Just a minute in 2013: I have an attitude of gratitude

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

 I was laying in bed a few nights ago just feeling so incredibly overwhelmed by all that I have to be grateful for this year. Honestly, as December draws to a close my mind is so firmly fixed on what an amazingly profound year it’s been for us.

The highlights reel reads as follows:

January: We spent the beginning part of this year in the beautiful country town of Greyton, family time is the best time after all. I also turned 29, last year of my twenties yo!

February: Back at work after the holiday leave. My belly was growing and truthfully summer kicked my arse plus dealing with all the belly touchers at work and in public really unnerved me. I was so awkward. I got to help redo a house for a family in need in the Capricorn township. Being pregnant the help I could offer was limited but being there really moved me.

March: I took a work related trip to Jo’burg. I was 35 weeks pregnant. The trip and work stressed me out so much. When I went to the gynea for a scan I found out there was a significant drop in my amniotic fluid and it shocked me into realizing that I need to rest up.

April: 1st of April was my last day in the office. My feet were swollen, my spirit was broken. I was so ready for Sophie to be born. When I went to the hospital for a check up on Friday the 12th I had no idea I would be admitted for high blood pressure and that Sophie would be born early on Monday the 15th. Guys, April literally rocked my life to its very core. Giving birth, becoming a mother, all those emotions. Oh my gosh. I feel teary writing about it now, it was complete magic.

May: Regan turned 35, I regret that his birthday was a bit of a non-event because it was so close to Sophie’s birth. May was such a beautiful month, Autumn was settling in and Regan and I were navigating our way through our new roles as parents. The initial shock was gone and we were just so elated to have this amazing little girl as the center of our world.

June: Regan’s paternity leave ended, the cold set in, hello winter. It fucking snowed (or was it sleet?) Everyone freaked out regardless. I watched a lot of Master Chef, made a lot of delish dinners and got super fat.

July: Sophie laughed for the first time. It made me ugly cry tears of happiness. I felt like I waited so long to hear that little chuckle. Now she laughs everyday, it makes my heart so glad. Sophie’s spikey hair also started falling flat, finally, her trademark pineapple hair style was gone. My gran turned 80, I’m so blessed to still have my maternal grandmother and both my paternal grandparents in my life, every time they see Sophie I wish I could bottle the joy I see in their eyes.

August: My mom turned 50! Oh my word, what a spring chicken. Honestly guys, knowing that my mom is still around and still active and living her best life, being such an awesome granny, ag I just want to be that way when Sophie has a baby of her own one day. August was the month that Sophie mastered both the art of rolling over and the art of sitting up perfectly straight.

September: Spring and flowers and play time and oh my glory Sophie is 5 months, how did that happen. I felt like the first 5 months flew by, I wrote this post about being a mom. Teething began seriously and we also started being much more social as a family, by that I mean we actually left the house to do shit.

October: Fat, fat, baby. Sophie and solid food became fast friends, fast. She really is my child. Little glutton. Sophie & I reached our 6 month breastfeeding mark -- YESS!!! We spent a butt load of money on her new summer wardrobe. I hung out with my grandparents so much, cups of tea and paging through photo albums.

November: No filter Friday happened and I took a picture of myself and realized how much grey hair I have! For real!

December: Sophie’s first Christmas! She was totally in awe of the Christmas tree, the wrapping paper her new toys. I never knew the magic of Christmas until now. Sharing this holiday with a baby makes it so much more. We hosted lunch, my family and Regan’s. I made duck and a bunch of sides, there was gammon and trifle and over consumption for days.

Can I just say, as far as years go, 2013 rocked.

I’ve also read so many amazing blog posts, posts that have moved me so much, guys you’ve made me cry, you’ve made me happy and angry and excited and you’ve left me in awe of the human spirit. If you want to feel some of what I’ve felt read on:

There are two posts that I read and re-read constantly, this one and this one. I don’t want to say much about them, or how they made me feel, but I will say, the first time I read Diana’s post my heart felt raw with pain her. One thing I have learned this year is that motherhood is more than just you and your baby, it’s a bond you share with women all over the world. We laugh together in the good times and when it’s time to cry, you’re not alone, we are all crying with you.

I’m so grateful for everything I have guys. I’m looking forward to January, Adeline is coming to visit and I’m turning 30! So here’s to a ridiculously magical 2014!


