Lose the nappies

I’m going to tell it to you straight. Lose the nappies. Completely. Not even pull ups if you are serious about it. All they create is a “safety” shield for the kids. The most effective way I’ve ever come across is letting them run around butt naked. So with that…

Take a weekend

You need at least 2 days of not going anywhere. It’s a positive! You’ll get unlimited family time (YAY) and are easily able to run to the loo when needed. This is the most effective method for potty training quickly. You need to put your toddler on the toilet every 30 minutes or so initially, to get them used to the concept. No nappies allowed, the whole day!

Make sure you have easy access to a toilet/potty.

I never really used a traditional “Potty” with my kids. I can handle changing nappies but I can’t handle the thought of having to wash out a “potty” after every session thanks. Instead we use those kiddie toilet seats that make the seat comfortable for smaller behinds. You really do want to be able to pop them on fast or every 30 minutes as a guide, so make sure you have “ablutions” close by.

Brush up on your singing/acting skills

Kids need entertainment on the toilet! Especially when they are learning, there is nothing like a leisurely “session” to get the job done. We have a couple of games and songs handy to keep our boy entertained 🙂 Be liberal with the praise, for some reason for toddlers its a HUGE achievement when they first poop on the toilet, so celebrate with them!

Expect accidents and be prepared

They WILL happen, take it in your stride. It’s all natural. All mummies have been in a situation where their kids have had wet pants. We were picking berries in the middle of a field once. I had literally just asked my son if he needed to wee, of course he said no. 10 minutes later he said “mummy whoops”. On the day I forgot spare pants, of course! ALWAYS. PACK. SPARE. PANTS.

Night time bed accidents will also occur. It’s OKAY. It happens. Don’t harp on it, just change them and the sheets and move on. Don’t make them feel bad or create anxiety.

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Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The hard part comes in if you need to travel or night time wee’s. I learnt from experience don’t wait too long to do the night time training, in fact, if you can, do them together. We would take my eldest initially to the bathroom twice a night (he pretty much stayed asleep). I then cut it down to once a night when I went to bed, around 12h30 and eventually a month later he would wake himself if he really needed to go.

I hope my tips helped you in some way. Please feel free to comment on your experiences or share to mummies who may need some encouragement.

My Story: Surviving Hyperemesis Gravidarum

My beautiful friends epic battle with HG throughout both her pregnancies. A warrior, if I ever knew one.

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This was a hugely emotional and lengthy post for me to write, but if it can reach and help just one momma battling this, that’s enough.  My ‘morning sickness’ wasn’t just in the morning, it was all day, most days and on average I’d have my head slumped over the toilet bowl 22 times a day. I was one of the 0.3 – 2% of pregnant women who was affected by Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

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Congrats you’re pregnant! Have you booked your dentist appointment?

So hey, congratulations! You’re pregnant? YAY, Ok, so here’s something they NEVER warn you about… your teeth !

In between all the hospital tours, doctors check-ups, name searching and nursery set up, a trip to the dentist is certainly not high up on the list. But, did you know, that pregnancy can lead to dental problems? Most pregnant women are affected by some sort of dental problems including gum disease, sensitivity and tooth decay. The increased hormones in your body, surprisingly, affect your body’s response to plaque and of course increase blood flow. Pregnancy “Gingivitis” is quite common making your gums more easily irritated and inflamed.

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Lets not forget the glorious Morning sickness which can increase the amount of acid your mouth is exposed to. Effective brushing or flossing are often skipped because of gag reflex or tender gums. My mum warned me when I was pregnant with my first child that over and above all other checks and worries I should make a trip to the dentist my first priority (she learnt from a bad experience, 13 fillings after my brother was born). If you know me, you would know that I have a complete and utter paranoia about dentists. Ok, its not THAT bad, well actually, it kind of is. Naturally, I ignored her advice and didn’t go throughout my whole pregnancy. Fast forward 4 months post-partum and my teeth were so sensitive I could hardly chew anything! The first dentist I visited gave me utter heart failure and said I needed at least 9 fillings, but at that point, my teeth were too sensitive. She gave me fluoride and told me to come back in a week, thankfully, because as it turns out I didn’t need them and it was just a bad case of having zero enamel left on my teeth. A bit of fluoride treatment and a soft toothbrush did the trick. I was one of the lucky ones!

