Thursday, November 01, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa

I've been doing a ton of soul searching lately. I don't know what brought it on, maybe it's the flash  of Spring in the air, maybe it's the inevitable stock take we do as the year slowly ends, maybe I'm just feeling like I have a lot to be thankful for right now... Whatever the reason, I'm really feeling that whole "attitude of gratitude" that Oprah used to preach about.

I'm usually quite a cynical shit on my social channels but I want to turn it around a bit. For the month of November, I'm just going to be grateful. I thought about doing this in an introspective way but that's so boring. So I've put together a little gratitude photo challenge that I'll be doing on the gram.

If you're feeling like you need to sit back and bask in all the good in your life, then please join me. Here are the prompts:

If you're taking part, I'd love it if you used this hashtag: #wathgratefuloctiber and tag me if you want @nikkilincoln - I'd love to follow your posts and spread the love!



Monday, October 29, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa

You guys might have noticed that I am on a bit of an intentional weight-loss journey. I’m one month in and I wanted to share a little update on how things are going on where my mind is at right now.


The title of this post has probably given you a hint; things are not going too well. At the beginning of this process, I decided to take a phased approach to shed the extra kilos I am carrying around. To me, this phased approach looked something like: attending 2 – 3 ABC Bootcamp session a week and continuing to eat what I have been eating. I mentioned in a previous post, that one of my biggest learning thus far has been that exercise is really only 10% of the journey for me. The biggest and most terrifying issue remains to be my unhealthy relationship with food. Not addressing this has lead to one very surprising and disheartening thing, weight gain. Yep. For the first time in years, I have accepted that I need to lose weight and the only thing that has happened is that I have actually gained weight. It’s difficult not to feel like a bit of a failure. I know that I have gained muscle and muscle is heavier than fat, but still…


Today will be the start of the first week of adjusting my diet to a portion-controlled eating plan. I have 8 weeks until I go on leave for the Festive Season and while I don’t plan to binge out during the period, I recognise that it may be harder to stick to a strict eating plan during this time. So I am taking the next 8 weeks as a full-on total challenge to myself to stick to my new eating plan. I will then take a 2-week break and pick it up again in early January.


Bootcamp remains to be a happy place for me. While I have not enjoyed amazing weight loss, I have never felt better, stronger or fitter than I do right now. The first month was difficult, the workouts get progressively harder, but I have also struggled a bit with my schedule. Finding time to leave the house to do a workout when you have 2 small kids and a partner that doesn’t get home early is a big hurdle and there were many times this month where I questioned how realistic it is for me to continue on this program with my current schedule. In the end, I decided to stick with it. I was going to share a really great before and after pic I had taken at the start of this program and again 2 weeks ago, but truthfully, I have had a bit of a regression and that after picture no longer reflects the way I look.



I have always felt like this blog is my place to be the most authentic version of myself, my place to share my truths and be honest about the kind of life I lead. So I am here now to tell you guys that its one month in, I am feeling mixed emotions, on one hand, there have been incredible achievements and on the other, I’ve been feeling like a bit of a failure. I did an Instagram poll a while back and asked what sort of content you’d all like to see on the @fatmomonadiet account and the response was largely mixed, some of you would like more posts about the diet side of things and some of you would like to know about the emotional side of this journey. I can’t please everyone, but I am going to try and do a bit of both.

It’s been a tough month for many reasons, and I always find it easier to deal with challenges by simply ignoring them. I would not like to confront my unhealthy food habits, the idea of really sitting down and unpacking the “why” behind my binge eating is incredibly unappealing, but I am pushing myself to do better, for me.

I have started a health and weight loss bullet journal and some of the spreads I am including are:
  • My why 
  • Starting measurements
  • Long-term goals
  • Periodic stats tracker
  • Favourite healthy meals
  • Weekly workout plan
  • Weight loss tracker
  • Plan for the week
  • Daily tracker
  • Short-term goals
  • Rewards & achievements
  • Notes about what I’ve learned
  • A brain dump about my day
  • A list of obstacles and how to overcome them
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Journaling and reflection pages
Navigating body issues is a freaking minefield. If you’re not struggling through your own internal monologue, you’re facing the external noise that constantly leads you to question if what you’re doing is the right thing.
One of my favourite bloggers, Kelly, from @simplelivingfolks posted this a few weeks ago:

I’m incredibly grateful the body positive movement exists. It was the body positive community that helped me unpack my hurt around my body. It helped me realize I was more than a body and that laid the foundation for my shifting mindset in how I view self care. . But there is a problem in the body positive community: We are not kind or welcoming towards intentional weight loss. I have seen it over and over. When someone starts *purposefully* losing weight, they’re automatically questioned on if they’re “really” body positive and if they “actually” love themselves or accept other plus size people. . I’ve seen articles go viral that practically discourage intentional weight loss, telling people, “90% of people who lose weight gain it all back,” and paint the image that everyone who is purposefully losing weight is suffering on some one egg-one yogurt-one granola bar a day starvation diet when that isn’t true. I’ve seen prominent body positive accounts make memes about how they don’t care about my progress in the gym and we should never be public or proud about our weight loss because someone who is the size we used to be will see that and feel bad about themselves and that’s selfish of me. . Hear this: My weight loss is NOT a judgment of your weight. This is about me. It’s not about you and I’m not judging you any more than I’d be judging brunettes if I suddenly went blonde. (Meaning = not at all) When it comes to you, so long as you’re safe, happy, and loved, that’s all that matters to me. We need to question this cultural mentality that the personal decisions of other people are a personal judgment of us. (Whether that be diet, parenting choices, or other lifestyle decisions) . I’m not losing weight because I hate myself. You cannot hate yourself into loving yourself. I had to START from a place of love to embark on these goals. I’ve lost 43 lbs so far and I’m not sorry about that, but that doesn’t mean I am judging anyone who weighs 43+ lbs more than me either. This is about me. And my intentional weight loss is not a judgment of your body. . Thanks for listening ❤️ This is something that’s been bothering me for awhile and I just needed to express it.
A post shared by Kelly • Simple Living Folks (@simplelivingfolks) on

I know many people will roll their eyes when I say this, but a portion of my struggle to deal with my unhealthy eating habits stems from the little nagging voice that keeps whispering in my ear about self-love and acceptance and this notion that being on a diet means I hate myself. I don’t and I am slowly working to get to a place where I can comfortably shut out all that incredibly loud noise which inspires so many others but just makes me feel bad about myself and my choices.