11 Best DIY Gift Wrap Ideas from Pinterest

Sunday, December 15, 2013

This Christmas is so different from past Christmas' for so many reasons, firstly it's Sophie's first Christmas, (I feel so much pressure here guys) and also it's our first Christmas with me being a stay at home mom (oh my god the pressure is actually killing me). I grew up in a family where Christmas came with a few traditions but for the most part the main focus was family. This is exactly hat I want for my little rosebud. Obviously I've gone into Mother Christmas over drive, trying to craft-diy-homemade myself into an early grave. The madness has to end.

But the last stage of my "Nikki is supermom and can/will craft the shit out of anything and everything" phase is wrapping paper. I so want to get creative this year with my gift wrapping. Naturally I dived down the Pinterest rabbit hole and can I just say, people are muchos loco to be making gifts that look like this, this, this or this. If I ever gave you a gift looking like that, best believe the box is empty because the wrapping is gift enough.

Through the craziness I did manage to find some beautiful, simple ideas for DIY gift wrap. Here are my 11 favorites:

Happy wrapping guys! So looking forward to my late night Instagram searches on Christmas eve to see how everyone's wrapping looks, here's hoping mine is worthy of at least one jealous "like"


The Lazy Mom's Guide to Making Baby Food: Apples

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A small confession, Sophie's been on solids for 2 months now, but this week is the first time I'm making her food from scratch. I've been buying the pre made Olli Organics and Hipp Organics baby foods which are delicious. I started off buying food because I was so clueless about how to make it from scratch and my first attempt at sweet potato ended up in my face (Sophie spat it out). Now I'm braver and ready to tackle this homemade baby food thing!

American's refer to this as applesauce, to me its actually just stewed apples? It's very simple to make and babies seem to love it.

You will need:
♦ 10 small red apples
♦ 1 cup of water
♦ a pinch or a stick of cinnamon

♦ peel the apples
♦ slice around the core - big apples should yield 8 slices per apple, the small ones yield about 4 slices
♦ toss into a pot and pour over the cup of water - the water doesn't have to cover the apples
♦ bring to the boil
♦ stir frequently to ensure the apples don't burn
♦ the apples are cooked when you can easily mash them with a fork.
♦ mash/blend to the desired consistency and serve

This recipe can be frozen for up to 3 months, or 48 hours in the fridge.

The following foods go great with apples, mix any of these with the stewed apples for a flavor boost:
♦ Rice, Oatmeal, Barley and Mixed Grain Homemade Baby Cereals
♦ Bananas
♦ Avocado
♦ Blueberries
♦ Pears
♦ Sweet Potatoes
♦ Carrots
♦ Summer Squash - Zucchini, Yellow

Check out Weelicious for awesome first food ideas/recipes and also great family meal plans!

For Good Times: In Good Company's new party planning book - WANT!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

If you haven't visited In Good Company yet (either online or in the real world) you are missing out. They stock the most darling of all the party supplies. Honestly I cannot walk into their shop without wanting to plan a party. Now they've just launched their very own party planning book 'For Good Times'.

Owner of the store, Julie Gallager describes the book as follows: 
“Following in the footsteps of In Good Company’s in-store experience and daily blog posts, here is a book full of exactly what we love to do all day – share stylish design inspiration and decor ideas for parties. What’s more, this book combines easy-to-execute craft activities, simple step-by-step recipes and “push print” stationary; all with a keen attention to doing-it-yourself”.
 I'm off to Cavendish Square now to go and get my copy! My hands are itching to page through and start planning Sophie's 1st birthday!


Just A Minute in November: Thank God You're Over!

Monday, December 02, 2013

Sophie tries to eat her night light every morning, I've given up and now I offer it to her instead of waiting for her to grab it. 
November was a long and tiring month. Sophie's teething is cray cray out of control and Regan has been working like an ad machine to get ready for his 20 days of leave WOOOOT!! So if this "Just a Minute" seems a little dull its because, well November was quite a dull month for us :) 

Visiting: Kirstenbosch Gardens for walks and picnics and just to you know, revel in the utter beauty that is Cape Town 
Planning: My Christmas gifts, I have a few left to get so I am quite happy to be this far ahead. Last year all gifts where purchased on the 23rd because yolo. 
Watching: Brooklyn Nine Nine (so funny) and Girl Most Likely (you must watch this, its awkward and Kristen Wiig is fantastic as usual.) 
Listening to:  Not much, I am dying to get some new music. Haven't downloaded anything since before Sophie was born. 

Blogging About: 

Hello December! I'm so happy you're finally here!! 


Oh & in case you're wondering I am suffering for motherhood blues right now

I try to shy away from rant type blog posts because I know that what I care about you might not care about, what bothers me might not bother you. I know emotional diarrhea can be off putting and send you clicking in the opposite direction but I actually don't care. I just have to get this out.

