Why “The Beauty Challenge” helped me.

I’m a mom, with two boys aged 3 and 1. I am a stay at home mom with no nanny. So that means I run the house, I do the laundry, I wash the dishes and clean the toilets, shop for groceries, fetch the older one from school, handle all the extra mural appointments and activities, make dinner, and hopefully by the end of the day still have enough sanity left to have a conversation with my husband before passing out at 20h30.

Enter the Beauty Challenge.

My friend is a mom of three (newest one was 10 weeks prem and has just been introduced to the world), she works full time and has a hair and make up business after hours for special occasions and weddings. She recently posted a challenge on her social media to “post your look” as a mom, wife, to show us what you do to your hair and make up during the week (or don’t) and I decided to join in.

I take an extra five minutes in my morning, or just before going out, to add an extra touch to my make up, still haven’t been able to get to the hair yet – it’s thick and curly so my go to is to just leave it to curl and look natural which is fine for now. My make up is usually simple, eyebrow pencil and mascara, but since the challenge I’ve been taking extra time to try a bit more and add some extra steps to my routine. The thing that I’ve noticed is that my self confidence has lifted slightly and my self worth has deepened as I’m spending time on “me” and focusing on “myself” for an extra five minutes a day. The challenge was never meant to be intimidating, it was meant to say “start with what you normally do, add just one extra step, one time try a lipstick or different colour eye shadow, do a little extra and share with us on social media to see what you do”.

It has been encouraging for me to see how other women “do themselves up” for the day, whatever day that might be and glean some tips and tricks along the way, also it helps me to focus on having a little “me” time and feeling a little more confident within myself as a busy mom. My husband has noticed a difference in me and the increase in self worth in myself is filtering through to our marriage and our intimate life, so it’s a bonus on all levels!

Here are my few from the last couple days, I don’t do a lot of make up, but i’m learning so much from my friend and hopefully this will be the start of a new look for me as a mom, time to redefine myself before my 40th (in two years).


Friday, finally!

I don’t know about you moms, but life definitely moves faster when you have kids.  I mean it’s already Friday again, it was just last Friday two blinks ago!?!

This week has been a little better, mama bear is better after a round of anti-biotics for a very painful sinus infection.  We caught croup in my three year old early and managed to avoid a hospital visit – bonus!  My 11 month old seems to be migrating to a much better sleep schedule at night, so more sleep all round – double bonus!

Valentine’s day was on Wednesday, how did that go down in your homes?

My hubby had a bunch of beautiful roses delivered to my door.  I was busy hanging up the laundry so it just made me feel extra loved and glamorous.   He ALSO bought me a vacuum cleaner.  No, he’s not THAT kind of man, we needed a new one and we are at that stage of our relationship and income that milestones are celebrated with new household appliances.  Lame, I know, but we get quite a kick out of it.  Our fifth anniversary present to ourselves was a dishwasher…best gift ever, just by the way.

Hoping to get some serious relaxation in this weekend, hopefully nice weather to get down to the beach.  Hope you all have a lovely weekend!


Potty training 304

I say potty training 304 because that’s many tries it takes for the three year old to realise that when he needs to wee he needs to do it in the toilet and not in his pants, on my sofa, in my bed or in the car seat.  I’ve read a ton of other posts online about potty training in “three days” and potty training with “bribes” and the like, well let me tell you, not one of them have worked for us.

Not one.