This post has turned into an unintentional brain dump, as it sometimes does I guess.
I would love to hear from you guys. Who’s on a diet? How are you feeling about it? Does part of your diet include examining the why behind your weight gain? What are you doing to address those underlying issues?

Don’t forget, if you’d like a voucher for one free Bootcamp session, pop your email address into the comments section of this post!


Wednesday, October 17, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa

I’ve always been quite adamant that there is no such thing as a work/life balance. We just kind of sail along through the stress and anxiety and money worries and tantrums and meetings and deadlines, all the while doing our best to carve out as much happiness as we can for as long as we can. Yes having a sense of routine, a healthy diet, a good exercise schedule all helps us cope better. But this elusive sense of balance that we’re all supposed to magically strive for is a bit of an illusion.

On Monday I had a crazy day. I am struggling to put my finger on the exact event or moment that caused things to spiral, but by the time I got into bed and switched on my guided meditation, my sanity was in tatters. I feel like this is happening more frequently than ever before. I sat for a minute to think about this. Why am I suddenly feeling so overwhelmed? Is it the time of the year? Has my life gotten harder? I decided to jot down the blow by blow series of events that happen on average in my day. I thought perhaps there may be a few hidden clues. A map that leads back towards my sanity, maybe?


05.07 Grace is crying. I'm pretending to be asleep in the hope that Regan gets up. He doesn't.
05.16 Grace goes back to sleep but in our bed.
05.30 Alarm goes off. I briefly contemplate getting up and doing a workout. I hit snooze instead.
05.45 I drag my tired ass out of bed and make 2 cups of coffee
05.49 I try to wake Regan with the promise of freshly made coffee. He assures me that he's awake and getting up. I go to the lounge to drink my coffee.
06.00 No sign of Regan. I head back to our room to wake him up. He's up.
06.04 Grace wakes up because the bed is empty.
06.09 Grace starts nagging to watch Pepper Pig. She can't actually talk but she aggressively gestures in the direction of the laptop while shouting "Pig daddy! Pig daddy!"
06.10 Regan goes off to take his daily 45-minute long shit with his phone.
06.15 I remember my coffee is still in the kitchen. I reheat it.
06.30 I finally get into the shower
06.45 I'm dressed for work. I head into the kitchen to pack all the bags and get ready to leave.
06.50 Regan gets into the shower.
07.00 Sophie wakes up.
07.00-07.20 Sophie cries to wear a dress even though it's clearly pants weather
07.30 Regan’s out the bathroom and getting dressed. Sophie's relented and agrees to wear the pants but refuses to dress.
07.35 Our nanny arrives
07.40 We're all pretty much ready to leave.
07.41 Sophie needs to make a poo
07.59 We actually leave
08.05 We're on the way. Sophie had a meltdown because her seat belt was "cutting into her face”.
08.20 I arrive at work and feel at peace for the first time since opening my eyes
08.20-16.00 I pretend like I'm not incredibly fucking exhausted and totally capable of doing my job
16.00-17.00 I sit in a meeting casually acting like I'm totally invested even though I'm in a flat panic internally because I'm 30 minutes late to let my nanny off and I know that this means she'll only get home at 7 pm
17.16 On the way home
17.29 Arrive at home
17.40 Try to think about what to make for dinner. I put off the monthly grocery shop for so long I can no longer afford to do it so eating is a budget affair.
17.50 Message Regan a list for the shop because fuck going to pick n pay with 2 tired, naggy little monsters
18.00 Regan gets home and immediately we start supper.
18.20 We eat
18.45 Bathtime
19.30 Quite time before bed
20.00 Bedtime
20.30 I go into a total panic because I still need to send the action points from two meetings on and edit a report and clear my inbox. Oh shit, I also have to prepare for 2 meetings tomorrow and reply to someone who is waiting for urgent feedback.
22.59 Practically done with work. I consider maybe putting the rest off until tomorrow. Maybe we'll be early for once?
23.34 Shit I forgot to take my anxiety meds. Will it fuck me up if I just take them now? OK, I'll just miss today.
00.04 Should I listen to a guided meditation or read? I'm so tired I'm not sure it matters. I fall asleep and wake up when my phone painfully falls onto my face. I put my phone on the bedside table and go back to sleep. There's a vague feeling of pain coming from the part of my cheek that connected with my phone.

03.22 Grace is crying.....

Sitting back and examining my day in this format actually leaves me feeling quite grateful that I have any sense of sanity left at all. I also know that most moms who read this will be able to relate quite strongly to it. Yes, this is my life as a working mom, but I am quite sure that many, many stay at home moms feel exactly like this too. Why? I think it all goes right back to that old chestnut about how we, as women, carry the mental load.

What’s that you say? No idea what the mental load is? Well, read this for an in-depth breakdown. The rub of it is that as women we are usually forced (by default) into the role of gatekeeper for all the things, all the information, all the care, and yes, all the stress that comes along with all those aforementioned responsibilities.
It’s too much and when you leave it unchecked (like I often do) it has the power to totally fray you down to the bone and you’ll be left in a similar version of my current state:

Crying on the couch with a migraine and an infected eye eating Nutella out the jar with your finger as a spoon because life just feels like the deep side of the ocean and you’d rather just sink than continue trying to tread water.



Friday, October 12, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa


There is something to be said for the mob mentality that seems to go hand in hand with social media. Someone does something we believe is inherently wrong, we jump up and down with indignation and rush to call them out, to urge them to acknowledge their wrongness, to push our beliefs and opinions on them. This is the world we live in now. We own our opinions with absolute rapaciousness and we aggressively strive to have these opinions recognised as fact.

At the end of August the mom blog community was rocked with scandal (I am being dramatic), and in the wake of this moment, I felt like total shit. I realised how incredibly susceptible to absorbing residual drama my personality is. It’s so crazy, what is it about my brain that calls out for drama and scandal. Why do I grab the popcorn and add logs to fire while watching someone else’s life fall apart online? Why is this something that I can only see as negative in hindsight? I started September feeling like a bully. Feeling like all the habits I work hard to cultivate in my children were so far out of reach for me personally. It felt horrible.