A stormy weekend spent indoors

Monday, November 18, 2013

A storm raged this weekend guys. I woke up in the early hours of Saturday morning to a rumble that I thought could not actually be the rain, but it was. There was sever flooding in some parts of the peninsula and so many people suffered with damages to their property and people in the informal settlements lost their homes. The Vergelegen Mediclinic in Somerset West was so badly affected they had to evacuate patients. Whenever we have these bad Cape storms it always underscores my gratitude for the things the I have.

This weekend was so self indulgent. We stayed indoors and enjoyed delicious food, family time and we napped till we couldn't nap anymore.

Have you tried the premixed Indian cuisine spices from Woolies? I made the Butter Chicken one on Friday night, it was so divine.  The spices are so simple to use, all you need to add is the protein and cream and canned tomatoes. It took 25 minutes from start to finish. We also got the heat & eat Naan bread from Woolies.

Sophie is so entertaining. She has the most expressive face I've seen on a baby, and I'm not just saying that because she's my baby. She really does. This weekend she found her bliss playing with her feeding spoon, my t-shirt, her lion slipper & her paci. I don't know why we even bother to buy toys.

All three of us spent most of Saturday in bed :) It's not often that we get to spend so much time together, Regan often has gigs to get to and Sophie & I have our little routine of eating and sleeping and going out. Having all this time together has made me so impatient for Regan's summer leave to start. A whole 20 days to enjoy Cape Town and Sophie together! Magic!

 Hope you all had a great weekend too! Here's to a productive & rewarding week!

Friday Finds: The coffee table books I wish I owned

Friday, November 15, 2013

I love books, before I had Sophie I would read at least 1 book a week. Since Sophie was born though, time has become a luxury and reading an even bigger luxury. So naturally I find my focus on books shifting from the hefty novels I used to read to the more picture filled coffee table variety.

Life Lately According to Instagram #3

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Top row from the left: Couple selfie because this man owns my heart + It's impossible for the insta-updates not to contain snaps of my beautiful little girl guys + Waiting in the car for Ella to finish OT, contemplating how much my Converse have gone through... 

Middle row from the left: Teething is out of control, Sophie wakes up with an itchy mouth often and its usually at 4am and she usually cannot go back to sleep after + So I usually end up looking like this most days.. thank you teething + Ella's school had their end of year picnic and Jazz evening, Ella won the potato on the spoon race! I was the proudest aunt in attendance

Bottom row from the left: Regan dj'd the Touch Bass rooftop party again last weekend, he always pulls weird faces while he's picking his music for the night. Love the giant stuffed tiger in the background + I went along to the rooftop party because its been 16 months since I've had a drink and dance and I needed it + Summer evening out listening to music with the baby.... bliss

Happy happy! Clappy clappy! My blog is 4 years old!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I started this blog in November 2009. I was living in Norway at the time and initially I had hoped it would be a way for me to update my friends and family in South Africa. Truthfully it has changed so much in the last 4 years. Now it a place where I can share my thoughts on motherhood and my adventures in Cape Town, it’s a place where I can inspire myself and (hopefully) others. I love writing this blog and since Sophie was born I love it even more. So it’s in the spirit of all that love and inspiration I share with you my very first giveaway!

There’s a saying, a party without cake is just a meeting... in celebration of my blogs 4th birthday I am sponsoring a give away: a stunning Le Creuset batter bowl and 3 Nomu Baking Kits to one lucky reader! All you have to do to enter is:

1} comment below to tell me which colour bowl you’d like and the first thing you’ll bake with it.
2} follow me on twitter
3} tweet about the giveaway by linking to this post and mentioning me or #betweendaydreams 

The winner will be drawn on the 30th November 


Happy baking folks!

#lovecapetown: Family fun day at the Bay Harbor Market, Naps & Daddy's that do hair

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

How glorious was the weather on Saturday? Not too hot, not cold, just the perfect amount of wind blowing. It's so easy to love this city.

Naturally, like all Cape Tonians we scrambled to find something to do, After receiving two complimentary tickets to the Baby Expo I had my heart set on shopping but as soon as I opened my eyes I knew I could not waste the day inside an over air-conditioned, windowless convention centre buying things Sophie doesn't need.