Let me just say this, our three year old is quite proficient in getting himself onto the toilet and weeing in the toilet on his own, but try and “make” him go?  Hahahahahahaha!  It’s like trying to negotiate with Castro.  Here’s a little run down:

Me: Cal do you need the toilet?
Cal: Mmmmm no!
Me: Cal, lets go make a wee on the toilet.
Cal: No, I don’t need to wee.
Me: Cal we’re going to go sit on the toilet!
Cal: No, I don’t want a sweetie! (we have a jar of small chocolates for when he sits on the toilet)
Me: Cal! We are GOING to sit on the toilet!
Cal: No, don’t come with me!  Don’t come with me, I can do it!
*Slowly follow Cal into the bathroom to spy*
Cal: The wee’s all gone!
Me: okay off the toilet lets put your pants on.
Cal: I want a sweetie.
Me: *sighs in exasperation*

Is it just me?!  Am I the only mother who finds this whole exercise super frustrating?  Not to mention the poop underwear.  Can we talk about the poop underwear for a minute?  Today, we ventured out for lunch after school (no nappy), so tense mamma bear here keeps asking him if he needs to wee, watching him like a hawk.  We make it all the way home, he sits on the toilet, nothing.  I start feeding my one year old in his feeding chair, Cal is playing on one side then I see his pants are wet. *sigh* right, get dry pants, pull his pants off and he’s ALSO pooped in his pants! At this point the one year old is wailing for his next spoonful of food, my three year old is standing patiently waiting to get his bum cleaned.   So whilst pulling wet wipes out the packet with one hand, plopping a spoonful of pureed butternut into the one year old’s mouth, wiping the three year old’s bum, placing poop pants on the kitchen counter, feeding the one year old a spoonful of butternut, putting clean pants on the three year old, fetching a packet for the poop and a bucket for the soiled pants, placing another spoonful of butternut in the one year old’s mouth, and putting the soiled pants in to soak.

Right.  Everyone happy now?

Do you have any tips? Hillarious stories? Please share them with me in the comments!

A week of school lunches.

The bane of any mom’s existence, the school lunch.  How do you keep them nourished and still interested in their school lunch, especially a toddler?  The trick seems to be to give them small amounts of their favourites.  I’ve seen some fabulous ideas online but reality means that it isn’t always possible to keep it fancy, I try and keep it practical and budget friendly as much as possible.

My son is a HUGE fan of the peanut butter sambo, so that’s a standard, on white or brown, it doesn’t matter, he loves it.  I buy a big bag of Woolworths lightly dusted fruit dainties to keep the sugar down (the other brands are loaded with sugar).  I’ve recently discovered that mini pretzels are a great idea.  I try and add a special treat on a Friday, just as something special to end the week, but Monday to Thursday is pretty same-same as I keeps the treats for home rather.  Smoked viennas from Woolworths (less salt and weird ingredients than the other brands) or a small tub of flavoured yoghurt are also good.  Snap peas, baby corn and anything from the Oh My Goodness range at Checkers are all great options as they are healthier than the other branded alternatives.

Every day I send about 400ml of 100% juice with a splash of water added to dilute the sweetness and he’ll have a milki (First Choice or Woolworths) in the car on the way home, it’s a little home-time treat as we often do groceries or run errands after school.

I try and pick the lower sugar options, for instance a chocolate milk generally has less sugar than any other flavour, but then you can’t always win so I en devour to pick the lesser of the evils when he wants a treat.

In the end I think the school lunch shouldn’t be too far from what they would have if they were at home, because it’s familiar, they can identify with it and it’s more likely to be eaten, also, it’s easier to pack a lunch that you already have in your cupboards instead of trying to re-invent the wheel every day.

Keeping it Real.


I know I always en devour to keep my posts upbeat and real, it’s been a rough start to the year and I’m not too sure I’ll be able to keep my tone upbeat for a while so bear with me if my posts seem a little blander than usual.

Most of Christmas and New Year for us was spent trying to keep our baby boy healthy enough so that he could have his surgery early January 2018.

It worked!

We were scheduled for the 16th January.  Shaw was in hospital for a total of 12 days.  His operation took four hours and he spent a week in I.C.U. recovering afterwards. Travelling in and out of hospital daily to spend time with him and bracing your heart every time you have to leave and he cries cause you’re going.  Watching him have to endure major thoracic surgery and being on a ventilator, having a chest drain the size of a hose pipe in his rib cage and a scar about 25 cm long around his side.  My emotions where high, luckily I am on some pretty good medication to help me cope with all of this.