I read this post that Laetitia from Poppet Patch wrote about putting down the things that don’t serve you anymore and her post was the catalyst for an Oprah-esq AHA moment

I don’t want to be the kind of person that views other people’s pain as entertainment, even if this feeling is very internal. I don’t want to walk around the streets of my mind and find them crowded with other people’s drama – God knows, I have enough of my own.

So during the month of September, I made an active effort to be a better kind of person. To not view my opinions as fact, to accept that we can disagree and still be friends, to try harder to walk away from conversations that make me feel negative and (this is a big one) to steer clear of gossip. I said I am trying, I slip up often but I am so much more aware of my thought process now, and I feel like I am able to check myself before I wreck myself.


September was also the month I started my Journey to Summer Challenge with ABC Boot Camp – let it be known that Journey to Summer is the name of the program and not, in fact, my approach to getting fit and healthy, this is about so much more than just summer – which I’ve written extensively about over the month. You can also keep up to date by following me on Instagram. One of the best things about joining this workout program has been the way that I feel, and not necessarily the way that I look. Simple things like walking up a bridge, hell, even getting off the couch, just feel a lot easier now. And I am only 2 weeks in, imagine how awesome I will feel in December when the challenge is done?

If you’re looking for some inspiration to get back to being active, check out this post written by Belinda from Making Mountains. 

There are 10 weeks to go until I go on leave and I am using that time frame to really apply myself to adopting the good, healthy habits I need to carry me through the rest of this weight loss journey because honestly, exercising is only about 10% of the battle for me. I need to work really hard to overcome my negative relationship with food and that part is never easy. I will post more about what I am doing to improve my relationship with food soon.


In addition to the working out, the lifestyle changes and the drama, I was also honoured to be featured in Shante Hutton’s Roses for Thorns series where I got the chance to talk about my miscarriages. I would love it if you popped over there and gave it a read. Miscarriage is this really soul destroying thing so many women go through and I just want all women who have gone through it or are going through it to know that they are not alone. We can lessen our pain by sharing it.


We had our first trip to the beach.
I got way fancy for a work dinner. 
We got some awesome new books from Bargain Books.
We loved each other fiercely. 
We fought bitterly.
I got new shoes. 


Year One by Nora Roberts – will post a review soon.
The weight of school admin – as if moms don’t have enough to worry about – The Mom Diaries
The reasons for home-schooling in South Africa – Harassed Mom
A guide to modern parenting: Back to Basics – Heart Mama Blog

Today is the 12th of October, so yes, this little update is really late. But I am firmly in the “better late than never” camp.

How are you guys?



Friday, September 28, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa

Exercise phobia is a real thing. It's not laziness, it's an all consuming fear of working out. I suffer from this affliction and guys, it's not easy to overcome. This past Monday I had my first ever session at @abcbootcamper and leading up to it I made every excuse about why I couldn't attend. I went so far as to practically chicken out while sitting in the parking lot on Monday morning. I broke out in a stress sweat. I had to do a nervous poo. I told Regan that this was not for me and I should just head home. 

But I didn't. I decided to show up for myself. I decided that even though I was afraid I would force myself to do this and if I really hated it I wouldn't go again. 

I'm so glad I went. The sessions are structured in a really accessible way. You start off with a warm up - which I felt was a lot tougher than the rest of the workout - and that consists of a fast walk, then a slow jog, then a faster jog, then a jog hop and then a walk lunge type of story. Then you move into groups and work your way through a circuit of 5 different exercises which you do for 45 seconds each and run through the entire circuit for about 10 minutes. Then you take a short water break and move on to your next, more challenging, circuit which also lasts for 10 minutes. Then you do a stretch routine and then you're done. I think I'm probably over simplifying it and making it sound a lot easier than it was. Honestly I feel like someone took a baseball bat to my thighs. Our instructor, Jason, was wonderful and encouraging and made sure to mention that the workouts increase in intensity over the weeks which is a little scary considering how tough I felt Monday was. 

There is  something quite incredible that happens when I push myself. There is such power in that moment when you feel like you just can't push anymore and then you do and your muscle cry out in a strange sort of painful victory and you know that whatever fear you carried before you started is now gone. Exercise phobia is a real thing. But once you overcome it, amazing things happen. 

Right now I am a mom, I am overweight, my body is recovering from the stress of birthing 2 human beings, things wobble, things shake. Every single time I make the decision to get up and move, I am being brave. Because deciding to show up is a lot harder than any exercise you could throw my way. I have spent 6 years not believing in myself. And now that is all changing and it is pure magic. 

I am showing up. 
I am being brave. 
I am proud of this Nikki. 

On Monday morning 1 hour of exercise felt like this impossible, unattainable goal. Today it feels more like an answer to a question I have been too afraid to ask. I am capable of more and I'm achieving more with each session and through the creaky, achy muscles there is one incredible truth that whispers at the back of my mind:

I can do this.



Wednesday, September 05, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa

Real quick confession: cheese is life, I am obsessed with cheese, if you mention the word cheese my ear perk up, I have not met a cheese I didn’t want to inhale. 

A while back I attended a mom bloggers meet up hosted by #ctmomswhoblog the event was fun and we were spoiled with so many goodies. Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, I was cleaning out my junk drawer and found a whole batch of coupons and price off vouchers – these feature quite heavily at blogger events and usually I just pop them in a drawer and forget about them. On this particular day I was cleaning out the pile, trying to sort through what I knew I would use, what was expired and what I would never likely purchase. And then the universe aligned in my favour and into my lap fell a voucher for a Ploughman’s Platter from The Cheese Club

 I didn’t actually know what gold I had just struck, and it was only after reading the little bit of card that I realised my absolute fortune. Well guys, let me tell you something right now:


If you have ever attempted to make a cheese platter, you’ll know that it’s not a simple thing. In fact a lot of my weekend anxiety during summer stems from not knowing which cheese to pair with which preserve. The struggle is real. The Cheese Club recognizes that struggle, and lifts the burden. The Ploughman’s Platter comes with:

1 x Fairview Blue Rock - 100g
Full fat, semi-soft blue mould Roquefort-style cheese, with a firm and crumbly texture.

1 x Fairview Chevin Garlic & Herb - 100g
A smooth and flavourful goat’s milk log, rolled in garlic and herbs, and ending off on a salty note.

1 x Woodsmoked Cheddar - 150g
Artisan cheese, cold smoked in a beech wood smoker to give the cheese a natural smoked flavour.