Life Lately According to Instagram #2

Friday, November 01, 2013

From the top left: walks down Wynberg Main Road + flowers from my father in-law + Sophie had solid food for the first time + Sophie loved solid food so much she tried to eat the bits left on her bib + breaking my clean eating diet for a little Burger King action (it's the little things) + finishing off Sophie's summer wardrobe with some organic cotton bibs from Earth Child and a lovely pink sun hat + finishing my summer look off with yet another coral gloss, this time it's 'Lush' by Dior + being constantly reminded that Christmas is on the way and I've yet to buy a single gift + visits with my maternal grandmother and flash backs to my youth.

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10 things new dads need to know about new moms

Regan & Sophie, just a few hours after she was born. 
(Disclaimer: these 10 things are unique to my experience as a new mom and also my experience dealing with a new dad. It’s different for everyone yes, but I think generally we pretty much all feel the same way once our little bundle of love joins the real word)

ONE// A new mom feels ugly: Once Sophie was born I had so many conflicting feelings towards my body. On one hand I felt amazing, like the greatest being on earth, I mean I grew a tiny human (!). On the other hand I felt gross. Like seriously gross. My body was stretched out and ill proportioned, things were saggy where they used to be pert, loose where they once were tight and oh my god let’s not even get started on the leaky body parts. Now add to that the fact that I couldn’t spend more than 2 minutes in front of the mirror and none of my clothes fitted me, I swear even my fat pants were too tight.

Just a Minute in October

October has been the month of trips down memory lane. I've been focussing so much on family. Having a child forces you to confront your own mortality in a way. I want to ensure that Sophie is raised with a good sense of family and belonging, like I was. That's been my theme this month. Here are the highlights though.

I need these socks in my life: Bonne Maison

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A little secret about me is that I only own 1 pair of sneakers and 1 pair of socks. I hardly ever have a reason to wear sneakers/socks and if I do its always my all stars and my grey and purple polka dot socks. So now you know, and now you'll understand why this post is quite a milestone for me, I've never coveted socks before.

We took a wander down Wynberg Main Road

Monday, October 21, 2013

I often drive through Wynberg Main Road and when I do I often comment on how much I'd love to have the time to just take a little stroll and look at all the second hand furniture shops. On Saturday we did exactly that!
From the left: Budget Brides - because every bride wants to feel like a budget bride. The vintage shop that has no name. The Wynberg hotel that is now a saddle shop. 
Only my dream summer ride... 
From the left: How fugly/ironically awesome is this bridesmaid dress. LOVE chair from Cape Cottage Antiques. 
Now I can check this off my bucket list!


Friday Finds: The 5 Summer Salads I Can't Wait To Make

Friday, October 18, 2013

I have this super long list of all the things I hate about summer. The one thing I don't hate is that its salad season, you see I am the anomaly that is the fat girl that adores salad. Every since I was a youth I've annoyed my family by making "fancy" salads to take along to braai's. Keep in mind that to my family cous-cous was way to uppity for a simple braai. Last year I converted quite a few family members with the beetroot, butternut, goats cheese & roasted sunflower seed salad I got used to taking/making on braai days.

This summer I have 5 salads I'm dying to make for braai's and bring along's: there's a fruit salad, a potato salad, a pasta salad, a green salad and a warm salad:

{the fruit salad} Kiwi & Pear Salad with an Orange Dijon Vinaigrette

{the green salad} Spinach And Avocado Salad

{the potato salad} Bacon Potato Salad -- I'm sure this one will be a hit

{the pasta salad} Pesto Tortellini Salad with Asparagus

{the warm salad} Ode to Summer: Roasted Vegetable Salad

I think I might actually make the tortellini one for dinner tonight!
Happy Friday peoples

Nursing Sophie: My thoughts on breastfeeding (eek, so not a trendy topic)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"There are three reasons for breast-feeding: the milk is always at the right temperature; it comes in attractive containers; and the cat can't get it." --Irena Chalmers

In my last trimester I had a paradigm shift with regards to my views on breastfeeding. That is to say, my views on me breastfeeding my baby and not breastfeeding in general (because I believe that the decision is yours to make as a mother). Early on in my pregnancy I was quite against the idea of breastfeeding. Like many new moms I was bombarded with information, a lot of it negative. There were tales of warm weather causing the breast milk to clot and boobs wrapped in cabbage leaves and boobs that were misshaped as a result of breast feeding. Do not even get me started on the dime-a-dozen tales about cracked nipples and oh the pain. I was terrified. In my last trimester I made the decision not to listen to anything negative, about breastfeeding or natural birth or mothering in general. I wanted to surround myself with positive accounts of the previously mentioned subjects. It may sound odd but the biggest influence on my feelings came from reading blogs written by beautiful, amazing moms in blog land that took the time to write about their love for breastfeeding.