We are exhausted.

We could stay with family about 20 minutes from the hospital and my three year old got to have a decent holiday with his grandparents and he learned how to not be afraid of the swimming pool so we can start learning to swim now.

I can’t tell you how much my baby has changed in the short time that we’ve been home.  He drinks his milk in one sitting and sleeps like a rock.  He’s a happy kid, and only time will tell once his lungs are strong again what a difference it will make to not have him get a chest infection every three weeks.   His first year has been one of many challenges for us, but we rolled with it as much as we could, we have not given up and kept on going.

Our wonderful nanny vanished over December holiday time and no-one knows what’s happened to her, so mama is now truly a stay at home mom, doing all the chores and raising her two boys.  It’s a surreal feeling, but a sense of rest has filled the house and I am much more relaxed in my life, so only God could bring peace to what would have potentially been a very stressful situation.

I closed my nursery mobile making business (Asherlove Felt) in favour of family and time to rest, and I feel good that the chapter that kept me sane for so long has now come to a close and I am moving into a new season of motherhood, one I didn’t expect, but one that I am embracing and adjusting to slowly.

I’m hoping to write more about what we do as a family, how we save water, what my kids eat, how we do school and life and I’m hoping you’ll all come along for the ride as I share my mama world with you.

I promise, I’ll keep it light and fluffy most of the time 😉

New Years Changes

Happy New year!

Welcome to a fresh start, a new year, a new jam-packed diary and new changes to come.

I don’t believe in new years resolutions, but I do believe in using the holiday break to look back on the year and see where one can change and improve on things, which things one can leave in the past and how to implement new more efficient life practices.

For us it’s saving water and using time more wisely.

Our region is experiencing a terrible drought and severe water restrictions have been implemented.  We didn’t really know what or how to save water until we stayed with my  folks over Christmas.  My mom taught me all her tricks, so I’ll list them here.

1: put a bucket in the shower to collect the extra water.  Use this water to clean floors or clean the bathrooms with.

2: collect your washing machines last rinse cycle. This can be anything from 30 – 75L of water. We use empty 5L bottles (that we accumulated over time).  These bottles have lids so my kids won’t get into the water and keeps them safe.  We use this water to fill the toilet cisterns after we flush the toilet, wash the car, rinse off beach toys and water the lawn.  A usefull tip is to stop using softner in your wash as it’s not really needed and then the water won’t poison your grass.

3: when I wash baby bottles I do a load of dishes at the same time and use the water till it’s cold.  This is twice a day so I never have extra dishes to do in the morning – bonus!

4: we keep the kids bath water to flush the toilet aswell, and after both kids have bathed, I jump in and use the last bit of water.  I only shower now when I need to wash my hair, so we’re not wasting water.

If we owned the home we were staying in we would get tanks for the gutter water aswell, but living in a rental limits how much you can do.

I hope these tips have helped some of you, if you have a water saving tip let me know.

December for the win!

It’s FINALLY December! Yay! 

Summer, Christmas, melons (we love melons) and an excuse to drink champagne.

Our sleepy fishing village transforms during this time as thousands and thousands of South African holiday makers decend onto our beaches and the town changes into a buzzing holiday mecca.  It’s electric, the atmosphere is all sunscreen and seawater, and it makes you feel especially festive.  

I love it.  

How the vibe changes for four weeks and we get overcrowded by tons of sunburned Gautengers who mill around in their boardies and slops in the mall.  You don’t see many locals during this time though, they all vanish into the Christmas holiday abyss, it’s like a whole new town for four weeks over Christmas and New Year!

With that said, we will most likely have a very low key Christmas as my little one is scheduled for his surgery next week and we are expecting at least ten days in hospital, so we will have a bit of an “indoors” summer this year, so thinking of ways to make it special for my family fill my mind.

My business is closed for the festive season and I’m just tidying my work space and getting ready for our hospital visit now, it’s really weird not having any deadlines, but rest is good, so I’m not complaining.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!