1 x Sweet Red Pepper Chutney - 120ml
Handmade chutney. Slightly spicy with a hint of paprika.

1 x Crunchy Cucumber Ribbons - 125ml
The perfect crunchy pickle for cheese. Pairs beautifully with wood-smoked or farm-style cheddar.

1 x Crushed Walnuts - 50g
Raw, shelled and crushed into smaller pieces. Perfect match for blue cheese.

1 x Water Biscuits - 125g
Thin, crisp, unsweetened biscuit.

1 x Sourdough Loaf
A par-baked, crusty artisan bread.

1 x Prosciutto Crudo - 70g
Sweet, delicate, dry cured Italian ham. Finely sliced.

2 x Fresh Pears
Fresh-from-the-farm, seasonal variety. Sweet and crunchy.

1 x Wild Rocket - 40g
Fresh salad leaf with a peppery flavour.

And it costs R350!!! Do I need to tell you what it would cost to put this platter together yourself? It would cost around R480! But if you’re anything like me, when I hit that cheese aisle all bets are off. I usually end up overspending so massively simply because I just cannot control myself around cheese. It’s pretty obvious why I am so obsessed with The Cheese Club right? Affordable, convenient and delicious!

Wait. I didn’t actually tell you the best part. The convenience part. If you order before 10.30 am, your order will be delivered on the same day. I placed my order at 9.45 am on a Friday and by 12.00 pm it was being packed into my fridge. This is an amazing service for last minute get togethers or just any Friday night really.

I am officially converted to The Cheese Club cause. My only real question is:




Friday, August 31, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa

I have agreed to do a really crazy thing. Some of you will know that one of my main goals for 2018 is to re-kindle my love of exercise and get my ass into a healthier place. It's been a crazy few months. A few weeks ago I sat down and started the long and tiring process of clearing my camera roll on my phone. I saw a picture and it lit a fire inside my heart.

Four or Five months ago I started this “healthy eating journey”. I can see a lot of eyes rolling as they read this, but stay with me… Please. Initially, I had been quite focused on losing weight, on being a specific size, on a number. But then I had a trip to the doctor and I realised that right now, what is absolutely crucial to my life, is just being healthy. I

So back to this picture…

This picture was taken on a happy day. I love this dress. I love the memories attached to this moment in my life but when I look at this picture I feel sad. This picture reminds me of everything I hate.

I don't hate being fat.
I don't hate my body.

I hate struggling to get off the couch. I hate not being able to run after my kids. I hate feeling winded after picking up a box of Legos. I hate being that one mom at the kid's party that's not running and playing along with her kids. I hate feeling like my life I ruled by food. I hate feeling anxious about going out because I don't feel comfortable in my clothing.

I don't hate my body.
I don't hate being fat.

But, I am unhappy. I need to make these changes that terrify me. I need to embrace a healthier mindset so that I can have a healthier body. I need to do this now. My body hurts and aches in ways it never did and I will never be able to feel OK about that.

So I'm back here. Talking about getting healthy again.


The wonderful people at Adventure Bootcamp for Women got in touch with me recently and asked if I would like to collaborate with them and create some great content together around their Journey to Summer Challenge. I was so keen! I mean I am pretty freaking terrified as well because yikes, my body is not a fit one, but, (big BUTT) I made a commitment to myself, to be healthier. To build a body that can carry me through my life, to change my unhealthy relationship with food, to push myself to achieve more than I currently am. For the first time in years, I am actually excited to move. I cannot wait for this challenge to start on the 24th of September.


ABC runs classes all over the country at a  variety of different locations at times that would suit both working and stay at home mamas.

I hope that in 3 months time I can look see this picture as the motivation it feels like today. I hope that future me sticks to the goals present me is so desperate to achieve. And if she doesn't, I hope that she gets there one day because, at the risk of sounding dramatic, this is her life I am fighting for.

To find out more about the Journey to Summer Challenge, click here>
To follow Adventure Bootcamp, click here for Instagram or here for Facebook >

If you’re really into my journey and want to get all the details, videos, crying, recipes and more, you can follow my Fat Mom on a Diet Instagram account here >

You guys, I just want to say that I am choosing to open up about a really personal thing on my blog and my social platforms. Weight loss, exercise, changing food habits… are all very loaded topics in my life and I would love to make these changes and share this story in a judgement free zone. I accept that everyone has their own opinions about diets and getting fit and body positivity. For me, right now, nothing is more important than getting my body into a healthier place so that I have the strength and stamina to be the kind of mom I want to be for my girls.

This isn't about a size, this isn't about a goal weight, this is about shifting my lifestyle in a massive way, towards a healthier me.

Are you joining me?



Thursday, August 02, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa

It's been a while since I've felt truly happy. Wait, no. That's not right. It's been a while since I've felt truly happy in my relationship. When I hear people talk about their weddings and their proposals and their love, for the longest time I just felt incredibly anxious. Anxious because so much of what I wanted to tell them was negative. Anxious because I know that they are about to enter one of the most challenging phases of their lives. Anxious because I just didn't feel anything right about being in a long-term committed relationship.

Now I feel I need to clarify something before I continue. When I say I that I haven't felt happy, I mean there is an absence of happiness. I don't mean I'm sad. I don't mean I'm unhappy. I'm just kind of "meh".

There's this weird kind of cohabitation that happens after a certain point in your relationship. You move from being passionate and in love to being more like roommates. A lot happens in between. Things like debt and children and bonds and work stress and health stress and questioning where you are in your life. And then this thunderclap of incredible ambivalence sounds and you just kind of float. You exist without trying. You don't go out of your way to be happy and you don't go out of your way to fight. You just tick the boxes and go through the motions and then the second thunderclap strikes and this time it's not ambivalence its a claustrophobic kind of despair. Where did the love go you wonder? Why does everything have to be a fight? I don't even know what to say to this person and my God we made kids together what will I do if this ends? Will I manage? You slowly start to think about a world where your relationship no longer exists and it is scary. Or maybe it's not. Maybe it feels like a kind of weird mutated version of relief and then, then and only then do you begin to feel truly unhappy.