Before mine and Sophie’s nursing chapter comes to an end, I wanted to share our story, partly for my personal record and partly to pay it forward with regards to helping other women embrace breastfeeding. It’s a bit of a lofty goal maybe.

As Sophie passes her 6-month mark it is so surreal and awesome to me that we are still exclusively breastfeeding. In the beginning I had hoped to make it 4 months and that’s come and gone and now I am hoping to make it to a year ☺ We’ve had our share of ups and downs and there were plenty of challenges that I needed to overcome, like feeding her when we were out. In the beginning I only left the house in between feeds. If things fell during feeding hours I would not attend them. This wasn’t because Sophie was difficult but rather because I felt so aware of what I was doing and so conscious of the fact that not everyone feels comfortable seeing a baby being breastfed, which in turn made me really uncomfortable.

Let’s also just pause a minute to acknowledge how completely spirit breaking breastfeeding can be to a new mom. No one told me how sore it was going to be. I read so much while I was pregnant and at best it was described as “mildly uncomfortable” what I felt in the beginning far surpassed discomfort, I had days when I would cry while Sophie was feeding. But the mind is a powerful thing, and pushing through the pain and “discomfort” got me to the point where breastfeeding wasn’t just comfortable, it was this beautiful bond I got to share with my daughter.

I’ve only expressed milk a handful of times which makes it hard to have date nights and time alone but Regan is very supportive and Sophie enjoys her milk straight from the source, so we make a few sacrifices here and there for now. The feeling of knowing I am her sole source of nourishment and knowing that I am able to provide her with a sense of safety and comfort no toy or blankey can provide is what spurs me on. I treasure the memories of Sophie’s new, tiny body in my arms during the quiet hours of the night, just us. And now her body is so long, her legs hang off my lap, and she'll sometimes take a brake to smile up at me with her big blue eyes. I get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes when I think about the day when our breastfeeding journey will come to an end. It has been so special and as the time to introduce solid food approaches I am forced to acknowledge and accept that this incredible time of bonding and togetherness is nearly over :’(

Sophie is 6 months today!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It’s been 184 days since my beautiful little baby was born! I blinked and 6 months just passed me by. I feel like it was just yesterday that I brought her home from the hospital, all tiny and puffy eyed.

The past 6 months have been so completely amazing, terrifying, exhausting and at times overwhelming. There are days when I feel like the worst mom in the world and days when I feel like there is nothing I cannot do.

Regan and I have evolved so much as a couple in the last 6 months. We have gotten to know each other all over again. We’ve succumbed to our baser needs and displayed moments of total shame, like raging fights over who’s had the least amount of sleep, who knows more about a particular baby ailment or my personal favorite, who woke the baby. But in between these small arguments I come to know him not just as Regan the love of my life, but also Regan the amazing father, Regan the expert baby hair washer, Regan the patient man who will put up with my unwashed hair and unshaven legs without once commenting on either.

Getting to know my baby has been, for lack of a better word, incredible – I wrote a bit about what being a mom feels like to me so I wont go on about it again – suffice as to say, she melts my heart with every giggle and gurgle and watching her discover this world she lives in has been so exciting. She has made me believe in miracles.

Life… whoa life… doo do do doo! It’s pretty grand right now.

Kids Birthday Parties: It's totally OTT

Monday, October 14, 2013

Yesterday I had a tiny little rant on Twitter about kids birthday parties and how over the top things can get, specifically with regard to party packs, party bags or party favors. It was pointed out that in addition to it being a totally unnecessary expense, it's also a little insane to send the poor little sugar filled bodies home with more sugar in their party party packs.

My sister & I are busy planning my niece's birthday and we've ben scouring Pinterest for alternatives to the traditional sweet/sugar/msg fest that is the South African party pack. Here are some of my favorite pins:

Yellow party bag for boys & girls 

Pink Bubble Bear Party Bag

Boys Nature Party Bag

Boys Dinosaur Party Bag 

Girls Pirate Party bag
Images via: Carousel

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Gosh darn I LOVE Mr. Printables

Mr Printatbles is an awesome site. If you are stuck at home on a rainy day with some bored kiddo's and a working printer, head over there and get lost in their beautiful diy printable wonderland.

The printables are quick to download, easy to use and so so pretty. They have a wide selection of holiday, craft, celebration and even decor printables.

My absolute favorites are:

Bird Finger Puppets
3D Alphabet
Letters from Santa
Santa Cones

Go and download ALL the printables now!


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