Many pregnant women are afraid to go to the dentist or think that you aren’t meant to get any dental work done whilst you are pregnant. Not only is that not true, but its even more important to see a dentist when you’re pregnant because of how it affects your teeth! That being said, the amount of women that I have since come across that have had to deal with teeth issues after having baby’s is shocking, so PLEASE mama’s take it from me, try to go at least once during your pregnancy and again within the first 6 months post-partum.

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The main issues that pregnant women face are: Bleeding/swollen gums and Sensitivity of teeth. Swapping to a soft bristle tooth brush and using a toothpaste specifically for sensitive teeth should help you along the way and don’t forget your pregnancy vitamins!

You got this mama, book that appointment so you can pose for all of those beautiful post baby pics with a happy, healthy smile 😉

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Party Inspiration – Cookies and Milk

So we have decided this year to NOT throw a birthday party for my soon to be 4-year-old, because he wants a slightly more expensive birthday present (A red Ferrari sports car to be exact, I think we may have to settle on a go-cart). I’ll be honest, its got me feeling like a pretty terrible mum, because If you are anything like me, you slightly obsess over children’s birthdays party. Well any party’s really. The creative side comes out and I spend months trolling the internet for ideas and ways to be original. I LOVE IT! It’s my side hobby. My bestie and I always say one day we will focus on it full-time and make it a career. I love to creative unique idea’s and I hate the stereotypical “Disney cartoon” themes, with cartoon characters plastered all over plates, though I did cave once my putting barney toppers on my sons 2nd birthday cakes.

Anyway the “not having a party” thing got me thinking of all the parties I’ve gone to and the ones that ive done so I thought I’d share some creative inspiration on parties gone by.

The first was my youngest 2nd birthday. He’s a tough one. He’s not really into any cartoon themes, nor does he have a favourite colour (yet), or a preferred teddy. The one thing he does obsess about however are biscuits (cookies for the folks over in the USA). As in completely and utterly obsessed. He cries for them when he wakes up, if he sees someone drinking tea he wants them, he wants to “dip dip” into the tea. Naturally, that was the selected theme. “Cookies and Milk”. I love it because the theme here in South Africa is not common, yet.

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Using blue and brown for the colour combinations I found some brown striped paper that I used as the base for decoration. We had chocolate and strawberry milk as well as milkshakes available and I went crazy with the cookie themed food.

First the cake – It was the idea around my whole party and I wanted it to be the “pièce de résistance”.

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It was one giant layered chocolate chip cookie with cream cheese icing. Super sweet and way to much to eat a huge slice, but it was one of those cakes I kept going back in for another spoon. If I made it again I would probably try to make it a little more “cakier”, but it was exactly what I wanted, a giant cookie. I found the recipe here.

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Additional desserts included Mini Oreo cheesecakes, and choc-chip cookie dough cupcakes which you can find on recipe girls site here. In hindsight I would change the icing on that recipe, I know it was meant to be “cookie dough” but I found the brown sugar to be too grainy, I prefer a smooth icing.

I made batches of mini cookies up and filled jars around the table with them as well as put some in the give away bags. For an activity the kids are at the perfect age to roll out and make their own sugar cookies and I had some pre made for them to ice as well.

It is such a fun theme and the possibilities are endless, I really wish I could do it over. The one thing I wanted to do, but I just ran out of time, was to give away glass jars filled with a layered cookie mix to take and bake at home. Maybe you could use that idea?

I’d love to hear some of your favourite party themes. Happy planning xx PS I know my photos aren’t professional 🙂