The thing about relationships is that they are really difficult. They don't come easy. And while you may love someone so much it hurts to imagine a life without them, keeping that love alive is a choice. You wake up every day and chose the love you have. And when you stop choosing, you stop trying and when you stop trying, eventually you'll stop loving. Regan and I are slowing pulling ourselves out of a patch of intense "meh". Making the decision to switch the lights back on is a daily choice. Some days it's an easy choice, as easy as falling into each other's arms and making out on the couch. Some days it's difficult, so difficult that I can't imagine how we ever got here. But it's a choice none the less.

There are a few things we're doing to ensure that we have more easy days than difficult ones though. And that's really why I'm sharing this. A few weeks ago I shared some relationship truths on my Instagram stories and I got so many replies from people telling me how much it resonated with them, people telling me that I wasn't alone, they felt it too, people asking me what we're doing to put our relationship first. So here are the 3 things we are focusing on right now:

Give each other the best 

Is this a no-brainer? I'm not so sure. Often I will come home from work, completely spent and completely incapable of being a mom, a cook and a parent. I know that my children need the most from me, so by default, they get it. Then Regan gets home and I literally have nothing left for him. The best case scenario is that he gets a scrap of my time, but the truth is, more often than not, he gets nothing. When I say that you need to give your partner the best I don't mean fall at their feet and lavish them the attention and affection you don't actually have the strength to express, I mean that when you communicate, do it with kindness, be sincere, feel empathy, all the ways you may be feeling exhausted, lonely and a little lost, your partner is probably feeling as well. Never forget that this is the person you chose. The one you decided to create lives with, that is worth something. That is special. And you should never stop treating your relationship like the gift it is.

Say yes to sex 

Errrrrr, ok. So let me clarify. I don't mean go with it if you're really not into it. Building a relationship that thrives on healthy intimacy is a daily choice. When you first get married, intimacy is easy. You tend to fall into each other laps in a flurry of passionate kisses and cuddles and even more passionate sex. But then the kids come along and with them, they usually bring stress about money, which in turn leads to stress about work and before you know it, you're trying to remember when exactly you last touched each other because you wanted to. Look, you're not alone. Maintaining intimacy in a long-term relationship is not easy. And while sex isn't everything, honestly, it is the easiest way to feel connected with your partner and when it's absent, well, the connection can feel absent as well. Stop trying to create the perfect moment for intimacy, stop looking for the right signs, embrace right now, this season of life you find yourself in is not fraught with romantic moments. It's a quickie in the bathroom while you run a bath for the kids. It's silent sex early in the morning because you can't wake the children. It's locking your bedroom door for 10 minutes on a Sunday morning so that you can enjoy just a brief moment with your partner. This is a special kind of intimacy.

Never stop talking 

As soon as you let the struggles you face take over, you stop talking. You communicate out of necessity, you fight, you unleash barbed, caustic comments, you lash out, you employ passive aggressive communication with absolute ease. You drift. You drift so quickly. I love to fight. I would rather have 1000 fights with Regan than 1 moment of tense, angry silence. Because I know that when we are fighting, we are talking. But it's so easy to get stuck in a rut where all you do is fight and someone once told me that while fighting is healthy if you fight too much it means you're not friends. Be brave enough, to be honest with your partner. When they hurt you, tell them. When you hurt them, listen without jumping to defend yourself. If we are all entitled to one thing, it is our emotion. We own our feelings and just because someone may feel something that you disagree with, doesn't mean they are not entitled to feel that way.

Whether you chose to rely on faith or therapy or just yourselves, never ever think that you are alone. All relationships go through difficult times. I really do believe that the best things in life take a ton of work. Falling in love is the easy part, staying in love, making a life, being a family, that requires a bit of grit.



Tuesday, June 12, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa

We all have a few memories from our childhoods that stand out as being more memorable than the rest. For me there are many, but one I always go back to, especially now that I have two daughters of my own is a memory of one of my sisters birthdays. I am not which one. My parents were also very diplomatic at birthdays. They didn’t waste their time explaining that getting a birthday was reserved for the child whose birthday it actually was. We all got gifts. The birthday girl got a big lavish gift, and the other two got lesser, but equally delightful gifts. On this particular birthday, I got everything I ever wanted and it wasn’t even my birthday. I got a Barbie. A real Barbie.

I will never forget opening the pink box and delicately taking this coveted doll from her packaging. I remember pressing her hair to my little face and inhaling so deeply. She smelled amazing. A fruity, exciting smell. I was in love.

I played with my Barbies long into my teen years. I know that is a little odd perhaps, but these dolls and their clothes, and their little accessories gave me a world to escape into. A world filled with innocence and possibility. And now that I have daughters of my own, I find myself once again being drawn into the world of magic and wonder and possibility.

In recent years, Barbie has become somewhat of a pariah though. Her physical appearance has been touted as reinforcing the impossible beauty standard imposed on young girls and while I struggled to disagree, I also see more diversity in Barbie that I ever have before. Sometimes I sit and watch Sophie play with her Barbies, getting sucked into elaborate stories of Barbies life and it reminds me that while we as adults may frown at this little doll, to girls everywhere, she is a symbol of everything that they can one day be.

Barbie is accomplished

She is so successful, has there ever been a doll who was both pastry chef and astronaut? Who could straddle both life as a fashion editor and an Olympics gold medallist? I think not. By allowing my girls to explore the wonderful world of Barbie, I am allowing them to explore a world where they could be anything they chose. And there is so much power in possibility.

A true friend 

One of Sophie’s favourite Barbie movies – and let me tell you, we them ALL – is Barbie and the Diamond Castle. It is a story about two friends who grow up with very little and through a slightly bizarre turn of events, end up embarking on a quest to save the world from an evil queen. But what this movie is really about is the power of friendship, and how there is no treasure truer than a real friend. Every time we watch this movie, Sophie ends off by listing all her friends and how far she would go to help and love and protect them. That is a lesson I can thank Barbie for.

Barbie is unapologetically living her best life

She has her dream job, her dream house, her dream car and her dream guy. She is kind, hardworking and a great friend. She claims these things without explanation or apology. Fictional though she may be, she represents the very real aspirations of many, many grown women. To live a life that is laced with happiness and success.

Endless teachable moments 

Playing with Sophie and her Barbie provides me with endless teachable moments. The one aim I have in my life is to raise my girls with the knowledge that being a real women is as simple as being the most authentic version of yourself. While we may sit and play a pretend game of Ken and Barbie going on a picnic, I am always there to remind her of how to take these moments of play and turn them into the lessons that will frame the person she one day becomes. The fearless feminist who breaks barriers and challenges stereotypes who shows her peers, her sister and herself just how limitless their potential really is.

Barbie is an unlikely hero in my house.
She is there floating in the bath with Sophie, she is squashed under the couch pillows, she is rammed into the toy box with mismatched shoes and khoki pen stains tracked down her face.

She is everywhere and her presence will always remind me of one thing: The unshakable power of possibility.



Friday, June 01, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa

I don’t think there is a mom on this planet who has not gotten to the point where her cup was not just empty, it was bone dry and starting to crack. In those moments tears flow freely and our exhaustion feels very much like a physical presence, looming over our shoulders. So how do you recharge when you’re feeling emotionally exhausted? When you are at your breaking point? The thing about being a mom is that taking time to look after your mental health can feel incredibly indulgent when you have kids screaming for attention, a husband who’s working late and deadlines at your day job that need to be met. But when you are so tired that you LITERALLY STOP FEELING FEELINGS you are not going to be doing your best as a mom, a partner, a chef, an employee and you know, just generally as a person. Girl, you need to recharge those batteries because you will burn out (I’m talking to myself here).

I can’t tell you what will work for you. We all fill our cups differently (I am really running with this analogy now, hey?). But I can tell you what works for me. So let’s do this:



HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! OMG I know! Hilarious. But hear me out, you will literally go insane if you do not get enough sleep. It’s no secret that moms are perpetually tired. We don’t ask for help and we sometimes feel like we need the permission of our entire families to actually just go to sleep. Sleep is not a luxury. It is essential. As essential as food and oxygen and water. I always feel bad if I take a nap, like I’ve left Regan to do more than “his share”. But if I am tired and I see him sleeping, I get really fucking angry. Sleep envy is a real thing, and you know why it’s a real thing? Because we are tired AF. Do me a favour, this weekend, take a nap. Don’t ask permission. Just tell everyone, “Mommy is going to lay down for an hour and whoever wakes me will have to clean the toilet”. Your partner will manage. Your kids will survive. You, my friend, may not.


Ok now that you have had a rest, you need to do something that will remind you of how freaking amazing you are. For me, this could be cooking an awesome, complicated meal or exercising. Whatever you decide, get those happy, self-loving hormones flowing through your system.


Music is cathartic for me. It is the glue that holds my broken spirit together. Now that we have Spotify in SA you have no excuse, go and make a radical, happy mood boost playlist. You need it. Turn up the volume, sing along, dance if you want to!


This is something I have only started to do quite recently. Historically, all my money went to my kids and Regan. Spending money on myself was utterly ridiculous, why when my kids needed things too? I have silenced that voice. Now I treat myself once a month. Sometimes it’s a big treat – hello new Air Max Essentials, sometimes it’s a small treat like a new nail polish or a face mask. It doesn’t matter how much it costs, it just matters that whatever I chose is just for me alone.


So you’ve rested, you’ve done something to make yourself feel proud, you’ve gone out and splurged a little, the next step is easy… Get your ass dressed, put on some makeup and stare at how absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous you are. Because you are. Put on your favourite outfit, fix your hair, put on makeup (if that’s your thing) and just enjoy how flipping good you look.


Call a friend, grab your husband’s hand, call your mom even, but make a date and go out. Talk to another human being about a topic other than your kids. Enjoy this innate ability to hold a conversation with another adult. Enjoy not being asked to fetch a juice or wipe a bum or change a nappy. Remember that girl living deep down underneath all the tiredness and the tears and the stained trackie bottoms, she’s clawing her way to the surface and you need to give her a little boost ok? The hardest part about being a mom to small children is the loneliness that comes along with it. That loneliness is so toxic, don’t forget that there is a world out there, a world full of people who love you and want to see you and want to hear about more than just your kids.


Now if you have followed all of my tips, this last one will be really easy. Make a cup of coffee or tea, sit down on the couch, look at the mess, the kids, the gorgeous partner, look at all of these wonderful people who fill your life and your soul and remember, to them, you are irreplaceable There is no one who is able to kiss an eina or make a mac and cheese quite like you can. And while those skills are not the measure of who you are as a woman, the fact that here, in this living room, with these people, you are an absolute queen is pretty incredible.

Don’t forget, none of us suffers alone. For every mom that feels like her sanity is frayed, there are at least two of us who can hold her hand. Don’t let your friends suffer alone, you might be ok today, but who knows, next week it may be you in the trenches. And if you know of a mom who is struggling, please do share this with her. Or maybe share your own version of this.



Thursday, May 31, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa

Wooden toys have always been this symbol of timeless, resilient authenticity. Since becoming a mom I have coveted many a rocking horse and block set and while we have been forced to accommodate the brash, bright and (often) offensive world of plastic toys, there will always be a soft spot in my heart for classic, well-made wooden toys. We recently received a box of wonderfully imaginative wooden blocks from Tooky Toys and while I sat on the couch, steaming mug of coffee in hand, watching my girls squabble over who got to be the horse and who got to be the princess, I realised that despite all the reasons I love wooden toys, the main one will always be the way they magically unlock this whole new imaginative world for children.



Am I the only person obsessed with turning everything into an heirloom? Maybe it’s me coming to terms with my own mortality, but I find myself leaning towards things that last. When I look at a set of toys that will last, I think of how both my children will enjoy these, I think of how I may pass them on to future cousins or hold on to them so that my girls can give them to their children. Wooden toys make this dream possible.


Children play so differently. Watching Grace interact with a toy is radically different to watching Sophie interact with the same toy. Grace will sit and simply stack up a tower of blocks, while Sophie tends to build elaborate worlds and scenarios. I love the adaptability of wooden toys.


Wooden toys encourage children to use their imaginations and creativity. We know this. Give a child a shiny electronic train and they will watch it look around the same circle for an hour and then move on. Give a child a set of blocks and challenge them to make a train? That’s hours of play, hours of thinking, hours of using their well-honed sense of imagination.


When children play with wooden toys, they supply all the voices and sound effects. This allows children to be in control of what they do with the toys and to keep their minds clear as they think through different scenarios or solve problems.


I am always struck by how many modern toys reply on solitary play. When children use their imaginations and practice real-life scenarios, they often like to bring others in on their play. Toys that have voices or electronics promote more solitary whereas many wooden toys invite interaction with others.


Since wooden toys don’t have voices or electronic parts to tell them what piece to pick up or what step to take next and they aren’t designed to fit a specific activity, children develop their reasoning skills and problem-solving skills as they learn with wooden toys, explore and figure things out.


Wooden toys help children build hand-eye coordination and physical skills in so many ways. As they manipulate, lace, twist, turn, push, pull, sort, match, stack, build and move toys, they learn how to develop dexterity and control.


Wooden toys have weight, texture, colours and a feel that is much more sensory and tactile than most plastic toys. What’s more, wooden toys look gorgeous on display and add a lovely aesthetic and energy to the home.

I have been so conditioned to thinking that wooden toys need to cost the earth, but Tooky Toys is radically changing that perception. Their range of toys starts at R55 and go up to R1650. So there really is something for every budget.

To shop the Tooky Toys range visit BabyWombWorld 
To find out more about Tooky Toys, click here
Visit the BabyWombWorld Facebook page to stay up to date with their different ranges 



Monday, May 21, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa

I didn’t watch the royal wedding. But I did trawl the internet for pictures of the prince and princess on Sunday. Guys, those looks of pure adoration and love make me weak in the knees. Remember when you looked at your guy like that? When you looked at each other and all you could see was the rest of your life, standing right there, in front of your eyes? Remember feeling like you were in a frenzy? You couldn’t control yourself, stolen kisses over the dinner table while your friends threw up in their mouths? Holding hands while driving because the idea of simply not touching each other was absolutely absurd?


I love the phase of my life I am in right now, but sometimes I miss the bright and burning passion of the early days. When Regan and I went on our first date, he looked at me like I was a delicious meal and he hadn’t eaten for a month. Halfway through our date, after about 3 glasses of wine, he leaned over the table and kissed me and then whispered that he couldn’t keep pretending that he wanted to do anything else except kiss me. Even though I have basically been in love with Regan since I was 19, I fell in love with him 1000000 more that night and as our love grows and matures and the passion ebbs a little more than it flows, we constantly pull ourselves back towards that frenzy, because let’s be honest, passion in small bits is toe-curling and wonderful  but hardly sustainable. Especially when you have two little kiddos on your heels.

I put together this little list of date nights because Regan and I always treat date nights like this freaking production. Like it has to be this whole long event with dinner and dressing up and the whole thing. But really all we need is to carve out a few precious hours to remind ourselves how desperately we love each other. Cindy from 3 kids, 2 dogs and 1 old house wrote a really awesome blog post last week about how she’s making more of a big deal about the passion department and it got me thinking, why was I hogging this list of date night ideas, when I could share it with you all?

So here you go, 30 free (or cheap) date ideas that won’t take a bunch of time of cost a bunch of money but will ensure a bunch of love:

1.    Go on a hike.
2.    Explore a neighbourhood.
3.    Plan a game night.
4.    Make it a beach day.
5.    Go roller skating.
6.    Volunteer together.
7.    Have a movie marathon.
8.    Go to expensive open houses even if you’re not looking for a house, it’s nice to dream and even nicer to dream together.
9.    Play a messy game of Twister.
10.    Play truth or dare.
11.    Go for a swim.
12.    Wander art galleries.
13.    Go to an author reading at The Book Lounge (if you’re in Cape Town)
14.    Get lost, on purpose.
15.    Answer this New York Times questionnaire that might make you fall in love.
16.    Feed ducks at your local park.
17.    Play strip chess.
18.    Have a sandcastle-building contest.
19.    Build a blanket fort, take in some snacks and your laptop and watch a movie.
20.    Have an at-home karaoke night. Pick songs for each other instead of yourselves.
21.    Make your own custom cards against humanity deck.
22.    Play snapchat hide-and-seek. This is so fun and easy. Simply hide away, snap pics of clues about your hiding place and send them to your partner.
23.    Have a chopped competition to see who can make the best dish out of whatever you already have in the fridge.
24.    Have a picnic in the park. Leave your phones in the car.
25.    Build an enormous puzzle.
26.    Take a scenic drive.
27.    Go ice skating
28.    Create a cosy night-time picnic in the garden, in a tent or under the stars
29.    Have an epic make-out session on your couch.
30.    Visit the planetarium – So romantic: sitting in the dark, holding hands, looking at the stars.

Once you have kids, your relationship tends to take the back seat. Parenting, life, bills, work and all the other things that tend to come with adulating, usually feel more important than a cuddle or a kiss with your partner. One thing I know is that when your love cup is full, all the worries feel less daunting, the fights lack their nastiness, the tantrums are usually observed with a shared smirk,  and when the lights are out and the kids are down, you get to fall asleep knowing that you are loved and cherished beyond measure. And that, my lovelies, is pretty amazing because love is rare and special.


Friday, May 11, 2018

I often feel like I can't speak openly about a brand because I'm a blogger. And part of being a blogger means always being nice and (PR)friendly because yes, we want brands to like us. We want brands to want to work with us. Unless a brand really steps out and does something utterly insane, it’s usually better to just judge silently and say nothing, right?  Well guys, I am terrible at taking my own advice. Yesterday I did something I've never done before. I spoke publicly and negatively about a brand's campaign. In the interest of clarity and because I'm too tired to craft clever innuendo's, I'm just going to speak plainly. Baby Dove launched a campaign for Mothers Day that was centred around the concept of what makes a real mom, but also that we all need to do motherhood in our own way. I was a little confused…

Before I continue I really, really, REALLY want to make 2 things very clear:

1) I have nothing but the utmost respect and indeed, absolute love for all the bloggers that have worked on this campaign and my thoughts here and the thoughts I shared yesterday were not meant to bash anyone or make anyone feel attacked. I love you all dearly and your blogs literally give me life on a daily basis.

2) Dove is a brand that is completely entrenched in my life. Like, my whole life. From my kids, to me, to Regan. We all use and love Dove products. This commentary was not about Baby Dove or Dove at all, but rather about their campaign.


For most of this week, I have been seeing these posts from my fellow bloggers about what it means to be a real mom. And for most of this week, my eyes have been twitching at the idea. After all, being real or being authentic is only a concept because being inauthentic or fake exists. But how on God’s green earth could any women be a fake mother? As the week went on, I kept scrolling and I continued to see these posts. And each post left me feeling like I had to examine my own version of motherhood, naturally, I began to feel like maybe my own version of motherhood was somehow wrong or just different enough to not be considered “real”.


The thing about platforms like Twitter and Instagram is that most of us are there for a good time, not a long time and my engagement with the content I see usually starts and ends with the caption. I don’t want to visit a bio and click a link, because that’s not what I opened the app for. I came for scrolling and double tapping. So here I was, confused, annoyed and feeling like I was somehow “less than” my peers. I swallowed it and pushed through what turned out to be one of the hardest weeks of my life since becoming a mom. Yesterday I came home from work to two sick babies. Sophie was in a rotten mood. Grace was howling and clingy, I made myself a cup of coffee and sat down on the couch to digest some social media before getting started on supper and then I saw it. Another real mom post. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I just could not leash my irritation for another second. And so I shared a story on Instagram about why this whole campaign is chaffing my chunkies. It’s still live if you want to jump on to my Instagram for context and a laugh at my naff hair you can do so here>

42 of the people that viewed my story, felt so strongly about it that they replied to me. This is some of what they told me:

  • YASSSSS queen! I feel exactly the same way. 
  • Nikki, I absolutely love this. So accurate. 
  • Thank you for speaking my mind. 
  • Nail on the head! This campaign has made me feel so guilty. 
  • Hell yes! What is a real mom, just being a mother is enough. 
  • Motherhood is damn hard, I hated feeling judged by women I looked up to. 
  • I am so angry about this campaign and I literally said this exact thing a few days ago. 
  • Preach! So with you Niks! 

So I wasn’t alone. Now for the saddest part of this entire thing:



After posting my little rant and gleefully replying to all the lovely moms, I got a phone call from the PR agency managing the Baby Dove account. The PR manager called to explain the point of the campaign. I listened and was very surprised to learn that the whole freaking point was exactly what I was saying. How on earth did they manage to achieve the opposite of what they set out to do? The PR manager mentioned that the bloggers involved in the campaign went on to write blog posts about what it means to be a real mom and after my phone call with her ended, I went on to read them. Yes, a lot of what I was reading made sense. A lot of it championed the notion that there is actually no such thing as a real mom. I think I am going to chalk this one up to a confusing use of language. The word “real” trips us up. When you pair it with the hashtag, #trustyourway it feels really confusing.

After I got the call from the PR agency I felt like I had to take my rant down and gush wildly about how wrong I was and how amazing the campaign was. No one told me to do that, I just felt like maybe that was what was expected. But I have decided to be a bad ass ballsy bitch in 2018 and speak my truth, in the most authentic way I know how. I am going to end off with this:

This campaign confuses me so much. I know that that was not Baby Dove’s intention. I know that in the past, Dove has successfully leveraged the concept of realness in their Real Beauty campaign. This campaign worked because we were all stuck in a black hole of comparison, measuring ourselves against a standard that was not only impossible, it was wholly unachievable because even the women on the covers of glossy magazine don’t really look like that 99% of the time. The concept of realness in motherhood is a little more complicated for me because as I mentioned above, you can’t imply realness without implying there is an opposite to it. So if you are saying that every mom is real and this impossibly perfect standard of Pinterest mom life is unachievable, that is incorrect because the Pinterest mom is no less real than the grungy, grumpy (me) mom. Perhaps the word “real” should have been excluded from this campaign and it should have been left as Trust You Way because when you tell me to simply trust myself, you are making me feel validated and valued as a mom, you are giving me the confidence I need to embrace motherhood for the unique journey it really is.

If you want to see the full campaign, you can follow either of the two hashtags: #realmoms or #trustyourway and show them some love. These moms are amazing and like the rest of, they're doing the maximum.

If you want to watch my story, you still have a few hours to do so. 

If you want to share your opinion of the campaign or being a real mom, please do leave a comment or pop me a mail.



Monday, May 07, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa

Sometimes I feel like spending quality, one on one time with my kids is a pure luxury, that is to say, it does not always feel like the necessity it is. When life gets frantic, it often seems like there are more important things to do than sitting down and building a puzzle or playing a game of snakes and ladders. But there really isn't. Ever.

Sophie is what Dr Sears would describe as a “high needs” child. She is quite emotional, often cries the second things don’t go her way and needs way more attention than her 1 year old sister. For Sophie, one on one time with me is life. I am not even kidding. If I find myself in a whirlwind of adulating and life admin, Sophie is usually there, grabbing my shirt tails, wailing away, reminding me that my primary function is to ensure she has everything she needs to thrive, and 90% the time, this is as simple as just spending time with her.

Tough times call for firm cuddles 

I’m not going to lie, we’re going through a difficult patch. I told you about her terrible visit to the doctor, something that I feel so guilty about because I wasn’t there to protect her from that kind of irresponsible care giving. But it’s more than just that. Things have been off. You know when the universe tips a little, or the moon goes insane and then like, your whole family falls apart and you’re fighting with your partner and kids go demonic and then you’re also like seriously dead broke and you basically just hate life? Well we’re coming off one of those periods now and things are slowly going back to normal, but there are still little niggles. Wilfulness, stubbornness, misery, tantrums etc. You know, the usual.

The one way I know to reach Sophie is to bake with her. It’s kind of like our thing. We bake. Sometimes we bake amazing things and other time it’s barely edible. But the one constant is our happiness. Just the two of us, alone in the kitchen, it’s pure magic.

Barbie to the rescue 

We recently got a really wonderful batch of Barbie goodies from the awesome people at Blue Horizon South Africa and one of the items in our lovely box was a Barbie cooking set and recipe book. As soon as I saw it, my heart melted a little because I knew that this one thing would be a gift for both Sophie & I, and it came at a time when we both really needed it.

This weekend we baked the vanilla cupcakes for Regan’s birthday. This recipe is so straight forward, it’s literally  flop-proof. Unfortunately they were so good that they were gobbled up before I could even take a picture.

I am a huge fan of any toy that translates into quality family time. It’s one of the main reasons we love our blocks and board games. These Barbie cooking sets are so sweet and I know that they will translate into lots of shared hours in the kitchen for Sophie and I.

How do you prioritise one on one time with your little ones? 

What are some of the ways you prioritise spending one on one time with your children? It’s a challenge when you have more than one. I would love to hear some suggestions for other things we can do.



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